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Teilhard's vision Login/Join 
Picture of Phil
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A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Here's a Power Point slide I developed:
 
Posts: 3571 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting. It's been a few years since I've read Teilhard's works. Back then I had made a pictorial as well. When I conceptualized it all pictorially it was a bit different. My pictorial consisted of concentric ovals similar to an archery target -- Outer square was Cosmos, Outer ring was matter, then Biosphere ring then noosphere ring (being a subset of the biosphere) and then Christosphere ring (being a subset of the noosphere etc). The Omega point being the center point and cusp of the Christosphere. You looked down its axis. AND, being Blue-meme-Clan and all (Ha) I put a monstrance at the Omega point its center being the Host.

I'll have to give yours some thought.

Naturally, what I drew may well not have been Teilhard's perpective --- it was just mine.

Pop

I couldn't figure out how to attach it herein.
 
Posts: 465 | Registered: 20 October 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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wow! thanx phil, this really helps me to SEE what teilhard de chardin is saying. i get his concepts, but had a hard time putting it together.

a couple of weeks ago i had found a webpage devoted to chardin with audio interviews with his biographer, among others. a fascinating man he was.
 
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I'm on the brink of being Teilhardened. This might come in handy pretty soon.

Was Matthew Fox influenced by him? His Cosmic Christ book is sitting there waiting to be read. There's an interesting series of books called The Essential...spiritual writer, and de Chardin has one...might be a gentle way in, I'm thinking.
 
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Glad you like it, marcco. I recall you having an interest in Teilhard, right?

- - -

Pop, I've seen other ways of depicting Teilhard's vision graphically. The one I've shared takes into account how one level builds on another -- an emergent perspective. In my teaching, the slides unfold the process, one level at a time, with elaboration on each. What I've shared is the final slide, which shows all the levels.

- - -

Stephen, Matt Fox has a way of Foxianizing (there's a word for you! Wink) anyone he writes about, but I haven't read his Cosmic Christ book so can't really offer an opinion about his treatment of Teilhard. There's a concise writeup on Teilhard's "Law of Complexity/Consciousness" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...lexity/Consciousness My resource on Teilhard has been his own writings, which are not always easy to follow, and those of Robert Faricy, whose Teilhard de Chardin's theology of the Christian in the world is one of the best introductions to his work. I see that Amazon has copies of several of Faricy's books on Teilhard for ridiculously low prices.
 
Posts: 3571 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 7 | Registered: 04 December 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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All,

I had read (several years back) three or four of Teilhard’s works: Matter, The Future of Man, and The Divine Milieu. I may have read The Phenomenon of Man as well, but not finding the book just now, I can’t say for sure. I enjoyed him. He can certainly light you up with his thought -- wonderful concepts with lots of science to support his conceptualizations, as well as theological considerations.

I recall his Christosphere but don’t remember the term Pneumatosphere (which I surmise from Phil’s pictorial is possibly the equivalent—though Christ in pneuma terminology is replaced by Spirit, I guess). Do you know which of his works mentions Pneumatosphere? Is this his term or a subsequent contemporary expansion on his thought by Teilhard afficianados? I find it interesting that this terminology moves one a tad further from the Christ with humanity – and is thereby perhaps a tad richer in Gnostic flavor.

Is Teilhard’s thought essentially the ‘new scriptures’ and the basis for the post-modern or emergent worldviews I hear so many who are interested in spirituality talk about? Is his thought the basis for so much of the pop-theology of the Cosmic Christ? (It seems that way to me.) Is this where the turquoise boys and the Wilberians are pointing us?

Interestingly, I saw the other day that at Integral Life, Fr. Keating and KW are now giving a joint teaching on ‘Esoteric Christianity’. I had enjoyed all Fr. Keating’s early books but lost interest after he and KW joined together on The Future of Christianity, and also because of CO’s enamoring of Raimon Pannikar’s: Christophany.

Esoteric Christianity—wow, does that not sound like the place for contemplatives to pasture, a place of rich nourishment? Hippie Dippie it sounds – a fine example of catchy and good Madison Avenue product labeling by the Ad-men. (Snob appeal?)

Aiyee. Hard being Blue-meme Clan these days. The last gasps of the old fogey, I find myself breathing. Soon Blue-memes will be gone -- extinct. Many will be delighted.

“That is why I believe that this coming together, from all the corners of the intellectual world, of a great mass of naturally religious spirits, does not portend the building of a new temple on the ruins of all others but the laying of new foundations to which the old Church is gradually being moved.” Teilhard writes (The Future of Man, p.24, 1959).

He writes elsewhere: “It is hard to escape the conclusion, …that despite all appearances to the contrary Mankind is not only capable of living in peace but by its very structure cannot fail eventually to achieve peace.” (ibid p. 157- bolding Teilhard’s and not mine)

“Peace therefore is certain: it is only a matter of time. Inevitably, with an inevitability which is nothing but the supreme expression of liberty, we are moving laboriously and self-critically towards it.” (ibid p.158)


Teilhard’s perspective is ebullient. It is delightful to hear and carries his readers forward along with him and his science-based imaginative conceptualizing. It is after all (and as the pictorial shows) utopian and rich in optimism, with mankind growing ever so nicely in complexity consciousness and sensitivity – emerging you might say. His perspective is insightful and rich. That mankind is itself is becoming a planet made of a unique complexity and form from the same periodic table elements that is common to all matter is definitely a neat consideration. I enjoyed him –certainly enough to have read 3 or 4 of his books.

I find it welcomed and endorsed by many today. Many, I believe, like also his thought in the following regard: “In becoming planetised, humanity is acquiring new physical powers which will enable it to super-organize matter. And even more important (bolding mine), is it not possible that by the direct converging of its members it will be able, as though by resonance, to release psychic powers whose existence is still unsuspected? “(p.183) Everybody wants some psychic powers, eh? [Let’s get psychical, psychical. I wanna get psychical. Let me hear your psyche talk.]

My problem with Teilhard is that some of his conjecture is contrary to the eschatological revelation given us prophetically by Christ in His quite non-utopian discussion of the end times. Things don’t get better and better. Evil increases. Peace (despite Teilhard’s optimism and his evolution-based belief in its certainty to be manifest) is not in man’s pre-Parousial future! Not by any means. To act as if it is, is to become both non-chalant, quietist, and open to misunderstandings and illusion. To accept Teilhard’s prognosis over Christ’s prophetic revelation is foolishness – despite being labeled what Teilhard considered as an ‘immobilist’.(cf. p.11) [These days perhaps the Blue-meme label is analogous to ‘immobilist’-- ha.] What will be manifest in pre-Parousial times will not be peace but rather the beauty of Christ’s bride! That beauty will not come from being non-chalant and caught up in some pantheistic swill. Nor will it be constituted per se by the possession of psychic powers. (Imo – of course.)

Here is another passage from the Future of Man (p.184) that is quite attractive to many people: “,,, the entire complex of inter-human and inter-cosmic relations will become charged with an immediacy, an intimacy and a realism such as has long been dreamed of and apprehended by certain spirits particularly endowed with the ‘sense of the universal’, (an opening for some spiritual pride here? ah, to be counted among the particularly endowed?) but which has never yet been collectively applied (bolding Teilhard’s). …. a communication of mind and spirit that will make the phenomenon of telepathy, still sporadic and haphazard, both general and normal. But above all, it will be a state of active sympathy in which each separate human element breaking out of its insulated state under the impulse of the high tensions generated in the noosphere, will emerge into a field of prodigious affinities.......for if the power of attraction between simple atoms is so great, what may we not expect if similar bonds are contracted between human molecules? Humanity, as I have said, is building its collective brain beneath our eyes.”

Teilhard might well be correct relative to his forecasting of the sense of collectivity and the release of psychic powers etc. Many New Age folk as well as some participants at this site believe this to be the case. Certainly too, there is some support in scripture for this, as Christ has told us that great signs and wonders would be manifested by some in the last days – so great as to even mislead the faithful if that were possible.

What will be done with these psychic powers? How will they be used? What will we telepathically be communicating to each other that we aren’t now communicating wirelessly?

SJOC in the Ascent II, 22:19 puts it: “one act done in charity is more precious in God’s sight than all visions and communications possible – since they imply neither merit nor demerit – and how many who have not received theses experiences are incomparably more advanced than others who have had many.” Methinks this counsel would apply to any regained psychic powers lost to original sin. STA said similar things I believe but haven’t dug out for your verification.

But imo fwiw, what this theorizing of Teilhard does, in addition to being untrue to Christ’s eschatology and diluting the urgency or necessity of evangelization, is to set the stage for the embrace of pantheism and for folk no longer believing in a personal self/ soul but in a collective soul. Aiyee.

Teilhard ends this book on the upbeat: “The dream of every mystic, the eternal pantheist ideal, will have found its full and legitimate satisfaction. ‘Erit in omnibus omnia Deus’.” (p.323)

Here we once again get into valid non-dual versus false non-dual. More good fruit than bad in Teilhard? Does evolution play a more significant and determined role than man and his personal cooperation (necessitating personal judgment, btw)? Is man robbed of his role in salvation and participation in glory -- since evolution and its momentum seem to carry the day? What role does Satan play, if any, in Teilhard’s conceptualizing? Is this all about -- and only about -- molecules?

Teilhard refers to St. Paul as the most cosmic of all the apostles, yet St. Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians (as well as other letters) does not speak of a utopian peace preceding the Parousia, nor does he adopt pantheistic considerations (though he affirms that Christ lives in him to maximum fullness). Christ did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped at – and neither did the cosmic apostle. Nor did he ever mention pursuit of oneness with all humanity nor a focusing on the oneness of all humanity.

St. Paul never relaxes the urgency to evangelize, to war against the flesh, to presume on God’s mercy, to consider spiritual giftings higher than acts of love, nor abandon the church – not that Teilhard did either, but how many Teihardians seem to fly in that direction and use the cosmic to contravene the humanity of Christ, and cosmic feely-goo to supplant virtue? Many dilute the divinity of Christ with distorted sophiology.

Teilhardian thought becomes their springboard it often seems (imo, of course).

“Many will say Lord, Lord…” (Btw, I didn’t say that.)

Pop-pop
 
Posts: 465 | Registered: 20 October 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pop, you might find interesting: http://absoluteprimacyofchrist.org/?p=1244

Dr. von Hildebrand makes some good points, but I think his main gripe is that Teilhard doesn't speak or write like a Thomistic theologian. There are worse faults. Wink I also think the Dr. misunderstands some of what Teilhard wrote.

Teilhard's writings are not those of a systematic theologian, but more the expression of a mystic and poet. His view of emergence can easily be squared with our belief that God's will is sovereign, and that history has a direction and future fulfillment in Christ, evil notwithstanding. For Teilhard, Christ was the Omega incarnate, and so the Omega point depicted in the figure above indicates more a future fulfillment in him -- that he is the Lord of history.

Teilhard had a deep influence on Karl Rahner and many of the movers and shakers of Vatican II. The weakest part of his vision pertained to his views about sin, especially original sin. But, then, Teilhard was fully aware of the reality of evil, having served in the trenches in WWI. He just didn't think it was more powerful than the force driving evolution and so didn't give it much attention. At times, he spoke of it as intrinsic in the universe -- sort of how the law of entropy shows up on a moral level.

I like him, though I wouldn't consider myself a Teilhardian. The image I shared is from a teaching I gave on process theology. Teilhard is a good example of a Christian process writer. That's how I think of him, at least.

-------

Edit: a couple of other remarks: Robert Faricy and others use the term pneumatosphere, and it's consistent with the view that Christ infuses the human race with the Spirit. Christosphere and pneumatosphere mean the same thing.

I don't know about Teilhard and new agers, nondualists, etc. Teilhard probably wouldn't like the way some tie themselves to his work. He was a Catholic priest deeply devoted to the Eucharist, and he did have an appreciation for Christ in his cosmic presence. Nothing wrong with that, imo.
 
Posts: 3571 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phil,

I LIKE what you wrote.

I agree,and I like Teilhard. I only dislike the distortions that seem to ensue these days.

I was similarly impressed and truly enjoyed his narrative about what went on during his time in the WWI trenches and how everyone wanted to be on the front lines because they knew what was at stake and were marshalled interiorly to fight the good fight.

Pop

Pop
 
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Hi Pop pop,

Still not convinced by our former discussion regarding Jesus and the coming destruction of Jerusalem.

I've done a little more research this year as I've walked the journey of being received into the Catholic Church and I have to say that it warmed my heart that a great deal of Catholic discussion both historical and contemporary are in agreement with the preterist interpretation of Jesus' "end time" sermons.

This is an example of Catholic Preterist thought.

But please Pop pop, I'm not trying to undermine what you've written. I'm just cautioning against statements like JESUS SAID, x or y about the end times. You might feel, believe, trust that Jesus said x or y about the end times, but there are other valid and perfectly Catholic interpretations of those words of Jesus that do not result in the same end time scenario.

That said, the catechism does state that there will be a time of trial and persecution before the end...but we cannot know ahead of time what that might look like or what the markers are that indicate its' arrival.

If for example we take all of these "Cosmic Christ", "Spiritual Evolution", "Oneness" realities that people, many of them good Christian people, believe God is revealing to the world, and we slow down on the finger pointing and the warnings again evil and heresy, then what is the alternative.

Perhaps we are only 1 day from the end, perhaps we are another 2000 years away from the end. Perhaps people do become more spiritual, more connected, more united...but this alone can neither save nor damn them.

In the end, the choice will come down to whether or not we acknowledge our God and Creator. When we go the route of self-divinization and absolute pantheism or monism we fail and fall. But as long as we can acknowledge our God as ABOVE and BEYOND us, AS WELL AS, IN and AROUND us, we are still on the right path.

No matter how evolved we get, no matter how psychic, spiritual and global we become, we will all decide in the end whether we believe in God or whether we believe we are god.
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If for example we take all of these "Cosmic Christ", "Spiritual Evolution", "Oneness" realities that people, many of them good Christian people, believe God is revealing to the world, and we slow down on the finger pointing and the warnings again evil and heresy, then what is the alternative.


Nicely put, Jacques.

Without having read Teilhard...yet...it seems that spiritual awakening might happen alongside a moral degeneration in society, and that through the struggle between the two, an evolutionary step is taken. I perceive this as being a trend through history and a very definite picture of the times we live in. In order for the step forward to be one of genuine growth and spiritual development, one where psychic gifts are only used in the service of love and humility, it takes a positive vision a) to inspire young people to make healthy spiritual choices and b) to actually create the future with divine blessing rather than divine judgement. It's not naive, but active engagement in creating the world which we are custodians of.

If we believe we are DOOMED then we are DOOMED.

There is a huge blessing of awakening and oneness just now and it's up to us put this to the service of God and each other. It's His gift for these times when there is so much confusion and uncertainty. Ultimately, moral degeneration will only eat itself. Spiritual evolution must surely rise out of that.

quote:
But as long as we can acknowledge our God as ABOVE and BEYOND us, AS WELL AS, IN and AROUND us, we are still on the right path.


Spoken like a true panentheist.

Your point about interpreting Christ's words in different ways, and, I might add, with openness, is important. How dangerous to think we have the sole, authoritative interpretation of Jesus' teaching. It says more about what we think of ourselves than what we think of Him.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: samson,
 
Posts: 538 | Registered: 24 June 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Jacques:
...
Perhaps we are only 1 day from the end, perhaps we are another 2000 years away from the end. Perhaps people do become more spiritual, more connected, more united...but this alone can neither save nor damn them....

No matter how evolved we get, no matter how psychic, spiritual and global we become, we will all decide in the end whether we believe in God or whether we believe we are god.
I understand things this way too, Jacques. We are bound to become more spiritually aware of our deep connection with one another, with the universe. Sure, easy science teaches us that, as Phil notes. My boys learned in elementary school that we rely on plants for oxygen while they rely on humans for CO2. Sunshine, water, the cycle of life. That's a pretty deep inter-connection right there! And now complex science/physics affirms it at a deeper level (string theory, the unified field). And natural mysticism witnesses to this unity. But so what? What new news is this about Who God is? Good question, Phil!

That reality alone doesn't teach us HOW to relate to these other creatures to our left and right with whom we are interconnected. I can see my 'self' in the eyes of other people. I still don't like many of them. That's a problem, of sorts. I don't mean because I feel a neurotic scrambling to 'love' everyone, but because I'm called to perfection that can only be approached through becoming a living sacrifice to the King and Lord of all.

And right knowledge of love alone doesn't give us the strength, heart, wisdom, or motivation to love. Only walking with Jesus gives us everything we need because only He has the authority to send the Holy Spirit to transform us.

Sorry for the preaching...back to Teilhard's vision.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Shasha,
 
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Your point about interpreting Christ's words in different ways, and, I might add, with openness, is important. How dangerous to think we have the sole, authoritative interpretation of Jesus' teaching. It says more about what we think of ourselves than what we think of Him.


I hear you Stephen, but then again, I'm just as guilty since I do believe Christ intended the sort of meaning explained by Preterists, i.e. that the impending doom described in the Olivet discourse (and other places) described the coming judgement of God on the nation of Israel and the destruction of the Temple...all of which happened during the life time of "this generation", just as Jesus said it would.

In this sense I'm not really open to other interpretations as they generally make less sense than the Preterist interpretation. Not that I wouldn't be willing to hear other views and discuss the merits or failings of the interpretations...but in the end I do believe Jesus meant a specific thing related to a real historical reality...if we then extrapolate to discuss how this historical reality effects the rest of church history and how these verses can still apply today even though they point to an actual historical fulfilment, fine with me. After all scripture is many layered, even if it also has a plain and clear meaning in its' historical context.

Here is David Currie being interviewed about his book 'What Jesus Really Said About the End of the World', which I linked to in my earlier post.

Shasha, I agree, oneness and deep gnosis mean nothing if Jesus doesn't help us towards holiness and true charity.
 
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In actual fact, Jacques, I'm inclined towards the same interpretation as yourself, but I hold it loosely. The fact that the Church has been looking for the second coming of Christ since John wrote, without it coming to pass, also makes me think there must be a metaphorical, or rather mystical interpretation of what it means and that it may not actually be confined to one specific point in history but relative to an individual's receptivity.

Shasha,

I know we've been here before, and I understand where you're coming from, and believe me I understand the absolute significance of Christ to our developing in love. But I also allow Christ into the experience of oneness, see him as intrinsic to it and therefore able to work in it towards relational growth. I feel it daily - that joy in oneness with creation and how it inspires me to love and tolerate and accept, though I fail hugely, and how Christ can only be separated from it by a perverse streak which diminishes the fullness of the experience.

quote:
That reality alone doesn't teach us HOW to relate to these other creatures to our left and right with whom we are interconnected


Ok, you use the word "alone", but I honestly don't see the need to constantly dampen the experience or the reality of interconnectedness which really does inspire many people to hold one another in love. Granted it can be abused, but not fully. There needs to be a subtle denial of its actuality to abuse it in my book. Also, how much Christ is brought into it is up to the individual. For many, if not most, He is in it implicitly, if not explicitly. For me, apart from my failings, He is in it as the All in All.
 
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I hear you on the mystical interpretation of the Second Coming Stephen. In a very real sense He comes again each time we open ourselves to His moving deeper and deeper into our lives...from our first moment of faith and conversion, to our deepest experiences of mystical union.

But I do believe that He will come again in Glory to Judge the Living and the Dead and His Kingdom will have no end. Christians have confessed this for the whole of Christian History and the Spirit has always inspired them to believe that it will occur in a real, space-time way, and that His Real Coming will usher in a New Heaven and a New Earth.

If we don't believe in a real second coming, we miss out on the other central aspects of genuine Christian Eschatology like the Resurrection of the Dead. It is the very fact of the Incarnation, the joining of Divinity and Humanity, that affirms the goodness of our earthly bodies and the inseparability of spirit and body in eternity. For a limited time the dead may exist without their bodies, but this was never God's plan for us. God wants us to Live with Body, Soul and Spirit for all eternity. This is why God assumed certain saints body, soul and spirit into Heaven - Enoch, Moses, Elijah, and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

If we skew this central aspect of Biblical Eschatology we end up with something more akin to Gnosticism, Hinduism or Buddhism, but we no longer have genuine Christian Eschatology.

Christ must really return, the living and the dead must really be judged, and all must receive their resurrection bodies in order to live fully on the New Earth which is to come.

This current Earth cannot simply evolve into the New Earth without the Resurrection. Without the resurrection of the dead we loose the Communion of the Saints who will forever be Spirits without bodies. When we die we will also never experience the reality promised when death and Hades (the realm of the dead/purgatory) are swallowed up and thrown into hell.

True Christian Eschatology has so much depth and richness that to replace it with a spiritualized, gnostic type, spiritual existence after death simply cannot compare. Heaven and Earth are torn apart in a way God never intended. When all is healed then Heaven and Earth will be One and God truly will be ALL in ALL.

By the way, I'm not implying that you fall into all the categories that I mention above, only that allegorizing or spiritualizing the Second Coming falls into a path that may lead down this road...and I know this because I've found myself wandering down that road myself at times - The Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright actually brought me a good way back to the Catholic Faith and then a few good Catholic men and woman helped the rest of the way Smiler

I also agree with you Stephen, it is not necessary to dampen the experience or reality of interconnectedness which really does inspire many people to hold one another in love. All I'm saying is that it seems that some people will experience that oneness and still end up forsaking the truth.

During my drug and New Age years I had a deep, deep love for all people. I fought injustice and preached love and goodness to all. But my pantheism created a strange form of self love, in which I loved others for the very reason that I saw them as myself, as all part of the same One God. Love was the center of my being and theirs, but God was nowhere to be found but in the very oneness that I experienced. But in the end it stopped being relational, because I no longer experienced an other...everybody was me and I was everybody else and God was All in All...I don't think this is what God wanted for me, I don't think I understood the oneness in the way God wanted me to.

For starters he allowed me to encounter great darkness, evil and demonic influence which caused me to doubt my experiences. Then He re-introduced me to Jesus, who I realized died for my sins and forgave me for my past wrongs, and then He set me on a path of encountering true Christianity, a path which has eventually led me to the Catholic Church.

My deepest desire is not to change the Church or her theology. My deepest desire is to allow the Church to change me and to mold me so that I can see the value and truth in theology that used to confuse and repel me. And as I allow that process, I begin to see the deep, deep wisdom of the Church, not as a made-made institution, but as the Body of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit who guides her into ALL TRUTH. On my own I could not conceptualize the truth, but within the Church the Holy Spirit is revealing it to me in ways I never imagined He would.

All Praise and Honor to God the Father, Together with the Son, in the Unity of the Holy Spirit - Amen.
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jacques,

I have no problem with any of this. I believe the creed too. Perhaps I'm not expressing myself well but there are different aspects to the second coming, a drawing near, like a rapture, and an appearing, which is the final heading of all things in Christ. The mystical aspect refers to the drawing near...perousia, the final appearance...epiphany.

I'm not relating to any of the dangers people are bringing up regarding oneness. Quite frankly I don't understand the resistance to it. It doesn't mean a slide into Buddhism. It's simply an observation and delight in the way God has fashioned creation that can open up from devoted Christian prayer. Christ is above it all. I believe in Christ. Why all the fussing??

Confused
 
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Whoops, I was deleting while you were responding Stephen. NVM. Sorry about that. Changed my mind.
 
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Haha, I noticed Shasha. No problem. A women's prerogative.

Smiler Smiler
 
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Btw

I also love the church, Christ's body. I'm just a little disillusioned by its expression as an institution, its control, its abuses, its hypocrisy.

And I constantly see a need for theological openness, development even.

I'm kind of with Richard Rohr's idea of an emerging church. I see the church in different ways but always as Christ's body.

I also think that a true, full, integrated experience of oneness might bring a deep realisation of God and that those that forsake truth probably don't have that completely.
 
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As Shasha noted above, recently we've met two unity individuals who seemed incapable of squaring their experiences with traditional theology. I too experienced that formerly as I highlighted above.

But I agree that you always come back to a deeply Christocentric experience of unity. Which is great, which is what we hope all people will experience and grow towards.

It is just my feeling that some will not, that their unity experience will lead them down the road to a more general pantheism and then to a self-divinization. It has happened often enough for this to be a real concern for Christians.

I believe that as we grow closer to God we are no longer tempted in the former ways. Very few of us will be tempted to go pick up prostitutes, or take drugs, or commit violent crime...Satan isn't going to even try that route.

But if he can convince us that our spiritual experiences are telling a story that is different from the one the church tells. If he can once again deposit that little line, "is that really what God said". Well then, we may just be in for the same sort of fall that Adam and Eve experienced when they thought they could become "just like God".

Since this is a public forum and many spiritual seekers come here in the midst of their oneness experiences I think it is helpful to highlight both the positive and negative realities that may flow from these experiences.

I mean John of the Cross gave many warnings to those already deep on the path to Contemplation...no saint is above spiritual deception.
 
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Fine, Jacques, but it's also nice to hear a few Christians tell of how such an experience, indeed such a reality because it's how the universe works, can be a positive thing and go hand in hand with divine relationship. It might help inter-religious dialogue for one thing if we were less suspicious.

I have no doubt there are deceptions along the way, but there is also a lot of fretting and fussing and fear.
 
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I think there is always a difference between the Church as true body of Christ and the fallen human aspect that will always be a part of the earthly institution.

I believe members of the Church can be found to be sinners (aren't we all to greater and lesser degrees) but I don't believe that the True Church can be found in doctrinal error. The Holy Spirit promised to protect the Church from doctrinal error but not from sin. After all, the existence of Judas amongst the twelve does not negate the truth that the twelve preached. A sinful pope or priest does not dilute the deposit of faith handed down from the Apostles.

For 2000 years the doctrine of the Catholic Church has not changed, not moved, because it cannot. I don't think any earthly institution could ever have that level of immutability.

I had great hope for the emergent church over the last 5/6 years, but now it seems to be on the same path that the liberal churches were on 15-20 years ago. It upholds Catholic mysticism but doesn't want Catholic theology, it wants the Cosmic Christ, but doesn't want his teachings on sin and the devil, it wants the brotherhood of man, but starts loosing the glory of God. The process isn't complete yet, but I've honestly lost hope that the emergent church is the way of the future.
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Again, let us not forget that it was the Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council that encouraged and initiated the conversation between Christianity and other religions.

Some of my baptist lecturers at college would condemn me to hell if they knew how much I drew from Hinduism and Buddhism even though I solidly trust and adore Jesus.

But while the emergent church tends to begin blurring the distinctions between Christianity and other Faiths, true Catholic theology cannot and will not do so. It affirms the good in all religions without loosing the vital truth that it cannot abandon.

I know I may be sounding like a Catholic Fundamentalist (forgive me Jesus), but I've spent so much of my Christian life trying to understand how this all fits together that I can't help myself when I start talking about it (forgive me, really, if I offend or sound fanatical).
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I know its' just as late where you are as where I am, so goodnight for now Wink

And I'm open to being challenged on anything I've said, and know that I'm quite willing to be pushed back as hard as I push, I won't take offense.
 
Posts: 715 | Location: South Africa | Registered: 12 August 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
For 2000 years the doctrine of the Catholic Church has not changed, not moved, because it cannot.

Seriously? You think so?

I thought it was ok to eat fish on a Friday now.

Ok the church...sheesh...do we need to? I'm not a Catholic so I'm not going to say it's the True Church. Doctrine? Again, do we need to...core doctrine, fine, but all the other stuff...come on!

There's so much nonsense...
 
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