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Peeling Potatoes and Only Just That

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I neither much care to make spiritual values nor material values the core of my life.

    That's not to say I lack opinions about them. The values themselves, I mean, and not the people who hold them dear. For instance, seems to me spiritual values, if by that is meant something supernatural, must in the end come down to naked hope. The unsupported hope that something is "there". But what good can that be to me?

    I know well enough I don't have inside whatever it takes to convince some people supernatural things exist. I'm agnostic on that heading, but if so, how can I genuinely commit to values I might doubt are grounded?

    Material values fare only marginally better with me. I value material things mostly so far as they are aides to living and promote my well being, or bring pleasures great and small. But I do not seek fulfillment from material things. I've played that game, found it wanting.

    What I do value, and value highly: You could call it the core of my life, are "humane values".

    Love, or more exactly, loving -- for I deem that better even than being loved. Compassion, kindness, generosity, and so forth -- the things so many say "are their own rewards." Beyond them, very much a sense of humor, and playfulness. Then understanding, knowledge, etc. All those common day things, those little things that make for so much of our happiness.

    Perhaps overall, purpose or meaning, fulfillment, well being, and to flourish,

    Then the last,. maybe the greatest, if I ever attain it: Kensho. Satori.

    To paraphrase a Zen saying or two: Perhaps someday I will peel potatoes and only just that, wholly undistracted by all that is not then happening.

    So, which set of values is at the core of your life? Spiritual values, material values, or humane values?
     
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  2. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I'm just trying to become a better human being. I'm still alive, so I guess I'm not finished yet.:D
     
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  3. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Not sure if this will add much, but I thought you might enjoy this semi-relevant quote from The Thief of Time (Terry Pratchett)

    'The first words that are read by seekers of enlightenment in the secret
    , gong-banging, yeti-haunted valleys near the hub of the world, are when they look into The Life of Wen the Eternally Surprised.

    The first question they ask is: 'Why was he eternally surprised?'

    And they are told: 'Wen considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. Therefore, he understood, there is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.'

    The first words read by the young Lu-Tze when he sought perplexity in the dark, teeming, rain-soaked city of Ankh-Morpork were: 'Rooms For Rent, Very Reasonable.' And he was glad of it.
     
  4. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    The problem with this introspection, as I see it, is that all of the values stated are highly subjective. For instance, you cite your guiding values as "humane values", but how is that defined? Consider this: an elderly person is dying a slow, painful death with no hope of recovery. Which would be the more "humane" act--comforting the slowly dying person or holding a pillow over their head until their suffering ends? Maybe we are better served by saying we are guided by whatever definition of value fits our worldview.
     
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  5. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I think you should mash your potatoes
     
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  6. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I believe in reality
    I don't need to bang my head on the wall to be sure
    I get it

    I believe in Spirit
    I don't need to face off with God as did Moses

    this life is like unto a cacoon
    something alive inside a shell
    (this shell can move)

    we are here to learn all that we can before we die
    (there is no mystery to life......it is obvious)

    and when we have gathered ourselves into thought and feeling
    we die

    God and heaven will come to see what stands from the dust

    (or maybe grind us to powder......for potatoes to grow in)
     
  7. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    Or maybe ask, "you want fries with that"?
     
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  8. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I like that......but....

    the heart is prone to grief
    and this life is troubled in sooooooooo many ways

    the mind seeks the line drawn
    the heart seeks the curve

    steel is hardened at high temp
    and made durable by the lesser degrees
     
  9. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I like to watch leaves flutter in the wind... and just that.
     
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  10. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I'm curious, Joe. What does it mean to you to become a "better human being"?
     
  11. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    Seems like a major contradiction. I totally agree with the first, but the Zen thing always seemed like a cop out to me. I'm pretty sure it's all happening. My question continues to be: "as what?"
     
  12. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    I guess these are both humane and material values. I never seperated spiritual values from the wholeness of the rest of the values combined. If anything, my human and material values are, my spiritual values.

    I like that quote.

    My core values, after shedding the many values into the main five, are

    Freedom
    Creativity
    Peace
    Integrity

    Im at peace when Im creative. When I create, I have no boundaries of the mess coming from my head. Integrity is living my values rather than looking at myself in the mirror.
     
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  13. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    The short answer -- for me, it was to reduce my arrogance level from fairly high to fairly low enabling me to become a kinder, more caring person.
     
  14. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Seems quite a worthy effort.
     
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  15. Cockadoodledoo

    Cockadoodledoo You’re going to get me!

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    Laying eggs and only that.
     
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  16. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    being human and only that.....

    but alas....
    there is no saving grace that we are human
     
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