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  1. 2 points
    Greetings! My name is Miriam, and I have only recently come to reclaim the Christian label in my spiritual life. Coming from a more fundamentalist background, I have had to take time to reflect on my experiences of Christianity from a safe distance before re-engaging with organized religion. The writings of such authors as Rob Bell and John Shelby Spong have been a valuable support in that process. I am grateful to have recently found a local church group that accepts and supports me as an eclectic, progressive Christian, and I now hope to build on that experience by connecting to wider discussions of faith online. I am also in the process of developing a blog that focuses on engaging with faith through questions, so I hope that learning from fellow members will help to better inform my writing in the future. I look forward to taking part!
  2. 2 points
    Good evening, I am a Borg- and Spong-inspired justice-focused Christian. I was raised as a United Methodist and felt my faith gain traction and teeth upon discovering Marcus Borg, and also my aunt who is a leftist-Christian clergy! My hope for joining this space is to connect with other like minded people- especially if they are young-ish professionals who are now at home raising kids in a small community which is quite moderate-to-right leaning (although not fundamentalist!) now that's a tall order!
  3. 2 points
    Non-Progressive Christian are not allowed post in the Progressive Christianity thread. Which is fair enough. Anyway this led me to clarify for myself, if no one else, Why I am not a Progressive Christian. Progressive Christians: Point 1: Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life; Not sure I believe in the Sacred. The uppercase Oneness and Unity fill me with a little trepidation, I suspect it could be pointing to something that is not really there. I can see a unity and a oneness in existence but ... Point 2: Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey; Sacredness and Oneness of life, again the upper case. Sure the teachings attributed to Jesus might lead to the understanding the S and O of life. But I would argue it is not that we can draw from diverse sources ... we have to. Point 3: Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, ... I have no problem with this, but the wording is strange (I thought). While the word all is in upper case atheists are not mentioned but agnostics are. Also the incentive to write this post to some degree is caused by a lack of "complete" inclusiveness. OK I understand the wish to protect parts of the community; but ... Point 4: Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe; In a way I agree with this statement. It is a bit more complex than that. My behaviour alone is not the "fullest" expression of what I believe. Point 5: Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes; Again not sure what is meant by grace ... but using my definition (an ease) I would agree. But I have admit I find value in reconciling the results of our searches with the scientific method. Point 6: Strive for peace and justice among all people; I have no problem with this, but it is a bit of a motherhood statement,. Point 7: Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth; This brought me head to head with the free will debate. Can the Earth be any other way than it is? Now I might want it be different/cleaner/whatever but then, the universe unfolding will determine whether or not I will do anything about it Point 8: Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love. Well I have had a life-long path of learning. All of us do that to some degree or another. When the universe unfolds I may or may not find compassion Selfless love? "Love your neighbour as you love yourself"? Overall this 2011 version (for me) is harder to argue against than the original eight points highlighted in the front page of the forum. Perhaps it is time to update the points to the new Eight Points? Overall I cannot call myself a Progressive Christian, though (I think) I see fairly closely eye to eye with Paul when it comes to the profane and Joseph when it comes to oneness and unity (note the lower case ) Would others like to comment on where they agree or see differences in their take on the 2011 Eight Points.
  4. 2 points
    In the NT, it seems like the standard communication method is "feeling something in ones spirit", visions and dreams, though. Like f.e. Peter on the roof having the animal vision, or Paul seeing a vision of a Macedonian man asking him to come over etc. The quotes make my posts look much longer than they actually are I am dealing with a similar conflict myself. The God I know through experience and intuitions etc. seems to be much more of a peaceful, understanding and a nice guy than the God of the Bible, especially the OT one. On the other hand, especially teachings of Paul and some teachings of Jesus heavily resonate with me. So, I am caught in-between of Christianity and something else that I can't quite define. I have tried other religions, it doesn't work, too much of the Bible is indeed my religion and I lose that if I try any other approach. Right now I feel like I'm too Christian to be anything else, but not Christian enough to be a proper Christian either.
  5. 2 points
    I know the feeling Lani and I felt very much the same when I was going through my period of anxiety and depression (which coincided with my kids being about 2 & 4). My wife was also experiencing post natal depression and we didn't recognize it for that until she sought help. I know there can be a stigma associated with depression/anxiety but I would encourage you to consider talking to a professional if that might be a possibility. There's nothing wrong with that and both my wife and I found such a process exceptionally beneficial. I am not saying that is your predicament, but it could possibly be feeding into your anxiety about your children. I don't know where I read it and I have since had trouble locating it, but I remember reading a a story around that time that I found particularly comforting. It went along the lines of this: A distraught mother had her three young toddlers in a bath, preparing to drown them. She was distraught with the thought that if she didn't raise them properly that they might not 'choose Jesus' and would go to Hell. She thought it better to kill them now as innocents so that they would see heaven, than take the chance of raising them and they possibly end up in Hell. In distress at the thought of killing her kids the woman cried out to Jesus saying "please don't let me do this - take my life instead and spare my children - grant them life with you". To this Jesus replied "Woman, if I loved you so much that I was prepared to die for you, do you really think I could allow you or your children to be separated from me". Now I could have the story wrong (wherever it was written) but that's how I remember it. For me personally, it just made me think that if there is anything 'existential' or 'spiritual' to our existence, whatever it is can only be a good thing in the end rather than a harmful thing. If my kids (or I) get it wrong in our tiny blip of an existence on an eternal timeline, then I'm certain that whatever 'higher power' might possibly exist, it would understand. This in turn has allowed me to better accept the day to day. I ponder spirituality and religion, as I do life in general, however i feel no compulsion to 'get it right' or for my kids to. In the end, they will simply work out for themselves what works for them. Sure, guidance is important in life, and opening up our children's minds to the possibilities of all things (not just the spiritual) is a burden that all parents practice to different degrees, but I rest easy knowing that what works for them, will be what works for them. I hope I make some sort of sense. Cheers Paul
  6. 1 point
    Forty some years ago, when I was in my 20’s I was more certain of my ideas and held more traditional and conservative beliefs. For example, the belief I held about human sexuality was clearly traditional & conservative. In my 30’s I began to question many of my beliefs, the questions tended to rise out of my experiences with people, organizations and empirical evidence. Around the year 2000 I was working as a subcontractor for a general management consultant. Our team was conducting a review of a regional health authority. The team was to review both governance and operational issues. My role on the team was to provide the financial, statistical and demographic analysis. In the process of my research I bumped into some statistics on Intersex, this topic had nothing to do with the information or statistics that I was trying to find. However, I was intrigued, I read the article and spent a small amount of time researching the topic a bit more. This research caused me to rethink my conservative beliefs. I asked myself “if nature causes physical variations of this sort, can it also cause psychological variations?” When I was graduating from high school, over 40 years ago, I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. Twenty years later I had the opportunity to take the test again; the results were the same. Six years ago, I again had the opportunity to take the test, I thought it might have changed noticeably given how I believe I have changed over the years, yet it was the same result. The test tells me that my psychological preferences in how I perceive the world around me and make decisions has not changed. On the topic of personality disorders, I am sure most (or all) of us know of someone in our circle of friends, immediate or extended family that has a difficult personality. Their personality can be disruptive and offensive. They tend to cause difficulties in relationships, particularly if they are a member of the family. We might find ourselves saying “s/he has always been this way.” Over time we learn to deal with them. Like my Myers-Briggs results, personalities don’t seem to change. I know that I have general tendencies that seem to be at the core of my personality; some are good tendencies, some are bad. When I look at my children, I see tendencies that they seem to have learned or inherited, tendencies they have now we saw when they were 8 to 10 years old. Over the past several years I have become interested in behavioural genetics, which is a science of the role of genes in behaviour. Some philosophers and scientists suspect that under genetic influence, free will is constrained or eliminated. Two individuals that I have read or watched on YouTube are the geneticist Robert Plomin, and the neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky. I also found this documentary very interesting; Three Identical Strangers; Youtube Preview, the full documentary is on Cineplexstore My question is, when are our choices voluntary and free? When are our choices not determined by nature and nurture?
  7. 1 point
    Let me begin with this disclaimer: I am an evangelical Christian for whom Christ's atoning death and resurrection are the anchor of my faith. But at their best, the verifications inherent in ADCs (=After-Death Contacts) and NDEs (near-death experiences) seem more evidentially probative even than the evidence for Jesus' resurrection and, in my experience of evangelistic witnessing, are far more effective than any Bible-based apologetics. To demonstrate why I will share some of the most mind-blowing evidential NDEs and ADCs I have encountered, including some of the most convincing which have not been published. But first, I will provide some biblical background for ADCs: (1) Apart from Jesus' resurrection appearances, the most obvious NT example of an ADC is the return of Moses and Elijah to be present with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9 and parallels). (2) "After His resurrection, they [deceased saints] came out of the tombs and came into the holy city and appeared to many (Matthew 27:53)." Whether their bodies were actually resurrected or their spirits simply appeared to the living in Jerusalem, these paranormal appearances qualify as ADCs. (3) Hebrews 12:1: "Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely and run with perseverance the race that is set before us." In part this image of "the cloud of witnesses" refers back to the list of OT saints discussed in chap. 11. But in Hebrews, the word "witnesses" (Greek: martyres) always refers to eyewitnesses and the witnesses in 12:1 do not precede the living spiritual athletes, but rather surround them. So "the cloud of witnesses" are alive and are currently monitoring the progress of the spiritual athletes competing in the arena below. Hebrews 12:1 is thus an important prooftext for the affirmation in the Apostles' Creed, "I believe in the communion of saints." We don't need to embrace the Catholic practice of praying to deceased saints to recognize this point. (4) In the Catholic OT Judas Maccabaeus has a vision of 2 deceased saints, the high priest Onias III and the prophet Jeremiah, whose encouragement and prayer support spur them on to military victory in Israel's decisive battle with the Greeks (2 Maccabees 15:6-19). True, this book is absent from the Protestant canon. But this visionary appearance of Jeremiah inspires speculation that Jesus in fact represents Jeremiah's return from the grave (Matthew 16:14). (5) NDEs are experienced as a form of OBE. Paul considers his visit to Paradise a possible OBE (2 Corinthians 12:1-5) and Ezekiel describes his visions like ADCs: e. g.: "Then the Spirit lifted me up (Ezekiel 3:12)." My next planned posts will document some of the most evidentially impressive ADCs and NDEs. Please share any ADCs or NDEs that you or your acquaintances have experienced and what you think of them. Reply
  8. 1 point
    (4) The major turning point in my life that I'm about to share is also by far the spiritual and emotional high point in my life. Even now, decades later, I constantly draw spiritual nourishment from the very memory of that fateful day I was "ambushed" by an experience of glossolalia at Manhattan Beach Camp in Manitoba. I was 16 at the time and felt I had lost my faith. I was determined to give it my best shot to find God real, but not to succumb to wishful thinking and emotionalism. That fateful, Tuesday, I went on a 7 mile walk towards Ninette, MB, pleading with God to make Himself real to me. That evening, I did something I'd never done before. I fasted for dinner and put my dinner money in the offering plate. After the service, I stayed at the altar and prayed to be filled with the Spirit as I had previously done in vain. After almost everyone (about 1,000) left the amphitheater, my heart still felt like stone as I tarried in prayer. Then suddenly I felt a warm breeze, but it wasn't the wind from nearby Pelican Lake; it was the Holy Spirit first warming me and then possessing me. I was forced against my will to speak in tongues at the top of my voice. More importantly, wave after wave of liquid love surged through my being with ever increasing intensity until I feared it might kill me. My ego seemed on the verge of collapse into the divine presence. A Lutheran pastor observed me, unseen, and quietly came and knelt beside me. He told me he was not Pentecostal and had only come to the camp meeting as an interested observer. He said he could tell God was doing a special work in me and he asked me to pray for him. The moment i touched his forehead, he exploded into tongues like me. Another lady was sitting in the now darkened amphitheater and just staring at me. Self-conscious, I asked her why? She said, "Don't you know? Your face is glowing in the dark!" When it was all over, I realized that God had said to me clearly: "Son, you long for answers to burning questions. But answers aren't good for you right now. They will make you live in your head, and I want to live in your heart. I want you to live your questions until they lead you to the center of my heart." That is the reason for my long educational pilgrimage from BA (U. of Winnipeg) to MDiv (Princeton) to doctorate in New Testament, Judaism, and Greco-Roman Backgrounds (Harvard). Interestingly, the experience made me a much better student than I had been. And like marijuana, that experience of glossolalia seems to have functioned like a gateway spiritual drug that soon led to other gripping experiences of other spiritual gifts, especially "the word of knowledge" (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). (5) Previously, I had not been a stellar student in school and was insecure about God's plans for my future. But shortly after the experience, I suddenly knew that I'd receive the highest GPA in Manitoba in my senior year. Decades later, my cousin, a psychiatrist, reminded me that I had shared "this word of knowledge" with him when I recounted my tongues experience. That experience evidently improved my mental capacity. When Premier Duff Roblyn publicly acknowledged that achievement at my graduation, I felt that my somewhat awkward attempts at Christian witnessing were rendered more effective and I became more confident in a calling to an academic life. But my next 2 experiences of "the word of knowledge" (premonitions) were as puzzling and disturbing as they were riveting. More on that in my next planned post.
  9. 1 point
    How can the Gospel of Mark be connected with eyewitness testimony about Jesus? Papias expresses his preference for eyewitness oral testimony about Jesus' words and deeds over written works: "What was to be gleaned from books was not so profitable to me as what came from a living and abiding voice." Papias distinguishes what disciples like John the son of Zebedee used to say orally from what still living disciples, Aristion and John the Elder were currently saying on their visits. Papias (c. 60-130 AD) is early enough to have conversed with the eyewitnesses or to have heard what they were saying during their visits. What Papias learns from John the Elder, probably one of the 70 disciples outside the circle of the 12, implies that Mark provides Peter's teaching notes: "[John] the Elder also said this: "Mark, being the interpreter of Peter, whatever he remembered, he wrote accurately, but not in order, that these things were spoken or done by our Lord. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed Him, but afterwords, as I said, he was with Peter, who did not make an ordered account of the Lord's sayings, but constructed His teachings according to "chreiai" [= concise self-contained teachings]/ So Mark did nothing wrong in writing down single matters as he remembered them, for he gave special attention to one thing, of not passing by anything he heard and not falsifying anything in these matters (Eusebius HE 3.39.15)." Both Papias's testimony and the unusual number of Latinisms in Mark establish Rome as the most likely locale for this Gospel's origin. For that reason, Justin Martyr's reference to Mark as the memoirs of Peter is another important witness to its connection with eyewitness testimony to Jesus' life: “And when it is said that He changed the name of one of the apostles to Peter; and when it is written in his memoirs that this so happened, as well as that He changed the names of other two brothers, the sons of Zebedee, to Boanerges, which means sons of thunder (Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 106:3)." Mark (3:16-17) is the only extant Gospel that records Jesus' assignment of "Boanerges" (= the Thunder Boys" or literally "the sons of thunder") as a nickname for James and John. The nickname likely reflects Jesus' witty response to James and John's desire to call down a lightning strike on a Samaritan village for their rude treatment there (Luke 9:52-55). Justin's lifespan (estimated at 100-165 AD) is close enough to the NT era to have access to reliable oral tradition. What makes Mark uniquely credible are embarrassing details about Jesus that are not likely to be invented. Consider these 4 cases in point. (1) Mark implies that Jesus tried and failed to perform miracles in His home town: "He could do no deeds of power there, except that He laid hands on a few sick people and cured them (6:5)." NT scholars recognize the awkwardly worded except-clause as a later gloss. If this clause were authentic , we would expect the text to read, "He could do only a few deeds of power there." (2) the concession that Jesus' own family did not consider His ministry legitimate: "When His family heard it, they went out to physically restrain Him; for they were saying, He is out of his mind (3:21)!" Jesus: "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own kin and in his own house (6:4)." John 7:5 provides further support of the skepticism of Jesus' family: "Even His own brothers didn't believe in Him!" (3) the implication in 8:22-26 that Jesus needs 2 attempts to complete the blind man's healing. (4) Mark's willing to quote Jesus as apparently denying His personal goodness and eve distinguishing Himself from God: "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone (Mark 10:18-7-18)."
  10. 1 point
    As does obfuscation Burl.
  11. 1 point
    (3) At age 11, I realized that I should be baptized to please my parents and obey the Gospel. I had to attend a few preparatory catechetical classes and I was the only child among about 11 adult male candidates. The classes appalled me because the lecturer used poorly explained jargon like justification, propitiation, and sanctification which produceded excruciation in the mind of this young boy who couldn't grasp the meaning of these big words. Quoting Colossians 2:11 , the lecturer informed us that we needed to be "circumcised in spirit." That might have been helpful if I knew what physical circumcision was and if he explained this jargon. I would be the last of the 12 to be baptized by immersion in a large tank behind the platform before a crowd of about 1,400 people. I was petrified because I learned I was expected to share a personal testimony in front of that huge crowd and because, blush, the bottom of my baptismal robe seemed to float up, exposing my nakedness! All the men gave a formulaic personal testimony that I can recite even today. Then I nervously waded out to the pastor and he asked me, "Donny, would you like to share a word for the Lord Jesus?" I shook my head in the negative. So the pastor continued, "OK, let me ask you some faith questions." I felt publicly humiliated as the only one not to share a testimony and at that point I just wanted to get this ordeal over with to please my parents. But after the pastor dunked me, something amazing happened as I emerged from the water. I suddenly had a vision of Jesus, smiling at me, radiating love and conveying the feeling that He found my predicament rather amusing. I sensed His empathy for my confusion over all the poorly explained catechetical jargon and my groundless fear about my nakedness being exposed by the floating bottom of my robe. And years later when I became a theology professor, I reflected that Jesus must have found it amusing that a motormouth like me would be utterly tongue-tied at my youthful baptism. My first and only vision in my life transformed an unpleasant baptismal ordeal into one of the most sacred and treasured memories of my life!
  12. 1 point
    Hello, I have recently began my search and i am wondering what peoples experiences are with mediums and psychics. I have talked to a lot of people (including Christians and progressive Christians) who have seen or felt spirits. Furthermore, many of these people have had good experiences with mediums and psychics who also have a connection with Jesus. I personally have never see or felt anything. My worry is that there is nothing......i was raised in a Baptist church but never felt the presence of god. I have faith but this is based on my fears that their is nothing as opposed to actually having felt or experienced anything. Does anyone have any experiences that they would feel comfortable sharing?
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    Language is important. Every field of interest develops its own detailed language in order to communicate minute details with specificity. Medicine, physics, art, theology, psychology &c all have their own jargon which is necessary to communicate properly. Vernacular language often limited, confusing or have regional meanings. Consciousness has vernacular meanings, a theological meaning, a psychological meaning and a medical meaning inter alia. This causes problems in interdisciplinary conversations, but sorting it out is usually a profitable venture.
  15. 1 point
    The "Imply then deny" - gambit. If this was the only statement of similar nature you've made in a while, I would give you the benefit of the doubt but it isn't. They are violent fanatics. The same way as the atheist NKVD officers who carried out Stalin's purges and tortured "the enemies of the people" for decades as their job were violent fanatics. In today's world, the worst extremists are religious. In the days of the Cold War, the most horrible things were done by atheists. I recommend taking a more historical look into the topic of fanaticism before making too hasty conclusions. To be clear, psychopaths can become the worst kind of violent fanatics but not all violent fanatics are psychopaths. Note: The medical term psychopathy usually refers to individual behavior, particularly to individuals who are out of line with everyone else in their society. People who are indoctrinated to behave violently or have grown up in a violent culture, or in a violent sub-culture, or have been radicalized at some point in their lives, fall under some other label. Psychopathy is a personality disorder which can't be cured or unlearned. The usage of the term "psychopath" in popular culture shouldn't be confused with the anti-social personality disorder aka psychopathy.
  16. 1 point
    I miss the old days (few days ago) when religious people were only irrationally rejecting the reality in your books, now we have been upgraded to delusional psychopaths... But I'll play along and address the points separately, delusions and psychopathy: That definition is seriously lacking some shades of grey and doesn't do justice for the reality! For example; My grandfather was a communist, he believed that the West is evil and socialism is good. By the time of his old days, there was plenty of evidence to the contrary but he refused to believe it. Was he delusional or just stubborn? Delusion is on a whole different level of crazy than mere holding on to a belief, is. People hold on to their false beliefs for all sorts of reasons. Being emotionally invested in to a belief is not the same as delusion. Shades of grey. Secondly, there is no proof that there isn't God. That negative has not been proven (yes, negatives can sometimes be proven). There is no need to treat the question as if the non-existence of God had been proven, when it hasn't been. A leap of faith there. Hollywood psychopathy aside, the real world definition of psychopathy is also known as anti-social disorder. To put it simply, it means that person lacks feelings such as empathy and remorse and is incapable of normal human attachments. Psychopath "doesn't have a heart". Psychopathy per se doesn't make a person violent but it means that the person might not have emotional breaks stopping his violent impulses, if he has violent impulses. Note; psychopathy is not an on-off condition, only for the purposes of the medical community it has been divided into clinical and sub-clinical psychopathy. It's common for religions to include "knowledge of heart" into the world view. So, actually, atheism is closer to psychopathy than religiousness or spirituality is, because atheism rejects the idea that your feelings or "knowledge of heart" should matter at all in forming your world view. This kind of "brains above emotion" is more typical for atheism than for religious beliefs. Maybe we should rather be discussing does atheism attract / create more psychopaths than religion does, because atheism as an ideology has the same heartlessness and idealization of reason that is detached from emotion, as psychopathy does? Should atheism be considered a form of sub-clinical psychopathy due to rejection of heart as a source for establishing ones world view?
  17. 1 point
    In a recent post, my 'credentials' as a Progressive Christian (yes, I use that label for myself) were called into question based on, amongst other things possibly, my leanings as an Atheist. In fact, I was told that in regard to the 8 Points that I had "justified myself in a way that works for me". As timing would have it, an article in today's Weekly Progressive Christianity.org Recap really spoke to me and summed up where I have been personally going on this journey (still to yet arrive possibly). I would go so far as to say that the author represents word for word much of my feelings and thoughts. I think it is an article that may also speak to a variety of others in this forum - past, present and future, who find the 'old model' of God not necessarily working for them, yet still associate themselves with PC. Sometimes we are accused of not 'getting' God, of not being inclined to think 'hard enough' about spirituality, and quite often accused of shutting ourselves off to 'spiritual learnings'. This article might help those so accused at understanding they are by no means alone in their seeking, their thinking, their 'philosophising' and indeed, their spritual quest. I have included the link below for your convenience. I hope you enjoy the article. https://progressivechristianity.org/resources/resurrection-as-change-part-iii/ Peace & goodwill. Paul Footnote: I probably should have pointed out when I originally posted above a few hours ago, that of the hundreds and hundreds of posts I have contributed to this forum over the years, most often I have received nothing but encouragement and fair and reasonable discussion from other PC's participating here. Throughout that time I have openly discussed my atheism and lack of traditional belief, and recent events are the first I have seen here of anybody asserting that I am not a PC. What I am trying to say is that overall, I have found PC and those participating here to be generally encouraging on my journey. Thankyou.
  18. 1 point
    Mark 7:21-23 English Standard Version (ESV) 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Jesus did not 'hang out' with sinners because he thought sin was acceptable. That is a very silly idea.
  19. 1 point
    I don't think stories in the Bible must necessarily be understood literally or as scientifically verifiable facts to be sacred and meaningful. That is a common approach to the Scriptures in my church denomination; neo-orthodoxy rather than liberalism or fundamentalism. I see too much needless suffering in the world, based on nothing more than empty fear and hatred, to be unconvinced that salvation no longer matters. As a Lutheran, I believe salvation entails more than going to heaven when one dies, it also implies being open to living a life as a disciple of Jesus Christ because the evil of the world is contained by the hope in God's promises. Through trust in God's promises as a gathered community around the Word, life is transfigured into a sacred calling or vocation where we become God's hands in the world doing God's work.
  20. 1 point
    The Sparrow and Children of God, both novels by Mary Doria Russell
  21. 1 point
    I don't think meditation is about self-love, either. And having slept on it, I understand that the practice of meditation is engaging in attention to self as a search for self, and in the process of that search, looking beyond the fear of its non-existence and coming to terms with 'not self'. I have read Susan Blackmore before, and I highly recommend her writings on Zen Buddhism - she describes this process very well. Most commercialised western yoga and meditation practices (in my experience) stop short of this, however - they seem content with 'glancing' at the self illusion in a way that only reinforces its existence, like a comforting, absent-minded pat to reassure ourselves it is still there, functioning as expected. This chance to focus on 'me' is all people are chasing for the most part, so it sells really well in this form. Most people who have a go at meditation or yoga will pull back as it gets confronting, uncomfortable or challenging beyond the physical. After all, it's all inner experience from this point, and unless you're working one-on-one with a guru, no one else is going to care that it's as far as you're willing to go. As long as you keep paying for classes and telling everyone how 'centred' and 'peaceful' you feel after it...
  22. 1 point
    Caption Contest
  23. 1 point
    In the western theology view, God is real but not bound by time. God acts sequentially, but the space between segments is not determinable.
  24. 1 point
    Here's my take Paul. There is only one reality "out" there. It's like the metaphor of blindfolded monks feeling an elephant. But it is even more complex than that. The blindfolded monks and elephant are one. So it is a little bit like a mathematical set that contains itself. Could be problematic. It's not so much that reality has shades of grey, it is more that any model (religion, dogma, law whatever) we use to describe that reality does not quite fit; so we can end up taking a nuanced approach to the model we are imposing on the universe or we can say are model is carved in stone and take a black and white stance. And even this model I am proposing might have holes in it. Hence the debate and dialogue forum ... we can test our ideas models from different viewpoints etc.
  25. 1 point
    This unnuanced, procrustean thinking is 40 years out of date, Rom. It is an intellectual dead end proven useful in training animals and the mentally retarded but not much else. Mankind is not independent of chemistry and physics, but not completely dependent upon them either. Cognition is a major mediator of how people contextualize, interpret and react. This is the basis of psychotherapy, which is a rather huge body of evidence.
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    I have found what gives life meaning and thanks. And, even though I borrowed from Sisyphus and Greek myths, it's more accurate to say, "all power to you and panentheistic (or even progressive) Christian theology." Twas fun!
  28. 1 point
    Hi everyone, you may call my Davy, Dave, David, or whatever you like I'm a newly baptised Australian Christian, and am seeking like-minded family in the Lord. My current family seemed to judge me very critically, as I divulged my past during a prayer meeting last night. I felt really put off by this because I was pouring out my heart and being open and trusting of which I've struggled in the past, and which made me feel like shutting down again. I'm suffering from a number of conditions due to emotional pain from past abusers, and of my past in general which has been very trying. But with the help of the Lord Almighty, I hope to overcome all my issues and settle into a good year of study at university this year where I'm enrolled in English with a major in Writing. I have some physical issues which are debilitating to some extent, and am on a disability pension for my past mental health issues (which re-occur occasionally) but also am on the autism spectrum and for this reason will seek to have my pension reinstated on this basis. I'm boarderline level 2 aspie which means that I do need support to live properly. I need others and have suffered from suicidal depression in the past. From which I've attempted several times, and have since put some effort into bettering myself. I'm hoping for much help from the Lord, in being self sufficient, and capable of completing my studies this year, and hopefully into the future, for I really need to complete this course in order to honour my Mother who wishes I could complete a course instead of dropping out through hardships.
  29. 1 point
    Not suggesting I am a hero of any description () , the idea is Joseph Campbells. He seems to see everything in the context of this idea. Not so sure myself. Anyway, I am reading his "Creative Mythology" at the moment and would recommend it. Nice pictures and the ebook has less typos than some of his others - though I had to laugh at the point where he quoted the zen master who said that we "must seek the face we had before we were BOM"........ Moving on, I had a dream last night where I saw and met once again the old guy who converted me to the Lord all those years ago. I think he must be long gone now ( with the Lord? ) and I only stayed with his version of the Lord for about six months. But in the dream I thanked him and told him it had changed my life for the better. I remember though that his face dropped when I added that I had moved on. Well, my reading "inspired" the blog below, to be found ( with illustrations ) on mydookiepops.blogspot.co.uk. So my own journey has been to return to where I started and knowing it for the first time (where have I heard that before?) The simple love for another. I am still ploughing on with Mr Joseph Campbell, now with his "Creative Mythology". I have reached Chapter 3 and a section entitled Symbolic Speech. Here is how that section begins:- The best things cannot be told, the second best are misunderstood. After that comes civilised conversation; after that, mass indoctrination; after that, intercultural exchange. And so, proceeding, we come to the problem of communication........ What sort of "problem" is communication? What exactly needs to be communicated? What would we wish to be communicated? Turning once again to Thomas Merton, in one of his very last talks before his untimely death, he had this to say:- True communication on the deepest level is more than a simple sharing of ideas, conceptual knowledge, or formulated truth...............And the deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless, it is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear brothers and sisters, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are. So, if this is correct, what we should wish to communicate is the means of becoming who we are. (At this point I would just say that more often than not I am talking to myself, even learning from myself. Whatever anyone else may or may not gain from wading through my blogs, in writing them I clarify my own thoughts. Often things come together, for better or for worse) Just thinking back I remember the little story of the Jewish guy who travelled far upon hearing of a certain holy man - not to hear what he had to say but "to see how he tied his shoelaces." I think all good stories are multi-faceted but this one now takes on added resonance in the context of the questions raised here. Anyway, onward, from the Jewish to the Japanese. There is an old word in that language, menju, meaning "face to face transmission", person to person, a learning not to be found in books. I learnt about this in a book (!) and its author, Hiroyuki Itsuki, spoke there of his own attempts to learn. Itsuki spoke of all the philosophers he had read and yet, he said, he had "learnt more from his father's sigh" than from any of them. His father's sigh when, at the end of a long day, life's ambitions thwarted once more, he sunk down upon his bed. Others have said that we can only ever truly learn that which is already in us, that which we already know at some level. If true, this would bring me back to "salvation" being recognition, realisation, and not any accumulation of knowledge. Which again suggests that, indeed, we are already one, and that what we have to become is that which we already are. By grace we recognise grace in others; I think not by seeing perfection in them, but simply by seeing their humanity, pure and simple. Lay your sleeping head , my love, Human on my faithless arm...... .....but in my arms till break of day Let the living creature lie, Mortal, guilty, but to me The entirely beautiful. (W H Auden, lines from "Lullaby") I have never really been sure of the exact meaning - or meanings - of the whole of the poem "Lullaby" by Auden. I have gathered it speaks of "gay" love. Of what else I'm not aware. But I have always loved some of its lines. Moving on, but on the same theme, the love of Heloise for Abelard, a truly tragic story recounted by Joseph Campbell in "Creative Mythology". Campbell summarises the love of Heloise after first calling it "(perhaps) the noblest signature of her century":- (her love was) not the natural, animal urgencies of lust, nor the supernatural, angelic desire to glow forever in the beatific vision, but the womanly, purely human experience of love for a specific living being, and the courage to burn for that love were to be the kingdom and the glory of a properly human life. So, communication, or rather communion. That is it for now. Just the final thought that the love of Heloise was unrequited. Does it take two to tango? Thank you
  30. 1 point
    I have been wandering around the Internet of late in search of a faith community. I was raised Catholic: church every Sunday, private schools, 'the pope is infallible', and 'ours is the one true church' type of Catholic. Then I went to university and discovered the rest of the world as well as my own mind. I soon stopped attending church, married an agnostic and put aside any thoughts of spirituality. I was never an atheist, but I lived almost entirely in the material world for the next two decades, before a series of life experiences led me to pick up the bible and read it, from the beginning, with an open mind and a quiet prayer seeking understanding. What I began to realise was that the bible communicates something very different to what I had been taught - and that it actually makes more sense. If God is eternal and unchanging, then all the many instances of change in the nature and personality of God as described in the bible must have been written in by the authors themselves. Suddenly the bible was just a series of very human writings, documenting a particular cultural group's valiant attempts to share their experience of 'God' as it developed over many centuries, and in doing so, try to make this spirituality appear more concrete than it is. These days I still consider myself to be 'Christian', in that I strive to follow the teachings and example of Jesus as a human being who connected so completely with this eternal and limitless source of life, wisdom, power and possibility. But I don't consider 'Jesus' to be the only way to this spiritual connection. I cannot say the creed, and I cannot assert what are widely proclaimed as the main tenets of Christianity: the divinity of Jesus, the concept of the trinity and the physical resurrection, among other things. I firmly believe that we've somehow got confused - we got lost somewhere between the death of Jesus and the creation of the bible, and then we called a halt to what, up to that point, was an ongoing journey of spiritual discovery and understanding. So I explored other faiths, as well as online forums and meeting points of Christians, atheists, ex-Christians, biblical hermeneutics, interfaith communities, etc. I found lots of argument and debate, lots of attempts to label my beliefs as agnostic atheist, Christian, New Thought, Jainist, etc. Then I read Spong's Twelve Points for Reform, and I have never felt more fully understood. That's why I'm here.
  31. 1 point
    Somehow the act of attempting to educate yourself on quantum physics makes it not understandable.
  32. 1 point
    One of the Lindau gospels.
  33. 1 point
    First in a series of public lectures on this topic by a Jungian psychologist. Not theology, but how the Bible expresses universal human themes and archetypes. If you like Joseph Campbell's wonderful work on mythology this should be right up your alley.
  34. 1 point
    That was the point ... even today people like Spong are taken as atheists as they do not have a literal belief. Did Spong and others start off with a literal belief? Is this metaphorical interpretation a post hoc belief? Was it for you? Personally I never had a literal Christian belief. Yes we all are to some degree indoctrinated in our beliefs ... I cannot choose to be a Buddhist at least not in this moment. But because of the new insights and better education fewer people have this desire for faith. It is difficult to be indoctrinated into faith when those around you are faithless. At university very few of my associates were religious and if they were it did not show. At work (in a science and engineering type world) there were fewer religious people so it was more difficult to pick up this religion meme. And finally they are not my points ... Those points were a distillation of what some religious scholars/investigators believe we can reliably ascribe to Jesus. There are a large handful. You can find the complete list here.
  35. 1 point
    I wonder if people of an eastern culture would pick up a book by a 'Bob' or indeed a "Joseph' or 'Derek' and think that the author's name sounds more 'sage-like' than what they're familiar with such as Wei Wu Wei?
  36. 1 point
    Over the last three or so years, I've noticed an alarming trend with religious social conservatives in the internet; these people have begun to adapt increasingly anti-democratic ideals and narratives, and seem to have found their new global hero in Russian president Vladimir Putin. At first this seemed to me like a random fringe phenomenon, but especially with Americans (where there are particularly lots of religious social conservatives) this seems to be on it's way to become the new mainstream of social conservatism. Lately also media has begun to pay more attention to this, which has convinced me that this is happening for real, and it's not just my bad luck of running into this Putin-conservatism. My thoughts on what is happening with religious conservatives: 1) The repeated losses at culture wars are taking their toll. Whenever the religious social conservatives have tried to push the culture backwards in the democratic world, they have usually failed in the end. I believe that this repeated losing has alienated religious conservatives, not just from the mainstream culture, but from the ideals of democracy as it seems to favor their perceived enemies. Why would they continue loving democracy, since it seems to place secular and liberal ideals at power? By contrast, when the conservatives look at Russia, where the cultural clock has been seemingly successfully turned backwards (feminist protesters at church are jailed, gay activism has been banned, even beating ones wife has become less of a serious crime and so on), they realize that conservatism can win, just not in a democratic context. This is actually a centuries old European idea made new; The church wanting a Christian king to rule a nation, in order to keep the nation Christian. 2) The massive information - and critical thinking - vacuum created by anti-intellectualism and anti-journalism by social conservatives has effectively made the whole group intellectually helpless sitting ducks for ruthless propaganda efforts, like the ones taken in recent years by Russian government. Conservative anti-intellectualist efforts have left the group as a whole with no way of sorting the credible news from mere propaganda and thus, they will end up believing the propaganda of Putin's Russia being the promised land of religious conservatism. Not unlike the western workers of the old world believed Soviet Union being the mythical paradise of the working class. Thoughts? Observations?
  37. 1 point
    Hello, i am a 30 year old mum of 2 year old and 4 year old. Although i have never really had spiritual peace i believe that since becoming a mother i have become more existentially anxious. I love my children so much that it is quite overwhelming. I feel a big burden that i brought them into this beautiful yet complex world. i am wondering if you know of any good books, pod casts etc anything for children to introduce them to spirituality in an open and relaxed manner (not dogmatic and non specific). Does anyone have any tips in regard how to overcome my guilt as a parent for not having all the answers (let alone the answers that humans have been seeking since the dawn of time). I know from a biological point of view obviously most of us are meant to have children (hence why we are all here). From a soulful point of view i feel a massive weight on my heart that i brought these two wonderful people into the world and now what..... so many unknowns ! Any tips or words of progressive wisdom appreciated
  38. 1 point
    In another thread that when down the track of some discussion on Buddhism, it was raised that: "this idea of avoiding others and leaving everything up to divine revelation has no self-correcting mechanism. That's a fault. It works for picking out a spiritual mattress to nap on but not much else". This comment to me would seem to suggest that the Divine can't be trusted, that it is incapable of revealing itself directly to a person and that the only way a person can trust any such revelation is be confirming it with somebody's else's idea of divine revelation. Whilst I don't consider revelation to necessarily be divine in a theistic sense, I do think that people can/do/should experience revelation on their own and do not necessarily need to compare it against other's view of revelation. Do we run the risk of bias if we need to compare our revelation to somebody else's? Should one's personal revelation be considered lazy if it doesn't meet expectations of other people's revelation? Is divine revelation even possible for somebody who may avoid others?
  39. 1 point
    Guys, if this is already a thread, please link. I've reached a point in my path where I'm just not sure what to do with intercessory prayer. When someone asks me to pray for them, I don't want to say no, but I also just don't know what to do about it. I believe in the power of prayer, but I don't believe in giving God a shopping list of things I or other people want. I've tried and tried and it never works. What has worked for me are prayers of surrender. I also believe in praying with someone who I'm physically present with. My daughter is trying to get a job. She's already interviewed. She asked me to pray. So what do I pray? Do I pray that she gets it? Do I pray that God's will be done? Do I pray for God to be present with her? I'm just not sure that that's the way that God works. I can encourage her to put it in God's hands. I can counsel her to let go of her worries and accept that it is out of her control. But who am I to know God's "Will" for her? I cannot, and I'm not sure God really cares if she gets the job or not. The God of my understanding is a God of relationship, not choreography. Then again, my understand is so finite. Sometimes, I just do it anyway because I love people. Thoughts?
  40. 1 point
    Two Friars and a Fool did thing a few years back, 95 theses against Hell. In short, they couldn't bring themselves, on Christian principles, to accept the idea of eternal conscious torment as a punishment a just god would inflict on anyone, let alone someone who is merely a nonbeliever. Here's a link There are lots of different ideas about the afterlife that have come from mainstream sources within Christianity. Universalism is one. Karl Barth, one of the greatest Reformed theologians of the 20th Century, promoted it, and the Orthodox had apocatastasis, which is effectively the same thing for most intents and purposes. There's also annihilationism, or the idea that there is no afterlife (possibly for anyone, or just for unsaved). My point in bringing all this up is that the tradition of Christianity is so much more than a single doctrine. Don't get fooled otherwise.
  41. 1 point
    Really, I'm not actually looking for a new path. The last thing I need is another set of buzz words - in this case "anima", "archetypes", "individuation", "synchronity" and a few more. All a bit of a jigsaw puzzle needing to be put together to try to sort out the mysterious "self" we appear to experience ourselves as being. But I have bumped into an old mate of mine, one of those ex schoolmates who I have also bumped into at odd moments over the years, and he - at least in the past - had a great interest in Jung. Myself, I like biographies, life stories, and actually find the actual meaning of the buzz words easier to grasp when put into the context of a life as lived and experienced. Letters to friends by the subject of the biography are often another source of insight and illumination. On the face of it, the idea of individuation (of the self) seems to fly in the face of "not-self" (anatta) but closer inspection reveals such not to be the case. Well, at least to me. "Universalism" is not a creed to be believed, more a lived openness to all things, sifted in the meeting of them and responded to, then moving on. Jung's individualised "self" seems always more a process rather than a "finished product" that justifies itself by being who it is. Anyway, thought I would just mention this as I dip into a biography of Jung's life. An early quote from Jung's letters caught my eyes so I'll copy it here..... The journey from cloud cuckoo land to reality lasted a long time. In my case Pilgrim's Progress consisted in my having to climb down a thousand ladders until I could reach out my hand to the little clod of earth that I am. If anyone has read his "Red Book" (that's Jung, not Mao) I would appreciate an opinion. Thanks Derek
  42. 1 point
  43. 1 point
    Hi Im bonnie..Ive been searching for quite some time for a place I could "be" and actually be me and I feel pretty lucky to have found this forum.Havent felt at home in other christian forums and churches in town..though there is a Universalist church I found recently that I might try.Im pretty introverted...on the freespirited side..as odd as it is to say Im a freespirited introvert.I really love walking and writing..I really love feeding and watching birds ..in my situation /area I dont get to do it as much but when I do I really enjoy the surprise .Anyway its nice to meet you.
  44. 1 point
    Indeed Fatherman. We all have our own understanding of what 'God' and "Sacred' means to us. In fact the tagline in my signature under the old software (this new software version seems to have dropped that) was a quote from an Italian Poet named Antonio Porchia which read: “Because they know the name of what I am looking for, they think they know what I am looking for!” I'm thinking for me it might be time to drop that as I am not so much actively 'looking for' as I am more so 'floating down the river and observing what i come across' (that and also the new software seems to have made the decision for me anyhow ). Nonetheless, what I meant was using the term God (big G or little g) is loaded with assumptions, personal biases, experiences, etc which can make it hard to share that word. When we can openly discuss this and sometimes even challenge it (if appropriate such as in the Debate & Dialogue threads) then I think the experience is useful for all (and for many to come or who may sit silently in the wings observing).
  45. 1 point
    Not to derail this thread further (for many people are blessed by Lectionary readings and study), but I think you make a great point, Paul, about the state of the world and Christianity's role in helping our world. For far too long, IMO, Christianity has embedded itself in the sin/savior myth that posits that the world is broken, in sin, and that the only remedy is for God and/or Jesus to save it through either forgiveness or destruction (in order to create another world). This myth teaches that we can do little to nothing to help our current state except to plead to God to come rescue us. The result of this, in much of Christianity, is escapism and waiting for Jesus to return at any moment with God's divine clean-up plan. Granted, it is an appealing myth. But I don't find it to line up very well with most of Jesus' teachings. I don't see anywhere in Jesus' teachings where he says that we are born in sin. And while some of his statements seem to imply that he would return shortly, he also stressed that his followers should be about the business of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping the poor, working for justice, visiting prisoners, etc. I haven't been able to thoroughly plumb all of his teachings about it, but Jesus seems to say that the kingdom is already here, already in the human heart. I don't see this so much as a remedy to some "sin problem" but as a seed to the growth and maturation of humanity that could heal the places in ourselves and in our world that need healing. Yes, the world is a wonderful and amazing place and we are an incredible species. But we are still immature and have a ways to go before we are fully human. And I think, in my own Christology, that Jesus, in some sense, shows us what it is like to be fully human. He was ahead of his time. The Gentile church didn't know what to do with that, so they declared him to be divine. In doing so, he lost his humanity. And I think that changed his role from example to savior, and I think a great deal was lost in this demotion. This is why, for me, Jesus is not a way to get to heaven. Rather, he shows me how genuine relationships grounded in compassion can change the world, not from sinners to saint, but from strangers to friends.
  46. 1 point
    I'm new to this site and am jumping in here without having read everything that's gone before. But someone in another topic suggested that something I wrote there might be of interest here, so I'm sharing it here. This is an argument from personal experience, not theological belief or scientific research. I realize that that approach upsets some, but I think that ultimately everything we believe is based on our subjective evaluation of what we experience (including what we read about technical matters). So, here goes: My view of the physical world is mechanistic, predictable. That if I press the "Y" key on on the keyboard, "Y" will appear on the computer screen. That if I heat an egg in very hot water, the liquid contents inside the shell will turn solid. That the rotation of the Earth will cause the sun to appear to rise in the East. We constantly depend of the fact that a certain cause will have a certain effect. What happens in the physical world is predetermined by what happened previously. Theoretically, every physical event today was the result of a series of fixed causes and effects since the Big Bang. Of course, some processes are so complex it is difficult to imagine that we could gather enough information for a precise, correct prediction. But I take that to be a limit of our ability to gather sufficient data instantly, rather than a failure of cause and effect. I also recognize that quantum mechanics describes a different process at the atomic and sub-atomic level, but I'm not aware that anyone has claimed that this atomic activity invalidates Newtonian laws at the scale we experience reality. But I do find that my experience of life doesn't match this mechanistic view. First, regarding predictability. After reading your post, I considered how to reply. I thought of one approach, then abandoned it for the approach I am now taking. And, as I type, I revise sentences and substitute new words for ones I have written. That's not how the laws of nature work. Nature doesn't correct errors and make revisions in a specific case. My toaster doesn't correct itself if the setting burns my toast. My radio doesn't correct itself if a short distorts the sound. Nature doesn't "correct" a mutant cell division. One could argue that evolution is self-correcting, but that's not because nature "fixes" a specific mistake; it's just that some causes lead to more enduring results than others. Getting "heads" five coin flips in a row is not due to nature changing anything; it is just a matter repeatedly flipping the coin enough times. When I decide this morning to have a waffle rather than an egg for breakfast, I don't think it is reasonable to believe that that choice was determined at the moment of the Big Bang. I think it is more reasonable to think my human consciousness was able to make an unpredictable choice. Second, regarding experience itself. I experience my life being full of sensations — color, sound, taste, scent, etc. And yet, none of these exist in nature. Grass may reflect electromagnetic radiation of a certain frequency, but there is no color there. Slamming a door may send shock waves through the air, but there is no sound there. We have evolved to have receptors of data about our bodies and our surroundings. But evolution has also created brains and central nervous systems that make consciousness possible, but the raw data bombarding us is useless as raw data; it must be interpreted. So where does data turn into the experience of color? Not in the rods and cones of our eyes. Not in the neurons of our brains. There is no physical locus where we can objectively show that data has been turned into the experience of color. So I conclude that experience is non-physical, and that our consciousness is affected by external stimulus, but is not totally controlled by it. Hence, our consciousness enables us to choose among real options, and that's free will. Our choices are limited by physical realities, and our ability to carry out our decisions is limited by our physical location and capabilities. Free will does not, to me, mean anything supernatural, anything in violation of natural law. It is the product of natural processes that created, first, life out of non-life, then consciousness out of programmed responses, then human consciousness that permits our decisions to take into account abstract concepts. So, that's what made me side with free will. But that's not a decision against cause-and-effect. It's an addition to cause-and-effect.
  47. 1 point
    Guys, I've been rereading recent threads and realizing that my perception of them were colored by a bit of bipolar mania. I'm much better now. My posts don't show it, but they were motivated but all kinds of negative feelings. I bring some baggage to this site which doesn't really have anything to do with any of you. I'm prone to a little drama because of this stuff. I see, in retrospect, a lot of really good discussion some of which has had positive impact on me. I'll give it another try.
  48. 1 point
    Energy is united at different stages or vibrations and is never destroyed, but it does interact and change from one energy frequency to a different vibration. One of most fundamental laws of science is the Law of the Conservation of Energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another. Therefore, we can infer that energy is not currently being created. Present-day measures of energy are considerably vast, indicating a power source so great that "infinite" is the best word we have to describe it. The whole cosmos is inter-related energy interacting at different vibrations or frequencies. This unified field of energy is information reacting in a field of intelligence that I label as consciousness. As a Christian I can say it gives me the vision that this energy that makes up everything that moves the force fields of this Earth of ours is a part of the pure energy consciousness of everything or God. We are experiencing this change and will be able to move and flow with it if we see the energy upon which we are moving. I feel we have the choice or free will to see an experience with the unified field if one chooses or not if one wants to see everyone and thing as individual packets of energy. The belief institutions teach us to rely on the systems and not our own connections to the energy around us so we restructure our skills, but I feel we can choose to open our selves to the infinite energy around and within in us to understand the different frequencies and subtle energies that permeates and connects all things. Everything is energy in one form or another and is more than what we perceive with the five senses. We have the free will to see everything as a symphony of vibrations of light and sound, a system of atoms and packets of energy that make up our cells, which are like a system of universes. Each cell being a solar system of atoms with a subtle energy at the center I call consciousness. Each cell is a key to the universe, a consciousness with the information to set us free. They contain energy with the knowledge and experience to shows us that we are not spectators, but participants with free will and co-creators in our existence. The parts of our cells are interacting and changing the electromagnetic fields around us and in us. A tapestry where the vibrations and threads are interwoven in a fabric of interactions. We are not observers of an independent, separate, external world, but participators interacting externally and internally with the whole. The charges and spin of our micro parts affect the micro parts around us. The “Quantum Entanglement Theory” states that there appears to be an eternal inter-connection between all elements. If two electrons are created together, they are forever “entangled,” much like two people in love. Regardless of the distance between the two electrons, a change in quantum spin in one electron immediately causes the other electron to change spin as well. Leon Balents, senior author published in the journal Nature Physics an article where he explains that Quantum Entanglement Theory represents the extent to which measurement of one part of a system affects the state of another. In our example, measurement of one electron influences the state of another that may be far away. Scientists have acknowledged that the entanglement of electrons is present in varying degrees in solid materials. This insinuates that information is being transmitted at speeds faster than light. Some scientists claim that Quantum Entanglement substantiates that there is no such thing as space, and that everything in the universe is in touch. Our inside and outside are only different sides of the tapestry. The inside is dealing with unity while the outside is involved in the duality of objects. We have the free will to acknowledge either the unity or the duality. Therefore; I feel we have free will with a limitation because of the interactions. When I feel pain in the world of duality I have the free will to dive into the unity inside and when I feel I am a participator, I can head out again into duality. Yes, I am a Yo Yo, but I feel I have a small amount of free will to affect the tricks I can perform. I enjoy my individual packets of energy, but like a Buddhist need to bath in the unified field of energy to wash away the attachments that cause pain.
  49. 1 point
    Well very interesting, I will have to reread the blog and responses, but I can surely see where, environment and how we were raised greatly influences us throughout life. My RC's beliefs were ingrained from a early time and I never questioned till my 50's, so I pretty much just believed and my actions in life were based on my family and religious upbringing. Since I have got to this point now, I am more clear, or how should I say more aware of my reaction to things, and how I would normally react, say feel hurt, now I can look at the person who perhaps said a hurtful thing and choose not to react to it as I understand more why the person may of said it. I read something that by the time were about 7-10, what ever has been put in our sub conscious mind will become automatic behaviors that we keep repeating and repeating until we become aware, and then we can change our reaction. So say if my husband comes home moody , its not me, its because he had a bad day, or when the check out person is short and rude, I chock it up to her having a bad day, we just don't know. The choices we made or make in life are greatly influenced by events prior and , so in a way I think the more older and wiser we become , they call it street smarts or life experiences I guess, yes I think the more free will we might have or the illusion of having more free will. Goodness who really knows anymore.
  50. 1 point
    This book has been quite eye-opening for me and I can think of lots of examples of these theories with myself and with others. So far he has looked a lot at reasoning, and I am interested in finding out what he has to say about the intuition side of it.
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