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Old 02-01-2024, 05:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I suspect you still hold a residual expectation that what we are discussing (our spiritual womb existence) is somehow part of God's Will. It is not! A human Father's will does not affect the developmental "experiences" of his child in the womb. I admit analogies are imperfect means of communicating such disparate ideas as a reality of physical materiality and that of pure Spirit (Consciousness). Everything we experience is defined and characterized by our Spirit (as qualia) and our responses and reactions to the qualia define our spiritual character("body").It is our affinity for those spiritual aspects of our experiences (qualia) that define the kind of Spirit we are BECOMING.

The more our affinities run to the physical and sensual aspects of life, the less spiritual they are, IMO. This is why learning the distinction between Good and Evil is so central to our spiritual development. Preferring the Good over the sensual (no matter how pleasurable or painful) and disdaining the Evil (no matter how pleasurable or painful) is the major challenge of this life, again IMO. It is our Spirit that defines us and is what will determine our status when we are "born again" as Spirit into the Spirit realm. Or as my Synthesis sees it, our BEC "bubble" in the "quantum foam" bursts and we join God. The panorama of infinity should be awesome.
Mystic, I think by now you know my experiencing of God and Jesus are past just belief and faith, and like yourself, is at the certitude level.
I also benefit from the metaphor and symbolic experience of the materialist and earth-centered caterpillar that develops spiritually in its cocoon into the liberated butterfly/spirit form as an adjunct to your human/womb/spirit truth teaching.

BUT I also see the point LearnMe is making that bigger than the womb-growth analogy, how can a LOVING Father/God who is omnipresent and omniscient and the creator of ALL have the WILL to create this LEVEL of suffering — even the possibility of it. Ultimately the buck for ALL THIS stops with God.

This deep unanswered frustration and spiritual contradiction has long been my spiritual enigma. It doesn’t ever touch my certitude in God or Jesus, but is the one deep spiritual question I never get resolution to. And I find most Christians are afraid of or have given up looking at this as their faith is perhaps not strong enough to raise it up to God in anger or perplexity.
Yes, we are limited in understanding in the human condition, but NOT in our spiritual selves….
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Old 02-01-2024, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
19,979 posts, read 13,459,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainrose View Post
BUT I also see the point LearnMe is making that bigger than the womb-growth analogy, how can a LOVING Father/God who is omnipresent and omniscient and the creator of ALL have the WILL to create this LEVEL of suffering — even the possibility of it. Ultimately the buck for ALL THIS stops with God.

This deep unanswered frustration and spiritual contradiction has long been my spiritual enigma. It doesn’t ever touch my certitude in God or Jesus, but is the one deep spiritual question I never get resolution to. And I find most Christians are afraid of or have given up looking at this as their faith is perhaps not strong enough to raise it up to God in anger or perplexity.
In my particular case, this is exactly why I left the faith ... my faith was no match for the cognitive dissonance. Also as a practical matter, in my present state, I handle adversity far better. I have lost loved ones ... two wives and my youngest child, most notably ... both before and after I left the faith, and I can say with certainty that my ability to deal with tragedy and with lesser things like health scares, are MUCH improved.

Just an hour ago for example my now-wife was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst that is most likely cancerous. She is probably looking at surgery and the possibility of metastasis. Since I am completely relieved of the useless "why" questions, such as why god permits these things or what either of us might have done to somehow cause this, yes I am concerned but not needlessly upset, either. Worst case, I lose my wife, and go through that whole grieving process yet again ... but it is ultimately just another thing happening. One I very much won't like, and will test my endurance -- but it's not some sort of referendum on my piety, or some situation where my wife and I are expendable pawns in some Master Plan. It is just the luck of the draw. It's largely "priced in" to our existence already.

My wife is a former investigative journalist and has become fascinated with the resilience of the Palestinian people to extreme adversity. I have watched countless videos with her of how families and communities function in the face of extreme adversity and constant threat, including the loss of not a handful of close family members, but losses by the dozens. Of how despair and defeat seem to be outside their repertoire. Very admirable, and something to learn from. I am sure it is a function of expectations. They are very religious, but do not seem to expect god to give them any sort of ease or safety, as we here in the West typically do.

So ironically if I had been born into that culture, all things being equal, I might well still be unfazed in my theism. It's something for Christians and former Christians alike to ponder. It may be that Christianity is self-defeating in this particular regard, to whatever extent it encourages people to see themselves as an object of god's special favor and regard and therefore in a sense entitled to his protection and grace or some sort of predictable story arc for their lives.
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Old 02-01-2024, 10:20 AM
 
63,790 posts, read 40,053,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainrose View Post
Mystic, I think by now you know my experiencing of God and Jesus are past just belief and faith, and like yourself, is at the certitude level.
I also benefit from the metaphor and symbolic experience of the materialist and earth-centered caterpillar that develops spiritually in its cocoon into the liberated butterfly/spirit form as an adjunct to your human/womb/spirit truth teaching.

BUT I also see the point LearnMe is making that bigger than the womb-growth analogy, how can a LOVING Father/God who is omnipresent and omniscient and the creator of ALL have the WILL to create this LEVEL of suffering — even the possibility of it. Ultimately the buck for ALL THIS stops with God.

This deep unanswered frustration and spiritual contradiction has long been my spiritual enigma. It doesn’t ever touch my certitude in God or Jesus, but is the one deep spiritual question I never get resolution to. And I find most Christians are afraid of or have given up looking at this as their faith is perhaps not strong enough to raise it up to God in anger or perplexity.
Yes, we are limited in understanding in the human condition, but NOT in our spiritual selves….
I hesitate to try to explain the God I see because it is LESS than our vaunted imaginations, expectations, and wishful thinking about the Omni-God. I do not want to harm belief in God. The angst you explain (theodicy) is the reason I abandoned the Omni's in the first place along with the "Title" Creator or "Intelligent Designer." I see God AS Everything we perceive (and can't perceive) but not the "Creator" of everything. God is a living Spirit and living involves growth processes that we experience as "physical" and of which we are a part.

I analogize our "cellular" spiritual existence to the individual cells of our body (to which we are god, but not an Omni-God). It is an imperfect analogy. But since we don't know what a "living God" (Spirit) contends with, I accord God the same leeway, anyway. We will find out eventually. I see no need to be so demanding about what God MUST BE.
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Old 02-01-2024, 11:24 AM
 
29,543 posts, read 9,707,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainrose View Post
Mystic, I think by now you know my experiencing of God and Jesus are past just belief and faith, and like yourself, is at the certitude level.
I also benefit from the metaphor and symbolic experience of the materialist and earth-centered caterpillar that develops spiritually in its cocoon into the liberated butterfly/spirit form as an adjunct to your human/womb/spirit truth teaching.

BUT I also see the point LearnMe is making that bigger than the womb-growth analogy, how can a LOVING Father/God who is omnipresent and omniscient and the creator of ALL have the WILL to create this LEVEL of suffering — even the possibility of it. Ultimately the buck for ALL THIS stops with God.

This deep unanswered frustration and spiritual contradiction has long been my spiritual enigma. It doesn’t ever touch my certitude in God or Jesus, but is the one deep spiritual question I never get resolution to. And I find most Christians are afraid of or have given up looking at this as their faith is perhaps not strong enough to raise it up to God in anger or perplexity.
Yes, we are limited in understanding in the human condition, but NOT in our spiritual selves….
I find it interesting to consider the different perspectives when it comes to what you well describe here as "this deep unanswered frustration." Interesting, because our different perspectives and/or line of reasoning determines whether there is this kind of frustration or no frustration whatsoever.

You like everyone else can't very well reconcile most notions of a loving God with the realities we face as we attempt to deal with life's many challenges that include even the most horrific of circumstances most of us don't even want to think about let alone mention. Me and others who don't host those notions about a god have no problem reconciling anything about all the "good, bad and ugly" that surrounds us.

Put another way, atheists like me are not having to figure out a way to fit a square peg into a round hole...
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Old 02-01-2024, 11:34 AM
 
29,543 posts, read 9,707,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
In my particular case, this is exactly why I left the faith ... my faith was no match for the cognitive dissonance. Also as a practical matter, in my present state, I handle adversity far better. I have lost loved ones ... two wives and my youngest child, most notably ... both before and after I left the faith, and I can say with certainty that my ability to deal with tragedy and with lesser things like health scares, are MUCH improved.

Just an hour ago for example my now-wife was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst that is most likely cancerous. She is probably looking at surgery and the possibility of metastasis. Since I am completely relieved of the useless "why" questions, such as why god permits these things or what either of us might have done to somehow cause this, yes I am concerned but not needlessly upset, either. Worst case, I lose my wife, and go through that whole grieving process yet again ... but it is ultimately just another thing happening. One I very much won't like, and will test my endurance -- but it's not some sort of referendum on my piety, or some situation where my wife and I are expendable pawns in some Master Plan. It is just the luck of the draw. It's largely "priced in" to our existence already.

My wife is a former investigative journalist and has become fascinated with the resilience of the Palestinian people to extreme adversity. I have watched countless videos with her of how families and communities function in the face of extreme adversity and constant threat, including the loss of not a handful of close family members, but losses by the dozens. Of how despair and defeat seem to be outside their repertoire. Very admirable, and something to learn from. I am sure it is a function of expectations. They are very religious, but do not seem to expect god to give them any sort of ease or safety, as we here in the West typically do.

So ironically if I had been born into that culture, all things being equal, I might well still be unfazed in my theism. It's something for Christians and former Christians alike to ponder. It may be that Christianity is self-defeating in this particular regard, to whatever extent it encourages people to see themselves as an object of god's special favor and regard and therefore in a sense entitled to his protection and grace or some sort of predictable story arc for their lives.
Sorry to read this mordant, as it does seem you've had more than your fair share of these kinds of challenges most people struggle to deal with regardless their beliefs. How old are you and your now-wife if I may ask? Seems you have learned a good way to manage one way or another. "Hang in" as they say...

Meanwhile, obviously all the "self-defeating" aspects of Christianity, or more broadly religion, have not put any significant dent in how most religious people reconcile these issues the way they do. I appreciate seeing alternative ways of understanding all this sort of thing that don't necessarily need to involve notions about a God behind it all one way or another.

That's something like being in a sinking ship and someone next to you yelling, "Here! Quick! Help yourself and take this umbrella!"

Say what?
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Old 02-01-2024, 11:37 AM
 
29,543 posts, read 9,707,420 times
Reputation: 3468
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I hesitate to try to explain the God I see because it is LESS than our vaunted imaginations, expectations, and wishful thinking about the Omni-God. I do not want to harm belief in God. The angst you explain (theodicy) is the reason I abandoned the Omni's in the first place along with the "Title" Creator or "Intelligent Designer." I see God AS Everything we perceive (and can't perceive) but not the "Creator" of everything. God is a living Spirit and living involves growth processes that we experience as "physical" and of which we are a part.

I analogize our "cellular" spiritual existence to the individual cells of our body (to which we are god, but not an Omni-God). It is an imperfect analogy. But since we don't know what a "living God" (Spirit) contends with, I accord God the same leeway, anyway. We will find out eventually. I see no need to be so demanding about what God MUST BE.
Since when do you hesitate to try to explain the God you see Mystic?

That gave me a chuckle. Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2024, 11:39 AM
 
12,033 posts, read 6,564,574 times
Reputation: 13977
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
In my particular case, this is exactly why I left the faith ... my faith was no match for the cognitive dissonance. Also as a practical matter, in my present state, I handle adversity far better. I have lost loved ones ... two wives and my youngest child, most notably ... both before and after I left the faith, and I can say with certainty that my ability to deal with tragedy and with lesser things like health scares, are MUCH improved.

Just an hour ago for example my now-wife was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst that is most likely cancerous. She is probably looking at surgery and the possibility of metastasis. Since I am completely relieved of the useless "why" questions, such as why god permits these things or what either of us might have done to somehow cause this, yes I am concerned but not needlessly upset, either. Worst case, I lose my wife, and go through that whole grieving process yet again ... but it is ultimately just another thing happening. One I very much won't like, and will test my endurance -- but it's not some sort of referendum on my piety, or some situation where my wife and I are expendable pawns in some Master Plan. It is just the luck of the draw. It's largely "priced in" to our existence already.

My wife is a former investigative journalist and has become fascinated with the resilience of the Palestinian people to extreme adversity. I have watched countless videos with her of how families and communities function in the face of extreme adversity and constant threat, including the loss of not a handful of close family members, but losses by the dozens. Of how despair and defeat seem to be outside their repertoire. Very admirable, and something to learn from. I am sure it is a function of expectations. They are very religious, but do not seem to expect god to give them any sort of ease or safety, as we here in the West typically do.

So ironically if I had been born into that culture, all things being equal, I might well still be unfazed in my theism. It's something for Christians and former Christians alike to ponder. It may be that Christianity is self-defeating in this particular regard, to whatever extent it encourages people to see themselves as an object of god's special favor and regard and therefore in a sense entitled to his protection and grace or some sort of predictable story arc for their lives.
Mordant,
I’ve never forgotten your previous post on your wife with Alzheimer’s and your witnessing of such a horrific disease and death, and how it affected you spiritually.
You’ve had more tragedy and loss than most, and you’ve found your way through it all.
So many of my girl friends have had ovarian cancer and come out okay — so I’ll hope that for your wife also.

In my forties I tried to be an atheist for a few years — sooooo much easier!!
My initial experience with God was not through a religion but via a miracle, so it’s not something I could say I didn’t believe in anymore. But my frustration and anger was so high I just hardened my heart and closed it off to God (or thought that I did) and like you, I found relief and some needed peace.

But after about two years I grew hungry and longed again for the intense spiritual connection and often difficult spiritual growth I had escaped from.
Two years of trying to be an atheist was really valuable, as it taught me how to clean up my relationship with God and have more courage and candor in my spiritual life.

It sounds like your previous theism was based on beliefs — perhaps on a particular religion - and not experiential, so we part ways in that.
I suspect observing your strength, courage, and growth through all this life tragedy has been a blessing to many others who’ve known you through all these years. ❤️

Last edited by mountainrose; 02-01-2024 at 12:11 PM..
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Old 02-01-2024, 11:55 AM
 
29,543 posts, read 9,707,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainrose View Post
Mordant,
I’ve never forgotten your previous post on your wife with Alzheimer’s and your witnessing of such a horrific disease and death, and how it affected you spiritually.
You’ve had more tragedy and loss than most, and you’ve found your way through it all.
So many of my girl friends have had ovarian cancer and come out okay — so I’ll hope that for your wife also.

In my forties I tried to be an atheist for a few years — sooooo much easier!!
My initial experience with God was not through a religion but via a miracle, so it’s not something I could say I didn’t believe in anymore. But my frustration was so high I just hardened my heart and closed it off to God (or thought that I did) and like you, I found relief and some needed peace.

But after about two years I grew hungry and longed again for the intense spiritual connection and often difficult spiritual growth I had escaped from.
Two years of trying to be an atheist was really valuable, as it taught me how to clean up my relationship with God and have more courage and candor in my spiritual life.

It sounds like your previous theism was based on beliefs — perhaps on a particular religion - and not experiential, so we part ways in that.
I suspect your strength, courage, and growth through all this life tragedy has been a blessing to many others who’ve known you through all these years. ❤️
Here again, interesting, because although I am an atheist, I have no idea what it is to "try being an atheist."

There was certainly no "trying" for me to become an atheist in any case. No trying for me now either. I've never heard of an atheist trying to become an atheist before now. Then again, you are not an atheist, so there's that. I wonder what you actually did, because I don't know of any atheists who remained atheists who "tried" to be atheists to begin with. To try and better understand, I suppose it has something to do with wanting or needing relief of some kind (as you explain) and how different we all are in that respect too. I've not felt my being an atheist has made my life any less rich, full or restless, so maybe it has something to do with our life experiences to begin with.

I'm really not sure, but I am always a little dismayed when people try to describe being an atheist in the negative ways they do. Maybe they're not doing it right?
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Old 02-01-2024, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
17,780 posts, read 13,673,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainrose View Post

In my forties I tried to be an atheist for a few years — sooooo much easier!!
My initial experience with God was not through a religion but via a miracle, so it’s not something I could say I didn’t believe in anymore. But my frustration and anger was so high I just hardened my heart and closed it off to God (or thought that I did) and like you, I found relief and some needed peace.

But after about two years I grew hungry and longed again for the intense spiritual connection and often difficult spiritual growth I had escaped from.
Two years of trying to be an atheist was really valuable, as it taught me how to clean up my relationship with God and have more courage and candor in my spiritual life.
Sounds to me that you were never a "true" atheist....
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Old 02-01-2024, 01:01 PM
 
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LearnMe,
From what I gather through your posts, you never had a personal experiential relationship with Jesus or with God, but instead were trapped in a dysfunctional fundamental organized religion experience.
So no problem not believing in all that for you…..

I came from an atheist family — my father was a professor at a top Ivy League university and all his Mensa friends plus most of my family looked down on and spoke harshly on anything that smacked of religion. So I had no interest in religion when out of the blue at around 19 I was given the miracle of the presence of Jesus and later of God.

So yes decades later in my forties during a difficult spiritual struggle time, I decided, wanted, and had to “try” to be an atheist because God for me, unlike for you, was not a belief - I could not just say I didn’t “believe” in anymore, it was something I directly experience. For me it would be like trying to say I don’t “believe” in gravity anymore.

As I posted above, since I found I couldn’t NOT believe after trying, the closest to atheism I could manage was to harden my heart and close off to my communion with God.

Last edited by mountainrose; 02-01-2024 at 01:10 PM..
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