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#47263 - 01/23/11 05:14 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: William Wright]
Diavolo Offline
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Registered: 09/02/07
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 Originally Posted By: William Wright
I guess my question is, why do such debates matter?


They matter because we think they matter. For the same reason we read books. We still get shit done.

D.

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#47267 - 01/23/11 05:53 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: William Wright]
Fist Moderator Offline
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 Quote:
I guess my question is, why do such debates matter?


Excellent question. Seriously, you should make this a separate thread. None the less, most of these guys kill time in other ways such as golf or sailing. Personally, I would rather come here.
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#47275 - 01/23/11 09:07 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: William Wright]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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 Originally Posted By: William Wright
... it seems to me that these OU/SU philosophical arguments are more potato/potahto than anything else. Is it really important whether one thinks of the SU as separate from the OU or merely unique within it? Does it matter whether one believes someone/something named Set gave us our consciousness or we acquired it through some other means?

That's a bit of an unfinished question. Rather you might ask: "Why does it matter?" - or - "To whom does it matter?"

Setian philosophy focuses upon the isolate self consciousness. This is an individual phenomenon. You are either alert to it, aware of it, committed to an ever-increasing apprehension and expansion of it; or you are indifferent to it just as you are to breathing. In the former case you become a god with eternal existence and the ability to create your own universes. In the latter case you are simply a temporarily assembled meat machine, metabolizing for awhile until it disintegrates and recombines into other OU elements.

If, as with your example of a preoccupied OU manipulator such as Steve Jobs, your entire force of will is outwards to the OU, you will remain defined by it. Your mind will be a kind of stimulus/response computer, which like all other OU machines will function until it breaks down.

So this is the answer to the first revised question: It matters because it determines which future awaits you: divinity or animalism, eternal existence or temporary metabolism, Xeper or Nothing.

The "to whom?" follows from this. It matters or does not matter only to you, each isolate self consciousness. As many others as you know, including as family, close friends, 600Cers; all of these exist in their own SUs, of which your existence, whether divine or animal, is of no enforced consequence to theirs. To them you are only what meaning they assign to you, whether consciously as gods or as they just bump into you animalistically from time to time. You may assume for the sake of comfort and reassurance that you are "part of them". This is delusion. You are utterly sole, utterly alone against all else. Most people, particularly noninitiates, find this frightening and go to great self-deceptive lengths to deny it, sublimate it [as in the profane religions], blot it out. The Setian does not.

As for Set: As I daresay has been explained here before, this is the neter, Pythagorean/Platonic Form, or general principle. We call it "Set" because that is the lens through which we first became aware of it in 1975. You could call it by that or any other name which communicates its existence and essence to you as one of its particularizations.

You matter to Set because here you are, created with this divine option which only he can bring into being. He matters to you only if you are aware of, and appreciate his Gift. Otherwise he is just a cartoon figure with a long nose found on a few crumbling Egyptian ruins.
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#47285 - 01/24/11 12:14 AM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
paolo sette Offline
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 Quote:
We call it "Set" because that is the lens through which we first became aware of it in 1975. You could call it by that or any other name which communicates its existence and essence to you as one of its particularizations.



P.S.---Set is another name for the Devil.
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#47290 - 01/24/11 07:48 AM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: paolo sette]
Jason King Offline
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 Originally Posted By: paolo sette
 Quote:
We call it "Set" because that is the lens through which we first became aware of it in 1975. You could call it by that or any other name which communicates its existence and essence to you as one of its particularizations.



P.S.---Set is another name for the Devil.


No, no, no. Set was not a devil, he was a legitimate Neter, or God. If you want the Egyptian devil, that's Apep. And interestingly enough, according to one myth-cycle, of all the Neteru, only Set was powerful enough to guard Ra against Apep's assaults. And I'm sure Aquino will have some words for you on this as well . . .

JK
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#47294 - 01/24/11 11:28 AM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: Jason King]
MindFux Offline
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 Quote:

No, no, no. Set was not a devil, he was a legitimate Neter, or God. If you want the Egyptian devil, that's Apep. And interestingly enough, according to one myth-cycle, of all the Neteru, only Set was powerful enough to guard Ra against Apep's assaults. And I'm sure Aquino will have some words for you on this as well . . .

JK



Very good point, in part at least. I can’t agree with all of it though. You’re without question correct that Set’s real prominence as an ‘OK kind of guy’/powerful defender only emerged in the mythology of the Theban Recension of the Book of the Dead/associated texts of the time. This mythology was then elaborated further during the organization of the Saite Recension, in part due to overzealous scribes and a measure of progressive thinking. Thinking that was firmly grounded in the context of the 'New Kingdom', which was heavily influenced by at least the first 2 ‘intermediate periods’ where Egypt was ruled in whole or in part by one foreign power or another. Egyptian theology resultantly took on some complex, and at times baselessly contradictory mythology that kicked it away from the original archetypes that founded it.

At the conclusion of this process Set was seen as one of Ra’s 'defenders' during his nightly journey, and capable/willing to fight off Apep, but only in some manuscripts from a particular myth cycle. He’s not endemic in that role from all manuscripts dealing with that piece of narrative from that ‘myth-cycle’ (per Budge for the original translations but, far better done, The Egyptian Book of the Dead by Drs. Faulkner, Goelet and Dassow). Even in the ‘Theban Recension’ where the realm of ‘Tuat’ (disputed translation, but Budge did it first) was much more extensively described than in the 'Heliopolitan Recension' (proposed by Budge, disputed by Allen. Silverman offers perhaps the best ‘modern’ explanation) it’s not clear what exactly Set is doing, or if the name of Set being translated as Set is even an appropriate link to ‘Set’, rather than some other entity. (Basically Egyptian theology is a fucking mess and any illusion of coherence in doctrine is an illusion only. The uncertainty is caused in part due to Osiris rapidly being considered the dominant aspect of the gestalt lovingly known as Ra, and being somewhat opposed to Set, but both are merely emanations of the whole, Atum, manifesting in contrast to Nu).

Thoth's words of power, as spoken by Ra when he's returned to 'guy in a boat form' during his long nightly trek through the underworld (after spending some time as a Scarab among other things) and Horus and his lackeys who liked to 'fetter' Apep are much more significant than Set until the Cult of Osiris rose to prominence in any meaningful way and catapulted Set into the limelight by association. There's also the obvious schism between Hermopolitan vs. Heliopolitan creation systems etc. While retrospective apologetics have been used to attempt to make the point that they deal with different aspects of creation, it’s unlikely that there was any such contemporary discourse. In whatever event, great caution must be taken before one takes such a narrative as a literal one, rather than being enormously symbolic.

Basically your interpretation here as to why Set shouldn’t be associated with the ‘Devil’ or Apep should be, is entirely too mythic for my liking, when the myths were stories to explain the Gods, often tacked on by later cultures or scribes to a system that originally didn’t require them. Set’s main purpose was as ‘Male Sexual Energy’ originally. (Bearing in mind that Nu was female and receptive and that Atum was male, Set is in some ways the little brother of his father, Atum. (God's brother). It must be borne in mind, (Allen writes beautifully on this in "Middle Egyptian") that to the Egyptians, the images we associate with 'Gods' are merely ideograms of the ideas represented by the Gods. Maat (truth + other meanings) was literally a god. The Wind, was literally a God. (Draw the distinction between saying, 'the wind is a God' and 'the God of the wind'.) Apep is literally Chaos/destruction. Set was literally ‘Male Sexual Energy’ (a disruptive, penetrative, aggressive, but ultimately creative spark). The mythology around his exploits was secondary to this as his main role in the pantheon.

As a result I have great difficulty linking the concept of Apep with the 'devil', as understood in a modern context. (Given that the Egyptians had no concept of the 'Devil' all we can do is match characteristics of the diabolical to one of their Gods.) I don’t really regard Apep as ‘adversarial’ or ‘progressive’ or ‘providing competition for betterment’. He was a chaotic and evil God, but his plan basically involved 'eat fucking everything'. He was literally the destroyer, and rather than being adversarial, he was representative of the concepts of chaos and destruction. Wanton, mindless, non-progressive destruction. These are of course valid concepts that require representation, but I would ascribe the ‘devil’ with more progressive attributes than that. It’s also worth mentioning that in the Egyptian underworld it was the other God’s that tormented the souls of those that had not lived with Maat, not Apep. (He ate any that wandered too near him, but he wasn’t used by the Egyptian Gods as tormentor or punnisher, merely killed by them nightly due to his constant hunger. Tuat wasn't his realm either. It was Osiris'. He just lived there). He wasn’t individualistic, he wasn’t anything. He was if anything completely ‘non-individualistic’. (return the world to the glorious whole of non-existance).


In terms of who is the more diabolic, I think Set fits the bill better in a lot of ways. He was more progressive and seems to be representative of a more amoral, adversarial, aware spark of ‘fuck you’ than Apep who more closely resembles a drooling black pit. He was the ‘male’ energy. The aggressive, disruptive, but ultimately creative spark to the feminine ‘Nephythys’. Not to mention he killed Osiris, who was the Egyptian Jesus if ever there was one. (Killed, came back to life, became granter of life to others, but could only do so because Set killed him. Adversarial attack led to ultimate attainment.)


Edited by MindFux (01/24/11 11:36 AM)

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#47306 - 01/24/11 02:46 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: William Wright]
myk5 Offline
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Registered: 01/24/11
Posts: 137
Interesting question, why do such debates matter? After all, the true reality hackers, Bill gates, Steve Jobs...they get stuff done!

Well, notice that what Bill Gates or Steve Jobs is NOT doing is forwarding anything in the domain of occult theory.

Which brings us to what matters, generally, because that's the core of your meaning, yes? And if there's an answer to that question, it's experiences that matter. And in the domain of human experience, intellectual stimulation is as valid an experience as any other, it's just not good for just anyone. An ipod, that's good for just almost anyone.

As to the Michael Aquino assertion, I'd rather dodge the question too. Because there's no position I think stronger than the other, it's a 'how many angels dance on the head of a pin' argument to me because i believe too much information is missing (does consciousness survive the death of the body? I can't say! and you can't prove it does or doesn't either).

What I will say is that it's a great thing to have your own website or your own magical group - because that allows you to make your personal opinions authoritative! And every person that suggests they KNOW something that cannot be known - it is based on the authority of the someone that staked a claim in such authority!

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#47311 - 01/24/11 04:31 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: myk5]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
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 Quote:
What I will say is that it's a great thing to have your own website or your own magical group - because that allows you to make your personal opinions authoritative! And every person that suggests they KNOW something that cannot be known - it is based on the authority of the someone that staked a claim in such authority!

I quite disagree with this particular paragraph. Having the possibility to voice opinions by the medium of websites or a group doesn't automatically make a person authoritative.

Authority in my dictionary is granted to persons who know what they are talking about and whose opinions and statements are based on facts, not because you have a website wherein opinions can be voiced. Having a large group of "followers" or persons who more or less share the same sentiments doesn't make you more authorative, it simply means your ideas are not unique and are shared by many others. This does not automatically imply you are right, it never will.
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#47312 - 01/24/11 04:58 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
William Wright Offline
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Dr. Aquino, do you honestly believe that the “correct” philosophical argument results in “eternal existence”? What evidence do you have that eternal existence is possible? Did Set tell you? What does eternal existence mean to you? What exactly will you do for eternity?

I’m sorry for sounding so cynical. I just don’t know how you could say such things and, I presume, keep a straight face. It’s a shame, because I think much of what you say is dead on – but the metaphysical stuff just strikes me as wacky. We ARE animals, no more and no less. What matters is the here and now. We’re born, we hang around for 70 some-odd years and then we die. Everything else, in my humble opinion, is pie-in-the-sky delusion.
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#47313 - 01/24/11 05:15 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: William Wright]
Diavolo Offline
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I think his eternal existence touches a basic question many of us wonder about.

Of course we can say we are animals that are born and die and that's it, but when delving deeper and realizing we are compiled from the same basic material that is found everywhere, what exactly makes the difference between what is alive and what is not?

One could conclude that what creates the difference isn't affected by the same laws that govern the creation.

Not that it makes me get hope but I can't say I find the purely material perspective intellectually satisfying either.

D.

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#47314 - 01/24/11 06:14 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: William Wright]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
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 Originally Posted By: William Wright
Dr. Aquino, do you honestly believe that the “correct” philosophical argument results in “eternal existence”? What evidence do you have that eternal existence is possible? Did Set tell you? What does eternal existence mean to you? What exactly will you do for eternity?

Cf. "The Psyche" & "The Immortality of the Psyche" in Chapter #4 of Black Magic.

 Quote:
I’m sorry for sounding so cynical. I just don’t know how you could say such things and, I presume, keep a straight face. It’s a shame, because I think much of what you say is dead on – but the metaphysical stuff just strikes me as wacky. We ARE animals, no more and no less. What matters is the here and now. We’re born, we hang around for 70 some-odd years and then we die. Everything else, in my humble opinion, is pie-in-the-sky delusion.

As discussed above, it is certainly your prerogative to relegate and condemn your existence to that. \:\( But you don't need to. \:\)
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#47343 - 01/25/11 11:10 AM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
thedeadidea Offline
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The problem with any metaphysics is the speculative property of identities that reportedly describe innate features of reality beyond the realm of reasonable verification. This has been a continual criticism of any analytical philosophy and science that try to describe transcendent orders.

What is the sufficent reason or proof to believe in a disembodied consciousness which preceeds and exists after death ? If the entire issue boils down to something you either accept then it becomes at best a transmission of opinion or conjecture.

Further the persitence of identification of consciousness is apparent individuation is dependant solely on identification. In the sense of accepting individuation origins one has tangible identities of causality to sufficently demonstrate an individual body being produced with demonstration of sufficent intent and action to be considered a seperate thing to another.

What is the cause of this disembodied consciousness preceeding the body ? If one cannot demark this in terms which removes it from a transemperical quality then the convention of even demarking this thing 'isolated' or calling it 'consciousness' becomes completely arbitary.

Anything else is a mythological or analogical association with one's own sentience which has a quality of otherising being. In the most mundane sense you see this people do it with property. In the more mystic sense one might find themself seeing themselves as the ocean but it does not logically follow the mystic does not also recognise he could also drown.

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#47344 - 01/25/11 11:15 AM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
MindFux Offline
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The problem is, that all sounds very much like something Jesus would say in a Gnostic gospel. Your entire thesis, and this has always been my problem with the ToS (much as I respect the founder thereof), is that because we have a subjective impression, or sense of coherent awareness, or have the impression of consciousness that it is in fact something more real than the subjective impression of its existence. The issues with this supposition are legion. Grasping at the historical precedence of prehistoric minds, such as the ancient Egyptians, ancient Jewish custom, ancient Chinese doctrine, does not support any of the conclusions you heap onto them. They do not address the underlying problem that as Hume pointed out, the awareness itself could be the illusion, and he wasn’t talking solipsism. The myth of consciousness could as easily be an impression created by the physical mind as a result of how it processes data, rather than a real thing manifested via the mind. All that we can be certain exists are that ‘thoughts’ and the coherent sense of self exist. (Not the self as and unto itself).


All that is demonstrated by grasping at history is the truism that from the beginning of the written record, man has speculated and wondered about what the “I” is. That man at all ages has created mythologies or complex oft dualistic concepts with regards what ‘it’ is. In fact, probably from the time of the ‘Great Leap Forward’ where man seemingly woke up to abstract concepts and started to form complex cultures man has speculated, and assumed continuance of the awareness past the point of physical death. That’s a wonderful historical treatise, but it does nothing to actually provide any weight to your sentiments. That because primitive man strove to deal with the inherent absurdity (philosophical contradiction) between existence and non existence, and more often than not assumed that existence must continue post death, does not, no matter how poetic their primitive justification, indicate that ‘it’ does in fact continue post death, innately as in your thesis, or through right thought and action per Greek/Gnostic/eastern thought. It would be like me referring back to the mythological stories of sailors claiming that they saw the edge of the flat earth as a huge waterfall passing into the abyss (they exist) as evidence that the earth is secretly flat, but it transcends modern logic, or has been hidden from us by science. Clearly there is a metaphysical waterfall that they definitely saw, using the arcane wisdom of not having an accurate model of reality and thus their words have enormous weight that will lead to immortality? (After all, it’s not just in lamentable Disney films that they believed there was an afterlife there.)


The Great Leap forward to me demolishes the concept of some innate higher self that we must beat down the ego to encounter. Purely on the basis that we existed without a coherent ego for most of the history of the species. For 60,000 years man just wandered around, producing the same artifacts (weapons, sticks, etc) but never painted a picture, organized into a city, or congregated in more than arbitrarily small groups. Despite no genetic difference (they’d be indistinguishable from us, given a hair cut) they just weren’t doing anything cultural. Then suddenly, the concept of the abstract seems to have arisen. Suddenly, symbolic representations begin to appear. Burials begin to happen in formal ceremonies, systems of astrology began to arise and be marked by monuments. Cave paintings begin to emerge. Evidence of ritual and ritual sacrifice begin to be found, and the first images of Gods and archetypes begin to occur. It’s as if man learned the ‘abstract’, or the ability to express abstract concepts, and we’re a continuance of that process (Dawkins rights wonderfully on this in The Ancestor’s Tale). The second this occurred, we find evidence of religion.

We know from the studies of Neuroplasticity, that the neurons in a human brain re-wire based on external stimulus. That the brain alters itself to suit certain needs. This effect is largest when the child is youngest, but it does continue into adult life (per Hubel, Wiesel, Donoghue). The point is, as many cases of ‘Feral’ children demonstrate, the abstract (and the self/higher self/complex language are all abstract) is something your brain becomes wired to experience, comment on, and measure in the first 2 years of your experience, if it is exposed to it in others. If you’re not taught at that point, by exposure, then you pass the neurodevelopmental point where you are capable of learning this type of thinking, and lose that potential for ever. Take the case of a wolf girl, removed from all human contact as a child, and living either locked away from all human contact, or with animals. That child will behave animalistically, like a wolf, or animal. Then when introduced to human it can be taught words for things. It can be taught the word, ‘apple’, ‘can’, ‘goat’, ‘beans’ but it can never be taught grammar. It cannot and will never be taught concepts, like happiness, sadness, the self, ‘the I’. It can’t even use words like I, or understand that it’s name refers to it. That is the self without ego. Without the I. That is the most primitive, unenlightened form of man, capable of neither grasping, nor reasoning out the concept of the higher self that you for some reason assume can only come to pass when the ego is abandoned.

That was the state of everyone before the Great Leap Forward, when culture began to be taught through gradual progression, when the abstract began to be taught and experienced and Neuroplasticitiy caused the brain to even be capable of comprehending it, without eliciting a single genetic change. The bottom line is, the self, the higher self, and the lower self are all abstract concepts created by culture, not fundamental truths of our existence. They are things that our brains wiring creates. (Sure the counter argument can be raised by the line, “well maybe the innate ‘ness’ of the universe only uses that wiring as a conduit” but Occam’s Razor states that I don’t require that explanation to model human behavior).


You can leap to a Quantum Theory of mind, and argue that every time a superposition becomes objectively decoherent that is a moment of ‘awareness’. You can even go Penrose and argue that the entangled superposition condensate of a large mesh of interconnected electrons in the human brain objectively reducing and becoming decoherent causes our experience of consciousness at the rate of 40Hz. You can argue that as the universe is popping with such moments of objective reduction, that it has some kind of uber-experience and as such we continue, but the problem with all of that is it that it is not falsifiable. Worse than that, even if it were all true, the conclusions based on it don’t match the facts, and one is left with simply, who cares? The bottom line is, that consciousness would still be a function of the human brain. The wiring of the human brain. The configuration of the human brain whether consciousness arose from the captured objective collapse of quantum superposition or otherwise. Only in those circumstances could awareness arise, and only in the circumstances where neuroplacisity has wired the brain to have an ego, can the brain ever even reason out and create the impression of a coherent self. Can it even express the concept of higher reason, or the archetype of Set. Therein lies the problem. Dualism fails in the face of history. Without the ego, the self, we’re animals, and there’s nothing innate about it. We’re taught it and in the process of being taught our brains are wired differently, develop differently and become capable of discussing it and generating that sense of self.

Even if the QM theories are correct, all that would happen is that maybe there would be other sparks of awarenss that were once 'us' completely removed from the mechanisms that made us us in any recognizeable form drifting through multidimensional space. I think that would fail as a continuance of existance, because the key of us, the abstract things that make us who and what we are, definitely aren't coming along for the ride.


Edited by MindFux (01/25/11 11:24 AM)
Edit Reason: brain problems

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#47346 - 01/25/11 11:52 AM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
William Wright Offline
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Loc: Nashville
All right, Dr. Aquino – let’s just say for the sake of argument that each of us has a psyche or “soul” that contains the core of our consciousness, and that our psyches will exist long after our physical bodies have expired. What specifically would such an afterlife entail?

Would I live, basically, like a ghost floating around in space? If so, that doesn’t sound like much fun. In fact it sounds like a pretty miserable way to spend eternity, knowing that I’ll never again be able to have the enjoyable experiences I had when I was a mere mortal. Never again will I be able to go to an amusement park with my daughter, make love to my wife or sink my teeth into a thick juicy steak. It just doesn’t sound like anything to look forward to.

Am I way off base here? If so, please set me straight. Take me through a typical day in the afterlife.
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#47351 - 01/25/11 12:47 PM Re: Concerning Isolate Psyche [Re: William Wright]
Jake999 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
 Originally Posted By: William Wright
Take me through a typical day in the afterlife.


"You wake up every morning to alarm clock warning
Take the 8:15 into the city..." -- Taking Care of Business, Bachman Turner Overdrive

This has always been hard as hell for me to swallow as well, and, being the son of a mortician, I have seen ZERO cause to believe that there is ANYTHING after one dies... no soul, no great beyond. Dead is dead is dead.

Now there's always the old saw about the turn of the century "scientist" (actually a curious doctor) who weighed a patient immediately prior to death and after death and found (if memory serves) a 1/4 pound difference in weight. Apparently he was predisposed to think in such terms, so he concluded that the weight difference HAD TO BE the soul.

Weeeeelllll not exactly. The human body doesn't just STOP upon death. Breath escapes the body as the lungs become heavy and expel air, and then there are farts, belches and murmurings as the body evacuates. The dead body loses weight for some time after death, and there are muscular jerks and twitches. I even saw a body sit bolt upright as a result of trauma from a car accident. So the loss of 1/4 pound could easily be understood.

But there is no proof and currently no provable way to demonstrate the continuation of sentience after death. Try as people might, cloaked in their 21st Century science and skepticism for some reason, they have been unable to shed that little boy/little girl dread of death as the end. Surely there must be more... I and ME, after all, I HAVE TO BE special. My consciousness ... my essence. Sorry, but we're not that special.

Theories and speculations on life after death are all well and good, but without proof and verifiable and replicable consistency, it's just another theory, whether it be Christianity, Setianism, or any other social or religious post-life construct. Show me PROOF and I'll be glad to examine it. Show me theories and I can file them as interesting, but lacking evidence.
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