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    Thread: Carl Gustav Jung - Videos, Books, Ruminations

    1. #351
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      Christian Mysticism

      Let me begin with a definition of Mysticism, a word with a lot of misunderstandings around it:

      mys·ti·cism
      [ˈmistəˌsizəm]
      NOUN

      1. belief that union with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender.
        "St. Theresa's writings were part of the tradition of Christian mysticism"
      2. belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, especially when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies.
        "there is a hint of New Age mysticism in the show's title"
        synonyms:
        the supernatural · the paranormal · supernaturalism · magic

      The first definition is the original meaning, the second is modern and used mostly to discredit mysticism, or in complete ignorance of what it really is. The term has undergone much the same kind of transformation as Myth, which actually means a story containing profound wisdom, but in recent times has come to mean "something that is false". In each case, the shift in meaning reflects a cultural shift toward materialism and a contempt for the spiritual and esoteric.

      So mysticism is essentially an individual way to connect with Divinity through solitary meditation (prayer).

      These posts are just intended to provide a starting point for those interested - I’ve only recently discovered this wealth of information and can’t go into much detail at this point. And my main point in posting is to provide an overview - to demonstrate the wealth of different branches of mysticism that have existed. I don’t mean to personally endorse any of them, this is a research thread and a starting point for looking deeper into the subject.

      The very fact that there is such a thing as Christian Mysticism connects everything up for me — the link is pretty well hidden. What I mean is that I always thought Christianity represented a sort of clean break from ancient religions or schools of spirituality, and replaced them all. Christianity (as well as Old Testament religion) seemed not to include an element of mysticism, or direct communion with divinity. Instead it seems to be more about sitting and listening as a minister preaches the gospel. But this was not always true. As I’m discovering, there was a strong element of mysticism in both Christian and Hebrew religion, and several other schools of mysticism also going around at the same time, all of which were systematically persecuted into oblivion. Or very nearly so - but discoveries keep coming to light such as the Gnostic Gospels found near Nag Hammadi, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and others.

      Christian Mysticism connects ancient religions and Christianity directly to Jung's Individuation.

      Ok, a couple of informative videos to kick things off:





      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-04-2019 at 07:19 PM. Reason: fixin' stuff

    2. #352
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      “Christian Mysticism connects ancient religions and Christianity directly to Jung’s Individuation."

      This line from the previous post requires elaboration. I realized after writing it that anyone coming into the thread now, who hasn’t read the rest of it or isn’t familiar with Jung’s work, would not understand what it means.

      One of the things Jung has done is to discover and point out that religions and spiritual systems were early psychology - specifically the psychology of the unconscious, which is his own area of study. He postulated the theory of Archetypes, which are thought-forms, or more properly frameworks for thought that exist in the mind (in the unconscious mind) that can contain ideas and organize them in useful ways. Not a great description - here’s a link to an earlier post on this thread that describes Archetypes better. There are 3 posts in a row about Archetypes.

      The greatest and most powerful archetype of them all is the Self, the Archetype of Wholeness. I won’t try to explain all this in detail here, but if you look back in the thread I wrote up a series of explanatory posts - this includes the ones about Archetypes but delves much deeper and wider. The explanatory posts go for most of 2 pages (at least the way I have the forum set to show in my browser) - just look at the ones with the bold titles - I always do that for my more well-crafted or researched posts on this thread so they can be spotted at a glance. If you read through them you should get a fairly clear overall idea about the Archetypes and how they work.

      Jung’s theory is that whenever ancient peoples spoke of a God - especially the King of all Gods or the Father of all Gods, they were intuitively speaking about the Archetype of the Self, which carries an immense amount of numinous power (encountering it gives a feeling of profoundness and holy grace, literally the feeling people describe as encountering some powerful divine figure). They didn’t understand the unconscious, so they postulated an “out there” - gave it names like Heaven, Nirvana, Valhalla, etc.

      To understand this, think of the mind as a vast dark wilderness, and the conscious mind as a well-lit and developed area within it - something like a village in a dark forest. Inside that well-lit area things feel safe and comfortable, and outside of it is darkness and furtive shapes moving, eyes glinting - danger and also possibly treasure. This dark outside area is the unconscious. If you’ve listened to any Jordan Peterson this should make some sense, he draws a lot from Jung. The unconscious is frequently referred to in ancient mythologies as the Underworld, or the Land of the Dead or of the Ancestors. So gods and other powerful religious or spiritual figures are Archetypes, with the Archetype of the Self being the one that overarches them all and holds them together, that creates order from the chaos.

      I should explain that the unconscious consists of basically 2 different areas - first you have to make your way through the dark scary part, which is where the Shadow dwells. This is the part specifically referred to as the Underworld or Land of the Dead in mythology. When you make it through that part you emerge into the heavenly area, the home of the Self and possibly other positive archetypes (I don't pretend to know all about this stuff!)

      If this makes sense to you (if I didn’t botch the explanation too much) then you should be able to understand the statement at the top of the post. Because another of Jung’s discoveries was Individuation, which is essentially Mysticism - the idea that through focused meditation a person can ‘go inside’ - enter into the underworld of the unconscious, have a series of encounters with the archetype of the Shadow, and bring order to the chaos - fix up some of their psychological issues. The person doesn’t really do it themselves - their meditation and inner questing causes the Self to constellate (to wake from its slumber; to form like randomly scattered stars arranging themselves into an image in the sky) and then it does the work.

      He developed his techniques for Individuation largely based on the techniques of the Mystics. In fact in a sense, he just took what they did and filled in modern psychological explanations for why it works. Ok, I feel like I’ve explained it as clearly as I can without starting a new series of posts, and I'm not ready for that!
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-05-2019 at 07:52 PM. Reason: Fixing busted links
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    3. #353
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      What is mysticism?

      Here’s the Wiki page on Mysticism (very enlightening).

      Here’s a quote from it:
      "Mysticism" is derived from the Greek μυω, meaning "I conceal", and its derivative μυστικός, mystikos, meaning 'an initiate'. The verb μυώ has received a quite different meaning in the Greek language, where it is still in use. The primary meanings it has are "induct" and "initiate". Secondary meanings include “introduce”, "make someone aware of something", "train", "familiarize", "give first experience of something".

      The related form of the verb μυέω (mueó or myéō) appears in the New Testament. As explained in Strong's Concordance, it properly means shutting the eyes and mouth to experience mystery. Its figurative meaning is to be initiated into the "mystery revelation". The meaning derives from the initiatory rites of the pagan mysteries. Also appearing in the New Testament is the related noun μυστήριον (mustérion or mystḗrion), the root word of the English term "mystery". The term means "anything hidden", a mystery or secret, of which initiation is necessary. In the New Testament it reportedly takes the meaning of the counsels of God, once hidden but now revealed in the Gospel or some fact thereof, the Christian revelation generally, and/or particular truths or details of the Christian revelation.

      So this is very much in line with Jung’s concept of Individuation, accomplished through continual encounters with the Shadow in order to come to ‘know thyself’ deep into the unconscious realm, and the spiritual/psychological blossoming that comes as a result of it. I knew about the Gnostics already, but as I learn more about mysticism in general and especially some of the Christian mystics, it begins to paint a very clear picture. This mysticism is something that was widely known and practiced in the ancient world, and every religion had a mystical branch. This was for the really serious practitioners — initiates were high level spiritual seekers, as opposed to just ordinary parishioners, and many lived a very ascetic life, much like ancient philosophers and monks. An ascetic lifestyle means a very bare existence, doing away with the material things and comforts in order to be more in touch with the spiritual life. These would be people who owned nothing but a threadbare robe, maybe some sandals (though often they went barefoot) and maybe a bowl, or even that might be considered too extravagant. Many of the Christian Mystics were Saints - this is the type of person we’re talking about.

      That doesn't mean you have to be at that level - but that is what it takes to be fully initiated. Most of us will find our own level, ponder the wisdom and perhaps improve as we go forward - try to better ourselves spiritually, or some will just say screw it - this isn't for me.

      Ok, some more videos:

      Ted Nottingham:






      Sant Mat Radhasoami

      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-06-2019 at 06:59 PM.
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    4. #354
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      Just found this one and it's amazing. It really explains how Biblical scripture is intended to be interpreted as practical everyday wisdom of a profound nature, and that a literal interpretation misses the entire point:



      Thought I should add -- in a video I saw recently Jonathan Pageau said the Bible, and I assume all religious texts and stories, is structured in such a way that everybody can get something from it, from the most literal-minded to those of a more philosophical or intellectual nature. To some it will only make sense literally, but some need to see the deeper levels of meaning.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-07-2019 at 12:38 AM.

    5. #355
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      What are the Sins? On Vice and Virtue

      It’s essential when trying to understand the true meaning behind scripture to focus on Sin at some point. What does it really mean? Here goes.



      Before they became codified as the 7 Deadly Sins in mainstream Christianity, they were known as the 8 Major Passions, which lead to a whole host of lesser ones. This is the best presentation I’ve heard about them, though it doesn’t go into much depth. They aren’t laws laid down by an omnipotent and vengeful deity to limit us arbitrarily, or some kind of cosmic karma, they are really just guidelines on how to live life well. The Passions might seem to promise pleasure or power in the short term, but in the long term they will mess you up. They can erode your serenity, your relationships, your social standing, your health, and many other aspects of your life.

      In order to cleanse yourself of the worldly temptations and become a worthy initiate into the Mysteries, you must live a life of virtue and avoid the vices as much as possible. The more you’re able to do that the higher you rise up that metaphorical mountain - Moses’ Mt Sinai, where he was able to commune directly with God and receive the Commandments. This metaphor goes back to one of the Jonathan Pageau videos, I think it was the Symbolism of the Christmas Tree, where going up the mountain represents rising spiritually until you can access Divinity directly. Today’s mainstream Christianity says that only the great prophets could do this, and that our lot is only to listen to what they have told us and obey their commandments, but Mysticism says we can all attain those heights if we develop ourselves in the right way and cleanse ourselves of sin.

      So again, once separated from literalism the sins reveal themselves to be profound practical wisdom on how to live a good life. In fact they are pretty much identical to what ancient philosophers called the Vices, as opposed to the Virtues.

      Here's a much more in-depth look at the Passions in written form: General outline of passions and the struggles against them.

      At the bottom of the page are many links to related articles. They can get pretty convoluted and confusing, but I found it a nice site to explore. I can’t tell if the writers are down with the Mystical interpretation or not, but keep it in mind and it can be very enlightening. I have seen better lists and explanations overall of the Vices and Virtues, more oriented toward Philosophy, but then I see philosophers as very similar to monks or religious hermits but with a secular focus. In fact the more practical philosophies are very akin to Mystical interpretations of the Bible, just written in a prosaic and intellectual style rather than the more poetic or mythological/scriptural form they used. Many philosophers also wore a simple unadorned cloak and lived an ascetic lifestyle devoted to the intellectual pursuits.



      So what is Original Sin then? Hint - it’s simply that human beings tend to be ego-oriented to an alarming degree, and many will remain that way or double down repeatedly. Repentance of it means learning to be loving and forgiving rather than always wanting to win, to defeat others, to make ourselves look better at their expense. How to do this is what Jesus’ teaching is all about, when properly understood.



      Additional resources:

      Virtue and Vice Lists in the Bible. This is actually pretty amazing.

      Vices and Virtues Explained. This looks like an excellent overview including Aristotle, Plato and Aquinas. A very good breakdown from what I’ve seen so far, though I disagree with the first entry in the graph for Knowing — Sophistry is not an excess of knowledge but simply false knowledge. EDIT - I now see that they aren't only excesses but also distortions or misunderstandings of the virtues, so in that sense sophistry does fit there. My bad!

      Somewhere I remember reading that Gluttony should not be seen as just about eating, but about self-indulgence in general - about overdoing things. That makes sense to me.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-08-2019 at 02:37 AM. Reason: cleansing my grammatical sins

    6. #356
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      Just want to link to this playlist real quick: The Inner Meaning of the Teachings of Christ. I'll let him do the talking.

    7. #357
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      Preparing for the Journey

      I want to get this video posted in here:



      I remember somebody posted it before, I thought it was in this thread but I've scoured it pretty thoroughly and can't find it, so now here it is (edit - I think it was on a Shadowofwind thread). It fits the subject matter perfectly, since the main thrust of the entire thread is Individuation, also known as Spiritual Awakening, Gnosis, Mysticism, and at least closely related to if not identical with Kundalini. I'm not deeply familiar with any of these, only have a cursory understanding from reading, so forgive me (or correct me) if I got any wrong.

      I understand that the way to achieve this Gnosis (that's my usual term for it in general) is by purifying yourself spiritually, and apparently there are different ways to approach this. Jung recommended Shadow Work, the Bible recommends purging yourself of sin and cultivating the Virtues, Kundalini Yoga has physical exercises as well as their own spiritual practice, and it's closely related to Chakra Cleansing and Chakra meditation. Meditation in general is commonly prescribed, as in Buddhism etc.

      In fact I've heard (on this thread and elsewhere) that you can get there through just meditation itself, and that it strengthens you against the dangers.

      Oh, I should definitely mention the dangers! I commonly hear it referred to as the Ego Death, or sometimes the Dark Night of the Soul. It's the process of Ego disintegration and can apparently also be achieved through use of psychedelics such as DMT, mushrooms or Ayahuasca. I've watched a lot of videos about Spiritual Awakening and related subjects, such as Kundalini and Chakra cleansing, and they all mention that you go through a dark frightening period of something like insanity, which in fact can unleash psychosis and cause severe problems up to and including death. The severity of these problems varies, and apparently it's down to the level of spiritual purity the person has achieved. I keep hearing it takes years or decades of hard dedicated work, and if you try to force Ego Death or Spiritual Awakening without having prepared yourself spiritually first, then you are in for a bad experience and possibly a bad life. So this is not something to play around with or dally in - if you choose to walk this path you'd better do your research and get some good advice along the way. It isn't a fast route to success or pleasure or anything like that, it's literally awakening a sleeping giant within which will then kill your current personality and take over; an Archetype or personality or whatever you want to call it that will change everything for you. In fact essentially you will die - your Ego, which is what you've been using for a self or a personality, will shatter into a million pieces and fall away, leaving 'you' free-falling into madness and complete lack of identity. This is terrifying, but then the Self will constellate, or by that time it already has and it takes over. It's a much wiser and more spiritual center of personality, free of all the 'sins' of the Ego, such as false pride, aggression, deceit, etc. But it is completely different from the way you're used to living, who you thought you were, and there's no going back. It's like upgrading your operating system without creating a backup, and you should approach it with at least as much caution and research as you would for that (times about a thousand actually, this is your LIFE!)

      I want to start examining some of the different ways to cleanse yourself, to purify or purge yourself of sin or whatever you want to call it - to prepare. Not sure how much I'll be writing in here about it, I'll probably just post now and then.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-09-2019 at 12:54 AM.

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      The Mystery of the Essenes



      Just found this video about the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls and apparently the earliest seeds of Christianity, as well as very early Mystics. They combine exceptionally advanced philosophy with mysticism.

      For me it really started getting amazing around the 17:00 mark, when he switched from their history to their ideas and teachings. If you click through to watch it on YouTube I left a comment right at the top with a timestamp directly to it. Click on the timestamp to start the video there, or just watch the whole thing if you prefer - it's pretty amazing.

      One of the main highlights for me - apparently they understood there is an unconscious as well as a conscious mind and had a pretty good idea of how they both functioned. I don't know exactly where he says this - tried to find it again but I would have to listen to the whole thing and I just don't have the time.

      I know, this isn't about what I said I was going to switch to - preparing for the journey. Sorry but sometimes these videos just really grab me and I feel the need to post about them.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-09-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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    9. #359
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      Oh! Welcome back, hope everything is good Looking forward to reading your posts!
      Last edited by LighrkVader; 01-09-2019 at 10:25 PM.

    10. #360
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      Hey Vader! Good to hear from you again.

    11. #361
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      As I announced a couple of posts back, I was planning to go into greater detail about some of the methods for improving yourself spiritually/psychologically, but each time I set out to write about it something inside me groans. And it isn't because I don't want to do the work - obviously I have no problem with writing post after post and delving into any amount of detail -- I think it's because the individual seeker needs to do that part of the work for themselves. I've already listed several methods of self-improvement aimed at purifying or cleansing - ridding yourself of the sins or the vices, meditation, etc. For anyone who's interested enough to pursue such a path I think the next step is up to them.

      These 2 videos showed up in my feed today and seem highly relevant:




    12. #362
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      Milk and Meat

      I briefly mentioned in a previous post (little ways up the page) that the Bible is structured to provide different levels of teaching for different people — that some need the literal interpretation and some will respond better to the metaphorical interpretation. Jesus often said he provides “milk for the children and meat for the adults”. What he meant was that the same parables will mean different things to people on different levels of understanding. By children he didn’t necessarily just mean the young ones, but those who see things very literally. And by adults he meant the ones who can see the meta-levels, who can interpret things metaphorically.

      Ted Nottingham talks about that in this video:



      “If you have eyes to see and ears to hear” - he said that a lot, and it means he’s about to give you a coded message — one of his parables that works on one level for the fundamental literal-minded (milk for the children) and on a whole different level for those who know how to interpret the metaphors (meat for the adults).

      This idea is very important (the idea of different levels of comprehension and interpretation). It explains why so many intelligent people are atheists. Often it’s because today’s churches tend to provide only the milk - the simplistic and literal interpretations of Biblical stories.

      I went through my Atheist phase and did a lot of arguing here on the board years ago. But now looking at it with this idea in mind, I see what I was arguing against wasn’t Christianity but a simplistic and literal interpretation of it that I could see right through, and I wasn’t aware of a more intelligent one.

      The more intelligent and less literal interpretation is provided by Christian Mysticism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity (such as Greek, Russian, Armenian etc).

      Alright, I should probably stop posting about Christianity. I don't want this thread to become just about that, as important as this subject is becoming to me. But sometimes I run across an idea that I think fits this thread perfectly, and each of these posts is like that.

      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-14-2019 at 12:25 AM.
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    13. #363
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      Sorry to make this post pretty much all about Christianity/Original Sin myself, but it still relates to things ultimately.

      I've been trying to come up with just exactly what I believe Original Sin to be. I think as it relates to the idea of the knowledge of good and evil, we have to ask how knowledge of that sort would be gained. I think it comes from unwittingly committing an act of evil, knowing humans and especially children, most likely out of imitation. Once the realization is made that the act was harmful to others and this is actually understood, the knowledge of that stains you forever. You can never go back to a time where you were unaware of "good" and "Evil" and the intent behind people's actions, everything you experience from them on will be seen through this lens.

      Perhaps, then, the original sin wasn't unwittingly committing an evil at, but rather, being ignorant of good and evil in the first place. As punishment for your ignorance, you are forever burdened with the task of enlightening yourself, lest you ever ignorantly commit more evil doings. Failure to do so will be your undoing.

      The idea of Original Sin being ignorance actually makes some sense considering sayings like knowing "good and evil" in those times were meant to convey the idea of knowing "everything" or "all things", anything[*]ranging[/*] from good to evil. I know in the Bible that taking part in knowledge is portrayed as Original Sin, but ultimately it was the lack of knowledge that led to their sin, right?

      Then again, God tells Adam and Eve that if they eat of the fruit from the tree, they shall surely die. Eating the fruit doesn't result in physical death, but rather the knowledge of its reality. It also does, in a way, result in their mental death, the death of one's previous self, but simultaneously results in one's rebirth. Since we aren't at the point of the resurrection in the Bible yet, I don't know how much to bother considering these ideas in the symbolism and imagery of the text. Even so, when considering other stories that at least this portion of Genesis has roots in, like the story of Pandora's box where Prometheus is chained to a rock and forced to relive having his liver eaten out on a daily basis because he's a Titan, can't die, and the organ regenerates (as well as everything but hope leaving Pandora's box), all as a result of Prometheus giving fire and teaching tricks to Man (in other words, giving him Knowledge), we see the Resurrection or death/rebirth included.

      I suppose, when considering those other myths too, knowledge itself is indeed considered to be the Original Sin, but I still think the ignorance that came before it is what led to it being acquired sinfully. Even in the story of Prometheus and Pandora's Box, the the guy is gifted Pandora and her box/jar from Zeus is told by Prometheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but in both the case here and with God saying not to eat of the fruit from the Tree in Genesis, it is because the sinners aren't well informed[*]at all[/*]. to the point it borders on deception, exactly why they shouldn't be doing the things they eventually do. It's more like their ignorance is the Sin, and the knowledge is actually their punishment (or reward, depending on how the individual chooses to see things--either way, suffering of some kind is always comes with the knowledge simply out of becoming aware of it).
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      No need to apologize snoop - in fact I ought to retract my own apology and self-imposed restriction on posting more Christian stuff. So far it’s proving to be a very fruitful vein, so why stop mining it? Of course it could go off in the wrong direction - when religion comes up that can happen really fast.

      But I think you’re right on target, in fact my own thoughts have often travelled down the same path.

      You’re nudging up against my own theories that Genesis is actually in some ways the story of the birth of conscious awareness in Humanity, as well as the birth of conscious awareness in individuals.

      To understand this, you need to keep in mind that the evolution of a species parallels the development of individuals in that species. Meaning that evolutionarily, if you go back far enough, we as a species scampered on all 4s, then we rose up and walked on 2 legs. Well, individual development parallels that, because as infants we crawl before we can walk. Our intellectual development as individuals also parallels that of our evolutionary ancestors — we all start life at a very unconscious level of awareness - in fact I’ve heard it said by scientists that babies are essentially dreaming all the time before the frontal cortex and other more advanced brain apparatus comes in. The apparatus that houses the newer conscious mind. At that stage when we’re crawling around tasting things to explore the world, we’re very much like animals - incapable of high level thinking and yes, of conceptualizing morality and ethics.

      I’ve often seen the story of Adam and Eve as a parable about growing from childhood to adulthood. And of our species developing from animal to human.

      The Garden of Eden is the life of a child - unaware of struggle and strife and the harsh realities of adult life because they’ve been sheltered from it by the adults who bear all that responsibility for them.

      And what happens when you step from the pleasant walled garden of childhood into adulthood? Well, women begin menstruation and men need to go to work (I’m talking traditionally here, as things were in Ye Olden Days). They both must give up the idyllic existence and start to deal with labor, each in their own way (sorry, couldn’t help throwing in a clever word trick there). Also they begin to learn about the reality and inevitability of death and have to deal with that. Aren't these the very things Genesis says Adam and Eve were condemned to after being expelled?

      And of course part of growing up is gradually learning about morality and ethics, as you said. We do it the hard way - children are pretty self-centered and not too bright for the most part (through no fault of their own, it’s innocent naivety). So yeah, they learn about morality the hard way, by hitting some other kid over the head with a GI Joe or something, and also having things like that done to them, and being asked “How would you feel if somebody did that to you?”

      In fact, taking my weird theory all the way back to the beginning of the Bible, I think The Word that was in the beginning represents the birth of abstract thinking in the human species - the thing that differentiates us from the rest of the animals and literally the thing that allowed us to develop language (words). Naming everything - that’s bringing the things of the world around us into our awareness and developing linguistic terms for them so we can now conceive of them in a human way and make decisions about them.

      Separating the waters above and below and creating the Firmament could represent the newborn child (and also the newborn Human species) gradually developing an understanding of the world around them as something separate from itself — a real thing that needs to be navigated.

      In fact, I see the Old Testament as a pretty harsh religious system developed by primitives (primitives are much like children), and the New Testament as a much more civilized approach. In the OT Moses brought a series of Commandments that come with harsh penalties for breaking them. This parallels the fact that underdeveloped people (many children and many primitives or just degenerate people) understand only rules and violence and can’t learn any other way. Like the bullies in school who don’t change their behavior until they get paddled severely and suddenly are completely different for the rest of the year. And then the NT is for those who are more civilized or mature and can understand and obey the Golden Rule. In other words those with intact mirror neurons who develop empathy for others.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-14-2019 at 03:18 PM.

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      Oh, I'd also like to add, what you described (learning morality the hard way as children, and that being Original Sin that stains you forever) comes entirely from the Ego. "Mine Mine Mine, you can't have it, I'm going to hit you!"

      That's what the sermon above was about, that Original Sin is coming entirely from the Ego and we repent and atone for it by dissolving the childish ego and developing the higher mind instead - the kinder gentler mind that is developed through religious thinking and behavior. Which really is just moral behavior and taking responsibility - in other words it's what we call being mature.

      The ego is the primitive savage part of us, which is completely in charge in young children. Freud pointed that out - if you examine their motivations they're essentially little monsters. Growing up consists largely of getting the ego under control.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-14-2019 at 03:07 PM.

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      I've re-read your post snoop, and I want to differ just slightly from what you said.

      I used to believe exactly the same - that the sin was actually the ignorance of morality. But I'm starting to see it a little differently now.

      Animals don't sin, right, and they're ignorant of morality. So I don't think that can be it.

      I think rather it's the fact that we 'stepped up' as humans, developed the conscious mind and abstract thinking -- language, the arts etc. In other words we sort of tried to usurp God's abilities. Keep in mind Genesis is an Old Testament parable, and depicts a pretty harsh and savage God - self-admittedly jealous and vengeful. It would make sense for the primitive people who developed that notion of God to believe that what makes them sinners when the animals live in the same blissful purity and innocence they themselves did before becoming consciously aware, is the fact that humans have horned in on God's domain by developing this almost Godlike ability to think at a higher level than the animals or children. They could clearly see the similarity between children and animals, the naive innocence and blissfulness. And they know that as adults they've lost that. It makes sense to me that, in their own rather crude and underdeveloped way, they attributed the crime as their own pretense to a Godlike level of knowledge.

      I don't think what's really behind the idea of Original Sin is the ignorance itself, I think rather it's the fact that once we became human we found ourselves imbued with this new level of thinking, which seemed like something we had stolen somehow from God. And it's because of the new level of thinking that we began to understand morality. Animals and very small children can't sin because they can't conceptualize morality. This is actually why the insanity defense works in court - a person unable to understand their crime can't really be held accountable for it. But once you develop that ability, then you can sin, and of course then you do.

      So yeah, I think the real original sin is simply the fact that we developed the ability to think abstractly/consciously.

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      A better way to word it -- as soon as you're able to understand sin, you are now capable of sinning and must take responsibility for your behavior.

      I think maybe as soon as people knew what sin is, they felt like they had done something wrong - as if they had brought it into the world somehow. I think our very early proto-human ancestors were close enough to their own animalistic cousins that they could clearly see - those other guys don't understand things the same way we do (because they don't have the conscious mind). And they seem to be blissfully unaware of sin (of crimes against self, others and society). So they wondered what was wrong with US that we can sin now and they can't. And the children can't until they reach a certain age/level of development.

      Sorry for so many posts in a row! I'll just add this here so as not to keep making more:



      He does talk about sin in it. Also a lot about how scripture is metaphorical.

      And here's one on Jesus dying for our sins and how that whole idea is a misrepresentation of the original teachings:

      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-14-2019 at 08:49 PM.

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      About the purpose of meditation (prayer) and how to reach a state of all-day meditation.



      I love the close parallels with Buddhism and other Eastern mystic traditions.

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      What is Christian Mysticism? Answered by Father Kerry Walters:



      This one is 45 minutes long, but it explains the Path of Initiation, which is central to this form of Christian Mysticism. It’s built on meditation and daily practice aimed at maintaining that meditation constantly, whatever you may be doing.


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      Introducing the Christian Mystics:



      Fleshing out information about this. Covers the Dark Night of the Soul, Unity, and Non-Duality among other things.

      Christianity and Unknowing, Richard Rohr:



      “Jesus was speaking non-dually — Mystically — and we read him with a dualistic mind; an argumentative mind.”


      And one more from Richard Rohr - an hour and a half of amazingness:



      “Wisdom has always been non-dualistic thinking -- thinking in terms of both/and rather than either/or.”

      • Living in ambiguity (knowing and not-knowing at the same time).
      • The importance of the second half of life and what it really means (learning that everything really has inner meaning, not to just observe surface facts and treat them as reality).
      • Learn the rules well (the Laws, the Commandments) and learn to obey them, so you'll know how to break them. This may be my favorite video yet.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; Yesterday at 06:07 PM.

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