Eternal Hell!?

Discussion in 'Islam' started by Irfan, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Irfan

    Irfan New Member

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    I don't know should I start this tread on Islam disscusions bacause it concerns also christians, namley eternal Jahannam or Hell. In the Holy Qur'an there are few striking verses that have been always puzzling for me Pharphrase :"... and there will be (paradise) untill Heavens and Earth endure... and there will be hell until Heavens and Earth endure..." Yet the entire Qur'an keep informing us that Heavens and Earth ( i.e the created world) will not endure. And throughout Qur'an there is emphasis on rather kind of gnostic Return of everthing to Allah( literaly everthing). In other verse it says that inhabitants of paradise ill be asked : "are you satisfied?" they will reply what else is there and then God speaks to them : come in to my (own) Jannah (garden/paradise/heaven). although Qur'an suggest bodily resurrection there is another vers whche says : "O You calmed soul get returned to your Lord!" and I was thinking to myself if God is Ar Rahman (All merciful), I can't never be merciful as Him , yet i wouldn't keep these people in hell vorever, well I wouldn't let them into paradise but I would after they got their punishment let them simply vanish. This is not unique to Islam but also its zoroastrian end of days scenario and also some christian streams.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Irfan —

    Good points raised.

    I thinks it's possible to read different interpretations into the world's sacra doctrina, based on one's experience and education.

    As ever, and despite what anyone says, sacra doctrina are not scientific treatises, and do not lay down scientific principles along the lines required for scientific proof, that is by empirical determination. One of the big issues is in determining what is eternal and what isn't, and the question is often clouded by an uncertain understanding of what eternal means in the first place.

    So I'm saying one out to read sacra doctrina more as poetry that science, always bearing in mind that poetry can reveal truths that science is unaware of.

    For example, in my own tradition, the human soul is regarded as eternal, but also as created, which is a contradiction straight away. I would argue that the human soul is created, with the possibility and the potential to enjoy incorporation in the Eternal, but by the same token therefore, the possibility must exist for the soul not to enjoy the Eternal, and therefore arrive at its own extinction.

    From a Christian viewpoint, the first step is to distinguish between gnosis properly (gnosis (Gk: 'knowledge') is a component of every religious tradition) and the gnosis so-called of the Gnostics, who were a in their day a manifestation of what appeared again in the New Age Cults in the latter half of the last century.

    Given that distinction, both orthodox and gnostic Christians speak of a Return, but in quite different terms.

    And both are informed by the Greek Platonic Tradition.

    And, lastly, 'the return of everything' is, in the Christian tradition, called the apocatastasis (Restoration) which, perhaps, might be termed 'the doctrine that dare not speak its name'.

    There is a story of St Thomas aquinas who saw a vision of the Risen Christ, who asked him, "What do you want?" to which Thomas replied, "You, Lord, only you."

    Short answer: For the Way of the Heart (the Bkaktic) there is nothing other than the love of God, it's the glue that holds the Cosmos together. For the Way of the Head (the jnani), God is the First Cause and the only self-subsisting Reality.

    So for both, there is, ultimately, only God ...

    Throughout history the 'intellectual', inclined to the Way of the Head, has tended to look down his nose on the Bhaktic, the devotional, as someone unintelligent, superstitious, naive, sentimental, etc, etc. In truth, no man is entirely one or the other, and no way is better than the other, it's just 'intellectuals' can argue their case better, often with more sophistry, rhetoric and venom.

    I enclose 'intellectual' in quotes to distinguish it from the Way of the Intellect, which is nothing to do with the linguistic and other skills of an individual's mental faculty.

    The eschataon remains a mystery.

    As Christians we believe in a bodily resurrection, but then St Paul says: "and the dead shall rise again incorruptible: and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:52-53).
    OK. If I am to rise immortal and incorruptible, then that body will not be like this body, because this body is shaped by the mortal, the corruptible, the contingent. we shall indeed be 'changed'.

    Earlier in the same text Paul says (v32-45):
    "But some man will say: How do the dead rise again? or with what manner of body shall they come?
    And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be; but bare grain, as of wheat, or of some of the rest. But God giveth it a body as he will: and to every seed its proper body..."
    This I read to mean, he who sows material things — goods, wealth, etc., sows 'the bare grain', the physical, material minimum, and like the physical, it will one day diminish and die.

    Then he goes on to say God will embody whom and what He wills as He wills ...

    "All flesh is not the same flesh: but one is the flesh of men, another of beasts, another of birds, another of fishes. And there are bodies celestial, and bodies terrestrial ... One (body) is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, and another the glory of the stars. For star differeth from star in glory. It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body. If there be a natural body, there is also a spiritual body ... Such as is the earthly, such also are the earthly: and such as is the heavenly, such also are they that are heavenly. Therefore as we have borne the image of the earthly, let us bear also the image of the heavenly..."

    This extended sequence, it seems to me, tells us not to think of a 'body' as a head, two arms, two legs, etc., etc. A body can mean many things, and there are physical bodies, and there are spiritual bodies, and how these bodies are perceived is something we can only wonder about.

    In the Christian, and Jewish Traditions, it is a fundamental belief that God manifests Himself in the affairs of man. That I accept and believe. What I find hard to conceive, is that God 'manages', or indeed 'micro-manages' the affairs of men to such an extent that every little thing that happens is determined by Him, and, of course, that every little kid that wanders into the path of an oncoming car, that every elderly Jewish couple crammed into a cattle truck, etc., etc.

    But what I do believe is that if man is created free, and if God is Love, then man is free to accept that Love or reject it, and whilst that possibility exists, then hell must necessarily exist as the actual and ontological reality of that decision. It's silly to think that man can make a decision or choose an option that God has not provided for.

    The idea that hell doesn't exist is mere sentimentalism.

    The images of hell however, owe more to the medieval mind than the Sacred Oracles
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi Irfan,

    You are right. Hell is not eternal. Phrases such as "Return of everthing to Allah( literaly everthing)" show that Hell is not eternal.

    You are on the right track. Keep up the good work.
     
  4. Irfan

    Irfan New Member

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    Very interesiting how many similarities are there. Islamic esoterics also relies to a large extent on platonic and neoplatonist tradition. When you mentioned St thomas Aquinas who was by the way influenced by medieval islamic philosopher Ibn Rushd or known in the west as Averroi, as well as by writing of El Ghazali (12th century scholar later mistic and sufi), it reminded me on famous sufi poet Yunus Emre who came to similar Epiphany : We need only Him (meaning God). And you made a good point as well namely that we can't really know what is eternal except that we know that only God is eternal or better expression Timeless. How ever there is a distinction in Islamic tradition where the belief in prexistance of human soul/spirit? is a normative this is gnostic primordial antropus who is in the ranks of pleroma, in islam expecially sufism its called Insan Al Kameel (perfected Human) in his spiritual form also known in sufi cosmology as Ruhul Noorani ( Light Spirit). and there is a verse actually which states: We offered to the Heavens and Earth to cerry a burden but they restrained from it and the burden took the human on himself ( so this is aa human in his preexistance actually). Muslims even most ortodox ones accept that we are just passingers or bypassers in this world that this is not our home actually ( this is also found in Gospel of Thomas), Then there is a story or a refference to creation of Adam how all the Angels prostrate in front of him because they realised that human being isn't just a creature its rather potentially one level above them but also potentially lower than Satan. I posted a reply on the thread : Asking Gnostic regarding Islam a link on Sufi cosmology and islamic esoterics where they citate not only Qur'an and some sayings of the Prophet but also Gospel of Thomas, Pistis Sophia and other writings. There is also intersting book by Samuel Zinner "Islam and Christianity" which deals with and compares islamic and christian esoterics and also mentiones judeic and hindu esoterics.
    I am not telling that hell does not exist i was just wondering would it be there forever. Gnostics also have there vision of the end of days where even Demiurge returns to God but those who they thermed somatic people will stay in eternal darkness, the psychic ones will still reside within Kraftsman and pneumatics will be rised to Pleroma again. For me pesonally the descriptions of Haeven and Hell are all allegorical its actually states of our being.
     
  5. Irfan

    Irfan New Member

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    Well let's hope so, actually if you lose hope in Divine Mercy ( regardles your wrong doings) then you will be doomed to hell.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Indeed he was. I think the Moslem world was responsible for re-introducing a lot of Greek thoguth lost to the West, as well as kick-starting the Renaissance.

    Muslims even most orthodox ones accept that we are just passengers or bypassers in this world that this is not our home actually (this is also found in Gospel of Thomas)... [/quote]
    Christianity is some measure agrees, except that there is a gnostic tendency to 'write off' this world as if it has no integral value. This world is 'good' in the eyes of God (cf the creation accounts in Genesis) and is as good as any other, accepting the limitations of its finite nature.

    This was one of the big breaks with both Platonism, which saw the material world as in inferior reflection of the higher world, and gnosticism, which saw the material world as a place of punishment or, at best, confinement.

    (Many esoteric streams East and West actually imply this world, or the human state in this world, is actually 'special' ... )

    The underpinning Platonic model is stasis-kinesis-genesis :: rest-movement-becoming. The idea there was an original perfect state in which the eternal soul contemplates God, and then, for some inexplicable reason, 'turned away' and fell, into the material world which was created to arrest the soul's decline. There are metaphysical problems with the model that even Plato could not resolves, and it was down to Maximus the Confessor to rework the Platonic triad in light of Biblical revelation to read genesis-kinesis-stasis, that is, becoming (creation, Genesis 1:1), movement, the end of which is rest in the Peace of God.

    As I have said above, the potential for hell — which is nothing other than the separation from the Divine – exists and must exist if God has not misled man as to his nature (and man is not free) and will exist as long as man exercises the option to defy the Will of God.

    I do not believe in hell as imagined by the minds of the medievals, who seemed to exercise themselves thinking up all manner of pains and punishments. Nor do I believe that hell is necessarily 'populated' by suffering sinners, unless of course those suffering sinner choose to remain in hell rather than accept the love of God ...

    Personally I reject this on the basis that the souls of all men are the same — we are all sons of Adam — and God did not create some — and according to the gnostics the vast majority — predestined to eternal darkness. To m it's an example of intellectual elitism.

    And who are the somatic? The ones the self-declared pneumatics cannot awaken, explaining to their student disciples (psychics who are utterly dependent on their master for their enlightenment) that they cannot be awakened because they have no spark of the divine in the soul. An excuse, of course, for the so-called pneumatic's failure!

    For me also. Heaven is Presence. Hell is absence ... with the understanding that a soul which refuses the Divine will slowly consume its own energies until it 'goes out' as it were, arriving at the point of its extinction.
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Wil is...Enjoying the discussion and contemplation...
     
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  8. Irfan

    Irfan New Member

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    See the Platonic model is somewhat simpler than islamic model but there are similarites. The eternal soul in islamic esoterics as I've mentioned accepts to perform the task ( it still a mistery what role we play on cosmic level) then the creation of body started, because human is now predestined to come to this world ( see here it shifts towards kind of zoroastrian struggle, the difference is that God does not fight anything rather its all placed in the human being).And God said" I will place a vicegerent (Kaliph) on earth, meaning human beings. Angels having realised that Human is not only a beast but also spiritual being higher then them or having same archetype as them they prostrate in front of human. Statan who was elevated in the rank of angels because of his piety and knowledge of God (from ontlogical perspective he is not an angel rather Jinn and therefore inferior to angels) rejects to prostrate because he gudged Human as being a mere earth/matter.So Humans are now of two or many fold natures. The Garden of Eden was just temporary state to prepare Human for this world yet they still were "governed" by their spiritual nature but after eating from the tree the things turn somehat upsidedown.God said: step down all of you (plural for more than two, meanig all of humanity) into "Dunya"( arabic for this world but it trully means low or lower sometimes interpreted lower of the lowest in quality). adam is afraid of all this existance but god forgives them and says : Do not be afraid for a certain period you shall dwel on earth and after that you will return to Me. However humans tend to go into forgetfullnes and confusing this reality for the truth and this happens all the time when new born baby comes to this world. "And there are those who forogt God, so God made that they forget themselfs" Qur'an. Just to resume it would be: stasis-genesis and movement- waiting ( in the state of so called Baraskh =Abrahams Bossom in eastern christianity) for some "becoming" straight depending on spiritual awekening and knowledge of God r some haevy saffering in this world or martydom, for others ressurection ( which is completely new creation in the form unknown).
    Regarding classical gnostic I used to listen Aeonbyte Gnostic radio on Youtube and exchanged couple of posts with Mr Miguel Connor. We have to take in to the account the fact that gnostic texts are higly allegorical and that we can't really know how they used to think back then. I don't accept their elitism bacause everyone has the spark within the soul but people reject it they don't want to find spark instead they go the opposite way becoming to earthly' biestly ar even diabolic. We don't have a complete free will but we have a choice which way to go: toward our spiritual / archangelic nature, biestly nature or diabolic one ( according to El Ghazali). This is probably why early muslims ( 9th century Persia) translated the Hymn of Pearls bacause it describes exactlly what happens to us. Regarding this world or realm called Dunya I would not agree that is good. Its very defficient that's the major cause of evil actually. There is some beauty but this looks really like diluted ink in water in comparison to pure ink. " Life in this world is nothing but deceitful enjoyment." " This world is nothing in comparison to the other" Qur'an. Yet even this world is fromGod and it should be accepted as that. Here we have a bit of neoplatonist thaught: so as it moves from the source it becomes more and more defficient and instable with the distinction that it does not come to so called degradation of the Divine ( neoplatonists) but because God desires to manifest itself that way so neither good nor evil is without "Him" and its for purpouse. One of the reason why we suffer and why we desire so many things never having enough of anything is that we don't recognise or majority doesn't our true desire and our true desire is only God and return to Him according to Mawlana Muhammed Jalaluddin RUMI. See Islamic gnosis is always about the Oness of God (Tawhid) and Wahdat-ul Wujud ( unity or oneness of exitance /being). I'm not an expert in Gospels but there is a lot more of platonist and gnostic thaought within it than it is presented to gnereral public by different churches and denominations the same thing is with Qur'an and Islam which mostly turns into some fullfilment of obligations and practising some traditional customs.
    We should all become more contemplating and spiritual.
     
  9. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    The supreme abode of Godhead is described as a place where everything is full of spiritual bliss. All the variegatedness manifest there is of the quality of spiritual bliss—nothing there is material. That variegatedness is expanded as the spiritual expansion of the Supreme Godhead Himself, for the manifestation there is totally of the spiritual energy. As far as this material world is concerned, although the Lord is always in His supreme abode, He is nonetheless all-pervading by His material energy. So by His spiritual and material energies He is present everywhere—both in the material and in the spiritual universes. Everything is sustained within Him, within either His spiritual or material energy. The Lord is all-pervading by these two energies.

    In the material world all is temporary passing of time [created, maintained, desolved] repeatedly. It is a place for the soul to sojourn and search out "What is eternal". To develop love of Godhead. In the material world there are pardises of pleasure and there is hellish places. The common lesson is inter-personal love for Godhead. But to go to a destination one must know exactly where to go; how to get there and what to expect. If one's direction is in-correct by a single degree the arrival place will only be a random-like abode.

    Godhead is His own absolute personage. Godhead is not a figment of imagination. And we must have Godhead reveal Himself as only He can do.
    Godhead has revealed His name, fame, form, personality, paraphernalia and entourage. It is these descriptions that fill the meditations of those seeking to meet none other than the Supreme personality of Godhead.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Agreed ... but that argument swings both ways, and there are apologists and modern 'Gnostics' have gone to great lengths to defend and even champion the 'Gnostic position'!

    What we do know is the term 'Gnostics' was coined in the 17th century as a catch-all term for a type of Christian heresy that appeared around the 2nd century and continued on somewhere into the 4th. There seems to be no evidence of 'Gnosticism' as a stand-alone religion, it was a derivative of prior streams, notably an attempt to mix Hellenic and Hebrew mystical speculation.

    One source posits that Gnosticism developed out of 'the remains of apocalyptic eschatological expectations after the fall of Jerusalem', which shattered the hopes of the coming of God's kingdom on earth and led to a rejection of the world. Gnosticism united material from the "outer fringes of Judaism" such as the Essenes and the diaspora of the Aramaic Syro-Mesopotamian world.

    Within early Christianity, the teachings, readings of Paul and John informed Gnostic ideas, with its emphasis on the opposition between flesh and spirit. The mortal body belonged to the world of the archons, and only the spirit or soul could be saved.

    The influence of Platonism has been pointed out, although the Hellenic schools, notably the Stoics and later Platonists — Plotinus amongst them — were critical of the lack of philosophical rigour in Gnostic mystical speculation. Other influences include Orphism and Pythagoreanism, whilst further afield syncretic elements from Persian and Mesopotamian syncretism. Further afield still, some see traces of mahayana Buddhism.

    Of course, wherever there is mystical speculation, there is bound to be concordances.

    (The Gospel of Thomas, by the way, is not a Gnostic text, it's in a class of its own in that regard.)

    Quite. Nor did the Jews, Christians, et al. Gnostics (like esoterists generally) love to grade things, they love hierarchies and were most inventive, each Gnostic Master coming up with his own unique cosmological structure. The truth is somewhat more organic, which annoys them, because then they can't compartmentalise.

    Gnosticism saw three grades of soul or spirit, as you know (pneumatic, psychic, hylic/somatic). The pnuematic was above and beyond all moral and ethical determination, he was already saved and that salvation could not be undone. On the other hand, the hylic/somatic was already damned.

    My point is, the most ardent sinner can turn in a moment, there's none who can fathom the heart, and anyone who writes anyone off is simply declaring their own ignorance and inability, if not their prejudices.

    (And again, it amuses me how many Gnostic or other Christological syncretic texts claim that they and they alone received and understood the true gnosis from Christ — Thomas, Judas ... a clear sign of competitive elitism.)

    Indeed. That's my point — it's not about elitism or intellectual capacity. We all have the same soul, the same possibility, the same capacity. It's not a question of 'grades'.

    Yes, that's emanationism which Abrahamic orthodoxy refutes. I would say yes only provisionally, in that God is immanently present in and throughout creation to all creation. The possibilities open differ, so man can transcend the natural world where animals cannot, but that does not make animals 'deficient' or 'unstable', they simply are what they are, and being true to their nature, they are good in the eyes of God.

    I would disagree that evil co-exists alongside good as serving the divine purpose. I cannot see how God wills what He does not will, or wills for me what He will not allow of me, and declares again and again that evil is contrary to His nature, that there is no good to be had by man's participation in evil. Evil rises out of human nature, the exercise of knowing and doing what we know to be wrong.

    If God wills it, it cannot be wrong.

    I think this stems from the idea of God as micromanager, as the orchestrator of human history, and the efforts to explain (or excuse) the terrible things that happen, that seem to contradict the Divine, or the Divine's loving nature.

    Well not just Rumi. All Jewish and Christian teachings say the same thing.

    Quite. So is authentic Christian gnosis ...

    Hmmm. We need to tread carefully here. There is nothing in the Gospels that corresponds to Gnostic cosmology, nor the Gnostic's idea of salvation (the possession of the secret 'keys' of knowledge). Nor does the cosmology of the Gospels correspond to Platonic cosmology (the former holistic, the latter dualistic; the former immanent, the latter emanationist).

    There are those however, who sought to 'unpack' the meaning of Scripture according to a Gnostic view, or a Platonic view, and so on. The early Fathers were, almost to a man, Platonist philosophers — there's nothing wrong with that — and believed that if Scripture was true, it could be reasoned philosophically. Some went too far, for whatever reason, Valentinus, for instance. Origen may well have over-stepped the mark, but declared that where his Platonism opposed his Christianity, he was a Christian first. Arius, tragically, put his philosophy before Revelation.

    Yes indeed, but we should also remember that when Christ spoke of those who were close to Him, he said:
    "Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 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).
    We're expected to pray — that's a given — but religion is something you do. The contemplation bit is not even a necessity, but rather depend on disposition.
     
  11. Irfan

    Irfan New Member

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    You are making very good pints. I would generally agree with you about gnostics but when I mentioned gnosis and gnosticism I didn't mean the 2nd-4th century gnostics well at least not the Sethians or alike. Or btw. the medieval pseudognosticsm ( like Kathars, Bogomils and... perhaps my medieval ancestors namely Bosnians Christians /Church of Bosnia although the letter seemed to be a form of more esoterical/ mistical/ platonic earlier form of christianity rather than gnostics , nevertheless they've been proclaimed heretical by both churches to samewhat lesser extent by the eastern ortodox church, but there is an interesting fact that when Bogomils from Serbia and Bulgaria fled the persecution they found refuge in Bosnia by Bosnian Chritians). What I wanted to point out is the same thing that you already said that gnosis is present in all religions and that the esoteric part ( wee called batin = inner) should be more emphasised thand it yusually is. Instead we are only left with the exoterics (lows, rules etc. I think besides that we need to contemplate as well ) .
    Regarding this world and the will of God i would not agree because how can something be in true sence of the word against God's will. Muslims are also highly divided upon this problem. But how do you explain so many discrepancies in this physical world for example so many genetic disorders, children born with defects also animals or God created man and woman yet there are hermaphrodites as well and this is not our fault I mean its not enybodiy's fault but its rather inteded to be that way. So why all these exceptions to the rule?
    In Sufi cosmology/es there is clear distinction between emanated Realms/worlds but can't speak here of space and time and (its perfected spiritual world or worlds which came ot of ineffable and incomprehnsible Divine essence /"Godhead" )and between created realm but of course Emanator and Creator is One.
    Further more I was comparing Sufism whch has been labelled Gnostic Islam and the fact is there is a significant overlap between 2 cyrcles ( gnosticsm and sufism), however Sufis don't claim the solvation only for themselfs they see positive outcome for most of the people at the end because of divine goodness. They want to attain gnosis and similarly they have spiritual guides or masters who attained certain level and there different levels in both ortodox more exoterical islam and in esoterical (sufis, some shia streams etc) islam, yet they both have inner and the outer to variing degrees. But all of these grades or levels will find their place by God. Attainig gnosis in the case of sufis will lead you to become this perfected human as much as possible, so you will undergo the proces of some inner alchemy so that goodness is for you selfunderstood they also get some supernatural abilites ( called keramah miracle of lesser degree) but when they trnasform themselves of course with God's help they put themselfs in service of other people to guide them, teach them, heal them and also other beings animals and even plants. I see you posses great knowledge in religion you must have been studied it. I studied science and I can tell you that science actually strengtenth my faith to a large extent and I still wonder how can someone be a literal atheist.
    If you are interseting there is a good series its called Yunus Emre ( its historical ) with english subtitles on netflix (1 months for free), there you can see what is sufism about in comparison to so called ortodoxy ( i would call them wisdomless).
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    OK. I did think that might be the case.

    Completely agree.

    When I did my dissertation, it was on 'Mystagogia', the onging deepening of the mystical life in the Church, something which is rarely mentioned these days and actually disliked by our more rational/empirical brethren.

    It's the nature of this world. It's because we are finite and contingent beings in a finite and contingent cosmos.

    Gender is a current problem. We tend to think (again) in divisions. Here we have heterosexual men. Here heterosexual women. Here we have homosexuals. Here we have asexuals ... it's really not like that.

    Rather, at one end we have the 'ideal' heterosexual male. At the other, the ideal heterosexual woman. Between those two, we have an infinite number of men and women who differ from 'the norm' by a greater or lesser degree.

    Again. We were due to have our first child, then my wife miscarried at six months, and we lost our son. Was that the will of God? No. It's just what happens here. Pregnancy and childbirth is a process fraught with risks and difficulties. Earthquakes, Tsunamis, etc., Does God will those? No, it's just nature. It just is.

    I mean, it might be that the human race 'evolves' until is a fraction away from universal enlightenment, and then gets taken out by a passing asteroid. Did God will that? Nope ... that's just how it is ...

    I would say Sufism is proper, authentic Islamic gnosis, if you see what I mean?

    I will always counterbalance the idea of gnosis, which is a tough spiritual discipline, by the simple heart who knows nothing of 'divine knowledge' but knows love, and knows God better and more intimately than many a gnostic! The idea that the Gnostic goes 'further' or 'deeper' than the simple devotional adherent to a tradition is, again, part of an erroneous elitism.

    The Desert Fathers, who were gnostics of a sort, were well aware of this flaw, and there are stories of how the simple man is far holier than the most ascetically-disciplined practitioner.
     
  13. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Also enjoying this.
    Irfan, if I might just ask you to space out your paragraphs a bit. I have trouble following when the text is this compact.
     
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  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Some thoughts on 'eternal'

    The Hebrew noun is owlam which can mean everlasting and perpetual, but also ancient or old, as well as always, long, more or never.

    The word derives from the primitive verb alam, meaning 'hidden' or 'concealed', and is used to refer to a kind of 'vanishing point', that is in the sense of time out of mind (in the past or the future), and for all practical purposes infers eternity.

    This I find quite intriguing. If we apply this to the idea of the eschaton, we could argue that hell is eternal in the sense that there is no other state, no option, no going forward, no going back.

    This is dependent upon our own decision, in the final judgement, to reject the love of God and chosen rather for separation. Once having made that choice, then God observes our freedom to choose and honours that choice accordingly.

    The equivalent Greek term is αἰώνaiṓn, an age and, by extension, perpetuity (into the future or the past).

    "An age" signifies a period of indefinite duration. The force attaching to the word is not so much that of the actual length of a period — remember the word is not being used in any 'scientific' context — but rather a period marked by spiritual or moral characteristics.

    The terms and phrases derivative, age, ages, from age to age, etc., should not be rendered literally, but rather consistently with its sense of indefinite duration. Thus eis ton aiona does not mean "unto the age" but "for ever". The Greeks contrasted that which came to an end (using such words as 'time' and 'season') with that which was expressed by this phrase, meaning an indefinite and interminable duration.

    Aionios, the adjective denoting "eternal," contrasts with proskairos, "for a season". It is used of that which in nature is endless: God, His power, His glory, the Holy Spirit, Redemption, Salvation, life in Christ, the resurrection body, and correspondingly of sin that never has forgiveness (cf Mark 3:29), the judgment of God, and of fire, one of its instruments.

    Lastly, it should be noted that 'heaven', and 'hell', are not determined by temporality, which belongs to the finite and the contingent, so really the meaning of 'eternal' is from this side of the eschatalogical horizon. What might seem momentary here, or eternal, will have no correspondence there ...
     
  16. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Hare Krishna Yogi

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    Godhead has His own name, fame, form, personality, paraphernalia and entourage all of which are "absolute". Godhead is "absolute".

    There is a God and He is "absolute".

    In contrast to that information, all atoms have as a nucleus a "plenary expansion of Godhead's energy".

    All Atoms have a soul.

    I astonishes me that atoms that have been buried deep in the earth and deep in the sea bed, as they are destined, get digged-up and exposed to the light of day. A atom of Iron laid dormant, was dug-up, smelted, formed, and shot up in the sky as a rocket, and splash down into the sea to rest at the bottom of the ocean. And this pastimes continues for all atoms.

    In contrast to that information, Godhead has His own entourage and they are all eternal. We are eternal souls in a temporary world of material matter.

    Here in the material world we seek happiness by having the elements serve our desires.
    In the abode of Godhead the ethos is to serve Godhead in reciprocal exchanges of interpersonal pastimes.
     
  17. Irfan

    Irfan New Member

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    I don't agree here, because The "that is just how it is" is not without God. God is the absolute Inifinite, unlimited there is nothing outside Him. Here we come again to gnostics and their techings of a cosmic error whre they actually missed their point. The question arises how can that All Good Perfect God let it happen and then we are some kind of colateral demage, I would say No.

    I think this is a very old problem which we can't fully answer that is te question why evil, why suffer. Why didn't God destroyed satan and all the demons straight away? Well because they play their role as well although they are evil. Another problem is that we can not know exactly what's good and what's bad for as at certain point, we experience some pain (physical or mental) but it might be actually good for us in many ways, just as we experience or endulge in some pleasures and they are actually bad for us.

    Even "eating forbbiden fruit" and satanic deception were only something like a starting shoot for as to get into the "Plato's Motion" and that motion ( this temporary world or this mode of existance) has its dark and light paterns with many shades , so we must walk through "light and darkness"( I would say more darkness or greyness) in order to "become"( in the here after), but the choice is ours, as long as we hold the wright direction it's good. Something like Yunigian process of individuation.
    The other important difference between Judeo-Christian and Islamic view on Creation is that God as Creator in in two first religions has created whereas in Islam God as Creator creates, recreates and destrys all the time until the end of days.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I don't see the distinction.

    Sorry, I disagree. I think that's an anthropocentric way of looking at things.

    Sorry, don't agree with that, either.

    I rather think this is self-justification. Adam sinned because God wanted him to ... Again, as you might expect, I don't agree.

    Again,m thisis retro-fitting the case to fit the circumstance. The idea that we have to experience bad to appreciate the good, can be logically refuted.

    I think you misunderstand Christianity?

    For is creation isn't a 'one-time event' as you suppose, it's a dynamic ongoing process.
     
  19. Irfan

    Irfan New Member

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    I knew
    that you would disagree with majority of things i had written but I actually wanted to pint out the differneces between christian and islamic views. Again it also depends on denomination i.e. on school of thaought in christianity and islam repectively, because in baught religions there are so many different views on same thing. Fro example in islam regarding human free will it ranges from absolute free will to no fre will at all and everithign inbetween. To be honest I didn't know that in christianity too there is ongoing creation, because in the book of genesis God created and then rested, whereas in the Qur'an it is strongly emphasised that God never rests.

    However, we have to take in the account that The Word of God is not like human word its far from straight farward.
     
  20. Abdullah

    Abdullah Member

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    Irfan, now that I've explained the importance of orthodoxy in Islam, let me share with you what the view of the consensus is regarding this matter. apparently the knowledge that heaven and hell are eternal is known by all Muslims thus there are consequences for failing to believe this , as explained by Shaykh Nuh Keller:

    1) matters about Islam that everyone knows, which even a child raised among Muslims would know, technically termed ma‘lum min al-din bi d-darura or “necessarily known as being of the religion”;

    (2) matters that not everyone knows;

    (3) and matters that are disagreed upon even by “those who know,” the ulema or scholars.

    Affirmation or denial of tenets of faith within each category vary in their eternal
    consequences because of their relative accessibility, and the individual’s opportunities to find them out.

    Things That Everyone Knows

    To deny anything of the first category above constitutes plain and open unbelief.

    It includes such things as denying the oneness of Allah, the attributes of prophethood, that prophetic messengerhood has ended with Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace); the resurrection of the dead; the Final Judgement; the recompense; THE EVERLASTINGNESS OF PARADISE AND HELL; they obligatoriness of the prayer, zakat, fasting Ramadan, or the pilgrimage; the unlawfulness of wine or adultery; or anything else that is unanimously concurred upon and necessarily known by Muslims, since there is no excuse not to know these things in the lands of Islam; though for someone new to the religion, or raised in a wilderness, outside of the lands of Islam, or some other place where ignorance of the religion is rife and unavoidable, their ruling becomes that of the second category. As Imam Nawawi explains:

    Any Muslim who denies something that is necessarily known to be of the religion of Islam is adjudged a renegade and an unbeliever (kafir) unless he is a recent convert or was born and raised in the wilderness or for some similar reason has
    been unable to learn his religion properly. Muslims in such a condition should be
    informed about the truth, and if they then continue as before, they are adjudged
    non-Muslims, as is also the case with any Muslim who believes it permissible to commit adultery, drink wine, kill without right, or do other acts that are necessarily known to be unlawful (Sharh Sahih Muslim, 1.150).

    https://archive.org/stream/NuhHaMim...h-Ha-Mim-Keller-Iman-Kufr-and-Takfir_djvu.txt

    you must have misread/misunderstood those verses as I assure you many verses unequivocally mention the eternal duration of heaven and hell
     

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