1. Melbourne, Australia
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    09 Jun '11 12:48
    In moments of clarity life can appear very much as a story. And oneself is seen as a major character in life as it presents itself to you. One is not outside that story, but in it.

    This may seem strange because it is somewhat like being without a self at all. The "selves" in stories are "characters" or "roles", and that doesn't quite fit the idea of a self. But no matter. Living the story, the ever so real story, is the thing, the thing that brings it all together...

    One feels like a self - if one didn't the story falls apart, as any story would, without characters and roles. It is a story of meanings, perhaps more like a journey of a larger story, one that births many sub stories, chapters of one's life, one's days, one's hours, like a holographic mandelbrot.

    Some may ask, "Is that all?" And to that I say,
    "Yes, that's all... wonderful isn't it! Living, joyful, hurting, failing, succeeding, overcoming, completing...all in real 3d color, surround sound, and actually real tactile effects, that makes you feel like you are really there!"

    Want a story of struggle, and overcoming struggle?
    Want a story of deep religious faith of Saviours, Buddhas or Prophets?
    Or perhaps a story
    of great scientific discovery,
    of artistic genius,
    of great leaders,
    of tyrants or of saints?

    Want a story of utter defeat and misery,
    where no-one fought back?

    We've got 'em all.

    And the meaning? Whatever it is, it is its own meaning as built by us, alone or together. We are all right in the midst, right NOW, of our "meaning cloud" and if we want the cloud to be dark, we can "do our bit" in creating such... or stare it down with our own stronger meanings, despite even the possibility of an apparent, untimely, "exit, stage left".

    And equally, with other brighter stories, with happy endings,
    where, with gratitude, we whisper through tears of joy,

    "Who'd be dead for quids?"
  2. Standard memberkaroly aczel
    the Devil himself
    Brisbane,QLD
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    09 Jun '11 21:50
    Originally posted by Taoman
    In moments of clarity life can appear very much as a story. And oneself is seen as a major character in life as it presents itself to you. One is not outside that story, but in it.

    This may seem strange because it is somewhat like being without a self at all. The "selves" in stories are "characters" or "roles", and that doesn't quite fit the idea of a sel ...[text shortened]... tude, we whisper through tears of joy,

    "Who'd be dead for quids?"
    It's still just a story,right? even if it has to happen
  3. Melbourne, Australia
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    10 Jun '11 01:04
    Originally posted by karoly aczel
    It's still just a story,right? even if it has to happen
    Somehow I think the story is not so "just" when it is so very real. Does anything "have to happen", or does it just happen? I think "arising of itself" (including us) is more like it.
    We are part of the making of that story. It seems we are in a Universe that brings about lives of many sorts, experiencing, living and dying, and it is the very experiencing that holds the meanings and the making of meanings.
    If something happens today in your life and you mould meaning into that story by your response, whether negative or positive,this is a crux point of what, for me, life is ultimately "about" - being genuinely open to the full "presencing" of oneself, warts and all.
    A good story is hard to beat..after all, even today, as of ancient times, and now through all our modern media, it's what we appear much enthralled by.

    Cheers Karoley.
  4. Standard memberblack beetle
    Black Beastie
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    10 Jun '11 04:27
    Originally posted by Taoman
    In moments of clarity life can appear very much as a story. And oneself is seen as a major character in life as it presents itself to you. One is not outside that story, but in it.

    This may seem strange because it is somewhat like being without a self at all. The "selves" in stories are "characters" or "roles", and that doesn't quite fit the idea of a sel ...[text shortened]... tude, we whisper through tears of joy,

    "Who'd be dead for quids?"
    Without an inside, without an outside;
    Entering this state easily is joy😵
  5. Joined
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    11 Jun '11 21:32
    Originally posted by Taoman
    In moments of clarity life can appear very much as a story. And oneself is seen as a major character in life as it presents itself to you. One is not outside that story, but in it.

    This may seem strange because it is somewhat like being without a self at all. The "selves" in stories are "characters" or "roles", and that doesn't quite fit the idea of a sel ...[text shortened]... tude, we whisper through tears of joy,

    "Who'd be dead for quids?"
    This reminds me of something I was thinking about just the other day. I see(perceive) the whole of what I see, although I know there's more to the whole than what I see. But what I do see appears to be at least a part of the whole, and I see it as a picture or a story of life.

    I analyze, compare, weigh, measure, arrange and rearrange, sort through, prioritize, and all the rest, of everything I see.

    I am both in the picture and an observer of the picture. I can effect the picture, but only by what I think, say and do. I did not make the picture. It appears I am a part of the picture. A living picture that changes with the things I think, say and do. But I did not create the picture.

    All I see came before me. I come from all I see. I am of its essence. I feel it in my soul, and it feels me as I act upon it.

    But I am not the author of this story, or the painter of this picture of life. Just as we are the authors and makers of our contribution to the story, the story, or picture, was originally authored by someone as well.

    This story, or picture, is a reflection of a greater reality. One that is beyond our physical perceptions.

    Some say there is no such thing as something beyond, or outside of our physical senses. How can they know that? And if they say there is something, but it's not responsible for the existence of this story, or picture, then what is that but a shot in the dark?

    Back to square one!
  6. Standard memberkaroly aczel
    the Devil himself
    Brisbane,QLD
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    12 Jun '11 05:50
    Originally posted by josephw
    This reminds me of something I was thinking about just the other day. I see(perceive) the whole of what I see, although I know there's more to the whole than what I see. But what I do see appears to be at least a part of the whole, and I see it as a picture or a story of life.

    I analyze, compare, weigh, measure, arrange and rearrange, sort through, prior ...[text shortened]... ce of this story, or picture, then what is that but a shot in the dark?

    Back to square one!
    The New Age philosophy tells us that we Do make the picture. Or at least co-create it. This seems to be a major stumbling block for christians and non-christians alike.

    The difference between survivng and living, between being a victim and co-creator.
    The responsibility of the enourmous weight that the conclusions that my premise(s) hold.
    This story is so real.
  7. Melbourne, Australia
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    13 Jun '11 09:04
    Originally posted by josephw
    This reminds me of something I was thinking about just the other day. I see(perceive) the whole of what I see, although I know there's more to the whole than what I see. But what I do see appears to be at least a part of the whole, and I see it as a picture or a story of life.

    I analyze, compare, weigh, measure, arrange and rearrange, sort through, prior ...[text shortened]... ce of this story, or picture, then what is that but a shot in the dark?

    Back to square one!
    Thank you for the thoughtful post, joseph w.

    All in all, to me, tis indeed hard to locate the Teller of the story, which appears to create itself, moment by moment. Out of spontaneous absence it arises. But I do not think there is no Teller either.

    It is your story, as well as the story of those others in it, the story of the context of interconnected meanings and feelings, expanding out and part of the very story of a universe.

    I have heard it said that if it were possible to actually take just one bit of the story out, the whole "thing" would collapse back into the ever potent Void, from whence it all arises, which is one way of thinking about it; BB expresses it more succinctly (but I like a bit of descriptive play, just for fun!)

    Been away a few days. Hope all are well and warm, or cool, as needs be.
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    13 Jun '11 22:58
    My favorite story about the place of story in religious philosophy (and one which I repeat often) is told by Rami Shapiro, in one of his books, Hasidic Tales. Shapiro is a Reconstructionist rabbi, but I believe that the “Reb Reuven” in the story was Orthodox—



    One Shabbos afternoon, Reb Reuven called me into his study. He was sitting behind his desk and motioned me to take the chair across from him. A volume of the Zohar was lying open in front of him.


    “Do you know what the Zohar is?” he asked.


    “Of course,” I said. “It is a mystical commentary on Torah written by Moshe deLeon, a thirteenth century Spanish kabbalist who....”


    “Nonsense!” he yelled at me, half rising out of his chair. “The Zohar isn’t just a commentary; it’s a Torah all by itself. It is a new Torah, a new telling of the last Torah. You do know what Torah is, don’t you?”


    Suspecting that I didn’t, and afraid to invoke his wrath a second time, I waited silently, certain that he would answer his own question. I was not disappointed.


    “Torah is story. God is story. Israel is story. You, my university-educated soon-to-be a liberal pain in the ass rabbi, are a story. We are all stories! We are all Torahs!...Listen, Rami,” Reuven said in a softer voice. “Torah starts with the word b’reisheet,* ‘Once upon a time!’”


    * Conventionally translated as “in the beginning” or “with beginning” or “when God began…”.
  9. Joined
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    14 Jun '11 03:15
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Thank you for the thoughtful post, joseph w.

    All in all, to me, tis indeed hard to locate the Teller of the story, which appears to create itself, moment by moment. Out of spontaneous absence it arises. But I do not think there is no Teller either.

    It is your story, as well as the story of those others in it, the story of the context of interconnected ...[text shortened]... lay, just for fun!)

    Been away a few days. Hope all are well and warm, or cool, as needs be.
    I have a question. It just came to me. What relationship is there between energy and matter, and thought?

    I'm of the opinion that thought is made of something other than matter or energy, but for the life of me I couldn't tell you just how or what that is.

    I might put it this way though. Matter and energy are relative to one another in that they are static. What I mean by static is that they obey a set of rules and never stray outside of those bounds.

    But thought, it seems, has no bounds. I think that is because thought issues from life, whereas energy and matter are not intrinsically imbued with a life force as are we living beings.

    I'm going way out on a limb here in an attempt to describe something I'm not really sure about. I'm exploring. Speculating. As I read yours, bb's and vistesd's posts, I try to 'see' that perspective, but I'm relentlessly drawn back to the idea of my own individual life essence as distinct and separate from mere matter and energy.

    The story is of our thoughts played out on the stage of matter and energy.
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Jun '11 03:38
    Originally posted by josephw
    I have a question. It just came to me. What relationship is there between energy and matter, and thought?

    I'm of the opinion that thought is made of something other than matter or energy, but for the life of me I couldn't tell you just how or what that is.

    I might put it this way though. Matter and energy are relative to one another in that they are st ...[text shortened]... energy.

    The story is of our thoughts played out on the stage of matter and energy.
    I think that’s really at the crux of a significant metaphysical divide. I, for example, see energy at the root of everything—I would equate “spirit” with energy. Although I don’t often speak in terms of “essence”, I might say that my “essence” is that I am energy-aware, or energized awareness, or . . . Well, maybe that’s why I don’t often speak of “essence”. 🙁 But the tripping point for me is—intentionality. It seems to me that I undertake certain actions—or even certain lines of inquiry, such as this one—intentionally. What is it about the whole existential affair that grounds that intentionality? One might say that it’s survival based (what I call the natural urge to survive and to thrive/flourish)—and that otherwise we wouldn’t be here to discuss it—but, does that really explain anything (as opposed to describing a process ex post facto)?

    Maybe that is where the “grammar of our consciousness” ends, and we can just—wonder. Without attempting any answers (let alone dogmatic ones!).

    Let’s say, just for discussion, that Christianity (the many versions of it) is one story that delves into the mystery without presuming to have eradicated or solved the mystery. The same for Judaism, for Hinduism, for Buddhism, for Islam, for . . . What each of these stories brings to the mystery is—not a solution, but—a distinctive aesthetic “take” on the mystery itself, and our existential relationship within it. [And we each think that our story is the best, truest, only . . . etc., etc.!]

    I am aware of the limits of the “grammar of my consciousness” to decipher completely the “syntax of the cosmos” and my existential condition. But I can tell a story . . . As, in a way, you have just done here.
  11. Joined
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    14 Jun '11 04:11
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I think that’s really at the crux of a significant metaphysical divide. I, for example, see energy at the root of everything—I would equate “spirit” with energy. Although I don’t often speak in terms of “essence”, I might say that my “essence” is that I am energy-aware, or energized awareness, or . . . Well, maybe that’s why I don’t often speak of “essenc ...[text shortened]... y existential condition. But I can tell a story . . . As, in a way, you have just done here.
    Dang it vistesd, you're just too smart for me. 🙂 I understand what you're saying, almost, but I keep trying to break it down, not into tiny little pieces that have to be reassembled again so that I can get a take on reality, but into large chunks that can be seen separately and all at once.

    I am, not because I am a piece of the whole, but because I am apart from it.
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Jun '11 05:59
    Originally posted by josephw
    Dang it vistesd, you're just too smart for me. 🙂 I understand what you're saying, almost, but I keep trying to break it down, not into tiny little pieces that have to be reassembled again so that I can get a take on reality, but into large chunks that can be seen separately and all at once.

    I am, not because I am a piece of the whole, but because I am apart from it.
    The problem appears to be the common one, the self-reference "I".
    To me, "I" is a convenient reference to this participating "node" of awareness, within the Great Matrix of Awareness.
    You or I as a totally independent entity, or anything else for that matter, divine or mundane, that could stand by itself, without any dependence on anything else is a fiction. This is the essential point about the Buddhist concept of "sunyata" or emptiness - an absolute absence of totally separate existing "things" or persons. But it also means we cannot say we do not exist either, and thus there is a story-like quality about it all. Story, storymaker, characters, plot and process all rolled into one, all interdependent.

    May I give an illustration. Ostensibly, I stand here by myself, named and known. But who really am "I" as a person? I think of one of my brothers for instance, could be anyone of many in my life. If somehow he was to be totally erased from my existence and never was, would I be the same "I"? Of course not, for he has contributed to who I am and his influence on others in my life have also echoed back onto me. Extend this to all and everything that happens in one's life's story and perhaps something of this wondrous net of "stories" might be felt.

    A story may hold you enthralled to the backbone, yet with totally fictional characters that do not in actual fact exist of themselves. And even if they did it would seem not something that was entirely necessary for the value or meaning in whatever the story is.

    If we take something as real in itself, by itself alone, no-thing anywhere like that can be found. Every-thing is a part of everything else, both receiving and giving to the All and even the All requires its Parts. And this is the greatest story of all, perfect and complete, with its tragedies that are the background to joy and wrongs and challenges that are overcome with courage and correctness. Complete and perfect down to the last sentence...but then like some Mandelbrot it reawakens anew...unto infinity.
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Jun '11 07:12
    Originally posted by vistesd
    My favorite story about the place of story in religious philosophy (and one which I repeat often) is told by Rami Shapiro, in one of his books, Hasidic Tales. Shapiro is a Reconstructionist rabbi, but I believe that the “Reb Reuven” in the story was Orthodox—



    One Shabbos afternoon, Reb Reuven called me into his study. He was sitting behind his ...[text shortened]...


    * Conventionally translated as “in the beginning” or “with beginning” or “when God began…”.
    "Once upon a time...", I like it. 🙂
  14. Standard memberkaroly aczel
    the Devil himself
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    14 Jun '11 14:481 edit
    Originally posted by Taoman
    The problem appears to be the common one, the self-reference "I".
    To me, "I" is a convenient reference to this participating "node" of awareness, within the Great Matrix of Awareness.
    You or I as a totally independent entity, or anything else for that matter, divine or mundane, that could stand by itself, without any dependence on anything else is a fictio st sentence...but then like some Mandelbrot it reawakens anew...unto infinity.
    You seen "A Waking Life"? Highly recomended, filled with personal comentaries about life and whatnot.
    One of them was this chick who was saying that to look at a picture of herself when she was younger and to think of herself now she had to invent a story. (Like she went to school here and met these people and this other stuff happenned and here she is.) But none of the actual components of her physical being are the same. All the atoms that make up her body have changed numerous times and it actually takes a story to weave it all together to make sense of it.
    Then she trailed off saying that despite this we all remain quintisenntially unique, our own persons.
    Good stuff, makes you wonder about that old photo of yourself. Who is that guy? who am I?
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Jun '11 15:15
    Originally posted by Taoman
    The problem appears to be the common one, the self-reference "I".
    To me, "I" is a convenient reference to this participating "node" of awareness, within the Great Matrix of Awareness.
    You or I as a totally independent entity, or anything else for that matter, divine or mundane, that could stand by itself, without any dependence on anything else is a fictio ...[text shortened]... st sentence...but then like some Mandelbrot it reawakens anew...unto infinity.
    Very well said!
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