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5 years ago  ::  Nov 01, 2008 - 8:38AM #1
gillyflower
Posts: 5,325
Until I came to Bnet I really thought more people had met their gods and that's because I had and assumed that most everyone had. It wasn't something that is actually talked about in the Christian churches. They talked about knowing Yahweh and knowing his will - long story short I thought probably everyone else had an active Jesus or Yahweh in their lives, just not me. I did however get to meet Yahweh once and since leaving Christianity I met my gods and now have active gods in my life. When I try to bring up gods, as often as not some people start quoting their myths and writings, which is not at all the same thing as having a UPG (unverified personal gnosis) or the wonderful experience of meeting a god.

So... if you feel comfortable enough, could you tell us if you have actually met a being that you think could be a god? What does it mean to you? If you haven't, do you feel comfortable following a religion without personally knowing the gods of it?
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 01, 2008 - 8:57PM #2
Cammon
Posts: 7
For one, I wouldn't call the Christian God "Yahweh".  Just because that's an inherited name from history doesn't mean that's what Christian's call him.  You should play on the same playing field.

If you had your name legally changed, would you want everybody calling you by the old one?  That's kinda rude.  Plus, in this case, it makes Christians not "want to play".

Christians are a very mixed bunch.  Some are extremely active church goers and don't believe in anything.  Many don't care.  Most do, or did at some point, but never really try to foster a relationship to a fulfilling level.

Meeting your God is considered a gift... and sometimes a curse... so what makes you believe that everyone would "already be there"?  That's a very "mature" relationship with your God.  And sometimes people are just psychotic or liars.  So it is not a "normal" discussion to have.

Why not?  That's a good question.  I assume never talking about it weeds out all the liars and quacks.  It keeps it personal, and suppressed.  If you had a tail, would you want to tell everyone?  It is hard to say.  The conversation is probably pretty awkward for people without tails... and even for some with tails.  But, some people are born with tails.

Maybe you are one of a select few that have had positive, non-psychotic, relaxed, and intimate contact with your God(s).  If you knew that you were one of the only ones, does that make other people's beliefs and struggles less worthy?  I don't believe so.

You could fall in love for the first time at 14 or 34.  Why can't people find their God at different times?  Until then, you just have to sit back and wait for somebody to talk to.  I hope you enjoy twiddling your thumbs.  It is great entertainment and exercise!  :)
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 01, 2008 - 11:27PM #3
itty
Posts: 2,949

Cammon wrote:

For one, I wouldn't call the Christian God "Yahweh". Just because that's an inherited name from history doesn't mean that's what Christian's call him. You should play on the same playing field.



I can't speak for Gilly but I call the Christian god, Yahweh. That's one of his names. I consider the word god to be a job description. I don't see your point about a level playing field. I know more than a few Christians who do call their god Yahweh. Do they have to get off their field and onto yours too?


If you had your name legally changed, would you want everybody calling you by the old one? That's kinda rude. Plus, in this case, it makes Christians not "want to play".



Since when has the Christian god legally changed his name? This analogy makes no sense. Yahweh, Jehovah and Elohim are all names Christians use to refer to their god. If Christians don't want to play then they don't.

As a hard polytheist I find it far ruder to keep referring to a god as God. I wouldn't want to be referred to by what I do rather than by my name. I wouldn't consider that rude. I'd call it insulting.


Christians are a very mixed bunch. Some are extremely active church goers and don't believe in anything. Many don't care. Most do, or did at some point, but never really try to foster a relationship to a fulfilling level.



I am inferring from the forgoing that you think Christians are just a bunch of apathetic posers. If that's the case why doYou think  they bother to continue to call themselves Christian? Habit?


Meeting your God is considered a gift... and sometimes a curse... so what makes you believe that everyone would "already be there"? That's a very "mature" relationship with your God. And sometimes people are just psychotic or liars. So it is not a "normal" discussion to have.



I would agree with you that it isn't a normal conversation to have if we weren't posting on a multifaith religious board. Many of the people here are not Christian. Many of us have had very meaningful and profound UPG with our Gods. I have, many times, in church ,or here ,heard or read Christians speaking of their god in very personal terms. It certainly sounded to me like those people did have personal relationships with Yahweh. I don't know that very many people do ever get to meet their gods. I hope they do. It is a profound and life changing experience.


Why not? That's a good question. I assume never talking about it weeds out all the liars and quacks. It keeps it personal, and suppressed. If you had a tail, would you want to tell everyone? It is hard to say. The conversation is probably pretty awkward for people without tails... and even for some with tails. But, some people are born with tails.



Why does the knowledge that some people have direct and personal contact with their gods need to be suppressed? I don't have a tail but I have a very nasty scar on the right side of my head. I have no hair growing over that scar. People look at me funny all the time because of it. I can either be embarrassed and wear a cap or I can just be me and let people give me funny looks. I choose to face the world sans cap. It isn't my problem that people who see my scar feel awkward. It's theirs. A little honesty can go a long way. I have people ask me about it and I tell them why I have it. That goes a very long way toward helping people get over that feeling. I expect if more people who did have very personal face to face relationships with their gods talked about that then it might be helpful to those who have not.


Maybe you are one of a select few that have had positive, non-psychotic, relaxed, and intimate contact with your God(s). If you knew that you were one of the only ones, does that make other people's beliefs and struggles less worthy? I don't believe so.



I am one of those people who has  a positive, non-psychotic, relaxed and intimate contact with my gods. It doesn't make people's beliefs worth less or not worth having. It makes their experience different from mine.


You could fall in love for the first time at 14 or 34. Why can't people find their God at different times? Until then, you just have to sit back and wait for somebody to talk to. I hope you enjoy twiddling your thumbs. It is great entertainment and exercise! :)



People do find their gods at different times in their lives. I was more toward middle age when I found mine. Or actually when They called me. I wasn't twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the experience to happen. I was busy living my life. I expect that is what most people who have had a life changing experience with their gods were and are  doing too.

You post is leading me to believe that you are somewhat affronted by this topic. Why is this such a touchy subject for you?

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 12:01AM #4
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488
I agree that talking about one's god simply on the basis of what a set of ancient writings say is NOT the same thing as a personal experience. Interestingly, bibliolaters reject personal experience ("You might be deceived!" they warn me), never realizing or acknowledging that they themselves are deceived in thinking that God is found in a book.

Yet my experience is NOT one of "meeting" a god -- that suggests encountering a being separate from myself. My experience is more like discovering that God is within us all, at all times, and that the light of God is ready to shine forth from within ourselves whenever we allow it to. God is not a separate entity but a pervading intelligence and rationality, giving us our capacity for rationality as well as for creativity, courage, compassion and love. "Finding God" is, for me, letting go of that which all-too-often cloaks the light within.
I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 12:16AM #5
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799

Itty said; I can't speak for Gilly but I call the Christian god, Yahweh. That's one of his names. I consider the word god to be a job description. I don't see your point about a level playing field. I know more than a few Christians who do call their god Yahweh.



During my 34 some-odd years as a Christian, I'd called God by the name Yahweh, too.

As a hard polytheist I find it far ruder to keep referring to a god as God. I wouldn't want to be referred to by what I do rather than by my name. I wouldn't consider that rude. I'd call it insulting.



Certainly, it's confusing to use the generic term "God" on a Multifaith Board. We have to keep asking; which God? :p


I would agree with you that it isn't a normal conversation to have if we weren't posting on a multifaith religious board. Many of the people here are not Christian. Many of us have had very meaningful and profound UPG with our Gods.



Normal conversations are boring.

Why does the knowledge that some people have direct and personal contact with their gods need to be suppressed?.



Good question!

I am one of those people who has a positive, non-psychotic, relaxed and intimate contact with my gods.



Me too... That is to say, I've met spirits or deities, from differing religions; Yahweh, Fro Ing and Padmasambhava. And I'm pleased to say, those experiences have all been rewarding.


People do find their gods at different times in their lives.



I was a Christian from birth to the age of 34.

When I was 35, I'd begun to explore the religion of my ancestors, Asatru and met Freyr. Also met Frau Holda.

When I was somewhere in the vicinity of 38, I'd made my final religious transition to Zen Buddhism. Strangely, shortly thereafter, a Tibetan Buddhist figure called Padmasambhava paid me a visit... A lot of people said that because I've had this visitation that I should convert from Zen to Tibetan, but I have resisted this because Tibetan Buddhism is very foreign and strange to me, it is complex and confusing to me - while I have immense respect for it, I do not understand it and I have to say that I do not at all feel called to it. Still, it was a wonderful experience and I'm grateful to Padmasambhava for having come into my life. :D

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 9:56AM #6
Astroturf
Posts: 671
For me, I'm unsure what "meeting" a god means.  I can see where other folks are coming from when they describe meeting their own god(s).  I've never seen visually a god.  I did once see an entity (discounting that I was seeing a post-sleep hallucination), but I'm not sure if he was a god or a spirit guide or something else entirely.  It's the only time anything like that happened to me and it still stays with me, but hasn't happened since.  I have a feeling that the entity I saw was not a god, but I could be wrong. 

I think there are different ways of meeting a god/goddess.  One might have a very deep feeling of a presence, one might actually see one.  I began to feel a definite presence when I began using the word "goddess" in my "prayers".  I did so after reading about the feminine aspect of what is often called "God."  Someone answered, but not in a visual or verbal way.  I'm still not sure if who I am communicating with is an actual goddess, a feminine aspect of what is often termed "the Divine," my mis-terming of a spirit guide, or possibly even an aspect of my higher self. 

I think that some people may be the sorts who meet their gods/goddesses (or one god/goddess) when they are somehow ready to do so--are ready to open themselves up to the experience.  Some people may be called to meet certain deities, while others do so through their own efforts.  Some people may choose to follow an ancestral deity, while others branch out into another area.  Some people may not need or want a deity at all.

I myself don't have a definite answer as to the nature of my deity--or if she even is a deity, as I've said.  I sometimes think it would be funny if a big, hairy man with a thick beard appeared one day and said to me, in a deep, gravelly voice, "Okay, let's finally clear this up--I'm your goddess."  :D  I doubt it, but it would be funny.

My point in posing that silly possibility is that I might just not be able--as of yet--to know for sure the nature of my deity/companion/helpmeet.  Maybe I don't yet need to or maybe there is no definite "nature" of my "deity".

Also, it may be possible that people have different needs and that some people may not need a definite clear meeting with their deity(s), some people may feel more comfortable with an image of a deity that is without form or is "unknowable."  Some people may need to have a clear meeting with deity(s) and so the deity(s) provide that.  Also, some people may be panentheistic and see the divine in all things, without one specific form.  Or as pantheistic and see everthing literally as the divine.  IMO, it all depends on what each individual needs to see and hear and feel in this life.

My 2 cents.  Everything I say is only from my viewpoint, obviously.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 10:52AM #7
ItsAllALie
Posts: 4,421
Astro,,,I agree that "meeting your God" can take differing forms,,,including a very peaceful, deep seated kowledge that you're on the right path (at least for me),,,

God has never sat down with me and had coffee,,,,yet I know I've met Him,,,I know because he answers me,,,,in my heart of hearts, he has whispered in my soul,,,it's a deep contentment,,,a feeling of belonging that I know God wants me to be a part of the Jewish people,,,,Judaism is very orthopractic,,,,doing as HE wants me brings me closer to Him,,,all relationships are multi-faceted,,and there's no "right" way to have a relationship with your God, if you ask me,,,

As in any relationship, the RIGHT way is the one that is fulfilling,,,,enjoyable,,,and personally geared towards growth,,,

Holly
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 11:40AM #8
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799
Astro & Holly -

Good posts.

Just thought I'd follow up and say; different religions have different criteria for the word "God".

Somehow, I'm sure that Holly's God was Creator of the world, is "omni, omni" and is immortal.

In Asatru, several deities were the Creators of this planet after they themselves were brought into existence, but something preceded them. Moreover, Asatru deities are not immortal, they die... And these things are also true for deities in many other religions.

In Buddhism, there is no Creator... Some Buddhist traditions believe in deities, but there is no Creator. And some Buddhist traditions are atheistic.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 12:50PM #9
Genocon
Posts: 404
[QUOTE=gillyflower;864667]If you haven't, do you feel comfortable following a religion without personally knowing the gods of it?[/QUOTE]

I haven't, and no, I don't.

I'm curious Gilly (and this goes to all the other hard polytheist-types here)...do you think all people have a particular deity/deities that watch over them, or only some? What about someone who never meets one or finds the one(s) that they "belong" to?
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 12:56PM #10
Chiyo
Posts: 5,799

Genocon wrote:

I haven't, and no, I don't.

I'm curious Gilly (and this goes to all the other hard polytheist-types here)...do you think all people have a particular deity/deities that watch over them, or only some? What about someone who never meets one or finds the one(s) that they "belong" to?



Genocon;

Yes, I do believe that there are many different kinds of spirits that surround us and watch over us at all times - but some of those spirits may come and go, and others may take their places. Those spirits would be; deities, ancestor spirits, local and land spirits.

As for what to do since you've not yet met one or found one that you "belong" to?... Just be the best human being you can be, in the relationships that you [COLOR=red]do have. That's the whole point of spirituality, anyway, is to discover how to be in right-relationship with the people, animals, earth and spirits that exist all around us. imo.[/COLOR]

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