Amazon Chat Room
Ben's Seminar
23 February 2002

FRAML< MERRY: I may have just been given the topic for tonight's seminar in Amazon. Can Military oriented people be spiritual? Do they fit 'your' stereotype of a spiritual person?

FRAML< /topic BEN'S SEMINAR: What is your sterotype of a spiritual person? 10pm EDT tonight

FRAML< I'll be starting in a couple of minutes. For new folks please read through the SEMINAR CONCEPT & GROUNDRULES. Keeping side conversations to private messages will help me greatly when I get this seminar ready for posting on Greyman's site.

FRAML< SETUP: This morning I was in a conversation with merry and mentioned that I am retired from the Army. One of the other posters in Stonehenge said that he was suprised to "find a person with your background" in a spiritual site. Unfortunately he departed before explaining why he though "my type" of person would not be in SWC. My first question follows.

FRAML< 1st Question: Please describe the type of person you expect to find in a spiritual/religious oriented chat room?


Incense< I expect to find a spiritual/religios person in a spiritual/religious oriented chat room.

spiritcat< a person who recognises the god in all.....walks and talks and emits love and prepared to listen and be guided and guide


merry< FRAML, when I first found spiritweb, I think I was expecting to find people who were seriously interested in many different facets of spirituality, extremely knowledgable, and very tolerant of other people's beliefs. (*S* There actually are some folks like that here.) But I quickly realized how unrealistic my expectation had been... that the people here were mostly people like me... i.e., quite human. *S*

Isobel< Someone who isn't judgemental

cassandra< A loving, compassionate person, yet one who is firm in their belief and ready to fight if that is needed.

Yopo< One type would be a seeker. Someone who has grown dissatisfied with the answers he or she grew up with concerning meaning, relationship with the surrounding world, stuff like that.

spiritcat< i like thatYopo *S*

Niala< someone on the path just like me simply learning ....

NTA< spirits who are trying to learn to become a whole human being sharing their journey in love

Skycatcher< Hi ALL - Hmmmmmmm, good question. I think what I would like to see in a spiritual chat room are folks who are open to all possibilities, folks who are committed to being the best they can be, even if that only means understanding and working with why they might not be that at the moment. I also like to see folks who try to take responsibility for their own creative beings, instead of those practicing habitual woundology.

cassandra< Remember - A S K ask and you shall be answered, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you. That is wonderful formula.

Yopo< Also, you'd expect to find a few who think they've GOT the answers everyone else NEEDS.

flump< people who treat all views with respect...not necessarily belief but respect

Skycatcher< I don't care what someone believes - well, have to admit I'm uncomfortable with those from "the dark side" - but I hope all are open to celebrate differences, and to sharing without putting someone else down for their beliefs.

merry< I think I expected spiritweb to be sort of like a virtual pagan monastery. *S* I know I was surprised when I first encountered christians here, so I obviously had some expectation in that regard.

Skycatcher< politeness, respect, affection

merry< And the fact is, I used to expect spiritual people to be very tolerant of others' spiritual beliefs...but we all know it doesn't work out that way.

Ally< Take EveryOne As Part Of the All *** with All Love ***

Isobel< I expected people to be kinder and more sincere

Incense< I feel 'spirituality' is a vague expectation of human 'goodness' that exists only for short bursts within our consciousness.

Skycatcher< Military folks spiritual? Obviously, or they wouldn't have chaplins in the services. But I admit to a certain predjudice that being part of a traditionalist organization makes me think military personnel would tend to be religiously traditional too. And I shareMerry's surprise at finding Christians here. Actually the two go together, because obviously I have thought Christians and tradtional belief systems preclude "New Age spirituality". My bad!

FRAML< My 2nd question is an expansion of the first.

FRAML< 2nd Question: What are the backgrounds of people that you expected to find here? You have nicely addressed the personal attributes of those you would excpect to frequent this type of site.

Yopo< Interesting, how we equate a spiritual orientation with expectations of tolerance and open mindedness. Yet we all know we don't ALWAYS find that in folks drawn to SpiritWeb. Maybe that comment someone made earlier about the "dark side" has something to do with it. Perhaps spiritual orientation has polarities?

gardengirl< expectations can be dangrous ... *S*

spiritcat< varied backgrounds....lots of experiences to be able to relate

Incense< I expect most that come here are heavily endoctrinated by various environment religions/belief systems, including governmental/military bias...but feel within that there is more to existence that the expected and believed.

merry< OOH! Incense's comment got me to realize I DID have an expectiation...that the people I would find here would all have extensive spiritual backgrounds... it never occured to me that there would be many just starting down the path of spirituality.

Skycatcher< Background? I guess all we truly share is a modicum of computer literacy. But I hope to find folks from all backgrounds (ingredients in a salad), but all with open minds, some intelligence, and only the lightest of agendas. Hope springs eternal.

flump< many "christians" are compatible with new age beliefs as a message of love from the heart can be accepted without compromising personal beliefs

merry< I don't think I had any expectations about background. Having such a varied background myself, I guess I got over those kinds of expectations long ago.

Yopo< Very diverse backgrounds, it seems to me. Generally the folk here seem to think and reflect a lot more than the norm. That must imply SOMETHING in common about backgrounds... Not sure what.

merry< Yopo, but we aren't talking about the backgrounds of the people who come here. but what we EXPECT/ED.

Yopo<merry *S* Yes, I guess we were.

FRAML<merry: Do you include those belonging to conventional religious beliefs/membership among "extensive spiritual backgrounds?"

merry<FRAML, my first thought is to say 'yes'....but as I already noted, I was surprised when I first ran into Christians here. I'm not sure if that's because it's a conventional belief...or because I expected most chistians to see us as a den of devil worshippers...*G*

Isobel< I had no expectations as to backgrounds, I've been amazed and surprised

cassandra< I thought that the people in Spiritual Chat Room would have have studied the different religions so they could make the decision of one that was best for them. But brought up - like my Grandmother used to say - It doesn't matter on what day of the week you worship as long as you keep one HOLY. And, of course, I supposed they would have been brought up gently, in mannerly families and have respect for other's feelings.

NTA< backgrounds would include all beliefs, all religions, all origins - folks that enjoy touching the love of each others hearts

Yopo< I think, maybe, most of the folk I've run into on SpiritWeb have had some sort of "opening" experience. Some experience that doesn't fit within the usual range of experiences, and that---on some level---DEMANDS attention.

Babsue1< Religion doesnt come into spirituality u can be athiest and be spiritual

Yopo< So... I guess I EXPECT folks I meet here to have had something unusual their background. (Had to make that fit somehow. *G*)

FRAML< Yopo: *G*

Incense< 'Religion' and 'Spiritual' are just terms that don't really exist in the real world...but we act and pretend really hard that they do.

Babsue1< not unless its a family inheritance

cassandra< Babsue1 - What is definition of atheist?

Babsue1< a non beliver of religion

merry< Babsue1...good point! And you've helped me recall another expectation I had: That those in a spiritual chat room would understand the difference between religion and spirituality. ......././././........Yopo...*S*

Babsue1< as long as we are here yto help you dont have to have areligion if u dont want to just becuase its a family thing

Skycatcher< I think I'm most surprised at how many folks bring their own anger and unhappiness into these rooms, and vent on others. That is an unexpected background for me.

FRAML< Any other comments before my next question?

Yopo<Skycatcher Yes. But I think folks sometimes bring their anger and unhappiness here to have it CHALLENGED within a spiritual context. I think sometimes such people are looking for answers, but still haven't quite figured out what their questions are.

Skycatcher<Yopo - unusual? like a spiritual experience?

Babsue1< right merry

Yopo<Skycatcher... Yep.

spiritcat< *S*@Yopo

merry< could say that of MANY words, though, couldn't you? If we don't accept some words as symbols of certain thoughts/feeling/actions/whatever, meaningful communication would be about impossible.

Skycatcher< Good pointYopo. Babsue - I msg'd you privately, but since someone else asks too......I thought atheism precluded belief in God, but for me spirituality implies God, in some form. How do you see spirituality without some form of God?

Babsue1< if u do good in life by helping other then ur still spiritual person

Incense<merry, we act as if our words really have meaning...the words have come to control our thoughts and actions.

merry< Technically, an "athiest" is one who does not believe in the existence of a god or gods.

Skycatcher< I am agnostic - do not accept or believe in any form of religion, but not an atheist. No problems with atheism, just a problem understanding it with spirituality. Gotta think on that one! Grins.

Babsue1< sorry Skycatcher i just noticed yr message

spiritcat< i came here because i had all this spirituality i didn't know what to do with .....others here understood my way of thinking ....there are not many in my town i can talk to...i feel i have friends here....*S*

Yopo< spiritcat Spiritual isolation is a common issue. What I found was that when I started being more open about my spiritual path, I started finding other people who were on parallel paths. SpiritWeb has been part of the process. I'm very grateful that it's here.

Isobel< How about agnostic?

zemi< HI to all :) I expected that because so many with the Pagan/ Nature / New Age community have oppressed so much in the past...that if in seeing Christians, they would be more open to them. I see if anything, it at times get in your digs at the "Christians" as much as you can...So, it surprises me to some chatters great anger towards "Christians"...I'm not Christian, but, I find this odd...IMHO *S*

FRAML< 3rd Question follows.

merry< Incense...*VBS* Very true! And it always amazes me how many people fail to realize that....

cassandra< Babsue1 - my dictionary - an old one - says one who doesn't believe in God or gods or goddesses. What about believing in Spirit though - and almost ANY belief becomes a religion to many people even if they call it something else. Is Wicca a religion? Is channelling a religion? Do Ascended masters form a religion?

FRAML<Cassandra: good questions and the basis for future seminar topics.

merry< Technically, an "agnostic" is one who isn't sure if there is a god or gods, or not.

Skycatcher< spiritcat - I think many come here to find community and folks who "speak the same language" and are interested in things spiritual, metaphysical and occult.

Babsue1< well athiest dont realise that when they help others its being spiritaul which is part of giving love there are many athiest. my father was one never believed in god but belived we lived after

FRAML< 3d Question: Describe the type of person you DO/DID NOT expect to find visiting a religious/spiritual chat room?

FRAML< Your turn:

shagrat< I've always thought of spirituality as as being involved with the fundamental questions: Where do we come from? Why are we here? What are we supposed to do? What happens next? Religion, I think, is a sort of organized, group spirituality; with all the good and bad points of organized, group anything

spiritcat< the type that swear for a whole page...the type that slander others

cassandra< Someone who would call themselves God and take over that role. Talk to all the people and get their reactions and beliefs - then write a book and make money from all of us.

Babsue1< Spirit is a religion but it has all been takenout of context relgion is heling others to progress not preach to idols that cost fortunes where money could be well spent elsewhere the spirits dont abide idol gods

FRAML< Babsue1: Any comments on my 3d Question?

Incense< Me

Yopo< I don't expect to find people who are totally caught up in materialism on a spirital chat site. Such people would likely find this place a total waste of time, and probably think we're all full of delusion and fantasy. (Or horse manure.)

zemi< (*excuse my previous post...don't know what the heck my fingers were thinking LOL Even I have a hard time deciphering previous post)........I didn't expect to find the "Chat celebrity" thing in a Spirituality chatroom...It seems that whoever is the flavor of the "Chatroom Moment", gets the attention...and the manners, simple hello's and so on go out the window. *S*

JustJ< spiritcat yes I did not expect to find people disrespectful of others. Especially the dominant, in your face type...Also the amount of people involved in and supportive of drugs

Yopo< flump (*hehe* Yeah. I spread it around frequently.)

merry< shagrat, I think you've hit on a core issue here. All our expectations about who we think we'll find in a spiritual chat room are going to derive from our concept of "spirtuality." I've been thinking about it all afternoon and still can't come up with a satisfying definition of "spiritual," beyond "believing in or acknowledging the existence of Spirit." And that's a pretty broad definition.

Skycatcher< Merry - then you have to define "Spirit". I'm still working on that one in regards to Babsue1's athiest remarks. What is spirit, and what role does it play? What is the difference between Spirit and Soul? etc., etc., etc.,etc.

zemi<Yopo *G*

spiritcat< yesYopo i guess i was a bit afraid of professing my spirituality in this small town as they are of old tradition....but i did venture into a fellowship and express my beliefs ...all the others were quite amazed at the way i felt and expressed was a good coming out though....then i found spiritweb chat and love the people good and otherwise....

Yopo< JustJ You musta been hanging around the playground in Stonehenge. *LOL*

JustJ< frump that depends on how hot the manure is. many very gifted sensitive people have left this place because of that heat

flump< i think spirituality should be simple...any action or thought that connects you with others or the world around you

FRAML< Any other thoughts on my 3d question? If not I'll go with my final question for the hour and we can explore the other areas mentioned after this hour is completed.

JustJ<Yopo it is not the room, it is where people's "spirituality" is coming from.

merry<Skycatcher...*S* Well, on a personal level, I use the word "Spirit" becuase everyone seems to be able to relate to it and it doesn't seem to offend anyone. But define it? *shakes head, laughing* I don't think we are able to see/know/understand the totality of Spirit while we live in these mortal bodies. Spirit is bigger than any of the idividual souls that we are, and we are part of Spirit, and/or connected with Spirit, is ways I don't fully understand. But... Mitakuye Oyasin! I KNOW that we truly are all related.

FRAML< FOLKS: Can we please get back to the posted topic and my next question for the last 15 minutes of the seminar?

spiritcat< FRAML please pose the question....

NTA< spiritual is the action of spirit/man-woman as he/she treats all his brother/sisters/life in a sacred manner.

Yopo< Yeah... We're getting off track...

FRAML< Final question follows:

Skycatcher< Waiting..........(grins)

merry<FRAML...let's forge ahead...*S*

Skycatcher<FRAML! Type faster!

LadyV< I agree NTA its action....compassion/respect/honour. Reflects that the person involved has the same relationship with the Unseen All and the self.

FRAML< Final Question: In the set up for tonight and on my website I open with the question that I have received many times. "What are you doing in a spiritual website since you spent 20 years in the Army? It doesn't seem that you should be interested in spiritual stuff." Why do you think folks have this reaction to me and other military veterans who frequent religious/spiritual sites?

FRAML< I was once asked: "Why does a military guy have an interest in spiritual topics, it seems contradictory?" What is your answer?

Incense< Well FRAML, you seem to be the only one who comes appear to be unique.

flump< I think one of the tenets of the army is to follow orders without questioning them. The quest for spirituality arises from asking questionss so it might seem that the to are incompatible

zemi< FRAML I guess it would stem from this notion of separation from "church & state"...people tend to look at the military as a "State only thing" and don't see religion anywhere near it...I guess since alot of spiritual leaders refuse to mix religion and politics...the military is also part of the politics thing...That's my guess...*S*

Skycatcher< My stereotype of a military person is one who is bound by lifestyle to narrow thinking - following someone else's orders. Most of the "spiritual types" I've known are just tho opposite, free thinkers, and thrashing anyone's attempt to give orders. I would think a military person would fit just fine in a traditional religion, still following orders. And of course, I already revealed that I have a disconnect between traditional religion and "spirituality", but that's my weakness.

Yopo< FRAML I think it's only the result of another steretype. Soldiers don't live the lives of monks, no question. Folks think of order, of regimentation, of unquestioning obedience, of... Wait. That DOES sound a bit like the life of a monk... *S* There ARE spiritual warriors.

Skycatcher< But then.....there's that old saying....."there are no atheists in a foxhole". I'll bet there's more praying in the military than in the general public.

shagrat< I've found that many people these days have some very peculiar notions about the military. Recently found that a neighbor of mine thought that everyone with "military training" was a trained killer and took his (or her) weapons home on discharge.

zemi< I have several very uncle's who are Vietnam Vets and devout Catholics...their faith is what sustained them over there. You have to have a root base in something to get you through horrible things...I don't see why others would question the "religiouness/spiritualness" of any military person. *S*

daCrone< I think that there are those who view the warrior as non-spiritual because being a warrior involves actions that they think are anti-life ... the structure, too, of the military may also be perceived as creating mindsets that are not, how to say, flexible ... no offense - this is what I think some may think *S*

Skycatcher< I think too it has to do with the military role of defense, leading to killing and destruction. Most spiritual types are pacifistic and profess to abhor violence. I suspect there's at least a bit of dishonesty in that, but it's what they profess.

suitESPirit< Veterans and many military men have probably had more "spiritual/psychic" experiences than the average person.. They have been touched in ways, most would not understand, (especially miracles during battle)..Those that raise that question are in the dark, and maybe need to be enlightened *in many ways* ~~~~ (IMHO)

merry< FRAML, I've noticed that one of the stereotypes many spiritual/new age people seem to have is that that to be "truly" spiritual, one must be a liberal democrat, while the military tends to conservative republicans. Another stereotype many people everywhere have is that military veterans (or even those on active duty) are "fascists." Given that, I can see how it's an easy step to thinking no one involved with the military would be interested in spirituality.

zemi< LOL Sorry "Very uncle's" meant "several uncle's" geesh...

greyman< Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

Incense< It would seem to me that those who must fight and kill and die would be more religious or spiritual than the norm...having to face the true realities of life and death often does that.

merry<Incense,FRAML isn't that unique. I'm a military veteran, and was a pagan when I joined the Navy. And there are many military veterans that come here. For that matter... I know of at least three of us here now who are military veterans, two of whom are retired from military service, meaning they have served 20 years or more.

flump< perhaps people see military as a step to acquiring strength and power in the physical realm as opposed to aa spiritual realm

Ishtahota< FRAML That is a contridiction. But I think what upsets most people is that is so in there face. Sure they get up set and angry. But as inside so outside is the rule. People are really getting upset because it mirrors their oun inner conflick. We can not learn to responsible for our own healing so we attack the outer reflection.

Skycatcher< How many here would have a problem believing that a military person is religious? Not me, not for a moment. So why do I have a problem with thinking of them as spiritual?

FRAML< To those of you who are familiar with Ben Swett, who started these seminars: do you think that he has any military experience, or is a totaly non-military spiritually related person?

spiritcat< are there priests or fathers in the military....i think yes so i accept that youFRAML with a military background can be part of the webchat.....after all are we not 'one'?

cassandra< FRAML - We will always need physical protectors. It is wonderful that young boys and older men are Spiritual enough to care about preserving a freedom for the weaker ones. And wonderful things DO happen to the military. Thank goodness, we have someone to take care of us dreamers.

Yopo< Good night, greyman *S*

merry< For that matter, Wicca is officially recognized in the military chaplain's handbook.

merry<cassandra...and women, too... I'm female, and a veteran.

FRAML<spiritcat: There are priests, rabbis, ministers, even iman's serving in the US military as chaplains.

Skycatcher< Perhaps too, it has to do with ability to admit to being spiritual. As suitESPirit mentioned, many have had the experiences, but how many could be comfortable admitting to an Air Force pilot admitting he'd seen UFOs? His leadership would probably have fits!

zemi< Military person....*S* His website is very good. On the other hand he could be what's called a "Spiritual Warrior"..*G*

suitESPirit< I do not know Ben very well, but I would say he does have military experience..and a very spiritual *in tune* man...

daCrone< contradictory? ... I would hope that warriors all would have spiritual depth ... at any moment they may be dealing in events that have extreme consequences ... and not just for themselves ... far ranging consequences that last through much time

Yopo< zemi Yes. He's that, I think.

Incense< It doesn't really matter I think one way or another.

spiritcat< we are here as spirits learning to be human matter what the background we are all 'one'

merry<Skycatcher... I have some reason to believe that many military pilots HAVE seen things they can't explain. They generally dont' talk about it, for exactly the reason you mention. *VBG* Puts a whole new level to the concept of "don't ask, don't tell," doesn't it?? LOL

cassandra<merry - of course, there are many females who are in military. Didn't mean to leave you out.

flump< spirituality could be viewed as why are we here and what happens when we die? I would think that someone serving in the military might have a more intense focus on these questions.

flump< spirituality could be viewed as why are we here and what happens when we die? I would think that someone serving in the military might have a more intense focus on these questions.

FRAML< I'll post a comment here that SLIDER (a former Marine & Vietnam vet) sent me to post tonight: If it weren't for my spirituality at a young age I don't know if I would have survived Viet Nam. When I needed guidence and asked for it, I was always contacted by some force that I can only say had a spiritual origin. Simper Fi SLIDER

daCrone< great responsibility demands equal spirituality

JustJ< I find the subject a contradiction. Jesus said love one another as I have loved you. Love everyone as you your brother

Yopo< One of the grand mystical revelations in the Bagavad Gita, a venerable Hindu holy text, is in the context of a conversation between the warrior, Arjuna, and his chariot driver, who reveals himself as Krishna, on the verge of a terrible battle...

FRAML< Final thoughts follow.

JustJ< I find the subject a contradiction. Jesus said love one another as I have loved you. Love everyone as you your brother/sister Most servicepersons claim Christian roots, but they don't practice what they preach...sorry about the double posting

Yopo< *S* Got me through a year in 'Nam, too.

daCrone<merryYopoFRAML Ben Slider ... NAMASTE

merry< JustJ, actually, just about every religion is represented in the military.

Skycatcher< Yeah, just look at how the Christians in history, and today in Ireland, are loving one another! I think it's "love one another as long as you are just like me", otherwise, watch out!

shagrat< have been doing some reading lately on the (American) Civil War. It's interesting to note how many of the men (professional and amateur) involved in that conflict were profoundly spiritual (as well as religious). Their extant diaries contain some very telling passages trying to reconcile their beliefs with the bloody tasks tey found at hand.

FRAML< I've asked you to examine your own stereotypes of the type of person you expect and don't expect to find here in SWC. Many folks exclude those who have served in the military as "narrow, following orders only, etc" and think that excludes them from having the ablity or desire to think for themselves and to have a spiritual/religious basis in their lives, yet it just that basis that has kept many of us alive and sane. Thank you all for your comments tonight. Oh yes, Ben Swett retired as a full Colonel from the US Air Force after 30 years, and he does believe in UFOs.

LEGS< Remember ... no atheists in foxholes

Incense< I think that many find 'spirituality' in spite of their everyday lives and experiences or maybe because of them.

Skycatcher< And that's not just Christians. Many are like that. So it's not really a valid point, to me.

FRAML< Thank you all for participating tonight.

flump< there are a lot of "contradictions" within stereotypes, the spiritual military man ,the doctor addicted to drugs. I won't go to the hair color linked to intelligence stereotype :)

FRAML< flump: my hair color is brown (now being streaked with grey). I spent most of my 20 years in the Army in Military Intelligence. *G*
Incense< And there are no foxholes in atheists I believe.

FRAML< /topic Open Discussion: Spiritual stereotypes.

LadyV< shagrat and most especially since they were often family members that fought on different sides. Imagine war against your own family? I have often felt that one of the reasons we are so united now is because of that against brother is insanity.

Yopo< Excellent session,FRAML! Glad I didn't miss it!

spiritcat< thanksFRAML bye =^..^=

flump< thanksFRAML

zemi<FRAML *S*

shagrat<FRAML Thank you for the forum.

flump< i have heard that the phrase "military intelligence"... :)

LEGS< FRAML, I am sometimes attending a church that the boys like to attend, they have been warmly supported by them and they are nothing like what I was told about Pentacostals when I was growing up.... by other kids at school, mind you, not by my loving and religious parents.

merry< FRAML, thank you for a very interesting topic! *S*

JustJ< OK can murderers be spiritual?

zemi< Greet and meet..."GREETINGS TO ALL...*VBS*....{{{{{{{LadyV}}}}}}}} *S*

LadyV< Thank you FRAML

JustJ< God told me to kill someone because they are skum, are they right? What makes the millitary any different?

merry< There's another type of spritual sterotyping that I see here at spiritweb. It seems to me that many who come here feel that to be "truly" spiritual, they have to find a native teacher, get into tarot, become vegetarian, have OBE's, meditate, and be psychic and/or distance healers. I don't think I like what that says about the "new age movement."

NightSpirit< thank you FRAML and just for my input..i dont hold any judgement or stereotyping on military verses spiritual..i believe we are spiritual beings having a mortal we view and accept things is entirely dependant upon each individual soul's choice in each given moment

JustJ< We claim the defence forces have the right to kill because govenments send them. But are the governments spiritually based, or materially based?

Yopo< JustJ The world is a more complex place than that, alas... We are born into roles, into History, and are swept forward by it, sometimes into situations we regret, but must act within...

merry< JustJ, of course a murderer can be spiritual. That doesn't mean that "God" told them to murder. Also, you have a stereotyped idea of what the military is about.

FRAML< NightSpirit: *S*

Yopo< Good to see you,LEGS *G*

zemi<LadyV Mom is good...she got asked out on date, which I at every chance I get...jokingly tell her "You got a date... and you gonna kiss him" which she blushes and tells me I am a pain in the arse...LOL How's everything going for you? *VBS*

FRAML< H'm I've got the Cassion song playing now in the background here.

LEGS< Good summary NightSpirit ... oh that we could each allow other souls to walk their own path without interference but with only prayers that their path end in the right place.

merry< JustJ, the question of whether having a standing army under the direction of the government is an entirely separate issue. We're talking about the spirituality of individuals.

LadyV< zemi thats wonderful news!!! Good for Mom!! I am ok.

cassandra< GoodnightFRAML and all. I really liked the discussion.

FRAML< I was originally in the field artillery.

LEGS< I love the "go rolling along" tune myself,FRAML

daCrone< I agree,Yopo ... I am reminded of Gandaf (sp?) in Lord of the Rings ... when he turns to face the entity of flames and declares his intention - You will not pass ... there are points in life and in history, some small and some awesome, where these things happen and action must be taken

FRAML< Good night (((CASSANDRA))) & remember to count your blessings before you sleep.

merry< Hm...left out a phrase... "the question of whether having a standing army under the direction of the government IS SPIRITUALLY APPROPRIATE is an entirely separate issue."

Yopo< daCrone Yes. That is a very powerful moment, when Gandalf decides he must sacrifice himself.

LEGS< ((((((guitarist)))))))))) in case everyone didn't know, my hard drive crashed in Jan. and I now have a brand new pc that my Leoprechaun built for me.... fast, with lots of storage, etc... Hurray! So good to be back!!!

FRAML< For those of you interested I've posted some of the story of my spiritual journey on my website attached to my name. Most of it has been since I've retired from the Army, but the foundations for it were laid in my youth at my home church in Indiana and at college.

Yopo< Blessings,cassandra! Sleep well... *S*

merry< LEGS....*S* Good to see you again! *S*

zemi< I was just remembering an ex-boyfriend of mine who was a Marine and stationed in Lebanon when the military was attacked by terrorists...he is and was back then an Atheist and the hole in not having a Spiritual base just seemed like it was endless...His eyes just looked empty. ... Just my ramblings....Everyone needs something to sustain ones soul, if not your just in limbo existence. *S*

guitarist< (((Hello everyone from myself and Yankl)))

LadyV< NowYopo don't you leave...because of a flying and I are not exactly the Bold and the Beautiful ya know! [laughing] I think that is the name of that Soap Opera .....what is hidden is always out in the open in here eventually.....Yopo.....come back....

Incense< Osuma and his band consider themselves 'spiritual' and also are military types.

cassandra< JustJ - Well, would you rather see your babies brains bashed out - or would you try to stop whoever was doing it? My son said the little kids were wired as bombs in VietNam. Yes, I call it Spirituality to defend the helpless, not knowing if you will be killed doing it or not. What greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his country and the people he is defending?

LEGS<LadyV am home now, and the RiverLady, my Mom, is visiting... 3 Taureans in one household... Mercy Me

Yopo< *looking at self* I HAVE NOT vanished! Only a bit transparent for a moment... *ahem*

JustJ< merry the individual has choice, as a defence person they don't have choice. The individual can practice their spirituality within the confines of the that service, which is a dictatorship, anwerable to the defence chiefs and then onto the government etc. Most of us don't know what our governments are doing on a day to day basis.

LEGS< Well said,Cassandra

cassandra< Oh, too bad, He has left. Oh, well. I said it. And I am glad. *LOL*

NightSpirit<FRAML..i believe there is no right or justice that is not already judged by the soul itself..being actively involved in wars..killing for the country and the right for man is always for a we wish to interpret that 'purpose' is where it lands for each the soul interprets it, i believe is quite above what we as mortals believe it to be

Yopo< I despise war. Most reasonable people do. But it also seems like a force of nature. We've never been long without it.

LEGS< ((((Merry))))) good to see you... BTW, my late husband, who pursued the military way of life even after discharge from the service where he had made Omaha Beach on thru to the outskirts of Berlin while sergeant of an anti aircraft unit, working voluntarily with State Military, and commanding the 3d Bn under the same adjutant General that also headed the National Guard in our State, was always a spiritual, kind and loving person.

shagrat< Osaama bin Laden et al are NOT military types by any understanding I have of the term. A simple willingness to kill anyone for a cause is NOT one of the recognised military virtues.

Yopo< Uh... Something decidedly wrong with my spelling...

merry< JustJ, as a military veteran, I have to tell you you are incorrect. I ALWAYS had the choice. It's true that if I failed to follow the lawful orders of my superiors, I would have to face certain consequences, but the choice was always mine. I did not abandon my conscience when I put on the uniform. I continued to practice my spirituality throughout my term of enlistment, and never found myself facing a crisis of conscience. Further, it would be a mistake to think that military service is incompatible even with traditional religions such as Christianity. Christian beliefs allow for the defense of the homeland and the punishment of transgressors, even unto death.

zemi< GREETINGS to all newcomers *VBS*

FRAML< NightSpirit: I believe that there is right and wrong in life, whether or not we want to accept it. There is a time for personal and national self-defense. Depending upon how one was raised regarding dealing with killing/murder/death is how they react on a personal and soul level.


Incense< A simple willingness to kill anyone for a cause is the only recognised military virtue. That is the purpose of military training breaking down the natural resistance to killing another...its called basic training.

merry< shagrat...good point. And as I understand it, that's what all the fuss about the treatment of the detainees in Cuba is all about.

JustJ< I believe we should never send troops into any conflict until there has been a compulsory referendum by ALL citizens of that country. If we are being attacked on our own soil, the government would have an automatic right to send troops to defend us.

merry<Incense...*S* That's a stereotype...and utterly untrue.

NightSpirit<FRAML..correct me if i'm wrong..u said 'right and wrong in life'..yes, in life i believe we must have standards to live by to bring order out of life we have values and as u state, they depend on our background as to how we live a soul..i do not form 'right or wrong' or any other form of judgement..i only see them as man-made

FRAML< JustJ: do you consider the attack on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon on 11 September to meet the "automatic" provision of your statement?

Yopo< Hello dere, guitarist! *S*

Incense< ((guitarist))

merry< JustJ...and you're sure welcome to your viewpoint on such things. However, the topic was spiritual stereotypes, and specifically the sterotypes that suggest a military persona can't be spiritual.

LEGS< Incense, that simple willingness to kill comment from you is much too simplistically stated to cover the nuances of basic training... much of which I in a military role have taught myself... and none of which involved killing.

Incense< And its my feeling that 'spirituality' has nothing to do with profession...its a feeling within of goodness and rightness that is illusionary to enable one to justify what one has become and does in life.

FRAML< NightSpirit: I believe that mankind has developed a moral code that includes "right and wrong" of actions that are helpful and harmful. I define "judgemental" as meaning to condemn the soul of another person, not to determine whether or not they are living by the rules of the code they say they believe in (thus are either right or wrong). To me only God has the ability to render judgement on one's soul.

Yopo< Yeah. Simplistic. Although, I do agree with the general reprograming aspects of basic training. Gotta keep your wits about that.


Incense< Well as Patton said, "No one ever won a war dying for his country. You win a war by making the other poor bastard die for his country." And no military type was ever as spiritual and new age as Patton.

merry< intersting definition. May I ask, given that, why you come here?

flump< i wonder how different our outlook would be if service in the military was mandatory as it is in some countries

FRAML< JustJ: thank you.

Incense< Because I can,merry.

Yopo< Good night, daCrone! Bright dreams to ya...

LEGS< I would restate your illusionary statement thusly: spirituality has everything to do with what one becomes and does in life, and is the basis for one's hopes for certain outcomes which are perceived as not illusionary, but attainable results

NightSpirit< FRAML..aahh..we speak the same language..although i define 'judgement' as being a mortal endeavour, not a soul one..i believe GodForce simply holds no judgment therefore cannot as 'God' judge its 'self'..we are all Source..all One..the might of the mortal mind is our own condemnation and redemption

zemi< I wonder how many of us would view as a spiritual stereotype a "religious group" that believes waging war on infidels...If these groups truly believe in their religion...and feel that the morals of those not part of their belief system is offensive...would that be any more or less valid, than a war against terrorist...You have a clash or morals and way of thinking here as well....Just curious as to what others may think. *S*

merry< Incense....*G* OK. I haven't made any secret of the fact that I consider you an asset to spiritweb, and always enjoy your posts, so whatever your reason, I'm glad your'e here.

JustJ< FRAML My pleasure *S*

Incense< I'm just saying its okay to train for war and kill...we've been doing it for thousands of years...its okay to lie and steal...because we have been doing it for thousands of years...just cloaking it in white-washed terms of 'spiritual' is wrong.

merry< Incense...???? Did I miss something? I don't recall anyone suggesting that the military is spiritual or that war is spiritual...just that individuals can be spiritual even if they are in the military, or in a war.

FRAML< It is nearing midnight here in Washington DC so I must retire for the evening. thank you all for participating in tonight's seminar and the discussion afterward.

merry< FRAML, again, thank you!

flump< enjoy the evening FRAML

Incense< merry, you acting like 'spiritual' is real. Just because someone types Spiritual Chat site at the top of this page doesn't mean it really exists...but we pretend spirituality exists so we can go on doing what it is we wish to do, whether for good or ill.

LEGS< Spirituality is the awareness that one is not ONLY mortal... that life is basic training for living better in ways that will help not only oneself but others to realize their spiritual selves.

Yopo< Incense But nobody is saying it is spiritual. Only that spiritual people can find themselves caught up in it. War is terrible. But it would be more so, if it were conducted entirely by those with no spiritual orientation. Even in war, there is sometimes kindness, compassion, and mercy.

NightSpirit< FRAML..Blessings..i enjoyed my brief opportunity to share my thoughts..thanks

shagrat< Incense Untrue. On a number of points. Admittedly a large portion of basic training, for those in the combat arms, is desensitizing the warrior to the taking of life. Of the ENEMY. An infantry rifleman unwilling to pull the trigger is of no use on the battlefield. But one eager to shoot everything that moves is a liability. Defining just who is the enemy is the trick. Perhaps the rigor employed in making this distinction is a measure of spirituality. Protectinging the weak is also generally considered to be a prime military virtue. These are not the only ones. military virtue.

merry< Incense...*G* To me, spirituality IS real. I understand that you don't agree, but that doesn't effect MY reality. *S*

Yopo< Blessings,FRAML. And thanks again, for a very focused and thought provoking seminar!

Incense< The basic assumption here tonight was that 'spirtuality' exists. Such a thing has never been proven or demonstrated to exist outside our imaginations and desires...I'm just pointing this out in my poor way. My apologies to the spiritual here.

JustJ< FRAML a most enjoyable discussion...Thank you........Gotta go room. Catch you all another time *POOF*

FRAML< *****POOOOOF******

Yopo< Incense Hey, no apology needed! There'd be no point even coming here if people didn't say what they think.

LEGS< Incense ..... does Wind exist? ... can you see it? ... you must judge that it does, because of the results... the same is true with Spirituality... the results of one living a Spiritually aware life, can also be judged

merry< Incense...for that matter, a whole LOT of things have never been proven or demostrated to exist outside our imaginations and honor... joy... fear... sorrow... happiness... respect... integrity... hope...

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