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Christianus
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« on: February 12, 2010, 09:34:58 PM »

this is what scares..

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 09:42:15 PM »

Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

What specifically "scares" you?

Also, when I hear the word "scare" it implies that there is some type of impending danger or that something could hurt you somehow. What is it about theosis that you fear?
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 09:49:58 PM »

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.

Can't argue with that one.

Quote
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)

I don't think this is a valid reason for rejecting Catholicism. All are capable of committing evils. I reject Roman Catholicism, but for its false teachings, not for the evils committed in its name.

Quote
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

What's so scary about it? 2 Peter 1:4 speaks of man partaking of the divine nature. Deification means participating in the divine life of God, not partaking of the divine essence or becoming God by essence.

I just came across this quote about 3minutes ago in a book I'm reading. It's seems appropriate here. For "Maximus the Confessor whose championing of this notion led to its prevalence in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, 'deification' meant becoming 'all that God is, except for an identity in ousia (essence, nature) one becomes when one is deified by grace'. And the 'except' of course makes all the difference. Deification is being made like God in many ways...but those properties would belong to a human contingently, not essentially" - Richard Swinburne - The Christian God, p. 227.
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 10:50:40 PM »

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.

Can't argue with that one.

Quote
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)

I don't think this is a valid reason for rejecting Catholicism. All are capable of committing evils. I reject Roman Catholicism, but for its false teachings, not for the evils committed in its name.

Quote
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

What's so scary about it? 2 Peter 1:4 speaks of man partaking of the divine nature. Deification means participating in the divine life of God, not partaking of the divine essence or becoming God by essence.

I just came across this quote about 3minutes ago in a book I'm reading. It's seems appropriate here. For "Maximus the Confessor whose championing of this notion led to its prevalence in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, 'deification' meant becoming 'all that God is, except for an identity in ousia (essence, nature) one becomes when one is deified by grace'. And the 'except' of course makes all the difference. Deification is being made like God in many ways...but those properties would belong to a human contingently, not essentially" - Richard Swinburne - The Christian God, p. 227.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deify
Well Websters says that to deify means to make. or become a god, I think the church has a lousy translation that needs to be explained by the church...
the way you explain it doesn't scare me, but the popular usage of deification does scare me.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deification

1. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) the act or process of exalting to the position of a god
but according to you it's like communion with God, or participating in the divine life of God.
The orthodox church really has a bad translation of the word Theosis.
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 10:58:28 PM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 11:05:30 PM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 11:06:28 PM »

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.

Can't argue with that one.

Quote
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)

I don't think this is a valid reason for rejecting Catholicism. All are capable of committing evils. I reject Roman Catholicism, but for its false teachings, not for the evils committed in its name.

Quote
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

What's so scary about it? 2 Peter 1:4 speaks of man partaking of the divine nature. Deification means participating in the divine life of God, not partaking of the divine essence or becoming God by essence.

I just came across this quote about 3minutes ago in a book I'm reading. It's seems appropriate here. For "Maximus the Confessor whose championing of this notion led to its prevalence in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, 'deification' meant becoming 'all that God is, except for an identity in ousia (essence, nature) one becomes when one is deified by grace'. And the 'except' of course makes all the difference. Deification is being made like God in many ways...but those properties would belong to a human contingently, not essentially" - Richard Swinburne - The Christian God, p. 227.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deify
Well Websters says that to deify means to make. or become a god, I think the church has a lousy translation that needs to be explained by the church...
the way you explain it doesn't scare me, but the popular usage of deification does scare me.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deification

1. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) the act or process of exalting to the position of a god
but according to you it's like communion with God, or participating in the divine life of God.
The orthodox church really has a bad translation of the word Theosis.

Maybe it's the dictionary that has a lousy translation, not the Church.

Have you spoken to a priest about theosis? Rather than consult a dictionary, consult a priest. He will be able to answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns.

There's no commitment involved, and many will even answer your questions via email. Smiley

Heck, I'm sure if you PM'd any of the priests on this forum they would be happy to help you.
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 11:09:27 PM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

"Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law,  ‘I said, “You are gods”’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?" (John 10:34-36)
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 11:14:56 PM »

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.

Can't argue with that one.

Quote
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)

I don't think this is a valid reason for rejecting Catholicism. All are capable of committing evils. I reject Roman Catholicism, but for its false teachings, not for the evils committed in its name.

Quote
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

What's so scary about it? 2 Peter 1:4 speaks of man partaking of the divine nature. Deification means participating in the divine life of God, not partaking of the divine essence or becoming God by essence.

I just came across this quote about 3minutes ago in a book I'm reading. It's seems appropriate here. For "Maximus the Confessor whose championing of this notion led to its prevalence in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, 'deification' meant becoming 'all that God is, except for an identity in ousia (essence, nature) one becomes when one is deified by grace'. And the 'except' of course makes all the difference. Deification is being made like God in many ways...but those properties would belong to a human contingently, not essentially" - Richard Swinburne - The Christian God, p. 227.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deify
Well Websters says that to deify means to make. or become a god, I think the church has a lousy translation that needs to be explained by the church...
the way you explain it doesn't scare me, but the popular usage of deification does scare me.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deification

1. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) the act or process of exalting to the position of a god
but according to you it's like communion with God, or participating in the divine life of God.
The orthodox church really has a bad translation of the word Theosis.

It's not just participating in the divine life, it's being transformed by grace into everything Christ is by nature. Jesus and the psalmist both say "ye are gods." (John 10:34, Psalm 82:6). If Christ himself says it you have nothing to fear my friend.


Yours in Christ
Joe
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 11:15:25 PM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

No, because it is by grace and not by nature. Theosis is utterly dependent on God's energies; the deified saints are not gods by any power of their own and never can be. They remain finite, created beings who have no independent existence outside of God's will.
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2010, 12:16:25 AM »

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.

Can't argue with that one.

Quote
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)

I don't think this is a valid reason for rejecting Catholicism. All are capable of committing evils. I reject Roman Catholicism, but for its false teachings, not for the evils committed in its name.

Quote
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

What's so scary about it? 2 Peter 1:4 speaks of man partaking of the divine nature. Deification means participating in the divine life of God, not partaking of the divine essence or becoming God by essence.

I just came across this quote about 3minutes ago in a book I'm reading. It's seems appropriate here. For "Maximus the Confessor whose championing of this notion led to its prevalence in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, 'deification' meant becoming 'all that God is, except for an identity in ousia (essence, nature) one becomes when one is deified by grace'. And the 'except' of course makes all the difference. Deification is being made like God in many ways...but those properties would belong to a human contingently, not essentially" - Richard Swinburne - The Christian God, p. 227.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deify
Well Websters says that to deify means to make. or become a god, I think the church has a lousy translation that needs to be explained by the church...
the way you explain it doesn't scare me, but the popular usage of deification does scare me.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deification

1. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) the act or process of exalting to the position of a god
but according to you it's like communion with God, or participating in the divine life of God.
The orthodox church really has a bad translation of the word Theosis.

It's not just participating in the divine life, it's being transformed by grace into everything Christ is by nature. Jesus and the psalmist both say "ye are gods." (John 10:34, Psalm 82:6). If Christ himself says it you have nothing to fear my friend.


Yours in Christ
Joe

Well, since 99% of Christians probably never come anywhere close to this ideal, I doubt that you have much to worry about.  It kind of amazes me how some people think that they can just become a saint by snapping their fingers.  It probably takes a whole lifetime to get anywhere near the Christian ideal of perfection and even most canonized saints believed that they were nowhere close to this in their own spiritual development. 

Anyway, don't worry about it.  God doesn't force anything on us that we don't wish.  He never forces holiness or perfection down our throats if we are not prepared for it.  If you fear growing in holiness that is probably a good sign that you are a good person in the first place (Would a bad one even care about not being holy enough). 
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2010, 01:27:21 AM »

this is what scares..

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

One way of explaining Theosis is first the restoration of our human nature (created in the image and likeness of God) that has been corrupted by sin, and then continuing to live, grow, and be conformed to God by His grace. We are limited and God is infinite, so our growth towards him is neverending. Hope this helps.
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2010, 02:33:04 AM »

The COE approaches the concept differently. Christ by being righteous proved that Adam could have been righteous, Christ became the Second Adam, and we should strive for righteousness because its the Father's will and allows the Father to identify us with his Son, who in his human nature defeated sin (unlike Adam).
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2010, 03:22:34 AM »

It scared me at first, but I realized that we won't become gods, nor will we become God, but we will become "like God".
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 10:04:26 AM »

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.

Can't argue with that one.

Quote
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)

I don't think this is a valid reason for rejecting Catholicism. All are capable of committing evils. I reject Roman Catholicism, but for its false teachings, not for the evils committed in its name.

Quote
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

What's so scary about it? 2 Peter 1:4 speaks of man partaking of the divine nature. Deification means participating in the divine life of God, not partaking of the divine essence or becoming God by essence.

I just came across this quote about 3minutes ago in a book I'm reading. It's seems appropriate here. For "Maximus the Confessor whose championing of this notion led to its prevalence in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, 'deification' meant becoming 'all that God is, except for an identity in ousia (essence, nature) one becomes when one is deified by grace'. And the 'except' of course makes all the difference. Deification is being made like God in many ways...but those properties would belong to a human contingently, not essentially" - Richard Swinburne - The Christian God, p. 227.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deify
Well Websters says that to deify means to make. or become a god, I think the church has a lousy translation that needs to be explained by the church...
the way you explain it doesn't scare me, but the popular usage of deification does scare me.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deification

1. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) the act or process of exalting to the position of a god
but according to you it's like communion with God, or participating in the divine life of God.
The orthodox church really has a bad translation of the word Theosis.

It's not just participating in the divine life, it's being transformed by grace into everything Christ is by nature. Jesus and the psalmist both say "ye are gods." (John 10:34, Psalm 82:6). If Christ himself says it you have nothing to fear my friend.


Yours in Christ
Joe

Well, since 99% of Christians probably never come anywhere close to this ideal, I doubt that you have much to worry about.  It kind of amazes me how some people think that they can just become a saint by snapping their fingers.  It probably takes a whole lifetime to get anywhere near the Christian ideal of perfection and even most canonized saints believed that they were nowhere close to this in their own spiritual development.  

Anyway, don't worry about it.  God doesn't force anything on us that we don't wish.  He never forces holiness or perfection down our throats if we are not prepared for it.  If you fear growing in holiness that is probably a good sign that you are a good person in the first place (Would a bad one even care about not being holy enough).  

No doubt they felt they were no where close to perfection.  It seems to me when I contemplate our Lord and our development, no matter how many steps towards perfection we may make we are really no closer to the perfection of God than when we first started.   When I compare my development with the Saints, I am a utterly broken seeing how far off the mark I am even compared to them let alone the incomprehensible perfection of God.  Love, Hope and Faith in our Lord keeps me alive in my despare of who I am.

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2010, 10:09:36 AM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?
No, that would be gods by nature.  Divinize is better, though.  Maybe Divinization would be a better tranlsation for theosis.
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2010, 10:48:07 AM »

Well there seems to be a huge difference in "gods" and "gods by grace".  The first is by their own accord and the latter He/ she would need a god to do it for them. The reliance on the other is a key distinction.
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2010, 11:45:39 AM »

this is what scares..

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

Theosis scares the crap out of me as well......but more in a fearfull/respectful way. You can see this concept in a number of the works of early christians......when I first saw it (in my protestant years)  ........it scared the living daylights out of me......and so, I can't really get mad at you. To be honest, my fear, is more of one of respect and honor of the love of God and what He wants to do. I don't fully understand why He wants to do it, but I am in awe of it.

I don't know if what I said made any sense......but this is my situation (in regards to this issue) at the moment.....and have been for years. And so, you are not alone in being scared by it. I'm sure a number of us share a similar experience.






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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2010, 12:33:27 PM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?
No, that would be gods by nature.  Divinize is better, though.  Maybe Divinization would be a better tranlsation for theosis.

I agree with you Isa. I saw this definition on a site run by Athanasios Bailey. He explains why divinization is a better definition for theosis.

"Thomas Aquinas understood the difference between icon and assimilation (he quoted his bad translation of St. John of Damaskos's EXACT EXPOSITION OF ORTHODOX BELIEF) . . . but since he confused energy (actus, operatio) with essence, he misunderstood the Trinity and confused Deification (participation in the imparticipable divine Essence-apotheosis) with Divinization (Theosis, participating in the divine Energies). Aware of the impossibility of worshipers' participating in an imparticipable Essence, he settled for an intentional or conceptual, virtual unity. This is not too unlike the Reformers' virtual covenantal union of believers with God."
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2010, 04:47:46 PM »

Is 'scary' necessarily bad?
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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2010, 06:05:46 PM »

Is 'scary' necessarily bad?
Yes it is. It means we aren't yet perfected in Christ. 1 John 4:18
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2010, 06:22:45 PM »

Is 'scary' necessarily bad?
Yes it is. It means we aren't yet perfected in Christ. 1 John 4:18

But surely it's not bad to be scared when you are not used to Christianity? It is far better than being complacent! Fear can be simply the recognition that not everything is certain and easy, so ultimately, it is good to be able to accept fear. Sometimes the world is scary. Pretending that you don't get scared of anything is a brittle way to be; it's not healthy.
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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2010, 07:28:54 PM »

Is 'scary' necessarily bad?
Yes it is. It means we aren't yet perfected in Christ. 1 John 4:18

But surely it's not bad to be scared when you are not used to Christianity? It is far better than being complacent! Fear can be simply the recognition that not everything is certain and easy, so ultimately, it is good to be able to accept fear. Sometimes the world is scary. Pretending that you don't get scared of anything is a brittle way to be; it's not healthy.
Fear is certainly healthy depending on the context. Fear is a very complex issue. In a natural sense it is certainly needed in everyday life. It's when we look at our spiritual response that things become more complex. Our response to fear all depends how far along you are on the path to perfection. Fear is actually a gauge that we can use in our own spiritual struggle that brings us closer to god. The more fear that we have the further away we are to his conformity. Meaning that something has to change within us to bring us closer to what god wants us to be. In a sense he uses it to shape our inner being.
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« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2010, 10:27:24 PM »

Theosis is a conjugation of Theos (God) and enosis (union).  Read John 17, where Christ prays for us all to be en-osin in Him:  "In in them and Thou in me..."   That's Christianity--union with God by grace!
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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2010, 01:32:42 PM »

I have to admit that I sympathize - being changed or changing is certainly enough to scare anyone. A friend of mine was talking about theosis and said she imagined it to be something like surgery: you're anesthetized and the offending bits are removed. You wake up and they're gone. Whereas the reality is that it's more like chemotherapy - takes a long time, difficult, painful etc.
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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2010, 01:58:00 PM »

this is what scares..

Protestantism, that they aren't the original New Testament Church.
Roman Catholicism, burning heretics, calling crusades on infidels ( i.e. killing them in the name of God, did orthodoxy ever have anything like that I don't think so)
Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

By comparison, a history of helping people become "Like God" (Theosis) sounds better than burning Constantinople and attacking Jerusalem  Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2010, 05:03:11 PM »

I should have looked before I posted. This is the convert issue board and I didn't realize that. I am not supposed to be posting on this anyway. Moderators, can you delete my post?


At Papist request I have removed the post in question and the commentary based on that post that is inappropriate for the Convert Issues Forum. I would like to remind everyone that the Purple Demons (Lenten temptation towards argumentativeness and debate) are in full swing this Lent already. Thank you Papist for catching yourself and asking the  Moderator to delete your posting. Everyone, please remember that the Convert Issues Forum is not a place for debate or argument but a place for simple and direct answers for those new to the Faith or inquiring about Orthodoxy. It is supposed to be a safe place for new converts and Inquirers to get answers.

May you have a blessed Lent!
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« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2010, 10:31:38 AM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

Is sharing immortality with God, polytheism?
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« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2010, 10:39:27 AM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

Is sharing immortality with God, polytheism?
Not if your immortality is based on communion. The minute you choose anything different you loose your immortality. As long as your free will agrees with god your OK. Cheesy
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« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2010, 10:42:35 AM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

Is sharing immortality with God, polytheism?
Not if your immortality is based on communion. The minute you choose anything different you loose your immortality. As long as your free will agrees with god your OK. Cheesy

That was the point of my question. Is it proper in Orthodoxy to say that 'all' that man has is extended to him by God's Divine Out Pouring of His Graces? I mean, when we are good, it is because we are sharing in the goodness of God, correct?
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« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2010, 11:12:12 AM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

Is sharing immortality with God, polytheism?
Not if your immortality is based on communion. The minute you choose anything different you loose your immortality. As long as your free will agrees with god your OK. Cheesy

That was the point of my question. Is it proper in Orthodoxy to say that 'all' that man has is extended to him by God's Divine Out Pouring of His Graces? I mean, when we are good, it is because we are sharing in the goodness of God, correct?
This is the difference between west and east. In the east, we are naturally good and created that way. Our natural will is good and it's when we sin that we are out of communion. God made us good from the beginning. Original sin is a condition of our nature. Our nature give us a disposition toward sin. In the west man is deprived from the start. That is why the west believes children that die go to hell.
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« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2010, 11:21:17 AM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

Is sharing immortality with God, polytheism?
Not if your immortality is based on communion. The minute you choose anything different you loose your immortality. As long as your free will agrees with god your OK. Cheesy

That was the point of my question. Is it proper in Orthodoxy to say that 'all' that man has is extended to him by God's Divine Out Pouring of His Graces? I mean, when we are good, it is because we are sharing in the goodness of God, correct?
This is the difference between west and east. In the east, we are naturally good and created that way. Our natural will is good and it's when we sin that we are out of communion. God made us good from the beginning. Original sin is a condition of our nature. Our nature give us a disposition toward sin. In the west man is deprived from the start. That is why the west believes children that die go to hell.

But this 'communion' is never 'completely' cut because it 'is' our life, correct? I mean to say that it is in God that we move, and breath and have our being... and so there is an extension of the life, the good, the attributes of God toward all creation but especially toward man. There is no one 'good' but God and Him alone. So I say that what 'good' we have is that which we 'share' through communion with and in God Himself. Is that not correct?
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« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2010, 11:44:37 AM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

Is sharing immortality with God, polytheism?
Not if your immortality is based on communion. The minute you choose anything different you loose your immortality. As long as your free will agrees with god your OK. Cheesy

That was the point of my question. Is it proper in Orthodoxy to say that 'all' that man has is extended to him by God's Divine Out Pouring of His Graces? I mean, when we are good, it is because we are sharing in the goodness of God, correct?
This is the difference between west and east. In the east, we are naturally good and created that way. Our natural will is good and it's when we sin that we are out of communion. God made us good from the beginning. Original sin is a condition of our nature. Our nature give us a disposition toward sin. In the west man is deprived from the start. That is why the west believes children that die go to hell.

But this 'communion' is never 'completely' cut because it 'is' our life, correct? I mean to say that it is in God that we move, and breath and have our being... and so there is an extension of the life, the good, the attributes of God toward all creation but especially toward man. There is no one 'good' but God and Him alone. So I say that what 'good' we have is that which we 'share' through communion with and in God Himself. Is that not correct?
God is continually offering and never ceases. It's as if we stand on a tree branch and we ourselves cut the limb. A self annulment if you will.
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« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2010, 11:48:44 AM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

Is sharing immortality with God, polytheism?
Not if your immortality is based on communion. The minute you choose anything different you loose your immortality. As long as your free will agrees with god your OK. Cheesy

That was the point of my question. Is it proper in Orthodoxy to say that 'all' that man has is extended to him by God's Divine Out Pouring of His Graces? I mean, when we are good, it is because we are sharing in the goodness of God, correct?
This is the difference between west and east. In the east, we are naturally good and created that way. Our natural will is good and it's when we sin that we are out of communion. God made us good from the beginning. Original sin is a condition of our nature. Our nature give us a disposition toward sin. In the west man is deprived from the start. That is why the west believes children that die go to hell.

But this 'communion' is never 'completely' cut because it 'is' our life, correct? I mean to say that it is in God that we move, and breath and have our being... and so there is an extension of the life, the good, the attributes of God toward all creation but especially toward man. There is no one 'good' but God and Him alone. So I say that what 'good' we have is that which we 'share' through communion with and in God Himself. Is that not correct?
God is continually offering and never ceases. It's as if we stand on a tree branch and we ourselves cut the limb. A self annulment if you will.

Or perhaps like babies with umbilical cords... which we are strangling with our own hands cutting ourselves off from the nourishing life of our heavenly provider...?
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« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2010, 11:57:24 AM »

I like it. Grin
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« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2010, 01:14:38 PM »

I like it. Grin

So, with that said, how do we square this with the analogies used by our Lord? He spoke in dualisms (Carnal and Spiritual), (Sheep and Goats)... the vine and it's branches was used to describe the 'spiritual' who have been spliced in with the 'spiritual' root of the Jewish Covenant. It seems that the Orthodox view of 'all' life being members of this 'spiritual life' in God over plays their hand at this?

What are your thoughts?
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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2010, 01:39:48 PM »

I like it. Grin

So, with that said, how do we square this with the analogies used by our Lord? He spoke in dualisms (Carnal and Spiritual), (Sheep and Goats)... the vine and it's branches was used to describe the 'spiritual' who have been spliced in with the 'spiritual' root of the Jewish Covenant. It seems that the Orthodox view of 'all' life being members of this 'spiritual life' in God over plays their hand at this?

What are your thoughts?
I would concentrate more so on the other side of that dualistic notion. This way you can put to rest the notion that mans survival is based on his spirit. If god can gather space and time there is no reason to depend on the existence of a created spirit. The gathering together of space and time is what unites. When our prayers go out to our loved ones it's because Christ will be all to all in very age. They hear us because space and time have collected within the infinite Christ. Not because they live this very moment in time.
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« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2010, 02:27:34 PM »

I like it. Grin

So, with that said, how do we square this with the analogies used by our Lord? He spoke in dualisms (Carnal and Spiritual), (Sheep and Goats)... the vine and it's branches was used to describe the 'spiritual' who have been spliced in with the 'spiritual' root of the Jewish Covenant. It seems that the Orthodox view of 'all' life being members of this 'spiritual life' in God over plays their hand at this?

What are your thoughts?
I would concentrate more so on the other side of that dualistic notion. This way you can put to rest the notion that mans survival is based on his spirit. If god can gather space and time there is no reason to depend on the existence of a created spirit. The gathering together of space and time is what unites. When our prayers go out to our loved ones it's because Christ will be all to all in very age. They hear us because space and time have collected within the infinite Christ. Not because they live this very moment in time.

Could you unpack your thought here a little bit for me? What is 'this other side of that dualistic notion'? Thanks.
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« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2010, 03:19:19 PM »

I like it. Grin

So, with that said, how do we square this with the analogies used by our Lord? He spoke in dualisms (Carnal and Spiritual), (Sheep and Goats)... the vine and it's branches was used to describe the 'spiritual' who have been spliced in with the 'spiritual' root of the Jewish Covenant. It seems that the Orthodox view of 'all' life being members of this 'spiritual life' in God over plays their hand at this?

What are your thoughts?
I would concentrate more so on the other side of that dualistic notion. This way you can put to rest the notion that mans survival is based on his spirit. If god can gather space and time there is no reason to depend on the existence of a created spirit. The gathering together of space and time is what unites. When our prayers go out to our loved ones it's because Christ will be all to all in very age. They hear us because space and time have collected within the infinite Christ. Not because they live this very moment in time.

Could you unpack your thought here a little bit for me? What is 'this other side of that dualistic notion'? Thanks.
I don't know how to make it any clearer. Have you ever lost something to discover moments latter it was right in front of you. This is exactly what it's like.  I did find a good quote that touches on the subject.     

Quote
When the Word of God becomes bright and shining in us, and His face is dazzling as the sun, then also will His clothes be radiant, that is, the clear and distinct words of the Holy Scripture of the Gospels now no longer veiled. Then Moses and Elias will stand beside Him, that is, the more spiritual meanings of the Law and the Prophets.


St. Maximus the Confessor, Second Chapter on Knowledge,
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« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2010, 05:08:58 PM »

What scares me is the belief in Nirvana and other Buddhist teachings. You don't really exist at all ever. You are like a clear bottle of sea water in the ocean floating on the top. Just being tossed by the waves until you "realize" that bottle doesn't really exist. You can only be free, cured, and find the still waters that run deep by realizing you don't even exist at all! I got comfortable with it after I first learned it 14 years ago but at the time it was a terrifying thought as I was completely open to it and came to believe it for a time.
Later I was told and read that in fact many Buddhists and other Easterns (Jains, Hindus, etc.) do not see it this way. A Central Asian Buddhist told me that they believe something that bears similarities to Theosis. The Enlightened Ones are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They still exist but enlightenment has made them gods who have no need or attachment to anything material. She, the Central Asian Buddhist, can't remember what ethnicity, told me that it is a false western Dualism that misinterprates what they teach and attach false, negative and evil concepts and ideas where they don't exist, such as that Nirvana is complete nothingness and non-existence or that material is evil rather than attachment, that is like addiction, to the material world.
Also with regards to the comment on Christ speaking in Dualisms I have to emphatically deny this!
Christianity has no dualism. Evil has no real existence as there is no such thing as absolute evil. God created everything very Good. It is the free will rejecting God that is evil but God is Good and All Powerful. Evil has no permanence, no Life, no Truth, no reality or essence.
Only God is totally Real.
In the Bible there are paradoxes and simple oppositions but nothing that equates to dualism as it is used and understood (Good vs. Evil)
My understanding of Theosis is related to the Sacrament of Marriage. The two shall become as One. Now we all know that there is a sexual meaning to this but it is much more that that of course.
Christ is the Bridegroom and we are the brides.
God made us out of Nothingness.
To be united with God is to become god. To have Love, Life and Truth in Full!
I suppose I am too used to this to be scared by it.
I have to say what gnaws at me is the fear of death as the end. I lived for several years not believing in anything much and convinced myself that there can be no afterlife.
To have nothing after all this is a dreadful thought.
Atheism scares me . . .
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« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2010, 05:19:15 PM »

What scares me is the belief in Nirvana and other Buddhist teachings. You don't really exist at all ever. You are like a clear bottle of sea water in the ocean floating on the top. Just being tossed by the waves until you "realize" that bottle doesn't really exist. You can only be free, cured, and find the still waters that run deep by realizing you don't even exist at all! I got comfortable with it after I first learned it 14 years ago but at the time it was a terrifying thought as I was completely open to it and came to believe it for a time.
Later I was told and read that in fact many Buddhists and other Easterns (Jains, Hindus, etc.) do not see it this way. A Central Asian Buddhist told me that they believe something that bears similarities to Theosis. The Enlightened Ones are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They still exist but enlightenment has made them gods who have no need or attachment to anything material. She, the Central Asian Buddhist, can't remember what ethnicity, told me that it is a false western Dualism that misinterprates what they teach and attach false, negative and evil concepts and ideas where they don't exist, such as that Nirvana is complete nothingness and non-existence or that material is evil rather than attachment, that is like addiction, to the material world.
Also with regards to the comment on Christ speaking in Dualisms I have to emphatically deny this!
Christianity has no dualism. Evil has no real existence as there is no such thing as absolute evil. God created everything very Good. It is the free will rejecting God that is evil but God is Good and All Powerful. Evil has no permanence, no Life, no Truth, no reality or essence.
Only God is totally Real.
In the Bible there are paradoxes and simple oppositions but nothing that equates to dualism as it is used and understood (Good vs. Evil)
My understanding of Theosis is related to the Sacrament of Marriage. The two shall become as One. Now we all know that there is a sexual meaning to this but it is much more that that of course.
Christ is the Bridegroom and we are the brides.
God made us out of Nothingness.
To be united with God is to become god. To have Love, Life and Truth in Full!
I suppose I am too used to this to be scared by it.
I have to say what gnaws at me is the fear of death as the end. I lived for several years not believing in anything much and convinced myself that there can be no afterlife.
To have nothing after all this is a dreadful thought.
Atheism scares me . . .

So, to you, when Our Lord spoke of the Sheep and the Goats... the Dead and the Living... He was not speaking a 'Dualism'?
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« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2010, 02:30:19 PM »

Orthodoxy: its teaching of Theosis , or Deification scares and is strange to me.

That s good.Beater to be scared then finish in hell.
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« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2010, 11:38:07 PM »


Revelation speaks loud and clear about cowards and faithless people.

Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Christianity shouldn't scare you, its God whom you should be scared of, listen:

http://www.philokalia.org/Constantine%20Zalalas/OTF/OTF42A.mp3

1John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

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« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2010, 10:21:29 PM »

So, to you, when Our Lord spoke of the Sheep and the Goats... the Dead and the Living... He was not speaking a 'Dualism'?

I'm sorry, I made a mistake when I was writing. Yes, what you mentioned are epistemological dualisms but I read the word dualism and immediately began thinking of metaphysical dualism. I have had many arguments over accusations of metaphysical dualism against Christianity, particularly against Orthodox and Traditionalist Roman Catholics, that I made a false assumption.
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« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2010, 02:07:29 PM »

Words often have a range of meanings and subtle variations which are lost on dictionary compilers. Don't treat dictionaries as infallible guides to the meanings of words.

I think "deify" is probably the best word that could have been chosen. I have also seen "divinize" used but I prefer "deify." The saints do not become God, but they are "gods" by grace.
Isn't that polytheism?

Is sharing immortality with God, polytheism?


It not the same thing. God has no beginning and no end. People have a beginning. Some people will have an end and other will be saved and have eternal life.
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« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2010, 02:19:02 PM »

What scares me is the belief in Nirvana and other Buddhist teachings. You don't really exist at all ever. .  . . .

Hmmm.. It depends on the school of Buddhism I suppose but here is a good way to understand this.

There are Three Truths:

Relative Truth,

Absolute Truth

and both Absolute and Relative are True at the same time...   Smiley

I am Marc. But isn't this just a convention? My Mother picked the name and I go by it. But on the Absolute view of things, "Marc" is just made up. My being is  "really" something else.

Truth one: I am Marc.. This is a True statement.

Truth two : I exist in a way far beyond the mundane designations we give each other.

Truth three: Both are True at the same time, one not any more true than the other.


I am Marc and I am also more than that in ways I cant even understand. What is "Real" and then what is "Really Real".

So don't worry too much, you do exist.  Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2010, 02:29:34 PM »

What scares me is the belief in Nirvana and other Buddhist teachings. You don't really exist at all ever. You are like a clear bottle of sea water in the ocean floating on the top. Just being tossed by the waves until you "realize" that bottle doesn't really exist. You can only be free, cured, and find the still waters that run deep by realizing you don't even exist at all! I got comfortable with it after I first learned it 14 years ago but at the time it was a terrifying thought as I was completely open to it and came to believe it for a time.
In a way, the Buddhists are not really too far off in this belief. We cannot reach Theosis until we make ourselves nothing, of least importance, and put all others ahead of us. When the Apostles argued as to which of them was greatest, Christ showed us that the greatest among us must be the servant of all. So in order to be cured of self-love, we must practice loving others, to the point at which our own desires do not matter to us anymore.

So while the philosophy that this present world is illusory is not one which we Christians would share, we can appreciate the sentiment. Yet at the same time, we realise the truth that there is a spoon, and moreso a person who needs the spoon. The needs of that person for the spoon are greater than our desire to keep the spoon, and therefore we should give of what we have to help that person in need.
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« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2010, 09:21:01 PM »

It scared me at first, but I realized that we won't become gods, nor will we become God, but we will become "like God".

Become like God? -- Didn't the serpent also promise that?

 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5  "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3: 4-5)

Forgive me for noticing this scary similarity of Christ's and the serpent's promise.
What do the Fathers have to say?
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« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2010, 09:29:52 PM »

Yes, it is scary. God wants us to be reconciled to Him while we are alive. The demands are formidable and require great effort from us.
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« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2010, 10:25:57 PM »

It scared me at first, but I realized that we won't become gods, nor will we become God, but we will become "like God".

Become like God? -- Didn't the serpent also promise that?

 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5  "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3: 4-5)

Forgive me for noticing this scary similarity of Christ's and the serpent's promise.
What do the Fathers have to say?

The Devil twisted the message. Under the Devil, instead of worshipping God, man worships himself.
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« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2010, 10:38:09 AM »

It scared me at first, but I realized that we won't become gods, nor will we become God, but we will become "like God".

Become like God? -- Didn't the serpent also promise that?

 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5  "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3: 4-5)

Forgive me for noticing this scary similarity of Christ's and the serpent's promise.
What do the Fathers have to say?
There's a subtle difference. Christ says, "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me." In other words, we must die to ourselves in order to become like God. The serpent's lie was that we could do whatever we want and still become like God--a lie that is as appealing now as it was then.
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« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2010, 10:47:32 AM »

What scares me is the belief in Nirvana and other Buddhist teachings. You don't really exist at all ever. .  . . .

Hmmm.. It depends on the school of Buddhism I suppose but here is a good way to understand this.

There are Three Truths:

Relative Truth,

Absolute Truth

and both Absolute and Relative are True at the same time...   Smiley

I am Marc. But isn't this just a convention? My Mother picked the name and I go by it. But on the Absolute view of things, "Marc" is just made up. My being is  "really" something else.

Truth one: I am Marc.. This is a True statement.

Truth two : I exist in a way far beyond the mundane designations we give each other.

Truth three: Both are True at the same time, one not any more true than the other.


I am Marc and I am also more than that in ways I cant even understand. What is "Real" and then what is "Really Real".

So don't worry too much, you do exist.  Smiley

You sound like a Buddhist...
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« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2010, 10:58:32 AM »

What scares me is the belief in Nirvana and other Buddhist teachings. You don't really exist at all ever. .  . . .

Hmmm.. It depends on the school of Buddhism I suppose but here is a good way to understand this.

There are Three Truths:

Relative Truth,

Absolute Truth

and both Absolute and Relative are True at the same time...   Smiley

I am Marc. But isn't this just a convention? My Mother picked the name and I go by it. But on the Absolute view of things, "Marc" is just made up. My being is  "really" something else.

Truth one: I am Marc.. This is a True statement.

Truth two : I exist in a way far beyond the mundane designations we give each other.

Truth three: Both are True at the same time, one not any more true than the other.


I am Marc and I am also more than that in ways I cant even understand. What is "Real" and then what is "Really Real".

So don't worry too much, you do exist.  Smiley

You sound like a Buddhist...
Well, then it must be a good explanation of this particular Buddhist belief.
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"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
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