Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
FredP

Gnosticism

Recommended Posts

PS - The whole reason I chose the handle "Aletheia" was because of the idea of kenosis ... that creation was made in such a way as to make us forget God, forget the truth, forget knowledge and be immersed in "illusion" ... that we (or God if you prefer) emptied ourselves to live in this plane ... we drank of the river lethe and emptied ourselves. A-lethe-ia is the process of remembering, of un-emptying ourselves, of finding truth, of finding light.

Definitely on the same page there. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But taken symbolically, the idea of the universe being the product of a more limited -- or self-limited -- creative impulse is starting to really make sense to me.

Actually, the idea of God self-limiting himself in order to create and relate is something I've had rattling around in my head for a long time. It's where my philosophical "open-view" comes from (as opposed to "biblical open-view").

 

The idea of God, in full knowledge and power, engineering a world of pain and suffering for us to awaken in, seems frankly cruel ...

 

I don't think God purposefully engineered a world of pain (I understand Irenaeus [and Jung?] did), but at the same time the "buck has to stop" with God because I do believe God has foreknowledge of all potential outcomes, and so knew full well what could come of such an emptying.

 

So when I say the universe was made to be the way it is, I don't mean to say that God created and forordained murderers or rapists or earthquakes to test us ... but that I believe God is the Ultimate Source, that there is nothing "beyond" God.

 

I believe WE have engineered a world of pain. I think we, the universe, God, are all "morally dual" (and by process of balance "neutral")(there is that yin/yang thing again). We have free will (otherwise God would be the direct author of evil) and that many choose death instead of life.

 

I think life is equal parts Grace (knowing that God loves us and nothing can seperate us from that) and "works" (not in the "law' sense, but picking up our cross, emptying ourselves, loving ourselves and then loving others as we do ourselves, and loving God). It is by this process of kenosis (of "works") that we learn (ala soulmaking, ala Iraneaus, ala Theosis).

 

but God utterly emptying himself, generating the very conditions of our existence out of his own supreme self-sacrifice... that's astounding. Talk about a God who is with us in our suffering, a God who upholds the downtrodden.

 

I found this earlier today and your words just now seem very serendipitous:

 

The "exoteric" direction of Christianity is "legalistic" and "egocentric"; in this version, the Christian seeks God hoping for the reward of eternal life.

 

In the mystical esoteric tradition, however, the Christian seeks God without concern for reward and without hope of establishing his merit before God. He seeks God for God's own self.

 

In the exoteric tradition, it is important to believe that rewards and punishments will be distributed equitably.

 

In the esoteric tradition, there is no need for discernable justice in rewards and punishments.

 

The exoteric tradition equates God's justice with a rationally defensible distribution of rewards.

 

The esoteric tradition says that God's justice and goodness transcends all human standards of justice. For the esoteric tradition, there is no hope for external victories, which are partial and impermanent in any case; rather, we hope for "interior victory in outer defeat," an interior victory that opens us to love for the world through the experience of suffering.

 

Creation is set up to encourage people to seek God without hope of reward. Creation is read through the cross, and like the cross it is an act of kenosis, self-emptying.

 

When He created the world, God "surrenders himself to necessity, a force indifferent to the good and therefore foreign to his own nature."

 

More provocatively still, Weil suggests that the doctrine of creation ex nihilo means that God opens "a void" within Himself "in a voluntary act of self-emptying or withdrawal."

 

Subjected to the blind forces of a fate that has no concern with our moral character, and recognizing that the world does not reward the good, we are forced to be good for reasons other than reward. We are forced to seek God for his own sake.

 

His self-emptying withdrawal forces us to take the same kenotic pathway as we return to Him. What is required of us is a participation in the cross that involves "a horrific voiding of the personality in all its natural dimensions."

 

God's goodness, in short, does not exclude but "necessitates a world where unmerited misfortune is a continual and serious possibility for every human being."

 

The cross, an event of suffering innocence, is the key to understanding Christianity in its essence and purity. The world manifests God's goodness and justice in that it "facilitates self-sacrificial love between man and God." If the world was set up differently, we should be ever distant from God, and would not participate in the Son's kenotic love.

 

Weil thus sees total coincidence between the tragic vision and a cruciform-shaped theology of creation. As Brueck summarizes, Weil believes that two conditions must be met to establish the tragic vision and to support human love for God: "(1) The human race, by virtue of its very existence, is subject to blind forces indifferent to the good. These forces take the shape of suffering and evil. (2) Defeat by the exterior world provides the occasion for the human being's greatest victory. This is an inner victory which shines triumphantly in outer darkness."

 

Weil's account is valuable not because it is good or true. In most respects, it is utterly bad. It is valuable, though, for displaying the inner connections between tragic vision and beliefs about creation, for highlighting the eschatological issues inherent in tragic vision, and perhaps for showing that heterodox beliefs about the Trinity underly any conception of Christian tragedy. Weil demonstrates that making a case for Christian tragedy (necessarily?) requires steps, large steps, in the direction of gnosticism.

Edited by AletheiaRivers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS - And what's utterly weird is that about a year ago I was discussing "creation ex nihilo" with my hubby and I literally said to him that the only way I could conceive of it happening would be if God created a "hole" in himself and put us there, because is there any "where" that God is not, for him to put us there instead? :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These observations are precisely why issues of scale are so important in discerning and understanding the universe as possibly an "intelligent project" of G-d.

 

The example I like to use is the scale of a hydrogen atom. Think of a bowling ball perched atop the Sears Tower as the nucleus of the atom. The atom's electron would be a BB whizzing around it at a distence of 19 miles. From this it should be evident that the material realities around us are mostly filled with space and only appear to be solid. Lots of nooks and cranies for spiritual beings to sneak around in and and create new stuff.

 

Then there are little hints and clues in the ancient tales such as the belief among the early Hebrews in "Tzim-Tzum". This means that G-d creates from the nothingness and then leaves the stage before his/her creation is allowed to begin its cycles of existence.

 

Anyone who does creative work will tell you that the process is alot like giving birth. It comes forth from the light and darkness of one's soul, and after it is in the outside world as a creation in its own right, it may still be edited, touched-up, revised to an extent; but, a spiritual content exists in it from that time on to inspire those who partake of its meanings to also partake in a portion of the spiritual substance of its creator.

 

Monster huh? GRRRRR!!!

 

flow....:lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think God purposefully engineered a world of pain (I understand Irenaeus [and Jung?] did), but at the same time the "buck has to stop" with God because I do believe God has foreknowledge of all potential outcomes, and so knew full well what could come of such an emptying.

That is correct, but there is another important difference, with respect to the buck having to stop with God. In the case of God foreordaining murderers, rapists, and earthquakes to separate and/or test us, God still remains essentially outside of us. However, if the cosmos is truly a divine self-emptying, then God also experiences each and every moment of suffering immediately and directly in us -- in such a way that God doesn't have the knowledge of divine infinity as a comfort. The "problem of evil" looks a lot different when God takes the whole of universal horror and suffering on himself in the process.

 

I believe WE have engineered a world of pain.

This is actually one interpretation of the meaning of the demiurge in Gn. cosmology. The demiurge represents the very same attributes that characterize "fallen humanity": power, competitiveness, jealousy, self-assertion, cool detatchment, etc. Ayn Rand's self-made hero, basically. Not that there attributes are necessarily "evil" per se -- there is a certain egalitarian impartiality to them, for example -- but the point is that they perceive a separated world, and act on it as such. When Gn. claims that we humans and "our world" are created by this being, I see that in one way as a symbolic statement about who we are and where we "come from," psychologically speaking. We've seen the demiurge, and he is us. But even more than that, it suggests that this archetype transcends merely human psychology to grasp something truly cosmic about our situation.

Edited by FredP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However, if the cosmos is truly a divine self-emptying, then God also experiences each and every moment of suffering immediately and directly in us -- in such a way that God doesn't have the knowledge of divine infinity as a comfort. The "problem of evil" looks a lot different when God takes the whole of universal horror and suffering on himself in the process.

 

I still think we are pretty much on the same page (but I could be wrong). :D

 

What I meant about God having foreknowledge was from the perspective PRIOR TO the emptying. Unless you mean that there wasn't ever a time when God hadn't emptied himself? (A Process view I think.)

 

Is God completely "exhausted" by emptying himself in your view (pantheism) or is there still transcendant mind?

 

Do we lose ourselves completely when we go back to the source or do we join in the dance of God?

 

We've seen the demiurge, and he is us. But even more than that, it suggests that this archetype transcends merely human psychology to grasp something truly cosmic about our situation.

 

Ah yes. I believe the "rulers, world authorities, principalities in high places" refers to the same thing and that Jesus conquered them on the cross. It wasn't just literal persons or institutions that he conquered, but the very situation of mankind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
in such a way that God doesn't have the knowledge of divine infinity as a comfort

 

PS - I guess that answers the question of pantheism or panentheism actually. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I still think we are pretty much on the same page (but I could be wrong). :D

Yes, substantially, eerily, so! That's why it's possible to nit-pick such fine points with you, because we're of such similar mind about the generalities.

 

:D

 

What I meant about God having foreknowledge was from the perspective PRIOR TO the emptying. Unless you mean that there wasn't ever a time when God hadn't emptied himself? (A Process view I think.)

Ah ha! But time came into existence WITH the emptying. :blink: Chew on that one...

 

Is God completely "exhausted" by emptying himself in your view (pantheism) or is there still transcendant mind?

No, G-d remains transcendent and inexhaustible; but veiled in manifestation. If you're asking whether the infinite G-d peers into the world of time and observes, or maybe even influences, it... Well, do you pray and act? And did you think it was you?

 

;)

 

Do we lose ourselves completely when we go back to the source or do we join in the dance of God?

Well, I'm not much of a dancer..... B)

 

Actually, that's a completely different question. My immediate thought is that we lost ourselves to come here, so I suppose we'd gain ourselves to go back. But of course you mean do we lose our personality, right? I think so; but my certainty on that one hovers between 49% and 51% on a daily basis! I have faith that union with G-d will make up for whatever I sacrifices I make along the way.

 

Ah yes. I believe the "rulers, world authorities, principalities in high places" refers to the same thing and that Jesus conquered them on the cross. It wasn't just literal persons or institutions that he conquered, but the very situation of mankind.

Indeed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is God completely "exhausted" by emptying himself in your view (pantheism) or is there still transcendant mind?

To be more specific concerning your question, God is self-limited with respect to the cosmos, but not in God's essential nature, which is inexhaustible. Don't know if that helps in any way.

 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, substantially, eerily, so! That's why it's possible to nit-pick such fine points with you, because we're of such similar mind about the generalities.

Ahhhhh! LOL! And here I've been thinking I keep missing your point because you seem to be saying the opposite of everything I say, even when I think I'm agreeing with you. :lol:

 

Ah ha! But time came into existence WITH the emptying.  Chew on that one...

Crap I hate this one. Pppbbbll :P

 

Hmmm. Was God timeless or has God always been eternally temporal? Is there even such a "thing" as time?

 

I think it's a given that God is "in time" now, but how could there be a "time" when he was not? :huh: What I mean is: If "x" is the state of God's being timeless (and "full") and "y" is the state of God emptying himself (giving birth to time), then non-emptiness came prior to emptiness in a sequence.

 

I say time doesn't exist. It's just the way we measure change. It's easier and it doesn't give me migraines. :blink: (Kidding) That's why I think God IS change. In essence, God IS time.

 

No, G-d remains transcendent and inexhaustible; but veiled in manifestation. If you're asking whether the infinite G-d peers into the world of time and observes, or maybe even influences, it... Well, do you pray and act? And did you think it was you?

 

(AletheiaRivers @ Nov 14 2005, 03:09 PM)

Do we lose ourselves completely when we go back to the source or do we join in the dance of God?

Well, I'm not much of a dancer.....

 

Actually, that's a completely different question. My immediate thought is that we lost ourselves to come here, so I suppose we'd gain ourselves to go back. But of course you mean do we lose our personality, right? I think so; but my certainty on that one hovers between 49% and 51% on a daily basis! I have faith that union with G-d will make up for whatever I sacrifices I make along the way.

 

Brat! ;)

 

Am I me AND God, or am I JUST God?

 

Did God empty himself to "experience for experiences sake" and there is no us? Or did God empty himself by "creating" us and when we "go back" we are both God and us?

 

I'm not worried about loss of personality or ego, but I do long for union. I think the very nature of God (being emptied to create us) creates that longing within us?

Edited by AletheiaRivers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmmm. Was God timeless or has God always been eternally temporal? Is there even such a "thing" as time?

Yes, there is. (See below.) God is eternal -- that is, God infinitely transcends time -- in God's essential nature, but temporal with respect to the cosmos. This is part of the separation involved in the divine self-limitation.

 

I think it's a given that God is "in time" now, but how could there be a "time" when he was not?  :huh: What I mean is: If "x" is the state of God's being timeless (and "full") and "y" is the state of God emptying himself (giving birth to time), then non-emptiness came prior to emptiness in a sequence.

Prior in an ontological sequence, but not a chronological sequence: strictly speaking, it's incoherent to talk about anything coming "before time" in a chronological sequence.

 

It sounds like you're trying to imagine a chronological sequence of events wherein God empties himself into the temporal realm; hence the question whether God is in time "now" as opposed to.... "before"? But the cosmos is a self-contained spatio-temporal manifestation -- it's unrelated to God's essential nature -- or to any other possible spatio-temporal manifestation -- as far as space and time are concerned. The emptying of God into this universe has nothing to do with where God is "now" in relation to time, because there is no "now" outside of time! Beyond the cosmos we can talk about logical relationship, but not chrono-logical relationship.

 

I say time doesn't exist. It's just the way we measure change. It's easier and it doesn't give me migraines.  :blink:  (Kidding) That's why I think God IS change. In essence, God IS time.

Time indeed is the way we measure change, but God is not time. Time is a contraction of eternity -- a self-emptying of eternity, the same way the cosmos is a self-emptying of God. Eternity, of course, isn't a far-off future time; it is the state of being that both negates the separateness of temporality, and gives the character of true presence to each moment of time.

 

Am I me AND God, or am I JUST God?

 

Did God empty himself to "experience for experiences sake" and there is no us? Or did God empty himself by "creating" us and when we "go back" we are both God and us?

Keep in mind that, in a trinitarian model, God is dynamic, related being. The cosmos -- and by extension, we -- are individual expressions of the infinite depth of relatedness at the heart of God's being. You say "JUST God" as though this were somehow a limited form of something. This is like asking whether the value of x is infinity plus one, or JUST infinity!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" We've seen the demiurge, and he is us "

 

Pogo would love this.

 

It is interesting to note that the ancient Sumerians ( following the Ubaidians as the beginners of civilization in what is now Iraq) believed that the hidden Gods were known as "the people".

 

flow.... :)

Edited by flowperson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... strictly speaking, it's incoherent to talk about anything coming "before time" in a chronological sequence.

 

Right. My point exactly.

 

It sounds like you're trying to imagine a chronological sequence of events wherein God empties himself into the temporal realm; hence the question whether God is in time "now" as opposed to.... "before"?

 

No, not really. I was trying to say that time is a way that change is verbalized, discussed, comprehended and that if for God one thing was one way and then was another way, then there was "change" for God. WE would say that x happened before y because that is how WE talk. I'm saying that perhaps NOW is all there IS and that time is just as much of an illusion as our seperateness from God.

 

You say "JUST God" as though this were somehow a limited form of something.

 

I don't know what to say to that. I'm trying to express my yearning for a union, theosis-like relationship with God and I don't feel I'm using the best language to express it. I capitalized "just" because, based on prior conversations, I thought you would get what I was trying to say. I certainly didn't mean "just God" as if it were a limited form of something.

 

I don't find meaning in monism or pantheism. Perhaps that is just my hang-up. I believe God created life in order to share it with us. I know God didn't need to and because of the Trinity was complete, but I believe God wanted to. I think God enjoys giving so much that he wanted to move "outside" himself to do so and so created sentient life.

 

Sorry I'm so touchy. There is only so much nit-picking I can take. ;):)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry I'm so touchy. There is only so much nit-picking I can take.  ;)  :)

Fair enough. I just get all excited when these topics come 'round again. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm extremely excited to talk about these things. I was expressing that to my husband this morning and that I hoped the conversation could continue.

 

I do get frustrated with bulletin boards as a medium for conversation. It's not helping that Opera (as a web browser) doesn't like ipbhost's interface and makes it difficult to deal with the formatting tools. It's easier to put things in ALL CAPS or in "quotes" instead of italicizing, and I think it makes the emphasis come out wrong.

 

I also don't deal with "Devil's Advocates" well. Just ask my hubby. It's his favorite role too. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do get frustrated with bulletin boards as a medium for conversation. It's not helping that Opera (as a web browser) doesn't like ipbhost's interface and makes it difficult to deal with the formatting tools. It's easier to put things in ALL CAPS or in "quotes" instead of italicizing, and I think it makes the emphasis come out wrong.

Yeah... I generally don't read anything personal into formatting markup. I can usually tell by a person's words when they're losing patience with me. ;) I've heard that there are people out there who become very hurt when somebody types to them in all caps, because they feel yelled at. I think there's a little bit of a lost grip on reality going on there.

 

I also don't deal with "Devil's Advocates" well. Just ask my hubby. It's his favorite role too.  ;)

Silly men, we are!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't find meaning in monism or pantheism. Perhaps that is just my hang-up. I believe God created life in order to share it with us. I know God didn't need to and because of the Trinity was complete, but I believe God wanted to. I think God enjoys giving so much that he wanted to move "outside" himself to do so and so created sentient life.

Ok, apparently I STILL haven't successfully convinced you that I'm not a monist. This is going to involve some weird verbal twists -- kind of like the whole time thing -- so hang on.

 

B)

 

I would characterize monism as the belief that God is a being -- note the presence of the article "a" -- from whom the cosmos proceeds, and in whom it exists. Monism is oneness in the numerical sense: the sense in which one is one less than two, one more than zero, etc. In this conception, there could -- logically, numerically -- be other beings, or none at all. It just so happens that there is exactly one, and no more than one, being in the universe, and that being is God. Conceptually, this view could happily underlie either pantheism -- God and the universe are materially co-existent; or panentheism -- the universe is less than God, but wholly contained within the being of God. And assuming I have defined monism correctly, it is a conception I wholeheartedly reject.

 

The problem goes right back to the article I noted above: God is not an anything. God is not one in the numerical or quantitative sense, but in the sense of being ontologically undivided: not two --> nondual. The "oneness" that applies to God is not the same oneness that applies to individual beings; God completely transcends the kind of unity and multiplicity that apply to individual beings. The idea of a individual being "other than" God is a categorical confusion -- apples and oranges, infinity plus one. Individual beings don't exist side-by-side with God; we are a completely different order of reality.

 

To sum up: in a nondual conception, when I say that individual beings exist in God, or are expressions of the divine nature, I don't mean that there is an individual divine being in whom all other lesser individual beings only appear to exist. I mean that out of God's "beyond being" proceed the very notions of being, of individuality and multiplicity -- and therefore actual, real, concrete, distinct beings.

 

Now, to field an objection I can already hear coming. The God I've described sounds awfully far removed from us. How can we possibly relate to such unsurpassable infinity? The only answer I can give is: we don't. We can't -- God empties himself out for us, so that we can find him on our level of reality.

 

Anyway, that's how I make sense out of all this. Hopefully it helps to understand where I'm coming from somewhat. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've heard that there are people out there who become very hurt when somebody types to them in all caps, because they feel yelled at. I think there's a little bit of a lost grip on reality going on there.

I've certainly never felt like you were yelling, but I did want to make sure you didn't think I was. :)

Ok, apparently I STILL haven't successfully convinced you that I'm not a monist.

Actually, based on our past conversations, I've never been quite sure. I don't remember you definitively saying "Nay" but maybe you did. Thanks for clearing it up. ;) Hopefully for the last time. :rolleyes:

It just so happens that there is exactly one, and no more than one, being in the universe, and that being is God.

That's how I understand monism as well.

God is not an anything. God is not one in the numerical or quantitative sense, but in the sense of being ontologically undivided: not two --> nondual.

Agreed.

The idea of a individual being "other than" God is a categorical confusion -- apples and oranges, infinity plus one.

OK. I think I agree. I think my comment earlier about God creating a "hole" (symbolic) in order to manifest might fit in here?

Now, to field an objection I can already hear coming. The God I've described sounds awfully far removed from us. How can we possibly relate to such unsurpassable infinity? The only answer I can give is: we don't. We can't -- God empties himself out for us, so that we can find him on our level of reality.

Actually I was thinking just the opposite. Since God is transcendant I believe that the whole cosmos is within his "view". ALSO, being immanent, God relates to us on this level of reality as well. I think that is the truth of the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection. B)

Edited by AletheiaRivers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, based on our past conversations, I've never been quite sure. I don't remember you definitively saying "Nay" but maybe you did. Thanks for clearing it up.  ;) Hopefully for the last time. :rolleyes:

Heh. Well, I have said "Nay," but probably never backed it up well enough to cement it in your mind. ;)

 

Incidentally, the conventional model of God also views God as an individual being -- who in this case, just happens to decide to create a world of other individual beings. This view is false for the same reason monism is, which is that it requires the concepts of individuality and multiplicity to be ontologically prior to God, which is by definition, impossible.

 

How can people not love philosophical theology as much as I do?! B):D

 

OK. I think I agree. I think my comment earlier about God creating a "hole" (symbolic) in order to manifest might fit in here?

Yes, I meant to tell you I liked that analogy, but I forgot. :D God creates a space "within" himself to give birth to the world. But of course this "in," as you said, is symbolic, and can't be thought of spatially, or chronologically, or in any other conventional sense of "in" that we know how to talk about!

 

Actually I was thinking just the opposite. Since God is transcendant I believe that the whole cosmos is within his "view". ALSO, being immanent, God relates to us on this level of reality as well. I think that is the truth of the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection.  B)

The world is within God's transcendental "view," yes, but in the sense of a direct causal relationship with God as transcendent, I'm not sure whether or how that works -- so it's nothing I'd get into a big argument over.

 

:)

Edited by FredP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On infinite and finite, I see the infinite in the finite (in-finite). I think the personal story of Adam and Eve explains the tendency within the universe to disperse. A centrifugal motion radiating from the nucleus is what causes the worldly consciousness to appear to separate from God. The world in itself is a temporary reality because it is in perpetual change without much meaning or consistency. The objects and things existing in it are separated in time and space and are changing from one moment to the next. Therefore, the microcosm apart from the macrocosm is nothing but when it knows the macrocosm, it is reality itself, constant and full of being. The feeling that we fell from pure consciousness and loss bliss is due to the separation from our internal existence. This has caused the present era of confusion where everything is divided, not centered, and separated from the whole or pure consciousness. This can be related to the story of Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden or the unit consciousness separating from pure consciousness. No need to worry though because everyone will be delivered from this separation. As the inner light unfolds, it delivers the outer life from bondage. Everything comes from within so when the inner consciousness knows freedom, the outer life knows freedom also, and will reflect it through health, happiness and success. Evolution is working for our good and will bring about this knowledge that everything starts from within and works its way outward. All things even that which we call evil is paying tribute to pure consciousness, showing us the way. Suffering teaches us a lesson that causes us to resist making more mistakes. We just need to learn how to gain knowledge from our experiences, to go inward and to experience everything.

 

Since Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, the principles of consciousness are contained within man/woman in ideal equilibrium. The tree of knowledge of good and evil puzzled Adam, and he lost the spiritual connection with the whole. Adam saw everything through the veil of his individual ego so he saw things menacing him and separate from God because the balance of the universe became blurred. After leaving the Garden of Eden and the state of pure consciousness, Adam tried to regain his original state by creating his own balance. This creation of individual consciousness is not reality because it is a state of isolation on the physical level, not a working together in harmony with the whole. The unit consciousness focused outwardly on the physical level, turns out to be the first phase of evolution while the second phase can be called involution.

 

Involution would be directing our thoughts to happiness rather than unhappiness by looking at the whole picture. The solution then is not to condemn one negative over another because each is necessary and a vital force for all the possibilities of the macrocosm to become actualized. In the absence of these opposites, the positive and negative, the universe could not hold together and would cease to exist. To go beyond these polarities is to realize what I like to call Christ consciousness that help us to rise above the disconnected, the dissociated and become unified with the whole.

 

For example, sexual relations is uniting two individual consciousnesses into one giving us a taste of uniting our individual consciusness with the pure consciousness that Jung called the collective unconscious or I like to call God the Father.

 

 

http://thinkunity.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thoughts!

 

I think you're exactly right that we see the infinite reflected "in" the finite. From the philosophical angle, it's important to remember that "infinite" is a negative concept, i.e. it doesn't mean huge beyond huge, or the largest and biggest imaginable, but rather without limits, without bounds. A limit or a bound is always a dividing line between something and something else, but in God there is no other, no else, no division. It's this transcendent oneness, this utter indivisibility that captures the meaning of "infinity," not the notion of hugeness beyond measure. Hugeness is a property of things, and God is No Thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I like that the infinite is unqualified consciousness and we are qualified consicousness. We have qualities while pure consciousness doesn't. I will have to remember that thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why was orthodoxy so dogged and thorough in its pursuit and abolishment of this set of beliefs?

 

flow.... ;)

 

The answer to this question has to do with male power and the ego. The Roman emperors had both big egos and almost unlimited power. You were required to worship them as gods. If you did not, or preached a doctrine that did not present them as gods, you were in danger of crucifixion, being fed to the lions or used as a toy in the amphitheatre to fight the lions as entertainment for the masses. When Christianity got in bed with Constantine, it changed. Gnostic views were suppressed because their ideas give power to the individual rather than to a leader. The early orthoxox Christian leaders were interested in power and control. This is the kind of attitude that satisfies the male ego and not the spirit. Once the Christians were granted power through Constantine they began to exercise their power by torturing and persecuting everyone who did not agree with their interpretation of what they thought the message of scripture is. First, Religion had to have a powerful god at the top of the hierarchy - something similar to the powerful Roman emperors. Gnosticism teaches something quite different. It teaches us that everyone should treat each other as kings and queens. This is dangerous thinking for the power mongers.

 

In order to retain their power, the orthodox church leadership needed to stamp out the teachings of Gnosticism. Witch hunting, intimidation, anathema, book burning, the burning of the libarary at Alexandria, torturing and executing pagan priests and other heretics became necessary for the church to retain its power.

 

Gnosticism was stamped out by force - not by intellectual process!

 

The meaning of their symbolism has almost been lost but I am slowly getting it put back together and it is beginning to look more like Gnosticism and Hinduism are far more similar that anyone previously thoought.

 

BobD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're definitely in agreement that humans weren't created materially and spiritually perfect, as traditional Christianity claims. As for being created by a literal "demiurge" or flawed god, as many ancient gnostics would have held, no, I don't believe this. But taken symbolically, the idea of the universe being the product of a more limited -- or self-limited -- creative impulse is starting to really make sense to me. The idea of God, in full knowledge and power, engineering a world of pain and suffering for us to awaken in, seems frankly cruel; but God utterly emptying himself, generating the very conditions of our existence out of his own supreme self-sacrifice... that's astounding. Talk about a God who is with us in our suffering, a God who upholds the downtrodden.

 

Maybe this is a different way of expressing what you mean anyway. :)

 

The concept of the demiurge as the flawed creator of the universe is a distortion of what the Gnostics originally meant by it. The demiurge is the creator of the law which is flawed. The universe is an illusion created by our own thought collectively.

 

…Do not establish laws, as the lawgiver did, so you will not be bound by them.

 

- The Gospel of Mary

 

The concept of the law which is proclaimed to have been introduced allegedly by god through Moses has been regarded as the basic tool with which to control our world societies – not the world society as a whole, but populations of individual countries, states and kingdoms. It is structured in such a way that if we follow laws created by our so called leaders or groups of leaders, we are considered “good” and if we don’t, we are considered “bad” and need to be “punished”. As such we have built around them a whole system of law and law enforcement designed to control the masses and keep them on the “good side” of god; or more importantly, on the “good side” of the leaders. But were the Ten Commandments originally intended to be regarded as laws? Does god really have a “good side”? Or have we merely pinned this image on “Him”?

The concept of creating laws contradicts the concept of free will. Why would god give us free will and then dictate laws for us to obey? If you are to obey laws created by others you become the puppet of these “others”. What is the point of having free will if you are nothing but a puppet? Laws actually stifle the concept of free will. Do we have a god that created us to control us? If that is the case then “he” would have been better off creating androids. They obey without question. It just does not make any sense to create human beings with free will for the purpose of making them obey a set of laws.

Perhaps the so-called laws that come to us through Moses are not laws at all – perhaps they are commitments or guidelines. I ask you. “If you were god, would you create people for the purpose of controlling them with laws, or would you create people and give them a set of guidelines to live by?” Quite frankly, I would prefer the latter. According to organized Jewish and Christian religion’s interpretation of the Pentateuch, Moses presented the laws in the second person. You shall do or not do this or that. When commitments are presented as commandments, it means “you” must follow them; it does not necessarily mean “me”. Many early Christians took this attitude when they practiced genocide, torture, shunning, anathema and other abominable practices because they thought they were on the righteous side of god as members of the recognized Christian Church. They could do no wrong as soldiers of god. In their mind, the commandments applied to “you”. “You” are to obey the commandments – not “me”. In order to be on the “righteous” side of god, “you” must follow god’s commandments (which are really “my” commands because “I” know god is invisible and mute and is not saying anything at the time that “I” interpret what god allegedly said and issue “my” commands) to rid the earth of the “unrighteous heretics” and “our enemies”. This is the kind of thinking that would cause any band of “unrighteous heretics” to organize against these “self proclaimed righteous bastards”. The language we use today is a little different. We have the “unrighteous evil Moslem terrorists” against the “self proclaimed righteous American and British Christian and Jewish infidels”. The attitude between fundamentalist religious organizations is the same today as it always was. The laws are for “you” not for “us” and “we” are the “good guys”, “you” are the “bad guys”. The way that Moses is portrayed as presenting the commandments, does not bring harmony; it brings power, control and confrontation. “You” obey; “I” give the orders because “I” am in control. Systems of governments around the world are based on this concept of power and control using the “commandments from god” interpreted in their own way as their basic premise for the control. These “commandments from god” cement their power base, especially that of the dictators and kings, giving them wealth and power and the right to use their citizens as pawns to protect them from dissenters and outside threats and to maintain their wealth and power. For dictators and kings, it works for life or deposition, and for elected politicians it works until the next election. They create and enforce the laws for everybody to obey. There are laws to create borders between municipalities, states, provinces and countries. There are laws forcing us to pay taxes. There are international, federal, provincial, state, and municipal laws controlling just about every aspect of our lives. In this world family of humans, the village heretic proposes that the system of making and obeying laws, although it brings some order, does not stem the growth of anger and rage and serves mainly those who have the greatest power and wealth. There is a better way.

We spend billions of dollars on legislation, building places of incarceration, building large police forces and armies and yet theft, murder and misleading others, wars and threats of wars continue day after day, month after month, year after year and century after century. It still has not eliminated the need for spending billions of dollars on security devices and locks. Even though we develop more sophisticated laws, locks and security devices, there are always some who murder, mislead, deceive, steal, commit adultery, dishonour parenthood, ingest dangerous drugs and worship idols. It appears that although making laws to prevent theft, murder, ingest dangerous drugs, and intent to injure and mislead has become a job creation program, for lawyers, judges, policemen, politicians and security specialists, it never seems to solve its intended objective of actually eliminating these activities or eliminating the paranoia and fear of being robbed, misled, injured or killed. We have a never-ending cycle of disobedience followed by punishment. Only a very small sector of the population commits offences against their fellow man, but that small sector of the population creates a very large amount of paranoia and fear among the general population. There is a better way.

There are also many, many examples where the law damages people’s lives and punishes them, even though they have committed no crime. I found in our local newspaper dated the 29th of May 2004 an article that appears to be a good example of one.

WINNIPEG (CP) – A single mother who took her car for a tune-up is without a vehicle after her mechanic was busted for driving without a licence.

The mechanic’s arrest triggered a mandatory section of Manitoba legislation that authorizes police to impound and eventually seize a vehicle – regardless of its owner – because it was the third offence within five years.

“This has turned my life upside down, and I’ve been innocent in this whole thing,” Brandy Simmons said.

The province agrees Simmons is the victim of a “highly unusual situation,” but has refused to reimburse her for the loss of her car.

The mechanic was pulled over by police last November while driving her car from a parking lot into the shop’s garage. Somehow, officers caught the man during the minute-long spin.

Simmons bailed her car out of the impound lot one week later, but had it seized for good in March after her mechanic pleaded guilty to a Highway Traffic Act offence.

The plea triggered a mandatory forfeiture of the vehicle in question.

Simmons was sent a forfeiture notice, which permitted her to appeal within a 30-day period, but she ignored it because she assumed her role in the case was over.

Lawyer Tom Percy said he doesn’t blame her for ignoring the notice.

“She had no clue what was happening here, and this notice was so vague,” he said. “We passed it around the office here and three or four lawyers couldn’t make heads or tails out of it.”

The matter only got worse for Simmons when the car was stolen. Police eventually found the smashed-up car and Manitoba Public Insurance deemed it a write-off.

The insurer was ready to pay Simmons $5,300 for her loss, but the province took the cash instead.

Don Lofendale, Crown counsel with the provincial civil legal services branch, said he sympathizes with Simmons, but his department has refused to return the cash from her wrecked car because she failed to respond to the forfeiture notice.

Lofendale said provincial legislation doesn’t allow for the review of such cases once forfeiture has occurred.

Simmons said the financial fallout has forced her to drop out of Red River College where she was in her final year of studying child and youth care.

“I’m really struggling and I’m wondering where the justice is here,” she said.

 

This is a case where a single mother was seriously inconvenienced and legally robbed by the Province because of the way the law is written. This is not an isolated case. We read about these kinds of incidents every day in our local newspapers. Parents are convicted of child pornography for taking bathtub photos of their toddlers; a man is convicted of cruelty to animals for fighting off a vicious dog with a cane; a quadriplegic is convicted of marijuana possession for smoking it to relieve post-surgery muscle spasms. In many places, a person can be jailed for growing hemp or fined for putting unopened liquor behind the front seat of his vehicle. According to BBC News March 15, 2002, Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress. Fifteen of the girls died in the fire because the mutaween police were enforcing Islamic law.

There is also the problem of people being wrongly convicted. The Death Penalty Information Centre announced on August 9, 2004 that Jefferson Parish prosecutors today dismissed all charges against former Louisiana death row inmate Ryan Matthews. He became the nation's 115th death row inmate to be freed according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). Matthews was sentenced to die in 1999 and spent nearly five years on death row before DNA evidence helped clear him of a murder that occurred just two weeks after his 17th birthday.

Can you imagine how much misery prosecutors, policemen and other members of the prosecutorial system have created for Matthews and his family and friends as well as the other 115 families and their friends while they receive generous salaries for executing their duties? If DNA is able to uncover 115 wrong convictions pertaining to the Death Penalty, how many hundreds or even thousands of wrong convictions exist in crimes not involving the Death Penalty? The question is a legitimate one. Another problem that produces wrongful convictions is sloppy forensic science or outright fraud in forensic testing. Sloppy forensic testing by people like Arnold Melnikoff, Joyce Gilcrest and Jacquiline Blake has resulted in dozens of overturned convictions in the United States. Guardian Newspapers on November 3rd 2003 reports that thousands of convictions based on DNA evidence have been called into question after inspections revealed that sloppy standards and contamination of evidence were rife at American police laboratories.

Wrongful convictions are really not the main issue regarding the inadequacies of using and applying the concept of the law to control unacceptable behaviour. The central issue of the concept of the legal system is that it represents the number of the beast of Revelation, 666. It is based on an adversarial system; the prosecutor against the defendant. It is the system of ha satan which is known as a symbol called the adversary. ha Satan is actually the transliterated Hebrew word phrase in the Jewish Tanakh meaning ‘the adversary’ or ‘the opponent’. The beast of Revelation has ten horns. According to Organized religion’s interpretation of the Old Testament and the Jewish Tanakh, god introduced the law with its ten intimidating horns called the Ten Commandments with the intention of controlling the behaviour of the ancient Israelite tribes. The horns of a moose, bull, deer or other horned animals are used to intimidate their opponents or perceived opponents. If that does not work, then they have the ability to gore and seriously injure or kill any animal or person that they perceive as a threat. Mankind has evolved enforcement and penal systems based on this beast called the law, that have the power to intimidate, confine, psychologically and physically injure or kill any person who does not obey the “Ten Commandments”. The idea of the law has been adopted with the intention of controlling our behaviour when we fail to respect the rights and needs of others. And to some degree, it works. Unfortunately, like so many other things in the world of ha satan, it has also turned out to be a tool for the powerful to keep themselves in power and to make themselves rich. As well, it has been ineffective in completely stopping crime, become a heavy financial burden for prosecuting and housing those convicted of a crime and has contributed to the spread of discontent.

Today we see groups of various kinds campaigning against unfair laws. Just to mention a few, we have the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life groups campaigning against unfair abortion laws from opposite sides. Those who feel that we should have the right to die with dignity, argue that we have unfair palliative care laws. We have petitioners campaigning against unfair incarceration laws in Florida. We have the Countryside Alliance campaigning against unfair laws in general. Iranian women campaign against unfair rape laws. The Centre for Trade Policy Studies in the U. S. discusses the unfairness of the anti-dumping laws. Dr. Kayoko Tsumori, a Policy Analyst at The Centre for Independent Studies in Australia writes a discussion paper on unfair dismissal laws in that country. In Wichita Kansas the Wichita Eagle, February 7, 2004, had an article about unfair sodomy laws. Our local newspaper, the Times and Transcript, reports on May 28, 2005 that a nationwide audit shows Access to Information laws fail in New Brunswick. It has become a burden for business people who have to retain legal representation with respect to every project they begin to make sure they are not breaking the law. The cost of personal liability insurance for professionals is going through the roof. All this makes one wonder why we are all so hell bent on using the law to solve our relationship problems. The Gnostic Christians call the maker of the law, who is the Old Testament god Yahveh (also called Yahweh or Jehovah), the creation of Ialdabaoth the deformed son of Sophia. Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom and the deformed son of Sophia is the symbol for distorted, twisted and warped wisdom. According to Gnostic Christians, using the laws of Yahveh to solve relationship problems is warped wisdom. It is warped to suit the desires of those who are in a position to legislate and enforce the law. It is also deformed and twisted in the sense that it creates as many or more problems than it solves. We are continually fixing it with new laws and yet it never seems to actually get fixed. An example of how bent our wisdom has become is illustrated by the laws making the parents responsible for the acts of their children. It’s a sure fire way to teach our youth how not to be responsible for themselves. I see the laughing Jesus cracking up over this one.

Another flaw in using law to control the masses is that it assumes that there are absolutes around which we can build our lives. Governments and kingdoms proclaim laws and expect them to be followed absolutely. This is impossible because Einstein’s theory of relativity proves that there are no absolutes in the universe. Everything in the universe is relative and always changing and many laws become obsolete before the ink dries on the decrees; or there is an unforeseen issue missed after the law is proclaimed. The end result is that we have truck loads upon truck loads of books of laws and amendments and still we perceive that new ones need to be proclaimed every day. The concept of the law is based on the assumption that we give authority to a few people or accept authority from a few people and the rest obey. The concept of authority and obedience and law and order falls short of its objective of bringing security and harmony because it includes foolishness with its wisdom, chaos with its discipline and often the horns of the law produce fear instead of love.

Harmful side affects of the law include underground markets that develop when you outlaw pornography, prostitution, abortion, drugs and alcohol or create price freezing. Procuring these services and products from an underground market produces a substantially increased risk to your health as those who market in this manner tend to be of the more ruthless kind. They simply don’t care about quality or cleanness or the danger that they present to the prospective buyer. There is a better way.

The law fails to give us complete security against officials of a sovereign nation who would cause our deaths, injure us or take our property. It fails to provide full security for us from stalkers, serial killers, rapists, abusers, thieves, drunk drivers and many other kinds of offenders no matter how strictly it is enforced. It fails to protect citizens in countries where political leaders hide behind an official secrets act to bully, murder and torture. How does the village heretic know this? The answer is simple. It is because these activities continue day after day, month after month, year after year and decade after decade no matter what laws we create to “protect” society. The law brings some security and harmony. However it also carries with it the mark of the beast Jehovah who gave us the law, by retaining the concept of ha satan the adversary in that it uses the antagonistic approach to control people. Those who do not obey the law are considered adversaries. As a result, anger and unrest continues to prevail. There is a better way to bring about harmony on earth. That way is to go back to where it all began and look upon the commandments as guidelines to commit to and to restructure them so that they contain only wisdom that produces love and self discipline and are emptied of foolishness that produces fear and chaos brought about by the power and control systems using the concept of law, authority and obedience. The law binds us and it will not provide harmony and security by itself.

According to Dr. Charles Scobie, retired professor of theology at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, ‘law’ is a poor translation of ‘torah’ which really means ‘teaching’ or ‘guidelines’. If we look at the Laws of Moses as guidelines, we are free to build a system with flexibility rather than fall in line with rote obedience. We will follow naturally when we understand the harmonizing value behind a commitment. We will not fall in line if we can see that a commitment produces ha satan immediately or at some point in the future.

I would like to present a word of caution as we take a look at the Ten Guidelines presented by Moses as they come to us through the Bible. The words issuing the Guidelines did not come directly from Yahveh. They came from the mouth of the only witness, Moses, who made the claim that they are the words of Yahveh. The words composing the “commandments” that you read in English, are only the opinion of a translator as to what Moses actually said. All translators of the “commandments” in the Pentateuch to date represent or are sponsored by Jewish and/or Christian religious organizations. No existing translation has ever been audited by any independent experts who are not either paid by or strongly dedicated to either of these religions. As a result the meaning that evolves from reading the “commandments” in English has a bias that favours the theory that they were delivered through Moses by an all powerful third party entity called god and that they are actually commandments. This may not be a completely accurate portrayal of how Moses received them or what was intended by them. I would strongly advise that anyone wanting to get a more accurate understanding of what is written in the Bible, to step out of the boat and into the stormy seas to get familiar with the source languages, Hebrew and Greek. These languages have become institutionalized by Jewish and Christian religious organizations. The meaning of their words has been established by long standing acceptance within these organizations. Such meanings may or may not accurately represent the intended meaning of the original authors. The only way to find out is to dig into it yourself. Tools are now available to permit you to do this.

One of the greatest tools ever invented for studying the Bible is the computer disk version of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. It uses something called Strong’s numbers and Strong’s concordance and a system known as G/K numbers produced by Goodrick and Kohlenberger, editors of the New International Version Exhaustive Concordance. Strong’s numbers are numbers given to words in the Bible by a seminary professor, Dr. James Strong for his Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible first published in 1890. With the recent development of personal computers, Strong’s Numbers became very easy to use. By looking up the corresponding number, you can observe the original Greek or Hebrew word, the pronunciation of the original word, the definition of the original word and references to other appearances of that same word in the Bible. Unfortunately Strong’s Number system has some inconsistencies and some numbers are skipped entirely. In order to circumvent this problem, Goodrick and Kohlenberger developed their own system called G/K numbers. Both the G/K numbers system and the Strong’s numbers system are used in The Expositors Bible Commentary. With these numbers systems you don’t have to be a scholar to understand Hebrew and Greek. Pastors and laymen, and for that matter, any heretic who can read and use a computer who knows little to nothing of the original languages of the Bible, can gain access to the Greek and Hebrew words behind their English translation. It is precisely that tool, along with three Hebrew/English lexicons and the study of the Hebrew language, which I used to gain access to the Hebrew meaning of the Ten “Commandments”. I have version 5.1, a Microsoft Windows version powered by Pradis and produced by Zondervan. It requires a Pentium 166 MHZ or higher processor. My impression of Zondervan is that they are a caring Christian organization ready to provide first rate service to their customers. I highly recommend this product and their service for it.

As I got into the reading of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, I was shocked at the liberties taken by Christian organized religions in their translation out of the Hebrew language. When translating passages into English, some addition or deletion of words is acceptable because often one Hebrew word can best be interpreted with the use of two or three English words and vice versa. However, over 30% of the words that appear in the English translation of our Old Testament do not even appear in the Hebrew version. According to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The words were inserted and called an “assist in translation”, “not in Hebrew”, “article”, and “repeated English word”. The range of meanings for individual Hebrew words is often different from the English. For this reason too you may need to use a string of English words to accurately reflect the meaning of one Hebrew word. I was also concerned by the wide variation of English words that are considered “equal words” for one Hebrew word. I found as many as 45 different English words represented as “equal words” for a single Hebrew word. How do they select which particular English word is the “equal word” for a particular passage? Does this mean that translations from Hebrew and Aramaic to English are more of an art than a science? Is organized religion putting their own spin on the meaning of the words? Does this mean that the translator has to guess which meaning the original author of the script intended based on the context of what he or she is saying? There are dozens of different English translations of the Old Testament. Which one is the most accurate? Are the English translations of the Hebrew Old Testament screaming for an audit to be done by an organization something like Robert Funk and the Jesus Seminar, which is not influenced by organized religion? The Jesus Seminar is a group of over 100 Bible scholars sponsored by the Westar Institute, a scholarly think tank headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, who have produced a new translation of the Gospels. At the end of a six year period of examining the source documents and events pertaining to the acts of Jesus, their conclusion was that 84% of the Gospels are largely or entirely fictive. This does not mean that the wisdom contained in them is entirely useless. Every time I have the opportunity to attend, I hear valuable wisdom coming from my United Church pulpit and my wife’s Salvationist Church pulpit, and a large portion of it is derived from the Gospels. What I object to is organized religion presenting the Gospels as literal historical fact. Likewise, the Old Testament is full of valuable symbolism that can add greatly to the wisdom of mankind. But it is currently monopolized by an organized religion that portrays it as historical fact.

Another problem observed by the village heretic is organized religion’s presentation of the image of god. No one seems to know who or what god is. At least, they don’t think they know. There are those who seem to regard “Him” as a divine all powerful, all loving, mighty, all seeing male deity. Some think “He” needs to be worshiped, loved and feared. Others regard “Him” as a meek preacher who taught great wisdom, suffered on a cross and who also needs to be worshiped. Some theologians even say that if we don’t believe in “Him” and worship “Him” as our Lord and Savior, we will go to hell. Still others see “Him” as the creator of the Universe. No one can ever be sure of any of this because “He” is invisible. So, we can’t ask “Him” outright. “He” seems to be hiding and no matter where you look, you simply cannot see, hear, touch, smell, taste or psychically perceive “Him”. It appears that god is completely unclear.

Enter organized religion whose life blood is the fuzziness of god. They have the answers to the questions about whom and what this mysterious invisible god is all about! They’ve got their Old Testament, Tanakh and New Testament, the Qur’an, and the Bhagavad-Gita, these newly discovered collections of Dead Sea Scrolls, and Qumran Scrolls called Gnostic literature, and a vast array of other books. They’ve divided themselves into religious factions and each group proclaims the clearness of their invisible god while judging other groups’ god to be fuzzy. Actually, there is no way you can create a religious sect or a new religion without the belief that your god is perfectly clear and everyone else’s god is fuzzy.

According to the Bible, god tells us not to murder. And yet “He” murders the whole world except Noah and his family. There are numerous incidents in the Old Testament of wholesale murder sanctioned by or committed by god. Is god an example of how we should not treat our neighbors? It seems strange and unclear why god would murder, tell Moses and Joshua to murder people of “His” choosing and tell the rest of us not to. The New Testament “god” says to love your neighbor as yourself and practiced that philosophy until his death. We seem to have a contradiction between the Old and New Testament god. Is the Son, perhaps, a new model of god? As we move into the New Testament, we discover that Christians created their god by taking this holy, jealous, powerful, creating, vengeful, murdering, destroying Old Testament god from the Jews and changed “Him” to god the Father, god the Son and god the Holy Ghost. Some Christians even add another dimension giving “Him” a mother Mary called the Holy Mother of god. Wow! That’s quite a feat. Apparently Christian religious scholars are saying that this god has manifested himself as a man called Jesus Christ as part of this trinity to proclaim a new image. How can we accept that buzz? Shouldn’t this all powerful, all knowing god have had that image in the first place if it is such a wonderful way to be?

This awesome, compassionate, gay hating, gracious, murderous, forgiving, jealous, holy, creating, powerful, vengeful, commanding, Father and Son god who works wonders reminds me of the expression, “A bare foot boy with shoes on stood sitting in the grass.” I sense that awesome poetic un-clarity that fills our minds with inconsistency, ambiguity and fuzziness inducing us to worship “Him” with fanatical enthusiasm in the hope of finding the clarity we are looking for. This god who we call the giver of the law is a very strange beast indeed.

Current translations of the Bible produced by organized religion, say that you must fear god and love god. Dr. Robert Schuller, head of the popular television ministry called The Hour of Power, is on the record as saying that love and fear are opposites. Therefore, you cannot fear that which you love and you cannot love that which you fear. It is very difficult to reconcile these two obligations toward god preached by this interpretation of the Bible if Dr. Schuller is correct. If we go to The Expositors Bible Commentary, we discover that the Hebrew word elohim is plural and means ‘gods’. Reading from the Hebrew without looking at any English translation, I see that throughout Deuteronomy it repeats eight times, “…love Yahveh of the gods”. Joshua repeats it twice and Psalms says, “…love Yahveh” three times. Not once in the Old Testament does it say, “Love god”. Exodus 9:30 says, “…fear Yahveh gods”. Deuteronomy says seven times, “...fear Yahveh of the gods”. Jeremiah 5:24 says, “…fear Yahveh our gods”. And “…fear Yahveh” appears seventeen times in the rest of the Old Testament. Seven times the Old Testament says “…fear the gods”, but it never says to fear god. Hopefully as we move through the Ten “Commandments”, we will be able to begin to clear up some of the confusion about the image of god.

 

I go on to talk about the Ten Commandments as guidelines.

 

BobD

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
Sign in to follow this  

×