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Author Topic: Any Orthodox Mysticism?  (Read 2510 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 29, 2010, 02:56:22 AM »

I am in the pursuit of communion with, or conscious awareness of the ultimate reality, true divinity, spiritual truth, or “God” through direct experience, intuition, direct knowledge or insight. I read the bible (KJV) cover to cover several times and I developed some insights that may or may not be orthodox;

So please, bare with me as I attempt to uncover more TRUTH.

I believe that ‘God’ is the foremost and final reality; everything else is illusion.

Everything else is illusion; including heaven and hell. [Matthew 24:35]

That being said, I seek God before anything else.

I want to find God, not go to heaven and I would rather burn in a literal hell if I can't find God.

It’s been said that time is only a mental concept arising from the consciousness of change in the phenomenal world; whereas eternity is noumenal, changeless, extending into neither the "past" nor the "future", and therefore is an immeasurable "present".

Time is an illusion because it can only be perceived; and our perceptions are subject to many things that make them inconsistent.

Time is a substance that is perceived by the mind the same way that light is perceived by the eyes; and since it is only perceived (by our faulty senses) can we safely say that time (as we know it) exists?

Look up at the night sky and see the stars that no longer exist; time has definitely left its mark on them, but our perception of them seem constant in our mind. A perception that is withheld in the mind is merely a memory; and strangely, most of what makes our reality "real" are these snapshots, taken by the mind, of what [seems] constant.

Everything is in a constant state of flux; (There have been billions, probably trillions of changes that have taken place within my body since I wrote this original post) and yet, WE are in a constant state of recollection.

What we perceive as the "present" is only a recollection of information that has been passed through our perception.

WE ARE ONLY MEMORIES OF OURSELVES with a destined outcome, which has been set in an eternity with no beginning or end by THE ALMIGHTY WILL who set it in motion.

Eons before the galaxies produced the now dead and dying stars we see today WE were created by this same WILL, [Jeremiah 1:5] and one day I know that the veil of this illusion will be lifted and only THE TRUTH will remain.

I feel that it is my duty as someone who believes in THAT TRUTH to let go of these illusory and temporal things while I can, before these things let go of me!

I believe that our spirit’s journey back to God [Ecclesiastes 12:7] doesn’t necessarily begin once our body (our spiritual anchor to this “physical existence”) changes form and returns to the earth.

I don’t want to wait until then, because it most likely will be too late.

The belief in a Triune God is a controversial subject for me because the light is pure, and the instrument observing that light is not.

Is God like a diamond with many facets?

Are we like kaleidoscopes observing a perfect light through an imperfect tube?

Or is that light multispectral and we are only capable of perceiving a part of it?

[JOHN 17:21]

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

[JOHN 17:23]

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Is salvation in being “made one” in The Father and The Son?

I’m going to take a look at this through the spectacles of a materialist.

Matter is merely condensed energy vibrating at different frequencies. It’s been said that Love is the highest vibration that could be emitted by man; and I heard somewhere that “God is Love”.

So, if Love is the highest note on the harp of humanity, the only way we’re going to have any hope is if we all get in tune.

[JOHN 15:4-5]

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Was Jesus put on this earth to show us that it is possible (for us) to become ONE with the ultimate reality?

Or was he just trying to save us from ourselves?

[JOHN 15:6]

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.


I think that the message here is very clear. If you invest in illusory and temporal things, your investment will be DESTROYED. The wise man builds his house on the rock. The foolish man builds his house on the sand…  

This is why I don’t believe in heaven and hell in the traditional sense. I believe that our spirit will go back to God, [Ecclesiastes 12:7] and whether or not it’s a pleasurable experience, is up to us.  


« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 03:15:59 AM by Lucidity » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 10:11:54 AM »

Have you considered the truth may require you to ignore some personal revelations? Is it possible you're wrong? Is it possible you're right? Listen without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

This is what struck me after your post.
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2010, 12:25:19 PM »

Have you considered the truth may require you to ignore some personal revelations? Is it possible you're wrong? Is it possible you're right? Listen without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

 Huh

Of course. However, I don't consider them "revelations" (I don't have any "magic spectacles") , that's just how I see things.  Wink

Of course.

That's a possibility

Yes. That was the purpose of my post. I want someone to say what lines up, what doesn't, and why.    laugh
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 12:37:40 PM »

Lucidity, you might like to read this article:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/lossky_intro.aspx

And also this pamphlet on theosis or deification, our term for union with God:

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

While we can agree that God is the ultimate reality, we do not necessarily thence conclude that all else is illusion. Some aspects of it are illusory, but God, out of his love, created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, and while all of it is suffused with his energies, it does not dissolve into him.  You and I are not illusions, and, while we can unite with God's energies, by grace, we remain distinct from him. And that's an expression of God's love- that he can create something which, while dependent on him and in communion with him, maintains a distinct and free existence. Christianity is not a religion of everything merging into a monad, but rather a communion between distinct persons. The Orthodox union with God is a union that does not annihilate but allows for infinite progression, deeper into God.

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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2010, 08:15:16 PM »

There certain is a form of Orthodox mysticism; Eastern Christianity is essentially the most mystical form of Christianity in the world now. However, it is not mystical in the sense that you are thinking. What you have described is significantly closer to Gnosticism than Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2010, 09:41:17 PM »

There certainly is a form of Orthodox mysticism; Eastern Christianity is essentially the most mystical form of Christianity in the world now. However, it is not mystical in the sense that you are thinking. What you have described is significantly closer to Gnosticism than Orthodoxy.

I agree with Deusveritasest's assessment (except that I would argue that my Ethiopian Orthodox Faith has perhaps the richest and deepest mystical tradition of all). But if you are interested in true Orthodox mysticism, you should read "Mystical Theology" byt St. Dionysius the Areopagite. It is a brief work, but profound in its depth. You can read it here:

http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeII/MysticalTheology.html


Selam
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 11:30:40 PM »

While we can agree that God is the ultimate reality, we do not necessarily thence conclude that all else is illusion. Some aspects of it are illusory, but God, out of his love, created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, and while all of it is suffused with his energies, it does not dissolve into him.  You and I are not illusions, and, while we can unite with God's energies, by grace, we remain distinct from him. And that's an expression of God's love- that he can create something which, while dependent on him and in communion with him, maintains a distinct and free existence. Christianity is not a religion of everything merging into a monad, but rather a communion between distinct persons. The Orthodox union with God is a union that does not annihilate but allows for infinite progression, deeper into God.

So we are not emanations of The Most High?
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 11:38:07 PM »

While we can agree that God is the ultimate reality, we do not necessarily thence conclude that all else is illusion. Some aspects of it are illusory, but God, out of his love, created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, and while all of it is suffused with his energies, it does not dissolve into him.  You and I are not illusions, and, while we can unite with God's energies, by grace, we remain distinct from him. And that's an expression of God's love- that he can create something which, while dependent on him and in communion with him, maintains a distinct and free existence. Christianity is not a religion of everything merging into a monad, but rather a communion between distinct persons. The Orthodox union with God is a union that does not annihilate but allows for infinite progression, deeper into God.

So we are not emanations of The Most High?

No. God creates out of nothing, not by emanation. You are a real person. You are not a particular expression of some universal abstraction.
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 12:59:34 AM »

What you have described is significantly closer to Gnosticism than Orthodoxy.

I don't know anything about Gnosticism, all I know is that they are demonized in historybooks;

So, I looked it up on Wikipedia:

Quote
"Indeed, in most Gnostic systems the sufficient cause of salvation is this 'knowledge of' ('acquaintance with') the divine."

This almost parallels how I view salvation.  laugh 

Quote
Monad (apophatic theology)

Interesting, Iconodule mentioned something about that earlier...

Quote
In many Gnostic systems (and heresiologies), God is known as the Monad, the One, The Absolute, Aion teleos (The Perfect Æon), Bythos (Depth or Profundity, Βυθος), Proarkhe (Before the Beginning, προαρχη), and E Arkhe (The Beginning, η αρχη). God is the high source of the pleroma, the region of light. The various emanations of God are called æons.

Okay, sounds about right to me.


Quote
Within certain variations of Gnosticism, especially those inspired by Monoimus, the Monad was the highest God which created lesser gods, or elements (similar to æons).

Intresting, but disagree with the idea of "lesser gods" floating around in the cosmos.


Quote
According to Hippolytus, this view was inspired by the Pythagoreans, who called the first thing that came into existence the Monad, which begat the dyad, which begat the numbers, which begat the point, begetting lines, etc. This was also clarified in the writings of Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus. This teaching being largely Neopythagorean via Numenius as well.

This Monad is the spiritual source of everything which emanates the pleroma, and could be contrasted to the dark Demiurge (Yaldabaoth) that controls matter.

 Huh

They started off okay, but since I see no difference between spirit and matter - "The Dark Demiurge" seems like a scapegoat to me.

From what I've read so far, Gnosticism appears to be a blend of different religions.

I found this Gnostic text to be very interesting:

Quote
Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error.
If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live,
when they die they will receive nothing."
- The Gospel of Philip

It reminds me of what Jesus said; "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

This passage of scripture always makes me uncomfortable. I don't know what Jesus was talking about;

I don't like to think of a stoic Christ, saying this -  and being literal.
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 01:09:48 AM »

I agree with Deusveritasest's assessment (except that I would argue that my Ethiopian Orthodox Faith has perhaps the richest and deepest mystical tradition of all). But if you are interested in true Orthodox mysticism, you should read "Mystical Theology" byt St. Dionysius the Areopagite. It is a brief work, but profound in its depth. You can read it here:

http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeII/MysticalTheology.html


Selam

Thank You (& Iconodule), for the links. I'm almost done reading them. laugh

Gebre Menfes Kidus, is there a difference between The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church?

Also, is there a non-Orthodox Tewhado Church?
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2010, 02:38:10 AM »

Quote from: Lucidity
"I found this Gnostic text to be very interesting:


Quote
Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error.
If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live,
when they die they will receive nothing."
- The Gospel of Philip

It reminds me of what Jesus said; "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

This passage of scripture always makes me uncomfortable. I don't know what Jesus was talking about;

I don't like to think of a stoic Christ, saying this - and being literal"

Jesus was referring of course to the Eucharist... The bread is His flesh and the wine is His blood.

He's saying He wants you to join His Church and receive Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Oh and BTW... Gnosticism is a lie. There is no 'secret knowledge' which leads to the salvation of men.

Christ taught openly and said nothing in secret. Salvation may be obtained only through the grace of God; baptism, Chrismation for the reception of the Holy spirit and communion with Him via His body and His blood in His Church.

May God guide you away from the heresy of Gnosticism and into His Holy Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2010, 05:35:02 AM »

I agree with Deusveritasest's assessment (except that I would argue that my Ethiopian Orthodox Faith has perhaps the richest and deepest mystical tradition of all). But if you are interested in true Orthodox mysticism, you should read "Mystical Theology" byt St. Dionysius the Areopagite. It is a brief work, but profound in its depth. You can read it here:

http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/VolumeII/MysticalTheology.html


Selam

Thank You (& Iconodule), for the links. I'm almost done reading them. laugh

Gebre Menfes Kidus, is there a difference between The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church?

Also, is there a non-Orthodox Tewhado Church?

No. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is properly called "The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church." There are some unorthodox movements that have tried to appropriate the Tewahedo label, but they are not part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.


Selam
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2010, 10:49:52 PM »

Gebre Menfes Kidus,

I heard that The Ethiopian Orthodox Church began about 100 years before Rome started theirs.

Is this true?

I looked up different Bibles and the Ethiopian Bible has the most books, a lot of which I have never read before.

This was great:

Quote
That it that is the pre-eminent Cause of all things sensibly perceived is not itself any of those things.

We therefore maintain that the universal and transcendent Cause of all things is neither without being nor without life, nor without reason or intelligence; nor is it a body, nor has it form or shape, quality, quantity or weight; nor has it any localized, visible or tangible existence; it is not sensible or perceptible; nor is it subject to any disorder or inordination nor influenced by any earthly passion; neither is it rendered impotent through the effects of material causes and events; it needs no light; it suffers no change, corruption, division, privation or flux; none of these things can either be identified with or attributed unto it.

I also saw this video; It's one of the most inspirational stories I've ever seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WidZv_GYC9w
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 02:38:00 PM »

I believe that ‘God’ is the foremost and final reality; everything else is illusion.
Ah, the problem with this statement is in the use of the word 'illusion'.

The common understanding of 'illusion' is that which is ultimately not 'real', implying, thus, not 'important', not to be 'valued'.

The danger here is that if one thinks of all that is Not-God as 'illusion' (not 'real', not 'important', not to be 'valued'), then where does that leave you? How do you then treat your physical body? How do you now treat other peoples' physical bodies? How do you treat your mind, thought, feelings, as well as those of other people? Overall, you may tend to denigrate both your body as well as your mind. Once you do that, you have undermined the very possibility of realizing God.

However, if you understand 'illusion' in a different way, in the most 'radical' way, by going back to the root meaning of 'illusion', then the concept of 'illusion', I believe, can be much more useful and beneficial.

An 'illusion' is that which 'illudes', from the Latin "ludere", meaning "to play" and "in-", meaning "upon". Thus, an 'illusion' is that which plays upon one's senses and mind, by making you think one thing when actually the truth is something else. This definition of 'illusion' does not imply that something is not 'real', or not 'important', or not to be 'valued'. Instead, what is key is that one should engage in critical inquiry with what is 'illusion', because appearances may not reflect reality.

So, the body, or matter, is an 'illusion', in the sense that the body may present itself in such a way that we begin to think A, B, and C about the body, when actually X, Y, and Z are true. Likewise with the mind.

However, the body is an 'illusion' only relative to our minds. If our minds are engaged in sufficient critical inquiry, then the 'illusion' of our bodies and minds simply drops away and dissolves. 'Illusion', then, says more about us, than it does about matter and mind. Matter and mind are not inherently 'illusion'; they are only 'illusion' in the context of minds that are susceptible to being 'played upon' by appearances.
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 04:26:57 PM »

I believe that ‘God’ is the foremost and final reality; everything else is illusion.
Ah, the problem with this statement is in the use of the word 'illusion'.

The common understanding of 'illusion' is that which is ultimately not 'real', implying, thus, not 'important', not to be 'valued'.

The danger here is that if one thinks of all that is Not-God as 'illusion' (not 'real', not 'important', not to be 'valued'), then where does that leave you? How do you then treat your physical body? How do you now treat other peoples' physical bodies? How do you treat your mind, thought, feelings, as well as those of other people? Overall, you may tend to denigrate both your body as well as your mind. Once you do that, you have undermined the very possibility of realizing God.

However, if you understand 'illusion' in a different way, in the most 'radical' way, by going back to the root meaning of 'illusion', then the concept of 'illusion', I believe, can be much more useful and beneficial.

An 'illusion' is that which 'illudes', from the Latin "ludere", meaning "to play" and "in-", meaning "upon". Thus, an 'illusion' is that which plays upon one's senses and mind, by making you think one thing when actually the truth is something else. This definition of 'illusion' does not imply that something is not 'real', or not 'important', or not to be 'valued'. Instead, what is key is that one should engage in critical inquiry with what is 'illusion', because appearances may not reflect reality.

So, the body, or matter, is an 'illusion', in the sense that the body may present itself in such a way that we begin to think A, B, and C about the body, when actually X, Y, and Z are true. Likewise with the mind.

However, the body is an 'illusion' only relative to our minds. If our minds are engaged in sufficient critical inquiry, then the 'illusion' of our bodies and minds simply drops away and dissolves. 'Illusion', then, says more about us, than it does about matter and mind. Matter and mind are not inherently 'illusion'; they are only 'illusion' in the context of minds that are susceptible to being 'played upon' by appearances.

Our minds are merely murky reflections of an imperfect mirror capturing an infinite recursion of reflections.

Matter is a hologram; this is what I meant by "illusion".

Are our souls made of the same substance of God?
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2010, 04:32:00 PM »

....
Are our souls made of the same substance of God?
Is God made of substance? Huh
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2010, 04:41:41 PM »

....
Are our souls made of the same substance of God?
Is God made of substance? Huh

Is God a spirit?

"Plato wrote that when we're able to negate both being and non-being, we discover absolute nothingness, and that within that absolute nothingness we discover the absolute present - which is itself the Ultimate Reality."

Unless God is absolute nothingness, it is purported in John 1:18 that, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

Let me ask the question a different way;

Is the spirit that imbues matter with life and consciousness God?
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2010, 05:12:01 PM »

Is salvation in being “made one” in The Father and The Son?

In a sense. Salvation, also called Theosis, is union with the Holy Trinity, though our individual existence is never lost or somehow swallowed up in the whole. Once we are created upon conception, we will exist as individual, conscious beings eternally.

Theosis is achieved by participating in the Energies of God, through the Sacraments and otherwise, and by bringing our wills into parallel with His perfect Will. In its ultimate state, we are perfectly united to His Energies. (NOT His Essence—the "substance" of God's God-ness).

Although, most of us never reach this point in our lifetimes.

The life's journey can be depicted this way:

Corruption - - - - - - - > Innocence - - - - - - - > Deification (Theosis)

When we are born, we are innocent, but not deified. Gradually sin corrupts our innocence and we fall. At baptism, and afterwards when we repent, we regain our lost innocence. But it's very hard to go beyond that into deification. For most people, the struggle will be between innocence and corruption, and they won't even make much progress toward deification until later in life, if at all.

But death is not the end, Theosis is an eternal project. Since God is infinite, we can eternally be made more like Him without ever arriving. (Though repentance is not possible after death)
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2010, 05:37:21 PM »

....
Are our souls made of the same substance of God?
Is God made of substance? Huh

Is the spirit that imbues matter with life and consciousness God?
If "spirit" is that which imbues matter with "life and consciousness", then why not say simply that "spirit" IS "life and consciousness"?
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2010, 07:23:59 PM »

....
Are our souls made of the same substance of God?
Is God made of substance? Huh

Is the spirit that imbues matter with life and consciousness God?
If "spirit" is that which imbues matter with "life and consciousness", then why not say simply that "spirit" IS "life and consciousness"?


Well consciousness is a result of life (an animist would disagree), and life is matter animated with spirit.

(Yet, photons and other "virtual particles" pop in and out of existance. Think about that.)

Since we are not emanations of God, there must be a difference between "matter" and spirit.

The difference is God. Without God, Spirit will only be Matter.


Quote
And the LORD said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he ALSO is flesh ("matter"): yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. -Genesis 6:3



The way I see it, everything in existence is like a sandcastle on the beach.

The sand being "matter" and the water "spirit".

Not all of the sand on the beach is used in the creation of this sandcastle (not all matter is conscious).
 
Through cohesion and adhesion the sand is able to hold its shape; because water is held between sand particles and holds it all together (without spirit you will not be alive).

Eventually, the water will evaporate and precipitate back into the ocean, and the sandcastle will be no more.

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Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

This is my conclusion.
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« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2010, 08:05:38 PM »

The human soul is not of the same substance of God. How can a created, changeable substance be the same as the eternal, uncreated Essence of God?

The category "spirit" to which human souls and angels belong is not the same as the spiritual quality of God, compared to which the spirits of humans and angels seem crude or corporeal. While acknowledging that our spirit is "inbreathed" by God, the Church rejects that it constitutes a portion of his divine substance.
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2010, 08:13:57 PM »

....
Are our souls made of the same substance of God?
Is God made of substance? Huh

Is the spirit that imbues matter with life and consciousness God?
If "spirit" is that which imbues matter with "life and consciousness", then why not say simply that "spirit" IS "life and consciousness"?


Well consciousness is a result of life (an animist would disagree), and life is matter animated with spirit.

(Yet, photons and other "virtual particles" pop in and out of existance. Think about that.)

Since we are not emanations of God, there must be a difference between "matter" and spirit.
So, you're saying that there are two eternal substances: matter and spirit?
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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2010, 08:23:52 PM »

The human soul is not of the same substance of God. How can a created, changeable substance be the same as the eternal, uncreated Essence of God?

"Eternity" is a measurement of time. God exists out of time.

Time is a literal substance that is infused in matter.
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2010, 08:30:58 PM »

So, you're saying that there are two eternal substances: matter and spirit?

No.
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« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2010, 09:19:05 PM »

The human soul is not of the same substance of God. How can a created, changeable substance be the same as the eternal, uncreated Essence of God?

"Eternity" is a measurement of time.

The term is often used to denote transcendence of time. This is the most common sense in which the term is used in Orthodox literature in English. 
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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2010, 09:24:06 PM »

The human soul is not of the same substance of God. How can a created, changeable substance be the same as the eternal, uncreated Essence of God?

"Eternity" is a measurement of time.

The term is often used to denote transcendence of time. This is the most common sense in which the term is used in Orthodox literature in English. 

Do you believe that humans have a spirit that out lives the body?
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2010, 09:46:44 PM »

The human soul is not of the same substance of God. How can a created, changeable substance be the same as the eternal, uncreated Essence of God?

"Eternity" is a measurement of time.

The term is often used to denote transcendence of time. This is the most common sense in which the term is used in Orthodox literature in English. 

Do you believe that humans have a spirit that out lives the body?

Yes.

If you are interested in what Orthodox Church teaches, there are some good resources available online.

Here are a couple:

Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Fr. Michael Pomozansky
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/dogmatics_pomazansky.htm

The Orthodox Faith by Fr. Thomas Hopko
http://www.oca.org/OCorthfaith.asp
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« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2010, 11:16:21 PM »

The human soul is not of the same substance of God. How can a created, changeable substance be the same as the eternal, uncreated Essence of God?

"Eternity" is a measurement of time.

The term is often used to denote transcendence of time. This is the most common sense in which the term is used in Orthodox literature in English. 

Do you believe that humans have a spirit that out lives the body?

Yes.

This is from what one of your websites:

Quote
(c) Everything that is on the earth was created from the elements of the earth, was "brought forth" by the water and the earth at the command of God, except for the soul of man, which bears in itself the image and likeness of God.

All I've been able to get is what the soul or spirit of man is NOT made out of.

Does anyone know what it is made of, and why it is eternal?

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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2010, 01:46:53 AM »

While we can agree that God is the ultimate reality, we do not necessarily thence conclude that all else is illusion. Some aspects of it are illusory, but God, out of his love, created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, and while all of it is suffused with his energies, it does not dissolve into him.  You and I are not illusions, and, while we can unite with God's energies, by grace, we remain distinct from him. And that's an expression of God's love- that he can create something which, while dependent on him and in communion with him, maintains a distinct and free existence. Christianity is not a religion of everything merging into a monad, but rather a communion between distinct persons. The Orthodox union with God is a union that does not annihilate but allows for infinite progression, deeper into God.

So we are not emanations of The Most High?

What exactly do you mean by "emanations"? I could answer right now based off of what my understanding traditionally means in Orthodox theology, but I might wind up talking past you because of it, so it would be best that you define it yourself.
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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2010, 02:11:55 AM »

Are our souls made of the same substance of God?

I feel more confident in answering this question "no".
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« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2010, 02:11:55 AM »

Is the spirit that imbues matter with life and consciousness God?

God is not a spirit in the manner that we are. We are a circumscribed and rational principle of animation. God is not circumscribed. He is not rational in the sense that we are, for He naturally has an infinite awareness. And He is not animate in the same way we are, for He is eternal and beyond spacial limitation.

Yes, God does imbue everything with life and everything is maintained by His Energies. But the actual individual spirits which animals are animated by are not one in substance with God.
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« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2010, 09:55:02 AM »

The human soul is not of the same substance of God. How can a created, changeable substance be the same as the eternal, uncreated Essence of God?

"Eternity" is a measurement of time.

The term is often used to denote transcendence of time. This is the most common sense in which the term is used in Orthodox literature in English. 

Do you believe that humans have a spirit that out lives the body?

Yes.

This is from what one of your websites:

Quote
(c) Everything that is on the earth was created from the elements of the earth, was "brought forth" by the water and the earth at the command of God, except for the soul of man, which bears in itself the image and likeness of God.

All I've been able to get is what the soul or spirit of man is NOT made out of.

Does anyone know what it is made of, and why it is eternal?


Lucidity- Your questions are addressed here, in the book I mentioned above: http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/dogmatics_pomazansky.htm#_Toc514547748

Again, I suggest you take some time to read through the materials and then come back with questions. An internet discussion board is not the best place to start learning the doctrines of a religious tradition.
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« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2010, 08:35:34 PM »

Thank You All for your patience and input.

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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2010, 07:03:08 PM »

Lucidity, you say "Eternity" is a measurement of time. God exists out of time. "
In fact eternity is not lots of time, it is existence outside of time. God created all things and with them time. The created order exists in time but God is eternal, beyond time.  Time will reach its conclusion at Judgement at which point God will appoint each of us our place in eternity.

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