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BlueDreams

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  1. It's an interesting history. It just feels a little incomplete. Studying spirit by scientific direct means very likely schluffed off. But the assumption that we are more than these flesh sacks likely hasn't followed suit nearly as extensively. In recent polls, at least half of scientists believe in a higher power. Most of that half define that to some degree as God. Most, particularly outside the US/UK do not see this as conflictual but more like different ways to look at the world. But I can see if I can find sources for what I mentioned if you need them. They're things I ran into while googling. Something not being of scientific study doesn't mean it's not there. It means we don't have good means or ethical methods of studying it or that it's more in the sphere of interpretation of data rather than the data giving us the answer. As an aside, the algorithm threw up this discussion between 2 astrophysicists about free will. It's a fun example of what I mean by having differing interpretations of similar data and observations. Warning: this one will be a little long winded I'm pretty sure my answer will differ from Manol's. I'm purposely not reading his before answering so it won't influence how I first thought of this question. I want to note first that there's interpretations of people's NDE's that I don't agree with in general. Part of that is the limited period that a person has to experience this form of being. Some NDE's include explicit or implicit assumptions of limitation in explaining their experiences and what they experienced in general. And some include interpretations of events that are obviously incorrect. A funny example of this was one in the more research oriented book I read who noted meeting a man in the afterlife with a long white beard and interpreting this after coming back as being Gandolf. I say this to note that I don't take NDE's as absolute sources of truth. To be fair, I don't take any source as absolute truth. It all gets filtered through really fallible material that will be limited by context and capacity. And I don't say that flippantly. It's one of my core values. I see that in others and I see it within myself and my experiences. My current position is nuanced. On the religions things I believe and am working to engage with the truth found in the BOM: I also think a lot about the parable of the Olive tree found in Jacob 5. There's a very blurred ending where the whole vineyard is described as one tree and multiple trees. Each tree a people. I think the end is one body and we have a work in it...but we're not the only work being had. We're not the single source of truth. There's been divine wisdom given to everyone everywhere in every people. What we do with that knowledge is important both individually and collectively. I've chosen a few of those works that I'm taking some time to at least go through samplings of them to explore and learn from these other sources of truth. I started with two very very different traditions. It's been so interesting to see core truths and aspects in them. Ones that I both resonate with and have to sit with and explore their potential value. Like nearby trees, I find myself supported in my own space while gleaning goodness from others and support from others. There are aspects of our faith that have exclusive claims and I think there's aspects of humanness that overaccentuate those in us as a faith...but there are aspects of our faith that have universalist claims as well that are far from exclusionary. I think those are getting more breathing space nowadays as we start to balance out the aspects of our faith that prefer comfort in absolutes. Judgments another thing all together. Personally I think Judgment has a specific cultural stigma and utility that is false. It's founded in punitive assertions and expectations. It lends itself to extreme depictions when viewing other people (people as monsters, bad, etc). It often leads to confusing revenge with justice. I don't think that form of judgment is true. It's out of balance with mercy. It doesn't really have a place for love. Worse, it can warp people's sense of love. I can imagine interpretations that focus on this definition of judgmentalism going into these NDE's and coming out realizing there is no form of this in the next life. Cuz it ain't true. That said I've seen people pendulum swing and struggle to acknowledge when something is wrong. They don't want to be mean/punitive/judgy/whathaveyou towards another so they dismiss or ignore when something is obviously wrong....let alone slightly off. I still value judgement as needed. I prefer describing it as loving judgment to help delineate other forms. This form of judgment is grounded in love and remembering who each person around me truly is at their core (Children of God, the essence of light and truth). And then it also recognizes when something feels out of alignment with said core truth and works to try and help them realign to something closer to that core source of goodness. I'm not worried about punishment or super toeing the line. I'm concerned about becoming, healing, re-establishing peace, and reducing harm to others from people who choose to stay out of alignment.* I see that form of judgment more in another feature of some NDE's called the life reviews, where people are shown their lives and are lovingly helped through the sometimes negative impacts of their decisions. *on my good minutes. It's still work to keep myself aligned with that way of being. I have plenty of judgmental thoughts that I'm not proud of nor do I think will persist into the eternities. With luv, BD
  2. I'll try to be less long winded for this bit. Manol gave a good response and I don't want to be too repetitive. This reminded me of the explanation I remember watching that took a purely naturalist response based on the information we already know about perception. Some of this is likely tied to it. Even if we take NDE's by their word and they really are experiencing something outside of physical consciousness, their experiences would still have to go through the filter of their brain and temporal descriptions to transmit the stories. Many NDE's will note and describe the limitations that said reality gives to trying to describe what exactly they experienced. But it also runs into limitations when giving a solid explanation for all that they experienced. For example, many of the stories I referenced are where their bodies would have had severe limitations in both perception, physical visibility, and just where it was compared to what they saw or experienced. From people leaving the room where their body was at to obstructions blocking of sight, to foreign objects that they didn't have a name for being described in detail. Likewise people who've experienced drug or psychologically induced hallucinations have also had NDE's and their accounts will usually describe a distinct difference. Not by degree, but more in kind. This difference can somewhat be seen with FMRI's as to what areas light up in the brain with said events. This was in an audible book so I don't have direct quotes. But to summarize from memory, thinking about NDE's would light up regions tied to memory. Whereas thinking about experiences like LSD would not. But there's other major differences. Psychedelics will usually warrant experiences that are very unique to the individual. There's no real rhyme or reason to them except that it fits within symbols, thoughts, and issues related to the person. These are at best loosely tied to reality around them. NDE's may have personal aspects to it, but follow pretty specific theme across accounts. How these are described are also likely to vary. I've known I few who've done psychedelics (usually medically guided ketamine and once shrooms). They generally described very helpful experiences that have real effects on them afterwards. But none of them thinks what they experienced really happened to them. They know they're hallucinations induced by drugs. That is not what's described by people who have NDE's, who often described it as more real than anything else they've ever experienced. It is interesting to think of how definitions of shifted based on focus. Evidence is still grounded largely in physical evidence and repeatable experimentation. And that will limit how one define amorphous constructs like consciousness. Which is more what I meant. As an aside, another book that I read recently that indirectly relates to this was The Awakened Brain by Lisa Miller. It discusses the science around the effect of spirituality on the brain. I really enjoyed it, but with this convo and other things that it's resurfaced, there's still this really indirect study of things like will, consciousness, and decision making. Science to me will always have a bit of a limitation to describing the human experience, let alone the spirit and/or consciousness of us. It's not really built to capture all that it is...but rather to dissect and analyze aspects of it. And that's absolutely valuable. It's just not all there is. With luv, BD
  3. It's estimated that 1 in 20 people have NDES. There's a ton of people and many do have events in their NDE'S that can be corroborated, though there are those that are far more esoteric. I'm delayed in an airport and wrot most of this on a plane. So bare with me in terms of likely errors and messy order in what follows: Perception is not that clear. There are the physiological methods to seeing yes. And they explain the vast majority of what we see here, even within physiological exceptions (ex. color blindness, physiological sensitivities). But that's not enough to dismiss the experiences of people who experience clear perceptions while physiologically dead, near death, or completely unconscious and unable to use normal means of perceptions. Many of said experiences are not overtly esoteric. I'm finishing a book right now called near death in the ICU by a doc who's open to these as real phenomenon but veers away from trying to explain them or insist they prove anything beyond, these being important experiences worthy of further study and healthier engagements by medical staff while in care. Because of the stance, she collected some really interesting stories that do not fit the norm. One chapter included stories of people who had an out of body experience and their OWN belief systems rejected any form of acknowledging that as a possibility. Or at least they never came to the realization that what they were experiencing was impossible. There's one of a man who was completely immobile from a massive car wreck that wanted to get a nurses attention that he needed to pee. He also had a ventilator and was unconscious with an uneven heart beat and bruised lungs. He tried talking to a nurse but they "ignored"him. So frustrated he "got out of bed" (ie his consciousness left the bed) and went down the hall to give him a piece of his mind. The nurse continued to ignore him. He woke up insistent on filing a complaint about the nurse, describing her and the area of the hospital he hadn't physically been conscious to experience in detail (she was a visiting nurse only lines up to work the night he arrived, completely unconscious and immobilized...which pieces together the timeline). When the doc suggest he may have experienced something abnormal, he quickly dismissed it and continued on with the reality he'd convinced himself of being ignored by the nurse he never actually met. NDE's can also shift how people perceive things once the return to physical consciousness. It also ignores that many NDE's describe a difference in how they perceived things while out of body. There can be a a bluring of senses, perceptions that seem more clear/vivid than what they experienced in body, and even perceptions they couldn't have known in body, like one where a doctors thoughts were reported by the patient post NDE. What all this at least suggests to me is that this form of perceiving may not be within our conventional understanding of physiological perception. Let me give an example from the book that gave details to how they experienced perception while out of body: Different means of perceiving: Different intensity and way to perceive stimuli seen here - this account would later gets more and more esoteric. I would note, even when they go esoteric there can be aspects that can be hard to give materialistic explanations. This woman's NDE starts fairly normally in terms of NDE with descriptions of meeting dead loved ones but with a distinct difference of a girl that she was told would be named Crystal who would have some serious mental health disorders but and help those around her learn of love and acceptance. She also had a doc dismiss her experiences when she came back and then told basically no one about what she experienced. Over 20 years later her daughter got pregnant and named the grandchild Crystal. She would have autism and serious audioprocessing issues. The grandmother didn't tell her daughter about her past experience but would be very active in helping to raise the child. One day out of the blue and without previous knowledge about what happened to her grandmother, Crystal tells her GMA that they met before, when she died. She told her details about the experience she'd told no one, let alone a young child. There's an account not of an NDE but it's near cousin: and out of body experience. This was during anesthesia with a curtain covering any chance of physical viewing during an out of body experience. The person saw the entire surgery in clear detail, including that the person performing the surgery wasn't the doc he expected but a student....and the experience was dismissed and it couldn't happen by the doctor because it doesn't fit our current understanding of perception. That there is a capacity for us to "see" beyond our physiological methods in the right circumstances shouldn't be readily dismissed. It may not lead to an esoteric belief of an afterlife or a consciousness completely separate from the body, but it still indicates that what it means to perceive may still be limited in our current models that ignore exceptions to the rules. That's a problem I've never died but I've had a couple esoteric experiences of my own. Ones that I don't have a clear naturalistic explanation for. So it's easier for me to believe something more might happen to someone else. I get if this is not within one's parameters of perception and belief that it would be dismissed via materialistic explanations that don't really explore why this may happen by refusing to engage with the limitations in understanding via naturalistic/empiricist methods of exploration and understanding. NDE's are ones that I would guess have a solid case. Much of it can be proven because it doesn't deal with our tangible plane as we know it. But the consistency in reports and themes across people, cultures, and beliefs gives me plenty of pause before dismissing it. I would say there have been and there have been elements that haven't been at all and ones that were fairly neutral or nuanced in their assertions around evolution. I lived in Texas in the bible belt when I first learned about evolution. My response compared to the mainstream largely protestant literalist stances on it were very night and day. So I deeply get that there's still a Christian sense of threat to evolution that was around at least in the last 20 year. I'm not sure the significance of pointing this out though. I would note that the sense of conflict between religion and science seems to beost tangible with a specific interpretation of faith that was found especially in the US and UK. That doesn't say much beyond said derivative that tend to be more literalist, conservative and/or fundamentalist in their religious practice. I would probably still go for interesting for me, personally. What illuminates a person is often subjective to their contexts I'm curious how you read that. Because the full paragraph is kinda like a non-definition to me. It starts out assertive and quickly devolves into a glorified 'we dunno as it's squish' and even hints and the inherent unknowableness of consciousness in thoroughly empirical/modern scientic terms. It does That makes sense...it fits some of the reductionist orientations in science to isolate variables and tighten relational constraints between them. Among other things. Neither do I. I'm not a fan of beliefs that assume as much or impose more protestant assertions of hell on LDS etiologies. I do think those are harmful to believe here in whatever form they take. But dismissing these events and illusions can also being problematic if not harmful. This book started with the account that first made her interested in these phenomena. She discussed a man who refused to go through a surgery due to a previous traumatic OBE he had when being put under. Refusing said treatment was a death sentence. But no one knew how to engage with his experience as a real event. So no one could address the trauma. If these were assumed to be potential side effects to unusual physical experiences there could be space for people to address and share with other what happened and receive support when what they experienced was negative. But because these aren't, patients often keep it to themselves, medical staff can continue to ignore or dismiss them, and experiences and our understanding of what's happening remains limited. Even in just naturalistic temporal based concerns, tphat should be seen as a problem. We all carry beliefs and constructs that support our current understanding of life around us. When we believe them we tend to focus on the values in them. The good in them. We struggle to toggle or recognize their potential pitfalls, restrictions in understanding and their inevitable shortcomings. With luv, BD
  4. @Analytics I’m going to see if I can sneak some time to mention my overarching thoughts. I should note, I am not a scientist. So, I definitely can’t talk about the underpinnings of what a physicist says as that’s by no means my background. I think part of my hesitation in entering is that in all the examples you give I have a knowledge-base deficit without much desire to buff up on certain subjects. So since people have talked a good amount about the physics part, I’m going to avoid that since it’s the knowledge base I feel least qualified to talk about. I do have an interest in biology, and neuroscience. So Imma focus on these aspects. Besides, my biggest concerns are the underpinning assumptions. Starting with your Intro. First with the use of “proof”…this is a seriously lofty claim that science in general hedges carefully around. Though I didn’t study a science, I studied a “Soft science” and the wording used when doing research or papers have left me always leave space for an exception. It’s such a big phenomenon that climate scientists started to discuss how they talk to a lay people about climate change to reduce that constant underpinning for cautious language for something that isn’t in the scientific uncertainty category any longer and is currently happening all around us. “Spirits,” Souls, or something less esoteric sounding like “consciousness” is not one of those absolutes we’ve nailed down via scientific inquiry. For example you give a broad assertions about NDE’s…that’s not actually true. This is something I’m interested in…and have read several books that focused on more the research or medical orientations around NDE’s. This is not a closed field, no one is fully certain what’s happening (though there’s certainly theories/hypotheses). This study also has some stigma in scientific circles which reduces funding and understanding for this area (though it’s an opening field for exploration) Two books that I’ve read in the past are called “After” by Bruce Greyson and “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander. Greyson’s book gives a synthesis of what occurs and is common themes in NDE’s, including the initial account that shook him when he met a patient who had an NDE and described exactly what he did and wore - down to a stain on his tie – in vivid detail while unconscious. That’s not an “illusion” that can easily be explained away. The other was from a neurosurgeon who had an NDE when he had a serious case of meningitis. The last part of the brain dissected the common science based explanations for what he experienced and why it doesn’t work for his circumstance. I also listened to a more brief explaination of what happened during NDE’s from a more materialist orientation….and it was surprisingly underwhelming and holey. Second there are many “best of books” The books you’re quoting sound like they absolutely fit in that category. But they come from a very specific mindset with underlying assumptions. That’s a problem. I’m currently doing a deeper dive of spiritual/religious beliefs. If I chose the “best of books” from solely a latter-day saint perspective, which I’ve done and valued…but I would get a very narrow pool to dive in. If I did that from solely a judeo-christian tradition, I’d still be limited and would swim within the parameters and assumption based on the bible and common interpretations/traditions based on it (Which I’ve also done and value). I’m currently taking a broader approach with a wider circle of “best books” Seeking out the best information from practice from world religions and exploring the spiritual values and truths emphasized differently. This again gives me something different. There are “best books” that conflict with the assumptions found in the books you’ve given. That needs to be taken into consideration too if one’s to have a broader understanding. There’s evidence that points to the idea that we might be missing something, scientifically, when thinking of what makes us, us. But whether it’s engaged with and how is often based on the presuppositions moving into this. My brother did study physic in college. He’s currently agnostic-ish (pretty sure). He tends to lean more toward a higher power but still doubting around exams and stressful situations . But either way, it’s been interesting to see how he engages with experiences I’ve had. Some that are weirdly specific. It either kinda just slides away into non-important for his life and life-view or is casually joked about. It’s not really deeply engaged beyond respectfully listening at times. That orientation doesn’t warrant to much beyond what he already deems important. Which means when a question, query, or study would be postulated by someone like him, the bias would be towards questions that ignore these experiences or frame them within their own assumptive terms and methods for study. That’s a problem for “proof.” Kinda a similar problem when you get companies funding research into their products. If you prime the pump, you’ll get closer to what you want or expect to here and will more readily dismiss what you don’t. On to part 2 How one might answer this would vary from person to person and religious tradition to religious tradition. Even in the assumption of the quote you give around judeo-christian belief about souled animals….is not correct. When I google “do animals have souls” I find about 3-5 different answers from JUST a judeo-christian perspective. This ranges from “we dunno, the bible doesn’t say much about this” to “yes, but” responses to “definitely not, but they have consciousness.” This is a common problem when I see atheist/agnostic/secular oriented scientist books discussing religious beliefs: what they depict is usually oversimplified and thus becomes a bit of a strawman. Again, a problem…because its coming from an extremely limited pool to draw from. I as a latter-day saint am happily comfortable saying “I dunno” to your questions on this. I feel religiously validated in that “I dunno” based on how I view and engage with my religious practice and beliefs. I know other faiths could probably happily extract an answer based on their beliefs that gave a more fleshed out explanation. Those that have reincarnation as a belief would probably shrug and go, the spirit will just reside in a different from. It’s no more homo erectus than you are the clothes you’re currently wearing. Which means the the assumptive “proof” falls pretty flat. I also find it weird for a biologist to say that biology proves no one has a soul. I’ve never seen a study trying to suss out the soulness of an animal. Heck, I’ve seen research that hesitates to name behaviors similar in us found in other animals as “happy” or “sad” or “grief” etc…because it can anthropomorphize a different species. The line of thought goes, it may look similar but we don’t have a means to prove that these animal experiences happiness or sadness or grief or anger. It’s impossible to fully study. If something so simple is impossible to fully assess with certainty, then I have no clue how biology could tackle that soul as a whole and which belief system is closest to “getting it right” or if none of them do. When you brought up part 3 I remembered an old book I read from my college days that I really liked. It was called “Aping Mankind” by Raymond Tallis. He has background in neuroscience, particularly in terms of practical application as a former medical doctor and later professor. His book ripped through the common assumptions, ideological underpinnings, and research flaws found in neuroscience and evolutionary theories to explain human consciousness, behavior, and culture. There’s massive limitations that effect what questions can currently be answered. I quite literally dusted off my old copy and started looking for some tidbits tied to what you mentioned. I found 3 main themes in one section tied to neuroscientific studies using fMRI machines in particular. This included oversimplified definitions/stimuli to make assumption about large and complex human constructs, indirect measures of brain activity being the core manner to do said research, and that the wide variations in results of even simple things like motor function was often lost when averaging results. He gave many different examples and in-depth examples of this. For example he described a paper that noted that physical and social pains seem to “light up” the same area of the brain that then concluded that this shows that in social creatures “the need for solidarity is served by making social exclusion painful and this requirement is met by employing circuitry that has already developed to register physical pain” he notes that a more plausible interpretation is that “the failure to demonstrate fundamental differences between stubbing your tow” and “blackballed by a club…is a measure of the limitation of fMRI scanning and, indeed, other modes of brain scanning.” He also would later go into conceptual limitations and absurdities. I would note for myself, a common conceptual concern I had in all your posts is what are the definitions and parameters for the terms you're using. What is free will? Are we talking the freedom to choose completely independently or one of mor ground choice, set in a context of social, biological, and environmental contexts, or something else? What is consciousness? Is it just the capacity to engage with certain stimuli or prompts, is it the sense of self? What is consciousness in comparison to the soul/spirit? What is the soul/spirit? Is there a universal definition of that (no, no there is definitely not) and if not who’s definition do we use? How one might answer this means that there may be 1000’s of different ways one might engage with research structuring, questions, and other preparations to decides how and what to study in neuroscience…and since scientific study tends to be reductive (as in reducing wholes to parts and variables to control/manipulate), these concepts may lose functional meaning as you try to find ways to easily quantify them. That’s a big problem in my book. As an example as to how big, based on my own experiences, biases, and professional focus…I don’t even know if I really agree with your first sentence in part 3! Particularly this part in bold. My problem with it is that I don’t know if I believe it consistently “drives the body” I mentioned in a post to teancum that I work with pretty fractured people where my job feels like I’m trying to put humpty back together again. Quite often their bodies are driven by parts that aren’t what I’d consider that fundamental aspect of a person, distinctive from your body. If anything they were run by very earth bound survival mechanisms and lessons that are triggered by external stimuli. I have to work to help peel those back eough to find that core self in a large ball of reactionary responses and then help that core self “drive” them more than their instincts. So for me I know very well that other things can drive the body and do in many many people. I don’t see the spirit necessarily fully in charge of the body. Even in my spiritual beliefs, I see this time as more a time to learn “self-mastery” Or in other words to learn how to have that core Self practice mastery over the elements that make this physical temporal self. It has that opportunity by being embodies/endowed this new estate of existence. To intertwine the eternal in an instinct driven and temporal bound sphere. I have no clue how I’d design a study to explore my belief within scientific inquiry. Because that’s not what scientific inquiry is there for. It’s not focused on esoteric explorations, but rather materialist oriented ventures. So this is why your proofs don’t really do much to prove it for me. It’s not that the information you’ve given isn’t interesting. It is. I mulled if over for a couple days. But interesting is not sufficient to warrant describing this as proof for me. With luv, BD
  5. I hesitate To jump into the thread. Both for time (I'm leaving on vacation in a couple days and am busy due to it) but I've found what I'm reading interesting. So I can't guarantee that I'll be able to answer much as I'd like. But I think the split brain thing is a little misunderstood, particularly in differentiating between mind, consciousness, and sense of self. People with split brains, may engage and think more distinctively and more overtly than most do, but they still have a singular sense of self. This personally makes sense to me. We generally navigate multiple impulses within ourselves whether we're aware of it or not. Each time my daughter fights me, for example, there's a part of me that want to smack her in anger and a (luckily more developed and dominate part) that insists on being patient or finding non-violent means to get through the situation. On the religious front, there's a part of me that is certain of my experience of God and that there is a God/afterlife. There's another skeptic part of me that is never certain and is a chronic source of doubt and analysis for other plausible conclusions or explanations. There's core aspect of of me that acts as a middleman/pacifier between the two. Everyone has parts within themselves. Most are integrated to a degree that we don't really notice it. I have a client who has DID (dissociative identity disorder). Their parts are far more distinct and come from severe childhood traumas that fractured and froze memories into the personalities of them at the times of trauma. Access to these memories often included distinct personality shifts that effected everything from posture, voice, engagement with me, and even their handwriting and diction. They wouldn't remember or engage with the memories/knowledge these parts held. It was astounding to watch. Note that I use past tense. The more that this person integrated the information and parts of their experiences into the whole self the less and less distinct these parts have become. The problem I see in this example, is one of the main problems I have with assumptions founding much of scientific methodologies: they're reductionistic. This isn't always a bad thing. It's useful in understanding what mechanism in a system is doing what. But it can be a problem when making assertions about the total function and naming the system. So for this, scientific inquiry and data can note how the brain utilizes different neural pathways to make a congruent picture. it can point to what damaging those neural pathways splits. This can include bahaviors, motor processing, translation of data, opinions, etc. But What it can't do/what takes a leap to interpretation is assuming that these equal "the mind" and that the mind equals "consciousness" and that consciousness is the same as "the soul." That's a big leap...and one that's not warranted IMHO. So for example if I had a split brain and one part of me expressed my God-engaged part and another my "skeptic" part, that doesn't mean I've gained to consciousnesses. It means aspect of my whole do not engage the same way as they used to due to brain damage. My self, the part of me that is constant no matter how I've shifted isn't necessarily touched. When I'm engaging with said client with DID, there is a self that I will reach for who is different and constant beyond their parts. I've done the same with personality disorder, where parts are also taking over...I find a core self that engages with said parts (but isn't a part) in a wise and different way. When said clients have found "self" it's often described as a spiritual experience. It's this self that is hard to even define using scientific language...let alone study. And it's this self that is what I associate with spirit. When I can get this aspect of a human to be in the driver's seat of their mind and life, they start to deeply heal and reintegrate the parts that are out of whack. (PS. THere's a newer therapy model that's based on this called internal family systems). Gotta run! If I have more time I hope to say more on other aspects of the OP. With luv, BD
  6. Seconding what MS said. My first response when I read it was...wait, isn't that what the temple recommend already said? I don't feel really pressed to change my habits as is. I wear them most the time with a number of exceptions for activities that it doesn't make sense to wear them. And in those I'm usually wearing tanks and shorts. Heck, with garments I'm wearing shorts in the warmer seasons.
  7. I can't remember if i mentioned this here before, but on my instructions I got two different takes in the same instructions. I had an older lady and a younger lady giving them to me. The older was obviously more strict about what she did. The younger less so. So they would gently interject their differences at points. Which gave me an overall impression that there were many ways to be respectful with the garments and still be fine. I preferred the on display notion that there's many ways to live a principle of keeping the garment as a sacred emblem of covenants. (Which is how I've always seen them. I don't think I took them as separate from my covenants but markers of them and my own personal temple that I carried with me wherever I went). That said, this was prior to shifting about not telling people what to do with their bras. So I got used to wearing it on top and prefer it that way now for several pragmatic reasons. It would keep my g's from peaking out, would sometimes act like a tank top with less fabric, particularly with maternity bras, and I don't have to clean/buy as many bras because they would last longer from less wear and tear. Of course post covid, I simply wear bras less. I don't see the point in them most days and don't enjoy being uncomfortable. With luv, BD
  8. Hi Zealously, I'm going to start with what I agree with first. That's what's in the Bold. I think we do not fully have a grasp on what the divine feminine is. I think there's hints of it everywhere. I think much of it is not structural per se. Italicized are the parts that I'm ehh on. As in I don't fully agree nor disagree with you. The first one I italicized, I think there's aspect that are largely creative and nuanced in manifesting the powers of God, period. That includes Priesthood and anyone who utilizes it. The second one is that I believe that about all humans everywhere. People in general have more capacity that mortality, circumstance, and our current values give full access to. I think most people miss the beauty in each individual quite a bit. The underlined I'm either uncomfortable with or makes me wince. Those fall under 3 reasons: 1.) I don't like only-isms. As in I don't like or believe the idea that only those endowed and only through the temple can we come to know the divine feminine. For one, that's not true from my experience. For another it ends up limiting potential wisdom/knowledge sources. And lastly, that's not the point of the Temple. 2.) This is a classic description of putting women on a pedestal. It's by no means comforting or enlightening for women. It can often feel patronizing and IMHO also leads to a false form of humility among the men who share it. It also ironically can leave men more dismissive of women's voices. Because those who disagree with it (which I promise you, will be basically about every woman on this board no matter their level of current affiliation with the church) are going to be dismissed as "not getting it." Which is a bit ironic. Because women, who are supposedly filled with untapped wisdom and supposedly have such saving power as to impede the doom of humanity...are dismissed when they point out a problem in this line of thought. So without meaning to, it becomes a man who needs to teach us women about our real worth and place. 3.) the set up leaves women realistically at a reduced space of voice and pragmatic power. It maintains a problem rather than fixes it, by trying to make women feel special. It also leaves women having as the main reason for their own sense of injustice, inequity, or dissatisfaction with the status quo. Again, I don't think you mean any harm. But parts of your assumptions have been harmful for many of us. I do not like pedestals. I do not enjoy an overly idealist and beatific view of women. My power and my beauty comes in my capacity to turn sh*t and trash into compost and compost into life. In dreadging into the ugly corners of a person's soul to participate deeply in the work of redemption. It comes in getting dirty. It comes in active participation and equal partnership with men. Etc. We are not there yet in having women's experiences, voice, and capacities fully realized in the church. That is a cultural heritage that's stuck with us from the many cultures of the past that have reduced the significance and importance of women's voices and power in institutional, familial, and communal spheres. We've grown. We have some solid doctrine that could lead to even further growth that's still not well fleshed out. But we've got quite a ways away. We being all of us. With luv, BD
  9. I have a client who's partner is into the religious fanaticism. Like deeply. Some of the stuff they've told me has made my jaw drop, laugh out loud, and deeply worry about my client's safety. I don't think their local ward leaders have any clue how out to lunch this individual is. I don't think the partner I work with fully knows all the crazy this person believes, since they've only received more info about their beliefs a piece at a time. People like this tend to know when their beliefs wouldn't be readily received by others and keep it hidden for the most part. They'll justify it as being more information than the general church is ready for, or higher knowledge, or that they're in some way more special than the general church body. A lot of the latter really. I actually think that's less productive than general warnings. For one, it's impossible to name every small nut jub group and person. For another, it still gives leverage for others to differentiate them from these others. General warnings and guidance have the added benefit of throwing a wide net over several potential concerns and leave people more cautionary when it inevitably morphs shape to the new hip "I'm extra spiritual because I do X" trend that follows. With luv, BD
  10. I'm sorry for the pain that likely caused you while you're figuring out your new space In life. I honestly don't know why that happened. I assume a big part of it is natural. I've moved wards countless times in my life. Almost none of the relationships stay. Even when the move is small. That goes for when I've moved schools, jobs, and other sources for relational engagement as well. This includes really good friends at the time. I've made so many major shifts in my life that I kinda just expect it. Part of it is just natural... Just a part of what happens as we transition in life particularly when the main vehicle of our engagement with said people is removed. I would assume that's the majority of the ward. Part of it could be more. It could be some didn't know how to engage. It could be a couple were like carbon dioxide and have a 'good riddance' mentality. I doubt that's most. I'd be surprised if that was more than just a few. Not because I don't think that element can be there. But because the general rule with major shifts in where we socialize means that who you'll socialize with will majorly shift. With luv, BD
  11. I think so. I think there've been many who had a faith crisis or transition that's built a more robust/dynamic faith for themselves due to the experience. And I think there's been those who've had to grow in their faith and experiences by engaging with those who've had one and either stayed or left depending. With luv, BD
  12. Thanks, this makes a little more sense to me as to what you mean. I don't know if I would describe it that way, per se. But I do think there's an aspect of the experiences of others that have made me learn and expand my own faith practice. Though I also wouldn't have described myself as slumbering prior either. Engaging with people in different ways and dynamics just tends to shift us in one way or another. With luv, BD
  13. THanks. Now I completely agree With luv, BD
  14. Teancum, why does his post represent most members while mine and others who've said something similar here do not?....even though there are more of us than him even in this thread saying otherwise. With luv, BD
  15. Sorry for the delay. I'm in the middle of garden busy season moving a ton of dirt wood chips and keeping an excessive amount of plants alive (last time I counted I had around 300 starts...I have a problem) is currently my main priority among all the other balls I'm trying to keep juggling. I absolutely wouldn't say that the women's blessings "exceed" those for the men. I think that's tied more to how one prioritizes looking at the differences in both ceremonies. There are and were other differences that could easily be interpreted in the reverse. The overarching temple ceremony, IMHO, isn't supposed to indicate one gender is getting something better or worse. Technically It would probably be more than two workers as there's usually the man who officiates from the alter, 1-2 women and 1-2 additional men also in there. I don't put much umph on where they're seated. For one, if there are too many of one gender to seat on one side, they'll have spill over on the other side. Usually a couple or two will take advantage of this and sit together. No one stops them. I think there is lovely symbolism in the dualism though. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I can't imagine a more beautiful way. For one Prior to the many shifts in the last few years, and when I was a temple worker, I absolutely could imagine a better way. I spent my time deeply studying the temple as much as I could I could see both where the temple was pointing to and also see how it could feasibly do better in pointing to it. Many of the recent changes were a bit validating to what I was seeing in my studies. So even within the temple, It can be (and has become) more beautiful. I also think there's other religious practices that have far more fleshed out and nuance rituals/doctrines and beautifully described the duality of life and of humanity. Right now I'm studying Odinali, which is the igbo religion prior to christian colonization. There are aspects of it that I've found absolutely breathtaking and envious (in a holy way ) on how they better flesh out the complex engagements of dual natures, including masculine and feminine. I deeply value the temple but believe that in terms of its expression of eternal matters it is based in part by what we are willing and able to see within our generation. I expect more beauty to come because it in it's own ways is also sealing our communal growth in knowledge and restoration. Sorta...there's still a major aspect of non-parallel sharing in the ordinances. With luv, BD
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