Unfortunately, though, I'm sure he'll find out sooner or later. Talon dropped the coin in his hand as he thought about the ancient Greco-Roman slave who would be temporarily moved into the city tomorrow to help combat the Daimon explosion that occurred every year at this time. Zarek was a known Feeder who preyed on human blood. He was unstable at best, psychotic at worst.
No one trusted him. And it was just Talon's luck to have Zarek here, especially since he'd been hoping for a Dark-Huntress to come visit. It might drain his powers to be in the presence of another Dark-Hunter, but he would still rather have an attractive woman to look at than deal with Zarek's psychosis. Besides, for what he had in mind, he and a Huntress didn't need their Dark-Hunter powers anyway Looks like we're having a psycho reunion this week Oh wait, it's Mardi Gras.
At last the waitress brought his coffee and a small plate of three beignets that were heavily covered with powdered sugar. Talon sighed appreciatively. He'd barely touched the pastry when he saw something across the street, on the right side of Jackson Square down the Pedestrian Mall. Tall and golden blonde Daimons who possessed the godlike beauty of their race. They strutted around like punkish peacocks, drunk on their own power as they scoped out tourists to kill.
By nature, Daimons were cowards. They only stood their ground and fought against Dark-Hunters when they were in groups and only then as a last resort. Because they were so much stronger than humans, they preyed openly on them, but let a Dark-Hunter near them and they ran for cover. There had been a time once when it wasn't like that. But the younger generations were more careful than their ancestors. They weren't as well trained or as resourceful. However, they were ten times cockier. Talon narrowed his eyes. This is mild perturbance. Besides, you should see these guys. He raised his voice to an unnaturally high level.
There's no Dark-Hunter here. Tourist with big It stemmed from the strange black mark that all Daimons developed on their chests when they crossed over from being simple Apollites to human slayers. Talk to you later. Oh, the Daimons would pay for this. His Dark-Hunter senses alert, Talon headed to the opposite side of the square. He would head them off and make sure they paid for their soul-stealing ways. And for his uneaten beignets. Chapter Two It was one of those nights. The kind that made Sunshine Runningwolf wonder why she bothered leaving her loft.
Of course, it would help if she could stay focused, but she had the attention span of a sick flea. No, actually she had the attention span of an artist who seldom stayed focused on the here and now. Like an out-of-control slingshot, her thoughts drifted from one topic to the next and then back again. Her mind was constantly wandering and sifting through new ideas and techniques-the novelty of the world around her and how best to capture it.
To her there was beauty everywhere and in every little thing. It was her job to show that beauty to others. And that neat building they were constructing, two or three, maybe four streets over, had distracted her and got her thinking up new designs for her pottery as she wandered through the French Quarter toward her favorite coffeehouse on St. Not that she drank that noxious stuff.
She hated it. But the retro-beatnik Coffee Stain had nice artwork on the walls and her friends seemed partial to drinking gallons of the tar-liquid. Tonight she and Trina were going to go over Her mind flashed back to the building. Pulling out her sketchbook, she made a few more notes and turned to her right, down a small alley.
She took two steps, and ran into a wall. Only it wasn't a wall, she realized, as two arms wrapped around her to keep her from stumbling. Looking up, she froze. She stared into a face so well formed that she doubted even a Greek sculptor could do justice to it. His wheat-colored hair seemed to glow in the night and the planes of his face Simply perfect.
Totally symmetrical. Without thinking, she reached up, grabbed his chin and turned his face to see it from different angles. No, not an optical illusion. No matter the angle, his features were perfection incarnate. Wow, again. Absolutely flawless. She needed to sketch this.
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Oils would be better. I didn't see you standing there. But do you know your face is pure eurythmy? She was talking about art and he The thought faded as she realized the man wasn't alone. There were four more men and one woman. All insanely beautiful. And all six eyed her as if she were a tasty morsel.
Her throat went dry. Sunshine took a step back as every sense in her body told her to run. They moved in even closer, penning her between them. Little did they know, a woman who made it her habit to date mean biker types was more than able to deliver a swift kick when she needed it. Out of nowhere a circular something whizzed past her face, grazing his outstretched arm. The man cursed as he pulled his bleeding arm to his chest.
The thing ricocheted like Xena's chakram, and returned to the opening of the alley where a shadow caught it. Sunshine gaped at the outline of a man. Dressed all in black, he stood with his legs apart in a warrior's stance while his weapon gleamed wickedly in the dim light. Even though she could see nothing of his face, his ever-changing aura was mammoth, giving him a presence that was as startling as it was powerful. This new stranger was dangerous. A lethal shadow just waiting to strike. He stood in silence, looking at her attackers, the weapon held nonchalantly, yet somehow threateningly, in his left hand.
Then, total chaos broke out as the men who surrounded her rushed the newcomer Talon fingered the release for his srad and folded its three blades into a single dagger. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD 8. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview Dear Reader, Life is great for me. About the Author. Show More. Table of Contents. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches.
Thus, Christendom will naturally find itself teaching the word of God while living in Corinth. This contradiction can be seen in the medieval Christian monks who lived personal lives of poverty within monasteries and church that were filled with beauty and wealth. It can also be seen in the culture of the United States, which juxtaposes the self-denial of fundamentalist Christian belief with the excessive prosperity of the modern consumer society. The Christian who believes in absolute truth will condemn the secular world for its amoral pursuit of wealth, not realizing that people can only apply scriptural principles in real life by rebelling from an attitude of religious self-denial.
And when secular individuals try to use rational thought to understand the moral principles that they are applying, religious believers will regard this as an attack upon absolute truth and respond by condemning secular thought. Going the other way, the secular world will condemn Christian believers in absolute truth for their blind faith, not realizing that the very content being taught as absolute truth laid the foundation for secular prosperity.
And when religious believers try to impose moral standards upon secular society, this will be viewed as an attack upon secular freedom, when in fact it is actually an attempt to restore the foundations that make secular freedom and prosperity possible. However, preaching and living in Corinth does not mean entering into the sensual excesses of Corinth.
This is illustrated by the behavior of Paul in Corinth. Acts says that Paul lived with a Jewish couple, implying that he remained within a religious culture. Verse 3 adds that Paul and Aquila carried out the trade of tent-making. Working at a trade means performing useful work rather than being caught up in luxury, while a tent is a temporary dwelling place, as opposed to a luxurious villa or townhouse.
This same juxtaposition can be seen in the cliques that emerged in the Corinthian church, described in 1 Corinthians 3. Looking at this symbolically, one group is identifying with the humility of Paul, while the other group is focusing upon the magnificence, beauty, light, and blessing associated with Apollos. This progression can be seen in Acts 18, which starts by describing Paul founding the Corinthian church, and finishes by describing the preaching of Apollos in Corinth.
It is interesting that when Apollos first arrives in Corinth, he is teaching an incomplete message and has to be corrected by the Jewish couple with whom Paul was staying v. Summarizing, a city of Corinth will naturally arise from a message of partial rebirth. Western civilization provides a graphic example of this principle. The Judeo-Christian mindset laid the foundation for scientific thought.
Science has developed a rational Teacher understanding of how the natural world functions, and this understanding has been used to transform the physical world. However, this rebirth has been limited to the physical and the objective, while the subjective realm remains childish and un-transformed. This kind of limited rebirth happens naturally, because it is much easier to study the objective physical world than it is to study and make sense of the messy world of subjective emotions.
The end result will be a physical environment of wealth, beauty, and elegance. Going further, the success of science and technology will cause people to regard absolute truth with its revered experts as obsolete and irrelevant. This will lead to a social atmosphere of moral decadence.
A city of Corinth combines these two results because it juxtaposes physical elegance and prosperity with moral decadence and degradation. Acts 18 explicitly states that the city of Corinth was characterized by this kind of split between subjective and objective. Looking more closely at the two adjectives used by Gallio, the word wrong is derived from the word unrighteousness. Righteousness describes Server actions are guided by the TMN of a general understanding in Teacher thought. Thus, the government of Corinth had a concept of being guided by understanding in Teacher thought.
This combination conveys the concept that actions which are not structured will lead to bad results in Mercy thought. Using modern language, behavior is supposed to be structured and ordered in order to avoid the painful results of sloth and chaos. In a word, this describes a mindset of professionalism. However, this desire for professionalism does not extend to the subjective realm, because the Jewish mob responds by beating the ruler of the synagogue in front of the judgment seat and Gallio ignores what is happening.
This message of partial rebirth can also be seen in the initial message of Apollos, described at the end of Acts Apollos was born in Alexandria, the city in Egypt where science almost came to birth. He is also described as powerful in the written Scriptures. This implies that he knew how to use abstract technical thought to analyze structures of words. Verse 25 adds that he had been carefully instructed in the path of the Lord. This is a significant statement because science emerged when people started to study carefully how the natural world behaves.
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Apollos knew how to think rigorously about processes and behavior, and he also believed that these processes were not random but rather guided by the Lord. Stated cognitively, Apollos was teaching his listeners how to use abstract technical thought. The word fervent only occurs one other time in the New Testament, where it is also combined with the word spirit. This other occurrence is in Romans in the verse that appears to describe what the character of the Teacher person should be.
Thus, verse 9 talks about the Perceiver person, which appears first in the list in verse 6, verse 10 talks about the Server person, which appears second in the list in verse 7, and so on. In other words, Apollos was being guided by the TMN of a general understanding in Teacher thought, because it appears that the spiritual realm interacts with the mind through mental networks. Summarizing, all of these attributes describe the kind of abstract technical thought that is currently used within scientific academia.
Apollos was applying these traits years before the birth of science, having grown up in the city where science almost came to birth. The name Jesus means salvation. Similarly, science saves people in a limited manner through the partial transformation of modern technology. Baptism is a symbol of personal rebirth. Being baptized with the Holy Spirit goes much deeper, because this eliminates subjective bias by using a Teacher understanding of the character of God to fill Mercy thought with Platonic forms of ideal perfection, which then coalesce to form a mental concept of the Holy Spirit which Plato referred to as the form of the Good.
Saying this more simply, objective science can eliminate most subjective bias from factual information, but it leaves the MMNs of childish identity and culture intact. The total rebirth of Jesus, in contrast, transforms both objective thinking and subjective motivation. Summarizing, it is important for Paul to come before Apollos and lay the foundation for Apollos. If Paul comes first then it is possible for the followers of Paul to correct the message of Apollos when Apollos arrives on the scene. One does not turn away and denounce the message as false, which is how many evangelical Christians regard the incomplete message of science, refusing to listen to it but rather denouncing it as evil.
Second, one does not ignore what is being said but rather responds actively and aggressively. Saying this another way, science tries to eliminate the subjective. One needs to respond to the incomplete message of science by adding the subjective. But one does not do this using emotional methods. Notice the difference between what Apollos taught and what Priscilla and Aquila clarified.
This describes the specialized thinking of science, which is guided by how the natural world behaves—in some limited area. God is a universal being. For instance, the theory of mental symmetry attempts to correct the partial rebirth of science by following these steps. First, I have tried to listen to what science says, by studying many areas of scientific research. Second, I have added the subjective to the objective thinking of science, motivated by a strong personal desire to live in a more wholesome environment.
Third, instead of responding emotionally to the inadequacies of science and technology, I use the theory of mental symmetry to explain what is happening. Fourth, I have done my best to bring this explanation up to the level of technical thought that is demanded by science. I did not understand these deeper principles when I began my research.
Instead, all I knew is that the biggest hurdle when attempting to understand the mind is not working out how the mind functions, but rather being able to handle the personal implications of one discovers. We saw earlier that Paul lived with a Jewish couple and practiced tentmaking. Looking at this historically, Paul is trying to convince the Jews that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Looking at this cognitively, Paul is trying to take the religious mindset beyond a focus upon the finite person of Jesus to a general understanding of Christ as the incarnation of God. I am clean.
From now on I will go to the Gentiles. In other words, what is being rejected is not just some specific points or the person of Paul. Instead it is the whole mindset of going beyond a Mercy fixation upon the person of Jesus to a Teacher understanding of the universal character of incarnation. The theory of mental symmetry often triggers a similar response in evangelical Christians because I am approaching Christian theology from the viewpoint of a paradigm in Teacher thought rather than basing it upon the Mercy status of the Bible and esteemed religious authorities.
In other words, words in Teacher thought are being used to attack the validity and value of a general theory of God in Teacher thought.
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This is having a moral impact because it is preventing an understanding of the character of God from guiding personal activity. Thus, shaking out the garments would mean eliminating a form of social interaction. Saying this more clearly, Paul has been in a caustic environment and he does not want to become the sort of person who interacts in this manner.
Similarly, one of the main reasons that I step back from continuing to argue with people over doctrine is because I do not want to become an argumentative person. But if the Christian church is struggling for survival and one discovers a solution, then the only ethical response is to offer the solution and not to turn away. Similarly, when Paul is rejected by the Jews he responds that their blood is now upon their heads while he is clean.
By rejecting his message, their errors have become explicit. They have gone beyond committing sins of ignorance to deliberately rejecting a concept of God. And Paul can bring mental closure to his childhood MMNs of religious culture because he has done his best to try to help. Paul then stops preaching to the Jews and turns to the Gentiles. Similarly, I grew up in a conservative Mennonite household and still attend an evangelical church. I see evangelical Christianity struggling with the attitude of fundamentalism and I know that mental symmetry provides an answer.
Therefore, I feel that it is my duty to try to share this answer. This does not mean that Paul turns his back upon religious content. Thus, Paul does not embrace the hedonism of Corinth but rather finds a secular home to live that is abutting the Jewish synagogue. Using modern language, he finds secular fields of thought that study topics such as transformation, morality, and religion.
Symbolically speaking, Paul looks for secular content that is good for Mercy thought and moral in Perceiver thought. Stated bluntly, if you want to make an impact, then translate the religious message into secular terms. You will then become successful within the secular community and leaders within the religious community will become convinced as well. This type of clear-headed, crisp thinking will be converted by a secular version of the religious message. Similarly, 1 Corinthians describes principles that will lay a solid foundation for a new way of thinking and behaving. Stating this in cognitive language, Paul is delivering a new kind of message based in a more complete concept of incarnation that is an expression of a general, emotional concept of God in Teacher thought.
As I have mentioned in previous essays , concrete Contributor thought uses principles of cause-and-effect to improve some emotional bottom line in Mercy thought; abstract Contributor thought uses precise definitions to improve some general theory in Teacher thought. We will be referring to these two forms of Contributor-controlled thought as abstract technical thought and concrete technical thought.
A concept of incarnation emerges when these two sides of Contributor thought become fully unified, making it possible for the Teacher theory of a concept of God to bring salvation to human individuals in Mercy thought. Stated cognitively, a group of people are being motivated by Teacher words to create a new society.
This does not mean that a church has only preaching and no worship, because a group of people is being called out to form a new social group.
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Instead, it means that the experiential component is an expression of the verbal component and not the other way around. This church is being described as existing in Corinth, and we have already looked at the implications of living in Corinth. The implication is that the message of 2 Corinthians has a wider application to any group that is trying to follow God in a general environment of grief or trouble. We will see in the latter part of 2 Corinthians that Paul specifically focuses his efforts upon this kind of church.
This wholeness does not come by worshiping God in some mystical manner, but rather by viewing God as a Father and by combining the general Teacher theory of a concept of God with the integrated technical thinking of a concept of incarnation. Science does this to some extent because it uses the general Teacher theories of mathematics to describe natural processes and then uses integrated technical thought to translate mathematics into reality.
This is described in detail in previous essays. This is a significant statement because a concept of God is based in Teacher thought and Teacher emotions are normally quite different than Mercy emotions. A similar juxtaposition can be seen in current society, because we expect our gadgets to be flawless examples of Teacher order-within-complexity, while tending to condemn those who apply the same sort of logical thinking to subjective emotions and personal desires. Verse 3 describes the radical concept of Teacher thought caring deeply for personal inadequacies within Mercy thought.
This is a radical concept because objective rational thought finds personal feeling childish and repulsive and tries to eliminate it from rational thought by remaining objective. It is also a radical concept for fundamentalism because absolute truth feels that believing God implies denying self. Finally, it is a radical concept for mysticism because mysticism generates a feeling of being united with God which cannot extend to the details of human difficulty or misfortune.
This describes a universal concept that includes details, as opposed to the overgeneralization of mysticism which makes sweeping statements without including any details. The word comfort is closely related to the word comforter used to describe the Holy Spirit in John A comforter helps Mercy identity in a manner that reflects the universal laws of God in Teacher thought. And it can be applied in a manner that does not show personal favoritism; we can comfort others in the same way that God comforted us.
Using the language of Immanuel Kant, comfort from God takes the form of a categorical imperative , because it is possible to extend this same comfort to everyone. We saw in Acts 19 that Paul made a transition in Corinth from a religious audience to a secular audience. Cognitively speaking, this kind of transition in a city of Corinth will naturally lead to a comforter. In the objective, Corinth follows Teacher order and structure, while in the subjective, behavior is free of rules. A similar juxtaposition exists in modern Western society. A secular person dares not extend the structure of objective thought to the subjective realm.
That is because this will trigger deep feelings of personal inadequacy, because subjective childish impulses do not meet the high standards of professionalism demanded within the objective realm. However, if one follows God in a righteous manner in the subjective and then extends this to the objective, then one will realize that the objective professionalism is actually a partial illustration of personal transformation.
Using religious language, one will develop a mental concept of the Holy Spirit. Saying this another way, following God in obedience to absolute truth will not necessarily lead to a feeling of righteousness, because one is doing the right things for inadequate reasons; one is still viewing God to some extent as an important person with Mercy status. When one moves to the secular realm, then one will start to think in terms of Teacher understanding and righteous behavior, because the secular realm thinks in terms of understanding, righteousness, and professionalism—at least within the objective.
This word is only used once in Revelation , when referring to The Great Tribulation in Revelation I know that this term is traditionally used in evangelical circles to describe a coming seven-year period of great societal turmoil and torment. The major New Testament prophetic passages have been analyzed in previous essays. A book represents an integrated theory in Teacher thought, because a book arranges many words into a structured package of sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. Thus, some human is acquiring an integrated theory that bridges the objective and the subjective.
Before Revelation 10, the followers of God are all on the defensive being attacked by the world. The Great Tribulation of Revelation is a period of narrowness and squeezing that happens within this context. The kingdom of the Beast is described in Revelation 13, which happens after the transition of Revelation Similarly, 1 Thessalonians applies to the period of tribulation before this transition, while 2 Thessalonians talks about the Antichrist, who appears after this transition.
Therefore, following God will be associated with denying self, and a word such as tribulation will be interpreted in terms of self-denial for God. On the other hand, absolute truth is continually making a cognitive leap from the specific words of some specific book or specific author to universal pronouncements of absolute truth imposed upon everyone.
I am not putting the word truth in single quotes when talking about absolute truth, because Perceiver thought is functioning part of the time. This cognitive leap is illustrated by the joke of the person who opened the Bible at random in order to discover the will of God. This story is obviously an exaggeration, but an attitude of absolute truth by its very nature will tend to make such leaps from specific statements to universal pronouncements without attempting to understand either the context or the underlying general principles.
But God is a universal being who speaks the language of universal principles. Therefore, if the Bible really is the Word of God, then it should be possible to translate the religious language of the Bible into universal principles that can be stated using secular language. Saying this another way, one should use Teacher thought to analyze and understand the character of God rather than use Mercy thought to submit to God with religious fervor.
Going further, part of the squeezing is actually a byproduct of the Teacher thought that the secular world is using, because Teacher thought wants universal rules to apply without exception. Thus, the Christian believer should regard this squeezing as God encouraging the fundamentalist believer to replace the attitude of absolute truth with a search for universal truth. Saying this another way, the squeezing will be viewed as the power of Satan being exerted upon the church of God, and any suggestion that God himself is behind the squeezing will be rejected as anti-Christian.
Going further, a city of Corinth will naturally lead to a tribulation of squeezing because objective technical thought is being emphasized, and technical thought naturally specializes. One can see this squeezing in present society because most human activity has been subdivided into specializations. In order to work within some specialization one must go through several years of training and certification, and a person who is qualified to work in one specialization may not work in another specialization. There is interdisciplinary research and collaboration in current society, but it does not happen naturally and the default is for each specialization to go its own way oblivious to what is being done within other specializations.
Plus, the very idea of interdisciplinary work presupposes that knowledge should be subdivided into different disciplines. Similarly, the subjective realm is also subdivided into many little fiefdoms, each clamoring for attention and allegiance. Looking again at current society, at the level of Mercy experiences, advertising attempts to sway the consumer by implanting and manipulating MMNs of personal desire and culture, while at the level of Teacher theories, corporations attempt to manipulate governments into framing laws that favor them and disadvantage or exclude the competition.
Third World corruption, in contrast, functions at a Mercy level, trying to bribe specific officials in order to avoid submitting to Perceiver rules. Putting these factors together, anyone who wants to pursue rational thought will be squeezed into some technical specialization, those who hold onto absolute truth will be squeezed by the spread of scientific thought, those who want to pursue personal transformation will be drowned out by all the advertising that appeals to existing MMNs of identity and culture, while those who try to build an independent existence will be legislated away by First World corruption.
The kingdom of the Beast, in contrast, is a reaction to the integrated Teacher understanding developed in Revelation Here the primary battle is within the subjective, between a kingdom of God based in the TMN of a universal understanding that rules over all MMNs of culture and identity, and the kingdom of the Beast, rooted in a semi-intelligent juxtaposition of culture, childishness, mysticism, and hero worship. That struggle will be the topic of 2 Corinthians 4.
I have mentioned that the comfort described in this verse is a universal comfort. Paraphrasing verses , the God of all comfort is comforting us in all our tribulation so that we can comfort others in every tribulation. On the one hand, specialization is squeezing everybody into boxes, while on the other hand the comfort is breaking people out of their boxes, because the comfort that I receive in my specialization is a universal comfort from God that also applies to other people in their specializations. For instance, the theory of mental symmetry uses the analogies of normal thought to compare one specialization with another in order to discover universal principles of cognition.
This comparison is only possible because the world has become divided into specializations. Posing this more clearly, why is it possible to use mental symmetry to compare disparate fields such as theology, psychology, neurology, and physics? Because each of these fields has developed into a separate technical specialization and these technical specializations seldom talk to each other. Thus, if many fields independently discover similar cognitive principles, then this provides strong evidence that these cognitive principles are universal.
The squeezing makes the comfort of God both possible and necessary. Using an analogy, it is not possible to construct a building out of a lump of clay. But if one divides the clay into separate bricks and bakes each brick into a solid object, then one can construct a building out of solid bricks.
Similarly, the tribulation of specialization subdivides human existence into distinct, solid bricks, making it possible to assemble these bricks into the structure of a general Teacher understanding. Finally, Christ refers to the abstract divine side of incarnation. Putting this together, the divine side of incarnation is experiencing excessive and unexpected emotion which is being conveyed to personal identity.
Looking at this from a cognitive perspective, when one constructs a general Teacher theory by building bridges between one technical specialization and another, then abstract technical thought will experience stronger-than-expected emotions. As Thomas Kuhn has said, it is very difficult for technical specialists to undergo a paradigm shift. Building a universal understanding means going through a succession of paradigm shifts. For instance, I experience an emotional roller coaster every time that I use the theory of mental symmetry to study some system or book.
First, learning about the system means going through a period of time of being a beginner in which one appears stupid in front of the technical experts. Second, analyzing the system means using the theory of mental symmetry to try to swallow some structure that mental symmetry may be incapable of digesting. Both of these steps are emotionally excessive for abstract technical thought. Any form of interdisciplinary research will experience this emotional struggle and reward to some extent.
However, extending the theory of mental symmetry has allowed me to experience this emotional roller coaster in a purer, more distilled form. Notice the precise difference between specialization and a concept of Christ-the-incarnation. Both use abstract technical thought, but a specialization limits this abstract technical thought to the restricted realm of some specific profession, guided emotionally by the limited Teacher theory of some paradigm.
In contrast, a concept of Christ ties together many similar forms of abstract technical thought in order to construct a universal concept of God in Teacher thought. I have included links to the meanings of the Greek words so that the reader can check to see what each word really means. Biblehub also has a good interlinear Bible from which one can access all of these meanings. For instance, the interlinear version for verse 6 can be found here. The feeling of being restricted will emerge when one starts to do interdisciplinary research to the extent of developing and being guided by an interdisciplinary concept of God in Teacher thought.
For instance, specializations have largely ceased to exist within my mind.
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Instead, I view most topics as merely some facet of a single general overarching topic. Each successful integration will lead to some Teacher comfort and reveal some aspects of salvation, but one will then come face-to-face with the next layer of specialization. Thus, each step in the process of breaking free will emotionally raise the stakes. Teacher feelings of integration will increase, but so will the sense of being boxed in, because one will become increasingly aware of the pervasive specialization of modern society.
Looking at this cognitively, mental networks provide energy for the mind. When a mental network is being threatened, it will respond with a hyper-pain that exceeds normal emotional discomfort. A mind cannot exist without core mental networks. If one consistently chooses over a period of time to follow one set of mental networks rather than another, then the new mental networks will gradually grow at the expense of the old ones, and these growing mental networks will provide an emotional energy that makes it possible to bring the mind from one stage to the next.
Saying this another way, a city of Corinth is divided into specializations each ruled by some paradigm, while being characterized by fragmentation, idolatry, and childishness in subjective thought. This juxtaposition provides an opportunity for constructing an integrated concept of God in Teacher thought. But this concept of God will only integrate the mind to the extent that a person chooses to remain within the condition of feeling squeezed, without succumbing to the system in some way. This is not easy, because it means facing non-stop strong emotions.
But it is possible, because the negative emotion of continually feeling squeezed by society will be balanced by the emotional comfort of continuing to discover a more integrated and universal concept of God. Thus, one will find that there is always enough energy to take the next step. Notice that verse 6 is more personal than verse 5. In verse 6, people are being squeezed and people are directly experiencing strong emotions.
Verse 5 describes interdisciplinary research, while verse 6 describes what it feels like to attempt to live in interdisciplinary manner. Looking at this cognitively, hope is an internally generated image within Mercy thought that provides drive for Exhorter thought.
These internally generated images are Platonic forms that naturally emerge when Teacher thought integrates various specializations. That is what happens when interdisciplinary activity is guided by Teacher thought. In contrast, when interdisciplinary activity is guided by childish emotions in Mercy thought, then the same specializations will tend to combine in a way that produces hell rather than heaven. This idea of heaven may sound at first glance like multiculturalism, but there is a critical difference. However, notice in the joke that everyone is not being accepted just as they are.
Instead, each culture is being compared with the mental concept of an ideal culture, and the good aspects of each culture are being integrated. Thus, the hope is not just wishful thinking, but rather solid enough to hold the emotional weight of personal identity as it walks step-by-step towards integration. This solid hope is based upon a comparison of cause-and-effect. The cause-and-effect is the principle that strong emotions will be followed by comfort; being troubled by fragmented society will be followed by the Teacher comfort of an interdisciplinary understanding. This does not mean that any strong emotions will always be followed by comfort.
Instead, it is as others are partners in the strong emotions, that they will experience also the comfort. Thus, what matters is personally feeling strong emotions that are similar to those being felt by those who are constructing and following an integrated concept of God. For instance, when I share some concept of mental symmetry and another person understands this concept, then there is no guarantee that this understanding will be followed by personal application.
But when another person describes feeling deep emotions that are similar to what I have felt when going through the process of pursuing wholeness, then this gives me confidence that the other person will also acquire a more integrated concept of God. Thus, those who are pioneering the path of integration observe those who are following and come to the internal conclusion that they are following a similar path that will result in similar benefits.
Verse 8 introduces two new factors. In other words, when one continues to experience this depth of emotional transition, then one will eventually reach the level of feeling as if one is being reborn. A similar feeling of meta-culture emerges within third culture kids. This describes the ultimate limit of being squeezed or boxed in, where the path has become so narrow that it is no longer possible to make any progress. One is not necessarily being physically persecuted. Instead, every possible option must be avoided because it would do internal damage to MMNs of personal identity.
If one only had to develop some technical specialization, then it would still be possible to have mental life in some fragment of existence. But professional skill is not sufficient when one lives in the city of Corinth. Instead, one must develop a professional skill and also allow personal identity to be ruled by some inferior paradigm or idolatrous bottom line. I know what this feels like.
For instance, when I graduated from high school I was able to play violin at a professional level. But having this professional skill was not enough. For various reasons I did not join, and as a result I never played another professional gig in the province of Saskatchewan where I was then living.
I have experienced this kind of being boxed in to the extent of having no option left in several fields over the decades. The point is that mental networks of internal integrity and interdisciplinary understanding will eventually become viewed as a heavy burden which one no longer has the strength to bear.
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- 1. Introduction!
The average person in such a society can pursue some inferior goal in Mercy thought or submit to some limited paradigm in Teacher thought without feeling troubled. But when personal integrity and universal understanding turn to mental networks, then they will become heavy emotional burdens, because one must continually think and act in a way that preserves these mental networks without succumbing to the idolatries and specializations of society.
Here too, I know from personal experience what this feels like. As before, the word translated affliction means narrowness or squeezing. In other words, Paul is not experiencing some sudden crisis. Instead, the feeling of being boxed in has itself turned into a mental network that is growing over time and becoming a heavy burden that is too great to bear. The next few verses will describe Paul traveling from Asia to Greece. Historically speaking, Asia was ruled by absolute monarchs , while Greece was the birthplace of Western democracy and Western philosophy.
Instead of acquiring Perceiver truth from rulers with great emotional status, one is searching for Perceiver truth by looking for universal connections. Cognitively speaking, absolute truth is incapable of escaping the narrowmindedness of specialization, because absolute truth is itself narrow-minded—it is based in a collection of specific words written and spoken by specific esteemed authors.
However, absolute truth will be convinced that it is not narrow-minded, because Perceiver thought, the cognitive module that looks for truth, is being overwhelmed by Mercy thought, the cognitive module that deals with specific experiences. The word translated unaware means to lack knowledge through personal experience. That is because the biggest step in acquiring an interdisciplinary understanding in Teacher thought is to recognize that truth is not based in personal authority.
Saying this cognitively, truth that is based in MMNs of personal authority cannot be held together by the TMN of a general theory. This is not a theoretical point but rather a matter of knowledge acquired through personal experience. One must know in the depths of Mercy experience that Mercy status cannot act as a source of truth. That is because absolute truth is actually personal authority masquerading as truth. Looking at this cognitively, when one uses Perceiver thought to compare one specialization with another, then the result in Teacher thought will be a general understanding.
But the end result in Mercy thought will be an internal judicial sentence of death. In other words, the burden of verse 8 has turned into an internal judicial sentence of death. This conclusion may have emotional implications but it is not reached emotionally. Instead is being factually reinforced by every specialization that one observes.
This is not blind faith, but rather a result of reasoned thought. Paul is saying that one should not build Perceiver truth upon people in Mercy thought. Using cognitive language, one should not follow a mindset of absolute truth. Thus, being internally resurrected from death has an aspect of being woken up from sleep. Similarly, a person who blindly obeys instructions is also being overwhelmed by Mercy status to perform Server actions.
Escaping such a mindset means waking up internally and starting to think and act for oneself. The transition in verse 9 is similar but deeper because what is being woken up from the dead is identity itself and not just the ability to evaluate information. Going further, this deliverance out from death is not just extensive, but it is also related to coming-of-age and reaching personal potential. Saying this cognitively, being delivered by God means coming into personal contact with the TMN of a concept of God.
One is not just being saved but rather being pulled close to God. Mercy thought thinks in terms of experiences while Teacher thought think in terms of sequences. In contrast, Teacher thought will think in terms of general sequences. One can have confidence that the sequence will be repeated. Scientific law functions in a similar manner. For instance, if I let go of some object, then it will fall to the ground, and this sequence can be reliably repeated. And He will yet deliver us. Instead, the Greek emphasizes that the sequence of delivering will continue.
In other words, the hope is not being based in some person in Mercy thought but rather in the universality of some sequence in Teacher thought. Science understands this distinction. Verse 11 at first glance may appear to be super-spiritual but it is actually a technically accurate description of social interaction based upon a general Teacher understanding. Teacher thought wants order-within-complexity. Teacher thought feels good when many sequences function together in an integrated manner, similar to the way that all the parts of the machine function together.
Using the language of a machine, Paul is asking others to add their functioning to the general process that he is pioneering. It may seem impersonal to compare Christian fellowship with a machine. But that is because science and technology are objective. Christianity that is based in Teacher understanding uses the same kind of thinking as science and technology but includes the subjective.
Thus, a more appropriate analogy would be medicine, because medicine treats the human body like a machine with parts that function together, but also recognizes that people with personal needs and emotions live within these physical bodies. Paul uses this analogy of the parts of a human body when discussing spiritual gifts in Romans This requires the cooperation of many people, just as a machine requires the cooperation of many functioning parts.
Thus the cooperation at this point is occurring at the level of verbal and nonverbal communication. People are interacting face-to-face. Thus, a social system is being set up based upon spiritual gifts. Each person is being motivated by personal needs to develop personal abilities and skills, and this is leading to a system of social interaction. This is similar to the way that an economy results from many people helping each other by each doing what they do best.
Saying this more clearly, Paul is pioneering some system in Teacher thought. People are coming to the system with personal needs. They are participating in the system by using their skills and abilities. The end result is a system that works well. People are thankful to be part of the Teacher order-within-complexity because it is working well. Saying this more simply, people do not feel exploited by the leadership but rather empowered. In verse 8, he talked about despairing even of life. In other words, Paul is not boasting because of great personal status in Mercy thought, but rather because he is now part of a system of Teacher order-within-complexity that works.
Cognitively speaking, conscience is a function of Perceiver thought, which constructs conscience by searching Mercy experiences for repeated connections. Saying this another way, conscience could be described as a sense of moral cause-and-effect. Testimony usually comes from people.
In this case, conscience is testifying. An attitude of absolute truth will naturally lead to a conscience that usually condemns, because the fundamental principle of absolute truth is that I am nothing compared to the source of truth. In contrast, Teacher understanding is based upon universal truth, and this will result in a conscience that approves when I am walking on the right path.
Looking at this cognitively, morality that is based in MMNs of personal status leads to an either-or situation: One either denies self in order to focus upon the source of truth, or one ignores the source of truth by pursuing selfish goals. In contrast, morality that is based in the TMN of a general understanding leads to a both-and relationship. Conscience tells me how I should conduct myself, but this behavior is done within the physical world with its personal desires.
Saying this another way, most and possibly all sin involves taking some kind of shortcut to satisfy a legitimate personal need. Verse 11 talked about the start of a social system in which everyone can benefit by following Teacher order. Kant insisted that one should follow only Teacher order and not be motivated by personal benefit in Mercy thought. We have seen that Paul is using conscience to compare two ways of behaving in the world.
Let us look now at these two ways. Such simplicity is an expression of Teacher thought, because Teacher thought builds general theories by looking for order-within-complexity—a simple essence that summarizes many similar situations. A mind that is guided by the TMN of a general theory is simple; it is single without folds. In contrast, a mind that is driven by MMNs of personal status is complicated, because it is continually trying to balance the conflicting demands of many authorities.
A sun represents a general Teacher understanding that sheds light upon the earth of human existence. Thus, intelligent thought is being used. Paul uses the term flesh several times in Romans when comparing the flesh with the spirit. The flesh describes the structure and content that the mind acquires from living within a physical body within the physical world, the mindset of materialism and short-term physical gain that every child naturally develops—which provides the initial structure and motivation for the mind. This structure is based in MMNs of culture, personal authority, personal status, and physical desire.
A mindset of absolute truth is incapable of escaping the flesh because absolute truth is also based in MMNs of personal status and personal authority. However, it is possible to transcend the flesh by following the TMN of an integrated concept of God. This does not mean that the flesh is evil. Instead, one follows a TMN of God in order to save the flesh. Technology provides a partial illustration of this principle. Technical gadgets are not made out of magic stuff. Instead, they are fabricated out of physical matter. But this physical matter is purified in order to function in a simple manner, and then this purified physical matter is combined to form structures that express the light of general Teacher understanding.
For instance, the starting point for a computer circuit is a silicon crystal of incredible purity with an atomic structure that is essentially free of folds or dislocations.
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A structure of astounding complexity is then etched and implanted upon a small flake of this ultrapure silicon crystal. We see here the similarity between a technical gadget and a Christian economy. For instance, semiconductor grade silicon is A computer chip currently places about 3,,, transistors on a silicon wafer the size of about one square centimeter.
Paul is saying that social interaction that is guided by Teacher understanding will have a similar quality. The word translated understand is used 44 times in the New Testament. This same Greek verb epiginosko is used three times in 2 Corinthians The commentaries suggest that Paul is telling his readers that there is no hidden message in what he is writing.
To some extent this is true, because Paul has just said in the previous verse that he is conducting himself towards them in simplicity. But we are also finding out in these essays that the entire New Testament, and possibly the whole Bible, appears to be conveying a detailed cognitive message. This cognitive message does not violate the surface meaning but it does expand upon it significantly.
Thus, if one takes this verb at face value, Paul is saying that he is only writing to them what they can know fully through personal experience. Theological books often violate this principle. For instance, I remember thumbing through a Bible dictionary which included many pictures of Israel.
None of these pictures included any modern scenes. There were no cars in the pictures, only camels and donkeys. Palm trees abounded, while skyscrapers were absent. I stumbled across another example in a recent book that was lent me by a friend, entitled Jesus the Lord according to Paul the Apostle by Gordon Fee. Theologically speaking, the book is fine, and I learned a number of facts. In the majority of cases these affirmations exist as something Paul argues from rather than for, since they frequently serve as the basis for what Paul will urge on these various communities of believers in their own settings, most often regarding some matter of Christian behavior.
Again, I should point out that theologically speaking, this book is well written. But it still illustrates a general attitude that is often present in theological works. This cognitive disconnect between theology and present personal experience is a natural byproduct of absolute truth. That is because absolute truth is based in a set of special experiences and people in Mercy thought which are regarded as different than normal experiences and people.
In contrast, universal truth describes connections that can be found universally, and if connections are truly universal, then this means that these connections can also be found in the personal experiences of the readers. That is why these essays continually give illustrations from modern life and current civilization, rather than referring to Bedouin tribesmen leading caravans of camels past palm trees.
Studying how people lived in biblical times is informative, and I recommend Manners and Customs of Bible Lands by Wight. It is interesting that this mistranslation, which is found in most English translations , itself illustrates the point. Theologians who translate the Bible generally think that an abstract understanding of the text is sufficient, and are not convinced that it is necessary to provide the reader with direct experiential knowing.
Thus, when Paul talks about the need for direct experiential knowing, this is mistranslated as some form of abstract understanding. In other words, Paul is not just writing to convey some abstract concepts, but rather writing in order to help people reach the goal of a new society. This does not mean that abstract understanding is wrong, because Paul is writing words and he specifically says in verse 13 that he is writing and that his audience is reading.
For instance, one can find many self-help books that are full of direct experiential knowledge. All of the other pronouns are implied by the verb conjugations. Thus, Paul is recognizing that this principle operates both ways. My experience is that this connection with direct experiential knowledge is unavoidable. In many cases, biblical passages only make sense to me because they resonate with my personal experience. If I did not have direct experiential knowledge, I would have no clue what that passage was trying to say.
For instance, the book of Hebrews appears to be describing a sequence of events that extends far beyond the present into the future. The book of Hebrews will not make sense if one approaches it from a mindset of materialism. But if one follows a cognitive path of reaching mental wholeness, then I have found that this direct experiential knowledge makes it possible to make sense of the strange text of the book of Hebrews. Paul is pioneering a path to a new society, which is being followed by others.
Thus, it makes sense that the readers only have a partial experiential knowledge of Paul. Saying this another way, Paul is describing a community of colleagues who have confidence in each other because they know through direct experience that their colleagues are competent. They can gain confidence in each other while interacting within communism, but this confidence will become most apparent when communism falls and is replaced by a democracy.
This example resonates with my personal experience because I lived through the fall of communism. For a more current example, imagine having the freedom to interact as a community based upon personal skills and character without being controlled behind the scenes by some super-rich minority. The next section talks about Paul wanting to visit Corinth again but not being able.
It seems rather excessive for the Bible to devote so many verses to deciding whether or not to go on a visit, even if one takes into account the fact that travel was more difficult in Roman times. However, I have consistently found that these seemingly irrelevant details are actually quite significant when interpreted from a cognitive perspective. Using cognitive language, the mutual interaction based upon personal development and skill has led to the conclusion that it is possible to live within a society that is not ruled by absolute truth with its sources of authority.
Using a personal example, I currently attend a small church that was started by a group of people who left another church because of the authoritarian leadership style. This new group started on a voluntary basis and has now continued to function for several years with no paid staff.
Instead, everyone takes turns carrying out the various responsibilities based upon personal development and skill. But notice how Paul views these two. In other words, he is reaching out from an attitude of absolute truth to bring another blessing from God to the secular Corinthians. The confidence gained in verses has convinced the mind that a new society based in universal truth can exist, but this confidence still exists within a deeper context of absolute truth.
Using an analogy, I may come to the conclusion that I need to stop speaking English and start speaking another language, but as long as I am stating this conclusion in English, I have not made the transition to another language.