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A God Of My Own Understanding


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Guest r3alchild

Is it ok to have a god of my own understanding,

 

A god who I can talk to when things turn bad,

 

A god who loves me and nothing more,

 

A god who has a plan for my life for evermore,

 

A god who created the universe but not in six days and not in the way I think I know,

 

A god who must allow my nature and life to unfold,

 

A god who created me to reason and think and learn all I can know,

 

A god who is unlike any god I have ever known.

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Even within the single religion of Christianity there are hundreds if not thousands of gods, each with different traits and demands. Since all gods are made up to reflect the personality of the inventor, your god is no less valid than any other.

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I've had this conversation with a few people.  Everyone's idea of God is different.  I doubt that I've ever met two people who believed in the exact same God.  People base their idea of God on their own experiences, in addition to their indoctrination.

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Just my 2 cents chris...........

 

 

Is it ok to have a god of my own understanding,

........Yes, it is possible. But, don't look outside yourself. You are the god of your own life.

 

A god who I can talk to when things turn bad,
 .....Talk to yourself. If there is a problem - you can solve it yourself....... be kind to you when things turn bad or turn to a wise friend for support.

 

A god who loves me and you and nothing more,
.......Learn to love and respect yourself.

 

A god who has a plan for all life for evermore,
........Plan your own life to the best of your ability.

 

A god who created the universe but not in six days and not in the way we think we know,
........Study evolution and observe how the brain has evolved....now use that brain.

 

A god who must allow nature and life to unfold,
........You learn how to allow nature and life to unfold by 'acceptance'.

 

A god who created us to reason and think and learn all we can know,
......You reason, think and learn all you can.

 

A god who is unlike any god I have ever known.
..........Understand how special you are, love yourself with all your human flaws and you be and treat yourself like a god who loves you unconditionally.

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Guest r3alchild

Just my 2 cents chris...........

 

 

Is it ok to have a god of my own understanding,

........Yes, it is possible. But, don't look outside yourself. You are the god of your own life.

 

A god who I can talk to when things turn bad,

.....Talk to yourself. If there is a problem - you can solve it yourself....... be kind to you when things turn bad or turn to a wise friend for support.

 

A god who loves me and you and nothing more,

.......Learn to love and respect yourself.

 

A god who has a plan for all life for evermore,

........Plan your own life to the best of your ability.

 

A god who created the universe but not in six days and not in the way we think we know,

........Study evolution and observe how the brain has evolved....now use that brain.

 

A god who must allow nature and life to unfold,

........You learn how to allow nature and life to unfold by 'acceptance'.

 

A god who created us to reason and think and learn all we can know,

......You reason, think and learn all you can.

 

A god who is unlike any god I have ever known.

..........Understand how special you are, love yourself with all your human flaws and you be and treat yourself like a god who loves you unconditionally.

You know whats funny margee is that people will encourage my sexual preferences or my job preferences or my talent preferences and many other things like that. But when it comes to my spiritual preferences and ideas of god I am told to completly reverse my views.
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Leave out points 3 and 4 and some variant of Deism might appeal.

I tried being an agnostic, its like being stuck in idle. I think I am going to pick up my spirituality where I left it.
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The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with having some concept of God that appeals to one's self. It is when one expects others to believe the same way or suffer consequences that a problem is created.

 

Agnosticism is what one makes it. One might not ever arrive at an answer, but the search can be an answer in itself if one so desires.

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The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with having some concept of God that appeals to one's self. It is when one expects others to believe the same way or suffer consequences that a problem is created.

 

Agnosticism is what one makes it. One might not ever arrive at an answer, but the search can be an answer in itself if one so desires.

Yes what you say is true, I have noticed that I still have that christian proselytization mind set. But I have also noticed god is not a dead issue and even though christianity has poisoned my old spiritual beliefs I am more determined to return the core beliefs I once had.
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I have re edited the poem to reflect my feelings and myself and I have taken all references of us and we out of it. So please read it again.

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Do/feel whatever form of spirituality is best for you.   You will get no beef from me.   Going back to our roots is often a part of many of our journeys.   I think you're safe... if I recall, your roots are Hinduism and there are lots of beautiful ideas about god there.   In fact, a god and form of devotion to suit every personality, including those who tend toward atheism.   Go for it! :)

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Do/feel whatever form of spirituality is best for you. You will get no beef from me. Going back to our roots is often a part of many of our journeys. I think you're safe... if I recall, your roots are Hinduism and there are lots of beautiful ideas about god there. In fact, a god and form of devotion to suit every personality, including those who tend toward atheism. Go for it! :)

Well hinduism was where I had the most powerfull experience, but christianity has kind of ruined my view of god and I am left to ponder, while I cried out to jesus why didnt the real god stand up?
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Well hinduism was where I had the most powerfull experience, but christianity has kind of ruined my view of god and I am left to ponder, while I cried out to jesus why didnt the real god stand up?

 

Hope you don't mind my prying a bit, but were you raised Hindu?  I was, and I've returned to this faith not primarily because it has offered me any greater connection with God (yet), but because it's simply what I know as default religion.  Well, that, and also Hinduism is the best way I know of to connect with Indian culture.  Having been born and raised here in the States (fyi, I've never even been to India), I'm effectively American in every other way, and I figure that since Hinduism is central to Indian culture I should probaby retain it.

 

I say this just to point out that in my opinion, Hinduism isn't special in any way, and maybe that's why the "real God" has never stood up.  Honestly the only reason I'm not an atheist is because I'm simply not cut out to not believe in a God.  I was raised Hindu and always took the existence of God as an initial assumption in life, and I have neither the ability nor the desire to discard this assumption.  That, and Hinduism satisfies a certain intellectual hunger of mine.  Weird as it may sound I like being religious, regardless of whether I actually believe in God or not.  I always have, even before I encountered that accursed religion known as Christianity.  I think that Hinduism offers a lot in terms of tolerating free thought and not requiring adherance to creeds or doctrinal statements the way Christianity does.  But the way I see it, unless you have had a religious experience of some kind, you're in no way obligated to believe anything at all concerning God.

 

Now, if you have had a religious experience then I'd suggest that you owe it to yourself to figure out what it means.  And you say that you have indeed had a powerful experience.  If I may ask: what was the context of this experience?  Was it in some temple or during some sort of puja?  If so, it might not hurt to do some research into the Hindu God being worshiped or to perhaps participate in another similar puja.

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Well hinduism was where I had the most powerfull experience, but christianity has kind of ruined my view of god and I am left to ponder, while I cried out to jesus why didnt the real god stand up?

Hope you don't mind my prying a bit, but were you raised Hindu? I was, and I've returned to this faith not primarily because it has offered me any greater connection with God (yet), but because it's simply what I know as default religion. Well, that, and also Hinduism is the best way I know of to connect with Indian culture. Having been born and raised here in the States (fyi, I've never even been to India), I'm effectively American in every other way, and I figure that since Hinduism is central to Indian culture I should probaby retain it.

 

I say this just to point out that in my opinion, Hinduism isn't special in any way, and maybe that's why the "real God" has never stood up. Honestly the only reason I'm not an atheist is because I'm simply not cut out to not believe in a God. I was raised Hindu and always took the existence of God as an initial assumption in life, and I have neither the ability nor the desire to discard this assumption. That, and Hinduism satisfies a certain intellectual hunger of mine. Weird as it may sound I like being religious, regardless of whether I actually believe in God or not. I always have, even before I encountered that accursed religion known as Christianity. I think that Hinduism offers a lot in terms of tolerating free thought and not requiring adherance to creeds or doctrinal statements the way Christianity does. But the way I see it, unless you have had a religious experience of some kind, you're in no way obligated to believe anything at all concerning God.

 

Now, if you have had a religious experience then I'd suggest that you owe it to yourself to figure out what it means. And you say that you have indeed had a powerful experience. If I may ask: what was the context of this experience? Was it in some temple or during some sort of puja? If so, it might not hurt to do some research into the Hindu God being worshiped or to perhaps participate in another similar puja.

This will explain everything http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/55647-something-i-cant-explain/?fromsearch=1
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Ah, I remember reading this post of yours.  Thanks for refreshing my memory.  I have to say that this isn't the sort of experience you're supposed to have in Hinduism.  Maybe you might want to look at other religions...

 

However if you're intent on Hinduism, might I recommend Googling a guy by the name of Sai Baba of Shirdi (make sure to put in the "Shirdi," since there's another less reputable Sai Baba).  He's an interesting fellow that I've personally found rather helpful.  He's actually very similar to Jesus, except that he doesn't send anyone to eternal hell.  He's a man who lived in a village in India.  He healed the sick, predicted the future, did various other miracles, and taught his followers to practice good conduct.  Sound familiar?  There's one other difference between him and Jesus though: he lived about 150 years ago, and we know he exists because there are photographs of him.

 

Not trying to tell you what you should or shouldn't believe, just providing resources.  Like I said, I think you shouldn't necessarily be focused on Hinduism.

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Ah, I remember reading this post of yours. Thanks for refreshing my memory. I have to say that this isn't the sort of experience you're supposed to have in Hinduism. Maybe you might want to look at other religions...

 

However if you're intent on Hinduism, might I recommend Googling a guy by the name of Sai Baba of Shirdi (make sure to put in the "Shirdi," since there's another less reputable Sai Baba). He's an interesting fellow that I've personally found rather helpful. He's actually very similar to Jesus, except that he doesn't send anyone to eternal hell. He's a man who lived in a village in India. He healed the sick, predicted the future, did various other miracles, and taught his followers to practice good conduct. Sound familiar? There's one other difference between him and Jesus though: he lived about 150 years ago, and we know he exists because there are photographs of him.

 

Not trying to tell you what you should or shouldn't believe, just providing resources. Like I said, I think you shouldn't necessarily be focused on Hinduism.

Christianity has guilt tripped me into be afraid of looking else where. I need more time to get use to the idea.
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Here are some of the key characteristics associated with Process Deism taken from their web site. The definition of "God" is open to personal interpretation. Process Deism, IMO, is a form of mystic spirituality.

1. "God" is the source of all being
2. all existence is understood as a process
3. emphasis is on "becoming" not "being"
4. "God" is alive and changing
5. "God" acts as a divine persuasive force
6. "God" is interactive
7. the whole cosmos is the "body" of "God"
8. "God" is continually co-creating new possibilities
9. "God" is omnipresent
10. "God" is not omnipotent
11. "God" is not omniscient
12. "God's" power is cooperative
13. we can co-create a more just, loving, enjoyable world
14. the universe is a continual process of evolution
15. evolution moves towards increased complexity
16. the world is filled with creativity, emergence, and novelty
17. the world is an interconnected changing web
18. this life is meant to be enjoyed
19. life is hope filled
20. life is positive and optimistic

 

I am personally comfortable with a "God" having these characteristics. So Process Deism or Panendeism interest me.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

 

 

You know whats funny margee is that people will encourage my sexual preferences or my job preferences or my talent preferences and many other things like that. But when it comes to my spiritual preferences and ideas of god I am told to completly reverse my views.

As invalidating and pressuring as it is, they are well meaning. I'll agree though, its hard to find support, especially amongst people who think that all concepts of divinity are bad for you to have.

 

Personally, I like it better to have everyone walking their own path. If it works for you, and is what you believe, and its not hurting you nor anyone else, then its good to have. It helps you be you. That's what matters.

 

Some of us just can't leave the idea of having a divine behind. Maybe there are legit reasons to believe. Maybe you have your reasons, and that's all that matters.

 

 

 

Is it ok to have a god of my own understanding,

A god who I can talk to when things turn bad,

A god who loves me and nothing more,

A god who has a plan for my life for evermore,

A god who created the universe but not in six days and not in the way I think I know,

A god who must allow my nature and life to unfold,

A god who created me to reason and think and learn all I can know,

A god who is unlike any god I have ever known.

This is  very well written. It reminds me of the time I went faith hopping, just to find the right divine. A deity I could believe in. Ultimately, that never worked for me for long. I was for a while an eclectic babylonian pagan. The hated ones of the pagan community. I was never called fluffy, despite doing everything considered "fluffy", because it would always turn out I knew more about the cultures I'd study than the thumpers that think they have a right to dictate to others what to believe.

 

That's a problem alot of people have. They feel that their concept of divinity is what's right and theirs alone. They don't need to be supportive of other peoples paths. You'll find that alot.

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Once I left Christianity behind, I felt no restraint on what I could look into in the realm of other religions or spirituality.  I studied and practiced anything that took my fancy.

 

I have settled into something, but it took quite a few years.

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  Even after leaving a few very dogmatic forms of Christian religion, I still find myself believing in a general spirituality. I believe all people and sentient life has the same essence people often call a soul, and we all continue. Maybe i'm entirely wrong about all beings having an eternal soul, who know's? The only sure thing is I will never experience non existence, even if it is a reality after death.

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Now, if you have had a religious experience then I'd suggest that you owe it to yourself to figure out what it means.  And you say that you have indeed had a powerful experience.  If I may ask: what was the context of this experience?  Was it in some temple or during some sort of puja?  If so, it might not hurt to do some research into the Hindu God being worshiped or to perhaps participate in another similar puja.

 

Hello Bhim, I've posed the same questions to OrdinaryClay, but I have reason to expect a considered answer from you:

 

1. how does one determine that an experience that some people would call supernatural, or revelatory, is a supernatural or revelatory experience?  I use these terms rather than your "religious" because I would consider, say, a feeling of euphoria during ritual to be a religious experience but not nec. supernatural or revelatory.

 

2. how do other people assess the truth of statements, or injunctions, that a speaker bases on supernatural or revelatory experiences that the speaker claims to have had?  corollary:  if there is a locus of truth "outside" the experience, by which the experience, and claims based on it, are to be evaluated, what epistemic work is being done by the experience?

 

If this might belong better on its own thread, I'm fine with moving it elsewhere.

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Hi Ficino, I'd be happy to take a stab at your questions.  Indeed, I hope to have a more reasoned answer than a Christian, otherwise I've made no intellectual progress since abandoning that horrible faith. :)

 

1. Excellent point, and you're getting at why I eschew all forms of proselytism.  I start with the assumption that I am not clinically insane or under some other form of permanent mental impairment.  Elsewise I wouldn't be able to trust anything I experience, and might as well not think about anything at all.  Now, this would all be easier if God actually showed himself.  But since I know of absolutely no physical evidence for his existence at the moment, I have to more or less take it as an assumption.  If God exists, then in some sense he's responsible for everything, so I don't need to consider something non-revelatory just because it is natural.  If I have an experience that I consider a candidate for being "revelatory," I have to ask myself on a practical level what information I am meant to receive from it.  If it agrees with moral truths that I already know to be from God (specifically, my God-given sense of right and wrong, or conscience if you like), I consider this experience to actually be revelatory.  Logically-speaking this isn't airtight, and is borne out of practicality more than anything, and I do realize that.

 

Since these experiences are not communicable to others, there's really no way I can truly convince anyone else that I'm right.

 

2. I'm willing to change my opinion on this, but as far as I know, people can't assess the truth of statements about divine revelation.  God is pretty bad about leaving any evidence of what he does, and to use a turn of phrase, God alone knows why.  It's definitely not how I'd design the system.

 

I would say, on this point, that I am actively choosing to believe in something without much prior evidence.  Now I wouldn't say that I believe in God to "get through the day."  It's not as though I experience some sort of depression if I don't believe in his existence.  But I do find it to be a more favorable view than the alternative.

 

Having said all this, I would say that religious claims can be falsifiable.  Evangelical Christianity, for example, makes some ridiculous historical and scientific claims, and thus can be dismissed out of hand.

 

Sorry, I know a lot of this amounts to a circuitous way of saying "I don't know."  But this is one area in which I'm definitely not an expert.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

 

 

1. Excellent point, and you're getting at why I eschew all forms of proselytism.  I start with the assumption that I am not clinically insane or under some other form of permanent mental impairment.  Elsewise I wouldn't be able to trust anything I experience, and might as well not think about anything at all.  Now, this would all be easier if God actually showed himself.  But since I know of absolutely no physical evidence for his existence at the moment, I have to more or less take it as an assumption.  If God exists, then in some sense he's responsible for everything, so I don't need to consider something non-revelatory just because it is natural.  If I have an experience that I consider a candidate for being "revelatory," I have to ask myself on a practical level what information I am meant to receive from it.  If it agrees with moral truths that I already know to be from God (specifically, my God-given sense of right and wrong, or conscience if you like), I consider this experience to actually be revelatory.  Logically-speaking this isn't airtight, and is borne out of practicality more than anything, and I do realize that.

 

Since these experiences are not communicable to others, there's really no way I can truly convince anyone else that I'm right.

 

2. I'm willing to change my opinion on this, but as far as I know, people can't assess the truth of statements about divine revelation.  God is pretty bad about leaving any evidence of what he does, and to use a turn of phrase, God alone knows why.  It's definitely not how I'd design the system.

 

I would say, on this point, that I am actively choosing to believe in something without much prior evidence.  Now I wouldn't say that I believe in God to "get through the day."  It's not as though I experience some sort of depression if I don't believe in his existence.  But I do find it to be a more favorable view than the alternative.

 

Having said all this, I would say that religious claims can be falsifiable.  Evangelical Christianity, for example, makes some ridiculous historical and scientific claims, and thus can be dismissed out of hand.

 

Sorry, I know a lot of this amounts to a circuitous way of saying "I don't know."  But this is one area in which I'm definitely not an expert.

You don't get this much honesty out of most christians on this forum.... I think l like you Bhim! :)

 

The acceptance that there are things you just don't know is something you just don't find with people like OrdinaryClay. That's what makes them and their kinds of faith so damn annoying. They already have all the answers, they're just waiting for everyone else to buy it blindly.

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You don't get this much honesty out of most christians on this forum.... I think l like you Bhim! smile.png

 

The acceptance that there are things you just don't know is something you just don't find with people like OrdinaryClay. That's what makes them and their kinds of faith so damn annoying. They already have all the answers, they're just waiting for everyone else to buy it blindly.

Glad to hear, thanks!  Honestly I find intellectual humility more comfortable than a faith that ignores facts.  One of the problems I had with being a Christian was that at some level I knew certain claims in the Bible were false, and suppressed that knowledge anyway.  Which is ironic given that Romans 1 accuses non-Christians of precisely the same thing.  I don't think a blind faith is particularly helpful, because ultimately it's very hard to keep those blinders on forever, and once exposing yourself to truth you have to live with cognitive dissonance.

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