Profile for Synergy


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Yay! in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #8
Clown Loaches are beautiful catfish which can get quite large after some years. Gouramis are kind of neat - they like to look up and take in air at the top of the water, and they have two long whisker-feelers. Black Tetras...I really liked those too. Forget the Tiger Barbs...they can be a bit nippy, now that I think of it.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Yay! in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #5
Neon Tetras and Rainbow Tetras (gorgeous), some Plecostamus or little catfish to clean the tank a bit, ghost shrimp, snails, Glass Catfish, Tiger Barbs...these were a lot of my favorite tropical fish and critters when I kept an aquarium. Don't put a Siamese Fighting Fish in there, and if you get a pair of Guppies, be prepared for lots and lots of Guppies, which other fish might find tasty.

ADDIT: Oh, and Kuhli Loaches...really colorful little eel-like fish that hide in stuff. I loved those things.

-S-

[ Wednesday, September 26, 2007 16:43: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #201
I wrote it, instantly guessing someone would take issue with the term...and then I left it in, just so you could feel good about correcting me. Wasn't that thoughtful?

-S-

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Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #198
Stillness, do forgive my tendency to be overwrought and to come on so strong. Every time I exercise and test where I am at with a context like this, I observe two things within myself: change from the last time I undertook the endeavor, and how I seek yet to change and grow beyond. I am now especially aware how much more respectful I am to be toward those of differing faith and belief. I have fallen prey to mind over spirit in this life, along with most of the world which currently worships knowledge over wisdom and spirit. I am endeavoring to live my life by example and learn to say very little except when invited. That's what sells stuff, when they see what you are and want it too. I see us all as spiritual, lest that is not understood.

I get too excited though. I want to talk about all kinds of things, and don't like feeling alone, or get impatient when others don't share in my enthusiasm and vision. Please forgive me for any offense I have caused through my words and attitudes here. I do wish to honor each and every person and what they hold dear, and I was definitely not so good at that through much of my earlier life. If I were often on the receiving end of myself, I think I'd feel pretty offended at times.

...

I do have some interest in the shift in topic now, as well. I'll just paint a picture without elaborating on where this comes from or what merit it might have. It will marry the science of time and space with God, which we are discussing. So enjoy the ride, if you can, even if you think it's preposterous.

Before time, God existed as pure energy and thought. God knew who He is, but it was conceptual only. God could not enjoy or experience what God is without doing the two things God really is in quality: Create and Love. So, in order to experience Herself, God used thought to form matter. This is the scientific principle of this created universe. Strong enough thought (far stronger than most individuals at this point could accomplish,) or vast collective thought over a long time, causes pure energy to form into what we call matter. God thought and spoke, and the pure energy He is was split infinitely into what we call spirits/souls which is what we are. God now had countless reference points by which to observe Itself.

But all was still one in the Absolute Love that is God. It was all still contained in an energetic singularity, a realm of no other quality. Love could still not be experienced. So God thought and spoke some more and the material universe sprang into being in an instant, exactly as the Big Bang has described, flying out for eons to form the vast expanse of space we now observe.

This material realm was specially created to be a realm of duality, whereas in God all things are One, and also three, as seen in the symbols of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In our gross material realm, we are subjected to a contrivance of duality. We have light/dark, hot/cold, here/there, up/down, left/right....Love/fear. All of this was contrived purely so God might experience Herself through us as us, fashioning the illusion of separation and lack. Now as humanity emerges as the myriads of God Himself, we have all agreed to collaborate on this grand experience, and to play this game. It is all for God to experience being God which is to be Lover and Creator. We are Lovers and Creators in God's image. We strive to recreate the perfection of Love which is deep in our knowing Soul, which is never in the dark or apart from God.

Time is simply the measure of bodies in motion. In this material realm of duality, we have: here, not here (or there), and the space between. The space between is the time it takes to move from here to there. We know and measure time by the turning of our planet, its orbit around the sun, the spinning of our galaxy, the expansion of the universe, the change of seasons, the beating of our hearts, the vibrating of a Cesium atom. Time too is an illusion of this realm of duality. In reality, time is like infinite postcards on a spindle called Now, the only time that actually exists, and it exists forever with all time past, present, and future in God. It is actually accessible, if we know how. Don't ask me to explain that further. I can't.

The universe and all its matter is bound together by the energy emanating in a vast matrix shaped by every thought, feeling, and word that Beings project, along with the permanent field of energy radiating from the Soul. Thoughts are forever. They go out into the universe and travel forever. Enough of the same thought, or enough people thinking the same thought eventually fashions pure energy into matter. Matter takes a long time to form, but is very resilient once it is formed. Collective consciousness has created so much of the world as we now experience it, and I'm not just meaning the physical planet. Because we are in God's image, we are creators with God. Our every thought and word is a creative force we scarcely yet comprehend.

Ultimately, the universe will collapse upon itself and the yearning of our Souls to return into the great Absolute, the Oneness of God will be fulfilled. Yet, God will create again and yet another universe will spring forth. God only knows how many times this has already occurred. God says, "This is my breathing." In and out. God also promises that our existence as a Soul/Mind/Body will continue forever, somehow through all of this. There are infinities to explore and experience over this incomprehsibly vast spread of space and time. It all begins and ends in the Absoluteness of God, the all in all, the Alpha and Omega.

Could we really expect God to be less vast and expansive in expression than this? And I think there is indication and inkling that it gets even bigger than this on a furthermore unimaginable scale...but that's another story.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #185
;)

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #182
I'm getting precious little serious engagement on key challenges I pose. I think it is well time I truly washed my hands of this one.

The critics are correct in that these debates rarely change the minds of the primary protagonists. Still, I daresay, points have been made on many sides which have caused many reading to think about some things in new ways or for the first time. And that's enough for me. Neither Stillness nor I are deluded to vainly imagine we are going to sway the other from our understanding. The exercise of challenging all one thinks one knows is always a worthy one. It's provocative and evocative. I love it.

I do contend with Stillness' suggestion that I am speaking from a religion. I speak from whatever disparate idea has caused my soul to leap up in joy and acknowledgement of what it already knows when I encounter it. I believe in a God Who is freely available to me within me this way, and speaks to me through my deepest feeling before anything else.

Religion requires a code and dogma and tradition fashioned by others. I have none of this and ever seek to push it from me. Religion and spirituality are two very different animals. One is from without, and the other from within.

To the whiners who seem compelled to keep looking in here in disgust and criticize those of us who have been getting along just fine here, (thank you very much,) get a life. What are you doing in here in the first place if you have no interest in this kind of dialogue? And even more bizarre, what brings you back?

SoT continues to make reasonable points I appreciate and largely agree with typically. I do believe many or most of the events of the NT happened in some fashion. I also believe the moment you commit anything to written word, it is already compromised and prey to all kinds of misunderstanding and loss. Which is why all such records are meant to point to God and experiential relationship of God and the mind of God in you for your life right now, and not serve to substitute for God and Truth in you. I really don't care what any other Godly person has done or known, in one sense. I am here to life this life, and it is not going to look like theirs or any other. Religion conforms. Spirituality liberates. May we all know such liberty and never settle for less than our full inheritance.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #170
Stillness, you simply ignore so many of the points of my challenge. You appear to be saying that it takes God to interpret Scripture right for anyone, and it requires a proper attitude or desire by each person for God to do so. I already elaborated on this angle recently, if that is to be the whole sum of your argument about how Scripture “works,” but you didn’t respond to my points in any significant way. I am not going to reiterate them in whole. But I will state again, that apparently the huge majority of believers who have sought God and to understand Scriptures have had a wrong heart by your definition, considering all the error, conflicting sects, and apostasy of the last two millennia. This makes God a favortist of an elite few. This god has the ability, but does nothing to awaken, correct, or enlighten the myriad others, who simply seem unable to generate quite the right formula of attitude to be worthy to understand the perfect Bible, despite their apparent seeking and efforts. Again, what a wimp of a God, Who loses such a lion’s share of His own creation to His own created adversary. It is unbelievable to me that people can embrace this thinking and still call it God.

It is clearly demonstrable that Paul taught a gospel different from the 12 and from what Jesus taught, but I won’t attempt to convince you. You see what you want. You believe what you need to believe, even when it flies in the face of all fact and reason. This is what religion does.

All governments do not kill or torture forever their disobedient subjects. Tyrants do, except you will eventually perish and be relinquished from your torture under a tyrant. Under the Kingdom of God, one punishment fits all crime: eternal death/obliteration/or eternal torment.

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

the four gospels disagree on various basic facts
Nope.
Here are some, of many, New Testament contradictions or errors, taken from online. There are plenty more. The one who can dismiss all of these to show there is no error or ignorance or contradiction in the NT, wlll be a god(dess.)

Thirty pieces of silver
According to Matthew 26:15, the chief priests "weighed out thirty pieces of silver" to give to Judas. There are two things wrong with this:

a. There were no "pieces of silver" used as currency in Jesus' time - they had gone out of circulation about 300 years before.
b. In Jesus' time, minted coins were used - currency was not "weighed out."
By using phrases that made sense in Zechariah's time but not in Jesus' time Matthew once again gives away the fact that he creates events in his gospel to match "prophecies" he finds in the Old Testament.

Who bought the Field of Blood?
a. In Matthew 27:7 the chief priests buy the field.
b. In Acts 1:18 Judas buys the field.

How did Judas die?
a. In Matthew 27:5 Judas hangs himself.
b. In Acts 1:18 he bursts open and his insides spill out.
c. According to the apostle Paul, neither of the above is true. Paul says Jesus appeared to "the twelve" after his resurrection. Mark 14:20 makes it clear that Judas was one of the twelve.
In Matthew 19:28, Jesus tells the twelve disciples, including Judas, that when Jesus rules from his throne, they will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

How did the Field of Blood get its name?
a. Matthew says because it was purchased with blood money (Matthew 27:6-8).
b. Acts says because of the bloody mess caused by Judas' bursting open (Acts 1:18-19).

Where was Jesus taken immediately after his arrest?
a. Matthew, Mark and Luke say that Jesus was taken directly to the high priest (Matthew 26:57, Mark 14:53 and Luke 22:54).
b. John says that Jesus was taken first to Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest (John 18:13) who, after an indeterminate period of time, sent Jesus to the high priest (John 18:24).

When did the priests and scribes gather together to question Jesus?
a. Matthew 26:57 says that on the night Jesus was arrested the priests and scribes were gathered together prior to Jesus being brought to the high priest.
b. Mark 14:53 says the priests and scribes gathered together on the night of Jesus' arrest after Jesus was brought to the high priest.
c. Luke 22:66 says the priests and scribes assembled the day after Jesus was arrested.
d. John mentions only the high priest - no other priests or scribes play a role in questioning Jesus.

Was Jesus questioned by Herod?
a. Luke says that Pilate sent Jesus to Herod who questioned Jesus at length and then returned Jesus to Pilate (Luke 23:7-11).
b. Matthew, Mark and John make no mention of Herod. This, in itself, means nothing, but it brings about another contradiction later.

Who was responsible for Jesus' death, Pilate or the Jews?
The gospel writers go to every conceivable length to absolve the Romans in general, and Pilate in particular, of Jesus' crucifixion and to blame it on the Jews. The reason, of course, was that Christianity was going to have to exist under Roman rule for many years, which is why the New Testament contains nothing critical of the Romans, even though they were hated for their heavy taxation, and Pilate was hated for his brutality.
For the church, the Jews made an appropriate scapegoat because the Jews were a thorn in side of the early church. The Jews, of course, had far greater knowledge of Jewish laws and traditions than the largely gentile church, and were able to call attention to some of the errors being taught by the church.

The Biblical account of Pilate's offer to release Jesus but the Jews demanding the release of Barabbas is pure fiction, containing both contradictions and historical inaccuracies.

a. What had Barabbas done?
1. Mark 15:7 and Luke 23:19 say that Barabbas was guilty of insurrection and murder.
2. John 18:40 says that Barabbas was a robber.
b. Pilate's "custom" of releasing a prisoner at Passover.
This is pure invention - the only authority given by Rome to a Roman governor in situations like this was postponement of execution until after the religious festival. Release was out of the question. It is included in the gospels for the sole purpose of further removing blame for Jesus' death from Pilate and placing it on the Jews.
c. Pilate gives in to the mob.
The gospels have Pilate giving in to an unruly mob. This is ridiculous in light of Pilate's previous and subsequent history. Josephus tells us that Pilate's method of crowd control was to send his soldiers into the mob and beat them (often killing them) into submission. Pilate was eventually recalled to Rome because of his brutality.

Who put the robe on Jesus?
a. Matthew 27:28, Mark 15:17 and John 19:2 say that after Pilate had Jesus scourged and turned over to his soldiers to be crucified, the soldiers placed a scarlet or purple robe on Jesus as well as a crown of thorns.
b. Luke 23:11, in contradiction to Matthew, Mark and John, says that the robe was placed on Jesus much earlier by Herod and his soldiers. Luke mentions no crown of thorns.

THE CRUCIFIXION
1. Crucified between two robbers
Matthew 27:38 and Mark 15:27 say that Jesus was crucified between two robbers (Luke just calls them criminals; John simply calls them men). It is a historical fact that the Romans did not crucify robbers. Crucifixion was reserved for insurrectionists and rebellious slaves.
2. Peter and Mary near the cross
When the gospel writers mention Jesus talking to his mother and to Peter from the cross, they run afoul of another historical fact - the Roman soldiers closely guarded the places of execution, and nobody was allowed near (least of all friends and family who might attempt to help the condemned person).

Who found the empty tomb?
a. According to Matthew 28:1, only "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary."
b. According to Mark 16:1, "Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome."
c. According to Luke 23:55, 24:1 and 24:10, "the women who had come with him out of Galilee." Among these women were "Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James." Luke indicates in verse 24:10 that there were at least two others.
d. According to John 20:1-4, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb alone, saw the stone removed, ran to find Peter, and returned to the tomb with Peter and another disciple.

Who did the women tell about the empty tomb?
a. According to Mark 16:8, "they said nothing to anyone."
b. According to Matthew 28:8, they "ran to report it to His disciples."
c. According to Luke 24:9, "they reported these things to the eleven and to all the rest."
d. According to John 20:18, Mary Magdalene announces to the disciples that she has seen the Lord

THE ASCENSION
According to Luke 24:51, Jesus' ascension took place in Bethany, on the same day as his resurrection.
According to Acts 1:9-12, Jesus' ascension took place at Mount Olivet, forty days after his resurrection.

THE APOSTLE PAUL'S CONVERSION
The Book of Acts contains three accounts of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. All of three accounts contradict each other regarding what happened to Paul's fellow travelers.
1. Acts 9:7 says they "stood speechless, hearing the voice..."
2. Acts 22:9 says they "did not hear the voice..."
3. Acts 26:14 says "when we had all fallen to the ground..."
Some translations of the Bible (the New International Version and the New American Standard, for example) try to remove the contradiction in Acts 22:9 by translating the phrase quoted above as "did not understand the voice..." However, the Greek word "akouo" is translated 373 times in the New Testament as "hear," "hears," "hearing" or "heard" and only in Acts 22:9 is it translated as "understand." In fact, it is the same word that is translated as "hearing" in Acts 9:7, quoted above. The word "understand" occurs 52 times in the New Testament, but only in Acts 22:9 is it translated from the Greek word "akouo."
This is an example of Bible translators sacrificing intellectual honesty in an attempt to reconcile conflicting passages in the New Testament.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/paul_carlson/nt_contradictions.html

For an even longer list, go here:

http://skeptically.org/bible/id6.html

-S-

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Khyryk's Catacombs in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #21
quote:
Originally written by Micawber:

by storing it in a quick use slot you can exploit a bug to get the benefit of the +10 damage avoidance without equipping it.
Whoa, this is huge. I don't remember hearing about this exploit before. You could throw four magic weapons in there for all kinds of accumulated boons.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #167
Originally written by Khyryk's Brother:
Sorry if I was unclear, but I was looking for specific examples.

Do your own research. They are not hard to unearth. Any Christian would do well to challenge their own faith thusly.

Your extra-Biblical explanation for why Peter and the other 11 apostles taught a mixed gospel of works, while Paul taught one solely of grace (as well as universal salvation and restoration) is a retroactive apologetic explanation for why God can’t divinely inspire a coherent, unified message of salvation in His own Bible. I don’t buy it. The gospels are significantly different. Peter and Paul were at controversy with one another. The Church was divided upon itself from day one. And you expect me to think that many years later, consensus is sufficient to rightly divide truth?

It is difficult for someone who discredits the whole Bible

I never have. I love the Bible and love to quote many worthy things from it. I just don’t assume it is weighted equally or that its understanding saw past the capacity of its own day. I don’t believe it was ever intended or needed to be a Divine Textbook for all time and place, and that the evidence of itself makes this clear.

only God can change hearts.

I thank God that my heart was changed to look beyond the boxes (coffins) and the words of dead men to seek and find the living God of right here right now right in me and in this world. You’re right, my heart has been changed, and I am thrilled about it. It continue to change daily. This is the nature of God...neverending unfolding and growth. It’s fantastic. I highly recommend it.

I won't speculate on why you left the church, because I'm sure you had your reasons.

My soul finally vomited it up one day and it would not let me return. It instead drove me to seek something much much more, and God has not given me stones when I asked for bread. I appreciate your concern for my peril.

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Stillness:

You still don’t clarify the one thing I keep asking you to clarify. Why...why? Aggravating.

That’s your definition based on the God who doesn’t seem to care much what his creation does.

Care much? I’d see God as riveted with the rush of experience God is getting through all of us, and what we as co-creators with him are in the process of creating. You haven’t seen where it’s headed yet. Who are you to judge it?

You are using the God as Father/humans as children paradigm, which I used most of my life to understand God too. It casts humans as wayward children in need of Daddy’s direction and punishment. More bafflingly, it also ultimately depicts his casting them aside or torturing them or obliterating them, because He can’t ultimately secure their love, faith, and devotion, though this is far from the model of even what “good” earthly parents are able to do with their children. If we are not wayward children, but infinite pieces of God housed in three part beings of Body-Mind-Soul, then God cares as much as you care and as I care, because our soul is a part of God and the heart of God.

God in us as us cares as we care out of Love. As we continue to experience and become increasingly aware of Who We Really Are, we more and more decide to become someone in harmony with Whose nature we are. We continue to strive to recreate ourselves in the image of God as our vision unveils. He doesn’t have to push us or correct us. His nature is in us to get us there ultimately. God is a lateral collaboration, not a vertical heirarchy. We’re all in this thing together by agreement. If we are not God’s children, but parts of Him, then the analogy of whipping your rebellious little rugrats into shape becomes irrelevant. The Bible very patriarchally, as was the flavor of the day, paints God as Father. That’s the best they could grasp of the divine experience and experiment we are sharing. Our awareness and understanding grows, and we can put away childish things, including childish concepts of our childishness.

Man was not created with absolute freedom.

That’s your opinion, and you have the autonomy to decide for yourself that this is the truth you will live this life by. I now believe otherwise. Man, as you limit him, really has no freedom. Either he submits to god or the devil, and one or the other collects him as due reward. What if you don’t care for either choice? There is really no freedom of choice or creative ability here at all. It is subjugation to the whims and demands of the gods.

There were always laws and there always will be.

Agree. The nature of God is love. Because we are one with God, everything we are doing ultimately leads to the fulfillment of this principle and quality in us. It is a law of Life that will see out, and cannot fail to do so. No one has been coerced into this situation. All are willing and enthusiastic participants on the level of the Soul, which is not in the dark. We are all growing up through a most remarkable unfolding collective and individual experience together. And we have chosen an experience which enables love to be expressed. Love is needed where there is suffering and perceived lack. How wonderful that we get to experience being loved and needed, that we get to experience having appreciated gifts, because we have something another lacks? In the Absoluteness of God, there is no lack. In the garden of Eden, love is meaningless.

Who wants to live with murder, rape, and war forever? I know I don’t.

That value reflects the highest concept of yourelf in God that you have at this time, and you are accountable to promote it in every way. Hooray. I feel much the same, so how about that? I see God in you. I see God in me. Meanwhile, I said nothing about forever or stagnation. Everything is forever unfolding, and the nature of God, like the universe itself, is a rush of expansion, re-creation, and increase. And yet, the day we all become perfect in love is the day that love no longer has a means of being experienced and expressed, for there is no more need. What do you think we and our Souls which crave the experience of God, will do on that day?

There is a great and weighty paradox here to ponder. In our limited vision and human sympathies, we would put an end to all suffering immediately...and immediately end all joy and capacity to experience it at the same time. We can’t be so quick to judge the process we have chosen to undergo. It is a patient one. I can see that much. There is nothing passive or impassionate about God. God is in us, and we are here to experience and create and do perpetually, to transform our reality to an ever greater concept and glory. God is Creator and Lover, and so are we.

Ps 37:9-11And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more;

I can’t vouch for David’s perception and intention, when penning these words, if he did so indeed, but either way, I can agree with the promise, as I might read it. What we, in our current obsession with the knowledge of good and evil, see as wicked, will be no more, because we are all going to change ourselves, and the selves we were will be no more. What’s your point...that God has to step in and obliterate it and the evil ones? It’s all a matter of your perspective on Who God is, Where God is, and how God works. The happy fact is that neither your present understanding of these things nor mine is sufficient to change the simple reality of the kind of universe God actually did unfurl in His incomprehensible vastness of Love and Purposefulness.

I respect a God who says, “I love you and I want you to have a good time, but respect and love me and your brothers and sisters while you do it or I will stop you. I won’t allow you to continue hurting me and others.”

I respect a God who says these things won’t go on perpetually as well. If God is in you and me, then we are the ones to create a new world, so let’s get to it. There is no God out there Who is going to step in and do it for us. He is doing it as us, for us is where God is found in the material universe. In the realm of the absolute, where there is no duality, only singularity, God is all in all, as ever. The law of Love is already engraved upon our Souls, and it will carry out its will.

My question to you and anyone who seeks to live by ancient writings from millennia past is...where is your God today? What is God speaking today? Has our understanding progressed today? We can subscribe to the ancients’ smaller understanding of God and live according to their tinier vision. We can suffer what they suffered for their lack of vision. We can see ourselves as lowly wicked children deserving of punishment and forever imprint our precious little ones of each new generation with crippling beliefs of shame and guilt and unworthiness. We can continue to strive to recreate the world in their image, rather than believing and following the principle of expansion and increase. The Bible is a whited sepulchre, full of dead men’s bones. I don’t care to converse with the dead any longer. I want to hear the God of the living, right here, right now. Who has ears to hear? God is always speaking to everyone...if only we would all listen and hear, look and see, feel and realize, experience and know.

quote:
He is within us to help us remember from whence we came, should we stray too far from our intention for this life in our chosen and necessary forgetfulness in order to have this voluntary, contrived experience of duality to begin with.
Can you give me an example of what ‘straying too far’ is? What if someone “remembers from whence they came” but they don’t care what God or anybody feels?

These are questions to ask God. I was hesitant to even use the phrase “straying too far,” because it is probably a non-sequitor anyway. We can’t really stray. We knew what we were choosing before we came into this life. Our Soul still knows and continues to create the circumstances we have invited, despite our conscious lack of much awareness. The point is that God is ever in us, speaking to us, guiding us on the chosen task of our Soul in this life. We can’t actually separate our Soul and its will from God and God’s will. Yet, one of the great paradoxes of God is that God divides Itself and makes many of Itself, being both one and many. God promised we would always have our discrete Self in this bargain...with a body, mind, and soul. Methinks there is no end to the experience and expansion we will seek and create together as one.

quote:
It is important also to point out that suffering is not the result of our circumstance. It is the result of our perception of, belief regarding, and attitude towards our circumstance.
An 11 yr old girl is sold into slavery by her father for $14US and forced to provide sexual favors for six men per day. Are you cool with this since any suffering is just her perception? Is God?

I am as revulsed and sympathetic about her suffering as any other. I also believe her Soul has chosen this experience for her life and is in no ultimate peril. Yet, it is my duty to act on my conviction of my present understanding, based on my highest belief about myself and of love, to do what I think must be done for the highest good of us all. I would have no problem putting a bullet through someone’s forehead if he came through my front door to harm me or my family. My knowing of the greater good demands it. Suffering is not quite the real tragedy we often assign though. Remember Data from Star Trek? How he yearned to have but one moment’s experience of a real human emotion. You know he would have relished feeling fear or loneliness for the first time, and then know what it is to be assuaged or loved or enjoined. To remain in the garden of Eden or to “go to heaven” as so many yearn for, is to become as Data, without feeling or real experience.

I like what you said about the Master, Jesus, rising above pain to do what needed to be done. But he felt it nonetheless.

I don’t know what he felt, and I don’t know what the real truth is beyond the Bible stories we now are forced to rely upon. There have been many others throughout time who have become masters who have transcended pain. Have you seen the war-protesting monk from the 20th century who set himself on fire with gasoline and sat perfectly still while he was consumed?

http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?what=R&obid=81662

Jesus said to see him was to see his Father, so if he feels disturbed or saddened by human suffering or wrongdoing, God does as well. There is a great danger in minimizing others pain, I think.

I am not minimizing pain. I am saying pain is what we have chosen, and it is temporal. We craved the experience of pain so that we might know the joy healing. We craved alienation, so that we might experience the joy of love reuniting. It takes pain to know love. God experiences all we are feeling and suffering. God is not saddened by it, as I believe you are assigning sadness. To do so would be to suggest that God is disappointed in us, and we are his beloved “Son” in Whom He is well-pleased, and by Whom He gets to experience all the ultimate joys of being a God of Love, in, to, and through us. Note that Jesus did not heal everyone, though He could have. He healed those whose Souls reached out for healing and were ready for that experience. We are accountable to be sensitive to when it is appropriate to administer our Love and our gifts. It is not all the time, everywhere, the same.

quote:
is it or is it not a fact, that because of their use of the Bible and Christianity, people have created many opposing sects of belief?
No, it’s not a fact. It’s because of not following the Bible that sects arose and wars were started. The Bible actually foretold these things so that we don’t have to be puzzled. What would be puzzling is if Christianity didn’t apostasize.

The God Whom you claim wrote your Bible did not make a Bible clear enough (or a means of understanding accessible and consensual enough) to prevent these abominations in the earth. Either way, this God is an ineffectual joke or a cruel jokester. I cannot admire or love such a God. The Bible itself predicting apostasy to come would only make it clear that the Bible was never meant to be clearly understood and God intended apostacy to come, for God is God and God does all His pleasure in heaven and earth. An alternate explanation is that the Bible is not the ultimate truth about God and reality, and was never meant to be.

Your explanation how God must have warned the Chinamen before the Noah flood or the Canaanites before the Israelites slaugthered them is simply extra-Biblical and speculative. There is no evidence to support these wishes and fantasies. I find it highly unlikely that Noah or his family traveled to China to warn them of a flood. If someone from China came over to America today and told you their god had warned you of a soon to occur worldwide flood, would you do anything, but snicker? Tell me who traveled to Australia or North America and South America to warn the natives there?

The random, hot-tempered God that you paint is not the one presented in the Bible.

Unpredictable, angry at those who fail to bow to him and obey him, and retributionary then...how about those words? “If you serve me, I will bless you. If you do not, I will punish you.” These are ever only the words of tyrants. The heart of any person knows it. Tyrants cannot be served out of love, only fear. I made my point, and I stand by it.

-S-

[ Monday, September 24, 2007 19:18: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Originally written by Khyryk's Brother:
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

As opposed to just how silly some of the fake stuff is in the books that were retained?
Care to give some examples?

Well, the fact that the four gospels disagree on various basic facts and numbers show that something somewhere is not genuine/true/accurately recollected or remembered/was made up/somehow otherwise faked or approximated.

there was less confusion on this issue back then than you would like to think.

I see. So might makes right, and majority opinion implies reliability. I have no such faith in consensus, even if it did exist.

-S-

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This thread is to discuss God and man and the Bible...not a place to proseletyze and regurgitate scriptures to remind everyone how wicked and foolish they are according to David or James. If you're going to inflict Scripture upon us, please have something intelligent and pertinent to the discussion to say for yourself.

-S-

[ Sunday, September 23, 2007 15:21: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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[QUOTE]Originally written by Khyryk's Brother:
The Council of Nicaea was simply meant to give an official statement of which books (almost) everyone already knew were written by real apostles.

How exactly did anyone know this, and how do you know that they knew? The consensus is that most of the writings of the NT except, possibly, for Paul's letters, were written by people whose names are not on the book.

Additionally, if you have ever looked at those "other books" of the Bible, I think you would realize just how silly some of the fake stuff is.

As opposed to just how silly some of the fake stuff is in the books that were retained?

most of those "other books" were never accepted as scriptural by ANYONE.

Again, I'd sure like to know how you think you know that. Considering my opinion of majority opinion, I'd be especially interested to see what the chosen agents of an institutionalized Church-state deemed too dangerous or unGodly or frivolous to make it into the "official canon."

-S-

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Upon Mars may be destined to be a mighty poet-philosopher one day.

-S-

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Originally written by Stillness:

(W)hat you think God does is that he experiences the world through our eyes?

Think of it more as we are cells of God’s body, which we are called in your Bible, and all we experience He experiences by virtue that we are all a direct part of Him. Not just eyes, then, every faculty and capacity and feeling we have.

I guess the implication is that he created everything and just set things on cruise to watch and enjoy.

I don’t think so. He is intimately involved in the process without forcing the process, violating our free will, or interfering with our choices. He is within us to help us remember from whence we came, should we stray too far from our intention for this life in our chosen and necessary forgetfulness in order to have this voluntary, contrived experience of duality to begin with.

Do you think any of the things that have occurred on the earth displease him or make him sad?

No, because in the ultimate and the absolute, nothing in this state is permanent, and nothing is actually lost. We have chosen to have this experience, and this makes God happy, to see us wisely deciding what we will be and do, sharing His mind, deciding upon a grand undertaking together and purposefully, including all the experience of wretchedness and “evil.” The grandness and glory of love is not known except where the qualities of love are deeply required to be expressed.

It is important also to point out that suffering is not the result of our circumstance. It is the result of our perception of, belief regarding, and attitude towards our circumstance. Masters and saints like Jesus and many others since (and probably before) have demonstrated even the transcendence of pain when they are able to discipline their thinking and their awareness to shift their perception of their experience. Jesus was said to have said, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do,” as he hung upon the cross, all the while having the power to correct their knowing or to remove himself from the cross.

If so do you think he is powerless to resolve them?

There is nothing to resolve. We are quite ably and safely having the experience we have all chosen together to have as the family of God, desiring to experience Itself. I know this sounds too good to be true for most, but don’t you really think God would be too good to be true? We do have free will. We are one with God, and never have not been. This realm and our temporary forgetfullness of our heritage during this life is an illusion God constructed in order for this experience to be possible.

If he is not powerless to resolve them do you think he should do something?

Nope. There is nothing else that needs be done that He is not already doing and that we are not already doing as part of Him. There is no ultimate peril or threat in the system...at all.

I would say learning about God is of the utmost importance.

Most have a theology that we are here to learn and perfect ourselves in some way, get something right, be purified, endure karmic law and struggle to overcome, etc. I have for most of my life as well. I offer a different perspective now, again from Conversations With God, beginning with the author inquiring, then God responding.

-----------------

”’There are those who say that life is a school, that we are here to learn specific lessons, that once we “graduate” we can go on to larger pursuits, no longer shackled by the body. Is this correct?’

‘It is another part of your mythology, based on human experience.’

‘Life is not a school?’

‘No.’

‘We are not here to learn lessons?’

‘No.’

‘Then why are we here?’

‘To remember, and re-create, Who You Are.’

I have told you, over and over again. You do not believe Me. Yet that is well as it should be. For truly, if you do not create yourself as Who You Are, that you cannot be.’


‘Okay, you’ve lost me. Let’s go back to this school bit. I’ve heard teacher after teacher tell us that life is a school. I’m frankly shocked to hear you deny that.’

‘School is a place you go if there is something you do not know that you want to know. It is not a place you go if you already know a thing and simply want to experience your knowingness.

Life (as you call it) is an opportunity for you to know experientially what you already know conceptually. You need learn nothing to do this. You need merely remember what you already know, and act on it.


‘I’m not sure I understand.’

‘Let’s start here. The soul—your soul—knows all there is to know all the time. There’s nothing hidden to it, nothing unknown. Yet knowing is not enough. The soul seeks to experience.

You can know yourself to be generous, but unless you do something which displays generosity, you have nothing but a concept. You can know yourself to be kind, but unless you do someone a kindness, you have nothing but an idea about yourself.

It is your soul’s only desire to turn its grandest concept about itself into its greatest experience. Until concept becomes experience, all there is is speculation. I have been speculating about Myself a long time. Longer than you and I could collectively remember. Longer than the age of the universe times the age of the universe. You see, then, how young is—how new is—My experience of Myself!’”


-----------------

I said:

The result of 2000 years of people reading and seeking to live by that book is thousands of divided sects of belief, wars, crusades, inquisitions, and the dark ages, rather than The Kingdom of God in earth.

Stillness countered with:

Fallacy: Post Hoc

Interesting response. Tell me, is it or is it not a fact, that because of their use of the Bible and Christianity, people have created many opposing sects of belief? Is it not true that religious wars have been fought in the name of God, starting with Constantine’s war in which he claims to have seen a cross in the sky with the words, “In this sign conquer?” Is it not true that the crusades were instituted by men based upon beliefs about what God said in the Bible and the so-called Holy Land? Is it not the case that it was the Church of God which created the Spanish Inquisition to torture people into a favorable eternity, based upon their interpretation of Scripture and its talk of fire and purification, and other passages? You may argue that the long, dreary period of the Dark Ages was not caused by Christendom, and I won’t belabor that point, but I will argue that Christendom sure failed to be the light in the world for many centuries to pull the world out of such a miserable condition, as they continued to hold a monopoly on God’s Word through the Latin Vulgate, with which they instructed the peasants and kings alike in all the ways they were obligated to live. Those who hold the reins of power are highly accountable for the condition of society, would you not agree? Who held more actual power over society in Europe during the Dark Ages than the Church? Tell me, please if not belief based upon the Bible, then what? Sometimes your responses truly startle me.

I wrote:

I am terrified in my deepest heart of a God Who might [do severe stuff (some made up by Synergy)]…

I didn’t make any of those possible punishments up. Major religions of the world based upon the Bible have been teaching such fates for the wicked for millennia.

You never know what He might pull on you next for failing to please him properly.

He’s clear on what happens to those who don’t please him properly, so I do know. He’s also clear that he’ll help you if you do want to do right.

He’s clear? Please enlighten me how I, as a wicked Chinaman in 3-4,000 B.C. am to see a worldwide flood coming, when God only warned Noah in Mesopotamia, that I will be turned into a pillar of salt for turning my head, that my children will be mauled by animals for doing the foolish things children do, that I may be slaughtered and cut with knives and sawed with saws by “Godly” Israelites who also rape and take my wife and kill my children at the command of Jehovah, because I was not the Godly “favored” nation of enlightenment in my day? Would a Hittite tell you that God was ever clear to them before they were savagely cut down and blotted from their land? I seriously doubt they had a clue what was coming or why. Vast portions of humanity had no knowing of God or their “choices,” yet were cut down for their wickedness. And the religious, beyond all credibility, insist this is the justice of a loving Father of all.

And again, oddly, Jehovah seems to have bafflingly ceased all such instrumental bloodiness in His Name in the NT, but someone who did what you claim He did in the OT, and never changes, I cannot trust or guess ahead of time how pissed off and vindictive He is going to be if I don’t wholly obey Him at every moment, which is impossible, according to Bible doctrine, for all are sinners and fall short. Sorry, but you cannot claim by your theology that we are not all in mortal peril that at any moment wise, mighty, loving Jehovah might do just about anything to us when we fail to be obey Him perfectly, which I daresay anyone you know, yourself included, fails to do daily.

I dispute your claim that you know what unknowable Jehovah, whose ways and thoughts are so much beyond your own, is going to do next based on His “righteous judgements,” which so many historically, according to the Bible, clearly never saw coming, but evidently fully deserved.

I now point to the major irony of Judaeo-Christianity and its offshoot religions. It gives us the myth of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to explain what happened to mankind to enter this condition we are now experiencing. Based upon their own reckoning of good and evil, this enlightened collective patronizingly points to the ungodly in the world deserving of harsh judgements. But the Church itself is the single greatest agent obsessing over, defining, and exacting onerous requirement based upon its own estimation of good and evil, and puts it into the mouth of God on its own accord. The most “Godly” people on the planet are the ones feasting upon the symbolic tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Indeed, who else has more knowledge and concern over what is said to be good and evil?

Jesus is claimed to have said, “satan is that spirit that operates in the sons of disobedience.” Know who those were? The sons of disobedience was a very sore and identifiable term the Jews knew well. It refers to the sons of Israel after Moses and the Law who were disobedient to the Law they were given. Jesus said that “satan” is a spirit, an attitude, essentially, that was operating in the religious Pharisees he was addressing—and chastening, if not mocking—by saying so. Satan is the very spiritual force in operation in the religious-minded and self-righteous, made righteous by their estimation as God what is good and evil. Satan afflicts the minds of the religious. The irony exists, within Scripture, or without. The religious are their own worst enemy, and sadly, the enemy of those who seek to be re-minded of God, and their Godly heritage in order to fulfill what their soul desires in this life.

-S-

[ Saturday, September 22, 2007 10:19: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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I wrote:

How do you reconcile this with it being God’s obligation to deliver a word that is of such deadly importance, it really should not risk being misunderstood by anyone? Paul said our carnal reasoning/mind is the enemy of the spiritual mind and cannot know the things of spirit. The Bible would suggest that there is another agency by which its hidden truths might be grasped, not that it ever intended to enlighten the masses. Reconcile that, if you can, and explain to me why Jesus didn’t speak more clearly and directly to the masses...whose eternal fate rested upon their understanding his gospel. How do you reconcile the fiend of a God Who both creates unthinkable fates for all who do not understand and believe, yet makes it so hard to comprehend and see and make sense of what it is they must decide upon? You seem to be suggesting out of both sides of your mouth that it is easy to understand, yet that it is not. Which is it, and how is it exactly? Please summarize your precise belief on this central point (once more) in a few brief sentences at most. Perhaps at some point soon, I will finally be able to relent, thinking I understand you clearly, if not that we understand one another.

Stillness, ll I wanted was for you to address this in concise terms.

Stillness wrote:

Some people simply don’t want to know though. For those that do, God does make things clear. That doesn’t mean anyone gets it all.

So, this appears to possibly be part of the answer I am after from you. If you want to know God's truth, God makes it clear to you? So, by your definition, most people have never wanted to know God's truth, because there has been such an ongoing lack of consensus about numerous things in the Bible, and we have created literally several thousand sects of Christianity. That's a lot of people you dismissed as not genuinely desiring to know God's truth, and therefore evidently not being deemed worthy by God to know His truth. I don't think you or anyone is in the place to judge the hears of many billions of believers of the past or present, and how acceptably they have "wanted" to know God's truth. If this is your argument, I have to say, I don't buy it for a second. It smacks of elitism. "We few have pleased God with our hearts to receive His truth, but the vast majority of all others have not been deemed worthy, and wise God keeps them all in delusion, as they deserve."

You are also saying that it requires the intervention of God to make Scripture understandable to anyone. This means that humanity is in a double-bind. Their clear understanding of the Bible is essential to choosing their eternal fate, but God only gives them clear understanding if they first want it properly, which apparently, is a very unlikely thing to achieve. He Who subjected the creation to futility refuses to take any particular means to make His creation worthy or able to receive the remedy. With all due respect, I say your theology stinks. It makes God a favortist and a loser to "the adversary." It also causes His own creation to thwart His stated desire and intention for His own creation.

It also violates a simple Scripture like Paul saying, "Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound. Much more means God should be going to greater lengths to show humanity grace and help to be able to make the "correct choice" according to eternal destination thelogy, which I also find silly to begin with, but that's another story.

I also again contend that how the religious define "free will" is a mockery of the term. Free will means you are truly free to make any choice you like and not have God string you up you for it. We are from from free agents in this view of man as sinful and in need of punishment/separation from God. This isn't free will at all. It's living under a vindictive tyrant where things are far from free. Ultimately, He has all dissenters lined up and shot.

-S-

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Khyryk's Catacombs in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
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And then be prepared to look for hidden levers like this all over the game, including places you've already been. Jeff likes to be sneaky like this, so pay close attention!

-S-

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quick question in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
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Don't worry about annoying nylaD (Thoughts in Chaos.) He can't hurt you.

Do please combine posts made soon after one another by using the EDIT button rather than make multiple short posts. It makes the old posts around here stick around longer.

Welcome to the Spiderweb. Don't bother to struggle. There is no escape.

-S-

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Khyryk's Catacombs in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
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If I read your request correctly, you are looking for the nearby hidden lever that opens the crypt to the south of where Khyryk stands...yes? It's very nearby. Move your mouse cursor around behind things that could hide it from your god-like view, yet in reality, would leave it in plain sight of your character.

-S-

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There's a rather glaringly inviting quality to the verse Stillness quoted from Revelation, which I might have mentioned earlier:

Re 1:3 Happy is he who reads aloud and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and who observe the things written in it; for the appointed time is near.

The messenger announces that "the time is near." Tell me, is God a big time practical joker of some kind, because two millennia hence is not considered "near" or "nigh" by any human being who lives maybe 100 years at most.

Anyone who invests their life into any ancient prophecy is almost certain to be disappointed by the time their life is over (and probably largely wasted at that.) It's happened to millions in the past over the Revelation. What a colossal sum of wasted life energy. What a shameful mockery of the name of God for so many to be so wrong so many times over and over and over, and never appear to learn from the foolishness that preceded them. What do you think the odds are that you're now the wise and special one this "timely" vision is now finally going to somehow relate to, affect, warn, or bless? Simple statistics, Ockham's Razor, and Murphy's Law would all strongly encourage anyone to pass on this temptation. God knows I wasted enough of my childhood wondering and worrying about it.

-S-

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Stillness, I gotta hand it to you, man, you're quite good at luring me back in whenever I threaten to step aside. I will respond to your post, because I believe it is still worthwhile to do so, though I think I have made all the points I wished to make about the Bible in general by now. I hope you will especially specifically answer anything I ask you in response here.

What does your God do, just sit up in heaven and chill?

Our God experiences all the wonders of being God through us, the only means of God to do so. Because we have all the nature and quality of God within us, God doesn’t have to babysit us, yet is also intimately intertwined with all our experience and affairs, especially simply taking great pleasure in it. I don’t know how this interaction works exactly. Does anyone?

you seem to not believe in God.

I can’t comprehend how, after all I have written, that you can lay this assertion at my feet. It does appear that at least at times you either do not read, or do not digest what others write to you.

If he created trillions of stars and humans to wonder at them, why is it so farfetched that he can flood a planet surrounding one of those stars, make spirit creatures, or author a book?

It isn’t. There is just this colossal lack of evidence and this God-given thing we know as common sense that tells us this is not actually what appears to have happened upon this planet. Both are beliefs that fly against all evidence. I don’t believe in a God that seeks to trick anyone with manipulated evidence or that God has any need to do such a thing.

They are not obvious to anyone who reads them. That is not my point.

That’s funny. I could have sworn it was, because you claim we are all accountable to the truth in that book, and let’s face it, according to what religion would have us fear, it’s a matter of eternal life and death for us. Our understanding of That Book is kind of more exponentially important than any other thing we ever do with all our lifetime, wouldn’t you say? Nothing else compares to this ultimately perilous, gravitous necessity. With the stakes so high, you’d think a God of love would make all things much more clear to all. That religious people are content that God does not, I think says much about the secret heart of the religious toward the lost masses who never really had a chance according to the stacked deck the religious believe in.

You think I don’t understand the Bible = the Bible is not understandable.

Do you remember my own argument some bit back where I elaborated how the language of the spiritual is highly symbolic and is designed to hide truth from prying eyes, and not to elucidate it for casual masses? Plainly, I don’t think you do, if you ever even read what I wrote, but that is the truth of my observation of prophetic and mystical language. Much truth in the Bible, I would assert, is hidden from most, and intentionally so, as I argued. Jesus spoke in parables which confused and hid truth from the masses to whom he spoke, and he even said that was his intention! Don’t you find that a most remarkable and telling fact?

How do you reconcile this with it being God’s obligation to deliver a word that is of such deadly importance, it really should not risk being misunderstood by anyone? Paul said our carnal reasoning/mind is the enemy of the spiritual mind and cannot know the things of spirit. The Bible would suggest that there is another agency by which its hidden truths might be grasped, not that it ever intended to enlighten the masses. Reconcile that, if you can, and explain to me why Jesus didn’t speak more clearly and directly to the masses...whose eternal fate rested upon their understanding his gospel. How do you reconcile the fiend of a God Who both creates unthinkable fates for all who do not understand and believe, yet makes it so hard to comprehend and see and make sense of what it is they must decide upon? You seem to be suggesting out of both sides of your mouth that it is easy to understand, yet that it is not. Which is it, and how is it exactly? Please summarize your precise belief on this central point (once more) in a few brief sentences at most. Perhaps at some point soon, I will finally be able to relent, thinking I understand you clearly, if not that we understand one another.

The Bible, its myths, its translations, its arbitrary constructions, and the religions it ultimately fostered promotes fear and division.

No it doesn’t. Men who misunderstand it do.

But the simple fact, regardless of what it can do is that it has done these things. It continues to do them right now. How can you see otherwise? What history books are you reading? The result of 2000 years of people reading and seeking to live by that book is thousands of divided sects of belief, wars, crusades, inquisitions, and the dark ages, rather than The Kingdom of God in earth. Apparently, loving Jehovah has seen fit to actually permit enlightenment of his word to only a tiny precious few, who cannot exert their knowledge or will upon the rest of the world for its salvation. Tell, me, how has the Bible been good news to all men in this context, if the onus is on us, but we have failed miserably, and God has done little, if anything to help clarify it for his, evidently, hopelessly moronic children?

This is the fear Lot’s wife should have had for example. She would have said to herself, “I don’t want to do anything to displease Jehovah, since he has done so much good for us and he is the Almighty God.”

I don’t know about you, but I am terrified in my deepest heart of a God Who might turn me into a pillar of salt on a pointless whim, have my children mauled by wild beasts, obliterate me, his own son, or charbroil me for all eternity. I’d have to think you’re a fool if you aren’t too, because you run perilous risk. You never know what He might pull on you next for failing to please him properly.

Anybody (including you) that reads Revelation (or any books in the bible for that matter) and thinks it causes the dangerous and paralyzing sort of fear does not get it.

Again, the simple fact of the matter is that it has caused innumerable numbers of people for two millennia great fear, and God knew it would do so, for He is God. Why would He send a vision to John to cause such fear and confusion? Do you think that's a useful thing to do? Or are you satisfied that again, a tiny collection of what, 144,000 Jehovah's Witnesses are going to be blessed by it while all others perish horribly? That's as big as your God gets? That's as good as He makes good on His promises of salvation and redemption and God being all in all?

Again I think it is clear you have not been reading or paying attention to what I have been writing in this thread. I elaborated on a very meaningful and hopeful interpretation of Revelation, from within a Christian context. If I have any belief in or concern with that book, it approaches it from what verse one of the book declares: it is a vision given in signs (not literals), it is shortly to come to pass, (not relegated to begin to unfold finally some millennia into the future), and that it is all about the unveiling of the anointed savior/salvation in a collective people. That is the title of the book, translated: “The unveiling of Jesus Christ (the anointed savior.)” Personally, I can’t imagine how unveiling and revealing the anointing of God that saves us is a fearful thing at all, regardless of the bizarre imagery seen in the vision. The theme tells us it should be a glorious and hopeful thing, if we really believe God is in the business of saving, reconciling, and transforming all Gods’ creation. You can wait and wait and wait for the Revelation to fulfill, and dream that enlightened you, to the exclusion of most, will be richly blessed by it, if you wish, but you will be left waiting and not doing and not experiencing. What a sad waste. Many have wasted so much energy of their life, and endured either needless fear or naive hope based upon that one writing alone.

If you’re lost in unfamiliar territory and a local gives you directions, but you try following them and don’t make it to the desired destination there are two possibilities:

1. You got bad directions.
2. You got perfectly good directions, but did not understand them or follow them properly.

You seem willing to only concede that (1) is possible. Out of respect for you I won’t presume to say why.


That’s unnecessarily polite of you. I’d rather just hear your explanation for why I or anyone else does not see the Bible as a coherent, unified, sensible book all in all, as you do. Please, take the cat out of the bag and put it on the table. This is a grave matter of life and death. Let’s not be precious about it. Aren’t you more concerned about my eternal fate, to at least reveal to me from your enlightenment, how I too may be enlightened and therefore saved from a horrible fate? I should hope you are. I should think you should be spending every waking moment day and night trying to save every citizen of earth from permanent exile from God/obliteration/unending torture/insert eternal punishment belief here. The fact that so very few religious persons do respond in this fashion betrays, I believe, that deep in their own hearts, they do not really believe it either. You'd think they'd act like it were true, if they really believed that their loved ones are all stuck in a burning building, and they are one of the few able to pull them out in time. Most seem content to let most of us burn.

What does it mean if a person is told repeatedly that something makes sense, but when it seems contradictory and nonsensical to them they are not willing to consider that the lack of understanding lies with themselves?

I’m so glad you asked this. What, indeed, does it mean? It means such a person is not conent to be fed by other humans the knowing and truth of God, but must find it without doubt for themselves. It means they are true to the nature of God in them which is to be autonomous and authoritative in their realization, and not live by the creed and edict of others, who have their own agendas for all of us. It means they are putting to use those fabulous faculties God gave every one of us, to question and to insist that God make sense before casting their lot in life. Blind faith in a book or even in God based on fear gets us into infinite troubles...as history continues to testify loudly over any claim you are making to the contrary. This isn't high concept or abstraction. History plainly shows us the consequences of that book being present in the earth, and who is foolish enough to deny it?

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #117
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

the individuals blocking entrance to Eden came from somewhere...How much more obvious can it be?
Would you point me to the explorers, settlers, and cartographers who found the angels with flaming swords guarding the Tree of Life somewhere over in Iraq? I suppose they stood underwater for a few months during Noah's Flood, proving angels don't breathe, though I do wonder if all that water put out the flaming swords. I hope you won't contend that the Tree of Life was destroyed in the Flood. That tree is supposed to reappear in the New Jerusalem after all. There is nothing obvious about the actuality of any mythology, except the human need to create myths to address mysteries and realities we do not yet know better how to explain.

I really don't know what beliefs of mine you think aren't Biblical.

What does it matter? My point is that anything could be Biblical and nothing is Biblical. My interest is not at all what is Biblical, if you have been reading me correctly. That is your interest. You contend the Bible is simple and direct in its necessary absolute truth to convey. I shared many other possible and conceivably meaningful ways many passages can be interpreted to counter that assertion. And I stated that I don't think the Bible is a necessity in the grand spiritual scheme of things at all. Therefore, it is ultimately the measure and control of nothing, as I perceive.

Your general, overall response would state that if what I see in Scripture differs from what you see, then you see rightly, and God is not in me to possibly see a thing differently from you. In fact, since the myriad points of Scripture are supposed to be obvious to anyone who reads them in order that they may be saved by the Book, the implication must be that I am simply a moron, and not even that I am spiritually without blessing to rightly divide the Word.

However, as I have stated, my measure for truth and reality is not the Bible at all. I think the Bible itself makes that task impossible, as I have described. And, as I have also described, I think there is plenty of meaning and depth also to be found therein. But God is not meant to be known by a book or even by anything anyone call tell you...or even show you for that matter. All these things can only entice one to seek God for oneself. God is to be our experience. The proof is in you, your heart, your experience. No one else, even if his name is Jesus, can give you your truth by speaking it at you. It has to be known in your own substance and life.

So, permit me to step down from the exercise we have been engaging. I said before that I could argue the matter of the Bible either from within the bounds of the Christianity from whence I came or without it. I've done a fair degree of both.

Instead, as way of an epilogue, permit me to rant on for a bit about the God I specifically do embrace, and the humanity my heart knows, and about the nature of the universe that does make sense to me. None of these ideas is unique to myself, nor did I first think of any of them, yet they have all been speaking to me during my life even before they were shaped by words, to come together in their present form. If the lifelong cry of a man's heart is to know God as God is, does God give bread of stones? You are free to judge me if you are inclined. That's no concern of mine. Tomorrow, the form of my vision will have shifted and expanded. This is how it progresses for us, if we do not set up camp at the base camp of the mountain, but ever keep moving up the mountain. No Bible of 6, 66, 666 or six million books could hope to begin to contain the Truth of God.

The Bible is a sign, a pointer to God, as are countless things all about us from all times and places. If we want the Way, the Truth, and the Life, it is in the God that all things point to, and of Whom we are an inseparable part. I simply believe in a God Who freely can be known and freely speaks to anyone who seeks, the same God Who spoke to many in the days of the Bible, and every day before and since. I don't need a Bible or anyone else to tell me how I must live. The truth is that no one else is fit to tell us how we must live. God says, "I speak to you through your feelings, your thoughts, your experiences, and lastly, when all else fails, through words." Most of the knowing of God has been poorly established upon the least of these. Words are notoriously imprecise and treacherous. Thus...religion. Religion is based upon the collected, kept, and interpreted words of dead men.

I believe in true Free Will in which no judgement is being laid at our feet for supposed commands God made that we are breaking. I can only say that if God ever actually issued a command to any part of creation, it would be kept absolutely, or God would not be God. That is a most simple, obvious declaration by definition of Godhood. It is laughable what we have convinced ourselves God is. God's got a good sense of humor about it too. We cannot break God's word or promise. We cannot violate God or the edicts of God. Nothing can. Our free will to devise and experience ourselves and our concepts of good and evil is exactly what God made us to do, for in our doing so, God experiences Himself as God and as Love. For us to exercise our own will to experience this realm does not cause God any grief at all. It couldn't possibly. For a very plain-spoken explanation of how this can be and how this can be Godly, please read the Conversations book I have mentioned. It sums up so beautifully what I have spent many years slowly grasping toward and accumulating myself, but could never quite put together so simply, powerfully, and gloriously. For most, alas, it probably is perceived as "too good to be true." However, most interestingly, the book was on the best seller list for quite some time back in the 90's. I actually find that quite hopeful. It's grabbed a lot of people, evidently.

I believe most of religion is infected with hopeless coflict and vain attempts to explain good and evil and our role and accountability to it. And that too is our choice for our experience. If anyone is here in this life to live by the Bible, then such have chosen it for themselves and that is exactly what they should do, until one decides it no longer represents who she is. In contending against finding it practical, meaningful, or accountable to live by the Bible, I have sought to engage the argument itself concerning the book, and do not mean to attack any person's choice to subject themselves to it. I don' t know if it would surprise anyone, but I have no ultimate concern about anyone being in any degree mistaken in their beliefs and practices at this point. They already have eveything they need to find another path when it is desirable. It is not my job to try to correct anyone, nor to be vexed by the choices others make.

Ultimately, I don' t see this life as being about "right and wrong" at all. I see it as being about experience and ever becoming something more and new through experience, because God cannot experience the wonder of being God, nor us in God, unless all that is God is is partitioned and some part of it removed in measure from a place. There is no need for Love where all is perfect Love and nothing else. Love is only known, experienced, and appreciated in a context in which there is anything less than complete and perfect Love. We have all chosen together to take that "forbidden fruit" depicted in the myth of the fall of man, because we as the body of God desire to experience what it is to be what we actually are by being something other than what we are. And so the universe of relativity, instead of singly the absolute, came into being. Polarity/duality are the device by which a quality can be known and experienced. In order for us to consider this realm of experience reality, we had to forget from whence we came in order to come into this life. This gives meaning to all those scriptures which encourage us to remember and be reminded. Those are words I can take quite literally.

Because we are one with God and are the family of God, the container as well as the end result is sure, and there is no absolute peril at any point within or without. It is God's job to re-mind us and to re-member us from whence we came. There is nothing to fear. God would never create anything in which there was going to be any ultimate loss or defeat, no matter what transpires in between by our collective choosing. It's all a great, grand game really, and we have all chosen to play. There is no doubt as to the outcome. Enjoy the ride. You are exactly who and what and where you have chosen to be in your life here. This is what God does. God grants us creative power in His image and a will that is truly free, not the mockery of free will religion concocts in which God gives us "free will," but punishes us if we then exercise that free will to choose a certain way for ourselves. Can we not see what an absurd and impossible construction it is for God to create anything that frustrates or displeases God? God is never afraid and never surprised. In our necessary forgetfulness to assume this role of duality, we came to know fear and the fear of the unknown. In our forgetfullness, we concocted all kinds of mythologies and religions to explain the existence of "evil" and to absolve God from its existence.

There are only two things in all the universe which drive the thoughts and behavior of humans: fear and love. All things are based upon and are motivated by one or the other. I had already been increasingly convinced, having delved into the field of psychotherapy, that all negative emotional states we experience are based on fear at the root. The degree to which religion has given us cause to fear is the degree to which it does not know the ways of Love, the ways of God, Who loses nothing and fears nothing. God is not afraid. God is not on a defensive scramble of recovery against an imaginary villain. What do we have to fear? Anyone who fears, does not yet remember God as God is, does not know God. The Bible, its myths, its translations, its arbitrary constructions, and the religions it ultimately fostered promotes fear and division. That is a glaring fact of history. The Bible therefore cannot be the Truth of God, though it may contain much truth with a small 't.'

I couldn't care less about angels, really. They have no bearing on my concerns, my choices, my authority, my safety, my autonomy, my reality. I never met one. One has never instructed me nor interfered with me. I have zero reason to even consider than they could exist. I ever see the consequences of my own actions and our collective actions, and no other. I don't care if people want to believe in leprachauns and unicorns either.

I do care if people live out of fear, rather than love, because this is where my conviction lies and sets a value I am obligated to abide by. Fear is the cause of all that we would designate as "evil." I want us all to wake up and remember, as we are meant to do, and that too is part of the chosen experience we have contrived. The Matrix was a brilliant movie in that it touched many on a deeply sensed theme of our actual existence. This reality we perceive as our reality is not at all what it seems, and most of us are sleepwalking through a false existence...so far.

Loving is all the sweeter for having first loved and lost. Myriad love stories operate by this formula. We love it. We thrive on it. So we choose to play.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #109
You'll pardon me if I find your increasingly contrived explanations laughable at this point. Oh, they're called men, but they're not really men. Oh, we're called gods, but only a few certain men who aren't actually specified in the context are those gods. I thought your Bible was clear and to be taken at face value. I see you writing all kinds of things into it, concluding things from it based on your theology rather than the other way around.

Again I will point out that angels are nowhere defined as a separate, created race of beings. Without the extra-biblical mythology, you would be left scratching your head, what are these angels in the Bible, anyway? Or if you properly just translated the word messenger, it might appear a whole lot less mysterious. On which day of creation did God create angels, anyway? Your closely guarded cherished belief is extra-biblical, if you are able to admit it, as the absurdly bogus luciferian myth, in which the supposed self-created satan is a called a man right after being called day star.

I find it indicative of how we form beliefs, that anyone has convinced himself that mighty God needs magical bellboys and drones to "do" the work of God, as if the work of God required an intercessory agency. God who can speak from the mouth of an ass or man just as readily if He chooses. Angels are a superflluous waste of spirit energy at best. I don't see Christians exercising critical thinking along the lines of, "So, why would God need to create angels to be his mindless, sexless drones?"

The author of Conversations with God clearly comes from some kind of common Christian background, and was seeking answers to questions from God for 20 (or 30) years. You should have no trouble finding it at your local library.

-S-

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Man or God in General
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Profile #106
You are far from proving your assertion by what you wrote here in response and have yet to explain why angels are called men in certain Scriptures or why the churches in revelations have angels to whom letters are to be written. You basically pointed out how the Bible continually confuses and appears to contradict itself. Jesus quoted David in declaring that we are gods (no qualifications or exemptions stated). You use Scripture to show how we aren't even spirit beings, but only flesh. Wow. But, overall, you are demonstrating my point quite nicely. Scripture can be taken to mean anything you already believe. It is only words, and words are the least effective way for God to communicate to man, but the one we have come to most worship. They are treacherous. They have led so very many sadly far astray.

I have already stated my position on what the Bible represents. If I quote Peter to you to make a point, it is because you believe everything written in Peter's name to be the Word Of God, and therefore must be examined as an absolute truth to be understood. This thread is about your assertion of what the Bible has to be. It doesn't matter how many absurdities, conflicts, contradictions, impossibilities, lacks of clarity actually exist. Your faith is clearly fully invested in your absolute belief in a book. This has never been about whether or not any argument could be made to sway your thinking in the littlest bit. You believe and your whole paradigm rests on that book being what you believe it is. It would be too threatening and devastating for it to be removed from off its pedestal in your own mind.

I challenge you, if you claim to be open-minded to how God speaks, to read with a seeking heart, "Conversations With God" and see if a single statement made therein challenges any former thought or ignites your heart or hopes in any way.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
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Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #102
Mark 12:25 For when they rise from the dead, neither do men marry nor are women given in marriage, but are as messengers in the heavens.

Angels don’t marry as humans do. The implication being that they are asexual. That is why they’re never referred to in the feminine, only as “he” or “sons of God.”


All of us are called gods, and sons of God. Jesus was called our older brother. Half of the human population is female. I do not believe they are excluded from this honor and designation. The heavy weighting upon the masculine in the Bible to me has very little to say with actual biological sex. It was a male-worshipping era of history. God is presented mostly as Father, but also rarely as El-Shaddhai, the breasted one, who nurtures like a nursing mother. I have no problem with the concept of heavenly hosts and messengers. I see no clear indication to show they are not man. I have no reason to believe in angels. It pushes credibility. If I’d met one, and it told me it was a sexless servile race of fifth-deminsional drones of God, I -might- take it under advisement.

Job 38:4, 7 Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth?
Tell me, if you do know understanding…
When the morning stars joyfully cried out together,
And all the sons of God began shouting in applause? – The angelic sons of God are more ancient than humans, being there when the earth was created. That means they can’t be spirits of humans.


You see angels here, as being called the sons of God, which I find sad. You’d grant that status to something other than yourself. I see us (and I might add I don’t see the word angels at all). We are the sons of God who came out of a heavenly realm as collaborators with God in our own creation. The God family is up to a lot more than we typically remember or dare to believe, having bought the lie that we are lowly sinners far beneath and alien from God, needing to appease a wrathful God Who commands us to do or be a certain thing, but in a most ungodlike fashion does not have his command met. What God issues commands that are not kept anyway? There is no use of the word angel at all here. We can see by the symbolic use of the stars in the Revelation and other places that stars are men with position of (usually) spiritual authority in the earth (“Write a letter to the angel of the church at Laodicea and say...” I see men here. You see angels.

2 Pet 2:11 whereas angels, although they are greater in strength and power, do not bring against them an accusation in abusive terms, not doing so out of respect for Jehovah. – The angels are superhuman.

Peter is talking here. I disagree with the gospel of Peter, the Christ-denying fishermen whom Christ called satan at one point. I don’t necessarily buy his take on angels or any other thing, but I am free to make such discretionary estimations, because I don’t require the book to be a magically perfected text of inhuman forging where every word has equal weight, despite how they contradict one another. Even that said, messengers of God in the heavenly dimension surely are in a state of greater strength and power. That follows. We have forgotten much to take this earthly form and life. We have surrendered much of our native capacities, mostly only by not being aware of them or believing in them. Again, I see nothing here that even begins to truly define angels or require them to be non-human. The Bible talks about spiritual qualities and roles (angels, satan, evil spirits, dragons...) and we silly humans like to invent literal species out of them in our ever carnal-minded fixation of all things earthly.

Moreover, Peter is saying messengers of God have greater strength and power than some others. If you read it that the servants/messengers of God have a power, strength, and authority that is not to be abusive, this fits in much more meaningful with the agency of Godly people with authority in the earth than fiery seraphim off in some netherworldly realm no one ever encounters. Of what possible relevance is it to us what angels do anyway?

Heb 1:7 Also, with reference to the angels he says: “And he makes his angels spirits, and his public servants a flame of fire.” – The angels are spirit creatures.

He makes his messengers spirits. I am a spirt. You are a spirt. We are the messengers of God in the earth. Every man is tested by fire. We are his public servants. He is not talking about two different races. He is talking about distinct roles or realms in which his sons operate. In this passage, as so often is the form of scripture, the second part of the sentence is the equivalent of the first part. The public servants are the angels. If you want to be the light of the world, be prepared to be set on fire, so that you may be one.

Lu 3:16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

1Co 3:15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Heb 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.

To enter into God is to enter into fire and to be transformed. Everything Godly is fiery in nature and has the power to light and transform other things. Again, I see only us, humanity, the chosen creation and vehicle of God to express and experience God in the universe. We are in the earthly realm and in the “heavenly” realm. God has no need of servile races, friendly or enemy, and I never saw the remotest clue that anything other exists.

You see what you already presume in any scripture. This is part of the criticism. The Bible really isn’t clear in a textbook fashion to really lay down the blueprint of the universe for us. It’s a rambly, self-indulgent, poetic, mythic, bigger than life text full of all kinds of cultural biases and superstitions of its era. If it really wanted to paint a clear picture, it would talk in plain language and simply define its terms and realities. To believe in angels and devils is wasted energy in your life, because you will never encounter either.

-S-

[ Sunday, September 16, 2007 06:26: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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