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martinbrown

Dear Ground Of My Being.....?

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Having traversed from Fundamentalist Calvinism (all 5 points thereof) to Radical Liberal Theology, I find myslef asking, What of Prayer? If God be dead, as an out-there, Up-There, Being beyond being, kind of "Ground of all Being" (thanks to Tillich et al) manner, how does one pray?

 

I haven't prayed, in the usual "Dear God..." kind of way in over 25 years. For how can one truly adress the Mysterium that defies all definition, and which vanishes so soon as we try and use words themselves?

 

As for "Worship", same applies?

 

How do we talk of God to ordinary people, and how do ordinary folk talk to "God"??

 

Anyone care to unravel this unholy mess of ideas in my head? For I would like to pray, BUT...... Who or What do I address myself to? And what should I ask, without asking Whoever to meddle in history, which cannot be done?

 

I'm confused.

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I think that is an excellent question, Martin. I think that prayer, as a spiritual practice, must be directed at or to a "personal spiritual entity". So, it would be rather absurd to pray "to" "the Ground of Being" (with all due respect to Paul Tillich). I also think that whatever that personal, spiritual entity happens to be is left to the imagination of the person doing the praying. Images, rituals and worship are all important to a spiritual person, and I don't think they need to be eliminated because of the ineffability of the things we are trying to talk about, like "God", etc.

 

In my own prayer, I have pretty much left intact a lot of my earlier prayer practices, without the inevitable internal criticisms directed to myself that they might seem "silly" to other people. I have done this in spite of my experiential movement away from old belief systems.

 

Good luck with your dilemma!

 

Steve

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Martin that is a good question. It is good that mechanical prayers and blind faith can't satisfy everyone, so we seek some sort of realization, which can be observed in the stillness of a realized person at work in the stillness of a mind anchored in pure consciousness. I have chosen Christ, but Buddha, Krishna, Shiva, scientist and Mohamed can help. As Christ consciousness resonates in us, the mystery of pure consciousness unfolds and increases as the mind is made silent. The infinite or God is indivisible because everything is within it; therefore, the word finite is in the word in-finite just like the material is in the spiritual and the spiritual is in the material so the finite is constantly changing, but the infinite does not change, what changes is inside the infinite. We can make great progress spiritually in the physical realm if we live in a way that is in harmony with our spiritual values every moment. In order to do this, I need to point my thoughts beyond the physical realm so I can connect to the Spirit and Infinite where our life becomes our greatest and deepest prayer. Contemplation, meditation, music, sports, comedy, centering prayer, Lectio Devina, service, contemplation, study, basketball, painting, literature what ever it takes is the perfect prayer.

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Hi Martin, as an "ordinary person" who often lives in an unholy mess you might wish to ignore my post, but I'll make an attempt to pass on the questionable benefits of my own experience. I've found its more to do with how we iive "down here" than how we try to address "him up there". One Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart, said that the only prayer we need to say is "thank you", which in Eckhart speak would morph into a choiceless awareness - that is, rather than saying thank you to some things and not others, just "thank you" to each and everything. Acceptance is, paradoxically, the catalyst of transformation - it is not passive, but becomes an active engagement with the world and all around us. When we speak to who ever is beside us we speak to "God", and in accepting them we accept God. There is no need for prayer as such. Our whole life is "thank you".

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Derek,

 

Thanks for that simplistic but profound post. Its good to be reminded of the basic so as not to get lost in the complicated.

 

Joseph

 

PS Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All

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Thanks, chaps!

Tariki, you have summarised beautifully the position I have reached. The practice of the presence, is what I aim at.

Illuminating. Thank you

 

And seasons greetings to one and all!

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