I have a question regarding the sun

A human is a dualism, with a spiritual body coexisting with the physical body. This is why when many, unenlightened people die, they do not realize they are dead. They look at themselves and they are still dressed in the same clothes. Ghosts like this wander around their old haunts for decades before they realize that their human body is long dead.

The spiritual body is the one that God created in His image - immortal and ethereal. It is the spiritual body that carries our consciousness and memories and soul.

Thanks for that information. That explains everything. Philosophers made it seem so complicated.

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The irony of the point God has to be bound by God’s own creation.

This “ethereal” is a misconception that causes people to be upset with the idea of the spiritual body. But there is nothing in Paul’s description of 1 Cor 15 which says the spiritual body is “ethereal,” and the indication from the stories of the resurrected Jesus shows that the spiritual body is NOT “ethereal.” God, who is spirit, is the greater MORE substantial reality. God is not ethereal and neither is the spiritual body.

But perhaps you meant to speak of the substance of the spiritual body which is not the stuff of chemistry and particles, which I always thought… "what has such things to do with who we really are? “Nothing!” To me it is like seeing the pixels in a computer game – a feature of the medium in which the game is displayed and played and quite irrelevant to the game itself. So I do not believe the spirit body has anything such things. And Paul does say that while the physical body is of dust and the earth, the spiritual body is of heaven and naturally of the stuff of heaven. But I do not think we should call it “ethereal.”

Another typo, I presume: “carries?” I would agree that the spiritual body continues our identity, personality, consciousness and memories after death, but only in so far as these are a product of our own choices. Something that comes from other conditions (such as biological, chemical, environmental) and not a matter of choice is something I do not expect to be a part of the spiritual body. But regardless, none of the objective evidence agrees with the idea that any of these things are due to some non-physical existence/agent during our physical life.

Dear Michell,
For me, ethereal and spiritual are synonymous. How are they different from each other in your eyes?

The issue is one of definition and common usage… which definitely include the meaning of…
insubstantial, ghostly, intangible, unworldly. To be sure, its definitions include heavenly and spiritual, but this could be because it is assumed that spiritual things are insubstantial and intangible. Anyway the point is to choose words which avoid such misunderstandings.

I try to be as precise as possible. The quote leaves off the the distinction you are looking for, but consciously. In my terminology I say that God is immortal, ethereal and divine. Whereas the human spirit is immortal, ethereal and corrupt (to varying degrees). I hope that clarifies.

I would describe them differently. I would not use the words “immortal” or “ethereal” which come from pagan philosophies/spiritualism.

God is self-existing infinite spirit. Man is a physical living organism, body and mind, whose choices create an finite spiritual existence, body and mind.

Since you mention the fallen aspect of things, then I shall describe this aspect of man also. Because our choices include self-destructive habits, our spiritual existence is on a path of self-destruction and without a relationship with God the spirit lacks that which makes an eternal existence worthwhile, and the result is a dead spirit, which is generally ghostly and ethereal – a mere shadow.

The hope of man is for a resurrection of the spirit through the removal of these self-destructive habits and the result includes a spiritual body which is imperishable, powerful, and in an eternal life-giving relationship with God.

This is the part of your thesis that I have issues with. You admit that God is infinite and spiritual, so in way did God create us in His image? You theorize that man creates his own, finite spirituality. So, what did God create?

Creating us in His image does not mean making us identical to him. An image reflects but is different than the original. God’s aim in creation was to give of Himself to others in an eternal relationship. Thus creating us in His image meant that we have infinite potentiality and thus able receive from God all that He has to give. But that means that we could not simply be what God made us to be, like the angels. We would have to have the capability to become more, so growth and learning would have to be our basic nature.

The above describes the relationship between parent and child, NOT that between designer and tool. That means that instead of designing us for an end according to a functional purpose, God created a womb in which we could be conceived and grow – and thus to be an end in ourselves, deciding our own purpose and nature. That womb is the physical universe designed to support the self-organizing process of life, which requires a system of fixed rules we know of as the laws of nature.

It is right to say that God created us, but not in the way of a designer making tools but in the way that is always the case for creating living things, as in the role of a farmer, shepherd, teacher or parent – NOT that of a watchmaker, or other creators of non-living things. So what do the farmer, shepherd, teacher and parent actually do? Design the living things? No. Design the right environment for growth and learning? Yes. Decide what they become? No. Provide necessities, stimulation, and guidance? Yes. In other words, what these creators of life do is participate in their lives as part of the environment in which their living creations learn and grow. After all, just because we are a product of a self-organizing process of growth and learning doesn’t mean we do this in a vacuum.

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Above I made several references to this idea that our eternal life depends upon a relationship with God. One might thus rephrase the original question to ask whether a good God would make us dependent upon Him for life? Does that sound loving or could this be thought forcing a relationship on us?

The answer is yes and no…

First the… no: I am not talking about some kind of magical requirement… as if without regularly worshiping God we will have the life sucked out of us… or anything like that. And no this is not a matter of forcing a relationship on us. We are free to go our own way. We are free to do whatever we want.

Now the… yes: It is a matter of simple logical consequences of what we are… and in that sense the answer is yes for you can say God made us this way. The fact is that most of the time when we imagine somehow living forever, it is not considered a good thing. The biggest problem being boredom. How can we imagine a never ending existence being worthwhile with our finite knowledge of reality and its possibilities? Life is growth and learning. Thus eternal life implies growth and learning without limit. So yes, God made us dependent on Him for eternal life… but that is because life is more than just existence. It requires something to make that existence worthwhile. The only alternative here is for God to make only dead things.

Dear Michell,
I cannot follow your logic on your posts above, especially becuase it seems exclusionary and at some points, very restrictive. You are saying that humans choose their eternal life, yet even in today’s world, a vast majority of the world’s population have no choice. Even in the west, freedom of choice and freedom of thought is a very young concept. There are over 35 million enslaved people living today, do you think they really have any choices? And of course the millions who die in childhood, do you thin they have a choice to establish a relationship with God, let a lone Jesus?
Best Wishes, Shawn

No idea what you are talking about… What logic can you not follow? What seems exclusionary? What is restrictive? From what follows in your post, I am brought to the conclusion that the only exclusions and restrictions are in the assumptions which you bring to the table.

Yes. All choices are real, and at the very least people choose what to think and what to feel even if they have to hide these things. That is one of things they found in the great soviet experiment. Their methods of force simply made dishonesty a constant way of life where nobody spoke about what they were actually thinking and feeling. Nobody can actually force anyone to do anything. To say that you can is a lie told most often by the oppressors… “they made me do it” is the excuse so often said in prisons. But it is an outright lie. And we give such people power over us only if we believe their lies.

Now, it is certainly true that in this world there are indeed considerable limitations to our choices (and these limitations are as essential as the walls of a womb). We quite often don’t get to choose what happens, or where we are, or what is done to us. And to be sure, free societies seek to maximize freedoms like this for its citizens as much as possible. And maybe for those growing up in such a society they confuse free will with freedoms like that. Having choices shouldn’t be confused with being in control of things.

Sound like you are confusing relationship with knowledge again, as is usually the way with Gnostics. The answer is yes they have a choice to establish a relationship with Jesus because this has nothing to do with doctrinal knowledge or Christianity, as if the religion had proprietary right over God Himself – quite an absurd notion. Why do you think Jesus said we must become as a child? Is it perhaps a return to a time when we didn’t have so many walls built around us to keep God out? It certainly isn’t because of some understanding of doctrine that only children have.

Alexandru…interesting question. It is a bit like asking “why did God make termites?” Saying that we “KNOW” the “sun will eventually die” is probably actually a statement of faith. I believe that the current thinking is that somewhere in the next 5 billion years or so (billion with a B) it will become a red giant and then move on to other things? In other words, it will go the way of all stars…

Well…5 billion years is such a long time that I do not worry. As to its “death” — and whether the human race will even be in existence by then or not – or whether or not Jesus will have returned and there is a whole new ball game…I guess I am more comfortable with “Why did God make termites?” as an issue…

Good luck with other answers…but seriously, Alexandru. My question to you is: Why do you want to know?

You will not be here in 5 B and neither will I. We will be somewhere else…living with God or away from Him.

Shawn is a bit gnostic in his thinking,…But the subject of this posting is the fate of the sun. And somewhere over the next 5 billion years, the astrophysics on the fate of the sun and the rest of the universe may change…that is, knowledge of it may change…or who knows what?? Five billion years is kind of a long time…

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