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A Prayer

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God? Is that your voice I hear? Given that you apparently speak to a lot of people, do they ever get strained? Those vocal cords. Do you ever lose your voice? Perhaps that's why I haven't heard you for so long, you lost your voice....

I didn't think God was supposed to lose his voice.

**Don't you know, God is disabled.**

How can a disabled God save us?

Man is getting a little too big for his britches God. It behooves you to break this silence. Either end the divine mystery or take some antibiotics, but your children are taking on new roles. Oh, well they forgot about you a long time ago, is this part of your plan? This divine disappearance? Are you passing the mantle of responsibility on to your children?

Get some rest God. Man is building a new Tower of Babel. You have some cursing to do.




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Perhaps that's why I haven't heard you for so long, you lost your voice ... Man is getting a little too big for his britches God. It behooves you to break this silence ... Man is building a new Tower of Babel. You have some cursing to do.
And the Lord God said: The man who hears only with his ears is deaf. The man who sees only with his eyes is blind. The man who thinks only with his brain never understands. I am closer to you than is your own jugular. The kingdom of God comes not with observation; the kingdom of God is in that place least explored, the kingdom of God is within you.What man accepts truth - much less understands it - because he has heard it spoken or seen it written? Some will say, "In times past, there were miracles that let men know the truth that God is", but, as has been noted, "a miracle immediately draws attention to itself and thereby ... away from the" love which is the truth that is God.Whosoever loves neither curses nor condemns. Those without love curse and condemn themselves. Learn love to hear God.Always remember and never forget: No man speaks for God.

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Oh God, the Eternal Father, forgive me, this most lowly of sinners, I prostrate myself before you. Rightfully have I been reprimanded. It is not my place, it is not my task to take it upon myself to be your Archangel of destruction, or your mouthpiece as such an Angel, for you have said:Vengeance is mine. And, oh Heavenly Father, did not your prophet of old declare that there is a time for war?But you speak to me in riddles, oh God, help me to understand, what is this doctrine, this teaching, this proposition you offer me? Whosoever loves neither curses nor condemns.You have cursed, oh Lord, and most assuredly have you condemned, do you not love your Creation, your children? I seeketh your ways, who can understand them?

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Oh God, the Eternal Father, forgive me, this most lowly of sinners, I prostrate myself before you. Rightfully have I been reprimanded.
And God responded, saying: Groveling is never impressive; in itself it is never constructive. Consider this: Why might it be the case that one must learn love to hear or know God? Has it not been said that God is love? That God forever loves each individual person? Would anyone who loves want one whom is loved to grovel? Certainly not.
It is not my place, it is not my task to take it upon myself to be your Archangel of destruction, or your mouthpiece as such an Angel, for you have said:Vengeance is mine.And, oh Heavenly Father, did not your prophet of old declare that there is a time for war?
Has it not been said that no man speaks for God? Consider this: Might not those who claim to - or who are said to - speak for God, instead actually speak about God? Also: Is love vengeful? No, it is not. In any event, what should be clear is that vengeance is not something for man.
But you speak to me in riddles, oh God, help me to understand, what is this doctrine, this teaching, this proposition you offer me?Whosoever loves neither curses nor condemns.You have cursed, oh Lord, and most assuredly have you condemned, do you not love your Creation, your children? I seeketh your ways, who can understand them?
Again I ask: Has this cursing and condemning been claimed by God or about God? It is good and right to consider what others have said about God, but simply to heed what others have said is not to seek God. Until you investigate that place least explored, that place wherein you can yourself find the kingdom of God, the quest for God has not actually begun. Find the love within yourself and cultivate it. To know how love is cultivated, you must consider the nature of love. This "doctrine" (as you call it) is no riddle; it is merely preliminary. This, too, is preliminary: Do not cite what others say as if there is no alternative understanding. Think always in terms of alternative possibilities.

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No offense, Michael, but this kind of spiritualism is notable by replacing the term "God" with "nothing", and thereof it's nihilism becomes most evident. Okay, you say that "God is love" yet love is the relationship between two or more relata. So when you say "God is love" you're really saying "God is copula", which in my opinion is very close to "nothing".They say atheists are the ones who believe in nothing, when really it's the other way around.

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... this kind of spiritualism is notable by replacing the term "God" with "nothing", and thereof it's nihilism becomes most evident. Okay, you say that "God is love" yet love is the relationship between two or more relata. So when you say "God is love" you're really saying "God is copula", which in my opinion is very close to "nothing".They say atheists are the ones who believe in nothing, when really it's the other way around.
It is a strange sort of logic that would find itself at ease when restricted to considering "relationship" as nothing. Perhaps it is because it senses something amiss in this strangeness that this logic seeks to salvage itself by recasting its conclusion in terms of relationship being "very close to 'nothing'" rather than being actually nothing.But, what quality of logic is it that would describe "love" as "relationship" and imagine that "love" has actually been described at all adequately? Is it a logic which can be salvaged?From the Christian point of view (which is not to say it is necessarily only a Christian point of view), the surest way to be(come) nothing is to not-love. This means that the focus of the Christian perspective must ultimately be upon the nature (and manifestations) of love. From the Christian point of view, "the ones who believe in nothing" (of great substance or significance) are those who think that the devotion to love amounts to nothing.Why is it that humans in general are so reticent about delving into the nature of love?Michael

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... this kind of spiritualism is notable by replacing the term "God" with "nothing", and thereof it's nihilism becomes most evident. Okay, you say that "God is love" yet love is the relationship between two or more relata. So when you say "God is love" you're really saying "God is copula", which in my opinion is very close to "nothing".They say atheists are the ones who believe in nothing, when really it's the other way around.
It is a strange sort of logic that would find itself at ease when restricted to considering "relationship" as nothing. Perhaps it is because it senses something amiss in this strangeness that this logic seeks to salvage itself by recasting its conclusion in terms of relationship being "very close to 'nothing'" rather than being actually nothing.But, what quality of logic is it that would describe "love" as "relationship" and imagine that "love" has actually been described at all adequately? Is it a logic which can be salvaged?From the Christian point of view (which is not to say it is necessarily only a Christian point of view), the surest way to be(come) nothing is to not-love. This means that the focus of the Christian perspective must ultimately be upon the nature (and manifestations) of love. From the Christian point of view, "the ones who believe in nothing" (of great substance or significance) are those who think that the devotion to love amounts to nothing.Why is it that humans in general are so reticent about delving into the nature of love?Michael
Well, I find that humans are anything but reticent, declaring virtually any kind of thought, word or action as being expressive of love (perhaps you are too young to remember the "summer of love" of San Francisco fame).From the Christian point of view, i.e. the Biblical, soteriological point of view, there is no mystery (though there is much confusion) about the nature of love. The statement "God is love" is not a reflexive proposition, e.g. "love is God." Since what we can know of God is found in his self-revelation given its fullest expression in the life and work of Christ ("the image of the invisible God"), we understand that the love of God is nothing else but Christ himself.Christians (and non-believers) who look for some motivation of affection in the creator for his creation are led into theological error. John 3:16 is often cited in this regard: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, etc" where the word "so" is taken as an expression of the intensity of God's love motivating him to "give." Consulting a Greek lexicon reveals that "so" means "thus" or "in this way" (t is "so" used in several verses). So, a true reading of the verse would be "for in this way God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, etc." This meaning is consistent with the context of the preceding verses. With God, there is no motivation apart from action; what God wills, he does.Thus, the Christian who would manifest the love of God, should not concern himself with how he feels about his "neighbor," but how he treats him, e.g. the "good" Samaratin.Finally, God does not possess, or rather is not possessed of, isolated emotions, e.g., love, hate, affection, wrath. Unlike his creatures, he does not express different feelings at different times. His actions are at all times reflective of his unified character. So, his blessings AND curses are an expression of his perfect righteousness, justness and holiness in a particular situation. We do not curse one another, not because we are all equally worthy, but because we are all equally unworthy.
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Hear the voice of the Lord;"Be still and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth!"Psalm 46:10

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It is a strange sort of logic that would find itself at ease when restricted to considering "relationship" as nothing. Perhaps it is because it senses something amiss in this strangeness that this logic seeks to salvage itself by recasting its conclusion in terms of relationship being "very close to 'nothing'" rather than being actually nothing.But, what quality of logic is it that would describe "love" as "relationship" and imagine that "love" has actually been described at all adequately? Is it a logic which can be salvaged?From the Christian point of view (which is not to say it is necessarily only a Christian point of view), the surest way to be(come) nothing is to not-love. This means that the focus of the Christian perspective must ultimately be upon the nature (and manifestations) of love. From the Christian point of view, "the ones who believe in nothing" (of great substance or significance) are those who think that the devotion to love amounts to nothing.Why is it that humans in general are so reticent about delving into the nature of love?Michael
Yes, logic is strange, part of this inverted world. When you look at someone, there's a relationship between the viewer and the person seen, but what account is there of the relationship itself? Very close to nothing. Same thing when we say that the number 5 is greater than the number 3, what is greater-ness itself? Very close to nothing. A relationship is very little more than the relata related in a certain way. I'm just cautioning against a certain reification here, nothing more.When you say that "God is love", do you see what you're doing? You've just made god into something immanent, and you've tried to find a place between lover and loved where not even god can sit.As to the nature of love, do you really want to know? Isn't the romance involved in love enough for you? Wouldn't you rather a poet describe it than an analyst? I'm no poet, therefore I can't describe love to you to your satisfaction. You ask why we are reluctant to delve into the nature of love, but really, you know why. Don't you? Why would someone in love, or infatuated with love, want to see what love looks like from the outside? Isn't that irrelevant to what the lover holds love to be?
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When you look at someone, there's a relationship between the viewer and the person seen, but what account is there of the relationship itself? Very close to nothing ... A relationship is very little more than the relata related in a certain way. I'm just cautioning against a certain reification here, nothing more ... When you say that "God is love", do you see what you're doing? You've just made god into something immanent, and you've tried to find a place between lover and loved where not even god can sit.
If God is actual, and if God is love, then God and love could well be immanent. For so long as there is such a love, a great portion of the importance of this immanence rests in what might come of it.With regards to a purported God-man relationship, the love of God for a person would never be nothing, but, for the person, this love can very well be described as "very close to nothing" until the person contributes to or does his part to develop the relationship. The same holds for relationships between people; the relationship develops, moves farther away from being very close to nothing according to whether - or the manner in which - the relationship is developed or, as it was described earlier, cultivated.It can surely be the case that, at least from the perspective of one person in a relationship, love may at first be very close to nothing, but this perspectivally small thing would still be no reification just because it is not developed fully. A relationship is loving just so long as there is one lover; it is just that the relationship is not as loving as it could be if the other does not (for whatever reason) participate as fully as possible. This is the case regardless of whether God is actual.With regards to the space wherein God "can sit" with two loving people, Kierkegaard says, " Wordly wisdom thinks that love is a relationship between man and man. Christianity teaches that love is a relationship between: man-God-man, that is that God is the middle term. "
Isn't the romance involved in love enough for you? Wouldn't you rather a poet describe it than an analyst? ... Why would someone in love, or infatuated with love, want to see what love looks like from the outside? Isn't that irrelevant to what the lover holds love to be?
Neither romance nor infatuation are identical to love. After all, love will also entail charity and mercy, for instance.
I'm no poet, therefore I can't describe love to you to your satisfaction.
First of all, and as you are well aware, my satisfaction is not relevant; besides that, I think it more likely that the difficulty with explicating the nature of love ultimately has to do with the fact that love is indefinite inasmuch as its cultivation, its development, and the manner in which it can become manifest rests with our creativity, our creative acts; the difficulty with explicating the nature of love rests with the fact that love is never truly satisfied, finished, or complete. Furthermore, given the creative aspect of our being loving, there is no definite or wholly determinate manner in which love can be made manifest. Consequently, our descriptions of love will never be complete, but that does not make love necessarily and always "very close to nothing".Michael

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With regards to the space wherein God "can sit" with two loving people, Kierkegaard says, " Wordly wisdom thinks that love is a relationship between man and man. Christianity teaches that love is a relationship between: man-God-man, that is that God is the middle term. "
There are relationships with three relata, though I've never heard of one of them being called the middle term (middle term refers to the syllogism). For instance, X gives Y to Z, a three-place relation. Maybe god is held to be Y in this example? That is, X loves Z if, and only if, X gives god to Z? Or is this inverted world strange enough already?
Neither romance nor infatuation are identical to love. After all, love will also entail charity and mercy, for instance.
I said "romance is involved with love", not that it is identical with love. The way I use "romance" usually refers to the way you can think much more highly of something, or give something much more value, than when viewed without elation. I usually talk about romancing about philosophy, patriotism being a romancing about your country or its government, and so on. Already love is considered this greatest of great things, and now you say that god is love, setting upon it one higher. Now that you've deified love, what's left? Is the romance complete?
First of all, and as you are well aware, my satisfaction is not relevant; besides that, I think it more likely that the difficulty with explicating the nature of love ultimately has to do with the fact that love is indefinite inasmuch as its cultivation, its development, and the manner in which it can become manifest rests with our creativity, our creative acts; the difficulty with explicating the nature of love rests with the fact that love is never truly satisfied, finished, or complete. Furthermore, given the creative aspect of our being loving, there is no definite or wholly determinate manner in which love can be made manifest. Consequently, our descriptions of love will never be complete, but that does not make love necessarily and always "very close to nothing".
Well, consider if I defined love in scientific terms, as a function of hormones and chemicals in the brain. I've seen documentaries on TV about this, though I didn't study it, but it sounded interesting. It doesn't refute love, but it certainly brings to question the notion that god is love, because, allegedly at least, love can be explain physically.But that's all the difference between looking at love from the outside and looking at love from the perspective of one of the relata. However, I realize I'm contradicting my own ontological relativism in finding being only within relationships of all sorts, and refusing any perspective "from the outside". Nietzsche's will to power, for example, was expressly "the world as viewed from within".But, from within, aren't I the greatest, wisest, wittiest person who has ever walked on this planet? If love is a relationship between two people, then how do I explain my love for myself? And if there must be a middle term, as Kierkagaard insists, and there must be god between loved and lover, given how great I am, I think I know who god must be :) Certainly a perspective like that would depend on me never looking at myself from the outside, I could never falsify my notions through introspection. That's why I give seeing ourselves from the outside certain important worth.
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Now that you've deified love, what's left? Is the romance complete?
Certainly not!!! My earlier remark, "given the creative aspect of our being loving, there is no definite or wholly determinate manner in which love can be made manifest", can be - uh, should be - understood as indicating that love, and not just our descriptions of love, is never complete.
There are relationships with three relata, though I've never heard of one of them being called the middle term (middle term refers to the syllogism).
Now that I have a little more time, let me see if I can get Kierkegaard to more fully explain his "God is the middle term" notion:
Kierkegaard However beautiful the love-relationship has been between two or more people, however complete all their enjoyment and all their bliss in mutual devotion and affection have been for them, even if all men have praised this relationship - if God and the relationship to God have been left out, then ... this has not been love but a mutual and enchanting illusion of love ... you shall love every man, therefore also your wife and friend, conscientiously ... Love must first be recognised as a matter of conscience before there can be any talk about loving conscientiously ... love is first qualified as a matter of conscience when ... God ... is the middle term ... a question of conscience regarding a matter in which a man does not relate himself to God is altogether inconceivable, for to relate oneself to God is precisely to have conscience ... Love is a matter of conscience and thus is not a matter of impulse and inclination or a matter of feeling or a matter of intellectual calculation.
If nothing else, the last point about "calculation" drives home the crux of the matter which is that love is not something for one's own purposes, and it is not something that originates with one's own self although it is developed internally within one's self.
If love is a relationship between two people, then how do I explain my love for myself?
Sticking with Kierkegaard --
Kierkegaard

"And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Matthew
22: 39

... so shall self-love be broken if it has struggled with this phrase, which nevertheless does not seek to teach a man not to love himself but in fact rather seeks to teach him proper self-love ... "You shall love yourself in the right way."

If all love is (or should be) a matter of conscience, as per Kierkegaard, then so too is (or should be) love for one's self, and this love would, therefore, be a relationship (or in relationship) with God.
I could never falsify my notions through introspection. That's why I give seeing ourselves from the outside certain important worth.
Even if one does not believe that God is mind-independently actual, significance in the similarity between the place of God in love and this "seeing ourselves from the outside" should be apparent.Michael
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