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 The Spirit of God

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    4,780
    Ratings:
    +4,890
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    This thread is inspired by the discussion in another, and the question posed is primarily geared toward those who have an anthropomorphic view of God (though anyone is free to chime in).

    It was postulated in another thread that, like humans, God has a spirit that is the equivalent of Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without qualities) in Hinduism, and God Himself is equivalent to Saguna Brahman (Brahman with qualities). It was suggested that the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (the being that impregnated the Virgin Mary with Jesus) of the Trinity is God's impersonal aspect, or aspect without qualities.

    In your view, does God, like humans, have a spirit?

    What are your thoughts?


    *Apologies for the misnomer. By 'God' I'm actually meaning the 'Father' aspect of God.
     
    #1 SalixIncendium, Jan 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    9,465
    Ratings:
    +8,693
    Religion:
    Non-theist
    I can envision a type of pantheism where the spirit of God is the same as the laws of physics and the body of God is the universe....
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    10,086
    Ratings:
    +3,154
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    From this human's perspective, God is ONLY spirit. A spirit identified by qualities that transcend the mechanics of existence.
     
  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    4,780
    Ratings:
    +4,890
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    So in your view, God has no attributes or qualities that can be realized by humans?
     
  5. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    10,086
    Ratings:
    +3,154
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    "From this human's perspective, God is ONLY spirit. A spirit identified by qualities that transcend the mechanics of existence." Qualities such as love, forgiveness, kindness, and generosity.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    1,158
    Ratings:
    +136
    Religion:
    None
    Jesus said that God IS a spirit.
     
  7. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    4,780
    Ratings:
    +4,890
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    Thank you for your clarification. I did not know how you were defining "qualities that transcend the mechanics of existence." So you believe in the Holy Trinity, or more specifically, the Holy Spirit?
     
  8. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    4,780
    Ratings:
    +4,890
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    Thanks for sharing Jesus' thoughts. Did you have any thoughts on the topic?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7,471
    Ratings:
    +3,606
    Religion:
    Love, Light, and Life
    It bears a vague resemblance to what I said, in the kind way a pile of mashed potatoes in a certain light looks like the devil's tower (Close Encounters reference ;) ). I'll try to clarify it here, since this doesn't really capture the reality of what was expressed or meant.

    1. I do not have an antrophomopric view of God, but since you invited those who don't have one to chime in I will.

    2. To say "God has a spirit", is a completely anthropomorphic view of God having things like a human might be spoken of, having an arm, or an idea, or a happy moment, or such. My personal view is this. "God is Spirit". Not "has a". Spirit = God. God = Spirit. Spirit is the essence of Reality. It is like the wetness of the wave. The wave can be any shape, or size, be located anywhere in the ocean, but the wetness of each wave is absolutely the same in all waves everywhere, large or small. Spirit is not "a wave". It is All That Is. An anthropometric view of God cannot hold such a view, as an anthropomorphic view of God divides reality up into "things". Spirit is nothing, or better stated "no thing". No object. Not something you can point to like a tree or a Yeti. It is not "a god", or "a spirit". It is Spirit.

    3. God, or Spirit, is both form and formless. It is not one or the other. It is not Nirguna Brahman, and not Saguna Brahman, or the other way around. That divides God out of Creation, and is very much a dualistic theism, which has the Infinite reality, divided up into "this and not that" statements, as opposed to "Neti Neti", or "not this, not that" understandings. Brahman is not actually Nirguna Brahman and not Saguna Brahman, or that Saguna is lesser or unimportant to finding Brahman. Those "divisions" or not reality. They are simply nothing more than a device of language using dualistic terms of divisions, for the sake of the rational mind only. These divisions are what are illusions of the mind, when taken literally as definitions of a things reality.

    What I did suggest however, understanding that the use of language is inherently dualistic so using anything like these statements must be held as simply pointers to the Divine Reality (or "God") and not definitions of its actuality, is that the use of the terms Nirguna and Saguna in Hinduism is comparable in part to how the Trinity doctrine makes a distinction of the nature of the Divine as having both the unmanifest and manifest, which is what Nirguna and Saguna state, "without qualities" and "with qualities". In the Trinitarian formulation, as in Nirguna and Saguna formulation, the "Father" would be equivalent to Nirguna, or the Unmanifest Source. The Son, or Logos is the equivalent of Saguna Brahman, not as the human person called Jesus, but as the Logos of John 1 which is the Eternal Reality, or God, manifesting. Logos is the "manifesting" of formless eternal Father, or Source, or Nirguna Brahman.

    As such, like Nirguna and Saguna Brahman are not two separate realities (though some may because of being stuck in dualistic thought imagine them as separate "things", where one is more real, or more important to focus on than the other), rather they are the One Reality, just looked at in dividing terms from the point of origin of the human mind. We can see God as "God manifest", or we may see God as "God unmanifest". It really depends on the need of the human whose mind is grappling with these seeming "divisions" of the Divine Reality. Hence why literalists imagine the Trinity is "three gods".

    God is not equivalent to Saguna Brahman, as you state was what was suggested. Nirguna/Saguna Brahman, is God. God is Unmanifest/Manifest Reality. No division. The manifest and unmanifest is God, or the Divine Reality.

    4. To suggest that the Holy Spirit is, "the being that impregnated the Virgin Mary with Jesus", is a completely mythic-literal image of the Divine Reality as "an entity", or "a being". First, that story is a mythology. Not that it doesn't have symbolic merit, which it does, but to literalize it to imagine the Holy Spirit as "the being", brings forth images of some Yeti strolling down the slopes of the Himalayas to impregnate young village girls. :)

    The Holy Spirit is a symbol suggests rather that which holds the manifest and the unmanifest together, as the dualistic mind would attempt to fathom. I suppose the way I might try to put words to this, feebly, is the Spirit is that which is the "wetness" of the waves of the Unmanifest Ocean, or the "waveless ocean" the absolutely Still Ocean, and the Waves, or the Manifest Ocean. Spirit is the Essence of the Unmanifest and Manifest, where you will find in the Tantric traditions, that you can find the Unmanifest, or Emptiness, through Form. Spirit could be spoken of as the hands that unites the Unmanifest with the Manifest, and the Manifest with the Unmanifest. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All One.

    You see how radically not "the being that impregnated the Virgin Mary with Jesus", that is? :)

    BTW, I don't see that humans "have a spirit" either. There is a saying I heard that I find wonderful. "It is said we are human beings on a spiritual journey. Rather, we are Spirit on a human journey." That to me much more captures my thoughts on this.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  10. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    10,086
    Ratings:
    +3,154
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    I think the "trinity" is just a way for we humans to conceptualize the totality of an omni-God. A God that is both beyond us, and in us. That stands apart from us and yet acts through us. That stands apart from physical existence and yet is embodied by it.

    I think it's the "spirit" of God is what we humans so far have been able to identify. What is "holy" to us is subjective, but I suppose I would not object to that kind of respect being given.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,153
    Ratings:
    +798
    I think those are the postulations that create atheists.
     
  12. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7,471
    Ratings:
    +3,606
    Religion:
    Love, Light, and Life
    No he didn't. He did not say "a spirit". Jesus said, "God is Spirit". Jn 4:24. "A spirit" would not fit what he then follows with, "His worshippers must worship in Spirit and in Truth". This is referring to the essence of the Divine Reality, or God, which the worshippers themselves participate within.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    4,780
    Ratings:
    +4,890
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    Great post!

    Just a side note...
    It would appear that you took the OP as a riff off something you said on the forum. I didn't, and frankly I'm disappointed that I missed your post. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

    The OP was inspired by a discussion that took place in Pure Consciousness and Mindfulness.
     
  14. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    7,643
    Ratings:
    +1,171
    Religion:
    Grace
    nirguna brahman = most high god


    In the Upanishads, it has been variously described as Sat-cit-ānanda (truth-consciousness-bliss)[9][10] and as the unchanging, permanent, highest reality.


    love is a force, a power; so yes. it also has an unconditional form, formless, or uncreated.


    may that force be with you and keep you, all the days of your hooting.


     
    #14 Fool, Jan 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  15. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    4,780
    Ratings:
    +4,890
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    Interesting. Care to elaborate?
     
  16. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,303
    Ratings:
    +1,942
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    @SalixIncendium the traditional Catholic response would be that God, in essence, is a pure spirit defined by complete "divine simplicity" (an incomposite nature), by which we mean no 'body' and no 'parts', but rather an indivisible spiritual being.

    The 19th century Baltimore Catechism notes, in this respect, that "God is a spirit infinitely perfect...He possesses all good qualities in the highest possible degree and He alone is infinitely perfect."

    If I may reference a patristic authority from the early church, St. Hilary of Poitiers


    "First it must be remembered that God is incorporeal. He does not consist of certain parts and distinct members, making up one body.

    For we read in the gospel that God is a spirit: invisible, therefore, and an eternal nature, immeasurable and self-sufficient. It is also written that a spirit does not have flesh and bones.

    For of these the members of a body consist, and of these the substance of God has no need. God, however, who is everywhere and in all things, is all-hearing, all-seeing, all-doing, and all-assisting
    " (Commentary on the Psalms129[130]:3 [A.D. 365]).​
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    4,780
    Ratings:
    +4,890
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    I apologize to everyone for the lack of clarity in the OP. When I used the term 'God', I was actually referring to the 'Father' aspect of God. Sorry for any confusion this misnomer might have caused in this thread.

    I have noted this in the OP.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    1,158
    Ratings:
    +136
    Religion:
    None
    Like lots of words, there are different meanings in different contexts.
    Like the "spirit of the law"
    and "I think I saw a spirit"
    and "I drank some spirits"
    and "he spirited me away"

    God is a spirit, but our service to him must be in the spirit of the law,
    or spirit of worship - without imitation or deceit.
     
  19. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,303
    Ratings:
    +1,942
    Religion:
    Catholicism
    God the Father, in Christian theology, is equally pure spirit. So is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, the latter being a Divine Person that assumed a human nature but remains unchanged in his divine essence, despite now taking on a human mind and soul.

    Hence why the church proclaims Jesus to be a "Divine Person" with a human nature, fully divine and human, but not as a human person. There is no person of Jesus who is distinct from the purely spiritual Word of God who has existed from all eternity. Rather, that Divine Person assumes a human nature.

    God, pure and simple, is a spirit in Christianity.
     
  20. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7,471
    Ratings:
    +3,606
    Religion:
    Love, Light, and Life
    Oh interesting! :) Strange coincidence. I think I was recalling the conversation we just had in your "Is Salix an Atheist" thread. We talked a lot about this, and I had posted another post, #95 I'm not sure you had seen or not. I brought that up as well to try to explain the difference in how I understand what true nonduality is, not dividing God up into Nirguna Brahman as real and Saguna as lesser in some fashion.

    I'll have to check out that other thread you just linked to.
     
Loading...