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 Post subject: There is No God, May He Always Be With You
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:39 pm 
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The title of this thread is a slight change up of Brad Warner's book title There is No God And He is Always With You, New World Library, 2013, (Mormon authors, apologists, and Apostles need not read this little gem of a book, it is vastly too deep for your minds to honestly grasp. However, at least one of you ought to review it anyway, honestly and carefully. It would be incredibly interesting to see what Jeffrey Holland has to say about it).

Warner is a famous American Zen Master A Soto Zen monk and teacher actually. I leafed through my personal notes on the inside front cover I made when I first read this book a couple years ago, and forgot about what he said on pages 80-81 that I feel inspired (by the universe, relax, God ain't doin nuttin) to share his idea in a little paragraph blurb which will take all of a minute to read. However, to ponder might take perhaps two minutes of your time... :biggrin:

I've been reading Joseph Campbell's fabulous book Creative Mythology, the 4th and final text in his series "The Masks of God." Myths, stories, the ideas handed down to us from antiquity up to right now in our present day, are the Masks of God on Campbell's take. They are not literal or historical or false either. They are attempting to make us transparent to transcendence, the ultimate goal of every man and woman according to Aldous Huxley in his breath taking book The Perennial Philosophy. The reason I bring this up is due to remembering pages 80-81 in Warner's text. I am giving him full credit for not only the original ideas I now share, but even my add on interpretations that might simply come out of my keyboard as I type and let my mind flow. I am not plagiarizing him or his ideas, I am simply not directly quoting him either, as I am mashing together a few concepts from other writers. Just so ya know, pages 80-81 is the basis of what I am typing now. But I am not using direct quotes. And I am paraphrasing Warner, so he gets the credit (See Daniel? It really IS easy not to steal others ideas, and it doesn't reflect badly on you when you acknowledge that they had the brilliant ideas instead of always yourself, and you are using them, even as you reword them).

The idea Warner discusses is an intellectual approach to attempt to grasp the meaning of life simply doesn't work... at all. (Campbell says it isn't the meaning of life we are after anyway, but the experience of it, a profound insight! This was in The Power of Myth One example was I read in some book a few months ago [perhaps Zen Flesh, Zen Bones?], that for his sermon one day in front of quite a few students, the Buddha simply held up a flower for a long time. And one of his foremost students throughout life instantly got the point. No words, no philosophizing in fancy rhetorical adumbrations of intellectual phraseology, just silence, and that flower for all to see, and if they had wanted to they could have gone up and smelled its delicious fragrance and felt its delightfully velvety smoothness)

Why can't and shouldn't we intellectualize about the meaning of life though? Because it is just a mere tiny slice of life. Now, even if we come to understand in a thorough and complete manner that little tiny slice, the fullness of life still eludes you. The other point Warner humorously puts out there for us to chew on in this line is even any meaning of life from a tiny intellectual slice we do gain and grok intellectually would change according to how your life changes. Now that makes sense. Life at 20 simply can't be the same as life and our understanding of it at age 73, if we live that long. Again, this is not anything new or philosophically profound... yet.

Zen often says there is no meaning in life. Now that sounds kinda negative doesn't it? Forget Zen then! OK hold on... this is not saying, I repeat, this is not saying (according to Warner now) that life is meaningless. It means any measure of meaning you give to life is necessarily incomplete. And now here I will quote because he says this so very well. "Trying to assign a meaning to life is like trying to stuff the whole ocean into a bucket."

We don't get it by saying oh well life means A, B, and C. Yet the two ideas, meaning and life are necessarily intertwined. These two aspects are actually the same thing. It's like the ancient saying Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Or as Einstein put it E = MC2. Meaning, though, isn't something you can quantify as you can matter or even life. It is like quality that Robert Pirsig discovered in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Quality isn't measurable anymore than meaning is, yet for all that, they are actually both real. Warner shares a quote from a Japanese Rinzai Zen teacher "You are educated all your life to venerate God and reject evil. Zen education is totally different: it teaches you how to swallow God and the devil at once."

Just because there isn't a giant Santa Claus figure sitting on a throne out there in the distant throes of space is no reason whatever to conclude there is no meaning to life and there is no God. (Warner still)

"The life we are leading right now is a manifestation of God. That we are alive is all the evidence we need to prove that God exists. I don't mean that we need to postulate the existence of God to explain the fact that we're here. I'm not talking about God as the first cause of everything. I'm saying that our direct experience of life is God. Life is God experiencing God, just as Dogen said when he said we are the eyes and ears "it" uses to experience itself." And furthermore, the present moment is the total annihilation of what has gone before. The present moment (the only real there is - Alan Watts) is highly destructive as well as creative. This is why many of is fear it so much. The present moment is killing us! But even this is a beautiful thing! The destructive power of the now, of God, is its way of recreating us anew at every moment so that we can be here to enjoy its amazingness! (That last few lines is from page 82 of Warner.

Is Midgely serious? Peterson's blog is a patty-cake, surface only, all too frequently plagiarized bit of ephemeral nonsense. Why would anyone suppose avatars must be real? Midgley has lost his tiny little mind. Maybe he can go over to never-neverland and harass Peter Pan for not really knowing how to fly. -Lemmie-

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