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6 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2007 - 4:22AM #1
GoodShepard
Posts: 13
goodshepard: I'm posting this here to enable us to continue the previous discussion.  Below is my last post on the old board, followed by stardustpilgrim's response, and my reply to it.

RaymondSigrist: "On my path the certainty of God is surrendered for love."

God IS love.

Your concept of God is apparently based on the old idea of God as a harsh judge, rather than as one's heavenly Father, source, or higher self.

stardustpilgrim: "And why were Adam and Eve kicked out of Eden? So they couldn't eat from the Tree of Life and then "live forever" in their fallen state."

The simple truth is that they lost the perfection of Paradise when they ate the forbidden fruit and experienced good and evil - duality. One can lose it for even less obvious reasons, as I did.

"We can't maintain the state of Eden for the same reason Adam and Eve were kicked out. God won't allow us to "live forever" in a fallen state."

That's somewhat contradictory: if one truly enters Eden, they can certainly remain, as they must first become purified and innocent to enter, so they aren't still IN the fallen state. It is only when they commit an error that they fall from grace and exit Paradise.

Duality is both separation from God, and acceptance of dualistic concepts, such as good and evil. Non-duality is a state above that fractured consciousness, where all things are experienced as part of us. Were that all, it wouldn't really answer the questions you've raised; but since it's also PERFECT, there is nothing left to desire. There is no need, lack, pain, or effort. It is true oneness with not only divine will, but divine BEING.   


stardustpilgrim:  "I still say Adam and Eve were innocent, not perfect. Their movement was away from God, BECAUSE of this innocence."

What is that belief based on?  When I experienced paradise, everything - including me - was perfect.  There were no flaws or shortcomings.

"This movement is called involution, the descent into matter. I say it's necessary. Necessary to move from innocence, to face earning our living from the "sweat of our brow".

So, I take it you think that little children - whom Jesus told his disciples they had to become like - could not remain in Paradise, but would have to do what you've stated above?  That contradicts the essense of Genesis, by the way, which illustrates how mankind screwed up, not God.  You seem to imply that God erred and it can't be remedied except by the process you've outlilned.

"The "First Adam" who left Paradise is not the same level of being of the "Second Adam, Christ" who can re-enter Paradise."

How do they differ?


"Does this help explain your entry into Paradise, and the loss of it, and not having gained it again?"

Not at all.  First of all, I've never attempted to regain it, as indicated earlier.  It would not  make sense to do so unless I knew what NOT to do once there, when sojurning into the man-made world. - unless, of course, I had no intention to leave nature.  About the only thing I've gathered, so far, is that one must remain in the present moment at all times, and refrain from any action intended to have a future effect.

"You didn't "do anything" to loose Paradise, except drop back into ego/false-self/old man."
It isn't just a certain frame of mind or certain attitude, or an act/deed. You have to 'arrive' at a certain level of being, egolessness. If you're not 'there', you're back tied to ordinary life. It depends upon tangible energy. Subtle, but yet tangible."

I assure you that ego was not a factor - unless you consider trying to end the Viet Nam War an act of ego, which was my motivation when I committed the seemingly insignificant act that got me ejected.  The thing is, I would never have done what I did in the natural world; it only arose because of conditions in the man-made one.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2007 - 1:10PM #2
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,277
>stardustpilgrim: "And why were Adam and Eve kicked out of Eden? So they couldn't eat from >the Tree of Life and then "live forever" in their fallen state."

>GS-The simple truth is that they lost the perfection of Paradise when they ate the forbidden fruit >and experienced good and evil - duality. One can lose it for even less obvious reasons, as I >did.

>sdp-"We can't maintain the state of Eden for the same reason Adam and Eve were kicked out. >God won't allow us to "live forever" in a fallen state."

Take this story as actuality, myth or allegory. What I stated was the "reason". If you were right, they would have immediately found themselves out of Eden. Why does the distinction matter? Everything written in scripture is written for us, relevant for us. There were kicked out so they couldn't "live forever" in a contaminated state, in 'sin'.

Only that part of ourselves which is purified, can enter heaven (after death)/Paradise (while alive). This is why ego, before or after death, can't enter Paradise. The process of purifying ego is called sanctification. This, in the words of Jesus is, loosing yourself to save yourself. Nothing having anything to do with sin, can enter heaven/paradise.

>GS-That's somewhat contradictory: if one truly enters Eden, they can certainly remain, as they >first become purified and innocent to enter, so they aren't still IN the fallen state. It is only when >they commit an error that they fall from grace and exit Paradise.

>GS-Duality is both separation from God, and acceptance of dualistic concepts, such as good >and evil. Non-duality is a state above that fractured consciousness, where all things are >experienced as part of us. Were that all, it wouldn't really answer the questions you've raised; >but since it's also PERFECT, there is nothing left to desire. There is no need, lack, pain, or >effort. It is true oneness with not only divine will, but divine BEING.   


>stardustpilgrim:  "I still say Adam and Eve were innocent, not perfect. Their movement was >away from God, BECAUSE of this innocence."

>GS-What is that belief based on?  When I experienced paradise, everything - including me - >was perfect.  There were no flaws or shortcomings.

Eastern Orthodox theology, plus, what else makes sense? If there were no flaws, how did you (or Adam & Eve) comitt an error?

>sdp-"This movement is called involution, the descent into matter. I say it's necessary. >Necessary to move from innocence, to face earning our living from the "sweat of our brow".

>GS-So, I take it you think that little children - whom Jesus told his disciples they had to become >like - could not remain in Paradise, but would have to do what you've stated above?  That >contradicts the essense of Genesis, by the way, which illustrates how mankind screwed up, >not God.  You seem to imply that God erred and it can't be remedied except by the process >you've outlilned.

I say that every child born is born in Paradise just as Adam & Eve were, innocent.
tbc
sdp
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory.                                                                 Alfred Korzybski

God is that function in the world by reason of which our purposes are directed to ends which in our own consciousness are impartial as to our own interests. He is that element in life in virtue of which judgment stretches beyond facts of existence to values of existence.      Alfred North Whitehead
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2007 - 1:47PM #3
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,277
>sdp-"This movement is called involution, the descent into matter. I say it's necessary. Necessary to move from innocence, to face earning our living from the "sweat of our brow".

>GS-So, I take it you think that little children - whom Jesus told his disciples they had to become like - could not remain in Paradise, but would have to do what you've stated above?  That contradicts the essense of Genesis, by the way, which illustrates how mankind screwed up, not God.  You seem to imply that God erred and it can't be remedied except by the process you've outlilned.

I don't say God erred. If God didn't know what was going to happen, why did He originate a plan to remedy any arising problem (the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world)? I say innocence CAN'T remain in Paradise. Only spiritual maturity can remain in Paradise. So the answer is yes. I say this whole process was part of the plan. Why did God put one little NO in Eden? Such a little no. (All this comes from study of Eastern Orthodox theology and Kabbalah).

Yes, this journey from innocence to spiritual maturity is necessary, part of the plan.Becoming AGAIN, like little children, is also part of the plan. This is ego/false-self/outer man giving way to what we were intended to be as essence. What God "genetically engineered" us to be. Thomas Merton called this part of us, True Self. Ego can't enter heaven. Mature True Self can.

>sdp-"The "First Adam" who left Paradise is not the same level of being of the "Second Adam, Christ" who can re-enter Paradise."

>GS-How do they differ?

Well, first Adam was merely a created man. Second Adam was Son, 2nd person of the Trinity.


?>sdp-"Does this help explain your entry into Paradise, and the loss of it, and not having gained it again?"

>GS-Not at all.  First of all, I've never attempted to regain it, as indicated earlier.  It would not  make sense to do so unless I knew what NOT to do once there, when sojurning into the man-made world. - unless, of course, I had no intention to leave nature.  About the only thing I've gathered, so far, is that one must remain in the present moment at all times, and refrain from any action intended to have a future effect.

I agree with first part of last sentence. Second part might read: "I do only what the Father shows me to do".

>sdp-"You didn't "do anything" to loose Paradise, except drop back into ego/false-self/old man."
It isn't just a certain frame of mind or certain attitude, or an act/deed. You have to 'arrive' at a certain level of being, egolessness. If you're not 'there', you're back tied to ordinary life. It depends upon tangible energy. Subtle, but yet tangible."

Still maintain this.

>GS- I assure you that ego was not a factor - unless you consider trying to end the Viet Nam War an act of ego, which was my motivation when I committed the seemingly insignificant act that got me ejected.  The thing is, I would never have done what I did in the natural world; it only arose because of conditions in the man-made one.[/QUOTE]

1 Peter 2:20-21, Jesus is our example....... again, "I do only what my Father shows me to do". I traced the beginning of my "downfall" to a tiny decision. My sister said come home (and gave the reasons). I was looking for a man I couldn't reach, who I knew was flying out that particular day. I felt God had shown that I was to give that man a message, that day. I listened to my sister, disobeyed God.

Just trying to help..........
sdp
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory.                                                                 Alfred Korzybski

God is that function in the world by reason of which our purposes are directed to ends which in our own consciousness are impartial as to our own interests. He is that element in life in virtue of which judgment stretches beyond facts of existence to values of existence.      Alfred North Whitehead
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2007 - 1:58PM #4
wonderment
Posts: 580
Hi GoodShepherd, you came to mind this morning as I was reading some of Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation”.  There is a chapter entitled “The Gift of Understanding“ in which he talks about awakening and how we want to hold on and “keep paradise” (his words) once we comprehend or realize it. 

The way he describes waking up is awesome in itself, and worth the read, but what I wanted to share is the way he articulates how our very desire to keep paradise, to “live there“, is the very thing that keeps us from it.  Our desire, what we want, is the very thing, the only thing, that separates us from paradise.  Here’s some of what he says:

“It is a gift that comes to you from the bosom of serene darkness. .  .

“You must not try to reach out and possess it altogether.  You must not touch it, or try to seize it.  You must not try to make it sweeter or try to keep it from wasting away. .  .

“The situation of the soul in contemplation [awakened state] is something like the situation of Adam and Eve in Paradise.  Everything is yours, but on one infinitely important condition: that it is all given.

“There is nothing that you can claim, nothing that you can demand, nothing that you can take.  And as soon as you try to take something as if it were your own - you lose your Eden.  The angel with the flaming sword stands armed against all selfhood that is small and particular, against the ’I’ that can say ’I want. . .’ ’I need. . .’ ’I demand. . .’.  No individual enters Paradise, only the integrity of the Person. 

“Only the greatest humility can give us the instinctive delicacy and caution that will prevent us from reaching out for pleasure and satisfactions that we can understand and savor in this darkness.  The moment we demand anything for ourselves or even trust in any action of our own to procure a deeper intensification of this pure and serene rest in God, we defile and dissipate the perfect gift that He desires to communicate to us in the silence and repose of our own powers. 

“. . .At best we can dispose ourselves for the reception of this great gift by resting in the heart of our own poverty, keeping our soul as far as possible empty of desires for all the things that please and preoccupy our nature, no matter how pure or sublime they may be in themselves. . .”

Sorry for the length of all the quotes.  I condensed as best I could.  The words just spoke to my heart and I hope they speak to yours and others too.  In one way or another everything always seems to wind it’s way back to our need for total surrender.  We have to empty ourselves of every desire, even paradise.  Then it comes of Itself as we keep getting out of the way.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2007 - 6:41PM #5
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,277
Excellent wonderment.......that's one of my all-time favorite books. There's another good Merton book which came out only a few years ago (it took so long to get published because before Merton died, by accident, he stipulated it was not to be published. Of course he didn't know he would die "so young", not published ever? Not published until I revise it? ...........???)

But it may be even deeper than New Seeds, maybe not a better book, but maybe more informaive. It's called The Inner Experience.
sdp
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory.                                                                 Alfred Korzybski

God is that function in the world by reason of which our purposes are directed to ends which in our own consciousness are impartial as to our own interests. He is that element in life in virtue of which judgment stretches beyond facts of existence to values of existence.      Alfred North Whitehead
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2007 - 1:58PM #6
wonderment
Posts: 580
Hi GoodShepherd, you came to mind this morning as I was reading some of Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation”.  There is a chapter entitled “The Gift of Understanding“ in which he talks about awakening and how we want to hold on and “keep paradise” (his words) once we comprehend or realize it. 

The way he describes waking up is awesome in itself, and worth the read, but what I wanted to share is the way he articulates how our very desire to keep paradise, to “live there“, is the very thing that keeps us from it.  Our desire, what we want, is the very thing, the only thing, that separates us from paradise.  Here’s some of what he says:

“It is a gift that comes to you from the bosom of serene darkness. .  .

“You must not try to reach out and possess it altogether.  You must not touch it, or try to seize it.  You must not try to make it sweeter or try to keep it from wasting away. .  .

“The situation of the soul in contemplation [awakened state] is something like the situation of Adam and Eve in Paradise.  Everything is yours, but on one infinitely important condition: that it is all given.

“There is nothing that you can claim, nothing that you can demand, nothing that you can take.  And as soon as you try to take something as if it were your own - you lose your Eden.  The angel with the flaming sword stands armed against all selfhood that is small and particular, against the ’I’ that can say ’I want. . .’ ’I need. . .’ ’I demand. . .’.  No individual enters Paradise, only the integrity of the Person. 

“Only the greatest humility can give us the instinctive delicacy and caution that will prevent us from reaching out for pleasure and satisfactions that we can understand and savor in this darkness.  The moment we demand anything for ourselves or even trust in any action of our own to procure a deeper intensification of this pure and serene rest in God, we defile and dissipate the perfect gift that He desires to communicate to us in the silence and repose of our own powers. 

“. . .At best we can dispose ourselves for the reception of this great gift by resting in the heart of our own poverty, keeping our soul as far as possible empty of desires for all the things that please and preoccupy our nature, no matter how pure or sublime they may be in themselves. . .”

Sorry for the length of all the quotes.  I condensed as best I could.  The words just spoke to my heart and I hope they speak to yours and others too.  In one way or another everything always seems to wind it’s way back to our need for total surrender.  We have to empty ourselves of every desire, even paradise.  Then it comes of Itself as we keep getting out of the way.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 27, 2007 - 6:41PM #7
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,277
Excellent wonderment.......that's one of my all-time favorite books. There's another good Merton book which came out only a few years ago (it took so long to get published because before Merton died, by accident, he stipulated it was not to be published. Of course he didn't know he would die "so young", not published ever? Not published until I revise it? ...........???)

But it may be even deeper than New Seeds, maybe not a better book, but maybe more informaive. It's called The Inner Experience.
sdp
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory.                                                                 Alfred Korzybski

God is that function in the world by reason of which our purposes are directed to ends which in our own consciousness are impartial as to our own interests. He is that element in life in virtue of which judgment stretches beyond facts of existence to values of existence.      Alfred North Whitehead
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 28, 2007 - 4:18PM #8
wonderment
Posts: 580
Hi Sdp, I really like Thomas Merton too.  Born of his own experiences, his gift of being able to “point the Way” with words, to that which is ultimately ineffable, attests to the fact that mysticism is alive and well in this present day. 

I’m going to start a Thomas Merton thread and perhaps we can get a discussion going on who he was and what he gave us.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2007 - 4:53AM #9
GoodShepard
Posts: 13
stardustpilgrim: "I still say Adam and Eve were innocent, not perfect. Their movement was >away from God, BECAUSE of this innocence."

>GS-What is that belief based on? When I experienced paradise, everything - including me - >was perfect. There were no flaws or shortcomings.

Eastern Orthodox theology, plus, what else makes sense? If there were no flaws, how did you (or Adam & Eve) comitt an error?

Free Will - that's a very well known fact.  If we can choose anything, we can make bad choices, and it's such choices that cause descent into duality and illusion.

"I don't say God erred. If God didn't know what was going to happen, why did He originate a plan to remedy any arising problem (the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world)?"

You imply that there isn't really freedom of choice because all choices have already been forseen.  I disagree.  That limits both God and man in ways that aren't reasonable or necessary.

I say innocence CAN'T remain in Paradise. Only spiritual maturity can remain in Paradise.

But that isn't what Jesus says.  He tells us that we must become as innocent and pure as little children, and I fully agree.  I don't think - as he confirms - that we can enter it in any other condition.

By the way, how do you define spiritual maturity?
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2007 - 11:44AM #10
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,277
>GS-What is that belief based on? When I experienced paradise, everything - including me - >was perfect. There were no flaws or shortcomings.

sdp-Eastern Orthodox theology, plus, what else makes sense? If there were no flaws, how did you (or Adam & Eve) comitt an error?

GS-Free Will - that's a very well known fact.  If we can choose anything, we can make bad choices, and it's such choices that cause descent into duality and illusion.

You asked me what the difference was between the first Adam and the second Adam. Why did you ask that question? I absolutely agree, Adam and Eve had free will. But, again, if they were perfect, without flaws, how do you make a bad choice? I say they make a bad choice because they WERE NOT perfect. They were innocent. They didn't UNDERSTAND the consequences of their choice, even though those consequences were clearly explained. "You do this, you're going to die". That can't sound like a good thing. They believed a lie, out of innocence.

Even though Jesus was fully human, he WAS perfect. He fully understood the consequences of any choice he was ever to make. That's maturity, that's perfection. So even though he had the capability to disobey the Father, he never did. 

"I don't say God erred. If God didn't know what was going to happen, why did He originate a plan to remedy any arising problem (the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world)?"

You imply that there isn't really freedom of choice because all choices have already been forseen.  I disagree.  That limits both God and man in ways that aren't reasonable or necessary.

I say innocence CAN'T remain in Paradise. Only spiritual maturity can remain in Paradise.

But that isn't what Jesus says.  He tells us that we must become as innocent and pure as little children, and I fully agree.  I don't think - as he confirms - that we can enter it in any other condition.

By the way, how do you define spiritual maturity?[/QUOTE]

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The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory.                                                                 Alfred Korzybski

God is that function in the world by reason of which our purposes are directed to ends which in our own consciousness are impartial as to our own interests. He is that element in life in virtue of which judgment stretches beyond facts of existence to values of existence.      Alfred North Whitehead
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