Stoicism and Paul: Making a Cosmology-Anthropology-Ethics for Today

Starshine

Jedi Master
Thank you, AI for making such a comprehensible analysis. It's a fascinating read over concepts which I really lack understanding of.
The idea that the law exists only when you are still subject to desire made me reflect on my recent experience with the carnivore diet, for example. As the desire for carbs is not there anymore, it is no struggle to not eat it at all. Just a simple metaphor as I try to illustrate it by real-life examples.
I would guess that you need a lot of experience in life to reach that wise state of being:
“…for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
I hypothesize. To be above the law, you would have to experience the widest array of states of being then. When you haven't experienced what it is to be both rich and poor, hungry and full, and all the other polarities we can think of, you cannot know what remains inside of you. What remains might only be the Core Energy/Life Force/Reiki as pictured in HDT. This Life Force is directly connected to 'X'. It has nothing to do with the flesh, the I, though you are its vessel and help disseminate it into the world instead of dragging others life forces. I wonder how the dragging between individuals would be represented in the model.

What I find interesting too is that there are no direct links between 'I' and 'S', meaning the medium between the two is always 'X'. It encompasses the idea that you have to get struck by yourself, ie to change anything it has to be appropriated by 'I'. There comes the revelation which is internal and cannot be directly transmitted by 'S'. The effort has to be made by 'I' to search for 'X'.
Then the revelation of 'X' totally change your perspective and you strive to disseminate it as a part of 'S' to all the others 'I' through the medium of the available 'X'.

This is my understanding so far. I'll never see the crucifixion the same way now. For now, it seems difficult to me to imagine being totally dead to 'I'. I understand the necessity for it but how can 'I' not identify with my life? Don't you constantly shift from 'I' to 'S' through X even when mostly a STO candidate?
 

Approaching Infinity

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This is my understanding so far. I'll never see the crucifixion the same way now. For now, it seems difficult to me to imagine being totally dead to 'I'. I understand the necessity for it but how can 'I' not identify with my life? Don't you constantly shift from 'I' to 'S' through X even when mostly a STO candidate?
I agree, it's hard to imagine being totally dead to 'I'. It's scary. When I imagine it, I realize how far away I am from that ideal. But I think it is only the destiny of a very few to achieve that level - full 'personality' in Dabrowski's terms. For the majority of those with the capacity to develop, 'maturation' into a personality is a long, drawn-out process. So I think you're right. There is a constant, step-wise development. Baby steps towards the goal. A long series of partial disintegrations and re-integrations at a higher level. Many little crucifixions. We may exist in community, but there are always things we still have to learn. We still make mistakes. And each learning process is its own death and (hopefully) rebirth.
 

goyacobol

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Hopefully AI will find that bit about how the Stoics saw Truth/Knowledge etc being the "attractor" and that which could "strike" those who were actively seeking it. The thing is, the Stoics and others would actively "advertise" their system, their model of reality or explanation of the cosmos or what have you. In the same way, Paul and early Christians were advertising their interpretation. This evangelizing was a human figure acting as proxy for X in the X-> movement. Supposedly, upon hearing the Truth, something inside the person would be moved to yearn or reach or decide for that, the I->X movement. Then, theoretically, the person would "move into a new reality", a new cosmic family, and various other descriptions.
I was sort of accidentally "triggered" by noticing a "like" by Zak to re-read this post in the thread. I have also been reviewing various sessions and one that struck in my mind having read it just yesterday talked about something that may or may not relate to the idea of a sudden revelation/connection/attraction/strike that causes a person to awake to a new awareness.

Although the starting question was related to a book called "alien lovebites" it was the programming/deprogramming and the idea of "triggers" that caught my attention.

It is from Session 19 June 1999:

Q: Eve Lorgen {author of a book about “alien lovebites”} had a question as to how one can go about deactivating the programs of the Lizzies and their human cohorts such as have been described by yourselves and others?

A: In order to “deprogram,” one must first be aware of the programming.

Q: How does one become aware of the programs?

A: Knowledge, knowledge does what …?

Q: Are you saying that simply knowing about them is the key?

A: Once you have the knowledge, you have broken open the veil! How does one get the knowledge?

Q: I don’t know … how?

A: When those most intimately familiar effectively telegraph.

Q: Telegraph as in some sort of electronic signal or simply communicate the information?

A: Latter.

Q: What kind of information specifically?

A: Triggers.

Q: It will trigger something?

A: Programming keywords.

Q: Oh, you mean learning about the trigger words will open up the knowledge of the program so that a person can then deactivate it?

A: Close.

Q: So, I should get in touch with this woman who has this study of programming and get her book and this will help me to know what sorts of programs I may have?

A: It may lead there. Network with those most familiar with the process.

Q: Well, so far, you are the ones who are most familiar with the programs and have been best able to communicate these things.

A: Maybe the best, but not the only.
I am not sure if this is the best context in which to place the above ideas but maybe it can still have meaning in some way.
 

Martina

Jedi Master
It's the mercy that somehow brings information forward, not suffering. There are options based on possibilities wheather you can induce mercy with your suffering or misery and more unnecessary suffeing.

I was driving a bike for 7 hours during a snow, yesterday and the streets were slippery. I've slided and fell off a bike in the middle of the crossing. Everything fell out of my bag. Every car in the street stoped and everybody ran out of their cars to help me get on my feet and to collect my things. I thanked everyone and when I crossed the street I started to cry on the way back to my work because I've never experienced people being so kind to me. I know they felt sorry for me because I work under such conditions but I'm glad no one ran me over:-). That's one of the busiest streets in the town. I don't care if I suffer if it produces some sort of positive entanglement and connects people in a good way. If you just look at my life it's like it's design that way. Bizzare:lol:
 

Laura

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It's the mercy that somehow brings information forward, not suffering. There are options based on possibilities wheather you can induce mercy with your suffering or misery and more unnecessary suffeing.

I was driving a bike for 7 hours during a snow, yesterday and the streets were slippery. I've slided and fell off a bike in the middle of the crossing. Everything fell out of my bag. Every car in the street stoped and everybody ran out of their cars to help me get on my feet and to collect my things. I thanked everyone and when I crossed the street I started to cry on the way back to my work because I've never experienced people being so kind to me. I know they felt sorry for me because I work under such conditions but I'm glad no one ran me over:-). That's one of the busiest streets in the town. I don't care if I suffer if it produces some sort of positive entanglement and connects people in a good way. If you just look at my life it's like it's design that way. Bizzare:lol:
Bless your heart! Big hugs to you!
 

stellar

Dagobah Resident
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In religious imagery, "I being struck by X" is often represented by a lightning bolt. Light is a common symbol for consciousness and being struck by a lightning bolt (metaphorically) leads to an expansion of consciousness. For religions which have a revelatory core, the experience is a sudden unexpected phenomenon and occurs as a result of Grace. One can prepare the ground (which would constitute I-->X) but it does not guarantee the X-->I strike.

From a psychological perspective, "I being struck by X" is an unforgettable experience which originates from the unconscious archetypal center which Jung called "Self". It could be a vision or dream - in which case the experience is inner only. It could also be a synchronistic event where the inner experience is mirrored in some deeply meaningful way by an outer event in the material world. This could be a big one-time event which is processed gradually throughout the life of the individual or it could be an incremental process of gradual unveiling.
[/QUOTE]
In short, that's exactly what happened to me on my journey to this forum. Just found this thread, so:lkj:. Awesome.
 

stellar

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This is approaching what has been running around in my head. It seems to me that being struck is something that comes as a result of inner yearning whether that is fully conscious or not. And that sort of leads me to think again about what the Cs had said about soul marrying with genetics when present. It's like there has to be some kind of transmitter and receiver in the person to begin with. Bankrupty - or repeating bankruptcies when trying one thing after another - would result from the "soul" or higher self or perhaps something that is already connected with X at some level realizing that this or that is "not X". Ra said that some souls (the discussion was about "wanderers" but I think the application could be wider) have a "bias" toward Truth which helps them a bit when navigating a sea of lies and delusions. But he emphasized that it was only a bias, and the individual still had to do some conscious work.

Hopefully AI will find that bit about how the Stoics saw Truth/Knowledge etc being the "attractor" and that which could "strike" those who were actively seeking it. The thing is, the Stoics and others would actively "advertise" their system, their model of reality or explanation of the cosmos or what have you. In the same way, Paul and early Christians were advertising their interpretation. This evangelizing was a human figure acting as proxy for X in the X-> movement. Supposedly, upon hearing the Truth, something inside the person would be moved to yearn or reach or decide for that, the I->X movement. Then, theoretically, the person would "move into a new reality", a new cosmic family, and various other descriptions.
YES. For me, it was and still is, an inner resonance that I still find hard to put into words. Oh, this thread is really terrific. Thank you.
 

Approaching Infinity

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Just watched JBP's video of his talk on "belief in God". He gives the reasons why he doesn't like being asked if he believes, one of which meshes very well with Engberg-Pedersen's take on Pauline Christianity and Stoicism described above in this thread. Peterson basically says that it is arrogant to simply say that one believes in God, because if you TRULY believed, you would live your life in a certain way that matches up to that belief. The belief, and all that goes with it, would shape and inform your life in such a way that you would probably bear little resemblance to your current self. You would have to be transformed. And chances are, you don't live up to that standard. Basically, before you can say you truly believe, you had better live your life in such a way as to reflect that belief. Here's how he puts it:


(from about 1:10:09 to 1:16:33 - playback should start at the right spot)

Paul basically said the same thing, from the opposite direction: IF you believe (or if you say you believe), then ACT like it - because there is a certain mindset and thus a certain character and way of living that follows from that belief. (Cue Yoda here!)
 

alkhemst

Jedi Council Member
I wonder if believe is even the right way to say it? Often we use the word believe to say we take someone else's word for it. For example, another witnesses something we haven't. Let's say it's a bit out of the ordinary. They might have seen a UFO fly past. We have to assess or measure their claim by some standard. For example we consider their character and track record of telling the truth. Based on that, we might say we believe them or don't. That way of using the word believe, implies we have no first-hand knowledge. But under the circumstances, we believe their claim. Essentially it's hearsay. So at least from that standpoint to say "I believe in God" is to imply a lack of first-hand experience and taking the word of others to be right. That's an opinion and not close to being objective. The other challenge that I remember Peterson talks about is what do people mean by God? What are we defining by this term? Some say God is eternal and infinite. Who can define infinity? And isn't saying God is infinite a tautology? Perhaps God is more a way of pointing to first-hand experiences that aren't easily defined or subject to the reality and physical laws of the universe? What I mean is we might be taking about an awareness or consciousness beyond our own, and beyond the physical universe. We might only have a means to connect to this but can't simply define it. Reminds me of the burning bush saying "i am that I am". By definition, we cant define what is not of the physical universe because we can only define things by reference or comparison to other things. I'm not sure if that makes sense but all in all I also find the phrase about believing in God troublesome and up for being misinterpreted.
 

hlat

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I know I crossed a bridge when I started believing in creators that created people after the Behe book and darwinism thread. I think that kind of belief stems from concrete knowledge, and I think is different than belief in God.
 

whitecoast

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Peterson basically says that it is arrogant to simply say that one believes in God, because if you TRULY believed, you would live your life in a certain way that matches up to that belief.
Or at least that it has a lot of implications. I would at least agree that believing in God, or that you've contacted the absolute in some type of emotional manifestation via an image or prayer of some kind, does at least require some self-consciousness on the part of the believer, as Collingwood has said:

The development of religion, when it proceeds healthily according to the law of its own dialectic, results in the ideal of a single supreme God worshipped by a single universal church. Within this God all the obscure ghosts and demons of primitive polytheism find their account; within this church the most diverse impulses of savage superstition are absorbed and transmuted...

But if and when this ideal is achieved, religion has not thereby come safe into harbour and resolved itself into the heavenly hymn of popular eschatology. It has come face to face with its ultimate task... the breaking-down of the mid-wall of partition between man and God, the subject and the object of the religious consciousness. There are other oppositions at stake, for as we have just seen they break out in religion on every hand, but this is the key to all the others.... this is the assertion of God as holy, with its implication, that the worshipper is unholy. Unholiness is sin, which is not a moral idea but a religious idea, though no doubt it is the symbol under which moral problems are attacked by the religious consciousness. This antithesis or severance between the subject and object of the religious consciousness is a new thing. In art it does not exist. Not that the artist is a stranger to self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is coextensive with consciousness in general. But the artist’s self-consciousness, like his consciousness in general, is specifically imaginative and not assertive.... But in religion this self is asserted as real, and at the same time as other than the true reality God. Hence the self is by the very presuppositions of the religious consciousness alienated from God and in a state of sin.

The religious consciousness, then, accepts original sin as its starting-point, and in a sense the whole of religion represents a progressive attempt at self-purification, the sanctifying or deifying of man.... In such a religion the tension between God’s holiness and our sin becomes unbearable, and we are faced with the alternative of either shirking it—declining to recognize it, and occupying our minds with those details of legalistic ritual which are the symptom not of a trivial religion but of one too profound and serious for its devotees to live up to—or else finding a solution for it. The solution can only come from the side of God, for we in our fallen state are powerless....

The Christian solution of this great problem represents the high-water mark of religious development, and it is difficult to see that religion in its essential form can ever achieve anything higher and more ultimately or absolutely satisfying than the twin conceptions of the Incarnation and the Atonement. In these conceptions the task of religion is accomplished and its problem solved. Man is by them redeemed in very truth from his sins, that is to say from the alienation between him and God. And in these conceptions the worship which all religion gives to God is rightly and necessarily extended to the Son of Man in whose holy and sinless person the redemption of all mankind is effected, in whom ‘God made himself man that he might make us God’.
....
This is of course dealing with the problem in the religious mindset. Christianity (as well as mysticism) is the resolution of the chief problem of religion within religion itself. The second way out of the issue of connection to the absolute is to approach it from the perspective of philosophy:

The assumption is that God is a concept, an object of thought, the ultimate reality of philosophical analysis. Now is this identification of God with the absolute legitimate? All theology assumes that it is; but it cannot be. God is the holy one, the worshipped, the object of faith. The absolute is reality, the demonstrated, the object of reason. No one can worship the absolute, and no one can prove the existence of God. It is true that people have tried to do both these things, but they have uniformly failed. The proofs of the existence of God form a long and glorious chapter in the history of human thought, but they have always ended by proving something that is not the existence of God. The attempt to worship the absolute has been a not uninteresting chapter in the history of religion, and it has always ended in the worship of something that is not the absolute. The simple religious consciousness is here our best guide. It knows that God is revealed not to the intellect but to the heart, which means not the ‘practical reason’ or the ‘emotional faculty’, but simply the religious consciousness.

God and the absolute are not identical but irretrievably distinct. And yet they are identical in this sense: God is the imaginative or intuitive form in which the absolute reveals itself to the religious consciousness.

consciousness. We are accustomed to recognize that the gods ot the heathen are but mythological and perverted presentations of the true God; we know well that the father up in the sky of whom we talk to children is likewise at bottom a mythological figment. But we do not sufficiently realize that all religion, up to its very highest manifestations, is mythological too, and that mythology is finally extruded from religion only when religion itself perishes and gives place to philosophy. God as such is the mythological symbol under which religion cognizes the absolute, he is not a concept but the symbol of a concept. However hard we try to purify our idea of God from mythological elements, the very intuitiveness of our attitude towards that idea mythologizes it once more.

‘I believe in God’ is therefore a religious statement, never a philosophical statement. It is a statement which challenges the philosophical reply ‘What do you mean by God?’ and when that question is asked nothing but a deliberate stopping of the wheels of thought will arrest the conversion of theology into philosophy. No attempt to save theology, under the name of philosophical theism, can resist this process.

In point of fact, we have long ago left religion behind. Theology is a manifestation not of the religious spirit but of the scientific spirit, and to that we must now turn.

In taking this step, we leave the world of imagination and enter upon the world of thought. The world of imagination is thought implicit, the world of thought, so called, is thought explicit. In art and religion thought is present, but it is deceived as to its own nature. In art it is so far deceived as to be ignorant of its very existence, and to suppose itself mere imagination: yet even in that error it is thought, for nothing but thought can err. Thus art is the last possible degree of the implicitness of thought. In religion thought knows that it exists; religion asserts and knows that it asserts. But though here thought knows that it exists, it is so far ignorant of its own nature that it mistakes imagining for thinking, and asserts the reality of what is really only symbol. Hence the truth is in religion only intuitively known, not logically known, and its real nature as truth—as concept, as object of thought—is concealed. Religion, like art, is a philosophical error. It is specifically the error of mythologizing reality, of taking language literally instead of metaphorically. But in spite of this formal error, religion is an infinitely precious achievement of the mind and an unfailing revelation of truth. It is the giver of freedom and salvation, because it liberates the soul from the life of imagination, of semblance and unreality, and leads from the things that are seen and temporal to the things that are unseen and eternal. And in that passage the visible world, the world of semblance, is redeemed and made the fit temple of the spirit, for in the very negation of this imaginary world as the supreme reality, it is invested with its true positive value as the vehicle of the supreme reality, the Word of the Spirit.
I know I crossed a bridge when I started believing in creators that created people after the Behe book and darwinism thread. I think that kind of belief stems from concrete knowledge, and I think is different than belief in God.
Yep! Such an approach, grounded in the world of FACTS makes God, the creators, etc. a concrete agent as part of the History of the World, as plain and uncontroversial as the liberation of political prisoners from the Bastille. That is quite different from an abstract theory about an unmoved prime mover (Scientific Consciousness), or an emotional evocation from a symbol of the absolute (Religious Consciousness). Hearing JBP describe some of his notions about the origins of the godly archetype in evolutionary terms, I wonder if he's beginning to suppose the historical existence of the divine as well... his own ecstatic experience may also contribute to this awareness.
 
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luc

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I watched JP's talk the other day and found it brilliant. The issue isn't so much whether belief comes first or second to "acts" IMO, this was just JP's lever to indeed say something similar to Engberg-Pedersen: that you have to be fully transformed by/into the Christ spirit in every aspect of your life, and this reflects in everything you do and think and perceive. And if by "I believe in God" you mean "I'm fully transformed into the Christ spirit", then this is definitely not something you just say casually.

What I love about this is how it flies in the face of the Lutheran/protestant idea of being instant-saved by proclaiming your "acceptance of Jesus". It's anathema to the more silly and fundie evangelical tradition.
 
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