The incongruity of faith, history, law & time
What would we do if the stars only came out once every thousand years? No one would sleep that night of course as the world would become religious overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, and made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Something that is incongruent does not fit. If you saw your pastor in the liquor store this would be incongruent with the religious concept of the office or if you saw a wealthy woman in a Honda Civic rather than a Mercedes. In Latin, it means not meeting together and other synonyms are disparity, incompatibility, inharmonious, discordant, and antagonistic (active pursuit of hostility). Incongruity is a term that can be used to characterize how faith, history, law, and time cannot synchronize into a harmonious whole. Duality has caused an invisible split in each parameter and to find unity one must de-construct what religion has entombed around our perception of each of them.
Part I Psalm 19
Most commentaries say there are two thoughts expressed in this Psalm, one being the Glory of God and the other Law of the Lord. We tend to read it as two witnesses telling their own story rather than one testifying to the same truth. The effect of most religions is to force a separation by instituting a comparison (a duality) rather than an expression of union. The Glory of God and the Law of the Lord; and not the Ten Commandments, not the Law of Moses, not the Bible, are one and the same. The Law, as we have understood it, seemed to demonstrate the need for remediation but the Law of God actually shows no remediation is needed as there was never anything broken. The Law of God declares what is and not what should be and in a religious
sense has been used to show division resulting in enmity. However, the Law of God in its original purpose emphasizes no division no separation.
The table below takes an interesting look at the Psalm and in considering the observation and various translation differences it seems many translators did not quite know what to say. Instead of trying to read the Psalm as a lecture on the Heavens consider the unique perspective by David, not a chapter to form doctrine but one who looked up and saw he stars one night and he simply expressed his heart and in the same way we should let the Psalm unfold.
This Psalm according to Hebrew concepts is about reading it and seeing the whole function as each part conjoins and reveals a mythical truth. Are they stars speaking? What did the author of Psalm 19 intend to convey? In looking at Genesis 1 we notice that God spoke in Genesis 1:3 and revealed light. 3 And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And there was evening,and there was morningthe first day. (NIV) But.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times [fixed times], and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so. 16 God made two great lightsthe greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morningthe fourth day. (NIV)
Light came into being before the Sun, moon, and stars were called into existence if the Genesis account is to be taken literally. In the creation account on day one, light was called into being and separated from darkness which was not created but was already there. On day two the atmosphere was established and functioning. On day three dry land was formed as water was contained and vegetation was established. On day four the Sun, moon and stars were formed and called to function. On day five sea life and birds were created. On day six land animals and then man were formed from the earth.
What was the Light created on the first daythree days before the sun (luminaries) were set to function?
God, according to the Genesis account called light from darkness, life from death, and function out of non-function (dysfunction). Days were established before the sun was in place to mark them. Also, a day is defined by the earths axial rotation to the sun and a year is determined as the earth orbits the sun.
Genesis 1:14 says the lights were for signsplural. A sign carries a message or reveals information acting as an interpreter. How do the luminaries give information? Psalm 147:4 and Isaiah 40:26 indicates that God named the stars; and if literal, the stars only come out as God calls their name. Poetically, they are signs interpreting the character of God. In Hebrew thought when something is named it is done for the purpose of identification by exhibiting the character in the name. When God determined the number of the stars and called their name He is indicating a complete number in order to fulfill a purpose. Incidentally, when determining their number and name He also placed them in their functional locations to tell the story according to Hebraic thought.
- 31 Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?
- 32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?
- 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?
The author of Job implies that God is in full control of the constellations of the Mazzaroth and there are laws that govern the heavens and they exert influence over the earth. The Mazzaroth in Job 38:32 is referencing the Zodiac which in current dictionaries is defined as circle of animals but the primitive root through Hebrew to Sanskrit is sodi and means the way or path. This circuit in the sky is the pathway of the sun through the heavens as seen from a fixed point of view on the earth.
The bible: a mythical book
The Bible is more so a mythical book than a literal book. The creation myths of Genesis 1 and 2 express the belief that all things depend for their being on the creative acts of God. That belief can be expressed in doctrine even though the concept of creation is not mythological. The doctrine extracted from the myth is made rigid while the myth maintains fluidity. A myth more often tells why and not how.
How is the Bible mythical? Consider the Behemoth and the Leviathan. The Behemoth in Job 40 is a beast whose strength is in its loins and its force is in the navel of his belly and who can drink up a river and is chief of the ways of God. Even though they exhibit raw power to the author of Job, they are fully tamed by their Creator. The Leviathan in Job 41 is a water creature with a nose and has a double coat of armor and whose snorting throws fire of light and flames stream from its mouth. It also pours smoke from its nostrils and no creature on earth can be declared its equal. If this paragraph was read from any book but the Bible it would be understood as a mytha story portraying truth with no literal meaning whatsoever nor would researchers try to find an ancient creature now extinct to fit the description.
Another doctrine that arose from myth is the incarnation which maintains the incarnation is in one man Jesus portraying an exclusive act of God while the myth portrays all men carry the divine spark of God. Does the myth express unity of the human and the divine or does it portray that God Himself without ceasing to be God, came to man due to love and revealed Himself in a human? Doctrine strives to portray the truth in the myth but often fractures the symbols and parables in it to fit a particular purposeforming a belief.
What is a myth?
Myths are believed by a people or culture and they are used to maintain a history or a flow of events that tell a particular story. Our Western mind first wrongly assumes myths are not true, and then it wrongly assumes the stories and variances that arise from them are literal. Again, a myth tells more so why rather than how.
The Bible was penned by men who brought a diverse understanding about God. Even though discrepancies and errors exist such as the account of David numbering Israel where it was Satan in 1 Chronicles 21 and God in 2 Samuel 24. The father of Joseph is stated as Jacob in Matthew 1 and Heli in Luke 3. Jesus says he and his Father are one in John 10 and the Father is greater in John 14. Another mythical example is seen in the serpent in Genesis which was curse to crawl on its belly and eat the dust of the earth. Does a snake eat dust? Metaphorically yes, as the serpent devours man causing him to thwart his intended purpose as a battle between the ears. These contradictions only serve to demonstrate a different perspective of how man in various situations perceived God in different times. They are not error for to the author they convey a definite process of God and his interaction with man, or rather the authors translation of the interaction from his particular perspective.
Perception is a mental function and therefore represents a limit on truth as it can only see through what is received by the bodys senses. Perception deals in facts which are cold and impersonal while truth is an expression of reality coming from the spirit who has tasted and seen God. Truth often alters perception and is the state of all things according to the decrees/commands of Godhis Law.
A myth first of all is based on a Central Generating Experience; an experience or event that initiates a deep seated spiritual truth and may follow a great focal figure such as Jesus, Muhammad, or Buddha, and may include other participants in the experience such as Krishna, Paul. A very important aspect of a myth is its ability to exist over a period of agesmaking it seemingly timeless. For example, what makes the incarnation and crucifixion a myth? An account of the divine incarnating into humanity is not solely historical truth as an event that happened about 2000 years ago as the crucifixion; but its function is in the continuing peoples tradition as divine incarnation. While Christianity sees it as a tragic death of the son of God it is symbolic of the interaction of God and the world and therefore properly termed a myth. A myth tells why not how and if the Bible is opened as a mythical book of mans journey rather than a literal view of history; depths begin to unfold and a richer story of Gods visitation is provided and if allowed to be made our own developed into a personal journey of discovery and mystery.Cosmology is the study of the origin and development of the universe and simultaneously coming to understand humanitys role in the cosmological cycle as man becomes fully functional as the Christ of God. This is accomplished by allowing the story to develop and understand it has always developed in all cultures of mankind. Amazing views come into sight as each layer is built upon and seeing the entire portrait rather than destroying each previous cultures understanding and labeling it as error simply because it varies from ones own current spiritual world view; we gaze upon a magnificent tapestry of the journey of man. The Zodiac and its view through ancient religions is a picture of God showing himself to man and mans interpretation of the show. In the prevalent cosmological view, science has fostered the concept that has reduced the role of mankind to that of a spectator. Richard Smoley in his book Inner Christianity says our world view of the universe has displaced our position in it and thus diminished the role of man. Out of our own achievements, we have constructed a cosmos in which we are irrelevant and out of touch with creation.
In Ptolemaic cosmology the earth was the center of the understood universe and all of the luminaries worked to provide fulfillment for the earth of which we were the crown of creation. Modern science has since changed that perception and correctly so indicating the earth runs its course around the sun just like all the celestial bodies making the universe seem mechanical and in-human. In the former view, there was mystery as everything served the earth while in the latter Copernican cosmology the universe became intelligent, rational, and logical to the human mind and the magic and mystery wanedalong with a decreased perception of mans purpose in the universe.
The term Philosophia Perennis (throughout all Philosophy) is a term indicating that wisdom is timeless and present in all civilizations. This wisdom or philosophy is timeless because the layers of truth it expresses was the same in ancient periods as it is in any present moment, and will, for the most part be unchanged in any future time. The Perennial Philosophy is not a philosophy or one single concept but is rather the common foundation from which proceeds whatever is truly valid in all philosophies. It does not seek doctrinal status but it seeks to uncover and to articulate eternal and universal truth found in all cultures and philosophies as each strives to see God as they understand Him. No people or culture can claim ownership but humanity throughout history has detected this unchanging light and strives to describe this truth in human language in their time and then apply the myth to aid in
understanding their purpose.
The central idea of the Perennial Philosophy is Divine Truth of one in purpose, timeless in duration, and universal in scope. As this ideology reverberates through all times and places in human history, It is manifested in different civilizations so "that the different religions are but different languages expressing that one truth."
The starry heavens have always declared Gods glory and they do it without error, night after night, year after year, century after century, and their words have abounded to all ages and will continue to do so. This awareness should not make us small and insignificant, but assures us we are in the palm of his hand and have the best seats in the house. The stars then do not declare humanitys end or impending judgment as some of the Blood Moon proponents expound, but the unending purpose of God to bring about His plan and the glory of His creation. The heavens are still declaring and will forever declare the incomparable love of God.
History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity. (Markus Tullius Cicero, Roman Philosopher)
What is time? Numbers on a clock? Does time occupy space? Time may be defined as the unrestricted continual process of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a unit. Time is a non-spatial (does not occupy space) continuum (flow or progression) in which events occur in irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. Time is divided into seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years and are parts of time; while past, present, and future are forms of time.
Genesis 1 when God created is normally taken to be the initiation of time. Creation is considered an event that began time and an event that was completed in the act of time beginning. But is this the sense of Hebraic thought? The truer sense is When God began creating. Although it is not much change in wording the conceptual change is profound. In the second context, creation is not a completed fact but rather a processnot paired with time. The making of creation a continuous process allows us to input in creation also. So, we are parts of the creative act as well as its process as we are contributors to the event. What is the process of creation for us? And God said, Let there be light and there was light. The act of creating was an act of communication as stated in Psalm 33:9 saying For He spoke and it existed. He commanded and it became indicating it is the spoken word that brings existence.
The following two quotes have opposing views on history and its purpose. Markus Cicero, a Roman philosopher, said history is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity. An opposing view from Edward Gibbon, an English historian says history is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. Is history defined by time or does time define history? There is a translation of history that exits without regard to time. This record of truth resides within each of us and is bound to the Logos in all men revealing nothing was ever lost or diminished. This record is not a translation of a written texta law; but is an interpretation of the myth of the incarnationthe Christ of God incarnating in man and expressed in all ancient civilizations.
History attempts to bury the myth by transforming it into a literal occurrence in timein one man, Jesus. History is recorded in the context of time but is not limited by time as a myth cannot be recorded or documented because it stands outside of time. In other words, it cannot be proven until it is universally manifested. Then, no proof is necessary. What is that like? I cannot imagine it but I want to see it.
A Myth is not defined by whether it is or was true or but whether it functioned to tell a story that serves as a link between worlds or realms such as between spirit and flesh, between past and present, or like the crucifixion linked God and man regardless of the explanation. A myth is not bound by law. A laws purpose is to govern by control and a myth rises above seeking control or being controlled.
History can define a period in time such as the Golden Age, Silver Age, or Bronze Age in Greek Mythology and like the Age of Taurus or the Age of Aquarius of Astrological Periods. These periods do not limit history but simply describe a brief amount of time in history. The former are not mythical periods because they did not link the spirit to another realm unlike the astrological periods which are bridges that serve to erase duality and maintain the layers as astrology functions as a powerful myth. Man being unable to comprehend or wanting to understand what the heavens are now declaring established rules or laws to link the worlds-histories as they understood them. I think law was a major precursor to religion. The myths seem to endure while religion must continually fold and divide itself to accommodate faith. Myth can answer the difficult questions if we let it while religion cannot and deters the search for truth by proclaimingjust believe.
Mark Eaton asked is history simply us attempting to comprehend the mystery? Yes, but are we sometimes forcing what is not declared? Hebraic history is based on sight or observation through imagery as a basis of interpretation. It also adds to the story another aspect by asking how it affects me. Hebraic history includes the effects on a particular people while Greek history is more informal and transparent being more concerned with the cosmic ideal. The Hebraic idea birthed the declaring heavens while the Greek ideology gave us ye are gods noting one is to us and the other is about us.
I dont think truth was intentionally hidden but more so misinterpreted. Just like the present moment in my childrens history, I want truth for my children and will make it available to them. If God is all good then did He intend for truth about His goodness to be veiled and hard to comprehend? I dont think so but religious history tends to mask the myths pulling them from our heritage separating God and man.
In my journey of discovery as the understanding of the love of God and His love for me intensified the devil died. I did not have to explain him away he simply vanished from my perceived reality. History created a devil for me because those before me could not accept or see a nonjudgmental God. The devil was not hidden but created as the law acted to govern and control. I do think history is our story translating the mystery as is evidenced by the abundance of religious laws and out of our lack of interpreting the myth arriving at truths we became satisfied with methods rather than experiences. The mystery is not history but myth. It cannot be perceived by the senses as being seen or heard through historical facts but must be experienced as a myth which is loaded with layers of freeing truth communicated to Spirit in every man. I had previously defined the present moment as point in time but I dont think that is accurate now. In mathematics a point does not take up space, has no volume, or no surface area on a number line. Therefore, a moment is not or cannot be defined by time nor placed in time. Marquis Hunts says we are Gods momentand His location, and if that moment is not bringing you joy then there must be a re-assessment, a repentance, a change of mind, to see the moment correctly. In a line of time, the moment is not the past or the future. I think I had to arrive at the concept that the present moment is eternal and not defined or constricted by history or time to realize that the past and the future are resolved in the present moment. Is time relative to the present moment? Not really, but we have let time as history both define and determine the moment. When time is removed, the Christ is seen and the mystery is unveiled.
When was time created? Revelations 10:6 declares that time shall be no more according to the KJV while other versions translate as delay. Was creation based in time or is creation on going? The universe is still expanding and limitlesswhy is that? Perhaps God is still creating and the act of creation was not a historical event but a continuous moment. Creation takes place every day because Gods word proclaiming Let there be has not returned to Him.
God has not retracted His command to Let there be and never will. If the moment never ends as God intended then creation, evolution, incarnation, eschatology, history are all one and the same moment but time has determined how we define or limit them. In the moment there is no time nor limits therefore no history or future. As in the football analogy, there is never a need for a slow motion replay because there never was a bad call. When this moment is eternalized then time shall be no more and duality will have ceased.
I have noticed, for me anyway, that as understanding comes then the historical translation of those events are more often radically altered or a new cosmic explanation is brought to the forefront. In other words, things change from being about one man to being about humankind. The Chronos gives way to Kairos yielding a fuller and richer potentiality being a move from static to dynamic and unlimited possibilities.
Time seems to progress in rhythm. Our consciousness or awareness of time seems to occupy space similar to the concept of a song. A melody when it is played it is begun in a particular moment in time. In a few moments the beginning is now in the past while the end of the song is yet to come. The song is a unitya bridge that serves to connect the past and future. In a similar progression of analysis, before and after are temporal terms but are represented in opposite ways. General concepts place time on a line at a point called now. Then we have the future before us and the past stretches behind us. Ancient Hebraic thought sees a somewhat opposite concept. As living men who are on a journey from birth to death who also represent humanity as a whole is also a journey pressing ceaselessly forward. The generation of the past are our progenitors who existed before us and we follow them in which case the past is our fore-time. The future generation then, will be our descendants, or those who come after us. They belong to the after age, our posterity. Thus the notion of time of before and after have somewhat opposite ideas based on whether we have in mind physical-astronomical time or psychological-historical time: the future lies before us but comes after us.
There are two main viewpoints of time and both stem from religious concepts. The cyclical world view is represented by Hinduism and the linear concept is from Judaism. Hinduism being born out of reason, sees the universe in a cyclic process. It sees winter, spring, summer, fall; the rising of the sun in the east and its setting in the west; and other scenarios in nature pointing to a repeating of events. When considering these aspects it is natural to assume than a man is born, he lives, he dies, hes reborn, he lives, and he dies and this process of reincarnation is termed the transmigration of the soul. In this view, the material body, the house of the real you is considered to be an evil prison. This view is seen in the philosophy of Plato who too views the body as a prison. This view also infiltrates Jewish concepts as the Hebrew nation is influenced by Hellenistic philosophies.In the cyclical concept of history, it is a repetition of destined events that are untouched by human will and lacking a goal for mankind. In contrast, the linear view offered a form of history that had a beginning and processed or advanced in a straight line toward a definite goal. In either view is God involved in the flow of events? Ancient cultures including native American tribes, the Babylonians, Ancient Greeks, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and others have a concept of a wheel of time that regards time as cyclical and quantic consisting of repeating ages that happen to every being of the universe. The Islamic and Judeo-Christian concept says time is linear beginning with an act of creation by God. The general Christian view is that time will end with the end of the world. The Greeks see time as being numeric, chronological, and quantitative in the Greek word chronos and the right opportune moment and qualitative in the word Kairos. The Hebrew Kabbalah views time as a paradoxan illusion. Both the future and the past are recognized to be a simultaneous present.
Mark said once you remove time and law there is only cycle and fulfillment. When time is removed from the cycle of God, then the present moment is eternalized and Christ is fully manifested. When law is perceived as the fracture of time then fulfillment is discerned correctly as nothing left to fulfill. History is thought of being static and dead based in translating facts while myth is dynamic and living and based on interpreting the union of God and man. Myth negates duality.
Hebrew and Greek Thought and their Contrasts of History and Time
The Greeks gave us the science of history and the Hebrews gave us historical religion.
"The distinction [between Hebrew and Greek thought] arises from the difference between doing and knowing. The Hebrew is concerned with practice, the Greek with knowledge. Right conduct is the ultimate concern of the Hebrew, right thinking that of the Greek. Duty and strictness of conscience are the paramount things in life for the Hebrew; for the Greek, the spontaneous and luminous play of the intelligence." (William Barrett)
In other words, the Greeks learned in order to comprehend and the Hebrews learned in order to revere contemplating the mystery. What about modern man? The modern man learns in order to usea combination of logic and experience used to better himself and his realm of influence. The Greeks viewed the world and events through abstract conceptsmentally figuring things out and how they work while the Hebrews viewed world events concretelythrough the senseswhat they saw, heard, felt, and tasted fully dependent on experience and observations without the need to logically understand them. In Hebraic concepts theory and reason takes a backseat to beauty which brings reverence as they see signs of Gods continued action in history.
Another major variation is the concept of things. For example, the Greek mind would describe a pencil as a yellow object about 8 inches long while the Hebrew mind would associate the description with its function such as a pencil is an instrument to write words. The Hebrew description uses a verb signifying action while the Greek description is an adjective. Also, in one description the emphasis is on the object (yellow, 8 inches long) while in the other it is related to the person (I write). This is also seen in the Greek description of God saying God is love while the Hebrew mind conceives God love me.
When we bring our western scientific approach to the study of Scripture without due consideration for the mentality behind it we may find ourselves producing exegetical distortions. Abraham Hershel, a Jewish philosopher, said to try to distill the Bible, which bursting with life, drama, and tension, to a series of principles would be like trying to reduce a living person to a diagram. We have sought to understand the incomprehensible God in concrete yet abstract terms. But to the Jewish mind, the understanding of God is not achieved by referring to timeless attributes of a Supreme Being or to ideas of goodness and perfection; but rather by sensing the living acts of His concern to His dynamic attentiveness to man. We speak not of His goodness in general but of His compassion for the individual man in a particular situation" (Hershel, p. 21). In other words, God is not known in the abstract but in the specific situations into which He has asserted Himself. God is what He has revealed Himself to be and not what we have theorized Him to be.
Time and Creation
The Sefer Yetzirah, the Jewish Kabbalah text also called the Book of Creation, says the Creatoror Former is simple and contains no plurality as there can be no plurality if there is not more than one. It goes on to paint an awesome picture of creation in which God has to carve out a placecreating empty spaceto begin the formation of creation. The Book of Formation says God engraved out of empty space the plan He held his mind. It was out of this undifferentiated essence that a space had to be engraved or carved out and not written. The difference being an engraving removes material while writing adds material. According to the Sefer Yetzirah, God first created the name Elohim. It seems the Hebraic intent is not plural but unity speaking not to number but function. The process according to the Sefer Yetzirah is the Breath of God emanates from His mouth giving vocalization or forcing His mental image. The Ruach of God initiates the process whereby God engraves or carves His mind. As a glass blower, which by his breath, puts pressure on the molten glass giving form to the glass. God engraves (Hebrewchakak) or pronounces His mind and the force or pressurethe Ruach produces/carves (Hebrewchatzav) the expression. Our Bible attempts to explain a Hebraic concept in English giving us creation as an event that happened in time and once upon a time. However, the Hebraic concept details a creation that is a continual process and not a completed fact in history long ago. Because it is a process we are not bystanders but participants in the drama/story of what God is doing. A Jewish prayer in the Shacharit text says that God re-creates the universe daily, and the identical prayer at the evening reminds us that the evening falls at his word and in wisdom he opens the gates (constellations) and his understanding causes a change in times and seasons, ordering the stars in their orbits in the heavens. So, in the Hebraic concept, we are parts of the creative Divine act and also the ongoing creative process. What does the creative process mean? When God spoke/engraved/pronounced his mind and said Let there be he established the creative act as a form of communication. Therefore, every act of communication in our becoming the Christ is an act of creation. We partake of the Divine nature in ways we do not yet realize. The words of God were formed as He breathed. He breathed to express his mind and forced the image to be formed as in the glass blower. The Christ is the expression of the word spoken so long ago that has not returned void. Origen said As our body while consisting of many members, is yet held together by one soul, so the universe is to be thought of as an immense living being, which is held together by One Soulthe power and the Logos of God. As the Christ is in all of us as well as universal, it is the divine nature that we share. It is from this perspective that the Son of God is not simply a historical figure who lived in time, but an eternal philosophical principle who infuses/breaths into us our identity. As Origen also said: The Father did not beget the Son, but is ever begetting him. The perception of the Hebrew man is not like the Greek man. The Hebrew man was a union of soul and body and related to the two worlds. He is flesh animated by Gods breath - ruach - who is then declared to be a living soulnephesh. Man does not have a life but he is life. The Greek man was a soul imprisoned in flesh who embarked on a circle of continuous learning. The Soul was divine and must be released from physical existence to make its eternal home in the realm of reality once again. The Greek concept is God can only be known by the flight of the soul in ascendance to the spiritual realm. While the Hebrew view says a personal God gave of himself by invading history to meet man in forming a historical personal experience that of redemption. What is the soul? The Soul is not the part of man that goes to heaven at death but the reaction of the body to the breaththe Ruach of God. The Soul is the experience of living/reacting to the breath of God which is our animation. I do not see the soul, the Nephesh, as an entity or part of man but a reaction or evidence of the animation of man by the Breath of God. The soul then, is the evidence of life! Nephesh is the proof of animation while the Ruach is the animator. To me then, death is simply the inability of the body to respond/house/react to the breath of God. What is the soul? The Soul is not the part of man that goes to heaven at death but the reaction of the body to the breaththe Ruach of God. The Soul is the experience of living/reacting to the breath of God which is our animation. I do not see the soul, the Nephesh, as an entity or part of man but a reaction or evidence of the animation of man by the Breath of God. The soul then, is the evidence of life! Nephesh is the proof of animation while the Ruach is the animator. To me then, death is simply the inability of the body to respond/house/react to the breath of God. Lynn Hayes says duality is the work of religion for there is no dualism in truth. Both Greek and Hebrew concepts entertain some form of dualism. Like the Gnostics, Greek dualism sees two worlds, one visible and physical and the other invisible and spiritual; and man stands between these worlds and perceives he is related to both. On the other hand, Hebrew duality is not cosmological but theological in that perceived dualism exists between the Creator and the created. One sees redemption as a flight of the soul delivered from the body and the other sees God coming down from heaven to deliver a fallen man. The Hebrew and Greek aspects of reality varies widely too. For the Greek, the natural world is the visible form as the realm of change while the invisible was the true realm of reality being the good, the unchanging which would be understood only by the mind of the soul transcending the visible on its flight from this world to the world of the invisible God.
Part III: law
I think the premise for the law is the result of a flawed concept of God. Why did God give a law that was inferior to Christ in the first place? If Christ was slain from the disruption of the world which was before the law was given, then why was the law necessary? On one hand, law separates divinity and flesh. If all the mystical and metaphysical concepts are correct then God most definitely did not separate them but demonstrated their unity by initiating our divine journey or journey of the divine. There is a big difference for in one we seek him while the other he seeks us. In one we enter his domainthe other he enters ours. Again, in one we experience Godhood and the other God experiences humanity. All are steeped in duality seeking unity. The human journey is not a dualist experience but we have made it that way as man separated himself from God. Law mentality is heavily based in duality maybe because man had to hunt to live, fight to protect, and survival was do this or die and these contrasts fashioned God for them. The contrast forces man to focus on cause and effect and cause and effect points to a dual image. What, then, is a mark of non-duality? I can only think of thing in this aspect that is non-dual and that is rest. Rest is the cessation of work, the absence of required motion whose purpose is to complete a task. It also has another meaning and that is to be supported or firmly based as in the car rests firmly on the jack. Also, in court, rest means to voluntarily cease the presentation of evidence in a case and to settle an issue so as to be free of it as in the judge put to rest the dispute between the two parties. Rest is the perfect aspect of fulfillment as no task is left to finishSabbath living becomes the present moment.
Duality and differentiation
Non-duality simply institutes equality which is uniformity in character, value, and ability; and homogeneity being the state of having identical functional value. There are many universes, suns, starsand all made from star dust producing differentiation not separation as portrayed in the New Testament as the many membered body of Christ. Oneness does not negate differentiation.
In cellular biology differentiation speaks of a cell evolving into a more complex cell with organs and systems. In other words, the simple cell through certain processes (learning/maturing) is able to take on multiple functions but the DNA does not change therefore, no separation from its origin. The idea of separation may be the sole culprit of our concept of God. Differentiation is not duality as differentiation speaks to purpose and function; while duality is number, an opposite and must be compared with another to be understood. The error is not dualitys perception but that we consciously ascertain it to be reality. We make it reality and build our world and our responses to life around it and make judgments from this center.
Just because I am differentiated from God I can still have His stuff while I am learning to function as His offspring. I am from Him and of Him but not Him. This is not dualism but noting differentiation which manifests in maturity. Man created his own duality separating himself from God and the law was one of many ways man diversified himself from his Creator. Man created his own duality separating himself in his own mind from God and the Law was one of the many ways that man could point out this divergence for his own purpose mainly to resolve his guilt, shame, and lack of seeing his true image reflected in the Christ of the ages. Until we realize we established the law to justify ourselves before God then we will continue to have difficulty in seeing Gods continual interference to demonstrate His love restoring us to the true image of God that He intended us to be.
Duality is not reality but the contrast or divergence it manifests can be perceived as one. Let me explain. Five days a week I enter the employee entrance at the hospital where I work and on the wall in the hallway is a thermostat which displays the temperature in the hall. It is always set to 73 degrees. In July, when I enter the door the hallway is very cool and is a relief from the heat outsidebut in January when it was 4 degrees, that same 73 degrees felt very warm and drove the cold awayyet it was the same 73 degrees but presented itself with a dual rolethat of warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer. One temperature but different effects on the body. One temperature serving two functions; coolness and warmth, not opposites but differentiation.
Believe you receive. I am not saved unless I believe. All of these phrases were based on a direct aspect of mans ability to pull it into reality. What gives truth its power? Certainly not my belief. But realization of truth brings a powerful influence in ones life. But why is that? If truth is active and dynamic, and I believe it is, then my awareness of it does not empower it but accepting it allows it to work on my behalf. To believe is to make a judgment and often they are made based on facts and not truth. Truth does not need acceptance to make it so while belief does.
John 7:23-24New King James Version (NKJV) 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the Law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
The judgment by appearance is judgment based on law. This judgment requires a comparison with a rule to determine if it was broken. Jesus was doing away with this type of judgment by removing all condemnation and forcing a judgment demonstrating a correct image. He was basing judgment on the way they really were not as they saw or perceived themselves to be. Righteous judgment does not harm or punish unlike the law. One enforces the misplaced image and the other restores the correct one. Righteous judgment removes duality because it removes the depiction of the incorrect image correcting mans perception to that of the image of God.
A shift in thinking in awareness does two things. It first reveals intense detail and then sets another course based on new information. The cause is revelation and the effect is repentancemetanoia, a change of mind. Is the law a creation of man to remedy his own perceived failings or did God give us the law to prove we needed salvation? When we realize the law was our own fabrication then we must wonder what else was self-created because of our wrong construct of God. Humanity points a finger at God blaming Him for judging creation followed by punishment for being judged when no judgment was actually decreed. We tend to confuse consequence with punishment. A judgment is decreed by one in authority after an infraction has occurred against the one who holds that authority and in the decree of punishment the offender pays offended for the offense (retribution). Judgment produces anger and resentment and does not restore the offender but simply trains him not to make the mistake again for fear of a harsher punishment.
A consequence, however, is a true cause/effect event and is brought about by choice of the individual. A consequence is received not because of a decree of a failed standard but an action of the one man. While a judgment with its associated punishment produces fear, a consequence produces a true learned response. God did not pronounce judgment on mankind he simply told them of a consequenceneither good nor evilthat would occur as particular choices were made. In other words, judgment is enforced by the one who rules you because they were offended by your actions and thus a punishment follows. A consequence on the other hand, is encountered because of ones own actions and in time understanding or awareness is produced. In one you pay and the other you learn.
As man attempts to understand his role in the universal structure of God he determines that rules/laws were necessary to govern this process to ensure a direct and unfaltering approach to what the Divine intended in His Creation. Ancient man who listened to the declaration of the heavens felt the need to be governed by mimicking what he heard the stars say and turned it into law/religion/doctrine. As the voice of the heavens, which was the basis of the early myths, became faint being mixed with doctrine, man established law attributing it to God as its Giver as a means to ensure obedience. As the stars told of the Christ, man began to tell of his humanity thus enlarging himself in his own mind. Man, in an attempt to copy the voice of the stars placed himself in the Zodiac attempting to see his individual future overriding the declaration of the astronomical heavens who uttered/declared without words the Divine union of man and Creatorthe future of all mankind. This concept, for me, arises because I see the Zodiac, Astronomy and Ancient religions as a picture of God showing Himself to man and they represent the interpretation of the show or drama of mankind. For me, it ensures that God has been in intimate contact with his creation and will continue to be. Now, is there a hidden secret in these things? Perhaps. Is it going to expand my understanding of God? Definitely. Change or alter my perception of His Love? Only enlarge it thereby expanding the awesome of a God we cannot yet grasp. It is within this framework I am devouring these ideas.
History: Open or Determined?
God reveled Himself to the Hebrew people in history not as ideas or concepts but in movement and action. They saw Him when He created. His being was not learned through laws and propositions but in actions and his interaction with them. History was movement toward a goal and that goal was set and achieved by God with his promise of blessing as He supervises and intervenes as necessary. So, is the historical record effected by God and man? According to the book Christ and Time: the Primitive Christian Concept of Time by Oscar Cullmann who says:
1. God can be thought of as an active personality who, through appropriate acts, is leading the world and especially mankind to a goal;
2. God can be thought of as a reasonable being who is disclosing himself to us and to the world as a system of symbols.
In the first instance, Gods power is experienced and felt but in the second instance, the being of God is perceived. One is a portrait of linear history while the other is mythical. In the course of history and time one can see evidence and perceive occurrences of divine intrusion displaying a will and divine meaning. Seeing God in the divine will expressing His actions and perceiving God in symbols presents a differentiated image and in both cases God is active in self-disclosure.
Does divine intervention change the outcomes of human history and in what way? If God intervenes, it becomes Gods show and not mans. It is no longer the history of man but Gods story as He dictates outcomes. Or, does God set the stage, providing a Kairos moment and then allows man to act and react thereby creating his own history? A Kairos moment is a point in time that is presented for a monumental event, it is a fixed day, or in modern jargon, it is D Day; it is the day for action.
As stated earlier in Greek thought, time is not conceived as a progressing line with beginning and end; but rather as a circle and that man is bound to time experienced as an enslavement due to an eternal circular course in which everything keeps recurring. This is why the philosophical thinking of the Greeks is so focused on the problems of history and time. They looked at these re-occurrences in order to see their current state of life and also to see what is in the future. Redemption for the Greek mind is to be freed from this eternal circular course and thus to be freed from time itself. Is history driven by a goal to accomplish a set path by God or is it opendriven by random human events? Was the crucifixion a turn of events by angry soldiers in alliance with Jewish rulers or was it God decreed? If God decreed the crucifixion and directed this historical event did he too direct the Holocaust?
Psalm 19 says the Precepts of the Lord (mesammehe) cause rejoicing and makes the heart shine while the commandments of Yahweh are (bara) clear, enlightening the eyes of the individual. (Verse 9). The law given or as understood does not make the heart shine or cause the eyes to see clearly; but rather cause judgment, guilt, and a mistaken identity. Psalms 19 does not differentiate between what the heavens and firmament are stating and the purpose of the Law of the Lord in the latter part of the chapter. The heavens declaration and the Precepts of the Lord are not proclaiming where mankind missed God but are decreeing who mankind is to God.
The Law of God is not declaring what you did wrong but proclaiming rightly who you are. As the Precepts of the Lord clear up the eyes it also states in Matthew 6:22 in explaining the removal of dualismof seeing double; the eye that sees single-oneness, causes the whole bodythe whole state of existence to be full of light. The Law of the Heavens in Job 38 is not rules like the speed limit sign on the highway but are statements such as the Law of Gravity. They detail a truth about us and are not do-nots that are man-made to satisfy a mentality based on judgment.
Faith is to believe in God but the heavens are not telling us to have faith, they are telling us about the faithfulness of God towards us. Faith in the Greek mind is a mental concept and is more a mental maneuver being a persuasion of the mind to believe. This is not so to the Hebrew mind as faith is a verb not a noun as in the Greek concept. The Hebrew concept is to follow after God and this demonstrates a united faithfulness between God and man. The Hebraic concept is a glowing fire in the heart and this fire causes movement as an energizing to action. The Greek mind teaches us how to have faith while the Hebraic mind responds when faith is energized.
The heavens are not declaring what happened on a historical cross but are declaring what is happening in you symbolized in the cross. Time implies distance and makes God up there but the myth of the incarnation makes it forever in you ending time restoring the eternal present moment. The historical record of mankind is open to human influence, interpretation, and involvement. God purposefully flows all historical outcomes into His Plan and even with mans interruptions in the historical record has the extraordinary resolve to bring all interactions to his purpose revealing the mythit is written in the stars.