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Perhaps we can continue the conversations from the "Heart of Christianity" book review thread and the "Your Age Group and Interests" thread (that have slid off topic) in this thread instead. Hopefully our wonderful admin won't consider the conversations too off topic for a Progressive Christianity board? :unsure:

 

AletheiaRivers wrote: As a practicing pagan ... I got turned off by the shallowness I perceived in much of "paganism" and yet, as someone who feels closest to God/dess in nature, I feel constantly pulled in that direction. I consider myself a Pagan Christian which is almost a contradiction in terms.   Christian Nature Mystic doesn't sound quite so confused. LOL!
CunningLily wrote: I never actually became a practicing pagan within any particular pagan tradition. I participated in a few rituals and discussion groups but essentially had a difficult time grokking the idea of "choosing" my own deities, and this comment is not meant derisively. I just never experienced the presence of the pagan gods, and the more paganism I studied or participated in the more Christian, it seemed, that I became...anything that actually rang a bell in paganism I had already essentially "tasted" in Christ, and the only pressing reason to choose to self-identify as both Pagan and Christian, as far as I can tell, is for the sake of fellowship and community with "like-minded" people, something increasingly difficult to find within established Christianity...at least where I live.

 

But I empathize totally with the pull you feel and experience in and through Nature...I've "got it" pretty bad myself. I can remember years ago sitting outside in my yard with a few of my friends from church and while patting the ground with the palm of my hand, I said, "I feel Jesus right here...He's right here." and not one of them knew what I meant...and neither did I really...and still its more visceral or intuitive than thought.

 

And yes, there are practicing "Christian Witches" and "Christo-Pagans" and "Celtic Christians" and so on and on...and though I flirted with these ideas, it seemed after all was said and done, that it just isn't necessary. We are both blessed and cursed in these days with the task of defining or re-defining Christianity, both for ourselves as individuals, and for the world in which we live. It is mindboggling to realize just how many different definitions of Christianity there are out there. So, for the sake of simplicity I am working to remain "just a plain ole christian" and to let the world know me by my fruits. This does not mean that I will not adopt religious rituals or practices that may raise an eyebrow or two "among the brethren"...it just means that I am a Christian as I observe these things, and nothing else.

I could never be a "proper" pagan because, despite what is written in many books, paganism is generally polytheistic and I'm not. Monotheism is actually scoffed at on many pagan websights and in many pagan circles. They call you a "fluffy". LOL!

 

I'm drawn to nature as a revelation of the divine, which was what drew me to paganism in the first place, many, many years ago. However, what nature "revealed" to me didn't fit with what most pagan books or groups were teaching or focusing on. Actually, instead of deepening a pagan spirituality, these "revelations" were part of what brought me back to Christianity.

 

My previous experiences in Christianity were very narrow and controlled. There was no room to breath and I had to get away. It was paganism that opened my eyes and allowed me to see outside the box. It was Christian authors like Matthew Fox and Thomas Moore that helped me to see that perhaps I might be able to return "home".

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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XianAnarchist wrote in the book study section: I agree. Since I score as an INFP (and apparently an extreme one at that) in the Myers-Briggs, I think I'll just sit around and soak up the vibes from all this thinking.

LMAO! I am an extreme INFJ. I feel so deeply it almost inhibits life. ;) Thinking helps me tremendously to pull outside myself and engage the world. I do have a tendency to dissappear offline for long stretches though.

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Panta wrote: Uh-oh. It's getting really deeeeep in here! Cool!! 

 

So, you identify God with Pure Potentiality - or in process terms, 'Creativity'. This would make, as you've implied, actuality a derivative of potentiality. And yet, as Aristotle discovered, there can be no potentiality apart from actuality. Potentiality must follow actuality - as the possibility of the tree can only follow from the actuality of the acorn, or the possibility of the adult can only follow from the actuality of the child. And yet, the acorn or the child existed as potentials before they existed as actualities. If all potentialities are derived from actualities, and all actualities were potential before they were actual, we can't really say that either pontentiality or actuality is ultimate.

 

Maybe there are TWO ULTIMATES? And neither of them is derived from the other? Now we're talkin' Process!! And, as you say, it is difficult to understand.

 

What I appreciate about the infinite and the finite is that they arise *mutually* as all polarities do. So yes, I agree that potentialities and actualities are mutually necessary, mutally ultimate.

 

Difficult? Process philosophy? Nah! :P

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Perhaps we can continue the conversations from the "Heart of Christianity" book review thread and the "Your Age Group and Interests" thread (that have slid off topic) in this thread instead. Hopefully our wonderful admin won't consider the conversations too off topic for a Progressive Christianity board? :unsure:

 

Thank you Aletheia. I'm not sure of the parameters on this forum yet, so I am dependant on you guys to straighten me out if I cross any boundaries here....and just for the halibut: I'm INTJ myself.

 

CunningLily wrote: I never actually became a practicing pagan within any particular pagan tradition. I participated in a few rituals and discussion groups but essentially had a difficult time grokking the idea of "choosing" my own deities, and this comment is not meant derisively. I just never experienced the presence of the pagan gods, and the more paganism I studied or participated in the more Christian, it seemed, that I became...anything that actually rang a bell in paganism I had already essentially "tasted" in Christ,

 

Aletheia wrote: I'm drawn to nature as a revelation of the divine, which was what drew me to paganism in the first place, many, many years ago. However, what nature "revealed" to me didn't fit with what most pagan books or groups were teaching or focusing on. Actually, instead of deepening a pagan spirituality, these "revelations" were part of what brought me back to Christianity.

 

It's interesting that we both experienced a *deepening* of our own convictions as Christians in our explorations of Paganism, although I'm sure this is not unusual given the amount of syncretism going on. I too am most attracted to the connection with the Land that Pagans forge and/or recognize and am most interested in incorporating some of this within my own Christian practice.

 

I look forward to discussing this more with all of you...right now though, my significant other is giving me *that* look.

 

~lily

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Lily - *that* look... the "come hither" or the "get the &^^%% off the computer already" ??? :lol: Sorry, couldn't resist!

 

I feel/sense/perceive a great deal of communication from God through nature. It sounds nuts, but I take beautiful cloud formations, light on whatever, birds, etc. as personal messages. No way to explain it; but I KNOW in that weird, cool way.

 

Once in a while my husband and I perceive this sort of communication at the same time... talk about a blessing :P

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Lily - *that* look... the "come hither" or the "get the &^^%% off the computer already" ??? :lol:  Sorry, couldn't resist!

 

I feel/sense/perceive a great deal of communication from God through nature.  It sounds nuts, but I take beautiful cloud formations, light on whatever, birds, etc. as personal messages.  No way to explain it; but I KNOW in that weird, cool way.

 

Once in a while my husband and I perceive this sort of communication at the same time... talk about a blessing :P

To All;

 

What a surprise! Someone else is experiencing comprehension difficulties. Since joining this site, I have been defined and redefined (IMO), but never acknowledged as one exploring "A Course in Miracles" with serious intent, other than "What is that?" or "That's off the charts".

 

I am an INFP as well, and have vital concerns about Church reform and the future of the world constantly at war with itself.

 

Is this what this topic will address?

 

Jeep

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Is this what this topic will address?

 

Conversations in two threads have wound their way towards discussing Taoism, Process Philosophy and Paganism. Since we are all Christians discussing these things, I thought "Christianity Hybrids" might be an appropriate topic name.

 

I imagine that New Thought or Course in Miracles would fit that description as well. :)

 

I hope it continues to be what it has been, a pleasant exchange of ideas.

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I've noticed a few liberal/progressive boards have a permanent forum on non-Christian believe systems. I think that would be very neat here. I have noticed we have gotten into several Taoism/Paganism/Christianity discussions as of late.

 

I seriously studied Karate, the dojo (karate gym) didn't get into the spirituality aspects but I definitely did. There is the tao of Karate, meaning the "way" and it is the way of movement. You can definitely get into a "different" place thru repetitive movements (kind of a moving meditation). I loved katas (forms) which are a set series of moves against an opponent, which I conceptualized as myself (after all, the movements are fairly meaningless if the opponent is imagined as separate people. Who would fight someone else using the same movements over and over? But we often go thru the same series of movements (in our head). I didn't intellectualize like this while doing it though, it was just the movements.

 

The tao (way) could be any no. of things. There is the way of Jesus in Christianity. I think circa 10 BC things were not as ossilized as they are today and the Hebrew mind did was not as dualistic. So they way was the way that we lead our lives.

 

--des

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Jeep - for what it's worth, I do think of you as someone seriously studying A Course in Miracles. Like Paganism, I just don't know much about it, so requests for info were well-intentioned and sincerely curious. Sorry if you've been feeling ostracized!

 

Des - I studied Tae Kwon Do for a while, same kind of dojo - but that is a very interesting point about the katas. (fighting yourself).... hmmmm, that really does make sense. Thanks for the interesting thoughts.

 

Altheia, thanks for starting this thread... to me, the heart of progressive christianity is the desire to explore other belief systems - both to understand them (for those of us who do that :D ) and to utilize what we learn on our own path.

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Lily - *that* look... the "come hither" or the "get the &^^%% off the computer already" ??? :lol: Sorry, couldn't resist!

 

**giggles** Maybe I shouldn't have left that quite so open-ended. I meant the "get off the computer already" look.

 

Cynthia wrote: I feel/sense/perceive a great deal of communication from God through nature. It sounds nuts, but I take beautiful cloud formations, light on whatever, birds, etc. as personal messages. No way to explain it; but I KNOW in that weird, cool way.

 

This is called "augury"...something that *Christiandoom" has long condemned, along with all other forms of divination = "divining the mind of God", although the Ancient Hebrews "augured" as a matter of course and even employed devices for doing so...During the Renaissance, Christians (and others) used a method called "sortilege" for divination, which consisted of numbered coins that when tossed pointed to "chapter and verse" in the Bible (or Homer).

 

Jesus taught through examples from nature quite frequently, and clearly paid keen attention to the natural world around Him. I have never felt that He viewed the natural world to be "fallen" in the Gnostic sense, and I believe that salvation extends to the natural world. We now know (again) how interconnected everything is...we can't separate our bodies from the Body of the Land. It is my belief that the Body of Christ includes the Earth and indeed all of Creation; that the Earth is as much held in the redemptive process as are we, and may even be intrinsic to it.

 

...that last part is what I am seeking to understand.

 

Besides..."if Wisdom crys out in the streets", I don't see why it would not also whisper out in the fields.

 

 

~lily

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cynthia:

 

A Course in Miracles demands that its adherents"teach only love, because that is what you are".

 

I didn't do that in my message yesterday, and I am penitent. Please forgive and forget.

 

Jeep

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I think circa 10 BC things were not as ossilized as they are today and the Hebrew mind did was not as dualistic.

I made mention on another board of how Judaism isn't as dualistic as it's made out to be. The average Jew may think in dualistic terms, but the Hebrew scriptures don't necessarily teach dualism.

 

Body/Soul or Body/Spirit is one example. Genesis teaches that mankind (adam) were formed from the dust of the ground, that the breath of life (spirit) was breathed into them and that mankind BECAME living souls. It doesn't say mankind were GIVEN souls or spirits.

 

Just another way the ancient Greeks influenced theology.

 

Just a tidbit I thought I'd share that I think is rather cool. B)

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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This is called "augury"

Augury? That's what it's called? Cool. Happens to me all the time. I love it. :D

 

I believe that salvation extends to the natural world ... that the Earth is as much held in the redemptive process as are we ...

What does the natural world need saving from? Why does it need to be redeemed or what does it need to be redeemed from? I'm honestly curious as to what YOU mean by that (I know what Christendom might mean by that).

 

I don't believe man is fallen in the classical Christian sense or that we are under original sin. However, I think it would be fair to interpret the "sin" in Genesis to be that of selfishness. Selfishness as a theme is found all over the place in myth and world religion. I never noticed it before because I wasn't looking for it. It's amazing how much the theme shows up over and over again.

 

Wanting to receive for oneself is part of man's genetic make-up. It's part of our survival instinct. Kabbalah teaches that wanting to receive for oneself is normal and natural and is what makes man part of the animal kingdom. What makes man created in the "image" of God is our ability to SHARE or give. Kabbalah teaches that man can stay true to his animal instincts by wanting to receive, but move towards divinity by *receiving in order to share*. (I'm not explaining this very well or doing it justice at all. :( )

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I think circa 10 BC things were not as ossilized as they are today and the Hebrew mind did was not as dualistic.

I made mention on another board of how Judaism isn't as dualistic as it's made out to be. The average Jew may think in dualistic terms, but the Hebrew scriptures don't necessarily teach dualism.

 

Body/Soul or Body/Spirit is one example. Genesis teaches that mankind (adam) were formed from the dust of the ground, that the breath of life (spirit) was breathed into them and that mankind BECAME living souls. It doesn't say mankind were GIVEN souls or spirits.

 

Just another way the ancient Greeks influenced theology.

 

Just a tidbit I thought I'd share that I think is rather cool. B)

 

Just last week I got "silenced" (blocked from posting) on a Pagan list for insisting that the Bible clearly states a difference between spirit and soul. There are even two words in Hebrew that show that the Ancient Hebrews saw the soul as different from the spirit: Nephesh and Ruach. Many Pagans (and perhaps others) are under the impression that Christians believe that their spirits and souls are one and the same, and maybe many Christians too, but to me it is clear that scripture shows a distinct difference between the two.

 

The soul is a great mystery. It is formed of both matter and spirit, as you show, and so is by nature of its very nature the mediation point between heaven and earth.

 

When I was a young Christian I became fascinated by all the "three's" in the Bible and made a list of them.

 

Think: Father-Son-HolySpirit

: Outer Court - Inner Court - Most Holy Place

: The Called - The Chosen - The Faithful

: Gold - Silver- Precious Stones

: Jesus -Christ - Lord

: the blade - the ear - the full corn

: spirit - soul - body

 

...and there are many more. This suggested a tripartite salvation to me, and still does, with all of the *middle* metaphors suggesting both the role of the soul in salvation and the *way* of the souls salvation. Note that the soul is the place of Sonship according to this model. Salvation of Spirit is by grace, but the salvation of soul requires a "working out", and of course the penultimate symbol of this working out is the Cross, where Christ mediated Salvation and Redemption to the Whole of Creation.

 

The soul can also be seen as that part of Man that mediates salvation to the body and to the Body, which very much includes the Land, and which comes through a "renewing of the mind" and the subduing of the ego, so that it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives through me. The soul is the seat of sacrifice, and that part of us that answers the call of God...the flesh can not and the spirit need not, for the regenerated spirit is already One with God.

 

The soul is the seat of our personalities and what we call "our life". If the soul is dominated by an ego that thinks its in charge, then its true and highest function as a transparent vessel is darkened, and the Life and Light of God is hindered in shining through. But a soul that has recognized its calling in God mediates all good things to Gods Creation and in this way experiences its own salvation as sons of God.

 

...or so is my faith and hope.

 

( I warned you guys that I ALWAYS preach)

 

 

~lily

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Lily wrote: Just last week I got "silenced" (blocked from posting) on a Pagan list for insisting that the Bible clearly states a difference between spirit and soul ... It is formed of both matter and spirit, as you show ...

 

What makes the "body/soul/spirit" conundrum even more confusing just from a Biblical standpoint is that the Hebrew scriptures teach one thing and the Greek scriptures teach something else. Well meaning readers and interpreters try to blend the two teachings into one cohesive whole. They don't realize that the Bible isn't one cohesive book. It's many books that show how the beliefs of a people changed over a period of years.

 

The earlier writings show a belief in man as a creature. The later writings show man as a being with an immortal soul. The earlier writings show God as a superhuman being that walked and talked with man in a garden, lived on a mountain, and was jealous of other gods. The later writings show God as a fully transcendant being that is God of all mankind.

 

Personally, I love to trace the changes of belief as they evolved over time. It helps me glean more insight from the Bible.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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What does the natural world need saving from? Why does it need to be redeemed or what does it need to be redeemed from? I'm honestly curious as to what YOU mean by that (I know what Christendom might mean by that).

 

Good question!

 

Just as our thoughts and actions affect the health of our bodies, so too do these things affect the body of the Earth as well. This is quite easy to see in all that gives us grave concern environmentally. But what is more, I believe that the "renewing of the mind" quite literally changes the body all the way to the cellular level and by extension, I believe that  "Gods Kingdom on Earth" shall transform the Earth itself. God promises a "new heaven and a new earth" and though I only have vague inklings of what this may "look" like, I hold it in faith to be true. I don't think we have any idea of what God has in store for us, not fully, not even close.

 

Aletheia wrote:I don't believe man is fallen in the classical Christian sense or that we are under original sin.

 

No, nor I.  I don't believe that the body is evil or that the material world as a whole is evil...both are where God chooses to demonstrate His Glory and where He desires to establish His Kingdom. But that is not to deny that both the body and the Earth can be contaminated by *Powers* that deny their purpose in God (as Walter Wink might say) and that *sickness* can not and does not pervade both. It seems obvious to me that it can and does.

 

 

Aletheia wrote: Wanting to receive for oneself is part of man's genetic make-up. It's part of our survival instinct. Kabbalah teaches that wanting to receive for oneself is normal and natural and is what makes man part of the animal kingdom. What makes man created in the "image" of God is our ability to SHARE or give. Kabbalah teaches that man can stay true to his animal instincts by wanting to receive, but move towards divinity by *receiving in order to share*. (I'm not explaining this very well or doing it justice at all.  :( )

 

Well, the Kabbalah teaches that Desire runs the show...both Gods' Desire and our own; that it is through "our desires" that God leads us. It is out of "His Own Good Pleasure" that God acts. God KNOWS that you catch more bees with honey, and that *happy* people, joyous people spread more health and goodwill than miserable people do.

 

To the Kabbalist it is a grave mistake to try and "kill off" your desires; instead it is believed that we are to *purify* our desires not negate, repress, or deny them. Much of what we desire IS good and those things that we *think* we desire, if not for the good of ourselves and others, will eventually leave a bitter taste in our mouth and we will desire something else; something better hopefully (and I believe inevitably). Purely selfish desires do not give pleasure long, and arguably no real pleasure at all, which is why the selfish are always covetous and never satisfied. If you think about it, the Kabbalists point of view conveys a radical faith and trust in Gods mercy and his power to "finish the work He has begun in you" that is not all up to you, and is not dependant on any perfect performance by you.

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated somewhere that we are free to "sin boldly and trust God more boldly still", and I believe this conveys the same idea. Too many Christians are paralyzed by fear of their own desire nature and risking "going against Gods Will". But we must act, even though we are still in ignorance and far from perfect, and are clearly fallible. Our desires are what spur this action, for without desire we would accomplish nothing.

 

We need to remember that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom", but thats only the beginning....we are called to become "full grown sons" who act out of Love, both out of Gods love for us and our love for Him, and by extension, our love for all of Gods creation. And Love will take care of your desire nature, just as Love fulfills the Law. Condemnation accomplishes nothing.

 

~lily

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Lily wrote: Just last week I got "silenced" (blocked from posting) on a Pagan list for insisting that the Bible clearly states a difference between spirit and soul ... It is formed of both matter and spirit, as you show ...

 

What makes the "body/soul/spirit" conundrum even more confusing just from a Biblical standpoint is that the Hebrew scriptures teach one thing and the Greek scriptures teach something else. Well meaning readers and interpreters try to blend the two teachings into one cohesive whole. They don't realize that the Bible isn't one cohesive book. It's many books that show how the beliefs of a people changed over a period of years.

 

The earlier writings show a belief in man as a creature. The later writings show man as a being with an immortal soul. The earlier writings show God as a superhuman being that walked and talked with man in a garden, lived on a mountain, and was jealous of other gods. The later writings show God as a fully transcendant being that is God of all mankind.

 

Personally, I love to trace the changes of belief as they evolved over time. It helps me glean more insight from the Bible.

AletheiaRivers:

I also love to trace the changes of belief as they evolve over time. My current source for this is "A Course in Miracles"(Foundation for A Course In Miracles,1999).

Its central thesis is that the Bible "separates" man and God, a state of being impossible in view of God's love for His Son. The Sonship actually includes every man, woman, and child in the universe.Thus, the Bible becomes "Dualistic", and thus unreliable in these matters.

 

IMO, what this does is reverse the nature of "Reality": The world as real sees God as a great mystery, God as real sees the world as mysterious. As the Course puts it:Nothing REAL can be threatened, Nothing UNREAL exists..."

 

That which is spiritual in us is real and eternal, that which is secular is temporary and ephemeral? I think so!

 

Jeep

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Lily,

 

I didn't make it very far in my study of Kabbalah. I loved many of the insights but kept getting frustrated with the focus of the book I was reading on "becoming God" and ending the manifestation of this universe. It bugged me so much that I ended up returning the book. :rolleyes: I returned a few gnostic books for the same reason.

 

I have a hard time with religions and traditions that teach that the only reason we are here is to "transcend" or "gain wisdom" in order to get the heck out of here. LOL! :lol: Even the Christian traditions that focus on getting to heaven drive me nuts. I do believe that there is more after this life, but I don't think humans were incarnated into corporeal form, in order to learn something, just so we could discarnate again.

 

Anyway, what I took away from the little bit of Kabbalah I studied was the "sharing in order to receive" insight. It takes a natural inclination and transforms it. Also, the action is "dialectic" in nature. It takes a duality and turns it into a harmonious dance of unity.

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Jeep wrote: Its central thesis is that the Bible "separates" man and God, a state of being impossible in view of God's love for His Son. The Sonship actually includes every man, woman, and child in the universe.Thus, the Bible becomes "Dualistic", and thus unreliable in these matters.

 

When I was a Jehovah's Witness I was taught that the reason God gave the Jews the Law was to show them how sinful they are and how much they needed a "ransom sacrifice". I never questioned that the Law's purpose was to show up human sinfulness until I started reading books written by Jewish theologians instead of Christian theologians. The picture that the Hebrew theologians paint of the Law is completely different than the picture that the Christian theologians paint. It helped me look at the Law in a new light. I highly recommend the book "To Life!" by Rabbi Harold Kushner for an actual Jewish perspective on the Hebrew scriptures.

 

Like you, I believe that every man, woman and child is a potential "son" of God. I sometimes wonder if one of the early Jewish Christian groups had it right (the Ebionites), and that the dove descending on Jesus was a sign of adoption of Jesus by God for all to see? Perhaps that is what we can attain? If not in this life, perhaps in another? I don't know really, but it's fun to think about. :D

 

Nothing REAL can be threatened, Nothing UNREAL exists...

 

Nothing unreal exists. I agree. And so nothing can be threatened. Again I agree. Matter and energy are one and the same. When matter appears to be destroyed, it actually is changed into another state. From this insight I obtain a large sense of peace. I rest in God and I trust in God.

 

I doubt that this is what the Course meant by the phrase though. Is it? What does the Course mean when it teaches this?

 

That which is spiritual in us is real and eternal, that which is secular is temporary and ephemeral? I think so!

 

I don't understand. What do you mean by "secular" as being temporary? A way of thinking? I'd agree that secular thinking is temporary and changes, but so does every way of thinking. What do you mean by "spiritual in us"? Do you mean an immortal spirit?

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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I was just on Amazon last night (as well as Sam Harris' site, see other forum area), and read about the book "Zen Sayings of Jesus". Basically it was talking about those impossible (by logic) to understand sayings that were attributed to Jesus (things like the "born again" discussion).

 

 

--des

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XianAnarchist wrote: Which reminds me of David Tracy (who I believe is a process theologian) talks about "di-polar theism."

 

The day you wrote this I googled "Tracey Di-Polar", found some websights, and read a bit, but am still a little lost. Do you have a definition or summation for what he means by "di-polar theism"?

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Jeep wrote: Its central thesis is that the Bible "separates" man and God, a state of being impossible in view of God's love for His Son. The Sonship actually includes every man, woman, and child in the universe.Thus, the Bible becomes "Dualistic", and thus unreliable in these matters.

 

When I was a Jehovah's Witness I was taught that the reason God gave the Jews the Law was to show them how sinful they are and how much they needed a "ransom sacrifice". I never questioned that the Law's purpose was to show up human sinfulness until I started reading books written by Jewish theologians instead of Christian theologians. The picture that the Hebrew theologians paint of the Law is completely different than the picture that the Christian theologians paint. It helped me look at the Law in a new light. I highly recommend the book "To Life!" by Rabbi Harold Kushner for an actual Jewish perspective on the Hebrew scriptures.

 

Like you, I believe that every man, woman and child is a potential "son" of God. I sometimes wonder if one of the early Jewish Christian groups had it right (the Ebionites), and that the dove descending on Jesus was a sign of adoption of Jesus by God for all to see? Perhaps that is what we can attain? If not in this life, perhaps in another? I don't know really, but it's fun to think about. :D

 

Nothing REAL can be threatened, Nothing UNREAL exists...

 

Nothing unreal exists. I agree. And so nothing can be threatened. Again I agree. Matter and energy are one and the same. When matter appears to be destroyed, it actually is changed into another state. From this insight I obtain a large sense of peace. I rest in God and I trust in God.

 

I doubt that this is what the Course meant by the phrase though. Is it? What does the Course mean when it teaches this?

 

That which is spiritual in us is real and eternal, that which is secular is temporary and ephemeral? I think so!

 

I don't understand. What do you mean by "secular" as being temporary? A way of thinking? I'd agree that secular thinking is temporary and changes, but so does every way of thinking. What do you mean by "spiritual in us"? Do you mean an immortal spirit?

AletheaRivers:

First I want to thank you for your response.I believe it to be the first serious one posted, and I shall try my best to respond in kind.

 

As to the question of "Separation" IMO there are two possibilites, Man is created by God with attributes of God as an inalienable part of his nature, or as a creature entirely alienated from God, an "eternal other". These two thought systems constitute parallel universes, to use a concept from Quantum Physics.The Quran is an example of the latter. It clearly states that Allah alone is divine, and criticises Christians for attributing divinity to Jesus, calling it sinful. The Course in Miracles is an example of the former. There Jesus makes it clear that all men are included in the Sonship inalienably. The Bible solves this dicotomyIMO by creating the story of the first Adam. There Adam is created perfect, but is ejected (separated) by his creator from Eden. Thus we have parallel universes to consider. In the symbolism of the Eden story, one is the world of a disobedient Adam, the other is of an obedient Adam. The Bible records man's progress in the first case, The Course in MiraclesIMO the second.

As to the nature of "Reality", IMO it is saying exactly what you guessed. The only "reality" is the reality of God as we can experience it. The invented reality of the world of men without God does not exist. It is the projection of man's attack on God, and the Real cannot be threatened. As "A Course in Miracles" puts it:"God is as incapableof creating the perishable, as the ego is of making the eternal"(Text Chap.4,I.11:6-7)

 

Jeep

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Aletheia - I couldn't find XianAnarchist's post about "David Tracy" and "di-polar theism."

 

I do remember the meta-library broke down all the process theisms into different categories along with names. I see a Tom Tracy under dipolar. I think there is a David Tracy too, though? I made myself a chart based on this info, that comes in handy when I want to remember who was what.

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XianAnarchist wrote: Which reminds me of David Tracy (who I believe is a process theologian) talks about "di-polar theism."

 

The day you wrote this I googled "Tracey Di-Polar", found some websights, and read a bit, but am still a little lost. Do you have a definition or summation for what he means by "di-polar theism"?

AletheiaRivers:

 

I haven't encountered the term "Tracey di-polar" until now. Is it similar to the Dualism which I mentioned as the System of thought used in the Bible in my recent post?

 

Jeep

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From the little bit more "googling" I've done, it seems to me that "dipolar theism" in another term for panentheism or "duality in unity". A quote I found said this:

Process Theology is a contemporary movement of theologians who teach that God is dipolar, or has two natures, and that he is integrally involved in the endless process of the world.

 

God has a "primordial" or transcendent nature, his timeless perfection of character, and he has a "consequent" or immanent nature by which he is part of the cosmic process itself.

Another quote said this:

 

Dipolar theism, according to Charles Hartshorne, understands God as both absolute and relative, abstract and concrete, eternal and temporal, necessary and contingent, infinite and finite (DR). The being of God does not exclude but rather includes the being of the world.

 

Jeep said: Is it similar to the Dualism which I mentioned as the System of thought used in the Bible in my recent post?

 

No. Di-polar theism isn't Duality. Think of a coin with two sides or of a magnet with two poles. There is ONE coin with TWO sides. There is ONE magnet with TWO poles. The coin wouldn't be a coin without two sides. The magnet wouldn't be a magnet without two poles. They are DUALITY in UNITY.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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