Esoteric Christianity so called

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

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  1. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    I'm not accusing anyone of anything. The point is that Christianity asserts that we are a plurality and part of this plurality loves God but much of it doesn't. so whether or not we are in the act of loving god depends upon which of these aspects of our plurality are dominant. I have verified in myself that what Paul asserts is true.


    It is naive to accuse anyone of exhibiting the human condition since I have it as well. All that is suggested is that we are psychologically asleep and unaware of what is lost due to this slavery. This is why the Christian calling "to be" requires awakening.

    If a person doesn't believe he is as Paul described and content with his inner life as is, then esoteric Christianity can have no meaning for them. There is no need to accuse since there is no good or bad in it anymore then if a person admits they have a broken leg. It isn't a matter of right or wrong but how to heal it.

    I associate myself with them but know full well that I am not on their level. You quote the Quran but does that put you on the level as its source? I can quote some insights into a chess game by Kasparov but does this mean I play like Kasparov? No. However if someone feels as though it is worth reading Jacob Needleman's "Lost Christianity" from any excerpts I've posted, I feel I've done a good thing. There is no status in this, but rather it is the necessary effort to be human in the face of the expected growls of the status quo. Don't forget, people that have a deep need for meaning and cannot find it in fantasy land, the secular world, and all its expressions, are in a difficult spot. So if I can help in this regard, I believe it is the human thing to do rather then an effort for status.
     
  2. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Okay now your just lying. You said exactly that to Greymare.
    Do you want me to quote you?
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OK — Time out, folks.

    But I think it's fair to say you do appear pretty contemptuous of everyone.

    Let's review Romans 7:
    "When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Let me offer this:
    This is St Paul talking — and St Paul is recognised as one of the sources of the content and lexicon of Christian esoterism. He is a chosen of God, called, beyond his own will, driven, in fact ... But he, even now, suffers the burden of sin.

    So the point is, even though a saint, he is still a sinner. You won't find any saint, and source of the Philokalia, who reckons himself without sin.

    So please stop placing barriers between us and Christ — He never did.

    Anyway ... as said above ... we're into personal opinions here, not doctrine ... so I'm happy to continue the discussion elsewhere, but I want to get this thread back on track.

    Thomas
     
  4. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    sorry dude, that was my bad. Please continue:

    *picks up bucket of popcorn again*
     
  5. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    We are all sinners. The point of Christianity is to use it by keeping it in perspective or as Jesus said: "Get thee behind me Satan." He didn't say go to hell but rather get behind. Even hemorrhoids are useful when providng the necessary pain in the ass that helps one to awaken. Satan then and its temptations provides a necessary hemorrhoidal purpose relating to awakening.

    But this type of rejection and righteous indignation has to be considered in the context of recognizing the human condition and the attitude normal for rejection. Socrates describes it well in the Allegory of the Cave:

    Jesus describes it in John 15:
    The point here is that the closer one gets to the essence of Christianity which is the purpose of esoteric Christianity, the more they will be hated by the World. Christianity has a very limited appeal since most are content in the world or within the confines of Plato's cave including Christendom within it.

    If I'm good enough to be worthy of a little righteous indignation by expressing these ideas I've acquired from the Bible and other sources concerning the human condition, it means I'm moving in the right direction.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I think I quoted from the Philokalia on that point, when you complained that 'righteous indignation' was a negative ... ?

    Actually that's a tautological statement, which indicates its fundamental lack of logic.

    I find it has limited appeal because it calls on faith rather than intellectualism.

    In fact, Christianity is founded on what you call blind faith:
    "And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed ... And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel"
    (Matthew 8:7-8,10).

    Or it means you're making the most preposterous assumptions ... which when we discuss the content of this so-called esoteric Christianity, I hope to demonstrate.

    Thomas
     
  7. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Thomas

    No, you said you would research it. When you do you will see that righteous indignation is just an expression of false pride that feels good since it furthers self justification, but in reality only denies further understanding.

    All this means is that you deny how Christianity has devolved into Christendom and take everything as the same in objective quality. Choosing our own reality is not Christianity. Becoming consciously and impartially able to discriminate between the wheat and tares is.

    I find it has limited appeal since it suggests that we are in Plato's cave and asleep to reality with the possibility of awakening into a higher quality of "being." This is the biggest possible insult to secularism which now prides itself on its "intelligence."



    Take the whole passage:



    The Centurion is at a level that commands a hundred men yet he is nothing compared to the level of Jesus and knows it. He gives to the lower and receives from the higher There is no sense for Jesus to work through his level but the centurion's faith connects the higher and lower so the lower can be healed through him as the "middle.".

    The faith OF Christ then is acquiring and maintaining the perspective that connects the higher and lower within our being in a quality of being we know as "presence."

    We shall see.
     
  8. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    I feel I must caution anyone lurking that may find the concept of esoteric Christianity attractive. The idea seems to be gaining in popularity which is good in one way for those that feel the need for something with more depth but if taken wrongly, can put a person in a worse position then when beginning to become involved.

    I bring this up since I was reading up on an Esoteric Interfaith Church

    Esoteric Interfaith Church, Inc.

    Clicking on "what we believe" indicates some genuine research and they seem like a group of nice people. I'm not that much a fan of Richard Smoley but it could be worse. What could one be concerned about? The answer is in Matthew 12.


    Esoteric Christianity being an inner tradition and not just New Age fantasy does contain techniques that can open one up and clean one out so to speak . However, not many are aware of how this "house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order" is vulnerable. People start sharing exercises someone discovered and acquire results. However, without the proper guidance which can be uncomfortable to experience, a person can begin to adapt this "New Wine" to fit their "Old Bottles." A person can really do real harm to themselves if their egos adopt the teaching. They can create an inner dirty house far worse than before and far more difficult to clean.

    So for what its worth, ask yourself what you want. Do you want self justification through religion or are you willing to sacrifice self justification for what esoteric Christianity can offer? If not sure, it is probably best to just enjoy its ideas because they are beautiful but without going deeper until it is really needed and one is willing to sacrifice the joys of self deception for. The way to keep the house clean is to remember ones nothingness and create a New Bottle out of oneself. Then there is nothing for perversion to grab hold of and we can maintain the necessary impartial detachment to keep the inner house clean.
     
  9. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Though it deals with the kingdom of God, this post deals specifically with the concept from the esoteric perspective. It belongs here then since it isn't something that could be part of a Sunday talk. It requires more contemplation and explained superficially, it just loses its value. Yet for those that are interested in these things, I'll post it as food for thought.

     
  10. Janz

    Janz What's Amatta U

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    Nick_A and all those interested. I find my spirit attracted to The Esoteric Teachings of Jesus and the Nazarene Essenes: This message was for the ears of man alone, they who walk between the worlds of earth and heaven. And unto the ears of man was whispered this message.. ~The Essene Gospel of Peace

    For more see:
    Essenes, Essene Teachings and Essene Theology
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nick —

    As you have been unable to defend one of your cited authorities whom it would appear is riddled with errors and assumptions, it seems pointless to continue posting tracts supporting what appears to be a fundamentally erroneous thesis.

    Thomas
     
  12. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    I'll share with you something along these lines that I've been meaning to get verified which isn't easy to do since who knows Aramaic. However click on this link

    The Lords Prayer

    If you read the Lord's Prayer translated from the Aramaic it is all about vibrations. I believe this to be true but of course in modern times one could be boiled in oil for even suggesting such things. Though for anyone open enough to consider such things, it is worth contemplating IMO. I hope you appreciate it.
     
  13. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    You worry about defending and I'm concerned with experiencing. This is why you could never understand those like Simone, Prof. Needleman, Dr. Nicoll, and others. All that can be given is an intellectual skeleton within which a person can begin to experientially fill in the body if they can become capable of doing so. I can only wonder what you would do to the Sermon on the Mount with all these arguments of yours that would force you to miss its essential theme.
     
  14. Janz

    Janz What's Amatta U

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    If you want to do some more research on Aramaic and the NT, here are the links that I have found to be enlightening on that subject.

    The Aramaic Bible Research Directory

    Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies

    Aramaic English New Testament by Andrew Gabriel Roth


    I especially appreciate the research and scholarship of Andrew Gabriel Roth. I disagree with some of his theological conclusions but his mastery of the Aramaic language and translations is to be admired. IMHO

    There is another link but I cannot paste it here as since Pe****ta has the letters s_h_i_t and that word is being censored here. :confused: Maybe I can send the link to you Nick in a PM.
     
  15. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Thanks for the link. I must admit being surprised but happy to learn of your sincere interest. As you know, it's not the usual. :)
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My point is, what you're experiencing is your own (or another's) fantasia.

    Thomas
     
  17. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    That is why esoteric Christianity requires grounded conscious presence. Fantasy is what takes the place of conscious presence. That is how one is able to "test the spirits." Conscious presence requires a developed power of attention. Fantasy cannot dominate in this semi awakened state nor can negative emotions. When negative emotions dominate, we are incapable of conscious attention.

    Escapism popular in New Age circles is the voluntary sacrifice of our power of conscious attention that keeps us open to help from above rather then filling that opening with imagination.
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Jamarz —

    So was mine ... there are many out there with honeyed words ... you have to test severely. Most is pure fictions dreamed up by those seeking the adulation of others, by passing themselves off as 'mystics', etc.

    Another point to remember, from evidence we now have, is that the Essenes were a militant and 'hard line' or 'right wing' outfit ... the idea of their being peaceniks was an invention of the Romance Movement, in the absence of any hard data.

    Jesus would have been slung out of the Essenes on his ear — they were hardline on ritual purity and the observance of their rule.

    A critique of:
    Essenes, Essene Teachings and Essene Theology

    Factually wrong on many counts. It is not the most ancient nor the most complete, indeed, how can one say a text 'includes the complete life and teachings of Jesus' — measured against what? And of course, filled with the 'higher moral and spiritual understanding' never prevents anyone from slipping in a dig against Christian orthodoxy, does it?

    The Gospel of the Nazoreans is a translation into Aramaic of the Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew, circulated in Western Syria, Matthew's traditional preaching ground and addresses a Jewish audience. The theology reflected in the extant fragments are not at all 'heretical,' but is dependent upon the developing theology of the emerging 'Catholic' church. The existence of Matthew as an earlier source made it superfluous in the gospel tradition.

    It's first mention is c180AD, some 60 years later than the Synoptics — so by no means ancient. Fragments are preserved in Origen, Eusebius and Epiphanius. Most of the text assigned to the Gospel of the Nazoreans come from Jerome (c400AD) — so hardly 'complete'.

    As the Greek Matthew is an translation/expansion of an earlier Hebrew Matthew (now lost), a 'logia' or sayings document, the Gospel of the Nazoreans is far from the most ancient, and rather than complete, it is unoriginal.

    +++

    Sorry, but this is a real old chesnut, a pseudo-essene document and a typical piece of self-glorification.

    Published in 1928 by Dr. Edmund Bordeaux Szekely, supposedly discovered in the Secret Archives of the Vatican ... this book ranks alongside Rev. Gideon Ousely's "The Gospel of the Holy Twelve" (supposedly translated from Essene texts hidden in a Tibetan monastery, and partially channelled to him by angels) as products of the Romance Movement and Theosophical inspirations and mischief making at the start of the last century. Subsequent investigations into the claims of these individuals produced nothing to substantiate their stories. Biblical scholars don't consider the Szekely or Ousely writings as authentic. Szekely's text supports his politics of 'Biogenic Living' (vegetarianism). Ousely can be seen here

    +++

    And yet the texts do nothing to upset "orthodoxy".

    +++

    The GoT dates from the fourth century. As Thomas himself, according to the tradition, journeyed to India where he was killed, it is unlikely this text is in any sense authentic. It's neither Christian nor properly gnostic, and exists in its own right as a matter of historical interest, but has nothing of any value to say or offer Christianity as such.

    +++

    Let us not forget that Q is a hypothetical solution to a problem. There is no evidence at all for any such document ever to have existed, and even if there was, scholars are unable to say what it might have contained.

    A better bet is to assume that Matthew and Luke utilised Mark, that Matthew also utilised the Hebrew Matthew referred to but now lost, and Luke similarly drew on other sources. Of course, the real problem is that Historical Critical scholars simply ignore oral tradition — which Luke makes a point of — because it doesn't fit into their neat little packaging of texts.

    +++

    Sorry if this seems so negative, but I think the truth deserves a fair hearing in these cases.

    Thomas
     
  19. Janz

    Janz What's Amatta U

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    ^ Thanks for your response, Thomas. I will do my own research on your critiques but it may take awhile. ~~Jan
     
  20. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    As to be expected, I disagree with Thomas. We don't really know that much about the Essenes but it is safe to say that they suffered the same problems we have now which is the secularization of religion. that can easily explain the hostility.

    I appreciate the link and plan to look into it. Naturally I look for planes of existence first since I've learned that without the awarenss of the relativity of "being" which is the norm today, nothing can truly be understood. Naturally I found the following revealing:

    The Planes of Correspondence

    Perhaps we can discuss some ideas in the future.
     
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