Friday, 24 February 2012

Conversations with a Fundamentalist Christian - Five

You said: Was there ever a time in your life that you did not know you were God, and therefore had to learn it?

Consciously yes and of course knowing one is God means different things to me - I believe all is God therefore as part of the all, I am God, or rather, an expression of God, but in essence, God.

You said: This was change, was it not?

It was change in terms of remembering, having forgotten - because I believe when we enter or re-enter this world we are meant to forget and follow a path to remember. Actually I don't think everyone is called to do that, just some.

 You said: Was this change illusion, too?

Everything is illusion as the Hindus and Buddhists teach. Or rather, everything is 'created' by us as an expression of God. This world is a reflection of the real world.

You said: If this change is illusion, could it not be true that it is an illusion that you are god?

Absolutely, of course it could. The task is to make sense of this material world using our material nature combined with our spiritual nature. At the endof the day we have no absolute proof of anything. But, just as we believe in Love and cannot quantify it or reduce it to material essence in a petri dish, so too I believe that this is a meaningful and purposeful world where the material emanates from the spiritual.

You said:  How do you know whether the illusion is from before you learned you are god, or after you learned this?

You don't. All any of us can do is come up with a set of beliefs which work for us - which makes sense of ourselves and this world and the life we live.

You said: Is it not true that as humans, its possible that we not exist? And also true that we then came to exist? How can God not exist, then come to exist?

It depends what you mean by exist. If you mean exist in the material sense we believe we exist then absolutely. We are in essence infinitesimal amounts of matter vibrating in a sea of energy, and as physics now suggest, we actually drop in and out of this reality, this material world all the time. So if you like, we constantly exist and do not exist in a material sense.

However, I do believe that we exist in a spiritual sense eternally and so for the spiritual, which is also God, and our unique individual selves as an expression of God, there is no in and out, there is no time, there is no exist and not exist - we are, God is, always.

You said: Also, you say that you came to this belief by studying many religions. Does it bother you that the Bible directly contradicts your view?

Well, in truth, it is not so much the Bible which directly contradicts my view but how the Bible is interpreted. Fundamentalist Christianity has but one interpretation of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. Across the spectrum of Christianity there is a wealth of interpretations, some of which sit quite comfortably with what I believe. But even if they did not, no, it would not bother me. Christianity is but one religion amongst many and what I believe can certainly be found in many other religions - in varying forms - as indeed it can be found in the Bible.

You said:  For we are told the following:
–There was a time when humans did not exist, then God created us. (Genesis 1)

My view is that given how often the Bible has been translated and re-written that it would be foolish to take too literal a view of anything in it. However, to read this metaphorically -

Yes, there was a time when humans did not exist and then we were created as an expression in the mind of God just as this world was created as an expression of God through the mind of God. Our spiritual natures however always existed, as does God, but being expression as material beings is new - the spiritual is eternal the material is sourced in time therefore it can have a beginning and an end.

You said: –We are separated from God due to sin. The Bible says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)

You interpret literally and I interpret metaphorically. 'We are separated from God due to sin (and one could spend a lifetime arguing the meaning of sin - happen to believe sin is ignorance) means, we are separated or feel separated from God because in our ignorance we believe we are only material beings. We have forgotten our spiritual nature, or in the Newtonian/Descartesian paradigm, we deny our spiritual nature.

And 'the wages of sin is death' means that in ignorance (sin) we are dead to our spiritual truths and selves and so know only the material which can and does die, not the spiritual which is eternal. Death only exists in this world of matter. If we believe in our ignorance (sin) that there is nothing more than this world of matter then we believe in Death but Death does not exist as any true reality. Maya, or illusion as the Hindus say.

You said: –Hebrews 9:27 says “It is appointed unto man to die once, then the judgment.”

Well the Biblical teachings on re-incarnation were edited out of The Bible but there is evidence for their existence. But, if I were to interpret metaphorically I would say - yes, you can die once, as that incarnation and then there is judgement but it is not the materialistic mindset judgement of Christianity but a judgement by the Soul and Self of its Self. This is something which has been recorded in NDE's for hundreds if not thousands of years. Those who return from an NDE consistently say there is a judgement but you judge yourself - which makes much more sense and is much more just. They also say you re-live your entire life in an instant, not just feeling your own feelings but feeling the feelings of all those who have touched - for good or for ill. That is a judgement in which I can believe.

You said: This is change. So the Bible says that we are judged by God, therefore we are not God.

That is the literal view. If we are God and our spiritual Self is our Godself then yes, the judgement is by God but by God manifesting as our own unique Self and Soul not by a God who sits like a 'parent' or 'judge' in a court of law condemning and punishing.

You say: Whether or not you or I agree or disagree with these Bible passages, we cannot say that the Bible does not teach these things, for I’ve just quoted the passages that says it does.

And I would simply repeat what the Bible can teach depends upon interpretation. Your interpretation is a very different teaching to mine and others. The passages you quote are collections of words which can mean what you say if God is made in the image of humans or mean what I say if God is, well, God and humans are made in the image of God.

You said: So theres at least one source, the Bible, that does not teach what you believe. And this is not my opinion or interpretation, for I’ve just quoted the passages.

Yes, it is your interpretation as I have just shown. And that makes it your opinion. It may be a shared opinion but it is just an opinion.

You said: What is more, many other religions also deny that we are god and that the world is an illusion. These include Islam, Judaism, native religions, and Hinduism. None of these would hold that we are god right now.

Well, they deny that we are God in perhaps the way that you define God but they don't so much deny that we are God in the way that I define God. The problem is that we interpret the concept of God very differently and as I have said before, that is fine as long as it brings fulfillment to one's life - we are all different and I believe this world exists as an expression of God's creativity.

You see God as a separate thing, or entity, like a painter as you said who acts like some kind of parent with all the flaws and strengths that a human parent can have. This interpretation of God was developed in the patriarchal age and is, by necessity, inherently patriarchal in nature.

I see God as consciousness, like an enormous ocean of consciousness, an entity without concrete form as God - no old man with a beard on a cloud - but pure and perfect consciousness which creates all that is, including this world and us and other worlds and other entities.

As one finds in ancient myth, to me it is like a net (quantum physics also relates to this concept) which expresses or manifests as worlds and people and birds and ants and sand and sky - you get the picture, where absolutely everything which exists is sourced in and made of what I call God.

Physicist David Bohm came up with the concept of implicate and explicate orders which fit what I am trying to express in my sense of God. In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Instead, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order.

These ordinary notions in appear in what is called the "explicate" or  the unfolded order, the expression emanating from the implicate, and it is a  distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders. So God if you like is the implicate and this world is the explicate or one form of explicate. We emanate if you like from the source which is God - We are made in the image of God because we are made of God - we are God.

My beliefs are drawn not just from studying religions and spiritual writings but from studying science, physics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, mythology, astrology and lots of other 'ologies' and making the connections between them all which allow me to weave a 'picture' where I and this world makes sense and God makes sense.
I hope that makes sense.

You said: I hope you don’t think I’m too forward……..I always have been interested in how people come to believe what they believe. Thanks for the interesting conversation.

Not at all. It makes me think about people who think as you do and it makes me think about what I believe and clarify and articulate it for myself.  And I do apologise for length but I am also interested in this conversation and aware of how easy it is to misunderstand each other so I am trying to spell out for you how I see, or interpret what you believe and why I believe what I believe.

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