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Theosis: Becoming Like God

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BECOMING LIKE GOD:

AN EVANGELICAL DOCTRINE OF THEOSIS

ROBERT V. RAKESTRAW*

 

While the concept of theosis has roots in the ante-Nicene period, it is

not an antiquated historical curiosity. The idea of divinization, of redeemed

human nature somehow participating in the very life of God, is found to a

surprising extent throughout Christian history, although it is practically unknown

to the majority of Christians (and even many theologians) in the west.

In Orthodox theology, however, it is the controlling doctrine. Furthermore

“it is not too much to say that the divinization of humanity is the central

theme, chief aim, basic purpose, or primary religious ideal of Orthodoxy.”

 

...It is not easy to give a definition of theosis, since so many aspects of

Christian truth are utilized by those who advance the teaching, and different

writers and traditions emphasize different truths. The word “theosis”

is the transliteration of a Greek word meaning “deifcation” (being made

God).

 

..Archbishop Basil Krivocheine, expressing the thought of St. Symeon the

New Theologian, writes:

 

Divinization is the state of man’s total transformation, effected by the Holy

Spirit, when man observes the commandments of God, acquires the evangelical

virtues and shares in the sufferings of Christ. The Holy Spirit then gives

man a divine intelligence and incorruptibility. Man does not receive a new

soul, but the Holy Spirit unites essentially with the whole man, body and soul.

He makes of him a son of God, a god by adoption, though man does not cease

being a man, a simple creature, even when he clearly sees the Father. He may

be called man and god at the same time.21

 

...Hughes goes on to explain—correctly, I believe—what Athanasius did

mean, and in so doing he gives us a useful defnition of theosis as

the reintegration of the divine image of man’s creation through the sanctifying

work of the Holy Spirit conforming the redeemed into the likeness of

Christ, and also of the believer’s transition from mortality to immortality so

that he is enabled to participate in the eternal bliss and glory of the kingdom

of God.22

 

Above all, theosis is the restoration and reintegration of the “image” or,

as some prefer, “likeness” of God, seriously distorted by the fall, in the

children of God. In this life Christians grow more and more into the very

likeness and character of God as God was revealed in the man Jesus

Christ.

 

This is more than the customary Protestant concept of sanctification,

however. In theosis, while there is no ontological change of humanity into

deity there is a very real impartation of the divine life to the whole human

being—body and soul.

 

..John Meyendorˆ speaks of the never-ending nature of deifcation:

Man is not fully man unless he is in communion with God. . . . However, because

God remains absolutely transcendent in his essence, man’s communion

with Him has no limit. It never reaches an End, which would be a dead end.

God is both transcendent and inexhaustible. . . . In Christ [according to Palamas],

man enters into communion not with “the God of the philosophers and

the savants” but with the one who in human language can only be called

“more than God.”28

 

While the doctrine of theosis is associated primarily with the Orthodox

churches of the east, it has similarities with the teaching about sancti˜cation

in the west. As noted above, however, the two are not identical. In the

western churches, as Bray notes, the concept of the imitation of Christ is

the closest analogy to the theosis doctrine of the east. In Orthodox theology,

while we are called to imitate Christ we are also called to manifest the energies

of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who proceeds from the Father rests on

the Son and becomes his energies. The Spirit then, by adopting us as sons of

God, makes accessible to us the spiritual power that belongs to Christ.

 

 

...Another strength of theosis teaching is that it may offer hope to some

Christians who despair of fnding the truly abundant life here on earth.

Many of us are weary of the expression “paradigm shift.” But while we may

not care for the term because of its familiarity, we dare not ignore the signi

fcance of fundamentally new ways of perceiving reality. Perhaps some

Christians today will be helped considerably by a paradigm shift in their

view of holiness and ministry. Rather than seeing our progressive sancti

fcation as something done for us by God from outside, by God’s acting upon

our minds and wills from some external habitation, or as something we do

from below as we pray to God above and seek to obey God here on earth, we

may take a kind of quantum leap forward by understanding sanctifcation as

the very life and energy of God in us. We are becoming increasingly like God

because we are participating more and more in his divine nature. As Christians,

our bodies are in very truth temples of the indwelling Spirit, who radiates

his presence and power through us to others.

 

Aden correctly notes that, to the Orthodox, grace is not a divine pardon, attitude, or promise as it is for the Lutherans, who tend to focus grace primarily on justifcation. It is the divine dynamic (energy) that comes from God, unites us to Christ, and changes us so that “Christ is formed in us” (Gal. 4:19). Thus deifcation is a process of transformation and driven by deifying grace.52

Edited by Jonesboy
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BECOMING LIKE GOD:

AN EVANGELICAL DOCTRINE OF THEOSIS

ROBERT V. RAKESTRAW*

 

While the concept of theosis has roots in the ante-Nicene period, it is

not an antiquated historical curiosity. The idea of divinization, of redeemed

human nature somehow participating in the very life of God, is found to a

surprising extent throughout Christian history, although it is practically unknown

to the majority of Christians (and even many theologians) in the west.

In Orthodox theology, however, it is the controlling doctrine. Furthermore

“it is not too much to say that the divinization of humanity is the central

theme, chief aim, basic purpose, or primary religious ideal of Orthodoxy.”

 

...It is not easy to give a definition of theosis, since so many aspects of

Christian truth are utilized by those who advance the teaching, and different

writers and traditions emphasize different truths. The word “theosis”

is the transliteration of a Greek word meaning “deifcation” (being made

God).

 

..Archbishop Basil Krivocheine, expressing the thought of St. Symeon the

New Theologian, writes:

 

Divinization is the state of man’s total transformation, effected by the Holy

Spirit, when man observes the commandments of God, acquires the evangelical

virtues and shares in the sufferings of Christ. The Holy Spirit then gives

man a divine intelligence and incorruptibility. Man does not receive a new

soul, but the Holy Spirit unites essentially with the whole man, body and soul.

He makes of him a son of God, a god by adoption, though man does not cease

being a man, a simple creature, even when he clearly sees the Father. He may

be called man and god at the same time.21

 

...Hughes goes on to explain—correctly, I believe—what Athanasius did

mean, and in so doing he gives us a useful defnition of theosis as

the reintegration of the divine image of man’s creation through the sanctifying

work of the Holy Spirit conforming the redeemed into the likeness of

Christ, and also of the believer’s transition from mortality to immortality so

that he is enabled to participate in the eternal bliss and glory of the kingdom

of God.22

 

Above all, theosis is the restoration and reintegration of the “image” or,

as some prefer, “likeness” of God, seriously distorted by the fall, in the

children of God. In this life Christians grow more and more into the very

likeness and character of God as God was revealed in the man Jesus

Christ.

 

This is more than the customary Protestant concept of sanctification,

however. In theosis, while there is no ontological change of humanity into

deity there is a very real impartation of the divine life to the whole human

being—body and soul.

 

..John Meyendorˆ speaks of the never-ending nature of deifcation:

Man is not fully man unless he is in communion with God. . . . However, because

God remains absolutely transcendent in his essence, man’s communion

with Him has no limit. It never reaches an End, which would be a dead end.

God is both transcendent and inexhaustible. . . . In Christ [according to Palamas],

man enters into communion not with “the God of the philosophers and

the savants” but with the one who in human language can only be called

“more than God.”28

 

While the doctrine of theosis is associated primarily with the Orthodox

churches of the east, it has similarities with the teaching about sancti˜cation

in the west. As noted above, however, the two are not identical. In the

western churches, as Bray notes, the concept of the imitation of Christ is

the closest analogy to the theosis doctrine of the east. In Orthodox theology,

while we are called to imitate Christ we are also called to manifest the energies

of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who proceeds from the Father rests on

the Son and becomes his energies. The Spirit then, by adopting us as sons of

God, makes accessible to us the spiritual power that belongs to Christ.

 

 

...Another strength of theosis teaching is that it may offer hope to some

Christians who despair of fnding the truly abundant life here on earth.

Many of us are weary of the expression “paradigm shift.” But while we may

not care for the term because of its familiarity, we dare not ignore the signi

fcance of fundamentally new ways of perceiving reality. Perhaps some

Christians today will be helped considerably by a paradigm shift in their

view of holiness and ministry. Rather than seeing our progressive sancti

fcation as something done for us by God from outside, by God’s acting upon

our minds and wills from some external habitation, or as something we do

from below as we pray to God above and seek to obey God here on earth, we

may take a kind of quantum leap forward by understanding sanctifcation as

the very life and energy of God in us. We are becoming increasingly like God

because we are participating more and more in his divine nature. As Christians,

our bodies are in very truth temples of the indwelling Spirit, who radiates

his presence and power through us to others.

 

Aden correctly notes that, to the Orthodox, grace is not a divine pardon, attitude, or promise as it is for the Lutherans, who tend to focus grace primarily on justifcation. It is the divine dynamic (energy) that comes from God, unites us to Christ, and changes us so that “Christ is formed in us” (Gal. 4:19). Thus deifcation is a process of transformation and driven by deifying grace.52

This is not a new concept in Indian Philosophy. This Theosis may be new , but what it means is very close to the Self Realization, God Realization or achieving God Consciousness of the Vedanta philosophy. In Vedanta, Adi Sankaracharya  and Ramanujacharya have spoken in detail about this Divinization of humans. The entire spiritual philosophy of the so called Hinduism is very much about this Theosis. This is what is called as Moksha or Mukthi or Samadhi in which the human achieves oneness with the underlying God principle existing in the subtlest core of the personality in all the beings of the world. this is achieved through special and dedicated spiritual practices called a s Karma Yoga (Path of Action for the predominantly Physical or action oriented personalities), Bhakthi Yoga (Path of Devotion for the predominantly emotional people) and Gnana Yoga (Path of Knowledge for the predominantly Intellectual people). The spiritual practices of Karma, Bhakthi and Gnana yogas help in sublimating the selfish egoism and reducing the infinite desires of the individual personality. Thereafter, when the Mind is thus fully prepared and freed from desires and Ego, the seeker is advised to take up to the highest and ultimate spiritual practice of meditation by which the seeker attains God Realization or Self Realization. Meditation is defined as the concentration on a chosen thought or ideal or idol, to the exclusion of all the other thoughts. On completion of meditative practice the seeker becomes a full fledged Yogi or an enlightened person or what we commonly call as a Self Realized Soul. That is, only Divine consciousness and no more egoism and desires.

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Spirit gives unto Spirit, that is its true desire and law, (so to speak)  as for other all other desires are they not spin-offs in one way or another of the truest desire - which in some cases is almost impossible to see?

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Thank you Prasanna.

 

I found it refreshing to see that there are Christians that believe the journey is within.. That it is not just have faith and you will be rewarded when you die.

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...Yes.  The concept of turning into " God", becoming one with " God " etc.   are all nice..... however i do not believe that we necessarily take part in any kind of process to do it.... I believe we already are it.  The methods, morals, and ethos of religions throughout the world and through history all have had an agenda.  Even seeking to not have an ego and be good to everyone is an agenda.   However - when in the course of the universe there does exist everything that people do not consider to be divine.... 

 

Now, being that as it may. Even if you physically or intellectually realize your self to be the equivalent of this " god"... that is a one time event....   If God is the universe, you are the drop, and now you have realized that you have all the same qualities, but you have limited use..... so long as you inhabit your own " consciousness".    So long as you exist as " you " in a shape or form..... you can never be " god "... no one can ever be the actual " God ".   Because "God" is everywhere in everything and is beyond time and space and form.   I think you could exist inside of his existence, or as a part of it if you were to dissolve your little piece of consciousness back into the source of it - back into God.

 

" Realized people " have very direct experiences of God, they have all sorts of knowledge about everything that is, and they have what we now call "super" human capabilities...... but all of this is just small part of God.  

 

" Occult abilities of just flowers of the tao, and the beginning of all foolishness.  The master rests in the root, not in the flower."

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Thank you Jadespear,

 

Would the " I think you could exist inside of his existence, or as a part of it if you were to dissolve your little piece of consciousness back into the source of it - back into God." not be like what an Arhat does? Or the goal of yoga to dissolve back into that which is?

 

If you are to look at what a Buddha is. It not a Buddha beyond form, beyond space and time? Is not the teachings of emptiness saying that you are not this form that you are beyond that?

 

I read a nice quote one time that said all Buddha's have the same realization but because they are each still unique they express that realization differently.

 

So for me, the term "theosis" is about that realization.

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Thank you Jadespear,

 

Would the " I think you could exist inside of his existence, or as a part of it if you were to dissolve your little piece of consciousness back into the source of it - back into God." not be like what an Arhat does? Or the goal of yoga to dissolve back into that which is?

 

If you are to look at what a Buddha is. It not a Buddha beyond form, beyond space and time? Is not the teachings of emptiness saying that you are not this form that you are beyond that?

 

I read a nice quote one time that said all Buddha's have the same realization but because they are each still unique they express that realization differently.

 

So for me, the term "theosis" is about that realization.

 

Oh for sure....Jonesboy.  I totally agree.   I was more or less just pointing out the literal and semantic clarity of our statements so as to really understand their significant meanings.....   As a matter of fact.... I journey the waves of awareness and consciousness myself and sometimes feel like a " god".... however...... "god" is just a word....    

 

Something else to consider is that everyone who seems genuinely interested in these types of pursuits... the search for truth, understanding the universe, etc. etc.    all seem to be naturally moving in that direction..... I think that says something about what we are.....  Have you seen your soul?  I feel like I have....  it was very very very strange and a powerful experience.....

 

Where did that come from.... it came from god.

 

Yeah.... seeking "emptiness" and whatever else is all good as a means to live peacefully, but really in the end does that do it for you?  Is that all that people actually think, see, and live with?   The literal "emptiness"......  I don't know.... maybe I don't understand it the right way or for what it's worth....I'm not a buddhist. or claim to be anything besides what I am.

 

I can tell you one thing though.... when I saw my soul... it was not empty by any means....  we are beings of luminosity and brilliance.... we are not empty things in any empty existence...  it's quite the contrary.   And so is life itself !!!  It's not empty, look at how beautiful things are?!?!  Look at the cool complexity of how everything works in the universe?!?!  It's not empty.....

 

I think the emptiness that buddhism really talks about... is just the vacancy of our personalities, minds, and thoughts, on our existence or state of being......  like being absorbed or sitting in the pure space of the universe....of pure uncorrupted bliss....

 

....That state is truely something beautiful and pleasurable....  

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I'm not aware of stories of christian immortals: maybe theosis is theory(s). A theory without even anecdotal evidence.

Would the Angels, Jesus and God not be immortals?

 

I also believe that those who has truly looked within and have knowledge of other traditions would understand what Saint Symeon is saying here.

 

“Let no one deceive you! God is light (11) and to those who have entered into union with Him He imparts of His own brightness to the extent that they have been purified. When the lamp of the soul, that is the mind, has been kindled, then it knows that a divine fire has taken hold of it and inflamed it. How great a marvel! Man is united to God spiritually and physically, since the soul is not separated from the mind, neither the body from the soul… It is evident that just as the Father abides in His own Son (12) and the Son in His Father’s bosom (13) by nature, so those who have been born anew through the divine Spirit (14) and by His gift have become the brothers of Christ our God and sons of God and gods by adoption, by grace abide in God and God in them (15).”

Edited by Jonesboy

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I'm not aware of stories of christian immortals: maybe theosis is theory(s). A theory without even anecdotal evidence.

 

I'm sorry, you are leaving out the whole tradition of Christian saints, about whom there is a large literature of anecdotal evidence, and Christian saints have a roughly similar status to mortals who have achieved immortality in Religious Daoism.

 

As for Theosis itself, it owes more to pagan traditions and to the very successful attempt of the Abrahamic traditions to assimilate pagan philosophy, especially Platonism, as can be clearly seen in the work of Philo of Alexandria, whose life spanned the time of period of the lifespan of Jesus and the Apostles, whose whole work needs to be considered in the context of Hellenized Judaism, to make any real sense.

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Would the Angels, Jesus and God not be immortals?

[...]

 

Is Theosis the method supposedly practised by angels, jesus and god?

If not, what's the proof of theosis? People who talked about it unfortunately tend to die as mere mortals...

 

I'm sorry, you are leaving out the whole tradition of Christian saints, about whom there is a large literature of anecdotal evidence, and Christian saints have a roughly similar status to mortals who have achieved immortality in Religious Daoism.

[...]

 

"Saint" is a title attributed by the church after the physical death of the guy to make use of his life as an example of christian behaviour.

In christian doctrine, everyone has an indestructible soul and one day Jesus will resurrect corpses as well.

 

In Christianity people assume to be already immortals. When you speak about immortality in the christian tradition, you mean the real thing: living eternally in your physical body. There are no accounts of such a thing apart from Jesus' story, but he was god himself, you know...

 

In Daoist tradition, there are stories of people who never physically died. There are no parallels in Christianity.

Edited by Cheshire Cat

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I'm sorry, you are leaving out the whole tradition of Christian saints, about whom there is a large literature of anecdotal evidence, and Christian saints have a roughly similar status to mortals who have achieved immortality in Religious Daoism.

 

As for Theosis itself, it owes more to pagan traditions and to the very successful attempt of the Abrahamic traditions to assimilate pagan philosophy, especially Platonism, as can be clearly seen in the work of Philo of Alexandria, whose life spanned the time of period of the lifespan of Jesus and the Apostles, whose whole work needs to be considered in the context of Hellenized Judaism, to make any real sense.

. . . what's the proof of theosis? People who talked about it unfortunately tend to die as mere mortals...

 

. . .

 

"Saint" is a title attributed by the church after the physical death of the guy to make use of his life as an example of christian behaviour.

In christian doctrine, everyone has an indestructible soul and one day Jesus will resurrect corpses as well.

 

In Christianity people assume to be already immortals. When you speak about immortality in the christian tradition, you mean the real thing: living eternally in your physical body. There are no accounts of such a thing apart from Jesus' story, but he was god himself, you know...

 

In Daoist tradition, there are stories of people who never physically died. There are no parallels in Christianity.

 

I don't have time to sit around and debate what type of “stories” constitute the type of “anecdotal evidence” which you will find satisfactory.  Christians who wish to dismiss Daoism will dismiss Daoist stories and Daoists who wish to dismiss Christians will dismiss Daoist stories. if necessary both will invent all kinds of subtle distinctions to prove that their positions are the right true and correct ones.  In either case it will be to support their own prior commitments that are usually based on nothing more than the wish of the participants to believe in one set of beliefs rather than another. Someone wanting to provide Christian counter examples would cite both Enoch and Elijah, who were taken up by God and thus never died, which would constitute and a rough equivalence to the Daoist immortal “rising to heaven in broad daylight”, and continue with other aspects of Christian doctrine such as the "Harrowing of Hell", and the need to “imitate Christ in his passion” as reasons for the apparent limitations on “immortality” which you cite.

 

And finally to make things abundantly clear, I am not a Christian, but I am a person who in the process of investigating the history of Western religion gained more respect for it than I would have ever thought possible when, as a preteen raised in the “the School of hard Knox”, I rejected Christianity, basically as nonsense. In that investigation, spurred by the need to understand Christianity's influence on Western thought and its relation to my esoteric interests, Christianity, mostly in its Patristic form and largely because that study revealed it to be a Hellenistic synthesis of Jewish revelation and Pagan Philosophy, managed to earn some begrudging respect. Though I don't have time to enter into it in any detail now, some idea of the scope of that research, including a final post on this very idea of Theosis, can be found in a series of posts that I did related to Renaissance Christianity and Cornelius Agrippa, the Christian neo-Platonist and "Hermetic" magician:

 

Christianity in the Renaissance and Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy

 

And someone who doesn't think that this influence of Plato doesn't goes back into and influence the "Gospels" them selves, should read this:

 

Plato's Gorgias and Matthew's cheekiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edit: I accidentally hit post when I only wanted to preview, and as I suspected the link for Enoch above does not work, but that to Elijah does, and from there it is an easy search to Enoch.  Otherwise even though I might have made changes had it not been posted prematurely I will leave it as it is.

 

Edit 2: Checking links I discovered that the link to Renaissance Christianity etc. led to the general section on Agrippa, but not the the thread which has my posts in it.  I also Italicized Three Books of Occult Philosophy.

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I don't have time to sit around and debate what type of “stories” constitute the type of “anecdotal evidence” which you will find satisfactory.  Christians who wish to dismiss Daoism will dismiss Daoist stories and Daoists who wish to dismiss Christians will dismiss Daoist stories. if necessary both will invent all kinds of subtle distinctions to prove that their positions are the right true and correct ones.

 

I find your daoist harshness quite disturbing :wacko:

My argument wasn't based on the veracity of stories, but on the matters of the stories: with theosis you have a very clear theological conclusion about achieving immortality and I tell you, since you show a large degree of ignorance on christianity, that when a christian talks about immortality, he means the real thing: physical body and eternal life.

On the contrary in daoism, immortality could mean "ascending to heaven", which is actually to die... or it could mean to live eternally in a physical body.

 

The point that I made is that the theological theory of theosis has no evidence of actualization: theologians love to discuss very abstract ideas like "how many angels can sit on the eye of a needle?" and I think that there's a chance that theosis was one of such theoretical concepts. In fact, there are no anedoctal evidence of people who achieved immortality.

On the contrary, the idea of immortality in daoism is born out of anedoctal evidence! And it develops to mean a variety of realizations!

 

As for folk religions, it's evident that an immortal is venerated exactly as a saint... but this doesn't prove that they're the same types of individuals!

 

 

 Someone wanting to provide Christian counter examples would cite both Enoch and Elijah, who were taken up by God and thus never died, which would constitute and a rough equivalence to the Daoist immortal “rising to heaven in broad daylight”, and continue with other aspects of Christian doctrine such as the "Harrowing of Hell", and the need to “imitate Christ in his passion” as reasons for the apparent limitations on “immortality” which you cite.

 

For your amusement, I can tell you that even Moses ascended to heaven according to the records of Josephus Flavius.

But those figures didn't practised theosis because Jesus wasn't born yet.

Apparently, the single christian character who ascended to heaven with the physical body beside jesus is... the virgin Mary. But she didn't practised the theologians theosis...

 

 

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Is it a practice or a state of being?

 

 

Definitely, it's not a state of being.

Theosis is a term that could be compared to "spiritual cultivation".

 

Is "Spiritual cultivation" a practice or a state of being?

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Saint Symeon described it like this:

 

From St. Symeon The New Theologian (949-1022)

 

We awaken in Christ's body

as Christ awakens our bodies,

and my poor hand is Christ,

he enters my foot, and is infinitely me.

 

I move my hand, and wonderfully

my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of him

(for God is indivisibly

whole, seamless in his Godhood).

 

I move my foot, and at once

He appears like a flash of lightning.

Do my words seem blasphemous?—Then

open your heart to him.

 

And let yourself receive the one

who is opening to you so deeply.

For if we genuinely love Him,

we wake up inside Christ's body

 

we wake up inside Christ's body

where all our body, all over,

every most bidden part of it,

is realized in joy as him,

and he makes us, utterly, real,

 

and everything that is hurt,

everything seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,

maimed, ugly, irreparably damaged,

is in him transformed

 

and all is recognized as whole, as lovely,

and radiant in his light

we awaken as the Beloved

in every last part of our body

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If you like naivety, that means much...

...but if you don't, you recognize the empty words christians use to talk about experiences that they don't have.

 

BTW, he's talking about the SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST. Go, try it and see if the words fit.

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If you like naivety, that means much...

...but if you don't, you recognize the empty words christians use to talk about experiences that they don't have.

 

BTW, he's talking about the SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST. Go, try it and see if the words fit.

 

St Symeon would have risked his life to say such words, they go against the teachings of the established Church of the time, why would he do that if he wasn't talking about his own experience and direct revelation? 

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He is talking about becoming one with, which is what Theosis is about.

 

It is something that one can most definitely experience.

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St Symeon would have risked his life to say such words, they go against the teachings of the established Church of the time, why would he do that if he wasn't talking about his own experience and direct revelation? 

 

:P

 

No vatican inquisition at the time, plenty of heretics here and there.

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He is talking about becoming one with, which is what Theosis is about.

 

It is something that one can most definitely experience.

 

No, he's talking about the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

 

"He who eats My Flesh, and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him" (John 6:56).  By receiving this Sacrament he become members of His Body, of His Flesh and of His Bones (Ephesians 5:30), and he also become partaker of the Divine Nature, (2 Peter 1:4).

 

Yes, you can definitely experience the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Edited by Cheshire Cat

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No Symeon is talking about an experience.

 

Symeon repeatedly describes the experience of divine light in his writings, as both an inward and outward mystical experience. These experiences began in his youth, and continued all during his life. They came to him during inward prayer and contemplation, and were associated with a feeling of indescribable joy, as well as the intellectual understanding that the light was a vision of God. In his writings, he spoke directly to God about the experience variously as "the pure Light of your face" and "You deigned to reveal Your face to me like a formless sun." He also described the light as the grace of God, and taught that its experience was associated with a mind that was completely still and had transcended itself. At times he described the light speaking to him with kindness, and explaining who it was.[41]

 

In Discourse XXVIII Symeon wrote about the light and its power to transform:

 

It shines on us without evening, without change, without alteration, without form. It speaks, works, lives, gives life, and changes into light those whom it illuminates. We bear witness that "God is light," and those to whom it has been granted to see Him have all beheld Him as light. Those who have seen Him have received Him as light, because the light of His glory goes before Him, and it is impossible for Him to appear without light. Those who have not seen His light have not seen Him, for He is the light, and those who have not received the light have not yet received grace. Those who have received grace have received the light of God and have received God, even as Christ Himself, who is the Light, has said, "I will live in them and move among them." (2 Cor. 6:16)[42]

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symeon_the_New_Theologian

Edited by Jonesboy

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I would agree he is talking about the Eucharist, but in its true sense as an embodied realisation of it's true meaning. What does it really mean that bread is Christ's body and wine his blood? In one sense it's a mystery to the intellect , but one which can be realised spiritually

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It is very easy for humans to become like God the almighty all you have to do is hate people, love genocide, despise women  kill baby's, fear all that is different, and force people to love you or die at the hands of humans.  Yes I made the mistake of reading the bible.

 

A Personified lonely man god is just not a good archetype for humans to live up to.

 

To have a son jesus christ I am pretty sure you need to touch a woman, yes I know that is gross as well but that is how it really works.

 

The true story is about us and how we can give birth the the higher divine self with out sex. Then the need for God vanishes to dust.

 

Now you all hate me and I should be killed in the name of God so its all cool, Have a beautiful day and may God be with you. 

 

Just messing with you all. I can feel the divine presence at every moment no matter what words we choose to use to describe the unknown force, its all good and better than nothing.

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