Metaphysics of abundance

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, May 6, 2019.

  1. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

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    Gee I don't know. Sometimes I think people are so obsessed with Jesus the lose sight of God. The word "Jesus" is an idol for many people. There is only one true all-powerful all-loving God and that God is God. My faith in God is probably stronger than most idol worshipers. I believe our omnipotent God of unconditional love allows everyone to enter through the gates of Heaven regardless of our Earthly sins or how we practiced our religion. This is my faith. You my not be trusting enough in our God of unconditional love to put this much faith in God but I do. My reasoning is God needs nothing from us. So God collects every soul because all souls are equally valuable to God. My other reason is I do not have as much faith in the Bible because the Bible was written by men no matter how divinely inspired people claim it to be. For example, it is just mind boggling to me the Bible got the morality of slavery wrong. Consider the following scripture verses:

    No. 1:St Paul’s advice about whether women are allowed to teach men in church:

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    No. 2: In this verse, Samuel, one of the early leaders of Israel, orders genocide against a neighbouring people:

    “This is what the Lord Almighty says... ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” (1 Samuel 15:3)

    No. 3: A command of Moses:

    “Do not allow a sorceress to live.” (Exodus 22:18)

    No. 4: The ending of Psalm 137, a psalm which was made into a disco calypso hit by Boney M, is often omitted from readings in church:

    “Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us – he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” (Psalm 137:9)

    No. 5: Another blood-curdling tale from the Book of Judges, where an Israelite man is trapped in a house by a hostile crowd, and sends out his concubine to placate them:

    “So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.” (Judges 19:25-28)

    No. 6: St Paul condemns homosexuality in the opening chapter of the Book of Romans:

    “In the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:27)

    No. 7: In this story from the Book of Judges, an Israelite leader, Jephthah, makes a rash vow to God, which has to be carried out:

    “And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord’s, to be offered up by me as a burnt-offering.’ Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah; and there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and with dancing. She was his only child; he had no son or daughter except her. When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low; you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow.’” (Judges 11:30-1, 34-5)

    No. 8: The Lord is speaking to Abraham in this story where God commands him to sacrifice his son:

    ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.’ (Genesis 22:2)

    No. 9: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

    No. 10: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18)

    Concubines being raped and submission to cruel slave masters is just over the top for me. But please do not think I lack reverence for the way people like RJM think. All I am saying is the Bible needs to be read as a metaphor for morality and sin not to be taken out of the historical context in which it was written. The essential message is morality is important.

    Jesus had some good thing to say. What I find amazing is how people always quote the verses with regards to loyalty to authority and fandom to Jesus. People hardly ever quote the Beatitudes. I find this just amazing. I think most Jesus worshipers are not religious at all. Most people treat religion and Jesus like their favorite NFL football team. It's not like people are on the field playing the game which is a completely different experience. Having faith in an omnipotent God is easy how can you lose. Having faith in your fellow man and the people around you is what takes serious faith.

    My hope is RJM will be able to appreciate what I am saying. But my experience has been most serious Jesus worshipers claim I am possessed by Satan or some such nonsense. One time I had a very intense conversation about religion with a born-again holier-than-thou type person who was really mad at me for what I was saying and ask me, "Do you know where you soul is going to go when you die?" He was really mad at me and started talking about eternal damnation. I said, "How bad can it be, it can't be worse than living in New Jersey!" He did not crack a smile. :|

    I have no fear with God. My faith is in a God of unconditional love. No conditions. I have no fears God will abandon me based on some condition or something that happens in my life. God will be there for me no matter what happens in my life.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    comment removed ... because:

     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  3. StevePame

    StevePame Administrator Staff Member

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    This has been a heated thread, so I just want to remind everyone that there is room for discussion, but not personal attacks on IO.

    Let’s take a collective deep breath, please.
     
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  4. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Ok, I'm sorry. @dfnj2019 I have read your post more carefully. You are making assumptions about what I believe:

    This is not the first time. I have absolutely no interest in saving your soul or making a believer of you, ok?

    Yes there are terrible parts in the Bible. Wicked and shocking. There's no justification for some of it. It is simply brutal stuff. But then, so is history. Psalm 137 was written by Jewish exiles in Babylon, wishing revenge on their captors whom they had watched doing exactly that to their children.

    The fact these parts have not been excised is in a way a demonstration that the Old Testament has probably not been tampered with as much as some people would like to think.

    Other parts, like some of the Pauline injunctions and the comments about slavery and the treatment of women as possessions, are results of the time and culture in which these things were written.

    As you yourself agree, in the end they do not serve to trash the whole Bible:

    Especially the Old Testament does not serve to trash the New Testament, imo. Anyway, I am not a Bible literalist.

    Best regards.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  5. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    [QUOTE="RJM Corbet, post: 327120, member: 19373"
    But I don't want to get in out of my depth.[/QUOTE]

    I feel like I'm out of my depth nearly all the time! This list humbles us all at one time or another, no shame in that. I would submit that it's part of our growth to venture out of our depth from time to time.
     
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  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Excellent answer to your previous question why the complicated metaphysics! It is precisely yo find this lessons in the seemingly atrocious portions of Scripture, of history, of our own lives!

    Your biography was written, thousands of years ago, and it.is in that book! Your life and understandings are meant for under standing for standing on and metaphor.meant for you.
     
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  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Amen, I so love gasping for air and getting gobsmacked incredulously with all.the knowledge, faith, and discernment of folks who participate here.

    At the same time yin/yan we have those who challenge our patience, psyche and balance and I so feel they are hear specifically for my growth, for me to find the lesson in their words and/or the spark if divinity in them.

    And I love how we each take the time,.energy and compassion to benefit each other by periodically switching between these roles.
     
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  8. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    I understand and agree. When confronted with the element of death that is present with true growth, the natural reaction is to recoil in horror. It takes time to get comfortable with that, to accept it. In the Christian realm, it's the offense of the cross. We tend to want to have our cake and eat it too.

    I have run across this "earthing" and it can lead to a lot of trouble, but it's something that can be worked through. If I remember right, St. Theresa of Avila's brother was troubled about this very thing and sought the counsel of his sister on the issue. I got a crash course in this through a correspondence with a dear friend. This correspondence remains the most meaningful spiritual relationship I have ever had to this day, though the two of us have never even met in person.

    As for the debilitating conditions of mystics, Evelyn Underhill brought some clarity to me concerning this issue. It will always be a point of contention, but, if you think about it, the infused love that St. John of the Cross wrote about escapes the whole mess, as it tends to move away from the more dramatic experiences toward a more calm and gentle (but no less mystical) experience of union with God.

    Agreed... I remember the advice of John of the Cross to just let them go. If they are of God, the purpose will have been accomplish within. If not, then a lot of trouble has been avoided. Of course the memory cannot be wiped clean, but the attachment can be severed as one learns how to do so. His logic is pretty sound, though it seems a bit austere at first glance. In short, I think he seeks to keep us from hanging our hats on particular mystical experiences we might have had, which again can lead to trouble. Each day is a new day... "Morning Has Broken"...

    I'm going to reply to the rest of this in a second post, the length of this one seems to be freaking out the system or something, or at least it appears so in the preview.
     
  9. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    Great way of putting it, thanks!
     
  10. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    Thomas, to finish my reply. It seems a backward slash mark on my part was the culprit. :) You wrote:

    Good point, I agree wholeheartedly.

    Yes, although there is a progression toward less sensible consolation, the process is not fully linear. We only tend to write about it in that way because it is easier to do and also easier to grasp by the mind.

    And one worth thinking about, as I will do. Thanks.

    I see your point there, good job. I am quite sure these things will be addressed in the final judgement, but for now they are allowed without micromanagement. The unholy marriage of good and evil is all around us, every day, within and without. The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. It's chaotic at times.

    My younger sister, who is an anarchist (non-violent) has lectured me at length on this issue. I don't recognized the name but I'm sure she does. I will ask her about it. I made a personal decision some time back to stay away from hot button political issues and to concentrate everything toward the seeking of God only. I realize the importance and the necessity of engagement in these things; however this is not where my "calling" if I even have one, lies.

    Well I actually had to go to a therapist at one point, mostly concerning social phobia. I didn't have much money, so I qualified for the sliding pay scale. I didn't get to pick my therapist, one was simply assigned to me. I don't know if it was providential or just pure dumb luck, but I got one that was a perfect fit. This woman, just a couple years older than me, helped me enormously. It was all talk therapy, but the thing which sticks with me most is that I felt accepted and perhaps even cared for with her. I can sum it up with a short, but powerful quote from an old Burlap To Cashmere song: "She looked at me funny, with compassion in her eyes." Spiritual warmth, Thomas, don't underestimate it.
     
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  11. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    How to just let God take over completely?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    G!d is all there is.

    Acceptance.

    This is what leads to personal responsibility...as again, G!d can only do for me what G!d does thru me.

    Pray but move your feet.

    It is G!D's will, not mine but thine.
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Put one's self to one side.

    It's quite the trick, if you can pull it off.
     
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  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    In a way perhaps all the spititual teaching is the surrender of the ego to God? Again, it may only be through desperation and 'the dark night of the soul' that the full realisation comes: there is only God?

    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    Set thy heart on me alone, and give to me thine understanding: thou shalt in truth live in me hereafter. (Bhagavad Gita 12:3)

    It's always the message: choose (peace of surrender to) God or choose (the anxieties of) chasing after the world?

    As you say, the trick is doing it?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  15. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I think this sheds further light onto what's going on here.

    As I think you know, the question is bogus: no-one ever discussed the problem Like the idea that Columbus' crews feared sailing of the edge of the world, no-one believed in a 'flat earth' (until today!).

    The question was a device used by Protestants to ridicule Catholic scholastic philosophy as a pointless intellectual exercise. A contemporary version is the critique of cosmological theory, or how big a collider d'you need to find what lies beyond the boson? The implication being scientific investigation without immediate material goal is a waste of time and resources.

    But the evidence of scholarship has shown that those scholastics ridiculed made significant and long-lasting contributions to science; Duns Scotus and Ockham laid the foundations of modal logic, Nicholas of Cusa introduced radical new ways of thinking in mathematics, cosmology and astronomy.

    So the 'how many angels' question is a kind of assault on the purpose of learning generally, the same way that Hawkings and other scientists have been obliged to defend the experimental sciences — and science budgets — against the claims of materialists that it's a waste of time and money.

    On the flip side, had Unity a better grasp of Cusa's theology of the Absolute, or Neoplatonism generally (which is where its root lies), then they wouldn't have fallen into the error of conflating created and uncreated natures.

    So really it's a critique of question, investigation and learning, in favour of (questionable) subjective relativism.

    But what it really highlights is blind faith will accept what it accepts out of conviction, not out of intellectual rigour.
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Yep.

    One might say humility.

    Give up the whole pursuit of God thing, it's chasing unicorns. Rather, go to Mass, receive the Sacraments, and care for your neighbour. It's all there, between the Beatitudes (Matthew ch5-7) and the Last Judgement (Matthew 25).
     
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  17. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I opened a car door for someone once, and it literally changed their life.

    I try never to underestimate God or the world! :D
     
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  18. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Every day brings me small miracles. It's the reality of my existence. It's not a 'pursuit' of God.
     
  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    God has rescued me from very bad things. Life is getting through the days. Angel guidance always close.

    EDIT: Religion and church is a valuable part of it, but not the large percentage.

    I wish I could just shut-up. I obviously sound as if I'm trying to boast or something, so, anyway: enough here from me
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I find it interesting that american Christians lobe the OT ten commandments up on courthouse walls and not the NT beatitudes!
     

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