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I am a retired land surveyor. I grew up in Southeast Alabama, spent most of my life in Alaska, and am now back home, living on a small farm.

 For the record, like it or not, I am a member of Unity of Dothan. Some of my hobbies are walking in the woods, biking, gardening, woodworking, and taking naps.

  I have a BS degree in mathematics from Auburn.

WAR EAGLE!

I’m in a relationship. Not looking.

Comments

Please comment on this idea about the PFC and consciousness
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 30, 2019:
Try as I might, I can’t see how the firing of neurons could possibly cause conscious awareness as we experience it. I lean toward thinking that our bodies are nothing but robots, without conscious awareness or free will. Perhaps consciousness is primary, existing in ultimate reality, and it interacts somehow with our brains. In that sense, “we” are not our bodies but consciousness itself. Have you read about Donald Hoffman’s Conscious Realism? http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/ConsciousRealism2.pdf
China is a strong allie of Venezuela. They have warned against military intervention from their very...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 29, 2019:
China has every right to form an alliance with Venezuela or any other country it pleases. The US should stay the hell out of Venezuela, Ukraine, the Middle East, et al. If we have a mutual defense agreement with a country, then we have to help them IF THEY ARE ATTACKED—otherwise we need to butt out IMO. Navigation on the high seas is perfectly legal.
What are your thoughts on Donald Hoffman's theory of conscious agents?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 29, 2019:
I am extremely intrigued by Dr. Hoffman and his Conscious Realism. He is yet another example of a high-level scientist who advocates universal consciousness, a concept that appeals to me greatly. His work however is based on the assumption that reality is composed of conscious agents. As he says, we have to start with some sort of assumption. The common assumption for many people is that the universe is composed of particles of matter. There are phenomena that can not be understood with materialism, but Conscious Realism explains those phenomena handily, especially the mind-body problem. http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/ConsciousRealism2.pdf The above link gives a detailed and scholarly presentation of Conscious Realism.
The Evolutionary Advantages of an Addictive Personality - Scientific American Blog Network
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 29, 2019:
The article was written by a woman, which might shed light on why there was no mention of those risk-taking young males. Yes, I think evolution has shaped humanity so that women tend to be patient, intelligent, and to take care of themselves while young men tend to fight, drink, do drugs, engage in extreme sports, etc. I like her final assessment. For anyone who is bored there are healthful activities that are more effective than drugs. In her case, she had the strength to replace drug addiction with becoming a neuroscientist. I used to get bored, and I’ve done some fairly risky things. Nowadays I am the opposite of bored. Just thinking about the immense significance of reality throws me into a state of excitement.
Peace man ... follow me
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 28, 2019:
Good post! Namaste.
Should it be illegal to indoctrinate kids with religion ?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 28, 2019:
Kids learn by example mainly. Formal indoctrination leaves them cold.
Celibacy vs. Sex - In the Theory of Balanceology, sex is viewed as an inherent need that humans at ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 28, 2019:
A great many highly accomplished people have delayed or forgone marriage in order to dedicate themselves fully to their careers. From that perspective the Church’s requirement for the celibacy of priests seems more rational. Remember when women school teachers were required to be unmarried? It is an old and outmoded rule in both cases. If anyone truly wants to do without sex they ought to wait until they are 76 years old when it is much easier. :-)
Promising! [nytimes.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 28, 2019:
Great advance! It’s a good thing to hear about.
Wednesday it is forecasted to be -11 F. Sunday 40F. weather in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin.
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 28, 2019:
We are currently enduring a cool 60F. Tuesday night is supposed to be 26F and people here are very concerned about such a hard freeze. Just had to needle y’all. We suffer plenty in July and August.
I am the centre of my world as it should be but it is what lies beyond me that makes me what I am. I...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 28, 2019:
Profound idea, and nicely stated. This warrants contemplation.
Is morality "subjective"?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 28, 2019:
Maybe the answer depends on your concept of subjective/objective. IMO reality is subjective on a fundamental level and the sense of objectivity is illusory. If consciousness is primary and we are extensions of that universal consciousness maybe our sense of self as an individual body is also illusory. In theory a group of unaware, robotic bodies could develop a set of rules for group behavior but no set of rules can cover every situation and that set of rules will inevitably be self contradictory. So from the perspective of one of the bodies morality is both objective and subjective—mostly objective but subject to individual interpretation. From the perspective of our common self, Universal Consciousness, objectivity does not even appear. If a particular body allows itself to be led into certain actions by conscious awareness, it might appear to the other bodies that someone is abrogating illegal power, when actually the person is acting from a higher level morality shared by all. That’s why I try not to judge ill the actions of other people.
Wow ... so much hate
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 28, 2019:
kauva, I am on board with your ideas about universal consciousness. The concept goes by various names, but the general idea has been espoused by many prominent physicists, and I expect that universal consciousness will play a prominent role in the future of science. Keep on being yourself and sharing your insights. Some people become angry if you challenge their superficial materialistic world views. They mistakenly view your insights as attacks on themselves—yet we are truly one united self as viewed from a cosmic perspective. Endure and persevere!
What about the possibility of creating a nation of No Religion. Has Anyone here ever thought about ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 27, 2019:
It’s been tried many times over. Read “State Atheism” in Wikipedia. It was attempted in Mexico in fact. All attempts to force people to change their natures have failed. People are primary and governments have to follow suite.
Homosexuality: natural or not. What do you think, from a simple analysis of the facts, is it a ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 27, 2019:
Everything in nature is natural. There are reasons why things are as they are, but we might not know or understand those reasons. In that sense, both homosexuality and homophobia are completely natural and must be accepted and respected.
Do you believe in ghosts? I'm fairly new here and I love this place - it's an amazing combination ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 27, 2019:
“Supernatural” is just something in nature that we can’t understand. A supernatural event of today might become relabeled as natural in the future. Some people have been exposed to dramatic evidence of ghosts and they can not help but believe. Others have not seen the evidence and they can not help but disbelieve. Others, like me, have been told of the evidence by trusted people and they lean toward belief, but not in an absolute sense. When I was in elementary school ball lightning was considered to be supernatural and was given in our science book as an example of superstition. Today ball lightning is a subject of serious scientific study. The question of the existence or meaning of “God” is a subject well worth discussion, but it is not a question of belief in the supernatural vs belief in “hard” evidence. Hard evidence is that evidence which persuades you—it is subjective. Evidence is just evidence.
What was the major factor that assisted Trump win the presidency in your opinion? I lean towards ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
IMO the major factor that explains Trump’s election is that he presents a bald-faced blustery, bold front. I think that for many people Trump represents leadership—they felt drawn to the guy because certain subconscious cues were triggered. Most people are not all that analytical—they go with gut feelings. Trump’s style certainly seems to offend a lot of people—he’s something different and many people are uncomfortable with the unorthodox. The trouble with Hillary is that though she is a nice church lady and all, at heart she’s not very inspiring as a leader. The most wolfish of wolves will be the leader of a wolf pack.
A good article about how Buddhism helps to get rid of self-deception. [aeon.co]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
I enjoyed the article—it is thought-provoking.
Love and Compassion for all.
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
Good point. We do not love because we are trying to be good people. We love from necessity. We have no choice.
"For the sight being sent upwards by light and beholding the nature of the stars and their ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
Amazing! No, nothing has changed. That sense of awe and wonder is just as intense today as it ever was for those with their eyes open. However, many people nowadays are wearing the blinders of materialistic scientism which blunts their perception. So sad.
[pbs.org] Our First Peoples have not been awarded the credit for their enormous contribution to ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
I know that American culture has been greatly influenced by native Americans. It is so ingrained that few of us ever think about it. A very high percentage of Americans have at least a little bit of native ancestry, and most are not aware of that fact. I look forward to watching the documentary later.
"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world." ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
Nobody understands the world except in a superficial way. The true dichotomy is not between religion and science. It is between arrogant self-delusion under the name of science or religion, and the perception of fundamental human ignorance concerning reality.
Cosmic awareness
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
Awesome thought!
Tau and Theta. Why do some claim there is life after death? It is the inverse that is logical. ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
Nicely written sir! IMO we were not born and we will not die. We are living in illusion.
Education and learning
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
Teach yourself. William Faulkner made it only through sixth grade, yet became perhaps America’s greatest novelist. Just think of the greatness he might have achieved had he not been subjected to six years of swaggering, bullying school teachers. Thomas Edison never darkened the door of a school. You can bet that if he had his creativity and enthusiasm would have been killed.
I think I have figured out the big conflict with christianity
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 26, 2019:
I fully agree. Christianity as an organized religion is a contrived thing, imposed on the world by zealous and egotistical organizers who had little understanding of the teachings of Jesus.
Does the end justify the means? Is it alright to do anything necessary to achieve an important ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 25, 2019:
If the intent is greater good for all, then yes, any means can be used. If all we are seeking is selfish gain, then no. We are not perfect however, and often we are mistaken in our assessment. People get hurt. Think of a doctor who orders chemotherapy for a cancer patient. There is a chance the treatment will kill the patient, yet to do nothing might also bring death. It’s not about morality but about analysis.
So should I be feeling incredibly satisfied that I reached level 8? Should there be fireworks, ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 24, 2019:
I’m so jealous. But congratulations...I guess.
[toshmigoshandbushblaremysteries.blogspot.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 24, 2019:
Holy smokes! What an imagination you have! Neat piece of writing.
Are you frugal?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 24, 2019:
Frugality is about making smart choices. Instead of eating that ridiculously expensive boxed cereal I eat feed wheat, intended for livestock. Sometimes I salvage roadkill. I garden. By cutting costs in numerous small ways a person can enjoy a sense of wealth and bounty, always having money for pleasure or to invest and grow.
Share your happiness... ?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 24, 2019:
It’s an interesting analogy. Little flames of awareness and joy are sparked here and there in different times and places, and those flames are forever dying, but viewed from a higher perspective, there is only one eternal fire.
Should Reality Make Us Glad or Sad? - Scientific American Blog Network
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 24, 2019:
IMO gladness and sadness are not opposites. A lake, normally placid, might be temporarily whipped into turmoil by wind, but it’s natural state is placidity. Truth or reality does not cause anyone to become sad. It’s THINKING untrue things ABOUT that truth or reality that leads to sadness. Stop thinking negative, judgmental, untrue things and you will return to your normal, joyous state of being. Garbage in, garbage out. Give a computer false data to work with and you’re likely to get chaos for the output. The computer has no conscious awareness and has no way to weed out untrue data. Same with our subconscious minds. Plug in a negative, fear-arousing thought and your body will be thrown into a nervous state of alertness, ready to do battle or to mourn. Fear will raise its ugly head, triggering more untrue thoughts, snowballing into guilt, tension, irritation, anger, loneliness, poor health, alienation, insanity and death. Allow conscious awareness to correct those untrue thoughts and happiness will follow.
I was to the store the other day and had a Muslim check out clerk. I had to wait until a manager ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 23, 2019:
Our country=their country
Bob is a Theist.
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 23, 2019:
There might be ghosts but if so they are one hundred percent natural phenomena. By all means, let’s approach these eerie questions with open minds and with mutual respect.
Hello my beautiful heathen friends. I have a question. What is the scariest part of being an ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 23, 2019:
There’s nothing to be afraid of, even in the worst scenario of total obliteration. After all, there was a time when we didn’t exist. It seems perfectly natural and okay that we would return to that state. IMO existence as an individual personality in a body is an illusion. We are not our bodies, but rather, we are extensions of universal consciousness. It is that which exists beyond time and is immortal by default. You can’t lose what you never had. There is nothing to fear.
In my 59 year life, I have offered to "give my soul for eternity" to ANY entity that would ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 23, 2019:
I’m an entity. I can appear to you. Whur you at? Pay no mind to silly church dogma or old scriptures. Ultimate Reality reveals herself in every second of conscious awareness, in the advent of life, in reality and in nature herself.
"Science Baby"... not "Miracle Baby" This kind of stuff galls me, right up there with thank god ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 22, 2019:
It doesn’t gall me. Doctors and nurses are not omniscient, omnipotent beings. They are our fellow human beings, fraught with error. Science has benefited mankind in many ways, and I am grateful for science. However, there is a startling aspect of reality beyond our immediate sensory world that is not addressed by science. Miracles happen. Not supernatural, magical miracles but the miracle of each moment of consciousness.
Are morality and empathy basically the same?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 22, 2019:
If what you say is correct, then it seems to me that the legal system is an expression of morality, because laws are supposed to be enforced uniformly and without passion. Of course laws don’t cover every situation, and also laws have to be interpreted—meaning that there are higher principles upon which the laws are based, such as the golden rule. Empathy is just a feeling and as such is unreliable as a basis for decisions. But why do we have those feelings? Maybe we are made that way through evolution over millions of years of group living. You can not expect a pack of wolves to formulate a set of rules for behavior. What it boils down to IMO is that our bodies are robots without consciousness or free will. Their behavior is governed primarily by instinct, . But we are not our bodies. It is conscious awareness that prompts analysis and the making up of rules and codes of behavior.
The problem of dogma. – Possumpipesup
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 21, 2019:
Whether something is a profound truth or just dogma might be only a matter of opinion. Most likely both sides have it wrong. There could also be some truth to both perspectives. I like that about belief. Best not to believe anything if you can help it.
Literally every person I've seen on here that listed themselves as agnostic also listed themselves ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 21, 2019:
The trouble with the English language is that we are always saying that we ARE this or that thing as though that thing were identical with ourselves and that is all we are. Usually our positions or opinions can not easily be described by a simple label. Regarding the existence God as described in the Old Testament, I am not persuaded by any of the evidence I’ve seen. That skepticism is nothing but a characteristic of myself and should be of no concern to other people. It is a trivial thing that doesn’t even concern me and I am certainly not going to label myself an atheist. I am skeptical of many many ideas but I need not label myself in regards to those iffy ideas. Conversely there is no “burden of proof”. If someone is persuaded of something that is their business only. I lean toward the concept of universal consciousness, not as something magical or supernatural but as a metaphysical idea that might someday become part of the body of scientific knowledge. If anyone wanted to label universal consciousness as “God” I wouldn’t object. But labels are just empty words if you don’t have knowledge of the thing you are labeling. I don’t know about Universal Consciousness with absolute certainty. Am I supposed to say that I am an agnostic? If so, I decline. Sue me. :-) What I do know is that there is an Ultimate Reality beyond the world of the senses. I reject any burden of proof. Sue me.
So how many of you have heard of Pantheism and how do you feel about it? I totally identify with ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 21, 2019:
I lean toward the idea of pantheism, that God is everything there is. I also think that there might be such a thing as cosmic consciousness or universal awareness and that we are extensions of that. It is important IMO to keep in mind that the word “God” is nothing but a symbol or icon for ultimate reality, which we humans can not detect or understand with our space/time/matter model. It is silly to argue over something when we haven’t the slightest idea of what we are talking about. There really is an ultimate reality beyond the sense-world however. That has been universally understood by physicists since the days of Faraday and Maxwell.
Some people have a head start and don't even know it! [youtu.be]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 21, 2019:
It’s not all that cut and dried. First of all, success means different things to different people, but the video seems to assume that the acquisition of wealth and influence is life’s goal for everyone. It’s not either/or. There are a wide range of factors that various people deal with. The poorest of the poor generally have great strength in certain ways which gives them some advantages, while rich kids might be adversely affected in certain ways by their affluence. All of us have to deal with our circumstances.If the goal was supposed to be a dazzling career and to live in a suburban mansion, them my life has been a dismal failure, but yet I feel very contented. Yes, those groomed for such a life are “privileged”, but that is a relative term, and I had no desire to live such a life anyway. There were a few stalwarts in the back who did not take those steps forward, and some of them refused to run. They wore expressions of disdain as they listened to a judgmental rant declaring them to be underprivileged because of family circumstances and because of their race. Where I live there are many Black families who live very well and are not underprivileged in any way. That’s all I learned but maybe I’m stupid.
Anybody ready for the Super Blood Wolf Moon and lunar eclipse tonight? It'll go from 9:10pm to ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 20, 2019:
Waitin’ eagerly. Clear and cold at this location.
The brilliant science that has creationists and the Christian right terrified
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 20, 2019:
I am extremely skeptical of the theory described, but let’s say it’s true. What then do we understand? Nothing really. Nature in its ultimate form is just as bewildering as ever. You see, those carbon atoms that just HAVE to form themselves into life forms—they are not “things”—they exist only as interactions between covariant quantum fields. if we are going to discuss where things came from, where did the environment come from that enabled these carbon atoms to even exist, let alone arrange themselves into living organisms. From whence came the law of thermodynamics, said not to be violated in this case, along with all the other natural laws? Anyone sitting smugly, thinking that science explains reality is living a life of self-deception more insidious than that based on any religious dogma. Ascribing nature to God, in some cases, might be nothing but a humble admission that you don’t know or understand ultimate reality, but that you are aware of and appreciate the enormously awe-inspiring mystery with which we are faced.
The death penalty - why dress it up? In the U.S. - a majority of people are still pro death ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 19, 2019:
There are good arguments on both sides and I remain undecided. IMO it’s not a moral issue, even if an occasional innocent person is executed. What about all the innocent people killed in wars? I can only conclude that an individual human body has little value. The right policy is the one that gives the best outcome for society. The way we execute people in the US though seems pretty irrational. Keeping a person on death row for ten or twenty years for endless rounds of legal proceedings is ridiculous. What I think is that Americans no longer have the stomach to do the job properly. This is born out also by the ruse that there are no suitable drugs available when any veterinarian could do the job handily at any time. If the public is all that squeamish we should just stop the killing. One pertinent question is whether or not you yourself would be willing to personally be the executioner. For me the answer is no. Maybe I’m decided after all.
great tits
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 19, 2019:
I feel cheated. :-(
I read this earlier today. I am not sure exactly where I stand on the subject, while being broadly ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 18, 2019:
Perhaps I will make a grand and joyous exit via self-cremation, thereby thwarting the greedy medical and funeral industries. It’d be illegal as hell, and that’s another bonus—thumbing my nose at meddlesome bureaucrats. :-)
Our greatest journey.
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 18, 2019:
Great post!
Is anyone else really disturbed by the popularity of the flat earth nonsense? It's representative ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 18, 2019:
I prefer not to be disturbed or frightened if possible. It’s not worth giving much thought to those attention seekers. Actually, the earth really is relatively flat in a lot of places, from a local perspective. The flat-earth model works well for local navigation and surveying. Earth as a sphere is needed for long-distance navigation while an oblate spheroid model is used for cadastral surveys over large areas. In all those models the earth can be considered fixed, with celestial bodies rotating around the earth. Of course for astronomical purposes the planetary model comes into play. No one model is superior. It is important to recognize that all are nothing but models, useful for certain purposes. Actual ultimate reality is far beyond our ken.
Is scientology a religion or a dangerous cult?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 18, 2019:
IMO all religious organizations have some degree of cultishness. Scientology has a very high degree of cultishness and any prudent person should avoid their claws.
The problem with giving a QM interpretation, not just a comforting, homey sort of interpretation, ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 18, 2019:
Since the time of Faraday and Maxwell physics has abandoned the materialist/physicalist world view. Anyone still clinging to that sort of illusion is living a lie. Reality is not the way it seems.
Buddhists run me off because I believe in collective consciousness and Hindus run me off because I ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 17, 2019:
I am especially open to the idea of “reconciling religious beliefs with science and history and quantum physics and sociology and psychology and biology and archaeology”. When you do that you are searching deeply within for understanding and truth, even if it is currently only intuitive truth. You are right—most people are not interested in truth. They want a feeling of comfort and they don’t want to have their personal world-views rattled. As you probably know, some very astute people have advocated for the idea of collective or universal consciousness. Most of the founders of modern physics are on the list as well as John Wheeler with his “participatory universe”, and now even Roger Penrose is talking about it. I lean toward accepting the evidence for reincarnation and telepathy. Both of those phenomena can be understood to a degree under the concept of universal consciousness. But IMO, what is called reincarnation is not really reincarnation. Just because a child shares memories with a previous person doesn’t mean they ARE that person. The sense of being an individual person within a body is an illusion, and that applies to both the child and the previous person, now dead.
Why did religions originate in the first place? Because religious beliefs and religious thinking ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 17, 2019:
Shermer exhibits an attitude that I find rational and perceptive. IMO it is a mark of courage and honesty to look at the world as it is—to accept and try to understand nature without making negative judgments. The religious impulse is present in humanity for reasons, and it behooves us to recognize and understand those reasons with dispassion. Perhaps we might also recognize the religious impulse within ourselves and cultivate the best and highest attributes of that impulse. Equally important—the modern tendency by many to angrily denounce all forms of religious practice—that anger must be recognized and understood as a necessary natural phenomenon, following from the human condition. Some of those angry denouncers are the ones who say there’s no such thing as free will. If they are correct then they are angry at something that had to happen under natural laws, and that anger seems irrational. Of course they have no choice in the matter I suppose.
NRA ADMITS ACCEPTING MONEY FROM 23 RUSSIA-LINKED DONORS [newsweek.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 16, 2019:
What of it? We are all linked somehow. Russia is a great country.
The truth is that nobody knows for certain just what happens after we die. Everything that is ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 16, 2019:
At the heart of the problem lies the fact that time is nothing but a human mental construct, which renders meaningless any question about creation or immortality. Our very concept of existence is based on superficialities. When we think of something “existing” we think of it as enduring over time. The sense of self as a separate person with a body is a very airy concept and IMO is just an illusion. Without your memories you would no longer be you. Many cases have been documented of different personalities occupying a single body. The question is bound up somehow with the nature of conscious awareness, and that is currently a very deep mystery. What we desire is a continuation of consciousness, but I lean toward thinking that consciousness is primary and is all there is in an ultimate sense, immortal by default. That sense of being conscious doesn’t come from our bodies. Our bodies are mere robots that are led by consciousness IMO. We are at the door of Ultimate Reality but we can not directly experience Ultimate Reality, mentally bound as we are to our illusions. What then? I have no idea.
Some self/no self thoughts I try envision things in pictures. Like if I have a set of rules for ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 15, 2019:
The imagery comes first. There was Michael Faraday, a brilliant scientist with little education in mathematics who was able to picture electromagnetic fields. Enter Maxwell, who understood those images and wrote his famous field equations. Keep doing what you are doing. Some of us appreciate your ideas. Specifically, you have given an explanation for karma that seems real, understandable, and not supernatural. James Clerk Maxwell: “It has been asserted that metaphysical speculation is a thing of the past, and that physical science has extirpated it. The discussion of the categories of existence, however, does not appear to be in danger of coming to an end in our time, and the exercise of speculation continues as fascinating to every fresh mind as it was in the days of Thales.”
Classified information from CIA [youtu.be]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 14, 2019:
I made it halfway. I’ll believe it when it happens. Even if such a thing happened. So what? We all die at some point.
Experiencing the Ratha Kalpana
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 14, 2019:
I just read your bio, and we are on the same wavelength kauva. It will take some time to absorb all this. Namaste sir.
Do you believe aliens exist?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 14, 2019:
Belief or disbelief is not appropriate IMO, unless you just like to argue. I am certainly open to the idea of alien life, and there is indeed some evidence. There’s not enough of the kind of evidence that would be persuasive, so I’ll put the question on a back burner for the time being.
What if, unbeknownst to us, we are already in Hell?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 13, 2019:
If life feels like hell to you it is because you are filling your subconscious mind with untrue thoughts. We are actually in heaven in the here and now!
Religion gives people spiritual and emotional fulfillment, nothing more. Some people use alcohol, ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 13, 2019:
Others use a belief in scientism and materialism. The only void is that we cannot understand Ultimate Reality with our limited human perspective. But just moment by moment awareness of the staggering implications of reality must inevitably impart a sense of great value to life.
How To Deal With Regret After Religion. In August of last year I celebrated seven years out of a ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 12, 2019:
You are still young, and you are free to follow your heart. You did what you had to do—what seemed right at the time. Forget the past and enjoy the glorious miracle of each passing moment of awareness. And best wishes!
Dr. Gladys West, The Black Woman Who Invented The GPS, Gets Honored By U.S. Air Force At The ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 12, 2019:
What a great thing to learn about! Great photo too. Thanks for posting.
There have been several questions along these lines lately, so I want to ask a related, but slightly...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 12, 2019:
It is to be consciously aware, which enables us to appreciate love, joy and freedom, and to bask in the overwhelming mystery and grandeur of reality.
Have you ever expressed an opinion or stated something that proved highly unpopular? Maybe you saw...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 12, 2019:
The slightest hint that you are not in full agreement with the climate change mantra will bring down upon you much wrath and fury. The slightest variation in established dogma will get you clobbered by true believers. Many of them have called for jailing of the apostates while a few advocate summary execution. The only reason I dare write this is that most of my life is over anyway.
Regarding Religion: Yet Still More Thoughts. There have been and are thousands of mutually ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 12, 2019:
In “The Perennial Philosophy” Aldous Huxley examines various metaphysical ideas that are common to nearly all religions. I think the best thing is to harvest the wheat and throw out the chaff. By “harvest” I don’t mean to form a rigid, blind belief, but to study, meditate, and allow the ideas to incubate in your consciousness. Just because someone has described the moon as being made out of cheese, a proven falsity, does not mean that there is no moon and that all discussion and study of the moon must cease.
Who else wonders why people are so stupid to believe in gods when there is no proof of their ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 11, 2019:
Many of the most brilliant people down through history have believed in God, and even today about half of scientists report a belief in God. If your opinion is different than someone else’s you’ll have to make a better argument than to say they’re stupid. There is evidence. It might not be evidence that persuades YOU, but it is evidence nevertheless. There’s nature with her immutable laws, the dazzling spectacle of life, the experience of conscious awareness that frames our every experience and gives us free will. There is evidence. I think you are talking about religious myths, and I agree that those are not believable to courageous and discriminating people. But that in no way addresses the question of the existence of God, or whatever you choose to call Ultimate Reality.
Some people think that we should just let everyone believe whatever fantasy they want. But if ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 11, 2019:
“Some people think that we should just let everyone believe whatever fantasy they want.” Who are the “we” who have the correct opinions and are going to jump in and force these “others” to adopt those correct opinions? You can not force anyone to believe something. Belief arises spontaneously. In a democratic society there will always be a great diversity of opinions on all sorts of issues. Do not be surprised if those who are elected hold opinions that are different than yours. Each person gets one vote, and there their authority ends. Belief in a materialist/physicalist/reductionist world view is every bit as much a phantasy as belief in church dogma, and IMO such belief has wreaked more harm to the human race than all the religions of the world combined.
It seems that being atheist or agnostic is now looked at as a type of religion
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 11, 2019:
Certainly some individuals present their atheistic religious opinions in a rigid and religious-like way, and can not tolerate any other view. Whether a person is a robot-like Bible thumper or a raging, robot-like atheist doesn’t matter—they are both blind and the difference between them is only one of labeling.
Have to start making huge changes in my life from today. Physically, mentally and emotionally i have...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 11, 2019:
Hang in there! I wish you success in your journey.
What do you believe in?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 11, 2019:
When it comes to religion, I don’t think that belief of any kind is the appropriate reaction. More apt would be a sense of deep awareness and awe for the staggering implications of existence and the profound mystery of reality and consciousness awareness. I know, I know, the above paragraph is a statement of belief. Hmm... maybe there are different kinds of belief. Someone help me.
When in defence of religion, people say ‘Well the church does a lot of good’ but is it not like ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 10, 2019:
Which church? Some of ‘em do good things IMO.
I think I’ll just...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 10, 2019:
Is that a contrail in the background? Weird.
If every life is sacred...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 10, 2019:
The Bhagavad-Gita explains it nicely.
Is this Ao Guang?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 10, 2019:
Had to look up Ao Guang. Wikipedia shows a picture that is different but of course there could be many different artistic representations. After reading the article I have decided to withhold belief in this Ao Guang thing. THERE IS ZERO EVIDENCE—THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THE ONE MAKING A POSITIVE STATEMENT! YOU CANT PROVE A NEGATIVE!! Ha ha, I’m learning a lot from this forum. :-)
[sciencealert.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 10, 2019:
Great timing skado, I just started wood turning as a hobby—set up my lathe and made my first practice piece yesterday. This article gives me positive reinforcement at a perfect time.
Are the majority of people really that obtuse and is higher education just a form of indoctrination ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 9, 2019:
It’s a mix of both. There are some brilliant, deeply aware professors who see their mission as that of awakening their students. My very worst teacher was a rabid atheist who saw his role as that of bludgeoning the students into agreement with his opinions. No dissent was tolerated, and the course subject matter was totally neglected to make time for his long emotional tirades.
As atheist and agnostics what in your opinion is the odds of there being a afterlife ?
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 9, 2019:
It is hard for us humans to think cosmically but IMO the entire chain of organisms can be considered to be a single entity. Time is an illusion—even quantum gravity theory has it so. The concept of an afterlife makes no sense from a cosmic perspective. There’s just life and we are it—right now and forever more. To put it crudely, we are in heaven right now but lack the awareness to fully appreciate our station. To yearn for immortality as a separate personality is a futile and foolish quest IMO. The sense of self as a particular body is just an illusion anyway. Some bodies are shared by multiple “selves”, all illusory. Every second of conscious awareness is a heavenly miracle of staggering proportions!
You cannot create a black hole by simply adding mass.
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 9, 2019:
Interesting info. Thanks. Teach us more.
A gift to all of us who have or had mothers.
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 9, 2019:
Though there is some truth there, I think the case is dramatically overstated. I take a more pragmatic view.
This looks like an interesting read. I saw a story about it this morning on a news show and they ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 8, 2019:
Sounds interesting.
As more detrimental religious groups interfere with our politics and government they signify their ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 8, 2019:
Truly a garbage article, full of stereotyping and false innuendo. Only a small fraction of so called evangelicals have strong political opinions Does anyone really think that conservatism will disappear with declining church membership? Look at other countries where church membership is low—they have conservative political parties. The evangelical in the last presidential election was Methodist Hillary Clinton.
Are religious people intellectually inferior? - YouTube
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 8, 2019:
Smart atheists and smart religious people find common ground. Dumb atheists and dumb religious people throw rocks at each other.
Apparently there are a lot of brain damaged people living in the Bible Belt. [rawstory.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 8, 2019:
I am led to wonder if the author of the article has lesions on his prefrontal cortex. Every paragraph says essentially the same thing over and over, and there are at least ten paragraphs. The essence is that there is a correlation between damage to the front part of the brain and fundamentalist religious belief. A confused and bungled statement near the end indicates (I think) that brain inflexibility is a cause for a fifth of fundamentalist views as determined by the study. I am extremely skeptical of the study. If the scientists are truly interested in rigid thinking patterns they should look, not only at religion but at all areas of human thinking. For many students for example, their textbooks are gospel, not to be questioned. And many cling desperately to a materialist interpretation of reality even when science has moved on. It’s a pretty ridiculous study from the get-go, based on the religious beliefs of infantry soldiers with brain damage. That is a very small group. Measure the religious beliefs of PHDs with brain damage and you’d get a different result I’ll bet. A high percentage of them are probably atheists. You could then yell that brain damage causes atheism. How does all this relate to the so-called, and mislabeled “Bible Belt”? Contrary to what is often thought, religious fundamentalism is not an old southern tradition. Christian fundamentalism arose in the twentieth century and was created by churches in the Northeast, specifically New England. Fundamentalism as a doctrine only gained a significant foothold in the Southern Baptist Association in the 1940’s. Anyone who doggedly opposes my opinion has brain damage. :-)
path to happiness
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 8, 2019:
Great way of looking at it. You can’t find pleasure or happiness by striving for pleasure or happiness. Happiness is inherent in awareness and appreciation for each moment.
As I sit here writing and glancing out the window now and then to watch a blizzard blasting the ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 7, 2019:
Sounds great. Enjoy!
Is anyone else mildly excited about the CRISPR/Cas9, Gene Editing Tool? I'll give it a 80% chance ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 6, 2019:
Ha, I didn’t realize that there’s a gene for red-neckness. Maybe there’s something I don’t know about it but I really don’t understand how you are going to get rid of all those genes, because every cell in your body has those DNA strands. You might prepare a sperm cell to be free from red-neckness so that your children won’t suffer from that malady. Be careful though. There are certain advantages to red-neckness. It can be fun huntin’ possums and makin’ shine, and periodic stays in jail can be stimulating. Maybe the world NEEDS a few rednecks. An alternative might be to study up on epigenetics. Apparently we can change our genetics just through conscious choices of behavior, if I understand it correctly. Also, look at this link that tnorman posted: http://nautil.us/issue/68/context/its-the-end-of-the-gene-as-we-know-it?doex=1 Maybe there’s no such thing as a gene.
The Creation Hymn of the Rig Veda asserts that in the beginning there was no air, no heavens, no ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 6, 2019:
All of those things of which there were none—those are human mind things with no substance. Locked in our illusory world as we are, Ultimate Reality can not be understood. From a cosmic level even the concept of creation has no meaning. That’s not religion, it’s physics.
Next time a Christian claims that you can't prove their god doesn't exist, don't fall for it, point ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 5, 2019:
Smart guy. I liked the first part. Negatives are easily proven. Yes, you have to define the thing you are going to prove or disprove. That brought us to the second part of the video, and I am not persuaded. The definitions of God offered are not valid IMO. The ensuing “proof” is only a proof that the definitions are invalid. The argument is only an argument against the traditional myths and dogma of the Bible. As I have said before, it is easy to prove that the moon is not made of cheese. Whether the moon exists or not is a different question. A proof is only a persuasion and there is absolutely no “burden” of proof. It is, in fact, impossible for anyone to prove anything to another person. We can point toward evidence and we can demonstrate logical analysis. The other person, if open-minded, might examine that evidence and go through the analysis and eventually become persuaded to some degree of certainty. If he does though, it will be his own doings and not ours. Maybe omnipotence just means the ability to influence events in the physical realm. Certainly events are influenced totally by natural laws. And really, conscious thought does shape the future. Maybe omnipresence is a way of saying that space as we perceive it is an illusion and that everything is conjoined—non-local. Scientists are saying the same thing. Omniscience? Maybe that means complete knowledge of everything in the physical realm—not such a far-fetched idea under the concept of universal consciousness. So far as “God” being benevolent, nature/god doesn’t give a rat’s ass about whether a baby is born with cancer. Human bodies are a dime a dozen. Every girl is born with a million human eggs, and obviously they need not all become happy, successful people. We are not our bodies. Benevolence is to be found in Ultimate Reality, of which we are extensions.
Atheism???
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 5, 2019:
I think consciousness is just onsciousness. Consciousness is the same when you are four as when you are a hundred and four, and it is the same for all organisms. We are swimming in consciousness—we ARE consciousness. We would like to think that we are our bodies, and there are a hundred ways of reinforcing that egotistical delusion and hiding from our true Self : stay drunk, cloud the mind with lies, foster grievances, play the victim, stir up internal fear, wallow in guilt, think only of wealth and power, etc. If a person finds himself mired in a relgious setting where fear and guilt are fostered and where belief in silly dogm is required, then to analyze all that and declare atheism is a great leap forward IMO. Becoming an atheist leads, not to “higher” consciousness, but to awareness of the consciousness that was there all along, and to freedom. What is not so apparent is the tendency to cloud the mind with false thoughts about science—to tell ourselves that the universe is made of matter and that reality is handily explained by science. Sit proudly on the golden throne of scientism if you wish, but it is a throne sitting on quicksand. A dose of real science might sink your throne. Do not leap from the frying pan of religious dogma into the fire of materialistic scientism. Throw away the bath water—keep the baby!
It's the End of the Gene As We Know It - Nautilus
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 5, 2019:
It’s a very stimulating article. Thanks.
What Should We Tell People About Free Will? | Naturalism.org
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 5, 2019:
Ha, if there’s no free will, what we “should” tell people is out of the picture and we do what we have to do. Why even raise the question? Oh, you have no choice but to raise the question I suppose. Who anyway are the “we” who presume to know what they should be preaching in regards to free will? Who appointed them as the ones who know? There is conscious awareness and free will. There is confusion about what we are.
You cannot prove God exists. You cannot prove God does not exist. God cannot be identified without ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 4, 2019:
A proof is nothing but a persuasion. You can easily persuade open-minded people that God, as depicted in the Old Testament, does not exist. However... That is not necessarily the end of the discussion. If someone tells you the moon is made out of cheese you might easily disprove their assertion, but whether or not the moon exists is a different question entirely. Before we try to persuade people about whether God exists or does not exist, we need to figure out what existence is and whether the concept of existence has meaning outside our bubble of perception. Since we are talking about being consciously aware of God we ought really to figure out the nature of conscious awareness. “We” should find out what we are also if we are going to settle this issue. Being bewildered and overwhelmed as I am, I have nothing to add to the argument. I will say though, that the world of our perception is merely symbolic of an Ultimate Reality beyond. Putting a label on that which can not be defined or understood is a meaningless gesture.
Time - the most misunderstood concept in science. ​ The most popular view of time came from ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 4, 2019:
How do you know all this? Do you know with absolute certainty? Do you really understand time on a deep level?
Corporate America is Causing undue harm to us without our permission or inclination! Lawsuit ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 4, 2019:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/radiation-exposure/cellular-phone-towers.html If you are locked into a particular belief you can find plenty of web sites to back up your belief. If you want to learn truth look at reputable web sites.
Pew reports, 'Christians overrepresented in Congress': 55 percent Protestant, 30 percent Catholic, 6...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 4, 2019:
I wonder what percentage of politicians say they are religious, hoping to get votes.
Nikola Tesla Revealed The Most Efficient Way To Increase Human Energy [disclose.tv]
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 3, 2019:
I am not convinced that this is a legitimate interview.
I don't take too seriously life or anything in it, because sooner or later we are all going to ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 3, 2019:
I would take life seriously but I am totally dumbfounded and flummoxed as to what reality is and what it means. It’s hard to take something seriously when you don’t know what that thing is.
Submitted my disassociation letter to Jehovah’s Witnesses a few days ago. Feels good, starting the...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 2, 2019:
Beautifully written. I admire your courage and intelligence, and I know you will stand your ground. Having thrown off religious dogma you are now in a position to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of nature and reality on a deep and profound level and live in joy. Congratulations!
Existential Loneliness is on my mind. No matter how hard you try, you'll always be completely alone....
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 2, 2019:
I think I follow you. Yes, we are alone. Sort of. The book “Rethinking Madness” discusses man’s struggle to maintain balance between loneliness and engulfment by the all. There’s supposedly a middle way there somewhere. Some of my finest memories are times of being and feeling very alone, but yet having warm moments of casual connection—just humans sticking together and supporting each other. Suppose that we do fall out of our egos and join that great oneness. if we are one with that oneness and that oneness is truly one, then we’ll still be alone, wouldn’t you say?
The Cage I wonder so often why I wander, through the valleys of the unforgiven. I will find a ...
WilliamFleming comments on Jan 2, 2019:
Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece of writing.

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