The Winding Path – 096

For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.

2014-11-22 10:52

(Pastor Carlos had been earnestly “encountering” with the folks at GodlessInDixie.com for a couple of days.  I saw and opportunity to work both ends towards the middle.  But, like most such ambitions (as I find it), success was mixed but interesting. In the end, several people helped make it more than it would have been otherwise.)

I hesitate to intrude with the kind of points that I want to make. This is technically an atheist themed blog, and I am not an atheist, but merely hope to adjust your technique and possibly your theology.

Perhaps I’ll just plant a seed or two, to be picked up some other time, some place else.

Anyway…there is something to be said for learning to use language that does not immediately derail your readers.

The same things can be said in countless ways; If you want to teach, rather than preach.

As many of the people commenting here, have lost the ability to think in the heavily anthropomorphized terms — so common to Christian imagining, perhaps you could learn to inspire folks with less constricted and context dependent metaphors.

The exercise would also benefit you. For instance, I noticed that you think in terms of “God’s people” and “God loves some and hates others”.

Nonsense. I’m sorry, but that is just a tribal artefact that your personality has not yet out grown.

God, as eternal, infinite and entire, maintains no such differentiation.

2014-11-22 21:03

(He made a good point about my clumsy introduction. )

Pastor Carlos – “By the way, the ‘ tribal artefact that your personality has not yet out grown’ snipe almost made me ignore your entire comment and dismiss you. My advice to you on that remark would be some advice I recently recieved:

‘there is something to be said for learning to use language that does not immediately derail your readers.’-Brmckay 2014″

Thanks. I want to take your point about the “snipe”. But hope first to know if the cluster of statements taken as a whole can be considered as a “teaching”.

I, was also talking to the gallery, since it applies there to the same degree.

In my experience, there is a path of understanding that makes the divisions between theistic and non-theistic people moot.

I could use language from your tradition to point at this understanding, but that would not serve.

They would take up well rehearsed arguments — about proof, and the worthlessness of faith.

You would likely chafe at unfamiliar and unorthodox assertions.

The way I chose included an assertion. Blunt and probably rude. But can you not see, that it is “Otherness” from God, that blinds us all?

And from this, see that….

“God, as eternal, infinite and entire, maintains no such differentiation.”

A god that chooses between anyone or anything, is not meeting that criteria. So the idea of a wilful God who thinks like we do; In the manner of finite mortals, is called a “tribal artefact”.

Personality is the realm of attachments and habit. It perpetuates a sense of “other” by it’s nature. This is not the whole picture.

2014-11-22 21:49

Pastor Carlos – “It sounds like you are trying to say that there is a god, but god is completely outside of our ability to know or relate to and so both theism and atheism are a waste of time. That believing anything is a waste of time.

Is that what you believe?”

Far from it. I’m saying that without mapping out what is personality and what is Self. We cannot step through the door and join the wedding feast. (a metaphor for enlightenment)

Our seamless connection to the infinitude of Singularity is ever present. Utterly real.

But the effect of our confusion of identity, (you would call it our fallen nature), blocks our understanding, that we and God are One. (sound familiar)

To think in terms of Creator and Creation. Is not the absolute Truth. It is an effect but not God.

God is the Entirety. Nothing is not God. Nothing is outside of God.

In the fullness of this revelation, even the term God is meaningless. But, lets not kid ourselves about that just yet.

2014-11-22 22:15

Pastor Carlos – “Sounds like Hinduism or its offshoot Buddhism.  Is that where you are coming from?”

Those are just words. Same as Christianity.

A shorthand that gets us out of putting in the time and effort to get it right.

The question is, are we interested….curious…sincere?

Trusting that Truth is everywhere, everyone and everything.

Aligning our will with the process, until we know without doubt the answer to the question.

Who am I?

What do you think Jesus was talking about?

2014-11-23 09:21

Pastor Carlos – “A simple no would have been clearer.

Just words?

Words are pretty important. They communicate thoughts and ideas. Pretty useful when trying to communicate clearly.

If words and labels mean nothing, then how can I be sure I understand what you are trying to say?

If Christianity is just a word; if Hinduism is just a word, then how do I know what you mean by ‘question’, or ‘truth’, or ‘aligning.’

If you are able to say what you believe- clearly, without the quasi-spiritual mumbo jumbo- we may be able to have a conversation. Maybe you can then educate us silly Christians and Atheists.”

“quasi-spiritual mumbo jumbo”?

Have I said that language is not useful? For that matter, science, theology, reason, art, dreams, hopes?

Love?

Only that the relative is in relation to the absolute. Not the other way around. As absolute; there is no other.

This paradox is the foundation. Why ignore it?

We can know it. (This is a direct answer to your question above.)

2014-11-23 09:34

Deanna Boudov (Moderator) – “I think he’s trying to tell you that you are seeking to label what he is trying to explain to you, without actually trying to understand him. So if you label it Hinduism or Buddhism you’ll just dismiss his ideas because they don’t align with your religion. I don’t think he’s being unclear – he’s just chewy.”

Thank you. Your comment helps.

I’ll work on the “chewy” part. This particular exercise is more complex than (is) ideal. Some of my chops are falling short.

Deanna Boudov – “It’s all good. I actually like chewy – I just avoid it a lot.;)”

2014-11-23 09:59

Pastor Carlos responding to Deanna Boudov – “I’m just trying to find something similar I can compare his view to in order to understand it.

And I like solid. Chewy gets stuck in the teeth.”

Deanna Boudov – “Sometimes chewy is just solid that stretches you to think more deeply/critically.”

Pastor Carlos – “Sometimes, and I appreciate it when it is, like a good piece of beef jerky. But other times it is just day old gum and has no flavor.”

 

Kevin Osborne responding to Pastor Carlos – “Well at least he got you to identify with the folks across the fence. That is something, isn’t it?”

Thanks. Good to see you again.

Pastor Carlos responding to Kevin Osborne – “It’s almost like he is an answer to prayer.

Now you’re talking.

(I decide it may be time to stop kicking the dead horse.)

Ok, go more with Yoga than Hinduism, more with Zen than Buddhism, more with Christ than Christianity.

The traditions are dear to me, but it is the saints, rishis, avatars, geniuses and virtuosi who demonstrate the common Truth.

“The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
The unnameable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.”

Lao-Tse didn’t invent this, or start a church. He realized it. The words are just foot prints in the sand.

2014-11-23 15:21

Pastor Carlos – “Are you saying that you believe that there is something else that is god, that all of the religions are just a shadow or dim reflection of?”

No. Why would anyone think that religions equate to God? (other than in the above mentioned sense of “nothing is not God”)

I suppose that my question is rhetorical. Since people seem to do it all the time. Including atheists (who quite reasonably don’t believe it to be true. But then often don’t look deeper.)

This “religion as god” business is of course a red herring.

It seems to bring us back full circle to the dilemma of “tribal artefact”. And what I may have meant by that.

Otherness. Is it real? Or, are we One in actual fact.? No matter what it looks like from these tiny orbits of self interest.

What does your religion say about this?

2014-11-24 08:52

Pastor Carlos – “The idea that we are all One, sounds a lot like Hinduism, or maybe Yoda.

My religion would call it false religion and would brand you as a lost man in need of a savior. The atheists, I assume, would call you insane.

So thank you, you are an answer to prayer in the sense that the Atheists and I have found something to agree on.

You speak to me with the same doublespeak that many ‘christians’ use with them.”

2014-11-23 20:47

Kevin Osborne  (quoting) – ” ‘So thank you, you are an answer to prayer in the sense that the Atheists and I have found something to agree on.’

Hey, I figured that out first. Any income or benefits to such discovery I claim, with the provision I am to provide 10% of any pure profit to COBBS, or Cats Of Baptist Believing Spinsters.

On the other hand, God is not so particular as you. God runs the engine and we ride the train, holding on with fingertips, waving hats, dodging bullets, and sensing speed as beauty along with a trillion trillion others. God loves you but your understanding here is your own.

As such, I offer to you the eternal prayer of mankind:
May your understanding grow as your hairline recedes.”

It was worth bumbling through all this just to hear you sing!

To such I aspire.

My thanks and apologies to the pastor. I’m afraid I caused him to dig in deeper. Hoping that your words and clarity of spirit have finished this better.

Pastor Carlos responding to Kevin Osborne – “Hey Kevin, although we are on opposite sides of the fence, I do like your sense of humor.

Kevin Osborne – “Thank you, but I doubt we are on opposite sides of the fence. Maybe a few degrees. I acknowledge God exists and we are under His sway. It is just how He has it set up that we are working out.
(Sorry ladies no neutral pronoun in English)”

(Note: “…but I doubt we are on opposite sides of the fence. Maybe a few degrees. ” That was perfectly said.  Though it goes unacknowledged by Pastor Carlos who later wants us to fly our flags so he knows what camp we’re in.  This unfortunately may indicate a failure on my part to communicate much of anything for the Pastor.   Oh well, time will tell.)

2014-11-25 17:23

Pastor Carlos – “The idea that we are all One, sounds a lot like Hinduism, or maybe Yoda.

My religion would call it false religion and would brand you as a lost man in need of a savior. The atheists, I assume, would call you insane.

So thank you, you are an answer to prayer in the sense that the Atheists and I have found something to agree on.

You speak to me with the same doublespeak that many ‘christians’ use with them.”

(I throw in the towel. And try to spell it out.)

“Otherness. Is it real? Or, are we One in actual fact.? No matter what it looks like from these tiny orbits of self interest.”

My mistake. I should have been specific and asked you how Jesus said this in various ways.

I don’t want to start this thing up again. So will be content assuming that you’ll figured it out in the end.

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