Posted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:54 am
by Holy-Fool-P-Zombie
"Each day you are on the concert stage of life so you better make it rock!"-- Frank McKinney

Michael wrote:Have you prayed for him?

Have you prayed for me?

To answer your questions, I always pray for people who request prayers. And I might direct folks to other sources for prayer:

    Catholic sources, like Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal or the Shine of Saint Jude
    To the new thought source Silent Unity
    Or the Protestant site Guideposts

Michael wrote:Didn't some people out in California (or Arizona) die pursuing mystical experiences in sweat lodges not too long ago?

And don't such native American practices often involve using peyote (or other mind altering drugs) to induce mystical experiences?

Do you recommend that?

Would you have a surgeon preform surgery on you, who took a correspondence course on surgery and got his approval from someone - like Donald Trump?

The person pouring the lodge you mentioned, was a new age person. They covered the lodge completely with a tarp. Anyone who knows anything about building lodges, knows you keep the bottom portion uncovered - so the lodge can get fresh oxygen and not have a
nitrogen buildup. Lodges should only be poured and supervised by either indigenous people, trained in how to do them. Or folks trained and approved, by the appropriate indigenous people.

As far as what people call peyote and "mind altering drugs", such things have been around for thousands of years. I neither endorse - nor condemn - such practices. Provided such ceremonies are done by an appropriate indigenous person, trained and approved to conduct such ceremonies. And such ceremonies are in accordance, with the federal laws, of the host country. But I am more familiar with such practices and ceremonies (I would never admit whether I ever participated), then probably anyone here is.

Michael wrote:If yoga, or zen, or these native American practices have any therapeutic value, couldn't the same effects be achieved (much more scientifically, and safely) using biofeedback?

Yes and no.

    If scientific gadgets can replace these traditions, then why is there a whole school of psychological therapy, devoted to mindfulness?
    And why does the medicine man in the Native Healing video, report so many healings of things like cancer? And a 100% success rate, for those who follow his directions?

Michael wrote:How do you feel about vivisection?

Maybe that's a bad example, because those in favor of it hope it will serve some higher purpose.

But is it true to say that it would be objectively wrong to do it for no purpose but to inflict pain on the animal?


And if you say it's wrong, is it wrong simply because that's your personal judgment, or mine, or God's--or is it wrong because some things have real, objective, intrinsic value?

Is causing another being to suffer for no purpose not wrong in itself, because existence in a state of suffering (for no purpose) is undesirable?

Or is comparing existence in pain to non-existence meaningless?

For answers to questions like these, go talk to:

    Ordained seminary trained theologians, in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant traditions
    Academic professors of philosophy and theology, with PhD degrees.
    Folks of other religions, like Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Bahais, and Sikhs

In most cases, they will guide you to historical and contemporary philosophical and theological experts to read - if they are the academic type. Or to church teachings, if they are affiliated with a particular church.

In answer to questions like these, I shared this at the beginning:

The key is to get the right advice - from the right people - then make a decision. I'll leave you and others to ponder, theological and philosophical answers - to your various questions. Except to say (like I have), see what the various Christian theologians, philosophers and different religions - have to say on your questions. Then make up your own mind.

It reminds me of a famous Zen story at Zen Story: A Cup of Tea - the best answers come from the silence

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

The key is to find what Zen masters, Holy Fools, indigenous holy and medicine people, and other such folks - find in the silence - that would help sustain them under all circumstances. It's internal - not external. Then you can sing like Brian does (Note: Monty Python is expressing artistic and historical comedy. It's NOT necessarily making fun of Christianity and the Crucifixion).