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Old 07-01-2007, 06:57 PM   #61
Brynn
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Originally Posted by trisherina View Post
Is this pleasant or unpleasant, Brynn? The dissociation bit, I mean.
It was very distressing at the time, but hey, I was suicidal. So maybe there were stress chemicals that did a number on me, I don't know. I've since tried to experience it again, to no avail. Not something I'm able to will to happen, although I'm sure some people claim they can.



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The brain is a fascinating organ anatomically. The convolutions! Thinking about how much they contain in such a relatively small space is impressive enough!
I was impressed with the little fact that if the brain was spread out flat, it would cover 16 square feet. You could write a lot of micro-processed code in a space like that. And folding it back into its space is a challenge for expert packers. But it's gray, spongy appearance is deceiving and just doesn't look up to the tasks it accomplishes, which is why it seems so mysterious to me.


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Specifically, I wanted a pony for my birthday! Didn't get that either.
yes, oh yes! But I got over wanting a pony. Now, if I wanted to, I could choose to change my life around in order to have a pony, but I don't want one. Everyone chooses what they believe in and actions flow naturally from that belief, so if I want to devote time and energy into certain actions, I need a belief system that will support those efforts.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:25 PM   #62
lukkucairi
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I hope you're all better...
I'm fine

thanks

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Old 07-01-2007, 07:37 PM   #63
trisherina
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For the record, I've never actually wanted a pony, other than as a rhetorical device. Now:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
Everyone chooses what they believe in and actions flow naturally from that belief, so if I want to devote time and energy into certain actions, I need a belief system that will support those efforts.
Even if I accepted that actions flow naturally from belief -- I don't think they do -- in my experience people need to expend quite a bit of effort in order to make their actions congruent with their expressed beliefs -- I'd have to say here that I can't think of an action that would require me to have a belief in an eternal soul. Except perhaps paying obeisance to eternity's gatekeeper, if we posit one. So I guess I'm going to have to ask what actions on your part your belief system supports.
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:38 AM   #64
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I don't want to talk about my good deeds, if that's what your asking. Not sure, is it? But I will say that whenever I start out - I've decided to take action, but I always feel as though it can't be done and I'm helpless and it's bigger than I am, and what I'm doing won't make a big difference anyway. But my belief system helps me to do more than I think I can. That's how it supports my actions, and hopefully, vice versa - my actions will support my beliefs.

Everybody does what they absolutely believe in the veryest very-ness of their core, their soul, that thing that makes them go and do those things that they absolutely have to do before they die - those things they would do whether anyone was looking or not. So what their soul believes is what utterly decides their actions.

I believe absolutely that character is destiny. Maybe that whole concept is soul itself. Maybe it's not.
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:56 AM   #65
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Okay.

So belief in an eternal soul helps you do more good deeds. That's not uncommon, and I salute every one of them. I always wonder about necessary and essential when I think about what people believe; the whole good deeds thing doesn't seem to have a belief in eternal soul as a necessary or essential element. Though as I say, it seems not uncommon.

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Originally Posted by Brynn
Everybody does what they absolutely believe in the veryest very-ness of their core, their soul, that thing that makes them go and do those things that they absolutely have to do before they die - those things they would do whether anyone was looking or not. So what their soul believes is what utterly decides their actions.
I had a feeling you were going to say this, and I just don't buy it. Perhaps I'm reluctant to accept that the posited soul believes in greed, sloth, ignorance and malice nearly as much as its actions betray, or perhaps something as elemental as a veryest very-ness of the soul in something as complex and internally divergent as human beings just doesn't ring true.

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I believe absolutely that character is destiny. Maybe that whole concept is soul itself. Maybe it's not.
Do you think that character inheres to action and thought, or action, or what?
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Old 07-04-2007, 06:29 PM   #66
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Okay.

So belief in an eternal soul helps you do more good deeds. That's not uncommon, and I salute every one of them. I always wonder about necessary and essential when I think about what people believe; the whole good deeds thing doesn't seem to have a belief in eternal soul as a necessary or essential element. Though as I say, it seems not uncommon.
Well, thanks, I guess. However, if I'm spending my time in a certain way just to be saluted for it, then my motives start to - well, change, if not become outright suspect . Instead of wanting to honor and partake in eternity itself by honoring an individual's soul and acknowledging my own eternal connection to it in a private, personal way, then it becomes more about collecting notches and feathers and brownie points and accolades for oneself in the physical world. The experience of giving becomes considerably more shallow as a result - for me anyway, and it's no longer supported by the beliefs I might aspire to.

It's very easy to base one's actions on unconscious core beliefs of fear rather than beliefs we say outwardly we want to follow. It's especially tempting to do that here on this board, for a perfect example. I decide to make a cruel, casual joke at someone's expense (Ron Price comes immediately to mind - I've been fairly mean to him in the past) to make people laugh. I think I can be funny sometimes, so why not, it's all just for fun, right? That's my action, and my conscious justification for that action. But it's also a case where I betray the nobler beliefs I aspire to and give way to a core belief I obviously still cherish deeper down - the belief that if I can make people laugh, they will love me. Not only that, but they will love me more than someone else.


The concept of character refinement comes in when I discover that this particular belief is not necessarily true, and (with the help of the Holy Spirit that I've declared allegiance to that points out this internal hypocrisy) I can try to eventually discard it so that my actions will more closely reflect the belief that I am indeed loved for myself, my own soul has eternal value, and I do not need to devalue anyone else in order to bolster my own standing in the universe. Hopefully this becomes entrenched as a core belief and gradually replaces earlier core beliefs and fears from childhood that I won't be loved.
So, what some people would call hypocrisy in my actions as a Christian, I try to view as a constant learning curve and a struggle to bring my actions into more perfect alignment with new rather than old entrenched patterns. With my character thus changed in small incremental ways, hopefully my decisions to act will more closely align with the destiny I'd rather follow.

People do this sort of thing without the help of the Holy Spirit all the time, or they call it something else, maybe. Jesus said he came to heal the people who were sick, not the ones who were doing okay. I'm one of the sick ones.
Some people are amazing and were raised well and somehow manage to live out their days as saints, and don't even worry about this stuff, and just do good because it makes them feel good. I'm not one of those rare people. I need a connection to Jesus and the Holy Spirit constantly reminding my inner soul that I'm loved and am truly free to operate under the rules of love rather than one-upsmanship. Other people are just naturally that way. I'd like very much to be like them.


Just as human congratulations are kind of beside the point and not really necessary to me to justify spending my time a certain way, it's not necessary or essential for everyone to need a bigger picture when they give someone their spare change or help an old lady load her groceries into her car, or go build houses for Habitat For Humanity.They just do it because they feel they should. But even Mother Theresa's actions didn't come easily to her. She was just as human as the rest of us, and has said time and again where the source of her strength to do her thing came from.

Now, about people doing exactly what they truly believe:
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I just don't buy it. Perhaps I'm reluctant to accept that the posited soul believes in greed, sloth, ignorance and malice nearly as much as its actions betray
Yeah, this is where we've differed. I say that actions belie everything, no matter what the justification. But I don't think we're that far off - it may just be a matter of what we call things. Let's take a whack at this.
I don't think you need to believe in greed to embrace it.
I have no trouble seeing that deep down, everybody's hiding something dark - because I see it in myself. Absolutely I do, and hey, I'm basically a nice person. But I'm complicated. Everyone is. All we need to do is look at the history of mankind's phenomenal capacity for good and evil to know that this is true. Even Hitler was charming and charismatic enough to lead millions of otherwise good German people down the path of absolute evil and apathy.

I don't think my soul will necessarily admit to believing in greed/sloth/ignorance, but it will find elaborate reasons to justify a mistaken core belief of fear that says it won't have enough money/time/energy for itself, and then my actions flow from that:
"If I give them the amount of money they say they need to make a difference, I won't have enough for myself. Besides, I'm just being manipulated and lied to, and they'll probably just pocket it all for themselves."
Sloth:
"If I go help paint that old lady's house this weekend, my whole weekend will be blown and I won't get the chance to unwind before I have to go back to work next week. I need my rest."
Ignorance:
"I like to keep positive, and it bums me out to think about the Sudan or global warming or the AIDS crisis in Africa or the foster care system in America or crack babies or the homeless. I have enough to worry about and I can't do anything anyway. I'm too sensitive to be thinking about it all the time. Life is about being happy. Otherwise I'll make myself crazy feeling guilty just for being lucky."
These are all my own justifications for not acting in a way that is true to my belief system that says I'm connected to others and that my smallest actions matter. It's in constant conflict with what I profess I believe. This core belief of fear for myself rather than others lives at the very-very-ness of myself, of my cowering, vulnerable soul --- that's what I mean by that. I'm constantly fighting it.
This effort is what you're referring to when you say this, right?

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people need to expend quite a bit of effort in order to make their actions congruent with their expressed beliefs -- I'd have to say here that I can't think of an action that would require me to have a belief in an eternal soul. Except perhaps paying obeisance to eternity's gatekeeper, if we posit one.
Any of those actions above that I would take to combat my innate sloth/greed/ignorance requires a belief in something larger than my own transitory existence, because if it's up to me alone, I'll sleep in every time.

For me, that is. I honestly don't know how other saint-like beings do it, and I don't meet a lot of them in that kind of pure form, but maybe you do. Otherwise, screw it, hey I gave five bucks of my hard-earned money to that lazy bum last week, and I'm a good person and I'm basically nice to people in my immediate community and that's all anyone needs to do, ever. My character is just not that evolved, but is hopefully evolving. For one thing, if I can recognize this failing in myself, then it follows that I might be more willing to give others a massive break when they act out of their fears and mistaken core beliefs as well.

Hanging out with those less fortunate than me is not my idea of fun, and it's exhausting, but knowing that my own destiny is connected with theirs and my actions are beyond the touch of time is part of the joy. Where the obeisance to a "gatekeeper" comes in is knowing that when I act out of a storehouse of love and generosity and fearlessness that He Himself supplies, I am acting in His will for me. So the obedience and worship then springs from a huge sense of gratitude for his love that sustains me here and now rather than a sense of compulsion. If I try to do good deeds without that sustenance, I get exhausted, burned out and cynical.

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Do you think that character inheres to action and thought, or action, or what?
In short, yes. If the character has strong qualities, then the actions can't help but reflect the purity of the character. If the core character and its thoughts are full of fear for the future, then the actions can't help but reflect that. Conversely, the character itself is etched and influenced by experience, and inherits the consequences of action. If it's a mixed bag in progress, that's what you get too. It's very rarely all one thing or the other.

I've been thinking about Lukku's reflection of light playing on the surface of the water. Her vision strikes me as a perfect picture of the Holy Spirit. It was very cool of her to risk sharing it, even though I was in the middle of a knee-jerk reaction of being afraid that I was being made fun of, and was making fun of it in retaliation and masking it as joking around. But I think pictures like that can be an agent of healing. Not only that, but your kind attention, Trish, is an agent of healing as well, and I'm grateful for you, and I love you and I love what you make me think about. You've got "soul."

Other people need to give it all another name that has meaning for them, which works for them. I just don't think we're talking about viewpoints that are radically different from each other - just working with different vocabularies, that's all.
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Last edited by Brynn : 07-04-2007 at 06:59 PM. Reason: this reply wasn't LONG enough, you know?
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:58 AM   #67
trisherina
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I was asking what character inhered to because I think character is acted out in what you do, whereas what you think is often involuntary. I guess by that criteria, I would put clean addicts at the top of the character ladder, which is not far from the truth anyway.

If I get your meaning correct, you are saying, "Some people may not need all this, but I do to be the best person I am able to be." I've never understood why that so enrages people about so many beliefs all over the world.

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Originally Posted by Brynn
Any of those actions above that I would take to combat my innate sloth/greed/ignorance requires a belief in something larger than my own transitory existence, because if it's up to me alone, I'll sleep in every time.
I've often wondered if this is the case. Not specifically about you, of course.
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Old 07-05-2007, 05:14 AM   #68
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brynn i'm not sure if you want answers.. but here goes:

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Originally Posted by brynn
Sloth:
"If I go help paint that old lady's house this weekend, my whole weekend will be blown and I won't get the chance to unwind before I have to go back to work next week. I need my rest."
this is not sloth. this is taking care of yourself. if you don't put yourself in the front row, you will not be able to help someone else.

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Originally Posted by brynn
....reflect the belief that I am indeed loved for myself, my own soul has eternal value, and I do not need to devalue anyone else in order to bolster my own standing in the universe. Hopefully this becomes entrenched as a core belief and gradually replaces earlier core beliefs and fears from childhood that I won't be loved.
love yourself. this is the key. if you don't love yourself for who you are, how can anyone else?

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Originally Posted by brynn
I have no trouble seeing that deep down, everybody's hiding something dark - because I see it in myself. Absolutely I do, and hey, I'm basically a nice person. But I'm complicated. Everyone is.
you don't have to hide something dark-- get it out in the open, talk about it, and take control. it doesn't need to be hidden!
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:49 AM   #69
craig johnston
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i love this thread

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Old 07-05-2007, 01:49 PM   #70
lukkucairi
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I've been thinking about Lukku's reflection of light playing on the surface of the water. Her vision strikes me as a perfect picture of the Holy Spirit. It was very cool of her to risk sharing it, even though I was in the middle of a knee-jerk reaction of being afraid that I was being made fun of, and was making fun of it in retaliation and masking it as joking around.
I wasn't making fun of you

I think the question of Soul is pretty serious business - while I might joke around a bit, I can't put down anyone's idea of what it might entail!

that experience I wrote about is still resonating with me, actually - and makes me wonder about the existence of a soul as we generally think of one as existing.

when I wrote in this thread before, I believed that a separate soul of some sort existed. now honestly I'm not so sure, but not in a bad way if that makes any sense. the way I was just snuffed out and then brought back - especially the fact that I was talking and acting during some of the time when my self-reflection was disabled - brings me to speculate that it really is just the self-reflective property of my mind that creates the illusion of a separate soul.

I could have died on the table and not noticed!
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:45 PM   #71
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^I know you weren't, lukku - I just thought you were at first, but you were just making a joke about alcohol, and I took it wrong. I think you're wonderful.

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this is not sloth. this is taking care of yourself. if you don't put yourself in the front row, you will not be able to help someone else.

love yourself. this is the key. if you don't love yourself for who you are, how can anyone else?

you don't have to hide something dark-- get it out in the open, talk about it, and take control. it doesn't need to be hidden!
I completely and absolutely agree about needing to love and care for yourself in order to have resources to draw upon - you can't feed anyone from an empty bucket, and you aren't a whole person if you don't love yourself.
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2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand.
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Last edited by Brynn : 07-15-2007 at 04:33 AM. Reason: blah blah blah blah blah blah
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