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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 3:54PM #11
Erne
Posts: 26
I'm not really sure if I've met a god, honestly.  I don't think I'm sure enough of my spiritual path yet.  I think that my spiritual development has been helped, though.  A lot is simply an innate development of my own thoughts about spirituality, but looking back there's a sort of flavor to what I've adopted or looked at over the past couple years.  Lots of hard work, lots of mistakes, but a sense that I'm not really lost and that I don't have to despair.  For me, for now, that is my god.

I do want a closer relationship with a god, though.  I feel marginally closer with divinity than before, but I also feel frustrated because it feels like I've been running in place for a long time.  Sure, 3-4 years isn't that long, but as a 23 year old student that time is a significant portion of my life.  I feel that there's something in particular just out of my reach, but I could search until the end of my life decades from now and still not know what I'm looking for.

For me, I think that once I devote myself to a spiritual path I need a deepening connection with that spiritual path.  When I reach, the god(s) should reach back.  Tentative at first, of course, but with the promise of a deepening communication as my bond to that spiritual path is strengthened.  So yes, I feel that personal connection is very important.  Any path that doesn't return my energies doesn't suit my spiritual development and growth.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2008 - 4:06PM #12
gillyflower
Posts: 5,325
[QUOTE=Genocon;866946]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?[/QUOTE]


I think that there are a lot of spirits and/or particular deities out there and I think that they take particular interest in certain people, how does that friendship thing go? For a time, a place or forever. In other words, a god/spirit might be interested in a person during a certain time frame or while they are in a particular place or for always. I also believe that one has to be open to it. For example, as long as I was trying to get one god's interest, Yahweh, then the other gods did not contact me. As soon as I gave Yahweh up, I was contacted. Other people, though, may have different experiences.

I am like some of the people who have posted and believe too that some contact is a deep feeling of peace or some other emotion.

As for the person who never meets a god, I don't know what to say except that my experience was that once I was open to the experience of other gods, I did meet them. While I was chasing the wrong god, I had no contact and suffered a loss of belief too. And maybe I had to be ready and able to stand on my own two feet instead of a person who wanted a god to hand it to her.

Besides, I can't help but think that not talking about mystic experiences closes people to them. I remember my shock when I heard a Presbyterian minister talk about not ever having any mystic experiences and that he wished he would have one. I wasn't shocked about him not having any but because he wanted one.
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 02, 2008 - 11:31PM #13
Genocon
Posts: 404
[QUOTE=gillyflower;867217]
As for the person who never meets a god, I don't know what to say except that my experience was that once I was open to the experience of other gods, I did meet them. While I was chasing the wrong god, I had no contact and suffered a loss of belief too. And maybe I had to be ready and able to stand on my own two feet instead of a person who wanted a god to hand it to her.[/quote]

That's interesting. I'll be honest and say that I'm comparing all this to my own experience, or, more accurately, lack thereof. I feel like I am open to such an experience, and I am not pursuing any deities actively, since I don't feel comfortable actively going after even the few that I've been interested in. The question of "what am I doing wrong?" pops into my head a lot.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 12:16AM #14
Wiscidea
Posts: 2,319
Regarding "Yahweh":

There are Christians, though very few, who consider the God of the New Testament as a distinct entity who replaced the God of the Old Testament. So, the various names for God which appear in the Christian Bible do not necessarily designate the same being. To say they do, means you've accepted a specific version of Christianity that won out over all the other versions. But who is qualified to say who was right and who was wrong? Should the victors control the message?I would have found Christianity much more appealing if someone had persuaded me to believe the old God was dead.

Regarding having a cup of coffee with God:

I had a cup of coffee with God yesterday morning while I awaited for my parents to arrive for a visit. He or she—God is both and neither—appeared in several forms... first, there was a beautiful sunrise. And then... there were numerous finches on the bird feeder... the milkweed pods had opened wide and the wind was scattering their seed... our dog sat next to me to request a scratch on the head... the bird sat quietly eating her Cheerios (TM), the few remaining green plants were vibrant... a hawk flew directly over the front yard, quite low, and emitted one of those classic calls of the wild... he or she slowly climbed into the sky in broad circles... the world was perfect. Though I was waiting for my parents, there was no past and no future. I experienced eternity in moment. And I know it will happen again.

A similar sequence of events happened this morning. Another cup of coffee with God. But this time, followed by about five hours sitting quietly on the lawn while I assembled a fence around our raspberry patch. It was another beautiful day.

Of course, I might define "God" somewhat differently than other people define "God". And atheism is fully compatible with my definition of "God".
"Some people claim that there's a woman to blame. But I know it's my own damn fault."

Jimmy Buffet (Margaritaville)
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 7:24AM #15
gillyflower
Posts: 5,325
[QUOTE=Genocon;867953]That's interesting. I'll be honest and say that I'm comparing all this to my own experience, or, more accurately, lack thereof. I feel like I am open to such an experience, and I am not pursuing any deities actively, since I don't feel comfortable actively going after even the few that I've been interested in. The question of "what am I doing wrong?" pops into my head a lot.[/QUOTE]

I can't answer give anyone the "right" way to reach your goal, or promise that you will. I can only tell you what worked for me. I started studying all kinds of gods, all the ones that caught my fancy.
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 03, 2008 - 7:32AM #16
gillyflower
Posts: 5,325
[QUOTE=wiscidea;868000]Regarding "Yahweh":

There are Christians, though very few, who consider the God of the New Testament as a distinct entity who replaced the God of the Old Testament. So, the various names for God which appear in the Christian Bible do not necessarily designate the same being. To say they do, means you've accepted a specific version of Christianity that won out over all the other versions. But who is qualified to say who was right and who was wrong? Should the victors control the message?I would have found Christianity much more appealing if someone had persuaded me to believe the old God was dead.

Regarding having a cup of coffee with God:

I had a cup of coffee with God yesterday morning while I awaited for my parents to arrive for a visit. He or she—God is both and neither—appeared in several forms... first, there was a beautiful sunrise. And then... there were numerous finches on the bird feeder... the milkweed pods had opened wide and the wind was scattering their seed... our dog sat next to me to request a scratch on the head... the bird sat quietly eating her Cheerios (TM), the few remaining green plants were vibrant... a hawk flew directly over the front yard, quite low, and emitted one of those classic calls of the wild... he or she slowly climbed into the sky in broad circles... the world was perfect. Though I was waiting for my parents, there was no past and no future. I experienced eternity in moment. And I know it will happen again.

A similar sequence of events happened this morning. Another cup of coffee with God. But this time, followed by about five hours sitting quietly on the lawn while I assembled a fence around our raspberry patch. It was another beautiful day.

Of course, I might define "God" somewhat differently than other people define "God". And atheism is fully compatible with my definition of "God".[/QUOTE]

I'm happy for you. I think the important thing is to realize that when we each say "Deity" or the "Divine" we all all talking about something different. Each person answers the question from their own experience.

When you say "god" do you mean the Christian or Abrahamic "God"? And I notice that you use the term in the singular. Do you think there is only one and it includes everything - as in everything is Divine like pantheism? What is your concept of the divine?
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 03, 2008 - 9:20PM #17
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496
Should I repeat my initial experience with the gods, or just leave a reminder?  ;)

Goddess, kitchen, saved my life.  Now I am hers.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  :)
Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 10:19PM #18
Astroturf
Posts: 671
Interesting posts, everyone.  Thank you for sharing.

Geno, maybe this sounds pat, but perhaps you aren't doing anything "wrong?  If you don't feel comfortable going after any gods right now, maybe you will some time later.  Or maybe you won't ever want or need to get in touch with an entity.  See Wiscedia's post for an interesting idea, IMO.  For me, when I just started using the word "goddess" when I "prayed", I began to feel a presence.  But mostly, I just talked and left myself open and sort of stopped trying, if that makes any sense.  I hope I'm not being too forward offering advice--like I think I'm such a great sage.  :cool:  I still have no concrete idea of who my goddess is, exactly (or if she even is a "who" as we humans can describe her).  For me, that's enough right now, or I'd search further.  Maybe I'm not ready to know.  Or, as I said earlier, maybe there is no concrete goddess I'm communicating with, but some sort of essence of the universe or even of myself. 

I think that Wiscedia has an interesting idea about "god" being present in all things, if I'm reading him correctly.  An ordinary moment of having coffee while being aware of the hawk and his dog, the bird eating cereal, the plants.  Eternity in a moment--I like that, Wiscedia.  Your moment and the time spent later in the raspberry patch sounds like you were experiencing a moment of the awareness of life.  Like a clear meditation.  It also seems very pantheistic to me, in your references to nature.  What do you think, Wiscedia?  Anyone else can answer, too.

I don't want to ignore anyone, so I won't reference much else by name, but Chiyo raises an interesting point about there being various spirits out there, too.  I also like Erne's statement about when we reach, the gods (or even "the gods" in theory) reach back.  Or Source reaches back.  Or Master Maker or Immortality of the Soul.  However you want to name things.  Or we wake up to the moment and the only thing that reaches back is life itself.

SG--can I ask if you sought out your goddess, or is that too pushy a thing to ask?
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 11:06PM #19
Cammon
Posts: 7
itty, I was merely responding to the poster.  You can be confrontational, aka boring, and take the whole thing out of context to where I have to explain my stance using ABC blocks, or you can just accept my response for what it was.

If the poster choses to argue, I would be glad to bounce ideas against one another.

Yes, I realize this is a multifaith discussion board.  Maybe you should, too.  People who don't believe what you do, don't believe your beliefs are correct, and don't necessarily respect your opinions are all over the place.  Trying to hammer in your superiority is pretty futile against others with strong opinions.

If you don't play nice in the sandbox, nobody is going to play with you.  I suggest you remove your own emotional filters before attacking people on forums.  It seriously puts your views and opinions into question when you obviously show no respect or restraint for the subject matter.  And if you're that insecure and need extensive validation from others, I suggest you visit one of the other great forums here to get some support to deal with those issues.

And because I'm not that good of a person, I'll be glad to take the low road to answer your questions.

I have never met a real Christian, not a faith-bouncer, but a real Christian, who would use that ancient Hebrew/Greek name for the Christian God.  Yes, I capitalize God, as I capitalize my own name.  Capitalization is a sign of respect, in addition to being used as a symbol for a proper noun, or name.  I will continue to do so and will feel no regret for your disliking of it.  You being insulted has no affect on me.  I believe that all people of all faiths are apathetic posers until they stand up for what they believe in.  That's like saying that people who sign up for college are equal to those who already have their degrees.  That's just ridiculous.

"I would agree with you that it isn't a normal conversation to have if we weren't posting on a multifaith religious board."  Here is a prime example of you taking the whole thing out of context.  Maybe if you followed along with the premise of the original post, and put your ego aside, you'd see that it is a perfectly sound statement.

As for the rest... OK.  That's your story and your life.  See how easy it is to just put the simple truth out there?  You could have done that from the start.

And finally... "You post is leading me to believe that you are somewhat affronted by this topic. Why is this such a touchy subject for you?"  I like the topic.  That's why I was the first to respond.  My opinions weren't emotional, they were just based in fact.  If you have different experiences, fine.  I don't need them thrown in my face as if I was the one experiencing your life.

There was so much potential for a great discussion here.  Now it's down the drain for me.  You ruined it.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 11:11PM #20
Cammon
Posts: 7
[QUOTE=gillyflower;868187]I can't answer give anyone the "right" way to reach your goal, or promise that you will. I can only tell you what worked for me. I started studying all kinds of gods, all the ones that caught my fancy.[/QUOTE]

So what was more important to you?  The history/lore of the gods, or the philosophies?  I see them as being extremely different and tend to favor the philosophy.  I know others who crave the history and structure of how all of the stories came about... but it's just not for me.
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