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Offlinestart25
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Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body
    #2032020 - 10/22/03 12:25 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

I was reading about St. Jerome and the way the early Christian sects viewed the body. Unlike the modern (or perhaps even Christian perspective from the last millennium) Christian evangelists that preach that gratifying the body through pleasure is a mortal sin that god will eternally damn you for, these early Christian saints seemed to deny the body in order to get closer to God and the spiritual realms. They never say that those that have sex are sinners and will be damned forever, rather, they are saying that the body is a dense object of the physical world that weighs our spirit/soul down and we must starve this body of carnal pleasure so that we will be more of spirit. Once we are more of spirit we will understand more of the non-physical, dense (perhaps even fake) world.

This makes so much more sense- if guys like the 600 pound glutton Jerry Falwell lived by this standard and came on the air and preached this maybe then many people would be more receptive to the Christian message.

Now some questions:

These early Saints, Jerome in particular, wanted to starve their bodies, make them weak and avoid companionship. I think Jerome wandered around the desert, and then when he became famous, tried to go even deeper into the desert to avoid people.

My question is

1) Is companionship gratifying to the body, because I find it gratifying to my soul or mental state- whenever I have a great conversation with someone, or a pleasant interaction, I always walk away with an ecstatic/welcoming/free state of mind.

2). Introspection is very important, I realize that if I didn't spend the last few years completely isolated from people I wouldn't have reached the level understanding and empathy that I have today. So do solitary introspection and companionship each have avenues of spiritual freedom? Must one choose between these two paths? Is there a better path, or are they two different life lessons assuming you live more then once. I?m assuming according to Christians, some are destined for one or the other and you must live that path true to God and accept that path.

3) Is music gratifying to the body or the soul. Christians always seemed to be against a lot of music (or maybe that?s a misconception I have, correct me- are they just against certain types of music?). I personally believe that since everything is a vibrational frequency, and music is just a frequency, then music?s frequencies please our mind. But is the mind off the body? Does the soul have a frequency, is that what music touches or gratifies?

4) I?m starting to get mixed up between the spirit and soul. Is the spirit of the soul like Plato said, or does Christianity look at the Spirit as an astral incarnation, and the soul of a never-ending consciousness.

5) Are the thoughts we think attrributed to our soul or our 3d earth body. IS the mind of the soul? If the soul and mind were different then wouldn't mind control be impossible, because the soul is in ultimate control and cannot be messed with- or can it?

I realize that some of these answers will be of opinion, but I?m curious to all opinions of all faiths, and especially those that are knowledgeable about Christianity and the early meaning of Christianity. I know that the early Christians wanted to live just as Christ did, but these Saints seem to take it to an higher extreme of isolation and denial of the body.


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Offlinecaterpillar
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: start25]
    #2032199 - 10/22/03 01:41 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Then there's the pineal gland.


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"Who are you?"


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InvisibleJellric
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: start25]
    #2032304 - 10/22/03 02:12 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

So do solitary introspection and companionship each have avenues of spiritual freedom? Must one choose between these two paths? Is there a better path, or are they two different life lessons assuming you live more then once. I?m assuming according to Christians, some are destined for one or the other and you must live that path true to God and accept that path.





Whenever you start asking either/or questions you are into the realm of duality and there's where your red flags went up. Either/or is a false choice, my friend, there are areas in between, and a good balance is needed. Where that balance lies, only you can answer that question for yourself.

If you are relying heavily upon the Bible at this time, I would suggest you focus on passages that talk about the Kingdom of Heaven is Within. Once you hook up with That, you will have access to a never-ending stream of knowledge limited only by your own understanding.

Jesus never meant to start a religion, he only wanted people to connect to the God within themselves. Humans have diluted/perverted his original message of purity to their own ends.



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I AM what Willis was talkin' bout.


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: Jellric]
    #2032532 - 10/22/03 03:24 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Early Christians were against instrumental music. I don't recall why, but if you're interested, I can look it up. I think it had something to do with the coice being given by God himself, and instruments being created by man.


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It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: start25]
    #2032934 - 10/22/03 05:27 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Firstly, the Western or Roman Catholic theology, off of which the Protestants derived via the Augustinian monk Martin Luther have a VERY different take on our Anthropology. Plato influenced the pagan Neoplatonist Plotinus, whose "Flight of the Alone to the Alone" philosophy greatly influenced the Roman Church. There is a 'Fugs' song, if you can call it that, called 'Tuli [Kupferberg] Visited by the Ghost of Plotinus.' This is 3 seconds long, and a voice [Plotinus's] says: "I'm in this for the sex myself." which is a goof of course, because Plotinus believed that the higher mind needed to flee the physical body and the appetative soul. In Eastern Orthodox theology, the higher mind is called 'Nous,' and it is the spiritual aspect of our being that connects with the Holy Spirit of GOD. Priests can marry in the Orthodox Church, whereas being 'eunuchs for the Kingdom of God' is the philosophy of the Catholic priesthood, if that helps your question on companionship. BTW, Martin Luther wrote about the joys of 'going unto his wife' as a great stress-reliever. Orthodox adhere to a tripartite human being: body-soul-spirit, all of which must work in harmony. Churches are domed and spherical rather than spired and reaching upwards and away from the Earth and Earthiness ('We have this Treasure in earthern vessels').

Solitary prayer - contemplative prayer (called meditation in the East) is VERY important. However, as C.G. Jung wisely noted, and as The Gospel of Mary Magdalene makes clear, becoming a whole person (Jung's Individuation process) requires a Hierosgamos - a Conjunction of Sun and Moon, Male and Female. It is doubtful if one can unite these elements within one's own being, without companionship. This would be the equivalent of the Eastern Tantric Yogi combining the Kundalini-Shakti with Shiva to create the Sacred Union in their tradition. Even Tantra enjoins a partner in sexual techniques aimed at True Union - Sacred Marriage of Opposites - Holy Matrimony.

Clearly some vibes are uplifting (listen to some of J.S. Bach's sacred music), or to some Ravi Shankar ragas, or Tibetan Buddhist chants. Other music brings you down - even to demonic levels. I don't consider Rap to be music, except in the most primitive tribal drumming rhythm sense, but much of the accompanying words of violence are just demonic in import. So are the Rock songs that have encouraged suicide, for example, and act as vehicles of encouragement for clinically depressed kids.

Soul (psyche/anima) and Spirit (pnema/animus) in the Greek and Latin, are different aspects of our being. As I said, Eastern and Western anthropology/theology differ and I have become convinced of a psychological superiority to Eastern Orthodox Christian theology. It is far more applicable to Entheogenic use. In fact, pre-Christian Greek religion has a great deal to do with both mushrooms (ever see the frieze of Demeter and Persephone holding a mushroom? They were the goddesses in the Eleusinian Mystery religion) and Lysergic Acid (the Kykeon at Eleusis was probably ergot-laden). The soul or psyche involves our life of perception (through the physical instruments of sense) and all other facets of mental life: thinking, memory, emotions, imaginal vision, imagination, etc. The Spirit is sometimes the 'Nous,' or 'Mind' that interfaces with the two Hypostases of GOD (Son/Logos and Holy Spirit). This aspect is our Transcendental nature and the 'image and likeness of GOD' that the Bible speaks of. Our spirit can receive communication via intuition, dreams, moral imperatives, conscience, and compassion through this aspect. The Orthodox speak of GOD's "Uncreated Energies" or "Virtues" which, if we are open to such influence, creates the process of Theosis, in which we are transformed into Christ. Aldous Huxley called our psyche "amphibious," by which he meant that it can go the way of mere mammalian (Psychophysical) existence, or it can go the Way of the Spirit (Psychospiritual). The former path terminates in death of the mind-body, the latter terminates in the transcendence of the mind-body both in this life and continuing into the next, since we have ceased to identify with our mind-body only, but identify with Spirit which continues.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #2033247 - 10/22/03 06:52 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Good post Markos. :thumbup:

I find Music to be a very essential part of my spirituality. Inayah Khan  said that not only does Music connect man to man, but connects man to God (in zikr I'm guessing). I don't tell that many people, in fact I don't think I've told anyone personally, that my 'zikr toy' (sort of a play on words from trip toy) is a little known Canadian alternative group called Matthew Good Band. This is always followed by very peaceful 'oneness' images/hallucinations in my head of the earth, humanity, art, Jesus, etc. while I'm listening to some very emotional, spiritually moving songs.   


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Offlinestart25
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #2033345 - 10/22/03 07:16 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

can you clarify the difference between spirit and soul in layman's terms.

"The Spirit is sometimes the 'Nous,' or 'Mind' that interfaces with the two Hypostases of GOD (Son/Logos and Holy Spirit)."

I don't understand that line at all. And the next line made it seem like the spirit is the body.

also is it possible to take your soul out of existence if you don't want to go on? I forgot to ask that in my original post- not so much related to christianity, but i meant to throw it in there.

certain music brings out demons you said. That makes sense, but solely because of the lyrics or are there certain melodies that are demonic. There is a certain variation of chords that i really connect with- like the F/C/G, G/D/A and C/G/D and a few others- and they really touch me in some grateful dead songs like Candyman, I know you rider, black throated wind, Morning Dew- when i listen to them it feels like I'm wallowing in my own pity, but it feels good. Would those be considered demonic?


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: start25]
    #2033441 - 10/22/03 07:46 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

It basically means spirit/consciousness is the inner-reason of one's self that gets in touch with God, and evidently, yourself. Something along the lines of blissfully being aware of the nature of your true self.


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Offlinestart25
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: Zahid]
    #2033463 - 10/22/03 07:51 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

so the spirit is only present when you are alive on earth.


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: start25]
    #2033502 - 10/22/03 08:02 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Uh no... like Markos said, Spirit transcends Body & Mind and thus continues.. "eternal life" is to identify with the Spirit of God, and to become submerged in the only reality of Spirit, God. To identify with body and mind is to intentionally not fathom eternal life at all.


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InvisibleTODAY
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: Zahid]
    #2033724 - 10/22/03 09:16 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

companionship makes me feel WAY better than being alone.  what do christians say about wanking it, it sure makes my mind feel better!  and i like to work out at the gym, is that wrong to christians?  why worry about starving the body to reach spiritual knowledge when you can eat shrooms with the same effect?

-those christians, :shake:...have some fun people!! 


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ca'rouse (k-rouz)
intr.v.
To engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking.


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: TODAY]
    #2033746 - 10/22/03 09:23 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

You would have better luck asking those questions to a Christian.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: TODAY]
    #2034018 - 10/22/03 10:34 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

You have a ridiculous stereotype in mind - a caricature of a mature Christian. Not some TV burlesque of Christianity ("Jay-y-y-sus Hallelujah!!!"), but a strong, quiet, intelligent man or woman who knows Scripture, theology of their denomination, has a full prayer life, including being mindful of the Presence of GOD, and who experiences the life of everyday miracles and synchronicities. Fun?! Fun doesn't even come close to regular Realizations about Reality. Fun doesn't mean anything when Realizations spill over into an Ecstatic Moment (Contemplative Prayer). Fun is child's play, a mere consolation for the embodied ego. An awareness concerned with mere fun isn't even suited for the fulfillments of a spiritual person who is suspended in a Living Ocean of Awareness. EVERYTHING in that person's existence is so much MORE, and so much more to be Thankful for (Prayer of Thanksgiving) : Sex, food, kindness from others, physical movement - dance, Yoga, exercise, breathing itself - a joy. I have been a non-Christian and I have been a Christian - now a mature Christian - and this is my comparison and my witness.

BTW, you ought to look into the writings of Gurdjieff who wrote of four ways: the Monk, the Fakir, the Yogi and the Sly Man. The attainments which the Monk reaches through years of practice, the Fakir through months of austerities, the Yogi the weeks of systematic techniques are accomplished by the Knowledge of taking a "pill" by the Sly Man. But the attainment needs to be defined by the others.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: start25]
    #2034067 - 10/22/03 10:50 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Well, I went to Dead concerts 50 or 60 times, mostly between '72 and '76, so you don't have to convince me of their soulfoul and oftimes spiritual influence.

It is good that you are interested in understanding these Christian metaphysics, but it would be better for you to look at a book like 'Principles of Christian Theology' by John MacQuarrie in order to help your understanding. The body and soul are 'permeated' or 'suffused' by an 'influence' - not a substance, but something like a sympathetic vibration or a 'field effect' which we call spirit. This is metaphysics remember, models, metaphors, parables and analogies can help us grasp the ungraspable. This is why the alchemists symbolized consciousness with Quicksilver (Mercury). Just try to grasp a ball of spilled Mercury. Spirit, or 'Nous' is a non-spatial, non-temporal reality which is more like the Spirit (GOD's 'immanent' nature - His Presence in the universe) than mind or body which comprise 'the natural man.' The spirit comprises what St.Paul called "the inner man," but do not think of this in terms of form. It is more than 'vital energy' like prana or chi, it is our sympathetic vibration (for lack of a better metaphor) with the 2nd and third Hypostases (or 'Persons' of the Son and Holy Spirit anthropomorphically speaking) that 'emanate' from Primordial Being (the Father) and which are able to be experienced by human beinghood.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Anonymous

Re: Early Christian Saints/Outlook on the body [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #2035358 - 10/23/03 08:30 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Hey man thanks for the read


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