Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Dennis Muses on: Conceiver-Receiver-Perceiver

What if...

Everything We Have and Do Experience is OK

You Can Let Yourself Off the Hook for Your Church Experience?

You Were Never Really Driving the Bus Anyway?

It's Just a Ride...

First, let's be honest.  This site exists and thrives because of our collective experience, the good, the bad and the ugly,  for sometime in the past having "chosen" to affiliate with The Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W Armstrong, Garner Ted Armstrong, and ALL the various religious personalities, both minister and member associated with it.  We are curious group as to what continues to go on with the splits, splinters and slivers of that once minuscule Church in the whole scheme of things. Some take time for thoughtful comments here while the vast majority just read and never say a thing. We assume they are thinking about it at least.  We are at once curious about what else is going on in COGdom  and angry we ever had the experience.  Some seem to grow through as evidenced by their comments and some not so much as evidenced by their comments.  But it is our common experience and the reason this site exists as a place to process our perceived realities. In layman's terms...a place to bitch and moan.

Ultimately, and I can only speak for myself, I want to understand WHY I did, thought, practiced and experienced what I did.   It seems like just a year or two ago I that 18 year old kid  coming on to the Ambassador College Campus to start what I felt in my soul, was my life believing , doing and teaching the absolutely right things about what God, Jesus and the Bible said and meant.  I wanted to know who and what they were, where they came from and what the future would hold.  I was terribly sincere and horribly naive.  I went to AC intending to be a minister when told not to come there for that.  That made no sense to me then but I gave them no choice and ended up being told by powers that be, "for you Dennis, the sky in the ministry, is the limit."   Strange comment to me but I thought I knew what they meant...maybe.  

The kindest and most idealistic years of the experience were the ones in college.  From 1972 when I entered the holo...ministry, to 1998, when I exited the holo...ministry, it was one damn thing after the next.  That was Winston Churchill's definition of history.  One damn thing after the next and so it was all the years of my ministry.  It was NOT what I thought it would be nor ever close to what I thought I had gotten myself into.  In my 20/20 hindsight, I wish I had never heard of it or ever got on that plane to California in 1968 eating my last ham sandwich somewhere over the Grand Canyon in the approach to LAX because, well you know.

Disclaimer:  The Blogmeister, and contrary to what some think it is not myself, can remove this posting if it is not appropriate for the site.   But if left in place, just maybe it can open the hurting and angry mind to a new level of acceptance and perspective and heal.  I know the site is not necessarily about healing from an experience, but it really is because even venting and expressing thoughts is part of the healing process.  Moving past that is an individual choice or maybe not.   I can't imagine anyone that comes to Banned HWA that does not want to heal and get potential answers to:

How could I have been so foolish in my choices?
What was I thinking?
Why did I not speak up when I knew what i was hearing was simply speculation and not fact?
Why did I have to experience this Worldwide Church of God mess in the first place?
Why did I have shit for brains?
Did I waste my life over this?
If only...

I am sure you can add your own thoughts but I believe we get the point.  What's the point in having an experience if you never get to understand what is behind the experience?  Of course, the why is subject to opinion of the experiencer but that is my point in this posting.  

First of all, I know not one in a hundred here will actually watch and consider this series on The Holographic Universe.  That takes an actual investment in time, requires a degree of curiosity about the topic and the absolute need to resist filtering it all through one's past or current perspectives which will manifest itself in sarcastic, cheeky and terribly negative comments which I know never appear on this site.  

"This guy kills me!"

There are really only two explanations that I have for myself over just why did I have to have the Worldwide Church of God experience?   1.  It just unfolded one stupid and ill advised decision at a time in my utter sincerity to know the truth of the Bible and life.  or...  2.  It was and is an experience designed for me and not by me for reasons that can never cross my mind without having had it. Or as I take credit for saying as one my one real life quote:

"Experience is not only the best teacher, it is the only teacher.  Everything else is merely hearsay."

The next level, I am thinking, may not be anymore that I am the one having the experience.  Maybe, just maybe something bigger is afoot here and something else is having an experience through me and through you by the way.   I like that.  It removes a lot of anger, guilt, shame and fear all in one swoop.  You will never understand what I mean unless you watch the whole series and do so seriously and with an unfiltered mind.  I am now 64 years old.  That time from 1968 to the present , as I always heard but never experienced,  passed like a weaver's shuttle to quote the book and then goes out.  I am much seeking the "truth" at this age as as I was at that age.  To think I had found it at 18 and there was no more to know than what was in a Bronze and Iron Age book seems to have been a mistake on my part  TO ME.  To many of you, I know you will say the current view is the mistake or as I was told once..."Your problem Dennis is that you need to give up your intellect, you will and come back to Jesus."   I can't do that.  I am not built that way and to do that would only lead to more anger and depression over past decisions that I now, TO ME, feel are simply no longer necessary to endure and carry around like so many rocks in my backpack.  I'm dropping the whole backpack and going light.  This series on The Holographic Universe has given me a new perspective that was and is sorely needed.  It is not based on myths (though I sense there are some saying, "oh yes they are!), but... whatever.  TO ME means TO ME.  The idea that everyone will ever come to any "oneness" where two or three are gathered together simply is not so in reality.  The concept of "we must all speak the same thing," is equally as ludicrous if one is going to actually seek the truth as that pearl of great price.  We all know "speaking the same thing" merely means that one must agree with the person who encourages that.  Sorry, no can do if I don't.

I found it serendipitous that at some point in the presentation, the narrator says he is was a 62 year old man with this, that and many other things having gone awry in life , sitting in his apartment in Greenville, SC.  LOL...He may have been the guy next door and I never knew.  Perhaps the "Infinite I" is playing with the script to get my attention.  We can hope.

These presentations, (In 5 parts and I will leave it to the reader to find 2-5)  are based on current theories and observations in quantum physics "falsely so called."  I find them compelling and encouraging.  Perhaps you will too and perhaps even produce that rare but very fulfilling "Aha' moment in your own experience that may come only once in a lifetime.   This is truly one of the strangest and yet verifiable "realities" science well done has ever speculated on.  Somehow at a deep level, it resonates because it just seems true to me.  Enjoy, it will take an investment on your part in your time over days perhaps and no one can do that for you. If it threatens your paradigm, ask yourself why and what are you afraid of finding out if it truly is the way things are.

If this topic is inappropriate for Banned, then I'll remove it and we can all sink back down into the mire. However, it deeply inspired me because it is not something that relies on mere faith which is what we use to believe before we get the facts.  Facts seem to trash faith over time.  This seems true to me and has producded a nice shift in my own perceptions about my own experiences in and with the Worldwide Church of God


Anonymous said...

<a href=" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-xzD6wCiXs</a>

Byker Bob said...

Without watching the series, I'm thinking that the premise may be the same as that behind the Holodeck on one of the Star Trek TV series, in which members ot the crew were put through simulated training through what amounts to an enhanced dream. The moment I first saw that on TV, I immediately saw it as a metaphor for life.

I believe that we do not have a choice in the major circumstances presented to us through our lives, but that we often do have control over how we act and react to those circumstances or opportunities. Personally, I went to Ambassador College because it was the only college which my parents would allow me to attend, and at age 18, they still had a tremendous influence over me. I most certainly did not want to be a minister, and did the bare minimum to attempt to remain at the college. It was not a bad place to be to cool one's heels during Viet Nam.

As for the rest of my life, I've simply tried to take advantage of select opportunities which were presented, and fortunately, I've probably made correct choices about 50-1/2% of the time, which is really all that one needs to do to stay ahead of the curve, and basically winning the lottery of life.

Several years ago, I heard a lecture on NPR on success. In any field, this is determined by the price one is willing to pay, ie the things one is willing to give up in order to get something more desirable, or of greater value. We all make cost-benefit analyses to determine what we think is worthwhile. Most of what I gave up was for the cause of having beautiful wives and girlfriends, having exotic cars and motorcycles, and staying in good shape. For career, I gave up just enough freedom to earn the level of income to invest in and maintain those things. Some would consider those things to be empty, superficial, or vapid, but those are, or were my passions, the things which really drove me, probably based a lot on what I felt that WCG deprived us of experiencing. Oh, and there was a lot of rock n roll along the way. Oddly enough, I really learned a lot from experiencing them to the full. It would have been nice never to have picked up the stench of Armstrongism, but just maybe, in a perverse sort of way, that's what drove it all.


Benjamin Dickmann said...

I will watch this series. I value the knowledge you offer, so I'm confident I'll enjoy it.

I felt so jaded towards organized religion, after leaving RCG. I couldn't, and still can't, help but feel so angry at myself for letting my intellectual guard down and allow the "bricks" to pile up in my "backpack". I know this is the type of thing Christians don't want to see happen to someone coming out of a legalistic cult, but as you've made clear Dennis, facts eventually beat out faith. It takes SO MUCH time and energy to block out pure hard facts because that time and energy is spent brainwashing yourself. I was living my view of pure insanity and trying to rationalize it to myself, all the while, reserved somewhere amongst the electricity in my brain was the source that was cut off from and craving knowledge. I've always been a curious person, and I think we all are to a degree, so there was no natural way I was going to stick it out for the long haul with a cult. My mind will not allow me to do that.

As far as "Why?" - I came to realize that I needed to experience things in my life that Armstrongism will not allow. Everyone says, "You shouldn't care what anyone thinks of you", but that's always easier said than done. I like to believe that my subconscious needed to go through a religiously restrictive and regimented lifestyle to get to the point where I couldn't handle the baggage any longer. Once I hit that snapping point, there was no going back. I felt that feeling of freedom, energy, and an allowing of knowledge to flow back into my brain... accompanied with post cult anxiety of course. It was the feeling of not caring what anyone in the RCG thought of me that felt so good. So I learned I had to truly carry that mindset into my life in order to continue my journey and do what truly makes me happy.

You can be happy, or you can be as miserable as everyone else wants you to be. What I love is knowing the fact I have a CHOICE!

DennisCDiehl said...

Ben...you could not be here now if you had not been there then. It's Earthschool and you did good.

Anonymous said...

The world is a play and we are the actors -- Shakesphere.

Allen C. Dexter said...

You put this on Facebook today and I listened to it twice this morning. I intend to get the whole series as much into my mind as possible. What I will ultimately conclude, I can't say right now. It frankly boggles my mind and if pysicists are confused, I'm not ashamed to say I am. The idea of everything being some kind of hologram is hard to fathom, largely because I know damn well what I experience is real. So is everything everyone else, living and dead and gone, have and are experiencing. Thanks for bringing this series to our attention.

Michael said...

Love your musings as usual Dennis.
By the way, I viewed the Holographic World up to the point where I thought it jumped way off the track.
(i.e. that the world not being observed pops out of existence).
The word "observation" is, unfortunately, a loaded term, highly anthropocentric. Even "measurement" is, because it implies a thinking entity is evaluating the results.
In reality^^, any interaction of a collapsed particle with a yet uncollapsed wave is going to collapse the wave function. And there are zillions of particles constantly interacting with the "unobserved" part of our universe, that we can be reasonably sure that collapsed entities exist, i.e. that they are really there.
To me, humans seem to always want to believe they are at the center of it all. God's special creation, center of solar system, etc. etc. Each time we look into it we find we're just an insignificant by-product of it all. And finally, with quantum physics, we think it must be because "we" peer into the box that Schroedinger's cat is either alive or dead. No, whether we're dead, asleep or just high on cocaine, innumerable particles would still be interacting with it. The cat would be either alive or dead without the help of our mighty consciousnesses :-)

DennisCDiehl said...

Good comments. I just find it all so fascinating of course and deeply appreicate living in a time when such wonders of cosmology, quantum physics, paleontology and other disciplines can be explored. Of course, then I had to go out and pick the one discipline ,religion, with a group like most that does not explore itself because of the fear they may have gotten it mucked up to begin with and may need a tune up.

If I hear Dave Pack is "brilliant" one more time, I am going to challenge a fourth time to a debate on his chosen field of expertise.


DennisCDiehl said...

Allen said:

"The idea of everything being some kind of hologram is hard to fathom, largely because I know damn well what I experience is real. "

Of course! We are immersed in it so we don't really notice it just as a fish doesn't notice the water it lives in perhaps. We experience it as our five sense, which are only five, decode the waves and frequencies "out there." and it gets presented to us on a small credit card size screen in the back of our brain. Whoa! We never experience the out there directly.

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise?

No it does not. It makes waves of sound. The noise factor only comes inside a brain after the waves of sound have been turned into electrical signals by the ear mechanism. The sound, all sound is in our heads. Voice is first vibrations of sounds but not heard as sounds until after it is transposed into signals the brain can "hear" The world outside our skulls is probably dead silent full of waves of sound.

Perhaps the world "out there" is also pitch black with photons only illumnating in our brains after going through the change from waves to light by the eyes? Double whoa! lol

"Nothing is as it appears to be"

DennisCDiehl said...

PS and as a massage therapist this is "cool". We never actually "touch" anything. What we perceive as touch is really pushback of the electrons in my hands and those in the others body. Like two magnets that repel but we "feel" the pushback as a solid barrier so to speak. If things actually touched, they would meld into each other and explode or fall apart is some way.

But I still have to charge for not touching them lol

Byker Bob said...

If a tree falls in the forest, birds, bees, and animals hear it. A forest is an ecosystem, and frankly, experiments indicate that plants respond in different ways to Brahms than they do to Led Zeppelin or the Wu Tang Clan.


DennisCDiehl said...

Byker Bob said...
If a tree falls in the forest, birds, bees, and animals hear it. A forest is an ecosystem,

The question includes everything with hearing apparatus. I didn't mean just humans. The POINT is that hearing is a function of waves being transposed into electrical signals after entering the ear, which then turns the signal into a sound in the head.

Bug head, human head, bird head ....anything with ears for hearing. Otherwise...just waves unaltered and not yet sound.

Michael said...

Dennis wrote:
"decode the waves and frequencies "out there." and it gets presented to us on a small credit card size screen in the back of our brain."

The humunculus argument? :-)

Secular-Humanist-Buddhist said...

I have pondered the question of why people chose to become members of the Worldwide Church of God or one of its off-shoots and why they stay even when it doesn't seem beneficial. The COG's have some of the same characteristics of other fundamentalist churches as well as some differences.
The WCOG (and some of of its offshoots) seemed to have "all the answers." If one joined the church, carefully followed all the "laws," did not question church authority and paid their tithes, their future well-being was insured not only during this life but for all of eternity. There seems to have been a rule or law for almost everything, from wearing make-up to disciplining one's children to sending valentines. If there was a question not already addressed by the church literature, someone in the church hierarchy could surely answer it. There was no ambiguity; nothing was left to chance. While plenty of other fundamentalist churches offer similar guidelines and structure for living, the WCOG seems to have had some extra characteristics. The church leaders put out slick publications and books that looked a lot like news magazines. Their was an air of "scientific" certainty about how these were written and even the church services (so I've heard) were like classes or lectures with people taking briefcases to church and taking notes during the sermon. Nothing was left to individual opinion; there was no ambiguity. The "church" had all the answers and the member only needed to follow, not think for him or her self.
Over the years, many people were exposed to the WCOG through radio, TV and "The Plain Truth" but really only a tiny minority "bit the hook," followed through and joined the church. I really don't know why those people became members but I have some speculation.
People who are frightened, have a high anxiety level and desperately need security or safety are probably more likely to be attracted to a highly structured, authoritarian, even rigid organization in which everything is decided for them. There is no ambiguity or risk that one might make wrong decisions. Other than choosing to join the fundamentalist church to begin with, THERE ARE NO DECISIONS TO MAKE! They are all made for you. There is a childlike reliance on strong authority figures in these fundamentalist groups. If you are a good boy, you will get a hug and a cookie tonight. If you are bad, you will be severely punished, maybe in a Lake of Fire.
The Germans were suffering mightily in the late1920's and early 1930's. Hitler and the NAZI party offered solutions if only people would suspend reason and believe what they preached. Not all Germans believed in the NAZI principles but enough people did go along with it because they were frightened and wanted a strong leader with the promise of security. People deluded themselves or were "brainwashed" into believing things that today seem unfathomable.It led, of course, to genocide and the suffering and death of millions of people. Beware of a "strong," authoritarian leader who seems to have all the answers. They don't. No one does. Learn to tolerate some uncertainty, some ambiguity, some "shades of grey." We all have them.