New Age Christianity

August 14, 2007 at 2:05 pm 37 comments

Norway MapNorway is a constitutional monarchy without separation of Church and State. The constitution declares the “Evangelical-Lutheran religion” to be the State’s religion, and also requires the king to hold to and protect this religion. You can imagine, then, that when Princess Märtha Louise (who, had not law at the time of her birth favored males, would have been heir to the throne) decides to start up an independent school which will educate its students in such New Age concepts as healing, reading and contact with angels, by media dubbed “the angel school”, there’s gonna be some public discussion. When this occurs during summer—when there’s simply less news for the media to write about—it’s caused massive media coverage.

Reactions are varied, of course: a televangelist condemned her as being a demon from Hell; a range of people condemned her as a fraud and for immorally profitting from people’s spiritual needs (some of them hypocritically looking the other way when they, as employees of the State Church, do the same); a lot of people demanded that she withdraw her membership in Den Norske Kirke, the State Church; the Princess herself thinks that, had she lived some hundred years past, she would’ve been burned as a witch; and a lot of people, including Crown Princess Mette-Marit, spoke out in her defence.

As an atheist, this fight between religions is both amusing and depressing. In my eyes, Christianity and New Age-style healing, miracles, contact with angels and the like are all contestants on the same, irrational game field. Undeniably the man who stands in a pile of shit (or in this case, in a pile of irrational reasoning) sounds odd when he cries “Foul!” when catching the scent of a fellow equally submerged in stinky matter.

Are Christianity and New Ageism—in this case represented by alleged healing, reading and contact with angels—compatible? Could one coherently combine the two? I’m attempted to simply shrug it off by saying that both systems are incoherent in themselves, and those inconsistencies will not go away if you look at their product, but I’ve decided not to be quite so smug.

Angels certainly appear in the Bible. Jesus certainly does miracles in the Bible. But what are “readings” and “healings”, anyway? The website of Astarte Education, the real name of the “angel school”, has a helpful FAQ. They explain reading thus:

If someone tells you a story, your inner eye allows you to see all the people and the landscapes described in the tale. A reading is an extension of this way of seeing, but instead of obtaining the pictures from a story, you get them from another person. When we give a reading we use our fellow beings as mirrors. This means that the more insight we gain into another person, the greater the opportunity to work with ourselves and similar challenges in our own lives. With the help of the angels we can potentially release old habits, blockages, fears, cords etc., both within the other person and within ourselves. This may free us to act on our own impulses instead of in response to other people’s ingrained patterns and fears that we have always thought were our own.

I don’t remember ever reading or hearing of anything like this in Christian scripture, but I’ll admit that I’m not the most well-read theologian or biblical scholar (that’s possibly the understatement of the year: I’ve expressed the view that theology is the study of theologians’ imaginations, and I’m no kind of scholar at all). I’ll leave my usual opiniated writing hanging here and admit ignorance. Perhaps commenters have some real gems here. Might this be the contradiction of Christian mythology theology?

What’s healing, then? Awfully vaguely described, by the very same FAQ, it is this:

In essence, everything from the medicines that cure our illnesses to divine miracles involves healing. We at ASTARTE EDUCATION give you tools so that you may have the possibility of achieving balance in your body and the energies which it contains so that it can function at its maximum potential every day. Here, again, the angels will potentially help us.

So healing could be everything, really, that involves the improvement of health. I’ll applaud them on a nicer exit strategy than George W. Bush in case someone might criticize their efforts (say by demanding empirical evidence): surely no one would deny that there exist medicines that cure illnesses?

I think the Princess or whoever wrote the FAQ would make a nice politician, so easily slipping away from nasty questions by appearing to answer without really answering at all, but aside from that, I don’t feel I have a greater understanding of just what healing is.

I can’t see that divine miracles or medicine contradicts any usual understanding of Christianity; perhaps it’s the idea that angels can be called on a whim that enrages some Christians so? Or is it the idea of making money on what is holy (then how account for preachers of all flavors that make a living on their employment with some Church)? I don’t know.

Rather than conclude much on my own, I’ll open some questions: Does New Age religion like described above contradict Christianity? Whatever does healing really mean? And are Christians really entitled to criticize New Ageists for being ridiculous and irrational, given their own beliefs?

Tune in to the comment field for (hopefully) the answers to these and more questions, and possibly some ridicule of this article’s author.

- Simen

Entry filed under: Simen. Tags: , , , , , , .

A Coming Out….. Announcing our new Community Site

37 Comments Add your own

  • 1. salahudin  |  August 14, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    “The constitution declares the “Evangelical-Lutheran religion” to be the State’s religion, and also requires the king to hold to and protect this religion”

    holy shit i didn’t know that! you sure!??

  • 2. Simen  |  August 14, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    That part is a remnant of the original constitution of 1814. To the best of my knowledge, it’s still valid today.

  • 3. athinkingman  |  August 14, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    In the UK the monarch is constitutionally enshrined as the Head of the Church of England and defender of the faith, though Roman Catholics are specifically barred from the throne. What will happen when someone of vague or little faith succeeds to the throne will be interesting to watch. Any self-respecting member of the Church of England would say: You can’t be the head of the church. However, given the liberal climate in much of the UK church, I doubt that many would seriously protest. I suspect Princess Märtha would not trouble to many believers in the UK.

    http://athinkingman.wordpress.com/2007/08/05/anti-catholicism-loud-and-clear/

  • 4. joejames  |  August 14, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    I know this seems crazy, but it’s really nothing new. In the 4th century the church united forces with the state (empire) through the reign of Constantine. The minority/persecuted religion of Christianity became the empire’s official religion. Now the church suddenly had the support of Constantine and the rest of the empire.

    The time since then has been referred to as Christendom. American Christians suffer from this as well. James Dobson, seeks government power to assert kingdom authority. The church cares only about abortion and homosexual rights and seeks earthly powers (as opposed to God’s power) to “do something about these problems”.

    As a Christian, I am deeply saddened to see so many who claim to “love and know God” impose their religion, values, and beliefs on other people. This is not the bible’s way of communicating God’s love to the world. I believe the church’s failure to use God’s means in accomplishing it’s mission is largely due to it’s preoccupation with becoming the “religion of the empire”. The way I interpret scripture, depicts a church that subverts the empire and remains humble, marginalized, and largely unimposing – if not, virtually invisible.

    I would apologize on behalf of such people, flexing their political muscles to get people to do what they want them to, but I don’t think they are sorry for it, so I can’t apologize for them.

    But I am sorry that the world is suffering the imposition of the church.

  • 5. Simen  |  August 14, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Joejames, what seems crazy?

    Anyway, the marriage of religion and state precedes Christianity. For instance, Socrates was accused of corrupting the Athens’s youth and not believing in the city’s gods; each city-state had its state religion, which was of course some variation on Greek mythology.

    I agree with you that religion (and also non-religion) should be unimposing and orthogonal to a state, not integral to it. States should be agnostic; that, really, is the only way to have principal (if not practical) religious freedom.

  • 6. Gaute  |  August 14, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Just some notes on christianity in Norway. Maybe some think the church runs the state but it is the other way around.

    We have a christian history and the church plays a role in traditional ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. Most people, religious or not, only ever go to church for these types of events. Though there are other options they have not become as popular yet. Despite it’s role in these traditions and it’s relatively large number of members, the church doesn’t have that much influence. I wouldn’t even call most of the members christians. They tend to think for themselves and not let themselves lead by the bible or the priests.

    There is religious freedom.in Norway. State church membership is not mandatory. You can be a member of any or no religious organization. All the organized religions (of some size) also receive money from the state, not only the state church, although i think they still get a little more per member. The humanist association also benefits from this.

    A big reason for keeping the church connected to the state is control. This way we can rule the church through our democracy and keep it in check. Most people here aren’t very religious, very few follow religious leaders, but since the church still plays a part in some important traditions it won’t disappear if released from state control. The danger then is that it could decide it wanted a real following, like other churches, and use it position as a part of the cultural history to achive this.

    Personally, I’d rather religions would disappear, but that sadly isn’t very realistic. So at least for now having a state church doesn’t seem like a bad compromise.

  • 7. BlackSun  |  August 14, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    If someone tells you a story, your inner eye allows you to see all the people and the landscapes described in the tale. A reading is an extension of this way of seeing, but instead of obtaining the pictures from a story, you get them from another person. When we give a reading we use our fellow beings as mirrors. This means that the more insight we gain into another person, the greater the opportunity to work with ourselves and similar challenges in our own lives.

    Hmm. Sounds like a description of therapy to me. But practiced by unlicensed and unaccountable people. What do angels have to do with it?

  • 8. Top Posts « Word of the day - Learning English online  |  August 15, 2007 at 2:59 am

    […] New Age Christianity [image]Norway is a constitutional monarchy without separation of Church and State. The constitution declares the […] […]

  • 9. Simen  |  August 15, 2007 at 5:45 am

    Gaute, I would disagree. It’s a sad state of affairs when a country declares that one religion is better than another (how else should we interpret the choice of one over all others as state religion?) In principle, law has already declared one religion to be better than all others. Further, it means everyone finances the Church (the majority of all the Norwegian State Church’s funds are provided by individual counties, and they must pour these funds from taxes), even if they’re not members and don’t wish to pay for it. I’ll steal Richard Dawkins’s analogy and ask, What if the equivalent for political parties were true? What if the state had declared that one political party is the state’s party, and Constitution had demanded that taxpayer money should finance it? Would you so easily accept this, on the promise that “the party be ruled by a democracy?” This example isn’t very far from how dictatorships work.

    BlackSun, I clipped some of that answer. Here’s the rest:

    With the help of the angels we can potentially release old habits, blockages, fears, cords etc., both within the other person and within ourselves. This may free us to act on our own impulses instead of in response to other people’s ingrained patterns and fears that we have always thought were our own.

    I don’t know how the angels are supposed to help with reading, though, or even if this (which follows directly from your quote) has any connection to reading whatsoever.

  • 10. Tia  |  August 15, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Angels are one of my pet peeves. Or perhaps I should say that the misuse of the angel concept is a pet peeve. First of all, whether angels exist or not is beyond the realm of proof- depending, of course, on the particular definition of angel. If the universe is energy and some forms this energy takes are construed by some as “angelic”, well, possibly, but that’s a question of naming, isn’t it? Many interventions attributed by some to angels are attributed by others to nature, instinct, wise people, kind people, common sense, intuition, insight, synchronicity, self-knowledge, aspects of the psyche, dream figures… etc. Personally, I don’t see any harm in using the idea of an angel as a therapeutic tool, as long as it’s acknowledged as such, along the lines of “Imagine that there is an angel who…”. The problem comes when the therapist leaves out the “Imagine”.

    It’s similar to the New Age idea that before you were conceived you looked down from the heavens and “chose” your parents. If your goal is to get the person to take full responsibility for her life and stop trying to wriggle out of choosing well now by blaming her upbringing, as a METAPHOR, this might be useful. But you could say something like, “The simple fact is that no matter how you got to where you are now, no one but you is going to take you any further. It might be helpful to think of your life story as one in which you have chosen to experience everything that happened to you. Imagine that you chose your parents… This could help you re-frame your experiences, boost your sense of autonomy and empower you to make positive changes in the future. ” But the therapist or teacher, who is the authority in a situation where a vulnerable person (and I mean any one of us who has an area or occasion of vulnerability) has come for help, fails to respect or encourage the capacity to retain a “meta” level of understanding while exploring the healing possibilities of the imagination (possibly because they have long ago abandoned that meta responsibility themselves).

    Basically, whether New Age or Christian, any concept which removes responsibility for the next step from the person seeking help ultimately complicates rather than clarifies their mental state (by adding a layer of belief that someone else will get them out of it), even if in the short term the opposite seems true. In this sense, there’s not much difference between them.

  • 11. Gaute  |  August 15, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Simen, I see where you are coming from, but I don’t think any religion is declared superior by the government in this case. It is simply the largest religion, and it would be disruptive in the hands of the wrong people.

    It is bitter having to pay taxes to religious groups, but atleast they all get some, including atheists through the humanist association. And it allows the government to exercise some control. And remember, this is a democratically elected government.

    Your analogy to a state party doesn’t make sense so long as you can vote for any other party, who will ultimately control that state party, and pull funding if it wishes to. And you can do that in Norway.

    Under this arrangement the state church (who is the only really big religious organization) has not increased it’s influence, but rather lost much of it. Earlier, christianity was indeed taught in schools. Now that class is replaced by teaching about religion in general, and teachers are forbidden to preach any of them. I have never run into troubles for being an atheist here.

    People will look sceptically at muslim women hiding their face, but this doesn’t stem from Norway being a christian country so much as it stems from Norway being a mostly irreligious country. We look at the fundamentalist of christianity with exactly the same scepticism. And I think that’s a good thing.

    Btw, for a long time I too wanted the church separated from the state. Now i think I was a little to idealistic and not pragmatic enough.

  • […] De-Conversion.com: “Norway is a constitutional monarchy without separation of Church and State. The […]

  • 13. salahudin  |  August 15, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    WOW!

    Well i just wrote a blog entry further extrapolating on this…

    admittedly my article’s painting the entire west with a broad brush. however… that’s poetic license and not necessarily reflective of my personal point of view. :P

  • 14. Simen  |  August 15, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Gaute,

    Simen, I see where you are coming from, but I don’t think any religion is declared superior by the government in this case. It is simply the largest religion, and it would be disruptive in the hands of the wrong people.

    What does it mean, then, when a Christian declares that Christianity is his religion? Does it not mean that he considers other, incompatible religions inferior in some sense? No amount of pluralism will make contradictory views all true. When a country declares itself to be Christian, it is the same as when an individual does it. A person, too, can declare oneself Christian without living up to it.

    Besides, it’s not a government but the constitution itself that declares Christianity state religion.

    And I am on principle against the endorsement of irrational faith in the governing code of a country.

    It is bitter having to pay taxes to religious groups, but atleast they all get some, including atheists through the humanist association. And it allows the government to exercise some control. And remember, this is a democratically elected government.

    I’m not sure I consider religious or humanist organizations to be something a government should support. If it should, at the very least, everyone should get proportional shares.

    Your analogy to a state party doesn’t make sense so long as you can vote for any other party, who will ultimately control that state party, and pull funding if it wishes to. And you can do that in Norway.

    Oh, it holds. The Church, just as an official “State Party”, automatically gets funding and influence.

    Under this arrangement the state church (who is the only really big religious organization) has not increased it’s influence, but rather lost much of it.

    No, it hasn’t. This arrangement hasn’t changed much the past hundred years, so any loss in influence is totally irrelevant.

    Earlier, christianity was indeed taught in schools. Now that class is replaced by teaching about religion in general, and teachers are forbidden to preach any of them. I have never run into troubles for being an atheist here.

    That is untrue in principle (the Norwegian school still has a Christian statement of purpose), and it is certainly untrue in practice. A recent court ruling from the European Court of Human Rights establishes that the Norwegian religion subject, KRL, is in violation of human rights.

  • 15. Simen  |  August 15, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Besides, I think you’re creating an artificial barrier between idealism and pragmatism. Separating Church and State would not have many pragmatic disadvantages, but it would be a huge step forward in principle.

  • 16. Gaute  |  August 15, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Simen. The only ideal scenario as far as I can see is one where there is no religion or other superstition. It can never be reached, we can only work toward it. Religious freedom and a state that stays out of it also sounds good, but I’m afraid that too is impossible. Religion becomes a powerful political tool for religious leaders, and you can be sure that someone will try use it in undemocratic ways. Most members of the state church put our democracy above their (so called?) religion today, but will they tomorrow?

    Democracy is fragile. It requires the support of nearly every citizen. It requires people to understand this and let the underdogs have a say in how things are done.

    Maybe you are right that separating the church from the state wouldn’t do much damage. I think it very well could if done now. The last thing I want are more christians who put their religious values above their loyalty to the democratic system. We should feel very fortunate there aren’t many now.

    One thing that is certain is that not having a state religion doesn’t automatically make things better. From what I’ve heard it’s hard being an atheist in some american states, for example. Much harder than in Norway.

    You can think that ideally there would be no state controlled church, and I would agree. But it is more important to have a society where you be an atheist and not get bullied around by irrational religion followers. That’s what I am thinking here, if we went for the ideal now we might shoot ourselves in the foot and lose something in the process.

    I respect your opinion. Hopefully I managed to communicate my reasoning to you. And lets just agree to disagree, because, it really is impossible to tell for sure.

    Lastly i want to stress that Norway is not a very religious country. The main reason this story got coverage was due to her celebrity status and her doing something “stupid”. It didn’t generate much outrage, it generated tabloid paper stories. Anything of real political interest in this story is tied to the monarchy, and if we really want to keep it around. The king is only a symbol, a mascot, in Norway today.

    Have a nice day!

  • 17. Simen  |  August 15, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Simen. The only ideal scenario as far as I can see is one where there is no religion or other superstition. It can never be reached, we can only work toward it. Religious freedom and a state that stays out of it also sounds good, but I’m afraid that too is impossible. Religion becomes a powerful political tool for religious leaders, and you can be sure that someone will try use it in undemocratic ways. Most members of the state church put our democracy above their (so called?) religion today, but will they tomorrow?

    The only ideal scenario is one in which there’s no religion or superstition? I’m not entirely sure I agree with that.

    And also, if people want to congregate in undemocratic organizations, why not? So long as I’m not a member and they don’t bother me, I don’t care much.

    Democracy is fragile. It requires the support of nearly every citizen. It requires people to understand this and let the underdogs have a say in how things are done.

    Maybe you are right that separating the church from the state wouldn’t do much damage. I think it very well could if done now. The last thing I want are more christians who put their religious values above their loyalty to the democratic system. We should feel very fortunate there aren’t many now.

    What kind of damage would that be? Do you seriously think that Christians, if denied the marriage of state and religion, would not acknowledge democracy? I think those people are so outnumbered that they would easily be stopped if they tried to do any real damage. It’s like teenagers throwing stones at cars in demonstrations: they’re vastly outnumbered by police, military and society at large, they will pay for their actions sooner or later, and their existence is no threat to democracy at all.

    One thing that is certain is that not having a state religion doesn’t automatically make things better. From what I’ve heard it’s hard being an atheist in some american states, for example. Much harder than in Norway.

    Do you think this would happen if separation of state and church would be established in Norway? Highly unlikely. The cultural differences are too large. A culture doesn’t turn into another when one changes one aspect of it so that it resembles the other culture in that one aspect.

    You can think that ideally there would be no state controlled church, and I would agree. But it is more important to have a society where you be an atheist and not get bullied around by irrational religion followers. That’s what I am thinking here, if we went for the ideal now we might shoot ourselves in the foot and lose something in the process.

    I would agree with you, but I consider the possibility that this would happen, should we establish separation of church and state, to be highly, highly unlikely. I think that, if anything, atheism would receive a postive impact in this scenario.

    Lastly i want to stress that Norway is not a very religious country. The main reason this story got coverage was due to her celebrity status and her doing something “stupid”. It didn’t generate much outrage, it generated tabloid paper stories.

    It generated public outrage in that a large number of public channels of communication conveyed people’s outrage. Of course, the degree to which these communication channels represented the general public in this particular instance can be debated.

    Anything of real political interest in this story is tied to the monarchy, and if we really want to keep it around. The king is only a symbol, a mascot, in Norway today.

    Sadly, neither debate has gained much from this affair.

  • 18. Tia  |  August 15, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Sorry I may have gone off at a bit of a tangent re the angels and all. A bit closer to the main topic: There’s a passionate article apposite to this discussion by Avraham Burg appealing for a choice between democracy and theocracy, where he asserts that all fundamentalists of any religion are equally dangerous. The article is at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/893537. I offered some comments on it on my blog today as well.

  • 19. HeIsSailing  |  August 15, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Salahudin,
    That was a terrific article that you wrote over on your site. How did you, a guy from Pakistan, dredge up those arcane laws from our state constitutions? I would not have had a clue where to begin when researching an article like that!

    And the laws that you found that are on the books are shocking indeed. Well done!!

  • 20. HeIsSailing  |  August 15, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Tia sez:

    Angels are one of my pet peeves. Or perhaps I should say that the misuse of the angel concept is a pet peeve.

    If I may share this quip from my life. A few years ago, a niece of mine died. Apparantly, she tripped while in the bathroom, and strangled herself on a cord that was used to hang dirty clothes. She was 14 years old. It was ghastly, and there is no nice way to say it.

    But the obituary tried to. Her obit stated that she was called home and carried away by the loving embrace of angels. OK, I know her parents were greiving, but I could find no comfort in that at all. Actually I found it horrific. Angels did not carry her away with the brush of their wings into the busom of God. No. She strangled herself, and it was awful.

    Attempts to sweeten these tragedies with angels and the like are just morbid fantasies. The really bother me.

  • 21. karen  |  August 15, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    HIS:
    Attempts to sweeten these tragedies with angels and the like are just morbid fantasies. The really bother me.

    My goodness, that’s an awful tragedy. I’m so sorry! They always say household accidents are responsible for a lot of deaths but that’s the first time I’ve heard of that freakish an accident.

    I can relate to the sugar-coating of tragedy. I had an uncle who committed suicide. His funeral was a happy, happy, joyful celebration of his wonderful, marvelous life in Christ! Nothing wrong with remembering him, of course, but to totally ignore the tragic circumstances and not even grapple with what he may have been thinking or feeling – and pretend all was hunky-dory – just felt so false and wrong.

    I was wrestling with my faith at the time, and that was one of many big “turnoff” moments.

  • 22. Simen  |  August 16, 2007 at 4:12 am

    Tia: not at all. The post was about angels after all. It’s just that a discussion sometimes takes a turn and ends up somewhere else from where it started. It’s the way of the discussion. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring up the original topic.

    HIS: sounds awful. I also think it’s symptomatic of a wider human tendency: that of looking for meaning where none is. There really is no deeper meaning to such a tragic happening. You can see it other places too: for instance, in the tendency across cultures to personify nature, looking for intent when you don’t get any fish or your crops are ruined.

  • 23. Shannon Lewis  |  August 16, 2007 at 9:46 am

    It seems to me that the popular understanding of Angels has for quite some time lent credibility to the New Age view, as the Biblical picture of Angels is not one of cherubs with bows & arrows, but of wild, powerful, multi-winged, warriors that are God’s servants – far more powerful than humans, but not nearly as knowledgeable. I think it sad, however, than ANY country would have an ‘official’ religion – that’s a problem waiting to happen. I’m all for the separation of Church & State, first & foremost for the sake of the church. A sad story indeed, all the way around.

  • 24. Thinking Ape  |  August 16, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Shannon says,

    It seems to me that the popular understanding of Angels has for quite some time lent credibility to the New Age view

    Someone’s been reading Harold Bloom, no?

  • 25. heatlight  |  August 16, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Never heard of him, honestly. Why?

  • 26. gbv23  |  August 16, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I like the questions at the end of the post:

    Fundie Christians cling to their version of the Bible and thus “damn” everybody who doesn’t (new-agers included)

    The domga and doctrines of Christianity are mostly man-made (St. Paul was NOT Jesus)

    ….AND there has been a long tradition of “new-age” Christianity—that is: reclaiming the message of love & compassion rather than guilt and fear.

    My current favorites are the books of Gary Renard which are related to ACIM (an inspiring correction to Christianity) I also liked the large Jesus bio included in Urantia

    One of the leading Angel people is Doreen Virtue,

    I would also point-out that many of the “Magick” crowd (western inner tradition, OTO et al) also talk to angels using the Enochian system developed by Dr. Dee way back in 1500 –and those Magick-types are (ironically) mostly dismissive of anything too fluffy or “new-age”

    In summary — I don’t buy the distortions of the man-made Church but trust that natural inner-knowing to which we all have access IF we can get the materialist ego-mind to quiet-down long enough to hear the higher voice. Angels don’t always answer with a voice.

  • 27. Mireya  |  August 18, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    hi nice post, i enjoyed it

  • 28. Deidre25BURTON  |  May 16, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I would like to propose not to hold off until you earn big sum of cash to buy all you need! You can get the http://lowest-rate-loans.com or just commercial loan and feel yourself comfortable

  • 29. Alban  |  May 19, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    gbv23 @ # 26. Liked your post. When people become directly aware of the self, they begin to see ‘the how’ of some of the other mysteries and the naming of them. Diving into the other mysteries first however, can create conceptual barriers that obscure simplicity.

    The desire for the inner knowing you refer to, is pure and simple. All of us cover that desire up unconsciously and make the goal of fulfillment, unconditional love, enlightenment, salvation whatever we have named it, just about unattainable in our complexity.

    That’s why it has been similarly stated in a number of places that only the heart of a child can understand the mystery of the kingdom of God (Heaven). So first, the desire. It is not created. It is already there.

    Down the road that can make for some fascinating conjecture about angels, possibly less speculative. Without the inner knowing of the self and sometimes even with it, angels are arguably a subjective topic.

    About 20 years back we had rented a U-Haul It truck to move and had driven almost 2 solid days without much sleep Got to the destination late at night and I lifted the back gate to pull out a queen size mattress so we could just go to sleep. My patience was gone and the mattress wasn’t coming out easily. I climbed up on the large and high off the ground bumper and tried to yank it out, enough to get a better grip from the ground. I lost my very determined hold and flew out backwards to the street. I knew from my pool diving experience I was going to land where my neck and shoulders meet.

    Then somehow everything slowed down. There was no fear or panic. I landed on my back without my head hitting the ground as if something had gently caught me and laid me peacefully down without even a scratch…certainly an ‘event’ at least, that provoked a lot of gratitude and reflection.

  • 30. cag  |  May 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    About 20 years back…

    About 10 years back a Tsunami hit the Indian ocean resulting in many deaths. About 4 years ago an earthquake hit Haiti resulting in many deaths.
    Then there was Japan 2011. And those are just recent events.

    Where was the laying down without a scratch for these people? Your result was just dumb luck.

  • 31. Alban  |  May 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    cag, I do not fully understand the seeming randomness of something akin to ‘divine intervention’ or just plain luck in disaster scenarios. What I do know, we tend to confuse divine kindness with deservingness.

    Collectively (vs individually) WE HAVE created conditions in this world that have triggered disasters. We know about fires, bacteria and what troubles various types of earth moving can bring. Nowadays we have added weather tampering and rapidly growing drilling operations. So in a similar way to not knowing the source of life collectively, we are largely unaware of how we impact our environment. Do innocent victims deserve the blow of unintended consequences?

    No. BUT we are living in an unconscious society, that is just beginning to spark with consciousness, yet we will still suffer awhile for our ignorance via unintended consequence. The kindness of the divine is largely focused in sustaining the life force. However what we do with it is either a benefit or a detriment to ourselves. We can do incredible things with that kindness or we can remain like specs of dust totally subject to the momentum and the results of ignoring the potential that kindness provides.

    The sketchy part of the divine are the windows in which certain conditions and or results can be altered. If everything always was to work in our collective or individual favor would we take that for granted? Sure. Could we still be ignorant of divine kindness? Yes, and in all likelihood, it has occurred in a previous civilization we have legends about. We all agree intentional harm is wrong, but that is as far as our collective consciousness extends. And still there are those who abuse that agreement of social order.

    Likewise roughly, there is a balance in life and from time to time a miracle can occur when the divine can externally intercede. Many pray and attempt to make themselves deserving of such miracles. But the kindness does not always correlate to the deservingness. The deservingness is our understanding, not any agreement with the divine. More it is the depth or the sincerity of the wish itself that gains attention. Hence the old adage: “Be careful WHAT you wish for”. (or figure out what is the single greatest wish and wish it, until it’s granted. And it will be!!)

    So on balance there can be random acts of external divine kindness. We try to explain miracles with reason, but that is not the way life is. That is the way we are-what we have become. Reason oriented. That type of divine kindness is completely spontaneous without reason. And never hurts on purpose except in legends.

    Tap into the kindness everyday and kindness will begin to externally manifest for all of us. Then the balance will tip to where the extremes of man influenced events like some ‘natural’ disasters will lesson as will the intercessions. And as we begin to recognize the divine within us, the results of ignorance will diminish. Balance.

    Doesn’t mean a meteor wont hit us or the sun wont die. Appreciating the quality of the source of life will be more than enough of a miracle. Recognizing divine inhabitation is much more satisfying and lasting than intervention or intercession. Although if one came your way you would have been very fortunate!

  • 32. cag  |  May 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Alban, what a load of codswallop. There are no miracles or divine kindness. These are marketing words for a scam.

  • 33. Alban  |  May 21, 2014 at 4:01 am

    cag, I understand your frustration. Pain as motivation to find discrepancies in any endeavor, accomplishes nothing except attaining some element of ego gratification. Maybe change the purpose here to enrich and expand readers lives rather than attempting to reduce the space in the cages. We are better off counting what we have vs. what we do not have.

    Wanna see a miracle, a true act of divine kindness? Look in a mirror. What is looking thru the eyes and what is making that awareness, the dust and the water breathe? To even be able to guess there is a connection between the two is also a miracle…likewise to deny there is any connection, amazing isn’t it?

    About 12,000 times a day your breath is taken for you. 2 people, another 2 miracles brought you into this world. So you exist, you are breathed and I assume since you are consistently contributing, that you eat, drink fluids and are in good enough phyisical and financial health that you can peck away on a keyboard somewhere, most likely a residence.

    Wow. You are here! You are alive! Do you understand, that alone IS THE MOST INCREDIBLE MIRACLE. Even without a positive concept of God, acknowledging one or having antagonism towards one, you are still here. Whether disgruntled, relatively content, heartbroken or happy, you are breathing. And that is mind blowing!! Thousands of conditions that could fail, have not

    Free to express as you please whether grateful or not on the surface, I bet there is a little gratitude hiding underneath. And no one else is like you. never has been, never will be. Like a snowflake. That at least mathematically makes you a miracle.

    If you could consider that there is more to that miracle than math, maybe you begin there and explore the entire package. Find the really big one…in you, while time is on your side.

  • 34. cag  |  May 21, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Alban, so according to you, every bacteria in my gut is a miracle? My dog is a miracle? The ebola virus is a miracle?

    What we do not have is any reason to believe anything that is supposedly supernatural. We have no reason to believe in Thor or Ra or Zeus or Yahweh or any of the thousands of other gods. Why would I be in any pain just because I find belief in gods ridiculous? Why would I be frustrated? I do not have to worry about pissing off some omnipotent tyrant. I do not have to worry about hell. I do not have to base my actions on a book of fiction. When I do good it is to do good, not to please some cosmic peeping tom.

  • 35. Alban  |  May 22, 2014 at 4:27 am

    No cag, the ebola virus is man influenced, an abomination. Some bacteria in your gut could be similar, perhaps because of tainted food or not washing hands that handle money for instance.

    You at a couple of junctures spoke of your pain. At those times indicated you felt pain and most recently when not smited by God, somehow felt vindicated, there could be no god.

    Don’t worry about the bible or religious threats about hell. We have enough of it here by our own ignorance to not have to deal with it after death. You can feel free to stop adorning yourself in some of its clothing that expresses itself in your frustration.

    Remove some of the armor cag. Ego only can run a short course in protecting itself. The less you have on, the simpler it will be to discover the pure and already existing desire to know yourself. (YOU are not your ego.)

    You aren’t pissing anyone or anything off. You are just pissing. Leave the armor on and you’ll continue to piss all over yourself with no protection from your ego. The resulting bacteria starts stinking up the joint.

    When that happens, who in their rationalization or justification is the last one to know?

    Your dog can be a miracle. It will love you unconditionally unless you beat it or don’t feed it. Is that similar to what has happened in your life? You really don’t want to make the life that is the biggest part of you- the one that sustains, the object of your scorn, do you?

    That would be like sawing off the branch you’re sitting on. Mm, is a god or “God” part of this example? No. Just you cag and your life…partnership or estranged?

  • 36. news  |  July 25, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    It’s a continuous commitment of doing the proper things that will help you transform in this context.
    It lies 122 kilometres south of Agra, and 423 kilometres
    (263 mi) north of Bhopal, the state capital. All forms of cancer are characterized
    by two basic conditions – acidosis and hypoxia (lack
    of oxygen).

  • 37. Hermes Outlet  |  September 9, 2014 at 9:20 am

    green. If you are degustation. The temperature needs to develop.
    Incorporating artefact, extra workwear, does relative quantity confirming for prospective lenders.
    Get a just retentiveness, letter of the alphabet-3’s are an experienced lawyer automatically
    knows many than in one case or doubly but 3 multiplication. Use a needlelike outfit.
    When you are readying a Celine Handbags Kevin Durant Shoes hermes Birkin Toms Outlet Gucci Handbags Air Max Pas Cher Giuseppe
    Zanotti Sneakers Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers Hermes Outlet Gucci Handbags Celine Bag Marc Jacobs Outlet Store Nike Free Run Celine Outlet Gucci Outlet Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers
    Beats By Dre Celine Outlet Air Max Pas Cher Lebron James Shoes For Sale Hermes Outlet Beats By Dre Jimmy Choo Shoes Babyliss Straighteners Toms Outlet Store
    Hermes Outlet Kevin Durant Shoes Mulberry Bags one that entireness for you.
    Try mistreatment all kinds of articles that can harm your data
    processor. propose links to your mental object to uphold a time
    unit reserve account for repairs flatbottomed if you can do searches
    centered on what portion of proposal to make a fair genre.

    evaluate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

Twitter

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 2,053,991 hits since March 2007

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 211 other followers