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Forums > Social Discussion > My agnostic connection with "God"

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:No idea whether or not this warrants is own thread in everyone elses eyes, I thought about throwing this in the "Agnostic and atheist: a discussion" topic... but I didn't feel it fit there.

I AM agnostic, I neither confirm nor deny God.

But I have a systemised view on God I felt an urge to share.

Lets assume I am a believer for the rest of this post because it makes it easier to talk about.

God and I have a connection... If Satan is real I reject his influence.

I do not need to recognise the entity in order to reject his influence. I lead my life according to moral principles, I do my best to reject hate in all forms, I see the bible as mans attempt to control man rather than Gods attempt to control man.


You could say that Satan is a metaphor for 'primal' urges, aggression, lust, unreasonable fear (of which hate is a subdivision)

You could say God is a metaphor for our empathic urges, as well.

In daily life we often have several ways we can react, even to something as simple as someone doing something annoying on the road... someone cuts you off, overtakes you just to drive much slower than you were originally going...

You can get upset by that, even if you don't beep your horn or gesture or any other road rage... or you can accept it as part of the give and take of the road, you can react aggressively even if its just cursing them within your own head... this could be seen as Satans influence.

To reiterate I do not believe in God or Satan though I do not disbelieve either... I do not feel like being unacknowledging of such a beings existence denies my having a relationship with it.

I'm not really sure what I want people to say to this, but I'd like some discussion around it to help flesh out my own base of ideas but mostly to get an idea of what other people think around this topic in general.

Thoughts? Questions? Tea? Biscuits?


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gilim
gilim

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Location: brisbane, australia
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Posted:If you want to explore your relationship with the concepts, try not using the words that already have meaning for you.

Both 'God' and 'Satan' have meanings that will stem from your childhood. Like most childhood inherited memes, they are both very powerful and non-rational. The concept of 'mother' or 'fair' are other good examples.

We live in a world where we can imagine things that do not exist. Most people are dissatisfied with modern democratic systems, not because they have lived in a better system previously, but because they can imagine a better system.

By that I am not saying you should be satisfied with what you get, or only be dissatisfied when you have another realistic option. Just that you should be think about the forces that drive your relationship.

The original meaning behind the word God comes from history; in the bible and in the old world it did not denote a being that is omnipotent omnipresent nor omniscient. The old understandings of God change during the middle ages for political reasons, keeping people in line was more important than whether they actually understood the divine. The stick (Satan) is more important than the carrot (God).

Given how manipulated histories relationship with 'God' and 'Satan' is, perhaps this would be a good point to go back to basics. Work out what you Do believe, start from scratch, see what resonates and what you would like to have in your life.


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Stone
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Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
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Posted:Originally Posted By: MNSyou could say that Satan is a metaphor for 'primal' urges, aggression, lust, unreasonable fear (of which hate is a subdivision).

MNS thats an excellent point, and quite intuitive. Id suggest that if you wanted to explore that type of thinking then head East. Id suggest Buddhism because I know they are always addressing issues like the the five hindrances. More ever, they provide solutions in meditations like the mindfulness of breathing meditation which is a panacea for all human ills.

Or you could go "New Age" and try reading something like the "Power of Now" by Tolle.

Now others might disagree, but I have tried to answer your question from my own experience, without trying to flog any particular philosophy.

Whatever, your questions show you are on the right track.


Cheers smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom
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Posted:"god" - in my understanding (*) - is the impersonification of the "higher self", whereas "satan" is the impersonification of the lower self.... both - by definition - are projections (*)

human - and other beings - are impersonified (or materialized) "consciousness" (so to speak, language is limited)(*)

"the universe", or "consciousness" does not know "good/ high" or "bad/ low" - this derives from duality. IT just IS(*)

All concepts and philosophies are various approaches to explain the same and do wrap around this core. The reason why it is distorted and feels disconnected is because all originates from the same singularity, went to duality (you and me) and experiences (physical) limitations when attemting to return to the singularity in order to again become one. A lot of confusion is out there when it comes to observe the same thing from myriad of angles.

Only when we accept the limits of the physical world, we start out on this journey of non-duality.

To neither accept nor to reject "god" or "satan" is an intelligent step into the discovery of 'what really is'... (*) it's the step to become the observer...

"mindful meditation" is a bit of an oxymoron to me - sorry Stone - as what you're really doing is to become "mindless"... not by rejection, but by embracing the apparatus that is given to you. (*)

Your example of traffic and human behavior within traffic is excellent. As for traffic to work, our minds need to be on the highest possible frequency and constantly evaluate... reactions, like cursing when you get cut off, etc. are simply reactions of panick and fear, as to direct the amount of adrenaline released in your body. Less you identify with the emotions and thoughts coming up in these situations, the better your mental health. It just is (part of the game). Or you can choose to get stuck in it, how much of a "free choice" that is, is matter for discussion.

Because in our attempts to return to the singularity, we accumulate what is called "Karma" and all (re)actions are part of this (*)

It is quite a slippery slope to project "god" or "satan"... (*) there are beings or various qualities and attributes, but there is no such thing as the "ultimate good" or "the ultimate evil" outside yourself, though by projecting it "outside" you may be able to disconnect from it and observe it for a certian period of time.

That's my 2cts for now... "many peoplle take different roads to the same destination" (New York taxi driver) - enjoy yours smile

(*) marks: "as I see it", which is not quite = IM(H)O wink


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:I went through a phase where I read up on buddhist philosophy and my first real reaction was that I should have read it 2 years earlier, because I'd worked out pretty well all of the really useful stuff over a period of discovery I had since leaving high school.

I was told to read the Eckhart Tolle book but i haven't gotten around to reading it just yet... it looks a little too... something for my tastes.

Thanks hugely for your input gilim. Its probably important to note that the basic concept had already been put together without entering "God" into the equation.

Last night, late, while somewhat frazzled I had a conversation with God as I sometimes do. Now... when I say "God" it doesn't mean anyones particular creation of what it is, its part of my agnostic belief that we don't have the powers of perception to guess whether or not its there but also we don't have the powers of perception to guess which form it takes, either. I don't feel locked in by terminology, I merely reverted to those terms in order to communicate the idea to people.

In fact, its those historical connotations that I was trying to address through offering an alternative view on what God might be.


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Posted:Indeed, the idea of breaking human nature down to a duality seems to be quite limited, doesn't it, Tom? I highly doubt that a hypothetical higher being would really be so limited as to do that, but it is a useful tool for examining ones own behaviour.

As a related note to what you said, Tom I tend to view a whole host of processes as going on within the mind to govern behaviour overall. Each process tends to act in very similar ways in people, it tends to be the strength that varies. Fear, insecurity, empathy are examples of these kinds of influences. Insecurity was a big player for me not too long ago and by being 'mindful' of its presence and its effect on the way I behave I was able to give it a good squishing and now have much more confidence. Of course, I don't view myself as perfect, but I have a reasonable assessment on my strengths and weaknesses.


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FireTom
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Posted:is that what you can draw from my post? redface i should sit and review... meditate


... ubbrollsmile ...

you start referring to "us" or "we", in context i figure that you count yourself as part of a group or religion (= Agnostics). That's completely fine, don't get me wrong... just noticing

My post has been based upon yours, in which you are talking about "god" and "satan"... which is duality in its primordial form, innit? i only added, that there (indeed) is more to life than "good/god" and "bad/satan"... which is why i have troubles that you now call my aproach "limited"... umm wink

as i see it, duality helps for the first step - the initial "bang" - the next ones require a lot more than the archaic determination of "the night determines itself by the absence of light".

so i might just have not gotten the point of what you're talking about or inquiring to :beer:

to me it remains a mistery that most philosophies and religions base themselves on the "fear of god" and the "love to satan", when both figures (along with "sin") are only inventions of priests and symbolize extreme aspects of nature(!)... they symbolize in order to teach...

(pls also note that for me ultimately only "nature" exists, the term "human nature" is merely a closer definition... for example: if you picture "consciousness" as "water", you will find that it's the same liquid when poured into a glass, as it is when bottled - only the shape differs, the essence remains the same. So essentially an animal or any being of any shape and form would too have "consciousness", only within a different set of limitations than a human being.

This said, it is exactly that what I find so limited in (general) Buddhist philosophy and why I can say that Buddhist philosophy only comes "closest" to what I adhere to. As one friend put it:

"How can you say that this rock over there has no soul? Just because it is not breathing, because it is not moving? Maybe it moves once every one-thousand-years and you're just too flimsy to stick around that long. Why you base your belief on your (limited) perception only?

Look at this tree, it just "IS"... it is there in full trust that mother earth will provide nutrition and the skies will let it rain... it's not moving anywhere, it's not bothering about what's on TV tonight or paying taxes, so who's the "do-do" of you two?")

There are beings on different "levels" of existence. Whether or not these "levels" do have a different quality only lies in the eye of the beholder. When eye look at the world, EVERYTHING acts as a metaphore of the one fundamental truth.

Life IS quite simple, no?

btw thanks for the cookies... laugh3

wink

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1244961702)
EDIT_REASON: conversation with god


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
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Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTom
My post has been based upon yours, in which you are talking about "god" and "satan"... which is duality in its primordial form, innit? i only added, that there (indeed) is more to life than "good/god" and "bad/satan"... which is why i have troubles that you now call my aproach "limited"... umm


Hooray for the pitfalls of the textually based medium... I got a little too conversationalist, I was agreeing with you and throwing my own perspective on it, I'll add an "indeed" onto it to make that clearer. smile

Originally Posted By: FireTom
you start referring to "us" or "we", in context i figure that you count yourself as part of a group or religion

Where did I do that? I don't see it.

Originally Posted By: FireTom
There are beings on different "levels" of existence. Whether or not these "levels" do have a different quality only lies in the eye of the beholder. When eye look at the world, EVERYTHING acts as a metaphore of the one fundamental truth.


Does this exclude higher beings? With a potential that these higher beings are our own creators or at least, manipulators as we can be with macro organisms that have no working knowledge of us?

Limited perception is right, beyond what we see and feel I don't see that we can even guess, it is just beyond our understanding.

Though, of course, day to day life is quite simple until you start involving other people in yours, that is.


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FireTom
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Posted:ooops, now fell in the same pit... sloppy reading when it came to referring yourself to a group... laugh3

don't understand your question... "higher beings" are not "creators" they themselves are part of creation... some can act as "manipulators", depending on their individual nature. as also in nature you find organisms that are more and others that are less aggressive or parasitical in their appearance.

if looking at human beings in this environment, it's quite the same. we manipulate our environment in order to survive... thus a human being might be "(pro)creator" to his own (vegetable) garden and all the organisms who are depending on his care...

"understanding" / "imagination" - which one is the egg? wink

when approaching "god" nature: this is beyond all pro/creation, it also is beyond knowledge or understanding... (by no means i am trying to imply that i have an "understanding" of what it is - only i start seeing its beauty everywhere, way beyond duality or judgement...)


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
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Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTom
don't understand your question... "higher beings" are not "creators" they themselves are part of creation... some can act as "manipulators", depending on their individual nature. as also in nature you find organisms that are more and others that are less aggressive or parasitical in their appearance.


Well, its possible that whatever exists one plane "higher" than us could have created all that exists on this one. Part of a different set of creation.

They could be primary creation and us secondary, or we could even be tertiary!


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gilim
gilim

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Posted:one of the fun things about religious debates is that we get to argue our metaphysics as facts smile

to bring it back to a more prosaic analysis....

It doesn't seem to matter what we believe, not in an external sense. If there was some validity test that excluded people with incorrect beliefs, it would have shown up by now. Its more important to work out what you want from your beliefs.

If you want your beliefs to be internally consistent, then metaphysical analysis will help. If you want your beliefs to be a candle in the darkness, then you want them to stand by your when logic and rationality fails so more past logic. If you want your beliefs to be unique, then pick something noone else is into or take a standard belief past previous endurance.

mns: If you could say something about why you spend time on your beliefs, what your looking to get out of them, then perhaps we can be more helpful than just telling you what we believe?

There has been plenty of times in history when a single person went against consensus and was right. You don't need to accept any existing framework, but its good to know why you are doing what your doing...

my thoughts
-sam


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FireTom
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Posted:When you plant a garden, sew the seeds, put the water every day and provide nurturing... in the end you may harvest food... but would you call yourself "the creator"?

when i talk about "higher" beings, a different set of "limitations", than - for say - the (human) body and a different set of "possibilities" than - for say - (vocal) speech applies. yet these beings too are part of creation, subject to cause and effect, do have their possibilities and limitations.

it is not so "that whatever exists one plane "higher" than us" did create everything that exists on this one.

using the picture of the garden again: when standing in your garden, would you say "*I* created all this..." ? including the insects that roam there and all rocks that you used for decoration? what about the soil? you also created this? and how about the snail that eats your salad... your creation?

i tell you: not even the seed you've sewn is your creation. even for the case that you jerked off and your carrots sprouted from the very semen at the exact location it hit the ground - as this semen comes through you - you didn't create it. It formed inside your body through processes that lie beyond your control. so how much of "your" garden did *you* really create... ???

shrug

the approach of establishing a hierarchy in "primal", "secondary" or "tertiary" creation is only a game of mind to find out: "who is next in line"...? (for whatever reason) rather than accepting that "all IS"...
because it's your mind trying to establish "control" and "order"... that's its very purpose...

wink


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Posted:I find it fun and interesting, gilim. I like to play around with a lot of different ideas.

Another that is purely for fun is that God is quite simply a being among a race of beings...

Old testament he was an impetuous child or an angry adolescent, constantly seeking attention. New testament he grew up a bit, early 20s or so, dropped the adolescent attitude and sought "an everlasting covenant"

But now he's got a wife and a job and doesn't have time for his toy universe anymore.

I just like hearing about different belief structures. I believe nothing, I like different ideas for breaking things down, but I can do that without involving theistic beliefs, the theism is just a bit of fun to me, really.


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Stout
Stout

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Posted:Quote:"understanding" / "imagination" - which one is the egg?

Imagination for the win. How else would *we* have come up with all these far fetched ideas that there's something out there that's greater than us and actually cares about how we think and act in this mortal plane. It's sort of like the commonly held misconception about dolphins saving you if you find yourself in trouble, floating in the sea. It's comforting to *know* that forces beyond your control will/may intervene on your behalf.

Quote:the approach of establishing a hierarchy in "primal", "secondary" or "tertiary" creation is only a game of mind to find out: "who is next in line"...? (for whatever reason) rather than accepting that "all IS"...

Damn...that's good, cheers.


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FireTom
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Posted:if you draw this from what was was said in my earlier post, then i need to notice that we have a thoroughly differing understanding of what "god" is... regardless of what you (not) believe in.

you said (*scrolls up*)

Originally Posted By: MNSLast night, late, while somewhat frazzled I had a conversation with God as I sometimes do. Now... when I say "God" it doesn't mean anyones particular creation of what it is, its part of my agnostic belief that we don't have the powers of perception to guess whether or not its there but also we don't have the powers of perception to guess which form it takes, either. I don't feel locked in by terminology, I merely reverted to those terms in order to communicate the idea to people.

so who've you been "frazzling" with? *cough* I mean "conversing" *cough* or whatever you've been doing? It's like talking to your self but not quite yourself because you don't really understand or (dis)believe in what you've been talking with or to? wink

i went from a different pretext... so back to scratch: would you be able to explain what you refer to, when using this 3-letter word "g.o.d."?

wink


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTomif you draw this from what was was said in my earlier post, then i need to notice that we have a thoroughly differing understanding of what "god" is...


I don't think I referred to that quote as being directed toward you, some of our dissection lines up and I referred to that.

But then again... I havent slept in 38 hours or so, so I might have said something along those lines, even if I didnt mean it.


God is a theoretical concept, its one of many possible alternatives in how the universe functions. Essentially my view of the possibilities of what can exist in any realm other than this one is limited by only my perception. I'll explain this in terms of my "conversation with god"

Its something I'll tend to do when I'm feeling confused or upset or whatever...

I'll essentially phrase all of my thoughts as questions and then leave a gap with no expectation on the answer. I try to leave my mind as blank as possible so "God" or "a higher being" can interject and answer the question for me. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean I believe its a God or a higher power of any kind, it might just me talking to myself... either way, I don't care. It gets answers and they tend to be fairly decent answers.

Whatever it is, it tends to remove a lot of my own bias from the equation.


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FireTom
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Posted:So to you "God is a theoretical concept" that you have conversations with, when you're confused or upset or haven't slept in 38 hrs.. and/or it is "one of many possible alternatives in how the universe functions"... ??

i need some time here

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Stone
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Posted:Originally Posted By: MNSI went through a phase where I read up on buddhist philosophy and my first real reaction was that I should have read it 2 years earlier, because I'd worked out pretty well all of the really useful stuff over a period of discovery I had since leaving high school.

I was told to read the Eckhart Tolle book but i haven't gotten around to reading it just yet... it looks a little too... something for my tastes.

Fair enough MNS, Im impressed about the learning on Buddhism. The only thing I can add, is you may like to explore Tao.



Originally Posted By: Fire Tom"mindful meditation" is a bit of an oxymoron to me - sorry Stone - as what you're really doing is to become "mindless"... not by rejection, but by embracing the apparatus that is given to you. (*)

Fire Tom, thats a common misconception. The mindfulness meditations are about developing the ability to be present or awake in every day life, which comes from regular practice. Here is a little bit of information from wiki on meditation.

Samatha is a subset of the broader family of Samadhi ("concentration") meditation practices. Buddhism began by encouraging its practitioners to engage in smrti (sati) or mindfulness, that is, developing a full consciousness of all about you and within you -- whether seated in a special posture, or simply going about ones life. This is the kind of meditation that Buddha himself engaged in under the bodhi tree, and is referred to in the seventh step of the eightfold path.

Soon, Buddhist monks expanded and formalized their understanding of meditation. The bases for all meditation, as it was understood even in the earliest years of Buddhism, are shamatha and vipashyana.

Shamatha is often translated as calm abiding or peacefulness. It is the development of tranquility that is a prerequisite to any further development. Vipashyana is clear seeing or special insight, and involves intuitive cognition of suffering, impermanence, and egolessness.

Only after these forms were perfected does one go on to the more heavy-duty kinds of meditation. Samadhi is concentration or one-pointed meditation. It involves intense focusing of consciousness.

Samadhi brings about the four dhyanas, meaning absorptions. Buddha refers to samadhi and the dhyanas in the eighth step of the eightfold path, and again at his death. Dhyana is rendered as Jhana in Pali, Chan in Chinese, Son in Korean, and Zen in Japanese, and has, in those cultures, become synonymous with meditation as a whole.

cheers


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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aston
aston

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Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_SonI'll essentially phrase all of my thoughts as questions and then leave a gap with no expectation on the answer. I try to leave my mind as blank as possible so "God" or "a higher being" can interject and answer the question for me. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean I believe its a God or a higher power of any kind, it might just me talking to myself... either way, I don't care. It gets answers and they tend to be fairly decent answers.

Whatever it is, it tends to remove a lot of my own bias from the equation.

Interesting idea. I can see how it would work as well without actually needing a god or higher power to actually answer, although that might be just me again.

My view is that I am indifferent. I trust that if there is actually a higher power that judges, that actually following the precepts laid down by most religions (do no harm etc) will count for more than merely believing in it (the power).
This does require a rational higher power, which may or may not be warranted.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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georgemc
georgemc

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Posted:Originally Posted By: gilim ...Its more important to work out what you want from your beliefs.
If you want your beliefs to be internally consistent, then metaphysical analysis will help. If you want your beliefs to be a candle in the darkness, then you want them to stand by your when logic and rationality fails so more past logic. If you want your beliefs to be unique, then pick something noone else is into or take a standard belief past previous endurance.

Now that is something worthwhile - cheers! beerchug


Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.
grin

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FireTom
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Posted:am podering to copyright "god", because it's been MY idea! at least "meditation" has been wink

Stone, so we've been lost in semantics again, thanks for clearing that up...

MNS: if that "god" is merely an "intellectual concept"ion to you, then I might not be of too much help.

Are you trying to define what "god" actually IS.. a "higher" being, a deity, a life force, whether he/it can be impersonified and viewed as someone creating universes and then after some time - after having gotten married with "godess" - now too busy to care for his "toy universe"... at least "planet"?

(You feel that this universe is not being taken care of?)

This (to me) sounds like trying again limiting "god" to a (human) form, to drag him/it down to our existence...

I would say that aiming to grasp god by intellect (alone) usually fails... maybe one might be able to create a philosophy or maybe even get to the stage of creating a religion... but it usually ends right there.

Some people do achieve great "clarity" when they take psychodelic substances, yet this clarity is usually followed by an even greater confusion and most of what they believe to have recognized "on" soon fades, when "off".

So - similar to what Stone recommends - if your on a "quest" or "mission" to find out what "god" is for you, I'd suggest "clarity of mind and practise of meditation"... Tolle is quite fashionable - with the benefit of being a "modern" author, for the western mind easier to access than the Baghvat Gita or the Bible - some powerful tools have been developed by Osho too, worth looking into that either.

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTom
MNS: if that "god" is merely an "intellectual concept"ion to you, then I might not be of too much help.


You've got your own intellectual concept of what may or may not exist beyond this realm and thats 'help' to me since I'm just wanting to get a feeling for other peoples views on God that aren't the typified views set out by formal religion.

I feel the planet isn't getting the care it once was if the tales of the bible are from God in any way. Maybe he has less time and therefore intervenes less, has seen the folly in trying to control such an unwieldy population such as humans or maybe he's just nicked off. Perhaps someone else has picked up the universe.. he could have sold it.

I don't feel I'm bringing him down to a human level, I'm just pointing out the fact that just because something exists in a 'higher' realm than us it does not automatically mean they are perfect and infallible.

Seeing any higher being as being perfect limits your own conception of what might exist beyond here. As I said I'm purely agnostic, I don't believe we can ascertain anything about the realm beyond us (if it even exists) There is no possibility that is any more plausible to me than any other.

The flying spaghetti monster is just as likely as anything else.

Or perhaps God is more limited than man? Perhaps this God creature DOES think in black and white, right and wrong? Maybe there are no shades of grey.

This creatures experience would be limited to what it knows in its own realm and it may well operate under very different rules than our own. There was something in Mark Twain in which he characterised a fictional Satan (I think the satan he referred to was the nephew or something like that to the Satan that we usually refer to) as having said something along the lines of "I can do no Evil for I do not know what it is."

I've already stated that I'm not on a quest to find what God is to me, I'm just interested in hearing what it is to others. God to me is nothing as much as it is everything.

Its a wide open realm of possibility in which nothing is necessarily static.

Conception of anything beyond here is merely a tool for understanding, categorising and dealing with what we see on earth. I have no set concept and I don't seek to have a set concept.

Most of the time I seek to understand, categorise and deal with things without religiosity attached.

I like my own systems of understanding, so none of the new age stuff has ever appealed to me, I've got a very systemised approach to how I deal with things and I feel its working quite well for me so far. In that way books like The Power of Now do not interest me... what I am looking for here is just other peoples personalised conceptions around what lies beyond and how that applies to their lives.


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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Hope this dousn't sound cocky:

1) haven't read "PoN" myself
2) wouldn't indicate - and sorry if this came across as such - that YOU have ever been, are right now or ever will be taking psychotropic substances. I was taking it as an example for "flashes of clarity" and on another thread I've been referring to your sleep deprivation, which (at least to me) is like "tripping".

It has been poorly worded, please accept my apology. Not meant to offend or belittle your approach.

3) there are indefinite numbers of definitions about what "god" actually is and I would guess that there are at least as many as there are people out there, if you'd ask into detail.

If you - and this I was assuming from the beginning and seem to have been right, then got confused about it - are inquiring about *our* definitions of what "god" actually is, how we perceive him/it etc, then the title of this thread is not chosen wisely, because I for my part would not call myself "agnostic".

I tried to offer my perception, without any obligation to agree or dissent.

In the attempt to transmit this perception I am limited to words and language and especially within the frame of an online real-time bulletin board. Thus I use examples. It appears that those do not resonate within you, you start to feel offended by my choice of wording. Maybe it is so, maybe not.

When mentioning "higher beings" I have not been referring to "god", I explained that "the flying spagetti monster" too is part of creation, not "the creator". Maybe to some it is - I can't help them to see beyond this limitation. I was clearly talking about "higher beings" experiencing "limitations" - and certianly NOT being infallible.

What you quoted above "I can do no evil, for I do not know what it is"... I've tried to explain that only in the world of duality "good" and "evil" exist... beyond this limitation it only IS THAT.

As long as you are caught up in limited perception of yourself and your surrounding, of the condition of the planet or the universe, there is little that I can do to make you understand what I am talking about.

As long as we're fuddling on the term "god" as in "a higher being" (experiencing limitations, getting drunk, being an angry child, or a psycho... (and sorry, no offence meant but some religions' definition of god to me sound like he/it is)) we're caught on the first step.

And to answer your question: "god" is... even the term "universe" does not grasp what "god" is (to me) because the universe is part of creation and "god" is beyond creation. "God" to me is that what has been here, prior to .... take it as the "big bang" and what will still be here, after the cosmos collapses... "god" (to me) is the very force that caused the "big bang" in the first place and that is going through all: manifest or metaphysical.

Along the line: "God is within and without, nothing exists or ceases to exist except god"

Does that narrow it down for you?

wink


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
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Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTomIf you - and this I was assuming from the beginning and seem to have been right, then got confused about it - are inquiring about *our* definitions of what "god" actually is, how we perceive him/it etc, then the title of this thread is not chosen wisely, because I for my part would not call myself "agnostic".

To quote myself...

Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_Son

I'm not really sure what I want people to say to this, but I'd like some discussion around it to help flesh out my own base of ideas but mostly to get an idea of what other people think around this topic in general.

Thoughts? Questions? Tea? Biscuits?



When I created the thread I just wanted to get a bit of a discussion going and that was the kicker, the thread states that I am an agnostic... not everyone else who posts.

Originally Posted By: FireTomIt appears that those do not resonate within you, you start to feel offended by my choice of wording. Maybe it is so, maybe not.


I really have no clue where you're getting that one from... If I've said anything to your discussion then it was merely to clarify precisely what you've said... I have no belief in this so nothing can offend me in this discussion unless it were to come to personal attacks.

On limitation I think the problem was with my language and an oversight.

I used the word "your" but I did not refer directly to you, FireTom, I referred to the people reading it that needed to hear it.

The oversight was in not actually addressing you before I'd done that, but it just works on a sliding scale, why is it that the next realm couldn't be quite humanised? I did address this in the "what if god was more perceptually limited than man" component.

I apologise for this communicative error.

Originally Posted By: FireTomAs long as you are caught up in limited perception of yourself and your surrounding, of the condition of the planet or the universe, there is little that I can do to make you understand what I am talking about.

It was my point that its possible that the concept of good and evil don't exist beyond this reality, thats part of why I dropped that quote in.

Please don't take my questioning as 'questioning your beliefs' I am only questioning your beliefs. That is to say, I would just like to know more about how you come to certain conclusions.

What makes you feel you can perceive beyond this plane? All our organs that collect the senses that we then perceive exist within this realm and none of them are programmed to pick up anything more than what we all know they do, so why would we be able to perceive something we can't touch, taste, smell, hear or see?

Originally Posted By: FireTomAs long as we're fuddling on the term "god" as in "a higher being" (experiencing limitations, getting drunk, being an angry child, or a psycho... (and sorry, no offence meant but some religions' definition of god to me sound like he/it is)) we're caught on the first step.

I don't quite understand what you're getting at here. My point was that the way God is defined in some religions appears that it may well be an angry child or that sort of thing...


When I've referred to "god" I've usually referred to god in a theistic sense, the god of the bible. My point was that "God" may well be part of a group of beings capable of creating their own universe and yet still intervened on earth to create all our dogma. Maybe thats why he wanted us to worship no other... It could also be that many 'higher beings' try to stake out their own turf in the world by influencing people to worship them... perhaps thats why theres the whole "thou shalt not worship false idols" thing...

So for you there is a creator being God that is outside the rules of all realms?


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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
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Posted:help I rather edit my previous post and take it all back, pretend that everything is consensual... Since the gun thread I do have issues with this way of quoting again and again...

As this being an online discussion, please be aware that some things SOUND different, than intended. I could now go on and endlessly try to explain myself, btdt...

If you kindly scroll up and re-read that last paragraph of my previous post, it pretty much explains what I mean, when using the term "god"...

Originally Posted By: myself"god" (to me) is the very force that caused the "big bang" in the first place and that is going through all: manifest or metaphysical

You can do with the flying spaghetti monster, that's fine with me. Or you can do with the "god" that is described in the old testament: a rather aggressive, unforgiving parent (an I for an I) who - as well as in the new testament - gives his children ONE chance and then it's either "up" or "down"...

[disclaimer: I'm not dismissing christian, judaist nor muslim belief systems, I am only certain that in order to transmit the idea of a (mono)theist "god", "he" was identified with a set of attributes, an "ego" so to speak. "he" was "created" by humans, so other human beings (who were on a very early stage of development and knowledge) would be able to comprehend with the idea - if you would like to get it plain: first there was "one" emanating in "all" (animist), then these "emanations" were personified (pantheon; Zeus) and next "we" were coming back to that "one" (monorail)... but how to explain that to a bunch of "dodos"? So "he" needed a face and most often "he" got the one of the cultural, geographic backdrop. Worse, the same priests who worshipped the Roman pantheon (and didn't quite understand what Jesus has been talking about) now got the task to translate their "old system" into the "new system"... aka Roman Catholic and sure they kept as much as possible of that which was already working for centuries...]

You can start waling past that (welcome to the 21st century).

But it seems as if you still meddle with "higher beings" - like "god" being some adolescent peep out of a group of spinsters, created his playground and now got tired of it... I tried to explain to you that MY "definition" of the very term "g.o.d." is way beyond that.

Look at your screen now... what do you see?

You see the letter "S" . . . no? Now figure:

I don't even talk of pixel "S"... but of

00100010 01010011 00100010

got it now?

smile

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1245080330)
EDIT_REASON: put it bold ;o)


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:I dont have a single concept, these are just the ones I'm throwing out there. As stated... most of my religious thought is centred around enjoyment and I am quite a silly person in a lot of ways... that kind of idea is quite funny to me.

You seem pretty keen to pin a set of beliefs to me... you can pin them all you like, but they'll fall of because I believe nothing.

What tells you the binary is there? Is it an inference you draw from what you see around you? You see an S and extrapolate the binary?

We never see the fundamental code of our universe, so how do you go about justifying its existence? What I'm saying is... do you rely on a "sixth sense" as most religions do and in what way do you employ it?

Buddhists employ theirs through mindfulness and meditation, Christians through blind trust.

Where do you fit?


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FireTom
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Posted:I'm not pinning anything to you. I am responding to what you throw out there, even if you only play "devils advocate", brother... hug

But how dare you say "we never see the binary code of our universe?" who are you talking for? only because you can't see it and you have a few peeps to back up your opinion?

Now: Are you trying to tell me something or you asking me a question? Because I find so many that come up and ask (me) to teach *them* something, only for them to teach me - that indeed they don't want to learn anything... they only want to "know", not to "learn"...

When I am referring to Buddhists and Christinanists I try to do this in vastly generalized terms to create a certain, defined image in order to transmit something... I hope you do the same and you keep in mind that I've said: "out there are maybe as many concepts of what "god" is, than there are people on this planet, if you ask in detail" ... maybe even more than that, but only few people can "talk" to animals, trees and stones wink I'm not saying that any already or soon-to-be-estabished religion is "wrong". I'm stating that the definitions have been and are used at corresponding times to explain something to people in their individual environment and set of mind.

Last time someone asked *me*: "are you Christian?"
I replied: "no, I'm Tom."

So if you're trying to put me into a drawer, recognize that it is a reflex of your mind to categorize (same as you're already doing with "primary" .... "tertiary creation"). But maybe you don't want to "hear" anything, you're only trying to "argue" with me as "to shape your own opinion". But how could I shape your opinion?

Are you asking life to "shape" you... ? Careful brother, as for "shaping" usually very hard tools are used... not feathers. If you're up for this...

The only reason why life could "proove" *me* anything is because I was ready to let go - an empty hand can receive a blessing, or give a slap... matter of choice.

Nor am I trying to convince or convert you to any belief system - least my own - neither can I myself be coined "Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or Sectarian"... I'm not saying that you're "wrong"... vice versa: I'm saying you're "right": nobody can proove anything to you.

You need to get clear on whether you ask to learn or ask to argue. If you ask to argue on spiritual, metaphysical realms then it's highly unlikely that I stick around too much.

Much better for me to refer to what gilim has said:

Originally Posted By: gilimIt doesn't seem to matter what we believe, not in an external sense. If there was some validity test that excluded people with incorrect beliefs, it would have shown up by now. Its more important to work out what you want from your beliefs.

If you want your beliefs to be internally consistent, then metaphysical analysis will help. If you want your beliefs to be a candle in the darkness, then you want them to stand by your when logic and rationality fails so more past logic. If you want your beliefs to be unique, then pick something noone else is into or take a standard belief past previous endurance.

Thanks for engaging me in this discussion and make me reflect on my reactions and aware that my English still is so poor that I can't really communicate what I'm receiving. Thanks for showing me (again) how I should eventually reread and rather not post anything to anyone who drags me into an argument.

You enjoy your "agnostic connection to "god"", what/whoever you perceive him/it to be.

But let me finally ask you in return to which subdistinction of Agnostics you would count yourself:

* Strong agnosticism
* Weak agnosticism
* Apathetic agnosticism
* Agnostic atheism
* Agnostic theism
* Ignosticism

(you may tick more than one)

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
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Posted:We don't see it, I'd assume we don't get to sense it in its true form, even if one is operating in an 'enhanced state' of some kind...

You said there were as many concepts of god as there were people if you were to ask in detail. I was asking you yours in detail. How is it you feel you perceive the binary code of the universe?

I wasn't trying to categorise you, I brought up examples of the way in which two commonly understood groups employ very different methods of understanding the binary code of the universe in order to clarify precisely what it was I was asking and offering you some examples of ways you could respond by discussing your similarity/difference from these established understandings.

I'm not arguing... I don't believe anything to argue with or against. I'm just seeking in depth understanding of how other people perceive.

I shape myself pre-theism. In fact, it could be more true that I shape my theistic playtime around my understanding of the world.

Argue is 100% the wrong word to use, Tom. I seek to understand, that is all. "Learn" implies that I take it on as truth and understand it from the heart and that takes faith. I'm interested in understanding peoples alternative conceptions, not in being converted or indeed in converting myself.

I haven't studied those terms as I don't seek to categorise out of habit but after having looked over them its strong agnosticism as I've stated through my beliefs in this thread thus far.


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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
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Posted:Originally Posted By: MNSWe don't see it, I'd assume we don't get to sense it in its true form, even if one is operating in an 'enhanced state' of some kind...

Have you ever operated on "enhanced states of some kind"? If yes, what did you see?

Originally Posted By: MNSI was asking you yours in detail.

i answered that one smile

Originally Posted By: MNSHow is it you feel you perceive the binary code of the universe?

right now by looking at your responses and feeling a little exhausted, because i simply used "binary code" only as an example as in vs. "letterS" and "pixelS" and immediately you jump on and cling to it...

sidenote: please try to use punctuation, my attention span decreases the longer the sentences get... wink

Originally Posted By: MNS(...)you could respond by discussing your similarity/difference from these established understandings.

you will have to bear with the way I put it. however i learned that sometimes "understanding" takes not only "attention" but also "time". meaning that (if open for and truly inquiring into it) life will teach you what is needed to understand... so just take it as it is for a couple of days and keep open... it will come to you.

now you need to grant me pardon to rip it out of context. you're saying that you "don't believe anything to argue with or against" - at the same time you start this thread with a conversation with "god" that you had... and now shape yourself "pre-theism"... and would categorize yourself as "strong agnosticism"... that (to me) is inconsistent. either you do believe in something (which you have conversations with) or you are only speaking to your self. yet you use the word "god" without applying any background to it... therefore using it as a mere phrase without depth... might completely misunderstand your approach - given - sometimes i like that... but (to me) it's like having a lover and denying to be in a relationship...

Originally Posted By: MNSWhere do you fit?

I fit everywhere

peace


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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

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Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
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Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTom
right now by looking at your responses and feeling a little exhausted, because i simply used "binary code" only as an example as in vs. "letterS" and "pixelS" and immediately you jump on and cling to it...

So you interpret your own emotions? You just feel it? You don't want to talk about it? I'll drop it. . .

I don't feel theres any inconsistency in anything I have said thus far... I never claimed to believe any of the theories I put forth... I have stated several times that there is no possibility that holds any more plausibility than any other.

I hold no belief in the flying spaghetti monster but I acknowledge its possible. I hold no belief in god, but I acknowledge its possible.

The same goes for The Great Pumpkin from Charlie Brown or the Magnificent Celestial Watermelon.

The angry child god is as plausible as a head of lettuce with a funnel stuck in it. The amazing powers of lord lettuce bore into our hearts and minds, giving us the strength to persevere while the funnel allows us to focus our thoughts and actions into the hearts of others.

But its not all one sided, of course... we shouldn't forget the rotten avocado who with his oily minions seeks to destroy our lord lettuce and replace him with a cabbage or maybe some Harry Potter labelled stationary.

Excuse my feeble attempts at humorous satire but are you getting the idea?

I don't believe anything... but I do not disbelieve anything either. Thats the definition of "strong Agnosticism" as I understand it.

I stated my 'conversation with God' is just as likely me talking to myself as it is any kind of being beyond my complete understanding.


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FireTom
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Posted:just to sweep this one up:

no sorry, me don't get your idea and (even if it may have come across differently) i did not belittle your approach or mock you.. maybe i need to be more carefully asking questions. me feels you got offended at some stage and since then it's a tit-for-tat... maybe i should have not offered you an apology for i have not intended to offend you at any time. it now might have turned into a habit or (power)game...

i only explained what this three-letter-word "god" is in my understanding... not more, not less. what you draw from this is entirely yours. i'm not saying anything of what you or me or anyone should do or leave or do with this, not even one word that you have to adapt to it...

you choose to be "indifferent" or "ambivalent" about it, that's your ggiven right to do. to me, no form applies to "god" - and if you can't comprehend with, at least try to respect it.

beerchug


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