Esoteric Christianity so called

Discussion in 'Theology' started by Thomas, Feb 5, 2009.

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  1. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Anyone who observes a concrete distinction between esoteric and exoteric in Christianity has failed to comprehend the meaning of the revelatum as such. Anyone who has the least sense of the significance of the rending of the veil of the temple would understand this.

    The French theologian Jean Borella states:
    "The divine revelatum is not esoteric or exoteric in itself ... Esoterism is a human artifact ... the revelatum is ontologically one, esoterism and exoterism being only hermeneutic perspectives not objects or things."
    (Guénonian Esoterism and Christian Mystery" Jean Borella)

    As he says:
    "Man is not a simple recorder of facts, he understand and interprets them as signs with a certain existential meaning."

    The 'Christian esoterist' then is one who regards the Word not just as a sign but a symbol, and whose vocation is the making of that symbolic meaning apparent to others.

    However, for the Christian, to be Christian, is to accept the Word is the Word as a fact, a truth, and a reality. Any subsequent determination is just that, secondary and ancilliary.

    John 1:12
    "But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name."
    Immediately the pseudo-gnostic will say, "Ahh! But how does one receive him?" and from here commence the placing of so many obstructions and barriers between God and man as to render that reception impossible.

    +++

    The Sufi Master Martin Lings, writing about René Guénon, perhaps one of the greatest figures in the world of metaphysics of the last century, said this:

    "His (Guénon's) message was always one of strict orthodoxy in one esoterism, but at the same time of equal recognition of all other orthodoxies"
    (Sophia Journal)

    This is true eccumenism, true interfaith.

    Thomas
     
  2. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist Staff Member

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    [​IMG] Well said!
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    "Accept the Word is the Word as fact, a truth, and a reality."

    So a day is a day? World was built in seven days and Adam out of mud? I believe we both believe that is allegory, not a fact, a truth and a reality (well as we know these definitions).

    Or are you not speaking of the Word as in scripture, but the words of scripture?
    The writers of the bible made it a point to provide their existential meanings in the naming of mountains, valleys, tribes, people, and even wells. Every name had a surface meaning and another interpretation a metaphysical undertone.

    It seemed important to them to include this surely you are not saying we discount that now?
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I meant the Word of God. Jesus Christ.

    Agreed ... although elements addressed by the allegory are fact in the sense real and true ...

    Who me? No way! The more attention you pay to the text, the more it reveals...

    Thomas
     
  5. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Even though it would be realistically impossible to discuss esoteric Christianity in this format of battling experts, it is revealing to know why.

    Esoteric means inner as compared to exoteric which means outer. Esoteric Christianity conderns the inner man which we don't experience because our lives are lived by the outer man which is our personaities unconcerned with the inner man. It sometimes happens that a person has been living a good life but begins to wonder what actually he is doing and if this is the objective rather than societal purpose of his existence.

    Up until this point a person has been told WHAT to do and right and wrong is based upon these dictates. However when a person begins to feel that there is something more to it, the secular exoteric traditions are at a loss. Answers such as "to please God" are superficial because we know that no god worthy of the name could be concerned with being pleased.

    A person becomes more concerned with this question of "purpose" and the exoteric church is no help. The question becomes if there is an inner tradition at the source of all this exoteric fragmentation that helps a person begin to feel and intellectually understand human meaning and purpose with the whole of themselves? I believe there is. Of course this draws the growls of the exoteric church that speaks of "faith" without understanding. A person then has to become free of this form of control and begin to make the efforts to "understand." They have to become the "black sheep."

    Esoteric Christianity is about re-birth which begins with this difficult concept of metanoia.

    Esoteric Christianity, Dwight Ott - alternative Christianity

    A person can begin to feel a calling through either of the first three categories but it is the fourth, metnaoia, where it can begin to be understood with the whole of oneself and a person begins to experience that they are more than just a cog in society.

    Where the exoteric traditions are in the world, the esoteric traditions know that the source of meaning is outside the world. Even though an esoteric Christian can be part of an exoteric church and its community of nice people, they draw deeper meaning from groups of other "black sheep."

    This is why theology isn't argued. Esoteric Christianity is experiential and all these arguments can easily create negative associations which is poison to this tradition that seeks to develop the capacity for impartiality. The black sheep seeks to verify for themselves. They seek to exchange blind faith IN something for becoming able to acquire the human quality of faith itself. Normally we don't know what faith without being IN something actually is.

    Esoteric Christianity provides a skeleton of a living whole that describes the nature of existence. We are invited to verify it through the efforts to "know thyself" or reject it. The idea isn't to decide between conflicting experts but become able to experience human meaning and purpose and develop in our being so as to begin to actualize it in ourselves.

    Esoteric Christianity then isn't a matter of exoteric theology but rather an inner experience that requires a practice. It requires a respectful atmosphere much like within a sangha in Buddhism.

    Though complete transformation is only for a very rare few, when a person begins to awaken to the human condition their inner man becomes good seed and worthy of salvation within the body of Christ. the church at one time had the potential to serve as connecting the exoteric with the esoteric but it got lost in the shuffle in favor of power within societal concerns.

    Enjoy participating in battling experts but Esoteric Christianity could not be a part of it since it doesn't seek to battle but rather to verify.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Theosis is the term used to designate the reception and actualisation of the grace of filial adoption, as found in St John's Gospel (John 1:12) and elsewhere.

    This grace is conferred at Baptism, a sacrament that "communicates the divine gnosis" (Basil of Caesarea De Spiritu Sancto, 32), and establishes a predisposition to the reception of the Christian Mysteries.

    This sacramental foundation of the Christian Life defines it as a 'scandal' and a 'folly' from the very outset: "... a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal, to them who stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set" (1 Peter 2:8); "Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly" (2 Corinthians 11:1).

    It is Scripture and the teachings of the Fathers, indeed the whole Church, which spoils the thesis of those who assert the existence of an esoteric Christianity, institutionally distinguished from an exoteric Christianity and having its own means of grace and rites.

    A close reading of the saints and mystics, indeed a study of Meister Eckhart, the 'prince of mystics', offers not one word in support of such a divisory doctrine. St Dionysius the Areopagite, who offers some of the highest doctrinal expressions of Christian gnosis, explicitly affirms the contrary by speaking simultaneously of a 'celestial' and 'legal' (esoteric/exoteric) character of Christian initiation, the Church and the Sacraments (St Dionysius, The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy).

    M. de Gandillac, Oeuvres du Pseudo-Denys, p33.)

    As is evident then, whilst an esoteric dimension is by no means excluded, the idea of 'esoteric Christianity' as a separate and distinct stream, with its own understandings and access to grace as something superimposed over the 'ordinary' and supposedly ineffective Faith and Sacraments of the Church, cannot stand in the face of the testimony of the saints and mystics who stand as exemplars of the Christian way.

    Contra this, Nick offers two texts as signifiers of 'esoteric Christianity'
    Dwight Ott:
    The phrase therefore "Esoteric Christianity is not exclusive of truth in other cultures and religions" is a somewhat self-defeating one — if it is not exclusive, and if it is common, it is neither properly Christian, nor is it particularly esoteric. So once again we have someone who approaches Christianity from a non-Christian perspective, and assumes to understand its mysteries by comparison to other systems of knowledge. Where the two can be made to coincide, even in an heterodox manner, we have agreement; where Christianity seems to stand unique and alone, it is obviously an error.

    "Esoteric Christianity is concerned with the personal transformation (re-birth), possible for a person, which is taught by the life and message of Jesus Christ."
    Apart from this, Christ seems incidental to the message, for Ott he is purely a teacher, or perhaps an alternative therapist.

    What is striking is the claim to an authentic 'esoterism' in which the Mysteries of the Christian Faith plays no part whatsoever, and which offers a degree of enlightenment which falls far, far short of the theosis spoken of in Scripture. This is not authentic Christian esoterism, its a secular notion of what Christian esoterism might comprise, and largely its a secular psychology.

    Norman D Livergood

    Again we meet this 'higher consciousness' — not the life in the Mystical Body, or an engagement with the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Trinity.

    "He spoke of a definite re-birth into a Higher Consciousness."
    Did He, or is that what the author assumes? Please cite your proof texts. Nowhere does He say 'higher consciousness' and nowhere do the saints and mystics use such terms in the way the author presents them. Once again we have someone who calls himself 'esoteric' and then proceed to reduces the essential mysteries to mundane banalities.

    "After Jesus' death, those who understood the genuine teaching of Jesus recognized him as one of a long line of savants within the Perennial Tradition -- such as Hermes and Plato -- who initiated chosen disciples into a mystical rebirth of the soul into a Higher Consciousness."
    Who are these people, for the author never mentions them. Not the authors of the Gospels, not St Paul, not Clement of Alexandria nor Origen ... so what the author does is mix his own unsupported claims in with a smattering of so-called testimony to give it credence.

    (Clement, by the way, believed that Plato received his wisdom either by access to the Hebrew Scriptures, or by the guidance of the Holy Spirit to prepare the ground for the reception of Christianity, 'The New Song' as he called it, in the Gentile world.)

    And here is a classic, worth quoting in full:
    This is rubbish ...

    At this stage I shall not bother to cite texts from Paul, Clement or Origen to refute the above as utter nonsense, either by complete ignorance of the writings of those he names, or by lies. Nor do I need to refute the works of Valentinus and Marcion which have already been shown to lack a sufficient esoterism.

    "Both Jesus and Paul made it clear that Christianity was decidedly not an extension of Judaism."
    So the Father of whom Jesus preaches is not the God who spoke to Isreal in the Hebrew Scriptures?

    Again, if that is so, why does Christ continually refer to Himself as the fulfilment of the promises made in the Hebrew Scriptures? Why does he cite the Deuteronomic Law as the foundation of His teaching, why does He profess the Shema Israel as the one commandment above all? Why at His Transfiguration, does He appear with Moses and Elijah? Why, on the other hand, does St Paul go to such lengths to demonstrate that Christ came to the Jews first, and then the Gentiles, when the Jews rejected his message? Why then does he go on to explain that the Gentiles reject Him for their own reasons?

    Again, this is a concoction of assumption, misinformation and sadly, lies ...

    Thomas

    PS: Nick, undoubtedly you will want to respond, but please, if you do perhaps you could supply those texts of Paul, Clement and Origen that preach Christ as a 'mystical teacher' ... or any Scripture text where Jesus informs His audience the God of whom He speaks is not the God of Israel?
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    So that still gets me some. Which word, is fact, truth, reality?

    We know the gospels were written decades after his death, and most likely by folks that were not eyewitnesses. Hence we have in Mark where Jesus is asked by the scholar which are the two most important commandments and Jesus when answering correctly comes off a little arrogant...and then in Luke we have the reverse with Jesus asking the Scholar in the same situation....so which is fact, truth and reality?
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well to be precise we know no such thing. We know that Mark was not an eye-witness, nor Luke. We are not sure about Matthew, beyond the fact there is material in Matthew which is unique and believed to be eye-witness. In John, the weight of evidence comes down in favour of an eye-witness, or rather, the argument that John is an eye-witness account is stronger than the contrary arguments.

    In the end it's a matter of which you choose — but we do not 'know' for sure, the 'Synoptic Problem' is just that ... there is no answer.

    The first canonical texts were written down some twenty years later. John's perhaps 80 years later, although many claim there's internal evidence (a certain primitive rendition of some accounts also in the Synoptics) to suggest John is in fact very early ... but be that as it may, the texts of Buddhism were not written down until some 400 years later ... do we discount all that as myth, on that basis?

    Jesus Christ is a fact, a truth and a reality ... and the differences in the various testimonies are resolved when one accepts them as testimonies, material which the author has selected and arranged in such manner as he feels best approaches that 'fact, truth and reality' ... we know Luke draws heavily from Mark, and from other sources, we know there is so much more that could be written, but is not.

    I would suggest one starts from the facts, truths and realities that can be ascertained from the Canon of the New Testament, that Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Son of God, for example (nowhere in Scripture is that denied) and once established in that, the differences can be resolved.

    Get the big picture, as it were, and then see how the pieces fit together.

    The other way is to play with the pieces, constructing images we assume they represent, that is we image the picture by presupposition.

    Thomas
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I don't believe I stated that the gospels were myth, simply inherently not direct quotes.

    You say the weight of the evidence is that John was an eyewitness...80 years after the fact. So how old was he when he wrote this down? And please to discuss anything with anyone from 80, 60 or even 20 years ago and see if their stories align. Every policeman, judge, lawyer knows that eyewitnesses are always contradictory and completely unreliable moments later, much less months or years...fortunately juries, john-q-public and the masses believe such testimony as fact, truth and reality.

    What is fact truth and reality is that 20-80 years after the fact the stories become sensationalized, immortalized, and cannonized.

    And yes...I'll take the exact same stand on Bhuddism. (again, not saying or indicating it is mythology, just not historical, fact, truth and reality.

    And no, I don't believe I need any footnotes or authority to back my statements, I surely believe logic trumps
    Oh and you forgot to tell us which version you or some authority deemed fact, a truth, and a reality...the one where Jesus was questioned or the one where Jesus questions....
     
  10. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Thomas

    The fact that you don't have the feeling for esoteric Christianity doesn't mean anything. You are a Catholic and support the exoteric church. I am attracted to esoteric Christianity which I believe to be the essential truths beneath the devolution into the exoteric Esoteric Christianity is for those that have been disappointed with exoteric Christianity.

    This is why you can never understand those like Simone Weil. She doesn't believe in blind faith. Consequently she writes of an experience natural for her gift of impartial attention or detachment that is an essential aspect of esoteric Christianity. She writes:

    You want to minimize the Christ so as to preserve the power trip of the exoteric church. Esoteric Christianity seeks to allow a person to experience meaning and purpose normal for awakened humanity that has the Spirit within rather then only in their imagination and their ego..


    The goals of esoteric christianity are different then from Judiasm. If people understood why they are complimentarty, there would be no need for the tension. Since we don't, we get what we get. Dr. Henry Leroy Finch describes this distinction well in his book: "Simone Weil and the Intellect of Grace." He writes:

    From one of my old posts:

    Esoteric Christianity is concerned with the quality of NOW

    Christianity requires new wine being put into new bottles. If taught directly as with battling experts, all that is there is old bottles arguing. The person feeling its worth has to make the efforts to abandon their old bottle for the sake of becoming a new bottle.

    Jacob Needleman expresses this idea of beginning to "Know Thyself" as a quality of NOW in his book "Lost Christianity. From the preface:


    You want to argue these things while I prefer to be open to them so as to become able to understand rather then seek self justification for myself and a form of Christendom. It requires humility as described by simone Weil rather then righteous indigntion.



    We lack attentive patience and prefer rightreous indignation. Some people believe there must be more then living in psychological slavery and incapable of humility.

    You want to deny the meaning of this section from the Livergood article. Yet there is a minority open to it that IMO become inwardly able to appreciate Christianity as distinct from the man made interpretations of Christendom in the search to experience human meaning and purpose through the experience of themselves..

     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Nick —

    I am sure you are. Nevertheless, the 'truths' contained in the references you cite I have shown, and can show in greater detail, to be erroneous in both their claims and their assumptions. So what you find may well be inviting, even inspiring, but it's not true.

    But apparently you do, as you have accepted the statements of your 'authorities' without question, else you would have discovered for yourself their claims are not true. I request you to prove their statements.

    On another point ... has it ever occurred to you that what you call 'blind faith' might well be the illumination you seek, the true gnosis: "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not" (Hebrews 11:1)?

    It's a difficult question, because to refute it, you have to show you know everything there is that can be known.

    Yet it's evident from the litany of errors contained in your source materials that the brand of 'esoteric Christianity' you espouse owes more to the egos and fantasies of its authors than truth or reality.

    No I seek truth, whereas you seek self-justification ... you will apparently settle for what is untrue, if it suits you.

    You also don't understand natural and proper indignation. I'll dig out the relevant psychological text from the Philokalia for you: It's either St Isaiah the Solitary, or Evagrios the Solitary (Pontikos), I can't recall which.

    I don't want to do anything. I just point out the errors and misdirection.

    And if anyone had bothered to read Irenaeus of Lyon's Adversus Haereses we wouldn't be rehashing this same old story 2,000 later.

    If you're not interested in the truth, just say ... I have better things to do with my time.

    Thomas
     
  12. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    NOTICE: This thread requires popcorn


    [​IMG]
     
  13. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Not just popcorn but top shelf scotch as well. If you're going to do it cOde, you must do it right.

    In the words of the most highly esteemed Mullah Nassr Eddin: "Never poke your stick into a hornets' nest."

    This is what someone like me does when they question the sanctity of man made interpretations, normal for the needs of the "Great Beast," of a conscious teaching that enters our plane of existence from above for the purpose of "awakening."

    I'll get back to this later.
     
  14. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Thomas

    You've given opinions. But in the words of Pilate in John 18: 38"What is truth?" Pilate asked.

    There is only one inner truth and that is experiential. The rest is theory.

    The proof is through experience. You can only prove what Simone describes in the following through personal experience.

    I cannot prove this to someone content with drawing meaning from secularism or religious dictates. This is personal experience.

    It may and it may not. If it were by definition, Jesus wouldn't have said that how influential false prophets would become and why John said we should "test the spirits." Blind faith also allows people to blindly accept the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials.

    Thanks but no thanks. I prefer faith as a human attribute described in Jesus' encounter with the Centurion in Luke 7 which invited Jesus remark:

    9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel."

    All this means is you know nothing of Simone Weil and her experience with the Christ and don't respect Jacob Needleman's dedication to impartiality.

    Again, the only way to to seek is through inner experience. We can see that we don't believe in God by admitting what we do. If we believed in god, we wouldn't do what we do.

    At least the boy's father was honest about it. The secular church doesn't understand how to help a person acquire the faith of the Centurion and just speaks of blind belief. But the boy's father at least admits the truth of the human condition that we believe at times and don't believe at other times.
    But who does it for you? Is a church that celebrates its power during Christmas by glitzy TV performances of Christmas mass? Where is the humility in that? There is no room for it with all the posturing. Simone couldn't respect the results of the secular church and she was right. We judge the quality of the tree by its fruits and what are the fruits of this power trip? Yet there is something very valuable in Christianity that is continually thrown in the mud for the sake of this exoteric power trip.

    Exactly!

    Sadly it is you who are closed to the truth by not allowing yourself the impartial experience of what can lead to it. You prefer to support the power of its secular expression where Christianity seeks to abandon the attachment to secular power for the sake of experiencing and becoming part of the higher reality the teaching offers
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's a thought:

    Theosis: The True Purpose of Human Life Archimandrite George, p34.

    Unless one comprehends this, one cannot conceive of the Christian Life, for the Christian Life is the Life in the Body, it is an hypostasis in the technical sense of the term, the baptised soul subsists ("supported" from "stands under") by this mystical union in Christ through the operation of the Holy Spirit.

    Furthermore:
    (Ibid, p35.)

    This is the intrinsic argument.

    Christian esoterism can only be approached through the Sacrament of Baptism. Only through baptism are we born into the Holy Spirit ("Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" John 3:5), and only in the Spirit can man perceive the things of the spirit.

    This baptism, however, establishes a possibility, a new life, a new potentiality that is itself super-natural. It is then up to the individual to realise it, to actualise it in himself: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" Matthew 16:24).

    No matter how steeped in sin, this opening of the heart to Christ (metanoia) results in immediate sanctification, by the grace of forgiveness the opacity of sin (a veil) is absolved — Christ rejoices in finding the lost sheep — the true image of the soul (logoi) "holy and unspotted in his sight in charity" (Ephesians 1:4) founded in the Logos before the creation of the world (cf Ephesians 1:4).

    The immediacy of grace is evident in the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11, nor overlook the beggar Lazarus in Luke 16), and the redemption of the Robber on the Cross (Luke 23).

    All this only further points to the error and artifice of assuming 'degrees' of grace; by proposing an esoterism that is distinct from its exoterism (apart from the fact that an esoterism cannot be present outside of its exoteric component) one is assuming degrees of Divine Love, that God portions out his love according to the quality of the intellect and not the soul, of and in which the intellect is a subsidiary power.

    That God loves the saint more than the sinner — this is a human error in seeking to quantify God, and then justify reducing love to a mere volumetric measure rather than a pure grace.

    And in the end, as is so sadly evident, man determines who is deserving of God's love, and who is not, based on his own arbitrary opinion.

    How can the pursuit of all the knowledge in the world lead us to our primordial innocence? "Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3) — I daresay it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a man who knows the world to become as a child.

    No amount of psychological alchemy can make the soul holy, any more than we can heal the would of our own fallen nature, but we can offer up ourselves, wounded, to be healed and made whole — consider the Myth of the Fisher King, the Dolorous Wound and a body rendered a Wasteland.

    No exercise of man's intellect or ingenuity can achieve this. Metanoia is an exercise in humility, not intellectual capacity.

    The Temple of Apollo says to man "Know thyself" — by Christ rebuked man when he said "Physician, heal thyself" (Luke 4:23) — for well we might know that we are in need of help, but only He can help us.

    It is not in strength we come to Him, but weakness, learn that lesson, only then He can heal us, only when we offer up our suffering, can He take it away.

    A prayer for when we are lost and looking:
    O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear:
    and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me.
    But thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel.
    In thee have our fathers hoped: they have hoped,
    and thou hast delivered them.
    They cried to thee, and they were saved:
    they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

    And to him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve him.
    There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come:
    and the heavens shall show forth his justice to a people that shall be born,
    which the Lord hath made.
    Psalm 21:3-6, 31-32.

    Thomas
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    But we can't say that either. Even the Jesus Seminar admits that some quotes are 'probably' direct. No-one knows.

    And does it matter? Is it the letter we seek, or the spirit? D'you really think that someone decided to really spice things up, and put all those words in Jesus' mouth?

    Or, more to the point, that various people were concocting various spurious testimonies nigh-on simultaneously, that correspond with each other?

    I am saying the Johannine Community at Ephesus had his testimony. There is a growing argument that the basic text, including the miracles, and its structure, a Book of Signs and a Book of Glory, might well date from around 40-45.

    Then you have to make a decision. Has God founded a Church, and then abandoned it?

    Then why be a Christian, or a Buddhist? Why believe in anything that has no factual, historical, truthful or real basis?

    Of course not, it's just your opinion, to which you are entitled. As I keep saying, the point of the Theology Board is to understand doctrines, not for people to voice their opinions on them.

    There is a Buddhist tale, as I recall, about the finger and the moon. I think it applies here.

    Thomas
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Thomas,

    You ask why believe...I believe the essense is there. I believe the books were divinely inspired. Just not every jot and tittle is correct.

    So I can believe and utilize the text, but still have to chuckle at the concept of fact, truth, reality in toto.

    Yeah, the best we've got is probably direct.

    Has G!d founded a church and then ignored it?? I don't understand the question..a. I don't believe G!d founded a church man did and claimed divinity, just as kings and Caesars did...following suit. But how do you believe that I believe G!d ignored it?
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wil, you say:
    Which is no more than we say.

    Perhaps with the proviso that God did not inspire the Sacred Scribe to write the truth — that is guide the mind and hand — He wished to be made known on the one hand, and then allow that same mind and hand to write something else to confound it, and render the whole thing void, on the other.

    If you met Christ upon the road, and He said, "This day you shall be with me in paradise" would you chuckle then, at the idea of paradise?

    I mean would Christ have imparted His teaching to the Twelve, and made no provision to ensure its proper transmission thereafter — even when He gave His word that He would?

    I think I'm saying I don't think you actually believe in the message of the text at all, I think you just 'utilize' some of the ideas contained there.

    Thomas
     
  19. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Last time I checked Nick, you were the one who was preaching the virtues of
    man made interpretations while rejecting the authority of revealed scriptures.
     
  20. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Thomas

    I don't mean to be offensive but Christianity is more than a label. Just because something calls itself a church and performs rituals doesn't mean that it is a living church with the Spirit. Most churches have lost the Spirit and have become empty churches with rituals and with out any inner understanding.



    I'm sorry but baptism is more then someone acting a part sprinkling some water and saying some words. Most priests are priests in name only. To baptize with the spirit requires having the Spirit. Here is a Christian with the Spirit. I'm not saying someone has to be at such a level but when a person is dominated by secular imagination, they cannot have the Spirit.



    Paul in Ephesians is referring to a living church within which the Spirit can help in man's awakening.

    I'm not arguing theosis but questioning if you appreciate what the following biblical passage means beyond a secular interpretation:



    This is more then a change of attitude or of behavior but rather a change of "being" which is the theosis of esoteric Christianity.
    Yes this is the advantage of Christianity. As Buddha said, life is suffering. If it is, can our suffering serve more then mechanical animal suffering? It can but it requires being able to consciously carry ones cross. Simone Weil explains the relationship of suffering and Christianity from the point of views of one with direct experience.

    The trouble is how many are capable of baptizing? I don't see much awakening in the world. Also can a person receive the Spirit without a ritual? Jesus brought the Spirit into the world so it would seem that those like Simone, growing up as an Atheist can receive the Spirit.
    God doesn't portion out divine love but rather we can gradually become more open to receive it. The esoteric is connected to the exoteric because it is through the conscious esoteric attention becoming able to know the automatic reacting exoteric level allows us to be seen as we become open to receive help from above. Consider the Gospel of Thomas:
    Jesus said that we must give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. Is there any reason why we should not pursue science and faith at the same time? They are two different domains that should be connected and Man should be able to connect them for thy will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Is there any reason why a christian cannot be a real Man able to connect the sacred and the secular?
    For that you will have to die to yourself but are you willing to die? How can you offer yourself without first being able to "know thyself?" Without understanding, we will offer our imagination for the sake of enhancing our opinion of ourselves while calling ourselves healed.

    Peter could never understand this. He was willing to sacrifice his opinion of right and wrong but to offer himself buy admitting himself became impossible before he experienced the shock of denying Jesus three times. He saw he was governed by appearance and was not in touch with the inner reality that caused his denial.

    Where Jesus includes a developed inner man, the Pharisee represents how the attraction to "appearance" or vanity governs our life. Esoteric Christianity knows that the Pharisee is within us. We underestimate how much we are governed by appearance but it is something we must come to grips with before becoming able to reserve a place for the Spirit in our psych.

    We don't know ourselves which is why we remain prisoners. We don't see how much our lives are governed by our acquired conditioning that when taken together form our personality. This is very hard and why so few people are capable of it. Our personality is so strong that we don't see what it inhibits. It feels like our lives so naturally we don't want to let die what we believe is ourselves for the sake of a new inner experience that is our potential.
     
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