What we say is that the human spirit does go beyond what we find with the animals; it transcends and includes animal consciousness, which is what we call the psyche.
Chapter 2 in my book.
Actually, we are. As a footnote in Chapter 2 notes . . . if the difference is not one of kind, it's a difference of degree to such an extent that it might as well be considered a difference in kind.
- - -
I'm not understanding why you're making such a big fuss about this. Do you really not think that human beings have a superior consciousness to the animals? Is your quibble about that, or about using the term "spiritual" to describe it?
By saying man has a spiritual soul, and animals do not, is to say that man has a part of himself that extends beyond his material nature toward immaterial realities which would include intellectual universals (rather than sensory particulars), the spiritual realm, and God Himself.
Ideas, imagination, will, intellect, these come from an immaterial part of ourselves that are not derived from our brain or sense organs...thus they are not part of our evolved brain or it's sense of our bodies or the outside world.
Everything an animal feels, thinks or does it based on its body and the bodies interaction with the world around it.
A human being relates to, and thinks about, a dimension that it has never seen/heard/felt/touched/tasted with its' sense organs. Animals do not do this.
That is why spirit is not simply evolved consciousness, because material consciousness is based solely on the material order. The reason Christian theology affirms the infusion of a spiritual soul is because man alone in the material order relates to the spiritual, immaterial order.
If it were simply a matter of evolution we would expect to see other animals develop this ability. Other animals have had just as much time to develop these potentials as human beings have and yet they clearly haven't.
Here is a great set of lectures on this topic from the Association of Hebrew Catholics.
Am I making a fuss? You all are fussing back . I just love the animals, expect to see a few in heaven.
I simply disagree with this. No more fuss.
I enjoy the fuss, as long as we seem to be making some progress
Ok, so you disagree that consciousness is based solely on the material order. On what basis do you say this.
I say it is based on the material order because consciousness is basically being aware of your surroundings...all of which are material in nature. Whether you are a plant reaching for the sun, or the water below, whether you're a puppy smelling for its' mother's milk etc. being conscious means being aware of your surroundings.
Human spiritual consciousness is different because we are aware of something beyond ourselves and actively engage this reality...
Let's move on. I feel like a dog chasing its spiritual tail .
Ok before we do, I say it based on the creature's connection and interaction with the field of consciousness I talked about.
Enough from me .
I know I said cool, but I've just re-read the thread and realized that I failed to grasp some of the conversation.
I'm speaking particularly to the conversation you and Phil had about the field of consciousness.
I read your responses to this, but I still don't understand the basis for the energetic/energizing field being conscious. Allow me a bit of sci-fi analogy using The Force :
So here we have a debate on what The Force actually is. There are those that see it simply as an underlying energy field and sentient beings require the help of the midi-chlorians to sense and use The Force. In a way it is the consciousness of the midi-chlorians, and their ability to read The Force, that make the energetic information carried by The Force intelligible to the Jedi. So here we have a sort of mediation of the Force in order for it to be felt, used and understood.
On the other side of the debate we have the Force as 'field of consciousness' or an all-pervading sentient consciousness in a pantheistic sense. In this scenario it is proposed that The Force actually created the midi-chlorians to mediate its' own self to sentient beings - but again it is assumed that mediation is necessary because nature can only communicate with like nature.
So I'm trying to understand why you require/believe in a 'field of consciousness' rather than simply an energetic field, and if it is because you sense intelligence or consciousness in the energy field why is this not simply your spirits ability to 'read' the energy field and gather intelligible information from it, rather than consciousness in the field itself? Or as I say why is it not the consciousness of the Logos underlying the energy field rather than the consciousness of the field itself?
It's more that everything in the field is conscious at some level and interrelated energetically. I understand this from unitive experiences. But as I say, enough from me .
You all can drop it if you'd like, but this topic is front-burner today in spirituality.
What I would say about "field of consciousness" is that there is no such thing other than God, if by "field" you are referring to a non-localized, immaterial consciousness. There are, of course, instances of consciousness that go beyond that of an individual creature -- group consciousness, for example. That seems real enough for short periods, although it would not exist apart from individuals who are the basic units of consciousness. There is never any kind of consciousness (except God) that exists prior to the creature who is conscious to some degree.
I think some nondual experiences are more attuned to the energy that flows between creatures and connects us all (atmosphere, water, chi, etc.). So I can affirm everything in the field is conscious at some level and interrelated energetically, which is just basic biology and metaphysics. This tells us nothing about God, however, except that there must be a Source for all this.
I feel like Michael Corleone: "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."
All I can do is share an experience and offer an interpretation via my limited critical faculties.
I was out a walk last spring, standing on a bridge looking down on a little wood. Suddenly all the trees lost their individuality and became one large energy field. Everything else around them, including myself, remained distinct. I didn't lose myself and merge with the trees but the trees became one. There was however an intelligence behind this oneness and it smiled at me. It related to me personally and it smiled at me. So, yes, a collective consciousness, but with its own distinct interpersonal intelligence.
Further up the road on the same walk, I looked up and saw a bird flying overhead. Again, in a flash of light, the bird became everything that is and expressed the intelligence of everything that is. Yet again I did not merge with the bird. I was a subjective witness to the bird as everything that is. When the bird disappeared and I lost that sense, I immediatelty thought it was God the Father expressing himself through the bird. Later however, as I thought about it, I was keen to make a distinction between God and the bird and thought perhaps I had seen the Father through the bird. But the bird WAS everything. The actual bird. So I surmised that the bird had manifested an underlying field of consciousness in which all things are, and this seemed consistent with the earlier witness of the collective tree intelligence.
I don't know for sure. It does seem that collective energy fields have a distinct intelligence which each individual consciousness belongs to and shares in, and that each collective group belongs to a further, larger group and so on until every living thing and every collective "thing" becomes one. These collectives are part of a soup of consciousness which is ultimately one. Indeed consciousness itself appears to be fluid and interpenetrates at so many different, but still it is not God, who to me is the transcendent Source. Creation does seem to mirror God in its simultaneous unified and relational qualities.
Those of you with sharper critical faculties can perhaps offer a better interpretation. I just thank God for a little experiential insight.
I don't know about sharper critical faculties, but this all sounds very much like what Dorothy Maclean was teaching us when I went on her workshop back in 2005.
QUOTE]Originally posted by Jacques:
As you know Phil has integrated both these realities very well and been able to remain perfectly orthodox as a Christian.[/QUOTE]
Yes, Phil has experienced a very nice integration. But I didn't have Phil's relationship with RC. He has spent his whole life in the RC believe system.
Kundalini rose first for me. I was then drawn
to Religous belief systems in my adult life.
RC beliefs are not always primary for me. The Eastern part of me goes along with the Christian part being primary unless there is something that really goes against what the Eastern part knows is important for my well being . I've found that compliance to the Christian process can not be forced upon me.
Stephen, I think nondual experiences like you describe tell us less about reality than perception. In chapter 2 of my book I speak about the non-reflecting aspect of self, which sees more holistically. Of course, your faith is also always present in your perceiving, and that's where the sense of God comes from.
Those are wonderful experiences you describe.
As you all continue to read and reflect on Chapter 2 in "God and I," you might also consider a little essay posted on this board in the "Wonderfully Made" forum. It's on God and creation, and might shed a ray of light on some of the exchanges and experiences shared in this discussion.
- see http://shalomplace.org/eve/for...84109896/m/273105797
Yes, great essay. I'm totally there.
Also liked this reply from jb:
I started chapter 2 . I'm with you so far, big fella .
I like the idea of devas. I've had a few other encounters, very different from the non-dual type experiences above. They seem like a different order of being, somehow linked to plant or rock consciousness. We might call them the little people or the faerie folk, but who knows what they are. Very mysterious realm. Perhaps Dorothy Maclean's book gives a little insight.
The book, yes. Of course it's more powerful to hear her talk in person. Last I heard she was back living at Findhorn. I don't know how active she is, since she must be in her 90s now.
This video interview is from a few years ago:
Just as I anticipated . . . Chapter 2 from "God and I" has settled all matters of confusion and brought peace and tranquility to the forum.
- - -
Here's a good one I came across and will be using for "A Daily Spiritual Seed."
There was some discussion about how much importance to give our experiences earlier. Basically it was because of my experiences that I came to Christianity. The question I ask now
is if everything were to be stripped away (all those experiences), would I still choose to be here. I don't know.
Mary Sue, we can't strip away our experiences - they are real and contribute to who we are and how we understand the world. God is also part of all our experiences, as a Real Presence directing and guiding us. To try to strip away our experiences is to try to wipe-away the very reality that God enters into in order to speak to us and draw us to Himself.
Buddhists on the other hand do not accept reality in the same way that Christians do. It might be the Buddhist worldview that all our experiences are constructs of our own imagination...but this makes the world simply an illusion, and our pain and hurt become self-inflicted, which I do not think is true. The origin of evil does not make sense in either the Buddhist or Hindu worldview (more can be said about this if you're interested). Bad things really do happen to us because of other people and their sinfulness...to say that we create our own reality is to lay blame on individuals who suffer...this is not Christian and I don't even think this is helpful, regardless of what Tara might say regarding the success of this approach in her counselling.
Mary Sue, speaking of the way our past experiences effect us, I think I remember you mentioning that you recently suffered the loss of somebody close through suicide. I offer my heartfelt condolences and pray that God continue to bring healing into this painful place in your heart. What you suffered is truly a tragedy and must be deeply difficult to go through.
I'd like to suggest, and feel free to disagree, that perhaps this suicide is effecting the way you are contemplating and processing this specific aspect of Catholic theology. Let me offer a few points to ponder.
* In Christian Baptism a person enters into the death of Christ and is raised together with Christ in His Resurrection - thus when a baptized person comes up out of the water they are living the Resurrected Life of Christ.
* Due to the fact that baptized Christians live in a fallen world the tug of sin is still felt after baptism - thus we are still sometimes pulled down/back into our lower/sinful nature.
* If any death is sought by a Christian, it is the death of this sinful nature and not the death of the Resurrected Self that rose with Christ at baptism - thus, Paul says, to live is Christ (Resurrection) and to die is gain (Eternal Life)- both to live and die is the same, Resurrection and Eternal Life.
* Not all saints are automatically psychologically/spiritually sound in all aspects of their longings and theology. Likewise our interpretations of their longings and theology are effected by our own psychological and spiritual issues - thus we may misunderstand the saint/s, or we may still misunderstand our own pains and how they are effecting our thoughts about a specific issue.
* Christianity is not suicidal or melancholy. In fact, you ask whether there is place to live in the Resurrected Christ, and I would say that is the only place to LIVE. This is exactly the point Paul is making. As the world and our sinful desires pass away we grow in the LIFE that comes through the Son of God. Jesus is LIFE, and He say's that He desires us to have LIFE to the FULL. Hold onto Christ through this time of suffering Mary Sue, He has brought you this far, He will not abandon you. The pain you have suffered in this life breaks His heart as much as it does yours, and He desires to bring Life and Healing to every part of you.
Much Love and Healing in the Lord Jesus,
I feel it's enough to ask the below question & deleted the first part of this post. I seem to be running into areas of deep conflict. It may be from a misunderstanding or it may be coming
from a deep disagreement with certain Christian
There is something within me that simply refuses
to dwell on the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary.
Is there a place within Catholic beliefs to live in the Resurrected Christ. Would anyone have any suggestions of where I would find information about this. I've been looking without much success so far. Thanks
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Sue, 22 November 2013 08:54 PM
I want to thank you for your very compassionate & wise reply. As I was reading your reply I rememberd that we have been through this same topic not too long ago. I am sorry that I forgot this. I forget many things right now. It is part of the grief process.
My husband has been sick since a month after the death & we have been in an emergency situation. His condition is stable presently after 5 months of struggle. So in the past few days the grief is coming to the surface strongly. I would agree that the grief I am experiencing is coloring my understanding of certain Christian beliefs.
I am being invited to enter a deeper
relationship with Christ. I don't understand it yet but see that this possibility exists.
In the mist of the past 6 months I was reminded that it was the risen Christ who came to me and to hold onto that memory. Jacque when I mentioned my experiences I meant the spritual & metaphysical ones. Yet as you have pointed out to me that all experiences have helped to shape who I am.
Just before I joined the Church the priest asked me about my childhood & life. I was surprised when he told me that he was not surprised that I have experienced mystical experiences. He said it is in connection with the level of sufferings. And here I've been blind to what is going on.
Jacques I truely believe that some people actually do physically die, not just the death of the false ego. I have lived through these types of deaths. Ah,
but here is the difference I see now. They physically died over the loss of their loved one while excluding God in the grieving process. Not the same as deepening in one's relationship with Jesus while grieving..
Jacque your keen insights into things I couldn't see have opened such new ways of viewing this whole process at this moment.
Thank you so much.
ps I changed my earlier post a bit before I saw your response.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jacques:
[QUOTE]There was some discussion about how much importance to give our experiences earlier. Basically it was because of my experiences that
Mary Sue, there are Glorious Mysteries and Mysteries of Light to meditate on when saying the Rosary. You can find out this kind of info very easily by just doing a search.
- see http://www.loyolapress.com/mys...es-of-the-rosary.htm
You began this thread by sharing that you were doing spiritual reading and study. Is that still going on?
I think Jacques makes a good point in suggesting that your personal experiences deeply color your perception of Catholicism. That's natural, of course, but it hardly enables a fair assessment of Catholicism.
Last night there was a healing. I was reminded of the Sacrament of Healing. Suddenly a great darkness from my heart and body rose to Jesus.
I think I've experienced some kind of possession. Some of this was connected with the person who committed suicide.
I'm glad that I could be of some help Mary Sue, all by the grace of God. I'm also very happy to hear that you are having some resolution on this issue. I myself had quite a disturbing experence with suicide a number of years ago and I received great healing through words that God gave to me through Shasha here on Shalomplace. For this and all the other good that has come through this website I'd like to say thanks again to you Phil...may God's rich Grace continue to pour through this place of peace in the months and years ahead.
I had an appt. with Sister today. We talked about possession. We talked about what it means to live in the Resurrected Christ yet still be human. And what it might have been like for Little Flower. Finally I understand.
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