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Hey Hey
post Dec 30, 2006, 05:05 AM
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http://mapsofwar.com/ind/history-of-religion.html
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Lindsay
post Dec 30, 2006, 02:36 PM
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Very interesting!!!
By the way, how many readers, here, have actually read any, or all of the Bible, the Koran, the Gita, whatever.

I have read all the Bible--in several versions. After all, preaching about it and teaching on it was my living for over 40 years. In cooperation with a wife, who taught for 20 years, I earned enough wealth to educate our two children at the university level, buy a home--we bought at the right time--in a very good area, just north of Toronto, and have a decent combined pension. BTW, my wife's pension, for 20 years, is equal to mine, for 40. Single clergy, or ones with wives who never worked outside the home, are not as fortunate as I have been, economically. Quite a few are forced to live in dire poverty and in out of the way places. It seems that the "The Lord" does not always provide, equally, for all his servants.

Over the years, I often shocked traditionalists--those who want to believe that the Bible is "The Word Of God"--with what I said about the Bible and its contents. At the same time, I attracted people who wanted to be challenged to think. Overall, despite the hypocrites, it was fun.

Fortunately, within the United Church of Canada, I was free to take a critical and analytical approach to the Biblical contents.
The Bible is not a book;
it is a collection of documents collected over a period of 3000 years.
It is filled with myths,
metaphors,
history, with very little documentation,
many stories of terrible violence.
Check out Deuteronomy 20 says it is okay to kill anyone who stands in the way of God's chosen people on the way to "the promised land" led by Moses--a war lord.
Check out Deut. 21: 18-21--the cure for delinquency.
Deut. 23:1-8, about the exclusion and inclusion of other tribes.
Deut.23: 19-20, is about the charging of interest.
Included are many archaic laws--many are ignored, today
Even traditionalists cringe at the idea of stoning teenagers to death.
There is poetry and drama. For example, Job, is not history, it is a play; it is literature.
Inconsistencies and ambiguities abound, in the Bible.
Many passages which are downright boring.
Now and then, in the Bible, there are some good moral precepts, and some very interesting and positive insights into human nature.
Every now and then, from the pulpit, I read certain Bible passages--and there are many such, especially the cursing Psalms (check out 136 and 137)--and I concluded with the words, "This is NOT the Word of God.)
Finally, I do not now, and never did, worship the Bible. But I do appreciate it as literature.
I have three versions of the Koran. I have read some of it. I plan to get through it, this year.
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post Dec 30, 2006, 03:14 PM
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Last time I saw a chronological dynamic like that they were talking about the bubonic plague. Thanks, Hey Hey. Very amusing, though.
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Lao_Tzu
post Dec 30, 2006, 06:00 PM
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That video is cute... and yeah, it does look like a plague. A meme plague, I suppose. Thanks, Hey Hey.

Lindsay, I found your post awesomely refreshing. Thanks!

Personally, I haven't read the whole Bible or the whole of any core religious text... I wonder whether I 'ought to'... mellow.gif
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lucid_dream
post Dec 30, 2006, 06:38 PM
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yeah cute but naive and misrepresentative. For starters, Krishna did not found "Hinduism" since Hinduism is not a single well-defined religion but rather an amalgamation, largely centered around the Upanishads. And for another, it is misleading to claim that Christianity took over N. America (or any other location for that matter) since there are Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and many others here and throughout the world.

And finally, this notion that religions spring from individual prophets is ludicrous.

Lindsay, I have read the Bible, the Koran, the Gita, and much more, and they are all utter crap that contain little crumbs of truth, yet each claim to contain the whole truth, or at any rate, to greatly over-extend their domain of applicability and validity. Yes, I suppose children should read the Bible, Koran, and Gita, but don't forget to throw in Homer and other Greek mythology, since these books all belong to the class of "superstition" and fantasy.

Personally, I find more revelation in the Book of Nature than in all the preceding books put together, times 10. Why? Because the idle writings of Man will always fall short of the actual Reality that we are in direct contact with at all times and which constitutes our Being.

Thanks Hey Hey.
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Joesus
post Dec 30, 2006, 10:31 PM
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I don't think any book of scripture in and of itself makes any claims to being the voice of truth or that it holds the only interpretation of Truth. People do that when they identify with what they read and then extend themselves and their experience into the world around themselves.

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lucid_dream
post Dec 30, 2006, 10:41 PM
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one of my problems with scriptures, besides the fact that they are too one-sided, is that they invariably neglect to discuss the truths that they fail to address or recognize, which leads to the impression that they are making far greater claims on Truth than are warranted. Granted, this is my impression, but it is a consequence of the manner in which scriptures are written (at least their English translations).

Joesus, what modern-day writings (written in the last 200 years), if any, do you consider to supercede ancient scriptures in terms of possible truth content they contain (depending, of course, on what the reader projects)? This is not a trick question. I'm just curious.

I would maintain that Nature is the best source for revelation and truth. Why read second-hand accounts when you can go directly to the Source?

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Lindsay
post Dec 30, 2006, 11:08 PM
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QUOTE(Lao_Tzu @ Dec 30, 2006, 03:00 PM) *

...Lindsay, I found your post awesomely refreshing. Thanks!

Personally, I haven't read the whole Bible... I wonder whether I 'ought to'... mellow.gif
Lao, thanks for your comment.

Here is my suggestion for reading the Bible, beginning with what is commonly called the Old Testament:

First of all, use a modern and readable version. I like the GOOD NEWS BIBLE. Keep in mind, as I said, the Bible is not a book, It is a collection of documents. Therefore, do not start at the beginning and try to read it right through.

To understand the religious history of Judaism, you could begin by reading:

Genesis, then Exodus, but skip Leviticus (it is just a bunch of rules).

Following this, reading Numbers makes sense as it is more "history".

Then skip Deuteronomy--more rules mingled with history--and move on to Joshuah--more religious history.
Then Judges--more religious history.

Skip Ruth, unless you want to read a novella--the story of a Moabite Arab, who, interestingly, was the great grandmother of king David and an ancestor of Jesus. How many Jews know this?

The books of Samuel tell us about Samuel's creating, much against his will, the first monarchy--Saul, David, Solomon, etc., who went on to behave like war lords.

Following Solomon, some few kings were good, but most were immoral idiots. I wonder, was God asleep? It tells about rivalry between Judah and Israel. David, a warlord, united the two "kingdoms" by force. The books also tell about the destruction of the temple and that most of the people were taken into Babylonia, as captives (586 BCE). First Egypt, now Babylon. I guess we will never learn.

The books of Kings and Chronicles are propaganda, repeats, with variations, of much of the same story. They chronicle the decline and fall of the the throne of David, which, according to the prophets, was caused by the failure of the kings to accept the call of the prophet-messengers for them to be moral, ethical and just leaders. Let us face it: Most of the so-called kings Israel and Judah, were little more than thugs.

Second Chronicles ends by telling us that it was a Persian king, Cyrus, who did some good. He tells us that he was used by "The Lord, the God of Heaven" and was given the responsibility for building the Temple in Jerusalem. How many modern Jews know this?

Ezra and Nehemiah tell more of the story of that turbilent time.

Then, there is another novella, Esther. Not one mention of God, in this book. Martin Luther debated removing it from his translation of the Henrew scriptures.

This is followed by the drama, Job. I have my own interpretation of Job, if you are interested. It definetely is not history.

Beyond this, there is the poetry of Psalms, the collection of the Proverbs, the "wisdom" of Solomon; and the thoughts of Ecclesiastes--the philosopher, which is followed by the love poem, Song Of Songs. From there to the end of the OT are the bsic messages of the prophets.

THE PROPHETS
BTW, read the prophets, very carefully. Isaiah severely reprimands his own people, when they fail to be moral ethical and loving people, which is most of othe time.

Yes, God will punish the Gentiles--Egypt and Assyria--but he will also punish the people of Jerusalem when they behave stupidly. Read Isaiah 29.

If I were an antsemite, simply out to condemn modern Israel, I would simply quote their own prophets against them, frequently--and out of contexst, of course. By the way, why did Israel not include the word 'Judah' in the title of its country?

THE "ARROGANCE" OF THE PROPHETS
For example, Isaiah appears to become very arrogant. Read Isaiah 45, especially 45 and beyond. Tell me what you think. Can you imagine the reaction one would get if one stood in a Mosque and read this passage?

When you read the prophets, keep all of this in mind.
========================================
NEXT: How to read the Christian Gospels and letters, commonly called the New Testament.
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lucid_dream
post Dec 30, 2006, 11:13 PM
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Lindsay, would you recommend the NIV and its derivatives (like TNIV)?
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Lindsay
post Dec 30, 2006, 11:34 PM
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Yes. But I like the way the GOOD NEWS BIBLE summarizes each book and formats and headlines the stories .

BTW, if I had the time and the money, I would create a modern version of the Bible based on the decimal system.

Furthermore, I would publish Kings, Chronicles, etc., parallel to each other, so that we could see where they differ.

For example, one book-- says that Saul fell on his sword and killed himself--I Chronicles 10. Another book---says that he requested another warrior, to kill him--I Sam 31.

So much for the infallibility of the Bible.
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Joesus
post Dec 31, 2006, 12:16 AM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Dec 31, 2006, 03:41 AM) *

one of my problems with scriptures, besides the fact that they are too one-sided, is that they invariably neglect to discuss the truths that they fail to address or recognize, which leads to the impression that they are making far greater claims on Truth than are warranted. Granted, this is my impression, but it is a consequence of the manner in which scriptures are written (at least their English translations).

Joesus, what modern-day writings (written in the last 200 years), if any, do you consider to supercede ancient scriptures in terms of possible truth content they contain (depending, of course, on what the reader projects)? This is not a trick question. I'm just curious.

I would maintain that Nature is the best source for revelation and truth. Why read second-hand accounts when you can go directly to the Source?

There is no book that I think supercedes another, one may supplement another but never supercede.
Books lead us to ask and to answer questions, eventually the mind gets what it needs and the heart steps up to lead in a direction that makes use of what the mind can grasp.

The source of nature is the same source of humanity. Man can read a book over and over and still not grasp its meaning, or the intent of the author because the reader approaches knowledge and historic documentation from his own past history and may try to project his/her box of beliefs onto what he/she reads.

What one man says is Truth another may reject and what one man rejects another may see truth.

The Bible for the most part is a document to the teaching of Jesus, they display phrases spoken by the master to the student. What most resonate with is when one has a question in their life and in searching for answers they might ask another how they would find the answer.
The Teaching of any master is to point the student back to their own heart. The heart is what is closely connected to the source of all things, be it man or nature or the nature of man.

Ultimately man searches for love, peace, fulfillment. The mind searches for it in things of substance or value. Love in someone or something until that someone or something fails to maintain its beauty, luster or sense of value as one changes beliefs and changes values themselves. Happiness is often chased after in the possesion of wealth, knowledge, health etc, but these things only temporarily fill the senses until the senses start moving outward into other avenues of perception and ideas of greater value.
The ego wants to own and control change rather than live in and amongst change.

If you're lookiing for the one perfect book there is none in and of itself that will contain all knowledge and experience as is there no single life experience or lifetime that can contain the all there is to know and experience.
Scripture points to God because God for all its ideas and definitions contains everything and no thing. It is the source of nature itself, and at different levels of understanding the nature of God displays itself in different ways.
The Natural laws of substance changes at different levels of conscious awareness, which is why miracles are called miracles; when humanity expects the world around them to appear and act a certain way and something appears out of the norm it is either a fluke of nature or an abnormality or a miracle.

The ego rejects discipline, structure and refinement in focus if it threatens its collection of beliefs and appearances of truth.
Generally speaking any True teacher will threaten the ego and those that aren't willing to expand beyond what is labeled normal will reject guidance in favor of control and manipulation.
A person who lives in separation believes in the threat that exists to take their freedom. This belief alone has already exposed the idea that nothing can be protected or kept indefinately.
The soul does not live in fear and does not seek to protect itself nor compare itself, it has everything and also nothing at all.

If I was going to state some of my favorite books I'd have to say there is a list of them.

"The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East" is a favorite as well as Samuel Sagans series on the "Atlantean Secrets" I've skimmed through the bible but it doesn't do justice to the Teaching of Jesus since it's been mistranslated and altered.
I'd say the Aquarian Gospel is more accurate in the accounts of the life of Jesus than the Bible, tho the Bible is still of some value.
Of the 3 series of books other than the bible that I have listed, all three have been written within the last 200 years.
Shri Aurobindo's translation of the Upanishads is pretty good. Alot of his works and the efforts of himself and Mother Meera were dedicated to expanding their awareness and use of the miracle power in themselves and humanity.

Nature is in itself a reflection of life in transit.
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lucid_dream
post Dec 31, 2006, 12:38 AM
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I ask because scriptures are products of human minds, most written several millenia ago, and so the question arises, what literary products of the "modern" human mind are comparable or supercede the ancient scriptures, if any? If human mentality is progressive, then it might be expected that something more recent would supercede something several millenia old, in terms of truth content or other relevant criteria.

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Lindsay
post Dec 31, 2006, 12:56 AM
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BTW, if anyone wants an example of the crappy, human-sacrifice kind of theology one finds in the Old Testament, read 2 Samuel 21:1-14: SAUL'S DECENDANTS ARE PUT TO DEATH.

We are told that because there was a severe famine in the land, which lasted for three full years, David consulted the Lord. The Lord told David that it was because, "Saul and his family were guilty of murder." The story goes on to indicate that to satisfy God's anger, seven males belonging to Saul's family had to die..." Read it yourself.

The upshot was that, as a result of the sacrifice, God lifted his curse and the famine stopped. I don't remember this very sad story was ever been read in Sunday Scool or church as "The Word of God". We only got the pretty stories.

Wouldn't it have been better for all concerned if the Lord had stopped Saul for doing murder in the first place?
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Joesus
post Dec 31, 2006, 03:57 AM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Dec 31, 2006, 05:38 AM) *

I ask because scriptures are products of human minds, most written several millenia ago, and so the question arises, what literary products of the "modern" human mind are comparable or supercede the ancient scriptures, if any? If human mentality is progressive, then it might be expected that something more recent would supercede something several millenia old, in terms of truth content or other relevant criteria.

Human mentality changes with the changing cultural values, technological advances etc. however the nature of man is still consistent with the mindset of the individual perception of Self.

The rise and fall of civilized comunities still contain within their structure, fear, doubt, jealousy, anger, rage, peace, war, rules, thought and expression of thought etc. etc.
The most recent examples of technological progression in a civilization might be seen in the Egyptian, the Mayan and even the Greek civilizations of the past. The knowledge and philosophy of life that still lives on in this age did not prevent change and the extinction of these evolutionary civilized societies.
By all appearances Egypt devolved as did the Mayans, and the Greeks basically let their leaders convince themselves they didn't have to think because God was Ceasar. Then there was Lemuria and Atlantis....

I think you might give thought to this Earth as a stepping stone for the evolutionary change in human awareness not based on the time table of the planet but on the time table of the soul as it projects itself in what appears as evolution but is in reality a mirror to the mind that thinks itself restricted to patterns of progression.
The universe is pretty big and as much as we would like to believe this Earth is the Jewel of the universe and without an equal, you or anyone else for that matter may not find themselves restricted to a path that is necessarily attached to the destiny of "Hotel Earth" (you can check out any time you like but you can never leave).

This stage serves one to understand the play they write from desire and belief but by no means are you bound to it or the nature of human evolution as it plays out.
You can change the channel anytime you like.

What is written in the past or present is not necessarily written from the mind of limitation but surrendered into reality through a still mind that has stepped aside its systems of belief to let through what is still simple and true in all civilizations, religions, beliefs, manifestations of reality and can be cognized by the human heart and mind when they are working together rather than separately.

There are modern commentaries to the ancient texts that bring what was relevent to humanity back then to humanity here and now.

My own Teacher MSI wrote a book called "Enlightenment" which is a new commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Govindra Yogindra, or Maharishi Patanjali. His understanding of the Yoga Sutras and the language of Sanskrit was not bound to what he learned from books but from his ability to open his awareness to the subtle fields of time in the intent and meaning of the Yoga Sutras from a level of conscious awareness that is consistent with any Christed being. One of surrender to omniscience rather than the ego and its restructuring of rules that apply only to ones own personal experience.
There are certain relative truths in the nature of reality, or natural laws that support the experience of growth and certain choices one can make to facilitate growth in their awareness. The most obvious might be do nothing get and or gain nothing, do something get or gain something, and a refinement of the basic laws in which focus and commitment make a difference in the gain or the achievement of expansion in awareness of the self/Self.

The Masters who write scripture speak of these natural laws and of their own experience but more importantly write not of their own desire for recognition, or support of a belief but to keep alive through time basic truths that are self evident and self sustaining because they push their way into the thoughts of man because of the very nature of spirituality and its existence in all living things.

Truth in itself does not evolve. What is True for one is True for all, Truth is not subject to changes in time and experience. This type of Truth is absolute Truth, unchanging, unrestricted, without boundaries.

New books on the same old topics could be new commentaries of the old texts. But there are new books that approach the same subject in modern terms.

Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch
The Immortal by JJ Dewey
A Course in Miracles by Dr. Helen Schucman and Dr. William Thetford.
The series of Seth Books by Jane Roberts

Any book is still only pointing in a direction so that the serious student will make themselves available to more than their present experience of life and to humble themselves so that knowledge will pass through rather than lodge itself in the mind and become a definition of reality.

Omniscience is fluid. Scripture is a reflection of the fluidity of life and its source. It's not meant to be THE Explaination of Truth It is only the aroma of it. Like the smell of fresh baked bread, it can lead you to your own taste and experience of it.

Unless you're just not hungry, in which case it might as well be toilet paper to wipe your ass with.

QUOTE
Wouldn't it have been better for all concerned if the Lord had stopped Saul for doing murder in the first place?

Those that think God fucked up might think that way, but then those who continue to focus on surface appearances and continually measure and make comparisons of themselves never really know God anyway, they're much too preoccupied by their ego.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 31, 2006, 04:56 AM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Dec 31, 2006, 05:56 AM) *
Wouldn't it have been better for all concerned if the Lord had stopped Saul for doing murder in the first place?
I see you're back on the God bandwagon!
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lucid_dream
post Dec 31, 2006, 05:21 AM
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thanks Joesus. I do not like the conversational style of Neale Donald Walsch, and find his Conversations with God a bit childish. Jane Roberts' Seth books are more interesting (not just in terms of truth content, but also within the context of Jane Roberts possibly getting in touch with deeper parts of her psyche, appearing as the Seth personality, during trance) and readable. I have not been able to obtain copies of A Course in Miracles by Dr. Helen Schucman and Dr. William Thetford or The Immortal by JJ Dewey.

Here's an interesting excerpt from one of the Seth books:
"But certainly as Seth often states, even the unconscious portions of our personalities are actually conscious. It's all a matter of focus."

and a few more:
"The cells and organs have their own awareness, and a gestalt one. So the race of man also has individual consciousness and a gestalt or mass consciousness, of which you individually are hardly aware. The mass race consciousness, in its terms, possesses an identity while still being unique individual and independent. You are confined only to the extent that you have chosen physical reality, and so placed yourself within its context of experience. While physical, you follow physical laws, or assumptions. These form the framework for corporeal expression."

"Remember also that if physical reality is in a larger sense an illusion, it is an illusion caused by a greater reality. The illusion itself has a purpose and a meaning."

"Physical objects are the most obvious of your symbols, and precisely for that reason you do not realize that they are symbols at all."

Very Jungian! In fact, I like her writing style better than Jung's; it's more inspiring and dramatic.
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post Dec 31, 2006, 12:50 PM
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I read the entire bible at least once in my life, having been raised a Christian. And I'm glad I did. I just wished I had read it within the contex of what it really is, when I did: Ancient astrology. And not what its honkers advertise it to be: The word of god and the only truth, for that matter. Once I got out of the religious bubble, I found out that reading the bible was extremely entertaining for one thing, and also inspiring. Just like reading Homer, or watching Al Bundy's misfortunes in "Married With Children".

You can't just discount the bible and all these "holy" books as utterly crap, can you? I mean, it represent what little evidence is left of the ancient man's struggle to understand reality, and his come in peace with the realization of his limitations before the forces of nature.

So, in a way, it could also be construed as the science of the ignorant. Granted the bible went through a filtering process (the Roman Empire) of such intensity that it would make refining fuel gas from brute oil pale in comparison. But even in ignorance, these ancients books reveal, IMO, something meaningful in regards to the nature of the human spirit: indomitability. As prove by the plan man immediate put in action after realizing the innevitability of his fate before such awesome forces, and created a comfort zone for the continuation of life beyond the natural course of his life here on earth: Heaven and the after-life.

And then came real science and the dogma of the reproducible events. And, here we are, at full circle. With science having advanced so far as to having brought us to the ralization of our limitations before the forces of nature. Isn't that Ironic! My two consolations this time around, is that our spirit remains indomitable, for one thing. And that science has proven, so far, that all those crazy sci-fi scenarios created by the ancient man about possible realities are not that far-fetched after all.

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Joesus
post Dec 31, 2006, 01:15 PM
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You're welcome Lucid.
I was 18 years old when I first read "Seth Speaks." It was the first time I felt that I had read something that explained the truth of reality, but I hadn't been looking for it. At that age I had other things on my mind and I didn't get serious about it until 20 some odd years later.
I then found out that there has always been knowledge for the time, and for the people who are looking for it.

As for Conversations with God being childish, there is something for everyone, which doesn't make anything less valuable. Being childlike has its virtues and doesn't necessarily refer to weakness or stupidity.

C.B.
You can let your inner Self guide you through all that is available around you. None of it is crap unless it's all crap. Everything has a place and a purpose. Knowing this comes with wisdom, and wisdom doesn't always come with knowledge, there has to be experience to refine knowledge.
When you open to receive saying yes to everything that exists then the relevence of reality becomes more available to you. The reflection or symbolism is multidimensional giving each their own unique view of themselves. The Bible is a very important part of the symbolism that exists in that it represents the pathway to knowledge and experience of spirituality.
Spirituality ignites the motivation of one to express their faith in whatever form they believe exists as an example to greater knowledge and experience, be it science or religion.
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post Dec 31, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Thanks for your opinion, Joesus
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Lindsay
post Dec 31, 2006, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE(Lao_Tzu @ Dec 30, 2006, 03:00 PM) *

Lindsay, I found your post awesomely refreshing. Thanks!
About reading what is commonly called the New Testament.

I always point out to new readers: Keep in mind that the four Gospels are not the four biographies of Jesus. The Gospels are centered around his central message, which is: Give agape/love, simple good will, to self and others, including those who choose to be your enemies.

What is new about the NT? Rooted in Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and certain of the sayings of the prophets--read, especially, Isaiah 53, the NT is all about Love--agape/Love.

Interestingly, when, Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment he did not quote from Deuteronomy 5:1-22--the classical listing of the ten. He quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5--the basic Jewish creed, where it speaks about loving God with all the heart, soul and strength. And the word 'metanoia' (with all your mind) is added. In other words, this is something about which we need to think, not just accept by blind faith.


AGAPE/LOVE IS NOT AN EASY AND SENTIMENTAL KIND OF LOVE, IT IS A TOUGH LOVE
Agape/Love means more than just avoiding doing harm to others--sins of trespass--it means willfully doing all the good we can in the service of the common good of all humanity. It is highly inclusive, and not always easy to understand and to do.

With the above in mind, I always suggest that new readers begin with reading the Gospel Luke, a Gentile. Then Read his other book, the Book of Acts. This will give you the story of what happened up to the year 60. [To be continued]
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Joesus
post Dec 31, 2006, 06:44 PM
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His message was more about being conscious enough to give from a place that has no conditions than to try and give unconditionally from a lifestyle burdened by conditions of self judgment, self worth, and the belief in duality or separation from God.
Reading the bible should follow the awareness of truth rather than to point out truth by example.
The mind does not grasp truth from a place filled with illusions.
The quotes or messages interpreted by the Lesser mind can only project from darkness/ignorance even if one does the best they can.

He (Jesus) sent his disciples into the world to help them discover themselves so that they may live naturally in accord with God rather than to try and imprint impressions of God and try to live up to individual interpretations and self expectations of being in accord with God.
Jesus was much smarter than to tell anyone to simply act a certain way without explaining the very nature of reality and giving his students the instruction and the tools to experience God within themselves.

The Bible should supplement the guidance given by those who have themselves reached a place of union and can give the aspirant direction above and beyond the confines of the ego and its rules of being.

The reason the Pharisees failed to hold the attention of the people in the light and truth of Jesus' presence is that they pointed to what they believed even tho they themselves weren't living from a place where they recognised the One-ness with God.
They (the Pharisees) competed for attention with Jesus, trying to draw attention to themselves because of what they believed they had accomplished and in their belief of their own authority being greater than the people. They lived from comparison in hopes they could convince others that they were great so they would believe it themselves. They quoted scripture word for word but didn't have a clue to what was behind it.
The people recognised a difference when ego gives from limitation and rules, and when spirit gives in accord to the need of the individual without ego and limitation in judgment.

Jesus spent years with his disciples and only a fraction of what he taught is spoken of in the writings of the Gospels. For this reason alone, no one should be told that a few pages in a book could contain THE MESSAGE of the Christ.

All the scripture written in the world in all of history cannot contain the message of Truth.
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Lindsay
post Dec 31, 2006, 09:14 PM
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To repeat myself: I always suggest that new readers begin by reading the Gospel of Luke, a Gentile. Then Read his other book, the Book of Acts. This will give you the story--a very sketchy one--of what happened up to the year 60--the year of emperor Nero, who persecuted the early Christians, without mercy--of our common era.

Keep in in mind that, in written form, we have very few of the details of the whole life and teachings of Jesus. For example, the 24 chapters of the Gospel of Luke can be put on just two or three pages of a daily paper. That is not a lot of material.

Interesting, also, it is Luke who records Jesus' story of the the Good Samaritan, despised by certain of his arrogant fellow Jews. In telling this story, Jesus declared his universalism, his love for all human beings, not just the chosen ones.

While reading the Book of Acts, readers will read about the three missionary journies of Paul. The story of his last voyage to Rome via Malta, including a shipwreck, would make a good movie.

There is no record of how Paul died. The tradition is that, being a Roman citizen, he was decapitated. Acts makes it appear that the Romans put him under a rather easy house arrest. He was allowed to receive friends and anyone he wanted to talk to. Reading Acts is your cue to read the letters he wrote to some of the places he visited.

The Letter to the Hebrew--probably not written by Paul--and the apochalyptic book of Revelation, not unlike the book of Daniel, deserve much more than a short note.

BTW, I consider the Letter of James--a brother of Jesus--to be a great document. It is about orthopraxy, not orthodoxy. Jude, who wrote a short letter, was also one of the brothers of Jesus.

I love the letters of John. John is the one who wrote, "God is Love".

Don't forget to look at what Peter "wrote". It is believed that he was probably illiterate, therefore we should say: What Peter dictated.

I will comment about the Letter to the Hebrews, The Revelation, and the other gospels, later.
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Enki
post Jan 03, 2007, 08:24 AM
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Cool map, I liked it!

The presence of Internet along with usage of patterns' database created by Hollywood will make possible to spread new “meme plague” (© Lao_Tzu) more effectively and quickly.

Any ideas about adding up some colors to the map? I am sure Trip can choose good colors.
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