The Seven Sleepers & a bit more...



This article is a gift to my dear Burcu.
She requested that I’d address this theme, and I would like to thank her for having given me the opportunity to learn about this amazing event.

The Seven Sleepers is a legend mentioned in the Roman Martyrology (Roman Catholic List of the Saints recognised by the church) and in the Qu'ran.

In the Roman Martyrology
It is under the date of 27th of July as "Commemoration of the Seven Holy Sleepers of Ephesus, who, it is recounted, after undergoing martyrdom, rest in peace, waiting the day of resurrection."

In the Qu'ran
It is spoken of in the Surah (= chapter) Al-Kahf ("The Cave", 18) verse 9-11.

=The Legend=
Christian Version
Around 250 A.D., during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Decius, seven young men (Maximilien, Constantine, Martinien, Denis, Jean, Sarapion and Malch) were accused of being Christians. They were offered time to recant their faith, however they chose to give away their worldly possessions to the poor and retire to a cave, in the mountains, so that they could pray to the Lord. Meanwhile they fell asleep.
Decius realised that the young men wouldn't recant (thus bluntly renouncing paganism); therefore he ordered that the mouth of the cave were sealed.

Time goes by.
In the period of 379-395, during the reign of Theodosius, the owner of the land where the cave stood decided to open its sealed mouth (since it would be a good place to confine the cattle in) and found the sleepers inside. They woke up thinking that only a day had gone by.
One of the seven men went back to Ephesus (whose archaeological site is located 3 km south of Selçuk, Turkey) to buy some food, and he was astonished at the sight of buildings with crosses attached. The townspeople were astounded when the young man tried to buy food with old coins (from the reign of Decius).
The Bishop was summoned to interview the sleepers, who told him about their story. Once the miraculous tale spread out, they died praising the Lord.

Muslim Version
Maximilien, Constantine, Martinien, Denis, Jean, Sarapion and Malch wanted to talk about the truth and call to Allah's religion. However the Emperor wanted them to be pagans, and oppressed them; therefore they preferred to distance themselves from their society and dwell in a cave. Allah made them sleep so that they'd "surrender to fate and peace, because Allah, arranges everything for the benefit of the believers" (Surah Al-Kahf, Qu'ran 11-12).
The Qu'ran states that the time spent in the cave was 300 years (during which the calendar of their people was changed from solar to lunar. As a result of this, the period of the seven young men's sleep increased to 309 years [lunar]). When they woke up, (along with their dog) they hadn't realised that they had slept for centuries and believed to have slept only for a few hours.
Then, they sent one of them to acquire some food and the coins used to buy it were out of circulation which drew the attention of the townspeople. After the story was widely spread, the sleepers deceased.
= =

This legend speaks of a miracle.
I am a true believer in miracles, in Divine manifestations, in anything coming from the outer world. Still, I couldn’t help but to wonder what might have been God’s purpose in performing this wonder...
It is widely known that people find it easier to believe in what they see (I call it the “Thomas Syndrome”); especially whenever their faith seems to weaken. So, in times of religious persecution, it would be considered natural that the spirit of the believers would begin to question whether so much suffering is worthwhile (particularly when they look at non-believers and realise how “fortunate” they are). Then something utterly unexplainable happens: a miracle.

Now the weakened spirit is renewed & invigorated; it believes even more firmly than before; and the non-believers (the ones that are supposed to) start believing just like that...
If God Wanted, the whole world could believe in and serve Him in a snap of fingers...but obviously that is not what He Wants.

What do you think God wants?

Image: Seven Sleepers, a Russian Icon from the 19th Century

Comments

  1. Hi Max,

    So let me get this straight. Whatever your readers request you will do? Cool (Getting my Max list ready), I have a few requests too but I will wait until the list gets longer. Thank you in advance for addressing my list. (hoping you do windows)

    [End of sidebar]

    This is a fascinating subject. I had never heard of The Seven Sleepers until now. I thought it was a continuation of The Seven Dwarfs.

    "I couldn’t help but to wonder what might have been God’s purpose in performing this wonder."

    I don't think the human mind has the capacity to decipher miracles. We can hypothesize, but I don't think it would really give us the answers. We have to examine whether it was indeed a miracle or dual reality? Soul does not conceptualize time like the mind does. Time is a measurement of space. Soul is a measurement of karma, experience and lifetimes. During their slumber, perhaps they were faced with many choices and they chose the opportunity to come back into their existence and explore how people would react to them?

    Would you agree that when we find some things inexplicable that we label them "a miracle?" Do you think miracles are explicable? Is anything explicable if we don't know the reasons behind it?

    "If God Wanted, the whole world could believe in and serve Him in a snap of fingers...but obviously that is not what He Wants."

    Agreed.

    "What do you think God wants?"

    If men knew what God wanted, then they would know what women wanted. LOL. Okay back to the question. I guess we could ask God what he/she /it wants but would we hear and accept the answer?

    I would like to say that God wants everyone to behave in a certain way but I can't say that without taking into consideration the state of the world. If God wanted peace, would their be peace? If God wanted chaos, would their be chaos? The answer to both questions is yes. We will continue to try and close the chasm of peace and chaos as long as the interpretation of religious text clashes with reasonability. The short answer is that I don't know what God wants and the long answer is God wants us all to be happy in the end.

    Max, thanks for the mental workout and I volley it back. What do YOU think God wants?

    God Cheers!

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  2. I believe that what God wants is for us to learn faith. Miracles do not build faith, they only strengthen existing faith. Miracles do not convert people, because people can always use human logic to explain them away. They might say, "I was having a delusion". So God only shows miracles to those who already have faith.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi my Max! I read about the post yesterday but it was just a quick look that's why i couldn't thank you!

    Thank you in advance! I can see that you made a great search about this issue and present us a perfect post!

    Isn't it strange that names are always changing depending on religions?...Among Christians those 7 sleepers' names are different and among Muslims as well. Then which story is the real one ?:)

    You're so kind Max! Thanks a lot for your precious gift!

    Hugs

    Burcu

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  4. Hi Max!

    What an intriguing question: what does God want?

    We all know that He works under mysterious ways; He doesn't think like us therefore we can only presume that He wants us to grown spiritually, love and praise Him.
    The biggest miracle is to see Christians & Muslim sharing the same 7 saints. So what's keeping, today, both religions from understanding one to another? Are philosophical differences more important than the love of God?

    One really wonders: if God Allows His creatures to make use of free will; why in the bloody hell does the world keep on putting up with God's depressives?

    Great post, Max! We salute you for this magnificent topic!

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  5. Hi Max!

    Is this legend/miracle the only thing shared by Christians & Muslims? I don't think so. We share the love of God for we're all his creatures; we share the universe: the sun, stars, seas, oxygen, CO2, the common intelligence, the DNAs, smiles, laughters, pain, rage, kindness, generosity and most recently...the organs of the fading ones.

    The problem with followers is that they never stop to question themselves thus allowing the insurgence of crazy people like Decius.
    The so-called religious leaders, when acting under their unconfessed fears (expiating their sins by using the believers as their wailing wall), irrationalise people of faith in order to continue on feeding the searchers of God with their own bitterness and pitiful existence.

    Max, to answer your question: I'd dare saying that God wants us to leave Him alone for a while.

    Bisous
    Mom

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  6. Hi Alexys :D!

    "So let me get this straight. Whatever your readers request you will do? Cool (Getting my Max list ready), I have a few requests too but I will wait until the list gets longer. Thank you in advance for addressing my list. (hoping you do windows)"

    Shoot...yes, if my readers request me to write about a certain theme (one that I think I am able to tackle) I will gladly write it!
    LOL "Max list" LOL. Any time, girl...just tell me what you wish :D! LOL LOL "hoping you do windows" LOL LOL....*nodding*!

    "This is a fascinating subject. I had never heard of The Seven Sleepers until now. I thought it was a continuation of The Seven Dwarfs."

    I had never heard of it until Burcu brought it up either. LOL LOL come on...LOL *nodding*!

    "I don't think the human mind has the capacity to decipher miracles."

    How do you explain Moses then? He could decipher God's manifestations. Not to mention Joseph, Isaiah and other prophets.

    "We have to examine whether it was indeed a miracle or dual reality?"

    What is a miracle for you?

    "Soul does not conceptualize time like the mind does. Time is a measurement of space. Soul is a measurement of karma, experience and lifetimes. During their slumber, perhaps they were faced with many choices and they chose the opportunity to come back into their existence and explore how people would react to them?"

    You are right. That is a very interesting theory...very interesting indeed! But what would be the purpose to explore how people would react to them?

    "Would you agree that when we find some things inexplicable that we label them "a miracle?" Do you think miracles are explicable? Is anything explicable if we don't know the reasons behind it?"

    No; and please allow me to explain why: there are things that are inexplainable but cannot be labelled as "a miracle", because
    they don't always come from God. To be labelled as a miracle, the wonderous event must come from God; and usually it is preceded by signs.
    Yes, I think they are explicable.
    Look at scientists...they seem to explain a lot even when they don't know the reasons behind it. And even when someone knows the reasons behind it, but they can't prove by their own methods...they'll say it is either not true or inexplicable.

    "If men knew what God wanted, then they would know what women wanted. LOL. Okay back to the question. I guess we could ask God what he/she /it wants but would we hear and accept the answer?"

    LOL LOL LOL that is a good one LOL!
    God already said what He wants, but people don't listen and they find it hard to accept the answer...hell, they even spit of the answer.

    "I would like to say that God wants everyone to behave in a certain way but I can't say that without taking into consideration the state of the world. If God wanted peace, would their be peace? If God wanted chaos, would their be chaos? The answer to both questions is yes. We will continue to try and close the chasm of peace and chaos as long as the interpretation of religious text clashes with reasonability. The short answer is that I don't know what God wants and the long answer is God wants us all to be happy in the end."

    What a paradox...a beautiful one though *bowing*! God wanted one people to behave in a certain way; all the others...I am not sure. But one thing I know He wanted: to be recognised as the One and Only. Which He is -but not even this simple thing, people (as a whole) were/are willing accept.

    "Max, thanks for the mental workout and I volley it back. What do YOU think God wants?"

    You are welcome, my dear friend :D!
    I think God wants us to fulfill our mission (what He Sent us to do here on earth).

    Alexys, what can I say that you don't know already? Outstanding thoughts...magnificent mental GDP, girl! Thank you ever so much :D!

    Creator Cheers

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  7. Hey D! :D

    "I believe that what God wants is for us to learn faith."

    Yes...that too.

    "Miracles do not build faith, they only strengthen existing faith. Miracles do not convert people, because people can always use human logic to explain them away. They might say, "I was having a delusion". So God only shows miracles to those who already have faith."

    This is mostly interesting!!
    What if I told you that I have seen miracles being done on people who did not even believe in God, but then began to believe after the miracle occurred?

    And what about Paul? He didn't believe in Jesus (in fact he chased Jesus' followers), but when he was made blind (a miracle) and then Jesus spoke to him...he became a believer, didn't he?

    So, I could say that God also performs miracles on those He intends to become believers.

    But your answer is rather interesting, I loved it!

    D, thanks for your fantastic input :D!

    Cheers

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  8. Hi my dear Burcu :D!

    "I read about the post yesterday but it was just a quick look that's why i couldn't thank you!"

    It's ok, darling!

    "Thank you in advance! I can see that you made a great search about this issue and present us a perfect post!"

    You are most welcome *bowing*! I should be the one thanking you for having led me to this fantastic legend (which was unknown to me) :D!
    Aaah, thank you for your kind words!

    "Isn't it strange that names are always changing depending on religions?...Among Christians those 7 sleepers' names are different and among Muslims as well. Then which story is the real one ?:)"

    No, it is normal actually. The fact that the names fit each culture/religion doesn't alter the essence of the miracle, does it? :)

    "You're so kind Max! Thanks a lot for your precious gift!"

    Aaah, kindness is in the eyes of the beholder lol ;)! Don't mention it...I am just glad you liked it :D!

    Thanks, Burcu, for having dropped by and share your views with us! :D

    Big Hug

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  9. Hi Circulus Ciceronis :D!

    "We all know that He works under mysterious ways; He doesn't think like us therefore we can only presume that He wants us to grown spiritually, love and praise Him."

    Exactly! And yet there are people who neglect this simple wish and even spit on it *nodding*.

    "The biggest miracle is to see Christians & Muslim sharing the same 7 saints. So what's keeping, today, both religions from understanding one to another? Are philosophical differences more important than the love of God?"

    No, philosophical differences are definitely not more important than the Love of and for God. But you know people: they always allow philosophy, politics, and religion itself to stand in the way of God's Love.
    If both religions do not fully understand each other, it is because someone is interested in fomenting the discord...

    "One really wonders: if God Allows His creatures to make use of free will; why in the bloody hell does the world keep on putting up with God's depressives?"

    That is a good question! But some would answer that they keep on putting up with them exactly because of free will.
    But again, I would say it is because it benefits someone or something...

    "Great post, Max! We salute you for this magnificent topic!"

    Thank you so much, CC *bowing*!

    And thank you ever so much, for this superb comment...my God, I am growing accustomed to your presence here :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi mom :D!

    Now this is a pleasant surprise!!!

    "Is this legend/miracle the only thing shared by Christians & Muslims? I don't think so. We share the love of God for we're all his creatures; we share the universe: the sun, stars, seas, oxygen, CO2, the common intelligence, the DNAs, smiles, laughters, pain, rage, kindness, generosity and most recently...the organs of the fading ones."

    So true and very well put!

    "The problem with followers is that they never stop to question themselves thus allowing the insurgence of crazy people like Decius."

    Indeed, they never seem to question the message received; they just swallow it and allow themselves to be manipulated by leaders (be it religious or political).
    I wonder what happens to reason at times like these? Do they just throw it away and why would someone choose to do such a silly thing?

    "The so-called religious leaders, when acting under their unconfessed fears (expiating their sins by using the believers as their wailing wall), irrationalise people of faith in order to continue on feeding the searchers of God with their own bitterness and pitiful existence."

    *nodding in utter agreement*...
    And at the same time they display their utter irresponsibility towards the people they should teach (how to be better humans) and lead (spiritually speaking) *nodding*.

    "Max, to answer your question: I'd dare saying that God wants us to leave Him alone for a while."

    LOL LOL...and focus on our "job", right?

    Mom, thank you ever so much for your fantastic input...I loved it :D!

    Cheers

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  11. Hi Max,

    I will be getting back to you later to comment. I just want to say that your mom is a poet and I thoroughly enjoyed her comments. The genius doesn't fall too far from the tree. Would you please thank her for me. Maybe you can do a co-post with her (not that I want to give you extra work to do.)

    Max & Max's Mom Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Alexys,

    Oh my...she will love your message: thank you for your kindness :D!

    "Would you please thank her for me."

    I will do so...*bowing*!

    "Maybe you can do a co-post with her (not that I want to give you extra work to do.)"

    LOL LOL is this part of your request list?

    Thank you Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Max,

    "Shoot...yes, if my readers request me to write about a certain theme (one that I think I am able to tackle) I will gladly write it!"

    Isn't that nice?

    "Any time, girl...just tell me what you wish."

    My wish is for you to be happy.

    "How do you explain Moses then? He could decipher God's manifestations. Not to mention Joseph, Isaiah and other prophets."

    Yes he/they could. It's hard for me to think of Moses as a "normal" human. Do you think the prophets were normal humans, or just disciples of God who had special abilities, if you will? In other words, although they were in human form, they were armed with more mental/spiritual artillery to handle such an event and to convince everyone else that it was a miracle. (Just throwing thoughts on the fire)

    I think of them as superhuman with the ability to do the extraordinary in the physical world surpassing all known human or natural powers.

    "We have to examine whether it was indeed a miracle or dual reality?"

    What is a miracle for you?

    Something that I can't rationally explain. Something beyond my scope of comprehension.

    "But what would be the purpose to explore how people would react to them?"

    Maybe to see how much faith people had? Maybe to instill faith to the unfaithful. I wish I could give you a more exact explanation, but I am just surmising. I don't know what their purpose was, only God knows. Maybe they were waiting for the GPS to be invented so they could find their way home?

    "No; and please allow me to explain why: there are things that are inexplainable but cannot be labelled as "a miracle", because they don't always come from God. To be labelled as a miracle, the wonderous event must come from God; and usually it is preceded by signs.
    Yes, I think they are explicable."

    I agree, but how do we know it's a sign from God? What sign is it?

    "Look at scientists...they seem to explain a lot even when they don't know the reasons behind it. And even when someone knows the reasons behind it, but they can't prove by their own methods...they'll say it is either not true or inexplicable."

    I totally agree. Most of science is based on theory.

    "God already said what He wants, but people don't listen and they find it hard to accept the answer...hell, they even spit of the answer."

    Max, you are so funny. I can laugh out loud because I am not at the library. Laughing all the way.

    "...I know He wanted: to be recognised as the One and Only. Which He is -but not even this simple thing, people (as a whole) were/are willing accept."

    Then we have to be God's publicists.

    "I think God wants us to fulfill our mission (what He Sent us to do here on earth)."

    I think so.

    "Alexys, what can I say that you don't know already? Outstanding thoughts...magnificent mental GDP, girl! Thank you ever so much :D!"

    Thank you for allowing me to play with you. We always have a ball!

    Grand Creator Cheers!

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  14. Hi Lady A!

    "Isn't that nice?"

    :D

    "My wish is for you to be happy."

    Awww...what a wonderful wish, thank you *hug*! Let's make a deal: let's both be happy for life...what do you say?

    "Yes he/they could. It's hard for me to think of Moses as a "normal" human. Do you think the prophets were normal humans, or just disciples of God who had special abilities, if you will? In other words, although they were in human form, they were armed with more mental/spiritual artillery to handle such an event and to convince everyone else that it was a miracle. (Just throwing thoughts on the fire)"

    I get you though.
    I think prophets were normal humans, that were chosen by God to transmit His message and be the intermediaries to His signs. But it can't be denied that (even if they didn't know) these humans were - like you said - armed with higher mental/spiritual artillery to handle such task. The question is: when did they receive this artillery...at birth or when God announced them that they had a job to do?
    (I love it when you throw thoughts on the fire, girl)

    "I think of them as superhuman with the ability to do the extraordinary in the physical world surpassing all known human or natural powers."

    Do you think there are any prophets in today's world; or did they stay in the past?

    "Something that I can't rationally explain. Something beyond my scope of comprehension."

    I get it...

    "Maybe to see how much faith people had? Maybe to instill faith to the unfaithful. I wish I could give you a more exact explanation, but I am just surmising. I don't know what their purpose was, only God knows. Maybe they were waiting for the GPS to be invented so they could find their way home?"

    It makes sense, yes "see how much faith people had/instill faith to the unfaithful".
    LOL LOL "GPS to be invented" LOL LOL you know?

    "I agree, but how do we know it's a sign from God? What sign is it?"

    Somehow you just know (specially because you feel good when you receive the sign; whereas when it is not from God, you feel something evil around you - I can't explain it well, cause it is something one must feel).
    The sign can take several forms: either a dream (the entities in it speaking to you), or odd events in your house, work, etc...and others...

    "I totally agree. Most of science is based on theory."

    Yes, indeed. I am not saying it is bad (I like science), but they are too quick in judging the inexplicable. They limit their brain with so much theory and then ridicule those who let it expand beyond itself.

    "Max, you are so funny. I can laugh out loud because I am not at the library. Laughing all the way."

    LOL look who's talking I, II and III! LOL laughter is good for the skin, girl...

    "Then we have to be God's publicists."

    Do you think he will hire us?

    "I think so."

    ^5

    "Thank you for allowing me to play with you. We always have a ball!"

    Are you kidding me? We run this playground; we bring the house down, sista! True LOL...and it's great!

    Bringing the House Down Cheers

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  15. Olá, vim agradecer o carinho da visita e dizer que estarei viajando por estes dias de Carnaval, assim que voltar venho te ver ok?
    Um beijo e até breve!

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  16. Hi Max,

    I think the fact that God chose to implement his desires meant that they weren't "normal," but I agree that they were "chosen." Could you entertain the thought that for that split second in time - they were not at all human? They were indeed God. (grilling more thoughts)

    I think that there are modern day prophets that we don't know of yet - until someone writes about them. I knew of a story of a woman driving on a desert road and she had an accident where she was pinned in her car. Out of nowhere three men appeard who told her they were doctors. They managed to get her out of the car and treated her. As soon as they first appeared, they disappeared. All she knew was that three men (that were not of this world) rescued her. I read it a long time ago, don't remember where. My point is that there are always miracles everyday, but not what my mother calls a miracle when she finds a parking space.

    Hey I think we could rename the GPS to God Prophet Satellite - that way we can find them all. What do you think?

    I agree that our intuition shows us the signs, we just have to listen. I also think thay there will always be a scientist/spiritualist divide. Both sides discount each other, but they need each other in the end.

    I have to stretch after our tremendous workout.

    Well done. Thanks for the game.

    Stretching Cheers!

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  17. Olá Serena,

    Obrigada, querida! Boas férias!! :D

    Beijos

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  18. Hi Alexys,

    "I think the fact that God chose to implement his desires meant that they weren't "normal," but I agree that they were "chosen." Could you entertain the thought that for that split second in time - they were not at all human? They were indeed God. (grilling more thoughts)"

    LOL...well, His prophets are born from the flesh (from the seed of men and women...the Angels addressed to them as "the son of man"), so they can't be God. They could be God if they hadn't have parents, if they had simply appeared to us.
    Now, the Angels, the Divine Messengers, those can be viewed as being God (not because they are God Himself, but because they come on His behalf to speak to us) and that is why the prophets (many times) called them "My Lord[s]"...
    The Angels are not human.

    "I think that there are modern day prophets that we don't know of yet - until someone writes about them. I knew of a story of a woman driving on a desert road and she had an accident where she was pinned in her car. Out of nowhere three men appeard who told her they were doctors. They managed to get her out of the car and treated her. As soon as they first appeared, they disappeared. All she knew was that three men (that were not of this world) rescued her. I read it a long time ago, don't remember where."

    Yes, indeed....Angels always come in threes (I don't know why yet)! This an amazing story!!! And I totally believe it happened.
    And I agree with you: there are prophets till this day; only we don't know about them, for no one wrote about them yet. But there are a lot of books on mediums lol.

    " My point is that there are always miracles everyday, but not what my mother calls a miracle when she finds a parking space."

    LOL LOL LOL I just love your mom!
    Speaking of moms: mine thanked you for your kind words *bowing*! [I forgot to tell you yesterday]

    "Hey I think we could rename the GPS to God Prophet Satellite - that way we can find them all. What do you think?"

    ROFL...I think it is a great idea! But tell me: what would we do after we'd find them all?

    "I agree that our intuition shows us the signs, we just have to listen. I also think thay there will always be a scientist/spiritualist divide. Both sides discount each other, but they need each other in the end."

    I agree with you on the divide. Absolutely!!

    "I have to stretch after our tremendous workout."

    LOL I hear you! I already did my yoga today...now I feel good and ready to rumble! LOL

    "Well done. Thanks for the game."

    Likewise, girl! Thank YOU! :D

    Yoga Cheers

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  19. Hi Max,

    I have read this a few times and honestly have no opinion. I am quite agnostic in this regard. I just wanted to come on by and say "hi."

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  20. You brought up some good points Max. I think I look at those experiences a little differently. If there is someone who believes after seeing miracles, I think that is because deep down, they do have faith..or the ability to believe.

    In the case of Paul, I don't look at his experience as a miracle. It was simply God appearing and reprimanding him for fighting against the church. I guess that could be considered a miracle, but I think in this case, once God spoke to him, that was knowledge, not faith. But he still had to have faith because a non-believing person would have explained it away as a dillusion. I could imagine them telling others, "You won't believe the wild dream I had. I thought I heard God talking to me.". But in this case, God knew Paul, and knew what kind of person he was. He said Paul was a "chosen vessel". I have an athiest friend who always says to me, "If God reaches down His hand and snatches me from a burning car, then I will believe He exists". But I think he would explain that away as a frenzied mind caused from stress. I think everyone would like proof that God exists. Jesus told Thomas that he believed Jesus was resurrected because he saw him personally, but more blessed are those who don't see, but still believe. Faith is a power, and God wants us to learn this power. But it is like a muscle, you can only grow it by using it. How do we exercise it? We use it....we believe...we hope....

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  21. Cooll story Max, never heard of it before.

    I think God just want's us all to grow up,lol.

    Again God can do what ever he likes, but the point being, free will, we have the choice to follow or not, to make wars or not, to love one another or not.

    What would be the point for example if I could snap my fingers and my wife would do whatever I asked, she'd be like a robot, no true emotions, no real love, that's why the free will.

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  22. Max, I've never heard this story before. Fascinating. Imagine waking up in another time.

    I agree with Bob about the free will. God wants us to exercise free will; that's why the world is imperfect. If it were perfect, not only would there be no diversity, but there would be no growth, dynamism and evolution.

    I believe God wants us each to pursue our happiness while being mindful of the Common Good, and to grow accordingly.

    It's sad that the human species has such a long way to go to approach any level of maturity...

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  23. PS - Max, I just want to add this. The fact that stories of the same event differ from culture to culture, means that no one knows the "whole truth." It's built in to the human experience, in our individual and collective subjectivity, that we shall differ. Therefore we must all be more tolerant of each other's truths.

    Thank you for the great post!

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  24. Hi Mel :D!

    "I have read this a few times and honestly have no opinion. I am quite agnostic in this regard. I just wanted to come on by and say "hi.""

    It's ok, buddy! I appreciate you having read it a few times :D!
    Hi!! :D

    Mel, thanks for this surprise visit...it brightened up my day :D! I have a surprise for you...here's *a plate of cookies*!

    Cheers

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  25. Hey D!

    "You brought up some good points Max. I think I look at those experiences a little differently. If there is someone who believes after seeing miracles, I think that is because deep down, they do have faith..or the ability to believe."

    It's good to see you back :D! What you are saying makes sense.
    Would you say that, even those who say that they don't believe, deep down all humans believe in God?

    "In the case of Paul, I don't look at his experience as a miracle. It was simply God appearing and reprimanding him for fighting against the church. I guess that could be considered a miracle, but I think in this case, once God spoke to him, that was knowledge, not faith."

    Ok, I see where you are coming from...but don't you think that the fact that "God spoke to him" is a miracle, despite it being knowledge or faith? It is not everyday that God, Jesus or any other entity speaks to humans...

    "But he still had to have faith because a non-believing person would have explained it away as a dillusion. I could imagine them telling others, "You won't believe the wild dream I had. I thought I heard God talking to me.". But in this case, God knew Paul, and knew what kind of person he was. He said Paul was a "chosen vessel"."

    I agree that Paul was chosen by God. And I understand what you are saying here...

    "I have an athiest friend who always says to me, "If God reaches down His hand and snatches me from a burning car, then I will believe He exists"."

    LOL well, at least it is not the typical atheist argument "if God exists may He write me check for me to buy a house"...

    "But I think he would explain that away as a frenzied mind caused from stress."

    LOL LOL LOL you may be right!
    But wouldn't you think that if God really wants you to believe...you believe (no matter what)? Don't you think it is a question of being His Will and not ours (as humans)?

    "I think everyone would like proof that God exists. Jesus told Thomas that he believed Jesus was resurrected because he saw him personally, but more blessed are those who don't see, but still believe. Faith is a power, and God wants us to learn this power. But it is like a muscle, you can only grow it by using it. How do we exercise it? We use it....we believe...we hope..."

    Well said!!

    D, thank you ever so much...I loved what you said here! :D

    Cheers

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  26. Hey Bob :D!

    "Cooll story Max, never heard of it before."

    It is a nice one indeed. Never had I before Burcu had asked me to write this piece...and I am glad she did!

    "I think God just want's us all to grow up,lol."

    LOL LOL I hear you!!

    "Again God can do what ever he likes, but the point being, free will, we have the choice to follow or not, to make wars or not, to love one another or not."

    It makes sense. But within free will is not that free...

    "What would be the point for example if I could snap my fingers and my wife would do whatever I asked, she'd be like a robot, no true emotions, no real love, that's why the free will."

    LOL LOL LOL that was a great example! And you are right...what would be the point?

    Bob, thank you ever so much for this fantastic comment and examples, I absolutely loved it!! :D

    Cheers

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  27. Hey Lynda! :D

    "Max, I've never heard this story before. Fascinating. Imagine waking up in another time."

    I hear you!

    "I agree with Bob about the free will. God wants us to exercise free will; that's why the world is imperfect. If it were perfect, not only would there be no diversity, but there would be no growth, dynamism and evolution."

    That makes sense...what you just said. However, I think that diversity would still exist, for souls are all different (there are not two equal souls); the only One that remains the same is God.
    Besides, life on earth is the opposite of the life in Heaven (which is perfect)...and that is, also, what God wants: for us to learn how to cope with the duality of life and its law of oppositions (which is extremely interesting).

    "I believe God wants us each to pursue our happiness while being mindful of the Common Good, and to grow accordingly."

    That is beautiful, Lynda :D! Just gorgeous!

    "It's sad that the human species has such a long way to go to approach any level of maturity..."

    Eventually it will get there, and that is what matters...to actually get there! :D

    Lynda, my dear friend, God Bless you for such a superb comment! I love listening to your points of view, and you marvelled me with this one! :D

    Cheers

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  28. Lynda,

    "PS - Max, I just want to add this. The fact that stories of the same event differ from culture to culture, means that no one knows the "whole truth." It's built in to the human experience, in our individual and collective subjectivity, that we shall differ. Therefore we must all be more tolerant of each other's truths."

    Amen! That's what I was telling Burcu: it isn't a question of which story is true or real, it is a question of its essence (the miracle per se). And that should be respected by us all.

    "Thank you for the great post!"

    Thank YOU for the great comment and P.S. :D!

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  29. Yummy........they are really quite good. Thanks.

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  30. Hi! Simply put, God just wants us to be good, free of sin, live our days as he or she would want us to, so we, like the Seven Sleepers, will go on to greater things up above.

    What are my chances of that happening for me? Well, that's all up to him or her, but I suspect I may be heading for far warmer territory!

    Take Care,
    Peter

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  31. I LOVE reading this post AND also the comments. Unfortunately my brain is too tired to think...but I'm reminded of one friend's remark on unexplained things about God or about His ways. She said to me that she's already written a LONG list of questions that she's gonna ask God when she meets Him one day. :-))) I kinda like that idea he he he...

    Actually, I think if humans know what God wants, maybe they're too stubborn to follow them or they may not believe that it's what God wants. Human minds can be really complicated and they can complicate simple things...

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  32. This is awesome!

    I didn't know that the Sleepers had a Christian. I didn't know that they're canonized. I didn't know that here we have one more reason not to argue about whose version is right or wrong, but to celebrate the common belief/goal/god/principals: enjoying the colors while we're at it.

    Reading this: made my day. Thank you.

    Oh, and if you're still concerned about what He wants, I'm sure you're on the right track in making it happen. :) Bless you.

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  33. Hey Mel,

    I am glad you liked them :D! I have a bunch of cookies recipes...

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  34. Hi Peter :D!

    "Simply put, God just wants us to be good, free of sin, live our days as he or she would want us to, so we, like the Seven Sleepers, will go on to greater things up above."

    Amen!

    "What are my chances of that happening for me? Well, that's all up to him or her, but I suspect I may be heading for far warmer territory!"

    ROFL...Peter...you don't know that! Besides, I don't believe in hell...so I'd say that we will meet up there and have fun :D!

    Pete, thank you ever so much for this direct answer to my question...you are amazing! God Bless you!

    Cheers

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  35. Hey Amel :D!

    So good to see you, girl!

    "I LOVE reading this post AND also the comments. Unfortunately my brain is too tired to think...but I'm reminded of one friend's remark on unexplained things about God or about His ways. She said to me that she's already written a LONG list of questions that she's gonna ask God when she meets Him one day. :-))) I kinda like that idea he he he..."

    I can imagine. LOL LOL that is a great idea...loved it :D!

    "Actually, I think if humans know what God wants, maybe they're too stubborn to follow them or they may not believe that it's what God wants. Human minds can be really complicated and they can complicate simple things..."

    So true, so very true, darling!

    Amel, thank you so much for having taken the time (I know you are still in the process of moving into your new place) to share your thoughts here :D!

    Cheers

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  36. Hey Hning :D!

    So marvellous to hear from you!

    "This is awesome!"

    Thank you *bowing*!

    "I didn't know that the Sleepers had a Christian. I didn't know that they're canonized. I didn't know that here we have one more reason not to argue about whose version is right or wrong, but to celebrate the common belief/goal/god/principals: enjoying the colors while we're at it."

    I didn't know either, until a friend (Burcu) spoke of it.
    Absolutely, darling! Absolutely!! :D

    "Reading this: made my day. Thank you."

    Aww, so sweet: you are most welcome *bowing*!

    "Oh, and if you're still concerned about what He wants, I'm sure you're on the right track in making it happen. :) Bless you."

    You are so kind, thank you very much :D! May God Bless you, Hning!

    And thank you for your delightful contribution...we should all focus on the things that we have in common: life!

    Cheers

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  37. A miracle is a term humans invent to explain the unexplainable, the extraordinary, those phenomena that surpass human understanding of a given era. That is not to say what is described as supernatural always remains beyond complete understanding. As self-awareness evolves, part of your being may devise explanations for events that fall into your radar screen. That is the part of you that refuses to accept mystery. Another part of you may simply shift focus and decide certain events do not require explanation or mastery. As you decide certain events do not merit your attention, the sense of importance dissolves like self-importance dissolves. Things fade away from your mind. Some people are raising consciousness to where all documented history is suddenly perceived as illusion and distraction from the present and learning where one is. Presence or just being brings your core energy to a place where nothing matters.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great post of such an interesting comparison. I'd only heard the Christian version.

    Thank you so much for droppin' by and leaving a comment on my blog.

    Roxie

    You are invited to sign the Recovery Wall
    http://recoveryrocks.today.com/recovery-wall

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello Liara :D!

    "A miracle is a term humans invent to explain the unexplainable, the extraordinary, those phenomena that surpass human understanding of a given era."

    I see...so what would you call them?

    "That is the part of you that refuses to accept mystery."

    Let me see if I get this straight...if one believes in miracles, and seeks to explain them, part of him/her refuses to accept mystery?

    "Another part of you may simply shift focus and decide certain events do not require explanation or mastery."

    Wouldn't you think that this would go against our nature? I mean, we need to understand the reason beyond things...that is why we were gifted with reason, right?

    "Some people are raising consciousness to where all documented history is suddenly perceived as illusion and distraction from the present and learning where one is."

    Well, life on earth is an illusion and a distraction, but that is part of existence. That is why we are here for; to learn how to live within those distractions and to focus in the midst of illusion. Illusion is there yet we must be able to see the truth.

    Great comment, Liara...thank you ever so much *bowing*! :D

    Cheers

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  40. Hello Roxie :D!

    Welcome!!

    "Great post of such an interesting comparison. I'd only heard the Christian version."

    Thank you *bowing*! You had? I confess I had never heard of it before I was asked to write this article.

    "Thank you so much for droppin' by and leaving a comment on my blog."

    You are most welcome, darling! You do a great job! :D

    Roxie, thank you ever so much for having dropped by (know that you are welcome here always)...I will sign your Recovery Wall :D!

    Cheers

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  41. Max, for life of me I never knew this story. Wow! BTW 'along with their dog' - okay that was nice addition, lol.

    Max, you asked 'What do you think God wants?'

    You know it is hard to speak for God, but I think I have to throw some laws of physics on you, lol, we cannot be all perfect - it would be to borring, we cannot be all bad - because we would destroy ourselves and there will be no us. Just like gravity, if there was no gravity, God knows, lol. Its simple + and - attract, - and - and + and + repell, so we have to have some bad and good in order to survive. And how about wind, if there was no cold and warm front, we hardly would get wind....I think you know where I am getting - I am saying God was Genius, lol.

    Hope I answered your question with my ramblings. There is probably spiritual explanation, but I wouldn't know....

    Excellent post Max as always.

    Anna :)

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  42. Hi Anna :D!

    "Max, for life of me I never knew this story. Wow! BTW 'along with their dog' - okay that was nice addition, lol."

    Neither did I, previous to have written this article, I confess. LOL it was, wasn't it?

    "You know it is hard to speak for God, but I think I have to throw some laws of physics on you, lol, we cannot be all perfect - it would be to borring, we cannot be all bad - because we would destroy ourselves and there will be no us. Just like gravity, if there was no gravity, God knows, lol. Its simple + and - attract, - and - and + and + repell, so we have to have some bad and good in order to survive. And how about wind, if there was no cold and warm front, we hardly would get wind....I think you know where I am getting - I am saying God was Genius, lol."

    Amen for that! I totally agree with you: God IS a Genius; and yes...bad and good are needed. I call this the law of opposites: God made everything in opposites (man/woman, good/bad, night/day, light/dark, female/male, water/fire, earth/air etc) so that Balance would exist.
    I loved the physics lesson (I remember I had good grades in physics, but I confess that I retained very little of it *nodding* - I think it is not my destiny lol), thank you :D!

    "Hope I answered your question with my ramblings. There is probably spiritual explanation, but I wouldn't know...."

    You did, Anna...you answered it quite well :D! There are several spiritual explanations, but I resume them into a simple one: God wants us to seek Good and fulfil our mission (whatever it might be).

    "Excellent post Max as always."

    Thank you so much *bowing*!

    And Anna, my darling friend, thank you ever so much for this fantastic comment (I utterly loved your explanation) :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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