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Science & The Supernatural: A Discussion of the World Around us - Based on Science with an Interest in the Supernatural ...
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 Post subject: Discovering how to live
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2009, 02:40 
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What techniques do you use to discover how to live?

Too cryptic? Okay, I’ll explain.

What activities have you engaged in that have helped you gain insights into what is worthwhile, what adds meaning to your life, what its purpose should be? For example, reading books on spiritual topics, meditation, walking through the woods, Internet discussions, LSD, etc, etc. I’m not specifically looking for what insights were gained in the process, though it might be useful to share that too.

I’m trying to get some sense of the diversity of approaches that add value to different people. If you don’t mind, I would like to use the information in my forthcoming book Living Deliberately.


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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2009, 06:13 
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My primary method is through observation and valuation followed by research.

I observe what others do, either directly or indirectly through anecdotal sources or media, and make a valuation on the actions and activities. What I find to have been good and helpful is further researched to discover if it is something that has true value in my own life or not. That which a find to be bad and "unhelpful" I discard or use as a negative example to be avoided in similar way. By researching the negative examples and coming to an understanding of the reasons behind it, I seek to avoid the situation.

This method tends to bring about a rather more "scientific" or "psychological" approach to spirituality, however, and may not be best for persons that do not have that sort of mind set...


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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2009, 17:31 
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Thanks, HavenMage.

Would you mind describing your evaluation process in a bit more detail?


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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2009, 06:04 
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That is a little tougher. The method I use is part scientific and part gut feeling. General rules would be something like: does the behavior encourage positive emotional response or growth? Yes=Good, No-Bad. Is the activity injurious to another in some way: Yes=Bad, No=Good.

I tend to think in terms of what promotes positive emotional responses and personal growth as well as tending towards avoiding injury in physical, emotional, psychological, and social contexts. I value the individual slightly higher than society, but accept that society must occasionally be valued higher than an individual.

This, in personal examination, seems to be the result of my upbringing.

does that answer your question?


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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2009, 00:49 
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Pretty much. I use a similar approach, except that I don’t have the second consideration (injury to another), because I find that the first covers it. Do you see them as distinct?


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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2009, 05:48 
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They are not distinct, but I focus a greater amount of personal energy on that aspect.

It is my belief that a society only really works when individuals are considerate of others...

Sometimes I wonder that not everyone seems to take that as the most basic and obvious statement... :dontknow:


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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2009, 15:05 
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I take it as an obvious statement, but not a basic one. I find that I can derive it from your first guideline. This was the thrust of my question. Do you find that being inconsiderate of others can still yield a positive emotional response, or is the second guideline made explicit purely for emphasis?


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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2009, 20:54 
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I believe that the case is one for emphasis. I cannot, at this time, think of any positive emotional response that comes from being inconsiderate that cannot also be had from being considerate in the same situation.

There are points of personal affirmation that can lead to positive emotional response which can be inconsiderate to others at the same time. However, I also find that this same point of personal affirmation yields a stronger positive response when one also remains considerate. Standing up to a bully for instance...?


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