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ChloeB

No man shall see God and live?

136 posts in this topic

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?

Hi Chloe,

This is just one of the many instances where God demonstrates that he is actually more than a spirit entity as some would have us believe. God has a physical aspect to himself, and while the physical aspect can be seen, the Spiritual aspect will kill.

It is much like God having a conversation with himself while in heaven and on earth at the same time. Link

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Hi Chloe,

This is just one of the many instances where God demonstrates that he is actually more than a spirit entity as some would have us believe. God has a physical aspect to himself, and while the physical aspect can be seen, the Spiritual aspect will kill.

It is much like God having a conversation with himself while in heaven and on earth at the same time. Link

Hey Jorel,

You always give me reading assignments, hehe. I did read it though. But why do you think that is, the Spiritual aspect will kill, because doesn't God encourage just that, for you to seek after that spiritual aspect of God? Wouldn't that lead you to believe it is something God wants, and then he wants something to die? If I wanted to get really deep, I could probably tie this all in with the fall, the knowledge of good and evil being our fall into duality, and that being the birth of the ego and the idea of the separation we feel from God, then I could see that being something God might want to die or kill, or at least some purpose for that, but that's why kooky way of looking at it. You're more traditional, why do you think this is?

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Getting back to the original question of this thread, a clarifying little insight has come to me. While I am convinced it is not to be taken literally ("No man shall see God and live"), I believe it to be a reference to what has been called the "numinous", the vast and mysterious contents of the unconscious mind, including that aspect that Jung described as "indistinguishable from God", that, were it to erupt suddenly into consciousness, would be so overwhelming as to produce insanity and even death.

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Not necessarily "death by the sword of persecutors", but that is certainly a possibility in extreme situations. Sometimes from family. It was just a statement that following Jesus properly will lead to persecution. I'm thankful I live in a society that is tolerant of this type of thing. But that doesn't make Jesus' comments any less real.

I completely reject the idea that following Jesus means severing family ties. This is not anywhere implied in the text. If I'm wrong, please show me how by fully relating the entirety of Matthew 10, including the reference to "sheep and wolves" in verse 16, the reference to persecution in verse 23, and most interestingly the reference to betrayal amongst family members in verse 21. Show me how this fits in to the narrative and then show how verses 34-39 go down a completely different path into this strange new Buddhist leaning that people want to shove it into...

Only after that is done will I agree that your interpretation is correct.

~ PA

As Eight Bits says, all the passages you quote are not necessarily in the one narrative context, so I think it best to concentrate on the imagery of the sword. And it surely is not a literal sword. To sever ties or bonds requires a cutting instrument, and Christ was the figurative sword, breaking the prospective disciples away from those near and dear, in the interests of the Kingdom and its attainment. True disciples must become solitaries, not look back, or anticipate forward. It is, in truth, an all-or-nothing exercise in which we surrender all we are, and have, to receive all that we can accomodate of God. It may be a crude analogy, but like a high-stakes poker player who has gone "all-in", the true disciple throws everything he has into the balance, including his very life, without reserve. Now, this is a very unpopular interpretation for armchair or recreational followers of religions, and zealots of religious dogma, but it is the truth as I see it. Not that I advise anyone to follow such a course, unless the call is of such strength and insistence, it leaves the pilgrim with no alternative.

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Hey Jorel,

You always give me reading assignments, hehe. I did read it though. But why do you think that is, the Spiritual aspect will kill, because doesn't God encourage just that, for you to seek after that spiritual aspect of God? Wouldn't that lead you to believe it is something God wants, and then he wants something to die? If I wanted to get really deep, I could probably tie this all in with the fall, the knowledge of good and evil being our fall into duality, and that being the birth of the ego and the idea of the separation we feel from God, then I could see that being something God might want to die or kill, or at least some purpose for that, but that's why kooky way of looking at it. You're more traditional, why do you think this is?

I believe that our physical bodies are not equipped to handle the view of God, nothing more. We would die of sensory overload, or a variation therof. I really couldn't explain it any further than this. It would be like being exposed to such a high level of radiation that we could not survive the experience intact.

I think that either our bodies or our minds would go "poof"...object-emoticon-0034.gif

That is why God has always worked through an intermediary, an agent... that can appear to us, without those consequences... we can use the parallel of an avatar for the purpose in defining that agent. There is not one single instance where God appears in his overwhelming Spiritual form. Even the example you quoted in the OP does not have God appearing in his fullness. Moses was just given a taste.

What we have are many instances of God using his intermediary form, an avatar so to speak, that is variously described by a number of terms. "His Word", "His Angel" and a number of others. What is interesting is that these all use the name of God as their own. They are not a messenger, they are taken to be God himself.

Edited by Jor-el

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Getting back to the original question of this thread, a clarifying little insight has come to me. While I am convinced it is not to be taken literally ("No man shall see God and live"), I believe it to be a reference to what has been called the "numinous", the vast and mysterious contents of the unconscious mind, including that aspect that Jung described as "indistinguishable from God", that, were it to erupt suddenly into consciousness, would be so overwhelming as to produce insanity and even death.

I believe that our physical bodies are not equipped to handle the view of God, nothing more. We would die of sensory overload, or a variation therof. I really couldn't explain it any further than this. It would be like being exposed to such a high level of radiation that we could not survive the experience intact.

I think that either our bodies or our minds would go "poof"...object-emoticon-0034.gif

That is why God has always worked through an intermediary, an agent... that can appear to us, without those consequences... we can use the parallel of an avatar for the purpose in defining that agent. There is not one single instance where God appears in his overwhelming Spiritual form. Even the example you quoted in the OP does not have God appearing in his fullness. Moses was just given a taste.

What we have are many instances of God using his intermediary form, an avatar so to speak, that is variously described by a number of terms. "His Word", "His Angel" and a number of others. What is interesting is that these all use the name of God as their own. They are not a messenger, they are taken to be God himself.

I think you both are saying the same thing actually. I wonder if we'd call those intermediaries and agents archetypes, Jorel? Just a thought I had, maybe, huh? Why do we project unconscious things onto a being? What if we didn't project it, would we go poof?

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PA

In your recent post, you introduced the goal of a close reading of 10:34 in situ. Obviously, I am unsure that the placement of the saying does in fact reflect a single oratorical episode.

Nevertheless, I cannot dismiss verse 21, which speaks of family turning against family and then suddenly think that Jesus is moving into a totally new issue. Whether or not they are several of Jesus' speeches amalgamated into one (and being a Bible-believer I believe them to be one) the author clearly chose to put verse 21 in virtually the same breath as verse 34. The author wanted to link the two concepts, so do we have a Right to summarily remove that link just to make it sound as if he is talking about ego/attachment (Buddhist ideas)? Not that you specifically have mentioned Buddhist ideas, but several comments do seem to be trying to make that link.

How has any post of mine, in the almost five years I have been a member here, ever implied that Jesus conquered anything, or that he presented himself as an aspirant to conquer anything during his first visit here? This is simply not my view, and never has been.

Perhaps I should have said the Jews listening were expecting a conquering Messiah, not that Jesus expected or conquered anything (though as a non-related aside, Christians believe that Jesus did conquer death).

I disagree. Jesus is doing a standard-issue capture briefing. Recruits are reminded that if they are captured, and some of them surely will be, then their captivity will be demanding. Recruits are also reminded, however, that captives are never forgotten by HQ, and that they should find the resources to persevere while awaiting escape or rescue.

A speech very much like this could be given by any drill instructor in any bootcamp today. OK, maybe the DI will use a little saltier language, but the message is timeless: if you're captured, then you're still part of the team, so hang tough. Capture is not the end of your fight. HOOrah!

Now this I can perhaps agree with. I'm not sure the idea of being captured is really there, but being part of a team, that things will be demanding and tough, but never forgotten by HQ and never abandoned. That could be an acceptable approach.

~ Regards, PA

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PA, not really, and I don't remember us talking about it or me reading what you've said about the Angel of the Lord. What comes to mind is some things that came up about Balaam and the donkey story and the Angel of the Lord in that.

The Angel of the Lord is a recurring figure in the Old Testament. Often when God appears to someone the text states that it was the Angel of the Lord who came down, but it was the voice of God who spoke. For example, the famous Burning Bush scene with Moses, the text reads as follows:

Exo 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.

Exo 3:3 And Moses said, "I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned."

Exo 3:4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."

There is a duality here that is unique in the Bible. On one hand, it was the Angel of the LORD who appeared, on the other hand it was God who spoke. The Angel acts as a kind of mouthpiece for God. It isn't actually God himself, but it has the power to speak as if it is God and is treated as God by those to whom it appears.

Other examples of the Angel of the Lord

* when Jacob is said to have wrestled with God, but he was wrestling with a man.

* Balaam and the talking donkey, when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Balaam but it was the Lord who opened his eyes to see him.

* The Angel of the Lord appears to Gideon in Judges 6:12, and when Gideon speaks to it, the text responds that "And the LORD said to him". Not the Angel of the Lord, the Lord (much like the Burning Bush sequence).

There are more, but this is enough to convey what I am pointing out. So bringing this back to the thread question, no man shall see God and live - when man sees God it is often the Angel of the Lord, but the figure is so entwined with the Lord that they are referred to as the same being.

As an aside, some Christians (myself included) believe the Angel of the Lord to be Jesus. Thus when the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses, he was talking to Jesus who is God and therefore the text says that God spoke. However, God the Father did not appear to them and when it says that no man may see God and live, it is referring to the Father, not the Son. But that's an admittedly Christian interpretation.

Whatever the case, a person can come face-to-face with God and never actually see God - that sounds contradictory but with the Angel of the Lord that is exactly what is being presented.

Hope this helps :tu:

~ Regards,

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As Eight Bits says, all the passages you quote are not necessarily in the one narrative context, so I think it best to concentrate on the imagery of the sword.

I disagree. Whether they are the same narrative context or not, the author clearly wants to link the two themes together. I would therefore not presume to remove that intentional link jut to try and make it say something I want it to say.

And it surely is not a literal sword. To sever ties or bonds requires a cutting instrument, and Christ was the figurative sword, breaking the prospective disciples away from those near and dear, in the interests of the Kingdom and its attainment. True disciples must become solitaries, not look back, or anticipate forward. It is, in truth, an all-or-nothing exercise in which we surrender all we are, and have, to receive all that we can accomodate of God. It may be a crude analogy, but like a high-stakes poker player who has gone "all-in", the true disciple throws everything he has into the balance, including his very life, without reserve. Now, this is a very unpopular interpretation for armchair or recreational followers of religions, and zealots of religious dogma, but it is the truth as I see it. Not that I advise anyone to follow such a course, unless the call is of such strength and insistence, it leaves the pilgrim with no alternative.

I can see what you are saying, and in a sense you are right. If required a disciple of Jesus should let go of whatever he needs to in order to do the will of God. Where I think our disagreement lies is in the application of when a person should let go of something. If necessary a Christian should let go of all worldly possessions. Does this mean I should up and sell my tv/dvd's/laptop/xbox/books/bed/clothes/etc right this instant? No - I can if that is what God wills it, and I should if these possessions are getting in the way of doing the will of God, but I don't have to right this very instant.

So bringing this to family - should I sever ties with my family? No. If necessary I might have to. If circumstances require it I might be forced to (let's say my family were not approving of my beliefs and they shun me). But I don't have to go "all in" straight off the bat and leave ties to family behind. I have a loving family who cares for me.

But I don't think Jesus ever taught that we should sever our ties and just devote ourselves to God's will - after all, if part of God's will is to bring other people to God then how can we do that if we've severed all ties with those who would hear it. Going out on the street and randomly speaking to strangers is a virtually useless process. However, our friends and our family care about what we say because we have a relationship with them, therefore they are more likely to listen to us than a random stranger on the street (in some ways you could thus say that true Christianity requires the exact opposite of severing ties to relationships).

~ PA

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Mark 10:28-30

Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life."

That is a fairly compelling case for Jesus endorsing the requirement of disconnecting from family as part of discipleship. I am less convinced that the success rate of 100% he claimed, was attained, though.

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Mark 10:28-30

Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life."

That is a fairly compelling case for Jesus endorsing the requirement of disconnecting from family as part of discipleship. I am less convinced that the success rate of 100% he claimed, was attained, though.

It is not a compelling case at all. In the time of Jesus, the gospels did not exist. Thus this passage has to be seen as purely an invention by the author, rather than any testament to a truth regarding what Jesus actually said.

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It is not a compelling case at all. In the time of Jesus, the gospels did not exist. Thus this passage has to be seen as purely an invention by the author, rather than any testament to a truth regarding what Jesus actually said.

Naturally, translated and re-translated many times, the 'gospels' has probably come to substitute for 'message', or something similar. We will never know, but of course the gospels as we understand the term are post the life of jesus. I don't see that as an obstacle rendering the verse void. You would have to scrap the entire bible if that were the case.

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PA

Do not forget the Jews who converted to Jesus-worship.

We have no direct evidence that any Jew who met him before he died worshipped Jesus. Acts is very circumspect about what the Way's doctrinal stance was. Pliny, writing in the early Second Century, describes the veneration of Jesus by Christians with the hedge "as if to" a god, which is guardedly short of "as a" god.

The line between any autonomous supernatural personal figure and a god is inherently thin. To this day, for example, some Protestants insist that Catholics worship Mary, which all informed Catholics deny, correctly, IMO.

Thus, there may well be no "Jews who converted to Jesus-worship" to forget, when speaking of Jews to whom Jesus spoke with natural voice.

Nevertheless, I cannot dismiss verse 21, which speaks of family turning against family and then suddenly think that Jesus is moving into a totally new issue.

Unlike Australia, the United States has endured a civil war, so we are familiar with the inherent nature of internecine warfare, especially now, as we publicly commemorate the sesquicentennial of that protracted conflict. Verse 21's imagery was routine literal daily life in those days.

An insurgency has most of the features of a civil war, and insurgency was the sort of war that was in prospect. Jews, not only Romans, were killing Jews in the circa 70 uprising. Even Biblically, Jesus' own relatives are divided from him during his life. There is no prize for anticipating that insurgency will excite further conflict within faimlies and communities.

the author clearly chose to put verse 21 in virtually the same breath as verse 34. The author wanted to link the two concepts, so do we have a Right to summarily remove that link

In my opinion, the intentions of the speaker and the intentions of a later editor ought to be distinguished. I have already explained my view about that in earlier posts. There is nothing "summary" about it.

so do we have a Right to summarily remove that link just to make it sound as if he is talking about ego/attachment (Buddhist ideas)?

Many of the ideas that on the internetz are called "Buddhist" are actually developments in the common heritage of the Indo-European culture area, and some were independently introduced into the West by Heraclitus, a contemporary of Gautama. Hellenized culture is Indo-European. Might Jesus have found occasion to comment upon Hellenized Jews? Maybe, eh?

Perhaps I should have said the Jews listening were expecting a conquering Messiah

OK, in that case, I think that Jews listening were expecting a militarily successful Messiah. Their immediate problem was to get out from under Rome and its client-puppet kings. It is not logically necessary for a liberated Jewish nation to conquer anybody to achieve hegemony among nations, so I have no idea what the First Century Jewish consensus was for post-Roman political action. Thus, I have never offered a theory of that aspect of the problem, either.

I'm not sure the idea of being captured is really there

Verses 10: 17-20 are explicit about being captured, with subsequent poor treatment and show trials:

But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

It doesn't sound to me like Jesus is talking about folks who are free to leave.

Chloe

Maybe sort of what Lion's saying about keeping desires in check?

But "keeping in check" is an ego-function. What the Buddha (and Jung) recommends, I think, is to align ego with reality. "Get the facts and use them." The eight-fold path is formed by appending "right" to a roster of ego-functions. An informed ego will spontaneously do the right things. There will be nothing that anyone needs to "keep in check," which works out neatly, since there is nobody to do the keeping, nor is any such keeping possible anyway.

It's like when something happens to me that makes me really happy, there are times I catch myself not really even enjoying the moment because I am thinking about how much time I have until it's over or when I may have that opportunity to be that happy again, what could I do to make it sooner, more often, and what have I done? Missed it......with all the stupid crap going on in my head.

And yet, that's not so different from the novice meditator whose mind "drifts." OK, acknowledge and turn back to what's what. "Keeping in check" just perpetuates the distraction, and pretty litearlly becomes what it resists, a distraction from what's what.

To be surprised that there is some art to running a mind is like being surprised there is some art to playing the piano :). Practice, practice, practice!

Well heaven sounds pretty lame ... The only thing I thought sounded good was you get to see the people you lost that died, that is if you were saved, but otherwise all I could wrap my head around was it was a place where there were no problems

In other words, what here and now would be like if we all had our heads on right.

I hesitate to add anything to Eckhart. Dude is out of my league :) . I am with him about this part,

If you're frightened of dying and holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the Earth".

But I think the Orthodox are right, you don't have to die to achieve that state, and just because you aren't holding on, that doesn't mean you'll float away.

In fact, knowing that you won't just float away is an early step in letting go, at least according to some people.

And of course I don't need to tell you that what's in the last quote block is precisely (and concisely) what Jung called "Shadow work." It's not something we're supposed to postpone to the last minute. There are benefits to be had right now.

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Mark 10:28-30

Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life."

That is a fairly compelling case for Jesus endorsing the requirement of disconnecting from family as part of discipleship. I am less convinced that the success rate of 100% he claimed, was attained, though.

Again, check the context. Jesus has just finished rebuking the "rich man" who wanted to know how to achieve eternal life. He says that the rich man has done good stuff but one thing more is necessary - sell all he has and give it to the poor. The rich man walks away sad because he had great wealth. So Peter then points out that they have left all and followed him. Jesus then confirms that anyone who has given away house/brothers/sisters/fathers/mothers/wives/lands/etc for his sake are blessed. But that doesn't mean that this is absolutely necessary. As with the rich man, his wealth was in the way of his worship of God. If the rich man were willing to give it away then he would be good. In other words, the passage focuses on what gets in the way of God-worship. In the case of the rich person, it was money. In the case of others it might be family. Such as the example I gave earlier with my pastor who had to make a choice between his love for his parents or his love for God. There is no indication that a person who follows God to the best of his abilities and still has a good relationship with his family that they must part ways. That is not in the text!

~ PA

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PA

We have no direct evidence that any Jew who met him before he died worshipped Jesus. Acts is very circumspect about what the Way's doctrinal stance was. Pliny, writing in the early Second Century, describes the veneration of Jesus by Christians with the hedge "as if to" a god, which is guardedly short of "as a" god.

If you take the view of people such as the Emperor Julian, then pagans did not see Jesus as anything "god-like". Our earlier discussion (from another thread) on language etymology comes into play here. If a writer commented that Christians worshipped "as if to a god", it just means that they don't see Jesus as a god. Hence the Emperor Julian in the 4th Century made the claim about Christianity as a form of "atheism". In this sense, Pliny may very well speak to Jesus' worship to be "as if to a god", because he did not see Jesus as a god.

Do you see my meaning there? I see the discussion you made a few weeks ago about atheism in the 2nd and 3rd Centuries AD to be directly related to this - Pliny, being a pagan, would see it the exact same way! Christians, worshipping Jesus "as if to a god".

Unlike Australia, the United States has endured a civil war, so we are familiar with the inherent nature of internecine warfare, especially now, as we publicly commemorate the sesquicentennial of that protracted conflict. Verse 21's imagery was routine literal daily life in those days.

As you say, Australia has not gone through civil war as you have. Could you please elaborate for us non-Americans how civil war is addressed in this passage?

In my opinion, the intentions of the speaker and the intentions of a later editor ought to be distinguished. I have already explained my view about that in earlier posts. There is nothing "summary" about it.

I totally agree - the intentions of the speaker and the editor ought to be distinguished. However, what I am wondering is how you arrive at the conclusion that these are separate speeches and that the original speaker intended separate intentions. All we have to go on in 2012 AD is what was written then. The author intentionally put these two concepts side by side. Why? Was there a different intention by Jesus when he originally said it? I need to see evidence of that first. Without such information (and I know it doesn't exist) we can either choose to believe the author, including the context. Or we can choose to believe that there was another context that we are not privy to. The difference is that one version is supported by the text, while the other version is supported by nothing except opinion.

Many of the ideas that on the internetz are called "Buddhist" are actually developments in the common heritage of the Indo-European culture area, and some were independently introduced into the West by Heraclitus, a contemporary of Gautama. Hellenized culture is Indo-European. Might Jesus have found occasion to comment upon Hellenized Jews? Maybe, eh?

I was referring to the concepts of suffering and attachment. I am not ignorant of Buddhist teaching (though I don't claim to be an expert). The key comments used to support this view have been by those who want to argue that the "sword" referred to cutting off the ego - attachment, and thus by removing attachment suffering ceases. This is Buddhist to the core. You have not brought this idea forth. Neither has Habitat. But other members have tried to link the concepts and in that view I totally disagree.

Verses 10: 17-20 are explicit about being captured, with subsequent poor treatment and show trials:

Ok, I see your meaning. I didn't think of that in terms of warfare and being "captured" but now that you point it out I can see your point of view. As I said before, it does make sense. Persecution will happen. That's what Jesus is saying....

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PA

Do you see my meaning there?

Yes, I do. Pliny, however, is describing the purposes and activities of Christian meetings, according to what Christian informants had told him. Pliny is not comparing their beliefs with his own beliefs. The context is entirely different from Julian's remark, made about 250 years later. The essence of Julian's remark was to state his difference with Christians' beliefs, just as Maris, Bishop of Chalcedon, stated the complementary difference by calling Julian an atheist.

"As their god" was entirely within the scope of Pliny's purpose, if that was what his investigation had uncovered. There is no "etymological" issue here, either, as there is with atheist, no ambiguity about the sense of "as if," as there is for both "without" and "god" in "without god."

Could you please elaborate for us non-Americans how civil war is addressed in this passage?

You mean that civil war typically involves family and community dissension? Here's an American narrative:

http://www.jcs-group.com/military/war1861people/brother.html

Civil war is not an exclusively American phenomenon. Our common political ancestor (and homeland of our mother tongue) also had a civil war.

http://www.heritagedaily.com/2011/05/the-english-civil-war-its-fortifications-and-a-%E2%80%98modern%E2%80%99-parliament/

I think these make the point, but examples could be found outside the English speaking world, too. Familial and community divison are inherent features of this kind of war, everywhere and whenever they occur.

However, what I am wondering is how you arrive at the conclusion that these are separate speeches

I don't arrive at the conclusion that they are separate, but rather see no reason to assume they are not. There is certainly no textual representation that they were all said on one occasion.

I am not quite sure what we are laboring. We agree that the pieces are at least thematically related, which so far has kept us more-or-less on the same page.

But other members have tried to link the concepts and in that view I totally disagree.

Well, OK, but you raised the "Buddhist" issue in remarks addressed to me. I wouldn't have linked Jesus' "sword" to the ego through Buddhism, and didn't, but I can hardly rule out a similar linkage through Heraclitus. Neither Jesus' teaching nor what survives of Heraclitus' seems to be about "ending suffering" in the signature Buddhist sense. While that concern is peculiarly Buddhist, concern with ego transcendence, mitigating worldly attachment and fostering spiritual growth are not.

Glad you see what I mean by "captivity." We'll undersatnd each other yet :) .

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Jesus preached about maintaining essential 'Jewishness'; preached against the current religious authority; and subtly preached against Rome.

The preachings of Jesus became popularised to the people with the first gospel (Mark) around 60-65 CE. The first Jewish revolt against Rome (the Great Revolt) started in 66 CE.

While I am not advocating the preachings of Jesus were the sole instigation for the first Jewish rebellion, there is a distinct possibility they added weight to the discord already within Jewish society at that time.

This would suggest the preachings being bandied about here - about "bringing a sword", etc - were not, at that time, viewed as a form of 'Jewish Buddhism'. It is entirely possible this 'Buddhist interpretation' is quite modern, and deviates from the actual intent of what was written.

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I think you both are saying the same thing actually. I wonder if we'd call those intermediaries and agents archetypes, Jorel? Just a thought I had, maybe, huh? Why do we project unconscious things onto a being? What if we didn't project it, would we go poof?

No, I wouldn't call them archetypes. I would call these agents (there is actually only one) or avatars, "Gods middleman". This way God can physically manifest himself without his "Glory" tagging along.

I have this image in my mind of Carl Sagans explanation of the 4th dimension, which would help us with this particular discussion. Here is the video...

I would say that the agent or the Avatar, is that part of God which visibly touches our space time continuum.... and thus becomes visible to us. To be shown God in his full Glory, would be to jump into his dimension, that would kill us.

I hope the video helps to explain what I'm driving at.... ^_^

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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?

All that is saying is that "Moses" spoke to him on a spiritual level...Not like in the sense of in the flesh.."eye to eye"

Not one has never seen the creator with his own two "flesh eyes"....

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Mark 10:28-30

Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life."

That is a fairly compelling case for Jesus endorsing the requirement of disconnecting from family as part of discipleship. I am less convinced that the success rate of 100% he claimed, was attained, though.

By "disconnecting" that would mean a separation of the flesh and spirit....

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I was referring to the concepts of suffering and attachment. I am not ignorant of Buddhist teaching (though I don't claim to be an expert). The key comments used to support this view have been by those who want to argue that the "sword" referred to cutting off the ego - attachment, and thus by removing attachment suffering ceases. This is Buddhist to the core. You have not brought this idea forth. Neither has Habitat. But other members have tried to link the concepts and in that view I totally disagree.

PA, sorry to resurrect this a bit, but I was listening to Eckhart Tolle yesterday and you know a lot of what he says is very similar to Buddhist teachings (and no, EB and Habitat weren't putting forth the idea, it was Bill Moyers first and then me and Libstak maybe some I think) but anyhoo, I know you don't agree with that about suffering, but Tolle mentioned something in that I was listening to about what is the very symbol for Christianity? The cross...and yeah I know you don't so much, but about every Christian I know sees the cross as the symbol of their religion, and what is the cross a symbol of, why is a torture device the symbol? It is a symbol for suffering....and to me, Jesus death on the cross was an end to that suffering, and it makes perfect sense to me that is what he was showing the way for, death of ego. His death being some bargaining chip for a get ouf of jail free card and that checks and balances idea of paying off some sort of cosmic debt to a God that assigned the debt and paid it back to himself as himself in the form of a human, just seems so much more manufactured and artificial to me and doesn't make sense, never has to me. Anyway, just something that I came across and made me think and of course I had to tell you guys, lol.

Edited by ChloeB

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^ Hi Chloe,

In the context of the passage we are talking about, "death of the ego" is not in the context unless you take the view that they are separate speeches of Jesus that have been amalgamated and the context in which they are presented don't reflect the original. Which is ok to believe, if that is what you believe. But Bible-believing Christians won't ever agree because they use context - in this case that the author intentionally chose to link the concepts of persecution from family. Are we wrong? Maybe, but we look at the context.

Likewise the crucifixion is simply death. And while that does result in the cessation of suffering, I think it a stretch to overlay inherently Buddhist philosophies on top of this just in order to vindicate a preconceived position. Take the text as the text and move from there. Use the text to interpret the text. Not a concept to then fit into the text. That is my opinion on what is being done here.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it :tu:

~ PA

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^ Hi Chloe,

In the context of the passage we are talking about, "death of the ego" is not in the context unless you take the view that they are separate speeches of Jesus that have been amalgamated and the context in which they are presented don't reflect the original. Which is ok to believe, if that is what you believe. But Bible-believing Christians won't ever agree because they use context - in this case that the author intentionally chose to link the concepts of persecution from family. Are we wrong? Maybe, but we look at the context.

Likewise the crucifixion is simply death. And while that does result in the cessation of suffering, I think it a stretch to overlay inherently Buddhist philosophies on top of this just in order to vindicate a preconceived position. Take the text as the text and move from there. Use the text to interpret the text. Not a concept to then fit into the text. That is my opinion on what is being done here.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it :tu:

~ PA

I'm not trying to change your opinion, PA. It was just something that I came across that I felt expanded on the point here. I'd never expect you to change your opinion on any of it, ever. I doubt any religion has evolved free of influence by others, I'm sorry if it upsets you we thought Christianity may have some influence of Buddhist thought, which I think is likely, as Buddhist though I'm sure had influence of others. That's what I think is the important thing, to look for the thread that runs through them all, if there's anything worth taking seriously, it would be something that stood the tests of time and culture and reappears, not arrives on the scene to the chosen ones or at some time one man out of all history claims to be God and this one for some reason is. I think if there's a God or anything to spirituality, it's going to come through repetitively all over the world, throughout history. This idea you accept some idea someone died for you, pays off your debts seems to me like a misled idea.

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There were so many interesting & well-thought out posts I had to go back to the original to catch the thread. About God's back-side, about God, this is what I'm thinking, without yet having reached any conclusions. First, I see God as an informed intelligent energy that powers the universe, not as an anthropomorphic being. Starting with that premise, perhaps the back-side is all that exists, the cosmos, us, our planet, plants, animals, oceans, etc. That this informed energy does manifest itself in the physical world, it is everywhere, within us, and external from us. Lately I've been questioning my assumption that this energy is divine in nature, within the religious context of divine. Perhaps it could be called divine in the larger context that it is everpresent.

In regard to the sword, perhaps it's a metaphor for "cutting away" the illusion that we are separate from that intelligent energy. Personally, I often move between two realities, one that is mundane, without meaning it as a perjorative, which is wonderful, the everyday world, full of passion, love, confusion, the human condition, so to speak. Being human, my intention is to make the most out of my lifetime here, to celebrate every day. The other reality I experience is an awareness of, metaphor coming, the muscles, bones, nerves, blood of our physical world, that can't be seen but exists, nevertheless, those things beneather the surface that keep everything going. I'm not sure I'm verbalizing this very clearly, it's sometimes difficult to find the language for it. Whatever the truth is, without even being sure there is any truth to find, I find life a blessing, and for that I am grateful.

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There were so many interesting & well-thought out posts I had to go back to the original to catch the thread. About God's back-side, about God, this is what I'm thinking, without yet having reached any conclusions. First, I see God as an informed intelligent energy that powers the universe, not as an anthropomorphic being. Starting with that premise, perhaps the back-side is all that exists, the cosmos, us, our planet, plants, animals, oceans, etc. That this informed energy does manifest itself in the physical world, it is everywhere, within us, and external from us. Lately I've been questioning my assumption that this energy is divine in nature, within the religious context of divine. Perhaps it could be called divine in the larger context that it is everpresent.

In regard to the sword, perhaps it's a metaphor for "cutting away" the illusion that we are separate from that intelligent energy. Personally, I often move between two realities, one that is mundane, without meaning it as a perjorative, which is wonderful, the everyday world, full of passion, love, confusion, the human condition, so to speak. Being human, my intention is to make the most out of my lifetime here, to celebrate every day.

I liked this post very much. That cutting away from that intelligent energy (and I liked that phrase "intelligent" energy, I may borrow that) is a metaphor for cutting away the illusion that we were separate. I had that similar feeling when I said maybe what dies when you see the true face of God is the illusion that you were ever separate at all.

The other reality I experience is an awareness of, metaphor coming, the muscles, bones, nerves, blood of our physical world, that can't be seen but exists, nevertheless, those things beneather the surface that keep everything going. I'm not sure I'm verbalizing this very clearly, it's sometimes difficult to find the language for it. Whatever the truth is, without even being sure there is any truth to find, I find life a blessing, and for that I am grateful.

I actually think I know what you're talking about and if I ever try to talk about it, I feel like I can't express it clearly, but I've tried on here a few times, but I had an experience where I kind of went into an altered consciousness or expanded consciousness maybe, but what you said about the body and blood and nerves, etc. of our physical world, it was the same for me, in a car on a highway you felt like a part of a bigger organism, the cells traveling through vessels, that car on that highway, for just a little while it was that way. I think many people have had that similar experience. It's what always makes me want to learn more about Gaia theory. :)

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