GeorgeW Posted February 13, 2011 Share Posted February 13, 2011 I hope this will be received as an invitation to dialog and understanding as opposed to debate. It is not intended negatively or as a challenge to any one's faith. I have been reading a lot here about 'experiencing' God vs. 'reasoning' to God. My question is, how do we determine if an experience is authentic (meaning a real experience of the divine). Some instances could be imagined under conditions of emotion or contagion. As an example, people who speak in tongues, I think, typically do so during a religious service, not when they are eating a burger at MacDonald's or watching a football game. The format of some religious services are, I suspect, designed to induce emotion and, perhaps, contagion. Native Americans would have spiritual experiences after a period in a sweat lodge. Sufis have spiritual experiences following (induced by?) periods of chanting. In fact, it has been self described as 'intoxicated.' I don't think anyone would claim that all experiences of God are authentic as there are people who perceive that god is telling them to commit heinous acts like the mentally disturbed lady in Texas a few years ago who killed several of her young children under a perceived instruction from God. Having said this, I certainly have no objection to spiritual experiences as long as they are benign or beneficial. But, how do we determine if it is authentic, emotion or imagination? Does it matter? George Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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