Understanding the religious mindset

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Walker
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by Walker »

Lacewing wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 4:29 pm Nice description. Seems only reasonable to consider that the potential of humans evolves in all ways/directions, for better and worse. To focus on only the bad now vs. the good then, would not be a full or true picture.
Across cultures the religious mindset literally turns to high altitudes, which indicates an inherent tendency. Mt. Olympus, the Himalayas, Moses on Mt. Sinai, Valhalla, bearded Sky-God, pointy-topped pyramids, humans move towards the vertical pinnacle where finite regress ends closer to the mysterious lights. At the vertical tippy-top the potential for the highest and deadliest fall inspires mindfulness and the heightened awareness associated with reverence. Mindfulness also pierces the obstacle of altitude euphoria that can induce fantasies for arm-flapping flight high above the flatland(ers).

Back in the olden days with nature as outside entertainment, humans observed that anything perceivable can be overcome by a superior force. Vertical ends at the pyramid’s pointy top, unreachable by all forces, unovercomeable, the first defining stone set last, itself a complete pyramid and the starting point for the infinite base that expands like donuts and bon bons expand a caboose.
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henry quirk
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

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Lacewing wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 4:15 pm Thanks for your good communications.
You're welcome, Lace.
DPMartin
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

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Lacewing wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 6:49 pm
DPMartin wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:02 pm does the truth change? or is what men do and want to do change?

the truth always was always is always will be, and doesn't change to the whims of men and women.
Don't you think man's understanding of "truth" changes over time?

How does man progress or see anything else if he always stares in the same direction?
well either one is looking for the truth, or something else, and the truth is always in the same direction.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by RCSaunders »

Lacewing wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:07 pm What kind of mindset believes in and perpetuates ancient imaginings and stories, as if they could possibly be more relevant than what is evident and present today?
One either loves reality for what it is and embraces it, or hates reality and embraces some religion.
A Secret Loathing

Reality is ruthless. Defy reality, and it will destroy you. Refuse to work, and you will starve. Refuse to learn, and the mistakes you make in your ignorance will kill you.

Reality is demanding. You must conform to the nature of reality all the time, because the moment you let up, it will strike you down. Stop paying attention, just for a few moments, while driving on the highway at 70 miles per hour. Don't bother paying your bills for a month. Forget your insulin injections for a day. Just forget where little Sarah is for a while at the Mall.

Reality seems cruel. Disease, death, disaster strike without regard to anyone's position or opinions. The world is full of destruction and misery, though most of it is created by other men. But all of nature seems cruel and the entire chain of life is one of death, killing, and being killed.

Reality is unforgiving. You've made a mistake, but the law forgives you, your parents and friends forgive you, you even manage to forgive yourself, but reality never forgives. It may be a forgivable mistake, but the dead animal cannot be made alive again, the pregnant girl cannot be made "unpregnant", you cannot cancel what you have done, ever! Have you been unfaithful once, then you will always have been unfaithful once. Did you steal something once, then you can never claim always to have been honest. You do something stupid and loose an arm, a leg, or put out your own or someone else's eye. You may never do another thing so foolish, and you may be forgiven by others, but you will never have the arm, leg, or eye, yours or another's, restored.

While it is true that reality is ruthless, demanding, and unforgiving, cruelty cannot really be attributed to reality, even though all the things listed as cruel are true in nature, the evaluation of them as cruel is a subjective judgment. This characterization of reality is only a partial view, the view of one whose knowledge is primarily irrational and superstitious.

It is this view, however, though seldom made explicit, that is the motivation for our mysterious factor, the cause of universal superstition. Mankind, generally, hates reality, just because mankind does view reality as ruthless, demanding, cruel, and unforgiving. What mankind wishes for is a reality that is pliable, easy-going, kind, and forgiving. At bottom, mankind hates reality, hates the necessity of having to work hard all the time, hates the necessity of having to learn so much, hates never being able to act on whim, or passion, or impulse without consequences, hates knowing they cannot do wrong and get away with it, hates knowing one cannot get something for nothing.

What mankind wants is exemption from consequences and a shortcut to success, wealth, happiness, or whatever else their current whims and fancies convince them they want. Reason does not show them how to have or achieve what they want the way they want it. Reason only enables them to understand the truth that describes reality as it is. They don't want truth, either. The truth just condemns them for their hatred of reality. They hate the truth, too.

Here, finally, is the secret, that unrevealed factor, the mystery of why almost all men prefer their superstitions to the truth.

At the heart of all superstitious beliefs, sometimes explicit, but always implicit, is the promise that there is something more than reality, something above reality, something which cancels the requirements of reality, a secret that enables those who know it to rise above mere reality, to defy it and get away with it. Superstition, which is never called superstition, is a magic wand that makes exist what in reality cannot exist, a metaphysical wild card that makes one automatically a winner, the universal "get-out-of-jail-free" card that allows one to escape the consequences of their choices and actions, the flying carpet that defies all of reality to give its owner a free ride to success and happiness.

Since reason is limited to discovering the truth of reality, the means to that, "knowledge," which the superstitious desire must be something other than reason, something like that "knowledge" itself, something "above" reason. The superstitious generally, readily admit their superstitious beliefs are not based on "mere" reason. They have knowledge which is, "above," that. Unless you are prepared to deal with someone very angry, it is never a good idea to press the superstitious to explain exactly how they came to their "knowledge which is above the truth."

Some people are skeptical about the extent to which humanity is infected with the deadly disease of superstition. If you are one of those who is skeptical, ask anyone you know, ask yourself, the following questions: Is there any other route to knowledge other then reason? Is it possible to have knowledge of anything without the use of reason? Is there any knowledge derived without the use of reason that is higher or superior in any way to knowledge derived exclusively by the process of reason?

"Yes," to any of the questions means they, or you, are at least partially superstitious. "Yes," to all three means one is a thoroughgoing mystic.
seeds
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by seeds »

seeds wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:33 pm what exactly is it that is more relevant and evident today, Lacewing?
Lacewing wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 11:20 pm It seems to me that the evolution of human culture and awareness naturally offers more potential to consider.
Agreed.
seeds wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 8:33 pm Now I do understand where you are coming from, and this is certainly not meant to be a defense of the mythological nonsense handed down to us from the past,...

...however, do you really expect humans to abandon their core belief in the idea that there surely must be some kind of living intelligence underlying creation and, instead, accept the even greater nonsense offered by the materialists?
Lacewing wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 11:20 pm No, I don't expect it. It seems that diverse spiritual beliefs can evolve along with humans, however, without losing value -- and even expanding in value. Why wouldn't that be reasonably so -- and why wouldn't we contemplate it?
Obviously, some of us do contemplate it.

And your reference to evolution is very fitting, for as we attempt to share the fruits of that contemplation with the rest of the world (in the hope of changing it in some productive way), it is indeed like an evolutionary process (as in "extremely slow").
Lacewing wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 11:20 pm It is the positions of thousands of years ago that seem senseless when adopted literally and rigidly today, and I wonder how/why some people can continue to perpetuate it?
Again, we're back to brainwashing.

Furthermore, how can you ask that question while knowing full well that there are millions of humans who function at a level of consciousness (trapped in a "mindset") that allows them to believe that this guy...

Image

...is some sort of majestic hero who has their best interests in mind.

I mean, if they can be duped into believing that idiotic nonsense, then they can be duped into believing anything.

As I have incessantly pointed out on this forum, humans (in general) are basically sleepwalking through life. And like some alternate version of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, most humans are simply not conscious enough to realize that they are not conscious enough to comprehend the depth and degree of their somnambulism.

Thus, consequently, like in a semi-conscious "dream-like" state, they are prone to being drawn into all sorts of crazy and delusional belief systems (delusional "mindsets"). Consider these people, for example...

Image

And the final point I would like to make here is that if you are intelligent enough to recognize the obvious flaws and folly in the "mindsets" of other humans (especially those who cling to religious mythology),...

...then you should take it one step further and realize that they believe what they believe because they had very little choice in, again, the brainwashing process that created those mindsets.

Therefore, as difficult as it may be, we must always employ empathy and understanding in our criticisms (as opposed to ridicule).
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Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Lacewing wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:07 pm What kind of mindset believes in and perpetuates ancient imaginings and stories, as if they could possibly be more relevant than what is evident and present today?

Why would the world of the past, and its words and understandings assembled and re-translated/assembled in various books, be the most significant guide adopted by some people living today?

How could humans at that time be thought to have more awareness and understanding than humans thousands of years later?

What kind of a god would need to be represented by such old material?

Is it because the mystery of the old material can be mysteriously used/applied to explain the mystery of existence that humans want to feel they can know and/or have protection from?
Note there are two main categories of religions, i.e. theistic and non-theistic [e.g. Buddhism].

Both [albeit in different degrees of spiritual maturity] are desperate solutions of humans [majority] to deal with an inherent unavoidable existential crisis and cognitive dissonance within all humans. The non-religious deal with the latter in different good, bad, ugly and evil ways.

Relative to evolutionary time [4 billion+ years], the time-span between the past and present in terms of religions is negligible [very short]. As such, at present, humans [almost all] has not evolved significantly to deal with the existential crisis efficiently, thus the critical need for religion and the religious mindset is inevitable for humans.

Relative to the present evolved state of humans, Christianity [with cons noted] is [..I believe] the most efficient and optimal for the majority. Islam is inherently evil.
Buddhism-proper and its likes are too advanced for the majority at present thus they await humanity to evolve toward Buddhism-proper progressively.

However given the current trend of the exponential expansion of knowledge and technology it would be more efficient for humanity [towards the future] to tackle to the roots of religion, i.e. the existential crisis and cognitive dissonance head on and directly.
In this approach we can [& MUST] weaned off all religions [thus all its cons] progressively in the future while replacing the pros of religions with FOOLPROOF secular generic positive self-development of well-being for all of mankind.

Btw, those who are non-religious should not be too arrogant for they are still 'infected' with the existential crisis and cognitive dissonance which are giving them terrible existential pains which will lead them commit terrible secular evil acts.
Walker
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

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Lacewing wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:07 pm How could humans at that time be thought to have more awareness and understanding than humans thousands of years later?
Because modern advances that fashion more things allow for more reality-masquerading simulacrums.
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by Walker »

seeds wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:25 pm Image
Re: religious mindset

It appears that the woman is offering what’s most precious to her, to her object of adoration.

That explains the human sacrifice tendency, although in her case the child’s outcome is less certain.

If she is not offering her most precious, what would be her most precious?
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Lacewing
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

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Dontaskme wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:19 am Lacewing, what if it's the natural order of the universe to transcend temporal time and remember eternity as and through material creation?

What if the mind that appears as and through the temporal hominoid brain really is the 'eternal' remembering it's eternal source?

Why does this religious mindset still persist today if there was no eternity to ponder. And why is the mind able to ponder it's own reality at all? maybe the truth is determined to out, in that the living light of absolute truth really has absolutely nowhere to hide. It's always right here, always shining.

What if, since the dawn of this conceptual mind unique to human brain, the light of truth has been flowering and unfolding in every which way possible, be it in form, prose or poetry. Maybe human story telling and writing is a natural function of a universe attempting to understand it's reality..IDK.. but could be possible, and maybe the mind is really onto something here, and why not, why waste time pondering for centuries and centuries at all if the human species is really just a one off, never to be repeated, totally random set of replicating molecules set in motion by some chaotic crude forces blindly swirling around making noisy drama and carnage for absolutely no reason or purpose whatsoever. IDK :?
I like your questions.

I'm wondering, what if there is nothing that is to be remembered?

Is memory a human-based concept of something to refer back to based on a linear model?

Isn't it interesting to see the ways we limitedly imagine beyond ourselves, based on ourselves?

Perhaps each life (experienced/expressed through vastness we cannot fathom) is an absolutely perfect stroke of artwork across an infinite canvas. Must there be human concepts of purpose and value assigned to that which humans imagine beyond themselves? Can we experience fulfillment here and now without that?
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attofishpi
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

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Lacewing wrote:seems to me that the [evolution of human culture and awareness naturally offers more potential to consider
I might just agree with your here depending on the context of what your are suggesting, could u provide an example?
Dontaskme
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by Dontaskme »

Lacewing wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:28 pm I like your questions.

I'm wondering, what if there is nothing that is to be remembered?
There is nothing to be remembered, except within the illusory dream of separation ( knowledge)
This apparent split from the whole is an illusion, but is none other than awareness aware it is aware. It's always one with itself, despite appearing as divided and limited.
Lacewing wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:28 pmIs memory a human-based concept of something to refer back to based on a linear model?
I don't know what you mean.
Lacewing wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:28 pmIsn't it interesting to see the ways we limitedly imagine beyond ourselves, based on ourselves?
Limitation is an appearance of our real self which can only experience itself as limitation. But all it is - is a wave within the ocean, so nothing here is ever being beyond itself.
Lacewing wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:28 pmPerhaps each life (experienced/expressed through vastness we cannot fathom) is an absolutely perfect stroke of artwork across an infinite canvas.
Yes, I agree.
''I dream of painting, then I paint my dream''
Lacewing wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:28 pm Must there be human concepts of purpose and value assigned to that which humans imagine beyond themselves? Can we experience fulfillment here and now without that?
Human concepts are the dream, they are knowledge, which is a superimposition upon the not-knowing canvas of pure awareness.
So yes, awareness doesn't need to focus it's attention on every conceivable concept known to it. With or without the objective world, awareness remains completely fullfilled in every moment, because this is already complete, unconditionallove, fullfillment and peace.

Another thing to think about Lace, is when the concept of God appears, it's because God is what's appearing. God is the name the not-knowing plants within itself, it's only ever the eternal one (making-out) with him/her..it..self by appearing as the many.
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Lacewing
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

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Dontaskme wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:41 am What if all our consciousnesses, the apparent individual temporal expressions of infinite being itself, sits in the background of each of our brain's and watches life happen to each of us all at once ?
Seems that way to me to some extent.

It is entertaining to observe "oneself" going through motions.

Personally, I don't think a supposed "source" needs to be figured out because it will likely be a creation of limited human concepts, and it won't change my ability to live this life consciously and fully. As is demonstrated throughout humankind, we live as we will, regardless of such notions. So, such notions seem to be little more than occupations, and it's more interesting to see how they're used.
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Lacewing
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by Lacewing »

DPMartin wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 4:21 pm
Lacewing wrote:Don't you think man's understanding of "truth" changes over time?

How does man progress or see anything else if he always stares in the same direction?
well either one is looking for the truth, or something else, and the truth is always in the same direction.
That's kind of a small model for the vastness that we are part of, don't you think?
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Lacewing
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by Lacewing »

seeds wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:25 pm And the final point I would like to make here is that if you are intelligent enough to recognize the obvious flaws and folly in the "mindsets" of other humans (especially those who cling to religious mythology),...

...then you should take it one step further and realize that they believe what they believe because they had very little choice in, again, the brainwashing process that created those mindsets.

Therefore, as difficult as it may be, we must always employ empathy and understanding in our criticisms (as opposed to ridicule).
Great points throughout your post!

I can see the sense in what you say.

I do wonder how close to the surface awareness is at this time in human evolution. Some (perhaps many) appear to be playing games while wearing elaborate costumes. In which case, it seems useful to mock the costumes to identify that for what it appears to be. When enough people call out the charades, maybe they lose their appeal.

On this forum, a lot of effort seems to be spent in maintaining such charades while deceptively dancing around very good points to the contrary that are brought up for discussion. I think a lot of people are more aware than the positions they cling to. I would never go into a church to argue with some dear little old lady quietly holding her Bible -- whereas, someone who is making a big stink in public and just asking to be argued with may have other motives they are serving. Why carry on the performance in such a telling environment OTHER THAN to feed an absurdly insatiable ego that is hellbent on denying its own obvious deception to continue the pretense required for preserving and glorifying itself? What is the best way to deal with such a thing?
Last edited by Lacewing on Wed May 05, 2021 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Understanding the religious mindset

Post by Dontaskme »

Lacewing wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 1:34 pm
Dontaskme wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:41 am What if all our consciousnesses, the apparent individual temporal expressions of infinite being itself, sits in the background of each of our brain's and watches life happen to each of us all at once ?
Seems that way to me to some extent.

It is entertaining to observe "oneself" going through motions.

Personally, I don't think a supposed "source" needs to be figured out because it will likely be a creation of limited human concepts, and it won't change my ability to live this life consciously and fully. As is demonstrated throughout humankind, we live as we will, regardless of such notions. So, such notions seem to be little more than occupations, and it's more interesting to see how they're used.
I totally agree with you Lacewing, I like the way you put it so well. :D There is no need to seek source, for we already are what we are seeking. Religion has a way of indirectly distorting the simplicity of being. It doesn't have to be like that, and is why I moved away from the dogma of religous ideologies and became a born again atheist, I'm just a chip off my old papa! A nondualist. :wink:
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