The living word versus the dried husk

The living word is the experience of the prophet's encounter with God. The dead, dried husk of that encounter is called "scripture."

9 comments:

  1. A dead husk is a little harsh. I have to believe the gospels contain at least dried seeds.

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  2. What else is culture, other than detritus?

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  3. What does the "living word" mean?

    By the way, are you familiar with the terms Shruti and Smriti in Hinduism? Smriti means "that which is told", so it's human-composed text based on information that came from a (possibly ineffable) mystical experience of talking to the gods. For instance, the gods didn't compose the Ramayana, but they showed Sage Valmiki the life of Rama, and based on that mystical experience he composed the Ramayana.

    But we also believe in Shruti, or "that which is heard". That is when the gods just tell a sage (who's been meditating for several years) a sequence of Sanskrit sounds. That's how we believe the core of the Vedas (known as the Samhitas) came into being: they're a compilation of Sanskrit verses that sages directly heard from the gods. (And they were compiled by a guy named Vyasa who only included verses which a lot of people had independently heard.)

    Do you not believe in the possibility of Shruti?

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    Replies
    1. 'What does the "living word" mean?'

      "The living word is the experience of the prophet's encounter with God."

      But then... I thought I wrote that already!

      "Do you not believe in the possibility of Shruti?"

      I work just down the hall from Shruti, so of course I believe she is possible!

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    2. "But then... I thought I wrote that already!" I thought you were trying to say something about a term people should already know, just like you said something about scripture even if that's not the definition of the term scripture. So what's the definition of the term living word?

      Anyway, could you actually answer my question about Shruti? Do you not believe in the possibility that the gods have ever communicated to Man using actual language?

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    3. "The living word is the experience of the prophet's encounter with God."

      Of course there may be words involved!

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    4. Do you think it's possible for such an experience to consist solely of words in some cases?

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    5. If it were just words, what would make anyone think there was anything divine involved, rather than it being a mere auditory hallucination?

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    6. Well, in the case of the Vedas, Vyasa took great pains to make sure these weren't hallucinations. For instance, he wouldn't include a verse unless a lot of sages had independently heard it (and he took great pains to make sure it really was independent). And he would only examine verses from sages who were masters of certain meditative techniques that suppress the output of the mind from one's conscious awareness, so that one would only be consciously aware of something if it came from something external.

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