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What is a "higher power?"

Discussion in 'Theological Concepts' started by Quintessence, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    The term "higher power" gets bandied about quite a lot in theological discussions. Although we might think we're all speaking the same language when we use that phrase, I'm skeptical of that based on personal observation.

    What does "higher power" mean, exactly? Higher than what?
     
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  2. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    It means "God" to the overly politically correct.
     
  3. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    It's God for people too embarrassed to say God, or perhaps the lowest common denominator of God for people too sensitive to be disagreed with.
     
  4. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Why didn't I say that?
     
  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I'm assuming since you guys are putting god in proper case, you mean the one-god of the Abrahamics, yes?
     
  6. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    No, I capitalize God no matter what, if any theology I happen to be referring to.
     
  7. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Gotcha. However, I would question the use of "higher power" as a synonym for god; there seems to be more to it than that. It seems more like a description. What does that description mean? Again, higher than what, exactly? =P
     
  8. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    The description refers to Christianity, which as a hierarchical religion, describes God as above everything.
     
  9. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    In any case, but the usual offenders are Abrahamic religions, at least in my experience.
     
  10. idav

    idav Being
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    It's a way of saying there is something greater without using the G word.
     
  11. Infinitum

    Infinitum Possessed Bookworm
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    "Higher power" seems to be one of those terms with a pretty fuzzy definition. I take it that "higher" means something above or beyond what's normal, i.e. the supernatural. Then again this "higher power" seems always to have a will or whatever, so yeah, it pretty much sounds like a toned down name for god(s). It could also refer to destiny or karma, though.
     
  12. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    dear quintessence ,

    the higher power ....
    higher than any thing or any other energy , ....the allmighty but not purely in the abrahamic sence, but above all theologies .

    yet thre is a tendancy to say
    "a higher power" ...."higher powers" ...."the powers that be" which refers in a sence to powers that we do not understand but that govern us , my nana often said the "powers that be" allthough not overtly christian , she acknowledged unseen powers , we see them differently some see them as spirits , angels , or forces of nature , so in that respect there are many higher powers , but only one higher power that governs all that holds power over all spirits and forces of nature , the original power from which all powers draw their strength .

    I dont know how often I use the term but it is something I would say when I am wanting to ellude to supreme greatness without using the word god , when god may have too theistic a conoteation for the person I am speaking to , when by saying god it would cause a person to close their mind , or to blaspheme .
     
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  13. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    My understanding is that it's descriptive of an early ontological model of cosmos, specifically 1st or 2nd Century Greek. Man's conscious mind is like a mirror, reflecting reality (there is no "in the mind" for these Greeks, just a mirror); reality is what is so reflected, and as the reflection in the mirror is recognized as being less than the whole, the whole (diety) is what resides beyond each and any reflection. Diety is unaccessible, unknowable, and superior to reality; hence "superior" gets translated as "above" or "higher."
     
    #13 Willamena, Sep 30, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  14. 1137

    1137 | O.S. Co-founder
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    I think it is mostly associated with God specifically, however that doesn't make total sense. For example, nature itself is a "higher power". I dare you to stare down a tornado.
     
  15. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    Problem is that most people's idea of "God" is dependent on a set of pretty narrow specifics that may or may not apply.

    A lot of people consider Nature a/the God/Goddess.
     
  16. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    Higher than the self (which, I'm guessing, accounts for some of the more aggressive objections to the term. :D)
     
  17. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    Or perhaps it's meant to identify a large, orange, Penguin named Luigi. Hey, if we're going to answer the OP with a lot of uniformed guesses, might as well get creative.
     
  18. AdityaMookerjee

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    Words are actually an illusion. I don't experience any power, and it seems, it is a term. If God had power, can you experience it, other than when people speak of political power? I don't see political power, when people say it.
     
  19. Gui10

    Gui10 Active Member

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    It means something not in this universe, that put the universe into place.
     
  20. Orias

    Orias Left Hand Path

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    Higher power refers to a level of recognition in which the subject at hand is placed into a highly respectable position.

    With this comes a few things, the ability to achieve a title which essentially describes a notion of heroism or strength. And the ability to maintain a high level waves of energy frequently, which in turn is used to influence other devices which ultimately conclude in the domination of smaller groups of beings.

    Power is something that is often referred to after one has displayed great might or influence over an opposing force.
     
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