Let’s Get Things Back Into Perspective Here!

Les, I just went thru a thing on my blogspot allanjanssen.blogspot.com that got me going enough I though I would run it here too!

The fact that we can examine ourselves thinking, (Like mentally looking in a mirror) is one of the great mysteries. This, along with the existence of God, the process of evolution, and much more in the metaphysical sphere are questions that do not easily lend themselves to interpretation.
Not to take anything away from the Eastern Philosophies, (Since they probably have a better handle on things than most Western Religions) but these are answers we mistakenly try and understand from a here and now point of view. As long as we look at these questions from a materialistic, egocentric point of view I dont’t think we will find an answer.
Perhaps the question “Is there a God” or better yet, “What is God?” are areas that we are not meant to address in this life. They could, by their very nature, be unanswerable. (Here we go, now everyone is going to tell me THEY have the answer. Save your breath, unless you have a REALLY bad Messianic Complex!)
The point is, perhaps we should be more concerned with attaining a “State of Grace” in this life, and then sitting back to see where it leads us in the next! Remember..(from my book God-101) When all else fails, the simple solution is usually the correct one! OR If you hear hoofbeats, look for horses, not zebras!

After that, sure enough, all sorts of people replied to tell me the answer!!!!! The best was two pages on variations of “one hand clapping!”

Why can’t some of you people LISTEN instead of grabbing anything at all as an excuse to once again spout your bullshit nonsense. Listen to me please, I don’t need double talking, asinine, convoluted, self absorbed, deluded rants to make me see the light! The truth is not in the Bible or the Koran. (Or the Bhagavad-Gita for that matter!) They should all be thrown in the garbage because they were written by sun-baked, wandering nomads who mostly ate bugs and honey….. of course they saw God~!
God is not in a book because that is other people trying to tell you what is right and what is wrong. You are not going to find paradise by listening to 2000 year old, hallucinating, camel jockeys.
KEEP IT SIMPLE! Don’t jump thru hoops trying to explain the infinite. Don’t manufacture all these grand theories on the nature of God. Certainly don’t sit there and try and second guess what God wants, and CERTAINLY don’t tell me that you know what God wants ME to do!
I don’t think it’s our job to probe these questions yet. When we are ready they will be revealed. But they will be revealed to EVERYONE. I think God is big enough that he doesn’t need translators. Remember-the simple solution is usually the correct one! God is love!!!!
In other words, God is within you and no one should ever come between. If we must refer to religious texts I would like to quote from the Book “G0d-101” once more.
One of the core sayings of Jesus was “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ For behold, that kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Jesus tells us quite clearly that the “Kingdom of God” is not a coming kingdom, or a future kingdom, but rather something already in amongst his disciples. It is not a place, but rather a state of mind! Or, to quote James Breech once more: “Your concept of the kingdom of God, whether it belongs to the future mythological conceived, in either eschatological or apocalyptic terms, misses the reality of the kingdom. The symbolism really refers to a power that is a basic factor in human experience!”
** The foundation of Christian ideology revolves around “Love” for one and another. To understand this we need to define exactly how the term or meaning of “Love” is used! In the first instance, there is the true Christian “Love” which means it is rooted in the power of the kingdom of God. This is the “Love” that the historical Jesus preached to his followers.
The second type of Christian “love” (small L) is defined solely as an ethical idea that was propagated by the spreading Christian faith in trying to define the words of Christ.
Nietzsche probably best defined this form of Christian ‘love’ as a masked feeling of pity or charity. In other words, we feel sorry for others and from this superior moral ground to lend a helping hand.
Nietzsche claims that Christian ‘pity’ (love) is a device used by those who are not themselves truly vital and alive to obtain a perverse elevation of their own position by undermining others. In other words, “I can make myself feel better by thinking you or someone else is worse-off and deserving of “love.” We often confuse the feeling of Christian “love” for someone with:
1. Pity for them.
2. Humanitarianism-or a love of Mankind.
3. Altruism, or self denial, and
4. Sentimentalism, or wanting to be with others.
These concepts of “love” have been re-enforced over and over again in the Bible through one story or another.
What Jesus actually said was something much more basic and infinitely harder to achieve. The historical Jesus did not urge us to love Mankind or to feel pity for someone else.
He did not tell us to deny ourselves for someone else’s sake, or flagellate ourselves, or even to enjoy another’s company! What He did say was pure and simple and straight to the point, “Love one another.” This sort of Love is not the altruistic love of Mankind, nor the possessive love for our mate, but rather, something that requires hard work, tenacity, and sacrifice.
It is easy to love your wife or husband, child or parent, but to Love your neighbor (or stranger) is a task that is never ending and always requires effort.
It is a Love that seems to have no immediate benefit and is therefore not practiced by many people. However, in the long run, this is what will make Humanity rise up to it is potential and approach what Jesus referred to as the “Kingdom of God (Father).”
This is not something that is to be expected in the near, or far, future. Rather, it was a state of being that is present at this time, and only has to be observed and followed in order to achieve a state of Grace.—Allan W. Janssen

42 thoughts on “Let’s Get Things Back Into Perspective Here!

  1. Remember-the simple solution is usually the correct one!

    We’re charmed by simplicity but the universe is packed full of complexity.  Occam’s razor isn’t chisled in stone, and simple explanations (the subject of the razor) are of a different nature from simple solutions. 

    All too easy to confuse simplicity with being simplistic.

  2. Good point and one of which I am well aware.
    However, the point being made was that we are always needlessly complicating things, a lot of the time just because it sounds erudite.  raspberry
    Allan

  3. When all else fails, the simple solution is usually the correct one!

    Yep: there is no god.  That’s simple.

  4. Sorry PSoTaS, but I thought it was an interesting entry and I was curious to see what folks had to say about it. I’m always interested in alternative viewpoints on the nature of God(s) because, if nothing else, it tells you a little something about the person who holds them.

  5. Sorry guys, I can’t let this one go.  I too am here to see alternat views and to challange my own perceptions.  I know my views are rather controversial and defiantly not main stream, but I hope that I am presenting them in a way that you can think about even if you don’t agree.

    I have been dismayed by the number of atheists and evolutionists that see the societal structure as some kind of altruistic collection of individuals.  The general consensus (and what I inference as the subject of this post ) is that society is good and if you are a member of society you are good.  Our legal system is designed to protect the rest of society from those that do not comply.  The same structure exists in religious institutions.

    How can BTK be part of a religious organization and still be so deprived?  If society is really this collection of like minded individuals why is there crime?  People who look at the structure in a classic way are surprised from the deviation of the few individuals and wonder what they can do to fix some perceived problem with the structure.

    Here is where I start to deviate. . .  If you look seriously at evolution ( we can eliminate the creation question here because I am talking about the growth and adaptation of culture over time) there is some strong instinct for survival in all of us.  We do things that will give us a survival advantage.  We choose our career, we choose where we live, we choose to put locks on doors all to give us a survival advantage.

    Being part of a society gives us a definite survival advantage.  Do you know how your DVD player is made?  Could you make one yourself?  Obviously there are advantages to being part of that society.  However, your perception of survival advantage is fluid.  In this way it is simple to explain that if an individual perceives their survival advantage to be better by cooperating with society then they will.  If an individual perceives that they can increase their personal survival advantage by breaking society’s rules then they will, even if it takes that resource away from somebody else.

    Some people comprehend this inherent personal greed and either depressing or sinful.  However pious you may be the denial of personal survival will lead to not surviving.  I actually look at it positively that I have the opportunity to understand my personal motivations and don’t mind being perceived as altruistic even when I am securing my personal survival advantage, at least I am honest.

    As one of the posters mentioned, it may be better to teach what “good

  6. How can BTK be part of a religious organization and still be so deprived?

    ‘Cuz he NUTS, that why!  No mystery there.  Certainly his church does not advocate what he did on any level.

    We do things that will give us a survival advantage.  We choose our career, we choose where we live, we choose to put locks on doors all to give us a survival advantage.

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs doesn’t stack up the same way in all individuals.  Survival sometimes comes up subordinate to self-actualization or even to (a level which Maslow left out) neurological stimulation (think of dangerous sports, etc.)

    I’d venture to say most people have points of honor or principle that they would hold above personal survival.

  7. In general I’m in agreement with you, Bruno. Though I also agree with DOF that some folks do have the ability to put their principles ahead of their personal survival.

    I’m often complaining that I have too many scruples myself as I know of several common and legal scams I could easily run that would fleece the stupid of their cash. Just look at any random bit of spam email for an example or two. Or, for that matter, any TV commercial for the latest weight loss product. There’s easy money to be made if you don’t mind taking advantage of the stupid. Alas, as much as I rant about stupid people I have a hard time with the idea of taking advantage of them.

    Well, other than perhaps for humorous purposes…

  8. Well it’s time for the author to reply. First of all Les is right on the button when he says “Let’s see what debate this arouses.”
    So the first point I wish to make it that debate and conjecutre on this site is a hell of a lot more intelligent and thought out than on most. Here we actually get some intelligent and at times profound insights. Refreshing after listening to religious fanatics on a lot of other sites.
    The second point is that even I sometimes get the feeling that it’s becoming rather much with all this ranting and Pontification.
    (Although I don’t know if I would take any comments seriously from someone who uses the name “penetratingshaftoftruthandsemen!”)
    BUT, the fact of the matter is that I spent a lot of years on this book (God-101) and because of that I owe it to myself to promote it and kindle debate as much as possible. Besides which, the more I get into it, the more I feel strongly about it and would like to exress my point of view. (Christ, please don’t let me turn out to be one of those religious fanatics I hate so much.)

    Finally a thought! Perhaps one day we can reach a point where we are all mature and developed enough as a race that the only crime will be varying degrees of “interference” with other people. Other than that, do what you will!
    e.g. 
    Stealing, cheating someone = Interference 1
    Murder, hate crimes,  = Interference 10

    (Trying to convert someone=Interference 6 raspberry )
    Allan W Janssen

  9. I apologize for my earlier comments.  He has the right to say whatever he wants.  I guess i’m not sure why he wants to do it here.  Seems kind of pointless to me.  Every comment i make is serious, Allan, and you would do well to take heed.

  10. One of the nifty things about a pseudonym is that it disconnects content from assumptions about credibility.  Then you have to consider the content apart from those assumptions.

    PenShaft is a good example.  I often find his comments illuminating – though in a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum!  shock

    *(At least, I hope it’s a pseudonym!  Or his mother has a really odd sense of humor)

  11. Yeah, PSoTaS has often said clever things here that have shocked me out of assuming that, with a name like that, he couldn’t possibly have anything intelligent to say. My first inclination is to discount him because of the name and I’m often pleasantly surprised. PSoTaS says what he’s thinking and usually without apology. I like that.

    Moses, you said some things I can definitely take issue with, such as:

    You are not going to find paradise by listening to 2000 year old, hallucinating, camel jockeys.

    Camel jockeys? Is that how you show love for another?

    The historical Jesus did not urge us to love Mankind or to feel pity for someone else.
    He did not tell us to deny ourselves for someone else’s sake, or flagellate ourselves, or even to enjoy another’s company!

    I think you’d better read the Bible again. Jesus, as depicted in the Bible, is anything but a messenger of love. He sets harsh conditions for being of worth and yes, he does preach pity and submission.

    No one could live like Jesus supposedly told us to. It simply isn’t human to be so giving and meek. That’s why tolerance is so important. I may not like the way others order their lives and I couldn’t even pretend to love them but as long as they do myself and others no harm, it’s important that I’m willing to tolerate them. We are individuals and no two have the same set of desires, fears, passions and hates. So to honor the fact of individuality and allow it to be expressed is the only hope we have of being able to co-exist.

    That isn’t love so much as it is common sense.

  12. Thank You! Being from Canada I don’t want to get into US politics too deep, let’s just say Bush is not held in the highest regard here.

  13. P.S. When I referred to “camel jockeys” I was in no way passsing a value judgement or even making a slightly derogatory statement. These guys in Al Qaeda and the Wahabis are living in the dark ages and to quote Cheech and Chong;

    “That’s what it is man!”

  14. Moses, I understood what you were going for with the “camel jockeys” label.  Currently that phrase is in “the set of non-politically-correct labels” so it will raise eyebrows.  It’s apparently OK to call someone a conservative, a liberal, a Darwinist (whatever that is), a Bible-thumper, a meglomaniac, or a glass-and-plastic-in-the-recycling mixer. 

    Personally, I hope the next big trend after “sensitivity training” will be “insensitivity training.”  Instead of trying to change the whole society to never say anything remotely insulting, one might learn to be un-insultable.  cool smile

  15. Agree 100% Things are so bad that my daughter, who is going to university, told this story.

    Her girlfriend was describing someone to her and said, “You know, the tall guy that’s always dressed so sharp.”
    Didn’t ring a bell so her friend said, “You know, the guy with the earing in both ears!”
    Still no recognition so she said. “He always wears that brown leather coat you like!”
    Finally, my daughter said! “Oh, you mean the BLACK guy!”
    All because they didn’t even know anymore if even the word black was acceptable.

  16. I’ve long considered terms like “camel jockeys” to be as offensive as ones like “sand ni**ers” or “towel heads”.

    Sure you should be able to use derogatory terms as much as you like but I’ve been on the receiving end of a couple of them most of my life and I can tell you they don’t inspire me to respect the person who uses them.

    When we use inexact and confining terms to describe others we run the risk of limiting the information available. Being politically correct (which in itself is a catch-all and dismissive phrase) isn’t the point. The point is to allow oneself to be more aware of both the intricacies and equivalencies of others.

    The truth is not in the Bible or the Koran. (Or the Bhagavad-Gita for that matter!) They should all be thrown in the garbage because they were written by sun-baked, wandering nomads who mostly ate bugs and honey….. of course they saw God~!
    God is not in a book because that is other people trying to tell you what is right and what is wrong. You are not going to find paradise by listening to 2000 year old, hallucinating, camel jockeys.

    I agree that no one has a lock on the truth but aren’t you doing the same sort of “truth-telling” from your (non-drug induced, I assume) perspective.

  17. NO, I don’t think so! (First of all I got tired of doing drugs thirty years ago raspberry )
    The main point of what as I say in the Book G0D-101 is not a look at what religion IS, but rather what it IS NOT!
    Naturally this means everything I explore is from a negative point of view but that’s the nature of the beast.(Or book)
    On the one hand you could assume that anything I say is the same sort of preaching and conjecture as the philosophies I lampoon and lambaste, but this is not the case.
    I am not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking, but rather to get them to question their own beliefs and re-examine them for the misleading and destructive thought processes that they are.
    Now if you insist on telling me this is no different than someone who is preaching their religious point of view then so be it!
    I know there is a difference but cannot verbalise the logic behind it. (unless of course there really is no difference and I am just sitting on a self deluded “higher ground!”)
    Allan W Janssen

  18. We toss around “inexact and limiting” (good definition!) terms all the time on SEB and elsewhere: wingnut, fundy, small-town retard, nutball, and so forth.

    Brock: Sure you should be able to use derogatory terms as much as you like but I’ve been on the receiving end of a couple of them most of my life and I can tell you they don’t inspire me to respect the person who uses them.

    …which is a very good reason for not using them. 

    But I have noticed that there is a list of acceptable and unacceptable terms, which is constantly changing.  In the effort not to offend, language becomes stilted and clumsy.  I have found offense is seldom intended and have not found any advantage in taking offense where none is meant. Or, even when it is.

    The convention of excluding some terms that describe (in however inexact and limiting a fashion) any group by some singular characteristic is cultural and widely held.  The decision to forsake the taking of offense at such terms is personal and confers a conversational advantage on the person who makes it.

  19. Non-sequitur alert!

    Re: evolving terms…

    The other night this standup comic, Alozo Bodden, in his routine, was talking about the names ethnic groups give themselves (he was begging the Latinos, “Please, tell us your name!  Are you Latinos, Hispanic… or what?”).  Here’s his take (paraphrased):

    “When we first got here we were ‘n*ggers.’  Now, we didn’t pick that one, but it sorta stuck.  Once we were freed we became ‘colored.’  Then when we got mad, we were “Black.”  Now that we’ve got money, we’re ‘African-Americans.’”

    He’s really funny, and actually talks a bit about how everyone goes out of their way not to offend people.  As a comedian, he says he refuses to be PC, because it kills opportunities for good jokes.  He said he did a gig once and there was a guy in a wheelchair up front, and he could feel from the crowd a sense of, “Oh no, you WON’T go there…”  He then cracked a joke about being in a wheelchair (that I can’t remember, dammit), and he said the guy in the chair laughed his head off.

    Personally, I hope the next big trend after “sensitivity training

  20. Want an eye opener download some Lenny Bruce from the late fifties and early sixties.
    His position – names cease to hurt after they have lost their shock value!

  21. By the way, anyone who is heavy into P.C. or is easily offended is going to get a lot of bumps and bruises as they go through life. It’s your choice!  A.W.J.

  22. P.P.S. I remember when I was in high school their was a movement afoot to do away with Shakespeare because he was considered politically incorrect at the time. (Even though that term had not been invented yet!)
    Thank God cooler heads prevailed, otherwise no Shakespeare!

  23. I agree:

    It’s easy to not take offense when others try to be offensive.

    It’s OK to make fun of someone if the intent is to make others laugh.

    All Middle Easterners race camels for a living.

    Did I miss learning anything? grin

  24. At the risk of breaking the momentum, it is not true that names or stereotypical images cannot hurt us.  When threaded into the dominant culture and coupled with negative intent, they certainly can.  What we should watch out for is the negative intent more than the words.  This involves paying close attention to other people’s signals, listening carefully, giving the benefit of the doubt, making judgement calls and sometimes being wrong. Most people are uncomfortable with the possibility of being wrong.

    So much simpler to ban certain words!  But negative intent quickly finds other words, which is why there is a steady parade of terms marching from the “OK” to the “not OK” category.  Just to pick one big example, Martin Luther King used the word “negro” descriptively but if I ever used it today, I would most likely lose my job.

    Y’ notice many of us arrived at SEB with negative or shocking pseudonyms?  Interesting.

  25. At the risk of breaking the momentum, it is not true that names or stereotypical images cannot hurt us.  When threaded into the dominant culture and coupled with negative intent, they certainly can.  What we should watch out for is the negative intent more than the words.

    Right!  That’s why I can see why the “targets” of certain epithets might choose to render moot the negative intent of a word that brings to mind a stereotype by embracing the use of the word themselves.  “Queer” is an example (and one that some right-wingers I’ve argued with have been all sorts of pissed off about, since it’s lost it’s negative connotation).

    The only thing someone could call me that would piss me off would be “Republican.”  LOL

  26. Now-Now people, let a smile be your umbrella.  wink

    (God thing nobody knows where I live after a comment like that!)

  27. Whoever first said “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me” didn’t know what he/she was talking about. Plenty of people can tell you how much it hurts to be called epithets. There has been all manner of study and speculation on the origins, evolution, and effects of negative epithets. There are some words that just shouldn’t be used.

    However, I agree with DOF that political correctness can go too far. Oversensitivity can have negative effects, just like insensitivity, particularly on the use of language. “PC terms” are changing so often it gets difficult to keep up. It would be nice if we could take negative epithets and remove the negative connotations, but history has shown that this can take decades.

    I don’t think anyone really has the answer. It’s a matter of personal opinion which is better and more comfortable—oversensitivity or insensitivity.

  28. I can’t agree that “there are some words that just shouldn’t be used.”  The context and intent behind controversial words DO matter as any number of community discussions over American Literature curriculum have shown. 

    Also I don’t really care much if someone gets their feelings hurt.  To make that a determining factor is to steer by the sensitivities of the most easily offended.  (or the FREOG’s – “Federally Recognized Easily Offended Group”)

    How offensive to be, with whom, and for what reasons is – as you say – a personal decision based on what it costs in credibility and other social currency to do so.

  29. How offensive to be, with whom, and for what reasons is – as you say – a personal decision based on what it costs in credibility and other social currency to do so.

      DOF, you sound like someone I’d love to sit down and have a beer and chat with.  (I know, I know, dangling preposition…)  lol

  30. When I told you your opinion reminded me of the “documentary” What the Bleep do We Know?, that was a statement of recognition.  Not an endorsement for you to go get it.  We spent a week in Intro to Philosophy watching it.  The next week we discussed and tore it apart with the help of the professor.  I see you made one of the same basic and most obvious errors in your argumentation.

    Originally posted by moses:
    Perhaps the question “Is there a God

  31. My problem with political correctness is that it is simply a name change for a deeply flawed method of description. I don’t care what you want to call each race—I just think that race in general is a crappy and inept concept.

  32. Your ideas though interesting are still only your own BELIEFS about the metaphysical.  Nothing about the metaphysical can ever be known so everything must come to belief only.  No one can know what God is or isn’t, so your statements are no more logically and perceivably true than those of the religions you may detest.

      Excellent point, Theo.

  33. Theo, you make a good point but rather misdirected. As I explained, I do not attempt to expalin what God is, just what God is not!!!
    How do I know…simple.
    The Bible, Koran, etc. all have the taint and smell of human interference and postulating in them.

    It’s easy to see what are human interpretations and explanations of God in the holy books because of the inconsistancies, lies, absurd statements, boastfull proclamations, assinine philosophies, etc etc etc.

    Like I said, throw them out the window and talk to God directly.
    Allan W Janssen

  34. Originally posted by moses:
    The Bible, Koran, etc. all have the taint and smell of human interference and postulating in them.

    If you wrote a holy book what would you write?  Would it not be tainted in the same way?  Seriously, people tried to write what they believed about the metaphysical and we have a bunch of different religions today.  Each one of them could have read God 101 and still come up with what they did because they “talk to God directly” by their own beliefs.  In order to know what God is not you must know something about what God is.  God can not be known so what you claim God is not can not be known since no one knows anything about what God is.

    I know there are some “inconsistancies, lies, absurd statements, boastfull proclamations, assinine philosophies, etc etc etc” in the Bible, but I have no conviction to ever completely understand God to begin with.  Kierkegaard supposedly chose to become Christian because it was the most absurd of the religions he looked at.  I think he was on to something(although I do not recommend becoming a Christian just because of the absurdity).

    I still have every intention to go to seminary after college and become a pastor of sorts.  My talking to God directly still has me believing that the Christian God is the true God.  I don’t need to figure everything out in the Bible to believe in that God because I don’t expect that it will ever happen.  I may not be able to explain all the inconsistencies, but I don’t feel a need to either because my talking to God makes all of them clear in ways that are not expressible in words.

    These are my personal beliefs.  You can not tell me I am wrong because there is nothing empirical for either of us to base such statements on.  I will continue to believe in the Christian God and you may continue to believe that God is not a bunch of different things and others may believe he doesn’t exist at all.  No matter what way you look at it we are all still believing and no one is understanding anymore than anyone else.

  35. Theo, be a Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Venusian if you wish. I just get really pissed when someone says they know what’s better for me than I do!
    I guess that’s the bottom line of the point I’m trying to make!
    Allan angry

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