• Agent Smith
    5.2k
    Of the Sancta Trinitas, I've seen (independent) threads and debates on the Son (Jesus) and the Father (God) but never on the Holy Ghost/Spirit. Why?Agent Smith
  • Gregory
    4.2k
    Maybe because who the holy spirit is is confusing. The son is said to be wisdom and the holy spirit love. Yet the father creates both and the spirit is the love between the father and son if you accept the filoque. But the spirit is not their child because the relationship is father to son and from there father and son to spirit. It doesn't mirror a human family. Whether the holy spirit is a person was debated in early Christianity with some saying there are just the father and son in God. Every position imaginable on the subject has been proposed and debated by someone in history. The Syrian Christians sometimes call the holy spirit a mother and yet she does not create the son with the father
  • Hermeticus
    181
    I like to draw up the comparison between the Christian trinity and the Hinduistic Trimurti. It seems very apparent that the abrahamic religions took much inspiration from vedic tradition - increasingly so with the catholic new testament, stemming from a time where Greece and India had already firmly established their relations - both in terms of trade and exchanging knowledge.

    The Trimurti then, is actually pretty straight forward about it's meaning: The three deities represent the three aspects of cosmic existence.

    Brahman the Creator
    Vishnu the Maintainer
    Shiva the Destroyer

    The Father as Brahman being the Creator is obvious.

    The other two, we may have to elaborate a bit.

    The word that is used for the Holy Spirit in greek is "Pneuma" which can be translated to "breath". Same goes for the latin word "spiritus" which lend it's name to the holy spirit. Pneuma for the stoics was essentially the force that drove life - "the breath of life" - air being believed to be the primal element from where everything else originated. This is also in alignment with hinduistic tradition, where control, monitoring and training of breath makes up an essential part of yogic practice. The act of breathing in itself could be said to be considered divine. Ultimately, we can equate the Holy Spirit to Vishnu - whose very role, like breath, is to maintain life.

    Last but not least Shiva. In order to understand Shiva as the son, we must first understand what "destruction" signifies in Hinduism. The Hindus believe that everything is one great cosmic cycle - and Shiva, more than the idea of annihilation itself, represents the end of a cycle but also the beginning of a new one. Does that sound familiar in any way? It is the concept of rebirth that has been so prominently captured with the biblical son Jesus. The relation from father to son is one of succesion - the Father creates the world but finally relinquishes it to his son. The son in turn ushers in a new age, essentially creating the cycle of creation, life and death anew.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    Thanks to @Gregory & @Hermeticus for their comments.

    Much of the debate around Jesus (the Son) and God (the father) revolves around existence (did Jesus really exist and does God exist?). No such quarrel in re the Holy Spirit!

    So, does the Holy Spirit exist/no? After all, the impression I get is that that's a cut-and-dried matter, an open-and-shut case as it were.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.4k
    Much of the debate around Jesus (the Son) and God (the father) revolves around existence (did Jesus really exist and does God exist?). No such quarrel in re the Holy Spirit!Agent Smith

    Well, the Holy Spirit is supposed to be God according to those who accept the Trinity. So, if God doesn't exist, the Holy Spirit doesn't exist; if God exists, the Holy Spirit does as well. The Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons which make up the One God--three Persons, who nonetheless are consubstantial, one in Being.

    Much time and effort have been spent trying to explain the Trinity. Too much.

    The Holy Spirit has functions, or primary functions, or is its own "mode" (I think that's the term), According to the Nicene Creed (as represented by the Catholic Credo), the Holy Spirit is "the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son" and spoke through the Prophets. Here's some Latin for you:

    Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem:
    qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.
    Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur:
    qui locutus est per prophetas.


    The Holy Spirit is, if you will, the Chatty Person of the One God, or at least evokes or inspires chattiness, speaking through the Prophets, getting all the apostles to run out and start speaking in tongues on Pentacost. But, it's also called the Paraclete--an advisor, advocate or counselor. So, I like to think of him as the Lawyer Person of the One God. A Deity made up of the Father, the Son and the Holy Lawyer.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    Nice!

    The Father = (Master)Mind
    Holy Spirit = Speech (breath)
    The Son = Body (Physical manifestation)
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    Actually, if you remember, I did write a thread on the Holy Spirit really, because you wrote on it. The thread was about the idea of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is considered to be the unpardonable sin according to the Gospels. I spoke of how I got into a bad state worrying about the passage in the Bible when I was 13. A few years later, I was relieved to read that both Jung and Kierkergaard had worried over what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit meant.

    When I tried to think at some point when I was still going to church about the Trinity, the conclusion which I came to was as follows: God the father is the source, and the son, Christ, is the embodiment, with the Holy Spirit as being the force through which this is mediated, especially in the embodiment as Christ. The view which I came to about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was the general attitude of hatred of good or love and compassion represented by Christ .

    Nowadays, I do also think that other teachers, especially the Buddha come from a similar starting point. Rudolf Steiner also speaks of Christ consciousness, which seems related to the idea of the Holy Spirit. I am not sure how the idea of the Holy Spirit stands in relation to materialism. Also, it is questionable whether God the father is male, as it would make more sense to see God as androgynous, and beyond gender.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    God the father is the source, and the son, Christ, is the embodiment, with the Holy Spirit as being the force through which this is mediated, especially in the embodiment as Christ.Jack Cummins

    Magnifique! A sensible answer/post/reply.

    I did write a thread on the Holy SpiritJack Cummins

    Sorry, slipped my mind.

    The Holy Spirit = The Force (Star wars)
  • Bitter Crank
    10.9k
    Unitarians believe there is 1 god, 1 person, period. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

    Michael Servetus, b. 1509, was an early proponent of unitarianism. He was condemned by the Catholic Church as a heretic in France. He fled to Switzerland and was burned at the stake by the Calvinists, another bunch of heretics.

    These days it is quite safe to be a unitarian, and eminently sensible.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k


    I'm reading this book on philosophy.

    I was under the (false) impression that Chrstianity owed much of what it is, doctrinally speaking, to sound, well-crafted argumentation.

    Alas, to my disappointment, this isn't true; no, not by a long shot.

    I distinctly remember 3 Councils were held: one at Nicaea, one in Carthage, the other in Ephesus. Christian tenets/creeds, as it turns out, were set down with bribes, threats, violence, basically and mostly devious methods. So much for Christianity! I'm sure the same goes for other religions as well.

    It's pointless to argue when no argument was made to begin with.
  • Raymond
    815
    Christ was just hanging around on Earth playing the radio of God. God is the DJ, the Holy Spirit His radio waves, and God the receiver and loudspeaker.

    "Everybody, tune in to the morning show! Life from heaven, God Himself, voiced by the upcoming talent JC! Second time around, ain't you JC?" "Yaman! Mama was f$#$%d twice!"
  • Raymond
    815
    So much for Christianity! I'm sure the same goes for other religions as well.Agent Smith

    And not only for religions...
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    And not only for religions...Raymond

    :up:
  • Bitter Crank
    10.9k
    I was under the (false) impression that Chrstianity owed much of what it is, doctrinally speaking, to sound, well-crafted argumentation.Agent Smith

    An uninformed person might think that. Christianity came together out of a melange of wildly varying beliefs. There were periodic efforts to rationalize the whole shooting match, and some of the efforts were, maybe, well-crafted argumentation.

    "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made" said Kant.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    I'm uninformed of many, many things. What I've learned is this: learning the truth is hard work (find a good resource, reading it, analyzing what you've read, recalling the analysis, is pretty tough I'd say) and that's one reason why people are so uninformed these days.

    Information is expensive, literally and figuratively.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.4k
    These days it is quite safe to be a unitarian, and eminently sensible.Bitter Crank

    I've thought about attending a unitarian meeting, or whatever they call the equivalent of a mass. But from what I read, it's too similar to a mass. Readings and singing, though the readings and songs are different, of course. I hate it when people sing and it's expected you should sing with them, with some exceptions. Perhaps a Quaker meeting would be best, as it seems nobody says, or sings, anything, unless they want to "testify" I think it is the word. I could always leave when someone decides to speak. Who knows? Maybe they would say something worth hearing.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.4k
    It's pointless to argue when no argument was made to begin with.Agent Smith

    If you're looking for something resembling argument, I'm sure you could find some supporting the Trinity.
    You could try Augustine's De Trinitate, but there are other works as well. Google "Triune God" and you'll find a bunch of stuff about it. I once listened to a priest compare the Trinity to a ham sandwich. I don't think he ever published his insight, though.

    Christians have always had much to try to explain about their religion, Christianity being a curious hodgepodge of religions and cults which sometimes fit together only very awkwardly.
  • Raymond
    815
    What's the difference between a unitarian and a catholic? Brings the catholic three times as much disaster? I can't quite spot the difference, apart from the trinity which is basically a split personality. Of the same one god.

    "The concept of ethical monotheism, which holds that morality stems from God alone and that its laws are unchanging, first occurred in Judaism, but is now a core tenet of most modern monotheistic religions, including Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Baháʼí Faith."

    Is all monotheism to be traced back to the replacement of the old Greek gods by one? It seems monotheism is a western concept as is the concept of a one and only true reality.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.4k
    What's the difference between a unitarian and a catholic?Raymond

    I don't think unitarians have any doctrine, nor do they support any particular version of a deity. They seem more in the way of deists. But I'm uncertain.
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    I once listened to a priest compare the Trinity to a ham sandwich. I don't think he ever published his insight, though.Ciceronianus

    What a shame. Just when he was about to crack the problem - the way to a man's heart is through his stomach! :lol:
  • Raymond
    815


    Ain't the belief in one god a doctrine? Like the belief in one physical reality in science? I don't think doctrines have an inherent value. A ham sandwich though...
  • Bitter Crank
    10.9k
    In addition to thinking of God as 1 person (no trinity), Unitarians also believe in universal salvation. I'm not quite sure how that works out, but it sounds like a generous approach. My guess is that they do not buy the idea of original sin, and a batch of other ideas found in Christianity (virgin birth resurrection, etc).
  • Paine
    521
    The idea had a role in Judaism long before the Christians emerged. The Shekhinah are places where one can dwell and the Unnamable One is said to do/have done that in some places us mortals can/could encounter.
    I don't like my link but it was the only one I could find that crossed the many different ways it was adopted.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.4k
    Ain't the belief in one god a doctrine?Raymond

    I was brought up Catholic, and associate "doctrine" with its endlessly complicated beliefs and rules. The doctrine involving God as Ham Sandwich is only one of many devised by it over nearly 2,000 years.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.4k
    Just when he was about to crack the problem - the way to a man's heart is through his stomach! :lol:Agent Smith

    We can only pray that his idea will serve to inspire someone to finish his work of interpretation and explanation.
  • 180 Proof
    8.8k


    IIRC, even before my apostasy :halo: I had interpreted the Catholic doctrine of the "Holy Trinity" as
    1. the sacred ("Father")
    2. the sacrificed ("Son")
    3. the sacraments ("Holy Spirit")
    — 90 Proof
    replay
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    We can only pray that his idea will serve to inspire someone to finish his work of interpretation and explanation.Ciceronianus

    :smile:
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made" said Kant.Bitter Crank

    There is not one who is righteous. No, not one. — George Orwell
  • Agent Smith
    5.2k
    The Holy Spirit/Ghost is a person. What is a person?
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