LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

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LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:43 pm

In this show, host Kevin Solway and guest Father Peter Bowes explore a very broad range of matters from the nature of God and its consciousness, the self, reincarnation, the soul and the nature of good and evil, to marriage and relationships, women and the spiritual path, and the nature and status of Jesus. Father Peter brings his own Gnostic perspectives - unconventional by mainstream Christian standards - to each of these issues. This show will appeal to those with Christian sympathies but who also have a distaste for the spiritual rigidity of typical Christian churches.

Mystical Christianity
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Nick Treklis » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:21 am

A conversation between me and a Christian sympathizer.

Me: Are you familiar with information overload?

Christian Sympathizer: Yes.

Me: You know how it causes confusion, exhaustion, and head aches, all of which hamper one's consciousness?

Christian Sympathizer: Yes.

Me: Well try to imagine receiving the totality of all information that will ever be, is and was crammed into your mind over and over in infinitely small increments for eternity. Now, do you still think it's possible for God to be conscious?

Christian Sympathizer: I have a head ache...
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:50 am

My impression was that Peter was essentially doing a dance of the Seven Veils of Rationality; as the show went on he cast off each of those veils one by one. Thank God the music started before he got nekid.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Carl G » Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:39 pm

Wtf? The show was a trading of opinions. Show me your dick and I'll show you mine. No reasoning, just beliefs. Pleasant enough, but Kevin seemed to lurch abruptly through his list of questions as if he'd never held a conversation before, and it was over in a flash.

Good subject Mystical Christianity. Maybe another time you guys will actually touch upon it.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby tooyi » Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:04 pm

Have you considered the fairness/clarity of the shows as you simply fire the questions without there being a visible agenda for the piece? Of course, the talk brings up the stuff and new questions. But, to have some kind of spine for the talk that also the interviewed could plan beforehand for.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:06 pm

Carl wrote:Wtf? The show was a trading of opinions. Show me your dick and I'll show you mine. No reasoning, just beliefs. Pleasant enough, but Kevin seemed to lurch abruptly through his list of questions as if he'd never held a conversation before, and it was over in a flash.


I agree somewhat. Ideas were contrasted and that in itself is useful and interesting but I would have liked Kevin to have challenged a few of Father Peter's notions more. Still, I guess it all comes down to personal style. A daylight saving misunderstanding meant that David did not co-host the show. Personally I think this guy's "movement" and its catholic trappings make a total mockery of his spiritual "philosophy". Robes and crosses and sacraments? I mean, what's that all about?
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Carl G » Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:40 pm

Possibly Ted Nottingham would be a potential guest to consider when you get around to revisiting the subject.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DfcmJ4uNFU

http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?u ... nottingham

Not that your present guest was not apt. We don't know. We just didn't get a feel for him by the game of 20 questions.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:06 pm

Carl G wrote:Wtf? The show was a trading of opinions. Show me your dick and I'll show you mine. No reasoning, just beliefs.

I'm not sure what "beliefs" you're referring to. I gave my definition of what the word "God" means to me, and then followed through with some logical consequences of that definition - such as the fact that God can't be conscious.

Peter had a number of what I would call "beliefs", such as that there is literal reincarnation, and that the All has a conscious volition. The thing was, it quickly became apparent that he had no solid reasons for these beliefs, but believed them based primarily on his "experience".

And he's had these beliefs for thirty years or so. So when I ran into a brick wall like that I chose to simply move on. You can't argue with "experience".
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:13 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:Personally I think this guy's "movement" and its catholic trappings make a total mockery of his spiritual "philosophy". Robes and crosses and sacraments? I mean, what's that all about?

He would argue that, through association, such things can help trip the mind into thinking about God - in those cases where the person needs an aid to do so.

I don't buy it personally. I think it's just a way of appealing to a broader base of people, and so making the organization financially viable.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:18 pm

tooyi wrote:Have you considered the fairness/clarity of the shows as you simply fire the questions without there being a visible agenda for the piece? Of course, the talk brings up the stuff and new questions. But, to have some kind of spine for the talk that also the interviewed could plan beforehand for.

Our guests have seen the web page for the show, and have probably listened to a podcast or two, so they have a good idea that we are interested in the deepest, absolute truth, and that we will try to point out any flaws in their beliefs or arguments.

But yes, we could possibly send them a few questions we are planning on asking them, so they can prepare an answer.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Greg Shantz » Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:53 pm

I'm not sure I fully understand this piece by Kierkegaard, but I think it has something to do with God and evil, which Kevin and Peter were talking about in this episode:

The whole question of the relation of God's omnipotence and goodness to evil (instead of the differentiation that God accomplishes the good and merely permits the evil) is resolved quite simply in the following way. The greatest good, after all, which can be done for a being, greater than anything else that one can do for it, is to make it free. In order to do just that, omnipotence is required. This seems strange, since it is precisely omnipotence that supposedly would make [a being] dependent. But if one will reflect on omnipotence, he will see that it also must contain the unique qualification of being able to withdraw itself again in a manifestation of omnipotence in such a way that precisely for this reason that which has been originated through omnipotence can be independent. This is why one human being cannot make another person wholly free, because the one who has power is himself captive in having it and therefore continually has a wrong relationship to the one whom he wants to make free. Moreover, there is a finite self-love in all finite power (talent, etc). Only omnipotence can withdraw itself at the same time it gives itself away, and the relationship is the very independence of the reciever. God's omnipotence is therefore his goodness. For goodness is to give oneself away completely, but in such a way that by omnipotently taking oneself back one makes the recipient independent. All finite power makes [a being] dependent; only omnipotence can make [a being] independent, can force from nothing something which has its continuity in itself through the continual withdrawing of omnipotence. Omnipotence is not ensconced in a relationship to another, for there is no other to which it is comparable - no, it can give without giving up the least of its power, i.e., it can make [a being] independent. It is incomprehensible that omnipotence is not only able to create the most impressive of all things - the whole visible world - but is able to create the most fragile of all things - a being independent of that very omnipotence. Omnipotence, which can handle the world so toughly and with such a heavy hand, can also make itself so light that what it has brought into existence receives independence. Only a wretched and mundane conception of the dialectic of power holds that it is greater and greater in proportion to its ability to compel and to make dependent. No, Socrates had a sounder understanding; he knew that the art of power lies precisely in making another free. But in the relationship between man and man this can never be done, even though it needs to be emphasized again and again that this is the highest; only omnipotence can truly succeed in this. Therefore if man had the slightest independent existence over against God (with regard to materia), then God could not make him free. Creation out of nothing is once again the Almighty's expression for being able to make [a being] independent. He to whom I owe absolutely everything, has in fact made me independent. If in creating man God himself lost a little of his power, then precisely what he could not do would be to make man independent.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:12 pm

I'm not sure I fully understand this piece by Kierkegaard, but I think it has something to do with God and evil, which Kevin and Peter were talking about in this episode

I was trying to make the point that since God is all things, evil (ignorance) is necessarily a part of God. This is indisputable, based on the definition of "God". But that doesn't mean that God is evil, because a thing is only evil if it does evil. God has evil as part of his being, but doesn't do evil. God doesn't "do" things, because he is all things. There is nothing for him to do.

With regard to Kierkegaard's piece:

I would say that a person becomes "good", and has the goodness of God, when he takes all the evil of the world into himself, in the realization that it is himself. When he owns all the limitation (which is evil), he becomes free of it.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:24 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:I was trying to make the point that since God is all things, evil (ignorance) is necessarily a part of God. This is indisputable, based on the definition of "God". But that doesn't mean that God is evil, because a thing is only evil if it does evil. God has evil as part of his being, but doesn't do evil. God doesn't "do" things, because he is all things. There is nothing for him to do.


Yes, and this point caused Peter to cast off at least two his aforementioned veils.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Ataraxia » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:51 pm

I found Kevin a little dissapointing in that discussion in that not only did he let him 'off the hook' a couple of times he even seemed to start apologising for him.

Firstly it occured on the discussion on evolution-Clearly Father Bowes is a believer in intelligent design .I don't see why this had to be danced around.I know the goal isn't to 'nail him' but i just found it all a little 'soft',for want of a better word.

Secondly on the subject of literal reincarnation not only did Kevin try and 'save' him he even agreed literal reincarnation was plausable-"entirely possible" was the term i think he used.In light of the excellent argument i heard Kevin make in opposition to the Tibetan Buddhism discussion on a previous reasoning show with his example of the 'fountain' and what I've read from him in the past,personally I found this astounding.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:45 pm

Ataraxia wrote:Clearly Father Bowes is a believer in intelligent design.

Peter's views on that matter were far too vague for me to make head or tail of. On the one hand he agreed that God was "everything", which your standard Christian would never do, but he also believes that God is "conscious" . . . though not in the same way that we are.

But when I later said that the only possible way that God could be conscious was through us, he seemed to agree with that.

But we are not designers of evolution, so that would indicate that he doesn't believe in intelligent design. ???

To me, his views seem very vague and unformed - not thought out - and so I felt that I didn't have anything solid to argue against.

It's a bit like trying to prove to a Christian that their God is a fantasy, when they have no idea whatsoever what their idea of God even is, and they flatly refuse to define what it is. I felt exactly this way when Peter could not explain how it was that the All was conscious, or in what way it was conscious.

That's probably why I was abrupt in changing topics.

I'll write him an email and see if he'll expand on his idea of God having conscious intelligence.

Secondly on the subject of literal reincarnation not only did Kevin try and 'save' him he even agreed literal reincarnation was plausable-"entirely possible" was the term i think he used.

It is in fact entirely possible that the contents of our consciousness are somehow transferred to another body when we die. There's absolutely no evidence that this does happen, and there doesn't appear to be any mechanism whereby this can happen, but it's still possible.

That's what I had in mind.

For example, if we were able to download the entire contents of a person's brain before they died, and then upload it into the brain of a healthy body, that would be at least some sort of a "reincarnation" of the kind Peter wants to believe in.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Ataraxia » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:39 pm

Yes,i thought he was all over the shop too.In the end I got the impression he was a pretty standard Christian who'd dabbled in a bit in Buddhism and was trying to make it all somehow work.
It is in fact entirely possible that the contents of our consciousness are somehow transferred to another body when we die. There's absolutely no evidence that this does happen, and there doesn't appear to be any mechanism whereby this can happen, but it's still possible.

That's what I had in mind.
Well i'm highly suprised to read you say such a thing.In fact it seems you're equivocating rather like the Father.

That exact argument could be made for the entire possibility of the Christian God.
For example, if we were able to download the entire contents of a person's brain before they died, and then upload it into the brain of a healthy body, that would be at least some sort of a "reincarnation" of the kind Peter wants to believe in.


Come on man,are you having a lend of me or something.Even if that is even possible one day,you know full well that wasn't the reincarnation he was talking about with his dreaming of his former life as a fat beggar.He was speaking literally that he was once that person,his 'soul' resided there.

The bullshyte he was talking about was in opposition to the rest of what you were saying in the discussion (appart from the concession that it was entirely possible),and from what I've read you say before.

Furthermore it's contrary to what Buddha has to say to Kutadanta.

http://members.optushome.com.au/davidqu ... adanta.htm
Kutadanta: You believe that beings are reborn,
that they migrate in the evolution of life,
and that subject to the law of karma we must reap what we sow.
Yet you also teach the non-existence of the soul!
Your disciples praise utter self-extinction
as the highest bliss of Nirvana.
If I am merely a combination of the sankharas,
my existence will cease when I die.
If I am merely a compound of sensations and ideas and desires,
where can I go at the dissolution of the body?

Buddha: O Brahman, you are religious and earnest.
You are seriously concerned about your soul.
Yet your work is in vain because you are lacking
in the one thing that is needful.

There is rebirth of character,
but no transmigration of a self.
Your thought-forms reappear,
but there is no ego-entity transferred.
The stanza uttered by a teacher
is reborn in the student who repeats the words.

Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in the dream
that their souls are separate and self-existent entities.


Your heart, O Brahman, is still cleaving to self;
you are anxious about heaven,
but you seek the pleasures of self in heaven,
and thus you cant not see the bliss of truth
and the immortality of truth.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Carl G » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:18 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:I'm not sure what "beliefs" you're referring to.


I'd have to listen again, but I recall you kept using phrases like "in my view" and "my position is" instead of "this is logically what must be." That is the phraseology of opinion and belief. I was somewhat surprised by that, from you.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:23 pm

Ataraxia wrote:
It is in fact entirely possible that the contents of our consciousness are somehow transferred to another body when we die. There's absolutely no evidence that this does happen, and there doesn't appear to be any mechanism whereby this can happen, but it's still possible.

That's what I had in mind.
Well i'm highly suprised to read you say such a thing. In fact it seems you're equivocating rather like the Father.

What I said above doesn't suggest that there is an inherently existing self/soul, but it would provide one explanation for a person thinking they remember what they were doing, say four hundred years ago . . . even though it doesn't seem a very likely explanation.

But you're right that I wasn't challenging the idea of an inherently existing self going from one body to another, but rather I was challenging the idea that a person's consciousness is transferred relatively intact from one body to another.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:30 pm

Carl G wrote:
Kevin Solway wrote:I'm not sure what "beliefs" you're referring to.

I'd have to listen again, but I recall you kept using phrases like "in my view" and "my position is" instead of "this is logically what must be." That is the phraseology of opinion and belief. I was somewhat surprised by that, from you.

Good point. I was trying to get the guest to open up, and not scare them off from the outset.

When I say, "in my view", that really means, "in the correct view", but I didn't want to rub his face in it.

I could have opened up the program saying, "I know everything there is to know about God, so I can tell you exactly where you're going wrong", but I don't think that would have gone down too well.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Alex Jacob » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:32 pm

Kevin wrote:

"I could have opened up the program saying, "I know everything there is to know about God, so I can tell you exactly where you're going wrong", but I don't think that would have gone down too well."

But you might just as well start from this assertion, it would certainly be more honest. It would likely make a more interesting show too, no pussy-footing and less mincing of words. In this podcast, there is the 'text', that is, the conversation, but there is also a very clear and if you will overriding 'subtext', which is expressed in the different (skeptical) 'yeahs', and 'un-huhs' which actually say 'No, your understanding is not right, and if I could I would correct you' (and reveal the 'Truth'). Unfortunately, Kevin, you begin to sound merely like a theologian with, if you will, a sort of contrived doctrine, an amalgam of dry terms, a naturalistic doctrine, neo-Buddhistic, and with your own explanation of human consciousness, etc. Your model seems essentially naturalistic, or biological, and this view stands pretty starkly in contrast even with many of your own 'source books' and source personalities: Kirkegaard, Ramakrishna for example. I am less certain about Taoism and what might be considered its specific 'theology', but if the concepts that are expressed in the I-Ching express some of the Taoist roots, even this Taoism is quite distinct from your---seemingly---mental ordering.

This sort of mental ordering, where the totality of the person does not really seem to appear (that is, with the emotions of the individual, the general panorama of 'experience' which is far more than the sum total of the mental aspect of the person; of sentience, a sort of internal connectedness, etc.) would seem to always take place in a merely conversational realm, as it does in the podcast: almost astoundingly boring, quite useless, devoid of any real 'juice' of the human being---alive and kicking either for good or for evil---and the theology, perhaps in early stages of a species of Calvinism, a sort of atrophied theology where the spirit dries on the vine. Yet, you obviously have around you a chorus of True Believers, yes-men, who seem to feel you are really on to something, something special, something truly relevant and necessary.

I am not at all convinced this is the case.

In fact, although I have not specifically studied mystical Christianity, except perhaps in dribs and drabs (mystical Christianity is sort of a backdrop of traditional Christianity though), I think Father Bowles expresses what I think is a far more 'real' sort of connectedness with 'God', as an inner experience that everyone can have, if they make the effort, make the sacrifice. By referencing Paramahansa Yogananda and others he seems to point in the direction of a sort of Yoga of practice, and with that reference, make connections with existant traditions. In a very real sense, if someone asked me, the symbols and 'myths' of Christianity seem to make more sense as inner maps, or guided meditations if you will. The symbolism is ancient, the symbols potent, and the meaning intuitively realizable. In that, I would place more faith in that than in what I hear from you: a sort of rambling, conceited, self-assuming, even arrogant, ceaseless blah-blah about 'God', which seems a mask for a merely personal group of assertions. Behind this asserting individual...is what? What is being asserted and to what conduces these assertions?

Personally, I believe that the quest for absolutes is its own stumbling block. It is right there, its the first thing one stumbles over when one walks out one's front door. Yet it is so attractive to a certain sort of (young) mind, and it seems the last thing they ever want to give up! They will cling to it till their dying day, or until it makes everything too painful.

You(all) would never, ever like the sound of this, it seems, it would jangle in your ears so unpleasantly, it would seem to fly int he face of all your reasoning, a peculiar ascetisicm all your own, but I propose that success in spiritual life is, at the end of the day, how you feel about yourself, but not in mere emotions, or in emotional response to things in the world, that are always passing by and through, but to something...indefinable that is there inside. I guess you either go into that inner world and find out what is there, or you erect all these edifices in your head, and confuse them with the inner world, that you experience yet don't control.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:08 am

Alex Jacob wrote:
Kevin wrote:I could have opened up the program saying, "I know everything there is to know about God, so I can tell you exactly where you're going wrong", but I don't think that would have gone down too well.

But you might just as well start from this assertion, it would certainly be more honest. It would likely make a more interesting show too, no pussy-footing and less mincing of words.

True, but then we would probably no longer have a guest to talk to. So it would be an interesting show, but very, very short.

a naturalistic doctrine

I'll agree entirely with that. My God is Nature itself, the All. And the workings of God are nothing more nor less than the workings of Nature.

These workings of Nature can of course be sliced up into all manner of different categories, just as we can slice a cake in countless different ways. And we can slice it in different ways from one moment to the next. And so long as we are conscious, we will always be slicing it, or "ordering" it, as you may say, because that is the very function of consciousness - as is God's will.

Your model seems essentially naturalistic, or biological, and this view stands pretty starkly in contrast even with many of your own 'source books' and source personalities: Kirkegaard, Ramakrishna for example.

I disagree. It's just that I see it as my role in life to demystify those things that should never be mystified. Nature (the Infinite) is already mystifying enough without piling any further mystifying nonsense on top of it.

I simply tell people the direct truth about God (the deepest spiritual truth), in a manner that I myself would have dearly liked to have heard when I was growing up, and before I knew what I know today.

As a child I went to Sunday school and Church. But no-one ever told me what the hell God was. They had no clue themselves. Every word they told me, for years, were 100% lies, literally.

The priests thought that by being weak and vague they weren't really lying. But that made the lie even worse, because the worst liar is a liar who covers up his lies, and never admits his lies, and lies to himself, and closes his eyes to them, and goes to sleep.

I am the opposite to all that. So if you want to blame anyone for the way I am, you can blame the priests.

However, I'm not averse to poetic expression, and I think it's fine to speak of "Mother Nature" - so long as one remembers that Nature is not really a woman, and not a conscious woman, and not a woman who has children. Likewise, by all means refer to the All, the Infinite, as "God the Father". But when people start imagining that the All is a conscious, intelligent being, and possibly even male - then they are just being stupid. They are "mystifying" for the sake of making themselves insane - just like the person who wants to become mad can make a good start of it by hearing voices, and imagining himself the reincarnation of Napoleon.

your---seemingly---mental ordering.

What kind of "mental ordering" do you think I do? I divide things into "true" and "false". Do you think I am fundamentally wrong to do that?

This sort of mental ordering, where the totality of the person does not really seem to appear (that is, with the emotions of the individual, the general panorama of 'experience' which is far more than the sum total of the mental aspect of the person; of sentience, a sort of internal connectedness, etc.)

What you call "emotion" is what I would call irrationality and insanity.

The totality of a person can do well without those things. In fact, I would say that a person is never whole so long as they have the slightest taint of emotion. And while a person still has any tendency towards emotion of any kind, they will always be stunted, warped, and confined.

This is because all emotions arise from a false conception of the world - a conception that ensures that one will always be tethered and blinkered.

I'm all for the "general panorama of experience", but so long as the experience is true, and not some insane creation of a tortured imagination.

The devil himself, so to speak, must have a great panaroma of experience - but it's not one that I want.

in the podcast: almost astoundingly boring, quite useless, devoid of any real 'juice' of the human being

You have no idea how much patience and understanding it required on my part to be polite and humane with our guest right to the very end. . . . Not that it required any real effort, since I've been practicing it for many years. That's where the real juice is!

Those shock-jocks on the radio have more emotion in their shows, but no spirit.

I think Father Bowles expresses what I think is a far more 'real' sort of connectedness with 'God', as an inner experience that everyone can have, if they make the effort, make the sacrifice.

That's all very well, but sacrifice of what, to what? That's where Peter wasn't at all clear.

His type of Christianity should more accurately be called "Mystified Christianity" rather than "mystical".

the symbols and 'myths' of Christianity seem to make more sense as inner maps, or guided meditations if you will.

Maps of what? Maps of deluded territory? Maps of imagined, fantastic lands?

It's certainly possible to interpret some of the Christian teachings or symbols to have some wise meaning - but you don't see people doing it in the real world.

The symbolism is ancient, the symbols potent, and the meaning intuitively realizable.

Intuitively realizable to whom? And what do they realize? The highest truth?

Or are you suggesting that the symbol of a circle might symbolize the circularity of many things in life? Or that a cross might symbolize . . . things crossing paths?

What is being asserted and to what conduces these assertions?

God is being asserted, with the intention that listener will realize God.

I don't expect it will work for everyone, because, for most people, "the All is God" doesn't provide them with enough juicy emotions to interest them.

Even when people want God, they don't want to BE God. Rather, they want a God they can keep at arms length, and pray to, and seek explanations from. A sort of consoler. An imaginary friend.

People want "meaning" in life to be handed to them on a plate. They don't want to be the creators of meaning.

Personally, I believe that the quest for absolutes is its own stumbling block.

This idea is your absolute, and is your stumbling block.

I guess you either go into that inner world and find out what is there, or you erect all these edifices in your head, and confuse them with the inner world, that you experience yet don't control.

I have realized that the outer world is in fact the inner world, and everything has become the inner world, and so there is no longer "inner" and "outer".

The "edifices" I create, such as "true" and "false", are as real as can be. There's no getting around them.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Alex Jacob » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:58 am

Despite the fact that I haven't read your doctrines in any depth, nevertheless I think I understand them, and I think this is because a certain current of intellect, worldwide, tends in this direction. It does indeed make a good deal of sense to re-wed our spirituality, our philosophy and our religion to a naturalistic model, which is really a rediscovery of what was being referred to over the centuries (one imagines) before the advent of the so-called scientific outlook, borne of a method, a kind of analysis. The scientific outlook is having a pretty strong effect on our mythologies, and all that comes from what is now a sort of 'graveyard of meaning': old terms, remnants of old metaphysics, that still abound in our language and in our conceptual order.

I certainly do not profess to be an expert in religion or theology (or science), and in distinction to you I do not profess to know what 'God' is, or in any ultimate sense what this life is about, where we come from (if we have come from somewhere) or where we go (if indeed we 'go' somewhere). I guess we can cut to the chase insofar as what I feel I 'know' comes from inner experiences, visions, epiphanies, experiences with the 'plant teachers', and what I can only describe as a sort of relationship with intelligences, distinct from my own apparently, in some other plane of consciousness than the one I seem to inhabit on a daily basis. Sometimes I think that any description of the sort I just offered is really a metaphor that refers to something impossible to categorize and describe, and I say that only because that is how things appear to me. I have no hard evidence and know of no way to have any hard evidence that I could present to you or anyone else to 'prove' my points, because this experience is subjective.

I also expect that your experience (your knowledge, your understanding, your 'mental ordering') is subjective, unless you were truly to base it in naturalism, for example brain chemistry, molecular biology and dissciplines of this sort. If this were the case, your metaphor of being like unto a fountain could be explained in purely chemical terms, it seems to me.

Some part of you, or some aspect of you (not your emotional side, obviously, and these emotions can only be chemical lies that course through the neurons) has made decisions as to how experience of 'life' is to be ordered, and so you have, in Aristotelean fashion, categorized your experience, and developed a veritable doctine that can be presented to others. There seems to be a missionary aspect in there too: the desire and the need to bring a message to others, to cause certain wheels to turn in their heads, to lead them, I suspect, to certain conclusions which, I also suppose, lead in turn to ethical activities that you support. I did not say and do not say that this is 'wrong', and unlike you I do not need or demand that it be 'correct', or complete, or The Truth. Surely you are aware that there are many who have and do claim to represent The Truth, and if asked they will explain their doctrines, but you of course must recognize that not all that is described as Truth is really Truth at all. So, there is no reason whatever why anyone should believe that you either 'know the Truth', and one therefor qualifies your statements, as we qualify all statements, and simply note that you are making an effort.

And no, I don't think you are 'wrong' to do any sort of thing that tickles your fancy, I just do not accept the term Truth that you use so frequently. Obviously, that stems from a core idea I presented earlier: all descriptions, it seems to me, are allusions, semblences, similies perhaps. The object, the word, cannot be confused with the 'thing' that is being referred to, which is beyond language, which will not be confined by language. And because all this religious mystification, all these attempts to place in a vessel (or language, or of symbol) the deepest sort of excperience about being is always a metaphor, no one seems to be able to stake a claim to a final description, a cohesive doctrine.

When I use the word 'emotion' I mean it as something that opposes 'acute reason', a sort of pure intellectualism. I am not talking about 'whimsy' or sentimentalism, no, but rather a sort of emotional sense, the sensitivity of the living entity who is sentient. I do not mean to be swayed by 'mere emotions' but to experience being in a holistic way. This definition, I think, is radically different from what you assume, and I expect that it is just not a part of your experience---yet. But you should know, I am here to guide you to the Promised Land, I am a little wind sent by the totally conscious creator of these universes, and if you will turn your little sail just a wee bit in my direction I will blow you to what you mean by the terms Zion, Heaven, Home. You will have to transfer, however, from this derelict ship of reason you have constructed to a far more magnificent schooner, and this will be no easy thing for you and your rebellious pirate friends, but I am here to help, pulsating as I am under a plastic canopy here at Tel Aviv University!

"You have no idea how much patience and understanding it required on my part to be polite and humane with our guest right to the very end. . . . Not that it required any real effort, since I've been practicing it for many years. That's where the real juice is!"

I sort of sympathize with your plight. But I really think you should start from the premises you are really invested in. That podcast was reminiscent of a luke warm bath: you get out of it wanting to get back into to one a little hotter, essentially dissatisfied.

"That's all very well, but sacrifice of what, to what?"

Well, that is a big part of the whole deal. I could offer an explanation, in my own terms: the nature of 'reality' is that it tends to absord our focus, and to keep us focused on all this changing phenomena. If it's not one thing, it's another. Rarely is there an interest in 'penetrating the veils', taking a look behind the curtain, and even when there is, there is always a tendency to get waylayed in antechambers, if you will, and to proceed no farther. Most people just do not have the sort of experiences or the sort of thoughts that we call spiritual or even philosophic, and keep their eyes fixed on the ground, from the day they are born to the day they die. In order to have the sort of 'experience' that Bowles referred to, requires some time of 'sacrifice', maybe it is aloneness, maybe it is a deliberate surrendering of whatever it is that one always hold before on as one's 'shield of the day', one's protection against 'knowledge'.

Now, all the traditions in their more elevated points seem to be concerned with this essential problem, as I see things. And each of them, if you will, dangles a metaphor in front of a person who simply is not seeing correctly, because all they see is the outer, shifting world, and they are not aware of the internal world, and a light that shines inward (if you will permit the allusion). There are whole orders of individuals, or entities if you will, whose job in our kosmos is to follow living entities as they move through experience of reality, and when they begin to develop a certain level of consciousness, to begin to throw strange metaphors at them. These metaphors are concentrated units of awareness, and when one is received, it 'explodes', and meaning rains down around. The metphors of Christianity, it seems to me, are especially potent, since they deal on natural phenomenon: the sun and its continuing birth and 'death', the construction of a vessel of personality, the required abandonement of that constructed vessel and the climbing into another vessel, to continue our journey back, back to the cluster of light-awareness from which we have come.

Kevin, a person has got to start somewhere, you see. Try to understand that there are kinds of people who are 'following their dharma' and who have set up little magic theatres along the highways and biways of life, and there they put on their little show, looking for recruits, dangling the shimmering jewels of what lies inside us before the exiled wanderers, the pilgrims on the road home. It is not at all impossible that Father Bowles is involved in some part of this work, don't you think? But really so are any of us who get involved in these strange subjects, and who formulate metaphors that we drop down on people's unsuspecting heads...

I have been thinking of the orangutan that you mentioned in the podcast...
Ni ange, ni bête
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Greg Shantz » Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:31 am

Kevin Solway wrote:The devil himself, so to speak, must have a great panaroma of experience - but it's not one that I want.


The devil, you see, is the man who has everything, and yet is not good, while totality only flows from good and only exists through good. - Weininger
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:38 am

[ Here's a response from Peter Bowes I received by email, concerning the consciousness of God. ]

Peter Bowes wrote:
Kevin wrote:With regard to evolution, it has been suggested that you believe in "intelligent design".

Would you mind outlining your reasons as to how you believe it is possible that God (the All) could be conscious, given that there is nothing other than itself.

Also, you said that God's consciousness was different to our own. Could you please explain exactly in what way is it different?

Further, you seemed to agree when I said that the only way God could be conscious is *through us*. Do you actually agree with this idea? Because if you do, then you wouldn't believe in intelligent design, since we ourselves are not designers of evolution (not *yet* at any rate).

God is conscious of God's Self and completely perfect in God's awareness of God's own being. Just as a human being can be aware of itself, so can God, since we are made in the spiritual image of God. We are the microcosm (little world) and God is the macrocosm (great world). If you say that since God is all, then God cannot be conscious of God's Self, then you attribute a limitation to God that is not possible for God. God is Infinite and unlimited. God can look, feel and sense within God's own being and thus be conscious of God's Self. God is a Being who personally knows and understands each human being and every other created thing within God. God is within the chest of every person and unfortunately that is the last place human beings look for God. God is not in the frontal lobe, as a concept in one's mind. God is not a contrivance for the misled who need to postulate a God to explain things to their childish fears. God is the Mother and Father of all things and is intimately and personally connected to everyone and everything. God is more than everything because God is deeper than matter and more rarified than the most tenuous ether. God is a Spirit and those who know God, worship God in spirit and in truth.

God's consciousness is different from ours in that God is big and we are little. God is the creator and we are the created. We don't create God, even in our arrogance of imagining we can conceive of God without experiencing God. God loves perfectly and we are learning to love that way. God makes all expressions of any worth possible due to the benevolence of God's intelligence. There is only one intelligence and anyone who opens to that intelligence will be able to express some portion of God's intelligence. Intelligence is infinite and does not generate from an individual person. Intelligence as well as all good things are on loan to human beings. We don't own anything except our experience.

As for intelligent design or other forms of evolution: all forms in the material world go through changes where things fall away which are no longer useful and other forms come on line that are new developments that are needed for the times. Human beings were created as a separate creation aside from and much higher than and exceptionally unique from the primate chimps and gorillas. Human beings were created as souls and not merely as an instinctual species. That primates forms resembled human beings is no proof that they changed one day into human beings. Humans were a unique creation made in God's image and likeness, not physically, but spiritually. We are creative and made to be responsible for the earth and everything on it. But even some human changes have occurred in the last few thousand years that are necessary from an evolutionary point of view. For example, we have less tearing teeth because we are more refined in our food choices. We have less hair than when we had less skill in making clothing to warm ourselves. We are losing the need for the appendix as it seems less and less useful to our needs.
The next phase will be loss of working memory due to computers and internet habits.
Hope this hleps
Father Peter
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Ataraxia » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:24 pm

Pretty stock standard Christian when push comes to shove.

He doesn't believe God is the 'everything/totality' at all.

In fact....

Bowes : God is more than everything because God is deeper than matter and more rarified than the most tenuous ether. God is a Spirit and those who know God, worship God in spirit and in truth.


Whatever.
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