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Is God Emotional?


jerryb
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Is it possible, that in our great effort to understand and comprehend God,we make Him too much like us?

Someone has quipped."If horses had a God, he would look likr a horse."

What do you think?

 

 

 

Jerryb,(better known as troublemaker)

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I think that is a given. Gods tend to be like the people they protect, but more so and often with their own quirks. ;) Genesis has the concept of people being made in God's image. The part that I find interesting is God's personality and the way people attribute traits they admire to God. I found myself really attracted to the smart-a** god in Borg and Crossan's "The Last Week". The God who doesn't care if you gossip or exclude but will send you to a pit of eternal hellfire for an abortion or homosexuality doesn't resonate much with me.

 

 

On a side note, troublemaker :P , have you noticed that just about everybody on this board feels like they are in "trouble" with others? Much of the time I don't see it (except when it applies to me, of course :blink::lol: )

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Is it possible, that in our great effort to understand and comprehend God,we make Him too much like us?

Someone has quipped."If horses had a God, he would look likr a horse."

What do you think?

Jerryb,(better known as troublemaker)

Jerry-I don't think God is emotional but I don't know for sure. In John Mcquiston's book "A Prayer Book" about a panentheistic God, Borg wrote the intro and says a lot to me about this. Borg says that panentheism does not think of God as "a being" To clarify, it does not think of God as a being separate from other beings, not as another being in addition to the universe of beings. Rather it thinks of God as a non-material level or layer or dimension of reality that pervades the universe. God is "the more" thanks bob ve

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Hello All:

 

I've enjoyed your answers, but I think it all boils down to the nature of our origins. I tend to believe the symbolism imbedded in the Genesis stories, and the Human Creation stories of ancient cultures other than the Judeo-Christian.

 

It does appear that we were Created. The how and why are still hidden from us mostly, but enough is peeking through to indicate that we are fully reflective, in our basic natures, of the universe that may be observed at both the micro and macro levels in us and around us. Hence our dualistic natures. But deep in each human there is also found a sense of oneness with others that defies description, and which bubbles up to the surface in times of stress.

 

This is why the most ancient versions of the stories that formed the origins of Genesis show us Creator G-d (s) in multiple personas that agree with the dual nature of our realities. "Come let us go down and Create them in our image and likeness."

 

It is only later on in the Judeo-Christian myths that a unity is openly talked about, and that is a unity of oneness based upon...love. That really doesn't start to emerge until about the time of King Solomon when Genesis was first redacted and made one book, the first book.

 

If G-d is love..then it would be impossible for G-d to not be emotional.

 

flow.... :unsure:

Edited by flowperson
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WARNING: Opening a can of worms!

 

If we are a part of God, then God is emotional because we are.

 

Even if my assertion is false, God at least knows how to communicate in an emotional form. Isn't the touch of God usually an emotional experience beyond words?

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WARNING: Opening a can of worms!

 

If we are a part of God, then God is emotional because we are.

 

Even if my assertion is false, God at least knows how to communicate in an emotional form. Isn't the touch of God usually an emotional experience beyond words?

 

One of the things I got from learning about Hinduism is that, the way Hindus see it, the three main things that people really want are infinite being, infinite knowledge, and infinite bliss, and that the way to attain this is to realize that we already have these things because we are part of God. This would imply that God is in a state of infinite being, infinite knowledge, and infinite bliss.

 

This is something I can accept - that God experiences (that's the wrong word...maybe, God is?) bliss and love. Thus it makes sense to me that "the touch of God is usually an emotional experience beyond words" and that it generally seems to involve bliss and love. I guess you could say this makes God emotional, but for me "emotional" implies moving from one end of the spectrum to the other. I'm not sure if I believe God can feel negative emotions.

 

But, I really have no idea. Can God feel hatred? I don't think so. Sadness or disappointment? That seems a lot more likely. Yet does only a tiny part of God feel sadness or disappointment if only one person does something wrong, while the rest of him is joyful because everyone else is behaving correctly? (Of course that's a hypothetical situation, but I just mean that out of the whole of creation one person doing something wrong is small in comparison to everything else working in harmony.)

 

I'm rambling and confusing myself, so I'll hush now :lol:

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One of the things I got from learning about Hinduism is that, the way Hindus see it, the three main things that people really want are infinite being, infinite knowledge, and infinite bliss, and that the way to attain this is to realize that we already have these things because we are part of God. This would imply that God is in a state of infinite being, infinite knowledge, and infinite bliss.

 

This is something I can accept - that God experiences (that's the wrong word...maybe, God is?) bliss and love. Thus it makes sense to me that "the touch of God is usually an emotional experience beyond words" and that it generally seems to involve bliss and love. I guess you could say this makes God emotional, but for me "emotional" implies moving from one end of the spectrum to the other. I'm not sure if I believe God can feel negative emotions.

 

But, I really have no idea. Can God feel hatred? I don't think so. Sadness or disappointment? That seems a lot more likely. Yet does only a tiny part of God feel sadness or disappointment if only one person does something wrong, while the rest of him is joyful because everyone else is behaving correctly? (Of course that's a hypothetical situation, but I just mean that out of the whole of creation one person doing something wrong is small in comparison to everything else working in harmony.)

 

I'm rambling and confusing myself, so I'll hush now :lol:

Oh, the worms are definitely out of the can now!

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Is it possible, that in our great effort to understand and comprehend God,we make Him too much like us?

Someone has quipped."If horses had a God, he would look likr a horse."

What do you think?

Jerryb,(better known as troublemaker)

 

Jerryb

 

The Gnostic poem The Thunder Perfect Mind has an interesting view concerning the nature of god. It refers to god as "I" and starts off something like this.

 

I was sent forth from the power,

 

and I have come to those who reflect upon me,

and I have been found among those who seek after me.

Look upon me, you who reflect upon me,

and you hearers, hear me.

You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves.

And do not banish me from your sight.

And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing.

Do not be ignorant of me anywhere or any time. Be on your guard!

Do not be ignorant of me.

For I am the first and the last.

I am the honored one and the scorned one.

I am the whore and the holy one.

I am the wife and the virgin.

I am <the mother> and the daughter...

 

It goes on and on saying what "I Am" In fact, you could say that "I am like us and I am not like us", or "I am emotional and I am not emotional". Where it says, "I am the first and the last" and "take me to yourselves", it means that we are all the essence of god. Each and every one of us are an expression of god and we take this idea into ourselves if we want to know god. I think that the Gospel of Luke is correct when it says that the kingdom of god is within us.

 

BobD

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Yes we do make God in our image. If you read the bible you will find multiple images of God both human and non-human. I think the message is clear: God is immense! On the one hand it is important to be able to identify with God on the other hand we are warned to not make images of God. I think modern Chrisitianity is very guilty of this when we relegate God to the father image in the trinity. Father is only one image of God out of many, why are we so stuck on it to the exclusion of all the other images? I call it Zeus worship! I came to head with it when I visited Israel with a group that was predominately male pastors.

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WARNING: Opening a can of worms!

 

If we are a part of God, then God is emotional because we are.

 

Even if my assertion is false, God at least knows how to communicate in an emotional form. Isn't the touch of God usually an emotional experience beyond words?

 

Greetings Fatherman,

 

One could say that we are made from the essence of God and are subject to an infinte variety of choices, experiences and possibilities which includes emotions, yet God is not those created experiences/emotions. While it can be said that God is the infinite potential by which all things manifest, it seems to me that God, who is complete and at perfect peace is devoid of emotions as we consider them. That part that is considered emotional is not God but rather a product of creation that is ephemeral whereas, God is eternal and not subject to change as is the creature called man.

 

It seems to me, God does not communicate in an emotional form. Though one might experience emotions in the natural while experienceing his presence, his touch, 'in reality' is not felt emotionally but rather experienced as a 'state of being' better described as completeness, without want or desire.

 

Just a view to consider concerning your statements. No more, no less.

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Greetings Fatherman,

 

One could say that we are made from the essence of God and are subject to an infinte variety of choices, experiences and possibilities which includes emotions, yet God is not those created experiences/emotions. While it can be said that God is the infinite potential by which all things manifest, it seems to me that God, who is complete and at perfect peace is devoid of emotions as we consider them. That part that is considered emotional is not God but rather a product of creation that is ephemeral whereas, God is eternal and not subject to change as is the creature called man.

 

It seems to me, God does not communicate in an emotional form. Though one might experience emotions in the natural while experienceing his presence, his touch, 'in reality' is not felt emotionally but rather experienced as a 'state of being' better described as completeness, without want or desire.

 

Just a view to consider concerning your statements. No more, no less.

And what a marvelous view it is, Jim! Thank you for such a well-thought-out response. I was hoping someone would make this point, but I did not expect it to be made so eloquently and comprehensively. (Ok, enough gushing!)

 

"State of being" is the key phrase here. "State of being" sets the context of form and experience. All debate over the authority of scripture aside, Jesus showed us that God is capable of taking the form of a human (a state of being) while still retaining the Godly essense. But because Jesus was also human, he was subject to emotional states of being. Love and compassion, for example, are traits we attribute to God, yet they are also traits that we experience in an emotional way. I challenge anyone to try to experience love or compassion without emotion. Without emotion that are just ideas or principals.

 

It is not because of God's lack of wholeness or peace that God would express emotion, it is because of ours. Our bent toward separation, forgetfullness, and destructiveness may be cause enough for God to experience emotion. I'm suggesting that God, in order to experience a fuller range of God's own self, created the Universe and humanity; thereby, subjecting Godself to the possibility of emotion.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Father is only one image of God out of many, why are we so stuck on it to the exclusion of all the other images? I call it Zeus worship! I came to head with it when I visited Israel with a group that was predominately male pastors.

:lol: Weren't you brave?!

 

Love Jen

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One of the things I got from learning about Hinduism is that, the way Hindus see it, the three main things that people really want are infinite being, infinite knowledge, and infinite bliss, and that the way to attain this is to realize that we already have these things because we are part of God. This would imply that God is in a state of infinite being, infinite knowledge, and infinite bliss.

 

McKenna, I found what you wrote very interesting. I think there's a lot of resonance with this idea in many spiritual communities. I can see how it sounds pretty darned good.

 

All I can share is my own personal experience of what it feels like to be open to God and God's angels on a 24/7 basis. I don't shut the door because I've made a commitment to myself and God to live as much as possible in a state of connectedness and trust. This is not to say that I don't enjoy private pursuits and quiet time. This is to say, instead, that I'm fully aware that my thoughts and feelings are always an open door to God anyway, so I may as well be conscious and appreciative of that reality.

 

The wiser I've become with Jesus' help, the less I've related to the dream of infinite being and infinite knowledge. I still completely agree with the infinite bliss part, but my bliss has grown greater as my conscious awareness about the limits on my being and the limits on my knowledge has expanded. The more I understand who I am as a soul, with all that implies in terms of my God-given strengths and my God-given absences of strengths, the more blissful I am. I eagerly try to expand my knowledge each day, but I try to expand that knowledge within the spheres of ability that are unique to me, that are part of the real soul me. I try to learn more about neurophysiology, because that's one of my strengths. I try to learn more about history, because that's another of my strengths. But I leave car repair and bridge repair, as two examples, to those with the mechanical and engineering ability I lack -- not as a human being, but as a soul.

 

I'm deeply content to be who I am. I have no desire for infinite being. I have only the desire to expand my own personal potential, and to use that potential in service to God. I have no desire for infinite knowledge, as that would necessitate that I learn about subjects I have no innate soul talent to grasp. That would be an insult to God the Mother and God the Father, who gave me a perfectly wonderful set of skills I'm perfectly happy with. I can't do everything. I can't know everything. And that's just perfect. It's fine with me. And it's fine with God the Mother and God the Father.

 

The better I've gotten to know Jesus, the more I've come to understand that he's also deeply content to be the unique soul he is. He has his own talents, his own strengths, and his own absences of strengths. He pushes and pushes to expand his strengths. And he turns to his angelic friends to help him in the areas where he's got absences of strengths. He can't do everything, either. He's just one soul. But he's deeply happy to be who he is.

 

I have also had the great privilege to talk directly to God the Mother and God the Father on occasion. They, too, are unique individuals, and their hearts are . . . well, their hearts are so filled with love you can't really put it in words (though I try). One day, I discovered quite by accident that our beloved heavenly Father loves the blues -- uptempo blues. I kid you not. I was driving down the 401 (a major Ontario expressway), and I had a blues CD turned up to maximum volume, and I was singing away as people do when they're by themselves in the car, and I was bopping along with my head moving to the rhthym, and I thought, "Oh, what the heck, I'll open the channelling door really wide and share this music with Jesus and some my other angelic friends," (yes, this is technically possible), and damned if I didn't inadvertently open the door so wide that God the Father started bopping along with the music, too. I could feel this kind of happy enjoyment coming down through my body (this is called body channelling), and I knew the feeling wasn't coming from me, and it wasn't coming from Jesus, and to be honest I was so startled by the sudden connection to our Father that I broke the channelling connection. But I was totally blown away by the experience. And it remains a beautiful, uplifting memory for me.

 

But I don't think our Mother enjoys the blues the same way our Father does. Don't know what she likes best, but I can feel it's not the blues.

 

What's really important here is that although our Mother doesn't share exactly the same interests as our Father, she loves him for who he is, and she supports him fully in his unique interests. This is the same way our Mother and Father love us -- with support and gratitude for our uniqueness.

 

So that's where I am. Hope this helps.

 

Love Jen

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  • 3 months later...

Alfred North Whitehead threw an interesting wrench into this issue. His view:

 

"There is, however, in the Galillean origin of Christianity yet another suggestion which does not fit well with any of the ... main strands of thought. It does not emphasize the ruling Caesar, or the ruthless moralist, or the unmoved ruler. It dwells upon the tender elements of the world, which slowly and in quietness operate by love; and it finds pupose in the present immediacy of a kingdom not of this worl. Love neither rules, nor is it unmoved; also it is a little oblivious as to morals. It does not look to the future; for it finds its own reward in the immediate present."

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Hi Minsocal:

 

Good to hear from you again after such a long time. It's comforting to know that Whitehead thought these things through long before I posted #4 above. Yes...living in the moment...that is one of the secrets Huh ?

 

flow.... ;)

 

Hi flow:

 

Good to be back again, I thought you might be the first to respond to the Whitehead quote! Thanks.

 

:lol:

 

minsocal

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Is it possible, that in our great effort to understand and comprehend God,we make Him too much like us?

Someone has quipped."If horses had a God, he would look likr a horse."

What do you think?

Jerryb,(better known as troublemaker)

 

Hi "trouble"!

 

Just sharing a few thoughts..............and some words of Thomas Merton, who said that seeking to define a fixed concept of the divine essence, to attempt to state clearly "what he is" can prove misleading. Such attempts do not solve anything because "our experience of God tells us that he is but not what he is. We tend to experience him as one whom we do not know".

 

Speaking as a Buddhist looking in, the "Incarnation" is a far more profound idea than the mere supposition that, say, a colony of frogs would assert that the ultimate reality had become - and was indeed - a frog!

 

Seeking within our own experience, the divine - "reality-as-is" - becomes very egalitarian, has the humilty to present "himself" as we imagine, to become "all things to all men". Has the humility to become the most simple idea to the simplest soul, which is often the most vulnerable soul and therefore - perhaps - the deepest.

 

He doth give his joy to all,

He becomes an infant small.

He becomes a man of woe

He doth feel the sorrow too.

 

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,

And thy maker is not by.

Think not thou canst weep a tear,

And thy maker is not near.

 

O! he gives to us his joy,

That our grief he may destroy

Till our grief is fled and gone

He doth sit by us and moan.

 

This is one of Blake's "Songs of Innocence". Innocence indeed! And I suppose we do need the relevant "Songs of Experience". Yet it does seem to me that often "god" is then taken out of the orbit of our true experience and becomes not "all things to all men" but more "nothing to nobody"!!

 

I suppose what I'm am trying to say is that from the sermons of the Christian mystic Eckhart - that "nothing that knowledge can grasp or desire can want, is God. When knowledge and desire end there is darkness. And there God shines" - to the most blatant "idols" of an old man in the sky, in a sense this is upaya, the skilful means of Reality-as-is acting in the best interests of all.

Edited by tariki
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"Cloth me when I am naked and feed me when I am hungry." It is nice to love, serve and be devoted to the personal God externally who is in all so when I try to calm the emotional I am serving my emotional God personally. When I go inside through meditation or centering prayer it is nice to experience the impersonal God. For me it is nice to love and be devoted to Christ in our human form and experience God the Father in the all pervading form. Can we have it both ways.?

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I think ALL people attribute far too much to god. We have no clue what god is like at all. Example:

 

If I hear a knock at my door:

 

1. I know other people have doors on their houses because I have seen them

2. I know that other people exist because I have seen them

3. I have been taught that the polite method by which to gain entrance to anothers home is to go to their door and knock, this works because I have seen it work time and again and have personally tried it

4. I know that if I knock and a. someone is home, b. they want to see me, and c. they are willing to come to the door at that time, that I will gain entrance to their home - again because I have seen and experienced it.

 

THEREFORE - if I hear a knock at MY door, what right do I have to assume that a person with red hair, freckles and a funny hat is at my door? In this case I am assigning far too many attributes to the knocker. I can rightfully assume a person is at my door but no more because my experience allows no more.

 

With god - I assume the existence of him, her, it because I have seen his, her or its work in nature - but there my rights of assumption END because I have not experienced or seen anything further. With this in mind I find it fruitless and not just a little disrespectful to assign attributes to god that I have no knowledge of. I HOPE for an existence beyond this life but I do not KNOW it because I can not prove it to be right. I say HOPE because BELIEF must be justified with evidence of which there is NONE in this particular instance.

Edited by DHatcherE
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I think ALL people attribute far too much to god. We have no clue what god is like at all. Example:

 

(snipped for brevity)

 

THEREFORE - if I hear a knock at MY door, what right do I have to assume that a person with red hair, freckles and a funny hat is at my door? In this case I am assigning far too many attributes to the knocker. I can rightfully assume a person is at my door but no more because my experience allows no more.

 

With god - I assume the existence of him, her, it because I have seen his, her or its work in nature - but there my rights of assumption END because I have not experienced or seen anything further. With this in mind I find it fruitless and not just a little disrespectful to assign attributes to god that I have no knowledge of. I HOPE for an existence beyond this life but I do not KNOW it because I can not prove it to be right. I say HOPE because BELIEF must be justified with evidence of which there is NONE in this particular instance.

 

DHatcherE,

 

In my view, your approach is most valid. Perhaps it is by that very refusal to assume things that may or may not be so or true that the door to truth will expose itself to you. Not there there is anyplace to go and look for it but the mere surrendering of conditioned opinions and beliefs and the recognition of that which is false opens a door that is actually not there so that truth may dawn upon you. (because it is self evident when the obstructions are no longer seen).

 

Just a view to consider.

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"I think ALL people attribute far too much to god. We have no clue what god is like at all."

 

I feel everyone has a different view of God. Like the story of the three blind men and the elephant some feel the tail, others feel the legs or trunk and some don't feel anything. All are valid and true. So one just needs to know oneself and if they don't like the tail they can move to the trunk, leg or nothing.

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  • 5 months later...

emotional \ adj; 1: of or relating to emotion, esp. to more than usual emotion: as dominated chiefly by emotion: expressing more than usual emotion: prone to arousal of the emotions: motivated chiefly by the emotions as opposed to the intellect: largely lacking a rational justification: appealing to or arousing the emotions. 2: markedly (unduly) aroused or agitated in feeling or sensibilities.

 

Based upon the definition of emotional, the answer is still, "no".

Edited by davidk
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