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Body Swap

P1030671An article on BBC’s online Future section describes an experimental technology that gives two people the experience of feeling as though they have exchanged bodies with one another.

The thought behind the science is not new. It’s ancient wisdom that trying to imagine what it would be like to live in another person’s circumstances, bodies, or shoes, can help us develop a heart for those we are otherwise likely to dismiss or criticize.

After reading the article, my thoughts turned to the seventh chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. In our modern Bible’s this chapter is the last installment of what we call the Sermon on the Mount. It begins with Jesus’ urging his followers to not mindlessly judge one another (Matt 7:1-4). It ends with his challenge to not just hear his words but to do them (Matt 7:24-27)—and Matthew’s observation that those who heard Jesus were impressed by the way he spoke with such authority (Matt 7:28-29).

Since this last section of Jesus’ teaching focuses on treating those we resent with the generosity and heart that God has shown for us (Matt 7:1-11), I’m wondering if there is a remote connection with body swap technology. Because Jesus nets out the message of Moses and the prophets as a combined teaching on relating to others the way we’d want them to respond to us (7:12)—am wondering whether experimenting with “The Machine to be Another” is uncovering a need for which we’ve been created– to not just honor our own needs— but also those whose emotions and thoughts we haven’t tried to understand.

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70 Responses to “Body Swap”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    To walk a mile in someone else’s shoes is an old concept and meant to give meaning to the idea that we would need to be that person in order to understand their pain and motives for why they are the way they are.

    In learning the *why* about another does it excuse bad behavior or just explain it?

    Sometimes in the psychoanalysis of another’s behavior we find unrepentant selfish evil. What then do we do with seeing such an evil heart?

    We have not the *power* to forgive such evil in another unless that person has caused us harm or done evil to us. Are we expected to forgive such evil even if the perpetrator is unrepentant and does not ask for it?

    If I take the idea that understanding emotionally the motives behind evil and giving blanket forgiveness for it to its common denominator then God would be expected to forgive Satan for his rebellion cart blank.

    As well as all who remain in sin.

    More to say on this as it grows in content.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BYA Friends —

    It is interesting to think about some of the “Be Another” possibilities: a male and female swapping; a person who uses a wheel-chair swapping with a dancer; a Black person swapping with a Caucasian.

    How does a person “get out of him/her self” — how do parents and educators allow young people to experience even for a few moments the reality of being “the other”? What retraining could be applied to those who belong to hate-groups — or terrorist cells?

    I recall an episode of “Star Trek” in which a nebulous, super-powerful being entered the body of a human being. He commented how confined he felt inside this skin — and how alone and separated he felt. He concluded that he would not destroy the world he was about to vaporize…

    How did Jesus feel being born into time, the laws of physics, hunger, disease, thirst? We have already learned the “why” — John 3:16; Colossians 1:19. Could empathy bring about compassion? And could compassion bring about Christ-likeness in we humans? Just wondering.


  3. remarutho says:

    Sorry about the typo! Good Morning BTA Friends! Maru

  4. saled says:

    Good morning from Maine, Maru, Steve, and everyone. This topic makes me think of John 14:20 where Jesus says that he is in the Father, and we are in Jesus, and Jesus is in us. The topic also reminds me of a Native American saying, “respect your brother’s dream.”

    Mart says he is wondering whether the machine to be another is uncovering a need for which we’ve been created: to not just honor our own needs, but also those whose emotions and thoughts we haven’t tried to understand.

    As Christians, I think we are not encouraged to try to understand those with different beliefs. In fact, there has been a lot of discouraging of even learning about other beliefs. I guess I am looking at this topic not so much about trying to understand evil as trying to understand people who believe differently.

    This is a busy day for me in the garden, but I will be anxious to check in tonight and read others thoughts. This is a great topic.

  5. poohpity says:

    Wow great topic Mart!

    I guess if we miss the very first teaching about humility Matt 5:3 and one gets to the seventh chapter about looking at the lives of others rather than having the light shown within at the failures/boards in our own lives, we may have missed the point about humility. It may then come down to projecting the way I think, feel and act unto others rather than learning to see things through their eyes. For example if I am an angry person then I would think that others have that same motive being unable to see it is really me that has anger issues. (Romans 2:1 NIV)

    I guess the Body Swap would be a very useful tool for those who are unable to really listen and hear others and are so out of touch with their own frailties. David asked God to search his heart and show him the things that were displeasing to God, he did not seem to ask God to show him the things Joab did that are displeasing to God.(Psalm 139:23-24 NLT) It seems the closer one gets to God we start seeing our own heart condition it makes us more open to have empathy and compassion towards others.

  6. quietgrace says:

    Good morning all!

    In my former work as a mental health counselor and a Christian it was my goal always to try to get inside the mind of others and figure out how their ‘acting out’ and their MI were causing them and the staff problems. Some staff could not figure out where I was coming from, and resented me for being so compassionate, while others studied and learned from me, especially those who were young in the Christian faith. The one thing I always did was to bring them before God in prayer and ask for help and understanding. God never let me down when I tried to understand where others were coming from, even unkind staff, and I often saw changes in both. Empathy is one of the greatest gifts God gives us, and with that comes great responsibility. I have known those personally and professionally that have never developed empathy due to genetics and upbringing, yet God loved them no less than me or others. The hardest ones to love are those who can’t love you back. They are the ones that need God most, and our prayers of intercession can fill the gap for their need.

    Blessings abundant! Grace

  7. street says:

    Dear Mart,
    “In our modern Bible’s this ” this word “modern” really slowed me down and caught my attention. I had a negative connotation to it. As if, to say, today’s version is better than older version. In other words I got derailed from the the very beginning. So much for not “pre” judging and totally loosing focus on what is being presented. Glad it is written down so I can go back and work through it with regard to my prejudice. It also clued me in to how I am listening! Are you measuring up to my standard? Hope I can leave that one behind and find the best standard.
    As for the rest of Been Thinking on “Body Swap” it looks like all “new” ground to me because it is difficult /unfamiliar. Looking and listening.

  8. bubbles says:

    Understanding another person helps with compassion. St. Francis’ of Assisi wrote about wanting to understand more than to be understood.

  9. bubbles says:

    It’s important to guard against pre assuming things about other people. It is disrespect to assume to know what the other person is feeling or saying. Then when clarification is attempted, the one assuming will not listen to understand because they already “know” what the other person is thinking or saying. It’s wrong.

  10. quietgrace says:

    Gary, thinking of you-hope your boat didn’t tip! Praying you are blessed, as always. Grace

  11. hera says:

    I think all religions essentially teaches compassion, though sometimes there seems to be a kind of “restrictions” or prerequisites to whom compassion is deserved. It would be interesting to know if the swap is done to predators and prey, the criminal and the victim..etc….would that really change anyone for the better?

  12. street says:

    To know and be known is a fundamental truth of many people. What made you want to know another person? What caused your affection or negative reaction to someone? The Bible says a wise man can draw a person out into the open, like Jesus at the well in Samaria. Or Nathan confronting David in his sin. Both of these are examples of God’s direct intervention in a persons life He had a great love for. To be fair, He intervened in others to destroy them.
    In Matthew 5,6,7 beginning with the Beatitudes, the correct mind set that God wants us to have, for the clay to be malleable. God continues with instructions on what to do and not to do. To check to see if we are still focused on the goal. I guess what I am leading too is that the “Body Swap” God is looking for is that the mind of Christ is formed in His saints. Isn’t that why He gave the Holy Spirit? So we would not be abandoned or orphaned? I thing the goal is to delight in the Lord above all else. I would also have to say it is worked out in people, you meet, who you can see, because you can not see Jesus.
    I am thinking the board in my eye can only come out when I have the mind of Christ. Romans 15:5 , 1 Corinthians 2:16 I like Joe’s advise when you wake up in the morning make up your bed and make up your mind who you will serve today. Just be honest about it. Praying for Truth and Peace in the hearts and minds of the Saints.

  13. hera says:

    I tried to look into the BBC article by clicking the link, several times, different times, to no avail – Sorry…..etc was the page displayed.

  14. SFDBWV says:

    I did read the article this morning and realized it’s about an entirely different aspect then being able to see into or experience another’s mind, only their body.

    In essence to *see* yourself in another’s skin.

    I recommend renting “Watermelon Man” a movie filmed in 1970 staring Godfrey Cambridge. It is about a white insurance salesman who wakes up one morning starting to turn black and the comedy/drama that unfolds as he becomes a black man.

    The difference of course is the idea of being you while in the body of another is that it is still you, the body is just a vessel that carries the real you.

    That is a very different concept of actually *being* the person in whose body you are in. No machine can accomplish that.

    As Street has expressed, God did become a man and as a man experience what it is like to live in a body on earth among other people. However I don’t personally believe God needed to do that in order to *know* what being human is like, I believe He did so in order to show the rest of us that as a man Jesus alone stood out as the only purely innocent and sin free among us and so the only human ever to be worthy of being a sacrifice to God the Father for the remission of sin for all the rest of us.

    “I wept because I had no shoes, until I met a man, who had no feet.” Author unknown.

    I suppose the premise here is that we need to put our best effort into understanding another to a point of compassion, always remembering very few of us can experience empathy on top of sympathy and so express compassion in the relationship.

    I agree as I had stated in my first comment that if it were possible to *know* what makes a person the way they are it is possible to feel compassionate even for the scoundrels among us; but does knowing the reasons for or even experiencing such excuse bad behavior or only explain it?

    Once when I was doing a job for a local minimum security *jail* for juvenile boys I got to know one of the boys who was assigned to me pretty well. He was there because he had shot his mother’s boyfriend.

    In conversation with the Jail officials I told them that if that boy shot his mother’s boyfriend I would have to say that he needed shot.

    One of my many faults is that I always want the people I meet to be people of good moral character and give them that status until they show me otherwise. It’s not until I get to know them that I see them in any different light.

    Here is the crux of the issue, once they are not as I thought or wanted them to be, how then is my feelings toward them manifested in my heart?

    How I then feel about another in my heart exposes my own heart and according to Jesus’ teaching my standing with Him.

    I think the Sermon on the Mount is there to expose our inability to be able to be righteous by any actions of our own, alone. That only in with Jesus’ Spirit helping and guiding us along can we hope to accomplish even coming close.

    We may in some way be able to experience being in another’s body and so understand why they are the way they are, but we can only be responsible for our own *actions*.

    The tragedy is when our actions cause negative experiences for another and negative reactions as a result.


  15. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Steve, you have presented one of the characteristics of the fallen human heart with breath-taking understatement. You wrote:

    “The tragedy is when our actions cause negative experiences for another and negative reactions as a result.”

    Would have to categorize Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur as tragedy, in your terms. The sad inability of those in power to see others as persons of sacred worth, by the simple fact of their being alive in the world, has brought about the genocides mentioned above.

    Then, there is the matter of the rest of humanity standing by watching such amazing negative experiences as bodies stacked like cord wood after the actions of the attackers upon men, women and children.

    Today, the church celebrates its birthday in Jerusalem at the festival of Pentecost. May the blessed Holy Spirit quicken and enliven our hearts to the deep compassion that our Lord Jesus has for all peoples, as we seek to follow him as best we can.


  16. poohpity says:

    Steve, that is such a good example of the reason we are not to judge or criticize another but Jesus seems to take it further when we stop doing that we then need to look within where we find the faults in our own lives are enough to keep us busy and leave the life cleaning to Jesus. When I see the faults I have in so many areas, who do I think I am to voice my opinion about the life of another. (Pro 16:2 NLT; Pro 17:9 NLT) Looking at our own moral and ethical failures we can empathize/understand others because we so recognize our own need for grace that it “almost” comes natural to extend it to others.

    I heard the other day on the radio, “we are not here to compete against others but to complete each other”. If we are the body of Christ, all kinds of different parts that work together in unison for a common goal so rather than tearing each other up and wanting them to live up to our expectation we can trust the Holy Spirit to do the work of keeping us as one in Christ Jesus all our faults and failures go along with that, trusting God to do the work in us. Whenever we try to do the work of God divisions are created and moral supremacy is demanded which seems to cause strife.

  17. saled says:

    At the conclusion of his post, Mart says that he is wondering if experimenting with the body swap machine is uncovering a need for which we were created. Could it be that we were created to honor the needs of others as well as ourselves?
    And if so, what does that look like?

    Maru mentioned Rwanda, Bosnia, and Dafur and the ‘sad inability of those in power to see others as persons of sacred worth.’ I am so far removed from those situations, but I do have a sense that, as Maru said, the victims are persons of sacred worth. How do I honor their needs? At times like these, I remember the words of a young nurse from Canada who had served among the children of Cambodia. When she was asked how she felt about all the children that she could not help, she replied that she asked God to cradle them in his arms. Could prayer be a way to honor the needs of others?

    Then, what does it look like to honor the needs of others closer to home? The brand of Christianity that I belong/belonged to is evangelical. It has seemed that a person’s need for Christ gives us license to ignore all their other needs, such as the need for respect. I knew someone who was fond of using the phrase “turn or burn” in regards to those who didn’t follow him down the Romans Road. When Jesus said to go into all the world with the good news, I don’t think this is what he meant.

  18. quietgrace says:

    Good morning Pooh! Taking your last sentence a step further it appears that often in the gospels the work of God was to bring strife and create divisions, as Jesus proclaimed more than once. If God is lifted up as the creator of moral supremacy there will be many that do not understand, many who are blinded by the devil, and their own desires for personal pleasure rather than being obedient to God. Matt: 10:34
    Blessings to you, dear Pooh! Grace

  19. quietgrace says:

    The reference I wanted to use is Matt. 10:34-39

  20. cbrown says:

    This morning in church we sang the the following song by Helen H Lemmel. The last stanza is beautiful. “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.
    Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
    His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!”

  21. poohpity says:

    quiet, I do not think that is what we are referring to in this topic. That seems more in line with when we have made a commitment to Christ and the change in our priorities will result in others pushing us away because we have made choices not to participate in the things we once did. On the other hand we can push people away not because of a change in our beliefs but because we “expect others” to live up to our new standards(self serving, judgmental, critical) and that shows we really have not understood our new life in Christ.

  22. poohpity says:

    What I was speaking about is the many times we act like jerks and say it is in the name of Jesus when in reality it a self serving superiority that causes strife by elevating ourselves above others rather than recognizing there is only level ground at the foot of the Cross.

  23. quietgrace says:

    Pooh, I apologize for getting off topic. Please forgive me. I did not mean to confuse anyone with my rantings! Sorry.

  24. street says:

    “The tragedy is when our actions cause negative experiences for another and negative reactions as a result.”

    Would have to categorize Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur as tragedy, in your terms. The sad inability of those in power to see others as persons of sacred worth, by the simple fact of their being alive in the world, has brought about the genocides mentioned above.

    Dear Muru I don’t know if I can call this tragedy like a drama of Shakespearean play of Greek Drama. This is evil on national scale. Animals waging war in self- righteousness. No doubt raised up by God to bring about His purposes. Currently going on in C.A.R. today. As Christians we are to seek justice, mercy, and humility. It is apparent to me we are in over our heads and must turn to God at all times. I think of David and how much blood he shed. So much, he was forbidden to built the temple. It did not stop him from gathering the materials or seeking God.
    In the face of such evil, like 586BC, the people who lend themselves to such pride later are judged for their actions. Some even repent and are saved! My last thought is a quote from Joseph,” Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about [a]this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Awesome power and Glory of God. There is no other.

  25. poohpity says:

    quiet, please forgive me that is not at all what I meant and I apologize if it was taken as an offense. I was just saying that the situations seemed to be different. Please do not be offended, you say whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like.

  26. quietgrace says:

    Pooh, no, you were right, it was not the topic being discussed. I went off on another rabbit trail. Grace

  27. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon, Street —

    Hope I was within the thread of the conversation when I mentioned that my friend Steve has hugely understated the potential for cruel treatment of the defenseless poor by those who have the means to annihilate them (as in the areas we have mentioned, among others).

    I must agree with you that “tragedy” is a mild word for what has been done to the Tutsis, the Bosnians and the people (especially the women) of Darfur, Sudan.

    The implications of the “Being Another” experiment are, to my thinking, applicable to the “evil on a national scale” which you call the horrors of mass killings. The virtual switch, accomplished with video gear, seems to be available only to individuals. I’m sure I would be personally changed by such an experience. Am wondering if the technology might be used as a form of retraining — or treatment for those of us who pursue such evil.

    I am not sure “Being Another” could transform the heart and mind of someone who hates others because they are not like him/her.

    The heart is devious above all else;
    it is perverse—
    who can understand it?
    I the Lord test the mind
    and search the heart,
    to give to all according to their ways,
    according to the fruit of their doings. Jer 17:9-10


  28. poohpity says:

    grace, it is not about being right, I did not think you understood what I was saying (“Whenever we try to do the work of God divisions are created and moral supremacy is demanded which seems to cause strife”) people cause divisions between the family of believers and alienate future believers from a lack of understanding each other or even trying to consider what another is going through or where they are coming from because we put ourselves in the place of God rather than letting God be God and having faith and trust in Him and His work.

  29. belleu says:

    Very interesting comments and subject.

    Mart’s message made me think of the soldier, Bergdahl, who was freed from the Taliban. He is being cruelly judged by many people, even soldiers from his own unit. No one but Bergdahl knows why he walked away from camp that day. Perhaps he had a mental breakdown. War will do that to people. He should not be judged by anyone.

    And the young man Steve wrote about who killed his mother’s boyfriend. Maybe the boyfriend was beating the son or the mother or both of them. If we put ourselves in another person’s place; if we had to go through the beatings or sexual abuse they went through as children – how would we act?

    For me, this is why Jesus said not to judge and to leave all judgement to God. Only God knows what people have been through in this sinful world. For myself, I would never want to inhabit another person’s body and mind even for one day. I would rather just try to understand them.

  30. street says:

    Steve said, “Sometimes in the psychoanalysis of another’s behavior we find unrepentant selfish evil. What then do we do with seeing such an evil heart?”

    Remember how Nathan confronted David with his sin with a story? And David came back with, ” this man must die!”
    And Nathan said the man is you, David. That is crunch time. There is nowhere to hid. I think the best thing to do, prior to confrontation, is take it to God and then put the truth on the table. It may take awhile, for the transgressor, to digest. In the end it leaves the person with a choice. Our society confines evil in prisons, and tolerates many others. Most of us here would agree that the only true answer to evil is a cross and a God who can save and restore people to what we were intended to be. We are a finished work in-progress. Doesn’t here and now just drive you crazy!? Guess I took my eyes off the object of my affections again. Things are much better with vision and focus.

  31. belleu says:

    We may see a person as totally evil and be wrong. I think only God can say who is that way. Nathan was told by God to confront David in a wonderful way.

    Sometimes we may be convicted to confront someone too. I guess that would be after much prayer and with love. It is tricky. How can we really know if we have a log in our own eyes and should say nothing until the log is gone? That is the trouble I have with confronting people.

  32. SFDBWV says:

    One of my favorite movie quotes comes from Agent K talking with soon to be Agent J about keeping alien life secret from the masses. (Men in Black)

    “A person is smart, but people are dumb, panicky, and over react.” I may have gotten it wrong, but the premise is there. An individual is very different than a mob.

    The first recorded murder was between brothers, one jealous of the other and so in a fit of anger took a rock and smashed his brothers head and killed him.

    Had it been possible for Cain to experience Abel’s death from Abel’s experience aforehand, would he have picked up that stone?

    Was it guilt or fear that made Cain complain to God that “everyone who finds him shall slay him.”?

    It is God who puts then a mark upon Cain so that any who find him can recognize him, and know that slaying him brings a sevenfold vengeance upon his slayer.

    Reading on it is Lamech who kills a young man, and Lamech who declares “if Cain is avenged sevenfold then Lamech seventy and sevenfold.”

    Interesting that Jesus uses those same numbers numbers when answering Peter as to how many times are we to forgive another.

    I think it was Grace who mentioned a “Star Trek” episode, I too will use a “Star Trek” story to illustrate. The story was about warring parties on some far distant planet and Captain Kirk and his crew trying to bring about peace. The warring factions hated each other and used racial differences as a basis for the hatred.

    These people in the story were a two toned color of white on one side of their bodies and black on the other. I remember wondering how it was they thought themselves racially different throughout the story until it was pointed out somewhere close to the end of the show that one side was white on the left side and black on the other while the other side was black on the left side and white on the other…Both colors present but opposite.

    When I see genocide being carried out wherever it is I am always amazed that the people who kill are the same as the people being killed, yet there is a deep racial or religious hatred that drives such madness.

    If any one individual could for a moment experience being the other, would they then go forward with killing them?

    But a mob doesn’t seem to think at all and individuals who may never behave in such a way are swept up in a frenzy of madness.

    In a step far ahead of individual thinking and actions, we also see that there are unseen forces, even dominions that hold influence over people.

    Suppose if we could exchange ourselves with those in the spirit world and know what they know or experience what they experience; imagine then how our view would change.


  33. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Steve, you pinpoint the pivot of running with the herd of the world and following the Lord Jesus. You wrote:

    “Reading on it is Lamech who kills a young man, and Lamech who declares “if Cain is avenged sevenfold then Lamech seventy and sevenfold.”

    Interesting that Jesus uses those same numbers numbers when answering Peter as to how many times are we to forgive another.”


    It seems to me that Lamech multiplies injustice and cruelty. He promotes and practices sin.

    In the coming of the kingdom, Jesus multiplies compassion and the Law of Love. He becomes the righteousness of the one who believes in him.

    Can it be as simple as forgiveness trumping unforgiveness?


  34. poohpity says:

    I think it would be nice just to learn to treat people to way we want to be treated.

    If one does not even understand themselves than how on earth will they even attempt to understand someone else. Rather than a body swap just looking in the mirror and coming to terms with what is seen in our own lives (i.e. what motivates us to do what we do) do we even have knowledge or understanding of the grace we receive everyday from the Lord. I think when we understand that we will not be so quick to point a finger at others. With the same measure you use on others it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:37-39 NLT

  35. poohpity says:

    I think it would be nice just to learn to treat people the way we want to be treated.

  36. poohpity says:

    It also helps when we do not blame anyone else for the way we act but take personal responsibility. How can we confess our faults/sins to one another if we do not feel we have them or even confessing them to the Lord takes personal responsibility. (James 5:16 NLT; 1 John 1:9 NLT) I do not think a body swap would be necessary if we even admitted to things that lie within our own hearts because all things are common to man (1 Cor 10:13 NLT)

  37. poohpity says:

    It is very tempting to always pick out the faults and failures in others and leave the one’s in our own lives unchecked. However it is way easier to see what others are doing wrong because it helps us to feel we are better than someone else.

  38. quietgrace says:

    Good morning friends,
    Mart you said, am wondering whether experimenting with “The Machine to be Another” is uncovering a need for which we’ve been created– to not just honor our own needs— but also those whose emotions and thoughts we haven’t tried to understand.
    I think that sometimes no matter how we try to understand those who think and feel differently there is a point where we have to let-go and move on. Is that honoring them? I think so, by letting them be who they are and allowing God to affect change, growth, or whatever.
    Blessings, Grace

  39. belleu says:

    I wish I did have “knowledge of the grace” I receive from God every day. I know it would humble me. I have noticed most people don’t seem to understand themselves very well, so what am I doing? The same thing, I would guess.

    Just yesterday I told my mom something my sister said and that I wasn’t supposed to share. My mouth gets me in a lot of trouble so then how can I judge someone who has a big mouth! I feel bad about my sin and hope my sister will forgive me, but will she judge me harshly? I sure hope not but she has that choice.

  40. street says:

    I was thinking about the comment of not judging.
    We are to make distinctions about what we see and hear. I think the foundation or point of reference you should use is God’s word, Truth. Many times I am on auto pilot and respond instinctively like an animal. I do know God gives discernment to judge a tree by it’s fruit. We are warned not to spend too much time in the shade of a bad tree and certainly not eat it’s fruit. It is dangerous ground to be sure.

    Another though about “Body Swap.” I really don’t think you need to walk in an-others shoes to experience the darkness that is in them. We all walked in that darkness and some times we are reminded of the darkness around us and in us, the board. The light really stands out in darkness.

  41. foreverblessed says:

    Good evening all, I hope that Pentecost was a great shower of God’s Spirit, the Life of Jesus, to you all!
    About not judging: that is so hard! But I hope I have more and more faith in God, that His Spirit will guide me into all truth: not judging, taking the log out of my own eye.
    But we hardly see ourselves, I pray that God will help us to see ourselves as we are. And at the same time see how He is: the Prince of Peace, the everlasting Father, the Morning Star.
    But as the former topic described that God handed us over to disobedience so that He could save us. Romans 11:32 (what a very very great bible verse that is). A person who, say has used drugs, and has seen the consequences of it. That person is soooo determined not to rely on himself anymore, but to give himself over to God, who is able to completely save those who believe in Him.

    We have to come to the end of ourselves to give us over to God, in complete surrender.

  42. foreverblessed says:

    Cbrown, that song is beautiful! How lovely to sing that on Pentecost.
    Here in the Netherlands we also celebrate the Ascension day, that was on Thursday. We had an interdenominational celebration in the big church in the city center, 600 years old beautiful church. There was lost of singing and this time a cathlic pastor had a short sermon, it was so penetrating, so full of God’s truth! It teaches me not to have presumptions about anybody. Something that I have to learn over and over again, no to judge at all.

  43. foreverblessed says:

    sorry, Ascension was on Thursday last week, May 29, 10 days before Pentecost.

  44. quietgrace says:

    Street I have to agree with you there about how we don’t need always to swap-bodies with another to know that what is in them is something to avoid. Yet, knowing that at one time I too was full of nothing but deception and destruction until Christ saw me worthy of saving gives me hope for those deemed unsalvageable. The light truly does shine even in the darkness and especially bright in that deep darkness, giving hope to the lost.
    I wonder if we can we reverse our notion of judging others to mean judging them for God-for salvation? I see a bright light at the foot of the cross.

  45. bubbles says:

    Knowing what another is experiencing does help with understanding and we may extend greater compassion towards another when we understand what is happening or has happened with them.

  46. SFDBWV says:

    The machine explained in the BBC story is a product of modern living. It seems almost like a virtual psychological experience in amusement park format.

    A modern upgrade from those little psychological tests one finds on place mats in restaurants or even with ink blots.

    Ultimately the results will tell you more about yourself.

    Just as Jesus stated that every jot and tittle of the law would be fulfilled before the passing of heaven and earth, He also knows every “jot and tittle” of a person’s being.

    This transcends just knowing a person or even about their experiences, this means God knows us right down to why we are who we are and why we do the things we do…or can’t.

    He understands us far better than it possible for us to even know ourselves.

    We cannot be God, we cannot delve that deep into ourselves and certainly not another, but with so much of what Jesus tells us in this Sermon on the Mount, we are to strive to. To work hard at thinking as He does and acting like He does toward others, which includes having compassion, and attempting to see life perhaps as they do will help in that process.


  47. SFDBWV says:

    Many of us have read books about nearly every character in the Bible. Without exception these books are meant for us to understand (from the authors view) the character of each individual as well as what part their lives were in the process of the Biblical story.

    Many of us adopt the understanding of such characters from reading the thoughts of the author; all speculation and hypothetical.

    Are they accurate?

    Look how many have tried to figure out *why* Eve disobeyed and where Adam was during the event, even why Adam went along with the disobedience.

    One only could accurately understand the actions of Adam and Eve if they could for the moment *be* Adam and Eve.

    In theory this is how we are to interact with other people, trying to understand them to a point of *being* them and so then judging their actions without condemning them…just understanding them, perhaps needing to forgiving them and love them anyway.

    Tell someone that you love them today, even if you can’t *be* them.


  48. poohpity says:

    Wasn’t Adam with Eve? (Genesis 3:6 NKJV) If I were to body swap with Adam/Eve I would find I probably would have done the very same thing they did. Doesn’t our humanity come from our first parents? The one thing they were told not to do, they did. Pride!

    I must have misunderstood the purpose of body swap I thought it was to understand others, not to be them. I have enough trouble living in my own shoes much less thinking the grass may be greener is someone else’s shoes. God made me specifically designed for the path I have been placed on and equipped to live it in dependence on Him. If it were any other way I do not think I would be as dependent on Him as I am. Just to get up and function everyday is a struggle but you know what in all the things I have been through in my life and all the different people I have come in contact with I listened and heard, watched to try to understand and experienced so much to have empathy and compassion.

    Some of the things may have caused my heart to be hardened in self pity, resentment, angry at how life is not fair but the Lord. The Lord uses it so I can understand others and bring comfort. The struggles of Adam/Eve or any other person in the Bible I see a little of myself in their faults, failures, struggles and joys. I understand them because I look within my own heart with the light of the Lord revealing bits and pieces so I will not be overwhelmed at all the work that needs to be done but the joy comes from knowing that it is the Lord who changes me until then I hold very tightly to His mercy and grace.

  49. poohpity says:

    I like how The Message translates Col 3:13; So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

  50. poohpity says:

    That is actually Col 3:12-14 not just 13, oops.

  51. poohpity says:

    Ken Blanchard says, “Humility does not mean you think less of yourself. It means you think of yourself less.”

  52. street says:

    The thought behind the science is not new. It’s ancient wisdom that trying to imagine what it would be like to live in another person’s circumstances, bodies, or shoes, can help us develop a heart for those we are otherwise likely to dismiss or criticize.

    I think the answer to this though is to look to God and not to the one we are considering weather we should love them. I also think, “develop a heart” Jesus speaks about in Luke7:47.
    I conclude that man is bankrupted, nothing to give.

    Since this last section of Jesus’ teaching focuses on treating those we resent with the generosity and heart that God has shown for us (Matt 7:1-11), I’m wondering if there is a remote connection with body swap technology. Because Jesus nets out the message of Moses and the prophets as a combined teaching on relating to others the way we’d want them to respond to us (7:12)—am wondering whether experimenting with “The Machine to be Another” is uncovering a need for which we’ve been created– to not just honor our own needs— but also those whose emotions and thoughts we haven’t tried to understand.

    I think I have made some progress on understanding Matthew 7:3 and Matthew 7:12 in that we are to look to God, not our board or to ourselves in helping another. As for 7:12 we understand we are helped,preserved, and strengthened when we turn to Jesus, so why do we think we can do surgery on someone else when the only answer is for the other to turn to Jesus.
    Thank you Lord. I like this blog format, because there is so much more said then what I can hear in conversation.

  53. quietgrace says:

    A good counselor knows that they can’t change anybody, that the change is up to the counselee to do the hard work required. By offering light to see, as Jesus surely did and does still, we see a higher standard, God, who has all the answers for life now and eternal. I like what you have written out Street. I’m glad you are here. Grace

  54. poohpity says:

    street, yes Mart really has taken us deeper to understanding our relationship with God, the scriptures, others and ourselves. It is quite educational in so many ways.

  55. poohpity says:

    Hey you guys would you pray for me please. I really need some help!

  56. cbrown says:

    Praying right now. Love, Chris

  57. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Late checking in with BTA. Lifting you in prayer, Pooh! May the Lord shield and strengthen you.


  58. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking about our subject this morning reminds me that in truth I would never want to change places another person. It would be enough to be able to swap bodies for a moment and see myself as someone else, but a real invasion of another’s privacy to *know* all their thoughts.

    I read a book quite a long time ago about a man named Peter Hurkos, a man from the Netherlands who as a young man had fallen from a scaffold while painting a house and suffered a head injury.

    He remained in a coma for some time and after awakening he found himself experiencing something quite scary.

    When he touched a person he knew their name and all about them, private things as well as details of their life.

    He even found that sometimes when he touched an object he could know all about the person who had touched the same object.

    Interesting that over time his “ability” got less and less keen and he would never take money in using this *gift* as he considered it a gift to be shared with others for their benefit not his.

    He moved to America after WWII and had some fame being used by police departments helping to solve crimes, his most famous case was the “Boston Strangler”. The police charged a man who was a cellmate of the man Peter said was the murderer, as he confessed, but Peter always said they executed the wrong man.

    I haven’t the time right now to research it, but there is a Bible verse that states in a future time we would all be able to know all the secret things of another. I always thought that there are things held deep in my thoughts I really don’t want others to know, just another example perhaps of exposing hidden sin and wanting to keep it hidden.

    Praying that whatever it is pooh that you see or fear is healed by the One who died so you could have peace.


  59. poohpity says:

    Steve, haven’t read that verse yet and would be interested to know where it is. We all have secret things hidden inside but God knows everyone of them and loves us anyway. That is what’s so amazing about God’s grace. When we bring those things out we will find that we have more in common with others than we think then shame and guilt won’t be such a heavy load as we lay those burdens down before the Lord and others.

    Thank you for the prayers everyone over the next three weeks whenever the Lord place me on your heart please continue. I am forever grateful.

  60. poohpity says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we kept secret our opinions of others because we do not know their hearts and shared the secrets about ourselves that we think would embarrass us.

  61. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    It seems to me, with or without the “Be Another” experiment, we know that another human being has hopes, desires, feelings and inner secrets just as you or I do. That isn’t rocket science, in my opinion.

    Even if the emotion of the moment on my part has me in “defense mode,” I must be awake an alive to my fellow-(wo)man’s humanity: his/her blood is red — and will flow freely when (s)he is cut. Any person of any nationality, creed, color or religious belief has breakable bones and a fragile brain perched atop a delicate column of nerves that can be destroyed instantly upon impact.

    Seems to me it was Grace who pointed out early on in the discussion that it would be worth the trouble of trying a body swap if enemies would put on the virtual goggles and see the world through each other’s eyes.

    Cannot recall a Scripture that says we will all know one another in the last days. I have, however, often taken comfort in God’s word to Israel through the Prophet Jeremiah:

    “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:33-34)

    How could this be except through Messiah Jesus?


  62. quietgrace says:

    Good morning all!
    Pooh praying you will see God’s victory in whatever you are dealing with.

    This morning I’m thinking about Ps. 62, and v.4b says They praise me to my face, but curse me in their heart. Here is where a real body-swap is needed to understand the work of grace. Why do people curse/hate us? Probably because what is in their heart is no different than what is in mine…Matt 15:18-20

    Only the Messiah Jesus could bring such grace and judgement at the same time.

    Isn’t He, Wonderful! Grace

  63. foreverblessed says:

    Praying for you Pooh, so you can Forever be thankful, just kidding. But I am serious about the praying.

    I would also like to comment about what Steve wrote this morning, about the guy who could know everything about person. My father told me a story about his great grandfather, or some predecessor, who knew beforehand what tragedy would occur in the neighbourhood.
    He found this very disturbing, they were very hard on him. Then he went to the church and all the elders prayed for him. As a result of the prayer he was released from the visions. Did not “see” thing anymore.
    I would say, these supernatural things come form the spirit world, but is that spirit world subject to Jesus, and do you want to use these “gifts”?
    They found this answer to the prayer a miracle from God, and the “gifts” were taken away.

  64. poohpity says:

    I believe people still have the gift of prophecy and dreams to bring Glory to God. This is a time when we do not understand something, people tend to poo-poo the idea along with the person. We know that one day all these gifts will fade away but love will always remain. Yes it seems we need to have discernment and compare to the Word. That seems to be one area we are to judge, whether it is from God or not and whether it comes into being. God gave us a brain, we need to use it together with emotions rather than basing things on feelings alone.

  65. belleu says:

    I am praying for you, Pooh. My sister did forgive me for blabbing about something to my mom. Forgiveness feels so good! I love how Jesus also forgives us immediately for anything we do wrong.

    I do think that if we saw what a person’s life was all through their childhood etc. we would understand why they do what they do. Maybe if we try to look on every person we meet as one who has gone through trials and suffering, then we can look with love on everyone along with asking God to fill us with the love we need.

  66. poohpity says:

    So true belleu. One of the first things I wrote in my Bible from a teacher was, “Be kind; because you never know what kind of battles someone has gone through or is going through.” So glad to her about your relationship with your sissy!:-)

  67. poohpity says:

    I think it is very interesting that when God gave the Ten Commandments the first few were about loving and putting God first and only in our lives then the rest were about loving others. That to me says that it is only by putting first things first that we will able to do the latter.

    For instance right now I have been thinking about putting myself in the place of the parents that wanted something better for their children that they sent them hundreds of miles away, alone through the desert with no plan of who will provide for them.(60,000 children from south of our southern border packed into warehouses) I can not imagine doing that but then I thought about when I was using drugs and I did not fight my parents when they got guardianship of my daughter. I thought at the time it would be better for her they had money, a home etc.. I see the results of that decision. However I am still having a hard time understanding but hate or anger will not help in anyway.

  68. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, may God bless you in putting all these things in perspective!

    About the “gifts” of seeing everything, I was thinking about a christian lady in our country who wrote a book, she had been a spiritist, and she could read thoughts of people, or hear them. But when she saw a christians she could not read the thoughts, she only saw a light around their heads. She knew then they were christians. Did you know that?? Our thoughts are shielded for the spirit world, 1 Peter 1:5
    Anyway, when she became a christian she lost that “gift”.
    Of course we as christians can receive visions from the Holy Spirit, and prophecies, but “seeing” everything is not normally what comes from God. the Holy Spirit gives just enough we need, or our fellow men needs, and always with Grace, and in freedom of the Spirit. We have just celebrated Pentecost, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, and the Apostles received gifts of the Holy Spirit, and so can we now, if we are surrendered to God, and say: Let Your will be my will.
    And so we can help one another in love, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Bellue, how nice that your sister forgave you, and how courageous of you to tell your sister!

  69. belleu says:

    Thanks both of you:) I went and read about these children you were writing about, Pooh. I think for a Christian, we could see that if we helped these children then God would provide the means and the way. But we are a free country with the rights to believe what we want, which I like. Maybe this is a job for all the churches in the country to have members adopt or help these kids. I don’t know – it’s just a thought.

  70. bubbles says:

    The unfortunate thing is that most people will assume what others think or feel, and even when they are told differently, will not listen and even tell the other that they are wrong, they know more than how the other person. It’s not right to tell someone how they are feeling or what they are thinking. They cannot possibly know. This is the reality of things. And they will not listen or consider their assumptions are wrong.

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