Profile for Synergy


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Dear Moms in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #6
You're the queen of her universe. I trust that you are a benevolent monarch.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 5: 'Spiderweb Resistance'. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #211
Patience, ye bloodthirsty rodent.

-S-

IMAGE(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/synergy67/Spiderweb%20Various/2008.jpg)

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Geneforge 5 - May Update in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #43
quote:
*i said "Fryoas"
Are these hot or cold?

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
A present in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #6
To My Favorite Martian:

1) If I were Jeffy, I would be pleased with your fantas-tic token of appreciation. Nice work. Very colorful. I can't say how much Jeff will like it. He may at least offer it to his tarantula to decorate the terarium, if nothing better.

2) We are not likely to all agree whether or not it is a good idea to send it, but if you think so, and it is from your heart, you cannot go wrong. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Including Jeff. ;)

Spiderweb Software
PO Box 85659
Seattle, WA 98145-1659
USA

3) No, I have not offered any physical tokens of my affection to Jeff, but I did write a Christmas poem in honor of Avernum 4 which I emailed to him, and which at least caused him a minimal amount of amusement. I also do not hesitate to voice my pride in having Spiderweb Software hosted in my own home city here. Microshaft - Bleah. Boeing - Meh. Starbucks - Shudder. Amazon - sure. Spiderweb - Yeah, baby!

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
The Hobbit in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #74
This causes me to inquire, is there anyone else who felt that the LoTR movies lacked too much of the charm conveyed in the books? I thought the films decently depicted the visual grandeur of Tolkien's world and the intensity of the drama. I felt they missed the richness and warmth of many of the relationships, especially when going so far as to skew the loyalty of Sam to Frodo for dramatic effect, when Sam abandoned Frodo near Cirith Ungol. I thought this undermined the all too rare story of undying love and faithfulness which Tolkien wrote into that relationship. Modern Hollywood chose to sully it with a wholly contrived, emotionally manipulative threat to the friendship, and this was the equivalent to me of sappy music trying to wrest unearned feelings out of me. It felt like a cowardly change to introduce. I would have stayed true to Tolkien and depicted a belief in a friendship that nothing could assail. Hollywood may mostly be too cynical to stomach such a depiction in purity and sincerity.

I look forward to seeing how the Hobbit(s) fare in the hands of director Guillermo del Toro. I saw Pan's Labyrinth recently and was impressed with the intelligence and care that clearly went into his direction. It is a lovely fantasy film, though tinged with the darkness and edginess indulged by the man who brought us Hellboy and Blade. I think del Toro is less cloying in his delivery and more demonstrative of his trust in the intelligence of his audience.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
The Hobbit in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #71
I get Clavicle's point and concur that, in general, at least the typical American movie has a reputation for using cloying techniques like music that instructs you how you are supposed to feel about the scene you are witnessing. I usually feel insulted watching such less than truly artful films, because they appear to assume the viewer is stupid and would not know how to feel about the scene without the emotional cue. Or the ones which use dense, swelling music to convey a sense of drama or tragedy, because the script, acting, and direction are incapable of conveying the feeling without it. Fortunately, it's not too hard to sniff out the typical lame movie ahead of time after you've seen a few dozens of these.

That said, I love well-implemented music that creates a more potent and poignant immersive experience. I guess that Star Wars wouldn't be half the movie it became, without the score by John Williams, for one obvious example.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Macintosh Architecture Poll in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #13
I run a G4 here with both OS 9 & 10.4. I've had it for 4 or so years now, and I intend to run it another 3-4. It's ridiculous to spend thousands of dollars on a new computer every 2-3 years. Who came up with that system, and who buys into it? I had my previous Mac, a Power Computing clone, for a good 8 years.

I have no need or intention of upgrading to 10.5. One day when I finally replace my mirror-doored friend here, I suppose I'll finally get to play Civilization IV. So far, that's my only real lament. I'm a nostalgic sort. I like to go back and revisit old stuff from previous OS's. Heck, I even have emulation software to run my old Apple ][ stuff, if I ever really feel like it.

Meanwhile, G5 is getting close. I can feel it. I can taste it in the water, like blood drawing a shark from afar. Mmmmm.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
what should I focus on more, magic or melee in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #8
I suppose mine would have to be classified as more of an In-vasion Infiltrator. The Evasion variant sounds fun and potent too.

-S-

IMAGE(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/synergy67/Spiderweb%20Various/2001clock.jpg)

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 5: 'Spiderweb Resistance'. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #112
I do not post when I leave.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Locking in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #115
Ephesos: You can't speak for what "we" at Spiderweb want to talk about and how "we" at Spiderweb might choose to discuss it. There are exceptions that derail your all-inclusive "we." They tend to be less vocal than the ones who might wish to conduct things the way you say "we" do. I am a part of "we" and we are not in agreement that we all want to do things the same way. But might makes right in your world, is that the point? Because the noisiest people here mostly prefer a certain line of discourse, it's the one right way to hold discussion? How elitist of you. And, um, yes, this is an online forum, and all that can happen here is talk. A most brilliant observation on your part.

Kel: I respect your reasons. Thank you for sharing them.

Thuryl: Use your imagination. It's a wonderful thing. I grant you your fondest wish at last. Feel free to take credit, if it serves you. And by all means, keep exerting all your surly best in an effort to drive away those who think and proceed in dialog differently from you. It speaks so enticingly of you and your view of your fellow man.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Locking in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #110
I cited what I did, because I find it interesting, and wanted to share it in this context of this discussion. Everything is not all about trying to prove a thing to Kel. I'm not interesting in proving anything in this context, because it is impossible.

Why is it so hard for us to believe that we behave a certain way as animals and perceive our "nature" a certain way as we enter consciousness, and this lasts only until we become conscious of something higher concerning ourselves? Right now, we continue to make competitiveness our reality, because we believe it is our nature and reality. You contribute to that reality with your own assertion that it is absolutely human nature to kill each other and fight over things, which is just a less nice way to say we compete with each other. The assumption is that human nature and the nature of life is to be fixed by biology in this way. But it is a belief, an assumption that we are biologically determined, rather than biology reflecting what we are being, that because something has happened the same way for a long time, that it must necessarily forever continue to be that way.

We are the first beings on this planet to enter our degree of consciousness. If we think we see all animals operating by competitiveness, could it also be that that is only because it requires a certain degree of consciousness to come to an awareness that it is not our true nature or ultimate destiny as living beings? And that it takes an awareness, a determination, and a decision about ourselves to do something differently? The picture of life through the microscope shows tremendous collaboration in order for higher life to exist. We finally have a peek into the true nature and law of life. But many choose to cling to the notion that we thrive best on competition. Thuryl doesn't see life thriving. How's it working for us? For us to improve our human experience and take life up another notch, we have to change our minds about our "nature."

I don't continue to share my thoughts for the close-minded skeptic and those who sport in trying to make others wrong or who want to play the role of safeguarding "truth" for others. I bother with one goal in mind: provoking thought and consideration in anyone ready to engage such. What is your motivation to continually engage me, when it's been made clear long ago that we simply disagree on some very basic paradigms? What do you care what sort of "gobbledygook" I profer? What's your motivation to waste your time on me? Seriously, I'm increasingly curious why you, Alorael, and Thuryl continue to be the primary respondents to the sorts of things I like to put out, when we all simply disagree, and by all measure, it would appear you think I'm just a nut with ridiculous, unfounded ideas. Why would someone like you even need to bother to respond to such a person? Do tell.

-S-

[ Wednesday, January 09, 2008 23:18: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Locking in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #108
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Aren't you missing the valid point though? What does the tremendous popularity of mean-spirited competition in Reality Television tell us about ourselves?
Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure that it is not particular to this society or time. It's fundamental in human nature, and it's not going to change for you or anyone else any time soon.
Is that a fact or an opinion? I hope it’s not your hope. Let’s all watch and see what has yet to unfold, yes? As for change, I know myself to be changing always. How about you? I am not the same man today I was yesterday or last year. I am an especially different person from the one I was twenty years ago. And right now I find myself in a time of dramatic shift, change, and growth. Change is the nature of life itself, which is ever changing, ever-evolving. And that process is in our time speeding up dramatically.

The following are summarized or excerpted from Promise Ahead and Awakening Earth by social scientist Duane Elgin.

It took 2.5 million years for our earliest ancestors to move from the first glimmerings of self-recognition to decisive awakening in the initial stage of “reflective consciousness.” It then took about 30,000 years for physically modern humans to move through the stage of awakening hunter-gatherers, approximately 5,000 more years to move through the stage of agrarian-based civilizations, and only about 300 years for a number of nations to move through the stage of industrial civilization.

You can measure even more radical recent shifts in social construction on the order of decades when you look at the information age supplanting the industrial age in certain nations. Moreover, the ones which follow the forerunners often do so much more quickly than the pioneers. Some nations can skip entire stages, going from the agrarian to information age. We are already moving into something even faster and more powerful than the information age, but I won’t get into what that is here.

More from Duane:

“Three times before in human experience our view of reality has been so thoroughly transformed that it created a revolution in our sense of ourselves, our relationship with others, and our view of the universe.

“The first transformation...occurred when humanity ‘awakened’ roughly 35,000 years ago...The second time...was roughly 10,000 years ago when humanity shifted from a nomadic life to a more settled existence in villages and on farms.”

As part of this second shift, and about 5,000 years ago, we saw the rise of city-states, and the beginnings of civilization as we know it. “The third time that our pereptual paradigm was transformed was roughly 300 years ago, when the stability of agrarian society gave way to the radical dynamism and materialism of the scientific-industrial era.

“Each time that humanity’s prevailing paradigm has changed, all aspects of life have changed with it, including the work that people do, the way they live together, how they relate to one another, and how they see their role in society and place in the universe.”

...

We are living in a time of radical change and unprecedented shifts and possibilities. We can choose to believe that there is one way we have been and will continue to be. We can also choose to believe, and help create a world that experiences otherwise. I am a big believer in change and the human capacity for change. The nature of life itself is perpetual change. Adaptability, sustainability, survival. So saturated are we with the belief in and practice of and observation of competitiveness, that it sounds automatically wrong or impossible to imagine a world operating otherwise, even while we fail to recognize how much rests upon cooperation in life, rather than competition.

All truth begins as heresy. This paradigm shift is not an exception, but I am confident many here will live to see it well underway. Things happen very quickly in our world today.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
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Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #105
My point in refering to the man Jesus, who did something so dramatic and notable as to cause us 2,000 years later to discuss him, is that even if someone comes into our midst to show us who and what we really are, and breaks the seeming laws of our universe in demonstrating it, if we are not ready to consider another paradigm, even this will not be proof enough. In fact, there is no proof to anyone of God or the spiritual or the supernatural until one has one's own experience, and is receptive to it. Anything less one can and will explain away, no matter how dramatic or impossible.

I will share what I experienced in referring to spontaneous generation, and I do not expect anyone to believe anything based on the account of someone typing in an online forum. Nor would I expect you to believe it if you even saw it happen first hand. Unless you did believe it.

I was 8 or so, and had been seeing a chiropractor for some back-related health issues. He took X-rays, etc. He pointed out that my right leg was a half inch shorter than my left, a very common birth "defect" which occurs in some degree in about one in four persons, as I recall. My family was very Christian at the time, but open to exploring a variety of experiences and beliefs within that umbrella. A fairly well-known Christian teacher and writer with a healing ministry came through Seattle. My father and I went to hear this guy talk. At the end of whatever he shared, he asked if there were any present who desired healing. My father all but pushed me onto the stage in encouraging me to go up for my short leg, which was contributing to my back problems.

Until this point in my life, my Christian experience had been of a mostly conservative variety. I had never seen anything remotely "miraculous" in my life and scarcely knew what to think about it all. This was all new and weird to me. I had hope that something might actually happen, but I was mostly skeptical and scared that I would be the little boy who didn't have enough "faith" to be healed, and that I was going to make the nice man look bad in front of a couple hundred people.

I was seated in a chair on stage in the gymnasium in which we were gathered. The man heard my Dad describe to him my problem, and he held my legs out in front of me. It was plain to both of us that the bottoms of my two tennis shoes were not lining up. He prayed aloud. I sat and was nervous. Within seconds, I felt an incredibly warm, fiery, pleasant, tingling feeling in my shorter leg up around the thigh area. I watched and felt as the man held my two feet and the right leg visibly grew out until it matched the left. I could feel my leg lengthening while this happened. I could scarcely believe this had happened to me. I really hadn't even believed it would be likely to happen. I held one paradigm of belief why and how this "miraculous" experience could happen at that time, and I view it somewhat differently now. But the fact of it happening has never been of the remotest question for me.

Subsequent visitation and X-Rays by my chiropractor confirmed that my legs now matched. My chiropractor was an atheist or agnostic. He wasn't for long afterward though.

Now, no one here has any need to believe that this account is anything other than a complete contrivance or the collaborative imagination/deception/and delusion of everyone from myself to my Dad, to my chiropractor, and the man on the stage. It proves nothing. It's hearsay. You can decide for yourself whether I am the sort of man to fabricate and promote a lie. You can decide whether it is possible that this experience, medically undeniable to those in its immediate sphere of influence and observation, can be explained as having not actually occurred. Do whatever fits into your paradigm with all such claims. But I share it with you freely, simply because you asked, and I have nothing to hide or prove by it either way.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
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Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #102
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Your conception of the state of the world is based on reality TV? Priceless, man. Priceless.
Yeah, that's exactly what I mean to convey by using the statement about reality TV—merely the most recent phenomenon indicating what we value. Yes, Kel, you have found out my terrible secret. I fashion my view of the world and all of history based upon Reality Television. Aren't you missing the valid point though? What does the tremendous popularity of mean-spirited competition in Reality Television tell us about ourselves?

it would also be gratifying to me — again, I don't know why — if you stopped making wild generalizations about others' happiness. It's condescending (and worse, illogical).

If you refer to the fact that I describe Thuryl's disposition as disaffectionate, that is simply an observation. If you refer to my use of the word joyless, I am again commenting on my observation with a resulting opinion what that suggests about a person's state of being. A person's state of being kept to oneself as a concept about oneself and never actually demonstrated in relationship is quite useless, and is functionality non-existent.

Please also realize that my function in the world is not to gratify any one person in particular. You're right, though. I can't say whether or not a person is "happy." I can only describe my resulting experience of them and describe them in those terms.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
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Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #100
Explain to me which law of physics currently held by science permits the spontaneous generation of matter within a body?

...

I invite you to look at the state of the world which is enthralled at present with dog eat dog competitiveness, and tell me how it's working for us.
Your description of the state of the world does not match the actual world.

Apparently, you haven't been paying attention to "Reality" TV.

-S-

[ Wednesday, January 09, 2008 19:48: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
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Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #97
quote:
Originally written by Alorael:

Life is thriving, yes, but it thrives despite organisms being in constant competition.
FYT.

Any organism that exists, exists because it is operating on a principle of incredible overall internal collaboration and unity. When we choose to apply this principle more fully at an even higher scale of life, "externally," we will see life that thrives exponentially more than it manages to under a competitive scheme. In reality, there is no "external" because the scale extends perpetually. We are all one life.

In this relativistic universe, there are many levels and layers of "truth." Science describes many "truths" at one level, and these are many and wondrous indeed. There are also higher truths which can effectively render them no longer determinant. Jesus broke the "laws" of physics habitually. He was operating by a higher law than what science frequently submits to. I have witnessed the laws of physics being undeniably broken in my own body. So, sorry, if I am unable to comply with the scientific model of defining all possible reality. It is an incomplete picture.

One man's "gobbledygook" is another's sacred truth. There would be less killing in this world, figuratively and literally, if there were more honoring of our differences, and trusting in our ability to find our truth, rather than the need to exert one's rightness, and the certainty of an absolute truth for all. I will continue to endeavor to do so.

-S-

Kel - do you really think that belief that life operates by a principle of competition, rather than collaboration, does not ultimately affect all our social behavior? Social Darwinism is a product of beliefs in aspects of biological Darwinism...along with other things. There is a reason it is named after him. We are what we believe. We do everything we do based upon our belief about life. It's okay if we totally disagree on this. I invite you to look at the state of the world which is enthralled at present with dog eat dog competitiveness, and tell me how it's working for us.

[ Wednesday, January 09, 2008 19:32: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Profile #93
Thus Spake Thuryl:

True enough, life doesn't "thrive" on competition: quite the opposite. In most places and at most times, life doesn't "thrive" at all. In fact, it barely gets by. .

A rather joyless experience you must be having on this planet. That’s a pretty miserable view of what life on earth has been doing for unfathomable epochs of time. Life might disagree with you, that it is not thriving. I look at this world and see an incredible thriving of an incredible diversity of incredible life. Life is amazingly successful and perpetuating. What are you looking at? More importantly, with what eyes are you looking?

no matter how disadvantageous it is to the organism as a whole, if a cell arises with the right set of mutations to allow it to reproduce unchecked, it will do so.

You might be surprised what permits or disallows the possibility of cancer to take root in your body, or whether or not it is true that cancer is an inevitable occurrence in a human being if it only lived long enough.

You can't wish cancer out of existence by pretending you live in a world of happy fuzzy hopping bunnies that spend all day hugging each other. The only thing that prevents cancer from overwhelming everybody all the time is the immune system.

Your immune system is tied to your wishing/not wishing. Body and mind are united, not untied. You might be amazed what you can do with your immune system or with cancer with your state of mind. Of course, if you don’t believe it, you have gutted the possibility of experiencing it.

We are all pretending to live in a world of our imagination here, even when you imagine otherwise. You live in yours, and you see life that does not thrive, and is based upon a principle of competition. If the result is the disaffectionate disposition you dispense, you’re not likely to be selling your product to me. I see humanity’s embracing of the lie that Life operates on the principle of competition as a means of justifying our killing and competing with one another, a view that evolved out of our earlier belief systems about God/the gods, who we painted in a similar light, made in our own image, as it were. It’s a great excuse to justify all our worst behaviors.

I don’t care what anyone asserts—we are going to have to adopt a new paradigm of Life if we want to survive this century. You’ll forgive me if I fail to settle for the status quo that threatens our existence on this planet. If you find my cause for inherent optimism in the principle of life to be something to mock, that says more about you than me. However, that said, it also made me laugh. I’ll take happy fuzzy hopping bunnies over the maddening enslaving fuzzy turtles we have created in our own image here.

The cells of the immune system, of course, also compete among themselves in a Darwinian struggle that's just as brutal as any cancer: white blood cells that can recognise antigens present in the environment survive and proliferate to millions of times their original number, while those that can't recognise antigens die out, leaving no descendants

The letting go of that which is not successful in the body is not the same thing as the body competing with itself. Or are you saying our antigens kill other antigens as humans do humans? You are describing what life/evolution does: favor the successful and abandon the unsuccessful. The successful involves harmonious cooperation with the needs of the whole organism. This supports, rather than contrasts my point that cooperation, not competition, is The Principle of all life.

quote:
Originally written by dpd282:

do you believe that every living thing has a soul and if not, then at what point do you say a being achieves a soul?
This is a great question, and I do not have an answer, but I have asked it too. I have a pretty clear picture of what a soul is and does in the human context, but I am not sure how and when it ties into life as a whole. My present inclination is to think that soul is inherently tied to life itself, as Life is a synonym for God, and there is nothing that is not a part of Life/God. Perhaps, when life becomes sufficiently conscious and aware, it becomes aware of its “soul.” Or perhaps “soul” is simply the natural capacity and experience that results from self-awareness as a part of Life. My sense is that all life contains the same thing that we come to experience as our soul. The confusion probably comes in by not really knowing clearly enough just what our soul really represents to us.

What do you think?

...

Stillness said:

Now, my objection to common descent is that it’s logically flawed and lacking in it’s ability to explain anything real. It’s an interesting idea, but the evidence says something different. At the heart of it is what I believe to be an a priori rejection of anything outside a naturalistic explanation. That’s my problem with embracing it.


I, and many who may have embraced evolution as our reality, also see God/Intelligence in the existence and principle of all life and its natural processes. I am far from clear on why you find contrary to evidence the process of evolution of life (including common descent) and lacking in ability to describe anything real? How is that? What do you think the evidence is saying, if most of scientific assertion on this matter is mistaken?

If you want to believe that I choose religion over reason and evidence, I tell you like I told Salmon, go with that if it makes it easy. If you want the truth, look at my logic and challenge it. Just don’t do it on these boards because it’s not permitted. (Yes, I’m still bitter about the censorship).

I don’t want or need to believe anything in particular about you. Nor am I concerned about your belief or logic. I am being curious about it, to understand it better, and to see whether other paradigms might possibly fit within what you are seeking to establish as your conviction. As for the censorship, you don’t see anyone censoring this thread now, do you? Someone refresh me on what is specifically supposed to not be permitted here, because I’ve only seen the occasional random complaint/thread-locking by Jeff, seemingly on whim more than any concise policy on what can or can’t be discussed here that is not violating the CoC.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
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Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #68
I say this often, that for me, why people believe and perceive as they do is far more interesting and informative about a person than simply what they believe.

There are people who believe and accept that evolution is the likely reality of life, and those who do not. It is interesting to me to observe why one makes this choice. As anyone will readily admit, most of the heat is centered in religious belief that finds the evolution paradigm unacceptable, a non-sequitor in their view of the universe God created. I was once, when younger, one of this camp. There was nothing that could at that time possibly assail my conviction that God dropped things on the planet at some point, and that human beings were created specially and differently from any other lifeform. To think otherwise was, well, unthinkable.

What changed was not the information on hand or the persuasiveness of scientific argument. What changed eventually was my consideration of possible paradigms of a universe which is both created by God and spiritual in nature, yet operates by the process science describes as evolution.

The spiritually concerned person is aware of and convinced of the specialness and spiritualness of being human. And some see the spiritualness and specialness of all creation, not just ourselves. Some see the implication of humans evolving from other animals as somehow stealing our spiritual specialness from us. Many need God to specially create us separate in order to feel special enough. Not unironically, this belief system also gives us a mandate to dominate everything else with impunity. No one who has tasted the spiritual can believe in that which would seem to deny it. I think the only real error has been in assumptions about the necessary nature of Life as God made it.

And then there are those who are not convinced of or concerned about the possible Source or purpose of the existence of anything, and of the remarkable property of Life itself, which is to persist, to adapt, to collaborate, to pull together, to increase in complexity, as evolution and biology describe. I believe this is what Stillness means by "intellect" or intelligence seen in life. I too see tremendous intelligence at all levels of life. Life in and of itself I can only describe as the most mystical, magical, marvelous thing. And yet we can look at it as the most natural thing. The two are simultaneously true and inseparable. Life is God physically manifest, as far as I am concerned. What could be a more marvelous way to see the expression of God than in seeing the pattern of life, its development, its "intelligence", and its principles?

Science does not attempt to determine whether or not there might be a God behind the energy that binds all the universe together, caused it to manifest in a Big Bang, and put the process of Life into operation in the universe. And most religion has so far done so very poorly, if you ask me. Just look at the shape of the world's governments, laws, and societies, all of which have evolved out of our collective spiritual beliefs, if you imagine otherwise. It has been suggested that Einstein came very close to unraveling the link between what we call the spiritual and the natural. But that's a slightly different topic.

My body is a community of around 100 trillion cells that are each an individual life form with all the same essential systems that my body as a whole has. I am not one, but a community that has learned to live together in remarkable harmony and cooperation to make the organism I call me operate as one thing. In fact, it has learned to do this so well, I have a whole bunch of cells which have been able to specialize in brain function alone. I have so many of these, that I have gained what we know as consciousness. I am now aware, and I am aware that I am aware. My brain is essentially three brains: an old reptilian brain at the core, with a mammal brain on top of it, with the most recent addition of the neo cortex (if I recall it rightly), which gives us as humans our remarkable consciousness. A high enough degree of consciousness means life becomes aware of itself, and this is only possible when a high enough degree of community and specialization has occurred within a living organism. Because Life and God are the same thing, it also means that that life becomes conscious of its spirituality and of God around the same time. I haven't seen dogs or dolphins constructing shrines at which to worship yet. There is something pretty special about us humans, for sure.

As I see it, the only real contention for the spiritually-inclined, is whether or not God would create Life to do what we call evolve as the marvelous way for the purpose of life and creation to unfurl. I used to recoil at the thought that I might have evolved from an ape, from an animal, as if this would have to mean I am less than I feel and know myself to be. It doesn't have to be, nor does it negate the existence of a Soul. Evolution can become the most amazing quality of life itself - how it demonstrates that the path to higher capacity, function, awareness, and experience, is through community. When cells get together and increasingly specialize, working together, amazing life forms result. It is what we see life doing on our planet. I see the most amazing God in now permitting myself eyes to see life evolve as it has and does. I no longer mind that in all likelihood, this process has involved billions of years and God patiently "waiting" for the wondrous colony of 100 trillion cells to come together for us to step into our spiritual phase of evolution alongside our natural one.

God is so vast, that our relatively recently self-conscious brains are still having a hard time grappling with the vastness. But the vastness of the physical universe and worlds within should point us in the right direction. There is much much more to everything than we can easily know. Our only real danger is in limiting the realm of possibility. Which is precisely what religion and dogma do to whatever they seek to touch upon. In this way, both religion and science can be equally "religious" - sticking to a too small or yet ignorant paradigm. God's bigger than your religion or your science. Way way bigger. Life and the universe are equally vast and complex, yet brilliantly simple all at once. In fact, the ultimate boggler may be that scale extends perpetually in both directions. There will always be another level of reality and existence to explore.

Many people, religious or otherwise, have taken issue with some of Darwin's tenets, and I think rightly so. I take issue with what I believe is an outright lie that has plagued us, espoused especially by Darwin: that life thrives on competition, survival of the fittest. Our own bodies show how false that is in principle. If your cells within were in competition with each other, how well would you function? In fact, when that happens, we call it cancer. We humans are busy acting as cancer on the planet at this point in our evolution. Which is why it will be our death knell if we don't pull through and get healthier.

There are many examples of collaboration and community in both the animal and human worlds, and on various levels of scale, which should show us that collaboration and cooperation are what lead to true complexity and thriving. I disagree with the conflictual/competitive view of Life and being. It justifies (at least subconsciously) the killing of one another, wars, and every selfish behavior. It continues to nourish the notion that we are not also one organism together on this planet.

The corporate environment, for one, continues so sadly to depict the ugliness of this notion about ourselves and life we have adopted. It is this aspect that got lumped in with evolution that I think many find revolting. It's disappointing to me how many still embrace it. It is only through learning to collaborate and become united that this species we call human is going to (A) survive in the longer run and (B) take another step up in consciousness.

Social Darwinism is odious, and served largely to justify and promote class systems and exploitation of the masses in its day. It's a dinosaur that needs to die if we are to survive this century, so I believe.

Evolution and God are not adversaries. They are one and the same. The brilliant process of Life personified which demonstrates the intelligence behind it, yes, but also the point that only through collaboration and harmony does anything interesting and complex result on the planet. God is all about the Oneness of all creation. We are still learning this principle. Many religious are resisting one of the most potentially beautiful demonstrations of that principle, seeing it as the greatest enemy to their faith in God, rather than the greatest demonstration of the most wondrous nature of God.

The argument can even be made that all things are Life, even that which we so far classify as inanimate. When we look down far enough into the microcope, all things are in constant motion, a buzz of perpetual energy. All that energy and all that binds it all together to do what it does is also what I know as God. The God who designed a process of Life we now call evolution.

To me, it's not a question. We can all get along. In fact, we are going to have to if we wish to survive as a species. I think many of us here are going to live through one of the most critical centuries of all human history, and of human evolution. This is going to be quite a ride. Hold on tight, all the better to someone you love.

The enmity between God and evolution seems like an old dinosaur to me now. I still would ask anyone who believes in God and believes that evolution could not be the very mechanism of Life God created...why not? Have you even entertained the possibility? Because the evidence is rather dramatic, as is the absence of evidence of any other explanation.

There is great joy in making friends with former enemies.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Locking in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #56
Without an intellect? Are you saying intellect is a quality imbued by something other than life itself? Why might it not be the case that the magic of life is that the more collaboration of life with life, that the more consciousness/awareness/"intellect" becomes possible? Inherently. As a result.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Locking in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #53
Let's say though that the reality of the universe is that life does evolve and conglomerate to higher levels of cooperation and awareness - that this is precisely what the mysterious thing we call "life" does.

Let's say that human beings did, on the physical level, emerge from previous lifeforms beginning with simple cells. What would that necessarily imply, Stillness? The only reason I once was adamantly opposed to the possibility of evolution was that it violated my religious view of how things had to happen, and what I thought it had to mean if they happened a certain way. I guess I am asking, why can't it happen a whole different way from what we think is "acceptable" or meaningful, or personally gratifying, and still be, if anything, even more wondrous and fantastic? The evidence all points to life doing what we call "evolution." The evidence does not suggest any other process.

What does it mean to you, to life, to the universe, to God, to whatever is important to you, if full blown evolution is our reality? Or conversely, why can it not be so?

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #136
Mmmmmmm....T-Rex T-bones.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #128
See me as you choose. Get used to the new paradigm I have minimally described, because it ain't going away. I am far from the only person who is understanding our reality this way. If you mean dangerous to the state of the world as we know it, yes, you are correct. When a critical mass is reached, the world as we know it cannot continue to exist, when people take accountability for what we are all creating, see that we are all one within it, and that what we do to any other, we do to ourselves. I didn't click on your link. I'm not interested in any spurious equating of my experience or mindset with that of any other, flattering or insulting.

What I have described is also hardly new. Power of Positive Belief, The Secret, Dwane Dyer, and many others have been promoting aspects of these viewpoints for quite some time.

-S-

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