The Nature of Divine Intervention

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by xenu, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. xenu

    xenu New Member

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    I'm curious as to what people would consider qualifying as divine intervention, and any stories they have heard or experienced. I've now had 2 times in my life where I perceived divine intervention, but I'm not convinced that it's not some sort of mechanism to cope with an existence I'd mostly seen as futile
     
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  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    It is a long stretch to call it divine intervention, but the moment when I realized to my complete satisfaction that I did not have any gods, was fundamentally serendipitous to me.
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I've had some health issues where humans with lots of education used their skill and knowledge saved my life. I don't consider that in itself divine intervention.

    I have had a meditation experience whose outcome I deem fairly miraculous, but not any kind of divine intervention.

    Causation, correlation, coincidence.

    So living through numerous car wrecks and rollovers I chalk uoto luck, as well as various unmedically addressed illnesses, a combination of luck and the resilience of the life itself.

    My aorta dissection and subsequent complications was handled amazingly by dozens of medical professionals who dedicated a good portion if their lives to the study and practice of modern medicine.... I'd say I benefitted from thousands of hours classroom and research there...as well as a good share of luck.

    My level of divine intervention is sprinkled heavily with 'G!d can only do for us what G!d does thru us'. Combine that with I am atheistic to most versions of
     
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  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    (Cont).

    G!d (like most monotheists) but I am also agnostic to theirs.

    I see G!d as natural, not supernatural, and involved in, intertwined with TOE. So everything is a miracle, nothing is a miracle,.nothing is divine intervention and everything is...
     
  5. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    ..sounds a bit like "G-d is nature" or deism.
    The problem I have with that, is that it makes G-d powerless, which in turn means that there IS no god by definition :D
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Exactly the problem I don't have.
     
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  7. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Divine intervention is the appearance of a Manifestation of God.
     
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  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Give yourself completely to God, and let God take over completely.
     
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  9. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    God stepping in on our behalf. Not necessarily of Biblical proportions, but in subtle, barely noticed ways when the need arises. I believe that happens far more often than most people realize, will admit to or acknowledge and in my own case, far too often to keep track of.
     
  10. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    My story would be fairly close to that already expressed by Namaste, however there were a couple of times that this intervention came about in such a way as to alter the course of my life. I call this a "point of departure", in which the natural course of life, the way things things would seem to be going, was changed.

    One happened when I was 21, the other occurred later in life, around age 50 or so, I think, though I lose track of time.
    In the first one I was a fairly severe social phobic who had settled into a job, and my human contact was limited mostly to the workplace, which can be a rather "surface" way of relating to people, and rather lonely at that.

    In the second instance, I had long fallen from my first attempt at the spiritual life in a fundamentalist church, and had pretty much given up to the idea that I would finish out my life and die without knowing God in any deeper way than I had already experienced. I carried the crippling guilt of my "fall" along with that.

    In both cases, the intervention led me, or even forced me, back to relating to others in a deeper way (exactly what I feared), and an opening up to the revelation, or at least to the possibility of the existence of the highest form of love possible, called by most in the Christian realm "agape".

    How do you distinguish between divine intervention and psychological coping mechanisms... I can't say. I think there is either a knowing that comes from the heart, or there is not. No one can persuade you as regards validity, it would be useless to try. (IMO, of course)
     
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  11. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    For one, I would say that dysfunctional coping mechanisms would be interventions of an a*hole divinity.
     
  12. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    Sounds almost koan-like, Cino. If you reverse the polarity of it would be as if to say that good coping mechanisms are the interventions of a loving divinity.

    I could be reading too much into it, however.
     
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  13. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Maybe I was reading too much into your question about distinguishing between the psychological and the supernatural.

    It is a subject that interests me a lot, having examined my mind both in meditation and in therapeutic contexts.

    There is a lot more going on in our minds than meets the casual glance. We possess great powers, both beneficial and destructive, that work in hidden ways.

    Regardless of whether we attribute these to natural or supernatural causes, the question remains why we would acknowledge only the beneficial ones for being exceptional?

    In certain schools of psychology, acknowledging the "shadow" is essential.

    In strictly religious language, which words do we choose? Demonic interventions? Divine interventions with negative consequences?
     
  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    That's assuming it's all a thumb-suck -- that God/spirit does not exist, neither demonic nor angelic beings, etc. It's a gulf that can never be crossed, between those who 'know' God was created by man as a coping mechanism, and those who have directly and definitely known divine intervention, and who know there is a devil too. Imo?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  15. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I would assume that important experiences of spiritual growth need not be blissful but can force us into uncomfortable spaces within and outside ourselves?
     
  16. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Yes, exactly. If there is divine intervention, then is there is also infernal intervention?
     
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  17. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Definitely, spiritual growth goes hand in hand with death-like experiences, grieving processes, all that good stuff.

    But how about the spiritual materialism, the co-opting of spiritual attainment by the very personality traits which were apparently transcended, the fearlessness which masquerades as letting go of the controls and yet is just the same old sociopathic tendencies? The counter-revolution, the reaction to enlightenment?
     
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  18. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    I understand... I just threw "psychological" coping mechanisms in there on impulse, but in the OP, Xenu just leaves it at coping mechanisms.

    We shouldn't. The destructive powers have an important role to play, in my opinion. Sometimes I feel like I have a foot squarely in both in "heaven" and "hell", both abyssal, having no bottom. What I see there depends on how much I am able to take, or perhaps, according to the measure of grace I have received. My measure has it's limits. If I attempt to get ahead of the process, it creates an imbalance. If I become too self-righteous, the shadow will say, not so fast buddy, take a look at this. If I give in to only the view of the darker aspects of the shadow, I would be overwhelmed with despair. It's through the conflict, sort of a conjunction of opposites, that refinement emerges. And I have a long way to go.

    I think, perhaps crazily, of the movie "Jacob's Ladder", in which the protagonist was caught between the two worlds, and the quote which was not a quote, very loosely based on Eckhart according to the screen writer, but still quite profound:

    Louis: "If you're afraid of dying, and you're holdin' on, you'll see devils tearin' your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freein' you from the world. It all depends on how you look at it."

    These darker aspects are presented here as a refiner's fire, taking away the things that are unnecessary, freeing us from our attachments to this world of form and illusion.

    None of us are free from suffering, and as John of the Cross points out, especially in the dark night of the spirit, that suffering can become incredibly intense. And yet, the poem which inspired his commentary is without a doubt a love poem. And so, within the context of this suffering, he is able to exclaim, "Oh happy chance!", knowing what the result will be, having passed through it himself.

    I've read some Jung, beginning with Man and His Symbols, which was intended to reach a lay audience which would ordinarily not bother with Jung's rather complicated psychological theories. I still regard it as an important work.

    But to answer the last question concerning Divine interventions with negative consequences, I can only give my view. Divine intervention will often lead you right into the center of the struggle, to the front lines, so to speak. The "death" experienced there, in its myriad forms, is a necessary part of the journey.

    This is how I view my experience in fundamentalism. I always say it was a mixed bag, but I remain thankful for it, even for my fall and subsequent struggles. I view it, paradoxically, as an invaluable experience through which I was divested of many harmful things. Faith is still there, hope is there, nothing really important has been lost.

    Perhaps we are over-complicating Xenu's OP. Perspectives were asked for, along with the perplexing question of whether his/her experiences could be separated into divine intervention vs. coping mechanisms. Although I could give no answer due to the subtleties at play, I believed the divine can be more clearly seen in the experiences which alter the course of life from its natural trajectory; ultimately, for the good. Whether the circumstances at play are good or bad, one is forced onto new ground which the person might not have chosen on his or her own. But this is my own perhaps incomplete view, using the poor tools at hand (words), and is of course subject to question.

    I hope Xenu will come back at some point and elaborate more on the situation.
     
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  19. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Yes, @xenu - did you notice this great discussion you initiated?
     
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  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Darkness is not the opposite of light, but the lack of it. Total darkness is total lack of light. Even a small candle brings light. The light can increase to the light of a sun or twenty million suns -- toward but never reaching ultimate light.

    *In simple terms gravity pulls all things 'down'. But there's no limit to up. They are not opposites.

    There are true opposites though. Fire and water are opposites. Positive and negative are opposites. Male and female too, are opposites -- each mixed with a little of the other, like the yin/yang symbol.

    In that sense, the (d)evil is not the opposite of but the lack of G(o)od? The devil cannot be the opposite of God, because ... well, just because. And of course good and evil are relative to the observer. The lion's dinner is the zebra's demise.

    So, how to explain 'demonic influence'? Is it the lack of 'being in God'? Sin, what comes between a human being and God? So in a sense evil permeates creation? Yes?

    Angels are not permitted by divine law from interfering with human beings unless invited to do so. The spiritual law of free will. However nature abhors a vacuum. There is Christ's parable about the demon evicted and then wandering the wilderness until eventually returning with seven others to the swept and furnished house which has remained unoccupied, and so the end state is worse than the first.

    Do we have simple logical natural answers to explain spiritual events? Probably not, mostly.

    *In simple terms!
    (edited ...)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019

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