The January 2023 Philosophy Book of the Month is Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise by John K Danenbarger.

Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Gertie
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Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Post by Gertie »

Ecurb wrote: March 25th, 2021, 11:01 am
Sculptor1 wrote: March 24th, 2021, 7:30 am
But the sum of what Jesus was supposed to have taught does not amount to kindness, love, concern, and peace.
It amounts to a threat. If you do not act in the way I says you will be damned. Jesus also says you need to jettison family and follow me, or else. Be subservient to me, or else. Be celibate, or else. Jesus says you are born ill and commands you to be well, or else.....



Do yourself a favour and have the courage to read the bits you don't like.[/b]
Your quote mining is not impressive, Sculptor. In fact, Matthew 25, from which you mine one quote, suggests that love and kindness are more important than obedience or faith. Here are some of those verses:
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Those of us who are educated know that "celibate" means "unmarried". Perhaps Sculptor meant "abstinent", since Jesus (as I recall) never contemns marriage. He changed that water into wine at Cana, didn't he?

To Scott: don't mind Sculptor. He's a jerk to everyone. Just ignore him. The New Testament is complicated, and Jesus does say, "I came not to bring peace, but a sword", but Sculptor is anti-intellectual, and is not interested in exploring the complexities of seeming contradictions in it.

By the way, as I understand it, Judaism is not heirarchical. "Rabai" simply means "teacher" in Hebrew, and rabais have no official duties, unlike Catholic priests who alone can hear confessions, give communion, officiate sacraments, etc.
I think we have to first bear in mind several caveats when reading the Gospels - firstly that it's unlikely anyone was following Jesus around writing down his words, and secondly the gospels aren't intended to be an accurate historical account, they are theological constructs with their own agendas - and each agenda has its own slant. Then there are the usual problems associated with oral accounts being written down decades later by someone who wasn't there and doesn't even speak the same language.

So to believe Jesus spoke any specific set of words has to be treated with caution. Quote battles which point to inconsistencies are more usefully addressed when we bear all this in mind.

What we can do is try to get the gist of his message, which was obviously a powerful one. Personally I favour the apocalyptic prophet interpretation. I think Jesus was saying that the current religious leadership were failing, had betrayed Yahweh and his special covenant with his chosen people (one based on Old Testament law). These sort of prophets often popped up in the Old Testament in times of hardship - invasion and enslavement, as an explanation for the situation. The messiah or new leader who will save them tradition is linked to this. And the Jews got invaded a lot!

Jesus's particular message seems to be that Yahweh is going to directly intervene and overthrow the current situation, the Jewish leadership as well as the occupying Romans, instituting his own kingdom here on earth in its place. Imminently. The end of things as people know them is very nigh. And Yahweh will judge those who failed him. (There is a 'save yourselves!' kind of threat in that).

The answer is to make it right for yourself before you get judged. Don't worry about material things or family ties - cast all those concerns aside, every other concern, because everything is about to change. Everything. So listen to me, I've got this special revelation from Yahweh which will save you when it happens.

It didn't happen of course. And that has led to a reinterpretation of Jesus's message, rather than it dying with him. The gospels are already beginning that reinterpretation. Mark is the earliest gospel, and probably more reliable than the others. But it too is a theological narrative, constructed in a way meant to tell a grander story than what Jesus said or did. By the time we get to John's gospel and Paul's letters, we're in deep theological reassessment and interpretation. And Jesus himself is no longer just a man with a message from Yahweh.

Passages like the one you quoted resonate with lots of people, it's powerful. But it fits the same apocalyptic context as the one saying leave your possessions and family behind and follow me, have no care for them. The stories of Mrs Mathew, Mrs Mark, Mrs Luke and Mrs John and their abandoned kids don't get told.
Tegularius
Posts: 640
Joined: February 6th, 2021, 5:27 am

Re: Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Post by Tegularius »

Sculptor1 wrote: March 25th, 2021, 7:34 am
Tegularius wrote: March 24th, 2021, 8:04 pm
Sculptor1 wrote: March 24th, 2021, 6:10 pm
Tegularius wrote: March 24th, 2021, 4:52 pm
Truth discovered reinforces itself through organization. Conversely the truths created to serve ourselves becomes more of a lie or non-truth when it's organized by compounding that which has no reality external to the species which applies it.

It seems obvious to me that "a created truth", is not a truth in any meaningful sense, especially in the religious and "spiritual" context.
These are nothing but fantasies, and that is established, since when those ideas are brought to the scrutiny they fail.
I'm not disagreeing when measured in black & white. But there is that which we accept as true in our views and behaviors in that we abide by them and more or less controlled by them. It's not an absurd assumption to think that every intelligent species creates its own endemic values which intelligence demands it must do as a hallmark of its existence. Of course this wouldn't equate to any objective truth which applies equally to anyone or any species. Whatever exists religiously, spiritually, societally, are not fundamental truths but psychological ones containing their own errors and ambivalences. In short, not fundamental fixed truths, but relational ones replete with their own errors which may operate and rule for many hundreds of years or more quite successfully.
It is an abuse of langauge to call thes sorts of endemic beliefs "truth".
The word "truth" is ultimately as ambiguous as god. What does it even mean! We judge based on what is true for us or what seems true externally. What we call truth does not relate to any profound revelations or mystery but simply to human judgement in a constant state of flux. There can be nothing objective about truth since that concept is our own creation just like we were driven to invent god(s) since none ever showed up on the planet or expounded itself in any way. If truth is no better than a fact then there's nothing more to be understood being the simplest of all concepts to understand. Not least if that is its modus religions and their fictional deities would disappear as well.
The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man ... Nietzsche
Ecurb
Posts: 1969
Joined: May 9th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Re: Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Post by Ecurb »

Gertie wrote: March 25th, 2021, 5:33 pm

I think we have to first bear in mind several caveats when reading the Gospels - firstly that it's unlikely anyone was following Jesus around writing down his words, and secondly the gospels aren't intended to be an accurate historical account, they are theological constructs with their own agendas - and each agenda has its own slant. Then there are the usual problems associated with oral accounts being written down decades later by someone who wasn't there and doesn't even speak the same language.

So to believe Jesus spoke any specific set of words has to be treated with caution. Quote battles which point to inconsistencies are more usefully addressed when we bear all this in mind.

What we can do is try to get the gist of his message, which was obviously a powerful one. Personally I favour the apocalyptic prophet interpretation. I think Jesus was saying that the current religious leadership were failing, had betrayed Yahweh and his special covenant with his chosen people (one based on Old Testament law). These sort of prophets often popped up in the Old Testament in times of hardship - invasion and enslavement, as an explanation for the situation. The messiah or new leader who will save them tradition is linked to this. And the Jews got invaded a lot!

Jesus's particular message seems to be that Yahweh is going to directly intervene and overthrow the current situation, the Jewish leadership as well as the occupying Romans, instituting his own kingdom here on earth in its place. Imminently. The end of things as people know them is very nigh. And Yahweh will judge those who failed him. (There is a 'save yourselves!' kind of threat in that).

The answer is to make it right for yourself before you get judged. Don't worry about material things or family ties - cast all those concerns aside, every other concern, because everything is about to change. Everything. So listen to me, I've got this special revelation from Yahweh which will save you when it happens.

It didn't happen of course. And that has led to a reinterpretation of Jesus's message, rather than it dying with him. The gospels are already beginning that reinterpretation. Mark is the earliest gospel, and probably more reliable than the others. But it too is a theological narrative, constructed in a way meant to tell a grander story than what Jesus said or did. By the time we get to John's gospel and Paul's letters, we're in deep theological reassessment and interpretation. And Jesus himself is no longer just a man with a message from Yahweh.

Passages like the one you quoted resonate with lots of people, it's powerful. But it fits the same apocalyptic context as the one saying leave your possessions and family behind and follow me, have no care for them. The stories of Mrs Mathew, Mrs Mark, Mrs Luke and Mrs John and their abandoned kids don't get told.
In addition, Jesus (or, at least, the Jesus of the Gospels) spoke in parables and metaphors. It's difficult to tell when he is speaking abstractly and symbolically.

I disagree that the gospels read like theology. They read like old-fashioned biography (I think). Like Boswell's "Life of Johnson" they consist largely of quotes from the Master. As you point out, these may not be accurate quotes -- but some of them might be. After all Jesus' disciples revered and worshipped Him. It is likely that they tried to remember exactly what he said -- more than perhaps they would have had he been a secular figure. We know, of course, that historians like Herodatus invented quotes for their characters that represented what the historian thought the historical figure might have (or should have) said.

Jesus's preaching, of course, DOES read like theology, and the gospels are replete with it. The Pauline letters were actually written before the gospels -- so Christian theology (as represented by Paul) actually precedes the written myth and the written teachings of Jesus. Paul had no gospels when he wrote other than the oral tales from which the gospels derive.

Regarding the anti-family bent of Jesus' teachings, I'd suggest that family was the essential reality of Roman and Hebrew culture. If you murdered someone without a family, you could not be prosecuted under Roman law because there was no plaintiff. IN most pre-industrial societies (and certainly in Rome and Israel) family was the economic, political, and social basis for all aspects of life. Indeed Judaism was the tribal religion of the "Chosen People", bonded by blood. I think much of Jesus' anti-family preaching is probably best understood in this context. "Love your neighbor," might be seen as a strange demand to those for whom family ties are the only ties worth attending to. If a preacher was preaching exclusively to the morbidly obese, he might speak out against the worship of food. IN our modern, divorce ridden, capitalist society, preachers preach in support of family ties, because for us they are (perhaps) too weak. The opposite was probably true under Augustus. (I'll grant that I have no idea whether the apostles were married with children.)
Ecurb
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Joined: May 9th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Re: Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Post by Ecurb »

One more thing about "family": Have you ever read George Orwell's famous essay, "Reflections on Gandhi"? (If not, stop reading this post and read it; http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300011h.html#part51.) Teaser: it begins with one of the great opening lines: "Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent..."

ONe of Orwell's (and Gandhi's) points was that saints are required to love everyone equally. Gandhi was aware of this. He didn't sleep with his wife for the last 20+ years of their marriage because (from memory), "Close associations create conflicts in loyalty." No doubt this is true. Jesus was required to love all mankind. So are the other Saints of His church.

Orwell's point was that some people suggest that we would all like to be saints, were it not so difficult. Orwell disagrees. He says that for most of us, "love" means favoring one person over others, and we want and aspire to do so. We don't want to be saints. We want to love our children and spouses. But I think it is also true that Saints are required to do otherwise, and if Christians aspire to be saints, perhaps they are so required as well. Can this view be compatible with family life? I don't have a strong opinion.
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Sculptor1
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Re: Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Post by Sculptor1 »

Tegularius wrote: March 25th, 2021, 6:46 pm
Sculptor1 wrote: March 25th, 2021, 7:34 am
Tegularius wrote: March 24th, 2021, 8:04 pm
Sculptor1 wrote: March 24th, 2021, 6:10 pm


It seems obvious to me that "a created truth", is not a truth in any meaningful sense, especially in the religious and "spiritual" context.
These are nothing but fantasies, and that is established, since when those ideas are brought to the scrutiny they fail.
I'm not disagreeing when measured in black & white. But there is that which we accept as true in our views and behaviors in that we abide by them and more or less controlled by them. It's not an absurd assumption to think that every intelligent species creates its own endemic values which intelligence demands it must do as a hallmark of its existence. Of course this wouldn't equate to any objective truth which applies equally to anyone or any species. Whatever exists religiously, spiritually, societally, are not fundamental truths but psychological ones containing their own errors and ambivalences. In short, not fundamental fixed truths, but relational ones replete with their own errors which may operate and rule for many hundreds of years or more quite successfully.
It is an abuse of langauge to call thes sorts of endemic beliefs "truth".
The word "truth" is ultimately as ambiguous as god. What does it even mean! We judge based on what is true for us or what seems true externally. What we call truth does not relate to any profound revelations or mystery but simply to human judgement in a constant state of flux. There can be nothing objective about truth since that concept is our own creation just like we were driven to invent god(s) since none ever showed up on the planet or expounded itself in any way. If truth is no better than a fact then there's nothing more to be understood being the simplest of all concepts to understand. Not least if that is its modus religions and their fictional deities would disappear as well.
You mean "truth" is meaningless.
Tegularius
Posts: 640
Joined: February 6th, 2021, 5:27 am

Re: Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Post by Tegularius »

Sculptor1 wrote: March 26th, 2021, 9:44 am
Tegularius wrote: March 25th, 2021, 6:46 pm
Sculptor1 wrote: March 25th, 2021, 7:34 am
Tegularius wrote: March 24th, 2021, 8:04 pm
I'm not disagreeing when measured in black & white. But there is that which we accept as true in our views and behaviors in that we abide by them and more or less controlled by them. It's not an absurd assumption to think that every intelligent species creates its own endemic values which intelligence demands it must do as a hallmark of its existence. Of course this wouldn't equate to any objective truth which applies equally to anyone or any species. Whatever exists religiously, spiritually, societally, are not fundamental truths but psychological ones containing their own errors and ambivalences. In short, not fundamental fixed truths, but relational ones replete with their own errors which may operate and rule for many hundreds of years or more quite successfully.
It is an abuse of langauge to call thes sorts of endemic beliefs "truth".
The word "truth" is ultimately as ambiguous as god. What does it even mean! We judge based on what is true for us or what seems true externally. What we call truth does not relate to any profound revelations or mystery but simply to human judgement in a constant state of flux. There can be nothing objective about truth since that concept is our own creation just like we were driven to invent god(s) since none ever showed up on the planet or expounded itself in any way. If truth is no better than a fact then there's nothing more to be understood being the simplest of all concepts to understand. Not least if that is its modus religions and their fictional deities would disappear as well.
You mean "truth" is meaningless.
Truth as some kind of absolute which no reality but only philosophy creates, then yes, it's meaningless. But if truth is simply an extract of shifting perspectives temporarily in effect then truth or its simulacrum obviously exists in our world.
The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man ... Nietzsche
evolution
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Re: Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Post by evolution »

Scott wrote: March 22nd, 2021, 12:57 pm Some have described my
personal overall philosophy of spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline)
as spiritual anarchism, which is not inaccurate insofar as one use's the term anarchism in the original sense that it was used by the man who coined it, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who wrote that liberty and non-violence are the mother, not the daughter, of order.

However, a less equivocal label for my political philosophy of political freedom might be self-government rather than the word anarchism, even though both are accurate labels as I use the terms. Likewise, a less equivocal label for my spiritual philosophy might be (1) spiritual freedom or (2) self-discipline rather than (3) spiritual anarchism, but I use all three interchangeably as synonyms, so as I use the terms either one works.

I am sure that I would disagree with Dr. Wayne Dyer about many things. Indeed, I do not doubt that any two human beings disagree about many things.

Nonetheless, especially in regard to overly organized religion, Dr. Wayne Dyer's comments may have some strong parallels to my own philosophy of so-called spiritual anarchism:

Dr. Wayne Dyer (1940-2015) wrote: My beliefs are that the truth is a truth until you organize it, and then it becomes a lie. I don't think that Jesus was teaching Christianity, Jesus was teaching kindness, love, concern, and peace. What I tell people is don't be Christian, be Christ-like. Don't be Buddhist, be Buddha-like. Religion is orthodoxy, rules and historical scriptures maintained by people over long periods of time. Generally, people are raised to obey the customs and practices of that religion without question. These are customs and expectations from outside the person and do not fit my definition of spiritual.

What do you think of Dr. Wayne Dyer's credos as quoted above? Do you agree? If not, why not?
Why not just be God-like, instead? This would save all the confusion and disagreeing.

After all what possible good reason could there be for even wanting to follow one of the many just human made up religions anyway?

Were previous human beings savvy to some knowledge that current human beings could not be?
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Sy Borg
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Re: Dr. Wayne Dyer's Credos: Truth becomes a lie when organized.

Post by Sy Borg »

Scott wrote: March 22nd, 2021, 12:57 pm Some have described my
personal overall philosophy of spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline)
as spiritual anarchism, which is not inaccurate insofar as one use's the term anarchism in the original sense that it was used by the man who coined it, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who wrote that liberty and non-violence are the mother, not the daughter, of order.

However, a less equivocal label for my political philosophy of political freedom might be self-government rather than the word anarchism, even though both are accurate labels as I use the terms. Likewise, a less equivocal label for my spiritual philosophy might be (1) spiritual freedom or (2) self-discipline rather than (3) spiritual anarchism, but I use all three interchangeably as synonyms, so as I use the terms either one works.

I am sure that I would disagree with Dr. Wayne Dyer about many things. Indeed, I do not doubt that any two human beings disagree about many things.

Nonetheless, especially in regard to overly organized religion, Dr. Wayne Dyer's comments may have some strong parallels to my own philosophy of so-called spiritual anarchism:

Dr. Wayne Dyer (1940-2015) wrote: My beliefs are that the truth is a truth until you organize it, and then it becomes a lie. I don't think that Jesus was teaching Christianity, Jesus was teaching kindness, love, concern, and peace. What I tell people is don't be Christian, be Christ-like. Don't be Buddhist, be Buddha-like. Religion is orthodoxy, rules and historical scriptures maintained by people over long periods of time. Generally, people are raised to obey the customs and practices of that religion without question. These are customs and expectations from outside the person and do not fit my definition of spiritual.

What do you think of Dr. Wayne Dyer's credos as quoted above? Do you agree? If not, why not?
"Institutionalised" paints a clearer picture than the much more general term, "organised". Once you create institutions of people, the people become secondary to the institution. Consider how many churches have placed the reputation and finances of the church over the welfare of children being abused by clergy, and not just the Catholic Church.

Ancient religions appear to have twin sources. One was based on esoteric observations of those who had undergone peak, or spiritual, experiences. The other was based on the problem of getting large groups of hominids to play nicely with each other, or at least not to freely rape, murder and pillage. If a group organises itself it improves the chances of group survival. But how to motivate them? Enter a deity that knows all that you do and think, and who will punish you if you misbehave. The politics soon seems to swamp any serious quest for the esoteric experiences of religions' original role models.

In a way, this is about what used to be called Chinese Whispers (equivalent PC terms don't get the point across, alas), that is, each passed-on message alters the original message a little more until it chances completely. Religions lie aplenty but they are not wrong about everything. I think there is still a baby in religion's bathwater to be salvaged, but I think that philosophy and immersion access that same "baby". Religion is just one path, but it's a gnarly way due to its politicisation.
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