The Will To Believe

William James observed that ultimately philosophy does not shape needs and wants.   Rather, needs and wants mold philosophy.  Some consider this idea counter-intuitive.  Others demean it as a convenient justification against common notions of morality.  Detractors of James argue that philosophy exists only to keep needs and wants focused in the right direction.  The argument is not without merit.  At the same time it begs the question, who determines the right direction?  It appears to be a dismissal of the view that individuals are capable of exercising free will.  It assumes people are intrinsically incapable of deciding for themselves what the right direction or correct purpose is in life. It also assumes that the proponents of a given philosophy know better.  When that attitude prevails control of thought and behavior can be considered not only acceptable but necessary.

When philosophy (religious or secular) is considered senior to free will, all manner of control mechanism comes with it, both covert and overt.  It is inevitable.  It is evident in religion and in secular circles.  The anti-religious set is not immune.  It too follows philosophies, whether organized, acknowledged, denied or not.  As much as many secular humanists like to denigrate religionists as a form of thought police, they can be just as authoritarian and intolerant as those they sharply criticize.  Sometimes they are not so easy to identify.  That is because they have adopted the language of logic and science to assume the high ground of reason from which to rail against  intuitive-based mysticism and mythology attendant to religion.  All the while, much of their ‘science’ is firmly grounded in beliefs (see e.g.,  Bill Bryson’s ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’). Ironically, one of the earliest and clearest observations of that kettle-pot legerdemain was detailed in William James’ 1896 essay “The Will To Believe.”

I think James’ observation  about what drives philosophy was insightful.  It seems that at the end of the day, one traffics in reason ( including secularism), mysticism (including religion) or a combination of both as one’s needs and wants (free will) dictate.

 

65 responses to “The Will To Believe

  1. “William James observed that ultimately philosophy does not shape needs and wants. Rather, needs and wants mold philosophy.”

    When I was in college, I walked up to my philosophy professor after class one day and said something like “I think each philosopher feels a certain way about things and then builds a philosophy around it.” This occurred to me intuitively – and even had the “feel” of an intuition. as I look back on it.

  2. First of all you have to keep in mind that:

    (To expand upon Hubbard)

    Not knowing the difference between:

    a. a fact and a belief
    b. a fact and an opinion
    c. right and wrong
    d. true and false
    e. intelligent and stupid
    f. intelligent and ignorant
    g. stupidity and ignorance
    h. good and bad
    i. rational and irrational
    j. reasonable and unreasonable
    k. good judgement, poor judgement and perverted judgement
    l. sane and insane
    m. natural law (the laws of nature or the Creator’s law) and man’s law, humanism, hedonism, individualism
    n. a dialectical and an eristical discussion,

    and a lack of common sense and critical thinking

    is the basis for insanity, incompetence, stupidity and pretty well all conflict and seemingly unsolvable problems on earth.

    And any body of religious work (holy books) spiritual teachings, philosophies are far from complete, without a methodology or technology to resolve the problems of life, and resolve/clear the problems of the mind and spirit.

    If they do not have a methodology or technology to honestly resolve the problems of the mind and spirit, then they are somewhere between a sedative and a bag of hot air.

    The majority of people turn to religion, spirituality, or philosophy resolve the problems of life and to heal the problems of the mind and spirit.

    They are seeking the Kingdom of God, seeking mercy from the punishment of the mest universe, or seeking enlightenment. That is all pretty much the same thing.

    Dio

    • Ludo Vermeulen

      The mind cannot solve the riddle of the mind. Only by God’s grace can the mind be turned to God again and come to rest.

      • Ludo,

        Good to hear from you.

        RE: quoting you:

        The mind cannot solve the riddle of the mind. Only by God’s grace can the mind be turned to God again and come to rest.

        Me: There may be some truth to what you say.

        The Jesus factor may be missing.

        But if it is, I have asked for it, but it has not been given to me.

        I am still a victim of my bank, feel like tied up in a straight jacket, while many people I know are moving and shaking and handling the mest universe and winning on the different flows and dynamics of life.

        So why is that Ludo?

        It is certainly not for the lack of trying.

        Dio

        • Ludo Vermeulen

          Dear Dio,

          I’m sorry to hear that. Comparing ourselves to others is one of the things the mind does to make us suffer. Next time you feel tied up in a straight jacket, don’t try to change it, just stay with the feeling, accept that that’s how you feel, don’t be upset about it. Then you can ask God to help you with it.

          Also, be thankful for the things that you do have in your life. That helps to open your heart so you can become aware of the Divine Presence in your heart, not a distant God somewhere out there. Think of God as a dear, dear friend that you can tell anything to without being judged. It doesn’t have to be Jesus either. It can just be the Light, Love, Buddha, Allah, Mother Mary, any of the hindu God’s, whatever works for you … we all tend to fill that in in our own way, and they’re all the same “thing” really.

          So, I hope you find this helpful. If not, just disregard it, that’s equally fine.
          And if you want help to get in touch with your Divine Presence, you could google Oneness Meditation for free livestream meditations, or Braco.me, different but also free livestreaming events. Many, many blessings to you.

          Ludo.

    • Dio, I typed a long reply to you because I am sorry after all these 3 years of seeing your posts you are not feeling better. I lost it because the wifi wasn’t on (i hate when that happens). Me too sometimes but I have to tell you after finally reading The Age Of Reason by Thomas Paine in March life has stabilized somewhat because I view it differently now. More from me and my point of view and it has helped tremendously to get more out of life and re-pair my mind. I also realized I didn’t have a ‘bank’ the way it was defined for me. Lots to look at. I wish you well🙂

      • Cece,

        Thank you for your comment.

        Yes, I know well, how a piece of work that took a few hours to type can disappear.

        On one hand: It is not that I am not feeling better. I am actually feeling much better.

        But still not out of the woods yet.

        There is still more work to be done.

        and I don’t want to hang my laundry out here, or do any bitching.

        Simply put it is just so difficult to get the work done on my case.

        And on the other hand: in hindsight, I regret saying what I said. It was a moment of weakness.

        Anyways, I appreciate your concern.

        And I have read some of Paine’s Age of Reason, and also Common Sense.
        That was a yr or two ago.

        He was quite a “mind” in his day, and a very articulate writer.

        I need to read the whole thing, but my mind often feels like a piece of meat.

        If you wish you can email me at: diogeneseii@yahoo.ca

        Dio

        • I’m glad to hear you have read Paine. I personally feel that anyone of us honestly looking for answers will find them. Just that you follow Marty is a sure sign you are in the midst of your own exciting evolution🙂
          I will email you – thx.

  3. In the original sense philosophy is the love of wisdom. Wisdom is the daughter of experience. Many reduce philosophy to an academic exercise.

    • Thomas Schaefer

      That’s why I would completely replace above “philosophy” with “ideology”. The latter, I think, is something creative, thus far from right or wrong or factual, but a human creation. So it can easily be built around ones wishes.

      • What about a philosopy that says, do what you feel like doing and enjoy it all you can – for tomorrow may never come?

        I agree not to take this life journey seriously. The world will continue with or without you.

  4. I think a nascent movement has formed along these lines e.g. websites like ‘you are not so smart’ and some books and articles I’ve noticed.

  5. Marty: “I think James’ observation about what drives philosophy was insightful. It seems that at the end of the day, one traffics in reason ( including secularism), mysticism (including religion) or a combination of both as one’s needs and wants (free will) dictate.”

    In relation to this, here’s an excerpt from an article I read recently regarding “God” (sometimes given other names) as an active force in our lives:

    “Since all of the world’s spiritual traditions are full of examples of God, in some form, actively interacting with human beings of all stripes — appearing, for example, in visions, dreams, voices, intuitions, chance encounters, signs and synchronicities — I am assuming that there must be some way to address this need/perspective in today’s integral framework. The mythic God may move differently in our hearts and minds than [other conceptions of God], but it seems to me that they all continue to move, nonetheless. In whatever form they take, we would continue to experience them as a loving, caring…Presence that is acutely interested in helping us learn, grow, and become increasingly full blown reflections of the Divine in the manifest world.

    “Ditto with the world at large.

    “Along with being the Force that is propelling the created universe to ever increasing complexity and awareness, I’ve come to believe that this Force also raises people up at specific moments in history when unique personalities, perspectives, and skill sets are required to move the world (human and otherwise) to the next level of development.”

    http://nhne-pulse.org/resource_pages/2nd-person-god-as-an-active-force-in-our-lives/

  6. Thanks for sharing! Appreciate your thought process. Best ~~

  7. Nice post, Marty. I was just thinking about you this morning and how I have been remiss keeping in touch with you. I hope this comment finds you and yours well and happy.

    In consideration of what you said above, I endeavored to think about the subject of belief in terms of “ultimate conclusions” and came up with this:

    It seems as if the universe manifests as individual beings and hard expression of the physical universe at the low-end of the vibrational spectrum – and conversely as the a re-unification of ONE “on the way to” and beyond the high-end of the vibrational spectrum.

    Therefore it becomes necessary to discover why this occurs. If one assumes that the ONE exists as love, happiness, joy, serenity and bliss, then it must also be assumed that hate, misery, despondence, turmoil and woe exist as the MANY.

    If this “model” is accurate, then it must also be assumed that we are all at some point on this journey. Ultimately, we are all on our way to reunification as ONE – by learning to love again.

    If I am right here, then only one more thing is certain for each of us – the lesson shall continue until it is learned.

    That’s my take on it.

  8. singanddanceall

    William James. Doing a google search results in his bio page. Of note, is that William James:

    “Among James’s students at Harvard University were luminaries such as Boris Sidis, Theodore Roosevelt, George Santayana, W. E. B. Du Bois, G. Stanley Hall, Ralph Barton Perry, Gertrude Stein, Horace Kallen, Morris Raphael Cohen, Walter Lippmann, Alain Locke, C. I. Lewis, and Mary Whiton Calkins. Antiquarian bookseller Gabriel Wells tutored under him at Harvard in the late 1890s.[12]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_James

    I did a good amount of reading of Boris Sidis when I went down the rabbit hole of Hubbard mentioned, of people who scientology is based upon, supposedly.

    Anyways, here’s a interesting website to read to compare:

    http://www.sidis.net/boris_sidis_archives.htm

    more specifically:

    http://www.sidis.net/pscontents.htm

    http://www.sidis.net/philistine_and_genius1.htm

    I find it fascinating.

  9. For me, philosophic discussions are far too much TLDR, especially since I’m a flutter-by and change my attitude weekly.
    So, I keep it simple:
    1) I know only that I am ignorant.
    2) I am responsible for learning on my own efforts.
    3) and, being human, I am short.sighted and given to fallacies. I am responsible for those,too.
    4) and finally, I am the only one interested in my philosophy, so I’ll shut up now.

  10. Hubbard started out on the premise that you could not have free will if you had an engram bank, containing abberated, reactive impulses set off (triggered) by stimuli in one’s environment.

    Also, the right direction is toward survival, based on your evaluation of your own dynamics.
    That is all Hubbard ever said.

    • All??

    • singanddanceall

      there is another who said the sort of same thing, although in other words:

      “SECTION VI.

      OF THE PASSIONS WHICH BELONG TO SELF-PRESERVATION.

      Most of the ideas which are capable of making a powerful impression on the mind, whether simply of pain or pleasure, or of the modifications of those, may be reduced very nearly to these two heads, self-preservation, and society; to the ends of one or the other of which all our passions are calculated to answer. The passions which concern self-preservation, turn mostly on pain or danger. The ideas of pain, sickness, and death, fill the mind with strong emotions of horror; but life and health, though they put us in a capacity of being affected with pleasure, make no such impression by the simple enjoyment. The passions therefore which are conversant about the preservation of the individual turn chiefly on pain and danger, and they are the most powerful of all the passions.”

      http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15043/15043-h/15043-h.htm#PART_I

  11. I went to see “Going Clear” for the second time today.

    This time was better than last time.

    First time I went myself.

    This time I took someone I know
    from the church, to show this person the real cos and the real DM.

    Now this person can do scn with a better perspective.

    This person now knows better than to listen when they are told not to read negative stuff on the net about the cos.

    And to keep their hands tight on their wallets during fund raisers.

    Or not to attend them at all.

    Dio

    • What I learned most from “Going Clear”.

      I really learned why scn (especially the way the cos does it) does not work.

      (I qualify: While it could work, if it was done properly.)

      Jason Beghe said it well:

      He said (in my words) that the bridge has it’s own case and they put it in you and then have you audit it, while you pay for it.

      Then when you complete a level, you are conditioned to say it was wonderful, it was amazing, and you just have to do the next level, ( a “programmed in” sales pitch to get every one else sucked in- the carrot) even though you feel terrible and have a splitting headache. You are not allowed to be critical or negative. Critical thinking, honest thinking is not permitted. You are not allowed to follow your truth. Your truth has become what they say is true for you.

      The bridge is a diabolical, insidious construct (carefully designed with built in case and wins) to trap you and suck you in and jerk all your financial resources off, and make you it’s slave for a billion yrs.

      When they first interview you, they ask you what your ruin is in life and tell you that they can handle that. But that is just bait that you bit. They bait and switch you, by putting you on the bridge.

      Then like the late Bob Ross wrote in his commentary on the bridge, after 40 yrs and looking back, that after doing the bridge and spending 40 yrs at it, he still did not get what he wanted handled in the first place.

      Bob was my first fz auditor in 97 and I remember him saying as much.

      Dio

  12. Gerhard Waterkamp

    The mind is a wonderful thing to play with, but don’t take it too seriously. And for sure do not get lost in your mind and its games. You are you and your mind should (can) never define you. All Philosophy tries to do is rationalize existence in one form or another and each time it shoots past is goal. It is great and gives tremendous food for thought, but people who believe in their minds and its products too hard (instead believing in themselves) can get lost in philosophies step sister ideology. Just use your mind like a pianist uses his piano, but never mistake the music for the player.

  13. I realized after reading this, that everyone has their own philosophy.

    From wiki: “Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language.”

    People that have never read a book are operating with some degree of their own philosophy. Even animals are working with some kind of philosophy. Very much entwined with purpose. I think with changing times and knowledge, a personal philosophy would need to be in constant change as well. I know mine changes constantly. So, it is not a fixed thing. I am thinking with a much different philosophy today than I was a year ago. I moved into a totally new environment, so my philosophy changed markedly. So yes, I would agree.

  14. Marilyn morrison

    Another home run. Comments excellent.

  15. Ludo Vermeulen

    And where do my and your needs and wants come from? Why do I like icecream and you don’t? Why is one guy religious and the other not? Why is one guy heterosexual and the other homosexual? Do we choose our wants and needs or do we just notice them? Do we even choose our evolving philosophy, or do we simply notice it evolving? And where did our ability to think in language come from? Did someone invent it or was it just noticed once it existed? Did we choose to start thinking or did we just notice it existing? Do we decide what thought appears in our mind or do we just notice what appears?

  16. Yes, needs and wants mold philosophy. Function monitors and molds structure. The need and desire for happiness and other survival things brings into being things to support such. When one notices that a philosophy or religion, or parts thereof, no longer serve needs and wants, one starts adjusting. A smart dog knows who wags his tail.

    • Hi Al. Based on that last music video you shared, I thought you might like this. This entire album is just great! Also kind of goes along with the thread theme about believing.

      • Thanks Oracle! And I’m glad you liked the video I posted. I listened to a few songs here from Natalie’s album. I see she got the Grammy here on this. She’s the best.

        “The Will to Believe” is a great title for Marty”s post. It seems belief is simply a decision. I.e. “will”. That helps a great deal to me. And in the meantime, here’s some more love:

  17. Mark — thank you for this.

    There is so much I do not know about William James and the era of psychology and philosophy that he heralded — until I read more than just a wiki page about him – I won’t comment.

    I just know that your blog post is important. That free will is vital to know and understand.

    Recently I found this quote: “My education gave me everything I needed, except how to make it through an ordinary day.” Soren Kierkegaard

    How to embrace being alive is the focus of my work now. And how to encourage others to be alive as fully as they can.

    I thank you for choosing to be alive. Vibrantly so.

    Love,
    Windhorse

  18. Marty,

    Like many others, I’m sure, I miss your voice.

    You’ve helped me in more ways than I can say. I wish you and your family the very best.

    It’s not an easy thing fighting this sociopathic, deluded bastard. But, by god, I hope you win.

    Kind regards,

    Dan Carnrite
    (former mission holder, many years ago, Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

  19. Never really thought about this before. You come up with some good mental exercises that I find edifying.

    It seems to me that both actions are in play. A new idea or piece of philosophy can inspire one to alter his wants. Likewise, a new goal or want can lead to adopting a slightly or significantly different philosophy.

    A passionate desire to retain some status quo, rather than embracing change, modification or abandonment of one’s wants or philosophy is at the core of stagnation and decay of one’s life force. An inability to “let go” sticks one in that status quo.

    • singanddanceall

      hmmm,

      according to the chart of human EVAULATION, LOL.

      once one was tone 4, one could have an expansion of viewpoint.

      Somehow that’s not possible with KSW and being a member of scientology. LOL

      nope, can’t read anything else to compare. LOL

      that would be called “being open minded”. LOL

      • SingandDanceall,

        You are on the right track.

        Furthermore, Hubbard’s write up “How to study a science” in New Slant on Life, in essence says (translation in plain language) :

        Hey, all you stupid scientologists, wake up, come to your senses, stop parroting me. Parroting is an aberration. If all you can do is parrot me, you do not and cannot understand scientology. It does not demonstrate any intelligence. In order to fully understand, not just scientology, but any subject, you have to study and evaluate all other subjects of comparable magnitude in the known universe. And you must also look at situations for yourself, and ask yourself, what do you see there. Not what I said is there, or someone else said is there. Don’t look for what I said is there. Ask yourself what do you see there?

        How does it compare to what I or others say is there? I could be wrong.

        I just did some research and I told you what I found.

        Go and do your own research. Think for yourself.

        Learn to develop your own solutions to problems.

        Learn to think for yourself. And learn to think properly. Learn to think honestly.

        Learn critical thinking.

        Apply Carl Sagan’s Baloney detection kit. Find it on line.

        Seek the truth in all things.

        I am not an authority on anything.

        The truth is not determined by authority.

        Nor is it determined by opinions, beliefs, or by who wins an argument.

        The truth is the truth.

        The truth is unaffected by man’s beliefs, opinions and arguments.

        The truth is determined by the facts.

        The truth is determined by how well a datum solves a problem, how many problems it solves, how well it solves them.

        The biggest room in the world is room for improvement.

        Like Sheldon Kopp said: If you meet the Budda on the road, kill him.

        Same goes for me. If you see me along the road, kill me.

        Go and build a better bridge.

        If you can’ build a better bridge, that makes a better being, and do it your way, in your words, with new theories, new philosophy, new processes, you flunked scientology. You really don’t have a clue what is really going on.

        You are still low on the theta scale.

        Dio

        • singanddanceall

          yes, I understand.

          The Academy in Plato times:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy

          Ben Franklin much later on called it the Junto Club:

          “The Junto was a club for mutual improvement established in 1727 by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. Also known as the Leather Apron Club, its purpose was to debate questions of morals, politics, and natural philosophy, and to exchange knowledge of business affairs. They also were a charitable organization who made a subscription public library of their own books.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junto_(club)

  20. Marty, thank you for the post and for all you have written over the last 4 yrs. It has helped me clean-up the tangles in my mind to a large degree.
    I don’t think it is possible to sort out ones mind using just scientology tech anymore. I’m not even certain I even ever had a ‘reactive mind’. Life is a lesson and lessons bring changes. I wasn’t getting any such lessons out of RPF assignments or Comm Evs or even my last sessions ’03/04. Thanks for helping us all out🙂

  21. You need to believe onley i one and other:

  22. May all beings in every realm resting on philosophical platforms be well, happy and peaceful.

    GMW

  23. Roger From Switzerland Thought

    Dear Marty,

    It’s beautiful to hear from you. I’m amazed about your thinking. Looks like you freed yourself from anything and just use your free will. Ha ha ah ha …Is there a need to attest to this state ? LOL
    After 40 years in a prison of belief I found out that I was born free and have a fee will, as anybody else on this planet.
    There is no need to adopt a philosophy or belief of somebody else. I have my own philosophy and I know it’s quite different from yours. Isn’t that difference not a beautiful thing ?
    Imagine a world where everobody has the same philosophy or religion. Nobody wants this.

    Here my answers to your thoughts and my latest moving up a little bit higher:

    – There is free will and infinite possible wants and needs that it can choose from. Nobody will ever be able to predict 100% decisions, wants and needs of the free will.
    – I came finally to the conclusion that it is an impossibility to develop a technology about the mind or life itself or a philosophy which is 100% true. There will allways be somebody who thinks different and anybody can change his mind at anytime . And that is good so, this is the expression of the free will and there will never be an all encompassing philosophy or religion that can explain everything. As in the exact moment such a thing would exist the free will would be gone and people woul be slaves of this philosophy or religion.
    – Science and Philosophy are not as static as religion . They evolve and do correct themselves.The authorative scientist and philosopher of today is forgotten and dead tomorrow when it is proven that they erred.
    No religion will ever correct a scripture of it’s founder, they look at it as a 100% truth for eternity.
    – The big bang will propably be history in 100 years after some new facts about the unirverse are found, but the christs still will believe the world was created in 7 days by god 6500 years ago !
    – What today is reasonnable is tomorrow laughed upon. Reason is also under the influence of the free will and never will be defined 100%.

  24. If you make a movie with less than 25 pictures per second .. you will have some trouble to see the right thing .. for you tires running backwards ..

    This is part of Philosohy and the evolution of understandings .. your eyesight is about 25 pictures per second .. and if it is lower you get the wrong impression .. if it goes higher you do not realise it .. so you can introduce something which cannot be really seen from humans ..

    Let say you give 100 pictures per second .. you will miss 75 per second. If it is honest, you will not have trouble .. if not you may have trouble ..

    What I will say, is, that LRH has based his philosohy and technology on an universe which runs on 25 pictures per second .. which is also his definition of the mind working .. he postulated that everybody runs his mind on the same frequence since billion of years .. and that this mind holds everything since the beginning ..

    His philosohy has a lack of information .. because he says not why it is 1/25 because it could also be 1/12 or 1/50 .. but basically you get here philosohy because you yourself can change that .. your eyes and body can not do it, but you can do it .. and this is philosohy .. the sense of philosohy .. you can brighten your viewpoint .. a spirit or being runs not on frequencies, but he can be drilled to believe in it as truth .. called agreement .. on top of it you can always put in some agreements which are out of sequence .. and so is philosohy .. a being itself has no frequency at all .. none .. but he can take all for him .. also 1/350 .. and he is a philosopher .. he gets simply another view for himself .. and tells it to others ..

    It is the old rule of Objectives .. you can brighten your present time or you can be fixed about .. so you can expand or reduce present time ..

  25. In the absence of knowing we believe. We believe all manner of things. We believe that there is matter, space, time and energy. We believe that we are incomplete, not enough and therefore, by various means of learning, must fill ourselves with information in order to know. But, we never really know enough do we? No matter how much we seem to learn, how much information we seem to have, the enormous heights our seeming extraordinary ability to calculate and evaluate reach…there is always more to learn, always more to reach for.

    We believe in goodness and badness and because we believe in more than and less than, we believe, at any given time, that we are either more good and less bad or vice versa. We believe in a universe of opposites where many truths, even opposing truths, can exist simultaneously. And, we believe that there can be a partial truth, a degree of truth and, certainly, that there are some truths that are more true than others.

    Humans, it appears, often believe that they know. It also appears to be typical that humans are not big on questioning their beliefs. But this is not surprising as we humans are most adept at disguising our beliefs as knowing.

    From beliefs emerge thinking patterns and from thinking patterns artificial self concepts (personalities) are fabricated with corresponding emotional responses, attitudes and behavior. Socrates supposedly said something to the effect…an unexamined life is a life not worth living. I wonder, if one never examines their beliefs or questions who or what is doing the believing and just lives a life believing as the personality they believe they are…is that a meaningless life?

    I watched a video a while back where Byron Katie stated (I’m paraphrasing here) that a person who does not question their beliefs will suffer and a person who does won’t.

    Personally, I believe that Truth, Love, Joy, Peace and Knowledge have no opposite and they are but different symbols representing the same thing. They are what they are and they can never can be anything but what they are. They are never not complete. That noted, what these words point to is beyond words, beyond perception and while I still choose to believe rather than Know, are inconceivable to me. I also believe that believing without question, without investigation, is a most efficacious means for one to hide from who and what they really are. If that is the case, in a universe of opposites, perhaps questioning and investigating one’s beliefs is a viable means to come to recognize who and what one truly is.

    If Knowledge has no opposite then belief can be nothing but illusion.

  26. Very cool lyrics on Natalie Cole’s Paper Moon.

  27. This post and comments put me in mind of this: Hubbard once said “Money is an idea backed by confidence.” Is not religion also such? Much of life seems to me to be along those lines.

    • Val,
      Is not religion also such?

      Very interesting evaluation Val. And in a way, quite valid too.

      But religion is a belief system (consisting of a body of ideas or knowledge, doctrine, and dogma, rules to live by/ stable data) backed by a number of factors or a mixed bunch of factors, such blind faith, or group agreement, or being sold or convinced on an idea, or a concept determined by an authority, which may or may not be correct, or may be partially correct, or sometimes correct , or conditionally correct. Usually quite subjective, and contextual.

      Some data in religion are correct, and others are not. Each datum in a religion has not been carefully scrutinized and evaluated for correctness, with the rigors of true scientific thinking.

      Every religion is different and has to be evaluated on it’s own merits, and each datum within it, has to be evaluated on it’s own merits. Some ideas in religion are not provable.

      In scn Hubbard said he will only deal with things he can measure or quantify. That is the seven dynamics. He said the eighth dynamic “God” cannot be measured or quantified. But he acknowledged it was there, it exists. And left it up to the individual to deal with according to his ability or wishes.

      The masses think believing in something make it true, when in fact,
      people only believe when they do not have enough confidence to justify calling something a fact.

      People who believe things have not learned or evolved to develop and use critical thinking skills.

      Now at the same time, the value of an idea is determined by how many problems it solves and how well it solves them.

      The def of “to believe” something, is to accept something as true without proof.

      A belief is in fact a confession of ignorance. It means you do not know the facts, the truth about the subject at hand.

      It means to raise an assumption, a hearsay, an opinion, a fabrication, an arbitrary to the level of a fact or truth without proof.

      So why would anyone with any intellectual competence, want to believe anything?
      To believe in something is intellectual dishonesty.

      A person with intellectual competence either: 1. knows, or 2. does not know, or 3. is not sure.

      Beliefs and opinions fall under two and three.

      Dio

    • Val, My second comment:

      I just received this “Thought to Ponder from the Urantia Book from the Urantia Foundation:

      “Every human being very early experiences something of a conflict between his self-seeking and his altruistic impulses, and many times the first experience of God-consciousness may be attained as the result of seeking for superhuman help in the task of resolving such moral conflicts.”

      (1131.3) 103:2.4

      This ties in with what you said and what I said.

      When people succumb to their ineptness and inadequacies, they aspire or and petition to what they see as a higher cause, a higher power, the something in the invisible world, that must be causing everything, ….for help.

      Have you ever realized that before there was world travel and communication between continents and tribes, all primitive tribes did basically the same thing.

      Men did similar things.
      Women did similar things.
      They all had social customs.
      They all had communication systems.
      They all had dances and rituals (culture).
      They all had celebrations, and special events.
      They all had tools.
      They all had art.
      They all had manufacturing.
      They all had system and order, (a government, and a leader)
      They all had medicine men and healers.
      They all believed in some invisible forces.
      They all had spiritual leaders.

      Anyone who does not realize that there is an invisible cause, a first cause, or a higher power, a creator, or a prime mover unmoved, a master of intelligent design, a master of system order and control, a master of science, the source of everything, a master of aesthetics, an invisible life force energy, something that breathes life to anything that is alive, is either intellectually and perceptually challenged or dishonest.

      Dio

  28. Makes me think of this quote I posted on my blog a while back from one of my favorite authors.
    https://venusamaris.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/self-dialogues/
    Indeed, aspects of the self do not exist in isolation, and that includes the apparently disparate impulses in each of us towards reason and towards mysticism. The whole of who we are as human beings cannot, and should not, be encompassed by any one philosophy or POV, in my opinion. But, I am undeniably a seeker of mysteries, rather than answers…

  29. Notice:

    5 Day conference on scn in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Monday, June 22 to Friday June 26.

    Amazing packed schedule:

    For full details:

    http://gettingclear.co/

  30. God is Sovereign. In full control. He is Spirit. We are spirit. We receive His Spirit… we are one. Free will? In relation to God Himself? I don’t want it. He is Love. I want Him. Free will in relation to me and a human? No man is God. Jesus already has come and gone. Jesus is God. No other man is. No man has the right to play God with me. My will is free one with Jesus… not subject to a man godwannabe who wants himself to rule over me.

    • christianscientology

      Hi Laura

      I did enjoy reading your post. A lot of good common sense and Godly wisdom.

      Have you ever been involved with Scientology, I would love to know.

      Kind regards
      Pip

      P.S. If you want to e-mail me directly I would like that, my e-mail address is
      pip_threlfall@yahoo.co.uk

    • Hi Laura,

      I say the same as Pip.

      And I said before, Scn is missing the Jesus factor.

      And because many people turn to religion ( the supernatural) to solve the problems of the mind, body, spirit and life overall, no religion, no spiritual teaching, no philosophy is complete without a technology to resolve the problems of the mind and spirit.

      Email me: diogeneseii@yahoo.ca

      Dio

  31. My BTs made be do this:

    What did the Chinese Family name their black baby??

    Sum Ting Wong

    Dio

  32. Why would anyone take seriously a notion that can’t be falsified (religion/philosophy), or one that doesn’t even have a hypothesis (free will)? Science is the only form of inquiry that leads to conclusions…

    I don’t know what to do with a statement like
    “When philosophy (religious or secular) is considered senior to free will, all manner of control mechanism comes with it, both covert and overt.”

    It seems like you’re getting at the idea that one should think for one self, I fear there is a lot of confusion behind this sentiment. You can only think for yourself if you have the mental tools to discern approximate truth, namely critical thinking.

    “Sometimes they are not so easy to identify. That is because they have adopted the language of logic and science to assume the high ground of reason from which to rail against intuitive-based mysticism and mythology attendant to religion.”

    This is totally bombastic. Science exists precisely to test our intuitions, so intuition deserves no protections against said rail; mythology is deemed to be inaccurate enough a description of the past to be ignored and the philosophies that rely on them baseless in modernity.

    “It seems that at the end of the day, one traffics in reason ( including secularism), mysticism (including religion) or a combination of both as one’s needs and wants (free will) dictate.”

    This statement would mostly be agreeable if you’d drop the “free” part, I say mostly because some of us off set the reason we traffic in with verification, to not do so is to leave one’s mind vulnerable to the whimsical ignorance of mysticism (nonsense).

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