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Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox

Allan C. 29 Aug 03 - 02:21 PM
Bill D 29 Aug 03 - 01:48 PM
Amos 29 Aug 03 - 10:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Aug 03 - 10:35 AM
Bill D 29 Aug 03 - 10:31 AM
Amos 29 Aug 03 - 09:11 AM
Mudlark 29 Aug 03 - 01:22 AM
Allan C. 29 Aug 03 - 12:15 AM
Amos 28 Aug 03 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,John Hardly 28 Aug 03 - 02:52 PM
Amos 28 Aug 03 - 02:26 PM
Allan C. 28 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 28 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM
fox4zero 28 Aug 03 - 02:18 PM
Bill D 28 Aug 03 - 11:37 AM
Amos 28 Aug 03 - 10:54 AM
Grab 28 Aug 03 - 08:19 AM
Amos 28 Aug 03 - 02:04 AM
Allan C. 28 Aug 03 - 01:52 AM
mg 28 Aug 03 - 12:52 AM
Mudlark 27 Aug 03 - 11:06 PM
akenaton 27 Aug 03 - 09:41 PM
mack/misophist 27 Aug 03 - 09:24 PM
Billy the Bus 27 Aug 03 - 09:15 PM
akenaton 27 Aug 03 - 08:46 PM
Amos 27 Aug 03 - 08:32 PM
akenaton 27 Aug 03 - 07:24 PM
Amos 27 Aug 03 - 06:42 PM
jacqui c 27 Aug 03 - 05:03 PM
Bill D 27 Aug 03 - 04:37 PM
Peter T. 27 Aug 03 - 04:35 PM
John MacKenzie 27 Aug 03 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 27 Aug 03 - 03:33 PM
Amos 27 Aug 03 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 27 Aug 03 - 12:58 PM
Amos 27 Aug 03 - 12:51 PM
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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 02:21 PM

All such discussions eventually boil down to the question of definitions of terms. When examining concepts such as death, about which we know nothing, or life, about which we may eventually discover we know nearly nothing, definitions cannot possibly be hard and fast. This means that our discussion can only remain on the level of opinion. Empirical evidence is not to be found on this plane. IMHO


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 01:48 PM

"...minds whose filters are predominantly based on that view and model."

Yep..I can see that! And I immediately am asking how one GETS filters and whether 'filters' can be flawed...and how would one test for a flawed filter...etc..

"Personally I think both things are true ...... AND there is a major component which is spiritual......"

And in the final analysis, it comes down to that "I think", doesn't it? I am certainly aware that I have not proven that spiritual phenomena don't exist (that is, independently of subjective awareness of them)..but neither has anyone 'proved' that they do! To me, there are far too many implications to believing without a better notion of the nature what I would be believing in (if that makes any sense).

There are whole areas of Philosophy devoted to the relation of our linguistic constructs to 'reality', and though I am not deeply grounded in this, I see the general concern of the area. For some people, just being able to have a concept and verbalize a concept endows that concept with a certain 'existence', and gives validity to the debate. Needless to say, I am not in that camp.

Whether, indeed, further exploration of quantum mechanics will allow us to find the basis of phenomena we now call 'spiritual' is interesting....I wish I could expect to live to see a resolution: but what I personally expect, is that there will BE no resolution, and that some will continue to see, hear, feel, experience..and believe in, phenomena that I and my ilk cannot. (I get told regularly that I need to 'open myself' to the experiences...*grin*..which sort of means to me "give up and let your imagination go, like the rest of us") *shrug*....naaawww, if them spirits wants me, let 'em come GET me!


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:53 AM

but I see nothing that convinces me that 'spiritual energies and/or phenomena' are anything more than linguistic twists in an attempt to come to terms with unusual manifestations of physical phenomena

Psychic and spiritual phenomena -- events that are so labeled, anyway -- tend to stand outside the normal model of space time based on what is essentially Newtonian space-time, and they can be very disconcerting to minds whose filters are predominantly based on that view and model. Some explanations base themselves on the "unfathomed complexity" proposition which argies that the details of the phsyical universe, EMF vibrations and quantum phenomena are so complex that the explanation for these phenomena will be eventually found as that complexity is plumbed.

The other argument for the same discrepancy is the "incomplete model" proposition which says that a model which includes only matter, energy, space and time is incomplete and that in order to explain the anomalies one has to posit an additional component to existence, usually referred to as "thought", "spiritual energy" "elan vital", or other names depending on the bias of the proposer.

Personally I think both things are true -- there is a lot to be unfolded and uncovered about the universe at a quantum level which will change how we look at things AND there is a major component which is spiritual rather than material in its nature and therefore has different qualities and laws than those which seem to govern particles and waves.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:35 AM

"a sort of 50's existentialism" - what's the date ever got to do with whether a way of thinking is valid or not?


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 10:31 AM

Allan C...."Still, I believe the theory applies to the spiritual energies in much the same way."

Amos.... "...require spiritual phenomena to be constrained to mechanistic criteria"

I see your point(s)...but I see nothing that convinces me that 'spiritual energies and/or phenomena' are anything more than linguistic twists in an attempt to come to terms with unusual manifestations of physical phenomena.
People DO have experiences that they need to interpret, and often they have religious, cultural and familial background templates already in place when these experiences (or ideas) occur. (many backspaces here)...

Why do we obviously *grin* intelligent, concerned people differ on these issues and concepts? This is almost as interesting to me as the question of WHETHER spiritual constructs have any sort of 'reality'. Are we hard-wired at birth to process information certain ways? Does excesses of various hormones partially determine our moral and 'spititual' values? I truly do not 'know', but every year I see more & more articles from medical research about DNA controlling more than we'd like to think.

The whole thing becomes a meta-issue, where the very discussion may depend on analysis of what basic precepts we accept, and why.

Or, as my wife says, maybe my 'receptors' were never developed due to my refusal to eat eggs & onions as a kid!~ *grin*


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 09:11 AM

That's for sure!!!


A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Mudlark
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 01:22 AM

It seems that even the essential Thou may be in question. There is a lot of speculation verging on evidence that very early childhood does some profound rewiring.I resist that idea, myself.

Regarding reality...in a documentary on vehicle dwellers I saw an interesting card in the window of a bus..."Perception is not necessarily reality."


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 12:15 AM

Now read the quotation while replacing the word, "death" with "life". The result seems to me to be equally as interesting an observation.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 04:09 PM

I don't think it of little consequence -- it is certainly a simportant as anyother nameable event in a lifetime, wouldn't you think? If Dag's quote is to be taken seriously, it is a defining part of the whole string!

Personhood is an interesting thing, because it works in layers of construction, but there is always some center that is apparently an unchanging transcendant center no matter what other moral, cultural or tribal beliefs you buy in to. Your style and mindset may melt away after death, I believe, but the core of Thou remaineth undeterred to pursue other adventures.

'Course, Dag would say I am just defining how I am going to handle life's twists and turns.

Hmmm....


A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:52 PM

finally "identity" is brought up.

I understand resignation to the unavoidable -- but what I find interesting in this discussion is:
1. How little we seem to believe in our own personhood -- though it's the greatest reality we have ever experienced, and
2. how much the discussion so far would lead one to believe (outside of one comment by m.g. about fear) death to be of little consequence, and
3. How absolute we are here that nobody could have an answer (or know any better than we do what's really up)....

....reminds me of the terrific quote I just read t'other day-- "An agnostic is someone who doesn't know whether there's a god, and says you don't, either." :^)

Finally (that'd be #4 I s'pose), that this is a gathering of intellectuals, and intellectualism is at least as aimed at comforting the uncertain as any religion is. *grin*


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:26 PM

Well, Bill, you get into a vicious circle if you require spiritual phenomena to be constrained to mechanistic criteria. But aside from that, there is evidence, yes. The indication from the data I have seen is that viewpoint and material particles interact, but are different things. Thing is, it is powerful easy to create the opposite impression, as well. With something as malleable as a viewpoint, it is arguable that there is no way to get hard-edged repluication of evidence. Minds don't seem to work that way.   

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Allan C.
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM

I totally agree with your thoughts about identity, Bill. While some may be hung up on the concept that after we die we might be "reborn" as new humans, I see no reason why we should limit that idea to animate things or even to things on this planet. After all, it seems doubtful that gravity would have much effect upon that sort of energy.

By the way, I do understand the differences in the definitions of energies. Still, I believe the theory applies to the spiritual energies in much the same way.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:25 PM

DEATH

In the last analysis, it is our perception of death which decides our
answers to all the questions that life puts to us.

                   Dag Hammarskjold

I am still wary of people who think they will get a second chance somewhere else especially when they have read some book and talked to some people that tell them they are special ......

....and so I agree with Dag.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: fox4zero
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:18 PM

I was taught that the way to approach Death is to "run zig-zag and then kick him in the balls".

Larry


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 11:37 AM

"IF humans are capable of experiencing separately from their bodies, and there is a strong thread of evidence to the effect that they are, "

ummm..Amos.. there may be a bit of equivocation in the use of the word "evidence" among various opinions. As you might expect, I have a pretty narrow view of the matter.

..Allan C.refers to the concept that matter & energy are not destroyed, but merely change locus and configuration, but that hardly supports a theory that some sort of 'identity' remains after death.

There IS, however, lots of evidence that the mind is capable of rearranging its memories and neuro-chemical patterns in fascinating ways. (Hypnosis, visions during fasting, psychodelic drugs, trauma...etc.) 'Reality' become pretty slippery sometimes.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 10:54 AM

Grab:

I'm not sure it works that way!! LOL!!! SOunds a bit anthropomorphic to me.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Grab
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 08:19 AM

Allan, the "energy" meant in the theories of thermodynamics is a very different "energy" to what spiritualists/psychics are referring to! The former is measurable and quantifiable using standard physical methods. On death, all this energy that was stored in your body is dispersed - body-heat is dissipated into the surroundings, and stored energy in chemical reactions is used for food by various organisms or dissipated as chemicals break down naturally. The latter is utterly unquantifiable and cannot be detected by any instrument, and indeed its very existence cannot be demonstrated by any process.

Or in short, physical scientific principles don't apply when the concepts are religious, philosophical or metaphorical, rather than physical! :-) I agree with you though, there's no way anyone can know the answer, bcos there's no evidence either way. That's exactly why death is the great adventure.

From a personal POV though, if there is a judgement day and God's sitting there saying "you've been a bit bad but you can go to Heaven, but you've been a little bit worse so you can go to eternal torture", frankly I think I'll be organising the militia to go and beat the crap out of Him. My God is *not* a jealous God...

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 02:04 AM

IF humans are capable of experiencing separately from their bodies, and there is a strong thread of evidence to the effect that they are, one's cosmology would have to take that phenomenon into account. Including the notion that death as it is experienced by the body is NOT identical to the experience of death that the "I" goes through.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Allan C.
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 01:52 AM

It always seemed to me that if we accept the theory that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, then that energy we all have within us MUST remain (somewhere) after we die. The question (to which some of us CLAIM to have the answer) is where does that energy, a.k.a., spirit go? I don't have the answer and you can talk to me until you are blue; but I will never believe YOU have the answer either.

Philosophically, I see death as an adventure - a step toward the unknown. Perhaps when the time comes to face it, I may suddenly develop a different philosophy - many people do, I am told. But from the current vantage, I see nothing to fear.

Does this view skew my thinking about all other aspects of my life? I can only say, perhaps. Perhaps Dag had it figured right.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: mg
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 12:52 AM

I would love to know that we just stopped when we die and there was no judgement day, purgatory, hell etc...I am a Catholic raised by a fire and brimstone Baptist mother..it should have made me very religious but I am marginal at best but still quite paranoid about it all. mg


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Mudlark
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 11:06 PM

At this end of my life I take my perceptions of death from the natural world I live in. I am somewhat literal minded and I have always had trouble getting my mind around the concept that matter doesn't disappear, just its forms. But the idea of returning to stardust appeals, and after 40 years a gardener, compost seems as good a way to look at death, and the hereafter, as any.

As for the death of others, it is the acceptance of the finality of death that is difficult...that such mundane things as their clothing, and papers covered with their handwriting, can still exist, yet the genesis for all these personal "things" is inexplicably and emphatically gone.

With compost as my belief, I have no formal religious idea of afterlife, and yet...and yet...I've been visited a couple of times by the recently dead. Mental abberation borne of the above mentioned difficulty with acceptance? It sure didn't seem like that, but the subconscious is a wild and wonderful place...

In the end, I'm comfortable with not knowing. We don't even know, in intricate detail, how our own bodies work, a mystery among many. And if I had a chance at a time machine, I think I'd be more interested in taking a look at the past.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 09:41 PM

misophist...People have been conditioned to fear death through the different religions ,and especially Christianity. In the older cultures (Aberigional,American native,ect),death was excepted with peace and without fear.
All one needs for peace of mind is a knowledge that each one of us is a tiny part of a huge machine and our deaths wont stop the engine....Ake


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: mack/misophist
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 09:24 PM

It seems obvious to me that people are afraid of death because it's an unknown. It's the not knowing that hurts. Many could come to terms with going to hell, if they knew that's what was going to happen. It's just that damned uncertainty.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 09:15 PM

It's all a 'Bit of a Dägg' really - He was a fine guy!

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:46 PM

I simply made that statement because folk tend to close their minds to the idea of death,instead of embracing the cycle in its entirety.
Peple have been filled by superstition and fear over the centuries and find it hard to be rational...Ake


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:32 PM

Why should the part labeled "Stop" be more important than the part labeled "Start" or the part seen as "Continuing" ?? They are all in separable phases of the life-cycvle, and anyone who locks in to one of them is pretty sure to go through all three...

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 07:24 PM

I see death as tha most important part of the natural cycle,as you all know every living thing must die ,plants ,insects,fungi...everything.
Regarding personal perceptions,I believe the answer lies in the human ego. Most people just cant bear to think that one day they will be gone and the world will keep turning. It scares them too much to think that they are no more powerful, in the long term, than other animals or even plants.Also after theyv taken that truth on board it brings a load of questions about our society, that most people dont want to think about...Best wishes Ake..


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 06:42 PM

Interesting that this thread itself is now appearing to fulfill its own assertion -- that is, those posting to it are responding to it based on their perceptions of death. Anyway, I suppose there are as many ways to view death as there are opinions -- some see it as a blank wall, a zero point; others as a transition to some other-worldly state. Some see it as just a phase in a repetitive cycle. Some people think of it as a sort of summer vacation between levels at a university that never seems to hold graduation ceremonies! :>) Some see it as a sort of emulsifying blending back into the molecular river of space time. Some fear it as a sort of enforced haling before some kind of highly critical judgement. Some are certain it is an opportunity to review one's own decisions for oneself, a kind of break from some sort of stretched-out productivity....

Chacun a son gout , I guess.

And Jacqui, an interesting question. I'd start finishing every undelivered message I could think of, especially those of esteem and affection.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: jacqui c
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 05:03 PM

I agree with you Bill as I always want to know what happens next and the idea of not seeing how things unfold is frustrating.

While reading this thread I was thinking that, when we die we are kept alive by the people who survive us and the influence we might have had on other lives, for good and bad.

I have my own perception of what will happen when I die and it probably is a way of coming to terms with my own mortality. Like everyone else I've experienced the death of people close to me and have found it difficult at first to accept that I won't ever be able to see that person again. Like any loss we have to go through the various stages before we come can to an acceptance of the death and yes, I do think that the way that we deal with death does reflect the way that we deal with life. We have to accept that we will die, we just don't know when and we should make every day count, because it might be the last one that does.

Maybe that is the way to work out your true priorities. If you knew that you would die tomorrow, next week, next month what would you do and not do? Working on that I've given up on housework!!!


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 04:37 PM

One of the defining aspects of being human is that we can contemplate our own death and what happens before & after we exist. This contemplation is what leads to theories of afterlife. Some can emotionally tolerate the idea of "nothingness", and some cannot...and I strongly suspect that those who cannot will simply look for (or accept) the most 'comfortable' explanation.

I don't believe I am going "somewhere else"...but I still want to live this life as the best person I can be and hope that others can do the same.
Most of my 'perceptions of death' now have come from my own internal consideration of what I have been told versus what seems reasonable and likely. I have a great deal of difficulty in imagining "not being here" any longer. I am inexhaustibly curious about what will happen to the curious planet and its crazy inhabitants and I don't want to go till I know!
...but I shall, nonetheless, and I doubt I shall be widely missed. Perhaps all the thousands of posts in Mudcat will be the best record of my essential character.*grin*


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 04:35 PM

I think the original quote is misguided, a sort of 50's existentialism. For a start (and in spite of Heidegger) most people are not oriented towards or away from death. They assume they are going to be alive unless proved otherwise -- especially in our society. Second, people faced with death who does not have a strong belief system seem to be stunned or abashed, and certainly not given any answers. Death raises far more questions than answers, and the answers are not forthcoming (unless, as I say, you have strong beliefs one way or the other). Faced with death and dead people, I have learned nothing except that death seems to have nothing to recommend it (as Woody Allen said, I don't mind dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 03:42 PM

Scopes


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 03:33 PM

Rather a queer statement isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 02:36 PM

Good points, Les.

I think a distinction must be mad,e though between thoughts about death (vague concepts picked up second hand) and what Dag H says in the quote -- a perception of death. I don't know for sure whether DH meant to make such a distinction or not, but it is al ot more interesting to assume he did.

I love your question!! I guess it is because to some religions all natural history is a religous phenomenon.

A


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Subject: RE: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 12:58 PM

Oh, just a bit. People who believe they are going somewhere else may just tend to behave slightly differently to those who do not.

Where do we get ideas from? Parents knees and books. Why, when their are so many books in the Library, do some people decide to believe one to the exclusion of all others? Why do some people consult a car maintenance manual to understand cars and religious books to understand natural history?


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Subject: Thought a Day: The Hammerskold Paradox
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 12:51 PM

DEATH

In the last analysis, it is our perception of death which decides our
answers to all the questions that life puts to us.

                   Dag Hammarskjold


A powerful proposition. For consideration: is there a relation between your perception of death -- what it is, what it must be like, how it works-- and how you choose to respond to events in your life?

Where do the living get their perceptions of death?

A


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