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What is God's power in this world?

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6 hours ago, PaulS said:

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.  

OK, just curious if you knew of others who agree.

If you come across articles I, for one, would appreciate knowing about them as I would like to read them.

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13 hours ago, thormas said:

OK, just curious if you knew of others who agree.

If you come across articles I, for one, would appreciate knowing about them as I would like to read them.

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):

 

 

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12 hours ago, PaulS said:

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):

 

I had some familiarity with Watts and Tolle. Will read the woman and the PC piece.

thanks

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19 hours ago, PaulS said:

This from the TCPC Homepage where I did a quick search - https://progressivechristianity.org/resources/you-are-god-the-true-teachings-of-jesus/

When I looked at this I realized that I had seen it before but passed on it after reading the first few paragraphs. But I tried again.

West writes ".... the bible as it is primarily taught today (and in general, for the past 2000 years), is that it teaches first and foremost that we are separate from this force called God." First, God is not (always) described as a force. Second, if that separation has to do with sin, West is correct - but if it has to do with man and woman as human beings, part of creation, beingseparate’it is much more nuanced than he allows. Furthermore, it doesn't follow that the opposite of separate from God is that we are God or gods (oddly, he uses the terms interchangeably).

Next, all spiritual awakenings are not an awareness that 'you are God' and he seems to contradict this when he says that a spiritual awakening is "an experience that you are intimately connected with God........that you are loved..." If you are intimately connected with God, if you are loved by God, that suggests there is a God and a you who realizes s/he is loved by that God. He does go on to add, ".... that you are God, because that creative consciousness is within you." But again to realize that 'there is a God who loves you' is not identical with the realization that 'you are God:' creative consciousness can still be within a man or woman who is not God.

To be fair to the atheists and agnostics among us, that 6+billion people who believe there is a God could just be another instance of 'a preconception being we have been imbued with."  I don't necessarily buy this but if the idea of separation can be imbued so can the very concept of God. As for how many of the 6 billion God only a belief, I would say all of them given that there is no proof for or against and even those who 'channel' God' into all they do, act on belief. 

Even if we were aware of 'God-consciousness- it remains a finite awareness and it is a process that people come to, if at all, at different stages in life and then we have new generations upon new generations who have to make the same journey. It would take longer than a few months to change the world but I take his meaning: how much would change if we simply loved (agape)?

Next, West writes that"None of the major spiritual teachers throughout history were religious. Jesus wasn’t a Christian, Buddha was not Buddhist, and Lao Tzu..." Jesus wasn't a Christian but he was a practicing Jew, faithful to the Law of Moses and their summation in the 2 great commandments and he honored the religious practices like Passover. Here, West is simply wrong. He adds, "they mastered themselves in solitude by looking within and meditating." We are told of Jesus' 40 days in the desert but is this historical or does it mirror the wandering of the Jews before they reached the Promised Land (before Jesus 'delivered the Promises of God). Jesus is depicted as a man of prayer and I have no doubt he 'thought on God' but he didn't seem to embrace solitude to the degree that the author implies.

I will leave the others to the side as it has been years since I studied Taoism but the core of Jesus' teaching was about God who would establish his Kingdom for creation, for the Jews and for all nations. A serious Jew, i.e. Jesus, would not see himself as God or as equal to God. All such biblical references are written well after the historical Jesus lived and died and one questions how much was from the lips of Jesus (and not from the writers). A Jew would not believe we 'become Gods' as they believed in only God. Even the 'anointed one' the messiah was not God. Unlike many modern Christians who believe we have a hand in 'creating' the Kingdom, Jesus thought it was all about God: it was God and only God who would establish his Kingdom - all man had to do was repent and be prepared, be ready for God's big reveal. For Jesus, it was not human honesty, forgiveness, kindness and introspection that would create 'heaven on earth’- it was God.

I agree with Jesus (or John's take on Jesus) that he who abides in love abides in God and God in him, but this does not go to sameness or identity or that we are God. If God is love and if man loves then it can be said that God/Love is in him and he lives in God/Love. However, this saying, while not suggesting separateness when one abides n God, it does suggest that there is the 'other:' God, in whom we must abide and in whom we don't (always) abide now. In abiding, there is no separation but there is also no absolute identicalness with God.

It is interesting that West titles this next part 'You are God' but then quotes the biblical passage which says 'you are gods.' Again for Jews, only 1 God and 'gods' are not the equal of God. The idea of being gods can go to the idea of divinization but even this stops short of saying we are God. ‘Being gods’is not explained away and there is no attempt to hide a big secret - gods are not God. Where does West show that Jesus "realized that he was that creative force, and that all of creation was in a literal sense God?"

I can understand someone saying that spirit or love or our true nature resides within each of us but how are we made aware of this? How do we realize this? In most human realization something triggers it, something wakes us, stops us in our tracks and makes us reconsider. What is it that awakens us to the spirit that resides in each of us - especially when we consider that many are not awakened? We might not be separate from that spirit if it is in us but how do we wake to it?

I agree we don't need priests per se but we do need teachers or wise men/women - as the Buddha, Lao and Jesus were such teachers (priest or holy men of God).

West writes, "If everything in the universe is formless energy, and we are all connected by that energy, and if we are made up of that energy, and if that energy is the force we call God … how could we be anything but God?"  Well unless we are the source of that boundless energy, we are simply its children. Plus, can one equate God with energy or is God the very possibility that there is energy at all? West seems to not know that for philosophers and theologians, down through the centuries, God is not force, energy, rock, tree or man - God is the very possibility that any-thing is at all, the very possibility that there is any energy at all. I find West's reliance on science for proof or at least truth about God to be fascinating.

 

Well, that about sums it up for me. I find West to be incomplete in his understanding of the Bible and lacking the understanding of what is meant by 'God' in the western tradition. God is nothing, no-thing, including energy. 

I also find that West confuses God with gods and he confuses overcoming separation with identical-ness with God. Love is such that each abides in the other: there  can be no separation (within the limit of our finitude) but there is also no literal sameness or identity with the lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, thormas said:

This from the TCPC Homepage where I did a quick search - https://progressivechristianity.org/resources/you-are-god-the-true-teachings-of-jesus/

Thanks Paul,

I found the article excellent given the limitations we all have with words and speaking of such things. 

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On 4/23/2020 at 9:05 PM, PaulS said:

Here's some woman I found when Googling "Are we God" (no idea who she is):

I listened to and watched Christina's video; she is friendly and chatty and I enjoyed her. However, there was much to question. 

First, there still is a 'difference' between the top of the funnel and the I:  if it were not for the funnel which comes from the nameless, the "I"s wouldn't be.  The Nameless One still is and is the cause of the funnel that 'produces' the 'I's. Also, the idea that God 'needs' the funnel, needs the 'I's to become aware of itself, begs the question what is there to know and how could God not know God? And if God is unaware of God (prior to the tunnel) how is it possible for total unawareness to be aware enough to even create the funnel?  Christina mentioned that that we have consciousness and enable God to become self-aware (self-conscious), but how can we be the source of awareness if God had none to begin with? Where does our consciousness come from if all is God and God, admittedly, is not aware?

Then there is the rather humbling and not very hopeful idea that the many Is help God or are the means or source for God to become self-aware. Well given how many humans there have been and how few have become enlightened (??), God, sadly, cannot be much more self-aware that when he started the funnel. The method seems madness.

And when we die and return to the source, Christina say we bring God information.What kind of information does God need? We have information on all sorts of things over out time on earth from how to hunt large animals, the initial use of fire, how to build and run a railroad, to baseball stats, etc. – this is information we bring God? And what of the child who was conscious for 7 days and then dies – what possible knowledge could that child bring God? 

I appreciated Christinas critique of traditional religion. Its not the whole picture and its not how all other  progressive Christians think about God but some of her comments ring true. Some of her views about God are dated and are no longer the insight of many modern day or progressive Christians. There has to be greater nuance as it is not simply God as man/person vs, we are God: there is a lot of territory in between the extremes.

However, all in all I liked her. She is sincere, nice and extremely passionate about her belief. 

Thanks.

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20 hours ago, thormas said:

First, there still is a 'difference' between the top of the funnel and the I:  if it were not for the funnel which comes from the nameless, the "I"s wouldn't be.  The Nameless One still is and is the cause of the funnel that 'produces' the 'I's. Also, the idea that God 'needs' the funnel, needs the 'I's to become aware of itself, begs the question what is there to know and how could God not know God? And if God is unaware of God (prior to the tunnel) how is it possible for total unawareness to be aware enough to even create the funnel?  Christina mentioned that that we have consciousness and enable God to become self-aware (self-conscious), but how can we be the source of awareness if God had none to begin with? Where does our consciousness come from if all is God and God, admittedly, is not aware?

Then there is the rather humbling and not very hopeful idea that the many Is help God or are the means or source for God to become self-aware. Well given how many humans there have been and how few have become enlightened (??), God, sadly, cannot be much more self-aware that when he started the funnel. The method seems madness.

And when we die and return to the source, Christina say we bring God information.What kind of information does God need? We have information on all sorts of things over out time on earth from how to hunt large animals, the initial use of fire, how to build and run a railroad, to baseball stats, etc. – this is information we bring God? And what of the child who was conscious for 7 days and then dies – what possible knowledge could that child bring God? 

Why try to figure it all out? In my view,  It will indeed bring madness. Most all world religions  postulate 3 fundamentals, the world, the individual soul and God. In truth what exists is God (the seer) alone,  because all three are One. The only way to know is to become One with awareness. Subject and object will disappear and there will be no questions.

 From the words of Ramana Maharshi 

  "Realization is simply being oneself, not knowing anything or becoming anything. If one has realized, he is that which alone is and which alone has always been. He cannot describe that state. He can only be that. When we give up regarding the unreal as real, then the reality alone will remain and we will be that."

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Well Christina is still trying to figure it out, so too Brandon West, others and of course many of us. Plus how else will God become self aware if not for us getting information and knowledge to provide 'him?'

Most of the people I read, philosophers and theologians (even many 'ordinary' people on various PC blogs), are not mad and display, in their writings, lectures and videos, no indications of madness. So we're safe.

Or, in truth God does not exist since God is no thing on which existence is bestowed but the very possibility of anything/everything existing. All 'are one' in God; unity in diversity rather than the unity of the one in itself (which is not even aware according to Christina) is as Whitehead said the highest Beauty (the highest truth).

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, thormas said:

Plus how else will God become self aware if not for us getting information and knowledge to provide 'him?'

👍😄😄 I hope that was a joke.

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1 hour ago, JosephM said:

👍😄😄 I hope that was a joke.

What we now provide for God, through the grace of Jesus, is not information or knowledge but experience.

God can now experience human doubt, fear, ambition etc.  This was the atonement.  

At-one-ment.  It began with Jesus’ conception and was completed at Pentecost.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, JosephM said:

👍😄😄 I hope that was a joke.

Well it was 'tongue in cheek" but I was quoting Christina who stated just that. Go figure.

Edited by thormas

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12 hours ago, Burl said:

What we now provide for God, through the grace of Jesus, is not information or knowledge but experience.

Why does God 'need' our experience and isn't part of experience both knowledge and information..........so He needs that too?

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

Why does God 'need' our experience and isn't part of experience both knowledge and information..........so He needs that too?

God has always had all knowledge and information, but Jesus enabled God’s ability to indwell in humanity and experience sentience.  
 

Everyone has knowledge and information that giving birth or getting a hard kick in the nutz is painful but ask someone who has had either experience and they will tell you that information and knowledge are no substitute for experience.

Before Jesus atonement God could not fully experience humanity.  How else could an omnipotent God experience fear, shame, lust or greed?

This is how Jesus at-one-ment was able to bring about forgiveness for sins.  The allegory is releasing the patriarchs from hell and opening heaven but the scriptures are really speaking to the forgiveness of humanity.

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

God has always had all knowledge and information, but Jesus enabled God’s ability to indwell in humanity and experience sentience.  
Everyone has knowledge and information that giving birth or getting a hard kick in the nutz is painful but ask someone who has had either experience and they will tell you that information and knowledge are no substitute for experience.    

Before Jesus atonement God could not fully experience humanity.  How else could an omnipotent God experience fear, shame, lust or greed?

I follow you from a theistic POV but from a more progressive and/or panentheistic perspective , I don't see it or agree with it. 

Plus, it is evident that God has no experience of the female equivalent to a kick in the nutz or pregnancy or childbirth or miscarriages or menopause or breast cancer and on and on. Plus unless Jesus was raped or sold into slavery or thought of as less than a man - God has no experience with that and so much more. Thus God does not know human kind and has never fully experienced humanity. 

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4 hours ago, thormas said:

I follow you from a theistic POV but from a more progressive and/or panentheistic perspective , I don't see it or agree with it. 

Plus, it is evident that God has no experience of the female equivalent to a kick in the nutz or pregnancy or childbirth or miscarriages or menopause or breast cancer and on and on. Plus unless Jesus was raped or sold into slavery or thought of as less than a man - God has no experience with that and so much more. Thus God does not know human kind and has never fully experienced humanity. 

The atonement moves through Jesus resurrection, ascension, his session at the right hand of God, Pentecost and the indwelling of Christ in every living person.
 

We are all part of the at-one-ment, Thormas.

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1 hour ago, Burl said:

The atonement moves through Jesus resurrection, ascension, his session at the right hand of God, Pentecost and the indwelling of Christ in every living person.
We are all part of the at-one-ment, Thormas.

I understand atonement but the experience of God in/through Jesus is, of necessity, limited.

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Some interesting thoughts from Alan Watts about we being God.

 

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Good, I see there is not only the piece on Watts but your comments under a separate topic. Will read both. Thanks.

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