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  • Re: Poll: Pro-life or Pro-choice.

    As Hamsaka said, it's pretty obvious that an embryo is alive. So is a tumour. It is a red herring.
    The rest of the issue must come down to when we think that the self comes to inhabit the new object. Does it appear out of no where at conception?
    I'm inclined to think that it develops with every new experience that the new mind/body encounters, as it gains sensory abilities. I could easily be wrong.
    So in my view early abortions don't rob anyone of their right to exist. Later, maybe pain is possible, but memory isn't.
    I would consider myself to be pro choice, because it seems like a less extreme position that doesn't include notions about a soul. When I had babies in the house I was more pro life. I love babies.

  • Re: Is the world getting worse or better?

    Inside the church are some amazing carvings. Must be worth a fortune.
    I like to think that they are a kind of "up yours!" To the missionaries.

  • Re: Psychedelics and Non Self

    Anyone familiar with the teachings of Don Juan might remember the conversation when Don Juan explains to Carlos about the sorcerers worldview.
    He explained that the sorcerers ways that Carlos was learning, in the end was simply a way to show him that his conventional view was not complete or final. Sorcerers in his tradition had incredible powers based on an alternative worldview.
    Beyond that, a Man of Knowledge has realized that the sorcerers world view is also only a view that is empty. He becomes totally unattached to the world in a conventional sense and achieves a kind of selfless state of being similar to buddhahood IMO.
    In the early stages of his apprenticeship Carlos was given various psychedelic plants in an effort to help him to "stop the world". To permanently end his belief that the conventional world was "out there", and solid.
    Psychedelics have been used that way forever. Few claim that they will cause awakening to happen. But as a tool for treating attachment to the world as it appears, or maybe even other more troublesome conditions, I've been a believer in their effectiveness all my life.

  • Re: favorite Buddhist quote?

    "Anything is one of a million paths.Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. If you feel you should not follow it you must not stay with it under any conditions.To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront to oneself or to others in dropping it, if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.

    This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same, they lead nowhere.They are paths going through the bush or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths but I am not anywhere.
    Ask yourself, does this path have a heart? If it does the path is good, if it doesn’t it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere but one has a heart and the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey and as long as you follow it you are one with it.The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong, the other weakens you.

    Before you embark on any path ask the question, does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it and then you must choose another path.The trouble is that nobody asks the question. And when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable.You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy. It does not make you work at liking it.
    I have told you that to choose a path you must be free from fear and ambition.The desire to learn is not ambition. It is our lot as men to want to know.
    The path without a heart will turn against men and destroy them. It does not take much to die and to seek death is to seek nothing.

    For me there is only traveling on the paths that have a heart. On any path that may have a heart.There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length.
    And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly!"
    Don Juan Matus

  • Re: Donating funds to beggars

    I don't think the issue warrants too much analysis.
    Giving a few dollars away has never left me with not enough. If someone has to ask me for money, giving it to them is my part of the encounter.
    How do we make merit if we refuse to help someone who asks us?
    If I judge someone to be unworthy of my help, where is my unconditional compassion?
    Just give the money, don't think about it.