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Christianity Guru And The Holy Spirit

Ishna

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Gurufateh

It appears to me that there are similarities between the Guru and the Holy Spirit.

I don't know enough about either one to articulate what I perceive. With brother Vouthon now on board I thought this might be a good time to ask the question.

I've seen comments previously that the Holy Spirit, being part of the Trinity, is a separate being to God and therefore it can't be similar to the Guru because the Guru and Akaal Purkh are one. But isn't the Holy Spirit part of God as well?? Sikhs talk about the Guru as if indeed it is a separate entity while simultaneously knowing Guru and Akaal are one and the same. The Guru within us is the Divine Light that guides us in the right direction. Isn't this similar to the Holy Spirit or have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

Thoughts appreciated. peacesignkaur
 
Aug 29, 2010
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Gurufateh

It appears to me that there are similarities between the Guru and the Holy Spirit.

I don't know enough about either one to articulate what I perceive. With brother Vouthon now on board I thought this might be a good time to ask the question.

I've seen comments previously that the Holy Spirit, being part of the Trinity, is a separate being to God and therefore it can't be similar to the Guru because the Guru and Akaal Purkh are one. But isn't the Holy Spirit part of God as well?? Sikhs talk about the Guru as if indeed it is a separate entity while simultaneously knowing Guru and Akaal are one and the same. The Guru within us is the Divine Light that guides us in the right direction. Isn't this similar to the Holy Spirit or have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

Thoughts appreciated. peacesignkaur
Both represent WAVES/VIBRATIONS of the Divine WORD.

Prakash.s.Bagga
 
Feb 23, 2012
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My dear sister Ishna :motherlylove:

Please forgive my somewhat delayed response to this excellent thread. I actually composed a post earlier on, a very long one and guess what? The computer crashed and I lost the entire thing! :angryyoungsingh:

So I have had to start from scratch and make a more simpler reply.

Generally speaking, I prefer not to discuss concepts such as the Trinity on non-Christian forums, however I am delighted that you do not necessarily perceive this doctrine to be a barrier in the same way as many others do, to dialogue.

I see similarities in the following:


Akal Purakh/Alkhal Ustat - the Father

Naam/Word - Logos/Word/Wisdom

Guru - Holy Spirit


I do indeed perceive similarities between the Holy Spirit and Guru, as you describe. I also see similarities between Naam and the concept of the Logos - the Word or Wisdom of God in Catholicism, which we identify as the Son.

There is a lot of confusion over the Christian conception of God as the Three-in-One or the One-in-Three. Some of our fellow siblings in the wider monotheist family, are suspicious of the purity of our belief in the Oneness of God, because of many mistaken views of the Three-in-One. Some even think we are Tritheists (worship three gods)!

For us, the Holy Spirit is not a part of God. Rather the Holy Spirit is God. God has no parts, admits of no divisions, is simple and One and Whole and unitary in Essence. And so we do not regard the Holy Spirit as a separate being from God. There is only One, Single, Supreme Being and that Being is the Father, the Logos and Holy Spirit. One Being, three Persons.

If you ask me 'what' God is, then I would say God is God, the One, Infinite, Immanent, Divine Being or Essence. If you asked me 'who' God is in a personal sense, in a relational sense both to Himself and to his creation, then I would say that he is the Father, the Logos and the Holy Spirit.

Your nature, sister Ishna, as a human being, is not uniquely yours but is shared by billions of your fellow human beings. In the same way God's nature is shared, in Catholic understanding, by the three Persons of the One-in-Three as I like to call what is commonely known as, "The Trinity". The difference between you and God is that human nature or essence may be regarded as a species, of which each man has an individual part, so that there is a specific unity of body, soul and spirit or whatever else you wish to call it within a specific individual; but the divine nature is indivisible and therefore identical in the Persons of the Godhead, who share the One Divine Nature and truly have the same will, conciousness and being without any division, like there is between different individual men.

If I asked you: Who are you Ishna?

You would reply, "I am Ishna".

If I asked you: What are you Ishna?

You would, I hope, reply "a human being".

If I asked God: Who are you?

He would say: I am Father, Logos and Holy Spirit

If I asked him: What are you?

He would say: God

One God in Three Persons. Who God is and What God is are different questions, just like asking who you are Ishna is different from asking what you are. Who refers to you in a relational, personal sense. What refers to your human nature. It is the same with God. In a personal sense God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three personed. In terms of his nature God is simply God, the One, Undivided Essence, the Divine Being.

But in the end Who and What both refer to the same thing, a single concious being called Ishna. In the same way, Who God is and What God is both refer to a single Divine Being, who is Father, Logos and Holy Spirit which equals God without any division. God is One God in Three Persons, to the Catholic understanding.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen described the Holy One-in-Three (Trinity) thus:

"...She pictures the Divine Trinity in a gold and silver energy field around a sapphire blue Word of God, depicted as a human person stretching out his hands to heal. The Trinitarian life energy flashes like electromagnetic vibrational energy. The fire of the golden Holy Spirit binds everything together: one Light, three people, one God. When this energy combines with matter, life comes into being...The Holy Spirit is the illuminator of our hearts, lighting up the darkness of ignorance..."

And yet we would fully agree with your understanding of a certain distinction between the Holy Spirit and the Father and the Logos that fits very well with your description of the distinction often drawn between Akal Purakh (timeless, undying One) and the Guru, despite them being one and the same entity. That fascinates me.

Brother Prakash is correct to say that both Guru and the Holy Spirit are directly related to the Divine Word.

First, let me dwell on the Holy Spirit. If you perceive similarities, in anything that I write, to the Guru then please point them out!

For Catholics, our bodies are the Temples of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit is the Giver of Life; he moves and breathes and lives in all things in his creation. He is the Creator Spirit, who nourishes all being.

The Immortal Spirit, as the Book of Wisdom in the Bible tells us, is "in" all things and fills the cosmos.

Often, he is described as the Inner Light. To this end Saint Hildegard of Bingen, after her experience of spiritual awakening in the Holy Spirit which she perceived as a blinding Light pervading her Being, called herself, "The Voice of the Living Light" that is, of the Holy Spirit.

He is the root of all creatures.

Hildegard links the Holy Spirit to the Latin word veriditas (Greening).

Hildegard linked the flow of water on the crops with the love of God that renews the the face of the earth and the souls of humankind.

For us, the Holy Spirit is Love - the Bond of Love between the Father and the Word, and the Bond of Love between God, Creation, creatures and all things.

This love between the Persons of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, flows out into all creation, gathering up all creation in one divine embrace which lies at the very heart of God's being.

We believe that every truth, no matter who says it, is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

He is present in every human heart. Every authentic prayer is called forth by the Holy Spirit. He is the source of all goodness, all truth in every individual person, religion and culture.

The Spirit is the source of all enlightenment, spiritual awakening. He is present in all religions. He descends, specially, into human hearts in every age and makes these people prophets, sages, gurus, spiritual leaders.


Thus Pope John Paul II could write:


Every quest of the human spirit for truth and goodness, and in the last analysis for God, is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The various religions arose precisely from this primordial human openness to God. At their origins we often find founders who, with the help of God's Spirit, achieved a deeper religious experience. Handed on to others, this experience took form in the doctrines, rites and precepts of the various religions.

In every authentic religious experience, the most characteristic expression is prayer. Because of the human spirit's constitutive openness to God's action of urging it to self-transcendence, we can hold that "every authentic prayer is called forth by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in the heart of every person". We experienced an eloquent manifestation of this truth at the World Day of Prayer for Peace on 27 October 1986 in Assisi, and on other similar occasions of great spiritual intensity.

3. The Holy Spirit is not only present in other religions through authentic expressions of prayer. "The Spirit's presence and activity", as I wrote in the Encyclical Letter Redemptoris missio, "affect not only individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions" (n. 28).

- Blessed Pope John Paul II, General Audience Address, September 16, 1998, Vatican


So the Holy Spirit is literally everywhere.

He is in Sikhism, in Islam, in Hinduism, in Buddhism...everything you can think of.


"...No human being exists outside the powerful presence of God the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the mysterious companion and religious friend in the life of every human being...The Spirit acts in and through the religious traditions and cultures of the world...The Spirit is present and operative in and through all that is good and beautiful in various cultures and religions around the world..."

- Michael A. Hayes


Every religious or spiritual experience is an experience of the Holy Spirit.

It was the Holy Spirit that formed in the heart of Guru Nanak the desire to create the Sikh Panth. He is the source of all truth, goodness and beauty in your faith, and in all faiths, including my own.
 
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Ishna

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Aaahhh it's all too complicated! *facepalm*

But seriously, thank you Vouthon bhaji for your thoughtful response(s!!).

I recall a debate here some time ago that someone might have started inadvertently *looks around innocently* with the idea that Word = order. I will dig it up. Oh, here it is: http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-youth/8672-naam-my-understanding-4.html#post140438

Also found this which is interesting: http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/112594-post6.html

Perhaps before I ask the question about if the Holy Spirit and Guru are similar I should define a few key Sikh concepts right, like Word, Shabad, Naam, Guru, Ik Oankar.
 
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