1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    22 Dec '07 11:54
    I just love this quote------

    "Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. . . . It strikes us when our disgust for our own indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes in that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying, "You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you and the name of which you do not know. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted."

    ----Paul Tillich
  2. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Dec '07 18:453 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I just love this quote------

    "Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. . . . It strikes us when our disgust for our own indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure have become intolerable to us. It strikes us g; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted."

    ----Paul Tillich
    ...as though...

    Important, that phrase.

    You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you...

    How could it be otherwise? We are manifestations of that something greater, not aliens in it. No one would even feel the need to hear such words as these if somewhere the thought had not crept in that they are not accepted. Sad. As sad (and silly) as my saying that I don’t “accept” my toes—or that I do, for that matter. Sad that we need to hear this reminder from Tillich (although I guess that we do).

    Perhaps it begins with not accepting the natural world just as it is, the scorpion as well as the sunrise, the rattlesnake as well as the rose, the typhoon as well as the zephyr—and our own existential condition in and from and of it all. It is not avoiding the scorpion, or building a shelter against strong winds that is the problem; it is the thinking that it ought to be otherwise, that such ought-thinking makes any sense at all—one way or the other.

    The point is not to accept existence as “perfect”—perfection is our concept, whatever it means. The Tao is as it is, however we judge it. The Tao cannot reject us any more than a circle can reject any of the points that lie within it, any more than the ocean can reject water. I cannot reject the Tao any more than I can reject my skin.

    (One can, of course say something like: “That person ought not to be a psychopathic killer.” But to even say that, one must recognize and accept the fact that that person’s behavior is as it is. To say that we will not accept certain behavior among our fellow humans is one thing; to say that we will not accept the behavior of the universe is quite something else, an absurdity.)

    The world is as it is prior to our thinking about it, and we are part of it prior to our thinking about it. Our thinking is not necessarily any more problematic than any map-making: maps can be useful guides. But it is silly to judge the territory according to the map, and, where it does not conform to our map, judge the territory to be what is false. Whether we like it or not, our existence is part of the territory, and our maps are just maps.

    ...and the name of which you do not know.

    Bingo! The territory has no names but the ones we give it. It is prior to our naming, to our thoughts about it, to our conceptualizations of it (and ourselves in and of it)—the gridlines on our maps that do not exist in the territory.

    And it is our maps, not the territory, that we argue about. The Tao is unmoved by either our maps or our arguments.
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    22 Dec '07 23:00
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]...as though...

    Important, that phrase.

    You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you...

    How could it be otherwise? We are manifestations of that something greater, not aliens in it. No one would even feel the need to hear such words as these if somewhere the thought had not crept in that they are not accepted. Sad. ...[text shortened]... not the territory, that we argue about. The Tao is unmoved by either our maps or our arguments.[/b]
    Important, that phrase.

    Precisely.
  4. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    23 Dec '07 18:49
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]...as though...

    Important, that phrase.

    You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you...

    How could it be otherwise? We are manifestations of that something greater, not aliens in it. No one would even feel the need to hear such words as these if somewhere the thought had not crept in that they are not accepted. Sad. ...[text shortened]... not the territory, that we argue about. The Tao is unmoved by either our maps or our arguments.[/b]
    Why the fixation with the 'as though' phrase?
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    23 Dec '07 19:22
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Why the fixation with the 'as though' phrase?
    Do you think that Tillich is referring to actually hearing an actual voice? Why do you think he used the phrase "as though"?
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    23 Dec '07 20:01
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Do you think that Tillich is referring to actually hearing an actual voice? Why do you think he used the phrase "as though"?
    I think he was refering to hearing the spirit of God commune with his soul. However , God talks to us in all sorts of ways , dreams , images , intuitions , premonitions , strong feelings and sometimes words. I don't think for one minute that Tillich is not implying that God was talking to him. Personally I think God shows his love and acceptance for us in a way that is beyond words and we end up trying to put words to what he has "spoken" to us. Tillich was experiencing the love and unconditional acceptance of the Holy Spirit and he said "as though" not because he did not feel that he was being spoken to but because he was putting words to the ineffable.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    24 Dec '07 07:145 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I think he was refering to hearing the spirit of God commune with his soul. However , God talks to us in all sorts of ways , dreams , images , intuitions , premonitions , strong feelings and sometimes words. I don't think for one minute that Tillich is not implying that God was talking to him. Personally I think God shows his love and acceptance for us did not feel that he was being spoken to but because he was putting words to the ineffable.
    Tillich was experiencing the love and unconditional acceptance of the Holy Spirit and he said "as though" not because he did not feel that he was being spoken to but because he was putting words to the ineffable. [My italics.]

    I think that, within the framework of Tillich’s theology, that is exactly right—as long as you are using that word “spoken” metaphorically; otherwise Tillich himself would not have had to try to “put the ineffable into words”. Strictly, the ineffable has no words; the words are ours, our attempt to interpret what’s going on. And that’s one reason why the “as though” is important.

    Another reason goes to our old discussion about the oasis and the mirage, and how we decide. The “as though,” I think, acknowledges that it is incautious to leap to a conclusion based solely on how the experience seems. I am not arguing at all here with your view as to what Tillich’s conclusion actually is. But he also has the whole of his existentialist theology in play in interpreting an experience of the ineffable. (My wife once heard Tillich speak, and concluded that he actually was a mystic as well as a brilliant theologian; and so I am not saying that his theology was not also informed by his experience.)

    I don’t know how much Tillich you have read. If you want to get the whole view, you ought to read his Systematic Theology (3 volumes). A large part of volume 1 really lays out his religious philosophy; volume 2 focuses especially on Christology; volume 3 deals principally with the concept of the Holy Spirit, and, if I recall correctly, is where he fleshes out his trinitarianism more fully.

    EDIT: I just re-read your post and saw that you put the word "spoken" in quotes. So my caution in my first paragraph was not really necessary. The more I think about it, the more I think that (if you have not read it yet) you would really, really like Tillich's Systematic Theology.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
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