PaulS

Jesus As An Extra Dimensional Being And Confirmation Bias

92 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I know people who don’t abide by any particular “spiritual” program, but do seem to exhibit those qualities that Burl enumerated.

 

Some of the most compassionate, empathic and intuitive people I know would say they don't have a 'spiritual' bone in their body!

 

I think too often 'spirituality' is mixed up with religion or faith. My take on spirituality is simply 'living'. I can't walk down the street without being spiritual.

Edited by PaulS
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my mind, Jesus looked up and saw higher dimensions of consciousness all united in God the Father, the ocean of pure consciousness and then gazed on earth and saw people restrained, locked up inside their personal identity. So with love he set out to open people’s hearts and free their consciousness from our self-imposed limitations. At a low level we just don’t have time for love and unity being caught up with pleasure, desires, requirements and temporary phenomena. For us Christians the presence of Jesus alone expands our consciousness by his being open, accepting; vulnerable and understanding enough to love everyone good or bad so we understand that it is not about being closed minded, afraid and guilty. Christ consciousness was unattached from the form of the body so was able to be ecstatic enough to lay his body down for us, knowing that his consciousness would rise up to the higher states. This act alone is enough to expand our consciousness, compassion, love and unity between people, religions and countries. Love brick by brick takes down the walls we have built around our mind to open it to the state of being in love where we share ourselves with others. Love is with the whole being not with the mind where we proceed to our convictions and way of life; love accepts diverse viewpoints without judgement, nevertheless with peace and affection. True love lets life be perfect in its own way, not how our mind thinks everything should be with mental demands because love from the soul loves things as they are as they flow from the source. Albert Einstein expressed it beautifully, “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest…a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” I feel Christianity needs to resurrect itself and make the ambiance so individuals can resurrect their original self without dogma. I feel if people get a taste of communion, unity then it doesn't matter if Jesus is real, a myth or a combination of both to make a superhero that shows us one of the ways to open up an be who we are.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that most of us are sorely lacking in love, kindness and compassion, Soma. And I'm no different. But every now and then (not often) I run into someone who seems to embody those qualities. And I just wonder where it comes from.

Steve

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve I am like you so think about this all the time. In my mind I feel we all are beings in an ocean of one energy, source, love or pure consciousness and at different times different beings open to it and express it in their actions and thoughts. Some would say the people you see that embody it get it from you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spiritual progress has demonstrable effects. Increased socialization and creativity. Humility and concern for others. Decreased worry about self and death. Heighted intuition and understanding. A charismatic and attractive personality. Lots more; all observable by others.

 

Intellectual self satisfaction decreases as one develops new questions, interests and desires. A person who is spiritually dead in the water has all the answers and no questions.

 

I'm going to attempt to enter this conversation, but I must admit I have a feeling I have less experience than you all in this kind of discussion and less formal education.

 

The words I quote above caught my attention one trivial reason being they were written on birthday.

 

Secondly, because I would argue there is no such thing as spiritual progress or regress. We are all simply spiritual it isn't something measurable, it just is, like being human. I would say that in my subjective experience the more I experience the unity every human has with Source the more I become loving, gentle, humble, social, creative and the fewer answers and more doubts I have. I hope the doubts are a product of increased humility. I will say this too since I was quite young my relationship with source has been more experiential than anything and my understandings, however, flawed have come more from my experience than anything written.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'm going to attempt to enter this conversation, but I must admit I have a feeling I have less experience than you all in this kind of discussion and less formal education.

 

Less formal education may well be an advantage! :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all,

I think maybe there is such a thing as spiritual progress or regress, although we shouldn't think about it as something we can clearly 'measure'.

 

I think there may be two ways of understanding 'spirituality':

 

One is: there exists an invisible world or realities and persons which hold power over this visible world and with which we can enter into a relationship. In this first sense 'spiritual' means being closely concerned with this other, invisible world (e.g. God, the angels, the devil, heaven, hell etc.).

 

The other way of understanding 'spiritual' is being concerned with what is inward and genuine as opposed to what is external and superficial. External and superficial is things like material possessions, fame, power over others, looking good etc. Inward and genuine means honesty, humility, selflessness, true friendship and real appreciation of art and beauty.

 

Being spiritual in the second sense is, I believe, far more important than being spiritual in the first sense.

 

Soma - love what you wrote in the 11.41 post. I'm curious whether what you call higher dimensions or the ocean of pure consciousness or what TomAllyn calls the 'Source' - is this something you believe in literally or is it a symbol?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps both positions are just from a different perspective but the end seems agreeable in the manifestations or fruit. As Paul of Galatians wrote

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

It seems the word spiritual means different things to different folks but that most everyone recognizes the manifestations we relate to as we become more aware of the spirit that exists in all.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Broadly speaking, I am with Tom. I would say that we all just "are". Distinguishing the "spiritual" is just dualistic and inevitably leads to judgement ( of others and ourselves ) In Pure Land terms we are "made to become so naturally" by the working of Reality-as-is ( the Source )

Edited by tariki
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Soma - love what you wrote in the 11.41 post. I'm curious whether what you call higher dimensions or the ocean of pure consciousness or what TomAllyn calls the 'Source' - is this something you believe in literally or is it a symbol?

 

I feel the infinite can't be described with words so I use many symbols all meaning the same thing call it God, God the Father, Quantum Unity, Quantum Soup, Source, Energy Divinity, Divine Energy or I use it a lot Ocean of Pure Consciousness. They are just symbols words that in my mind are small descriptions of parts of the whole or reminders of totality.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Soma - that clarifies things for me a bit, but I guess I would think of the 'infinite/ totality' as also symbol and not just those other words you use. From yours and other posts, I'm getting the idea of a literal all-encompassing spiritual reality called e.g. 'the Source', 'the Infinite', 'the spirit that exists in all' etc., as something already given which we need to open ourselves to - and I'm not sure what to make of this.

 

I firmly believe that we need to strive for wholeness in ourselves and others, and the world we live in. Wholeness is something we need to create by our own actions and words - but not as something already given.

 

If we're talking about the same thing - if the 'Source' is a poetic way of speaking about the wholeness we can and should achieve through our own actions - then I'm fully in agreement. But if the Source is a literally existing reality, the actual belief of a religious / Christian mysticism - then I would ask how do we know it exists?

 

Hope that makes sense.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matthew it makes sense. I don't think the infinite is given by anyone, but always was, is and will be without end. Energy is not created or destroyed it just changes form from one energy to many so we have multidimensional frequencies in totality or duality in unity, one energy source . We are born into a physical form in the infinite without ever leaving it. It seems we all have tried or are trying to get back or get a taste of it and get a glimpse from experience sometimes stimulated by music, philosophy, poems, sports comedy, movies, alchohol, religion or drugs et cetera. And when our mind see it limits turn inward to the Divinity or energy within that links us to the energy without, which is an inside job. Then we realize we are human beings being spiritual by being human in the flow of eternity.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 

Soma - love what you wrote in the 11.41 post. I'm curious whether what you call higher dimensions or the ocean of pure consciousness or what TomAllyn calls the 'Source' - is this something you believe in literally or is it a symbol?

In my understanding Source is something literal something that fills the entire universal and every cell and atom. Not something I can nail down a definition on though. Yet I believe it animates everything that exists. I also so believe Source is he, she, it, and more all at the same time and it and I believe Source has consciousness and intellect. I never realized I was this much of a philosopher - It that is the correct description LOL.

 

Whenever I think of Source I think of Acts 17: 28 For “In... we live and move and have our being...” This speaks to me!

Edited by TomAllyn
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Source and the universe? Well if were to state mybelief based on limited evidence I can muster then they must be one ... not two sepearte entities. Just letting go of that final dualism. I am sure as I can be of the universe without resorting to some sort of solipsism.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Source and the universe? Well if were to state mybelief based on limited evidence I can muster then they must be one ... not two sepearte entities. Just letting go of that final dualism. I am sure as I can be of the universe without resorting to some sort of solipsism.

 

I'm glad that you caught that I meant "universe" and not universal. I have never damage in my right hand and arm and use dictation software a result. It often is inaccurate and sometimes I don't catch the typos.

 

It is possible that I'm using the wrong terminology but when I say universe I mean everything that exists not just in this world outside of it. I see "God"/Source has both filling all life forms.
As I understand source is like water and all life forms like sponges in the water. The water is not a sponge and yet it permeates every fiber of the sponges. At the same time a water gives life and animates the sponges and both the water in the sponges have their own consciousness and the ability to think. The water gives life to the sponges at each sponge unique personalities in this illustration so does the water. The sponges have no life without the water to the contrary the water is self-sufficient in every way.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom

As a point of disclosure and you being new here (welcome by the way) ... I can be seen as:

the resident skeptic

being agnostic (Paul is too but I am a little more outspoken)

viewing things scientifically, I have a scientific background so I tend view things through that particular lens

being by some definitions an atheist ... I cannot call myself a Progressive Christian

 

Again the universe exists (as far as I can tell). It appears to be interconnected and this is reflected in some traditions ... eg dependent origination in Buddhism.

For me it is far from clear that there is any intelligence etc guiding the universe unfolding. This guiding intelligence fails Occam's razor, at least in my opinion. It seems to stem from an argument from incredulity, I can't possibly see how it was done; therefore [God, god, The Source, The One, {insert your own}] shaped universe.

 

Simple systems can result in extremely complex patterns.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Burl wrote: Christianity will never make any sense if you ignore Jesus' divinity.

 

And here divinity seems to be taking on a meaning of having an extra dimensional capability (ie beyond the four we readily experience).

so this might be rewritten:

Christianity will never make any sense if you ignore Jesus' ability to access other dimensions.

 

So we might ask:

Assuming this is true are these extra dimensions supernatural?

Can any of us access these dimensions?

Do these dimensions (and contents, if it even make sense to think in these terms) respond to cause and effect?

If so, can these extra dimensions described by laws of physics (albeit brand new ones).

 

Or should we might bite the bullet and come to the conclusion Christianity does not make sense, or at least the more traditional interpretations of Christianity?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - thanks for your replies to my question on the Source etc. I do find these ideas really compelling and attractive, and I think they've been expressed really well. Another expression I heard in a song was the "Universal Consciousness Divine", - a phrase which I think brings these ideas together.

 

I have always had a really deep feeling of beauty and mystery which hints at something like the Source, a deep mysterious unity behind and underneath everything, that behind the shifting changing appearances there is the One, unchanging Light and Life Source.

 

I guess the sceptic in me asks how we can know if this is really true, or if the Source really exists? This is why I prefer to regard it as a symbol or metaphor, a metaphor for the wholeness and unity we all yearn for and should strive towards. But I definitely respect the belief in a literal Source, because I do feel it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Romansh - just seen your post after writing mine!

I think I'm probably a resident sceptic too. An agnostic certainly - but I still would like to see myself as a Progressive Christian.

I'd agree that I can't see any evidence for an intelligence guiding the universe unfolding, but I would still like to believe in the Source or God as a powerful symbol.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mathew ... Hi, Welcome too.

The question that comes to my mind is where do our wants come from? But that belongs on a different thread.

 

But why Progressive Christian and not Progressive Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu? Why not a Progressive Atheist or better still a Progressive Agnostic?

I think it is positive that you recognize this want or need for a "Source".

Personally I would try and examine/understand the cause(s) of this need. And by definition it can't be nether-worldly.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Romansh thank you - really good questions. I consider myself a Christian because I try to follow the moral teaching and example of Jesus, and also because I attend a Christian church and participate in Christian rites. I realise for many being a Christian should also mean believing certain doctrines or supernatural truths as well, but I've come to realise I want to identify as a Christian because I follow Christian values and belong to a Christian community. These values can also be held by humanists or people of other religions, and I hope the essence of my values would also resonate with progressive Muslims, Hindus etc. But these people of other faiths would express these same values through different symbol systems so they could rightly say 'I am progressive Muslim etc.' rather than progressive Christian.

 

I would love to understand my feelings about the 'Source' etc., but for me the most important thing to recognise is that they are subjective feelings and so can't give me any assurance of objective truth. They may be a clue to a real supernatural reality but as mere 'feelings' they could also be subject to naturalistic, psychological explanations for all I know.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough Matthew

 

So how do you choose your Christian values from those that are available to you?

Looking over the fence, so to speak, in to the Christian garden, there appear to be a variety of values some of which are diametrically opposed.

 

Moral teachings of Jesus ... hnmmm? In some way it does not matter, but when you refer to these teachings are you referring to Christ (the mythical figure later authors ascribed to Jesus) or the historical Jesus that we know very little about and we can actually attribute very little directly to this figure? I think you can understand why I might be a little skeptical as to what are the actual causes behind your beliefs.

 

You describe yourself as skeptical ... and yet you say They may be a clue to a real supernatural reality. ​I can't help thinking the supernatural is a contradiction in terms. If the supernatural does not respond to cause and effect ... then it may as well not exist. If does respond to cause and effect it is not supernatural in any meaningful sense of the word.

 

Anyway just some thoughts.

rom

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Romansh thank you - really good questions. I consider myself a Christian because I try to follow the moral teaching and example of Jesus, and also because I attend a Christian church and participate in Christian rites. I realise for many being a Christian should also mean believing certain doctrines or supernatural truths as well, but I've come to realise I want to identify as a Christian because I follow Christian values and belong to a Christian community. These values can also be held by humanists or people of other religions, and I hope the essence of my values would also resonate with progressive Muslims, Hindus etc. But these people of other faiths would express these same values through different symbol systems so they could rightly say 'I am progressive Muslim etc.' rather than progressive Christian.

 

I would love to understand my feelings about the 'Source' etc., but for me the most important thing to recognise is that they are subjective feelings and so can't give me any assurance of objective truth. They may be a clue to a real supernatural reality but as mere 'feelings' they could also be subject to naturalistic, psychological explanations for all I know.

 

Nice summary Matthew. In Christianity since all writings are post 'Resurrection,' Christ and Jesus meld together. As the history of biblical scholarship shows it is hard (impossible) to separate the two. So, I guess it is fair to ask if they should be separated as the writings and prior oral traditions provide the Christian movements 'memory' and understanding of Jesus (and thus God). What we have is all that there is in a very real sense.

 

I also allow they may be a clue to a real supernatural reality if that is understood as a human attempt to say something about the Reality they perceived or believed was 'present' in the man Jesus. I take in your use of the word supernatural is simply a word that for some and especially in a previous age, suggests the ultimate nature and meaning of what it is that we find ourselves part of.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Romansh - thanks again really good questions, these are all things I've thought about but I'm not sure I can give a definite answer!

 

1) Christian values - you're absolutely right that I have to make a choice as to what constitutes true Christian values. Anyone who identifies as a Christian has to do that. Myself I take the view that commands like 'love your neighbour as yourself' or 'Do unto others as you would have them do to you' are the most fundamental commands, and other individual commands should be interpreted in the light of these fundamental commands. This seems to resonate with the teaching of the New Testament, when Paul says 'For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbour as yourself." ' Gal 5:14; cf Romans 13:10 and when Jesus (reportedly) said 'So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets' Matt 7:12. This approach also resonates with my own moral sense and the moral sense of a great many other people, i.e. that the essence of morality is not harming others, or (more positively) showing compassion to others. So it seems a reasonable and coherent approach to take.

 

2) Historical Jesus or mythical Christ? I think I would say I'm thinking primarily of the 'portrait' of Jesus in the New Testament, in Matthew Mark and Luke especially but to some extent John - rather than the literal historical Jesus. I think Thormas was saying the same thing, "the writings and prior oral traditions provide the Christian movements 'memory' and understanding of Jesus (and thus God). What we have is all that there is in a very real sense." But I think New Testament scholars have been generally agreed that Jesus practised table fellowship with marginalised groups and in this way offended the religious establishment, and to this extent the later potrayals of Jesus are not sheer distortions of who he really was and what he really did.

 

3) My understanding of the supernatural, I think I was saying that my own feelings about the Source may possibly be a clue to the supernatural or they may be a purely natural phenomenon, but I cannot tell which. I do think this is a purely agnostic and sceptical approach, I wasn't saying anything about whether the supernatural really exists or is a coherent concept. It may not be coherent, but I wouldn't say that the supernatural is a contradiction in terms. I don't think the concept of the supernatural implies a formal contradiction. But empirically or scientifically it is highly problematic to say anything about the supernatural.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. For me there are simply "values"

 

2. "Christ", in the broadest sense, if we wish to have another word than Reality. Everyone picks and chooses as far as the picture given of Jesus in the Gospels, meek and mild or with a whip.

 

3. Just the "natural" which can at times appear quite "super", at other times not.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now