God to You

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Etu Malku, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    I really like Taoism, I used to read the Tao Te Ching when I was very young, I should really look into this belief system again . . . very fascinating
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    A title of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, carries much the same reasoning, if I read it right.

    And, of course, it is Our Lord who will sit in judgement (in fact Benedict XVI has made some interesting comments about judgement/purgatory — but it's gonna take a while to shake away the common and frankly medieval image)

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Indeed! Inner transformation.


    Yep. Outwardly directed. Perhaps an honest skeptical friend would be optimal.
     
  4. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    But if course . . . I can't wait around for 'someone else' to do this, now can I? ;)
     
  5. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Etu - do you also see time as finite? What existed before the big bang? Where did all those elements come from and how long were they there? Regarding a finite universe, many scientists believe there are distant planets whose light we can't even see (even as it has been traveleing for billions of years) as the universe is expanding so fast that that light will never reach us.

    I personally think of both the universe and time as infinite. I too am agnostic with regards to personal afterlife and deities. I focus on maximizing the present moment.

    I think of "God" more along the lines of the "Great Spirit" of the Native Americans, but without any sort of divine intervention or superstitions; the life energy of the universe that we can see all around us and in us. The mysteries of life and nature; the unknowable. The infinite (or nearly so) qualities of space and time. The twittering of birds, breathing of flowers, and rippling of a stream. The life energy and genetic programming contained in a seed the size of a pencil lead that will grow into a towering tree. The "invisible hand" of evolution. To paraphrase Einstein; an admiration of the slight details of the "superior spirit" that we can perceive with our feeble minds. That is "God" to me.
     
  6. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    I am presently spending a lot of time on time. Right now looking up all the academic referneces in Carroll's "From Eternity to Here". Funny how we all know about the "problems" and "wierdness" of quantum theory but not relativity. Even if you buy relativity as "complete" in Einstein's sense, there is a little problem with singularities (black holes and big bangs). A singularity is where relativity "goes amuck" and yields but a bunch of infinities. What we can say is whether we are speaking of "Big bang theory" or "Big bang singularity" is that we do not know what happens to time and space at the "earliest" times--but we know that the universe (what we can see) can be explained as the product of a big bang and is not a static universe. The cosmic microwave background gets us that far (about half a million years after the event, whatever it was) beyond that is speculation (no matter how logically and beautifully presented).

    The point? That the universe could well be infinate in time and space, there is no logical or physical reason why it could not be. Just as quantum behavior could be the product of some "hidden variable" theory (as long as it is non-local in character), like David Bohm posulated. Physicists have pretty strong opinions about applying relativity all the way back to the singularity and beyond just like they have pretty strong opinions about the nature of the universe (many-minds, many-worlds, Copenhagen, etc) due to quantum mechanics.

    But they do not know. I like IG's idea a Great Spirit that is the Kosmos (both the universe, all matter-energy, and what is beyond). Seems sane, scientific, spiritual, and agnostic all simultaneously. That is why I like Whiteheadean Organic Philosophy and the Bohm-Peat holographic postulates as metaphysics.

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt.
     
  7. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    I like your "Great Spirit" concept, a Deist!
    I lean towards the idea that the objective/physical universe creates itself over and over again with through expansion - contraction - super nova - expansion etc.
    All the heavy elements from what I understand can only be created within the furnace of a super nova.
    The Einstein quote is right on, my belief is that our consciousness reflects upon itself and then becomes two, from there it descends in frequency into matter in order to perceive itself and to interact with other souls/beings.

    But of course those are all theories in my mind, I know nothing to be true.
     
  8. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    If you cross a room twenty-one feet in length at 99.9999999 percent of light speed, then the room no longer is twenty-one feet . . . but only slightly larger than the period at the end of this sentence. This tells us space is not absolute. If you were traveling at that speed, your experience of time would be different too. This tells us space and time are not absolutes, and since they are not absolutes, then everything we see and can study in microscopes is not all there is. I doubt there is an objective universe "out there." According to biocentrism, that is an outmoded way of thinking. Considering the above example, because looking at the universe as a biological construct makes more sense.

    I believe God is the Theory of Everything; the deepest level of reality. For example, consider how Talbot describes Bohm's idea of the holographic universe:

    "One of Bohm's most startling asserstions is that the tangible reality of our everyday lives is really a kind of illusion, like a holographic image. Underlying it is a deeper order of existence, a vast and more primary level of reality that gives birth to all the objects and appearances of our physical world in much the same way that a piece of holographic film gives birth to a hologram. Bohm calls this deeper level of reality the implicate (which means 'enfolded') order, and he refers to our own level of existence as the explicate, or unfolded order . . . He uses these terms because he sees the manifestation of all forms in the universe as the result of countless enfolding and unfolding between these two orders."

    I think these ideas are compatible with Baha'i belief. Consider what ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:

    "Know thou that the Kingdom is the real world, and this nether place is only a shadow stretching out. A shadow hath no life of its own; its existence is only a fantasy, and nothing more; it is but images reflected in water, and seeming as pictures to the eye."

    "Physical things are signs and imprints of spiritual things; every lower thing is an image . . . of a higher thing."

    Compare these sayings with what Talbot's passage from The Holographic Universe says:

    "The universe does not exist in and of itself, but is the stepchild of something far vaster and more ineffable. More than that, it is not even a major production of this vaster something, but is only a passing shadow, a mere hiccup in the greater scheme of things."

    This fits wonderfully with the Baha'i image of the Sun and mirror. If the mirror breaks (death), your soul continues unharmed throughout the worlds of God.

    "Believers in it [one form of reincarnation and transmigration] consider the body as a vessel in which the spirit is contained, as water is contained in a cup; this water has been taken from one cup and poured into another. This is child's play. They do not realize that the spirit is an incorporeal being, and does not enter and come forth, but is only connected with the body as the sun is with the mirror. If it were thus, and the spirit by returning to this material world could pass through the degrees and attain to essential perfection, it would be better if God prolonged the life of the spirit in the material world until it had acquired perfections and graces; it then would not be necessary for it to taste of the cup of death, or to acquire a second life."
    - 'Abdu'l-Bahá

    The universe is one; however, our sphere of reality is due to our biological construction of the universe, so our "soul" cannot be seen or studied, and various spheres of reality (worlds of God) also exist within it:

    "Your questions, however, can be answered only briefly, since there is no time for a detailed reply. The answer to the first question: the souls of the children of the Kingdom, after their separation from the body, ascend unto the realm of everlasting life. But if ye ask as to the place, know ye that the world of existence is a single world, although its stations are various and distinct. For example, the mineral life occupieth its own plane, but a mineral entity is without any awareness at all of the vegetable kingdom, and indeed, with its inner tongue denieth that there is any such kingdom. In the same way, a vegetable entity knoweth nothing of the animal world, remaining completely heedless and ignorant thereof, for the stage of the animal is higher than that of the vegetable, and the vegetable is veiled from the animal world and inwardly denieth the existence of that world—all this while animal, vegetable and mineral dwell together in the one world. In the same way the animal remaineth totally unaware of that power of the human mind which graspeth universal ideas and layeth bare the secrets of creation—so that a man who liveth in the east can make plans and arrangements for the west; can unravel mysteries; although located on the continent of Europe can discover America; although sited on the earth can lay hold of the inner realities of the stars of heaven. Of this power of discovery which belongeth to the human mind, this power which can grasp abstract and universal ideas, the animal remaineth totally ignorant, and indeed denieth its existence.

    In the same way, the denizens of this earth are completely unaware of the world of the Kingdom and deny the existence thereof. They ask, for example: ‘Where is the Kingdom? Where is the Lord of the Kingdom?’ These people are even as the mineral and the vegetable, who know nothing whatever of the animal and the human realm; they see it not; they find it not. Yet the mineral and vegetable, the animal and man, are all living here together in this world of existence."
    -'Abdu'l-Bahá

    This view of the universe has a strong influence on Baha'i teachings. The Divine Essence cannot be comprehended (not even by a Manifestation of God):

    Thus man cannot grasp the Essence of Divinity, but can, by his reasoning power, by observation, by his intuitive faculties and the revealing power of his faith, believe in God, discover the bounties of His Grace. He becometh certain that though the Divine Essence is unseen of the eye, and the existence of the Deity is intangible, yet conclusive spiritual proofs assert the existence of that unseen Reality. The Divine Essence as it is in itself is however beyond all description.
    -'Abdu'l-Bahá

    Also, Baha'is describe the Word as having a mirroring nature. Everything in the universe has a mirroring nature, so, yeah, the trinity, resurrection, and return, God, and so on are understood differently in the Baha'i Faith due to our understanding of the universe.
     
  9. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Biocentrism is very similar to "Philosophy of Organism" or "Process Philosophy" in many ways. Lanza comes to it from the physicsl side, Whitehead from the philosophical side. I am really shocked fo find anyone mentioning him, he is a little obscure (however, he and Stapp are two of my fav "finge physicists"). Perhaps we can start a disussion on, say, my philosophy and metaphysics thread. Might be worthwhile just to go over and discuss the concept.

    Yes, it is unique. Yes, it does work (metaphysically at least, in the same way Bohm does). Is it final answer? You might want to look at "process physics" and "transactional physics" (Cahill and Cramer) for alternative views.

    Oh, looking for traditional spiritual paths which metaphysically can be merged with something in the vein is what I have done for years. Both Bahaism and Sikhism have been candidates, I just am not a big joiner (Quakers do not have a creed or dogma, that is why I ended up there).

    Pax et amore omnia vincuntes.
     
  10. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    I would really like to hear more about all of this, please do start a thread . . . good stuff!
     
  11. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Try "New Physics" under "Science and the Universe". First topic, the biocentric thesis of lanza.:D
     
  12. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Etu - do you think trees and plants and animals, other living things besides humans, suffer in the OU? Do you think trees and animals have a SU?

    My thoughts have always been similar to Thomas that all suffering occurs in the SU. The concept of suffering itself is a subjective quality, is it not? The OU therefore would have no suffering. If there were suffering in the OU how could a Buddhist seeking enlightenment ever eliminate suffering?

    All concepts of good/bad occur in the SU not the OU. When a wolf kills a moose, this is not bad in the OU (it just IS), but some folks in their SU might attribute a positive/negative value to it; some people might even try to "save" an animal from death from a predator to prevent its suffering.
     
  13. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Perhaps I should define my usage of the two words OU & SU.

    The Objective Universe = whose components occupy time and space
    The Subjective Universe = one's personal perspective on the OU, together with any self-created phenomenon one wishes to add to it.
     
  14. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    So, suffering is created/defined by our personal perspective, is it not?

    My wife might think sleeping for a tent for 8 nights in the woods is suffering, whereas I might think it is blissful. Yet inside the tent we share the same time & space in the OU.
     
  15. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Ok I see where you're going and I would agree to a point. But it is the actual physical experience which enables this perception of suffering, we've all heard about people that can walk on fire, and so forth, the SU can annihilate/replace the physical experience.
     
  16. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I heart the poem in a move, so no, I'm not cultured one bit.
     
  17. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    I like this thread. OU and SU concepts are valid, I think. And SU can "trump" OU (to some extent--I do not see anyone stopping bullets the way Neo did). But ultimately, somehow all the SUs (G!d's, ours, the animals, the quarks) get co-mingled into the OU. My vocabulary is different, OU and SU are both just actual entities, experiences, which are both material and mental in nature (some more or less than others).

    Does that make any contribution? Any sense?
     
  18. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    OK, let's consider the flipside: happiness. Does the "actual physical experience" enable the perception of happiness as well or is happiness independent of the physical OU?

    i.e. is actual physical experience (OU) necessary to experience the perception of either suffering or happiness (SU) ? Are happiness and suffering independent of the OU? If they are independent of the OU (per the cliché "happiness is a state of mind"), what role does the OU have in the SU?
     
  19. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I'm totally for the cliché, but this is all a bit over my head, because I can't give an exact example of when OU overrides the state of mind SU. I do admit that there are physical and/or emotional suffering in the OU that would overwrite the SU.
     
  20. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    LOL . . . not only uncultured but lacking vernacular verbosity too? What on earth did any of that mean? :rolleyes:
     

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