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PaulS
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I started to PM the below to somebody in particular, but then thought I'd value comments from anybody and everybody here. I hope you don't mind, but it is helping me develop my thoughts. Consider yourselves my board to bounce things off, if you will.

 

Please feel free to say anything you want for/against/to, what I say below.

 

Thanks in advance

Paul

 

 

 

I don't know if I belive in a 'God' in any sense. I do know (or at least I think I know) that I am alive, here on Earth. I don't know if there is a reason why I am alive or if this is all just a natural event that somehow we cannot yet explain and account for. The mystery of Primary Cause leaves room for God in my opinion, as do people's personal experience, but I am yet to discover either that convinces me of 'God' per se. I think it is most likely that when I die I will know nothing of an existence afterwards, much like what I know about before I was born. However, maybe there is 'something else' to all this. I simply don't know.

 

What I do know is that the Bible reports things (accurately or otherwise) about a man named Jesus (well, that's the name we've given him in English as I understand it). Many of these things seem good to me (not all though - I don't like the Hell stuff, which some people say may not be Jesus' words anyway, but even if they are, maybe he was wrong). Many of the sayings and metaphors attributed to Jesus resonate with me and I think there is a better life and better world to be gained by considering much of that attributed to Jesus. But he's not alone - I think there is much to be offered by other notable people (and some not so notable), religously-affiliated and/or secular.

 

I figure I can have the best life possible by being in awe of nature (as it is simply awesome), by loving others (because it feels nice) and in being loved (even nicer); by doing my bit for justice in the world, my bit for helping others who need a hand (whether it's the next door neighbour or a country suffering famine), as well as not taking some things too seriously (such as what others think, stresses about money & material possessions, jobs and career advancement over family, etc).

 

I choose to enjoy fellowship with my fellow humans (sometimes a little too much enjoyment leaves me feeling less than healthy the next day!), enjoy laughter, enjoy pain, enjoy sorrow, enjoy the experience - all of it. Well maybe appreciate is a better word than enjoy. Know that what really matters in the end is that I leave the world for those who follow after me (both family and unknowns) a better place, through my actions, how I raise my kids, how I love and help others, how I treat our environment.

 

We all die and I expect once I'm gone, that's it. I don't need a legacy but I do think that if I can raise my kids to be loving, considerate people, then I have done my bit, for what it's worth.

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Paul,

 

As Yvonne, it sounds to me like you have a healthy philosophy and i might add are open at this point in your journey. My advice would be to continue to experience life in the light you have indicated in your post and remain open and just allow life to have its perfect work in you. No need to force the beliefs of others upon oneself. In my experience, Truth is self revealing and comes when the time is ripe. Being open but cautious seems to me to be a good place.

 

Cheers,

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
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As the Dalai Lama advises: "Practice Compassion". Bishop Tutu stated "Real love is not an emotion or a feeling, it is what you do." I sometimes wonder why we are kept in ignorance of what comes after this life - we can only wonder or guess, we don't really know.

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Paul I like what you wrote similar to the quotes below.

 

"Do not imprudently strain yourself in this work.”

Cloud of Unknowing

 

If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it.

Rumi Quote

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

Rumi Quote

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For me, I'm not so sure that the spiritual goal is to believe in God as much as it is to experience God. To me, God is not something to be believed in nor something to be proved, but the Reality in which we live and move and have our being.

 

As an example, I never see myself as taking God to someone. In my opinion, everyone is already in God. What I would do for a spiritual seeker who might be curious about God is to point to experiences in their lives that seem to point to God, the More, the Sacred. These experiences might include such things as awe, compassion, a sense of justice, our ability for good and great relationships. Then I would simply suggest that these things are not simply the products of evolution, but that they have a Source in something More i.e. they are not just human inventions or developments. If the person is open to more God-talk at that point, then it is fairly easy to show how these experiences were also common to Jesus and his view of God. If the person is closed to further God-talk for whatever reason, then, as Joseph has said, there is no need to force the issue as the person already has some experiences that are somewhat transcendant.

 

If people are happy with their philosophies, Paul, and they are good and do good, then there is much laudable there, much to be praised.

 

On the other hand, as Yvonne has said, some people, for whatever reason, do long for or desire what might be called a deeper spirituality. That is where God-talk can be helpful.

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  • 8 months later...

Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish Rabbi, theologian and philosopher, who was a very close friend of MLK’s, taught that one of the tasks of religion was to “inspire awe".

 

To quote: “Our goals should be to live life in radical amazement - to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal, everything is incredible - never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

 

Just something that struck a chord with me.

Edited by PaulS
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Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish Rabbi, theologian and philosopher, who was a very close friend of MLK’s, taught that one of the tasks of religion was to “inspire awe".

 

To quote: “Our goals should be to live life in radical amazement - to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal, everything is incredible - never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

 

Just something that struck a chord with me.

 

Paul,

 

This is an honored view in some camps. C. G. Jung, and others took this route. Our path need not be only through a mine field, it could also be a garden.

 

Myron

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Nicely said, Paul.

 

Call it...learning to fly:

 

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,

My grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air,

Across the clouds I see my shadow fly

Out of the corner of my watering eye

A dream unthreatened by the morning light

Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night

 

There's no sensation to compare with this

Suspended animation, a state of bliss

 

Can't keep my mind from the circling skies

Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I - Learning to Fly; David Gilmour

 

NORM

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