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Openminded - Amy Marie Discussion


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This is a moderated discussion between Open Minded and Amy Marie. Only these two are allowed to post on this thread. Both participants should answer questions put forth by the other and not get into tangents.

 

A commentary gallery is posted for viewers. Particpants cannot paost in the Commentary Thread.

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Amy Marie:

 

A week ago you posted the following to me:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?s=&a...st&p=219009

Well, "Open_Minded..." You're are not living up to your username. You know that all mystical experiences are not the same. I only shared my experience and mine are not yours. I never said you had to have my experience. You are not open minded if you get that angry at someone who perceives Christ in a different light than you.

 

I am interested in knowing what you mean when you say "mystical experience".

 

Exactly what is your definition of a "mystical experience"?

 

Open_Minded

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Mysticism in my opinion is the experience or communication of God within the soul. There are many different kinds of mystism in different religions.

 

It is good to see that you recognize mysticsm in different religions.

 

But.... if mysticsm is "the experience or communication of God within the soul" then what do you feel about mysticsm in non-theistic religions - such as Buddhism?

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Although I am not familar with mysticism as practiced in Buddhism or non-theistic religions I would believe that we should be able to glean from each other what would be helpful for our souls higher good.

 

Amy... You have a way of evading the point.

 

If you recognize non-theistic mysticsm as valid - then what is its purpose? If

 

Another way to put my question is:

 

If your view of mystic experience, "is the experience or communication of God within the soul", then how does that apply to a non-theist tradition?

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My first answer still stands. We can learn from each other in this way: If non-theist mysticism means to rid the soul of distractions, to lift the soul to a higher level intead of clouding it with thoughts of violence, you know, anything from the lower nature, to be at one with humanity ~ seeing the good in others, that's a good thing.

 

My understanding is that when you use the word "mysticsm" as it applies to theistic religions you are using the following definition:

 

Mysticism in my opinion is the experience or communication of God within the soul.

 

But .... when you use the word "mysticsm" as it applies to non-theistic religions you change your definition to the following:

 

....non-theist mysticism means to rid the soul of distractions, to lift the soul to a higher level intead of clouding it with thoughts of violence, you know, anything from the lower nature, to be at one with humanity ~ seeing the good in others....

 

Do I have a correct understanding of the way you use the word, "mysticsm"?

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I'm trying to find the common ground here.

 

So, am I Amy Marie, so am I. That is why I have been pressing the issue.

 

Where is the common ground, then?

 

You are using the word "mysticism" for both a theist and non-theist experience. I do as well.

 

Mysticism is well documented in both theistic and non-theistic cultures. So the common ground must transcend subjective beliefs about God or Ultimat Reality, wouldn't you say?

 

So, Amy, give it some thought if you must. But, would you care to outline some of the characteristics that qualify an experience as "mystical"? Experiences that transcend personal and subjective beliefs about "God" or "Ultimate Reality"?

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If you don't mind Open_Minded, can you please explain what you mean by "Ultimate Reality?"

 

Wikipedia's definition of "ultimate reality":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_reality

Ultimate Reality in philosophy, is the absolute nature of all things. It is sometimes seen as different from ordinary reality, which is considered a product of the individual conscious mind. And some believe that Ultimate Reality is independent of observation.

 

Hinduism, for example, believe that Brahman is the One Ultimate Reality. However, different religions have different views on what the Ultimate Reality is.

 

An Ultimate Reality is generally alluded to by non-theistic religions where theistic religions would speak of divinity.

 

The existence of an Ultimate Reality is debated. Metaphysical Subjectivism and the Ancient Carvaka says that direct perception alone creates reality, and there is no underlying, true, reality that exists independent of perception. One can also hold that it is consciousness rather than perception that creates reality. However, Ultimate Reality theorists hold that there must be an objective truth for which to base one's perception, and that the difference in perception from person to person, reality tunnel to reality tunnel, is not due to a lacking objectivity, but rather can be attributed to the complexities that encompass the perception of one's environment, as well as differing environments between all.

 

Amy Marie.... please don't start going off on tangents.... you said you were trying to find common ground. Do the work of finding common ground. I'll rephrase my question.

 

You and I agree that mystical experiences happen in both theistic and non-theistic traditions. What characteristics must an experience have to be considered "mystical" in both theistic and non-theistic traditions?

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I have to admit OP you quote is hard for me to grasp intellectually so my reply is pretty simplistic. It's difficult for me to understand how to have a mystical experience apart from God but maybe it could be something like this. <snip>

 

I can only try to explain my own experience as I am not in another's soul.

 

Can you help me out here? Maybe you should talk about your own experience.

-

 

Amy - if we are trying to find common ground between a theistic mystic experience and a non-theistic mystic experience then my own subjective experiences have nothing to bear on the subject.

 

Let me go at it from another direction...

 

Have you ever heard of Neil Douglas-Klotz or Brother Wayne Teasdale?

 

Neil Douglas-Klotz has spent years learning the Aramaic language (the original language of Jesus). He has also used the Aramaic Bible and translated the words of Jesus from Aramaic into English. One of the things one learns in going at the words of Jesus from this angle was how different the culture of Jesus was from our own culture and how Jesus would have viewed God. Following is an excerpt from the work of Neil Douglas-Klotz.

 

http://www.selfhealingexpressions.com/unity.shtml

Unity: Embracing the Oneness of Existence

By Elizabeth Reed with Neil Douglas-Klotz

 

It is impossible that Jesus (Yeshua) would have seen things in the separate categories that we do today. For a first century Middle Easterner there was no separation between heaven and hell, no division between inner and outer, no sense of natural and supernatural. Everything was a part of a unified whole. It is not possible that Yeshua could have seen anything except Unity. How would it be for you to look at the world through eyes that could only see Unity in everything?

 

As you watch news releases from the Middle East, you frequently hear the word "Allah," an Arabic name for God. Did you know that "Allah" is the name for God for Arabic speaking persons, Christians as well as Muslims? This name for God, used by many, has existed for thousands of years in the Middle East.

 

Unity's Name in a Variety of Languages

The Arabic word Allah means Unity. The Aramaic word for God, Alaha, also means Unity and is the word Yeshua would have used for God. One Hebrew word for God is "Elohim" which means "the One and the Many." In Ugaritic, one word for God is "Elat," referring back to the Great Goddess. Can you guess what that word refers to? Yes, Unity!

 

Unity Not Separation

"Our usual Western concepts of God and the sacred are only a partial view of Sacred Unity. It is difficult to overemphasize this point. Most of us have been raised from childhood to think of God as a being infinitely distant from humanity or nature, and of the sacred as something separate from the profane. We have been taught that religion operates by different rules than politics, science, psychology, art, or culture. Yeshua's teaching and reported dealings with his followers show that he did not live from this type of separation thinking." ~ The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz, p. 29. Copyright © 1999.

 

To summarize, Amy ... the culture of Jesus understood God as Unity. This can also be seen in understanding Christ as the Alpha and the Omega. This understanding of God - as unity - as ONE - as ONENESS - is very, very, very, important. When Christian Mysticism speaks of Union with God, it is speaking about an experience of Unity - ONENESS - awareness that everything, EVERYTHING "rests in God", that God truly is the Beginning and the End. "Union with God" is a non-dual experience, by definition.

______________________

 

Moving onto Wayne Teasdale. Wayne passed away last year, he was a catholic lay monk who also learned and practiced other world religions. If memory serves me correctly he also practiced the Hindu tradition in great depth and had much experience with Buddhism. Wayne advocated something called Interspirituality. Essentially, recongnizing the underlying unity of all the world's religions. Following is an excerpt of his about "mysticism".

 

Wayne Teasdale: Mystic Heart: Discovering a universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions, Page 20

Mysticism. Definition from Wayne Teasdale’s The Mystic Heart: "Mysticism means direct, immediate experience of ultimate reality. For Christians, it is union and communion with God. For Buddhists, it is realization of enlightenment." Evelyn Underhill’s classical definition is perennially True: “Mysticism, in its pure form, is the science of ultimates,
the science of union with the Absolute, and nothing else,
and that the mystic is the person who attains to this union, not the person who talks about it. Not to know about, but to BE, is the mark of the real initiate.”

 

More from Wayne Teasdale

 
The Origin and Nature of Mysticism

... All these religious traditions emerge out of mystical experience, and
mystical experience means a direct knowledge of and relationship with the Divine, God, or boundless consciousness
. One can almost say that the real religion of humankind isn’t religion at all, but rather it is mystical spirituality, the bosom out of which the religions themselves have been born.

 

Mysticism is the awakening to and cultivation of transcendental consciousness. It is unitive awareness.
All forms of mystical wisdom are unitive, that is, nondual. This is a significant point of convergence among the religions themselves.(1) To say that mystical consciousness is unitive, nondual, or integrative, is to identify it with a state of awareness in which the person is united with God or Ultimate Reality
.

 

OK ... Amy ....

 

After reading the above excerpts - how does this information help find common ground between a theistic mystical experience and a non-theistic mystical experience?

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This is a moderator intervention.

 

Amy Marie, if you are not willing to consider if your beliefs may or may not be correct with members of ExC, regardless of their belief system, or engage in dialogue concerning them in a two way manner; why are you still here? As a moderator and administrator, I would just like to ask you to explain why the moderation staff and members should continue to expend time and energy on you and your postings, since you are not willing to consider any of our points for validity?

 

I would respectfully suggest that if you are not willing to consider our points of view and weigh the validity of them against any kind of objecive standard, then your presense here could be inferred to be either trolling or evangelizing, both of which we look down on.

 

Let me state again cleary "The purpose of ExChristian.net is to Encourage ExChristians". The purpose is not to provide an unlimited venue for Christians to ramble on about the belief system that we ExChristians, have found to be fallacious. This forum is also not "Amy Marie.NET".

 

I ask that Open Minded refrain from posting further on this thread until you clearly and unequivically answer this.

 

Bruce

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This thread is now closed. Amy Marie has backed out of the conversation. She also has not reponded, even after being on the forum at least three times. Effective today, her account is suspended.

 

Amy Marie,

 

Your member account at ExChristian.Net Forums has been suspended.

 

I would respectfully suggest that if you are not willing to consider our points of view and weigh the validity of them against any kind of objecive standard, then your presense here could be inferred to be either trolling or evangelizing, both of which we look down on.

 

Let me state again cleary "The purpose of ExChristian.net is to Encourage ExChristians". The purpose is not to provide an unlimited venue for Christians to ramble on about the belief system that we ExChristians, have found to be fallacious. This forum is also not "Amy Marie.NET".

 

If you wish to discuss this suspension you may email me at atheos_prime@yahoo.com . If not, I suggest you find a venue more suited to your particular superstition.

 

Board Address: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php

 

Bruce

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