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Man's goal on earth=perfection of the heart?!

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28 December 2005, 11:47 AM
Brad
Man's goal on earth=perfection of the heart?!
The main diffference for me is that you believe perfection is not attainable on earth... And I like to believe it is possible.

This notion has been on my mind, of late, ithink. Were you put here in my path, and I in yours, just to ponder this point? And that might be a perfect conjunction, if so. I'm starting to find at least a little perfection in your faith for such a notion as perfection. I may be totally wrong about how I see things regarding it�and I would be glad if this were so, for are we not already damned in a sense if perfection as not at least theoretically in our grasp? I would think so. We are damned to, and by (and this seem quite odd, when you think about it) our craving for perfection itself�at least some of us are. For when our eyes fall short of seeing and experiencing perfection we will often try to balance that with our judgmentalism, our criticism, and even what we refer to as "perfectionism" itself. So perhaps it takes a very wise soul to understand that perfectionism is indeed a worthy goal, even on this earth, if attempted with soft, humble, forgiving hearts.

And I'm so glad I could muddy the waters further regarding this subject. Wink But the thing is, I think, ithink, that the world suddenly becomes much more perfect in our eyes when we are humble, when we are loving, when we are forgiving and merciful. Maybe there is indeed beauty in everything. And maybe it is simply our lack of understanding that stands between seeing perfection in everything and our realization of perfection in ourselves. It's what one might expect from limited creatures in a world that, as far as we know, does not allow infinities. But maybe we connect to that infinity by our hearts. And I think, ithink, that there are a lot of ways that this could be played out, whether through Christ or something else. It might take someone perfect to know for sure.
28 December 2005, 02:41 PM
ithink
Brad,
Re:spiritual calories

I am surprised how detail you think of everything! My brain cells are 'underdeveloped' that way. Now your idea helped me to develop another idea about spiritual calories!

I like to view the 'calories' as reward points.

For example, if a Christian read the Bible daily for 30 min, he would gain certain amount of calories. But if someone read the Bible for 5 mins. and practices the idea, the calorie point might be higher than the one reading 30mins.

If someone sacrifice their time and own comfort for the sake of their children will receive high
calorie points.

Of course, no man should judge about who will get more calories, I think God knows how to bestow each person accordingly.

Basically I am thinking all the effort we do for something higher than ourslves will help us build that spiritual muscle.

Now coming to what if someone perform deeds against their own conscience;They will have their calories subtracted.

Evil doers who enjoy doing evil deeds will have 'toxins' collected in their spirit body which will torture their own souls.

I believe it is not God's desire to torture souls but He need to place rules or laws that would safeguard the spiritual world to function....

Just a theory...
29 December 2005, 01:03 PM
FrancesB
Hi ithink,
The idea of 'spiritual calories' and addition and subtraction according to deeds is one that is common to many religions - particularly Islam. I have a muslim student who explained to me their belief in an angel on each person's shoulder, one recording good deeds and the other recording bad deeds. Your destiny at death is decided by weighing the two. I am glad not to believe that otherwise I would have no hope!!

Although Christians do believe in the importance of avoiding sin, as I've posted on another of your threads, many believe that Christians are saved by faith, not works. This may also be a possible answer to your original question here. Christ came because we are not and cannot be perfect (acceptable to God without intervention?)on earth. Our nature is sinful and perfection is unobtainable here because we are human (original sin). We can aim for it, and should try to be as Christlike as possible, but its not going to happen. IMO, thinking that we could attain perfection through our own efforts is a mistake and may be due to pride.
This knowledge doesn't let us of the hook however. God made us for a purpose and carrying out his plan may be as close as we can get to perfection.
Just a couple of suggestions. What do you think?
FrancesB
29 December 2005, 11:42 PM
Brad
quote:
I like to view the 'calories' as reward points.

For example, if a Christian read the Bible daily for 30 min, he would gain certain amount of calories. But if someone read the Bible for 5 mins. and practices the idea, the calorie point might be higher than the one reading 30mins.

If someone sacrifice their time and own comfort for the sake of their children will receive high calorie points.
I've been chewing on that calorie question (nyuck, nyuck) for quite some time, ithink. And thank you for your most wonderful compliment. Just remember that Einstein managed to say a lot with just "E=MC2", and that is what I find that people like you do. You say so much in such profound short questions and comments. And I'm glad I waited to comment on this because FrancesB chimed in with what I thought were great comments from the other side of the coin, so to speak.

My gut instinct is to be on the lookout for unproductive motives when people are aiming for perfection. On the other hand, as I understand it, it's considered not only okay, but I think highly okay that Catholics try to shoot for sainthood. But I�m pretty sure the conception is that we don't ever quite get there, and however close we do come is largely due not to our efforts, per se, but letting go and cooperating with the Creator.

It just seems to me that there's a difference between working toward perfection while augmenting that climb with faith and thus achieving a type of wholeness no matter where we are on that climb, and holding out perfection as a goal that requires us to cross some imaginary line before our imperfection is perfect enough for god to say "close enough". Well, some would say, the former breeds nasty deeds because, no matter what, all the faithful have to do is believe. The latter would seem to be so unforgiving that it crushes human nature by the sheer weight of perfectionism�as probably many of you may have experienced perhaps in family life or elsewhere.

I think, ultimately, were going to be surprised how far off our human conceptions of perfection really are. I think we touch on some of the possibilities, though, when we consider such things as the "perfect baby." Perfection seems to be directly correlated with forgiveness. The more forgiveness that is given by God (I presume) to some object, the more perfect it is. And this is where faith, loving intentions, and gentleness come into play. And gentleness and love, generally speaking, are probably going to have their eyes on other things than perfection.
30 December 2005, 09:51 AM
Eric
quote:
I have a vision that Jesus knew the old testament so well that he understood from the writings that God is not just the LORD but a FATHER of HEART.
That my friend was "Perfectly" said. That statement has provoked something I was thinking deeply upon but could not bring fully to the surface.

With that thought in mind when Jesus said, "I am my Father are one". Could also symbolically say, "My heart and my Fathers are one".

It also goes along great with, "The Kingdom of heaven is within".

I believe in an awakened heart which may lead to what you are thinking as a "perfected heart". It may be just another way of saying the same thing. I.E. Semantics.
30 December 2005, 09:58 AM
Eric
I can see how one might see the Nazi movement as imperfect. I will not try and justify WWII but I would like to bring up some things that have happened after WWII. I think WWII happened because the world refused to learn the lessons of world war I. It does seem that when one refuses to learn a lesson great pain and suffering can result.

The Jews got their country back.
The United States became a Super Power.
Great technologically advancements occurred bettering mans quality of living.
Dictators are watched under a careful eye.
The nations have protocols in place.

Etc Etc Etc. The list goes on.

Much good has come of that war despite how terrible it was. My thoughts are this:

Are these things "good" or are they just the spoils of war????
30 December 2005, 11:29 AM
Eric
FrancesB- What is your view of what a Christian is?

I just don't know any more. Can one just believe and that is all there is to it? Or do we have to go out there and carry our cross? Or a combination of both?

Try looking at it without fundamentalist eyes and tell me what you see. Try to base your opinion on what you believe and not what others have told you what to believe.

I am not trying to infringe on your belief system but it seems your point of view comes from that line of Christianity. Fundamentalist exclaim to have it all figured out yet when they are confronted with difficult questions they falter.

I am not saying this is you though.

The Bible does speak of actions and of faith. It also speaks of rewards and punishments. These are all humanistic ideas. One branch believes one thing and the other another. Who is right and who is not?
20 January 2006, 12:24 PM
Eric
quote:
Would everything be beautiful, in some way, from the perspective of God? If we were to concede (and surely no one need do so) that "perfect" might not be as cut-and-dried a term as it first appears, maybe to god (and stay with me on this) even sees beauty in Auschwitz. If truly he can make good out of anything, then there would be implicit beauty in that place, abhorrent as that may seem too our senses.
That is truly an interesting thought. Because I have thought the same thing myself on occasion.

Sometimes I feel that everything is as it should be. Beauty could mean so many things. Even things that look distorted in another's eyes.

Maybe that is why there are so many sets of eyes on this Earth. There are so many different witnesses to all the many infinite acts of beauty that occur in this world. Each one different from the other. Some things to all. Maybe even some that are disturbing and abhorrent.

If we as humans can all see beauty differently. Why might not God?
11 March 2006, 01:45 AM
Gregory
I do agree we should aim to be as close to God as possible as we can in this life, given the examples Jesus has laid down to us in his gospels...including the passage in John where he says 'I and the Father are One.'

However, the spiritual path is also constantly complicated by temptation, sin, and from doubts. The world, the flesh and the devil all assualt the Christian mystic and make it extremely hard to progress through the 'dark night' sometimes, especially when God seems to abandon you.

We should remember we are fragile and mortal beings severely weakened by our sinfulness, which separates us constantly from God. We are also finite beings and even when we will see God 'as he is', because of God's infinity even in heaven our enjoyment and growth in him will continue forever and not stop, as Gregory of Nyssa liked to point out. We can never be God because we are finite and always will be, but we can also grow ever closer to God in this life and the next by making God the focus of our love and spiritual aspiration.