Yeah, there is a lot of stuff hidden in the Bible that only comes to light with pure consciousness, and if the expression, 'knowledge is structured in consciousness', holds, that carries a lot of potential for disagreement with it. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <jr_esq@...> wrote :
Ollie, You're right in saying. Catholics believe that the bread and wine becomes transformed into the body and blood of Jesus. But my point in this discussion is that Jesus was telling the disciples that the bread and wine are his body and blood because as Being Himself, Jesus is in everything and everyone. So, the bread and wine are truly his body and blood. Also, Jesus was literally telling the disciples the advanced knowledge that the universe is based on Being or pure consciousness. But I would assume some Catholic theologians would disagree with this interpretation because the idea has a trace of pantheism in it. I think that's the reason why Catholic thinkers like Teilhard Chardin and Thomas Merton have gotten in trouble with the conservatives in the Catholic Church. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <olliesedwuz@...> wrote : Actually, the key distinction between the Episcopalian Church and the Catholic Church is the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, whereby the offering of the host and wine by the priest during Holy Communion is miraculously transformed into the actual blood and body of Christ within the one taking Communion. In the Episcopal Church it remains symbolic, as unleavened bread and wine. So it is not really an optional belief among Catholics, but a key tenet of the faith. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <garytheru@...> wrote : Hi all, First time responder here. This is an area I have been drawn to and fascinated by my whole adult life. So I had to say something. Sorry in advance if I offend anyone. That is not my intention. Any opinion on the Catholic Eucharist is of course worthy. But saying "If one were to truly count oneself a 'true Catholic' then one does believe the reality of that flesh and blood that becomes transformed during Mass" is not all that accurate. If you want to know what the essential Catholic understanding about the holy sacraments is, you go to someone like St. Augustine, one of the most revered of the great Church Fathers. His famous definition of a holy sacrament: "The outward, visible sign of an inward, spiritual process." Believing that the bread and wine they serve at Mass actually transforms into the body and blood of Jesus Christ is like believing there really was a physical Ark that housed and preserved all living things of earth, or that the universe was created in 7 actual earth days. Of course, on one level of consciousness everything is experienced as bliss consciousness. But then what would be so unique about the bread and wine they serve at Catholic mass? l've received holy communion in catholic mass many, many times and it never had any spiritual effect on me at all. That's not because I didn't believe. It's because I wasn't really transcending. I wasn't consuming real bliss consciousness. I was only participating in a representation of the process of Yoga or Union with the divine. Think about how secretive Jesus was about the knowledge? He tells his closest disciples... “It has been given to you to know the secret of the Kingdom of God, but to those others, it is spoken in an allegory, that while seeing they will not perceive, and when hearing, they will not understand.” (Luke 8:10) I believe Jesus taught his closest disciples some kind of TM technique and a more advanced knowledge that he was not willing to share with the general public. This kind of secrecy persisted in the Catholic church and was the foundation for the implementation of the holy sacraments, so that everyone could get some exposure to the sacred knowledge without the risk of giving them a direct knowledge they were not properly prepared to receive. MMY, some would say, was not so careful with the knowledge, which led to more than a few unfortunate consequences, but also some great consequences. For instance, it gave a young teenage slob like myself (back in the mid-1970's) an opportunity for spiritual growth and understanding that has been a real blessing in my life. I also believe that, aside from the secrecy element, the sacraments serve to draw our awareness to the most sacred concepts or articles of the Christian faith. "Do this in memory of Me" Jesus said at the Last Super, according to the Priest during Catholic Eucharist. So, the Eucharist is not merely a symbol. It also has real utility. However, that utility is nowhere near that of real transcendence or real Unity consciousness. Jesus advised his followers to pray in private, behind closed doors. Mass is a sort of, kind of representation, but NOT the real deal. Transcendence IS possible during Mass, especially during the Eucharist, which is presented solemnly and ritualistically, almost hypnotically. But fine art, or really lots of different conditions or situations could also be somewhat conducive for Transcendence. None of them really compare, however, to the ideal of sitting quietly in a peaceful environment, practicing an ancient technique designed for transcendence. Insisting on a literal interpretation of a very figuratively written scripture is like a meditator following exactly the inverse instruction for TM -- do not introduce the mantra, but do try to focus on your random thoughts and what you did that day. In either case, good luck getting to the Truth. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <awoelflebater@...> wrote : ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <s3raphita@...> wrote : Re "[The Eucharist] is not a symbol, it is the real thing - it is the literal flesh and blood of Christ transformed. ": Indeed, not a symbol - a concept or thought. But the literal flesh and blood are phenomenal through and through. (As are literal pines and their scent.) And all phenomena are manifestations of the noumenon (a thing as it is in itself, as distinct from a thing as it is knowable by the senses through phenomenal attributes). So ultimately "the real thing" transcends phenomena. Hmm, so if you are right (or somebody whose thoughts you are paraphrasing here is right) then that great big beating Heart that Upfronter and I sense out there might just be real. The Eucharist essential celebrates the fact that all experience is "empty" (in the Buddhist sense). Experience being empty there is nothing left to grasp. Grasping is what the ego tries to do. Seeing that grasping is a futile exercise we die to the ego and are reborn. I think maybe you are mixing some different religious viewpoints here - namely East and West. I have never heard the Eucharist explained like this from anyone in the Catholic Church - but that isn't to say I don't like this description. In addition, I am hardly the religious scholar seeing as I operate from the literal seat of my pants and hairs of my chinny chin chin as I weave and bob my way through the pine scented pathways and trails of this life. Robin Carlsen or Judy Stein would be far better discussion mates for you if you're looking for hard facts, interesting conjecture and intellectual counterpoints. The essence of Christianity. Wow, in the proverbial nutshell. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <awoelflebater@...> wrote : ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <s3raphita@...> wrote : Re "Reading scripture, libraries full of books, following one-pointed and intentional devotional paths through meditation, abstinence or asceticism just can't hold a candle to a noseful of pine scent as you stumble over moss-covered rocks on a woodland trail": Isn't that why Christians have made the Eucharist the central part of their worship? It's just a morsel of bread and a sip of wine. I don't think that is why. I was raised Catholic and for them ( I don't consider myself a true Catholic at this point in my life), it is not a symbol, it is the real thing - it is the literal flesh and blood of Christ transformed. The point was to single out one particular phenomenon as a finger pointing at The Source of all phenomena. I'm not sure of that either, or maybe I just don't agree or maybe I don't understand what you are saying. If the Eucharist is "The Source" of all phenomena (which I don't believe it is - it is just an example of one really big way God sacrificed his flesh for us as a way to healing/forgiving/saving our imperfect selves. It isn't pointing to anything other than his givingness and our neediness. What it is, if you believe, is one phenomenon but not necessarily the source of all phenomena (although God is this source, the Eucharist is not). A noseful of pine scent would have done the job just as well! Absolutely. It is one mind-blowing example of the infinite amount of phenomena out there that surround us in this life/time. The Eucharist obviously did the trick as it has survived for millennia. It was intended to facilitate a shift in consciousness but for most Christians today it has just become either a symbol (a concept remaining at the level of our everyday thinking) or a bit of superstitious, quasi-magical mumbo-jumbo. If one were to truly count oneself a "true Catholic" then one does believe the reality of that flesh and blood that becomes transformed during Mass. It isn't mumbo jumbo and it is not a symbol. Perhaps to those not of the Catholic faith or "most Christians" it is which is a bit of a pity. I always find it tempting to go for broke - grab the really big possibility, the most mind-grabbing option and prepare to be blown away. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <awoelflebater@...> wrote : ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <upfronter@...> wrote : …or the availability to adore the One Supreme Being through His Spiritual Christ, no other Way except in name and comprehension I'm not sure I adore anybody - Christ, Spiritual Christ, One Supreme Being or whatever else anyone wants to call him/it/her. I am not quite intimately connected enough to do so but if what Seraphita calls "The Self" is the same thing as these Christs and Buddha Mind then I am not sure what she means. Are we talking about something existing outside of who we are or something that is us? Even if we are talking about The Self within ourselves I am still coming to know that as well and am still working on the "adoring" part. When I am "adoring" enough am I enlightened? Do I have to focus on a "thing"? Can I not just generally recognize within my own heart and mind that there is a God of some sort but I would much rather, am able to, adore him/her/it through him/her/its Creation? Reading scripture, libraries full of books, following one-pointed and intentional devotional paths through meditation, abstinence or asceticism just can't hold a candle to a noseful of pine scent as you stumble over moss-covered rocks on a woodland trail or feeling a mist drench your face as you glimpse a shrouded sunrise in the early days of Autumn. But start reciting Scripture and I'm ready to bolt. Taking a first-century (named in his honour!) rabbi as a symbol of The One Self is fine - as long as you realise that he is only one symbol among many others. The problem that Christianity faces is its designation of Jesus as the one-and-only symbol. It's tricky! As there is only a unique One Self then after you've baptised it "Jesus" to later give it another name - "Buddha Mind", say - creates confusion. But if Otto von Bismarck can also be designated "The Iron Chancellor" why can't we call The Self by other names? "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow . . ." Well, why not? But understand that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet". ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <upfronter@...> wrote : I have come to see an overall picture a bit like this. There are ordained and necessary stepping stones across the dangerous swell to the bank on the other side, all made with slightly different patterns in order to bring the eager wayfarer and dedicated pilgrim to the safety of dry land. They are essential and all have their part to play and no stone should be dislodged. According to my understanding, I would say in the first instance, that in Christ Jesus is found simplicity and approachability by anyone with a will – something too simple for the mind of the religionist, it would appear, as shown by the attachments added to the life and death of Jesus which have culminated in various complicated doctrinal beliefs, many based upon a spiritual concept being literalised into an erroneous assumption (i.e. that a metaphysical belief brings so-named salvation) because it has not been approached with the innocence (not naivety) of a child. Not all can understand scriptures nor listen attentively to sages expounding their expression of the truth that they wish to make known. But all can see the beauty and gentleness and loving-kindness and courage and noble-cause and mercy of the tender Stranger who laid down a path that any one may see and recognise. In that faithful Example, that true Way (which includes meditation and prayer and retreating into the Silence of the desert or mountain), so is expressed all that can bring to the soul not only spiritual evolution but also relief from the burning and burning of remorse when this short life is over and the owner of the soul awakens in another condition of life to meet the results of their earth journey for good and for ill. In the manifestation of Jesus of Nazareth is found the "The image of the invisible God", "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His nature", " the fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily", "The begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He (Christ) unfolds Him (the Father)" and in His (Christ's) face is "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God". It seems clear to me that no human can truly fathom the Divine nature of the man Jesus even though a man He was, and yet so unlike the men and women who followed Him. Yet in Him, I believe, is the bridge between a man or woman or child and the "God whom no man has ever seen". In Jesus the Christ can be found the channel, the conduit, the Door that secures the Way over the dark abyss caused by the adverse effects of free-willed beings violating universal spiritual laws of Divine Love over the aeons through selfishness and ignorance. So in Jesus is found the most openly accessible Way or Emblem to the universal brotherhood and sisterhood in the Divine Being, who rather than being just an influence and far more than a Force, is sentient in a way that cannot as yet be grasped in these material conditions. An approachable availability is demonstrated for many upon this Earth, and, as I see it, such ease of access is also put into good and essential use in the Hereafter where necessary, in a far reaching way. So yes, the sages and wise men of all ages have shown mankind the Way forward as far as spiritual progression is concerned, and yet in the simplicity and humility of the expression of Divine Love found in Jesus Christ is cemented into the consciousness of humanity a figure or vision which, on the very instant it arises in the mind, can bring the embodiment of the wholeness and fullness of an ineffable and unthinkable Divine Nature to both little child and mature adult alike. Many wonderful gifts has the Absolute One showered upon humanity over the ages, and yet in the very thought of perfect humility and Love becoming manifest as yet another gift to humanity is, in itself, unthinkable in its fuller connotations. Simple and yet deeply profound - and a gift (of Himself) that a pure and burning Love could not fail to bestow upon those for whom the great Heart forever beats. After saying this, I would also say please do not take this too literally, spiritual consciousness is far more forgiving as far as concepts and beliefs are concerned than the limitations imposed by words either written or spoken. That is just my opinion.