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OfflineRemy
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Swami]
    #1208508 - 01/11/03 04:56 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

And? Is not the title of this thread "... or Spiritual Techniques"? Does one of us have a reading comprehension problem?





Yes, that is my error, meditation can be used a spiritual technique. However, it is not the principle of any Indian religions I can think of, and it does work. Meditation serves its purpose exactly as it is supposed too.

Quote:

Meditation is not associated with India? *raises eyebrows* Lets consider the meditation teachers or models in the US from the last century:




So several frauds, cult leaders, and "gurus" have worked their way into American culture using meditation as one of their principle teachings. Do you really believe that all of the people of India like these so called 'spiritual leaders?' My personal opinion of India is that it, like most of the world, it is a spiritual mess.


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OfflineNomad
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Remy]
    #1208513 - 01/11/03 04:57 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

A small page in their history, and one that was clearly not a cause of the people as a whole, just some sick bloodthirsty generals who worked their way into power. I highly doubt an average citizen of Japan would have done the same, or have even condoned those killings.

You make some great posts, Remy, but this one doesn't hold. Believe it or not, but the japanese war was actively supported by prominent zen masters. There's a book called "Zen at War", written by a zen master of the soto sect. Here's a review:

http://www.darkzen.com/Articles/zenholy.html

I think Swami's argument is sound. But the fun thing is that it is not an argument against spiritual practice, it is an argument against everything:


"Hey, let's go drink a beer."

"Oh, come on, if drinking beer really worked, then the world would have actually changed and progressed in regards to human love and compassion, but it hasn't. Forget it."




Edited by Nomad (01/11/03 04:58 AM)


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Nomad]
    #1208521 - 01/11/03 05:00 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Lmao.

The fault is not in the tools themselves but in the people who use them.


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OfflineRemy
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Nomad]
    #1208556 - 01/11/03 05:16 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

When Hitler was in reign, many nations of good people experienced some form spiritual or physical holocaust. Any so called 'Zen Master' who condones mass killings, or war of these sorts, is no different than your average Osama. It is a very sad thing when religious and political leaders agree on wrong doing. For they hold the very delicate power to influence their peoples. However, I still believe the Japanese people, as a nation and a culture, live to a higher standard than many other nations. Corruption will always find its way into any human organization, for that is it's nature. I think the best is this thread is as follows:

Quote:

The fault is not in the tools themselves but in the people who use them.





The blindness of men is our worst flaw of all.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Nomad]
    #1208603 - 01/11/03 05:39 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

"Oh, come on, if drinking beer really worked, then the world would have actually changed and progressed in regards to human love and compassion, but it hasn't. Forget it."

Gee, I didn't know that Annheiser Busch CLAIMED beer drinking would lead to those things. However many people here claim that:

Religious /spiritual techniques can have a positive impact in one's life (Where is the large-scale (i.e. non-anecdotal) support for that claim?)

Mushrooms / LSD can have a positive impact in one's life (Where is the large-scale (i.e. non-anecdotal) support for that claim?)

Sorry you can't see the difference. (And yes I appreciate your humor, but not your logic.)





--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineNomad
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Swami]
    #1208700 - 01/11/03 06:19 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

However many people here claim that: Religious /spiritual techniques can have a positive impact in one's life (Where is the large-scale (i.e. non-anecdotal) support for that claim?)

If the claim is that spiritual techniques can have a positive impact in one's life, then anecdotal evidence is enough to support that point.

Gee, I didn't know that Annheiser Busch CLAIMED beer drinking would lead to those things.

Love and compassion are universal human values. I'd say that even beer drinkers would like to live in a world filled with love and compassion, and, in a way, focus their actions on that goal. But if you are not into examples based on beer, here's another one: In the past, much of the motivation of scientists has been to create a better world - that's compassion, in a nutshell. And probably love, too. So where is that love and compassion in this world? Obviously, science does not work (duh).





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Anonymous

Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Nomad]
    #1209128 - 01/11/03 09:29 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Now why'd you go and  expose the subtle yet deadly and incorrect presupposition?

You probably tell people the ending of a movie who haven't seen it too, don't you?

:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

Nice to see you posting. :smile:



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OfflineNomad
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: ]
    #1209155 - 01/11/03 09:40 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Thanks, sir. Would like to see some more posts from you, though. Sometime, you should bring up your point about LSD and treatment of alcoholism again, will ya? That's a good one.  :laugh: 


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Anonymous

Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Nomad]
    #1209169 - 01/11/03 09:44 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Unfortunately I have to limit my posts because of other responsibilities I have for the Shroomery.

The study done with LSD and alcoholism had a near zero recidivism rate.  Then, the government made further studies illegal.

Your brilliant mind is scary.

Please continue. :wink: :smile: :laugh:


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Swami]
    #1211244 - 01/12/03 05:50 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Gee, I didn't know that Annheiser Busch CLAIMED beer drinking would lead to those things. However many people here claim that:

Religious /spiritual techniques can have a positive impact in one's life (Where is the large-scale (i.e. non-anecdotal) support for that claim?)

Mushrooms / LSD can have a positive impact in one's life (Where is the large-scale (i.e. non-anecdotal) support for that claim?)






The claim is that meditation and/or psychadelics "can have a positive impact in one's life", not that these things can reform life in our fallen world. Since the claim is only made for the individual, there is no need to provide "large-scale" evidence to support the claim. Anecdotal evidence suffices for individual claims. If I say that meditation and psychadelics have had a "positive impact" on MY life, how on earth could you possibly refute me? Especially since the claim is a only for "positive impact" and not for something like "eternal bliss" or "omniscience."

What percentage of the people in the world do you think have done psychadelics? Even more importantly than that, what percentage of people in the world actually practice meditation daily, and do so in a committed and disciplined fashion? Confusing a meditative discipline with "religion" (which could amount to nothing more than mumbling "Yeah, I'm a Christian" (or whatever) doesn't make a lot of sense.

You also make the common mistake of assuming that religion is some kind of premodern version of social work, whose goal and purpose is to reform this fallen world. Most religions accept that THIS world is an irredeemable place of suffering and/or wickedness and will always remain so, and precisely for that reason set their sights on the transcendent.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1211298 - 01/12/03 06:34 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Since the claim is only made for the individual, there is no need to provide "large-scale" evidence to support the claim.
If you want to provide a causal link then large-scale evidence is the ticket. Otherwise the external technique cound be confused with self hynosis or self-delusion. This is how the medical field operates to test efficacy of a treatment.

Using your narrow defintion, wife-beating could make an individual feel better - so what?

If I say that meditation and psychadelics have had a "positive impact" on MY life, how on earth could you possibly refute me?
I can't. But unless the tool is effective for large numbers, we cannot be sure the positive effect is from the tool or technique. This is basic and quite simple to grasp.

What percentage of the people in the world do you think have done psychadelics?
I am not omnisicent despite popular rumors.

Even more importantly than that, what percentage of people in the world actually practice meditation daily, and do so in a committed and disciplined fashion?
Still not onmisicient. Have gained no supernatural powers since the last paragraph.

Confusing a meditative discipline with "religion" (which could amount to nothing more than mumbling "Yeah, I'm a Christian" (or whatever) doesn't make a lot of sense.
Classic strawman. Refute me on what I have said. I have never confused the two.

You also make the common mistake of assuming that religion is some kind of premodern version of social work,
It is a logical fallacy to tell the other party what he thinks. You should know better than that by now. It IS correct form to ask for clarification.

Most religions accept that THIS world is an irredeemable place of suffering and/or wickedness and will always remain so, and precisely for that reason set their sights on the transcendent.
Not at all true. Christian missionaries goal is to bring the WORD to everyone and thus transform the world.



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Swami]
    #1211828 - 01/12/03 11:31 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

As much as i dislike to admit it Swamster, that is one of the best arguments i have ever seen/read against the "reality" of there being a higher power.....and i HATE you for it! :wink:..... mind you i still do not agree but at the same time i can not argue with you.......as always..lol.....  a pleasure reading your posts though, even more so after a prolonged(relatively) absence............. 


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"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"



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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Swami]
    #1211879 - 01/12/03 11:57 AM (21 years, 1 month ago)

The number of spontaneous awakenings (if they exist) would probably happen anyway without any forced methodology

They DO exist Swamster, although they do seem to manifest themselves somewhat rarely, obviously i have no explanation as to why this is so, however i will testify from peronal experinece(while simultaneously admitting i can provide no empiracally verifiable "proof" right NOW) as to their existence

..... i was able to provide proof(even though that was NOT my intent, to me intent to prove ANYthing wrieks of ego imho) those with whom i had personal "karmic" connections at the time(ie, predicting exatly what was going to occur within the space time continuum with the next minute etc.....

my reward was to scare the living crapola out of my "frends' and have them dissociate from me lol

All i can honestly say in closing Swami, is that these personal transformations/altered states of being/enlightened conciousness ARE available to the personal egoistic man, if HE would know, he must go within himself.....end of story! :smile:

 


--------------------
"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"



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OfflineRemy
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: FreakQlibrium]
    #1211895 - 01/12/03 12:02 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

But then again, it could just be the nature of the beast (God) that is misunderstood. Swami's points could certainly be used as an argument for that as well.


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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Swami]
    #1211969 - 01/12/03 12:37 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Religious /spiritual techniques can have a positive impact in one's life (Where is the large-scale (i.e. non-anecdotal) support for that claim?)

All i wish to suggest here Swami, is that perhaps those that have undergone a "radical" transformation of being/conciousness are not(or ever were) in the public eye as they have/had no egoistic NEED to pubically proclaim thier new found inner wisdom/enlightenment?...

i  know when it "happened" to me, i wasn't running through the streets like a religious zealot......when in that state of being one fully understands that the universal conciousness(or whatever) is fully in control, has always been so and will always be so, without the (even benign) attempts by the individual self to alter it's course....

  i don't remember who said it here but the ego is not so much transcended as it it is transformed...., this is MY own personal experience, i can't pretend to project/extrapolate upon it "universal truth", however i will not deny my experience either......

Annheiser Busch CLAIMED beer drinking would lead to those things

well wtf not?? they claim it will lead you to wealth, unlimited female comanionship, a nice car and everything else! :grin: 


--------------------
"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"



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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Remy]
    #1212003 - 01/12/03 12:55 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Remy: But then again, it could just be the nature of the beast (God) that is misunderstood. Swami's points could certainly be used as an argument for that as well.

Finally... we're getting somewhere.

Now I can bring up the "Asshole God" argument...


--------------------
Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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OfflineRemy
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: FreakQlibrium]
    #1212102 - 01/12/03 01:41 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

i don't remember who said it here but the ego is not so much transcended as it it is transformed...., this is MY own personal experience, i can't pretend to project/extrapolate upon it "universal truth", however i will not deny my experience either......




This is quite an interesting point, and something I have been thinking about. What exactly is the ego? I recently read Anthem, by Ayn Rand, and I have been thinking about the ending. I have always considered the ego a bad thing, and something we should strive to conquer, but Rand's 'Ego' is different. It is not one that trys to control the self, or control others, but it is simply the self. It strives for whats best for itself in both the short and long run. It tells you to remember yourself, before worrying about others. It is an ego, however, that does not wish to harm others, or strive to be better than them. Is the ego that is referred to in a bad light, a 'false ego'? Is it the equivalent of the soul/spirit? or is it what's in between, seperate (yet connected) to the false ego, and the soul?


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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Remy]
    #1212158 - 01/12/03 02:07 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

I have always considered the ego a bad thing, and something we should strive to conquer,

  Hey there Remy.....without the existence of a personal "ego" imo, there would be no springboard into supra conciousness/enlightenment/nirvana etc...i believe there has to be a point(personal ego) at which the individual can in fact overcome his/her personal "identity" in order to experience the the universal love/wisdom/conciousness that (i believe) exists within us all....i believe the ego does serve a purpose, if only to build a substantial ground(relatively) upon which an individual can transcend/transform it.......just some random thoughts :smile: 


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"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"



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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: Swami]
    #1212250 - 01/12/03 02:47 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

If you want to provide a causal link then large-scale evidence is the ticket. Otherwise the external technique cound be confused with self hynosis or self-delusion. This is how the medical field operates to test efficacy of a treatment.

Physical illness is a false analogy. If I can "delude" or "hypnotize" myself into being a more compassionate person, I have succeeded in becoming a more compassionate person. That is something quite different from deluding myself into believing I have perfectly healthy arteries when in fact they are clogged. If I BELIEVE I am happier, I am in fact happier, by definition.

Using your narrow defintion, wife-beating could make an individual feel better - so what?

I can objectively verify that the act of my meditation does not involve any physical force or violence on another human being or living being of any sort. A wife beater cannot say the same.

I can't. But unless the tool is effective for large numbers, we cannot be sure the positive effect is from the tool or technique. This is basic and quite simple to grasp.

The tool doesn't have to be effective for "large numbers" of the human race so much as it has to be effective for "a high percentage of those using them." Simply because many people do not accept or bother to practice meditation does not mean that it is "ineffective." There are many people who cannot do calculus: that doesn't mean that calculus is "ineffective." There are many people who (still) believe that the Earth is flat, even though the roundness of the Earth is an absolute fact. Even with absolute facts there are individuals who refuse to believe and accept them--how much more so when it comes to more ambiguous cases.

Since neither you nor I know with complete certainty what percentage of the world population has meditated or experimented with psychadelics (and what percentage has done both) it is impossible to determine what percentage received a "positive effect." In fact, there is no methodology to determine even what a "positive effect" is. Therefore it is true that no person can prove conclusively that meditation and/or psychadelics work for everybody. They probably DON'T work for everybody, just as the vast majority of pharmaceuticals don't work for EVERYBODY (and some people will actually die from medicines that save other peoples' lives). However, there is an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence that meditation and/or psychadelics DO work at least some of the time for some people. That being the case, they cannot be dismissed out of court. Your argument isn't a trump card by any means, and any individual would be justified in experimenting for himself, just as he would experiment with any medicine.

Not at all true. Christian missionaries goal is to bring the WORD to everyone and thus transform the world.

Incorrect. Christian theology is preoccupied with saving human souls and securing a place in heaven in the afterlife. The emphasis is always on the AFTERLIFE, not on THIS LIFE. If it were, Christians would be willing to spend eternity in hell just to enjoy a utopian lifestyle while they are alive. This is clearly not the case. The saints of the Christian tradition often made their lives living hells in order to enjoy the fruits of eternal paradise. Western monotheism sees this world as a training ground for the soul, a place to ensure one's place in heaven, not as the final destination of their labors.

Same thing with Muslim fanatics. Why on earth would they kill themselves for their cause if they believed that THIS world is what really matters?

I would agree with you that organized religion has done little to make the world a better place. I would argue though that there is a distinction between the psycho-spiritual technique of meditation and the trappings and verbiage of organized religion. It was my impression that you believed that there was NO DIFFERENCE in terms of their effectiveness in improving indiviudal behavior. If I was mistaken in that assumption, I apologize.


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: If Religion and/or Spiritual Techniques Really Worked... [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1212336 - 01/12/03 03:28 PM (21 years, 1 month ago)

Awesome reply. Took the words right outta my mind.  :smile: 


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