Nothing wrong with what I read, except Ash… has the wrong idea about who Christ actually was and what the purpose of Christianity is. I would expect that from his perspective. And the fact that he claims to have had mystical experiences does not mean he is on the correct " path. " It may be God’s way of drawing him to Christianity. Or it could be a temptation from the evil one, tempting him to remain to remain where he is.
I would not recommend the book to any Christians. It is never good to read something which may lead one away from Christianity, even in a small way. Only very well instructed Christians, strong in faith should expose themselves to such literature, and then, only to understand how other people think.
Why would you say he has the wrong idea?
“We were not born critical of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness-embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television. This would seem to lead to a simple conclusion: that we all have an enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas.”
― Howard Zinn
Your reaction is typical to me of such instances I have experienced, such as this: Going in to a lecture a group outside was protesting. Open to the dynamic of the whole thing, I asked why. They enumerated a list of reasons. I asked them if they knew the speaker or had read any of his works. They said no, but that they had been informed that he was against their beliefs and a danger to their group. I thanked them and went into the lecture hall.
As I listened, I kept in mind the points made by the protesters outside. Not only was each one of their claims exactly the opposite of what the speaker was advocating, but the man actually was in favor of the groups activities. Kind of shocking. So on exiting, I went to that group of protesters again, and informed them of what I had heard. Their reaction was to pelt me with loud epithets and they called me a liar. Yet I was the one who had red the books and attended the lecture. But to no avail. They had learned that the man was “evil” and, having emotionally attached themselves to that position, were impervious to any bit of contrary or divergent information.
I find that to be a phenomenon displayed of adherents of nearly any faith. Here, if I present something, often there is a reactivity that is neither on point or useful to the discussion. There is indeed little talking with; largely it is “at” as far as any remarks addressed to me, in the cases of those who are touchy that way. It gives an aura of fragility and defensiveness that comes off as great insecurity. And while I try to keep my points on the level of universals, namely how anyone thinks about anything, there are (unfounded) accusations of “bashing.” Because this is a Catholic forum and any sincere questioning of perspective is taken as assault by so many.
And that is why I feel that so much of useful interest goes by the boards of uninquiring minds. Especially those who, like me, were born into the faith and grew up with it as the norm, as their parochial world view, just as one has political, social, and emotional inculcations for no other reason than that they grew up in this situation or that.
But perhaps it is too incovenient or difficult to sit in silence or with a question that has already an ingrained habituation beyond the reach of conscious inquiry. That is fine in the ordinary day-to-day. But eventually, as Krishnamurti said, it leads to violence, or at least conflict internal, or with someone else. But breaking the stories that we have been fed, as Pope Francis is doing, leads to a greater experiential understanding of Spirit. Spirit, as we may note, is common to us all. Religion is not, and it’s very nature relies on being incomplete, and even as a salvation scenario is potentially selfish.
So I am both very interested in other view points and the reasons and histories behind them. Darn sure that the vast majority of Catholics, or any other faith, don’t know the nitty gritties of theirs. That is an unfortunate fact. Why? because the popularized versions lead to the kind of comment you make about fear of being led astray. And yet, I find that the deep thinkers of any religion revere such as St. Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, ST Francis of Assisi, and others.
And you may say that “Yes, but they are admiring Catholics.” But, fact is, they are admiring them because they are Catholics who transcended the ordinariness of dogma and are, also in fact, very much in agreement with, say, the higher levels of Buddhism. And if you argue with that, you really might do some more research in other than Catholic literature, and commit the rare act of applying your own critical thought to actual work.
So I’m sorry, I can’t abide by those who scurry like mice or bring out the sledge hammer, either one functionally useless, at the mention of even Opra or Eckhart Tolle. Such runners and bashers really have no clue of what all that is about, and simply display a deep seated insecurity, as far as I am concerned. And if they leave the Church, how faithful were they anyway? Wouldn’t you rather have a culled group of stalwarts than the masses of wishy-washies?
On the other hand, if you are going to attack everyone who offers an honest opinion, why do you bother to ask? I wasn’t attacking you or anyone. You asked for an honest opinion, I gave it.
Happy Easter, you two!
Rejoice in rhea resurrection of Christ Jesus!
That is pretty much what I mean, Linus. I appreciated your opinion enough to share my experience about how you see it. That was not an attack on your comment, it was an exposition of how I see the dynamic of some people’s reactions to new or different ideas. It you were in a discussion, you’d respond by taking up one or all points and say something, but no, you got defensive. You sill note that I posted the dynamic as one common to any faith.
So is there something on there that you would like to actually talk about?
If you mean, do I want to debate the contents of the article, no. You asked for an opinion, I gave it, you took offence. Looks to me like you are the one on the defensive. It was not my intention to enter a debate. Perhaps you should state your objectives more clearly.