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Justifying Hallucinations as "Reality"


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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

How bout' the thinking that there isn't a true church at all. Just a belief in God/Jesus? How much easier that would be on the lot of us. 

Hi Tacenda...It would certainly be easier to identify where to be if not for so many competing voices. I recall St. Paul referring to God/Jesus as the "Last Adam". "The first man Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit." (towards the end of I Cor 15, after baptisms for the dead I think)

There are some pretty plain and striking parallels between the first Adam and the Last Adam. One of these has to do with their brides. Neither is alone. Each comes with a bride. Can we understand Adam without Eve? As Eve come forth from the side of Adam as he "slept", so Christ's bride, comes forth while he is not permanently dead, but sleeping, if you will, on the Cross when the centurion pierced His side with a lance, and blood and water came out. Christ's Church, His bride was formed in this way. If we cannot understand the first Adam without his bride, I argue the same for the second. It was not without some difficult wrestling of spirit that I sought what I consider to be the true church. The only reason that I continue here at MDDB, I promise you, is because while it is dwindling, there is still a strong core of LDS who share that belief about the last Adam with me. They hold that it is important to identify Christ with His bride as we identify Adam with his bride. While we identify the Bride of Christ differently, traditional LDS and Catholics permit no divorce between "the Adams and their brides". No bride, no Adam. If we find the bride, we find the Adam!

I understand the sentiment, but one cannot separate the church from the Son. What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

Edited by 3DOP
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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

How bout' the thinking that there isn't a true church at all. Just a belief in God/Jesus? How much easier that would be on the lot of us. 

There is certainly nothing wrong with belief in the saving grace of Jesus, and most churches teach that -- along with the general gospel.  A lot of good can come from that, and Joseph Smith always emphasized that truth is truth no matter from whence it comes.  That doesn't mean that there is not an authoritative kingdom of God on the Earth, nor that one is not needed, as the formal representative of God.  That only means that the Lord needs to have his actual priesthood on the Earth to perform sacred ordinances, lest the Earth be wasted at his coming.  The rituals are that important.

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18 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

Hi Tacenda...It would certainly be easier to identify where to be if not for so many competing voices. I recall St. Paul referring to God/Jesus as the "Last Adam". "The first man Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit." (towards the end of I Cor 15, after baptisms for the dead I think)

There are some pretty plain and striking parallels between the first Adam and the Last Adam. One of these has to do with their brides. Neither is alone. Each comes with a bride. Can we understand Adam without Eve? As Eve come forth from the side of Adam as he "slept", so Christ's bride, comes forth while he is not permanently dead, but sleeping, if you will, on the Cross when the centurion pierced His side with a lance, and blood and water came out. Christ's Church, His bride was formed in this way. If we cannot understand the first Adam without his bride, I argue the same for the second. It was not without some difficult wrestling of spirit that I sought what I consider to be the true church. The only reason that I continue here at MDDB, I promise you, is because while it is dwindling, there is still a strong core of LDS who share that belief about the last Adam with me. They hold that it is important to identify Christ with His bride as we identify Adam with his bride. While we identify the Bride of Christ differently, traditional LDS and Catholics permit no divorce between "the Adams and their brides". No bride, no Adam. If we find the bride, we find the Adam!

I understand the sentiment, but one cannot separate the church from the Son. What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

I would change one thing. I said one thing wrong up above...if not more. But I was certainly wrong when I said there are "so many competing voices". There are many who put up signs, who have services, who have their ordinances, who preach what they believe, and who will take your offerings. But when it comes down to it, few will claim to be the one true church. When they don't make the claim...I take them at their word. The true church would never say, "Nah, just go where it feels good." If it is really okay to go where it feels good, and there is no true church, the only argument you will find is from Mormons, Catholics, Orthodox, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Maybe Adventists. The many competing voices are like McDonald's versus Burger King or Pepsi versus Coke. They don't say they are the only true burger or soft drink. They just say you will like it and try to make you into a frequent customer.

Most churches don't have any more conviction about being the true and only in their "field" than does any other business.

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21 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There is certainly nothing wrong with belief in the saving grace of Jesus, and most churches teach that -- along with the general gospel.  A lot of good can come from that, and Joseph Smith always emphasized that truth is truth no matter from whence it comes.  That doesn't mean that there is not an authoritative kingdom of God on the Earth, nor that one is not needed, as the formal representative of God.  That only means that the Lord needs to have his actual priesthood on the Earth to perform sacred ordinances, lest the Earth be wasted at his coming.  The rituals are that important.

The problem here is that we have two or more churches on the earth that think they have all the truth, it's an us vs. them syndrome that doesn't play well with individuals that are living with that idiocy. 

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19 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

I would change one thing. I said one thing wrong up above...if not more. But I was certainly wrong when I said there are "so many competing voices". There are many who put up signs, who have services, who have their ordinances, who preach what they believe, and who will take your offerings. But when it comes down to it, few will claim to be the one true church. When they don't make the claim...I take them at their word. The true church would never say, "Nah, just go where it feels good." If it is really okay to go where it feels good, and there is no true church, the only argument you will find is from Mormons, Catholics, Orthodox, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Maybe Adventists. The many competing voices are like McDonald's versus Burger King or Pepsi versus Coke. They don't say they are the only true burger or soft drink. They just say you will like it and try to make you into a frequent customer.

Most churches don't have any more conviction about being the true and only in their "field" than does any other business.

IMO, Jesus's church is a body of believers, body isn't any specific church. But thank you for the time you took to respond, it's always a priviledge to get your feed back along with so many on this board.

Edited by Tacenda
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On 4/7/2017 at 3:10 PM, mfbukowski said:

I feel I have found a way of seeing Mormonism which justifies visions as being "real" by justifying human experience as the only reality humans can know.

Visions are human experience, therefore in a sense and in a qualified way, they are as "real" as science.  They are about different subject matter, but fully justifiable as a part of human experience.  We can even justify speaking of them as being "true" within the context of Wittgensteinian language games and a pragmatic theory of truth, in which truth is dependent on a given context and in speech within a given social group.

So fans of basketball can debate whether or not a given call by a given ref was a "true call" for example- use any sport you like.  Within the rules of that game, there is "truth" within the context and the facts are debatable, but everyone agrees on what "truth" is in that context.

Scripturally I see that as cohesive with D&C 93 which speaks of the "spheres" of truth and even this talk by president Kimball   https://www.lds.org/ensign/1978/09/absolute-truth?lang=eng (as well as MANY other scriptures.)

But have been blathering my views here for a long time and will intentionally avoid voicing them in this new thread.  I just want all to know that I AM a "true believing Mormon" though here I play an atheist on the internet. ;)

So come on all you TBM proponents of objective reality- you know who you are!

Come on and tell me why YOUR testimony is "objectively real" and Joseph Smith's vision was as well.

The intent is to show me IF there are any theories other than mine which I find justifiable which are current in the views of other "Mormons in the street" as opposed to weird philosophy types like me.  I am betting there are not after 40 years of thinking this way, but I could be wrong.

I predict this will be a short thread unless I get going on MY theories which I will try to avoid

Wait a second....  I have to put on my atheist hat.....  THERE

OK all you dang TBM's- show me how I am wrong.  Show me how Josephs hallucination was of objective reality.  Go for it!  The challenge is hereby issued!!

I have the popcorn out..... ;)

 

 

 

The phrase "objective reality" means that reality exists independent of our minds. The description "objective" doesn't make a lot of sense on its own, but it does in comparison to the competing theory of the relationship between consciousness and existence.

I had to look up the term "objective reality" because I'd never really heard the phrase. If I put on my TBM hat, would you mind if I play? I was once that girl that knew without a shadow of doubt the Joseph Smith saw Jesus/God in person. That was my existence. In my conscientous belief I believed it happened without any facts to substantiate it.

Very strange how easily I was taught that it did occur and how easily I believe it did. I'm sure there are a lot of LDS out there that as children had to have questioned it, even at a young age. But not me. 

Edited by Tacenda
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On 4/7/2017 at 4:19 PM, MiserereNobis said:

Hmmm... first Pogi and I are discussing the Grateful Dead and Phish in the make-up-your-own-religion thread and now there's a thread on hallucinations...

Is LSD taking over the LDS board? ;)

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"

(this Robert Hunter lyric should fit into your post-modern view nicely)

 

It would seem that it is your position that Grateful Dead lyrics make sense. I have tried without success to understand anything on Wake of the Flood because I still like the sound. I saw them at the old Paramount in Portland around '76, and again in Eugene with my wife in the 80's. That was outdoors. Autzen Stadium. It rained...and they played "Rain" by the Beatles. It was pretty fun. I was just looking for our copy of Wake of the Flood and was told by my wife that we listened to it on our last trip to guess where??? Veneta, OR! Hah. I vaguely remember from when we were going down there for a wedding last year. Hopefully it is out in the car. Anyway, I could enjoy some commentary some time if you are ever up to it...

Edited by 3DOP
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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There is certainly nothing wrong with belief in the saving grace of Jesus, and most churches teach that -- along with the general gospel.  A lot of good can come from that, and Joseph Smith always emphasized that truth is truth no matter from whence it comes.  That doesn't mean that there is not an authoritative kingdom of God on the Earth, nor that one is not needed, as the formal representative of God.  That only means that the Lord needs to have his actual priesthood on the Earth to perform sacred ordinances, lest the Earth be wasted at his coming.  The rituals are that important.

Then you might enjoy this article from the Temple Institute....

Quote

"Aharon and his sons"

 

(Leviticus 6:2)

Nisan 11, 5777/April 7, 2017

This week's Torah reading, Tzav, deals in its entirety, with detailed instructions for performing the Temple offerings. "And HaShem spoke to Moshe, saying, command (tzav) Aharon and his sons, saying, this is the law of the burnt offering... " (Leviticus 6:1-2) All the manifold commandments conveyed in parashat Tzav concerning the offerings are directed toward Aharon and his sons, the kohanim (Temple priests). The entire parasha of dos and don'ts ostensibly don't concern all of us who are not the sons of Aharon. Nevertheless, Torah insists on sharing with us all these technical details, and for thousands of years, even after the destruction of the Holy Temple, we study and internalize these commandments, just as we study and internalize all the commandments and teachings which Torah encompasses and reveals to us anew each time we approach it.

But there is a particularly important message embodied in Tzav's focus on the work of Aharon and his sons. Aharon and his sons are our brothers, and we cannot express our love for G-d and draw nearer to him via the bringing of the korbanot (offerings) without the skilled and dedicated assistance of our brothers. Offerings brought by individuals are a direct and personal appeal to G-d, yet they cannot be performed without the attendance of a kohen. In other words, for G-d, even the personal requires us to include our brethren.

From the very beginning G-d declared that "It is not good that man is alone."(Genesis 2:18) Of course, G-d created woman to remedy this situation, but the result of the union between man and woman, (Adam and Eve), was the first set of brothers to share G-d's creation and to turn their hearts to their Creator. The result of their separate offerings to G-d was jealousy and shame, anger and death. The book of Genesis faithfully records the bitterness and rancor which would plague brotherly relationships throughout every generation. And the source of the rivalry could always be traced to a competition for G-d's attention, for His blessing, for His favor and for His appointment. That competition officially ends here and now in parashat Tzav.

It was clear from the moment when Aharon came to meet Moshe in Midian, and G-d told Moshe, "behold, he is coming forth toward you, and when he sees you, he will rejoice in his heart," (Exodus 4:14) that envy and animosity was not a necessary or even natural aspect of brotherhood, but, on the contrary, love and mutual respect are the proper description of brotherhood as G-d intended it.

One of the integral features of the work of the kohanim described in Tzav is the garments that they must don before performing any other aspect of the offerings. We recall that all of Israel was instructed by G-d to make these special garments for the kohanim, garments "for honor and glory." (Exodus 27:2) So it is the people of Israel that appoint and empower their brothers, the children of Aharon, to stand beside them and enable them to bring the prescribed korbanot, whose intention is to bring Israel closer to G-d. The entire spiritual dynamic of the offerings is foundationed in the realization of true brotherly love and unity with each and every offering made. Is this the secret of the "re'ach nichoach - the pleasing fragrance" of the offerings before G-d?

When we take into account that the tribe of Levi had no material inheritance in the land of Israel and that their inheritance was to serve in the Holy Temple, and that the offerings brought by their brothers to the Holy Temple, whether they were meal offerings or animal offerings, provided physical sustenance to the kohanim, then the bond and responsibility of brotherly love becomes even more pronounced. The ability for all the children of Israel to receive both G-d's spiritual and material blessings is based on and contingent upon brothers acting in love and unison for a mutually enhanced life together, to the delight of and with the blessing of their Creator.

Nowhere is the power and beauty of brotherhood more pronounced throughout the year than during the time of the Korban Pesach, the Passover offering. All of Israel is commanded to form temporary fellowships whose members will share in the bringing of and eating of the Passover offering. These fellowships are inclusive of all Israel in its entirety. Not a soul is left out. And, of course, the Passover offering cannot be brought without the assistance of our brothers, the kohanim. The Passover offering is the embodiment of everything that makes Israel a nation: Fraternity and equality before G-d, which leads, in turn, to true liberation. The power of brotherly love - the apple of G-d's eye!

 

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On 4/8/2017 at 11:58 AM, mfbukowski said:

Do you think your explanation of angstrom units makes any effect whatsoever in anyone's life?

Probably not. But if I went around saying that my personal experience of 650 nm was the only true Red I'd think most people would ignore me. 

 

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11 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

To "hear" it so clearly in your own mind then then deal with the paltry attempted reproduction that gets communicated is VERY frustrating.

:diablo:

That's a very silly question.  What you think doesn't matter if you can't get it into the world- it is not real.  It seems like you people are just dreamers caught up in silly garbage and can't tell reality from fantasy.

Where is the evidence for what he hears in his head?   It's a nice story but dreams are not reality.

So, which is reality - the physical performance or the mental performance? When a composer hears music in his head is it less real than the notes he puts on the paper? Why is there a difference? Is the written score less real than the performance? Does music become part of reality only when it is physically performed? Whether it is in the head or on the paper it still exists and has meaning even if it is not performed in a way that can be scientifically verified. Performed music could not exist unless it were first conceived in the mind. It seems to me the physical performance is merely one manifestation of the mental process of creation. Would music in the mind not then be more real than music performed?

When I reflect on the few times I have received revelation, I have come to the conclusion that they were more real than any physical experiences I have had, except perhaps with the exception of some incidents involving extreme pain.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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10 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

:angel:

No one is "constituted" for anything.  Your life is not determined and you can choose to see things any way you like.  You saw things one way for a long time and now you see them differently.  Perhaps if you combine your new view with your old view you could cobble together something that was your own.  Now you seem influenced by the voices of others- that's ok- we all learn from others.  But take that and integrate it with your previous way of seeing- 

Personal experiences are where we live our lives- in our minds, reacting responding and integrating stimuli.  Don't get stuck in one way or the other, keep integrating the good from the past with what you are learning in this new direction

You constitute yourself otherwise you are just dust in the wind responding to every breeze.

Wow, that avoided what I said. 

Of course a person has their individual structure. That is their "constitution." "I meant what I said and I said what I meant." (Thank you, Dr. Suess.)

Back to the topic please, and I request that you don't undercut my views as if I am being led by another and as if they're not my own, thanks!

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2 hours ago, Ahab said:

You may think so, but how do you know that is not a hallucination?

Seriously.

I know with absolute certainty you are not a hallucination

I would never dream you up on my own.

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33 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

So, which is reality - the physical performance or the mental performance? When a composer hears music in his head is it less real than the notes he puts on the paper? Why is there a difference? Is the written score less real than the performance? Does music become part of reality only when it is physically performed? Whether it is in the head or on the paper it still exists and has meaning even if it is not performed in a way that can be scientifically verified. Performed music could not exist unless it were first conceived in the mind. It seems to me the physical performance is merely one manifestation of the mental process of creation. Would music in the mind not then be more real than music performed?

When I reflect on the few times I have received revelation, I have come to the conclusion that they were more real than any physical experiences I have had, except perhaps with the exception of some incidents involving extreme pain.

:angel:

Yes I think revelation shows us "things as they are" but all that is non-verbal because language cannot replicate the experience.

Things in my mind are more real to me than things in the world because they are "mine" and I can manipulate them at will etc.  So I think the score the teacher hears while reading is more real for him than the actual performance- that is why he prefers it.  It is "better"

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14 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

A very good friend of ours believes he saw Christ. I believe that he believes that.

That said, what does that have to do with MY reality? One could reason that if I am constituted to believe as he believes, I would have an experience similar to his. But at the very least, this very personal aspect, the original experience,  of his reality has nothing to do with me.

It is not mine.

Avoid the issue?  Fine

It has nothing to do with your reality unless you want it to.  His reality has nothing to do with you so go find your own.

Your sensitivity shows a lack of confidence that you are on the right path.  I did not undercut your views

Edited by mfbukowski
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47 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Probably not. But if I went around saying that my personal experience of 650 nm was the only true Red I'd think most people would ignore me. 

 

With good reason.  I think I missed your point.

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OK well so far not a single TBM has come up with a justification for the reality of visions/hallucinations

Did I miss someone?

Is our theology that weak that we cannot come up with that?

Is a view like Rorty's the only answer?  I feel like no one has posted any view competing with mine.  Please prove me wrong or I will have to write a book about this.  That is a threat. ;)

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4 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I think, therefore I am.

Many others seem not to think so I really cannot prove their existence. :) 

if a non thinker falls in the forest did he ever make a difference?

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On 4/7/2017 at 6:33 PM, Atheist Mormon said:

Great. How are we supposed to substantiate visionar's experience? Without any opportunity to test, duplicate it?

We're not supposed to.  There is no objectivity, only subjectivity.  Mark is barking up an imaginary tree.

God isn't an experimental animal, or an inert chemical.  Or even a catalyst.

When God speaks to me, you can't hear it.  Perhaps God has spoken to you, but you couldn't or wouldn't hear him, nor am I a judge of whether he has or has not spoken to you.

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

OK well so far not a single TBM has come up with a justification for the reality of visions/hallucinations

Did I miss someone?

Is our theology that weak that we cannot come up with that?

Is a view like Rorty's the only answer?  I feel like no one has posted any view competing with mine.  Please prove me wrong or I will have to write a book about this.  That is a threat. ;)

Well, I haven't chimed in yet.  So here I go...

You can't even objectively prove that we actually exist in a physical universe.  

So how can I show the reality of Joseph Smith's visions?  

Let's see your book!  

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22 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

With good reason.  I think I missed your point.

I'm trying to understand this:

"For me the experience of communication with God is as real as the color red- but I cannot use words to tell you about it. So even the EXPERIENCE of God is not "objective" in the sense that you could not know what I know about that experience."


28-no-red-photo.w710.h473.jpgI might just need some coaching through this, but at the moment I don't see how communication with God could be as real as the color red. The color red is based on objective measurements of light. We can measure and know if an object has red in it.

The image to the left has no red. Even though most of us will experience red, there are no red pixels there. We can test and measure and confirm that experiencing red cannot make the strawberries red. The hallucination is not reality. We can use words to justify our experience with the image, but the reality is that the image has only gray and green. 

I don't know, maybe this examples turns out to demonstrate your point. I experience red because my brain wants constancy. Others can argue that they are not red, but I am experiencing red, so that is what they really are. Interesting idea.

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9 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Avoid the issue?  Fine

It has nothing to do with your reality unless you want it to.  His reality has nothing to do with you so go find your own.

Your sensitivity shows a lack of confidence that you are on the right path.  I did not undercut your views

(I did not ask you to avoid the issue.  I said you avoided what I actually said in my post and I said you undercut my point by suggesting I was not expressing my own views.)

Especially in Mormon thought, this is a foundational issue, that of processing someone else's personal religious and spiritual experiences and deciding how to apply them to ourselves.

My friend saw Christ in his reality. Many people in Joseph's time and entourage were extremely spiritualistic, "seeing with spiritual eyes." Not everyone is or was constituted or structured that way. "Constituted" was a term that I deliberately used to accommodate a number of perspectives, like

1) a person being spiritually prepared by circumstances, worthiness, and divine blessing

Or

2) a person being socially and psychologically primed and conditioned for specific religious hallucinations 

So I suggested that perhaps the poster (Ahab, if I recall correctly) would expect that we respond to a spiritual experience  of another as if it is their own reality and not necessarily ours, that we only accept it as our own if we can replicate the experience for ourselves.

Furthermore, perhaps if we cannot replicate it, this means we are not constituted for it. The Church might suggest that we'd need to repent or prepare more if we cannot replicate some version of such an experience.  Yet I add another possibility: if we cannot replicate that spiritual experience, perhaps we don't need it. At the very least one might say we are not structured to process that experience as if it were our own because we did not have it (or replicate it.)

Edited by Meadowchik
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Do people "really" have spiritual experiences? I believe so; I have. Do my spiritual experiences tell me something about some ultimate state of things outside of my mind? I don't know. I don't believe I can know. The issue I have with the term "reality" is that it seems to be generally used to describe an ultimate state of things independent of the mind and will, therefore, always involve assumptions that are very difficult to defend as objective and are somehow invisible to the person making the assertion. This is done constantly in just about every arena, whether it's religion, politics, science, etc. How often do you hear "The reality is that [insert assertion here]" without any regard for how the person making the assertion can prove their own proximity to "reality"? Tell me what reality is without relying on your own perception, or tell me how you know that your perception isn't subjective. The problem is further exacerbated by people who not only appear blind to their own circular logic, but are so ignorant that they feel confident in berating others beliefs as "out of touch with reality" or objectively wrong. To me, the concept of "reality" is like a city that no one knows the location of, what it looks like, or whether they have been there, but many like to tell stories about it and feel quite comfortable mocking, despising, and hating people who tell a different story. 

Edited by SmileyMcGee
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1 hour ago, SmileyMcGee said:

Do people "really" have spiritual experiences? I believe so; I have. Do my spiritual experiences tell me something about some ultimate state of things outside of my mind? I don't know. I don't believe I can know. The issue I have with the term "reality" is that it seems to be generally used to describe an ultimate state of things independent of the mind and will, therefore, always involve assumptions that are very difficult to defend as objective and are somehow invisible to the person making the assertion. This is done constantly in just about every arena, whether it's religion, politics, science, etc. How often do you hear "The reality is that [insert assertion here]" without any regard for how the person making the assertion can prove their own proximity to "reality"? Tell me what reality is without relying on your own perception, or tell me how you know that your perception isn't subjective. The problem is further exacerbated by people who not only appear blind to their own circular logic, but are so ignorant that they feel confident in berating others beliefs as "out of touch with reality" or objectively wrong. To me, reality has become a like a city that no one knows the location of, what it looks like, or whether they have been then there, but many like to tell stories about it and feel quite comfortable mocking, despising, and hating people who tell a different story. 

:clapping:This!!

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