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God Is A Spirit-But What Does That Mean?


Javelin
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Yeah, I know this is sci-fi stuff and it's intended only to be a fun thing to ponder. But it might pose some interesting questions and theories. In reality we know virtually nothing about our universe much less what might possibly lie beyond what we’ve identified.

 

I have been intrigued for some time now with the concept of a Spiritual realm. I started thinking about this possibility when the concept of theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, string theories and dimensional M theories became known. I don’t understand any of the science related to those theories, but I am intrigued by their possibilities.

 

If God exist then He exists in some realm. The fact mankind has not identified that realm doesn’t mean it does not exist. Within the concepts of quantum mechanics are theories pertaining to multiple dimensions and duel universes. Such possibilities provide a plausible explanation for the potential existence of a “spiritual” realm.

 

Such a possibility would theoretically make eternal life possible too. A life form living in that realm, with the technology to travel to other dimensions and universes, would certainly qualify as a Deity to lesser advanced life forms….like us.

 

Maybe “God” pushed a button and there was indeed a big bang that set creation in motion. Maybe we are just an advanced life forms ongoing laboratory experiment, and our continued existence is important to this life form. Either that or we are the result of a cosmic accident and that would make everything pretty much irrelevant

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We commonly refer to it as the supernatural, or that which defies rational explanation. The bible is filled with supernatural references. If you believe in God then, by necessity, you must also believe in the existence of a supernatural realm. The bible indicates the realm where God exist is filled with other living beings that are referred to as angels. We call this realm heaven. Is it a real place? Does it really exist?

 

If heaven is a real place then where is it? Is it on a distant planet? Not according to biblical writers. Their encounters with the supernatural indicate God, heaven, and angels are real and they exist in a place that is inaccessible and invisible to us. We refer to that place as the spiritual realm.

 

Were the biblical writers who had these experiences hallucinating , lying, or were they relating something they experienced that was real,….at least real to them?

 

 

Second Kings 6:15-17 relates an incident involving the prophet Elisha and his servant, who were about to be captured by the Syrian army: "When the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city, both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! What shall we do? And he answered, Fear not; for they who are with us are more than they who are with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw; and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." That was an invisible angelic army.

 

Colossians 1:16--"By him [Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible." The visible things created on earth include man, while the invisible things created in heaven are angels. They are given different names: "whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers--all things were created by him, and for him (v. 16).

 

Nehemiah 9:6--"Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, and heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are in it." God created heaven and earth, and the earthly and angelic creatures that dwell therein.

 

Psalm 148:2-5--"Praise ye him, all his angels; praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon; praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heaven of heavens, and ye waters that are above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord; for he commanded, and they were created." Like the heavens and the earth, angels were created by the command of God.

 

Job 38:7 says that "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." What are the angels (the morning stars) singing and shouting about? Just before, God said to Job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?... Who hath laid the measures of it, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are its foundation fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (vv. 4-7). So the angelic hosts were rejoicing at the creation of the earth, so we know their creation predates that.

 

At His arrest, Jesus told the disciples He could have asked the Father for "more than twelve legions of angels" to defend Him (Matt. 26:53).

 

Science now says that such a spiritual realm, or supernatural world, may theoretically exist. At one time everyone believed the world was flat because their knowledge and experience could not prove otherwise.

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Interesting topic, I've been jotting down some thoughts about it since yesterday.

 

What we call other dimensions may be other ways of relating to the same reality. As is often the case, when one side is darkened, the other is lighted. That is why one 'dimension' may appear in contradiction to another. This is true even in ordinary circumstances - there may be more than one valid way of understanding the same phenomenon, yet they appear exclusive in that they each, as a system, appear complete and do not account for the other. For instance, describing the universe in numerical or quantitative terms cannot really get at the qualitative, experiential aspects of reality. Might we think of these as the quantitative and qualitative 'dimensions' of reality? Furthermore I do not think either dimension is more real, or to be held over-against the other, as if one of them or both of them were truly different or discretely separate realities in their own right. They are both describing the same reality, the duality is in our perspective, our senses, and their limitations.

 

Perhaps the same is the case when we speak of matter and spirit. Are they separate realities with their own separate locations and properties? Or somehow are these two dimensions, two ways of relating to the same reality? After all, calling what we normally experience the world of 'matter' as opposed to spirit begs the question of what 'matter' is. Do we think by naming it we've therefore understood it? Matter is energy...and energy is...what?

 

I also reason that if God is infinite then there is no 'location' - a place defined by properties such as space, time, or any other properties - that can hold him, that is, contain or exhaust what he is. 'Heaven' where God 'dwells', then, to me, cannot be an actual discrete place - but reality itself, as understood as the spiritual or sacred dimension. The psalmist constantly affirms that the Lord's glory, or presence, fills everywhere, not only in the heavens above but in the earth below, in the cracking of the thunder and the whipping wind, in his temple, etc. And obviously a being that is infinite, and identifies so strongly with the whole of reality, does not quite fit into the categories of 'objects', with contingent existences and which dwell in the world of being and non-being.

 

There may very well be realities, higher or lower, beyond normal experience, and may be called supernatural. Some people may have experienced these realities, whether through spiritual practices like yoga or prayer, near death experiences or whatever. I am open to the possibility of such things. Like it has been said, when one side is lighted, the other is darkened, and if such a reality exists, it may not be explainable in terms of the material, and vice-versa.

 

But to me no matter where you go, where your consciousness ascends, no particular place or experience is going to exhaust God. He's not dwelling in anything particular as if to be confined to the things of creation. Existence or non-existence is a concern of objects, a concern of a 'this' or a 'that'. I do not think God is an object.

 

So to me 'Spirit' is a fundamentally ambiguous word. But it also may be the supreme word, because it 'refers' to that which is beyond contingency and category.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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The verse you reference appears to be rather singular and enigmatic; I can see why it is always a favorite among theologians. Obviously the text itself can have several interpretations, and I am absolutely no authority on what the 'correct', in the sense of the author's original intent, is. But following the rule, as practiced by biblical interpreters since ancient times, that the bible's only (or even best) meaning(s) need not be the one derived from a scientific textual analysis, I can offer some ideas in relation to the subject at hand.

 

In following with the understanding that 'Spirit' is a fundamentally ambiguous term, I am first caught by Jesus saying that people will not be able to say 'here it is' or 'there it is'. If you're looking, or 'carefully observing', for an object to point at or grasp onto, you’re not going to find it. 'Spirit' is neither this nor that, here nor there. I am reminded that Jesus said 'my kingdom is not of this world'. This, to me, would also mean that 'Spirit', God's presence, God's dwelling, is everywhere, precisely because it is nowhere at all, not defined by or contained by any particular being. By not being particular, Spirit is universal. One of the saints (on a quick web search I got 'Alan of Lille, 12th century, but I seem to remember a different name) once defined God as a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. Therefore do not look for God's kingdom 'here' or 'there'. And if you stop distancing yourself from it by looking for it as an object to grasp, it may arise right in your very midst, right in the heart of your own life which is mysteriously identified with the whole of reality in the secret of its inmost nature.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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....Therefore do not look for God's kingdom 'here' or 'there'. And if you stop distancing yourself from it by looking for it as an object to grasp, it may arise right in your very midst, right in the heart of your own life which is mysteriously identified with the whole of reality in the secret of its inmost nature.

 

Peace to you,

Mike

 

:) Good thoughts Mike.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Javelin,

Today I've been thinking a bit on this verse: "the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in your heart." Rom. 10:8.

 

But I also see that the verse is taken from Deuteronomy: "But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it." ch. 30:14.

Perhaps the spiritual "key" and "power" is truly in all our hearts, if we're willing to look there!

 

(This leads me to wonder, was salvation open to Jews even back then? After all, Christ is as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, is He not?

 

Maybe this is food for another thread..!)

 

 

Anyway, I liked your posts! :)

Blessings,

Brian

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The spiritual realm to me, as a follower of Jesus, is the kingdom of God or heaven. The word "kingdom" is translated from the Greek basileia, which can also mean "realm". There are a number of sayings by Jesus in the Gospels, which speak of people entering the kingdom in the present tense. This spiritual realm of the kingdom does not appear to be material, supernatural, or extra dimensional. One of the first times Jesus uses the term "kingdom of God" is in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5, verse 3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of heaven."

 

The first beatitude oddly enough does not direct our minds to spiritual or religious superiority. Rather, it speaks to thoes who feel the failures of their attempts to be rightous, like the publican who strikes his chest and calls on God " . . . to have mercy on me, a sinner" in Luke's gospel (18:9ff). Spiritual perfection or rightousness tend to take us beyond this world into supernatural realms. On the other hand failure, imperfection, sin, and all the dark things lurking within our inner-world tend to take us down. This I believe, sets the stage for the great paradox of the gospel.

 

As strange as it sounds, Jesus calls us to look down at the darkness within ourselves for spirituality. We must look within at our brokenness and imperfection before we can enter the realm of spirituality. When we have achieved this level of consciousness he tears down the wall between our ego and self, creating peace between our desire for perfection and our human reality. This is called redemption. It means to give value back to those human weaknesses, which have left us believing we are failures. Salvation is the redemption of the creation of humain kind, not by demanding we become something more than human but by being who they are.

 

In Paul's letter to the churchs in Ephesus (Eph.4:8-10), he talks about the resurrection of Jesus by explaining Psalm 68:18. "What does "he asended" mean except that he also decended to the lower, earthly regions? He who decended is the very one who assended higher that all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe." The great paradox of the gospel, I believe, is that in order to become spiritual we must first become human. We must be willing to be humble enough to come down from ego, if we are to rise to the hights of spirituality. The way to the divine is through our humanity. These are just my observations and understanding.

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