Marc thread – on Buddhism and the significance of “naming the nameless”

Marc, I’ve brought the thread over to my site.

As it seems , there are many names & words for God & Christ, & there are others, was not Elijah God incarnate as well.

The name “Elijah” meant “God is Lord”.

This is without looking at other religions as well & noting the enormous amount of names given to describe God(s). The Muslim faith has about 40 names for God (I’d have to look into it to be sure). But they make an emphasis that God is without name. The Buddhists do not invoke a God by name, “reality simply is as it is”.

That some religions emphasize a nameless God doesn’t necessarily mean that [he] indeed is without one. Buddhism has no invocation because God is essentially nonexistent.

Systems of spirituality also do not necessarily reference God with a specific name, i.e. Reiki, where the Universal life force energy (a literal translation) suffices to name the reality of the energy or force that they are dealing with. Are all religions pointing & describing the same thing? I think that they are.

I would disagree. Describing a specific beagle you see walking down the street as a “large, 100lb dog with a wide snout” would be hardly an accurate description of that dog. Another person would say you are being facetious or simply lying.

Is an ultimate or divine, Creator or Being within the clarification of a name? Can we name that which is beyond form, The nameless, the formless? This is my point.

So it’s a rhetorical question. You assume that God is nameless and formless, whereby lacking a name. Judaism/Christianity is rather contrarian in this case.

Where is the power in the name of God, apart from it’s representation & the significance to it’s believers. Is the power of the name of “Jesus Christ” independent of religion? I do not think it is. I hope the question is a little clearer.

You should read about demons in the NT. Jesus is a name that bears a priori authority, the same as Y-HW-H.

A: “Okay. But I’m not so sure the “invoked” part is kosher.”
M: How do we call up upon Christ when we pray or we ask him for healing? Are Christians not evoking his spirit through his name?

Christians don’t “call up upon” Jesus when they pray. Saying “in Jesus’ name” is an invocation of his authority – call it a right, even.

No. “Love your neighbor” and “the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience…”

These can be argued were/are moral guideposts that are not exclusive to Christianity, but share commonality with most other religions & spiritual systems, & humanism. Incidentally these “core” values are far older than Christ & taken in a large part from Buddhism.

The point is that, regardless of their origin, this central tenet serves as a rebuttal of your claim that “Christian ideals cause pain, fear & suffering on many levels & scales.”

C of E = Church of England?

Yes.

I’m curious. What was the experience like?

I’m curious about this Buddhist connection. If I haven’t answered it, let me know about this.

Buddhism is a very old & highly advanced spiritual system, IMHO it is the best we have to work with from a religious perspective & its people display a spirituality of peace, compassion, non-violence, acceptance & joy, more so than all the other main religions.

So it’s pretty clear that you’re a Buddhist. You should read about the Zen Buddhists in Japan during WWII.

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44 thoughts on “Marc thread – on Buddhism and the significance of “naming the nameless”

  1. The name “Elijah” meant “God is Lord”.

    Yes & he was considered to be God.

    That some religions emphasize a nameless God doesn’t necessarily mean that [he] indeed is without one. Buddhism has no invocation because God is essentially nonexistent.

    This isn’t strictly true.

    I would disagree. Describing a specific beagle you see walking down the street as a “large, 100lb dog with a wide snout” would be hardly an accurate description of that dog. Another person would say you are being facetious or simply lying.

    I’m not sure what you mean here. If you are saying that the descriptions of God , divine energy or a creator are not adequately described in other spiritual systems or religions, then I would counter that your wrong. The only solution here is to agree to disagree.

    So it’s a rhetorical question. You assume that God is nameless and formless, whereby lacking a name. Judaism/Christianity is rather contrarian in this case.

    Again IMO I think that Christians generally have this wrong, we will again have to agree to disagree.

    You should read about demons in the NT. Jesus is a name that bears a priori authority, the same as Y-HW-H.

    I have read about them, & have other experiences of them. Granted your point here is a valid one. But the name of Christ is not universal in this respect. He is also known by other names however, & the calling of his power is through the representation of Him through (His) name. Others also hold a priori authority & not necessarily of Christian theology.

    Christians don’t “call up upon” Jesus when they pray. Saying “in Jesus’ name” is an invocation of his authority – call it a right, even.

    This is semantics. Do not Christians pray “Jesus please help me”? They call upon him, they invoke His power, they call upon Him.

    The point is that, regardless of their origin, this central tenet serves as a rebuttal of your claim that “Christian ideals cause pain, fear & suffering on many levels & scales.”

    Yes you make a valid point, & there is much good in the world due to these ideals. But they are not exclusive to Christianity. It is no less viable or meaningful for an Atheist to embody these principles & for non-Christians or Atheists to create as much, if not more, love in the world.

    I’m curious. What was the experience like?

    It would take a book, I’m serious, I’ll try & give you a shortened account in another post if you are interested enough in my experiences of this. Needless to say allot of it could be put down to this, – I was brought up accepting what I was told, then I doubted & questioned, eventually loosing any kind of faith or belief in God. Now I have my own understandings of spiritual matters.

    So it’s pretty clear that you’re a Buddhist. You should read about the Zen Buddhists in Japan during WWII.

    No I am not a buddhist, nor would I categorically classify myself as one. Aspects of Buddhism are of interest, but so are aspects of Christianity & countless other systems of belief & spiritual idea(s). I would not classify myself as any one particular thing in regards to these matters. I am not sure of the part to which Zen played in the theater of WWII, I would have to look into it. But it does seem even with this little known fact, that there is little against the generally peaceful & compassionate way of Buddhism.

    Reply
  2. Hi Marc, comments interspersed below.

    A: The name “Elijah” meant “God is Lord”.

    M: Yes & he was considered to be God.

    Maybe, but not according to the Jews.

    A: That some religions emphasize a nameless God doesn’t necessarily mean that [he] indeed is without one. Buddhism has no invocation because God is essentially nonexistent.

    M: This isn’t strictly true.

    Okay, but qualify this opinion.

    A: I would disagree. Describing a specific beagle you see walking down the street as a “large, 100lb dog with a wide snout” would be hardly an accurate description of that dog. Another person would say you are being facetious or simply lying.

    M: I’m not sure what you mean here. If you are saying that the descriptions of God , divine energy or a creator are not adequately described in other spiritual systems or religions, then I would counter that your wrong. The only solution here is to agree to disagree.

    In order to “agree to disagree”, the other side has to do this as well. Otherwise you’re arguing with yourself, and have already come to a compromise.

    Some descriptions are totally wrong, such as the assumption that God incarnate comes in the form of a cow. That’s what I meant by writing the example.

    Others fail to adequately describe the entire character of God, or describe God coherently.

    A: So it’s a rhetorical question. You assume that God is nameless and formless, whereby lacking a name. Judaism/Christianity is rather contrarian in this case.

    M: Again IMO I think that Christians generally have this wrong, we will again have to agree to disagree.

    Again, qualify this opinion.

    A: You should read about demons in the NT. Jesus is a name that bears a priori authority, the same as Y-HW-H.

    M: I have read about them, & have other experiences of them. Granted your point here is a valid one. But the name of Christ is not universal in this respect. He is also known by other names however, & the calling of his power is through the representation of Him through (His) name. Others also hold a priori authority & not necessarily of Christian theology.

    I’ll have to make a revision in what I said earlier. Only the name Y-HW-H bears a priori authority, as God is the only a priori Truth. However, after the coming of the Son in human form, the name “Jesus Christ” existed/currently exists as only one name in any particular language. The NT asserts this name is above all other names.

    Others do have authority, but not to the current extent to which the name and relationship w/ Jesus does.

    A: Christians don’t “call up upon” Jesus when they pray. Saying “in Jesus’ name” is an invocation of his authority – call it a right, even.

    M: This is semantics. Do not Christians pray “Jesus please help me”? They call upon him, they invoke His power, they call upon Him.

    No, this isn’t semantics. Christians don’t “call upon him” as Jews would have during the pre-crucifixion years. Through his authority, they can call upon God the Father.

    I’d encourage you to read the Lord’s Prayer again.

    A: The point is that, regardless of their origin, this central tenet serves as a rebuttal of your claim that “Christian ideals cause pain, fear & suffering on many levels & scales.”

    M: Yes you make a valid point, & there is much good in the world due to these ideals. But they are not exclusive to Christianity. It is no less viable or meaningful for an Atheist to embody these principles & for non-Christians or Atheists to create as much, if not more, love in the world.

    I’d disagree. Jesus asserted that these principles existed at the outset of Judaism, which arrived only second to the earliest known Vedic records. The Vedas also assert an entirely different set of mores.

    A: I’m curious. What was the experience like?

    M: It would take a book, I’m serious, I’ll try & give you a shortened account in another post if you are interested enough in my experiences of this. Needless to say allot of it could be put down to this, – I was brought up accepting what I was told, then I doubted & questioned, eventually loosing any kind of faith or belief in God. Now I have my own understandings of spiritual matters.

    When did the doubting and questioning occur? And did you happen to reproach the material with an “innocent until proven guilty” approach?

    What are your understandings? Perhaps they might not be in conflict with the Bible.

    A: So it’s pretty clear that you’re a Buddhist. You should read about the Zen Buddhists in Japan during WWII.

    M: No I am not a buddhist, nor would I categorically classify myself as one. Aspects of Buddhism are of interest, but so are aspects of Christianity & countless other systems of belief & spiritual idea(s). I would not classify myself as any one particular thing in regards to these matters. I am not sure of the part to which Zen played in the theater of WWII, I would have to look into it. But it does seem even with this little known fact, that there is little against the generally peaceful & compassionate way of Buddhism.

    Sorry for that mistake, then. That you still have respect for religions is admirable; I brought up the example because not every religion is free of bloodshed.

    Reply
  3. “Maybe, but not according to the Jews.”

    Yes according to certain Jews at certain times Elijah was considered to literally be God.

    “Okay, but qualify this opinion.”

    Even the word God is a misused word, & to many full of negative connotation. God can be the “God” within or the ultimate Reality. The force of life within all things that give everything their substance. That which gave rise to form/ or the spirit is not necessarily with form or name.

    “In order to “agree to disagree”, the other side has to do this as well. Otherwise you’re arguing with yourself, and have already come to a compromise.

    Some descriptions are totally wrong, such as the assumption that God incarnate comes in the form of a cow. That’s what I meant by writing the example.

    Others fail to adequately describe the entire character of God, or describe God coherently.”

    I disagree, you will never convince me otherwise, I am not compromising my position, I’m simply willing to accept that you can believe what you wish.
    Who says some descriptions are totally wrong? How do you know? They are right, for all you know.
    Does Christianity adequately describe God & describe Him coherently? I don’t think it does. To me & many others it’s complete & utter nonsense.
    Justify & explain your claims with evidence.

    “Again, qualify this opinion.”

    I don’t need to, To me it’s self evident. qualify your opinion.

    “I’ll have to make a revision in what I said earlier. Only the name Y-HW-H bears a priori authority, as God is the only a priori Truth. However, after the coming of the Son in human form, the name “Jesus Christ” existed/currently exists as only one name in any particular language. The NT asserts this name is above all other names.”

    Ah, but does him name exist in the same sense in other realms outside of this one?

    “Others do have authority, but not to the current extent to which the name and relationship w/ Jesus does.”

    Are we talking of a “God” or the Christian conception of God?
    Again I disagree with this opinion. Qualify to me why this opinion is unquestionably true. I do not accept the bible as evidence, as it obviously allegorical, figurative & full of inconsistencies, half truths, contradictions & outright lies.

    “No, this isn’t semantics. Christians don’t “call upon him” as Jews would have during the pre-crucifixion years. Through his authority, they can call upon God the Father.

    I’d encourage you to read the Lord’s Prayer again.”

    Again I disagree, is the only prayer of Christians the Lords prayer!? The Lords prayer incidentally consists of demands from the perspective of the sayer.

    “I’d disagree. Jesus asserted that these principles existed at the outset of Judaism, which arrived only second to the earliest known Vedic records. The Vedas also assert an entirely different set of mores.”

    Good. I completely disagree with you too.

    “When did the doubting and questioning occur? And did you happen to reproach the material with an “innocent until proven guilty” approach?

    What are your understandings? Perhaps they might not be in conflict with the Bible.”

    The doubting & questioning started almost from the outset. It failed as a valid spiritual system & framework for spiritual growth in the light of some very difficult circumstances. Believe me I tried.
    Alot of my understanding is not in conflict with what I believe to be the truth of the bible. My “conflict” is with, IMHO the false interpretations which have been put upon the bible & the false interpretations of the teaching & life of Christ. Namely & most typically a “fundamentalist” view.

    “Sorry for that mistake, then. That you still have respect for religions is admirable; I brought up the example because not every religion is free of bloodshed.”

    That is OK. I lean toward some aspects of Buddhist ideals & philosophy. But I have a belief system which is probably shared by only a few & contains unique elements. I don’t follow any one religion. Yes most religions have periods of blood soaked history.

    Reply
  4. Could you tell me please Albert how to edit the posts properly, so the quotes are not so confused i.e. – the same text. Do I need an account with Word press. I’ll try that.

    Reply
  5. It’s easiest to use the html blockquote/italics tag (try it here). You could also try getting a wordpress account, it’s easier to see how to use the html/organize your thoughts w/o even having to put the tags down.

    Reply
  6. Marc,

    Was it your intention to get into these kinds of polemics in the first place? Responses interspersed below.

    A: “Maybe, but not according to the Jews.”

    M: Yes according to certain Jews at certain times Elijah was considered to literally be God.

    Sorry Marc, you’re just wrong on this issue. Jews never regarded Elijah to be God at any point in time. During his own time he was constantly outcasted and criticized for standing against the king. To this day he is regarded in Judaism as a prophet only; this is canon.

    A: That some religions emphasize a nameless God doesn’t necessarily mean that [he] indeed is without one. Buddhism has no invocation because God is essentially nonexistent.

    M: This isn’t strictly true.

    A: “Okay, but qualify this opinion.”

    M: Even the word God is a misused word, & to many full of negative connotation. God can be the “God” within or the ultimate Reality. The force of life within all things that give everything their substance. That which gave rise to form/ or the spirit is not necessarily with form or name.

    You’re right, “God” can be a misunderstood term. In the context of monotheism, God is an embodiment, though, and I expect that your “strictly” thereby referred to the monotheistic God. If not, that’s fine. But that would lead to a disagreement as far as to what God is.

    Okay, so does your last line essentially mean that you believe in a form of disembodied creationism (similar to Big Bang)? Clearly, if you start with a premise of disembodiment in the first place, you will obviously arrive at that conclusion. My own experience tells me that God is a magnified presence that is essentially incomprehensible to the physical senses, not a mere disembodiment.

    A: “In order to “agree to disagree”, the other side has to do this as well. Otherwise you’re arguing with yourself, and have already come to a compromise.

    Some descriptions are totally wrong, such as the assumption that God incarnate comes in the form of a cow. That’s what I meant by writing the example.

    Others fail to adequately describe the entire character of God, or describe God coherently.”

    M: I disagree, you will never convince me otherwise, I am not compromising my position, I’m simply willing to accept that you can believe what you wish.

    I can accept that I may never be able to convince you. But at least know that you’re edging into fundamentalist terroritory by taking such a close-minded stance. There’s a difference between starting at one stance with a body of knowledge to support your claim and simply being sceptical of everything for argument’s sake.

    M: Who says some descriptions are totally wrong? How do you know? They are right, for all you know.

    Some must be wrong by default. By saying “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me”, Jesus makes a claim of exclusivity. This at minimum means that others making the claim to reach heaven must be wrong, if not exclusive in and of themselves.

    Buddhism most certainly makes a claim of exclusivity as well through its doctrine of reincarnation.

    M: Does Christianity adequately describe God & describe Him coherently? I don’t think it does. To me & many others it’s complete & utter nonsense.
    Justify & explain your claims with evidence.

    To answer your question, I think it does. Check out the last comment in part 5 of my thread with Junaman for an example of this:

    “Direct contradictions” are often the case of misapplied hermeneutical approach (i.e., not paying attention to context, literary device, lacking reference from whole to part or part to whole, ascribing human characteristics to God, et. al – part and parcel to using the hermeneutical circle).
    Your second reference is just one example of that. I’m assuming you’re talking about the slaughter of the Canaanites during the Israelite wandering years in the desert.
    1. first off, pre-emptive war was justified because God had given them the land, which had previously belonged to a squatting Abraham.
    2. the Canaanites were also by and large a wicked, unrepenting people (meaning they were unlikely to submit to the authority or justice of God on earth).
    3. the Canaanites were not utterly defenseless, meaning that they were legitimately defeated.
    4. God himself sought to create a holy society that would be a beacon to attract outsiders to his presence.
    5. this followed that the society would initially have to be pure – in the Aryan sense.
    6. as a result, God said to take nothing captive, including livestock in some cases.
    7. this also meant that God wanted them to clear the land.
    8. land was claimed by power struggles.
    9. in one instance that I can remember, God sent a spirit to destroy an invading group’s army
    10. some members of the army were left who went back and told their leaders, who stopped their pre-emptive attack.
    There’s more:
    1. To create a holy society, God also killed his own people
    2. the people had complained twice about the different kinds of food they got for free

    A: “Again, qualify this opinion.”

    M: I don’t need to, To me it’s self evident. qualify your opinion.

    A: “I’ll have to make a revision in what I said earlier. Only the name Y-HW-H bears a priori authority, as God is the only a priori Truth. However, after the coming of the Son in human form, the name “Jesus Christ” existed/currently exists as only one name in any particular language. The NT asserts this name is above all other names.”

    M: Ah, but does him name exist in the same sense in other realms outside of this one?

    Prove to me first that these realms exist. If the “God” we’re referring to is the Judeo-Christian God, he is responsible for the creation of all things. I would think that the namesake of such a being would hold power regardless of existential realm (just look at Lucifer, for example).

    A: “Others do have authority, but not to the current extent to which the name and relationship w/ Jesus does.”

    M: Are we talking of a “God” or the Christian conception of God?
    Again I disagree with this opinion. Qualify to me why this opinion is unquestionably true. I do not accept the bible as evidence, as it obviously allegorical, figurative & full of inconsistencies, half truths, contradictions & outright lies.

    A: “No, this isn’t semantics. Christians don’t “call upon him” as Jews would have during the pre-crucifixion years. Through his authority, they can call upon God the Father.

    I’d encourage you to read the Lord’s Prayer again.”

    M: Again I disagree, is the only prayer of Christians the Lords prayer!? The Lords prayer incidentally consists of demands from the perspective of the sayer.

    Any other prayer directed towards Jesus or the Holy Spirit is a misunderstanding of what Jesus did on the cross; Jesus died so that we could be redeemed before God. A true believer knows not to demand from God, but to petition him in humility and a genuine heart.

    A: “I’d disagree. Jesus asserted that these principles existed at the outset of Judaism, which arrived only second to the earliest known Vedic records. The Vedas also assert an entirely different set of mores.”

    M: Good. I completely disagree with you too.

    This is just a crass, and I don’t appreciate it.

    A: “When did the doubting and questioning occur? And did you happen to reproach the material with an “innocent until proven guilty” approach?

    What are your understandings? Perhaps they might not be in conflict with the Bible.”

    M: The doubting & questioning started almost from the outset. It failed as a valid spiritual system & framework for spiritual growth in the light of some very difficult circumstances. Believe me I tried.

    I’m sorry to hear that.

    Alot of my understanding is not in conflict with what I believe to be the truth of the bible.

    This is curiously contradictory. Are you saying it’s a valid spiritual system/framework for spiritual growth now as opposed to before? What exactly do you believe is the truth of the Bible?

    M: My “conflict” is with, IMHO the false interpretations which have been put upon the bible & the false interpretations of the teaching & life of Christ. Namely & most typically a “fundamentalist” view.

    I can stand with you on this in theory, but some of your earlier comments, you’ve also demonstrated false interpretations (i.e., contextual misintepretations) as well.

    A: “Sorry for that mistake, then. That you still have respect for religions is admirable; I brought up the example because not every religion is free of bloodshed.”

    M: That is OK. I lean toward some aspects of Buddhist ideals & philosophy. But I have a belief system which is probably shared by only a few & contains unique elements. I don’t follow any one religion. Yes most religions have periods of blood soaked history.

    That seems to be more the norm from what I’ve seen. But it can conflict with others to the degree which it promotes secularization, privatization, and relativism (read about that in the A Defense of Absolute Truth).

    Reply
  7. Was it your intention to get into these kinds of polemics in the first place? Responses interspersed below.

    I very rarely get into any kind of debate with Christians precisely for this reason. Christians answers are generally polemic. You ascribe to a belief that your view of God is ultimately & unquestionably right, although there is no evidence whatsoever for believing what you do. I disagree on many counts to many things that Christians say & practice. I’m sure Christians have it wrong, the more extreme the more wrong they are. I am confident in what I do value & my understanding of how spiritual things are. I’m open minded in my beliefs. But I’m most certainly not wrong because I believe differently to how Christians think. Yes there are differing levels. Personally I have never liked fundamentalists, especially Christian fundamentalists, they make me feel ill.

    Sorry Marc, you’re just wrong on this issue. Jews never regarded Elijah to be God at any point in time. During his own time he was constantly outcasted and criticized for standing against the king. To this day he is regarded in Judaism as a prophet only; this is canon.

    OK I got things slightly confused. It’s that certain Jews have & do consider Elijah & Christ to be the same person, incarnation if you will. & so viewed from a Christian perspective, yes he is considered to be God.

    You’re right, “God” can be a misunderstood term. In the context of monotheism, God is an embodiment, though, and I expect that your “strictly” thereby referred to the monotheistic God. If not, that’s fine. But that would lead to a disagreement as far as to what God is.

    I don’t get this that you insinuate to know what God is. Any conception is open to debate. Some conceptions to my mind hold more value. Even a Christian understanding if taken from the bible is that God is unknowable & incidentally a polytheism (the trinity).

    Okay, so does your last line essentially mean that you believe in a form of disembodied creationism (similar to Big Bang)? Clearly, if you start with a premise of disembodiment in the first place, you will obviously arrive at that conclusion. My own experience tells me that God is a magnified presence that is essentially incomprehensible to the physical senses, not a mere disembodiment.

    I neither hold to the big bang or the Christian ideas of creation. My understanding is a mixture of (some may seem to contradict, but all would describe aspects of my own understanding). – Polytheism, Pantheism, Panentheism & Animism. I would also say there is a source from which all life has flowed & to it all life returns, which could be classed as a theist belief.

    I can accept that I may never be able to convince you. But at least know that you’re edging into fundamentalist territory by taking such a close-minded stance. There’s a difference between starting at one stance with a body of knowledge to support your claim and simply being skeptical of everything for argument’s sake.

    I have been accused of this before by a Christian, it is a straw man argument. I was a Christian for a long number of years. There is no body of knowledge to support its commonly held beliefs, there is no evidence. I have searched long & hard & undertaken much research into the area of spirituality to come to a spiritual understanding for myself which is based on results & the search for truth. I’m not skeptical simply to argue. In the case of Christianity I’m not skeptical at all. I know for me it’s modern interpretation is complete nonsense. Nothing could be further than the truth that I am in some way venturing into fundamentalism, it’s laughable. If anyone is venturing into fundamentalism it’s you, if of course your not already a fundamentalist, which judging by the name of your blog, you are.

    Some must be wrong by default. By saying “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me”, Jesus makes a claim of exclusivity. This at minimum means that others making the claim to reach heaven must be wrong, if not exclusive in and of themselves.

    Maybe & most likely there all wrong! This is what I was talking about. Fundamentalist literal interpretations of poetic nonsense. This is the reasoning which has caused so much pain & suffering on so many levels. “I’m ultimately right & you are completely wrong!” The position of ego which IMO is the source of true evil in the world.

    Buddhism most certainly makes a claim of exclusivity as well through its doctrine of reincarnation.

    I’ve read books about the commonality of all religion. A thread runs through them all. I see there similarities. This is an aspect of what I was getting at, that the figures of which they are based were all very advanced spiritual beings, no more or less worthy than each other. The texts of different religions hold spiritual messages & truth (although in many cases hard to decipher) I once read a book entitled “The Christian Buddhist”, I considered myself a Christian Buddhist for a long time, there is no contradiction. It is the cultures, the followers, the powers that B which wish to control us that alter & muddy the truth of what these people were saying. If Christ, Allah & Buddha were alive today, do you think any of them would have anything at all to do with religion? very, very little I would think.

    To answer your question, I think it does. Check out the last comment in part 5 of my thread with Junaman for an example of this:

    It is possible to justify anything with argument & logic. Hitlers actions can be explained away to the point he was actually doing good! (no I don’t hold this view) If the mass senseless murder of countless thousands of people, their rape & slavery is justified as moral behavior in your eyes because of what God decreed, then carry on your belief. I choose to think otherwise. Incidentally it is one example of a great many of atrocities. The many contradictions in the bible are still contradiction even within context.

    Prove to me first that these realms exist. If the “God” we’re referring to is the Judeo-Christian God, he is responsible for the creation of all things. I would think that the namesake of such a being would hold power regardless of existential realm (just look at Lucifer, for example).

    Prove to me anything of the tenets or assumptions/beliefs of Christianity. You can no more say that these realms or others don’t exist, than you can that Christian claims are in themselves real as well. Why do Christians refer to “God” as being a Judeo-Christian God? No I was referring to an idea of God in generally Theistic or otherwise understandings, there is no Christian monopoly on God. In I think virtually all religions & many, many systems of belief, even from the earliest there are creation myths & stories. why is the Christian version the “right” one? it isn’t to me & allot of others. The namesake idea could well be, & is IMO wrong. The reality of the spiritual could well be radically different to anything you believe or think possible. The Devil simply does not exist.

    Any other prayer directed towards Jesus or the Holy Spirit is a misunderstanding of what Jesus did on the cross; Jesus died so that we could be redeemed before God. A true believer knows not to demand from God, but to petition him in humility and a genuine heart.

    Again semantics. I also disagree with the interpretation of events.

    I’m sorry to hear that.

    Why are you sorry? I would like you to be happy about it. I have found a freedom & happiness I could never have had living within the fear & delusion of a Christian paradigm. I am open to many other possibilities with my life, instead of the dead end I found at the end of the Christian road.

    This is curiously contradictory. Are you saying it’s a valid spiritual system/framework for spiritual growth now as opposed to before? What exactly do you believe is the truth of the Bible?

    It contradicts nothing, my understanding is totally different to yours.
    The truth of the Bible? There isn’t allot. Christ was born of natural birth by a normal mother & father, & was trained in Buddhism (accounting for the missing years). His ministry embodied the elements of a search for the God within & a very humanistic viewpoint. He taught we were all His brothers & Sisters, no more & no less. That we were the same as Him. He did not die on the cross, but was revived & continued His ministry in the lands were he had originally had His Buddhist training. He died an old man in these lands (probably Tibet). There isn’t allot more to it than that, other than looking into the core of His teaching which was virtually identical to the Buddhism of the time.

    I can stand with you on this in theory, but some of your earlier comments, you’ve also demonstrated false interpretations (i.e., contextual misinterpretations) as well.

    False interpretations in your opinion, or the opinion of Christianity, which is to a very large part baseless.

    That seems to be more the norm from what I’ve seen. But it can conflict with others to the degree which it promotes secularization, privatization, and relativism (read about that in the A Defense of Absolute Truth).

    However you want to take it is up to you. I’m very broad minded & accommodating to allot of things. I have a wide circle of friends from very varied backgrounds. I will not agree with something simply to appease the people who hold that view, however many people choose to hold it. To my mind, & I’m not alone in this, Christianity promotes division, hatred & delusion.

    Reply
  8. Sorry for my more generalized comments, it’s been a strange couple of weeks. I get a bit opinionated & prone to argument. There are good Christians in the world & aspects of the faith I don’t count as nonsense, I entertain certain ideas still that are Christian. Anyway I hope you don’t think me too rude, It is interesting to discuss things with you.

    Reply
  9. My own experience tells me that God is a magnified presence that is essentially incomprehensible to the physical senses, not a mere disembodiment.

    I was re-reading the above posts.
    I hold to an understanding & experience which is very similar.
    Albiet without the same surety of the Christian framework.

    vocatus atque non vocatus Deus aderit

    Reply
  10. Hello Albert, please accept my sincere apologies for my rantings. It is no excuse, I’ve had a mad couple of weeks, & some other discussions in other places which were getting silly. It’s difficult to switch off sometimes. But things are calmer. I hope I have not offended you too much or your beliefs. I started to feel a bit bad at some of the things I’ve posted. I do try to be respectful of other people & their beliefs, I do come up short often. I will engage in conversation in a less polemic & more diplomatic manor with you, this discussion does interest me in many ways, I am still looking for answers. You seem far more intelligent & open minded than I gave you credit for, & this conversation & others have had a result of me examining my experience & evaluating the things I actually do believe. I don’t want to get off subject & would like to carry on discussing the thread, but I was wondering what your viewpoint is on the order of Melchizedek. I have been looking into it in more detail recently, I would think that it would be a subject you would be interested in, if of course you are not already. I look forward to your thoughts on this & our continued discussion.
    Marc.

    Reply
  11. Hi Marc,

    I’m sorry for not being able to respond earlier. I’ve been working on a term paper that has been weighing me down the last two weeks or so, and will fully respond by tomorrow night.

    About the rants – I appreciate the apology and gladly forgive you.

    What were you interested in about Melchi? I may be able to provide some doctrinal info if that’s what you’re looking for – the rabbit hole on heaven goes much deeper than many people (fundamentalists included) think.

    Reply
  12. Following ideas on the different incarnations of God. There seems to be ideas & beliefs that Melchizedek was an incarnation of God. That the Holy spirit descended to earth as Melchizedek & Christ incarnated as Abraham. That Melchizedek spiritually awakened & initiated Abraham. 2000 years later Christ incarnated as Jesus, & Jesus as Christ renewed the Order of Melchizedek & became its high priest. It is I think possible that God has incarnated many times at different intervals to support & advance mankind. In fact some of His divine incarnations would include Melchizedek, Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Mother Mary, Lao Tzu, Conficius, Muhammad & many others. Following the thread through all religion, it would seem probable that God created each religion to speak to people in a certain time & culture in history. They can be taken to form a cohesive body of spiritual understanding if taken as a whole. This is a viewpoint I have often taken over the years. That there is a core or element of truth to all religion & that there is a striking similarity between highly spiritually evolved people, that they could all in fact be God. This is also why I take allot of the modern interpretations on the difference of religions as being untrue. I also take the viewpoint that there seem to be certain spiritual principles that are universal.

    My interest in the subject of a synergy of God incarnations is also tied into the story of saint Germain. The interest in both Saint Germain & the order of Melchizedek also has to do with practices I undertake. I have been practicing Reiki, mainly for the purpose of self healing but also for the healing of others for some six years. It has given many benefits. I primarily work with a core understanding of a personal creator. Also with spirit guides, angelic forces, higher selves & ascended masters. The teacher who has taught me this practice & continues to give guidance as part of his work with me initiated me into the Order of Melchizedech. (as a spiritual connection). I also work with Saint the Germain & the Angels of the violet flame energies. There is an aspect of new ageness, but I’m selective & do count allot of new age practices & beliefs as nonsense. There does however seem to be allot in the way of sound spirituality in certain practices which seem to be becoming more popular. The Order of Melchizedek I think is a universal priesthood which can be traced back to very ancient times.

    Anyway, my ideas change & evolve, the doctrinal info you have would be interesting to read. I think the rabbit hole probably does go very deep.

    Reply
  13. Hey “Marc” (I’m now not sure what to call you),

    Which of your comments do you stand by then? I’d like to respond to at least some of them.

    You’ve also seemed to already come to your own conclusions about the significance of Melchizedek as well. For example, this is your starting point…

    Following ideas on the different incarnations of God. There seems to be ideas & beliefs that Melchizedek was an incarnation of God.

    …which you then use to extrapolate here…

    That the Holy spirit descended to earth as Melchizedek & Christ incarnated as Abraham. That Melchizedek spiritually awakened & initiated Abraham. 2000 years later Christ incarnated as Jesus, & Jesus as Christ renewed the Order of Melchizedek & became its high priest.

    … and restate here:

    It is I think possible that God has incarnated many times at different intervals to support & advance mankind. In fact some of His divine incarnations would include Melchizedek, Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Mother Mary, Lao Tzu, Conficius, Muhammad & many others.

    This idea is more commonly called pantheism (by theologians): the idea that all paths lead to the same place (heaven).

    Following the thread through all religion, it would seem probable that God created each religion to speak to people in a certain time & culture in history.

    I used to think like this, but as I’ve gotten to understand some of the Bible’s assertions a bit more, I’m less (or not at all) convinced it holds absolute truth. According to the Bible, people like Melchizedek were similar to Abraham insofar as they had hearts that sought after and worshipped the true living God. Wiki offers some good insights on this by rote of Hebrews.

    They can be taken to form a cohesive body of spiritual understanding if taken as a whole. This is a viewpoint I have often taken over the years.

    In studying philosophy, I realized this was impossible. Why – the simple reason that absolute truths are mutually exclusive.

    That there is a core or element of truth to all religion & that there is a striking similarity between highly spiritually evolved people, that they could all in fact be God. This is also why I take allot of the modern interpretations on the difference of religions as being untrue. I also take the viewpoint that there seem to be certain spiritual principles that are universal.

    My previous reason is exactly why this must be logically wrong. Just working from example, the extremist Muslim who commits himself to suicide bombing and the hedonist who decides that life is all about pleasure represent two ends of a varied understanding of God. Allow me to offer that the hedonist may believe that pleasure is God, whereas the extremist believes suffering will lead him to heaven (God nonwithstanding). Is this a coherent God?

    My interest in the subject of a synergy of God incarnations is also tied into the story of saint Germain. The interest in both Saint Germain & the order of Melchizedek also has to do with practices I undertake. I have been practicing Reiki, mainly for the purpose of self healing but also for the healing of others for some six years.

    Interesting. What kind of healing has occurred? And was the purpose for physical healing exclusively?

    It has given many benefits. I primarily work with a core understanding of a personal creator. Also with spirit guides, angelic forces, higher selves & ascended masters. The teacher who has taught me this practice & continues to give guidance as part of his work with me initiated me into the Order of Melchizedech. (as a spiritual connection). I also work with Saint the Germain & the Angels of the violet flame energies. There is an aspect of new ageness, but I’m selective & do count allot of new age practices & beliefs as nonsense.

    By the way you describe it, it sounds similar to the Illuminati.

    There does however seem to be allot in the way of sound spirituality in certain practices which seem to be becoming more popular. The Order of Melchizedek I think is a universal priesthood which can be traced back to very ancient times.

    Biblically, to some extent, it can – as a plan. God planned for our redemption, whereby vindicating us as his priests (shepherds).

    Anyway, my ideas change & evolve, the doctrinal info you have would be interesting to read. I think the rabbit hole probably does go very deep.

    The process to gaining absolute truth (a complete and coherent understanding of God in theory and practice) should evolve, but not necessarily change. To some extent, I can see my theory side being a process guided by an expanded consciousness. But on the other hand, I am in no way any more “conscious” than anyone else if I don’t put my money where my mouth is.

    Reply
  14. In studying philosophy, I realized this was impossible. Why – the simple reason that absolute truths are mutually exclusive.

    But, I do not hold the belief in the idea of absolute truth. (It is only impossible if you subscribe to absolutes). I do not think that such a thing exists. If there were such a thing IMO I think it would be on such a spiritually high level as to not be in any way explainable or fathomable. That it would be beyond all logical thought or expression by language & beyond all duality. Something akin to a source. I don’t even think the term absolute truth could apply to it. I feel the same with absolute right & wrong. Absolute or ultimate good & evil; that no such things exist. From a human perspective I think that the belief in absolutes, i.e. ultimately what I believe is an absolute truth, is the way of extremism, & the holding of these views lead to conflict.

    My previous reason is exactly why this must be logically wrong. Just working from example, the extremist Muslim who commits himself to suicide bombing and the hedonist who decides that life is all about pleasure represent two ends of a varied understanding of God. Allow me to offer that the hedonist may believe that pleasure is God, whereas the extremist believes suffering will lead him to heaven (God notwithstanding). Is this a coherent God?

    Where does hard logic come into Faith & Belief? How is a believer or his beliefs embodying the truth? They are not God. surely they are interpretations of something & not the thing in themselves. How can you give the perspectives of two different people the explanation that they are a coherent God? I don’t see the reasoning. They both could in fact be completely wrong. If someone sees the truth in all religion, underlying the external differences of the cultures in which they were formed, the difference of language etc. & views a universal meaning behind them, how is he any more wrong? Why is he not right? Can you prove he is wrong? On What are you basing this apart from individual beliefs? stating unquestionable truths, or stating one of them must be right, due to mutually exclusive absolute truths, does not make it so. If there is an independent spiritual reality & a God surely he is not Dependant on human form & meaning, but is beyond mere physical appearances.

    Interesting. What kind of healing has occurred? And was the purpose for physical healing exclusively?

    Healing on many levels, including physical, spiritual, mental, emotional & psychological. The healing works on many levels but the original healing was purposely directed to heal on a spiritual level, but also mental & emotional. It is incidental that the healing is effective on all levels. The healing has been & is highly effective. Deep healing has & is taking place, much as a direct result of Reiki & other healing practices.

    By the way you describe it, it sounds similar to the Illuminati.

    I do not know what your experience is of the Illuminati. There is much information. I do however have some previous experience from a long time ago of the occult. I have not practiced anything like this in a long time. What is your experience & knowledge of the Illuminati & of the healing art of Reiki? I have never come across any kind of connection. Perhaps you could point out the similarity, I don’t see one.

    M: There does however seem to be allot in the way of sound spirituality in certain practices which seem to be becoming more popular. The Order of Melchizedek I think is a universal priesthood which can be traced back to very ancient times.

    A: Biblically, to some extent, it can – as a plan. God planned for our redemption, whereby vindicating us as his priests (shepherds).

    I was in fact referring to ancient civilizations tens of thousands of years before the first mention in the Bible of Melchizedech. Make of it what you will. I think the civilizations of man go far further back than generally accepted

    The process to gaining absolute truth (a complete and coherent understanding of God in theory and practice) should evolve, but not necessarily change. To some extent, I can see my theory side being a process guided by an expanded consciousness. But on the other hand, I am in no way any more “conscious” than anyone else if I don’t put my money where my mouth is..

    Again I have no desire to gain absolute truth as I don’t hold to this idea & believe no such thing exists. To have as you say a ” complete & coherent understanding of God in theory & practice” I would say & surmise that you would have to literally be be God in order for this to be possible. My ideas & concepts change as my understandings change, what works for me at the time from an individual perspective I hold true for myself, what doesn’t I try to discard or evolve into something which works better. I don’t see it as a right or wrong way, simply my perspective & journey. Again God to me is- The unknowable (by the ego or mind) The unfathomable, He who is beyond all concept & intellectual understanding. How is it possible to name the nameless?
    Even on an empirical or wholly subjective evidential experiential manor, how can you arrive at a name for God that is Him, rather than something that just represents Him?
    Although you do mention theory side being a process which is guided by expanded consciousness, which is something I would also hold to. Inasmuch as a spiritual understanding, I think, is reached though growth due to certain experience, & through the catalyst of consciousness.

    Reply
  15. Hey sianimech,

    I’ve been MIA on the site for a little while after finals/the school semester ended. There’s really no excuse, but I’ve had a lot of different things on my mind aside from the site. I started a response somewhere in the last two weeks, but never got around to completing it. My apologies, again.

    Responses are interspersed below.

    In studying philosophy, I realized this was impossible. Why – the simple reason that absolute truths are mutually exclusive.
    But, I do not hold the belief in the idea of absolute truth. (It is only impossible if you subscribe to absolutes). I do not think that such a thing exists. If there were such a thing IMO I think it would be on such a spiritually high level as to not be in any way explainable or fathomable. That it would be beyond all logical thought or expression by language & beyond all duality. Something akin to a source. I don’t even think the term absolute truth could apply to it. I feel the same with absolute right & wrong. Absolute or ultimate good & evil; that no such things exist. From a human perspective I think that the belief in absolutes, i.e. ultimately what I believe is an absolute truth, is the way of extremism, & the holding of these views lead to conflict.

    You say that you don’t believe in absolute truth. Belief alone doesn’t preclude it from existence, though – it’s an absolute objectivity. This means it doesn’t need us to exist, it just does. Secondly, a belief that no absolute truths exist is also an absolute within itself. It’s a contradictory assertion: the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth.

    Belief in an absolute doesn’t necessarily have to lead to conflict. This is why Jesus and his own claim of being truth itself remains so polarizing today.

    My previous reason is exactly why this must be logically wrong. Just working from example, the extremist Muslim who commits himself to suicide bombing and the hedonist who decides that life is all about pleasure represent two ends of a varied understanding of God. Allow me to offer that the hedonist may believe that pleasure is God, whereas the extremist believes suffering will lead him to heaven (God notwithstanding). Is this a coherent God?
    Where does hard logic come into Faith & Belief? How is a believer or his beliefs embodying the truth? They are not God. surely they are interpretations of something & not the thing in themselves.

    This is a common misconception about faith. Hard logic comes into play for any belief, regardless of brainwashing or not (unless you have a different definition of “hard”). Humans who have been or are currently trapped in brainwashing cults do employ some sort of rational empiricism – that is, the rationale could go something like, (step 1) “this guy looks like he’s a decent man, so I’ll hear what he has to say.” (step 2) “What he says sounds good, so I’ll come back, so I’ll pay him some money” etc.

    Regarding your last sentence, this is somewhat contrary to what Genesis informs is the nature of man. Being created in God’s image means that man is a representation – however incomplete – of God. So, to that extent, you could say that man is an “interpretation” of God.

    S: How can you give the perspectives of two different people the explanation that they are a coherent God? I don’t see the reasoning.

    A: I was just asking you to evaluate whether that painted the picture of a coherent God.

    S: They both could in fact be completely wrong. If someone sees the truth in all religion, underlying the external differences of the cultures in which they were formed, the difference of language etc. & views a universal meaning behind them, how is he any more wrong? Why is he not right? Can you prove he is wrong? On What are you basing this apart from individual beliefs?

    I’m asking you to approach this in a philosophical – not existential – manner. My original question, “is this a coherent God?”, is my answer.

    stating unquestionable truths, or stating one of them must be right, due to mutually exclusive absolute truths, does not make it so. If there is an independent spiritual reality & a God surely he is not Dependant on human form & meaning, but is beyond mere physical appearances.

    Right. You need to evaluate the truth for yourself by employing both rationalism and empiricism (rational empiricism). Your latter sentence is the beginnings of a foundation that approaches this in a rational and systematic manner.

    A: Interesting. What kind of healing has occurred? And was the purpose for physical healing exclusively?
    S: Healing on many levels, including physical, spiritual, mental, emotional & psychological.
    A: And how would you characterize this?
    S: The healing works on many levels but the original healing was purposely directed to heal on a spiritual level, but also mental & emotional. It is incidental that the healing is effective on all levels. The healing has been & is highly effective. Deep healing has & is taking place, much as a direct result of Reiki & other healing practices.
    A: By the way you describe it, it sounds similar to the Illuminati.
    S: I do not know what your experience is of the Illuminati. There is much information. I do however have some previous experience from a long time ago of the occult. I have not practiced anything like this in a long time. What is your experience & knowledge of the Illuminati & of the healing art of Reiki? I have never come across any kind of connection. Perhaps you could point out the similarity, I don’t see one.

    You said:

    It has given many benefits. I primarily work with a core understanding of a personal creator. Also with spirit guides, angelic forces, higher selves & ascended masters. The teacher who has taught me this practice & continues to give guidance as part of his work with me initiated me into the Order of Melchizedech. (as a spiritual connection). I also work with Saint the Germain & the Angels of the violet flame energies..”

    While I myself don’t have any experience within the Illuminati itself, I have done some research on their origins, system, etc. This is probably the first time I’ve heard about Reiki.

    The Illuminati have a similar hierarchical arrangement (Order of Illuminati), interplay w/ angelic forces,

    S: There does however seem to be allot in the way of sound spirituality in certain practices which seem to be becoming more popular. The Order of Melchizedek I think is a universal priesthood which can be traced back to very ancient times.
    A: Biblically, to some extent, it can – as a plan. God planned for our redemption, whereby vindicating us as his priests (shepherds).
    S: I was in fact referring to ancient civilizations tens of thousands of years before the first mention in the Bible of Melchizedech. Make of it what you will. I think the civilizations of man go far further back than generally accepted

    So how “ancient” are you talking about here? There is extremely little known about ancient sociocultural practices prior to the written word or hieroglyphs.

    A: The process to gaining absolute truth (a complete and coherent understanding of God in theory and practice) should evolve, but not necessarily change. To some extent, I can see my theory side being a process guided by an expanded consciousness. But on the other hand, I am in no way any more “conscious” than anyone else if I don’t put my money where my mouth is..
    S: Again I have no desire to gain absolute truth as I don’t hold to this idea & believe no such thing exists.

    And again, I assert that the existence absolute truth is absolutely not dependent on relative beings (us).

    S: To have as you say a ” complete & coherent understanding of God in theory & practice” I would say & surmise that you would have to literally be be God in order for this to be possible.

    This is why I said “the process…” I don’t believe it is possible to be able to arrive at a New Agey type of complete understanding of God in theory/practice, but some significant headway can be made by applying some basic tests. This is where Christianity wins hands down.

    S: My ideas & concepts change as my understandings change, what works for me at the time from an individual perspective I hold true for myself, what doesn’t I try to discard or evolve into something which works better. I don’t see it as a right or wrong way, simply my perspective & journey. Again God to me is- The unknowable (by the ego or mind) The unfathomable, He who is beyond all concept & intellectual understanding.

    Sounds Taoist. Concepts/ideas/”what works” that change are part and parcel to an inabsolute morality – a morality of convenience a la John Locke, if you will. I hope you can see why I am at odds with such an arrangement.

    How is it possible to name the nameless?

    Once again, you’re making the assumption that this “being” is indeed nameless. The Bible asserts otherwise…

    Even on an empirical or wholly subjective evidential experiential manor, how can you arrive at a name for God that is Him, rather than something that just represents Him?

    Although you do mention theory side being a process which is guided by expanded consciousness, which is something I would also hold to. Inasmuch as a spiritual understanding, I think, is reached though growth due to certain experience, & through the catalyst of consciousness.

    The name of God is given a priori in the Bible.

    What do you mean by “certain experience”? The expanded consciousness I was thinking about was in reference mostly to the various facets of a post-secondary or general education – a la history, biology, physics, chemistry, psychology, etc. Your understanding of the theory side of things followed by your existential experience of the practice of them is one method by which you can come to understand God more.

    Reply
  16. You say that you don’t believe in absolute truth. Belief alone doesn’t preclude it from existence, though – it’s an absolute objectivity. This means it doesn’t need us to exist, it just does. Secondly, a belief that no absolute truths exist is also an absolute within itself. It’s a contradictory assertion: the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth.

    But the possibility remains that there are no absolute truths & if this is this case belief is inconsequential. I understand that if they exist (absolute truths) then they do not rely on ourselves. But where is the evidence of them? I knew you would reply with the second part about my contradictory assertion. I think we can understand that my meaning is I do not hold to the idea of absolute truths as objective realities.

    This is a common misconception about faith. Hard logic comes into play for any belief, regardless of brainwashing or not (unless you have a different definition of “hard”). Humans who have been or are currently trapped in brainwashing cults do employ some sort of rational empiricism – that is, the rationale could go something like, (step 1) “this guy looks like he’s a decent man, so I’ll hear what he has to say.” (step 2) “What he says sounds good, so I’ll come back, so I’ll pay him some money” etc.

    You slightly misunderstand what I was getting at. Perhaps a better wording would be “the evidence”, this is what I was getting at, logic based in fact. I can rationalize anything, the mental hospitals are full of people who have rationalized themselves in there!

    Regarding your last sentence, this is somewhat contrary to what Genesis informs is the nature of man. Being created in God’s image means that man is a representation – however incomplete – of God. So, to that extent, you could say that man is an “interpretation” of God.

    I follow not the reasoning of Genesis or the literal “truth” of the bible. To me, all of it, is loosely allegorical at best.

    I’m asking you to approach this in a philosophical – not existential – manner. My original question, “is this a coherent God?”, is my answer.

    Is it important that God or our conception/understanding of She/Him be coherent? I think not. It is entirely plausible & coherent that God incarnate as a cow or anything it chooses for that matter. I would lean to the understanding that God is within ALL things. Incidentally I don’t see the Christian understanding as being coherent. How was the flesh of God incarnate, was the flesh of the Christ different from other flesh? What set Him apart?

    The Illuminati have a similar hierarchical arrangement (Order of Illuminati), interplay w/ angelic forces,

    Interesting, although I wasn’t specifically referring to any set hierarchy. Much of the Angelic information I base practice on is taken from a Christian mystical tradition. So I suppose if we look hard enough we can find the links between Reiki, Christianity, paganism & the Illuminati. We could even go as far to say that the black arts contain elements of the aforementioned practices as well. We can find the links, influences & threads in anything if we look hard enough.
    My understand & experience is that there is not a connection or similarity between Reiki & the practices of the Illuminati. But perhaps there are some parallels, I have not explored at this depth.
    Please run a search on the history & practice of Reiki. I think you would find it most interesting, & for yourself more beneficial than the practices of the Illuminati.

    So how “ancient” are you talking about here? There is extremely little known about ancient sociocultural practices prior to the written word or hieroglyphs.

    Approximately 70 – 80,000 BC

    And again, I assert that the existence absolute truth is absolutely not dependent on relative beings (us).

    I am interested as to why you assert it’s existence & what evidence you can provide for it apart from faith?

    This is why I said “the process…” I don’t believe it is possible to be able to arrive at a New Agey type of complete understanding of God in theory/practice, but some significant headway can be made by applying some basic tests. This is where Christianity wins hands down.

    Without arguing for arguments sake, this is were I consider you to be wrong. I have been down this path. I have found that orthodox Christianity leads in fact away from a workable understanding & spiritual practice.

    Sounds Taoist. Concepts/ideas/”what works” that change are part and parcel to an in absolute morality – a morality of convenience a la John Locke, if you will. I hope you can see why I am at odds with such an arrangement.

    Taoism is “good” & of some interest. I would say more truthful rather than convenient. With respect I can see how your orthodox & dogmatic beliefs put you at odds with any arrangement that doesn’t conform to your own.

    Once again, you’re making the assumption that this “being” is indeed nameless. The Bible asserts otherwise…

    Which is why I disagree with the assertions of orthodox Christianity, & openly with good reason, assert that that the bible is false in this regard.

    The name of God is given a priori in the Bible.

    Is it so hard to know it’s assertion & interpretation is wrong?

    What do you mean by “certain experience”?

    Spiritual experience. Experience of the eternal “other”

    Reply
  17. You say that you don’t believe in absolute truth. Belief alone doesn’t preclude it from existence, though – it’s an absolute objectivity. This means it doesn’t need us to exist, it just does. Secondly, a belief that no absolute truths exist is also an absolute within itself. It’s a contradictory assertion: the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth.

    But the possibility remains that there are no absolute truths & if this is this case belief is inconsequential. I understand that if they exist (absolute truths) then they do not rely on ourselves. But where is the evidence of them? I knew you would reply with the second part about my contradictory assertion. I think we can understand that my meaning is I do not hold to the idea of absolute truths as objective realities.

    I believe you’re repeating yourself in the last few sentences.

    But you posit in your first sentence if there was the possibility of no absolute truths, belief would be inconsequential. This is the direction I was trying to get you to think in – belief has consequences, do they not? The Germans who fell under the rule of Hitler believed he was telling the truth about Jews, homosexuals, Pols, etc., so by and large failed to act upon a higher sense of morality. The belief was that the higher truth was contained in the words of Hitler.

    Where is the evidence of them? That’s a good question. In more modern times, it is believed that science (or what it is capable of) is the ultimate/absolute truth/the most objective knowledge one can attain (see here, or here). Similarly, absolute truth is a singular, not plural… that’s why it’s an absolute.

    But if you’re asking for a physical manifestation of an absolute truth you’re going to have to refer to religious claims. The theological argument behind the existence of an absolute truth can be inferred through each claim of absolute truth made from sectarian religionists. That is, each religion (apart from so-called “pantheistic religions” like way of dharma/hinduism in general) declares that it is the only way towards a reality that is unchanging and good (heaven).

    Incidentally, the only such claimant of being such an absolute truth was Jesus.

    This is a common misconception about faith. Hard logic comes into play for any belief, regardless of brainwashing or not (unless you have a different definition of “hard”). Humans who have been or are currently trapped in brainwashing cults do employ some sort of rational empiricism – that is, the rationale could go something like, (step 1) “this guy looks like he’s a decent man, so I’ll hear what he has to say.” (step 2) “What he says sounds good, so I’ll come back, so I’ll pay him some money” etc.

    You slightly misunderstand what I was getting at. Perhaps a better wording would be “the evidence”, this is what I was getting at, logic based in fact. I can rationalize anything, the mental hospitals are full of people who have rationalized themselves in there!

    So you support a more objective empirical rationalism. Okay, so how does that tie into your earlier point of…

    Where does hard logic come into Faith & Belief? How is a believer or his beliefs embodying the truth? They are not God. surely they are interpretations of something & not the thing in themselves.

    …? You haven’t given any further clarifications as to what you believe truth is.

    Regarding your last sentence, this is somewhat contrary to what Genesis informs is the nature of man. Being created in God’s image means that man is a representation – however incomplete – of God. So, to that extent, you could say that man is an “interpretation” of God.

    I follow not the reasoning of Genesis or the literal “truth” of the bible. To me, all of it, is loosely allegorical at best.

    I have my own qualms against it, but it doesn’t preclude the fact that there might indeed be truth to it, or that it fits into a very coherent and consistent picture of the rise, fall, and redemption of humanity.

    I’m asking you to approach this in a philosophical – not existential – manner. My original question, “is this a coherent God?”, is my answer.

    Is it important that God or our conception/understanding of She/Him be coherent? I think not. It is entirely plausible & coherent that God incarnate as a cow or anything it chooses for that matter. I would lean to the understanding that God is within ALL things. Incidentally I don’t see the Christian understanding as being coherent. How was the flesh of God incarnate, was the flesh of the Christ different from other flesh? What set Him apart?

    Okay, so you suggest that an incoherent God is as plausible as a coherent one. This is where I disagree, and assert that you are wrong (the original example):

    Just working from example, the extremist Muslim who commits himself to suicide bombing and the hedonist who decides that life is all about pleasure represent two ends of a varied understanding of God. Allow me to offer that the hedonist may believe that pleasure is God, whereas the extremist believes suffering will lead him to heaven (God nonwithstanding). Is this a coherent God?

    Clearly, the picture of an incoherent God (two people claiming two different things) is not plausible. They are contradictory. So either someone else comes in and says “they’re both right, both serve a purpose and both are going to [heaven]”, or one is right, or both are wrong. But in all three cases, you would have a rather hard argument on your hands and would most likely come out to be incoherent in the end (which is to say that your “truth” will not communicate).

    The Illuminati have a similar hierarchical arrangement (Order of Illuminati), interplay w/ angelic forces,

    Interesting, although I wasn’t specifically referring to any set hierarchy. Much of the Angelic information I base practice on is taken from a Christian mystical tradition. So I suppose if we look hard enough we can find the links between Reiki, Christianity, paganism & the Illuminati. We could even go as far to say that the black arts contain elements of the aforementioned practices as well. We can find the links, influences & threads in anything if we look hard enough.
    My understand & experience is that there is not a connection or similarity between Reiki & the practices of the Illuminati. But perhaps there are some parallels, I have not explored at this depth.
    Please run a search on the history & practice of Reiki. I think you would find it most interesting, & for yourself more beneficial than the practices of the Illuminati.

    I’ll be doing some research into it I suppose. But as far as it offering half of the information or supporting “evidence” that you’ve given me goes, I doubt that I’d find the same amount of intellectual satisfaction as Christianity has already provided me.

    So how “ancient” are you talking about here? There is extremely little known about ancient sociocultural practices prior to the written word or hieroglyphs.

    Approximately 70 – 80,000 BC

    And who’s archeology/research does that work from? Sounds Joseph Smith-ian.

    And again, I assert that the existence absolute truth is absolutely not dependent on relative beings (us).

    I am interested as to why you assert it’s existence & what evidence you can provide for it apart from faith?

    “Hard logic”, as the saying would go. The basic proof I go by is that (1) an absolute truth is an absolute objectivity (God). (2) By definition, an absolute objectivity is outside the realm of our existence; (3) therefore, whether or not we believe or not believe it exists is not dependent on its own existence.

    In the case of Christianity, Jesus came down to earth as the human manifestation of that absolute objectivity, hence “I am the way, the truth, and the life”.

    This is why I said “the process…” I don’t believe it is possible to be able to arrive at a New Agey type of complete understanding of God in theory/practice, but some significant headway can be made by applying some basic tests. This is where Christianity wins hands down.

    Without arguing for arguments sake, this is were I consider you to be wrong. I have been down this path. I have found that orthodox Christianity leads in fact away from a workable understanding & spiritual practice.

    How long were you “down [the] path”? And how/in what ways did you find that “orthodox Christianity leads in fact away from a workable understanding & spiritual practice”? This kind of stuff is why we’re on this thread, isn’t it?

    Sounds Taoist. Concepts/ideas/”what works” that change are part and parcel to an in absolute morality – a morality of convenience a la John Locke, if you will. I hope you can see why I am at odds with such an arrangement.

    Taoism is “good” & of some interest. I would say more truthful rather than convenient. With respect I can see how your orthodox & dogmatic beliefs put you at odds with any arrangement that doesn’t conform to your own.

    “With respect I can see how your orthodox & dogmatic beliefs put you at odds with any arrangement that doesn’t conform to your own.” Substantiate this claim. This is rather insulting.

    I can see you agreeing with Taoism and labelling it as “‘good'” insofar as it agrees with your own morality of convenience; however, this will probably fail to translate with a lot of people down the road I see us (civilization) going down, again.

    Once again, you’re making the assumption that this “being” is indeed nameless. The Bible asserts otherwise…

    Which is why I disagree with the assertions of orthodox Christianity, & openly with good reason, assert that that the bible is false in this regard.

    Don’t confuse me, though. I’m not saying I know the name of this being, it just says that it at some point was known by [his] own revealing. And as far as I’ve studied the Bible for incoherencies, I don’t see a reason why such a claim would be false.

    The name of God is given a priori in the Bible.

    Is it so hard to know it’s assertion & interpretation is wrong?

    Eh?

    Substantiate this claim. You do realize anything less than a 500-word response would be intellectual travesty?

    What do you mean by “certain experience”?

    Spiritual experience. Experience of the eternal “other”

    How do you know you weren’t fooled?

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  18. You are forgetting that I have a very good & thorough understanding of the Christian mindset & I’m well aware of the belief that you hold. I have good reason through personnel experience to choose to think differently about God & as to what this could be.The Christian understanding simply does not fit into my working practice of a workable spirituality. As to what I hold to be the truth, if you had read all of posts in the original thread you would have a bit more of an understanding. That there is a source to all life, that we each have individual higher selves God like in power. I could expand upon this, but for one I don’t think your at all interested as you think my system of practice & belief is somehow inferior to your own.

    I believe you’re repeating yourself in the last few sentences.

    I don’t think you understand the point of which I’m making. I personally hold that absolute truth is impossible, based on the fact (IMO) that on some far higher level there are many God like beings that exhibit God like powers, higher aspects of ourselves if you will. “as above, so below” There are not absolute truths within the society’s of the earth, in higher realms reality is based as much, if not more, on personel perspective & experience.

    But you posit in your first sentence if there was the possibility of no absolute truths, belief would be inconsequential. This is the direction I was trying to get you to think in – belief has consequences, do they not? The Germans who fell under the rule of Hitler believed he was telling the truth about Jews, homosexuals, Pols, etc., so by and large failed to act upon a higher sense of morality. The belief was that the higher truth was contained in the words of Hitler.

    Inasmuch that we create to a degree our own realities, in this world & in the next. An aspect of reality is malleable, Beliefs & understandings can actually alter the nature of a thing in itself. It is not the external nature of something which is important, but rather the mechanisms of the understanding & belief.

    Where is the evidence of them? That’s a good question. In more modern times, it is believed that science (or what it is capable of) is the ultimate/absolute truth/the most objective knowledge one can attain (see here, or here). Similarly, absolute truth is a singular, not plural… that’s why it’s an absolute.

    It is also a question which cannot be answered in a rational sense. I disagree with this scientific solution. The fact is that if science does at some time arrive at a complete understanding of the nature of the universe &/or reality, it will most likely use more than one, or numerous systems &/or equations to describe it.

    But if you’re asking for a physical manifestation of an absolute truth you’re going to have to refer to religious claims. The theological argument behind the existence of an absolute truth can be inferred through each claim of absolute truth made from sectarian religionists. That is, each religion (apart from so-called “pantheistic religions” like way of dharma/Hinduism in general) declares that it is the only way towards a reality that is unchanging and good (heaven).

    Yes I have explored many different religious claims & found them all to be seriously lacking. It is also why I see the pantheistic religions as having a closer take on the truth.

    I have my own qualms against it, but it doesn’t preclude the fact that there might indeed be truth to it, or that it fits into a very coherent and consistent picture of the rise, fall, and redemption of humanity.

    Does it really? I fail to see any deep insight on any level. It is nonsense from a rational or scientific point of view & I fail to see it’s spiritual truths. It is hardly unique in it’s description of a fall of man. Perhaps you can enlighten we as to it’s wisdom which I’m missing?

    Okay, so you suggest that an incoherent God is as plausible as a coherent one. This is where I disagree, and assert that you are wrong

    This is another point on where we differ. It worries me not. If I were to be the only one who held my own specific belief on spiritual matters, it would not detract from the genuine nature of my own sincere search for truth. I don’t think that this is about right & wrong. At the time that I followed Christianity it was right for me to do so at this particular point on my journey. It is maybe right for you at this time that you follow it as well. If we are talking about what the truth of God may be then I also assert that your understanding, although being right for yourself, is not the nature of the reality.

    I’ll be doing some research into it I suppose. But as far as it offering half of the information or supporting “evidence” that you’ve given me goes, I doubt that I’d find the same amount of intellectual satisfaction as Christianity has already provided me.

    I’m glad that you have found intellectual satisfaction within Christianity, I on the other hand could not. My present practices give me an incredible wealth of experience & ongoing journey of discovery. Something for myself that Christianity could never do, as I’ve stated that I eventually came to a dead end with my Christian journey. Concerning Reiki, I’ve given you virtually no information of what it is about, I would withhold judgment before you have explored something that you know nothing about.

    Clearly, the picture of an incoherent God (two people claiming two different things) is not plausible. They are contradictory. So either someone else comes in and says “they’re both right, both serve a purpose and both are going to [heaven]”, or one is right, or both are wrong. But in all three cases, you would have a rather hard argument on your hands and would most likely come out to be incoherent in the end (which is to say that your “truth” will not communicate).

    Well this is not true. Your confused because you trying to look at it from a Christian mindset & apply a Christian understanding to it. You are assuming that “heaven” is an external reality, a real place. Your argument is stemming from an understanding on one God a fixed nature of earthly & spiritual reality. As you know I don’t hold that this is the case.

    How long were you “down [the] path”? And how/in what ways did you find that “orthodox Christianity leads in fact away from a workable understanding & spiritual practice”? This kind of stuff is why we’re on this thread, isn’t it?

    About 20 years, maybe longer. The way of much religion is based on an outside force telling you what to believe. Most people are raised in the religion they subsequently practice. Much of organized religion is based around fear & control, & not a search for truth. I sought & desired to find my own truth, regardless of where this would lead. orthodox Christianity simply could not, cut the mustard, so to speak & I found it contains glaring inconsistencies & contradictions. Many of the organized practices of Christianity I think lead away from the search to the truth within & your own understanding & relationship with a God of your own understanding, whatever that may be. If Christianity held up under it’s own truth we would see mass conversions, we don’t. If you had been raised a Buddhist monk & then converted to your Christian mindset upon first hearing the “good news” then I’d take note. With which religion & religious culture were you raised?

    “With respect I can see how your orthodox & dogmatic beliefs put you at odds with any arrangement that doesn’t conform to your own.” Substantiate this claim. This is rather insulting.

    This was not meant as an insult. Christianity’s practice & teaches that all other religions & spiritual practices & beliefs are wrong. You speak with me with contempt for anything other than your own core Christian belief. Across the board Christians do the same, to a greater or lesser degree. In the extreme & it is a widespread practice & belief with Christians, anyone not compliant with it’s core belief is off to burn. When you explore other understandings & beliefs do you look upon them without judgment or bias, entirely from the perspective of their own merit with an open mind? You certainly haven’t had this attitude toward Reiki. Firstly you compared it closely with the Illuminati, & then flatly told me that it couldn’t satisfy your intellect. And you know nothing about it!

    I can see you agreeing with Taoism and labeling it as “‘good’” insofar as it agrees with your own morality of convenience; however, this will probably fail to translate with a lot of people down the road I see us (civilization) going down, again.

    Taoism is balanced & highly evolved system. I can assure you my morality is not one of convenience. The spoon fed morality of the fundamentalist is morally convenient. It’s a sad fact that the road civilization is presently going down is not one of wisdom. I could be wrong, but I think very soon civilization isn’t going to be here much longer in the form that we know it. Very few people are motivated into a deep search for the truth.

    Don’t confuse me, though. I’m not saying I know the name of this being, it just says that it at some point was known by [his] own revealing. And as far as I’ve studied the Bible for incoherencies, I don’t see a reason why such a claim would be false.

    I can think of many reasons why this could be false. The power struggles of the time is one. There are countless names for God. All of them are representations. God is an invisible, unknowable, formless, nameless, & eternal mystery.

    Eh?

    Exactly. This may seem completely alien to you, but it is my understanding & I believe, know even, that this is true. The onus is in fact on you to prove your right.

    How do you know you weren’t fooled?

    A good question. How do you know everything you believe isn’t false, & you’ve been fooled & taken in by the most widely accepted conspiracy in history? The results of my understanding & practices convince me I’m going in the right direction for myself.

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  19. sianimech: as a interested reader of this thread i have to say that half of what you post is either nonsensical, wishy washy, or plain ignorant. virtually all of your comments and arguments stem from a lack of theological understanding. i know you say that you followed the christian path for a period of time, but i can say from experience that the depth of theology is more than one would normally imagine. i hate to make judgments, but from what i have read of your posts, it seems like your understanding of christianity never really matured, and was probably clouded with a lot of incomplete or wrong ideas. i really wish i knew how albert continues to have the patience and time to keep on trying to make this a fruitful discussion. kudos to him.

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  20. I take it your Christian “good infection”. Just because I don’t confirm to the Christian sheep mentality that you subscribe, you think it clever to dis my beliefs with no understanding of what I’m talking about. You can’t even make a measured response to what I’m saying! or the elements I have brought to the table. I’m sure you would love to think that I had an immature understanding of Christianity. The fact is that I did not. At the time my belief & understanding within Christianity was I would think deeper & more substantial than the majority of Christians. It was/is certainly more substantial than the majority of Christians I come across. If you have nothing to bring into the discussion then please spare us your pathetic dig at someone who choose to exercise some kind of independence & individuality in spiritual matters. Incidentally, you say that you hate to make judgments! Christians love judging people, its a Christians favorite pastime, your whole post is your own personnel judgment on me. Grow up!

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  21. Incidentally I wonder how I’m able to carry on discussing such things when there is so much obvious contempt. It concerns me not one bit what ludicrous nonsense other people choose to believe.

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  22. easy there. i wasn’t dissing your beliefs. i was dissing you.

    you, on the other hand, don’t seem to have any problem with derogatory comments towards the beliefs of others.

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  23. How very strange good infection. You wrote –

    “i have to say that half of what you post is either nonsensical, wishy washy, or plain ignorant. virtually all of your comments and arguments stem from a lack of theological understanding.”

    The reason, as far as I can make out that you have written this is because you disagree with my ideas &/or you don’t understand them. You seem incapable of rationally forming an argument to refute them & so you decided to insult me. As you can see from what you have written you are referring to my arguments, not me. But have decided to say your original post is a slur on me, knowing next to nothing about me, except some vague references to certain ideas I hold. As for your accusation about me making derogatory comments towards the beliefs of others. As far as this goes is my opinion that Christianity is wrong & I believe it to be false in many respects & misinterpreted, which is simply being honest on my part. Albert incidentally thinks the same, if not far worse of my beliefs, as you quite obviously do yourself! In fact your statement about me making derogatory comments is hypocritical.

    Now you say that my statements stem from a lack of theological understanding. I have not professed to be an expert in theology. But which theology are you talking about? A Christian theology I presume. Wouldn’t it be obvious that seeing as I refute the main tenets of Christianity, I’m not in agreement to it’s theology & I would not be discussing my ideas & understandings in a framework of Christian Theology. If we choose to take this thread in the direction of exploring Christian Theology, I can assure you I would be able to input the discussion. So tell me good infection, what are your theological qualifications which make you intellectually superior to me in this area. Have you studied all the major religions? Have you studied the bible? & I don’t mean just read cover to cover. Have you questioned, compare & analyzed the main tenets of all the major religions? & explored their Gnostic & mystical traditions as well as the beliefs of indigenous peoples & less mainstream religions such as wicca & voodoo?

    If you wish to start insulting me & making derogatory comments about me or what I hold as true, then I can assure you, I will be far more insulting to you, & nothing you say will have little impact on me, if none at all. If you wish to enter this discussion however with some degree of maturity, instead of your pathetic comments & tell us what your position is, then please do & either put up or shut up!

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  24. Sianimech,

    I’m sorry about GI’s behavior. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m ignoring you or your posts, but there have been problems accessing a computer while away from Chicago. I hope to be responding to your post soon.

    There was a good point in GI’s initial post that I will be addressing in my response.

    @ GI

    Although I think you do make some relevant points, I think at the same time you should consider doing it on sianimech’s site. Do your best to avoid ad hominems, it is the furthest thing from being able to effectively communicate truth (sianimech, please refrain from responding to this portion of the response for now).

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  25. Once again, Sianimech, my apologies for another rather late response. Also allow me to apologize if the last few of these posts seemed to have taken a malicious tone – I assure you that such is never my intention… but of course, that’s not always the way in which it comes out.

    Neverthless, you last said “there is plenty I could expand on, but no, just chatting, what I wrote was adequate, I’m interested in your response.” I’ve read and re-read this post of yours, and “interested” doesn’t exactly seem like it would adequately convey the responses I’ve been getting from you. Simply put, I’m reading into some pretty strong signs of defensiveness, maliciousness, and/or dismissiveness. I’ve tried to address your points on their merits, but answering to such redundancies as “I disagree” or “I have no desire to gain absolute truth…” without offering any real rationale or basis in “fact” is getting tired, and shows a level of dogmaticism that should not be present in someone who has a genuine interest in what others have to say.

    As I mentioned before, here is the point from GI’s earlier post I wanted address:

    it seems like your understanding of christianity never really matured, and was probably clouded with a lot of incomplete or wrong ideas

    You never really elaborated on why it was you left the CoE, and have given rather cookie-cutter atheists’ answers as to why you believe the Bible is misinterpreted or contradictory. I asked you in this post to qualify your opinions, for example, and got this response:

    Even the word God is a misused word, & to many full of negative connotation. God can be the “God” within or the ultimate Reality. The force of life within all things that give everything their substance. That which gave rise to form/ or the spirit is not necessarily with form or name.

    While I partially agreed in the next response, this has been an all-too-consistent occurrence – that is, few or no references to any theologians/past doctrines, few or no scriptural references, sparse or no offering of an adequate analytical rationale, all which might lay a more concrete foundation from which more discussion – and progress (read: measurable understanding) – can occur.

    Now for your response:

    You are forgetting that I have a very good & thorough understanding of the Christian mindset & I’m well aware of the belief that you hold.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with this mannerism of yours. I’ve been making points regarding the intellectual accuracy of your comments, and your response is an attempt to represent yourself as “understanding” my beliefs in the context of mainstream Christianity? The majority of this site, even through a brief perusal, is dedicated to topics that most churches wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

    I have good reason through personnel experience to choose to think differently about God & as to what this could be.

    As do I. But I’ve chosen to stick with it in light of what I have read, learned, experienced, and thought (read: rationalized) about.

    The Christian understanding simply does not fit into my working practice of a workable spirituality. As to what I hold to be the truth, if you had read all of posts in the original thread you would have a bit more of an understanding. That there is a source to all life, that we each have individual higher selves God like in power. I could expand upon this, but for one I don’t think your at all interested as you think my system of practice & belief is somehow inferior to your own.

    First, to address this last sentence: I don’t hold your system of practice and belief as being “inferior”, I hold some of them to be wrong. For example, insofar as Reiki espouses a system of social hierarchy similar to the Illuminati, which confers “degrees” and “levels” to people as a basis for power & its distribution, so does it also speak of an underlying social disparity and creation of an “old boy’s club” clique that is contrary to what Jesus and OT law stood for.

    As for your point that we are/can be God, this is a fundamental disagreement. I say we cannot, nor never be, God. As described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:7, the power of God comes from God and not from ourselves; we are simply vessels. To say otherwise is to espouse the Nietzchean principle of the ubermensch, which holds that man will eventually evolve to become God. This is not only a contradiction to Biblical authority, but an affront to God, similar to the rationale that Lucifer used to get himself thrown out of heaven.

    So to address your point about being interested: yes, I’m interested, but if you continue to assert it as an absolute truth, you should come prepared to be able to defend it from the same types of critical analysis that Christianity has endured.

    I believe you’re repeating yourself in the last few sentences.

    I don’t think you understand the point of which I’m making. I personally hold that absolute truth is impossible, based on the fact (IMO) that on some far higher level there are many God like beings that exhibit God like powers, higher aspects of ourselves if you will. “as above, so below” There are not absolute truths within the society’s of the earth, in higher realms reality is based as much, if not more, on personel perspective & experience.

    This sounds almost Greek: are you trying to say that the existence of multiple god’s are what account for the nonexistence of absolute truth? Per your reference “as above, so below”, am I also to infer that there is no difference between heaven and earth in your theology?

    As far as understanding your earlier points, this is not what you were saying. Once again:

    But the possibility remains that there are no absolute truths & if this is this case belief is inconsequential. I understand that if they exist (absolute truths) then they do not rely on ourselves. But where is the evidence of them? I knew you would reply with the second part about my contradictory assertion. I think we can understand that my meaning is I do not hold to the idea of absolute truths as objective realities. (emphasis mine)

    That which is in italics is essentially redundant or posturing.

    But you posit in your first sentence if there was the possibility of no absolute truths, belief would be inconsequential. This is the direction I was trying to get you to think in – belief has consequences, do they not? The Germans who fell under the rule of Hitler believed he was telling the truth about Jews, homosexuals, Pols, etc., so by and large failed to act upon a higher sense of morality. The belief was that the higher truth was contained in the words of Hitler.

    Inasmuch that we create to a degree our own realities, in this world & in the next. An aspect of reality is malleable, Beliefs & understandings can actually alter the nature of a thing in itself. It is not the external nature of something which is important, but rather the mechanisms of the understanding & belief.

    Okay, you’ve just re-ambiguated something I just clearly defined through example. What is “reality”, “external nature”, “nature”, and “the mechanisms of the understanding”?

    Where is the evidence of them? That’s a good question. In more modern times, it is believed that science (or what it is capable of) is the ultimate/absolute truth/the most objective knowledge one can attain (see here, or here). Similarly, absolute truth is a singular, not plural… that’s why it’s an absolute.

    It is also a question which cannot be answered in a rational sense. I disagree with this scientific solution. The fact is that if science does at some time arrive at a complete understanding of the nature of the universe &/or reality, it will most likely use more than one, or numerous systems &/or equations to describe it.

    You’re saying that a series of complex but interrelated equations (a la physics and chemistry) is irrational?

    But if you’re asking for a physical manifestation of an absolute truth you’re going to have to refer to religious claims. The theological argument behind the existence of an absolute truth can be inferred through each claim of absolute truth made from sectarian religionists. That is, each religion (apart from so-called “pantheistic religions” like way of dharma/Hinduism in general) declares that it is the only way towards a reality that is unchanging and good (heaven).

    Yes I have explored many different religious claims & found them all to be seriously lacking. It is also why I see the pantheistic religions as having a closer take on the truth.

    Okay, so then I fail to see how the solution of science fails to embody such a solution: a series of complex equations within different frameworks bears a resemblance to a kind of pantheism/panentheism mixture – insofar as it is pantheism without diety. As far as your “closer take on the truth” claim goes, you again need to substantiate this.

    Simply put, failure to substantiate claims coherently is the basis of irrational thinking.

    I have my own qualms against it, but it doesn’t preclude the fact that there might indeed be truth to it, or that it fits into a very coherent and consistent picture of the rise, fall, and redemption of humanity.

    Does it really? I fail to see any deep insight on any level. It is nonsense from a rational or scientific point of view & I fail to see it’s spiritual truths. It is hardly unique in it’s description of a fall of man. Perhaps you can enlighten we as to it’s wisdom which I’m missing?

    I think you mean “…point of view or I fail to see its spiritual truths.”

    Before I launch into an explanation: are being facetious?

    Okay, so you suggest that an incoherent God is as plausible as a coherent one. This is where I disagree, and assert that you are wrong

    This is another point on where we differ. It worries me not. If I were to be the only one who held my own specific belief on spiritual matters, it would not detract from the genuine nature of my own sincere search for truth. I don’t think that this is about right & wrong. At the time that I followed Christianity it was right for me to do so at this particular point on my journey. It is maybe right for you at this time that you follow it as well. If we are talking about what the truth of God may be then I also assert that your understanding, although being right for yourself, is not the nature of the reality.

    This is just a really long-winded way of saying “you’re wrong. I don’t care about how I might be wrong.”

    I’ll be doing some research into it I suppose. But as far as it offering half of the information or supporting “evidence” that you’ve given me goes, I doubt that I’d find the same amount of intellectual satisfaction as Christianity has already provided me.

    I’m glad that you have found intellectual satisfaction within Christianity, I on the other hand could not.

    Then it seems like we have disparate ideas of what comprises intellectualism.

    My present practices give me an incredible wealth of experience & ongoing journey of discovery.

    Although I’m not entirely sure what you mean by wealth of experience, I’m glad that this is the case for you.

    Something for myself that Christianity could never do, as I’ve stated that I eventually came to a dead end with my Christian journey.

    Again, I’m sorry it turned out for you this way.

    Concerning Reiki, I’ve given you virtually no information of what it is about, I would withhold judgment before you have explored something that you know nothing about.

    I’ve made comparisons, not judgements, based on the information you’ve given me.

    Clearly, the picture of an incoherent God (two people claiming two different things) is not plausible. They are contradictory. So either someone else comes in and says “they’re both right, both serve a purpose and both are going to [heaven]”, or one is right, or both are wrong. But in all three cases, you would have a rather hard argument on your hands and would most likely come out to be incoherent in the end (which is to say that your “truth” will not communicate).

    Well this is not true. Your confused because you trying to look at it from a Christian mindset & apply a Christian understanding to it. You are assuming that “heaven” is an external reality, a real place. Your argument is stemming from an understanding on one God a fixed nature of earthly & spiritual reality. As you know I don’t hold that this is the case.

    Heaven is defined as the place where God resides, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an “external reality”.

    How long were you “down [the] path”? And how/in what ways did you find that “orthodox Christianity leads in fact away from a workable understanding & spiritual practice”? This kind of stuff is why we’re on this thread, isn’t it?

    About 20 years, maybe longer.

    “Maybe longer”? What’s that supposed to mean?

    The way of much religion is based on an outside force telling you what to believe. Most people are raised in the religion they subsequently practice. Much of organized religion is based around fear & control, & not a search for truth.

    You’re suggesting an inductive method of reasoning and understanding life vs. a deductive way. I can agree with this, but think that both parts are necessary, because man is not the measure of all things. As for “fear and control,” I think you’re confusing “much of religion” with some of its practitioner particulars.

    I sought & desired to find my own truth, regardless of where this would lead.

    This is fine to the degree that your “boat” doesn’t bump into any other boats in the “sea of life”. But realize two things: in seeking such a thing, you have the responsibility to create a coherent and consistent orthodoxy and orthopraxis (right practice), all grounded in hard logic, evidence and/or historical example. You do this in order to create a map that you can follow so that you know you’re not misleading yourself.

    orthodox Christianity simply could not, cut the mustard, so to speak & I found it contains glaring inconsistencies & contradictions.

    Such as those supposedly addressed at junaman’s “For Christians” page?

    Many of the organized practices of Christianity I think lead away from the search to the truth within & your own understanding & relationship with a God of your own understanding, whatever that may be.

    Firstly: organization is not always necessarily a distraction from the pursuit of truth. If you’re referring to dogmatic practices and beliefs within the church, yes I see that as a problem as well. Jesus addressed this when he spoke about the yeast of the Pharisees. The contrast is that the Christian/true follower must be lead by the Spirit in what he/she does in life; Paul merely encouraged organization so that people both inside and out of the church might have a better understanding of what’s going on (because it had been pretty chaotic).

    If Christianity held up under it’s own truth we would see mass conversions, we don’t.

    You should read some of the GFA posts I’ve put up, or even head over to the GFA website to see the latest news.

    If you had been raised a Buddhist monk & then converted to your Christian mindset upon first hearing the “good news” then I’d take note. With which religion & religious culture were you raised?

    I realize this is another one of your rhetorical questions. First read this testimony from an ex-Buddhist. I was raised in quasi-Christian Confucianism.

    “With respect I can see how your orthodox & dogmatic beliefs put you at odds with any arrangement that doesn’t conform to your own.” Substantiate this claim. This is rather insulting.

    This was not meant as an insult. Christianity’s practice & teaches that all other religions & spiritual practices & beliefs are wrong.

    No. Jesus makes a claim to absolute truth, yes, but that doesn’t mean that all practices would necessarily be negated. I’m happy to cook meat-free meals for the vegetarian friend when it is necessary. Similarly, not all beliefs are negated, either: vegetarianism doesn’t become wrong, per se. If it hinders your worship of God, it does become wrong, because that is sin.

    You speak with me with contempt for anything other than your own core Christian belief.

    I’m criticizing your unsubstantiated claims. I try my best not to make personal insults, but it can be occasionally hard depending on who you’re speaking to.

    Across the board Christians do the same, to a greater or lesser degree. In the extreme & it is a widespread practice & belief with Christians, anyone not compliant with it’s core belief is off to burn.

    As for this latter sentence I have to agree.

    When you explore other understandings & beliefs do you look upon them without judgment or bias, entirely from the perspective of their own merit with an open mind

    It is impossible to look at something without judgment or bias if you’re trying to evaluate it “on its own merit.” Merit implies an adherence to standards, which by definition must lie outside of that system. Also read the next interspersed response:

    You certainly haven’t had this attitude toward Reiki. Firstly you compared it closely with the Illuminati, & then flatly told me that it couldn’t satisfy your intellect. And you know nothing about it!

    It was hardly a close comparison. I don’t assume it to be absolutely true, no, simply because I’m using Jesus and the Bible as my standard. Dismantle that on merit first and then you have a chance of presenting Reiki as its own standard.

    Secondly, re-read what I wrote: I didn’t “flatly” tell you it couldn’t satisfy my intellect.

    I can see you agreeing with Taoism and labeling it as “‘good’” insofar as it agrees with your own morality of convenience; however, this will probably fail to translate with a lot of people down the road I see us (civilization) going down, again.

    Taoism is balanced & highly evolved system.

    I don’t presuppose “balance” is inherently good, and assert that there is a wealth of historical evidence that testifies to a contrary reality.

    I can assure you my morality is not one of convenience.

    Okay, then your original response was purposely misleading and ambiguous:

    Taoism is “good” & of some interest. I would say more truthful rather than convenient. With respect I can see how your orthodox & dogmatic beliefs put you at odds with any arrangement that doesn’t conform to your own.

    Next:

    The spoon fed morality of the fundamentalist is morally convenient.

    I can agree with this to a degree. The 50-year old WASP grandfather living in the outskirts of Miami doesn’t have to worry about having an abortion…

    But I don’t conform (as for any other follower of Jesus) to this general idea. Dying on the cross was not a moral convenience.

    It’s a sad fact that the road civilization is presently going down is not one of wisdom. I could be wrong, but I think very soon civilization isn’t going to be here much longer in the form that we know it. Very few people are motivated into a deep search for the truth.

    I agree, but it could stand to be less ambiguous. Try reading some of the Peak Oil or global warming tags on the right column.

    Don’t confuse me, though. I’m not saying I know the name of this being, it just says that it at some point was known by [his] own revealing. And as far as I’ve studied the Bible for incoherencies, I don’t see a reason why such a claim would be false.

    I can think of many reasons why this could be false. The power struggles of the time is one.

    Power struggles such as?

    There are countless names for God. All of them are representations.

    Agreed

    God is an invisible, unknowable, formless, nameless, & eternal mystery.

    Again, an assumption. God in many religions has chosen to reveal himself in different forms, names, etc.

    Eh?

    Exactly. This may seem completely alien to you, but it is my understanding & I believe, know even, that this is true. The onus is in fact on you to prove your right.

    This is a classic example of reactionism: one word or phrase serves as a sort of provocation to you, and you choose to ignore the rest of the response. How is it that you presume to match the level of knowledge presented here when you’re provided very little substantively in terms of Reiki? I’ll be glad to answer to some of your criticisms of Christianity as I did when we began this thread, and will admit to when there are similarities in the practices and understandings of other religions to Christianity as well, but to assert your own absolute truth is, once again, to subject yourself to the same criticism that others have applied for the “debunking” of the same.

    That last line of yours is all too indicative of a common thread of atheists’ dogmatic polemicizing.

    How do you know you weren’t fooled?

    A good question. How do you know everything you believe isn’t false, & you’ve been fooled & taken in by the most widely accepted conspiracy in history? The results of my understanding & practices convince me I’m going in the right direction for myself.

    Once again, was it your intention to get into these kinds of polemics in the first place? The apology is certainly giving the appearance of being increasingly disingenuous.

    But to answer the provocation: empirical and independent evidence, rationalism, prophecy, consistency, coherency, degree of relevance, universality. I’m sure there are others, but I think this serves as a good starting point for that [tangential] discussion for the time being.

    Reply
  26. You never really elaborated on why it was you left the CoE, and have given rather cookie-cutter atheists’ answers as to why you believe the Bible is misinterpreted or contradictory. I asked you in this post to qualify your opinions,…..

    I have given you plenty of good reason for why I no longer hold the main Christian tenets as truth. I do not wish to elaborate. Simply that as a spiritual & belief system, Christianity failed to produce solutions to some very difficult life situations. Maybe it works for some people who are in dire situations, but it didn’t for me. I can assure you that this was not due to any lack of understanding or religious zeal. As a measure from where I have come from & the severe difficulties I have overcome, the results were not found with a Christian faith. In fact it was my experience that eventually Orthodox Christian doctrine was stunting & holding back my growth. I can understand why you would wish me to elaborate on my change of belief, but it is all too personnel for a public forum. I could write a short life story & give you a private E-mail address if you were so interested. I do however think that making you aware of certain experiences I’ve have had would wrongly color your perceptions of me, added to which I am not looking for Christian advice for my “problems”. The journey to the life I now lead & the resulting practices I now hold give me a deep sense of gratitude & satisfaction. It may seem odd to you, but I was somewhat lost when I followed Christianity, when my spirituality & ideas of this nature changed, was when I began to find relief & understanding. I found Christianity to be fear based, not love based, as is supposed

    MEI have good reason through personnel experience to choose to think differently about God & as to what this could be.

    AlbertAs do I. But I’e chosen to stick with it in light of what I have read, learned, experienced, and thought (read: rationalized) about.

    You insinuate that I have not based my understandings on the same thing! Much of what you have replied to me here is based on your thinking & believing that I’m wrong. When I speak in which the manner I do, it is because for the main part I think & believe, with confidence, that virtually all of Christianity is wrong. It may seem like I’m arguing simply for the sake of it, but why would I agree with something I don’t agree with. You also put your views about the wrongness of my beliefs in the strongest terms also.

    First, to address this last sentence: I don’t hold your system of practice and belief as being “inferior”, I hold some of them to be wrong. For example, insofar as Reiki espouses a system of social hierarchy similar to the Illuminati, which confers “degrees” and “levels” to people as a basis for power & its distribution, so does it also speak of an underlying social disparity and creation of an “old boy’s club” clique that is contrary to what Jesus and OT law stood for.

    Reiki is one aspect & practice from the way of life I now lead. The practice of Reiki is a part of things, but not the sum of my concept & belief system. As for what you have said here about Reiki, your idea & understanding of it is wrong. Reiki is a very open practice & can be taught to anyone who so desires, upon finding a teacher (which is not difficult). Reiki is not a secret society, nor does it have a hierarchy in the sense you are referring. A teacher (if they are a good one) is simply there to guide a student with their own experience, a Reiki master is not above the student. The “degrees” you refer are simply the stages of training & in no way relate to some kind of power structure. Your last comments about an “old boys club” are laughable, to say the least. I have no idea where your information is coming about Reiki, most likely it’s second hand, from another Christian. I think you know very little about the true nature of the Illuminati & even less about Reiki, if you were Knowledgeable about these things, you wouldn’t make such comparisons. An interesting point is the actual link between the Illuminati, the masons & the church (especially the Catholics). Christianity itself can be said, very easily to embody your above statement. It is all based on a Heirachy, from it’s beliefs to its earthly structures, it also breeds division & social separation. Do Christians encompass all faith? do they Hell! Do they think they are part of some highly exclusive “club” singled out for an exclusive life eternal, while all others are excluded? Yes unanimously! It is Christianity itself which bears actual & strongest links to the Illuminati.

    As for your point that we are/can be God, this is a fundamental disagreement. I say we cannot, nor never be, God. As described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:7, the power of God comes from God and not from ourselves; we are simply vessels. To say otherwise is to espouse the Nietzchean principle of the ubermensch, which holds that man will eventually evolve to become God. This is not only a contradiction to Biblical authority, but an affront to God, similar to the rationale that Lucifer used to get himself thrown out of heaven.

    What you have said here comes from an orthodox Christian perspective. There are numerous passages within the bible which paint a very different picture. Christian Mysticism & Gnostic teachings expound the search for the God within. Jesus found this “God within” & tried to teach others to find this too. His message was to “be like Him”, we are His brothers & sisters, no more & no less, a master is not above his student. Your concept of an actual figure, that is the Devil, a literal being, fallen from God, is a ridiculous concept & is plainly wrong, IMHO, there is no such thing. It’s truth is at best, a story made up for the purposes of control. An allegorical understanding would be that the “Devil” Christ was referring to, is in fact the ego, or it is a reference to the illusionary nature of the 3rd dimension & time.

    Simply put, failure to substantiate claims coherently is the basis of irrational thinking.

    I have clearly, consistently & rationally explained briefly as to why I hold there being no “absolute truths”. All the experience & learning I have gained, tells me they cannot be. I have heard nothing of why you hold them to exist.

    MESomething for myself that Christianity could never do, as I’ve stated that I eventually came to a dead end with my Christian journey.

    AlbertAgain, I’m sorry it turned out for you this way.

    As I have previously stated, it is something of which I am very happy about. I do not wish for you to be sorry. I have found a freedom that I never had before. You saying your sorry that I now hold other beliefs is like me saying I’m sorry that your still a Christian.

    MEConcerning Reiki, I’ve given you virtually no information of what it is about, I would withhold judgment before you have explored something that you know nothing about.

    AlbertI’ve made comparisons, not judgments, based on the information you’ve given me.

    But you know next to nothing about it. Semantics.

    MEAcross the board Christians do the same, to a greater or lesser degree. In the extreme & it is a widespread practice & belief with Christians, anyone not compliant with it’s core belief is off to burn.

    AlbertAs for this latter sentence I have to agree.

    Which is why I find Christianity so offensive & is a large part of why it causes so much pain. The “I’m right” “your wrong” mentality, of which Bush & his “War of Terror” is such a good example.

    I don’t presuppose “balance” is inherently good, and assert that there is a wealth of historical evidence that testifies to a contrary reality.

    From a personnel perspective & IMO a spiritual one, I can assure you that true balance is exactly what spirituality is about & cuts to the core of much of the nature of reality.

    Power struggles such as?

    The Church, rulers & the motivations & desires of those who would seek to control via a manipulation of the truth.

    METhere are countless names for God. All of them are representations.

    AlbertAgreed

    So you concede! That you can represent God, but the name does not become the thing in itself.

    Again, an assumption. God in many religions has chosen to reveal himself in different forms, names, etc.

    As for your point that we are/can be God, this is a fundamental disagreement. I say we cannot, nor never be, God. As described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:7, the power of God comes from God and not from ourselves; we are simply vessels. To say otherwise is to espouse the Nietzchean principle of the ubermensch, which holds that man will eventually evolve to become God. This is not only a contradiction to Biblical authority, but an affront to God, similar to the rationale that Lucifer used to get himself thrown out of heaven.

    I think you can see the irrational contradiction here. My understanding of Christ is that He was a “normal” man. Albeit a very spiritual one. What was it that made Him different to us? Was His flesh different? In what way?

    This is a classic example of reactionism: one word or phrase serves as a sort of provocation to you, and you choose to ignore the rest of the response. How is it that you presume to match the level of knowledge presented here when you’re provided very little substantively in terms of Reiki? I’ll be glad to answer to some of your criticisms of Christianity as I did when we began this thread, and will admit to when there are similarities in the practices and understandings of other religions to Christianity as well, but to assert your own absolute truth is, once again, to subject yourself to the same criticism that others have applied for the “debunking” of the same.

    Reiki is not the sum of my belief or practice, it is simply a part. Reiki is also not a Religion or a set of absolutes. There are as many practices & understandings of Reiki as there are people practicing it. I am not asserting an absolute truth, but of which you are., Added to which also, allot of my ideas, although prompted through personal experience are not unique to myself. There are just not mainstream. I think I have also pointed out how they have evolved & develop, my understandings are not rigid or based on immovable dogmatic teachings. Please try to get a little understanding of Reiki & it’s history if you are going to base your judgments on me in relation to this practice.

    Once again, was it your intention to get into these kinds of polemics in the first place? The apology is certainly giving the appearance of being increasingly disingenuous.

    But to answer the provocation: empirical and independent evidence, rationalism, prophecy, consistency, coherency, degree of relevance, universality. I’m sure there are others, but I think this serves as a good starting point for that [tangential] discussion for the time being.

    Due to the difference within our own seperate takes on the nature of spirituality & the truth of Christianity, then a certain amount of polemics are unavoidable.
    I would give the same & similar reasons for my own spirituality. But it is precisely these things which didn’t add up in my practice of Christianity.

    Reply
  27. Posted a comment above with links to a site. But it says that the comment is awaiting moderation. I’ve had this before & it never gets posted. I was linking you to philosophyforums. Look it up, you may find it interesting.

    [albert: sorry about that, Akismet (the spam filter) can be difficult sometimes]

    Reply
  28. You never really elaborated on why it was you left the CoE, and have given rather cookie-cutter atheists’ answers as to why you believe the Bible is misinterpreted or contradictory. I asked you in this post to qualify your opinions,…..I have given you plenty of good reason for why I no longer hold the main Christian tenets as truth.

    Reread what I wrote, please. This is not what the sentence was referring to.

    I do not wish to elaborate.

    Once again, this has been a common theme with you. Your continual lack of doing so only points towards a serious dogmaticism that rivals fundamentalists of other religions in addition to Christianity.

    Simply that as a spiritual & belief system, Christianity failed to produce solutions to some very difficult life situations. Maybe it works for some people who are in dire situations, but it didn’t for me. I can assure you that this was not due to any lack of understanding or religious zeal.

    As for this last sentence, neither have been demonstrated. I’m supposed to just to take you at your word? I think your level of disingenuous “interest” in this conversation is enough for me not to.

    As a measure from where I have come from & the severe difficulties I have overcome, the results were not found with a Christian faith. In fact it was my experience that eventually Orthodox Christian doctrine was stunting & holding back my growth.

    Holding back what kind of growth? At what period of your life were you at the CoE?

    I can understand why you would wish me to elaborate on my change of belief, but it is all too personnel for a public forum. I could write a short life story & give you a private E-mail address if you were so interested.

    Yes, I am, absolutely. Expect something in your inbox soon.

    I do however think that making you aware of certain experiences I’ve have had would wrongly color your perceptions of me, added to which I am not looking for Christian advice for my “problems”. The journey to the life I now lead & the resulting practices I now hold give me a deep sense of gratitude & satisfaction. It may seem odd to you, but I was somewhat lost when I followed Christianity, when my spirituality & ideas of this nature changed, was when I began to find relief & understanding.

    As for the last few sentences, I’m glad this is case. But…

    I found Christianity to be fear based, not love based, as is supposed

    … as I said earlier, I think that if you took a closer look at Jesus, your conclusions and perceptions about “Christianity” would change.

    MEI have good reason through personnel experience to choose to think differently about God & as to what this could be.

    AlbertAs do I. But I’e chosen to stick with it in light of what I have read, learned, experienced, and thought (read: rationalized) about.

    You insinuate that I have not based my understandings on the same thing!

    Not necessarily… that’s more the failure in communication due to medium. It could be alternatively read as: As do I. But I’ve chosen to stick with it in light of what I have read, learned, experienced, and thought (read: rationalized) about.

    Much of what you have replied to me here is based on your thinking & believing that I’m wrong.

    I believe you’re mislead in some instances, not entirely wrong.

    When I speak in which the manner I do, it is because for the main part I think & believe, with confidence, that virtually all of Christianity is wrong. It may seem like I’m arguing simply for the sake of it, but why would I agree with something I don’t agree with. You also put your views about the wrongness of my beliefs in the strongest terms also.

    Right – because we’re both speaking as if to know the Truth, or a truth. But because truth is an ambiguated or hierarchical concept, it requires the use of smaller tests which in turn require the employ of a deductive method.

    First, to address this last sentence: I don’t hold your system of practice and belief as being “inferior”, I hold some of them to be wrong. For example, insofar as Reiki espouses a system of social hierarchy similar to the Illuminati, which confers “degrees” and “levels” to people as a basis for power & its distribution, so does it also speak of an underlying social disparity and creation of an “old boy’s club” clique that is contrary to what Jesus and OT law stood for.

    Reiki is one aspect & practice from the way of life I now lead. The practice of Reiki is a part of things, but not the sum of my concept & belief system.

    Okay, so please inform me of what you think you’re practicing and why.

    As for what you have said here about Reiki, your idea & understanding of it is wrong.

    Fine. Tell me why

    Reiki is a very open practice & can be taught to anyone who so desires, upon finding a teacher (which is not difficult).

    Why is this true?

    Reiki is not a secret society, nor does it have a hierarchy in the sense you are referring. A teacher (if they are a good one) is simply there to guide a student with their own experience, a Reiki master is not above the student. The “degrees” you refer are simply the stages of training & in no way relate to some kind of power structure.

    Your second sentence is contradictory. If terms such as “master” and “student” exist and are used to describe Reiki practices, social hierarchy – which isn’t necessarily a power structure – exists by default.

    Your last comments about an “old boys club” are laughable, to say the least.

    Laughable only because you seemed to have skipped over the intial adverb.

    I have no idea where your information is coming about Reiki, most likely it’s second hand, from another Christian.

    My “information” has so far come entirely from you.

    I think you know very little about the true nature of the Illuminati & even less about Reiki, if you were Knowledgeable about these things, you wouldn’t make such comparisons.

    Perhaps I don’t know about the true nature of the Illuminati. It’s true, all I have to go on are dozens of questionable books and websites as I myself am not a member. I also don’t admit to knowing about Reiki, it’s a religion I’ve never heard about until talking with you. Also refer to the last interspersed comment, again.

    Your use of the capital in “knowledgeable” is also quite ambiguous.

    An interesting point is the actual link between the Illuminati, the masons & the church (especially the Catholics). Christianity itself can be said, very easily to embody your above statement. It is all based on a Heirachy, from it’s beliefs to its earthly structures, it also breeds division & social separation.

    You often make this mistake in assuming that the church and true Christianity as defined by Jesus are one and the same.

    Do Christians encompass all faith?

    No, and that is not the intention of Reiki, either, if indeed the organization follows an “Order of Melchizedek”. Paul embraced culture, but denounced immoral practices… as did Jesus. Moreover, is this sentence meant to say that the Pharisees were on par to Christ?

    do they Hell! Do they think they are part of some highly exclusive “club” singled out for an exclusive life eternal, while all others are excluded? Yes unanimously! It is Christianity itself which bears actual & strongest links to the Illuminati.

    Simply because they admit to being exclusive?

    That said, pantheism is fundamentally flawed. If one religion claims absolute truth over another, you can’t arbitrarily say they are both correct. It only demonstrates your lack of understanding about that religion.

    As for your point that we are/can be God, this is a fundamental disagreement. I say we cannot, nor never be, God. As described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:7, the power of God comes from God and not from ourselves; we are simply vessels. To say otherwise is to espouse the Nietzchean principle of the ubermensch, which holds that man will eventually evolve to become God. This is not only a contradiction to Biblical authority, but an affront to God, similar to the rationale that Lucifer used to get himself thrown out of heaven.

    What you have said here comes from an orthodox Christian perspective. There are numerous passages within the bible which paint a very different picture.

    Such as?

    Christian Mysticism & Gnostic teachings expound the search for the God within.

    That’s why they’re more commonly known as heresies.

    Jesus found this “God within” & tried to teach others to find this too.

    And it says this where?

    His message was to “be like Him”, we are His brothers & sisters, no more & no less, a master is not above his student.

    Not really. Matt 12:50 states:

    For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.

    You’d first have to understand what the will of the Father is before you could make such a positive affirmation of relationship.

    Your concept of an actual figure, that is the Devil, a literal being, fallen from God, is a ridiculous concept & is plainly wrong, IMHO, there is no such thing.

    That’s insulting, and unsurprisingly dogmatic.

    It’s truth is at best, a story made up for the purposes of control.

    Satan himself is the control… the fire and brimstone story is another example of crass generalizing.

    But wait a second, you also said that Jesus’ message was “to “be like Him”, we are His brothers & sisters, no more & no less, a master is not above his student.” How does this not contradict with the earlier

    An allegorical understanding would be that the “Devil” Christ was referring to, is in fact the ego, or it is a reference to the illusionary nature of the 3rd dimension & time.

    In order to have such an “allegorical understanding,” you’d first need to provide chapter and verse, along with some cross references.

    Simply put, failure to substantiate claims coherently is the basis of irrational thinking.

    I have clearly, consistently & rationally explained briefly as to why I hold there being no “absolute truths”. All the experience & learning I have gained, tells me they cannot be.

    You have done far from “clearly consistently & rationally explained briefly as to why” you hold that there are no absolute truths. Let’s review your answers:

    #1

    But, I do not hold the belief in the idea of absolute truth.

    This is a belief.

    (It is only impossible if you subscribe to absolutes).

    This is a rationale, and it contradicts your belief. “It” being that all paths lead to heaven, is an absolute truth.

    I do not think that such a thing exists.

    Again, a belief.

    If there were such a thing IMO I think it would be on such a spiritually high level as to not be in any way explainable or fathomable.

    Unclear explanation; uses mysticism.

    That it would be beyond all logical thought or expression by language & beyond all duality. Something akin to a source. I don’t even think the term absolute truth could apply to it.

    Again, unclear/ambiguous. “Duality”? “Akin to a source”? “Don’t think the term absolute truth could apply”?

    I feel the same with absolute right & wrong. Absolute or ultimate good & evil; that no such things exist.

    Again, a belief.

    From a human perspective I think that the belief in absolutes, i.e. ultimately what I believe is an absolute truth, is the way of extremism, & the holding of these views lead to conflict.

    An emotional appeal.

    #2 – “no desire to gain… believe no such things exists”. Not a rational explanation.

    Again I have no desire to gain absolute truth as I don’t hold to this idea & believe no such thing exists.

    #3 – initial assumption of no absolutes. Belief is clearly not inconsequential, unless you plan on saying that your emotional appeal in #1 isn’t a contradiction. You also contradict yourself in the last sentence by assuming they do exist, as opposed to your initial assumption.

    But the possibility remains that there are no absolute truths & if this is this case belief is inconsequential. I understand that if they exist (absolute truths) then they do not rely on ourselves. But where is the evidence of them? … I think we can understand that my meaning is I do not hold to the idea of absolute truths as objective realities.

    #4 – you offer “based on the fact (IMO) (emphasis mine) that on some far higher level there are many God like beings that exhibit God like powers, higher aspects of ourselves if you will”. Inconsistent and unclear.

    I don’t think you understand the point of which I’m making. I personally hold that absolute truth is impossible, based on the fact (IMO) that on some far higher level there are many God like beings that exhibit God like powers, higher aspects of ourselves if you will. “as above, so below” There are not absolute truths within the society’s of the earth, in higher realms reality is based as much, if not more, on personel perspective & experience.

    #5 – you suggest that the question of absolute truth “cannot be answered in a rational sense”.

    It is also a question which cannot be answered in a rational sense. I disagree with this scientific solution. The fact is that if science does at some time arrive at a complete understanding of the nature of the universe &/or reality, it will most likely use more than one, or numerous systems &/or equations to describe it.

    #6 – “truth” here is inferred to be absolute truth. Again, contradictory to your initial claim of lacking absolutes.

    Yes I have explored many different religious claims & found them all to be seriously lacking. It is also why I see the pantheistic religions as having a closer take on the truth.

    You continue:

    I have heard nothing of why you hold them to exist.

    As I’ve said before, belief alone doesn’t preclude it from existence – it’s an absolute objectivity. This means it doesn’t need us to exist, it just does. Secondly, a belief that no absolute truths exist is also an absolute within itself. It’s a contradictory assertion: the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth.

    Reviewing the definition of “absolute,” the inclusion of “truth” becomes the equivalent of a truth which is unchanging; a final or originally unchanging truth. Thusly, if one religion claims passage to heaven (an eternally unchanging place) over all others, it makes the claim of being an absolute truth, or risk being exposed as an absolute lie.

    MESomething for myself that Christianity could never do, as I’ve stated that I eventually came to a dead end with my Christian journey.

    AlbertAgain, I’m sorry it turned out for you this way.

    As I have previously stated, it is something of which I am very happy about. I do not wish for you to be sorry. I have found a freedom that I never had before. You saying your sorry that I now hold other beliefs is like me saying I’m sorry that your still a Christian.

    You’re missing the point. I said I was sorry that the Christianity you were exposed to drove you to a dead end, and that it failed as a valid spiritual system & framework for spiritual growth in the light of some very difficult circumstances.

    MEConcerning Reiki, I’ve given you virtually no information of what it is about, I would withhold judgment before you have explored something that you know nothing about.

    AlbertI’ve made comparisons, not judgments, based on the information you’ve given me.

    But you know next to nothing about it. Semantics.

    You’re taking a personal insult to something which is inaccurate about a religion you purportedly only partially follow. You already told me the comparison was “laughable,” and I already admitted that I know essentially nothing about it. Enlighten me by answering as thoroughly as possible the earlier question “tell me why.”

    MEAcross the board Christians do the same, to a greater or lesser degree. In the extreme & it is a widespread practice & belief with Christians, anyone not compliant with it’s core belief is off to burn.

    AlbertAs for this latter sentence I have to agree.

    Which is why I find Christianity so offensive & is a large part of why it causes so much pain.

    Then you must find Jesus, Islam, Judaism, and to a smaller extent, Hinduism and Buddhism to be offensive as well. BTW Hinduism is probably causing more pain now than the Crusades did in their total existence.

    The “I’m right” “your wrong” mentality, of which Bush & his “War of Terror” is such a good example.

    Polarization isn’t necessarily good or bad. I side more with the structural functionalist’s approach on this.

    I don’t presuppose “balance” is inherently good, and assert that there is a wealth of historical evidence that testifies to a contrary reality.

    From a personnel perspective & IMO a spiritual one, I can assure you that true balance is exactly what spirituality is about & cuts to the core of much of the nature of reality.

    This is hardly a rational or clear explanation. As I said before, it’s hard to merely take you at your word.

    Power struggles such as?

    The Church, rulers & the motivations & desires of those who would seek to control via a manipulation of the truth.

    This is pretty ambiguous. Sorry, I don’t understand what you’re getting at; you’re not describing a power struggle, namely because there is no second party.

    METhere are countless names for God. All of them are representations.

    AlbertAgreed

    So you concede! That you can represent God, but the name does not become the thing in itself.

    You yourself said they were representations. Clearly a representation of a thing is not the thing itself.

    Again, an assumption. God in many religions has chosen to reveal himself in different forms, names, etc.

    As for your point that we are/can be God, this is a fundamental disagreement. I say we cannot, nor never be, God. As described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:7, the power of God comes from God and not from ourselves; we are simply vessels. To say otherwise is to espouse the Nietzchean principle of the ubermensch, which holds that man will eventually evolve to become God. This is not only a contradiction to Biblical authority, but an affront to God, similar to the rationale that Lucifer used to get himself thrown out of heaven.

    I think you can see the irrational contradiction here. My understanding of Christ is that He was a “normal” man. Albeit a very spiritual one. What was it that made Him different to us? Was His flesh different? In what way?

    Jesus was born from a virgin’s womb, died on the cross for the sins of humanity, and resurrected in bodily form. The common explanation for this is 100% God, 100% man.

    This is a classic example of reactionism: one word or phrase serves as a sort of provocation to you, and you choose to ignore the rest of the response. How is it that you presume to match the level of knowledge presented here when you’re provided very little substantively in terms of Reiki? I’ll be glad to answer to some of your criticisms of Christianity as I did when we began this thread, and will admit to when there are similarities in the practices and understandings of other religions to Christianity as well, but to assert your own absolute truth is, once again, to subject yourself to the same criticism that others have applied for the “debunking” of the same.

    Reiki is not the sum of my belief or practice, it is simply a part. Reiki is also not a Religion or a set of absolutes.

    This doesn’t tell me what it actually is.

    There are as many practices & understandings of Reiki as there are people practicing it. I am not asserting an absolute truth, but of which you are.,

    …on the basis of deductive reasoning.

    Added to which also, allot of my ideas, although prompted through personal experience are not unique to myself. There are just not mainstream.

    I’m aware of this fact

    I think I have also pointed out how they have evolved & develop, my understandings are not rigid or based on immovable dogmatic teachings. Please try to get a little understanding of Reiki & it’s history if you are going to base your judgments on me in relation to this practice.

    Contrary to your claim in the first sentence, you have in fact demonstrated a rather immovable rigidity (although not based on “dogmatic teachings”). Moreover, I’m not basing my “judgments” (in quotes because a judgment is final) on you in relation to Reiki, I’m basing it on what you wrote, which at times has been very convoluted, mystical, contradictory, dogmatic, inconsistent, or incoherent.

    Once again, was it your intention to get into these kinds of polemics in the first place? The apology is certainly giving the appearance of being increasingly disingenuous.

    But to answer the provocation: empirical and independent evidence, rationalism, prophecy, consistency, coherency, degree of relevance, universality. I’m sure there are others, but I think this serves as a good starting point for that [tangential] discussion for the time being.

    Due to the difference within our own seperate takes on the nature of spirituality & the truth of Christianity, then a certain amount of polemics are unavoidable.

    Perhaps this is true, but it is probably more indicative of an inability on both parts to concede from a basic premise.

    I would give the same & similar reasons for my own spirituality. But it is precisely these things which didn’t add up in my practice of Christianity.

    You “would,” but actually haven’t (outside of a very basic rationalism, and irrational universality).

    Albert, you may be interested in this – It is a philosophy site, which I contribute to occasionally –
    http://forums.philosophyforums.com/

    This is one particular thread I have been following –
    http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/christianity-vs-humanism-23227.html

    Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll stop in and check it out.

    Reply
  29. Reread what I wrote, please. This is not what the sentence was referring to.

    I have had quite a few online discussions within forums, debating the nonsensical & contradictory nature of the bible. I have also spent many hours studying & re-reading the bible for quotes & passages. I am not going to start all this again as it bores the hell outa me & all your likely to say is that you disagree & think my opinion/interpretation is wrong. There are many, many different & unique interpretations on the bible, & many different religious sects which are based upon it. I have my own understanding of it. I do not think that much, if not all, of what is practiced today has anything whatsoever to do with what Christ taught.

    Once again, this has been a common theme with you. Your continual lack of doing so only points towards a serious dogmaticism that rivals fundamentalists of other religions in addition to Christianity.

    I have given you good reason as to why I do not wish to discuss my private affairs on a public forum. I don’t see you discussing yours. I’m interested as to what I’m dogmatic about, I’ve been open & forthcoming about my beliefs, but as I have said, I don’t really think your that interested as you think they are all completely wrong anyway. It is interesting to note that people often see in others that which they don’t like in themselves. I don’t mean this as an insult. You practice an extreme form of Christianity, as far as I can gather, & it epitomizes dogmatic beliefs & accepting without question unbelievable claims on purely faith alone.

    As for this last sentence, neither have been demonstrated. I’m supposed to just to take you at your word? I think your level of disingenuous “interest” in this conversation is enough for me not to.

    So I’m a liar now & I’m making it all up!?! It has been demonstrated thoroughly in my life. I cannot stress enough the sincerity of the content of my posts. Why would I make it up? To wind you up? I’m not that immature, nor am I interested in wasting my time or your own. If you remember I hava a genuine desire to know (if it is possible) the answer to a genuine & important question concerning the naming of the nameless. Christians love to hear the stories of the sinners who repent, the lost who find Christ. My story, (although I have found “my creator” & a spirituality of my own understanding, & a wholesome happiness), is quite different, but I assure you it is not unique. People wake up to other ways of living & finding “God” through many other ways apart from “Christ”, & these ways are no less viable or righteous.

    Holding back what kind of growth? At what period of your life were you at the CoE?

    As explained, a few times I think, Christianity held back my spiritual growth, my emotional freedom, my thinking & held me somewhat in a fear based control paradigm. Your fascination with my involvement with the church is really unnecessary, I still go to the odd wedding, christening or funeral etc, it’s just that it’s more like a kind of club.

    … as I said earlier, I think that if you took a closer look at Jesus, your conclusions and perceptions about “Christianity” would change.

    You have no idea just how close this look was. Don’t misinterpret me here, I think that eventually, within some lifetimes or the realms after, all people will eventually outgrow & go beyond the Christian paradigm, as a continuing part of their own development. Also, as I have stated, I do hold that Christ is a real presence or force, which can be invoked & channeled.

    Okay, so please inform me of what you think you’re practicing and why.

    There is not one system that you could categorize me within. Examples of some of the techniques & systems I use & have used are – Reiki, including the Tera Mia & Seichem systems, Egyptian Cartouche (Ancient Egyptian magic & healing) – which is not to be confused with Crowlyian practice. Astral projection & Lucid dreaming. NLP & self hypnosis. Some 12 step work. Crystal healing. Some Shamanism. Prayer & Meditation. Visualization. Following are some of the therapies & practices I have received. Most of the above. Hopi ear candles, Acupuncture, Indian Head massage, Transactional analysis & other forms of councelling. Cranial Osteopathy. There are others, but anyway have fun with them, I have. As for spiritual beliefs I could write a book, seriously. Condensed, I have a personnel understanding of a creator, a source to existence & incorporated within this is the concept of a very powerful higher self (which I think we all have). Beyond this it can sometimes get complex, but I try to emphasize the living aspect of my life. I’m here for a reason, to focus upon this existence, so the rest doesn’t much consume my thinking. I read allot on spirituality, because it interests me, if I like an idea I’ll incorporate it into my system. As you can see, none of which I follow is religious. I have some interest from a curiosity point of view & Buddhism still holds some resonance, but apart from that they have all pretty much fallen away as belief systems.

    Your second sentence is contradictory. If terms such as “master” and “student” exist and are used to describe Reiki practices, social hierarchy – which isn’t necessarily a power structure – exists by default.

    Well it’s not really like that, although the term for “master” is simply a way of saying that someone is adept with this practice. Although personally I would be very skeptical of anyone who referred to themselves in conversation as a master (in the true sense) of anything. The term Master is bandied about quite a bit when egos get in the way. I don’t agree with the way some aspects of Reiki are taught & practiced, but generally it’s all very benign. It’s like anything where people are involved, you get ego & greed, to some extent. Anyway it’s no different to a school teacher or master, (ie form master) & their pupils.

    My “information” has so far come entirely from you.

    OK. Very simply Reiki is healing. Literally translated, although it cannot be fully explained in English, it means Rei – Universal & Ki – Life Force Energy. Through the receiving of the attunements you become aligned to certain energy, which can then be channeled for the purpose of healing. This is a very basic explanation & I will find some informative sites which will give you a short background on Reiki’s history & application. I’ll post the links later whan I’ve finished this reply. BTW Reiki is categorically & simply not a Religion in any sense of the word. Reiki does not follow the “Order of Melchizedek” either, this is another different aspect of something else of which I have been involved with.

    You often make this mistake in assuming that the church and true Christianity as defined by Jesus are one and the same.

    Christianity is a religion. If you hold to it’s beliefs you are religious to some degree. Very very little of modern Christianity can be separated from organized religion. I’d say that no Christian exists in a vacum apart from organized religion. The only way that it is possible is for someone to practice love for their fellow man, & to practice this does not need religion of any kind.

    That said, pantheism is fundamentally flawed. If one religion claims absolute truth over another, you can’t arbitrarily say they are both correct. It only demonstrates your lack of understanding about that religion.

    How so is pantheism flawed? If the truth turns out that none of the major religions are right, but all untrue & there are multiple God like beings or Gods, then surely pantheism would be correct. I don’t think any religion is right anyway & so I don’t think both or any of them are correct for that matter either.

    That’s insulting, and unsurprisingly dogmatic.

    I didn’t say this about the Devil to be insulting. This view is what I see as the truth. I don’t see what is dogmatic about it. It’s a personnel understanding & viewpoint.

    In order to have such an “allegorical understanding,” you’d first need to provide chapter and verse, along with some cross references.

    To be honest I really can’t be bothered. Believe me I’ve gone through the Bible & studied it many times. I am no longer interested in reading it, The conclusions I reached are I’m sure shared with others. If I found references to my conclusions I’m sure it won’t make any difference to what you believe. I don’t mean this as insulting, it’s just a different perspective.

    Albert, it has got very late here. I am getting quite tired. I have been busy & wanted to finish my reply tonight, but sleep calls. I will leave it here until tomorrow. Please refrain from a reply, until I have written a full reply to the rest of your post. I will post some links for you to some informative Reiki sites as well, when time permits. Thanks.

    Reply
  30. Me Christian Mysticism & Gnostic teachings expound the search for the God within.

    Albert That’s why they’re more commonly known as heresies.

    But, the church excluded & changed much of the understandings of people at the time. The church was looking for it’s new religion for the people, & didn’t want anything within it’s new bible that would cause any kind of independent or revolutionary thinking. Anything not conforming to it’s take on how things were was squashed. Can we really trust that these “heresies” were untrue or not a genuine understanding & practice of the truth. It is worth looking at the Ophites –
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophites – or run “Ophites” through google.

    As I’ve said before, belief alone doesn’t preclude it from existence – it’s an absolute objectivity. This means it doesn’t need us to exist, it just does. Secondly, a belief that no absolute truths exist is also an absolute within itself. It’s a contradictory assertion: the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth.

    Reviewing the definition of “absolute,” the inclusion of “truth” becomes the equivalent of a truth which is unchanging; a final or originally unchanging truth. Thusly, if one religion claims passage to heaven (an eternally unchanging place) over all others, it makes the claim of being an absolute truth, or risk being exposed as an absolute lie.

    The basis of your belief or surety in the existence of an absolute truth is a religious one. Consequently you cannot provide evidence or truth as to the existence of absolute truths. It is like the God argument. You can neither prove nor can I disprove your stance. Similarly, you cannot prove that I am wrong, even if my knowing is based on my own ideas & understanding. Stating that absolute truth exists doesn’t make it so, just as stating Christian tenets doesn’t make them true either. There is however a difference in our position. My beliefs are not from a religion. If my system was a religion, held, practiced & believed by half the population, then I would feel that I held some accountability or be obliged to defend an answer. Seeing that this is not the case & that I only have myself & my Creator (whatever that may turn out to be) to answer to, I don’t feel an urgent or pressing need to justify or fully explain my own understanding/perspective & spiritual paradigm in relation to absolute truth. I also assumed that we were talking here about stand alone fundamental, unchanging & absolute truths. For me to say, – “I absolutely don’t believe in absolute truths” is not some independent absolute truth, if we are in fact referring to an independent aspect of the nature of a higher reality. It is simply a play on the meaning & interpretation of words. I think we can define “Absolute truth” in this sense as something different. But please explain if you have some different understanding as to what you are referring to. I would also think that my explanations do not need to be completely rational in this regard as we are trying to describe something which is not rational in the day to day sense. To also base this understanding on some kind of faith is not wrong either, you in fact do the same. Mysticism is in fact a good way of describing these matters. But if you have scientific evidence to the contrary, then please correct me.

    You’re missing the point. I said I was sorry that the Christianity you were exposed to drove you to a dead end, and that it failed as a valid spiritual system & framework for spiritual growth in the light of some very difficult circumstances.

    It is not me who is missing the point. The Christianity I was exposed to was the same as you are exposed to. It is my belief it leads everyone who follows it eventually to a dead end. I think that it is viable as a spiritual system of belief only up until a certain point in its fundamental or orthodox form. I wasn’t abused by priests of had any seriously negative treatment from followers of the Christian faith. It failed for me as a system simply upon it’s own merit, much as im sure this displeases you.

    You’re taking a personal insult to something which is inaccurate about a religion you purportedly only partially follow. You already told me the comparison was “laughable,” and I already admitted that I know essentially nothing about it. Enlighten me by answering as thoroughly as possible the earlier question “tell me why.”

    Yes, Reiki is not a religion & I never said it was. I will post you some links in another post.

    Then you must find Jesus, Islam, Judaism, and to a smaller extent, Hinduism and Buddhism to be offensive as well. BTW Hinduism is probably causing more pain now than the Crusades did in their total existence.

    To a certain extent I do find aspects of all religion an affront to true growth & spirituality. Christianity however is in a league all of it’s own, far out in the lead with it’s blood soaked history.

    This is hardly a rational or clear explanation. As I said before, it’s hard to merely take you at your word.

    Concerning a true balance, it is from an understanding & experience that I hold this perspective. Are you saying that balance is unimportant? It does of course go deep, to an understanding of the balance between light & dark, & a combining of opposites. I don’t hold my concept of God or a higher existence to be a duality.

    This is pretty ambiguous. Sorry, I don’t understand what you’re getting at; you’re not describing a power struggle, namely because there is no second party.

    The history of the world & especially of organized religion has been one of power hungry people seeking the means of control of the general population. A very good case in point is the rise to power of Hitler. We can debate whether he was a true Christian, however it is historical fact that he used religion to further his own ends, motivate & control his followers.
    http://nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

    You yourself said they were representations. Clearly a representation of a thing is not the thing itself.

    !?! I thought the whole point of this thread (although we seem to have diverted into a critique of my spiritual paradigm) was about the significance of naming the nameless or the significance of the name of God, namely Christ, holding a power beyond that of His name simply representing God, like all the others. Your right I do think that all names for God are a representation, I thought you thought differently? But here you are agreeing with me!

    Jesus was born from a virgin’s womb, died on the cross for the sins of humanity, and resurrected in bodily form. The common explanation for this is 100% God, 100% man.

    This is really irrational & doesn’t explain anything. If Christ was 100% God then there would have been something different about Him. What was it that was different? Or, of course everything else could be 100% God as well, which would make it all the same anyway. I cannot believe He was born of a virgin, died & was then raised from the dead to wander about for a bit & then float up into the sky. I’ve read extraordinary accounts from tribal shaman which are more believable. Where is there any shred of evidence for this story to be true? There simply isn’t any. I can concede a man called Christ may have lived around the time, but the outrageous claims, namely of the virgin birth & resurrection, are simply ridiculous.

    Contrary to your claim in the first sentence, you have in fact demonstrated a rather immovable rigidity (although not based on “dogmatic teachings”). Moreover, I’m not basing my “judgments” (in quotes because a judgment is final) on you in relation to Reiki, I’m basing it on what you wrote, which at times has been very convoluted, mystical, contradictory, dogmatic, inconsistent, or incoherent.

    I find Christian doctrine & rhetoric convoluted, contradictory, dogmatic, inconsistent & incoherent. I have tried to explain my ideas on a Creator & spirituality as clearly as I can, & I have made effort to speak simply & rationally. I don’t see that a mystical explanation is inviable to try to describe things of this nature. I would think that the problem is not not with my passages of description, but with your view of the “wrongness” of my perspectives & understanding. You cannot see how I could possible be right about some things & so you flatly refuse to even attempt to understand what I am saying. The core of my system is not as you describe. It is a very complete & coherent system. As for the Christian way, am I to seriously believe that an all loving God is going to take most of His creation & send it to eternal suffering, because of not believing in a name? It’s preposterous. Christianity has the might of churches & institutions behind it, it must explain itself & be accountable. If my own system were to be adopted as a main religion I expect it to do the same. But it’s not. I don’t preach to anyone or tell them they are going to Hell for not thinking in the way that I do. I believe that people should be free to think, live & practice whatever they choose, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, without threats & coercion to follow some particular practice. The mindset of a fundamental is such that they totally believe their way is an infallible truth. But the truth is as I have stated that I hold all the major religions to be wrong. If this makes me a fundamentalist as well for saying that, then so be it. The people I know & my friends would laugh at the very notion of me being such a thing.

    Reply
  31. Here is a link to the traditional story of the more “modern” roots of Reiki

    http://www.reiki-seichem.com/historyr.html

    Here is a link to an introduction to the practise of Reiki –

    http://www.aetw.org/reiki_101.html

    This above site also contains some informative articles concerning Reiki.

    Here is another link to the history of Reiki –

    http://www.reiki.org/FAQ/HistoryOfReiki.html

    Download the file on the link at the bottom of this page, it is very informative.

    http://www.reiki-forum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=146

    Here is a link to Seichim practise –

    http://seichim.doctor.bg/en_history.html

    You may also find this article interesting –

    http://www.reiki.org/reikinews/reikin16.html

    Simply type “Reiki” &/or the “history of Reiki” into google & pick from the wealth & vast amount of information available on the subject.

    Reply
  32. Sorry for the delay yet again.

    Before I respond, let me say this first: I’m willing to start on a clean slate, ignoring everything redundant and insulting above this comment. Meaning, I’ll ignore the fact that you’ve repeatedly insulted me and Christianity in general, and assume that you have assertions that you want answered, such as “the Bible is contradictory.” I’ll also assume that you have had experience in a mainstream Christian church, read and analyzed the Bible, and follow the general rules for a scholarly debate (i.e., pointing to actual evidence when making claims, etc.).

    If this sounds good, let me know – otherwise we can continue on this mostly redundant and fruitless “conversation”.

    Reply
  33. I personally have not found this conversation “redundant & fruitless”. I also do not think that my posts are “redundant & insulting” anymore than yours are. My main stance is that I disagree with the Christian answer, you also disagree with my position & also think it is wrong. My mind is already made up in regards to the contradictions of the bible & it’s authenticity. Too much was omitted at the time of it’s writing. Too much of it has been subsequently changed over the years. I cannot take it as “truth” or a historically accurate document. The more I read about it, the more I disagree with it. I am happy for you to respond to my above last post. The reason for this thread was after all to explore the significance of the naming of the nameless. I am not particularly interested in an an in depth exploration of the Christian accepted scripture. Firstly for the reasons above but also because, as I have stated, I find it a very boring document. I will however post a link below to an Internet page looking at some inconsistencies. I will also post a response I wrote to a similar discussion. If the answer to my question is “because the bible says its true” then for me it will not satisfy an answer. Have you looked at the above links I provided, looking at Reiki? What do you think of it?

    http://ffrf.org/books/lfif/?t=stone

    Reply
  34. Here is an amended copy of a post I wrote for a thread somewhere else. Granted, it takes it you see the bible as a literal truth. But can we pick & choose? There are those who do in fact see it all as a literal “truth”. If you do not then some parts of it could be interpreted to mean literally anything.

    Mathew 24:37-39 – Jesus speaks of the truth of Noah & the flood.

    John 10:35, Mathew 15:3, Mathew 15:6, Mathew 5:18 – These quotes prove that Jesus referred to & believed the OT to be the exact word of God, & literally true.

    From this we can say that if you believe in Christ & that he was telling the truth. The old testament is word for word truth “the word of God”. That the earth is 6500 years old. That the earth was destroyed by a flood 4500 years ago & Noah saved two of every animal on the earth.

    So to recap an old man built on his own an ark more substantial & probably harder to build than the pyramids, in a very short space of time. Two of every animal gathered at the ark from every corner of the globe, including, from places like Australia, & congregated in the middle east. None of the animals ate each other & his family of 8 (3 daughters & 3 sons) looked after them all with no problem during the flood. Then when the flood subsided & everything else had been killed, All the billions of people on the planet are descended from this 1 family! A family of a particular race has seeded all the variety of different races in 4500 years!?!

    If you do do not believe in the given age of the earth & the literal story of the flood, both Jesus & God are lying.

    Read Genesis, it clearly states that the earth was created before the sun! If you do not believe this then again God is a liar. So to that the earth was made with everything on it in 7 days, & that we are made out of mud. If you believe it not then God is a liar.

    Remember, there is no scientific evidence for a flood on this scale. Science & rationality also make a nonsense of the creation & the age of the earth “truth” of the bible.

    I thought I would include these as good examples of “Truth” being spoken by God. I take it both of each of these statements from the “word of God” are true.

    Gen 1:31 – God is satisfied with his works.

    Gen 6:6 – God is dissatisfied with his works.

    2 Chron 7:12,16 – God dwells in chosen temples.

    Acts 7:48 – God dwells not in temples.

    Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17 – God is to be found by those who seek him.

    Prov 1:28 – God is not to be found by those who seek him.

    Jer 13:14/ Deut 7:16/ 1 Sam 15:2,3/ 1 Sam 6:19 – God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, & ferocious.

    James 5:11/ Lam 3:33/ 1 Chron 16:34/ Ezek 18:32/ Ps 145:9/ 1 Tim 2:4/ 1 John 4:16/ Ps 25:8 – God is kind, merciful, & good.

    Deut 6:4 – There is but one God.

    Gen 1:26/ Gen 3:22/ Gen 18:1-3/ 1 John 5:7 – There is a plurality of Gods.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith….not of works.

    James 2:24 – Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, & not by faith only

    Psalm 145:6 – The Lord is good to all.

    Isaiah 45:7 – I make peace & create evil. I the Lord do all these things.

    There are many other examples.

    What of this? – Mark 16: 17-18. If you are a Christian, according to this statement you have the power to heal the sick & if you drink poison you would be unharmed. If you can’t you are either not a Christian or God is a liar.

    Why also did he specifically say that there are those standing who will not taste death until I return? Matthew 16:27,28. (another lie) Where is his kingdom on earth?Where is He? Why is He taking so long, it has been over 2,000 years after all.

    The more you read “Gods word” of truth, the more glaring inconsistencies, lies & contradictions you find. I also observe that it is mainly the believers who have not read the bible in great detail.

    Reply
  35. Here is another amended post from the same thread. The Christian way & the literal “truth” of the bible is generally taken by Christians to be a story of unconditional love. The bible speaks differently. –

    Deuteronomy 20:10-14
    As you approach a town to attack it, first offer it’s people terms for peace. If they accept your terms & open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace & prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, & other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

    Advocates Rape, murder & slavery.

    Deuteronomy 22:23-24
    If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, & has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city & there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, & the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

    Please read the following passages if you have a bible –

    Leviticus, chapter 20 – Decrees by law that you must kill everyone who has cursed their father or mother, everyone who has committed adultery, & every homosexual.

    Exodus, chapter 21 – Advocates slavery, the branding of slaves, & the wholesale beating of slaves.

    1 Timothy, chapter 2 (new testament) – “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man.”

    These are a few examples of the “morals” of the bible. It’s viewpoint is totally sexist from the beginning to end. It was written by primitive men thousands of years ago. This book advocates senseless murder, slavery & the oppression of women. I would think it obvious that an all knowing, all loving God, had absolutely nothing to do with any of it.

    Reply
  36. Albert I hope that the above 2 posts do not detract too much from the line of our thread. If you did wish to go in this direction of bible inconsistencies then the passages & quotes mentioned are a good place to start. But as I have said I am no longer willing to trawl through the bible to cite evidence.

    Reply
  37. Incidentally, please do not take anything that I have said above to be personally insulting. None of it is meant to be. I am arguing against certain aspects of the Christian mentality & trying to put forward an alternative. The only time I openly insulted you was to dis you in Latin, for which I apologized.

    Reply

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