What, who, or where is God not?

juantoo3

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They don't, but how does that prove that the so-called entity for which no evidence has ever been observed (God) has given free will to humans and is interested in testing them for loyalty and morals? Chimps and apes have better intelligence than fish or cattle, humans have evolved further than that. It is only a matter of evolution.
"G!d" is a name given to a Great Unknowable.

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So why do these cave paintings exist? They were not painted in the living spaces, they were done deep in the dark recesses that humans did not occupy on a regular basis. Why go there in the first place?, or at all?

What drove archaic humans across four continents we know of to pursue this artistic activity for tens of thousands of years? What possible purpose could it serve?
 
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juantoo3

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Psilocybin, Ayahuasca, Fly Agaric, Mescaline, Morning Glory, Datura, Opium, Angel Trumpet, Jimson Weed, Belladonna...and for that matter Alcohol, Tobacco, Coffee and Tea. Why have humans sought out these poisonous substances for hundreds of generations?

Whether we find its traces in Australia, Asia Africa, or Europe, it is simply impossible to overstate the uniqueness and peculiarity of the evolutionary event by which we were drawn into fully modern consciousness and the fully modern capacity for symbolism and culture, religion, and art. No ancestor in the human lineage had ever made use of any form of symbolism before, and needless to say, no other animal species had ever done so either. But the switching-on of humanity's symbol-making capacity between approximately 100,000 and 40,000 years ago was the change that changed everything. -Graham Hancock
Prehistoric Drugs. (ancient-wisdom.com)

Culture, Religion, Art - bound together, inseparable.

I deliberately did not say G!d. But I must ask then, what is Religion? If Religion is so necessary, so ubiquitous, so universal, so widespread and encompassing, so tied with Culture and reflected in Art, why was Religion ever devised to begin with, if not to reach with a part of the human psyche to connect with an unseen part of reality? This wasn't a passing fad or local development, by 40 thousand years ago all Archaic Humans had developed similar Religio-Artistic expressions.

Whether a person calls it G!d or not is irrelevent. Call it "Bob" for all I care. These Archaic Peoples without exception, living hand to mouth as hunter gatherers, who did not have time or energy to waste on frivolous pursuits, ALL came to the same conclusion. Something is there. We can't see it, but we can intuit it, and in fleeting moments under the right circumstances, at least some people can experience it... there must be something there if all of humanity for over 30 thousand years reached out to "Bob" in the same basic manner.
 
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juantoo3

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The three oldest human races are the San people of South Africa, Sami (or Lapp) people of Northern Europe and the Ainu people of Northern Japan and Kamchatka.

San Religion:
To enter the spirit world, trance has to be initiated by a shaman through the hunting of a tutelary spirit or power animal.[6] The eland often serves as power animal.[7] The fat of the eland is used symbolically in many rituals including initiations and rites of passage. Other animals such as giraffe, kudu and hartebeest can also serve this function.

One of the most important rituals in the San religion is the great dance, or the trance dance. This dance typically takes a circular form, with women clapping and singing and men dancing rhythmically. Although there is no evidence that the Kalahari San use hallucinogens regularly, student shaman may use hallucinogens to go into trance for the first time.[8]

Psychologists have investigated hallucinations and altered states of consciousness in neuropsychology. They found that entoptic phenomena can occur through rhythmic dancing, music, sensory deprivation, hyperventilation, prolonged and intense concentration and migraines.[9] The psychological approach explains rock art through three trance phases. In the first phase of trance an altered state of consciousness would come about. People would experience geometric shapes commonly known as entoptic phenomena. These would include zigzags, chevrons, dots, flecks, grids, vortices and U-shapes. These shapes can be found especially in rock engravings of Southern Africa.

During the second phase of trance people try to make sense of the entoptic phenomena. They would elaborate the shape they had 'seen' until they had created something that looked familiar to them. Shamans experiencing the second phase of trance would incorporate the natural world into their entoptic phenomena, visualising honeycombs or other familiar shapes.

In the third phase a radical transformation occurs in mental imagery. The most noticeable change is that the shaman becomes part of the experience. Subjects under laboratory conditions have found that they experience sliding down a rotating tunnel, entering caves or holes in the ground. People in the third phase begin to lose their grip on reality and hallucinate monsters and animals of strong emotional content. In this phase, therianthropes in rock painting can be explained as heightened sensory awareness that gives one the feeling that they have undergone a physical transformation.[9]
San religion - Wikipedia

Sami Religion:
Traditional Sámi religion was a type of polytheism. (See Sámi deities.) There was some diversity due to the wide area that is Sápmi, allowing for the evolution of variations in beliefs and practices between tribes. The old beliefs are closely connected to the land, animism, and the supernatural. Sámi spirituality is often characterized by pantheism, a strong emphasis on the importance of personal spirituality and its interconnectivity with one's own daily life, and a deep connection between the natural and spiritual "worlds".[147] Among other roles, the Sámi shaman, or noaidi, enabled ritual communication with the supernatural[148] through the use of tools such as drums, chants, sacred objects and fly agaric.[149][150] Some practices within the Old Sámi religion included natural sacred sites such as mountains, springs, land formations, as well as man-made ones such as petroglyphs and labyrinths.[151]

The Sámi cosmology divides the universe into three worlds. The upper world is related to the South, warmth, life, and the color white. It is also the dwelling of the gods. The middle world is like the Norse Midgard, it is the dwelling of humans and it is associated with the color red. The third world is the underworld and it is associated with the color black, it represents the north, the cold and it is inhabited by otters, loons, and seals and mythical animals.[152][153]

Sámi religion shared some elements with Norse mythology, possibly from early contacts with trading Vikings (or vice versa). They were the last worshippers of Thor, as late as the 18th century according to contemporary ethnographers. Through a mainly French initiative from Joseph Paul Gaimard as part of his La Recherche Expedition, Lars Levi Læstadius began research on Sámi mythology. His work resulted in Fragments of Lappish Mythology, since by his own admission, they contained only a small percentage of what had existed. The fragments were termed Theory of Gods, Theory of Sacrifice, Theory of Prophecy, or short reports about rumorous Sami magic and Sami sagas. Generally, he claims to have filtered out the Norse influence and derived common elements between the South, North, and Eastern Sámi groups.[citation needed] The mythology has common elements with other traditional indigenous religions as well—such as those in Siberia and North America.
Sámi people - Wikipedia

Ainu Religion:
The Ainu are traditionally animists, believing that everything in nature has a kamuy (spirit or god) on the inside. The most important include Kamuy-huci, goddess of the hearth, Kim-un-kamuy, god of bears and mountains, and Repun Kamuy, god of the sea, fishing, and marine animals.[131] Kotan-kar-kamuy is regarded as the creator of the world in the Ainu religion.[132]

The Ainu have no priests by profession; instead the village chief performs whatever religious ceremonies are necessary. Ceremonies are confined to making libations of sake, saying prayers, and offering willow sticks with wooden shavings attached to them.[97] These sticks are called inaw (singular) and nusa (plural).

They are placed on an altar used to "send back" the spirits of killed animals. Ainu ceremonies for sending back bears are called Iyomante. The Ainu people give thanks to the gods before eating and pray to the deity of fire in time of sickness. They believe that their spirits are immortal, and that their spirits will be rewarded hereafter by ascending to kamuy mosir (Land of the Gods).[97]

The Ainu are part of a larger collective of indigenous people who practice "arctolatry" or bear worship. The Ainu believe that the bear holds particular importance as Kim-un Kamuy's chosen method of delivering the gift of the bear's hide and meat to humans.

John Batchelor reported that the Ainu view the world as being a spherical ocean on which float many islands, a view based on the fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. He wrote that they believe the world rests on the back of a large fish, which when it moves causes earthquakes.[133]
Ainu people - Wikipedia

Even allowing for some infiltration and influence from more modern religions (Christianity, Norse Paganism, Shinto), traditionalism still underlies these cultures, and a simple and similar pattern shows itself.
 
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Aupmanyav

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Further in what sense? Was human 'higher' consciousness a goal of evolution? Is not human evolution parallel with chimpanzee evolution?
Specialization and its effects (living style). Specialization does not always help. Things can come to a rude halt.
I was talking about myself. I don't speak as a Baha'i: just myself and my opinions.
Your opinion is not quite correct. You should perhaps repent.
 
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Aupmanyav

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What drove archaic humans across four continents we know of to pursue this artistic activity for tens of thousands of years? What possible purpose could it serve?
I think those who did this were shamans, smart people, who expected other people to bring the best portions of the kill without themselves making any effort.
Why have humans sought out these poisonous substances for hundreds of generations?
Why do people today use drugs, alcohol or tobacco. To get a kick. That was why even 40,000 years ago.
Whether Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Baha'u'llah, etc. spoke the truth or not is up to you to decide for yourself.
Add Zoroaster. IMHO, they spoke to enjoy the benefit of (religious) leadership. Only Jesus failed. Truth is a different matter. Did they have any evidence for what they said?
 
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juantoo3

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Nice dodge, but it is avoiding the issue.

I think those who did this were shamans, smart people, who expected other people to bring the best portions of the kill without themselves making any effort.
The shaman came very late in the game, so your thought is incorrect. The oldest evidence of a Shaman only dates about 12K years ago.
Why do people today use drugs, alcohol or tobacco. To get a kick. That was why even 40,000 years ago.
This flip answer is not only culturally condescending and prejudicial, it completely ignores the psychological science behind why, and the specific effects of the named entheogenic substances. To get a "kick" archaic humans could have eaten anything with sugar like honey or fruit...and while they did, they also learned to convert those sugars into alcohol for an entirely different "trip."

Why did humans begin to consume grain? Humans did not evolve to consume grain, we are not physically equipped to consume grain, we are not ruminants. Yet grain has become a staple because of the effect on the brain.

There is a great deal more WIDESPREAD circumstantial evidence to support "Bob" than there is to support "no god." While I can agree the concept was later anthropomorphized and abused, and the masses left those pursuits to specialized leaders (beginning with the shaman) who later took advantage of that as a form of power and leadership, all of this I've mentioned predated all of that. I would agree with you there is no anthropomorphized god, but that does not preclude "Bob."

Why did the Hindu faith begin? What are its roots? What purpose does it serve? If no "Bob," why bother? Was it a bunch of "whys guys" sitting around philosophically and mentally trying to outdo one another to see who could sound the "most enlightened" with nothing to back them up? That would seem like a terrible waste of effort to me, and likely to others as well who would begin to see through the ruse. So there must have been some underlying foundation, no?
 
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RJM

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It's obvious that homo sapiens has asked questions of existence and since earliest times invoked a divine agency.

The question is whether modern scientific knowledge of a small part of the (absolutely incredible) mechanism of nature completely annuls the divine?
 
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Aupmanyav

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The shaman came very late in the game, so your thought is incorrect. The oldest evidence of a Shaman only dates about 12K years ago.
To get a "kick" archaic humans could have eaten anything with sugar like honey or fruit...and while they did, they also learned to convert those sugars into alcohol for an entirely different "trip."
Why did humans begin to consume grain?

Why did the Hindu faith begin? What are its roots? What purpose does it serve? Was it a bunch of "whys guys" sitting around philosophically and mentally trying to outdo one another to see who could sound the "most enlightened" with nothing to back them up?
I think Shamans have existed in all human history if not earlier. Remember that even Neanderthals covered their dead with red ochre.
Even monkey and elephants like to get drunk. There is no dearth of rotting fruits in forests.
Saving ourselves from predators was the first concern and that was not easy. Even if a kill was made it could be taken away by lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, wolves, hyenas etc. India had all of them. It was not possible to have a full non-vegetarian diet all the time. We were not always that all-mighty. Humans have always foraged for fruits, roots and grain, anything that will fill their stomach. Women generally doing that kind of work while the men hunted.

Roots of Hinduism are also in shamans. The idea of a God helping you, is reassuring, even if false. The bunch of 'why's guys' developed later. Some rejected the existence of God as early as 3000 years ago (RigVeda - "The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?" https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10129.htm). Even God people had nothing to back them up. That is why Samkhya philosophy developed 'Nirishwaravada' (Doctrine of non-existence of God - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samkhya#Arguments_against_Ishvara's_existence). Vaisheshika (the Hindu atomic theory) said every thing is because of atoms.
 
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juantoo3

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I think Shamans have existed in all human history if not earlier.
Since "history" began with the invention of writing, 3400 BC +/- in Mesopotamia (any earlier is "pre-historic" by definition), and the earliest evidence of Shaman is about 10K BC, I think that statement is accurate.
Remember that even Neanderthals covered their dead with red ochre.
That did not require a Shaman. :D
Even monkey and elephants like to get drunk. There is no dearth of rotting fruits in forests.
So do wasps, bees, various birds and ants. I had thought I read of one species of ant that actually manufactured fermented fruit, but can't seem to find the info. My point was that humans began to purposely ferment fruit to purposely create alcohol...something other animals (possible exception of the ants I mentioned) do not do.
Saving ourselves from predators was the first concern and that was not easy. Even if a kill was made it could be taken away by lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, wolves, hyenas etc. India had all of them. It was not possible to have a full non-vegetarian diet all the time. We were not always that all-mighty. Humans have always foraged for fruits, roots and grain, anything that will fill their stomach. Women generally doing that kind of work while the men hunted.
This story is no different across all of Eurasia, Africa and Australia. The story is no different than every other human had to face. In other words...yeah, so? All Archaic Humans faced the exact same challenges and still found it important enough to paint cave walls. Some (Sami, Ainu) added the complications of living in deep cold, and are likely where dogs (wolves) entered the picture coexisting with humans. Neandertal as well toughed it out in the cold.

Roots of Hinduism are also in shamans. The idea of a God helping you, is reassuring, even if false. The bunch of 'why's guys' developed later. Some rejected the existence of God as early as 3000 years ago (RigVeda - "The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?" https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10129.htm). Even God people had nothing to back them up. That is why Samkhya philosophy developed 'Nirishwaravada' (Doctrine of non-existence of God - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samkhya#Arguments_against_Ishvara's_existence). Vaisheshika (the Hindu atomic theory) said every thing is because of atoms.
So your point of view is based in other persons' thoughts and not personal experience?
 
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Aupmanyav

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That did not require a Shaman. :D

This story is no different across all of Eurasia, Africa and Australia.

So your point of view is based in other person's thoughts and not personal experience?
Then how did they arrive at this thought? Someone must have advised them.
Yeah, humans everywhere faced this problem of predators. The Sami must have faced tigers, wolves and bears and at some time in history, mammoths. Sami added their ballads, extempore poetry, much in the way of SamaVeda hymns. I always wonder if there was a connection.
The personal evidence is that I have not, in my 78 years of life, found any evidence of existence of God, soul, heaven, hell, That is what many other people have believed in history and believe even today. God is defeated in the field of evidence.
 

juantoo3

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God is defeated in the field of evidence.
Evidence yes, experience no. :) My personal experience is insufficient evidence for anyone else, and quite sufficient for myself. I've sought evidence to prove my experience for years, and all I have is the vast quantity of circumstantial evidence across 40 thousand years and 4 Continents...but that is considerably more than the evidence to make me deny my experience.
Then how did they arrive at this thought? Someone must have advised them.
It was impossible for them to arrive at the thought themselves by experience?
 

Aupmanyav

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With me, God lost the war of evidence.
Generally, the shamans / prophets / sons / messengers / manifestations / mahdis establish and define what people come to believe. If they were capable of thinking for themselves, then they would have seen the gaping holes in what as professed.
 

juantoo3

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That is why religion does not define what I believe. Religion to me is an effort to try to understand what I experience. "G!d" to you, may have lost a war of evidence, but there is no way I can deny my personal experience of "Bob." The strawman doesn't work, and isn't convincing.

Interesting to me your religious writings seem to define what you have come to believe....pots and kettles? Could it be your mind is so clouded with thoughts (both your own and those of others) that you have forgotten how to be "in the moment" to experience life all around you - seen and unseen?
 
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Religion to me is an effort to try to understand what I experience. "G!d" to you, may have lost a war of evidence, but there is no way I can deny my personal experience of "Bob."
Bingo
 

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Religions are trying to explain spiritual laws and truths to human minds in limited human language and material images. God is not limited to religion, imo -- especially not to one religion?
 

juantoo3

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Exactly. Religious texts by their very nature are symbolic. The very act of writing is drawing upon agreed to symbols. This is what the Buddhist concept of differentiating the menu from the meal is all about.

Humans have not always thought in symbols. Young children prior to and as they first enter school think in pictures, not symbolic words. Learning alphabets and numerals changes that...not that that is a bad thing; but there is an innocent, pre-cognitive connection to the Earth and all within it that is quickly lost and outgrown. Most adults don't even remember what it was like, it is buried so deep in their memory. So the very idea of dismissing one set of religious texts with another is ridiculous to me, every one of them is symbolic and has only symbolism to offer...none has "truth" because truth is not contained in words, words can only point to truth. Pre-historic, Archaic humans thought in pictures. What we see painted on cave walls is an early precursor to symbolism and symbolic thought - aka "consciousness."
 
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But 'true' religions do contain and encapsulate truth, imo. Religious leaders do not argue, they agree. It is abused and misunderstood, for many reasons. Difficult to find words, really ...

It's a very complicated thing
 
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Inspired by @SalixIncendium's recent thread about God, I invite you all to share what God is not, to you.

Are there "God-free zones" in the universe?

If God is a person, what about other persons?

If God is One, what about the other numbers?

...?



The simplest explanation of what god is not would be this. If everything you can see and can not see was to be placed into a box, that box would be inside of gods mind. The box and all of it's contents are not god they are inside of him and he can become anything inside of himself to become something here. So god could be anything, anywhere but only one thing. You and me and everything else in the box has to become itself to become something again and again but god can be anything in the box to become himself here or again.

God free zones are all things in the universe except for who he/she/it is.

Are people the smartest of all creations in the universe, he would I think try to be something that can figure things out more then anything else, where ever that might be.

As far as numbers are concerned it would be easier to just remove him from the equation as he is not really part of everything here, for he is outside of who we are.


powessy
 
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Cino

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You and me and everything else in the box has to become itself to become something again and again but god can be anything in the box to become himself here or again.
When I dream, I am usually one of the characters, but the other ones are also me, in that they occur in my mind and act out parts of me that are not conscious.

Is that analogous to what you are saying? Then God-free zones would be what God is unconscious of?
 
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