That Which is Sacred

What needs do mythology and religion serve in today's world and in ancient times? Here we discuss the relationship between mythology, religion and science from mythological, religious and philosophical viewpoints.

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CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Wed May 30, 2012 3:13 pm

Roncooper wrote:Carmelabear,

I see your point, but I also sympathize with Neoplato.

...If I listen to a song like "The Pearl" by Emmylou Harris, I am born again.

I have a comment about Hawking. His claims are another example of an intellectual with a closed mind who is overreaching. These are considered flaws of the intellect, and while there are a lot of Hawking followers, his conclusions are not justified.

For Nermin,

...Now I think the eternal mystery is broadcasting instructions to us 24/7, and we just don't hear. It is only when we are thrown out of our rut by some unusual event that we listen. It could be a trip to a mountain, or drugs, etc. Everything comes together and we are instructed. We are like cats who are meant to go to the stars. We will get there eventually, but it will take a while. Our unnessary suffering will go down as we learn.

Am I lost again?

Roncooper
You know why people seem so cheery? Sometimes, it's because the depression that makes us fat and sick is too real. We develop defenses. We are in denial. We compensate with the development of skills that transport our minds away from the obvious reality of our bodies. Illusions work, but they require the suspension of disbelief, which may be too far to go for a drop of mead. You find the mental release in your favorite music. That's it. Why ever would you want to be a clone of your wife or Carmela, the water bearer?

You're no more lost than any of the rest of us, Ron. We're doing the best we can.

In many ways, mythology romanticizes reality to help us cope with it.

:?
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by Neoplato » Wed May 30, 2012 3:15 pm

The job allows you to do something worthwhile.....pay bills to support your family. Please do not discount the value of your sacrifice. It is all the more heroic on account of your feelings about the work and your high level of skill.

When you are not at work, you are spending time with the family.....what could be more constructive than being there for them?

You spend time with us, too. That's got to be worth several gold stars smack on the forehead, right next to the prison number. We are proud of you, Neo. You have a lot more to be humble about than most folks. Your family and your friends have taken notice. Your sacrifices count. Mark one, two, three..........to infinity and beyond! -Carmela
I wonder if I just have a naturally pessimistic demeanor. Thanks for the positive reinforcement. :D
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Wed May 30, 2012 3:19 pm

Neoplato wrote: I wonder if I just have a naturally pessimistic demeanor. Thanks for the positive reinforcement. :D
You can't go into a war zone without proper equipment. I suggest a shield and some armor.
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Thu May 31, 2012 1:56 am

Neo;

If I'm not intruding I would just like to add a couple of points that I hope you might take into consideration.

You bring to these forums a very important asset; A fearless intellect. You push; and reach; and stretch. You challenge; you make us grow. I know; I read alot of your posts and they do that to me. I just finshed " Atheists Are a Myth ". Awesome!
You constantly look for growth. I don't have the strengths in the subject matter that you do. I wish I did. But I learn. You are always there pushing the bar. Making us laugh.

We all bring something to the table here. We all get frustated. We all get depressed. I have a job that makes me nuts. But I do it so I can have the other life. And it is obvious people care so I won't go on here.

Things are tough sometimes; real tough. I just heard about a fellow before I left work today who lost a son from a seizure; graduated a daughter from high school; and lost his mother-in-law from cancer in one weekend. ( I can't imagine his life at this moment. ) I watch the news; I get sad or bummed. I see rude ; nasty people do or say cruel things; it makes me angry. I look at plenty of things around me that tell me I have no value; I get depressed. But Not Here!

This place to me has become indespensible. I know when I come here people bring their best game. You are one of those people. :wink: 8)
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Thu May 31, 2012 6:34 am

JamesN. wrote:Neo;


This place to me has become indespensible. I know when I come here people bring their best game. You are one of those people. :wink: 8)
That's it, Neo. This place is cool, and you are among friends.... :!:

If I did not believe in the idea of compassion, my depression would do more than make me obese, which is a just a slow, slow suicide. I have to believe I can do something before I die that makes up for all the blind spots that caught me by surprise and ripped my heart out. There are too many to list. I know a life in which I am overwhelmed by challenge.

My prison is lifted up by a spirit that cannot be contained. The doors are opened by the imagination. Nothing else. The only way I can handle being who I am and being here doing what I do is that between my two ears I have everything, and I do mean everything. It's all here and it's all mine. The dilemma is to sort out how to give this life a shape and a message. It is fuzzy and incomplete.

I have to feel safe, and in the semi-cloistered life of a live-in caregiver, I feel protected.

My worst foe is my compassion for my own self. I feel pain, and to help out, I offer myself some degree of immediate comfort. I do this by indulging in food that is readily at hand. The fat and sugar and starch is as easy to acquire as a lungful of air. Daily, I choose between indulgence and direct contact with the source of a painful hunger. Choosing to comfort myself is not noble. It has often been the only one I could possibly imagine. If there had been others, I was blind to alternatives. Lately, I had been choosing to eat and forget. For the umpteenth time, I'm now deciding to be hungry and remember. It is testing me. Ouch!

There is a sacred space here at the JCF site, where I can reflect and trust my thoughts. My fat body is evidence of my having given up on sacrificing for what I believe. Eating is not sacrifice. It is despair served up on a silver platter. Binging and overeating is self-destruction.

In the hurting department, there is physical and emotional hunger, which is immediate and painful to an extreme (not hunger from poverty, but hunger from eating leafy greens). If I accept the leafy-greeny hunger as the price of becoming healthier and more fit, I am left with the pain that compelled me eat to excess in the first place.

When Steve Jobs counseled students to "stay hungry", it was good advice, but it was presumptuous. Hungry cravings are not about food. They are about a soul abandoned to hard times by those with hard times of their own. It is not nice.

The wealthy are not better off than me. Most would give up all their riches to have what I take for granted. When I say I have everything, I am being somewhat metaphorical. Like Stephen Wright, I keep my collection of sea shells on all the beaches of the world. My soul is big enough to hold my collection of humanity, and my compassion has the capacity for all. My heart beats in time with the universe.

That said, the side of me that growls like a big old bear is suggestive of the power of potential. It is all I can do to contain the frustration I feel when I watch the tug and pull between the power of hunger and the power of despair.

Eating is comfortable and careless. The consequences bring slow death.

Hunger is painful and responsible. The experience forces me to face life.

I know I can be hungry for a while. I don't know if I can live this way indefinitely. I don't know if I have what it takes to be hungry every day. Maybe I'd rather be comfortable in knowing I will soon be forgotten. Strangely, that's where regret takes me. I wind up wishing I had never been born. I want to change my name and live in another place.

Comfort or health. My mind sees that health is the only choice. It is my insides that rebel and give up and sink back into the simple fact that there will never be a rescue. I have to lift myself up and figure out how to make it through this day without going to the store for another bag of insanely pain-transcending sugar and fat and carbohydrates, the opiates of the people.

Bread and wine are Jesus.

Veggies and ice water are us? Are you kidding me?

Carbs and alcohol.......so much more fun.......no comparison.

Sacred wine beats the hell out of sacred tap water.

--

Oh, and no one here at the Rambling Conversations ever orders me to "focus" the way others do. Talk about indulgence. My off-the-cuffs just happen. Here, there is expressive indulgence. I am free to write whatever words enter my scattered brain, and the rest of my body just sits before the computer, (between shifts and requests and To-Do's). When I'm here, I'm usually tired and feeling the pressure of thoughts pushing against my skull.

Here, I wander around the internet universe, chewing up the keyboard.

---

[Now, look what I've gone and done. :roll: .

This ramble has to stop.]

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by Neoplato » Thu May 31, 2012 1:19 pm

Thanks James and Carmela. :D

Your words made me feel better. 8)
Infinite moment, grants freedom of winter death, allows life to dawn.
CarmelaBear
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Post by CarmelaBear » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:35 am

Though most folks probably suffer more than I do, they can't repeat it like a broken record with quite the gusto that I can. My whining is much more pathetic than the average bear..... :roll:


So glad you're feeling better, Neo. :D
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Nermin
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Post by Nermin » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:35 pm

Nazi Propaganda against the Disabled
'On July 14, 1933, the Nazi government instituted the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.” This law, one of the first steps taken by the Nazis toward their goal of creating an Aryan “master race,” called for the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. With the law’s passage the Third Reich also stepped up its propaganda against people with disabilities, regularly labeling them “life unworthy of life” or “useless eaters” and highlighting their burden upon society.'

Hello all, please follow the link below for the rest. Thanks
http://www.fold3.com/page/286019384_naz ... _disabled/
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Post by Roncooper » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:45 am

All,

I need to make a few comments about the discussion over the past week.

First, a good song is not an escape from reality, it is a caress.

Next, reality for me is the amazing, infinite, magnificient, emmanent and transendent whole thing and the closer I get to it the better. 70% of me is made of protons that are as old as the universe. They are at least 13 billion years old and it appears that they will last forever. My atoms are dust from two stellar explosions. I have two stellar parents. The eternal transendent mystery speaks to me personally in dreams, and visions, and sometimes in the mornings before I open my eyes, and I don't think I am unique in any way.

My personal heaven is just as real as my personal hell. The difference is that hell cannot be avoided, whereas I have to meet heaven half way. I seek absolute truth, timeless beauty, unconditional love, the noble code, and eternal consciousness, and I find them.

If darkness is closing in, walk out in the morning dew. The light is real but it is for your eyes only. Please do not turn your back on it.

Ron
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Post by JamesN. » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:54 pm

Nermin;

The horrific nightmare that the Nazi regime released upon mankind must never be forgotten; EVER :!: We need reminding now and then. We must never forget!


Roncooper;
If darkness is closing in, walk out in the morning dew. The light is real but it is for your eyes only. Please do not turn your back on it.

Truely an excellent example of Joseph Campbell's reference to the apprehension of the experience of wonder and the rapture of being alive in the world. Beautifully stated!


Thank you 8)
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
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Nermin
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Post by Nermin » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:33 pm

Scandalous scenes from the heart of Europe, the cradle of democracy :!:
Ilias Kasidiaris, Greek extremist party spokesman assaulting left wing deputies
at a live talk show on tv;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi6TbLmeFoQ
Kasidiaris, who is the spokesman for the Golden Dawn party as well as an elected
lawmaker, hit Communist MP Liana Kanelli three times in the face during a TV
debate show. Golden Dawn is a right-wing extremist political organization in Greece.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Dawn_%28Greece%29
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Post by JamesN. » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:24 am

Hey Nermin;

Pretty nasty and depressing stuff from the video of the Greek extremist's outburst. Unfortunately I think we are going to see more of this kind of sickening display in different avenues of the world because the reality that is pushing is fear and people are scared. Fanatics thrive in this kind of environment and many are looking for anything that can provide a solution. Hatred is born in these unstable culture dishes because in otherwise stable conditions such behavior would not be tolerated; ( for the most part ).

If I may I would like to tell a true story that hopefully will not be too boring. One of my favorite authors: ( Hendrik Willem Van Loon ); was a famous Dutch historian and in one of his books tried to warn people of the conditions of Hitlers' rise to power and the dangerous threats that it posed. He was banned from Germany and stayed in his native homeland until the very last minute when the Nazi bombs were falling before fleeing to the US with his wife. He died just before the end of the war but during his lifetime taught at Cornell and wrote dozens of books; one of which had earned The Newberry Medal; so he was a recognized and highly regarded writer.

Here in Nashville; one of the cities' most powerful financial figures at that time by the name of Rogers Caldwell; referred to by many as the J.P. Morgan of the South; controled a financial empire that had collasped during the depression. It caused a huge scandal with his buisness partner; who was editor of the paper here going to prison. Because of their risky buisness ventures many people lost everything they had in 1929 with this failure. Caldwell became a recluse for the remainder of his life.

Because of his earlier power and influence he had many friends in politics and alot of them would gather at his home for Sunday dinner. These gatherings became infamous for their attendence of the who's whos in the major political circles and society. ( And if you wanted entrance into this world; being at that dinner table was an important threshold in passing through to that world of acceptance. ) There was one important rule that was posted in a framed wall mounting by the table; ( a line that was never crossed ); " Never let an unkind word be said about anyone at this table ". These dinners became the lore of local legend as Govenors; socialites; and a parade of celebritory figures over the years passed through.

Many years after Caldwell's death I was working at an Antiquarian bookstore and had become a huge fan of Van Loon's work. One day I noticed a copy of a book I had not read of his and picked it up. The title was called " Tolerance ". On the inside of the cover was a label: " From the Library of Roger's Caldwell. " I never met Caldwell or Van Loon nor do I have any knowledge that the book had any connection to those dinners. But the book is about the rising of hatred and it's effect on history and many inferences to the changing climate in Europe as Hitler was rising in power in the years before World War II. ( I still have that book. )

It is hard for us to imagine now how such a thing as the Holocaust and the Nazi regime could be allowed to come about. In recent years there was a documentry series done here on various war survivors: mostly liberating soldier's and people who had been in the Nazi death camps. I remember one soldiers account said that in the beginning all Hitler had to do was get a small group of people to believe just like he did and it grew from there because people were scared; " and then he said: I have believed all my life for evil to be able to exist is to have a bunch of good people to do nothing ". ( One should also realize that each new generation should be educated about the history lessons learned so that these horrible nightmares are not repeated. )

Now my point is this; as the level of anxiety rises out of the concerns about the various issues affecting people's welfare in this frightening new economic environment; it will breed more fear and hostility. And how it plays out will depend on these people's response in the interplay of this condition.

I have a favorite charactor that the actor; Kenneth Branagh; plays named " Wallander "; who is portayed as a police inspector that investigates some pretty horrendous murders. His life is pretty much a wasteland; ( failed marriage, estranged daughter, father with alzheimer's ); but his heroism lies in his efforts to hold on to his humanity and his behavior in the face of these horrible conditions. ( The series had very favorable reviews from the critics. )

One of the wisest things I ever heard was from my Uncle when asked about controling life's weather to which he replied: " You may not be able to control the weather but you can control your behavior in the face of it ". I have no answers to offer here and perhaps there are elements in play from ages past of our inherited human condition. I only know Campbells' work suggests some clues and may give some insight that may be of help.

This post has probably gone on far too long and I hope has not overindulged it's welcome.

My best to all.
Cheers
Last edited by JamesN. on Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:41 pm, edited 11 times in total.
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
Ercan2121
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Post by Ercan2121 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:38 am

This post has probably gone on far too long
James, always a great pleasure to read you :)
Happy father's day by the way -if we're celebrating it on the same
day all around the globe :idea:
Last edited by Ercan2121 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Nermin
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Post by Nermin » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:41 am

Ercan2121 wrote:
This post has probably gone on far too long
James, always a great pleasure to read you :)
Happy father's day by the way -if we're celebrating it on the same
day all around he globe :idea:
This is it! Happy father's day to all of you trying to support young people
with all the wisdom on hand :)
Last edited by Nermin on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
JamesN.
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Post by JamesN. » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:25 am

Thank you my kind friends and to everyone else as well! :D
What do I know? - Michael de Montaigne
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