In reply to my comment here, I got the reply below. Unfortunately, thanks to a glitch I don’t understand, I accidentally deleted it. WordPress has this little button/gizmo that supposedly makes it easier to reply to a comment.
That button/gizmo works okay when using it doesn’t delete the comment I am trying to reply to. Anyway, I have decided to stop using it.
Fortunately, I had a window open with that comment displayed. So, I copied it. Here it is.
The Indian philosophy gives space to your thought, it is called anekantavada(many-sidedness), the idea that truth is recognized differently in different points of view, and that none of the views are entirely true. Historically it has been established by many western scholars also, that almost all the world religions are based on two Indian scriptures Rig Veda and Yogasutras of Patanjali (unfortunately they have become Indian, but they are the oldest scriptures in the world, and the origin of humanity).
Yes, there is God, but it does not play a major role in an individual’s life. Because as you said that we are part of the same God. That is the reason, at the time of the beginning of the manifestation, we were one and all, a singularity. It is called collective consciousness. It is a very abstruse subject and meant for the evolved souls only. Now don’t start jumping that I am accusing of not being evolved. Maybe you are evolved, and I am not.
When commented on my blog, I was thoroughly puzzled. How do I respond? Rather than rush in where angels fear to tread, I took care of other matters. Eventually, I remembered what the Apostle Paul had said to the Athenian philosophers.
Acts 17:22-34 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Sermon on Mars Hill
22 So Paul stood in the midst of the [a]Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and [b]exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge [c]the world in righteousness [d]through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men [e]by raising Him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you [f]again concerning this.” 33 So Paul went out of their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
Paul shared the Gospel. Without arrogance or worldly pride, he simply spoke of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected.
We all have some access to the Truth. We can see what God has made, and we can know His law because He has stamped the knowledge of right and wrong upon our hearts. The Gospel, however, is a revelation He has given to His disciples to share. It is our opportunity to boast in Him, not ourselves. It is our opportunity to make new disciples for His glory.
Without the knowledge given to us by the Bible, what don’t we know?
- We don’t know that God is One, that He is the Creator, not His Creation.
- We don’t know that God is a Trinity of three persons who are One, and that man was made in His image. God is not like us. We were made in His image. We are His children.
- We don’t know that God cares about us, that He has not abandoned us in a universe far too vast for us to comprehend.
That knowledge, the knowledge that our Creator cares about us, is what gives Christians hope. It is why we cherish this verse.
Romans 8:28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
When we speak of the Gospel, some will believe, and some will not. We each have choices, but everything that happens is God’s doing, not our own, even our own salvation.
This leads to a question. Is the Bible entirely true? Those who believe the Bible would say yes, but that does not mean that each of us correctly understands it. God is Truth. He defines reality, and only He has the capacity to correctly and perfectly perceive what He created.
1 Corinthians 13:8-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [a]prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [b]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [c]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [d]greatest of these is love.
I really have been enjoying this mostly very civil, very respectful and enlightening discussion.
Oddly enough, it seems to me the debate in the world today isn’t between the adamant believers of different religions. It’s not even really between religionists and atheists. At least the strong adherents of various belief systems, including those atheists forceful enough to evangelize against the idea of God, have in common a sort of intellectualizing enthusiasm (even if that constant talking does not always translate into any dynamic action).
The pervasive feeling that I get from around the world, but particularly in the West, is a sort of bored, secular indifference. Modern day bread and circus, porn and video games on wide screen TV’s along with Micky D’s comfort food, drugs and alcohol, keep us too anesthetized to feel the urge to become martyrs, monks or aesthetic provocateurs. And even when a few credulous fools do something horrific like blow up some buildings, we don’t see them as true believers in any real theology or political philosophy so much as gullible losers, which they mostly are. More embarrassing to their fellow believers than the start of anything more than marks the latest conman.
I don’t see vast numbers anywhere soon storming the Bastille or renouncing everything to put on sack cloth and work with the poor. I mean there’s always a new series on Netflix to binge watch. I don’t know, with TV 24 news and internet, we may eventually talk each other to death.
Here’s a great poem by Stephen Dunn that sort of captures this spiritual ennui:
The Death of God
When the news filtered to the angels
they were overwhelmed by their sudden aloneness.
Long into the night they waited for instructions;
the night was quieter than any night they’d known.
I don’t have a thought in my head, one angel lamented.
Others worried, Is there such a thing as an angel now?
New to questioning, dashed by the dry light
of reason, some fell into despair. Many disappeared.
A few wandered naturally toward power, were hired
by dictators who needed something like an angel
to represent them to the world.
These angels spoke the pure secular word.
They murdered sweetly and extolled the greater good.
The Dark Angel himself was simply amused.
The void grew, and was fabulously filled.
Vast stadiums and elaborate malls—
the new cathedrals—were built
where people cheered and consumed.
At the nostalgia shops angel trinkets
and plastic crucifixes lined the shelves.
The old churches were homes for the poor.
And yet before meals and at bedtime
and in the iconographies of dreams,
God took his invisible place in the kingdom of need.
Disaffected minstrels made and sang His songs.
The angels were given breath and brain.
This all went on while He was dead to the world.
The Dark Angel observed it, waiting as ever.
On these things his entire existence depended.
People have not changed much. In Revelation 2-3 Jesus addresses seven churches. The Church of Laodicea looks to many like much of America.
The commentaries brings out Jesus’ references to things the locals would have known. The local water supply was lukewarm and awful. The people were wealthy and produced eye salves and dyes.
I read your argument and some very hilarious comments by ignorant people(they almost sounded Muslim… My way or highway).
Anyways, ignoring them we continue our more civilized discussion.
We both agreed that God exists. Your argument is that your path is the right path, and rest all are false. Hmmm… Have you ever thought of, that if God wanted us to pray to him(as if God is some big egoist) he would have just asked use to sit in front of him in the heavens and we would have done so without any doubt, in God’s presence. I haven’t read the Bible, but I have had many healthy discussions with converted Christians in India(and believe me they have much more zeal and arrogance than you can imagine). From ordinary people to priests no one could explain these simple things: Birth, Purpose of Life, Death, and Soul. Could you throw some light on it?
Indian languages have no word for religion. That shows how evolved and encompassing in nature ancients were. By the way, they were your ancestors too(sorry if you didn’t know that).
In my past lives, I was in Europe many times, however, it was incomplete. So this life is to redeem the loss.
To get rid of the cycle of birth and death these are the stepping stones:
Dhyana(no contemporary word but closest is Meditation)
For ages, Muslim and Christian sages have visited India to progress beyond the third step, and benefitted.
Don’t go by present-day India and the practices. The culture and process had been corrupted due to 1000 years of inquisitions and invasions.
Rig Veda was written around 6000 BC. It is the oldest scripture anywhere amongst humanity. You can just ask around or Google, what were other civilizations doing in that era. I would be glad to know.
And finally tell ColorStorm, counting to 10 wouldn’t have been possible if India had not told the world what is a Zero and what is a Decimal.
Looking forward to, getting enlightenment by a scholarly person of your stature.
ColorStorm doesn’t bite, but he does spend a lot of time debating Atheists. I wonder if they have exhausted his patience. Since ColorStorm defends some views that are a bit unusual, that is likely. Anyway, he has a blog. You can check him out.
What about your questions? Are there multiple paths to God? America’s public school systems promote “multiculturalism”. The idea is that all religions are equally valid. That sound innocuous, but what does multiculturalism mean in practice? It means all religious beliefs are equally wrong. All religious beliefs cannot all be true at the same time, especially sense virtually all of them make claims that contradict each other. Even your religious beliefs disagree with mine. We are, after all, debating.
That Bible I regard as the Word of God says Jesus died for our sins, that we must repent and turn to Him, not just anybody. If that is true, then … I don’t get to decide who is saved and who is not. Some Christians believe that only Christians, those who have accepted Jesus go to heaven. Others are even more restrictive. Since the Bible says God is the judge, I don’t tell people whether they are going to Hell or not. I just speak of the Gospel, confident God will do the right thing.
So, are there multiple paths? Some years back I addressed that question => https://citizentom.com/2009/03/11/dismount-your-donkey-at-the-summit/
We are each different. So, we will worship God differently. Because we worship an infinite Creator, we will also perceive God differently. Therefore, our religious beliefs and practices will almost inevitably differ, but that does mean we should not be choosy about our religious beliefs and practices. Instead, we should uphold each others right to religious freedom and try to understand what others see of God.
Christian teaching denies reincarnation. The Bible addresses birth, our purpose in life, and death. The soul? Well, it says we have one, but we also will have a bodily resurrection. Consider.
–Why am I here? God created me to love and to worship Him.
–What is right and wrong? We must love God with everything we have. We must love each other as we love our self.
–What brings me meaning? When I love God above everyone and everything else and my brothers and sisters as I love myself, I am doing what God created me to do.
— What happens when I die? That depends on what I believe about the answers to the first three questions.
Here are some quotes you may find interesting. The first is from Mahatma Gandhi.
Tell ColorStorm, I am not an atheist.
Kindly read my doubts and questions once again. I didn’t get any of the answers. So I shall not ask any further questions.
Loving God is fantastic, we must… But that’s not the answer and reason for our existence. Because if God loves us, and we love God then why to come to earth… Keep living with God and keep loving and praying…
Gandhi was more of a political leader than an authority on theology, so I would not comment on that. The Indian system allows one to love every human being, so why not Jesus, after all, he was the son of God.
You ask me any question, about Indian systems of philosophy, I will give you a complete answer, without hatred and insult for other systems.
No hatred. Pointing out absurd opinions is hardly hatred.
But seriously, what would be the difference between believing in a hundred gods or no gods?
If there is only One God, would not the correct conclusion be that all others are imposters? I think so.
Philosophies all fall short/ but can be useful insofar as it makes men think of greater things-
By the way, some have cited me as a type of idiot with ten heads- but such language does not move me- I understand others weaknesses and insults are only words of immaturity-
Rest assured though- one God- and it was He- not the Romans, not the Greeks, not the Indians- who created the exact science of Arithmetic- Genesis ch 1 proves that easily enough.
Ignorance cannot be equated to innocence.
All the world’s new age religions have heavily drawn from the oldest sculptures, humanity has known – Rig Veda and Yoga Sutras. 6000 BC there was no Genesis, no culture, in those parts of the world you are talking about. (Indians of that time are your ancestors also, so learning about your them would do no harm to you)
Incomplete and shallow Middle Eastern thought process forces a large number of Westerners to come to India to understand the deeper meaning of life(and mind you they are not converted to Hinduism). Whereas Indians converting to other religions, are doing so, out of fear or greed, and not due to a deep desire to fall in love with new God.
There is one and only one God. Read Bhagavad Gita and you would understand that. Millions of Gods mentioned in the Indian mythology are not Gods but based on the hypothesis of Yugas. Sat Yuga, was the era when everyone followed the most ideal life, with all the attributes of God. Having ten heads or six hands doesn’t mean that they were some weirdos. That is symbolic, just to show their exceptional mental and physical attributes. I completely understand that it is beyond the shallow thinkers.
None of you have answered my questions. Anyways I will wait for that day.
Yes, am familiar with Vidas Shivas, Upanishads, Yaquis, and most world religions.
Note that I said ‘world’ religions, of which none have commonality with the only God of heaven and earth, which God was demonstrated decisively and clearly by the person, worth, and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
CTOM has mentioned that God saw nans deepest need, and cane to earth to prove God is NOT far, but near and dear.
Only the Grace of God, which is explained perfectly in the New Testament, is revealed apart from ALL religions, which sets apart Christianity as having no equal.
I suggest you at least consider HOW an all holy God , who is a consuming fire, can justify sinful man, WITHOUT compromising His own intrinsic eternal perfection.
The HOW and WHY is only explained in the word of God.
I told you, you have no answers. It is okay with me. I respect you the way you are. But eventually, you will have to face reality… How would you? You don’t know what is real… I love Jesus… But even Jesus had to come to India to progress further… Read… Read…Read
Interesting comment Sand/
Now then, this Jesus of whom u speak, what is He Currently doing? Answer carefully.
Hehe… You answer my questions… I would answer yours
Sorry- all questions and answers do not have equal standing.
Your ‘cosmic consciousness’ idea does not address the ROOT of the matter.
Please once again refer to my last comment.
If a manifestation doesn’t have all the answers then it is incomplete. That is the reason you call it religion. There are many half-hearted books and theories in the world, but the reality is only one, and if the so-called book or theory cannot explain, then it is hiding something. A man may not understand all the theories, but religion should be ready to explain everything. I am stopping this dialogue here since I was expecting a better performance than this.
In practice, what defines the word “religion” depends upon what someone wants from a religion. What you are apparently looking for are answers. What is the Truth? I think most of us want the Truth, but more put a higher value in being saved from Death. Hence, they look for a system — a religion — that promises salvation.
Christianity doesn’t give us the sort of truth you apparently crave, all the answers we want. Christianity points to God. God is the Truth, and He is beyond our understanding. He is infinite. We are finite.
Christianity also does not provide a system for achieving salvation. It simply says that God will save us if we repent of our sins, trust Him, and love Him as He loves us.
Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship with God.
Is it rational to believe in Jesus Christ or just an act of faith? After all, Jesus does not give us all the answers we want. Therefore, He is an incomplete manifestation of Truth. Yes. It is rational.
1. The Bible says we cannot see God and live. God is infinite. To see the Truth in all His glory would blow our minds. Check out https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/why-doesnt-god-show-himself/. The post is short, but it is well worth your time. The lady is a great blogger.
2. We are finite creatures, but logic is not beyond our capacity. Even if we cannot comprehend the Truth, we can still reason. What the Bible says satisfies satisfies the requirements for logic and reason. We can determine from the Bible and from history that Jesus was born, that He lived, that He taught His disciples, that He died, that He rose from the dead, and that He now sits at the right hand of the Father.
This illustrates an old trick we play on ourselves. We frame a question so as to get the answers we want. Then we get huffy when we do not get them.
I have already said don’t have a great deal of knowledge of Indian systems of philosophy. I hardly approach the expertise of a theologician or someone with a doctorate in philosophy, but I have have studied the Bible and Western philosophy. So, I reframed your question so I could answer it from my own perspective.
Was there any value in my response? Perhaps not, but consider what we are discussing. We are trying to ascertain something about the ultimate Truth. What are our limitations in learning what is true? Well, one of the primary ones is that we have a limited point of view. In a gigantic universe, we can speak only about our own perceptions with our own limited senses.
How do we add to our perceptions.
1. We imagine how God sees His creation.
2. We share our perceptions with each other.
We make much of diversity these days, but the people most loudly proclaiming diversity are intolerant of — unwilling to forbear — a diversity of thought and opinion. These people are actually intolerant. These people are unwilling to accept the fact that others see a different reality. Their egos are offend by the prospect thate someone else might be closer to the Truth.
As far as Christians are concerned, the Bible tells us what God has told us about Himself. That is, with the Bible God has condescended to share with us something about His point-of-view.
Does the Bible tell us what we would have expected? NO!
What is the difference between idol worship and the worship of God? When we worship an idol, we worship a god we have imagined to be. When we worship God, we accept the limitations of our knowledge and worship God in Truth.
Is there any value in the Indian systems of philosophy? Yes, of course there is. When Christianity began to spread, did people discard everything else they had learned? No. We know God in three ways: from what we see of His Creation, from what He has written upon our hearts, and from what He has revealed to us (Christians would say this revelation is recorded primarily in the Bible). Since most of the experience of humanity actually has little to do with the Bible, it would be silly to say that only what we learn from the Bible is important to God. On the other hand, either what learn from from the Bible puts all of our experience in its proper context, or the Bible is not true. Why? Because that is essentially what the Bible says about itself. Either Jesus is God or He is not.
What about Gandhi? Never have had the opportunity to debate whether Gandhi was a religious leader or a mere politician with someone from India. Kind of unexpected that you see Gandhi strictly as a politician. Most Americans could not tell you whether Gandhi ever held an official office. Many, however, could say something about his philosophy and how that contributed to the liberation of India.
Friend, you won my heart. For the first time you spoke from the heart, and I value that. Take it easy. Life is wonderful. It is a learning process, I can learn from you and maybe you can learn from me. Leave the ego behind… None of us have all the answers
Will read and get back. Regards.
I see to remember from reading about Gandhi that after reading the Bible Sermon on the Mount that he entertained the thought to convert to Christianity but knew if he did his influence on Indian culture would be ended.
Most Indians I have met are good people. I can’t comprehend though their numerous beliefs in Gods of this or that and assume they can’t comprehend Christianity beliefs about why there are so many different divisions of beliefs such as protestant, orthodox, vs Roman Catholic, etc, if we all believe in the same teachings of Jesus Christ.
In my opinion, Christianity philosophy as difficult as it can be, is much easier to understand once you have acquired faith.
Regards and goodwill blogging.
Agreed. I think once we want to believe God helps us.
“Yes, there is God, but it does not play a major role in an individual’s life.”
There are Christians, (Christians!) who have adopted this idea. I’ve been on a mission for some time to dismantle this idea, to pluck it out of our midst. First of all God is not an “it,” He is a person, we see Him in the personhood of Jesus Christ. He got as up close and personal to us as He can, so that we would have a tangible image to try to wrap our hearts and brains around. Also, He plays a major role in our lives if we invite Him to, if we let Him in. He’s pretty “major” anyway, but I mean He’s a gentleman, He seldom intrudes where He isn’t wanted.
“That is the reason, at the time of the beginning of the manifestation, we were one and all, a singularity. It is called collective consciousness.”
I kind of like some of these concept around collective human consciousness. They fit in with some of the teachings in the Bible, having the mind of Christ, being a Body of believers, being united by the Holy Spirit.
Good post, Tom. I enjoy exploring some of these ideas and views and how they all relate to faith. I think something that makes Christianity very unique and different is the concept of sacrificial love. Jesus doesn’t ask for anything from us, like a sacrifice or adherence to a set of rules. We aren’t trying to achieve nirvana or make a pilgrimage to mecca. All we have to do is receive His love and grace and that’s what heals and transforms us into better versions of ourselves or the better angels of our nature. Our “collective consciousness” is the love of Jesus. God is love.
Hinduism is a relatively tolerant religion, but none of us are especially tolerant. So, I read what sandomina wrote, and I am wrestling with myself. What do I say that makes sense yet remains respectful? Lots of Christians, because they have not read the Bible, think the correct response is to agree with the Hindu. Nope!
We forget that the ancient Romans were also quite tolerant. When the Romans conquered a people, they happily adopted their gods. In fact, the Jews confused them. One one God? In the eyes of the Romans, that made the Jews Atheists. Nevertheless, the Jews resisted adopting the values of the Romans.
I think we show proper respect for each other when we each understand what we believe, try to understand what others believe, and accept each other’s right to believe something different.
sandomina strikes me as highly intelligent and a good salesman for his cause. With our Lord’s help, I just hope to do as well.
The argument is as old as time that there are ‘many paths’ to God, as if God can be reached by ‘people’s choice awards.’
While it is true that any man can reach God- it must be according to the only truth He has established/ He must be consistent with Himself.
This necessarily rules out every false god who would dare compete- and the ‘unknown God’ was perfectly addressed by Paul as very near- and knowable.
This instantly dismisses the lousy excuses of atheism- and equally silences the false claims of shamans/ Buddha’s/ shivas/ divas/ moonies/ and all other loonies-
As U know Tom, there are many knockoffs of scripture- all which are proven failures-
It’s almost hilarious watching people try to come up with a better way how to count to ten.