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Comments by Scott Miller
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On “Dying Declarations (disbelief in disbelief 2)

CK--I have been envisioning a movie you could make. It would be made up of the most ridiculous, frustrating, hilarious, mind numbing, bizarre, boring, and creepy comments written on blogs, and YouTube video posts, etc. You would make it visually interesting with all of your great visual twists--like endless regressions, etc. The idea came to me when I was reading the comments below a YouTube video post of a Pianist clip. One guy added another link to a piece played by Arthur Rubenstein (however he spells his name), and another guy wrote in that it wasn't Rubenstein. "Why do you say that?," the first guy responded. But that was it. No response. Then another guy wrote in to contradict the posters appreciation of the Chopin piece. "I know relative beginners who can play that piece almost in its entirety." I started feeling sorry for the original poster. So I started thinking of a guy who just writes in the most hard to handle comments. They are just mind-blowingly hard to handle because they aren't argumentative--they're just declarative in the most puzzling of ways and that's the point. Maybe, eventually, we discover the main character of your movie writes these things on purpose, just to piss people off in the oddest of ways. Or something.

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And we may here be proving that Buddha was right.

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To me, the issue of atheism goes most directly to what CK has been questioning so well about belief. Is there a difference between God and No-God? If not, then definitely atheism is like the snake that eats its tail, and even if there is a difference, then atheism still might be the snake eating its tail. I understand agnosticism. I understand people believing that something can't be known. Like Richard Feynman, I believe that energy is unknowable. It can't be separated from any other thing, so it can't be compared or contrasted with anything, so we can't know what it is in the way we normally know things. I also appreciate the Buddha's position. He did not actually weigh in on the question of whether God exists. He just didn't think it was helpful for us to spend time with the questioning. We have bigger, more fundamental problems to work out and the question distracts us. But someone believing that not only is it impossible to know whether God exists, but that the person actually knows that God doesn't exist is problematic in the exact ways that CK has pointed out, and in respect to arrogance. I find it much more arrogant to go against what science has recognized about our brains' natural inclination toward theism and declare a knowing about God not existing, then to go along with the more natural idea that God does exist. That can be debated, but it feels like that to me.

On “Foucault on Iran, Some Fool on Egypt

I think you once criticized me for taking shelter behind the idea of being unimportant. But it's okay. That aside, I agree with what you've written here and in your next post about belief and that is of course, what really matters to you deep down--my approval I mean.

On “Note On Disbelief in Disbelief and the “Interrogation of ‘the Nones'”

Btw, if you haven't seen it, Cave of the Forgotten Dreams is a Herzog masterpiece. One of the scientists in it makes some great points about human spirituality and one of things he says is that "homosapien" is a bad name for us because it refers to "the man that knows and we don't know very much." He said what we're good at is being spiritual, so we should have called ourselves "homospiritus." He said our interest in spirituality throughout the last 40,000 years is the most consistent main aspect of what makes us human, and what took place in the Chauvet Caves for 20,000 years (before it was naturally closed) evinces that fact. It is amazingly beautiful and the artwork also blows the whole idea of how art evolved out the window. Because Spirit is Causal and because Spirit is in everything, anything and anyone can spontaneously express an "elevated" spiritual art and it shouldn't surprise us that early humans were capable of illustrating space in imaginary depth, and imaginary movement, and every other kind of imaginary relational-oriented supposed modernism.

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I believe that it is possible to define spirituality, not just in respect to what people think it is, but regarding what it really is. Ken Wilber has written many good books on the subject of defining what spirituality is from the most objective perspective possible, and he suggests that we think of spirit as Creativity itself. Spirit is--to use a word favored by spiritualists--"causal." It causes what is. That's what it does. Creative causality is its function and scientists do not know what is behind the causation of life--what causes a molecule to become a cell, or cell to become an organism. So spirit is the cause. But even if we accept causation as spirit's function, or Spirit's function (going along with the capitalization of Creativity) to really know what something is, we have to be able to compare and contrast it to the other things or non-things in its category. So we know what air is because it is not the other elements: earth, water, fire, and ether. Spirit is the category of Levels of Being--the category of Active Intelligences. It is the highest of the levels of Being--above Soul, Intellect, Ego, and Mind levels, (or, to use a different, more Western categorization: the Soul, Mind, Emotional, and Physical levels). So someone who is spiritual believes in a causally active intelligence, and actually, that objective, mature, rational, and clarifying awareness of what spirituality is can and often does actually disincline spiritualists from identifying with a religious institution and even when it doesn't do that--in the case of folks like Thomas Mertons--the person's connection to the institution is dynamically contentious. In other words, they know the church (or whatever) is full of shit. They connect with it anyway to further important missions like feeding the poor.

On “Rooting for the Zombies

Great subject for a post. The post itself is wonderful, but the best thing is the cartoon. Zombie movies should be, one way or another, hilarious. They can be hilarious without being comical, but there's nothing better than a comical zombie movie. One of my favorite movies of all time is "Shawn of the Dead." Brilliant. "I just don't think I have it in me to kill me flatmate, me mum, and me girlfriend all in the same night." I also love Zombieland. It was a bit tweaky for me, though, because the main joke in the beginning of the movie was exactly the same as one I used in the Slider zombie episode. I did the rewrite for an episode credited to a free lance writer but the censors made me take out the line, "They became the first human happy-meals." They said McDonald's would sue. But they used the exact line in Zombieland and it great a huge laugh in the theater I was in. It was weird feeling. I thought, "I knew it." I knew the line was great, and I should have just enjoyed the realization of the idea. But I was mad. I don't even know why. There's probably something zombie-ish about morning a dead joke that comes back to life when it should be dead but is funny and troubling at the same time.

On “On Mitt Romney and American Theodemocracy

I'm the one with the deformed brain. At least your brain started out in good shape.

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Well, actually, that is a useful comment because I can point out what is and isn't Ultimate View there. Ultimate View doesn't connect with whether something was necessary. Ultimate View points to the emptiness-wholeness of all things. There is just no difference between harm and no-harm, necessary and unnecessary. We started there in respect to the issue of people being good or bad. Ultimate View points to no relativity between a murderer and me. We're both simultaneously empty and whole. So it could be used there in respect to harm and necessity, but since you didn't use it, in respect to what we're discussing you're just presenting an opinion on a relative level. That shouldn't ruffle my feathers. And, yes, I am outside of exoteric Christian theology. I am inside esoteric Christian theology--the mystic kind. Christ and Buddha were realized men, who made mistakes as humans. They were linked up with Consciousnesses specific to what we can all experience as Christ Consciousness and Buddha Consciousness. The man and the Consciousness are linked, but not the same. Mystic Christian style Ultimate View as I see it is that we all have Christ Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, and Krishna Consciousness. They are experienced differently, but they are also not separate. They are empty and whole. They are non-existent but purposive. They are Gods and not Gods. They can be referred to as Ishvara and I credit Plato with having practiced jnana yoga because he recognized Knowledge as an accessible Field--as a kind of Ishvara.

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Oh, yeah, turning. "Becoming" would be hard to sing.

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If you were really being objective you would have recognized my error instead of jumping on it as opportunity. I was wrong to blame only the students. Jesus made a mistake teaching people who weren't ready. It caused horrible bloodshed. "Realized" and "enlightened" doesn't mean perfect. Jesus spoke in parables for a reason. He still slipped up in general, overreaching. So when Jesus said (on the Mount) that "no man's life has increased by a single unit through effort," the wrong thinking student takes that to mean he doesn't have to try. It's the brain-chatter level of the mind--the left-brain side of brain consciousness--subsuming even right-brain relative positive energetic awareness. Jesus didn't need to teach high consciousness teachings to people who would misuse it. He made a mistake, and I made a mistake blaming only the students. You should have seen that. Instead, because your mind is functioning on that level of aggression, it jumped at the chance to reinstate Ultimate View logic that this time wasn't really even Ultimate View. So we have taken a step back. We also have a different perspective on "bruising." To me, the mind is just the mind. It's no big deal to learn that our minds have problems. It's not personal. Minds have problems. Minds left to their own devices--without meditation--have more problems. They get into all kinds of things they shouldn't get in to. They're just poor little minds. They bruise easily, yes, but if we link up with the consciousness expanding beyond at least the left-brain to the right-brain then ideas related to violence, war, and sin melt away. If you're going to value the mind so much at least use both sides and the only way to use both sides once a mind has shifted to left-brain dominance is to do what it takes to change.

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I was sending this post to a friend and when I got to the email subject box, I wrote, "I think I'm becoming mormonese..." The complete version is, I think I'm becoming mormonese, I think I'm becoming mormonese, I really think so."

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Yes, that is all true. And I did bring Nixon and Quakerhood up for you to riff on that way. It's okay. It's okay because these are all relative-view truthfulness-es. The teacher tells his students to do one thing and they end up doing another. But not because the teacher is wrong or misguided. Students are messed up. That's why mystic Christians believe that Jesus was only supposed to teach 13 people. They were the only ones ready for his teaching. It was clearly going to backfire for him to teach the masses. The masses were obviously not ready, but being Pure Love itself, Jesus couldn't help spreading the dharma. Turn the other cheek. That is the high-consciousness instruction. The fact that it backfired should not be rationalized according to Ultimate truth. People just couldn't handle it. They tried a few times and their ego level engagement of reality then caused them to go back to their old ways--only worse because they added guilt (about failing to stick with the teaching) to the mix. This is why yoga is better. It doesn't just provide the dharma. It provides the group support and the physical strengthening that gradually bolsters the ego so it can turn the other cheek without ego damage and eventual worse than before blow-back.

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This post should be the new bible. If everyone in the country studied it every Sunday morning, we could discuss the un-discussed. I need a few more Sundays to be in on the discussion effectively. But in respect to Romney and the possibility of peace, it always amazes me that people can think they're following the word of Christ and yet miss the whole pacifist point. The story takes place during an occupation and even so--even though some of the disciples ask Jesus to subdue the Romans--Jesus states quite clearly that he won't be killing anyone. The weirdest Presidential expression of this incongruity was Nixon. A Quaker. Hello? Quakers are the biggest pacifists of all, and yet Nixon went the way he went. Strange. So, as CK points out, who knows what Romney would do? Anyway, the post is great CK. Unleash it on the world!

On “Ecology, Economics, and Spirituality

Well, that's true from a samsaric perspective. But I think you should wait until you're at least 50 to start thinking of that as a permanent state. Hang in there on the nirvana side for awhile longer would be my suggestion and then maybe we'll all get to the vajrayana awareness that they're the same thing together. That is unless we all get Mormon enough.

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I love that. Did you ever write any science fiction? What you wrote there would go well with a story I was actually thinking about writing (just after downing a large martini) involving a zombie take over in which a beloved realized being eventually is changed into a zombie. I thought of it as kind of a final zombie story that pointed to how done we should be with zombie stories at this point. My idea for how it starts came from reading about the fact that our bodies are only 25% human cells. The other 75% is bacteria, virus, mites, and parasites. So that 75% of peoples' bodies develops "supervisory I" consciousness. I never really worked out how the realized being handles being a zombie. But if the story started with your historical rundown there, then it would be better to go more biblical and have the second coming of Jesus go all Nietzschian rogue as he becomes a zombie. Maybe the Forest God has to step in at that point.

On “On “Capturing the God Vote”

I agree that there has been a creepy "self-consistency" to Americanism. I've been rereading a lot of what I still look at as facts in Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States," and it is remarkable how consistent the materialism has been and still is. There has always been this corporatist interest driving every supposedly political liberating or non-liberating American project. What I see as the facts are the letters. If the letters he posits in the text aren't fabricated, then the consistency tracks back without gaps from our time to Columbus. It's funny because I know you you know your communist perspective. Nothing I get into can be anywhere near as radical as the stuff you used to believe, right? Or maybe the fact that I wish I were strong enough to live in a cave with no nothing makes me more radical than them. Maybe that's true.

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I just posted a comment that seems to have disappeared. Weird. I'll try again...

In other words, religiously-infused hyperpatriotism constitutes the most fundamental violation of the First Commandment, making the “limited group” into a false God.

Great sentence. I think all hyperpatriotic behavior is religious in the worst sense of that classification. In Russia, for example, belief in Stalin replaced belief in Jesus. But then it's really cultism. Dictionary definition of religion: belief in a superhuman power. So when people go from belief in superhuman Jesus to giving over their power to a man, it's cultish rather than religious. Religion can work. We don't know what gravity is. It's a superhuman power. Belief in it is religious. No one goes to war because of ideological differences in their belief in gravity.

On “Ecology, Economics, and Spirituality

I do understand, but keep your fingers crossed anyway. It'll give them a rest from typing.

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Great first piece here, Robert. I've already introduced myself in the context of my New-Age meanness, so I have to live up to that a bit. Knowledge is never the issue. Mystics see the Garden of Eden snake as a symbol for knowledge. Eating of that tree is never a problem if you can handle it. I don't look at that as being similar to the guns-people relationship because even though people use guns to kill, guns are definitely not knowledge. But things do go wrong with knowledge. Oh, for example, (sorry CK, but here's a bit of meanness), CK sometimes uses what Buddhists refer to as Ultimate View (truth) to explain why it's okay to do something he thinks is okay to do on the Relative View level, Big mistake. My point is, that it was okay for us to eat the Tree. It's not meat, after all. We just have to make sure that we maintain a level of consciousness high enough to match the knowledge and thus, keep ourselves from using power badly. I don't think we will blow up the world because of knowledge. I think we will blow it up out of stupidity and stupidity in my opinion includes the scientific understanding of the physics involved in blowing shit up. That's just mechanics. I don't think the Garden of Eden snake taught Eve mechanics.
Only one other point: Buddhism has many levels, and maybe you know that there are 3 types. The "lower wheel" type would be the kind that intelligent young Americans might play around with in high school. The Vajrayana Buddhist level would be the type that no matter how old an intelligent person might get, it would be still be intellectually challenging. Of course, that wouldn't be the reason for its practice, but I'm just making the point in connection to your comment.
I know I didn't really address your post's real theme here. I do that. It frustrates CK, but you'll get used to it. Or not. Feel free to express your frustration on that account. I will apologize and then do the same thing next time. One of the main consistencies on this blog is that we all keep thinking the same dumb things no matter how well our blog brothers try to evoke change in us. Or, you could be the first person to buck that system. That would be great. But before we would know enough about whatever you think habitually in a screwball way, you'll have to do that habitually. So we'll see. In any case, you write well.

On “New contributor: Robert A Greer

Welcome, Robert. This is Scott Miller--known on this blog as the New Age Meanie. I'm going to read your first post now and will probably comment there as well. Again, welcome.

On “What they do not want to know about American democracy

Wrong again. I stated quite clearly what I meant by "horrible." People who rape, steal, kill, and enslave. Read my responses again. Almost of it has nothing to do with you at all. Since you refused answer simple questions, I apotheosized in the hopes of getting you to see why someone who clearly knows that there is a huge difference between Nazis and the Jews they killed would refuse to acknowledge the difference. Now you try to make it seem like I was lumping you in with the Nazis. It's absurd to the point of ridiculousness. Again, read what I wrote again. All of the first comments were about people who committed amounts of violence that no rational person would defend. There was nothing violent about me pointing out how different those people were than you and I and every other person with whom I communicate. You have recognized falling into the conservative nut house. You denied saying it later but you did say it. Like now, you fall into other nutty places from time to time. That does not make you horrible. It does make you from time to time unable to comprehend simple facts. Nazis are not the same as the their Jewish victims. That's my response to your first point and since you refused to acknowledge the truth of that statement and others like them, your defenses got increasingly twisted and I did tell you so. Once I told you so you had what you needed to believe that I was being violent and judgmental. Again, read the comments again and you will see that what I started out saying was very much about what you said. He had nothing to do with psychology. As your responses got increasingly bizarre, I let you know. As a friend, I keep telling you that what made Drive, and Otto, and other works of art great, makes your politics ridiculous.
The spiritualists do discourse specific events. For example, I got into an argument with a group of Tibetan Buddhists over their belief that pet euthanasia is never okay. You know that one. I've written about on this blog, so you know what you wrote in your last comment is inaccurate. There are so many more inaccuracies in what you've written in this comment stream than you normally come up with that I feel bad. This is doing you harm and I don't want to be the cause of that so I'm going to end this stream. I'm not pulling a bob--I will be back after you have time to deal with whatever you're dealing with in real-life and feel better about yourself. I am sorry that I backed you into a corner. I was wrong to think that it would help. All it did was make you feel worse and that was not my intension. The harm you do in spreading ideas best left to your art projects is minimal enough to ignore and I will ignore it in the future. It's your business, and while I have a great deal of trouble loving Cortez, I have no trouble loving you. I know you'll be back to being yourself soon. These nut house visits you make pass when you feel better about yourself and you will feel better soon. You always do.

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Also, it's pertinent to clarify my creative support of you. You wrote some very funny, really great things about self-hatred. So I am not just bringing that out of no-where. As you know, I've always felt you should focus on art. Your politics are deformed. You know that. You go from socialist to the conservative nut house and back. You are great at making fun of self-hatred. It's worthwhile because so many people relate. It helps. It's to the point of our collective societal experience because our society makes us all vulnerable to self-hatred. But to bring that into ideas about politics is deforming.

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You're right in that it's best to hate the sin, not the sinner. I should be able to love Cortez and hate what he did. That becomes difficult when people who hate themselves see fit to try and convince others to think like them. But I never called you horrible. Quite the opposite, and your idea that I did goes with the psychology of self hatred and I'm not singling you out there either. I think all the politicians hate themselves. They won't admit either. You still won't come out and say what you really feel about people or yourself. You consider that private and it would be private except for it explains why a person would think that there is no difference between people who do horrible things and people who have lived peacefully. You can twist that fact around as much as you like but all it does is twist. You misunderstood me to be saying you're horrible because you think you're horrible. Show me where I said you were horrible. Won't happen. I'm not doing at all what you think. Just as you will find no evidence in any of these comments that I have referred to you as horrible, you will find no evidence of your other accusations except in your own mindset which is connected to self-hatred. You want my discourse to be deformed because it stands in opposition to you justifying your feelings toward yourself and humans in general. Death and violence do happen. But we can live in relative harmony with death and people have proved that. If you think violence may be good, you stand in opposition to what millions of spiritualist have advocated on this planet. They could all be wrong, but please don't try and marginalize my position.
You're biggest manipulation is that you focus on that stance to defend yourself against the main question. Do you recognize your inner goodness? Usually, people who recognize their inner goodness do not change as much as you do in the face of differing circumstance. You feel way better about yourself when outer circumstances are positive and way worse about yourself when they don't. That's a sign of low self-esteem, and it deforms your arguments. I don't care if you don't agree with me. Obviously. I wouldn't participate on this blog if I did. I've been here for years. Your ideas about my ideas don't hold water at all in the face of the facts. I also would suggest you put less stock in what the Greeks thought.

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