Author Topic: Life as a mystery  (Read 1304 times)

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Offline Shiny

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Life as a mystery
« on: May 29, 2011, 09:20:54 PM »
Orthodoxy, from my understanding, embraces mystery much more than a logical interpretation.

Anyway, why exactly is life a mystery? Why is it in mystery that we can come to know God?
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Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 01:10:08 AM »
Well, let me start with this... leaving aside which translation is best, what comes to mind when you read something like this...

"The Tao that can be understood cannot be the primal, or cosmic, Tao, just as an idea that can be expressed in words cannot be the infinite idea."

Offline biro

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 01:14:51 AM »
Cute cat.   :)

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 07:23:34 AM »
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 08:29:12 AM »
Orthodoxy, from my understanding, embraces mystery much more than a logical interpretation.

Anyway, why exactly is life a mystery? Why is it in mystery that we can come to know God?

Today's orthodoxy does embrace a lot of mystery.  Not to be rude to Orthodoxy, (I consider myself as an Orthodox Christian), there is a lot of "fluff" that has been added.  Many needless, pointless, and ornate things.  Much of the power mongering hierarchy has changed what "Orthodoxy" is.

Orthodox Christians were never so involved in dogma as they are today pre-nicea.  There was no actions such as: cross - bow - venerate icon - cross again, bow.  I don't think God really cares about that stuff and its really weird to boot.  Sure it can manifest a delusional euphoria of hyper spirituality, but thats all that kind of stuff does.

But that DOES NOT render "Orthodoxy" as invalid. 
Orthodox is literally translated to "The right way".

This is not "Constantines way" or any other way.  It's the way it was originally done.  It was simply about being a Christian and following the teachings of Yeshua.  There was no iconostatsis in worship, no icons involved in worship, tons of blessings of objects, no ICXC hand gestures.  Oh yea, and Halos.  It really got out of hand honestly.  Of course, it got out of hand eons ago and has been a long standing tradition so I personally get slapped with "how dare you challenge".

Christianity was much more simplistic in the early days, even with all the martyrdom.  Without doubt I do believe that the church picked up many pagan elements and implemented them into its own worship practice.  Whether or not the church should have done this is another issue, but its "fluff" none the less and uneeded. 

I believe this is where the "mystery" comes into play.  Because it's all "mystical fluff", when in reality what it should be is "simple" and "clear".  There always has to be long explanations for fluff. (think about icons for instance).  So much dogma, so little clarity without mysticism.

In simplicity, logical reasoning is much easier to understand.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 10:34:59 AM »
"The Tao that can be understood cannot be the primal, or cosmic, Tao, just as an idea that can be expressed in words cannot be the infinite idea."

That's got to be the most prosaic and clunky translation of Laozi's opening that I've ever seen.

Offline Antonis

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 12:17:00 PM »
Chinese is so hard to really put into words for English, to translate and retain its "form."

'Η ἐλπίς μου ὁ Πατήρ, καταφυγή μου ὁ Υἱός, σκέπη μου τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον· Τριὰς Ἁγία, δόξα Σοι.

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 08:34:32 PM »
"The Tao that can be understood cannot be the primal, or cosmic, Tao, just as an idea that can be expressed in words cannot be the infinite idea."

That's got to be the most prosaic and clunky translation of Laozi's opening that I've ever seen.

Out of curiosity, what translation would you suggest (a version that could still be bought as a book would be particularly helpful)?

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2011, 12:23:36 AM »
"The Tao that can be understood cannot be the primal, or cosmic, Tao, just as an idea that can be expressed in words cannot be the infinite idea."

That's got to be the most prosaic and clunky translation of Laozi's opening that I've ever seen.

Out of curiosity, what translation would you suggest (a version that could still be bought as a book would be particularly helpful)?

I think the best translation was probably the one by Red Pine, not just because it's a good translation, but because it contains bits of commentary for each chapter, some of it Taoist, some of it not.

But honestly, everything you need to know about Taoism is contained in this scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5kmkYMqfYY

Offline theo philosopher

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 06:20:50 PM »
Two answers:

1) It is a difficult thing to do, but just sit back and look at everything. The great existentialists have all asked the question, "Why does something exist?" That is the mystery of life.

2) It is in that mystery that we find God. Why must we find God in mystery and not in rationality? It is not because God is irrational - certainly rational arguments and lead us to God, just as a boat can lead us to a shore - but it is in mystery that we must leap into God (just like we must leap off of the boat if we wish to go ashore). Instead, God is beyond our capacity to reason. He is above us, He is beyond us, He is infinitely greater than us. It's not that He blinds us to His presence so as to play a Divine game of cat and mouse, but instead that because we are very finite in our natures and He is infinite, the Infinite, by logical definition we must approach Him as mysterious.

So in a way, that's the rationality behind the mystery.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 06:30:03 PM »
//|=O
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Offline theo philosopher

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 08:22:00 PM »
“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus

Offline Shiny

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 10:09:58 PM »
Two answers:

1) It is a difficult thing to do, but just sit back and look at everything. The great existentialists have all asked the question, "Why does something exist?" That is the mystery of life.

2) It is in that mystery that we find God. Why must we find God in mystery and not in rationality? It is not because God is irrational - certainly rational arguments and lead us to God, just as a boat can lead us to a shore - but it is in mystery that we must leap into God (just like we must leap off of the boat if we wish to go ashore). Instead, God is beyond our capacity to reason. He is above us, He is beyond us, He is infinitely greater than us. It's not that He blinds us to His presence so as to play a Divine game of cat and mouse, but instead that because we are very finite in our natures and He is infinite, the Infinite, by logical definition we must approach Him as mysterious.

So in a way, that's the rationality behind the mystery.

WB Theo!

Hey btw your answer on 2) you should pick up Met. Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Way he goes into it in depth, as far as finding God in mystery.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 10:33:34 PM »
//|=O

I have noticed tht you use this (//|=O) often. What does it mean?

Online Justin Kissel

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2011, 10:36:01 PM »
"The Tao that can be understood cannot be the primal, or cosmic, Tao, just as an idea that can be expressed in words cannot be the infinite idea."

That's got to be the most prosaic and clunky translation of Laozi's opening that I've ever seen.

Out of curiosity, what translation would you suggest (a version that could still be bought as a book would be particularly helpful)?

I think the best translation was probably the one by Red Pine, not just because it's a good translation, but because it contains bits of commentary for each chapter, some of it Taoist, some of it not.

But honestly, everything you need to know about Taoism is contained in this scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5kmkYMqfYY

Thank you for the suggestion, I put a copy in my amazon cart... and also the yt video, lol :)

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 10:41:14 PM »
//|=O

I have noticed tht you use this (//|=O) often. What does it mean?

Not too often. It is the fuehrer yawning. He is bored with the comments. Usually he is just: //:=|

Since some folks need emoticons around here to understand the slightest bit of irony, I figured I would engage in the death of literacy and getting Godwin's Law outta the way ASAP in any thread where I need an pictogram to demonstrate rhetoric.

Someone might say it is an ironic use of a emoticon to convey irony.

Someone might say I am just being an  . . .

I wouldn't disagree.






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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 10:58:52 PM »
That's the longest explanation for an emoticon that I've read in quite a while. Congrats.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Life as a mystery
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2011, 05:06:07 PM »
That's the longest explanation for an emoticon that I've read in quite a while. Congrats.

Yes, it is quite a work of art ( I mean the explanation). BTW, while it is not against forum rules (hence no green/bold font), would it not be better to just leave the thread instead of airing one's boredom and possibly offending a participant?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 05:09:18 PM by Second Chance »