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  1. #21
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    But how interested are you in being 'extra good,' Sahara?
    When Sahara's good, she's very very good. And when she's bad, I bet she's ALSO very good!

    * * * *

    I have mixed feelings about all of this.

    I was brought up in more conservative flavors of Christianity, so of course that experience does tailor my outlook somewhat.

    I can tell when I am aiming conversation at [my idea of] God; I think what most people have trouble with is recognizing when God (assuming he exists) is truly talking back to them. Most of the conflicts between or even internal to religious faiths regard whether or not GOD is actually speaking to THEM or if they are just speaking to themselves and/or mistaking some other voice for God's.

    I prayed for many years of my life. Now in the position I am at, where my concept of God is disintegrated and reforming, I find that I still cannot help but "speak to Him." It is more like a daily monologue in my head, where I just find myself chatting conversationally with him -- then wake up and realize that I'm not even sure there's anyone listening. Sometimes that left me sad; sometimes it left me lonely; but I am increasingly able to deal with it and even make the effort to externalize my thoughts to other people instead of keeping them trapped in my head.

    As far as the "God of judgment" versus a "God of love," I just think we need to be careful on how we define "love" among other things.

    I have definitely sensed a shift in my beliefs. Earlier in life, I felt very critical of myself and others, even if I would not say it out loud. Every action, thought, and comment would have to be categorized as Sin and Not Sin, and Sin had to constantly repented of and felt bad over. It was very tiring and exhausting, and just left me negative overall towards myself and others, and impatient as well.

    Now I still see some actions as negative and some actions as positive. The whole thing is a little bit more impersonal. Some people hurt others because of their choices; this saddens me, and I do what I can to help them and those who are hurt (whether it's advice or encouragement); but I don't really sit around and think, "Oh, this person is going to hell unless they change and I must save them." I think what I see is that they are creating their own hell NOW and living in it, and so my task is not to convert them to a belief system but to be part of their experience in a way that changes them for the better... but it is always their choice as to whether they change or not, and I will respect that choice as best as I can. (It's just hard when others are involved.)

    [That might seem like a slight tangent from the topic of "Do I talk to God?" But I am responding more to the image of the judgmental God you said people claimed to talk to, versus the more loving one you hope to find.]

    I still think we need to be careful when we portray God as either loving or judgmental, and then set things up so we are obviously "good" because we pick the "loving" God. Even a loving person will sometimes have to hold others accountable for their actions, and perhaps intrude into the affairs of others in a very firm and disruptive way.

    A "loving God" is sometimes just another name for a "sloppy, indifferent, impotent God" so we can just do what we feel like doing and not be in submission to anything larger than ourselves. There still has to be some sort of internalized rigorous review of ourselves, even under the rule of some "loving" God.
    "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

  2. #22
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Yes I do; yes, I know that I am heard. So there.

    Edit: Applause for the Braveheart scene (which happens to be here).

  3. #23
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I have never seen God in the traditional sense. I see him more as an underlying force in the universe, or a binding consciousness. But since I have always been able to feel him and to understand him, I've never quite understood those who believe he/she/it doesn't exist.

  4. #24
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    It happens; whether or not I deserve to is another question though...
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

    INFP, 6w7, IEI

    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #25
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    I have no idea, as there is no obvious "talking to some form of extremely powerful godlike being" forms of communication occurring, such as a large cloud of smoke appearing out of nowhere and speaking. (Though it would be hard to convince me anyway if that happened, I'd probably think I was hallucinating, though if the words proved true, I might get more trusting over time.)


    As for whether I think other people are talking to god, if god supposedly said something about politics, or said that I should do a favor for you, than you have not talked to god, otherwise I will simply not have an opinions either way. (The reason being that when it comes to self interest and politics, it is quite easy to simply lie, or sincerely believe because of stronger feelings from inside their mind, and use a mysterious "god", that somehow forgot to mention this stuff to me, as an excuse for doing something a certain way.)

  6. #26
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    Talk to which God? The Abrahamic God? Jewish, Christian OR Islamic version? How about Wodin, Zeus, Aten, Jupiter, Uhuru Mazda? Oh wait, those are dead religions so they're obviously myths and you'd be crazy to talk to those gods. You talk to the magic man from a living religion? Good for you. You're spiritual and enlightened, far superior to those close minded fundamentalists who have misinterpreted the will of God or the atheists who are even worse.

    You don't need to prove your invisible friend is real because you have faith. Faith is a magic word that turns any batshit insane idea you can come up with into reality, so long as enough people agree with you. You believe the mothership behind the comet will take you away to another planet? You're nuts. You believe that Jesus is coming back to beam up all the true believers? You're spiritual and enlightened.

    Worship the sun, at least it's real and life giving. Pray to Joe Pesci, he can get shit done.

  7. #27
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    There is a difference between spirituality and religion. One unites man in life and the other divides man in death. Faith and worship are not the same thing.

  8. #28
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Good ol' Tertiary Ni: "I can't possibly go along with this, 'cuz it's all a lie. It's all a set-up by the Man. I'd just be serving his interests and not my own. I'm not gonna be suckered by all this self-serving bull. No way, man, I gotta go my own way."
    "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

  9. #29
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    And you all sure love to mythologize. From a person-centered perspective on the idea of talking to God, I think its best that we just avoid superstition as much as possible. I know it may make you feel good, but you can still keep the ideas that make you feel good without mythologizing. As for example, you can still keep your archetype of 'perfect man' Jesus in your head, but you dont have to believe that he literally rose from the dead.

    You can still 'talk to god', just think of it as an activity to make your imagination focus on the sublime in life and not as an activity where you talk to a person in the sky.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    You can still 'talk to god', just think of it as an activity to make your imagination focus on the sublime in life and not as an activity where you talk to a person in the sky.
    I don't understand why people are so hung up on the religious perspective of God. Would it help if I said I talk to the Tao? How bout if I said that I connect with the spiritual essence that unites everyone? If people wish to deny the spirit then that is their choice, but I feel a sense of sadness for those who can't feel that special connection to the world and everyone.

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