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Experiencing God
August 19, 2008
1:53 am
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free

On the 18-Aug-08 you wrote:

"Tez, I don't think the gnostic gospels are accepted in most Christian denominations. Includes St. Thomas."

I would 100% agree with you on this point.

I didn't mean to give the impression that I thought they were acceptable to the modern day Christian dogmatists.

My point is that as Thomas's mysticism was very close to Christ's his writings are, I suspect, much closer to Christ's real message than anything else written in the new testament without exception.

I believe that Christ was a genuine mystic whose message was well beyond the materialistic, dualistic minds of the early Christian fathers. With little evidence to back me up, I strongly suspect that anything not understood by such non-mystical minds was very quickly disposed of as an anaethema. That would have ruled out all but the most shallow components of Christ's message. I doubt that Christ ever played any part in the authorship of the Lord's prayer. It is obnoxious in its connotations.

What the gnostics did with Christ's mystical teachings long after Christ's death is another story. Unfortunately those 'loving' Christians who opposed the beliefs of their Christian gnostic brothers and sisters put these same gnostics to the sword. We are lucky that the 'gnostic' gospels survived the centuries. I use the words Christian Gnostics loosely because they were followers of Christ's mystical message - for no other reason. As you probably know there were 'factions' formed amongst the early Christians that turned quite violent. For just a small sample see below:

"Cyril began his career as Bishop of Alexandria by showing himself to be an ill-tempered, quarrelsome, hasty, and violent man. He shut the churches of the Novatianists (a group of Christians who were indistinguishable in doctrine and manner of worship from other Christians, but who as descendants of those who had stood firm in the persecutions 260 years earlier could have nothing to do with the descendants of those who had not -- nearly a century earlier, the emperor Constantine had disgustedly told their leader to set up a ladder and climb to heaven by himself), he drove out the Jews, he quarrelled with the imperial prefect Orestes, and with Orestes' friend Hypatia, a distinguished neo-Platonist scholar. (Hypatia was murdered by a mob. There is no evidence that Cyril was directly guilty, but the murderers were persons who regarded him as their leader.) In short, he made a bad beginning."

See the link below for the full document from which the quote came:

Reference

August 19, 2008
11:32 am
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Free, tell me one thing about Tez.

He says this:

>> I have said that I have the utmost admiration for the man. I have even said that if he was alive today I would most probably be one of his disciples.

Then he says he hates Christianity and we've all seen how he criticizes it.

How can one like Jesus while hating Christianity? You're gonna say "well I could love Hitler's stamp collecting skills while hating his personality", but thats not the answer...

August 19, 2008
7:09 pm
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Yes Free, for my sake please try to explain to Guest_guest the difference between the what purports to be Christ's message contained in the bible - that is, Christian dogma - and that which is contained within the Gospel of St. Thomas. The two are 'chalk and cheese'.

No matter how well you do that I doubt that Guest_guest will comprehend one iota of what you write.

August 19, 2008
7:26 pm
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Christ was not a church leader. He was a rebellious thorn in the side of the church's heavy hitters.

He would probably have been more sympathetic to Karl Marx than to any church dedicated to controlling the minds of the people for the benefit of the sovereign state.

He drew his power not from his followers who ultimately betrayed him, but in his consciousness of a divine power within. His example leads us not to the conformity of a religion but rather to a spiritual resurrection from the ills of our human condition.

August 19, 2008
7:35 pm
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Thanks Wiz.

I sincerely hope that your post clarifies Guest_guest's misunderstandings.

August 19, 2008
7:36 pm
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((((TruthBTold)))) Thank you for sharing your experience, and thank you for resorting back to what I initially intended this thread to be about. That's just awesome that you had that experience. You were definetly blessed !!!!! @--]----

August 19, 2008
8:40 pm
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Well guest I'll try to answer your question.

Jesus was IMO the greatest mystic of all time. A free thinker. He is a hero to me. But I'm definitely not a big fan of Christianity either. Christianity as we know it for the most part, was created by man, not Jesus.

So, here's an example.....I'm gonna form a religion, guest_guestianity. I'm going to look over your posts for the past few years and twist and turn things to suit my agenda. I'll exclude what I so choose. I'm going to insert thoughts and explanations where I think insertion should occur.

What do you think of that? No big deal?

In guest_guestianity those who profess a spiritual faith will be put to death because their existence has no value anyways.

You may say "but I never said that."

Exactly.

free

August 20, 2008
3:15 am
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For about two months, I've been writing a monograph about parallel analysis of esoteric themes in the synoptic gospels and the gospel of Thomas.

And the more I read this thread, the more it is growing in me...

This thread is beginning to piss me off, big-time.

Tez, you wrote: "I challenge you and your fellow pastors to explain the writings of Thomas!!! "

Your "challenge" is child's work to *this pastor,* and I'll post it as an appendix to this thread gone horribly wrong. But I suspect that you already know exactly what I am going to say--that's why I'll leave it for later.

But there is hardly any point;

Like I said, I think you already know the "answer" to your "challenge," and I experience you as just picking on the exoteric pastors here. That is very unfair and you know better.

I understand where you are coming from, but you are being a big bully about it.

Pick on somebody your own size for heaven's sake.

I'm very disappointed in your work in this thread.

You are acting like Guest on a bad day.

I can only surmise that that means you have been having a bad day or two? Are you ok, bra?

The astonishing irony here is that Guest_Guest is the only one here to actually come forward and convincingly pick your hissy-fit apart.

What is this world coming to when Guest_Guest is the guy who steps forward and stands up for the Christian Pastors here, defends them against attack from...

I may as well go shave my cat.

August 20, 2008
5:40 am
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The astonishing irony to me is that Pastor Porn is finally agreeing with G_dude about anything. My how the times have changed, and all because of G_'s adversarial stance to Tez.

Shave a cat indeed.

August 20, 2008
8:48 am
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CraigCo
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I remember reading a post somewhere bout name calling..hmm..where was that again? Ah well, whatever.

Anyway, some good points WD.

It's such an age old argument, isn't it? What's that famous old saying? Oh yeah - Never argue about religion or politics. It's a "go nowhere fast" topic.
Surely one of the greatest mysteries of the universe is that of spirutuality or the spiritual plane. Obviously no one has ever been able to acquire any real tangible proof as to the "what comes next" question. As a result of this lack of indisputable proof, many people have turned to alternative sources. Like say, mystics, prophets or sages. Hoping to find at least some clue about what spirituality really means, but of course, even the wisest of the wise won’t agree on everything.
Some say we only get just one life to live while others claim that we live many lives. Some say that it is only through "good deeds" that we can earn our place in the afterlife, while yet others believe that we are presently suffering the results of our previous sins or dirty deeds. It's not hard to see how some could come to believe in any given particular afterlife scenario as many a wise man or women in this world have presented some pretty convincing arguments as to what "they" believe.

Think about some of the more common religions in the world today.
For starters, Hinduism and Buddhism, where it's "karma" that seems to be their basic concept. So, in other words, "you reap what you sow". If this is the case, then that means that everything we do and everything we think is the result of something that happened in the past. If that in fact is the scenario, then that would mean that there is NO "free will". Aren't we all are able to make choices? Certainly. So, I'm much more apt to believe that "free will" has gotta exist. Another problem with Karma is that, if everything we encounter now is the result of some past action, when do we get to "sow" that "something new" that will allow us to "reap" that something better??

Islam and Christianity - everything revolves around that "big sin." The Adam and Eve thing. The eating of the forbidden fruit. So, God punishes them & everyone else down the line of history for eternity as a result of their disobedience. Didn't Adam and Eve start out completely innocent? Just like children? No apparent knowledge of suffering, shame or humiliation? That said, it seems that putting that forbidden apple in front of them would be like putting a piece of candy it in front of an innocent little child & saying - Now don't touch! Take anything but the apple because I said so. Hmm . . I wonder what the little child is going to want the most? Bingo! You're right - the candy, of course! What a cruel trick, really. And of course the child doesn't fully comprehend the consequences of his or her refusal to obey as they wouldn't even have any real concept of suffering. But, God says - "Now you & all of your ancestors must suffer for the rest of your lives!" If there is a God, then I think that he gave us this brain for a reason. To think & be reasonable - no? The consequence for the eating of that forbidden fruit most certainly doesn't strike me as coming even close to qualifying as reasonable.

In other religions it's the - "Everything is the Will of God" thing.
So, if any group of people act in ways that oppose the beliefs of other groups, then that's the will of God? Well, who would be the more righteous group in that situation?
And...if everything IS the will of God, then that must mean that regardless of your own personal beliefs, what I am saying here & now is the "Will of God" also. But wait! ..wouldn’t your beliefs also be the "Will of God?" I'm sure you get where I’m going with this. Hundred of different beliefs with respect to that big question - "what comes next?" One could likely find some merit in many of them but, upon closer inspection of any of them, it seems that it's pretty easy to poke some holes in most all of their theories.

Still though, I can exercise some respect for a person & what they believe. Who the hell am I to try to disprove someone elses beliefs? There aren't any of us that have all the right answers.

All I am offering for consideration here is that before we accept any particular line of thinking or belief, just simply take away our emotional attachments & analyze our concepts for what they really are - Beliefs substantiated only by our own opinions.

August 20, 2008
10:21 am
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CraigCo,

Thanks for your post. Did you write that yourself? LOL. J/K!!!

Yes I have often thought that the Libs crowd would never make it through a dinner party without it erupting into a food fight, stabbing or shooting. What's that old saying, at a dinner party - don't discuss religion, politics or sex?

LOL

August 20, 2008
9:44 pm
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Hi BEvdee,

"Pastor Porn!" LOL! Hey that could be my new handle!

Anyway, Guest and I usually mix it up about religion--I think it is pure chance that he wrote something I liked on a religion/God thread.

I don't mind arguing about dogma--maybe you remember me in the Evolution debates here...

I just think it pays to be gentle with folks on matters of religion--even if they are atheists.

August 21, 2008
2:25 am
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Worried_Dad

On the 20-Aug-08 you wrote:

"Tez, you wrote: "I challenge you and your fellow pastors to explain the writings of Thomas!!! "

Your "challenge" is child's work to *this pastor,* ..."

I eagerly and enthusiastically await your phrase by phrase commentary on the meaning of the Gospel of St. Thomas. When can I expect this to happen on this site and in which thread? This one?

August 21, 2008
2:35 am
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Oh I'd definitely be interested in reading yall's phrase by phrase commentaries on the gospel of St. Thomas.

free

August 21, 2008
1:48 pm
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wow wd, do you really fully understand the gospel of St. Thomas as if it were child's work?

a mystic after my own heart!

free

August 21, 2008
6:07 pm
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My sentiments too. I only hope Ma Strong's Sir Galahad is not all piss and wind.

August 21, 2008
6:40 pm
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You wouldn't be implying that WD is a Windy Dripper, would you?

That would be name-calling.

We don't do that here in this culture.

August 21, 2008
7:14 pm
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Heavens No! I wouldn't dream of such a thing; says I tongue in cheek.

Well ... that is, not unless the cap fits - you cheeky thing. 🙂

August 21, 2008
8:48 pm
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CraigCo

Thanks for your insightful post of 20-Aug-08.

Inthis post of yours, you wrote(embolding mine):

"All I am offering for consideration here is that before we accept any particular line of thinking or belief, just simply take away our emotional attachments & analyze our concepts for what they really are - Beliefs substantiated only by our own opinions."

Yes! Yes! Yes! a thousand times over, yes!

When emotions erupt over threatened beliefs this means only one thing to me; that the offended one's feelings of security are strongly dependent upon those same beliefs being true in the mind of the threatened one. If there is another deeper reason, then please enlighten me to what it is.

Then you wrote what I found to be a delight and a question near to my heart! You wrote:

"Think about some of the more common religions in the world today. For starters, Hinduism and Buddhism, where it's "karma" that seems to be their basic concept. So, in other words, "you reap what you sow". If this is the case, then that means that everything we do and everything we think is the result of something that happened in the past. If that in fact is the scenario, then that would mean that there is NO "free will". Aren't we all are able to make choices?"

I posed this exact same question to a Ch'an buddhist monk, for whom I have the highest respect. I was a little disappointed with his answer. But I conceded in my own mind that the time and place in the crowded cloister of the Temple where demands were being made of him by others, was not optimal for such a deep discussion. He was posted back to China before I could explore the question further. His brief, concatenated answer was: "Hmmmm ... this a deep issue that has involved the deepest thinkers in debate in Buddhist circles." After that he was ambushed by demanding deciples.

My highly likely to be erroneous take on this question is this:

Deep down and underpinning all, there is Pure Mind, from which all deluded minds derives their very being. The mind that is writing this is an exemplar of such a deluded mind. If only this were not so.

Access to this Pure Mind that is the 'All That Is', is blocked by the very walls constructed by our deluded mind.

Those walls, containing our imaginery 'self' and keeping out the 'other', are maintained by what we label as the ego.

But the same walls are also a self made prison that keeps us from accessing Pure Mind and thus exerting truly free choice.

If we are not running completely on auto-pilot, what we think of as free choice is little more than a choice from pathetically few known alternatives.

To be truly free and have truly free choice, we would have to be aware of absolutely every alternative at our disposal.

Such an awareness would surely be labeled as omniscience.

Such omniscience is only at the disposal of the enlightened mind of a Buddha.

Thus only to the extent that we have access to Pure Mind and to the omniscience inherent therein, to that degree do we have 'free' will.

Animals have little or no free will. They are driven by their emotional attachments to that which evolution has decreed necessary for their survival.

Human animals have an evolving neocortex. To that degree of the evolution of our intelligence do we have the potential to control and/or override our primitive emotions and to make limited 'free' choices within known alternatives.

Insights into the nature of our own minds grow in proportion to the efforts we make to fearlessly turn within in deep reflection, contemplation and meditation.

There are other prerequisites that are necessary for this journey towards omniscience - the prerequisite for having absolutely truly free choice.

Then you followed with:

"Certainly. So, I'm much more apt to believe that "free will" has gotta exist. Another problem with Karma is that, if everything we encounter now is the result of some past action, when do we get to "sow" that "something new" that will allow us to "reap" that something better??"

The Buddha, the one who walked this walk successfuly, defined these preqequisites that point the way in his Eightfold Path that leads to "that "something new" that will allow us to "reap" that something better..." .

But will we opt for that Eightfold Pathway? No Buddha from the many who have walked the earth can walk this 'walk 'for us. The limited pseudo-free choice is ours to make. But ... the extent of our limited pseudo free choice is governed by the ranges of choices we can perceive; that is the state of our past conditioning based perceptions, our degree of ignorance, and our level of 'lust' for the 'truth'. As Master Hsing Yun stated in his commentary on the Diamond Sutra:

As we ponder the causes that lead to the Buddha giving the teachings contained in the Diamond Sutra, it is important that we also contem­plate the profound causes that have given rise to our being exposed to them now. While those of us who are alive today may not have the good fortune of hearing Shakyamuni Buddha speak with our own ears, we do have the good fortune of discovering this sutra. If conditions are right, we will encounter the Dharma in this life and find ourselves receptive to it. If conditions are not right, it will pass us by. Though we were not part of the original audience that was present at the Jeta Grove and who heard these teachings firsthand, we are very much part of the extended audience that is privileged to learn of them now."

I know my response was far from adequate in regard to such a profound question. I thank you once again for raising such a fascinating question so near and dear to my heart. I hope this a Buddha out there who has both the wisdom and the eloquence to provide the quintessential answer to this question. C.S. Lewis certainly failed to do this in my opinion.

August 21, 2008
10:59 pm
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What's a windy dripper?

August 22, 2008
1:35 am
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Tez,

Hmm..that's kinda deep.
Is there a "Buddhism for dummies" available? lol Now there's an oxymoron for ya.

As far as your explanation for why people get so defensive when their beliefs are challenged, I tend to agree with you on that. People don't much care for the threat of discovering that they could have had the whole thing wrong. They cling so tightly to the only anchor they know & are terrified of being shaken loose, perhaps.

I'll likely have to read your response over a few times for my melon to absorb any of it.

Interesting reply to say the least.
Thanks,
Crg

August 23, 2008
2:27 am
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On the 21-Aug-08 you asked:

"What's a windy dripper?"

A 'windy dripper' is someone who is all 'piss and wind'.

To explain further:

If as a nurse, you had within your charge, a constipated patient, can you imagine how you would feel while awaiting the arrival of solid 'product' only to receive lots of ongoing 'piss and wind'?

I am awaiting such a solid delivery from WD. I dearly hope that I receive much more than mere 'piss and wind' and that he is not just a bloody 'windy dripper'!

To date I haven't even noticed a 'fart'.

We can only live in hope while awaiting the illuminating delivery ...

August 23, 2008
2:30 am
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CraigCo

On the 22-Aug-08 you wrote:

"Is there a "Buddhism for dummies" available?"

You don't sound to me like any of the "dummies" I know.

Sink your teeth into the issue you raised and let's see where we go with it.

August 23, 2008
5:26 am
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Hi Tez,

Hope you're doin well.

Found a website re-Karma. I look forward to reading through more of it later.
Oh, in browsing thru it randomly, I came across a funny line that you may get a kick out of, as follows:

"Sorry Sir, but I'm afraid that my carma ran over your dogma..."

Here's the addy:
http://buddhism.kalachakranet......ma.html#12

Getting pretty tired right now & not feelin so great physically or mentally so, I should think about gettin my arse off to bed soon.
Feeling too wiped to engage in any stimulating conversation.

August 23, 2008
10:55 am
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Itsa bird.itsa plane, It's "omnipotent-all knowing-super enlightened man!"
WHOOOSh..... FLASH ( how blinding, where'd he go!??)

Holy crap, he just zoomed right by and didn't even stop for a handshake.

Guess we're all just not UP to his lofty ways, or too many are in need of his rescue and guidance!

He needs a webpage to connect with the needy masses..this just won't do!

Look! He left a yellow vapour trail!

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