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colliric wrote:Yes he did create the glorious mystery of Time and things being done in their "correct time"...
The answer is Yes.
It is "a living book" after all.
SolarCross wrote:This is an invitation to @Victoribus Spolia,@Albert, @colliric, @One Degree, @noemon, @Hong Wu, and any other sincere Christians or semi-christians to unheathen me. By unheathen me I mean orientate me or guide into Christianity. Why I am asking this? Because as some of you may have noticed from many of my recent posts I have come to the startling conclusion that evil gods actually exist contrary to how I have always believed as a scientifically literate heathen. If evil gods exist then so must good gods. So I have a straight choice between good and evil (or well perhaps neutrality is also an option maybe) so with that choice I choose good. Now I ask where are the good gods and how do I ally with them? If I look around particularly in my part of the world only Christianity really stands out as a good religion of the good gods for good people. Maybe in other times in history the old Nordic religion would suit or in other places now Hinduism, Shinto or Buddhism would suit but here in the UK now in the 21st century Christianity is the prime choice. So tell me sincere Christians where do I go from here?
Hong Wu wrote:Sorry for the late reply. I am only sort of a Christian. I read a lot of Buddhism, Hinduism etc. So I'm not going to try and "un-heathen" you. Just find something that works for you IMHO.
SolarCross wrote:So you are kind of a pan-theist? I was in some sense raised a scientific atheist, well I really raised myself in a sense, but periodically I have explored a bit of other religions, I have trained in Vipassana meditation and tried out some hatha yoga, I like the old pagan Greek mythology and of course the norse mythology of Odin, Freya and Thor. Lately I have been feeling a strongish pull towards the old religion of my ancestors, the norse religion, it is sort of semi-lost to time but I have some ideas on how to authentically revive it. Some kind of pan-theism may be something that works for me. Maybe subconsciously I asked you here for someone to make the broader pan-theist case?
Hong Wu wrote:It's an interesting idea, to experience this cosmology as such, but one thing I've noticed is that religions tend to be very advanced in this area. So you might "save yourself time" by just reading the religion, if your goal is knowledge more so than experience. This is not to say that there aren't debates within or between religions, the Bible for example acknowledges and tries to sidestep some of them (such as the grace Vs. works debate) but it can be a lot faster to read them anyway.
SolarCross wrote:Another semi-random point is that I don't seek a religion that I can just read about in books; it should be a religion that I do as much as I read about. I have no special dislike for book learning particularly but if a religion has no methods for finding truth without the book it is then essentially a dead religion in my eyes. Christianity is a pretty bookish religion but on the other hand rare individuals do seem to be able to do direct awareness of the divine. What Christianity may lack though is a solid method for doing that, so that it happens at all is mostly down to dumb luck it seems. I had thought the old religion of the norse and saxons was similarly approachable only through books, which is kind of why I never pursued it despite my interest, the surviving literature is pretty sketchy and partial, possibly far more so than the Christian books, and if that was the case then that would make it a dead religion of which one could only be nostalgic but never living. However more recently I realised that the methods by which the old practitioners came by their cosmology in the first place are not lost or even that hard to learn. It raises the interesting prospect of receiving the cosmology afresh without the mediating form of imperfect and partial books but instead from the original sources just as the cosmology was first discovered.
SolarCross wrote:The strong practical and experiential element of the eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism (via yoga) and Daoism is, I now think, what drew me to explore them over the closer more bookish and academic western religions despite myself being a westerner. You can't become enlightened by reading about the Buddha's enlightenment, you must do it yourself also. At best reading about it can inspire you to take the same path but it cannot walk the path for you.
Hong Wu wrote:POD actually touched upon the problem with western Christian activism, which is that it did have a "path of action" (charitable works) but this path of action was conceived of largely during the western European dark ages, when war, famine and plague were commonplace. I think one subtle reason that these other religions have fared somewhat better politically speaking than western Christianity has is because their "path of action" was not as strictly charitable, so they have adapted better. Although things like Buddhism have definitely seen a similar loss of esteem, they haven't become as ridiculed and attacked politically. So while the right (which is ironically more Christian than the left) sees the deeper elements and messages of Christianity, the left sees only the materialistic benefits of its path of action, views the right as hypocrites and so-on.
Hong Wu wrote:A western traditionalist basically views all "paths of action" as being the same thing, something that a western Christian would obviously not do, yet western Christianity (I'm not sure about eastern orthodox Christianity) has not really developed a contextually appropriate path of action besides that of having a lot of kids and seeking conquest, which as I mentioned, has also stopped being viable in most places/situations.
Hong Wu wrote:What I'm saying is I guess what you may want is a "path of action", a tangible way to make your spirituality a part of your life and there are many ways someone can attempt to do that.
SolarCross wrote:It isn't quite the case that the sustained surge in prosperity which Europeans have enjoyed since the industrial revolution had diminished the value of charitable works and therefore also practical everyday Christianity. There was something more deliberate going on, the secular governors of Europe and their imitators around the world actively and forcibly took over the main activities by which Christians did their charity: education, medicine and general welfare. We call this usurper the welfare state. Prior to that most people at some time or another would have interacted with the Church for some or likely all of these needs and consequently be persuaded in a very direct and personal way by this benevolent propaganda of the deed as to the value of Christianity and its practitioners and institutions. The welfare state as it expanded pushed Christianity to the sidelines. This was done pretty explicitly to advance a secular agenda at the expense of Christianity.
Also I would say there is a bit more to the practice of Christianity than charity there is also a powerful way of surviving official oppression and there is a capacity to rapidly build large and well functioning communities. You can read about Christians surviving official oppression in the Gulag Archipelago and also in Congressional Testimony of REV. RICHARD WURMBRAND, what is notable is that for all the weapons, prison cells and tortures used on the Christians to break them of their religion their faith survives it. In the ruins of communism the Christian faith is in revival. Of course their example is Jesus Christ whose most important story concerns his survival of injustice and oppression without surrendering his Truth on the Cross and his promise that all his followers will have the means to do so too. It seems a little incongruous but the Christian community is growing fast and strong in China, it is expected that within a few decades there will be more Christians in China than members of the communist party and more Christians in china than any other country in the world. But of course it makes sense when you consider the nature of the government there. Jesus's story of being a good guy going around helping people then getting falsely harassed and oppressed by the authorities but enduring all even his own death to emerge triumphant in the end is a message that has to resonate pretty well with everyday Chinese people living under communist rule. Paradoxically communism may be stimulating the growth of Christianity in China.
SolarCross wrote:Okay now you are making a dig at @Victoribus Spolia. But here you are wrong too, because demographics is destiny and if you don't conquer someone else will and that will never change.
SolarCross wrote:What I want is direct revelation for starters. The eastern religions have strong methodologies for developing mind sight, which I have explored some, and it seems the old religions of Europe had them too, though I may be wrong it is not apparent to me that Christianity does. Clearly it happens for Christians but because they expect it as a gift from god they don't have a method for pro-actively developing it, is my guess.
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