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Old 04-10-2002, 06:44 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl:
One can do both--fulfill one's own needs and still do nice things for other people. I believe in charitable deeds, and at the same time I think it's often wise to help oneself first...a simple analogy might be like on airplanes when they advise parents to give themselves oxygen first before administering to their children. If you take care of your own needs first, you will be better able to help others. Which is not to say that I always put myself first, but I think different situations call for different responses, and that putting others first isn't always the best thing. I think when it is genuinely inspired, it is the right thing in that moment. But if you put others first out of a sense of duty or responsibility, rather than the joy of doing so, it is not necessarily always the wise and healthy thing to do. Does that make sense?
Definitely, that makes sense. And I definitely understand the concept of putting your oxygen mask on before your child's. And you're right, it is about the joy of doing for others, not about obligation or responsibility. I love helping others.
However, the nine satanic points point to a life lived for self preservation. So, do satanists only help others when it benefits themselves, or only after first checking to make sure their needs are met, also? If that is the case, and it seems that is indeed what the nine satanic points espouse, then consider this dilemma: if a person does something truly selfless, like pushing a child out of the way of an ongoing car, tehreby placing him/herself at risk of death, can that person really look deep inside and still call himself a true satanist? If satanism is a religion of self-preservation and self-gratification, it appears to me that there is no room for people who are consistently willing to commit self-sacrificing or selfless behaviors.

[This message has been edited by 80sU2isBest (edited 04-10-2002).]
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Old 04-10-2002, 07:05 PM   #82
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I don't know, 80s, I don't think I really understand Satanism and, like most religions, spiritual paths and philosophies, it's probably not something we're going to understand from a few sentences. But I am certainly fascinated by the idea, as others here seem to be, in part because I've never actually known someone who practices it, and also because I sense it is very different than the image most of us have of Satan from our traditional Judeo-Christian teachings. In my own esoteric path, Satan (or Kal) is viewed as a sacred part of God's creation, serving soul by acting as an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, which strengthens soul's resolve. So I think what Satan means varies quite a bit within various spiritual teachings. Anyway, I await further input from Raven because it's quite interesting!
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Old 04-10-2002, 07:39 PM   #83
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I would never harm a child. Since I value the carnal side of human nature, harming children is out of the question(except for extreme cases)because chilren are the best examples of this. Animals too. I would only kill an animal if attacked or for food. Helping yourselve makes it easier to help others. And since my life directly affects my life, helping myself usually comes first.


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Old 04-10-2002, 09:47 PM   #84
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you know good and evil HAVE to exist together. if one destroyed the other, it would cease to exist itself.
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Old 04-10-2002, 10:17 PM   #85
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I would never harm a child. Since I value the carnal side of human nature, harming children is out of the question(except for extreme cases)because chilren are the best examples of this. Animals too. I would only kill an animal if attacked or for food. Helping yourselve makes it easier to help others. And since my life directly affects my life, helping myself usually comes first.
No, I don't imagine you would harm a child (although to be honest, I do wonder what "except in extreme cases" means). I was just using saving a child's life as a case of a selfless act that puts others' needs above your own. Of course, there are many other situations I could use as an example of that concept.
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Old 04-10-2002, 10:19 PM   #86
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you know good and evil HAVE to exist together. if one destroyed the other, it would cease to exist itself.
I don't know that. I don't believe it.
Evil did not always exist. Satan created evil. But don't be fooled - evil won't be allowed to roam free forever. Satan is not some "evil god". Satan is a created being, and is subject to the awesome power of the Almighty Lord. One day, the devil will be locked up forever.

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Old 04-10-2002, 10:57 PM   #87
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I'm not really replying, but letting those who are interested know that I'm still here and listening. I like the way the discussion about Jesus as God is progressing. I'll chime in when I have something more to add.

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Old 04-11-2002, 02:06 AM   #88
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Something someone (perhaps joyfulgirl) said about God being big enough to accommodate all beliefs in the world, stood out for me. To me, Jesus allowed himself to be tortured in the most horrible way (you'd be sick if you read the medical view on what happens to his body during crucifixion; also, I'm not advocating fixation on the gruesome aspects of it). He did it so that we may have life and because God the father loves his children.

God sending down his only son to die for us -- how much bigger do we want God to go? It's more than enough 'big-ness' for me.


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Old 04-11-2002, 04:39 AM   #89
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Ok, I´m having some problems making myself understood (I guess you noticed that English is not my native language) so I copied & pasted this article. Sorry it´s a bit long, but great. From www.bahai.org

The Bahá'í belief in one God means that the universe and all creatures and forces within it have been created by a single supernatural Being. This Being, Whom we call God, has absolute control over His creation (omnipotence) as well as perfect and complete knowledge of it (omniscience). Although we may have different concepts of God's nature, although we may pray to Him in different languages and call Him by different names--Allah or Yahweh, God or Brahma--nevertheless, we are speaking about the same unique Being.

Extolling God's act of creation, Bahá'u'lláh said:


All-praise to the unity of God, and all-honor to Him, the sovereign Lord, the incomparable and all-glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, hath created the reality of all things, Who, from naught, hath brought into being the most refined and subtle elements of His creation, and Who, rescuing His creatures from the abasement of remoteness and the perils of ultimate extinction, hath received them into His kingdom of incorruptible glory. Nothing short of His all-encompassing grace, His all-pervading mercy, could have possibly achieved it.2
Bahá'u'lláh taught that God is too great and too subtle a Being for the finite human mind ever to understand Him adequately or to construct an accurate image of Him:


How wondrous is the unity of the Living, the Ever-Abiding God--a unity which is exalted above all limitations, that transcendeth the comprehension of all created things.... How lofty hath been His incorruptible Essence, how completely independent of the knowledge of all created things, and how immensely exalted will it remain above the praise of all the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth!3
According to Bahá'í teachings, God is so far beyond His creation that, throughout all eternity, human beings will never be able to formulate any clear image of Him or attain to anything but the most remote appreciation of His superior nature. Even if we say that God is the All-Powerful, the All-Loving, the Infinitely Just, such terms are derived from a very limited human experience of power, love, or justice. Indeed, our knowledge of anything is limited to our knowledge of those attributes or qualities perceptible to us:


Know that there are two kinds of knowledge: the knowledge of the essence of a thing and the knowledge of its qualities. The essence of a thing is known through its qualities; otherwise, it is unknown and hidden.
As our knowledge of things, even of created and limited things, is knowledge of their qualities and not of their essence, how is it possible to comprehend in its essence the Divine Reality, which is unlimited? ... Knowing God, therefore, means the comprehension and the knowledge of His attributes, and not of His Reality. This knowledge of the attributes is also proportioned to the capacity and power of man; it is not absolute.4

Thus for human beings the knowledge of God means the knowledge of the attributes and qualities of God, not a direct knowledge of His essence. But how are we to attain the knowledge of the attributes of God? Bahá'u'lláh wrote that everything in creation is God's handiwork and therefore reflects something of His attributes. For example, even in the intimate structure of a rock or a crystal can be seen the order of God's creation. However, the more refined the object, the more completely is it capable of reflecting God's attributes. Since the Messenger of God or Manifestation of God is the highest form of creation known to us, the Manifestation affords the most complete knowledge of God available to us:


Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is a direct evidence of the revelation within it of the attributes and names of God, inasmuch as within every atom are enshrined the signs that bear eloquent testimony to the revelation of that Most Great Light.... To a supreme degree is this true of man.... For in him are potentially revealed all the attributes and names of God to a degree that no other created being hath excelled or surpasssed.... And of all men, the most accomplished, the most distinguished, and the most excellent are the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth. Nay, all else besides these Manifestations, live by the operation of their Will, and move and have their being through the outpourings of their grace.5
Although a rock or a tree reveals something of the subtlety of its Creator, only a conscious being such as man can dramatize God's attributes in his life and actions. Since the Manifestations are already in a perfected state, it is in their lives that the deeper meaning of God's attributes can be most perfectly understood. God is not limited by a physical body, and so we cannot see Him directly or observe His personality. Hence our knowledge of the Manifestation is, in fact, the closest we can come to the knowledge of God.


Know thou of a certainty that the Unseen can in no wise incarnate His essence and reveal it unto men. He is, and hath ever been, immensely exalted beyond all that can either be recounted or perceived.... He Who is everlastingly hidden from the eyes of men can never be known except through His Manifestation, and His Manifestation can adduce no greater proof of the truth of His mission than the proof of His Own Person.6
And in another similar passage:


The door of the knowledge of the Ancient Being [God] hath ever been, and will continue to be, closed in the face of men. No man's understanding shall ever gain access unto His holy court. As a token of His mercy, however, and as a proof of His loving-kindness, He hath manifested unto men the Day Stars of His divine guidance, the Symbols of His divine unity, and hath ordained the knowledge of these sanctified Beings to be identical with the knowledge of His own Self.7
Of course, only those who live during the time of a Manifestation have the opportunity of observing Him directly. It is for this reason, Bahá'u'lláh explained, that the essential connection between the individual and God is maintained through the writings and words of each Manifestation. For Bahá'ís, the word of the Manifestation is the Word of God, and it is to this Word that the individual can turn in his or her daily life in order to grow closer to God and to acquire a deeper knowledge of Him. The written Word of God is the instrument that creates a consciousness of God's presence in one's daily life:


Say: The first and foremost testimony establishing His truth is His own Self. Next to this testimony is His Revelation. For whoso faileth to recognize either the one or the other He hath established the words He hath revealed as proof of His reality and truth.... He hath endowed every soul with the capacity to recognize the signs of God.8
It is for this reason that the discipline of daily prayer, meditation, and study of the holy writings constitutes an important part of the individual spiritual practice of Bahá'ís. They feel that this discipline is one of the most important ways of growing closer to their Creator.

To summarize: the Bahá'í view of God is that His essence is eternally transcendent, but that His attributes and qualities are completely immanent in the Manifestations.9 Since our knowledge of anything is limited to our knowledge of the perceptible attributes of that thing, knowledge of the Manifestations is (for ordinary humans) equivalent to knowledge of God.10 In practical terms, this knowledge is gained through study, prayer, meditation, and practical application based on the revealed Word of God (i.e., the sacred scriptures of the Manifestations).


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Old 04-11-2002, 12:44 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
Something someone (perhaps joyfulgirl) said about God being big enough to accommodate all beliefs in the world, stood out for me. To me, Jesus allowed himself to be tortured in the most horrible way (you'd be sick if you read the medical view on what happens to his body during crucifixion; also, I'm not advocating fixation on the gruesome aspects of it). He did it so that we may have life and because God the father loves his children.

God sending down his only son to die for us -- how much bigger do we want God to go? It's more than enough 'big-ness' for me.


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Big enough to express Itself to those who aren't Christian, to those who will never hear about Christianity, to those whose faiths incorporate deep love for the Divine through other prophets/messengers/sons of God. I never experienced anything remotely of a Divine nature through prayer within the Christian church that I grew up in. I gave it my best--I truly did--but it simply wasn't my calling. It was empty for me. I wasn't filled with the love and joy and inspiration that I needed to show me it was the way for me (nor did I see it in others in my church). I prayed with unusual fervor beginning as a small child and throughout my teen years and I never experienced anything that indicated this was right for me. But later when I found my path, I experienced the Divine everywhere and it changed me forever. Miracle after miracle. And it felt like God was saying, "OK, Christianity didn't work for you? How about this then? I'll work with you this way."

And you must remember that the Bible is not my source of truth, so to use the crucifixion as an example for me just doesn't really work any more than it would for you if I began pointing to my own spiritual teachings as evidence of God's love for me. I'm not saying that I don't believe in the crucifixion but that other teachings have equally profound stories that I connect with just as you connect with the story of Jesus.

[This message has been edited by joyfulgirl (edited 04-11-2002).]
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Old 04-11-2002, 12:59 PM   #91
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But joyful girl, you're forgetting one thing. Many religions claim to be the only way. Christ in particular said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." Now, if all religions lead to God, how do you reconcile the fact that several make claims to be the only way? Since Christ himself said that He is the only way, I must assume that if He is the Son Of God, Christianity is the only way. If He is not the Son of God, then Christianity is a complete and utter falsehood.
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:10 PM   #92
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All the Manifestations of God have the same metaphysical nature and the same spiritual stature. There is absolute equality among Them. No one of Them is superior to another.

The differences which exist between the teachings of the various Manifestations of God are not due to any differences in stature or level of importance, but only to the varying needs and capacities of the civilizations to which They appeared (big difference between people who lifed 2000 years ago or today).

However, the Bahá'í doctrine of the oneness of the Manifestations does not mean that the same individual soul is born again in different physical bodies. Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and Bahá'u'lláh were all different personalities, separate individual realities. Their oneness lies in the fact that Each manifested and revealed the qualities and attributes of God to the same degree: the spirit of God which dwelled within any one of Them was identical to that which dwelled in the others.



[This message has been edited by AM (edited 04-11-2002).]
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:11 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl:
Big enough to express Itself to those who aren't Christian, to those who will never hear about Christianity...
I realize that you don't believe the Bible, but I thought you might be interested to know that the Bible teaches this very thing about God. In the book of Romans, Paul wrote: "what may be known about God is plain to them , because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." He's saying that God expresses himself to everyone, Christian or not, through his creation. Based on this fact he's saying that everyone is accountable to God, whether they've ever seen a bible or heard of Jesus or not.
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:18 PM   #94
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
But joyful girl, you're forgetting one thing. Many religions claim to be the only way. Christ in particular said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." Now, if all religions lead to God, how do you reconcile the fact that several make claims to be the only way? Since Christ himself said that He is the only way, I must assume that if He is the Son Of God, Christianity is the only way. If He is not the Son of God, then Christianity is a complete and utter falsehood.
Jesus was the way for the people at that time, within that culture, and for all who have resonated with him since. I do believe a Son of God is the way. But I also believe that there have always been, and will always continue to be, Sons of God on this earth, in different cultures.


[This message has been edited by joyfulgirl (edited 04-11-2002).]
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Old 04-11-2002, 01:35 PM   #95
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Originally posted by AM:
All the Manifestations of God have the same metaphysical nature and the same spiritual stature. There is absolute equality among Them. No one of Them is superior to another.

The differences which exist between the teachings of the various Manifestations of God are not due to any differences in stature or level of importance, but only to the varying needs and capacities of the civilizations to which They appeared (big difference between people who lifed 2000 years ago or today).

However, the Bahá'í doctrine of the oneness of the Manifestations does not mean that the same individual soul is born again in different physical bodies. Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and Bahá'u'lláh were all different personalities, separate individual realities. Their oneness lies in the fact that Each manifested and revealed the qualities and attributes of God to the same degree: the spirit of God which dwelled within any one of Them was identical to that which dwelled in the others.

[This message has been edited by AM (edited 04-11-2002).]
AM--a colleague of mine belongs to the Bahá'í faith and when she and I talk about spirituality, we feel a kinship with one another. I think it is a beautiful religion.

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Old 04-11-2002, 01:43 PM   #96
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Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase:
I realize that you don't believe the Bible, but I thought you might be interested to know that the Bible teaches this very thing about God. In the book of Romans, Paul wrote: "what may be known about God is plain to them , because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." He's saying that God expresses himself to everyone, Christian or not, through his creation. Based on this fact he's saying that everyone is accountable to God, whether they've ever seen a bible or heard of Jesus or not.
It's not that I don't believe in the Bible. It's more that I don't believe it was necessarily intended for the masses of people to come in future generations, although I am happy for anyone who finds truth in it thus giving their life meaning. I believe it was written for the people of that time, and that its original message has been distorted throughout time from its numerous translations, and that for me it is not easy to adapt it for today's spiritual seekers. But I appreciate you sharing that quote and, again, I'm glad that others see it differently.

[This message has been edited by joyfulgirl (edited 04-11-2002).]
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Old 04-11-2002, 09:32 PM   #97
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[BSince Christ himself said that He is the only way, I must assume that if He is the Son Of God, Christianity is the only way.[/B]
For Christians. For others, there are other paths, other ways. If one views Christianity as the only way for himself, that's fine. Like joyful girl, I never felt a resonance with Jesus. I still don't, but I believe in the divinity of Jesus; He was God on Earth. Now that I'm on a different path, I can understand Jesus more and appreciate who He is and what He did. It's good.

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Old 04-11-2002, 09:53 PM   #98
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For Christians. For others, there are other paths, other ways. If one views Christianity as the only way for himself, that's fine. Like joyful girl, I never felt a resonance with Jesus. I still don't, but I believe in the divinity of Jesus; He was God on Earth. Now that I'm on a different path, I can understand Jesus more and appreciate who He is and what He did. It's good.
You say that Christ was God on earth. But can Christ be a liar and God at the same time? Do you believe that God lies? Christ said he was the only way. If he is not the only way, then he is a liar. And how can a liar be God?
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Old 04-11-2002, 11:27 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha:
For Christians. For others, there are other paths, other ways. If one views Christianity as the only way for himself, that's fine. Like joyful girl, I never felt a resonance with Jesus. I still don't, but I believe in the divinity of Jesus; He was God on Earth. Now that I'm on a different path, I can understand Jesus more and appreciate who He is and what He did. It's good.
You say that Christ was God on earth. But can Christ be a liar and God at the same time? Do you believe that God lies? Christ said he was the only way. If he is not the only way, then he is a liar. And how can a liar be God?
what if christ never said that...the bible was canonized 500 years later...can you remember a conversation you had 5 years ago?...how about 500??? Christians place waaaaay too much emphasis on the bible. What if Christ meant that the universal teachings he taught were the only way?

in the book of job..god puts a man through hell just because he wants to win a bet. Personally god being a liar is quite tame, to him being irresponsible as he's portrayed in that story.

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Old 04-12-2002, 12:25 AM   #100
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Have at it, kids; I'm done here. I'm not up to rehashing the same points over and over again. It was interesting for a while, but I just don't care enough to continue. Some people insist on walking the path that is exclusionary and narrow. That's fine, but not for me. My faith is strong and real and alive, and I'm happy with my life and choices. I'm not into dogmatic arguements.

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