A Daily Spiritual Seed eNewsletter.
Page 1 2 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Adi Da (Da Free John, Da Love Anada) Login/Join 
posted
To All,

I've been reading excerpts from the book, "The Knee of Listening," by the Divine World-Teacher, Adi Da. I'd like to engage in an open-ended discussion about Adi Da and some of his work. I'd prefer that this not take the form of a debate but that each person could respectfully state his/her opinons about the topic. I'm not so much interested in right/wrong delineations or having someone else make those delineations for me. However, I am interested in simply hearing opinions.

The following are some of the questions I've been considering.....Please feel free to address any or all of them....Also, if anyone knows someone from the Daist community, please invite them over to share their opinions, too.

1. Is there any way in which our essence, as Christians, is different from the fundamental essence of Adi Da? Many of us see ourselves as not separate from God and as having a foundational Christ-self as our true being. So, are we, in some way, fundamentally different from him or do we share in the same essence?

2. Is Adi Da trying to be a new version of Jesus?
Are we all evolving into other versions of Christ?

3. In the book, Adi Da devotes a Chapter to his experiences with Catholic Christianity. It seems that Mary appeared to him and taught him the Rosary and he had a very real relationship with
Christ. Reading this chapter (beginning on page 311) is like reading a book written by a Christian mystic. How do you account for this? How do you see this in the larger context of his life?

4. How does the contemporary Church-in-total, not just the Magisterium, view avatars like Adi Da?

5. If the true purpose of Church is to lead us beyond itself to that which we are and that which is God, do some avatars also accomplish this same purpose?

Finally,

6. Are human gurus, of any sort, a necessary part of the path in spiritual development?

Thanks.

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
qt... I really think I have to read this book before I try to comment on it specifically so give me a bit of time here...
You have posed some really good/tough questions here and I would also like to hear everyone's comments/ thoughts on them so before in the interest of keeping the discussion going until I can read the book... I'll do some pondering and come back with the before reading thoughts if that's ok.
Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
1. Is there any way in which our essence, as Christians, is different from the fundamental essence of Adi Da?
Many of us see ourselves as not separate from God and as having a foundational Christ-self as our true being. So, are we, in some way, fundamentally different from him or do we share in the same essence?

A class I took in Systematic Theology addressed the different ways we view God. Some view Him as totally without - above and beyond us.

Others view God as totally within us almost elevating us to a position of equality with God.

The third way is one where we are within God but only a part - Like a large circle (God) with us a little circle (us)inside it.

Not having read the book I am not familiar with the fundamental essence of Adi Da so can't address that but I view God the third way. Not so much that He is a part of us as that we are of Him. So I guess I do believe that we share in the same essence but do not have the totality. I think where we get into trouble is when we view God as either totally separate or as totally the same...

2. Is Adi Da trying to be a new version of Jesus? Can't answer that one without reading the book.
Are we all evolving into other versions of Christ? I think maybe that is the goal or the ideal - and sometimes I think we are and then at others - well.... It's a concept I struggle with perhaps because for me at least, it seems pretty much an unattainable goal - at least in this life. Can we be Christs - personally I don't think so because that is way way too close to reaching for divinity. Can we be like Christ? Isn't that what we are asked to be?

I'll have to get back to you on the rest... I need a bit more time to think about them than I have at the moment. Christmas is coming you know and as usual I am way way behind.
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Uraqt, I read this book by Adi Da (aka Frederick Jenkins, Bubba Free John, Da Free John, Da Love Ananada) years ago, along with a few others written by him since. The one you describe is autobiographical; others are of his teachings. There are several web sites about him on the Internet. The movement he founded is called Free Daiism, I believe.

I also know several who've studied with him, and have counseled with numerous people who've been part of his group. Some of these have become friends.

So. . . perhaps I'm in a position to dialogue with you about this--and maybe the issue could even be broadened, as you suggested, to include Avatars and other such. I don't know if my responses will be sufficiently "open-minded." You know me by now. Wink

1. Is there any way in which our essence, as Christians, is different from the fundamental essence of Adi Da? Many of us see ourselves as not separate from God and as having a foundational Christ-self as our true being. So, are we, in some way, fundamentally different from him or do we share in the same essence?

Like so many who write from a more or less Eastern perspective, Adi Da doesn't always make distinctions between ontological and existential perspectives. In other words, they don't distinguish between how things are in the order of being (ontological) or experience (existential). So when they speak of being God, or that Atman (deep Self) and Brahmin (God) are one and the same, our Western ears hear this as a denial of the basic ontological distinction between Creator and creature. As they don't really have a philosophical system of this kind to draw from, it turns out that that might not, in fact, be what they mean.

2. Is Adi Da trying to be a new version of Jesus?
Are we all evolving into other versions of Christ?


Adi Da is supposedly not trying to be anything but the incarnate expression of the divine that he claims to have awakened to. My sense is that he considers himself a "special case," in that regard, but holds that divine union is possible for all of us.

In Christianity, we would say that we are transformed into God by grace--that grace enables us to come to know God as Christ knows God as part of Christ's Mystical Body. The Eastern theologians call this process divinization. It's considered perfectly orthodox by the Roman Church.

3. In the book, Adi Da devotes a Chapter to his experiences with Catholic Christianity. It seems that Mary appeared to him and taught him the Rosary and he had a very real relationship with
Christ. Reading this chapter (beginning on page 311) is like reading a book written by a Christian mystic. How do you account for this? How do you see this in the larger context of his life?


One would have to say that he did, at some point in his journey, have some mystical experiences like those of other Christian mystics. I was never clear as to why he felt a need to "move on," or what he found lacking in Christianity.

4. How does the contemporary Church-in-total, not just the Magisterium, view avatars like Adi Da?

Certainly none of them--Catholic or otherwise--would seriously consider his claims to be on the same order as Christ's. What, finally, is the evidence he provides for his supposed divinity? Mostly he says so, that's all.

For the Church-in-total, there is only one Incarnation of God: Jesus Christ. Maybe it's not very PC of us to say so, but that's what we believe, and for some very compelling reasons which I'll pass on for now.

5. If the true purpose of Church is to lead us beyond itself to that which we are and that which is God, do some avatars also accomplish this same purpose?

I don't think the true purpose of the Churuch is to lead us beyond itself, Uraqt. We never really leave the Church if we consider it the Mystical Body of Christ. Where would we go to transcend this Reality? Hence, in Catholicism, we speak of the Church visible--the followers of Christ on earth in the flesh, and the Church invisible--those who have died in Christ who experience the glory of God in Heaven.

Finally,

6. Are human gurus, of any sort, a necessary part of the path in spiritual development?


Spiritual teachers can be a real help unto progress in the spiritual life, for sure. One might not require the kind of formal guru-disciple relationship with a living human being as we find all over Hinduism, drawing from the Church, spiritual writers, a spiritual director, etc. instead. Indeed, I consider the Risen Christ my Guru, and the Church his living presence.

Hope this wasn't all too definitive. It's an area that I've done a lot of thinking, reading, corresponding, and dialoguing about: just sharing some of the fruits of my journey, here. Smiler

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Wanda and Phil,
Thanks for taking time out to address my questions. I'm also very busy with family and Christmas so I haven't been posting much. Hope you understand.

Wanda,
I am in the process of reading portions of the book. Please feel free to join in with your opinions. They are valued.

Wanda, I've heard many of the mystics describe our relationship with God as 'not one, not two' so that fits well with one of your descriptions.
..................

Originally posted by Phil:
....So. . . perhaps I'm in a position to dialogue with you about this--and maybe the issue could even be broadened, as you suggested, to include Avatars and other such. I don't know if my responses will be sufficiently "open-minded." You know me by now. Wink


Phil,

You sound like you are in a great position to dialogue with me about this issue. I'd love to hear more about your experience with people associated with his community.

And, yes, you are correct. I do know you by now and I am looking forward to the opportunity to dialogue with you. You also know how I am, too.
This should be fun. Smiler

1. Is there any way in which our essence, as Christians, is different from the fundamental essence of Adi Da? Many of us see ourselves as not separate from God and as having a foundational Christ-self as our true being. So, are we, in some way, fundamentally different from him or do we share in the same essence?

Like so many who write from a more or less Eastern perspective, Adi Da doesn't always make distinctions between ontological and existential perspectives. In other words, they don't distinguish between how things are in the order of being (ontological) or experience (existential). So when they speak of being God, or that Atman (deep Self) and Brahmin (God) are one and the same, our Western ears hear this as a denial of the basic ontological distinction between Creator and creature. As they don't really have a philosophical system of this kind to draw from, it turns out that that might not, in fact, be what they mean.


Phil, if we see Christ as part of the Trinity which is, of course, God, and ourselves as brothers and sisters of Christ (other Christs), then we are also saying that we are part of God, although we are not the same as God.....isn't that correct? Adi Da takes the divinization idea a little further without the Trinity concept.

So, Adi Da may be saying the same thing but with different concepts in his language. Did you know he was raised as a Lutheran and even served as an acolyte in the Lutheran church? I loved reading his stories about serving at various Church functions.



2. Is Adi Da trying to be a new version of Jesus?
Are we all evolving into other versions of Christ?

Adi Da is supposedly not trying to be anything but the incarnate expression of the divine that he claims to have awakened to. My sense is that he considers himself a "special case," in that regard, but holds that divine union is possible for all of us.

In Christianity, we would say that we are transformed into God by grace--that grace enables us to come to know God as Christ knows God as part of Christ's Mystical Body. The Eastern theologians call this process divinization. It's considered perfectly orthodox by the Roman Church.


Yes, I've heard this before. As we grow and are transformed we are realizing our own divinity.
This fits in well with the idea of our realization of our own "I AM" existence. It explains the paranormal experiences we may encounter along the way. It also explains many of the experiences we share with Jesus that are mentioned in the Bible. Christ became human so we could become Divine....I think I've heard it expressed in that fashion.

3. In the book, Adi Da devotes a Chapter to his experiences with Catholic Christianity. It seems that Mary appeared to him and taught him the Rosary and he had a very real relationship with
Christ. Reading this chapter (beginning on page 311) is like reading a book written by a Christian mystic. How do you account for this? How do you see this in the larger context of his life?

One would have to say that he did, at some point in his journey, have some mystical experiences like those of other Christian mystics. I was never clear as to why he felt a need to "move on," or what he found lacking in Christianity.


I, too, am searching for an explanation in his book. I haven't found one thusfar.

Some of the things he says ring so true for me.
I am pleasantly surprised.

4. How does the contemporary Church-in-total, not just the Magisterium, view avatars like Adi Da?

Certainly none of them--Catholic or otherwise--would seriously consider his claims to be on the same order as Christ's. What, finally, is the evidence he provides for his supposed divinity? Mostly he says so, that's all.


I haven't read any other evidence yet either.
However, I think he is also saying we are all divine. I read a short paragraph last night to that effect. However, there are some photos in the book of him being carried around like a king. That was a real turn off for me.

For the Church-in-total, there is only one Incarnation of God: Jesus Christ. Maybe it's not very PC of us to say so, but that's what we believe, and for some very compelling reasons which I'll pass on for now.

This brings up some questions for me but I'll pass on them for now, too.

5. If the true purpose of Church is to lead us beyond itself to that which we are and that which is God, do some avatars also accomplish this same purpose?

I don't think the true purpose of the Churuch is to lead us beyond itself, Uraqt. We never really leave the Church if we consider it the Mystical Body of Christ.....


IF we consider it the Mystical Body of Christ....

Where would we go to transcend this Reality? Hence, in Catholicism, we speak of the Church visible--the followers of Christ on earth in the flesh, and the Church invisible--those who have died in Christ who experience the glory of God in Heaven.

To transcend the Mystical Body of Christ? Since Christ is part of the Trinity, part of God....there is no place that God is not....so there would be no transcending.....only realizing our part in this Reality....our proper and true role in this Dance....

Finally,

6. Are human gurus, of any sort, a necessary part of the path in spiritual development?

Spiritual teachers can be a real help unto progress in the spiritual life, for sure. One might not require the kind of formal guru-disciple relationship with a living human being as we find all over Hinduism, drawing from the Church, spiritual writers, a spiritual director, etc. instead. Indeed, I consider the Risen Christ my Guru, and the Church his living presence.


Thanks for sharing about this Phil. I think the guru question has many answers, depending on one's age, life experiences, and personality type. I think at some point a guru may help. At another, s/he may hinder, or, in worst case scenarios, even abuse. I think that sometimes gurus can get in the way by allowing themselves
to be venerated instead of getting out of the road. Do you remember when Jesus said he had to leave so the rest of the process could proceed? I think that sums it up. I don't think Jesus wants us to be superficial imitations...I think 'follow me' means something like....'see what I've had to go through...that's what you're going to go through as you realize your divinity as I did..' There are some things that cannot happen as easily as long as the external guru is present.


Hope this wasn't all too definitive. It's an area that I've done a lot of thinking, reading, corresponding, and dialoguing about: just sharing some of the fruits of my journey, here. Smiler

Thank you. I value that. For whatever reason, I feel like I need to read Adi Da at this point in my development. I'll post more as we go along...

Your contributions are helpful Phil....Please share more about this topic.....

Did his former community members feel indoctrinated in a negative way? Is he a miracle worker like Sai Baba? What did they FEEL when they were around him? What were there bodily responses? Was he aware of their thoughts?

Let's develop this dialogue a bit....

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
3. In the book, Adi Da devotes a Chapter to his experiences with Catholic Christianity. It seems that Mary appeared to him and taught him the Rosary and he had a very real relationship with
Christ. Reading this chapter (beginning on page 311) is like reading a book written by a Christian mystic. How do you account for this? How do you see this in the larger context of his life?

I have to agree with Phil on this one here. I don't understand why he would want to go to a different place either unless he was unwilling to accept a subordinate place to Christ or perhaps desires a separate but equal place. The thing is we all have the choice to enter into relationship or not and also to continue in relationship once we have entered. It sounds to me like he chose to terminate the relationship for some reason. If you get any insight into this let me know. I am very curious and interested in learning more about why people leave the Church so to speak... and turn to other places.

5. If the true purpose of Church is to lead us beyond itself to that which we are and that which is God, do some avatars also accomplish this same purpose?

If the Church is the Body, as I believe it is, and we are through Baptism a part of the Body - we are therefore a part of the Church... where is there to go? There is no need to become gods because we already are a part of God. The hard part for us is to live this - to give up our view of ourselves as separate from and see ourselves as a part of.

6. Are human gurus, of any sort, a necessary part of the path in spiritual development?

I do believe that it is important to have some direction but am undecided actually if that direction needs to be personal or if direction can be found within the writings of the church....St. John of the Cross, Merton, Lewis, the Desert Fathers, Bonhoeffer, Ross... etc. Of course the primary direction must come from Christ and - for us Episcopalians, our three legged stool of Scripture, Tradition and Reason also plays a huge part. The thing is, without some form of direction - something/ someone to push against it is too easy to go off on a tangent... to listen to that which we should not be listening to. How many murders have been committed by people who truly believed that God told them to do it for example? Personally I have received direction from several sources and several different people. This discussion board could be viewed as a type of group direction actually because it is a place where we can push against each other.
I agree with your comments uq on some of the problems with Sds - but in each of those cases you spoke of one director and that's why I think it is important to look to several places for direction, including the church, and the writings of the church fathers. It tends to minimize the risks perhaps and helps ensure that your journey is your own.

"I don't think Jesus wants us to be superficial imitations...I think 'follow me' means something like....'see what I've had to go through...that's what you're going to go through as you realize your divinity as I did..'"
I'm not quite sure what you are saying here uq.... if you saying that we are not to follow the example of Christ, I would have to disagree. Christ was born divine - God incarnate. Emmanuel - God with us. Was he always aware of his divinity? I can't answer that one. The thing is I don't think we can be Christ - God - but we can become aware that we are a part of God. We cannot be the totality but we can be/are a part of the totality. When we start thinking of ourselves individually as divine - as gods we tend to elevate ourselves above others and this was not the example that Christ set for us. Only if we can see the divinity in all others - see Christ in the bag lady and the drug addict and the prostitute, can we avoid this trap. If we say that we are all gods, all divine by virtue of our place within the Body, then that's what we have to believe - we are all divine - each and everyone of us and we must treat each other accordingly. Easier said than done - at least for me.... especially after some Vestry meetings.

I add my thanks to Phil and also to you uq for your insights. "Your contributions are helpful Phil....Please share more about this topic....." I second this request...
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Acknowledging yours and Wanda's good contributions to this discussion, I'll focus on only one or two points, here, which go to the heart of the matter.

Phil, if we see Christ as part of the Trinity which is, of course, God, and ourselves as brothers and sisters of Christ (other Christs), then we are also saying that we are part of God, although we are not the same as God.....isn't that correct? Adi Da takes the divinization idea a little further without the Trinity concept.

You seem to be speaking of Christ and us being part of the Trinity in the same way when you use terms like "other Christs" and "brothers and sisters of Christ." Christ's "membership" in the Trinity is ontologically different from ours in that he is the incarnate Second Person of the Trinity, and we're not. We're merely creatures, not incarnations of God. Our "Christness" is not an ontological situation, but one of adoption, and grace. We are brothers and sisters of Christ, in other words, not by nature, but through God's grace and election (choice), and so our connection with God in the Trinity is in and through Christ.

So, Adi Da may be saying the same thing but with different concepts in his language. Did you know he was raised as a Lutheran and even served as an acolyte in the Lutheran church? I loved reading his stories about serving at various Church functions.

I'm not ready to say that Adi Da is saying the same thing as what I wrote above. He seems to be saying that he's really more like Christ--an incarnation of God. But sometimes it's not clear what he's saying.

As we grow and are transformed we are realizing our own divinity.
This fits in well with the idea of our realization of our own "I AM" existence. It explains the paranormal experiences we may encounter along the way. It also explains many of the experiences we share with Jesus that are mentioned in the Bible. Christ became human so we could become Divine....I think I've heard it expressed in that fashion.


OK for the last part of your pgh. The phrase, "realizing our own divinity," however, is problemmatic in Christianity. We do not possess divinity as part of our nature, and our "I am" existence need not be understood as "realizing divinity." It could also be understood as the subjective consciousness of the created spiritual soul. It could also be the reflection of God's "I Am" Subjectivity in the depths of our being. There is mystery about this, of course.

Did his former community members feel indoctrinated in a negative way? Is he a miracle worker like Sai Baba? What did they FEEL when they were around him? What were there bodily responses? Was he aware of their thoughts?

They generally thought his teaching deep and profound--as did Ken Wilber, btw. None of them considered his community to be cultic. He's no great miracle workder, but does have the ability to communicate shaktipat (energy transmission) in a very powerful way, which my friends experienced. But after awhile, they had to ask themselves just why they should consider this man God incarnate? Because he says he is? None of them could consent to this and so they eventually drifted away.

Sai Baba, btw, is also considered an avatar by millions of Hindus. He materializes objects (aportation) regularly. A couple of friends have seen this themselves, and attested to witnessing healings and amazing psychic gifts. His ministry has pretty much been discredited, however, by Tal Brooke, who was his top American disciple for a couple of years, and who reports widespread sexual abuse by S.B. and even fraud concerning the materializations. There were also many other problemmatic areas--like the dreadful state of his disciples while he lived in luxury--which led him to conclude that this had nothing to do with God--quite the opposite, in fact. I've read his main book, "Avatar of the Night." You can find out more about Tal Brooke's ministry at his web site Spiritual Counterfeit's Project. Tal credits a miraculous intervention of Christ for saving him from eternal damnation. His theology is very evangelical, but the guy is clearly no dummy. When you read his book, you see that he had thoroughly absorbed Eastern mysticism and Sai Baba's teaching.

All fwiw.

If you'd like uraqt, why not change the thread title to be more inclusive-- about avatars instead of just Adi Da?

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
....If you get any insight into this let me know. I am very curious and interested in learning more about why people leave the Church so to speak... and turn to other places....

Wanda,

I doubt that it could be seen as leaving the Church in the conventional sense (Church being Mystical Body of Christ). I think it would be more like leaving a self-concept based in the ego to a more expanded self realization.

....There is no need to become gods because we already are a part of God. The hard part for us is to live this - to give up our view of ourselves as separate from and see ourselves as a part of

Yes, we're in total agreement here.

6. Are human gurus, of any sort, a necessary part of the path in spiritual development?

....Personally I have received direction from several sources and several different people. This discussion board could be viewed as a type of group direction actually because it is a place where we can push against each other.


I like your idea of receiving direction from many sources. It's good to hear many perspectives.
For me, life itself is, in itself, the best 'director.' Some of the people I admire most were not brought up in the context of a formal church...Merton, for example. So, I think there are many subtle ways God directs us.

I like your idea of this board as a 'direction' place. It is good to 'push against each other' in this way.

I agree with your comments uq on some of the problems with Sds - but in each of those cases you spoke of one director and that's why I think it is important to look to several places for direction, including the church, and the writings of the church fathers. It tends to minimize the risks perhaps and helps ensure that your journey is your own.

Agreed. A one to one situation can turn into something terrible rather quickly. I've heard of some such situations becoming illegal attempts at psychotherapy.....or various situations of transference/countertransference arising that the director does not know how to deal with appropriately.....and we also have the possibility of other forms of subtle sexual abusiveness, violations of confidentiality, etc.

The list can go on and on. One to one situations where intimate sharing occurs can be fraught with danger and, imho, should only be done under supervision or with mature people who have undergone their own extensive psychotherapy or 'direction.'


"I don't think Jesus wants us to be superficial imitations...I think 'follow me' means something like....'see what I've had to go through...that's what you're going to go through as you realize your divinity as I did..'"

I'm not quite sure what you are saying here uq.... if you saying that we are not to follow the example of Christ, I would have to disagree.


No, that's not it.....let me try to clarify....
As we become more and more aware of our Christ self, we are not going to become the person Jesus....In other words, we're not going to become a carpenter's son...a literal reconstruction.....we are going to become the authentic being that we are in a greater degree of fullness.....so you will become the best representation of the Christ self in Wanda by being the personality type you are and living out the career/s you've chosen.....not by superficially imitating the person Jesus. You don't have to be an itinerant preacher. Is this explaining it a little better?


Christ was born divine - God incarnate. Emmanuel - God with us. Was he always aware of his divinity? I can't answer that one.

Good question Wanda. I've often wondered about that one, too. Was it a process of realization for him, too? Probably yes and no.


The thing is I don't think we can be Christ - God - but we can become aware that we are a part of God. We cannot be the totality but we can be/are a part of the totality. When we start thinking of ourselves individually as divine - as gods we tend to elevate ourselves above others and this was not the example that Christ set for us. Only if we can see the divinity in all others - see Christ in the bag lady and the drug addict and the prostitute, can we avoid this trap. If we say that we are all gods, all divine by virtue of our place within the Body, then that's what we have to believe - we are all divine - each and everyone of us and we must treat each other accordingly.

Yes, I agree....and, in that way, the bag lady is no more important than the queen.....the addict is no more important than the CEO....and the
prostitute is no more important than the priest.
The Christ self is present in all.


Easier said than done - at least for me.... especially after some Vestry meetings.

Amen! lol

Thanks for your comments Wanda......Trying to explain my thoughts about something to you helps me clarify the thoughts for myself, too.

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Phil, if we see Christ as part of the Trinity which is, of course, God, and ourselves as brothers and sisters of Christ (other Christs), then we are also saying that we are part of God, although we are not the same as God.....isn't that correct? Adi Da takes the divinization idea a little further without the Trinity concept.

You seem to be speaking of Christ and us being part of the Trinity in the same way when you use terms like "other Christs" and "brothers and sisters of Christ." Christ's "membership" in the Trinity is ontologically different from ours in that he is the incarnate Second Person of the Trinity, and we're not. We're merely creatures, not incarnations of God. Our "Christness" is not an ontological situation, but one of adoption, and grace. We are brothers and sisters of Christ, in other words, not by nature, but through God's grace and election (choice), and so our connection with God in the Trinity is in and through Christ.


Yes, we are creatures and I do agree with what you've stated above.



I'm not ready to say that Adi Da is saying the same thing as what I wrote above. He seems to be saying that he's really more like Christ--an incarnation of God. But sometimes it's not clear what he's saying.

I need to read more of the book before I comment on this again. I will try to find the quote where he talks about us all having the same essence, so to speak.


As we grow and are transformed we are realizing our own divinity.
This fits in well with the idea of our realization of our own "I AM" existence. It explains the paranormal experiences we may encounter along the way. It also explains many of the experiences we share with Jesus that are mentioned in the Bible. Christ became human so we could become Divine....I think I've heard it expressed in that fashion.

OK for the last part of your pgh. The phrase, "realizing our own divinity," however, is problemmatic in Christianity. We do not possess divinity as part of our nature, and our "I am" existence need not be understood as "realizing divinity." It could also be understood as the subjective consciousness of the created spiritual soul. It could also be the reflection of God's "I Am" Subjectivity in the depths of our being. There is mystery about this, of course.


I am having a problem here because I am thinking about all the others. What about the divinity inherent in Native Americans and others? Some shamans have had experiences of God equal to Christian mystics.....and so on...I think there might be something to this idea of divinity being, in a sense, of course, 'ours'...meaning the human race.


Did his former community members feel indoctrinated in a negative way? Is he a miracle worker like Sai Baba? What did they FEEL when they were around him? What were there bodily responses? Was he aware of their thoughts?

They generally thought his teaching deep and profound--as did Ken Wilber, btw. None of them considered his community to be cultic. He's no great miracle workder, but does have the ability to communicate shaktipat (energy transmission) in a very powerful way, which my friends experienced. But after awhile, they had to ask themselves just why they should consider this man God incarnate? Because he says he is? None of them could consent to this and so they eventually drifted away.


I know that Ken Wilber highly recommends Adi Da.
I'm reading about his experiences of awakening now.

...If you'd like uraqt, why not change the thread title to be more inclusive-- about avatars instead of just Adi Da?

Phil, if it's okay with you, I'd like to keep the major focus here Adi Da for now because I think if we broaden this topic too much we will be bringing less
credible avatars into the conversation.....I think that these people, like our various religions, can't all be lumped into one group and evaluated fairly.....Is that okay with you?....

Thanks for sharing.

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
I am having a problem here because I am thinking about all the others. What about the divinity inherent in Native Americans and others? Some shamans have had experiences of God equal to Christian mystics.....and so on...I think there might be something to this idea of divinity being, in a sense, of course, 'ours'...meaning the human race.


Uraqt, I'm not sure what you mean by "divinity inherent in Native Americans and others." If you mean to say that they encounter God in their religions, I can surely agree with that. I can't agree, however, with divinity being ours as a race--as though the sum of human creatures somehow adds up to divinity. It only adds up to a lot of creatures who belong to a species. Divinity "belongs" to God alone--ontologically speaking, of course.

Fine with me to keep the focus on Adi Da. Having read quite a bit by him and dialogued with a few of his followers, I'm left wondering what his claims to divinity really are other than his word for it?

Also, as a Christian, I need to remind myself of the words of the Lord in Mt. 24: 23-25:

If anyone says to you then, "Look, here is the Christ" or, "He is there", do not believe it; for fasle Christs and false prophets will arise and produce great signs and prrtents, enough to deceive even the chosen, if that were possible. There, I have forewarned you.

I quote this not to suggest that Adi Da is a false prophet, but that, for Christians, there can really be no one who surpasses Christ as our Lord, Teacher, and Redeemer. Perhaps someone reading these lines might benefit from this reminder.

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Originally posted by Phil:
I am having a problem here because I am thinking about all the others. What about the divinity inherent in Native Americans and others? Some shamans have had experiences of God equal to Christian mystics.....and so on...I think there might be something to this idea of divinity being, in a sense, of course, 'ours'...meaning the human race.


Uraqt, I'm not sure what you mean by "divinity inherent in Native Americans and others." If you mean to say that they encounter God in their religions, I can surely agree with that...

Yes, they do encounter God in their religions but that isn't what I'm getting at. I am hinting that they, too, have something akin to what we call a
Christ-self.


I can't agree, however, with divinity being ours as a race--as though the sum of human creatures somehow adds up to divinity. It only adds up to a lot of creatures who belong to a species. Divinity "belongs" to God alone--ontologically speaking, of course.

No, not the sum adding up to divinity.....each individual having that of God or divinity, if you will, within....


Fine with me to keep the focus on Adi Da. Having read quite a bit by him and dialogued with a few of his followers, I'm left wondering what his claims to divinity really are other than his word for it?


Thanks for maintaining the focus..... What kind of proof are you looking for? What would make you believe his claims?

He says things about universities that are very similar to the things you say....in fact, I was wondering if I was hearing you or you based on reading him......When you read him, did you see how he appears to go through a dark night of the soul during his college years? His childhood image of Jesus is shattered and he has to live through a total conceptual reconstruction.

Also, as a Christian, I need to remind myself of the words of the Lord in Mt. 24: 23-25:

If anyone says to you then, "Look, here is the Christ" or, "He is there", do not believe it; for fasle Christs and false prophets will arise and produce great signs and prrtents, enough to deceive even the chosen, if that were possible. There, I have forewarned you.

I quote this not to suggest that Adi Da is a false prophet, but that, for Christians, there can really be no one who surpasses Christ as our Lord, Teacher, and Redeemer. Perhaps someone reading these lines might benefit from this reminder.



Phil, I don't want to make light of this quote but I've heard it used in very inappropriate contexts....from condemning people in the Church who disagree with others in the Church....to
a way to exclude those in the Church who call for any sort of reform or change.

In your conceptual framework, could Christ and Adi Da be friends? Do you think they're on the same team?

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post

Yes, they do encounter God in their religions but that isn't what I'm getting at. I am hinting that they, too, have something akin to what we call a Christ-self.


For sure, but we don't mean by this the same thing that Adi Da and the Hindus mean by the Atman, or Self--at least not in some cases. It needs to be spelled out more. Some of these teachers are pretty much denying a distinction between creature and Creator.

Thanks for maintaining the focus..... What kind of proof are you looking for? What would make you believe his claims?

Claims that he is an incarnation of God akin to Christ? Nothing, really, would convince me, I don't think. Certainly not just because he says so. I'm pretty much convinced that Jesus is the only incarnation of God in human history, but I do acknowledge that there have been others from all the world religions who lived in a state of deep and profound union with God.

He says things about universities that are very similar to the things you say....in fact, I was wondering if I was hearing you or you based on reading him......When you read him, did you see how he appears to go through a dark night of the soul during his college years? His childhood image of Jesus is shattered and he has to live through a total conceptual reconstruction.

Why should a divine being need to be transformed, though?

Phil, I don't want to make light of this quote but I've heard it used in very inappropriate contexts....from condemning people in the Church who disagree with others in the Church....to
a way to exclude those in the Church who call for any sort of reform or change.


I've never heard those quotes from Matthew used for such purposes. Generally, reformers are not claiming to be another Christ, so it doesn't come into play. We have different experiences here.

In your conceptual framework, could Christ and Adi Da be friends? Do you think they're on the same team?

It remains to be seen just what team Adi Da is really on, doesn't it? I have no doubt about from whence Christ has come. I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I'm sure that Jesus would applaud most of what the authentic teachers of all the world religions teach. He would also acknowledge the differences, as he did with the Judaism of his day in his majestic, "You have heard it said . . . but I say to you . . . "

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
You guys are getting a little heavy for me in the midst of all the baking and shopping etc. but this is good too. Just know if I burn any cookies it is your fault.

uq "No, that's not it.....let me try to clarify.... As we become more and more aware of our Christ self, we are not going to become the person Jesus....In other words, we're not
going to become a carpenter's son...a literal reconstruction.....we are going to become the authentic being that we are in a greater degree of fullness.....so you will become the best representation of the Christ self in Wanda by being the personality type you are and living out the career/s you've chosen.....not by superficially imitating the person Jesus. You don't have to be an itinerant preacher. Is this explaining it a little better? "

Yes, I believe it was Merton that said something to the effect that to be a saint was to be yourself.


"On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you". John 14:20

This passage gives me fits and for me at least, is at the heart of the question of divinity. Here's my read on it....
There is a separation here.... three different people if you will - God, Christ and man. Christ is in the Father, we( man) are in Christ and Christ is in us (man). Now I do not see this as saying that we are or can be divine - at least not in and of ourselves. Christ is in the Father, we are not except through him. We are not divine but Christ in us is divine. Can we or do we somehow share in this divinity through God's grace - through Christ within us? I think we do but...

If anyone can clarify this for me... I certainly would appreciate it.

"I quote this not to suggest that Adi Da is a false prophet, but that, for Christians, there can really be no one who surpasses Christ as our Lord, Teacher, and Redeemer."
Absolutely and that's why people who seem too sure of themselves in all of this make me a little nervous. There was/is only one. Saying the same things and claiming to have the same power and authority are two different things. We need to give credit to the One to whom credit is due and sometimes, they seem to take the credit for themselves.

"Phil, I don't want to make light of this quote but I've heard it used in very inappropriate contexts....from condemning people in the Church who disagree with others in the Church....to a way to exclude those in the Church who call for any sort of reform or change."

uq... remember any words can be twisted and perverted - look at what has been done with Scripture occasionally. This doesn't mean the statement is bad, but that the use to which it was put is.

Back to the cookies... Thanks for the thought provoking dialogue... I think. Wink

Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Hi Wanda. Hope your cookies are going well.

You wrote: Absolutely and that's why people who seem too sure of themselves in all of this make me a little nervous. There was/is only one. Saying the same things and claiming to have the same power and authority are two different things.

This is an area where ongoing inter-religious dialogue is really important. From the Christian side, we pretty much insist on there being one and only one incarnation of God, even while we acknowledge the reality of others in the world religions who were obviously living in deep spiritual union with God. The Hindu notion of Avatars present a special problem on both sides of the issue, for those who are accorded such a title are considered to have been born in divine union rather than to have attained it through dark nights, inner transformation, etc. It is theirs "by nature," rather than "by grace," if that distinction makes sense. The Hindus recognize many avatars--Sai Baba being the most notable in this age, with Ramakrishna another earlier in the 20th C. (and a few other recent ones). I don't know that they'd recognize Adi Da as one, as he doesn't really claim to be in the Hindu tradition (although, imo, he's not far from it).

I don't know. How would one prove that a person is or is not a true avatar? With Christ, we recognize this because of his resurrection, which is unparalleled among the religious leaders of the world. Profound teaching, psychic gifts, and miracles are associated with avatars, but we find as much among the Christian mystics, none of whom claim to be anything but human creatures who have grown into their spiritual stature because of God's generous grace--not because they realized their true nature as divine beings.

Here's a quote from a web site about Adi Da and his religion. The most basic belief behind the Way of the Heart is that Adi Da is the divine incarnation in bodily form. He teaches that man's search for God, truth, and reality is no longer necessary because he is here, and he personally approaches man. Adi Da has made it possible to have a living relationship with the divine being, and this can bring absolute freedom from a meaningless life and from the pain of a self-obsessed existence. The guru continually asserts his divine nature in both his lectures and his writings. This is evident in his perhaps most repeated phrase, "Aham Da Asmi. I am Da." Here, "Aham Da Asmi" can be translated to "I am Da", where "Da" is alternately defined as "the one who gives" and "the one real God.

See http://religiousmovements.lib....du//nrms/adidam.html for more info.

He certainly seems to be saying that he's like a Christ--an incarnation of God. I don't think Christians can give consent to that.

Back to you, then uraqt. Why take Adi Da's or anyone else's claim to be an avatar seriously? Not that you do, of course. But just wondering what you think about that.

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Phil... thanks for supplying that link. I haven't had a chance to read it all or to follow the other links. From what I read though, AdiDa seems to take bits and pieces from several places - both Christian and others and twist them slightly to suit his own purposes... namely to claim divinity for himself.
Thinking back on the gospels, I keep coming back to the fact that Christ did not point to himself but continually pointed to the Father. From what I read AdiDa seems to be pointing only to himself and that is enough to totally turn me off. Anyone who comes as close to claiming deity for themselves as he seems to be scares the crap out of me.
In the interest of fairness and understanding, I will read more.
Please don't take this as a blanket condemnation of other faiths because I do believe that God may be at work in ways we do not understand and that there probably is truth to be found in other religions as well. I guess I simply think that Christianity has a little more truth than the others in the person of Christ. I'm not sure any of us has the whole truth or at least that we understand or can comprehend the totality of God...I know I certainly don't!
Thanks for the info...
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
You guys are getting a little heavy for me in the midst of all the baking and shopping etc. but this is good too. Just know if I burn any cookies it is your fault.

Gee, thanks, Wanda. lol


Yes, I believe it was Merton that said something to the effect that to be a saint was to be yourself.

Yes......

uq... remember any words can be twisted and perverted - look at what has been done with Scripture occasionally. This doesn't mean the statement is bad, but that the use to which it was put is.

Agreed. Good point. The use is sometimes to promote the speakers agenda. That does not make the statement bad in itself.

Back to the cookies... Thanks for the thought provoking dialogue... I think. Wink

You're making me hungry Wanda. What kind of cookies are they?

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
He certainly seems to be saying that he's like a Christ--an incarnation of God.

That's the impression I also received from reading some of the portions of his book....


Back to you, then uraqt. Why take Adi Da's or anyone else's claim to be an avatar seriously? Not that you do, of course. But just wondering what you think about that.

I'm quite a beginner in this area so I haven't formulated any definitive opinions just yet.

However, there is so much suffering in the world and so many people. I tend to think that God might find as many ways as possible to reach people and relieve their pain. I don't think H/She wants to see us suffer so if it takes avatars in some portions of the world to help people, I think God would probably allow it, just because H/She loves us so much......If taking Adi Da seriously prevents someone from committing suicide or helps them heal, I can't imagine God being upset with that. I don't think God is a stickler for rules.

I'm not trying to defend Adi Da. I have much to learn about him. But, I am definitely hearing nuggets of Truth in some of the things I'm reading. I won't reject things that ring True just because of the source.

Does this answer your question?

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
If taking Adi Da seriously prevents someone from committing suicide or helps them heal, I can't imagine God being upset with that. I don't think God is a stickler for rules.

Come on, uraqt! There's a lawful universe out there, which God had something to do with. If you go outside in the freezing cold and get sick, that's God's rules coming down on you. Same thing if you fall in a fire and get burned. And to say that God doesn't care if Adi Da or anyone else claims to be God incarnate is taking some pretty big liberties in speaking for God, especially considering the words of Christ about not following false Christs and prophets quoted above.

Something to consider is that false teachers just as frequently lead people to the brink of suicide as save them from it. Read Tal Brooke's book about Sai Baba that I referred to above. He almost went nuts following this charlatan, and came to believe that there was probably a demonic source behind SB's power. Brooke's is sure that he almost lost his immortal soul because of that involvement. We're talking pretty high stakes in some of these cases.

I won't reject things that ring True just because of the source.

Sure, that's fine, so long as one is discerning about what one finds valuable, and why.

Does this answer your question?

Yes indeed. And I hope my response is helpful as well. Smiler

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Yes, they do encounter God in their religions but that isn't what I'm getting at. I am hinting that they, too, have something akin to what we call a Christ-self.

For sure, but we don't mean by this the same thing that Adi Da and the Hindus mean by the Atman, or Self--at least not in some cases. It needs to be spelled out more. Some of these teachers are pretty much denying a distinction between creature and Creator.


Yes, I understand what you are saying and I, too, believe that there is a distinction between creature and Creator. Not one, not two....

I have a related question for you.....

I read a quote by St. Augustine that talks about Christianity existing long before it was called Christianity and long before it appeared in
the person of Jesus. It is just that the word
Christian didn't appear until much later.....What do you think of that?


Thanks for maintaining the focus..... What kind of proof are you looking for? What would make you believe his claims?

Claims that he is an incarnation of God akin to Christ? Nothing, really, would convince me, I don't think. Certainly not just because he says so. I'm pretty much convinced that Jesus is the only incarnation of God in human history, but I do acknowledge that there have been others from all the world religions who lived in a state of deep and profound union with God.


So, what would you call these others? Do you see them as being transformed by grace?

He says things about universities that are very similar to the things you say....in fact, I was wondering if I was hearing you or you based on reading him......When you read him, did you see how he appears to go through a dark night of the soul during his college years? His childhood image of Jesus is shattered and he has to live through a total conceptual reconstruction.

Why should a divine being need to be transformed, though?


My understanding of what he is saying is that
what he calls the 'Bright' was always there but he chose to live and experience as the rest of us...to see and experience the pain of the illusion of separation, etc.




Phil, I don't want to make light of this quote but I've heard it used in very inappropriate contexts....from condemning people in the Church who disagree with others in the Church....to
a way to exclude those in the Church who call for any sort of reform or change.

I've never heard those quotes from Matthew used for such purposes. Generally, reformers are not claiming to be another Christ, so it doesn't come into play. We have different experiences here.



Yes, we do have different experiences here. I've even seen it used to exclude speakers who are in favor as women's ordination. The speakers are called 'false prophets' and excluded from speaking on Church property.

Another reason I don't like this is because it reminds me of a frustrated father who tries to use threats to get his children to love him....
Not very effective.


In your conceptual framework, could Christ and Adi Da be friends? Do you think they're on the same team?

It remains to be seen just what team Adi Da is really on, doesn't it? I have no doubt about from whence Christ has come. I'm not sure if this answers your question, but I'm sure that Jesus would applaud most of what the authentic teachers of all the world religions teach. He would also acknowledge the differences, as he did with the Judaism of his day in his majestic, "You have heard it said . . . but I say to you . . . "[/i]

I can agree with you here Phil. I, too, think Jesus would applaud most of the authentic teachers of all world religions.

Remember the part in the Bible that says God's way of thinking is not our way of thinking....I think there are a lot of things that make sense in a larger context that make no sense whatsoever to us when we are caught up in them.....I think that's the opportunity to learn surrender and Trust to this 'Terrible Mystery.'

I'm hoping it gets easier as we go along......I guess it's sort of like an old friend.....after a time, you learn to trust even when you don't understand.......God becomes that old friend.

Good discussion Phil & Wanda!

Thanks.

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Originally posted by Phil:
If taking Adi Da seriously prevents someone from committing suicide or helps them heal, I can't imagine God being upset with that. I don't think God is a stickler for rules.

Come on, uraqt! There's a lawful universe out there, which God had something to do with. If you go outside in the freezing cold and get sick, that's God's rules coming down on you. Same thing if you fall in a fire and get burned.....

Of course there's a lawful universe out there...no argument there....but different laws apply on different planes of existence...Gravity is a law, yet, how do you explain levitation?

...And to say that God doesn't care if Adi Da or anyone else claims to be God incarnate is taking some pretty big liberties in speaking for God, especially considering the words of Christ about not following false Christs and prophets quoted above....

I'm not speaking for God. I'm speaking from my knowledge of how loving God is to us. I'm also speaking about Adi Da, not Sai Baba. Have you heard of Adi Da having a bad effect on people?
People committing suicide because of him? I haven't.

Something to consider is that false teachers just as frequently lead people to the brink of suicide as save them from it....

Good point Phil. However, God's love is stronger than any demonic source so why give evil more power by even mentioning it? I don't feel at all interested in reading the Brooke's material you mentioned because we don't have to go to the East to find 'false prophets'. Imho, we have plenty of them here at home. Also, I think God can use our experiences with these people to show us how loving H/She really is.....sometimes, it can be the way we learn to Trust completely in Him/Her alone.

I don't like trying to scare people into loving God.

What's that quote....'If it doesn' kill me, it can make me stronger?'....something like that...

I won't reject things that ring True just because of the source.

Sure, that's fine, so long as one is discerning about what one finds valuable, and why.

Does this answer your question?

Yes indeed. And I hope my response is helpful as well. Smiler


Very much so....thanks, Phil.

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Hi again all... cookies done, and not even slightly burnt.

"Something to consider is that false teachers just as frequently lead people to the brink of suicide as save them from it. ....Brooke's is sure that he almost lost his immortal soul because of that involvement. We're talking pretty high stakes in some of these cases."

When someone like Abi da allows himself and others to see him as a god he is indeed taking on an incredible responsibility for he then has to live up to their expectations - must fulfill that role for them and no human can do that... there is one God - Father, Son, Spirit - One Triune God. Can avatars be in relationship with God? How can we say they cannot, but I do not think that they can be God incarnate and I personally do not think that anyone who is truly in relationship with God could ever claim this. God came to us, as one of us, once. He promises to come again but not in the same way. The thing is we are all looking for this - for His return and this longing can be used by some to gain power and control over others.

" remember any words can be twisted and perverted - look at what has been done with Scripture occasionally. This doesn't mean the statement is bad, but that the use to which it was put is."
"Agreed. Good point. The use is sometimes to promote the speakers agenda. That does not make the statement bad in itself."

Cannot truth be twisted/perverted in the same way so that while the truth is still there it is twisted just enough to promote a personal agenda? If this is discovered by one who believed in this truth couldn't it do an incredible amount of damage ? What happens to a person when his god falls?

"I read a quote by St. Augustine that talks about Christianity existing long before it was called Christianity and long before it appeared in the person of Jesus. It is just that the word Christian didn't appear until much later.....What do you think of that?"

What is a Christian but the followers of the teaching of Christ - the followers of the Word - the followers of God. Of course Christianity existed long before it was named and even before it appeared in the person of Jesus. Did not amoebas exist long before they were named or seen by men? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 People believed in God long before he came to us in Christ.

"I'm hoping it gets easier as we go along......I guess it's sort of like an old friend.....after a time, you learn to trust even when you don't understand.......God becomes that old friend."

Precisely uq - It is hard for us to trust what we cannot quantify - the age of enlightenment - the age of reason has taken away a lot of our ability to see much less trust what we cannot define... do not understand. We have lost a great deal of our ability to imagine - to wonder - to simply allow ourselves to be amazed. Children are so much more open to the possibilities that surround us than we rational adults. We need proof.. they need only possibility.

By the way... cookies were chocolate brownies with raspberry chips, seven layer cookies, snowballs and of course sugar cookies... all headed for the Tetons and Christmas with my kids. Hope each of you spend Christmas surrounded by love and lots of goodies.. Have a Merry one... Catch you all when I get back... Peace, Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Phil,

The following is the St. Augustine quote I referred to yesterday......

"That which is called Christianity existed among the ancients, and never ceased to exist from the beginning of the human race, until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion which already existed began to be called Christianity."

What do you think about this?


Don't worry about response time. Smiler It's Christmas!!!

Wanda: By the way... cookies were chocolate brownies with raspberry chips, seven layer cookies, snowballs and of course sugar cookies... all headed for the Tetons and Christmas with my kids. Hope each of you spend Christmas surrounded by love and lots of goodies.. Have a Merry one... Catch you all when I get back... Peace, Wanda

Sounds delicious!!!! mmmmmmmmmm good!


To Wanda, Brad, Phil, and All,

Happy Holidays!

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
The following is the St. Augustine quote I referred to yesterday......

"That which is called Christianity existed among the ancients, and never ceased to exist from the beginning of the human race, until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion which already existed began to be called Christianity."

What do you think about this?

Don't worry about response time. Smiler It's Christmas!!!


Yes, and I really like talking about the Incarnation of Jesus at Christmas time! Wink

Uraqt, what St. Augustine is referring to is referred to as the proto-evangelium, which is the manner in which people were prepared in places around the world to receive the Gospel. We know of the preparation that took place in Judaism, but Augustine and other Fathers also wrote about how other religions and traditions had formed people in such a way as to be open and receptive to the Good News when it was preached to them. He wasn't talking about an historical movement like the Church which we might called explicit, historical Christianity, but a kind of implicit Christianity which preceded the Church and is still found outside of its institutional borders. In the 20th C., a very fine Catholic theologian named Karl Rahner expanded on this in his writings about "anonymous Christians."

---------------------

from Wanda . . the age of enlightenment - the age of reason has taken away a lot of our ability to see much less trust what we cannot define... do not understand. We have lost a great deal of our ability to imagine - to wonder - to simply allow ourselves to be amazed. Children are so much more open to the possibilities that surround us than we rational adults. We need proof.. they need only possibility.

Good point. We've lost a lot of our mythical intuition, which, btw, is one reason that Tolkein wrote Lord of the Rings and why C.S. Lewis wrote his Chronicles of Narnia. I suppose the Harry Potter series as well as the Star Wars movies speak to this need within us for mythical understanding. Children of The Enlightenment who missed some kind of mythological formation quite often find religions dry and sterile if they approach it only in terms of a philosophical system. They will look for "proof" in a scientific sense, and, not finding it, assume that there's nothing to it. Then along comes an avatar who can materialize rock candy and "divine ash," or who speaks as though they are god, and they think they've got the "real deal." If they had had a little understanding of the mythological as well as rational traditions in their religions, the appeal of these so-called avatars might not be as great.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Originally posted by Phil:
The following is the St. Augustine quote I referred to yesterday......

"That which is called Christianity existed among the ancients, and never ceased to exist from the beginning of the human race, until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion which already existed began to be called Christianity."

What do you think about this?......


Uraqt, what St. Augustine is referring to is referred to as the proto-evangelium, which is the manner in which people were prepared in places around the world to receive the Gospel. We know of the preparation that took place in Judaism, but Augustine and other Fathers also wrote about how other religions and traditions had formed people in such a way as to be open and receptive to the Good News when it was preached to them. He wasn't talking about an historical movement like the Church which we might called explicit, historical Christianity, but a kind of implicit Christianity which preceded the Church and is still found outside of its institutional borders. In the 20th C., a very fine Catholic theologian named Karl Rahner expanded on this in his writings about "anonymous Christians."


Phil,

Thanks for your response but that is not the meaning that I think St. Augustine intends....
imho, it has to do with the 'I amness' of Christ....that is what existed from the beginning of the human race. That is why Christianity could exist long before Jesus......but you have given me something to think about. Thank you.

I found a noteworthy quote from Adi Da tonight....."If one is truly sensitive to the movements everywhere within and without oneself, every kind of object or creature or experience becomes an instructional (or teaching) communication. One cannot help but receive the teaching, under any circumstances, if one is a real listener." (p. 125)

He said this prior to seeking out his guru. He also talks about having his tomcat, Robert, as a teacher for a number of years. I like this idea a lot because, for me, it illustrates the flexibility and tender loving care of a God who reaches out to us wherever we may be....

One other quote by someone you know Phil....

In the 'Praise' for the book section, Lee Sannella, M.D., author ofThe Kundalini Experience, says, "This is the Autobiography of the Living God-Man, whose Loving Heart and Powerful Spiritual Transmission have awakened me to the Love-Blissful reality of the Great One, Who He Is."

Have you talked with Lee about Adi Da? Is there anything you can or would like to share with us about his ideas or experiences?

So far, in my reading, Adi Da describes himself as
a "libertine, a drinker, a drug user, a useless and impractical dreamer, a passionate madman!"
(p. 140) He lives with a woman who works in
traditional occupations while he does things like experiment and, then, write about his experiences.....

Interesting stuff.....

qt
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Thanks for your response but that is not the meaning that I think St. Augustine intends....
imho, it has to do with the 'I amness' of Christ....that is what existed from the beginning of the human race. That is why Christianity could exist long before Jesus......but you have given me something to think about. Thank you.


Well, uraqt, this is one of those areas where St. Augustine's intention isn't really so controversial, as he spells out what he means at length.

He (Adi Da--not St. Augustine) said this prior to seeking out his guru. He also talks about having his tomcat, Robert, as a teacher for a number of years. I like this idea a lot because, for me, it illustrates the flexibility and tender loving care of a God who reaches out to us wherever we may be....

That explains a lot about Adi Da, then. Wink A tomcat for a teacher!

Have you talked with Lee about Adi Da? Is there anything you can or would like to share with us about his ideas or experiences?

I haven't talked to Lee for many years, but even if he told me today that Adi Da was the real deal, then what would that prove? Only that Lee Sannella believes in Adi Da.

So far, in my reading, Adi Da describes himself as a "libertine, a drinker, a drug user, a useless and impractical dreamer, a passionate madman!"
(p. 140) He lives with a woman who works in
traditional occupations while he does things like experiment and, then, write about his experiences.....


Sounds like God-incarnate to you? Why even bother with this guy, uraqt? He is, at best, a regular human being who found Eastern spirituality and came to enlightenment. Thousands of others have done the same without proclaiming themselves to be God incarnate. Not even the Buddha or Mohammed made such a claim.

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2