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Source: (consider it) Thread: What do the voices say?
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
My thought would be that medical doctors would look at the issue according to medical science. The symptoms of a person who is hearing voices is not automatically outside of their field of knowledge. We know from research and experience that these things can be treated medically. That is what ought to happen.

What I'm saying is that the doctors don't need to have any opinion about whether the patient is really hearing the voices of spirits, whether they are purely imaginary, or whether voices are just a feature of hallucinations. These questions are beyond the reach of science, which deals with what can be observed.

I'm not sure that's reasonable. If "these things" (auditory hallucinations) can be treated medically and if they're "the voices of spirits", doesn't that mean spirit haunting falls within the field of medicine? After all, if they are, as you argue, completely beyond the reach of science, we wouldn't expect modern medicine to be an effective treatment. Especially since determining what is an effective treatment requires observation, which you say is not possible in this case.

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

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itsarumdo
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To Hear the Angels Sing by Dorothea MacLean is also an interesting and very readable source.

Having been hanging around the edges of this zone for 25 years, I am of the firm conclusion that it's

a) best not to try to mess with what you can't sense at all

b) nevertheless this unseen world deserves awe and respect. It's powerful as well as being beautiful. We should be glad that so far it has not completely lost its rag with humans.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
I'm not sure that's reasonable. If "these things" (auditory hallucinations) can be treated medically and if they're "the voices of spirits", doesn't that mean spirit haunting falls within the field of medicine?

From a scientific point of view we don't know what they are. They might really be spirits or they might be something completely different, purely chemical and hallucinatory. What we know is that treating them with antipsychotic medications is effective.

So it's not that "haunting" falls within the field of medicine, but rather that the symptoms can be effectively treated, whether it is really "haunting" or not.
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
After all, if they are, as you argue, completely beyond the reach of science, we wouldn't expect modern medicine to be an effective treatment. Especially since determining what is an effective treatment requires observation, which you say is not possible in this case.

The symptoms are not beyond the reach of science. Patients are troubled and hearing voices. We can deal with that without having to come to metaphysical conclusions about the real existence of spirits.

Yes, observation is the cornerstone of science, and if symptoms cannot be observed then there is not an issue, is there? So of course observations can be made. The patient is observed to be troubled and hearing voices. But if we administer a few beers and have them watch TV for a while the symptoms go away. Case solved! [Angel]

What cannot be observed is whether there really are angels and spirits involved. So science has no opinion on that question, either way.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Ikkyu
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:

What cannot be observed is whether there really are angels and spirits involved. So science has no opinion on that question, either way.

But how can you have a useful opinion on something that can never be observed?
If it can't be observed and has no measurable effects what is the point? Its just like the Teapot.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ikkyu:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
What cannot be observed is whether there really are angels and spirits involved. So science has no opinion on that question, either way.

But how can you have a useful opinion on something that can never be observed?
If it can't be observed and has no measurable effects what is the point? Its just like the Teapot.

You can have a useful opinion on it by starting from the assumption that God exists, that He reveals Himself in His Word, and that He teaches us about these things there.

This is a common assumption, and it cannot be disproved, even though it cannot be observed.

The great advantages that these assumptions have over purely materialistic ones, in my opinion, are that they are more fully explanatory of observed phenomena, they impart purpose and meaning to existence, and they give greater meaning and significance to concepts like "goodness" and "love."

Again, these are assumptions. They might be wrong. There is no evidence either way. But of course it depends on what you consider to be evidence.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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itsarumdo
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quote:
Originally posted by Ikkyu:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:

What cannot be observed is whether there really are angels and spirits involved. So science has no opinion on that question, either way.

But how can you have a useful opinion on something that can never be observed?
If it can't be observed and has no measurable effects what is the point? Its just like the Teapot.

There is a difference between an observation that classifies as being within the scientific paradigm and one that lies within the personal/subjective framework. The latter is perfectly valid provided that the observer doesn't demand that everyone believe him unquestioningly, and that the people s/he tells don't expect some kind of material proof. No measurable effects - does not mean no effects at all.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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Jude
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Originally posted by Lamb Chopped (refering to Jesus Christ):

quote:
He is both in Christ. Who did not shed his divine nature or divine morality at his incarnation.

This pertains to what I have to say. Going back to Abram and his almost sacrifice of Isaac, I would say that Abram came from a culture, from Ur, where child sacrifice was commonly demanded by the gods that the people there believed in. He thought that the god he had recently found also required such things, which is why he was willing to sacrifice his son. However, his new god showed him that this wasn't what he wanted. This was a major difference between God and the other gods that people then believed in.

However, some of the Christians I have known say that this story tells us that Abram was willing to sacrifice his nearest and dearest for God, and that we should do likewise. They do not take the line that Abram might have been mistaken. I think this can be a very dangerous way of thinking, especially if there are people with mental problems in the congregation.

In fact, I can attest that I was one such person. During a time when I suffered from deep depression, my then minister took me to a meeting of "Christians". I have no doubt about the sincerity of their faith, but they tended towards the Charismatic (not necessarily a bad thing) and included some who were decidedly odd (convulsing on the floor, wailing unintelligibly - not tongues - and with some very strange beliefs - well, maybe not too strange, but not Christian either, such as "the devil makes you ill, so the devil can make you well"(why on earth would he?) or that God let the devil take over the world because Adam ate the forbidden apple (quite a common theory, I know). Anyway, going to meetings with these people actually made me psychotic. I do still believe in the spiritual realm and asked at that time for the gift of discernment. That was something that I believe I'd always had, but I asked for it especially at that time, as I was concerned about some of the things I was witnessing. It was just as well, as the stuff I heard there went home with me. I heard voices, including a very insistent one that told me to do things that I cannot repeat here. Thankfully, my discerning spirit showed me that the voice was from a demon, not God.

To go back to Jesus and Lamb Chopped's post, these people seemed to think that there was a conflict between serving God and caring for your family.

It was only when I went back to mainstream C of E that I figured out that caring for your family IS serving God.

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
My understanding is that if the instruction feels peaceful or opens the heart and leads to more peace and more heartfulness then that's a good indication that it can be trusted.

Certainly we are told to "test the spirits" and not trust anything that denies Jesus.

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Aside from which, I don't believe in faith healing, or exorcism, anyway.

Those are not quite the same thing; exorcism is casting out a demonic entity (and I do believe in exorcism for such things, myself).

quote:
Originally posted by Ikkyu:
But has anybody seen a fairy recently in a western country?

There are certainly people who believe that they have indeed encountered such beings, yes.

quote:
Are people in England afraid of fairies?
At least as recently in the 1950s in Ireland, yes. Lewis talks about that. There was a wood which was believed to be haunted by both a ghost and a fairy, and it was the latter that people were more afraid to run into.

quote:
I believe there have been more UFO sightings reported. Did the fairies just go away? Or was it a cultural phenomenon?
It is possible that some UFO sightings or weird encounters may be encountering the same sorts of things, but in all seriousness, if you encountered something like that, would you tell everyone?

But yes, there are indeed people who believe they have encountered things like that.

quote:
My main point is that people in Japan don't convert to Christianity if they think Yokai are real. An I'm pretty sure Christians in Japan discourage that sort of belief. You bringing up their belief as evidence of yours sounds strange to me.
What happens if they become Christians and then encounter yokai? Kind of stuck, aren't they? [Biased]

And of course it's strange. This whole topic is strange. If these things are real, then "strange" is probably the first adjective one might apply. [Smile]

Re Orishas, OH! The Loas of Vodoun! That I do know bits about. What those are may vary as well, of course. I do believe we must be careful about worshipping such beings even if they are benevolent parts of Creation--nay, even if they are archangels.

(And now "Loa" to the tune of "Lola" by the Kinks is in my head...)

quote:
Originally posted by Ikkyu:

And claiming that all of human tradition leads to the same beliefs is strange to me.

I don't believe that it does; I think that it points to some things which, whatever their specific nature, may be roughly the same sort of whatsit. There seems to be a category of beings which are neither human ghosts, nor angels nor fallen angels (demons), who are sometimes benevolent, sometimes malevolent, sometimes quirky, and roughly pursuing their own agendas, whatever they are; they seem to be often associated with nature, or with old human items or habitations; they often seem to be able to change their appearance or vanish at will. Some are kind, some are cruel, some are predatory, but even the kind ones are held to be ... risky, dangerous, unpredictable; they don't like being treated rudely but at the same time they may actively dislike gifts. My faith as a Christian does not tell me they do not exist, and if they do exist, then they (like absolutely everything that is not God, in Christian theology) must be part of the good Creation which God has made--whether the malevolent ones, or the ones which are not always kind, are fallen in the same way we are, or like the fallen angels, or perhaps just fallen in their own way which is neither like ours nor that of the demons, I don't know. If they are tied to nature then perhaps they are merely similarly groaning in travail along with the rest of the world. Again, I don't know details like this, and I tend to personally be careful about any given theory which makes absolute claims about them.

(One reason I don't discuss such matters very often is that people who do believe in such things may often become obsessed with them in very unhealthy ways.)

What few meetings we may have with such things here on Earth may result in, I don't know, but I am confident that whatever they are, we'll get along with much better, and without danger, in the New Creation, along with... well, everything else (lions lying down with lambs, etc.).

quote:
In my opinion a lot of human tradition leads to Science.
Well, certainly, the sciences weren't just invented in the 1700s or anything like that--all cultures have made discoveries about the natural/physical world over human history.

quote:
And all spiritual traditions do not point to the same thing.
I agree, though I don't see how that's relevant.

quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
For me it is absolutely paramount that we trust a reliable source. For me that source is the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the theological works of Emanuel Swedenborg. Trusting those sources, I can say with confidence that spirits exist but that werewolves, fairies and ghosts do not.

Now this I don't understand, unless Swedenborg specifically says that the latter do not exist. Do you mean you only believe in beings which are specifically described in the OT and NT and in Swedenborg? (And if so, what do you do about human spirits in, say, the Old Testament story of the witch of Endor?)

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Ikkyu:

But if you are saying that we could never find
any cases that will give positive evidence of the supernatural, then how could we ever learn anything about it? In which way is it useful if it does not explain anything that cannot be explained by brains and culture?

Why would it have to be useful? [Confused] These are in theory things that we're not generally expected to interact with, though I don't think it is forbidden per se. If we were able to find some sort of magic that worked reliably, given how we've damaged the world with our misuse of scientific knowledge, can you imagine what havoc we'd wreak? If we were actually able to, God forbid, capture such a being as described here, what horrible experiments or vivisections would people perform on them?

(As it is, when I see some TV shows about people trying to hunt ghosts, some of the people seem to approach them respectfully (and even, happily, to try to encourage them to move on), but others' attitudes horrify me. In theory, in some of the cases I'm talking about, they believe that they're encountering a lost soul who is trapped after some horrible traumatic experience, and they're just interested out of curiosity in poking and prodding and provoking them, even being insulting to them to see if they can get a response. What a cruel, callous, heartless approach to what is basically imagined to be a traumatized person trapped and unable to leave. It's like going to a mental hospital and playing tricks on the patients. [Mad] )

Sorry, went off on a wee tangent there. [Hot and Hormonal] I do believe, if those are human ghosts (as a Christian, I do believe in human souls that do go on after death, of course), then God loves them and Jesus died for them, since after all they're the same as us, just not in their bodies but for some reason not able or ready to "move on." (Indeed, sometimes I look around at my possessions, which sometimes I am too focused on, and I think that if I am not careful I could wind up like that--not being willing to let go when the time comes. I don't want to be like that.) And as well, if indeed faerie folk/yokai/jinn/jo-gah-oh/etc. exist, then God made and loves them too, even the bad ones. (Interestingly, Islam (or some forms of Islam) considers jinn to be able to become Muslim and be on God's side, rather than that of Iblis.)

And back onto things about voices being from God or not (OMG THE ORIGINAL TOPIC!), many hugs to Amos for sharing your own history here. [Axe murder]

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Ikkyu:
And all spiritual traditions do not point to the same thing.

Yes, but. The mystics from many very different traditions tend to say things that are very, very similar.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Lamb Chopped
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Note on the fairy/etc. tangent--

It is possible to be an orthodox Christian and believe in brownies, fairies, etc. etc. etc. It is the American worldview, NOT Christianity, that requires people to say "there's no such thing."

Christianity only requires us to say "If there is such a thing, it is under God just as we all are, as all creatures are." Which is why people invoke the Trinity against scary things in the dark, fairy harm, etc.

If one is of a theological turn of mind, the existence of fairies (jinn/elves/spirits/airish beasts/etc) leads to the question "How do they fit in to the grand scheme of things--are they fallen, unfallen, redeemed, amoral and not needing redemption, saved, damned? Can some be one way and some another? And how much interaction are human beings allowed / wise to have with them, if any?"

Which is all great food for argument, just as it is when considering angels and possible aliens.

But there is nothing in Christianity that specifically forbids people to believe such creatures exist within God's creation.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Trusting those sources, I can say with confidence that spirits exist but that werewolves, fairies and ghosts do not.

Now this I don't understand, unless Swedenborg specifically says that the latter do not exist. Do you mean you only believe in beings which are specifically described in the OT and NT and in Swedenborg? (And if so, what do you do about human spirits in, say, the Old Testament story of the witch of Endor?)
I assume that you are asking about ghosts and not werewolves or fairies. [Razz]

Maybe I shouldn't state it so categorically. I guess that spirits and ghosts can be said to be the same thing. I take the story of the witch of Endor literally, and I do believe that people who have died can appear and talk to people in this world, just as Samuel does in that story.

I think of ghosts, however, as people who have died and then remain in a location and haunt people who live or come there. I don't think that this is possible. Spirits are not aware of the physical world, but live in a world of their own that is contiguous to, or within, the physical world.

When spirits do become aware of their connection with a specific person it is because the state of that person has, for one reason or another, changed in such a way that the normal barrier is removed. This can happen in dreams, in times of grief or other extreme circumstances, and also because of mental illness, drugs, occult practices, or other circumstances that affect brain function, physiology or chemistry. This covers a wide variety of circumstances.

The principle is that the spiritual world is omnipresent, and that its influence is according to the state of the receiving vessel. Everything in the physical world receives life and existence from God through the spiritual world, which takes place according to the form or state of the physical thing. This is the whole point of having a physical life prior to eternal life.

I say that there are no ghosts because spirits are connected to the physical world primarily through their association with people in this world. So the popular idea of them existing in houses or graveyards isn't accurate. Instead they live normal lives in the spiritual world, a world that appears exactly like this one, and their connection with people in the physical world is as invisible to them as it is to us.

People, however, may experience spooky phenomena, and there may certainly sometimes be a genuine connection with spirits. But this is because people are vulnerable to suggestion and can work themselves into states that attract the spirits they imagine.

Another aspect of this is that, although spirits are primarily associated with people, there is a universal correspondence of everything in the spiritual world with everything in the natural or physical world. In the spiritual world malevolent spirits live in degraded environments, such as those that are dark, foul smelling, uncared for, old and falling apart. This means that in a certain sense these kinds of spirits are also associated with places in this world that fit that description. But this influence is much weaker than the connection with human states. This is why the Psalmist said things like:

quote:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Psalm 23

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me. Psalm 139

That is, it doesn't matter if you are in a dark cave, a derelict house, a graveyard, a rotting slum, or a sewer. God is always present, if you can receive Him. This is why I say there are no ghosts. [Angel]

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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ChastMastr
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Lamb Chopped: As usual, [Overused]

quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
I assume that you are asking about ghosts and not werewolves or fairies. [Razz]

No, actually, all of them. Seriously, what is there in the OT/NT/Swedenborg that teaches that those beings do not exist? (That doesn't mean they have to exist, just what in there means they can't?) I don't have a specific, active belief in physical Larry-Talbot-style werewolves, but there's nothing in my understanding of Christianity that tells me they can't exist.

quote:
Maybe I shouldn't state it so categorically. I guess that spirits and ghosts can be said to be the same thing.
Well, I think that would depend on the spirit; angels (and fallen angels, i.e. demons) are spirits but I understand them to be very different in nature from human spirits or other spirits.

quote:
I take the story of the witch of Endor literally, and I do believe that people who have died can appear and talk to people in this world, just as Samuel does in that story.
Then yes, that would be what I would call a "ghost"--a human soul unattached to a body and here on Earth. Whether or not souls in the afterlife and not hanging around here would count as "ghosts"... hmm, that doesn't come up a lot. Is a saint a blessed ghost in that sense? Hmmm. But that's all about terminology, not about whether or not a human spiritual essence can show up on Earth after death.

quote:
I think of ghosts, however, as people who have died and then remain in a location and haunt people who live or come there. I don't think that this is possible. Spirits are not aware of the physical world, but live in a world of their own that is contiguous to, or within, the physical world.
This is perhaps a difference in our metaphysics; I see no reason to believe that, but perhaps it is in Swedenborg?

quote:

When spirits do become aware of their connection with a specific person it is because the state of that person has, for one reason or another, changed in such a way that the normal barrier is removed. This can happen in dreams, in times of grief or other extreme circumstances, and also because of mental illness, drugs, occult practices, or other circumstances that affect brain function, physiology or chemistry. This covers a wide variety of circumstances.

I can see that being a factor, certainly.

quote:

The principle is that the spiritual world is omnipresent, and that its influence is according to the state of the receiving vessel. Everything in the physical world receives life and existence from God through the spiritual world, which takes place according to the form or state of the physical thing. This is the whole point of having a physical life prior to eternal life.

I can agree with some aspects of that but not all; I assume the difference has to do with Swedenborgian theology.

quote:
I say that there are no ghosts because spirits are connected to the physical world primarily through their association with people in this world. So the popular idea of them existing in houses or graveyards isn't accurate. Instead they live normal lives in the spiritual world, a world that appears exactly like this one, and their connection with people in the physical world is as invisible to them as it is to us.

Yes, I don't particularly believe that (Swedenborg again?).

I should note that in most ghost sightings, they don't seem to be happy being stuck here (a small number appear so, especially those of children which seem more playful and not especially miserable), and perhaps they are not really where they should be. I don't believe that everyone who dies, or the vast majority of them, wind up as ghosts on Earth--or for very long, relatively speaking. There are appearances of ghosts which are a few hundred years old but I haven't read much of, say, people running into ancient Roman ghosts or the like. Certainly I imagine that all of those Egyptian mummies would be annoyed having their bodies dug up and put on display. Perhaps eventually they finally go on, though it might be comparatively long from our point of view.

quote:

People, however, may experience spooky phenomena, and there may certainly sometimes be a genuine connection with spirits. But this is because people are vulnerable to suggestion and can work themselves into states that attract the spirits they imagine.

But what kind of spirits would those be? Human spirits, or angelic/demonic spirits, or something else?

quote:
Another aspect of this is that, although spirits are primarily associated with people, there is a universal correspondence of everything in the spiritual world with everything in the natural or physical world. In the spiritual world malevolent spirits live in degraded environments, such as those that are dark, foul smelling, uncared for, old and falling apart. This means that in a certain sense these kinds of spirits are also associated with places in this world that fit that description. But this influence is much weaker than the connection with human states. This is why the Psalmist said things like:

quote:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Psalm 23

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me. Psalm 139

That is, it doesn't matter if you are in a dark cave, a derelict house, a graveyard, a rotting slum, or a sewer. God is always present, if you can receive Him. This is why I say there are no ghosts. [Angel]
I... yes, I think we don't agree on the metaphysics here (nor quite all of the reasons for the psalm), not least of which because buildings that are old and decrepit and uninhabited by humans may be teeming with life. There was a wonderful video of an old abandoned house that had its own little ecosystem of foxes and birds and things, which I think would be perfectly lovely.

Er, that last bit may be a sort of tangent. Now I want to go look at pictures of adorable animals, but I must go back to the school stuff. Feh. Feh, I say.

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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itsarumdo
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quote:
quote:

The principle is that the spiritual world is omnipresent, and that its influence is according to the state of the receiving vessel. Everything in the physical world receives life and existence from God through the spiritual world, which takes place according to the form or state of the physical thing. This is the whole point of having a physical life prior to eternal life.

I can agree with some aspects of that but not all; I assume the difference has to do with Swedenborgian theology.

Not only Swedenborg. I guess this is about who and what you believe and the conscious and unconscious mechanisms by which you make that distinction. The Bible is so archaic in both origin and culture that it necessarily has to be interpreted. So HOW that is done and what concussions are arrived at is open to almost infinite variation - if only mental "logical" (in the modern sense of the word) processes are engaged. Thoughts - can take you anywhere. They have no ground. No morality. No reference point. What reference point do we have? We have the felt senses in our body. Love is not a thought - it is an embodied and very deeply physiological state.

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
Not only Swedenborg.

Well, in this case of my views vs. Freddy's specifically, and on this one subject. But I haven't studied Swedenborg myself.

I'm pretty confident that this isn't what's meant by Sweden Borg. [Biased]

[ 15. August 2014, 09:25: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]

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itsarumdo
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Yes, well - interesting method of deflection.

Swedenborg was the King of Sweden's chief mining engineer at a time when Sweden's power depended on its domestic mining industry. He was also probably one of the last people to be capable of knowing and being at the forefront of every branch of science of his time. One of his biological scientific treatises was state of the art for the next 150 years, and modern developments indicate that he was probably more correct than the early 20th century science that displaced him. Still only half way through his life he turned all his intelligence to the question of what it means to be a spirit living in a body - not by investigating the outside world as he had done so far, but by investigating his own internal world. I'm not in the Swedenborgian Church, but I have a lot of respect for whatever Swedenborg produced.

We always have the duty to qualify intellectual information with our internal experience. Along with that of the modern Germanic mystics - Lorber, Groening, Goethe, Sterneder, Steiner (maybe even Schauberger if we are talking about the natural world) I find the message both satisfying and congruent with my personal (subjective) experience. Ralph Waldo Trine and probably all of that 19th & 20th century tradition of writers finding God in Nature lean heavily on Swedenborg, and have their roots in his later writings. If that material is used as a guide as to how to respectfully connect with the spiritual/divine in Nature, then it starts to reveal itself in, let's say, interesting ways.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
Not only Swedenborg. I guess this is about who and what you believe and the conscious and unconscious mechanisms by which you make that distinction. The Bible is so archaic in both origin and culture that it necessarily has to be interpreted. So HOW that is done and what concussions are arrived at is open to almost infinite variation - if only mental "logical" (in the modern sense of the word) processes are engaged. Thoughts - can take you anywhere. They have no ground. No morality. No reference point. What reference point do we have? We have the felt senses in our body. Love is not a thought - it is an embodied and very deeply physiological state.

That is the way that I see it too. Every denomination has its own views and doctrines through which it interprets the Bible, which is such an ancient document that it can't be used without some interpretation. Followers of one denomination or another have their own rules and reference points about how to do it - even if they see themselves as sola scriptura.

What I love about Swedenborgian theology is that it is very detailed and specific about the rules, allowing for a feeling of certainty about topics like this within a completely systematic theology. And of course it may be completely wrong - as may any of our systems.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
Ralph Waldo Trine and probably all of that 19th & 20th century tradition of writers finding God in Nature lean heavily on Swedenborg, and have their roots in his later writings. If that material is used as a guide as to how to respectfully connect with the spiritual/divine in Nature, then it starts to reveal itself in, let's say, interesting ways.

Thank you for that, itsarumdo!

Late 19th century popular culture in America took up Swedenborg's thought about the afterlife, and it still tends to influence what shows up in movies, books and the average person's expectation on that topic. The late, great Robin William's movie about the afterlife "What Dreams May Come" was a fanciful adaptation mainly taken from Swedenborg - inaccurate but entertaining anyway.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
I assume that you are asking about ghosts and not werewolves or fairies. [Razz]

No, actually, all of them. Seriously, what is there in the OT/NT/Swedenborg that teaches that those beings do not exist? (That doesn't mean they have to exist, just what in there means they can't?)
The issue with werewolves and fairies is that no one is saying that they are spiritual, and therefore insubstantial, beings. If they are physical beings than someone would have found them by now. But they haven't, so I don't believe they exist.

On the other hand if they are spiritual beings - ones that can disappear and reappear, for example - then that is something else. In that case they are spirits, angels, or demons.

I am happy to believe in them in that case, except that spirits, angels and demons have no ability to do anything physically. They cannot move objects, as fairies are said to do, or catch and kill people, as werewolves are said to do. They can only work within the realm of spiritual things, and affect people that way.

Swedenborg does not discuss werewolves or fairies, or elves, goblins or hobbits for that matter. But the principles are easy to apply. What he does say is that things exist in much greater variety in the spiritual world, with animals existing there such as dragons and unicorns that do not exist in this world. From that I surmise that things such as fairies and werewolves may very well exist there, though I don't know if this means that they are real or just appearances.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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daronmedway
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My sense concerning the story of Abraham and Isaac is that Abraham saw two possible outcomes: 1) that the God whom he had heard and trusted for the miraculous provision of Isaac would likewise provide the substitutionary sacrifice (as is what happened), or 2) he would in fact refuse to kill Isaac and walk away from the whole thing on the basis God being a fickle, unreliable promise breaking monster. Either way it had to go the wire though.
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itsarumdo
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
...
No, actually, all of them. Seriously, what is there in the OT/NT/Swedenborg that teaches that those beings do not exist?
...

I'd go along with almost all of that very happily, but

quote:
... except that spirits, angels and demons have no ability to do anything physically. They cannot move objects, as fairies are said to do, or catch and kill people, as werewolves are said to do. They can only work within the realm of spiritual things, and affect people that way.

There are also nature spirits - having almost been killed by one, meeting someone else who was also nearly was killed (and his horse was seriously injured) in the same place, and having heard a few more less dangerous but still physical experiences from other people, I'd say they are capable of acting very physically in some cases. Usually through either the elements (wind, water etc) or by inducing actions in people who are not fully in charge of their conscious actions for whatever reason. Werewolves - no - that goes too far. Generally the Nature spirits are neutral or benevolent - and only act up when there is some lack of respect of their territory, with the more powerful ones (that can do damage) being in mountains. The more dangerous spirits are generally stuck in one geographic location for some reason or another - either that literally is their domain, or they are not fully nature spirits and are there as the result of human thoughts and actions. I'd say anyone who goes out deliberately looking for the non-benevolent variety is one drawer short of a full sideboard. Most places easily accessible these days have been so de-natured by human presence that the nature spirits in them are (usually) no longer very powerful in this particular way.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
There are also nature spirits...

I liked what you said earlier:
quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
I guess this is about who and what you believe and the conscious and unconscious mechanisms by which you make that distinction... So HOW that is done and what concussions are arrived at is open to almost infinite variation - if only mental "logical" (in the modern sense of the word) processes are engaged. Thoughts - can take you anywhere. They have no ground. No morality. No reference point.

My reference point and authority are the three sources I mentioned above - OT/NT/Swedenborg - which I see as being of one piece. I can't fit nature spirits into the laws I find there, so I doubt their existence.

But I have to say that the years I spent living in small villages in West Africa challenged my disbelief in physical magic. In those communities it was universally believed that sorcerers were common, and that they could do things from starting fires to killing people. I never bought it, but some of my Peace Corps friends in other parts of Togo claimed to have witnessed graphic demonstrations, and did believe it.

I still don't believe that spirits or magic can affect anything physical, although I believe that this was possible in the past.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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itsarumdo
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
My reference point and authority are the three sources I mentioned above - OT/NT/Swedenborg - which I see as being of one piece. I can't fit nature spirits into the laws I find there, so I doubt their existence.

The specific location - was a holy mountain - the guy who placed the altar stone on the cross at the top had come a serious cropper - his horse was lamed, the altar stone had to be cemented in in several pieces, and the locals I saw after I got back down considered me stir crazy to have even thought of going up there in the first place. I came to the conclusion that this was a holy mountain because to go up it and stay overnight (as the early Saints had done) required very powerful spiritual protection - it was a place in which trespassers would be tested, not a place that is pink and fluffy with a nice warm feel to it. There was a place I found "by accident" after having had my ankle broken (I won't go into the details) that I guess was one of the small stone beehive huts they stayed in overnight. It felt protected, safe, but it was still up the mountain. I rested there for about half an hour, and bound up the ankle, and then headed for the nearest route down. It's the only time I've ever experienced wind dragging me along the ground - towards some very high cliffs. Maybe I was let off with a warning, maybe I had the physical strength to stop this (I doubt it), maybe I was protected by something else - this stopped when I was only about 5 yards from the edge. About half way down to the bottom I once again rallied a bit of courage, stood up on my one good leg and waved my fist at the mountain, saying in Arnold Schwarzenegger fashion "I'll be back", and immediately another massive gust of wind threw me a couple of yards across the hill.

I've also had some extraordinarily profoundly beautiful experiences in similar places - with an emotional depth that I really can't explain by saying "it was a nice view".

My understanding is that Nature is ordered within the Spiritual hierarchy, so there are spirits whose task is to look after various aspects of it. Dorothea MacLean describes this very clearly. I'm sure there are passages in both the NT and OT that say this if you read them with that particular possibility in mind. I think the Torah say something like Over each blade of grass is a spirit that whispers "grow, grow"

Incidentally, there's a whole section at the back of the Koran which are prayers to invoke Djinn for specific purposes, mainly medical.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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Freddy
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Wow, what a story! I would have been terrified.
quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
My understanding is that Nature is ordered within the Spiritual hierarchy, so there are spirits whose task is to look after various aspects of it.

Very interesting.

My understanding is that there are two parallel worlds, each connected and corresponding to the other - the spiritual and the natural. So while spirits are not specifically tasked with looking after parts of the natural world they are nevertheless connected spiritually with these parts.
quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
Incidentally, there's a whole section at the back of the Koran which are prayers to invoke Djinn for specific purposes, mainly medical.

I believe this. This was part of all ancient worship, and was effective for healing as well as magic. But I don't think that it is effective any longer. The coming of the Lord re-ordered the relationship between the spiritual and the natural world, making it much more difficult to manipulate spiritual entities or powers for natural purposes.

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itsarumdo
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quote:

My understanding is that there are two parallel worlds, each connected and corresponding to the other - the spiritual and the natural. So while spirits are not specifically tasked with looking after parts of the natural world they are nevertheless connected spiritually with these parts.

Yes - possible - they certainly care about the thing they are connected to. I'll file that for further investigation.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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itsarumdo
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Thinking on this a little more, Freddy, Swedenborg's concepts of Cause, Effect and End with the "downward" influx and the "upward" reflux allow for the spirit world to be separate from the physical and at the same time to be intimately bound to it. With the human body, influx brings health, but if the reflux is blocked, the influx cannot function fully. Yes - it may be technically incorrect to say that nature spirits are not tasked to look after the physical world, but the two worlds correspond to each other, and the spiritual world wills that the physical world is whole(some) and express its best so that it (the spiritual world) in can be as much as it can possibly be. The Talmudic concept of an angel whispering "grow, grow" is a positive caring - "something" - a message, a thought, am urge, is passed into the physical plane.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
allow for the spirit world to be separate from the physical and at the same time to be intimately bound to it.

I am impressed with your understanding! I think you have it right! It is a miraculous connection.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
I am happy to believe in them in that case, except that spirits, angels and demons have no ability to do anything physically.

I definitely don't believe this, myself--at very least I believe the stories in Scripture about angels very definitely doing physical things.

Re faeries and such, I do think they are possibly in between our categories of pure spirit (like angels/demons) and natural things in some way. But this is conjecture on my part. I find itsarumdo's experiences fascinating and certainly fit with the way I understand some thing, or at least some possibilities. I don't know that I agree with itsarumdo's specific metaphysics in all cases, and I know I am not a Swedenborgian theologically or metaphysically, but it is nice to be able to chat about such matters without being the only one open to such things. [Smile]

Though I am still a tad embarrassed at derailing the thread, which is after all more about determining whether or not it is God talking to us, not about various other whatsits! [Hot and Hormonal]

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itsarumdo
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IMO, to a great degree this is about God talking to us - Nature IS God, and the evil force is wilfully destructive of it as well as of us. Nature spirits are part of the spiritual hierarchy that leads form God to everything that is created, including Man. Even the unfortunate episode up the mountain was not necessarily a meeting with something evil - I had very little respect for that mountain when I went up it, and definitely learned something. To stray slightly towards a different discussion, even evil eventually leads to the good, because it can't help but do so, because it started off as the necessary destructive force that was part of creation - but by a very circuitous and painful route.

In the end, if something brings us to a sense of peaceful and loving empowerment, then it is not destructive, not evil. I think the fall was when humankind thought/were led to think that the power we felt was from us, that the love was from us, that we were slightly separate from creation and therefore from God. We started to have intellectual discussions instead of living in God, we separated enough from the natural world that we thought we could abuse it without consequence - and that separation from the food we eat to objectify it and not be thankful to it then progressed to the point we could harm other humans an dnot feel the ripples of that harm passing through our world, and then so we could hate them, despise them, not care about them or anything else of importance.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
spirits, angels and demons have no ability to do anything physically.

I definitely don't believe this, myself--at very least I believe the stories in Scripture about angels very definitely doing physical things.
I also believe the stories in Scripture in which angels do physical things. Those are miracles, however, which happen in a very specific way.

As I understand it, what happens in a miracle is that physical things temporarily take on spiritual attributes. The result is that a spiritual reality is then expressed physically. Another way to put that is that in a miracle spiritual realities are manifested physically.

This concept depends on the parallel world system mentioned before, in which every aspect of the physical world has a corresponding spiritual reality underlying it. This is the whole idea behind symbolic worship, metaphoric stories, and the enormous emotional power of things such as facial expressions and kissing.

In a miracle, therefore, physical washing with water actually becomes the thing that it represents, which is healing. When angels are involved, their touch, especially the touch of a staff, causes fire, or whatever is appropriate in context. These things can be immensely powerful, unleashing deadly plagues, slaying armies, parting seas, creating universes.

So in those cases, yes, angels can move literal mountains.

But ordinarily angels and spirits can't do anything physical. They are not even aware that the physical world exists.

Of course, I am just talking about the Swedenborgian system that I believe in. These aren't my own thoughts.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Chorister

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There's a certain kind of Christianity which starts off talking about love and faith and all things good and helpful to those seeking to live a Godly life, but then inevitably descends into obsessing about devils, demons and the supernatural. I've often despaired when this happens, as I know it is the start of a shedload of trouble. And it is often introduced by those who would condemn the occult (I find it hard to tell the difference).

Playing on people's fears and paranoias, in the name of keeping them in the faith, is quite disturbing and despicable. Sadly, I actually know of someone who was sectioned for trying to stab her son, after getting too involved in believing she was doing God's will, acting out the Abraham and Isaac story. Yikes.

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
IMO, to a great degree this is about God talking to us - Nature IS God

Ah. Yes, this is something on which we definitely don't agree; I believe that Nature (and all other things, corporeal and otherwise) is a creation by God but not a part of Him.

quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
But ordinarily angels and spirits can't do anything physical. They are not even aware that the physical world exists.

Of course, I am just talking about the Swedenborgian system that I believe in. These aren't my own thoughts.

Yes, I am sure you can understand that this is not my own theology or metaphysics. [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
And it is often introduced by those who would condemn the occult (I find it hard to tell the difference).

Agreed on all counts. I believe various things are real, but one can go literally crazy over real things as much as imaginary ones.

(This is also part of the reason I distinguish between paranormal experience--even positive ones which God may be perfectly happy about, even "natural" gifts that one may have that are part of the way God has made oneself--and genuine spiritual things that have to do with God, goodness, and love. To walk by "astral sight" is still walking by sight, and not by faith!)

This is another reason I don't like to talk about some of these things very often. I've known too many people who I think have had, or have, very real experiences, and then kind of make them the center of their lives. It doesn't invalidate them but it doesn't mean they should be our focus as Christians.

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itsarumdo
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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
[qb] IMO, to a great degree this is about God talking to us - Nature IS God

Ah. Yes, this is something on which we definitely don't agree; I believe that Nature (and all other things, corporeal and otherwise) is a creation by God but not a part of Him.
I know that's a commonly held belief, but I cannot comprehend a God who somehow makes something and stands apart from it. Where is that "apart"? Where is He if not IN creation? Creation, including the vast spaces and energies of billions of suns is part of Him - even all that maybe only a small part.

Has He restricted his presence to the gaps in the fabric of existence and for some reason decided not to be involved or take part? Or maybe retired to a large plush mansion with classical Greek columns and a large retinue of handmaidens on the shores of a planet circling Betelgeuse? Is there no trace of a hint, no lasting connection other than through 6 days in the creative design office, a few words here and there to a small tribe wondering around the eastern mediterranean, and then one unfortunately brief appearance 2000 years ago? Did He entrust everything to the continued existence of writing and the invention of the printing press? What was going on before the OT was written?

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
[qb] IMO, to a great degree this is about God talking to us - Nature IS God

Ah. Yes, this is something on which we definitely don't agree; I believe that Nature (and all other things, corporeal and otherwise) is a creation by God but not a part of Him.
I know that's a commonly held belief, but I cannot comprehend a God who somehow makes something and stands apart from it. Where is that "apart"?
I don't think that any Christian would deny that God is omnipresent in creation. So there is not really an "apart." The question is how God is within nature and yet nature is not God.

I don't think that itsarundo is saying that nature is God. If I understand you right you are just saying that God is in nature, that nature is not apart from God.

Similarly I don't think that ChastMastr is saying that God is the Clockmaker who wound up the universe and stands apart from it as it unwinds. Am I wrong?

The missing concept, I think, is that of contiguity as opposed to continuity. God is everywhere present in nature, yet nature is not God. Because, although He is touching it at every point, nature is not a continuous extension of God. If it were then we would all be part of God. Contiguity allows Him to be omnipresent and within, and yet not the same as, His creation.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Lamb Chopped
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What we're saying is that God has the ability to create something other than himself, and has in fact done so.

It has nothing to do with his ongoing presence. Of course, he's still present everywhere and everywhen; we call this immanence.

But the fact that he is present in all of creation does not mean that creation is him (to be ungrammatical). Consider the analogy of light shining through glass, if you like.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Freddy
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Thanks Lamby, that's what I was trying to say.

I expect that we all agree on this point. [Biased]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Mudfrog
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I have no hesitation in believing that it was actually God who spoke to Abraham and told him to sacrifice his son.

Abraham didn't know God well enough - he certainly didn't know him as YHWH - to realise that this command, whilst entirely common and reasonable within a heathen context, was entirely out of charactewr with God. There was and is no way that God meant Abraham to go through with the sacrifice. As the story, of course, reveals.

So, if other religions commanded and practiced child sacrifice so much so that Abraham was prepared to join in without much of a struggle (Note also the lack of a complaint from Sarah) what indeed was the test of faith?

It cannot have been a simple act of faith in the face of impending death of his little boy. It's all inextricably bound up with the covenant promise that God would make a great nation out of Abraham's descendants - namely the son of promise, Isaac.

First Abraham was told he would have a son.
Then he was told this son would be the ancestor of millions.
Abraham then failed the first test by making his own fulfilment of the promise, Ishmael who was NOT the one to be blessed by God.
Then God fulfilled the promise and Sarah gave birth to Isaac and then Abraham was told to kill him!

The test was in Abraham trusting this God he didn't know very well to fulil the promise of millions of descendants even after he sent Ishmael away and killed Isaac.

That was the test - it had little to do with his personal feelings for his son, not for the rights and wrongs of child sacrifice. As Hebrews tells us, Abraham believed God would simply raise the child from the dead!

Of course, we know that a substitute was provided and the promise of descendants was indeed fulfilled through Isaac.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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itsarumdo
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
[qb] IMO, to a great degree this is about God talking to us - Nature IS God

Ah. Yes, this is something on which we definitely don't agree; I believe that Nature (and all other things, corporeal and otherwise) is a creation by God but not a part of Him.
I know that's a commonly held belief, but I cannot comprehend a God who somehow makes something and stands apart from it. Where is that "apart"?
I don't think that any Christian would deny that God is omnipresent in creation. So there is not really an "apart." The question is how God is within nature and yet nature is not God.

I don't think that itsarundo is saying that nature is God. If I understand you right you are just saying that God is in nature, that nature is not apart from God.

Similarly I don't think that ChastMastr is saying that God is the Clockmaker who wound up the universe and stands apart from it as it unwinds. Am I wrong?

The missing concept, I think, is that of contiguity as opposed to continuity. God is everywhere present in nature, yet nature is not God. Because, although He is touching it at every point, nature is not a continuous extension of God. If it were then we would all be part of God. Contiguity allows Him to be omnipresent and within, and yet not the same as, His creation.

It's a little convoluted, don't you think? What is the purpose of assuming that God is not Creation, even though he is in it? I'm genuinely curious about this. If creation is a gift to us from God, then that allows a certain degree of wilfulness - we can dig a few holes, sweep things under the carpet, kill some living beings just because we don't like them or we fancy a bit of sport, and it's all a nice garden that we've been allowed to play in. If Creation IS God, it's a bit different.

My understanding of Swedenborg is that all the spiritual world IS God, but it is also arranged hierarchically, so when you are even a tiny spirit you ARE God, and at the same time have a certain identity, a degree of autonomy and a specific scope of influence. Some even get to wear underpants on the outside of their trousers. And the physical world, just like the spiritual one, is likewise an emanative aspect of God.

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"Iti sapis potanda tinone" Lycophron

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Penny S
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I have heard of a couple of ghost stories involving Romans. One concerned a group of legionaries marching through the basement of a building in York, only visible from the knees up - excavation showed that the surface of a road was at a depth such that if they were walking on it, that's where their knees would be. Can't vouch for this. The other was from an elderly woman who lived by the causeway that linked Mersea Island in Essex to the mainland. As she returned home at night, a Roman soldier would come out of a mound by the road and walk beside her. She found his presence comforting. Can't vouch for that either.
My feelings about both were that it seemed a bit hard to have to hang around that long.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
My understanding of Swedenborg is that all the spiritual world IS God, but it is also arranged hierarchically, so when you are even a tiny spirit you ARE God, and at the same time have a certain identity, a degree of autonomy and a specific scope of influence... And the physical world, just like the spiritual one, is likewise an emanative aspect of God.

This is not what Swedenborg writes. There is a distinction between the Creator and what is created.

Creation, however, is in the image and likeness of God, so it reflects Him in every particular. God continually flows into His creation, without which it could not exist even for an instant.

Everything in creation is good insofar as it is able to receive what comes from God - creating the hierarchy you mention.

But creation is not God, nor are we a part of God. We are His servants.

On the other hand everyone who is "on His side" is said to "rule with Christ." This is because they cooperate with His will, forsaking their own will. Everyone like this is also said to be part of the "body of Christ" or "grand man of heaven" since all of humanity, or all of heaven, appears in God's sight as a single individual.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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ChastMastr
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Re God's distinction from Creation
I shall say with some elation
That indeed I am quite ready
To agree with Lamb Chopped and Freddy

I didn't know about the guys from Rome
That Penny here discusses
I hope they later make it home
Perhaps on ethereal busses


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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Lamb Chopped
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thanks, Freddy and Chast: [Hot and Hormonal] [Big Grin]

As for this,

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

So, if other religions commanded and practiced child sacrifice so much so that Abraham was prepared to join in without much of a struggle (Note also the lack of a complaint from Sarah) ...

IMNSVHO Abraham never manned up and told Sarah before it happened, and I don't blame him. She likely would have taken his circumcision a whole lot further.

[ 17. August 2014, 19:38: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Penny S
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I'd like to know if the northwards marching York squaddies were only seen after people became aware of the lost Legio IX Hispana. And I suspect the Essex old lady may have summoned her protector up from her imagination, knowing the mound was a Roman barrow.

There are supposed to be the sounds of a battle at Folkestone, heard before a Jutish burial ground was found on the site.

And I live a few miles from a very worrying business involving a skull. An old manor house was bought complete with it, and the new owners decided they didn't want it, so they removed it and had it buried in the local churchyard. Whereupon all sorts of troubles descended on the place, so they had to give in and reinstall the skull. It is supposed to belong to a medieval nun who had been walking to Canterbury (odd route) when she was attacked by robbers, and rescued by the householders. They were too late to save her, but as she died, she blessed the house and told the people to keep her skull there to protect it. She is, apparently, seen walking the lane at times.

There is so much I find worrying about this story, which seems much more Celtic than medieval, and very inappropriate for a pilgrim. It doesn't seem to belong with God.

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Martin60
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It just shows how far away with the fairies one gets once one uncritically accepts a four thousand year old myth as a lens for seeing Jesus through.

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Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard:
It just shows how far away with the fairies one gets once one uncritically accepts a four thousand year old myth as a lens for seeing Jesus through.

Yes.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by itsarumdo:
Yes - it may be technically incorrect to say that nature spirits are not tasked to look after the physical world, but the two worlds correspond to each other, and the spiritual world wills that the physical world is whole(some) and express its best so that it (the spiritual world) in can be as much as it can possibly be.

Just wanted to say again how much I liked this idea.

It is similar in some ways to the "Gaia Hypothesis", which imagines the planet as a single, living, self-regulating entity.

To this idea you are adding the concept of a parallel world that is the "intelligence" that does the regulating, or the means by which God's intelligence does it.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
My understanding is that there are two parallel worlds, each connected and corresponding to the other - the spiritual and the natural. So while spirits are not specifically tasked with looking after parts of the natural world they are nevertheless connected spiritually with these parts.

Isn't one of the key characteristics of parallel things that they don't intersect at any point? In other words, if the worlds are parallel then there shouldn't be any connection between them, and if there are connections between them, then they aren't really "parallel".

[ 18. August 2014, 03:14: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Martin60
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And only after we've seen Jesus through the lens of the literal Old Testament can we be orthodox?

That He is God the Killer on holiday?

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Love wins

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
My understanding is that there are two parallel worlds, each connected and corresponding to the other - the spiritual and the natural. So while spirits are not specifically tasked with looking after parts of the natural world they are nevertheless connected spiritually with these parts.

Isn't one of the key characteristics of parallel things that they don't intersect at any point? In other words, if the worlds are parallel then there shouldn't be any connection between them, and if there are connections between them, then they aren't really "parallel".
Very astute observation! That's exactly right.

When I say "connected" I mean connected by correspondence, which is, in a sense, not an actual connection. It is merely that things in the one world correspond to things in the other. This is why the two worlds are invisible and undetectable to each other.

Still "parallel" might not really be the best way to describe this relationship. Spiritual things are able to influence natural ones, and there is a constant flow of life from one to the other. But the way that this influx takes place through correspondence means that there is no continuity from the one to the other. The connection is really through function, a brilliant system actually!

In any case, it makes the whole issue of communication with God and spirits, and hearing "voices" a complicated one. The issue really is about what our conscious mind is, how the mind-body connection works, and how it is that our thoughts are manufactured, or received, by our physical brain.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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