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God And Language


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2. Do you believe in science? Because if you don't actually care to understand how matter behaves, and how quantum physics governs the universe, then there's no possibility of your moving forward into a stronger, clearer, more compassionate faith.

 

Jesus here.

 

A member of our loving TCPC community has taken umbrage at this statement of mine, and has challenged me to clarify my meaning.

 

No problemo.

 

First, a parable (you know how much I like those): You're walking down the street in your home town. Suddenly a man approaches you. You're immediately struck by his appearance. He's tall, quite striking in appearance, with intense dark eyes that are almost black. You notice the colour of his jacket -- brilliant orange. You also notice he carries a white cane.

 

He starts talking to you. But you can't understand a word he's saying. Is that Russian? Portuguese? You can't figure out what language he's speaking, let alone the meaning of his words. But the man's eyes are filled with intensity. He's trying with all his might to communicate with you. He starts to wave his hands, then his arms. Soon he's using his whole body to try to communicate with you. You can see his frustration. But nothing he says makes sense to you. Eventually, you get tired of this and walk away.

 

Later, you'll remember the man was tall, and you'll remember that he wore an orange jacket, and you'll remember the intensity of his facial expressions. But you won't remember a word he said. Why not? Because your brain had no neurons and glial cells and neurotransmitters on hand inside your head to deal with the information he was trying to share with you. He spoke a language you have no knowledge of. So your brain can't process his message, no matter how important his message is to your life.

 

It is impossible to communicate clearly with someone if you don't speak his or her language. Though you've met each other, and though you remember what he or she looks like, and though you remember the emotional intensity of the exchange (since your brain is fully equipped to deal with emotional memories), you would be a fool to say to someone else, "Yes, I understood every word he said."

 

There are a great many fools on Planet Earth who believe that because they remember what God the Mother or God the Father looked like, or what their emotional expression was at the time of an intense epiphany, they also understood what God was saying. This cannot be so. This cannot be so if you don't have a rudimentary knowledge of science, which is one of God's clearest and easiest-to-understand languages.

 

Let's take another example. Let's use the English alphabet, which, as we all know, has 26 letters. By long-established convention, these 26 letters are used to create all the English phonemes, which in turn are used in an almost miraculous vertical process to generate all the abstract ideas and feelings we can imagine if you try really, really hard.

 

Now . . . remove from the alphabet the letters "M", "Y", and "S". You can still spell and conceive of a great many words that are beautiful and powerful -- words like love. But you can't spell the word "mystic." Or "us." Or most things plural.

 

You can't have a complete relationship with God if you stubbornly and ungenerously refuse to learn the major letters in God's own alphabet.

 

I have little sympathy for you if you say, "But I don't know anything about science, and I don't see why I should learn anything about science in order to get closer to God." I didn't know a heck of lot of science, either, until I made it my mission to learn more about the world around me so I could communicate more clearly with my angelic guide.

 

You have books. I didn't have nearly as many as you, but I managed just fine by wanting to learn, by developing my observational skills, by developing my recording skills, by developing my logical skills.

 

You have teachers. Internet. Graphics that make complicated sciencific ideas ever clearer to the average human mind. TV shows like PBS Nova. For that matter, you have TV's, and radios, and computers, and on and on -- all pure science! So don't tell me you can't take the time to learn the basics of science. You can. You have no excuse not to incorporate some of God's most cherished beliefs and feelings into your own spiritual life. What, I'm saying that sciencey things are important to God the Mother and God the Father? Well, ummm, I'm not quite sure how you imagine the universe could even be a universe without our Mother and Father's love of science.

 

You do not -- I repeat, NOT -- have to be a physics, chemistry, or biology major in order to get closer to God. But you certainly have a responsibility, as a Progressive Christian, to be able to read and understand a general interest publication such as Discover or Popular Science or National Geographic. If you don't understand all the terms, buy a dictionary. Go to the children's section of a good bookstore and buy a children's book on basic science, as these books are usually much more accessible to lay readers than college textbooks or even high school textbooks. Don't be ashamed if you don't know much science at the moment. Use the glorious brain God the Mother and God the Father gave you. Fill it up with new knowledge! Your brain came hardwired with a package to aid you in understanding scientific principles. Get out the package. Dust it off. Fill it up. Connect it to your very sciencey modern life. Make it work for you to shrink the voltage potential in your brain and amplify your intuitive links to God. (That last sentence was koan, folks -- Jen.) Begin to use your brain as God has always intended. This is the only safe route to take if you want to be a mystic. Hey, even the Dalai Lama is into neuroscience. As was I, Jesus. (Still am, for that matter.)

 

As an angel, I'm grieved and saddened to see the complete waste that takes place each generation in places and cultures around the world as unique individuals manage to tap into the Great Mysteries at an intuitive level, but can't teach the knowledge wisely or pass it on in an enduring fashion because they don't know how they did what they did. They don't understand at a conscious, scientific level how they tapped in. They're just guessing. But they don't really know for sure. So they pass along all their mistakes (and sometimes these are really huge mistakes) side by side with their valid insights.

 

This has got to stop. It's stupid and wasteful from the angels' point of view for you, as human beings, to be reinventing smoke signals each generation when you could be using quantum Blackberries instead.

 

Good grief, people, God is science and science is God. And God is science is love. And love is science is God.

 

I love you all very much.

Jesus

May 6, 2007

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Jen – I’m going to strongly challenge what you’ve written. It’s not because I hate you. I have considerable sympathy for anyone willing to work on a direct relationship with God. I’ve written for some time that this is the only way that makes sense to me. All religions are false to some degree, including atheism. They all have elements of fantasy to fill in what they don’t actually know. Even atheists are this way as they dismiss all spiritual experiences as meaningless imagination, despite that neuroscience knows very little about what imagination is and isn’t. No neuroscientist can write out neuroanatomy and neurophysiology by which we voluntarily create images, words, and concepts as part of saying that this is voluntary imagination, but that is something else. Spiritual experiences are hard to classify as this comes from God, that doesn’t, or just how many sources they might have.

 

Yet however one defines God, one can pursue a direct relationship with Him/Her, maybe by looking at indirect effects of God on one’s life or by direct communication with God, through a dialog of prayer and answers to prayer or through a verbal conversation. The Bible depicts the oldest conversations between anyone as being between God and Adam, not counting the ones where God seems to be talking among Himself. I’m sure ancient people 3000 years ago did their best with these stories, but it’s clear they had a lot wrong. So when did God actually start having conversations with human beings? It was at least thousands of years ago, yet after all this time there are problems in knowing what to do with such conversations.

 

I wasn’t much interested in this until 18 years ago, when I was 34 and had a road-to- Damascus experience. In it God said one sentence. It had an overwhelming effect on me, one that was fascinating to me as a neuroscientist, because I don’t see how my brain could have done that by itself. Of course it’s always hard to know such a thing. Still this was something I had to explore even if my atheistic colleagues were sure this was just nuts. When I heard from God again it was in prayer, a few words that immediately answered something about which I prayed. Mostly I worked on issues as everyone does: What do You want me to do? Where is the right place for me?

 

I went to some liberal churches, some charismatic churches. In the latter I had opportunities to pray in the Spirit, words coming out of me effortlessly, words that were just what I wanted to say, but couldn’t imagine saying them on my own. There were some other things involving the Spirit. Finally in the last 4 years, God and I have conversed freely.

 

You would think that would be a wonderful experience, wouldn’t you? It is a quite valuable experience, but there are issues that come up. God tells me things like nothing I’ve heard from any human being, some I might try to explain to others, some where there’s no chance. Why should I hear such things? God tells me why, but how could I explain that to someone else? I’ve read other contemporary people who hear from God, from New Age believers to evangelicals. I’ve read Neale Donald Walsch in the former group, though I understand he says his dialogs with God are not transcripts, but fiction that expresses his understanding from God. Evangelicals like Joyce Meyer don’t do that. They say, “God said …,” and that’s exactly what they mean.

 

Now I can look at anything like that, and it’s not the God I know. Evangelicals have an especially simplistic version of God, but the New Age versions I’ve seen aren’t much better. How can the real God know less about God, love, and science than I know? There are at least two answers. One is that every version of God I read is not God. The other is that just as these conversations with God are always in the language of the human involved, so are they also in the concepts of whatever human is involved. So they are limited. No human being can be merely a conduit for God’s words, whether those are words coming out of a mouth or typed with fingers. That’s my understanding. Words from God are always a cooperative effort. Faking words from God isn’t. That a human being can do alone. But the best it can be is a cooperative effort that is limited by what the human being knows.

 

I often thought of this as the question, “If it’s really God I hear, why can’t I hear Him in Aramaic?” That it is a cooperative effort became my heartfelt conclusion. Of course sometimes if I get dogmatic about such things, something else happens. I was writing something about this once, and it occurred to me to ask this same question as I was writing, expecting the usual answer. Not this time, this time I heard something that sure sounded like Aramaic, at a distance, the distance meaning to me that God and I wouldn’t converse effectively in Aramaic, we wouldn’t be as close, but He can do more than I think sometimes. I wanted to hear it again. It wouldn’t happen. I could bring an Arabic call to prayer to my mind, maybe something in Hindi. God said I would just want to pursue it further if I heard the Aramaic again, and He didn’t want that. Well, OK, I recognized the truth of that, given that I felt myself reaching for it again and again, just to hear it a second time, instead getting these similar sounds that were in my memory, but not that one burst of what sounded like Aramaic.

 

This is what my experience is like. It gives me direction, strength, hope and comfort. I’ve tried telling others about this, but all that tells me is that I don’t know anyone who experiences God exactly the same way, and it’s hard for people to get anything out of this at all.

 

Still I would encourage anyone to see if they can be guided by God directly. I might be wrong in that, given that I look at what people write of this in print, and it’s all junk. I’m sure of the reason that it’s all junk. It’s all junk because people don’t consider just how much of a cooperative effort it takes to hear from God in words. I learned to meditate before I learned to pray. From many sources my method in reaching for God was to let go, let go, let go, surrender, surrender, surrender. So I understand the tendency if one does that to say, “This came from God, and I had nothing to do with it.” It’s not true. It’s not true because our brains don’t work that way. It’s not true because God has shown me it’s not true.

 

If people don’t consider how much of God’s words come from them and not God, they can do all sorts of damage. Yet this is what religion has always done. This is what people still do. I must say I mind it even more when people insist their opinions about anything are so important, even opinions they know didn’t come from God, but when people say their words come from God and don’t understand the limitations in that, what are they hearing from? It’s not the God I know. My God knows better. He has said so to me.

 

Jen, what you have written about God, love, and science here and in the past doesn’t strike me as someone who knows very much about God, love and science. It certainly isn’t what the divine Jesus should know if you were truly channeling Jesus. What is all this here about people having to know science to know God? My God says this is nonsense. My undergraduate degree was in physics. I’ve listened for 30 years to New Age believers being confused about quantum physics, pretending that quantum physics supports some theology they have. No, it doesn’t. Electromagnetism has no mystical effects either.

 

It’s good for people to understand that evolution is a fact, that the Bible is certainly wrong in at least a few places in Genesis. I would like to see more Bible-believing Christians accept that the real God can’t be reached through belief in biblical inerrancy. Yet it’s not a deficiency in science that keeps creationism going. It’s an exercise in pride and humility. Those creationists who should know evolution is a fact are too proud in their own ability to say it isn’t. So many others make idols of their creationist apologetics instead of having the humility to say maybe mainstream science isn’t a satanic plot.

 

Would you really spend your relationship with God in having Jesus say that learning science is essential rather than the probability of Jesus believing ending poverty and ending strife to be more important? It’s certainly makes it harder for you to say you’re wrong when you say your words are from Jesus than if you just say it’s you. Creationists are in the same bind.

 

You have discounted writings of Paul at times. I’m sure Paul made some mistakes. No one is perfect. What do you think of what Paul wrote about in 1Cor: 13 about love? I don’t see your writings as particularly loving by that description. Even worse are your previous responses to being challenged. Sometime last year you dismissed my response to something you wrote. You didn’t read what I wrote carefully. You jumped to conclusions about what it meant. It was a response full of ego, not love.

 

You’ve also responded to challenges as a victim, as when you left here for a while. That’s not love. That’s fear, whether fear to explain yourself patiently or fear to admit your mistakes, even if that’s just giving a perception that’s offensive to others. I’m not saying you need to be perfect in that. I certainly am not perfect. But you’re saying that you speak for Jesus. Why aren’t you demonstrating a degree of love comparable to that?

 

Someone who loves is selfless. This is someone who can see whatever is true about criticism and acknowledge that, who doesn’t need to find many ways to defend himself or herself. How you respond to this is up to you. It can be as you responded before. I’m used to people responding with ego and fear. You’ve already shown that you don’t channel Jesus by not being entirely about love as well as the content of what you write. You’re free to insist that’s not true, that it is Jesus, not you. I won’t believe you. You’re also free to learn something from your experience, and draw closer to the real God.

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Hello all,

 

Interesting comments by both parties. It seems to me David that you make some very points concerning the words we speak in the name of God.

 

It seems to me that God doesn't really speak a language as we know it and therefore it is fruitless to think that by learning language we will better understand God. It seems to me God's presence is more in silence than words. Out of this silence, we 'know' as God and then we attempt to put it in words that are limited and usually inadequate to convey that which is beyond words and language.

 

It also seems to me that science does not bring us closer to God. God is not far away nor in need of science to communicate. Perhaps, we as people have trouble separating that which is Spirit from that which is Flesh. Love needs no words and when experiencing God's presence, no words are necessary or even possible.

 

Just a view and some thoughts to consider.

 

Love to All,

JM

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It’s not because I hate you.

 

?????

 

You have to do what you have to do, David. Those who read what you write, or what I write, or what others here write must decide for themselves which ideas they wish to gather into their own collection of spiritual beliefs, and which points they wish to discard.

 

It is not for you, David, to make assumptions about the reason I left this site. I said very little about my reasons, and I said very little with great intentionality. Part of the test on the spiritual path for you or for anyone is to respond with wisdom and patience to issues you don't have full knowledge of.

 

I do wonder, as well, how you expect to end poverty and strife if you have an ineffectual tool kit of practical skills which does not include the science of such things as . . . oh, let's say for example . . . building wells or treating major mental illness.

 

I am not a New Age believer. I do not misuse quantum physics. I have a graduate degree in science. I do not speak with Jesus or any other angel in any language other than English, as I am fluent in English and I am not fluent in any other language. The human brain does not -- I repeat, does not -- miraculously pick up new languages. New languages -- including the language of science -- must be learned. If you wish knowledge to remain in your brain, to become hardwired into your brain, you must put it there consciously. You must choose to know it, you must work hard at knowing it, you must practice knowing it. This is how knowledge gets turned into new neurons, new dentrites, new axons, new glial cells. Please do not respond by saying the adult brain can't grow new neurons. That "fact" turned out to be completely wrong. As it happens, the brain is always reshaping itself. You have the power and the responsibility to understand this process at a conscious level so you can use this scientific reality to improve your mental health, your physical health, and your spiritual health.

 

1st Corinthians 13 is so strikingly different from the rest of Paul's message that I contend Paul did not write it. Jesus has told me he wrote this poem to divine love. I see no reason to disbelieve him. It is for others to decide whether this feels right. There is no proof either way.

 

It’s certainly makes it harder for you to say you’re wrong when you say your words are from Jesus than if you just say it’s you. Creationists are in the same bind.
I have no difficulty admitting my mistakes. If you knew me as an individual, you would know this about me. It is not for you to make assumptions about who I am as a person.

 

This is someone who can see whatever is true about criticism and acknowledge that, who doesn’t need to find many ways to defend himself or herself.

 

You've got to be kidding. This world is filled with individuals of both genders, of all sexual persuasions, of all races, cultures, and religions, who literally make up stuff, who lie, who don't take responsibility for their own choices, who blame others, who bully and oppress. Not only do I think it's impossible for a spiritual person to live in this world and not defend himself/herself, I'm quite sure the Gospels of the New Testament are filled with examples of Jesus doing just this very thing. I would love to live in a world where I don't have to stand up for myself, where I don't have to rest and do some healing because people have been so extremely unloving (not just towards me, but towards our loving Mother and Father, and our angelic brothers and sisters). But I don't live in such a world. I live in a world where bullies make cruel choices. I live in a world where bullies will claim that a loving person -- a person who follows in the footsteps of Jesus -- must be a doormat, must turn the other cheeck, must accept bullying without comment, must appease in all circumstances so bullies won't have their feelings hurt.

 

Poverty and strife will not end on this beautiful planet until bullying ends. I don't honestly care if some readers of this post think I'm completely wrong. Everyone here is responsible for their own emotional choices.

 

If you think I'm a bully myself, don't read my posts.

 

If you think I have a valid point, then speak up. Speak up in your life, if not here on this site. But for heaven's sake, don't remain silent. Silence is a gift to bullies and psychopaths. Don't be an enabler. Be a follower of Christ. Take up your badge of courage, the one you were born with -- not as a human, but as a soul. Find the courage God gave you, the courage which sustains you as an angel. It's not easy. And it hurts. And you have to learn how to forgive. But, by God, it's worth it.

 

Love Jen

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Well said Jen...It would be a so much better world if only people could learn not to be so judgemental so often, myself included. But then...sometimes it just happens that way and seems appropriate for the moment.

 

Love and peace....flow.... :huh:

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