Monotheists not in those other groups

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Phi, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    Since I am a monotheist and a follower of the words of Christ wherein he says
    Seek, and ye shall find.
    Knock, and the door shall open.
    Ask, and it shall be given.

    Yet in the seeking knocking and asking that I was commanded to do, I no longer can follow what today is known as Christianity. I will simply say that I seek, obeying that command.

    There are those of you who will no doubt believe that I have been led astray in your own hubris, but the leader was the Christ and the Holy Spirit in truth. While I freely look at all sorts of ideas, I am in that care.

    I think that there may be many similar seekers. So I open this thread to you. Brian willing. :)
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Fine by me. :)
     
  3. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    I'm with you here, Phi. I'll even take it a step farther. I don't think that this complaint only applies to so-called Christianity, but can be extended to anything that calls itself a religion.

    As with anything I post in these forums, I am simply speaking from my own experience; I am not just trying to fling mud or stir up trouble. That said, in my own experience as a seeker, I've become quite jaded towards organized religion of any kind. I was raised Protestant and became disillusioned with that as a teenager, because the people I knew didn't seem to live Christ-like lives. Mostly these were other teenagers who were just being normal teenagers, but I was a sensitive and idealistic kid who thought that if you were going to go to church and worship some guy who espoused a message of love and caring for other people, you should try to live that the rest of the week as well. Anyhow, my next serious encounter with organized religion was with a small, new religious movement (okay, cult if you like :p) that has its roots in Hinduism. This experience was a bit different in that I didn't feel that there was so much hypocrisy--although there was some--as much as the rules and practices were so strict and stifling that to do them as sincerely as possible invariably and repeatedly led me to alienation from the world outside, or the larger experience of life. I may have made quite a bit of spiritual progress (not sure about that, actually), but whatever progress I made was made by sacrificing time and energy that could have spent in many other productive, healthy pursuits--like friendships, relationships, and my own passions and interests. More to the point, I came to the realization that by following that path I was invariably repressing my own personality and aspirations, even the natural unfolding of my life! At any rate, recently I've been doing some research into Buddhism and have been disappointed to find that many of its practitioners are just as dogmatic and caught up in textual scriptures or someone else's experiences as anything else I've seen. :(

    Which is not to say that there are not genuine, wise, caring, authentically spiritual people in any of the above-mentioned traditions, or in all other traditions for that matter. But I think that those people owe their genuine spirtuality not so much to their religion as to spontaneous spiritual experience--whatever label one may want to put on that type of thing (enlightenment, grace, realization, getting saved, etc. ad naseum).

    Man, I am afraid I am coming off as a crotchety, bitter anti-religious guy lately. I'm not really crotchety or bitter, but I do find myself in a place where it is hard to stomach religion and so called spiritual teachings that point to something other than the present moment. :D

    P.S. Gratz to Brian on breaking 1,000 posts. :eek:
     
  4. Phi

    Phi New Member

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  5. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

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    Dear Phi,

    I commend you for searching. I have talked with numerous Christians who do not feel that those commands are also directed to them. To seek, to watch, to knock etc. They feel that there is no need. That they are saved simply because they are Christian.
    I was raised Catholic and it always troubled me that an All-Loving God would condemn those who weren't Catholic. With so many different denominations of Christianity how could anyone know which one was the right one? So I was also seeking, even though sub-consciously.

    I am now Baha'i.

    This phenomena is what Baha'i's understand as "the Great Oppression" spoken of in scripture.

    I wish you well on your quest. You will be rewarded as you continue on whatever path you choose. There are many paths all leading to the knowledge of the Ancient of Days. Have faith and you will discover many gems along the road of discovery.

    Loving Greetings, Harmony
     
  6. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    I suppose there are different ways of looking at it. You say there is no present moment, yet you also say that "the present moment when I began this sentence is already gone." Yes, I would agree with that, but I would also say that the present moment continues on. It is the only time we actually have. Whereas the past and the future are concepts that are never accesible for us to act in, we always live in the now--even when our thoughts are directed towards something in the past or future.

    My point was that it's important to make use of the time we have, which is right now, rather than looking towards someone, something, or some point in the past or future for our salvation.

    From your quote, you seem to have come to the conclusion that the present moment doesn't exist because it flows into the past. It flows into the future as well, actually, but we can never do anything in the past or the future. We can regret not having done something in the past or we can even plan to do something in the future, but when the moment arrives for us to put our plan into action, we are, as we always were, in the present. Like you said, "time flows along." The present moment flows along, always existing, always charging into the future and leaving the past in its wake. At any rate, I think the confusion here is just a matter of semantics.

    Yup. :D And it is easy when I stop peering into the Pandora's Boxes of religions and just trust my own spiritual urges. Learning to do that is the hard part.
     
  7. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    Okay I get you now, and agree that the present flows into the future. But the past gives us lessons/oars to carry on the "boat" (our minds/our selves) that rides the flow to help us steer a way on it...:)
    Boy talking about time always runs to stream of consciousness to me.
    I think some persons are meant to be solitary seekers. I don't mind looking into the "Pandora's Box" though, I like to know what's happening to the mind/soul of what did Jung call it?..oh yeah! the collective conscious...
    And speaking of which it can seem rather ominous (like the Pandora story.)
    The collective conscious isn't so collective anymore 'round here is it? I visited a huge pagan site and it has so many members, so many online at once, all searching for something, or playing with something, and it seems sorta strange.
     
  8. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    Hi Pathless, I am going to try to respond in a little more depth to your original post, I have a little more time right now...
     
  9. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    Thanks Harmony, Maybe I'll check into Ba'hai, but I do fear that I will not share all the thinking of Ballulah(?) (Your quote doesn't appear as I type my reply so I hope I am not spelling it wrong, no offense if I did.) And I really don't think I can take anymore of other humans telling me how they know all about G-d and how if I join their group, they will teach me how to feel and think and make contact with...what I am in contact with always. Maybe it's not like that and I'll check, but...well...
    Anyway thanks and I'll look and I'm glad you found the way for you. :)
     
  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, All!
    I really enjoyed reading this thread, but Pathless struck a chord in me with this comment. I can and have found points of disagreement with all of the religious traditions I have encountered, yet one can tell sincerity by its fruit.

    Which is why I have come to believe, that it is not what we believe, it is what we do with what we believe.

    That is, I have met people who "believe" diametrically opposite of what I do, yet they live good and decent lives. And I have seen others, as you mentioned, that "have the answers", but don't conduct their lives in accord with those answers. I suppose I could become jaded, I know many have, but something tells me that would be a cop out on my part. I am not speaking for anybody else, and I am not steering anybody in any specific direction (and I'm sure not pointing fingers, I don't need any pointing back!). I know there is wisdom hidden deep within Biblical scripture, but I cannot count on anybody else to dig it out for me, I've got to do the digging for myself. I love to paraphrase Solomon on this one: "Seek wisdom, as for hidden treasure." That verse inspired me long ago, and still does. Some of those treasures are multi-cultural, and travel well into other wisdom traditions, so I do keep an eye open to other belief systems, and make a sincere attempt to be accomodating of them.
     
  11. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    Hi 123! (Love your name ;)) I think I am just jaded about all the extra stuff that the various religions put onto the basic truths, not the basic truths themselves. I have searched so long and with guidance, I know, from the holiest of all, and have been given to discern many beautiful truths within the Bible, and other holy books as well. Sometimes I do think that it's a shame that the digging has to be done at all, though. These truths and treasures should be clear and whole and cleansed of all the folderol so everyone can see them. So many get weary with the diggin'. Me, I just couldn't stop digggin' still haven't. :confused: Maybe I should call myself "digger" instead of "seeker?"....Naaaaah :rolleyes: :D
     
  12. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Ah, but so much of the fun is in the search!

    Besides, would we really value "the truth" so much if it was just given to us? As with so much in life, don't we value it so much more when we work for it?

    Digger sounds pretty cool to me! :D
     
  13. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    Please don't read this thread if you don't like Phi

    ***Caution You are entering a Phi-Belief Zone***
    But I just want to know, since most monotheist religions tell us they want us to relate with G-d, why do they try to make it so difficult to do?
    In truth it is the easiest thing in the cosmos. And it kinda makes me mad that for so long it was made out to be soooo mysterious, so complicated, so-you-gotta-do-it-like-this, and you gotta-believe-it-like-that, and this prophet says this while that follower says that....

    And if Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mohammad,YWHW, Confucius were all right here in human form typing in answers to this post they'd have to agree, from all I've read of them, and they would type
    "It's sooooo easy."

    But humans make it difficult, and take all the messengers and set them up in teams against one another. Then they go all primitive-minded and say "you're not of my tribe, you don't believe like my tribe does, so you must die!"
    But the message was always and basically the same.
    "Make contact with your maker. Care for each other."


    The rest is all commentary and recipe book.

    And I'm sorry to all of you who believe differently, but the message truly is more important than the messenger. And putting the messenger first, before the message, would not please the messengers who gave all they had to give the message.

    And I gotta say it guys, sorry...but the totally male/patronizing way that the Originator of All Things has been portrayed is causing women to leave in droves from traditional monotheism. And they take the children with them.

    (Please pardon if I offend, but many of your views are in books for all to read. Mine have to be stated here to be able to discuss them.)
     
  14. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    I can't help but love ya, fellow digger! ;)

    But, I don't believe that our Maker likes it so much that only those of us who have "superior minds" and "determination" and "value only what is hard to find"
    have clear access to contact with her because the whole thing was set up like some giant and mystical chess game.
    No, I don't think so...
     
  15. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

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    Hi Phi,

    That is one of the great things about the Baha'i Faith. One of the major principals is it is every individual's responsibility to search for the truth for themselves. We should not accept what anyone tells us. So it is not acceptable to believe what I or anyone else tells you. It is your responsibility alone to determine. Through study and prayer we are able to arrive at our own place of certitude.

    Mankind has matured to the point that we no longer need clergy/ministers to tell us what to believe. We are able to think for ourselves and it is time that we use that God given capacity to come to our own conclusions.

    So the way I see it you are already ahead of alot of people in that you have already come to that conclusion on your own. Congrats!

    Loving Greetings, Harmony
     
  16. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

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    Dear Phi,

    I think you have a very good grasp on this whole concept.

    This is another of the main teachings of the Baha'i Faith and that is the concept of progressive revelation.

    Baha'u'llah teachs that all of the major prophets are teachers sent by the same God to carry forward an ever advancing civilization. They only appear to differ in that the social teachings change according to the age and culture in which they appeared. The spiritual teachings are the same.

    And you are right that humans have misunderstood and made things more difficult than they were intended. If we truly look at the foundations of the various religions we can see the truth contained in each.

    It is obvious to me that you do indeed have a close connection with our creator. Keep seeking, digging, striving...

    Loving Greetings, Harmony
     
  17. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    Originator of All Things,a partial statement of Phi belief

    (This is a long term, so I will abbreviate this with O)

    To me the most primitive way of believing is to think there is only one way to what I will call the Originator of All Things. There is only one Originator of all things, but not only one way to reach out to O.

    However there is great wisdom within the books of those who believe this, for in seeking the O, the O did reach out to them and wisdom was in turn received by them. It takes discernment and-in-the-O searching to find it, because they used it to empower themselves in their attempts to rule others and desecrated it with a lot of twisting of word and meaning to accomplish this power.

    (Some other persons seem to see an O, by whatever name, as well. Though many seem to feel that it is unreachable and unfeeling and impersonal, so to them it is.)

    I do believe that all the ways that one reaches out to a higher spirit is a way of reaching out to O. I do believe that O reaches out to each of us through whatever way we reach out to O. If we reach in darkness of our lesser emotions, we receive dark and troubling energies that may work against us to turn us toward the greater ones that lead to the gifts of the O. Therefore, I do believe that "goddesses and gods" bring some spiritual gifts and/or spiritual pain/powers, and are in this way both powerful and real.

    For me O is the light and power behind all spiritual and earthly and universal and cosmological things, you see. It is always inadequate to describe O, but I am not one of those who believes that it is "sin" to try as long as one is careful not to deliberately mislead others into thinking that one knows all about O, or that O is only male, or that O is only female, or that O is only found in one way and in no other. I believe and am given that:

    " Males will be as females, and females will be as males through the birth of water(the waters of natural birth, water as earth element) and the spirit(the soul not of earth but of the Originator of all things, becoming incarnate into matter again): the cycles we must all endure in the finding of our connection to the Originator of all things. Therefore do not seek to rule over one another, but to understand one another, for you will be rewarded for your actions in another time.
    But when we connect in fullness unto the Originator of all things, we have both male and female aspects of the psyche-soul, but are as light, and need not physical organs, so then we all both are and are not of male/female, and our organs return to the earth."

    However that being seen, and said, I most humbly do not seek to lead others to my way, but would help them withiin their own ways of seeking which is all that anyone can do. Each soul has its own way, we can only assist them in it, and love one another the while.

    I feel no need to proselytize, and am not doing that here, simply attempting to explain as clearly as I can, that which is inexplicable...the O, and what it is for me.
    And by the way I use O only because there is no adequate name, but the words "god" and "goddess" seem to denote a sexual meaning, and the O is all sexes and none. Other terms seem lacking too, having been used and abused. I easily respond to any other way that O might be described and do not advocate my O as the best way for anyone to describe it, but it works for me at the moment.
     
  18. Phi

    Phi New Member

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    I meant to put this in before my last post, which is actually a response to
    you, and to the lovely statements in your post that I agree with completely. But contrary to the idea that humankind is not ready for a female messiah, I believe that when humankind is able to realize that contact with O is not only possible but that it is not difficult, there will be no need for a female messiah.
    That time is upon us.
     
  19. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Phi!
    Therein enters the faith as a grain of mustard seed, or the unwavering faith of a child. Intellect has little to nothing to do with the matter. It is nice if you have it, but like the rich man's riches, intellect can also lead one astray. When one is "in tune", one will be properly led. Intellect is not required to be "in tune," faith, hope and charity are.
     
  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Absolutely.

    So, do you recommend a female/matronizing portrayal? Why, when God is neuter. Or perhaps better understood as beyond sexuality, but encompassing the best attributes of both genders.

    No offense taken, and I certainly mean no offense either. What I have seen of the "feminist" movement is just more of the same old tired thing in slightly different clothing. Women want what men have, so they can abuse it just as well. I see it around me all of the time. Feminism is no better, and really isn't all that much different, it still comes down to which gender wears the britches and makes the decisions. Ideally, shouldn't it be something more like 50/50?
     

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