I appreciate your comments, and your story. That is strange, and yet not 
uncommon from what I've heard. OTOH, it's a valuable metaphor for how we 
experience the world. We ultimately really don't know. And perhaps what I feel 
is envy over their illusion of certainty (which they definitely present)

And yet another part of it is that I feel that some of the issues in the world 
(this is a political forum that I'm talking about) need a spiritual outlook as 
well as a real world, material component. Certainly the idea of "there is 
nothing more to this world, and when you die that's it" seems to counter any 
sense of hope for the future, at least in my opinion.

As well, I am frustrated that the section of the political forum dedicated to 
religion is dominated by the atheists.

I guess if I *was* more secure in my beliefs I wouldn't let it bother me.
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Kristy McClain <healthypl...@...> wrote:
> *bows to all*
> I wasn't going to comment on this thread, but after reading DP's posts on 
> this, i  decided to share an experience i am having right now..
> To begin, I was struck when you  wrote that what really bothers you is that 
> people attack you about  what the "truth" is when it comes to religion.  I 
> have said before here that, in my view, there really is no such thing as 
> "the" truth or even "a" truth.  Its simply one's perception of it--beit  a 
> person, idea, theology  or event.  The need to be right or somehow prove 
> that one person's perception is correct and therefore, another's is wrong, is 
> at the  heart of our societal and global conflicts.
> I think most of that is ego-driven, but to pretend or deny that humans don't 
> have egos is equally foolish.  Its okay to have opinions, beliefs, values 
> and moral constructs.   I think the danger of ego  in this is when one 
> insists their viewiint is the only correct one.  
> I agree with Chris-- great wisdom there when he suggests that when you do 
> not respond to some flaming post or insult or complaint, you actually 
> demonstrate greater emotional maturity, and they are aware you maintain your 
> views, but are now moving on to the more important matters of your real life.
> I also agree with Bill.  Such matters  cannot be analized in some logical 
> frame.  If you have faith-- then  logic has little to do with it, and 
> perhaps  use  your  faith that perhaps your message will resonate somehow 
> via less tangible means.
> Now, as I am now facing a problem that started with internet discussion, but 
> has now become a real life threat, I  must caution others to beware those 
> on-line who indeed may have psychiatric buttons you do not want to inflame.
> The man I've written about here who claims a lifetime of trauma , abuse, 
> tragedy and drama is at it again.   After calmly making it clear to him that 
> I will no longer be a part of his self-created dramas, but wish  him well-- 
> the following events have unfolded..
> I received an e-mail from a man claiming to be an ordained minister,  and 
> friend of this man.  Telling me that ****  was in a serious car accident  
> and has been taken to a local hospital..  Stating that  the event  details 
> were still unclear, but reassuring me this man is alive.  Etc., etc.. He 
> offers his e-mail if I have questions or concers.. as if I must certainly 
> be  anxiously  awaiting any information on this tragic event.   
> Certain that this is more of the same I  do not reply or respond. For 
> people with this type of  psychological disorder which is to a large 
> degree  attention-seeking,  grandiose ideation, and other symtoms.  There 
> is a bit of narcissisism, but his whole personality is more complex, and best 
> left to be diagnosed by medical professionals.
> But I do know the worst thing you can do to such a person is ignore them.  
> Though it is the only appropriate and sane respomse or treatment. 
> I received a second e-mail a day later stating that the car was totally 
> destroyed, and  he had retrieved the personal belongings (and cell phone)  
> of our "friend", and encouraged me tio call him with support. He is being 
> transferred to another hospital.   Reminding me to keep jim in our  heart 
> and prayers. And so  and so on.
> Again, I do not respond, and suspect that  the person writing the e-mails is 
> indeed  my "friend" himself. 
> This morning, i received a third e-mail from this minister friend of the 
> man.  Starting out with telling me that the man in the hospital had told  
> him a bit of what i said to him.. and could not believe how i could be so 
> horrible to such a wonderful, decent, giving man  Etc., Etc.  It escalated 
> into a temper tantrum on-line with capitalized  angry retorts and 
> profanity.  (Ministers aren't  what they used to be) *sigh*
> At this point, I know I'm dealing with a very unbalanced individual who is 
> indeed in psychic pain.  But this is out of my league. I care deeply about 
> prople and ache for every child on the globe. Not knowing  me, its hard  
> for anyone here to know  my  real heart or  values. I am not being 
> cruel, I am doing  the right thing for him and myself. 
> This is  hard on two levels.  First, this  man is much "sicker" than I 
> realized, and I am personally afraid.  He has my address.  I have blocked 
> his numbers from my phones, and will keep all e-mails in a folder for 
> evidence.  But this man does own firearms, is emotionally unstable and I 
> got into this mess by just trying to be a friend  at an interfaith workshop 
> and discussion group.  
> It is times like this that  having a family of attorneys is comforting. I 
> have contacted friends who are MD's and a psychiatrist, and explained the 
> events.  I just want to be left alone, and let the medical personnel where 
> he is sort this out.  
> BUT~~  what if its all a lie? If he is seeing all these doctors,  they are 
> going to pick up on this.  But if he is just a neurotic man behind a 
> computer screen, I have reason to fear.
> My point is-- sheezus--  take a breath.  Stand by your convictions if its 
> important to you.  Let go.  The other option is surrender to listening to 
> others views with a softened heart.  We all have the right to have our on 
> viewpoint, so long as it does not hurt self or others. Or maybe get a new 
> hobby:)
> Kristy 
> --- On Thu, 9/30/10, DP <wookielife...@...> wrote:
> From: DP <wookielife...@...>
> Subject: [Zen] More about arguments and ego
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Thursday, September 30, 2010, 12:51 PM
> I've thought some more about my problrm with getting into arguments on the 
> internet. I think that the internet has fueled a certain type of ugliness in 
> arguments, with its tendency towards short comments that snipe at miniscule 
> errors in one's posts. I want to walk away, and yet I hate the idea of the 
> bullies winning the argument.
> I find that in religious discussions the "internet atheists" (a specific term 
> for these type of arguers, not all atheists) tend to crowd out people who 
> want to sincerely discuss religion on particular forums, so I get frustrated. 
> But here's where the ego comes in. Obviously, there is ego involved in 
> winning an argument, but there is also some ego in leaving. I feel like I'm 
> saying "i'm taking my ball and going home."
> As well, i'm very insecure about my beliefs, and I feel like I'm somehow not 
> worthy of my arguments. How does insecurity relate to ego, or is that a 
> completely different question?


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