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Steven Smith
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This is such a great point to make, Michael. Mind's are not capable of being open to everything, but it is a great learning experience to try and see the world through someone else's culture or worldview. I went through a period of atheistic materialism and it helped to cure me of western religious dogma. I have now a more spiritual path and it feels right, but can be at bit scary at times.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2015 on Options, live and dead at Michael Prescott's Blog
I think I confused this book with the one Roger Knights mentions. Anyway, it doesn't change my thoughts. I don't like it when people try to use NDEs to promote their particular religious views. However, I try to keep an open mind about peoples deeply felt stories. Who am I to say what they experienced wasn't true.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on A lot of malarkey? at Michael Prescott's Blog
I heard about this in the media and came here to see if you had commented. As you know, a lot of fundamentalist Christians don't like NDE stories because of the reasons stated here. I had heard of this book and always suspected that it was somehow manipulated to prove Christian doctrine, instead of just relating an amazing experience. That the boy now is recanting, confirms those suspicions to me. I don't think it casts any pall over other NDEs at all. The vast majority of NDEers aren't trying to make a buck in the Christian book market.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2015 on A lot of malarkey? at Michael Prescott's Blog
Great post Michael! As a college-educated person, I see over-intellectualizing spiritual matters as something of a temptation, but I've come to appreciate a simpler and more direct understanding of spiritual reality (that's what it is!). Philosophy has value, but definitely can lead to over-thinking. It probably can be defined as over-thinking. Knowledge does not need to be hard to understand to be true. Even the Gnostics' "knowledge" is more like a realization or experience, than figuring something out to be "true" in an intellectual sense. I love that Jesus quote BTW.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2014 on Overthinking it at Michael Prescott's Blog
Reading your post, Michael, I can't help but think about the squabbles between psychedelic explorers and Buddhist or Hindu meditation practitioners about which is the real path to enlightenment. I think using the term "shortcut" is kind of derogatory, considering the long history of human experience with what are considered plant teachers by non-European cultures. I suppose the long chanting and dancing ordeals done by African tribes (without any drug use) are also "shortcuts" as well, in your opinion. The bottom line is that humans have a desire to experience something transcendent. To some, it may be a rock concert, or sleeping out under the stars in the mountains. To others it may be participating in a Native American Church Peyote ceremony, or going to a catholic mass. I think we need to be careful about judging others spiritual experiences too harshly. You don't really know, unless you've experienced something yourself.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2014 on Persistence of visions at Michael Prescott's Blog
On the climate science example. I'm sorry, but like in the case with the tobacco companies, money buys the science it wants and energy companies don't want science to say global warming is true.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2014 on The rule of the Airmen at Michael Prescott's Blog
"I think you misunderstand the meaning of the quote. It was not about keeping the truth from anybody (indeed, his last commandment to his followers was to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation") - it was more about "don't kill yourself trying to convince somebody who has already made up his mind against you and won't listen"" Remember Jesus also said something to the effect that he spoke in parables, so that those who were not ready to understand wouldn't. I have a different view of Jesus than most. I believe he was way more in the gnostic tradition than conventionally thought.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2014 on The rule of the Airmen at Michael Prescott's Blog
This reminds me of Plato's "Noble Lie" "In "The Republic," Plato described a city whose inhabitant were organized into categories: The Rulers, Auxiliaries, Farmers, etc. The Rulers, he said, would be chosen from the military elite (called Guardians) because they were good at shepherding and caring for the interest of the community. The Auxiliaries would be Guardians in training. The Rulers, Plato said, must tell the people of the city “The Noble Lie“--that the categories of Rules, Auxiliaries, Farmers, etc. was not due to circumstances within the people's control, upbringing, or education, but because of God's intervention. God, the Lie went, had put gold, silver, and iron into each person’s soul, and those metals determined where a person's station was in life was. The Rulers told the people of the city that if their own children were found with bronze or iron in their soul, the child would drop down the ranks accordingly. And if a farmer’s child was born with gold in his soul, he would rise up to the Guardian level. The Rulers also said, people had different metals in their bloodstream, and therefore could not intermarry. The Lie is necessary, Plato argues, in order to keep a stable social structure. In Plato’s mind, The Noble Lie is a religious lie that’s fed to the masses to keep them under control and happy with their situation in life. Plato did not believe most people were smart enough to look after their own and society’s best interest. The few smart people of the world needed to lead the rest of the flock, Plato said. And The Noble Lie had to continue." The basic idea is that most people can't be trusted to have any power and need superior folks to run things. This same thinking applies to spiritual teaching as well. Didn't Jesus say "don't cast your pearls before swine?" Mystics have always kept secrets away from those not ready for them.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2014 on The rule of the Airmen at Michael Prescott's Blog
The cultist mindset of these folks is very obvious. It must be a tremendous burden to be the chosen truth-keepers they see themselves to be. The concept of open minded inquiry is lost on them, since they already know the answers to the important questions. The important work they pursue is the closing of minds.
Toggle Commented May 1, 2014 on Guerrillas in our midst at Michael Prescott's Blog
Hey Michael! I have only known about this blog for a year or so, but I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I vote for you to keep going, but expand the subject matter, just don't let it get political, mostly because I know there's more than a few here I don't line up with in that way. Like you, I'm getting bored with the "is psi/NDE/spirit true" conversation, and am more interested in the ramifications of spiritual reality, like reincarnation. Hope you stick around! -Steve Smith in Escondido CA
Toggle Commented Mar 11, 2014 on Bored now at Michael Prescott's Blog
As someone who has worked in digital hardware design for years, I have thought the idea that logic circuits, or any other kind of circuit for that matter, could somehow "hold" your mind as completely stupid. Computers appear to be smart only because someone cleverly made them appear that way. They are not ever going to be an entity of any sort and could not design other computers smarter than themselves. They couldn't even design computers DUMBER that themselves. We are not smart enough to understand ourselves, let alone make something smarter than us. BTW, thanks for the link and comments Michael!
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2014 on Rise of the robots at Michael Prescott's Blog
I think the idea of "GOD" can definitely be a mirror of ourselves. Not in the sense that there isn't an ultimate divine source, but in the sense that we can only perceive and understand "GOD" as one of us, a man. To the Gnostics, and to the Jewish Kabbalists, God is not really knowable in our current state, but can only be partially perceived at best.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2014 on Those gnarly Gnostics at Michael Prescott's Blog
Michael, I get it that there are people who should be stopped from imposing horrible things on others.. that's why we have laws and law enforcement. However, the world is not neatly divided between the good guys and the bad guys, or those who have it right and those who don't. We are all learning here… eventually. Our culture has become more and more militaristic to the point where those who speak of peace are ridiculed and considered somehow unpatriotic. The original plan for america was not to have a standing army in peacetime. That's the real reason for the 2nd amendment, so citizen's could be ready to fight if needed. War is just normal for us now and takes a huge amount our resources. I think we have lost our way.
Toggle Commented Dec 19, 2013 on Random noodlings at Michael Prescott's Blog
"We actually are right and they actually are wrong." - no one Okay, I'm glad you are being honest. So, in your view, it' just fine to kill people who are less "spiritually advanced" than yourself. Judge, jury and executioner for "God". I guess I needed to be enlightened to the way things really are, and stop being such a liberal. All I can say is WOW!
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2013 on Random noodlings at Michael Prescott's Blog
"Some people need to be killed so that others can advance." -no one Please explain to me how this is different than the Taliban Jihadist position? Isn't your post a matter of "US vs. Them"? You seem to misunderstand my position as sympathetic to Islamic violence. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2013 on Random noodlings at Michael Prescott's Blog
"If you think a mass awakening to your idea of spiritual love is in progress, I would respectfully ask you for evidence that this is happening." -Votary What I wrote was maybe a reaction to the idea that war can somehow be "spiritual". No, I don't think a "New Age revolution" is happening, but I do believe that we as spiritually evolving beings must answer to our violent actions, in some way, and learn to love. Otherwise, this world just belongs to the strongest who can get rid of all that get in their way. This world is both wonderful and cruel at the same time.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2013 on Random noodlings at Michael Prescott's Blog
I think that the materialist position is comforting in the way it gives some certainty to people who are scared by the great mystery of conscious experience. When every strange experience can be attributed only to ordinary physical phenomena, there is nothing spooky to be afraid of. Non-physical reality is not for cowards.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2013 on Running in circles at Michael Prescott's Blog
I think it is hard to reconcile violence and spirituality. The reason that jumps out at me is that the great spiritual teachers seem to point to love as the greatest thing of all. It's hard to see inflicting violence of any kind as spiritual, unless your definition of spiritual includes demonic activity (they are supposed to be spiritual beings after all). My opinion is that killing the "others" is a tribal activity, so it's only good for the tribe. True spirituality expands the definition of who is in your "tribe" to all living things.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2013 on Random noodlings at Michael Prescott's Blog
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Jun 12, 2013