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  1. #81
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    But it's normal to see a 'pattern' like dualities... it's pretty hard not for there to be some things which are dual in nature. Whot's more interesting, is yeu are FAR from the first to think of this... but actually quite differently; almost every single religion, myth and culture, at some point, has considered the number 3 to be holy, or massively significant. Many cultures made their entire numeric system on base 3 instead of base 10 like we do today. Egyptians, mayans, and many others, all used a base 3 counting system because it was holy. There's many other examples of 3 being of significance as well, but the easiest to think of since I just woke up, is "the holy trinity"; god the father, god the son, god the holy spirit (wth's with the holy spirit anyway? And why's 'the father' different? O.o )

    Regardless, the concepts of splitting things into groups of 2 or 3 as significant has been around a long time, and I think it's less so that god himself is a duality, or a trinity, than it is that people just like to group things into patterns they see, and 2 and 3 are really, really easy to see patterns, so they're everywhere.
    Yes, I do realize that elements of my personal belief system are quite old, and present in many long-established belief systems. In fact, I enjoy discovering the many common threads in apparently quite different faiths. To a believer, these may reveal fundamental truths about God; to anyone, they reveal common aspects of our humanity. Either way, I find it interesting.

    Yes, groups of 2 and 3 are common. Four is less used, but present in nature as well: 4 cardinal directions, 4 seasons, 4 ancient "elements" (fire, water, earth, air), 4 phases of the moon. Five is also very common in natural objects: flowers, leaves, starfish, etc. There is symbology attached to many numbers.

    As for deity, I do not find it reasonable that it would only be a trinity. Why only three aspects? The Muslims, if I recall correctly, speak of the "99 most wondrous names of God", but even 99 must be insufficient to describe the infinite. Each of us, however, will only encounter some of these facets durring our lifetime. It is a bit like the story of the blind men and the elephant.

  2. #82
    Senior Member mockingbird's Avatar
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    I find that prayer changes me more than it changes my circumstances. When I pray about situations that concearn me I usually come out seeing the situation from a different perspective. I usually can't articulate that perspective but just have some kind of peace and knowing that I have no need to be troubled. My emotions about my situations change. Sometimes this happens quickly and other times I have to keep praying for awhile, but eventually my emotions are healed.

    I do believe in miracles though because I am a Christian and I believe in the Bible which is full of miracles. I have also experienced some miraculous things myself although I doubt most people would believe me... I've been debating with myself about whether or not to share any of them. I really don't enjoy having people thinking I'm a total froot loop. But if anyone is interested, then I will share one of these experiences.
    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
    ~ Groucho Marx

  3. #83
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Yes, I do realize that elements of my personal belief system are quite old, and present in many long-established belief systems. In fact, I enjoy discovering the many common threads in apparently quite different faiths. To a believer, these may reveal fundamental truths about God; to anyone, they reveal common aspects of our humanity. Either way, I find it interesting.

    Yes, groups of 2 and 3 are common. Four is less used, but present in nature as well: 4 cardinal directions, 4 seasons, 4 ancient "elements" (fire, water, earth, air), 4 phases of the moon. Five is also very common in natural objects: flowers, leaves, starfish, etc. There is symbology attached to many numbers.

    As for deity, I do not find it reasonable that it would only be a trinity. Why only three aspects? The Muslims, if I recall correctly, speak of the "99 most wondrous names of God", but even 99 must be insufficient to describe the infinite. Each of us, however, will only encounter some of these facets durring our lifetime. It is a bit like the story of the blind men and the elephant.
    I'm not disagreeing, and I actually agree with yeur interpretation of the ability to either learn more about 'god' or of human nature. Any religion is comprised of human tainted perception and myths... how much is real, how much is made up moral stories, how much is historical and unrelated? There's so many things that go into a faith that changes over time, that obviously it can't "really" be the truth of god's word... look at the catholic church; by definition they can't truly be a real religion any more than any other on the planet has.

    I don't have anything against the catholic church here, and my statements apply equally to pretty much all religions here, but most are familiar enough with them that they'll serve as a useful example.

    The church states that they have a direct line to god through the pope, and from hundreds of years ago, this direct line to god has stated very specific things to be absolute truths of god's word... and then we've gone and changed them, and now 'new' truths are accurate. If god is truly infinite and everlasting, then he has no need to change his mind, and his word would remain a constant, as otherwise he would've been in error, or the word would have been false.

    For the longest time, slavery was legal, and encouraged by the church, and now it is illegal, and they have stated god now views all men as equal. Not all women, still, but at least all men. Can't have a female clergy >.> But that'll likely change someday as well. Whot then? Was the word of god wrong? Did they mishear it? Or did they just go with whot their human beliefs were at the time and pinned the name of god onto it to make it sound more official at the time?

    Truth is, noone knows the truth. Noone has the absolute total knowledge of EVERYTHING. And since our brains can't even truly comprehend a basic concept such as "infinity" as it is... we are NEVER going to be able to truly understand god, or his intents.

    All religions are more likely facets of the same truths being expressed in different ways, through different cultural lenses. We taint, bend, and alter whot we see to match whot we want to see. This's an inherent truth in human behaviour on a large scale, though not always on the individual scale.

    In the end, there may not be any god... and this may in turn just end up being that we were looking at humans in general, 'the common aspects of our humanity', as yeu so eloquently put it.

    Either way, I think it's in everyone's best interests to continue to pry, and try to understand whot we are told. Faith is useful, but understanding is moreso. Only by learning more about everything can we have the tools and resources to put everything together and eventually make sense of it all.

    Sure, we may not be physically capable of understanding the ultimate truths of interconnectedness, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't try =3

  4. #84
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mockingbird View Post
    I find that prayer changes me more than it changes my circumstances.
    THAT.

    I think you've managed to sum up the basic experiential outcome of prayer right there, in a nutshell.

    Share what you'd like. Some of us are open.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by mockingbird View Post
    I do believe in miracles though because I am a Christian and I believe in the Bible which is full of miracles. I have also experienced some miraculous things myself although I doubt most people would believe me... I've been debating with myself about whether or not to share any of them. I really don't enjoy having people thinking I'm a total froot loop. But if anyone is interested, then I will share one of these experiences.
    I'm interested, and not for hostile purposes either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I know I said I'd think about it, and I have thought about it, and I guess all I've got is that it seems to make sense. I guess I tend to lean toward a wise, beneficent - but not necessarily omnipotent - deity (or not necessarily in the traditional sense).
    Yeah. Just to be clear, though, I never said I thought God was (or was not) omnipotent based on my experiences... and I probably lean toward "god" being omipotent if there is such a being, otherwise why would he be "god"? Al I know is that bad things can still happen to good people, yet there is still joy and love in the world as well, regardless. I can't say anything more with certainty, even if I have my personal suspicions.

    Along with my last post, I just got news this morning of yet another cancer death back in my old church. Poor women had a mental breakdown about eight years ago and fought hard to recover, with her husband literally carrying her through life for a number of years, and she made a partial recover a few years ago although she was still fragile. I was hoping they would have some good years ahead of them, they deserved it, and the husband is such a wonderful guy. But last Thursday, I found out she had cancer; and today, I received word she had died yesterday.

    Where's God? I don't know. Here, maybe; or not here; but in the end, she still died. What we choose to believe says more about us than about any divine creature in the universe.

    I was praying again last night, just taxed to my max with life stuff. I don't know for sure if God is there, but I want to believe it, and it helps me to view things that way. It's just a very personal and intimate relationship, not one I like to tout all over the place or wave in people's faces; it would be like me spilling my spouse's secrets in the street.

    While I'm not sure I believe in the Jesus story in a literal sense (like life after death, etc. - it could be true, but I have no way of confirming it) I do find the imagery to be powerful and to touch upon deep meaning and our experience as human beings. I don't know. I find it resonates with me at a level deeper than literal. The idea of pain, sorrow, agony, and of new life again, of transformation, healing through darkness, etc, that true love is found as much in sorrow as it is in joy.
    Yeah, that is the basic gist for me. I cannot prove anything yay or nay, but there is a lot about the Christian narrative that resonates with people and reflects upon their experiences.

    So I guess this ties into my ideas of prayer somehow. I guess what I consider 'prayer' is a part of this process, maybe it IS the process. Allowing yourself to go into that inner, spiritual part of yourself, to face whatever it is in there that's causing the pain, to find love and healing from the spiritual dimension of the universe, including others, and to move toward wholeness. I don't know if any of it makes sense.
    I think spirituality can be scary, because it's exploratory and not predefined (although obviously some faiths try to MAKE it predefined!) But even with those people who claim they know all the truth, you will hear in their narratives a big gap between "head knowledge" and "heart knowledge." Anyone acting on head knowledge of something that cannot be proven is in essence a poser; it's the heart knowledge where we really listen and learn. We get heart knowledge by going into the dark without a map and by learning to listen and look for signs and tortuously making our way, sometimes with great fear and heartache, across the shadowed landscape. It changes us, but that commitment in faith to the process -- wherever it takes you -- is what informs the heart and deepens one spirituality.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #87
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mockingbird View Post
    I find that prayer changes me more than it changes my circumstances. When I pray about situations that concearn me I usually come out seeing the situation from a different perspective. I usually can't articulate that perspective but just have some kind of peace and knowing that I have no need to be troubled. My emotions about my situations change. Sometimes this happens quickly and other times I have to keep praying for awhile, but eventually my emotions are healed.
    Yes. I find this as well. The change of perspective often shows me solutions I had not thought of, and the reassurance enables me to follow through and take action.

    Not being a Christian, my view of the Bible likely differs from yours, but I agree there is much that we cannot explain. What we call miracles would fall into this category. As human knowledge increases, we may discover objective causes for some of these events, but some may remain outside our understanding.

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