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Practicing Spirituality

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Lightkeeper, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    A Buddhist concept is that it is more important to practice spirituality than it is to try to understand God. What do you think about this? What is the importance of a statement like this?
     
  2. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Its like, you need to learn to climb, before you can get to the top of the mountain type of thing. But I would go even further and take it from a taoist perspective and say. When you practise spirituality well, you realize that understanding tao isn't important. You understand that you don't understand.
     
  3. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    From my perspective (my excluvist streak coming through), I feel that they shouldn't be separated. God's revelation influences spirituality and forms a seed for spirituality that brings forth union with God, but on the other hand, spirituality is the only way to attain anything beyond a superficial understanding of God (there is always room to grow...God is quite a bit bigger than our comprehension of Him can be). It's easy to memorize things after all.
     
  4. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I think that understanding our 'deity' is an impossible task, simply because we haven't the 'mental tools' to do so; so yes, I say practice spirituality, and stop making such a big thing out of what or who God is or looks like - it is a total waste of time. Appart from anything else what difference would it make to our attitudes, even if we knew what he looked like ?:)
     
  5. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't focusing on trying to figure out what and who God is interfere with spirituality? If someone gave you a silver dollar and you melted it or tried to break it apart so you could figure out what it was made of and who made it would devalue the dollar and keep you from the true purpose of it.
     
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  6. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Well, Lightkeeper, being a taoist. I find the dollars true purpose is to be in its original natural form. Making it money is mans doing, and not its true purpose. But I agree that trying to figure out god hinders spirituality. It causes unneeded stress and anxiety because we cannot know.
     
  7. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    While I believe God's nature is fundamentally incomprehensible, I also believe that our purpose is to grow like Him and to know Him as far as our small minds can. In that respect, it is very important to know something about God, because if we are to conform to him, we need to start out with some knowledge and have a trustworthy guide along our path. So, if my goal is to be like God, I must have some knowledge of God to accomplish that. That knowledge is only possible with revelation.
     
  8. cvipertooth

    cvipertooth Member

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    I would think that practicing spirituality would indirectly lead to God, eventually leaving us with a better understanding. It's almost like the 'can't see the forst for the trees' type thing, where we get so caught up searching for God that we miss him when he's really all around us in the world.
     
  9. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    If God's nature is incomprehensible, how can we conform to him? If we practice spirituality and become our own true self, who we were made to be, then we would be whole. I think that's what the Buddhists mean. Trying to know something incomprehensible would lead you off of the spiritual path.
     
  10. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    We conform to God, because God enables it. We can't do it on our own, but only by God's grace which divinizes us (this is all messy vocabulary I know). To put it another way, we believe that He incarnates Himself in His people quite literally. By God's coming and incarnating Himself in us, our spirit is also transformed (and the transformation aids the incarnation), and thus we are conformed to the image of God.

    Other people are mostly incomprehensible. We cannot see the heart, nor can we know their thoughts really. All we have are their words and actions. This reveals some of their thoughts and character to us. If one believes in a God that acts and reveals Himself, then we have a means to know something of God right there, and it creates a history to conform us to. Further, there is God's grace which works in and through people to aid the process over time.

    It would lead off the spiritual path if we had to reason up to the incomprehensible, but if God reveals Himself, then we have some workable knoweledge.
     
  11. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    How do you know when God is revealing himself?
     
  12. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    In the easier sense, I have access to Church tradition and a history on it. That makes it easier. If what I'm seeing is different or puffs up, then it's wrong. There could be other problems, but that's why I have Tradition, Scripture, and the Church. I haven't had to make that call on any personal revelations ;).

    In the broader sense, I would find myself arguing an apologetic for Christianity. My belief on little things I conform myself to is based on the broader revelation there. I cannot demonstrate with absolute certainty that this is God revealing Himself. At that point it becomes a matter of trust.

    So, to put it another way, I have faith God revealed Himself in the past. I trust the Church's testimony on this. It has a set of histories and traditions I trust, which include the Bible obviously. They ultimately guide me in the matter. I can't know for certainty, but I do conform myself along this path.
     
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