What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.

Posts tagged “Religion and Spirituality

The Gospel of Thomas—Early Christian Writings

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Gnostic Scriptures

The tradition of Gnosis has taken on innumerable forms throughout the centuries; one of those forms is popularly assumed to be the totality of Gnosis: a diverse and often conflicting collection of traditions loosely centered around the Mediterranean Sea many centuries ago. Here are some example writings from that time and place, and an illustration of the true nature of the Gnostic teachings, which is far more ancient and wide-spread than humanity realizes, and is very much alive today.

This website has many articles and lectures that explain the most famous and widely known Gnostic scriptures: the books of Moses and the Gospels of Christianity. Kabbalah of Genesis reveals many of the mysteries of the book of Genesis.

Read more: http://gnosticteachings.org/scriptures/gnostic-scriptures.html

More on gnostic Gospels:http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/texts/gnostic.htm,

http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/index.htm

A one-sentence description of Gnosticism: a religion that differentiates the evil god of this world (who is identified with the god of the Old Testament) from a higher more abstract God revealed by Jesus Christ, a religion that regards this world as the creation of a series of evil archons/powers who wish to keep the human soul trapped in an evil physical body, a religion that preaches a hidden wisdom or knowledge only to a select group as necessary for salvation or escape from this world.

The term “gnostic” derives from “gnosis,” which means “knowledge” in Greek. The Gnostics believed that they were privy to a secret knowledge about the divine, hence the name. (Huxley coined “agnosticism” on the basis that all knowledge must be based on reason. We cannot rationally claim to have access to knowledge that is beyond the powers of the intellect.)

Continue: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/gnostics.html


How Is the Torah Interpreted?

By Naftali Silberberg

 

Torah is G‑d‘s wisdom. Intellect, by its very nature, allows for – and indeed demands – different avenues of understanding; how much more so when dealing with the infinite wisdom of the Infinite G‑d.

Our sages tell us that Torah can be interpreted in four different general ways: peshatremezdrush and sod.

1) Peshat is the simple interpretation of the Torah. When the verse says (Genesis 1:1) that “In the beginning G‑d created the Heaven and Earth,” it means exactly what it seems to mean, in a very literal sense.

2) Remez is the different hints and allusions which are contained within the Torah. One of the methodologies the Torah employs to make these hints is gematryia, the numerical value of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. For example, the gematriya of “Bereshit bara” (“In the beginning He created)” is the same as “b’Rosh Hashanah nivra ha’olam” (on Rosh Hashanah the world was created)!” (more…)


Understanding the Koran

The holy book of Islam. Also referred to in English as “Quran”, or “Qur’an“. The latter is the correct transliteration, but in Contents we use the common “Koran”.
The exact meaning of the word “Koran” is not clear for us today, but the three main theories. It may either be connected to the word for ‘collect’; or to the word for ‘tie together’; or perhaps best to the most commonly used word for “read” or “recite,” which is an important verb in the book itself.
The Koran as a book is the result of:

1. Alleged revelations to Muhammad in the period 610-632 (Muhammad’s death).

2. Writing down of these revelations by people around Muhammad in a period probably starting some years after 610, and ending a couple of years after 632.

3. Compilation of these writings stretching from mid-630’s and perhaps until mid-650’s.

4. Stories relating to Muhammad, largely stories in which he communicates with God, usually concerning contemporary matters.

5. Vowelling and dotting of the text. Ancient Arabicwas written without dots, leaving some letters look identical. And in many cases the lack of vowels would make two different words look identical.
Prior to the 5th stage, it was, therefore, up to the memories of the learned to remember what was the correct meaning of every word. But as these learned people died, the early Muslim community found it important to save the exact meaning once and for all, before it was too late. (more…)


Lord, Hear Our Prayer

For all those who have fallen victim to hatred and inhumanity, for those loved ones who are left behind to mourn, for the souls of those whose hearts are cold, Lord, hear our prayer.

For the children who are being born into this world of conflict and violence, for women and mothers who suffer needlessly, Lord, hear our prayer.

For all those who have been forced into unemployment, who long to return to work, for all those who struggle to support their families, Lord, hear our prayer.

For the soldiers who are misguided in thinking that their bullets will bring about peace, for those who feel called to conscientiously object to military ordersLord, hear our prayer.

For the children who cry in their beds at night and wonder ‘what have I done?’, for the mothers and fathers who must try to explain the unexplainable, Lord, hear our prayer.

For all the children who have died before their time, for the soldiers who allow their uniform to strip them of their humanity, for the healers who are denied the opportunity to use their gifts, Lord, hear our prayer.

For the redemption of souls of both victim and perpetrator, for those who commit themselves to the forgiveness of sins, Lord, hear our prayer.


Finding God Within and Without


How do I find You God?

God is Love.
If you have ever loved,
If you have ever been loved,
You have experienced God
from Within and Without

God is Truth.
If you have ever told the truth,
If you have ever discovered Truth,
You have experienced God
from Within and Without

God is Beauty.
If you have ever helped to create something beautiful,
If you have ever witnessed beauty in any of it’s myriad forms,
You have experienced God
from Within and Without

God is Good.
If you have ever done or thought something good,
If you have ever recognized goodness in or through another,
You have experienced God
from Within and Without

All of those experiences, those gifts,
of Love, Truth, Beauty and Goodness
were directly from God through you. or to you.

Glad to Meet You God. let’s hang out together.

http://www.inspirationalstories.com/6/694.html


“Finding” God

“When I don’t fear death as much, I am less afraid of dying to myself.  It sounds so obvious.  When I’m absorbed with myself – my needs, how much attention I’m getting, doing things my way, everything in reference to me – it is pretty difficult to find God.  The “space” inside of me is pre-occupied.  However, as my openness to and hunger for a loving presence grows, I am de-selfished and freer.  Often my self-pity or self-focus comes out of a fear that I won’t have “enough.”  I fear any “emptiness” so I “fill” it quickly.  However, when I ask to be emptied, I discover an empowering fulness.  When I become more and more focused on how very much is being offered me in the loving presence of Jesus, discovered in every part of my day, I discover the power of Augustine‘s prayer:  “O Lord, Our God, you have created us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/1-finding.html