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Does God Intervene Personally....or...


jerryb
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I think that God mainly uses our hands, feet and hearts to answer prayer. Mainly, I think he uses our hearts, though. I have recently been reading some of Larry Dosey's work on prayer research and also I've been reading about research that shows that our intentions affect outcomes. That has made me wonder if it our intention for the person we are praying for that influences the outcome rather than intervention by God. However, I also believe that God is the life-giving energy that infuses all of life, including us, so maybe it's the part of us that that has God's spark (our soul or spirit?) that is used to answer prayers. I'd really love to see any feedback on these two ideas you might have. I'm just in the process of working through these concepts so all new insights are welcome.

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I think that God mainly uses our hands, feet and hearts to answer prayer. Mainly, I think he uses our hearts, though. I have recently been reading some of Larry Dosey's work on prayer research and also I've been reading about research that shows that our intentions affect outcomes. That has made me wonder if it our intention for the person we are praying for that influences the outcome rather than intervention by God. However, I also believe that God is the life-giving energy that infuses all of life, including us, so maybe it's the part of us that that has God's spark (our soul or spirit?) that is used to answer prayers. I'd really love to see any feedback on these two ideas you might have. I'm just in the process of working through these concepts so all new insights are welcome.

 

 

Maggie...I love your take on this, especially where you said" I also believe that God is the life-giving energy that infuses all of life,including us,so maybe it's the part of us that has God's spark that is used to answer prayer". I too believe that's how it works. Someone has said," We are a piece of God". And by the way..someone quoted the scripture here recently where Jesus said," The works I do you will do...and even greater works will you do". John 14:12 Maybe we should take Him at His word, and attempt some 'great things'.

 

 

Blessings to you Maggie

 

Jerry

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"no hearts to care but ours"

 

I've wondered about this one. My prayers were much more effective when I started Al-Anon. The 7th step is about praying for God to remove various defects in character. I had a number of longstanding resentments that went away that way, so completely that it really got my attention about the power of prayer. At the end of that process, though, there were still a few more resentments, about things that were certainly injustice. I almost heard God say, "those are yours to keep".

 

For the rest of my career and now that I do volunteer work for a charity, I'd be surprised sometimes at how much anger I'd feel at ignorant and arrogant things that where done to my patients or clients. What was this, paternalism, what? It was a longstanding issue for me whether this was righteous anger or something from my ego. Then whatever the feeling itself is, how does one respond to it in a godly way instead of just whatever I feel like doing.

 

There were times when I would say, "Wait a minute, I don't care about this personally. Why do I feel angry?" I can't point to any specific example where I would claim that it was God who was feeling something that was just diffusing into me, but I've wondered about that.

 

It's easy to say God doesn't have His own hands and feet, but does He have His own senses of some kind to bring Him information? Does He have His own emotions in response? Or does He truly have no emotions other than human beings or sentient beings elsewhere? Then do they feel what He would feel or would He wish to be an emotionless automaton as I do sometimes.

 

With no logical justification, my impression is that God never wishes to be an emotionless automaton. That's just me wanting a rest from all the suffering and craziness I see. So then are His emotions entirely within us or does He have His own? I don't know. I do believe emotions and many other things are a cooperative effort between God and us. I don't know how. I don't believe those churches which at one time held officially that God has no passions. That's not my experience from prayer.

 

At the same time I find it hard to believe that God can do nothing without me or others like me. Maybe that's true, though.

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"no hearts to care but ours"

 

I've wondered about this one. My prayers were much more effective when I started Al-Anon. The 7th step is about praying for God to remove various defects in character. I had a number of longstanding resentments that went away that way, so completely that it really got my attention about the power of prayer. At the end of that process, though, there were still a few more resentments, about things that were certainly injustice. I almost heard God say, "those are yours to keep".

 

For the rest of my career and now that I do volunteer work for a charity, I'd be surprised sometimes at how much anger I'd feel at ignorant and arrogant things that where done to my patients or clients. What was this, paternalism, what? It was a longstanding issue for me whether this was righteous anger or something from my ego. Then whatever the feeling itself is, how does one respond to it in a godly way instead of just whatever I feel like doing.

 

There were times when I would say, "Wait a minute, I don't care about this personally. Why do I feel angry?" I can't point to any specific example where I would claim that it was God who was feeling something that was just diffusing into me, but I've wondered about that.

 

It's easy to say God doesn't have His own hands and feet, but does He have His own senses of some kind to bring Him information? Does He have His own emotions in response? Or does He truly have no emotions other than human beings or sentient beings elsewhere? Then do they feel what He would feel or would He wish to be an emotionless automaton as I do sometimes.

 

With no logical justification, my impression is that God never wishes to be an emotionless automaton. That's just me wanting a rest from all the suffering and craziness I see. So then are His emotions entirely within us or does He have His own? I don't know. I do believe emotions and many other things are a cooperative effort between God and us. I don't know how. I don't believe those churches which at one time held officially that God has no passions. That's not my experience from prayer.

 

At the same time I find it hard to believe that God can do nothing without me or others like me. Maybe that's true, though.

 

 

Good post David

 

You really cover some deep stuff there. I don't know all the answers to some of the questions you posed in your post, but I am feeling more convinced

every day that I live, that God can only do some things through us. I know that puts a heavy burden of responsibility on us, but there must be some reason why more of our prayers are not answered, Maybe God is 'standing in the wings' saying,"O.K. Step on stage and do your stuff....answer your own prayer".

Well...maybe it's time I took some 'acting lessons',and got out there on stage.

What do you think about that premise?

 

God,s best to you my friend,

 

Jerry

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I see God as including us, but being more than the sum of people/earth/etc. The more I learn about God experientially and intellectually, the more convinced I become of His limitlessness.

 

I don't think we have the perspective to understand why God answers some prayers and not, seemingly, others. Imagine seeing the world across time from beginning to end.... imagine our limited view. We can't understand God but we can trust Him.

 

I don't mean to discount the importance of acting in the world in accordance with our beliefs. I think that God does use us all, all the time. I just think He has choices.

 

God is big. He won't fit in any boxes we create. :)

Edited by Cynthia
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Yes, a lot of times I don't even like the word "God". Too confining. Seems to imply something like a person in a white beard (connotation for sure, not denotation). Also a lot of people think they have God very well pegged.

 

 

--des

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I see God as including us, but being more than the sum of people/earth/etc.  The more I learn about God experientially and intellectually, the more convinced I become of His limitlessness. 

 

I don't think we have the perspective to understand why God answers some prayers and not, seemingly, others.  Imagine seeing the world across time from beginning to end.... imagine our limited view.  We can't understand God but we can trust Him.

 

I don't mean to discount the importance of acting in the world in accordance with our beliefs.  I think that God does use us all, all the time.  I just think He has choices.

 

God is big.  He won't fit in any boxes we create.  :)

 

You are a wise, wise woman Cynthia. B)

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I see God as including us, but being more than the sum of people/earth/etc.  The more I learn about God experientially and intellectually, the more convinced I become of His limitlessness. 

 

I don't think we have the perspective to understand why God answers some prayers and not, seemingly, others.  Imagine seeing the world across time from beginning to end.... imagine our limited view.  We can't understand God but we can trust Him.

 

I don't mean to discount the importance of acting in the world in accordance with our beliefs.  I think that God does use us all, all the time.  I just think He has choices.

 

God is big.  He won't fit in any boxes we create.  :)

 

 

Cynthia.....You are certainly right about us having a'limited view'. I'd like you to expand a bit about God having 'choices'.

I want to learn everything I can about effective prayer ,and you may be on to something regarding God's choices in the prayers He/She answers. Tell me more!

 

 

Blessings to you,

 

Jerry

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Hey Jerry, it's been a veddy long day, but I didn't want to ignore your question.

 

When I wrote "I think He has choices", I meant that, IMO, God is not limited. He can do whatever He wants, whenever, however, etc. Much like we can... "made in our image" and all :D

 

As far as effective prayer goes.... hmmm... I think that you can ask for anything. The things you are most likely to get clear answers on are the intangibles - peace, joy, letting go, compassion. The things that Really count.

 

A job, someone's health, money, a change in someone else may fit into the puzzle differently and be less likely to/amenable to change without consequences. (Remember the song, "sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers; just remember when you're talking to the man upstairs; just because He doesn't answer doesn't mean He don't care; some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers")

 

Perhaps (thinking as I write), when we ask for things that are bringing us towards God????

 

On the other hand, I think that specific prayer is worthwhile. As CS Lewis says, it changes us if not the object of prayer.

 

But (yes, I'm an octopus tonight... lots of hands) it a specific prayer might be answered.

 

I think this all fits with quantum theory and interconnectedness. Everything fits together in a way God understands (or so I choose to believe :P ) but in a way that is beyond our comprehension, grasp, and scope.

 

Remember that old credo??? Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. :D Hits me where I live!!!

 

Try reading 2nd Esdras in the Apocrypha... it made this clear to me in a less rambling way! (The apocrypha is after the OT in Catholic bibles - it means questioned books)

 

/ok, quoting country songs... clearly past my bedtime!!!

Edited by Cynthia
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I only have skimmed this string but I hope to get back to it when I have more time. But I was thinking that maybe a Quantum Physics idea would be helpful here: Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which claims as a corollary I believe that the observer always changes anything that he/she is observing. There is no such thing as objectivity, only subjectivity. I am always changing things. Prayer helps me change things with more wisdom, energy, love, humility.

 

I am sure impressed with the many wise posts on this string and lots of other strings. Lots of wisdom here. Lots!

 

+ VISIT > http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/

 

+ "I believe that the existence of the classical "path" can be pregnantly formulated as follows: The "path" comes into existence only when we observe it."

--Heisenberg, in uncertainty principle paper, 1927

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There is no such thing as objectivity, only subjectivity. 

 

My undergraduate degree was in physics, and I got the highest grade in my class in quantum mechanics. The professor for my class in freshman psychology happened to have gotten his undergraduate degree in physics, and he had two pet peeves. One was how journalists and others use "schizophrenic" to mean being of two minds, when the technical meaning of the word is not that at all. The "schism" is not down the middle of a schizophrenic's head, but between fantasy and reality. His second pet peeve was how people get the uncertainty principle all wrong, which they did from the beginning, including physicists, but even at that time, he thought it was time for all this mystical nonsense attached to quantum mechanics to stop. It's only gotten worse. Despite that I liked this professor and am happy to carry on trying to explain that quantum mechanics says nothing like the above quote.

 

The problem is that men like Bohr, Schrodinger and Heisenberg, even Einstein, were all mystified by how certain experiments showed that the subatomic world is very different from the macroscopic world. Electron diffraction was one of these. If you send a stream of electrons toward two tiny slits, they don't act like ball bearings. If the slits are narrowly enough separated, an interference pattern results just as it would for light, as if the electrons go through both slits at once.

 

So there was a lot of speculation about how an electron "chooses" which slit to go through, a lot of talk that preceded the experimentalists and theoreticians getting together to build an understanding of what's really going on. Electrons are not ball bearings. They have no precise position and momentum, but rather a range of position and momentum within a very tiny limit, defined by the inequality that is the uncertainty principle. In Heisenberg's original paper he discusses the idea of this in terms of how one would measure such a tiny object and therefore disturb it, but it is not a principle about measurement. Matter at a subatomic level really is fuzzy, yet the fuzziness is so small that it makes no difference at all when massive quantities of matter are in an object large enough for us to touch. The uncertainty principle means absolutely nothing to the existence of human beings, except as something for human beings to talk about.

 

When people send a spacecraft to Mars with incredible precision, it takes knowledge of neither quantum mechanics nor relativity to do that. If that doesn't make someone rethink this idea that nothing is objective, I don't know what will.

 

To quote Heisenberg from 1927 is like creationists quoting Darwin. You can argue anything from picking out something foolish that the smartest person in the world once said. Time has changed how people understand things. It's true that some speculations that legitimate physicists started, like parallel universes is still legitimately speculated about, but there is nothing to say that such things are more than speculations.

 

Quantum mechanics textbooks begin with the idea that energy is quantized, that only certain levels of energy are possible in the world of the tiny. At our level of existence those levels are so close, they might as well be continuous. So quantum mechanics should have no implications at all for religion. Yet it's invoked all the time. It's curious how people do this. It's about magic words, I think, but in this case one can go and learn the truth of it. It's such hard work if all one has is a quantum mechanics text that would be used in a full-fledged physics class, but with so much mythology about what quantum mechanics says, maybe that's what it takes. If only everyone who wanted to know could ask God, "God, does quantum mechanics have any implications for religion?" Then God could say, "No." Then everyone could move on. It doesn't seem God intervenes that way, does it? Maybe even He doesn't want to do the math.

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It is true that quantum mechanics is a description of the observation of the quantization of energy at microscopic levels, nothing more. Some notable physicists, however -- Roger Penrose, among many others -- believe that there is a possible connection worth exploring between quantum mechanical phenomena and consciousness. Specifically, he suggests that the indeterminacy which is due to the quantum energy threshold may be able to allow for the nonalgorithmicity of consciousness, in a way that pure randomness would be unable to do. If true, then QM seems eminently relevant to religion. The thesis isn't immune to criticism, but it seems unduly harsh to throw it out a priori, out of a zealous committment to the Church-Turing thesis. I appreciate that you got the highest grade in your undergrad QM class, but I dunno, Dr. Penrose seems pretty smart too.

 

As for reducing objectivity to subjectivity, I wholeheartedly agree -- it's just as much of a mistake to try to reduce physical phenomena to mental projections as it is to try to reduce mental phenomena to physical side-effects, like Daniel Dennett and other "consciousness experts" are currently trying to do. It's reductionism in either direction. I very much appreciate the explanatory power of the cognitive sciences, as far as how information is gained, processed, stored, and retrived; I am, however, ultimately not convinced that awareness itself can be described completely in terms of side-effects of neurochemical processes. At the same time, I also don't believe that awareness is some sort of elan vital that is added to an otherwise unaware heap of matter. The only possible conclusion I can draw is that matter in some sense must contain the latent potential for awareness, or else it couldn't actualize that potential in life, and especially sentient life, given the right architectural conditions. There's nothing anymore magical about matter having a subjective dimension as there is about humans having one. Actually, if humans had it but matter didn't, that would be magical.

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I am, however, ultimately not convinced that awareness itself can be described completely in terms of side-effects of neurochemical processes. At the same time, I also don't believe that awareness is some sort of elan vital that is added to an otherwise unaware heap of matter.

 

 

 

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and God said to them... (Genesis 1:27-28 NISB)

 

 

Perhaps it's a quantum leap ( :P couldn't resist) from your discussion, but the 2 previous posts made me think of this passage. Humankind is the only thing God made in Genesis 1 that He blessed and/or spoke to.

 

In Genesis 2: the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being (Genesis 2:7-8 NISB)

 

Again, the only thing that was breathed into was man.

 

These have always struck me as a metaphor for consciousness.

 

Any thoughts???

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These have always struck me as a metaphor for consciousness. 

I think it's a metaphor for a level of consciousness that has sufficiently complex neurochemical architecture to form self-referential symbols. That's a geeky cog-sci way of saying reflexive self-consciousness -- consciousness that can perceive and comprehend (to some degree) itself. Your pets have consciousness, they just don't have the hardware to focus it the way we can.

 

My comment was that the matter of our bodies and brains -- which of course is the same matter that exploded out of the big bang, the only matter in the universe -- must have some kind of proto-subjective dimension or aspect, no matter how slight, or else subjectivity in any form could not exist. There would be behavior and function, maybe even exactly what we observe, but no subjective awareness of it. At least that's the conclusion I've come to. Plenty of folks will tell you that, [1] in principle, all your behavior can be expained without resorting to a notion of "consciousness" or "subjectivity," and that therefore, [2] it's not an elemental fact of reality -- it's just a side-effect of your brain crunching on data all day. I think [1] is probably true, but [2] doesn't follow. I simply can't deny the irreducible fact of awareness -- not what I perceive, but that I perceive -- and I've burned enough years being skeptical about it out of a religious devotion to scientific reductionism.

 

Say that three times fast. :D

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I only have skimmed this string but I hope to get back to it when I have more time.  But I was thinking that maybe a Quantum Physics idea would be helpful here: Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which claims as a corollary I believe that the observer always changes anything that he/she is observing.  There is no such thing as objectivity, only subjectivity.  I am always changing things.  Prayer helps me change things with more wisdom, energy, love, humility.

 

I am sure impressed with the many wise posts on this string and lots of other strings.  Lots of wisdom here.  Lots!

 

+ VISIT > http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/

 

+ "I believe that the existence of the classical "path" can be pregnantly formulated as follows: The "path" comes into existence only when we observe it."

--Heisenberg, in uncertainty principle paper, 1927

 

 

Hi Mystic....I like your statement" I am always changing things...prayer helps me change things with more wisdom,energy,love, humility".

What a solemn responsibilty,and yet...what a high honor and priviledge!

Thank you for this post

 

Jerry

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Again, the only thing that was breathed into was man.

 

These have always struck me as a metaphor for consciousness. 

 

Any thoughts???

 

 

I think it is a good indication of how humans have often seen themselves in relationship to animals: as above them. I don't think it is a truth per se, but rather human interpretation.

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Again, the only thing that was breathed into was man.

 

These have always struck me as a metaphor for consciousness. 

 

Any thoughts???

 

 

I think it is a good indication of how humans have often seen themselves in relationship to animals: as above them. I don't think it is a truth per se, but rather human interpretation.

 

There is some scientific background here that was published in the late 80's as I recollect. It stemmed from research done by Archaeo-linguists that looked into the world-wide roots of languages. This was done before the era of genetic sequencing, especially the sequencing of mitochondrial DNA which is only passed on from mother to daughter in human lineage. The genetic research of the 90's tended to prove out the things that the archaeo-linguists first found in the 80's by moving backwards through time by tracing the etymology of certain key words in known languages to their roots.

 

They found that the existing language still being used closest to the earliest language that they identified on the basis of a few hundred traced words, is the Xosha or Khosian language spoken by the fast-disappearing Kalahari Bushmen of South Africa and Angola. As I mentioned on another thread here this is the language that uses clicks and tongue noises to emphasize certain consonant sounds, and can be best experienced by renting and watching a copy of the 80's film, The Gods Must Be Crazy.

 

The Archaeo-linguists concluded that this proto-root language of ALL subsequent languages in the world emerged in the S. Africa region 100,000 years ago or so. This then gave rise to a sort of proof of the "out of Africa" hypothesis that was first stated about that time, that modern humanity emerged in Africa and gradually migrated to the rest of the world over the past 100,000 years or so. In the 90's, mitochondrial DNA research found that the first mother of all modern humanity (she was of course instantly named by the media as Eve ) could be traced back into Africa to a time about 50,000 years earlier than the language study.

 

The words used in the linguistic examination of proto humanity included two words that had multiple meanings. The words were, if I remember correctly, "weena" and "hwina" or something close to these. The two words could be used in place of each other or together and they meant

"blood", "breath", and "life".

 

flow.... :rolleyes:

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There is a "background intellegence" that gets things done in the body, which gets disrupted by fear - the fight or flight reaction. Digestion, immune response and thinking take a backseat when being chased by a tiger. At the very least, peacefulness from prayer restores that "background intellegence". Since Understanding this clearly, two weeks ago, there seems to be more going on "miracles", connections with people that I've needed etc., that hasn't always happened before. I don't want to go into further explanations without more expereince or a scientific explanation.

 

Four billion years of evolution has made the chemicals in our bodies smart. An electron can jump from one atom to another in under a quadrillionth of a second, and our bodies contain a quadrillion trillion atoms each, which the fittest survive. 30,000 genes know how to create 150,000 proteins, althogh biologists thoght that better than a one to one corrospondence was impossible. If there's a trick the body can use it will use. It will use the best of the quatum and classical worlds. Our cells are made of molecules, and these do react to quantum effects. Molecule A might be affected by a quantum effect, say observation(conciousnees), while molecule B might replicate Molecule A a quadrillion times. Now it's part of the larger, classical world.

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