Proofs for existence of God

Devadatta

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Vajradhara said:
it can help for non-Buddhists with a Christian background to get a handle on some of the differences between the Three Vehicles, in my view.

actually, i saw this for the first time when i read a Thurman translation of a Vajrayana text and i, personally, found it very odd to hear. however, i do understand the utility of using terms that have an understood meaning... especially when it comes to distinctions within a singular religous paradigm.

I am indebted to Uma's dad for his well foot-noted translation of the Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra, which while being wildly over the top, as is the Mahayana wont, contains passages that even a heretic can love.

Vajradhara said:
i suppose that, if there is interest, i could post up something that elaborates a bit more on how these categories could be applied to Buddhist thought.

No, no, don't do that! It would deny me the fun of making up my own categories!

Cheers.
 

Amelialee

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Devadatta said:
No, no, don't do that! It would deny me the fun of making up my own categories!

Cheers.


These last couple of words :confused: i understand that the talk on that particular forum is about Buddhism, nobody touches other religions...slightly reminds one from time to time that ..ok folks, let's look at other points of view, but nobody does, and the main stream flows into Buddhism. Hillarious..

It's no point to talk about something different. Getting into one religion is not the matter of this forum i guess..but it's easy to figure out that it actually is. You can get a mindful pleasure after "making up your own categories", but that's it. What about the condition of the heart at the moment? Denying it? Pretending that the heart is only the part of the human body that circulates blood through the body? The spiritual condition of what is in your heart is far more important than physical realizing and understanding - is also condition here.
If nobody minds, I would like to ask anybody to describe their personal spiritual condition of HIS/HER heart at the moment of life. It would be interesting to hear some views.

*sav
 

Devadatta

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Amelialee said:
These last couple of words :confused: i understand that the talk on that particular forum is about Buddhism, nobody touches other religions...slightly reminds one from time to time that ..ok folks, let's look at other points of view, but nobody does, and the main stream flows into Buddhism. Hillarious..

It's no point to talk about something different. Getting into one religion is not the matter of this forum i guess..but it's easy to figure out that it actually is. You can get a mindful pleasure after "making up your own categories", but that's it. What about the condition of the heart at the moment? Denying it? Pretending that the heart is only the part of the human body that circulates blood through the body? The spiritual condition of what is in your heart is far more important than physical realizing and understanding - is also condition here.
If nobody minds, I would like to ask anybody to describe their personal spiritual condition of HIS/HER heart at the moment of life. It would be interesting to hear some views.

*sav

Hi Amelia. Don't know if I completely grasp your objection, but here goes:

- I agree we've gone off-target here, but with no malice intended. I tried earlier to suggest that this line be moved to the Buddhism forum, and I would repeat that suggestion now to the moderators.

- But you also appear to be offended by the amount of discussion of Buddhism in the forums - although again I'm not sure if that's what you're saying. But if you look at the numbers of postings, you'll find that Christianity is preponderant by a wide margin. Buddhism is unlikely to overwhelm these forums anytime soon!

- As for heart, the topic of this thread is proof for the existence of God. This may or may not include discussions of the heart, depending on your way of articulating your ideas and beliefs. I appreciate your point of view, and the points of view of anyone who follows your lead. But others prefer to talk about these things in different ways, and just because "heart" isn't the element pushed to the forward, it doesn't mean that heart is lacking.

Best Wishes.
 

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Amelialee said:
These last couple of words :confused: i understand that the talk on that particular forum is about Buddhism, nobody touches other religions...slightly reminds one from time to time that ..ok folks, let's look at other points of view, but nobody does, and the main stream flows into Buddhism. Hillarious..

It's no point to talk about something different. Getting into one religion is not the matter of this forum i guess..but it's easy to figure out that it actually is. You can get a mindful pleasure after "making up your own categories", but that's it. What about the condition of the heart at the moment? Denying it? Pretending that the heart is only the part of the human body that circulates blood through the body? The spiritual condition of what is in your heart is far more important than physical realizing and understanding - is also condition here.
If nobody minds, I would like to ask anybody to describe their personal spiritual condition of HIS/HER heart at the moment of life. It would be interesting to hear some views.

*sav

hello Amelialee:)
as a bible believer, my point of view on topics like this is not something i would engage in because for me they are a waste of time & do very little for me. we either believe or we do not.
i dont think the heart is just a blood pump no more than the mind is just a brain, i think the heart is a real spiritual condition, the same with the mind.
i can't speak for the others but that is why you wont see too much from me on topics like this.
for me, it is like arguing over the sky being purple or black, when it can be all the colors at once.
if someone does not believe in God, then naturally you will not hear the things that pertain to God or the spirit. so someone looking for physical proof, or trying to convince others with physical proof does not work, because God is a spirit. so, they would not be seeking God but rather seeking something else. that could be why you are seeing it the way you are seeing it in this particular thread & why it went the way it did.
you can see the topics are quite different in each religion in each different forum, though sometimes they are the same.

i hope that helps a little & welcome to CR:)
 

presser_kun

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I cannot prove that you who read this exist. I do, however, assume that you do.

Why?

It seems like a safe assumption to me.

Safe because, even though my senses may be being fooled, even though it is a very real possibility that I am mad, locked in a prison, or, Matrix-style, asleep in a watery cocoon, the world I live in is consistent.

Natural law (physics, biochemistry, et cetera) has been explored and fleshed out (sic) to an amazing degree of refinement. Your existence is consonant with natural law, so I am confident that my assumption of your existence is sound.

* * *​

Some of us assume that God exists, some of us doubt that he does.

Does anyone reading this thread assume that God doesn't exist?

Regardless of your position on this issue, I posit that we all, either consciously or non-, assume what seems to be consistent with what we see in the world.

Is this an accurate statement, in your view?

Assume, for a moment, that God exists. Does doing so violate natural law in any way?

Assume, for a moment, that God doesn't exist. Is there anything in the world that doesn't make sense due to the absence of a supreme being?

Underlying these questions is another assumption: that the word, God, means -- well, something.

To avoid getting caught in the trap of semantics, for the present argument, I am assuming (there's that word again) that God means an omnipotent being capable of bringing the universe into being, i.e., capable of creating what we call existence itself.

I am not including in this definition a personality, a sense of loving or caring.

Please, if this offends you, that I would divorce God's power from his care and concern for his children, remember that this is but a thought experiment. I'm attempting to get down to fundamentals. God may, if he exists, be a loving and caring father figure, but the only thing required of a being for it to be classed as a God is that it have superhuman power.

Is that a fair assumption?

That word again -- we often differ because of our assumptions.

Anyway, my point, rambling though I have on my way to it, is this:

We may not be able to prove with hard fact that God exists, but we can make assumptions based on the evidence we see in front of us each day.

What evidence do you see in the world that supports the existence of God?

What evidence do you see that supports the belief/assumption that there is not a God?

In other words, evidence for God's existence is a much more productive discussion topic than proofs for God's existence.

I look forward to your thoughts on these ideas.

peace,

press
 

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presser_kun said:
Regardless of your position on this issue, I posit that we all, either consciously or non-, assume what seems to be consistent with what we see in the world.

Is this an accurate statement, in your view?
As far as I can see, it makes sense.

PK said:
]but the only thing required of a being for it to be classed as a God is that it have superhuman power.

Is that a fair assumption?
No I don't believe so, an unlimited range of imaginary beings could be fantasised as have power extending beyond humans. Modern humans have potential to create and destroy in what would surely appear to be a superhuman fashion to the Cro-magnons. Would it be fair to describe alien races as gods because they can travel into deep space or make soy food taste nice?

PK said:
We may not be able to prove with hard fact that God exists, but we can make assumptions based on the evidence we see in front of us each day.

What evidence do you see in the world that supports the existence of God?
Essentially none.

PK said:
What evidence do you see that supports the belief/assumption that there is not a God?
The abscence of evidence for the positive. Although I would say this is weak reasoning and by no means conclusive.
 

Vajradhara

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Namaste Devadatta,

thank you for the post.

Devadatta said:
But it interests me that you use the term "Hinayana". It's a term as you know that's used polemically in some sutras, is not much in favour among Theravadins, and can mislead the uninitiated in the first approach to the canon. I'm guessing your use of the term follows from your readings in the Tibetan tradition. And this points to another condition of our differing perspectives, since I have read very little in that tradition or in the Vajrayana.

indeed, this is how it is in some cases.

to my way of thinking, this is a mistaken view. i use the term Hinyana to represent the first Turning teachings which were taken up by some 17 different schools at various points. in todays world, there is only one school left of the various Hinyana schools, Theravedan. as such, using the term Theravedan to denote Hinyana isn't as accurate as is should be since this presumes the non-existence of other views in this same Turning, in my view.

However, you've read in the Pali Canon no doubt what are essentially polemical dismissals of all those wrong view out there, beginning with the Brahmajala Sutta, and running through all those benighted Brahmans, Niganthas, Skeptics, etc. I think the refuting of the skeptic - in the Digha or Majjhima, I forget which - was a particularly blatant exercise in sophistry by whoever composed this sutta. My point is that the Buddhist tradition starts off with an excellent point about the danger and perhaps ultimate futility of all metaphysical assertions, but goes on to misrepesent and over-simplify in the usual ways the positions of its opponents.

i feel that this is difficult to know. we have a difficult enough time dealing with concepts that are still operative, let alone those ideas which have come and gone throughout history.

At this juncture in history this hardly seems sustainable. I mean take a peak into Meister Eckhart, Shankara, or the Kabbalah, and you might find much that's useless or a hindrance from your point of view, but to say that these gambits, that so much mirror Buddhist gambits, are incapable of leading to a similar state of enlightenment is simply not supportable, in my view.

the doctrinal reason that they don't is due to their lack of a teaching of anatta and thus, anuttara samyak sambodi is not possible. i'll grant that the other world religious traditions are certainly capable of helping a being enter the Jhanas but these states are not the final liberative effort, as it were.

metta,

~v
 

Devadatta

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Vajradhara said:
the doctrinal reason that they don't is due to their lack of a teaching of anatta and thus, anuttara samyak sambodi is not possible. i'll grant that the other world religious traditions are certainly capable of helping a being enter the Jhanas but these states are not the final liberative effort, as it were.

Hi Vajra. First, I'd like to say that I think at times I come on a little stronger than I need to, so I apologize if I've been in any way strident at any point in our exchanges.

I think the point I would like to make here is that we shouldn't confuse worship of "Brahma" or the idea of Brahmaviharas, etc., as portrayed in the suttas with the much more sophisticated non-dual orthodox philosophies which were already around at the time of the Buddha and certainly became the dominant way of thinking later on. These non-dual philosophies are hardly any more satisfied with "pleasant abidings" or mere jhana states than is Buddhism. This is one of the reasons why I detect a polemical strain in the suttas, i.e., that nowhere do the suttas seriously address the equally subtle upanashadic philosophies that must have existed at the time. This is not to denigrate the tradition. It would be hard to imagine any set of sacred writings preserved by monks over centures that was completely free of a sectarian slant.

Again, what you find when you look into Shankara or in the mystical traditions of the monotheistic faiths is finally is a kind of metaphysical deconstruction very similar to that of the Buddhist tradition. Accomplished sages on both sides can of course argue the fine points of doctrine & method, but in terms of fundamentals these are very much parallel procedures.

It comes down as always to the pragmatic question of upaya. A Buddhist I think is justified in holding to the view that building up complex metaphysics is simply a waste of time & effort and a breeder of confusion: why not start with deconstruction from the getgo?

But I think a non-Buddhist mystic is equally justified in holding that the build up & maintenance of metaphysical systems is a useful & necessary support (leaving aside its social usefulness), and besides, East or West, the road to truth is a long one.

Cheers.
 

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Namatse Devadatta,

thank you for the post.

Devadatta said:
Hi Vajra. First, I'd like to say that I think at times I come on a little stronger than I need to, so I apologize if I've been in any way strident at any point in our exchanges.

no worries :)

I think the point I would like to make here is that we shouldn't confuse worship of "Brahma" or the idea of Brahmaviharas, etc., as portrayed in the suttas with the much more sophisticated non-dual orthodox philosophies which were already around at the time of the Buddha and certainly became the dominant way of thinking later on. These non-dual philosophies are hardly any more satisfied with "pleasant abidings" or mere jhana states than is Buddhism.

are you specifically refering to Vedanta?

nevertheless, it seems to be a well established tradition that, within the Indian experience, several schools had identified one of the Jhanas with ultimate liberation. there is a rather famous Sutta that talks about this sort of thing.. in fact, it goes on to cite the example of one particular being who had become so absorbed in the Jhanas that he thought he had eliminated the fetters, whilst he was in meditation, his hair grew so long that rats started to gnaw on it. when he was aroused from his meditation and saw what the rats did, his anger returned. thus the Buddha establishes that the Jhanas are not ultimately liberative.

This is one of the reasons why I detect a polemical strain in the suttas, i.e., that nowhere do the suttas seriously address the equally subtle upanashadic philosophies that must have existed at the time.

my study of this particular aspect of the discussion has led me to the conclusion that the early Upanashadic writings are, in fact, a response from the Brahamaical schools to the Buddhist critique of their tradition. as a consequence, the more sophisticated philosophical doctrines of the Upanashads is not something that is typically discussed in the Pali canon. there is, by contrast, a well established line of argument to be found in the Mahayana canon regarding some aspects of Vedanta and so forth.

Again, what you find when you look into Shankara or in the mystical traditions of the monotheistic faiths is finally is a kind of metaphysical deconstruction very similar to that of the Buddhist tradition. Accomplished sages on both sides can of course argue the fine points of doctrine & method, but in terms of fundamentals these are very much parallel procedures.

to a certain extent, i would agree with this. however, their aims or intentions are quite disparate, in my view.

metta,

~v
 

Nitai

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Hare Krishna,


I was long time here although I started the thread. I read some posts because I don't' have much time, but generally it seems to me that all of you are good word and logic jugglers. You didn't prove nor disprove the existence of God.

The problem is that by material logic and reasoning you cannot understand God.
There is an interesting word used in the Veds - acintya, what means that which is beyond this material world, that which our argument, logic and philosophical speculation cannot touch, that which is inconceivable. Therefore intelligent persons, avoiding useless argument and speculation, should accept what is stated in scriptures like the Vedas Given by infallible God Himself.

Sounds dogmatic? Well, this is only the theoretical knowledge what you accept. The realization of that knowledge as the Absolute Truth is the higher type of knowledge. It is called vigyana, not only gyana - knowledge. The prefix vi indicates its superioruty. So, vigyana is beyond faith it is the realization of the scriptural truths. There are also different levels of Vigyan and on the highest level one can see God face to face, speak with Him, joke with Him, etc.

So, the process for attaining vigyan is very simple. Just chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

This chanting is for free and its up to you if you would like to make the experiment. It is up to you if you like to continue to hover on the mental platform and just unendingly juggle with logic and reasoning. And it is up to you or if you like to become transcendentally situated on which platform God is realized.
 

Devadatta

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Vajradhara said:
Namatse Devadatta,

thank you for the post.


nevertheless, it seems to be a well established tradition that, within the Indian experience, several schools had identified one of the Jhanas with ultimate liberation. there is a rather famous Sutta..

Would that be a Buddhist sutta? Anyway, I think we could wittle on this for a while but in the end our views are probably a little different but not all that far apart. When you look at tradition, I think you find different perceptions arising from basically sectarian impulses. Both sides - Santana Dharma and Buddha Dharma - claim priority of thought. Taking into account the extreme vagaries of Indian history and this long remove I think it's difficult for us to sort out all the mutual relations and influence of of these two dharma streams. But there's no doubt that by classical Gupta times both traditions were well developed, in close proximity, and shared a lot of parallel methods, tantric ones in particular. It would be incredible to me if the influence didn't run both ways.

Anyway, I'm rambling. In the end I think what's "distinct" and what's "similar" turn on peception and sectarian needs as much as logic. Shankara was called a "crypto-buddhist" by some of his co-religionists for the very reason that it was so difficult to distnguish his ultimate views from the ultimate views of Buddhists.

Cheers.
 

Devadatta

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Nitai said:
There is an interesting word used in the Veds - acintya, what means that which is beyond this material world, that which our argument, logic and philosophical speculation cannot touch, that which is inconceivable.

Hi Nitai. I would point out that I've seen no one here dispute this idea - even those terrible killjoys, the atheists, would agree that reason isn't designed for the inconceivable. The difference of opinion is over the proper applications of reason. For people of faith, it means thinking about the best and most truthful way of applying reason in support of that faith, and not everyone has the same ideas on that score.

Nitai said:
Therefore intelligent persons, avoiding useless argument and speculation, should accept what is stated in scriptures like the Vedas Given by infallible God Himself. Sounds dogmatic?.

Well, yes it does. And while I'm not a Sanskrit scholar - I can barely make out some of the sounds of the Devanagari - this adds an unpleasant flavour of dogmatism which I don't detect in the Bhagavad Gita, or in the Upanashads, or other pieces I've read. I can't help but think that for whatever reason your movement has taken over some of the "inerrancy of text" notion common in the Western tradition, but really foreign to yours.

To me, that's sad & unfortunate. The Indian tradition, like the Hebrew, begins with an idea of divine vocables. But the Indian tradition put its emphasis on oral transmission. Religious texts are traditionally more open-ended, with no very clear-cut canon. The Buddhist tradition carries on that example; some would say it's canon is still being written.

The point here is, as you say, realization not the text pointing to it. Even with the text worship you find for example associated with Prajnaparamita texts, it's well understood that these texts are written on water, not stone.

I think it's a mistake to think that because we live in a world that's so driven ideologically, your tradition must be ideological to survive. My belief is that all the strands of tradition in the Santana Dharma will have more success by being true to its original impulses.


Nitai said:
So, the process for attaining vigyan is very simple. Just chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

I'm very happy that you've discovered a practice that brings you close to God, and I appreciate your enthusiam in passing along the good word.

Shanti, Shanti, Shanti...
 

Nitai

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Hare Krishna



I will make some points just for fun, although I think, nobody here is interested to realize God, or as I mentioned before to attain vigyan.



**For people of faith, it means thinking about the best and most truthful way of applying reason in support of that faith, and not everyone has the same ideas on that score.

# The two ways of attaining knowledge of the Absolute Truth are

1) Ascending: one tries by reason and arguments to understand the soul, the purpose of this universe and God.

2) Descending: one tries to realize all the above mentioned points, first by having little faith in the scriptures, and then by practicing the process of self-realization, he realizes the Absolute Truth laid down in the scriptures.

For one who don’t have even the smallest realization of some point of the scripture e.g. that the soul is different from the body, the scriptural knowledge that claims to be infallible and God given seems to be just a dogma. However, if small realizations are attained one gets gradually more and more faith in the scriptures, realizing that the scriptural tenets are not dogmatic, thus, as faith increases devotion to God also increase. Ultimately, one can realize God, Krishna by a fully blossomed, developed devotion. This is what Krishna says on the Bhagavad-gita – “I can be understood and attained only by devotion”.



**I think it's a mistake to think that because we live in a world that's so driven ideologically, your tradition must be ideological to survive.

#One tradition can survive or not; new traditions can come up and die out etc., that’s in this discussion not a main point. What I would like to emphasize here is that by practicing a certain process of particular tradition its value is tested, whether by the process that it offers people can attain God realization and detachment from this material world. If this is not attained and people don’t develop saintly qualities but remain materialistic etc., by practice of particular tradition, there is, obviously, something wrong with that tradition.



**I am very happy that you have discovered a practice that brings you close to God, and I appreciate your enthusiasm in passing along the good word.

# Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Actually, this chanting of the holy name of God, for the sake of attaining the highest realization of God is recommended in all the scriptures. In the Kali-santarana Upanisad it is said, even three times, that the chanting of the holy name of God is the ‘only way’ (again 3x mentioned) to attain God-realization in this atheistic, spiritually degraded age, called Kali yuga. So, when something in the Vedic wisdom is 3x mentioned that message has a super great importance.

In the end, I wish a success to everybody who likes to take up this chanting of the holy name. It can be the holy name of your particular tradition, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever. The power of chanting will be always there.

 

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Nitai said:
Hare Krishna I will make some points just for fun, although I think, nobody here is interested to realize God, or as I mentioned before to attain vigyan.


Thanks for the further detail on your beliefs, Nitai. I agree that the fundamentals in the traditions you follow aren't dogmatic. Unfortunately, the tone you take is.:) It's hardly fair or very kind to say that no one here is seriously interested in God, just because others think differently or follow a different practice.

Your core message appears to be that we live in the kali yuga and our only salvation is through chanting. You perhaps don't understand that this emphasis is just as dogmatic as a Christian saying that there is no salvation except through the Jesus Christ of the Catholic Church, which I'm quite confident you would take excepion to.

The kali yuga is a unit of time from your tradition; other traditions name their eras differently. Chanting in some forms is recognized in all traditions; it's one of the universal practices. But it's not the only practice possible for our age.



Nitai said:
# The two ways of attaining knowledge of the Absolute Truth are
Nitai said:


Here's my adivice. Begin your sentence like this: In my tradition... Then everything that follows could be read without a feeling of coercion and with the interest it deserves.

Nitai said:
# In the end, I wish a success to everybody who likes to take up this chanting of the holy name. It can be the holy name of your particular tradition, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever. The power of chanting will be always there.


Thank you for the good wish and for putting the power of chanting into a larger context.

All the best.
 

Quahom1

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Nitai said:
Hare Krishna



I will make some points just for fun, although I think, nobody here is interested to realize God, or as I mentioned before to attain vigyan.

I will be a little more frank. There is something one does not do here. One does not assume what others are or are not interested here at CR, particularly when pertaining to God. That in and of itself is the ultimate in arrogance and rudeness.

One's "enlightenment" ends at the tip of their nose (so to speak), just like one's rights.

As one percieves things, about self and personal growth, that may and should be discussed. One does not look down on others, nor imply nor state derogatory comments about other's paths in life.

It is not acceptable. I hope I have made myself quite clear...

v/r

Q
 

earl

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I'd just started a new thread in "Alternative" section-in mysticism entitled "toward a universal mysticism?" simply to bring attention to a web site operated by a group called the center for sacred sciences because it looked so intriguing due to the apparent universalism of the mystical view they hold, (don't much about them-just found it). Just now started reading some of this guy's writings & boy did it "ring my bell." The piece I just read may apply here, "Coming to terms with God." If I were cyber astute enough to know how to do it, i'd direct link you but I don't but do want to commend a peek at this guy's piece & probably his whole dang site from what I'm seeing:

http://www.centerforsacredsciences.org/teachings/god.html

Think I got me a buncha of stimulating & hopefully personally enriching reading to do. See ya, Earl
 

17th Angel

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Hello, and Peace to All Here--

What Brian said. I am compelled to add this: The proof of the existence of God lies in the heart, mind, and Spirit of the individual. We look around, we look inside, and ultimately decide what we believe.

InPeace,
InLove


Like the Thunderbirds..... If you have the right "mind set" you may believe they are real beings..... Or you may have the "mind set" That see's it is simple a man pulling strings.... Man made illusions to help you squander your short pointless life...... Nothing more. :)
 

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I don't think you can ever prove God. I'm not sure if God exists but if he/she/it does then it is just energy and force. Something that can't be seen, but felt
 

Bhaktajan II

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I don't think you can ever prove God. I'm not sure if God exists but if he/she/it does then it is just energy and force. Something that can't be seen, but felt

So, Similarly...
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I don't think you can ever prove "who my father is".

I'm not sure if "my father" exists but if he/she/it does then it is just energy and force. Something that can't be seen, but felt
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

To know who one's father is ... one simply has to ask one's Mother.

Of course, there are the odds that:
one's mother is missing,
one's mother is a liar,
one's mother is a loose & often drunk woman,
one's mother is characterised by all sorts of lacking qualities.

Similarly, scripture(s) are lacking in details entoto.

Yet the principle data is there to be known.

This passing down of 'confidential' info from authority to disciple is an ancient rule-of-thumb.

Are ability to "sense" or to "think" is gravely limited ---so we must depend on the the mercy of earlier generations . . . in conjunction with our own individual "Good Karma" . . . if one is to expect full revelation of unknown truths.

In the mean time, it is emcumbent to "Keep Calm and Carry on" with one's alloted duties and occupational responsibilities--- thus, mother nature and Providence will award one the "fruits" of one's labor and inner desires.
 
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