Tuesday, October 08, 2013

narcissism of minor differences: profound behavioral reinforcement for status-seeking?

NYTimes | Turning a blind eye. Giving someone the cold shoulder. Looking down on people. Seeing right through them.

These metaphors for condescending or dismissive behavior are more than just descriptive. They suggest, to a surprisingly accurate extent, the social distance between those with greater power and those with less — a distance that goes beyond the realm of interpersonal interactions and may exacerbate the soaring inequality in the United States.

A growing body of recent research shows that people with the most social power pay scant attention to those with little such power. This tuning out has been observed, for instance, with strangers in a mere five-minute get-acquainted session, where the more powerful person shows fewer signals of paying attention, like nodding or laughing. Higher-status people are also more likely to express disregard, through facial expressions, and are more likely to take over the conversation and interrupt or look past the other speaker.

Bringing the micropolitics of interpersonal attention to the understanding of social power, researchers are suggesting, has implications for public policy.

Of course, in any society, social power is relative; any of us may be higher or lower in a given interaction, and the research shows the effect still prevails. Though the more powerful pay less attention to us than we do to them, in other situations we are relatively higher on the totem pole of status — and we, too, tend to pay less attention to those a rung or two down.

A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain. In 2008, social psychologists from the University of Amsterdam and the University of California, Berkeley, studied pairs of strangers telling one another about difficulties they had been through, like a divorce or death of a loved one. The researchers found that the differential expressed itself in the playing down of suffering. The more powerful were less compassionate toward the hardships described by the less powerful.

Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at Berkeley, and Michael W. Kraus, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, have done much of the research on social power and the attention deficit.

Mr. Keltner suggests that, in general, we focus the most on those we value most. While the wealthy can hire help, those with few material assets are more likely to value their social assets: like the neighbor who will keep an eye on your child from the time she gets home from school until the time you get home from work. The financial difference ends up creating a behavioral difference. Poor people are better attuned to interpersonal relations — with those of the same strata, and the more powerful — than the rich are, because they have to be.

While Mr. Keltner’s research finds that the poor, compared with the wealthy, have keenly attuned interpersonal attention in all directions, in general, those with the most power in society seem to pay particularly little attention to those with the least power. To be sure, high-status people do attend to those of equal rank — but not as well as those low of status do.

This has profound implications for societal behavior and government policy. Tuning in to the needs and feelings of another person is a prerequisite to empathy, which in turn can lead to understanding, concern and, if the circumstances are right, compassionate action.

In politics, readily dismissing inconvenient people can easily extend to dismissing inconvenient truths about them. The insistence by some House Republicans in Congress on cutting financing for food stamps and impeding the implementation of Obamacare, which would allow patients, including those with pre-existing health conditions, to obtain and pay for insurance coverage, may stem in part from the empathy gap. As political scientists have noted, redistricting and gerrymandering have led to the creation of more and more safe districts, in which elected officials don’t even have to encounter many voters from the rival party, much less empathize with them.

64 comments:

woodensplinter said...

lol, CNu is telling on himself. All day, every day you should thank God you haven't struck it rich. Because the minute you do, you will lose your immortal soul.

CNu said...

Ta loco? Calm your culo Jack, and don't go talking out of class.

woodensplinter said...

http://youtu.be/t0qTOkUPlGk

woodensplinter said...

Not quite sure what you find so amusing about that my friend. I'd hardly be the first to describe you as Malthusian, so I'll refrain from invoking that "M" word to describe your peculiar brand of misanthropy.

CNu said...

um..., exactly when does the tangible fruition of my risk/skill/work become misanthropy? ain't nobody keeping the gottdayyumed two-legged tallow-pots from trying harder and doing better. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13&version=NLT

John Kurman said...

15% of all burn cases in Misery are meth cooks and their victims. Average age under 4 you say? I say, why aren't those children displaying personal responsibility and enlightened logical self-interest, and being more careful around dangerous household chemicals?

CNu said...

Because they're the product of dysgenic, low parental-investment breeding by irresponsible waterheads..., sadly, the meth exhausts all biological reserves formation, so these two-legged tallow sacks and their crisply little larvae can't even be usefully harvested.

BigDonOne said...

BD will see that 15%, and raise you the same about 95% of all Chicago, Baltimore, Philly, New Orleans, Miami, Oakland, etc, gunshot victims.......

ken said...

Now that's a fun article, NYT titles the article: Rich People Care Less, and then of course never give a look back at themselves at what you pulled. “the narcissism of minor differences" which they defined as: "Social distance makes it all the easier to focus on small differences between groups and to put a negative spin on the ways of others and a positive spin on our own."

"Mr. Keltner suggests that, in general, we focus the most on those we value most. While the wealthy can hire help, those with few material assets are more likely to value their social assets...The financial difference ends up creating a behavioral difference. Poor people are better attuned to interpersonal relations."

And this was measured by observing laughing and nodding or various personal expressions in a group. The author can't step back and reflect how the rich acquired their assets? Would the author accept this article as true also?

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2006/07/18/social-skills-matter-more-than-ever-so-heres-how-to-get-them/

It seems with the Mr, Keltner's study, the poor won't be poor for long, with their greater ability to value social assets, it will be exactly the type of employee many businesses would love to have; expect some great interpersonal salesman who should make a lot of money just being themselves. And of course their heightened interpersonal skills due to their lack of material assets and value for their social assets will certainly aid them to be better attuned to their mother or father of their children supply their offspring with all the benefits of a 2 parent family.

CNu said...

lol@BD tryna horn in on grown folks sardonic repartee...,

BigDonOne said...

Since you wanted a stereotyping contest, BD was pleased to participate.....

CNu said...

Would the author accept this article as true also?

I'm gonna have to go with a NO on that one Ken. I believe you've introduced false equivalency into the discursive mix. It's an understandable mistake if you genuinely believe that a person's situation is primarily influenced his/her life choices and thus a question of individual personal responsibility.

Mr. Kurman was kind enough to point out the absurdity of that premise just this morning http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2013/10/shake-and-bake-baby.html#comment-1075009270

Penelope Trunk is speaking as a materially privileged person who has made a career of addressing herself to the wants, needs, and possible deficiencies of other similarly materially privileged persons.

It seems with the Mr, Keltner's study, the poor won't be poor for long, with their greater ability to value social assets, it will be exactly
the type of employee many businesses would love to have; expect some great interpersonal salesman who should make a lot of money just being themselves.



...because he will have a great golf game, know the ins-and-outs of the best watering holes and dining establishments and have relationships with all the right people to elevate a customers feelings of self-worth and encourage their desire to do business with him?

CNu said...

Dood, I can't even begin to thank you enough for the instructional value of your unintended self-disclosures.

John Kurman said...

I know, man, it's like poking a stick into the exposed viscera of the cerebral cortex, and seeing what else twitches.

Uglyblackjohn said...

I'd have to agree with part of this article.... That those that have (really) don't care. When I have benefits at the club, most of the people who make donations never check back to see if their money actually helped anyone. Most just give to be SEEN giving. But all that is fine. I pick the charities and I know which ones have the greatest impact locally.

ken said...

It's an understandable mistake if you genuinely believe that a person's situation is primarily influenced his/her life choices and thus a question of individual personal responsibility.

I think "primarily" allows for some exceptions so I will say yes, I genuinely believe that a person's situation is influenced by the life choices he or she makes and is an individuals responsibility.

".because he will have a great golf game, know the ins-and-outs of the best watering holes and dining establishments and have relationships with all the right people"

Well no, because "research finds that the poor, compared with the wealthy, have keenly attuned interpersonal attention in all directions"..when you have that kind of advantage over someone who "more likely to express disregard, through facial expressions, and are more likely to take over the conversation and interrupt or look past the other speaker"... who would you expect is going to win the hearts of those they come in contact with and social circles levels and have a better family life?

CNu said...

I think "primarily" allows for some exceptions so I will say yes, I genuinely believe that a person's situation is influenced by the life choices he or she makes and is an individuals responsibility.

So Kurman's point about the children of meth addicts being frequent burn victims was wholly lost on you? Perhaps a visual illustration of one of my personal favorites, the children of tased hoodrat http://youtu.be/8DrzCVAJtDw - do you seriously mean to say that anything that develops with these children is going to be the result of their own life choices?

Well no, because "research finds that the poor, compared with the wealthy, have keenly attuned interpersonal attention in all directions"..when you have that kind of advantage over someone who "more likely to express disregard, through facial expressions, and are more likely to take over the conversation and interrupt or look past the other speaker"... who would you expect is going to win the hearts of those they come in contact with and social circles levels and have a better family life?

I'm guessing you missed the whole "kiss-up/kick-down" aspect of the opinionator piece I posted? It's not that the wealthy are lacking in interpersonal skills, rather, it's that they only apply these to those for whom they feel some empathy, i.e., their status equals and superiors. http://tportis.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/understanding-the-psychology-of-the-kiss-upkick-down-leader/ - I know for certain that these folks will be highly successful in every properly contextualized circumstance in which they operate. The only time they'll be discombobulated is when they find themselves in a context or circumstance which doesn't conform with the rules of the game to which they're accustomed.



Now, if you find a highly intelligent hood rat, one who has acquired all the interpersonal skills of a dirt poor deviant, but who through his natural talents acquires a well-heeled sponsor/patron - and is mentored and inserted into a contexts/circumstances above their natural-born station, such a person has enormous competitive advantages. William Jefferson Clinton is an example of just such a one, and by dint of his natural talents and gifts and the great good fortune of acquiring very highly placed sponsors/patrons - he has risen extremely far above the class into which he was born.

CNu said...

What this article addresses, and what you have personally observed, is blockbuster testament to the subtle and profound psychological sophistication of the gospels which made very much ado about this very subject.

Nakajima Kikka said...

Hey sub-san, what's up with all the "dysgenic" references you've been throwing around lately? I can buy "dyscultural", I suppose, but "dysgenic" has a...finality to it that's just downright depressing.

ken said...

"So Kurman's point about the children of meth addicts being frequent burn victims was wholly lost on you?"

How much percent of people is that? Your use of the word primarily and my vocalized interpretation that this would allow for exceptions was lost on you? Is it your opinion life choices and how you treat people around you have little to no effect to a situation a person finds himself in?

"do you seriously mean to say that anything that develops with these children is going to be the result of their own life choices?"

My wife was a child to a crack head hooker mother, and yes I do give her credit for how she developed and the life choices she made. True enough, it is more impressive, because of her upbringing, she was able to become a lawyer and pass the bar in two states in a week; I also give credit to God for protecting her and giving her the mind to see there was another way. But it was choices she made, that brought her to a better situation. Now do I have empathy, only as much as I can, I personally don't know what it would be like or how it would effect me to have to understand my parents are a mess and going only down, and it makes me consider and provide space for where I think the person is coming from, but it still doesn't take away that choices we personally make effect our situation.

"Now, if you find a highly intelligent hood rat, one who has acquired all the interpersonal skills of a dirt poor deviant, but who through his natural talents acquires a well-heeled sponsor/patron - and is mentored and inserted into a contexts....



Doesn't this intelligent hood rat have to make a choice to be mentored? What if he doesn't will his situation be different? Or does the hood rat's choices have no effect on his life's situation?

CNu said...

Come now nk-san, only ____________ imagine that sweet talk gets the job done. What's depressing is the number of children who've been hoodwinked, bamboozled, and deceived by sweet talking adults.

Nakajima Kikka said...

My wife was a child to a crack head hooker mother, and yes I do give her
credit for how she developed and the life choices she made...



All that sustained stress growing up most likely did have epigenetic effects on your wife, however. Some of which may be heritable for the next few generations.

Tom said...

Why can we so often look to the Christian-branded folks to bring the social Darwinism?


The eye of the needle is nowhere to be seen.

Nakajima Kikka said...

Question: Is the tendency to bring in the social Darwinism an expression of Christian philosophy, or a cultural expression found primarily in certain cultural groups, Scots-Irish, for example? IOW, is it a religious impulse, or a cultural impulse?

Tom said...

I don't know. It's a good question.

ken said...

Then I guess all of us may have some epigenetic effects from previous generations, what is the point you are trying to make by explaining this?

Dale Asberry said...

Lol, ken, you totally missed the object lesson on this one. ...yet again. Your problem is you have so much pride in your own thoughts that you're unwilling and unable to hear what the story is actually speaking to.

ken said...

I am not sure I am tracking with Christian brands bringing in social darwinism. Can you expand a little more before I answer what I think you are asking?

Nakajima Kikka said...

The point is that all of the choices we make are themselves profoundly influenced, and yes, limited, by all the causes and conditions that bring us to any particular point in time. We make choices, sure, but the choices possible to us are limited by past events, past events that, as now appears increasingly likely, both make real structural changes to human and animal neural systems, and produce epigenetic effects on the same neural systems that sometimes are heritable for several generations before erasure. These changes affect both the kinds of choices you can (and can't make) and the way a particular choice you do make is expressed.


The kids of the tasered mom in that video were neurologically affected by the extreme stress of that situation. It will undoubtedly affect the way in which they make choices as well as neurologically close off the possibility of even making certain specific kinds of choices...

Nakajima Kikka said...

Social Darwinism, as I understand it, carries with the assumption that competition and conflicts between groups and/or individuals within society is ultimately good for society as superior groups defeat inferior ones, and ultimately annihilate them.


Tom made the point that "Christian-branded" people show a clear tendency to be sympathetic to that philosophy. The implication is that something within Christian philosophy itself pulls its adherents towards Social Darwinism being a desirable way to organize human societies. My question was simply to ask if that implication is true (and if so, why), or if the tendency is due to some other effect, such as the particular Christians in question being part of an ethnic group whose cultural history tends to glorify conflict and violence, particular in times of great societal stress.

ken said...

Well if that is what Tom meant by social Darwinism I don't
see how any Christian brand would accept such a notion.Your your previous post
talking about epigenetic and the limit of choices because of your previous pains or stresses, and the
Darwinian ideas of being locked into certain grouped targeted for annihilation are no Christian concepts.

Your two posts and the ideas presented throughout this thread
here offer no hope, no ability to make choices that matter, no way to migrate
to different groups or escape from the mess people find themselves in. In fact
nothing you do matters, no choice you make... thinking it does is absurd! You are cooked unless some rich guy happens laugh at your humor or nod his head at you, or we forcefully take the rich guy's
money and hand it over to you.

Christianity teaches nothing like this, it does not embrace
keeping you down, or telling others they should keep you down. Telling people
they are born this way, or they have been damaged beyond help, or they can't
take action to get away from their mess or the life they wish they could escape is a form of keeping them down, and it is not Christian.

CNu said...

lol, Ken, don't you find it at least a little ironic that nk called me out as a possible purveyor of depressing hopelessness for my unkind use of the term "dysgenic" http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2013/10/shake-and-bake-baby.html#comment-1075463023 - and I didn't bat an eyelash in response. Yet in shockingly short order, and merely as a consequence of his bringing to light certain relevant facts arising from our increased understanding of epigenetics - we find you calling him out as a purveyor of hopelessness whose facts call into question the inauthentic interpretation of the gospel you've embraced.

The unvarnished gospel teaching is waaaay harsher than anything I've given voice to here - as noted above to the beam in my brother's eye. http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2013/10/narcissism-of-minor-differences.html#comment-1074925067


Christianity DOES teach that rich men call the shots in unfair and unpredictable ways - and that you must deal with it.
Christianity DOES teach that some seed is doomed to the road and to rocky ground - and that you must deal with it.
Christianity DOES teach that it is harder for rich men to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

Nakajima Kikka said...

Well, with Social Darwinism, no one has to specifically target certain groups or individuals for annihilation. We simply have to agree to structure society such that internal competition and conflict between individuals is rewarded and cooperation between individuals is not rewarded, and then just let nature take its course.

It's not that no choice you make matters, ken. Rather, it's that every choice you make is a response to all the causes and conditions surrounding you, the ones facing you at that moment, and the ones in the past which have brought you to that moment. All those causes and conditions continuously shape, and re-shape, who you are by shaping, and re-shaping, your neural system.

To make a truly independent choice, a choice "free" of all such causes and conditions (and therefore objective), you would need to be able to step outside of the circle of physical existence entirely, move into a timeless, non-physical realm where you could objectively evaluate the options facing you, free of all influence from anything. Such is not possible. For better or worse, none of us can escape being part of the circle of physical existence. Not even for an instant.

Nakajima Kikka said...

So is there no hope then? Are we all, as you say, "cooked unless some rich guy happens laugh at your humor or nod his head at you, or we forcefully take the rich guy's money and hand it over to you? The last half of that doesn't really solve the problem. Forcefully taking the rich guy's money may give a sense of satisfaction for a day or two, but it also instills fear in the one doing the taking, re-shaping his neural system in accordance with that fear, and maybe having heritable epigenetic consequences as well.

However, though you said it with disdain, the first half is actually much closer to the truth than you realize. To avoid being cooked, each of us must receive empathy, in some form, from someone or something that is both outside of ourselves and connects directly to us. That "other" can be another person, a non-human animal, a plant, or even "non-animate" (a stone having a certain shape, for example). Receiving that empathy helps re-shape our neural systems in ways that allow us to make choices that can lead to a better life down the road, and maybe having heritable epigenetic consequences of a different sort as well.

If you want to know why your wife was able to make choices that led her to a better life, and to you, it was because the empathy she received from others growing up was much greater than the fear and stress she received from her mother. Without that empathy, she indeed would have been cooked. But she did receive it, and it made all the difference.

John Kurman said...

Social Darwinism is the rationalization camels use to explain how they luckily became whales when the water level rose.

Tom said...

My social Darwinism comment -- which NK understands -- wasn't about what Christianity teaches. When did I mention teachings?


I believe a large number of Americans who profess Christianity also profess a (to me) surprising amount of social Darwinism. And not just descriptive social Darwinism, the normative kind too.

Tom said...

I should say, as far as I know it's not a tenet of Christianity itself. But I don't know where it comes from, or to what extent it's ethnic. I don't know how different traditionally Christian people (e.g. Scots-Irish Presbyterians vs the Japanese Catholic community) see the issue.

ken said...

To be honest this is what the Christian Faith is expecting us to do. We first start off believing
there really is a God and he really meant it when he said all things are
possible through Him.
Romans 12:2 says: And do not be conformed to
this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove
what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.


I think this is a request in the direction that you say is impossible in our own
ability, but by faith the Christian depends on the Spirit of God for help in
doing this. We admit our ways of doing things are not God's ways and through
God's help strive toward the mind of God, to have God's desires. 2 Corinthians
10 says it like this: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when
your obedience is fulfilled.

ken said...

I agree with you about the empathy, she found it in the body of Christ.

ken said...

I still haven't been able to connect that we have power to make choices and they effect our situation as social darwinism as described here. And that is what I was arguing and when you brought it up.

ken said...

Actually the dog/wolf evolved to a whale...clearly of course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2C-3PjNGok

ken said...

"The unvarnished gospel teaching is waaaay harsher than anything I've
given voice to here."

Yes that would be true. Mainly because I have never seen you acknowledge the Gospel's eternal perspective.


"Christianity DOES teach that it is harder for rich men to enter
the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle"

What is the kingdom of heaven to you? For instance when one of
the thieves next to Jesus on the cross said: " “Lord, remember me when You
come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be
with Me in Paradise.”

How do you read that? I haven't heard a consideration that there is an afterlife like what was clearly being discussed on the cross. Or when Jesus answered Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

First of all do you consider Christ kingdom the kingdom of heaven, and what is that to you? From what I can tell of your writing, there isn't a belief in a paradise or place of torment after death.
Who cares if the rich man can't enter a kingdom of heaven that doesn't exist?
Why is the saying meaningful to you?

Hebrews 11 says: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Christians understand this to be part of this life, but mostly realized from an eternal perspective. It's why Job said: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him."

Obviously, Job had to have an eternal perspective of reward to say this.

The Christian perspective should be rooted in eternity, and the Christian perspective is one
of choice and it is for anybody. We all know John 3:16 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%203:16&version=NKJV

That's a whoever and it's a choice to believe.

"Christianity DOES teach that rich men call the shots in unfair and unpredictable ways - and that you must deal with it."

I think the Christian perspective is God calls the shots and you
give your complaints for God to take care of, maybe Romans works here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2012:%209-21&version=NKJV

"Christianity DOES teach that some seed is doomed to the road and to rocky ground - and that you
must deal with it."

What doe sower sowing the seed mean to you. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%208:11-15&version=NKJV

There isn't much to deal with, for the Christian we all understand you must have a noble and good heart to accept the Word of God. And it seems we all have no problem understanding Word of God that fell among the thorns that get choked out by riches and pleasures and cares of this world. It
seems all here have no problems with these seeds as they all discuss the eye of
the needle. And the ones on the rock, how does one get root? They hear the Word
from God they like it and don't dig down deeper. So finally, the hard path, is
it the lack of belief that there is a devil looking to steal the God's Word out of their hearts that is hard to deal with?

John Kurman said...

... ...never mind

Nakajima Kikka said...

Ken, the cetacean races did not evolve from wolves...but they did evolve from an animal who looked something like a wolf.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_cetaceans

Read it and weep. (^_^)

Tom said...

I see you repeatedly saying that you don't get my point on that. In case you're wondering whether I see that.


I said "Christians often bring up social-Darwinist ideas." I'm not sure what there could be in that simple statement to generate so much confusion. If you say "no they don't" then we have a discussion. If you tell me I haven't expressed my point clearly, then I call horseshit.

ken said...

Sorry, when you replied to what I was talking about, I assumed you were calling me a "Christian brand" and I thought what I was talking about you determined to be social darwinism. I didn't realize that was just a rhetorical question not necessarily connected to what I was talking about. If you have found Christians that talk about social darwinism in the way you perceive it, I am no position to doubt you.

Uglyblackjohn said...

Yeah.. But I KNOW that most people are aspirational and acquisitive so I use that to my advantage. Personally, I just use your philosophy of 'sidestepping the speed of light' in a more practical application of the pursuit of status. Let the proles seek it - I have stuff to do.

CNu said...

Yes that would be true. Mainly because I have never seen you acknowledge the Gospel's eternal perspective.

lol, you and I do not share a common understanding of either Time, or, Eternity. That said, I have held forth at length on the mystery of time, on the problem of the fourth dimension - yet - I've never quite gotten traction on that topic - even with my most deeply thinking correspondents.

It is not fruitful to approach the concept of Eternity without at least a common understanding of Time.

What is the kingdom of heaven to you? For instance when one of the thieves next to Jesus on the cross said: " “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

It is a state of transpersonal/telepathic communion most easily induced by extreme emotion/suffering. The "passion" of the Christ is not a euphemism. The thief on the cross was going to suffer and die, but on the way to his death, he would be brought into the telepathic communion of _______________________.

How do you read that? I haven't heard a consideration that there is an afterlife like what was clearly being discussed on the cross. Or when Jesus answered Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

For most, there is no eternal life. There is instead the possibility of life touched by and wiith access to Eternity. These are profoundly different things. The former is a magical-thinking fiction, the latter is the possible psychological development of the Christic superman.

First of all do you consider Christ kingdom the kingdom of heaven, and what is that to you? From what I can tell of your writing, there isn't a belief in a paradise or place of torment after death.

The body of Christ is given for you, both figuratively and literally, as a means of touching eternity and acquiring the possiblity of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. The Communion of Saints is the Kingdom of Heaven as realized by those glorified individuals (supermen) who have developed something more permanent than the corporeal body, however, even this more permanent vessel is not eternal.

If the Kingdom of Heaven was a phenomenon of the "afterlife", then it wouldn't be possible to take it by force. http://biblehub.com/matthew/11-12.htm

Who cares if the rich man can't enter a kingdom of heaven that doesn't exist? Why is the saying meaningful to you?

The rich man's plight is one of development arrested by status-seeking which scuttles the possibility of his real psychological development and simultaneously causes innummerable problems for others.

ken said...

"If the Kingdom of Heaven was a phenomenon of the "afterlife", then it wouldn't be possible to take it by force."
I think the parallel scripture explains a little more what is meant by that statement:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2016:16&version=NKJV

"For most, there is no eternal life. There is instead the possibility of life touched by and wiith access to Eternity. These are profoundly different things. The former is a magical-thinking fiction, the latter is the possible psychological development of the Christic superman."

Why do you say for most there is no eternal life? Do some get eternal life in your belief? With your ideas about magical thinking about afterlife, what is your take on Christ's teaching here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2022:23-33&version=NKJV



What does the resurrection mean in this passage?

CNu said...

"If the Kingdom of Heaven was a phenomenon of the "afterlife", then it wouldn't be possible to take it by force."
I think the parallel scripture explains a little more what is meant by that statement:

lol, that parallel scripture "explains" nothing beyond some ignorant preacher's weak attempt at "move along, nothing to see here" concerning a jarring and explicit statement which his knowledge, experience, and understanding cannot reconcile.

Why do you say for most there is no eternal life? Do some get eternal life in your belief? With your ideas about magical thinking about afterlife, what is your take on Christ's teaching here:Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God[a] in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?[b] God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.For most, the death of the body is the death of their individual ego/personality/consciousness because during life, they squandered the opportunity to forge something more durable and permanent within themselves. Thus the parable(s) of the talents, the wise steward, etc..., The concept of "eternal life", your concept of "eternal life" is based on a naive misconception of Time. By extension from the misunderstanding of the nature of Time, proceeds the incomprehension of Eternity. These are among the fundamental mysteries encapsulated and preserved within Christian teaching which has been lost to Catholicism and its progressively denatured offshoots.

As for the passage from Matthew repeated in blockquotes above, the crunchy bit that confounds your weak preachers and defies their and your ability to reconcile it with the rest of what they/you profess is "but are like angels of God in heaven". That is an utterly meaningless statement to you given your current knowledge, experience, and understanding.



I would be most interested to know if, however, you've filled in the conceptual blank with a just-so along these lines https://www.google.com/search?q=angels+in+heaven&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=a4xWUr_ZIIn69QTcuYHQDg&sqi=2&ved=0CCoQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=770&dpr=1

ken said...

Can you try again to give me your views on what word resurrection means here. The usage...For in the resurrection....or, but concerning the resurrection or the dead, or in the link before the text you included here... the Sadducees who say there is no resurrection... Would I be reading the text correct to conclude Christ was saying the Sadducees were mistaken not to believe in the resurrection of the dead?

Let's look at this one: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%205:25-29&version=NKJV

What is your view as to what the resurrection is talking about here?

"The concept of "eternal life", your concept of "eternal life" is based on a naive misconception of Time. By extension from the misunderstanding of the nature of Time, proceeds the incomprehension of Eternity."



Does space end? Or is it never ending, what is at the end of space, is there a wall, what's behind the wall? Do I have to comprehend infinite or eternal space to understand it it true? Why must time be boxed in so you can conceptualize it? You don't understand time eternal anymore than anyone else, and time is eternal, it didn't begin and it won't end.

CNu said...

What is your view of what was intended in Matthew 8:2218 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. 19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the [t]air have [u]nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”Are we to suppose this is in reference to literal zombies?

Does space end? Or is it never ending, what is at the end of space, is there a wall, what's behind the wall?

That questions address a scale of existence so far beyond our own as to be meaningless.

Do I have to comprehend infinite or eternal space to understand it it true? Why must time be boxed in so you can conceptualize it?

Who said anything at all about infinite or eternal space? Who "boxed in" time?

You don't understand time eternal anymore than anyone else, and time is eternal, it didn't begin and it won't end.

rotflmbao...., therein lies the rub.

Time does not exist Ken. There is only an Eternal now in which everything exists always. Every moment is bursting with vast possibilities because Infinity is the concurrent actualization of all of these. Time is not a condition of the existence of the universe, but only a condition of the perception of the world by your psychic apparatus, which imposes on the world conditions of time, since otherwise your psychic apparatus would be unable to conceive it.


Those having received the body of Christ, having "entered" the Kingdom of Heaven - have direct experiential understanding - i.e., the eyes to see and the ears to hear. Here ends the lesson for today.

Vic78 said...

Y'all are an ambitious group. You tried to define time? You have an automatic PhD if you're able to do that.

CNu said...

What would lead you to suppose that institutional qualifications are required to sensibly, usefully, and meaningfully discuss time? For the purposes of the present discussion, we're talking about ideas, beliefs, and psychological functions/attributes that condition the outer limits of the western psyche, and by extension, the boundaries of western civilization. That's a longstanding subrealist theme Vic, entirely consistent with the work of codifying liminal views of consensus reality. Easy stuff, not rocket science...., http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2007/10/limits-of-western-mentality.html

Vic78 said...

I didn't say it couldn't be meaningfully discussed. I meant define as in this is what time is and there's no dispute. I always appreciate those kind of discussions. Hell, I asked the guy that kept bringing up IQ to tell us what the mind is.

And as for institutional qualifications, schools would be begging you to join them if you were to define time. That's a game changer.

CNu said...

lol, no Vic, it's not the kind of game-changer your comment presupposes. Once you get a handle on time, you've basically opted out of the consensus hallucination once and for all. Neo Ander-son is as good and commonly familiar metaphor for this as any. You may elect to visit the consensus hallucination, but that's all. http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2012/02/this-shock-will-rend-veil-between.html

ken said...

Are we to suppose this is in reference to literal zombies"

I assume this is your answer to what resurrection means? "Lord first go let me bury my dead father"... If his father was really dead right then why wasn't he burying his father? More likely the father was alive and this person was asking to stay with his father until the father died, very likely an excuse for the masses to witness. As for "letting the dead bury the dead", it might be read: let the dead lie not buried, if it means the service to Christ should be neglected. Or it could be let those who are dead spiritually bury the dead. That seems less likely, being that honoring your father is a good work, just not as a priority compared to the work of Christ. So to summarize it was a proverbial statement.

But because this was proverbial doesn't mean we can elect to make any Biblical teaching proverbial. There must be reason to do it, certainly telling a mortal to let dead people bury dead people is one of those obvious statements. But the resurrection is not. The teaching in Matthew has people on one side who believe in a resurrection and people who don't. And it has Christ calling one side mistaken. From the text, discussing the resurrection, the dead are awaken to a judgment where some resurrect to life and others to condemnation. So the concept in Romans 6 of "alive to Christ", or possibly how we might be able to read the text you supplied about being dead or asleep spiritually and then awoken wouldn't work, with the evil being resurrected to condemnation.

The scripture in Daniel appears to be describing the same thing again
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel%2012:1-2&version=NKJV

The scripture in Revelation seems to be describing the same thing again
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2020:%2011-15&version=NKJV


Of course I could keep pulling more text I could ask what you think the day of judgment is
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2010:13-14&version=NKJV

I could give Biblical text all day that would solidify the Bible is truly teaching there is an everlasting afterlife for all men and women who lived and live on this earth. And this very fact makes "the unvarnished gospel teaching waaaay harsher than anything [you have]
given voice to here."

CN--"It is not fruitful to approach the concept of Eternity without at least a common understanding of Time.

CN--"Time does not exist Ken. There is only an Eternal now in which everything exists always."

CN--"Who said anything at all about infinite or eternal space? Who "boxed in" time?"

I brought up eternal space because we all know it's true, we can all grasp and understand that it has to be this way yet we really can't grasp or comprehend that there isn't a starting point to space or an end point to space. You started off saying we had to have a common understanding of time before we could discuss eternity, and I disagreed and used space as my illustration because space is eternal. And now as we "fleshed" out your thoughts on time, it would have been difficult to come up with a common understanding of time; one could see [non existent] time as a shield to stop discussion of eternal.

CNu said...

I brought up eternal space because we all know it's true, we can all grasp and understand that it has to be this way

lol, "we" don't know any such thing, and it's preposterous to even say so - outside of the fact that it discloses your firm belief in an account of something that humans neither know or understand.

one could see [non existent] time as a shield to stop discussion of eternal.


Or, one could take it as the point of departure for clearly discerning the irreconcilable nature of our respective knowledge, experience, and understanding of this subject.



Ken, you believe in things that no one knows or understands, while simultaneously not knowing a great many things that are within the scope of longstanding human understanding. In consequence of this fact, you and I are consigned to perpetually talk past one another. I will not stop rejecting "just-so" stories, and you will not take the time or make the effort to carefully study and assimilate any unfamiliar subject presented to your attention.

Nakajima Kikka said...

"Time does not exist." But what is this "time" that doesn't exist?
The common-sense understanding ("Time is that which clocks measure: The
time is 8 o'clock") is of no help at all. We need something at least a
little better than that, like this:

"Time is the system of those
sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present,
or future; an indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in
which events succeed one another."

Or, maybe this:

"Time is the indefinite continued changing of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole."

Or maybe this:

"Time is a nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible
succession from the past through the present to the future."

Of
course, Einstein conclusively showed that "time", whatever else it is,
is not an absolute, but a relative, thing; it's value depends on one's
particular frame of reference. The relative nature of time is now
recognized to be due to time being completely interwoven with space such
that the two are totally interdependent on each other. From whence
comes the notion of "spacetime".

When we say that "time does not exist", well, what do we mean by "exist"/"existence"? If by "existence" we mean "independent existence", as in, "if X is NOT dependent on anything else (not X) for any part of its nature, then X exists. Otherwise, X does not exist", then time, of course, does not exist, because its nature depends on something else, namely space.


But, if existence is fundamentally interdependent in nature, as in, "only those things which are dependent on something else for their nature exist", then time indeed does exist, but it is a fully interdependent kind of existence, with profound implications on many levels.

CNu said...

lol, I can't wait to see your approach to framing the unfalsifiable "ghost in the machine" that is the other indispensable element in Ken's eternal paradise/perdition scheme....,

ken said...

Well actually, I wasn't going to respond here anymore because I though you were tired of the topic, but since you seem to still have some mental space here to use in this area I did want to say I wanted to backtrack from my space is eternal, I think I accept this guys argument I'll link to that if space is eternal it then must be spiritual and I don't think I can sign on to that.

http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/spaceeternal.htm



So you see, although we are talking past each other I still do change my thinking from the challenges.

ken said...

From a perspective of one who believes without God there was nothing, would your definitions here mean that when we say time doesn't exist because it's nurture depends on something else be used for anything that God sustains (from a perspective of one who believes in a Creator)? So if you are going to discuss it like that and want a common understanding the definition of existence it seems wouldn't be distinguishable enough.

CNu said...

Do me a small favor and move it off of this thread and onto this one instead http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-entheogen-theory-of-religion-and.html


Where it can be entertained and interrogated till all further interest is exhausted.

CNu said...

IBS appears as a warning to readers of that site, right?