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Dungeness
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This is why some people spend a lifetime seeking God, and never succeed in their quest. They are pursuing an impossible dream: to quench a thirst for divinity when the object of their desire doesn't exist. Some might argue that the "object of desire" does exist... just not as a material "other" in the realm of duality. And the quest isn't futile but we look in all the wrong places. They're an infinite number of dead ends. Religious rites, holy shrines, magic beads, psychedelic drugs, various charlatans, even our intellect.... all promise to slake your thirst. Some day... just keep on imbibing. But I think the mystic would counter that the answers are embedded in consciousness itself. Inside, not outside. Here and now. "God" is nothing other than consciousness itself. The exploration of consciousness will dissolve the notion of a separate being who comes out of the clouds to punish, or reward, or "take you home". You are home already but keep looking out the window... hoping it'll materialize out "there".
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Ah, beware the "pyro" lurking in the recesses of every rural psyche. It starts innocently. You start to enjoy, slowly begin to relish, then can't live without that "fire'y" satisfaction of seeing flames lick higher and higher. It stirs something primitive - the joy that comes of warmth; or maybe it's buried memories of group hunts and cooking wild boar; or sleeping well knowing beasties won't jump you in the night. Or yule logs and pagan rites. Or de-cluttering. Or vanquishing darkness.... I watched it work on a neighbor who burned occasionally, then regularly, once a week. Shifting winds choked me with smoke... even though he was acres away. Sometimes pleasant odors but increasingly acrid... the smell of something industrial. I could never catch what it was... even with powerful binoculars. She/he had an advanced case. Now, I admit almost succumbing to the devilish ways of "pyromania" for a few seasons. Then angst over global warming and flying embers and a possible runaway fire started to poison my joy. The final straw: a neighbor came each time to ask if he could add his own debris since "I already had one going". How could I really enjoy guilty pleasures if I was enabling others to go down this dark path... Then, it came to me.. I had three acres... and several groves of trees. Branches, trimmings, the odd piece of furniture, a bit of construction debris could all be broken down. Most just composted under the trees. It blends in nicely, near invisibly, in three treed acres. Above ground it becomes "yard art". Once in a while it needed to be broken down and buried like my old porcelain toilet that needed a good "dirt nap". Yep, I admit that too - now there are "buried bodies" all over my property. Out of sight but it's the natural order of things after all. And no global warming..
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Hm, I wonder what the scientific purist does when his checkbook's lost again and again. Does he slip and curse "Damn you God, why did you let me forget" as mere mortals do? Or his version something more like" Damn you brain, you'd think somewhere in your cold, hard synapses you'd have this nailed by now..." Maybe... but down deep we all know the "intrinsic" joy of blaming a real deity can't be matched.
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Now ZuZu is really biting back. I caught my dog Bitsy looking at a Tweet from @ZuZuRescueMe. It said you two were "spreading lies about her (like the crooked media with their spiderweb of fake news), even surveilling her every move on a doggy cam. Very bad (or sick) owners".
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For example, in the Radha Soami Satsang Beas literature there is an oft-told story of a guru who ordered his disciples to dig a large hole in a field, only to fill it with dirt again. Then the disciple was supposed to repeat the process: dig a hole; fill it back up. Eventually the guru saw that only one person was still digging, as all the others had quit this difficult, meaningless task Actually that story has its origins in Sikhism... just swap out the "hole digging" for "platform building": http://www.sikhmissionarysociety.org/sms/smspublications/theteachingsofguruamardasji/chapter1/#Training%20and%20Succession%20of%20Bhai%20Jetha Of course, I think the Sikh tradition might explain that persistence in carrying out a "meaningless" task as a insightful realization of its real symbolic objective. The bush leaguers throw in the towel, er. shovel, quickly. Last saint-wannabe standing gets the gold, or turban, or what have you...
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For example, in the Radha Soami Satsang Beas literature there is an oft-told story of a guru who ordered his disciples to dig a large hole in a field, only to fill it with dirt again. Then the disciple was supposed to repeat the process: dig a hole; fill it back up. Eventually the guru saw that only one person was still digging, as all the others had quit this difficult, meaningless task Actually that story has its origins in Sikhism... just swap out the "hole digging" for "platform building": http://www.sikhmissionarysociety.org/sms/smspublications/theteachingsofguruamardasji/chapter1/#Training%20and%20Succession%20of%20Bhai%20Jetha Of course, I think the Sikh tradition might explain that persistence in carrying out a "meaningless" task as a insightful realization of its real symbolic objective. The bush leaguers throw in the towel, er. shovel, quickly. Last saint-wannabe standing gets the gold, or turban, or what have you...
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I have no doubt that's an impressive litany of beliefs that fly in the face of "evidence". But the evidence is certainly not compelling for the safety of GMO's. Certainly the insidious long-term effects of a host of substances weren't seen in many early studies. How about the cautionary tales of lead in paint and drinking water... or pesticide residues on crops... or mercury levels in seafood. Current scientific evidence can be a fragile reassurance without long-term studies. The French study on GMO's may be criticized but it left enough doubt that GMO's are banned in most parts of Europe and there are total or partial bans in over sixty countries. Hysteria... wanton disregard for scientific methodology? No, I don't think so.
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I have no doubt that's an impressive litany of beliefs that fly in the face of "evidence". But the evidence is certainly not compelling for the safety of GMO's. Certainly the insidious long-term effects of a host of substances weren't seen in many early studies. How about the cautionary tales of lead in paint and drinking water... or pesticide residues on crops... or mercury levels in seafood. Current scientific evidence can be a fragile reassurance without long-term studies. The French study on GMO's may be criticized but it left enough doubt that GMO's are banned in most parts of Europe and there are total or partial bans in over sixty countries. Hysteria... wanton disregard for scientific methodology? No, I don't think so.
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Der Mensch kann was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will (Man can do what he will but he cannot will what he wills).” My German is dated but but I think an alternative translation may be a bit clearer... any native speakers out there? Man can do what he wants but he can't will what he wants.
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Speaking of whining, I'd say fantasies that Sanders will fold up his tent and stand, bobble-heading, two steps behind Hillary at a rally just ain't gonna happen. Sanders is made of sterner stuff than Chris Christie. That cloying patronage about "what a wonderful campaign" Bernie's waged won't have him shuffling up to the microphone for an endorsement either. Sanders has the overwhelming support of the youth, a momentum that defies caucus tallies and super-delegate rigging, and now he has real political clout too. He can and should demand the Democratic platform reflect that. This is hard-ball... the kind Hillary knows well. Deny the political gravitas he and his movement have earned and take your changes with Trump if you must. Hillary will still win... Trump's numbers keep diving. Meanwhile Bernie will work to defeat Trump but on his terms, not those of Hillary's political hacks. Besides, phony endorsements and kumbaya photo-op's bring on dry heaves in a season where there have already been too many. Could anyone envision Bernie ever going gently into that good night... He's not the type to make a sad spectacle of a movement that deserves better. The issues raised are too important.
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"It would have been nice if the Sanders campaign had acknowledged the historic nature of a woman finally being the presumptive presidential nominee of a major party.A spokesperson could have said something like, We congratulate Ms. Clinton on gaining enough delegates to be the apparent nominee of the Democratic Party..." In the same spirit of fairness, Mr. Trump's supporters could whine: It would have been nice if they acknowledged... yada, yada... and said 'we congratulate Mr. Trump on his historic victory in becoming the presumptive nominee... Yep, he won it fair and square. " But to their credit, they didn't. Mr Sanders' supporters may view Clinton in much the same light. Instead of concentrating on issues, she hurled unconscionable smears at Bernie; refused to share a syllable of those little hundred grand honorariums for Wall Street speeches; ran her own little private servers in clear violation of policy; voted for war in Iraq over WMD and now promises a "no fly" zone over Syria... yep she'll show Obama and the rest of the boys how it's done. Clearly she's a deep well of "foreign policy experience" and unquestionable trustworthiness. Honest as the day is long. I think Bernie and his supporters' demurral is a good thing for the Party and the country.
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"Waeniger whaere Mehr" Waeniger waere Mehr (German: "less would be more")
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You would probably be diagnosed with some post-traumatic stress... hm maybe a movie. Seeing "The Birds" at too tender an age comes to mind. In one scene "Lydia (Jessica Tandy) visits a neighboring farmer to discuss the unusual behavior of their chickens. She discovers his eyeless corpse." The linkage with your sudden fear that they could "peck their prey's freaking eyes out" is significant. Maybe you were hushed and told to get back to bed without another "peep" after a subsequent nightmare. Or suffered a schoolyard bully flapping his arms and calling you a "chicken" Or... never mind. I'm too chicken to make suggestions among the churchless... people have been tarred and feathered here for less.
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Halleujah, amen, praise the righteous! The only thing I'd add is that everlasting DST could reduce incidents of "lesser PTSD"...the sleep disruptions; the angst as that dreaded transition to even darker mornings approacheth; the hyper-vigilance of waiting through long winters for the blessed coming of DST. Yea, verily...
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So we shouldn't blindly accept that a personal conscious experience tells us something about reality outside of the confines of that consciousness, not without persuasive evidence that such exists Nor should we blindly reject that it could. What if you're really sleeping and your only reality is a dream world with a few, brief moments of lucidity and dim memories of wakefulness. Many share these compelling glimpses but they fade and once again are immersed in the dream. It's a phantasmagoric world, careening wildly out of control, with little or no understanding of ourselves, or our consciousness, our minds, full of surreal events, hatred, pain, disease, helplessness, and death waiting at the end. It's sad and there's no pervasive evidence of a reality outside this life which is "nasty, brutish, and short". Except for the glimpses... The skeptic is right - there's no evidence - but he is lost himself in the dream. The most virulent will frame the argument so only the materialist's evidence matters and scoffs at the idea of controlling the mind and perceiving anything outside the phenomenal. In fact he dismisses the scantest mention of the transcendental and likens it to theories of "little green men". He dogmatizes with the vehemence of the holy roller. The wakeful doubtlessly perceive the illusory power of the dream. But there's still no demonstrable evidence for those still dreaming. There never will be.
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O deity of the unholy, unchurched ones...hear our prayer: may Pastor Crowder steer a few closeted fundamentalists here in the righteous direction of "doubt".
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Apparently believers have nothing better to do than seek out unbelievers to preach to. It seems that calling your blog "Church of the Churchless" is tantamount to putting up a brightly lit sign saying, "Religious nuts welcome!". Like moths to a flame, believers fly to where their tedious, trite, self-serving drivel will be most annoying because preaching to the choir gets no response. Religious faith would sooner die than listen to reason, and this obstinacy, moronic and fanatical as it is, is the pride and joy of the believer. Gosh, I'm so glad you didn't name names! I don't mean to sound ad hominem but that response comes across as dismissive, truculent, and totally unfactual. There's such a wealth of opprobrium: "pathetic", "religious nut", "trite", "drivel", "obstinacy", "moronic", "fanatical". In some circles they'd call it an "attack dog" tactic. Bark, threaten, lay down suppressive fire. All from behind a fence and then retreat quickly if anyone nears, has a conciliatory word, doesn't do an immediate about-face to wherever the hell he came from. They're so quick to the reflex that there can never be any common ground. Growl, curse, put-down,.. Don't address any of the issues, they deserve no civility, no quarter will be given. That's for wimps. The world is black and white, either "nut" or "unchurched". If there's a whiff of the infidel, then by the gods of reflex, they're gonna get bit. If you don't like it, stay the hell off my street!
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.."transcendence and the unlimited potential of mankind" are fantasies. There is no reason to believe in such grandiose notions - only the pathetic yearning you spoke of.But there most certainly is a crying need for people to come down to earth and attend to what's going on in the very real world But what if your "pathetic yearning" is only to transcend your own anger and lack of focus. Maybe to be cognizant of the thoughts that fill your days and nights 24x7; to explore what's going on inside you; try to understand and channel the energy more constructively. Nothing too gradiose at all... How do you know it's a fantasy? Do you judge it by the rabid tenor and rants of "pool denizens"? Or was this just a reflex against something you deemed "churchy". Or perhaps you've tried it already and dismissed it. Maybe if the inner exploration had a proper scientific name, it'd be more acceptable. Free of the "churchy" taint. You could try it just for the hell of it. See if there's some room for improvement. Really, how can anyone know what man's potential is or circumscribe its limits. Or call it "fantasy" or "pathetic yearning". Will you always be better served by a physical exam, or time with a psychiatrist, or by popping a scientifically tested pill free of all but a few side effects. Surely there are areas of improvement before anyone should rush off to tackle the real problems on earth. Without doing so, you could be exacerbating your own as well everyone else's problems... both churched and unchurched. Being more aware, focused, less intolerant yourself you could reach a "god-state" nirvana (or a "churchless" equivalent). Halleujah, they'll cry...saved at last!
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Why distract yourself with the notion of "Something that transcends normal everyday perception, awareness and thinking processes" when everything real and perceptible is in dire need of attention? Why not pull your head out of the clouds and address the facts of life, one of which is that religious people make life on earth a hell of a lot more difficult and dangerous than it need be. Religion does lend itself to images of backwoods bigots, scripture thumpers, cultists, dangerous fanatics and zealots. Or even the other-worldly, the far out, "head-in-the-clouds" theorists. I'd agree...but then to a great degree, politics draws from exactly the same pool. History too...revisionists spout lunacy of all kinds. Various causes seem to pull from the "pool". However, I think the best religious practices are countering the difficulties and dangers of life by actually practicing to stay in the "here-now", struggling to tame the intractable mind and its impulses, inculcating discipline, living in harmony with others, being tolerant of other views, and by having a "reverence for life". All very "real and perceptible" issues and "in dire need of attention". Of course, arguably you don't need religion for this. But that doesn't and shouldn't denigrate the efforts that are made by any religion or quasi-religion. Certainly beliefs of transcendence and the unlimited potential of mankind to achieve a God-state are not the trappings of the "pool". To claim otherwise, I believe is seriously flawed, as judgmental, rigid, ignorant, and dogmatic as any "pool" denizen.
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so long as many people use their human mind to embrace concepts that point to entities that only exist within those minds, the concepts will continue to exist, changelessly. Hm, what about fantasies...or maybe you meant entities to subsume those too. Or perhaps by "entities" you mean just those beliefs that the faithful can ridicule with tropes about "BS Detectors" and "Little green men". But, the ordinary fantasies are fine. Today, maybe it's "One day my ship will come in" for the ten-millionth time; tomorrow, it's "I'll stay healthy... disease, death is meant for some other poor shlub". The next day, it's "Somebody will save me from this mess". The question is, what kind of living is this? Living in a thought-creation of one's own making, rather than the directly experienced world shared by all. Indeed what kind of world...? All live in a thought-creation of one's own making. The "thoughts that run on endlessly in the head" are universal. Listen to them closely. We're riddled with a tsunami of absurd, childish, at times demonic thought. An unstoppable steam-rollering wave. It's an eternal, pervasive "song" that afflicts everyone. Its extreme expression is depression, suicide, madness, criminality...arguably all attributable to thought that we don't control. Yet there's a thread of consciousness in mankind that a transcendent reality exists, a potential, a super-consciousness lying latent. A sense we're not meant to be at the mercy of thoughts or chained inescapably by the materiality we perceive outside. The yearning is timeless. But, perhaps some have faith that a super-scientist will discover a brain flaw and we can put this childish fantasy to rest forever. The truth isn't far off. It's just sad that religious believers look for it e verywhere but the most obvious place: right here, right now, in this world. Yes, I suspect the truth isn't far off. But the prism may be bent. Both for believer and skeptic alike. What is perceived as "here,now, this world" is filtered by thought, prejudices, the imprinting of materiality, an overwhelming need to make sense of it all and be correct. Who has subdued his mind and its tyranny... likely neither the religious or the brainy doubter. The elephant is still in the room. A mind we don't control, weaknesses we don't really want to see, the same song endlessly eddying around... We're the "poor player strutting and fretting his hour on the stage" with "more things in heaven and earth than are ever dreamt of in his philosophy".
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Science makes progress. Religions don't Ah, progress! Ain't it wonderful. Science takes on all comers. Cures disease, tames atoms, dispels ignorance. There's no end to its wonders. But, wait, there's more. Most scientists will freely profess their massive ignorance of both material and non-material realms. No matter. The intrepid skeptic, waving the banner of scientific proof, sallies forth to slay the charlatans. No one has the guts to say it but even agnosticism is for wimps. Atheism is the wave of the future. Hail science! Religion is the "opiate of the masses". Their ilk pigeon-holes together nicely...all of them. They can be ripped to pieces in a few blog-minutes. They have no place at the "show 'n tell" of scientific proof. Forget the few who talk about an arduous inward journey, long hours of introspection, a life of unwavering discipline. They're charlatans... all of them, unable to adduce a shred of proof for their claims. They're as credible as the world resting on an elephant. Yet nobody - science nor religion - can explain war, greed, death, or answer the eternal questions. The "grease" taketh down the mightiest and maketh road-kill of them all. Put your money on science though. One day, they'll unravel it. The true believers among us know.
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... Believers want it the other way around because without their faith, the only thing they have to say is that they're free of it. If I get your point, I believe that's overreach. Muslims understand and support free speech, except for uber fanatical idealogues incapable of nuance. But you can't expect them to jump on any "Je Suis Charlie" jihad bandwagon just as most Catholics wouldn't don a "Pro Choice" button to show support for a bombed abortion clinic.
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I want Muslim leaders to defend these cartoons, without the pious disclaimers. But why should they defend the cartoons as well condemning murderous acts? You're conflating condemning terrorism with defending free speech. Without that clear distinction, "Je Suis Charlie", becomes a peremptory march to toe the line, a kind of righteous bullying. This is a "strain of and a stain on your faith", so publish it you wimp! Depictions of Mohammed are offensive to the Muslim faith. Your position is effectively "defending free speech trumps your religious sensitivites. It offends you...so what! Get over it. This is a jihad for what's RIGHT!".
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No, I wasn't be crabby. Sorry if I seemed so. Maybe I was profiling though. Saw what looked like a "churchless patrol car", rolling slowly for a "stop 'n frisk", and clearly about to ask "whatcha doing in these here parts, boy". Talking about an idealized state doesn't mean I can pontificate about it in any depth either. "No, officer, I'm just passing through dreaming about how nice it'd be to live like the enlightened folks do. Don't worry, I'll try not to "pound on any windshields".
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Why the hell would anyone think I have advice? Or perhaps the conclusion was here's another loony New-Ager to bait :) No, I thought this was about consciousness itself, not advice for a "cleanup on aisle 4". Maybe there are people though who have an elevated level of consciousness and do not exist in a dream world with "impulse and anger and stupidity and diminished consciousness". Perhaps they've spent a lifetime of discipline studying their thoughts and what's inside to awaken from the dream. Cue the twilight zone...maybe there's green cheese too or Obama's an alien. Absurd! But surely a teeny doubt could arise. Why couldn't a more evolved consciousness be possible? If you're a materialist, you know the brain has unlimited potential. Remember the first time you heard: "there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy". Didn't it resonate just a little... This is not patronage. It still resonates with me and I love hearing it. I know...some of you are probably feeling angst for a clever put-down now. What to do...how do I dispose of this loony-tuner so I we can move on and savage the next crackpot and feel important and brainy and watch 'em squirm in their "religious" muck. If we can't come up with a brainy beat-down, then we need an emoticon for a virtual eye roll...we could save lots of these endless discussions. Yep, squashing bozo's online...it's the old school way of enjoying a violent video game. A catharsis for those still enjoying the dream.
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