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    • Becoming a member.. (Last post by Alexandre Orion)
    • Did you fill out the application also ? Sometimes people do one and forget about the other, and that is what holds things up ... It would not have been that you were refused, lad ... :)
    • What is TOTJO? (Last post by StarWalker930)
    • What is TOTJO? I'm also a Unitarian Universalist. So it's all pretty much "Many paths, one goal." in my belief system. I think TOTJO is simply one of those paths to take. This place allows you to start to find that path and lead you through some self reflection, with some really great people willing to help guide and ask questions to really help flesh things out. Should you see this path is one you really want to take, then it can become more detailed in to what the person needs. I see this as any other kind of path in the realm of Spirituality. Welcome those who are interested. Come, stay a while and talk. We can learn from each other, and if you're so inclined, we invite you to stay.
    • Martial Arts as a metaphor of Personal Behavior? (Last post by steamboat28)
    • I've learned a lot of things from martial arts, and I'm still such a novice. The obvious points for a discussion like this are Bruce Lee's "Be water, my friend..." when discussing adaptability and taking what works for Jeet Kun Do (which can also be applied to the theology here, most of the time). There's also the maxim that one should never kill when you can maim, or maim when you can injure, or injure when you can threaten, or threaten when you can warn, or warn when you can walk away--the measure of force to be used should meet the threat, but not exceed it. We should use as much energy as necessary on a certain thing, and no more, because that's where trouble comes from. But I also tend to remember a lot of things that may not fit in with the squeaky-clean philosophy most here at the Temple would prefer. Martial arts have taught me that in order to protect myself, I need to be very aware of my surroundings, that the best recourse to action is swift and efficient (as well as brutal, where necessary), and that there will never truly be peace as long as you need any of this knowledge. Oh, and also, "hit them in the squishy parts."
    • Further Religious Structure (Last post by Connor L.)
    • All we can be sure of is that nobody knows everything. Carlos was not there when the book was written. So, he can't know what the right answer is, EVEN IF HE GETS IT RIGHT. :O It's a crazy thought, isn't it?
    • Talent (Last post by Connor L.)
    • I LOVE how after she comes out of the arpeggio theme she ritards into the other themes, giving each of them their own tempo... that is SO Rock and Roll. WOW. WOW. WOW!!!
    • Virtues or Choices? (Last post by taidavrikaurvan)
    • I personally would say its both. To have virtues in the first place is a choice. We choose our virtues as much as we choose whether or not to live by them. If patience is a something valued highly of that person then I see no reason why it can't be a moral. "To live is to choose"- Relan Volkum I agree with Relans quote completely, everything we do is a choice. To follow a path, to choose what we value, to choose how we live our lives. To live is to choose. I would say that patience is a necessary trait however some situations require haste. If someone is robbing a bank and you are a police officer patience is a luxury you might not be able to afford. Sometimes it benefits to act with haste. It all comes down to the situations in which you place patience, does the situation require fast action or slow pase planning. What happens if there is not enough time? Is there enough time to do (insert task) without any setbacks or problems. Looking at patience as a general mindset and attitude I would say is virtue but only as a generalization. Like all things it depends on the circumstances. Like many other values and virtues it depends on what you are measuring it against. Is it better to be courageous and swoop in the bank robbery and get yourself killed or is it better to stay put and negotiate with a little more risk.
    • The Balance (Last post by Jung Faol)
    • So much time is spent displaying and describing the difference between light and dark. Not only here, to which I am granted a newcomer, but in life in general. There is an inherent need to see the separation between right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark, people who talk at the movies and those who shush them.... The Balance is something that I have revered since I can remember. You can be the clown and the smart kid at the same time. In fact its better that way because you approach humor from a point of intelligence, and you portray your intellect with a laugh. The 6'8 bruiser on the football team that volunteers at the local soup kitchen, the cut throat used car salesperson that signs over part of their check to the local animal shelter, the person who strives endlessly to enhance the income of their recorded artist company through whatever means are necessary and still finds the time to go on ahead and say yes (insert name of a band you cant stand here) we'll sign you on for three more albums. More importantly however is the balance within. Concerning with life necessities like family well being, and the ceaseless job to support them. Time apart and enhanced time together can be rather difficult to maintain no matter the circumstances. Work and Play, Family and Friends, Health (meneal and physical) and Wealth (literal and figurative). Do you go for the loaded mash because you spent 30 minutes on the treadmill? Have you call out sick because you just wanted a day to spend at home with your family? I suppose my overall idea here is that finding balance is something I have always wanted to be a constant in my life regardless of which one of endless categories that may fall under. How often is the balance supported, and how often do people so without even realizing it?
    • American men, American media, and the villificatio... (Last post by Oneiros)
    • Quote: I don't mean from the book itself but from the article. My experience of TV tells me it's rubbish, with the only guy on TV that looks normal to me being norm from "new yankee workshop". though I'm sure there are other instances of men not being mis-represented. I know of at least one show that makes fun of women ("real housewives of some town"), but i find it particularly distasteful, my wife is the one who watches this sort of rubbish (This stuff genuinely makes me feel like after 10 years free of TV I should never have hooked it up to an aerial) Well yes, I will absolutely concede the point that TV is 100% rubbish except for Looney Toons. That is just pure gold. I think my biggest problem with the points made in the article is that they are all based on the idea that (to put it simply) the media controls the way you think. I only believe this is the case if someone does almost nothing except immerse themselves in media. If all someone does all day is watch TV, then all they're going to know is what they see on TV and that will shape their world view. But by that logic I could say the same thing about a person who only reads books by a single author on a single subject. In both cases their perspective will be limited, but do we criticize publishing company's for printing books? No because that would be crazy and there are plenty of books to choose from so nobody is limited. That is why it is important to be mindful of our thoughts and strengthen our mental resolve so that we are not influenced by this outside noise, but rather stay focused on our internal clarity so our perspective can be open instead of limited. I understand the worry that children won't be able to maintain a clear enough mind to resist all the messages in the media, but that's why education is so important. If a child is well educated and well rounded, they will be able to see through all the rhetoric and labels and half-baked sound bytes and find the truth. This article only adds to the noise they'll have to cut through. It comes from the exact same place in someone's heart as the messages it's trying to counter: fear. Fear is not an appropriate tool to teach people. This brings me to my specific examples from the article. I need not read further than the first line to find one. The first thing the writer does is quote Orwell's 1984 and then talk about totalitarian societies. If you're allowed to quote Orwell, you don't live in a totalitarian society. I feel like that's the first book that would get burned. Another example is "Feminism is an ideology, or systematised way of thinking. Many influential feminists have been outspokenly angry about and encouraged violence to men." Aside from the grammatical errors and misidentification, the author doesn't even bother to define feminism. He just says it's an ideology and then jumps right into "violence to men." Through a blatant omission of information, he effectively associates feminism with violence against men. That is being purposefully deceptive in order to make a point. "While there has been some university study of men, it is taken for granted that this will be done from a feminist perspective." That's not what taken for granted means. It doesn't mean automatically assumed, it means to expect someone or something to be always available to serve in some way without thanks or recognition; to value someone or something too lightly. The misuse of a simple phrase speaks to the intellectual value of the article's author. "HOW MEDIA PUT MEN DOWN Some influential media images of men can be found in The Simpsons. The father character, Homer, is lazy, chauvinistic, stupid and irresponsible." I don't watch Simpson's often but I can name a few dad's on TV that are good men: Ned Stark-Game of Thrones, Jerry Stiller-Seinfeld, Jay Pritchett-Modern Family, Burt Hummel-Glee. I could name more. For every "bad" example there is also a "good" example. The article cites a single father figure TV and extrapolates a whole point from it, completely omitting (again) any information to the contrary. If someone is worried about being told how to think, they should steer clear of this article and Jim Macnamara's book because all it does it tell people how to think by focusing on and twisting things to fit a world view instead of looking at the totality of information and developing an unbiased viewpoint from it. the funny thing is, this is exactly the tactic used by the media to do exactly what this article is warning people about: controlling the way you think.
    • chat (Last post by Revan Falton)
    • Had to dip out fast. Work called me in early. It was fun chatting with you all, hope to do it again soon!
    • Is questioning one's faith inevitable? (Last post by Koffee)
    • It's as natural and inevitable as a snake shedding its skin, yo. In other words, humans are intrinsically metaphysical. As consciousness evolves, so must ones beliefs or "faiths" correspond to this evolution. Faith must decay before it can grow anew, and since growth is a a natural property of consciousness, it follows that all faiths must in some sense decay. This sense of "decay" could be elaborated further, but I would generally consider "questioning" one's faith to be either a kind of decay or a symptom of decay, depending on how you want to approach describing the phenomena. What is essential never really dies, however. So one may qualify my original answer with a few other distinctions and terms, etc.

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