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Ramiro Benavides

Teacher - AP Calculus, Universidad Central del Ecuador

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Do you think that there is a revelation for everyone, a sort of a guideline for (re)designing our lives?

Sometimes, individuals feel that they need some kind of guidelines for continuing with their lives. Several reasons establish an stagnation-like way of living. Maybe you and I were in this situation in any time. It were hard to find a person who really understands our feelings and thoughts about a certain matter. So, we were forced to take crucial decisions by ourselves. But, in some cases, we realized that decisions taken this way were not the ones we should take. Then, we ask to ourselves: "Could we get some kind of revelation in order to feel we are doing 'the right thing' from now on?" What is the nature of this source of revelation? Can we trust this source of revelation? How can we be sure of the value and scope of revelations given? Are revelations only possible inside a theological framework?

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      Aug 2 2012: Perfect! You are giving to all of us a true revelation, and I really thank you for that support. Here, the key is how to charge oneself with the vast amount of pain when one knows the decision around will be painful for me and others. Another question here is "reversibility" of actions. One can learn of mistakes as long as the effects provoked by my previous actions have not destroyed the environment which was the object of those mistakes. But if the environment was affected or even destroyed, it is not possible to come back again. Anyway, the virtue of living "in error" is rescued when you were trying to say that living in an "earthly form" is what we have to do. Again, this sounds to me like a real revelation. Thanks again.
  • Aug 2 2012: I do not assume that all persons are on the same path. Consequently each person needs something diffwerant than the other for taking the next step on their individual path. Our Source gives each what may be needed at any point in time. It just may take a person a while or a life time to notice that perfect gift.
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      Aug 2 2012: Thanks, John, for your words. Let me ask to you a little question: What do you mean for "Our Source"? Is it something that human beings have? I would like to understand you better. Kind regards.
  • Aug 3 2012: seek truth/find truth
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      Aug 4 2012: I'm still trying to decode your viewpoint. I don't know why your words reminded me of some Buddha's words. Rather, they reminded me of some Buddha's experience. When we was seeking for the Truth, he suddenly found sin, misery, pain and hopelessness. By denying material existence around him, he tried to approach the Truth at no matter which cost. I'm sure he indeed found something very similar to Truth when he progressively was leaving his earthly body. However, this solution was not in the space of material world, but in the space of "living truths". Say, dear Rhona, is it a "valid" experience to seek Truth "here" and find it "out there"? "Valid", in the sense of satisfying a needing here and now, for life is so short and we have to move on! In other sense, is a local truth to say that when someone found a truth it's because she/he was seeking for some true and satisfying. But, in a wide sense, it is not necessarily true, because of, say, a kind of revelation, for instance. This rest as an open question, yes. Thanks for your comment.
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    Aug 2 2012: From your experience I think you learn when in a very similar situation to take the aforementioned short cut. When a situation is entirely new, you will need to make judgments again- and maybe once again look back when all is done and see a more straightforward way. That would be the inductive approach.
    If you are looking for a deductive approach, which is to say a prior analysis based on theory, how to make the most promising choices depends very much on the decision problem at hand.
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      Aug 3 2012: Thanks again, Fritzie. I don't understand quite well when you show those approaches for analyzing scenarios close to crossroads, because I think that those scenarios have not enough information for making a flat and precise decision. Indeed, those scenarios are random and even chaotic. Controlling consequences of the decisions about changing them it's something that, theoretically (read chaos and catastrophe theories), can be done. But, in fact, it's almost impossible to have a controlled scenario of this type. Instead, it's probably you the entity under the control of circumstances. This way, it emerges the paradox of who's the actor and who's the object of the action. That is, who's really making the last decision on this chaotic environment and who will be affected (and how) since the execution of those decisions. This is something that was formerly analyzed by some advanced economic theories, as well as by complexity theory. Thanks again for your collaboration.
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        Aug 3 2012: We make decisions all the time under uncertainty by using the information at hand and considering probabilities and risks. If we could act only in the face of "controlled scenarios," we would be in big trouble.

        Still, unless we have others make the decision of course of action for us, we make the decisions ourselves. The consequences follow from our decisions, from the responding and simultaneous acts of ohers, and from factors in the external environment, both endogenous to our decisions (affected by them) and exogenous (coming from the outside).
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    Aug 2 2012: Fortunately, few of the ambiguous decisions we have to make are life or death! I don't say this frivolously. I think it is important.
    I find often when we are at a crossroads there are actually several good paths. They may be different, and taking one road may preclude following the other ever, but many times when the decision is difficult it is because either would actually be a course worth trying. Whichever direction one takes at the crossroads, there will be some losses and some gains.
    [I have a particular interest (personal and professional) in crossroads. What could be more interesting than what happens at a crossroads?]
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      Aug 2 2012: Thanks again, Fritzie. One of my favourite fears is what can happen when the road taken leads me to a future event that could be equally attained by some of the rest of roads discarded when I was at the crossroads. Even at a lower cost in pain, time and other resources! During this moment, you realize that maybe the choice taken was not as good as I thought of. So, again, which criteria can show us some guidelines to make "the right thing", not only for today but, more interestingly, for the future? Is it necessary something like a "revelation" for choosing well? For sure, I agree with you that there is no thing more important than what happen at the lifetime's crossroads. Thanks for collaborating with your fine comments.
      • Aug 2 2012: Each has their own. Mine is the metaphysical domain (religion calls it divinity) from which the physical proceeds. It has two aspects, one is Consciousness {religion call it Spirit} (mind in phusical form) and the other is E-motion {meta physicians call it Will} (feeling in physical from).
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          Aug 3 2012: Thanks, John, for your theoretical support. I would wish to know, if you accept it, how this revelation at the life's crossroads are seen from the theological (or metaphysical) viewpoint. I mean, could you say something about how divinity, spirit and will play their role in this hard-to-do decision making at crossroads? Thanks again.
  • Aug 2 2012: There is no immunity from life's difficult times. Even the right path or the right decisions require(s) hardwork, courage.
    There are times when one knows, without a doubt, that one way is the way to go. There are times when one just has to decide and boldly face the consequences of the decision.

    In difficult times, even prior revelation does not make it an easy feeling.
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      Aug 2 2012: Thank you, Feyisayo. What you say is a revelation by itself. The sentence "There are times when one just has to decide and boldly face the consequences of the decision" is the kind of higher revelation an angel can show to you when you are living those "hard times". Excellent contribution, my friend. Thanks again.
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    Aug 2 2012: Hello Ramiro,

    forgive me, but to me this sounds a bit like 'I wan't to swim, but I don't wan't to get wet... '.

    Part of life is making mistakes, so you could learn from those to make it better next time. But what do you need a guideline for, but the one already echoing in yourself? If a given life situation, for what ever reason, does not suit you, go change it as soon as possible. There is no guarantee it will become better, but there is a chance in it, that it will. Without a change there is no such chance and that is for sure. So if you follow your inner voice you will see up's and down's in your life, but the good thing is, that the only one you could ever blame is yourself and nobody else. This, to me, is a huge advantage and part of my personal freedom.
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      Aug 2 2012: Thanks, Jan-Bernd. Your point of view is like fallen from heaven or come from other dimension. I mean, your words are very sound and similar to others said by some existentialist gurus. I have to say, without any risk, that your words sound to me like a true revelation. Maybe reality has nothing to do with "true" or "false", but with chances taken or not. But there is a personal constraint here that prevents to me executing your strategy. I usually take into account the "beauty" or "responsiveness" (say causing minimum or no pain to others) for decisions I will take. And I feel that if I apply some changes "as soon as possible", some people will not understand the movement and might configure a reality other than what I thought of. It's a hard question. I thank you again for your experienced comments.
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        Aug 2 2012: Causing minimum or no pain to others is honourable of you, but be aware that this doesn't form as an excuse not to change for a better for yourself. Change can be frightened and it is a natural reflex to hide from it if the circumstances aren't worse enough to face it openly. Discontentment can sum up over time and if it summes up slowly, it may become to late for a change because age or the 'inner settlement' or, even worse, resignation took place already.

        What may help not to shock the ones you like to protect is talking with them about what's pressing on your mind. Maybe this way they can also become part of the change and will benefit as well from it if the change turned out well for yourself.

        On the long run an ''unfulfilled' or 'unhappy' life may cause more damage to the ones you wish to protect, because a constant unhappiness will effect anybody in a negative way and therfore most likely the interaction to others as well.

        So as soon you can identify for yourself what you like to change in your life to make it a better one, talk about it with those people you wish them to be part of your 'new one' as well. Usually this helps to get the 'pressure' of the soul and to keep this energy free for the change itself.
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          Aug 3 2012: Thanks for your great ideas. You explained it clearly. I will take it into account for improving my decision making processes. You have much experience and you show it in an easy form. Thanks again, Jan-Bernd.
  • Aug 2 2012: Yes, I think ( or more accurately, feel ) that there are revelations for everyone. I think a part of these revelations is that they are time or event sensative. In other words, the revelation will only come after a certain highly stressfull experience has occurred. What that event is can be unique to each of us, or things we all have in common.
    Examples of things in common include the births or deaths of close relatives and friends. Such massive changes can occur to our lives when these events happen that there is a revelation we feel - a certain knowledge that our own lives are forever altered. All our habits and routines can become irrelevant in an instant - like when a house burns down. And then there's that bone-chilling revelation that, yes, we are just as mortal as everybody else.
    Theology does not cause these events, but can help us get through them by showing us the common nature of what to an individual can seem overwhelming, and offering role models and coping strategies that have worked in the past.
    All our ancesors were smart people - and they wrote down their most valuable insights on how to live and stay sane through such experiences. The revelation is that we can get back to feeling good after tragedies.
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      Aug 2 2012: I think you have got the spirit of this debate. Your classification in event or time sensitive revelations is very useful. Besides, you show us when an individual faces a near-to-revelation scenario. In my case, I'm feeling right now the need for taking the best decision about a problem, in which two groups of people are involved. One of these groups will be affected more than the other. So, I think I'm entering the fuzzy space of a near-to-revelation scenario, where moral constraints will, paradoxically, determine that one of these groups will loose less than the other, at least in the short term. But, when I'm tying to see what will happen in a larger term, I feel that the group which looses less at a short term may be the one which will loose more in the large term. So, I think I need a kind of revelation, because I feel I'm not able to take the best decision with all the information I have and all the resources I could invest in the solution of this problem. Thanks, Andrew, for your sound insights.
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    Aug 2 2012: I don't know whether I fully understand what you mean by revelation, but I think many people encounter someone or read something or suddenly think of something that seems to put their lives in better order or on a track.
    Often there is no mystical element to this. It is more a matter of coming upon the right idea at the right time for that person to seize upon it.
    I wouldn't say most people have a system for always doing the right thing from now on, but many people sort through their priorities and point themselves in the right direction. They may then assume a habit of reflection (scheduled or not) that allows them to adjust that course periodically.
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      Aug 2 2012: I agree with you in that people assume a habit of reflection for adjusting their course periodically. But (maybe you saw it the other way) I meant what is a person can do when she realizes she is in front of a crossroad, one that could change her life in a transcendental way. Its a decision of a die-or-alive kind. Sometimes, we feel like no matter we do, there will probably be certain unwanted effects derived from a decision which cannot be reversed. Anyway, thanks Fritzie for your interesting comments.
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    Aug 12 2012: Thanks for highlighting some really interesting talks Ramiro.

    I prefer the word realisation to revelation unless you mean to involve a belief in a higher power.

    If you mean to involve some supernatural agency I have nothing more to add as I see no evidence for any gods, goddesses, divine astrological destinies etc.

    I think humans have attributed imaginary agency to life, periods of good luck and bad, from natural spirits, to sickness, to poor crops and drought, where there only nature and luck.

    Rare events and coincidences happen. This does not imply supernatural agency. People are always selecting data to reinforce their beliefs. I heard one chap say it was a miracle from that the US senator shot in the head survived. It is pretty uncommon to survive a headshot, but it does happen, no gods needed, and I'm not sure being brain damaged and having several others killed is much of a miracle.

    Intuition followed by some solid reasoning seems the best way to me. Intuition on its own has its place in survival situations but often misfires when it comes to making complex decisions or judgments or understanding life the universe and everything. 10 people can have 10 different intuitions about the same situation but there are only one set of facts.

    Often we are looking for simple explanations and their aren't, or there are but not the ones we want to hear, like most of us will not have everything, that hard work is required, discipline, balance, that we get old, that we have to work for a living often well beyond our interest in it, that we get sick and die, and that we only get one life and it is not always easy, but there is much good to be found in it.

    If you want to believe in magic, that is up to you. The natural universe is amazing enough for me.
  • Aug 3 2012: Consider auto revelation and epochal revelation.

    Auto would be self. Epochal would be for a large number of people over a substantial time frame and likely intend huge benefits for mankind.

    What you seem to be asking is of the auto revelation type and you seem to be wondering about its origin.

    I viewed the nine suggested presentations. All of them directly relate to human relationships, life improvement, sharing for progress, etc. Is it possible the minds of such people were prepared years in advance for sudden new ideas? Is it possible individuals are being watched and unbeknowingly aided? Seems like a reasonable assumption.

    Someone recently asked about equality. We are not equally endowed intellectually, but we can desire to serve and to have good ideas. Capability varies, but effects can be astonishing. Someone several weeks ago asked about intuition. Some people call them "heavenly hunches". Would this be a type of auto revelation?

    Revelation. A topic worthy of discussion. If not possible, then why not?

    MK
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      Aug 4 2012: Thanks, Mark, for your clever comment. Maybe I have not realized I was talking about that "auto revelation" as you define it. I thought I was talking about a kind of revelation other than this "auto revelation", and maybe different from "epochal revelation". Consider the following case: One friend of me, call him Jack, was waiting for his girlfriend at a corner. Suddenly, another friend Sam passes in front of him, and goes to say hello to Jack. Then, Sam invites Jack to drink a coup of coffee in at a coffee shop nearby. Jack initially refuses Sam's proposal. Then, suddenly, he changes his viewpoint. He doesn't understand why, because he needs to wait for her girlfriend at the corner. Anyway, he has made the decision to take a break. So, he said, "you have 5 minutes to talk with me, 'cause my girl is coming". Seven seconds away from the corner, when they were about to enter the coffee shop, they were looking back at the corner, for a terrible car crash just happened right there: a truck lost their course and it ran over another man who was exactly over the place Jack was waiting for his girlfriend, just seven seconds ago. You may imagine how Jack was feeling in that moment. What happened there? How revelation came to Jack's brain (or heart)? Maybe all of these have to do with "intuition". But it seems to me that this is not exactly the kind of "auto revelation" as we conceived it here. Indeed, revelation is a topic worthy of discussion. Thanks my friend for your contribution.
      • Aug 9 2012: Ramiro,
        I have little experience with such incidents or events you describe. However, I heard from other people who describe strange events. Some people refer to these as Providence in that many agencies of God, angels or other beings may be involved in changing situations. (intervention) Sometimes I doubt this.

        What Providence is involved for real crashes with loss of life? Where were the angels when an aircraft crashes or a shuttle craft disintegrates in space? Tough questions and difficult for people who want faith, but are befuddled when their preferences are stolen.

        My take is this: there are some protection events for some people for some reason. Why? I don't know. There could be an "event" in the mind causing a person to change decisions. What causes a person to take a different flight and be saved because the intended flight crashed without him on board? These kinds of questions are difficult.

        Perhaps we'd be wise to attempt a larger perspective. Maybe life here on Earth is just the start and many new learning opportunities await us. Life ended early here may be a loss, but larger learning provisions are available. Is it really a loss to die here early? Survivors miss family and friends, but we who remain are still limited in the flesh, while those who go on are free of material limitations. Perhaps there is a larger plan for each person. Perhaps, if you accept the idea of Providence, there are personalities waiting on high.

        Caution here! We ought not to use ideas of such possibilities as an excuse to terminate! Life lessons are many and strong. Robust character of bravery and courage to deal with challenges is better that looking at the easy way out or to escape.

        Linked to revelation as you describe? Not sure at all. Life, experiences, possibilities, watch care, relationships----lots of questions for sure.
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          Aug 11 2012: Thanks, again, for opening a broad viewpoint about "revelations". The key here is, as you said: "there are some protection events for some people for some reason. Why? I don't know. There could be an "event" in the mind causing a person to change decisions. What causes a person to take a different flight and be saved because the intended flight crashed without him on board? These kinds of questions are difficult". Almost everybody have realized that an "imminent" event did not happened at all, against all odds, because of a rare kind of force intervened somehow and provoked a tremendous change, which at once much people don't even imagine it was such a great change that has happened. In other words, an event's "wave function" has not collapsed in a "soft" way, as almost everybody were waiting to happen. This is the kind of cause I was trying to say as a "revelation". Now, what causes this "discrete decaying" of an event's "wave function" is the real question to be solved. Another question linked to that one is: why sometimes there exists a "shift" in an event for taking place in one way and not the other? why do people think this is a matter of chance? So, what is "chance"? Why some people are "lucky" and why the rest of the world look at those people as a little suspicious? It's worth to take a look at this questions some time. Thanks, Mark, for putting the question in this "revealing" form.
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        Aug 12 2012: Ramiro, I don't believe there is anything that happens by chance in this world. Everything happens for a purpose, which usually is to help us, by giving us a head's up, to acknowledge the existence of a spiritual world. Life and living is a spiritual activity, It also shows that Someone is in charge who hopes we make the right decision while using our freewill.

        The moment when our body dies is determined based on where we can be most useful, in this life or the next. That is the subject of this talk.
        http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxsaXZlaXR1cHNwaXJpdHVhbGx5fGd4OjEwZDA0MGU1YjNiZThiOTc

        One thing to say is "we are a spirit in a body", but that does not say or explain much. This book does explain what it means to be a spirit in a spiritual (parallel) world.
        http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/TheSpiritualWorld.pdf

        What happens to us may also be easier explained if we accept the idea that this life, our life, has a purpose, and that the primary purpose is not about comfort or wealth or old age. We are what we love, so most important in our life is what we decide to love. What we make our ruling love.

        But I think I have left enough links for now :)
  • Aug 3 2012: A revelation can simply be the correct alignment of knowledge store in the brain. “Let’s get those brain sparks firing along more efficient paths!” What causes this alignment may simply be trial and error or it could be providence. The jury is still out on that. The book Quantum Philosophy has a very unique view on this matter.
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      Aug 4 2012: Thanks, William. That's the way I thought it: A revelation is a kind of "correct alignment of knowledge" in our brains. This alignment depends upon several parameters which are configuring reality near to a crossroad. Well, when we are about to see something happen, it emerges some weird circumstances that results in happening exactly the opposite we were expecting to happen. In cases like these, it seems like "someone" or "something" made the decisions in our behalf. This way, a revelation comes AFTER a difficult situation when it has been solved, and not BEFORE its solution. The great question here is: What was exactly the cause of the "alignment" of circumstances for having rendered the situation as it happened? Can we at least conjecture some properties about this "cause"? Why did it happened this way? I'm not reviewed the "Quantum Philosophy" book. But I think it is a great book, in regard of the world we are living in, which is of a quantum nature as far as it's known by now. Thanks for your comment.