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Esotericism And Christianity, For Tocarm.

MichaelMR
post Mar 25 2007, 04:19 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHAdzk5Zf4c

"The meaning of esotericism as "inner" teaching and its relationship to Christian spirituality."

I found this on Youtube and thought it would be very enlightening for you, T. While I may not entirely agree on where his view points are coming from, I can respect it because he understands the true teachings rather than the superficial and manmade. This guy is intelligent.

This post has been edited by MichaelMR: Mar 25 2007, 04:19 PM
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painter
post Mar 25 2007, 05:21 PM
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It's a pretty good talk, MichaelMR. The speaker is basically on target about "esotericism" meaning "inner." The thing that is difficult for us to grasp is that esotericism, or esoteric teachings, can not be grasped in our ordinary frame of consciousness. There are structural reasons for this -- something in us has to be awakened or opened to receive these very subtle, what we call "spiritual" (for lack of better word) energies. So we have to point out it isn't only Christianity or Christian teachings that have an esoteric or inner meaning -- all genuine religions do. There is in all cases the outer form of the teaching with its stories, signs, symbols, rituals and so forth. These, in their origin, were meant to lead the participant into deeper levels of understanding -- what we, today, might call 'altered states of consciousness.' ('Altered' from our normal, ordinary, work-a-day consciousness.) Perhaps a way to put this would be to say that this extraordinary consciousness -- a birth right -- is a holistic consciousness where or ordinary consciousness is one that is fragmented and reduced. This ordinary, fragmented consciousness is developed within day-to-day life conditions and requires extraordinary conditions in order to become more integrated and whole. Religions, in their origin, are an attempt to provide these extraordinary conditions. They touch the mind and heart of a man as he is with the intention of elevating him toward a new understanding of himself and the universe in which he exists.

The problem, of course, is that it doesn't always work -- in fact, I'd say it seldom works. There are structural reasons for this as well. And when it doesn't work what happens is that the form becomes more important in the mind and heart of the acolyte than the inner qualities that were meant to be opened. Thus, the stories, signs, symbols, rituals and so fort become a matter of 'belief' -- become a matter of tradition and orthodoxy. As the speaker indicated, one can either accept or reject the surface manifestations of any religion -- but, from the point of view of esotericism, to do either one is to miss the point. As the Zen saying goes, it is to mistake the finger pointing for that to which it points.

What has largely happened in relation to Christianity (except, perhaps, for some monastics) is that the means or practices through which one can open have been lost. Take, for example, "prayer." Typically to pray is to petition, that is, to ask Jesus or God to do something or other. What is not widely understood, however, is that prayer can have a variety of intents -- and petitioning is only one of them. Moreover, for a genuine petition to be effective, there must already be a wholeness of intention, will, consciousness and an openness of heart that is the very thing lacking in our ordinary state. In other words, the real function of prayer is to bring one into a more whole or unified state from within which one can become more open to these finer "spiritual" energies that can both guide one and provide for further and more profound awakening.
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MichaelMR
post Mar 25 2007, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for the input, Painter. I've always been somewhat biased to religious books with my preconceptions based on the way people distorted the language and made it into exoteric beliefs in the past. It's difficult, but if you read these books and one particularly being the bible (with an esoteric point of view), it certainly opens your eyes on a lot of topics. I admire what you've said here because it makes so much sense. The fact that truly understanding these teachings in its purest form may have been too difficult for some to comprehend, which could has manifested in a much more materialistic belief, really does explain why todayís religions are so misleading. Going back to ancient Egypt, it took the geniuses of the past many, many years before they could truly be taught handed down esoteric knowledge. The average person doesn't exactly have that dedication because of life's many curves and obstacles. Going to church and clapping your hands for a while doesnít sound like a bad idea when you realize how hard it really is to understand the underlying truths.

The mainstream thought process is altered, reformed and shaped into what the winners of our past wanted it to be. Weíve been thought that we can put our all into this materialistic world then go home and repent to whatever entity one believes in. This isnít individuality, itís following the rest of the world and doing what youíre assuming is right based on what others say. I don't for a second believe that enlightenment comes without struggling. This entire life we live right now is a resistance which we have to push through to better ourselves.
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Devilsadvocate
post Mar 25 2007, 07:24 PM
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...Interesting to note, maybe:
The Egyptian word for "to pray" is "Pteh"-
Read the other way around, you get "Hetep"-
which means "to offer".
Two sides of one and the same thing-"give" and "take"...
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tocarm
post Mar 27 2007, 10:08 PM
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Everyone's fundamental problem with "esoteric" vs. "exoteric", "gnosis" vs. "metanoia" stems from people's REFUSAL to accept a very, very, very SIMPLE doctrinal truth of the Christian Church's Apostolic Faith.

GOD HIMSELF TOOK ON OUR HUMAN NATURE 2,000 YEARS AGO AND EXPLAINED IN VERY, VERY SIMPLE TERMS THAT EVEN SIMPLE FISHERMEN AND SIMPLE FARMERS COULD UNDERSTAND LOFTY, INEFFABLE SUPERNATURAL DIVINE TRUTHS.

Either accept God Incarnate - The Christ's - Teachings on 'face value' OR go enternain yourselves with any and every form of esotericism and gnosticism.
How much BULLSHIT are you willing to accept from HUMAN BEINGS like Bush and Cheney every last liar in our U.S. Government. Don't people understand that there are "elemental SPIRITS" who lie, lie and lie again through 'their teeth', influencing human beings just as effectly as other LYING human beings?

What does Sacred Scripture have to say about this specific subject at hand?

"Do not try to understand things that are too difficult for you,
or try to discover what what is beyond your powers.
Concentrate on what has been given to you,
you have no need to worry over mysteries.
Do not meddle with matters that are beyond you;
what you have been taught already exceeds to scope of the human mind.
For many have been misled by their own presumption,
and wrong-headed opinions have warped their ideas."
- Ecclesiaticus 3:21-24

So ya wanna discuss "mysticism" - okay.

It was St. John of the Cross, Carmelite Saint and 'Mystical Doctor' of the Catholic Church who advised that it is better NOT to go prodding for or go chasing after 'spiritual experiences'. God Himself is perfectly capable, by His Divine Grace, to grant ALL SORTS of supernatural/mystical experiences - and He does so ONLY when He has a 'good foundation' upon which TO BUILD.

GOD does not pour 'new Wine' into old skins on account of the real life prospect of DAMAGING the old skin which results in A WASTE of His New Wine.

If people AREN'T going to believe what God Incarnate in Jesus, THE CHRIST, has to say about 'the spiritual life' - what makes them think that when they have a 'spiritual experience' that it is really and truly COMING FROM GOD???

And if it ISN'T coming from God - from whence does/do these spiritual experiences eminate or originate from??? Hmmm???

- tocarm
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MichaelMR
post Mar 28 2007, 03:01 PM
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So uh, I guess you don't agree with what the guy in this video has said. Ok.
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Jarroyo
post Mar 28 2007, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE
If people AREN'T going to believe what God Incarnate in Jesus, THE CHRIST, has to say about 'the spiritual life' - what makes them think that when they have a 'spiritual experience' that it is really and truly COMING FROM GOD???

And if it ISN'T coming from God - from whence does/do these spiritual experiences eminate or originate from??? Hmmm???


The Bible clearly states that God will no longer talk to men, or execute miracles, or prophecies in this time of day.

All these modern "revelations" or "visions" or "contacts" do not come from God, the Bible said that these gifts will no longer be.

The miraculous gifts of God's holy spirit were not going to prevail forever in the Christian congregation. You can read 1 Corinthians and reach that conclusion yourself, it's a very beautiful passage. It talks about love, hope and faith.

Anyways, in 1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us:

QUOTE (KJC)
"Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away."


QUOTE (NLT)
Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear.


Let's read the context. Shall we?

QUOTE (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
1  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a sounding [piece of] brass or a clashing cymbal. 2  And if I have the gift of prophesying and am acquainted with all the sacred secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all the faith so as to transplant mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3  And if I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body, that I may boast, but do not have love, I am not profited at all.


The apostle Paul is telling us, how these divine gifts (such as speaking in tongues. prophesying, et al) are worthless if he does not have love. He continues to describe love:

QUOTE (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
4  Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5  does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6  It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails.[...]


He then goes to say:

QUOTE (1 Corinthians 13:8b)
But whether there are [gifts of] prophesying, they will be done away with; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will be done away with.


Paul says that these special gifts, these divine gifts, will cease, tey be done away with. And goes on to explain why these gifts where going to cease.

QUOTE (1 Corinthians 13:9-12)
9  For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially; 10  but when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with. 11  When I was a babe, I used to speak as a babe, to think as a babe, to reason as a babe; but now that I have become a man, I have done away with the [traits] of a babe. 12  For at present we see in hazy outline by means of a metal mirror, but then it will be face to face. At present I know partially, but then I shall know accurately even as I am accurately known.


At that moment, the knowledge and the understanding of the Scriptures was not very clear and it was not complete. God even told David to "seal" the prophecies he had written, for they were to have an interpretation later on.

So, since we wouldn't have gifts of prophesying, or gifts of miracles, or gifts to talk to God directly. Which was one of the things the apostles and early Christians used to convert others. Then what was left for US to convince others of the truth? What would we have? Paul clarifies:

QUOTE (1 Corinthians 13:13)
13  Now, however, there remain faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


We have these 3 powerful weapons at our disposal. Apart from that, we no longer have "partial knowledge", we now have become men and we "know accurately". We have clear and complete information, and these divine gifts are no longer necessary for us to sustain our faith or to convince others of the biblical truth.

But when did these "powers" ceased?

According to Acts 8:18, these miracle gifts "through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given". And after the Pentecost, every registered case of Holy Spirit pouring accompanied with miraculous gifts took place with the presence of one or more a apostles of Jesus. (Acts 8:9-20; 10:44-46; 19:6) Evidently, the giving of these powers ceased with the apostles death, and when those who had received them died, those gifts completely ceased from the Christian congregation.

To quote you:

And if it ISN'T coming from God - from whence does/do these spiritual experiences eminate or originate from??? Hmmm???

Paul warned us that an apostasy influence would infiltrate the Christians and "is according to the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing" (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 9, 10)

So these miraculous encounters and experiences are coming from "wicked spirit forces ". (Ephesians 6:12)

J
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MichaelMR
post Mar 28 2007, 04:51 PM
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That was a great post, Jarroyo. I haven't read the bible in quite a while. laugh.gif
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