The Forbidden Gospel

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Ben Masada, May 15, 2012.

  1. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Couldn't agree more. Ever read Epstein's (1995) Thoughts without a Thinker?
     
  2. AdvaitaZen

    AdvaitaZen Well-Known Member

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    Neither, I have told you because I'd feel bad if I said nothing and still continued.

    Christian theology is nonsensical "logic" used to justify the existence of God.

    Neti neti has nothing to do with God, thus the theo part is not there, it is also far from logical, so logy is also absent.

    I cannot say what you think theology is apart from this, perhaps the practice of asserting nothing arising in consciousness can be what we are is theology in some way. The only logic behind this practice though is that there must be space between the seer and seen, thus whatever is seen is not the seer.

    Neti neti is finding out what exactly is the incarnation, what exactly in us is "in the image of God", yet once it is found out, we delve deeper and find the nature of this. Ramana Maharshi has cut directly to the point, for he has seen the practice of neti neti is not necessary, in questioning the seer itself, whatsoever is seen falls because it depends the seer to see it. This practice is much more direct, for there is no need to reject everything first.

    Oh, I know it is there is scripture, but most Christians - even many pastors - deny that it is there.

    You see, you speak so much about my lack of insight into Christianity, but it seems to me that for the majority of Christians what you discuss would be foreign to them. They seem to have no basic understanding of what Christ's purpose actually was - to show each of us are incarnate God - and for me, I see no Good News in the Bible when this is denied.

    I actually see much truth in this, however they seem to say that atma is itself not rested on anything. They have not started from the beginning, often it is said "with the arising of atma, the world arises" but from where has atma itself arisen? It comes close to this by saying without maya, atma is still conceivable, yet conceivable by what? They do not seem to answer, that what is Brahman. It just doesn't finish the thought in your quote.

    Again, the mind enters, do you need something to trust?

    How about existence, life, it doesn't matter what you call it, call it God if you want... ultimately it is your own depths which is guiding you to consciously understand it.

    I feel this is a very important point. The whole religious pursuit is not about becoming something, about changing what is already so, it is about finding out what actually is the case. That it is already so means there is nothing to accomplish, no attainment is possible, but the understanding can bring about peace.

    Will is opposed to trust, will means you are steering the ship, where trust means you are letting the ship take you. The problem with personal will on this path is that it can get you very far, and yet it too must be dropped in the end. It has served you so well, though, that you will be reluctant when the time comes.

    In my own journey, I was atheist for most of my life, maybe agnostic but I simply had no consideration for truth, I was just living. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, I began seeing that everything will die. I would start talking to people, and soon all I could think is "this person is going to die". It became an utter obsession, every act or deed that I thought was good, immediately would be seen as temporary. It was no practice, mind you, it was spontaneous.

    Eventually, unable to move another step, I simply cried out that if there is purpose please show me. For the next 2 years, gradually I was shown various things, I was not seeking anything but rather allowing myself to be guided. If something occurred to me to look into, I would devour it. Eventually, because my path was not based on will, there was no thought that I had caused this understanding, in a particular contemplation I was willing to drop the self very easily as part of the enquiry. It had already been defeated, the very start of the path here was brought about by its defeat, now all that was left was to just let it go entirely. This was my own enlightenment story, of course, what remained saw it had never not been enlightened.

    I have not looked at any tradition in depth, I was more interested in genuine insight from those who had arrived already. You have touched on the greatest danger of this path though, many think that knowledge somehow brings understanding. We will spew all sorts of logical assertions that we've read thinking they are great insights. What is clear whenever I see this is that the person has no genuine understanding themselves.

    This is why we clash, you restrict yourself to particular sources, you go on quoting nonsense and thinking it great knowledge. You cannot speak directly from your personal insight, you just go on trying to prove your case through various quotes.

    A man of genuine insight need not prove himself, he asserts and leaves it to you to decide whether it is right. There is no purpose in his words, it was not to get somewhere or accomplish something, it was merely asserted.
     
  3. AdvaitaZen

    AdvaitaZen Well-Known Member

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    In you, Thomas, I see a man trying to prove his own knowledge.

    I see a man trying to justify Christianity as something insightful.

    I do not see a man of insight, for if there were genuine insight, most of what you say would simply never be uttered. You try to justify your knowledge, that those you've studied are correct, but you do not know how much of it is wrong.

    A true man of insight moves beyond all traditions, yet often those around him create a new tradition. Once you organize insight though, once the founder of the tradition is no more there for clarification, it is futile. You dodge this by saying that these men were guided by the holy spirit, no, they were guided by their logic, trying to justify their beliefs.

    To read any of the Church Fathers is to see a desperate man. Even the apostles themselves show very few insights - although occasionally there are some great statements. For me, it seems Christs mission was an utter failure because he has not enlightened anyone while he was on the earth - and how could he, he would be creating another Christ and thus diminish his own status. Of course, many have become enlightened in the West, and the Church tries to take credit for that. Mostly it is in spite of, though, yet you will argue this.

    Compared to Osho, a very recent mystic who has enlightened thousands, Christ is as nothing. The only thing that keeps him still in our thought is the logic in justifying him as a spiritual figure. Being able to point at prophecies and say this man fulfils them, yet on what basis are these prophecies to be believed in the first place, they are mutually dependent. Without this, Christ is an impossible figure to look at, there seems to be nothing of note in him except rumors that are unconfirmable. Most of the people walking this path today, that are genuinely approaching enlightenment, awakening, have Osho at least in part to thank. It is truly amazing to see how many are waking up, then seeing each one has looked at Osho along the way. The only ones I see that have looked at Christianity either say they were unfulfilled after growing up Christian, or remain as fanatics not waking up at all.

    This is my experience, so you will have to forgive me, but this includes Catholics - and priests - this includes Baptists - and pastors - this includes a whole range. Perhaps if I had encountered more Christians like yourself, I would not be so critical. Still I cannot say that most of what you talk about is founded in truth.
     
  4. AdvaitaZen

    AdvaitaZen Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, read the gospels without the miracles.

    Jesus becomes very average, just a kind man that travelled much. Laughable that he had to actually send people to notify villages he was someone great, not even trusting he would gather a crowd on his pure power of speech. Needing to be noticed, thinking he has a great purpose. These are egoistic things, but they are overlooked.

    We do not even have his sermons, what he said when he would go to the synagogue to speak, it seems to me at least this much should be recorded but it is nowhere. Just a few parables that one can read in an hour...

    In these, somehow, we are supposed to find fulfilment, but there is none to be found. We go to the Church hoping to find some because there is no other option. Now we are told to glorify this man, and we do to fit in, but on what basis? Most preachers are more like self-help guides, this is not religion.

    Religion is about destroying the self, seeing through the ego, but all Christianity seems to have accomplished generally is to change the base identification. You will say "I am Christian" and whatever that means to you, you will try to portray to everyone you encounter. Before you thought you were something else, and again you tried to portray that, this is the only change Christianity makes.

    True religion is not concerned with changing you, it is concerned with helping you see through this "you".

    It is just a thought, a particular definition that you try to live by.

    Behind it, you are already love, and God is love.

    There cannot be two loves, when love meets love, there is only love.
     
  5. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    AZ and Thomas --

    Watchiung you two is like watching my life on my eyelids. Thank you very much!
     
  6. AdvaitaZen

    AdvaitaZen Well-Known Member

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    Christianity fundamentally depends on creating people who lack self-confidence. You are told you are a sinner, you are sick and so you need the physician. It does not tell you that the righteous need not look, that there are healthy beings on this planet. If it said this, there would be no possibility of converting anyone, for no one would admit they are a sinner.

    What I find most despicable about Christianity, and I don't think Christians realize this, is that it calls the creator imperfect. If you are not as you are intended, their God has made a mistake. If their God is fallible, why even trust this figure in the first place? If he does not make mistakes, then Christian missionaries are just wasting their time.

    For me, Christianity seems to be about creating more Christians, not realizing divinity.
     
  7. BrotherMichaelSky

    BrotherMichaelSky Well-Known Member

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    I even paged back to try to figure out what folks are talking about here, but... ?

    I'll go with the last post...

    Christianity is a perpetual motion machine, designed to distract us from the alternative. Been working for hundreds of years.
     
  8. donnann

    donnann Well-Known Member

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    when did christianity ever say GOD wasnt perfect? When an incarnated being takes on a human body and is sealed it also acquires a human soul and spirit. The incarnated being was never here on earth before and doesnt fully remember its prehuman life. So it is raised by human beings in this world and becomes a part of that. The prehuman self that is sealed is NOT a fallen being but rather is sealed inside one with the prehuman spirit soul and body. The human body it takes on is in human condition which is a result of the fall. GOD never has made a mistake and that is speaking as a person raised as a christian and a catholic. Never once did I hear anyone in any church I attended say god is imperfect but rather the opposite.....that he is perfect.
     
  9. BrotherMichaelSky

    BrotherMichaelSky Well-Known Member

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    Would you explain to me your conception of this?
     
  10. donnann

    donnann Well-Known Member

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    In the beginning the human community consisted of pairs. Each pair was what ONE HUMAN BEING was. They, because they were immature, had sex outside the paired oneness which caused a split of the pairs. This caused the spirit and soul to separate from the bodies and for the bodies to become mortal. Plato made reference in a philosophical way to this. Each of us has one true opposite that is an exact match to us. There is a place that exists within each one of us where we are still one with that opposite. I call the sequences , codes. So we are each at some level still connected to our exact match. Now you can obtain eternal life singularly but not infinite life. Eternities are measured. However when you do that your merging with half of the codes. You need all the codes to have infinite life. If two merge that dont exactly match it causes a fall. These codes are like fingerprints. No two are exactly alike except your counterpart is an exact match but opposite. Like if you had two hands with the exact pattern of fingerprints but opposite. So the codes are matched by the merging of them as an exact match. Now eternal life is when you merge your own half of the codes but you have not merged with your opposite in that place where two are one. We are really very complex beings consisting of two that are one but also three as well. This makes up ONE being. It doesnt work any other way.
     
  11. OneTrueGod

    OneTrueGod Interfaith Forums

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    Those whom mock shall mourn.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    You are mocking him for mocking Him?

    Whatever you do to these you do to me....

    hmmmmm......how does the shoe fit?
     
  13. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    What mocking is there here? Merely qutations from the bible.
     
  14. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

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    Constantine did several things, and mostly to consolidate his power structure. First of all, as Pontifex Maximus, head of the pagan church, as well as ruler of the combined Eastern and Western empire, he decreed in 321 A.D. that the day of rest would be on "the day of the sun", which is Sunday. This done as the fulfillment of Daniel 7:24-25, "HE WILL INTEND TO MAKE ALTERATIONS IN TIMES AND IN LAW". This said for ruler (horn), who "WILL SUBDUE 3 KINGS"(Constantine defeated Dais, Severus, and Licinius) in order to unite the empire.

    Second of all, he convened and chaired the Council of Nicea, which took place at the location of his summer residence, and under his leadership, set the dogmas and creeds which define the Roman state church, the same creeds which define the majority of "Christianity", including the Protestants of today. An attendee of this council was Athanasius, who was later to introduce the canon of the existing 27 books of the NT, whose authority was then formalized later by the state church.

    Thirdly, Constantine eventually took the side of the Trinity doctrine, and opponents were shipped out, or in one case, died of a mysterious cause. The books supporting dissent of the Trinity doctrine were burned. Later, communities were destroyed for any dissent. The burning of books and the killing of dissenters became a theme with the "Universal Christian Church", which was a state sponsored and headed church. The church had apparently very little public dissent, either written or spoken. The problem is that since the books were burned, and the dissenters killed, it is hard to come up with the scope of the dissent. There are figures for the Spanish Inquisition, as regarding these practices, but they are from the state and its church, and probably do not convey the true scope of the crime.

    As for making it easier to move around, part of the new law of the "Day of Rest", was that if you didn't heed the statute, you could not buy or sell land. This becomes a problem if you want to move.
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Quite. That's just what I said.

    OK. Do remember that Pontifix Maximus was a common title in Roman legislature until it was declined by Emperor Gratian in 381AD, and, as the title of a spiritual leader, was accorded to the Bishop of Rome.

    Maybe. Frankly I doubt it.

    Er, that's the populist web version of events, it's a bit more nuanced than that. Suffice to say he asked for a 'Creed' by which the faithful of the whole Church could be recognised as professing — but he did not write it. He asked for a point to be clarified, which in the end did nothing to alter the outcome of events.

    So he was the emperor, but he was not head of the Church.

    People like to think he told the Church what to do. Not true. In fact it was demonstrably the other way round. In the East, the emperors gained some political control over the patriarchs, but in the West the emperor never controlled the Bishop of Rome.

    Again, largely inaccurate. Much as Athanasius is a hero of mine, he did not determine the canon. Later lists of canonical books differ. The canon was never formalised until the 16th century.

    No, now you're making too superficial assumptions. What about the communities that were embraced by the Church, as listed in the cannons attached to later conciliar documents?

    Or, put another way, there was dissent, but we have no evidence, but there must have been, because ... there just must have been!

    Oh dear, apart from suddenly jumping on a millennia, you're really lacking in depth of insight. If you bothered to check you will know that the Spanish Inquisition was conducted under the authority of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was the political manipulation of the office.

    As for the Office of the Inquisition, again your view is largely founded on Protestant propaganda. The fact is, for the average person accused of heresy, the chances of surviving trial by the Inquisition was far higher than trial by the secular court! Many chose the Inquisition rather than the courts for that very reason, and had the charges against them dismissed.

    There are the infamous trials, of course, but do not be taken in by those who like to paint with abroad brush. And the argument that 'they' probably 'concealed the truth' is no argument at all, really, it's just the kind of assertion one makes when one has no evidence, but a strong opinion.
     
  16. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

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    Thomas wrote:
    OK. Do remember that Pontifix Maximus was a common title in Roman legislature until it was declined by Emperor Gratian in 381AD, and, as the title of a spiritual leader, was accorded to the Bishop of Rome.

    Dear Thomas,
    The Pontifex Maximus (Latin, literally: "greatest pontiff") was the high priest of the College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum) in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office. Its last use with reference to the emperors is in inscriptions of Gratian[1] (reigned 375–383) who, however, then decided to omit the words "pontifex maximus" from his title.[2][3]

    The original "pontiffs" were keeper of the gods, with the Pontifex Maximus being the head keeper of the gods. It was not a "post of the legislature". It was the head of their religion. As Caesar supposedly traced his lineage to the gods, the emperor, starting with Augustus Caesar, started taking on the post of head of the gods and head Pontiff. The Roman church Pontiff remains in charge of the gods, and keeps one of the head gods, Apollo, in the Vatican.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Belvedere Before its installation in the Cortile delle Statue of the Belvedere palace in the Vatican, the Apollo—which seems to have been discovered in 1489 at Anzio, ...

    So he was the emperor, but he was not head of the Church.

    Actually as Pontifex Maximus, he was head of the pagan church, as well as emperor of Rome, as well as the founder of the Roman church, for political reasons.

    People like to think he told the Church what to do. Not true. In fact it was demonstrably the other way round. In the East, the emperors gained some political control over the patriarchs, but in the West the emperor never controlled the Bishop of Rome.

    There was no West or Eastern Roman Empire during Constantine's reign. He unified both by defeating 3 kings (Daia, Severus, and Licinius). It was Constantine that had the supporters of Arian shipped out.

    Again, largely inaccurate. Much as Athanasius is a hero of mine, he did not determine the canon. Later lists of canonical books differ. The canon was never formalised until the 16th century.

    The existing books of the N.T. were first presented by Athanasius, and the formalization took place later.
    In his Easter letter of 367, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, gave a list of the books that would become the twenty-seven-book NT canon,[11] and he used the word "canonized" (kanonizomena) in regards to them.[12] The first council that accepted the present canon of the New Testament may have been the Synod of Hippo Regius in North Africa (AD 393); the acts of this council, however, are lost. Records exist for the formalization at the Trulian Council in 692 AD.


    Oh dear, apart from suddenly jumping on a millennia, you're really lacking in depth of insight. If you bothered to check you will know that the Spanish Inquisition was conducted under the authority of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was the political manipulation of the office.
    As for the Office of the Inquisition, again your view is largely founded on Protestant propaganda. The fact is, for the average person accused of heresy, the chances of surviving trial by the Inquisition was far higher than trial by the secular court! Many chose the Inquisition rather than the courts for that very reason, and had the charges against them dismissed.

    There are the infamous trials, of course, but do not be taken in by those who like to paint with abroad brush. And the argument that 'they' probably 'concealed the truth' is no argument at all, really, it's just the kind of assertion one makes when one has no evidence, but a strong opinion

    Here is a list of rotten fruit of the church for which the "pope" gave apologies. I believe he also apologized for the Joan of Arc burning, but it is not listed. As for blaming the state for the abuses of the Inquisition, the church sat on the power of the state, as in Rev 17:3, and did not have civil power of her own. List of apologies made by Pope John Paul II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I'll think you'll find the Church in Rome was founded circa 50AD, and by the time Constantine came along, Sylvester I was its thirty third Bishop.

    Quite. It would seem the same list was in use by Origen, a century earlier. But this only goes to show that Constantine had nothing to do with it.

    Athanasius recorded the Canon as it was received by him from the Tradition, he didn't draw it up himself:
    It's evident that Athanasius was affirming the teaching that he had himself received and which was widely regarded as orthodox, as the highlighted text evidences.
     
  18. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

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    The dark print is from 2nd pillar and the light print of from the apologist Thomas.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    My "Church in Rome" is the one I'm talking about, at least you acknowledge there was a Christian Church in Rome in 50AD (difficult not to). Constantine can hardly have founded a church that had already existed for more than two hundred years.

    If you can demonstrate anything that Constantine decreed regarding the faith of the Catholic Church, go ahead. And by 'demonstrate' I mean point to documentary evidence, rather than opinion.

    (And it would have to be in the Canons of the Council, because there, and only there, will you find any ruling that is binding on the whole Church.)

    I'm sorry to keep knocking you back, but your "Roman Church" is just another piece of fabricated history, there are many versions of it, kicking around on the internet.
     
  20. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

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    Dear Thomas,
    Constantine decreed that the "day of the Sun", Sunday, would be the day of rest in 321 A.D. Sunday as the day of rest is now part of the Roman church faith. This being in concert with his Mithriac Sol Invictus being the god of his soldiers, and in line with his vision of the god of light (Sun god), Apollo, also known as Lucifer, in 310 in the grove of Apollo in Gaul, whereas he was to conquer the world under the sign of the cross, being the sun god's symbol.

    Constantine had a major role in implementing the Trinity dogma, which was in line with the pagan theology, and in having the supporters of Arian shipped out to the hinterlands, and ordering the burning of books by Arian.

    "In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment....."
    — Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians[8]


    As for the "Church in Rome", I am sure there were plenty of churches in Rome in 50 AD. You can argue what those churches looked like, or even if Peter ever was ever in Rome, but per Rev of John, most likely written well after 50 A.D., Rome is not one of the churches listed per being affiliated with him. The ones that were listed, except for the church of Philadelphia, were somewhat faithless.

    As for Constantine founding the "Roman church", the "orthodox" canons originated with the Council of Nicaea, which he convened, chaired, and which took place at the location of his summer residence. He was the big man on campus, and your "bishop of Rome" was in Rome, not Nicaea.

    Constantine decreed (March 7, 321) dies Solis—day of the sun, "Sunday"—as the Roman day of rest [CJ3.12.2]:
    On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.[27]


     

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