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    • Hell Fire (Last post by Star Forge)
    • Quote: When I was a kid I believed in heaven and hell. After I became a Jedi, I didn't believe in hell. Now, once again I believe in heaven and hell. What those are depends on the individual. I don't think heaven and hell are two fixed places that are the same for everyone, nor do I think you have to stay in one or the other permanently. But the point of my post is that I heard a pastor say something unexpected. He said he's been asked multiple times whether or not he believes in real fire in hell. He said No. Mostly because, first, Jesus talked about it more than anything else, and second, he always talked symbolically. The pastor explained that Jesus said God's love burns like fire. Surely that wasn't literal. So he went on to suggest that hell might simply be disconnection from God, that his love burns people in hell as torture, as something they can no longer touch. Thoughts? That's basically the way Orthodox Christians explain it, and they are the absolute oldest Christian tradition, so that might tell you something.
    • From time to time a poem (Last post by Silvermane)
    • Play in the river, Until the moon comes out. Lay in the grass, Snout to snout. A tail of strength, Shining so bold. Wrapped with another, Soft and reddish gold. True lovers forever, With tails so grand. The Otter of the River, And The Fox of the Land.
    • 2014 New Year's Force Realist Meditation Relay (Last post by Alethea Thompson)
    • Updated: OUR LIST SO FAR, STILL NEED HOURS COVERED. :) 31 DEC 2014 10-11AM UTC - 11-NOON UTC - NOON-1PM UTC - Chris Porter 1-2PM UTC - Jenna 2-3PM UTC - 3-4PM UTC - 4-5PM UTC - Silmerion 5-6PM UTC - 6-7PM UTC - 7-8PM UTC - Jacob 8-9PM UTC - Sinistra, Shlomit 9-10PM UTC - Simen 10-11PM UTC - 11-MIDNIGHT UTC - Jamie Easting 1 JAN 2014 MIDNIGHT-1AM UTC - Rick Laws 1-2AM UTC - 2-3AM UTC - 3-4AM UTC - 4-5AM UTC - Casper 5-6AM UTC - Lori 6-7AM UTC - 7-8AM UTC - 8-9AM UTC - 9-10AM UTC -
    • Who's your favorite philosopher? (Last post by Alexandre Orion)
    • I wouldn't say he's my favourite, but I did just this afternoon get a copy of Markus Gabriel's "Warum es die Welt nicht gibt " ('Why the World isn't real") -- in the current of 'new realism' announced in 2011 by Gabriel and the Italian philosopher Mauricio Ferrara. I'll let you know later ... :unsure:
    • Rants far and wide (Last post by Kaverael)
    • Quote: I am frustrated... Coming out is not as simple as telling people you're gay, bisexual, pansexual; transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or whatever the case may be. Coming out is an entire process of the people around you coming to terms with the implications of their assumptions about you being incorrect. Coming out is the painful process of being misgendered, having people ask inappropriate questions, and several other microaggressions that make everyday interactions painful. For this and many other reasons, coming out is a really scary experience that isn't at all as simple as what most of the media portrayals make it out to be. Last night I was reduced to terrified ugly sobbing when I realized that my Christmas would be spent either quietly being misgendered and misnamed or in intense conversations with relatives about what it means to be trans and pansexual. I don't do well with being quiet about being misgendered, I usually (at the very least) do something passive-aggressive in response. I had hoped that my Christmas would be at least somewhat relaxing, that I would get a break from the stresses of work and school, but I'm only going to have to trade one kind of stress for another. And I feel like it's all my fault, like I'm ruining my family's Christmas by being this difficult black sheep of the family. I know my mother wanted so badly for me to go to Minnesota for Christmas, but I'm regretting ever agreeing to go. My mother just informed me last night that I'd be spending Christmas Eve with someone from Uganda and I'm afraid that I'm going to have to explain all kinds of things to him, but additionally that Christmas Day will be spent with a bunch of children ranging from the ages of 2-17 and I'm not emotionally or mentally prepared to try to explain all this stuff to children, much less their parents. If it weren't for the fact that I'm not the kind of person to break promises, because I don't know what I am if people can't trust my word, I would just miss the flight to Minneapolis and that would be the end of it. I have enough groceries to make it through Christmas week. It's too late for that though, I've made promises and built up expectations about my arrival, therefore I cannot back out now. I regret it and I should have known. My apprenticeship studies included a lesson of meditation and contemplation about family relations, the answer was within me all along. I've spent my whole life trying to please my parents and with this Christmas thing I tried to please them then too. I've made a huge mistake and now I'm going to pay for it. Jamie, It sounds like your family is really looking forward to seeing you, so maybe they will just be happy you showed up. If you don't want to talk about your situation, try changing the subject, like "I know you have questions, but Mom/Aunt Lucy/Uncle Bob/whomever, is not comfortable hearing this stuff, especially during the holidays. Maybe we can get to get together and discuss it some other time. Let's focus on why we are all really here; to spend time with the ones we love," and just move on. You are who you are, so be that person, it's not like you are a leper. Show up with a smile, and a good attitude. I think that the more you stress about it, the more others will feed off of that stress, in a negative way. MTFBWY -Rick
    • "The Interview" gets pulled (Last post by Goken)
    • Quote: Goken, please stop me if you feel I'm hijacking your thread, but I wonder... No worries. Discussions are organic and thus change, to expect otherwise would be foolish. I didn't expect it to go quite this direction, but that's why I discuss things, to hear things that I didn't expect and to broaden my views. :laugh: Quote: I think what we should have done is staged mass boycotts of such a tasteless film. It's not as though Kim Jung-Un is a saint, but the CIA killing dictators isn't really representing democracy and freedom very well. This thought hadn't occured to me, I do rather agree with you now that I think about it like that. I hadn't really planned to see it because it wasn't really my kind of humor. I'm not one to organize a boycot or really do anything big over a movie of any sort (otherwise I very well might have done something about Twilight and 50 Shades of How Can They Show This in Theaters. LOL). T me a movie just isn't worth that much energy. Quote: Why would someone make a movie about a crazy dictator that is living? WHy provoke a bear? Excellent point. In most movies (not all) when they do things like that they use fictionalized leaders. Even in movies where the leader is a good character they are usually fictitous. Why provoke some one who is not exactly known for being tollerant and merciful. Quote: ...I also suspect that this is all a hoax to get prospective fans riled up and more than eager to see the film. Quote: I've suspected this as well. If so, it's brilliant. :cheer: Senan is right, if they did make it all up on purpose it's brilliant. I think it might be illegal too though. Fake terrorist threats aren't treated lightly. As for Qur'an burning, I don't see the point to it. The only reason to do that and tell people about it (or make videos about it) is to anger people. The main reason (as I can see it) to anger people is to force them to be clouded by emotions and thus make a mistake. (we'll save the discussion over whether or not people should be angered by it for a different thread). That does make it kind of like this movie. Quote: giving into the threats of violence to theater goers over a movie which makes light of CIA plots to kill the leader of North Korea is not an efficient way to deter terrorism. Also true, but again, would it be worth the energy to fight over a movie? Quote: A movie being pulled from theaters should be the least of our concerns with this guy... Hard to argue with that.
    • Taoism (Last post by Rickie The Grey)
    • Quote: Lessons Everyone you meet whether wise or foolish, has something to teach you. The sage appreciates everyone and everything, accepting the lessons offered by each in their own way. - Lao Fzu pg 7 www.taowoods.org/quote/index.htm?focus=7 :) Have a nice weekend.
    • The Grateful Thread (Last post by Arcade)
    • For many years after I came out to my (conservative Christian) parents, they saw me as a sinner doomed to a life of hopelessness and alienation. They didn't recognize the peace and happiness that coming to terms with who I was and living openly and honestly brought me because they had been told by their spiritual leaders that being gay was immoral and equated to general misfortune, obligatory promiscuity, and endless suffering (in life and death). I used to really dislike this time of year. The holidays, at least in part, are meant to bring us together, but for many years my sexuality was the focus of holiday events, during which family members worked tirelessly to prove that their fear and frustration was warranted (even required to 'save my soul'). They'd convinced themselves that their lack of understanding was somehow compassionate and that their truths were universal. Things change. People change. Even the most hardheaded or stubborn people are capable of seeing things from other angles if you continue to share your own truths, extend your love, and give them time to adjust to new ways of thinking. I know this because last year my entire family attended my wedding. It was a beautiful day that helped heal some of the pain that I and other family members had been feeling for a long time. I am grateful for the fact that all of us have the ability to change our minds and transform our perspectives. I am also grateful that I live in a place where it's not a criminal act for people to love who they want and be who they are. The world is steadily becoming more open-minded and accepting - not only of LGBT individuals like myself, but also of those who are in some way different from the established 'norm'. My 21 year old cousin came out recently and it wasn't a big deal. Everyone in the family was very supportive and as far as I know it hasn't been an issue at all. It might be an understatement to say that this was a welcome change. I was happy to have been able to help pave the way for him to grow into himself without feeling the shame, self-hatred, and depression that I did. Often it just takes a single one of us to change the minds of many. I am grateful that so many of us in this community understand this truth. :)
    • What Are You Listening To Right Now? (Last post by Tarran)
    • It was 1969, I was about 2 years old, we'd just landed on the moon, and Sesame Street first came out - and this skit on that show was the very first version of this song I ever heard - I remember it as clearly as the moon landing on TV... enjoy! :D
    • Meditation Comes With a Price (Last post by Cyan Sarden)
    • Quote: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719544/ I remember a post about Shamanism and Mental Illness patients. I actually posted it at Force Academy. Last night, a long time member posted that he has been reading up on these sorts of things and posted the above link. In this article, it actually makes a case AGAINST meditation. I would be curious to see your thoughts. :) The conclusion deems meditation to be helpful and practical and tries to encourage medical professionals to educate themselves so they can apply the techniques better. It also says that strategies used for meditation are already present in modern psychology, making meditation compatible with treatments that are already being used in the field. As Arkayik already said: a de-mystification of meditation doesn't hurt. To me, meditation doesn't have a mystical side, never had.

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