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jerryb
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In context, this statement is tied with a criticism that Western/Christianity includes a belief that it holds the corner on the market on Truth (so to speak)....and also in this context, the Truth is God. So the spirit of the statement is in being open to God as the great "I AM" or the "I Will Be What I Will Be" of the Old Testament. The moment we settle on a particular image of God as the one true God, then we've made God into an idol (see graven image in 10 commandments!).

 

Fatherman <<who is thinking that Mr. Saranam is speaking out of precious wisdom>>

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Hi Jerry... so good to hear from you, and Happy New Year:

 

Truth moves forward with time and changes its nature moment to moment. So it is impossible to know it or possess it, or even observe it very accurately. It is truly transitory, but we may approach it through the meditation on and study of those who have recorded their wisdoms and thoughts before us, and then attempt to wake up and watch what's happening in the world very closely.

 

I have always intuited that which is overly repetitive and obvious to be eventually untrue for me. I have shuddered many times upon discovering what I thought to be the truth, and then felt better when what I once believed turned into an illusion of the past. Seeking out and trying to hold onto what is not obvious and which uniquely appears moment to moment works best for me in mapping my way forward.

 

 

flow.... ;)

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I agree, I think we have to discover new truths to gain knowledge about old ones. Human bliss, liberation and enlightenment require the spiritual disclosure of truths surpassing reason and rational truths. The people who just parrot what others say without practicing and experiencing the spiritual truths are not experiencing or knowledgeable of the truth because they are ignorant of the joy. I guess I am just saying that truth is relative so enjoy your relatives.

 

Christian Spirituality

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To me, truth is relative when it comes to science--time, space, motion, etc--but divine truth is always a personal relationship. Isn't that why Plato's teaching took the form of dialogues? Didn't Jesus and the old testament prophets repeatedly intimate that God wants a relationship with his/her children? Isn't that why we come to this forum, to find food for thought and a sounding board for spiritual reflections?

 

The way to know the truth of God is through a relationship with his embodiments on earth-- everyone who brings Jesus to us in some way, everyone who reveals the Jesus within us.

 

Soma, when you refer to people not experiencing wisdom and thus being ignorant of joy, are you talking about fundamentalism's focus on sin, hell, etc or something else? I'm curious.

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Hi Rivanna:

 

I have found the dichotomy that you describe, dualistically oriented truths versus spiritual truth of divinity which emerges from the self, to be an indicator of some deeper coflict within humanity that has always been there. Why does there even have to be a "versus"?

 

The advocates of dualistic visions migrate emotionally and technically towards the polarities which they choose to support their beliefs, while the divinely inspired create artistically inspired truths that end up in books and galleries, in music shops, and on screens. Those that sell best come to be our representations of reality as we experience them from moment to moment.

 

Genetically diverse as we all are, how can we standardize what is perceived on an individual basis and what is truthful to individuals in all of that ? When you get down to this level one could reasonably say that all religions spring either from beliefs in sacrifice and related memorializations of that, or acts of joy and goodwill that can spread through communities through acts of love and sharing. I know that this is overly simplistic and over-generalized, but it's what I see going on.

 

I don't think that conflicts of this magnititutde were ever meant to be resolved and constitute the roots of very large and timewise effective dynamical cultural engines of progress. The ole' "three steps forward and two steps back" thingy?

 

flow.... :huh:

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hi flow,

 

No dichotomy or sacrifice or "deep conflict within humanity" was implied, in my post. My point was simply that I see truth as a relationship, rather than something that can be "possessed" or captured in words. It's more about the energy between or among people, than about what any one person says. [And the more voices we have giving opinions on this board, the better!]

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"Human beings can only 'pursue' the truth...never 'possess' it." Sankara Saranam.

 

It seems to me that Truth is not an object that it can be posessed. Truth seems to me to rather have nothing to say. To say that 'TRUTH IS or exists', is one too many words as if it can be languaged..... So perhaps it is best left unspoken and to subjective experience.

 

Just one thought on the subject. No more. No less.

 

JM

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rivanna, I think people who talk a good game about the Lord, but don't enjoy the experience, share the love, or express the wisdom and grace received are just talking. The relationship with Christ is beyond words and the one who experiences it is a conduit for God's love. "Lord let Thy Will be done." I don't know about fundamentalist, but I know there are many Christians who mouth the proper words, know all the prices, but not the value. They are selling a product, which they think the more people who buy it proves it is true. Christians don't have to talk about Christianity if they are living it. We are Christian by being Christian. Talking about Christ doesn't make me a Christian. I think we are saying the same thing.

Salutations to the Christ within you.

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The advocates of dualistic visions migrate emotionally and technically towards the polarities which they choose to support their beliefs, while the divinely inspired create artistically inspired truths that end up in books and galleries, in music shops, and on screens. Those that sell best come to be our representations of reality as we experience them from moment to moment.

 

+++

 

Can I quote this in my writings on the web or in print? It is so insightful.

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rivanna, I think people who talk a good game about the Lord, but don't enjoy the experience, share the love, or express the wisdom and grace received are just talking. The relationship with Christ is beyond words and the one who experiences it is a conduit for God's love. "Lord let Thy Will be done." I don't know about fundamentalist, but I know there are many Christians who mouth the proper words, know all the prices, but not the value. They are selling a product, which they think the more people who buy it proves it is true. Christians don't have to talk about Christianity if they are living it. We are Christian by being Christian. Talking about Christ doesn't make me a Christian. I think we are saying the same thing.

Salutations to the Christ within you.

 

Hi Soma

 

 

I loved your comment," Christians don't have to talk about christianity if they are living it."

That is a truly profound sentence...and one that should be on our minds every morning as we start our day.

 

 

Blessings my friend,

 

 

Jerryb

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Hi Soma

 

 

I loved your comment," Christians don't have to talk about christianity if they are living it."

That is a truly profound sentence...and one that should be on our minds every morning as we start our day.

Blessings my friend,

Jerryb

 

 

It reminds me of my favorite quote from St. Francis: Preach the gospel always. If necessary, use words. ;)

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Thanks for the great comments. On the same not, but needs your expanded input. Along the lines of not having to say a word, if a person radiates a positive 5 on the happy scale and meets with a negative 4 the person lower will raise his consciousness. It doesn't matter the belief or religion the power of consciousness is the question. A positive 3 would be inversely affected by a negative 4 so would have to bring a positive 2 to bring up the 4. We have all been drained and filled. Can you guy expand on this?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Take a piece of paper and write on one side, “The statement on the other side of this piece of paper is true.” Turn it over and write, “The statement on the other side of this piece of paper is false.” Now, I ask the reader try to figure out which statement is false, the first or the second. You will probably drive yourself crazy trying to figure out which one it is. What this exercise illustrates is that there is no such thing as falsehood. It is impossible to bear false witness against your neighbour. You can only mislead and deceive others to get them to give you an undeserved benefit or to cause harm. There is only the truth and all we have to do is find it. In this case we find the truth by recognizing that both statements are deceptive and misleading. When it is known that what one communicating is a misrepresentation or a deception, another truth emerges, and that is that it is an act of misleading and deceiving others.

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The sentences you describe are dependent on each other, so it is not possible that one can be true and the other false. They stand or fall together. They are either both true as a single entity or both false as a single entity. In your example they are false together. It is proof enough that there is indeed falseness.

 

Suppose your sentences were both, "The sentence on the other side of this piece of paper is true." Does that make them true? Not by my definition of the word "truth" it doesn't. These sentences are consistent with each other. They don't constitute a self-contradiction as the other set does, but what truth do they connect with? What if I turned over the paper a billion times or however many it took to rub off the ink from one of those sentences. All of a sudden, it's not the same situation, and the sentence you can still read is referring to a sentence that's illegible. Now that can't be truth.

 

Unlike those in ancient times who thought there was something magical about words, today one can know through linguistics and neuroscience that words are symbols and nothing more. They have no more reality by themselves than a statue is a real person. People look at a statue and their minds see a person, but really it's just a piece of marble, as words are ink or contrast on a computer screen. People decide what words mean and build up a model of the world in their mind that may be just as self-contradictory as that first set of sentences. In that way people can have a false faith, one that cannot be true.

 

How can one have a true faith? I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure there are many more ways to have a false faith than a true faith, but who can measure such a thing directly. I have faith that there is a physical world out there beyond the virtual reality that is my consciousness, because of my experience and analysis on top of those of many others that say that the world of our senses is an understandable and consistent thing. Is there a spiritual world beyond that? I think so, but what can I really know of spirits except that they are non-physical entities, whatever that might be? People get revelations, but it takes some time to see if they make any sense.

 

So is there an understandable and consistent reality beyond the physical universe? Or alongside it or within it? Some say yes. Some say no. I don't know a way to know that one way is right and the other wrong. Maybe there's a way both are right or both are wrong. Maybe someone knows the absolute truth of this. Maybe no one does, not even God, as God has no way to see the outside of such a thing. Meanwhile it works for me to accept what is consistent and persistent as truth. No one can say with authority that that is more than a mere word that requires a mind to mean anything. Existence is what it is. Truth is an accurate representation of that existence. Falseness is an inaccurate representation of that existence. It works for me.

Edited by DavidD
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Thanks for the great comments. On the same not, but needs your expanded input. Along the lines of not having to say a word, if a person radiates a positive 5 on the happy scale and meets with a negative 4 the person lower will raise his consciousness. It doesn't matter the belief or religion the power of consciousness is the question. A positive 3 would be inversely affected by a negative 4 so would have to bring a positive 2 to bring up the 4. We have all been drained and filled. Can you guy expand on this?

 

Emotion is energy that we create. Emotion strongly felt or expressed has the power to effect the world around us, especially other people. High frequency emotions like love, compassion, and joy can raise the energy in a room to the point that other folks become influenced by it. Strongly felt low frequency states can have the same effect except it drags the energy frequency down. Folks who's own level of positive energy is not strong enough will not be able to resist it's sway. Jesus was known to have caused miraculous events in the world around him by his mere presence, just as surely Hitler's presence must have caused destructive events.

 

Test it out. Watch what happens the next to bummer-man or super-joy girl walks in the room!

 

The question is, which has more power to influence...high frequencies or low frequencies? Our wisdom traditions have affirmed the former.

 

Patanjali wrote "When a person is steadfast in his abstention from harming others, then all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in his presence"

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fatherman, you're using "frequency" in a way that's hard to interpret. It's not any dictionary definition of that word.

 

It seems you're expressing the common idea that there are good or positive emotions such as being happy, excited or in love and bad or negative emotions such as fear, anger, or sadness. People prefer the former to the latter. I do, but I also know how valuable the latter are. Fear can teach us prudence. Anger can teach us determination. Suffering can teach others to express their love and can break down the person who is suffering to be able to ask for the help he or she has always needed.

 

It's not easy to get such good outcomes from negative emotions. I think they can happen naturally, but it's so much easier if there's someone who can teach you how to make use of your discomfort. Sadly some people who are supposedly wise say to just run away from all these emotions, whether that's through the power of positive thinking or otherwise. I don't think that's the best way, though maybe it's a better way for a lot of people. I've met a lot of alcoholics who like the slogan, "Fake it 'til you make it." I wouldn't take that away from anyone who needed to lean on it, but that's never been my slogan. I like clinging to the truth of a situation and finding how to get through that way. I found God there, not in trying to be happy or content all the time.

 

Negative emotions can be destructive, but so can positive emotions as people find who are always going to parties or love the wrong people. It's not a simple mathematical formula. Nor is there anything mystical required to understand how people are affected by the emotions of others. Mainstream psychology has knowledge about where empathy comes from and who has it more. Neuroscience knows about mirror neurons through which we mimic the movements of others and emotions of others, even without thinking. People can resist that if they want. Empathy is a much more voluntary emotional state than something simple like fear. The scientific explanations of emotion reflect that.

 

What does one do with all that? A lot of people do what seems to come naturally, which is to pursue positive emotions and run from negative emotions, until those negative emotions build up to be overwhelming. Then people often blame others for their own negative emotions. Such is the state of our world. God is a way around that. I'm not sure why, whether it's because God is so wise or has been around so long He's worked out the best way to manage emotions or what. I am sure that it's quite complex, and people miss something in trying to oversimplify it, to make simple rules in order to manage one's emotions. It takes more than simple rules to shoot the rapids.

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Patanjali wrote "When a person is steadfast in his abstention from harming others, then all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in his presence"

 

Was Patanjali anything like that guy who kept getting too close to bears, and eventually a bear ate him?

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David, I would say Pantanljali was teaching the same lesson as the story of David in the Lion's Den where David was content so radiated peace so the Lions felt content and did no harm. The man that got eaten must have been hungry or radiated fear.

 

I think God works because we let God replace the ego. "Lord let Thy Will be done." i will get out of the way, God act through me. So if the i is not acting it will not reap what it doesn't sows. An Eastern saying is it doesn't matter if we sow good or bad we are still bound if the chains are made of gold or steel. Therefore, David had no ill feelings or fear of the lions, he had the contenment of Our Lord acting through him so was not harmed or reaping what he might have sown.

Salutations to the Lord acting through you.

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fatherman, thank you for laughing at that. I'm never sure when I'm tipping over someone's sacred cow, but sometimes I do it anyway. I don't believe there is a sacred and a profane. I believe that's an artificial duality, but not many agree.

 

Soma, I don't think the Bible story of Daniel and the lions is about contentment. It's about God. Daniel 6 tells the story of Daniel being thrown into the lion's den as punishment for praying to God instead of just to the king. The king only does this because he feels bound by his own law. In Daniel 6:16 the king tells Daniel that God will deliver him. Then the king fasts for the night. In the morning Daniel has survived, proclaiming in Daniel 6:22 that an angel shut the lions' mouths because God found him innocent.

In Daniel 6:23, the author states Daniel was uninjured because he believed in God. The story doesn't say he wasn't afraid, just that he believed.

 

Personally I believe this story to be a myth. If God had such power over animals, I'm sure we would see it today. But you notice that in the story it's not up to Daniel to control the lions, either deliberately or with his innocence or belief. God controls the lions in response to who or what Daniel is. It's hard to say what Daniel did. Was his innocence or belief because of things he did to follow God? Or was it all God leading him? The one thing I would say from this story is that God determines the outcome, not Daniel or Daniel's emotional state.

 

I think I am still getting farther away from this traditional view of God and closer to the real God. I believe the essential step in that is to be determined to mirror Christ in that night before His crucifixion saying, "Not my will, but Yours", whether or not He really said that. His life seemed to say that, as best we can tell. My experience in that has me convinced that God has limited power, limited knowledge, limited love in terms of loving absolutely everyone like the bad guys who are thrown to the lions in Daniel 6:24, and limited goodness. It's takes both determination and discontent to understand that, and such things take at least some anger at traditional religion. If one were content with traditional Christianity or any other worldview, one would just stay there, whether it works or not. Apologists are dedicated to letting people do that, with apologetics that some of us looked at when we were young and said, "This doesn't work". So what else is there? There are other things that fall apart under scrutiny or there's God, whoever and whatever the real God is. Some give up that there is a God. Some insist that God has to be just like the Bible's God, or there is no God. I was in that direction until I really wanted help in my thirties, and it occured to me that I'm satisfied with God being whoever answers my prayer when I pray, "God help me!" If that's not the way it works, we don't have a chance of outwitting the system.

 

God has led me since then, in several ways, maybe before then, too. Now people can see God differently, as less personal than I do, maybe with different attributes than I list above. He is who and what He is. She is who and what She is. It is who and what It is. But if you leave God out of the picture all together and say you have extraordinary power all by yourself, then use it. If you want to teach it to others, then demonstrate it. I don't see that happening.

 

That man with the bears was making video or movies of what he was doing. I forget his name. With enough determination, one could track those images down and judge for oneself his emotional state. He wasn't afraid. He was proclaiming how wonderful bears are and how people are too afraid of them. His lack of fear killed him by letting him get too close to the bears, by depriving him of prudence.

 

What would God have done for this man? Traditional believers would say God could have quieted the bears directly. Some believe God could have quieted the man's mind so he could have stolen away from the bears when there was still time, but I don't see that happening in an instant. That's why we have psychoactive medications. Maybe a long course in working with animals would have taught him how to respect the danger in the bears. Then what time would he have for anything else?

 

We have what we need for this world, both positive and negative emotions. I don't need a course in bears. My fear keeps me at a safe distance, and I can spend all of the rest of my life on something else. What a gift, whether it was more biological evolution or cultural evolution that did that for me.

 

People can get carried away with what gifts we've gotten that way and think we have everything we need to do amazing things. So do them. Show us what you can do. Or if you're content just doing amazing things for yourself, then be content. I've needed something more, and that's how I found God.

 

I wish I believed the Bible enough to say that the Bible says so, and that's it, or that there was some other book that trustworthy. It's much harder to find that God is trustworthy without any tangible expression of Him, just ripples from there being a God. The Bible is so much about God controlling the physical universe, as Creator, with stories like Daniel and the lion's den. I don't find God doing that at all. I find Him giving me direction, strength and comfort mentally, in many ways, at one time tied to my prayers, but later in a more constant way.

 

God tells me its His choice to help us. It's always an option for Him just to leave us to biological and cultural evolution. That wouldn't be so bad. Many people live that way now, in religion or without religion, but nowhere near the real God. Some would say that's too different than their understanding of God, who is trapped in everyone of us. Maybe, maybe I live my own myth. One can only test it and find out.

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In God I find contentment, which solves, brings peace and contentment to the living things around me. Therefore, I see David radiating that peace, solving a difficult predicament and not worrying about what he can't control. In heaven I don't think there are churches and bibles.......................everything is heaven, church and the bible. Life is to be lived............hopefullty with contentment so the beast don't eat us alive. Peace

 

I have a simple view of life, which reduces everything down to one.

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