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Old 10-27-2014, 12:49 PM   #1
zeek
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Default God's eternal purpose.

Recognizing that this is speculation here are several propositions for your consideration and discussion. Suppose that the human spirit is the observing ego, the true"I", the subject of your consciousness. Suppose next that your individual conscious is somehow related to Universal conscious that is the Spirit. This is the Spirit mentioned in Genesis 1:2 that is the source of the evolution of the cosmos and of life. God's eternal purpose then could entail the transformation of human society into the Kingdom of God which is a fully conscious society. The invisible church is the body of fully conscious experiencers. Let me know what you think of this, my new vision of God's eternal purpose.
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Old 10-27-2014, 02:16 PM   #2
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Recognizing that this is speculation here are several propositions for your consideration and discussion. Suppose that the human spirit is the observing ego, the true"I", the subject of your consciousness. Suppose next that your individual conscious is somehow related to Universal conscious that is the Spirit. This is the Spirit mentioned in Genesis 1:2 that is the source of the evolution of the cosmos and of life. God's eternal purpose then could entail the transformation of human society into the Kingdom of God which is a fully conscious society. The invisible church is the body of fully conscious experiencers. Let me know what you think of this, my new vision of God's eternal purpose.
You might be thinking above my paygrade on this one. It is interesting to note that in NRSV Gen. 1:2 says "...while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters" with a footnote stating that it could be "...while the spirit of God or while a mighty wind". Maybe you are saying that to be fully conscious is to be fully conscious of the Spirit or God's breath which brings us into the Kingdom of God or a fully conscious society. After eating the apple they lost consciousness of the Universal conscious which was only brought back by Jesus on the cross to put it in the framework of the Bible which you are quoting.
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:18 PM   #3
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Recognizing that this is speculation here are several propositions for your consideration and discussion. Suppose that the human spirit is the observing ego, the true"I", the subject of your consciousness. Suppose next that your individual conscious is somehow related to Universal conscious that is the Spirit. This is the Spirit mentioned in Genesis 1:2 that is the source of the evolution of the cosmos and of life. God's eternal purpose then could entail the transformation of human society into the Kingdom of God which is a fully conscious society. The invisible church is the body of fully conscious experiencers. Let me know what you think of this, my new vision of God's eternal purpose.
Honestly? Not really a lot.

A whole lot of ink and words spoken by God in the OT, and by Jesus in the New that is primarily focused on the right-living of the people who claim God as their God, and only a few hints here about anything that could be construed in this novel way, and we are to consider that this may be God's eternal purpose?

If it is, it would appear that it is intended to happen without us thinking about it or trying too hard because it is never discussed as being that important (assuming it is discussed at all). And for all the things that are fairly well detailed for us, this potential "purpose" is not.

That is the problem I have with so much of Lee's teachings. He found that the most important things were those that we buried between the lines. Or were mentioned in passing. And the things talked about the most are not worth thinking about, and possibly even "fulfilled" therefore nothing to worry about.

Seems that we were also taught to keep looking for answers hidden under the rocks, in between the words, or discovered only when applying the right decoder ring.

I would rather be guilty of over emphasizing the things that were actually emphasized rather than chasing after the things that we have trouble figuring out whether they are actually there.
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Old 10-27-2014, 06:49 PM   #4
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Honestly? Not really a lot.

A whole lot of ink and words spoken by God in the OT, and by Jesus in the New that is primarily focused on the right-living of the people who claim God as their God, and only a few hints here about anything that could be construed in this novel way, and we are to consider that this may be God's eternal purpose?

If it is, it would appear that it is intended to happen without us thinking about it or trying too hard because it is never discussed as being that important (assuming it is discussed at all). And for all the things that are fairly well detailed for us, this potential "purpose" is not.

That is the problem I have with so much of Lee's teachings. He found that the most important things were those that we buried between the lines. Or were mentioned in passing. And the things talked about the most are not worth thinking about, and possibly even "fulfilled" therefore nothing to worry about.

Seems that we were also taught to keep looking for answers hidden under the rocks, in between the words, or discovered only when applying the right decoder ring.

I would rather be guilty of over emphasizing the things that were actually emphasized rather than chasing after the things that we have trouble figuring out whether they are actually there.
I appreciate your honesty, OBW. And, of course, in view of our common history in Witness Lee's Local Churches, I understand your skepticism. Speculative thought fails so often that the enterprise itself invites skepticism.

I will though claim one advantage that my proposition has over Lee's. Mine explicitly admits that it is speculation. What if Lee had stood up in a meeting of Christians and and said:
"Sisters and brothers, I have some ideas about God's eternal purpose I would like you to consider. My ideas are a little unorthodox, I know. But, I have a strong feeling about them, an intuition really, that I think might be coming from God. So, I would like to set out for you what I understand the Bible to be saying for your consideration. After I have shared what I think God's big purpose for everything and everybody, I would like to hear what you have to say about it. if you have criticism, please share them soIi can take them into consideration and see if they change the way it looks to me. Talk among yourselves about it too. If you have different ideas, I'd like to hear them too. My "vision" of what God is doing might be incomplete or just down-right wrong. Either way, I'd like to know. If I can accommodate your point of view with mine, perhaps my vision will be enlarged. Or, if I find out I am wrong, I can abandon it altogether and I, if so, I will be better off. In any case, brothers and sisters, let's discuss it and see where we end up. "
If after that, Lee had gone on and preached his vision in exactly the same way that he actually did, but admitted that since he was a fallible human being, that he could be wrong and that other people might also have valuable truth to contribute to the discussion, how different the church life might have gone. So I think, that my opening post, no matter how far off it might be from the way ultimate reality is, starts off with that advantage over Lee's.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: God's eternal purpose.

I actually think zeek has something here which is helpful. Didn't we listen to every word of WL's interpretation of the Bible believing that it was "the truth" until we discovered all the problems and realized that it might not be the reality of "truth".

Consider the "local church" idea of Nee's. Is that really the Word of God's truth? It was an illusion. The problem is that many of us were not NT historians and since we took the Bible literally we were gullible to the idea that maybe this is the only way that God is setting up his churches and all the others are just wrong. WouldBut look at what the reality has become. The so called local churches are not working and the "Local Church" has become a burden for people. Thus, illusion vs reality.

Karl Hammond, who I knew very well (together we built the LC in Santa Cruz from the ground up) published "The Normal Christian Church Life" before I met him but his background was as a Plymouth Brethren so it was not much of a leap to move to the local ground idea since there was a lot in common between the church "practices" of the Brethren and Watchman Nee's local church (John Ingalls and others were former Plymouth Brethren). I had never heard of the PB.

We all were brought into "their" illusions of what the church should be. Each step of the way...we were brought into their illusions and if we disagreed we were considered "negative" and ostracized or pummeled verbally in a meeting.

zeek is just providing a good idea of what kind of illusions we might have encountered.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:57 PM   #6
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You might be thinking above my paygrade on this one. It is interesting to note that in NRSV Gen. 1:2 says "...while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters" with a footnote stating that it could be "...while the spirit of God or while a mighty wind". Maybe you are saying that to be fully conscious is to be fully conscious of the Spirit or God's breath which brings us into the Kingdom of God or a fully conscious society. After eating the apple they lost consciousness of the Universal conscious which was only brought back by Jesus on the cross to put it in the framework of the Bible which you are quoting.
Whoa Dave, I didn't see your post. I'm thinking above my own pay-grade on this one. It's important to recognize that. Thanks. I incautiously plunged right into the deep water on that first post. To get to the big "S" Spirit requires a leap. But, before we get into that, let's back track.

The first step in this approach is to recognize that we are talking about our own first person consciousness. This is not a hypothetical entity. This is the "I" in the proposition "I think therefore I am." That "I" is the subject who is conscious. My first proposition is that the "I" the subject that is at the center of my consciousness and presumably yours is the spirit. The human spirit within you is a a not an "it" that is yours. It is you. When we sought the spirit, we were what we sought. The body, soul, and spirit paradigm still works. Consciousness in our everyday waking state is embodied. And the "I" the experiencing subject, the spirit experiences the emotions, the thoughts and the will of the soul. But, the inner I is not the body nor the emotions, nor the thoughts nor nor the will.

The first step is to see that the spirit is the true I, the observing, ego, the experiencing subject, you. It is possible that we may have touched this expereince when we were in Lee's Local Churches. But, in the midst of the shouting, the external shouted who was going through the motions was not the spirit. The spirit was watching that outward activity that the body was doing, and observing those stirred up feeling while quiet and detached and undisturbed within. How strange it all seemed.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:27 PM   #7
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Whoa Dave, I didn't see your post. I'm thinking above my own pay-grade on this one. It's important to recognize that. Thanks. I incautiously plunged right into the deep water on that first post. To get to the big "S" Spirit requires a leap. But, before we get into that, let's back track.

The first step in this approach is to recognize that we are talking about our own first person consciousness. This is not a hypothetical entity. This is the "I" in the proposition "I think therefore I am." That "I" is the subject who is conscious. My first proposition is that the "I" the subject that is at the center of my consciousness and presumably yours is the spirit. The human spirit within you is a a not an "it" that is yours. It is you. When we sought the spirit, we were what we sought. The body, soul, and spirit paradigm still works. Consciousness in our everyday waking state is embodied. And the "I" the experiencing subject, the spirit experiences the emotions, the thoughts and the will of the soul. But, the inner I is not the body nor the emotions, nor the thoughts nor nor the will.

The first step is to see that the spirit is the true I, the observing, ego, the experiencing subject, you. It is possible that we may have touched this expereince when we were in Lee's Local Churches. But, in the midst of the shouting, the external shouted who was going through the motions was not the spirit. The spirit was watching that outward activity that the body was doing, and observing those stirred up feeling while quiet and detached and undisturbed within. How strange it all seemed.
Okay, now I get it. This is payback for getting you into the local church which I have to admit is much deserved. Can you draw a diagram? I always liked the 3 circles because it was so easy to show people all the various "boxes" in the circles...spirit, soul, body, blood, flesh, bone, emotion, mind, will, etc? At this point you have almost pulled me into the stratosphere ideologically but that may be a good thing. Unfortunately I am more concrete in my thinking than you are. So, you are going to have to take this step by step and lead me to your promised land of ideas. This kind of takes me back to when we were working together and we went to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and then to South Florida Mental Hospital in Hollywood to copy medical records on Fridays on our way to Ft. Lauderdale and we would talk about stuff but probably not this stuff. I still remember a Chinese place near JMH we went to which had great fried shrimp and rice...anyway, at my age, memory is an important thing. Just reflecting and shaking the cobwebs.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
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Okay, now I get it. This is payback for getting you into the local church which I have to admit is much deserved. Can you draw a diagram? I always liked the 3 circles because it was so easy to show people all the various "boxes" in the circles...spirit, soul, body, blood, flesh, bone, emotion, mind, will, etc? At this point you have almost pulled me into the stratosphere ideologically but that may be a good thing. Unfortunately I am more concrete in my thinking than you are. So, you are going to have to take this step by step and lead me to your promised land of ideas. This kind of takes me back to when we were working together and we went to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and then to South Florida Mental Hospital in Hollywood to copy medical records on Fridays on our way to Ft. Lauderdale and we would talk about stuff but probably not this stuff. I still remember a Chinese place near JMH we went to which had great fried shrimp and rice...anyway, at my age, memory is an important thing. Just reflecting and shaking the cobwebs.
When I mentioned spirit, soul and body, I flashed back to when you showed me the three circles at Wayne State University. Actually what I proposing is less abstract than that turned out to be. Because for all the supposed exercising of the spirit we did, did Lee ever tell us who or what the spirit was? I'm talking about what you actually observe and boiling down to two things: and "I" that is experiencing and something that is experienced. That"I" I am identifying with the spirit. The thoughts, feelings and desires that pass by as if on a movie screen I am calling the soul. And then there is the body by you sense and act upon the world and through which it acts upon you. As Paul says in chapter 2 verse 11 of I Corinthians "For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him?" This was apparently a self-evident understanding of people of the time so that Paul could use it to appeal to the ordinary Corinthians. Because "spirit" language became something mysterious to our modern understanding, it was something that had to be explained. Enter Nee and Lee. Had they told us that our spirits were our true selves it would have been empowering instead of mystifying. But, at first, it perhaps did seem empowering until it became a kind of performance that we acted out in the meetings.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:07 AM   #9
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When I mentioned spirit, soul and body, I flashed back to when you showed me the three circles at Wayne State University. Actually what I proposing is less abstract than that turned out to be. Because for all the supposed exercising of the spirit we did, did Lee ever tell us who or what the spirit was? I'm talking about what you actually observe and boiling down to two things: and "I" that is experiencing and something that is experienced. That"I" I am identifying with the spirit. The thoughts, feelings and desires that pass by as if on a movie screen I am calling the soul. And then there is the body by you sense and act upon the world and through which it acts upon you. As Paul says in chapter 2 verse 11 of I Corinthians "For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him?" This was apparently a self-evident understanding of people of the time so that Paul could use it to appeal to the ordinary Corinthians. Because "spirit" language became something mysterious to our modern understanding, it was something that had to be explained. Enter Nee and Lee. Had they told us that our spirits were our true selves it would have been empowering instead of mystifying. But, at first, it perhaps did seem empowering until it became a kind of performance that we acted out in the meetings.
Okay, I think I have this (wrote it down in a diagram). Now relate it back to your first post of the Spirit (Gen 1.2) and the development of the kingdom of God as a fully conscious society... and the Universal conscious Spirit?
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:59 AM   #10
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Okay, I think I have this (wrote it down in a diagram). Now relate it back to your first post of the Spirit (Gen 1.2) and the development of the kingdom of God as a fully conscious society... and the Universal conscious Spirit?
That's the speculative part. Basically this vision presupposes that God is consciousness and that the eternal purpose of the universe is to evolve consciousness. Based on consciousness as a value, it seeks to promote self awareness. The more aware we become ourselves the more aware of the experience of others. We find we cannot ignore the feelings and suffering of other sentient beings. This experience results in empathy and compassion for others. Our compassion extends beyond human beings to all conscious beings. This is what Schweitzer called reverence for life. It isn't an external teaching to be followed, it's an experience that results from growing consciousness. According to this vision, society will evolve in a direction toward God only by the cultivation of consciousness. Humans are a focal point wherein the universe becomes conscious of itself. That's what true spirituality is about. Jesus, Buddha, Francis of Assisi, Gandhi and others are exemplars of this kind of conscious living.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:34 PM   #11
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That's the speculative part. Basically this vision presupposes that God is consciousness and that the eternal purpose of the universe is to evolve consciousness. Based on consciousness as a value, it seeks to promote self awareness. The more aware we become ourselves the more aware of the experience of others. We find we cannot ignore the feelings and suffering of other sentient beings. This experience results in empathy and compassion for others. Our compassion extends beyond human beings to all conscious beings. This is what Schweitzer called reverence for life. It isn't an external teaching to be followed, it's an experience that results from growing consciousness. According to this vision, society will evolve in a direction toward God only by the cultivation of consciousness. Humans are a focal point wherein the universe becomes conscious of itself. That's what true spirituality is about. Jesus, Buddha, Francis of Assisi, Gandhi and others are exemplars of this kind of conscious living.
Okay, you had me going on this but when you slipped in "sentient beings" I have a better understanding of where you're going because that is a Buddhist term although you may have a different meaning. No wonder you have 20 cats. On the other hand, I don't see our world evolving without some acceptance of the divine in each other or as you state the consciousness of each other. It's a great point because we are pilfering the seas of its sea life, killing off animals which we grew up watching on TV...if we don't have a sense that we are all in this together or a consciousness of recognizing or respecting one another and act on it then we better hope for a savior because we will need one.
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:33 PM   #12
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Okay, you had me going on this but when you slipped in "sentient beings" I have a better understanding of where you're going because that is a Buddhist term although you may have a different meaning. No wonder you have 20 cats. On the other hand, I don't see our world evolving without some acceptance of the divine in each other or as you state the consciousness of each other. It's a great point because we are pilfering the seas of its sea life, killing off animals which we grew up watching on TV...if we don't have a sense that we are all in this together or a consciousness of recognizing or respecting one another and act on it then we better hope for a savior because we will need one.
I just used sentient as a synonym for conscious. I think that consciousness is a synonym for spirit. To be conscious of consciousness is tricky. It is to observe the observer that you are. That is self consciousness in a good sense. To recognize that another other being has a world in the same sense that I have a world may be like what you said to see something divine-like about them.

Animals too are conscious as I suppose anyone can find out if they are willing to get to know one. The behaviorists like B. F. Skinner used to deny this, but then their opinion was eclipsed by the science. I have actually heard people use their so-called Christian religion to justify the abuse of animals. They take the Genesis command that humans have dominion to mean that we can do whatever horrible thing we want to them. And they deny that they have souls. To them that means that they are not really conscious they just appear to be. Like cyborgs or something. Needless to say the evidence shows they are clearly wrong and unwilling to look.

The things that are done to animals in the slaughter factories of the agricultural-industrial complex are ghastly and unspeakable. Yet people blithely accept it and go on eating meat because it's the "same as it ever was." What is needed is a change in consciousness. But, at this point it looks like things may have to get worse before, as someone said on another thread, people "wake up."
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: God's eternal purpose.

I realize we can't see our eyeballs while looking thru them, and it's pretty much the same with the awareness reading these words right now.

Zeek opened with:
"Suppose that the human spirit is the observing ego, the true"I", the subject of your consciousness. Suppose next that your individual conscious is somehow related to Universal conscious that is the Spirit."

You can say anything you want about the human spirit but it's got to have something to do with the awareness reading these words. Actually, awareness has everything to do with everything in our life, natural or supernatural.

In fact, the awareness reading these words is our live-wire connection to everything, including God.

And whose awareness is it anyway? Did you create it? Do you make it? No. It's God's awareness. It belongs to Him. And He wants it.

In fact, we could say, His eternal purpose is, to blend our awareness with His.

This is funny but www.yhwh.com "God's website" calls it God Consciousness:
http://www.yhwh.com/Thoughts/thought_51.htm

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Old 10-29-2014, 01:18 PM   #14
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I just used sentient as a synonym for conscious. I think that consciousness is a synonym for spirit. To be conscious of consciousness is tricky. It is to observe the observer that you are. That is self consciousness in a good sense. To recognize that another other being has a world in the same sense that I have a world may be like what you said to see something divine-like about them.

Animals too are conscious as I suppose anyone can find out if they are willing to get to know one. The behaviorists like B. F. Skinner used to deny this, but then their opinion was eclipsed by the science. I have actually heard people use their so-called Christian religion to justify the abuse of animals. They take the Genesis command that humans have dominion to mean that we can do whatever horrible thing we want to them. And they deny that they have souls. To them that means that they are not really conscious they just appear to be. Like cyborgs or something. Needless to say the evidence shows they are clearly wrong and unwilling to look.

The things that are done to animals in the slaughter factories of the agricultural-industrial complex are ghastly and unspeakable. Yet people blithely accept it and go on eating meat because it's the "same as it ever was." What is needed is a change in consciousness. But, at this point it looks like things may have to get worse before, as someone said on another thread, people "wake up."
Act locally, think globally... A quote my wife mentions frequently but of course she is a conservationist as am I but she is President of our local Community Garden as well as an activist for many other related issues. Your statement about the slaughter factories reminded me that not only are these factories abhorrent but the run off from these factories into the Mississippi adds to the creation of huge dead spots in our ocean killing sea life.

In the days of Christ everyone assumed the earth was flat and that we were the center of the universe. Think globally wouldn't have made much sense. Of course, I presume Jesus knew the earth was round and that we were actually circling the sun but he apparently didn't think it was important enough to share it but in any case global warming, the killing of animals at such horrendous numbers wasn't a relevant issue at the time so it wasn't mentioned. Jesus did, however, address social issues of his day. I do agree that we haven't ventured into this area of the value of other "sentient" beings if you will that often treat us well....think of man's best friend.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:13 AM   #15
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I realize we can't see our eyeballs while looking thru them, and it's pretty much the same with the awareness reading these words right now.

Zeek opened with:
"Suppose that the human spirit is the observing ego, the true"I", the subject of your consciousness. Suppose next that your individual conscious is somehow related to Universal conscious that is the Spirit."

You can say anything you want about the human spirit but it's got to have something to do with the awareness reading these words. Actually, awareness has everything to do with everything in our life, natural or supernatural.

In fact, the awareness reading these words is our live-wire connection to everything, including God.

And whose awareness is it anyway? Did you create it? Do you make it? No. It's God's awareness. It belongs to Him. And He wants it.

In fact, we could say, His eternal purpose is, to blend our awareness with His.

This is funny but www.yhwh.com "God's website" calls it God Consciousness:
http://www.yhwh.com/Thoughts/thought_51.htm

Where's Dancing when we need her?
Substituting consciousness for spirit in I Corinthians 2:11 demystifies it to the point that it is comprehensible. "For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the consciousness of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the consciousness of God."
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:20 AM   #16
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Okay, you had me going on this but when you slipped in "sentient beings" I have a better understanding of where you're going because that is a Buddhist term although you may have a different meaning. No wonder you have 20 cats. On the other hand, I don't see our world evolving without some acceptance of the divine in each other or as you state the consciousness of each other. It's a great point because we are pilfering the seas of its sea life, killing off animals which we grew up watching on TV...if we don't have a sense that we are all in this together or a consciousness of recognizing or respecting one another and act on it then we better hope for a savior because we will need one.
I agree. Albert Schweitzer put it like this: "Ethics is nothing other than Reverence for Life. Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil."
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:51 PM   #17
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I have raised the issue of consciousness. OBW is unwilling to consider that such a phenomenon as consciousness could be the focus of the eternal purpose as envisioned in the Bible. Given our experience under Witness Lee's ministry I can understand his skepticism. I will attempt to answer his skepticism if he changes his mind and wants to pursue the matter. Meanwhile, I wish to take a different approach. Let's look at the history of the philosophy of consciousness shall we? It runs through phenomenology and existentialism and eventually gets into neuro-philosophy, neuroscience and the contemporary philosophy of religion. What's your position?
1 ]Start with Descartes' ideal notion of philosophy as infallible knowledge. His was a quest for certitude. We can go along with him on it. Our methodological principle will be to confine ourselves to what is infallible ,i.e., to what we are aware of clearly and distinctly. In other words, we confine ourselves to what is directly given ---the phenomena. That is principle number one.
2 ]Add Descartes'' identification of these clear and distinct, directly given phenomena with the contents of the mind: the phenomena are all mental, mind-dependent. Put steps 1 and 2 together and you can speak infallibly without risk of error. That is, you will be speaking about the contents of your own mind, but not about anything else.
3] Add Kant's proposition that consciousness itself always and inevitably makes a contribution to the phenomena. Consciousness contributes a perspective or point of view that, by the very nature of the case, implicitly refers to the observer, to the mind.
4] On the basis of one, two and three, follows Kant's conclusion that it is inconsistent to try to talk about anything but the phenomena--our representations. To do so, leads to absurdity and contradiction [or as we religious folks like to say "paradox"] to try to talk about the things in themselves as opposed to the things the way they appear to us. [Whether there are ultimately things or or one thing, being or beings etc. ] is ultimately indeterminable. The concept of God is in this category. As Wittgenstein put it "Wherein we cannot speak we must remain silent. "
5] Now this is where a question arises: Since we cannot say anything about the thing itself, why not just throw it out? After all it is contradictory to suppose that there is. This is the step the theistic and the atheistic philosophers part ways.
Anyway at this juncture we are left with the raw data that Kant worried about...the uninterpreted data on which the mind imposed order because by themselves the data have no structure at all. In an image from the time, Husserl et al thought of your mind as a movie screen and these raw data on the screen. By itself the screen is completely featureless. It is uninterpreted. All content--whatever appears on the screen--comes from the Ego . The ego was the "projector." Seemingly there is no thing in itself only the movie theater. how do you answer the question? is it possible to transcend the movie screen and glimpse the really real?
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:04 PM   #18
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Substituting consciousness for spirit in I Corinthians 2:11 demystifies it to the point that it is comprehensible. "For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the consciousness of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the consciousness of God."
Great substitutions. I've never looked at that verse that way. Both substitutions are pneuma, human and divine references:

From Strong's:
pneuma
pnyoo'-mah
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

Seeing spirit as consciousness opens up our experience of God, or of ultimate Awareness, Cosmic if you will, omnipresent as is said.

Let's face it, it's undeniable, the awareness reading these word right now is, our only gateway to everything, including God, Jesus, the Bible, et al.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:57 PM   #19
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Great substitutions. I've never looked at that verse that way. Both substitutions are pneuma, human and divine references:

From Strong's:
pneuma
pnyoo'-mah
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: - ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590.

Seeing spirit as consciousness opens up our experience of God, or of ultimate Awareness, Cosmic if you will, omnipresent as is said.

Let's face it, it's undeniable, the awareness reading these word right now is, our only gateway to everything, including God, Jesus, the Bible, et al.
Right, none of those references contradicts the identity of consciousness and the human spirit. What settles it for me is my understanding of the verse I Corinthians 2:11: "For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the consciousness of the man which is in him?" which is as follows:

Paul was appealing to the consciousness of the Corinthians. He called it their spirit. And I appeal to yours dear reader. How else do you know your thoughts except by, through or in your consciousness? If you are like me, your thoughts appear in the'field' of your consciousness. So if the Corinthians were like us, as is only reasonable, it was their consciousness Paul appealed to and it was to their consciousness that he compared, by analogy, the Spirit of God from which it follows that the Spirit of God is the Consciousness of God.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:40 AM   #20
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I have raised the issue of consciousness. OBW is unwilling to consider that such a phenomenon as consciousness could be the focus of the eternal purpose as envisioned in the Bible. Given our experience under Witness Lee's ministry I can understand his skepticism.
My objection is not as you cast it. Rather it is what I believe to be a view of the bulk of the record we have being about the will and action of the people who choose to follow God (generally in the OT) and Christ (more specifically in the NT). I have begun to see the spiritual references as being about existing realities upon which we should be ready and willing to act (there's that disputed word from the other thread). The inner life crowd, among which Nee clearly was one, and Lee is an a different way, is busy trying to figure out how those spiritual realities work, and how we can tap into them when I cannot really find such a discussion in the Bible. Instead, it is like Paul said it. "I am crucified with Christ . . ." This was a fact, not a required action. This is the thing that is provided as part of grace. But when he said that, he was telling those believers about their actions that needed to change. The only thing actually required of them was not to figure out how to be crucified with Christ, but rather to accept that it is true and behave in accordance with the gospel they had received.

I think that you will seldom find a bunch of directions concerning "spiritual" activities on our part (excluding prayer) which are required before the right living (orthopraxy) should be attempted. Instead, you will find spiritual facts that are the reason that you should step out and live. It is one of the distractions of Lee, the inner life, as well as a lot of even rather mainstream Christian teachers to focus on the spiritual underpinnings as if they are the thing we have to do rather than something that is true and the reason that we should live as if it is true. Instead, even the simple focus on grace as the means of our salvation often becomes a problem. We don't even "wait for dispensing" before doing right, but just accept that we are fallen and will need to take more of that grace to cover our shortcomings (sins). And that is true. We will need that grace over and over. But it is not some lack of more spirituality. It is a lack of accepting the command to live differently.

And while it is possible that this inquiry you lead actually turns out (when we can look at it backward from eternity) to be true, what good does it do us to understand it now if what it is designed for is that man would live here on earth as the image bearer of God. Seems that some behind the scenes connectivity that we really can't explain doesn't bear much image. And all the time and mental effort we put into figuring it out does not change the kind of image that we do bear now. Instead, I see it becoming another excuse for why we don't live better, repent when we don't, and try harder.

And that last one is one of the teachings of Lee (and even a lot of evangelicals) that is so hard to overcome. We somehow think that it is just about grace, or dispensing. Well grace teaches us to obey. It doesn't just cover our failings.

And I will leave your little discussion alone after this. I have injected my thoughts on the type of topic. There is little or no way to directly combat it since it is so nebulous and unfounded. Just a collection of thoughts by various people who made statements that seem weighty. I have said enough on the topic. But when you go to the trouble of pointing me out as a target of a point, do not expect that I will always be silent. I have a perspective. It is not just an attempt to stop a thread I don't like. It is an attempt to change a general view of the Bible that I believe to be in error. One that is trying to read so much from between the lines. Like whether there are a bunch of "harbingers" pointed at the US. Or major portions of the written scripture can be dismissed because of an obscure doctrine of what constitutes "God's economy." Or whether there really is this cosmic consciousness that we can become a part of.

And in a way we can. God is "cosmic." His consciousness is everywhere. We participate with him — in a way. But I don't think it is intended to be the focus of our understanding of God or what we primarily get out of the writings he left for us to read and follow.

You can consider what I have proposed or reject it. There is no real discussion of reason for topics like this. Just speculations. One of the things that is proposed as a sign of bad teachings. That is my story and I have seen nothing to cause me to stray from it.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:07 PM   #21
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And I will leave your little discussion alone after this.
And I, in turn, feel honored to be the momentary object of your condescension, OBW. I take my place among the other fools on this website that you have denigrated and dismissed. I wish you well skating on the surface of life obeying a God and savior you presume to understand.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:18 PM   #22
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Hey Mike, great and thoughtful post. As usual.

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Or whether there really is this cosmic consciousness that we can become a part of.
When you put it that way it sounds so corny ; so New Ager ; so Fairy dust & Tinker-Bellish.

And true, I think to try to read any message of "consciousness & cosmic consciousness" into Bible is the ultimate example of putting the Bible on a torture rack until it says what we want it to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
And in a way we can. God is "cosmic." His consciousness is everywhere. We participate with him — in a way.
You admit the obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
But I don't think it is intended to be the focus of our understanding of God or what we primarily get out of the writings he left for us to read and follow.
Acknowledged.

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Originally Posted by Mike
You can consider what I have proposed or reject it.
Have done both ... over time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
There is no real discussion of reason for topics like this. Just speculations. One of the things that is proposed as a sign of bad teachings. That is my story and I have seen nothing to cause me to stray from it.
I applaud you. Stand yer ground bro.

I'll spill the beans. It should be obvious. "Awareness" is one of my pet subjects. When I discovered "IT" "IT" changed me. And I've been looking into it for a very long time now. I've read just about everything I can get my hands on; whenever something new on it enters my range of awareness. I've even considered the positions of the deniers of awareness/consciousness.

All that aside, for now, it's no surprise there's nothing said about consciousness in the Bible. How could there be? The human race didn't wake up to consciousness until around the 17th century. And until recently even the scientists rejected it.

So if there is anything remotely about consciousness in the Bible it would be happenstance, at best. However.

Zeek started this subject of consciousness. I don't think I infected him with the notion of awareness. I think he got it on his own, by mining philosophy; not by reading the Bible.

I'll let him tell. And also, when Zeek gets a scent of something he's on it like a hound dog. So he just might pull awareness/consciousness out of the Bible, like pulling a hat out of a rabbit.

And we haven't even mentioned altered states of consciousness. I think that can be soundly found in the Bible.

And it's people who deny consciousness that strike me as funny ... since they are using awareness to dent it.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:12 AM   #23
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And true, I think to try to read any message of "consciousness & cosmic consciousness" into Bible is the ultimate example of putting the Bible on a torture rack until it says what we want it to say.
Paul specifically states "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." In keeping with my proposition that can interpreted to mean:
"Now we have received not cosmic consciousness, but God consciousness, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:06 AM   #24
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Back to 1 Corinthians 2:11 . . .

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

. . . where bro Zeek substitutes consciousness for spirit. Back then, before the advent of the "discovery" of consciousness/awareness, what other word could Paul have used for consciousness but pneuma?

And it works:

Webster's Third New International Dictionary
consciousness is: "(1) a. awareness or perception of an inward psychological or spiritual fact: intuitively perceived knowledge of something in one's inner self. b. inward awareness of an external object, state, or fact. c: concerned awareness: INTEREST, CONCERN -- often used with an attributive noun. (2): the state or activity that is characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, or thought: mind in the broadest possible sense: something in nature that is distinguished from the physical. (3): the totality in psychology of sensations, perceptions, ideas, attitudes and feelings of which an individual or a group is aware at any given time or within a particular time span -- compare STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS."

Locke (17th c. source of our modern concept of consciousness):
Locke defined consciousness as "the perception of what passes in a man's own mind"

And:
"The Latin phrase conscius sibi, whose meaning was more closely related to the current concept of consciousness, was rendered in English as "conscious to oneself"

So Paul, not knowing consciousness as we know it today said:
what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit (today=consciousness) of man which is in him?

Hey, the Bible is saying what we want it to say, and we haven't introduced even the slightest threat of torture ... yet. In fact, given our use of the word consciousness today, a modern day translation of the this verse could easily read :

1Co 2:11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Oh, wait, that's the ESV translation. I mean, could read:

"For who knows a person's thoughts except the consciousness of that person, which is in him?"


References from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:54 PM   #25
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Back to 1 Corinthians 2:11 . . .

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

. . . where bro Zeek substitutes consciousness for spirit. Back then, before the advent of the "discovery" of consciousness/awareness, what other word could Paul have used for consciousness but pneuma?

And it works:

Webster's Third New International Dictionary
consciousness is: "(1) a. awareness or perception of an inward psychological or spiritual fact: intuitively perceived knowledge of something in one's inner self. b. inward awareness of an external object, state, or fact. c: concerned awareness: INTEREST, CONCERN -- often used with an attributive noun. (2): the state or activity that is characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, or thought: mind in the broadest possible sense: something in nature that is distinguished from the physical. (3): the totality in psychology of sensations, perceptions, ideas, attitudes and feelings of which an individual or a group is aware at any given time or within a particular time span -- compare STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS."

Locke (17th c. source of our modern concept of consciousness):
Locke defined consciousness as "the perception of what passes in a man's own mind"

And:
"The Latin phrase conscius sibi, whose meaning was more closely related to the current concept of consciousness, was rendered in English as "conscious to oneself"

So Paul, not knowing consciousness as we know it today said:
what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit (today=consciousness) of man which is in him?

Hey, the Bible is saying what we want it to say, and we haven't introduced even the slightest threat of torture ... yet. In fact, given our use of the word consciousness today, a modern day translation of the this verse could easily read :

1Co 2:11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Oh, wait, that's the ESV translation. I mean, could read:

"For who knows a person's thoughts except the consciousness of that person, which is in him?"


References from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness
If I were not conscious of my thoughts how else would I know them? I do not know your thoughts except for how they appear to me. Where do they appear? In my perception of how they appear on the page or in apperception as I recall them in my mind.

If the human spirit is not consciousness, I don't know what it is. What is "releasing my spirit"? Does that mean anything to you any more? What would it be? Expressing what is on your mind? Whatever we conclude about it, if releasing the spirit is not a conscious act, we can't know it? We couldn't possibly know what releasing the spirit is, if anything, unless it were conscious to us.

Releasing the spirit cannot merely be something external to us that we observe as conscious beings. Rather as the spirit it must be an expression of "I" the observer's true self. Otherwise, the spirit is not "our" spirit.

But, the word "releasing" seems to suggest that the spirit is pent up somehow. Possibly, the spirit was incarcerated. Is consciousness ever in anyway pent-up? "Releasing" may suggest a liquid metaphor. It seems to connote something fountain like. I suppose that image aligns itself with the "stream of consciousness" metaphor." Again, that raises the question does consciousness really seem like a stream to you? Perhaps only under certain conditions, but not all the time?

How it seems to you and I as the observing subjectivity is the final criteria in this sphere of consciousness. To consciousness the "I" that is somehow at the center that is the point of view is the experiencer. We are each the final arbiter in the domain of our own consciousness.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:27 PM   #26
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And I, in turn, feel honored to be the momentary object of your condescension, OBW. I take my place among the other fools on this website that you have denigrated and dismissed. I wish you well skating on the surface of life obeying a God and savior you presume to understand.
You mistake me as being derisive and condescending. As I tried to make clear before, my goal is not to mock or attack, but to provide and alternative view for your consideration.

I do think that the tendency is for ex-LRCers to either seek alternate extreme views of the Bible, or just waste away thinking that the LRC was really right but just went wrong. It is in all of us. It is probably better to be considering something rather than nothing. I had a hard time of it for a long time.

But there is something about what is called the simplicity in Christ that just is not found in those kinds of inquiries. I'm not saying it so much as a warning against it, but as what I see as a road sign that points in a different direction. Not necessarily in "my" direction, but in a simpler one.

Something to consider. That is all.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:05 AM   #27
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I think bringing up the awareness reading these words and referring to it as our human spirit is a litmus test of sorts of what Lee claimed to be the purpose of God, that is, the mingling of God with man.

Because, if God's consciousness isn't being mingled with our consciousness (claimed as the human spirit) then is it even real?

What good is mingling if God's consciousness isn't clearly mingled with the consciousness that's reading these words at this moment?

So what is Lee's mingling? Is it Bible learning? Is it conferences and trainings? That's not what is assumed by the claims that mingling is accomplished by eating and drinking Jesus, by calling, and even pray-reading. That mingling seems to be so mysterious and mystical that it's too nebulous to be proved.

But consciousness, that's reading these words, as our human spirit, brings it all around to if mingling is actually real or not.

Because, I'll say it again, if God's consciousness is not being mingled with our consciousness what good is it? Is it even real, if not.

And wouldn't we know beyond a doubt if God's consciousness is mingled with the consciousness reading these words? Wouldn't it be obvious?
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:00 AM   #28
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I do think that the tendency is for ex-LRCers to either seek alternate extreme views of the Bible, or just waste away thinking that the LRC was really right but just went wrong. It is in all of us.
Let me also present an alternate view: There were many precious brothers and sisters in the LC's, which enabled someone like me to have many wonderful experiences of God. That is what caught our attention in the first place. Many like me loved God, loved the Word, and loved the brothers.

Slowly over time, bad teachings and unrighteous practices originating with Witness Lee corrupted the leadership of many LC's, and the condition of the whole has deteriorated so that compared to today it is no longer recognizable.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:16 AM   #29
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So what is Lee's mingling? Is it Bible learning? Is it conferences and trainings? That's not what is assumed by the claims that mingling is accomplished by eating and drinking Jesus, by calling, and even pray-reading. That mingling seems to be so mysterious and mystical that it's too nebulous to be proved.
"eating and drinking Jesus" was supposed to make us spiritual, even turn us into "God-men". Well, after nearly a half century of eating and drinking, what has become of the dear saints in the Local Church movement? Have they become more like Jesus? Do they preach, teach and spread his Gospel? Have they become a help or hindrance to the coming of The Kingdom?

At this late date, I would suggest we ignore all subjective and emotional pleas from those within, and even from most of those without. Most of us now know all about the things that are clouding the view of those within the Local Church, having spent many years in the crucible of the Movement ourselves. It becomes a little trickier for those of us without, for we will always be facing the age-old mantra "well, do you have something better?"

What do we have to make an objective measurement? "You shall know them by their fruit". It's the old eye test. If somebody says they are spiritual, or that they have a way to be spiritual, then the ONLY thing that will prove them right or wrong is time. Witness Lee and his followers have had almost 50 years to prove that "eating and drinking" will produce a people that fulfill God's eternal purpose. Let's give it the old eye test, shall we.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:27 AM   #30
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You mistake me as being derisive and condescending.
Stupid me. How could I make a mistake like that? Of course you weren't being condescending when you called the discussion "little." You weren't being derisive when you called the discussion "nebulous and unfounded." Or dismissive when you stated that "There is no real discussion of reason for topics like this" Or that the discussion showed "a sign of bad teachings." What a moron I was to think that you were being derisive, condescending or dismissive. Clearly I misunderstood your true meaning. Probably you are way too smart to be comprehended by a dolt like myself. I notice that this happens to you frequently in discussions with other idiots like myself on this Forum. No doubt the fault lies in our stupidity and not in the words you actually type on the page.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:01 AM   #31
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I think bringing up the awareness reading these words and referring to it as our human spirit is a litmus test of sorts of what Lee claimed to be the purpose of God, that is, the mingling of God with man.

Because, if God's consciousness isn't being mingled with our consciousness (claimed as the human spirit) then is it even real?

What good is mingling if God's consciousness isn't clearly mingled with the consciousness that's reading these words at this moment?

So what is Lee's mingling? Is it Bible learning? Is it conferences and trainings? That's not what is assumed by the claims that mingling is accomplished by eating and drinking Jesus, by calling, and even pray-reading. That mingling seems to be so mysterious and mystical that it's too nebulous to be proved.

But consciousness, that's reading these words, as our human spirit, brings it all around to if mingling is actually real or not.

Because, I'll say it again, if God's consciousness is not being mingled with our consciousness what good is it? Is it even real, if not.

And wouldn't we know beyond a doubt if God's consciousness is mingled with the consciousness reading these words? Wouldn't it be obvious?
It seems to me that, if the spirit refers to our conscious experience, then we would know if God's consciousness were mingled with ours because there would be a change in our consciousness somehow. Our consciousness would somehow be qualitatively altered.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:08 AM   #32
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"eating and drinking Jesus" was supposed to make us spiritual, even turn us into "God-men". Well, after nearly a half century of eating and drinking, what has become of the dear saints in the Local Church movement? Have they become more like Jesus? Do they preach, teach and spread his Gospel? Have they become a help or hindrance to the coming of The Kingdom?

At this late date, I would suggest we ignore all subjective and emotional pleas from those within, and even from most of those without. Most of us now know all about the things that are clouding the view of those within the Local Church, having spent many years in the crucible of the Movement ourselves. It becomes a little trickier for those of us without, for we will always be facing the age-old mantra "well, do you have something better?"

What do we have to make an objective measurement? "You shall know them by their fruit". It's the old eye test. If somebody says they are spiritual, or that they have a way to be spiritual, then the ONLY thing that will prove them right or wrong is time. Witness Lee and his followers have had almost 50 years to prove that "eating and drinking" will produce a people that fulfill God's eternal purpose. Let's give it the old eye test, shall we.
Dave mentioned somewhere that one time in Detroit Ron Kangas had us call on the Lord together for a half hour. Zeek also remembers it. But I don't.

Now you figure if calling on the Lord produced mingling with the divine "something or other," 30 minutes of calling would have filled us all completely up.

But that 30 minutes passed into history, with no visible results; only a vague memory of that silly time -- from Ron Kangas no less.

The truth is we were all delusional, even Kangas. And Kangas is still delusional, or playing the part anyway, by now teaching the delusion.

And our discussion of consciousness exposes it. Cuz if God's consciousness mingled with our consciousness it'd be obvious. We would express all the fruits of the Spirit, or of God's consciousness (Spirit) entering into our consciousness (spirit).
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:18 AM   #33
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Here are a couple of OT verses where the term consciousness can be substituted for spirit without changing the meaning:

Genesis 45:27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the consciousness of Jacob their father revived:

Judges 15:19 So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his consciousness returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:14 PM   #34
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Stupid me. How could I make a mistake like that? Of course you weren't being condescending when you called the discussion "little." You weren't being derisive when you called the discussion "nebulous and unfounded." Or dismissive when you stated that "There is no real discussion of reason for topics like this" Or that the discussion showed "a sign of bad teachings." What a moron I was to think that you were being derisive, condescending or dismissive. Clearly I misunderstood your true meaning. Probably you are way too smart to be comprehended by a dolt like myself. I notice that this happens to you frequently in discussions with other idiots like myself on this Forum. No doubt the fault lies in our stupidity and not in the words you actually type on the page.
I will admit that the term "little" could be taken personally as some kind of insult. On the other hand, every one of these discussions is "little" in a sense. Nothing personal in that. It is less than all of what is being discussed here. I could have noted that it is somewhat private, although it is put in the public of this forum, but is now seen as not very welcoming to those who find the basic premise faulty.

And if we decide to redefine some words to mean something else, then you could say a lot of things. That is always true.

When I say "nebulous and unfounded," it was a reference to the basis in the only thing that we at least sort of agree on, and that is scripture. If you really didn't care whether it was reasonably founded (or attempt to build a case for how it is founded) in the scripture, or if you don't really agree on the validity of scripture, then we might as well start talking about pretty much anything. I didn't simply declare it to be unfounded. I was making a statement about what I had observed that gave it foundation. And that was nothing that I had seem presented. Pointing out what is to me obvious is not condescension. If you think I am wrong, show me how. Don't complain that I can't see it. It is a near relative of the ad hominem.

But I will rephrase for you. You have given nothing that I can see other than a premise built upon a what-if based on the redefinition of a few words. Yes, if you change the ground rules so that one words means something else, then you can arrive at something that is otherwise not achievable. But is the changed definition reasonable or acceptable? If you want to just presume it, then say so. Otherwise the redefinition itself is open to discussion, and if you provide no basis for the redefinition, then the characterization as "nebulous and unfounded" is not just a condescension. It is an accurate description of the assessment of the premises supplied.

Just as I said the previous post, I am providing my thoughts for consideration. Can you deal with them as reasons to rethink? Or must they be attacked based on your assessment of the way I was speaking to you?

Not much of a discussion if that is where you want to go with it.

I realize that Unto has sort of given a free-for-all space here. If you really intended this to be a light game of "what if," then I have absolutely nothing to say. If you want to "what-if" the color of the sky into lime green, then it is what it is — a game. If instead you want to have a semi-serious discussion about anything, you have to be ready to defend your premises. Not just put them out there and declare them valid. I don't see it. And if you want to have a serious discussion about where we could go if words just meant something else, and you don't want to discuss the basis for the underlying changes, then you can do that. But you need to state that clearly. Otherwise, the premises are subject to scrutiny. I find them nebulous and unfounded.

I offered to leave your thread alone. I'll make the offer one more time. If you don't want to discuss the foundations and like where it is going, just don't respond. I'll let it go.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:49 PM   #35
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It seems to me that, if the spirit refers to our conscious experience, then we would know if God's consciousness were mingled with ours because there would be a change in our consciousness somehow. Our consciousness would somehow be qualitatively altered.
Is this what it is said happens when we're born again? When that happens isn't our consciousness awaken to a new consciousness? To Jesus consciousness, or Christ consciousness? And don't many remark about how it changed them into a new person? They may not say their consciousness was changed, cuz they don't have or use that sort of lingo. But if they understood consciousness, or even thought of the consciousness reading these words, they would likly say something like that ... methinks. Isn't the new man a new consciousness?

I'm just askin?
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:10 PM   #36
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You have given nothing that I can see other than a premise built upon a what-if based on the redefinition of a few words.
"Redefinition" implies that there is a standard agreed upon definition. Watchman Nee and Witness Lee frequently used the word "spirit" but never defined as far as I am aware. Neither have you. Referring to the the etymological origin of the word as breath or wind does not provide a referent for the word and therefore is not an adequate definition. Watchman Nee did say, "But the Bible never mixes the soul with the spirit or considers the two as the same thing. In addition to being different terms, the soul and the spirit are actually two different substances; they are not the same." In using the word substance he seemed [Spiritual Man, The (3 volume set), Chapter 1, Section 1)} So Nee claims the spirit is a substance but I don't see where he defines it.

I have not only defined spirit, but defined it in a way that it can understood and used with confidence because the definition appeals to your first person awareness. It is no longer a matter of theory but central to personal experience.

So, instead of merely dumping skepticism on my hypothesis, please supply your definition of spirit so I can compare mine with yours and see how, from your perspective, I have "re-defined" it.

The Bible itself does not define spirit but it uses the term frequently so we can look at how the authors use the term in context and try to ascertain what they meant. That is what I have been doing with the result that in some instances, to me at least, it seems to make sense of verses that were previously opaque. For example the use of the word consciousness in place of spirit in the following verses demystifies them and makes them readily understandable as I claimed below:

Genesis 45:27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the consciousness of Jacob their father revived:

Judges 15:19 So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his consciousness returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:19 PM   #37
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Is this what it is said happens when we're born again? When that happens isn't our consciousness awaken to a new consciousness? To Jesus consciousness, or Christ consciousness? And don't many remark about how it changed them into a new person? They may not say their consciousness was changed, cuz they don't have or use that sort of lingo. But if they understood consciousness, or even thought of the consciousness reading these words, they would likly say something like that ... methinks. Isn't the new man a new consciousness?

I'm just askin?
Look to your own experience. Do you believe you were born again? If so, did something in your consciousness change? What, if anything would Jesus consciousness or Christ consciousness or God consciousness be like?
Paul claimed that Christ's consciousness was his own, when he said "Not I but Christ..."in Galatians 2:20. Likewise he said in I Corinthians 6:17 and I paraphrase "...he that is joined to the Lord is one consciousness."
This, I propose, is the revelation [or delusion] that the "I" is ultimately the same in all of us. The true "I", the experiencer that each of us are, is the "I Am." This is why we are enjoined by Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves--because in the deepest ontological sense our neighbor is ourselves. And this injunction by the recognition of consciousness by consciousness then gets extended to all conscious beings. We reverence life because it is us. The many are ultimately the One.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:34 PM   #38
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"eating and drinking Jesus" was supposed to make us spiritual, even turn us into "God-men". Well, after nearly a half century of eating and drinking, what has become of the dear saints in the Local Church movement? Have they become more like Jesus? Do they preach, teach and spread his Gospel? Have they become a help or hindrance to the coming of The Kingdom?
Let me present an alternative point of view. I definitely believe that "eating and drinking Jesus" does work real change in our soul by the renewing of our mind, and yes, one does become "more like Jesus." There are too many verses in the Old and New Testament to support this. That is why I hate to see these precious things degraded on the forum.

But what is happening with the leadership of the LC's is probably not the "real thing." What is often practiced is more like "vain babbling." The last video of LSM I have watched was the quarantine of Titus Chu. After going on about 2 hours, discussing serious items like clean bed sheets and the like, the moderator (Dan Towle?) asked everyone to stand and "call on the Lord 5 times."

What a farce that was! They would have been more "refreshed in their spirit" by taking a "7th inning stretch," and singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:02 PM   #39
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Let me present an alternative point of view.
Actually I didn't present a point of view, I asked a question:
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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
"eating and drinking Jesus" was supposed to make us spiritual, even turn us into "God-men". Well, after nearly a half century of eating and drinking, what has become of the dear saints in the Local Church movement? Have they become more like Jesus? Do they preach, teach and spread his Gospel? Have they become a help or hindrance to the coming of The Kingdom?
I would submit that any teachings or practices which purport to make us more spiritual, much less fulfill God's eternal purpose, should bare some signs of significant fruit among those who imbibe said teachings and practice said practices. "The proof is in the pudding!" The Local Church of Witness Lee is not a new, unobserved movement anymore. It has a history, it has a track record and there is observable fruit....and the resultant fruit is not a pretty sight to behold. Furthermore, the resultant fruit has been observable for many years (even decades).

The life and times of the founder of the Local Church movement (Witness Lee, who pretty much invented/established 99% of the teachings and practices) show forth the rotten fruit, his most closest and rabid followers show forth the rotten fruit, and by extension, the dear rank and file members of the Local Church are simply stuck with the leftovers.

A number of people on this forum have testified of getting spiritual nourishment and help from some of the practices in the Local Church (mainly calling on the Lord and pray-reading), and I wouldn't take anything away from anybody or dispute that they may have received nourishment and help from these practices. However, I am making a larger point about what kind of movement has been produced by those who teach and practice such things.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:57 PM   #40
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Let me present an alternative point of view. I definitely believe that "eating and drinking Jesus" does work real change in our soul by the renewing of our mind, and yes, one does become "more like Jesus." There are too many verses in the Old and New Testament to support this. That is why I hate to see these precious things degraded on the forum.

But what is happening with the leadership of the LC's is probably not the "real thing." What is often practiced is more like "vain babbling." The last video of LSM I have watched was the quarantine of Titus Chu. After going on about 2 hours, discussing serious items like clean bed sheets and the like, the moderator (Dan Towle?) asked everyone to stand and "call on the Lord 5 times."

What a farce that was! They would have been more "refreshed in their spirit" by taking a "7th inning stretch," and singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
I agree with you Ohio but with a qualification, i.e. that for "eating and drinking"--which is a metaphor for a spiritual act that cannot be described without metaphors, in order to be a spiritual phenomenon, must be a conscious phenomenon. That, of course, is in keeping with my proposition of this thread that spirit=consciousness. As such "eating and drinking" does not have to involve chanting or praying out loud since consciousness is not a physical act. Of course, eating or drinking the divine doesn't preclude verbalizing aloud either, as one may consciously observe oneself doing that and thus immerse the physical act in consciousness as it were. John the Evangelist understood all this. That is why the abomination that the metaphor is to the carnal [animal] mind--the figure [shibboleth] of cannibal consumption of the Savior was a kind or trap for exposing the carnality of the objector. For that matter, what is baptism, but the immersion of the body in God consciousness? Once you see the connection of the sacred symbols to your own conscious experience, they come alive.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:00 PM   #41
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I swear, while in the local church, I ate and drank enough Jesus that I should be fat, stuffed, and bloated, with God. It was gluttony, surely. And look how I turned out. Am I like Jesus?

I think when it comes to theosis the Eastern Orthodox take the cake. And they don't go around insistently calling, nor praying over words of the Bible, like we did in the LC.

I thought we all were made in the image of God already. If we have to call and pray-read all the time then it surely means we're lacking of God, and God must require repeated calling, because He's very far away.

And of course I only have limited observation of ex-Jesus eaters, so I can't speak universally, but those I know weren't transformed into the image of Christ, from all their Jesus eating, LC style.

And I know two brothers that have been eating and drinking Jesus for decades in the LC, that haven't turned out like Jesus. Not unless alcoholism, and homosexuality, is the fruit of eating Jesus ... which I doubt.

Maybe bro Ohio has witnessed success stories. Great. I'm glad it worked for some. We need more Jesus like people. Not less.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:56 AM   #42
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I swear, while in the local church, I ate and drank enough Jesus that I should be fat, stuffed, and bloated, with God...
Going through the motions of prayer-reading without awareness is an empty ritual like the ones we denigrated the Roman Catholics for practicing. Jesus drank wine, hung out with publicans and sinners and never uttered a word against homosexuals that I know of. Seemed like he was more interested in healing broken people than judging them. What's your idea of a success story? Is it more than a composite of your cultural influences?
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:51 AM   #43
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Actually I didn't present a point of view, I asked a question:
"eating and drinking Jesus" was supposed to make us spiritual, even turn us into "God-men". Well, after nearly a half century of eating and drinking, what has become of the dear saints in the Local Church movement? Have they become more like Jesus? Do they preach, teach and spread his Gospel? Have they become a help or hindrance to the coming of The Kingdom?
My alternative point of view ANSWERED you, but you were not listening.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:36 AM   #44
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My alternative point of view ANSWERED you, but you were not listening.
Ok, peace bro. I'll still repeat what I said in the very same post. Might be getting a little off topic for you to address this, but if you want you can have the last word on my "larger point":

Quote:
A number of people on this forum have testified of getting spiritual nourishment and help from some of the practices in the Local Church (mainly calling on the Lord and pray-reading), and I wouldn't take anything away from anybody or dispute that they may have received nourishment and help from these practices. However, I am making a larger point about what kind of movement has been produced by those who teach and practice such things.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:02 AM   #45
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Let me present an alternative point of view. I definitely believe that "eating and drinking Jesus" does work real change in our soul by the renewing of our mind, and yes, one does become "more like Jesus." There are too many verses in the Old and New Testament to support this. That is why I hate to see these precious things degraded on the forum.

But what is happening with the leadership of the LC's is probably not the "real thing." What is often practiced is more like "vain babbling." The last video of LSM I have watched was the quarantine of Titus Chu. After going on about 2 hours, discussing serious items like clean bed sheets and the like, the moderator (Dan Towle?) asked everyone to stand and "call on the Lord 5 times."

What a farce that was! They would have been more "refreshed in their spirit" by taking a "7th inning stretch," and singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
"Eating and Drinking Jesus" may be beneficial for some but my concern is that the repetition is problematic in that it makes people susceptible to suggestions which was what appears to have happened in the LC. I doubt that everyone would have given themselves over to WL and his teachings in such a way if they hadn't been "Eating and Drinking Jesus" repetitively.

Was anyone allowed to discuss or question his teachings in any meaningful way? From what I recall, people just sat mesmerized when he spoke or mesmerized while reading or viewing the Life Studies. Perpetual shouting in meetings and pressure to shout "Oh Lord Jesus" or repeating words in the Bible. Was there really any studying of the Bible or just the studying of WLs thoughts about the Bible? People were pray-reading his Life Studies at one point. If you would happen to disagree you might be verbally flogged in a meeting.

"Eating and Drinking Jesus" has a bad connotation from the LC no matter how it is portrayed in the Bible. I associate it more with repetitive chanting. It ties in with this thread of consciousness or the lack there of. Maybe defining what is meant from your perspective by "Eating and Drinking Jesus" with a couple supporting NT verses would help.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:11 PM   #46
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"Eating and Drinking Jesus" may be beneficial for some but my concern is that the repetition is problematic in that it makes people susceptible to suggestions which was what appears to have happened in the LC. I doubt that everyone would have given themselves over to WL and his teachings in such a way if they hadn't been "Eating and Drinking Jesus" repetitively.

Was anyone allowed to discuss or question his teachings in any meaningful way? From what I recall, people just sat mesmerized when he spoke or mesmerized while reading or viewing the Life Studies. Perpetual shouting in meetings and pressure to shout "Oh Lord Jesus" or repeating words in the Bible. Was there really any studying of the Bible or just the studying of WLs thoughts about the Bible? People were pray-reading his Life Studies at one point. If you would happen to disagree you might be verbally flogged in a meeting.

"Eating and Drinking Jesus" has a bad connotation from the LC no matter how it is portrayed in the Bible. I associate it more with repetitive chanting. It ties in with this thread of consciousness or the lack there of. Maybe defining what is meant from your perspective by "Eating and Drinking Jesus" with a couple supporting NT verses would help.
Your concerns of repetition, gullibility, absence of thoughtfulness, mindless shoutings, vain babblings, chanting, and the like prove that what you and others practiced in the LC's was NOT "Eating and Drinking Jesus."

The Biblical practice of meditation or musing on the word of God is closer to the real thing, but eating and drinking Jesus (John 6) or drinking the Spirit (I Cor 12) are by faith and are spiritual. If it is something that can be mimicked or performed, then it is by definition worthless. Think about the Pharisees standing on the corner making long prayers -- Jesus called that hypocrisy.

Eventually, the LC's only duplicated the superstitions that have surrounded the Lord's Table for centuries. They made something spiritual into something mechanical, physical, fleshly, and superstitious. That's the real tragedy.

In the GLA we became tired of all the "exercise your spirit" nonsense while watching the constant hypocrisy emanating from headquarters. One brother noted that we should be "exercising our conscience" unto godliness, since our conscience was the leading part of our spirit. Imagine that -- brothers noting that headquarters lacked a conscience. Just a brief cursory probe into their quarantines proved that.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:26 PM   #47
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A number of people on this forum have testified of getting spiritual nourishment and help from some of the practices in the Local Church (mainly calling on the Lord and pray-reading), and I wouldn't take anything away from anybody or dispute that they may have received nourishment and help from these practices. However, I am making a larger point about what kind of movement has been produced by those who teach and practice such things?
My observation is that those who have practiced the real thing have left the Recovery, either voluntarily or by quarantine, and those who have remained are mostly practicing formal liturgies. Pray-reading and calling on the Lord in the LC are little different than genuflecting and making the sign of the cross in the Catholic church. Even Apostle Paul saw this deterioration in the early church, warning Timothy in his final letter, and spoke of "calling on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2.22)

To me your question is misdirected and wrong. Wrong questions can never be answered accurately. The real question is what has caused the LC movement to become what it is? The answer to that is not some Biblical matter of faith.

Like I have said before, every single positive item of the Bible can be abused, misused, or used for the wrong purposes. That does not make the item wrong or the Bible wrong. It is selfish, fleshly, hypocritical leaders who are wrong.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:45 PM   #48
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Please bear with me, dear brothers. As Dave said recently, I'm thinking above my own pay-grade on this one. It's important to recognize that. I incautiously plunged right into the deep water on post #17. To get to the big "S" Spirit requires a leap. But, before we get into that, let's back track.The first step this approach is to recognize that we are talking about our own first person consciousness. This is not a hypothetical entity. This is the "I" in the proposition "I think therefore I am." That "I" is the subject who is conscious. My first proposition is that the "I" the subject that is at the center of my consciousness and presumably yours is the spirit. The human spirit within you is a not an "it" that is yours. It is you. When we sought the spirit, we were what we sought. The body, soul, and spirit paradigm still works. Consciousness in our everyday waking state is embodied. And the "I" the experiencing subject, the spirit experiences the emotions, the thoughts and the will of the soul. But, the inner I is not the body nor the emotions, nor the thoughts nor nor the will.

The first step then, is to see that the spirit is the true I, the observing, ego, the experiencing subject--you.
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:34 AM   #49
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I brought this over from the The Lexicon — "Exercised in Your Spirit" thread by OBW. There's no point in taking that thread off topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeek
The psychological I was referring to is that which is translated to as the natural man in I Corinthians 2:14. In Greek the words are ψυχικος ανθρωπος or psychological man as opposed to the spiritual man.
I wanted to bring this verse into our discussion of bro Zeek's (OP) claim that awareness is our human spirit.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Not knowing Greek, I broke this verse down using eSword and Strong's. That compilation is below, at the bottom of this post, for reference.

Zeek is right, "the natural man" reference in the verse is psuchikos, or in modern terms, psychology. So the verse says "But the psychological man receives not the things of the Spirit of God."

Strong's places the psychological man between the "higher or renovated nature," and "the lower or bestial nature."

So the verse is speaking of the familiar tripartite man: The body, soul, and spirit.

I think it's obvious to anybody that has taken notice of the awareness reading theses words that, consciousness is involved in all three.

So what is this consciousness? Is it above the spirit (human)? I don't think so. I think, like Zeek, that our spirit is the consciousness reading these words. And it's closely involved in all three; the body to the cellular level and below, the natural man and its psychology, and of course, the spirit, by the conscience, and intuition, and more.

But if consciousness is our human spirit it means there's no clear-cut demarcations between the compartments of body, soul, and spirit. Because, this consciousness is completely involved in all three. Consciousness is involved when we're carnal, and consciousness is involved when we are Spiritual, and all in between.

Consciousness gives my human spirit substance, it puts flesh on it, so to speak.

Therefore bro Zeek is onto something.

-------------------------------------------------
Reference:

1Co 2:14 ButG1161 the naturalG5591 manG444 receivethG1209 notG3756 the thingsG3588 of theG3588 SpiritG4151 of God:G2316 forG1063 they areG2076 foolishnessG3472 unto him:G846 neitherG2532 G3756 canG1410 he knowG1097 them, becauseG3754 they are spirituallyG4153 discerned.G350


From Strong's:
G5591
psuchikos
psoo-khee-kos'
From G5590; sensitive that is, animate (in distinction on the one hand from G4152, which is the higher or renovated nature; and on the other from G5446, which is the lower or bestial nature): - natural, sensual.
Total KJV occurrences: 6

G5590
ψυχή
psuchē
psoo-khay'
From G5594; breath, that is, (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from G4151, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from G2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew [H5315], [H7307] and [H2416]: - heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.
Total KJV occurrences: 104

G4152
πνευματικός
pneumatikos
phyoo-mat-ik-os'
From G4151; non-carnal, that is, (humanly) ethereal (as opposed to gross), or (daemoniacally) a spirit (concretely), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate, religious: - spiritual. Compare G5591.
Total KJV occurrences: 26

G5446
φυσικός
phusikos
foo-see-kos'
From G5449; “physical”, that is, (by implication) instinctive: - natural. Compare G5591.
Total KJV occurrences: 3
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:44 PM   #50
zeek
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Default Re: God's eternal purpose.

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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I brought this over from the The Lexicon — "Exercised in Your Spirit" thread by OBW. There's no point in taking that thread off topic.

I wanted to bring this verse into our discussion of bro Zeek's (OP) claim that awareness is our human spirit.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Not knowing Greek, I broke this verse down using eSword and Strong's. That compilation is below, at the bottom of this post, for reference.

Zeek is right, "the natural man" reference in the verse is psuchikos, or in modern terms, psychology. So the verse says "But the psychological man receives not the things of the Spirit of God."

Strong's places the psychological man between the "higher or renovated nature," and "the lower or bestial nature."

So the verse is speaking of the familiar tripartite man: The body, soul, and spirit.

I think it's obvious to anybody that has taken notice of the awareness reading theses words that, consciousness is involved in all three.

So what is this consciousness? Is it above the spirit (human)? I don't think so. I think, like Zeek, that our spirit is the consciousness reading these words. And it's closely involved in all three; the body to the cellular level and below, the natural man and its psychology, and of course, the spirit, by the conscience, and intuition, and more.

But if consciousness is our human spirit it means there's no clear-cut demarcations between the compartments of body, soul, and spirit. Because, this consciousness is completely involved in all three. Consciousness is involved when we're carnal, and consciousness is involved when we are Spiritual, and all in between.

Consciousness gives my human spirit substance, it puts flesh on it, so to speak.

Therefore bro Zeek is onto something.
An argument that often follows from I Cor 2:14 is that if someone thinks your spirituality is foolish, it's because they are too natural or psychological to "get it." Of course, it is possible that they don't "get it" because it IS foolish. Be that as it may, the verse raises the question: if consciousness is spirit, what does it mean to exist psychologically and not spiritually?
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:15 PM   #51
zeek
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Default Re: God's eternal purpose.

Quote:
What is the spirit? That which makes us conscious of God and relates us to God is the spirit. What is the soul? It is that which relates us to ourselves and gives us self-consciousness. What is the body? It causes us to be related to the world. C. I. Scofield, in his reference Bible, explains that the spirit gives God consciousness, the soul self-consciousness, the body world-consciousness. Horse and ox are not conscious of God because they have no spirit. They are only conscious of their own beings. The body causes us to sense the world-such as our seeing the things of the world, our feeling hot or cold, and so forth. [Chapter 1 --The Latent Power of the Soul by Watchman Nee]
This passage supports the OP thesis by making God consciousness the function of the spirit. However, the proposition that the soul "relates us to ourselves and gives us self consciousness" doesn't tell us who "us" is. So, if you go though the whole passage, you have parts with functions and no center. If you look at the three circle diagram you see the spirit at the center. But, here the center is reduced to a function. The spirit is an "it" who is conscious of God but not of itself. It is as if, in the whole structure spirit, soul, and body, the lights [consciousness at three levels] are on but nobody is at home.
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