Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Godmachine, Sep 12, 2013.
Only if bizarre is good. You got it right, it was a good slip. Thanks for making me feel better.
GK-- I am a prisoner of my culture and history. Western Philosophy has always focused on Man, World, God; as self, other, beyond or mental, physical, spiritual.
I use religion as shorthand for that religion beyond all Religions... in that way it is merely spiritual. But once I experienced that, I knew g!d. Okay, perhaps a g!d closer to Plotinus and Spinoza than Akiva and Augustine. But Kook and Eckhart and Rosenzweig and Whitehead fall more I my side, I believe.
Guess either (1) my conception of g!d and religion are "too vague", or (2) my knowledge of each has "strayed from the way", or (3) my understanding is closer to "probably" than "unlikely". Obviously, my view is the third.
Does it really matter if a historian named Luke wrote Luke or someone named Mark wrote Mark? You still need to have a guide post to evaluate the content. If you want to use the O.T. as a guide post, then you might listen to what it says on the matter.
Dt. 19:15 & Mt 18:16 both say, "A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses" Even your court of law requires the same proof.
Is 8:20: "To the law & the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn."
John 5:31, "If I alone bear witness of myself, my testimony is not true"
See, I just helped you throw out 2/3 of the NT. Paul is a self professed apostle and prophet. Plus according to Jeremiah 48:10 "Cursed be the one who does the Lord's work with deceit". As Paul is all things to all and true to none, he is not only thrown out by default, but apparently not in good standing with the powers that be. Using this method, you can reduce more of wheat from the chaff.
Ah, the nuclear option.
Love it. Don't discuss, just toss the baby out with the bath water.
I did have you in mind when I wrote it ... it is your option, after all.
My option? Nah, the bible is still my leading spiritual reference, daily reading and contemplation a habit and worthwhile venture....of course I don't take it litearally.
To understand we ought to move around, to see reality from various viewpoints. We ought to get used to thinking.
The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?
It's how you use the Bible as a reference point that's so telling.
You exercise the consumer option — you buy this, but you don't buy that — the Bible is there for you to take from it what you will, according to your taste and inclination. It's only 'worthwhile' as long as it makes you feel good about yourself.
Of course you do, those bits you like, you trot them out all the time, even though the context means the opposite of what you infer!
After all your critical assumptions have been applied, the texts and the sources discredited or dismissed for one reason or another — you've made that point often enough, too — there's actually precious little left to contemplate, and from those texts you do reference, it appears the only bits you accept are the bits that seem to endorse your idea of your own divinity.
What you mean by 'spiritual reference' is, again, consumer-oriented. You mean 'spirit' as in 'the sense of me'.
What other reference point is there? You've told me often enough why the sources and the texts are suspect, in fact you're quite outspoken about the self-serving nature of the New Testament, which you consider largely the fireside fabrications of old men ... so what 'reference point' is there but yourself?
Unity has repackaged the Bible to appeal to the broadest segment of the consumer market: Make it as lightweight as possible, and as enticing as possible. Promise the most reward for the least amount of effort ... which is why I refer to such watered-down versions of Christianity as 'the critical minimum', belief in anything less would be faith in nothing at all.
As far as 'spirituality' goes, it's all post-modern and somewhat syncretic abstract concepts cherry-picked from various traditions for the maximum 'feel good' effect.
Or put another way, have a foot in as many camps as possible ... it's called exercising consumer choice.
Oh, good grief, Wil ... are you so blind that you cannot see you are promoting the pop-spiritual materialist ideology of the US baby-boomer consumer culture?
Without dwelling into 'truth' and 'belief', I fail to understand the concept of ' loving God' '
and 'god loving us' ...am I missing something?
How do you come to this conclusion? What is the significance of this ? What happens if we don't believe in this.
I will be grateful for a simple reply.
Yeshua said the greatest commandment is to Love God with your whole heart, mind and soul, or in simplified terms love your neighbor as yourself, because God dwells in your neighbor.
Yeshua," Do unto others as you would have them do to you"
Confucius," Never impose on others as you would not chose for yourself"
Rabbki Hillel," that which is hateful to you, do not unto another: This is the whole Torah"
I apologize Thomas, for not providing the source for those quotes which you object to, that was the Pope, last October.
So you agree with Pope Francis?
So can I expect you to abandon your ideology, and embrace the Faith?
I later realised that you've really missed the whole point of Pope Francis' homily. Or rather, you've ignored the bits that challenge you, and instead play it like a trump card to win a point in an argument.
The point the Holy Father is making is that without faith in Our Lord — the Incarnate Son in whom he and the whole Church professes — the Christ of the Creed — then Christianity becomes an ideology, shaped to pander to spiritual materialism.
The whole thing turns on faith, and you've made your views on the Catholic faith quite clear.
Without faith, there is no Body of Christ, there's just a place where people go to meet and celebrate themselves.
The Holy Father went on to say:
"The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology."
In your case, you have detailed this 'distillation' often, your critiques of Scripture, your rejection of Tradition, your contempt for Catholics.
The Holy Father warned:
"When a Christian does not pray ... his witness is an arrogant witness."
Such as when you declare you are 'amused' by the mumblings and rituals of the poor, deluded Catholic faithful, we who hang on to our superstitions and our fetishes, but not you ... you are above all that, you have no need of it, you are so much more spiritual than they ...
You can pick and choose what to hear from what he said...and so will I....hee hee.
I can agree with that.
I try and understand what the author is trying to say,
you just cherry-pick soundbites you can use to your own advantage.
I simply don't need the chants and incense, the robes and hats in order to pray.
go into the closet and close the door....
yes sometimes I think it is time to turn over the tables...
Nor does anyone 'in order to pray', that's not what they're about.
The Liturgical Forms of every authentic religious tradition — and they all have them — are there for a reason, for our benefit, not for God's.
Each element has its symbolic reference, but I fear that subject is beyond the scope of this discussion.
What I would say is the Forms are the outward material signs that not only signify an interior disposition towards the Other, but on a more accessible level speak of the engagement of the whole person, an holistic way of praying that includes the whole person but the whole community, and, furthermore, the whole physical space in which the Liturgical Act takes place...
... for the Moslem, the simple act of drawing a line in the sand delineates a sacred space — that line symbolises the mosque — I think that a profound and very moving act. Throughout Christendom you could find a wayside Calvary on even the most desolate roads. Shinto raises the Tori-i as the entrance to a sacred space, the spiritual symbolism written in the beauty of the natural world: the desert, the grotto, the mountain, the forest, the sea ... the sun and the moon and the stars ...
... Sacred Dance is common to every tradition; so is the making of Sacred Music, so is song, be it the Psalms of Israel, the awesome Chants of the Tibetan Buddhist, the Gregorian Choir, the Call and Response, the burning of incense, the eating of foods, the art of the ikon and the mandala, the resonance of the mantra, the practice of concentration, meditation, contemplation, lectio divina ...
... the teaching on posture, be it Yoga, T'ai chi ch'uan, sitting in Zazen, the Dervish, the May-Pole ...
I would not be so quick to dismiss them, the commentaries on their benefits are vast and, by example, undeniable.
I would ask you to consider our sentimental contemplations of the natural world: the joy of a sunset, the wonder of a shooting star; the richness of human signs and gestures, the power of a smile ...
I do not believe you don't experience anything of this sort. In fact, I know you do, because you have said so.
... the Forms are the same thing, in one sense they are sensible consolations, but they symbolise something transcendent and nourish the senses, and through them the soul, in a way that the natural cannot ... it is through them that the soul is made free ... it's done for the soul's sake ... the temper the very substance of our being.
I would suggest you get hold of some informed writings about the matter — not the Christian ones, that would be asking too much — but something from a tradition you can listen to without bias, see what they have to say, then contemplate that for a bit ... or better, give it a go.
Some of my understandings of that text, if they are of any value, are these:
First, Our Lord is criticising the arrogance of those who presume they are better than their neighbour, the arrogance of those who think, because they are they, they have no need of humility, but rather assume union with the divine is already theirs, because they deserve it ... that God has nothing to give.
Second, the prayer of the publican, which Our Lord asserts as most effective (he is justified, accordingly) has come down through the Tradition as 'The Prayer of the Heart' or 'The Prayer of Simplicity' — indeed the Orthodox Patriarchies teach this far more than we Catholics do — but it is a prayer that's universally recognised (by which I mean by traditions other than Christian) ... but again, it's a prayer you would reject, because of its disposition, without question.
It forms, by the way, one of the oldest elements of the Roman Rite, signified by the use of Greek rather than the Latin — Kyrie eleison — Lord, have mercy.
Third, Our Lord is talking about 'interior prayer' which one can do anywhere, even when surrounded by all the smells and bells and liturgical forms ... in fact some of us dress for the occasion, contemplate icons, ring bells, burn incense, eat fruit, play music, sing songs, make postures, offer gestures, even when locked away in that interior chamber ...
I would suggest that what you dismiss is, in fact, a very efficacious method of enabling one to 'enter into the heart', as the testimony of the saints and sages of every tradition make clear ...
Fourth, Our Lord then goes on to tells us what to pray — The Lord's Prayer — in words and images you expressly reject!
In life we surround ourselves, as best we can, with those things we consider beautiful and meaningful. I fail to see why we cannot do so, individually and collectively, in prayer, and offer that, too.
We are creatures who, from the very dawn of consciousness, have made art.
So you will excuse me if, on the weight of evidence, I disagree.
big hugz Thomas.
You have to have a starting point. If not the N.T., which has more than a few foundation problems, how about the O.T. http://loveforlife.com.au/content/07/07/17/forged-origins-new-testament-tony-bushby
Dt 19:15,"A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses". This was also cited by Yeshua in Mt 18:16. This is the base of our criminal court system of today. The witnesses are vetted and you generally require at least two witnesses to prove a case. Otherwise you have a he says versus she says case.
Is 8:20,"To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to his word, it is because they have no dawn."
Proverbs 20:25, "It is a snare for a man to say rashly, "It is holy" and after the vows to make inquiry.'
A question that should be asked is how reliable are the gospels, and self professed apostle and prophet Paul. For as Yeshua said in Mt 13, the good seed shall be together with the tares. One should use the above measuring sticks to determine the Truth of any matter.
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