Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Nick_A
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:22 am

I C
Well, I have to say that I think this is not a Christian view of things,
What is the Christian view of things? If Saint Augustine is correct, the essence of Christianity existed on earth before Jesus arrival.
The very thing which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients also, nor was it wanting from the inception if the human race until the coming if Christ in the flesh, at which point the true religion which was already in existence began to be called Christian. -ST. AUGUSTINE, Retractiones
My interest is in Christian Platonism and esoteric Christianity

http://www.john-uebersax.com/plato/cp.htm
The following is a list of Christian philosophers, theologians, and writers with Platonist/Neoplatonist interests or influences. Their main works, and especially those relevant to the topic of Christian Platonism, are also shown.
"Platonic influence" is broadly defined here; a writer may be both influenced by Plato and at the same time very critical of specific Platonic or Neoplatonic tenets.
Note the literal explosion of interest in Christian Platonism during the Renaissance, followed by a striking absence from 1700 until the 20th century. The latter reflects several factors: the Reformation, the Age of Reason, the Industrial Revolution, and the modern empiricist- materialistic worldview. In a post-modern world we may expect to see Renaissance humanism and mysticism re-emerge, and along with them Platonism and Christian Platonism.
I’ve noticed that the Christian view of things is losing out to the beliefs of Christendom or man made Christianity.

Christendom has adopted the personal Hebrew God. Christianity appreciates the necessity for the intermediary between Man and God we know of as the Son. The Father is not involved.

How many believe in the Resurrection? Yet if Paul is right, it like re-birth is the essence of Christianity. Without it Christianity is just another meaningless secular tradition designed to control people.

1 Corinthians 15
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
There can be no objective view of Christianity active in the darkness of Plato’s cave. Its awakening influence cannot be tolerated so stays underground so to speak and only open for those who need it and are no longer attached to false gods..

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:53 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:22 am
What is the Christian view of things?
It's what I've been saying...that Creation was good, is still somewhat good, and is potentially good...it is not the case that Christianity teaches contempt for the physical world. Rather, it teaches that the world is a gift of God, to be stewarded responsibly by human beings. "Attachment" is not the issue: the wrong KIND of "attachment" might be, but the Christian view is not like the Gnostic or Hindu views, wherein the physical world is maya, illusion, and we escape it by giving up "attachment."
My interest is in Christian Platonism and esoteric Christianity
Mine's in philosophy and rational Christianity.
How many believe in the Resurrection? Yet if Paul is right, it like re-birth is the essence of Christianity. Without it Christianity is just another meaningless secular tradition designed to control people.
Quite true. But notice that in the Bible "resurrection" is bodily resurrection. It's not just spiritual, but physical as well. As Jesus said to His disciples, after His resurrection:

"See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

The resurrected Christ had a physical body. Are we then still going to say, with the Gnostics, that the body is evil, or with the Hindus, that the physical plane is an illusion?

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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:03 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:53 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:22 am
What is the Christian view of things?
It's what I've been saying...that Creation was good, is still somewhat good, and is potentially good...it is not the case that Christianity teaches contempt for the physical world. Rather, it teaches that the world is a gift of God, to be stewarded responsibly by human beings. "Attachment" is not the issue: the wrong KIND of "attachment" might be, but the Christian view is not like the Gnostic or Hindu views, wherein the physical world is maya, illusion, and we escape it by giving up "attachment."
My interest is in Christian Platonism and esoteric Christianity
Mine's in philosophy and rational Christianity.
How many believe in the Resurrection? Yet if Paul is right, it like re-birth is the essence of Christianity. Without it Christianity is just another meaningless secular tradition designed to control people.
Quite true. But notice that in the Bible "resurrection" is bodily resurrection. It's not just spiritual, but physical as well. As Jesus said to His disciples, after His resurrection:

"See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

The resurrected Christ had a physical body. Are we then still going to say, with the Gnostics, that the body is evil, or with the Hindus, that the physical plane is an illusion?
I don't see the logic in concluding that material including the physical body is evil.

The eventual resurrection body is not the physical body that we know but a higher quality of matter. Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians 15
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.
I know it as conscious evolution. If a caterpillar can become a butterfly mechanically, must we remain closed to the potential for animal Man to consciously evolve to a higher quality of being with a body corresponding to it?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:30 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:03 pm
I don't see the logic in concluding that material including the physical body is evil.
I wasn't saying it is. I was saying that Gnostics and Hindus, and even some odd types of esoteric Christianity, say it is, and treat the physical world and the body as evil, and illusory, and the spirit as high and good.

That's where the language of "attachment" comes in: both Gnostics and Hindus believe that our problem is attachment to the physical realm. But by realizing that the physical realm is maya, and by becoming "enlightened" to that, we are said to be able to transcend to a higher human level.

I think that's all twaddle. But I just point out I wouldn't want to be associated with that error, myself. So I don't speak of "attachment" being the problem.
I know it as conscious evolution.
In the Bible, it's not. It's not just about higher consciousness, to which we "evolve."

It's explicitly about bodily resurrection. And it's not progressive or evolutionary; it's a singular divine action of both physical and spiritual revival, produced not by time and human effort, but by the resurrecting power of God Himself.

So in that, it's more than a little different from what you're suggesting, I think you'll find.

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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:43 am

I C
That's where the language of "attachment" comes in: both Gnostics and Hindus believe that our problem is attachment to the physical realm. But by realizing that the physical realm is maya, and by becoming "enlightened" to that, we are said to be able to transcend to a higher human level.

I think that's all twaddle. But I just point out I wouldn't want to be associated with that error, myself. So I don't speak of "attachment" being the problem.
The cause of attachment isn’t physical: it is emotional. It is the result of living governed by negative emotions. Jesus explains


Matthew 15
15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The problem is the fallen condition of the human heart and its emotional quality powerless in front of acquired negative emotions
In the Bible, it's not. It's not just about higher consciousness, to which we "evolve."

It's explicitly about bodily resurrection. And it's not progressive or evolutionary; it's a singular divine action of both physical and spiritual revival, produced not by time and human effort, but by the resurrecting power of God Himself.

So in that, it's more than a little different from what you're suggesting, I think you'll find.
So you disagree with Paul’s description of the natural body and the spirit body.

How do you understand Christian rebirth?

Matthew 11:11
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
I read this as a ladder of being connecting relative qualities of animal Man with the beginning of a quality of conscious awareness resulting from being born again. Do you read it differently?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:21 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:43 am
The cause of attachment isn’t physical: it is emotional. It is the result of living governed by negative emotions. Jesus explains...The problem is the fallen condition of the human heart and its emotional quality powerless in front of acquired negative emotions
You do mention the real problem: the human heart. It's not "attachment" to material existence that is the issue, it's fallenness, sin, and rejection of God. This leaves us in a state of alienation from the Creator, and leads to death.
So you disagree with Paul’s description of the natural body and the spirit body.
No, I don't. The resurrected body is different from the pre-resurrection body, just as he says, and just as Christ's resurrected body was different from His pre-resurrection body. The important point here is only that they are both bodies -- it is not the case that one is body, and the other is merely a ghost or spirit. The renewed body is eternal, just as Paul says. (1 Cor. 15:42-49)
I read this as a ladder of being connecting relative qualities of animal Man with the beginning of a quality of conscious awareness resulting from being born again. Do you read it differently?
Matthew 11:11 actually says nothing at all about anyone but John the Baptist. It mentions no "ladder." It does not mention "conscious awareness," or even the fact that John was born again. It just says he is of high status in the Kingdom of Heaven.

One certainly can only be reading anything else into the passage, because one cannot get it out of what the text itself says.

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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:50 am

I C
Matthew 11:11 actually says nothing at all about anyone but John the Baptist. It mentions no "ladder." It does not mention "conscious awareness," or even the fact that John was born again. It just says he is of high status in the Kingdom of Heaven.


You’ve lost me here. The idea of a ladder connecting levels of reality is well known through the account of Jacob’s ladder for example. John is the highest born of women but less than the least in the kingdom of heaven. Making the transition between animal Man born of woman and resurrected Man requires being born again. The qualities of being of Man born of women differ as does the qualities of being within the kingdom. I don’t see why you would reject the concept of relative quality as well as the transition between animal Man and conscious Man.
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
I recognize two qualities of Christianity on earth: exoteric and esoteric.

Exoteric is the secular form of Christianity which serves as a policeman in society through the attempt at indoctrinated morality.

Where exoteric Christianity deals with the collective, esoteric Christianity deals with the individual. It teaches the means for a person to become Christian.

Most people believe that anyone calling themselves Christian is Christian. This is like a man calling himself a woman is a woman. We are what we say we are. However for all those who know this is just 1984 BS, it becomes obvious that a Christian is one who follows in the precepts of Christ. A person may want to be Christian but experiences that they cannot. They are pre-Christian. The hypocrisy of the human condition prevents it

Exoteric Christianity serves the personality while esoteric Christianity serves the essence of Man including the seed of the soul of Man.

Is it any wonder why the world indoctrinated by exoteric beliefs must hate all those aware of the value of the quality of truth which awakens the inner man – the individual? The individual threatens the dominance of the collective so cannot be tolerated.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:01 am

Nick_A wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:50 am
Matthew 11:11 actually says nothing at all about anyone but John the Baptist. It mentions no "ladder." It does not mention "conscious awareness," or even the fact that John was born again. It just says he is of high status in the Kingdom of Heaven.


You’ve lost me here.
Well, I'll try to explain.

I think you're assuming that the use of a comparative (i.e. "greater") means there must be a progressive development of something. But it doesn't. The Pacific Ocean is "greater" than the Atlantic, even though both came into being at the same time and in the same way. But sometimes it does mean progressive development, as in the phrase "His wisdom is growing greater."

Here's the normal rule: when the comparative refers to a single entity, progression is indicated; when it is used comparatively, in reference to a group of comparable people, it's usually not. It's usually just ranking or ordering them in a hierarchical way.
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
This is a comparative, not progressive, not single-entity, reference to John and others. It's not indicating a progression or evolution.
Where exoteric Christianity deals with the collective, esoteric Christianity deals with the individual. It teaches the means for a person to become Christian.
In that sense, all Christianity is "esoteric," (to borrow your word). Jesus said, "You must be born again." That's individual. There is no corporate, social or political salvation...just individual.
...a Christian is one who follows in the precepts of Christ...
Right. Agreed. And here's what He says about that:

Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29) That's the starting point, and the very first "work" or "deed" God expects of mankind.

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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:44 am

I C
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

This is a comparative, not progressive, not single-entity, reference to John and others. It's not indicating a progression or evolution
I don’t understand the logic here. Jesus is referring to John as an individual. He is saying that his being is greater than that of all others born of women. He is not referring to a collective but rather of individuals.

Jesus refers to those least in the Kingdom. This means that there must be greater being in the Kingdom. If not, why use the word least?
In that sense, all Christianity is "esoteric," (to borrow your word). Jesus said, "You must be born again." That's individual. There is no corporate, social or political salvation...just individual.
Secular Christianity isn’t concerned with being born again. It is only concerned with morality. It isn’t concerned with what we ARE which is the domain of esoteric Christianity but with what we DO.
Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29) That's the starting point, and the very first "work" or "deed" God expects of mankind.
But the problem is that we don’t believe. What we do defines what we believe. We are hypocrites.
Mark 9

23 Jesus said to him, “If[a] you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Welcome to the real world. We don’t really believe.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:37 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:44 am
I don’t understand the logic here. Jesus is referring to John as an individual.
Well, let me try to put it more concisely, to help. He is claiming that this individual is greater than others. That's present-comparative, not progressive. And...
He is saying that his being is greater than that of all others born of women.
Right: "than all others born of women," as you say. It's comparative of John and them in the present, not comparative of John to himself over a time span.
In that sense, all Christianity is "esoteric," (to borrow your word). Jesus said, "You must be born again." That's individual. There is no corporate, social or political salvation...just individual.
Secular Christianity isn’t concerned with being born again.
Heh. :D "Secular Christianity"? That's a wording like "new antique," two words that make nonsense of each other by contradiction. In truth, no such thing exists. By definition, if one is a Christian, then one is not secular, of course. And someone who is not "born again"? Jesus Himself said that such would never see the Kingdom of God. That's not "Christian" in anything more than as an unearned name.
Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:28-29) That's the starting point, and the very first "work" or "deed" God expects of mankind.
But the problem is that we don’t believe. What we do defines what we believe. We are hypocrites.
You've got a point. What we do does not constitute belief, but it certainly shows what we truly believe. What it "shows," though, is the belief itself; one believes first, then one's actions attest to what one has believed, because one then acts on that belief.
Mark 9

23 Jesus said to him, “If[a] you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Welcome to the real world. We don’t really believe.
That's not quite what's said there. The father is not saying, "I refuse to believe," and certainly not "I cannot really believe," but rather, "I DO believe, but I need help with struggling to make that complete, and to overcome the part of me that still isn't believing enough." Fair enough: we all do that.

Let me suggest something, if I may: faith and doubt are not opposites. The true opposites are faith and heard-hearted, willful unbelief, with no smattering of faith in it; or better, faith is the opposite of indifference to belief. Faith and doubt, though, coexist in every mere mortal. For everything we know, there is some element of the yet-to-be-known, the not-yet-known, that makes faith waver.

We have a measure of faith -- let us say even that it's 90% -- but always there is the possibility we have overlooked something. After all, we are all limited in our knowledge. So that 10% of uncertainty still puzzles us, and causes us to think again of what we really believe. We all have a measure of belief, but like the father in the incident, a measure of unbelief still dogs us.

In that sense, faith and doubt are a dialectical thing: there's a back-and-forth struggle between what we truly believe and the uncertainties that remain; and overcoming these uncertainties strengthens faith. 90% certainty becomes 91%, and doubt about that particular issue reduces to 9%. Then, perhaps, it's 92% and 8%...and so on. Every trial of our faith helps us sophisticate and complete our faith. We come to believe more firmly and intelligently -- or else, we learn that what we thought was true was not as worth believing as we formerly thought. In that way, doubt tests and refines faith, making it truer, deeper and more committed, or showing where it has gone wrong. So the two are companions, in a sense, and will be until we see Christ face to face.

To be afraid to doubt is to be afraid of faith. If one will not struggle with what the father in the above passage calls "my unbelief," then one cannot grow in faith. Moreover, we have to be watchful for that hard, sclerotic, obstinate belief that will not even consider doubt: it means the person in question has stopped thinking and growing. He thinks he's arrived, and can get no better than he is.

Ironically, some measure of uncertainty is essential to faith. Here's what the Bible says about that "Now, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." That doesn't mean, as the skeptics would want to say, that "faith means believing what you know ain't true." Not at all. What it means is that faith is that step between the 90% certainty you may possess, and the fact that you still haven't seen the 10% remaining.

Let's take two analogies from the rest of life. Faith the confidence that lets you say, "Well, most airplanes don't crash -- and though some do, I don't think this one will," and then to get on board and fly. Honestly, you don't KNOW the plane won't crash in a horrible ball of fire, but you're still not irrational to get aboard: people do it safely almost all the time. The doctor who prescribes a drug does not know that it will not produce some unforeseen and fatal reaction in a patient; but he thinks it won't, and he sees no reason it will, and he trusts the tests done on his behalf by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, and he's perhaps seen it work on other patients -- but bottom line, he does not KNOW. He must have faith in his remedy, and the patient has to have faith in the integrity of his doctor. But they don't know for sure.

The important difference between this analogy and the father's case is that when one's confidence is in God, one actually has 100% reason to trust, though one can only feel like it's maybe 90-something %. Still, that doesn't change the fact that God is 100% reliable, 100% truth.

But our lack of certainty is why we need faith in order to relate to God at all. He may be perfect, but we are not. And so long as we are not, belief and a measure of unbelief will be our companions until we meet Him. It can be no other way.

So, in sum, Jesus says, "This generation of people is too mistrustful, too doubting." And the father hears this rebuke as directed to him: which means, HIS lack of faith is the problem that is keeping his son suffering. That's why the father cries out, "Lord, I DO believe." Period. He does. But he's also saying, "Help me with that part of me that is not finding it easy to believe my child can be delivered from his suffering by anything. I want him to be free, and if I'm part of the problem, I want to stop."

That's the tension between faith and doubt that lives in everyone. Well, everyone except those who have killed doubt by pretending there is none, and those who are so hateful of the whole idea of faith that they will exercise none (or at least, who think they have none, though they actually have faith in things all the time, just not in God).

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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:43 am

I C
That's not quite what's said there. The father is not saying, "I refuse to believe," and certainly not "I cannot really believe," but rather, "I DO believe, but I need help with struggling to make that complete, and to overcome the part of me that still isn't believing enough." Fair enough: we all do that.
This is the human condition. We live in opposition to ourselves which is why we turn in circles
Let me suggest something, if I may: faith and doubt are not opposites. The true opposites are faith and heard-hearted, willful unbelief, with no smattering of faith in it; or better, faith is the opposite of indifference to belief. Faith and doubt, though, coexist in every mere mortal. For everything we know, there is some element of the yet-to-be-known, the not-yet-known, that makes faith waver.
What is faith? Is faith IN Christ the same as the faith OF Christ? Is hate the opposite of love? I don’t believe so. Love doesn’t have an opposite. One either has it or they don’t. It is the same with the faith OF Christ. A person has it or they don’t.

Why did Jesus say that the faith of the centurion: “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Matthew 8:5-13 New International Version (NIV)

The Faith of the Centurion

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
Anyone can say I have faith in Jesus but this is emotional faith. There is no force in it. As I see it the faith of the centurion is a microcosm of the relationship between the Son as the intermediary between the Father and Man.

The Centurion ruled those below his position yet knew he was nothing compared to the Christ. Conscious Faith is the ability to sustain this awareness and not fall back into duality. The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. They didn’t need any more emotional belief. They needed to grow in their ability to have conscious faith.

The real esoteric or inner value of Christianity is introducing the help of the Holy Spirit to reconcile between the yes and no in ourselves. Paul described it and it is well worth pondering what is meant.

Romans 7
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Secular Christianity is exoteric Christianity. It is concerned with a person’s personality. It demands belief, not understanding. Paul is referring to pur fractured being which can only be reconciled through the energy of the Holy Spirit made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice.
So, in sum, Jesus says, "This generation of people is too mistrustful, too doubting." And the father hears this rebuke as directed to him: which means, HIS lack of faith is the problem that is keeping his son suffering. That's why the father cries out, "Lord, I DO believe." Period. He does. But he's also saying, "Help me with that part of me that is not finding it easy to believe my child can be delivered from his suffering by anything. I want him to be free, and if I'm part of the problem, I want to stop."

That's the tension between faith and doubt that lives in everyone. Well, everyone except those who have killed doubt by pretending there is none, and those who are so hateful of the whole idea of faith that they will exercise none (or at least, who thinkthey have none, though they actually have faith in things all the time, just not in God).
You seem to be emphasizing faith IN Christ and I am emphasizing the potential for man to acquire the faith OF Christ which is necessary for the New Man to replace the Old Man

Two of the mistakes made by exoteric Christianity is first insisting on blind belief. The second is suppression replacing conscious understanding. IMO all this does is damage a person’s personality and stunting the growth of the Inner Man.

There is a big difference between conscious faith and blind belief. But somehow many consider them the same. It seems that in the world, the greater the objective value of ideas such as with the depth of Christianity, the greater the need in the world to destroy them.

The true individual is then the one who with the power of conscious attention has witnessed the absurdity and the futility of looking in the world for human meaning and strives to return to the source of objective meaning. That is what Christianity offers.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:00 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:43 am
What is faith?
Biblically speaking, it's rational trust in God.
Is faith IN Christ the same as the faith OF Christ?
No. But that's a subtle distinction, depending on only one preposition. It would take a bit to unpack that.
Is hate the opposite of love?
No. Indifference is the opposite of love.
Why did Jesus say that the faith of the centurion: “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith."

Oh, I see...you're thinking "faith" is a thing that a person practices without specific reference to any particular Object? Am I right, or am I still missing what you're trying to say?

Biblically, the legitimate Object of faith is God. The centurion's faith was in Christ, obviously. Before Christ arrived, his servant was sick, and remained sick, regardless of what inner quality the centurion himself had.
Anyone can say I have faith in Jesus but this is emotional faith.
Well, anyone can SAY anything. The question is, "Is there any truth to what is said, in each case?"
Conscious Faith is the ability to sustain this awareness and not fall back into duality.
Oh no...I wouldn't say so.

Remember that the centurion had this "awareness" of which you speak, if he did, before Jesus appeared on the scene. He knew about Roman hierarchy, and even about the existence of God, since he had donated generously to the Jewish people. But it wasn't doing anything for him. The servant was still sick.

It's only when the faith is in the appropriate Object that it is real faith.
The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. They didn’t need any more emotional belief. They needed to grow in their ability to have conscious faith.
Well, as I said in my last message, faith is not an all-or-nothing quality, and on-or-off, like a light switch. It can grow, because it's probabilistic. There are always doubts to be overcome, and thus one can always need more faith.
So, in sum, Jesus says, "This generation of people is too mistrustful, too doubting." And the father hears this rebuke as directed to him: which means, HIS lack of faith is the problem that is keeping his son suffering. That's why the father cries out, "Lord, I DO believe." Period. He does. But he's also saying, "Help me with that part of me that is not finding it easy to believe my child can be delivered from his suffering by anything. I want him to be free, and if I'm part of the problem, I want to stop."

That's the tension between faith and doubt that lives in everyone. Well, everyone except those who have killed doubt by pretending there is none, and those who are so hateful of the whole idea of faith that they will exercise none (or at least, who thinkthey have none, though they actually have faith in things all the time, just not in God).
You seem to be emphasizing faith IN Christ and I am emphasizing the potential for man to acquire the faith OF Christ
Oh? I guess I'm not seeing what you mean by "the faith OF Christ." Are you trying to suggest that it's possible for you to become the equal of Christ in faith?

Maybe you'd clear up my misunderstanding on that, if that's not what you mean.
Two of the mistakes made by exoteric Christianity is first insisting on blind belief.
Who does that?
The second is suppression replacing conscious understanding.
I don't get that. What is "suppressed" there? And what is the source of "conscious understanding"? How does it come about, in your thinking?

uwot
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by uwot » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:38 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:00 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:43 am
What is faith?
Biblically speaking, it's rational trust in God.
Okie-dokie. So we can add 'faith' to the things you don't understand, because it has bugger all to do with 'rational'.

Nick_A
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:38 pm

I C
Biblically speaking, it's rational trust in God.
But that doesn’t make it true. There are many false gods people trust and maintain many rational arguments to support their trust.
Oh, I see...you're thinking "faith" is a thing that a person practices without specific reference to any particular Object? Am I right, or am I still missing what you're trying to say?

Biblically, the legitimate Object of faith is God. The centurion's faith was in Christ, obviously. Before Christ arrived, his servant was sick, and remained sick, regardless of what inner quality the centurion himself had.
Faith IN anything is something a person practices. It isn’t necessarily connected to truth. It is a function of our personality and not something we are born with. The faith OF Christ is a potential we are born with. Existing as a potential it exists in us at a preliminary level. It can be developed and a person could acquire the objective faith of Christ.
Remember that the centurion had this "awareness" of which you speak, if he did, before Jesus appeared on the scene. He knew about Roman hierarchy, and even about the existence of God, since he had donated generously to the Jewish people. But it wasn't doing anything for him. The servant was still sick.
The faith OF Christ doesn’t serve our personality. It allows our essence to grow. Rather than just being caught up in the duality of the world, the faith OF Christ vertically connects us with the source of our world – from beyond time and space. Man has the seed of the soul which can become a soul. Its purpose is to receive from above and give to below. A person with a soul is able to provide an awakening effect for unawakened Man in the world. Christendom in the world is always arguing about what we should do and who is rewarded for their efforts. Jesus could never seem enable people to understand the error in this thinking.
Luke 13:
Repent or Perish
13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Repent here doesn’t mean to say you are sorry. Repent refers to the very deep idea of metanoia or the change of inner mind which makes it possible for a person to inwardly benefit from Christianity.
Oh? I guess I'm not seeing what you mean by "the faith OF Christ." Are you trying to suggest that it's possible for you to become the equal of Christ in faith?

Maybe you'd clear up my misunderstanding on that, if that's not what you mean.
Christ like the Father are ONE – inner unity. The three essential forces of the Trinity exist as ONE in their being, The difference is in scale. ONE as it pertains to the Father beyond time and space and the source of being is greater than the ONE of the Son within creation. When the Christ intentionally devolved into the domain of Man he became like Man without inner unity so could no longer be considered good. Man has the potential for inner unity and like the Son who is like the father. They differ in scale just like high C middle C and low C differ in scale on the piano
Luke 18:10
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.
Who does that?
Any who believes out of fear or indoctrination. There are a great many who are conditioned to believe in this way.
I don't get that. What is "suppressed" there? And what is the source of "conscious understanding"? How does it come about, in your thinking?
The suppression of sex energy is the most harmful example of suppression I can think of. Try and find me one person who understands the purpose of sex and sex energy within human being. They are rare. One of the many dangers of ignorance concerning sex and the energy of sex is that ignorance just leads to intensified negative emotions. Our negative emotions feed on excess sex energy. Consequently our ignorance feeds the imagination which harms us the most. Right understanding of sex and sex energy is an important topic but our foolishness would never allow for such a discussion in the world or on philosophy sites. They have to take place behind the scenes so to speak. However those who have consciously sought objective human meaning and purpose will be open to understanding since it is logical in accordance with the laws of being.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:14 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:38 pm
Biblically speaking, it's rational trust in God.
But that doesn’t make it true.
"True" to what?

If there's no God, or if He's not actually a fit locus of your trust, then faith has no point. It would just be gratuitous unrealism, then.

And that's the point: "faith" is a transitive thing, meaning one has to "have faith IN (something specific)." One doesn't simply "have faith," as if it were a neutral quality of being. One exercises having faith IN particular objects of that faith.

So to say, "I have faith in the health care system," or "I have faith in the reliability of air travel," is to say you have faith in a particular matter, and in regard to a particular thing. But to say, "Well, I just have faith" is to say nothing at all.
There are many false gods people trust and maintain many rational arguments to support their trust.
Not "rational." But perhaps you might say, "They use rationalizations," or that "They try to rationalize."
Oh, I see...you're thinking "faith" is a thing that a person practices without specific reference to any particular Object? Am I right, or am I still missing what you're trying to say?

Biblically, the legitimate Object of faith is God. The centurion's faith was in Christ, obviously. Before Christ arrived, his servant was sick, and remained sick, regardless of what inner quality the centurion himself had.
Faith IN anything is something a person practices. It isn’t necessarily connected to truth.
Oh, sure it is...if it's rational faith. And if it's irrational faith, then it is premised upon no intelligent claims, and it has no value at all.

One could, in that second sense, "Have faith in unicorns." But what kind of "faith" would that be?
The faith OF Christ is a potential we are born with.
Then why did Christ Himself say, "Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God"? He was already born, and already had the potential, you say. What's the second birth for?
The faith OF Christ
I still can't figure out what you mean by this phrase.

It looks like you intend it to mean "Christ's faith." But we are not Christ. It should be, "faith IN Christ," from the Biblical perspective.
Jesus could never seem enable people to understand the error in this thinking.
Then He failed, you think?

I don't think He did. I think that "many received Him," as John says.
Repent here doesn’t mean to say you are sorry. Repent refers to the very deep idea of metanoia or the change of inner mind which makes it possible for a person to inwardly benefit from Christianity.
You're only partly correct here.

"Metanoia" does mean "change of mind"; but it means a change of attitude TO God, not some sort of inner awakening to one's own latent 'greatness.' It means we stop thinking of ourselves as right, and start seeing ourselves the way God knows we are, by believing what He's told us about that. It's a change of attitude that results in a change of action, premised on a new perspective we have from God.
...the Christ intentionally devolved...
The Bible says, "came," not "devolved." The Incarnation was not a failure of being.
Who does that?
Any who believes out of fear or indoctrination. There are a great many who are conditioned to believe in this way.
Well, I never met one who did. But maybe you have.
The suppression of sex energy is the most harmful example of suppression I can think of.
Freud said "repression."

The Bible does not call for "repression," but rather for metanoia: for that change of mind by which we come to value things differently, and to have different priorities in life that redirect those desires and put them in a marital context, and by regeneration, the change produced by the Spirit of God. But giving vent to fallen sexual proclivities has never produced freedom: just addiction, predation, victimization, self-destruction and exploitation.

Jeffrey Epstein did that. Look where he ended up.

It's not a good thing to just let the old nature loose. It tends to "take prisoners."

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