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PaulS last won the day on September 7 2017

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About PaulS

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  • Birthday 08/20/1968

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  1. Yes, I see you point there. It was a lazy use of language on my part. What I meant by those emotions being God, is that they are a product of the experience of being God and having a consciousness as homo sapiens. So I liken them to being a part of God but can consider as you say, that they should be regarded as illusory because they are simply the thoughts and emotions we generate from our minds and they actually don't exist (even though as real as they seem to us). But if they seem real to us, could they not also be part of the experience of being God? I like your understanding of the word love to mean the complete acceptance of all things. That makes so much more sense to me than other ways 'love' is presented. It is not a conscious emotion, but rather it is the ultimate reality perhaps.
  2. I think Watts is using the term 'one with God' to liken it to what he means as we are God. Being God is the same as being one with God in that there is only the one, not one and the other. At least that's how I understand what I think he means based on this and his other writings/lectures. I'm not sure what you mean by your most basic disagreement that comes from experience is that you know of no one who thinks that we are God. Isn't this pantheism, a several thousand years old way of understanding God? You said elsewhere that you were familiar with Watts & Tolle - you don't see this in their understandings of God? Maybe once upon a time as different lifeforms we did know we were God - who knows what 'we' thought when we didn't have self-consciousness. Maybe as we evolved we came to think we were not God for some reason. Maybe today, as the creature we have evolved into, we are blinded by our ego and consciousness? Perhaps it is the development of our human consciousness that has gotten in the way of us understanding that we are God. Knowing the human species evolved from other life forms, and observing that it seems other life forms existing today have no appreciation for God as humans tend to spruke it, I do wonder if God as we generally talk about God today, is just a creation of the human mind. Maybe God knows the 'mechanics' of being, but not the 'experience' of being in its numerous different guises, which is a product of the physicality of being? I'm not sure your 'why' is a question that needs to persist in this model. Acceptance that other people's consciousness has a bearing on their actions and then in effect the world, seems a simply enough answer to me. Love doesn't 'overcome' evil, it's just a different way of being. One that usually we prefer, quite naturally, both at the extremes and all the minor degrees along the infinite spectrum. I'm not sure God 'needs' anything - God just is. God is existence and is not trying to gain anything - God is just being God. You are just being God. As for the term stardust, I am using that colloquially to relate to the beginning of our known universe and existence as we know it. That God could be more than stardust, being our eternal and infinite existence, is otherwise implied I thought. Maybe one doesn't need God in this model. I don't know. But does it matter if that is what it is? Again, is it our ego that says God has to be something else so that we are happy with that understanding? Like I said, to me the other models don't stand up because they all imply some sort of action on God's behalf which I simply don't see demonstrated in anyway. That the existence of God could mean that existence itself is neutral, seems much more logical to me. Presently, anyway.
  3. This seems to be going down the same rabbit hole of if something needs a creator, then what created God? I rather like Bart Erhman's 'duh' moment he blogged about at the beginning of the year - here is an excerpt (it is a paid subscription so to copy entirely is a copyright issue): So here is my “duh” moment. A rock has no way of recognizing that an animate object such as a dandelion exists. A dandelion has no way of recognizing that a panther exists. Now it gets a bit tricky. A panther has no way of recognizing that a superior intelligence exists. Yes, a panther does recognize in some instinctual sense that there are things out there to look out for. But it has no way of realizing that there are people who can engineer sky scrapers, or split atoms, or reconstruct the history of Rome. It simply is not in its purview. Humans can and do recognized, analyze, study, think about, reflect on these other forms of life. You don’t need to say they are “lower” life forms or that we are “superior” to recognize this. We can understand all these things because in some sense (not all), our cognitive abilities are superior. But here’s my point. Suppose you WERE to think (whether imperialistically or arrogantly or not) that we are talking about levels of existence, from lower to higher: rocks, trees, non-human animals, and humans. The fact is that the lower ones can never know about the higher ones, what they really are, what they are capable of, how they exist, what they do, and so on. They can’t even conceptualize their existence. Then what in the blazes should should make me think that I could possibly know if there was a higher order above me, superior to me in ways that I simply can’t imagine? Not just one order above me, but lots of orders? If there are such orders, there is no way I could ever know. Literally. Duh. And so really, agnosticism is the ONLY option. Not in the sense of a shoulder shrug, “Hey, how would *I* know?” but in the sense of a deep thoughtful response – I have precisely no way to adjudicate the view, one way or the other.
  4. Let me say from the outset that this is a line of thought I have been investigating for a little while now and although I do not claim it as my belief, it seems to make the most logical sense out of all the other 'models' Christianity has proposed to me concerning the existence of any sort of 'God'. The model I am suggesting is that we (and everything that exists) is God. I find that if I were to adopt this model then all of my questions about evil, wrongdoing, injustice, heartache and pain, love and enjoyment, purpose & existence - can be answered (to my satisfaction anyway). Why does evil happen? - because it does, just the same as good happens. We as God are simply experiencing from a human perspective what it is to be amongst that. All other living and non-living things have their experience also. Is God love? - No. Well, no more than God is also hate, laughter, sadness and pain. These are all human descriptors of our experience and as God is experiencing all of this, God is all of these things too. When I hate, God is hating, When I love, God is loving. What happens when we die? - We continue on as God. Just as God is the stardust that we come from, so God is the stardust that we return to. God is eternal and infinite and we continue on into that eternity and infinity, even after this body and consciousness ( consciousness being a by-product of this body) ceases to exist. Except there is no coming or going - just continuing. Of course our ego doesn't like to think that and it struggles to maintain some kind of identity, but again, that is all part of the experience of being human. How does this impact my life today? - I live how I want to gain the most from the experience. Although this sounds selfish in the first instance, if one stops and thinks about it a lot of the things that help me live a 'good' experience include taking into account others. We share this planet, we share countries, we share communities, we share families. We can choose to live however we want and it makes no difference to God, but if we want to have a more pleasurable experience over one less pleasurable, then we will choose in a variety of different ways, to work together. Not everybody will do this, which is evident in the existence of 'wrong' or 'evil', but these are just emotive terms to describe what we don't like about those things. I am also finding it profoundly releasing to imagine that all is God - that we are all the same God. The differences that appear between us are, in the big picture of things, totally arbitrary and of very little consequence really. It makes such things a lot easier to accept or just let be. Just my thoughts at this point in time.
  5. Some interesting thoughts from Alan Watts about we being God.
  6. Progressive Christianity as understood by Gretta Vosper - both an atheist and an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada (a mainline Protestant denomination):
  7. Perhaps read some Alan Watts, Eckert Tolle, or even Osho (if you can put aside his controversial past). It's not so much others who agree with me, but rather that this understanding of God is understood by many others, some of whom I have read. Perhaps carry out a search for essays and texts about us being God experiencing itself. This from the TCPC Homepage where I did a quick search - https://progressivechristianity.org/resources/you-are-god-the-true-teachings-of-jesus/ He's some woman I found when Googling "Are we God" (no idea who she is):
  8. It's not really a next step per se - I'm not saying that I think this is what God is - I am just speculating. But it does seem to me to be a more logical understanding of God than any other expression of understanding God that I have been exposed to, either here or elsewhere. Others speculating? Well, only by our most obvious example, such as Joseph here. Maybe not in every sense though. I've also read a number of articles and essays concerning the concept - whether the people are "Christians" or not I don't recall. I've also seen various articles along this line on the greater TCPC homepage from people who I would guess do regard themselves as Christian. Whether it is a distinguished movement or not, I really couldn't say. Personally, I think it is somewhat of what Spong is pointing to in his book we have been discussing on another thread. I know you won't agree, but I read him as touching on or entering this territory. I do suspect we will see more and more of it in Christianity.
  9. Indeed, traditional Christianity has seen God as separate - so separate as to think of God as a theistic being, sitting 'out there', external to our physical cosmos, overseeing our daily lives and ultimately judging whether we are fit to live in Heaven or not. Yet many Christians have moved away from this theistic understanding for what I call "Theism-lite" where separateness from God is still maintained (as though God is something other but still a father figure per se) and with an intriguing 'not separate' understanding of living within God simultaneously, but of course not being part of that God within which one lives. Perhaps the next step in Christianity (which I think is already developing) will be to understand that one can't 'become' something that they already are. Perhaps we are in fact just as much the "I Am" as when Jesus said he and his Father were as one. Just speculating.
  10. That makes more sense! Thanks for clarifying.
  11. I didn't think I was saying God is the hate in man (as like you, I think hate is just a current condition of genetic and conditioned individual and collective consciousness in the creature at the present stage of its evolution). Hate is purely a human-thinking term and emotion. There is no such thing as 'hate' or 'love' outside of our mind. The physical manifestation of things we do/see that we judge as hate or love (or some other degree in between) are all the experience of God living. Or so I think anyway. Rather I was trying to express that God is in the man who loves as well as the man who hates. Man doesn't move any further or closer to God on this emotional continuum (its our thinking mind that creates the continuum - love vs hate and all of the grades in between). I don't think there is a 'goal' that we are working towards other than to have our human existence and experience whilst it exists. I don't think God has an emotion either way. God just is and we just are - God's experience as us. As such, there really is no love or hate in our existence - we just make it so.
  12. It seems to me that 'man-made evil' is as much a part of God as all the sugary bits. I don't see how it can be any other way. If God is THE creator, then God created 'evil' just as much as God created 'good'. I'd rather says God is all things - whether we think of them as good or evil. Man, with our thinking brain, starts to determine what is good and what is evil as a survival tactic, but it is all just the experience of life. One man's evil can be another man's righteousness ( all perfectly normal human assessments of life). Yes we can use extreme examples such as killing or torturing others as 'evil' but really, if all things are in God, then that evil is in God too. It is just part of living. That doesn't mean we don't seek to minimize harm to ourselves, because that too, is a perfectly natural part of being human. As you say, we are survival oriented animals. But at the end of the day, all of these things happen within, and is of, God. It seems to me that we must harm in order to survive. We simply cannot survive without killing other living things (plant or animal or both). Of course we can rationalize that the lives of these living things aren't as important as ours, but if all things are 'created' by God and God is simply 'observing' them or trying to 'guide' them as they progress, we would be harming that which God considered good. The alternative to me is that it isn't harm per se, but merely experience of what it is to be God living. The alternative that you seem to lean toward, to me seems to suggest that God is separate to existence. I don't believe that is or can be the case. If God is in all things, then God is the man who loves as well as the man who hates. Anyway, that's just my take on it.
  13. I was mistaken. Apologies to you and Bishop Spong. Perhaps I confused Borg's death with his - I don't know.
  14. Yet you are still justifying it. In conclusion, I disagree with the way you interpret Spong and as such don't think the references support your argument. You have your lens, I have mine. I disagree. I didn't think I needed to mention that my book was at home, but thanks for the tip. I disagree. Yes.
  15. That's exactly what I think Spong is saying.
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