Born with belief?

iBrian

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We are all born with an awareness of God - of "something else" we cannot fathom or understand.

Religion attempts to explain this to us. Many will accept a particular religion's definitions and constructs of faith for explaining this "something else".

However, it is also the case that other may judge religion itself and find it wanting. As religion teaches that there is God, then where religion is seen as deeply flawed, then so it is reasoned belief in God - even God itself - must also be flawed.

Is this something you would agree with?

Thanks to Samabudhi for actually bringing this up on another thread. :)
 
born without

I said:
We are all born with an awareness of God - of "something else" we cannot fathom or understand.

From Louis....
Interesting idea - although I wasn't born with it.
I was born with only an awareness of my self.
The latest thinking about someone like me is a theory called :
"Asberger's Syndrome" - a milder form of "Autism".
When I first read about it, I thought : "Phooey! The damn shrinks
have finally invented a way to explain LONERS..."
But, the more I read about it, the more persuaded I become
that they may be truly onto something.
As a toddler, I percieved myself to be the only sentient being
surrounded by objects. I knew some of those objects could move
on their own - some could even talk - but I still percieved them
as objects until I was about five and a half years old.
It was around that time when I first realised that some of those
"objects" were sentient - just like me. It was quite a JOLT at the time !
( A friend of mine, who was born SEVERELY autistic, didn't make
that breakthrough until she was over twelve years old. )
Maybe that's why I have no awareness of anything in my head except
my own thoughts and feelings. And why I have a natural immunity to
social and religeous indoctrination.
 
belief and religion

I said:
"We are all born with an awareness of God - of "something else" we cannot fathom or understand."

lunamoth: Hmmm...simple answer: yes, I agree with this statement based upon my own experience. more complex answer: We are born with a potential for awareness of God/Something More. Genetics & experience can either mask or reveal that potential. The light is always shining no matter how much or how little we reflect it. The light is not always reflected as a belief in a monotheistic God--it is reflected in many diverse ways. There is no blame or shame in any of these ways.

I, Brian said: "Religion attempts to explain this to us. Many will accept a particular religion's definitions and constructs of faith for explaining this 'something else'."

lunamoth: Religion attempts to explain this to us, and to train us. Some people will accept all of a religion's definitions and constructs of faith (Thank God for them or no religion would remain distinctive and I value the diversity of religion we have today). Some people will accept only some or much of a religion's definitions and still live a rich and rewarding spiritual life (Thank God for them or we would have no moderates to build bridges between people of different faiths). Some people will accept no religion, either creating their own path or just continuously questioning and exploring while rejecting all dogma (Thank God for them or we would have no one to show us different ways to look at ourselves and our universe and our existence, whether or not we ultimately accept or reject these other ways).

The way I see it, Religion, whether you adhere to a Religious Faith or not, is a much needed constant pressure against our lower, material inclinations. If Religion were to stop preaching Thou shall and Thou shalt not (Or, this is the skilled path, this is the unskilled path) I think as a whole our society would tend to erode toward a purely competitive, dog-eat-dog, put myself first society. I really think it fills a void that pure human logic can not replace. Now, you might say, if the world were all dog-eat-dog and it resulted in real unpleasantness then Reason would come up with some nice ethical guidlines to put us back on track. Well, isn't that what has happened over the millenium, and isn't this what we collectively call Religion? And if one believes that All comes from God, then Reason also comes from God. So we can have our God and Reason too.

An aside: This does not take into account the appearance of Special Messengers/Manifestations of God. I believe They arise when and where they are needed for the edification of humankind; They are the God's gift of Reason manifested to us. There is also a lot of unneeded and sometimes harmful decoration added on afterward, but that is a whole other thread.


I, Brian says: "However, it is also the case that other may judge religion itself and find it wanting. As religion teaches that there is God, then where religion is seen as deeply flawed, then so it is reasoned belief in God - even God itself - must also be flawed.

Is this something you would agree with? "

Bodies of people organized based upon common faith, agreeing to some kind of hierarchy to keep communication clear, set goals, make unified decisions, etc, are distinct from Religion/Faith and are thought of better as instruments of religion. These instruments are more powerful the greater their number of adherants, they may do great good, they may do great evil, usually they will do both to some extent. So to me, Religion/Faith can be separated from the instruments of religion, which can be flawed.

It is those manmade decorations that create the problems. But then, those ultimately are also from God, so there must a Reason for this too. My own only answer to that is that this is School and we learn from our mistakes.

Here is another take on it: God is perfectly capable of giving us a Revelation so clear that we would not question it. All would believe, all would be uniform and one. But water in a level pond will not flow. Flowing is exerience, and experience is needed for self-examination, and no self-examination is no existence. Disequilibrium is needed for consciousness to exist, ours or God's.
 
Hello I, Brian. Good question and as you might suppose, I have an opinion. :)

When religion fails to promote understanding it exposes the frailty of human conception or human comprehension and not necessarily a flawed god. I also feel we are born with curiosity and later develop a belief in a particular doctrine based upon our environment and training. I do not think people are born with a particular awareness of something greater and, as contradictory as it may seem, I feel the vast majority of people seldom searches for or even chooses their religion. Their religion chooses them. They most often are born into a family or a society (sometimes they may join a society) that participates in a customary and usually regional faith. Unlike individuals that participate in these forums most people never bother to question or investigate the validity of their religion or, for that matter, any religion. They become accustomed to their comfort in congregational fellowship. They become comfortable being a part of the group. IMHO mcedgy
 
Interesting idea - although I wasn't born with it.
I was born with only an awareness of my self.
I don't think you were. I think you learned about your self from interacting with your environment. I think you are born thinking you are part of your mother. It's true, you have been for the last 9 months. Why would you suddenly think differently. The more time you spend apart, the more you realise that you are separate and that you have an identity of your own.
 
I think I was

samabudhi said:
I don't think you were. I think you learned about your self from interacting with your environment. I think you are born thinking you are part of your mother. It's true, you have been for the last 9 months. Why would you suddenly think differently. The more time you spend apart, the more you realise that you are separate and that you have an identity of your own.

From Louis...
Thank you for your comments, but I do remember how I felt from a
very early age. That's typical of any child born with a touch of "Autism".
Thrust out of the only world I knew for my first 9 months, I at first refused
to acknowledge my new surroundings. That came gradually, first the
awareness that my mother was a person, not just part of the background.
Then a grudging awareness of other people and eventualy the "group" social order. AWARE of it, but never wanting to "belong" to it - just exploit it .
An awareness of God is something that hasn't quite happened yet.
 
louis said:
From Louis...
Thank you for your comments, but I do remember how I felt from a
very early age. That's typical of any child born with a touch of "Autism".
Thrust out of the only world I knew for my first 9 months, I at first refused
to acknowledge my new surroundings. That came gradually, first the
awareness that my mother was a person, not just part of the background.
Then a grudging awareness of other people and eventualy the "group" social order. AWARE of it, but never wanting to "belong" to it - just exploit it .
An awareness of God is something that hasn't quite happened yet.

Hi Louis,

Thank you for sharing your unique perspective with us. I imagine that in some ways your touch of autistic syndrome presents challenges for you, but it also gives you your valuable outlook. I suspect that persons who have the opposite challenge, in that they are either overwhelmed with emotion responses, find it hard to be objective, or feel too connected to other people also have their own set of challenges, as do we all.

Best wishes in your quest!
 
I can see how it can be true that maybe some people aren't as spiritually "attuned" as others. I have trouble agreeing that people don't choose their religion, but their circumstances and environment do, because that doesn't explain early people's beliefs in a higher power. I don't believe I've ever heard of an early civilization that did not worship some Deity or Dieties. This leads me to conclude that there is something within everyone that seeks God. Whether we supress it or do something about it is up to us, because we are given choices for how we live our lives. Of course environment and circumstances affect this, that's basic psycology.
 
i'm not sure if we're born with belief... belief in what, or in whom?

what kind of assumptions would an infant make about the world? :confused:

we may be born with an ability to feel awe or seek spiritual well-being, though. in this regard i don't see children as a blank slate. most if not all children respond to language, beautiful things (in some form), and human affection. maybe tehrein are the seeds for religious faith down the road!
 
I believe that some children at least are born with an awareness.. I have a friend who tells a story of her 3 year old daughter talking to someone in her bedroom at night she walks in to tell her daughter to go to sleep and ask who she is talking to and she says shes talking to that big man and points behind the mother.. the mother turns around and sees what she describes as an angel 7 foot tall seeming to be floating in the air.. she was overcome. Later in talking to her daughter.. The daughter had been having conversations with him nightly for as long as she could remember.. She had not been a believer... I might mention that the same woman had a son a few years later who was diagnosed with terminal cancer with no chance of recovery at the age of 8 who received full healing and has been in remission for 9 years .

I would also like to add that I have always loved Jesus my whole life..as long as I remember.. Now my son who is 2 1/2 loves Blue from Blues Clues but he doesnt go around having conversations with him like I did Jesus .. I remember telling my mom how I would have conversations with Jesus and was able to go into detail about what we talked about. Stuff thats way beyond the 2 or 3 year old mind. You can teach a 2 and 3 year old basic things..and they will believe anything you say and repeat the same thing back to you.. but for that child to tell you things that you never taught them is a bit more than the normal toddler behavior.
 
Blessed87 said:
I can see how it can be true that maybe some people aren't as spiritually "attuned" as others. I have trouble agreeing that people don't choose their religion, but their circumstances and environment do, because that doesn't explain early people's beliefs in a higher power. I don't believe I've ever heard of an early civilization that did not worship some Deity or Dieties. This leads me to conclude that there is something within everyone that seeks God.
My first ever posting to such a forum:

You say 'there is something within everyone that seeks God'.

I say there is something within me that seeks answers to help me make sense of my life.

I dont belong to any organised religion but I consider myself very spirtual and of good moral fibre.

Too often I find those that belong to a religion are consumed by thier desire to get close to God and 'book thier place in Heaven'.
Such behaviour seems to me, selfish and self absorbed. Monks seek positive emmotional well - being as thier currency in the same way as a businessman derives money for his life inputs. Whats the difference?

People that dedicate much time to prayer hope to be rewarded and fulfilled by God. Surely a just God would rather all this time and energy were spent on helping the needy or the Planet?

Surely God would not be so insecure as to need hours of adulation and demonstrations of faith?

Richard.
 
Originally posted by Thunk
People that dedicate much time to prayer hope to be rewarded and fulfilled by God. Surely a just God would rather all this time and energy were spent on helping the needy or the Planet?

Surely God would not be so insecure as to need hours of adulation and demonstrations of faith?
So I guess that Mother Theresa and Gandhi were just wasting time?

InPeace,
InLove
 
THUNK said:
Too often I find those that belong to a religion are consumed by thier desire to get close to God and 'book thier place in Heaven'.
Such behaviour seems to me, selfish and self absorbed. Monks seek positive emmotional well - being as thier currency in the same way as a businessman derives money for his life inputs. Whats the difference?
Welcome!

In my opinion these are two separate motivations. It is one thing to be consumed by a desire to become closer to God, and quite another to desire to "book their place in heaven." The former is not selfish nor self-absorbed, because in my experience you must detach from self and be willing to be transformed in order to grow spiritually. In so doing, you are not necessarily seeking happiness or contentment. In fact, such spiritual growth can be confusing, tumultuous, and quite difficult, but one persists because one knows that growing closer to God will transform them into a better person, one that is more loving and forgiving, patient and kind. One seeks to transcend the mundane and free themselves from as many of one's petty desires and faults as possible, freeing one's spirit to join God.

This desire of joining with the Big Divine Something that I call God is not the same as desiring some sort of pseudo-earthly paradise that most people think of as Heaven. Some people are focused on entering such a place, but that is not necessarily involved in a person's worship of the Divine. It just depends on the person. Personally, I did find my own desires for such a paradise to be self-absorbed, and have since detached from them. But to each his/her own, and I would not want to take away what for some gives them the hope to get through each day. I believe we do not all need to be the same in our spirituality, and our needs are different, so it naturally follows that our foci will be as well. What is selfish to one person may not be for another.

People that dedicate much time to prayer hope to be rewarded and fulfilled by God. Surely a just God would rather all this time and energy were spent on helping the needy or the Planet?
Actually, that is not always the case. Prayer/meditation/worship are profoundly personal actions, and people have diverse reasons for doing such activities. People that dedicate a great deal of time to prayer may hope to be rewarded by God, or they may not. I do not. I am not focused on reward, and the mere act of living and having a connection to the Divine is fulfillment enough for me to feel that worship is appropriate. I worship because I feel God deserves worship, if for no other reason than the sheer joy of life, of Creation, of my opportunity to experience spirituality.

Worship/prayer/meditation is for me: first, a celebration (literally, sometimes with music and dance) of God/the Divine and life. Secondly, it is a time for introspection, to honestly assess myself and my thoughts and feelings, to be still and try to listen to my inner voice about things that concern me. Thirdly, it is a time to gain rest and energy to take out into my job and research (which focuses on conservation and environmental justice). One cannot run on empty all the time. Just as the physical body needs rest, so does the spirit. Prayer and meditation are times for me to bring my weariness, my cares, my anxieties before the Divine and rest in the stillness of God's Presence. This is necessary for me to continue slogging on in my attempt to change the world. Perhaps stronger people than I need no such rest, but I acknowledge that I need rejuvenation spiritually, and I don't feel this is a bad or selfish thing. I'm only one little human, after all. Finally, for many (including me) prayer/meditation is a way to change the world and help our planet. Many Druids, for example, have peace rituals about once a month, in which we meditate on and visualize peace. Many Christians pray for people and events all over the world, asking God to intercede. Perhaps you don't believe such things matter, but many of us firmly believe that positive thought and/or appealing to the Divine matter.

Surely God would not be so insecure as to need hours of adulation and demonstrations of faith?
I do not believe God needs anything, really. I think we have spiritual needs, and these may be met by worship, prayer, and/or meditation. It is not that God needs our worship, but rather that there is great joy in the dissolution of the self and its embrace by the Divine. In my experience, the union of created being with Creative Being yields the greatest potential for the self to become of less importance as well as the distinction between self and other to evaporate, leaving one with a deep sense of humility and yet also confidence, of love of all God's creation, and a commitment to reflect the divine love in this world.
 
Originally posted by path_of_one
I do not believe God needs anything, really. I think we have spiritual needs, and these may be met by worship, prayer, and/or meditation. It is not that God needs our worship, but rather that there is great joy in the dissolution of the self and its embrace by the Divine.
Thanks, path_of_one--I was having a little trouble wording my thoughts. This is beautifully stated.

And by the way, Thunk--I overlooked saying "Welcome to CR".

InPeace,
InLove
 
THUNK said:
My first ever posting to such a forum:

You say 'there is something within everyone that seeks God'.
You're right, I should've worded that better!:) What I mean to say it that there is something in us that seeks spirituality.

THUNK said:
]I say there is something within me that seeks answers to help me make sense of my life.
I dont belong to any organised religion but I consider myself very spirtual and of good moral fibre.
Surely God would not be so insecure as to need hours of adulation and demonstrations of faith?
You're right, God doesn't need our demonstrations of faith, but He certainly deserves it. Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world and all who live in it."

It's not by our goodness that we have this privilege to come to Him and offer our lives, it's only through His mercy in allowing us to come. Psalm 5:7 says, "But I, by Your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence I will bow down toward Your holy temple."
 
I said:
We are all born with an awareness of God - of "something else" we cannot fathom or understand.

Religion attempts to explain this to us. Many will accept a particular religion's definitions and constructs of faith for explaining this "something else".

However, it is also the case that other may judge religion itself and find it wanting. As religion teaches that there is God, then where religion is seen as deeply flawed, then so it is reasoned belief in God - even God itself - must also be flawed.

Is this something you would agree with?

Thanks to Samabudhi for actually bringing this up on another thread. :)
No I don't agree.:) It appears to me that others would see this but I don't. However, I came out of a church that does not heed to all the man made traditions, religious beliefs & things that keep getting passed down to generations & I honestly find no flaws in the teaching I got, except for may be 1%. On the other hand I can see where others would go out searching for something different leaving there religions. After visiting & searching several of the man made religions & there churches, which were honestly quite dead, with vain repitions & lacking...(where baseball games have more energy) I can say with an honest heart, I would not trade the love & what I got in the Bible from my church for any of it.

I recieved the Holy Ghost at a very young age & I am very aware there is one true God. So there again, I would not agree that God is flawed, neither has the BIble ever failed me or any part of my life. I consider myself fortunate & blessed beyond measure by the Lord:) .

I think I do agree that religions are very flawed, stuck on certain issues & fail to expound into new dimensions with the Lord & understanding & quick understanding in the written Word.

Do I understand it all? No, but I am trying by seeking His will.
 
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