overcome by bliss

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    4
    "Cleve wood and I am there, lift up a stone and there you will find me". The Queendom (the literal traanslation of the Greek) is within us. But that Kingdom is beyond this material or ideal world. It exists for us in our experience. I believe this is what Thomas is refering to (am I right, Thomas?)

    Pax et amore vincunt omnia--Radarmark
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    12,205
    Likes Received:
    2,513
    The first thing to recognise is the distinction between the order of bliss of which you speak, which is natural to all created nature and rests in the fulness of its own being, and the order of bliss spoken of in the Christian tradition, which exceeds the natural state by an infinite degree.

    Natural bliss, as you indicate, can be aspired to, worked towards, attained and sustained, by dilligent practice and watchfulness. It is proper to all created nature — it is, in effect, the realisation of its own perfection within the domain in which it finds itself: To be all that one can be.

    Supernatural bliss, which is a vision of the Kingdom of God, or Beatific Vision as referred to by the tradition, transcends the person and transcends created nature, thus it cannot be achieved by any effort of will, any discipline or practice. Rather it lies within the free and gratuitous gift of God, a grace to dispense as He so chooses.

    It is, in the end, participation in the life of God, so obviously this can only occur by invitation. Man can and should 'repent' towards that end, but no amount of repentence, indeed no amount of love, can oblige or require or in any other way necessitate a response of God's part.

    Scripture states this explicitly, although perhaps the meaning is not immediately understood:
    "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

    "Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2

    Both of these point to the provisional and contingent manner of human experience, even the experience of bliss.

    The fulness of bliss, in the Christian sense, is Christocentric and Trinitarian, the doctrine called theosis, the divinisation of the person by incorporation into the Divine Life of the Holy Trinity. Furthermore this process will not and cannot be complete whilst one sheep remains outside the fold, as it were. How can my bliss be complete, when my brother dwells in darkness?

    Thus another aspect of this is the communion of persons; that a truly Christian bliss is communal and collective — not individual, and goes infinitely beyond the limitations of human nature.

    Lastly, the emphasis modernity currently places on the personal and the experiential, the quest for all manner of interior phenomena, is utterly at odds with the tradition (as it is, I believe, with the Hebrew tradition, as well as the Sufi and the Buddhist, amongst others).

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,710
    Likes Received:
    2,454
    Christ centered, communion of persons, collective, not individual....

    Thomas I see this in bliss....but it goes beyond that.

    To me it really speaks to the fact that Christ is not just for Christians. And Christ is not limited by the Christian viewpoint or understanding. Christ is that connection to G!d, but it is not just Jesus, or just Christ, it is the Bhudda nature, it is Krishna, it is Moses, it is Mohammed, it is the tao....it is whatever gets you there.

    Our ego says we are the only ones that are right, it is only our religion or only our belief that is true and works and that Christ is the only way. Yes Christ is the only way, but Christ is not limited, putting on the mind of Christ is to be aware that Christ is concept of the connection....and for me that is the bliss...the knowing that all is well, and there is no song and dance required. I don't have to chant or utter words or sit in meditation for hours...that yes those are beneficial to many as is WHATEVER scripture or belief it takes to get them there...

    But that bliss is the understanding that our understanding is limited and that is ok...that beyond the viel is a beauty beyond words, one that sends tingles through your soul and into your life....
     
  4. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    1
    Christianity goes on doing this, this is the worst thing about the faith... so good at trying to differentiate everything. If you are utterly and completely overcome by bliss, if you have raised your capacity infinitely and still bliss overflows, what more can there be? If there is such bliss that you have literally melted into it...
     
  5. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    1
    It is only that you don't know what you are, who you are, that you think these things are separate. You have not experienced yourself, so you are living a borrowed life - allowing others to define who you are for you. I don't know why, but people seem very comfortable being provided answers that have no basis in truth, it is very strange.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    12,205
    Likes Received:
    2,513
    Hi Lunitik — I am not disputing the strength of your feelings. The point I am making is that what you describe is within, as you point out, the natural capacity of the psychodynamic act of the person. Anyone can do it, given time, effort and application, although not all will necessarily react with the same sensibility.

    What I wanted to point out is there is an order of divine grace that transcends the natural/physical, and this is what Christian spirituality is talking about, and is evident in the writings of the great mystics. It can't be 'done' as it lies beyond the human capacity as such — it's not the experience of one's own nature, but the communicated experience of a higher nature.

    The differentiation is there, in the nature of things ... we didn't invent it ... it is true, it is real.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    12,205
    Likes Received:
    2,513
    It's not that I don't know who I am, it's rather that you appear to make no allowance for what lies beyond your own selfhood.

    Actually you're quite wrong there. I have experienced myself, I have experienced bliss as you describe it ... but there is a beyond that, and that is what calls to me.

    As John Donne said, 'No man is an island ... "

    Let me explain:
    1: People tend to trust the collective testimony — the fruit of endeavour, experience, wisdom and insight gained over generations.
    (Practice makes perfect, one might say)

    2: People tend not to trust the 'out of the blue' testimony of the individual, knowing the human tendency to fallibillity, and assumption.

    3: There seems to be the assumption on your part that, because you haven't experienced it, it must be a lie ... that causes me to doubt.

    4: If one examines the evidence, there is a large body of inspired and illuminative writing — experientially based and solidly founded — which rather indicates there's more to life than perhaps meets your eye.

    5: In short, there is much to attest to the truth of what you see to be a lie, so much so that it throws your entire argument into doubt, as it seems to rest on nothing but the strength of your own feelings in the matter.

    I repeat, I am not saying you have not experienced what you have experienced, I'm saying there are testimonies which speaks of an order of experience which transcends it.

    And not just Christianity, either. The Sufi tradition, indeed orthodox Islam, and Buddhism have a wealth of knowledge and experience in these fields.

    In fact a director from any one of those traditions would tell you to ignore the effects, and focus on the practice, assuming there is a practice beyond bliss for its own sake.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  8. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thomas, you seem to catch on rather deeply. "Truth" is not something one can just define out of blue air on one's own. One needs to learn how to think and experience and grok (I required lots of help). One needs to learn how to test and to falsify ones ideas by experiment, experience, or in the public forum (of say history or philosophy). After a lifetime of such struggling one can finally just gain enough wisdom to understand that "truth" (if it exists at all) isn't just laying around out there like pearl thrown before swine (myself included)... it is something "beyond". Beyond individual, family, tribe, nation, or species... it must somehow include the experiences of everything from the earliest, slimyest critter that first crawled up onto land to that electron zipping around from your left pointer-finger fingernail to the Divine.

    Pax et amore vincumt omnia. Radarmark
     
  9. william b

    william b Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bliss often sounds like being simple minded to me. Such descriptions remind me of Terri Schiavo looking at that balloon from a hospital bed. Yes, it's good to take pleasure in simple things, but calling it bliss and trying to make it into something meaningful seems like a good way to lose brain cells. It's like trying to forget all your nasty life problems because you saw a kitty. At some point, you have to forget about the damn cat and deal with reality.
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,710
    Likes Received:
    2,454
    A natural state? Natural maybe at birth, but if it were the natural state we'd all be engrossed in it, or would we. Our earthly incarnation allows us to experience 3d and all its wonders, gravity, love, bigotry, resistance, heat, cold, wet, dry, animosity, our ego, others egos...

    It is as if when I contemplate these things and decide whether or not they have power over me....they lift and this bliss, this natural state is found underneath. If I get into some sort of tit for tat discussion on religious dogma and its affects over a group of people....I am drawn away from the bliss and into the fray... why? If I worry about the next paycheck or what to eat...it becomes a complication of thinking that I...that I have a need to make these decisions rather than just allowing, and going with the flow....

    It does appear to be a choice....

    I choose bliss.
     
  11. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    1
    You go on projected onto my words, it is very frustrating.

    If I am not, what can it mean "within"? Within what?
     
  12. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,611
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have gone beyond "selfhood"...
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    12,205
    Likes Received:
    2,513
    Hi Lunitik —

    Please understand I am not trying to belittle your experience, nor explain it away, nor question is veracity.

    The point I am making is the bliss of which you speak is not the beatitude of the Christian Mystical Tradition, and by the many pointers you have given, one can see a clear distinction in the nature of the experience — indeed, the word 'experience' is the big clue.

    So whilst I wish you all the joy of your delights, please do not assume that the kind of thing you experience is the kind of thing the Christian seeks — he or she does (or rather should) not seek the same thing you do.

    And, might I add, what you assume of the Christian Mystical Tradition falls well short of the reality.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  14. william b

    william b Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    What pretentious garbage.
     
  15. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    0

    got to agree with you on this one :rolleyes:
     
  16. william b

    william b Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you should go ahead and belittle his "experience." He's obviously full of crap.
     
  17. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    0

    hey take it easy
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    22,710
    Likes Received:
    2,454
    And this is based on personal knowledge or simple incredulousness?

    Not that I am making any comparisons here, but you think the same was said to Jesus? to Buddha? we know we wanted to send Linus Pauling packing when he came out against atomic weapons and war....

    I'm just thinking that questioning and discussion is more productive than stonewalling....no?
     
  19. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi William, if you think he is "full of crap" then I would suggest coming up with some intelligent questions that point out what you believe to be flaws in his arguments. I'm not trying to defend him, but think of it as a challenge to yourself to come up with rational counterarguments to his line of reasoning.

    Personal attacks don't further the interfaith discussion, IMHO. And who knows, by challenging his position maybe you will learn something from him even though you think he's full of crap...

    Iowa Guy
     
  20. william b

    william b Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know because I've met a million people like him. "Self-less" and "ego-less" people on internet boards are just like any other person who thinks they have some special knowledge. The fact that they want to brag about how "selfless" they are should immediately tell you how deluded they are.
     

Share This Page