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Religion & Vanity

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posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

I think we can step back, realize this, and simply shut up. This seems rational. And then we say, "Hey, we each cannot know for sure, we each have different beliefs, and that's all there is to it". Our vanities appeased in the process.


Where this leads to the problem is; If someone has a belief, shouldnt they have a reason to believe so? Shouldnt that reason be knowable? That is what you were discussing with bluemule, he may have a belief, but there must be grounds on which he makes that belief, grounds which you do not see, and which he only fails to show you, therefore you call his belief irrational and unfounded.




posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by olaru12
 





LM, I have some very profound thoughts on the subject of Vanity but the very wise modest side of my personality tells me to mind my own business.


I would love to hear them. Break rank for a time and share your business. Vanity is one of my favourite topics.


Thanks...
A pretty person, that knows they are pretty, and wants everyone to see how pretty they are is an ugly piece of work. The same goes for the intellect as well.

Thank God, I don't have to worry about either one.

I also see a problem with false piety; a particularly nasty form of showboating vanity. So evident here on ATS to try and sway political opinions concerning the morality of "hot button" issues.

Transparent geekyness at its very finest.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 





Others take long pilgrimages to kneel at a wall, or bow to whomever’s ass is directly in front of them, in an orgiastic display of sweet sweet piety. Religion is loud.


Hmmm, I think you're assumptions about life may be blindsiding you to the metaphysical beliefs of these religions.

There is the subjective world of religious experience, and this you approve of. But - and this you don't approve of - there is also an objective world. Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam try to absorb the objective physical world into their respective spiritual beliefs. Rightly or wrongly, this is what they're doing. The pilgrimage to Mecca symbolically reenacts the souls own pilgrimage from a world of form to the mysterium tremendum, aptly symbolized by a square in the middle of a desert. The Western wall of Judaism likewise symbolizes a metaphysical theory of Jewish belief: that all we can know of God is what were shown. The direction of "west" - where the sun settles - is kabbalistically correlated with the physical world. Observant Jews come to this wall to wail - to express their existential angst before the God of their belief.

I could ho on, but you should get the point by now. The physical world, the clothes we wear, the festivals we celebrate, the dances we dance and the food we eat, all partake of the spiritual beliefs of the particular religion.




they do it because they think someone is watching.


That couldn't be anymore pompous - and WRONG.

One wonders where your own thinking is that you can think so cynically about your fellow man.

Although, of course, this is a danger that all religious people can succumb to, but it's not an integral component to the religious gathering as you're assuming.




Is it no wonder that people often gather in churches and congregations to worship? What better place to appear pious but in front of the pious? Alas, the perfect audience! They wish to have the chance to appear spiritual in front of others, to appear spiritual to themselves—pure vain spirituality—as those who dogmatize over what they nor anyone else can never know, yet insist upon, do. They wish to appear a certain way, dressed up, seen kneeling beneath their idols agape, clothed in a costume for all to gaze upon.


More proof I suppose of how skewed your thinking is.

People can be sincere, you know. Or do you doubt the existence of sincerity? When I go to Church with my sister (I'm not Christian, but I enjoy the pious environment) I sometimes sit and observe the faces around me. Not everyone is in the right mindset, but many are. They kneel during prayer, and just by looking at their faces, you can see that many are fervently pouring their hearts out to their God. They are sincerely praying. When they turn around during hand shaking time, they sincerely offer peace and good-will. There is very little concern for "how they appear before others" in people such as this. Do you know how I know for certain? Because when I pray, when I offer a good-willed handshake, I experience the sincerity of my intentions. There's nothing more I can say - no defense I can make to convince you otherwise. If you don't believe me, it's because you're an implacable cynic too convinced of his belief to challenge them. To dare to doubt himself, and deal with the tension that results.
edit on 20-7-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


Why do you pretend that vanity and ego is eradicable? It is a basic aspect of who we are: we have millions of years of evolutionary development which installed in our psyche an indelible program of ego.

The real question is, how can we sublimate it? How can we control it? How can we experience ourselves and others in a positive and constructive light?

Not everyone follows the same life trajectories or enjoy the same circumstances that makes someone more sincere in his or her spiritual beliefs. Some people don't have the knowledge of how to educate themselves; they may work all the time and have little experience of conception of what it means to be "internally" oriented. There are so many variables involved at all moments. What you should be doing - although I know you wont accept my criticism - is to patiently try to understand why someone isn't acting as they're supposed to.

Also, to say that all communal worship is a recipe for "ego" is absurd. Every social gathering has the potential to incite ego. Why should religious gathering be blacklisted? Frankly, If you want to "destroy" ego, as you seem to think is possible, go to Tibet, or to a cave in some sparsely inhabited forest, and never come out. So long as you partake in the human community, you wont be able to avoid it. What you can do, at most, is to yearn for sincerity when you worship. To honestly offer good-will toward others. Simple things.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


The Religion of Silence... it's odd, but, that does define my personal spiritual and mystical beliefs. I don't speak about them unless somebody asks me personally to define them. The woman who helped me see the error of "loud religions" taught me to be a "silent one", because we don't need to speak, or preach, or convert to find peace, purpose, and community.

I, personally, believe she was right.

And that's all I have to say on the matter.


~ Wandering Scribe



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 07:06 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 





That couldn't be anymore pompous - and WRONG.


I made an attempt to show that when people pray to something, they hope that something is listening and/or watching. If you can prove otherwise, by all means, show how and where. But until then, failure to provide an argument is no argument.



Because when I pray, when I offer a good-willed handshake, I experience the sincerity of my intentions.

Yet you are not sincere enough to acknowledge your vanity. Sincerity is the desire to appear sincere. When you're sincere you're sincere to others. It isn't a feeling one gets or a state of mind. Sure it may be gratifying to appear sincere, but only when one reaps the rewards he seeks.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by mysticnoon

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Does anyone agree that "The Religion of Silence—whereby one never speaks of what he cannot know and keeps his convictions to himself" would be a promising religious method if put in practice?


One consequence of this may be that the humble would cease speaking altogether of spiritual matters, and the vain would have the conversation to themselves.


If you came up with that on your own I'd be supremely impressed.


2nd



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 08:13 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 





I made an attempt to show that when people pray to something, they hope that something is listening and/or watching.


You got a very myopic understanding of prayer.

How do you understand it? I'll give you my understanding. Phenomenologically, prayer can be supplication, or prayer can be giving praise. Both forms of prayer are rooted in the concept of relationship.

In the case of prayer as supplication, indeed, there is a hope that God will respond. But I would go even deeper and argue that this type of prayer can be therapeutic and restorative in itself.

No one can know whether God exists, but the act of faith assumed in praying draws you out of any existential sense of misery and approaches the unknown in selfless submission.

As for prayer as praise, this is the type of prayer I feel compelled to engage in. I feel such tremendous love and awe that I cannot hold in the enormous feeling of gratitude I have: for living, for existing, for enjoying, for learning, for the mysteries and wonders and simplicities that fill up my day to day life.



Yet you are not sincere enough to acknowledge your vanity.


I'm sorry, I've again missed your abstruse logic.




Sincerity is the desire to appear sincere


You really are adept at over-complicating things, aren't you?

My desire to be sincere is sufficient in itself. There is no additional thought or awareness of wanting to appear sincere. While in the act, I am existentially focused and oriented in a manner that can only be called "sincere". I try to empty myself of any pretense, of any concern for what others may be thinking.

Barring this, what else can I do? Admit defeat and see the world as you do - as one big vain, pointless charade? I believe my attempt at sincerity is sincere enough. I have suffered enough in my life, I have known miseries that few people get to experience in life. Perhaps it is just me, I doubt it, but lifes pressures really are quite effective in peeling away those layers of pretension and doubt.



Sure it may be gratifying to appear sincere, but only when one reaps the rewards he seeks.


So in your opinion, there is no sincere religious feeling, then? And if there is, it can only be felt in a subjective personal sense, but not shared with others without making yourself appear vain?

Can I ask you a question. The way you pomp up your posts, do you think you are beyond the charge of being "vain"?



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 



Why do you pretend that vanity and ego is eradicable?

It's not a belief, it's an experience I've had, continue to have longer periods of, and a reality I have directly experienced. You are not the ego. You are the one that is aware of the ego doing "it's thing" within you.

If you spend some time in meditation, watching what "it" does, you will soon find that it has a location that it emerges out of, when the body wakes up in the morning. And returns to this locations in deep dreamless sleep. If you fight tooth and nail to stay aware during the most subtlest moments of the body entering into sleep, you will SEE FOR YOURSELF that what I say is true.

If you enter into the Source of thought, you remain in a place that is prior to all thinking ...like life itself. Everything that ever happens. Your whole existence, is always prior to what ego thinks. There is a delay.

Spend enough time within the source of thought, and it begins to be spring cleaned and snuffed out ...from there all saying, doing, responding, reacting becomes spontaneously done from intuition and heart.

Plus you can train yourself to mediate to stop thought, and be for longer periods of time, still, with out thinking, yet still being.......

"Don't trust me, see for yourself if it is true" is what someone once told me. I did, and found it to be so....took years though.


It is a basic aspect of who we are: we have millions of years of evolutionary development which installed in our psyche an indelible program of ego.

Ultimately, it's neutral. However, it is NOT who we really are. Ego is like having ears, or a nose, or a tongue ...it's just a tool, a sense....... Yet it has hi-jacked the identity of the masses and it becomes a sick, twisted, out of control monstrocity....

Every disgusting thing we see on this planet, is because of Ego. Rape, murder, molestation, greed, unethical acts for the sake of profit, World Wars, Pillage, Wife's getting beat, cheating, lying ....it's all the ego's own self justification based on the programing it has received from this world....

There is deeper level of acting, thinking, being ....and that's from the Intuition/soul/heart level......A place that is prior to Ego in each person.


The real question is, how can we sublimate it? How can we control it? How can we experience ourselves and others in a positive and constructive light?

Practice. There are literally hundreds of blueprints on sublimation and self mastery from cultures and times all over the world


Not everyone follows the same life trajectories or enjoy the same circumstances that makes someone more sincere in his or her spiritual beliefs. Some people don't have the knowledge of how to educate themselves; they may work all the time and have little experience of conception of what it means to be "internally" oriented. There are so many variables involved at all moments. What you should be doing - although I know you wont accept my criticism - is to patiently try to understand why someone isn't acting as they're supposed to.

People don't act the way their supposed to because of Ignorance and an uninformed ego that lacks psychological maturity and spiritual experiences and understanding. Doesn't matter, we're heading in that direction regardless. The Spiritual leap is the next leap in evolution and all the crap of the world will be no more.


Also, to say that all communal worship is a recipe for "ego" is absurd.

Never said that. What I said is that in some Religions, which have at the heart of the matter "Ego Death" as their goal ...instead a new ego is established with the parameters of that religion, and the whole point is missed. Happens a majority of the time. I fell for it for years as well


Frankly, If you want to "destroy" ego, as you seem to think is possible, go to Tibet, or to a cave in some sparsely inhabited forest, and never come out.

Why limit to just that. I read a Zen Koan, and 15 minutes later was separated from ego, watching its every move. Another time, a Buddhist sat next to me and leaned over to me to whisper something, and his expanded consciousness lit me up like a candle, expanding mine as well, allowing me to see where Ego comes from within. Or grace......just praying or mediating I've had me ego swallowed up and destroyed in plumes of infinite Love


So long as you partake in the human community, you wont be able to avoid it. What you can do, at most, is to yearn for sincerity when you worship. To honestly offer good-will toward others. Simple things.

You can be egoless and in a community.....it's not all how you think it is. It's actually quite simple. Observe the observer, see the seer, know the knower...spend time with that and all will reveal itself



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 01:20 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
Does anyone agree that "The Religion of Silence—whereby one never speaks of what he cannot know and keeps his convictions to himself" would be a promising religious method if put in practice?


I think that is an existing religious practice. I know here in France, Catholics like to go on retreats where they join in living with nuns but cannot speak at all. My husbands aunt used to do that often and she claimed it was an amazing and profound experience. Nietzsche explored this aspect a bit didn't he?

I think France is the birthplace of the "Quietism" movement.

I think language has an effect of pulling concepts from a state of "wholeness" into a linear form of separated pieces, which has the effect of destroying the most ultimate spiritual experiences. Like I've said to Itisnowagain- how to talk about a state of non-being, outside of time and space, using language which indicates and designates being, time and space?

This is the problem with organized religion, and it's difference from "spirituality". You can have one or the other, or both, but they are not the same .

So I tend to look at religious practice in terms of physical and psychological tools, rather than spiritual transcendance. I think it may have some real utlility in some cases.


Note: Funny way I learned about Quietism- in meditation one day, I suddenly saw a woman in mind. A conversation ensued with her, in which she said she was once incarnated on earth, and suggested she was an aspect of my own soul, one of my own past lives. I, having no real beliefs on such matters, asked for some information, so I could research this possibility. She gave her name, and the way it was spelled came up in my vision, in red letters. She gave the date of her death.
I googled her name and found the date of death matched. One of the things I found in her biography was that although she was of Irish descent (like myself!), lived in the US for a while, and also lived many years in France, where she was part of the Quietist movement in the 18th century.

I just thought it was a funny coincidence that I am now familiar with this particular movement because of a "spiritual" type of experience- seeing the topic of conversation here....
edit on 21-7-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 03:58 AM
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Vanity???
The only reason I am a Christian is because my sin is so real it condemns me to death.
The only reason I go to church is because without support I would find daily life difficult to live.
Vanity is not a Christian virtue, true some Christians are like that but not all.

Vanity is a sin and if Christians think they please God by their actions then they should question their Christianity.

The lords supper is when a Christian reflects on their sin and realises they are unworthy to commune with God, unworthy to take it and worthy only in Christ.
Thats not vanity
Though some churches do have it wrong.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 05:16 AM
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Originally posted by Bluesma
Though you might be right about some people, I also think there some elements you are ignoring here, when it comes to people sharing their faith or rituals with each other.

That is, the same reason the misanthrope searches to stay out of collective movement- the way it causes the body and mind to escape the individual ego! It is a way of escaping self and losing control, becoming part of a larger, undefined power.

The influence of "the herd" upon the body and mind, both biological, chemical, and psychological, leaves one with a variety of internal experiences, which are not controlled by the individual, sometimes cannot even be predicted. The state of powerlessness, as fearful as it is for the ego, can also be extremely pleasurable, as the emotional and physical energies are unleashed in the body, causing a feeling of elation.

I suggest that vanity also, lies behind the misanthropes search to avoid losing their individuality in a ocean of humanity. Vanity dictates that to stay separate, individualized, is to be superior.

People who are part of a religion have their identity expand, to being the larger group instead of the individual, and a sort of vanity exudes ("WE" are superior , instead of "I").


In very down to earth physical terms, I think the collective vanity is a bit more accurate, as the force of many will always beat and conquer one.
But spiritually, or mentally, the one can experience a sort of victory over collective consciousness each time they resist joining.



Is not the problem, that religion can say they are the answer, because of the lack of true understanding by the ones who cannot truelly seek outside the box and find out for themselves.

If you work to quantify the spiritual information and accept it in science then there would be no need for religion. Why use a inefficient tool that has dogma when you can use a efficient tool without dogma. Start by proving chakras (or whatever we choose to call the hidden energy system in the body) for all to see and find ways for each human to experiance them as efficient as possible.

The problem is that humans believe their idols 100% and brainwash them to it. A better way to find truth is to say I believe this is the best idol of the truth that is, that I can understand know and if I find more information I will of course change the parts in the idol that is wrong to make it more accurate to what is.

Sharing what you believe is not wrong. The wrongness comes when being convinced that you know everything when you do not access to all that is. The brain washing of ones ego.
edit on 21-7-2013 by LittleByLittle because: Spellchecking



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 05:31 AM
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Originally posted by BlueMule

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by BlueMule
 


I agree. But it is all your post warrants as a response. You're simply making stuff up.
edit on 20-7-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)


lol

Making stuff up? Oh I do so love it when you lay your cards down revealing an ignorant losing hand. Thanks. I love the feeling of knowing stuff that ignorant skeptics think is made-up. It makes me feel like a big man. It's a good feeling.


edit on 20-7-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)


Some have experienced more and some have known less. Les you are playing a game of what you want to be and will not accept what is how many people say otherwise. That is the problem with spiritual knowledge. People think they have the same amount of experience than the others but that is totally wrong. It is like saying since I know first grade math I know math and therefor know all math that was and will ever be. You have to seek answers and want to see to find answers. If your ego wants you to be blind then you will be blind.

The same brainwashing is in religion. The ones who have no experience preach to those who have experience and think their point is as valid as the ones who have more knowledge.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 05:36 AM
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Originally posted by BlueMule
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


I think you see what you want to see... both in terms of other people and in terms of the evidence that your defense mechanisms filter out.

But hey its cool... it is indeed fun playing wit games with smug pseudo-skeptics who think they already know everything worth knowing.

That's pretty much all you can do with them, since they go running home to their ivory tower when they get scared. You can hear them muttering their mantra as they run. "No evidence! No evidence! No proper arguments!"

It's the same situation with your counterparts... the religious fundamentalists. It's amazing how similar you are to them. The only difference is they go running home with a slightly different mantra. "No heresy! No heresy! No proper exegesis!" Smug pseudo-skeptics and vain fundamentalists are two sides of the same shallow, myopic coin.



edit on 20-7-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)


Same approach. Just different beliefs/views/idols.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 05:43 AM
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Originally posted by dominicus
Yes, utilize Vanity to do whatever it takes at whatever cost to find out what the Absolute Truth is, to find out who you really are prior to the "program" that was forced upon you......when you find the original you, then vanity, "the program", and all illusion falls away, freeing you into something there are just no words for, but is the Truth



Close to what is but you cannot be sure you do not have a bit of previous "program" left. To be the truth it has to be very unspecific so it can encompass all that you do not specifically know and have not quantified yet. To know the truth is to know all that is and every view of what is. I am limited in my knowledge and do not even know all about the body I occupy.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Hi again LesMisanthrope,
Thank you for taking the time to go through my response. I would like to explain my thoughts.

Why did I liken church attendance to a concert? To discuss motive, I suppose. I believe that SOME people go to church because the entire experience makes them feel good. For them, vanity is not the issue.
It could be a church setting, a Coldplay concert, a group meditation...or a flash mob (lol). For some, the shared experience feels like a connection to others. It's not about what they're wearing, or who sees them there. It's personal...and makes them feel good inside.

Why do I politely ask for strength and ease of suffering? Do I think an individual is listening, or caring what I'm wearing...or performing a ritual? Well....I am polite out of respect to 'whoever' may possibly be able to pick up on my thoughts. What I'm wearing is never an issue, I often 'pray' in my pajamas...and there is no ritual, just intent.

I don't believe I am speaking to an individual. When I pray, I am basically speaking to the Universe. I don't know what/who is 'out there'. I don't know if anyone at all receives my message...but there is always that possibility.
I don't consider these to be acts of vanity, because there really is no end result. No closure.
I never know if I'm being heard, or helping anyone in any way. It is my small contribution of positive loving intent.
jacygirl



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I'd be weary of using the term "collective consciousness" myself, but it is apparent that when one begins to question the culture of the day, one begins to produce his own.


You did understand I was not refering to "collective subconscious" right? I am not talking mysticism, or Jung.... I meant the set of shared beliefs, ideas and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society.
- Which I consider popular religions to be part of.

(I point that out because these two terms are often used incorrectly)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by LittleByLittle


Is not the problem, that religion can say they are the answer, because of the lack of true understanding by the ones who cannot truelly seek outside the box and find out for themselves.

If you work to quantify the spiritual information and accept it in science then there would be no need for religion. Why use a inefficient tool that has dogma when you can use a efficient tool without dogma. Start by proving chakras (or whatever we choose to call the hidden energy system in the body) for all to see and find ways for each human to experiance them as efficient as possible.

The problem is that humans believe their idols 100% and brainwash them to it. A better way to find truth is to say I believe this is the best idol of the truth that is, that I can understand know and if I find more information I will of course change the parts in the idol that is wrong to make it more accurate to what is.

Sharing what you believe is not wrong. The wrongness comes when being convinced that you know everything when you do not access to all that is. The brain washing of ones ego.


I don't know. As I said, I think religion is a pragmatic tool, and not for spiritual enlightenment.
Like, one of the benefits from faith and prayer is in endurance and delayed gratification.

Also, we have the power of belief, and the placebo effect.... which is scientifically proven and accepted.
Yet, for it to work , the subject must not be aware that what they take is a placebo... this explains the reason for "100% belief".

In the exercise of bonding together a group of people through religious belief and ritual, that adherence to a shared belief system and it's dogma, is necessary for the "glue" to hold, and the collective force to be strong.
Pragmatically, if you want to create a hoard that will conquer other lands and peoples, religion is an effective tool for that.

A lot of religious people i know are not actually looking for spiritual knowledge- they are looking for the group experience.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope


Does anyone agree that "The Religion of Silence—whereby one never speaks of what he cannot know and keeps his convictions to himself" would be a promising religious method if put in practice?

Yes, I agree, in theory.

In theory, the individual on such a path would speak only that which is demonstrable and logical.

In practice, he would have to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill that task. Those are acquired and developed through practice. The practice would actually involve much speaking and writing to get the feel for which ideas can be demonstrated and argued logically and which can not.

And sometimes, in the extreme of being faced with a collective decision with profound ethical implications, a person is left with saying, "No. That's just wrong", whether he can articulate the matter any better than that or not.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 11:06 PM
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Based upon a United States Supreme Court decision Atheism is a religion.

So LM you are claiming that religious people are vain????

Vanity is an expression of belief so lets discuss your beliefs in relation to evidence that supports it.

Prove that God does not exist.

To be clear Atheist organizations are eligible for tax exempt status due to the Supreme Court decision.
Any thoughts?
edit on 21-7-2013 by Kashai because: Added content





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