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What is God?


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#301 shiftingshadows

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Posted 06 February 2022 - 12:32 AM

I'm glad you are enjoying Ajahn Sumedho, he seems remarkable for the quality of being self effacing.

 

What is 'God', silence,  & Śūnyatā, could be one similar subject, 

and

quieting the mind or dis-identifying with thinking, could be another but related subject.

 

As regards thinking (or 'compulsive thinking' ) , there are some interesting videos on you tube:

 

This is the shortest, it is by Ajahn Brahm, (who like Sumedho, was a student of Ajahn Chah):

-- www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiLkudRIqLg

 

and this the one with the most funny moments, (as is usual with Tolle):

"Mix - How to Calm the Voice Inside | Eckhart Tolle Teachings"

-- www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_vkVDEPPUI&list=RDLVnBXpFbOPUdA&index=15

"How to Calm the Voice Inside | Eckhart Tolle Teachings"

-- www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBXpFbOPUdA 

"School of Awakening: Become Free from the Overthinking Mind (Part 2)"

-- www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_0ICsolRcU&list=RDLVnBXpFbOPUdA&index=2

etc.

 

Interesting:

"How Do You Stop the Mind's Chatter? - Sadhguru"

-- www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNyJgNjCDuU

and

"What is the Space Between Thoughts? - Culadasa"

-- www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpj0hT4_dwk


Edited by shiftingshadows, 06 February 2022 - 01:19 AM.


#302 Baphom3t

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Posted 08 February 2022 - 12:41 PM

A cult leader.



#303 Juthro

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Posted 08 February 2022 - 04:16 PM

I'm not a believer in any single entity being an all-creator with a plan, and I seriously don't think that even if there is one that he/she cares about us or our petty differences.  IMO cult leaders are men who pretend to be false gods, or to be conduits that communicate with the same.

 

In my own thoughts I feel it is much more likely that the universe itself is a single entity, and that we are just a minuet parasitic virus trying to replicate itself on a single cell (world) inside of that vast body.   Think about it this way.  What we call the big bang could have been similar to conception, and couldn't what we perceive to be the universe expanding be that entity growing?

 

Sorry, just the ramblings of madman inspired, and greatly amplified by my good friend, CoorsMikey.  Love you brother :)

 

Shit, now I've got to clear the snow from the driveway so I can make it to a doctors appointment. What kind of god would make me do that when he knows I am handicapped (morally that is, lol)



#304 shiftingshadows

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Posted 08 February 2022 - 06:00 PM

I'm not a believer in any single entity being an all-creator with a plan,...

 

 

Such a notion is of course simply silly. Before the major religions took hold, humans believed in:

1) spirits, 2) witchcraft, 3) ancestor worship (Including eating their ashes etc,) & 4) apparently often many gods. Such 'entities' were prayed to for rain etc.

 

And folks practiced both human and later animal sacrifice (which some still do today).

 

It would seem the basic impulse behind, these fantasies is anxiety in the face of the unknown, and the real dangers to survival faced everyday back then, or even today by tribes living in jungle situations etc.

 

Today I suppose, the desire for a powerful and protective father, overcomes the illogic inherent in the notion that a single entity at a specific point in time created everything. Similar illogic pervades many other religious ideas, from virgin birth to reincarnation, & hell etc. It would seem once the critical faculty is put to sleep, anything becomes believable.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 08 February 2022 - 07:04 PM.


#305 Baphom3t

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Posted 08 February 2022 - 07:59 PM

Juthro said, "IMO cult leaders are men who pretend to be false gods, or to be conduits that communicate with the same."

That is exactly right. Jesus, Vishnu, Muhammad, Dali Llama, ect, ect
Any and all religion + god = cult. 
What makes you think that people in human religious history were not cult leaders?
Jesus was the epitome of a cult leader. 
A cult leader is defined as:
"Cult groups often have a dynamic leader whose authority is respected and, in many cases, unquestioned. Obedience to the leader is often required, even when it involves deviant or unhealthy activity. For example, a cult leader might require that all female members be required to have sex with him.

 
Usually, a cult leader is a person of tremendous charisma who makes followers feel loved and accepted. It's often suggested that cult leaders use brainwashing tactics to attract and keep followers. In many instances, cult members deeply identify with and admire their leader. Cult leaders often require degrees of conformity among members. For example, they might require all members to wear matching white jumpsuits and shave their heads. Fostering feelings of belonging is a central tactic cult leaders employ.
 
Cult leaders often claim to have a special connection to God/Higher Power/the universe, etc. They claim to be the point of contact between God/Higher Power/the universe and the rest of the group. This means that the leader has access to divine revelation, which is special knowledge directly from God that the rest of the group does not have. A leader might claim that God is communicating directly with him or her through dreams, visions, etc., and passes this on to the group. So it would be like someone saying, 'Hey guys, God told me he wants you to dye your hair blue and dress up in a chicken costume, so get to it!' Leaders might also claim to have special powers."

Sounds a lot like this worlds god(s) to me.


#306 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 12 February 2022 - 10:17 AM

Like Carlin used to say, something about them hats! You see a bunch of people together all wearing the same hat you better pay attention.

 

What is the difference between a cult and religion?

 

Time

 

In a cult the founder is usually still alive so the dogma is more easily challenged. Once they go the way of matyrdom the idol is solidified and their beliefs enter into a god like status in history. You see that galvanizing effect with regular people all the time. Someone bites the dust and they become a saint somehow, memorials and statues erected. Maybe there really was a dude named Jesus at some point, and he was really caring to others, so much so that he was adored and in turn people told stories about him. Over time the myths were likely added to the story as we humans like to do, and as they were passed down over the ages and went through translations the myths probably continued to grow. Like turning water into wine

 

That being said, that Jesus dude whether he was real or not did have some good ideas that to this day ring true.



#307 shiftingshadows

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Posted 12 February 2022 - 05:44 PM

 

Juthro said, "IMO cult leaders are men who pretend to be false gods, or to be conduits that communicate with the same."

 

 

 

There would be no cult leaders if there weren't people wanting to be lead.

Even people who don't join a cult, strive to abandon their potential for individuality by:

joining the army, or military, joining crowds of tens of thousands at sports events, rock concerts, riots,...

or limit their freedom by having more kids than they can afford to take good care of.

Or escape, by over use of alcohol, and other addictive drugs.

Seems a myth to me, that the majority want all the ideals ascribed to them.

 

One might say, religion by contrast to a cult, is often something, where one has no choice but to obey, or suffer horrible consequences.

The first examples to come to mind are of course the Spanish Inquisition and the case of Galileo Galilei, but there are of course many more such cases and examples.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 12 February 2022 - 05:46 PM.


#308 TVCasualty

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Posted 13 February 2022 - 05:43 PM

God is music.

 

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#309 Baphom3t

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Posted 13 February 2022 - 08:52 PM

The definition of a cult is plain and simple. Look it up.
The definition of a religion is plain and simple. Look it up.
They are the same thing, just worded differently.
All religion is based in cult ideals and cults arise from structured religious ideals and contexts.
The religion / cult has a leader tending their flock, a leader always instilling ideals of a doctrine to you and pointing out your inferiority explaining the "path" to a more righteous way for you to attain "heaven" is through "blah, blah, blah" teachings. This worlds religions are all brainwash like cults.
Whether the religious / cult leader is dead or alive is irrelevant. It is the idea of the cult, not the individual that purpurates the idea of the cult.
The individual is nothing more than an apparatus of the idea to recruit more to achieve the end means of the religion / cult.


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#310 shiftingshadows

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 05:17 PM

You seem so sure of your definitions, I wonder how you distinguish, cult leaders from preachers, or  Popes from dopes, or gang leaders from the gestapo, and last but not least, dogmatists from cult leaders.



#311 Baphom3t

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 05:34 PM

You seem so sure of your definitions, I wonder how you distinguish, cult leaders from preachers, or  Popes from dopes, or gang leaders from the gestapo, and last but not least, dogmatists from cult leaders.

 
They all are interchangeable.
A preacher is a cult leader, a cult leader is a preacher. Popes are ambassadors in the ideals of the religion / cult and dopes praise the popes that vomit the ideals of the religion / cult to others and gain their trust just like a preacher or pastor would do to their flock.
Dogma is a set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Religion is a dogma and a cult leader manipulates that dogma to bend others beliefs to follow the religion / cult.

Edited by Baphom3t, 14 February 2022 - 05:39 PM.


#312 TVCasualty

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 05:51 PM

You seem so sure of your definitions, I wonder how you distinguish, cult leaders from preachers, or  Popes from dopes, or gang leaders from the gestapo, and last but not least, dogmatists from cult leaders.

 

Fair question. I view those categories of pathological anachronisms much like Baphom3t does.

 

I don't distinguish cult leaders from preachers, but then I guess that depends on my own conception of what being a "preacher" entails. I'm not a fan of preachers, to put it mildly. Many preachers are merely wanna-be cult leaders, but aren't quite sociopathic enough to pull it off. Popes are much, much worse than dopes. Gang leaders and the Gestapo are expressions of the same basic pathology IMO.

 

While it's obvious that the helpful, compassionate, empathetic, and deeply spiritual individuals who also happen to be members of the clergy (of any religion) are not cult leaders or trying to be such, they are or feel like they are stuck expressing their morality and spiritual beliefs in the context of organized religion's longstanding cultural dominance. People say things like "Christians invented science... Even Isaac Newton was a Christian!" but forget to mention that Newton lived at a time when not being an avowed Christian was extremely hazardous to one's health. If religion didn't have such a stranglehold on society then such people would merely be helpful, compassionate, empathetic, and deeply spiritual (no branding or weird dogma necessary).

 

But this is what cults and religions are, not what god is.


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#313 shiftingshadows

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 05:51 PM

I can say it more simply: All lack a sense of humor.


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#314 TVCasualty

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 05:57 PM

I can say it more simply: All lack a sense of humor.

 

By god I think you're right. So to speak.


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#315 Pepper34045

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Posted 14 February 2022 - 10:32 PM

For what it’s worth, there is a model of prompts and questions developed by colloquial “cult expert” Steven Hassan called the BITE model. The letters in BITE stand for Behavior control, Information control, Thought control, and Emotional control. I’ve been into learning about classic cults for years, and I used to be of the opinion that any organized religion is a cult. Now, I believe I’ve relaxed in that regard. However, I can say with my full chest that any institution has the capability in the right conditions to become a cult. Also, I find everyone’s experiences and opinions here regarding cults/religion valid and meaningful. I just wanted the BITE Model to be at least mentioned here because it seems relevant.

As for what is God? I find that to be a question that will beg a subjective answer. To other people, God is a single entity judging and ruling the world. To others, God exists among many beings, masters and mistresses of their own domains. To others, God simply doesn’t exist at all, and the thought of such a thing is preposterous. To me, “God” exists within all of us and what surrounds us. When the beauty of Mother Earth silences your breath; when you embrace a loved one you haven’t seen in some time; when a new life is cherished and nurtured—these are the things I see what others may describe “the power of God” in.

However, this is all the opinion of a self-described trippy hippie. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for considering my words. :)
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#316 beadyeyes

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Posted 03 March 2022 - 02:10 PM

I like to think God is an emerging property from every consciousness on the planet, and that all forms of consciousness are interconnected. Interestingly, the network of fungi hyphae below ground mimics in part the neuronal networks in the brain, maybe it can also sustain some kind of consciousness 



#317 shiftingshadows

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Posted 03 March 2022 - 02:46 PM

Logically speaking it's a trick question.
The question asks for a definition.
And to to define something, is to limit something by placing boundaries around it, so that it can be distinguished from other things.
Yet 'God' is supposed to be unlimited, all powerful, etc.

'The Western Tradition' & Western thinkers seem to ignore this, whereas in 'the Eastern Tradition' the elusive nature of any-"thing" to do with the infinite or infinity, is faced from the very beginning by Lao Tzu. Here's one of hundreds of translations of the very first verse:

"The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things." ... etc.

available for free online, in full, many different translation choices:

https://duckduckgo.c...a=b&t=hr&ia=web

Part of the problem is most likely the nature of most western languages, but also, IMO, the dualistic nature of Christianity, the predominant religion in 'The West'.

Things that are most defined are objects;
and objects are identified in language as nouns;
and 'god' is a noun, in English;
so before anything is even said on the subject, in English (& similar languages) a misconception/contradiction is implied.

 

Which is exemplified by all the silly emotion around the question: "Does god exist?"

Which is like the trick question: "Where does your fist go, when you open your hand?"

Because like "God" or "THE infinite",  "fist" in English is a noun;

When in reality a fist exists only while active muscular contractions are taking place.

 

It is almost impossible for most people to get that something so simple,

underlies major misunderstandings.

 

The case of Flag burning, seems similar, where symbols seem to be mistaken for reality, when one considers the emotions aroused, both by the burners, and brutes who attack them.

Such folly seems so endemic, as to be the normal state, for most humans.

Indeed some might consider money, to fall into a similar instance,

and the most radical might even include "THE Self", to also fall into a similar category.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 03 March 2022 - 03:06 PM.


#318 Baphom3t

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Posted 03 March 2022 - 03:39 PM

"Logically speaking it's a trick question."

@shiftingshadows
This is quite funny. Here are some reasons I find this humorous.
1. Who's logic?
2. What's your interpretation of what "logically speaking" is?
3. Where is the trick in the initial question of what god is?
4. If it's a trick and speaking "logically", why do you use yet another man made fallacy to define what you mean be what "logically speaking" means?
5. Then refer back to question 1.

Most "people" sit inside a box and expand in every direction within that box never to realize what is outside that box from cradle to grave.

  
 


Edited by Baphom3t, 03 March 2022 - 03:44 PM.


#319 TVCasualty

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Posted 03 March 2022 - 11:25 PM

Some interesting thoughts (to me at least) in the context of contemplating "god" stuff:

 

 

like the genes propagating in your chemistry, the memes propagating in your mind are part of a lineage and both are part of what we need to explain when we explain life: as far and wide as we understand all of that information takes its origin at the origin of life

 

if we are to define a fundamental “unit” for life, the proper unit is planetary in scale, that is until we go interplanetary in which case it can become extended over many worlds, eg, if Earth reproduces by “geo-engineering” Mars

 

Quotes are from Dr. Sara Walker, from recent tweets I read. She's an astrobiologist and wasn't talking about god stuff but it seems like if there's a god then that's the nuts-and-bolts of how god manifests. And evolves, I would expect.



#320 Tenderfoot

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Posted 04 March 2022 - 06:54 AM

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