Monday, October 22, 2012

INNOVATIVE ONLINE BOOK TOURS: Guest Post #7/Giveaway - Andrew Cort, author of The Door Is Open

Welcome to the seventh
weekly guest post
at A Night's Dream of Books, 
on the tour for The Door Is Open,
sponsored by
Innovative Online Book Tours!!

Dr. Andrew Cort

Andrew Cort
Paperback, 186 pages
May 19, 2012
Genre: Religion, Mythology, Spirituality

This is the seventh of several weekly guest posts by Dr. Cort, who is an authority on religion and spirituality, as well as mythology, politics, history, science, education, and healing.  He has written several books on these topics.  His most recent one, The Door Is Open, deals with the fascinating topic of the steps to spiritual awakening, as presented in world scriptures and mythologies.  Please join me in welcoming Dr. Cort to A NIGHT'S DREAM OF BOOKS!

I hope you will find Dr. Cort's seventh post to be as thought-provoking as I did!

Spiritual teachings say that we are supposed to “find our way home again” – that is, we must seek spiritual Truth and become enlightened. But if we started at “home”, what was the point of sending us “down here” just so we can find our way back to where we started?? Perhaps one of the best explanations was given by Christ in his Parable of the Prodigal Son:

A father had two sons. The elder of these remained always at home, never disobedient or unruly, faithfully working in his father’s fields and vineyards. The younger son, however, took his inheritance early and went far away from his father’s home, where he squandered all he had and wasted his life with riotous living. Eventually he hit bottom, and awoke to find himself penniless, hungry, a hired hand who fed another man’s pigs for a living. He saw that he had sinned against his father and against heaven, and he immediately determined to return home, admit his failures and shortcomings, and beg his father to take him on as a lowly servant, rather than remaining where he was and perishing of hunger. So he headed home. But while still far off his father saw him, was filled with joy and compassion, and ran to him and kissed him. When the young son admitted his unworthiness, his father ordered servants to bring him the finest robes and to prepare a great feast, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again! He was lost, and is found.” But when the elder son returned home from the fields and saw what was happening, he was very angry and complained bitterly to his father, “This boy, who now returns, wasted everything you gave him on harlots and debauchery. But all these years I have worked for you faithfully, never transgressing, and you have never celebrated with a feast for me!”

The ‘father’ in this parable represents God. The elder son represents a child of God who never ventures out into the difficulties of material life. As a result, he has never experienced struggle, failure or sorrow, and he has never experienced triumph, passion or joy. He is ‘good’, he is innocent, but he can never change or learn or evolve. He has no future, he has no potential, his soul was finished as soon as it began, and as such he is of limited interest and limited use to his father. The younger son goes off into life and falls asleep to his father’s world. He is ‘bad’ and he quickly loses his innocence, he squanders everything and cavorts with harlots, he drinks in all the diverse experiences of earthly life, he feels and laughs and suffers and cries. In the end he realizes he is in a pigsty and makes the decision to begin the journey home. “Time to let go and let God”, he might have said.
By the time he gets back, he has evolutionary possibilities that his innocent brother will never know – qualities that are highly treasured by his father. This son was ‘dead’: his soul, like ours, had descended into the world of illusion. But now, grown wise with the wisdom of experience, grown strong with the grit that only comes from enduring difficulties and overcoming obstacles, his soul has returned home to God and is ‘alive’ again. There is far greater joy in heaven for this accomplishment than for the bland, static existence of his older brother.
Refusing the full experience of this world of sense, pain, and pleasure, is to reject the plan of God! Spiritual evolution cannot take place until involution is complete and every bit of life has been experienced. Only then can a real choice be made, and we have to make that choice from our own selves.
Author Bio

Andrew Cort is an expert on the inner message of Spiritual Awakening that is always ready to be found in the wonderful stories of the Bible and Greek Mythology. To receive several FREE GIFTS from Dr. Cort (a copy of Chapter One, ‘Making the Decision’, from his new book, THE DOOR IS OPEN; a copy of his article on RECONCILING SCIENCE AND RELIGION; and a complete version of the Bible’s erotic masterpiece, SONG OF SONGS , adapted as a Poetic Dialogue to be read out loud by lovers; as well as a subscription to his SPIRITUAL GROWTH NEWSLETTER) click here . You can also learn more on his blog, Spirituality and Religion.


Sign up for this great giveaway!!

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please visit the
Innovative Online Book Tours Blog,
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  1. Thought provoking commentary as usual.

    Though the elder son is this parable is often criticized, this is indeed a view that is more critical of him then most. I had never heard the angle of the elder son not really experiencing enough to be a fully rounded person.

    Though I think that this interpretation flies in the face of some Christian traditions, there may be something to it!

  2. Hey, Brian!

    Oh, this is indeed thought-provoking!!!

    You're right -- the elder son is often perceived as being too self-righteous, but in this analysis he is condemned even more.

    Dr. Cort's interpretation certainly does go against orthodox Christian views of this parable. You're also right about this. In fact, I must confess that I myself don't agree with Dr. Cort's interpretation, and find it rather unsettling, as well. The reason is that he asserts human beings must go through a wide variety of experiences, and only then can they start on the spiritual journey back home. Well, I really don't think that consorting with harlots and wasting money on uncontrolled gambling are necessary human experiences (although, in the case of women, there really aren't any 'male harlots'. Oh, there are gigolos. But they're not exactly considered the social pariahs the female harlots are).

    One can certainly have a full and rich life without falling that low! Perhaps these things are merely symbols of a full life, but if so, I think they're rather poor symbols. I would say that traveling, meeting people from differnt cultures, and exercising one's creativity to the max would be better symbols of a full human existence. Not to mention immersion in intellectual endeavors such as studying comparative religions, the workings of the human mind, the relationship between new findings in neuroscience and ethics, and so on and so forth.

    Most Christians would indeed find fault with Dr. Cort's analysis. The prodigal son is the symbol of sinful humanity, and this parable is supposed to illustrate God's infinite mercy and grace in forgiving the repentant sinner and welcoming him/her back into His family.

    However, I do think that this parable DOES slight the son who was obedient and stayed with his father. People who do the right things and abide by Christian moral principles SHOULD get some credit for doing so. But I believe that the older son is not given this credit because traditional Christian interpretations of this parable probably include the view that we humans really can't be good all the time, without God's help. In fact, from what I know of Calvin (which isn't much), he tended to support this view, calling it 'total huaman depravity'.

    Hmmmm....this is a VERY complex, heavy topic...I think I might attempt a more complete analysis on my nonfiction blog, which is woefully neglected...TIME, I SAY, IS MY ENEMY!!!!! Oh, for a million dollars, right this very minute!!! Rather than spending it on shallow, carnal pursuits (a la Paris Hilton!), I would immerse myself in study and creation!!!! Why, oh, why, do the WRONG PEOPLE in the world have all the money?!

    Okay, I'm getting off the soapbox now....sigh....

    Thanks for providing fuel for my own analysis (and rant!) through your very interesting comment!! : )


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