For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlink above it. You could also consider addressing any comments in situ, rather than here. – Thanks.
May 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm
“But why insert the concept of “God” at all?”
A concept is not much use to anyone really. I’m more into the experiential side of the quest.
“Whence cometh this need in the first place?”
I think it is an instinct very similar and related to science. Man trying to live up to his full potential. An increasingly conscious engagement with evolution. etc.
But that’s just me.
Perhaps you know,… where in the DNA molecule does instinct express itself?, or,…what is self awareness all about? etc.
Anyway, I’ve given it my best shot. I like your blog. Thank you for letting me participate.
“I would prefer things which have some existence outside our own heads.”
The “preference” itself resides somewhere. Is it more or less real than the tree outside your window?
Our “heads” in relation to “God” are no more inside than outside.
“To my knowledge, invisible spirits don’t fall into that category.”
The Infinite Totality is not an “invisible spirit”. Conceiving of God as anything less than the Entirety, should be impossible. The majority of Christians, do their darndest to though. Putting God outside of Creation.
Which, please consider, sounds a lot like “prefer(ing) things which have some existence outside our own heads.”
I’m hoping that you don’t feel I’m attacking you. This point can be pretty elusive, but passing on, “God does not exist”, to our children, and leaving it at that, is as crippling as indoctrinating them with some of the religious nonsense that Atheists so rightly despair of.
It might be better to say “God does not exist. God is existence.”, and leave it at that.
samdouglas77 – “brmckay – if you think christianity isn’t anything to do with god i think you might be in need of a bit of introspection yourself ”
What I said was:
“The first effect of not being a Christian anymore, would be, just not being Christian anymore. What’s it got to do with God?”
Christianity, in all its various permutations, Is a cultural construct. An aggregate of related qualities and characteristics. It could be thought of as a phenomena, or an object in time and space. It has the same relationship to the Totality as any other phenomena or object. It is only seemingly distinct and separate.
The phenomena of godlessindixie’s disengaging from the above described construct, in no way alters God.
Sorry if I didn’t make it clear.
What do you mean by “introspection”?
May 30, 2013 at 9:27 am
Becoming an Atheist, you have merely left one congregation for another. Each has its own dogma. Each goes out and seeks converts. This is what I meant by swinging past the center.
Are you sure you want to invest in that model again?
What about just pure contemplation of “God” without pre-packaged mental constructs. You could even still call it atheism. Just ask a Zen master.
Cultivating curiosity about the Singularity and it’s relation to man is another suggestion.
If that is truly impossible, repugnant, or not interesting, then that is what you should say – about yourself. Not “there is no god”.
Saying that ‘there is no God’ because we can’t prove it, assumes way too much at the start of the inquiry. Better to say “there is no inquiry”.
But why throw the baby out with the bath?
Seems to me, the release of tension has caused the pendulum to swing past the center.
The first effect of not being a Christian anymore, would be, just not being Christian anymore. What’s it got to do with God?
You’ve taken another step after that. What type of contemplation went into it?
godlessindixie – “The scientific method teaches you to think about things differently, to question what you believe. If something cannot be verified through some reliable means outside your own head, it is immediately suspect. ”
I would suggest that the idea, “God does not exist”, is also inside your own head.
godlessindixie – “So be patient. For them, God does exist.”
For “them” a variety of ideas about the nature of God exist. Those ideas, are often quite unsophisticated. This would be a limit of the individual not of God.
nviktorkol – “We know that the concept of a deity is an existential construct and not an objective reality.”
It is true. The “concept of a deity” is a just that a concept. Even though the “concept” itself is an objective reality it is not the reality that it refers to.
The finger pointing at the moon is just that, a finger.
May 28, 2013 at 8:48 am
I find that getting out of the way is the only ticket.
Has anyone noticed the clarity* of thought, as consciousness percolates up out of sleep?
Before the busyness of habits and attitude sets in for the day.
* ripe with authenticity
May 27, 2013 at 11:33 am
Something is getting lost in this “wait till we die” or “badger God into fixing the world” debate. The concept of “Us Practicing Being Jesus”.
Learning any skill to a mastery level involves a period of increasing effectiveness. Honing of efficiency to the point of effortlessness.
Relative results depending on the apprentices level of commitment; weak/lukewarm/intense.
The acolyte is guided by the Guru. (Why has nobody brought up the “Holy Ghost” anywhere in this Blog?) . The Teacher cannot do it for the student. Only point the way. The reason, is that the disciple’s goal is to perfectly assimilate the teachers skill/wisdom/being.
To become a musician, you become music.
If we are attached to our adoration of Jesus the work of salvation does not get finished. Just as surely as worldly attachment perpetuates suffering.
May 27, 2013 at 10:53 am
“It’s a pretty simple concept, really.”
As any good metaphor should be.
This one especially has legs on it.
May 27, 2013 at 10:39 am
” From a Christian perspective…I believe that He(God) knows more about suffering than I can begin to comprehend”
From a not specifically Christian perspective; I would suggest that it is not so much like God knows about suffering, but that it is God suffering through us.
How else could it be.
Also, this “free will” we talk about is not ours. Like suffering, it is God expressing free will in countless ways.
This “us” we talk about can only be God wearing different hats.
If it seems otherwise, that can only be the work of God, as the trickster thief, fooling himherself.
May 27, 2013 at 10:21 am
I would suggest that “hell” is created as a natural result of not understanding God. The cumulative actions of inverted souls.
As for eternal. That can only ever mean now.
May 27, 2013 at 9:54 am
We should stop anthropomorphizing God. Remember, we are missing pieces.
For best results, turn it around the other way.
The Dog eat Dog nature of things. Is the natural effect of splitting things into two. Without the tensions created in this way the world/universe would not be.
There would be no journey back home since we would never have left.
No love of God for man. No love of man for God.
The Buddha would suggest that attachment to a different idea of reality than actually is, would be the root of suffering.
I see practicing non-attachment as equivalent to “Trusting God”.
May 26, 2013 at 11:14 am
I like Brent’s summary. No problems mate.
But instead of me following up by expounding on “karma”, “maya”, “reincarnation” etc. , I re-read John’s Post.
Very elegant and succinct. No urgent need to complicate things. So I won’t.
May 26, 2013 at 6:57 am
Lymis has said this very clearly but I will paraphrase (and probably distort) it a little.
There are stages to the evolution of thought about, and the experience of , the nature of God. Quibbling with details of the levels that you have already past through, or leaped over, leaves you inattentive to the next thing. A better understanding unfolding right before your eyes. Or would be, if you turned around.
The thing about God is just giving credit where credit is due. To the best of your current ability.
Perhaps, you’re ready for more. It helps to not want or expect anything from enquiry. Perhaps just cultivating your curiosity.
I personally don’t think in terms of free will, but rather freedom. First, however, I had to study on how I wasn’t really free already.
May 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm
For me, as long as there is a sense of otherness, God as God makes sense. I am like a duckling paddling behind it’s mother.
But, contemplating the nature of God, reason and Intuition lead me away from separateness. When this understanding is strong, then God is completely everything. God as God does not exist and neither do I.
Ebb and Flow.
This process is itself the nature of God, experienced as mortal flesh.
Losing track of the “neither do I” part of the equation is where we get in trouble. Then, knocking God off “his” throne just leaves us orphaned in a sea of pain and predation.
May 24, 2013 at 11:16 am
Wonderful! I aspire to a fraction of this clarity.
May 24, 2013 at 10:20 am
@Ronald ‘s reply to my reply
Sorry Ronald it got purged. I suspect because of the ridicule factor. (Seemed sort of irrational for someone who wants to be thought of as rational.)
I did suggest that orienting yourself to the finite (quantifiable) aspects of the universe is fine for someone who needs to do it that way. It is hardly the whole picture though.
I’m curious, when you present your own list of questions about facts such as the speed of light, number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, etc., are you saying that these are more “meaningful” than the questions I presented above?
Because, later you go on to say that knowing the answers to those types of questions means knowing that the earth is a very small part of the Universe. And because it is small it is “meaningless”? Is the Universe also meaningless? Is the knowledge we gain through science meaningless as well?
The Universe without the Earth, would of course fall apart at the seams.
What is gravity?
May 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm
What would the Emergent Property of Infinite Potential be like?
Just look around.
Where do you think the finite comes from?
What is the prototype for your sense of self?
What aspect of this self dies when the body associated with it dies?
After contemplating the first question presented above? Is self finite or infinite?
If your answer is finite, then carry on as you are.
If the nature of self is infinite. As Jesus demonstrated, would the self really be like the “pseudo” infinities of unending mathematical sets? Or…truly infinite. The single “I am”. The Self. God.
What does “resurrection” mean?
May 22, 2013 at 11:52 am
clevedotoner – “what figurative and broad view would make the message of JC compatible with the message of Krishna?”
Non-difference from God. Both cases identical.
How would the words sound if they came out of your mouth?
Finger pointing at the moon.
May 22, 2013 at 12:34 pm
gregory – “As Jesus’s basic commandment, that we love our neighbor, as our selves ”
Inch by inch…. we approach it.
our neighbor is our self.