Livergood's esoterism

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Thomas

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This is a critique of Livergood's "Esoteric Christianity"

Before all else, a comment on language:

Like Universal Existence, which is its prototype, language encloses us ontologically in the truth, whether we wish it or not: before all words, its all-embracing meaning is ‘Be’; it is Divine in its essence: "In the beginning was the Word."
Frithjof Schuon, Sufism: Veil and Quintessence

I begin here because Schuon is recognised as one of the pre-eminent esoterists of the last century.

Formulation is not intended to be exhaustive – no formulation could be – but it does nonetheless provide an adequate reference point; in metaphysics, that is all one can ask of human thought.
Schuon: Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism.

As I shall demonstrate, the 'adequate reference points' are missing.

... expressions which are merely logical do not always keep step with spiritual reality – indeed this is far from being the case. It is also a fact that the meanings of many words have shrunk to some extent with usage, or else that they have come to suggest associations of ideas that are more or less restrictive; nor should we forget that the modern reader has more difficulty in ‘reading between the lines’ than his predecessor of olden times, so that greater precision and more shades of meaning are necessary.
Schuon: Gnosis: Divine Wisdom

One must know exactly what is meant by these terms.
Schuon: Sufism: Veil and Quintessence

Often the 'trick' in sites purporting to profess 'esoteric Christianity' is that they use technical terms in such a vague and generalised way as to void them of meaning. As a result the reader is obliged to supply his or her own definitions, and by so doing, discovers that he or she is reading something that accords with what they felt or believed to be the case. Thus the reader erroneously assumes they have found something they are looking for, when in fact all the author is doing is mirroring their presuppositions.

Let me demonstrate:
About 25-30 C.E (1) a mystical teacher (2) named Jesus (3) began to tell people about a spiritual realm (4) in which the person (5) who would be leader (6) must be a servant of all (7). He spoke of a definite re-birth (8) into a Higher Consciousness (9).
1: An approximation, OK.

2: 'A mystical teacher' ... what does that mean? In a post-modern context, mysticism has become a subjective ideal, whereas in antiquity, it was an objective reality. It's a nice term, but it fails to locate the 'teacher' in any tradition. Is he a Jew, a Greek, an Egyptian, a Persian ... each will offer a different view and definition of 'mystical teacher'. Which mysteries are being taught?

3: There were more than one person named Jesus ... perhaps the author is unaware of that? Is it Jesus ben Joseph? Jesus ben Pantera?

4: Again ... what realm? Context? The spiritual realms of the Jews, the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Persians? They are all very different.

5: How does one define 'person' in the spiritual realm in question.

6: How does one define 'leader' in the spiritual realm in question.

7: How does one define 'servant' in the spiritual realm in question.

8: Context? Reincarnation? Transmigration? Metempsychosis? Apokatastasis? What?

8: Context?

So, in essence we have an introductory soundbite statement with all the right 'hook' words, but with no actual meaning or content whatsoever.

One might counter 'well, it's obvious', but is it? If, as the author asserts, Christ's message was in no way connected to the Hebrew Tradition, then from where does this 'mystical teacher' derive His message?

Thomas
 
Re: Livergood's esoterism contd

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
Really? Who? And where are these teachings? Why do the masters of the Perennial Tradition of recent times — René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Titus Burckhardt, Marco Pallis, Martin Lings, Ivan Aguéli, James Cutsinger, Henry Corbin, William Chittick ... all refute this notion of 'esoteric Christianity'?

An examination of the many and various so-called 'secret traditions' supposedly handed on by Christ shows that there were more 'secret traditions' than there were exoteric ones ... and notably these same 'secret traditions' often contradict each other so fundamentally that none can be claimed reliable.

One says Christ died on the Cross; another that He was taken down before He died; that He died and was resuscitated; that Judas hung in his place; that He was an angel and only appeared to suffer ...

Most tellingly, why, if this doctrine is 'esoteric', does it's gaze stop on the cosmological horizon? Why is its doctrine aspire to nothing more than an expression of psychology? How is it that the gaze of the Church, of whom it is so derisive, surpass it in excellence by illuminating the very heart and life of the Divine?

But I digress ...

... such as Hermes and Plato--who initiated chosen disciples into a mystical rebirth of the soul into a Higher Consciousness.
Might one point out that Hermes Trismegistus is a mythical figure and Plato is not? Hardly a sound basis for comparison.

Only a handful of Renaissance writers believed that Hermes actually existed, and they lost interest in him when it was shown that the Corpus Hermeticum was dated a lot later than they had assumed. So it would appear the author is labouring under a Medieval myth.

Each Perennialist teacher ... we have the Hermetic teachings during the time of Hermes Trismegistus
Actually the Corpus Hermeticum dates from around the 3rd century AD.

The genuine, hidden teachings of Jesus -- Esoteric Christianity -- is one of those embodiments.
Can he show us these 'hidden teachings' to which he refers? And can he demonstrate their authenticity?

This is the crux ... the so-called esoterist cannot claim continuity of heritage, lineage, or teaching. whilst everyone claims these teachings are 'hidden', no-one explains how they are in possession of them, nor can they show any authenticity of origin.

Within a short time, there came into being a new sacerdotal state-supported Church which misrepresented Jesus as a god.
Factually wrong. From Scripture and the writings of the Fathers, we know that Jesus was being professed as God from the very outset. The alliance of church and state did not occur until the fourth century.

Such genuine adepts as Paul, Clement of Alexandria, Marcion, Valentinus, and Origen ...
On what basis does he claim these men 'adepts'? And 'adepts' in what, precisely?

I need say nothing about Paul. But Clement and Origen, Masters of the Catechetical School in Alexandria, would refute both Marcion and Valentinus and deny their scholarship or understanding of the Christian Doctrine, so this statement is a nonsense that relies on the ignorance of its audience.

In fact Origen's On First Principles substantially refutes Marcion's (and this author's) thesis that the God of Jesus Christ is not the God of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Indeed, Origen learned Hebrew so he could read the text in the original (and he is not, as suggested, the author of the Greek 'Septuagint' which gets its name from the council of 70 (septuagint) to whom the translation is ascribed) and Origen cites the Hebrew scriptures at great length in his writings.

Likewise it disposes of Valentinus' gnostic structures ... and again his Against Celsus disposes of many of this author's suppositions with regard to the Christian Faith.

It's a great shame these so-called Esoterists never actually read the authors they are so fond of citing.

Such genuine adepts as Paul, Clement of Alexandria ... and Origen understood Jesus' true teachings and did not view him as a deity but as a mystical teacher.
Factually untrue, easily evidenced from extant writings.

Paul was aghast when he learned that Peter and some of the other apostles of Jesus in Jerusalem and other cities were interpreting Jesus's message as an extension of Judaism, using the Hebrew Old Testament as a major scripture.
Factually untrue, easily evidenced from extant writings.

Paul is the only one who had any apprehension of the real esoteric significance of the Christ Myth in its cosmic aspects, while at the same time he was obliged to base his teachings principally on the exoteric beliefs of his hearers which centred round the personal Jesus.
Factually untrue, easily evidenced from extant writings.

This is laughable ... but the author's essential error is self-declared: He interprets Christianity merely as a cosmological phenomena, he doesn't see it at all. Christianity is not a natural religion, a cosmological system, but a supernatural religion, a revelation of God:
"By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
Can's say more esoteric than that, can you?

Both Jesus and Paul made it clear that Christianity was decidedly not an extension of Judaism.
No-one ever said it was. This is the author's assumption and error. But factually untrue in implication, easily evidenced from extant writings.
What Jesus and His Apostles make clear is that His message is the fulfilment of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Thus in the early church a number of factions had arisen, with Peter and some of the other original apostles preaching a Judaised, sacerdotal Christianity requiring no more than belief, while Paul insisted that Jesus' teaching was about a spiritual rebirth such as he had himself experienced.
Rubbish. See the citation from Peter above.

The persecution of the Christians was regarded as a social necessity by the rulers of Rome; the spread of the doctrine nourished dangerous discontents and provided new and effective channels of organization for the lower classes. Pliny the Younger, who was governor of Bithynia in the early years of the second century, wrote to the emperor concerning the troublesome activity of Christians in forming collegia or gilds, and he told of torturing two maidservants in order to get information about these associations.
Factually untrue, easily evidenced from extant writings.

The letter of Pliny to Trajan
They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.

The letter of Trajan to Pliny
You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians. For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance. But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution. For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age.

Note that Christians were not to be sought, nor was there any edict against them. What worried Trajan more, was rumour-mongering.

The persecution of Christians, even by Roman historians, was regarded as an injustice (see Tacitus) and in fact the excesses of Nero sickened the population and turned them against him, which was why Nero's games were drawn to a premature close.

So it would seem the author chooses his texts selectively, misrepresents their conclusions, and radically fails to comprehend the scope and depths of the Mysteries (of which, by this account, he is utterly unaware) to which he claims esoteric insight.

Luckily, for the author of this site, Trajan is long gone, for there is no doubt that he would hold Livergood in the same contempt, for spreading rumour and misinformation and lies, and all the while under the guise of truth and knowledge.

Thomas
 
Thomas

Words not only have several literal meanings but arouse different emotional impressions as well. The emotional experience of the word "sunset" for example can be different for a person having looked at it in awe and another who was raped on the beach during a sunset. This is why sacred text is an art form since its value bypasses all this superficial preconditioning you describe.

it takes a while to grasp what is meant by these words since their meaning is associated with higher wholes and cannot be truly understood outside the context of higher wholes. The concept of the "Son" cannot be grasped without the initial appreciation of the Father/Son relationship. It is like trying to grasp the meaning of the note fa in a musical scale outside of the context of the scale itself. Its meaning is dependent upon the scale.

A "person" in the context of esoteric Christianity differs depending upon which place along the ladder of human "being" a person lives on.

4: Again ... what realm? Context? The spiritual realms of the Jews, the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Persians? They are all very different.
From the point of view of the perennial traditions their visible expressions are at the exoteric level. Each can find the esoteric level but most are content to remain in fantasy and self justification along the exoteric path that turns in circles.

Christianity is ancient. We cannot prove these things but if you understand what a perennial tradition is, it is obvious. These traditions are not man made to teach one anything new but rather serve as a means to awaken to what has been forgotten.

Wisdom From the Forgotten Gospels
by James Bean
Copyright September 2003 Though it does seem like it sometimes, Christianity was not invented by Europeans or Americans, the first churches flourished 2,000 years ago in places like Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and other countries of the Near and Middle east. It really is possible to discover some of the secrets of these now defunct and long forgotten expressions of Christianity. In addition to the books of the New Testament, Christians during the early years of the faith possessed and studied many other documents written by saints, apostles, and contemplatives. These scriptures served as a means of communication, articulating to readers in the ancient world the views of other spiritual communities that once existed within the Christian movement. For example, there are several books attributed to the apostle Thomas which present another very distinct version of Christianity - that of the Thomas branch of the church based in Syria. Saint Thomas is said to have founded churches in Syria and to the East, eventually traveling on a missionary journey to India. It's interesting to note that even now, there are millions of Thomas Christians in India who preserve the belief that Thomas arrived there during the first century. Other apostles from the original inner circle of Christ are said to have also traveled, founding churches that developed their own unique traditions of faith. Most of these were eventually converted and absorbed into Orthodoxy or faded into oblivion.
Thomas, I posted a thread on Schuon's book "The Transcendent Unit of Religions that includes the esoteric level of Christianity. This book by René Guénon "Insights into Christian Esoterism". indicates an appreciation of esoteric Christianity.

Insights into Christian Esoterism. , René Guénon - Sophia Perennis Books -

You want to define Christianity by Western Catholic standards which IMO underestimates Christianity and deprives the true seeker of the Christian experience.
An examination of the many and various so-called 'secret traditions' supposedly handed on by Christ shows that there were more 'secret traditions' than there were exoteric ones ... and notably these same 'secret traditions' often contradict each other so fundamentally that none can be claimed reliable.
This is why esoteric Christianity remains underground. All sorts of false teachings arise under the name esoteric Christianity which can cause more harm than good.

Esoteric Christianity appears to be exclusive. It has to be that way. It doesn't look for slaves but rather seeks to allow a person "to be" which is the goal of Christian re-birth. It is of no value to those that are not willing to admit the human condition Paul referred to. Esoteric Christianity invites a person to become able to think for themselves so as to become able to "Know thyself" rather than indulge in righteous indignation.

Most tellingly, why, if this doctrine is 'esoteric', does it's gaze stop on the cosmological horizon? Why is its doctrine aspire to nothing more than an expression of psychology? How is it that the gaze of the Church, of whom it is so derisive, surpass it in excellence by illuminating the very heart and life of the Divine?

This is where it begins. Man is dual natured and to experience the verticality of what it means, it must be explained within a cosmological concept.

The essence of esoteric Christianity is "Know Thyself."
"Do You wish to know God? Learn first to know yourself -ABBA EVAGRIUS, FOURTH CENTURY

"A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there."Meister Eckhart

This is what you refuse to see. The supernatural part of ourselves Christianity is concerned with is covered over so doesn't grow. We live in a dream. Often as a result the "dead bury their dead." We are content with fantasy so lack the need to "know thyself." And to truly know thyself, the higher must become able to impartially observe the lower.

Might one point out that Hermes Trismegistus is a mythical figure and Plato is not? Hardly a sound basis for comparison.

We don't know about Hermes. Many think Jesus is a myth as well.. The point is if their message has objective value as it pertains to the human condition. Rather then questioning Hermes' existence, try to comprehend the Emerald Tablet. Which is more important?

Emerald Tablet of Hermes

What does as is, so below have to do with Christianity. It refers to rebirth from below back to the above. This is what scripture teaches us but only a relative few recognize it and prefer debating secular considerations.

Can he show us these 'hidden teachings' to which he refers? And can he demonstrate their authenticity?

This is the crux ... the so-called esoterist cannot claim continuity of heritage, lineage, or teaching. whilst everyone claims these teachings are 'hidden', no-one explains how they are in possession of them, nor can they show any authenticity of origin.



The knowledge always was so these teachings in a sense always were. They are passed down through an oral tradition. They always will be offensive as Jesus and Socrates said as well as:

The Perennial Tradition--Introduction

" Words should not be withheld from the worthy, but the unworthy will be annoyed by the words of real men. The hearts of the unworthy and those who are alienated from reality are like wicks that have been drenched in water instead of oil. No matter how much fire you put to such a wick it will not burn."

Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi The Mystical and Visionary Treatises



I haven't read this book but am aware of the perennial traditions
You want to pull the perennial traditions down to a secular through which to judge. You are asleep in Plato's cave but how can a sleeping person judge awakening? That is why the first step is the attempt to "know thyself." It is the beginning of awakening in order "to be."
You want to argue about what is true and untrue. People always do this. The person pursuing meaning and interested in esoteric Christianity has become disappointed with arguing and interpretations on the exoteric level and needs to experience the meaning Christianity leads to.
So it would seem the author chooses his texts selectively, misrepresents their conclusions, and radically fails to comprehend the scope and depths of the Mysteries (of which, by this account, he is utterly unaware) to which he claims esoteric insight.
Esoteric Christianity is not a game of gotcha. In the words of Father Sylvan: "There are no esoteric thoughts but only esoteric thinking." The goal is to inwardly become able to verify the human condition within us which invites the help of the Spirit. It isn't a matter of arguing right or wrong but in affirming the simultaneous experience of subjective right and wrong within so it can be reconciled from a higher objective conscious perspective we can become capable of.

To carry ones cross invites us to consciously experience our conditioned reactions and how they keep us in prison. When it is genuine, the Spirit can help us to reconcile it from a higher perspective providing the detachment we need that leads to re-birth.
 
The concept of the "Son" cannot be grasped without the initial appreciation of the Father/Son relationship. It is like trying to grasp the meaning of the note fa in a musical scale outside of the context of the scale itself. Its meaning is dependent upon the scale.

As an interested observer, I would like to share one point of contention. I think what you say here illustrates Thomas' point in this matter: what is pointed to is context, yet context is ignored typically in translation and in tradition. You point to "fa in a musical scale," yet I will dare suggest "Son of G-d" in context referring to Jesus' time was a title reserved for the Ceasar in Rome.

To Thomas' credit, I think he is right to suggest that many so-called scholars (not limited to esoterists by any means) do play fast and loose with the details when it suits. And when the details are sufficiently vague, just about any interpretation can be made. I do think a crucial point in validating *any* ancient text is to appreciate what it was the author actually meant *in context* rather than getting all touchy-feely with free-association in verse. Now, to my way of thinking this would be as applicable to the Gospels as it is to Origen or St. Augustine, or any sacred text or commentary thereof.

In my humble opinion, and it is no more than that, I think that is a shortcoming of esoteric traditions in general...they are far too vague for their own good. Now in fairness, perhaps this is deliberate...advertising to the uninitiated as it were. But it doesn't create much in the way of good will for one who has a critical mind to begin with such as myself. It is for reasons such as this that I tend to shy away from such as the FreeMasons and Kabbalists, to name but two. There may well be very worthwhile lessons contained within these traditions, but my warning signals all go haywire with what little is allowed to pass as advertising to the uninitiated.
 
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As an interested observer, I would like to share one point of contention. I think what you say here illustrates Thomas' point in this manner: what is pointed to is context, yet context is ignored typically in translation and in tradition. You point to "fa in a musical scale," yet "Son," or even I will dare suggest "Son of G-d" in context referring to Jesus' time were both titles reserved for the Ceasar in Rome.

To Thomas' credit, I think he is right to suggest that many so-called scholars (not limited to esoterists by any means) do play fast and loose with the details when it suits. And when the details are sufficiently vague, just about any interpretation can be made. I do think a crucial point in validating *any* ancient text is to appreciate what it was the author actually meant *in context* rather than getting all touchy-feely with free-association in verse. Now, to my way of thinking this would be as applicable to the Gospels as it is to Origen or St. Augustine, or any sacred text or commentary thereof.

In my humble opinion, and it is no more than that, I think that is a shortcoming of esoteric traditions in general...they are far too vague for their own good. Now in fairness, perhaps this is deliberate...advertising to the uninitiated as it were. But it doesn't create much in the way of good will for one who has a critical mind to begin with such as myself. It is for reasons such as this that I tend to shy away from such as the FreeMasons and Kabbalists, to name but two. There may well be very worthwhile lessons contained within these traditions, but my warning signals all go haywire with what little is allowed to pass as advertising to the uninitiated.

Juan

I agree. Warning signs must go off. There is a lot of BS. It is the nature of the human condition. But as they say, where there is smoke there is fire. Rumi puts it like this:

[SIZE=-1]Fool’s gold exists because there is real gold. –Rumi.[/SIZE]

The point being that if there were not so much BS over time, there wouldn't be the pearl of great price. The searcher then has to seek to get to the source and not just express blind belief and get lost in dreams and BS. The only way to do that is to awaken enough to experience help from above.

Read the following article. It may help to explain why parables must be written as they are. If you see this, the reason why initially everything appears vague and full of contradictions becomes clear. As Simone Weil said: "When a contradiction is impossible to resolve except by a lie, then we know that it is really a door."

Often when a contradiction is pondered with impartiality, it does become a door to a higher more conscious quality of understanding capable of reconciling it.

Read this article as a whole and it will reveal why the pearl of great price within esoteric Christianity can only be revealed in what initially seems foolish.

http://pimoebius.com/The%20Soul%20Code.htm
 
Hi Juantoo3 —

In my humble opinion, and it is no more than that, I think that is a shortcoming of esoteric traditions in general...they are far too vague for their own good.

Absolutely! But if you were interested, I would suggest reading the authors under the banner of 'The Perennial Tradition' (although not Huxley).

Frithjof Schuon for one, which is why I quoted him. If anything, René Guénon is even more precise ...

Thomas
 
Hi Nick —

Words not only have several literal meanings but arouse different emotional impressions as well.
That's why the need for precision.

Also, the esoterist should be wary of emotional impressions — objectivity is the first rule of metaphysics, as it is of any investigative science. Many a budding esoterist has been 'drowned' in his own sentimentality.

Christianity is ancient. We cannot prove these things but if you understand what a perennial tradition is, it is obvious.
Nonsense Nick. If something can be understood, it can be argued. Anything 'obvious' must necessarily be obvious because it is reasonable to the mind. Insisting that something is obvious, but beyond proof, is precisely what you call 'blind faith'.

The data of Revelation, for example, is in this sense not obvious at all, were it so, it would not have to be 'revealed' but would be 'obvious' to the intellect, as Tertullian observed:

Crucifixus est dei filius; non pudet, quia pudendum est.
Et mortuus est dei filius; credibile prorsus est, quia ineptum est.
Et sepultus resurrexit; certum est, quia impossibile.

The Son of God was crucified: I am not ashamed — because it is shameful.
The Son of God died: it is immediately credible — because it is foolish.
He was buried, and rose again: it is certain — because it is impossible.

(Text from the Cluny Collection) Tertullian : The 'Cluny' Collection (Corpus Cluniacense)

+++

Thomas, I posted a thread on Schuon's book "The Transcendent Unit of Religions that includes the esoteric level of Christianity. This book by René Guénon "Insights into Christian Esoterism". indicates an appreciation of esoteric Christianity.
But both Guénon and Schuon, indeed all the Traditionalists, insist that to engage in 'esoteric Christianity' it is a de facto necessity to be in full communion with the Church, so even your own authorities argue against you.

You want to define Christianity by Western Catholic standards which IMO underestimates Christianity and deprives the true seeker of the Christian experience.
It seems to me that I am claiming the 'Christian experience' is an experience of the Divine Life, whereas your experience is of a psychological process.

All sorts of false teachings arise under the name esoteric Christianity which can cause more harm than good.
I think I have successfully demonstrated that Livergood's teaching is false, and therefore harmful.

The essence of esoteric Christianity is "Know Thyself."
Yes, and the truth of self is simply this:
"without me you can do nothing" John 15:5
"Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God." John 6:68-70.

The point is, if cosmology is your goal, then you don't need Christianity, and you can do it yourself. But if you seek God, then you are helpless without His assistance, and that is "the one thing needful" — the one thing absent from your man-made doctrines.

We don't know about Hermes.
Yes we do. No-one believed he was real except some Medieval philosophers, who then discovered their error.

Many think Jesus is a myth as well.
And many believe the moon landings are a myth.

The point is if their message has objective value as it pertains to the human condition.
I do not disagree with that.

Rather then questioning Hermes' existence, try to comprehend the Emerald Tablet. Which is more important?
Depends whether you seek truth, or comfortable fantasy. If your goal is the latter, then enjoy 'esoteric Christianity', but don't try and drag others into your fantasy world.

Esoteric Christianity is not a game of gotcha.
No, it's the pursuit of the elusive truth ... and so far you have not been able to defend one lie I have demonstrated in Livergood's text.

You may buy the lie because it appeals to you. I do not.

In the words of Father Sylvan: "There are no esoteric thoughts but only esoteric thinking."
A nice soundbite from a fictional figure.

Here's a favourite of mine:
"Have you noticed, the more one has paid for a forgery, the more one defends it in the face of all the evidence to the contrary?"
George Smiley to Toby Esterhase in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" John le Carre.
 
Hi Thomas

I agree that sentimentality just gets in the way if one seeks the truth.

Nonsense Nick. If something can be understood, it can be argued. Anything 'obvious' must necessarily be obvious because it is reasonable to the mind. Insisting that something is obvious, but beyond proof, is precisely what you call 'blind faith'.
As usual, it is the opposite. We are in Plato's cave. man's potential is for freedom from cave life through re-birth. Our conditioned intellect in these matters justifies cave life. It must, or cave life would be intolerable. We simply don't see the obvious. If we did, everything would be different. From the Gospel of Thomas:

(5) Jesus said, "Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you . For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest."

Jesus said we should become like children not so as to be gullible but rather not to be governed by our conditioned intellect.

Mark 10

13People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." 16And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

The question as always begins with how to get out of our own way so as to awaken our supernatural part continually denied by our preoccupation with cave life or the "world" described by Jesus and the battle ground for our arguments.

A person can hear sound up to a certain pitch. Animals can hear a higher pitch and machines can detect a still higher pitch. At this point we can say that vibrations cease to exist or they are beyond our means of detection. It seems obvious to me that they are beyond our detection rather then they cease to exist.

Esoteric Christianity reflects its esoteric inner path that leads to the "Way" that includes the transcendent level of all the genuine ancient traditions initiating with a conscious. source. As such it cannot be anything new but rather a remembering of what has been forgotten and always was. Esoteric Christianity leads to Man's potential expression of "wisdom" which always was. Man doesn't learn wisdom but rather remembers it because it is within our origin as soul knowledge. Wisdom is speaking:

(Proverbs 8:22-33)

The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water...
When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth... when he gave the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him...
Now therefore harken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

The essence of revelation is obvious. But as Meister Eckhart explains, the part that can experience the truth of revelation is covered over.

"A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there." Meister Eckhart

I think I have successfully demonstrated that Livergood's teaching is false, and therefore harmful.

All you've demonstrated is:

Factually untrue, easily evidenced from extant writings.
My ex wife argued better than that

The point is, if cosmology is your goal, then you don't need Christianity, and you can do it yourself. But if you seek God, then you are helpless without His assistance, and that is "the one thing needful" — the one thing absent from your man-made doctrines.
Cosmology is a tool that allows the intellect to accept truths higher then the associative mind is capable of on its own. If those like Origin were and are aware of it and referred to it, why diminish it? the following excerpt makes perfect sense to me and describes the cosmological vertical staircase.

Origen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Man's accidental being is rooted in transitory matter, but his higher nature is formed in the image of the Creator. The soul is divided into the rational and the irrational, the latter being material and transitory, while the former, incorporeal and immaterial, possesses freedom of the will and the power to reascend to purer life. The strong ethical import of this cosmic process can not remain unnoticed. The return to original being through divine reason is the object of the entire cosmic process. Through the worlds which follow each other in eternal succession, the spirits are able to return to Paradise. God so ordered the universe that all individual acts work together toward one cosmic end which culminates in himself.

It is through cosmology that the good sense of becoming a wise virgin becomes understandable and what Simone meant by "waiting for God" We normally don't know what "oil" means and believe we possess it as a birth right or from going to church on sunday. It doesn't work that way. Oil is the inner result of conscious presence.

1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' 7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 9" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.



Depends whether you seek truth, or comfortable fantasy. If your goal is the latter, then enjoy 'esoteric Christianity', but don't try and drag others into your fantasy world.
Consider why coming to know your self is so abhorrent. What makes it abhorrent is fantasy that sustains cave life.

I don't have the purity of Simone Weil yet I can agree with the good sense of what she writes here but lack her inner balls to be completely open to it. From the book "Gravity and Grace:"

"A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams."

No, it's the pursuit of the elusive truth ... and so far you have not been able to defend one lie I have demonstrated in Livergood's text.

You may buy the lie because it appeals to you. I do not.
But you haven't said anything.

This is laughable ... but the author's essential error is self-declared: He interprets Christianity merely as a cosmological phenomena, he doesn't see it at all. Christianity is not a natural religion, a cosmological system, but a supernatural religion, a revelation of God:
"By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
Can's say more esoteric than that, can you?
Cosmology is a supernatural skeleton. It is adding the conscious inner vertical direction to our accustomed duality normal for cave life. It helps awaken us to a higher reality and man's place and potential within it and allows us to realize that we are helpless in front of it. We need help from above. This is why when Simone said:

"Whatever debases the intelligence degrades the entire human being."

it does not contradict what she further said:


"The role of the intelligence - that part of us which affirms and denies and formulates opinions is merely to submit."

This is why it has been said that objective knowledge begins when subjective knowledge ends. But without first coming to know thyself, the transition becomes fantasy.

"Have you noticed, the more one has paid for a forgery, the more one defends it in the face of all the evidence to the contrary?"
George Smiley to Toby Esterhase in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" John le Carre.

Quite true. it is one reason why the exoteric church requires the possessions it does.

But both Guénon and Schuon, indeed all the Traditionalists, insist that to engage in 'esoteric Christianity' it is a de facto necessity to be in full communion with the Church, so even your own authorities argue against you.

The quality of the church being referred to is esoteric and not exoteric. I agree that an esoteric church which includes an esoteric school is essential. However an exoteric Church primarily concerned with societal life is restricted to affairs of the cave without concern for the goal of Christianity which is re-birth or freedom from the cave.
 
My dear Nick —

It seems, much as I expected, that being unable to refute the slanderous accusations laid against the Church by Livergood, you continue rather with noble-sounding rhetoric against the accuser (a practice Plato deplored), thereby attempting to deflect the argument from its object (that Livergood is wrong) into a subjective "your intellect is wanting and therefore your accusation is wrong."

As I will no longer follow this merry-go-round, I shall get off, and another shall stand in that place, one far more worthy of both our respect, none other than, on matters of faith, the Man of Steel, Origines Adamantius.

It suddenly occurred to me, addressing Origen on another post, that you are Celsus to my Origen — for he and I are of one mind, whilst you and Celsus are equally so in your condemnation of the Church!

I suggest then, you read Origen's Contra Celsus, wherein you will find your every assertion demolished!

On the matter of Christianity being distinct and in no way related to Judaism, which Livergood asserts:
Celsus next proceeds to say, that the system of doctrine, viz., Judaism, upon which Christianity depends, was barbarous in its origin... Now this is our answer to his allegations... "
Book I, Chaper 2 et seq.

On the subject of 'esoteric' or any other secret branch of Christianity
After this, Celsus proceeding to speak of the Christians teaching and practising their favourite doctrines in secret ...
I, 3 and:
Moreover, since he (Celsus) frequently calls the Christian doctrine a secret system (of belief), we must confute him on this point also, since almost the entire world is better acquainted with what Christians preach than with the favourite opinions of philosophers...
I, 7.

On his refutation of the notion of Christianity requiring 'blind faith' of its followers:
He next proceeds to recommend, that in adopting opinions we should follow reason and a rational guide, since he who assents to opinions without following this course is very liable to be deceived...
I, 9 and furthermore:
In the next place, since our opponents keep repeating those statements about faith, we must say that, considering it as a useful thing for the multitude, we admit that we teach those men to believe without reasons, who are unable to abandon all other employments, and give themselves to an examination of arguments; and our opponents, although they do not acknowledge it, yet practically do the same.
I, 10.

On his repudiation of the idea of 'Christendom':
Let us notice also how he thinks to cast discredit upon our system of morals, alleging that it is only common to us with other philosophers, and no venerable or new branch of instruction. In reply to which we have to say..."
I, 4.

On his rejection of cosmology:
Since, then, as reason teaches, we must repose faith in some one of those who have been the introducers of sects among the Greeks or Barbarians, why should we not rather believe in God who is over all things, and in Him who teaches that worship is due to God alone, and that other things are to be passed by, either as non-existent, or as existing indeed, and worthy of honour, but not of worship and reverence?
I, 11.

On his attitude towards those who pervert the truth:
But since Celsus has declared it to be a saying of many Christians, that "the wisdom of this life is a bad thing, but that foolishness is good," we have to answer that he slanders the Gospel...
I, 13.

On the matter of those who assume the knowledge to sit in judgement upon the Faith:
Now, with regard to his statement that he "is acquainted with all our doctrines," we have to say that this is a boastful and daring assertion; for if he had read the prophets in particular, which are full of acknowledged difficulties, and of declarations that are obscure to the multitude, and if he had perused the parables of the Gospels, and the other writings of the law and of the Jewish history, and the utterances of the apostles, and had read them candidly, with a desire to enter into their meaning, he would not have expressed himself with such boldness, nor said that he "was acquainted with all their doctrines." Even we ourselves, who have devoted much study to these writings, would not say that "we were acquainted with everything," for we have a regard for truth.

There, I hope, is something for you to think about. Rest assured that your every argument of which I am aware in our discussions, is answered in that work.

Thomas
 
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Thomas

Why would you equate Celsus with esoteric Christianity?

Celsus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Celsus opens the way for his own attack by restating the arguments leveled at the Christians by the Jews. They are: Jesus was born in adultery and nurtured on the wisdom of Egypt. His assertion of divine dignity is disproved by his poverty and his miserable end. Christians have no standing in the Old Testament prophecies and their talk of a resurrection that was only revealed to some of their own adherents is foolishness. Celsus indeed says that the Jews are almost as ridiculous as the foes they attack; the latter said the savior from Heaven had come, the former still looked for his coming. However, the Jews have the advantage of being an ancient nation with an ancient faith.
The idea of an incarnation of God is absurd; why should the human race think itself so superior to bees, ants and elephants as to be put in this unique relation to its maker? And why should God choose to come to men as a Jew? The Christian idea of a special providence is nonsense, an insult to the deity. Christians are like a council of frogs in a marsh or a synod of worms on a dunghill, croaking and squeaking, "For our sakes was the world created."
To Celsus, it was much more reasonable to believe that each part of the world has its own special deity; prophets and supernatural messengers had appeared in more places than one. Besides being bad philosophy based on fictitious history, Christianity is not respectable. Celsus does not indeed repeat the Thyestean charges so frequently brought against Christians, but he says the Christian teachers who are mainly weavers and cobblers have no power over men of education. The qualifications for conversion are ignorance and childish timidity.
And onward it goes. what does this have to do with esoteric Christianity?

On the matter of Christianity being distinct and in no way related to Judaism, which Livergood asserts:
Celsus next proceeds to say, that the system of doctrine, viz., Judaism, upon which Christianity depends, was barbarous in its origin... Now this is our answer to his allegations... "

Judaism and Christianity are complimentary. They are based on different essential directions. "Simone Weil and the Intellect of Grace" by Dr. Henry Leroy Finch was written as he was dying so the book contains a lot of sincerity. In chapter 12: Time and Timelessness, he makes the following comparison between Judaism and Christianity:
"................The law has a timeless character just because it is laid down once and for all as part of the timeless myth or timeless history of the people. Even when it is practiced by only a handful of people, it remains alive and authoritative. These Orthodox people are a demonstration of the original character of Judaism which did not distinguish the sacred from the secular and united the cultural, the biological, and the religious in one timeless system.

I turn to the Christian experience of time and timelessness. This is as much a closed book to Jews as the Jewish point of view is to Christians. But as the Jews have their treasure which is the treasure of the Law preserved in the torah, Christians too have their treasure, which is the spirit of Christ preserved in the Gospels.

If we study the Gospels we will find that it is life in the present - not in the timeless present of past and future, but in the (timeful) present of the NOW - that is the true essence of Christianity The secret of the teaching of Christ is that all true life is life in the present, as distinct from the past and the future. This is where reality is. If there is no experience of the present, as the now, then there is no real life at all."
Esoteric Christianity is concerned with the conscious quality of "Now" rather than blind belief or concern about what we do. Its essential concern is the quality of now. Understanding this provides the proper setting for understanding the relationship between faith and works. Esoteric Christianity is concerned for what we "ARE." It isn't important for secularism only concerned for what we do.

"People should not worry as much about what they do but rather about what they are. If they and their ways are good, then their deeds are radiant. If you are righteous, then what you do will also be righteous. We should not think that holiness is based on what we do but rather on what we are, for it is not our works which sanctify us but we who sanctify our works." Meister Eckhart
My disappointment with the secular church is the same as with Simone and Kiekegaard.
Soren Kierkegaard - Theopedia
Kierkegaard took up a sustained attack on all of Christendom, or Christianity as a political entity, during the final years of his life. In the 19th century, most Danes who were citizens of Denmark were necessarily members of the Danish State Church. Kierkegaard felt this state-church union was unacceptable and perverted the true meaning of Christianity. The main points of the attack include:
  • Church congregations are meaningless: The idea of congregations keeps individuals as children since Christians are disinclined from taking the initiative to take responsibility for their own relation to God. Kierkegaard stresses that "Christianity is the individual, here, the single individual."
  • Christendom had become secularized and political: Since the Church was controlled by the State, Kierkegaard believed the State's bureaucratic mission was to increase membership and oversee the welfare of its members. More members would mean more power for the clergymen: a corrupt ideal. This mission would seem at odds with Christianity's true doctrine, which is to stress the importance of the individual, not the whole.
  • Christianity becomes an empty religion: Thus, the state church political structure is offensive and detrimental to individuals, since everyone can become "Christian" without knowing what it means to be Christian. It is also detrimental to the religion itself since it reduces Christianity to a mere fashionable tradition adhered to by unbelieving "believers", a "herd mentality" of the population, so to speak.
Simone as usual says it like it is:

Simone Weil (Bauer) - CESNUR 2002

5. In Simone Weil's life, religion played a dominant role in the years following the mystical epiphanies she experienced in 1938. Long before, however, her wish to partake in the suffering of the distressed led her to a life-style of extreme austerity. It was under these circumstances that, in 1937, Simone Weil became increasingly attracted to Christianity, a religion she considered to be in its true essence a religion of slaves, and therefore in utter contradiction to the actual form it had taken in history. On this assumption, Simone Weil objected against Catholicism -- the denomination she knew best and respected the most --[21] that it had ended by perverting itself for the sake of power. The historical "double stain" on the Church that Simone Weil denounces originates in the fact that Israel imposed on Christian believers the acceptance of the Old Testament and its almighty God, and that Rome chose Christianity as the religion of the Empire.[22] Despite its universal redemptive mission, the Church became from its very beginnings heir of Jewish nationalism and of the totalitarianism inherent in Imperial Rome. As the spiritual locus in which both traditions of power displaced the religion of powerless slaves, Christianity became the actual negation of its own foundational leitmotiv: the self-annulment of divine omnipotence by the godly act of kenosis or self-abasement.

There are those that sense there is something of great value in Christianity that is being sold out to secularism. My hope is that down the line more will become aware of the depth of Christianity and what it offers humanity by coming to see that the secular church doesn't portray the depth and meaning of Christianity.

"The danger is not lest the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but lest, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry." Simone Weil

Unfortunately, expressions of petty secular Christendom has this effect on a minority of the young open to the experience of "meaning" and can kill their soul. It is worth a few growls to me be a part of this great tradition for my sake and the sake of those that can benefit from it.
 
Hi Nick —

Why would you equate Celsus with esoteric Christianity?
I don't, what I did was point out that, according to Origen, you and Celsus hold the same erroneous opinions on the matter. Read your own wiki reference:
Celsus ridiculed Christians for what he perceived to be an advocacy of blind faith instead of reason.

You can trust also that Origen would have disposed of the arguments of Weil and Kiekegaard in like fashion.

You still haven't addressed the slanders promulgated by Livergood, by the way.

Thomas
 
Hi Nick —


I don't, what I did was point out that, according to Origen, you and Celsus hold the same erroneous opinions on the matter. Read your own wiki reference:


You can trust also that Origen would have disposed of the arguments of Weil and Kiekegaard in like fashion.

You still haven't addressed the slanders promulgated by Livergood, by the way.

Thomas

Again, the faith OF Christ is not blind faith IN something. They are two completely different concepts.

I'm quite sure Origen would not approve of Church corruption made possible through the blind faith of sheep.

There is no slander. This is one of the troubles in the modern church. It relies on intimidation through righteous indignation and guilt rather then understanding. For example:


Quote:
Paul was aghast when he learned that Peter and some of the other apostles of Jesus in Jerusalem and other cities were interpreting Jesus's message as an extension of Judaism, using the Hebrew Old Testament as a major scripture.
Factually untrue, easily evidenced from extant writings.




Why not just read Paul rather then being indignant?

Galatians 2:

11When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
15"We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. 17"If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"[d]

Clearly Peter was still taken with the dominance of the Law while Paul died to the Law. These things have meanings. You can gain so much more by considering if Peter was this way why he was a super-apostle. But you prefer to accuse.

You represent the modern church that needs to justify itself. An esoteric Christian already knows they are in Plato's cave so there is nothing to justify. So rather then justifying we seek to become capable of understanding.
 
Hi Nick —

When you address the errors I have highlighted in Livergood's account, we can continue.

Thomas
 
Nick A said:
Judaism and Christianity are complimentary. They are based on different essential directions. "Simone Weil and the Intellect of Grace" by Dr. Henry Leroy Finch was written as he was dying so the book contains a lot of sincerity
but, clearly, not a lot of insight, or indeed knowledge of judaism. you quoted this passage earlier and i believe i gave a fairly mordant set or criticisms of it here: http://www.interfaith.org/forum/the-new-covenant-10177.html#post172595 , which you glossed over in your usual fashion, being either unwilling or unable to rebut them.

The historical "double stain" on the Church that Simone Weil denounces originates in the fact that Israel imposed on Christian believers the acceptance of the Old Testament and its almighty God, and that Rome chose Christianity as the religion of the Empire.[22] Despite its universal redemptive mission, the Church became from its very beginnings heir of Jewish nationalism and of the totalitarianism inherent in Imperial Rome.
you do like quoting this, don't you? again, this was strenuously refuted by myself here: http://www.interfaith.org/forum/why-dont-christians-worship-as-2335-8.html#post170504 again, your response being the now characteristic ad hominem attack of calling me "negative" and your standard tactics of straw-manning and whataboutery. i notice you haven't been able to directly address any of my criticisms of this passage either.

i further note you are continuing to use the word "secular" as if you are the only person with a right to define english terms; no doubt you will once again dismiss this as "tilting at windmills". i could probably even make a decent stab at writing your next post myself. and i bet you still haven't obtained a copy of the bertrand russell book, either, have you?

i think i suggested in one of these threads that you go and try to convince thomas to replace the pope with simone weil. nice to see you're not totally opposed to taking my suggestions.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
but, clearly, not a lot of insight, or indeed knowledge of judaism. you quoted this passage earlier and i believe i gave a fairly mordant set or criticisms of it here: http://www.interfaith.org/forum/the-new-covenant-10177.html#post172595 , which you glossed over in your usual fashion, being either unwilling or unable to rebut them.


you do like quoting this, don't you? again, this was strenuously refuted by myself here: http://www.interfaith.org/forum/why-dont-christians-worship-as-2335-8.html#post170504 again, your response being the now characteristic ad hominem attack of calling me "negative" and your standard tactics of straw-manning and whataboutery. i notice you haven't been able to directly address any of my criticisms of this passage either.

i further note you are continuing to use the word "secular" as if you are the only person with a right to define english terms; no doubt you will once again dismiss this as "tilting at windmills". i could probably even make a decent stab at writing your next post myself. and i bet you still haven't obtained a copy of the bertrand russell book, either, have you?

i think i suggested in one of these threads that you go and try to convince thomas to replace the pope with simone weil. nice to see you're not totally opposed to taking my suggestions.

b'shalom

bananabrain

Well there have been some interesting discussions in France if Simone was the reincarnation of Joan of Arc. But could these types be a Modern pope? I doubt it since the modern church has adopted the characteristics represented in the NT as the Pharisees which is appearance over substance. This means that it now caters to the whims of the "Great Beast." Rather than serving as the highest connection between man and the above, "appearance reflected through politics for the sake of power has become the goal. The trouble with Simone is that even though an atheist active in politics and celebrated by Communism, she transcended it so was no longer a political animal but rather a Christian mystic who could no longer regard politics as the deciding factor when the chips are down. Naturally she would make a bad pope since the ruling Beast dominating the exoteric church could never accept such a mindset. It is too pure.

You are a secularist so naturally are primarily concerned with what people do. As Dr. Finch said, Christianity deals with the quality of "Now." From this perspective we are not doing anything but rather everything is being done through us. Since we are as we are, everything is as it is. The esoteric Christian is then concerned for what we ARE so Man can become able to actualize human potential as a connection between above and below - heaven and earth..

Where Judaism can, secular Judaism cannot value the "godding process" explained by Rabbi Cooper as a priority over secular interests. As such secular Judaism or the Judaism that is primarily concerned for matters in the world, rather then what we are, isn't for me. Just wait until around April 24th. If the usual happens with recognition of the Armenian genocide and all its associated hypocrisy is alive and well, I'll post my first official condemnation of hypocrisy on this site. I am drawn to the depth and potentials of the great traditions rather then defend how they are torn down to serve secular politics. I have no need to attack secular Judaism other then in specific instances as with the Armenian genocide. My interest is the experience of what the depth of Christianity offers which doesn't come through attack but rather can only come from the courage, as Metropolitan Anthony said, to be "vulnerable."

West Michigan News Company
 
Nick "I don't have a dictionary" A said:
You are a secularist so naturally are primarily concerned with what people do
no. a secularist, as i have said about 8,000 times, is someone who thinks that religion should be kept out of public life. i am not one. you are not one either. as we're on the theology board, here's a reference, nick:

Secularism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

go on, find me ANYTHING on that page that even vaguely relates to what you're on about.

Where Judaism can, secular Judaism cannot value the "godding process" explained by Rabbi Cooper as a priority over secular interests. As such secular Judaism or the Judaism that is primarily concerned for matters in the world, rather then what we are, isn't for me.
it amazes me that someone can make over 1500 posts on an interfaith website and still fail to learn even anything basic about judaism. but then, you're not here to discuss, are you, nick? you're here to lecture us about how clever you are for worshipping simone weil and jacob needleman and ignore every facet of western philosophy not related to plato's cave. why not reduce the rest of civilisation to schopenhauer's poodle while you're at it?

the usual happens with recognition of the Armenian genocide and all its associated hypocrisy is alive and well, I'll post my first official condemnation of hypocrisy on this site.
i can hardly wait. i thank simone that you chose our humble website to be the platform for your, sorry, her wisdom.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
no. a secularist, as i have said about 8,000 times, is someone who thinks that religion should be kept out of public life. i am not one. you are not one either. as we're on the theology board, here's a reference, nick:

Secularism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

go on, find me ANYTHING on that page that even vaguely relates to what you're on about.


it amazes me that someone can make over 1500 posts on an interfaith website and still fail to learn even anything basic about judaism. but then, you're not here to discuss, are you, nick? you're here to lecture us about how clever you are for worshipping simone weil and jacob needleman and ignore every facet of western philosophy not related to plato's cave. why not reduce the rest of civilisation to schopenhauer's poodle while you're at it?


i can hardly wait. i thank simone that you chose our humble website to be the platform for your, sorry, her wisdom.

b'shalom

bananabrain

Secular Judaism is secular Judaism. it doesn't make it bad but just open to the same hypocriisy as Christendom, politics, or any other societal institution. I'm surprised that you would deny the obvious

Secular Jewish culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Secular Jewish culture embraces several related phenomena; above all, it is the culture of secular communities of Jewish people, but it can also include the cultural contributions of individuals who identify as secular Jews, or even those of religious Jews working in cultural areas not generally considered to be connected to religion.
 
Nick A said:
Secular Judaism is secular Judaism. it doesn't make it bad but just open to the same hypocrisy as Christendom, politics, or any other societal institution. I'm surprised that you would deny the obvious
the only thing that is obvious here is that you don't know what "secular judaism" actually is. let me be quite clear about this:

a. it is not "secular" in the way that you use the word "secular". it is secular in the way that i, wikipedia, every dictionary on the planet and uncle tom cobleigh use the word "secular". even this quote:

Secular Jewish culture embraces several related phenomena; above all, it is the culture of secular communities of Jewish people, but it can also include the cultural contributions of individuals who identify as secular Jews, or even those of religious Jews working in cultural areas not generally considered to be connected to religion.
does not, in any way, shape or form, relate to the way you define the term. i am astonished that you still seem to think it supports your laughable excuse for an argument.

b. i am not a secular jew in either of these senses, or by the definition of the above quote. if you are still, against all sense, reason and grammar, maintaining that i am, you'd better provide an argument, or stand exposed as mere purveyor of what i believe was referred to on the birth certificate thread as "weaselbeans", as if that wasn't already pretty clear to everyone here.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
the only thing that is obvious here is that you don't know what "secular judaism" actually is. let me be quite clear about this:

a. it is not "secular" in the way that you use the word "secular". it is secular in the way that i, wikipedia, every dictionary on the planet and uncle tom cobleigh use the word "secular". even this quote:


does not, in any way, shape or form, relate to the way you define the term. i am astonished that you still seem to think it supports your laughable excuse for an argument.

b. i am not a secular jew in either of these senses, or by the definition of the above quote. if you are still, against all sense, reason and grammar, maintaining that i am, you'd better provide an argument, or stand exposed as mere purveyor of what i believe was referred to on the birth certificate thread as "weaselbeans", as if that wasn't already pretty clear to everyone here.

b'shalom

bananabrain

Rant all you like but I rate the objective quality of "Now" above the subjectively defined quality of culture. As such, Rabbi Cooper is more attractive to me then secular Judaism that puts cultural concerns, appearance, as its top priority but because we are as we are and with no awareness of the value of considering the quality of "Now," must fall victim in the same way as other secular institutions equally oblivious of the relative quality of now.
 
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