GENERAL INCONSISTENCIES

It is believed by many that, “God created the universe” and that “God is good.” An inconsistency comes about when one observes that there is evil in this world, and God cannot be the source of evil. One then rationalizes that Satan, who is created by God, is the source of evil. Satan is evil because, having a mind of his own, he disobeys God. One then wonders if it is bad to have a mind of one’s own. The inconsistency then falls apart when one looks more closely without rationalization.

It is believed by many that, “Man is created in the image of god.” Thus, God is believed to have a beingness with a form. Since beingness with form must exist in space, God must exist in space too. We then observe that space is part of this universe, and it must have been created when the universe was created. This means that, God did not have location in space, when he first created this universe. And so, God did not have beingness with form in the beginning. The inconsistency also falls apart when looked at more closely.

These are some obvious examples of inconsistencies that are hidden under rationalized beliefs. The whole concept of LOOKING goes against rationalization. It makes the gaps in knowledge stand out quite clearly. This may be uncomfortable when looking raises questions about one’s cherished beliefs, but this is necessary if any progress is to be made.

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THE SPOKEN OR WRITTEN WORD

Most of our knowledge is acquired through spoken or written words when we listen to our parents, go to school, go to church, work on jobs, read books and use Internet. Of course, there is experience but it gets colored by what we have been taught through spoken and written words.

Truth exists only in the exactness of perception. If one is interested in knowing the truth then one should perceive for oneself what is actually there without assuming anything. And, if that brings up inconsistencies then truth is contained in the resolution of those inconsistencies.

When knowledge is being conveyed via the spoken or written word, then the first step is to clearly understand the sense conveyed by the words in the context they are used. The next step is to resolve any inconsistencies that come up when dealing with the meaning of those words.

A good example is the word “God,” which is passed down to us through the Bible. There are inconsistencies connected with the word “God” as pointed out at the beginning of this essay. We are not sure if the language used in the scriptures is poetic and allegorical. So a closer look is needed at the Biblical references. When all inconsistencies are resolved the truth shall reveal itself.

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WORDS AND THEIR MEANINGS

We have dictionaries available to help us find the meaning of words. When doing so, keep in mind that words have evolved over time and they have acquired different shades of meanings.

(1) Start with the root meaning of the word.

A good place to start would be to grasp the common denominator of the various meanings attributed to a word. The derivation of a word may help you understand how the various meanings have evolved. Look up the derivation of the word first. Follow the derivation back to its roots to find the “root meaning.”  For example, when you follow the derivation of the word study, you may come up with the root meaning “eagerness.” This may be the common denominator of the various meanings of the word study as “eagerness to know.”

Dictionaries usually provide useful derivations of words. You may use dictionaries on Internet, such as, the link http://dictionary.reference.com. To really get the history of a word, you may have to go to a reference, such as, “Dictionary of Word Origins” by John Ayato. Check out the derivation and history of the word arithmetic.

(2) Look up and visualize the various definitions of the word.

Next, look up the definitions provided for that word. As you look at each meaning, relate it to your experience and visualize it in your mind. If the word is exuberant then look at the times when you felt exuberant, or perceived somebody else being exuberant. It is much easier to visualize when the word refers to something concrete. You can find the actual thing to look at, or you may find a model or, at least, a picture of that thing. For example, for the word archipelago, you may easily find models or pictures in an encyclopedia or on the Internet.

If the definition refers to something abstract, then you can still find examples that illustrate that idea or concept. For example, the word ineffable is quite abstract; but you can find enough examples to define it for yourself. Look up as many examples as necessary, and follow it up with your own examples. You may even work out how ineffable is that way, or not that way until it starts to make sense. Use your experience and visualization.

(3) If there are words in definitions that you don’t understand then look them up too. 

It is possible to get into long word chains when looking up the words in definitions, but this needs to be done. Keep in mind that words are only approximations. What is important is getting a clear visualization of what is meant. So, get enough understanding of the word to be able to visualize the context. Keep on visualizing that word in different contexts until suddenly the meaning becomes clear.  A skillful use of visualization may help you keep the word chains short.

Keep a record of the words as you look them up. Cross out a word as soon as its meaning is understood. Sometimes a word may come up again that you had looked up earlier. But this time it may be used differently. It is okay to look up the same word as many times as necessary. Each time you look up a word you may pick up a new dimension of its meaning.

(4) Select the definition that clarifies the context the most.

A dictionary may provide several definitions for a word. Check out how each definition fits into the context through visualization. Even if the right definition is not there, the visualization will help you work it out. Once you have a clear idea of the meaning that fits in that context, use that word in several sentences. This will make you feel comfortable when using that word in speech or writing.

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SUBJECT AND UNDERSTANDING

Sorting out the meaning of words, as above, removes the initial hurdle in understanding a subject. Since the subject has passed through various hands before arriving in its present form, there may still be some inconsistencies to sort out. The following steps may help detect inconsistencies present in the subject.

(1) List the key words of the subject.

Scan through the material to be studied and list all the key words. These are the words that carry the key concepts. For example, in the subject of mathematics, some of the key words are: mathematics, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, number, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, equation, unknown, variable, space, and direction, distance, position, etc. This list may grow as you get deeper into the subject. Words may also be added as the definition of a word may refer to additional words in that subject that may carry key concepts.

(2) Arrange the words in the sequence in which the concepts have evolved.

Start by arranging the words in the sequence that they appear in the material being studied. As you gain familiarity with their meanings, keep rearranging the key words in the sequence they seem to have evolved. Move the words embodying more fundamental concepts toward the top. Move the words embodying derived concepts toward the bottom. You may attach brief clues to the words as to what they mean.

(3) Use the list as the “context” in which to understand the key words.

Go up and down the sequence of the key words. Clarify and align the meanings further as necessary. Notice any gaps or inconsistencies and try to resolve them. Include them in your list if they cannot be resolved.

(4) Study the subject in detail to resolve gaps and inconsistencies.

The purpose of study is not to memorize information, but to resolve gaps and inconsistencies in understanding. What you already understand should be of no further concern. Make sure you understand the materials as you proceed. The moment some material start to become confusing, stop and locate the source of confusion. Clear the confusion; or, at least, note it down in your list, before proceeding further.

Note that there are likely to be many contributors to a subject. For example, you may look at religion as a subject contributed to by many different cultures. You may find different contributors referring to similar concepts by different key words. Add such keywords to your List. If more than one key word seems to embody the same concept, then note down the similarities and differences among the meaning of those key words.

(5) Clarify the fundamentals of the subject as a priority.

Your Key Words List may branch out and grow into an inverted ”Key Words Tree” as you move lower and lower down the list. The gaps and inconsistencies at the lower part of tree may depend on those at the top. It is, therefore, worthwhile to start addressing the gaps and inconsistencies closer to the top as a priority. This is where the fundamentals of a subject would reside.

Study the fundamentals from various sources. You may create a Key Word List or Tree just for these fundamentals. It is the most important part of any subject. You may create experiments where you find obvious gaps in the fundamental knowledge. Fill these gaps with research and make the whole subject as much complete and consistent as possible.

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SUMMARY

When spoken and written words are used to gain knowledge, one must understand the meaning of those words in the correct context. Inconsistencies may arise during this process, and a resolution of them may guide one toward the correct meaning. This may then require a close examination of one’s beliefs and assumptions.

If one rationalizes inconsistencies to preserve one’s beliefs then no new knowledge is gained. It is only through the resolution of inconsistencies that one gains new knowledge and arrives at truth.

To resolve an inconsistency, simply keep looking at it per KHTK 3A, until one spots considerations that one has been taking for granted, all the way to their source.

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Comments

  • Fred Pickhardt  On April 27, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    Hi Vinay

    Re: “Man is created in the image of god.” Thus, God is believed to have a beingness with a form. Since beingness with form must exist in space, God must exist in space too.

    I believe that the word translated as “image” had a root meaning of shade or shadow implying that our 2D shadow is to our 3D body as our 3D body is to God. I think it implies that God is not confined in space.
    Fred

    • vinaire  On April 27, 2012 at 8:19 AM

      Hi Fred,

      Great to hear from you. Looks like I wrote my recent comment about the same time that you did. It was not in response to what you wrote.

      What you point out is correct. God is in a “dimension” that we are not aware of. We can only speculate about it. We have been trying to discern the nature of God from what we comprehend to be the best in the nature of Man.

      The statement “Man is created in the image of God,” seems to claim that God is superlative and far above what Man can ever be. It assumes that there is a single beingness called God with superlative qualities.

      The concepts of “beingness” and “superlative qualities” belong to our dimension. We are projecting them to the dimension of “God”. That is speculation in my opinion.

      Regards.
      Vinay

  • vinaire  On April 27, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    I understand that the inconsistencies pointed out at the beginning of this essay are going to be very heavy for some to look at. It is inconsistencies of this nature that trap a person.

    The least comprehensible word in the subject of religion is the word GOD. Many wars have been fought to defend certain meanings of this word. Here is how I look at this inconsistency:

    THE NATURE OF GOD

    I believe that any claim to know God by attempting to provide a definition to this word is simply a definition “invented” by humans.

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    • Fred Pickhardt  On April 28, 2012 at 8:34 AM

      Hi Vinay – The idea of God as “superlative” in my opinion is simply an idea that God represents perfection and humans are therefore less than perfect just because we live in a universe where entropy or disorder of a system always increases. I don’t think that “beingness” is limited to our space-time dimensions only but again that must, as you say, be left to speculation.
      Fred

      • vinaire  On April 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

        Hi Fred – I am glad that you are not disappointed at my remarks, and are continuing this discussion. “God” seems to be a hot button for many, and it is quite daring for me to be discussing it.

        I have written KHTK 8A just for the discussion on GOD, because, in my opinion, that is a very special inconsistency, and anybody, who cares, must resolve this inconsistency for himself or herself, and not just deny it.

        The point I am making is that any ideas about God do not exist independent of our thinking. People seem to create their own God.

        I would like to see you continue this discussion under KHTK 8A. Thanks. – Vinay

  • vinaire  On April 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    I have come across a situation recently where what I was presenting was rejected outright. No effort was made to discuss those points. Instead I was accused of “selling ideas.”

    In my opinion, a person who outright rejects some idea and does not want to discuss it must have some fundamental disagreement. Most likely, he does not want to look at some inconsistency which brings into question some fundamental consideration of his. He has heavily rationalized in favor of that consideration. Now he finds it very difficult to reverse the course.

    This is the situation I find with the considerations related to the concept of “God” in the minds of some people. They are attached to these considerations, and can’t conceive of changing them. I had pointed that out in the following essay.

    ZERO, ONE, INFINITY, AND GOD

    ”Is God zero, one, or infinity? One can answer that question only when one is willing to examine it thoroughly, along with a thorough examination of one’s own considerations involved, from a non-attached viewpoint. Reality or considerations may be changed, but the inherent condition or actuality can never be changed.”

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  • vinaire  On April 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    An object is something whose existence can be verified by more than one person. The more people are there who can verify the existence of something, the more of an object it becomes.

    A person, who notices objects per the definition above, is termed as being objective.

    Objectivity is the state of noticing objects.

    To create an object is to create permanent verification of something being there. If that verification can be created for all time, and for everybody, then we have the physical universe.

    God can be said to be that faculty that establishes permanent verification of objects, for everybody, for all times.

    How that faculty works, or comes about, I have no idea.

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  • vinaire  On April 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    An inconsistency is something that is simply out of alignment with its surroundings. It is not necessarily something that is unwanted. An inconsistency could be something that is wanted.

    That is where the eastern concept of “attachment” comes in. Fixations are inconsistencies that are supposedly “wanted.”

    .

  • vinaire  On April 29, 2012 at 6:34 AM

    Here is something that I see in Scientology as an inconsistency:

    In order to be Cause one needs anchor points to hold oneself in place. Then one needs dimension points to manipulate.

    The MEST universe supplies both anchor points as well as the dimension points.

    A Cause is, therefore, also an EFFECT of the anchor points supplied by the MEST universe.

    Thus, THETA is not independent of the MEST universe. THETA and MEST are dependent on each other, but Scientology looks at MEST as created by THETA.

    .

  • vinaire  On May 7, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    An argument is given with respect to “ideas” being presented that “selling is good but overselling is bad” to shut up somebody in a discussion.

    The “ideas” are not even acknowledged in the first place, so the other person doesn’t know if his ideas are being heard and understood. So he presents his ideas again, for which he is than slammed.

    This is an inconsistency because the first person giving that argument is avoiding the discussion. This is departing from the very purpose of discussion. The other person trying to present ideas for discussion is being blamed for presenting ideas as part of the discussion.

    This is a good example of a down-to-earth inconsistency. To find what underlies this inconsistency, one needs to look at it more closely.

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  • vinaire  On May 7, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    To give Truth a label, such as, Jewish, Christian, Moslem, or Scientology is inconsistent.

    Truth needs no “label.” It is neither Buddhist, Christian, Hindu nor Moslem. It is not the monopoly of anybody. Sectarian labels are a hindrance to the independent understanding of Truth, and they produce harmful prejudices in men’s minds.

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  • vinaire  On May 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    The idea of “suppressive person” in Scientology is inconsistent with the purpose of Scientology, which is to handle cases. Scientology parks to a side cases it considers to be suppressive. When one looks at this inconsistency closely it becomes obvious that Scientology is not a cure all. Scientology is incomplete.

    Or, one may say that Scientology does not have simple solutions for cases it deems suppressive.

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  • vinaire  On May 7, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    We take our bodies for granted and don’t understand them fully. We get fixated on the bodies and think that is what we are. This is an inconsistency.

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  • vinaire  On May 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    We need to take a realistic view of life and of the world. We must look at things objectively. We should not be falsely lulled into living in a fool’s paradise, nor should we be frightened and agonized with all kinds of imaginary fears and sins. We should look exactly and objectively what we are and what the world around us is. We should be making our way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquility and happiness.

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  • vinaire  On May 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    The first Noble Truth of Buddha points to dukkha as the situation that needs to be addressed. The term dukkha contains the ordinary meaning of ‘suffering’, but in addition it also includes deeper ideas, such as, ‘imperfection’, ‘impermanence’, ‘emptiness’, and ‘insubstantiality’. The way to happiness starts with a complete understanding of this term dukkha.

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  • vinaire  On May 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    What we generally believe to be the happiness of family life, the happiness of the life of a recluse, the happiness of sense pleasures, the happiness of attachment, the happiness of detachment, physical happiness, mental happiness etc., are actually impermanent and subject to change. Therefore, they all are included in dukkha.

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  • vinaire  On May 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    From “What Buddha Taught”:

    “Words are symbols representing things and ideas known to us; and these symbols do not and cannot convey the true nature of even ordinary things. Language is considered deceptive and misleading in the matter of understand of the Truth. So the Lankāvatāra-sūtta says that ignorant people get stuck in words like an elephant in the mud.

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