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Saul Of Tarsus On The Road To Damascus


Sherrie
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I've been reading Shelby's book, Eternal Life, and it's just awesome. I am relieved that a spiritual person with Shelby's spiritual background, can take a rational and reasonable look at the JC-Bible. He mentions in one chapter about Paul's transformation from being a "Jew among Jews" -- to being a "Christian" -- even though he never actually met Jesus.

 

IMHO, opinion, I know that Paul was present at the stoning of Stephen. I don't think you can watch someone die without being transformed in some way. As the character of Stephen was being stoned, he gave his riveting soliloquy, and I've always felt that Paul was transformed by it.

 

I've taken many classes in the human sciences, psychology, sociology, and anthropology, and I know that there are moments in a person's life during which true transformation can be achieved. I believe that is the lesson in that story, pointedly, that we can experience true "acts of conversion" -- personal and mind-expanding paradigm shifts, what some might call a "religious experience".

 

At any rate, this is one of my favorite fables in the JC Bible, and I do see it as a fable, with valuable lessons to teach the contemporary world, just as any good piece of literature can.

 

What do you think? What does your interpretation of this story look like?

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I couldn't agree more, Sherrie. It's the classic "metanoia" experience. Whether it is fable, or not, whoever wrote this was familiar with this kind of realization. There are many, many documented accounts of these kinds of experiences in every religion and tradition. William James' classic book is the most obvious catalogue of these, but Siddhartha (the Buddha), Thomas Merton, Theresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, St. Augustine, and J. Krihnamurti, to name a few, each had a metanoia.

 

We tend to look at the final results for each of these individuals, after the fact. We don't know what leads up to this kind of experience. What appears to be sudden may have been years in the making. I suspect most peoples' "conversion experiences" are of the more gradual variety.

 

Steve

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Great post as the people of the world search in alcohol, drugs, music, religion, health and science for this experience each drinking from their own well called existence and since it can't be put into words I feel the new spirituality in the wake of this experience, people will become live demonstrations not of ego or superiority, but humbled to the expression of unity.

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