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The Loss of Wonder

s-anthony
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5/18/2014 11:18:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Even though I would be the first to air all the grievances I have entertained against religion, as I grow older, I am coming to realize its significance in society. Jaded, I am slowly taking a second glance at its meaning. For, most of my adult life, I have only seen its cultural and social qualities of any redeeming value, while completely dismissing its attraction as, merely, weak minds' seeking refuge in the collective.

However, as of late, I've come to the realization there is a deeper, more profound allurement than meets the eye; an allurement that is just as strong as gravity, itself. There is at the heart of religion a vortex that is just as phenomenal as any natural wonder; a singularity, with an outward reaching grasp that pulls at one violently, until he, or she, is no more. This has been pronounced, as the "great mystery" of one's faith; that, God alone abides in the holiest of chambers, hidden behind a veil. It is this mystery to life that entices the the bewildered soul; a seafaring mariner who would dare venture out onto an unknown sea, to find a strange new world.

Science has pried open our eyes, with the light of knowledge; it has lit a candle, in a dimly lit room; where once the ghostly shadows entranced our imaginations, while dancing all around us, the room is seen, plainly; and, with time, our eyes grow old and accustomed, to its familiarity; no longer does the seafaring mariner fear the monsters of the great deep; no longer does the twinkling stars, at night, hold us in awe. Our world has grown old and lost its innocence; our rational minds have silenced our hearts.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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5/18/2014 11:57:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/18/2014 11:18:04 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Even though I would be the first to air all the grievances I have entertained against religion, as I grow older, I am coming to realize its significance in society. Jaded, I am slowly taking a second glance at its meaning. For, most of my adult life, I have only seen its cultural and social qualities of any redeeming value, while completely dismissing its attraction as, merely, weak minds' seeking refuge in the collective.

However, as of late, I've come to the realization there is a deeper, more profound allurement than meets the eye; an allurement that is just as strong as gravity, itself. There is at the heart of religion a vortex that is just as phenomenal as any natural wonder; a singularity, with an outward reaching grasp that pulls at one violently, until he, or she, is no more. This has been pronounced, as the "great mystery" of one's faith; that, God alone abides in the holiest of chambers, hidden behind a veil. It is this mystery to life that entices the the bewildered soul; a seafaring mariner who would dare venture out onto an unknown sea, to find a strange new world.

Science has pried open our eyes, with the light of knowledge; it has lit a candle, in a dimly lit room; where once the ghostly shadows entranced our imaginations, while dancing all around us, the room is seen, plainly; and, with time, our eyes grow old and accustomed, to its familiarity; no longer does the seafaring mariner fear the monsters of the great deep; no longer does the twinkling stars, at night, hold us in awe. Our world has grown old and lost its innocence; our rational minds have silenced our hearts.

That sounded kind of poetic. :) I agree that religion adds a certain quality to life, and most really smart people have realized it whether they believed in an actual God or not. Einstein was a notable supporter of the benefits and possibly even the necessity of religion as a balancing force in regard to science. People need to feel a sense of purpose and meaning, and science doesn't provide that.
bulproof
Posts: 25,260
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5/19/2014 12:31:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/18/2014 11:57:00 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:18:04 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Even though I would be the first to air all the grievances I have entertained against religion, as I grow older, I am coming to realize its significance in society. Jaded, I am slowly taking a second glance at its meaning. For, most of my adult life, I have only seen its cultural and social qualities of any redeeming value, while completely dismissing its attraction as, merely, weak minds' seeking refuge in the collective.

However, as of late, I've come to the realization there is a deeper, more profound allurement than meets the eye; an allurement that is just as strong as gravity, itself. There is at the heart of religion a vortex that is just as phenomenal as any natural wonder; a singularity, with an outward reaching grasp that pulls at one violently, until he, or she, is no more. This has been pronounced, as the "great mystery" of one's faith; that, God alone abides in the holiest of chambers, hidden behind a veil. It is this mystery to life that entices the the bewildered soul; a seafaring mariner who would dare venture out onto an unknown sea, to find a strange new world.

Science has pried open our eyes, with the light of knowledge; it has lit a candle, in a dimly lit room; where once the ghostly shadows entranced our imaginations, while dancing all around us, the room is seen, plainly; and, with time, our eyes grow old and accustomed, to its familiarity; no longer does the seafaring mariner fear the monsters of the great deep; no longer does the twinkling stars, at night, hold us in awe. Our world has grown old and lost its innocence; our rational minds have silenced our hearts.

That sounded kind of poetic. :) I agree that religion adds a certain quality to life, and most really smart people have realized it whether they believed in an actual God or not. Einstein was a notable supporter of the benefits and possibly even the necessity of religion as a balancing force in regard to science. People need to feel a sense of purpose and meaning, and science doesn't provide that.

Perhaps not but life does or should.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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5/19/2014 1:46:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 12:31:26 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:57:00 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:18:04 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Even though I would be the first to air all the grievances I have entertained against religion, as I grow older, I am coming to realize its significance in society. Jaded, I am slowly taking a second glance at its meaning. For, most of my adult life, I have only seen its cultural and social qualities of any redeeming value, while completely dismissing its attraction as, merely, weak minds' seeking refuge in the collective.

However, as of late, I've come to the realization there is a deeper, more profound allurement than meets the eye; an allurement that is just as strong as gravity, itself. There is at the heart of religion a vortex that is just as phenomenal as any natural wonder; a singularity, with an outward reaching grasp that pulls at one violently, until he, or she, is no more. This has been pronounced, as the "great mystery" of one's faith; that, God alone abides in the holiest of chambers, hidden behind a veil. It is this mystery to life that entices the the bewildered soul; a seafaring mariner who would dare venture out onto an unknown sea, to find a strange new world.

Science has pried open our eyes, with the light of knowledge; it has lit a candle, in a dimly lit room; where once the ghostly shadows entranced our imaginations, while dancing all around us, the room is seen, plainly; and, with time, our eyes grow old and accustomed, to its familiarity; no longer does the seafaring mariner fear the monsters of the great deep; no longer does the twinkling stars, at night, hold us in awe. Our world has grown old and lost its innocence; our rational minds have silenced our hearts.

That sounded kind of poetic. :) I agree that religion adds a certain quality to life, and most really smart people have realized it whether they believed in an actual God or not. Einstein was a notable supporter of the benefits and possibly even the necessity of religion as a balancing force in regard to science. People need to feel a sense of purpose and meaning, and science doesn't provide that.

Perhaps not but life does or should.

Yes, it should. I've seen a person shut-down and die because she totally lacked any sense of purpose. It's a heartbreaking thing to watch.
Graincruncher
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5/19/2014 5:52:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
This was something Graham Greene wrote about a lot, usually rather beautifully. I agree the world is better when seen as something of a mystery, but then I don't feel the need for religion to introduce that; it's pretty strange and mysterious enough just as it is. It's unlikely we'll ever understand how truly weird and wonderful it is.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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5/19/2014 8:06:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/18/2014 11:57:00 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:18:04 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Even though I would be the first to air all the grievances I have entertained against religion, as I grow older, I am coming to realize its significance in society. Jaded, I am slowly taking a second glance at its meaning. For, most of my adult life, I have only seen its cultural and social qualities of any redeeming value, while completely dismissing its attraction as, merely, weak minds' seeking refuge in the collective.

However, as of late, I've come to the realization there is a deeper, more profound allurement than meets the eye; an allurement that is just as strong as gravity, itself. There is at the heart of religion a vortex that is just as phenomenal as any natural wonder; a singularity, with an outward reaching grasp that pulls at one violently, until he, or she, is no more. This has been pronounced, as the "great mystery" of one's faith; that, God alone abides in the holiest of chambers, hidden behind a veil. It is this mystery to life that entices the the bewildered soul; a seafaring mariner who would dare venture out onto an unknown sea, to find a strange new world.

Science has pried open our eyes, with the light of knowledge; it has lit a candle, in a dimly lit room; where once the ghostly shadows entranced our imaginations, while dancing all around us, the room is seen, plainly; and, with time, our eyes grow old and accustomed, to its familiarity; no longer does the seafaring mariner fear the monsters of the great deep; no longer does the twinkling stars, at night, hold us in awe. Our world has grown old and lost its innocence; our rational minds have silenced our hearts.

That sounded kind of poetic. :) I agree that religion adds a certain quality to life, and most really smart people have realized it whether they believed in an actual God or not. Einstein was a notable supporter of the benefits and possibly even the necessity of religion as a balancing force in regard to science. People need to feel a sense of purpose and meaning, and science doesn't provide that.

Thank you. This all started, for me, in considering the nature of light and how it seems to contradict logic: Namely, the photon, a massless particle, that travels at such a velocity even time, itself, stands still; so, in itself, it experiences neither time nor space; its point of emission and absorption are one. Furthermore, considering it is a weightless particle, it defies logic, to say the gravitational pull of a singularity is so intense not even light can escape it.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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5/19/2014 8:26:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 5:52:42 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
This was something Graham Greene wrote about a lot, usually rather beautifully. I agree the world is better when seen as something of a mystery, but then I don't feel the need for religion to introduce that; it's pretty strange and mysterious enough just as it is. It's unlikely we'll ever understand how truly weird and wonderful it is.

I don't think religion is the only phenomenon that gives us a sense of awe and wonder; I believe nature, itself, does a masterful job, all on its own. However, I believe the function of religion is to create, in society, a temple whereby we humble ourselves before the unknown and give place to very real paradoxes that bring logic to its knees.
PureX
Posts: 1,528
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5/19/2014 8:53:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Most people confuse faith with religiosity, when they are not the same quest at all.

Just as any mediocre scientist or naive atheist thinks that by understanding the mechanics of matter and energy, he is understanding the truth and nature of existence, so too the religion-monger thinks that by insisting that his religious myths and dogmas are literal facts, he has understood the true nature of existence, as well. And they both are dim-witted cowards in my opinion, as they have neither the brains nor the courage to squarely face the magnitude of our collective human ignorance regarding the truth and true nature of existence, and thereby humanity's purpose within it.

The real fact is that we have to transcend both science and religion to enter that wonderful realm of awe and mystery that is rightfully ours as human manifestations of existence, itself. That was the realm of Einstein's passion, and of all the great scientists, philosophers, artists, and priests through history. But we have to have the insight and the courage to rise above and think beyond the limits of our presumed knowledge and assumed dogmas, to go there. And we have to have even more wisdom and courage to return to the banal facts of our current state of human culture and dare to share our experiences of that realm beyond.

Thank you 's-anthony' for a great opening post.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.
s-anthony
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5/19/2014 11:42:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 8:53:25 AM, PureX wrote:
Most people confuse faith with religiosity, when they are not the same quest at all.

I think it is our doubt that makes us faithful; it's our insecurities that tell us we are not complete, in and of ourselves. There is, in seeking ourselves, an idea of the "Wholly Other", an absence of our own identities yet without it we would not exist. It is in knowing, we are made ignorant; in losing ourselves, we are found; in the throes of dying do we find life.


Just as any mediocre scientist or naive atheist thinks that by understanding the mechanics of matter and energy, he is understanding the truth and nature of existence, so too the religion-monger thinks that by insisting that his religious myths and dogmas are literal facts, he has understood the true nature of existence, as well.

I think the cold hard reality of science and the religious myths we have inherited do both serve us well. The phenomenal world is a creation of both. It is mystery that gives meaning, to that which we know. It is the paradoxical that makes the logical possible. The iniquity I find is in paying homage to one while not the other. In worshiping before the seat of knowledge, while refusing to stand in complete humility before the unfathomable deep.

Even though I'm not a religious person, the archetypal treasury that arises from our collective unconsciousness binds us as one; it speaks of the fears and longings of our common ancestry; it tells us who we are and that which we will become. It is the one who refuses to bow before the majesty of a long forgotten past, that is alone and disconnected from the World.

And they both are dim-witted cowards in my opinion, as they have neither the brains nor the courage to squarely face the magnitude of our collective human ignorance regarding the truth and true nature of existence, and thereby humanity's purpose within it.

The real fact is that we have to transcend both science and religion to enter that wonderful realm of awe and mystery that is rightfully ours as human manifestations of existence, itself. That was the realm of Einstein's passion, and of all the great scientists, philosophers, artists, and priests through history. But we have to have the insight and the courage to rise above and think beyond the limits of our presumed knowledge and assumed dogmas, to go there. And we have to have even more wisdom and courage to return to the banal facts of our current state of human culture and dare to share our experiences of that realm beyond.

I agree but instead of transcending both science and religion, it would do us well to make peace of both materialism and spirituality and realize one does not exist, without the other. It is a hard fact, for me, to concede, yet one I feel compelled to embrace; religion, for most, is a means of defining one's self and creating a notion of superiority. It has a tendency to pit the collective against other collectives and those individuals who choose not to embrace it. On the other hand, science has a proclivity for worship, likewise; and, it demands worship, at the exclusion of mystery. The goal of the true lover of knowledge should be to enshrine the real in a cloak of mystery, to worship the profane in its sacred temple, and to make holiness out of that which is most common.

We shall never know, that which is unknown; but, without the unknown, that which is known is not.


Thank you 's-anthony' for a great opening post.

Thank you.
bulproof
Posts: 25,260
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5/19/2014 11:48:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

Wonder is one of the reasons we live, it's one of the purposes we allow ourselves.
I am so overpowered by the wonder of my life that I could easily fall into the fantasy of those who can't stand to lose it and spend my life pining for never dying, unfortunately I also realise what I am. I am an animal on this planet who has the opportunity to understand just how wonderful my existence is.

I don't know, but I think perhaps many of my fellow animals don't have that capacity. From what I've seen though I think that some have some realisation of it.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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5/19/2014 12:31:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

The point I'm trying to make is not reality isn't wonderful but it's not in and of itself. With the existence of reality, there must also exist an unreality; with being, there must be nonbeing. Alone, reality doesn't make sense, without that which is unreal. Of course, these appear as contradictions, and rightfully so. The very laws of logic break down, in the absence of paradox.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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5/19/2014 1:06:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 12:31:00 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

The point I'm trying to make is not reality isn't wonderful but it's not in and of itself. With the existence of reality, there must also exist an unreality; with being, there must be nonbeing. Alone, reality doesn't make sense, without that which is unreal. Of course, these appear as contradictions, and rightfully so. The very laws of logic break down, in the absence of paradox.

I might have understood it better if it weren't written like a pretentious poem.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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5/19/2014 1:21:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 1:06:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 12:31:00 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

The point I'm trying to make is not reality isn't wonderful but it's not in and of itself. With the existence of reality, there must also exist an unreality; with being, there must be nonbeing. Alone, reality doesn't make sense, without that which is unreal. Of course, these appear as contradictions, and rightfully so. The very laws of logic break down, in the absence of paradox.

I might have understood it better if it weren't written like a pretentious poem.

It was never my intention to write a poem nevertheless a pretentious one.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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5/19/2014 1:33:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 1:21:40 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:06:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 12:31:00 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

The point I'm trying to make is not reality isn't wonderful but it's not in and of itself. With the existence of reality, there must also exist an unreality; with being, there must be nonbeing. Alone, reality doesn't make sense, without that which is unreal. Of course, these appear as contradictions, and rightfully so. The very laws of logic break down, in the absence of paradox.

I might have understood it better if it weren't written like a pretentious poem.

It was never my intention to write a poem nevertheless a pretentious one.

And it was never my intention to crash my car, but that happened.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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5/19/2014 1:46:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 1:33:48 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:21:40 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:06:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 12:31:00 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

The point I'm trying to make is not reality isn't wonderful but it's not in and of itself. With the existence of reality, there must also exist an unreality; with being, there must be nonbeing. Alone, reality doesn't make sense, without that which is unreal. Of course, these appear as contradictions, and rightfully so. The very laws of logic break down, in the absence of paradox.

I might have understood it better if it weren't written like a pretentious poem.

It was never my intention to write a poem nevertheless a pretentious one.

And it was never my intention to crash my car, but that happened.

So, you're saying I wrote a poem by accident?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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5/19/2014 1:47:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 1:46:14 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:33:48 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:21:40 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:06:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 12:31:00 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

The point I'm trying to make is not reality isn't wonderful but it's not in and of itself. With the existence of reality, there must also exist an unreality; with being, there must be nonbeing. Alone, reality doesn't make sense, without that which is unreal. Of course, these appear as contradictions, and rightfully so. The very laws of logic break down, in the absence of paradox.

I might have understood it better if it weren't written like a pretentious poem.

It was never my intention to write a poem nevertheless a pretentious one.

And it was never my intention to crash my car, but that happened.

So, you're saying I wrote a poem by accident?

I'm saying that you wrote a post which, apparently by accident, turned out to be sort of obnoxious.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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5/19/2014 1:58:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 1:47:36 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:46:14 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:33:48 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:21:40 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:06:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 12:31:00 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

The point I'm trying to make is not reality isn't wonderful but it's not in and of itself. With the existence of reality, there must also exist an unreality; with being, there must be nonbeing. Alone, reality doesn't make sense, without that which is unreal. Of course, these appear as contradictions, and rightfully so. The very laws of logic break down, in the absence of paradox.

I might have understood it better if it weren't written like a pretentious poem.

It was never my intention to write a poem nevertheless a pretentious one.

And it was never my intention to crash my car, but that happened.

So, you're saying I wrote a poem by accident?

I'm saying that you wrote a post which, apparently by accident, turned out to be sort of obnoxious.

I'm sorry, if you find it offensive. In the future, I'll try to be more sensitive.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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5/19/2014 1:58:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 1:58:02 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:47:36 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:46:14 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:33:48 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:21:40 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 1:06:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 5/19/2014 12:31:00 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

The point I'm trying to make is not reality isn't wonderful but it's not in and of itself. With the existence of reality, there must also exist an unreality; with being, there must be nonbeing. Alone, reality doesn't make sense, without that which is unreal. Of course, these appear as contradictions, and rightfully so. The very laws of logic break down, in the absence of paradox.

I might have understood it better if it weren't written like a pretentious poem.

It was never my intention to write a poem nevertheless a pretentious one.

And it was never my intention to crash my car, but that happened.

So, you're saying I wrote a poem by accident?

I'm saying that you wrote a post which, apparently by accident, turned out to be sort of obnoxious.

I'm sorry, if you find it offensive. In the future, I'll try to be more sensitive.

shut up lol.
Such
Posts: 1,110
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5/19/2014 2:14:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Oh man, what a great conversation! I've been stumbling upon such great conversations, today! ^_^

The OP was quite poetic, and it was a pleasure to read. As far as its content is concerned, I both agree and disagree.

Indeed, there seems to be a lamentable characteristic that some people adopt, and that is a growing disenchantment with the world around them due to a developing understanding of the rudimentary aspects that comprise it.

I believe our discoveries should only add to the mystique of our existence, as it is. I have never encountered a collection of information that, in conclusion, proclaims, "and, that's it! We now understand it and everything about it!" No; there still remains questions unanswered and realms unexplored, often revealed by the very information learned.

I wholeheartedly agree with another poster, that it will likely require a marriage between both science and spirituality to finally achieve the enlightenment we, as an irrevocably inquisitive humanity, constantly seek. But, that will probably be a sad moment, indeed, as we may truly entertain then a loss of wonder.

And then, perhaps not. Of the minuscule proportion of knowledge I've attained from what humanity has discovered, I'm still stricken by wonderment. The beasts of the sea still terrify me; the gems of the deepest caves, I still find bedazzling. Vertigo whispers in my ear at the edge of the tallest cliffs I've seen, and the lushest forests to which I've been flirt with my senses like Eden.
s-anthony
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5/19/2014 3:10:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 2:14:45 PM, Such wrote:
Oh man, what a great conversation! I've been stumbling upon such great conversations, today! ^_^

The OP was quite poetic, and it was a pleasure to read. As far as its content is concerned, I both agree and disagree.

Indeed, there seems to be a lamentable characteristic that some people adopt, and that is a growing disenchantment with the world around them due to a developing understanding of the rudimentary aspects that comprise it.

I believe our discoveries should only add to the mystique of our existence, as it is. I have never encountered a collection of information that, in conclusion, proclaims, "and, that's it! We now understand it and everything about it!" No; there still remains questions unanswered and realms unexplored, often revealed by the very information learned.

I wholeheartedly agree with another poster, that it will likely require a marriage between both science and spirituality to finally achieve the enlightenment we, as an irrevocably inquisitive humanity, constantly seek. But, that will probably be a sad moment, indeed, as we may truly entertain then a loss of wonder.

And then, perhaps not. Of the minuscule proportion of knowledge I've attained from what humanity has discovered, I'm still stricken by wonderment. The beasts of the sea still terrify me; the gems of the deepest caves, I still find bedazzling. Vertigo whispers in my ear at the edge of the tallest cliffs I've seen, and the lushest forests to which I've been flirt with my senses like Eden.

Thank you. I agree wholeheartedly, but, for me, the marriage of science and religion doesn't complete our knowledge yet only creates a dynamic, to life, that is otherwise missing. It reminds us, in the midst of life, mystery lies all about us. This tug of war between that which we know and that which remains unknown is the eternal journey of that which we call life, always venturing out onto new frontiers, always seeking new horizons. It's, only, as life is made complete, the journey ends; and, life loses all meaning. As the great singularity pulls us ever closer to our final destination, all information is lost and identities become one.
PureX
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5/19/2014 4:49:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 11:42:08 AM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 8:53:25 AM, PureX wrote:

The real fact is that we have to transcend both science and religion to enter that wonderful realm of awe and mystery that is rightfully ours as human manifestations of existence, itself. That was the realm of Einstein's passion, and of all the great scientists, philosophers, artists, and priests through history. But we have to have the insight and the courage to rise above and think beyond the limits of our presumed knowledge and assumed dogmas, to go there. And we have to have even more wisdom and courage to return to the banal facts of our current state of human culture and dare to share our experiences of that realm beyond.

I agree but instead of transcending both science and religion, it would do us well to make peace of both materialism and spirituality and realize one does not exist, without the other. It is a hard fact, for me, to concede, yet one I feel compelled to embrace; religion, for most, is a means of defining one's self and creating a notion of superiority. It has a tendency to pit the collective against other collectives and those individuals who choose not to embrace it. On the other hand, science has a proclivity for worship, likewise; and, it demands worship, at the exclusion of mystery. The goal of the true lover of knowledge should be to enshrine the real in a cloak of mystery, to worship the profane in its sacred temple, and to make holiness out of that which is most common.

We shall never know, that which is unknown; but, without the unknown, that which is known is not.

Human beings survive and thrive by understanding the mechanisms of their environment well enough to manipulate it to their advantage. And because of this, we tend to greatly fear that which is unknowable, and therefor un-manipulable. Thus, for a lot of people both science and religion have become a kind of intellectual drug that creates the illusion that we have all the answers. Or enough of the answers that we need not fear our remaining ignorance.

It's this dependance upon a false presumption of 'knowing it all' that we must transcend to experience the awe of the great mystery of existence, and learn the value of faith in response to it. Religion and science are not in themselves an impediment to this experience. It's our dependence upon the illusion that we have all the fundamental answers, already, that stops us from experiencing the full wonder of humility, faith and being.
s-anthony
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5/19/2014 7:05:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 4:49:28 PM, PureX wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:42:08 AM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/19/2014 8:53:25 AM, PureX wrote:

The real fact is that we have to transcend both science and religion to enter that wonderful realm of awe and mystery that is rightfully ours as human manifestations of existence, itself. That was the realm of Einstein's passion, and of all the great scientists, philosophers, artists, and priests through history. But we have to have the insight and the courage to rise above and think beyond the limits of our presumed knowledge and assumed dogmas, to go there. And we have to have even more wisdom and courage to return to the banal facts of our current state of human culture and dare to share our experiences of that realm beyond.

I agree but instead of transcending both science and religion, it would do us well to make peace of both materialism and spirituality and realize one does not exist, without the other. It is a hard fact, for me, to concede, yet one I feel compelled to embrace; religion, for most, is a means of defining one's self and creating a notion of superiority. It has a tendency to pit the collective against other collectives and those individuals who choose not to embrace it. On the other hand, science has a proclivity for worship, likewise; and, it demands worship, at the exclusion of mystery. The goal of the true lover of knowledge should be to enshrine the real in a cloak of mystery, to worship the profane in its sacred temple, and to make holiness out of that which is most common.

We shall never know, that which is unknown; but, without the unknown, that which is known is not.

Human beings survive and thrive by understanding the mechanisms of their environment well enough to manipulate it to their advantage. And because of this, we tend to greatly fear that which is unknowable, and therefor un-manipulable. Thus, for a lot of people both science and religion have become a kind of intellectual drug that creates the illusion that we have all the answers. Or enough of the answers that we need not fear our remaining ignorance.

I don't think we fear, that which is unknown; I don't think we can have a reaction towards anything of which we are unconscious. I think our fear comes our feelings of inadequacies, the idea we are finite and incomplete. It is our notion of imperfection that propels us forward; we are ever searching for ways to broaden our borders and redefine ourselves. I think, if we feared the enlargement of our borders, we would find ways to diminish ourselves. In life, joy is found in growth and change and sorrow in the loss of one's identity.


It's this dependence upon a false presumption of 'knowing it all' that we must transcend to experience the awe of the great mystery of existence, and learn the value of faith in response to it. Religion and science are not in themselves an impediment to this experience. It's our dependence upon the illusion that we have all the fundamental answers, already, that stops us from experiencing the full wonder of humility, faith and being.
Idealist
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5/20/2014 8:03:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 8:06:43 AM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:57:00 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:18:04 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Even though I would be the first to air all the grievances I have entertained against religion, as I grow older, I am coming to realize its significance in society. Jaded, I am slowly taking a second glance at its meaning. For, most of my adult life, I have only seen its cultural and social qualities of any redeeming value, while completely dismissing its attraction as, merely, weak minds' seeking refuge in the collective.

However, as of late, I've come to the realization there is a deeper, more profound allurement than meets the eye; an allurement that is just as strong as gravity, itself. There is at the heart of religion a vortex that is just as phenomenal as any natural wonder; a singularity, with an outward reaching grasp that pulls at one violently, until he, or she, is no more. This has been pronounced, as the "great mystery" of one's faith; that, God alone abides in the holiest of chambers, hidden behind a veil. It is this mystery to life that entices the the bewildered soul; a seafaring mariner who would dare venture out onto an unknown sea, to find a strange new world.

Science has pried open our eyes, with the light of knowledge; it has lit a candle, in a dimly lit room; where once the ghostly shadows entranced our imaginations, while dancing all around us, the room is seen, plainly; and, with time, our eyes grow old and accustomed, to its familiarity; no longer does the seafaring mariner fear the monsters of the great deep; no longer does the twinkling stars, at night, hold us in awe. Our world has grown old and lost its innocence; our rational minds have silenced our hearts.

That sounded kind of poetic. :) I agree that religion adds a certain quality to life, and most really smart people have realized it whether they believed in an actual God or not. Einstein was a notable supporter of the benefits and possibly even the necessity of religion as a balancing force in regard to science. People need to feel a sense of purpose and meaning, and science doesn't provide that.

Thank you. This all started, for me, in considering the nature of light and how it seems to contradict logic: Namely, the photon, a massless particle, that travels at such a velocity even time, itself, stands still; so, in itself, it experiences neither time nor space; its point of emission and absorption are one. Furthermore, considering it is a weightless particle, it defies logic, to say the gravitational pull of a singularity is so intense not even light can escape it.

I love to meditate while i conceptualize things like this. Light has a a "measured" speed of 186,000 mps and yet, as you said, it reaches its destination instantly. How is it possible to look at a star and say we are seeing it as it was a hundred-million years ago if the light reaches our eyes in an instant? My favorite is this: can an electron (which travels at the speed of light) actually be everywhere at the same time? If that were possible then it's also possible there's only one electron in the u-verse, since zero times any number is still zero. Strange stuff.
Idealist
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5/20/2014 8:14:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 5:52:42 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
This was something Graham Greene wrote about a lot, usually rather beautifully. I agree the world is better when seen as something of a mystery, but then I don't feel the need for religion to introduce that; it's pretty strange and mysterious enough just as it is. It's unlikely we'll ever understand how truly weird and wonderful it is.

IMO, it needs more than just mystery. It needs a purpose so that the acts of solving the mysteries actually possess meaning. Just like the said on the Matrix movies, without purpose humans are no better than a viral infection. I would hate to think I am no more useful than a case of herpes.
Idealist
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5/20/2014 8:17:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 8:53:25 AM, PureX wrote:
Most people confuse faith with religiosity, when they are not the same quest at all.

I'm really glad you pointed this out. This is something I've been trying to say in one way or another for a very, very long time.

Just as any mediocre scientist or naive atheist thinks that by understanding the mechanics of matter and energy, he is understanding the truth and nature of existence, so too the religion-monger thinks that by insisting that his religious myths and dogmas are literal facts, he has understood the true nature of existence, as well. And they both are dim-witted cowards in my opinion, as they have neither the brains nor the courage to squarely face the magnitude of our collective human ignorance regarding the truth and true nature of existence, and thereby humanity's purpose within it.

The real fact is that we have to transcend both science and religion to enter that wonderful realm of awe and mystery that is rightfully ours as human manifestations of existence, itself. That was the realm of Einstein's passion, and of all the great scientists, philosophers, artists, and priests through history. But we have to have the insight and the courage to rise above and think beyond the limits of our presumed knowledge and assumed dogmas, to go there. And we have to have even more wisdom and courage to return to the banal facts of our current state of human culture and dare to share our experiences of that realm beyond.

Thank you 's-anthony' for a great opening post.
Idealist
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5/20/2014 8:25:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/19/2014 11:48:46 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 5/19/2014 11:14:37 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Wonder is not lost by understanding reality; it lost by settling for unwonderful answers. Fortunately, reality is more wonderful than you can imagine.

Wonder is one of the reasons we live, it's one of the purposes we allow ourselves.
I am so overpowered by the wonder of my life that I could easily fall into the fantasy of those who can't stand to lose it and spend my life pining for never dying, unfortunately I also realise what I am. I am an animal on this planet who has the opportunity to understand just how wonderful my existence is.

I don't know, but I think perhaps many of my fellow animals don't have that capacity. From what I've seen though I think that some have some realisation of it.

It's funny how people can be so different and so alike at the same time. I believe in a higher intelligence (though I don't support religion) but I'm ready for my life to be over at any time. Not because I expect something better of the "other side," but because I feel like I've accomplished all I need to and I'm ready to pass-on the torch. As much as the wonder of life fascinates me, I am also aware that it possesses a mundane quality, sort of like watching the paint on even a priceless painting dry.
s-anthony
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5/20/2014 11:33:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/20/2014 8:03:56 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/19/2014 8:06:43 AM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:57:00 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:18:04 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Even though I would be the first to air all the grievances I have entertained against religion, as I grow older, I am coming to realize its significance in society. Jaded, I am slowly taking a second glance at its meaning. For, most of my adult life, I have only seen its cultural and social qualities of any redeeming value, while completely dismissing its attraction as, merely, weak minds' seeking refuge in the collective.

However, as of late, I've come to the realization there is a deeper, more profound allurement than meets the eye; an allurement that is just as strong as gravity, itself. There is at the heart of religion a vortex that is just as phenomenal as any natural wonder; a singularity, with an outward reaching grasp that pulls at one violently, until he, or she, is no more. This has been pronounced, as the "great mystery" of one's faith; that, God alone abides in the holiest of chambers, hidden behind a veil. It is this mystery to life that entices the the bewildered soul; a seafaring mariner who would dare venture out onto an unknown sea, to find a strange new world.

Science has pried open our eyes, with the light of knowledge; it has lit a candle, in a dimly lit room; where once the ghostly shadows entranced our imaginations, while dancing all around us, the room is seen, plainly; and, with time, our eyes grow old and accustomed, to its familiarity; no longer does the seafaring mariner fear the monsters of the great deep; no longer does the twinkling stars, at night, hold us in awe. Our world has grown old and lost its innocence; our rational minds have silenced our hearts.

That sounded kind of poetic. :) I agree that religion adds a certain quality to life, and most really smart people have realized it whether they believed in an actual God or not. Einstein was a notable supporter of the benefits and possibly even the necessity of religion as a balancing force in regard to science. People need to feel a sense of purpose and meaning, and science doesn't provide that.

Thank you. This all started, for me, in considering the nature of light and how it seems to contradict logic: Namely, the photon, a massless particle, that travels at such a velocity even time, itself, stands still; so, in itself, it experiences neither time nor space; its point of emission and absorption are one. Furthermore, considering it is a weightless particle, it defies logic, to say the gravitational pull of a singularity is so intense not even light can escape it.

I love to meditate while i conceptualize things like this. Light has a a "measured" speed of 186,000 mps and yet, as you said, it reaches its destination instantly. How is it possible to look at a star and say we are seeing it as it was a hundred-million years ago if the light reaches our eyes in an instant? My favorite is this: can an electron (which travels at the speed of light) actually be everywhere at the same time? If that were possible then it's also possible there's only one electron in the u-verse, since zero times any number is still zero. Strange stuff.

For us, it took light a hundred-million years, to travel such an astronomical distance; for light, it happened instantly.
Idealist
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5/20/2014 11:43:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/20/2014 11:33:34 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/20/2014 8:03:56 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/19/2014 8:06:43 AM, s-anthony wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:57:00 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 5/18/2014 11:18:04 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Even though I would be the first to air all the grievances I have entertained against religion, as I grow older, I am coming to realize its significance in society. Jaded, I am slowly taking a second glance at its meaning. For, most of my adult life, I have only seen its cultural and social qualities of any redeeming value, while completely dismissing its attraction as, merely, weak minds' seeking refuge in the collective.

However, as of late, I've come to the realization there is a deeper, more profound allurement than meets the eye; an allurement that is just as strong as gravity, itself. There is at the heart of religion a vortex that is just as phenomenal as any natural wonder; a singularity, with an outward reaching grasp that pulls at one violently, until he, or she, is no more. This has been pronounced, as the "great mystery" of one's faith; that, God alone abides in the holiest of chambers, hidden behind a veil. It is this mystery to life that entices the the bewildered soul; a seafaring mariner who would dare venture out onto an unknown sea, to find a strange new world.

Science has pried open our eyes, with the light of knowledge; it has lit a candle, in a dimly lit room; where once the ghostly shadows entranced our imaginations, while dancing all around us, the room is seen, plainly; and, with time, our eyes grow old and accustomed, to its familiarity; no longer does the seafaring mariner fear the monsters of the great deep; no longer does the twinkling stars, at night, hold us in awe. Our world has grown old and lost its innocence; our rational minds have silenced our hearts.

That sounded kind of poetic. :) I agree that religion adds a certain quality to life, and most really smart people have realized it whether they believed in an actual God or not. Einstein was a notable supporter of the benefits and possibly even the necessity of religion as a balancing force in regard to science. People need to feel a sense of purpose and meaning, and science doesn't provide that.

Thank you. This all started, for me, in considering the nature of light and how it seems to contradict logic: Namely, the photon, a massless particle, that travels at such a velocity even time, itself, stands still; so, in itself, it experiences neither time nor space; its point of emission and absorption are one. Furthermore, considering it is a weightless particle, it defies logic, to say the gravitational pull of a singularity is so intense not even light can escape it.

I love to meditate while i conceptualize things like this. Light has a a "measured" speed of 186,000 mps and yet, as you said, it reaches its destination instantly. How is it possible to look at a star and say we are seeing it as it was a hundred-million years ago if the light reaches our eyes in an instant? My favorite is this: can an electron (which travels at the speed of light) actually be everywhere at the same time? If that were possible then it's also possible there's only one electron in the u-verse, since zero times any number is still zero. Strange stuff.

For us, it took light a hundred-million years, to travel such an astronomical distance; for light, it happened instantly.

Exactly. For a person traveling inside a spaceship moving at even half the speed of light everything would look normal, but for anyone on the outside the ship it would appear to have shrunk by half due to the Doppler effect. If they were traveling the speed of light they would never age, and they would get to their destination as soon as they left their departure point. As long as they kept moving they would theoretically never age, yet experience tells us that everything ages, even light, so what we have to wonder is whether this is really true or just an illusion? It's what physicists call "counter-intuitive."