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43 minutes ago, PaulS said:

Like I said - Each to their own.  If it works for you and makes you a better person for our community - great.

Like I said, It does. One hopes your take works for you.

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True but at times, hearing or reading the words of another (or interacting with another) can be a pleasant surprise or unsettling or even be experienced as a judgement (a mirror thrown up in front of

On 3/3/2020 at 10:48 PM, PaulS said:

Actually - there probably wasn’t such a man (well, not Jesus anyway).  As an aside, this story seems to be one of those myths about Jesus that then became tradition for thousands of years, before later scholars identified it as likely a false attribution to Jesus.   Scholars generally agree this isn’t an original story about Jesus but a later addition.  Most modern bibles don’t even relate the story any more.  Take it as good news by all means (personally I think not stoning people is a good idea too) but it is likely a fable.

 

On 3/4/2020 at 7:42 AM, thormas said:

I agree that the story is 'questionable' as historical but as Allison and others scholars say, this is the kind of thing that Jesus would say and do. In other words the 'fable' rings true; the myth speaks a truth. And the historical reality is that the disciples and first generation of followers of Jesus did not stone others: they accepted and lived his way (some of his later followers screwed the pooch with inquisitions and burnings though - but his was not all of his followers). 

So the fable or myth works for me, works for Christians, works for PCs - glass is more than half full, it is spilling over it is so full (that too is not a literal truth).

p.s. just as Washington never cut down the cherry tree - the fable speaks to his being a truthful, upright man - so too this fable speaks to Jesus. You won't hear either fable given a modern spin and applied to the trumpster. Simply, people would say, this symbolizes George or the other one symbolizes Jesus - but neither 'reveals a truth' about Donald.

There is actually some scholarly debate going on about this subject and these verses. Though it is true that the verses are not in the first textual witness we have of the gospel of John, these are still the first textual witness that we have, and not the first ones that ever existed.

Also there is some real mention and debate that they were part of the original oral traditions about Jesus, just like much of everything else in the canonized New Testament, and that it could have just as well been something that Jesus said and did.

Just how and why they got left out, or left out and then replaced, is another question.

.

As another note: Just because George Washington didn't cut down a cherry tree, didn't really sleep everywhere people said he slept, and probably didn't end up in a place in heaven exactly like the painting in the Capital Rotunda depicts and discribes him,... …  Doesn't mean he didn't exist or that he wasn't our first President. 

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1 hour ago, Elen1107 said:

There is actually some scholarly debate going on about this subject and these verses. 

Looks like you got the hang of quoting/multiquoting! 😀

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6 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

As another note: Just because George Washington didn't cut down a cherry tree, didn't really sleep everywhere people said he slept, and probably didn't end up in a place in heaven exactly like the painting in the Capital Rotunda depicts and discribes him,... …  Doesn't mean he didn't exist or that he wasn't our first President. 

True. It also doesn't mean he was not experienced and remembered as a truthful man who did have to sleep and did sleep in many places given his travels as a military man or that he is not in heaven, however we might envision it

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6 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

There is actually some scholarly debate going on about this subject and these verses. Though it is true that the verses are not in the first textual witness we have of the gospel of John, these are still the first textual witness that we have, and not the first ones that ever existed.

Also there is some real mention and debate that they were part of the original oral traditions about Jesus, just like much of everything else in the canonized New Testament, and that it could have just as well been something that Jesus said and did.

Just how and why they got left out, or left out and then replaced, is another question.

Are you speaking generally or do you mean Ehrman or someone else writing about these verses? I'd like to look into to it a bit more. 

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1 minute ago, thormas said:

True. It also doesn't mean he was not experienced and remembered as a truthful man who did have to sleep and did sleep in many places given his travels as a military man or that he is not in heaven, however we might envision it

Yes, I agree with you here. It also doesn't mean he was an absolutely perfect person. . . Though being "The man who would not be king", especially in that day and age, I think really does say something 'big' about the person.

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2 minutes ago, thormas said:

Are you speaking generally or do you mean Ehrman or someone else writing about these verses? I'd like to look into to it a bit more. 

Both. 

I've seen it in J. S. Spong's talks and lectures. I follow him a bit.

It also comes up in general discussions.

I've got to wonder what would have happened if it was just the man who was "caught in the act of adultery", who was brought forward and accused. & what would have happened then. ...

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4 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

Both. 

I've seen it in J. S. Spong's talks and lectures. I follow him a bit.

It also comes up in general discussions.

I've got to wonder what would have happened if it was just the man who was "caught in the act of adultery", who was brought forward and accused. & what would have happened then. ...

I'll check on Spong. I have a number of his books and was on his site when he was the contributor.

Since we are talking about Jesus, I think it would have been the same story from his perspective.

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On 3/4/2020 at 11:19 PM, PaulS said:

I've been certain about much in life, only to change my mind at a later date.  So like Aristotle, the one thing I know, is that what I 'know' can change and all of a sudden I 'know' something different to what I previously 'knew'.  This is probably why I don't think there is any particular 'universal truths' but only human decisions based on our experiences and cultural/societal settings.

Concerning aboriginal Australians, they did have distinctly different 'tribes' called 'clan groups' or 'nations', but from what I understand they didn't consider themselves that much 'different' from one another and considered themselves as all part of the same people who came from The Dreaming.  It seems to me that this was more a thought process of theirs that perhaps wasn't 'corrupted' by other humans who at some point did decide that slavery was a good thing for their tribe.  It simply didn't enter aboriginal Australian's heads so to speak.  

I'd have to say regarding 'truth' is that it seems to be in the eye of the beholder.  That's what I mean concerning previous societies accepting slavery.  For them it seemed 100% okay and I'm sure they were able to justify it culturally and religiously.  For them, the truth seems to be that slavery was okay.  We hold a different truth today.  Perhaps there will yet be another truth concerning it tomorrow?  I don't know.

Concerning respect and tolerance, again, I think it is in the eye of the beholder.  Religious 'nuts' who want to behead infidels are well regarded in some societies.  People who blow themselves up can be considered martyrs worthy of eternal paradise too in some cultures.  In my society, we don't really want either of those types of people.  Who's right and who's wrong?  Both are in my view, depending on which society they are living in.  It all comes down to our experiences, culture and society, I think.

I understand what you are saying about things being cultural. At the same time I myself think there are things such as “universal truths” and that there is sometimes a real right and wrong to somethings. Yeah, this would mean that I am saying that there is something “wrong” with a society that thinks something like slavery or “religious beheadings” is ok.

Would I say it to them just like that? I don’t know, maybe it depends on the circumstances.

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On 3/6/2020 at 9:47 AM, thormas said:

I'll check on Spong. I have a number of his books and was on his site when he was the contributor.

When I've seen J.S. Spong talking about this, I think it was in a few of his YouTube presentations or lectures, that's if memory serves. It may also be in one of his more recent books or writings.

When it comes to general discussions, basically it comes down to what each individual thinks on the subject, that is, does one think that this could be part of the original Christian oral tradition and could it be something that Jesus actually said and did. This also gets talked about concerning some of the things in the Gospel of Thomas and some of the other early Christian writings. Were they part of the original Christian traditions and were they things that Jesus actually said? People are talking and communicating about these things quite often enough.

On 3/6/2020 at 9:47 AM, thormas said:

Since we are talking about Jesus, I think it would have been the same story from his perspective.

I myself am wondering if the first thing that Jesus, or someone, would of said is, "Where is the woman that was also involved in this act?" Perhaps that was one of the things that Jesus wrote in the sand. But as you say things would have probably turned out the same way just the same.

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57 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

I understand what you are saying about things being cultural. At the same time I myself think there are things such as “universal truths” and that there is sometimes a real right and wrong to somethings. Yeah, this would mean that I am saying that there is something “wrong” with a society that thinks something like slavery or “religious beheadings” is ok.

Would I say it to them just like that? I don’t know, maybe it depends on the circumstances.

There is a universal, veridical righteousness.  It starts with belief in God and treating others as one would like to be treated.  

Pretty much universal.

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23 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

When it comes to general discussions, basically it comes down to what each individual thinks on the subject, that is, does one think that this could be part of the original Christian oral tradition and could it be something that Jesus actually said and did. This also gets talked about concerning some of the things in the Gospel of Thomas and some of the other early Christian writings. Were they part of the original Christian traditions and were they things that Jesus actually said? People are talking and communicating about these things quite often enough.

 

I agree in part but for me it is more. We all must have our opinion (and the right to them) but on a topic like the adulteress/stoning I want to know (as much as that is possible) if it not historical, i.e. if Jesus s didn't say it at all or say it exactly that way, is it true: does it reflect the Jesus encountered by his disciples and friends? 

Even without this knowledge, most Christians probably say, "yeah that is Jesus." Now someone could say Christians are conditioned to day that.

However there seems to be more to it that that. Scholars, in particular Dale Allison of Princeton, have made a case that much of what is found in the NT stories cannot be definitively proved  to be the exact words and actions of Jesus - after all they were not writing biographies -  but they do showcase the kinds of things that Jesus did say and do. They capture the man, capture his spirit as known and are a valid reflection of the man, Jesus.  

I like that kind of scholarly work and helpful insight. Again, it is not necessary for most Christians (or even many non-Christians) but I came to value the incredible work, scholarship and expertise of these men and women so it is natural for me to check them when such question arise or simply for general knowledge.

Thomas is a very interesting topic to consider.

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37 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

Perhaps that was one of the things that Jesus wrote in the sand. 

I always thought Jesus was just doodling in the sand, just bidding time before bringing it home.

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7 minutes ago, thormas said:
 

I agree in part but for me it is more. We all must have our opinion (and the right to them) but on a topic like the adulteress/stoning I want to know (as much as that is possible) if it not historical, i.e. if Jesus s didn't say it at all or say it exactly that way, is it true: does it reflect the Jesus encountered by his disciples and friends?

One can also ask the 'Spirit of Christ' inside oneself, or that one is in touch with oneself. What does this have to say or teach one?

Today, at least where I live, adultery isn't illegal, and isn't grounds for criminal prosecution at all, much less stoning to death. It is however grounds for divorce. In the past, who was at fault in a divorce was more of a big issue. Today that is not so much the case.

7 minutes ago, thormas said:

Even without this knowledge, most Christians probably say, "yeah that is Jesus." Now someone could say Christians are conditioned to day that.

However there seems to be more to it that that. Scholars, in particular Dale Allison of Princeton, have made a case that much of what is found in the NT stories cannot be definitively proved  to be the exact words and actions of Jesus - after all they were not writing biographies -  but they do showcase the kinds of things that Jesus did say and do. They capture the man, capture his spirit as known and are a valid reflection of the man, Jesus.  

I like that kind of scholarly work and helpful insight. Again, it is not necessary for most Christians (or even many non-Christians) but I came to value the incredible work, scholarship and expertise of these men and women so it is natural for me to check them when such question arise or simply for general knowledge.

Thomas is a very interesting topic to consider.

I've been looking for the video(s) where I saw Spong talking on the subject, but haven't found it yet. He did write a book on the 4th Gospel, the Gospel of John. I'm thinking that it might be somehow tied in with the videos related to that.

I can really appreciate what you are saying about people's incredible work and scholarship. I myself also can really appreciate the comments of many regular and simple people. Sometimes the greatest of insights can come from the most regular and common place of all people.

23 minutes ago, thormas said:

I always thought Jesus was just doodling in the sand, just bidding time before bringing it home.

The G. of John says he was "writing". I've heard people say that Jesus was writing down the sins of the people who were doing the accusing, but that's not in the actual text. It was "The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees" that were doing the accusing, and it was in front of a good number of people that Jesus was teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem. This could be why and how it became part of the Christian tradition, because so many people saw it in the first place. I don't know.

There's this footnote on the Bible Gateway that I am reading:

Footnotes:

  1. John 8:11 Many manuscripts and early translations do not have this passage (8.1-11); others have it after Jn 21.24; others have it after Lk 21.38; one manuscript has it after Jn 7.36.

Apparently it was also in the Gospel of Luke at one time and in some manuscripts. 

Here's the Gateway link, just incase you are interested:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+8%3A1-11&version=GNT

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On 3/1/2020 at 2:42 PM, thormas said:

It sounds like your 'hippie parents' were onto something with their inclusive values. I know many who are 'not religious' but share similar values as the values inherent in the best of Christianity seemed too often to be at odds with some of what were the 'beliefs' of Christianity.

My father was raised Mennonite and my mother was Apiscopol (did not spell that well). My father left the church in Highschool and I think my mom was always a take or leave it person. My father completely rebelled. When I was a kid, religion was a bad word at our dinner table. Oddly my sister became a BAC Pastor and I found God the hard way, through personal tragedy and a willingness to lie to myself for 47 years.

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Bad acronym
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34 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

One can also ask the 'Spirit of Christ' inside oneself, or that one is in touch with oneself. What does this have to say or teach one?

Today, at least where I live, adultery isn't illegal, and isn't grounds for criminal prosecution at all, much less stoning to death. It is however grounds for divorce. In the past, who was at fault in a divorce was more of a big issue. Today that is not so much the case.

 

That might be another topic but it intrigues me. Not sure what people mean by the spirit of God/Christ in them. How did it get there? Does it grow? Do all have it? Lots of questions.

I do think the question "What does this have to say or teach one?" is a great question. 

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38 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

I can really appreciate what you are saying about people's incredible work and scholarship. I myself also can really appreciate the comments of many regular and simple people. Sometimes the greatest of insights can come from the most regular and common place of all people.

 

Totally agree. Even given the criticism by some on Christianity and people's beliefs, it is obvious that there were also very good people over generations who had simple faith, did not engage in the atrocities of history, and were among the best of humanity. If one loves, all else is mere commentary.

Thanks for the link. 

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33 minutes ago, thormas said:
 

That might be another topic but it intrigues me. Not sure what people mean by the spirit of God/Christ in them. How did it get there? Does it grow? Do all have it? Lots of questions.

I do think the question "What does this have to say or teach one?" is a great question. 

Interestingly enough, this has been pretty much how I have been 'doing' Christianity myself for the past two or three years. Putting it into words however, is another matter altogether and completely. I guess you could say that I am "tuning in" to the Spirit of Christ and God and the Holy Spirit, as I understand them, and as best I can. It is actually working rather well for me, better than just reading books or the bible was, but this is just my personal experience and other people might get more inspiration from reading or something else.

If one reads the New Testament from what one might call a step-back or an arms length perspective, one can see that this is what many if not all of the first Christians, outside of the 12 apostles, were doing. They didn't have "the words of Christ", they probably had just seen him once, or had just heard him talk once, or had only heard about him from someone else and hadn't seen or heard him themselves at all. They also didn't have what we now call the New Testament. It's evident from the Gospels and Acts that these books were written after all the events in them had already taken place, so no one mentioned in them could have had a copy of them, because they didn't exist yet.

The Christian Epistles/Letters were also all written after the "earthly life" and ministry of Christ. What ever they are or are not, they do seem to be a window into what at least what some Christians were doing and thinking round about the times that they were written. Here again, we get people gathering and just getting the Spirit of Christ, God and or the Holy Spirit, and sharing their ideas, faith and inspiration. This also just happens on the individual level, one person just 'gets the faith' or the spirit and goes off rejoicing or has some kind of spiritual message or insight to convey and say.

Everything in the first centuries of Christianity seems to be about people "getting the faith" or "getting the spirit" and learning and growing from there "in the spirit" or "in Christ". They weren't studying the bible or the New Testament, like we do today. They didn't have a "New Testament", so they couldn't have been. But they were doing something, and having real spiritual experiences, something one might call finding enlightenment, and or growing in Christ and in their spirituality through the spirit itself, and not through some particular set of documents or writings.

This was going on so much in the first 3 1/2 centuries of Christianity, before any of the New Testament was compiled or canonized, that when Constantine conquered and entered Rome, he decided it would be the best or most favored religion to sponsor and support and to build his empire around and to use hold the empire together. There had to be something real happening for him to decide to do that. 

Thanks for reading all this, I didn't mean to make it so long.

28 minutes ago, thormas said:
 

Totally agree. Even given the criticism by some on Christianity and people's beliefs, it is obvious that there were also very good people over generations who had simple faith, did not engage in the atrocities of history, and were among the best of humanity. If one loves, all else is mere commentary.

Thanks for the link. 

I totally agree with you,... & you're welcome 

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4 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

 

This is an interesting topic.

Larry Hurtado, a renowned biblical scholar, has shown that the earliest Jerusalem disciples (who did know Jesus) had already formed a community based on their knowledge of, experience of and belief in Jesus - this perhaps as early as months after the death/resurrection experience. If Jesus died in 30 CE, and the community formed, then Paul was already after his followers in those earliest days. He had his conversion experience circa 33 CE and Hurtado shows that in Paul's letter (circa 50s) he is not inventing but showing what he received/inherited/learned from these earlier followers in (if I remember it correctly) the early/mid 30s.

So some of the earliest followers did know Jesus, did tell his story and did indeed form communities. They did not, as you said, have the gospels but they had the 'gospel of Jesus' - the good news of his life, death and resurrection. 

Again, this is interesting stuff, an interesting period and I have a desire to read a bit more deeply into it.

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, TheTechnician said:

My father was raised Mennonite and my mother was Apiscopol (did not spell that well). My father left the church in Highschool and I think my mom was always a take or leave it person. My father completely rebelled. When I was a kid, religion was a bad word at our dinner table. Oddly my sister became a BAC Pastor and I found God the hard way, through personal tragedy and a willingness to lie to myself for 47 years.

It's good to hear that one can come through the hippie experience and come out with some good things and good ideas and still go beyond that and get beyond and past the down side of the hippie movement. Myself, I was a hippie-wanna-be from the ages of like 13 to 16. I liked all the peace and love and some of the good music that was all about these things. However it also had it's downside, with a lot of nasty, heavy drugs and a lot of really messed up relationships.

You are saying that you lied to yourself for 47 years. I think it is awfully brave of you to admit that here on a public forum, & with people that you don't really know. But can I ask, how does one do that and what happened? It sound awfully painful and totally disorientating and confusing. If you don't want to communicate about it, that's ok. Just ignore my question. . . still I can't help but wonder what happened.

Thanks

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5 hours ago, thormas said:

This is an interesting topic.

Larry Hurtado, a renowned biblical scholar, has shown that the earliest Jerusalem disciples (who did know Jesus) had already formed a community based on their knowledge of, experience of and belief in Jesus - this perhaps as early as months after the death/resurrection experience. If Jesus died in 30 CE, and the community formed, then Paul was already after his followers in those earliest days. He had his conversion experience circa 33 CE and Hurtado shows that in Paul's letter (circa 50s) he is not inventing but showing what he received/inherited/learned from these earlier followers in (if I remember it correctly) the early/mid 30s.

So some of the earliest followers did know Jesus, did tell his story and did indeed form communities. They did not, as you said, have the gospels but they had the 'gospel of Jesus' - the good news of his life, death and resurrection. 

Again, this is interesting stuff, an interesting period and I have a desire to read a bit more deeply into it.

Thanks.

I checked out Larry Hurtado on the internet. Do you know which book or publication the ideas that you mentioned are published in?

You are saying that these people "knew" Jesus, the next question becomes how well and what constitutes "knowing" him. Also, how much time did Jesus actually spend in Jerusalem and how much time was he traveling and spending else where? There are people who are recorded as traveling with Jesus besides the 12 apostles, how well did they each get to know him and actually witness and hear what he said.

It seems to me that there were far and away more people who just saw him once, and or heard him once, "got the faith", and just took things from there without the help of Jesus or one of the apostles. There's all the people at the Sermon on the Mount, there's all the folks along the shores of the sea of Galilee, there's the people who saw and heard him just once when he was teaching in the Temple and synagogues. There are people who just saw him either from near or afar in the streets and in the country. This is just during his ministry. After his "passing" there are all the people who just "got the faith" and took things on inspiration and with a kind of revelation that the faith opens people up to.

You seem to get a lot of inspiration from a number of the books that you read. I get this too, from reading or even from a musical rift, or a piece of art or a landscape. What I'm talking about is something like that, except without the book or music or art or scenery. It's a tuning in to the Spirit of Christ directly, through one's own spirit or intuitions or guts or inner or mental understanding. One doesn't need to be reading or using something else to do it, & it can actually happen all or most of the time if one is willing to work on it, and have/use God's help.

I don't know how else to put this. Perhaps this is a rather poor or imbalanced attempt on my part, but it's the best I can do and the best that I can explain things right now.

Thanks for reading Again.

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2 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

I checked out Larry Hurtado on the internet. Do you know which book or publication the ideas that you mentioned are published in?

You are saying that these people "knew" Jesus, the next question becomes how well and what constitutes "knowing" him. Also, how much time did Jesus actually spend in Jerusalem and how much time was he traveling and spending else where? There are people who are recorded as traveling with Jesus besides the 12 apostles, how well did they each get to know him and actually witness and hear what he said.

It seems to me that there were far and away more people who just saw him once, and or heard him once, "got the faith", and just took things from there without the help of Jesus or one of the apostles. There's all the people at the Sermon on the Mount, there's all the folks along the shores of the sea of Galilee, there's the people who saw and heard him just once when he was teaching in the Temple and synagogues. There are people who just saw him either from near or afar in the streets and in the country. This is just during his ministry. After his "passing" there are all the people who just "got the faith" and took things on inspiration and with a kind of revelation that the faith opens people up to.

You seem to get a lot of inspiration from a number of the books that you read. I get this too, from reading or even from a musical rift, or a piece of art or a landscape. What I'm talking about is something like that, except without the book or music or art or scenery. It's a tuning in to the Spirit of Christ directly, through one's own spirit or intuitions or guts or inner or mental understanding. One doesn't need to be reading or using something else to do it, & it can actually happen all or most of the time if one is willing to work on it, and have/use God's help.

I don't know how else to put this. Perhaps this is a rather poor or imbalanced attempt on my part, but it's the best I can do and the best that I can explain things right now.

Thanks for reading Again.

Amen.  Just being still and with God is better than any intellectualization.

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2 minutes ago, Burl said:

Amen.  Just being still and with God is better than any intellectualization.

I agree with you here too.

It also helps me get through all the ordinary things that I have to do in the course of a day, as well as some real and great spiritual moments. It's like being inside Christ and his Love as well as him in me sometimes. There's a real inner stillness that sometimes comes with this.

Can't say I know how to explain it real good

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