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driver



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PostSubject: New to Panendeism   Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:22 pm

I seek a spiritual life that in plain Deism I have a feeling of dryness. I believe in reincarnation. I believe in prayers of affirmation, and meditation. I believe that there is a spark of Divinity in all of us. Does anyone else share these views?
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:42 pm

I'm agnostic regarding reincarnation but I do meditate and see nothing wrong with affirmative prayer. I view everything as an aspect of "the divine" so yeah I share some of those views.

Welcome here. Smile

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driver



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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:34 pm

Thanks Aaron for sharing your views.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:04 pm

I believe that we all share a piece of that "divine spark" as well. Logos - I see no reason to improve on that concept, it explains it perfectly.

As for reincarnation; I don't buy the common new-age definition, which in itself is based on the Hindu/Buddhist concept of Karma and Samsara.

I will, however, admit that since we all share a piece of that same Logos, that it may be possible for us to be connected across time and space to other humans. On a quantum level, and though that is a very generalized answer it works for me.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:23 pm

driver wrote:
I seek a spiritual life that in plain Deism I have a feeling of dryness. I believe in reincarnation. I believe in prayers of affirmation, and meditation. I believe that there is a spark of Divinity in all of us. Does anyone else share these views?

I'm afraid that my updated version of plain-vanilla Deism may be even more dessicated than the old deaf & dumb divinity that leaves your mouth dry. It's based more on a pragmatic, rational inference from cutting-edge, a-spiritual Science than any kind of emotional connection with the eternal flame. My understanding of the Deus/Deist relationship leaves little room for bodily reincarnation, religious experiences, or answered prayers.

However, from my position of pitiful ignorance, I can't rule-out any of the more emotionally-satisfying beliefs and assumptions. My own re-interpretation of the Spark of Divinity concept is intellectually exciting to me, but probably not very sexy for those who need hand-holding and ego-stroking. Since, I'm new to the Deist vocation though, I still have a lot to learn.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:14 pm

Hello:

I consider myself a nontheistic PanenDeist; back in 1979, I decided to write about what I hold to be true. While I do not myself believe in prayer, I do know that power (mental & spiritual) can create change, which can seem miraculous.

I also “believe” in reincarnation as a logical path to the Balance. To me, this is a rational understanding of how things work in this reality. Rather than worship or prayer, I live & celebrate my faith.

As time has gone by, and as people have asked me what I believe, I have written what I’ve worked out. At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a URL to the last draft of my co-creation… it makes sense to me.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me via either email or the phone. Thanks for listening.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:25 pm

Quote :
I consider myself a nontheistic PanenDeist

The power of the Deist concept lies in its generality, but that is also its weakness. An indefinable deity, with no specific revelation, can be pictured in any form that appeals to the believer. Unlike the book religions, that essential divine formlessness allows Deists to tailor their religious beliefs and practices to suit their own personal needs and preferences.

As Lykos points out, generic Deism can be expressed in the form of Animism, Paganism, Pandeism, Panendeism, and almost any other non-scriptural belief system. This openness and flexibility has the virtue of being very modern and multi-cultural, but unfortunately it is also ambiguous and wishy-washy.

As someone once said, I want to be open-minded, but not so open that my brains fall out. I would prefer for my belief system to be grounded in something tangible and verifiable. And, apart from direct, divine revelation, the only source of such empirical/theoretical knowledge is modern Science.

That's why I tend to test any traditional, intuitive, spiritual, mythical, and legendary insights into the mind of G*D, by the generic and unbiased standards of Science. Of course, ultimately any knowledge gaps in scientific understanding will be filled by imagination, intuition, and instinct. But at least those soft beliefs will be built upon a solid foundation of hard facts.

I guess that makes me a no-nonsense Deist.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:42 pm

Gnomon,

Science is an important part of my mythos; it’s not so much a matter of “belief” as it is experience. What other people have called fantasy, I’ve witnessed (and not just separately and singly, but in the presence of others).

I don’t feel that my PanenDeism is all that different than yours, I’m just attracted to certain details that you might consider differently. Simplicity and complexity augment one another; I personally think that we are both seeing the same things in our own way.

As the ability to expand knowledge grows, what others once called fiction and fantasy will emerge as yet another chapter in the ever-expanding Book of what will one day be simply called a dryly scientific factual Tome. I am eager to read further… aren’t you?
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:28 am

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What other people have called fantasy, I’ve witnessed (and not just separately and singly, but in the presence of others).

Do have an example?
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:14 pm

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As the ability to expand knowledge grows, what others once called fiction and fantasy will emerge as yet another chapter in the ever-expanding Book of what will one day be simply called a dryly scientific factual Tome. I am eager to read further… aren’t you?
I agree. My own developing thesis of how the world works might be considered fictional speculation, because it goes beyond the conventional boundaries of the current paradigm of Science. However, partly because my personal "experience" has been routinely mundane---with little drama, romance, or fantasy---my worldview is already closer to a "dryly scientific factual tome". I am eagerly reading both the scientific literature and the mystical tea leaves, in my search for something reliable to believe in.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:17 pm

Helium wrote:
Quote :
What other people have called fantasy, I’ve witnessed (and not just separately and singly, but in the presence of others).

Do have an example?

Yes.

In high school, my science class (about 30 kids and one teacher) studied “parapsychology, including Kirlian photography, both in our classroom, and visiting a “haunted house.” We also studied the Russian Psychic Institute’s Kirlian Project, including a most fascinating photography of two people, very much in love, “touching” one another from opposite sides of the room. As far as I’m concerned, high school did me a favor (1972) in doing these kinds of experiments, dispassionately and scientifically. A pagan studies class I took later went out “faerie hunting” (we used special film in our video camera, at a place they had found deep in the Griffith Park forest (the teacher had gotten special permission from the Park Services to harvest mistletoe for ritual use at Winter Solstice services for her Pagan “church” (coven).

Just because it’s called fantasy doesn’t mean it’s not real. Intruth, the fact that Science has expanded its understanding of the universe to include psychic phenomena is fascinating to me. I’ve been on both sides of the fence (fantasy & fact), and it all looks the same to me.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:13 pm

I've not witnessed any thing supernatural although I've definitely heard about some events that seem to bely coincidence. I remain a skeptic, though.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:00 pm

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Just because it’s called fantasy doesn’t mean it’s not real
Actually, it's called "fantasy" specifically to differentiate imaginary ideas from empirical reality. Fairies and Kirlian photography are not part of my Reality. They are, however, part of the existential spectrum that I call Ideality. Unfettered human imagination can "create" almost anything out of thin air---the fantasy world of Lord of the Rings, for example. But the scientific method was developed intentionally to put some pragmatic limits on imagination, in order to facilitate our control of physical Nature. Before Science came along though, the metaphysical minds of the masses were manipulated by masters of memetics in a way similar to how we control mindless nature---by the careful application of force, in the form of social authority. Fortunately for our modern technology, Nature is not swayed by the power of Faith and Feelings, but by the application of practical Knowledge. Human Nature, though, is still subject to social and self-deceit.

Without some way to firmly establish what is real, and to distinguish what is unreal, every "fact" would be just someone's opinion. And that's OK until someone in a position of authority insists that his subjective worldview is the official reality for everybody. Unfortunately, science has a long way to go before it can sort-out the provable facts of psychic phenomena from the faith-based fictions. That's why I must agree with critical Atheists that my invisible deity is not a physical reality, but a meta-physical ideality---a placeholder name for something beyond scientific proof. In my reality though, G*D is the only thing beyond the reach of Science. Fairies and Spirit Photos are fair game for the "show me" challenge.

Nevertheless, as a tentative believer in a deity, I can't be too critical of those who believe in fairies & unicorns and cold fusion & zero-point energy machines. But I can modestly admit that, based on my personal experience, I am skeptical. For leisure I can enjoy the fictions of romantic realities, but for real reality I prefer to read National Geographic.


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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:48 am

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In my reality though, G*D is the only thing beyond the reach of Science. Fairies and Spirit Photos are fair game for the "show me" challenge.

Well I would agree and here's why.

Fairies and Spirit Photos aren't needed in the way that God is.

I don't know if I'm stating this right but God as concept or working theory or whatever is needed as the cause of the universe.

In your universe and my universe, fairies and spirits aren't needed for anything, if you know what I mean. I mean if they're there, great. But if they're not, then ... great.

But God fulfills a function as prime mover or first cause.

And we grant that atheists maybe right and God is not the first cause. But then the ball is in their court, so to speak, as for the explantion to existence.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:57 pm

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In your universe and my universe, fairies and spirits aren't needed for anything, if you know what I mean. I mean if they're there, great. But if they're not, then ... great.
I know what you mean. What do fairies do for a living anyway? Pollinate flowers? Very Happy

Even though fairies and wood sprites are not part of my personal reality, I must reluctantly admit that "reality" is relative. According to Einstein's theory of Relativity, each of us experiences a slightly different version of the Real World. Fortunately for us, modern science has developed a fairly reliable method to distinguish Subjective Ideality from Objective Reality, so we can all agree on pragmatic matters. Unfortunately, Science is still in its infancy, and many exotic alternative realities out there are still beyond the reach of empirical investigation. So while we can agree on a few objective facts, humans will always differ on the actuality of some subjective truths.

That's why, to live together in peace, we must agree-to-disagree on non-critical, moot "facts". I call it the Presbyterian/Pentecostal truce. On the local Christian TV channel, I see evangelists of various persuasions preaching side-by-side, or at least sequentially on the same station. Privately, the Presbyterians reject the baby-babble tongue-speaking and placebo-effect hands-on-healing that the Pentecostals "experience" every day. And the Pentes pity the narrow-minded Presbys who never experience the ecstasies of God's special blessings, because they can't see the plain truth in their own Bibles. But those sparring sects put aside their differences and band together in their fight against the spawn of Satan*, such as Pagans and Deists.

Within the Deist community I suppose there are some who "experience" G*D in ways that are completely foreign to others. Who am I to say who's wrong? Perhaps we need to call a Pagan/Panendeist truce. All I know is that my personal experience is devoid of Nature Spirits and Lycanthropes. And my no-nonsense Deist worldview has no place for such anomalies. But, of course, I could be wrong. Cool


* Ironically, some images of a shaggy Satan with cloven hoofs and a Pan pipe are left-overs from pre-Christian Pagan legends.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:41 am

Well that would be the geat thing about deism as I see it which both of us seem to share.

And it's like this.

We don't deny the right of others to have their beliefs so long as their beliefs don't deny others the right of their own beliefs.

If you further distill this what it means is that you get together with people of all different faiths or non-faiths, see what you have in common, and hope to hell that it includes love of friends and families and acceptance of all humanity into a state whereby their existence, by necessity of the Golden Law, is as importance as yours and the only way they can or should be denied of this designation is if they have first denied yourself of this
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:58 pm

Deists are often accused of believing in nothing specific. We don't have a Big Book containing all the answers, so we must not know much.

The first step in the process of acquiring knowledge is to recognize the limits of our current knowledge. As Yogi Berra aptly put it, "It's not what we don't know that hurts us, it's what we know for sure, that just ain't so."

Every "fact" attributed to God by the revealed religions serves to limit our concept of God. Deists, by acknowledging what we don't know for sure, limit our misunderstanding and clear the path for the accumulation of knowledge that we can know.

Science is a source of knowledge, but is limited by it's very nature to those things that can be weighed, measured and tested - the physical universe as seen through the physical senses. It is a practical guide to life in a practical reality. Religion - and philosophy - exist because there is an inherent sense in all of us that there is more to the universe than that which can be experienced physically. Unfortunately, we have not developed a non-physical "science" to confirm the existence of that other reality, but belief in it persists.

"Supernatural" is a term we use to express those things we can't define or quantify or express in words, but if (when?) we come to understand them, they will prove to be just as natural as the physical reality we see with our eyes. Anything that exists must be "natural".

I believe that human consciousness is still evolving. We will eventually gain a full understanding of the true nature of the universe - and of ourselves. But when I say "we", let me be clear: Some people will get there before others. We are not machines, nor are we the Borg. Advances in knowledge can only occur when those who gain insight share their discoveries with others - and convince them of the veracity of these ideas. Since we don't all think alike, convincing others can be difficult and dangerous!

Most people want to believe in something, and are perhaps too willing to believe in anything.

With all of our disparate ideas, the one thing that Deists have in common is the persistent habit of filtering all theories with Reason and Logic, separating the wheat from the chaff, and accepting - tentatively - those theories that have merit and rejecting those that don't.

"Rethink everything that you have been told. Discard everything that offends your soul".
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:55 pm

nicely put
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:42 pm

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With all of our disparate ideas, the one thing that Deists have in common is the persistent habit of filtering all theories with Reason and Logic, separating the wheat from the chaff, and accepting - tentatively - those theories that have merit and rejecting those that don't.

I agree that Deists tend to give primacy to Reason over Faith, but I am beginning to suspect that they have one more thing in common : a weak herding instinct, coupled with strong maverick tendencies.

Ironically, my own fundamentalist upbringing included learning habits of critical thinking and skepticism toward other religious views---which I later focused on my own beliefs. Even in-group beliefs were examined rationally, but at the point where reason faltered, the Bible was the final authority---divine revelation trumps human reasoning.

Yet even the Good Book was annoyingly ambiguous in some cases, so our desire for rational closure was often frustrated. Therefore, our official policy was to "speak where the Bible speaks, be silent where the Bible is silent". Bible believers don't like those annoying silent gaps between faith and reason, but they seem to be more comfortable with leather-bound certainty, than with open-ended doubt.

A strong tendency to individualism is not conducive to the communal religious life, or to submission under authority. For the good of the collective, doubts must be suppressed, with taboos. But certain kinds of individuals are perversely stimulated by do-not-enter-signs to risk group censure in order to slake their Edenic curiosity on juicy forbidden knowledge. Thus, in the beginning, hubristic, selfish, personal Reason led to the downfall of mankind, and our expulsion from the in-group, led by humble, altruistic, group Reason. Shame on us!

WIKI: Herd mentality implies a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:50 am

I'd have to say we are in good company!

If, for the moment, we acknowledge the Biblical story, then we see that God created Adam and Eve - knowing that they could not resist tasting the fruit of knowledge. If they were his greatest achievement, then God did not intend Mankind to be complacently ignorant.

Those of us who are constantly seeking another bite of the fruit of knowledge are living up to the expectations of the Great Designer. Cool

However, if we read the story as allegory (as I believe it was meant to be read), then we see the inevitability of Man's intellectual evolution.

Either way, we are on the right path.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:08 pm

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Unfortunately, we have not developed a non-physical "science" to confirm the existence of that other reality, but belief in it persists.
Fortunately, I believe we are on the cusp of a new meta-physical science. Penetrating the black box brain with Neuroscience has given us some insight to how the mysterious subconscious mind works. And the fledgling field of Memetics is beginning to reveal the evolutionary process of non-physical idea propagation. I think a better understanding of religious beliefs and impulses will result from the intrusion of science into formerly taboo metaphysical realms of ultimate reality.
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:06 am

Gnomon wrote:

Fortunately, I believe we are on the cusp of a new meta-physical science. Penetrating the black box brain with Neuroscience has given us some insight to how the mysterious subconscious mind works. And the fledgling field of Memetics is beginning to reveal the evolutionary process of non-physical idea propagation. I think a better understanding of religious beliefs and impulses will result from the intrusion of science into formerly taboo metaphysical realms of ultimate reality.

I disagree. Neuroscience attempts to define consciousness as a product of the mechanics of brain waves. It is a materialistic approach that misses the point!

Imagine that you had come upon an old tube-type radio, with no knowledge or concept of radio waves...

You might be inclined to believe that the sounds emanating from the radio were created by...the radio! And, as you dissected the strange parts in this device, you would find proof for your theory! If you remove certain tubes, the sound stops, so they must be the source of the sound. And for further proof, you discover that if you turn a knob, you can make the sounds change!

Now consider the possibility that the brain is not the source of thought, but merely a receiver...
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:32 pm

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I disagree. Neuroscience attempts to define consciousness as a product of the mechanics of brain waves. It is a materialistic approach that misses the point!

You can't disagree with me! I'll just move the target. Very Happy

Neuroscience is indeed a continuation of the materialist approach to understanding the mind. But it keeps running into the same old philosophical mind/body roadblocks. A few mind scientists are already entertaining some tentative metaphysical explanations. Brain waves, for example, are not physical objects, but variable mathematical pattern-relationships. Those who put aside their high-tech instruments, and use their low-tech minds are beginning to see the secret sauce that brings the neuronal spaghetti to life.

What I foresee is that the infant sciences of Memetics and Cybernetics will eventually spill-over into the vocabulary of Neuroscience. It may be easier to see the distinction between physical Nature and meta-physical Culture than material Brain and functional Mind. Systems Theorists are already aware that the essential "structure" of a system is not made of matter, but of information.

We are not at the cross-over point yet, but I see encouraging signs that we are headed in the right direction. Keep the faith. Whistle
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:57 pm

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Now consider the possibility that the brain is not the source of thought, but merely a receiver...
A few neuroscientists have considered the "receiver" explanation for consciousness, but have abandoned it for lack of physical evidence. Although I like to speculate on such things, I am not yet convinced, either way, that metaphysical mind signals are out there in the ether like radio waves just waiting to be tuned-in. It's an interesting metaphor, but for the moment it's easier to understand what happens inside the skull.

In a DISCOVER magazine round-table discussion, Michael Gazzaniga offered a similar analogy---based on the same laws of harmonics that cause a radio to resonate in tune with a distant source. Speaking of Consciousness he said, "I like to think of it as being like a pipe organ. When one note is playing, that's what you're conscious about. . . . Consciousness is not a thing in the brain that information gets poured into and you're aware of it. It's the constant struggle of all these circuits to come up to the top and hold the stage for that second." That analogy is based on the concept of the Mind as a community of competing and cooperating "agents". Each fleeting moment of agent-awareness is like a single note of music in an orchestral composition.

Like genes, brain agents are unconscious and single-mindedly selfish little mind-modules. But as they all struggle to survive individually, a harmonious community chorus of sub-conscious sub-components emerges from the chaos. So I think Gazzaniga was saying that Consciousness is not a mechanism, but an orchestration of mechanisms.

Like your radio metaphor, the orchestra image implies that some mysterious external organizing force is at work. I doubt that Gazzaniga was thinking of a spiritual organist or conductor, but rather something more like Adam Smith's "invisible hand" which spontaneously emerges from collective activity. And Smith did not intend to imply a god-like hand reaching down from heaven to impose harmony upon cacophany, but instead a natural effect arising from interacting blind forces, and resulting in what we perceive as order.

In my thesis of Enformationism, harmony emerges from chaos as a natural result of the interaction of rigid rules and random perturbations. The cosmic system of Nature was designed like a musical instrument to produce consciousness when "stroked" in just the right way. Obviously, sentient creatures are the local source of "stroking", but who or what is the ultimate "source of thought"? Question
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PostSubject: Re: New to Panendeism   Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:20 pm

Gnomon wrote:
Like your radio metaphor, the orchestra image implies that some mysterious external organizing force is at work. I doubt that Gazzaniga was thinking of a spiritual organist or conductor, but rather something more like Adam Smith's "invisible hand" which spontaneously emerges from collective activity. And Smith did not intend to imply a god-like hand reaching down from heaven to impose harmony upon cacophany, but instead a natural effect arising from interacting blind forces, and resulting in what we perceive as order.

Yes, many people throughout Mankind's brief history have grappled with the effort to explain similar concepts. We may all be talking about the same thing, but lacking the words to describe the impressions we know to be the truth. One analogy is no better or worse than another, yet none can produce a clear understanding or result in a consensus of opinion.

Rosicrucian teachings speak of everything - material and non-material - as having various "vibrations". These vibratory rates are what allow us to perceive an apple as an apple and a rock as a rock, despite the fact that everything in our material world is composed of essentially the same matter and energy. In this sense, "reality" is only defined by our perception of varying rates of vibration.

If each of us are receiving and interpreting these vibrations through our own filters - the result of our personal experiences - it is no wonder that we can't agree on what "is". Reality is different for each of us! We may agree to label apples as apples, but how can we know if each of us experiences the same taste when biting into one?

And, in our efforts to explain phenomena that we experience but don't quite understand, some will believe in a supernatural force as the cause while others will see it as "natural". Nothing we experience can prove or disprove the existence of a "God", let alone define what a God might be. "Supernatural" IMO is a term used to identify the unknown. Once we understand a thing, it ceases to be supernatural and becomes natural. Everything is natural, it is only our ignorance that makes it less so.
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