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No man shall see God and live?


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#1    ChloeB

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:26 PM

Exodus 33:

11And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

20And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

21And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

22And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

23And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Could someone explain this to me?  It seems like God has multiple personalities here or something.  The Lord speaks to Moses face to face, as a man to a friend, and then later says thou shalt not see my face and live, and then God says but you can see my "back parts", huh?  Do you see this as a contradiction and if not, why?

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

#2    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:33 PM

View PostChloeB, on 09 February 2012 - 10:26 PM, said:

Exodus 33:

11And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

20And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

21And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

22And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

23And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Could someone explain this to me?  It seems like God has multiple personalities here or something.  The Lord speaks to Moses face to face, as a man to a friend, and then later says thou shalt not see my face and live, and then God says but you can see my "back parts", huh?  Do you see this as a contradiction and if not, why?

The personification of death maybe?

http://upload.wikime.../300px-Mort.jpg

I remember reading years ago, "to look upon him is to look upon death".

Edited by HavocWing, 09 February 2012 - 10:53 PM.

Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason that “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous execution, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God."
Jewish gematria # 629:
The holy bible
Demonic inspiration

#3    ChloeB

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:58 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 09 February 2012 - 10:33 PM, said:

The personification of death maybe?

http://upload.wikime.../300px-Mort.jpg

I remember reading years ago, "to look upon him is to look upon death".

I have no idea, but it came up before something I was talking about and I've never heard or seen anyone say.  It says right there Moses was talking to him face-to-face and then it says if you look God in the face, you die.  Wonder what God's back parts are supposed to look like?   :o  :P

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

#4    The Silver Thong

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:05 PM

View PostChloeB, on 09 February 2012 - 10:58 PM, said:

I have no idea, but it came up before something I was talking about and I've never heard or seen anyone say.  It says right there Moses was talking to him face-to-face and then it says if you look God in the face, you die.  Wonder what God's back parts are supposed to look like?   :o  :P


I also heard that if one were to ever see an angle they would go insane.

Sittin back drinkin beer watchin the world take it's course.


The only thing god can't do is prove he exists ?

#5    Michelle

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:09 PM

View PostThe Silver Thong, on 09 February 2012 - 11:05 PM, said:

I also heard that if one were to ever see an angle they would go insane.

Oh no!!! I see angles everywhere! :w00t:

:innocent:


#6    Habitat

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:11 PM

Obtuse angles are much easier to look at than acute angles.


#7    The Silver Thong

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:12 PM

View PostHabitat, on 09 February 2012 - 11:11 PM, said:

Obtuse angles are much easier to look at than acute angles.


  :lol:   opps    :innocent:

Sittin back drinkin beer watchin the world take it's course.


The only thing god can't do is prove he exists ?

#8    ParanormallyJustARedNeck

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:22 PM

The Bible like alot of other ancient text in my opinion, should be taken in context. It's a good idea to remember that this is an ancient book written by an ancient people in an ancient time and translated over and over through the centuries. I think that the stories in the Bible were probably based in some truth but what that truth truly is, or was lies totally in the realm of speculation. Different cultures intereperet things differently, couple that with differences in translations between languages and you have an event that might have been precieved as 'God' by those it happened to at the time but might have been something else entirely.
In short have you ever heard of Zecharia Sitchin? I'm not saying he's right or wrong but if you look at Biblical text from his point of view alot of the nonsensical occurneces in the Bible make alot of sense. Oh sorry in short he says an alien race was responsible for the creation of humans and the various references in the Bible to God and the Angels and even Demons can be attributed to E.T.s
Now I'm not saying I buy into that I'm merely using that as a reference to point out how it's all about interpretation.


#9    eight bits

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:25 PM

Chloe

Quote

11And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.
I do appreciate your thoughtfulness in not posting that on the "God is an imaginary friend" thread :).

This attribute seems to be part of being a god, that if a person saw the god(dess) as (s)he really is, then the consequences are fatal. However, the god can also appear in other forms, and hide the glory.

Compare Zeus and Semele (Dionysus' mother), with Zeus, Hermes, Baucis and Philemon (my lawyers). Hera persuaded Semele to ask to see the Zeus as he really is, and his showing himself consigned her to crispy critterhood. But, when they wished to visit Earth, not one, but two Olympian gods hung out with an ordinary elderly couple. The gods were in some assumed form, as Zeus had been with Semele before she made the fatal request.

Moses' God surely is conceived as having these alternate forms. Some of these appear human, as when he walked with the first couple, or spoke directly with Job. Others are more abstract as when he appeared to Moses as a flaming bush, or as a cloud column upon a tent, as he is in the passage you quote. Well, Zeus had his shower of gold, and whatever animal forms he liked... Moses' God is a little touchy about appearing as an animal, I think.

It is interesting that Semele's motive, which is exploited by Hera, is to get proof that Zeus is who he says he is. Moses' motives aren't so clear, but he is asking. It's his idea, not God's.

There's an echo of this, I think, in the synoptic Gospels' transfiguration incident. Of course that has both Jesus doing the lights, and the Father visiting in a cloud, a safe form. That, too, seems to be giving the three companions "hard proof," although in that case, it is Jesus' idea.

Edited by eight bits, 09 February 2012 - 11:27 PM.

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#10    ambelamba

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:26 AM

Maybe this 'God' didn't want to have his own image recorded. Sounds kinda fishy... (paleocontact hypothesis anyone?)

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#11    Habitat

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:09 AM

We live in a very 'literal' age, I doubt this expression should be taken literally, the import of it seems to me to be that we cannot "take-in" God via our outward senses.


#12    ChloeB

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:10 AM

View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2012 - 11:25 PM, said:

Chloe


I do appreciate your thoughtfulness in not posting that on the "God is an imaginary friend" thread :).

LOL, well it was your thread and I have a soft spot for The Bits.  :P  

Quote

This attribute seems to be part of being a god, that if a person saw the god(dess) as (s)he really is, then the consequences are fatal. However, the god can also appear in other forms, and hide the glory.

Compare Zeus and Semele (Dionysus' mother), with Zeus, Hermes, Baucis and Philemon (my lawyers). Hera persuaded Semele to ask to see the Zeus as he really is, and his showing himself consigned her to crispy critterhood. But, when they wished to visit Earth, not one, but two Olympian gods hung out with an ordinary elderly couple. The gods were in some assumed form, as Zeus had been with Semele before she made the fatal request.

Moses' God surely is conceived as having these alternate forms. Some of these appear human, as when he walked with the first couple, or spoke directly with Job. Others are more abstract as when he appeared to Moses as a flaming bush, or as a cloud column upon a tent, as he is in the passage you quote. Well, Zeus had his shower of gold, and whatever animal forms he liked... Moses' God is a little touchy about appearing as an animal, I think.

It is interesting that Semele's motive, which is exploited by Hera, is to get proof that Zeus is who he says he is. Moses' motives aren't so clear, but he is asking. It's his idea, not God's.

There's an echo of this, I think, in the synoptic Gospels' transfiguration incident. Of course that has both Jesus doing the lights, and the Father visiting in a cloud, a safe form. That, too, seems to be giving the three companions "hard proof," although in that case, it is Jesus' idea.


In these other forms, are we talking about sublime here?  I keep thinking back to that part in Power of Myth, where Joseph Campbell talks about the sublime, God being monstrous, and I think it has some insight on these different variations of God and death and what dies:

CAMPBELL: There’s another emotion associated with art, which is not of the beautiful but of the sublime. What we call monsters can be experienced as sublime. They represent powers too vast for the normal forms of life to contain them. An immense expanse of space is sublime. The Buddhists know how to achieve this effect in situating their temples, which are often up on high hills. For example, some of the temple gardens in Japan are designed so that you will first be experiencing close-in, intimate arrangements. Meanwhile, you’re climbing, until suddenly you break past a screen and an expanse of horizon opens out, and somehow, with this diminishment of your own ego, your consciousness expands to an experience of the sublime.

Another mode of the sublime is of prodigious energy, force, and power. I’ve known a number of people who were in Central Europe during the Anglo-American saturation bombings of their cities — and several have described this inhuman experience as not only terrible but in a measure sublime.



MOYERS: I once interviewed a veteran of the Second World War. I talked to him about his experience at the Battle of the Bulge, in that bitter winter when the surprise German assault was about to succeed. I said, “As you look back on it, what was it?” And he said, “It was sublime.”



CAMPBELL: And so the monster comes through as a kind of god.



MOYERS: And by the monster you mean –



CAMPBELL: By a monster I mean some horrendous presence or apparition that explodes all of your standards for harmony, order, and ethical conduct. For example, Vishnu at the end of the world appears as a monster. There he is, destroying the universe, first with fire and then with a torrential flood that drowns out the fire and everything else. Nothing is left but ash. The whole universe with all its life and lives has been utterly wiped out. That’s God in the role of destroyer. Such experiences go past ethical or aesthetic judgments. Ethics is wiped out. Whereas in our religions, with their accent on the human, there is also an accent on the ethical — God is qualified as good. No, no! God is horrific. Any god who can invent hell is no candidate for the Salvation Army. The end of the world, think of it! But there is a Muslim saying about the Angel of Death: “When the Angel of Death approaches, he is terrible. When he reaches you, it is bliss.”



In Buddhist systems, more especially those of Tibet, the meditation Buddhas appear in two aspects, one peaceful and the other wrathful. If you are clinging fiercely to your ego and its little temporal world of sorrows and joys, hanging on for dear life, it will be the wrathful aspect of the deity that appears. It will seem terrifying. But the moment your ego yields and gives up, that same meditation Buddha is experienced as a bestower of bliss.



MOYERS: Jesus did talk of bringing a sword, and I don’t believe he meant to use it against your fellow. He meant it in terms of opening the ego –I come to cut you free from the binding ego of your own self.

My link

@Havocwing - you'll see it mentions the Angel of Death there as you brought up.

Here's a quote of Campbell's also:  The less there is of you, the more you experience the sublime.  Is that the death God's speaking about to Moses?  Death of one's ego?


That kind of leads what this made me think of that we've talked about before, kenosis, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenosis. In Christian theology, kenosis is the concept of the 'self-emptying' of one's own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and the divine will and if that is the transfiguration of Jesus, the only miracle that ever happened to him, I believe.

Quote

Joseph Campbell helped to make the idea known, in his lectures on Joyce: "The aesthetic experience is a simple beholding of the object....you experience a radiance. You are held in aesthetic arrest." This radiance, the perception of beauty, is regarded as a communication of the hidden power behind the world, shining through some physical form..

From an essay by Joshua Minton:
“Joyce defines proper art as that which does not pull the observer toward it or push the observer away from it, but rather holds them still in aesthetic arrest of the moment.

In this definition, if a work of art is true, it uses the forms of time and space in terms of contemporary life (people, objects, and their relationships to each other) to blow apart the illusory divisions that allow us to exist as individuals who are born from the great blank, grow old through similar stages of life, and die back into the great blank. And here we finally get to the Holy of Holies.

The Great Blank is the space between thoughts and it is what proper art is concerned with--leading the individual observer back to The Mysterious Ground of Being. We are talking about a sublime and complete dissolution of the individual and collective ego into the great void of creative energy from which all life springs. All great art that has moved individuals, and hence the world, along from social epoch to epoch has been rooted in The Great Blank.”
My link  I thought that was a really good discussion of the forms you mentioned and the death, even the Holy of Holies, and you've mentioned that Aesthetic Arrest before.

Edited by ChloeB, 10 February 2012 - 02:25 AM.

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

#13    ChloeB

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:28 AM

View PostHabitat, on 10 February 2012 - 02:09 AM, said:

We live in a very 'literal' age, I doubt this expression should be taken literally, the import of it seems to me to be that we cannot "take-in" God via our outward senses.

Aaaah, Habby, ye of little faith.  Stick 'round, I think I be talking your language, hehe. ;)  This is a lot of the stuff you've told me too.  I listen!

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

#14    Habitat

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:30 AM

MOYERS: Jesus did talk of bringing a sword, and I don’t believe he meant to use it against your fellow. He meant it in terms of opening the ego –I come to cut you free from the binding ego of your own self.

That is a pretty lame interpretation, IMO. I think it clear enough that the 'sword' was that which could unbind people from temporal affections of every kind, including familial.


#15    ChloeB

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:42 AM

View PostHabitat, on 10 February 2012 - 02:30 AM, said:

MOYERS: Jesus did talk of bringing a sword, and I don’t believe he meant to use it against your fellow. He meant it in terms of opening the ego –I come to cut you free from the binding ego of your own self.

That is a pretty lame interpretation, IMO. I think it clear enough that the 'sword' was that which could unbind people from temporal affections of every kind, including familial.

Why though, what would be the point of unbinding you from temporal affections of every kind?  We talked about this before, Buddha leaving his family.  Why did they all do that?  Trying to be free of attachments, correct?  I would assume that he's talking about is the attachment to the idea of self, ego as the final one or the foundation of what all other attachments are built upon, imo.

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey




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