I am lost in finding out who says what in the post (you or kooner). But it does 
not matter. As Socrates says, ' the difference betweeen me and fools is that I 
know I don't know, but they don't know they don't know.'

--- On Thu, 5/8/10, roloro1557 <> wrote:

From: roloro1557 <>
Subject: [Zen] Re: On: Understanding your world
Date: Thursday, 5 August, 2010, 9:10 PM


I am definitely an odd-one-out. . . . BUT--

I have no problem finding meaning :-)

Earlier I posted that sometimes I am wordy - well here goes - these are 
re-posts of some things i have written elsewhere.


I was asked recently how I can be an atheist- zennist and "believe in" 
Archangel Michael.

Well. . . .

First of all I wouldn't say I "believe in" Archangel Michael, any more than I 
"believe in" Bill Clinton, my brother, or elephants. I take his existence as a 
given, a fact. I certainly don't worship him, any more than I worship Bill 
Clinton, my brother, or elephants.

I think the energies of gods, goddesses, angels, etc and etc are symbols of 
natural forces that exist in nature, and therefore exist in us too. I think 
people deify these forces because they don't understand them. I'm very 
comfortable with things I don't understand :-) So I can easily relate to 
Archangel Michael. I also relate to the Greek goddess Artemis, and the Chinese 
goddess Kwan Yin very strongly.

I would also say that being an atheist doesn't mean I don't relate to soul 
and/or spirit. I most certainly do. I just don't attribute it to god, but think 
it's a natural thing. My eyes are brown, my hair is red, I have a soul. Simple, 
natural, no more to it than that. :-)


Life, the Universe, and Everything~~ according to Artie:

My fear is that I won't be able to express myself very well, for we are 
crossing into an area where words can be maddeningly inadequate.

kooner said:
>And Artie, I like the way you put that "symbols of natural forces". And 

I think Jung (and several others) tried to begin this work. I think Jung 
understood this and tried to give us other names for these things. Look out 
on any natural scene; the seashore, a forest, space, your own back yard. 
Most people look out on these views and think of them as something "out 
there". What I had known all along, but Jung gave me words for, (and zen gave
me no-words for)  is that vast and wild nature, is also "in here". Very much 
here". There truly is no separation. Everyone knows this deep, deep down. And 
it scares the holy living daylights out of most people. Because to quote Osho, 
"The real 'god' is very wild. The real 'god' is very crazy. And the real 'god' 
be controlled." Think about this, really think about it. These are the forces 
that create life, that keep the planets in their orbits, that make tornadoes, 
that bring death, that send asteroids hurtling through space, etc and etc. 
Very powerful. And they are not only "out there", they are also "in here". 
We can't control them and we can't get away from them, ever. 

So what do we do? Well first we deny that they exist "in here". Then we 
project it outside ourselves onto any "god" you like. Denial and projection 
are partners. We make nice churches and temples, usually very quiet and 
sedate and calm, in the illusion we can contain these vast and powerful 
forces, to make them safe, or rather to make ourselves feel safe in their 
presence. Another thing I learned from Jung is that it's human nature (we 
may be hard-wired for this, I don't know, but strongly suspect we are) to 
personify these forces. So indeed, "god" did not create us in his image, 
we created "god" in our image! Human beings project these forces outside 
themselves and personify them. Presto! you got religion. We fancy we can 
communicate with a being like ourselves, if much more powerful. We fancy 
we can ask for mercy, forgiveness, forbearence. We bring it down and 
down, and make it smaller and smaller, until all the real juice is gone out 
of it, and there's nothing left but a petty tyrant smiting and throwing 
plagues at us. Or until it's dry and dessicated and meaningless. Or, as is 
most often the case, until "religion" becomes a political organization. . . . I 
think we all know the results of that.

Now comes Zen. Zen says, "Yup, it's both "out there" and "in here", that's 
you. . . . that's reality. . . .you can't get away from it no matter what you 
do. You can't put it into words. You will never figure it out. . . . . .so 
we ought to learn to deal with it on it's own terms. . . " 

The other thing I learned from Zen is that we really don't know. Oh, we 
think we do, we want to believe we do. But we don't know. 

We don't know what life is, or gravity or consciousness or electricity, etc 
and etc. We can "measure" them, yes. We know what they do and how they 
behave (mostly), yes. But we don't know what they are. We rely on our 
perceptions, but out perceptions are biased because we only have one 
lens (the human one) to look through. And our perceptions can be oh so 
wrong. The earth is not flat, the sun is not the center of the universe, 
sickness does not come from evil spirits. 

So I realized I better get comfortable with not knowing. Now, I prefer it 

And I said all that to say: I believe in nature.


. . . . . . . 
Artie :-)

--- In zen_fo...@yahoogrou, "ED" <seacrofter001@ ...> wrote:
> Anthony,
> Most or all on the Zen Forum appear to have a "meaning system that
> provides structure and helps them understand their world."
> You appear to be the odd one out. Are you?
> --ED
> "Brain study shows that thinking about God reduces distress -- but only
> for believers." August 4th, 2010. www.physorg. com/news20013884 8.html
> <http://www.physorg. com/news20013884 8.html>
> " "Thinking about religion makes you calm under fire. It makes you less
> distressed when you've made an error," says Inzlicht. "We think this can
> help us understand some of the really interesting findings about people
> who are religious. Although not unequivocal, there is some evidence that
> religious people live longer and they tend to be happier and healthier."
> Atheists shouldn't despair, though. "We think this can occur with any
> meaning system that provides structure and helps people understand their
> world." Maybe atheists would do better if they were primed to think
> about their own beliefs, he says."

============ ========= ========= ===
FROM: Over the hills and far away. . .
The way to do is be. Lao Tzu

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