Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sopranos

I'm watching Sopranos season six on DVD. What an amazing show.
And never predictable.
With one exception: just as with movies, I can often predict who dies.
In the movies/TV, a guy is dead within five minutes if he is:
1: Sympathetic and
2: not essential to the plot and
3: getting scared and wants to back out.

And if also:
4: he has a cute family who loves him
... then he might as well put a bullet in his own brains right there, he's out.
-----
There is a character, an aging scientist who has cancer, who drops in some nice philosophical nuggets of truth: talking about two boxers on TV, he says that they appear to be separate entities, but according to quantum theory, they are not. Like two tornadoes which look separate, but they are part of the same wind.
And when Tony wonders about heaven and hell, God and Satan, the guy answers that that would presuppose a duality, which is not true.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, December 27, 2006   17 comments links to this post

17 Comments:

At 27 Dec 2006 04:34:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"And when Tony wonders about heaven and hell, God and Satan, the guy answers that that would presuppose a duality, which is not true."

In ancient Zoroastrian Persia, you would have been called a heretic for saying such a thing. Their religion's fundamentals were based on dualism.
But no worries, I think you have nothing to fear in 2006. :-)

It ain't over until the fat goddess sings opera.

 
At 27 Dec 2006 04:52:00, Blogger eolake said...

Yes, I think only in recent times has it been allowed in the Occident to speak of non-dualistic convictions.

Even so they are rare. I guess because the universe as a whole is built on dualistic concepts.

 
At 28 Dec 2006 00:09:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"the universe as a whole is built on dualistic concepts."
AH-HA! So, you speak against it (dualism), but you admit it's true! ;o)

Check that. Now to go and convert Hawking. Zarathustra shall prevail again. (Exalted gaze staring at the event horizon.)

 
At 28 Dec 2006 00:14:00, Blogger eolake said...

"AH-HA! So, you speak against it (dualism), but you admit it's true!"

No!
Because the Universe is an illusion!

You have The Source (some call it God), and you have the Universe. But the latter is not real, so you can't call it a duality.

 
At 28 Dec 2006 00:52:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have The Source (some call it God), and you have the Universe. But the latter is not real, so you can't call it a duality.

Many call "HIM" God. And you think the universe isn't real? Do you think the earth is real? The air you breathe, the food you eat? Is this not "real" either?
Is the moon an illusion also? If I were you Mr Stobblehouse I'd come back to reality sir.
I'm not trying to offend you but what you are saying doesn't make any sense. Are you okay? Do you feel well?
Have a nice day.

 
At 28 Dec 2006 02:12:00, Blogger eolake said...

The idea that the universe is an illusion is, if you take the world as a whole, is very widespread indeed. Hindus and Buddhists believe it, and many modern and prominents physicists (quantum mechanics) talk about it too, not to mention countless brands of spiritual movements on all continents.

 
At 28 Dec 2006 02:14:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"Because the Universe is an illusion!"
A dualistic illusion. :oP
See, you've got the part that feels quite real to most; and the part that's so obviously an illusion that few will believe in it. Like Saddam's WMDs, for instance. Or victory and stability in Baghdad. Or God's support to GWB and OBL (Osama Bin Lala).

According to the latest theories in Physics, the Universe is neither really matter nor waves. All we can know about it, be it through our senses or advanced instruments (or Holy Book also, if you like) is information, which at quantum level becomes blurry by nature.
But this does NOT mean that the Universe IS pure information. It means it is so TO US. Because we are humans (or are we really?). Think of the tree falling in a forest where there's nobody to hear it fall...
To a dog, the world is smells more than sights. 'Ruff said!

Do you think we're splitting the diva's fine hairs again? ;-)

Anonymous,
Nobody's trying to insult your faith, or anybody's for that matter. It's just that there are people who, not sharing it entirely, will express their ideas in very different ways. With no offense ever intended. "It" referred to the concept of a Source, which initially is genderless as a philosophical idea.

And if you consider God as One, don't you think that saying "Him" is, in a way, assuming a sort of gender, while asserting there is no "Goddess" counterpart? Some notions and terms of the Church are clearly imperfect. Babies are callet "it" until their sex is known, and it's not demeaning.
Plus, God and all the related notions belong to everybody and no-one. If I were from a certain culture and religion, and happened to say "Praised be Kali, spouse of the divine Shiva", would you feel your own faith blasphemated? There would be no reason, honestly. The lightning bolts are much scarcer than the verbal boldness in the real/illusory world, which suggests that the Almighty isn't excessively touchy Himself about these things.

Also, sometimes people on this blog will deliberately make no sense. :-)

Peace and respect to you, bro.

 
At 28 Dec 2006 02:34:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

Snowflake,

If the universe is an illusion it is a bloody big one.

A

 
At 28 Dec 2006 02:42:00, Blogger eolake said...

Oh yes.

But imagine if something that big was actually real!

 
At 28 Dec 2006 11:12:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if you consider God as One, don't you think that saying "Him" is, in a way, assuming a sort of gender, while asserting there is no "Goddess" counterpart?

Yes. I'm not assuming neither sir. The Holy Scriptures reveal that Jehovah God IS MALE. Whether or not you chose to believe that is up to you.
I just can't understand how a civilized human being can consider the "universe" as an "illusion?"
That just doesn't jell when we CAN SEE IT and EXPLORE IT.
Do you not see the stars at night or the planets or moon? The astronauts walked on the moon. Were they walking on an illusion? I don't think they were.

which suggests that the Almighty isn't excessively touchy Himself about these things.

Actually HE is touchy about these things. For scripture reveals that HE (Jevohah) is a jealous God.
But you are entitled to believe anyway you want. Please understand that I say that with all deepest respect for you as a human being.
I chose to believe what HE had his servants write down. I'm just bewildered to anyone could think that the universe is an illusion?
Do either of you believe in a diety? Just curious? Or do you simply believe that a complex but orderly universe just exploded out of nowhere?
I'm just really amazed that some people think this is all an illusion? But you have your rights as an individual to believe whatever you think.
Good day gentlemen. Please take no offense at anything I tried to explain alright? Thank you.

 
At 28 Dec 2006 12:51:00, Blogger eolake said...

Dear Anonymous (what's your name?)

"Dream" is probably a better term than Illusion.
When I dream at night, my dreams are totally as real and convincing to me as "reality". The latter is just more complex and takes longer to wake up from, is all.

 
At 28 Dec 2006 17:15:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

"That just doesn't jell when we CAN SEE IT and EXPLORE IT."

You assume that your senses provide you with an accurate account of the universe. When you dream, does it not seem real to you? Do you question it's logic, however absurd it may be once you've woken up?

You could have a dream where people walked on their hands and wore polka dotted underwear on their heads and your dream sensibilities would tell you this is normal. It may be no different for those of us living in the "waking" world.

And if one part of this place is an illusion, the whole thing is. The stars, the earth, the ground, the water, even the people occupying the planet's surface. It's all the same whether it's as big as a universe or as small as an atom.

Your senses are tuned to enable survival on this level of existence. Their second purpose is to keep you enamored by the false reality. If one is to see beyond this world he must learn to reach within and commune with that part of himself that still remembers what he really is. To put it in other terms, he must let go of the ego. There are many traditions that state the undoing of the ego is the end of suffering. (Indeed, the ego is the thing which experiences pain, and if it isn't real then neither is the suffering. There is no one to experience it!)

This isn't something that makes sense on an intellectual level. It has to be experienced. But of course, it is entirely up to the individual and there is nothing wrong with any choice he would make. By this model it is our right to decide when the dream will end. The world is in no danger; it will be seen for what it is in due time. There is no reason to fear, only to enjoy our lives fully until we've moved on to an actual reality, outside of the universe and outside of time.

Is it possible this place IS more solid than I'd wager? Of course. But it's provable that it doesn't adhere as closely to newtonian principles as we once believed. There is a much broader range of possibilities than we ever dared to imagine prior to this age. And it is those who dare to defy convention and refuse to allow their thoughts to be caged that will one day discover the truth of the matter.

On a side note, this seems like the perfect time to share one of my favorite quotes:

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -Albert Einstein

 
At 28 Dec 2006 18:07:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, sometimes people on this blog will deliberately make no sense. :-)

Very honest vocal here Mr Pascal :)
No, the universe is quite real. Our dreams are not, but could be someday, no?
Other than this difference I think most of the opinions expressed here are mine also.
Eolake wanted to know my name? It's
Woodman I'm 87 years young.
Nice to make your aquantice all.

 
At 29 Dec 2006 10:35:00, Anonymous Nildar said...

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -Albert Einstein

He wasn't so bright after all.

 
At 30 Dec 2006 02:44:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"The Holy Scriptures reveal that Jehovah God IS MALE."
Um... please define the concept of "male". As far as I know, if it isn't the biological counterpart of "female", it is a purely arbitrary designation, no? Just like calling a ship "she".

"For scripture reveals that HE (Jevohah) is a jealous God.
But you are entitled to believe anyway you want."

Well, the Scripture has been written and transmitted by human hands. Any concrete sign (outside the spirit within) of God's original involvement is long lost in the mists of centuries. I'm a believer, but I also understand that the Bible is cluttered with clear human naiveness. If you take Genesis to the letter, dinosaur fossils and orbiting satellites could not exist, because all species were created whole and the Earth is flat. According to my dictionary's definition of "firmament". (Genesis 1:14-16)
Strong ancient traditions, sincerely but erroneously considered as inspired by God, condoned incest (Loth's daughters), polygamy (Onan), human sacrifice, judgement by the mob, slavery, sins of the father transmitted to the son, etc. Nowadays we know better.
I just consider that presenting God as a stern fatherly figure (while no Mother exists) is another naive image, which became customary to us over time, and therefore a dogma.

"Please understand that I say that with all deepest respect for you as a human being."
Oh, I understand fully. We're both respectfully discussing ideas like civil people, aren't we? :-)

"I chose to believe what HE had his servants write down."
A perfect Master can have imperfect servants. How can you tell, for sure, what part is God's secret inspiration, and what part is just a pious human's personal convictions? Not to mention the delicate issue of possible forgeries. Many clerics blatantly instrumentalised the secular authority for their own interests, didn't they?

Ponder this detail, for instance: the name Lucifer. In latin, "the Bearer of Light". Known in ancient Roman times as a minor divinity, carrying the morning star if I recall correctly. And that, far before the Romans had any specific conflict with the Hebrews. Take Beelzebob. Originally : Baal-Zubab, Fly-god of the Phoenicians (according to my oecumenic Bible's glossary). Now, Satan, "the Adversary", that's judaic (aramaic, precisely). But the other two names? The christian Church brazenly annexed them to create a parallel between paganism, a.k.a. "the competition", and God's enemy.
And why didn't we also consider Amon-Ra, Zeus, Jupiter, Mithra, Brahma... as the Satan too, since like Baal they're the heads of pagan religions? Because history and politics played a role that was carefully kept under wraps from the general public. I'm an educated believer. Knowledge sets me free, not from God, but from the men that scribbled well-intentioned(?) obvious nonsense over the relevant spirit of things. God didn't approve of the Boston pedophiles. God doesn't command Bin Laden or Bush or Ariel Sharon or Ahmadinejad to wage holy war. These errings are all human in origin. And truly, God's patience must be infinite to let them be until Judgement day.
So, if the great lies are not punished with lightning bolts from Above, why would the small mistakes be? This is telling me things about God. Great lessons of wisdom and patience.

"HE (Jevohah) is a jealous God."
Correction : the Church is a jealous Church. Check out my last post on this thread for some brief but interesting argumentation.
We could have been instructed to bring the Good Word to the Americas 15 centuries earlier : the vikings and phoenicians already knew about their existence. Did God overlook that huge detail, and the barbaric customs of the Aztecs? No. The proselytic men who wrote the books did. The Creator cannot have forgotten about whole continents!

I believe in both God and the Universe. Some facts in the Universe tell me that there are errors in the holy books, which must be acknowledged. Otherwise, I'm not a follower of the truth of God, I'm a follower of a clergy that may or may not be inspired by the Creator. And that's a very slippery slope. Blind belief makes you gullible to charismatic false preachers.

Man was not suddenly molded out of clay. There are fossils of our many precursors. Hard evidence. That doesn't prove that we are not the children of God, it just proves that the old legends are nothing more than legends. 2000 years ago, most people weren't ready to accept that we could be standing on a globe with no absolute up or down. And yet, some thinkers knew this. Why didn't God officially confirm that these wise men told the truth about the cosmos? Because this is irrelevant. The place of God is not tributary of science. Burning Galileo was a confession of the Clergy's insecurity, and their ignorance of the truth regarding Creation.

"Do either of you believe in a diety?"
Well, I put an important amount of trust in everything reliably stated by cosmology. A great part of it appears as certain as anything can be with the methods of science and reason. I also believe in a divine entity, but purely by spiritual choice. Enstein did, Hawking doesn't. The origin of the Universe neither proves nor disproves that idea, period. The God I believe in has nothing to fear from the findings of science, they lie on different planes. There is no formula for Good and Evil...
The Universe "expanded" from virtually a point (and prior to that we cannot know yet). We know that this point was the origin of physical space and time, so there is no "before". God should therefore be outside space and time as we know them. According to my believing scientific vision.

I'm not sure I'm all with Eolake's position regarding that illusion matter, but I've already developed that above. We perceive the Universe as information. This makes our perception of it a sensory illusion in a way, but doesn't mean that there is no REAL origin to that illusion.
Here's one simple example : some people do not hear as many sound frequencies as others, due to several factors like age, genetics... Silence to my father may not be quiet to my son. Dogs can hear ultrasounds. Silence or noise are different for them too. Elephants are the opposite : they hear very low frequencies, infrasounds, miles away. Most of their communication eludes us for that reason.
And don't even get me started on colors, smells, flavors... Almost every person has their own unique perception array. Bees see ultraviolets. Bulls are color-blind. I may hate your "lovely music" or your grandma's yummy cooking. Etc. Only science, with measures, transcends the illusion of the senses. In partnership with the logical mind.

When I dream at night, my dreams are totally as real and convincing to me as "reality".
There's an excellent reason for that : it has been proven that our brain practically cannot tell the difference. Except, maybe, with very special training. The sensations are identical, and felt as such. Only logic (once we awaken, usually) allows us to know, or deduce, the difference. And not always, as delirious states in psychiatry illustrate.
"The latter is just more complex and takes longer to wake up from, is all."
Yo, I'm in no hurry to see the end of THIS dream! :-)

I see the Universe as a LEVEL of reality. We can't see the soul or God, which must be on another level. Thoughts, ideas, are also on a specific level, sometimes interacting with this one, but invisible most of the time except for their effects. Our mind and perception greatly shape our relationship with the world. But if the illusion principle was pushed to its limits, why should you (Lucid & Eolake) bother discussing with non-existent me? I am not as you perceive me, but yet I am, and some part of your perception is correct. My ideas reaching you exist, however you interpret them.

"The world is in no danger; it will be seen for what it is in due time."
So, you admit that the illusion isn't absolute, and masking only nothingness underneath.
I'm beginning to feel lost here : do we agree that we disagree, or do we disagree that we're actually in agreement, because we express the same beliefs in very different ways?
Excuse us, Woodman, sometimes we'll just act our juvenile age. I'm only 35, after all. I'm too young to remain serious very long. ;-)

 
At 30 Dec 2006 09:59:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

"This makes our perception of it a sensory illusion in a way, but doesn't mean that there is no REAL origin to that illusion."

I wouldn't argue that, but I would say the real origin doesn't lie out there. The world is a projection of the mind, meaning we shape what we experience merely by observing. If a tree fell in the forest and no one was around, it wouldn't make a sound. There wouldn't be a tree to fall. We may find a forest and fallen trees should we venture there, but that doesn't mean it existed apart from our perceptions prior to us arriving there.

Now, there are numerous problems with this if you think about it on the individual level. I take it a step further: there are no individuals. There is not you and me. "We" and "I" are practically interchangable. When I type this, I am not communicating with someone external to myself, I'm sharing my thoughts within the context of a dream with another part of myself that appears as a fully realized individual. Neither is more real than the other. The only separation that exists is found within illusion. There is one dreamer that make-believes he is many.

"I see the Universe as a LEVEL of reality. We can't see the soul or God, which must be on another level."

God isn't on another level of existence in terms of this reality. He can't be; something real cannot inhabit something unreal.

So what of the dreamer, then? And love? Does God really care about us, can he, if he's not really here?

The dreamer does not actually inhabit his dream, just as I do not leave my bed no matter where I travel in my sleep. I, as I actually am, am quite real. I've simply mistaken the dream for something more than illusion. This is a universe based on probability because it was borne of a what-if question. What we've mistaken for our real selves are no different than the characters in the funnies that imagine another character or object imagining something else within yet another thought bubble, all of them contemplating possibility.

Consider the idea of creating a fictional universe and then mistaking it for the real world. Suddenly you are the main character of your story, but you lose awareness that it's a work of fiction and that you've already written it. Everything that happens is a result of your free choice, but those choices aren't made in the story itself, they were made when you wrote the script. In this case life as we know it isn't much different than a movie or a novel. We still continue to appear to do things within the realm we know, but nothing more is happening than was happening all the while. Life goes on. The world does not vanish upon awakening, it is simply viewed through a different set of eyes. The script is often re-arranged, but again, while the effects are seen and felt here the changes do not actually occur within this frame of consciousness.

And as for God, he is not within the dream but his truth is still to be found here. This is because we aren't separate from him. We never have been. That connection to the divine remains because down at our cores we are the divine itself. We are God's son, equal to him in every regard, heir to all the wonders of his kingdom. We are here because we somehow got the idea that we don't deserve what he offers, so the best way to sum it up is that this is what happened when we said no to God. The path we are on now is continually drawing us closer to saying yes. This is the purpose of all creation. And we'd best be grateful that God doesn't recognize this place as real, otherwise there'd be no salvation.

Now, I'm not saying this universe is hell. This should not be a place of misery. If it is, we are trapped. And how easy it is to fall prey to the notion that we should revile what we reject, and that we should feel guilty when we choose to linger in a place we know is unreal. The path to redemption is bliss, or love. Whatever you want to call it. It's that pleasant feeling which goes so far beyond that that it can barely be called an emotion because it is so much more, so much deeper and fuller than anything else we can experience.

Enlightenment will come on its own when the time is right. The focus right now, for each of us, should be loving more fully and accepting all that we see and experience without hate, without judgement. This goes double for those we believe to have wronged us. In the end a grudge does little more than harm the one who holds it, and when its effects are far reaching they are rarely positive. The best they can do is teach us how pointless our prejudices really are.

All of this, and there is so much yet to say. That's not including the things that can't be said but I'd try to put into words anyways. If this line of thinking interests you, I'd echo Eolake's recommendations of "The Disappearance of the Universe" and "A Course in Miracles." The former echoed my own thoughts to an astounding degree and accelerated the completion of numerous thought processes that may never have yielded answers otherwise. Truly a life changing read. And life shattering. A bit of a warning: you might suffer a mild break down if you go into it with the intention to take it too seriously. ;) I'm not saying that serious consideration of these concepts is a bad thing, just that there's little good to be gained by something when laughter must be totally supressed during the process. The point is to become more joyful, not add another dozen bricks to your load. (Not that you'd need this warning, I'm just saying.)

I join in this discussion for very much the same reason as I would have before: I enjoy this sort of thing. And since I am not here entirely by conscious choice, I'd best make good use of the time I'll be spending in this universe. It isn't impossible for any of us, myself included, to simply step out of this universe and recall the fullness of our nature. But I've yet to give the go ahead to release my remaining limitations, so... here I am. My hobbies remain, I maintain all of my relationships and I even retain my fascination of the universe and its inner workings. The only difference is that I view it more as a game than a grim, life-or-death situation. To put it more succintly, we're living in what is quite possibly the most advanced MMORPG ever conceived.

It is a good question, though: if this place isn't real, or if it's just the precursor for something much bigger, why bother with it? Of course, we never had to in the first place. But since we're already dreaming, why not have a bit of fun with it? See, the notion is that we need to sacrifice what makes us human in order to join the enlightened ones. That couldn't be further from the truth, it's just another form of the ego trap. Sacrifice is unnecessary at any stage of the game. There is nothing to be sacrificed in the first place! So while we are greater than this and we will eventually see it, there is no harm in establishing the closest thing to heaven as we can right here, where we are, in this moment. Because that's where love is: right here, where we are.

The trick is, like with a video game, not to place an incredible amount of significance on it. If a dear family member came to visit or you were about to go on a trip to an exotic locale it's unlikely you'd continue playing. Similarly, we need to set the idols of this world aside when the truth of our nature comes calling. This might seem like I'm saying we've got to give something up, but we don't. When we're ready, it's not going to feel like anything is being sacrificed at all. And we won't be asked to leave any sooner than we're ready. We could have been jarred awake but a far more wonderful process was chosen instead and we can begin to enjoy the benefits of it as soon as we are willing, even if we opt to stay asleep for a while longer.

And as you can see, we do differ quite a bit in the views we've expressed, but I think we agree on the important things. The rest is only of consequence if it's allowed to become an obstacle in our paths.

 
At 31 Dec 2006 07:16:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"There is not you and me. "We" and "I" are practically interchangable."
Do me a big favor, buddy, and come explain it to the judge here. He insists that I and only I did it!

"When I type this, I am not communicating with someone external to myself, I'm sharing my thoughts within the context of a dream with another part of myself that appears as a fully realized individual. Neither is more real than the other. The only separation that exists is found within illusion."
I know, we are all artefacts from the dream of the spirit of Mankind. In a way. But you have to admit, this is one darn schizo dream! Considering how much that "We" stupidly hurts itself all the time, instead of working for the good of the whole organism. It's like a junk-head pleasing a small part of himself, and pulling the whole of him toward self-destruction.
Our cells also are individual sister entities in the body's interlaced universe. On a certain level of thinking, you make perfect sense.

Of course, on another level, you could also be ripe for the bird-house. ;-)
But aren't we all, in some way?...

"God isn't on another level of existence in terms of this reality. He can't be; something real cannot inhabit something unreal."
I never claimed such a thing. You gave me yourself the answer to that : the collective state of mind of the people making that entity known as "a religion" is very real, in its own way.
Even simple ideas can be very real. It all depends on what you consider real, after all, I'm not telling you anything new there.
To some, God is an empty hollow myth. To others, it is the only truly real thing. We could argue for centuries without convincing everybody one way or the other.
In fact, that precise experience is still under way!!! :-)

"The dreamer does not actually inhabit his dream"
Now that would be an interesting twist, wouldn't it? "I can't stop dreaming, or I'll cease existing!" There's potential writing material in that idea...
Remember though, electromagnetic waves do not need a propagating medium. They constantly create themselves across the void. The electric field inducing the magnetic field, inducing the electric field, etc. It's not that absurd!
Now, I'm not going to suppose God created us in order to exist through our worship. That'd be quite the silly theory. (Maybe even a personal record!)

"In this case life as we know it isn't much different than a movie or a novel."
I'd say, more coherent continuity between the scenes, but rather boring scenario. ;-)
"If your life was a movie, would you go watch it?"

"And as for God, he is not within the dream but his truth is still to be found here..."
Congratulations, you've just avoided being burned at the stake like a steack. ;-)
In a way, you support what the Gospel says. The Bible once mentions the whole people of Israel as being the Messiah. (Ps 105:15) In other words, "we are all the Chosen Savior".

"And we'd best be grateful that God doesn't recognize this place as real, otherwise there'd be no salvation."
Well, it isn't the final place, that's for sure. And I sure like to believe it isn't. Somewhere, being an atheist makes one very bitter. Or maybe being bitter makes one an atheist?...

"The path to redemption is bliss, or love. [...]it can barely be called an emotion because it is so much more"
If it were simply an emotion (it is, but not only!), I'd be very sad indeed. Somewhere, you just HAVE to believe in something higher, or you'd lose all motivation.

"The Disappearance of the Universe" [...] A bit of a warning: you might suffer a mild break down if you go into it with the intention to take it too seriously. ;)
The only thing I ever regard with complete seriousness is laughter. (Because it is just too important!)

"And since I am not here entirely by conscious choice, I'd best make good use of the time I'll be spending in this universe."
I thought you had already written the scenario? ;-)
Oh, right : you weren't conscious when you did. You know, Hollywood would love to hire you!

"To put it more succintly, we're living in what is quite possibly the most advanced MMORPG ever conceived."
Which would explain the vast success of these. :-)
But unlike the others, "Life 0.1" isn't just for enjoyment. It is also meant for us to learn something. Very (yawn!) educational. (snore)

"It is a good question, though: if this place isn't real, or if it's just the precursor for something much bigger, why bother with it?"
Think of it as a mandatory formality before being allowed entry in the cool Club...

"So while we are greater than this and we will eventually see it, there is no harm in establishing the closest thing to heaven as we can right here, where we are, in this moment. Because that's where love is: right here, where we are."
I usually play vidgames for a good time anyway. If I want to be miserable, I can simply visit my in-laws!

"This might seem like I'm saying we've got to give something up, but we don't. When we're ready, it's not going to feel like anything is being sacrificed at all."
Odd how I came to the same conclusion on my own. The key term being, of course, "when the right time comes". My grandfather spent most of his last bed-ridden years trembling at the idea of death. But shortly before his last moment, he understood there was nothing to fear, and went peacefully, in full serenity. We really don't fear death, but only that we'll stop living.
"When the time comes", and come it always will for everybody, it certainly would be a sad mistake to fear the next journey. Hey, when that day comes, I hope to be altogether very old, very merry, and very excited! Ideally, I'd like to leave on one last good joke. That'd leave a pleasant memory behind.

THE PRIEST : "Blessed is he who must depart before his time and meet his Maker. He can rejoice."
THE CONDEMNED : You mean you'd be willing to trade places with me?
THE PRIEST : Don't be silly, my son!

"And as you can see, we do differ quite a bit in the views we've expressed, but I think we agree on the important things."
Looks like it. "You're weird, but I like ya!" :-)
In fact, I find this one of your most interesting posts to date.

 

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