Freethinking Theist (rant)

Recently someone asked on social media if anyone in the group I belong to was an “atheist / agnostic / freethinker.”

When I first heard the term “freethinker” years ago, it was in regard to a college scholarship for atheists. I inferred the term was coined to imply anyone with spiritual inclinations is brainwashed and entrapped into a certain way of thinking. With all my exploring, this couldn’t be further from true.

This post made me investigate the term again, and I found it actually refers to one who does not adhere to religious teachings or dogma, someone who comes to his or her own conclusion about faith matters. It does not strictly refer to a nonbeliever.

I commented: “I am a freethinking believer (theist). This means I don’t reject science for god; rather, I accept science as the workings of god. I also respect agnostics and [open-minded] atheists because “religion” and its ignorant blind eye to science refuses to listen to voices like mine, let alone nonbelievers who have valid points.”

Honestly, it’s no wonder logical observers turn away from the idea of God, the way religious people behave and speak.

Now, while I do believe in God, I see the validity in agnosticism. Agnostics admit they cannot know, rather than arrogantly claiming they are the only knowers of truth. Both believers and atheists are guilty of this superiority.

This is why I research scientific facts, to further comprehend the mystery and grandeur of creation, which is so complex I must conclude there is intelligence behind the design. But I am humble enough to recognize I will never know everything or know the whole truth.

I am not pantheist because I see evil acts and disease as, well, diseases of the divine body (hence, panentheist), not divine essences as well.

I still have faith in Christ as the human manifestation of God’s mind, but some of my brethren go too far with their cocky assurance in the Bible as the only source of truth.

I love the New Age phrase “as above, so below” and see it echoed in the Lord’s Prayer. The Bible translation “The Message” actually uses this phrasing. Well, lo and behold, upon searching its origins on Google, I found a blog denouncing the phrase as occult (links below). Of course someone would. Christians think New Age practices are satanic deceptions, even though I can tell you right now some of these practices have greatly enhanced my spiritual journey with God. (Upon research, I have found there are satanic usages of the phrase, referring to earth and hell rather than heaven and earth. See links below; for my purposes I am always referring to heaven and earth, as are most loving New Age practitioners.)

I am so fed up with these Christian teachers actively searching for ways to discredit New Age. Almost always, they use the word “deception” in the article or website domain name. This is so hypocritical. They are the deceivers by brainwashing believers into thinking no truth can be found outside of the Bible, that the Bible is the only collection of thoughts God has ever had (or will share), and any exploration outside of the faith is evil. And they say New Age is cult-like? If they actually took the time to speak with people of other faiths, rather than coming to unfounded conclusions based on pigeonholes, they would know New Age practitioners come from all faith backgrounds, and we are accepting and loving. We actively see the divine energies of the universe in every person.

The Bible lists what is unacceptable. If it isn’t mentioned in the Bible, it is acceptable to explore. I have heard a few televangelists talk about this, so it’s not a heretical concept. Certain scholars would have you believe if it’s not in the Bible, it’s “evil.” Such an approach would cause you to only ever speak about Christ and experience nothing. Whatever is not expressly forbidden is an invitation to learn and experience. How could a god that created the universe be limited by a single book on our dust speck of a planet?

The first article linked below states that recognizing the oneness of the universe within us all is wrong, because we only achieve oneness through Christ.

This Biblical scholar is failing to address that God is one being manifested as three persons. His manifestations do not distinguish Him as three gods. Therefore, achieving oneness through Adonai (Christ) doesn’t change that we are all one through Elohim (Spirit) and Jehovah (Father). The trinity cannot be separated. For example, an author, his words, and the reading of the words are all part of a finished document, but the document is one thing. Interpretation comes from the reading, but the reading is not distinct from the words and the author – these are what make the comprehension possible. All three as one.

I’m repeating myself to drive a point: to argue “No, only oneness through Christ,” is like saying, “No, read with no words.” It is not possible and isn’t an argument. Yes, we are one with the universe and God, and divinity is within all of us because of Christ – and Father and Spirit.

To put the metaphor in context, the Father (Jehovah) is the author. He is the originator of all existence, every soul and idea. If one manifestation is “above” the other two, this is the one. Without Him, the others would serve no purpose. This is the original, main manifestation with whom we strive to connect through Adonai and Elohim. [Embodiment: relationship / heart]

The Holy Spirit (Elohim) is the creative force. He created the universe and gifts us with the ability to create. He is the source of our comprehension and understanding of the world around us. [Embodiment: interpretation / head]

Christ (Adonai) is the creation manifestation, the physical form. He is the means by which we comprehend; our ability to interact and know God. In the metaphor, he is the words themselves. Even the Bible calls him Logos, the Word. [Embodiment: obedience / interaction / hand]

Conclusion to that bit of sidetracking: We are, indeed, one through the universe because the universe is the physical body of the one God, who walked among us as human to connect with us in a way we could understand, and to heal the universal cancer of Satan by entering the Hell dimension the only way possible – through death of the human form. My understanding is that God as deity is too pure and good to enter Hell – it would be like the resistance of parallel magnetic poles. I understand good and evil are opposites and magnetic opposites attract, but in this metaphor the similarity is in the power. Heaven and Hell are likely warded against each other, so God was obligated to become human in order to descend and defeat Satan’s “ownership” of us. Could he have done it another way from the beginning? Of course, but then we wouldn’t have this story. Do you ever watch a movie and think, “Well, why didn’t he just do that to begin with?” Because there wouldn’t be a plot and no reason to watch the movie. God is foremost a storyteller, and I’m sure there are alternate dimensions with stories different from ours. Sometimes I wonder if our lives are simply entertainment for a greater cosmic audience.

Final conclusion to all this musing: spiritual growth and maturation is not dependent on the Bible and church leaders alone. The Bible is an important starting point to understanding who God is and what our origins were, but don’t let “scholars” scare you away from other paths of discernment. Please pray for guidance to avoid true satanic deceptions, but believe me when I say New Age and other nature-oriented spiritualties are not evil. Lacking the whole truth, maybe, but not evil.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

 

Links to claims that New Age is occult:

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=21580

http://www.biblebb.com/files/tonyqa/tc05-186.htm (This one at least accurately describes the New Age meaning behind the phrase “as above, so below,” although it tries to claim that the concept is incompatible with the Biblical “true nature” of God. However, I find it is compatible; there are verses that confirm this: one is Ephesians 4:6)

 

Sources for further reading:

http://www.truth-revelations.com/index.php/geometry/8-as-above-so-below/ (some sacred geometry thrown in)

http://gnosticwarrior.com/as-above-so-below.html (“as above, so below” is not the full phrase – full phrase discussed here; includes science and alchemy discussion)

https://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/a/below_above.html (this one mentions magic and the “higher self,” which I’m not inclined towards, but it’s still a decent read; very short)

 

Note: I do not ascribe to The Message “translation” of the Bible. It is a dumbed-down version that changes the meaning of many if not all verses. My purpose in bringing it up was to refute the poor points of the articles that discussed [trashed] it. Here is an entertaining (albeit almost ridiculously overblown) dissection of The Message’s Lord’s Prayer. It mentions an angle of “as above, so below” that should be taken into consideration. When I read the phrase, I always say “as above in Heaven, so below on Earth,” to clarify my intention.

http://av1611.com/kjbp/ridiculous-kjv-bible-corrections/Lords-Prayer-to-Whom.html

 

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The Philosopher’s Diamond

Better known as the Star of David, the Philosopher’s Diamond is an important symbol of the Jewish faith. Since I’m not Jewish, I didn’t think it applied to me, and I never took time to research the symbolism. I stumbled upon its meaning recently, though, and it doesn’t just apply, it enhances my comprehension of the relationship of God and His creation.

Christianity grew out of Judaism, and I (now) believe it is important to know not only the history described in the Old Testament, but the esoteric symbolism of the “old faith.” Understanding the meaning of the Philosopher’s Diamond has inspired me to investigate the Hebrew language as well, for I also learned that it contains fewer words than English, and therefore, each word has multiple meanings. English translations of the Bible may not be entirely accurate because of this. The best English Bible that addresses this issue is the Amplified Bible, which includes other word translations side-by-side within the text.

For example:

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to (limited to, consistent with) their kind: livestock, crawling things, and wild animals of the earth according to their kinds”; and it was so [because He had spoken them into creation]. 25 So God made the wild animals of the earth according to their kind, and the cattle according to their kind, and everything that creeps and crawls on the earth according to its kind; and God saw that it was good (pleasing, useful) and He affirmed and sustained it.

 

26 Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.

 

– Genesis 1:24-26

 

So what is this symbolism?

While each of the seven “wings” of the star symbolize something different, I want to focus on the idea that there are two triangles intertwined, and what that means. For the detailed Jewish symbolism, follow this link: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/788679/jewish/What-Is-the-Mystical-Significance-of-the-Star-of-David.htm.

To clarify, I found this “epiphany” in a book called Numerology and the Divine Triangle (both topics I will be exploring over the coming weeks). Since I recognized the symbol of the Philosopher’s Diamond as the Star of David, I did some research to verify that the symbolism discussed in this book is the same as, or at least very similar to, the Jewish meaning. I found that it is.

Chapter 3, “God Geometrizes” begins with a discussion of simple shapes.

The circle:

The circle represents the Godhead, all that was, is, and ever shall be; spirit, the I Am; love because it encompasses, enfolds and contains; balance, because however you turn it, it maintains its shape; and justice, because it is in a state of perfect balance…A circle has no beginning and no end; it is infinite and endless. …It symbolizes eternity and the immortality of the soul. This is seen through the laws of nature and cyclicity. Planets revolve around the sun; nature repeats itself in cycles…

The vertical line:

The upright vertical line symbolically represents spirit descending into matter, or energy leaving the Godhead. It has masculine qualities; it is outgoing, dynamic, energetic, fiery, upright and commanding.

The horizontal line:

It represents the soul energy, the feminine, the receptive and absorptive qualities of mother earth. This line is an ancient symbol for matter and the material world.

The triangle:

The triangle is the first closed form that can be made with single lines. It represents the Trinity, Father-Son-Holy Ghost, father-mother-God, father-mother-child, spirit-soul-mind, super-conscious, subconscious, conscious.

Now on to the symbol at hand:

In the two interlaced triangles, the Philosopher’s Diamond or the Star of David, geometry captures the axiom, “As above, so below.”

 

We are made in the image of God. The upper triangle of the Philosopher’s Diamond is the father-mother-god which is reflected in the lower inverted triangle, father-mother-child. The upper triangle is the world of spirit, and the lower triangle is the world of matter. The Godhead from above is reflected in the material world below; therefore, what we see in the material world is merely a reflection of the truth. It is as if we are gazing into the depths of a cool forest pool, thinking the images we see are the only truth, although these images may be distorted by the wind rippling the surface of the water. We in the material body are merely observers of the shadows cast upon the walls of Plato’s cave. We live in a world of illusion and view things upside down.

 

Geometry validates the theory that we see only half the truth. …Each of the triangles has only one hundred eighty degrees, or half the degrees of a circle or square. As we have shown, a circle contains all truth and wisdom, it is the Godhead. But in the triangle, we only have half the truth. By adding these two triangles together, or one hundred eighty plus one hundred eighty, we arrive at three hundred sixty degrees, or all the truth. Symbolically situated in the lower inverted triangle, we must look to the spirit in the upper triangle to find all the truth, else we remain in a shadow land where the ill winds ripple our images and distort our vision of the truth.

From here the text analyzes the joining of the triangles into a square, what the square symbolizes, and how the Divine Triangle comes into existence, including what it means and how you can use it. I will get into those subjects next week.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

Source: Javane, Faith and Dusty Bunker. “Chapter 3: God Geometrizes.” Numerology and The Divine Triangle. 1979. pp. 44-45.

The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part Three (Seven Day Creation)

This is going to be short and sweet, because the metaphor speaks for itself. It saddens me that so many take it literally, though, and therefore believe the Earth is so much younger than science has proven through actual evidence.

The “seven days” of Genesis are 1) not necessarily synonymous with our 24-hour day, and 2) a metaphor to encourage a day of rest and worship for the Hebrews (and later Gentiles).

God exists outside space and time. This is obvious. No one has ever “met” God (Christ’s time on Earth aside); atheists think He is our “imaginary friend.” He does not live in our physical dimension.* If we are to believe He created the world in six 24-hour days, who’s to say twenty-four hours in His realm is equivalent to ours?

I have no doubt that God’s “seven days” translated to billions of years in Earth time.

Also, consider – only the Earth has a 24-hour day (one full rotation). God created the universe. He did not create Earth first, and He was not sitting on Earth creating the universe around it. If you still believe that, you must be a pre-Enlightenment Catholic.

When I think about this, I also ruminate on how large the universe really is. My mind can comprehend our solar system, and stretch to incorporate the Milky Way galaxy, but realizing that we are one solar system in one galaxy among millions of galaxies in one universe among possibly many universes overwhelms me. How could I possibly think God created His entire creation based on one miniscule planet’s rotation?

I am not saying we are not important to Him. We are the only known planet to support life. This is no accident. Do I believe He created other sentient life elsewhere? It is entirely possible, and I would be foolish to discount it. The Bible does not tell us He did so, possibly because He didn’t, or possibly because it is none of our business. We are supposed to develop a spiritual relationship with Him, and discover His mysteries in the next life, not risk the lives we were given in pursuit of hearsay.

It is the very idea that the seven-day metaphor is not literally our twenty-four-hour, seven-day week that I believe evolution is not actually a threat to religion. What science is revealing is what God allows us to understand about how He orders the Earth to process. There will always be something we do not know, and that is to keep us looking to God so we do not become arrogant in our knowledge. Some still are not humbled by their ignorance, but knowing the how and the history does not mean we have the ability to imitate it. They may try (see animal cloning), but fail (clone dies within hours/days of “birth”). This is why I believe God exists.

Some perspective:

NS_MILKY_WAY_POSTER

Our solar system is located in a minor spiral arm of the Milky Way called the Orion Spur, between the Sagittarius and Perseus arms. (Link to full-size image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/6b/a2/8b/6ba28b237250fb750e34981596321736.jpg)

 

cosmos15_13

The Virgo Supercluster contains the Milky Way, among about a million other galaxies. This image contains local superclusters. The universe is even larger than this.

 

*In re: The Body Metaphor – the “mind” is not tangible and can exist on its own; He can experience the physical universe without being in it, just as we can think and dream about places and people when we aren’t around them. As I have said, it is not a perfect metaphor. The enigma is that He is both in the universe and outside of it.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.

The Problem with Biblical Literalism, Part One

Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

Genesis 1:28, NLT

“…except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”

Genesis 2:17, NLT

There are some Biblical literalists that read, “you are sure to die” to mean that there was no physical death before Original Sin. If this were true, why would God command us to “be fruitful and multiply”? Surely, he would know that this commission would eventually create an unsustainable population, which all the earth’s resources could not support.

Let’s examine why we procreate, scientifically. The purpose is to perpetuate our DNA. It is an instinctual desire to prevent our genetic code from going extinct. In a sense, it is the result of an instinct to be immortal.

If we were immortal originally, why would we need to procreate? “To build a society/civilization/community,” you might say. Of immortal people? There are not enough resources to support seven billion times seven billion plus people. Death has to come into play; logic dictates this.

There is no way we could have been immortal. God would have made the earth as expansive as Heaven if this were true.

Death here is a metaphor.

To take the Bible literally is to discount the creator of language. We use metaphors every day. Why? Because they exist to help us explain things. Why? Because God created them for our benefit.

He already uses language, a creation for our benefit, to communicate the Word to us. Metaphors are an extension of language. It discredits and demeans God to assume He does not use, or is not clever enough to use, or thinks His language-speaking children won’t understand, figures of speech.

Death here refers to spiritual death. The choice to sin separates us from God. It is a choice to abandon God, to denounce the reason we exist and have the ability to make that choice. It is a choice of hell – of the death of the spirit.

And the death of the spirit leads to a physical death that is sooner. The longer we live, the more bad choices we have the option of making. The more bad choices we make, the farther we are from God. This is why God (metaphorically) sent angels to guard the Tree of Life, so Adam and Eve would not eat of it and live forever in their sin. More evidence that they were mortal to start with – to be immortal they would have had to eat of the Tree of Life.

Christ came to give us the choice of life, of union with God, again after rejecting (severing our bond with) Him. To save us from a permanent spiritual death.

For further discussion:

https://answersingenesis.org/death-before-sin/genesis-2-17-you-shall-surely-die/

http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1589/what-is-the-specific-meaning-of-die-in-genesis-2

So, why did God create us, if we were always meant to physically die in the end? Why do we exist to “be fruitful and multiply”?

That’s akin to asking, “What’s the meaning of life?”

I would be mightily arrogant to assume I had the answer.

However, there is a way to think of this if you are willing to expand your beliefs beyond what is revealed in the Word.

First, the Bible does tell us that God created ex nihilo, or, out of nothing. It only stands to reason that he used His power, Himself, alone, to create the universe. Therefore, it is logical to think of the universe as an extension of Him, that His essence permeates everything. All is in God, God is in all. This is not God Is All – that’s pantheism, and it assumes God requires the universe to exist. He obviously existed before all of this. The one paradox no one has been able to decipher in this life is that God has always existed and will always exist – no beginning and no end.

All in God and God in All is Panentheism, a pagan notion, but one that is in tandem with Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions. God creates the universe out of nothing, therefore out of Himself. Why do this? To experience Himself from the eyes of ignorance. To discover wisdom anew, to experience awe and wonder with us, beside us, within us. To experience ignorance becoming knowledge from all different perspectives. To know what it is to suffer from the Adversary infecting our world.

To understand one’s people and one’s enemy from their perspective is to better defend and defeat. Not that God needs to do this, as the omniscient Creator, but He wants to, because He is Love. Love needs a target. It cannot exist alone. That is why we exist. While angels exist as well, they cannot receive love; that is not their purpose (see my later entry Panentheism and The Body Metaphor).

It could be simplified into, “God is lonely and bored,” but that puts Him in a box. There is no way to really know the meaning of life, but knowing that wonder and awe are a large part of experience, and one of the reasons we were made, is beautiful and comforting.

God bless with mother earth’s bliss.