Dr. Hugh Urban, Scholarly Look At What Many Call Cults |437|

#41
There is an interpretation of the Gnostic tradition that holds that the making agencies of this world are evil - and hence the God of this world is evil.
Like Dr. Urban, many of us here including me appear to be perpetual seekers of answers to a seemingly impossible puzzle to fully complete. If we as Spirits are likened to tiny drops of an ocean that is the Great Creator then we must be all of the same consciousness stuff. We all enjoy a good story. A good story must always have a hero and a villain. A good story must contain elements of struggle and hardship followed by the hero's triumph. Imagine now the possibility we are all characters in a play and the scene is this demonic Earth with all its hardship and struggles. Could we fathom the concept of a waiting Being who may be accessed through prayer and who would help us through our difficulties. I'm suggesting that, much like ourselves, even God enjoys being a hero.
 
#42
Like Dr. Urban, many of us here including me appear to be perpetual seekers of answers to a seemingly impossible puzzle to fully complete. If we as Spirits are likened to tiny drops of an ocean that is the Great Creator then we must be all of the same consciousness stuff. We all enjoy a good story. A good story must always have a hero and a villain. A good story must contain elements of struggle and hardship followed by the hero's triumph. Imagine now the possibility we are all characters in a play and the scene is this demonic Earth with all its hardship and struggles. Could we fathom the concept of a waiting Being who may be accessed through prayer and who would help us through our difficulties. I'm suggesting that, much like ourselves, even God enjoys being a hero.
I think the Hero's Journey as described by Joseph Campbell is an archetypal story, so I agree with the spirit of what you say.

The thing about seeking answers is not fooling yourself into thinking you have found them. I am listening to Urban's book on Sociology at the moment [nearly finished] and I like the fine line he walks. The thing about telling a good story, as he does, is not to fall for the allure of the rationalistic whodunnit, but to allow the framing of a question we cannot answer - because it is the asking that is liberating and uplifting.

The triumph of the hero is in overcoming fear internally and not projecting it out upon a 'villain' is to be defeated. One of the problems in some interpretations of Christianity is the focus on Satan as the dark other - the enemy - who is to be combatted by every means other than self-reflection. This distracts from Christ's focus on inner transformation.

I do not agree the Earth is demonic. I prefer the image of the demanding mother - nurturing but also fostering growth and inner resilience.
 
#43
I do not agree the Earth is demonic. I prefer the image of the demanding mother - nurturing but also fostering growth and inner resilience.
Well, okay Micheal. But then why did Jesus say this at John 14:30,
King James Bible:
"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."
Personally I'm quite convinced the Devil is winning most souls at the conclusion of their lives on Earth. Surely it is the Devil and his earthly inticements at the root of our iniquity as the have nots or the have less ones among us feel the weight of Earthly life and their failure to bear up against the standards it demands, relatively speaking. Thus many are caused in despair to commit suicide rather than fully go their distance. But suicide solves nothing from a Spiritual perspective. In fact it is much more likely a setback for the Soul and furthermore an insult to our Creator Father. I believe the always imperfect Earthly circumstance is best survived by the tolerant theist who is aware of his Diabolical enemy rather than the materialistic atheist.
 
#44
Well, okay Micheal. But then why did Jesus say this at John 14:30,
King James Bible:
"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."
Personally I'm quite convinced the Devil is winning most souls at the conclusion of their lives on Earth. Surely it is the Devil and his earthly inticements at the root of our iniquity as the have nots or the have less ones among us feel the weight of Earthly life and their failure to bear up against the standards it demands, relatively speaking. Thus many are caused in despair to commit suicide rather than fully go their distance. But suicide solves nothing from a Spiritual perspective. In fact it is much more likely a setback for the Soul and furthermore an insult to our Creator Father. I believe the always imperfect Earthly circumstance is best survived by the tolerant theist who is aware of his Diabolical enemy rather than the materialistic atheist.
Okay Garry.
Let's begin with the proposition that the Bible is not history. So Jesus didn't "say" anything. The character Jesus depicted in the Gospels said a lot of things, so of which are powerful. Just so you I like Jesus in his noble aspect - that is when the authors of the Gospels have him saying stuff that is consistent with spiritual wisdom.

The Christian Devil is a composite fiction drawn from two sources. Satan is an adversary - a challenger, a tempter. He is not evil. Our closest sense of the true nature of Satan is 'devil's advocate'. The other source is from Isaiah 14:12. Here Isaiah characterises a certain human as like the morning star, falsely alleging it contests against the Sun. Isaiah knows no astronomy, nor astrology. The morning star is Venus, the herald of the coming sun, the light bringer - Lucifer in Latin. The attribution of Lucifer as the Devil is a late theological fiction. Elsewhere, as you will well know Jesus is also called the morning star - of course, the herald of light and love (Venus is associated with love).

Christians also added traditional 'pagan' characters like Pan and Cernunnos to the hybrid fiction depicted as the Devil. Now this is not to say there are not evil agents who prey upon humans and cause them to do ill to themselves and others. My concern is that by lumping them together as a fictional theological construct we cause more harm than good.By projecting an evil agent to be fought rather than engaging with an inner aspect to be transformed we miss the powerful message of Christ and turn our moral drama into a theatre in which we can see ourselves victims to a great force that requires a saving hero to rescue us. This is a rendition of Christianity that serves the institutional Church seeking conformity and passive obedience.

Christ as Saviour as a symbol for an inner process is very different to Christ the Hero who requires obedience and belief for succour. This latter notion is an invention of a corporatist faith that profits from conformity to, and compliance with, its claim to be the sole source of safety. This is the logic of insurance sales - help the believer to see a danger they did not know was there and propose a means of rescuing them by providing a service they pay for through obedience, complicity and reliance. In other words the Church creates a fictional evil agent to give it a means to claim ongoing authority and secure ongoing benefit and power.

I agree with you that a tolerant theist may be better than a materialist atheist. But if that theist believes in diabolic agents I suspect their notion of 'tolerant' might be shaded in their favour. There are, I think, superior states of awareness of, and fidelity to, the divine.
 
#45
Christ as Saviour as a symbol for an inner process is very different to Christ the Hero who requires obedience and belief for succour. This latter notion is an invention of a corporatist faith that profits from conformity to, and compliance with, its claim to be the sole source of safety. This is the logic of insurance sales - help the believer to see a danger they did not know was there and propose a means of rescuing them by providing a service they pay for through obedience, complicity and reliance. In other words the Church creates a fictional evil agent to give it a means to claim ongoing authority and secure ongoing benefit and power.
This is excellent reasoning with which I mainly agree. The inner transformation one may experience through reading and acceptance of the Gospels can be life changing. It can turn a criminal into a valuable citizen and from personal experience I can say may even grant such person occasional highly unlikely help from an unknown source; or using another word, a miracle. But also from personal experience I am aware of the possibility of certain vulnerable persons to come under non fictional evil Spirit influence and even complete possession. Treatment of this condition by expulsion has always been a bulwark of the Church's strength. But ultimately its correction I'm convinced is a matter of the persons own resolve, with God's help and through his or her own Guardian Angel otherwise known as Holy Spirit. The actual banishment of such demon is a dramatic event which is easily detected by human senses.
 
#46
This is excellent reasoning with which I mainly agree. The inner transformation one may experience through reading and acceptance of the Gospels can be life changing. It can turn a criminal into a valuable citizen and from personal experience I can say may even grant such person occasional highly unlikely help from an unknown source; or using another word, a miracle. But also from personal experience I am aware of the possibility of certain vulnerable persons to come under non fictional evil Spirit influence and even complete possession. Treatment of this condition by expulsion has always been a bulwark of the Church's strength. But ultimately its correction I'm convinced is a matter of the persons own resolve, with God's help and through his or her own Guardian Angel otherwise known as Holy Spirit. The actual banishment of such demon is a dramatic event which is easily detected by human senses.
If you google Spirit Releasement Therapy your will see that the premise of attaching an invading spirits is returning as a therapeutic modality. I know from direct experience that this is a valid way of thinking. Also the classic book The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts should be a salutary lesson for those who are eager for connecting with spirits.

Interference from spirits has been universally acknowledged as a danger to human well being. Our culture has had around 500 years of being mislead by ideological thinking, and we are some distance from emerging from that fog. I don't think going back to the Gospels is the best way forward. We have a better body of thought to draw on now. We have the opportunity to shape a genuinely contemporary spiritual insight that has shed the theological fictions.

For me the post materialist phase of our culture is an opportunity to fuse the wisdom [not the ideology] of the past with the knowledge of the present. And by knowledge I do mean harvesting the radical and innovative work being done. This is consistent with the spirit and intent of real Christian thought. We can confirm the value of 'real' Christian values through psychology and other 'human sciences'. Personally I think this evolution/fusion is still a century away from being mainstream. But it begins with us.
 
#47
the classic book The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts should be a salutary lesson for those who are eager for connecting with spirits.
Thank you for your enlightening reply, Micheal. In no way was I seeking an inferior spirit experience when I encountered a woman who had one. I won't go into the details of it all but to say it was a most unusual and quite frightening time as I was dealing with things beyond my mainly Earthbound, Earth oriented understanding. This entity had found a home within this woman I believe, mainly due to her lifestyle which initially was a complete unknown to me. I may have been a weak, maybe even doubting Christian at the time, thirty years ago but that all changed as my relief from this invisible but auditorially detectible, home invasive, unwanted "thing" came through prayer. I believe its goal might have been to, "possess" someone new. I look back on all that now as valuable education and as an assertion of God's interest in our eventual safe return, "home". With kind regards to you. ~g
 
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