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PaulS

Deleting 'god'

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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.

Edited by PaulS
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I think the point made is evidenced by PC here changing the 1st of the 8 points to eliminate the word God and substitute it with the Sacred, Oneness and the Unity of all life. Many at the time here found it somewhat offensive yet it was announced at the time that PC will probably continue to evolve and there probably would be more changes in the future to more accurately describe Progressive Christianity. This was not meant to orphan those who had found some sense of community and a more free expression of views outside fundamental Christianity. However, in some cases it seems to me it has and such seems the inevitable unavoidable case where there is change. Personally i still choose to use the word with a different meaning than most traditional Christians and as far as language goes even the author of the article commented " I also readily acknowledge this is the place to which I have only tentatively arrived; and, for the time being, along the way. This is what I now understand. "

 

I think that speaks well for both the individual and Progressive Christianity and hopefully people will have benefited by taking something useful from their time spent here if even only for a short time in their journey.

 

Joseph

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Paul I have always found your post informative, respectful and challenging. I like the Christianity of unity and not exclusive separatism

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I think many people end up deleting "God" from their minds, if not their vocabulary, Paul. Some of the great Christian mystics ended up befuddled from trying to comprehend what "God" even meant so they just gave up trying. At some point the concept must, for many people, just be abandoned! "Pray to God that you may be free of 'God'"- Meister Eckhart.

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I think many people end up deleting "God" from their minds, if not their vocabulary, Paul. Some of the great Christian mystics ended up befuddled from trying to comprehend what "God" even meant so they just gave up trying. At some point the concept must, for many people, just be abandoned! "Pray to God that you may be free of 'God'"- Meister Eckhart.

I can't find that Eckhart quote. The closest I have is in sermon VII.

 

“Wouldst thou be free from all grief and trouble, abide and walk in God, and to God alone.”

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The quote is contained in Sermon #87, Burl, although it may be a different number in some texts. Rather than take it completely out of context, I'm including a few more paragraphs from that Sermon below:

 

 

 

 

"While I yet stood in my first cause, I had no God and was my own cause: then I wanted nothing and desired nothing, for I was bare being and the knower of myself in the enjoyment of truth. Then I wanted myself and wanted no other thing: what I wanted I was and what I was I wanted, and thus I was free of God and all things.

 

 

But when I left my free will behind and received my created being, then I had a God. For before there were creatures, God was not 'God': He was That which He was. But when creatures came into existence and received their created being, then God was not 'God' in Himself - He was 'God' in creatures.

 

 

Now we say that God, inasmuch as He is 'God', is not the supreme goal of creatures, for the same lofty status is possessed by the least of creatures in God. And if it were the case that a fly had reason and could intellectually plumb the eternal abysm of God's being out of which it came, we would have to say that God with all that makes Him 'God' would be unable to fulfill and satisfy that fly!

 

 

Therefore let us pray to God that we may be free of God that we may gain the truth and enjoy it eternally, there where the highest angel, the fly and the soul are equal, there where I stood and wanted what I was, and was what I wanted."

 

Steve

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I think many people end up deleting "God" from their minds, if not their vocabulary, Paul. Some of the great Christian mystics ended up befuddled from trying to comprehend what "God" even meant so they just gave up trying. At some point the concept must, for many people, just be abandoned! "Pray to God that you may be free of 'God'"- Meister Eckhart.

 

I never took it as befuddlement (but then again perhaps). Rather, I think, they began to move from God as object to be considered or worshipped to the 'experience' of the All. So, I agree, the concept, especially (for me) a theistic concept is (must be) abandoned because it is both distraction and inadequate in the face of the truth.

 

What strikes me is that for Eckhart, in this sermon, there is truth (to be gained or lived) in which is (found) what he wants and wants what he is. He partakes of a tradition in Christianity that what one wants is God (again not theistically understood); what one want is IS and IS (is) what he is. Elsewhere, Eckhart writes that in God "there too the soul loses itself in wondrous enchantment."

 

I agree that some people end up deleting God from their mind but continue to use the word (if that is what you mean), but others do the exact opposite: some delete (or change) the word "GOD" but not God.

Edited by thormas

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The history of humanity on Planet Earth is filled with new ideas, new philosophies, new religions, and new ways of relating to each other and to God.

 

Christianity has had many different branchings and turning points over the centuries. This, too, is part of life.

 

At some point, though, the branchings become so different from their origins that they become, in effect, or a new or different philosophy with nothing in common with the "root" except for a few vague ideals such as love and peace. When the doctrines change drastically compared to the root, when the spiritual practices change drastically compared to the root, then something new is created and it's best to be honest about the changes and not cling to the old words just for tradition's sake.

 

For those who wish to follow the path being espoused on this thread, I would suggest that you not only stop using the word "God," but that you consider letting go of all reference to "Jesus" and "Christianity" as well.

 

Be honest with yourselves and free yourselves to explore what it is you wish to be and wish to create. You wish to be free of all that Jesus taught, so stop referencing Jesus. Find yourselves a new mentor, one who better reflects your goals and your ideals. Perhaps you'd be happier referencing only the Buddha.

 

I wish you gentlemen the joy and happiness of your own choices. May be find comfort in what you seek.

 

God bless,

Jen

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I think the point made is evidenced by PC here changing the 1st of the 8 points to eliminate the word God and substitute it with the Sacred, Oneness and the Unity of all life. Many at the time here found it somewhat offensive yet it was announced at the time that PC will probably continue to evolve and there probably would be more changes in the future to more accurately describe Progressive Christianity. This was not meant to orphan those who had found some sense of community and a more free expression of views outside fundamental Christianity. However, in some cases it seems to me it has and such seems the inevitable unavoidable case where there is change. Personally i still choose to use the word with a different meaning than most traditional Christians and as far as language goes even the author of the article commented " I also readily acknowledge this is the place to which I have only tentatively arrived; and, for the time being, along the way. This is what I now understand. "

 

I think that speaks well for both the individual and Progressive Christianity and hopefully people will have benefited by taking something useful from their time spent here if even only for a short time in their journey.

 

Joseph

Although I understand PC moving from or broadening the term God to Sacred, Oneness and Unity to be more inclusive, it still seems to posit something 'more' that the profane, the many and the separateness that we experience in life; PC seems to posit there is other than what is or a transcendent possibility/reality to be gained or lived. The terms PC has moved to are also terms traditionally associated with 'God.' Be that as it may, some continue to use the word God because it is the instantly recognizable term of religion and they then make efforts to broaden that term beyond a theistic understanding.

 

I don't believe the orphaning is inevitable - or we should take pains to make sure it isn't. I believe care can be taken (as it would be for anyone you truly care about) to be respectful to a more 'conventional' Christianity while at the same time broadening that theistic understanding to (hopefully) a richer appreciation of divinity and humanity. I realize of course that, no matter how careful or thoughtful, not all will agree with such a broadening.

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A quick note . . . Jesus has just reminded me about the Oasis Network, which some of you may already know about (http://www.peoplearemoreimportant.org/). They describe themselves in this way: "The Oasis Network is a growing movement building a sense of community outside of religious affiliation through human empowerment, intellectual exploration and humanitarian service," and as far as I can tell it's a movement that blends atheism with spirituality. Thought you might be interested.

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The history of humanity on Planet Earth is filled with new ideas, new philosophies, new religions, and new ways of relating to each other and to God.

 

Christianity has had many different branchings and turning points over the centuries. This, too, is part of life.

 

At some point, though, the branchings become so different from their origins that they become, in effect, or a new or different philosophy with nothing in common with the "root" except for a few vague ideals such as love and peace. When the doctrines change drastically compared to the root, when the spiritual practices change drastically compared to the root, then something new is created and it's best to be honest about the changes and not cling to the old words just for tradition's sake.

 

For those who wish to follow the path being espoused on this thread, I would suggest that you not only stop using the word "God," but that you consider letting go of all reference to "Jesus" and "Christianity" as well.

 

Be honest with yourselves and free yourselves to explore what it is you wish to be and wish to create. You wish to be free of all that Jesus taught, so stop referencing Jesus. Find yourselves a new mentor, one who better reflects your goals and your ideals. Perhaps you'd be happier referencing only the Buddha.

 

I wish you gentlemen the joy and happiness of your own choices. May be find comfort in what you seek.

 

God bless,

Jen

However Jen, there are those who remain 'rooted' and for them (and others), love is more than a vague ideal. So too, they realize that each generation must take its turn to nurture and care for what has been given to them and they see that for many of their fellows, what springs from the root, no longer provides shade, nor do they eat its fruit. So, they attempt to cut away what has withered, to prune where necessary and, hopefully, allow the tree of life to once again nourish the lives of those in the present generation. Gabriel Moran once wrote that revelation must have one food firmly planted in the Bible (the NT), which is the root as the other foot steps into the future. The back food supports and guides but the other foot, stepping into 'now,' allows the word to be hear by each new generation (in their words, within their world view) so there is always a 'Present Revelation.' Revelation is not facts or information handed down by the ancients in sacred books; revelation is always self-revelation, God's giving of himSelf so each generation might respond and live in relationship with the Sacred / with Love. The NT is the story of those who went before, who experienced the self-giving Love in the man Jesus; it is our beginning, our roots, but it means nothing unless, guided by it, we have our own present story of living in relation to the Sacred.

 

I see this thread as one venue to do that and the words God, Jesus and Christianity still speak to me and, with some watering and careful pruning, open dialogue with a new generation so the vine does not wither. Plus, I like what Chesterton wrote that the Christian is sure (in faith) of the ground on which he walks, so how can one fear a dialogue with God's children?

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A quick note . . . Jesus has just reminded me about the Oasis Network, which some of you may already know about (http://www.peoplearemoreimportant.org/). They describe themselves in this way: "The Oasis Network is a growing movement building a sense of community outside of religious affiliation through human empowerment, intellectual exploration and humanitarian service," and as far as I can tell it's a movement that blends atheism with spirituality. Thought you might be interested.

Thanks, but no thanks. I like the intellectual exploration, I like the service but, for the Christian, for me, the human is empowered in God. As Gregory Baum said, "God is what happens to man on the way to becoming human."

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10 hours ago, Realspiritik said:

For those who wish to follow the path being espoused on this thread, I would suggest that you not only stop using the word "God," but that you consider letting go of all reference to "Jesus" and "Christianity" as well.

Be honest with yourselves and free yourselves to explore what it is you wish to be and wish to create. You wish to be free of all that Jesus taught, so stop referencing Jesus. Find yourselves a new mentor, one who better reflects your goals and your ideals. Perhaps you'd be happier referencing only the Buddha.

Jen,

I think you missed the point that this article was published and promoted by Progressive Christianity.org - the main website that this forum is a subset of.  That organisation, and I would suggest Progressive Christianity as a whole, has no issue with other Progressive Christians understanding God and the teachings of Jesus in a way very different to what you may suggest is the 'correct' way to understand.

As Joseph has pointed out before, we have seen the 8 Points themselves progress and change, and I am pretty certain they will continue to develop and evolve as the Progressive Christian movement does.  I think their changing (some would say diminution of Jesus, God, and the Bible) are a reflection of the journey PC finds itself travelling.  Where it will end, if it should, is yet to be seen.

If you think myself or others are not being honest, well I doubt we can convince you otherwise it would seem.  I don't think anybody here currently has ever suggested desiring to be free of all that Jesus taught - to the contrary, even many atheists still take away things from Jesus teachings.  They just don't see him as you and many other Christians do. There is a big difference in that between intending to cause offence and people simply being offended because they don't like what is said.

Peace and goodwill

Paul

 

 

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This is a very interesting development and a very interesting thread.  I think it is critical that we come to a God of our own understanding in order to leave behind the baggage of a God forced upon us that just isn't helping us along our paths.  I think this is the notion that God is with us, not only in the form of Jesus, but in the form of our own understanding.  Our understanding doesn't change God, but it does change the way we experience God (the Sacred) in our lives and I think it matters.

Also, let's say that when we talk about God or the Sacred, we don't always mean the same thing.  If God is some thing, then our words may point to some other thing than the next person.  This is critical in understanding each other...that we not compare apples to oranges.   In AA, we talk about a God of our understanding or a higher power.  I think that the common core of our understandings of God stems from the concept that there can be something greater than the individual to relate to.  Community, creator, inner divinity or spirit, or something nameless that we relate to that we can derive some support from.  Whatever it is, it seems important that we don't make our selves the greater thing or make our egos our God.  And perhaps that even works for some people. Who am I to judge?

 

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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).  

Edited by PaulS
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I think this definition of a non-theistic Christianity is hard for me to wrap my head around as a Lutheran.  It's sort of a non-sequitur for us.  I guess the typical ELCA Lutheran doesn't fit easily with conservative evangelical protestants, but most of us have a "selective" liberalism and we are a bit more practical minded and not so introspective or mystical.

Edited by FireDragon76

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In the interest of full disclosure, I was one of the ones who, a few years back, did not care for the 8-Points removing God-language from their tenets, and I said so. My thinking at the time was, "God was at the center of Jesus' life and teachings, so how can we remove something Jesus believed in and experienced, and still call ourselves Christians?"

My thinking has changed since then. It will, no doubt, continue to do so. So I reserve the right to change my mind. :)  Nevertheless:

All words are human words. None of them are divine, as such, at least not in the way that most religions teach (from the mouth of God). We are the ones who fill these combinations of vowels and consonants with meaning. This is especially true with the words that we have elevated to divine status, such as 'God', 'Jesus', 'Spirit', 'Bible', etc. I doubt that our human propensity to idolize and worship words can be helped. We are, by nature, meaning-seeking and meaning-making creatures, and these words are boiler-plates that we use to categorize our best understandings or descriptions of our deepest meanings.

But the fact of the matter is that the word 'God' means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. There is a sense in which I don't believe in the same 'God' now as I did when I was younger. God may not (or may) change, but my understandings and experiences of God certainly have. Knowing this, I was wrong to be dogmatic on who/what God is. Jesus was, no doubt, a Jew, a first century Jew. It is very doubtful that his understanding of God has much to do with the popular Christian concept of God.

Which brings me to my conclusion. We have no concrete knowledge of anything. All we have available to us is our concepts. I think some concepts are better than others, that some concepts of God are better than others. But I think we should hold to these concepts lightly and be ready to modify them if necessary. It is much the same with the word 'Christian'. I no longer wear the label because, in the West, a Christian is someone who holds to the Creeds, which mention nothing Jesus taught. I still respect Jesus greatly and endeavor to live out his humanistic teachings, although I reject the mythical aspects that, IMO, have grown up around him. So I doubt I would fit most people's definition of 'Christian.' And that's okay. It is just a human word. If I'm defined these days, it is by my actions, not by my beliefs. I still have my own thoughts about 'God', but they belong to me and are not binding on anyone else.

 

 

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Great post, BillM.

Words are only lines on a page, shapes or sounds without the interconnection of shared experience. Removing the word 'God' from our vocabulary only limits our ability to connect with the experiences of others, and therefore to communicate meaningfully with them.

As long as we focus on the interconnection of experiences and not the words used, and recognise that when I write 'God' it could be different to your experience of the word or it could be the same, I think we open our minds to the possibility of understanding each other without necessarily having to agree on everything.

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From the article you mentioned and provided a link to in your OP, Paul:

"Did Jesus have a “theological premise” different from me, at this point; especially with regard to the use of the word “god?” Probably. If Jesus were alive today, would he view things differently, and express himself differently as a result? Maybe. But it’s probably the only reason it makes me wish I believed in something as fanciful as a Second Coming!"

 

In response to that, quoting from the recently completed first chapter of my treatise title "What Jesus REALLY Meant":

What anyone thinks Jesus really meant when he used such and related phrases and why he or she imagines he chose to speak of God as ‘the Father’ and himself as ‘the Son’ (of said Father) will, of course, depend on his or her personal apprehension and understanding of metaphysical realities and ‘sense’ of what the mind-and-heart sets of the people around Jesus were like at the time. My own conclusions in this regard, which I proffer for consideration and contemplation, are that he used ‘the Father’ to reference the progenitive Source (hence, ‘the Creator’) of all existential being, and ‘the Son’ to reference the totality of said Creator’s Creation (d/b/a Creativity), in other words The Entity of Life as It exists and continues to express Itself in Being.


Besides elaborating the thinking (about what he is quoted as having said) which led me to the above conclusion, based on my (non--literal) interpretation of quotes of various of his others words I also explain, in non-allegorical terms, what I have concluded about the idea of 'his' "Second Coming" actually means in said 23 page chapter. Here is an excerpt of the relevant portion of that which I present to (hopefully) entice you and/other others into reading the whole article and considering 'the view' presented therein (click here for a free pdf download if your interest gets piqued):

Jesus’ prescient depiction of the next such ‘coming’ event, wherein those who are prepared to do so soulfully ‘wake up’ to the Whole Truth and therefore enter into and thereafter continue to consciously live in communion with the Totality of Life while others ‘fall’ by the wayside and get recyled (so to speak), to wit: “As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. … they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:27 30) does not mean that he will then literally flash across the sky and be seen everywhere as he ‘gloriously’ orbits the planet in person. People who are emotionally invested in worshiping Jesus himself as a super-magical genie kind of God will undoubtedly regard the explanation that follows as being unacceptably heretical, but assuming you are not one such – why would you still be engaged in exploring this thesis otherwise? – let me submit that the above-quoted statement only makes real sense if one interprets it metaphorically, with “heaven” being understood as referencing the realm of consciousness and (so) “the clouds” as referencing the particularities of ideological constellations, or philosophies, within it.

“The Son of man” alludes to the corpus of human apprehension, or ‘knowing’ – often spoken of as Cosmic Consciousness – pertaining to the Life as a Whole; that is, the entirety of the living system composed by and of our creative Source (i.e. God, ‘the Father’), All That Is (i.e. The Entity of Creation, ‘the Son’, a/k/a Christ), and everyone’s relationally interfused interaction(s) therewith and therein, as postulated and discussed herein hitherto. The “lightning” that shines “out of the east … even unto the west” analogically dramatizes the way in which powerfully functional thoughts, i.e. ‘knowings’, are psychically transmitted and received and (so) spread throughout our noosphere.* The overall implication, of course, being that consciousness of what the words "“I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20) super-succinctly signify will illuminatingly permeate the thinking of holistically inclined people wherever they may be located all over the world.

* A noteworthy example of noospheric knowledge-gestalt transmission-and-reception phenomenon, well documented by clearly consequent changes in course of human history, is how Martin Luther’s knowing that the Pope wasn’t the sole, or ‘central’, interpreter and transmitter of godly truth showed up in Copernicusknowing that the earth wasn’t the ‘center’ of the universe and that it and the other planets in our solar system all similarly revolved around our sun, which knowings eventually ‘blossomed’ in the enterprise now labeled Modern Science, the entirety of which grew out of the knowing that the ‘laws’ or ‘principles’ of Creation were not ‘centrally’ dictated but universally pervasive, i.e. the knowing that Nature operates the same way in relation to any and all ‘participant-observers’ regardless of their relative space-time location or energy condition.

Many speak of such prophesied ‘happening’, wherein those who have developed to the point where they are ripe (so to speak) for it psychically become aware of and consequently choose to participate in The Flow of Life by wholeheartedly enjoying and lovingly giving their all to augment and enrich Its magnificent process, as the Second ‘Coming’ (of Christ, i.e. Cosmic Identity, Consciousness), which they project as being yet to happen. Connoisseurs of history of ideas and cultural evolution, however, will recognize that this, slowly evolving at first but now exponentially rapidly accelerating, phenomenon has been underway for quite a while now, though the visibility of such trend is often clouded by the fact that the greater part of of our population, even of those who proclaim themselves to be 'Christians', has not been and still isn’t spiritually in synch with it. I suggest keeping “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few [relatively speaking] there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13) in mind when viewing and contemplating the lay of the land in this regard.

Edited by Davidsun

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I take your points David and would say that your understanding of God and Jesus / Father and Son sits quite comfortably with my understanding of human consciousness and where it has been/ where it is heading.

I suppose differently to you though, i don't think these exceptional people throughout history tapped into anything supernatural or otherwise outside the realms of being a normal, everyday person.  In fact, I don't think there is anything supernatural to our world (but am open to discovering otherwise).  I do think there have been people in the past who, for whatever reason, have an idea who's time has come.  These people stand out because of the contrast of their thinking to that of the accepted 'wisdom' of the day.  But IMO this isn't restricted to spiritual wisdom and I would put great inventors, entrepreneurs, even military leaders in a similar category.  Whilst it could be said they have 'accessed' a wisdom or knowledge that normally sits elsewhere, I would suggest they have simply had an idea/s that was there all the time for anybody but hey happened to be the one who first mentioned it.

Why these people and not you or I (well, definitely not me anyway :) ) - I think it is their experiences in life that have fired something in their brain that hasn't in other people's.  I think we all have original ideas and some resonate with more people in general, whilst others don't.  Perhaps there is some 'greater consciousness' to be tapped into somehow through certaint practices and beliefs, but I suspect there isn't.  That's me anyway.

As for what Jesus really meant - I truly doubt we will ever, ever know.  But it is certainly interesting discussing such and if that gives our lives greater meaning for doing so, all the better.  

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16 hours ago, PaulS said:

As for what Jesus really meant - I truly doubt we will ever, ever know.  But it is certainly interesting discussing such and if that gives our lives greater meaning for doing so, all the better.  

One can only know for sure what one thinks (about anything) oneself.

I note that you didn't say (in your reply) what you thought about what I thought (and so specifically shared) about what Jesus's words actually meant.

Hence I cannot engage in further con-verse-ation with you about that.

The points you expressed are reasonable but completely peripheral to my interest (as reflected in what I specifically posted about what I thought (and so specifically shared) about what Jesus's words actually meant.

Until or unless someone relates to what I said, I have no further comments

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5 hours ago, Davidsun said:

One can only know for sure what one thinks (about anything) oneself.

I note that you didn't say (in your reply) what you thought about what I thought (and so specifically shared) about what Jesus's words actually meant.

Hence I cannot engage in further con-verse-ation with you about that.

The points you expressed are reasonable but completely peripheral to my interest (as reflected in what I specifically posted about what I thought (and so specifically shared) about what Jesus's words actually meant.

Until or unless someone relates to what I said, I have no further comments

The Thoughts you expressed in your Treatise are reasonable.  I think they are personal interpretation which can be supported a thousand different ways in a thousand different religions, as well as non-religious thought. 

I posted that I don't think there is anything supernatural to our existence which I considered my quick summation of your thoughts towards a progenitive Source expressing Itself in Being and your 'fact' that we are in 'It' no matter what paradigmatic scheme of Reality (Life, Creation, God, Self-Realization, Being-Becoming, Evolution, etc.) one subscribes to.

Your beliefs outlined in that Treatise are personal opinions which cannot be argued by 'proof', but by personal 'experience' and 'gut feeling' etc.  They are true for you and I'm not knocking that.  You may well be right and millions of others wrong (that is not an endorsement of millions of others either).  I don't think anyone has ever "knowingly spoken and acted ‘in the name’ of said Consciousness" because I don't believe there is any said Consciousness per se.  Will I be proved wrong one day - who knows!  My personal experience is that there are many who wholeheartedly believe in 'something' that others are not able to 'grasp', but if only they were to open their eyes to the 'truth'!

But how I respond to that is to argue for the principle of Occam's razor and select a hypothetical answer that makes the fewest assumptions - that is to say I think  humankind has existed for millions of years and followed a zillion different Gods, philosophies, religions and principles throughout existence.  The fact that millions of years later we still can't land on one agreed way forward would suggest to me that there is no 'source' beyond the fact that we exist here and now.  What we do with that is completely subjective to each and every one of us.  And as per other posts I have made, if it causes no harm to others, then all power to you.

I'd also add that I don't think Quantam Physics does actually explain why and how and things ‘manifest’.  QP may 'point' toward some theories and assumptions but using QP to support your understanding of a Creator is not a done deal in my opinion and I don't think it is fair to suggest people haven't intelligently grasped the implications of the postulates and research findings of QP if they don't agree with your view on that.

Now I'm not sure if you expected me to respond to your treatise with my own lengthy treatise and address every different point you make in yours, but as I said, I thought I summed it up when i said I don't think there is any supernatural consciousness to tap into.  I don't have the evidence to support that any more than I suggest you do to support your beliefs outlined in your treatise.  But that's just the way it is I guess.

 

 

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13 hours ago, PaulS said:

Now I'm not sure if you expected me to respond to your treatise with my own lengthy treatise and address every different point you make in yours, but as I said, I thought I summed it up when i said I don't think there is any supernatural consciousness to tap into.  I don't have the evidence to support that any more than I suggest you do to support your beliefs outlined in your treatise.  But that's just the way it is I guess.

Thank you for your thought-full consideration and response, Paul. (BTW, I never said that any aspect of what my ideas referenced as 'super'natural - maybe you think that anything that isn't materialistic/physical (such as conciousness itself) isn't 'natural', in which case 'Houston, we have a problem!"

My response to your post is that your 'agnostic' position/stance leaves something to be desired.

Why? Because to choose anything, one has to have a 'hunch' that said something might be 'worth' exploring/experiencing (that is, if said hypothetical something even exists as hypothesized, but maybe even it is isn't so because then one will know more, in that case that 'reality' doesn't accord with said (hypothesized) something.

Enjoy your maybe this maybe that maybe not this maybe not that 'speculation' ad infinitum - I have no truck with anyone who doesn't want to explore possibilities which I think are (possibly) really meaningful or submit possibilities which he or she thinks are (possibly) really meaningful in terms of possibly :) enriching Life-actualtizations.

BTW, I think Ideas (philosophies, theories, etc.) are just 'tools' for exploring the REALM of CREATiVITY, and possibly 'building' (more) interesting CREATIONS within it.

Enjoy what I (perhaps inaccurately) see as your dilettantish idea twiddling, Bro That ain't my 'game' of choice. Thanks for clarifying that you are not interested in 'playing' (with) my game.

 

Perhaps, the following excerpt from http://www.prismagems.com/castaneda/ will get my point relating to the 'poverty' of 'agnosticism' across better than what I've already said:

"As an example, this passage from Tales of Power where Carlos had told don Juan of his having taken his cats to be put to sleep and of how one of them, Max, had apparently sensed that all was not well and jumped out of the car and ran away when he had the chance. Following this passage in blue is my compiled version in purple.

      "What I've been trying to tell you is that as a warrior you cannot just believe this and let it go at that. With Max, having to believe means that you accept the fact that his escape might have been a useless outburst. He might have jumped into the sewer and died instantly. He might have drowned or starved to death, or he might have been eaten by rats. A warrior considers all those possibilities and then chooses to believe in accordance with his innermost predilection.
      "As a warrior you have to believe that Max made it, that he not only escaped but that he sustained his power. You have to believe it. Let's say that without that belief you have nothing."
      The distinction became very clear. I thought I really had chosen to believe that Max had survived, knowing that he was handicapped by a lifetime of soft and pampered living.
      "Believing is a cinch," don Juan went on. "Having to believe is something else. In this case, for instance, power gave you a splendid lesson, but you chose to use only part of it. If you have to believe, however, you must use all the event."
      "I see what you mean," I said.
      My mind was in a state of clarity and I thought I was grasping his concepts with no effort at all.
      "I'm afraid you still don't understand," he said, almost whispering.
      He stared at me. I held his look for a moment.
      "What about the other cat?" he asked.
      "Uh? The other cat?" I repeated involuntarily.
      I had forgotten about it. My symbol had rotated around Max. The other cat was of no consequence to me.
      "But he is!" don Juan exclaimed when I voiced my thoughts. ''Having to believe means that you have to also account for the other cat. The one that went playfully licking the hands that were carrying him to his doom. That was the cat that went to his death trustingly, filled with his cat's judgments.
      "You think you're like Max, therefore you have forgotten about the other cat. You don't even know his name. Having to believe means that you must consider everything, and before deciding that you are like Max you must consider that you may be like the other cat; instead of running for your life and taking your chances, you may be going to your doom happily, filled with your judgments."


      And my compiling of that passage, which, reading the original again now after over 20 years, I see that I didn't really capture the whole power of the original passage -- a good reason for you to read the actual books and not just this compilation. In my defense, however, I will tell you that this is one of only about three places where I sort of gave my own interpretation. The vast majority is very very accurately compiled to match the teachings presented in the books:

      Having to believe means that you accept the facts of something, consider all possibilities and possible outcomes, and then choose to believe in accordance with your innermost predilection. Believing is a cinch. Having to believe is something else. If you have to believe, you must use all of an event, account for all possibilities, and consider everything. Before deciding that you believe one way you must consider that it may well be another way."

Edited by Davidsun

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14 hours ago, PaulS said:

But how I respond to that is to argue for the principle of Occam's razor and select a hypothetical answer that makes the fewest assumptions - that is to say I think  humankind has existed for millions of years and followed a zillion different Gods, philosophies, religions and principles throughout existence.  The fact that millions of years later we still can't land on one agreed way forward would suggest to me that there is no 'source' beyond the fact that we exist here and now.  What we do with that is completely subjective to each and every one of us.  And as per other posts I have made, if it causes no harm to others, then all power to you.

Paul,

I think I have followed your argument and I see it differently. Millions of years later we also don't have one language (one agreed way to express ourselves) and I take no great significance from that except that it points to the diversity that comes with a common humanity and its desire to express itself. So too, the diversity of our many names, gods, philosophies, etc. does not lead me to believe there is no Source (for lack of a better descriptor right now), again, I see it more as different expressions of - a common, human effort to seek - Meaning (and although each religion or philosophy, might reflect the insights of a particular group, tribe or people, it is typically understood to have significance for all humanity, i.e. to be the Meaning for all).

Then I agree once again: "what we do with that is completely subjective ..........."

I don't think there are is anything 'supernatural' to tap into (this reminds me of theism) but I do 'allow' that there is 'more' to us than, to borrow a phrase, 'meets the eye.' 

Edited by thormas

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