The Messiah — Theosophy’s view

Discussion in 'Alternative' started by Nick the Pilot, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Yes, it directly addresses the nature of manifest and unmanifest as being one. It says that when there is a desiring mind, we see the manifest, but free from desire there is the essence - the unmanifest. Christians would have a hard time accepting that these arise together, however, but it is because mind desires a logical course of events.

    Thank you for sharing :)
     
  2. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    blah - can't delete posts
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Radarmark —
    Have you come across Karl Rahner?

    I'm just now beginning to look into him.

    In many ways, Rahner strips the inherent duality of Platonism out of Christianity, in some ways accusing it of replacing the corporeal beings looking at shadows dancing on the walls (the Myth of the Cave) with spiritual beings looking at shadows on the walls ...

    Rahner argues that it is in this world that Christianity is realised, and comes to perfection in the social interaction of man, who's task is to realise and fulfil the potential of created nature — this is what man is and does — and that the aim is not a disembodied existence in some pseudoPlatonic upper realm. (This is a huge and somewhat inaccurate simplification.)

    I doubt that, personally.

    The issue then is that apart from Irenaeus, all the Fathers of the early Church were Platonists, and, as had been said, when they think, they platonize.

    Rahner's position accords with some of the latest research into the Christian Mystical Tradition, which argues that the tradition is widely misunderstood, in that contemporary readers assume the mystics to be recounting the experiential, and that 'mystical experience' is and can be experienced ... close reading of the Fathers, texts like The Cloud of Unknowing, Eckhart and others actually refute the much-sought after idea of the experience of the Other.

    They argue the Other is, infinitely and absolutely, other and cannot be approached or experienced — there is nothing, that is no thing, no form, no entity, to approach; no thing, no form, no entity to be experienced (all experience is subjective and sentimental, and all the great mystics point to the non-experiential).

    The Other is realised here and now, in how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to each other. That's all that matters. Jesus seemed to make the same point, His heroes were the Centurion who's faith was an example to all, the Widow at the Temple, the Publican at Prayer — none of them were Platonists, esoterists, or whatever!

    This correlates with many teachings, Sufi, Daoist, Buddhist. It's called 'Transcendental Thomism' as many defend it by arguing from Aquinas.

    Zen saying:
    Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

    Christian (apocryphal) saying:
    Love God and love your neighbour, for where your neighbour is, God is.

    In closing, might I add that Rahner does not dispute (as some might assume from this) the Doctrine of Christianity — if anything, the meaning and the implication of the Rites become 'more real' as it were — Rahner is one of the most brilliant writers on the Trinity, for example ... but they do stay closer in idea and expression to the Judaism of Jesus' day — closer in the sense of less 'crowded out' by later hellenic thought.

    Of course, this message is lost today. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis used to be a best-seller ... but it's far too simple, far too down-to-earth, far too love-thy-neighbour and devoid of the 'whoo-hoo' to hold any attraction for most contemporary seekers who, in reality, seek 'extraordinary experience' purely for the sensation.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Radarmark —
    Have you come across Karl Rahner?

    I'm just now beginning to look into him.

    In many ways, Rahner strips the inherent duality of Platonism out of Christianity, in some ways accusing it of replacing the corporeal beings looking at shadows dancing on the walls (the Myth of the Cave) with spiritual beings looking at shadows on the walls ...

    Rahner argues that it is in this world that Christianity is realised, and comes to perfection in the social interaction of man, who's task is to realise and fulfil the potential of created nature — this is what man is and does — and that the aim is not a disembodied existence in some pseudoPlatonic upper realm. (This is a huge and somewhat inaccurate simplification.)

    I doubt that, personally.

    The issue then is that apart from Irenaeus, all the Fathers of the early Church were Platonists, and, as had been said, when they think, they platonize.

    Rahner's position accords with some of the latest research into the Christian Mystical Tradition, which argues that the tradition is widely misunderstood, in that contemporary readers assume the mystics to be recounting the experiential, and that 'mystical experience' is and can be experienced ... close reading of the Fathers, texts like The Cloud of Unknowing, Eckhart and others actually refute the much-sought after idea of the experience of the Other.

    They argue the Other is, infinitely and absolutely, other and cannot be approached or experienced — there is nothing, that is no thing, no form, no entity, to approach; no thing, no form, no entity to be experienced (all experience is subjective and sentimental, and all the great mystics point to the non-experiential).

    The Other is realised here and now, in how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to each other. That's all that matters. Jesus seemed to make the same point, His heroes were the Centurion who's faith was an example to all, the Widow at the Temple, the Publican at Prayer — none of them were Platonists, esoterists, or whatever!

    This correlates with many teachings, Sufi, Daoist, Buddhist. It's called 'Transcendental Thomism' as many defend it by arguing from Aquinas.

    Zen saying:
    Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

    Christian (apocryphal) saying:
    Love God and love your neighbour, for where your neighbour is, God is.

    In closing, might I add that Rahner does not dispute (as some might assume from this) the Doctrine of Christianity — if anything, the meaning and the implication of the Rites become 'more real' as it were — Rahner is one of the most brilliant writers on the Trinity, for example ... but they do stay closer in idea and expression to the Judaism of Jesus' day — closer in the sense of less 'crowded out' by later hellenic thought.

    Of course, this message is lost today. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis used to be a best-seller ... but it's far too simple, far too down-to-earth, far too love-thy-neighbour and devoid of the 'whoo-hoo' to hold any attraction for most contemporary seekers who, in reality, seek 'extraordinary experience' purely for the sensation.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  5. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    This may be the first time I can agree with you ! :D
    We (Luciferians) call this Unmanifest the Subjective Universe and the Manifest the Objective Universe.
     
  6. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Can you transcend these and find the True Universe? Note that Universe contains the root Unity, One, and yet you have listed two, you have split the union.
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, Lunitik, but this is another example of who little you understand Christianity.

    It's far more holistic than your philosophy.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  8. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I speak of absolute oneness, you say your splitting into parts and insisting on differentiation is more holistic?

    Do you even know what holistic means?
     
  9. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Thomas,

    Not that I believe the Cynic thing 100%, but look up the work at Calement by Mack and some of his students. They try to fill in the 30ce-100ce gap. Takes some guesswork about who originated the proto-Mark promouncement stories, Q, Thomas, and the Jerusalem Familial pre-Ebionite stories. Yes, a lot of hypothesizing, but in that era we really haven't much else.

    The problem he is looking at is how the NT was constructed and who wrote what. I am not really prepared or knowledgeable enough to say where I stand. But the truth is usually in the middle somewhere. In this case somewhere between "the NT was written by whom it cites (Matthew....Paul.....John) in just those words we have in the Bible (Vulgate....KJ....Oxford...whatever)" and "the whole story of Christ was made up by Paul and his followers because he had wanted to start a new religion" (the radical evaluation of Schonfield by some).

    It is interesting and worth some thought (his books are easily read in a week and available at libraries)
     
  10. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Radar,

    You said,

    "I believe that "word" and "manifestation" are translations of the more mundane sense of "logos". Perhaps the first two instances (one each). The third is higher... accepting EM's definition, the third line would be something like "And the Divine Self is the principle of that manifestation". "logos" would be neatly translated in three higher forms "word", "manifestation", and "principle" (this would be, as I understand it, the kind of thing St Jerome saw)."

    --> I thought I’d give you the Theosophical interpretation. The first Logos is said to be Silence, the second is said to be Sound, and the third is said to be Word. Also, the first Logos is said to be unmanifest, the second is said to be unmanifest/manifest, and the third is said to be fully manifested. In this way, Theosophy sees the entire process as a bringing out of that which is, from that which is not.

    It’s also fun to consider the connection between Sound, the Buddhist concept of Avalokiteshvara, and a small controversy which surrounds the origin of the word Avalokiteshvara.

    "... some eastern scholars maintain that the original term was Avalokita-svara, literally the looked-at-sound.... [There is no way] the past participle Avalokita (+ Iswara or + svara) [can] mean he who looks down or the down-looking: it has to be looked, seen, viewed, or observed." (Man the Measure, p. 204)

    You mentioned the Divine Self, so I thought I'd mention how Theosophy sees the Divine Self as higher than even the Logos, in a state of total unmanifestation.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi SG —

    Thought I might offer a comparative comment on this:

    The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named is not the eternal name
    The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth

    God the Father —
    Note that Father/Abba is not a name, nor indeed, is the "I Am That I Am" of Exodus 3:14, it's a self-declaration. If the Voice from the Burning Bush had said 'I am Jim/Jenny', then we would have a name.

    The fathers refer to 'arche anarchos', the Principle without principle. Dionysius the pseudoAreopagite, of course, is the exemplar of this tradition, and Eckhart one of its most famous voices.

    The named is the mother of myriad things
    Logos ... Wisdom ... Word ...

    Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence
    Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations
    These two emerge together but differ in name

    Second and Third Persons of the Holy Trinity, respectively ... Anthropologically, one starts by desiring, and proceeds by surrendering.

    'With desire' is the seeking of the other, not that one desires anything of the other, but rather seeks other being for the sake of being ... love ...

    'Without desire' is that same love that asks nothing of its object, but rather offers itself in its totality to the other

    The unity is said to be the mystery
    Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

    'Nuff said.

    The Trinitarian nature of all being is then:
    To be, to act, to communicate
    All being can be said to conform to these three — Simply by 'being' one is acting, and one's act is one's being, and as being exists in a world of being (and not one thing in an empty vacuum), a thing's being is its act, and only human nature reflects upon itself, and seeks to communicate itself to other being, to know the other, and thereby know, and thus perfect, itself and in so doing help perfect the other.

    God, of course, is beyond being, so cannot be experienced in any way at all, hence nothing can be said, nothing can be predicated.

    Don't know if you find any common ground in this ...

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  12. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Interesting...

    John 1:1
    Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος

    using English letters:

    En archē ēn ho logos kai ho logos ēn pros ton Theos kai Theos ēn ho logos
     
  13. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Thomas, you are so very good at this and so very knowledgeable.
     
  14. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    You might want to check out this post Thomas made on another thread!
     
  15. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Question is, does this actually help with seeking?

    It only shows he has not realized who the seeker is, he has become caught in the first valley of the Sufi's - as have many here.
     
  16. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I actually enjoy his post there, although again it is based in scholarship - it does not seem something he has realized but rather just something he read somewhere.
     
  17. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Man is born as a seed, divinity is merely his flowering.

    God is the flower personified as other, and here is my issue with such belief systems: you create a duality which is false based on your ignorance. Now you worship the initial expression of the flowering in a given tradition, but those worshipers find it impossible to fathom that it is their potential as well.

    Now we go through infinite lines of conversation trying to decifer what has been said, we defend our belief because we know it is such a fragile idea, and wars are fought as the eventual outcome of that defensiveness. For me, this is utter madness and needs to end, but this is still happening today in the Middle East.

    I simply say experience it for yourself, allow the seed to sprout in your being, allow all of humanity to be harvested, but today no farmer has the right to be called skilled. The awakened ones are basically an accident, no farmer can take credit. If 9/10 flower, we can say something positive about the farmer, but if 1/10 flower then it is just dumb luck. What then can we say about the current traditions - especially in the West - when those who flower are considered insane, delusional. All the religions of the world will stand in utter opposition to the flower, not realizing all they are doing is covering seeds with fungus.

    The world should be as the daisy field Jesus discusses, but instead it is more like a desert - everyone clamoring to control the oasis.
     
  18. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Ah, Lunitik. 99% of the information people are aware of (some of which is very, very important) came from reading and studying and scholorship. Very little comes from the focus of your system. For me experience is not limited to my time spent in meditation with G!d. I would have to cease working, taking care of a bride and our farm--and interacting with my religious community. No a pleasant prospect.

    Besides in most of the instance you deride, the original author (IMHO) was at-one-ment and trying to express that experience in the only way we have... words. I thank G!d every day for Changzi, whoever wrote down Jesus' words, Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus, Augustine, Eriugena, de Cusa, Eckhart, St Teresa and St John.
     
  19. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    What do you think Meditation is? In the words of St Francis of Assasi, "find out that the one being sought is actually the one doing the seeking". Meditation is not an action, it is to realize who is the one meditating. Every action in life can be performed in meditation, it will simply mean you are more efficient. You can relate with everyone around you and still be utterly meditative. It is not a burden at all, it is simply being more aware. Who is the one that doesn't have time to meditate? Who is the one that is reading all these texts and being grateful? Free from all conceptions and ideas, who are you? Realizing you are not whatsoever you can observe, what are you? Words cannot bring a knowing to you, it can only fuel the ego because you think you know much. Understand that all extremes are merely concepts, enter at-one-ment yourself.
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Actually I don't rehearse my own spiritual formation here ... this is not the media for such discussion.

    You might want to reflect upon the same question ... how does your posting of error and prejudice help anybody?

    Had you kept your posts to your own subjective experience, then I might read you with some credibility ... but as you cannot help yourself but pour scorn others, founded on nothing more than ignorance and prejudice, I'm afraid I can view you as little more than a fundamentalist of your own imagined doctrine.

    There are many here who have put markers on the sand, as it were, for me to steer by. Radarmark, SeattleGal, Lunamoth, BobX (more than I dare admit!), Bananabrain ... what marks them all is they come from a background of sure knowledge, not of subjective assumptions.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     

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