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Benjamin-Newton Really Mobile: Quick Network Introduction

Spoken Version (15 Min, 17 Sec) - 11.5 MB

Exactly the same but completely different. Slightly worse, but many times better.

For those things we know are true, but we thought were impossible to put into words. Always be kind and work hard. Learn as much as possible and be creative in solving problems. Over all, in making important and morally significant decisions, think long term. The best you can do in life is follow your conscience.

On Certainty in Life

I am sure about everything everyone else doesn't understand, but I am confused about everything everyone else is certain of. Everything you have seen and heard is wrong. What we were taught was true in school is irrelevant. The things we think are really important are very unimportant and the things that we think aren't very important are the most important of all.

About Me

I am a former soldier (army) and have been living independently with Schizophrenia for over 15 years. I live in Eugene, Oregon (United States) I have spent much of this time writing a number of books on various non-fiction topics based on my experiences, what I have read, and the insights I have had over the last (almost) 20 years.

I have also designed these Benjamin-Newton websites from scratch, with all my own code and graphics and updated them daily for that entire time, as well. I code directly to CSS in a text editor and avoid anything that slows the site down or causes unnecessary security problems.

Want to Think Critically?

I am a Christian cynic and pessimist in that I believe in everything in the Bible, but nothing else except Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong will). I consider this positive, because when anything goes well in any aspect of my working with other people doing their jobs, I am pleasantly surprised.

Explore my website and learn to think critically about everything (history, religion, psychology, ethics, design, technology, and disaster survival). Be sure to be critical of everything you read, including my ideas.

Beyond Reason and Facts

When making decisions, expand your worldview and use your heart and soul, as well as your intellect. Think critically, but do not limit yourself to just the rational and the empirical. Use all the other methods of discovery, that come from the major world belief systems.

Decide what is true based on: your conscience (as determined by your faith, scripture, tradition, prophecy, paradox, intuition, history, and feelings) what you have experienced (in your relationship with God by worship, ritual, prayer, mystical experience, visions, and divine healing), and the practice of your faith (in the way you express your loyalty and respect for God by a code of conduct/ethics, fasting, living a life of poverty, taking vows of silence and/or chastity). This will lead you to ask tougher questions and make more difficult decisions, with your now bigger understanding of reality, but it will also bring greater peace and purpose to your life.

Philosophy Inspired Solutions to World Problems

Some people work too hard and need to rest, while others are lazy and need to work harder. How do you determine which problem is yours? It is usually the opposite of what you think. Ask people who know you well, and be prepared for a surprise response.

The following are examples, of the kinds of practical things you can do, to reduce suffering in the world, in things you have control over.

Economically Based

  • Make Ethical Decisions in the Products We Buy
  • Find Creative Way to Reduce Our Expenses
  • Get Supplies and Training to Survive Disasters
  • Promote Internet Usage to Empower Individuals
  • Give Away Free Content to Support Alternate Opinions

Socially Based

  • Network to Expand Our Circles of Influence
  • Form Relationships with Our Neighbors
  • Encourage Others
  • Stay Positive and Increase Our Positive Influences
  • Avoid Mainstream Assumptions

Spiritually Based

  • Pray for God's Will to Be Done
  • Improve a Specific Animal's Life
  • Increase Our Understanding of the World
  • Raise Our Kids to Be Good Citizens
  • Take Time to Relax

Philosophical Influences

Biblical

  • Apostle Paul
  • Apostle John
  • Prophet Jeremiah
  • Prophet Nehemiah
  • Prophet Elijah
  • King Solomon
  • King David

Chinese

  • Chuang Tzu
  • Hsun Tzu
  • Bodhidharma
  • Dogen
  • Han Shan
  • Li Po
  • Tu Fu

Other Asian and African

  • Al-Ghazzali
  • Hafiz
  • Kabir
  • Kebra Nagast
  • Archbishop Desmund Tutu

Existential

  • Kierkegaard
  • Camus
  • Viktor Frankl
  • Tolstoy
  • Dostoevsky
  • Nietzsche

Renaissance and Enlightenment

  • Meister Eckhart
  • Erasmus
  • Montaigne
  • Berkeley
  • Locke
  • Spinoza

General Introduction

Confused about the world today? Want a simple, direct, and clear explanation? Read my books. My writing is like poetry meets encyclopedia. You will find nothing like this online or in print. All of this writing is available at no cost. I have a steady income and a lot of time, as well as an unusual perspective. This website network and these books are my way of trying to make the world a better place.

There are a lot of other (non-fiction) things I write about, as well, like what it is like to have Schizophrenia, secrets to my website design, and a completely different political and religious point of view. My point of view is partially based on my experience enlisted in the military and later living with Schizophrenia for over 15 years. It is also heavily influenced by my decades long (and continuing) study of world religions and world history (after ancient history and before modern times).

I follow my theories with practical advice and do what I recommend others do. You can make the world a better place. Just remember to think for yourself (this is what studying philosophy should teach you). Learn from my writings and experience, but come to your own conclusions. I am likely wrong on a lot of things, as are even the greatest thinkers, throughout history. I write what I believe, but you need to make your own choices, based on your own experience and your own understanding of yourself and the world.

I teach the exact opposite of the medieval philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. Instead of understanding God, to the limits of reason and then using faith, to reach beyond that, I believe that faith is the primary means with which we should understand God and the use of reason, to explain the Bible and God, is a secondary and subordinate pursuit. It is dangerous, to base your faith on reason, because someone could then change your mind, just because they are better at arguing.

One of the things people often assume is that arguments are all based on reason, and to understand how I explain things, it is important to understand that I am not trying to be rational. I do not believe that you will change your views, even if I was able to form a superior reasonable argument for it. The basis for my faith is not rational either. If you think pursuing truth without using reason is nonsense, then you probably won't agree with what I have to say. Yes, I actually believe that and yes I do see some humor in that as well.

Why am I so Critical of the Church and Christians?

You cannot change other people's minds, but you can change your own mind. We can defend our theology and dismiss unbelievers as being intellectually lazy and/or in rebellion against God, and likely be entirely correct. The things is if we choose to do anything necessary, to bring about faith in Christ, we can re-examine our cultural interpretations of Scripture and its application to our lives and society.

Not only can we make Christianity more appealing, to those who are seeking God, but at the same time need not compromise any core theology, related to salvation, in order to do so. If we change the way we approach politics and society, without changing our core beliefs, is this not a success in evangelism?

Society is now going through a major technology revolution that is as profound and far reaching as the agricultural revolution was. Every institution and industry has, is now, or will be transformed into a different form, if it even survives. The Church will survive and thrive, but it would help grow the Church, if we can find things that we can change, while still holding to our Biblical faith.

The Bible is definitely not wrong and our theology has been preserved, at great cost in the major divisions of the church, but people can and are often wrong. There are also many ways to implement theology and express our faith and when we have such major cultural and technological changes, it is appropriate to adjust things like liturgy and political stances.

What we have today works for many people and we will have to fight very hard, for maybe only a small increase in numbers, but isn't the salvation of any one person worth changing how we think about non-critical aspects of theology and the Bible?

The many things that seem so odd to modern day people about the society in the Bible are almost all culturally adapted expressions of the same theology that we hold today. Being culturally relevant was important enough for God to build the entire Old Testament around the ancient Middle Eastern ways of thinking and social conventions, so it must still be equally important today.

Website Description

Faith is not about understanding; it's about a choice. You will never fully understand God, because He is infinite. We are not asked to fully understand God to believe. The decision to believe by definition has to be in absence of fully understanding.

If you try to fully understand God before you choose to believe, not only will you never make that decision, but you will also never provide complete "proof" for your belief. But we make most decisions without full knowledge explaining everything about the situation or topic. It is perfectly natural to not understand and that is what faith is about.

About the Special Cross on Top

This cross comes from the ancient Iranian and Iraqi (Persian Empire) based Church of the East started in Late Antiquity. This church might have had members that were from the lost 10 tribes of Israel. The church was actually based out of Seleucia on the Tigris, which is between ancient Babylon and medieval/modern Baghdad, and was the capitol of the Persian Empire, at that time.

The church sent missionaries and established small churches, near Jewish communities, in ancient India and China, because they were not legally allowed to evangelize (they also had other legal restrictions like a large tax and they would automatically lose any legal argument) within the Persian Empire, once the country was taken over by the Arabs.

These people were the linguistic, ethnic, and religious group descended from the ancient Assyrians - the dominant culture of the ancient Middle East. They, along with most people in Middle East, converted to Christianity about 500 years before the Arabs came out of what is now known as Saudi Arabia. The Western Assyrians out of Antioch and the Coptic Christians of Egypt were so persecuted by what is now called the Eastern Orthodox Church out of Constantinople (now Istanbul) which was then controlled by the Byzantine Empire, that they helped the Arabs take over the Middle East.

Rome was never meant to be the center of the Church. There were 5 original equal churches that were set up throughout major cities in the Roman Empire and one added for the Persian Empire, later. Major issues throughout the entire church were meant to be settled by conferences consisting of all the churches. The first centers for the Churches were: Alexandria, Egypt, for the Coptic and all African churches; Antioch, Turkey, for the Middle East west of Iraq, for what is now called the Syrian Orthodox Church; Constantinople (modern Istanbul), for what is now the Balkans (South Eastern Europe), for what was later called the Eastern Orthodox Church; Rome, Italy for Western Europe, that was later called the Roman Catholic Church; and Jerusalem was a symbolic church center.

The canon of the church was decided at one conference, but the books of the bible we currently have were already in use and are very similar, across all these ancient churches, even the ones not in at that conference, like the Persian Church. The Gnostic "gospels" were written a few centuries later on and are not consistent, with either the Old or New Testament, and were an attempt, to make Christianity pagan, after it was already established. The Church of the East purposely promoted a supposed heresy, in order to make a clean break, with the churches of the Roman Empire, because of intense persecution, once the Roman Empire legalized Christianity.

It is very significant for this church, that Alexander the Great took over Persia, at the time he did. This was because it was a tradition within the Middle East (at that time) to not allow anyone to convert to any religion other than the national one, which in Persia, at the time, was Zoroastrianism. But because the Empire, that succeeded Alexander the Great's empire in Persia, was a foreign Greek dynasty, the government did not interfere with religion, within their Empire. This allowed people within the Persian Empire, to legally convert to Christianity, in Iraq and Iran, until the Arab invasion of the Persian Empire.

Not much has been told about this, because 2/3s of the Assyrian people, who survived intense persecution, for hundreds of years, were massacred, between World War 1 and World War 2. The remains of the Church of the East, the Syrian Orthodox Church, and Coptic Orthodox Church are now officially part of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church eastern churches, but retain their own liturgies.

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