getting to silence

Knowing how to meditate allows us to rest our thinking to the point of having no thoughts for periods of time.

Some folks claim all types of weird and fantastical things one can experience by meditating.

Magical thinking is passe, yet many because of their heritage cling to it. It really is a great comfort to believe there will be an eternity of bliss for the faithful. When it doesn’t take place, he or she will never know it. It’s a win/win situation…specially for the hell-fire-and-brimstone preachers.

Meditation is good for undoing stress, and meditation is also a way to commune with one’s being (one’s body and steed).  This communion happens during the silent periods of meditation. Meditation allows us to become more positive.

Imagine what a relief it would be for the language going on in our brains all of our waking moments to gradually become still, silent. Meditation gives the body and brain small vacations.

Getting to silence is not easy because we are hooked on language because it’s the best tool available. 

So, we use words – listen to words – or produce thoughts constantly. This is why music and good stories are so restful because they can take us away from ourselves for a while.

Meditation is
the dimension of silence,
and it’s free and open to all humans.

Classical meditation:

We sit or lay down and get comfortable and begin to relax our body parts one at a time from the top of the head to the bottoms of our feet or the other way around.

Then to slow down our thinking, we put attention on our breath by noticing the air going in and its coming out again and again. There are tiny hairs at the openings of our nostrils which are affected by the flowing air of our breath which can be sensed if noticed and can capture our attention.

It’s normal for us to eventually begin to use words while meditating, and when we do, don’t worry about it because it’s natural for the mind to reestablish its normal activity, and we’ll eventually notice the thoughts, and without a sense of failing, we’ll go back to noticing our breath again or we’ll begin using a mantra again: Ommmmmmmmm…Ommmmmmmm again and again until we notice our thinking and will return to noticing our breath or a mantra again. 30 to 45  minutes daily will put us on firm path. We can break this amount of time into 10 or 15 periods or have a single period of meditation.

Daily meditation is best because its affect becomes greater and greater, yet any amount of meditation is good for us.

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comfort and hope

What are the classical religions? Are they very old and compelling traditions based on beliefs and promises passed on by the living to the next generation? Memes.

What is religion’s purpose? Is it to capture (save) large numbers of humans by giving them comfort and hope based on the promise of having a wonderful and never ending existence after death? Who can’t see the opportunity in that?

Organized religion is one of the greatest tools for herding humans. Nothing is wrong with this unless the power is abused by leaders. History is full of horrific examples of organized religion being used to abuse human beings.

Religion is the territory of belief and faith which makes for an interesting game of comfort and hope. But…

The odds are very high there is no afterlife, and if true, evildoers will not get their promised eternity of suffering, and the odds are exactly the same for believers to not receive their eternal rewards.

Is living not being able to know for sure what’s going to happen in the future the best way to live? Is it because the odds of an omnipotent, warlike, and vengeful god calling all the shots are so small, the god might as well be nonexistent.

Did the idea of a god existing come about to explain good and bad events as many have suggested and then did leaders pounce on the power of belief?

be so lucky

Is it possible one’s god is the only true God out of all the other thousands of true Gods who are supported by their own holy scriptures or bibles? Are all of these other religions created by humans but not one’s own god or religion?

If you are one of these religious folks, you feel, believe, and have faith, as much as all the other religious folks do, that your god is the only real one. Otherwise, why give your time and money away?

How can so many be so lucky? Have they created their own luck?

magical being

Can or should the term “magical being” be used instead of the word God? Of course this swap will not fit in every instance but will be expressive in the places where it fits.

One might reply, “Are you telling me, you believe in magical beings?”

But what’s the matter with a magical god? The matter is people are the promoters of magical happenings right out of thin air. Magical things are in story after story and used in the creation of religions. Think of the ten commandments with no burning and talking bush involved. Impossible, it sells the story.

The term magical thinking describes more graphically what folks are believing than their favored term the supernatural does. It’s favored because the term supernatural makes their magical beliefs seem as though they might have a scientific basis of being natural but something beyond science that science cannot understand or control.

Terms aside. Is belief only belief or is it real? A belief is called belief because you can’t always count on a belief matching what’s real. When new supported information comes forth, the what turned out to be beliefs have to be dropped and replaced with ideas (beliefs) fitting the new circumstance. It’s the way science works.

On the other hand, religion is fueled by faith in beliefs which not supposed to change.

Some of the faithful may say “We can’t know for sure, but we aren’t taking any chances. What about you?” Then agnostics and atheists might ask “What are the chances you are believing in the correct god out of the thousands which exist?” 

Yet believing in magic is a way of living a satisfying life for many. The term supernatural being in their minds describes their god best and separates it from the magical existence of creatures like elves and goblins. The faithful feel all of the other so-called gods were invented by humans, and say we are so fortunate to have the real God’s favor.

It’s impossible
for me to imagine an
actual being greater than nature.

Nature actually creates itself. I can imagine
all of the safe-for-life pockets
out there.

Don’t
most stars
have a sweet spot?

Is having to put up with organized
religion
a

phase
most planets with
civilizations have to go through?

religion and science

Magical thinking is a term best used to describe people who try and sometimes succeed in passing laws which make all non-magical thinkers live according the rules of their magical beliefs or become lawbreakers.

Laws were made in the past when the magical thinkers had the power to do so and would put a person in the stocks (“an historical instrument of punishment consisting of an adjustable wooden structure with holes for securing a person’s feet and hands, in which criminals were locked and exposed to public ridicule or assault”) for cussing or for working on a Sunday, etc. These laws have disappeared over time or are not being enforced.

But this failure in the past doesn’t deter them from trying to pass laws today based on magical thinking. A big attempt was working for years in an attempt to legally force teachers to teach “evolution is not a fact”. The attempt did not succeed because evolution was and is the only factual and rational explanation for the development of life on our earth.

Magical thinking is a sharp-but-fair term to use when it comes to describing the religion of those who threaten others with eternal punishment in hell (a magical place) which is a much sharper claim than the term magical thinking suggests. 

Agnostics and atheists generally prefer to leave others alone about their religious leanings or doctrines. This is why these thoughts are expressed in a blog and are not sent out as an email.

When a person’s ideas about religion and science are considered as art, it turns out one is composed of thousands of forms frozen in place and cannot be changed in any way. The other has one form and is constantly changing and the form includes everything, and it’s interesting because its history and future are full of actual discoveries.

The religious forms are single pictures; science is a movie.

a wonderful house

Do we all live in a wonderful house made of words?

Is it that as we become hooked on the power of language, actual reality starts to become harder and harder to sense? Do we not remember much about the change possibly because we were so very young?

It’s apparent we become trapped in and addicted to language as a normal part of being modern humans.

But we don’t feel trapped in language because we can’t remember it being any other way. Language is our most powerful tool. Why would one want to cast it aside even for a little while?

Language is a deed and so what are the consequences? By constantly using language we naturally feel like separate entities, and this is reinforced by our individual names which are also a part of language. And…

We become captains of an amazing creature. And we don’t want our position as captain threatened in any way. And the thought of stopping the flow of language scares us identities because we are not comfortable with silence. What to do? The experts say, feel the fear and give it all of your attention, then meditate anyway. Learn to be patient with your own self while you’re learning how best to connect with your ride.

——Why use the term “ride”? How did we come into existence? The only non magical way is that we (the identities) were created after our birth by our own bodies interacting with family and society. Could this mean our bodies are our souls if there is such a thing as a soul?——

Moving on, the sages say the word “moon” is not the moon; it’s no more than “a finger pointing.” In other words “The word is not the thing.” So, we inhabit the very interesting and powerful world of fingers pointing.

Without words there can be no believing. Stopping the flow of language takes courage and patience. The drawback with not having a religious belief in a god or gods is there’s no one to complain to or pray to or to blame.

And for us seekers, our opportunity is a privilege which brings a constant type of pleasure by facing the world straight on with no after-death promises and living with awareness all the while not knowing for sure about a lot of things. For me, it’s the taste of freedom.

Is all we can do is to go with what seems the most reliable? So, will it be magic or science? What are the odds of magical places like heaven and hell existing? It’s hardly a fair fight.

Are there other choices? Believing in both? Science keeps changing it’s mind to match what is real, and religion’s mind is frozen in place and rarely thaws. When it does thaw, it brings about a new religion which freezes in place. We can see the results: all twenty thousand plus of them.

Is the greatest secret there’s nothing to know?
Is the greatest fact there’s nothing but being?

the really big clue

As a humanist, it’s normal for me to think everything happening in our universe is occurring naturally, even if it looks or seems like a miracle, and it’s normal for me to think there’s no such thing as an all-powerful overseer in charge with a plan for part of humanity to live in bliss forever with the overseer while the rest of humanity is tortured forever along with all other enemies of the overseer.

It seems the major vulnerability of humanity is it’s so easy for folks to believe in forms of supernaturalism: fairies, gods, spirits, etc. (We all want to be safe, and if possible, to exist and be safe forever. As kids, it’s easy to think “All these grownups believe in miracles, so miracles must be real.” etc.)

Almost all religions are saying their truth is the only truth and promise the rewards to the faithful will fulfill all of the heart’s desires. The catch to this apparently ideal situation is a follower usually has to die. So, the reason for the word FAITH, the workhorse of religion.

This is the really big clue. Ask, what are the odds? Are normal religions like lottery tickets and serve well as social clubs?

It’s reasonable to think the believers who die will never wake to see if their truth is the real truth or not among the thousands of others all claiming to have the only truth.

What are the odds of real magic existing?

And what are the odds of a person being brought up in a home in possession of the real spiritual truth? 

If I had been born in India by Indian parents, I might today be a Hindu or Sikh and believe just a sincerely in Hinduism or Sikhism as a follower of Christianity or a follower of Islam believes he or she is following the true path leading to eternal satisfaction and salvation. A Sikh might pity them both.

For me it’s reasonable to think all religions and their belief systems came from human minds. So, could there really exist an all-powerful overseer who has sicked a strict and harsh religion first on its own women and then on the rest of the world?