Traditional Christianity

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums

Postby kiki » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:49 pm

How can boredom with life come into play when each moment holds this kind of freshness? It is the power that now holds, when unfettered with automated responses, to bring joy into everyday moments of life that the ego is so ready to label as mundane.

This is so true. I haven't felt boredom in years. The most ordinary of things holds a subtle fascination - there is a fullness within everything, so that literally nothing is found lacking, nothing is found to be mundane. Another thing I haven't felt in years is loneliness, which is a dramatic departure from how life had been experienced by me. How can one feel lonely when there no longer is a "me" that sees itself as separate from anything? No matter where I am I am home, home with the beloved - no more need to seek for anything to feel loved and complete. In this there is a complete relaxation with whatever unfolds before me; no more fear of what might be, no more expectation of how it should be. This is "the incredible lightness of being".
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Postby eseward » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:50 pm

Well said, Webwanderer.

"To the wise man, every day is a new life."
Seneca
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Re: Traditional Christianity My main concern is Jesus says

Postby notanecho » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:35 pm

YUDoodat wrote:I am new to Eckhart Tolle, but not his teachings. Years ago I was deeply into the new-age movement, and read up on many different disciplines in my endeavors to assimilate truth and bring it into context in my life.

However, from my current individual 'fundamentalist Christian' point of view, I experience extreme cognitive dissonance when I try to understand certain of Eckhart's teachings in regard to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. Granted, Jesus' teachings are parabolic and seem to mesh beautifully on certain deeper levels with Eckhart's teachings. And I have not come across anything anywhere (Christian or not) that illumines the workings and motivation of the ego as well as Eckhart does in 'A New Earth'. I see his 'ego' as Paul describes the 'old' or 'carnal man' in the King James version of the Bible.

My main concern is the way Jesus referred to himself as the 'only way to the Father'. Also, he is referred to as King of Kings (we might say, King of Masters) and Lord of Lords. And that "every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

The Bible additionally claims that Jesus was born of a virgin, which further sets him apart as "the only begotten Son of God", if this statement is literally true, as I believe it is. And since he overcame "the world" by never yielding to 'sin' through faith, his claim that "no one comes to the Father, but by me" seems to exclude attainment of "salvation" apart from exclusive association with his own sacrifice of himself on the cross.

From my distinctly 'Christian' perspective, what I believe Eckhart has done in describing his experience of "Being" is to confuse the inward spirit of a person with the Holy Spirit of God. Perhaps you would say I have made precisely the same mistake that I am ascribing to Eckhart: to confuse my inner Being with my ego, and thus to remain in duality.

But this is my dilemma. I understand the concept that creation cannot be brought forth out of nothing, because 'nothing' cannot truly exist. What truly exists is God, or Being, if you prefer, therefore everything created emanates from Being in the most basic sense. And it does say in the Bible that mankind was formed in the image of God, but does it necessarily follow that we ARE God on the deepest level? For me, this has constituted one of the great heresies of many false religions: that man is God at the deepest level - only most of us just don't realize this. How is Jesus Christ King of Kings and Lord of Lords, if we are all God and simply are unconscious of it?

Just an aside here: this is my very first post, and today is my 50th birthday as WELL as my daughter Hope's sixteenth - two milestone birthdays at once. We're having fun with it!




My main concern is the way Jesus refers to himself..........as the only way........etc.

Well...I find none of the Teachers (both Now and Yesterday) who claimed such authority... And Jesus was no fraud.....When you understand who Jesus is, was and always will be then the need for Tolle and the other speculators will diminish. Don't trade in Gold for Mud. None of them wrote nor live a life anything near the Sermon on the Mountain....and yet Jesus expected his followers to see the Sermon as an obligation.. if .... they were to follow Him. Jesus has no equal in modern day new age thinking. Why? Because he closed the gap between what he said and how he behaved. And furthermore, he taught the first generation of his followers a way to also close that gap.

This is one reason today why people placed him in the mix of equalization of other so called Spiritual masters. His expectations of us are demanding and this is exactly why the egoic self will try to avoid such a calling at all costs.

There is no life without death and there is no death until the self is crucified and resurrected .

When you discover who Jesus is ....you will understand with your whole being. I ask you again who is Jesus......Beyond the historical record of him. Just to say he is the Son of God is one thing but in essence again I ask you "Who is Jesus?"az
Hello, I am interested in any contacts in the Prescott, Payun area of Arizona that follow and practice Tolle's insights. If you know of anyone or groups I might contact please send me a response. Thanks, Notanecho
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Postby eseward » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:40 pm

notanecho, why you come here is a mystery to me. You seem to be looking for converts. I must be missing something. Also confusing is why you're looking for Tolle practicioners in Prescott if you disagree with so much that Tolle has written.
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Postby erict » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:24 am

"Religion asks you to learn from the experience of others. Spirituality urges you to seek your own" - CwG Book 2


"Religion encourages you to explore the thoughts of others and accept them as your own. Spirituality invites you to toss away the thoughts of others and come up with your own" - CwG Book 2
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."
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Postby Webwanderer » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:16 am

My main concern is the way Jesus refers to himself..........as the only way........etc.

Well...I find none of the Teachers (both Now and Yesterday) who claimed such authority... And Jesus was no fraud.....When you understand who Jesus is, was and always will be then the need for Tolle and the other speculators will diminish. Don't trade in Gold for Mud.


Notanecho, be honest. Why are you here? Are you genuinely here to enhance your understanding of Tolle's teaching, or are you here to convert the sinners?

If you seek a greater understanding of life's truth, if you truly desire to free yourself of those concepts that stand in your way of that direct knowing, then by all means stick around and join in honest dialog with those who share that desire.

However, if your interest lacks that integrity, and you have ulterior motives, then feel free to post elsewhere. We value honesty of purpose here, and we have a great deal of tolerance for anyone, no matter the state of their clarity, who genuinely wish to directly explore life's truth.

What do you seek?
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Traditional Christianity

Postby NoordZee » Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:25 am

Hello Everybody,

I am still new on this Forum and have posted elsewhere. As I write, I lack the time to refer to the various posts on this subject. It is a subject in which I am interested, as big changes are currently taking place in respect of Christianity.

Printing was invented, I believe in the 14th century. Certainly until that time, Christians tried to adhere to traditional Christianity without even remotely questioning whether the Bible is true in all respects. It was a given that, when a church official or clergy person said that, either you "believe" and go to heaven or you do not "believe" and you go to hell. They may not all said this literally but the inference was clear. Believe or Ye shall perish!. Thus, people believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible. This can be called Fundamentalism.

When the various books making up the Bible were finally put together in print, some people started to query some of the statements in the Bible. Slowly but surely, over the next few centuries, a subtle shift in how people believed took place. Whereas before the printed word, people naturally believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible without even feeling the need to query anything. However, once the Bible became available to the masses, gradually people became entangled in a belief system that dictated that you must believe everything you read in the Bible and should not try to interpret anything your way. In other words, when people became a little more educated, they still were told to adhere to the principles of Traditional Christianity almost at the pain of death. This meant that people were essentially told to assimilate a set of beliefs in order to be "saved" or else.

For the past 100+ years or so, a new paradigm in Christianity has been emerging and is accelerating as we speak. The new paradigm sees the Bible from a historical/metaphorical perspective. It is recognised that the modern mind can no longer reconcile itself with enforced literalism. There are plenty of examples in the Bible that cannot be taken literally. Even if just one example were to be found, and there are many, this would enable readers to seek different interpretations in everything they read.

Foundational to reading the Bible is a decision about how to see its origin. Does it come from God or is it a human product. Through the lenses of natural literalism and its modern descendants, the Bible is seen as a divine product. What scripture says ultimately comes from God. The emerging paradigm sees the Bible as a human product - the product of two ancient communities. What the Bible says is the word of these communities, not from God! This view does not diminish the reality of God in any way. The stories in the Bible are considered to be "sacred". It considers, for instance, that Israel's creation stories are profoundly true - but true as metaphorical or symbolic narratives, not as literally factual accounts.

I have borrowed heavily from Marcus J. Borg who has written a number of books on this subject. If you were to study these books, you may even find great similarities in relation to Eckhart Tolle's teachings despite his assertion that he is not associated with any religious or otherwise movement. To be honest at this point, I don't know. I have only just acquired Borg's books and have not yet studied them myself. I felt compelled to make the above observations and remarks but do not use them in any way to "attack" Christian fundamentalism (Traditional Christianity).

Regards to all forum members
Frits
"Veritas vos liberabit"
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Pride and New Age teachings of ET

Postby notanecho » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:10 pm

YUDoodat wrote:You make a great point, Ives. But can I ask you why you react so strongly against those whom you believe to be "religious fundamentalists"?

You see, I also am strongly repelled by religious fundamentalism when I encounter it. Does it automatically follow that anyone of a different belief system from mine is a R.F.? Certainly not. When I use that term to categorize someone else, or even whole groups in general, I use it as a pejorative term, and I mean to cast that person (or group) who believes differently than I do, in a negative light. This is how my ego attempts to prop itself up to stand a little stronger and a little taller among all the other ego mannequins. The truth is however, that whatever I most strongly react against is that which binds me in the strongest chains.

This brings me to a further point in my ruminations about Presence and spirituality. What makes me wariest of all about this business of Enlightenment/Presence/Being is the practically unlimited potential for pride that can creep in undetected like a cloud of carbon monoxide. Those who are affected by it are often never aware until it is too late. Pride is the most subtle, and therefore the most deadly of all human sins. The strange thing is, it often does little harm except to the person who is operating out of it. Most everyone else can see it far sooner than the one motivated by it.

This is perhaps the biggest reason I don't trust an all out journey to penetrate the very core of my inner "being". This overwhelming seduction of pride has in times past, torn my soul with such ferocity that I have abandoned my spiritual journey for years at a time for the fear of encountering that terrible beast in an even more subtle and powerful form the next time.

In Biblical typology, what cast Satan (the archetype of "evil" or "unconsciousness", if you prefer) out from the presence of God was the sin of pride.

"How thou art fallen from heaven, O Lucifer
(meaning 'Light Bearer'), son of the morning!
How art thou cut down to the ground, which
didst weaken the nations!

"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend
into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the
stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of
the congregation, in the sides of the north:

"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the Most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell,
to the sides of the pit."

Isaiah 14:12-15 KJV

If I could turn a corner here, something else just occurred to me which has been a question formulating itself in my mind. I'll try to give expression to it.

Within traditional Christianity, prayer to God and for others plays a very central role in the life of every Christ-follower. Jesus himself prayed, often withdrawing to a quiet corner to get away from the demands of the world and seek the Father (okay, Mother too if it suits your taste). And in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night he was betrayed by his disciples, it says how he cried out with great groanings and even sweat great drops of blood out of the intensity of his prayer, knowing what was shortly to befall him. He even said,

"My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death:
tarry ye here, and watch with me.

"And he went a little farther, and fell on his face,
and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me:
nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt."

Matthew 26: 38, 39 KJV

I find it a little troubling that I have not seen any references to prayer among any of the writings of Eckhart or here on this site. I refer here primarily to prayer for others. I can readily see how awareness itself can be considered a state of prayer. The New Testament even exhorts Christians to "Pray without ceasing". What, if any role does prayer for others play in the the awareness of Presence?


Eckhart's teaching do not seem to have an altruistic social agenda, perhaps to be developed, it is presently, narcissistic, self- absorbing, and promotes self enlargement. Many call it seeking for the larger Self... some say they are overwhelmed with peace while in this(larger self) Presence...Yet all aroundthis self there is unrest and human torment. The watchdog on this site, The wondering Wanderer has likened this torment unto just " A Play of the Universe". How amiss and diverting.

Where are the "Social testimonies" of the moderators? Being lost in Presence does not seem to even touch one's closest neighbor.Some posters seem to be lost in verbage attempting to jusfify that which does not yield to verbage.

When Jesus spoke of Peace...he stated that FEW there be that find it and yet the followers of ET claim millions are being peacefully transformed. Read some of the introductions to his books.

Where are these people that have been transformed? In what communities? In which neighborhoods? What are some examples of transformations that lead to profound change within .....that can be seen in ET followers?

Yudoodat...a further response to your question about ceasless prayer.........

There is never a call to Prayer like the Christ-like prayer of without ceasing. Eastern Orthodoxy has well defined what Ceaseless Prayer means...of which you will not find in Protestantism nor in ET followers comments. So try not too quickly to give it up to those not interested.

Furthermore do not give way to doubt and trade in the best for the least. also, be careful of those who are speaking on this site ..their words are not the direct words of ET only their intrepretations...better to stay with the ET dirct with questions... but do give up your Faith for a trend or fad. Too bad we cannot speak directly to Eckhart.
Hello, I am interested in any contacts in the Prescott, Payun area of Arizona that follow and practice Tolle's insights. If you know of anyone or groups I might contact please send me a response. Thanks, Notanecho
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Postby Webwanderer » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:57 pm

Eckhart's teaching do not seem to have an altruistic social agenda, perhaps to be developed, it is presently, narcissistic, self- absorbing, and promotes self enlargement. Many call it seeking for the larger Self... some say they are overwhelmed with peace while in this(larger self) Presence...Yet all aroundthis self there is unrest and human torment. The watchdog on this site,


You’re welcome to live in your concept of being a disgraceful, unworthy, sinner if you wish. Or you may take the approach of so many that believe themselves saved, and therefore superior to the unwashed masses.

The expansion of self you seem to fear, is but a natural outgrowth of releasing the mental clinching that makes one feel smaller to begin with. Jesus, and so many other genuine spiritual teachers, encouraged us to forgive. This was not so much to benefit others but to release the grip of judgment within ourselves that keeps us feeling small and unworthy. Expansion to that which is the Real nature of Self, is no different than any other genuine concept of spiritual growth.

I would also remind you that the world that surrounded Jesus was filled with unrest and human torment. One need not look far to find that has always been the case.

On the other hand, one may also look and find examples of those who are waking out of their conceptual slavery. There seems to be more of that going on at present.
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Postby Ives » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:18 am

I have no patience for Bible-thumpers.
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Postby Webwanderer » Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:44 am

notanecho wrote:
I do not believe the ET site is closed to one who questions your opinions nor more importantly his discoveries. I welcome your response to my comments that are most unfavorable to you.


This site is indeed not closed to one who has a genuine interest in exploring truth. It will be short lived, however, to anyone with a religious agenda of Bible worship and is on a mission of “saving souls”.

No one here expects anyone to drop long held belief systems on the word of another. If anything there is a common theme of direct experience of clarity. Anyone can claim Awakened Presence. Tolle, Jesus, Buddha, et al. The point is, you cannot get a direct experience of truth from the Bible or any other outside source.

Our interest here is to clear from our thoughts, those beliefs that obstruct that direct, undistorted awareness of being. That clear Awareness, in my humble opinion, is the Kingdom of Heaven at hand. Don’t waste your energy with endless debate with those who say they are awakened. Awakening is not about debate, it is about the quality of one's presence. If their words inspire you, great: if not, find another source. Take what pointers as may be useful to you and conduct an honest exploration.

Never accept any thing as 100 percent true, and that most certainly includes scripture. To do so only anchors one to another concept.
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Postby kiki » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:07 am

People who come across the idea of awakening and are sincere in tasting it for themselves are confronted with some daunting questions: Am I willing to question everything I've ever believed about myself, others, and what I've come to believe because of religious, family, and cultural influence? Am I willing let go of cherished beliefs if it means actually waking up, or would I rather remain feeling "safe" with what's familiar? Am I really interested in waking up or in debating and defending cherished beliefs?

There are others, but these are critical. If one wishes to awaken no assumption will go unchallenged, no question is taboo, and no belief is so sacred that it trumps the desire to wake up. If one wishes to remain where one already is, then that's fine, but don't expect those who are awake and those who wish to awaken to retreat from a burning desire to see for themselves what's actually true or not. No accepted "truth" can ever replace what is actually found for oneself, and no authority will dissuade one from finding out.
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Postby eseward » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:10 am

kiki wrote:No accepted "truth" can ever replace what is actually found for oneself


Exactly.
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Postby Webwanderer » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:43 pm

kiki wrote:
No accepted "truth" can ever replace what is actually found for oneself


The problem here is that one can have deeply moving experiences that masquerade as direct experience of Truth. Take one in an emotional quagmire of guilt and fear, offer them an apparent solution by repentance through a specific religious tenet, and the emotional cleansing creates a conceptual attachment to that religion. They're saved and now believe to think otherwise is to deny God.

The particular religion doesn't matter in the least. What matters is the person's acceptance of the authority of the source material. Throw in some public pomp and circumstance and you trade the emotional quagmire or guilt and fear for the emotional quagmire of religious attachment.
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Postby Ives » Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:04 pm

Excellent analysis, Webwanderer, of how they work.
Trigger the pain body and then offer the solution/salvation.

I once had this trick attempted on me. I was walking down the street in Copenhagen one sunny spring morning when this guy says to me: “Do you want to do a personality test? It’s free”.
I did the test.
Ten minutes later, I was called in for my results. I was told that I had serious emotional problems, was made to feel really bad, and was offered the solution: the book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard.
Those Scientologists got it figured out!
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