Posts Tagged ‘The scriptures’

The Aztecs believed in after life. They sacrificed the first born to the Sun in a belief that souls of the dead occupied the starry heavens. These souls according to them kept the best place for their fathers and for the siblings. Thus each Aztec warrior took pride that the perfect fruit of his loins had found his perfect bliss.Of course they had also reserved their place in heaven. On the All Soul’s Day the believers climbed to the top of a volcano in order to have a foretaste of it. They stood hand in hand around the crater to celebrate life. It was a mystery which admitted only the Aztecs.
On the twelth year after this rite was made an important event in their calendar, they climbed to their sacred spot.
On top of the mount they ate and drank according to the custom and at the wave of the High Priest’s staff they began their sacred rite.
But they were not alone.
There was a tribe of pygmies who lived nearby and whose custom was so different from theirs. Hearing some strange rumors they slipped unnoticed to enjoy the spectacle.
As the Aztec warriors danced in frenzy flames of fire seemed to descend and each warrior was transported in spirit to commune with his soul above. The pygmies missed what happened before their eyes. All they saw were their straw sandals and their belts of hemp. Pointing to their own shoes of finest vicuna hides and plumes of exotic birds they sniggered. ‘Such beggarly material!’one exclaimed and another said they were dirt farmers from the plains.
They did not see the Aztecs! They wondered where they could have run to.
One controlling his laugh said, ‘If all I had for my shoes such sorry sandals I would also jump into the deepest hole.’
The pygmies were disappointed. After returning to their own camp they narrated how the Aztecs had commited mass suicide for shame of their unfortunate circumstances.
Is it not how we speak of things we do not understand? As humans how we can measure God except in human terms?
We are least equipped to know God in his divine form. Even so we draw ridiculous assumptions according to human wisdom. It is not the Writ but what our reason can digest we pontificate. Instead of taking the simple meaning to words we weave clever philosophy. ‘The earth he has given to the children of men(Ps.115:16) is a verse that pleases some TV pastors. It is a license to add to their wardrobe the most expensive and abuse the poor circumstances of their flock so blatantly.
Before the cameras and under lights they behave like prima donnas and speak words calculated to bedazzle the congregation. All these for what? For some gold and silver! We lay so much importance to our body and its appetites. What we dismiss is the best part of our being. Our soul must speak for us here and now. God is love. Can we also love others? Can we also forgive as He has?
Our souls must also speak for hereafter.
In the Fable ‘What Price Grace’God forgave the foolishness of the pastor for his human failing. Grace covered his soul from being lost. The flesh profits nothing and what is for the earth to the earth shall go. My belief is that the Lord God shall purify my soul till is fully resored after my term on earth is ended.
But one world at a time. If I cannot prove my credentials in this world who shall entrust me with a world to come?

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Soul is the essence of an individual straddling the Hereafter and Now. St. John the Divine exiled to the isle of Patmos witnessed a series of visions. These visions were entirely of a different kind than that of Nostradamus. Secular or religious visions spring from an individual and what sets them off is soul. What would that mean? Even the most sublime visions that a man ever gets to see is set on this side of heaven and it is meant only for man and is clothed in the human language. Naturally the symbols used are common to mankind for pagan and godly alike. Since the soul is the magic lantern and and it touches Hereafter and Now there shall be elements that are discerned spiritually. As a result how the Soul  flashes the images is not straight forward. Prophesies of Nostradamus has been stretched to include as diverse personages as Kennedy, Hitler etc., The number 666 of the Antichrist similarly is made to fit Nero, Napoleon or some other.In short images flashed by the soul hold significance that you may interpret as you will. If you use them for good you have done well or if you have distorted them for selfish gains you do so at your peril.
Soul of man connects
The writing on the wall judged King Belzhassar but its meaning escaped the king for whom it was intended. But Daniel could interpret its meaning. Earlier the seer had explained the significance of the dream which Nebuchadnezzar his father had seen.
From these we can understand the Soul is source of visions that speaks Truth in a special language. Infirmity of man is such that Truth cannot be handled by all. ‘What is Truth?’ Pontius Pilate asked and remained as ignorant as he was before.  Like the Ethiopian eunuch who asked Philip one might ask,’How can I except some man should guide me?’  The Scriptures is one source where Truth that one seeks will be found.  The soul of Stephen came to the aid of the Ethiopian official and  Daniel was on hand to help the king.
From the Emmaus experience it is clear where soul opens our understanding we shall see Truth as it is. But do you possess it? You may be set by such an experience into the ways of righteousness but possessing it is a matter that will be settled hereafter.

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Duality of man is such that his body and soul must come to terms and perform as one. Body lays its emphasis differently than what Soul would. The analogy of wakeful and dream states given in my post A Habitual Offender is apt here. In a material universe  each body must function from a purely material plane. How it works can only be understood if one remembers the limits in which it has its being.
But why it should be so? Any answer to it,- if it can be led to something meaningful or significant will require yet another method.
There were some 30 gospels extant till Iranaeus the Bishop of Lyons thought of establishing four of these as canonical text?  These were not written by the disciples with whose names, they have now come inseparably attached. Mark, Matthew, Luke and John have as much claim to the real Jesus as Judas or Thomas. How come then the gospel of Thomas are Judas are non-canonical while that of John is?  (Your guess is as good as mine.) How shall we settle this difficulty by sticking to any rational inquiry?
I cited this to show what feeds reason need not necessarily be the fodder for Soul.
If I believe in the permanence of my soul while my body is corruptible  I might weigh now and hereafter on different scales.

In a tussle between Hereafter and Now the latter always needs to be addressed. Time is of the essence. It is indeed foolish if I should give up the bird in hand for the two in the bush.
The other side of the coin is when we have by a choice made on insufficient evidences. Who on earth can tell what tomorrow may bring? Esau sold his birthright merely because he was faint with hunger. To him his hunger was all that mattered. Later he repented over his decision bitterly but to no avail. The younger had established his precedence once and for all. If I respect my soul as something special I may appreciate Abraham who lived in tents since he sought for ‘a city which hath foundations.’(Heb 11:10)As a Christian my enquiry of my soul is set in context of the faith of my forefathers. An experience I have given in the following section thus has to be understood within this framework.

From my young age I have been instructed from the Bible and it never ceased to exert its hold on me ever since. It stimulated my interior life as much as other books, films, music and art.
I was Benjamin to my father (obviously my name is derived from it). I was led into reading the Bible because my father brought up each of his children in what he thought was  right. I never read the Bible with the feeling of hell or punishment and seeking out His ways through the ages interested me. My conclusions were my own. Honing my intellect on His Word was an essential part of me. Curiously enough I had as a result a  ‘strange’ feeling that God was ever present. My life went on its sedate steps,- and in my fifties, one night I woke up from my sleep. All I could remember was the verse 12 from Deut 33. I referred the Bible and found that it was Moses’ blessing on Benjamin. ‘The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him…and he shall dwell between his shoulders.
What made me think the verse referred to me? Did my soul take over at that point to convince me so? It was uncanny that instantly I could bring out the meaning in its many ramifications as a hint of things to come. I convinced myself that I was beloved of God as though God validated what I had felt all along. What dwells between the shoulders if not the head? I knew then I was in the plan of God.  Or in the Mind of God. Of course I heard later from another person who ( bore the name Benjamin) had a similar experience. On looking back I see it more of my soul at work, laying down a warning. My body or intellect could not have guessed it. Of course there was a very distressing moment a few years later when I needed all the resources at my command to face it. ( Was it then Soul at work ? I was all alone but partly because of my belief I could face the challenges. Nurture of Bible and an independent turn of mind also contributed.)  Having survived the crisis I can now look back and say it marked my adulthood. Besides it was but the beginning of the most fruitful and emotionally satisfying phase of my life.
I think Soul merely stepped in where my body was inadequate.
Soul worked with my life in a manner that was natural. It could tap on my nature and nurture to take my life on yet another plane. I may not go to Church or read the Bible as carefully as I did before. Yet God is as real as it was then. In a way different from that of my father or my brothers. Soul of man is God made as real as any man who would learn of Him. If one says it is Supreme Intelligence or any other it is so for him or her. Who am I to contradict soul of another?

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