more about “being” and christian mysticism explored…

          review for those who didn’t read my last blog and a more in depth look at the duality of being and ego. okay, so my last blog on “being” raised a question that I think needs to be addressed. The point of my last blog was that there is a duality we are caught in the middle of day in and day out. but we are caught in it unaware.

          that duality is the existence of two elements within our self, the ego and the being. the ego is the side that looks in the mirror, questions what to wear, strives for success so as to rise in rank, asks “how does this benefit me”, is concerned with decisions and then acts on those choices, and is all the while is trying to make one’s environment serve oneself.  the ego is by its own definition self seeking and is the instigator of feelings of being overwhelmed by fear, pride, anger, sadness, etc…

          but if we become aware of our self, and realize that we are not defined by our physical bodies or the outward manifestations of our inward choices, the same choices made by our ego, then what are we defined by?

          the second element, coupled with the ego, is the being. so the bible says we are created in the image of God, that God breathed into adam the breath of life and he became man. whether or not you would agree with this biblical assertion is irrelevant because all can agree there is an element of self-awareness that we possess uniquely as humans on this planet. years and years after adam, we christians believe that Jesus died for our sins on the cross, giving us a way to something better, a key to a much higher existence, a key to redemption from our fallen nature. by that action, those that choose to follow are given the Spirit of God to help lead and guide us. so we are created with the image of God within us/ that self realization and awareness, a.k.a. the soul, and then have access to the lifeblood of Christ and the presence of another form of God within us. therefore i would assert that the being is the extension of that eternal presence within us/ the soul/ the image of God, and it is not concerned with the matters of the ego, it is only concerned with being, which is a singular, natural action that brings glory to God through fulfillment of our purpose.

          lets take jim palmer’s example of “being”, the sun. he says in a recent blog, “it’s like the sun. the sun is the sun always. it doesn’t strive to be the sun. it doesn’t need help to be the sun. it doesn’t follow a program to be a better sun. it never fears being less of a sun. it isn’t bogged down in an endless number of options about how to be or how not to be the sun. it’s just the sun…always. it has no options…it just is.”

          okay, so we live within this duality of inner existence, in between the ego and the being… and I asked in my previous blog, what does “being” mean to you/what is your purpose?

          so now that i have explained my minimal understanding of a very fluid concept, the comment raised by a regular reader is that this is “straight New Age/Buddhism/Mysticism.”

          well marcus, you hit the nail on the head. it is very much mysticism. but so is Christianity as a whole. the bible is also one of the most mystical documents in existence. why is this? let’s look at the biblical account broadly and see if you are right.

          we will start with the belief in “ex nihilo” creationism, by a God that always was, is and will be, a God with no creator, no beginning, etc. then we will read the account of a man being made out of dirt, that came alive because God breathed life into him. so the man needed a partner and God, seeing that none of the animals would do, decided to perform the world’s first surgery, taking adam’s rib and fashioning it into a woman. next we see that a talking snake tempted eve, while she and adam lived in a perfect garden of sinless perfection, a garden where adam and eve walked around naked (i bet she was a 10 by the way). later in genesis, we see act of one man building an arc that would survive a global flood and hold two of every ‘kind’ of creature for most likely over a year. in exodus we see a nation of people enslaved by an egyptian pharaoh and then freed by a baby that was found in a basket on the nile river, who parted an entire sea, performed many miracles, by the power of the Lord, who saw God’s butt and came down with a glowing face. in the book of joshua, we see a mighty city fall to a group of people who marched around the city’s walls, once a day for six days and on the seventh the city fell. in the book of judges we see a man so strong that he could carry the doors of a city gate, could topple a building by pushing two pillars out of alignment, could fight lions, and could do so because he had long hair? so when his hair got cut he lost his power, and it was by a woman he wasn’t supposed to be with, no doubt. all of these stories lead into the new testament where a virgin conceives and bears a baby boy, who happens to be God. this boy Jesus performs many miracles leading up to his martyrdom on the cross and his resurrection from the dead three days later. then he ascended up into heaven. in the book of revelation we see that Jesus will come back and will rapture all of his followers, and then after a lot of crazy things happening, will come back and defeat the fallen angel, a.k.a. the snake that tempted eve and the instigator of evil in a final battle resulting in the destruction of earth, construction of a new earth, and an eternity of “heaven” for those that believe in all of the above things.

          are the above beliefs not in fact mystic in nature? If someone believes that all of those things happened to help us better learn how to communicate/know/relate to God/a higher being?

          webster’s dictionary defines mysticism as N. 1. a religion based on mystical communion with an ultimate reality. 2. obscure or irrational thought. 3. a philosophy based upon spiritual intuition that is believed to transcend ordinary sensory experiences or understanding.

          the fact of the matter is that christianity is a mystic, metaphysical, system of belief and it most certainly is fluid. I have to also ask marcus if new, original thought about religion, about Christian religion to be specific, is wrong to explore? The trinity is a belief that came about hundreds of years after the bible was written, and it is a radical belief. the belief in a triune God is borderline polytheistic, but you believe in it right? what about martin luther, who questioned crooked church practices and wanted to make spirituality accessible to the common man. was that wrong?

          we need to constantly be thinking about chrisitian spirituality and how it fluidly fills the gaps of modern reality- which changes with every day that passes- and aid in that process of changing the shape of our beliefs to meet the changing nature of reality. i am not saying that we will ever change the core fundamentals of our faith, at all, rather that there are a lot of things open to interpretation and tradition tends to hamper that change.

          so what does it mean to “being”, and how does that being meet the needs of your environment, without you having to act from the ego?

 

to read jim palmer’s original blog on “being” and “ego” click the first link, and the definition of mysticism can be found at the second link. thank you!

http://www.divinenobodies.com/blog/?p=498

http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/mysticism

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~ by Tim Kurek on October 1, 2008.

4 Responses to “more about “being” and christian mysticism explored…”

  1. […] more about ?being? and christian mysticism explored? By Tim Kurek the fact of the matter is that christianity is a mystic, metaphysical, system of belief and it most certainly is fluid. I have to also ask marcus if new, original thought about religion, about Christian religion to be specific, … Uriah Ministries – https://uriahministries.wordpress.com […]

  2. Thanks for sticking up for me in the other blog. I didn’t really feel attacked though. Most Christians I come across who find out that I’m an atheist think that I just don’t know any better or that I’m angry with God. I was actually raised Southern Baptist. I went to a very small private Christian school and I also went to Sunday school, and to church every Wednesday and twice on Sundays. I enjoyed Church camp every year that I went and I was a part of an ensemble choir in my youth group. I’m no stranger to the Christian teachings and until very recently I believed everything I was taught without question. That’s where things changed for me. I reached a point in my life where I realized that I didn’t know who I was. I had been molded into a person by my surroundings. But what if I had been born somewhere else? I realized that I would most likely be Mormon if I had been born in Utah. Or maybe I’d be Catholic if I had been born in Puerto Rico where my father’s family is from. Had a been born to Jewish parents, I’d have no belief that Jesus was Christ. It was this realization that led me to study other religions. And in studying them, I found Taoism to be very comforting because it was safe. It didn’t take God away and I found that you could be both Taoist and a Christian if you wanted to be. But I’m an avid reader when I find a subject that interests me. And I’d never been taught much about evolution and the other possible theories about the origins of life. I took some time and read quite a bit and came to the conclusion that Christianity is just one of the many theories. And given the evidence I was presented with, I could no longer believe in the god of the Bible anymore. I still believe that the core values are solid and good (with the exception of some things). I have a completely different outlook on life now and it’s not dark or depressing like some Christians may think. I’m not angry with God. I simply don’t believe he exists which explains so much to me now.

    Anyway, that had nothing to do with your blog so here’s my comment. I agree that Christianity is mysticism. I believe it also falls under the category of superstition though Christians usually find that offensive. But the dictionary defines superstition as “An irrational belief — i.e., one held in spite of evidence to the contrary — usually involving supernatural forces and associated with rituals.”.

    Christianity is based on Faith. Faith is a belief in things unseen. And Christians are taught very early on in life not to question certain things. When presented with evidence that contradicts Christian teachings, you are supposed to reject the evidence. Believe what you were told… or else. It is a belief held strongly out of fear. Fear that by not believing you will be eternally punished and damned to wallow in the lakes of hellfire.

    My grandmother was very superstitious. She believed that if you took a shower right after you ate then you might have a stroke. She believed bad luck followed if you spilled the salt or broke a mirror. These beliefs were passed down to her from her parents and then down to my mother. When you’re a child, you believe what your parents and elders teach you despite how irrational it may sound. You’re young and impressionable. Throw in a sufficient amount of fear and that child may believe irrational things for the rest of their life. And they will pass it on to the ones they love most.

    I’ve said a lot. I’ll stop now. I tend to ramble sometimes.

  3. Melissa, thanks again for commenting! First off, I respect that you believe the way you do, I just had a few questions in case you get back on here.

    You said, “I’m not angry with God. I simply don’t believe he exists which explains so much to me now.”

    Simply not believing is something that is between you and Him, and I encourage you to seek that answer out even more than you already have.

    But earlier in the message you said you were an atheist. I know this may be a simple answer, but there really is no such thing. To be an atheist is to say that you have the ability to see everything at once, to be in every period of time from the beginning to the end, and to see into the hearts of every person who has ever lived. If you were capable of any of these amazing feats, you would be, by definition, a higher being and would therefore be god. To say that there is no God is a very dangerous assertion because you can not possibly prove that there is not a God.

    And as far as Christianity being superstitious… I can see how one might think that but upon further scrutiny, you will find that it is foolish and highly irrational.

    And yes, the believe in Taoism is very safe…. from your point of view, but it is very dangerous from another entirely. Why? That is not for me to tell you. You are an intelligent woman who merely has to work out your own beliefs. I just encourage you rethink Christianity, this time taking the few bad examples out of the equation.

  4. Hey Tim, just found your blog via Joe Gomez (http://josephallyngomez.com/). looks cool. will be back later.

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