Put Out That Fire

Posts: 137
Joined: July 20th, 2007, 11:46 pm

Post by jenjulian »

Paul writes, “When I was a child, I thought like a child … when I became a man, I gave up childish ways”. Notice, he does not suggest there is anything wrong with childish ways, just that they are appropriate for children and inappropriate for adults. In other words, as long as our definition of God works for us, fine; but when it stops working, walk on.
My favorite professor, who taught Biblical classes and an awesome seminar on CS Lewis (Dr Stephen Tramel)used this quote from Paul often, although he used it to tell those who are Christians that they are not supposed to stop thinking and become blind fools. I like the way you took this saying a step further in that using our logic and intellect is only a stepping stone towards an even clearer vision. It also brings into light the same idea as Plato had that sin is ignorance and nothing more, which I happen to think is a very important belief to hold. We do not hurt or judge anyone, but if they are stuck in religion that seems ridiculous, they are simply children who are to be treated with kindness and taught in any way possible. Not that the ego should ever become involved...as in, I'm more advanced than you.

I personally stay away from all of the isms also. I found in school that any idea can be put under a label that then becomes so rigid and disconnect from the rest of ideas, or the wholeness of a spiritual view or experience, that it makes it into something that doesn't even resemble what it should.

I'm very captured by this idea of 'emptiness' not only from studying the Tao Te Ching, but from some basic studies of Buddism. During times of meditation I've had states that this emptiness becomes everything and it is something that I want to touch, but whenever spoken of, it becomes contradictory and unachievable in words.
– not only are we and “our lives” (by which I mean everything “out there”) one and the same thing
Is this meaning that everything out there that I perceive as my life is really just created in me? Because when I start thinking this, I feel I have crossed into the threashold of craziness. How do we know we are finding the way and not talking ourselves into true mental illness? If we lose the footing of the world we are standing in, what do we have to compare against and assure ourselves that we are not lost in the twilight zone? Not that the twilight zone is not verrrrrrrrrrrrrry attractive after a days at work with so much ego oozing out of coworkers that I felt I was going to be smothered in hot air. Sheesh, sometimes I want to tell them all to go home and take some meditation time. It was like the battle of the ego's and I swear that there for a moment I was sitting at my desk and there wer no people anywhere in sight, just a lot of crudding crustings yabbering at each other. I say sheeeesh again. Maybe I will consider being a nun some day, just so I can some quiet time in this crazy world!
User avatar
Posts: 183
Joined: January 6th, 2005, 4:02 pm
Location: Naples, FL

Post by W4TVQ »

"How do we know we are finding the way and not talking ourselves into true mental illness? If we lose the footing of the world we are standing in, what do we have to compare against and assure ourselves that we are not lost in the twilight zone?"

This is complicated by the fact that "the world" will step up and inform you that you are indeed insane, separated from reality, bonkers, and other epithets not so nice.

That is because they measure you acording to their definition of "sanity." And "sanity" is a subjective concept, not really defineable; it is relative to the society in which one functions.

G. K. Chesterton, one of my "heroes," stated that "The insane person is not the one who has lost reason; he is the one who has lost everything except reason." "The madman's explanation of a thing is always complete, and often in a purely rational sense satisfactory ... if a man says that he is Jesus Christ, it is no answer to tell him that the world denies his divinity; for the world denied Christ's. ... his mind moves in a perfect but narrow circle. A small circle is quite as infinite as a large circle; but, though it is quite as infinite, it is not so large. In the same way and insane explanation is quite as complete as a sane one, but it is not so large. ... There is such a thing as a narrow universality; there is such a thing as a small and cramped eternity; you may see it in many modern religions." (From G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, chapter 2).

So: if the world says you are insane, is it not equally possible that they are insane? That, as the sage said, it is not clear through reason whether I am a man believing himself to be a butterfly, or they are butterflies believing themseves to be men. And indeed, measured against the True Standard, The One, we are all insane, believing ourselves to be discrete entities apart from The One. As ACIM tells us, we are all thinking backwards and upside down. So how do we know that the "madman" confined in the padded cell is not the one who is really the sanest of us all, living on a level that confounds our reason and therefore our sensibilities? Perhaps he alone is thinking forwards and right side up.

I prefer the insanity I have now to the insanity I had to plod through before abandoning the Tribal God and starting to wake up. The potential of that insanity was the grave; the potential of this insanity is nirvana.

"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley