Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    Eckhart Tolle Christianity (Understanding Eckhart Tolle - Comparison / Difference with Christianity)

    I believe it important that both believers and unbelievers understand the difference between the teaching of Eckhart Tolle and Christianity. Here's a brief post to introduce you to a few of the significant differences. (Note, I've just been exposed to Tolle, but it doesn't seem to take long to discern the differences)

    Context (the problem)Taken from here.:

    Despite Oprah and Eckhart's reduction of Christianity to but one "way" amongst many other equally legitimate ways to God, and their calling Christ a "revolutionary" who has been misunderstood by the Church, and who simply came to manifest "Christ-consciousness", a quick search through the internet reveals that many Christians are following Oprah in attempting to fuse together the teachings of Eckhart, and the doctrines of the historical Christian church.


    Great website to gain quick summary of Eckhart's beliefs/teachings: Ripples on the Surface of Being

    Key Responses by Eckhart Tolle
    AC: Ultimately, would you say that real spiritual practice or real spiritual experience is meant to lead one to the letting go of the world, the transcendence of the world, the relinquishment of attachment to the world?

    ET: Yes. Sometimes people ask, "How do you get to that? It sounds wonderful, but how do you get there?" In concrete terms, at its most basic, it simply means to say "yes" to this moment. That is the state of surrender-a total "yes" to what is. Not the inner "no" to what is. And the complete "yes" to what is, is the transcendence of the world. It's as simple as that-a total openness to whatever arises at this moment. The usual state of consciousness is to resist, to run away from it, to deny it, to not look at it.


    JM: I was also struck by your interpretation of the cross as a symbol of "thy will be done".

    ET: It's a strange dualistic symbol. Basically, it's a torture instrument. To me, Jesus stands for humanity. So this man is nailed to the torture instrument, totally helpless, in deep suffering. At that point comes total surrender to what is. "Not my will, but thy will be done." At that point, the symbolic significance of the cross is changed from being a torture instrument to a symbol of the divine. So what it points to is that the very thing that seems to stand in the way of realizing who you are. The very suffering that comes with being here in this physical realm---because eventually some form of suffering comes to everybody---can become an opening into that which we call the divine. If you're lucky, disaster comes before the physical form is lost and the psychological form dissolves. This sometimes happens through extreme suffering, when people lose everything, or they find out they don't have much more time to live. So they are faced with extreme disaster which cannot be explained away.
    (From ">here)


    The possibility of such a transformation has been the central message of the great wisdom teachings of humankind. The messengers—Buddha, Jesus, and others, not all of them known—were humanity's early flowers. They were precursors, rare and precious beings. A widespread flowering was not yet possible at that time, and their message became largely misunderstood and often greatly distorted. It certainly did not transform human behavior, except in a small minority of people.
    From here.
    =================================
    SUMMARY

    1. Whereas in recent days, many have viewed Jesus as only a "GOOD TEACHER" rather than the "Son of God and Savior of the world"; Eckhart views Jesus (along with others such as Buddha) as one who only SET AN EXAMPLE for others in "SURRENDERING" as a result of suffering, BUT NOT ONE WHOSE SACRIFICE WAS NECESSARY FOR ATONEMENT! [i.e. Historic Christianity] In doing this, Jesus was only "one among many". (Note: In this view, Eckhart Tolle has done as much if not more than Jesus for us... since he not only supposedly sets the example for us in surrendering, but according to him...his teachings are not misunderstood and twisted like Jesus' example and teaching... so according to his view, Tolle, not Jesus is or becomes the de facto "real" or "best" Savior)

    In other words, whereas before Jesus was a good "teacher" whose teachings (along with others) were instrumental in leading people to God, now in Eckhart's view Jesus (along with others) is one who has gone before in "participating in the right experience" (that of renouncing the world, ego, etc.) that leads people to experience reality (stillness, pure consciousness, self, transcendence of the world).

    Put another way, in Eckhart's view, when Christ said "thy will be done, not my will", Jesus was not simply expressing the continuous attitude of his heart even in light of the present circumstances, but he had arrived at the divine and accomplished what is needed by others (an awakening), so that what followed (the penal substitution and atonement) was essentially unnecessary [/CONTRARY to SCRIPTURE and ESSENTIALS of Historic Christianity].

    Finally, it should be noted that whereas Eckhart sees Jesus on the cross as "representing" humanity; he fails to see that Jesus set himself "in the place of" humanity (the elect). (Isaiah 53 "...Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, ..., ...he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.")

    Such teaching fails to take into account passages such as:
    Matt 6:10 (Lord's prayer) "...your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
    John 6:27 "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
    Phil 2:6 "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,",
    ... not to mention those dealing with substitutionary atonement, including:
    Romans 3:25 "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood..."
    Hebrews 10:10 "And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
    ... also not to mention those dealing with God's decretal will in regard to the events of the cross
    Acts 4:27-28 "Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what YOUR POWER AND WILL had decided beforehand should happen." (i.e. Jesus didn't just suffer the wrath of men but the fulfilled the plan and suffered the wrath of God for those he represented through federal relationship.)

    2. Eckhart falsely supposes that man can renounce the world and self on his own apart from any grace in Christ.

    Such teaching suggests man can change his own nature, that the death of Christ was not necessary for man to die to sin, and that grace is not needed for man to renounce the world and himself.

    This runs counter to:
    Jeremiah 13:23 "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."
    John 17:19 "For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified."
    Romans 8:7 "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so."
    Rom 6:13 "Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life;..."

    3. Those who seek to "together the teachings of Eckhart, and the doctrines of the historical Christian church" are fooling themselves. Not only do they attempt to join together doctrines that can't be joined (like oil and water) but they deny the critical teaching of Christianity found in the doctrine of the necessity of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ... along with teachings dealing with sanctification that accompany the doctrines of justification.

    4. Eckhart is doing nothing different than others such as Joseph Smith or Muhammed when he seeks to supplant Scripture and the gospel of Christ by claiming the Scriptures have been misunderstood and that he knows better than the biblical writers.

    For more, see here.

    See also a comparison of Eckhart Tolle and Christianity on the Subject of Death.

    140 comments:

    don said...

    I am just one of the millions, yes millions of former born again Christians who have discovered over time that the American fundamentalist church has totally HIJACKED the teachings of Jesus.

    I no longer believe the lies that were taught me about Jesus by the church. That does not mean that I do not continue to follow Jesus. I do. I just don't follow "the church"

    What Eckhart Tolle is saying is RIGHT ON.

    In fact, if Jesus Christ came back today, I can assure you that the American Evangelical fundamentalist church in America would be the first in line to say that he must be some kind of new age guru. Just like when Jesus appeared 2000 years ago, it was HIS church that didn't recognize him.

    I will follow Jesus always. But my Jesus doesn't vote Republican, My Jesus doesn't say anything in the bible about gays (look it up), My Jesus is ambout peace, not war, My Jesus died for EVERYBODY (look it up).

    This old bullcrap taught by Josh Mc
    Dowell, which I used to believe, that you either have to accept Jesus as GOD or a lunatic is flawed logic.

    Many thousands of people got "saved" before Jesus was even born. And many more got saved in the 15th century by "attending" church- that was the way to be saved back then. No sinners prayer or four spiritual laws book- sorry fundy.

    I'm glad to see so many people today rethinking the "truths" they have been taught about Jesus and instead are finding out how to EXPERIENCE Jesus.

    After all, Jesus did give a warning to the church, that is still good today. MANY SHALL SAY LORD LORD, but Jesus won't even know them. Wake up Church. Knowing God is not that same as saying JESUS JESUS JESUS. Ask Benny Hinn, lol

    Peace out. fundys.com

    jazzycat said...

    Don,
    It is obvious you do not get your beliefs from the Holy Bible. May I ask what document or teacher you base your views on?

    swordbearer said...

    don,

    What's your position:
    a. Are sins of the past just part of a "photo" or do they result in guilt before God?

    b. Did Jesus come just as an example of how to renounce the world or to also provide for man's justification before God? (You seem to say both... when you say "What Exkhart is saying is right on" ... but then you go on to say "My Jesus died for everybody".... Which is it?)

    PS I'm afraid if you continue to discuss these matters we're going to find your "MY Jesus" may not be the same as the Bible's Jesus.

    SocietyVs said...

    "It is obvious you do not get your beliefs from the Holy Bible. May I ask what document or teacher you base your views on?" (Jazzycat)

    Why is this obvious? I read Don's comment - he may not get his logic from Evangelicalism or it's writers - but to say he does not get it from the bible is quite the stretch. If you look closely enough - his very last paragraph is a quote from the gospel of matthew.

    "PS I'm afraid if you continue to discuss these matters we're going to find your "MY Jesus" may not be the same as the Bible's Jesus." (Sword)

    Oh God guys...do you want to burn him at the stake now or later? Why does everyone who does not agree with you have to be automatically against you - although Don's tone did come off a little confrontational (I'll admit)?

    I have to admit I have very little problem with Eckhart - I might not read him but he doesnt bother me. But if I am going to make the kind of calls this site is making about him - then shouldn't I at least read the book first? So I can be a righteous judge on the subject?

    csp said...

    I was born and raised in a very conservative Protestant church and have no conflict with the writings and teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The Bible can be interpreted on many, many levels from the very literal to a much deeper understanding. A person can only comprehend and interpret it from his or her current level of consciousness, so Tolle's comments and writings may not be the same as someone who is living from a different state of consciousness. It would seem quite alien from that of someone staying very close to the surface of the Bible and Jesus' words and taking them as more outer historical documents rather than spiritual guidelines and examples for us to follow in an authentically inner way. Neither way (outer or inner) are better or worse than the other, but only in synchrony with ones state of consciousness.

    swordbearer said...

    Societyvs,

    The observations from my post come primarily either from Eckhart's own website, or from an interview in which Eckhart himself communicated his beliefs. I have laid my case for why he differs from the Bible and historic Christianity.

    If you or Don object to the differences I've put forth, state them. (These are the issues I've set before readers, and I care not to deal with ad hominem remarks or caricatures.

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    Just as one can be "sincerely" wrong while being sincere; one can also be of a "wrong" state of consciousness while claiming a particular type or level of consciousnessness.

    Also, while your background may have been a good one, it is not the text of orthodoxy and truth, Scripture is, and what Tolle teaches in inconsistent with the clear teaching of Scripure. While you may want to debate the perspicuity of Scripture, the framers of the Westminster Confession put it well when they said "All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. (2 Pet 3:16; Ps 129:105,130).

    Your argument is likened unto that of Tolle in that in order to justify your beliefs as coming from the Bible, you must first attempt to discredit those who uphold the Bibles teaching and then attempt to supplant the teaching of the Bible with a substitute. This is no different that attempts by Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and even on one level, atheists attempt to do.

    Tell us... do YOU deny the necessity of the substitutionary atonement of Christ?





    e

    csp said...

    The Bible is a most sacred text. I have no argument whatsoever with the authenticity and truth of the Bible. My disagreement is with any outer authority as interpreter. The Bible can only be understood by each individual as to their current level of consciousness (e.g. do not throw pearls before swine). This is frightening to many people because they want to be told by someone what they should believe. This directly reinforces the ego and sets one apart and above others. Development of discernment, as opposed to blind allegiance to church doctrine or a priestly caste, is difficult and takes a deep commitment to finding the Truth. There no authority or Church standing between a person and Christ.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Yes, there are differences in interpretations of Scripture, but the differences are not as vague as you want to make them. When it comes to salvation and how Christ works in that, there is not real mystery. The Bible is not something to be interpreted however we so choose.

    Prime example, the passage quoted from Matthew by Don, espoused by societyvs, applies to those who practice "lawlessness", like pro-abortion/gay marriage Christians. Be sure to quote the whole verse, instead of part of it to suit your own needs. Such practices are merely humanism disguised as Christianity.

    BTW: I won't speak for others, but I'm no fan of Benny Hinn either.

    csp said...

    There are significant differences in Bible interpretation, how Christ works, salvation, etc. between, for example, Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, early Christian Gnostics, etc. Even "Atonement" is divided between substitutionary and penal and has greater or lesser degrees of importance within each of the Christian denominations. Doctrines have also changed over time. Jesus came to tear down the intermediaries between God and man and show us the direct path home.

    swordbearer said...

    csp stated: "Doctrines have also changed over time. Jesus came to tear down the intermediaries between God and man and show us the direct path home."

    Respoonse:
    No one denies various interpretations have been offered, but the issue in question here is: Does that "path home" involve only a state of consciousness, or does in depend on the substitutionary atonement of Christ.

    I've yet to see (scriptural) evidence denying my post; only your suggesting interpretations are many, while (without support) yours is right.

    jazzycat said...

    CSP,
    You said……There no authority or Church standing between a person and Christ.

    You are correct in that statement, but there is something standing between a person and Christ and that is TRUTH. John 1:14 reports that Jesus came full of grace and truth. This is absolute truth and as Swordbearer said the essentials of salvation are easily discernable to all. No level of consciousness, intoxication, or any other new age imagined requirement is necessary to discern the truth of Biblical revelation. A person would do well to read it as God’s truth.

    csp said...

    Truth and Salvation are not so easy to find because our conditioned mind and ego will utilize whatever it has at its disposal to stand between us and Christ.

    The Bible is a sacred text of God's word, but reading it with a conditioned mind will give one only a very superficial understanding that serves our ego and personality, as well as strengthening the individual will. I must decrease so that he may increase.

    jazzycat said...

    CSP,
    You said…… “Truth and Salvation are not so easy to find”

    Truth found……….
    Jesus said: John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

    Salvation found in the truth……
    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    Thus the gospel is the power of God for salvation.

    Gospel found……
    Romans 3:20-26 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    CSP, what do you find confusing in this sequence?

    csp said...

    It's not confusing.

    Jesus said: John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

    Yes, his word is truth, but this does mean a person understands him. The reaction to someone speaking the truth is quite often negative and without understanding. Thus, it can be very difficult to both see and understand the truth.

    Gotta go ... more later.

    jazzycat said...

    CSP,
    You said....Yes, his word is truth, but this does mean a person understands him. The reaction to someone speaking the truth is quite often negative and without understanding. Thus, it can be very difficult to both see and understand the truth.

    The Bible says that it is not difficult....Rom. 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    Check out 2 Cor 3.... Especially v. 15 which says, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

    It says through faith in Christ Jesus and not through achieving the correct level of consciousness.

    csp said...

    It is interesting that you quote ...

    Rom. 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. (20) For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    This is completely in line with Tolle. He repeatedly states that we can know God through his creations in nature. If we are silent and still with nature we can perceive God's divine nature.

    As for consciousness ...

    We do not achieve correct levels of consciousness. First, there is no "correct" consciousness just differences in consciousness. Secondly, they are not achieved. That would be ego-consciousness created by self-will. Any change in consciousness is by the grace of God through self-surrender. His will and not thy will.

    jazzycat said...

    csp,
    You said....Any change in consciousness is by the grace of God through self-surrender.

    This seems to be an oxymoron. Is it by grace or self-surrender? I would agree that salvation comes by grace through the divine intervention of God in the human creature, but I would deny that it depends on self-surrender. John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. and further Romans 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

    When God intervenes with grace, the sinner will respond willingly. The ultimate cause is God and not self.

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    You not only fail to take into account the gift of the Holy Spirit, but also fail to recognize that the Spirit and the truth will not contradict the Word, which Tolle does repeated, as shown in the post.

    Second, you fail to distinguish the difference and recognize that while the eternal power and divine nature of God are revealed in nature, special revelation reveals the the mediator and intercessor of God's mercy, even Christ, and in this Tolle not only has it wrong, but speaks of attaining the goal apart from the righteousness that comes only by Christ.

    Not only is Tolle wrong, but you are in danger of following one whose path leads to destruction. As Scripture states, there is a way that seems right to man, but in the end leads to death. If you continue to deny the righteousness that God offers through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in rejecting this gospel look to another gospel, you will not only fail to receive the gift and inheritance of God, but the due reward for your decision.

    The Scripture states "But now a righteousness from God... has been made known... This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified greely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood."

    If you want to speak of consciousness, note the that "through the law we become conscious of sin."

    The errors of Tolle are likened to that (and on one level a resurrection) of the Greek heresies which suggested that the world and the things of the flesh are of no importance, and salvation exists in the escape such that only the things of the spiritual matter. The error in this is seen in the fact that God made us not just spiritual beings, but spirit-body beings. While it is true that we are renounce the sinful, perverted, and lustful desires we have both in and for the world, that does not mean the things of the world and the body do not matter. Even Jesus himself came in the flesh in order that man might be redeemed not just in the soul but including the body as well. That's why while you see Tolle's philosophies lead him to extended states of "nothingness" and "inactivity", and "escape", true believers participate in sanctification, good works, and bear much fruit including bearing testimony of the truth and participating in works of righteousness leading to the salvation of the elect and the redemption and restoration of the world to be fully consummated in Christ and upon his return.

    Believers renounce the world, but for Christ who is our righteousness, holiness and redemption. In contrast, Tolle suggests renouncing the world ... for "nothingness", to "be nobody", to lose "all interest in doing and interacting", to experience some vague "being", and to experience "no thought" and to find "who I am" rather than to find one's being and purpose in Christ.

    Tolle's teaching is not only false, but leads one away from the very life and solution that God freely offers.

    csp said...

    To quote ...

    "The errors of Tolle are likened to that (and on one level a resurrection) of the Greek heresies which suggested that the world and the things of the flesh are of no importance, and salvation exists in the escape such that only the things of the spiritual matter. The error in this is seen in the fact that God made us not just spiritual beings, but spirit-body beings. While it is true that we are renounce the sinful, perverted, and lustful desires we have both in and for the world, that does not mean the things of the world and the body do not matter. Even Jesus himself came in the flesh in order that man might be redeemed not just in the soul but including the body as well. That's why while you see Tolle's philosophies lead him to extended states of "nothingness" and "inactivity", and "escape", true believers participate in sanctification, good works, and bear much fruit including bearing testimony of the truth and participating in works of righteousness leading to the salvation of the elect and the redemption and restoration of the world to be fully consummated in Christ and upon his return.

    Believers renounce the world, but for Christ who is our righteousness, holiness and redemption. In contrast, Tolle suggests renouncing the world ... for "nothingness", to "be nobody", to lose "all interest in doing and interacting", to experience some vague "being", and to experience "no thought" and to find "who I am" rather than to find one's being and purpose in Christ."


    This is a gross misinterpretation of Tolle and couldn't be further from the truth of his writings or commentary. He does not in any way renounce this nature, the body or propose an escape from this world. Quite the opposite actually. He states that God's creation is wonderous and we should rejoice in his works. He also states that not only should we not escape this world, but we should be present in the eternal now of our existence. This is not "nothingness" but instead it is a removing of all the labels, names and cultural/historical conditioning that keeps us from personally experiencing God. The Kingdom of Heaven is within.

    You also misunderstand the concepts of "inactivity" or "not-doing." This is not the same as sitting back and doing nothing. What this means is that one is not acting from self-will. The ego-consciousness has stepped aside. One is living in the eternal present with Christ and he is acting through you. His will and not thy will.

    swordbearer said...

    To quote: "...but instead it is a removing of all the labels, names and cultural/historical conditioning that keeps us from personally experiencing God. The Kingdom of Heaven is within.

    Response: While it is true that the kingdom of heaven is within, it is also true that salvation and the kingdom of heaven is experienced and comes through the knowledge of Jesus Christ not only as Son of God but Savior of the world. To this end, he is not only an example (one among many) but the means. Scripture states " For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." Enough diversions, do you believe this or not?

    ==
    To quote: "You also misunderstand the concepts of "inactivity" or "not-doing." This is not the same as sitting back and doing nothing. What this means is that one is not acting from self-will. The ego-consciousness has stepped aside. One is living in the eternal present with Christ and he is acting through you. His will and not thy will."

    Response: Your argument falsely supposes that apart from the union and grace that comes through and is found in Christ (and his death, burial, and resurrection) that man can and will renounce the world and experience the eternal. You falsely seek to claim the benefits without the foundation.

    csp said...

    You left out an important part of the quote ...

    For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.

    Yes ... I believe in this. He has shown us the way. Our soul, through the power of Christ, has to be reborn and connected once again with the Spirit from which it has been severed since The Fall.

    Not sure I understand ...

    Your argument falsely supposes that apart from the union and grace that comes through and is found in Christ (and his death, burial, and resurrection) that man can and will renounce the world and experience the eternal. You falsely seek to claim the benefits without the foundation.

    Can you explain in another way?

    Also ... what does "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" mean to you?

    swordbearer said...

    To quote (csl): "You left out an important part of the quote ...

    For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.

    Yes ... I believe in this. He has shown us the way. Our soul, through the power of Christ, has to be reborn and connected once again with the Spirit from which it has been severed since The Fall.

    Not sure I understand ...

    Response: When you state "yes, I believe in this", do you mean that it was "necessary" for Jesus to be "put to death in the flesh" (in the sense of a substitutionary atonement for sin ... not just a mortification of "self- consciousness" or "self-ego"?

    Put another way, did Jesus just "show us the way" (i.e., through demonstration of a new consciousness) or was it also necessary that he make possible the way (by appeasing the wrath of God and opening the way for the grace of God)?
    ==
    To quote (csl): Can you explain in another way?

    Response: On one level you have stated that "Any change in consciousness is by the grace of God through self-surrender."

    One one level, one must clarify the question: Does "self surrender" come as as the "result, effect, or fruit" of God's grace, or does "self surrender" serve as the "necessary qualification on man's part" to "receive" the grace of God which is a new consciousness?

    On another level, the greater question is: Is the grace of God (that results in a new consciousness) connected to and dependent upon the necessary, effective, and accepted mediatiatorial work and atonement of Christ?

    Put another way, does God bestow grace of this sort on ANY man (without reference to Christ and the satisfaction associated with his substitutionary sacrifice)... or does grace of this nature only extended and available to those whom God saves "in keeping" with Christ's satisfaction/sacrifice?
    ==

    To quote (csl) "Also ... what does "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" mean to you?"

    Response: That's a pretty wide question, but I'll address what I think you mean by it.

    Unlike false views historically where men have looked for some sort of earthly manifestation of God's kingdom (i.e., the messiah would come to rule on (/the) earth like earthly kings, etc.); the kingdom of God and of heaven is spiritual in nature, and while Christ rules over heaven and earth (external... on one level), the kingdom of heaven is (also) found (within man) where the rule and presence of Christ (God) enters, to unseat, overthrow, and replace all which has and does stand opposed to him as result of man's fall into sin. This change however, comes about not as a result of man achieving some new state of consciousness apart from Christ and his saving grace, but through the grace and power of God who enables the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the dead to experience renewed understanding and a newness of life, wherein one through belief and persuasion in the reality of God and of the truth concerning this world, is enabled to and motivated to renounce the world in looking to God (in Christ) for full satisfaction and fulfillment.

    csp said...

    Question: When you state "yes, I believe in this", do you mean that it was "necessary" for Jesus to be "put to death in the flesh" (in the sense of a substitutionary atonement for sin ... not just a mortification of "self- consciousness" or "self-ego"?

    Put another way, did Jesus just "show us the way" (i.e., through demonstration of a new consciousness) or was it also necessary that he make possible the way (by appeasing the wrath of God and opening the way for the grace of God)?

    Response: It was necessary for Christ to manifest in the flesh to open a more direct path (as stated in the New Testament) back to the Father. This was/is necessary based on the development and condition of man during that/this time period. His manifestation brought his Light into this world and made it more directly available to us on the Path of Return.

    Question: One one level, one must clarify the question: Does "self surrender" come as as the "result, effect, or fruit" of God's grace, or does "self surrender" serve as the "necessary qualification on man's part" to "receive" the grace of God which is a new consciousness?

    Response: We have to consciously choose to sacrifice the self/ego in service of God's will. We take one step and he carries us two.

    Comment: Unlike false views historically where men have looked for some sort of earthly manifestation of God's kingdom (i.e., the messiah would come to rule on (/the) earth like earthly kings, etc.); the kingdom of God and of heaven is spiritual in nature, and while Christ rules over heaven and earth (external... on one level), the kingdom of heaven is (also) found (within man) where the rule and presence of Christ (God) enters, to unseat, overthrow, and replace all which has and does stand opposed to him as result of man's fall into sin. This change however, comes about not as a result of man achieving some new state of consciousness apart from Christ and his saving grace, but through the grace and power of God who enables the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the dead to experience renewed understanding and a newness of life, wherein one through belief and persuasion in the reality of God and of the truth concerning this world, is enabled to and motivated to renounce the world in looking to God (in Christ) for full satisfaction and fulfillment.

    Response: True, his Kingdom is not of this world. True, the presence of Christ within us will unseat all that is in opposition. True, ultimately (if we are reborn and reconnected with the Spirit) we will be in this world, but not of this world.

    I think in the end our differences are one of responsibility. When I was 12 years old I read the Bible from beginning to end. When I finished I realized that what I was hearing in mainstream (for lack of a better term) Christianity was not entirely in agreement with what I had just read. There was something deeper. A hidden mystery that required self-responsibility and difficult action and not just passive belief. A belief system is fine if it opens a door, but can be dangerous if it closes a door out of fear, laziness or pride ... or worse yet ... becomes an ideological weapon. Passivity (I believe so I'm saved) is easy and has minimal requirements, so has been cultivated by the church. Christ both shows us the way ... AND ... provides us with a power to walk the path of return, but we have to ennoble ourselves to it through a genuine yearning for salvation and liberation and commitment to self-sacrifice in service to His will.

    swordbearer said...

    csp stated: "...It was necessary for Christ to manifest in the flesh to open a more direct path..."

    Response:
    1. You seem to suggest there is more than one path, perhaps even paths apart from Christ.
    2. Does the path to God depend on Jesus as mediator and appeasement?

    (Note: Your elusiveness and hesitancy to answer directly thus far ... is telling. Unless you show otherwise, I take it you are embracing a different gospel.)

    csp stated: "We have to consciously choose to sacrifice the self/ego in service of God's will. We take one step and he carries us two."

    Response: You profess a form of "works" righteousness, or at least "works" as a "means" to grace/knowledge/relationship/etc. This is clearly not biblical.

    It stands in contrast to biblical teaching in regard to (1)the "instrument" of salvation ("For it by grace you have been saved, THROUGH FAITH, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, NOT BY WORKS, so that no one can boast.
    (2) the nature of God's grace ("We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has FREELY given us."
    (3)the ability and dispositon of man ("The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind, is hostile to God. It DOES NOT submit to God's law, NOR CAN it do so.") (Note - you have put man's step before the Spirit's control)

    clp stated: "Passivity (I believe so I'm saved) is easy and has minimal requirements, so has been cultivated by the church. Christ both shows us the way ... AND ... provides us with a power to walk the path of return, but we have to ennoble ourselves to it through a genuine yearning for salvation and liberation and commitment to self-sacrifice in service to His will."

    Response: While I do not deny that in some venues, an "easy believism" has been taught, but that does not deny the biblical definition and nature of belief which includes an active element.

    At the same time, it must be noted that while you state "Christ both shows us the way ... AND ... provides us with a power to walk the path of return...",:
    1. Christ has not just shown us the way, but opened (or made) the only way... by satisfying the wrath and righteous requirements of God through his own active and passive obedience, which included offering himself a one time offering to gain appeasement with God for the sins of those he came to save. (Heb 9:27 "27Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.")
    2. THE RETURN IS ACCOMPLISHED SOLELY ON THE MERITS OF CHRIST, NOT OF MAN.
    3. While man is enabled through the power of God, this is not in order to make or provide for a path leading to God (which Christ alone has accomplished as some have put it by "establishing a bridge across the wide and insurmountable chasm between man and God as a result of man's sin", but having had that path established and opened by way of Christ (through his substitutionary & bodily sacrifice), the objects of God's mercy and redemption are then not only quickened and made alive through the power of God, but enabled by that power to see, believe, and act on the truth of God, that which he was previously unable to do. It is in this sense, that man has responsibility, not to do things in order to save himself, but in keeping with God's plan and gift of salvation to walk in response and in keeping with God's grace so as to experience God more fully and to walk in his ways.

    (It's important that one distinguish between the "work" of man, which is not the root but the fruit of salvation.)

    csp states: "Christ both shows us the way ... AND ... provides us with a power to walk the path of return, BUT WE HAVE TO ENABLE OURSELEVES TO IT" [Caps, my emphasis]

    Response: Man is spiritually DEAD (powerless, lifeless, blind, deaf, etc.) apart from Christ.

    You suggest it is ONLY illumination and power that man needs, but he also is in need of ABILITY (as well as inclination).

    Your error goes back to question of whether man is simply BROKEN spiritually (and therefore only needs some help) or whether he is DEAD apart from Christ. The scripture reveals the latter.

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    Do you believe Jesus to be the "Son of God" or just a man (/prophet) who showed the way?

    jazzycat said...

    My 6:59 post should have stated 2 Tim 3 rather than 2 Cor 3

    csp said...

    I'll respond to each comment individually as I have time.

    Question:
    1. You seem to suggest there is more than one path, perhaps even paths apart from Christ.
    2. Does the path to God depend on Jesus as mediator and appeasement?

    Response:
    My comments suggested there is only one path and there is only one path. What that path is called, labeled, or named is a creation of man and not indicative of more than one path. That path requires the Light and Love of Christ.

    swordbearer said...

    csp stated: "I'll respond to each comment individually as I have time."

    Response: Sounds great. I'll be away for part if not most of the weekend as well.

    csp state: My comments suggested there is only one path and there is only one path.


    Response: In regard to "there is only one path", I'm glad to see you state this, though your comments referred to "It was necessary for Christ to manifest in the flesh TO OPEN A MORE DIRECT PATH" [CAPS, my emphasis].

    The question remains (and you have yet to respond): Is this path dependent on Jesus Christ being the Son of God and securing salvation for sinners based upon his appeasing the wrath of God by offering himself in the place of sinners and enabling reconcilation between God and man (who otherwise would remain alienated as a result of sin)?

    csp stated: "What that path is called, labeled, or named is a creation of man and not indicative of more than one path. That path requires the Light and Love of Christ."

    Response:
    1. I'm not sure what you mean by "is a creation of man". God himself, being not only sovereign, the offended one, as well as the giver of mercy is the one who has determined, provided for and revealed the path, this being clearly communicated in his word.

    2. In response to "That path requires the Light and Love of Christ", I ask again... By the "Love of Christ", do you include the sacrificial, substitutionary and redemptive love of Christ by which he gave of himself in order to satisfy the justice of God and to secure forgiveness of sins on the part of those he gave himself for?

    (Note: You know it seems strange to me you have such a hard time answering this question. Are you hiding something? Are you afraid to state your beliefs? Or, are you not sure as you are continuing to search for the truth and find yourself in a quandry as to what to believe?

    Don't you think it strange that for over two thousand years (as well as the years prior to that when the O.T. believers placed their faith in the fact that God would provide) that the message of salvation was confused until Tolle came along? Does it not strike you that that's the same argument that's found among Muslims and Mormons? Do you not find it strange that if Jesus had "come to know the truth" was simply in coming to a consciousness that "thy will,not mine be done", that it was necessary for him to continue in the way of the cross... for what reason?... and What would this say about God, who in that view determined Jesus should die a ruthless death, though it was not necessary ...)

    True believers throughout the ages have not hesitated to profess their faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the surety of their hope and salvation which has come about through Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection (bodily, not just consciousness). These are the very things the apostles gloried in, and counted all other things as dung, and yet you are elusive when it comes to your beliefs. Do you not submit to the Scripture which says "Always be prepared to give an answer to the hope you have"? I'm simply asking you to define that hope, particularly in light of Christ and his sacrifice. If you would prefer to discuss this more privately, I'd be glad to do that with you... for at this point, I'm afraid you've perhaps bought into the lie that salvation depends on man attaining a particular consciousness rather than God securing and providing salvation for man through his own love and mercy.

    csp said...

    I'm not being elusive ... just trying to stick to the subject of the column which is Eckhart Toll and Christianity. I have no qualms with your form of Christianity. It is right for you at this time and the experience is needed. My argument is that the teachings of Eckhart Tolle are not in opposition to other interpretations and practices of Christianity.

    August said...

    CSP, stop being cryptic and lay out your position backed by Scriptural exegesis.

    Your assumption is of course that you are the only one, or one of the select few, who has the "right level of consciousness" to really understand, and others whose teachings are turned into doctrine and preached in churches do not. I'd like to see some proof for that assumption.

    csp said...

    You've misunderstood me and I don't mean to be cryptic. Under no circumstances do I think the church is wrong or that my consciousness is higher. I'm stating that your form of Christianity is right for you, but it is not the only form of Christianity. There are many and Tolle's teaching is in agreement with a particular form and practice of Christianity.

    I hope that is non-cryptic, but if not I apologize for not being able to express myself more clearly.

    August said...

    csp, ok, but then you and Tolle have to justify in the same manner how there can be many forms of Christianity. Christianity by definition exclusively means certain things, and if one deviates from that, it is no longer Christianity.

    For Tolle to state that "church" and "doctrine" is to limit God is simply to replace it with his own doctrine. All believers adhere to some kind of doctrine, whether he likes it or not. But we can know which doctrines hold true by comparing it to the source of objective truth. To do that you need to establish and prove your epistemology and hermeneutic as Scripturally based, and then show that your conclusions are logically consistent within the authority of Scripture.

    I have seen nothing of the sort form Tolle, just brute assertion based on an unintelligible hermeneutic and epistemology.

    csp said...

    Comment: You and Tolle have to justify in the same manner how there can be many forms of Christianity. Christianity by definition exclusively means certain things, and if one deviates from that, it is no longer Christianity.

    Response: There are many forms of Christianity. Christian Science, Mormon, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalian, Quaker, Pentecostal, etc. To say that one or more of these are not a form of Christianity is to base the definition on your own particular form of Christianity. The Roman Church did just this with the early Gnostic Christians and later with the Cathars which led to the Inquisition.

    Comment: But we can know which doctrines hold true by comparing it to the source of objective truth. To do that you need to establish and prove your epistemology and hermeneutic as Scripturally based, and then show that your conclusions are logically consistent within the authority of Scripture.

    Response: Do you hear what you are saying? First you state that it has to be based on objective truth then state this has to be proven as scripturally based. That is a rubber-band theory. You've set the objective truth criteria as scriptural. Objective truth is that which is based on agreed upon criteria, no a personal belief. I respect your honoring of the scriptures, and I too hold them to be the most sacred of texts, but I wouldn't propose them as an objective truth against which other beliefs are to be judged. If this would be the case each religious or spiritual group could also proclaim it scriptures to be the criteria for objective truth. The fundamentalist Muslims do this very thing with the Koran and proclaim Christians to be Satanists.

    This is why Tolle (and myself) would say that the deepest truth of Christianity goes beyond labels and doctrines and to a living reality within the person.

    jazzycat said...

    csp,
    Speaking of Scripture you said.... I wouldn't propose them as an objective truth against which other beliefs are to be judged.

    Here is the problem! Your rejection of Scripture as absolute truth, has left you with no truth whatsoever. This only leaves you with exactly what it has left Eckhart Tolle. GOBBLY-GOOK.

    With that kind of world-view, it would be easier for you to nail jello to the wall than to find truth!

    August said...

    csp said: "There are many forms of Christianity. Christian Science, Mormon, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalian, Quaker, Pentecostal, etc. To say that one or more of these are not a form of Christianity is to base the definition on your own particular form of Christianity. The Roman Church did just this with the early Gnostic Christians and later with the Cathars which led to the Inquisition."

    No, it is not. There can only be one true Christianity faith. While there may be saved believers from different denominations, there is only one form of a saving Christian faith. If that was not true, why is there any reason to have "different forms"? The one saving faith is what we read in Scripture, and I have no beef with denominations that faithfully preach this.

    But you are equivocating...you want to hold that all versions of Christianity are valid, but you want to do so by brute assertion, not by any objective measure. If you want to make such an absolute statement, then you have to establish and account for that standard, which leads us to:

    csp said: "Do you hear what you are saying? First you state that it has to be based on objective truth then state this has to be proven as scripturally based. That is a rubber-band theory. You've set the objective truth criteria as scriptural. Objective truth is that which is based on agreed upon criteria, no a personal belief. I respect your honoring of the scriptures, and I too hold them to be the most sacred of texts, but I wouldn't propose them as an objective truth against which other beliefs are to be judged. If this would be the case each religious or spiritual group could also proclaim it scriptures to be the criteria for objective truth. The fundamentalist Muslims do this very thing with the Koran and proclaim Christians to be Satanists."

    So what standard do you propose against which beliefs should be judged? You are clearly judging our beliefs here using some standard, but have not established any standard for objective truth. Furthermore you are proposing that the objective truth of Gods revelation is not good enough of a standard for you and those who think like you...you want to propose some higher standard by which God Himself should be judged.

    I welcome absolute truth claims from other religions, because we can hold them to both internal and external critiques and test them for internal and external consistency. In that sense the Muslim faith, for example, fails an internal critique, as does the other faiths you want to propose.

    To make objective truth a relative thing like you are doing here leads nowhere, either by infinite regress or by irrelevance. Truth can by definition not be relative.

    I also see that you are giving a lot of opinion without establishing a basis for saying them, like I already noted. To accuse me of fitting things into my own reference framework is just question begging from your side, and does not qualify as an argument or logical proof.

    csp said: "This is why Tolle (and myself) would say that the deepest truth of Christianity goes beyond labels and doctrines and to a living reality within the person."

    Except that your statement here is nothing other than a statement of doctrine itself. Furthermore, I have not seen anything from yourself or Tolle explaining why what you say here is necessarily true. What is it based on? How do you justify your feeling? What is that reality you are talking about? What does "deepest truth of Christianity" mean? How do you know that it is the deepest, and not something else? What is your objective standard for making that absolute truth statement in the first place, given that you don't hold to Scripture as objective truth?

    You can protest "labels" and "doctrine" all you want, but you are cutting off the very branch you are sitting on, since you and Tolle are also applying labels and proclaiming doctrine.

    csp said...

    Comment: There can only be one true Christianity faith. While there may be saved believers from different denominations, there is only one form of a saving Christian faith. If that was not true, why is there any reason to have "different forms"?

    Response: There are many forms of Christianity because there are significant disagreements and differences in the translation of the meaning of the scriptures. Thus, you had a Protestant reformation in opposition to the structure and doctrines of Catholicism. The same with the Christian Scientists, Quakers, Mormons, etc. If there were no differences in the interpretations of the scriptures then there would be only one church.

    Comment: But you are equivocating...you want to hold that all versions of Christianity are valid, but you want to do so by brute assertion, not by any objective measure. If you want to make such an absolute statement, then you have to establish and account for that standard

    Response: I have no opinion as to which versions of Christianity are valid or not. That's not for me to judge. Each version is free to exist and practice as they like as long as they do not interfere in any other religious or spiritual practices. Their validity (or non-validity) is between its members and God.

    Comment: So what standard do you propose against which beliefs should be judged?

    Response: They should not be judged.

    Comment: You are clearly judging our beliefs here using some standard, but have not established any standard for objective truth.

    Response: I'm not judging your faith, beliefs, or spiritual validity. I'm pointing out that you are judging others, and in particular Mr. Tolle, based on your subjective interpretation of the scriptures and little understanding of Mr. Tolle or his teachings.

    Comment: Furthermore you are proposing that the objective truth of Gods revelation is not good enough of a standard for you and those who think like you...you want to propose some higher standard by which God Himself should be judged.

    Response: What is the objective truth of God's revelation? I do recognize the sacred text of the Bible, for instance ... if that is what you are referring to, but at the same time recognize that its interpretation by people.

    Comment: What is your objective standard for making that absolute truth statement in the first place, given that you don't hold to Scripture as objective truth?

    Response: Truth has many levels. For instance, if I'm watching a film and I see a street sign that says "Lincoln St." it can be true that it is both the name of the street and might also symbolize or point to a deeper meaning behind the name that is relevant to the story (e.g. an assassination plot similar to that of President Lincoln that is being planned). The Bible can also be read and understood in this manner. Both as a literal story and also highly symbolic pointing to deeper meanings. Thus, it is both objective and subjective which leads to significant variance in interpretations.

    Comment: You can protest "labels" and "doctrine" all you want, but you are cutting off the very branch you are sitting on, since you and Tolle are also applying labels and proclaiming doctrine.

    Response: What are our labels and doctrines?

    August said...

    Cmon csp, I've asked you a bunch of questions you did not even attempt to answer. That simply won't cut it if he, or you as his follower, want to be taken seriously.

    I've read Tolle's "New Earth", in which he spends a few pages dismissing "religion" by hand-waving and brute assertion, and then asserting his labels of close-mindedness, non-spirituality and rigidness. He then goes on to promote a doctrine of all religions being equal, his special hidden truth and the weakness of the human ego. Finally he warns about people exactly like me, who believe in objective truth gained from Scripture and promising the reader that we won't budge on our position because of our "ego". Well my friend, he is exactly right, but it is not because of my ego, it is because my chief purpose in life is to glorify God, not myself. there

    You can keep repeating your bare assertions as Tolle does, but until you show some serious argumentation that proves his position, you are just stating opinions.

    csp said: "There are many forms of Christianity because there are significant disagreements and differences in the translation of the meaning of the scriptures. Thus, you had a Protestant reformation in opposition to the structure and doctrines of Catholicism. The same with the Christian Scientists, Quakers, Mormons, etc. If there were no differences in the interpretations of the scriptures then there would be only one church."

    You can't stop equivocating, can you? You do know that there is a vast difference between the actual Christian Scriptures and the other religions you mentioned here, right?

    Also, let's get it out of the way up front. You keep saying that the different religions are the result of different interpretations, and that may be somewhat true. But to say that you need to establish a hermeneutic and standard by which to make that call, because how do you know that one, or all, interpretations are right or wrong? I deny that it is human interpretation alone that is responsible for various faiths. It is up to you to disprove me.

    csp said: "I have no opinion as to which versions of Christianity are valid or not. That's not for me to judge. Each version is free to exist and practice as they like as long as they do not interfere in any other religious or spiritual practices. Their validity (or non-validity) is between its members and God."

    That is very convenient, but according to Tolle they are all wrong. But you do miss some crucial distinctives, such as the Christians great commission, which then, by your stated standard, would make Christianity invalid. You say it is not for you to judge, but then you set out a standard of non-interference by which you propose to judge.

    csp said: "I'm not judging your faith, beliefs, or spiritual validity. I'm pointing out that you are judging others, and in particular Mr. Tolle, based on your subjective interpretation of the scriptures and little understanding of Mr. Tolle or his teachings."

    You have to show me where I have misrepresented Tolle. Anyway, you are just begging the question in you and Tolles favor here. You have not even started to demonstrate what my "subjective interpretation of the scriptures" are, or why what I am saying is out of line with what the Scriptures actually say, if my interpretation is then necessarily wrong.

    Also, you are judging my beliefs along with Tolle. Go read pages 17-20 of "A New Earth" again, and see how he is judging me. Neither you nor Tolle has established any basis by which to judge, despite me asking you right from the start to do so.

    csp said: "What is the objective truth of God's revelation? I do recognize the sacred text of the Bible, for instance ... if that is what you are referring to, but at the same time recognize that its interpretation by people."

    What exactly is "interpretation by people"? Which parts of the Scriptures? Most of Scripture is fundamentally straight forward. The fact that my beliefs withstand internal critique is a very strong indication that it is in line with objective truth. On what basis do you make a similar claim for Tolle?

    csp said: "Truth has many levels. For instance, if I'm watching a film and I see a street sign that says "Lincoln St." it can be true that it is both the name of the street and might also symbolize or point to a deeper meaning behind the name that is relevant to the story (e.g. an assassination plot similar to that of President Lincoln that is being planned). The Bible can also be read and understood in this manner. Both as a literal story and also highly symbolic pointing to deeper meanings. Thus, it is both objective and subjective which leads to significant variance in interpretations."

    Please explain how truth has many levels. Start by defining truth, especially seen in light of your appeal to both objectivity and subjectivity. Please point out which parts of the Bible can be read like that and which cannot, and why.

    csp said: "What are our labels and doctrines?"

    Uh, what? I already mentioned some above, but if you need a refresher, go read the pages I mentioned for the labels, and then the rest of "New Earth" for doctrine. What do you think doctrine means?

    Look, you have not really answered most of the questions I have asked, you have just kept on asserting blindly. You remain firmly entrenched in mid-air along with your buddy Tolle with your assertions about "ego", "sprituality" and "deeper meaning". without an epistemology to even start justifying what you are saying.

    Now you can try to relegate spirituality to some kind of mystical experience, but frankly, all that does is establish relativism, in which case neither you or Tolle have a case.

    csp said...

    Comment: Cmon csp, I've asked you a bunch of questions you did not even attempt to answer. That simply won't cut it if he, or you as his follower, want to be taken seriously.

    Response: I haven't purposefully avoided any questions. Just a matter of time management. Also, I'm not a follower of Tolle, but I do have great respect for his writings and am in complete agreement based on my personal experiences.

    Comment: I've read Tolle's "New Earth", in which he spends a few pages dismissing "religion" by hand-waving and brute assertion, and then asserting his labels of close-mindedness, non-spirituality and rigidness. He then goes on to promote a doctrine of all religions being equal, his special hidden truth and the weakness of the human ego.

    Response: Wow. Not sure how to respond to this complete misunderstanding of Tolle. Dismissing religion with brute assertion? Weakness of the human ego? Both are incorrect understanding of Tolle. He doesn't dismiss any religion and his central theme is one of a strong human ego. How did you get it so wrong?

    Comment: You can keep repeating your bare assertions as Tolle does, but until you show some serious argumentation that proves his position, you are just stating opinions.

    Response: Why are you so angry and aggressive? Is Tolle or myself that threatening to your belief system?

    Comment: You have not even started to demonstrate what my "subjective interpretation of the scriptures" are, or why what I am saying is out of line with what the Scriptures actually say, if my interpretation is then necessarily wrong.

    Response: It's not your interpretations of the scriptures that are subjective ... it's everyone's interpretation of the scriptures that is subjective. You are not alone. Does this mean that these interpretations are not true? No.

    Off to bed. :-)

    P.S. I think I may have to end this conversation. I'm not here to convince you of anything other than to point out your misunderstanding of Tolle's writings and his perception of Christianity. I respect your faith, beliefs, etc. but I only detect anger and aggression when such a misunderstanding is pointed out. I have to be honest that it seems very un-Christian to me and so in the end we'll just have to agree to disagree.

    The very best to you on your path and may the light of Christ shine on you.

    August said...

    csp said: "Why are you so angry and aggressive? Is Tolle or myself that threatening to your belief system?"

    There we go, the textbook Tolle response, I've been waiting for that..please show where I have been angry or aggressive. You came here to defend the new age teachings of Tolle, provide no arguments to justify the truth-claims of his teachings and repeatedly ignore questions when I attempt to understand the basis on which these teachings rest.

    csp also said: "Wow. Not sure how to respond to this complete misunderstanding of Tolle. Dismissing religion with brute assertion? Weakness of the human ego? Both are incorrect understanding of Tolle. He doesn't dismiss any religion and his central theme is one of a strong human ego. How did you get it so wrong?"

    Maybe we should let Tolle speak for himself? On ego:
    "One day I will be free of the ego"
    "To be free of the ego is not really a big job but a small one"
    "The mental illness that is called paranoid schizophrenia, or paranoia for short, is essentially an exaggerated form of ego."
    "They make plans without taking into account the blueprint for dysfunction that every human carries within: the ego."
    Tell me again why Tolle doesn't portray the human ego as a weakness?

    Tolle on religion:
    "Many people are already aware of the difference between sprituality and religion."
    "The new spirituality, the transformation of consciousness, is arising to a large extent outside the structures of the existing institutionalized religions."
    "...religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. ... They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with"
    Tell me again how he is not dismissing religion by saying that it is a "belief system" that cuts you off from your "spiritual dimension"?

    But not only is he dismissing religion, he is also dismissing God. And he is helping millions of people do that too.

    csp said: "I'm not here to convince you of anything other than to point out your misunderstanding of Tolle's writings and his perception of Christianity. I respect your faith, beliefs, etc. but I only detect anger and aggression when such a misunderstanding is pointed out. I have to be honest that it seems very un-Christian to me and so in the end we'll just have to agree to disagree."

    Again, this is what Tolle says in his book. Those pesky close-minded Christians will get really angry and aggressive when you point out that they have a limited consciousness that is blinded by their minds. I guess he wanted to try and head off objections to his groundless and heretical teachings at the pass, just as you are trying to do now. By saying that I am angry, you can dismiss my arguments and questions and try and leave me with a platitude or two and a pat on the shoulder. It's sad really, that you you came here to point out "misunderstandings", yet you did nothing to justify any of Tolles teachings. Cmon csp, I read the book...now you can call me stupid or close-minded or whatever, but I don't have much time for a piece of writing that wants me to blindly accept its conclusions without establishing the premises.

    Nor did you answer most of my questions, and now you want to dismiss them with the prescribed hand-wave and claim that I am angry and aggressive. I'll just take it that you don't have the answers, but instead of admitting it, you'd rather just call me angry and leave.

    Want a list of the questions you did not "purposely avoid", but did not have time to answer?
    1. If you want to make such an absolute statement, then you have to establish and account for that standard.
    2. Furthermore, I have not seen anything from yourself or Tolle explaining why what you say here is necessarily true. What is it based on? How do you justify your feeling? What is that reality you are talking about? What does "deepest truth of Christianity" mean? How do you know that it is the deepest, and not something else? What is your objective standard for making that absolute truth statement in the first place, given that you don't hold to Scripture as objective truth?
    3. But to say that you need to establish a hermeneutic and standard by which to make that call, because how do you know that one, or all, interpretations are right or wrong?
    4. What exactly is "interpretation by people"? Which parts of the Scriptures? Most of Scripture is fundamentally straight forward. The fact that my beliefs withstand internal critique is a very strong indication that it is in line with objective truth. On what basis do you make a similar claim for Tolle?
    5. Please explain how truth has many levels. Start by defining truth, especially seen in light of your appeal to both objectivity and subjectivity. Please point out which parts of the Bible can be read like that and which cannot, and why.

    You see, csp, these questions are not just figments of my closed mind. They are important cornerstones of truth, of the only truth that can answer and sustain itself unlike any other truth-claim.

    There is just one purpose for man in this earth, and it is not to replace Christ with some "indwelling divinity". It is to glorify the Holy Triune God Yahweh. And there is no way to do that other than to accept His glorious free gift of salvation from our sins through the death and resurrection of His only Son Jesus on the cross. That is the freedom worth having, not a man-made freedom from some mystical and abstract mindset or lower level consciousness.

    So while you may describe me as angry and aggressive, maybe one day you will see that by telling you the truth I have loved you more than you know. May you find your way to the true path, faith in Jesus Christ alone.

    csp said...

    OK. Fair enough. I'll answer the questions you have put forth in the post, but first ...

    Comment: There is just one purpose for man in this earth, and it is not to replace Christ with some "indwelling divinity". It is to glorify the Holy Triune God Yahweh. And there is no way to do that other than to accept His glorious free gift of salvation from our sins through the death and resurrection of His only Son Jesus on the cross.

    Question: How do you know the above statement to be true?

    Puritan Lad said...

    How about???

    "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

    "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

    These are easy to interpret. Pretty straight forward. Any other "interpretation" of these passages is merely an invention of human neurons.

    csp said...

    Comment: How about???

    "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

    "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

    These are easy to interpret. Pretty straight forward. Any other "interpretation" of these passages is merely an invention of human neurons.

    Question: That still begs the question ... how do you know the above passages are true? What is the epistemological basis of your knowledge of truth concerning the scriptures?

    Puritan Lad said...

    Because all knowledge and wisdom comes from God (Col. 2:3), and he reveals that through the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16).

    One one hand, you seem to agree.

    "I respect your honoring of the scriptures, and I too hold them to be the most sacred of texts."

    However, it is clear that you do not believe the Scriptures, or else you want to pick and choose the ones you want to believe.

    So to answer your question, my epistemology is based on the Scriptures themselves and the only infallible source of truth, given by God Himself. Yours is based on what? Oprah?

    Thus the problem you have is very simple to diagnose. It's called "unbelief". You want a god who behaves the way you want him to, and find Oprah's false god attractive.

    On what basis will you have a just and holy God allow you into His kingdom. Without Christ, you can make no such claim.

    csp said...

    Comment: So to answer your question, my epistemology is based on the Scriptures themselves and the only infallible source of truth, given by God Himself.

    Response: That is circular reasoning. You can't base the truth of a document on the document itself. If that were the case then, for instance, the Koran would also be true because it states within its scriptures that it is the revealed word of God.

    So ... again ... what is the epistemological basis of your assertion that the scriptures are true? Once that is established then I will give you mine. The reason is that in the end, I think, our basis for truth may not be as different from each other as you think.

    P.S. Let's leave Oprah, unbelief, false Gods, etc. out of it for the time being because those are distractions from, and have nothing to do with, the epistemological question.

    August said...

    csp, having witnessed your (and Tolle's) equivocation before, I will answer your question if you define God for me.

    I also already answered this objection: "Response: That is circular reasoning. You can't base the truth of a document on the document itself. If that were the case then, for instance, the Koran would also be true because it states within its scriptures that it is the revealed word of God."

    The document is true if it withstands internal and external critiques. The Koran does not withstand an internal critique, so its own testimony cannot be accepted. Biblical Scripture does withstand an internal critique, unless you wish to mount a new critique which we haven't heard before.

    Anyway, your objection is simply begging the question in your own favor, because you are still have not established a standard by which to measure truth claims, and as such is in no position to be criticizing truth claims.

    csp said...

    Comment: The document is true if it withstands internal and external critiques. The Koran does not withstand an internal critique, so its own testimony cannot be accepted. Biblical Scripture does withstand an internal critique.

    Response: OK. Now we are starting to get somewhere. 1) How does the Bible withstand internal critiques (coherence theory of truth) and external critiques (correspondence theory of truth)? 2) How does the Koran not withstand a test of internal or "coherence" truth?

    Puritan Lad said...

    "That is circular reasoning."

    That may well be the case, but so is any worldview when you get down to epistemology.

    However, if you deny that knowledge comes from God Himself, than I need an alternative before I can see the circular reasoning. AS of yet, No one has ever been able to provide one.

    In any case, we can rid ourselves of the delusion that you are a Christian and believe the Scriptures, based on your last few comments. Why do unbelievers insist on doing this? "I'm a Christian too, but..." Just come right out and say that you don't believe the Scriptures, and spare us the task of dragging that out of you. We could have saved 40 comments and gotten down to business.

    It is clear that you reject what the Scriptures say about human knowledge, so you must then justify your epistemology before we can continue. Otherwise, every line of reasoning you take is to be considered as nothing more than electricity floating around inside your skull.

    csp said...

    Comment: "That is circular reasoning." That may well be the case, but so is any worldview when you get down to epistemology.

    Response: Not at all. For instance, if I say that "When I drop an object from my hand it will hit the ground" (statement) it can be verified by the law of gravity (physics) and repeatable observations. There is a "correspondence" of truth between my statement and the facts (physics and observation). That is not circular because you do not have to take my word for it.

    Comment: In any case, we can rid ourselves of the delusion that you are a Christian and believe the Scriptures, based on your last few comments. Why do unbelievers insist on doing this? "I'm a Christian too, but..." Just come right out and say that you don't believe the Scriptures.

    Response: I am a Christian and I do believe in the truth of the scriptures. However, my foundation for truth is quite different from the circular reasoning of "the scriptures say they are true, so they are true." If this were the case anybody could claim their writings to be true. This is where Tolle and I are in agreement in regards to the foundation of spiritual truth, knowledge and understanding.

    The discernment for detecting the truth of the scriptures (or any spiritual truth) is etched in our heart. It has been put there by God. We all have this knowledge and discernment, unless pride, will and ego block it. A veil of the heart. There is a voiceless voice, a voice of the silence or stillness that we can hear if we listen. It is an inner witness and a wordless knowing. This is all that Tolle is saying.

    jazzycat said...

    csp,
    You said..... A veil of the heart. There is a voiceless voice, a voice of the silence or stillness that we can hear if we listen. It is an inner witness and a wordless knowing. This is all that Tolle is saying.

    I believe David Koresh and Jim Jones relied on their inner witness instead of the revelation of God through the Holy Bible. The result was tragic endings for them and their followers.

    The Bible gives us the following counsel on following our hearts....

    Ezekiel 13:1-4 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel.

    August said...

    csp, you want me to start answering questions now after you have been ignoring mine for two days?

    I've answered your questions so far, and even answered your assertions and objections.

    I'd be happy to show you detailed studies on textual criticism and internal and external critiques on all the major religions. But it ain't happening until you start answering some questions first.

    You came here to defend Tolle. Why don't you go ahead and do that. It seems you want to avoid the issue here.

    csp said...

    Comment: csp, you want me to start answering questions now after you have been ignoring mine for two days?

    I've answered your questions so far, and even answered your assertions and objections.

    I'd be happy to show you detailed studies on textual criticism and internal and external critiques on all the major religions. But it ain't happening until you start answering some questions first.

    You came here to defend Tolle. Why don't you go ahead and do that. It seems you want to avoid the issue here.

    Response: I answered your questions and defended Tolle. It comes down to Jim Jones and Karesh? Wow.

    Bye. :-)

    August said...

    csp said: "Response: I answered your questions and defended Tolle. It comes down to Jim Jones and Karesh? Wow.

    Bye. :-)"

    Uh, ok. Guess I must have missed your answers to these...

    1. If you want to make such an absolute statement, then you have to establish and account for that standard.
    2. Furthermore, I have not seen anything from yourself or Tolle explaining why what you say here is necessarily true. What is it based on? How do you justify your feeling? What is that reality you are talking about? What does "deepest truth of Christianity" mean? How do you know that it is the deepest, and not something else? What is your objective standard for making that absolute truth statement in the first place, given that you don't hold to Scripture as objective truth?
    3. But to say that you need to establish a hermeneutic and standard by which to make that call, because how do you know that one, or all, interpretations are right or wrong?
    4. What exactly is "interpretation by people"? Which parts of the Scriptures? Most of Scripture is fundamentally straight forward. The fact that my beliefs withstand internal critique is a very strong indication that it is in line with objective truth. On what basis do you make a similar claim for Tolle?
    5. Please explain how truth has many levels. Start by defining truth, especially seen in light of your appeal to both objectivity and subjectivity. Please point out which parts of the Bible can be read like that and which cannot, and why.

    I've also not seen any defense of Tolle except to state that we are "misunderstanding" him. Hate to break it to you...but that is not a defense.

    It's interesting that you say you are a Christian, and I truly hope that you trust in Christ alone for your salvation, or will do so sometime in future.

    csp said...

    Objective truth = science and subjective truth = religion and spirituality. I have no problem with this separation. There is a fair amount of internal consistency (coherence theory of truth) to the Bible, but there are also many historical, etc. inaccuracies that would not support it as objective truth. I know it to be subjectively true though, based on its correspondence with my internal knowing. The Koran, for instance, does not meet this correspondence criteria for truth for me.

    The deeper understanding of the Bible that Tolle and I talk about is that knowing based on a scriptural correspondence with the truth etched in our soul and not that of an external authority (guru or priest). When this soul recognition occurs it is a knowing that surpasses all other knowing because it is a living reality that transcends the mind.

    I'm sorry of that seems abstract, but I have no other way (at least this late at night) to explain it.

    Puritan Lad said...

    "the circular reasoning of "the scriptures say they are true, so they are true.""

    I never used this line of reasoning, but your reasoning is circular, and without foundation. You want the "deeper truths" of Scripture which cannot be found in Scripture, simply because you do not like what the Bible says. Case in point...

    The deeper understanding of the Bible that Tolle and I talk about is that knowing based on a scriptural correspondence with the truth etched in our soul and not that of an external authority (guru or priest). When this soul recognition occurs it is a knowing that surpasses all other knowing because it is a living reality that transcends the mind."

    And you aren't being circular??? In other words, you do not like the fact that, according to the Bible, Jesus is the ONLY way to eternal life. Therefore, you seek to surround yourself with teachers who agree with your "deeper understanding". Why? Because your sinful, humanistic mind likes what it hears. Your "soul recognition" is merely personal preference, and nothing more.

    Besides what is to prevent us froms using the same argument. We have "soul recognition" that Orthodox Christianity is true. Therefore, it must be.

    That would make us both correct, but then again, that is impossible. The statements "Jesus is the only way to God" and "There are many paths to God" are mutually exclusive. In the end, one of us us wrong.

    "Objective truth = science and subjective truth = religion and spirituality"

    Really??? Once to provide an answer to David Hume's skepticism of induction, you may then make this claim. Until then, you have no basis for objective truth in science, or anything else.

    jazzycat said...

    csp,
    You said......
    The Koran, for instance, does not meet this correspondence criteria for truth for me.

    "for me!" Do you believe that the Koran can meet the criteria for truth for someone else? Can it be truth for someone else and not be truth for you and you both be correct?

    csp said...

    Comment: Besides what is to prevent us from using the same argument. We have "soul recognition" that Orthodox Christianity is true. Therefore, it must be.

    Response: You are correct. I would assume that you have soul recognition of the truth of Orthodox Christianity for you. It is corresponding to your aspect of truth within.

    Comment: Your reasoning is circular, and without foundation. You want the "deeper truths" of Scripture which cannot be found in Scripture, simply because you do not like what the Bible says.

    Response: My reasoning is not circular because the truth of the scriptures corresponds with the inner truth that I know. One verifies the other and not itself (scriptures say it is true so it is true ... which is circular).

    I love what the Bible says ... but I don't handle snakes and drink poison because it literally says to. I understand the underlying meaning vs. the surface, literal text.

    Comment: Therefore, you seek to surround yourself with teachers who agree with your "deeper understanding". Why? Because your sinful, humanistic mind likes what it hears. Your "soul recognition" is merely personal preference, and nothing more.

    Response: I follow no guru or priest. We are all sinful, but I'm not a humanist at all. Humanism is non-spiritual, non-liberating and a seductive diversion from the higher spiritual truths.

    Comment: The statements "Jesus is the only way to God" and "There are many paths to God" are mutually exclusive.

    Response: There is only one path to God, but it can be labeled many things. Again ... this is a surface vs. deeper meaning issue.

    Comment: Once to provide an answer to David Hume's skepticism of induction, you may then make this claim. Until then, you have no basis for objective truth in science, or anything else.

    Response: Science is externally provable ... religion and spirituality are not. Scientific proof is observable and repeatable whereas spirituality is an inner, non-observable Truth. Scientific methods will never be able to prove spiritual truths and spirituality doesn't need to be bothered with or in conflict with science. The Catholic Church finally acknowledged this issue because they had killed many in the past for making such scientific claims as the earth orbiting the sun, etc.

    Comment: Do you believe that the Koran can meet the criteria for truth for someone else? Can it be truth for someone else and not be truth for you and you both be correct?

    Response: I don't know. It doesn't correspond with my current inner knowing and truth, but it is possible that there is some aspect of the Koran that I don't understand. Thus, I won't judge anyone who wants to follow the Koran because it is their personal experience.

    jazzycat said...

    Csp,
    Speaking of the truth of the Koran, you said…..
    ”I don't know. It doesn't correspond with my current inner knowing and truth, but it is possible that there is some aspect of the Koran that I don't understand. Thus, I won't judge anyone who wants to follow the Koran because it is their personal experience.”

    You speak of a current inner knowledge and truth. Does this mean your inner knowledge and truth may change? Since your inner knowledge and truth trump orthodox and Scripture passages that are plain and clear, how is your inner knowledge and truth detector any different than that of David Koresh and Jim Jones? Since they were obviously deluded, how can you be certain that you are not being deluded by your inner knowing and truth?

    csp said...

    Comment: You speak of a current inner knowledge and truth. Does this mean your inner knowledge and truth may change?

    Response: Of course. Lets use physics as an example. Newtonian physics was and is true ... at a certain level of mathematics and observation. However, Einstein's physics is also true at a deeper, quantum level of physics. One could say that Einstein's physics trumped Newton's, but in reality they are both true at different levels. So ... the same would occur with my inner knowledge and truth. It could change based on my development of spiritual experience and insight.

    Comment: Since your inner knowledge and truth trump orthodox and Scripture passages that are plain and clear, how is your inner knowledge and truth detector any different than that of David Koresh and Jim Jones? Since they were obviously deluded, how can you be certain that you are not being deluded by your inner knowing and truth?

    Response: First, you are saying that Jones and Koresh are obviously deluded. Are you speaking psychologically or spiritually deluded or both? Secondly, what do my comments about inner knowing have to do with Jones and Koresh? My knowledge of them is they used the Bible quite extensively to promote their authority and domination over others. That would be much more in line with orthodoxy than me.

    jazzycat said...

    csp,
    You affirmed that your inner knowing and truth can change. If your inner knowing and truth can change, then it is not truth at all. It would simply be your current inner theory. When it changes it would then be your latest inner theory. Since you are not sure that your inner theory is true, you are basing your argument on something you doubt.

    However, the Bible gives absolute truth that does not change. It is a truth that comes from outside of oneself and not on inner theories that are in doubt. Therefore, you are debating from a position of admitted doubt of inner theories against the absolute truth of Holy Spirit inspired Biblical revelation.

    You physics analogy is very weak. While Einstein’s physics expanded knowledge over Newtonian physics, if there are any direct contradictions, then at least one or possibly both are wrong!

    jazzycat said...

    Csp,
    You said……
    First, you are saying that Jones and Koresh are obviously deluded. Are you speaking psychologically or spiritually deluded or both?

    Surely you don’t think they were not deluded.

    You said….
    Secondly, what do my comments about inner knowing have to do with Jones and Koresh?

    They both were operating from claimed revelation they were receiving directly from God. You are claiming very much the same thing with inner knowing, which is really not knowing at all by your own admission. The people who committed suicide while waiting on the space ship were also relying on inner knowing.

    You said…..
    My knowledge of them is they used the Bible quite extensively to promote their authority and domination over others. That would be much more in line with orthodoxy than me.

    Certainly, false prophets distort and use the Bible to dominate followers. To claim that is line with orthodoxy is absurd and pure nonsense.

    csp said...

    Comment: You affirmed that your inner knowing and truth can change. If your inner knowing and truth can change, then it is not truth at all. It would simply be your current inner theory. When it changes it would then be your latest inner theory. Since you are not sure that your inner theory is true, you are basing your argument on something you doubt.

    Response: Of course it can change. Let me give you another example from physics that might help make it more clear. Matter was thought to be a particle. Then it was discovered to have properties of a wave. Now we understand that both are true. Sometimes matter acts like a particle and sometimes like a wave. So ... my initial understanding and truth of matter being a particle was and is true, as well as my more recent understanding and truth that it can also be a wave.

    Comment: However, the Bible gives absolute truth that does not change.

    Response: The question yet again. How do you know that the Bible is absolute truth that does not change? You can't use circular reasoning "because it says so" otherwise any such claims (e.g. Koran, Jones, Karesh, etc.) could also make such a claim and it would be true. How do you verify its truth?

    I'll jump ahead and answer the question for you and then you can agree or disagree.

    There are two ways of looking at and verifying the truth of the Bible. One is looking at its content and investigating its accuracy (e.g. historical, prophecies, etc.) and the other is its meaning. The first part, in my opinion, is shaky ground for a Christian because some of its historical content is accurate and some is not. The same for prophecies. However, what is more interesting and meaningful is whether or not its "meaning" is truthful. For this, there is no legitimate way to prove external validity or truth, but one can claim internal validity or truth if it corresponds to that understanding etched into our soul by God.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Science is externally provable"
    That depends on what you mean by "externally provable". I love science, but the fact is that science cannot even prove itself without God. Before one even begins to do science, one has to assume...

    1.) The Physical Universe exists. It may sound strange to our western mindset to have to prove this, but keep in mind that there are many parts of the world where this is not a given.

    2.) That nature is uniform. Without this unproven assumption, one cannot justify inductive reasoning, which science is based on.

    3.) That the electical impulses in the human brain have some connection with physical reality.

    4.) That there are universal invariant laws of logic that can be understood by human brains.

    None of these things, without God, can be externally provable. Rather, they are merely assumed and are the basis for which you try to prove everything else. (You still haven't answered Hume's skepticism, and until you do, science is out of your realm of argument.)

    "religion and spirituality are not."
    I don't know. The doubting apostle Yhomas was pretty convinced. Can you "externally prove" this statement to be true? Besides, if you really beleive this, then what are you trying to prove by posting here?

    Puritan Lad said...

    csp,

    Once you answer Hume, you can answer this post, and we'll let you appeal to science.

    jazzycat said...

    csp,
    you said...
    Of course it can change. Let me give you another example from physics that might help make it more clear. Matter was thought to be a particle. Then it was discovered to have properties of a wave. Now we understand that both are true. Sometimes matter acts like a particle and sometimes like a wave. So ... my initial understanding and truth of matter being a particle was and is true, as well as my more recent understanding and truth that it can also be a wave.

    Not a good analogy. Water may be a better one. When it gets real cold it is ice, yet still H2O. When it gets hot it becomes a water vapor. It is still H2O.
    There is no contridiction here or with your matter analogy. Truth is amplified but not contridicted. Words mean things and you said your inner truth may change......... I must go for awhile.

    csp said...

    Comment: Water may be a better one. When it gets real cold it is ice, yet still H2O. When it gets hot it becomes a water vapor. It is still H2O.

    Response: Your example doesn't quite get at what I was saying, but it's close enough. :-)

    Comment: Truth is amplified but not contradicted. Words mean things and you said your inner truth may change.

    Response: Amplified, changed, seen from a different angle, etc. Those are all fine with me. Seems like I'm in agreement with you, but maybe I'm not understanding your comment.

    csp said...

    Comment: Science is externally provable". That depends on what you mean by "externally provable". I love science, but the fact is that science cannot even prove itself without God. Before one even begins to do science, one has to assume...

    Response: My undergraduate degree is in Philosophy and I'm currently a neuroscientist, so you've touched on a couple of my areas of interest. Right off the bat I have no inkling about you are saying in regards to " ... science cannot prove itself without God." Also, are you saying I have to prove an agreement or disagreement with Hume?

    Comment: What are you trying to prove by posting here?

    Response: This is a column about Tolle and Christianity. I've stated repeatedly ... and yet again ... that Tolle is not in disagreement or conflict with Christianity. I've given examples from both epistomology and science to get at a more clear understanding of the varying elements of truth and knowledge which helps clarify my support of Tolle's writings in relation to Christianity.

    Puritan Lad said...

    "...are you saying I have to prove an agreement or disagreement with Hume?"

    Either one. But remember, you cannot use any circular reasoning. If you are in agreement with Hume, then you must validate the use of universal scientific laws without using inductive reasoning. If you are in disagreement, then you need to explain why inductive reasoning is valid. If you use God in your argument, then you need to explain Him in light of objective truth without using His revealed Word. And if you appeal to His Word, then you are back at square one, trying to defend Tolle and honor the Word that contradicts him.

    "This is a column about Tolle and Christianity. I've stated repeatedly ... and yet again ... that Tolle is not in disagreement or conflict with Christianity. I've given examples from both epistomology and science to get at a more clear understanding of the varying elements of truth and knowledge which helps clarify my support of Tolle's writings in relation to Christianity."

    You have labeled religion as "subjective truth", therefore you have no objective arguments either way.

    csp said...

    Comment: Then you must validate the use of universal scientific laws without using inductive reasoning.

    Response: I understand the criticisms of Hume in regards to using inductive reasoning to explain inductive reasoning. More on Hume, truth, God, etc. a bit later. Gotta get some work done. :-)

    Comment: You have labeled religion as "subjective truth", therefore you have no objective arguments either way.

    Response: That is correct. I'm speaking of subjective truth in the sense that it is an internally valid, but externally unprovable truth. This is also case as to the meaning of the scriptures. This does not make them less truthful, only that it is a case of internal vs. external validity. You have a similar situation in statistical research. An assessment instrument, for instance, can have (or not have) construct (internal) validity and/or external validity (correlation with other instruments).

    Puritan Lad said...

    Comment: "I understand the criticisms of Hume in regards to using inductive reasoning to explain inductive reasoning. More on Hume, truth, God, etc. a bit later. Gotta get some work done. :-)"

    Response: I'll be waiting, as this will be necessay to support your claim that science is objective truth (which I would agree with, but can also account for).

    Comment: "I'm speaking of subjective truth in the sense that it is an internally valid, but externally unprovable truth. This is also case as to the meaning of the scriptures. This does not make them less truthful, only that it is a case of internal vs. external validity."

    Response: That sounds like a pretty objective statement to me. Can you prove this?

    csp said...

    Comment: I'll be waiting, as this will be necessary to support your claim that science is objective truth (which I would agree with, but can also account for).

    Response: By scientific (objective) truth I mean ... that which is supported by observational evidence and measurement and which is reproducible by repeated observations from different people.

    Comment: That sounds like a pretty objective statement to me. Can you prove this?

    Response: Nope. :-)

    Objective truths are concerned with the study of subjects like mathematics, science, and history. They are relevant and necessary, but do not shed any light on a person's inner relationship to existence and God.

    Subjective truths are continuing and dynamic. The truth of one's existence is a living, inward, and subjective experience that is always in the process of becoming.

    I think in the end it seems that our differences are in our comfort level with subjectivity and the dynamic qualities of an inner relationship with God. You seem to prefer a much more objective, static, authoritative structure to spirituality and I experience a dynamic and developing inner relationship augmented, but not determined, by external rules or guidelines. However, I don't (and neither would I assume Tolle) see these as mutually exclusive, but only different approaches to the same goal. Tolle and I accept your path, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) you don't accept ours.

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    You display both the spirit of the world and the spirit of the age in that you are tolerant of all except the true gospel which you reject. Tolerance of this nature is not virtuous, it's the heart of unbelief and a sign of rejection by and lack of fellowship with God.

    csp said...

    Comment: You display both the spirit of the world and the spirit of the age in that you are tolerant of all except the true gospel which you reject. Tolerance of this nature is not virtuous, it's the heart of unbelief and a sign of rejection by and lack of fellowship with God.

    Response: 1. How am I not tolerant of the Gospel? I've repeatedly stated my reverence of the scriptures. 2. How am I tolerant of this nature except to let each person worship their beliefs in freedom which in turn protects my own freedom to do likewise? Also, I very strongly believe the words of Jesus that "My kingdom is not of this world." That is one of the reasons why I'm not a humanist.

    Please answer those questions.

    swordbearer said...

    COMMENT: "How am I not tolerant of the Gospel? I've repeatedly stated my reverence of the scriptures."

    RESPONSE: Do you take us to be fools? It's obvious both from what you have written (and what you have refrained from answering - not just being elusive, but intentional, crafty, and to some degree deceitful) what you believe and where you stand.

    While it's true ON ONE LEVEL you are tolerant of the gospel - that you "let each person worship their beliefs in freedom" (or put another way, you not only recognize a person's right to believe what they will, but go even further to allow that they may have "soul recognition of the truth" through their "experience" as it corresponds to their "aspect of truth within", i.e. - you refrain not just from "judging" others, but also from "testing spirits" because your basis of truth rests with personal experience, so you cannot claim anyone or anything false ... but only that it is not in agreement with your experience or truth consciousness);

    ON ANOTHER LEVEL, while the gospel which is exclusive in it's claim that "Jesus Christ is the Son of God who has come in the flesh and provided the only means of acceptance by and fellowship with God" may be fine "for others"; you have not only rejected it in it's exclusivity for yourself, but you do not tolerate it (as it is) for yourself in the sense that you reject this gospel for the one that suggests Christ's service extends more or less to his only being an example rather than the Messiah (as authoritatively, clearly, and repeatedly set forth in Scripture) such that you only look to living "like" Christ, not "in Christ", whereby you hold salvation involves a new consciousness but not justification (from sin).

    As far as your repeated statements in regard to your "reverence for the Scriptures", I'm glad you hold reverence for the Scriptures. However, be warned that even the demons hold to some truth and even shuddered, but still refuse to submit to God and his anointed one, denying his rightful place and authority.

    COMMENT: "How am I tolerant of this nature except to let each person worship their beliefs in freedom which in turn protects my own freedom to do likewise?"

    RESPONSE: It's not a question of your "freedom" to "worship your beliefs"; but whether your beliefs are not only consistent with but include all that is necessary for acceptance by and the path to God.

    COMMENT: Also, I very strongly believe the words of Jesus that "My kingdom is not of this world." That is one of the reasons why I'm not a humanist."

    RESPONSE: That's great... but there are those who are religious to a point and yet need to go on to fullness in their knowledge of Christ (and repent), but then there are those who believe some things but in refusing the gospel itself believe even to their own destruction. It's not enough just to renounce this world, but one must be covered by the blood that appeases. My great concern for you is that it appears rather than possessing ignorance that keeps you from salvation, you know very well the message of the true gospel, but reject it for another. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I fear for you I'm not.

    csp said...

    Well ... I guess we (or I) can agree to disagree. Thank you for the opportunity to have a conversation regarding Tolle and Christianity.

    swordbearer said...

    COMMENT: Thank you for the opportunity to have a conversation regarding Tolle and Christianity.

    RESPONSE: It's been a pleasure, and we thank you heartily for your participation.

    I trust no personal offense was taken as nothing that was said was intended for that purpose.

    COMMENT: "... we .....disagree."

    RESPONSE: I agree. And while you may claim some measure of reverence for or even acceptance of the Scripture, your beliefs (as stated here) are not "Christian" in the more narrow sense that historically been recognized and accepted, though in a broader sense you may choose to apply the term ("label") to yourself as many have done and are doing, who do not believe Jesus to be the Son of God who has come in the flesh as the only atonement and propitiation for man's sin.


    RESPONSE: WE can agree to disagree, for on the level spoken of previously, you are right in that each has the freedom (and providentially for us the privilege) to believe what they will.

    RESPONSE: Again, we heartily thank you for your participation and while we continue to be grateful for your "reverence" for the Scripture,we long for your "belief" of the Scripture, not just "in part" but "in full."

    While I've enjoyed reading the discussions of philosophy, I leave you with a matter for serious consideration, one that on one level goes beyond differences or discussion in philosophy and with clarity illustrates (perhaps even according to your "experience based framework" the choice (i.e, the "fork" in the road) which necessarily comes to those confronted with Jesus and Tolle.

    ...As to how one can know whether a teaching is true or not, has not Tolle himself said "I tell this to people who come to me: "You are ready to hear this because you are listening to it."

    In the same way (yet even before Tolle) Jesus said "All that the father has given to me will come to ME." [CAPS, my emphasis]. About him it was also prophesied concerning his followers "they will all be taught of him", ....this SAME one who not only said "thy will, not mine be done", but who on many occasions himself taught that he (the Son of Man) MUST suffer, die, be buried, and then rise again.

    The issue before all is whether one accepts the voice of Tolle, who essentially denies sin and the necessity of the substitutionary atonement) or whether one recognises Christ and his Word as truth.

    (Note - to try to combine the two even if by suggesting a different interpretation or understanding of Scipture, is not only to deny and reject Jesus' own Word, but to entrust oneself to one's own heart and experience, which not only is revealed in Scripture to be untrustworthy in itself, but deceitful above all things.

    Let those who have ears hear, and may God use these discussions for both His glory and the good of those who are called by His name.

    SocietyVs said...

    cfb - he was a very articulate young man. I read all his comments and I liked his defense of Tolle, reason, and truth...but in the end he was shouted down by 'claims about his faiht'...nice. I am guessing this what Jesus meant by 'go and make disciples' huh? CFB was right - he was not accepted all along and in the end his faith was 'demonized' - in which - he showed come class by not doing it back.

    swordbearer said...

    societyvs,

    You have the right to your opinion, and they are welcome here, but rather than allow ad hominem remarks to go unanswered, I refer both you and readers to the post entitled Positive Tolerance versus Traditional Tolerance which will help with understanding before making or judgements as you have done.

    (Note, attacks as you have made, even ones which refer to Bible passages .. but remove them from their context, are addressed).

    August said...

    Societyvs, what defense? What reason, what truth? I asked him to define his basis for making truth claims numerous times, and he did not answer me.

    Nobody shouted him down about his faith, he was answered on what he confessed to believe in.

    But I am interested how you reconcile the call by Jesus to make disciples with ignoring the heretical teachings of the person he came here to defend. How do you propose to "make disciples" if people cannot be made aware of what that means?

    jazzycat said...

    societyvs,
    Once again your intolerance has led to a judgmental reaction. You are unable to accept a world-view that does not hold to relative truth. Your bias and intolerance is on display for all to see.

    August said...

    Anyway, it seems that our friend wants to continue the conversation at my blog.

    swordbearer said...

    august,

    Even though readers may find your site on our homepage (opening page), I think it would be good if you would provide a link here for readers to continue to follow the discussion.

    csp said...

    No reason to check the other site ... he deleted my post. Not sure why.

    SocietyVs said...

    "attacks as you have made" (Sword)

    See here is the problem - definition/defining things...I actually haven't attacked anyone on this site - stated a perspective of what I saw when I read those comments towards CFB (and he was alone being pretty much hammered down with accusations). He had a tough part of the discussion trying to answer so many questions - and it seemed - his mention to Tolle doomed him in most cases.

    "But I am interested how you reconcile the call by Jesus to make disciples with ignoring the heretical teachings of the person he came here to defend" (August)

    That's easy August 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age' (Matt 28:16-17)

    Where is debate of someone in that passage? We see 'teaching' in there but we do not see 'judgment' in there - and I think CFB left feeling more judged than edified (or even taught for for that matter).

    You will notice equality and teaching go hand in hand. We all may not agree with Tolle (I have not read the book so I know little on him) but I like CFB - and I think he held biblical values - and yet - he found himself in such a defensive posture he was left feeling he was being 'beat down for Jesus'.

    "Once again your intolerance has led to a judgmental reaction. You are unable to accept a world-view that does not hold to relative truth. Your bias and intolerance is on display for all to see." (JazzyCat)

    Thanks JazzyCat I needed that today - someone to assume something about me and then call me out on it. Thanks - how can I ever repay the favor? You may have relative truth - but if this is what you have to say to me - then I am not sure you quite understand the truths you claim to even have.

    "No reason to check the other site ... he deleted my post. Not sure why" (CSP)

    I got your back bro (lol)...congrats on a good job relating the information you wanted to relate.

    swordbearer said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    swordbearer said...

    To Quote (societyvs): "...I actually haven't attacked anyone on this site...

    To Quote (societyvs)"...he was not accepted all along and in the end his faith was 'demonized' - in which - he showed come class by not doing it back."

    Response: Really?? He was not accepted all along? Really?? his faith was 'demonized'? Really?? He showed some class (assumption - others didn't) but you have not attacked anyone? Really??

    Seems in your view ... it's "attacking" when others point out real differences between belief systems (whether some are willing to admit them or not) and only "stating a perspective" when you presume to know our motives and falsely accuse us.
    ==
    ... but while I would hate to see this tread reduced to arguments of this nature... answer the following...
    ==
    To Quote (societyvs): "...but I like CFB - and I think he held biblical values..."

    Societyvs,
    Is one's position, which either rejects, denies or treats the substitutionary atonement of Christ as irrelevant or unnecessary... biblical?

    csp said...

    The column concerns Tolle and Christianity which is why I tried to keep the focus on that subject. However, since you've shifted to that of "atonement" ...

    Atonement is not such a simple matter. My view on substitutionary atonement is ...

    The Son of Man will be betrayed (Judas) to the chief priests and the teachers of the law (scribes). They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles (Romans) to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life. (Matthew 20:18-19)

    In this scheme, where does the Father fit in? Is he behind it? Inspiring them? No, Jesus and the Gospel writers point to Satan and wicked men as those who inspired the betrayal and murder of Jesus. What is the Father’s role? He commissions Jesus to endure in love and then raises him up, thus conquering Satan, sin and death. Christ calls us to love, trust and obey his Father as he did, even unto death. He urges us to unite with him through death, resurrection and ultimate fellowship with God. In Jesus’ own understanding of the Cross, the element of "substitution" appears when Jesus humbly endures the wrath of mankind instead of invoking the wrath of God upon us.

    The satisfaction of the Father is in his Son’s obedience and faithfulness to the mission, expressing God’s love and forgiveness to the uttermost. The Father’s foreknowledge and willingness to overturn our wicked intentions through forgiveness and resurrection is neither an endorsement of our murderous act nor divine complicity in it. Rather, it testifies to God’s power to redeem.

    August said...

    I did not delete anything. My blog is moderated, and I've been away for a couple of days so I've not yet had a chance to look at the comments.

    csp, just to be clear though, you are stating that Tolle is a Christian and his book speaks about the Christian God?

    swordbearer said...

    Welcome Back csp.

    To Quote (csp): "My view on substitutionary atonement is ...
    (Matthew 20:18-19)...In this scheme, where does the Father fit in? Is he behind it? Inspiring them? No, ..."

    Response: Actually, the answer to your first question(Is he behind it?) is YES. Consider Acts 4:27-29 "Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what YOUR POWER AND WILL HAD DECIDED BEFOREHAND SHOULD HAPPEN." Consider also Acts 2:22-23 "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you ...This man was handed over to you BY GOD'S SET PURPOSE AND FOREKNOWLEDGE; and you with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross."

    To Quote (csp): "...Jesus and the Gospel writers point to Satan and wicked men as those who inspired the betrayal and murder of Jesus. What is the Father’s role?"

    Response: Satan and wicken men acted under the sovereign plan and will of God. While the Bible does not seek to explain how God's sovereignty works together... even such that man was guilty in this sin and at the same time carried out what God in his eternal wisdom and plan not only allowed but ordained (even in such a way the blame cannot be laid at God's feet, but at Satan's and the feet of wicked men), the Bible does not deny but positively affirms the death of Christ NOT being an accident, but in perfect agreement with God's plan, knowledge and will, even in keeping with the means of salvation God himself would employ, that is God himself providing ... even through the shedding of blood, that there might be salvation through the remission of sin.

    To Quote (csp): "...He commissions Jesus to endure in love and then raises him up, thus conquering Satan, sin and death. Christ calls us to love, trust and obey his Father as he did, even unto death. He urges us to unite with him through death, resurrection and ultimate fellowship with God..."

    Response: He calls us not just on some mental level (or level of consciousness) but through union with Christ's own "physical" death. "Or don't you know that all of us who werer baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into HIS DEATH? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."(Rom 6) "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance - now that HE had DIED AS A RANSOM TO SET THEM FREE from the sins committed under the first covenant. (Heb 9:15) "HE died FOR US... (1 Th 5:10) "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. BUT HE was pierced for OUR transgressions, he was curshed for OUR iniquities, THE PUNISHMENT THAT BOUGHT US PEACE WAS UPON HIM. We ALL, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid ON HIM the iniquity of US ALL ...For he was cut off from the land of the living; FOR THE TRANSGRESSION OF MY PEOPLE HE WAS STRICKEN... Yet it was the LORD'S WILL to crush him and cause him to suffer, ...For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

    To Quote (csp): In Jesus’ own understanding of the Cross, the element of "substitution" appears when Jesus humbly endures the wrath of mankind instead of invoking the wrath of God upon us.

    RESPONSE: While it is true that Jesus on the cross endured the wrath of mankind, it is also true that the greater reality is that he shielded those he came to die for from the wrath of God! It's not that "invoked" the wrath of God, but that he "stayed" the wrath of God from us but absorbing it himself or submitting himself to it in our place. In the same what that the blood over the doorframe in Moses's day caused the angel of death who brought God's wrath to pass over those inside, likewise the Lord's own blood protects believers today. By "it is finished" ("tetelestai" in the Greek) Jesus referred to the fact that our debt was paid in full. Christ himself had taken upon himself the wrath of God due us.

    Consider Rom 5:9 "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved FROM GOD'S WRATH THROUGH HIM! (Christ!!!)

    To Quote (csp): "The satisfaction of the Father is in his Son’s obedience and faithfulness to the mission, expressing God’s love and forgiveness to the uttermost."

    Response: God's satisfaction also is found in his body (a sacrifice offered in our place) (Heb 10:6)

    csp said...

    Comment: I did not delete anything. My blog is moderated, and I've been away for a couple of days so I've not yet had a chance to look at the comments.

    csp, just to be clear though, you are stating that Tolle is a Christian and his book speaks about the Christian God?


    Response: My comment was there waiting to be approved by the moderator and is now gone.

    I don't know if Tolle is a Christian or not. That's his personal business. However, I've read all his books and have not seen any text that would contradict what I've read in the Bible and experience as a Christian. That's why I've been trying to clarify his writings and teachings in this column.

    csp said...

    Comment: They did what YOUR POWER AND WILL HAD DECIDED BEFOREHAND SHOULD HAPPEN. This man was handed over to you BY GOD'S SET PURPOSE AND FOREKNOWLEDGE; and you with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

    Response: Of course, God is all-knowing and all-seeing. Jesus, also being of the divine, could also foresee what was going to happen. That is different from "inciting" what was to occur. Did God cause the gentiles and wicked to kill Jesus? Did they not have free will? Do some of us have free will and others not? Does God temporarily take our free will and then return it when a specific plan is fulfilled?

    Love-Theology v. Fear-Theology

    We should embrace a love-theology rather than a fear-theology. Our desire to please God should come from pure gratitude, not because of fear or obligation.

    Hell is a chosen rejection of love, not a place designed for punishment. If a soul chooses selfishness over love, hell will be their fate. If a soul wishes to be with God’s love, and demonstrates it by exercising love, Divine Love will not reject that wish. Yes, hell is a place of suffering, but it is a chosen suffering, because to be embraced by love, self must be sacrificed.

    God cannot reach into hell to save the damned because hell is the absence of love, and there, God does not go. Nor can a soul in hell ever be repentant, for hell’s darkness is eternal selfishness. When in such a state, there is no desire for change. We will be actively choosing to be there by rejecting love.

    The lesson Jesus teaches is that we must give up our selfishness in order to gain this reward. It is not such a strange command, since we all know that true love requires sacrificing our own desires to the desires of the beloved.

    God is not aloof and distant, but challenges us to accept love every moment of every day. We make the mistake of viewing God as so big and powerful that he is beyond our sight and comprehension. But God is so big and powerful that he is present in the smallest of things, not only able but willing to walk with us at every moment.

    How does God prove this love? By not only walking with us, but by becoming one of us. As God incarnate, Jesus seeks us in our lowest moments, sharing in our suffering for the chance to lead us through.

    swordbearer said...

    To Quote (csp): "Response: Of course, God is all-knowing and all-seeing. Jesus, also being of the divine, could also foresee what was going to happen. That is different from "inciting" what was to occur. Did God cause the gentiles and wicked to kill Jesus? Did they not have free will? Do some of us have free will and others not? Does God temporarily take our free will and then return it when a specific plan is fulfilled?

    Response:
    1. Are you suggesting this passage only suggests God's "foreknowledge" and not does not include his "will"?
    2. Have you considered the possibility of man's will (even his sinful choices and actions) working in connection with God's sovereignty? Does YOUR will exist and work outside of God's sovereignty?
    3. Are you suggesting that the Scriptures (prophesy, types, covenants, etc., do not point to a Messiah who himself would "save" his people?

    To Quote (csp): Love-Theology v. Fear-Theology

    We should embrace a love-theology rather than a fear-theology. Our desire to please God should come from pure gratitude, not because of fear or obligation.

    Response: You set up a false dichotomy. We should please God out of love, gratitude and fear. God is to be feared. (Read Acts 5). In the same way it's right for a child to possess a "righteous" fear of his father here on earth, so it is with our relation with the heavenly father. He is awe-some, and to be "feared" above all gods. Not only is he to be the supreme object of our reverence, but if one does not look to him through Christ, there is reason to even to fear his wrath.

    To Quote (csp): Hell is a chosen rejection of love, not a place designed for punishment. If a soul chooses selfishness over love, hell will be their fate. If a soul wishes to be with God’s love, and demonstrates it by exercising love, Divine Love will not reject that wish. Yes, hell is a place of suffering, but it is a chosen suffering, because to be embraced by love, self must be sacrificed.


    Response:
    1. Are you denying the judgment to come?
    2. What are your authority and grounds for making the assertions you have concerning hell?


    To Quote (csp): "God cannot reach into hell to save the damned because hell is the absence of love, and there, God does not go. Nor can a soul in hell ever be repentant, for hell’s darkness is eternal selfishness. When in such a state, there is no desire for change. We will be actively choosing to be there by rejecting love."

    Response
    1. So, in your view, God is not "sovereign" over hell?
    2. State your authority and grounds for say hell is "eternal selfishness".

    To Quote (csp): The lesson Jesus teaches is that we must give up our selfishness in order to gain this reward.

    Response:
    1. Can a person change their nature?
    2. Are you suggesting God rewards based on works (change on our part) instead of grace?

    To Quote (csp): "God is not aloof and distant, but challenges us to accept love every moment of every day. We make the mistake of viewing God as so big and powerful that he is beyond our sight and comprehension. But God is so big and powerful that he is present in the smallest of things, not only able but willing to walk with us at every moment."

    Response:
    1. Are you suggesting that God is willing to walk to with sinful man (apart from Christ)?


    To Quote (csp): How does God prove this love? By not only walking with us, but by becoming one of us. As God incarnate, Jesus seeks us in our lowest moments, sharing in our suffering for the chance to lead us through.

    Response: Do you agree that our lowest moments includes our fallen condition and SIN? (or do you deny the reality and consequences of SIN?)

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    One additional question,
    Since you state you have not found anything in Tolle's books that disagrees with Scripture, do you agree with his assessment concerning the understanding (or lack thereof) of the writers of Scripture?

    To what degree is Scripture authoritative?

    swordbearer said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    swordbearer said...

    OR csp,

    If that's too many questions for you, answer this ONE.....

    WHAT IS THE NATURE OF GOD?
    (i.e., Does it include love only, or justice and holiness? If the latter two as well, then, to what degree?)

    csp said...

    Comment: Are you suggesting this passage only suggests God's "foreknowledge" and not does not include his "will"?

    Response: I am stating that God's foreknowledge does not negate free-will. Are you saying that God wills our actions? Does he will us to sin? Does he will some people to kill children? Are we just play acting to a script created by God?

    Comment: Are you suggesting God rewards based on works (change on our part) instead of grace?

    Response: So he rewards people who are changed by his grace and not because of what they DID to receive or open themselves to this grace? Does a person have to do anything to receive grace? If no .. then we are predestined to receive it or not. If yes .. then IT IS the action that is being rewarded.

    csp said...

    My apologies for the bold and capital lettering in my last post. It looks like I'm screaming, but that wasn't my intention.

    swordbearer said...

    To Quote csp (to the question "Are you suggesting this passage only suggests God's "foreknowledge" and not does not include his "will"?): "I am stating that God's foreknowledge does not negate free-will. Are you saying that God wills our actions? Does he will us to sin? Does he will some people to kill children? Are we just play acting to a script created by God?

    Response: You obviously fail to differentiate between God's decretive, preceptive and permissive will.

    1. Do you affirm or deny God's decretive will was being carried out in the events of Calvary (even allowing through his permissive will for man to put his son to death)?

    2. Did Jesus simply suffer the wrath of "mankind",or did he also suffer the wrath of God at Calvary?


    To Quote csp: So he rewards people who are changed by his grace and not because of what they DID to receive or open themselves to this grace? Does a person have to do anything to receive grace? If no .. then we are predestined to receive it or not. If yes .. then IT IS the action that is being rewarded.

    Response: I note you presented two options but did not state your position. It appears though (from your capitals) you hold to the latter which suggest man must do something in order to merit God's grace. Here, you oppose biblical truth.

    For example, in Ephesians 2, Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus "For it is BY GRACE you have been saved, through faith, and this NOT FROM YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT of God - NOT by WORKS, so that no on can boast."

    God also is quoted in Romans 9: "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does NOT, therefore depend on MAN'S DESIRE OR EFFORT, BUT on GOD's mercy."

    Was Abraham saved because of anything he did, or simply because God showed him mercy?

    Was Israel saved because they were the largest nation, or because they they sought God out all on their own, or because of any perfection in them, or simply because God set his love and extended his mercy to them?

    To quote (csp): My apologies for the bold and capital lettering in my last post. It looks like I'm screaming, but that wasn't my intention.

    Response: No problem, here. I do it all the time, not to scream, but simply to distinguish where my emphasis lies. I'm yet to find a better way to do that in written formats and comment sections especially with limited formating options available.

    To quote (csp)from a former post: "He commissions Jesus to endure in love and then raises him up, thus conquering Satan, sin and death."

    Response: If Jesus conquered Satan, sin and death, then isn't salvation dependent upon (a relationship with) Jesus?

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    WHAT IS THE NATURE OF GOD?
    (i.e., Does it include love only, or justice and holiness? If the latter two as well, then, to what degree?)

    Puritan Lad said...

    csp,

    This link may help you with the subject of God's Sovereignty vs. Free Will

    The Myth of Libertarian Free Will

    Puritan Lad said...

    Let's try this again

    The Myth of Libertarian Free Will

    csp said...

    So you hold to predestination, the elect, etc. God's will has preordained those who are to be saved and those who are not. God is sovereign, thus has the right to choose those that are to be with him and those that are to be damned to hell independent of anyones intentions, desires, devotion, etc. A deterministic metaphysical doctrine to say the least and similar to some Indian ontological systems.

    What about the end statement of Matthew 5:28?

    "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

    swordbearer said...

    To Quote (csp): ... God is sovereign, thus has the right to choose those that are to be with him and those that are to be DAMNED TO HELL "INDEPENDENT" OF ANYONE'S INTENTIONS, DESIRES, DEVOTION, ETC." [Caps, quotations, my emphasis]

    Response: Show me in Scripture where you find God "damns people to hell" regardless of their "intentions, desires, devotions", etc. It's not there. You have created a strawman, as well as misunderstood and mischaracterized positions associated with predestination.

    To Quote (csp): "What about the end statement of Matthew 5:28? 'Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'"

    Response: What about it?
    1. The problem as shown above was NOT with God's perfection, but with your mischaracterization of him.
    2. God IS perfect. (Not only in love, but also in holiness and justice).
    3. Question: Do you meet God's standard in the first part of the verse?

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    You seem to suggest God saves you because you are good (right intentions, desires, devotion, etc.)

    What is the nature of those Christ came to save?

    Have you ever considered what Romans 5:6 states?

    Rom 5:6 "While we were still sinners, Christ died for the UNGODLY."

    It was in coming to know Christ that I came to realize what this verse says... because for the first couple decades of my life, I was similar to you, thinking God saved me because I was DIFFERENT than others, I was GOOD. I felt he came to save me because unlike others I "said my prayers", I desired him", I did not drink, etc. But csp, it wasn't until later when I came to understand that I was no where near as "GODLY" OR "DEVOTED" as I originally thought I was, that I came face one of the greatest questions I've ever been faced with. Given my sin, greater than I ever imagined... Given my sin, which now was not just "mistakes" but intentional and rebellious as I knew the will of God but continued to choose my will over his, ... How could God save a person like me. I even avoided the issue for years, but it continued to bother me. Then one day I came to understand not only the justice of God (in that he was right, and had been right all along, and knew the unbelief of my heart even though I had said all along I was serving him, and was right to treat me as one deserving of punishment, and I had no leg to stand on except that he show mercy (100% mercy) and give me what I did not deserve. It was in coming to the truth of God that his love is far greater than I had before imagined. He didn't come to save those who were more or less "good", but he came to save those like myself who were "ungodly", "sinners", "powerless" and his "enemies". That's what Paul speaks of in Romans 5 when he says:

    "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

    ==
    With this in mind, let me go back to the verse you mentioned. "Be perfect even as your heavenly father is perfect." The truth is a God who is perfect cannot approve of any sin. There are two choices available, one is (as some suggest) he can lower the standard BUT then he would not be perfect, for he would either turning his head to sin, or granting his approval of it in some way. However, the other choice (the truth) is that God does not lower the standard (even though fallen man cannot meet that standard), but rather God, in his infinite wisdom, mercy, and loving compassion, provides for man in meeting that standard of perfection himself on man's behalf. You see God must punish sin, and he "will not let the guilty go unpunished" and yet at the same time, he has shown and provided a way for BOTH his JUSTICE and his LOVE to be worked out so there is no contradiction or conflict, and "sinners" might be saved! For those who God chose to show mercy to (regardless of any good or merit in them, for there is not any apart from Christ) God has both punished sin by paying the penalty for their sin which he imputed to Christ who has taken the punishment and fully paid the penalty for our sin, ... so that in effect we can be looked upon as "not guilty" (through our union/faith with Christ) even though in ourseves we "are guilty" because the books of his court show a clean slate since Christ has met the demands of God's justice for us. At the same time, God not only requires us to be "not guilty" but perfectly righteous, a standard that we ourseves can never meet, but Christ through his active and passive obedience has perfectly fulfilled God's law on our behalf, such that just as our guilt was imputed to him so is his righteousness (his PERFECT righteousness) imputed to us... so that the righteous standard of God's law is met by us (through faith/union with Christ). As one put it "Christ died on our behalf a death he in himself did not deserve to die, so that in him we might live and experience eternal life, something that we in ourseves do not deserve to to possess.

    ==
    Think about it... if you are to "good", you don't need Christ.
    ==
    Consider again not only the love of God (for it is GREATER than you are currently giving him credit for), but consider also the justice of God, for it is in coming to recognize that we are no where near as holy as we think we are (even in what we consider to be "our righteousness" - Read Isa 64:6) that leads a person to know their need for a Savior like Christ. He not only loves us, but has come that our sins might be fully dealt with. It is only when our sins are fully dealt with and we come to know the love of God that reaches out to us and has accepted us ... even when we were ungodly and God's own enemies ... that one can know the peace of God... that NOTHING will be able to separate us from the love of God found in Jesus Christ. To HIM be glory, honor, praise and thanksgiving for the marvelous things he has done!

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    Did Jesus simply suffer the wrath of "mankind",or did he also suffer the wrath of "God" at Calvary?

    Puritan Lad said...

    " Show me in Scripture where you find God "damns people to hell" regardless of their "intentions, desires, devotions", etc. It's not there. You have created a strawman, as well as misunderstood and mischaracterized positions associated with predestination."
    Ah. All of a sudden, you want scripture. Indeed, this is progress :)

    But first, it is you who created a strawman. Nowhere did I suggest that God "damns people to hell" regardless of their "intentions, desires, devotions", etc". But he does predestine some to Hell, and sovereignly works in the acts of wicked men in order to bring about His immutable decree. (You are not alone, as there are many who would consider themselve orthodox Christians who really do not like the God of the Bible.)

    I'm sure that you are well aware of the multitude of Scriptures that shows God's predestination to heaven, so we'll focus on the predestination to Hell. Does God predestine to Hell? Yes.

    "The Lord hath made all things for his own sake: yea, the ungodly for the day of wrath." (Proverbs 16:4)

    "Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory--" (Romans 9:21-23)

    "For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:4)

    I realize the shock value that these scripture may cause to those who really don't know God. Keep in mind that God owes no man salvation. He is God, and He does whatever pleases Him (Psalm 115:3)

    You also may want to check Election and the Myth of Contingent Predestination. Absolute Predestination is the only kind of predestination that there is.

    jazzycat said...

    Puritan Lad,
    Well said......

    swordbearer said...

    Puritan Lad,

    Your points are well made, however, let me point out one correction. I was the one who pointed out csp was creating a strawman... and I was also the one who was looking for Scriptural justification. (I thought I'd clear that up as the muddied waters and confusion probably resulted from the way I included my question in quoting csp). I'll take the blame for that one.


    On another note, it needs to be stated that while God's decretal will involves people ending up in hell, that is not apart from their freedom in exercising their own sinful nature, mind, attitude and will within his permissive will ... such that they end up where they do not because of any fault of God, but because of their own guilt and sin. Note, the Bible NEVER speaks of man ending up in hell because of God, but always points to man's own culpability and guilt as the reason for receiving the punishment that he does. In other words, the argument that man is a puppet and God is evil does not fly in the face of truth, for it not only shifts the blame where it does not belong, but fails to attribute the glory to God which does belong.

    I state this because all too often I see those who need to deal with their own failure to meet God's righteous standard, and to come to understand the way that mercy and grace works, who are all too prone to divert to issues over predestination and election ... in which they can create strawmen and debate forever to avoid the issues they need to deal with including their own sin, and their need for mercy. Hopefully, csp will stay on topic and not avoid the real issues. I have yet to hear him respond to the following:

    1. WHAT IS THE NATURE OF GOD?
    (i.e., Does it include love only, or justice and holiness? If the latter two as well, then, to what degree?)

    2. Did Jesus simply suffer the wrath of "mankind",or did he also suffer the wrath of "God" at Calvary?

    Not only this, but asked about the difference between salvation by grace versus salvation by works (and given Scripture verses that support the former), he has yet to respond, other than jumping off in what seemed to be somewhat of a tirade in which he set up a strawman to argue against, this simply being a diversion, for as Scripture states "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death." This is the way of salvation by works (or of trying to attain salvation ourselves rather than looking to it as a "gift" which is freely given without being "earned" or "deserved".

    Puritan Lad said...

    Oops. You are correct Swordbearer. You confused me.

    To clarify my point, when man gets to Heaven, he has no one to glorify but God. When he goes to Hell, he has no one to blame but himself.

    God is not the author of sin, but He does sovereignly work in the sinful acts of wicked men (ex. 2 Samuel 12:11-12)

    csp said...

    I'm having to make a decision to bow out of this discussion for a a couple of reasons.

    1. It wasn't my intention, nor is it my goal, to participate in a debate about who is right and who is wrong. This is a very slippery slope to navigate when it comes to spiritual matters and Tolle would argue, and rightly so in my opinion and experience, that it only serves to strengthen the egoic mind and self-will. As I've stated before, I don't think you are wrong in your beliefs and are exactly where you want and need to be at this time. I've only wanted to illustrate another perspective on Christianity and the scriptures, especially in reference to Tolle's writings and comments.

    2. We've begun to enter into a discussion of the nature of God. That is an even more difficult topic because what we can know or not know about God's nature is highly debatable. For example, in a discussion of his will you've introduced distinctions between his decretive, preceptive and permissive wills. As finite human beings trying to understand the unfathomable we create more and more complex explanations and definitions to support our idea of God. However, for me, this is the first step toward creating God in our own image. It's putting other Gods before him. To be honest, I'd prefer to say very little or nothing at all about God so that my personal concepts are not projected onto him or reinforced in my own mind.

    3. It is my experience and belief that the scriptures are absolutely true, but our understanding and interpretation of them is relative to our state of consciousness. We will never come to an agreement on this so there is no reason to continue the discussion. Also, my belief in the multiple levels of interpretation of the scriptures makes me hesitant to give scriptural examples to support the points I'm illustrating in the discussion. It's like using the scriptures as a weapon and that doesn't feel right to me.

    Thank you again for this opportunity for discussing these very important topics regarding Christianity and spiritual matters.

    swordbearer said...

    csp,

    I'm grateful for having had the discussion with you and I honor your decision to bow out of the discussion.

    In our parting comments though, let me say that while each possesses the freedom to hold whatever beliefs they will, it is also true that for those who question whether Tolle's teaching are "Christian" or not, the follow items:

    1. Your continued failure to address basic issues related to the justice of God.
    2. Your assertion that salvation depends upon the merit and works of man.
    3. Your assertion that Jesus suffered the wrath "of man" but (even after repeated questioning) would not affirm that he also suffered wrath of "God".
    4. Your failure to recognize God's purpose being accomplished in the death (in addition to the "consciousness") of Christ
    5. Your affirmation of all Tolle's writings that not only question but suggest the inspired messengers of God were confused.

    ... should RAISE SERIOUS QUESTION and CONCERN (if not DOUBT and DISBELIEF) as to whether Tolle's teachings are Christian. I say they are CLEARLY NOT, as these matters are not insignificant or trivial in nature, but involve and hit on the heart of the gospel itself.

    Even so, it's been our pleasure and privilege to have discussed these matters with you.

    Duke said...

    Peace be with the reader.

    Go to the Believers Information Network,
    then go to "The Index" and click on
    "Consciousness Gurus" to get a clear
    insight into Tolle's writings.
    Hopefully this comment will not be censored.

    The Faithful Witness

    swordbearer said...

    Readers should note that csp has later admitted to denying the necessity of the atonement of Christ.

    [See comment at: http://christianskepticism.blogspot.com/2008/04/chuck-norris-is-skeptical-of-oprah-and.html

    ... in which he states: "No, I haven't changed my position on substitutionary or penal atonement"]

    Wayne Wohler said...

    I have recently reviewed other Christian sites and their near hysterical condemnations of Tolle’s humble and illuminating integral psychology, profound and intuitive understanding of our unitary consciousness and eloquently insightful wisdom of the human condition of suffering. They are filled with a sense of loathing and dread that Tolle’s message is seducing Christians away from orthodox biblical interpretations of Jesus’s sound spiritual truths. Their fear is that he or Oprah, some are even now calling her or Tolle the anti-christ, will literally “convert” Christiandom over to his evil and demonic “New Age” blasphemy. How can one not interpret this clear hysteria as anything but an irrational egoic manifestation of the fear of loss and an existential need to strike out against those perceived as “robbing” them (or others of their faith) of their belief system upon which they are wholly dependent for their sanity and spiritual direction.

    Let’s look at why anyone would be upset at teachings that help people better understand their unconscious and destructive reactive ego mind and give them tremendous new insight into realizing more peace and love through these new insights: Do they feel that Tolle or Oprah in giving him a greater platform and venue to reach large numbers of “their faithful” are somehow co-opting their sacred faith by teaching a wicked and apocraphal doctrine when in reality their faith is actually being enhanced and deepened by their new understanding of self for those it resonates with? Is it then jealousy or envy that motivates their hateful condemnations?

    Please show me where his interpretations of quotes attributed to Jesus are not consistent with a loving and humble teacher of righteousness(some of you are disdainful of this characterization which truly disturbs me). And, then explain to me why your interpretation of said quote is any more valid than his. For Tolle’s interpretation to be incorrect their must be some baseline interpretation upon which one can decisively prove the “correct” reading of Jesus’ intention or meaning (other than Paul's or other self-ordained "authorities"). Since we do not have Jesus here to question as to “his” meaning, the only one that counts, ALL interpretations are therefore valid and should be given equal consideration. Therefore, by your characterization of Tolle’s interpretation of Jesus’ sayings as being “distorted”, you mean he is twisting YOUR interpretation or someone else’s you have adopted, which again has equal validity since we do not KNOW the original meaning or sense which can only be derived from HE who “supposedly” made it! Can you see that you are in a quandry of your own making. All interpretations are thus valid and it is then solely up to the individual to decide which he prefers or finds more resonance for his life. He can therefore “pick and choose” which he prefers among the options offered or divine (by the agency of the Holy Spirit, if you will) a new personal and subjective interpretation of his own. The point is, WHO decides which is the CORRECT interpretation when we do not know the intent of the “presumed” author! EVERYONE is the answer. Therefore, we can not legitimately claim any one view is “distorted”, it is only different but equally valid for consideration.
    I personally prefer and find Tolle’s interpretations of Jesus’s words to be the most profound and enlightening of those I have read anywhere. They not only assist me in my enlightenment and understanding but they also elevate the profundity of Jesus Himself by attributing even more wisdom to your Savior than previously granted Him by the likes of us non-”believers”.

    You owe Tolle a debt of gratitude and Oprah for popularizing him, rather than condemnation and vilification. He is actually renewing many Christian’s faith and shining an even more favorable light upon their Redeemer.

    So,rejoice and be of good cheer for Tolle has given new life to the wisdom of the Sermon on The Mount!

    Your Brother in Spirit,

    Grampswayne

    Puritan Lad said...

    Wayne,

    Your pluralistic approach has been soundly refuted here.

    Modern "Tolerance": Defining A Self-defeating Premise

    The problem with your view is:

    #1 It is not Christian.

    #2 It does not "interpret" Jesus' words, it rewrites them.

    How would an "unbeliever" like yourself interpret these words?

    “…if you do not believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins”, (John 8:24)

    It is God alone who determines how He can be approached, not man.

    Wayne Wohler said...

    Dear PuritanLad

    Thank you for responding. One of the reasons I do not consider myself Christian is no one can really tell me what a Christian should believe which would be universally acceptable to all those who call themselves followers of Christ. There are over 200 sects and differences even within these which appear to be unreconciliable to those that profess them. No one can agree and each has his own interpretation of what constitutes a Christian. There is no unity, no agreement, and in many cases very little patience or understanding from those who hold what might be considered a strict "fundamentalist" literal view of biblical texts for those who "stray" from their dogmatic interpretation. What interpretation therefore should a new convert adopt...who should he believe? I came to the conclusion long ago that I could not agree with any one creed or dogmatic approach to the truth about God our our relationship with Him.
    I then began to study the bible, metaphysics, ancient history and the origins of Christianity to divine my own truth. It is a long and sordid one indeed.

    I happen to believe that the John quote you cite was never said by Jesus nor believed by him. If you could somehow prove to me unequivocably (not possible)that this was said by Jesus then I would have to reject him as being a false prophet. Why? Because it does not align itself with the truth revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, or what I prefer to refer to as my primary spiritual Self or Soul.
    I am reminded of a famous quote from Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”. This has been the unsavory history of virtually all true believers whoever the prophet or so-called savior has been that their followers have given birth to an “organization” of “their truth”. Then follows the “authority” given it by their followers by assigning it Divine Authority simply by virtue of “their” testimony….this is the absurdity of which Voltaire speaks. All manner of nonense has been divinized in this way….holding no more truth than you or I can realize ourselves if we are but open to that Holy Spirit within us.
    They had or have no more right to claim divine authority than you or I, no matter who it is “said” to have written or spoken it!….God’s divine wisdom is imparted to each of us through either what you would call the Holy Spirit or what the new quantum physicists like Amit Goswami would call the supramental quantum monad (see his “Physics of the Soul”), and I would simply call your primary Conscious being, your soul.

    We must evaluate ALL revelation or individual realization from the standpoint of whether it is life, love or growth-affirming….if it is not, it will NOT have ANY real authority for you or me… unless you suspend your critical reason and unconditional love…this includes the Bible or any other scriptural claims to God’s authority.

    Any ideas or spiritual revelations or realizations of profound life and love affirming truths which do not somehow align themselves with the strict interpretation of the true believer in “whatever”( be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism or even some followers of Hinduism and Buddhism) must come from that wonderful creation of man’s tormented ego…Satan or if you will, the Devil (particularly co-opted by Christianity but all opposing views of the true believer are condemned and become corrupted by their followers for that is the nature of any “organized truth”). This is always the argument of one who has run out of arguments.

    If there is an “evil god of this world” as many "true Christians" say, he surely was the creator of the abominably incidious concept of “original sin” and most assuredly of all “organized truth”. No two ideas have brought more pain, death and suffering to this world than those.

    May you awaken to the light of your own soul,

    Wayne

    Puritan Lad said...

    Wayne: ”One of the reasons I do not consider myself Christian is no one can really tell me what a Christian should believe which would be universally acceptable to all those who call themselves followers of Christ. There are over 200 sects and differences even within these which appear to be unreconciliable to those that profess them. No one can agree and each has his own interpretation of what constitutes a Christian.”

    Response: Wayne, the so-called “sects” of Christianity are not as different as you would have us believe. All forms of Christianity hold that God has revealed Himself in the Holy Scriptures. Those who deny this are, by definition, not Christian.

    Wayne: ”I happen to believe that the John quote you cite was never said by Jesus nor believed by him. If you could somehow prove to me unequivocably (not possible)that this was said by Jesus then I would have to reject him as being a false prophet. Why? Because it does not align itself with the truth revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, or what I prefer to refer to as my primary spiritual Self or Soul.”

    Response: Do you reject the idea that Jesus said this based on some proof, or do you just reject it because you don’t like it. Rejecting something is not the same as refuting it. Also, where do you get your view of the Holy Spirit? Do you have any evidence to support the idea that the Holy Spirit is your “primary spiritual Self or Soul”? If you reject God’s revelation concerning the Holy Spirit, the how do you account for any such being?

    Wayne: ”God’s divine wisdom is imparted to each of us through either what you would call the Holy Spirit or what the new quantum physicists like Amit Goswami would call the supramental quantum monad (see his “Physics of the Soul”), and I would simply call your primary Conscious being, your soul.”

    Response: There is a sense in which this is true. God has made Himself known through the physical world, so that all mankind is without excuse.

    However, God’s redeeming attributes cannot be known through natural revelation. They can only be known by the Holy Spirit, and this does not happen for everyone.

    Wayne: ”We must evaluate ALL revelation or individual realization from the standpoint of whether it is life, love or growth-affirming”

    Response: Says who? We must evaluate all revelation from the standpoint of what God has already revealed. Otherwise, we make the human mind autonomous, which it clearly is not.

    Wayne: ”If there is an “evil god of this world” as many "true Christians" say, he surely was the creator of the abominably incidious concept of “original sin” and most assuredly of all “organized truth”. No two ideas have brought more pain, death and suffering to this world than those.”

    Response: Can you expound this a little? It sounds like your objection to the true God of Christianity isn’t so much logical as it is emotional. In other words, it’s Ok if God exists, just as long as He runs things like you think He should.

    Wayne Wohler said...

    Puritan Lad

    I am so glad you asked for further expounding...just remember that you did...

    I have been studying for some time now the work of three very brilliant and pioneering researchers who have been trying through the application of scientific principles to illuminate the nature of man, God and the universe and the means by which we find ourselves here, right now. As Tolle tells us in the beginning of his “Power of Now”, “We are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That’s how important we are.” (I find this many fold more uplifting and empowering than whether Jesus was the only begotten son of some anthropomorphic egoic mind generated conceptualized belief of God). I find the need to know the origin and nature of my spiritual being and to understand my purpose and the meaning of this existence far outweighs any need to believe in some ancient prophetic fulfillment and conjectured triune pantheon as the prerequisite to accept a humble man and simple teacher of our divinity, sans his later deification and certain false exclusionist attributions which I find rather unbecoming of the teachings themselves. The One Consciousness from which all creation is made manifest does not exclude anything for there is nothing but Consciousness(God) and its emergent intelligent forms of being.
    Here is a sample of what I have uncovered in the research and writings of these seekers of truth:
    THE DEMYSTIFICATION OF OUR TRANSCENDENT NATURE
    Or, Where Metaphysics and Science Converge
    It seems that we have met the ghosts and angels and they are us. Our long belief in and fascination with the metaphysical aspect of our nature and the new revelations detailing the spirit world of our birth and life between lives is now being confirmed by science, or at least the basis upon which our transcendent nature is made manifest in this world as well as the nature of this world as a transcendent manifestation. We are learning through the aid of both quantum physics and regressive hypnosis that our mind i.e. human consciousness is not the epiphenomenon of neuronal brain interactions but emanates from a transcendent domain (spirit world) and is the cocreator of all material reality.

    Now in making this wild claim I am neither circumventing science nor denying an ultimate Creator, but am quite simply expositing our current level of knowledge regarding the non-local and transcendent nature of the quantum connectedness of primal particles through empirical science and the revelations of discarnate soul memories of everyday people like you and me through the use of advanced techniques of hypnotic regression. In other words, our consciousness (intelligent spiritual energy) which as a manifestation of our primary soul being is a product of a transcendent reality now being revealed to us through our own “superconscious” memories accessed by Dr. Michael Newton’s hypnotic induction process (see his “Journey of Souls” and “Destiny of Souls”) . Or, as Dr. Amit Goswami, a renowned quantum physicist and author, explains, we literally bring into being physical reality “(w)hen we observe (with our consciousness), the correlated quantum objects (the primal state of materiality which are simply waves of possibility) collapse (when a measurement is made) into actuality (Newtonian material stuff), into separateness,…” and this very same “correlation and its collapse are nonlocal (no local signals or communication), involving a domain of interconnectedness that transcends the immanent space-time domain of reality where things are seen as independent and separate.” He is more amazingly willing to state that this actualization “… takes the nonordinary state of consciousness (Dr. Newton’s superconsciousness?) in which we experience our oneness beyond our individuality and our cocreatorship of the subject-object split world (from Physics of the Soul, pgs. 32-33).” It sure sounds like they are talking about the same source doesn’t it? Just maybe, it’s because they are.

    Human testimony from recalled memories (albeit from a discarnate state of being) and empirical science are now on the same page regarding the existence of the soul (our conscious energy) which is transcendent and separate from the physical body. Now, the vast majority of scientists are materialists and despite the indisputable transcendent nature of quantum objects still believe we live in a closed system of reality and could not possibly have any interaction with some “other reality/domain”. This would somehow violate the sacredness of our understanding (natural laws?) that all things are in a constant flux between matter (quantifiable materiality) and energy, and that nothing can be added to and nothing can be taken away from what is already here thus precluding any “exchange” with some other “domain” of beingness. But, there is a small but growing new cadre of scientists who call themselves Monistic Idealists (as opposed to Dualistic Materialists). This is a fancy name for those who now believe that “consciousness is the ground of all being” rather than all things are a product of random molecular conglomerations. A “consciousness” that is connected somehow to a domain transcending or outside of this one in which we now reside.

    These bold non-apologetic scientists led by Dr. Goswami are saying physical reality as we know it in a Newtonian/Einsteinian sense (no relation to Dr. Michael Newton, at least that he is aware of) is not just a product of the Big Bang formation of some chance or random mixture emanating from the resultant primordial soup of elements, gases and chemicals but is in a “real” sense a creation of conscious beings of intelligent energy (us) comprised of “light and color” who are sent here from a transcendent reality overseen by an hierarchy of an even greater transcendent beingness to merge with a physical body of the subspecies homo sapiens sapiens. I have exceeded what our new scientists are willing to say, of course, but I will show that what they are now referring to as a “domain of interconnectedness that transcends the immanent space-time domain of reality” is none other than the Spirit World of Dr. Michael Newton’s subjects and the origin of our birth.

    So, I am working to awaken those who not only disavow NT biblical teachings (don’t even mention the OT) but even deny the existence of man’s primary spiritual nature. We, I believe agree upon that much, although I am sure your “conceptual belief” is all you know and has been adopted from biblical "truths". My understanding is a knowing borne of testimonial evidence, experience and realization rather than a product of mind generated “intellectual” thought.

    Here is what Dr. Newton has learned from his 7000 regression with some 2000 subjects(most all considered themselves Christians of some ilk):
    When we observe or witness, from the vantage point of our True Self beyond mind, the insidious nature of our false mind ego-self, the pretender to our identity, we can begin the process of re-identification with that which we are. The following is the latest understanding of our true spiritual nature and identity based upon 35 years of research and over 7000 hypnotic regressions with some 2000 subjects (Dr. Michael Newton’s discovery that we all have memories of our life between lives reported in his two volume work-Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls) in which his subjects report their activities as discarnate souls. Here are the core findings and spiritual principals, quoted here verbatim from his Life Between Lives: Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression, based solely upon what his subjects have reported to him and he characterizes as the “The Way of Souls” (the words in italics and underlinings are mine):
    The soul cannot be defined because it has no limits that are perceived about its creation. The most consistent reports of its demonstrated essence is that the soul represents intelligent energy which is immortal and manifested by vibrational waves of light and color.
    All human beings have one soul that remains attached to its chosen physical body until death. Souls play a part in the selection of their next physical body (usually only 3 choices are offered) during their reincarnation cycles. The soul typically joins its physical body after conception between the fourth month and birth (important implications for the debate as to when life begins and for the issue of abortion. Some have reported that whether a baby will reach full term is known ahead of time and the soul is advised of this before selection).
    Each soul has a unique immortal character. When conjoined with a human brain, this ego character is melded with the emotional temperament, or human ego, of that body to produce a single but temporary personality for one lifetime. This is what is meant by the duality of our mind (so here on Earth the True Self/Soul is the witness and real identity beyond the temporary ego mind of the body).
    While soul memory may be hidden from the level of conscious awareness through amnesia, thought patterns of the soul influence the human brain to induce motivations for certain actions.
    Souls reincarnate with human beings for countless lifetimes to advance through levels of development by addressing karmic tasks from former lifetimes. Souls grow in knowledge and wisdom through this learning process while pondering their thoughts and deeds in past lives with peers under the direction of teachers (There are many other assignments given advanced souls. Becoming a teacher or guide is only one option. What is reported without contradiction is that each of us will eventually progress beyond the need to reincarnate and take up these duties in an endless succession. There is still much that is unknown about the more advanced hierarchy that is present in the spirit world of our birth, for his subjects have obviously not reached those levels of development as yet.)
    Our planet is one of an incalculable number of worlds that serve as training schools for the advancement of souls. During temporary physical incarnations on Earth, souls are provided an opportunity to advance through trial and error to accumulate wisdom. Humans are not bound to a predetermined existence. Various possibilities and probabilities arising from karmic influences and prior soul contracts are subject to the free will of the soul.
    Earth is a place of great beauty and joy but also harbors ignorance, hate, and suffering that are man-made combined with natural planetary disasters over which we have little control. Coping with these positive and negative elements on Earth is by design. This planet is a testing ground for souls rather that being a place of evil, demonic influence from outside our world. Spiritual malevolence does not exist within the divine order of love and compassion that comprises our spiritual origins.
    Personal enlightenment emanates from within each of us and endows humans with the capability to reach our own divine power without intermediaries.
    At the moment of physical death the soul returns to the spirit world, the source of its creation (sometimes we may stay here for awhile longer if we feel a strong need to do so. It is always our decision). Since part of a soul’s energy essence has never left the spirit world during incarnation, the returning soul rejoins with that essence of itself. Thus, spiritual learning never ceases for the soul. The spirit world also offers souls the opportunity for rest and reflection between lives (those who have partaken of particularly egregious acts on earth, however, immediately become aware of their failure and inability to control their human body and temperament and are voluntarily separated from returning to their cluster group of peers. No one as yet has reported the existence of anything akin to a lower world of fire, i.e. Hell. But, there are areas separate from our normal spaces of operation in which various purification processes are used to cleanse the soul of “dark” or negative energy, and can be quite a long isolation for some of the worst cases of violent offenders. But, even they are overseen by highly trained and loving caretakers during this voluntary separation. Eventually most are returned to their group or in some cases reassigned to another. In rare cases those who have demonstrated a complete inability to mediate their actions or possess any semblance of compassion for others e.g. true sociopaths or psychopaths, may not be allowed to incarnate on Earth again or are deemed unsuitable for earthly incarnation).
    Souls appear to be members of specific spirit cluster groups to whom they have been assigned since their creation. The teachers of each group are the personal spirit guides of members of that group. Members of these groups reincarnate with the soul and assume meaningful roles during a soul’s life on earth.
    Rather than being defined as a place of ultimate non-action, or nirvana, the spirit world appears to be a space of soul transition for souls who evolve into higher energy forms with capabilities for creation of animate and inanimate objects. The soul’s energy itself has been created by a higher source. The spirit world has an area of influence which is undefined except that it includes our universe and nearby dimensions.
    No earthly religious deities are seen in the spirit world by returning souls. A soul’s closest connection with the divine is with their personal spirit guide and members of a council of benevolent counselors who monitor the affairs of each soul. Souls from earth feel and sense the presence of a god-like Oversoul or Source emanating from above the wise beings who make up individual councils.
    The spirit world is composed of highly advanced non-reincarnation soul specialists who regulate the work of the souls in their care. When incarnating souls develop to higher levels of wisdom and performance themselves, they will cease to incarnate and take their place among these specialists, who will assist the still-incarnating souls. Soul specialists apparently are selected by motivation, talent, and performance.
    The ultimate goal of all souls appears to be the desire to seek and find perfection, and finally conjoin with the Source who created them.”
    If you read the above with an open mind and contemplate the repercussions and implications for a whole range of religious ideologies and theologies still being practiced and believed, you cannot help but come away with a mixture of tremendous hope for mankind and a deep sadness at the millennia of tragic death and misery directly caused by our spiritual ignorance. The striking fact of how inconsequential religious belief itself is treated (actually ignored completely as to whether one had a successful life), particularly dogmatic creeds and various religious idolatry, practices and observances, unless they were the motivation or cause for some harmful or negative actions, is just one of the major revelations of his study. In other words, as most of us with a moral and ethical progressive worldview would surely agree, if our religious/spiritual beliefs help to foster love, compassion, tolerance, peace, harmony, forgiveness together with service to others and these are demonstrated/actualized to the best of our ability, it makes no difference what our ideological or religious beliefs or tenets, creed or other rituals or practices are that we profess. Only our deeds are considered, not what religion or holy book we avow allegiance to- special points given to those who treat everyone with equanimity regardless of their human status as a unique spiritual being of the One Source. As Above, so below. We are not differentiated in the Spirit World so we must presume that it is desired that we bring that which is of our divine home into this one.

    What is your personal truth as revealed through you own intuition, insight, conscience and creativity? That is what will add to the joy of life and creation.

    Your Brother in spirit,

    Wayne

    Puritan Lad said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Puritan Lad said...

    Wayne: "application of scientific principles to illuminate the nature of man, God and the universe and the means by which we find ourselves here, right now."

    Response: Scientific Principles, eh? This should be interesting.


    Wayne: “We are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That’s how important we are.”

    Response: Whoa there Wayne. We "enable the divine purpose"? What kind of weak God do you serve?

    This may come of a bombshell to you, as well as many who would call themselves "Christians", but the fact of the matter is that, in the grand scheme of things, we really aren't that important. We add absolutely nothing to God's glory, for He has enough glory in and of Himself. Lest you think otherwise, consider that God existed for eternity past without us, and He got along just fine.

    Wayne: "(I find this many fold more uplifting and empowering than whether Jesus was the only begotten son of some anthropomorphic egoic mind generated conceptualized belief of God)."

    Response: Of course you do. Who wouldn't find such man-centered fluff uplifting? But that isn't the issue. The issue is whether or not your mysticism is objectively true, and it isn't.

    Wayne: "I find the need to know the origin and nature of my spiritual being and to understand my purpose and the meaning of this existence far outweighs any need to believe in some ancient prophetic fulfillment and conjectured triune pantheon as the prerequisite to accept a humble man and simple teacher of our divinity, sans his later deification and certain false exclusionist attributions which I find rather unbecoming of the teachings themselves."

    Response: Interesting. You state this as though it were objectively true, and yet reject any objective truth about "exclusionist attributes" concerning God. And why do you object to them? Because you "find rather unbecoming". Hmm. Maybe God should have consulted you before He decided to run things as He does. It sounds like you have some advice to give Him.

    Wayne: "We, I believe agree upon that much, although I am sure your “conceptual belief” is all you know and has been adopted from biblical "truths". My understanding is a knowing borne of testimonial evidence, experience and realization rather than a product of mind generated “intellectual” thought."

    Response: That says it all Wayne. You flawed human mind has become autonomous. By rejecting God's revelation of Himself, you have placed yourself on the throne of the Almighty. What makes your "testimonial evidence" more authoritative than that of the Scriptures? Note that I'm not asking you what you find more appealing. This isn't an astethical question. What makes your subjective "experience" more authoritative than that of Isaiah Chapter 6?

    This line of thought permeates the rest of your post. You have traded objective truth of God's Revelation for some subjective inner consciousness. But there is a problem.

    God is Holy and Perfect, and cannot look upon us wicked sinners with anything but distain. Most people in your worldview have no problem with a concept of God, as long as He is reduced to some benign, kind, grandfather in the sky who wants to fix all of our boo boos. But the idea of a Holy God who is angry with the wicked every day is not the kind of God most people want to acknowledge. When God threatens His Wrath upon sinners, it is a thought to horrible for may to deal with. They would rather ignore this than to deal with it.

    So Wayne, what in your worldview can provide the solution to this problem? WHere is the redemption between a Holy God and a wicked man? When you die and stand before God, and He asks you why you should be allowed into His Heaven, what answer will you give? If He tells you that your subject mind was wrong, what will you say then?

    By the way, I didn't see any scientific principles, but that doesn't surprise me.

    Wayne Wohler said...

    Dear Puritan Lad

    This is your most telling post, particularly that "God is Holy and Perfect, and cannot look upon us wicked sinners with anything but distain." What happened to Jesus' living and "Loving" God the Father who values and cares for His "children" with love and forgiveness? Now He has only "disdain" for His "wicked" creation? Is that what your dark and dangerous mind truly believes about yourself...and me? Why do I possess overwhelming feelings of love, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance towards my fellow spiritual brothers and sisters, which I MUST attribute to He who created me...yet you say He does not possess. How is it possible that I could have greater moral and ethical principles to guide my life than He who gave them to me?

    You fail to print all of the findings of Dr. Newton's 40 years of research for the readers. All 2000 of his subjects, mostly Christian, report those 14 core facts and principles of our spiritual nature and the Spirit World of our birth. All report the same reality regardless of their conscious "beliefs" prior to regression. They are ALL consistent, non-contradictory and veridical (no other or alternative explanation i.e. halucinations, dream states, confabulation created for the facilitator, etc. explains their reality for the subject other than having lived them in their experience). This is true confirmed testimonial evidence...2000 people agreeing upon the nature of our spiritual being and the activities we engage in during our life between lives in what they all refer to as our spiritual HOME. By the way, Dr. Newton prior discovering these memories in his subjects was an atheist and had no belief in an afterlife or in reincarnation. Why do you not discuss this scientifically retrieved (and replicatable)testimonial evidence in your post. Do you deny the validity of testimony? What scientific or even historical extrabiblical evidence to you have for the so-called "revelations" found in the OT?

    Then you ignore everything in my last post which would answer your following questions: "So, Wayne what in your worldview can provide the solution to this problem? Where is the redemption between a Holy God and a wicked man? When you die and stand before God, and He asks you why you should be allowed into His Heaven, what answer will you give?" As we are clearly learning from these consistent testimonies and "objective" reports from Dr. Newton's subjects we are intelligent eternal conscious beings of light and vibration transmigrating between the transcendent domain of our birth and this physical world of possibility waves which only we can collapse with our divinely given consciousness. Yes, as all report we have been here many times and reincarnation is the means by which God through us allows us to progess and evolve towards perfection. There are far too many lessons to learn in only one lifetime here. Print the 14 basic core findings in his two volume work, "Journey of Souls" and "Destiny of Souls"...what are you afraid of? You asked for objective evidence...I have given it to you!!!! These facts and truths of our nature and home are not my revelations or the good doctors...they are from people like you and me who have been given the ability to recall their superconscious memories of their soul life.

    If you want a real discussion stop controlling the information I am expounding...none of which is my "subjective" thinking. The only thing you can quote from is self-revelational biblical passages which have absolutely no objective historical evidentiary proofs (Biblegod's so-called commandments and laws). Stop you hypocritical demands for objectivism...your "truth" has none, it MUST rely on faith alone and has NO proofs to be found in reality whatsoever!!!

    So, Puritan Lad, what about the new evidence? What do you think? What is your "objective" evaluation of these new findings?

    I await with baited breath!

    Still your brother in spirit,

    Wayne

    Puritan Lad said...

    Wayne,

    If you would be so kind, I'd be interested in reading about the new "evidence" since you have failed to give me any. Do you have links, or do you actually expect me to pay my hard earned money for such nonsense.

    But I must ask, what evidence do you have of "Jesus' living and "Loving" God the Father who values and cares for His "children" with love and forgiveness". You have already rejected the Holy Writ. Or maybe you would like to pick and choose what parts of God's revelation that you will accept based on whether or not you find them to be "more uplifting and empowering".

    I agree that God shows redeeming love towards His Children. But I don't accept that all people are God's children. Rather only those whom He predestined to adoption can be considered God's children. All others are of their father the Devil, and His will they do.

    Wayne, the biggest problem is that you think too much of man and not enough of God. You boast of "overwhelming feelings of love, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance towards my fellow spiritual brothers and sisters", yet you are quite intolerant of Orthodox Christianity.

    You have asked for extrabiblical proof of the Old Testament (which is supported by the New Testament. (Jesus believed the Old Testament). By asking for such, you are suggesting that God's revelation of Himself is somehow unclear. (Actually, I think that your real objection is that you really don't like God very much.)

    So to have us some time, and me reading alot of nonsense, let's simplify things a bit.

    Just provide me with the "objective scientific evidence" for reincarnation. Please to post a bunch of links that I have to sort through, one are two short clear ones will to.

    Puritan Lad said...

    TYPO CORRECTION (it's late): Just provide me with the "objective scientific evidence" for reincarnation. Please do not post a bunch of links that I have to sort through, one are two short clear ones will do.

    Wayne Wohler said...

    You are beginning to sound like a Gnostic but without any of their genuine ability to listen to the dictates of their soul. The Gnostic religious traditions only recently revived due to the discoveries of the early Christian communities of the Essenes at Qumran and others, now revealed to us through their writings among the documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi codexes, held that man was truly a spark of the divine. They believed they held the true and secret “knowledge” or gnosis of who we really are as divine beings trapped in a corrupt and evil physical body. That, in fact, we are truly alien to this planet, which was not created by the one true God but by an evil deity, and that through communications with and aid from spiritual entities called Eons we could learn how to escape this physical realm after death. Most importantly, only by virtue of these revelations of our divinity could salvation be realized, and only those initiated into their Gnostic society and fully vetted were allowed to receive these revelations of our true divine nature. They also believed that not all men were divine but that there were three very distinct human types: Men that were essentially animals with no divine spark, those who if given this secret knowledge and by their actions and virtues learn the paths necessary to escape, and finally there were those who already possessed this divine knowledge and were thus able to impart it to others who wished salvation.
    Well, they had the divine part right but,just as you seem to beleive, made it an exclusive club rather than an all inclusive understanding of mankind‘s connectedness to our Creator as part of and intrinsic to the entirety of creation. They were simply unable to see that this world of woe and evil is primarily a result of our not being aware of our divine nature and connection and thus our ignorant identification with the disconnected ego-self is the reason the world is the way it is. It was not created this way, it has become this way by virtue of our own ignorance, but that is why we are here and have free will to learn the importance of following our own internal divine guidance and to make it manifest in the world. The world itself or physical life is neither intrinsically good nor evil . What we would call positive or life affirming action towards each other, society and the planet itself is a result of our paying attention to the inner voice of our soul and may or may not necessarily contradict our instinctual nature as physical beings i.e. “being human“. But, only an individual who follows the dictates of his soul, however, can mitigate an instinctually human negative or harmful inclination or reaction to the harshness of life. Remember we are hybrid beings and it is only the animal nature of man which leads him to justify unfriendly or should we say non-life affirming actions aimed at “others“. The disconnected ego mind operating in this reality, without denying or ignoring the often harsh “survival” activities required to prevail, is the primary culprit in man’s inability to fully implement his higher functioning and often altruistic impulses toward harmony and peace. Or, in other words, evolve towards consciously higher states of being in the world.

    -The Gospel of Truth (from Gnostic doctrine written by Ptolemy)- Jesus came to give us the truth that would free our soul from its prison in the body, not to die and be resurrected for our sins. So it is not our faith in the death and resurrection of Christ which will bring us salvation but by “receiving the knowledge and truth of who we really are” which they liken to “a drunk person who becomes sober again” or a person who has been asleep and is awakened. Only this knowledge then will save us from the fate of error or falsehood. Salvation comes therefore from having knowledge of ourselves as sparks of the divine, not in having faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, and it is this knowledge that Jesus provides us through his ministry and teachings.

    The reason I find Tolle’s teachings so important is that he gives us practical exercises we can use to realize our inherent divinity and actualize the divine qualities that our soul came here to bring into this life. Dr. Newton’s subjects all report the same phenomena and scenario of our spiritual life in a spirit world which controls and monitors our progress here on earth. Here is another principle his subjects all report: “Earth is a place of great beauty and joy but also harbors ignorance, hate, and suffering that are man-made combined with natural planetary disasters over which we have little control. Coping with these positive and negative elements on Earth is by design. This planet is a testing ground for souls rather that being a place of evil, demonic influence from outside our world. Spiritual malevolence does not exist within the divine order of love and compassion that comprises our spiritual origins.” If you would like a brief review of Dr. Newton’s findings, see his 5 part interview on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QDT58Q6Zxo&feature=related. Then, read his pioneering work in his two volumes listed above. His subjects all report the same phenomena and spiritual dynamics regardless of their previous “belief system”. This makes his findings not only overwhelmingly compelling but completely veridical. His work is undoubtedly the most revelational of all metaphysical writings to date.(See his website at: http://www.spiritualregression.org/. I would also suggest you review Dr. Ian Stevenson's work with children who spontaneously recall former lives. He amassed over 7 volumes of medical data over his 40
    years of research making "The Case for Reincarnation": www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/personalitystudies/ or http://reluctant-messenger.com/reincarnation-proof.htm.). Then, you might also take a look at the volumes of research into near-death experience (NDE), out of body experiences (OBE) and reincarnation in the New Testament: http://www.reincarnation.ws/reincarnation_in_the_new_testament.html

    One other important finding reported by all Dr. Newton's clients regardless of their religious or ideological orientation was this: “No earthly religious deities are seen in the spirit world by returning souls. A soul’s closest connection with the divine is with their personal spirit guide and members of a council of benevolent counselors who monitor the affairs of each soul. Souls from earth feel and sense the presence of a god-like Oversoul or Source emanating from above the wise beings who make up individual councils.” Again, these are not the Doctors personal revelations, opinions or beliefs. In fact, as I posted earlier, they contradicted his previous “beliefs” completely, as well as most of his subjects who revealed these spiritual realities to him under hypnosis. As you can imagine, this new evidence of our “life between lifes” is an anethema to virtually all religious creeds and dogmas, particularly the most fundamental or orthodox. Tolle’s teachings obviously are aligned with these findings and gives us real world means by which our purpose and mission here, as detailed by Dr. Newton’s subjects, can more fully be actualized.

    If Jesus did not have this understanding as Tolle and I credit him as demonstrating in his famous “I am” quote, we must conclude that he was not the spiritually enlightened prophet that we have always believed him to be...but we obviously do not beleive he made such a statement.

    Bottom line: if your adopted biblical interpretation is right, Jesus was wrong and did not know man’s true nature.

    If you realize who you are and that your essence is of the same stuff as Creation itself i.e. unmanifested consciousness, that then precludes any mental concept or belief regarding something outside of that which is All That Is. So, to be what you are IS the process of realization and it is incumbent then upon you as a “cocreator”, NOT THE Creator or ALL of Creation but a pure manifestation thereof, of that consciousness to bring as much of that which you are into manifestation in whatever plane of existence you find yourself. We are thus Self realizing and Self actualizing when this shift of consciousness or identification with our current form is made. Simply it requires no believing only being….that which you in essence are!
    All beliefs are mental concepts created by a mind which “thinks” it is separate from the creative intelligence that created it. This is intentional for our learning the lessons only this type of physical dualistic world can provide.
    That is to say therefore, as Dr. Newton's subjects ALL report,"personal enlightenment emanates from within each of us and endows humans with the capability to reach our own divine power without intermediaries." It is a process of awakening to our connectedness to all that is and not a process of rational thinking or cognitive conceptualizing. Jesus was simply one who had fully realized his divinity and it appears through the words and actions attributed to him that he came to assist us in our awakening and realization of ours. If he was somehow a unique type of being or something other than US of what use were his teachings FOR us. The hallmark of any great teacher is his/her ability to instill in their students the desire to seek that which he has achieved and to reach even higher levels of attainment. If what he offers cannot be attained by his students or disciples then he loses his value for us. Did Jesus not promise his disciples with the Holy Spirit they would do even greater things than he had done. So, when aligned with the divine power within us all we could be AS Jesus and even greater things can we do than he had done. Now that is the purpose and example of a great teacher of righteousness, truth and wisdom. It was also his humility, the greatest of his examples for us, which we strive to emulate. Jesus was no more and no less than what anyone of us can become when we achieve our perfected state. That was his example and his message for us all. We are spiritual beings having a human experience and like Jesus we too will return to our Father. Jesus did not ask us to deify or worship him. He asked us to BE LIKE him or emulate him in all our actions here. Amen.

    Back to reincarnation, which by the way was clearly a common and popular understanding among the Jews during Jesus’s time. Remember, Jesus and his disciples were JEWS so it follows they would hold the same views as most of their brethren, as indicated in the verses I quoted from the NT (there are others).
    Here is a quote from the historian Josephus, a Jew and Roman citizen, who gives us our best understanding of the events and times of Jesus: “The bodies of all men are, indeed, mortal, and are created out of corruptible matter; but the soul is ever immortal, and is a portion of the divinity that inhabits our bodies. . . . Do not you know, that those who depart out of this life according to the laws of nature . . . enjoy eternal fame; that their houses and posterity are sure; that their souls are pure and obedient, and obtain a most holy place in heaven, from whence, in the revolution of ages, they are again sent . . . into bodies; while the souls of those whose hands have acted madly against themselves are received by the darkest place in Hades?” From The Works of Flavius Josephus. Pretty clear belief in reincarnation from our only extrabiblical source for Jesus [the controversial "Testimonium Flavianum"]). Most biblical scholars now believe that Eusebius was the author of the "Testimonium Flavianum", which would then leave absolutely NO extrabiblical evidence for Jesus.

    May I recommend a site I just discovered to you which gives a very different Christian view of Tolle and his message for us. It is entitled “Eckhart Tolle and the Christian Tradition” and is quite enlightening for a “mature” (their characterization, not mine) Christian: https://www396.ssldomain.com/tcpc/library/article.cfm?library_id=534

    I am saddened that you do not use your evident powers of reason, insight and personal spiritual connection to expand your worldview, as other Christians have so eloquently done (see link above). You have not followed the many excellent directives ascribed to Jesus in the NT which clearly contradict or nullify the many false (clearly not universal or beneficial for the common good of all God’s children i.e. other religionists, devout followers of a different path or non-believers) and regional mores found in the OT or even the evangelical or orthodox interpretation of the NT gospel.
    Your statement,"Actually, I think that your real objection is that you really don't like God very much" is an understatement of my position regarding the false Biblegod of the OT. I have already stated there is NOTHING but God and his emergent manifestations...that includes you and I...so I would have to also not like myself "very much".

    Let me give you a little bit of enlightened understanding about people as myself who I believe now outnumber those of your persuasion:
    1. We DO NOT ACCEPT the Bible as the word of God. In our understanding of our Creator, which is similar to Jesus’ loving Father, there is no current nor has there ever been any visual or auditory contact. He (used here only as a linguistic nomenclature), therefore, has never dictated or inscribed any commandments, been seen in any burning bushes, directly smitten (smited?) any Canaanites or others (the some 3 million plus deaths in the OT [not counting the Flood] attributable to Him), did not assist Moses in parting the Red Sea and He and His Hosts never sat down to the sumptuous barbeques laid out for Him by Aaron and his priests that were prepared for Him daily. We believe this to be self-evident since He has not done any of these things anywhere else in the world (in the Chinese, Japanese, American civilizations for example) and since the Reformation and Enlightenment some 400 years ago in the areas He was so previously active. What changed? Man awakened from the authoritarian enslavement of Biblical “doctrine” promulgated by self-appointed religious rulers of a false “God” and rejected the OT as the true blasphemy of Man.
    2. This “God” or “Lord” of the OT was NOT God!!!! We do NOT accept Him as being the One Unitary Consciousness or Creator of All That IS.
    I could cite thousands of reasons for this understanding, all having to do with the simple fact that the actions and commandments ascribed to Him ARE ABSOLUTELY CONTRARY TO A LOVING CREATOR!!! (I have a book, which makes more sense than anything written in the OT which is entitled “Is Jehovah an E.T.? Dorothy Leon makes a very convincing and compelling case for answering this in the affirmative).
    3. The stories in Genesis of our creation are redacted Sumerian texts borrowed by the early Hebrews which were the creation stories of their ancestor’s “gods”, the Annunaki (”those who from heaven to earth came”). See the Seven Tablets of Creation/Chaldean Genesis/Epic of Creation or the Enuma Elish for the original.
    4. If there was ever a “being” called Satan he most certainly was the creator of the worst egregiously dangerous, ludicrous and enslaving doctrine ever fostered on mankind, “original sin”. Alas, since there is NO SUCH BEING, our sin or the existence of evil actions by men in this world is the result of our IGNORANCE of our true primary and eternal spiritual nature, which IS of the One Consciousness which is GOD.
    I could continue but I think you get the point. We simply reject virtually all the writings upon which you base your beliefs. We therefore reject all the premises and presumptions inherent to your arguments and the resultant proclamations, ergo, your conclusions and condemnations regarding our disbelief. We cannot have a rational and logical argument when we cannot agree upon the premises which those arguments are based. The Bible is self-revelation, NOT TRUTH. You must find current EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE outside in the real world to substantiate your arguments. That is the fundamental difference between your understanding and mine. You can reject the new evidence but you do so without investigation. I KNOW yours to be false for they find absolutely no resonance within my soul nor have they any historically corroborative substantiation.
    I’ll leave you with a famous quote from Herbert Spencer: “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance–that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” I have read and studied the Bible, that is WHY I reject it as the word of, or even inspired by, God, with the exception of the spiritual truths ascribed to Jesus. If you wish to investigate the new EVIDENCE of our true spiritual nature, and what God is NOT, please see my reference to Dr. Newton’s case studies of the spirit world into which we are born as SOULS, Amit Goswami’s findings in quantum physics regarding CONSCIOUSNESS AS THE GROUND OF ALL BEING, and Dr. Ian Stevenson’s 40 years of research and seven volumes of medical data making the “Case for Reincarnation”. When you have INVESTIGATED these new FACTS, we can then resume our discussion and arguments regarding man’s true nature, purpose, meaning and the divine principles which guide our spiritual evolution.

    Your Brother in Spirit,
    Wayne

    Puritan Lad said...

    Wayne,

    You have once again avoided the question. You said that you have scientific evidence for reincarnation. If you do, please provide it. All you have done is rehash your New Age Junk with absolutely no objective reason for accepting it.

    However, I will thank you for your most recent post, as it clear shows that Tollism is NOT Christianity.

    1. Christians DO ACCEPT the Bible as the word of God. "I'm still waiting to hear from what authority you get your teachings about Jesus.

    2. ThE “God” or “Lord” of the OT is the Christian God. He is also the God of the NT and has not changed one bit.

    3. The stories in Genesis are original. The "Babylonian Origins Myth" has been refuted time and again,

    4. Christians do believe in Satan and in Original Sin. All of the Doctrines of Christianity, the doctrine original sin is the one with the most empirical evidence.

    You (or Tolle or Oprah) cannot redefine Christianity to make it mean whatever you want it too mean. You entire philosophy overestimates the ability of man (who is NOT Divine). God, by definition, has certain attributes that make Him God.

    1.) He is Omniscient (All Knowing).
    2.) He is Omnipresent (Present all places at all times).
    3.) He is Omnipotent (All Powerful).

    Trust me, neither you nor your "consciousness" meet these qualifications. You are NOT God.

    As far as your self awareness goes, it is clear that you neither know yourself, nor do you know God.

    But again, I thank you for pointing out that Tolle and Christianity have nothing in common.

    Wayne Wohler said...

    Obviously, you didn't read anything I posted nor did you bother to use the references to the new evidence I gave you...and that with the admonition against comtempt prior to investigation. What is one to think of someone who refuses to look at new facts about reality or rejects profound new knowledge about their rightful place in Creation...knowledge that would free them from the bondage of the ego self and from the dark ages of religious enslavement and false doctrine? What is one to think of someone who believes guilt is hereditary ("original sin") and thinks that has empirical evidence...we inherit the sin of some mythological first man?(actually borrowed from the Sumerian texts about the Annunaki's (those from the planet Nibiru who were "those who from heaven to earth came", later to be called in Hebrew, the ELOHIM...the plural Hebrew word translated as God in the OT) creation of what they called in Akkadian, the ADAMU!

    Without quoting hundreds of clearly, inane, foolish, barbaric, incomprehensibly unjust and sexually perverse “laws” of “God”, you would have to suspend all decency and morality to entertain such a certainty of their “Divine” nature let alone any "empirical evidence" for their truth. We have no space here, but to give you a few you can look up for yourself to prove my point, try these: Gen.19:5-8, Gen.19:31-32, Exod. 21:2-6, and Deut.13:6-10. But my favorite is Exod. 22:18. That one directly caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of poor women.
    I have often pointed out to Christians that Christianity has caused untold suffering in the world. That history is so filled with Christian wars, persecutions, torture, burning and hate that no gentle and kind person would call himself a Christian if they knew the truth of Christian history.

    The answer is always the same: “How can I, or any Christian today, be held responsible for what people, who called themselves Christians, have done in the past?” And yet, according to the second Commandment God holds the children responsible for the mistakes, or crimes of their parents, “even unto the third and fourth generation.” In fact the entire concept of Christianity is based upon “original sin,” the ultimate in unjust hereditary guilt. I do not believe in hereditary guilt. The very idea that we, the human race are born in sin because of some small misdeed that Adam was said to have done is foolish. No! It is more than foolish, it is insane. Such insanity is not of God.

    I do not wish to "redefine Christianity". I want NOTHING to do with it whatsoever!!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT WE REJECT ALL ORGANIZED TRUTH which has NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE IN REALITY TODAY. Your "truth" is only explained, expounded and testified to in one compilation of books (many rejected selectively because they were embarrassing to the "truth" the wise bishops of Rome wished to used to enslave their illiterate flocks! The Gospel of the Infancy by the Apostle James and the Gospel of Mary, the Book of Enoch, the Book of Juballees, Gospels of Thomas and Peter etc, etc.)written by unknown authors long past the time of those who actually knew Jesus. That represents real solid evidence?

    Since you are unable to do your own research or click the links I gave you for SCIENTIFIC PROOFS, here is just one quote of one of the references:
    "Probably the best known, if not most respected, collection of scientific data that appears to provide scientific proof that reincarnation is real, is the life's work of Dr. Ian Stevenson. Instead of relying on hypnosis to verify that an individual has had a previous life, he instead chose to collect thousands of cases of children who spontaneously (without hypnosis) remember a past life. Dr. Ian Stevenson uses this approach because spontaneous past life memories in a child can be investigated using strict scientific protocols. Hypnosis, while useful in researching into past lives, is less reliable from a purely scientific perspective. In order to collect his data, Dr. Stevenson methodically documents the child's statements of a previous life. Then he identifies the deceased person the child remembers being, and verifies the facts of the deceased person's life that match the child's memory. He even matches birthmarks and birth defects to wounds and scars on the deceased, verified by medical records. His strict methods systematically rule out all possible "normal" explanations for the child’s memories.

    Dr. Stevenson has devoted the last forty years to the scientific documentation of past life memories of children from all over the world. He has over 3000 cases in his files. Many people, including skeptics and scholars, agree that these cases offer the best evidence yet for reincarnation.

    Dr. Stevenson's credentials are impeccable. He is a medical doctor and had many scholarly papers to his credit before he began paranormal research. He is the former head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, and now is Director of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia." Here again is the link: http://reluctant-messenger.com/reincarnation-proof.htm

    Some people are just not ready to change their calcified and safe positions and prefer to be victims of other's truth rather than discover and know the truth that will set them free...I'm afraid you are one of them! Prove me wrong!

    Still your Brother in Spirit,

    Wayne

    zoegirl said...

    Wayne,

    Great,

    You have established that you are not a Christian. THen please leave our beliefs alone. In spite of your assertions, you ARE trying to redefine, using rehashed new age philosophy. YOu are simply bringing up the pathetic line of "Jesus is a great teacher but..." mixed in with some absurb reincarnation supported with non-scientific anecdotal evidence. No scientist who supports basic experimental methods would consider you Dr. Stevenson's anecdotes hard data. Children are notoriously impressionable and are not the greatest at giving testimony. And even if they were, this is still anecdotal, not great evidence for reincarnation. You really think that these impressionable 2-4 year old's were not polluted with the cultures ideas? There is a reason that he only went to certain countries that believe reincarnation, you know.

    An plausible alternative hypothesis would look at the parents beliefs and examine the high rate of consistency between the reports of prior lives and their beliefs.

    Just to provide the readers with an alternate view of Stevensons work

    http://www.skepticreport.com/newage/stevensonbelief.htm

    To be honest, it is quite laughable that you quite willingly believe this paper-thin support of reincarnation and then renounce a series of documents with plentiful historical veracity.

    And do I come with condemnation? Yeah...you come as a false teacher rejecting my Lord and Savior. You bet I'll condemn your beliefs. But I examined them and find them absurb.

    zoegirl said...

    A great review of his book and his faulty data collecting

    http://www.skepticreport.com/newage/stevensonbook.htm

    Wayne Wohler said...

    Thank you Zoe for adding your voice to the discussion, and for pointing me to a critical review of Dr. Stevenson's work. Richard Rockley does make some valid points, which by the way Dr. Stevenson makes as well. All his data is carefully considered as to whether there are "normal" means of information transmission to the child or whether there is reason to believe it is "faulty memory" or simply a "hoax" by believers. All alternative explanations for the child's memories are evaluated in EACH case and either there is some evidence for doubt or they are convinced their is strong reasons for rejecting them as explaining the date. Some cases are stronger than others and many "cases" were thrown out of data when there was a strong case that the above explanations were clear. It is the cases where all these prosaic explanations do not appear to be operating that are the one's he was at a loss to explain by any other means that reincarnation is then offered as an explanation. There are many such cases that defy any other explanation...these are one's we are interested in exploring.
    Also, how do we explain xenoglossy (people who speak dead languages while recalling their former life experiences) and blind people who experience a near-death experience and while discarnate in an OBE "see" everything being done to revive them and describe in detail things they could not possibly know without actually having "seen" them while incarnate. There are just no other alternative explanation that satisfies all the data. Even in Rockley's SkepticReport above he states in his conclusion:

    "Clearly these cases cannot be disproved. But applying Occam’s Razor I believe there are more prosaic solutions than reincarnation."

    What he is really saying is: He "believes" someday we will find a "normal" explanation for these cases, BUT for now only reincarnation offers the only one that "fits" the data we have. This is the same argument that material reductionist make about the fact they cannot identify (map out) consciousness in the brain...but they are "certain" we will some day...rather than accept what quantum physics is clearly showing...that consciousness(discovered to be the requirement for collapsing the quantum possibility waves into actuality) emanates from outside this space/time realm of split subject/object reality (see my earlier post from Dr.Goswami).

    Have we proven beyond any doubt that reincarnation is a "scientific" fact? No, and Dr. Stevenson would agree for he never stated that it was. But, he has given us the strongest "case" for it to date. Has science proven that Jesus was God and that he was resurrected from the dead...no one in science has even bothered to try to make a "case" for that belief. Why? Because there is absolutely NO evidence in our reality to even investigate for such a hypothesis and any one who would propose such an attempt would be laughed at by the entire scientific community. That is a "belief" and an article of FAITH and has NO empirical evidence to support even an investigation. Where is your "hard data" for Jesus as God and for resurrection? How do you reject reincarnation on the grounds there is no "hard data" just "anecdotal evidence"(small libraries now exist with this evidence)and not apply those "proofs" to your own beliefs? How are your beliefs THE "truth" when there is absolutely no evidence in reality for them.

    In fact, there is now testimonial evidence (we can't say it is scientific proof, but it is compelling, consistent and veridical) by over 2000 subjects (Dr. Michael Newton's case studies of life between lives-see books and web links in former posts)who have been regressed to a superconscious state through hypnosis and they ALL state that "No earthly religious deities are seen in the spirit world by returning souls. A soul’s closest connection with the divine is with their personal spirit guide and members of a council of benevolent counselors who monitor the affairs of each soul. Souls from earth feel and sense the presence of a god-like Oversoul or Source emanating from above the wise beings who make up individual councils." Most of his subjects considered themselves Christians and held a variety of beliefs and expectations about the "afterlife" prior to their regression...regardless of their beliefs they ALL reported the same phenomena without exception. They also all reported "Earth is a place of great beauty and joy but also harbors ignorance, hate, and suffering that are man-made combined with natural planetary disasters over which we have little control. Coping with these positive and negative elements on Earth is by design. This planet is a testing ground for souls rather that being a place of evil, demonic influence from outside our world. Spiritual malevolence does not exist within the divine order of love and compassion that comprises our spiritual origins." These reports from largely Christian believers demonstrate some very important facts:

    It is made very clear by all Dr. Newton’s subjects that only our actions and possibly our words and the emotional displays attached to our thoughts as they negatively affect others are of any real consequence to the hierarchy of souls to whom we directly report, and they appear to be the only ones who assess our soul’s level of attainment. Whether they consult with others unseen or the Source/Presence Itself in some “external” way is simply not known. His subjects also clearly report that we ourselves once free of our physical body and reoriented to our spiritual “home” upon physical death are the primary and foremost arbiters of whether we had successfully completed our life’s mission here. Once free of the false ego’s attachments and excuse mechanisms we are able to honestly evaluate our performance objectively. We as discarnate souls, although certainly not perfect and have much to learn and many lifetimes yet to live, do know when we have failed to meet our own goals and where we have fallen short of our expectations and those of our spiritual mentors. The old adage that we are harder on ourselves than others holds true even more so in the spirit world. So, not only is reincarnation reported as fact for all who recall their lives in the Spirit World of our birth, it is THE ESSENTIAL AND INTEGRAL MEANS by which we progress toward "conjoinment" with the Source that created us. In fact, THEY ALL REPORT THE SPIRIT WORLD AS A PLACE WHERE WE ASSESS OUR LIFE JUST LIVED AND IMMEDIATELY BEGIN PREPARING FOR THE NEXT LIFE!(By the way, Dr. Newton's hynotherapy students have been conducting life between lives regressions based on his methods of induction and are soon to publish their own case studies from around the world.)

    I do not reject your faith, in fact, I respect it greatly. It is when Christians, as does Puritan Lad, present their faith as "truth" that I must challenge it.

    Your Brother in Spirit,

    Wayne

    Puritan Lad said...

    Wayne,

    Can you explain why psychology should be considered a valid science, especially since it has been proven over and over again to be an abject failure? Is this what you consider to be "scientific proof"? If reincarnation is true, then how does the world's population continue to increase?

    Why do you accept the testimony of a few thousand nutcases who claim to have lived in a previous life, and yet reject the testimony of millions of Christians who have been born of the Spirit of God? What makes your group more scientific than mine?

    Again, the idea that the Bible text was copied from other Babylonian and Sumerian texts has been refuted time and again.

    See Did the Ancient Sumerian Shepherd-god Influence Christianity? and Is the Biblical Flood Account a Modified Copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh? for a few examples. (Why does it never occur to the unbeliever that these ancient documents may have been copied from Biblical accounts?)

    It sounds to me like you have a problem with God's Laws. If so, then you need to take that up with God. Maybe God should consult you before He makes His next decision.

    Wayne Wohler said...

    What I have been revealing to you is not psychology per se, although Dr. Newton's initial purpose was to help his clients to discover the source of some of their life's problems and issues unexplained phobias that appeared to have no origin in this lifetime.

    Just because Psychologist's have had failed theories in the past, does that preclude the study of the mind and how it operates here...and as a result the discovery of our souls influence upon our well being in this life. NOTHING COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTANDING WHY WE DO THE THINGS WE DO! Do you suggest we stop all research into the workings of our minds because of past failures? I would think religionists and true believers such as yourself would be a little more understanding of FAILURE than the average person. The history of religion and particularly Christian practices over the centuries has not been exactly free of atrocities of "faith" or failures. May I remind you of the heresy persecutions, torture, witch hunts and burnings, the many Crusades of genocide and lets not forget the Grand Inquisition with Tomas de Torquemata (sic). Christianity was not exactly all about peace and love if you know any of your history...there's an understatement!!!
    Now, Dr. Newton reluctantly at first began conducting past-life regressions when after a search of childhood memories failed to turn up any incidents which could have caused their current difficulties. It was only by accident that he discovered his clients could recall memories of their life after the death of their previous personality. At that point, he began to work exclusively with clients who wished to explore their "in-between lives".
    When reviewing a subject/client’s past lives during the LBL regression, Dr. Newton asks some very intriguing questions. The most important is: “How much is your soul-ego influenced by the brain of each body you choose? Do some bodies make it more difficult than others to maintain your permanent identity?”(Book 3, pg. 163). The answers to these questions are particularly revealing in our realization of who we are in our permanent soul character or personality. He states, “Human society, especially in areas of high population, can cause one to feel isolated, empty and unable to commit if we are not sure who we are in the scheme of things.” These feelings of isolation, emptiness, not belonging here or what psychologist’s have long called alienation are particularly acute in pre or adolescent teens but often these nebulous but gnawing feelings can persist well into adulthood if not addressed. The operative word here is “alien” for this dimension’s space-time materiality is literally alien or foreign to our permanent spiritual identity-who we are in our eternal manifestation.
    One of the extremely interesting aspects of the incarnation dynamic all the subjects reported was the fact that we do not take all of our soul energy with us to Earth. Dr. Newton, learning this early on, would always ask subsequent subjects the percentage of energy they had taken for their incarnation. The average was around 60% and never more than 75%. The amount we take is always our decision, but we are advised by our guides and our Elders on the Council (note the mention of this above. More about these Wise Ones later) what percentage would be best given the body choice. Some would take less than was recommended and often it turned out to be a very big mistake i.e. they were unable to overcome difficult or challenging situations the body’s predisposition had imposed; such as alcoholism /addiction or simply strong negative or destructive reactions to hardships or abuse that sent their life spiraling out of control. Again, since even the choice to incarnate on earth is our decision, we become fully responsible for the outcome of that life.
    We, in fact, enter into a contract to “stay” with the body when the choice is made, no matter what happens and, most importantly, not to leave early (commit suicide). We are fully prepared before we leave as discarnate spirits, but we have our own imperfections and weaknesses we need to work on and improve in order to progress to the next level of soul development. The body choices given us offer varying degrees of difficulty specific to those areas we need to correct or improve. We don’t always choose the “easiest” one. In fact, one subject had selected bodies with physical impairments or a serious genetic disease for her last 4 incarnations in order to overcome a previous proclivity towards selecting attractive and powerful bodies she had used to her own selfish advantages. She had fallen behind her soul group as a result and by selecting the most difficult bodies offered her she was able to “make up” for the lack of progress in her earlier “easy” life selections. In other words, we are given body choices which will allow us to be either indulgent or allow us to “skate”(a term used by one of his subjects) in a particular life, or we can select a more difficult body assignment which presents us with the challenges we need to progress more rapidly e.g. a physically impaired body or other “challenging” trait or temperament that would require us to “work harder” or undergo more hardships than would say a healthy body and/or wealthy and loving parents. So, the body types and the family situations (varying socio-economic circumstances or caring and nurturing verses neglectful or abusive parents) that are offered us, and the one we ultimately select, has everything to do with the lessons we need to learn and/or the karmic tasks we need to endure for us to progress as a soul. What our purpose and mission is in making this decision and coming to Earth, is an essential part of our journey in reaching our ultimate goal of our soul’s progression towards reunion with the Source, as Dr. Newton states above. It is also of major interest and importance to us all in knowing today, what we need to do to fulfill that purpose and mission here.
    There is, however, one major obstacle to the realization of these lessons and tasks we choose to set forth to learn and achieve. WE WON’T REMEMBER WHAT THEY ARE OR THE REASONS WHY WE’RE HERE, OR, MOST SIGNIFICANTLY, WHO WE REALLY ARE! We are all, of course, intentionally given a large dose of amnesia or none of this would need to be explained and finally revealed to us now. Although this may seem cruel and unfair to us, the reason for this is well understood by all in the spirit world. If we are aware of who we are and all our previous lives on a conscious level, there would be little reason for us to come here to undergo all the trials of discovery and the consequences of our actions and choices. It is specifically the overcoming of these difficult challenges and the triumph of our spirit, shining through this physical being that is hosting us, that makes this “game” of life so valuable as a means for learning. In other words, if we always knew what we needed to do to win and what the outcome would be, there would be no use in “playing the game”. What “fun” would that be. Our incarnations, incidentally, are referred to by many of the subjects in their lighter moments as a “game” or “play”, but it is a very serious one, indeed. Just as we can laugh at ourselves when we recall an event after many years that was, at the time, very harrowing, dangerous or even humiliating, we as souls can also laugh and make fun of our many mistakes, even tragic ones at the time, when we look back upon our many lives. There is, by the way, quite a bit of laughter, joking and good natured ribbing by all in the spirit world. Remember, we are eternal beings of pure conscious energy and though we undergo physical death many times, we continue on in our “real” lives as immortal and unique souls of light.
    MOST IMPORTANTLY: Everyone reports that through all of this process in the spirit world we are given unconditional and unlimited love, patience, understanding, encouragement, and NON-JUDGMENTAL assessment and correction as regards our mistakes, poor choices and the satisfying of our karmic debt (more about this later) in our lives here. THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT. No one is ever condemned or “left behind” and although some of us progress towards our goal faster than others, WE ALL WILL EVENTUALLY EVOLVE AND PROGRESS THROUGH ALL OF THE HIGHER LEVELS OF SOUL DEVELOPMENT. AND, THERE IS INFINITE TIME TO DO SO.
    We are the ones who are impatient to progress and wish to do well. We are the ones who are disappointed in the speed of our progress and the fulfillment of our purpose and mission; not our teachers or guides, or even the so-called Council of Elders who monitor and evaluate our progress and help us to develop and prepare for each incarnation. With an all embracing love and eternal patience, they want us to progress and do all they can to aid us in our development; they do not judge us, but encourage and assist us in determining what we must do in each life to correct our mistakes and to develop the characteristics necessary to progress to the next level of soul attainment. It is always and ultimately our decision to return to earth or to heed or not to heed their sage advice.

    So, now we know that we are a transcendent soul-being comprised of intelligent energy, born in a non-physical spirit world we call home, and to progress our soul towards conjoinment with our Creator/Source, we have decided to come to earth with a specific mission and incarnate in human form. Does this sound familiar? (Although no one reports seeing any earthly religious figures in the spirit world, there is reported by some an understanding that there has been an occasional and rare incarnation by advanced souls, who had no reason to incarnate for their own soul attainment or karmic debt/task, but did so in the attempt to bring others to a greater spiritual awareness of their mission here on earth, i.e. Jesus and Buddha. These are not mentioned by their earthly names, however).

    Does any of these consistent and so far universal findings from all who have been regressed, find any resonance with your mind or soul?

    I have given you only a taste of what has and is being revealed about our journey as transmigrating eternal beings of intelligent light and energy. Do you still wish to remain a wicked eternal sinner and be thought of with "nothing but disdain" from your "loving" Biblegod?

    Your Brother in Spirit,

    Wayne

    zoegirl said...

    What you are posting is nothing more than new age philosophy with no historical backing.

    YOu *have* no respect for Christianity (and for that matter, Judaism) since you deride the God presented in the Old Testament (which, if you bothered to study the matter, is the exact same God in the New Testament). What you want to do is simply cherry-pick what you want based on your ignorance of the scripture.

    In response to your last comment about being looked upon with disdain by our God (revealing your own disdain and disrespect for CHristianity)....

    I'm placing my trust and faith in a God who gave us HIs word and His law and ultimately HImself to redeem His loved ones, insuring that justice is fulfilled and yet showing incredible mercy, following HIs own justice and righteousness and bringing us into His family. ThAT sacrifice revealing the epitome of grave and love is a whole lot more substantial than anything your empty new age philosophy can provide. A LIVING, loving God with a RELATIONSHIP with this God? Let's see, compare to nebulous ideas about "enlightenment"? Yeah...I think I'll go with a personal relationship with Christ...

    And sorry, you are no brother in spirit with me. THat may sound harsh, but your entire philosophy and worldview is opposite mine.

    Wayne Wohler said...

    I have not been giving you "nebulous ideas about enlightenment" and my final statement was in reference to a quote from Puritan Lad who stated that "God is Holy and Perfect, and cannot look upon us wicked sinners with anything but distain." I was simply asking whether he still prefered to be considered a wicked sinner and looked upon by his Holy and Perfect God with disdain given the new revelations of Dr. Newton's subjects. I have only been expounding upon the CONSISTENCE AND NON-CONTRADICTORY REPORTS of his subjects who had been regressed to their soul memories.

    Zoegirl, what do you find offensive in what these 2000 or so subjects have reported without exception? Again, these are NOT MY FINDINGS OR REVELATIONS or even the good Doctor's, they are from people just like you and me who held a variety of religious and ideological beliefs who have TAKEN HIM TO THE SPIRIT WORLD OF THEIR BIRTH...IT IS THEIR CONSISTENT CLAIMS OF THIS REALITY NOT THE DOCTOR'S OR MINE (Dr. Newton, unlike myself, was actually a functioning atheist and had no prior belief in an afterlife of any kind)! Tell me, what do you find unacceptable or contrary to your beliefs as a Christian in this finding by all of his subjects: "Everyone reports that through all of this process in the spirit world we are given unconditional and unlimited love, patience, understanding, encouragement, and NON-JUDGMENTAL assessment and correction as regards our mistakes, poor choices and the satisfying of our karmic debt (more about this later) in our lives here. THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT. No one is ever condemned or “left behind” and although some of us progress towards our goal faster than others, WE ALL WILL EVENTUALLY EVOLVE AND PROGRESS THROUGH ALL OF THE HIGHER LEVELS OF SOUL DEVELOPMENT. AND, THERE IS INFINITE TIME TO DO SO." Is this what you find to be OFFENSIVE? Please tell me from your own soul how you FEEL about this finding...not how it differs from or contradicts a 2000 year old text written by an unknown author. Are you able to give me your feeling rather than your "thinking". Can you suspend for a moment your "belief system" and look at empirical evidence and evaluate it as to its resonance with your own soul?

    Your Brother in Spirit (whether you accept me or not),

    Wayne

    Wayne Wohler said...

    Now, Zoegirl, your objection regarding cherry picking always brings a smile to my face.
    My concern regards all “settled” and “organized truth” written down by men just like you and me (Jesus you will remember had no say in what was recorded in his name, nor able to edit it for correctness-I am willing to concede a higher status for him than for us for the sake of this discussion and out of deference to your beliefs)for it requires acceptance en toto whether it resonates within my soul and the living voice of God within me or not. I am supposed to suspend all critical judgment, first as to its accuracy (libraries have been filled with this controversy alone), then as to its definitive veracity. But, most endearing are the consequences I am assured will be my fate if I don’t accept what I personally believe is a spiritual blasphemy of the highest order: that ONLY through my acceptance of his way and life, his ascension, his deification, his sacrifice for MY sins (not of course committed yet-always found this a strange usurpation of my free will which also was given to me by God in your religious theology, is it not?) will my sins be washed away, my salvation “guaranteed”
    (evidently no matter what heinous crimes I should commit)and I will be granted by his grace a one way ticket to Heaven. Now, who wouldn’t want that. That seems pretty simple and straight forward.
    So, why wouldn’t I just be willing to make that admission, allow a good dunking in holy water and declare my acceptance, and be done with it?

    Because, I CAN’T WITH ALL THE ENLIGHTENMENT, LOVE, COMPASSION,FORGIVENESS AND TOLERANCE FOR MY FELLOW MAN AND JOY OF THE UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS OF ALL THAT IS, ACCEPT WHAT I KNOW TO BE UNTRUE!

    Most good Christians speak passionately of their faith and love of God and Jesus and of the miracle of salvation, the cleansing of their soul and the grace of God all granted you by your acceptance of these beliefs. I trust that you have found what you need to live in loving kindness, forgiveness and tolerance and to feel whole. I am certain some find everlasting joy in their beliefs. I would never dispute your profound declarations and I wish you only love and all the blessings you derive from this commitment. And I hope to meet you in the afterlife (actually, in between lives).

    Now, getting back to the reason for this blog. What Tolle and I ask is that you grant us this same imprimatur for our spiritual understanding, the same respect for OUR truth as it is revealed to us from the same divine source you have experienced your “redemptive” exultation (there is only one divine Source regardless of how one mentally conceptualizes it).

    The only REAL problem we have with Christian belief is not in the conceptual constructs of it or the truth of its claims, or in its ritual and ceremony, practice and worship, or even your passionate proclamations to non-believers. It’s when you try and CONVERT, LEGISLATE, JUSTIFY HATE OR CONDEMNATION OF EXCLUDED GROUPS, OR WHEN YOU BELIEVE SO STRONGLY AND FERVENTLY THAT ONLY YOU AND THOSE WHO BELIEVE AS YOU HAVE THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE FAITH AND THEN FEEL RIGHTEOUSLY JUSTIFIED IN IMPOSING IT UPON OTHERS, that’s when we become alarmed and feel threatened by what should be your “personal” spiritual journey alone.

    Here is the critical difference: I and all those who find profound lessons and principles for living in Tolle teachings, and in many others I might add including and most endearingly in Jesus’ teachings, would never dream of creating an “organized” religion or even movement around his revealed spiritual wisdom. And just as importantly, we would NEVER deify the teacher or assign him any special status, nor would any true and humble teacher of spiritual truths wish that for themselves.

    The reason Tolle cites Jesus 22 times is because we do find profound truths in his teaching. There are also some quite the opposite for a wise and humble teacher (this is OUR understanding and we understand you disagree). We do not have to adhere to any dogma which proclaims the Bible as infallible truth, so we find what IS TRUE FOR US and REJECT the rest. We can do this with impunity and without remorse for the Bible does not BELONG TO YOU or any religious entity (Jews are also very selective if you have not forgotten, and alot more tolerant of Christianity than vice versa). No one has the copyright on the Bible and blasphemy and heresy, thank God, are no longer punishable offenses. Since no one can definitively rule in or out any of what is attributed to Jesus we have become selective in our choices and citations. We do not swear the same premises of absolutism that you do and therefore are free to interpret whatever we want from his attributable sayings. This is what was done by a myriad of Christians and sects in the many scriptual battles over authenticity in the centuries before the proto-orthodox triumph of the Roman wing of the fledgling religion, which was CREATED in abstentia and in his name only and without his permission. I’m not sure he is very happy about what has been perpetrated in his name. I know I wouldn’t be.
    Compare these two quotes: Matthew 5:43
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
    To Mark 16:15-16
    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned [to hell].
    Tell me, which one would you believe was the closest to what our beloved Jesus said? Which teaching do you find to be worthy of a humble and true teacher of righteousness? ….I rest my case, for now.

    Peace and Love until we talk again.

    P.S. Here is a quote from another site that I have found to be right on the point:
    "The whole thrust of Tolle’s New Earth is to awaken man from his forgotten identity by highlighting the inherent equality of all human beings as children of God showing, in the process, also the folly of ego-identification as the root of all suffering. This is exactly what Jesus himself summed up not only his own teaching but also of all “the law and the prophets” and even called it as “the will of My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:12, 21-26) Hence both Jesus and Tolle are saying the same thing. Let us make use of the light and stop arguing about the lamps.
    AMEN

    Ed Acosta said...

    I love how many Christians feel like someone is attacking their very being when people don't agree with their views. They are more concerned with being right than allowing people to appreciate Christ in their own way.

    I believe Yeshua was the son of God just like we all are his children. We all can claim that and we'd be correct. He was exceptional man, teacher, prophet, son of God. Call him what you'd like and argue about that it feeds your egos needs. I'd rather learn from his teaching and apply it to my life.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Ed,

    What teaching of Christ do you apply, and how do you determine which ones to apply?

    On what basis do you claim that we are all God's children? Why do you believe that man has to right to "appreciate Christ in their own way"? Doesn't Christ has to right to demand how He will be worshipped?

    Seems to me that you're the one who feels attacked.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Wayne,

    Why would you reject the idea that Jesus said both of these quotes?


    "Compare these two quotes: Matthew 5:43
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
    To Mark 16:15-16
    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned [to hell].
    Tell me, which one would you believe was the closest to what our beloved Jesus said? Which teaching do you find to be worthy of a humble and true teacher of righteousness? ….I rest my case, for now."


    Why could He have not said both? What standard of righteouness and truth are using to condemn the second passage?

    Is this your own arbitrary standard? You personally don't like one of the passages, you you reject it, though it is written in the ONLY source of Divine Inspiration.

    Christianity - God has revealed Himself in His Word.

    Tolle - Wayne gets to decide what Jesus really said based on his own personal preferences.

    OpenMind said...

    Holy "Narrow-mindedness" Batman!!! We are all connected people!! That is Tolle's message. God is in all of us, we are all God. We are One. It's as simple as that.

    Puritan Lad said...

    Ah yes. The myth of open mindedness yet again.

    Must be nice to decide your own virtues and label those who disagree as "narrowminded".

    We are NOT God, even just by definition. And we are not one.

    Signed, Narrowminded.

    Tim said...

    great discussion guys, thank you so much. amazing insights. love