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Old 07-29-2006, 11:04 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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That IS the greater challenge, to understand and appreciate commonalities and how everything is integrally interconnected. The differences are usually blatantly obvious. Our minds are conditioned to compare/ contrast. To recognize what's alike beyond the differences requires an elevated level of thinking. One must be AWARE to realize how interconnectedness works.

The strongest points run the deepest. The weakest are superficial.

Originally Posted by paulmh
...and I began to be better at sharing the public space with people who were very different from me, but were always looking for the shared, the common, rather than the different and the prejudiced.
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:09 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Don;
I agree...even though you cut off the entire quote, thereby changing the meaning....

However, I was simply pointing out the similarities between the Buddist and the Jewish thought here.
We really are not so different after all. And secularist also look to commonalities, albeit without the religious interpretation. However, philosophy and religion OFTEN interact and interpret things similarly, just using different language, as these two show.

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Old 07-29-2006, 11:10 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Autumn
Can the "secularists" (how ever it's defined here - sounds like everyone is; after all, everyone worked their 12-step programs differently) go into the AA forum unabashed and speak freely about how their program isn't based on a higher power? How would that be welcomed?
Been there, done that.

Originally Posted by Autumn
....How about in the "Christians in Recovery" forum?
Been there, done that. It was going pretty well until I got kind of rude. So the moderator locked it. Which makes a good point, I guess.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...hristians.html

Originally Posted by Autumn
Was/is it too much to ask to be free of AA/NA rhetoric, EVER??

Never did the phrase ring truer than it does now: "You can run, but you can't hide."
AA/NA may be many things, but it's a real stretch to consider them secular. However, I guess it IS too much to ask, eh?
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:19 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Don S
Actually, I think this thread is about Paul's discomfort.
With respect, I don't think so...Paul made his point on the first thread.
So I'm challenged. And I suppose I'm challenging everyone else here too. As I have said elsewhere I was a great fan of Karl Popper. He gave this wonderful instruction - I quote from memory -

"If you are going to criticise another's philosophy, find it's strongest point and criticise it there. To criticise it's weaknesses is just sophistry"

Let's use the secular forum to talk about what is wonderful about humanity, not about how much we hate religion, or how clever we imagine we are for dismissing it.
Since he has laid the foundations, why is it turned to something else completely. I know he is wise enough to say what he wants, and I take him at face value -- just as I do anyone else.

And as far as the AA/NA rhetoric, well, I'll repeat what I already stated....
Are you saying that talk of religion/G*D is AA/NA rhetoric? If so, I would disagree honestly and respectfully.
So, I'm honestly unsure as to why you would suggest it IS too much to ask. The two, (religion and programs of recovery), are NOT synonomous, as you are aware.

I guess, I honestly don't understand the problem.

Shalom!
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Old 07-29-2006, 01:53 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Why do these threads get so much attention? There are so many different threads here, threads that discuss what matters to people albeit on a secular level.

Secular doesn't mean devoid of feeling, or absent of beliefs - my experience is one of richness, colour, creativity, awareness that grows with learning and a fluidity to change and develop - NOTHING set in stone.

There's so much in the line of threads - even one page (click 'back' and look at all the diferenet titles), so much to think about.

Do you know this is the only place in my real life where this discussion/argument re-occurs over and over.....

It's more than possible to live without it - it's actually fun to live without it!
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Old 07-30-2006, 02:22 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Paul - what do I believe in? Friendship, fishing, love, Millwall Football Club, lovely holidays in France, elegant ladies, summer evenings, good food, laughter, peace, respect, intellectuals, the working class, etc etc

God or lack of does not feature. But I also believe in standing up for things that I see are wrong - and, yes, in my case, some religions cause a lot of harm. If I see history as one long trial and error, then I know that the joys that I have today are because people did not stand for what they believed to be wrong.

peace to you, and you are a very, very bright bloke and I always read what you have to say.

Five.
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:26 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Thanks to all who replied.

"In recovery" is one of those really interesting places for someone who is interested in the human experience. There's a great deal going on - the paths of self-destructiveness that have taken people into recovery and the multiple ways that people have found to redeem themselves. In fact there seem to be as many ways to redemption as there are people, and ten times as many blind allies. There are all the stories of people who didn't make it, or who thought they had made it, or who thought they never could make it. For me it is an intense drama, but not one that I can easily remain detached from. And it is full of the unexpected. There are many stories which I have heard which continuously tell me that I do not know anything about anything, very much. That my framework of pigeonholes and categories for people is quite inadequate. But they, these stories, all have in common their humanity. I may have come to believe that I knew what the boundaries were to what it is to be human, but I have moved closer to admitting defeat over that one too - I don't know the extent of the human experience. And "in recovery" is that really demanding place where all the people who need redemption, and all their different ways of finding it, interfaces with all the stuff I don't know. The stuff I don't know is what I call G*d. So you ask me if I believe in G*d and I can honestly say I don't know. But I do believe in all the stuff that I don't know. In fact, I believe in all the stuff I don't know with all my heart! And I can truly say that I never used to. Sorry, that's an aside. All I can say is that when I came to believe in a power greater than myself - all the stuff that I don't know - nothing in the universe changed. Only this human shifted, just a little. But even in this little shift, lots more of what it is to be human in other people came into view - just enough so that I began to see that what had always appeared two-dimensional before was much much more than that, and hid much more than it displayed, so making me see that I knew less than I thought, and my frameworks were not comprehensive or anything like it. And the only thing I could truly know, if I was diligent enough, was myself. And often, the only way we catch sight of ourselves is in the brief reflection back from others, as in a shop window.

Bit of a ramble. I am a human, and nothing that is of humanity is of disinterest to me.
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:17 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Hey Paul..... I was about to come calling for you. I have a pretty good understanding of where you're coming from, in all you have written.

It's good to see you back. Nice post, and thanks for sharing. I feel somewhat the same way you do, at least where humanity is concerned.
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