Why Believe????

louis

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just there

if this is true.. why insist that it be called "I"? by what modality are you able to determine this "I" that is "just here"?

From Louis...
There's a saying which goes ....
"Am I a man dreaming I am a butterfly... or... am I a butterfly
dreaming I am a man ?"
Whichever IT is that's doing the dreaming - THAT is "I"...
 

neon_sheep

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I am Christian, so yes, I believe in God.
I was athiest for quite a while, and though religion was simply ridiculous and for the weak. I really started to mess my life up and make horrible mistakes, I was terribly depressed, among other things. One day, I suppose in one of my better moods..I saw how beautiful the world is. I saw everything around me and how it was a lovely harmony, and I came to the conclusion that all this couldn't be some cosmic accident; that it had to have been orchestrated in some way. Yet, I didn't consider myself a Christian at that time. I began to research Christianity and I just felt a closure, as if I accepted all I don't understand and this unexplainable amount of love. Ever since I accepted Jesus I have been happy..I mean not always giddy and smiling but even in hard times I feel hope. I also came to the realization that EVERY human being is weak, and we all need something. I believe that we all need God, but we often replace it with other earthly things when we don't have God. Well, I hope I answered your question in my long rambling.
--Taryn
 

scullysongs

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Wow, what a question. To give the ridiculously condensed version of an answer, yes, I have seen and experienced proof of God, the Source, the One...I was raised in a religiously eclectic home so I don't have a clear background to blame for my convictions. We are of the Source, we can all access that Source and the only thing that stands between us and Divinity is our attachment to our thoughts and our refusal to open ourselves to the Truth.


I consider myself very blessed to have been given proof. Many have worked way harder than I have at their spiritual journeys and have not been so Graced.

Does that mean life is peaceful and joyful and easy and that I go around singing Amazing Grace, not. I'm still worldly and I still interact with people, my husband, our kids, people that really piss me off...but in my quiet time, I know the Truth and I also know it's one of my callings while I'm here to share.

scullysongs
 

ISFP

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i do find it difficult to believe in anything absolutely good, with all the dreadful things that happen in the world, and to others. my faith is shaken regularly, sometimes disintegrates, and grows back slowly. i think that for many, the world is simply too full of cruelty and uncertainty without a belief on which to ground one's self. whether it's a belief in a god, or the belief that everything happens for a reason.
 

Quahom1

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neon_sheep said:
I am Christian, so yes, I believe in God.
I was athiest for quite a while, and though religion was simply ridiculous and for the weak. I really started to mess my life up and make horrible mistakes, I was terribly depressed, among other things. One day, I suppose in one of my better moods..I saw how beautiful the world is. I saw everything around me and how it was a lovely harmony, and I came to the conclusion that all this couldn't be some cosmic accident; that it had to have been orchestrated in some way. Yet, I didn't consider myself a Christian at that time. I began to research Christianity and I just felt a closure, as if I accepted all I don't understand and this unexplainable amount of love. Ever since I accepted Jesus I have been happy..I mean not always giddy and smiling but even in hard times I feel hope. I also came to the realization that EVERY human being is weak, and we all need something. I believe that we all need God, but we often replace it with other earthly things when we don't have God. Well, I hope I answered your question in my long rambling.
--Taryn
Interesting point you have made, about being in a better mood and "suddenly" I presume, seeing how beautiful the world is. My guess is that you were very quiet and still at that moment of "revelation". The reason I find this point of interest is that it (amazingly enough), coincides with some scripture in the Old Testament. After listening for God in the surf, and storms and high winds, the author describes being broken of hope in hearing God at all. And at that moment, when all was still, he heard the whisper of the Lord. Perhaps we can't hear God plainly every moment, is because of the "distractions" we have in our lives.

I must disagree with you on one point, however. Human beings are not weak. In fact our will is one of the strongest forces in existence. Human beings are like nuclear power. Guided and channeled correctly, we each have the power to light up the world. Un-guided and un-channeled, we each have the power to destroy the world.

I firmly believe that God gave us all the tools necessarry to survive without Him (note: I said survive). But in reality He wants more for us. He wants us to "Live" full and satisfying lives. And that requires His presence in our lives, as Guide and Channeler, and "Trustee".

Christianity is like a sweet onion. Each discovery about the faith brings one to another layer to be peeled back, revealing more layers. The deeper one goes, the more content one becomes with self, God, and life.

Certainly the delving deeper will bring tears to the eyes, but the taste gets sweeter and stronger the deeper one goes. And should one peel all layers back down to the core, one finds...a seed...which is the beginning of new "life". ;-)

Never mind the final destination, enjoy the journey...

v/r

Q
 

mirrorinthefog

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I'm just as undecided :( Which is not always a good thing, but I would rather doubt things I see than blindly accept what someone tells me.
 

brucegdc

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Contrawise, there is Descartes (I think) bet - if there is a God, and I don't believe, I'm sunk... if there is not a God, and I do believe, there's no loss....

Me? I believe in deity. Too many chains of things that are improbable to not, to my mind.
 

Abogado del Diablo

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brucegdc said:
Contrawise, there is Descartes (I think) bet - if there is a God, and I don't believe, I'm sunk... if there is not a God, and I do believe, there's no loss....
Blaise Pascal - "Pascal's Wager"
 

Abogado del Diablo

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mirrorinthefog said:
I'm just as undecided :( Which is not always a good thing, but I would rather doubt things I see than blindly accept what someone tells me.
Good for you. That's the path to God.;)
 

aladdin

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One thing I try to keep in mind is everything we observe in the universe is filtered through human perception. (I guess Einstein for example argued for relativity, "the moon still exists even if you can not see it, etc)
but order we find is processed through our brain. is a snowflake really "instrinsically, objectively" meaningful because of it's exquisite pattern, or do we just distinguish between order and chaos ourselves, through our own meaningless(in an instrinsic sense) system.
i think one way to find out might be to ask the other sentient beings on this planet. We could work on developing communication with them in order to determine the level of their consciousness abilities and even ask them one day if they think humans are instrinsically meaningful and have a greater purpose.
I have a feeling they might think a lot of us are more like monsters if you examine what goes on in slaughterhouses and in other arenas where animals are abused and murdered.
I mean if we discovered an alien race on another planet that was mildly similar to us, and many of them believed in contradictory ideas of an afterlife, and believed others were wrong(in any "alien mind" sense), I wonder if we would really think they survive after physical death.

but anyway, i do think it is very significant that humans have that desire to find a higher purpose. why is that desire there? just because we could measure a desire for religion or faith or spirituality, by an "evolutionary theory" (which is based on systems of science designed by us) is highly unsatisfactory (to me at least).

i do think another interesting thing is what happens to our physical bodies when we die, besides our bones-we do not really retain any of our individuality and be absorbed into the earth (if buried in the soil), <i think this is correct> why would consciousness be any different.
 

aladdin

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Okay, I think that there might be some confusion about Pascal---(My sister has explained this to me before she referred to it as a mathematical paradox but I don't think she mentioned pascal, she is super smart though and I don't think she has ever made any scholarly mistakes , butI could be remembering this wrong)

Christianity is the only religion that Demands Exclusivity. Other religions do not say(well other major ones, I guess there's zoroastrianism and a couple others), if you do not believe in "our" religion,our God--than you will go to hell.

They base their religion on merit and a general belief in God. Christianity is based on the salvation of Jesus Christ, it is definitely an exclusive religion.

Therefore, if you believe in Christianity and follow its "rules" or what not, if Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism or Mormonism turns out to be the spiritual truth-you will still wind up in Heaven.
(or samsara until moksha or nirvana or what not)
If you believe in these other religions and Christianity is the truth, you are in trouble.

I love Christianity, I do have some confusion about it and am interested with what Constantine did to the libraries after he became a Christian, but Christianity is personally my favorite religion and the only one that has ever helped me when I have had a great deal of turmoil in my life. But that is just me.

I notice a lot of people have problems with christianity these days...I understand why and it does not have a perfect history (the inquisition, salem witch trials, crusades and other horrors associated with it)

However, in countries with severe severe problems in them, like parts of Africa, or El-Salvador-where people have none or little control over their lives I have seen and heard testimonials about how Christianity has saved their lives, I do not hear a lot about this for Buddhism but this is totally just me!!!

I just personally prefer certain cathedrals and churches to other religious buildings I have been to, such as Buddhist temples. To me, the temples seemed so void and empty and depressing to me. I probably have not unfortunately gotten to experience the better parts of Buddhism, becauseI am sure it is a wonderful religion/belief system.

I always hear really great things about it.
 

Blue

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I read your last post carefully, Aladdin, and sympathise with your questioning, but at least you are questioining and not just accepting blindly.

I see the problem as being related to Monotheism in general.
When this is related to ancient texts that were written by human beings for other people alive at the time... in other words, within their context then, whether it was in the Middle East or wherever, and then I view what happened to those writings through multiple translations and interpretations and all that implies, and I observe that an edifice of morality and ethics has been built by others upon those writings, and those writings have been turned into dogma and doctrines... I begin, justifiably, I think, to worry.

The very act of turning spiritual responses into regulated forms through artificial conceptions like 'Churches' and a defined monotheistic religion... makes me worry too.

I am not denying that people shouldn't come together for fellowship, related by similar minded spiritual concepts, but I am saying that they should never then promote their responses to doctrinal dogma that suggests they, and they only, are heirs to a 'revealed truth' that is some kind of 'ultimate' truth. That immediately denigrates other peoples different spiritual responses to 'second rate', and that does not seem justifiable to me.
Everyone's spiritual responses are worthwhile, even if we think they are crazier than our own! ;)
 

mirrorinthefog

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Blue said:
I read your last post carefully, Aladdin, and sympathise with your questioning, but at least you are questioining and not just accepting blindly.

I see the problem as being related to Monotheism in general.
When this is related to ancient texts that were written by human beings for other people alive at the time... in other words, within their context then, whether it was in the Middle East or wherever, and then I view what happened to those writings through multiple translations and interpretations and all that implies, and I observe that an edifice of morality and ethics has been built by others upon those writings, and those writings have been turned into dogma and doctrines... I begin, justifiably, I think, to worry.

The very act of turning spiritual responses into regulated forms through artificial conceptions like 'Churches' and a defined monotheistic religion... makes me worry too.

I am not denying that people shouldn't come together for fellowship, related by similar minded spiritual concepts, but I am saying that they should never then promote their responses to doctrinal dogma that suggests they, and they only, are heirs to a 'revealed truth' that is some kind of 'ultimate' truth. That immediately denigrates other peoples different spiritual responses to 'second rate', and that does not seem justifiable to me.
Everyone's spiritual responses are worthwhile, even if we think they are crazier than our own! ;)
I agree. One shouldn't automatically dismiss an arguement that is strange to him or her, or somehow deviates from generally accepted methods or tradition. After all, that's how many religions begin, as alternative forms of thought that were novel for their times :)
 

Virtual_Cliff

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Why believe? I think these days that I am on an adventure, a quest. Only the odd thing is that the further I go on, the less I know. I started out knowing all the answers - Jesus Christ, Son of God, sent to suffer and die to save the worlds from their sins so that we may live forever in heaven.

Gradually I parted company with nearly all of it. Now I only know that I am part of the love of what I call God. Sometimes the sense of presense is so near, so vibrant, so gentle, so beautiful that it makes me want to cry. If this door ever opens for anyone reading this, go through.
 

lunamoth

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VC,

I risk sounding trite, but I have to say that your post resonates with where I am. And maybe it is the season, but these days I've been feeling those glimmers of joy.
 

Vajradhara

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Re: just there

Namaste louis,

thank you for the post.
louis said:
There's a saying which goes ....
"Am I a man dreaming I am a butterfly... or... am I a butterfly
dreaming I am a man ?"
Whichever IT is that's doing the dreaming - THAT is "I"...
it's a Taoist teaching of Chuang Tzu and it goes something like:

Once I, Chuang Tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly and was happy as a butterfly. I was conscious that I was quite pleased with myself, but I did not know that I was Tzu. Suddenly I awoke, and there was I, visibly Tzu. I do not know whether it was Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreaming that he was Tzu. Between Tzu and the butterfly there must be some distinction. This is called the transformation of things."

in this aspect of the teaching Chuang tzu is using paradox to bring out the experience of the world consisting of apparant contradictions.

from the Taoist point of view, you've mistaken the Guest for the Host and have let the Guest take over the rightful functions of the Host. the point, if you will, of Taoist praxis is to restore the Host and Guest to their rightful places.
 

Ciel

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Greetings Virtual Cliff,

Yes.........As another.
To touch the reality of truth and love in the present moment is beyond the need to believe. It is as though returning to the beginning of life. We open our eyes in the wonder and awe of it all..........and smile.
 

Ciel

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Greetings Lunamoth,

Not trite, in all simplicity it is the most beautiful thing.
It is the messenger of hope.
 
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