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Alan

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Alan last won the day on December 19 2009

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About Alan

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  1. Raven, Your statement, "The Kingdom is within all of us...", I think expands nicely upon my view of the Nativity. This biblical account, along with many others, speak deeply to me about the birth and life of Christ within my internal kingdom, that spiritual temple which I am erecting within myself. - Alan
  2. It has been approximately two years since I last posted in this forum. I remember having excellent conversations with several here, all of which allowed me to see a new view through different lenses. One of my earlier posts included my views of the Nativity. I am posting it here again to generate continued conversation. Peace to all - Alan Original Post: Because of the Christmas season, I have been thinking about the nativity scene and its meaning. I consider the Gospels to present beautiful, meaningful mythologies rather than literal stories. Thus, I have come up with the following thoughts and would love to hear from others their opinions on these ideas: 1. The birth story of Jesus actually portrays how the spirit of Jesus should be born within ourselves. The baby Jesus is a seed of light that radiants love and connection to God. 2. The lowly manger scene depicts that this seed of light can come into the life of all mankind, regardless of their status. 3. The animals represent our 'beastial' desires and emotions that must be subdued in the presence of this light to allow our spirituality to grow. 4. The sheppards represent our daily activities and work tasks that, again, must be subservient to our spirituality. 5. The magi (three wise men) represent the three aspects of who we are: the physical (our bodies), the psychical (our minds), and the spiritual (our souls/light), that seek to re-connect with the Jesus light (the Star in the East) to become whole again with God.
  3. Adi, Wow...this song brings out a lot of emotion in me... Thanks for posting that. Alan
  4. Janet, No, I haven't read that book yet. I will add it to my lengthy list of potentials. BTW, I looked around the Soul Biographies website and there are some really fun and engaging videos there. Thanks, again, for posting the link. Alan
  5. Wow...that's a FANTASTIC video!! Thank you for posting it. From what everyone has posted, it seems our fears of not belonging, our fears of death, our fears of losing a loved one, all stem to a root fear: the fear of being alone. This is one of my greatest fears. Sure, I like to get away, be by myself, and experience life through silence and circumspection, but I know that I will eventually return to my family and friends. Even when I get away, I know that my connection with God is still there and I can feel the Divine Presence within me. But losing all of that is scary. We must have interaction with others in order to express our emotions, exchange ideas, compare experiences, and have a feeling of connectedness. Without God, our lives would serve no purpose and there would be no promise of a better place. Maybe hell is a place of total isolation. Respectfully, Alan
  6. Ada, Beautifully said. I completely agree with your idea of the Christmas standard. How wonderful our lives would be if we all gave birth to love, hope, joy, compassion, and tolerance every day! Your statements about God's Light makes me think of an analogy I once heard. If God is the sun, and we are the moon, then we must strive to be full so as to reflect God's radiance during the darkness of the night. I like to use a paraphrased statement of St Francis of Asissi which says "no amount of darkness can extinguish the light from a single flame". We must be candles in the darkness and strive to keep burning bright every day, not just during the holidays. Alan
  7. Because of the Christmas season, I have been thinking about the nativity scene and its meaning. I consider the Gospels to present beautiful, meaningful mythologies rather than literal stories. Thus, I have come up with the following thoughts and would love to hear from others their opinions on these ideas: 1. The birth story of Jesus actually portrays how the spirit of Jesus should be born within ourselves. The baby Jesus is a seed of light that radiants love and connection to God. 2. The lowly manger scene depicts that this seed of light can come into the life of all mankind, regardless of their status. 3. The animals represent our 'beastial' desires and emotions that must be subdued in the presence of this light to allow our spirituality to grow. 4. The sheppards represent our daily activities and work tasks that, again, must be subservient to our spirituality. 5. The magi (three wise men) represent the three aspects of who we are: the physical (our bodies), the psychical (our minds), and the spiritual (our souls/light), that seek to re-connect with the Jesus light (the Star in the East) to become whole again with God. Alan
  8. Alan

    Perspective On Point 3

    Jake, I am a lurker here, and have been for some time. I try to scan the new posts as readily as my busy schedule will allow. Unfortunately, I typically don't stop and post a comment when I read something I consider open and thought-provoking. Your post, however, has truly moved me. Your thoughts regarding Point 3 are very similar to my own. I have always considered Communion to be one of the most beautiful and meaningful sacraments of Christianity. However, an event in my life changed my feelings towards Communion as practiced by the church I attended as a young man. I was raised Missouri-Synod Lutheran. In that denomination, there is no open Communion. During my confirmation classes, my pastor explained to me that only those who understood the true meaning (aka the MS Lutheran accepted doctrine) of Communion are allowed to have Communion. This confused me, but being the impressionable youth that I was, I accepted his teachings. My father passed away in 2000. At that time, I was not a regular church-goer. However, my brothers and their wives wanted to honor our mother by attending a church service the following Sunday after my father's funeral. The pastor came to my Mother's home Saturday to make sure we were okay, and of course, make sure that we were attending church the next morning. He questioned my brother's wife about her religious up-bringing. She was raised Seventh Day Adventist. All I can say is that the pastor chose his words carefully. He essentially told her, in no uncertain terms, that she would not partake of Communion and that she should listen closely to his sermon. My brother and his wife did not go to church that Sunday. Neither did I. I could not believe the negativity and outright elitism projected by that pastor! My Mother has forgiven me for not attending the service and, after numerous conversations with her, I feel she understands my feelings towards the church. With all of that said, I want to pass on to you my support of your ideas regarding Communion and offer some ideas I've had regarding the body and blood of Christ. What if we consider the bread, aka the body, to represent the 'substance' of our lives. That is, what if we look at it as representing all of the physical, hard-copy, stuff that we encounter and surround ourselves with on a daily basis. This would not only include our personal bodies, but also the tangible things around us including the trees, rocks, water, and other physical items of our existence. Then, what if we consider the wine, aka the blood, to represent the 'fluid' of our lives. That would be our mental and spiritual aspects including our thoughts, ideas, emotions, dreams, and other non-physical aspects of our existence. If we consider the body and blood to represent all of these things, then I see Jesus Christ as permeating all that we are and experience. The Last Supper is more meaningful to me because it is not a dour pretense to His death, but rather, a statement of his living everyday in our lives. His scriptual statements of "do this as often as you eat/drink of it in remembrance of Me" takes on a meaning that we should strive to see His teachings in in our everyday lives. Furthermore, I totally agree that Communion should be shared by all with the intent that we are coming together to celebrate the existence and our connection with the one true God. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiring me to offer my own. Alan
  9. Joseph, Thank you for posting the above link. Your thoughts are well presented and they have given me much more to think about. Alan
  10. Joseph, That is a very interesting point of view regarding love. I have been thinking about your comments for some time and offer mine as follows: I believe that G_d exists. I believe that all things are part of G_d. I know that both good and evil exist. Therefore, good and evil are part of G_d. The Book of John says that G_d is love Therefore, love is made up of aspects of G_d including good and evil. Is this consistent with your ideas of love? Alan
  11. FOLLOW UP - After reading my post, I realize I didn't give my thoughts on the Sacrament/Symbolism issue. I have a hard time with the word Sacrament. Christianity is generally accepted as having two Sacraments: Baptism and Communion. Both of these are supposed to impart Grace into our lives. My questioning/confusion comes from the term Grace. What does this term truly mean? I don't believe in an external, separate God entity that 'looks down upon us' or acts outside of ourselves. With that said, the term Grace doesn't make sense to me because it implies getting something from outside of myself. So, I guess I would consider Baptism to be a Symbolic ritual in our physical lives to give us understanding of what we need to do with our internal spiritual life. I'm not sure that really conveys my thoughts, but it's a start. Alan
  12. Jake, Great topic. I haven't posted to this forum in a long time, and so this is a chance for me to get back into it. I consider Baptism to be a symbolic ritual that gives us a physical connectedness with a spiritual event. Immersion of the physical body into water, followed by the emmanation of the body back into air, is a great way to give a physical feeling and understanding of how our spiritual body is cleansed/changed by our mystical Baptism with Diety. This version of Baptism refers to the full immersion version, not the symbolic touching of water to the forehead of babies. I never quite understood the value of baby Baptisms in this regard. Baptism is a very old ritual not limited to Christianity. There is evidence of Baptism/immersion rituals as far back as Mesopotamia and in numerous cultures around the world. I consider it to be a valuable procedure for those who understand its implications. Much like other accepted church sacraments, I think Baptism has been 'dumbed-down' to make it more digestable to the masses and its deeper, mystical meaning has been lost. Alan
  13. I have finished Harvey's book and just wanted to offer these comments: The first section of the book focuses on Harvey's interpretation of the historical/radical Jesus. The author did a great job of presenting some alternative interpretations of Christ's parables and actions. I enjoyed this section immensely and thought what a great way to start the book. The second section focused on the Mystical Christ, and in particular, Harvey's interpretation of his own mystical Christ experience. This section was difficult to follow and I'm sure I missed many of his key points. However, he did offer up some interesting points of view regarding his internal Path to become one with Christ. He then follows up with a section on Christ and the Sacred Feminine. Very interesting...but I feel he tried to pack way too much information in this section without wrapping up all his points and arguments into a unifying theme. The final section presents actual practices and meditations that can be used in a daily practice of connecting with Christ. This section could easily be a stand alone hand book and I may end up purchasing the book with the exclusive intent of trying some these methods. Overall, Son of Man was interesting reading. I appreciate Harvey's insights and recommend this book to those that are interested in a unique approach to the Mystical Christ. Alan
  14. I'm feeling this way about the book "Son of Man" that I'm currently reading (see my list above). The author is making some very bold statements about his method of finding Christ or, as he says, becoming 'Christed'. He essentially is prescribing a method of becoming like Christ via his direct communication with Christ. I'm having a hard time digesting some of his thoughts, but will finish the book anyway. There have been some interesting points of view and I hope he will provide a few more. Alan
  15. Joseph: Wonderful stuff! Thank you. I sense a touch of Eckhart Tolle in your response (watching the mind without judgement or thought). I see you have even suggested his book in my recommended books post. I enjoyed his "Power of Now". I agree with you and him that we need to look at our minds from a non-emotional, non-judgemental stance. The steps seem so easy, yet so hard to take. I spent 35 years letting my mind control my surroundings and have spent the last 6 trying to free myself. I take baby steps daily...I rejoice in my little accomplishments. Thank you again, Joseph, for reminding me how to reveal that which I already have. I consider your posts to be some of the best reading on this Board. Keep it up! Alan
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