Spirituality constitutes a sign of the jarring transition ... from an expiring Age of Belief into a new but not yet fully realized Age of the Spirit
"As in the past, today 'spirituality' can mean a range of different things. At a minimum, it evokes an ambiguous self-reflection devoid of content. For some it can become mere navel gazing, a retreat from responsibility in a needy world. Sleek ads in glossy magazines promise a weekend of 'spiritual renewal' in a luxurious spa where, for a price, one can reap the benefits of a sauna, a pedicure, and a guru who will help you cope with the stress of your demanding job. For others, however, 'spirituality' can mean a disciplined practice of meditation, prayer, or yoga that can lead to deepened engagement in society. A researcher named Seth Wax recently gathered 105 interviews of self-described 'spiritual' people in eight different professional fields. He found that what most of them thought of as their 'spirituality' actually enhanced their sense of responsibility in their work and in society by giving them a larger goal or by helping them to concentrate on doing a good job. It is evident that different forms of 'spirituality' can lead to either self-indulgence or a deepened social engagement, but so can institutional religion.
Recent studies have shown that the conflict between the religious and the spiritual, even between the spiritual and the secular, are not as sharp as some have supposed. People today can move back and forth from one to the other with little sense of contradiction. They carry 'spiritual' attitudes and practices into the congregations and religious values into the secular world. They develop what researchers call 'repertoires' that include elements from all of these overlapping spheres and are able to negotiate continuously among them. Clerical leaders often object to what seems like the blurring of important distinctions, but the process is making the borders between the religious, the spiritual, and the secular more permeable.
How does the spectacular growth of megachurches like Saddleback and Willow Creek figure into this new picture? Entering Saddleback church, with its large TV screens, piped music, coffee bars, and choice of different music 'tents,' is more like strolling into a mall than stepping into a cathedral. Its architectural logic is horizontal, not vertical. The line between inside and outside is almost erased. There are now more than four hundred of these churches, with congregations of ten thousand or more. They are not fundamentalist. Their real secret is that they are honeycombs of small groups, hundreds of them, for study, prayer, and action. Sociologist Robert Wuthnow estimates that 40 percent of all adult Americans belong to one or another of a variety of small groups both in and out of churches, and that many join them because they are searching for community and are 'interested in deepening their spirituality.' He adds that these small groups are 'redefining the sacred ... by replacing explicit creeds and doctrines with implicit norms devised by the group.' Although he expresses some hesitation about this soft-peddling of theology, he nonetheless concludes that many people who grew up in a religious tradition now 'feel the need for a group with whom they can discuss their religious values. As a result ... they feel closer to God, better able to pray ... and more confident that they are acting according to spiritual principles that emphasize love, forgiveness, humility and self-acceptance.'
The recent rapid growth of charismatic congregations and the appeal of Asian spiritual practices demonstrate that, as in the past once again today, large numbers of people are drawn more to the experiential than to the doctrinal elements of religion. Once again, this often worries religious leaders who have always fretted about mysticism. Echoing age-old suspicions, for example, the Vatican has warned Catholics against the dangers of attending classes on yoga. Still, it is important to notice that virtually all current 'spiritual' movements and practices are derived, either loosely or directly, from one of the historic religious traditions. In addition, just as in the past offshoots that the church condemned were eventually welcomed back into The Mother's household, the same is happening today. In India and Japan Catholic monks sit cross-legged practicing Asian spiritual disciplines. In America, people file into church basements for tai-chi classes. Challenged by the lure of Asian practices, Benedictine monks have begun teaching lay people 'centering prayer,' a contemplative discipline that not so long ago church authorities viewed with distrust.
'Spirituality' can mean a host of things, but there are three reasons why the term is in such wide use. First, it is still a form of tacit protest. It reflects a widespread discontent with the preshrinking of 'religion,' Christianity in particular, into a package of theological propositions by the religious corporations that box and distribute such packages. Second, it represents an attempt to voice the awe and wonder before the intricacy of nature that many feel is essential to human life without stuffing them into ready-to-wear ecclesiastical patterns. Third, it recognizes the increasingly porous borders between the different traditions and, like the early Christian movement, it looks more to the future than to the past. The question remains whether emerging new forms of spirituality will develop sufficient ardor for justice and enough cohesiveness to work for it effectively. Nonetheless, the use of the term 'spirituality' constitutes a sign of the jarring transition through which we are now passing, from an expiring Age of Belief into a new but not yet fully realized Age of the Spirit.
This three-stage profile of Christianity helps us understand the often confusing religious turmoil going on around us today. It suggests that what some people dismiss as deviations or unwarranted innovations are often retrievals of elements that were once accepted features of Christianity, but were discarded somewhere along the way. It frees people who shape their faith in a wide spectrum of ways to understand themselves as authentically Christian, and it exposes fundamentalism for the distortion it is.
There is little to lament about the present decline of fundamentalism. The word itself was coined in the first decade of the twentieth century by Protestant Christians who compiled a list of theological beliefs on which there could be no compromise. Then they adamantly announced that they would defend these 'fundamentals' against new patterns that were already emerging in Christianity. The conflict often became intense. In 1922 Reverend Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878—1969) preached a famous sermon entitled 'Shall the Fundamentalists Win?' It seemed for a few decades that, indeed, they might. But now they are on the defensive. The old struggle continues, and their reduction of faith to beliefs persists. But since the emerging Age of the Spirit is more similar to the first Age of Faith than it is to the Age of Belief, the contest today goes on under different conditions. The atmosphere today is more like that of early Christianity than like what obtained during the intervening millennium and a half of the Christian empire."
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith
HarperOne (September 8, 2009), pages 11-15
The Paraclete and Aquarius: the Age of the Holy Breath
The gospel described the beginning of the
Aquarian (= the one that bears the pitcher
of water) Age as follows: "And then the
man who bears the pitcher will walk across
an arc of heaven. The sign and signet of
the Son of man stands forth in the eastern
sky. The wise will then lift up their heads
and know that the redemption of the earth
is near" (157.29,30.) And the
accompanying footnote explained: "From
the beginning of this age, i.e. from this
moment on, more and more people will try
to understand the spirit of the Gospel
instead of merely following its text. When
the largest part of the human race has
been penetrated by this spirit, to which
this book makes its contribution, mankind
will undoubtedly be in the Aquarian Age.
That's why the Aquarian Gospel was given
its present title." (Costian 1995, 261)
"Rudolf Bultmann ... calls the coming of the Redeemer (Paraclete) an "eschatological event," "The turning-point of the ages."
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament
"The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world's reaction was to Jesus."
Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
"But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete ...—will teach you everything."
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ)
"The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15... are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree."
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines
The Paraclete's "Appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed."
Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
"Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present"
Robert Kysar, John
"The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit."
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit
"So, now a New Age has started which is called the Age of Aquarius, meaning the pitcher carrier of spiritual holy water that is the work of Kundalini."
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
"The thesis advanced in this book is that NT theology is God-focused, Christ-centered, and Spirit-saturated, but the work of the Father, Son, and Spirit must be understood along a salvation-historical timeline; that is, God's promises are already fulfilled but not yet consummated in Christ Jesus. We will see that the ministry of Jesus Christ and the work of the Spirit are fundamental for the fulfilling of God's promises. The coming of Jesus Christ and the work of the Spirit are the prime indications that God is beginning to fulfill the saving promises made in Abraham. " (Schreiner 2008, 23)
"Now very interesting it is to see that this Kundalini is the one which is called as the Kumbha in Sanskrit language, means the Aquarius. We call it Aquarius, as one of the signs, and is the same as Kumbha in Sanskrit language. So it is the Age of Aquarius, is the Age of the Kundalini. Secondly is the Age of the Kundalini which will nourish, which is The Mother within you, which will rise, will give you the completeness of it, and which will connect you with your Spirit which ultimately gives you the enlightenment by which you become 'collectively conscious'. You become, again I say. It's not just telling a story. You just become!"
September 16, 1983
"But the Paraclete will not merely explicate to them what Jesus had already said. Verses 14.25-26, as well as 16.12, imply Jesus is unable to say everything to the disciples while on Earth. There is more to be revealed, and when the Paraclete comes [she] will provide them with access to Jesus' continuing revelation.56 The Evangelist does not allow one to limit the Paraclete's revelation to what Jesus had already revealed. He does, however, insist that the Paraclete's revelation ultimately emanates from Jesus and will not belie his teaching (Burge 1987: 213). Significantly, the verbs in 16.13 are future tense. The Paraclete-Spirit will speak to the disciples what [she] will hear from Jesus. The words of the Paraclete are therefore not limited to what Jesus said in the past, but include what the Paraclete will receive from Jesus in the future. " (Brown 2004, 210)
56. Scholars who believe the Paraclete is to disclose information that Jesus left unrevealed include Bammel (1973), Boring (1978-79: 118 n. 1), Painter (1981: 540), Haenchen (1984:II, 144), Dietzfelbinger (1985: 403-405), Beare (1987: 116-18), Slater (1991: 105-106) and Segovia (1991: 238-39 n. 29, 243).
"These days there are people who are going all over the places to find out the truth, the enlightenment. And there are so many books available, so many people who talk about enlightenment. And this is only in this special age, which I call as the Blossom Time, is happening. If they are not seeking the truth, that means they are not yet evolved as this should have been. But this is a special time that we call as the Last Judgment and that time has come. In the Koran it's called as Qiyamah and described very clearly what will happen at this time. All these have been indicated in all the books which are, I would say, mystical or we can call as religious—whatever you may call it—the mystic part of it. They've all indicated this time, this time by the end of this century, this should happen."
The Blossom Time, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK—July 5, 1998
"The promised baptism of the Holy Spirit indicated the arrival of the new age (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16), fulfilling the promise of the Spirit predicted in the prophets. During his ministry Jesus was the bearer of the Spirit, but after his exaltation he would become the dispenser of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit in Jesus' ministry and beyond must be interpreted against the backdrop of the OT, where the gift of the Spirit heralds God's eschatological work." (Schreiner 2008, 26)
Question: Shri Mataji, would you say a few words about the golden age, the forthcoming golden age?
And, you see, they, what they say that this age of Aquarius is very important, because this will change the lives of people. And that is what they have already described about this, that now there was Kali Yuga, means the worst possible times. The whole Kali Yuga means the absolutely the worst and worst possible time for our destruction. That was over. Then comes Kruta Yuga, I mean, overlapping. Now, in Kruta Yuga, this all-pervading power, they call it Paramchaitanya, becomes active. It starts helping people to come along. That also has been going on some days.
After this, is Satya Yuga. It's the age of truth. But it's a Last Judgement. If you take to truth, alright, well and good. But if you don't take to truth you are judged. It's like this."
"Paul means the Spirit of the resurrection, which takes possession of believers here and now, freeing them from the compulsion of sin and the power of death because it now already mediates to them eternal and imperishable life.... For Paul, it is the raised Christ who has become the 'life-giving Spirit' (1 Cor. 15: 45). For John, it is the Paraclete, who comforts as a mother comforts and from whom believers are 'born anew' (John 3: 3-6). With the Syrian Fathers and [Nicolaus] Zinzendorf, we have apprehended these experiences through the metaphor of The Mother of life. Human life is born, nurtured, and accompanied by the life of The Mother. So it is useful to use feminine metaphors for corresponding experiences of the Spirit. The medieval expressions for the life-giving Spirit, fons vitae and vita vivificans, clearly point to this." (Moltmann 2014 Kindle 3582)
"If we have to change this world, and if we have to save our people from complete destruction, we have to take to wisdom, and that is only possible when the brain is enlightened by Kundalini. This is what is very important today, when we see that this world is on the verge of destruction. Of course the Creator Himself is very anxious to save us and that is why He has in these modern times which are called Kali Yuga, made the All-pervading power activated.
So, now a New Age has started which is called the Age of Aquarius, meaning the pitcher carrier of spiritual holy water that is the work of Kundalini. The activity of the Kundalini is like the sap of the tree that rises and nourishes all parts of the tree and does not get stuck at one flower (religion).
Moreover these are special times. This is the Resurrection Time. The Last Judgment is done by the Kundalini. On the fingertips one can feel oneself and can judge oneself. Moreover the All-pervading power has become very activated, so the Kali Yuga (present Age of Darkness) is passing into Krita Yuga of Brahma Chaitanya (activated All-pervading power). This is helping the en-masse enlightenment and Self realisation.
After this will be Satya Yuga (Age of Truth). We have to take advantage of this activity of the Brahma Chaitanya by all the time being corrected with the All-pervading Power and achieving our realisation and establishing it. After such a state a person becomes very dynamic and compassionate. His race, sex, nationality and age do not hamper his dynamic life.
There are so many blessings in Sahaja Yoga that it is impossible to compile them into a book as it would require volumes and volumes to assemble the experiences of the Sahaja Yogis.
Whatever one is doing now is relative in this modern world. In relative terms, everything is working it out. This relative working is not going to give any absolute results. Absolute knowledge only comes from the Spirit, and so unless we know the Self, the Spirit, we cannot know what is absolute and what is Absolute Truth. Otherwise, when we live in the relative world we will be always quarrelling, fighting and having wars. But if one is in the Absolute then one knows that there is only one Truth for everything, and there will be no more argument or discussion; everybody will enjoy that Truth as it is Absolute."
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
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