Born Again of Water and the Holy Spirit

Geoffrey

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Bart Ehrman says the Aramaic word cannot have the same dual meaning as the Greek. It's in one of his verbal talks, difficult to find, but I will look for it.

I'm not sure that whether the Aramaic term did or did not have the same dual meaning is important. My point was that the conversation was recorded in Greek by an author who spoke both Greek and Aramaic and used both in other passages of his Gospel (judging from the list linked above).
 

RJM

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I guess it would take on a new meaning, but I don't remember ever hearing that Jesus referenced anything outside his faith.
Just to repeat I am not saying Jesus directly references Eastern yoga, but is talking about the same inner alchemy
I'm not sure that whether the Aramaic term did or did not have the same dual meaning is important. My point was that the conversation was recorded in Greek by an author who spoke both Greek and Aramaic and used both in other passages of his Gospel (judging from the list linked above).
But if the original conversation was in Aramaic, the point of misunderstanding could not have arisen?
 

Geoffrey

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I know that the Taoists were concerned with exploring the body/spirt relationship (thinking of spirit as the animating force present in all of nature), as (from my admittedly rudimentary understanding) were Indian holy people. I have previously not heard that the ancient Jews had such concerns. My understanding is that early Jewish thought (including, I believe, the Jews of Jesus' time) believed that body and spirit were one unit that could not be separated (there was no independent soul), that when the body died, the body along with the spirit was removed from contact/communication with God, and that this gave rise to the belief in resurrection in one's original body.
 

RJM

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I have previously not heard that the ancient Jews had such concerns
Ah, but the Christians whose faith centres around being 'born again' don't think Jesus was just another Jewish teacher. They don't believe Jesus was limited by Jewish religion. They believe Jesus is the incarnation: Emmanuel -- God with us.
 

Geoffrey

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Just to repeat I am not saying Jesus directly references Eastern yoga, but is talking about the same inner alchemy
But if the original conversation was in Aramaic, the point of misunderstanding could not have arisen?

In John 3:5, Jesus corrects Nicodemus' misunderstanding. He goes on to say, "Do not marvel at what I said to you, "You must be born anew (or from above). " The wind ....." and when Nicodemus asks, "How can this be?" Jesus reprimands Nicodemus, saying, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this?"

So whether it was in Aramaic or Greek, Jesus seemed to be pretty clear that he didn't mean that one need reemerge from one's mother's womb.
 

Geoffrey

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Ah, but the Christians whose faith centres around being 'born again' don't think Jesus was just another Jewish teacher. They don't believe Jesus was limited by Jewish religion. They believe Jesus is the incarnation: Emmanuel -- God with us.

OH ..... Now I get it .... so modern Christians believe that Jesus as the Son of God was not bound by his Jewish roots and, therefore, his teaching could mean just about anything at all? Really? Not at any church I've ever attended!
 
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RJM

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Surely, modern Christians do not believe with Nicodemus that one must literally re-emerge .... It always seemed clear to me that to be born again means to die to the flesh and be born anew to the spirit. Is that not what Christians mean?
Yes. But I am looking at the words Jesus used. Water need not come into it? That is a term connected with inner alchemy. Or could it come from the Essene practice of baptism? I'm getting onto shaky ground with the Essene practices. John the Baptist was practicing baptism.
 

Geoffrey

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From my Study Bible, it seems that the consensus of opinion is that "water" refers to baptism. Apparently, the water was a source of some discussion, since the Council of Trent officially recognized that the passage refers to baptism, saying that, "'water' is no metaphor, but a visible sign of the Spirit's invisible work in the sacrament."

The authors of the Study Bible go on to mention that shortly after speaking with Nicodemus, Jesus and the disciples began a baptismal ministry in Judea (John 3:22, which says, "After this (the conversation with Nicodemus), Jesus and his disciples .......").
 

RJM

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From my Study Bible, it seems that the consensus of opinion is that "water" refers to baptism. Apparently, the water was a source of some discussion, since the Council of Trent officially recognized that the passage refers to baptism, saying that, "'water' is no metaphor, but a visible sign of the Spirit's invisible work in the sacrament."
Mmmm
That is the common interpretation used.

But it may not be the right one to derive from Jesus's cryptic exchange with Nicodemus, and its strong relation to the inner fire and water referenced in the ancient practice of inner alchemy -- to give birth or transform the material man into a new immortal man.
 

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It's interesting, that's all. I'm quite aware of how anyone can draw any meaning they want from the Bible, to support their own theory, however ...
 

Geoffrey

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Mmmm
That is the common interpretation used.

But it may not be the right one to derive from Jesus's cryptic exchange with Nicodemus, and its strong relation to the inner fire and water referenced in the ancient practice of inner alchemy -- to give birth or transform the material man into a new immortal man.

Like I may have said in an earlier post, the passage never really troubled me. Also, while I have read a bit about yogic and Taoist practices, I had not heard the term "inner alchemy" before reading this forum. I don't think that just because a practice is ancient that that also means it is universal. That the Indians and Chinese were concerned about the relationship between the human body and the cosmic forces does not mean that other cultures grew in that direction.
 

RJM

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Also, while I have read a bit about yogic and Taoist practices, I had not heard the term "inner alchemy" before reading this forum.
Here's one to start with:
Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality
It's very detailed

When the spiritual foetus is formed by the ball of fire a white light from the heart illuminates all things and a great blaze of golden light appears; When all channels have been cleared the macrocosmic agent is made.

The bright pearl illuminates the brain, making in nine turns the elixir. Only when a drop sinks down to the belly does one realise immortals live on earth.


upload_2022-5-15_10-23-15.png


The practice of turning the inner material lead into the immortal spiritual gold is often thought to be the heart of western alchemy, I believe?
I don't think that just because a practice is ancient that that also means it is universal. That the Indian's and Chinese were concerned about the relationship between the human body and the cosmic forces does not mean that other cultures grew in that direction.
But again this is fixing Jesus as a cultural figure of his time and place. Christians go far beyond that historical Jesus. Again, I am not saying Jesus was directly referencing Eastern immortality yoga, but that he had knowledge of the same 'inner alchemy' and perhaps taught it to his close circle, including perhaps Nicodemus?

I think many religions contain a kernel of 'inner wisdom' that is for the elect few, while the effects ripple out into the ordinary 'householder' world as general mores for good living. Certainly Christianity has achieved the latter. I think perhaps Confucianism is a similar 'social dilution' of the Taoist Neidan immortality yoga involving celibacy and intense meditation practices? But you may correct me there ...

(edited to add picture)
 
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Geoffrey

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As far as Taoist practices in pursuit of immortality is concerned ... well, it never really interested me. Confucianism and Taoism are really miles apart. Neo-Confucianism is different though, if I remember correctly; "threatened" by the popularity of Taoism, it absorbed some Taoist principles that seem quite foreign to its roots.
 
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powessy

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Since I became aware of inner alchemy and immortality yogas, such as Kundalini yoga and Taoist Neidan, Jesus's 'born again' conversation with Nicodemus has always intrigued me:

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

John 3:1-12 Read full chapter

The final step of the Neidan transformation is when the purified upper fire is plunged into the purified lower water, to create, or give birth to the perfected and immortal body that can become many bodies. The yogi is able to manifest and unmanifest a physical body – or many bodies in different places at the same time. The new spiritual body does not need to eat or sleep, and the yogi can create whatever appearance he desires.

I wonder what Christ really meant when he spoke to Nicodemus?

I have read through this several more times and now I think I can see what Jesus is saying.

I think he is saying that you have to be as I call it an allowed mind, or you have to be able to be born again. A person who has only been born once is only of spirit and flesh, and does not know which direction the wind blows. You have to become nothing here then become something again in order to see the kingdom of heaven, then you will understand the direction of the wind.

I believe he is talking about reincarnation, flesh gives birth to flesh or I become myself again bob becomes bob again to become something like himself again. Spirit gives birth to spirit meaning I am both here and there at the same time. This also would then suggest that Jesus is in his second life already or came from above to become himself here.

Jesus in this conversation is only talking of mortal worldly things, nothing he is saying to Nichodemus has anything to do with heavenly things.

This is also why I ask questions regarding how people find thoughts about things when you have nothing teaching you things. I remember pieces and parts of who I was before this lifetime and I was born again to something here to find time and figure things out.

I do not believe that baptism had anything to do with what he was saying it just means you have to be born to something here, water and spirit, or born of a womb.


powessy
 
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powessy

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Here's one to start with:
Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality
It's very detailed

When the spiritual foetus is formed by the ball of fire a white light from the heart illuminates all things and a great blaze of golden light appears; When all channels have been cleared the macrocosmic agent is made.

The bright pearl illuminates the brain, making in nine turns the elixir. Only when a drop sinks down to the belly does one realise immortals live on earth.


View attachment 2936

The practice of turning the inner material lead into the immortal spiritual gold is often thought to be the heart of western alchemy, I believe?
But again this is fixing Jesus as a cultural figure of his time and place. Christians go far beyond that historical Jesus. Again, I am not saying Jesus was directly referencing Eastern immortality yoga, but that he had knowledge of the same 'inner alchemy' and perhaps taught it to his close circle, including perhaps Nicodemus?

I think many religions contain a kernel of 'inner wisdom' that is for the elect few, while the effects ripple out into the ordinary 'householder' world as general mores for good living. Certainly Christianity has achieved the latter. I think perhaps Confucianism is a similar 'social dilution' of the Taoist Neidan immortality yoga involving celibacy and intense meditation practices? But you may correct me there ...

(edited to add picture)

I find this part very interesting. I have seen the five minds together to form a person. The image above teaches how your time comes together to allow you to find time in other timelines. Even though the image is in my mind incorrectly shown it is correct enough to understand the principle behind the thought.

in the after the smaller minds fill up first and there should be five layers not three. 1,5,25,125,625. The 625 minds cannot become themselves until they find time inside the 125 minds it requires 5 minds to become something here. Ultimately you would want to find all your time to become all your minds to become the one sitting in the front.

As for the after life we become something else to become ourselves there, is this the thoughts about inner alchemy they are trying to figure out. Flesh(lead) here to flesh(gold) there.

powessy
 

RJM

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find this part very interesting. I have seen the five minds together to form a person. The image above teaches how your time comes together to allow you to find time in other timelines. Even though the image is in my mind incorrectly shown it is correct enough to understand the principle behind the thought
Perhaps take a look at the book?
 

Tone Bristow-Stagg

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Since I became aware of inner alchemy and immortality yogas, such as Kundalini yoga and Taoist Neidan, Jesus's 'born again' conversation with Nicodemus has always intrigued me:

Also one must add fire.

Luke 3:16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Regards Tony
 

powessy

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Perhaps take a look at the book?

I have looked at it a few times over the years just skimming each time. A lot of words to teach me about something I can do and see already. I am also already in the process of finding all of my time, you can do this in life or try to figure it out in death.

Thank you for the link though, every time I want to reference this book, I have to find it again and then I forget to bookmark it.

powessy
 

Prycejosh1987

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I wonder what Christ really meant when he spoke to Nicodemus?
He was giving analogical illustrations of the essence of water. Water is the means for life, we use it everyday, it is embedded within us. We need water. Water is an abundant resource. Etc. The point is true spirituality works and has the same means and essences as the physical analogy of water. The wind represents the nature of being spiritual, you will recognise its effect and feel it but you wont see it coming, and when it leaves you notice a difference but cannot point as to how things have changed.
 
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