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ChloeB

No man shall see God and live?

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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.

Once again, I am not advocating anyone do this, but to have the awareness that this is really the essence of true religiosity, is knowledge well worth having. As long as you are distracted by the external, or your memories of it, you cannot "tune in" to the God-like within, because it owes nothing to the "accident" of your personal history.. But such withdrawl is difficult and dangerous, and it does require "faith" that the goal is worth the travail.

As Christ is reputed to have said, "No one who puts his hand to the plough, and looks back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

We have to rely on the reportage of the likes of Meister Eckhart, that the consummation of this work is of such gravity, that anything that happened in your previous life seems the merest nothing by comparison.

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It was intended to convey to the masses that he was not a messianic leader intent on restoring peace to the oppressed masses under the Roman yoke via the literal sword, but an altogether different teaching to bring personal transformation via a cutting of bonds to worldly concerns.

Eye of a beholder, man. Bible is like a kaleidoscope.

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Eye of a beholder, man. Bible is like a kaleidoscope.

Not that ambiguous, in this instance. He was asked if he came to bring peace.....and attempted to explain that he was not that kind of messiah, of which there was no shortage in leading rebellions against Roman domination.

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Not that ambiguous, in this instance. He was asked if he came to bring peace.....and attempted to explain that he was not that kind of messiah, of which there was no shortage in leading rebellions against Roman domination.

You and I can see that way. But it can be still ambiguous if you try hard to interpret in a certain way. Human mind is a weird thing.

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Once again, I am not advocating anyone do this, but to have the awareness that this is really the essence of true religiosity, is knowledge well worth having. As long as you are distracted by the external, or your memories of it, you cannot "tune in" to the God-like within, because it owes nothing to the "accident" of your personal history.. But such withdrawl is difficult and dangerous, and it does require "faith" that the goal is worth the travail.

As Christ is reputed to have said, "No one who puts his hand to the plough, and looks back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

We have to rely on the reportage of the likes of Meister Eckhart, that the consummation of this work is of such gravity, that anything that happened in your previous life seems the merest nothing by comparison.

Why would Jesus bother healing people of physical ailments if he was unconcerned about "the external"?

You paint a picture of a Buddha-like figure, but is purely your personal take on the whole narrative and ignores many of it's more earthly elements.

Chloe,

I suspect the admonition against looking at the face of God may have it's roots in mystic beliefs surrounding the eyes.

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Why would Jesus bother healing people of physical ailments if he was unconcerned about "the external"?

You paint a picture of a Buddha-like figure, but is purely your personal take on the whole narrative and ignores many of it's more earthly elements.

The so-called ministry of Christ with whatever miracles or healings it entailed, was all decidedly post his mystical experience, fasting in the wilderness, altogether disconnected to the externalities that would have prevented his breakthrough experience. It is the fruits of this transformation that people revere in him, but in his own words, he was not uniquely placed to achieve it........

“Even the least among you can do all that I have done, and greater things” (John, 14:12).

What is missing in the so-called followers of Christ is the willingness to follow him by example, rather than tag along with the caravan of a personality cult.

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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.

I agree with Chloe, esoterically when we battle the Ego we do so with a sword.

The world we treat with tenderness and love, but for ourselves we maintain a ruthless vigil it makes perfect sense to be armed and ready for battle.

In terms of the manifestations of the Ego within us, they are our mother, father, brother, sister, friends and foes - all the emotive attachment that exists within us that we have labelled thus are ego. This is difficult to accept and harder to comprehend - but Chloe has put it quite well I think.

The example of Buddha is perfect and the nature of the story of his life is deliberately posed to present exactly what you have said Chloe, I have heard this before and I agreed then and agree now that when you take the cause to it's absolute roots, this is the case - it is not for lack of love that Buddha leaves his family, it is that attachment is not love-it is an unworthy substitute and the only true expression of love available in that circumstance is to find a means to free his family and mankind from attachment - the sacrifice of leaving is a key to the prize. This is why the opportunity to leave is provided and guaranteed success - a mist envelops the entire court and everyone sleeps as Buddha quietly departs, he is not hindered in any way - the ego is put to "sleep" esoterically too.

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The so-called ministry of Christ with whatever miracles or healings it entailed, was all decidedly post his mystical experience, fasting in the wilderness, altogether disconnected to the externalities that would have prevented his breakthrough experience. It is the fruits of this transformation that people revere in him, but in his own words, he was not uniquely placed to achieve it........

“Even the least among you can do all that I have done, and greater things” (John, 14:12).

What is missing in the so-called followers of Christ is the willingness to follow him by example, rather than tag along with the caravan of a personality cult.

Do you accept the biblical account that Jesus was born divine, or do you believe Jesus attained some form of divinity through fasting and meditation?

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Not literally, but figuratively. In time, we can "see" things differently.

We can, but unfortunately, the only evidence that we truly have of any form of a God is a merely "holy" book which, might I had, hardly constitutes as being evidence.

Personal accounts of experiencing God on a physical level can easily be chalked up to hallucination. Believe in what you want; it may be real to you, but that doesn't mean that it can be proven to everybody else...

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Is it ego that binds a parent to a child ? If you say yes, then everything that fills your day is based on ego. But in the Gospel of Thomas we see this:

(79) A woman in the crowd said to him, "Blessed are the womb that bore you and the breasts that nourished you!" He said to her "Blessed are those who have heard the father's word and truly kept it! For days are coming when you will say, 'Blessed is the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk!'"

My take on that, is that Jesus is using as an example the bond of motherhood, which is surely as strong as any, to indicate the wrench which it is necessary to endure, to follow his example. What he is saying is that such ties are a formidable obstacle that the true disciple might wish she never had to overcome. Hence 'Blessed is the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk!'"

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Doesn't the Gospel of Thomas also say Jesus killed a couple of people?

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Is it ego that binds a parent to a child ? If you say yes, then everything that fills your day is based on ego. But in the Gospel of Thomas we see this:

(79) A woman in the crowd said to him, "Blessed are the womb that bore you and the breasts that nourished you!" He said to her "Blessed are those who have heard the father's word and truly kept it! For days are coming when you will say, 'Blessed is the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk!'"

My take on that, is that Jesus is using as an example the bond of motherhood, which is surely as strong as any, to indicate the wrench which it is necessary to endure, to follow his example. What he is saying is that such ties are a formidable obstacle that the true disciple might wish she never had to overcome. Hence 'Blessed is the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk!'"

Reading Harry Potter introduced me to the fact that wizards truly, undeniably exist.

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Do you accept the biblical account that Jesus was born divine, or do you believe Jesus attained some form of divinity through fasting and meditation?

I certainly do not believe he was born any more or less divine than you or me. We can only speculate on the peculiar constellation of circumstances, some of which were no doubt temperamental, but also experiential, that led him to become what he was. That idea would have got me killed in the medieval age, but I can't see any realistic alternative to it. In my view, it is all the more compelling a story for it, though I am sure millions of professed Christians would turn away from their religion in a heartbeat if they could be convinced he was simply "one of us".The human penchant for following strong, preferably supernaturally strong leaders, is all too plain from any thorough examination of history.

Edited by Habitat

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Doesn't the Gospel of Thomas also say Jesus killed a couple of people?

No.

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I certainly do not believe he was born any more or less divine than you or me. We can only speculate on the peculiar constellation of circumstances, some of which were no doubt temperamental, but also experiential, that led him to become what he was. That idea would have got me killed in the medieval age, but I can't see any realistic alternative to it. In my view, it is all the more compelling a story for it, though I am sure millions of professed Christians would turn away from their religion in a heartbeat if they could be convinced he was simply "one of us".The human penchant for following strong, preferably supernaturally strong leaders, is all too plain from any thorough examination of history.

So, you are metamorphising Jesus into a Buddha-figure. Why, when the story of Buddha already exists?

Why not let Jesus be Jesus, and Buddha be Buddha? There is no need for both mythoi to either be similar or converge.

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Reading Harry Potter introduced me to the fact that wizards truly, undeniably exist.

J K Rowling probably never suspects her work is taken as non-fiction by some.

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J K Rowling probably never suspects her work is taken as non-fiction by some.

If I am investing belief in the Bible, then I might as well invest some belief in Harry Potter, as well. The logic of both books is rather equivocal. It would be rather silly to argue that the bible is more credible than Harry Potter.

Edited by Alienated Being

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So, you are metamorphising Jesus into a Buddha-figure. Why, when the story of Buddha already exists?

Why not let Jesus be Jesus, and Buddha be Buddha? There is no need for both mythoi to either be similar or converge.

They, and many others scattered through the ages, are of the same ilk. The so-called Perennial Philosophers have a great deal more in common than comparative religion would allow, the cultural contexts differ, but the solitary journey within always precedes their emergence into history.

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If I am investing belief in the Bible, then I might as well invest some belief in Harry Potter, as well. The logic of both books is rather equivocal. It would be rather silly to argue that the bible is more credible than Harry Potter.

We know those Harry Potter books are fiction. Millions sense, mostly at a sub-conscious level, that there is deep truth in the teachings of the great religions, even with the overlay of centuries of 'bureaucratic' religion doing more to obscure than clarify.

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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?

Chloe, Scriptures state that the God-being mentioned here, showed himself in the form of a human being numerous times to Moses, Abraham, and to quite a few other people at different times. Also, it is evident that this God-being seems to have the ability to appear in many different "forms" to people. In this instance

Exo 33:11 ... Jehovah would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.

Earlier, an event is briefly described where Moses and other elders of Israel saw God (in an unspecified form), on the top of the mountain:

Exo 24:9 And Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel.

Exo 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel. And
there was
under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as the essence of the heavens for clearness.

Exo 24:11 And upon the nobles of the sons of Israel He did not lay his hands. Also they saw God, and ate and drank.

There also is the instance where all the people of Israel (at the foot of the mountain) saw "God's glory" on the top of the mountain, in the form of "a devouring fire".

Exo 24:15 And Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain. Exo 24:17 And the sight of the glory of Jehovah
was
like devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the sons of Israel.

Chloe, in the instance which you bring up here, Moses asks God to show himself to Moses in all of God's glory ...

Exo 33:18 And he said, I beseech You, let me see Your glory.

... But God tells Moses that that is impossible:

Exo 33:20 And He said, You cannot see My face. For there no man can see Me and live.

However, God proposes something else to Moses, as a sort of compromise:

... Exo 33:23 ... you shall see My back parts. But My face shall not be seen.

How does the above explanation sound?

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We know those Harry Potter books are fiction. Millions sense, mostly at a sub-conscious level, that there is deep truth in the teachings of the great religions, even with the overlay of centuries of 'bureaucratic' religion doing more to obscure than clarify.

There is no deep truth. You can rely on your pseudo scientific clap trap all you desire, but it will take more than that to encourage me to believe that an omniscient, omnipotent being listens to the simultaneous; prayers of ours and the other billions of inhabited planets out there, while interfering in all of ours, and their daily affairs. How this does not seem ridiculous to you is beyond my level of comprehension.

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So, you are metamorphising Jesus into a Buddha-figure. Why, when the story of Buddha already exists?

Why not let Jesus be Jesus, and Buddha be Buddha? There is no need for both mythoi to either be similar or converge.

The story of Buddha was given in a time and a place to a people of a particular set of existential reality.

The story of Jesus - the same, but these are materially two different sets of people in two very different existential circumstances.

Which purpose becomes correct in the final analysis, each, neither or only one? Was there no purpose just random chance that multitiudes became fascinated and impelled by the stories?

Is wisdom all encompassing - an imperative of human nature to seek, perceive and enact in a way that is correct and unique for each circumstance that arises and that circumstance only, yet a single wisdom just the same, defined as "just that"?

There is also no need for them to be dissimilar or polarised don't you think? Humanity has as much in common across its cultures, civilisations and races as it has differences at the very least.

Every culture tells it's tales of heros and villians, Gods, Demi-Gods, Tricksters, Angels, Demons, Djinn or Genie, Faeries, Trolls, Powers, Thrones etc. They all tell the same tale the hero always has the same credentials, we recognise him and know he is good, the villian is obvious too - and something precious and beautiful is always abducted or placed in mortal peril which must be saved at any and all cost, commonly at cost of the hero's life itself or leaving behind all he knows and loves - that speaks volumes all on it's own. The parallel tale, the search for the greatest treasure of all can be found too across so many of earths cultures and so very commonly it is not the treasure that is of value it is what is redeemed in the searcher themselves, the person they become is the true treasure.

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There is no deep truth. You can rely on your pseudo scientific clap trap all you desire, but it will take more than that to encourage me to believe that an omniscient, omnipotent being listens to the simultaneous; prayers of ours and the other billions of inhabited planets out there, while interfering in all of ours, and their daily affairs. How this does not seem ridiculous to you is beyond my level of comprehension.

Experience has convinced me that there is a persistence of the human personality beyond death, at least in some cases. Or, alternatively, there is an agency that can uncannily mimic same, to a degree that overrides any possibility of 'rational' explanation. And I do believe there is a divine aspect to humans, which is completely inexplicable in rational terms. Even Christ was perplexed by it.....again, from the Gospel of Thomas........

29) Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty."

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Riyeh

Doesn't the Gospel of Thomas also say Jesus killed a couple of people?

You're thinking of the "Infancy Gospel of Thomas." Different book. The Thomas which Habitat mentioned has no stories at all, just sayings.

That sword

I'd propose a "two-tier" analysis: First, how was the remark understood by Jesus' original Jewish audience? (Always first, IMO.) Second, how did Jesus' later Gentile admirers understand it, so that they were moved to preserve the saying?

For the first, I think what you see is what you get. Jews were expecting a militarily successful Messiah, and Jesus was saying "Yes, yes, I'll get around to that. First, though, you've got to get right with God." For the second audience, Gentiles who knew that Jesus had died violently, they'd be primed to look for a larger religious meaning in imagery about instruments of violence.

Moyers is part of the second audience, and I think he's on the right track about what the saying meant to the ancient Gentiles who decided to preserve this saying. Physical death is a great metaphor for fundamental personal transformation. Also, any crisply defined point, whether the tip of a sword or the intersection of two pieces of wood behind Jesus' head, is an image of eternity entering the field of time and space.

Also, regarding swords specifically, I'll bet anybody who's ever cleared much brush with a machete has had a tiny religious experience, especially if the brush they were clearing was wild hemp. Mmm, mmm. So, I think I get the sword saying :).

Light as glory

Speaking of personal experience, once upon a time, I was within a few meters of an artificially oxygenated magnesium fire. There was no question of looking at the fire itself, it hurt to do that, even for an instant. Looking ninety degrees from it, the visual surround was almost completely bleached out, so intense was the ambient light. I can summon the quality of it in meditation.

It is different from looking at the sun, because it is the ambient light, not just the light source, that is so intense. You are immersed in the light, just as much as you are immersed in water if you go swimming. I would be very favorably impressed if somebody could just stand there and surround us with that quality of light.

And ego? No, you're thinking about the light. You can't see your own body... or to be precise, what you see isn't anything you've seen before. You don't glow, you are part of the glow, even as you know you are not the source of the glowing. It's all about the light.

I look over those paragraphs, and it sounds like I am describing a mystical experience. I'm not, some nimrod thought igniting a magnesium rod in oxygen was a good idea. (For specialty welders, it is a good idea, but they look at it through appropriate filters, and generally have a work piece that blocks much of the light.) This really happened. I do have to admit, though, that the experience has stayed with me. And it may be part of why I'm a sceptic. The experience is competitive with many religious stories I've heard, especially in its psychological aspects. Conversely, because of it, I know for a fact that everyday experience isn't the only kind of real experience.

If not for this, I wouldn't be the hamster that I am today. Thank you, nimrod, wherever you are.

-

Edited by eight bits

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Experience has convinced me that there is a persistence of the human personality beyond death, at least in some cases. Or, alternatively, there is an agency that can uncannily mimic same, to a degree that overrides any possibility of 'rational' explanation. And I do believe there is a divine aspect to humans, which is completely inexplicable in rational terms. Even Christ was perplexed by it.....again, from the Gospel of Thomas........

29) Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty."

Just so you know, quoting a fictitious book with no evidential foundation is not going to sway my mind of logic and reason.

Also, your "experiences" can easily be explained by the following...

Chemical releases in the brain

Auditory hallucinations/visual hallucinations

Coincidence, however miraculous they are.

Also, I'd like to hear your experience that so bluntly override any scientific/logical explanation because, chances are, they don't.

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