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Fate and Free Will
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Piper



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 55
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sungem,

Quote:
However if I'm going to accept (dictionary definition) as a tool, then I can't discard it simply because I don’t like the answer it gives.


If the tool (the dictionary definition) doesn't work any more and it's broken (doesn't have any relevant meaning in modern usage), then yes, people discard it. It becomes an anachronism and falls into disuse. People generally like tools that work. Language and individual words need to change to reflect changing values, and values change over time.

The definition of fate is a good example of this. Fate would be more useful if it had an update. Things that are beyond our control (fate) in the modern world are more a question of natural laws than they are of supernatural powers. This replacement has already happened.

The resistance to this concept is because we would have to concede that science is actually the study of fate (things beyond our control = natural laws). It's simply a question of restoring consistency between current values and language. It may be difficult to get our heads around this modest suggestion because we have lived with the inconsistency for so long.

KennethM
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Sungem



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Australia

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point taken. However I still think there's a lot of good stuff in there and it's still one of my favourite books. Smile
Quote:
Language and individual words need to change to reflect changing values, and values change over time.

I think that's why it's in continual update. Maybe they just missed fate this time round. Smile
Thank you Kenneth for helping to stretch my mind and wrap it around the subject of FFW.
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Piper



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 55
Location: Canada

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh come on! You can't concede as easily as that. I was expecting more. It's just starting to get interesting. Smile

Doesn't anyone think I'm stretching things too far?

KennethM
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Sungem



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Australia

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aw shucks....just call me a lover not a fighter Wink
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Ficina
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 1807
Location: Kent, England

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Sungem

Quote:
I can only answer with:
Quote:
If you are content to accept that earthly life is the sum total of physical existence, then so be it. But it is conceivable that the spirit which inhabits your present earthly body has existed before, with not necessarily that (same) facet of spirit.

...and appreciate that you may indeed belong to the first group.


Actually I don't belong to either group. Both are merely theories, neither capable of proof or disproof. We won't know for sure until we snuff it Smile

Quote:
It's immatertial really whether we believe the same thing or not


Or, indeed, whether we feel the need to believe anything at all.

Quote:
- in that I think that some people seek a structure within which to relate their life experiences, others don't.


And still others who spend a long time seeking, then eventually realise that there is no point/meaning/purpose to life (or life experiences) whereupon they breathe a sigh of relief and just relax and live it.

Quote:
Sometimes when finding an idea it relates to the heart whispers "yes!" - for others perhaps it never does, or at least does so differently. Smile


Exactly! Wink

Quote:
But I like TS' response nonetheless Very Happy
Quote:
but for what it’s worth, belief extends such points beyond the span of one life … probably has something to do with re-cycling.


LOL! Visions of a soul recycling plant somewhere "out there". Very Happy Reminds me a little of Plato's Myth of Er. Have you read that? Great fun!

Cheers,
Fi
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Sungem



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Australia

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ficina

Quote:
Actually I don't belong to either group...
Or, indeed, whether we feel the need to believe anything at all.


Interesting - if you don't believe we live until we die - and you don't think there's anything else... what's that called? An interesting standpoint, to be sure... self-sufficiency! Very Happy

Quote:
And still others who spend a long time seeking, then eventually realise that there is no point/meaning/purpose to life (or life experiences) whereupon they breathe a sigh of relief and just relax and live it.

Perhaps there are others who can also relax and live life within a belief structure, perhaps in fact the structure allows the relaxing?

How does that saying go? "The heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing". And this includes, one supposes, a lack of response as well.

Quote:
LOL! Visions of a soul recycling plant somewhere "out there".

Absolutely! And yes, it's an apt story!
Quote:
We won't know for sure until we snuff it


Ain't it the truth! Wink
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Ficina
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004
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Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
if you don't believe we live until we die - and you don't think there's anything else... what's that called? An interesting standpoint, to be sure... self-sufficiency! Very Happy


How about immortality? Cool Seriously though, I'm not saying there's nothing else - there may well be. What I'm saying is I don't know and personally don't feel the need to "believe". The reincarnation/recycling theory certainly makes a lot of sense and it will be interesting to find out, eventually, if it is correct.

Quote:
Perhaps there are others who can also relax and live life within a belief structure, perhaps in fact the structure allows the relaxing?


Good point.

Quote:
How does that saying go? "The heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing".


I think that saying is usually applied to someone who falls in love with the "wrong" person. Wink So are you saying your belief structure is irrational?

Quote:
And this includes, one supposes, a lack of response as well.


Not quite sure what you mean there.
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Sungem



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Australia

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ficina

Quote:
How about immortality?


Laughing Love it! (Not sure I’d want to do it – but I love the answer just the same)

Quote:
Seriously though, I'm not saying there's nothing else - there may well be. What I'm saying is I don't know and personally don't feel the need to "believe".


If you have ever been in a crisis situation (mentally, physically or emotionally – let’s leave spiritual out of it for the moment) which appeared to be, or you thought was, due to circumstances outside and beyond your control, and still never searched for a meaning beyond the hardcore reality which you had to face down and deal with – then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. For you.

We all have to live on this earth, and deal with the realities of this life. Personally when things happened that weren’t in my game plan, I just kept asking, and in many ways am still asking, “why?”

To come back with “why not” may be a smart answer but I also think it is a copout, avoidance if you will, and I am not having a go at you, this paragraph is a separate thought. (So why do natural laws exist? – Who put them there? Why do they work consistently, inexorably, through time without end? What did I do to kick this off? - and hey! For me it doesn't have to be a crisis, it could be anything - I'm sure I didn't plan half the stuff that happens to me! Who's in charge here anyway? I had something else entirely in mind! Why can't I look like Kathleen Turner?)

There is a possibility that it is only through crisis that we create/change/expand/develop … (and while I would be tempted to use the word spiritually here because that is what I think) … let’s use the words core values.

When things are going swimmingly we enjoy ourselves. We may increase our income, education, family, job, community status and possessions (new car, house etc). We are alive and joyous in our fortunate circumstances. Hopefully most of these decisions were made with appropriate involvement, care and thought and make us nice to be around.

However – does the above ever create the sort of value-changes that might result for someone who loses their job and consequently their house, family and friends and ends up in a homeless shelter? Or a woman who leads a crisis free life until mid-thirties and then ends up in successive physically abusive relationships for the next 15 years? Or an ordinary couple with 3 children to whom nothing extraordinary happens until the mother and all 3 children are killed simultaneously in a car accident or fire?

Yes, of course core values will probably change with the fortunate circumstances - but are they questioned (soul-searched?) in quite the same way as the adverse circumstances might provoke in some people?

Bear in mind I've used extreme examples and for many people the decisions or incidents which kick off soul-searching value changes are a great deal less important than those above. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

It seems to me you have an open mind on the subject Ficina, Smile and are entirely comfortable leaving the details to be sorted out at a later date, if ever. Maybe. Then so be it, it isn’t urgent for you. I not only believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I actually do accept that others opinions can differ from mine– which is why you will not find me trying to persuade you to my point of view in this case. Will I discuss it? Of course I will. Will I argue I’m right and someone else is wrong wrong? No, I hope not. Everyone comes to an understanding they can live with at a time that is right for them, in my case I suppose this is a belief in the survival and continual evolution of the spirit. However it also allows that some don’t reach a conclusion, which is what I think you are saying – that the jury’s still out.

Quote:
The reincarnation/recycling theory certainly makes a lot of sense and it will be interesting to find out, eventually, if it is correct.


Uh-huh. Smile

Quote:
Sungem: How does that saying go? "The heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing".
Ficina: I think that saying is usually applied to someone who falls in love with the "wrong" person.


I was actually extrapolating it to apply to my previous quote and your response…

Quote:
Sungem: Sometimes when finding an idea it relates to the heart whispers "yes!" - for others perhaps it never does, or at least does so differently.

Ficina: Exactly!


Quote:
S: And this includes, one supposes, a lack of response as well.

F: Not quite sure what you mean there.


Again, simply extending the above.

Quote:
So are you saying your belief structure is irrational?


LOL! Laughing Quite possibly! Who knows? I could just be babbling again!! Lala Happy (<-- I’ve no idea what “lala happy” means – to me this is ROTFL – I do actually take a lot of things at face value, not everything's D&M Shocked ).

Cheers,
Sungem
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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
“I suppose this is a belief in the survival and continual evolution of the spirit.”


Where there’s a need to be, love (lief) usually follows.

Reason is the faculty of mind – organized conscious thought is a part of the mind.

Then there’s also mind over matter … mind as a state of be-ing … Lol!.

Not forgetting, where there’s a need to be ...

Just seems to keep going round and round.

Quote:
“The heart has its reasons …”


Hearts do have a way of keeping the currents of life and love flowing round.

So does this mean life and love are irrational? Shocked

Ah well, if I recall rightly so is 'pi' and I hear it’s been proved transcendental. Very Happy

Best wishes,
TS
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Ficina
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Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 1807
Location: Kent, England

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
How about immortality?


Laughing Love it! (Not sure I’d want to do it – but I love the answer just the same)


Smile Not sure I'd want to do it either -sounds exhausting, doesn't it?

Quote:
To come back with “why not” may be a smart answer but I also think it is a copout, avoidance if you will, and I am not having a go at you, this paragraph is a separate thought. (So why do natural laws exist? – Who put them there? Why do they work consistently, inexorably, through time without end? What did I do to kick this off? - and hey! For me it doesn't have to be a crisis, it could be anything - I'm sure I didn't plan half the stuff that happens to me! Who's in charge here anyway? I had something else entirely in mind! Why can't I look like Kathleen Turner?)


Various quotes come to mind here. These things are sent to try us. Life happens when we're making other plans. If you want to make the gods laugh, tell them your plans. Of course I have thought about the "why" and I think it's quite likely we reap what we sow. The karmic explanation would seem to make sense. What goes around comes around. Having said that though, it could all be random couldn't it? Again, there's no actual proof either way. It's not so much a case of what one chooses to believe as this apparent "need" to believe in a reason or cause. Even if what happens is out of our control, we always have the choice (freewill?) as to how we react to it and deal with it.

Quote:
Bear in mind I've used extreme examples and for many people the decisions or incidents which kick off soul-searching value changes are a great deal less important than those above. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.


Yes, they are rather extreme examples and in some cases choice (albeit difficult) is involved in allowing certain circumstances to continue. However, I agree of course that it is the tough experiences which provoke the soul-searching, not to mention the good old AFOG! (Was that mentioned in this forum or another? I can't remember, but you know what I mean.)

Quote:
I not only believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I actually do accept that others opinions can differ from mine– which is why you will not find me trying to persuade you to my point of view in this case. Will I discuss it? Of course I will. Will I argue I’m right and someone else is wrong wrong? No, I hope not.


I'm of the same mind, even though I know I do have a tendency to think (but try not to say) that I'm right and someone else is wrong. I'm working on that though cos that attitude can spoil a good discussion Smile I do enjoy challenging people's beliefs though, as long as they don't get over-sensitive and take offence. Some people can't bear to have their beliefs challenged, often because they cling to them, often out of fear unfortunately.

Quote:
However it also allows that some don’t reach a conclusion, which is what I think you are saying – that the jury’s still out.


That's partly what I'm saying but what I'm also saying, or asking perhaps, is why is it important? Why does it matter? Obviously for some people, it does matter. But the serenity prayer comes to mind here - you know, accepting the things you can't change, courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference Smile

Quote:
I could just be babbling again!! Lala Happy (<-- I’ve no idea what “lala happy” means – to me this is ROTFL – I do actually take a lot of things at face value, not everything's D&M Shocked ).


LOL! No, I don't think you're babbling at all. You make a lot of sense and I've always enjoyed these types of discussions. I know I'm going to kick myself when you tell me, but what does D&M mean?

Cheers,
Fi
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Ficina
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Posts: 1807
Location: Kent, England

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi TS

Quote:
Where there’s a need to be, love (lief) usually follows.


I'd be interested to know where you think this "need" comes from? Being is simply being. Where does need come into it? Or am I missing your point? Smile

Cheers,
Fi
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd be interested to know where you think this "need" comes from? Being is simply being. Where does need come into it? Or am I missing your point?


One of my favourite quotes:

"I don't believe in anything." (Krishnamurti)

Cheers.
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Sungem



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Australia

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Where there’s a need to be, love (lief) usually follows.
Reason is the faculty of mind – organized conscious thought is a part of the mind.
Then there’s also mind over matter … mind as a state of be-ing … Lol!.
Not forgetting, where there’s a need to be ...

Just seems to keep going round and round.

TS – whatever it is you’re taking, I think you need to stop Leery Laughing

Quote:
Ah well, if I recall rightly so is 'pi' and I hear it’s been proved transcendental. Very Happy


Now that’s truly frightening. (Just an aside – if anyone’s read “Life of Pi” – did they find that switcheroo at the end familiar? I felt I’d seen the movie or read/heard it before, but can’t figure out where - Andrew?).

Hi Fi (!)

Quote:
Various quotes come to mind here. These things are sent to try us. Life happens when we're making other plans. If you want to make the gods laugh, tell them your plans.


I try to remind myself of these constantly!

Quote:
Of course I have thought about the "why" and I think it's quite likely we reap what we sow. The karmic explanation would seem to make sense. What goes around comes around.


Aah…so perhaps it isn’t a total “non-belief” in anything after all?

Quote:
Having said that though, it could all be random couldn't it? Again, there's no actual proof either way.


I’m not convinced of this, more to the point, I don’t think you are either, since you’ve just disagreed with yourself Smile don't worry, I do it often. As previously discussed, I don't believe there is anything random about natural law and the word karma has been used as an alternative term – it’s cause and effect. No matter how you look at it. Many people have an enormous amount of trouble coming to terms with this very simple concept.

Quote:
It's not so much a case of what one chooses to believe as this apparent "need" to believe in a reason or cause.


Now I think we’re getting to the crux of the matter. It is interesting isn’t it, in fact I find it quite fascinating even in myself – this drive and the extremes to which it takes some? Where does it come from? What sparks and then propels and sustains it?

Some people are brought up in their parent’s belief system and accept it all their lives without question. Others adopt one because of marriage, children or community (seemed the thing to do). Still others don’t have an inherited basis for belief and don’t ever find it necessary to develop or adopt one. For all the positives read the reverse situations as well. And then there are the rest of us . . . this “is there something more and why can’t people agree what it is and do they know something I don't?” Once this idea takes root, it seems to be very persistent, it just doesn’t let go does it? Just sort of bubbles away in the background until one finds a belief system (or bits and pieces) that “fits” comfortably enough to accept.

Quote:
Some people can't bear to have their beliefs challenged, often because they cling to them, often out of fear unfortunately.


This is unfortunately true.

Quote:
what I'm also saying, or asking perhaps, is why is it important? Why does it matter?


TS and Andrew have both picked up on this, because this is the real question, I think you are asking “why do people have this need to have a belief system?” I don’t know Fi, I can’t answer this any better than the last person you asked. What I can confirm is that for some of us it is a continual and never ending quest - of picking up an idea here and a belief there and continually building and changing the whole. It is fluid, as we adapt and adopt, but we are continually inspecting the information that either we seek out or which comes within our ken and listening for a whispered “yes!”

Quote:
But the serenity prayer comes to mind here - you know, accepting the things you can't change, courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference


This has always been and will always remain, good advice.

D&M = deep and meaningful
AFOG = remind me again? Laughing


Now Andrew… Wink

Quote:
One of my favourite quotes:

"I don't believe in anything." (Krishnamurti)

… you just know I don’t believe you Laughing


Cheers,
Sungem
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Sungem



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 206
Location: Australia

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry TS -

...the be-love penny just dropped! oops

Belief ... Belove(d)? I'm sure you all read this in the Divination thread when Andrew posted it, but I'll copy it here -

Quote:
We have this state of oneness with the Beloved and it is really a condition of love. But with what are you united? With nothing -- with a black hole. God is nothingness...when you have the union with the Beloved alone in meditation you are united with nothingness. But this nothingness responds, it's a feedback, it loves you absolutely and utterly...But in the moments of oneness where I said there is a complete fulfillment, God is everything but nothingness, it is a complete fullness...Fullness; take away fullness from fullness, fullness alone remains." (Irina Tweedie)


Rolling Eyes ... am I easily impressed or what?

Sungem
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Ficina
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Posts: 1807
Location: Kent, England

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sungem

Quote:
Aah…so perhaps it isn’t a total “non-belief” in anything after all?

you’ve just disagreed with yourself Smile don't worry, I do it often. As previously discussed, I don't believe there is anything random about natural law and the word karma has been used as an alternative term – it’s cause and effect. No matter how you look at it. Many people have an enormous amount of trouble coming to terms with this very simple concept.


But it's only cause and effect, or karma, if you choose to connect. You do something "good" and something "good" happens to you. This is a comforting thought but is there really a connection? This is where belief comes in. You believe there is and I'm not convinced, lol! So I didn't actually contradict myself, merely pointed out two contrasting possibilities. Say, one day it's proved to be cause and effect? Fine. It's proved to be random? Also, fine. I don't need to believe either way. What real difference does it make to us here and now?

Quote:
F It's not so much a case of what one chooses to believe as this apparent "need" to believe in a reason or cause.

S Now I think we’re getting to the crux of the matter.


Yes! I think we digressed a little but with Gemini and Sag, that's understandable Wink

Quote:
Once this idea takes root, it seems to be very persistent, it just doesn’t let go does it? Just sort of bubbles away in the background until one finds a belief system (or bits and pieces) that “fits” comfortably enough to accept.


Very true. Discovering Taoism was the release moment for me. No belief system needed (in the conventional sense at least, i.e. gods, higher powers, deeper meanings etc). "Everything is perfect as it is, how could it be otherwise?" (Remove the word "perfect" and it makes better sense.)

Quote:
I think you are asking “why do people have this need to have a belief system?” I don’t know Fi, I can’t answer this any better than the last person you asked. What I can confirm is that for some of us it is a continual and never ending quest - of picking up an idea here and a belief there and continually building and changing the whole. It is fluid, as we adapt and adopt, but we are continually inspecting the information that either we seek out or which comes within our ken and listening for a whispered “yes!”


Yes. However, it suggests to me a kind of discontent with what "is". A kind of need for something "more" than what we have and what we know for sure. Or am I being unfair here? We have both mentioned the "comfort" word and perhaps that is the key to it. Some people need a belief system/structure in order to feel comfortable; others don't.

Quote:
D&M = deep and meaningful


Ah! Thanks Very Happy

Quote:
AFOG = remind me again? Laughing


Another F****** Opportunity for Growth Tongue Out


Quote:
Now Andrew… Wink

One of my favourite quotes:

"I don't believe in anything." (Krishnamurti)


LOL! Excellent Very Happy

Quote:
… you just know I don’t believe you Laughing


Heheh....

Cheers,
Fi (who is getting back to her footie charts for a little light relief) Wink
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