Religion v. Myth

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by stellaluna, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    It's not the same thing. No-one's obliged to believe anything because a book or their tribe tells them to. If God never responds, why would anyone go on? Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

    But God does respond, in a definite way, perhaps tailored to that soul's own perception. It may be very subtle. But it will be clear. God may even respond by talking everything away. Sometimes it may be necessary to lose everything.

    It is natural, after experiencing this 'touch' to still have doubt in future, but it's not the same as blind belief.

    Knock and it will be opened.

    I have to drop out of this discussion now, because I sound bombastic and know-it-all and open the door to the mockers.

    EDIT: It's not restricted to any religion. God responds to the searching soul, any time, any place, any religion, imo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  2. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

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    I'd rather have you tell me what you are thinking even if it sounds negative. We only learn about what we really know when we write about it. My way of looking at things is always available for revision.

    In terms of God, my current thinking is having a set of assumptions about God that provide me the best possible sense of enthusiasm in living my life. I think many people lose site of what the purpose of religion should be. Religion does not exist to concentrate power, create a powerful church, or have the largest number of people in a congregation. It seems to me nobody owns where the Kingdom of God is located. I think it is probably the height of human hubris to pretend to know the mind of God or to pretend to speak for God. To do so would mean you ARE God. I have strong views but only because I'm very much against the idea the purpose of religion is to promote monarchy as a divine form of government. I think our omnipotent God is indifferent to our form of government. I also think our omnipotent God is indifferent to our sins. If we crap in our own bed it is up to us to clean it up. If you want justice, justice is in the realm of men. So many people just love telling other people they are going to experience "eternal damnation" because they do not like how other people think. I live in New Jersey. How bad can eternal damnation be? As far as I am concerned, when you live in New Jersey, there's only Heaven.

    So in my way of thinking, God is more like something you become attuned with as a type of experience. A way of being that leads to someone having the most amount of reverence for every aspect of God's creation while at the same time having a maximum amount of enthusiasm in participating in God's creation. There's a balance between being and acting but with a sense of reverence and divine intention.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Do I take that to mean, had you not had a direct and personal response to your prayer, you would believe Christ meaningless?
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Oh, it's gut ... it happens way before obligation.

    We cannot escape our roots, and by roots I mean we cannot escape our programming, some of which we share with chimpanzees, which means that set of reflex response mechanisms was hired-wired before our common species separated.

    Ask them.

    The consumer's prayer.

    That is your conviction, but there's a tremendous amount of evidence and testimony that says otherwise.

    Belief is never blind. Rather belief is in that which cannot be seen. Once seen, it ceases to be belief ...

    I cite the beatitudes, and rest my case ...
     
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    @Thomas: I wish to respond to this one.

    My answer is that eventually by now I would surely be entitled to?

    Now the answer to my desperate prayer for help may have been that God took everything away from me, until I was reduced to 'one robe, one bowl.' It may have been through sickness and fasting and misery that I eventually had to learn that God is everything. There is nothing else.

    It may be that the Holy Mother left me with the terrible event still to be faced, but took away the fear and gave me courage.

    But yes, Christ instructed his disciples to trust God for all their needs. If it didn't work in actuality, it could be just another story. Why should anyone trust the words of a scripture book? Scripture makes promises.

    God fulfills them. That's the deal, imo. But God leads us to give him everything.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    There is terrible suffering in the world.
     
  7. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

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    If it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger. Pain builds character.
     
  8. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

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    When you say "God fulfills them" are you saying God as a conscious person choosing to interact with the affairs of men. It seems to me God is mostly indifferent to our prayers. Based on human experiments there is no amount of evil God will not tolerate in order to preserve our free-will. It seems to me if men want justice or relief from suffering it has to come from men not God.

    Or, maybe you are using the word God to mean a collective force of humanity. I've seen people use the word God in language to mean humanity in a collective sense. If you are using the meaning of the word God to mean actions made by humanity in general then I agree with your use of the word God.

    Please explain what you mean by "God fulfills them."
     
  9. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    God is spirit.

    Scripture explains spiritual law and process. It is often in exact contradiction to natural law.

    Spiritual forces may not interfere with human beings unless invited. That is free will. Angels may watch and weep, but until invited, may not assist.

    And that is the eventual prayer: GOD HELP!

    We have very many natural and material and emotional concerns that make it difficult for angels to reach us. A lot of this stuff may have to go. It may be painful losing it.

    God may send a person, not an angel.

    There is terrible suffering in the world. I myself have caused pain, often to those I love most. I can only try to make it right, where it is in my power. And I can never forget how much blessing/grace I have been given.

    (I am responding to your direct question. But this thread is making me very uncomfortable now.)
     
  10. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    It is the soul God cares about. God knows we have physical needs. But not at the expense of the soul, imo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  11. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Take heart mate. I think all of us are touched by God in one way or the other daily. Been my experience though, most non-believers, naysayers and the like wouldn't believe even if God came round their flat and rang the bell! Pointless argument really. No matter what anyone says or evidence presented, some will always blow it off as: (insert psychobabble of choice here). Whenever that happens, Romans 11:8 always comes to mind. -;)
     
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  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Thank you. Daily small miracles.
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi RJM —
    This points towards subjective experiences which I have no intention of trespassing or demeaning.

    Please be sure that I am not denying the touch of God, or that God works in mysterious ways ... my responses were twofold:

    The first is that there is an undeniable tendency to 'sentimentalise' the Divine and the risk of ending up reducing God to a micromanager with OCD issues! That every good thing that happens is directly attributed to God, and therefore every bad thing that happens is equally directly or indirectly attributed also ... to the point where everything that happens is a direct result of divine interference.

    Example:
    We lost our firstborn at six months into the pregnancy. Our son. Thomas (the name is something of a family tradition). Miscarriage is tough at any time, and six months is tough when you've felt the life moving ... and then it stops.

    Two years later and pregnant again, this time with twins. And someone says twins is a kind of pay-back from God for taking Thomas. I had to bite my tongue.

    Point:
    I have, on Scriptural authority, a firm belief that we live in a contingent world, a world where there are beautiful sunrises, shooting stars, kids and grandkids, close-hauled yachts just flying along ... and there's tsunamis, and earthquakes and cancer ... a world where 'shit happens'. I do not believe in God as a kind of fairy godmother or cosmic fixer ... rather I believe in a God who is there with you. I believe in Divine Empathy.

    The second is I stand by my assertion that there are many, and they are the vast majority, who do not hold the conviction that their prayers were answered. Nor do they believe their prayers are ignored. They believe, rightly or wrongly, because they believe it's the right thing to do. They believe that if their prayers are not answered it's because God knows better.

    Example:
    My dad no doubt prayed for a windfall. To win the pools or something. On the other hand, he worked a 9-5 job five days a week, and then he played in bands in concert halls and pubs seven nights a week, and lunchtimes on Sunday ... he worked every hour God sends to put food on the table and pay the rent. I cannot condemn him for asking for a break ... but it never came, but his faith was unshaken and solid and, as naive as it might be in terms of what he believed, I stand by it and in times of my own trial it's simple enough to say 'what would dad do?' and then I know which way I have to go.

    Point:
    I'm not demeaning your faith or your experience, but I will stand in defence of those who have faith but have not had the same order of experience. Their lives and their souls might well have been touched and they missed it, but nevertheless, they do not know, they do not have your certainty, but they do have faith, and that faith is not unreasonable nor illogical.

    Scripture says it over and over again: the rich man and the publican, the widow's mite, the centurion's daughter, those who have not seen and yet believe, the poor in spirit ... "Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not" (Hebrews 11:1).

    If we say without proof there is no reason to believe in God, then we mock these, those He holds closest to Himself.
     
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  14. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

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    Sorry to hear you are uncomfortable. The problem with scripture is interpreted in a million different ways. I don't want to upset you so I will just accept your answer. People pray and God participates is a fine answer. I'm sorry to hear you hurt people you loved. When this happens, at least for me, the only thing we can do is do our best to be positive force in the lives of the people around us.

    This thread is on the difference between religion and myth:

    OP: "This feels a bit silly to ask, but what is the difference between religion and myth? Weren't ancient myths also part of a religious belief system?"

    Myths have a purpose. As told by Joseph Campbell myths provide us a map to give us meaning and how we are to live our lives. For example, myths provide us a story for how to deal with the lesser angels of our human nature.

    Again, I'm sorry to hear about your suffering. I have a theory on human character and religion. To be a person of good character it is important to study modern psychology. Human nature is very well mapped out. There are many different ways of being. Each of us learns at an early age certain behaviors will get us what we want. The problem with life is many times what has worked in the past does not work in the present. Many times how we behaved in carved into the stone of our character. In order to evolve we have to be open to new ways of thinking.

    Here is one book in modern psychology that will help you map out your character weaknesses and turn them in your greatest character strengths:

    https://www.amazon.com/King-Warrior-Magician-Lover-Rediscovering/dp/0062506064

    It's really amazing how many people are stuck in what is considered adolescent or immature ways of being. Why people have excessive pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth is well understood. Why people choose to exploit each other is well understood. A religion can only be as good as the character of the people practicing it. This is why studying modern psychology is so important.

    This book really touched my life. I hope you can connect with it so you can straighten out why you hurt your loved ones in the first place. Sorry if by just talking about this I made you uncomfortable. Not my intention.
     
  15. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

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    I think God ignores our prayers. However, I do believe prayers, mantras, and religious rituals serve a purpose for aligning our minds in the proper direction. I think it is all up to us to solve ALL our own problems. Whether it is justice for our sins or healing for our sicknesses. As I've said, based on human experiments in history there is no amount of evil God will not tolerate in order to preserve our free will. Take the bombing of Dresden during WWII for example.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II

    Check out the guy in this article:

    https://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-mosul-civilians-airstrike-20170324-story.html

    I don't know why this article, "More than 200 civilians killed in suspected U.S. airstrike in Iraq" has touched my soul so deeply. For some reason the guy in the article who's pregnant wife was killed just gets me.

    The point is, there is profound evil and suffering in the World. The question is why. I am currently resonating with the idea of an Apophatic theology and way of thinking about God. God is complete, perfect, and whole with no desires or needs. The Universe was created out of an abundance of energy not out of some need or desire to save souls. As result, everything in our Universe, nature and ourselves was created by God with imperfections. If nature were perfect, or our human characters were perfect, then we would be identical to God. But we are not. We are full of limitations and flaws.

    So the cause of all evil in the World and human suffering is because of our imperfections in our human characters and the indifference of nature. Since we are not perfect and complete like God, human desires and needs are the source of all the suffering in the World.

    What I think is more important is not the existence of evil in the World or imperfections in our human character, but, that we still have reverence for God in spite of all the evil, suffering, and imperfections. I think when people are obsessed with sin, evil, and suffering in the World they become blind and deaf to all of God's blessings flowing all around us. I think one of the purposes of religion and myth is to provide us a map to having a maximum amount of faith and reverence for God by not judging or hating God because of our own imperfections or the existence of evil and suffering in the World. Bad things happen. Appreciating God's blessings or having the most possible reverence for God is what we are supposed to be striving for. Our mission is to strive to be perfect, complete, and whole like God without having any excessive needs or desires causing evil to occur in the World.
     
  16. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    This.

    In using the I Ching (which I no longer need to do) I learned that it is necessary to refine the query to one question, to which the answer is yes or no. No follow up question permitted. Usually by then , it's no longer necessary to ask?

    There will be an answer, let it be.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  17. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

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  18. dfnj2019

    dfnj2019 Member

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    I like George more than Paul:





     

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