The means must be commensurate with the end - the method must suit the goal.
This is a necessity, but also (from the usual 'pragmatic' perspective) it is a difficulty; a serious constraint. It means that there is no indirect method of achieving what needs to be achieved - we need to confront it head-on. Since full (divine) consciousness is aimed-at - the process cannot be unconscious, manipulated, involunary.
So; this implies that if it is desired to convert people to Romantic Christianity, the means and methods must be both Romantic and Christian - not something partial, not attained by covert, indirect or incremental ways. What needs to be presented and chosen is the-whole-thing, in microcosm.
In sum, a person needs to understand and agree-to, apprehend and embrace, The Package of Romantic Christianity - consciously.
Why would anybody do this? Simply because it is True and they Want it. Also, negatively, such a convert may be prepared because he has exhausted all other possibilities, has realised that Nothing Else Works (or ever will work).
Therefore we need to condense and concentrate:
1. That God is our loving parent/s, and creator of this reality - and wants us to be raised to become fully-divine; full members of the divine family and co-creators.
2. This created reality consists of beings, not things; they/we are bound by inter-personal love, not abstract forces.
3. All the above is directly-knowable by each person, for himself - by personal experience; because of 1. and 2.
What is the aim? Life with purpose; life with meanings (because all is beings, and the loving relations between them); life as developmental (evolutionary, creative); life as hope-full - because eternal, loving, creative and chosen.
Hi Bruce, Comment left here after materialism blog search for want of a better place to post the contemplations I find myself returning to quite often, and so, I would like to clarify your point of view/discuss it with you:
Materialism, so it seems, according to you is extremely bad. But material as such is not bad. In fact, it is good! You seem to regard physical bodies as spiritually necessary and therefore desirable. You have suggested before that you think even God has a physical body. Physical objects and things can and are acknowledged as beautiful and to be enjoyed and appreciated as such: other people, trees, lakes and mountains, etc. The heaven, that Christians are aiming at is, presumably (although different interpretations are abundant about this), a physical/material place with all the material things we value in mortal life and not just disembodied spirits floating in the ether. But still, Materialism is regarded as exceptionally bad. Or so goes many of your posts. Traditional Christianity, in particular tends to totally down play the value of physical things, and to enjoy them is often historically regarded as very sinful;inferior at any rate compared to abstract conceptions of virtue and transcend things. But if heaven is a real, fully material place, what is the distinction between material'ism' and a presumably desirable love of material things (in proportion to or as part of their total 'being'). If I have understood your perspective, the problem is to regard the spiritual as non-existent and material as the only real thing there is or can be but an integrated perspective is not to reject material things as bad, but to cherish and value these things, within the context of a fuller conscious awareness that the physical is only part of a human being, waterfall, musical instrument, etc.
It is perhaps difficult to articulats fully what I am driving at, but I hope that makes sense. Perhaps I could rephrase the question: what is the difference between materialism and an appropriate love of material things?
@David - It's the difference between:
Regarding the everything material as intrinsically evil, or intriniscally inferior to the spiritual.
And regarding what we experience via the senses (amplified by scientific instruments) as the only reality.
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