Where does one find these traditional gifts of Christmas in the modern world?




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  1. Jear77 8 months ago

    It’s extremely hard to do.
    Even if joy is supposed to be able to rise above the circumstances, doesn’t necessarily mean that it always can
    How many years since that verse was written and people praying for peace, and we still have war(s) aplenty.
    Good will… what does that even mean?! If you have hopes and dreams, good will and prayers in one hand and shit in the other, which do you think will fill up faster?
    You’re better off getting the gifts of tge magi: gold, frankincense, and myrrh… though carrying them around would certainly raise some eyebrows, particularly if the person knew their significance.

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      griz 8 months ago

      @Jear77
      The suggestion is made that it’s impossible to do just “in the flesh”. There needs to be a “spirit” element to it.

      What you say about people praying for it highlights just how little people understand about prayer in the genre of “wishing for a pony” but never actually doing anything meaningful to procure a pony — and to live up to the responsibility of having one.

      The “good will” is perhaps a harder one to nail down than “joy and peace”. It is a wish for “the best”, and commitment to do what one can to make it come to pass.

      Again, the nature of any “bargain with the future” is that your one hand will always be left emptier in the short-term. But in a very real way, the ability to consciously put off short-term pleasure/gratification/riches for hopes of a greater future gain is what diverged us from the rest of the animals.

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      • Jear77 8 months ago

        @griz we circle back to the idea of proof. How can we get 100%? Placebo is 72%. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning or winning the lotto than getting that. Anything less than 100% when talking about any sort of spiritual concepts can be seen as pure coincidence.

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  2. Weenis 8 months ago

    “peace among those with whom he is pleased”

    Not “all”.

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    • Jear77 8 months ago

      @Weenis so god’s displeased with all who are in war zones?

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      • Weenis 8 months ago

        @Jear77

        Your logic is awful.

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      • Jear77 8 months ago

        @Weenis maybe. But considering that which you’re speaking of knows everything and is all powerful, it’s a fair question.

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      • Author
        griz 8 months ago

        @Jear77
        But it’s only a “fair question” within that frame of “knowing everything”.

        I don’t think speculative imagination is forbidden. But judgement unto condemnation is an exceedingly dark parallel from Judeo-Christianity and indeed, other spiritual belief-systems as well.

        It is speculated as the very point from which “hell” germinated.

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      • Jear77 8 months ago

        @griz i’ll answer both comments here: god’s all powerful nature should play a part. God should have the power of teleportation. Why wouldn’t he swoop in and save a person, a group of people knowing they were to die?

        In regard to the spiritual warfare comment… i think i have more to fear from a nuke than that… which really can’t be tested.

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      • Author
        griz 8 months ago

        @Jear77
        “For me to live is Christ; and to die is gain”.

        What exactly does that mean? Wiser men than I have tried to say. But I think it may at least partially mean that death is not the pure tragedy our ego and fear ignorance assess it to be.
        Or perhaps it only is for those who have not lived in the fullness of Life that comes in choosing to act as if Christ is as represented?

        And when it comes to “things that can’t be tested” . . . why opt for the imaginative speculation that makes one the weakest and most miserable in this moment, rather than the one that makes us the strongest and most readily available to do good in this moment?

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      • Jear77 8 months ago

        @griz it seems to be what Obi-Wan said. This may be true….But don’t forget in the day and age of nuclear proliferation, we have the ability to completely destroy the earth many times over. And since god, should it exist, isn’t too keen on interfering with man’s activities… the entire world should be more concerned about the consequences of natural warfare than spiritual warfare.

        Let’s see… how would we go about putting spiritual warfare in a lab? You can’t. We have proof of neither angels nor demons… and with a god so powerful… and one that cannot be affected by his creations, it seems strange in the extreme that he himself would not be an active participant in the war. Yet we have verses like “this kind does not go out except by fasting and prayer” when god himself doesn’t need such conventions.

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      • Author
        griz 8 months ago

        @Jear77
        But if physical death (ego-death) is not the tragedy our ego is convinced it is, perhaps it’s a lot like a parent not swooping in to interfere in the progression of another adult’s life (their child) every time there might be “icky feelings”. This isn’t love, but infantilizing.

        As we’ve discussed endlessly before, there are MANY things of meaning and value in life one cannot “put in a lab” and dissect. “Angels and demons” are just callow and flawed religion’s dogmatic take on things. It could be more like an interplay of energy, combined with conscious intent. (The knowledge of good and evil).
        Classic “religious demonology” is just an excuse to not take accountability and responsibility for oneself (ie, “The devil made me do it :rolf: ).

        Despite religion’s attempts to “put handles on God” for ease of use, there is value in many of its rituals both psychologically and philosophically.

        But not in the bargaining/leveraging/purchashing manner that I think you’ve been incorrectly programmed to think.

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      • Jear77 8 months ago

        @griz there’s a few problems with your analogy of interplay of energy: i had the best of intentions in what i did in the past. We had a proven model from another business that we had permission to copy. The clientele, however, were not right. While we were getting them funding to be there, were found jobs. Even if they didn’t qualify for those jobs, we (my friend and i) were able to hire them through another branch of the business. Some were simply told “you’re able to stay here. Just follow our rules.” We were getting them out of bad circumstances: off the streets, out of prison, away from drug culture, nursing homes and spousal abuse. And what’s messed up is that they would rather not follow the rules and end up having to find other housing. The rules were pretty common sense for a transitional/ recovery place: don’t stay out past a certain time or understand if you do, you won’t be able to get back in. Don’t do drugs/ alcohol. Don’t threaten the staff. Make an actionable plan… and stick with it.

        and as i said many times before if i ascribe to something i have to know exactly what I’m getting into and when. I need a firm deadline, a point at which i can say “this doesn’t work.” I look around at others’ lives and see time and time and time and time and time again and these people have infinitely passed that point. I don’t care what i don’t know… any system out there basedon the divine MUST be constrained by the acronym S.M.A.R.T. – (perfectly) systemic, (perfectly) measurable, (perfectly) attainable [easy, not difficult nor weighty] (perfectly) realistic, and (perfectly) time bound. That god doesn’t present things in this type of a neat package, i have to dismiss it out of hand. And since this is the concept of a divine being we’re talking about who is (most probably) uncountably infinite in power, outside of time (or at least how we experience it), and everywhere at once it’s really not beyond the pale to expect results that fall well within these categories.

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      • Author
        griz 8 months ago

        @Jear77
        Actually, I made no analogy. I just said a theme of energy interplay that we have a say in, was likely superior to a religious model of angels rewarding us and demons tormenting us.

        As you yourself have pointed out, good intentions alone are what paves the road to hell. There has to be wisdom to the intent.

        Remember the model of Cain and Abel. There is little question Cain’s intent was good in trying to make an allegorical “bargain with the future”. But when it proved insufficient, he unwisely chose to fold his energy into finding fault in everyone (including God) rather than looking for ways that he could improve his situation.
        And out of this choice, came the choice to kill the closest representation of “high ideal”.
        He chose to kill his brother.
        You choose to try over and over again to allegorically “kill God”. (Though you miss the mark and your ire ends up falling only upon the man-made religions that we’ve already determined are flawed attempts at “control” rather than “fellowship”).

        Will cleaning up this psychological feedback incongruity result in your “dream job”? Who can say?
        But it will likely improve your chances of putting together a suitable sacrifice to the future that will pay off over time.

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      • Jear77 8 months ago

        @griz nothing less than SMART will due. In every other area of our lives we weigh, measure, and otherwise can have a standard by which we are able to say “This works” and “this does not.” We inspect houses for problems before we buy and if there are problems the cost of repair(s) deducted then get a contract in writing. We test drive cars – possibly even take it to a mechanic to get it inspected to see if it runs properly and if it doesn’t we don’t buy or – or if there are problems after purchase, we have this thing called a “warranty” to make sure it’s repaired. We get samples of new food we’re going to buy, look at reviews on Amazon and Yelp! before buying a good or service. Even people are vetted through a google background check, facebook, and other people who dealt with them before, as in employment verification. Yet there is ZERO standard we can hold god/ life/ the universe to, no ability to sample, use what powers we might be granted of the heavenly realms in the hereafter, no communication with the source (save what seems to be nothing but historical fan fiction). The only way to deal with it is to accept it or not… which is not something i can do.

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      • Author
        griz 8 months ago

        @Jear77
        As God is Spiritual, I would imagine spiritual wars are more a point of concern than physical ones.

        But even if it goes beyond this, what could be speculated from the observation that many people are very much at war within their own selves? Remember that Christ was more interested in the internals of the individual, than the externals.

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    • Author
      griz 8 months ago

      @Weenis
      But how arrogant would we have to be to imagine ourselves “righteous judge” of this in others?

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      • Weenis 8 months ago

        @griz

        I’m not judging anyone or claiming to be a “righteous judge”, I’m just correcting your misquotation.

        I don’t know who God is particularly pleased with or not. He doesn’t say. I do know, from Scripture, that there are people he is displeased with.

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      • Author
        griz 8 months ago

        @Weenis
        Peace Weenis.
        I wasn’t accusing you of anything but just building on the speculation of what mindset one would have to be in to consider themselves “righteous judge” of Eternity/Infinity. I don’t believe I offered any quote in my response to be a misquotation, did I?

        I would observe that there is the appearance that God is displeased with certain people. Or is it with the choices they make?

        Because if the choice changes, God is not just fine with them, but will rush to cover their filthiness with a robe of honor and put rings on their finger and welcome them in (the story of the Prodigal Son).

        So the person is still arguable the person they just were a moment ago. But what changed is their choice; and this indicates a change in their heart.

        (Remember, the father of the Prodigal Son didn’t tell him to go take a shower and clean himself up. Under the robe he still likely stunk and was filthy — the same person he was while existing apart from his Father’s household. But it is entirely feasible that as part of his restoration, he chose at some point to excuse himself from the festivities and get washed up).

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  3. five2one 8 months ago

    A lot of ppl exchange gifts because they celebrate Jesus is not with them. Unconsciously. Under all the vast layers of rationalizations.

    Because Jesus torments them.

    The real Jesus does. Not their versions. Pope Jesus. Republican Jesus. Evolution Jesus. Fascist Jesus. And so on.

    So, you find it in God understanding people’s ignorance.

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    • Author
      griz 8 months ago

      @five2one
      I see no precedence for the notion that “Jesus torments them”.

      It’s more like the absence of His Spirit torments them.

      And this fits far more harmoniously into multiple points of not just the Judeo-Christian Old and New Testament, but elements of other spiritual belief systems as well.

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      • five2one 6 months ago

        @griz Yeah, I mean, they are doing quite well. Like the teachers of the law were doing, who built such fine tombs for the prophets their ancestors killed. They were not tormented by them. But, it did seem like maybe they built the tombs just a little too well done. As if to keep them dead. Unconsciously.

        Still, we know Paul is as good as a Christian can get, just under Jesus, and he does tell us these guys were with a genuine zeal for God. Just apart from knowledge.

        Which, for me, I have found, is a really interesting lense to use: everywhere. Everyone has zeal for God. But, certainly, those who have the Judaic-Christian message have the more pure stuff. Even if they are not with the Spirit.

        So, it is sad. And sick, and scary.

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  4. ladybarbara 8 months ago

    One sits and finds the state of peace in one’s mind. Stop fighting and stop all negative thinking —- and just be. Look around you and be thankful for what you have. Be happy with that, and not wanting for more.

    May the road rise up and meet your tires, and may the next truck stop have something interesting, or a sight that makes you get out your camera to capture it in a picture. May there be light traffic ahead of you. May your loads stay balanced. May you always be at peace.

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    • Author
      griz 8 months ago

      @ladybarbara
      A state of peace comes to reside within your mind.

      But does it come from within? Or is some outside initiation necessary?

      I lean towards the latter, having known a number of people who have gone through all kinds of impressive prolonged spiritist attempts to find it just from within.

      Thanks for the blessing. “Balanced load, balanced mind”!

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