~ Brother Gregor
To: Acharya S
Subject: Your Site
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 23:57:06 -0700
I love your site and your world-view. So excellent to see an awesome woman with an awesome mind. Actually, I think you're living my life -- the one I would have chosen if I had the chutzpah! Good on you, Lady.
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 22:43:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Your plan won't work
To: Acharya S
Hey look, I have seen your website, and I agree with most of what you say. Your views on religion are particularly interesting, but you fail to see how pointless your overall plan for humanity is.
As I understand it, you would like to rid the world of religion. So would I. Religion is not stupid. It's waaay beyond stupid. To call religion stupid would be a compliment; religion should strive to merely be classified as stupid if it wishes to get any respect. If there was a word that meant "stupid x 100", religion would fit its definition with supreme accuracy. Religion breeds ignorance, intolerance, oppression, racism, sexism, hive-minded thinking, as well as other negative things too numerous to list here. It would be great if religion just died, never to rear its repulsive face again. BUT IT NEVER WILL. Well, maybe half a million years from now or something, but as far as the foreseeable future of religion is concerned, it looks as if it will continue on.
People want answers to questions they don't have; they want to feel part of something; they want to feel meaning in their otherwise dreary and dull existence.
Religion offers all of those things, and you won't be able to change it. Now that doesn't mean assaulting crappy religions like Christianity or Islam is bad: I personally think everything should be done (so long as it's peaceful) to make these awful religions go extinct. HOWEVER, trying to get rid of ALL religion just won't work. If I were you, I would focus on getting rid of the crappy religions, and then remind everyone that there are better ones out there…
Thanks. Obviously, if religion (as we know it) is to die in a "half a million years," it will only do so with our assistance. I am not "anti-spiritual" and most definitely provide alternative perspectives. It is possible that you have missed that part of my site.
Date: Sun, 09 Jul 2000 22:29:16 -0700
To: Acharya S
You're a most learned and interesting lady… I seldom meet "knowledge junkies" and am always glad to meet my peers....
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 17:06:00 -0500
To: Acharya S
Thanks for your refreshing viewpoint. I love your site. It's well researched and the perspectives are fascinating. I've been looking for some snappy retorts to irritating and arrogant Christians, and I have found a gold mine here!
I had been deep into mysticism for about 15 years when I made the discovery one day that all that I "knew" (quotations emphasized here), was what I believed. It took a few years further for me to complete a philosophical cycle: I made the following experiment: to look at external reality without any lens of belief whatsoever. I determined this: I am consciousness inhabiting a body. I look upon a world not knowing from where I came, or where I will go when I am deceased. I don't know if there is a god, whether I have an astral body, whether my prior spiritual experiences were simply fevered imagination, etc. I stand upon a planet spinning through space for which there is no nearby equivalent. I stand looking out at an infinite, yet mysterious and awe-inspiring universe. The result of this pure and honest perspective was so liberating and wisdom-inducing that I am proceeding to write a book regarding this viewpoint of Things-As-They-Are. The most astounding fact of life is the immediate condition of our being, and it is the very last thing that people ever look at. Simply existing within What Is.
I have yet to meet anyone in a similar spiritual condition as myself until I saw your site. Basically, I have been telling people who inquire me about it that I am not a deist, yet I am neither an atheist nor an agnostic. (To me, not-believing is a form of believing.) Atheism "believes" in science although often the word "knowledge" amongst scientists should be replaced with "evidence-to-suggest-that".) I consider myself a spiritual person, yet I can't do the God thing. There is "evidence to suggest" an other-dimensional reality, though no proof. That evidence would be the existence of remarkable coincidence, or synchronicity.
Thanks for looking at the world without bias!
Thank you! Always nice to meet an intelligent, thinking and feeling being.
To: Acharya S
Date: 11 Jul 2000 07:44:36 -0700
I read that stupid "review" by the Fortean Times. Their criticism of your book is so vague, it's meaningless. I would love to see them attempt to refute the actual facts presented, but I don't think that's gonna happen… I am grateful that my parents chose not to burden me with religion, and I have encouraged my daughter to find her own truth, but examine everything logically. I was dating a woman several years ago who was continually attempting to get me to go to her church, even after I explained that I would never be interested. I ended the relationship when she stated that the reason my son was [handicapped was because I didn't go to church or pray. Interestingly, her strong belief system never precluded her from initiating premarital sex, which, of course, is supposedly prohibited. I am currently dating a ****** (surprisingly, she never attempts to proselytize!), she also has an active sex life, but experiences tremendous guilt after, regardless of my attempts to apply logic, explain biology, etc. What a horrible thing to do to a child, to brainwash them from such an early age that they can't even apply rational thinking to deal with these things that are inevitable in life. My daughter will never have to experience this, and hopefully I've given her the knowledge and strength to never be sucked into any of that craziness!
To: Acharya S
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 23:42:09 +1000
I am the editor at Living Traditions magazine and reviews editor for New Dawn. New Dawn is Australia foremost alternative magazine and is not afraid of controversy. It has a high circulation and has published over 50 issues thus far! I would love to run a review article on your book and on the Naked Truth video. Can you send review copies? We will them some great PR and can send on copies of the reviews as published.
To: Acharya S
Subject: Your web page and book
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 11:14:53 -0400
You go girl! Loved that book! You did a great job of putting it all together. I've read it all before in pieces, but your book is great, and I love your web page.
I do, however, have a question about your tone and motivation and a few suggestions. The tone of your work seems a bit harsh toward those who believe in the religious stuff. Given the atrocities committed by religious fundamentalists worldwide over thousands of years, I can see how anger could come through. Also, a legitimate passion to let others know the truth can always lead to a great sharpness of tongue. However, that style of communication might limit your effectiveness.
You will certainly succeed in providing an outlet for individuals who have already rejected the religious belief systems prevalent today, but, in that respect, you are preaching to the choir - which is good. This is good because, in preaching to the choir, you will be helping to strengthen those people who are surrounded by religious fanatics that are constantly preaching fire, brimstone, an angry God, etc., etc. If this is your main objective, I think you will be very successful.
However, if your objective is for those people trapped in their beliefs to just drop them for the truth, your current tone is sure to drive them away. You have to understand that these people are not only ignorant; they are fearful. And for that very reason, they honestly require our compassion. Personally, my heart tells me that these people cannot be informed or re-educated without simultaneously addressing their fears. Dealing with our own fears is difficult enough. Dealing with others' is a great challenge, because it requires a great deal of wisdom and compassion.
And in order for us to be skillful in applying effective compassion and help to free them and their minds, we have to first determine what our own motivations are. We may be more knowledgeable. We may have the truth in our hands. All those people may be wrong. But we will not be very effective in helping other people if our own motivations are based on anger, bitterness, revenge, or whatever. I do not know what your motivations are, and I do not wish to imply anything. I just suggest that you might want to look into it.
I think you also might want to be a little more gentle with those dogmatic souls out there still trapped by their belief system. The next time you are confronted with one of them, say, in your radio show, why not just be gentle and see what happens in your heart. Feel what it is like when they throw stuff at you. Go into that feeling. Then try responding to them with compassion. Stay with your feelings as they resist. Listen to their voices as they respond. Stay aware of your own feelings and the feelings they are communicating. Watch how the emotions and the charge of the exchange evolves over just a brief period of time. Then after the colloquy is over, feel how the emotions have changed. Be aware of what is going on in your heart and your entire body. This is just an exercise, just a suggestion. Try it. You might be surprised at what resides in your insides.
Thanks. Actually, as you can see from this page and from other email pages, effectiveness is not a problem. And a little bitter medicine is sometimes necessary. I find your other comments to be somewhat condescending, to me and the others. I did these types of meditations some 15 years ago, for several years, and am quite familiar with what you describe. I've done just about all the New Age goo, in fact. Not real fond of the Cult of Positivity. And, I spent the first decade of my life literally throwing up at man's inhumanity to man and other creatures. I am well aware of what is "in my insides." I am an empath, which is why I do what I do. The history of humanity has been extremely repulsive in many ways. It has also attained to great beauty and wondrous peaks. A sculptor does not delicately chip away at the ugly and useless parts of the sculpture; she hammers them to bits, eventually carefully carving the refined parts. The refinement process for humans can be painful.
There is a "shamanic" practice whereby monks chant beings into existence, both humans and otherwise. In this process, with humans in particular, after lovingly giving the entity shape, the monks will shout at the forming "embryo" in order to inure it to the real world, which is harsh and cruel. We can only strive to make it otherwise. One of these ways is not to let the bully take over the playground but to stand up to him. If you run from the vicious, barking dog, he'll bite yer ass. Ya gotta grab a stick and shake it at him.
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 17:43:37 -0400
To: Acharya S
Subject: Peace of mind
I don't even know where to begin as I have so much to thank you for. Having been raised a Pentecostal for 30 some years, it's a miracle I was able to escape the mind F... of my upbringing, as I smelled a rat my whole life but couldn't put my finger on it. While your book may not be the end of the debate for some, it is for me. I have been reading other books you used as reference and am enjoying them immensely. My only problem is my wife is very upset to say the least, that I've turned from the cross et al. She says she doesn't have time to read your book but has plenty to read her own. She relies heavily on CRI Christian Research Inst. run by a guy named Hank Hanegraaff. If he says it, it's true. Are you familiar with this organization, if so what do you know. They seem to have a good enough rebuttal of yours and others facts, at least enough to keep the faithful in check. Please help me in any way that may be helpful as I love my wife despite her belief in fairytales, we also have a 9-year-old son. IS THERE HOPE? Again, thank you for your hard work and look forward to your next book.
I've seen the pathetic efforts, but I know of no effective rebuttal of the mythicist argument. There can't be one, since we're talking about ancient mythology. The apologists can only deny, deny, deny. Hope? Well, you've just provided some with your own story.