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the Nature of God


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Red Rain
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« Reply #555 on: October 03, 2010, 05:18:36 am »

In order to appreciate the dual nature of God, we have to first appreciate that the god the Christians and Jews came from actually evolved from the god of the ancient Persians.  They were the first to come up with monotheism.

Save for, of course Akhenaton, who's religion was short-lived.

The Persians had both a god of light and a god of darkness, similar to the relationship of God and Lucifer.
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Spear of Longinus
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« Reply #556 on: October 03, 2010, 06:10:36 pm »

Does God value one faith over another?

Perhaps not, perhaps it is what is in one's soul that counts.

However, during the Crusades, when the Christians captured Acre, they didn't have anywhere near the soldiers to hold it.  And an army of three times as many Turks was on their way to seize it back.  What happened next is agreed upon by all the Christian scholars, though modern historians try to explain it away:

The Crusaders rode forth to meet their enemy, and an army of ghostly saints, and their murdered Crusaders rode along with them.  The Turks, three times as many as their foe, fled then in terror.  And the Crusaders won. True story.
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unknown
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« Reply #557 on: October 03, 2010, 08:25:55 pm »

Hi Dawn

Your very welcome...


I certainly don't have all the answers, but don't you think it is a bit ego-centric to assume that man plays the pivotal role in the universe? Especially when you consider its size and complexity, from the sub-atomic particle to whirling galaxies? In recent news the first earth type planet was confirmed in what they call the Goldilocks zone, (not to hot, not to cold, but just right.) If I remember correctly they estimate that there are 40 milllion earth type planets in our galaxie alone and there are millions of galaxies.

Hi Rain

That brings up an interesting point, that I think goes to the heart of the queston I posed... we seem to have an evolving idea of what God is, several people have mentioned the differences between God of the Old and the God of the New Testiment. So as our knowlegde and awareness grows our conception of God changes.

Hi Longinus

That is interesting... I have never heard that story before. That is one reason I come to the forums, you never now what odd bit of info, or idea you will pick up. There are many accounts of what seem to be supernatural events that decide battles for one side or the other, many accounts in the Old Testiment. I remember someone posted a story about how UFO's appeared in one of Alexanders battles in India. I don't remember the details.

Hi Aristotle

In talking with many Christians it always amazes me how Bible centric their knowledge of ancient history is... and thus, they have a very narrow and lopsided view of world history.


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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
unknown
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« Reply #558 on: October 03, 2010, 08:41:48 pm »

Hi Warrior of God

I have to agree, many people forget that.... it would make a great what if question, i.e. what would have happened if there had never been a Crusuade?

The Arabs were filling the vacuum left by the collapse of the Roman Empire. They were in a new golden age whilst europe was in decline. They were making huge strides in mathematics, chemistry, smithing and engineering. If not for the Arab world much of the knowledge and philosphy of the ancient world would have been lost forever. Plato and Aristotle were re-introduced into europe through contact with the Arab world.
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
Sarah
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« Reply #559 on: October 03, 2010, 11:24:09 pm »

Hello Unknown,

I feel I must addreess this:

Quote
I certainly don't have all the answers, but don't you think it is a bit ego-centric to assume that man plays the pivotal role in the universe?

Not if we believe our religious teachings that man was made in G-od's own image.  That would mean that G-d, by neccessity, might have human qualities as well as godlike ones, correct?

Sarah
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"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand fail..." - King David, Psalms 137:5

http://www.zwoje-scrolls.com/shoah/index.html

http://www.holocaustchronicle.org/
Sarah
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« Reply #560 on: October 03, 2010, 11:41:36 pm »

Hi Sarah,


How are you?

 Absonite was a total ass-clown. I have to admit I found some of the ideas in the Urantia stuff fascinating, like an episode of Star Trek is fascinating; athough obviously bogus, it was in some respects brilliant.

I still think there is strength in believing in a religious system, it makes your faith all the more unshakeable, otherwise you're just making it up as you go along. How much reassurance can be found in that when the dark-night of the soul falls upon you?

Some are strong enough not to need organized religion, but for the majority? I think they need something with tradition and authority behind it, to give them that strength, that faith, that hope. They need to believe in something larger then themselves and the sense of belonging that comes with shared beliefs and customs.

Calvin was the perfect example of what's wrong with the Christian-Right, so stereo-typical that if he were a character in a novel no-one would buy it.

I am saddened by how far modern american christianity has strayed from the real message, "Love thy neighbor." It seems they have adopted a new commandment, love thy neighbor, but only if he conforms to your moral standards and believes everything you do.

I agree with most ofd this, especially the  part about  Absonite being a total ass-clown.  To my view, he is simply yet another in a series of self-loathing Jews conditioned by society to think he must be something other than what he is.

Sarah
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"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand fail..." - King David, Psalms 137:5

http://www.zwoje-scrolls.com/shoah/index.html

http://www.holocaustchronicle.org/
unknown
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« Reply #561 on: October 04, 2010, 06:31:14 pm »

LES MISERABLES
Victor Hugo
Translation by Lascelles Wraxall



 Is there an infinite without us? Is this infinite one, immannet and permanent, neccessarily substantial because it is infinite, and because if it were devoid of matter it would on that side be limited; neccessarily intelligent because it is infinite, and because devoid of intelligence it would be limited on that side? Does the infinite awake in us the idea of being, while we can only attribute to ourselves the idea of existence? In other terms, is it not absolute and we the relaitive?

 At the same time there is an infinite without us, is there not an infinite within us? These two infinities (terrible plural), are they superimposed one on the other? Is not the second infinity, so to speak, subjacent to the first? Is it not the mirror, the reflection, the echo thereof, an abyss concentric to another abyss? Is the second infinite also intelligent? Does it think? Does it love? Does it will? and there is an I to infinite on high as there is an I to the infinite below. The I below is the soul, the I above is God.

PS. I am just now reading this, so I thought I would share this quote
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
Psycho
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« Reply #562 on: October 05, 2010, 12:19:50 am »

Quote
Hi Psycho

I just saw the Iron Man 2 movie. I enjoyed it, Scarlett Johanson was the bomb as the Black Widow. Really original fighting style they gave her. I hope they do a Black Widow movie. 

That's good to know, if you hear from Bluducky tell him congratulations for me. I have often thought about moving to Australia... don't know why.

I saw Iron Man II last weekend, too, loved it!  I thought it was as good as the first one. As for Scarlet, I will watch her in anything.

She is going to reprise her role as the Black Widow in the new Avengers movie.  Have you heard about that yet?


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unknown
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« Reply #563 on: October 05, 2010, 10:12:23 am »

Hi Psycho

Yah, I heard about it. The Avengers were one of my favorite comics when I was a kid. They are making a Captain America and Thor movie, as a lead in to The Avengers. Not real happy with their casting for Nick Fury though. I wonder if they are planning anymore Fantistic Four movies? I haven't heard anything on that.
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
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« Reply #564 on: October 07, 2010, 08:12:23 pm »

Haven't heard about a new FF movie, but a new Spiderman movie is in the works!  And, of course, Thor and Captain America.
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Demiurge
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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος


« Reply #565 on: October 08, 2010, 12:50:00 am »

Hi Unknown, and thanks for the welcome.

It appears I was only partly right about the Cathars.  While they loathed the Catholics and did believe that they worshiped the elements of Christ's death, it was actually a part Greek, part Gnostic belief that created the idea of the Demiurge.

Here is more about him:

One of the main things which separated the Gnostics from orthodox Christians was the mysticism of their beliefs. It began with their views of God and creation. They viewed the One which they called the true God as having a feminine part which was the Spirit. In accord, they also held that Jesus came from God and the Spirit to form the Trinity.

In the Gnostic version of creation of the world the Spirit of God is referred to as the Wisdom of God or Sophia who is also a feminine creative force. It seems she wished to give birth to a creature like herself. She did so without the permission of her partner. She was able to do this by the power within her. The fruit of her desire was something imperfect and different from her in appearance. She was ashamed of it, threw it outside of the heavenly realm and hid it in a cloud so none of the Immortals would see it. According to the Gnostics this horrible child became the one they called the Demiurge. Unbeknown to him his mother gave him some of her power which contained the Spirit. The Demiurge thought the power which his mother gave him was his own, and with it he started creating the physical world. In doing this the Gnostics believed the Demiurge entrapped the Spirit in matter. They viewed the Demiurge as being the Christian God, the creator, basing their belief on the statement, "I am God, and there is no one besides me."

Also, the Gnostic differed with the orthodox Christians on two other major issues: the salvation of man and the person of Jesus. They disagreed with the theory that man was sinful by nature, but believed man erred through ignorance; by knowledge man could correct his ways and gain salvation. The special knowledge which the Gnostics subscribed to was known as "gnois." Gnois was not a logical type of knowledge as one might gain in the study of mathematics or chemistry, but it was an intuitive or reflexive type of knowledge which comes from the study of man's inner self or soul. Any other knowledge did not concern the Gnostics. They called this gnois illuminated Logos because they believed it led to man's salvation.

For them the principle teacher of gnois was Jesus; a special person who did not come from the Demiurge but had come directly from God and the Holy Spirit. The Gnostics claimed Jesus taught them secret knowledge which he did not share with the general congregation of the Church. This sort of claim did not set too well with the Church at a time when it was striving to gain strength and power. Another point concerning Jesus which caused discord was that the Gnostics did not accept that Jesus was born of a virgin. Holding that Jesus specially came from God and the Spirit, they said he entered a body brought about by sexual intercourse between Mary and Joseph. Many Gnostics scoffed at the idea of a virgin birth which other Christians held.

Within this gnois, or secret teaching, were beliefs for escaping the clutches of the Demiurge. Since it was held that the Demiurge had entrapped the Spirit in matter, especially in man, through creation, it was therefore believed that not to prolong or propagate life was the best way to ultimately free the Spirit. Such a belief led to a schism among the Gnostic community. The majority formed sects practicing almost total monasticism, while a minority had sects which practiced libertinism. Where marriage was permitted within the monastic sects, sexual intercourse was absolutely forbidden. Many types of sexual acts and perversions were permitted in the libertine sects. One, the Ophites -- a name which honored the snake or serpent -- was known for its love feasts. The purpose of all the sects on both sides of the schism was the same, to liberate the Spirit by stopping the propagation of life. The Gnostics took Jesus' answer to his disciple Solame's question, "How long will death reign?" literally when he responded, "As long as you women bear children." Also to disobey the laws of the Demiurge, who was evil himself, was justified to the Gnostics. Therefore, to them the Demiurge not only represented the Christian God, he represented the Devil as well.

But these nihilism beliefs embodied within Gnosticism tended to be overshadowed by other teaching of the Gnostic Jesus, and these teachings still permeate modern Gnostic teachings. These teachings concern the inner self. According to Gnosticism Jesus showed much concern for the knowledge of inner truth, or "know thyself." He wanted his disciples to be seekers and seers. In the work "Pistis Sophia" he instructed them, "Do not leave off searching day and night." He warned that inner truth would bring turmoil, but with the turmoil would come astonishment." He explained further, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will become astonished, and he will rule over all things."


http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/g/gnosticism.html
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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
Demiurge
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δημιουργός (dēmiourgós, latinized demiurgus δήμιος


« Reply #566 on: October 08, 2010, 12:52:58 am »



The Gnostic Demiurge

The term Demiurge derives from the ancient Greek "d�miourgos" (latinized demiurgus), meaning "artisan" or "craftsman". In various belief systems this is a deity responsible for the creation of the physical universe. The term occurs most notably Platonism and Gnosticism. The precise nature and character of the Demiurge however varies from a benign architect of matter in some, to the personification of evil in others.

Plato refers to the Demiurge frequently in the Timaeus as the entity who "fashioned and shaped" the material world. Plato describes the Demiurge as unreservedly good and hence desirous of a world as good as possible. The world remains allegedly imperfect because the Demiurge had to work on pre-existing chaotic matter. Christianity and Judaism claim "God" the Creator is good, but Christians claim the soul is corrupt due to the sin of Adam. Gnosticism is another matter.

In Gnosticism the Demiurge (Creator) is by no means all-good, but a bungling and incompetent fool that creates the world as a spiritual prison. Gnosticism also presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable "alien God" and the "creator" of the material - the Demiurge. However, in contrast to Plato, many systems of Gnostic thought present the Demiurge as antagonistic to the will of the Supreme Creator: this sort of Demiurge focus' solely on material reality and on the "sensuous soul". In Gnosticism, the Demiurge is an emanation from a higher, purer aeon.

In this system, the Demiurge is a way to understand the problem of evil, differing sharply from Christianity, which sees the originally good Creation corrupted by created beings (such as the Devil). In Gnosticism the Demiurge created evil as in the Apocryphon of John (in the Nag Hammadi library), the Demiurge has the name "Yaltabaoth". Through arrogance born of stupidity, he proclaims himself as God:

    "Now the archon who is weak has three names. The first name is Yaltabaoth, the second is Saklas, and the third is Samael. And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."

Yaldabaoth literally means "Child, come hither" in a certain Semitic language. Gnostic myth recounts that Sophia (literally "wisdom", the Demiurge's mother and aspect of the Father) desired to create something apart from the Father to which he did not consent. In this act of separation, she gave birth to the Demiurge and being ashamed of her deed, she wrapped him in a cloud and created a throne for him within it.

The Demiurge did not see her, nor anyone else, and thus concluded that only he himself existed, he did not know the source of his power and did not know that there was someone above him. The myth is full of intricate nuances portraying the first separation which later turned into the entrapment of the divine spark, Sophia, within the human form. This spark is latent until awakened by a call and the knowledge of one as this divine spark is the beginning of restoration of Sophia as well as gnosis.

Saklas means "fool" and Samael literally means "Blind God" or "God of the Blind". It may equate to the Judaic Angel of Death, and corresponds to the folkloric demon of that name.

Yao is alongside Yaldabaoth, the other name most frequently encountered in Gnostic scripture. Yao is the Gnostic pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YhWh). Several Gnostic philosophers (notably Marcion of Sinope) and others (such as Maniche) identify the Demiurge as Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, as the enemy to the God of the New Testament. Still other traditions also equated YhWh with Satan. For example, Catharism apparently inherited their idea of Satan as the creator of the evil world directly or indirectly from Gnosticism. The church declared all these heresies for teaching that all Creation was the work of an evil god.

The concept of an evil or bungling Demiurge who creates the world is completely at odds with Christian theology in which the creation is originally all good and the work of one all-good Creator. It rejects the notion that the Devil or any other being resembling the Demiurge could create the beauty and order in the physical universe, and the writings of early church fathers, beginning with the Apostle Paul specifically condemn Gnosticism as high heresy. Christianity has nothing analogous to an evil Creator god. The nearest Christian equivalent to the Demiurge is Satan, which literally means the "Enemy."

Pagan philosophers in the lineage of Plato also rebuke the Gnostics. This would include Plotinus who, rebuked Gnosticism in the ninth tractate of the second Ennead: "Against Those That Affirm The Creator of The Cosmos and The Cosmos Itself to Be Evil" (generally quoted as "Against The Gnostics"). Being grounded in platonic thought, the Neoplatonists would have rejected the gnostic vilification of Platos's demiurge.

To quote, Emanation is opposed to the Judeo-Christian conception of creation, in which the eternal God makes all from nothing. To explain the relation of a totally transcendent God to a finite and imperfect world, the belief in emanation denies that God directly created the world but maintains rather that the world is the result of a chain of emergence through emanations. From God (the One, or the Absolute), the one prime principle, flows the divine substance; his own substance never lessens.

As the flow proceeds farther from God, however, its divinity steadily decreases. When a stone is dropped into water, the circles ever widening from the point (God) where the stone fell are emanations, becoming fainter and fainter. Emanation never ceases, the whole process moving continuously outward from God. In the 3d cent. A.D., Plotinus and other Neoplatonists developed a clear system of emanation. The Neoplatonists ascribed to Plato an emanative concept in his Idea of the Good as being supreme, the lesser ideas being in some way related to the Idea of the Good.
http://www.sullivan-county.com/id2/gnostic_files/demiurge.htm
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"And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, 'I am God and there is no other God beside me,' for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come."- Yaltabaoth
Heather Delaria
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« Reply #567 on: October 10, 2010, 03:33:21 am »

The really odd thing about Jesus is that neither the Jews or the Romans kept any historical records of him.  Sure, the Christianity movement is mentioned by the Jewish historians, but nothing about Jesus'; life.

I guess that isn't surprising since he isn't viewed by them as their messiah, but where are the Romans records?  The Romans killed him, then Constantine sent his mom to collect holy artifacts from his death, three hundred years later.

Those first three hundred years of Christianity are really mysterious and have lots of gaps in them, too.
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unknown
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« Reply #568 on: October 14, 2010, 10:50:38 am »

Hi Demiurge

There has always been a philosophical debate as to whether God is in the world or outside it. Basically the arguments in the text you provide are arguments between the esoteric-hidden doctrines and those of the exoteric. The theory of emanations is a Kabalistic esoteric one, while the infallible God is and exoteric one or the one given to the people. Which shows that they were initiated into the mysteries.

Each age has its symbol, the beginings of Mythras religion was in the time of the bull and we see bull sacrifices and bull-worship abounding in that time. So to we find that Christ's early followers identified each other by the sign of the fish, Pisces.

We must remember that all ancient religions are basically theoastrological, the religious holidays are celebrations of the changing seasons. The cross, and the cross in the circle is an ancient symbol of the hour seasons, equinoxes or the points of the longest, shortest days, etc. The triune nature of God can be seen as the sunrise, noon (the most high) and sunset. This is birth and ressurection of God. each hour of the day is Horus's steps across the sky.

They believed in as above so below... the king was earthly maifestion of divine from which comes the theory of divine right of Kings. All over the world temples and holy places were a mirror of the skies. We see this everywhere from the temples of South and central America to Egpyt. In China it is even more apparent as the whole landscape was altered to these principles and is implicit in there ancient philosophy.

You may already know this stuff, if not, you may want to investigate it.

PS. Has anyone got the book -- Underworld?
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
unknown
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« Reply #569 on: October 14, 2010, 11:03:28 am »

Hi Heather

I can't argue that point. Originally it was thought that Josephus wrote about Jesus but those passages were later found to be faked.

I think that the reason that we have a gap of centuries before the books of the new testament were written is because originally Christianity was a new mystery cult. Mystery religions were secretive by nature and only allowed certain people to join.

What contibuted to the growing power of the sect was that it began alllowing anyone to join and enter into the early stages of initiation.

Some of the practices of the early church were parts of initiation cermonies, i.e. the euchrist, eating the body and drinking the blood. I believe this is why Christianity met such fierce opposition from the authorities. They had profaned the mysteries.
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"There exists an agent, which is natural and divine, material and spiritual, a universal plastic mediator, a common receptical of the fluid vibrations of motion and the images of forms, a fluid, and a force, which can be called the Imagination of Nature..."
Elphias Levi
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