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5 hours ago, Teancum said:

"Spiritual experiences" are emotional.  They are experienced through our feelings.

I actually remember talking with my mtc branch president that I was worried I wasn't experiencing such emotions like so many of the missionaries around me. He assured me that his own spiritual experiences were frequently not heavily tied to emotion.

Joseph Smith has his spin on it

Quote

The Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be far before the Gentile in pure intelligence. TPJS p149-150

Whether or not his opinion about Israelite blood has any merit or not, the point is that to him it was clear that emotions were not always tied to the Spirit. Emotions are a secondary effect for some, some of the time. Some members have confused the two, however. But just because I get emotional listening to a good country song (a rarity) or cute video of animal or kitten kindness, I don't relate such emotions as being spiritual.

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5 hours ago, Teancum said:

"Spiritual experiences" are emotional.  They are experienced through our feelings.

We are on vacation here in Devon, England, based in a nice suite in the town of Kingsteignton, we are visiting various sights in the area. This morning we drove to Dartmouth, an absolutely lovely town that lies on Dartmouth Harbour. It is incredibly picturesque. The wife wanted to shop, but I wanted to sightsee, and just as we parted ways, I spied a church, St Saviour's Church, built nearly 700 years ago, in 1335. It's Church of England today, but of course it was originally Roman Catholic. I sat in one of the pews and contemplated the nature of spirituality and spiritual experiences. Here's a photo of of the interior, keeping in mind that it most certainly didn't look this grand 700 years ago...

Dartmouth-Saint-Saviours-Church-Interior

This is a small version of the photo. For the full size image, see: https://ibb.co/9rnC0nP

I thought about how sitting there made me feel. It actually lifted my spirits (as we say), not that I was "down" or anything like that. I saw that how both the exterior and interior architecture tended to draw the eye upwards to contemplate things above this plane of existence. The beauty of the stained glass windows and the woodwork also contributes towards leading one a bit outside the mundane and towards the divine. My emotions were stirred in all kinds of positive ways. As I wandered the interior observing the various devotionary items, such as the candles, the chancel, and the religious sentiments found written or portrayed, I definitely felt spiritual. 

But the emotional feelings I felt in that church, and other emotional feelings which I have experienced in connection with some church meetings, as well as the other "warm-and-fuzzies" I've gotten here and there while involved in one spiritual activity or another, are indeed what you are talking about as mere emotionally-derived "spiritual experiences". Don't get me wrong, however. They are still pleasant experiences, at least to me.

But being in a place where my emotions were stirred led me to contemplate the very different and profound sacred experiences that I have had in connection with the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was brought to mind of Elijah's experience in the wilderness at Mount Horeb where he had fled to escape the threat of assassination issued by Jezebel, King Ahab's pagan wife. God asked him what he was doing there, and when he told God why, God told him to climb the mountain. It goes like this (1 Kings 19:11,12):

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. [emphasis added]

Those feelings I felt in the CofE church, the ones I sometimes get when I read an inspirational passage in literature, and even those that I sometimes get when I merely read the scriptures, or listen to a talk in General Conference, are the wind, the earthquake, and the fire. I've gotten similar uplifts from watching "feel good" movies in the cinema, or sometimes listening to completely secular music. I recognize that those feelings grow from inside me in response to what I hear, see, or read, and the positivities involved with them. Please understand that I don't want to denigrate these things -- for I recognize that they have their place, and even if they come from within, they represent righteous desire, and a striving for truth and love.

But not as often come those experiences which transcend emotion, and seem to come not from within, but from without. My testimony of the Gospel relies upon those things, and not upon the "warm and fuzzies." At the very first, when it was the first still, small voice that was so quiet that I did not hear it, but led me to talk to someone I would never have talked to on my own initiative, and was introduced to the Church. The small voice that I did hear, telling me that I didn't have enough faith, yet, to have a particular requested blessing. And later, stronger experiences with small miracles that had nothing whatever to do with emotion. None of these originated from inside me -- but they were all founded on the faith and obedience that I had to that point exhibited, and showed me that the Lord trusted me not to disregard Him.

You are right to imply that emotional experience is not true testimony. I will say that even though it is not true testimony, it may help prepare us for that real testimony that comes because the Lord is speaking to us. 

I need to correct an impression I may have given a few paragraphs ago. I wasn't saying that I never get "real" spiritual experiences when reading scripture or listening to General Conference talks. I've gotten such from both. But most of my "real" experiences have come during prayer, with a few coming seemingly "out of the blue" on the Lord's initiative, when my spirit was ready to receive them.

 

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1 hour ago, Nofear said:

I actually remember talking with my mtc branch president that I was worried I wasn't experiencing such emotions like so many of the missionaries around me. He assured me that his own spiritual experiences were frequently not heavily tied to emotion.

Joseph Smith has his spin on it

Whether or not his opinion about Israelite blood has any merit or not, the point is that to him it was clear that emotions were not always tied to the Spirit. Emotions are a secondary effect for some, some of the time. Some members have confused the two, however. But just because I get emotional listening to a good country song (a rarity) or cute video of animal or kitten kindness, I don't relate such emotions as being spiritual.

I would only call emotional reactions "spiritual" if they cannot be spoken, or cannot be otherwise

That is for MY experiences only.

I have only had 2 like that, but it was enough. But I have had probably hundreds of evidences and curing experiences that I see as tender mercies, that could have been coincidences, but I am sure they were of the spirit 

But those 2?

I knew that God knew,as Joseph said.

Inflows of intelligence physically as distinct and sure as walking into a warm shower of flowing water, but within my body, not outside.

Undeniable.

It's all I needed, and I am unable to deny them. Like denying the sun is shining.

Believe it or not, I don't care. They happened.

 

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21 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

He assured me that his own spiritual experiences were frequently not heavily tied to emotion.

Agree.  "Frequently" is a great wiggle word.

I have asked 5 temple presidents, one a close friend for years, about the second endowment and their answers were all exactly the same.

Puzzled look, push back the chair and then "Well, I'm not sure I can say that I know much about that...." implying both ignorance, and literal truth at the same time.  Amazing "coincidences".

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Agree.  "Frequently" is a great wiggle word.

I have asked 5 temple presidents, one a close friend for years, about the second endowment and their answers were all exactly the same.

Puzzled look, push back the chair and then "Well, I'm not sure I can say that I know much about that...." implying both ignorance, and literal truth at the same time.  Amazing "coincidences".

There is wiggle room, yes. Another Joseph Smith quote:

Quote

All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all; and those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies. T. 355

How are physical body responds to the stimuli the spirit body receives can be varied. While the Spirit should pretty much always enlighten the mind; emotion, physical fatigue, energy, etc. are other responses. We don't know exactly the mind/body/spirit physiological pathways all that well.

Edited by Nofear
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23 hours ago, Canadiandude said:

Um…because people’s relationship to the church is complex?

You can’t love a church and practice maximum devotion to its tenants for years without feeling a degree of sorrow for its falling apart.

-At least I can’t.

The joy of ‘being right’ is pretty bittersweet when the political/societal actors you’ve warned goes off and decides to implode regardless of one’s attempts to help it.

 

I know, I know…the whole ‘steadying the ark’ story, but I sometimes wonder if we’ve somehow misunderstood or misapplied that story- that what we in fact needed was more Eugene England’s, and more Lowry Nelson’s, not at all fewer or farther between.

No. Relationships are a lot more complex than that, and I gotta wonder how that mixture of vindication and bitter sorrow/regret isn’t better comprehended here, a forum all about the discourse of saints ‘n sinners.

Nobody likes seeing a person/entity in the process of destroying itself mate.

It would seem then that if emotional/spiritual phenomenon are so variable, in what they confirm and how they operate from person to person, then I guess I’m confused as to what makes my above statement an illegitimate answer as to why a person can write negative things about the church and feel ‘broken-hearted’ at the same time.

I think there are lot worthy things that the church does and stands for, but I also see much harm done through and by it as well.

 

The church has often framed its relationship with the external ‘world’ through a lens of sorrow- grief for the world  having to necessarily experience the consequences of its own wickedness when it would not repent.

It’s not particularly odd then, that progressive, non- and post-members would feel the same way, for a church that continues to also feel the necessary, negative consequences as a result of harmful beliefs and practices.

As they say:

’ya hate to see it’.

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3 hours ago, Stargazer said:

We are on vacation here in Devon, England, based in a nice suite in the town of Kingsteignton, we are visiting various sights in the area. This morning we drove to Dartmouth, an absolutely lovely town that lies on Dartmouth Harbour. It is incredibly picturesque. The wife wanted to shop, but I wanted to sightsee, and just as we parted ways, I spied a church, St Saviour's Church, built nearly 700 years ago, in 1335. It's Church of England today, but of course it was originally Roman Catholic. I sat in one of the pews and contemplated the nature of spirituality and spiritual experiences. Here's a photo of of the interior, keeping in mind that it most certainly didn't look this grand 700 years ago...

Dartmouth-Saint-Saviours-Church-Interior

This is a small version of the photo. For the full size image, see: https://ibb.co/9rnC0nP

I thought about how sitting there made me feel. It actually lifted my spirits (as we say), not that I was "down" or anything like that. I saw that how both the exterior and interior architecture tended to draw the eye upwards to contemplate things above this plane of existence. The beauty of the stained glass windows and the woodwork also contributes towards leading one a bit outside the mundane and towards the divine. My emotions were stirred in all kinds of positive ways. As I wandered the interior observing the various devotionary items, such as the candles, the chancel, and the religious sentiments found written or portrayed, I definitely felt spiritual. 

But the emotional feelings I felt in that church, and other emotional feelings which I have experienced in connection with some church meetings, as well as the other "warm-and-fuzzies" I've gotten here and there while involved in one spiritual activity or another, are indeed what you are talking about as mere emotionally-derived "spiritual experiences". Don't get me wrong, however. They are still pleasant experiences, at least to me.

But being in a place where my emotions were stirred led me to contemplate the very different and profound sacred experiences that I have had in connection with the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was brought to mind of Elijah's experience in the wilderness at Mount Horeb where he had fled to escape the threat of assassination issued by Jezebel, King Ahab's pagan wife. God asked him what he was doing there, and when he told God why, God told him to climb the mountain. It goes like this (1 Kings 19:11,12):

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. [emphasis added]

Those feelings I felt in the CofE church, the ones I sometimes get when I read an inspirational passage in literature, and even those that I sometimes get when I merely read the scriptures, or listen to a talk in General Conference, are the wind, the earthquake, and the fire. I've gotten similar uplifts from watching "feel good" movies in the cinema, or sometimes listening to completely secular music. I recognize that those feelings grow from inside me in response to what I hear, see, or read, and the positivities involved with them. Please understand that I don't want to denigrate these things -- for I recognize that they have their place, and even if they come from within, they represent righteous desire, and a striving for truth and love.

But not as often come those experiences which transcend emotion, and seem to come not from within, but from without. My testimony of the Gospel relies upon those things, and not upon the "warm and fuzzies." At the very first, when it was the first still, small voice that was so quiet that I did not hear it, but led me to talk to someone I would never have talked to on my own initiative, and was introduced to the Church. The small voice that I did hear, telling me that I didn't have enough faith, yet, to have a particular requested blessing. And later, stronger experiences with small miracles that had nothing whatever to do with emotion. None of these originated from inside me -- but they were all founded on the faith and obedience that I had to that point exhibited, and showed me that the Lord trusted me not to disregard Him.

You are right to imply that emotional experience is not true testimony. I will say that even though it is not true testimony, it may help prepare us for that real testimony that comes because the Lord is speaking to us. 

I need to correct an impression I may have given a few paragraphs ago. I wasn't saying that I never get "real" spiritual experiences when reading scripture or listening to General Conference talks. I've gotten such from both. But most of my "real" experiences have come during prayer, with a few coming seemingly "out of the blue" on the Lord's initiative, when my spirit was ready to receive them.

 

Outstanding commentary. I haven't seen 1 Kings 19:11-12 used like that before, but having seen it I think your use of it is profound, not to mention correct. 

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2 hours ago, Nofear said:

There is wiggle room, yes. Another Joseph Smith quote:

How are physical body responds to the stimuli the spirit body receives can be varied. While the Spirit should pretty much always enlighten the mind; emotion, physical fatigue, energy, etc. are other responses. We don't know exactly the mind/body/spirit physiological pathways all that well.

Thanks for this and that reference!

"All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all; and those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies. T. 355"

I have believed now for some time based on the implications of ordinary language philosophy that direct experience- from the Lord or even nature around is, can be seen as "reality" in a phenomenological sense.  What we experience IS what we properly can call "reality" since it is the only "reality" we are capable of knowing.   Here as "natural men and women" our experience IS reality for all practical (Pragmatic) purposes.

But only through the Spirit can we be guided to the lesson God wants us to have.

And that lesson varies according to what meaning WE PERSONALLY need to hear from the Lord  Instead of "seeing through a mirror, darkly" we can see "face to face" through that "sixth sense"

William James speaks quite a bit about what he calls "radical empiricism" which IS precisely what he calls it- it is the acknowledgement that empiricism itself is about a full phenomenological account of the world as we know it.  That implies that reality itself as we know it contains emotional content; we cannot observe anything without automatically attaching to it, its significance to human beings.   To do otherwise is to deny the basis for empiricism itself! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_empiricism

Quote

 

Radical empiricism[edit]

Radical empiricism is a postulate, a statement of fact, and a conclusion, says James in The Meaning of Truth. The postulate is that "the only things that shall be debatable among philosophers shall be things definable in terms drawn from experience." The fact is that our experience contains disconnected entities as well as various types of connections; it is full of meaning and values. The conclusion is that our worldview does not need "extraneous trans-empirical connective support, but possesses in its own right a concatenated or continuous structure."

Postulate[edit]

The postulate is a basic statement of the empiricist method: Our theories shouldn't incorporate supernatural or transempirical entities. Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that emphasizes the role of experience, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. James allows that transempirical entities may exist, but that it's not fruitful to talk about them.

Fact[edit]

James' factual statement is that our experience isn't just a stream of data, but a complex process that's full of meaning. We see objects in terms of what they mean to us and we see causal connections between phenomena. Experience is "double-barreled"; it has both a content ("sense data") and a reference, and empiricists unjustly try to reduce experience to bare sensations, according to James. Such a "thick" description of conscious experience was already part of William James' monumental work The Principles of Psychology in 1890, more than a decade before he first wrote about radical empiricism.

It differs notably from the traditional empiricist view of Locke and Hume, who see experience in terms of atoms like patches of color and soundwaves, which are in themselves meaningless and need to be interpreted by ratiocination before we can act upon them.

Conclusion[edit]

James concludes that experience is full of connections and that these connections are part of what is actually experienced:

Just so, I maintain, does a given undivided portion of experience, taken in one context of associates, play the part of a knower, of a state of mind, of 'consciousness'; while in a different context the same undivided bit of experience plays the part of a thing known, of an objective 'content.' In a word, in one group it figures as a thought, in another group as a thing. And, since it can figure in both groups simultaneously we have every right to speak of it as subjective and objective, both at once. (James 1912, Essay I)

 

 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholarly_approaches_to_mysticism#William_James

Quote

 

William James popularized the use of the term "religious experience" in his The Varieties of Religious Experience.[38][33] James wrote:

In mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness. This is the everlasting and triumphant mystical tradition, hardly altered by differences of clime or creed. In Hinduism, in Neoplatonism, in Sufism, in Christian mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note, so that there is about mystical utterances an eternal unanimity which ought to make a critic stop and think, and which bring it about that the mystical classics have, as has been said, neither birthday nor native land.[39]

This book is the classic study on religious or mystical experience, which influenced deeply both the academic and popular understanding of "religious experience".[38][33][40][web 1] James popularized the use of the term "religious experience"[note 7] in his Varieties,[38][33][web 1] and influenced the understanding of mysticism as a distinctive experience which supplies knowledge of the transcendental:[40][web 1]

Under the influence of William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience, heavily centered on people's conversion experiences, most philosophers' interest in mysticism has been in distinctive, allegedly knowledge-granting "mystical experiences.""[web 1]

James emphasized the personal experience of individuals, and describes a broad variety of such experiences in The Varieties of Religious Experience.[39] He considered the "personal religion"[41] to be "more fundamental than either theology or ecclesiasticism",[41][note 8] and defines religion as

...the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.[42]

According to James, mystical experiences have four defining qualities:[43]

  1. Ineffability. According to James the mystical experience "defies expression, that no adequate report of its content can be given in words".[43]
  2. Noetic quality. Mystics stress that their experiences give them "insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect."[43] James referred to this as the "noetic" (or intellectual) "quality" of the mystical.[43]
  3. Transiency. James notes that most mystical experiences have a short occurrence, but their effect persists.[43]
  4. Passivity. According to James, mystics come to their peak experience not as active seekers, but as passive recipients.[43]

James recognised the broad variety of mystical schools and conflicting doctrines both within and between religions.[39] Nevertheless,

...he shared with thinkers of his era the conviction that beneath the variety could be carved out a certain mystical unanimity, that mystics shared certain common perceptions of the divine, however different their religion or historical epoch,[39]

According to Jesuit scholar William Harmless, "for James there was nothing inherently theological in or about mystical experience",[44] and felt it legitimate to separate the mystic's experience from theological claims.[44] Harmless notes that James "denies the most central fact of religion",[45] namely that religion is practiced by people in groups, and often in public.[45] He also ignores ritual, the historicity of religious traditions,[45] and theology, instead emphasizing "feeling" as central to religion.[45]

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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50 minutes ago, Canadiandude said:

It would seem then that if emotional/spiritual phenomenon are so variable, in what they confirm and how they operate from person to person, then I guess I’m confused as to what makes my above statement an illegitimate answer as to why a person can write negative things about the church and feel ‘broken-hearted’ at the same time.

I think there are lot worthy things that the church does and stands for, but I also see much harm done through and by it as well.

 

The church has often framed its relationship with the external ‘world’ through a lens of sorrow- grief for the world  having to necessarily experience the consequences of its own wickedness when it would not repent.

It’s not particularly odd then, that progressive, non- and post-members would feel the same way, for a church that continues to also feel the necessary, negative consequences as a result of harmful beliefs and practices.

As they say:

’ya hate to see it’.

In retrospect, I see your point, and it is a valid one.

I think that my response was simply a knee-jerk response to one statement that I saw as critical to the church, and the implication that you had posted all there was to be said and your refusal to go back and repeat your position.  I also objected to the implied idea that "everyone" feels regret after leaving a church, with which I disagreed.   I did not feel much emotion upon leaving Catholicism.

My bad!  Sorry!

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6 hours ago, Nofear said:

I actually remember talking with my mtc branch president that I was worried I wasn't experiencing such emotions like so many of the missionaries around me. He assured me that his own spiritual experiences were frequently not heavily tied to emotion.

Joseph Smith has his spin on it

Whether or not his opinion about Israelite blood has any merit or not, the point is that to him it was clear that emotions were not always tied to the Spirit. Emotions are a secondary effect for some, some of the time. Some members have confused the two, however. But just because I get emotional listening to a good country song (a rarity) or cute video of animal or kitten kindness, I don't relate such emotions as being spiritual.

Agreed, of course.

Simple logic.

All bachelors are unmarried, but not all unmarried people are bachelors.

So many make that mistake, especially hereabouts- I have already seen it here on this thread.  If testimony is based on emotion, it does not follow that all emotions are testimonies.

Being chased by a bear stimulates emotions, but not all emotions mean you are being chased by a bear.

But it is THOSE kind of emotions that can save us when we ARE being chased by a bear. ;)   That emotional experience is about as close to "reality" as anyone would want to be, and of course the emotional response may be what saves your life.

"Emotion saves" in more ways than one!

 

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20 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I don't know any of these people, nor do I understand the emotions.

I left Catholicism over 40 years ago because it did not, imo, have a philosophically justifiable base.

With respect (and if I understand correctly) you left the faith of your youth while you were an undergraduate in college. There is a world of difference between that and leaving something you have dedicated a long life to. Just sayin’. 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

In retrospect, I see your point, and it is a valid one.

I think that my response was simply a knee-jerk response to one statement that I saw as critical to the church, and the implication that you had posted all there was to be said and your refusal to go back and repeat your position.  I also objected to the implied idea that "everyone" feels regret after leaving a church, with which I disagreed.   I did not feel much emotion upon leaving Catholicism.

My bad!  Sorry!

Thank-you.

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7 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Agree.  "Frequently" is a great wiggle word.

I have asked 5 temple presidents, one a close friend for years, about the second endowment and their answers were all exactly the same.

Puzzled look, push back the chair and then "Well, I'm not sure I can say that I know much about that...." implying both ignorance, and literal truth at the same time.  Amazing "coincidences".

Any temple president who claims no knowledge of second anointing is straight up lying. They are supposed to though- Gotta lie for the lord. 

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3 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

With respect (and if I understand correctly) you left the faith of your youth while you were an undergraduate in college. There is a world of difference between that and leaving something you have dedicated a long life to. Just sayin’. 

You are a poor, and highly unprofessional psychotherapist.

It's kind of shocking, frankly that anyone would put out such a conclusion.

I based my conclusions on the philosophy of William James and the idea that all religions have all "truth" and all are valid in similar ways. Otherwise they would have no followers 

There was nothing to be emotional about.

The Catholic paradigm didn't work for me. I got a new one.

Religion is like a psychological theory which one believes fo a while until another paradigm works better for you.

This is a very strange board, to not understand the Rorty quote below instantly. Its clarity pierced my soul, and fits perfectly within "getting your own testimony", reading the best books, and personal revelation.

Are there any LDS people here at all? Are you all Fundamentalists?

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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8 minutes ago, secondclasscitizen said:

Any temple president who claims no knowledge of second anointing is straight up lying. They are supposed to though- Gotta lie for the lord. 

I think you missed the whole point.  Simplistic nonsense.

There are two meanings there, and my question was rude

I might as well have been asking about their sex lives.

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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34 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

This is a very strange board, to not understand the Rorty quote below instantly. Its clarity pierced my soul, and fits perfectly within "getting your own testimony", reading the best books, and personal revelation.

Are there any LDS people here at all? Are you all Fundamentalists?

I think our lack of understanding in this regard is an interesting vindication of what Rorty is getting at. "Truth", as an extension of human creations, cannot exist outside of individual perception. We all presume to believe in truth, but we all believe different things about different things, and it seems clear that the grand overarching "truth" is inaccessible to us mere mortals...that which we can attain is a facsimile of it dependent on our axioms and capacities, which can be upheld only with humility, but which works well enough for the purposes of getting on with our experienced life. 

I admit I struggled with this for a while, but as I journeyed further in philosophy I was forced to confront the fact of disagreement, which got me very far on the road to this conclusion. Seeing two philosophers at loggerheads over the exact same arguments tends to strip one of one's confidence in the objective truthfinding capacity of unaided pure reason. "Objectivity" is a maximally overrated concept. 

37 minutes ago, secondclasscitizen said:

Any temple president who claims no knowledge of second anointing is straight up lying. They are supposed to though- Gotta lie for the lord. 

This is uncharitable. You don't even know what the question is...all you know is that Mark asked a question about the second endowment, and yet you assume that the 5 temple presidents were all lying. In order for your accusation to have any support, you'd have to assume that temple presidents automatically know all there is to know about the second endowment and the doctrines therein...which is highly unlikely in our church where we generally assume there's more to the ordinances than meets the eye. 

Edited by OGHoosier
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2 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

I think our lack of understanding in this regard is an interesting vindication of what Rorty is getting at. "Truth", as an extension of human creations, cannot exist outside of individual perception. We all presume to believe in truth, but we all believe different things about different things, and it seems clear that the grand overarching "truth" is inaccessible to us mere mortals...that which we can attain is a facsimile of it dependent on our axioms and capacities, which can be upheld only with humility, but which works well enough for the purposes of getting on with our experienced life. 

I admit I struggled with this for a while, but as I journeyed further in philosophy I was forced to confront the fact of disagreement, which got me very far on the road to this conclusion. Seeing two philosophers at loggerheads over the exact same arguments tends to strip one of one's confidence in the objective truthfinding capacity of unaided pure reason. "Objectivity" is a maximally overrated concept. 

Thanks so much. This is not the first time you have restored my faith in humanity's ability to progress!

We all see through a glass darkly, but I also know that that is actually part of God's plan. It is hubris to think that in this state of darkness we could approach "things as they are" and know as God knows, while we are still "natural men" .

I firmly believe that in a different state, we will finally see as God sees, but for now, we are blind to such things. 

But we do have glimpses to let us know that we CAN get there, and that we are not there yet

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8 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

 

This is uncharitable. You don't even know what the question is...all you know is that Mark asked a question about the second endowment, and yet you assume that the 5 temple presidents were all lying. In order for your accusation to have any support, you'd have to assume that temple presidents automatically know all there is to know about the second endowment and the doctrines therein...which is highly unlikely in our church where we generally assume there's more to the ordinances than meets the eye. 

All temple presidents pretty much know more than anyone else about the second anointing. They also know exactly who is getting it in the temple they are president of. They have also had it themselves of course. Source temple president in family… well was , now he is dead. 
 

not uncharitable at all if it’s true. They are supposed to deny knowledge of it to all but the inner circle.  It is an ordinance for the connected and people in high ranking church positions. The average member who does all the right things and never gets past a high council position will never get one. Stake presidents and friends is where this all begins. 

Edited by secondclasscitizen
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5 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Thanks so much. This is not the first time you have restored my faith in humanity's ability to progress!

We all see through a glass darkly, but I also know that that is actually part of God's plan. It is hubris to think that in this state of darkness we could approach "things as they are" and know as God knows, while we are still "natural men" .

I firmly believe that in a different state, we will finally see as God sees, but for now, we are blind to such things. 

But we do have glimpses to let us know that we CAN get there, and that we are not there yet

I am in agreement. The nature of God's knowledge and the nature of our knowledge seem obviously different, which implies that our knowledge is necessarily of an imperfect nature. This occurs on any variety of monotheism, it seems.

Interestingly, my coming around to Pragmatism was not brought about by arguments. Your arguments, and those of others, helped, but my experience was that my axiomatic belief in the "hard truth" of rational conclusions was pretty well dug in. I blame the culture for that. Argument couldn't really dislodge it. The only thing that could was experience - I read philosophical and political literature and I saw so much disagreement everywhere. I saw people disagreeing over the meaning of the same exact words, on topics with the most profound implications. I reflected on the fact that all of them thought that they were right, or at least acted as though the beliefs they held were right, and I really couldn't fault them for it. And yet other people, just as qualified, disagreed. To me, the only way to resolve this was to accept theoretical humility but, practically speaking, act as if our controversial beliefs were true. That means jettisoning the dogma of the truthfinding reliability of "pure reason", but it does open up a view of the world which, I think, better fits the data. Argument couldn't do it for me, only experience could. It seems that the gospel tells me to accept both of these conclusions - experience is a more powerful guide than mere argument, and at the end of the day we have to regard our beliefs as practical instruments rather than indubitable nuggets of The Truth. I find this convergence of conclusions to be revealing. 

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19 hours ago, Nofear said:

I actually remember talking with my mtc branch president that I was worried I wasn't experiencing such emotions like so many of the missionaries around me. He assured me that his own spiritual experiences were frequently not heavily tied to emotion.

Joseph Smith has his spin on it

Whether or not his opinion about Israelite blood has any merit or not, the point is that to him it was clear that emotions were not always tied to the Spirit. Emotions are a secondary effect for some, some of the time. Some members have confused the two, however. But just because I get emotional listening to a good country song (a rarity) or cute video of animal or kitten kindness, I don't relate such emotions as being spiritual.

Fair enough. But the church does emphasize feelings as a primary means of receiving a testimony.

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9 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I think you missed the whole point.  Simplistic nonsense.

There are two meanings there, and my question was rude

I might as well have been asking about their sex lives.

 

I don't understand why asking a temple president about a temple ordinance is rude.

Perhaps it would have been rude if you asked them specifically if they had received the 2A and about their experience but asking about an ordinance (even a semi-secret one) seems like fair ground for questions.

IF the Temple presidents really looked at you quizzically and stated they didn't know anything about the 2A then they are either woefully unaware or a temple ordinance for which they hold keys, OR they are being dishonest

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9 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I based my conclusions on the philosophy of William James and the idea that all religions have all "truth" and all are valid in similar ways. Otherwise they would have no followers 

Having followers does not signify truth. People follow all sorts of things that are not true. Nor are all religions valid.

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