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Thread: Saving Paradise

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Saving Paradise

    Thanks to Maggie for this reference.

    The authors have a site for their book.

    This site goes into some depth.

    As we visited ancient sites, consulted with art historians, and read ancient texts, we stepped back, astonished at the weight of the reality: Jesus’s dead body was just not there. We could not find it in the catacombs or Rome’s early churches, in Istanbul’s great sixth-century cathedral Hagia Sophia, in the monastery churches in northeastern Turkey, or in Ravenna’s mosaics. And as we realized that the Crucifixion was absent, we began to pay attention to what was present in early Christian art
    .

    Paradise, we realized, was the dominant image of early Christian sanctuaries. And to our surprise and delight, we discovered that early Christian paradise was something other than “heaven” or the afterlife. In the early church, paradise—first and foremost—was this world, permeated and blessed by the Spirit of God. Images of paradise in Rome and Ravenna captured the craggy, scruffy pastoral landscape, the orchards, the clear night skies, and teeming waters of the Mediterranean world, as if they were lit by a power from within. Sparkling mosaics in vivid colors captured the world’s luminosity. The images filled the walls of spaces in which liturgies fostered aesthetic, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual experiences of life in the present, in a world created as good and delightful.


    It shows how the Bible’s Hebrew prophets invoked the Garden of Eden to challenge the exploitation and carnage of empires. It shows how Jesus’s teachings and the practices of the early church affirmed life in this world as the place of salvation. Within their church communities, Christians in the first millennium sought to help life flourish in the face of imperial power, violence, and death.


    What led Western Christianity to replace resurrection and life with a Crucifixion-centered salvation and to relegate paradise to a distant afterlife? In short, the needs of empire—and theologies that justified and then sanctified violence and war—transformed Christianity and alienated Western Christians from a world they had once perceived as paradise.


    As soon as congregants entered ancient churches, they stood in a three-tiered sacred cosmos. A starry night sky or multihued clouds represented the first tier, the heavens, where celestial beings hovered; from this mysterious realm, the right hand of God emerged to bless the world. The second tier was an intermediary space over which the living Christ presided. The departed saints stood with him in the meadows of paradise and visited to bless the living. The third tier was the floor of the church where worshippers stood in God’s garden on earth.


    There is much more in the article and of course, there's the book itself.

    Thanks Maggie!

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    Super Moderator Norway Elen's Avatar
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    This does indeed make a lot of sense.
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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    Member on Sabbatical Morocco modwiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Thanks to Maggie for this reference.

    The authors have a site for their book.

    This site goes into some depth.



    There is much more in the article and of course, there's the book itself.

    Thanks Maggie!
    I visited the site with the article and enjoyed reading it. Of course, as a Gnostic, there were a few paragraphs that caught my attention.

    Rediscovering paradise and recommitting ourselves to the ethics of paradise is just what we need now. Western culture needs to stand again at the open doors of paradise and find its way to re-enter this world as a sacred site, as holy ground
    Challenges to a theology of redemptive violence began with the Universalists, whose roots extend back into seventeenth-century England. Leaders such as the mystic and church founder Jane Leade (1624–1704) laid the groundwork. In her journals, published in 1697, Leade offered a spiritual vision of paradise as a realm in which humanity’s “beautiful diversity” flourished. Salvation was “accomplished through the life-giving power of God’s love which embraced all people,” she taught. In the church she founded, Leade preached that people’s senses could be ecstatically opened to tasting, seeing, and hearing the beauty that is within, among, and all around us.
    Leade addressed God as Mother, and as Sophia—Wisdom—and she reimagined salvation. For her, salvation was not the gift of a crucified savior whose death pleased a wrathful God and freed people from punishment. Instead, salvation was the re-opening of the Garden of Eden, and the restoration of humanity’s dignity, creativity, and responsibility—in splendid diversity. She said we could experience the presence of the divine in “the burning bush of our humanity,” and called humanity’s “beautiful diversity” a testimony to the fecundity of God’s generative presence.
    "To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize" -- Voltaire

    "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."-- Eleanor Roosevelt

    "Misery loves company. Wisdom has to look for it." -- Anonymous

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Excellent. Thank you, Modwiz.

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    Super Moderator Norway Elen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Excellent. Thank you, Modwiz.
    Yes yes...Modwiz, we should find our way back to Paradise. And at the same time I want to thank Maggie for her sharp research...everywhere she goes! You are very much appreciated, Maggie!
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    "Paradise, we realized, was the dominant image of early Christian sanctuaries. And to our surprise and delight, we discovered that early Christian paradise was something other than “heaven” or the afterlife. In the early church, paradise—first and foremost—was this world, permeated and blessed by the Spirit of God. Images of paradise in Rome and Ravenna captured the craggy, scruffy pastoral landscape, the orchards, the clear night skies, and teeming waters of the Mediterranean world, as if they were lit by a power from within. Sparkling mosaics in vivid colors captured the world’s luminosity. The images filled the walls of spaces in which liturgies fostered aesthetic, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual experiences of life in the present, in a world created as good and delightful."

    'early' Christianity...this is a derivation of the precursor spiritual philosophy...Judaism...they have/had no afterlife. I always refer to the progressive nature of revelation. It is obvious that for the rank-and-file human it would be a useless spiritual exercise to explain the concept of everlasting life. Ah life, short and sweet, sweet if one is fortunate enough to not get stomped on by a dinosaur. And with proper communion with whatever powerful spirit happens to be floating around that wouldn't happen.
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    Be careful what you wish for the old saying goes, are we so sure it's paradise that we really want?

    In Buddhism the realm of the gods may be a nice place for a little R&R, but to remain there is to stagnate, no challenges no self improvement.

    Let's get down to the nitty gritty: What are we doing here in life? Do we only seek comfort, pleasure, and the avoidance of suffering, or do we seek to better ourselves using this golden opportunity we have been presented with? Every time we overcome some roadblock, some tragedy even, if we are paying attention we learn a little bit more about ourselves, and emerge on the other side a greater being than we were before.

    Are we here for party time, or to finish the job at hand? Personally, although I *do very much so* like party time, there's still way too much work to be done to live there. I'll respectfully pass on paradise.

    Pressure creates diamonds.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    Socrates

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    Quote Originally posted by Fred Steeves View Post
    Be careful what you wish for the old saying goes, are we so sure it's paradise that we really want?

    In Buddhism the realm of the gods may be a nice place for a little R&R, but to remain there is to stagnate, no challenges no self improvement.

    Let's get down to the nitty gritty: What are we doing here in life? Do we only seek comfort, pleasure, and the avoidance of suffering, or do we seek to better ourselves using this golden opportunity we have been presented with? Every time we overcome some roadblock, some tragedy even, if we are paying attention we learn a little bit more about ourselves, and emerge on the other side a greater being than we were before.

    Are we here for party time, or to finish the job at hand? Personally, although I *do very much so* like party time, there's still way too much work to be done to live there. I'll respectfully pass on paradise.

    Pressure creates diamonds.
    I would create a sharp distinction between paradise and heaven. If there is a paradise at all, it is probably just code for other, more advanced planets, where life is exceedingly pleasant. A bit like the difference between Bangladesh and Australia. I believe these places are largely physical where people still eat, work, have sex, sleep, etc... Perhaps people with a good Karma will incarnate on planets like these, but that's all there is to them.


    Heaven on the other hand seems to be a completely non-physical realm. The denizens of heaven are busy. Very busy. They are constantly engaged in helping others, not to mention fighting an eternal war with the forces of Hell, that they know they can never ultimately win, but nevertheless, they must keep trying.


    The denizens of heaven have no concern for their own well-being or comfort, they are selfless to a fault. They are constantly engaged in the work of helping others and their work is never done, but that's how they like it. You can sometimes find people with that sort of mentality here on earth too. They are the ones that never once think about themselves but constantly strive to improve the life of others.

    We call them saints and their lives show us what kind of mentality, way of thinking and lifestyle leads to heaven. Their opposites, the billionaire psychopaths of this world, (khmm… Trump khmmm…) show us the converse opposite. Do as the elites do and you will surely end up in hell. Not that I know what hell is, but surely there is a good reason nobody wants to go there.

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    My take is that Paradise is here on earth, when we treat it and ourselves right. Thus, it will indeed take a lot of hard work to make this place paradise. I love it when the plants are growing and the animals are around. And the yard and garden take a lot of work. (so does the house). And I love the fruits of developing good relationships with others.

    And on a beautiful day it is paradise.

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    My take is that Paradise is here on earth, when we treat it and ourselves right. Thus, it will indeed take a lot of hard work to make this place paradise. I love it when the plants are growing and the animals are around. And the yard and garden take a lot of work. (so does the house). And I love the fruits of developing good relationships with others.

    And on a beautiful day it is paradise.
    Agreed 100%! Why make it so difficult, hey?
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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    "Instead, salvation was the re-opening of the Garden of Eden, and the restoration of humanity’s dignity, creativity, and responsibility—in splendid diversity."

    Yes, that is what I was taught...I'd be surprised if she originated the concept. Our dear departed 'being' once remarked that we can only be reminded of our knowledge because nothing is new.
    "We are one thought away from changing the world!"

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    We'd best work on our Paradise while we can. The earth falls into ice ages regularly and we may not have much more time with all this warmth. We're already losing the climate stability we've enjoyed.

    Ahhh, it's so easy to take things for granted until they're gone.

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    We'd best work on our Paradise while we can.
    I had a vision tonight of paradise. It was just like here except, each of us had two certainties.

    1. I AM THAT I AM. I am knowing myself always no matter what just because I am. How I am being is free will and projection of my choice.
    2. This reality that I am in has ME in it. This reminds me of the song I like The Anthropic view point. "The reason we are here is because we are here."
    BECAUSE we are here, we can choose to be THERE... wherever we CHOOSE. But we will not be in the old state.

    I am pretty sure we MAY work on our paradise!!
    The best version in our highest Ideals is the place to begin.

    I am listening to Vadim Zeland and this is about it's practice


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMPwFLNOKAA



    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpMJWMuBtpE


    All possibilities are just as real to me when it has I am being ME anywhere I AM. I have forever to be everywhere. So I can be quite nonchalant and indiffernt to any particular viewpoint. It's quite easy to let go of what you have no "feeling for". We often have a "feeling for" a sense of IMPORTANCE that paradoxically distances us.

    In the "space of variations, we have no needs as I AM. We are not helpless to move on the waves of the parallel infinite variety and variation but transurfing is inside out and upside down and backwards to what we are programmed to follow. We surf paradox to get to the shores of our paradise.

    Gee I Am being me here tonight and I am a parallel woman living in my dreams. How to slide there? Live in the end (Neville Goddard)


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du86lNCvOdA


    A book about how the bible is all about states of being "us"

    http://www.mindserpent.com/library/g...om_for_all.pdf

    Here is an example of mundane living in the end and how it might unfold in OUR personal chosen parallel (??) reality?
    "Give Thanks to the end and it's done. The end is my beginning."


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tz1c1XeVWo
    Last edited by Maggie, 27th September 2018 at 07:47.

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    Well, we have paradise here in SLO-dona. Living among the red-rock cathedral pillars, we have a mutually helpful of mostly like-minded geezers who help each other through massive volunteer programs. Our mostly volunteer library is quite large and capable for the town’s size and even the most irritating topic (tourist traffic) is actually benign if you plan trips using your GPS and/or compair to LA, Phoenix, or San Diego.

    I’m finding a fair amount of geeky interest in board games as well.

    ...life is good.
    "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the object of your anger to die” ~ Anon
    "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." ~Yogi Berra
    "You can observe a lot by just watching." ~Yogi Berra
    “When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.” ~Will Rogers
    "If life gives you melons...you might be dyslexic" ~ Aixelsyd Dnarber

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Board games, oh yeah. We love them and play regularly. Have you tried Code Names? It's really just cards but you lay them out in a grid. Will Wheaton did an episode with that game on his show Tabletop. Play more games!

    I'm going out in Paradise today to collect seeds from various plants. Then I'll be planting bulbs so that Paradise will bloom in the spring. And then I'll drink a bubbly meade to celebrate Paradise.


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