Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

I understand that you have faith. It is not carved in stone, and you know what kind of faith, or religion for that matter you despise of: Christianity as represented by the institution of the Catholic Church.

You remind me of someone: me. I grew up with brothers in a small town in Germany where we lived in a residential area. Our home was made to last; we had a garden and family in neighbouring villages; our life was quiet and unexciting. I dreamed of a more exciting life abroad but when our first child was born, I felt most comfortable imagining living somewhere quiet and peaceful with lots of green, and with every child, this way of life appeared more appropriate and justified...

When you say,

the only thing i am certain of is there are no certainties, the only absolute is that there are no absolutes!

Your are serious when you use this paradox. You never ceased to think in absolute terms.

You say,

i don't think it's necessary to believe in reincarnation, Lily, it's just another mansion in the great house

This is what you think. It is your personal opinion but what do you base your believe upon? How would you know that reincarnation IS just another mansion in the great house?

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,

You speak of a fact. Some are amazingly talented. I agree. Therefore, it seems impossible to you that they got there in one life. But then, how much do you know about Creation? And why would it not jive with the short amount of time knowing them? What do you, what do we know about time that troubles us so much? What is a "short amount of time" given eternity? What is a "short amount of time"? How can you, can I, can we judge what that is? Sometimes it passes quickly, sometimes so slowly. We neither created space nor time. How would we be able to judge what can be possible in time for the one who set it?

and the fact that i see it clearly that for a god whose ultimate characteristic is compassion,

It is a Fact that You see it clearly that... ?

God's ultimate characteristic is compassion, well, yes but is it really unconditional compassion? "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..." - These words speak of compassion but we are also free to choose, and He won't forever bother those who deny His existence. Can God pour his compassion unto those who don't want Him?

reincarnation puts eternity in service to spiritual progress, as opposed to submitting it to circumscription by our childish notions of linear time.

What are your words here based upon? What's your reference? Your own thinking? Do you believe this because You want to believe this? Why should this be true? "Reincarnation putting eternity in service to spiritual progress" - what for? What do we understand of spiritual progress - except our own, maybe?

i do not judge the individuals, but the institution ... its inability to be humble

Criticism of the Catholic Church is often justified. But then, how would you define "humble"? Humility begins with putting God first. God who? Which God are we supposed to put first? There are so many Earthlings, religions and differing perceptions of who God is. Who is Your God? Is He the God of compassion and not of judgment, the God of love but why is there suffering? May I search Him at the risk of either not finding Him or of finding disagreement with others who claim to know Him better or differently or who may deny His existence?

candidly and transparently eschew temporal power, something Jesus and Francis had no difficulty with, because they had values grounded in compassion.

Were Jesus' values "grounded in compassion" or was compassion rather the fruit of God's love for us? Isn't compassion rather grounded in our loving Father?

a god of love who would design a system where souls are cast into eternal hellfire

This God of Love is strict and absolute. The "hellfire" is the experience of being separated from God. We are mostly separated from God by our own free will.
Why do we have this free will? Where do we come from? - These are the great mysteries of our lives. I read the "Book of Enoch" not too long ago. Such early texts show that there exists more between heaven and Earth than what we can see when we look up into the sky.

the greatest sin is spiritual pride

IS that the "greatest sin"? according to what definition?

i have met his spirit in many who are content in other religions.

You have "met his spirit". How can this be possible? Jesus says he's the ONE way and there is NO OTHER. He says, he is THE DOOR. How can this spirit reign in anyone who is content in other religions? I don't deny that there are nice people everywhere but they cannot have "his spirit" in other religions.

god is so benign, why

a fate that kills thousands of children a day from starvation

God's ways are Higher than our limited ways. Yes, ask, "Why?" and acknowledge that you cannot read God's mind. If you could, he would not be God, and we could not be His children. Children often cannot get their minds around their parents' "no" or around chores that are expected of them. ... That's normal.

, 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.

You have just spoken of "divine logic" and your human limitations, and there you go again, speaking of the "apparent" "perversitiy" of "injustice".  - `Apparent' in our limited eyesight, in our narrow human understanding. We see the Here and are blinded, unable to look beyond and through our human manifestation. `Perversity' - still rebelling against God's Greatness; `injustice' - can we really measure what is just and what is not?

i have come to see the Creator as ultimate love and ultimate darkness

There's ultimate darkness in His absence. His existence is the source of ultimate light that conditions the darkness where he is not.

existence in the multidimensional plethora of phenomena that is our floating home, on the lake of infinite possibility.

You sound like a god - in a floating multidimensional home of infinite possibilities. Is that who we are and how and where we live?


i never expect certainty about anything to last, as we are all spiralling in a vortex of continual change.

You don't expect certainty but seem to be so sure about all our spiraling in that vortex of continual change...


WHAT DO I BELIEVE? I believe that it is such a relief and such a gift that we do not have to create in our minds a God that will suit us. I am grateful that He is a living God and a spiritual reality. I am glad that His ways are higher than mine, that I can trust Him unconditionally and infinitely.

`Christians believe' is very vague, that's right. I should have said, "Those who sincerely follow the example of Jesus Christ."

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,

No. Jesus taught exclusivity to his disciples and all of us. His absoluteness is not to be mistaken for ignorance or lack of respect for other sages. Truth that is absolute is always exclusive. The ultimate power lies in this Truth, not in the Catholic Church or other structures, and how can you reproach to God(`s Son) that he'd lack respect for `other sages'. Someone who claims to be God's Son is not just one among others.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 06:25:29 PM EST
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