1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured How do you conceptualize God?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Orbit, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,151
    Ratings:
    +2,544
    Religion:
    Dinner
    IF you have a God or god-like/higher power concept, how do you define/conceptualize that?

    For me, there is an unknowable Brahman-like energy that holds the universe together. I don't conceptualize that as a person, or any anthropomorphic thing. I don't think it has a personal interest in me or anyone, or any "divine plan". In fact, my belief in what I call God for lack of a better word wouldn't be called a belief in God at all by an Abrahamic adherent. How do you name the un-nameable? How do you describe the unknowable? It makes it very hard to talk about, but the language of mystics from all traditions speaks to it. I find great wisdom in Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, and Christianity, and it doesn't conflict with my worldview at all. I think all religions have valuable elements, and all have something to say about the ineffable.

    For you, is God a "person" with a human-like personality? Is God a spirit (and what is a spirit)? If you have a different higher power concept, how does it work?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. jeager106

    jeager106 Learning more about Jehovah.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    4,611
    Ratings:
    +1,764
    Religion:
    Learning more about Jehovah.
    “God is spirit,” He declared, “and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
     
  3. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,151
    Ratings:
    +2,544
    Religion:
    Dinner
    What exactly is spirit?
     
  4. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11,720
    Ratings:
    +8,429
    Religion:
    Mega-Super-Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
    We're not allowed to conceptualize G-d in any way. At the most we're allowed to image His Name in our minds. But more than that is prohibited and incorrect.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. jeager106

    jeager106 Learning more about Jehovah.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    4,611
    Ratings:
    +1,764
    Religion:
    Learning more about Jehovah.
    I believe the human spirit is the person’s values based on the reasoning of the mind. So the spirit and mind intertwine.
    Spirit is the spark of the divine in you. It is what you observe your body and mind with, and what nourishes you when the external world does not.

    "Spirit" has many meanings, i.e. "that football player has spirit for this game",
    "that person has spirit" perhaps meaning dedication in the face of opposition.
    Martin Luther King anyone?
    And on and on.
    google spirit if you have the spirit to learn. :>)

    I like one definition of addiction, be it drugs or alcohol:
    "The only disease that is a obsession of the mind, and allergy of the body and
    a sickness of the soul (spirit).
    It's soul sickness, a destroyer of the spirit.
    One could argue that definition but it would be wasted effort on me.
    I know better.
     
    #5 jeager106, Jun 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  6. jeager106

    jeager106 Learning more about Jehovah.
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    4,611
    Ratings:
    +1,764
    Religion:
    Learning more about Jehovah.
    If one wants to deny the spiritual side of man......................???
    Well denial isn't a river in Africa.
     
  7. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    37,348
    Ratings:
    +13,292
    Well, I am a pantheist and animist, so I know everything and everyone is driven or alive by one spirit (one life). I also know that there are souls (spirits of the deceased) in every one and everything from our ancestors, the things we own, to the earth and everything from the sky above and ground below.

    No, I wouldn't call life a person. That would be like calling me a computer and a tiger, Jane. I tried anthropomorphize life but then that would be making everyone and everything each other rather than being equal in their own distinguishing personalities or properties for each person, plant, animal, or thing.

    I know that we all have a Buddha-nature. With the above, I and The Buddha doesn't consider our nature by hierarchy. My nature is not more superior than yours and yours isn't to The Buddha. Our inherit nature is wisdom, compassion, and a lot of characteristics that's too much to list here are in each person. Unfortunately, our actions affect our nature masking it to look like we are our behaviors-that's like saying, we cannot change what we do because we will always do wrong. The Buddha never taught that there is no way outside of suffering.

    I don't conceptualize our Buddha-Nature as a person only because, just like Spirit/life (which is the same as Buddha-Nature-depends on which "language" I want to use), there is no hierarchy, just difference in roles we play. Parent vs. Child. Boss vs. Employee. and so forth.

    Saying Spirit/life is just generalizing that we are all breathing the same air. Buddha-nature is making it personal and saying each of us have an inherit beautiful nature within us. What we do affects the karma we have. So we focus on our practice and behaviors rather than philosophize and our beliefs.

    I don't consider life as a higher power. I am thankful that I am alive because I have the breathe of life. I am thankful that I understand myself-mind, heart, and soul-my life through the Dharma. I give offerings to the people I care for past, present, and future. I give offerings to the spirits. None of them are higher than me. We have different roles, and my role is that of respect and gratitude.
     
    #7 Unveiled Artist, Jun 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,349
    Ratings:
    +3,285
    Religion:
    Anglo-Saxon(esque) Heathenry
    I "conceptualize" the Gods more or less as we've done for millennia: anthropomorphizing them.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. DawudTalut

    DawudTalut Peace be upon you.

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    4,849
    Ratings:
    +1,353
    Religion:
    Islam DIR
    Peace be on you.
    God is Lord of all peoples, the Gracious, the Merciful, the Source of all blessings, Rightful deity, Has no associates, Is not born, Do not begets, Since ever to ever, Has all noble attributes, Has no weakness........

    God is Being, a Light, there is nothing like God. Human can imbibe God's some attributes at human level.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Renki

    Renki Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,828
    Ratings:
    +1,087
    Religion:
    Bahá’í Faith, open-minded towards all religions
    Orbit, your idea of God, in my eyes (as a Bahá’í – a member of an Abrahamic religion) is absolutely valid, as are all others, but like all others, including my own, is also inaccurate! ;)

    Speaking of my idea of God, I believe in a Personal God, one who has Names and a Will, a Plan for us as individuals and collectively, and makes Himself and His Will known to us. At the same time, however, I believe that God is beyond all conceptions and ideas! That our minds cannot even begin to fathom the Mystery of the Essence of The Almighty, which is exactly why there are all of these different ideas which are each and all immensely beautiful.

    Bahá'u'lláh had spoken to something very similar to your thoughts. He says to God,

    “How bewildering to me, insignificant as I am, is the attempt to fathom the sacred depths of Thy Knowledge! ...How can mine eye, which hath no faculty to perceive itself, claim to have discerned Thine Essence, and how mine heart, already powerless to apprehend the significance of its own potentialities, pretend to have comprehended Thy Nature?....”

    and goes on later,

    “No one except Thyself can unravel the secret of Thy Nature, and naught else but Thy Transcendental Essence can grasp the reality of Thy Unsearchable Being.”
     
    #10 Renki, Jun 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,077
    Ratings:
    +4,237
    Religion:
    Anglican...heretic
    I have almost, but not quite, given up on being able to conceptualise God.
    I am coming to understand,that what ever we might emagine, could not do him justice.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,220
    Ratings:
    +451
    Religion:
    Agnostic-Deist
    I think God (if It exists), is the conscious embodiment of the Cosmos, of which the universe is a part. Stated another way, God (if It exists), is the embodiment of all that exists or can be imagined, iow, God = Truth. God (if It exists), does care about us--It having created the universe for the sole purpose of spawning us with moral free will, with the universe as the natural, rational stage on which to exercise it. And finally, God (if It exists), cannot intervene lest that free will be nullified.
     
  13. Acim

    Acim Revelation all the time

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    5,513
    Ratings:
    +686
    In a few words, God is supreme Spirit of Love.

    Personality of God would be challenging for me to describe. I find Love to be highly personable. I do not conceive of Creator God as a person, however. Spirit is what I'd go with. To me, Spirit is essence, or even existence itself. The 'being' aspect helps make it more relatable. I do think of God as all of existence and say humanity as extension of that existence, that is God. I draw distinction though between Creator God and God as Creation, but pretty much only for intellectual reasons. I think the essence is virtually identical. Either because of the distinctions or because of how much I still believe in separation (from Creator's essence), the idea of multiple gods makes some sense to me, but more in a playful way.
     
  14. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,584
    Ratings:
    +6,194
    Religion:
    Gnostic Atheism
    Love is a natural adaptation. So, I am not sure what a supreme Sprit of Love means.

    Can you expand on that?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  15. Acim

    Acim Revelation all the time

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    5,513
    Ratings:
    +686
    I don't know what you mean by natural adaptation. Care to explain that?

    Spirt of Love means (perhaps among many things): eradication of all fear, confidence / peace with Self (or all versions of selves), lacking nothing, exponentially increasing Joy, perfect health or strength (free of all illnesses and disease), openly relating / excluding none, willfully creating or extending Life (or existence) in a non-linear fashion and in way that induces zero separation, unconditionally giving with full Knowledge that this how reception works
     
  16. viole

    viole Ontological Naturalist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,584
    Ratings:
    +6,194
    Religion:
    Gnostic Atheism
    What I mean is that love in a social species like ours is a natural adaptation. For instance, what we call romantic love is a set of states of our brains that have been naturally selected in order to favor stability for a species, like ours, which require a long commitment to take care of a progeny that takes a long time to become independent. Til death sets us apart, is a consequence of our genetical imprint. If our children were ready to leave us and live their lives after a couple of weeks, probably things like Romeo and Juliet would be incomprehensible to us.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
  17. Acim

    Acim Revelation all the time

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    5,513
    Ratings:
    +686
    I thought this is what you possibly meant. Romance, is not the love of which I was speaking about. I would be critical of that as even plausibly being love. More like a distortion of Love. Though during the honeymoon phase of romance, it certainly can appear like (unconditional) Love.
     
  18. ThePainefulTruth

    ThePainefulTruth Romantic-Cynic

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,220
    Ratings:
    +451
    Religion:
    Agnostic-Deist
    I think that love is an aspect of Truth, and like Gandhi, that God is Truth. And I think that there are (at least) 4 such aspects of Truth: knowledge, justice, love and beauty--from pure objective Truth blending through to pure subjective Truth.
     
  19. roger1440

    roger1440 I do stuff

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    4,355
    Ratings:
    +970
    Religion:
    Christian
    All we have are ideas that point to God. But the pointers themselves are not the thing being pointed to. To put it another way we only have signs of God, attributes associated with God that makes God known. The difficulty in explaining God is that the explanation limits God to the confines of the explanation. How would we explain a specific person? We can attribute certain behavior to a person, but the person is not the behavior. The best we can do is explain how we relate to a specific person or lack of. How we relate to a person is an action, therefore a verb. The idea of God works the same way in Jewish and Christian scripture. It’s common for a Christian evangelist to ask, “Do you have a relationship with God?”. Read the preamble to the 10 commandments, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery”. According to that verse God is not stagnate, he does stuff. Again noun/verb.

    One of the things that amaze me is this painting by Da Vinci. Da Vinci was a man of science, not a man of religion. This is a painting he did of John the Baptist. John is obviously pointing.

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    39,163
    Ratings:
    +4,745
    Religion:
    An X-Jehovah's Witness
    I agree with @Tumah. I am not suppose to form God into a concept. It is why I won't agree for or against the Trinity.
     
Loading...