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Old 12-16-2023, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
Do you believe God is merciful? Do others you trust believe? Why did those before us believe? It’s not about getting goosebumps-it’s about what is true.
What difference does it make if I believe those things or not? Or if others believe? If the belief has no impact on my life, of what value is it?

The belief I was taught, after the basic sin and forgiveness framework of Christian belief, is that God is near, God cares, God loves us, we can pray and God hears us. But then we find out that ain't necessarily so.

We pray, but we have the same ups and downs in life if we don't pray. We suffer and grieve, and God does not help or offer comfort. We are taught to accept that God can jolly well choose not to help or comfort because that's God's prerogative, but then, why should we continue to bother?

Would you do that with a human friend or family member? Continue to try to get them to respond to you or take notice if you if for years they shut you out?

These are valid questions not meant to be clever or tricky, but asked straight up. Take them at face value.
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Old 12-16-2023, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Speaking only for myself, I'm not talking about goosebumps. I'm just talking about access to god's mercy and grace in lived experience, at least for the big things. For example, I have a dead wife and a dead son because I/they didn't have that access when it was needed. My family was decimated by various baroque combinations of physical and mental illness, more than once.

All that said, this side of belief, I understand that this business of god prospering the righteous and confounding the wicked was always just a claim and I honestly don't know anyone of any degree of piety or faith who actually has experienced that in any way distinguishable from random happenstance.

My belief began to waver when I truly needed the promises of god to be fulfilled, but after faith collapsed I realized that I was never entitled to such things anyway, and that such things do not exist in the first place. Life is just a series of things happening, not something personal and directed by external forces. And while this is not a thinkable thought to many believers, and assumed to be a quicksand pit of despair if you accept it -- I have actually found it comforting and centering. YMMV.
And this is what is true. It seems it might be a relief to think that the God I prayed to simply was never there in the first place rather than to believe God did exist but just couldn't be bothered with me.
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Old 12-16-2023, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Miss Hepburn View Post
I know, at first read I didn't agree either with Mirabai.
Until I saw on the 2nd read her tears were only for 'Him'.
Not for anything else.

My experience has been this: When I deeply yearned for God, (not a sign, not some money for bills),
but for Him and/or His Divine Love,
that was the key, (that we all have), the sincere desire for Him,( Who has no gender...)

Why do I have that desire?
Because I reached a point of suffering where I said ...''That's it. Enough."
My opinion, and maybe this is not a fact - is like every soul, every master, teacher, enlightened one, yogi -
has to reach a point on their Path where they say, "NO MORE." (To this transitory, painful world.)

When that happens
and they only turn to and rely on their Creator, (by any name) ---the entire Dance changes.
As if the doors to the Magic Kingdom have been opened...the proverbial knock on The Door.

So before that happens, it all sounds like La-la Land, Fantasy, aka nonsense, pipe-dream...I know.
It's kind of how we were made...so many obstacles - and mostly in our own minds.
But some things are real, Miss H. Watching a loved one waste away and become incapacited and finally take that last breath is so very very real. There's no space for "The Dance" when illness and sorrow are only partners. And when you are dancing with those partners, God is noticeably absent.

The enlightened ones have the luxury of going off to the mountain or to a cave to seek higher things. They aren't changing catheter bags and holding straws to the lips of someone who can't get nourishment otherwise. They've walked away and separated themselves from the sad and the ugly and the dirty and the painful to reach for God, but the rest of us are down here slogging through the bodily fluids because somebody has to take care of those they've left behind.
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Old 12-16-2023, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
But some things are real, Miss H. Watching a loved one waste away and become incapacited and finally take that last breath is so very very real. There's no space for "The Dance" when illness and sorrow are only partners. And when you are dancing with those partners, God is noticeably absent.

The enlightened ones have the luxury of going off to the mountain or to a cave to seek higher things. They aren't changing catheter bags and holding straws to the lips of someone who can't get nourishment otherwise. They've walked away and separated themselves from the sad and the ugly and the dirty and the painful to reach for God, but the rest of us are down here slogging through the bodily fluids because somebody has to take care of those they've left behind.
Harsh but absolutely real and the truth.

I read something by some guy or other who was in some concentration camp in Siberia during the Soviet era, for like, 15 years. And he said, people who tell stories of how adversity brought them together with others in common cause and brought out the best in people, think they know what adversity is, but actually haven't experienced real adversity. In the camps, there is no hope and there is no bonhomie. It is just cold naked survival, minute-to-minute, and there is no morality involved. Or ... there is the story of the guy in the Nazi concentration camp who lost his cap. To lose your cap meant you would be shot. He looked everywhere and could not find it. Finally he stole one from someone that was sleeping and watched the next day as this person was shot for not having his cap -- feeling only relief that he had survived another day.

I think our experiences bearing witness to the slow dissolution of our loved ones is a little bit like that ... people who have not endured it do not know whereof they speak.
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Old 12-16-2023, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Free State of Texas
20,438 posts, read 12,775,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
What difference does it make if I believe those things or not? Or if others believe? If the belief has no impact on my life, of what value is it?

The belief I was taught, after the basic sin and forgiveness framework of Christian belief, is that God is near, God cares, God loves us, we can pray and God hears us. But then we find out that ain't necessarily so.

We pray, but we have the same ups and downs in life if we don't pray. We suffer and grieve, and God does not help or offer comfort. We are taught to accept that God can jolly well choose not to help or comfort because that's God's prerogative, but then, why should we continue to bother?

Would you do that with a human friend or family member? Continue to try to get them to respond to you or take notice if you if for years they shut you out?

These are valid questions not meant to be clever or tricky, but asked straight up. Take them at face value.
Everyone has ups and downs. That is not a sign of whether God is merciful. Jesus dying on the cross is a sign of God’s mercy. You either say yes or no to that fact.
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Old 12-16-2023, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
Everyone has ups and downs. That is not a sign of whether God is merciful. Jesus dying on the cross is a sign of God’s mercy. You either say yes or no to that fact.
Christianity's a pretty cold religion, then. Thanks for clearing it up for me. I was mistaken all these years to think it was supposed to be something more.
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Old 12-16-2023, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Free State of Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Christianity's a pretty cold religion, then. Thanks for clearing it up for me. I was mistaken all these years to think it was supposed to be something more.
What were you expecting, no troubles? Jesus said

John 16
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
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Old 12-16-2023, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
What were you expecting, no troubles? Jesus said

John 16
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Remind me never to ask you for empathy, comfort or support in time of need.

Who ever said they were demanding zero troubles? How dumb do you think we are?
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Old 12-16-2023, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn of ‘83 View Post
What were you expecting, no troubles? Jesus said

John 16
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Of course not. What a ridiculous thing to say.

But I did expect comfort, encouragement, some sort of response to cries to the God I believed in for help and relief when the painful times in THIS life came because I was taught to expect that was a characteristic of God's mercy, not just "but it will be GREAT when you are dead".

Have you never experienced grief? The utter darkness of feeling absolutely alone in the world? Fear of losing a child? If so, you are fortunate.

Those things are not erased or healed by hearing that one's sins are forgiven. Or by being scolded for expressing one's sorrows by condescending believers.
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Old 12-16-2023, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Remind me never to ask you for empathy, comfort or support in time of need.

Who ever said they were demanding zero troubles? How dumb do you think we are?
The coldness is almost shocking, isn't it?

But perhaps it's what I need to hear, mordant, for a reality check.

Ah well.
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