Are you gods?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Amica2, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Amica2 —

    The immediate answer is to echo what Miken has said. Such phrases, taken in isolation, can be used to promote the idea that human nature is intrinsically divine, which is not the case. And again, as Rabbi0 and Miken point out, the term elohim has contextual meanings, so needs to be understood in light of the whole text and traditional commentaries.

    A secondary point of interest is that some Christian scholars trace the movement of Israel from a contemporary polytheism of the region to its defining monotheism. Perhaps, it's suggested, here in Psalm 82, or in Deuteronomy 4:19 "Lest perhaps lifting up thy eyes to heaven, thou see the sun and the moon, and all the stars of heaven, and being deceived by error thou adore and serve them, which the Lord thy God created for the service of all the nations, that are under heaven." In all instances in the Hebrew Scriptures, any reference to other Gods finds them either false or subservient to the One True God, and it took time to move away from the idea that there were greater and lesser Gods, to the idea that there is but One God.

    But your direct question also brings up the Christian idea of Grace.

    In the Catholic Tradition, Supernatural Grace is the participation in the Divine Nature.

    St Paul says: "You are the temple of the living God." (2 Corinthians 6:16)

    In the Catholic Mass, we pray: "Grant that by the mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His divinity, who vouchsafed to become partaker of our humanity."

    As in 2 Peter 1:3-4: "As all things of his divine power which appertain to life and godliness, are given us, through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own proper glory and virtue. By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature"

    This participation in the Divine is called theosis, or deification; sometimes spoken of the infusion of the Divine Spirit into the human soul, it is also the assimilation of the human soul into the Divine.

    But this should not lead anyone to assume that the soul is inherently itself, or has become divine. That which is Divine is Uncreated, and the soul is created.

    Rather, God draws the soul into Itself and unites it to Itself in a manner that transcends all created powers.

    St Paul said: “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry : Abba (Father). For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also, heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:15-17).

    Adoption is the acceptance of a person outside one’s offspring to be a son and heir. Human adoption presupposes a commonality of nature between the adopter and the adopted, and is established as a moral and juridical relationship. In Divine adoption there as a communication of supernatural life; a participation in the Divine nature, which establishes a communion between the adopted and God.

    The archetype and Principle of this Divine adoptive kinship is the Incarnation.

    This Sanctifying Grace (as we call it) makes us a Temple of the Holy Spirit. St Paul: "Know you not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).

    This Indwelling of the Holy Spirit inevitably implies the indwelling of the Three Divine Persons. "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. And my father will love him, and we will come to him and will make our abode with him." (John 14:23).

    In is the teaching of the Fathers that the Spirit reveals the Son, and the Son reveals the Father. In this sense Father, Son and Holy Spirit can be likened to the Brahminic Sat Chit Ananda, the three Sanskrit terms meaning 'Being', 'Consciousness' and 'Bliss', respectively. In Hindu metaphysics this represents the subjective experience of the ultimate unchanging reality, Brahman.
     
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  2. Amica2

    Amica2 Member

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    Thank you! Everyone, I appreciate all your replies. Definitely helps me understand better.
     
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  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    No better place, imo :)
     
  4. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Member

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    In Job 1:6, Satan/devil was among the sons of God. One is either led by Satan, or by God, wherein they are gods in their way of light or darkness. The first commandment simply says one is to not have other gods before me. If one walks in the Spirit of God, then they possess the Spirit and partake in the power of God. If one chooses darkness rather than light, then their life will be one of darkness, regardless of how they want to portray themselves. It is the "many" who are deceived (Matthew 7:13-15) into thinking they are following righteousness due to the ravenous wolves. But their final destination is destruction.
     
  5. Krisha Mitra Das

    Krisha Mitra Das Ethical Vegan Yogini

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    As a yogi, I believe we are all part of God--our Soul is. We like to picture it by everyone being raindrops (our Souls) to eventually merge in ocean (God/Brahman).

    But we do come back in other bodies, as we believe in reincarnation.

    Our flesh is what dies; our human form. Our Souls live forever; it can not be burned, or destroyed in anyway...as described in the Bhagavad Gita.
     
  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Rebirth? Or reincarnation?

    Rebirth implies many worlds and dimensions and plains of existence and spiritual states; this world is just one.
    "My Father's house has many mansions."

    Reincarnation means continual rebirth back into this world?
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi KMD —

    As Abrahamics, we believe the soul – which might well be simply life – is the Gift of God, and is not God as such. The soul is created, whereas God is Uncreate. For us – well, for me at least – were the soul God, then the soul would know Itself as God, without any diminution of Divine Nature or Divine Understanding and so, because the body is simply the material form of the soul, so would the body.

    I possible stand somewhat at odds with orthodoxy here, in that I believe the soul is not immortal per se. In my book, no created thing is immortal. Immortality is not a quality of created nature. Everything emerges, appears, and then disappears, or rather, re-meges.

    By association with the Divine however, the soul can become deified.

    The Hebrew Tradition laid the framework for this process of deification, which carried on into Christianity and, I assume, into Islam. There are 'gradations' of the soul according to its degree of participation in the Divine, but here we get into the technical lexicon of the Traditions, which I'd gladly share, but desist at the moment for fear of being tedious. Let me know.

    I can provisionally agree with this, but the proviso is that when the raindrop merges into the ocean, the raindrop vanishes, loses itself, ceases to be a raindrop — you cannot subsequently extract the raindrop from the ocean, there's only ocean.

    From what seems to be disclosed in the Revelatory utterances in Scripture, the teachings of the Tradition, the Witness of mystics, saints and sages, and the commentaries of metaphysics and theology, the process of theosis, of incorporation into the Divine, does not erase, eradicate or subsume the soul, rather the individual soul retains some of its self-knowing.

    There is a whole other level of this discussion if we begin to talk about the 'logoi' which one might say is the 'Divine Idea' of you, and me, and every thing – the blueprint of the thing, if you will. Thus you, me and every thing appears according to its logoi but is not the logoi as such... as I said, it all gets very lexical and technical ... I just really love talking about it ...

    At this point we hit a kind of Checkpoint Charlie (Oh, lummy, do yo even remember the Berlin Wall?). a stumbling block ...

    But rather than get into that, there used to be an audio recording of the Dalai Lama addressing an audience of Dominican monks in Oxford. It's wonderful. The DL begins by saying he's been talking to audiences all round the world, but now, faced with monks, he can't think of anything to say! He felt at home, as it were, among friends. At one point, to make conversation, he asks "What time do you get up in the morning?'

    Later, he says "What is it with you and the idea of just one life, and then the Judgement?" The Dominicans explain the theology of it. "That," the DL says, "Is a really powerful idea. That's really good."

    Fabulous. It's not the doctrine that matters, it is a question of it spiritual efficaciousness.
     
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  8. Krisha Mitra Das

    Krisha Mitra Das Ethical Vegan Yogini

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    One or the other, depending on how one lived their previous life.
     
  9. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    I can accept that. Thank you
     
  10. Krisha Mitra Das

    Krisha Mitra Das Ethical Vegan Yogini

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    I've never heard of "process of deification" before, and I was a Christian for about a decade (Methodist).

    Your raindrop/ocean description is perfect! This is what we mean by saying All is One. There is no separation in the first place (non-duality). Separation is an illusion, and what fuels that illusion is ego. The ONLY thing that exists is God, which can be described as Love. When passing on to another human form, along with out Soul, we carry over also our mind, intellect and ego. When our birth/death cycle ends, there is only what is real left: Soul. The Bhagavad Gita describes this.
     
  11. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    It's a tourist attraction nowadays. You can buy postcards and t-shirts, and eat the infamous "currywurst".

    Maybe there's a spiritual lesson there. Not sure ;)
     
  12. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Member

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    I think the last supper was about drinking wine, not watered down wine, such as water and wine/blood, and unleavened bread, which is bread, the word of life, without the hypocrisy/leaven of the Pharisees, which would be the hypocrisy of Paul. As for being a "son of God", one must do the will of God. On the other hand, to be a son of hell, one must do the will of the devil/Satan, and be numbered among the wicked/lawless (Matthew 13:41 & 49). As for who will eventually be the temple of God, living on the land given to Jacob (Ezekiel 37:24-28), that would be a combined house of Israel and Judah (Ezekiel 37:16-28). The "Gentiles" would come under the category of "adulteress" mentioned in Hosea 3, whereas she was bought for the equivalence of 30 pieces of silver, which is 15 shekels and a homer and a half of barley. Trying to make sense out of leavened bread can only lead to darkness.
     
  13. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    And yet, the heavenly kingdom is like yeast (i.e. leavening) which a woman took and worked into a large amount of flour, until it permeated the entire dough, no? (Matthew 13:33, just preceding one of your quotes).

    When it comes to the leavening, I'm with Inigo Montoya: You keep saying this word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi KMD —
    Well, we don't bang on about it ... :D

    TBH, I don't think it survived the Reformation, which in my book was a process of rationalising Revelation, of de-mystifying the Mystery.

    For us, it's a yes and no. Yes, because All is One, no, because a raindrop loses all self-identity when it enters the ocean, you can't extract it, it's no longer there, there's just ocean.

    We diverge here. There is an artificial separation because there is illusion and ego. There is ignorance, and there is error. Were there not, we wouldn't be in the boat we're in. There is the phenomenal world, and although the phenomenal; world is God-caused, and in itself is 'good', as Genesis states repeatedly, it is of God, but is not itself God.

    This, for the Abrahamics, is a crucial distinction.

    I don't see how º but don't sweat it, I never do.

    To me, mind, intellect, ego etc., are contingent categories that make the individual. If they carry over, then Tom would reincarnate as Tom, and effectively pick up where he left off?

    But 'soul' is a broad term, is it not?

    I mean, what lives on is life itself, but not me.
     
  15. Krisha Mitra Das

    Krisha Mitra Das Ethical Vegan Yogini

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    IMO, Soul just is; as I said before, it's the only thing that exists--and even with that in reality there is only One Soul. Life, how we know it, is an illusion, in my beliefs.

    Frankly, I tend to just describe my beliefs; I rarely want to explain why and definitely don't debate or argue, because to go on would be like trying to convince people to believe in what I believe in (a common thing with humans). I could not care less what others believe, and even sometimes encourage others to stay devout in their own beliefs.

    Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, "I dont't care what others believe, as long as they are committed to their faith."

    I know many religions believe in trying to convert others, as they feel God, or their religious beliefs commands it; yogis love talking faith/beliefs but believe you walk your own path.
     
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  16. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    In my mind and believe me, it's crowded in there, Tom does continue on as Tom, but Tom's intellect is nothing more than the sum total of all his past lives, which will be further shaped by his next life. Same soul, different day, new perspective, but Tom has always been Tom.

    Hindu priest once told me, that's often why one child's thinking will be so much different from that of their siblings and why a younger sibling can display greater wisdom than the older. Though they were raised side by side, their soul's have been shaped in different ways and one may have even been around a lot longer than the other.

    Wish I had a dime for every time someone referred to me as an old soul when I was a kid. ;)
     
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  17. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Speaking as a non-Christian, it appears to me that you are attacking a caricature of catholicism and willfully ignoring the actual theology, this results in your argument not landing very well. Just an observation.
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi KMD
    Please don't for a moment think I'm trying to sway, convert, subvert, etc., your beliefs ... or assert any kind of superiority of mine. Far from it, I delight in people of faith, Lord knows, in this day and age, I'm just happy there are people who believe in something.

    I only dig in my heels when people try and tell us what we believe, or misconstrue my own belief-system.

    In my view, the Great Traditions are complete and entire unto themselves, to deliver for the most humble follower all the promises they carry.

    And, in a very real sense, it's a 'same planet, different world' type of thing. You live in your world, I live in mine, I delight in yours, as I do others, and wave across the expanse between...
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    D'you know, I can to some degree get my head round this...

    A way we could possibly harmonize an Abrahamic 'one-shot' doctrine with a contrary reincarnation doctrine is the idea that the Divine Idea of Tom exists as the exemplar, the blueprint, the model of who Tom should be, and each incarnation is working towards or away from that end ... and that the one-time judgement is in fact the winnowing of the soul before it goes back and has another go ...

    ... the blueprint, the Divine Idea, would encompass certain qualities, and would be prior to relative contingencies like gender, etc.

    Just a thought ...

    Addendum ...

    When we were kids, driving south on a family holiday, we stopped at Maiden Castle, an Iron Age hill fort. Can't remember how old I was, ten or younger, but I do know my mum used to recall that picnic and how I 'lit up' and was running all over the fort and had to be dragged back to the car ... course, Maiden was populated about 2,500 years ago ... could something have triggered a memory?
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
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  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    But are we always reborn upon this Earth? Or are there many other worlds and dimensions into which we may be reborn? Including possibly -- but perhaps rarely -- to be reborn again on the Earth?
     

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