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Hello from Sparks NV, just a few thoughts for the season Grace brings us Easter, Easter does not bring us grace. Life the universe and everything is 100% physical and 0% spiritual. Here's my shout out to you zero percenters: you are the salt that makes the meat savory, the yeast that rises the bread, the light in the very darkest night, don't ever let your light go out.

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2 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

Hello from Sparks NV, just a few thoughts for the season Grace brings us Easter, Easter does not bring us grace. Life the universe and everything is 100% physical and 0% spiritual. Here's my shout out to you zero percenters: you are the salt that makes the meat savory, the yeast that rises the bread, the light in the very darkest night, don't ever let your light go out.

Hi Jim,

Hello back from Mandurah, Western Australia.  I hope you enjoy participating here and find it to be a useful Forum.

I don't know whether you noticed or not but we've just been discussing/questioning spirituality lately in the thread below.  Maybe you'd like to broaden what you mean about Grace, 100% physical and 0% spiritual there?

Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy it here.

Cheers

Paul

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Sorry took so long to clarify, but the statement is an Aphorism. It is not aimed at you logical mind, it is aimed at your subconscious. I do not need a spiritual realm laid on top of the physical, existential one. It is murky and mysterious enough all by itself. Further. the first commandment tells us not to speculate on a spiritual realm. the first commandment is about UNITY. A unity that we can never, NEVER, understand, not even a little bit. On one hand we are all part of this UNITY, on the other we can never get it. The Commandments not divine law, they are existential facts of life. They bring with them a blessing or a curse, and these are real existential blessings or curses. The commandments are given wholely and solely for our benefit. You are master od the Sabbath, the Sabbath is not master of you. The Good News about the First Commandment is that we have a connection to this UNITY if we only get out of the way and let it through. There is no revelation of God. anybody who claims the do or they can speak about God is a liar. There is however revelations about the multiple ways we block this UNITY. Revelations are not about God, they are about how we block God.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

A unity that we can never, NEVER, understand, not even a little bit.

This reminds me of the militant agnostic bumper sticker. I don't know and neither do you.

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17 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

The Commandments not divine law, they are existential facts of life. They bring with them a blessing or a curse, and these are real existential blessings or curses. The commandments are given wholely and solely for our benefit. 

I struggle to imagine that all 10 Commandments are 'existential facts of life'.

  • Should I honor my father and mother if they sexual abuse me and my siblings?
  • I shouldn't steal a loaf of bread off a rich man if my family is starving?
  • I shouldn't commit adultery?  Now are we clear here on what adultery is?  Can I have sex without being married or are we only talking about affairs?
  • Why should I not covet my neighbors wife if there is no corresponding existential fact of life to not covet a neighbors husband?

No, whilst I think these might be okay guidelines, I think greater existential facts about life could go along the lines of:

  • Never commit war
  • Don't fight with anyone over anything
  • Don't' sexually abuse children
  • Do your best in life, but no that sometimes you will make mistakes (that's okay).
  • We're only humans - do your best
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On 4/17/2022 at 11:29 PM, Jim Wright said:

The Commandments not divine law, they are existential facts of life. They bring with them a blessing or a curse, and these are real existential blessings or curses.

This for me is a tad over-egging. I tend to agree with Paul; but even his guidelines are just that guidelines, and whether he applies them or not will be a factor of circumstance.

As for unity, it is there whether we recognize it or not.

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I agree that the ten commandments need to be parsed out...

But, the commandments are given by unmerited favor solely for our benefit

You have received this gift of life and the freedom of choice by unmerited favor. You cannot know the giver or understand why it is given. Any trying to understand this giver will only lead to idolatry and taking the Lords name in vain.

You are embedded in family relationships, parents, you and children, make the best of it.

Respect other people as having received the same amount of unmerited favor as you have.

The existential consequences of the is, the blessing and curse are a little more nuanced and will take further posts.

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16 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

But, the commandments are given by unmerited favor solely for our benefit

I guess I'm just saying that if 'something' was providing unmerited favor solely for our benefit in providing the 10 Commandments, the bigger question would be why that something didn't do a better job.  Seems pretty lackluster to me.

16 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

You have received this gift of life and the freedom of choice by unmerited favor. You cannot know the giver or understand why it is given. Any trying to understand this giver will only lead to idolatry and taking the Lords name in vain.

Where do you get this rule set from?  If we cannot understand the giver how can we take any name for it in vain?  

16 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

You are embedded in family relationships, parents, you and children, make the best of it.

Yep, agreed.  That's life.

16 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

Respect other people as having received the same amount of unmerited favor as you have.

Yep, another good rule to try and live by.  Makes for a more harmonious society in general.

16 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

The existential consequences of the is, the blessing and curse are a little more nuanced and will take further posts.

Okay.

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Yes the Ten Commandments are very mundane and written on the level of a seven year old child. This is why I am trying to flesh them out. The first commandment is the toughest one to get. It involves some thought experiments to get into it. In the above post I posited I giver of unmerited favor. Who or what is this giver. Is it God or just some randomness in the universe. The problem with the God answer is that it is used as an authority and a power. This unmerited favor of grace is at its best when it is powerless.  My point is that there is no good answer, and further we are not qualified to answer it. We are butting up against the limits of human knowledge. We have to accept that we can ask all these very deep questions but we can never have any answer In the end, we have a choice, we can live live in this unmerited favor or not. Which way do you think is the better way to live? We are just scratching the surface of the depth of meaning in the first commandment. 

Honor your father and mother, I rephrased as you exist in between your parents and children make the best of it. The last six commandments are about respecting others.

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I messed up on the commandments I forgot the Sabbath. A day of rest is good for us and putting Divine Authority on it has only lead us into trouble. What I am trying to do is take the Divine Authority out of this and show that they are still the very best for us, no god needed. We are warned away form bringing God into by the first commandment, but do we listen. If you really reflect deeply on the first commandment, you end up with the conclusion that the spiritual is embedded in the physical. My first point that reality is 100% physical stands, well, my comment that it is 0% spiritual was an over statement made to get attention, an aphorism. The physical, existential comes before the spiritual; the body comes before the soul this is the piece you have been missing; it is the narrow gate you fail to enter. Rethink your point of view and believe the Good News.

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2 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

I messed up on the commandments I forgot the Sabbath. A day of rest is good for us and putting Divine Authority on it has only lead us into trouble. What I am trying to do is take the Divine Authority out of this and show that they are still the very best for us, no god needed.

This is precisely what I mean though by claiming the 10 commandments are existential truths.  I mean who says 1 x day a week is adequate rest?  Why not 2 days a week for somebody that perhaps works an extremely physical workload versus somebody working a mundane office job?  I for instance work 28 x 13hr days straight before then have several weeks of R&R.  I see this roster pattern as working very well and provides me the balance I like in my life.  So why isn't rostering an existential truth?

2 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

We are warned away form bringing God into by the first commandment, but do we listen. If you really reflect deeply on the first commandment, you end up with the conclusion that the spiritual is embedded in the physical. My first point that reality is 100% physical stands, well, my comment that it is 0% spiritual was an over statement made to get attention, an aphorism. The physical, existential comes before the spiritual; the body comes before the soul this is the piece you have been missing; it is the narrow gate you fail to enter. Rethink your point of view and believe the Good News.

Perhaps it's just me, but I have no idea what you are trying to say is 'the Good News'.

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Let me try another way, when asked if I believe in God, my answer is SILENCE. I have no answer because any answer breaks the First Commandment. You have to accept that we can say nothing about God, and any statements about God are idolatry. When we get down to it, when we ask about origins, we come up against the Silence and Darkness. It's not that God is being meanie by not answering; it's that the answer is beyond our understanding, and any answer we come understand is less than God. All our spiritual answers are less than God. The best we can answer is no answer. The Bible is not about God at all, it is only about the human race. God id Love says nothing about God only about the one making the statement. Does Grace come from God or is it just random happenstance? Until you come to the conclusion that this question  is unanswerable, all you can have is delusion and idolatry.

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2 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

Let me try another way, when asked if I believe in God, my answer is SILENCE. I have no answer because any answer breaks the First Commandment. You have to accept that we can say nothing about God, and any statements about God are idolatry. When we get down to it, when we ask about origins, we come up against the Silence and Darkness. It's not that God is being meanie by not answering; it's that the answer is beyond our understanding, and any answer we come understand is less than God. All our spiritual answers are less than God. The best we can answer is no answer. The Bible is not about God at all, it is only about the human race. God id Love says nothing about God only about the one making the statement. Does Grace come from God or is it just random happenstance? Until you come to the conclusion that this question  is unanswerable, all you can have is delusion and idolatry.

But aren't you saying things about God when you decide that "it's not that God is being a meanie...", or "the Bible is not about God at all".  You seem to be just as prone about saying what God "isn't" and what's not about God, as to what others say God is.  So I can't help but think you are deciding on what God is (by declaring what God isn't).  If you truly believe you can say 'nothing' about God, then how does saying things about God (what God isn't) meet your own criteria?

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4 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

I have no answer because any answer breaks the First Commandment.

Why are you assuming an Abrahamic frame of reference? If I asked do you believe in Odin? what would be stopping you from answering? Or do you believe in pantheism? 

4 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

You have to accept that we can say nothing about God, and any statements about God are idolatry.

As a non believer I can say lots about God, I can wax lyrical about all/some of the different concepts. In fact I could argue that this is the "true" non Idolatrous version.

4 hours ago, Jim Wright said:

we come up against the Silence and Darkness

As an agnostic I get where you are coming from. But if we look at the advances, understanding over the last six centuries is amazing. Of course as we understand more the more we can point to what we don't understand. 

If you want a label for what we don't understand we can call it God by all means. But when your answer is silence then you have something in mind. My personal answer would be No.

Perhaps I just don't believe in Idols.

 

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