Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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What is religion? - QOTD


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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #1
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

Ojai, California | 7th Public Talk 24th June, 1934

What is religion? What is the function of religion as it is? Don't imagine some marvellous, true and perfect religion; we are discussing what exists, not what should exist. What is this religion to which man has become a slave, to which he has succumbed unintelligently, hopelessly, to be slaughtered on the altar by the exploiter? How has it been created? It is the individual who has created it through the desire for his own security, which naturally creates fear. When you begin the search for your own security through what you call spirituality, which is spurious, you must have fear. When mind seeks security, what does it expect? To be assured of a condition in which it can be at ease, a point of certainty from which it can think and act, and to live perpetually in that condition. But a mind that seeks certainty is never assured. It is the mind that does not seek certainty that can become assured. It is the mind which has no fear, which sees the futility of an aim, of a culmination, of an achievement, that lives intelligently, therefore with surety, and so is immortal.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Thu, 06 Jun 2019.

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #2
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 62 posts in this forum Offline

Maybe a good question related to this is: what is a religious man? Is the one that tries to find truth, no matter what? Is the one who tries to find out whether god exists or not? Is the one that would die for it?

Are we religious persons?

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 #3
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
what is a religious man?

Do you think Jose, that a truly religious mind could embrace any form of belief?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Thu, 06 Jun 2019.

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Fri, 07 Jun 2019 #4
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
Maybe a good question related to this is: what is a religious man? Is the one that tries to find truth, no matter what?

So in order to find truth, we have to put aside all beliefs, right? K is saying above that religion is created by man’s desire for security. He was speaking of conventional religion....of religious belief, I assume. You’re asking if there is true religion, which is a different issue. K talked about the religious mind in some talks, I think, but I’d like to stick to the points raised in the QOTD. I’m not totally clear what he’s getting at, which is why I posted it. I wanted to get some feedback on it. On this point of the mind seeking ‘certainty’ being the basis of conventional religion and ‘spirituality’....spiritual search.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Fri, 07 Jun 2019.

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Fri, 07 Jun 2019 #5
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
K. How has it been created? It is the individual who has created it through the desire for his own security, which naturally creates fear. When you begin the search for your own security through what you call spirituality, which is spurious, you must have fear.

What is 'spirituality'? It's about spirits, isn't it, something that can't be seen. An invisible something that you believe is there...Seeking "certainty" in something that you can't see but only 'believe' is there, only can believe that it exists, some 'outside' something... seems strange doesn't it?

Because of science, most of early man's beliefs about what was going on around him and why, are understood to be false. Our new brain unlike the other animals needed explanations back then for all the strange goings-on. 'Something' had to be 'behind' the thunder, the lightening, the storms, the fires, the floods, the droughts, etc. so we came up with 'gods' entities that were behind the baffling way the world works. And we could petition them on our behalf with prayer, sacrifices, vestal virgins, the whole madness of all that...seeking "certainty" for our (our tribe's) well being: to be kept from harm, to be prosperous, to be 'victorious'...you name it. It's the same now but the organized religions are more sophisticated but the same fear of death, the fear of the unknown, is behind them. The looking for "security" by way of them creates fear because not only are they false, but psychologically, there is no such thing. Is there?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 08 Jun 2019.

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Sat, 08 Jun 2019 #6
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
You’re asking if there is true religion, which is a different issue.

It is different but worth considering since we can see the false religions of the 'self' easy enough but "true" religion? This is an 'insight' by K. from M.Z.'s memoir:

"Religion is a gathering together of all energy to be attentive."

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Sat, 08 Jun 2019 #7
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
It is different but worth considering since we can see the false religions of the 'self' easy enough

Not sure about that Dan. Even those of us who have put aside the obvious outer forms of conventional religion....the Bible and church going...probably have unconscious religious or 'spiritual' beliefs. I mean the brainwashing since early childhood is pretty complete when it comes to belief in a God or a Buddha or saint or guru.

but "true" religion? This is an 'insight' by K. from M.Z.'s memoir:

"Religion is a gathering together of all energy to be attentive."

I'm not sure how this 'gathering' comes about. It obviously can't be an act of will....that is concentration and exclusion, not attention.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sat, 08 Jun 2019.

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Sat, 08 Jun 2019 #8
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
I'm not sure how this 'gathering' comes about. It obviously can't be an act of will....that is concentration and exclusion, not attention.

Right it can't be will that is the 'gatherer' or even 'choice'. I would say that the gatherer is 'intelligence'. And connects for me with the quote you posted in the other thread by K:

“the skill of intelligence is to put knowledge in its right place”

And:

“intelligence comes out of the understanding of the whole consciousness of man—yourself,”

which is 'attention' isn't it? And:

"freedom from the known, every minute, is the essence of intelligence"

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Sat, 08 Jun 2019 #9
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote, quoting K:
When mind seeks security, what does it expect? To be assured of a condition in which it can be at ease, a point of certainty from which it can think and act, and to live perpetually in that condition. But a mind that seeks certainty is never assured. It is the mind that does not seek certainty that can become assured.

The only thing that I am assured of is that there is no point of certainty from which "I" can think and act. Or at least that thought cannot supply any such "point of certainty". That is a striking phrase which resonates within me.

How can thought be certain? That is not its nature. It is only a series of descriptions which forever must be partial, incomplete. Even in science, which is perhaps the highest form of thought the mind has created, there remains uncertainty, incompleteness, a certain amount of incoherence, and it seems likely there will always remain so.

With thought, probably since its inception, mankind has attempted to create various forms of certainty, or at least to 'deal with' uncertainty. Religion, in the form of religious belief, is one sort of attempt. Obviously this attempt has completely failed, in fact it has greatly added to the chaos.

Is it possible to find the proper place for thought? The proper function? Is this intention, in fact, "true religion"?

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Sat, 08 Jun 2019 #10
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is it possible to find the proper place for thought?

That's what K. is saying is the "skill" of intelligence.

Clive Elwell wrote:
Is this intention, in fact, "true religion"?

'Re-ligion', the word means a re-joining, or re-yokeing...so is it as K. has put it, and you are implying, a bringing all the energy together to be "attentive"? That that action, in the moment, is what 'religion' is? And it is that action, "every minute", that is the freeing from the known, the past?

Putting all that together and remembering that the description is not the described, can it be said:

True religion then, is attention to the "sacred what is"?

This post was last updated by Dan McDermott Sat, 08 Jun 2019.

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Sat, 08 Jun 2019 #11
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

For whatever reasons, or for no reason, thought developed in the human brain. Perhaps it was his evolutionary peculiarity, I don’t know, but it is a fact thought was a very powerful tool, and it gave mankind a sort of dominion over nature, or at least apparently so.

Thought is a representation, a model-builder, a series of images. Tremendously powerful yes, and it cannot be disputed that it has a place. But the last thing thought should have done, and should do, is to draw conclusions, make assumptions, freeze itself into beliefs. Yes, perhaps these things do have a place, but as things are, thought, with its identifications, is creating tremendous disaster, threatening to collapse human civilisation, and destroy most life on the planet.

But this is what we are faced with. Better to say, perhaps, this is what WE ARE. This is the challenge that we have to take up. It seems that very very few are prepared or able to take up the challenge of the chaos of thought, but nevertheless it is our responsibility.

And we see that thought is ‘contaminated’ in various ways, and so cannot be used as a tool to solve the problem of thought.

Of course all that I have written above can be turned into a conclusion, become the basis of an ideology. Which would to become part of the general incoherence. And perhaps this gives us a ‘clue’, a hint of what is necessary – the necessity of continually “dying to thought”, letting go of the known, not striving for certainty or security. Certainly not crystalising thought into belief, whether religious, political, social, or personal. We have to remain – open. However painful that may be.

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Sat, 08 Jun 2019.

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #12
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: letting go of the known, not striving for certainty or security. Certainly not crystalising thought into belief, whether religious, political, social, or personal. We have to remain – open. However painful that may be.

Openness is painful, Clive? Openness is allowing space for the unknown. It’s the known....knowledge(psychological, not practical)...that brings pain, not openness to the unknown... as far as I can see. It’s the known that brings fear, not the unknown. How can one be afraid of something he doesn’t know?

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sun, 09 Jun 2019.

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #13
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
We have to remain – open. However painful that may be.

There is no pain in being "open" Clive. There is only pain in resisting openness. Meeting 'what is' with no-thing is not painful. 'Holding on' to anything in the face of 'what is', can be painful, create conflict, bring suffering, etc...as I see it. Not sure where you see the 'pain' in this process of being 'open'. Is it that because we're not totally 'open' that there is always 'pain' from what we are holding back, what we continue to hold on to?

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #14
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

My initial response to the two above. I am open to investigating other perspectives:

The pain I refer to is the pain of uncertainty, of having “nowhere to stand”, to see that all one had held to be true is merely the projections of thought. It is, to use K’s phrase, "the absence of “a point of certainty from which it can think and act,” It is the incoherence of thought, desire pulling the mind in different directions, the conflict between one thought and other, between the thinker and thought.

I don’t know if fear is involved in this. Perhaps to some extent, but it is not seem the essence of the pain.

So you are suggesting Tom and Dan, that it is not “being open to all this” that is painful. Hmmm.I think the normal human tendency when exposed to uncertainty is to close down, to build walls, to protect oneself (the brain cells) with comforting thoughts – which are obviously illusory, but never mind that! The comforting thoughts are basically belief, no? But the point is, this "closing down" must indicate a flight from pain.

Is it painful to “stand alone”? Is it not uncomfortable to feel completely ‘lost’? I am not saying it is or it isn’t, I am asking. I would say in the process of doing so, in discarding - having to discard - all that one has held to, that has given one a sort of stability, yes, there is pain. But this may be because one has not discarded completely. One has not “stepped completely out of the stream of human consciousness”, to use a K phrase again. One sees the foolishness, the falseness of that human consciousness, but one is still in it. The very seeing is from that consciousness, and so is not free.

Perhaps to be completely “open” is not painful. But are we so open? I am asking now: “what does it mean to be completely open?” And is it possible?

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #15
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I s it painful to “stand alone”? Is it not uncomfortable to feel completely ‘lost’? I am not saying it is or it isn’t, I am asking. I would say in the process of doing so, in discarding - having to discard - all that one has held to, that has given one a sort of stability, yes, there is pain. But this may be because one has not discarded completely

I think that last sentence is correct, Clive. One loses ones job or one’s status....one’s spouse....and there is pain. One feels lost without the career one has identified with for many years. Or without the husband or wife one has depended upon emotionally. There is pain because one is still holding on, in some way....to unconscious beliefs, ideals, assumptions (I like this word a lot! It seems to cover a lot that doesn’t fall under the umbrella of belief or opinion), various self images, images of success or failure or should or should not. I’ll give an example. I was discussing retirement with my uncle, a successful physician once, and he felt it would be terrible to lose one’s career and have ‘nothing’....to retire. To me it felt like it would be freeing, but to him, life would be meaningless without the anchor of a career. I suspect that there were countless unconscious beliefs, ideals, assumptions behind my uncle’s feelings. For instance, the idea that one should NOT be idle.... that one SHOULD be productive. That one should ‘be somebody’...not a nobody....God forbid. In my uncle’s generation small children were brought up with these kind of ideas.

Let it Be

This post was last updated by Tom Paine Sun, 09 Jun 2019.

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #16
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
I am asking now: “what does it mean to be completely open?” And is it possible?

In going into this, it was obvious that thought couldn't have the 'answer' (not that it wouldn't have an answer!) That had to come from a different place...What do we mean "being open" and why do we want such a thing, if we do? Has an image been formed of what 'openness' is? Then are we caught in the old trap of 'wanting to get it'? That means 'time': I'm not open now but perhaps I can be in the future? Does openness have anything to do with psychological time? 'Openness' can only be in the present not in the 'past' or not in some 'future', right? So what does being open to the present mean?... To what is taking place, whatever that is? It is the 'poison' of the concept of 'time' that creates the idea that something could be 'better', more interesting, more significant, etc, than 'what is'. That there is another 'place' other than 'what is'. The 'denial' of 'what is' is conflict itself, it seems to me. Physically we can do what we will to make life better, but psychologically it is a 'disease'. The body has its needs but does the psyche need anything? Time in the psyche is the equivalent of 'looking a gift horse in the mouth', is it not?....as if to say that what is taking place now is not the gift of life, the gift of living, that it is, but that it could be better, could be different, more this or more that.

I may be wrong but I think what K. meant when he used the word "sacred" to describe 'what is'; is that no matter what scenes from memory , beliefs, "assumptions", ideals, are thrown up in front of it or what desired, imagined future scenes are overlaid on it , it is always there in its 'nowness' to which we can simply return.

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #17
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

Dan: Time in the psyche is the equivalent of 'looking a gift horse in the mouth', is it not?....as if to say that what is taking place now is not the gift of life, the gift of living, that it is, but that it could be better, could be different, more this or more that.

Yes, but thought turns the gift horse into a lion or tiger, right?

I may be wrong but I think what K. meant when he used the word "sacred" to describe 'what is'; is that no matter what scenes from memory , beliefs, "assumptions", ideals, are thrown up in front of it or what desired, imagined future scenes are overlaid on it , it is always there in its 'nowness' to which we can simply return.

It’s sacred when untouched by thought. Otherwise what is is the world we see on the news every day.

Let it Be

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #18
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
'Re-ligion', the word means a re-joining, or re-yokeing...so is it as K. has put it, and you are implying, a bringing all the energy together to be "attentive"? That that action, in the moment, is what 'religion' is? And it is that action, "every minute", that is the freeing from the known, the past?

Putting all that together and remembering that the description is not the described, can it be said:

True religion then, is attention to the "sacred what is"?

Without looking for a method, one asks how is all our energy to be brought together as you (and K) describe, Dan? And why ISN'T it together now?

Traditionally, religions have always taken the form of presenting ideals to be followed, haven't they? So can we completely put aside ideals in our daily living? If we can do that, are we not removing the major cause of conflict in our lives? It seems that conflict is what dissipates our energy, so does point the way to this gathering together of energy?

If this is so, the issue is one of dropping all ideals. But we are so conditioned into the application of ideals, aren't we? They are the contradiction of 'what is'. And they seem to arise in the mind like reflex actions. They are ingrained in the self.

One can only watch them as they arise, choicelessly.

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #19
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Time in the psyche is the equivalent of 'looking a gift horse in the mouth', is it not?....as if to say that what is taking place now is not the gift of life, the gift of living, that it is, but that it could be better, could be different, more this or more that.

This is a very striking analogy, Dan.

So why do we refuse this gift horse? Actually that is a very fundamental question, isn't it? Why this endless striving for more, psychologically? it must indicate that we do not find 'what is' sufficient, fulfilling, no? but why is this, if life is sacred in itself, as is being suggested?

This post was last updated by Clive Elwell Mon, 10 Jun 2019.

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Sun, 09 Jun 2019 #20
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

Clive: it must indicate that we do not find 'what is' sufficient, fulfilling, no? but why is this, if life is sacred in itself, as is being suggested?

Aren’t we leaving out fear?

You seem to be suggesting that time is the culprit, Dan.

Again...time = fear and pleasure...desire...attachment

Let it Be

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #21
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
it must indicate that we do not find 'what is' sufficient, fulfilling, no? but why is this,

Because we’re divided from it...from what is....we’re not in contact with what is. We’re reacting to what is based upon what was.

Let it Be

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #22
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
We’re reacting to what is based upon what was.

And seeing these reactions/actions without comparison, judgement, choice etc is how our consciousness is understood. Discovering the motives behind what we do, want...the whole complex structure of my 'self'?

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #23
Thumb_donna_and_jim_fb_bw Tom Paine United States 2691 posts in this forum Offline

This was posted today on the general forum...it's from K's "The Book of Life":

In meditation there can be no thinker, which means that thought must come to an end—the thought which is urged forward by the desire to achieve a result. Meditation has nothing to do with achieving a result. It is not a matter of breathing in a particular way, or looking at your nose, or awakening the power to perform certain tricks, or any of the rest of that immature nonsense. ... Meditation is not something apart from life. When you are driving a car or sitting in a bus, when you are chatting aimlessly, when you are walking by yourself in a wood or watching a butterfly being carried along by the wind—to be choicelessly aware of all that is part of meditation.

Let it Be

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #24
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Clive Elwell wrote:
You seem to be suggesting that time is the culprit, Dan. But which is the cart and which is the horse? I am not seeing this very clearly.

Nor am I but let's not let that get in our way :) Aren't we the only creatures on this Earth that 'complain'? The only reason we can complain about our plight is that we're able to 'imagine' a different one, right? The animals, birds, insects, plants just forge on ahead...no looking back and little, if any, looking ahead. They just 'do it'. But we have the ability to 'moan' about it and 'wish' that things were different, better, more pleasureful, comfortable, and why shouldn't we? ..Haven't we since our beginnings heard about and imagined a 'heaven', a 'shangi-la, a better place we could be if we could just figure out how to get there? What religion, guru, book, prayers, rites, etc. to follow? And hasn't this unique concept created the 'hell' that man finds himself in? This 'becoming something psychologically'. How did this concept of a 'time to become' creep into the psyche?
Well maybe the 'why' is beside the point since it has. But probably because in order to get into that desirable but phony heaven or alluring after-life, you had to 'become' something 'better' than you were?

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #25
Thumb_open-uri20151228-18124-1kyi3s7-0 Jose Roberto Moreira Brazil 62 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Do you think Jose, that a truly religious mind could embrace any form of belief?

Dan, certainly, only a confused mind embraces any form of belief. I wonder if a confused mind can be a religious mind. I would say yes.

The function of religion should be to create religious people, but as it is now, it plays the role of a crutch or a shortcut to God.

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #26
Thumb_dm Dan McDermott United States 1358 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
I wonder if a confused mind can be a religious mind. I would say yes.

The function of religion should be to create religious people, but as it is now, it plays the role of a crutch or a shortcut to God.

I think so as not to create confusion we have to be looking at the same thing that the word 'religion' means to us. To me it means the discovering of the truth about oneself...how do you understand that word 'religion', if I may ask?

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #27
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
Dan, certainly, only a confused mind embraces any form of belief. I wonder if a confused mind can be a religious mind. I would say yes.

Can you say more about this "yes", Jose?

Jose Roberto Moreira wrote:
The function of religion should be to create religious people, but as it is now, it plays the role of a crutch or a shortcut to God.

When you say "religion" here, are you referring to any sort of organisation? If so, I doubt it. I doubt that an organisation can create religious people - it can only create people who adhere to the organisation. Isn't this what K turned his back on when he dissolved The Order of the Star? He used the term "crutch" in his speech, in fact.

Then there is the issue of authority, isn't there? I feel any person concerned with a religious life would never assume authority over another, would never exercise knowledge. And perhaps that is a clue to the original question of Tom, "What is religion?". I have a strong feeling that religion implies constantly dying to conclusion, assumption, belief, dying to 'the known", in fact.

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #28
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
.Haven't we since our beginnings heard about and imagined a 'heaven', a 'shangi-la, a better place we could be if we could just figure out how to get there?

There's something not quite right here, it seems to me, Dan. Another horse/cart issue. You seems to be suggesting that this imagining of 'a better' creates the dissatisfaction with what is, but if 'what is' was meaningful, (sacred even) why would there be dissatisfaction in the first place?

When I say "the first place" I am referring to man's ancestry, as I assume you are?

Dan McDermott wrote:
And hasn't this unique concept created the 'hell' that man finds himself in? This 'becoming something psychologically'. How did this concept of a 'time to become' creep into the psyche?

I imagine in the same way that all the contents of the psyche crept in, were formed - things that had real meaning in the material, practical life were somehow internalised. Things that were originally applied to the body and its needs (and quite rightly) somehow became applied to an imaginary concept of the body, - that is, the self.

Time has a real meaning, as in the growth of plants, growing old, the movements of stars, etc. And physically man could become more - more strong, more comfortable, more powerful. So the idea of psychologically becoming crept in. Thought was the culprit, of course. Thought developed in the cortex, but "got lost in itself". It did not understand its own nature.

And now thought engulfs us.

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #29
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

Dan McDermott wrote:
Aren't we the only creatures on this Earth that 'complain'? The only reason we can complain about our plight is that we're able to 'imagine' a different one, right? The animals, birds, insects, plants just forge on ahead...no looking back and little, if any, looking ahead

Perhaps there is another, subtle aspect of this, Dan. Probably animals do not feel discontent, but also they lack what I might call "potential". Perhaps the human brain has potential to become other than it is, and the feeling of discontent is essential to discovering that. Nothing to do with the self 'becoming'.

The only alternative I can find to the word 'discontent' is 'restlessness'.

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Mon, 10 Jun 2019 #30
Thumb_kinfonet_avatar Clive Elwell New Zealand 5159 posts in this forum Offline

Tom Paine wrote:
Because we’re divided from it...from what is....we’re not in contact with what is. We’re reacting to what is based upon what was.

Interesting, intriguing, Tom. Need to examine this.

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