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Olmec Donald

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Everything posted by Olmec Donald

  1. Would there be back-pay (preferably with interest) for former Seminary teachers? Asking for a friend...
  2. The two stormtroopers next to the wreckage of the Tie Fighter - their uniforms are wrong. They should be wearing pilot uniforms.
  3. I don't think it's about coercion; I think synchronization is related to whatever process results in the inhabitants of a Zion becoming "of one heart and one mind." By way of example, this message board is a place where often highly asynchronous people interact and have effects on one another. One of the results is that we become more understanding of those we started out strongly in disagreement with. This doesn't always happen, but it has happened to me in the few months I've been here, and I assume it has happened for others as well. It would probably take either an extremely long time (average lifespans in the days of Enoch) OR a universal transformational event (the visit of Christ in Third Nephi) for a Zion society to develop, but the process may still show up among us in some ways. Yeah, it's probably more complicated than what I wrote. There will probably be synchronization of those on the path of light, as well as synchronization of those on the path of darkness, simultaneously. What we are seeing with the LDS church emphasizing its Christianity and de-emphasizing its peculiarity may be part of that process. Imo the prayer circle in the Temple is an example of voluntary and deliberate synchronization. Likewise "where two or more are gathered in my name." In think it's a general principle that shows up in many places, even if the word itself is unfamiliar. I agree with you that synchronization offers an avenue of influence for those who choose to act, and I think this influence can be far more powerful than is implied by the metronome or hand-clapping examples in my opening post.
  4. Synchronization is a phenomenon whereby two or more similar systems which are loosely connected influence one another until their behaviors are in alignment. The classic example is multiple asynchronous metronomes on a platform which can move. The impetus of the individual metronomes is transmitted to the platform, and the platform moves in the direction of the summed impetus (effectively in the direction supported by the majority). In turn this movement of the platform slightly changes the speed of those metronomes which are not in alignment with the movement of the platform, such that their behavior is shifted slightly towards alignment, the process continuing until synchronization has occurred. Spontaneous synchronization can also occur between people! Watch this clip for about one minute: From the narration: "This phenomenon of synchronization... occurs at every scale of nature... it uses every communication channel that nature has ever devised... any way that two things can influence each other, nature uses that to get things in synch." The people of planet earth are becoming connected, albeit loosely, to one another. This is true on the physical plane thanks to things like smart phones and social media (and may be true on a non-physical plane but that would be difficult to provide evidence for). Thus there is a heightened possibility of us influencing one another. Recall the "phase transition" in the behavior of the audience in the clip - there may be a point at which these many small mutual influences synchronize into a phase transition. So hypothetically suppose a powerful nation invaded a weak nation and morality was against the powerful nation, and the majority of people on the planet felt that way, perhaps even felt strongly that way. If the postulated loose interconnectedness which exists on planet earth today includes those soldiers in the invading army, over time their moral compasses and/or behavior might synchronize with the majority of the planet, and they would lose the desire to make war. Maybe not every single individual, but perhaps enough to effect a "phase transition". I'm not saying we're there yet, but if the inhabitants of planet earth are indeed evolving in that direction, imo that would be a good thing. Perhaps through synchronization the meek (i.e. the gentle and the peaceful) will inherit the earth.
  5. "Kiev" by Renaissance, 1972: A couple more from the same album, Renaissance - Sounds Of The Sea - YouTube and Renaissance - Rajah Khan (Full) - YouTube
  6. The text arguably implies that it was an actual physical struggle, since the angel injured Jacob's hip socket and caused him to limp.
  7. "My kingdom is not of this world." - Jesus Christ
  8. That would definitely get me back to church. And I would get over all my little doctrinal hang-ups before the first note faded. My understanding is that the Dead toured with two such systems, because it took so long to set up and take down. While they were playing in one city, the other system was being trucked to/set up in the next city.
  9. The effects of early reflections on proximity, localization, and loudness - YouTube Based on my understanding of the way such terms are generally used, I think they normally refer to two different things: A "line array" is a closely-spaced vertical stack of loudspeaker elements and is usually placed at the front of the room. A system made up of speakers that "run the length of the room" would presumably be multiple individual loudspeakers at different distances from the microphone, with the signal to each loudspeaker (hopefully!) delayed by a small amount of time corresponding to the time it takes for sound to travel from the podium to that location. Of the two approaches, imo the line array is the more promising, assuming good quality units. The problem with multiple delayed loudspeakers is, there will be areas in the room with acceptable intelligibility and areas with poor intelligibility, the latter being at distances in between two speakers with different delay times. With both approaches one of the issues is multiple early arrival times, but it's potentially worse with the multiple delayed speakers. The ear/brain system relies heavily on overtone patterns for speech intelligibility, and if the overtones are smeared or scrambled the ear/brain system has to focus harder (and longer) to decipher individual words. (In case this subject interests you: The perception of Presence in Halls, Operas, and Classrooms - part 1 - YouTube ; The perception of Presence in Halls, Operas, and Classrooms - part2 - YouTube ; The effects of early reflections on proximity, localization, and loudness - YouTube ) Neither line arrays nor multiple delayed loudspeakers will address poor room acoustics directly, nor can equalization. Acoustic problems call for acoustic solutions, and again those are most cost-effective to implement in the design stage, rather than after the room has been finished. Most of the sound that anyone anywhere in the room hears will be reverberant sound, which means that it will be affected not only by the room's acoustic properties (shape and materials), but also by the off-axis response of the loudspeakers. Good off-axis response tends to be expensive and involve somewhat wider loudspeaker enclosures, and thus is easier to incorporate at the initial room design stage than to add as an afterthought. It is of course quite possible that the acoustic design of chapels has improved since I was active LDS, I hope so anyway.
  10. Some of the worst acoustics I've encountered have been in LDS chapels. Not that this is something most people even notice, but let me explain why I think it matters: The ear/brain system has limited capacity to process information, and when the reverberation is too strong, it takes MORE attention and MORE time to decipher individual words. So by the time the ear/brain system has discerned one word, the speaker has moved on to the next word. This has two effects: The first is, it is difficult for the listener to piece together complex thoughts from the individual words, and then to put those complex thoughts into long-term memory, because TOO MUCH of the brain's limited attention is devoted to simply understanding the individual words. Second, it is very tiring for the brain to have to concentrate so hard on the task of understanding words, so after ten or fifteen minutes the brain is burned out and the listener is exhausted. The imo best solution is to hire an acoustician preferably in the building design phase, because this is the sort of thing that is easier to prevent than to cure. (The most obvious place where this phenomenon arises is in lecture halls at colleges and universities, and there your only hope is to sit in the front of the hall. The students in the back of the hall not only have poor retention but also are more likely to get a headache and/or fall asleep, and it's NOT because they are lazy, but because the acoustics are dreadful and they have to devote too much of their inherently limited cognitive capacity to the task of understanding the individual words. So tell your kids and grandkids to sit in the front of the class because speech intelligibility - and therefore comprehension and retention - is likely to suffer enormously if they do not.) My day job involves acoustics and psychoacoustics, hence my heightened awareness in this area.
  11. What if when the curtain comes down we see that it was a play, a REALLY convincing and educational play, and that nothing real has been lost? What if a person cannot achieve mastery while simultaneously holding someone else - or oneself! - in condemnation? Will treasuring condemnation then be worth its cost? What if all ancient hatreds can be healed and become present loves? I do realize how unrealistic that sounds, and maybe from where we are right now the best we can do is offer a little willingness.
  12. Imo there are little hints sprinkled in unexpected places. Here's one of them: "Row row row your boat" Whose boat are you supposed to row? Your own. Is somebody else supposed to row it for you? No. "Gently" Are we supposed to be in conflict with those around us? No. "down the stream" Not upstream, against the natural current? No. "Merrily merrily merrily merrily" Almost sounds like, "men (and women) are that they might have joy". "Life is but a dream."
  13. ^^This.^^ All wounds will be healed, such that what remains from our mortal experience is wisdom and understanding. All things will have worked together for not only our good, but also for the good all. Rather than condemning one another for our mistakes, I think we will be grateful to one another for the roles we played.
  14. In general support of the cafeteria approach: If you assume things are true by convention, which is actually what most people do, then it's difficult to gain insight into how things might be bettered. - Elon Musk When we all think alike, then no one is thinking. - Walter Lippmann Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively. - The Dalai Lama
  15. I thank you for the polite wording you chose to express your skepticism. I was replying to someone who is apparently a believer in LDS teachings, and was thinking of the scripture in the D&C (section 130 I think) that talks about "all things past, present, and future" being "continually manifest". So I was attempting to speak "Mormon". Obviously that's not going to constitute "evidence" to someone who does not accept the LDS scriptures. Nor is my wording necessarily precise, even within an LDS paradigm. If I was trying to make a case for things like locality and time being very different "beyond the earth plane" to someone who is agnostic and skeptical, oboy that would be an uphill battle. Does "beyond the earth plane" (or something beyond what we can presently observe) even exist? I believe there is "evidence" of such which does not rely on religion, some of it in the form of near-death experience accounts, including the following from atheist/agnostic medical experts in relevant fields: Here is a neurologist describing her near-death experience: https://youtu.be/-IuJKabyx_g?t=55 And, here is a neurosurgeon describing his: https://youtu.be/qbkgj5J91hE?t=1020 My own belief that there is something beyond our normal physical-world reality is based more on personal experience than on other people's experiences, but I doubt that such would have any credibility here because I can bring neither credentialed expertise nor documentation. Just for the record, I respect your skeptical and analytical approach. And I likewise have great respect for the purity and practicality of a morality which is based on neither the hope of reward nor the fear of punishment, but rather is free to seek and embrace what I would call Light without the need for reconciliation with an external creed or dogma.
  16. When my brother was a kid he somehow got the idea that testimony meeting was an open-mic invitation to tell stories. Two testimony meetings in a row he got up and told the story of Noah and the Whale. In case you're not familiar with, it goes a lot like Noah and the Ark except that at the end a giant whale swallows the Ark. Apparently the bishopric was not as amused as I was, because Mom got told to not let him get up there anymore.
  17. As others have pointed out, apparently there's a very different set of "physical" laws in play beyond the earth plane. Also, recall that Christ said, "where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." I don't begin to understand the mechanics involved, but I think he was totally serious. And this is just my opinion, but I also think the minimum number of people who need be gathered in his name in order for him to be present is ONE. Even mere mortals who have had near-death experiences sometimes report being in multiple places simultaneously. This woman had experiences in three distinct environments simultaneously during the explosion of a roadside bomb in Iraq (though she initially relates them sequentially because that's how time works down here). The link should be cued up to 6:10 where she begins describing her experience, listen to the first ten minutes or so if you have time. Her vocabulary is probably a bit unfamiliar but her account is imo educational and uplifting: https://youtu.be/s8lQs1MccoU?t=370
  18. I'd forgotten about that. Lemme rummage a bit... You responded and answered my question, and I think that conversation had wrapped itself up.
  19. I don't begin to have answers to the big questions you articulate here, just an observation to toss out: Obviously God is not limited to working only with and through the leadership of the LDS Church, because there were many people either not in a leadership position within the church OR not affiliated with the church in any way who arrived at the correct conclusion about equality long before the Prophet and Apostles did. In other words, I think Christ is vastly more active in doing his job (Moses 1:39) than is obvious from looking at any one religion or belief system. I think that if we really are seekers of truth, then it is up to us to widen our search radius. "Seek and ye shall find" is still in play. The first thing they do after baptism is bestow on the person the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and imo that implies we have the power and the responsibility to recognize truth solely on its own merits, rather than placing our trust in an intellectual forensic analysis of who said what and when.
  20. I went to Catholic schools for a while when I was a kid. I remember one time in eighth grade the cool kids let me hang out with them as they waited their turns to go to confession. Unbeknownst to me, apparently they had this secret competition going on where they tried to confess something so outrageous that it would elicit a reaction from the elderly priest. Apparently he was pretty hard to shock. Anyway one of the boys evidently hit the jackpot, because all of a sudden we heard the old priest roar with a voice like thunder, "You did WHAT???" I can't think of a good take-home lesson from that story, but it's among my most fond memories from eighth grade.
  21. Not that it's any of my beeswax, but you and @mfbukowski are two of the posters whose writings I appreciate the most. Must admit that sometimes Mark's posts go over my head even when I stand up on my chair. I hope you reconsider. You speak fluent "Mormon", or a close enough dialect, that imo your unique perspective enriches this forum enormously, at least in my opinion. Where else would you go where you have so much to offer to readers who are unlikely to otherwise come across it? For whatever reason, imo you are particularly well-prepared to play the role that you have been playing here.
  22. Luv your story and your insights - thank you Blue! I think you are absolutely right about the role that "purpose" plays. I hadn't really looked through that lens before, but it makes a great deal of sense. At times in my life when I was filled with a sense of "higher purpose", there was a corresponding "calling forth of spiritual power", shall we say, though I'm not sure that's the most precise wording. And then at times when I felt no such sense of purpose, that side of me was pretty much dormant. I think a strong sense of having a "higher purpose" infused the early Mormons, and likewise still the missionaries. People infused with a sense of higher purpose, in particular a group higher purpose, do things they wouldn't normally do... I'm thinking now of purposes that have nothing to do with religion. You have opened my mind to something here, you've connected dots for me, and now I'm trying to wrap my thick head around the implications. Thank you.
  23. Back when I was active LDS perhaps the most "real" part of my religion, in my mind at least, was when I was asked to give someone a blessing. Just about everything else I did was pretty much administrative or ecclesiastical. While I did approach my various duties prayerfully, there is something about being asked to give a blessing that puts you on the spot, because now YOU have got to be a conduit for God's power and you can't fake that. Diligence and study and common sense can get you through most things in life, but none of them will heal someone else. At some point I took an interest in church history, and came across accounts of women giving blessings in the Nauvoo and early Utah Valley eras. This had been approved by Joseph Smith, who cited Mark 16:17-18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe, in my name they shall... lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." No priesthood authority needed. Hmmm. Subsequent experiences led me to conclude that "priesthood authority" is not a necessary component of giving a blessing. In fact the only instances of instantaneous healing of which I have first-hand knowledge did not include any citation of priesthood authority. Briefly, I think the power that blesses someone comes from the exact same source whether the format involves a priesthood blessing, or some other practice, or prayer, or visualization, or intention, or making mud from dirt & spit and rubbing it on the person's eyes, or whatever. And in my experience this power is indistinguishable from love. What then is the benefit of the LDS priesthood paradigm, in this area? In my opinion the person believing that he has been given specific authority from God to bless people, that he has the right format to follow, which format has worked for many others in similar situations, helps to overcome FEAR and to have faith. Fear is the barrier, as it is effectively the opposite of faith. Just to be clear, I no longer believe priesthood holders have been given a special healing power that is not completely accessible to everyone. In my opinion what the priesthood ordination does is this: It spotlights and validates something that was actually true about the person all along. By way of analogy, the Scarecrow did not become intelligent when the Wizard gave him the diploma; he had been intelligent all along, but that diploma "gave" him permission to believe and behave consistent with his true nature. So why would giving someone a blessing be any different from saying a prayer for them? Well for one thing when YOU bless someone you have a lot more "skin in the game". You can pray and it's all up to God and so you can "get away with" putting less of your energy into it; YOU laying your hands on the person puts YOU in the loop, and ime THAT is a magnificent learning experience. Imo the LDS church lost something when it moved away from Joseph Smith's practice of allowing women to give blessings. So in other words I see the priesthood, in this context, as being a useful apprenticeship-like teaching device for a person who is trying to become more like Christ. I do not see the priesthood as being an exclusive power and authority, in part because I've seen too many non-priesthood-holders do what the priesthood is supposed to enable (within the context of blessing and healing people). Obviously the above is NOT what the LDS Church teaches, it is just a snapshot of the belief of one ex-Mormon at this point in time.
  24. Well said. The culmination of the LDS temple ceremony is a depiction of entering into the presence of the Lord. And Christ himself taught that THAT is also the culmination of two or three being gathered together in His name. Imo both are viable paths, and it is not clear to me that either is "better" than the other. Imo it is possible that the same lessons are being taught by outwardly different curriculums.
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