God is???

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Gatekeeper, May 6, 2010.

  1. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    Who (What) is God to you? When you think about God, what do you visualize (If anything)? Even among the Christian populace, there are many differing views. Some believe God is a man like us, while others believe He is a spirit. What exactly does God consist of. Does He exist somewhere within existence itself, or does He exist outside of existence (If that's even possible) Maybe He's something else entirely to you?

    I read a short book on Hermetic philosophy years ago. In that book, God was referred as "The All". This view resonated with me in a profound way. I simply cannot NOT believe that god is absolutely everything now. Everything we see, touch, feel, smell and even all that is still unknown is a part of Gods entirety. I can't imagine Him existing as a small element of existence. To me it makes sense that He is both the creator and the created. He is both infinite and finite according to my view. We exist as a tiny part of Him, created from God's substance itself.

    Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to share our personal views of God, and what we each view Him to consist of.

    James
     
  2. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

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    To me there is only One Mind.
    All who are, who exist, are a part of that.

    So what is God.
    A word.
    A symbol.
    It is really not very descriptive as one can then ask, which God.

    I think there is One Source for all, from which are many degrees of growth and evolution.

    So the God of the bible, the Lord God, distinct from Elohim, could be then a being (or beings) certainly more advanced than us, but not the apex.
    More a junior partner in a sense.

    We are called children of God, but which God, and who exactly are we referring to.
    Nobody really can say.
    All the religions are guessing at that one and so is literally everyone who has an opinion on that question.

    I have heard so many people who have said with such fervor and authority and conviction just who God is, yet since there is such a lack of agreement amongst all those people and groups, they cannot all be right.
    Actually, they could all be completely wrong.

    So I strive to keep an open mind on that question.
    But I don't for a minute believe that all this just happened by random accident.
     
  3. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    I prefer Buddhism's take on reality - that there is no Creator God.

    Why? If God is self-sufficient, then he/she/it has no need to create the world etc. because there would be no purpose to it. If God is good, then how can there be so much evil in the world? If God is compassionate, how is it that other beings have to die in order for us to live? If God is omniscience, how is it that there is such messiness in the world? etc. etc.

    Is it possible for the world to come into existence without a Creator God. According to Buddhism, yes.
     
  4. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    So you are suggesting that there are many gods under the guidance of a supreme God (One source by which all things originate)? I'm pretty sure each of our individual concepts are flawed to some degree. Then again, perhaps each of our views contain elements of His reality?

    I've seen many get very hostile when others view God differently than they do, so I'm with you on keeping an open mind. Although, that in and of itself can be difficult, as we all have our preconceived concepts of what God consists of and who He/She is.

    I'm also in agreement that there is one mind, and that each of us collectively make up part of the whole of that mind. In the book i read on Hermetic philosophy, they suggested that "The All" (God) is mind. This one I have trouble conceptualizing. I believe that all existence is conscious, but I'm not sure if all existence has its own individuality.

    Thanks for your thoughts
     
  5. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    Perhaps God just is, and we are simply finite elements of His reality? I like the Buddhists view as well, but to me there are obviously created elements in existence. Take the birth of a child for instance. It certainly didn't always exist as a child, but was formed (Created) by other parts of existence itself. Perhaps, God IS self sufficient and all the finite elements of existence are simply part of Gods reality? No need for Him to consciously create. All God needs to do is be who He is while we live as a part of him, and within all that He is.
     
  6. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    If God is just is or if God is the "base" from which all things arise without any intention/motivation, then to label that as God is unnecessary and unnecessarily confusing since the word "God" is so ladened with diverse concepts and connotations. That's how it seemed to me. It would also mean that there is no need to pay any attention to God.
     
  7. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist In Galt We Trust

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    I consider myself an atheist, but if I had to wrangle a metaphorical god out of my worldview, I'd go for a form of endotheism (literally, a god within).

    Basically, god would be our perfect selves in potential, that which our inner daimon/genius/higher-self would point the way to with a "calling" towards personal growth.

    Everyone would have their own god. Note that they wouldn't actually be gods, but could only hope occasionally, through truly excellent behavior, to shine with the light of their gods.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  8. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I view God to be the Father of all things, and I believe that He is our life force (Physically, spiritually, and mentally). I recognize Him as both father and as the force that sustains me in life.

    It is true that the term God is ladened with diverse concepts. We all have a view of what (Who) God is after all, even if one views God to be non existent.

    I don't think it is confusing at all to use the term God, however .... Being that we each have our differing views of who and what he is. It tells people that I view there to be a force greater than myself whereby all things originated and are sustained.

    We have no choice but to pay attention to God (If He is existence). We live as a part of existence, no? If existence is God then we have no choice but to recognize Him (Even if we do not recognize existence as being God at all)

    GK
     
  9. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    Interesting view. I think that our perfect selves can be tapped into, but only after we have experienced our fair share of pain and suffering, along with pleasure and happiness. I believe one day humanity will have learned from our history (Both from personal experiences and from our past as a collective species).

    I believe there are set realities in place that ultimately govern all things. Rules (Laws) so to speak that when acted contrary to, negative consequences are experienced by the transgressor/s.

    It's all natural in my view, Mark. The governing forces are built into existence itself. I don't think it matters whether a person is an Atheist, or a Theist as we all share the same existence, and the goal (For many) is to become a better, more civil, and more peaceful peoples.

    GK
     
  10. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    If God is merely the source of all things or base from which all things arise and not an entity, a being, then there is no need to pay attention to it.

    If things arise from the base with no intent behind it, then there is no need to pay attention to the base/God.

    This was what I meant. Of course, once one start to attribute intent or purpose to creation then by that attribution one has to pay attention.

    I think there is no need to attribute intent or purpose to "creation" (see my first response to your post), so I don't think there is a need to pay attention to the base/source/God.
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi James —

    Love.

    The Divine Names ... Scriptural images ... icons ... certain metaphysical categories: Absolute, Infinite, Perfect, True, Good ...

    God is beyond 'constituents' ... God ... is ...

    The latter ... God is beyond all contingency.

    God is 'all in all', but is not the sum of all things, nor are all things God. The idea of God as 'The All' does not necessarily infer pantheism, or panentheism.

    It depends whether your system leads you to the 'relative-Absolute', which is God-as-manifest-in-forms, or the 'absolute-Absolute', which is God as such, above and beyond all condition or determination.

    God does not 'exist' in that sense ... and one might say that all of 'existence' is a nano-moment compared to the eternal God.

    In one sense, existence is absolutely inconsequential, if one considers eternal. In the Christian Tradition it is a gift.

    I always wonder why, when people say this. If He is the creator, then He is before creation.

    The finite is an aspect of the infinite, in mine. The infinite must include the finite within itself, otherwise it would not be infinite.

    But God has no substance?

    Thomas
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste all,

    I'm addressing some of all of your thoughts or all of some of your thoughts...I just quoted the above for a reference to that inner thinking.

    I'm of the realm of G!d is all there is. At our church we teach 'that there is a power within us far greater than anything outside of us.' Sort of your endotheism. But I've grown a little nontheistic. Which confuses folks because what I don't believe in is the entity or the creator...but the all.

    And I had real issues with 'power inside each of us greater than anything outside of us' because if each of us had this greater power and you are all outside of us...????

    But eventually I got it, that it is only within that I have connection to the all. And we are all the eachness of the allness, all manifestions of and part of and expressions of the I am, right here in 4D.

    thanx james for the contemplations...
     
  13. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

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    What is the word god anyway?
    A supreme being?
    That could be a lot of things, depending on who was answering.
    Us humans are strange creatures as anyone who has superior qualities is thought of as a god.
    Cargo cult, gods of rock, it is clique.
    If you would be tossed back in time with a functional harrier jet and some sophisticated technology you could pull off a god charade....at least for a while.
    Imagine what a really superior and more than just thousands of years advanced type of being could do with our ancestors of thousands of years ago.
    There is just too much evidence of our planet being visited by "others" who came from the heavens with really advanced tech to discount such stories.

    Maybe they are "under the guidance", maybe they chose not to be.
    That is hard to say.
    Case specific.
    I have met people who I would say were "under the guidance of a supreme God" and I have met those who I would say are not, based of course on my observation of their actions and the consequences to others.
    Although I am limited in awareness (as all us humans are) I am not blind.
    But that is hard to call (be careful how you judge...and all that.).
    But I am thinking that not all "others" are really benevolent.
    It could be an aphid / ant type of thing where we are the aphids, useful, but looked at as cattle.
     
  14. Snoopy

    Snoopy Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure Gotama was too concerned with a creator deity; such a notion was not in his vocabulary. He was concerned in the formation of a life-path to address dukkha (insufficiently translated as suffering). Typical Indian cosmology of the time was a cyclic one I believe, rather than a linear beginning (creation) to end view. According to Gotama (in the absence of seattlegal) conjecture on the origin of the world should not be entered into; as it is fruitless and can only lead to...you know the rest...:rolleyes:

    Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable (AN 4.77)

    s.
     
  15. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I do believe that God is an entity (Of sorts). Existence itself (in my mind) is a living organism, so if this is true, then how would one be able to set our minds apart from what is/

    Again, God is not just the 'base' in my view. He consists of all things. Whether God willed the finite into existence, or if the finite simply exists as a part OF existence doesn't matter to me, as we are a tiny part of all that is. Maybe you are suggesting that we need not recognize existence as being a living organism, or as God, which I would agree with. Even so, it would be very difficult to not pay attention to what exist entirely.

    Sure, I suppose if one attributes purposeful intent to what is (Creation), than they have already recognized a force behind the formation of existence itself.

    I don't believe that God desires worship, but I do believe that we have the choice to make life as we know it better by honoring, respecting, and living in a manner that benefits all things on earth .....

    Perhaps one day we will venture into space, and co-exist with other life forms as well. My point to you is that IF God is existence itself, we simply cannot NOT pay attention to what we know about him. Every thing we touch, smell, etc is a very tiny part of Gods entirety in my mind (Everything existing is a tiny part of God).
     
  16. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    Thanks for your views, Thomas. I am enjoying the different concepts of God presented thus far. It just goes to show us that we really haven't a clue as to what God's reality is. Who's right and who's wrong? Maybe all of of us to some extent.

    BUT, on your last question about God having no substance. I think God is all substance, and all mind. We exist as a part of HIS reality, and make up a very tiny part of who He is.

    I suppose one could take the human body, and compare it to God. Only God is infinite and without end. We might be said to be like cells living and existing as a part of that body. This doesn't make us God, but it does mean that we live and move and have our being within Him.

    GK
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I could agree as long as one bears in mind that 'HIS reality' is nothing like our reality ... that's the problem with the anthropomorphic argument — it determines the nature of God as a reflection of ourselves.

    I could equally answer that we are from eternity in the mind of God, but that does not mean we exist from eternity — we exist in finitude — but the potential for me to exist must 'exist' eternally in the Eternal Infinite ... in the same way that the potential for the paper clip that sits on the lampstand by my left elbow (you can't see it, but take my word thast it's there) was 'there' from the moment of the Big Bang.

    I wonder ... is 'HIS reality' composed of absolutely everything that can possibly be, like an infinite cupboard/memory board containing everything ... that HE pulls out and actualises at a time of HIS choosing?

    ... or is HIS reality composed of something absolutely singular and infinitely limitless ... is HIS reality is no-'thing' at all, but just the unlimited potential to be?

    But it seems to me your hypothesis does not answer the question:
    What is God before creation?
    (Is He incomplete, unfulfilled, unrealised?)

    Such a God as you posit is subject to change, growth and decay, increase and decrease, and so on ... which all classical deist spiritual systems deny. Such a system is not Infinite, not Perfect, not Absolute, and so on. Such a God is also conditioned by time and space.

    It also obliges one to affirm that God might cease to be ... which sets up something of a problem for everything else ...

    A wise man said there are no two things in the Cosmos that come anywhere close to summing up the difference between God and man ...

    We are created capax dei — with the capacity for God — but we shall never understand God, nor know God enough to define God, because we would have to be greater than God to do so.

    But God is love ... that suffices for everything, and is a gift infinitely beyond the worth of all the knowledge in the Kosmos.

    And love belongs to the senses, to the will, not the the intellect ---

    That's the way it seems to me, anyway.

    Thomas
     
  18. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    My view is that God has always been, Thomas. Ever existing as He is. We exist as finite beings, ever changing from one form to another. This is simply our reality, so even though we go through changes, we (In essence) remain the same. We are finite as humans, but as a part of existence, we are also eternal. We simply change from one form to another x infinity.

    There are (Like us) finite elements of existence that are constantly changing, but does this mean that God Himself changes who and what He is? Not at all. God is what (Who) He is. Changes take place within God, but this is simply a part of His reality.

    Does He grow and decay? Not exactly. The finite parts existing within God go through constant changes, but this is simply an aspect of God's reality.

    God cannot cease to exist, nor is he conditioned by space and time, as He IS space and time. According to my view, there can be no influence outside of who He is to force any changes in His reality. All things take place within him (As an entity).

    I myself believe that "The All" is perfect .... A perfect, self sustaining organism (Entity) that we are a tiny part of. I too believe that God is love (In spirit) but not in an emotional sense. He is all giving, just as He sustains all living things (That is love).

    GK
     
  19. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

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    I found a portion of a book which is applicable and interesting:
    There is more, but I think that is sufficient for now.
     
  20. OAT

    OAT Where is the TAO?

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    Sure, Gotama was more concerned with getting us to know the actual reality of things, but that does not mean he did not make any statement regarding a creator god.

    I remember reading in a sutta (sorry can't remember which it was), Gotama did mention that there was no creator god. There was also another sutta that explain how Brahma came to think that he was the creator god. Despite this, people still wanted to know whether there was a beginning to the universe.

    My own conjecture is that the Buddha felt that no one at that time will be able to understand the actual beginning of the universe/existence and therefore pronounced it to be unconjecturable so that people don't waste time on it. This sat quite well with the cyclic Indian cosmology that would be familiar to the people then.

    But I think with modern ideas and knowledge not available to people during Gotama's time, we are now in a better position to speculate about the actual beginning of the universe/existence. Of course, one should not get obsessed with it to the exclusion of the Dharma in one's life.

    As for myself, in the process of trying to understand the reality of things/phenomena, I found that I have to deal with the idea that there is a creator god.
     

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