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i like your point, though it's stated as an absolute here.
you can step in the same river twice, but the water will not be the same.
i don't think it's necessary to believe in reincarnation, Lily, it's just another mansion in the great house, certainly not worth arguing about, lol!
so little is known about so much of Jesus' life, and the fact that some book in the bible says we die once doesn't remotely cut it as basis for decision, imo.
not that you asked, but i base my comprehension on the fact that some are so precociously talented at something that it seems impossible to me that they have advanced to that level in one life, that there is an enormous sense of familiarity and recognition with some people that simply does not jive with the short amount of time knowing them, and the fact that i see it clearly that for a god whose ultimate characteristic is compassion, reincarnation puts eternity in service to spiritual progress, as opposed to submitting it to circumscription by our childish notions of linear time. redemption by sell/by date, lol.
i do not judge the individuals, but the institution which subscribes to such blatantly foolish attitudes has lost any respect or credibility by its inability to be humble, and candidly and transparently eschew temporal power, something Jesus and Francis had no difficulty with, because they had values grounded in compassion.
a god of love who would design a system where souls are cast into eternal hellfire is the acme of oxymorons, yet the church even in this day and age, stubbornly clings to to such archaic idiocy as a matter of course.
the greatest sin is spiritual pride, and the vatican is the poster child for this.
how many centuries did it take for them to climb off their high horse and apologise for ruining great mens' lives, such as giordano bruno, or galileo?
i have never seen such a calcified, sclerotic, patently absurd set of beliefs gathered into one basket in nigh 60 years of life, and fully don't expect to again.
of all the people furthest from Jesus' teachings, none have gained that dubious prize more than those who profess to follow him, and i have met his spirit in many who are content in other religions.
the mere idea that these overdressed clowns hold any arcane truths with their track record demands faith alright, but it's not a faith that i can feel much respect for.
the good news is that even flawed faiths can sometimes improve human behaviour.
reincarnation doesn't explain one very important mystery, that is: if god is so benign, why didn't s/he just give us the complacency of cows, set us down in a meadow and quit right there?
so there goes any illusion that the Creator is purely benign in our human terms, ie, s/he may be in the long term, but to get us going, reflects aspects that are anything but.
as a human i can rail and curse a fate that kills thousands of children a day from starvation, and cannot get my head around an idea of an omnipotent god that would permit such wastage, yet in moments of more lucidity i realise that my human limitations might not yet permit me to understand a divine logic that enabled that, and struggle to see through the apparent perversity of injustice. reincarnation may explain some of the 'how' but it doesn't help deal with 'why'.
so i have come to see the Creator as ultimate love and ultimate darkness, and we pilgrims as fumbling lovers, lost sheep, who are trying to find a thin path to wholeness and fulfillment in the dark, surrounded by croc swamps full of false prophets and cavilling charlatans.
if a creator made a character school out of existence, that would give a moral to this fable, and yet that's too linear an assumption for existence in the multidimensional plethora of phenomena that is our floating home, on the lake of infinite possibility.
i believe the Great Novelist has a moral arc to the longterm plot, and character is built, more than given, but i never expect certainty about anything to last, as we are all spiralling in a vortex of continual change.
and since we just passed the frontier of paradox, i should add that the only thing i am certain of is there are no certainties, the only absolute is that there are no absolutes!
thanks for sharing, it's always a pleasure to discuss such matters with someone who reasons with grace...
one request...could you perhaps tell me more about what you feel and believe, and not bother trying to speak for others, who may not be present at this discussion?
'christians believe' is so vague, and a perception, possibly projected. what makes you feel capable to claim that you know that, might i ask?
many roads lead up the mountain, but they all meet at the top. for christians to claim exclusivity of any trailhead merely shows ignorance and lack of respect for all the great sages who have lived and taught us through the ages, of whom Jesus was but one of many more, though the one who lived sacrifice the most graphically, as was befitting during the age of pisces, era of union through surrender.
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
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