Are all Scriptures divinely inspired?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by taijasi, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    God in manifestation has changing aspects and attributes. Otherwise we would not be able to relate to this God.
    This is the Absolute. Relative to this transcendent Aspect of God, we are changing. But without the incarnation of this God here, within our world, we would have no Living Sacrifice, no Divine Ideal(s), no Fixed Goal.

    We may wish to emphasize that the Being we speak of is already PERFECT relative to Humanity's greatest goals for the current cycle. That Being, however, also has attained to all that we are aspiring to accomplish, even after several future cycles of evolution have come to pass. In other words, THIS is God in the Highest, the Most High God, relative to our particular planet and all of its billions of inhabitants.

    But there is much we can learn, and learn to keep Holy, close to heart and mind, regarding the Being (God) and related Beings in manifestation ... for many of these Teachings are capable of providing us the guidance we need for getting through this stage of growth - individually, as a people, as the 4th Kingdom cooperating with the 5th, and even as the many Kingdoms of life are united & brought into harmony with one another (the lowest, 1st, or mineral right up to the 7th, God in the Highest).

    And that is what the world's Divinely inspired Scriptures, of every age, have been about. That is what they have, and always will, contain, in every New Era.

    Yes, we are being drawn to deeper reflection upon who and what we and God(s) actually are. And we learn, not just certain important delineations, but also the great degree of overlap! We find that we are more like gods, in certain ways, than anything else. And this is no crime, no sin, no misplaced understanding ... so long as we are genuinely humble, and reasonable about this realization. It is only when we begin to skew our perspective, and lose the proper context for this statement, that all sorts of foolishness results, and the little self becomes exalted over the Greater.

    This is the path we are all on together - the Path of Becoming. But I'm not sure I understand what you mean by unbecoming ?

    Yes, I think the shortcoming has been ours all along. Not to say that the relationship itself is not evolving. This is certainly true. Yet I do believe that for many millions of years, we have been very much preschool students, truly toddlers in God's Classroom, and only recently entrants into the earliest grades. Various Teachers have come to be a part of this somewhat unique, unusual experiment taking place on our planet, which has for its goals the same general Goal of every planetary school: completion of all grades of Learning, and Mastery of all types of Living (upon the Cosmic Physical Planes of existence).

    But of course, this is only the Beginning, for which Christ, Headmaster of the ONE SCHOOL, has long been preparing us. And in time, all begin to awaken (Birth), while many experience the same Baptism and Transfiguration as did Christ Jesus, other Initiates before, and a good number since. The same stages of Renunciation, Resurrection and Decision (leading toward Ascension) must also follow, as these are the great milestones toward the end of the spiritual career for every now-incarnate Soul upon our planet.

    Say more about this please. I think there's plenty of room here for plenty of discussion! :)

    In a word, this is the future of Christianity, as well as religion in general, Western religion especially. What more worthy and noble topic for an Interfaith website, or at least, for some of us Westerners!

    I am an old gnostic, seeking to be a new seer. Only in making REAL what we have seen or foreseen, and in aspiring to embody with the greatest portion of our being - all our heart, all our mind, all our body, all our soul, and all our spirit - shall we earn our freedom from the cycles which come to govern ALL Beings through various stages of our mutual journey. If we were not required to undergo these cycles within the current world, we would need to experience their equal elsewhere, upon other planets, perhaps in different galaxies.

    But the cycles are all lesser wheels within Greater, and these Greater within the Greatest. G*d, too (in the Highest), INCARNATES. And this is the changing Face of the Divine, even while we know there is an UNchanging, yet UNKNOWN `Countenance.' But such Mysteries are only known to the Highest Initiates, and even then, only in what still remains a microcosmic sense, for we cannot truly fathom evolution beyond the Cosmic Physical Plane ... even while we presume to speculate upon the Cosmic Astral or Mental.

    Also, there are four arms of the revolving svastika of Creation, as well as destruction. But all religions, all worldly teachings and ideologies, come into being through these creative cycles, only to pass out again according to the destructive. These are the cycles of Creation, Preservation, Destruction which pertain to the Highest as well as to the lowest.

    The world's religions have associations with the Seven Rays, the Paths of both Emanation and Return - from the Highest, into our tiny world(s) of manifestation, and back again, toward our, and Their, SOURCE. There are perhaps other correspondences; what I am familiar with is:

    Ray 1 - Will-Power - Hindusim
    Ray 2 - Love-Wisdom - Buddhism (w/Ray 6)
    Ray 3 - Active Intelligence - Chaldean (basis for Judaism, et al)
    Ray 4 - Harmony through Conflict - Egyptian
    Ray 5 - Concrete Science - ?
    Ray 6 - Devotion or Abstract Idealism - Christianity, Islam
    Ray 7 - Ceremonial Order - White Magic (and Ritualism w/in all religions)

    I follow you. Our best efforts are, eventually, swept away as the winds of change blow across the face of our planet, effacing the work in and of our outer lives, even removing all record that Humanity once was.

    This is true, as the song Dust in the Wind so poignantly seeks to remind us. Fortunately, this is not an argument to remain passive, or to avoid strenuous effort. This is not an excuse or invitation to throw in the towel or balk when we behold the Dharma that awaits us. In the greatest moments of challenge, we too will be tempted to ask, take this cup from me ... and it will be understood, and forgiven. Yet it is our DUTY to be here, our unique privilege, as well as a requirement - out of Necessity - given the stage of evolution at which we find ourselves.

    Nothing can change that, and thank Goodness! :)
    It might sound appealing to some to leave Life's School early and advance to a higher grade ... perhaps even graduate and join the rank of the truly Worthy, the Honorable, the Gods.

    But as we know, They once were where we are; Where They are, we too shall be. And this only occurs in time. We cannot skip grades, for in this, life's classroom is sequential, and all future learning builds upon and requires the mastery of current lessons. There is a curve, a progression, so that we are even now beginning to learn something of the most sublime Teachings, and we are invited to ponder these sublest modes of consciousness and levels of being. Yet this is so we may have adequate room for growth, and not become too stuffy with what we think we already know. ;)

    As we appreciate, even for a moment, the true sense of scale, and perceive something of the Greater cycles ... all that we have found important or so meaningful in our lives shifts, as if looking through a kaleidoscope. We may even become frightened, temporarily. But as long as we take away from these experiences that we are really only very small, and - as the Beatles said - "Life moves on within you and without you" ... I think we'll be on the right track. :)

    We shouldn't concern ourselves so much with being right vs. wrong. This is only a glamour, and it too shall pass. Sure it may seem rewarding when others become aware that, indeed, we have been fortunate enough to behold a measure of the Truth. But if we do not lose perspective, we will know well enough that Truth is Itself, Measureless. So what can we really do if we notice that others are drawn to our example, awareness or previous learning?

    It is a great responsibility to be here at all, knowing as we do (to greater or lesser degree) that everything we do affects those around us, shapes the world we live in and determines our own future, like a potter shaping a clay bowl at his wheel. It is a far greater burden to know that we are already intricately bound up within this world, its inhabitants, and that we too share in their collective fate. The form of escapism which now comes from so many people misunderstanding Christ's teachings (and those of other Teachers) ... will one day come to an end. For far too long have capable souls, and their GIFTS, remained hidden behind the pernicious doctrine of vicarious atonement, and evaded or avoided life's responsibilties.

    There is a shared burden which we all must learn to shoulder, and for this it is not required that we have intimate esoteric or gnostic training and qualifications. We may be very new to the spiritual path, as Souls, yet as we gradually learn to still the planet's psychic turmoils, it will become apparent to all, no matter where we stand on life's Ladder, that all hands are needed for the WORK which the Master has undertaken.

    The Knowers, at best, may share something of their Revelation with the unknowing and the unitiatied, but a worker's usefulness is so much diminished when he swells with pride and forgets his true self, forgets his true place, and fancies himself at the APEX of the Great Pyramid already ... rather than as a humble yet valued Worker, here at its BASE.

    The Temple will be constructed, and the Master Builder ever invites us all to join in, each at his appointed station ... knowing, if he maintains Faith, that whatever burdens, toils and temporary hardships he has - one day shall pass, as his rank on the Ladder thus improves, and his responsibilities in the Building Work surely increase.

    Too much talk of reward, and too little remembrance of the WORK. Maybe this is why the cornerstone of the New World Religion (the one wherein all religions will be united, wherein all of us CAN be in the `Right') ... is Freemasonry, with its Unhewn Ashlar, the HOATF, and a recognition, via symbolism and 7th Ray ritual, of TGAOTU.

    I woke up while ago and was thinking something along these lines:
    Did you ever hear the one about the blind god who felt so much a part of his creation(s) that he spent all his days wandering about, searching for all of his I’s?
    ;) :) :p

    Peace
     
  2. Jarrett

    Jarrett New Member

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    I was on my way to canceling my account or what ever it is you do. I figured if i was offending as many people as it seems ive offended, that it would be best if i just went away. Not in defeat however. But instead to a victory somewhere else. You are strange to me in a good way. I like you. Ill stick around. It probably does not matter to many people if i do stick around. That is not why i am staying. I am going to stay around because you matter to me. Thank you for your thoughts, really. Add & multiply.
     
  3. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    taijasi: In this world I am a Christian being lifted up beyond Christianity. I would relate to you the prayer of Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya, one of the most famous female sufis in Moslem history. In all that she accomplished in her life (8th century) she wrote a prayer for which she is best known. I have tried, in this lifetime, to follow its lesson. (Rough translation) God, if I worship Thee out of fear of hell, then consign me there forever; and if I worship Thee hoping to achieve Paradise, then banish me from it forever, but if I worship Thee for Thee alone, keep not Thine eternal beauty from me." When a Moslem prays the words; "Lord of all the worlds..." It has an enlightening meaning for me as well. I do not believe that any one 'religion' holds eternal truth! I do not believe that in His infinite wisdom the entity we call, God, intended for one man, one religion, or one world to hold the truth to itself. I agree that we are colored by the religion we practice in this life, but somewhere, sometimes, we are lifted out of that 'box', and treated to a new freedom; a freedom of expression, a freedom of thought, a freedom of experience, and a spiritual freedom that becomes enlightenment. And that enlightenment comes to each as a part of His truth that we are permitted to behold as our life experience. In the end, God is, existence, and we in it for all time.
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Victor,

    That is a great prayer. I would like to share similar ideas that come from my own belief system. I agree that people who travel a path of spirituality merely for the sake of earning heaven or evading hell are doing it for a selfish reason. But my goal is to achieve my own spiritual mastery so that, one day, I can then turn around, bend down, and help my brothers and sisters who are still struggling along their own spiritual paths. My eventual goal is to have no goal for myself, but become completely lost in helping others reach their goals.

    It is something I am looking forward to.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Nick — something for you:

    Abou Ben Adhem
    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the Presence in the room he said
    "What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

    James Henry Leigh Hunt

    +++

    As you point out, the eschatalogical question is really secondary, in the Christian Tradition, what matters is one's disposition towards God (vertical) and towards one's neighbour (horizontal).

    It would be better if people concentrated on doing what they're supposed to do, and leave all questions of heaven/hell aside. Do what you're supposed to do, and that question will resolve itself satisfactorily.

    Again, in the Christian Tradition, whose spiritual axis is, as you might be aware, love, and thus one does not have to be a 'spiritual master' to help others (that is a specific vocation and charism of the Holy Spirit); it begins right here, right now:
    "... For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me."
    Matthew 25:34-36
    This is the disposition of self towards neighbour.

    The Beatitudes outline the disposition of self towards self:
    "Blessed are the poor in spirit:
    Blessed are the meek:
    Blessed are they that mourn:
    Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice:
    Blessed are the merciful:
    Blessed are the clean of heart:
    Blessed are the peacemakers:
    Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake:
    Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake... "
    Matthew 5:3-11

    There's a story of the 4th century saint, Martin of Tours who, whilst a catechumen, was serving in the Roman Army in Amiens. On entering the city he saw a beggar by the gates, and having nothing else to give, cut his military cloak in half, and gave half to the beggar.
    That night he had a dream in which he saw Christ wearing the half-cloak, and heard the Lord announce to the angels: "Here is Martin, yet a neophyte, he has clothed me."

    Thomas
     
  6. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    Nick:
    Jesus taught us the 3 Ss: Selflessness, servitude, and sacrifice. All rely on one principle, forgetting, denying, one's self for the sake of others. I cannot help but recall the movie, The Remains of The Day. Hopkins went to the royal domo in order to ask how a butler in a large household should act. The Master Butler told him, "When I serve in a room, there is one less person in it."
    I cannot think of a better metaphor.
     
  7. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    Thomas:
    In my own life experience, I gave the beggar the whole cloak! I expect nothing in return but to forget what I did!
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thing is, half a cloak for the beggar's sake is still better than the whole cloak for your own! ;)

    Thomas
     
  9. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Victor,

    That is a great thought. Even though you and I are separated by a difference creed, you and I and all of us are actually headed for the same goal.
     
  10. Victor

    Victor Silver Haired Member

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    Yes, Thomas, that is exactly what I said. Truly doing for another requires that we become ignorant of what we have done. To remember is pride, and pride removes us from divine inspiration.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Then I apologise, I thought you were assuming to 'trump' St Martin ...

    ... I might also suggest that it was 'divine inspiration' that caused him to split the cloak, and thereby infer a whole different order of caritas, rather than do the simple thing and give the beggar the whole thing.

    Thomas
     
  12. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    He was illustrating the Silver Rule: "Do for yourself as well as you do for others."

    [Then there is the Iron Rule: "Do not do for others what they ought to be doing for themselves."]
     
  13. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I think I could speak for
    Baha'is that the Bible as scripture is inspired but not necessarily accurate..

    It contains revealed truths from say the dispensations of Moses and Jesus..

    From my view Inspiration is part of Revelation..

    Holy Books do not always contain the directly revealed Word but are based on verbal traditions passed down over time.. this means in the process of being passed down various cultural and personal influences can affect it.
     
  14. NeoGnostic Pantheist

    NeoGnostic Pantheist LHP-Pantheist

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    I think everything is divine, so I guess I think all scriptures are divinely inspired. That does'nt mean that all scriptures is for everybody. I personnaly don't place much faith in scripture. Divinely inspired does not equal correct.
     
  15. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Let me welcome you to the Forum Neo Gnostic Pantheist

    May you always be inspired! if not always "correct"..:)

    - Art
     
  16. NeoGnostic Pantheist

    NeoGnostic Pantheist LHP-Pantheist

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    Thanks, and same to you Arthra.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Q: Are all Scriptures divinely inspired?

    A: I would have thought the answer is 'no', as among what generally constitutes the world corpus of 'scriptures' are those which explicitly claim no divine inspiration? Buddhism, for example, makes no claim no divine revelation.

    Similarly, there is a distinction in Hindu scriptures between Śruti "revealed" and Smriti "remembered" texts.

    And, as some have mentioned, one really needs to understand how the texts are to be received. In the Catholic Tradition, for example, the Bible is regarded as inspired, and that divine truths are conveyed therein, but not that every word is true in the sense that the text is inerrant.

    Logically, if the text was both inspired and inerrant, it would not be possible to interpret it incorrectly — as it is patently obvious that there are inaccurate interpretations, the text is not inerrant in any meaningful sense.

    Similarly, if humans were divine, they would be omniscient and omnipotent, and incapable of error, and would not need scripture as such.

    Thomas
     
  18. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Are all Scriptures divinely inspired?

    I'm using the bible as a starting point. I'll begin with a symbol. I consider my understanding of "inspired" to be found in these verse:
    They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

    For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 7:16-17).

    He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:38).
    This "living water" is "divine inspiration." Jesus is often called the Fountain of Life. So when the writers of the bible "drink the living water," they are "divinely inspired" too, for each contains within themselves a reflection of the Word, for they reflect the Mirror of God.

    I connect divinely inspired to this symbol because the Bab interprets the Kawthar fountain as the creative force of the Prophet Muhammad (Koran 108:1-3). Also, the Bab is the Supreme Manifestation of the divine fountain of Kawthar, the source of four flowing rivers (or four stages of creative Action) (Koran 47:15). It represents the Word of God.

    Let's look at those four rivers. God has four stages of creative Action. The first three can be explained through grammar:

    1. Will (verb and source of all other words)
    2. Determination (noun)
    3. Destiny (preposition)

    The fourth is Decree. This relates to abrogation. Once the Manifestation of God abrogates the previous religion, the religion that has just been fulfilled at the Day of Resurrection, then the mysteries of the previous religion is unraveled. In turn, the Speaking Book (which supersedes the Silent Book) has followers recording the words of the Speaker at their level of understanding, their own spiritual capacity.

    Therefore, all scriptures are divinely inspired, according to the Baha'i Faith.
     

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