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#91    Paranoid Android

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:44 AM

View Postredhen, on 28 December 2012 - 06:11 AM, said:

Yes, this is a popular explanation. It's the same one Job got; "Where were you when I created the heavens?" In other words, it's an unfathomable mystery. But if you reply that it's a Mysterium Iniquitatis, that's not really an answer.
Not necessarily an unfathomable mystery, though there's certainly no clearly defined answer.  I just happen to believe that God has in mind the eternity of the spirit, not the transitory nature of our fleshly being.  With that perspective, the pain we go through here is also transitory and therefore the problem of "natural evil", as painful and hurtful as it may be, is not a great stumbling block (and certainly not one that demands God step in and prevent/diminish).

As an aside, I had to research about on mysterium iniquitatis, I'd never heard the term.  I looked into a couple of sites, seems like an interesting topic, I'm not sure I agree with it all yet but I'll keep looking at them.

Thanks for the discussion, redhen :tu:

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#92    libstaK

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:52 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 27 December 2012 - 11:18 PM, said:

I really liked that post libstak, but i disagree with one point. Even entropy is malleable to human imagination and technologies. I expect that, not too far in the future, we will find a way to avoid the effects of entropy, to overcome them, or to sidestep them.

At least our existence adds this potentiality to the universe.
Ah yes, the opportunity for microscopic nanobots to run around our system repairing cells almost seems possible in the not so distant future.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#93    Jor-el

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 27 December 2012 - 11:50 PM, said:

Ah, but i do not believe in pre-ordination, given sapience. Ie. Neither in a natural world, nor in a created world, can preordination survive contact with human level (or above) sapient self awareness.

Was god preordained, and is god unable to alter the natural order of things?. If god created us as free willed beings like himself, then we have, within us, the potential to alter the natural /preordained order of things, just as god can. If god did not create us, but we are evolved beings, then the same is true.

Eventually, should we survive long enough, we will have the capacity to build entire universes  and certainly to do easy things like create sapient lifeforms. Stopping entropy falls somewhere between those levels of difficulty
To use your analogy. Any sapient entity with sufficient technology can stop any domino from falling, reverse the fall of the dominoes, pick them up and start them again, or most simply, send them in a different direction..

I don't think so, no matter how powerful mankind might one day become, and I do understand the type of power you are speaking of, (harnessing black holes, restructuring the very fabric of the universe), entropy is the single most certainty of the universe. You can slow it down, but end it or reverse it, not likely.

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#94    redhen

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 28 December 2012 - 06:44 AM, said:

As an aside, I had to research about on mysterium iniquitatis, I'd never heard the term.  I looked into a couple of sites, seems like an interesting topic, I'm not sure I agree with it all yet but I'll keep looking at them.

I through that term in there because everything sounds better in Latin. :) Seriously, I've heard the term bandied about before and assumed it just meant "the mystery of evil". I can't seem to find much info on it except for some death metal group of the same name, go figure.


#95    Jor-el

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:58 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 27 December 2012 - 09:28 PM, said:

In the third, and biblical scenario, god created a world very differnt to today. There was no death decay pain or suffering No earthquakes bushfires etc. Only when man disassociated himself from the fabric of god did the world change and those things begin. That's a creationist view with which I do not concur, but it explains the present dichotomy of a good god and an evil world and that, I think, is the purpose/rationale for genesis as a story.


View Postredhen, on 28 December 2012 - 01:07 AM, said:

Yes, that's the pre-lapsarian world argument where pain, suffering and death (aka evil) did not exist. You are right to disagree with this argument as the evidence against it (pre-hominid fossils) is overwhelming.

I would add my two cents worth here, that the Genesis story has none of the items Mr. Walker mentioned in his post. There certainly was death, there certainly was no immortality for mankind. All the rules of the natural universe were functioning as they should be. There were were fires, earthquakes, decay, predator-prey relationships. The view given by Mr. Walker is held by a number of Christians, but it is not based on biblical texts but are merely assumptions taken on readings of verses that are taken out of their contextual understanding.

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#96    Jor-el

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:13 PM

View Postredhen, on 28 December 2012 - 06:11 AM, said:

Yes, this is a popular explanation. It's the same one Job got; "Where were you when I created the heavens?" In other words, it's an unfathomable mystery. But if you reply that it's a Mysterium Iniquitatis, that's not really an answer.

The ambiguity of "natural evil" exists due to assigning meaning to these natural events, as if they had a mind of their own. Since they cannot possibly have that mind, something greater must have caused it.. hence blame God.

The events in question are part of the domino effect in a deterministic universe, our presence in their midst was made by choice, when we decided to be at that location, whether by living there or being there for a visit.

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-C. S. Lewis


#97    Paranoid Android

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

View Postredhen, on 28 December 2012 - 01:51 PM, said:

I through that term in there because everything sounds better in Latin. :) Seriously, I've heard the term bandied about before and assumed it just meant "the mystery of evil". I can't seem to find much info on it except for some death metal group of the same name, go figure.
When I saw the translation I thought the same - the mystery of evil - but the first couple of sites I looked at brought in certain issues about sin and who will pay the price of said sin (not including the death metal group, of course).  Taking in those ideas about sin and such, I thought I'd take a look at it further (which at the moment I haven't had the chance, maybe it was just an interesting Latin translation at the time, lol).

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#98    White Crane Feather

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

View Postblind pew, on 26 December 2012 - 04:44 AM, said:


How can you prevent something you cant foresee? God is supposed to be able to know things before they happen right? Dont you think if somebody could have prevented that shooting at sandy hook they would have? Give me a break
You are makeing the mistake of viewing it from your perspective, not the perspective of a god. To a creator god, those children are not lost. Simply returning from school a little early.

I'm not saying I don't agree with your sentiment, but it is extremely fallacious to place a human linier perspective upon an infinitely old creator god. Really your just using the tragedy to reinforce your bias. Logically it makes about as much sense as saying it was gods will.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#99    blind pew

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:13 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 28 December 2012 - 01:39 AM, said:

You speak (well, type) as if prayer is about getting God to do things for us.  Sure, in one sense we do bring our troubles before God and ask him to intervene.  That doesn't mean he will directly and miraculously change the situation in your favour.  Prayer isn't about asking God for stuff.  Prayer is about talking to God.  A relationship with God is, I believe, like any relationship.  It develops through communication.  That's where prayer fits in.  We don't just use it to ask God for things.  In fact, if you think about it, if we only ever spoke to God when we wanted something then it wouldn't be much of a relationship, would it?  Think about life, if someone only ever spoke to you when they wanted to borrow money from you, are they truly your friend?  No.  They're what I would call a User.  We shouldn't use God as if he is our cosmic wish-granter, but we can use God to talk to, share our problems and our burdens, share even the good times.  Communicate.

That's what I believe, anyway.

~ Regards, PA
I'm just going by what the bible says, I quote "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you" Luke 11:9 I didnt see any small print that said only when it feels like it or you need to wait several decades etc..etc..


#100    Jor-el

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:20 PM

View Postblind pew, on 28 December 2012 - 04:13 PM, said:

I'm just going by what the bible says, I quote "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you" Luke 11:9 I didnt see any small print that said only when it feels like it or you need to wait several decades etc..etc..

Luke 11:8

8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.

Not to be finicky or anything but the text also states that one has to be persistent (which means it is NOT automatically given, just because you ask) but also that he will give you what you need, that does not necessarily translate to giving you what you want.

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#101    CRIPTIC CHAMELEON

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:39 PM

View Postblind pew, on 25 December 2012 - 06:07 PM, said:

Why would anybody worship a god that allows children to be molested and killed? If you want my worship you need to give something in return.
No higher being/God/Goddess would ever condone an act that would harm another being in anyway. Why would you say that ?.


#102    Mr Walker

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:09 PM

View PostJor-el, on 28 December 2012 - 01:58 PM, said:

I would add my two cents worth here, that the Genesis story has none of the items Mr. Walker mentioned in his post. There certainly was death, there certainly was no immortality for mankind. All the rules of the natural universe were functioning as they should be. There were were fires, earthquakes, decay, predator-prey relationships. The view given by Mr. Walker is held by a number of Christians, but it is not based on biblical texts but are merely assumptions taken on readings of verses that are taken out of their contextual understanding.
This is a fair opinion. I am not a biblical literalist but i take the biblical story as a whole.

Revelations gives clear descriptions of the new/ recreated earth. The conditions I applied to eden do exist in that scenario. It is thus logical to assume they were existent in the original  creation.

There are also hints in gods words to women that, henceforth they will give birth in pain and suffering, and that there will be enmity between the serpent and humanity. Those words imply changes from a different pre-existent  edenic state. It is true that some creationists have created a whole ecology of a edenic earth based on entirely differnt physics from what exist now, with no rain  and a constant temperature world wide, but that is  again based on extrapolations from biblical descriptions which may or may not be reasonable. Some tie it into the description of the flood and suggestions that the flood also changed the climatology/hydrology of the earth.


Ps if there was death in eden, then in a way god is made out to be a liar. The serpent says that adam and eve will not die if they eat the fruit. God says they will .Adam and eve live for another thousand years or so. The only logical, structural, story telling explanation of this dichotomy,  if god tells the truth, is that originally adam and eve were created immortal. In eating th e fruit of knowledge they lost that immortality.

God also explains quite clearly that he now must expel them from the garden and place armed guards on its gate, so they no longer have access to the tree of life, lest,  to paraphrase, "given knowledge and immortality they become as god" Thus the tree of life, whatever that was physically or spiritually, invested immortality on mankind. We traded that for knowledge in the biblical creation story.

Edited by Mr Walker, 28 December 2012 - 10:17 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#103    Mr Walker

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:40 PM

View Postredhen, on 28 December 2012 - 01:07 AM, said:

Natural evil (surd evil) is explained adequately enough in this wiki article;

"Moral evil results from a perpetrator, or one who acts intentionally and in so doing has flouted some duty or engaged in some vice. Natural evil has only victims, and is generally taken to be the result of natural processes. The "evil" thus identified is evil only from the perspective of those affected and who perceive it as an affliction. Examples include cancer, birth defects, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, acts of god, and other phenomena which inflict suffering with apparently no accompanying mitigating good."

No mitigating good (or greater good). That's key I think, the pain, suffering and death (aka evil) is gratuitous. Anyways, you can't deny the evidential problem of pain, suffering and death by denying it's evil. It's not moral evil like you said, but's still evil, as in something to be avoided.



This argument is called nomic regularity.  a fancy way of saying "that's just the way things are"., and that's not really an answer is it? From the cited article above; "If such regularity has (natural) evil as a byproduct (perhaps including animal pain), those byproducts are morally permissible as long as the good of nomic regularity is outweighing." Again, it's the greater good emphasis, except no one has ever explained to me what this "greater good" might be.



Yes, that's the pre-lapsarian world argument where pain, suffering and death (aka evil) did not exist. You are right to disagree with this argument as the evidence against it (pre-hominid fossils) is overwhelming.

Thanks Walker, I've think we've been through this before.
It depends on your definition of evil.

In my lexicon and philosophical landscape, evil is a word constructed by humans which includes an element of intent.

Thus a tsunami  is not evil, and hence the consequences of a tsunami cannot be evil. They can be harmful or destructive. The word good has two meanings, one which implies intent and one which simply describes a state of being eg "that was a good act"  is differnt to "have a good day"

Evil is something which must be chosen. Good can be chosen or can just be state of being. (used similarly to the word nice, as in "have a nice day." This doesnt necessarily make my pov correct, but its how i operate given my understanding of language.

If evil and good are interchangeable with constructive and destructive then they simply describe effects eg a cancer is destructive therefore it is evil. But imo that is not a correct usage of the word. neither a cancer nor its effects are evil, no matter how destructive they may be. Death is not evil.

Otherwise good and evil are no longer subjective words but physically descriptive ones and that doesn't work because  what is good to one person may be evil to another. For some the effects of a devastating bushfire can be destructive but not evil They can actually be good. There is always a balance in natural processes and always a mitigating good. Evil exists where there is an intent to destroy, or restrict potentialities Thus an act designed with evil intent  can have a destructive outcome, but ironically it can also have a creative outcome, and an act meant for good can have either creative or destructive outcomes.


Indeed nomic regularity explains the nature of the world as it is, without intent. And of course it is a "good enough" answer. it is the result of evolution and it is how an ecosystem operates. Neither 'good' nor "evil " apply in such a world. The term nomic regualrity is often applied to a religious even creationist view of the world, but really is just an extension of the principle of induction.  It can be applied to an evolved world perhaps even more rationally and logically. Animal pain and suffering is an evolutionary consequence, not a consequence of gods creation.  But pain per se is not EVIL, it just exists as an outcome of natural existence. Suffering is a state of mind which probably only applies to a self aware being.

Evil, now, is an entirely different thing. It does not exist without self aware intent..

Good and evil  do not exist, except in our minds. How we chose to apply them is up to us. When an ape kills its rival and all the young of that rival, then has  forced intercourse with the female, there is no good or evil in those acts. But when a human male does the same there is, because we know and understand what we are doing; the hurt and harm it causes, and why we are doing so. The other ape is just driven by evolved biological imperatives and there is no good or evil in him or in his actions.

Edited by Mr Walker, 28 December 2012 - 10:50 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#104    Jor-el

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:11 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 28 December 2012 - 10:09 PM, said:

This is a fair opinion. I am not a biblical literalist but i take the biblical story as a whole.

Revelations gives clear descriptions of the new/ recreated earth. The conditions I applied to eden do exist in that scenario. It is thus logical to assume they were existent in the original  creation.

There are also hints in gods words to women that, henceforth they will give birth in pain and suffering, and that there will be enmity between the serpent and humanity. Those words imply changes from a different pre-existent  edenic state. It is true that some creationists have created a whole ecology of a edenic earth based on entirely differnt physics from what exist now, with no rain  and a constant temperature world wide, but that is  again based on extrapolations from biblical descriptions which may or may not be reasonable. Some tie it into the description of the flood and suggestions that the flood also changed the climatology/hydrology of the earth.


Ps if there was death in eden, then in a way god is made out to be a liar. The serpent says that adam and eve will not die if they eat the fruit. God says they will .Adam and eve live for another thousand years or so. The only logical, structural, story telling explanation of this dichotomy,  if god tells the truth, is that originally adam and eve were created immortal. In eating th e fruit of knowledge they lost that immortality.

God also explains quite clearly that he now must expel them from the garden and place armed guards on its gate, so they no longer have access to the tree of life, lest,  to paraphrase, "given knowledge and immortality they become as god" Thus the tree of life, whatever that was physically or spiritually, invested immortality on mankind. We traded that for knowledge in the biblical creation story.

Mr. Walker,

Did you know that the immortality of man before the fall is a christian concept invented and extrapolated by Augustines fairly subjective interpretation of Romans 5:12? Before then nobody in their right mind had thought of such a thing, the Jews did not hold that belief at all, neither did the early christians before the 3rd century C.E.

Yet is was an essential part of the Doctrine of Original Sin, which again is not a biblical concept. This doctrine of Original Sin was masterminded by Augustine and has been a right royal pain in everyones life. It is also totally wrong.

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

Sin entered the world through the act of mankind, and death came to mankind because of sin, that is the essence of the verse above. Death comes to all men because we all become sinners. We are not born sinners, we become sinners.

But upon carful study of the verse, we also find that this event is ONLY speaking of mankind, not the rest of the natural world. The rules for mankind were different from the very beginning. They were charged with being the worlds stewards, to this end they lived in Eden, which was part of Gods Palace, so to speak. The bible speaks of Gods Holy Mountain, and Eden was located on it or near it. Within Eden there were two Trees, one the Tree of Life and two, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The text only disallows mankind from eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, never once is that interdiction referenced in relation to the Tree of Life.

When Adam and Eve are expelled from Eden it is to keep them from partaking of the Tree of Life, but that does not mean that they had not done so before their sin. They had what we can call "Conditional Immortality", they were not inherently immortal in their own right.

Basically what this tells us is that they were an exception to the rule, they were being kept alive and well, by artificial or outside means, under normal circumstances they would be sharing the fate of all natural creatures in the universe, death and decay.

People fail to realize that the death that entered the world, was the death to mankind, not death being introduced into the universe. Death is part of the natural order of the physical universe, without it, we could not even have stars and planets, much less life on earth.

The truth of the words of God are absolutely clear, it is our English translations that cause the misunderstanding...


מוֹת תָּמוּת
tamut mot

you shall die dying


Biblical Hebrew
For the information of the mere English reader, we remark that byom is formed from the particle b, which is here a proposition as well as a prefix; and yom which signifies day, definite, or otherwise, according to the context.

Bayt or b has many countersigns in our language, among which are in, against, to, after, etc. We have selected from these the last. B or Bayt is used in this sense in Numb. 28:26, where it is prefixed to the word sebothikam, which is rendered 'after your weeks;' ie, your weeks having expired, or from the expiration of your weeks, 'ye shall have a holy convocation;' so in the case before us, 'after the day of the eating,' or the day of the eating having passed; or, 'from the day of thy eating dying thou shalt die.'

Not, "on the day", but rather "after the day".

As to the phrase 'dying you shall die,' no criticism is needed; for it is admitted as the correct rendering on every side.

As such the correct interpretation is not a literal 24 hour period where death would occur after disobedience. It is quite clearly an expression that death would come to them over time, but they would most certainly die. Dying, you shall die. We all are dying at this very moment, little by little, cell by cell.

Mankind was never created immortal, what kept Adam and Eve from dying was access to the tree of life, when that access was denied, they proceeded to age and die.

A philosophical question, how could a command not to eat under a penalty of death have been motivation if they did not even know what death was? For me, they knew exactly what it was, they saw death often in the natural course of things, they were just exempt from it by the partaking of the Tree of Life. (which being a figure of Jesus Christ, who is the eternal giver of life, makes alot more sense than doing away with all the natural laws of the universe.)

Edited by Jor-el, 28 December 2012 - 11:23 PM.

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#105    libstaK

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:37 AM

View Postblind pew, on 28 December 2012 - 04:13 PM, said:

I'm just going by what the bible says, I quote "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you" Luke 11:9 I didnt see any small print that said only when it feels like it or you need to wait several decades etc..etc..
That is to me a very misused and misunderstood quote in the bible.  Have you ever heard it said - Do you know what you are really asking for?

Comprehension of our motives needs to come first, before we ask the question. Another way of putting it is to ask of oneself - Who is asking this question and Why are we asking it?

Our motivations are governed so often by the Ego and the ego will utilise desire, fear, hate, lust, envy, pride et al as it's source of motivation.  So we pray to a supreme being through the motivations of our ego and receive the appropriate answer but most certainly not the answer our desire would wish we had received - go figure.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi




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