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About closrapexa

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  1. Letting go of Karma

    I don't think the idea of Karma is similar to the Western ideas of sacrifice and retribution... and elightenment isn't necessarily living selflessly for others.
  2. That depends on how you define "Islamists." For example, the secular army's fight in Egypt with the Moslem Brotherhood is predicated mainly on power. Although the official reason is religious, it could be defined as a "classic" civil war. On the other hand, and I'm saying this as someone who really isn't anti-American, no one in the world today can compete with the US in total deaths, especially civilian ones. One could argue that the only difference is that the US has a legality and standing, which terrorists do not. However that may be, I think the dialogue ought to be expanded to all unjustifiable deaths. Or if they can be justified, more scrutiny is needed in that respect. "The overall conclusion reached is that the United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world."
  3. Oh, well, that's another story. I hope can find the help he needs.
  4. Also, even if there is a rock, you're not actually holding it. You're never actually holding or touching anything because of electron resistence.
  5. I don't understand... the kind of help he may need depends greatly on what he has. Even without going into specifics some kind of information would help. Not reading books isn't, by itself, a sign of being mentally ill.
  6. I dunno if I can hold a rock, but I do enjoy getting my rocks off. Just sayin'
  7. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view - Obi-Wan Kenobi
  8. Can we not love our brother as ourselves?
  9. Can we not love our brother as ourselves?

    Because in any religion there is often a difference between what is said and what is done. In Judaism there is "an eye for an eye," which the Sages reinterpreted to fit "modern" (Middle Ages) sensibilities as having to pay damages equal in worth to damages inflicted. The religion of Love, Christianity, blazed the way for the Inquisition. Those were relatively enlightened times.
  10. Can we not love our brother as ourselves?

    It might also be remembered that while Europe was in ruins, the Islamic Empire was the light of the world, with the library in Bagdadh having millions of books and thousands of scribes. Many of the ideas we take for granted today in fields of medicine, society, philosophy, astrology, music, writing... so much we owe to Islam. It was also highly accepting of other religions, with Jews serving as Viziers and in other official capacities, Christians accepted as equals... the way things are now aren't the way they always were.
  11. The Worst Mistake in Human History

    The specifics of my metaphor may be flawed, I'll grant that, but the essence is sound. If you want to construct, say, a microwave, you don't need to study several lifetimes worth of metalworking, glass making, materials design, electricity as well as what makes a microwave "go." Others have done the work before you and that knowledge is part of the shared legacy of the entire human race. You need only add to it and develop it. Humans exel at sharing ideas, our brains are our biggest evolutionary advantage. It could be argued that the allocation of work and resources was not only necessary, it was unavoidable.
  12. Magic and occultism

    Dion Fortune may have been racist, but her (infamous) quote about the Western traditions being uniquely suited to the "white peoples" does in fact have a grain of truth to it. I often combine biblical stories with study of the Tree of Life not because I believe in the Bible, but because I can recognize and am perhaps better "attuned" to its ideas, symbolic vocabulary and modes of thinking. These are the stories and symbols that affect me emotionally, and they are omnipresent in all Western culture,even something unconnected like the story of Goldilocks. While "other things" like Karma and chakras and whatnot have validity for people who use and connect with them (even going so far as to synthesize them into the Tree of Life) the new and exotic isn't always better.
  13. Can we not love our brother as ourselves?

    But we don't live in a cartoon world where villains suck their pinky fingers and are in it for the sake of evil itself. Very often evil is born as a surplus of virtue, of a lack of doubt in one's convictions. Or, evil can be perceived as such from the other side. American "terrorists" actually won their war of independence, and it was only then that they ceased to be insurrectionists. True, it was a different time and their targeting of innocent civilians either isn't documented, didn't exist or wasn't widespread, but they were the "bad guys," depending on which side you were on. I think that's the most important think, to never be completely sure that you're completely correct, to doubt your convictions as to who your enemies are and why. You ultimately may still pick up a weapon and go to war, but go with a good, healthy dose of doubt, because only then can you preserve your independence of thought. "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."
  14. Magic and occultism

    I don't know but things that develop have a tendency to, well, develop and cannot always be recognized by later iterations. There is strong evidence Jesus had connections with the Essenes, a cult centered near the Dead Sea obsessed with the end of days. Before that, Judaism as we know it didn't exist, it was a hodge-podge of different influences taken from everyone that had been in the Holy Land since the Phillistines and Egyptians. The Temple of Solomon shows hints of Egyptian sun worship. Although the Torah existed a good long time, the Tanach itself was only codified in its complete form about the same time as Christianity. Before that, there is a theory about a tribe in Africa called "Afro Habiru," who were thought to be devotees of Horus. They weren't Jews by any means, there's simply a (very thin) thread running throughout history. The scrolls found at Qumran contain some ideas that would today heretic to both Judaism and Christianity, and they are examples both of single opinions and the prevalent modes of thought. So basically it can be said that one idea connected with others, changed, evolved and combined.
  15. Can we not love our brother as ourselves?

    I,too, served in the army and felt I was doing my duty by doing so. However, that viewpoint can be taken to extremes. Indeed, it has been, by people who were "only following orders." Sometimes the true heroes are those who refuse to fight, despite the bidding of their nation. In addition, who is it that decrees who "wants to kill us." My own country illegally occupies territories, and the people who live there are indeed considered enemies of the State. Although I did not vote for the present government, I still share responsibility for its actions, seeing as I pay taxes and serve in the reserves (as a non-combatant). My nations bids me hate these people as it has decided they want to kill me, but I can't subscribe to that view and never have, despite being the victim of terrorist attacks myself.