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The Center of Existence

  1. May 6, 2003 #1
    The Center of Existence speaks of the nature of essence, which is our origin. What does this entail? First off we start with our general outer appearance or "form." This is where our material "physical" being terminates and meets the world. By which other beings like ourselves are able to recognize us, by our physical features. And hence the notion of clothes, which are forms in and of themselves, by which human beings "extend" their physical appearance. In which case the clothes become the form, of which human beings become the essence ... i.e., in that form arises out of "the need" to serve the essence.

    What do I mean by this? For example let's take a man who wishes to build a house for his wife and children. What's the point in him building a house if in fact it doesn't serve the need to protect his family? In which case the house becomes the form, by which to serve and "protect" the needs of the family, which then becomes the essence. Whereas isn't this what our "exterior bodies" do, hold that which is vital and essential inside, to keep it from spilling out and dying? Doesn't it also allude to life in general, and the need for it to exist "within context" of form?

    Aren't we also conveying the relationship between men and women here? Isn't it generally understood that men are more rational and intellectual, and women more irrational and emotional? Whereas men tend to be more rough and unyielding in nature (exterior), and women more soft and nurturing? (interior). Doesn't this then belie the true nature of masculinity and femininity? Where the masculine portrays the form and the feminine portrays the essence? After all, aren't we all born of the "essence" of the feminine form, which is our mother? Where we once bathed in the essential elements of the womb, only to be rushed out to the external cold slap of reality, to find ourselves kicking and yelling and screaming? Therefore wouldn't it be fair to say that the Center of Existence, which is also its essence, is feminine?

    And so brings up the issue of science, with its intellectual and rational pursuits, which is truly a masculine discipline. Does anyone disagree? Ah, but where did science originate, if not without a mother? Could it be? Yes! Mother Church! Replete with her quirky sentimental notions of reality and the hereafter. Ah, but none of these silly notions can be proven you say? Why should I take heed then? Isn't the very fact that science is the son of its mother possible proof enough? Whereas if you were to take any self-respecting native American and asked who his mother was he would say, The Great Mother, which is Mother Earth, and hence "his religion." Why shouldn't we follow suit, and stop forsaking our mother? (the planet). Isn't it about time the prodigal son returned home to his Mother, and to his Father, the Husband of his Mother?

    Mind you I am not the churchgoing type here, but am only saying these things to illustrate a point.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2003 #2
    I agree with everything above this point. I don't believe the "mother of science" is the church though.

    I think science lies in oneself due to a natural inquisition of the things around us; not because of any church influence, for this to be true the church would have to be a natural state. If the church was a natural state you would expect to see evidence of it in other animal societies, and, IMO, you couldn't make an argument for this that is unquestionably a church--as recognized by the animals society.

    I'm sure you could find things that would resemble a church, as we demonstrate it to be, in other animal societies, but you would first have to start looking with the intent of finding one. This isn't scientific though, as you would start with something you want to prove and develop around it. Doing this would invalidate any findings for a scientific mind.
  4. May 6, 2003 #3
    But ultimately, aren't you imposing a duality where none exists? Everything in the universe exists only in the context of its environment, which ultimately includes every atom of the universe. Does our "form" really end at the body, the clothes, or the house, and contain an "essence?" As an example, our bodies cannot exist without an atmosphere to breathe, the sun to provide energy, and so on until you have counted the entire universe. Essentially there can be no "singularity," because all things are interconnected in a very real way.

    Since our "form" cannot be divested from the cosmos, then both our "form" and "essence" are ultimately the cosmos, and everything contained therein.
  5. May 6, 2003 #4
    But when you view science in terms of being rebellious against the Church, and hence the "prodigal son," then the idea of it becomes very plausible.

    And at what point do you think we need to get together and do something about this planet? Don't you think it's about time we reconciled things with our mother and, very much like the Native American Indian, view her as sacred? Wouldn't this be a good common cause for getting science and religion together? Where science could do the necessary research and religion would be means of implementing it on a "local level?" (through our beliefs). It seems like it would be a lot easier than getting the government to do something about it!
  6. May 6, 2003 #5
    There is no such thing as a singularity, otherwise there would be nothing. Whereas everything has a beginning and an ending, an external aspect as well as an internal aspect. And let's just say for example, that somebody stabbed you with a knife and allowed you to bleed to death. Wouldn't that be evidence that your "form" ends with your body? I don't see how you can conclude otherwise?

    I also take it from your comments that you're a materialist, or are you? Isn't it possible that the whole material Universe can be stated as "form," by which that which is essential (or spiritual perhaps) exists within? Who can knows? For all intents and purposes, all we can acknowldedge through our "physical senses" is that which is external and "material." Yet this only belies the form! Therefore, isn't it possible that another dimension or reality exists within?
  7. May 6, 2003 #6
    As for the stabbing example, yes, you would die. You would also die if someone removed all the atmosphere. Or so on. The Japanese have a concept, the omote and the ura, outside and inside; and yet the concepts are linked - you can't have a painting with only a front, in other words.

    What I am saying is, I suppose, materialist; inasmuch as the ideas of inside, outside, form, essence, external and internal are all concepts which only exist in relationship to each other. I guess I'm saying that materially and ultimately, there can be no separation of form and essence, or content.
  8. May 6, 2003 #7
    I like particlehead's points. I tried to bring up much the same point, in another thread (wherein Iacchus made use of the same examples). The truth of the matter is that if the form is that which is "outside" and the essence is that which is "inside" then humans should be an "essence" and houses should be a "form". And yet, houses are inside the planet, and humans are "outside" of the atomic structure.
  9. May 6, 2003 #8
    There's no reason why essence can't become form and vice versa so long as you keep it "within context" of what it means. And yes, human beings do become the essence of the house, otherwise how did it get there?

    If you get swallowed by an alligator, then you become the essence of the alligator, i.e., his breakfast!
  10. May 6, 2003 #9
    Exactly, mentat. In a sense, choosing the skin (a permeable membrane) as the defining line between inside and outside is totally arbitrary. It makes sense from a biological and perceptual view, but really the very idea of it is completely relative.

    The human body itself cannot be said to be "a thing." It is a collection of systems, interacting and interdependent. From the macro to the micro, the material world is built from systems of interaction, not blobs of "stuff."
  11. May 6, 2003 #10
    But you see this does open up the possibility of a spiritual realm existing within the material realm, which is really only a matter of difference between essence and form.
  12. May 6, 2003 #11
    Indeed it would be, although, I don't believe science is a rebellion from religion, I believe religion originated due to a lack of understand of our world (which could only be expected with the primative tools) and a need for purpose in life, that was logical at the time. It is religion that places science in the position of challenge.

    Religion isn't the way to get together, it would create more "Holy Wars" because religion is too general and different cultures just won't agree on all points. Science, IMHO, is the answer, it is universal no matter the culture. The Native American's of old, or now? What I mean by this is, the Native American's that are getting rich from Vegas casino's, or the Native American's that are still true to their ancestors?

    Science is in direct conflict with the views of religion -I would like to make the distinction between conflict and challenge, science does not want to convert people to science, it is not a belief system- it is highly unlikely science and religion will ever come together, and why would science want to do the dirty work of a already existent model? That isn't science at all. All this said, bringing science and religion together probably is easier than getting the government to help out:smile: But that is political, and that's a whole different story.
  13. May 7, 2003 #12
    If you wish to "meld" with your environment that's entirely up to you, but without the ability to make distinctions (between forms), there would be no point to getting out of bed in the morning and getting dressed. I think the fact that we have a form suggests a sense of purpose to go along with it. For example take a hammer. The pupose of a hammer is to drive nails.

    And yet this has very little to do with our conscious awareness, which is primarily driven by what we acknowledge, "through form."
  14. May 7, 2003 #13
    That's because science is the outcropping of religion and religion views science as rebellious. And yet it's entirely possible that the church is as you say, wholly ignorant. Which isn't to say it didn't have legitimate grounds for being established in the first place.

    Why would we have to concern ourselves so much with other cultures? I think if we could establish a means by which to cooperate in the United States alone it would make a tremendous difference. And perhaps other cultures will then follow suit? By "self-respecting" Native Americans, I meant those who were true to their ancestors.

    I think science (via technology) is just as much a culprit in ravaging the environment as anyone else, if not more so. Therefore I think science has the responsibility to help in developing ways to conserve our resources, while offering possible solutions on how to adapt our livestyles to the "needs of the planet." Which, could then be implemented through the belief systems operating within the church. In which case it becomes like a "grass roots" movement. The sooner we get on track with such an idea the better off we'll be in the long run!
  15. May 7, 2003 #14
    Well, I meant it would be incredibly hard to combine Muslims and Christians, I think there is a cultural difference between the two religions. Also, a major problem that would arise between joining religions into one is that religion, as you know, deals with Heaven and hell, when one religion thinks you must be baptised to go to Heaven and another thinks you don't, you will find those two religions just won't ever come together.

    I think science is trying to "clean up their act", for example, these new fuel cell cars, science is under obligation to fix these cars that they have made that are polluting our cities. People are against the fuel cell cars, I'm not knowledgeable on the arguments though, so I can't say anymore. But I think science is trying.
  16. May 7, 2003 #15
    But still I don't think there's any reason why a few basic tenets couldn't be adopted in order to establish common grounds by which everyone could agree, irrespective of what each other's (overall) faith might entail.

    Well it's a start. And yet I have very little faith in the government's ability to address this on its own, because it involves change on a more personal level where, like the Native Americans, we need to understand, at least in some capacity, that Mother Earth is sacred. And, that perhaps the days of big business and consumerism have come and gone? ... I think we would all better off living "simpler" lives anyway, where perhaps we could focus more on the "philosophy of life" (quality versus quantity). Sooner or later this issue will to have to be addressed though.
  17. May 7, 2003 #16
    Do you mean that, for example, Buddha would not longer be Buddha, just God, all titles being omitted? If so, to an extent this has already been done, just not accepted by everyone because it raises the issue of "my God is still better than your God" and then people fight.

    I agree completely with living simpler lives! I would even say I'm disgusted by the current state of humans.
  18. May 7, 2003 #17
    No, I mean adopt a few basic tenets about what we need to do about cleaning up the environment, and perhaps adopt them into our overall system of belief. Whether we wished to remain Buddhist, or Christian, or whatever, would be entirely up to us.

    Well, when considering a simpler life used to be the rule, that is until recently, with the advent of modern technology over the past 75 years, maybe that adjustment wouldn't be so difficult to make? But then again who knows? People do love power! Of course that doesn't mean we couldn't coexist with technology, but rather use it in order to maintain a certain standard of existence, so we don't find the need to "toil in the soil" so to speak. Although I think it's good to encourage people to be more reliant upon themselves. Who knows? ...
  19. May 7, 2003 #18
    OK, let me see if I understand this now, you want all the religions in the world to push for a cleaner earth, for the purpose of becoming one, or coming back to "Her"? But the religions would only unite on these points, notwithstanding their other religious views, per se?
  20. May 7, 2003 #19
    Essentially yes. Although as I said, perhaps we could begin with the United States, which is primarily "Christian" in its views. By which we can set a good example for the rest to follow suit? I know it all sounds kind of far-fetched, but maybe at some point people will realize it's necessary? It might also give the Church something useful to do for a change, and woudn't that be something!
  21. May 7, 2003 #20
    Kinda like how the celebrities (viz Danny Glover) unite to support Iraq and Castro It would be nice to see religion take concern in matters of this earth for a change, I definately agree with you, the idea itself isn't far-fetched, but implimenting the idea on a such a large scale would be ... difficult to say the least.
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