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Thread: Sammy's Smorgasbord

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    [...]

    I am now feeling guilty that by turning of PMs, I may be blocking someone who might be in the position I was over 7 years ago. Geeeeeez, what a conundrum for if we can't give away what we have received... how do we even keep it? Maybe this is what I should meditate upon first (though I know classic meditation is like achieving an empty mind). Clearly my never ending posts show that this will be quite a challenge.
    Well, just for the record, you can limit PMs to the people on your friends/contacts list and staff only, Brother. If you enable that in your settings, then people who are not on your friends/contacts list cannot send you PMs, unless they are staff members. But of course, then it comes down to your own moderation beforehand regarding whom you want to add to or keep on your friends list, and whom you will be denying the privilege.

    In the end, it only moves the conundrum to a different aspect of your forum interaction, but it might be easier to mitigate this way.
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    Part of the process would recognize that control is merely an illusion...We can't force an idea in or out...we just accept the coming and going with an effort to not be distracted from the effort to acquire the all and nothing of the neverlasting now which always relinquishes itself to the past and the future.

    Letting go is as natural as breathing if we simply accept that that is the nature of existence. Take a breath in (which is a manifestation of universal life and love) and inevitably we will let it go...if not ...we have an unsolvable problem...

    all forms of meditation, religions, philosophies are all speaking of the same thing...quantum reality.
    Last edited by NotAPretender, 3rd July 2019 at 01:49.
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    Note: The following five posts were copied over from another thread.





    I have had a reasonably extensive relationship with Bill off and on for several years. Never, once, did Bill bring Scientology into our conversations and never was there any hint of auditing as something PA or Bill would offer to a member. I did experience a period of time where, via my own curiosity, I reached out to Herve and for awhile we PM'd back and forth where he attempted (and succeeded) in assisting me in understanding the core views of Scientology...

    I might call it "the metaphysical structure" of who/what we are in this world where Herve suggested the view far preceded LRH and his creation of Scientology and by way of Herve's recommendation, I obtained a book entitled Secrets of the Gypsies. Clearly, the core view (and premise upon which Scientology appears to rest) far pre-dates Scientology. Later I searched the Free-Org for a local auditor and engaged in a series of these procedures. I have nothing negative to say about auditing but I did not continue with the auditing for two reasons - one because I enjoy (and prefer) the way that Life/life, I/itself is essentially my "e-meter"... if I would only pay attention to the readings but most importantly, if I properly interpret the readings. The other reason was the cost... auditing can be quite expensive and there are many, many different auditing pathways available.
    Last edited by Aragorn, 3rd July 2019 at 17:04. Reason: added copy note

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    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    Regarding Bill and PA/donations

    The way I look at it all is that everybody's life path unfolds in part by planning but also as a result of less than predictable (and sometimes unpredictable) life. It appears to me the life circumstances Bill found himself facing resulted in his ownership of the PA forum. PA is a forum capable of generating donations (income) which Bill, as owner, can do with as he wishes.

    If some or all of that income is used for personal support (the means to maintaining a life, a body and its basic needs) such that Bill can maintain a lifestyle whereby he can do (which requires time) what he feels is needed and best for the PA forum, which includes (IMO) caring for himself in ways he can fuel his spirit, allow for care for his soul, provide him the ability to focus on all the things he wants to and needs to for his spiritual maintenance... I don't begrudge Bill for any of that.

    And I think most folks who have provided donations know much of this and share a similar view.
    Well, I will add two things to that. First and foremost, one should not underestimate the annual cost of running and maintaining the forum. It does cost a significant amount of money, and that money has to come from somewhere. So if the member donations pay for that expense, then there's nothing wrong with that. After all, Project Avalon is providing its members with a service that they can all benefit from without that there's any obligation to pay for it.

    Secondly, Bill explained his own take on economics once in a video ─ it was an interview of both him and Kerry, so it's not recent ─ and I could perfectly relate to his idea. He said that he doesn't care much about whom he gives money to, nor about whom he receives it from. So rather than adhering to the quid pro quo vantage of our society where you pay a particular person or entity for a service from that very same person or entity, Bill regards money as a resource in a large pool. If you give, regardless of whom you give to, then it'll come back to you through some other avenue eventually. It's a much more natural balance than the quid pro quo.

    I maintain a similar conviction, albeit that I cannot really apply it to finances anymore now ─ it was easier in the past when I still had money, but now I am officially on the poverty list. But I have always given ─ whether it was money, time, energy or whatever ─ without expecting anything in return, other than gratitude ─ and, disappointingly, sometimes you don't even get that. But I believe that if you give freely, then you will also receive back freely, in whatever way. What goes around must always come around, one way or the other. And Bill seems to have the same idea about that.
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Well, I will add two things to that. First and foremost, one should not underestimate the annual cost of running and maintaining the forum. It does cost a significant amount of money, and that money has to come from somewhere. So if the member donations pay for that expense, then there's nothing wrong with that. After all, Project Avalon is providing its members with a service that they can all benefit from without that there's any obligation to pay for it.

    Secondly, Bill explained his own take on economics once in a video ─ it was an interview of both him and Kerry, so it's not recent ─ and I could perfectly relate to his idea. He said that he doesn't care much about whom he gives money to, nor about whom he receives it from. So rather than adhering to the quid pro quo vantage of our society where you pay a particular person or entity for a service from that very same person or entity, Bill regards money as a resource in a large pool. If you give, regardless of whom you give to, then it'll come back to you through some other avenue eventually. It's a much more natural balance than the quid pro quo.

    I maintain a similar conviction, albeit that I cannot really apply it to finances anymore now ─ it was easier in the past when I still had money, but now I am officially on the poverty list. But I have always given ─ whether it was money, time, energy or whatever ─ without expecting anything in return, other than gratitude ─ and, disappointingly, sometimes you don't even get that. But I believe that if you give freely, then you will also receive back freely, in whatever way. What goes around must always come around, one way or the other. And Bill seems to have the same idea about that.
    Regarding the first point, the costs to run/maintain that forum are considering inflation from the last time Bill publicly stated the costs) is around $500 monthly. This does not include costs to any staff. But having mentioned that, from the last time Bill shared the information (I cannot know if this is the case since), all staff is all, 100% voluntary.

    Regarding the second point (and I have prepared a significantly monstrous post which, if I pull the trigger, will be placed in my silly smorgasbord thread and which addresses this in the most broad sense), "giving" (whether money or any other form of giving) can have negative implications for others. And so in cases such as that, I can only imagine what "karma" might be created by the giver for her/himself in this regard.

    A simple example is having a child that has a serious drug problem and you give them money when you know the odds are extremely high they will use it to buy drugs OR, if they use it to buy food instead (for example), you are still enabling them to survive without having to face the consequences of their indulgences thus you may actually be preventing them or at least prolonging their "need" to reach that bottom whereby they may actually take the first steps towards facing their problem with drugs. This type of "giving" is exemplified on a macro level by cities such as San Francisco. And worse, they do it by using the funding provided through taxes taken from those who live more responsibly. The intent may be "good" but the results show that what is thought to be "good" is actually and obviously "bad."
    Last edited by Sammy, 3rd July 2019 at 22:57.

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    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Well, I will add two things to that. First and foremost, one should not underestimate the annual cost of running and maintaining the forum. It does cost a significant amount of money, and that money has to come from somewhere. So if the member donations pay for that expense, then there's nothing wrong with that. After all, Project Avalon is providing its members with a service that they can all benefit from without that there's any obligation to pay for it.

    Secondly, Bill explained his own take on economics once in a video ─ it was an interview of both him and Kerry, so it's not recent ─ and I could perfectly relate to his idea. He said that he doesn't care much about whom he gives money to, nor about whom he receives it from. So rather than adhering to the quid pro quo vantage of our society where you pay a particular person or entity for a service from that very same person or entity, Bill regards money as a resource in a large pool. If you give, regardless of whom you give to, then it'll come back to you through some other avenue eventually. It's a much more natural balance than the quid pro quo.

    I maintain a similar conviction, albeit that I cannot really apply it to finances anymore now ─ it was easier in the past when I still had money, but now I am officially on the poverty list. But I have always given ─ whether it was money, time, energy or whatever ─ without expecting anything in return, other than gratitude ─ and, disappointingly, sometimes you don't even get that. But I believe that if you give freely, then you will also receive back freely, in whatever way. What goes around must always come around, one way or the other. And Bill seems to have the same idea about that.
    Regarding the first point, the costs to run/maintain that forum are considering inflation from the last time Bill publicly stated the costs) is around $500.
    Actually, I could be wrong, but I believe that it would be significantly more than that. There's the lease for the domain name itself, which has to be periodically renewed, and then there's the cost of running the server, plus the cost of the server's facilities in terms of guaranteed network throughput, the periodic backups, the machine's hardware layout, and so on.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    This does not include costs to any staff. But having mentioned that, from the last time Bill shared the information (I cannot know if this is the case since), all staff is all, 100% voluntary.
    Yes, the Project Avalon staff members are not being financially reimbursed, nor would that be the case here at The One Truth or at Eye-Rise. We all do what we do out of a 100% voluntary commitment.

    Unless your name is George Noory, Jay Weidner, David Wilcock or Corey Goode of course, because for them this whole alternative community thing is nothing but a business.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    Regarding the second point (and I have prepared a significantly monstrous post which, if I pull the trigger, will be placed in my silly smorgasbord thread and which addresses this in the most broad sense), "giving" (whether money or any other form of giving) can have negative implications for others. And so in cases such as that, I can only imagine what "karma" might be created by the giver for her/himself in this regard.

    A simple example is having a child that has a serious drug problem and you give them money when you know the odds are extremely high they will use it to buy drugs OR, if they use it to buy food instead (for example), you are still enabling them to survive without having to face the consequences of their indulgences thus you may actually be preventing them or at least prolonging their "need" to reach that bottom whereby they may actually take the first steps towards facing their problem with drugs. This type of "giving" is exemplified on a macro level by cities such as San Francisco. And worse, they do it by using the funding provided through taxes taken from those who live more responsibly. The intent may be "good" but the results show that what is thought to be "good" is actually and obviously "bad."
    Yes, of course, but I was not addressing those issues, as that would take us too deep into that subject, and it would be off-topic for this thread ─ we've already drifted off-topic a few times. So my statement was generic and therefore precluded any "negative karma" situations.
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    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    The intent may be "good" but the results show that what is thought to be "good" is actually and obviously "bad."
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    That doesn't mean that people should stop giving, as giving is almost always the right thing to do.

    What ever you give will come back to you in one way or another. I too have given a lot without asking or expecting anything back in return and as Aragorn said, sadly sometimes people don't even bother to give thanks. That surely tells something. When it comes to governments helping people, well, that's another thing. I do believe that nourishing food, free public healthcare and shelters for people are basic human rights and they are non-negotiable. Not everyone is able to take care of themselves, for various reasons. Sometimes they are mental or physical problems & illnesses. That's where empathy should kick in or if it doesn't then we see a society that resembles a shithole.

    Some people get into addictions, those addictions shouldn't be fed, but the core problem should be dealt with. Of course then there is the karma too which all of us have and it manifests in our lives in multiple different ways... That doesn't mean that we shouldn't help each others as life most certainly can be a struggle for most of us. We all have to face misery and sorrow eventually anyways and everyone is going to need some support.
    Last edited by Aragorn, 3rd July 2019 at 17:02. Reason: removed "off-topic" designation after post copy :)

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    OK, continuing...

    Regarding the monthly costs that I mentioned. If I am correct, PA owns its own hardware. That was not included in the costs I mentioned. Those costs can be significant. I just set up a self hosted situation only about six months ago. Two enterprise servers (one for the database, the other for the application). The firewall, switch and routers were also part of the rack. We had almost $10,000 invested in that alone. The amortization of the equipment was over three years.

    If the hosting arrangement does not include that equipment, then yes, the costs would even be higher if looked at on a monthly basis.

    There's also the possibility of a need for increased bandwidth. PA is a library. Recently a friend of mine who is a conspiracy researcher wanted to view a document that held information I provided to him from my memory. After ten minutes of guess work on Google, we found the document. It was held in the Project Avalon library. My friend had never heard of Project Avalon until that day. My point is that over time, I imagine more and more bandwidth is needed and that would raise the monthly cost.

    In addition, DDOS protection is costly. If you use a cheaper hosting service and your site is the target of DDOS (especially if it happens many times) you are sometimes shown the door simply because they cannot handle the loss of bandwidth as that impacts others they host (this exact scenario has happened to a project I was involved in albeit in 2004).

    Regardless of all the above... let's say it came to $1,000, think about being Bill Ryan and having his career path (that began what, late 2005?) and thus all the barriers that would be placed in his way in every way possible by any third party that wishes to impede his mission. There's costs to that... probably significant costs. I don't think anyone could put a number on it.

    I have come across a few folks over the years that have made some sort of moral issue out of what may go directly to operations and what may assist Bill in maintaining a lifestyle where he can continue his work and do so at as high a level as possible. IMO you cannot separate the two and IMO there's no good cause to see that as an issue.

    I would be willing to bet that if Bill Ryan were, like Alex Tsakiris (for example) where he has wealth independent from everything related to his website/podcasts/forum - Skeptiko (not that he may not earn income from the site and/or a book he might write), Project Avalon would not be accepting donations.

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    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    [...]

    If the hosting arrangement does not include that equipment, then yes, the costs would even be higher if looked at on a monthly basis.

    [...]
    Oh, my apologies, Sam... When you mentioned USD $500, you meant that to be on a monthly basis, rather than annual? If so, then yes, that amount would about be right. But I had interpreted it as if you were saying "$500 a year", and that is certainly not going to cover it.
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Oh, my apologies, Sam... When you mentioned USD $500, you meant that to be on a monthly basis, rather than annual? If so, then yes, that amount would about be right. But I had interpreted it as if you were saying "$500 a year", and that is certainly not going to cover it.
    That's an uncommon error of omission on my part (considering my reputation for anality). I corrected the original post to clarify monthly.

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    I know the odds are high that this post will not be contemplatively read to its end by even one reader but... I post it anyways.

    What I have focused on these last several years is what I refer to as "The greatest dilemma of all." And here is what it is (for me).

    First I must describe the factors that lead to the dilemma -

    Factor One

    I have a set of operational assumptions from which I have established a set of operational protocols. What I might call call - Protocol Number One is that I am 100% responsible for every single thing in my life... firstly, everything I think, speak/write and/or do (see the caveat regarding "thinking") and additionally, that at the deepest level of my individuated being I have a responsibility in the arising of all experiences that present themselves to me.

    As for the "thinking" part, and thanks to the information I have come upon mostly through these forums, I understand that my thoughts can be influenced. And for that reason I no longer judge myself for the thoughts I experience but instead, I have learned I to reflect on thoughts and decide which thoughts I wish to "own."

    Understand I do not adhere to this protocol perfectly. Especially when I allow my emotions to dominate, but since I have established this "self rule" my life experience has improved.

    Factor Two

    Sam is reasonably capable of being able to establish and live this protocol. But others may not be so capable. I call these folks, "the vulnerable." The line between the two is indiscernible. Because I choose to assume that there is, in fact, such beings... the vulnerable, I cannot impose my Protocol One on any other being. Just because I choose to accept full, 100% responsibility for every single thing I think (once I own the thought), speak/write and/or do, and every single experience that arises in my awareness and that "touches me" in any form, does not give me the right to apply this rule to any other being.

    Factor Three

    The nature of life is entanglement. We are all entangled with a plethora of arisings of individuated manifestations of life that most of us "honor" as sovereign. Most folks (and mostly without consciously considering such... they simply assume the following is "self evident) - assume we are all separate, all manifestations of life are separate. Because my primary metaphysical, cosmological world view is monistic idealism, I chose to see us all as One BUT! I also honor the arising of form within this One as to its primary property, individuation, where the pinnacle of expression of form is "the living being."

    And to not get too deep in the above, but I view the "dance of form" within the One as manifesting in two tiers that are simultaneously work together as one and yet can be viewed as two... immaterial form (like thoughts) and material form like a physical body or a rock or water or a blade of grass, etc.

    There is the non-local "I" that is experiencing this 'physicality reality' through an interface called the body where the focused "I" experiences immaterial (thoughtful) reflections stimulated by its experience.

    So here's the dilemma (based on the assumption that all the above is true for any individual that chooses to adopt all the above assumptions).

    How does one decide who should be considered capable of maintaining their life experience whereby they are responsible for their life and who might be incapable and thus... vulnerable?

    This is obviously a completely subjective decision to make. In addition, each of us as individuated human beings entangled in the social fabric of physical existence on a planet will have a different opinion, especially with regard to the degree each of us should be considered capable and vulnerable, as most of us have a mixture of both!

    And so the dilemma then becomes, what do we who are capable do with/for the vulnerable? And to further point out the complexity of this dilemma, who actually is the most accurate "decider" as to who is fully capable, who has great capability and a little vulnerability, who is mostly vulnerable and who is completely vulnerable?

    And so in cases where you have "the mostly vulnerable" or "the completely vulnerable" don't we need to help them? What is the right "help"? How do we know that which we think is "help" is not instead impeding an individual's opportunity to rise above their vulnerability on their own accord whereby they may attain more capability? Where they may achieve experiences that give them the opportunity to refine the integrity of their own soul? Where they can experience a greater sense of self dignity?

    Where does any one of us or, for that matter, any group, organization, governmental agency, political party draw the line between "help" and "enablement" where enablement is robbing another of their opportunity to grow or worse, assisting them to further self destruction whereby turning the course for that individual becomes harder and harder?

    And so take this dilemma to the level of the soul. Are we souls? Or are we just born and then die? Are we "That" and only "That" and thus all this... individuation included is all and only a silly illusion (as some traditions suggest)? Regardless of the argument that "it is all illusion" (because from the POV of the Absolute, this can indeed be argued) is this illusion of physical life valueless? Is the illusion of individuation valueless? Is the possibility that "soul" exists ("soul" being individuation that survives physical death and which could have existed prior to birth) valueless?

    Aren't all these "illusions" (again, I am saying illusion from the POV of a few traditions) tied directly to what we call "Life?" If so, is Life/life a valueless illusion?

    If Life/life has value and yet it comes with an impossible dilemma, should we cast Life/life aside? If the answer is, "No," then perhaps we must accept the dilemma as unsolvable but nevertheless embrace Life/life and live it to the fullest and strive, knowing we'll never do it perfectly, to always do our best!

    And this is where, at age 61 of this insignificantly short and tiny individuated expression of life I happen to be this moment.
    Last edited by Sammy, 3rd July 2019 at 23:06.

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    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    I know the odds are high that this post will not be contemplatively read to its end by even one reader but... I post it anyways.
    I've read through the whole thing.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    What I have focused on these last several years is what I refer to as "The greatest dilemma of all." And here is what it is (for me).

    [...]

    So here's the dilemma (based on the assumption that all the above is true for any individual that chooses to adopt all the above assumptions).

    How does one decide who should be considered capable of maintaining their life experience whereby they are responsible for their life and who might be incapable and thus... vulnerable?
    Interpreting the above question literally and omitting the concept of enabling ─ see farther down ─ I personally think that such judgment cannot be made, because of a lack of information with regard to the individuals involved. Ultimately, the universe will hold each and every one of them responsible for their own actions, and we could argue that "they should have known better" until the cows come home, but considering all of what you've written in your elaboration of the three tenets as you've laid them out above ─ and which I largely agree with ─ we must keep in mind that not everyone possesses the required self-knowledge and/or discipline to stop themselves from making mistakes.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    This is obviously a completely subjective decision to make. In addition, each of us as individuated human beings entangled in the social fabric of physical existence on a planet will have a different opinion, especially with regard to the degree each of us should be considered capable and vulnerable, as most of us have a mixture of both!

    And so the dilemma then becomes, what do we who are capable do with/for the vulnerable? And to further point out the complexity of this dilemma, who actually is the most accurate "decider" as to who is fully capable, who has great capability and a little vulnerability, who is mostly vulnerable and who is completely vulnerable?
    I think that none of us have any clear insight into whether a person would truly be deserving of protection.

    My own take on it is to simply offer protection insofar as the information in the back of my head doesn't object to it, because you could be protecting someone who doesn't deserve your protection, and thereby you could be hurting someone else. And in my experience ─ but your mileage may vary ─ this is an aspect in which your emotional intelligence and empathy must come into play, because I don't think you can decide upon that by way of your pure intellect alone.

    In my humble opinion, you must assume a grander vision and look at the synthesis instead of the thesis and the antithesis. It's a matter of an energetic balance that's upset, and you must apply the wisdom and discernment that restore it. If you cannot decide on what would be best, then try imagining what would be worst. You always have to find an anchor point.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    And so in cases where you have "the mostly vulnerable" or "the completely vulnerable" don't we need to help them? What is the right "help"? How do we know that which we think is "help" is not instead impeding an individual's opportunity to rise above their vulnerability on their own accord whereby they may attain more capability? Where they may achieve experiences that give them the opportunity to refine the integrity of their own soul? Where they can experience a greater sense of self dignity?
    This is where you must practise discernment, Brother. You can only keep as much in mind as what you already know about the risk assessment. And you could also tie a condition to your help, in case you don't trust the person whom you're helping to use your help for the better, rather than for the worse. So for instance, you can say something like, "I'm going to help you, but only on the condition that...", and so on.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    [...]

    And so take this dilemma to the level of the soul. Are we souls? Or are we just born and then die? Are we "That" and only "That" and thus all this... individuation included is all and only a silly illusion (as some traditions suggest)? Regardless of the argument that "it is all illusion" (because from the POV of the Absolute, this can indeed be argued) is this illusion of physical life valueless? Is the illusion of individuation valueless? Is the possibility that "soul" exists ("soul" being individuation that survives physical death and which could have existed prior to birth) valueless?
    Personally, I believe that we are spiritual beings, and that we are emanations ─ avatars ─ of a single, unified, universal consciousness. But is my belief justified? I don't know. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence to support the thesis, but it could just as easily be that we're all wrong and that the materialist scientists are correct. I don't think so ─ cfr. the role consciousness plays in the observation of the collapse of the wave function in quantum physics ─ but there is no absolutely conclusive evidence in either direction.

    As for whether anything is valueless, well, in my belief as explained here-above, nothing is without value, because I believe that everything has a reason for being, and that it is all part of the universe's journey toward self-discovery. But regardless of whether I'm right or wrong about that, I will always regard everything as if it has value. If I am being naive in that, then so be it, but it comes from the unconditional love and respect I have within me for all that exists.

    Even if I am only a fluke of a couple of billion cells hanging together for a couple of decades and developing some sort of awareness as a whole, then I will still respect everything for being, because that is who I am and how I am. I've been like that ever since birth, and I consider it a virtue, rather than a vice.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    Aren't all these "illusions" (again, I am saying illusion from the POV of a few traditions) tied directly to what we call "Life?" If so, is Life/life a valueless illusion?
    I do not believe that it would be. To me, it is either way never without value ─ whether it's my life or somebody else's life.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    If Life/life has value and yet it comes with an impossible dilemma, should we cast Life/life aside? If the answer is, "No," then perhaps we must accept the dilemma as unsolvable but nevertheless embrace Life/life and live it to the fullest and strive, knowing we'll never do it perfectly, to always do our best!
    Yes, we should all strive for that. And if it does all turn out to have been without meaning in the end ─ which nobody would of course be able to ascertain, as there wouldn't be anyone around anymore by that time ─ then the joke is on the universe. As conscious beings, we have to maintain a set of ethics, whether our existence is a fluke or whether it was a conscious decision from a unified consciousness.

    Quote Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    And this is where, at age 61 of this insignificantly short and tiny individuated expression of life I happen to be this moment.
    Well, maybe at age 56, I was able to enlighten you.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  25. #103
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    To help or not to help?

    Where do we draw the line between help and control?

    Humans form collective systems in order to operate collectively.

    We have lots of names for that: family, tribe, community, government. Yes, I said the g-word. It is a collective effort wherein our value (money) is used. Which is why, imo, we should all participate in some manner. It's necessary to enter a system to understand it.

    Are we souls? Or are we just born and then die? Are we "That" and only "That" and thus all this... individuation included is all and only a silly illusion (as some traditions suggest)? Regardless of the argument that "it is all illusion" (because from the POV of the Absolute, this can indeed be argued) is this illusion of physical life valueless?
    We are souls. I have no doubt. We are biological machines housing a soul/spirit. The design of those machines and the home we live on is exquisite, imo.

    The illusion allows us to operate during this truly brief experience. We need to be in this form in order to do it. And we learn from it. Individually and also collectively. It's a collective effort, imo, incarnating here. Or anywhere in a physical universe.

    Nature doesn't waste energy. That's a sort of fact of life. And, in my opinion, nothing about us is a waste, in terms of our creation and being.

    We may, of course, waste and squander our opportunities, or screw up our home because we're arrogant fools.

    That's our own stupidity. A lesson we will learn sooner or later. (in or out of this life)

    Deciding who is sovereign and who isn't is a very big responsibility. Is it really ours?

    Who are we to judge each other and decide who is sovereign? (I realize I'm tweaking your question, Sammy. It's because I know way too many folks who are willing to 'help' other folks right out of their lives and property).

    I believe it's our job to take responsibility for ourselves and help others as possible. I happen to have been raised with values which include the golden rule and loving your neighbor as yourself. Those are simple to understand, though not easy to implement and live by.

    The concept of freedom is basic to our advancement as a species. We need to stop trying to control each other and learn how to help each other while still being sovereign, each one of us.

    ...nevertheless embrace Life/life and live it to the fullest and strive, knowing we'll never do it perfectly, to always do our best!
    I think you've got it right with that, Sammy.


    And if it does all turn out to have been without meaning in the end ─ which nobody would of course be able to ascertain, as there wouldn't be anyone around anymore by that time ─ then the joke is on the universe.


    I still think the tree makes noise, even if no-one is there to hear it.

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  27. #104
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    Enlightenment is a good thing, yes? Yet not enough seems to get around, yes?

    I found a great "community" here in Dallas. Live human beings. CSL Dallas. Already started connecting with the folks. The most attractive thing of all is I haven't experienced any condescension and get the feeling I won't. Fantastically refreshing. Meditations, community, service... all sorts of good things. Live, in the flesh, human beings being and doing.
    Last edited by Sammy, 5th July 2019 at 13:40.

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    Nice.

    I can't abide condescension. Most of the folks I know who do it don't really have much ground to stand on.

    In fact, I go less to my friend's weekly craft night because some of the folks there have become very intolerant and judgmental and I find it unpleasant to be around. A different friend and I have been talking about having our own craft night.

    The condescension from the group could indeed be related to the fact that they believe they are 'chosen'. That automatically makes me lesser. I know I'm not, but the attitudes get really old and I've grown quite tired of them.


    The nice thing about this place for me is that I can talk about things that I really can't with people I know first-hand. People are very reactionary and love to jump to conclusions, which usually aren't good.

    So, they don't get to have the kinds of out-of-the box conversations that I do. Too bad for them.

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