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Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #38
Imagination includes the realm of that which is unseen and unverifiable. Those whose god is science can only conceive of that which they think they can prove in the material, rather than that which they can know by experience, by feeling, and by being. It is disconnect from the body, heart, and soul, and being stuck in the head. It's what the western world has given men to do for their gender role, and we've learned it quite well-be stuck in the head and cut off from other more vital parts of being human. It's also incredibly dead on a human level. I love science. It also makes me shudder to see what undue focus upon it to the exclusion of other elements of life does to the human soul...and to this world.

How's it working for us? Not so well. Science, technology, and technocracy does not have the answers for the challenges we have been failing to overcome for millennia now...ourselves, our attitudes, our separtism, our killing of one another. We're just able to do all these things much more efficiently now. The god of science, like the god of religion, is going to be shown how bankrupt and inept, and incomplete it really is in context of what we are actually trying to be.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #36
I'm not trying to have a scientific discussion here, nor am I seeking to prove anything. I am not a scientist. My realm is ideas, the human soul, the human experience. Just try quantifying that in data. Scientist sorts can become very tedious to imaginative people, because they may demonstrate a complete lack of imagination. What I am noting here is statements of proof of a negative by someone claiming scientific rigor. That I call just as religious belief as religious belief itself. It's an investment in not believing in something or even its possibility, rather than humbly admitting it is possible and just something they have not encountered or been convinced of personally.

It's so tiresome how so many here think every discussion here is supposed to be about proving things to one another on some scientific level, as if an online forum can even begin to do that anyway. This is all just role play and exercise for people to play the role they have assumed in life. I exercise what I see myself as being, and the preponderance of sciency sorts do what they do here. You can say you have no interest in dialoging on my level, which is about ideas, beliefs, the subjective, the soul, but asking me to prove you to anything is an impossible request. In fact nothing about anything is proven in these fora.

Anyone curious about the concepts I have been referring to here about the creative power of your belief, can reference the writings of Neale Donald Walsch. His writings aren't obscure. His books were on the NY Times best sellers list for almost a year at a shot. That doesn't imply anything in itself, but my point is that these ideas have intrigued millions of people in the last decade. They have hit a chord of resonance or familiarity with a lot of people, yet it is very trippy sci-fi like material about the nature of God, us, the universe. In fact, it has quite blown my mind in a way I never expected to happen in my life again.

I've got nothing to prove and no agenda. I just love putting out ideas that I find congruent with the human experience and are meaningful, practical, hopeful, inspiring, intriguing, whatever.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #34
Alec said: "But my opposite number in this discussion is trafficking in the banal and the impossible"

Hmm, to claim that a thing is impossible is to claim to have proven a negative, is it not? Are you confident you can make the claim that you have proof that it is impossible that there is a spiritual dimension to being human? Because you're talking again like everything you believe must be fact...by what virtue, I wonder? Because you believe it, and therefore it must be correct? Please demonstrate how you have proof of a negative.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #444
1) Everyone is religious. They just might not be religious about religion.

2) Everything is about money. The government is not concerned about marriage for moral reasons or the "good" of society. It's all about property.

Yes, intentionally hyperbolic, but not far from the truth.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Happy Birthday, Drakey! in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #15
Salmon will be pleased to hear of it.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #30
It's true, I've been bandying about what has me most intrigued and impressed of late in my life and learning, and it is basically, spiritual/metaphysical. I also am quite convinced it is very much our reality, and am devoting myself to demonstrating that with the rest of my life. It informs and has altered in some ways how I choose to focus my practice, but it is not the content of my practice. I had already come to the conclusion that belief is the most powerful agency the human being has, before I recently delved deeply into material which got me very excited about how and why that really is so from a spiritual basis. It has actually helped provide a missing piece of what I have been seeking to have more of a basis and simple pleasure around doing what I do how I do it. Previous years had seen more of my belief system wholly dissolved than built. It has been nice to rebuild something that truly thrills me and I fully expect to prove to be practical and applicable, moreso than any other conceptualization or theology I onetime embraced or entertained.

I enjoy being bizarre. It's a pretty bizarre universe, I do believe. In a wonderful, non-threatening way.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
An ode to Jeff Vogel in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #8
Yep, that was pretty Iffy, all right.

Well, let's see. The actual title of the poem, rather than the thread, is "The Night Before Christmas in Exile." The title of the thread is "The Avernite before Christmas." The content is all centered around Avernum 4, which was criticized for recycling the Geneforge boat graphics, thus the GF reference. It all made a little more sense back when it was fresh.

Nonetheless, I contend that technically both Exile and Avernum are clearly referenced. I have no argument to assuage the Nethergateless quality of the prose I offered. All apologies to Tyranicus, who knows darn well I am plenty fond of Nethergate despite the glaring omission. However, I have to state that the greatest and most evil game of all time in my experience, is the more-addictive-than-crack Civilization III.

* Neither ducks nor runs, but deletes Civ III from his hard drive for the umpteenth time, so he can get something done today. *

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Happy Birthday, Drakey! in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #13
That reminds me just how much I really do miss the prematurely terminated Calvin and Hobbes. I remember when that comic began and when it ended. In between, my roommate at college moved to the same street as Bill Waterson, who authored the wry antics of the precocious duo. I was envious, and I couldn't believe it when he said he didn't even go meet him.

Happy birthday to Drakey, who is even more inscrutable than Alorael, who is more inscrutable than Salmon, who is plenty inscrutable enough for me to have begun using the word inscrutable with some regularity in the first place. Let's see, this makes Drakey a Capricorn, so instead of a seven year old boy, perhaps he is an old goat. I can immediately think of worse jokes to make at this point, but will stop with that.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #23
Alec, if you believe that you are the sum of your physiology and biochemistry as the cause of you and your experience, then surely that will be your experience. As you believe, so shall it be done unto you. I happen to believe, and increasingly experience, a different level of cause and effect in the universe and in the body. You are describing and dissecting what I see as the end result, not the first cause. I don't see myself as the recipient or victim of what my body chemistry or my genes dictate. I see myself as the creator and cause of what ultimately manifests in my physicality. I have no need for you to believe or remotely consider the possibility of this level of reality in the universe. Enjoy your truth and what you create for yourself out of it. Because that is precisely what I believe each of us is doing all the time.

I honor your focus on the remarkable biochemistry of the body and the amazing things we have learned about it and how to alter it. I view it more as the effect, not the cause now. I am pursuing getting at the cause of what ultimately manifests in our material being. I don't care about what is "right" or "wrong." I care only about what works. I also appreciate hearing more about your family experience. I know you a bit better for it, which I always enjoy with anyone.

I have nearly zero interest in discussing drugs or biochemistry, and it is entirely not my area of expertise, and as I stated, but it is of course fine for you dig into it all you like, as I do with what excites me. My bottom line: I see that we are what we believe. We create and continually recreate ourselves and our experience out of our thought, word, and deed. It is one whole level of belief that life and our bodies and our experiences are things that happen to us, that others do to us, that God does to us. It is another level of experience to see and know yourself as the creator of your own experience, and equally able to create a new one. But, related to what is seen in the placebo effect, you have to truly believe this to begin to have any conscious mastery of it.

It's quite irrelevant what anyone else thinks of this or what I think of this. I am every day losing my feeling that anyone else needs to get what has become my truth, or that anyone is any absolute peril about being "right" or "wrong" about anything in the universe. But this all gets into my plain conviction that everything is first and foremost spiritual in us. I don't recall you ever mentioning whether you believe even remotely in a spiritual aspect to life, but I haven't been able to detect it from your deep commitment to the material realm and its apparent cause and effect.

We have different belief systems on ultimate cause and effect in life, it would appear. Do you have a problem with that? Do you need me to believe a certain way for me to be okay? Am I a threat in your universe if you believe I am "wrong" — because you are not in mine. I don't believe in actual peril in the universe. There is nothing absolute at risk. We have experiences we have on one level created. Even pain and suffering is not absolute reality. Suffering is caused by how we choose to interpret an experience. There are those we have witnessed who have even transcended tremendous physical pain for having understood and mastered this principle.

Please don't misunderstand me in the context of these statements. In the illusion, the game, the matrix we have lost ourselves within to have an experience here, peril, fear and suffering seem fantastically real. Love does what is sensed to be appropriate in the situation and context on hand. I feel great compassion for the suffering we are experiencing. I see ways in which we can have a different experience, and remember who we are and what we are doing and what we are capable of. That is what I am doing with my life. It's okay if you see no worth or validity in what I am doing or being. Of course, you don't even have any experience of hearing my voice, seeing my eye, being in my presence, or knowing what it is that I actually do with myself, so I don't know by what basis you would seek to render a verdict on my value on this planet. And I will never presume to render one upon you. Truth is, we are all magnificent and sublime beyond our recognition, and there is no any one of us who is better than any other.

I love being here. I love the drama we have created. I love the amazing illusion of the physical universe, including the biochemistry we see playing out in our bodies as a result of what we are creating for ourselves...not only individually, usually not consciously, and much of it collectively. On that level, if we want a different experience, including the ones involving what we call disease, we need to start collectively shifting the reality we are creating for ourselves. No one is doing it to us. We are all doing it to ourselves. Until we take responsibility for our creation, we will scarcely truly entertain or believe in what it will take to create something different.

Regarding borderline PD...yes, all I know and have experienced of it is that it is incredibly pervasive and difficult to even want to be around to "help." A marvelous challenge indeed. I have a certain particular fascination with this syndrome. I may yet or later in life take on that challenge in particular again. I dream dreams. I believe in being able to do what is undoable. I think we're making this all up, and we can make up something new the moment we truly start doing it.

Belief is key. It is everything. You are what you believe you are. Belief is more than a cognitive conviction about supposed "facts." It is a deep alignment of your thinking, and your feeling. Your subconscious can have contrary programming to what you consciously believe about yourself. One needs to begin aligning all levels of your being to tap consciously into your (re)creative capacity. But either way, we are doing it every moment, no matter what we believe about it. We can live someone else's programming and agenda for us, or take the reins and start creating our own and ourselves.

Ultimately, I don't even see mental "disease" as something that happens to us. I see it as something we create for our own experience in the game we are choosing to play by being here. I cannot judge the experience of another as "good" or "evil" in any absolute sense. But it is all of infinite value and purpose to us.

Woo woo. You're entirely right. The vision and experience I am beginning to truly have of life and being makes me suck in my breath and say, "Wow!" "Woo!" and "Whoa!" quite a lot. Shouldn't life be such an enticing adventure? Enjoy the drama. It's your own creation, but you are in no absolute peril. Remember that now, if you can, or remember it later. Your soul came here already knowing it all. Every experience is ultimately honorable. Every person is entirely worthy. Every belief has its place and use.

Woo hoo. You're awesome. I'm enjoying you now, Alec. How about that? For all my silly self-indulgence, using this unlikely forum of a humble fantasy role play gaming community to exercise and hone my thoughts and beliefs and wonderings...and most importantly, my choice how to be in the world, well, it's really still rewarding, though often in a way different from what I might think I want out of it in the moment.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Dikiyoba Seeks to Flaunt the Meaningless Approbation of Dikiyoba's Fellows in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #32
quote:
Originally written by Dikiyoba:

Originally by Synergy:

quote:
All I know, is that the quote that goes with ET's first picture (from Aladdin) declares, "I'm surrounded by idiots."
But isn't that Scar's line in The Lion King?
Who can say? All Disney villains are identical.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
An ode to Jeff Vogel in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #3
I resurrect for your approval or disdain The Avernite 4 Christmas.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #13
Borderline clients typically spent an entire childhood getting that way. It isn't going to undo itself with a bit of therapy, especially since some of the core borderline issues are about trust, stability, consistency, reliability and boundaries. These are relationship issues which take time, a lot of time, to establish. If a borderline client has never had a positive, lasting experience relationally, it is going to take a different experience over time, quite a bit of it, for real change to be detectable. But it is quite possible. We just aren't a patient society, we pathologize the sick all too often, and we don't have the dedication to what it actually takes to help such people recover from what is typically, a pretty messed up childhood of modeled relational behavior.

One of my psych professors had the privilege early in his career of working with borderline clients for quite a few years continually, which is sadly all too rare in the mental health field. He said it was around year seven out of the eight he worked with them, that he finally saw a real change and improvement in the patients. It took that many years of a reliable relationship with trust and boundaries in their life to finally start shifting significantly in their way of being.

It's not complicated. It just takes time and dedication. Who's going to do it?

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #10
Which layer of reality do you want me to comment upon? We see, analyze, dissect, and document the natural, physical realm of seeming cause and effect. That has become the level of experience that least interests me at this point. i don't see it as primary cause, merely the mechanics of the outplay. In the natural, I don't pretend to know much about the many possible mechanics of how brain disorder occurs. I also don't pretend to know where to draw a line between physical/biological causes of illness and mental/emotional ones...or if it even exists. Everything eventually clocks in on the observable physical plane of detectability. Pegging ultimate first cause is a big chicken and the egg hunt. On the natural level of the universe.

I'm mostly just interested in what helps people have a different experience in the context of whatever it is they are experiecing that they don't want to be experiencing.

The DSM-IV is not unuseful, and I don't call it awful. I just find it rather arbitrary in construct, limiting in perception of a client...and not personally very useful. I think the diagnoses are approximations of clustered syndromes which may or may not be "one thing" in reality. In reality, I see every person's "disease" as unique to them, and having some commonality with others. I am not choosing to work with the chronically mentally ill at this time, but it wouldn't make much difference in my modality either way. Understanding "why"/"where did it come from" in therapy work is not actually very relevant to getting at what can change the experience/make it better. Insight can be its own dead end.

Bipolar Disorder is under some controversy over whether it is truly "one thing" or describing a number of similar syndromes. It's hard to know. Maybe it's not that important. All anyone cares about, is how can I deal with it/get better? And things that I see that help people get better don't require any understanding, per se, of what has caused them their present distress. In fact, what we focus upon, fear, or resist, persists.

I see medications as getting clunkily and inefficiently at brain chemistry, which can be more efficiently altered through wholly other means. It's like using a sledge hammer where a pair of tweezers would more elegantly applied.

To say I am terribly wrong exposes your conceit that you think you can know for absolute certainty that you are right, rather than you merely believe you are right. Medications can be helpful, depending on your goals. I just don't see them as ultimately ideal or satisfactory a solution. Every single client on meds I have worked with complains about numerous undesirable side-effects of their meds. Every one. That's not good enough for my vision of what we are capable of. It also distracts us from our own creative power, and hands it to something outside us, which I see as a red herring, ultimately.

Antibiotics aren't radioactive poison. They just kill all the friendly, helpful flora in your digestive tract, along with the other bacteria they are aimed at. Again, a sledge hammer approach, where finesse might be more keenly applied.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #427
Because we're one nation under God, and it's the only way that God said is right.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #7
The pharmaceutical rep gave the most recent statistics. I think you are saying you disagree with me. What on, may I ask?

I will always be one to argue that everyone's experience in life in anything is unique. I listed information based on the greater collective opinion on the matter. I personally don't believe in the DSM-IV system of diagnosis and categorization of people. Lots of people don't fit into the box and don't appreciate being put into one or given a label. Labels are too often stigmatizing. Labels are words and concepts that have power. I have little interest in them. There is a relatively common experience people have we have come to call "Bipolar.' I think it is really a number of different things.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #424
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

I will always seek to remember to respect another, even when I disagree with their basis for their belief, in this case, belief that the Bible reliably communicates God to humanity. I haven't seen any convincing argument for any natural or moral reason that gays deserve to form a "marriage" any less than any other two people who want to commit to a partnership together.
[b]Out of curiosity, are you aware that this is not what the discussion I've been in is about? Just so you know, the discussion is about the logical and legal arguments for legalization of non hetero-paired marriage...Unless your comments were directed elsewhere. If so, go right ahead.
[/b]

Yeah, well, that's the part of the part of the dialog that I find boring and distracting from the real underlying issues and convictions in play here, which is always what I am more interested in. There are no logical or legal arguments to prevent any two people from forming a union we call marriage. You certainly haven't presented any. Lingering legalities around marriage merely reflect historical/religious relics, prejudices, and hangups, which are today shifting dramatically after centuries of achingly slow progress or stagnation, including a long period we affectionately term The Dark Ages. It is amusing that we imagine there is a difference between the laws of our land and our dominant collective religious beliefs. They are a product of it. There is no actual possible separation of church and state unless the majority of people no longer are churched. Since that may finally be the case, our laws are shifting to reflect a different "morality."

There is so little to actually debate on the technical and legal aspects of marriage. It is so arbitrary, because what freaking difference does it make apart from serving our real god, money? If the government would get out of the marriage business, it wouldn't even be about money, and it would be only an argument for the pulpit and the romantic. It amuses me that so many pages of dialog have been devoted to dissecting the dry bones of the arbitrary qualities of what society has viewed and created as marriage, with so little progress made. But it also bores me, so I am engaging the aspect of it that seems meaningful to me. It's a chance for me to exercise my writing and my own thoughts on the matter. It doesn't matter at all who it's "for." If I'm lucky, someone actually engages the metaqualities of this topic, and not the tiresome nuts and bolts some keep sifting through and arranging over and over.

-S-

P.S. - the last post of Stillness draws attention to a simple point here about the government and the laws from the past it has constructed (government isn't a separate it...it's us and our morés.) Stillness is right in seeing that the government long saw man-woman marriage as proper, appropriate, healthy, normal, desirable, rewardable, because we the people have long held that attitude. 2000 years of Christian heritage saturating the western world doesn't dissolve overnight. What we are seeing is the "moral" clash betwee the dying old breed of churchianity and its morality, and a growing critical mass, if not majority of opinion that our former morality is messed up and in need of adjustment.

Like I keep asking, "How's it worked for us?" We have been asking that question to some degree, because we are finally rejecting a millennia old tradition around sexual and marital morality/legality (same thing). It's a messy period of adjustment and striving to decide what we are going to redefine. The religious are freaking out about it. The freaks are celebrating. The religious see it as a sign of the decline of the world, and a coming apocalypse or some such miserable prediction about how "bad" the world is becoming.

Old religion and law that came out of it is chafing against new belief. We all know how much we tend to cling to the past and familiar territory, and how hard it is to change laws already instituted. It stays the same by default until enough people make enough noise to get it changed. It's finally happening. A sign of the end indeed...merely of a former paradigm of marriage. I remind us that marriage as we now know it in the west, and all its ritual, is essentially a sacred creation and institution of churchianity. It really isn't a legal issue. It's a church issue. It's their territory. They can have it. I don't want their "marriage" and their vows of slavery and servitude and possession. For all the pomp and romance, it is a fear and control based institution in need of serious re-vision.

Our laws are coming to reflect it. Stick around. It will get more interesting, and the world will not go to hell in a handbasket for it.

-s-

[ Thursday, December 20, 2007 11:03: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Bipolar in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #5
That's funny. My experience is that least in the psych world, Bipolar is all the rage for the last several years. One of my very best friends was diagnosed with it (called Manic-Depression back then) back in his twenties. He was given lithium.

Bipolar disorder is believed to affect about four percent of the U.S. population. That's 12 million people. You probably know someone with this disorder. One third of people with Bipolar who seek clinical treatment are initially misdiagnosed as having Major Depressive Disorder. Twenty percent of those who are untreated or undertreated will attempt suicide.

49% are undiagnosed. 31% are misdiagnosed. 20% are correctly diagnosed. Bipolar I is symptomatic about one half of your life. People with Bipolar Disorder are twice as likely to attempt suicide than people with unipolar disorders (depression, etc.) They are much more likely to complete it.

Those are the kind of statistics that I've seen bandied about lately. Bipolar Disorder became a very popular diagnosis in America starting about five years ago. It is very much the disorder du juor.

I conducted a Bipolar group therapy group for one year. What you see is that sometimes they are very up (manic), and you can't hardly shut them up, and more often, they report feeling depressed and apathetic. Depressive periods typically last much longer than the manic periods. People can do very extreme things when manic - go on spending or sexual sprees, gamble, think they are immortal.

The 1993 movie with Richard Gere, "Mr. Jones," depicted a man with Bipolar disorder (then still called Manic-Depressive Disorder.)

People in manic state could be a bit risky to be around, but it depends on co-occuring disorders in particular (psychosis, etc.) Mostly, they are a risk to themselves and their bank account.

Most people will experience someone with Bipolar as depressive, less often as having mood swings, and occasionally or never as manic. Bipolar II does not exhibit manic symptoms at all. One wavers between blah/normal/hypomania and severely depressed when having Bipolar II. Most people I know have Bipolar I. They were perfectly lovely, and often delightful people. Having this disorder requires strategizing your life to keep yourself in check, either in getting depressed and listless, and especially in becoming manic. You need the help and feedback of others to navigate it. Don't do it alone. People loved being in group therapy together, and found it a great source of support and ideas for strategizing.

Often, unless you know someone fairly well, you might never know they are Bipolar...and neither may they.

As in any health issue in life, I see sleep, diet, and exercise as the greatest and simplest things one can do to minimize, control, or perhaps even alleviate conditions like Bipolar. I'm not a fan of meds, but most people with Bipolar, once diagnosed, will go on meds with some success and balancing to be able to function, and most importantly, to keep manic episodes from occuring.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Omaha Mall Shooting in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #418
Safey: It is your assumption that God needs or wants you to be anything in particular. Why do you believe that that is how God would be, and how he would create beings out of Godself? Our first mistake was to foolishly imagine that God n e e d s anything. If God has a need, we are in trouble. Well, we are, but only because we have believed it.

Alec stated; "The sad thing about hating you, Synergy, is that you sometimes come close to the right idea."

Why waste the energy, Alec? Hating does you at least as much damage as it can do to me. I think anyone who is genuine and has a clue, has to admit that anyone can be quite right in some or many ways, and incorrect in others at the same time. The one does not negate the other...or the person. I will always afford this privilege to others and to myself. Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with others. We hash through life seeking to orient ourselves in the midst of illusion, myth, and those who would seek to have you be afraid. You can know you are much closer to the truth when you have stopped being afraid of anything. Or hating. The master knows that all circumstances are perfect and does not hate them or the persons participating in them.

,,,

I do dig it when people get real, and Stillness put it succinctly in his (now second to) last post. which I appreciate. I will always seek to remember to respect another, even when I disagree with their basis for their belief, in this case, belief that the Bible reliably communicates God to humanity. I haven't seen any convincing argument for any natural or moral reason that gays deserve to form a "marriage" any less than any other two people who want to commit to a partnership together. Popular opinion in culture may dictate that "marriage" = such and such only, but that has nothing to do with the morality or healthiness of any excluded arrangement. Well, actually, it has a lot to do with morality, in that morality, too, is a chosen construct of collective agreement, whether you claim it came from the mouth of God or not. As I have pointed out, religious morality and political morality (there really isn't a true separation) on numerous issues, and sexual issues, has morphed rather tellingly over the centuries.

We're making all this up. Everything means what we say it does, and we continually change our meanings. The meaning of marriage is changing, based much more on practical social elements, as Drew is focusing upon with tax law, rather than any other agency I can think of.

It is my personal feeling that I would not wish to be homosexual, for numerous reasons. I do make the observation that in part, it "goes against nature." As a psychologist, I am mostly curious to ask the question, "What happened?" I won't go into any of my ideas on what might contribute to sexual development of this sort, but I imagine we all have them. Whether something is the "most natural" way of being or the "most healthy" or the "most desirable" is not the same thing as whether it is right or wrong. Right and wrong are designations we create in the context of our ideas about who we are and what we are trying to do. The fact that we are inclined to project them onto a God for us does not negate the fact that we are the ones deciding rightness and wrongness for ourselves, both individually, and collectively. Homosexuality, or homosexual marriage is not any more right or wrong than any other kind of marriage we arrive upon.

Might does not make right. Majority opinion does not make right. God does not make right (you are always taking someone's word on this claim, entirely unverifiably, anyway.) We make right and wrong. Let's own up to it and get over ourselves.

There is only one question in every sticky issue we confront in life: How is that working for us? How is our construct of marriage and our rules about sexuality and rightness and wrongness about such things working for us in this world? What experience is it creating for us? Do we reflect the people we see ourselves as being by what we are creating? Are we happy with our marriages, our institutions, our created roles for the genders, our attitudes, how we raise our children in the world, our relationships with one another on every level, our sense of love, joy, and peace in life? Are you truly enjoying your life?

How's it working for you? How does holding adversarial or patronizing attitudes toward populations with other beliefs, preferences and experiences and desires from yours working for you? What kind of world has this illusion of our separateness from one another created? The greatest extent of operating under the illusion of separateness has resulted in nationalism, nations with borders and who war with one another. How is nationalism working for us? How is not seeing ourselves as one working for us?

I conclude it is not working so well, and we are not demonstrating what most of us say we see ourselves as being and desiring: loving, peaceful, getting along, thriving.

You cannot argue with how it's working. If we can get past our obsession with rightness and wrongness of things, and just look at how they work for us when we make our choices, we'd start progressing out of the tiresome morass we have socially, culturally, nationally so far on planet earth. We imagine ourselves advanced, but we are yet so very primitive.

We're making this all up. What are you choosing to make up? You can find and create your own or do what most do, go through life on subconscious auto-pilot, following the rules, beliefs, agendas, and creations of others. How's that working for you?

We have Omaha mall shootings to remind us how it's working for us. Do something different. Think a new thought. Consider a new possibility, for yourself, for your God, for your role in the world. What we've been doing for some millennia now is not working. We need to break the paradigm, not keep haggling over the fine points of the broken one we've been living by.

-S-

[ Thursday, December 20, 2007 09:55: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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We're not a family. There is only One of us. As you do unto another, you have literally done unto yourself. Think of it as a friendly, mindful, individuated Borg collective, collaboratively living out the experience of being God on this holodeck of the universe. The Matrix is closer to our reality than we dared imagine.

-S-

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All I know, is that the quote that goes with ET's first picture (from Aladdin) declares, "I'm surrounded by idiots."

-S-

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The only "mistake" humanity made was deciding that God needs anything from us. A God Who needs Her own creation to be anything He didn't create it naturally to be, is an idiot. When people saw the sometimes malevolent forces of nature, they began to imagine that the gods, and later, the God, was angry with them.

God doesn't need your worship, your "obedience" or for you to be "good." God doesn't need your love. God doesn't need you to be anything in particular. God created you to be whatever you have in mind to be. That is true free will and love always gives the loved one complete liberty. Anything less is tyranny. God doesn't need anything. Judgement of our behavior can only occur if God needs us to be a certain way to be "happy" with us.

Good and evil only exist in an absolute sense if you believe that you can do permanent damage to a soul by anything that happens in this natural realm. Why would God create frailty and futility out of Its own perfection and permanence? If God is all there is, how can God be damaged anyway? You, as a part of God, cannot actually be damaged, because God cannot be damaged. It is only an illusion we have embraced that we are somehow separate from God, and in peril. God only wants to experience being God, so God created myriads of individuated souls out of Itself, of which you are a part, and an artificial illusory environment of duality, this universe, in which Love could be "needed," expressed, and experienced. We come here to play whatever roles we please to be a part of this collective experience of God being God.

The mistake came in when we got caught up in the illusion of the theater stage, and imagined the contrivance of duality was real, that the threat was real, that God needed something, and therefore there was judgement from God whether or not we were providing that for God. The Bible is a collection of some insight into the nature of God and a lot of mistaken thinking on a male father God who is angry with his own creation. The garden of Eden myth perfectly portrays the primordial mistake in our conception of God. But it's okay. Your soul, as an inseparable part of God, knows everything, even if you consciously do not. There is no threat of being permanently lost in this experience.

God does not need anything. God cannot be damaged. God doesn't need you to be or do anything other than what is in your desire and imagination to create of yourself. Being gay is just an experience that is part of the many we can have to share in the experience of God being God. It is neither right nor wrong. it is a texture woven into the tapestry of the theater trappings. You're all off the hook. God was never angry with anyone. God is thoroughly delighted with what we are and what we are doing. Your soul actually knows what you are doing. You chose your life.

This has been a view of God most deem Too Good To Be True. Would you exepect God to be anything other than exactly that? Really now. There is no fear in God, and there is nothing to fear ultimately in our experiences in life. Least of all, God "judging" us, as if we were wayward children. People like Jesus have come to earth time and again to remind us of Who We Are. We usually can't stomach it/don't get it/crucify such people. It's too good to be true, and we don't want to believe it.

-S-

[ Wednesday, December 19, 2007 19:56: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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If you believe you are worthless, you will behave accordingly. I'll venture to say that we are each worth far more than we comprehend, and thankfully, regardless of whether or not we believe it at the moment.

-S-

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Stillness may be arguing that not recognizing gay marriage is not discrimination, but I'll still assert that underlying that stance is nothing other than religious belief. It's not discrimination in the same way that the Bible thumper will not see discrimination in "God" having the "evil" people of Canaan slaughtered by the Israelites, so they could take the land from them. Homosexuals are evil and immoral, and don't deserve the same normal rights of non-homosexuals. Is this not the simple bottom denominator of one whole side of this argument? Stillness may grasp at naturalistic straws why homosexuality is unnatural and undesirable, or anything else "secular," but none of it pans out. I still see this as left only with, "Because God said so," as an argument how one can take this stance. Stillness doesn't see a moral difference between gender or races at this point, but there was a time when the lovely "Godly" people of America saw blacks as a race cursed by God and inherently, naturally, not deserving the same rights as whites. They used the Bible to explain where these poor, cursed souls came from. The same lingering attitude is held toward homosexuals, because of many centuries of this assumption and attitude...and for no other practical reason.

Seriously, so much of the rest of the stance is all distraction from this obvious basis. Thus again, I will make the comment that arguing with the religious convict is virtually never at all useful or satisfying. There is an absolute truth handed to them from the outside in, so there is no room for changing one's mind. Someone else's mind has given them theirs.

There are two ways to live your life: live someone else's truth for you, or find your own. I believe in a God Who makes truth readily knowable through feeling, thought, and experience, if we are listening. And if we believe it. No one else needs to tell you your truth.

-S-

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Synergy,

Are you even trying to understand what I’m saying? Your responses indicate that you’re not. I’m not saying that marriage should be restricted because it’s a moral issue, because I’m not saying that marriage should be restricted!

Yeah, Stillness is right on this one. Synergy's responses have reflected little to no understanding of what Stillness has actually said. Just wanted to note that.
You're so helpful.

Show me anyone who does get what the hell Stillness is actually trying to say, and, more importantly why he is saying it.

I think Stillness is dodgy and disingenuous, about the degree to which his religion shapes his opinions, rather than anything personal or otherwise meaningful. Either way, I wish he'd just put his cards on the table in simple, concise terms: "This is what I believe and why."

The bottom line on morality is there is no absolute morality. It's whatever we say is "right" or "wrong," (or say God says is right and wrong - same thing), and it changes continually throughout time and place, as even the history of the large churches alone will plainly show. "Morality" might be argued to be little more than popular opinion and preference winning out. My point is that there is no argument I see Stillness making, or that I see even can be made, that the social construct we have invented called marriage has any inherent reason to favor any combination of the sexes. He seems to be saying otherwise, and seems to want to suggest there is some reason other than just because he believes God said so. I can't see him actually offering one yet though, apart from some murky generality about one way being more "natural" than another.

Stillness, put your cards on the table in 1-3 simple sentences, if you are able, so that someone reading them for the first time could understand your belief system regarding marriage and the sexes. I don't even care what you think government should or shouldn't do. All I want to know is what you personally think and why.

Permit me to demonstrate how this might appear, by doing the same for myself first.

1) Marriage is an arbitrary social construct with no inherent quality or meaning apart from what we have chosen to give it.

2) There is no practical or moral reason any combination of people who wish to "marry" should not be permitted to do so.

3) Any "moral" reason that could be given is irrelevant, because morality is also our own, ever-changing construct, just like marriage. Even the churches have changed their morality significantly over the centuries.

BOTTOM LINE: There is no absolute or practical reason why marriage should be favored for some or limited for some. The government doesn't need to be involved with it at all. The only basis I can see for absolute declarations of inherent value or morality to any particular construct of marriage is religious: "Because God said so" which is not any kind of answer at all, but the real reason we have such lingering hangups about domestic and sexual partnership in the first place.

I perceive this is the only real reason Stillness has for making his argument against certain kinds of marriage being recognized, but I don't think he has the guts to admit it.

-S-

[ Monday, December 17, 2007 02:56: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Apparently, Stillness is stating that marriage is a moral issue. Why is that even true? Who decided that people deciding how and with whom to form partnerships in life is a moral issue? I don't see where Stillness is deriving his moral opinion apart from the fact the Jehovah is quoted as having made some comments on the issue here and there. Just stating that it is moral which people choose to partner and form long-term bonds together implicitly implies discrimination.

I once again state that marriage is a completely arbitrary construct of social tradition, shaped and confined for millennia largely by religious forces. The government should not be involved in the morality of marriage. To do so is to take a religious stance. Only a religious position could require you to take a moral stance on who is approved to love and form partnership in life. There is no other compelling reason to favor some and not others, and I'm still not sure what Stillness' stance is based upon. Actually, I am, but he won't admit he has no other useful reason to discriminate against homosexual marriage except for what is contained in the Bible.

-S-

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