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BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?

mousethief 12 Jan 03 - 12:40 AM
Little Hawk 12 Jan 03 - 12:45 AM
Sam L 12 Jan 03 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,God 12 Jan 03 - 03:31 AM
Rustic Rebel 12 Jan 03 - 03:38 AM
smallpiper 12 Jan 03 - 06:43 AM
stevetheORC 12 Jan 03 - 09:43 AM
JedMarum 12 Jan 03 - 09:49 AM
*daylia* 12 Jan 03 - 11:19 AM
GUEST 12 Jan 03 - 11:42 AM
Amos 12 Jan 03 - 11:45 AM
Rustic Rebel 13 Jan 03 - 01:35 AM
Lonesome EJ 13 Jan 03 - 01:44 AM
Rustic Rebel 13 Jan 03 - 01:54 AM
Little Hawk 13 Jan 03 - 02:17 AM
GUEST 13 Jan 03 - 04:17 AM
stevetheORC 13 Jan 03 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Soma 13 Jan 03 - 06:33 AM
daithi 13 Jan 03 - 06:55 AM
smallpiper 13 Jan 03 - 07:51 AM
Letty 13 Jan 03 - 08:00 AM
daithi 13 Jan 03 - 08:06 AM
kendall 13 Jan 03 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Smallpiper -missplaced cookie 13 Jan 03 - 11:22 AM
Sam L 14 Jan 03 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,colwyn dane 14 Jan 03 - 09:46 AM
IanC 14 Jan 03 - 10:40 AM
JennyO 14 Jan 03 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 14 Jan 03 - 11:02 AM
John Hardly 14 Jan 03 - 04:57 PM
Amos 14 Jan 03 - 05:26 PM
Bill D 14 Jan 03 - 06:24 PM
smallpiper 14 Jan 03 - 07:31 PM
Amos 14 Jan 03 - 08:09 PM
Little Hawk 14 Jan 03 - 09:05 PM
Amos 14 Jan 03 - 10:15 PM
*daylia* 14 Jan 03 - 10:17 PM
BusbitterfraeScotland 14 Jan 03 - 10:41 PM
Bill D 15 Jan 03 - 12:17 AM
Bill D 15 Jan 03 - 12:24 AM
Little Hawk 15 Jan 03 - 01:02 AM
Amos 15 Jan 03 - 09:04 AM
*daylia* 15 Jan 03 - 11:48 AM
Bill D 15 Jan 03 - 12:50 PM
DougR 15 Jan 03 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 15 Jan 03 - 01:12 PM
*daylia* 15 Jan 03 - 01:12 PM
*daylia* 15 Jan 03 - 01:19 PM
Amos 15 Jan 03 - 01:26 PM
JennyO 15 Jan 03 - 01:41 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 12:40 AM

No, no, TOO FAR! Too far to the left! Swing back a little to the right. Up a little -- you're getting warmer.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 12:45 AM

Got an itch, Alex?

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Sam L
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 01:22 AM

Hey, who corrected the typo?


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: GUEST,God
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 03:31 AM

Who else?


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 03:38 AM

This is a little story I have held true to my heart and would like now to pass on to you all. I know we are talking about God here but this is just a little Messiah story here for you to read.
I send this to you all with love
Peace, Rustic


There was a Master come unto the earth, born in the holy land of Indiana, raised in the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne.

The Master learned of this world in the public schools of Indiana and he grew, in his trade as a mechanic of automobiles.

But the Master had learnings from other lands and other schools, from other lives that he had lived. He remembered these, and remembering became wise and strong, so that others saw his strength and came to him for counsel.

He believed that he had power to help himself and all mankind, and as he believed so it was for him, so that others saw his power and came to him to be healed of their troubles and their many diseases.

The Master believed that it is well for any man to think upon himself as a son of God, and as he believed, so it was, and the shops and garages where he worked became crowded and jammed with those who sought his learning and his touch, and the streets outside with those who longed only that the shadow of his passing might fall upon them, and change their lives.

It came to pass, because of the crowds, that the several foremen and shop managers bid the Master leave his tools and go his way, for so tightly was he thronged that neither he nor other mechanics had room to work upon the automobiles.

So it was that he went into the countryside, and people following began to call him Messiah, and worker of miracles; and as they believed, it was so.

If a storm passed as he spoke, not a raindrop touched a listener's head; the last of the multitude heard his words as clearly as the first, no matter lightening nor thunder in the sky about. And always he spoke to them in parables.

And he said unto them, "Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and to sickness, to riches and to poverty, to freedom and to slavery. It is we who control these, and not another."

A mill-man spoke and said, "Easy words for you, Master, for you are guided as we are not, and need not toil as we toil. A man has to work for his living in this world."

The Master answered and said, "Once there lived a villiage along the bottom of a great crystal river.

"The current of the river swept silently over them all - young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing its own crystal self.

"Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

"But one creature said at last, 'I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.'

"The other creatures laughed and said, 'Fool! Let go, and that current that you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!'

"But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

"Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

"And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, 'See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!'

"And the one carried in the current said, 'I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.'

"But they cried the more, 'Savior!' all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior."

And it came to pass when he saw that the multitude thronged him the more day on day, tighter and closer and fiercer than ever they had, when he saw that they pressed him to heal them without rest, and feed them always with his miracles, to learn for them, to live their lives, he went alone that day unto a hilltop apart, and there he prayed.

And he said in his heart, Infinite Radiant Is, if it be thy will, let this cup pass from me, let me lay aside this impossible task. I cannot live the life of one other soul, yet ten thousand cry to me for life. I'm sorry I allowed it all to happen. If it be thy will, let me go back to my engines and my tools and let me live as other men.

And a voice spoke to him on the hilltop, a voice neither male or female, loud nor soft, a voice infinitely kind. And the voice said unto him, "Not my will, but thine be done. For what is thy will is mine for thee. Go thy way as other men, and be thou happy on the earth."

And hearing, the Master was glad, and gave thanks and came down from the hilltop humming a little mechanic's song. And when the throng pressed him with its woes, beseeching him to heal for it and learn for it and feed it nonstop from his understanding and to entertain it with his wonders, he smiled upon the multitude and said pleasantly unto them, "I quit."

For a moment the multitude was stricken dumb with astonishment.

And he said unto them, "If a man told God that he wanted most of all to help the suffering world, no matter the price to himself, and God answered and told him what he must do, should the man do as he is told?"

"Of course, Master!" cried the many. "It should be pleasure for him to suffer the tortures of hell itself, should God ask it!"

"No matter what those tortures, nor how difficult the task?"

"Honor to be hanged, glory to be nailed to a tree and burned, if so be that God has asked," said they.

"And what would you do," the Master said unto the multitude, "if God spoke directly to your face and said, 'I command that you be happy in the world, as long as you live.' what would you do then?"

And the multitude was silent, not a voice, not a sound was heard upon the hillsides, across the valleys where they stood.

And the Master said unto the silence, "In the path of our happiness shall we find the learning for which we have chosen this lifetime. So it is that I have learned this day, and choose to leave you now to walk your own path, as you please."

And he went his way through the crowds and left them, and he returned to the everyday world of men and machines.

Richard Bach
Illusions, Chapter 1
Delacorte Press, New York, 1977


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: smallpiper
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 06:43 AM

ooooer!

Hey LH did I detect a hint of frustration earlier?

ironic isn't it (history I mean) all those people fleeing religious persecution in Europe becoming the persecutors.

If God was a man he should have died of shame! Good job he's not!

Daylia ... as for the Goddess being in exile ... Open your eyes and you will see she is not and never has been


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: stevetheORC
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 09:43 AM

They are all down the pub having their annual knees up :-)

Odins paying this year


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: JedMarum
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 09:49 AM

Jesus is coming, and boy is he pissed!

(pissed in the American-ism sense, ie, angry, raging, fit to be tied)


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: *daylia*
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:19 AM

Hmmmmmmm

{ |-) }

blink blink

{{ :-O }}

gape gape

{{{ :-) }}}



Of course! Here She is after all! Thank you, smallpiper - I needed that!

And WhoWhoWho's that with Her?!? ... scramble scramble ... gotta put more coffee on now, get out the finest china, put on my best clothes ... race race pant pant ...

!!!SMASH!!!


*sigh*

Thank God/dess They love me just as I am. That I AM that I AM that I AM that I AM!

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:42 AM

Just what Mudcat needs--the female mirror of Gargoyle.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 11:45 AM

Rusty,

Thanks for reminding me of one of my favorites of all time.

I think we oughta format that post real purdy and put it up somewhere permanent as an answer to all and any whingers -- a hyperlink straight to the Messiah! LOL!

Thanks again,


A


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 01:35 AM

I agree Amos, one of my favorites also. The adventures of a reluctant messiah! The Massiah's Handbook & Reminders For The Advanced Soul. I love that man, Richard Bach. Most of his books seem to have a similar story line and life lessons, like Johnathan Livingstone Seagull and Rae's Birthday Party.
Glad you liked it.
Peace,Rusty? (Ha!It's okay, I've been called that before because I'm a redhead)
P.S. Soma- Did we scare you away? Haven't heard from you since your first post. I hope all is well with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 01:44 AM

Allen Watts recalls an old Hindu story says that at first God was all. But in the passing eons of time He grew lonely, and decided to play a hiding game. He hid himself in the forms he created as stars, planets, trees, animals and men. He hid himself so well that He could no longer find Himself, and in time men knew only the guise of their own existence.

But it is still the quest of each man to understand that he is an individual manifestation of the Creator, and that everything else is as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 01:54 AM

Hey EJ- that could be the answer to Soma's question!


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 02:17 AM

That Richard Bach excerpt is one of the most brilliant passages of spiritual writing I've ever seen, and I remember it fondly. Great book! Kahlil Ghibran's book "The Prophet" is another masterpiece.

GUEST - Naw.... Day-liah is likeable.

She's just going wild with HTML right now, that's all.

smallpiper - Yeah, I eventually do get a bit frustrated with sheer, bloody-minded, hostile ignorance. Specially when it won't identify itself, won't go away, and won't even try to understand anything it doesn't already think it knows "all about", and then accuses people it knows (obviously) precious little about of being "fascists" in the bargain. Ever try to explain poetry to a baboon? Useless. Like trying to "get milk from a male ostrich", if I may quote from Horatio Hornblower...

It was the Christian churches who should have died of shame, following what they did to humanity in the last 2000 years. Matter of fact, the Catholic Church seems to be dealing with its bad karma quite heavily lately. Doesn't surprise me...

But that's no reflection on "God". Wankan Tanka did not employ the black robes. I think they were working for someone else entirely.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 04:17 AM

True believers would tell you that God is not hiding, we cannot see him because WE have turned our back on HIM.


Cheers


Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: stevetheORC
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 05:36 AM

Hey
Baboons love poetry so dont pick on dem :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: GUEST,Soma
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 06:33 AM

The moving finger writes and having writ moves on, fortunately someone from the management corrects.
Why the externalisation of God?
Would there be a God if there were no sentient beings?
Soma


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: daithi
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 06:55 AM

Didn't realise you were a follower of the Goddess Smallpiper! Are there many in your part of the world?
Dáithí


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: smallpiper
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 07:51 AM

I believe in one god - s/he has many different faces and manefests him/herself to us in many different ways, some of which is internal and some external. I believe in the interconnectedness of humanity and in particular that there is good in everyone - some may call me nieve for that but I can live with that. Its their loss.
And I believe in forgiveness, there in lies true divinity.

Not sure that helps Daithi and I'm not sure if there are many that follow this ideal(?) but as to followers of the Goddess there are many but I think you have met quite a lot of them already.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Letty
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 08:00 AM

A memory:

I grew up in an atheist household. Religion was never an issue.
I never knew about gods and religion (other than that there were children in my street who weren't allowed to play on Sundays) until I got my first religion classes at primary school, which, being a state school, were purely informative classes, not trying to convert children. So we had classes about christianity, islam, buddhism, hinduism: very interesting. When I heard how many people were religious in this world, I remember thinking: hm, so many people believe, they can't be wrong, maybe I should join them? But I did not want to discriminate, and I did not know which religion to 'choose'.
I decided to sit down on a quiet place and let a god speak to me.
I did that for about two years, very seriously, but nothing ever happened, and I gave up.

Much later, I hear from christian friends that Jesus speaks to them on a daily basis. So unfair. Why would he be hiding from my 8-year-old self and speaking to others? :-)


Anyway, I'd just like to say that as an atheist (or maybe a closet agnostic), I take offense to the opinion of some contributors above that atheists have no purpose in life (other than hedonism) or that their lives are meaningless and empty. Humans are intelligent (well, so we think), can't we define our goals in life without reference to a deity? Is hedonism (but not to the expense of others of course) even such a bad aim? Someone once told me that she was surprised that I, as a non-believer, wasn't a criminal of some sorts, as if belief in God was the only thing to keep her from being evil. I think it's perfectly possible to lead a good, meaningful life as an atheist, I do not need a god for that, or a divine presence. Another person told me that she thought being an atheist would take all the wonder out of life. Why? I can still marvel at the beauty of nature (or shudder at its lesser attractive side), physics, music, arts.


To come back to the original question, hasn't the Pope said recently that God had turned away from mankind because of their sins? If anyone knows, it must be him :-)

Letty


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: daithi
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 08:06 AM

Thanks for the prompt - and thoughtful - response, Smallpiper.I find little in your posting that I would disagree with at all.
As to my having met folks of similar spiritual inclination (on the occasional Tuesday night,I assume?) I was wondering if that might be the case. Perhaps we just haven't recognised each other yet, although my ring is bit of a giveaway. I do hope they make themselves known in due course!


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 10:53 AM

I saw starving children,
And, I screemed at God.
Then, I realized that
Those starving children
Were God, screeming at me.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: GUEST,Smallpiper -missplaced cookie
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 11:22 AM

Letty perhaps God did speak to you and perhaps his message was that you should be true to yourself, andto be all that you can be and it sounds like you are doing it. But who knows eh!But leave the RC's out of it there have been mistakes made and they are still making mistakes - heck that's just being human isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Sam L
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 07:21 AM

Letty, my parents were quite religious, but kept it mostly to themselves, and I was raised as a science experiment. We went fishing on Sundays. When I was younger I said I was an atheist, now I don't say anything. It's a hard thing to talk about, most of the good words are used up.
   But "religion" is really about ritual aspects of spirituality, observances, notes-to-one's-spiritual-self, and people sometimes say religion when they mean piety. Not that I'm criticising that--people externalise it so they can point to it and talk about it, though it may mix it up a bit with other stuff, sometimes. Taking anything at all seriously would seem to be piety, whatever one calls it.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: GUEST,colwyn dane
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 09:46 AM

"The laws of a game make the essence of the game. A violation of these laws would destroy the entire game. God can as little interfere in our life and substitute other results in the place of the natural results of causes created by us, or created accidentally, as he can beat the ace of trumps with the deuce."

I am grateful to PD Ouspensky for the above quote and he mentions Turgenev writing about how all ordinary prayers can be reduced to one:"Lord, make it so that twice two be not four."

God bless all who sail in you.
CD.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: IanC
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 10:40 AM

Friend Colwyn

The problem with that kind of analysis is that it misses out the basic intention of real prayer. Though Jesus taught people to pray using a formula beginning "Our Father", he himself prayed "not my will, but thine". A brief look at the "Our Father" itself will show you that the prayer is mainly aimed at helping the user to understand its own plight and to aim for those things which are of central importance.

Life is not a game of cards, actually. It's for real, and it's a situation in which every one of us can influence it for better or for worse. Why would we not wish for some guidance in this situation, albeit that the guidance may come (as Quakers believe) from deep within yourself.

As for philosophers, I have learned many of the most profound lessons in life from mentally handicapped people (I have a lot to do with them). From philosophers, I have learned practically nothing. They have little to teach.

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: JennyO
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 10:52 AM

If you want to see a beautiful example of wisdom and spirituality from a handicapped person, watch a French movie called "The Eighth Day".

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 11:02 AM

I think we just look in the wrong places. We are so eager for things to be OUR way, and when we don't get OUR way, we think God is ignoring us. But remember, to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 04:57 PM

It is possible for truth to be both objective and not provable empirically.

Though it may be wise to be guarded when facing "circular reasoning", circular reasoning is not proof that a conclusion is false.

It is possible for the religious to be sufficiently convinced of the rightness of their truth to live accordingly, while still living peacably with those they believe have a wrong belief system. To live peacably does not mean we must accept all beliefs as equally objectively lacking.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 05:26 PM

. It's for real, and it's a situation in which every one of us can influence it for better or for worse

The fact that something is for real, Ian, simply makes it a more compelling game. Like any game, real world action has rules, consequences, goals, barriers, and intermediate rewards like happiness. Influencing it for the better is how you win at the game, and likewise influencing it for the worse is how you lose at it. Of course, not everyone has the same definition of these things, which was not made explicit in the rule book! :>) This makes the game much more interesting, like building secreat alliances in one of those Empire board games like Risk. Instead of "identifying" with a pewter candlestick or a purple wooden token, you get to identify with a carbon-oxygen-driven meat machine with a built in thinking circuit!! Wow!! Now that's fun!! (Most of the time, anyway!).

A

A


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 06:24 PM

this post goes a bit beyond the precise title of the thread, but it is all connected and explains a bit of why I write so much about it.

I have a cartoon:

Two goldfish in a bowl...One says, "Ok, smarty, if there's no God, who changes the water?"

must be a matter of perspective, I guess.

For me, "God" would have mean something other than flowery metaphors about universality and Little Hawk's fascinating attempt to turn it all into a rhetorical, holistic definition where "god" becomes such an all-encompassing concept that it has nothing to focus on.
   wow....I just re-read this..."...universal process that you are part of. You are within it. It's a field of consciousness and intention, manifesting as energy, matter, waveforms, thought, and so on. Since it's not separate from you, you can't get away from it (except you can, in the isolated consciousness of your mind, which says, "there is no God", after having invented a spurious, really silly definition of God in the first place.) Very clever!"

Very clever indeed...if all it means is "everything", then why do we need a separate term? I can be awed by the universe (and am, every day) without positing ANY specific causality, or fretting about eternity. It is fascinating to explore and question....but not all questioning requires final answers. I can find meaning, happiness, relevance, peace, joy,...and all other emotions we humans recognize, without "naming" a source. We ARE complex...it makes no difference how we got that way, and NO ONE has shown me any evidence that there is anything beyond the sensory realm I see. And I include the internal working of my own and other minds *AS** part of the sensory realm! Not easy to examine, but still just neurons firing in highly complex physio-chemical patterns.

Nothing changes if I do NOT accept metaphysical notions of causality..poetry is still poetry, beauty is still beauty, hate is still hate, ...etc... I can care, hope, love, wonder,...without recourse to any particular religion or philosophic principles...(yes, I am aware this very attitude IS a philosophic principle...but...)

My friends...I am beset by those who tell me I am either "going to Hell, if I don't change my ways" or, if I don't accept certain postulated 'truths'"....

I am also told be some that "... it is how you behave, rather than what you believe" that matters. Well...which is it? Who is right? They **CANNOT** all be right. I am sometimes given explanations of Heaven by serious practitioners of various faiths who are truly worried about me....and they just cannot comprehend it when I say that I do not want to go to a heaven such as they describe, with the entrance requirements they list.

I am told seriously that the Earth CANNOT be millions or billions of years old because their religious texts say otherwise. Nothing in the Bible about dinosaurs...maybe Satan planted them bones to test us! (You have never heard this? I have.) And if your denomination is not 'quite' so extreme, why is it better, or right, just because it is less rigid?...or why is Islam, or Hinduism, or Jainism...or Grasshopper worship, any more correct? And if I can't choose between all those, why do I need a generalized Pantheistic metaphor?

It is, I am convinced, simply a matter of varying degress of emotional need to express one's self, and to find solace from the pains and sadness of life and to deal with the loss of loved ones and with the knowlege that we are mortal. The lower animals do not seem to have a concept of mortality...perhaps they are better off...*wry smile*.....


...** I have deleted more musings I had typed, as I find I was becoming argumentative and grumpy as I tried to explain the point of all this. There is no easy place to stop when you have been thinking about a situation for 50 years....*grin*....I am sure I change no one's mind with my ramblings, but just maybe I shed a tiny bit of light on some of the issues...


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: smallpiper
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 07:31 PM

Why can't they all be right? In my fathers house there are many mansions - I may be wrong but didn't Jesus say that?

Didn't Terry Pratchett suggest that God planted the dino bones but that we hadn't got the joke?

who knows what its all about as long as we all do the best we can for ourselves and for others.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 08:09 PM

Well, guys, I have thought this over for a good part of this lifetime at the very least, and the answer is that the question is profoundly flawed. When you pose a question so deeply flawed as this one, it opens you up to infinite regressions, chasing ne'e'r-do-wells and wills-o'-the-whisp in the belief that you are finding answers. But the simple fact is that the semantics in the question are malformed, do not map to the territory, and lead to no conclusion of the answering sort.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 09:05 PM

I've heard it said that the way God (Consciousness..."I Am" awareness) speaks to most people is through their feelings. Not by an audible voice or a spoken thought heard in the mind, but through their subtle feelings, their conscience, their sense of beauty and goodness, their awareness of right and wrong. People who are "listening" to hear God and expecting to hear a "voice" of some kind may just be listening for the wrong thing.

If there was no sentience in the Universe, then there would definitely be no sentient beings, and no God either, because God IS the very principle of sentience in its original and most fundamental sense. Or isn't. Depending on whether you think the glass is half-full or half-empty. That's the paradox.

But here's a stimulating question to consider:

If there is a GUEST why is he (or she) hiding?

Snicker, snicker!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 10:15 PM

For that matter, if there is a God, why is S/He a Guest?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: *daylia*
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 10:17 PM

Letty, your story reminded me of an experience I had when I was about 8 years old. A new pet kitten I'd had for only a couple weeks disappeared one morning and I was heartbroken. Spent the next few days combing the neighbourhood trying to find it to no avail.

Finally I decided to try praying to 'God' as I'd been taught at (Catholic) church. For a few nights I prayed as fervently as I could that my kitten be returned to me. It never did come back, and my faith was pretty shattered for a long time after that. Why didn't 'God' answer my prayer? Maybe there was no 'God', or my childhood religion was 'wrong' somehow! Looking back now, I can see that my lost kitten helped set me up for a lifetime of exploring different spiritual traditions.

What I've discovered so far in my adult 'spiritual explorations' (some of which have been very disappointing and even downright dangerous!) is this: 'divine' help will ALWAYS come if three conditions are met.

First,there must be true need - the situation I'm asking
about must really exist, and it must be something I absolutely                        
cannot handle on my own. We're here to learn, after all!

Second, I must ask for help, because 'free will' requires that no truly 'spiritual being' will interfere with the life of another being unless specifically invited to do so. That is a spiritual 'law'!

And third, I must be able to recognize and act upon the 'answer' when it does come. This is the really difficult part. So often I've expected or wanted the help to come in a certain way, and when it didn't I'd get discouraged and angry. Later I'd see that the answer DID come, in a way that really did serve my own best interests and the best interests of those around me at the time. I just didn't see it, or didn't WANT to see it then because I had my own human, limited opinions about what was best!

At 8 years old I certainly didn't consider what the kitten itself wanted, only what I wanted! Or how much 'energy' would be required to bring a dead kitten back to life (if it had been killed on the street for example). The Universe is a very efficient place - if it's not warranted, then it won't happen.! Most importantly, I can see now that the experience was vital to how my life ended up unfolding - and I LIKE how my life has unfolded!!!

Bill D - so much confusion seems to exist about what is 'religious' and what is 'spiritual'! They are NOT synonymous imo!!! But we've been through all this before ...


daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: BusbitterfraeScotland
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 10:41 PM

God is not hiding, you only have to believe in him and you will find him.
As a Christian, I have found God, and he's not hiding, it's you lot who don't believe in him. He's everywhere all you need to do is look and there he is.

God Bless you all
Tam


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 12:17 AM

*sigh*...I suppose a 5 paragraph treatise on circular reasoning would be silly at this point.


daylia...re:"so much confusion seems to exist about what is 'religious' and what is 'spiritual'! They are NOT synonymous imo!!! "

indeed, there IS confusion...and no, they are not synonomous. But Amos' post about the flaw in the language used to ask or discuss is quite relevant. Human beings have a remarkable ability to assume that because we give a name to a concept, we are automatically discussing something 'real'. The distinction between abstract ideas and 'things' becomes fuzzy, and many nits are picked over 'spirituality' by folks who can't decide if you need a 'spirit' to have 'spirituality'...and what one would look like if you found it....yet they have the word, and by golly, they are gonna keep debating.

Ok...fine....

You know, I am reminded of Descartes, who was a believing Catholic, but thought he could ALSO prove the existence of God by reason alone, and set out to pretend to doubt in order to go through the process......The church was not amused! It made no difference what his conclusions were, he was told plainly that 'doubting', even as a formality, was not an option. The "truth" was revealed, and "we don' need no steenkin' philosophy to support us", thankyewverymuch. The very idea of suggesting that people practice 'doubt' was considered a danger...and, it seems, rightly so.

Descartes got the message....but his books, and others, were already 'out'.....and several hundred years later, there are stubborn dolts like me who think the rules of logic, language and general thinking apply across the board. Different concepts do not get lesser scrutiny just because they are more prized or revered. 'Religion' and "God' and 'spirituality' get just as tight a review as 'ether' or 'aura' or 'feng shui' or 'ghost'.

*.....again, stuff deleted that was beginning to sound as preachy as the positions I am debating.

wow, it sure would be easier to 'talk', instead of composing. I used to take days to write this many lines in a Philosophy paper, and I worry how it sounds after 20 minutes!...but hey...the internet/WWW is about instant reparteé and communications, huh?


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 12:24 AM

ummm...should we just give this up and trade some jokes or songs? I sure don't want anyone feeling personally attacked. I really am a pretty friendly, concerned fellow in person....honest....*eyes looking soulful wistful*.


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:02 AM

Bill - Your heart is definitely in the right place, Bill, and I've met plenty of "religious" people and a fair few "spiritual" people about whom I might not so easily say that, so...

Hey, check out "Mudcat of the Rings" if you're in the mood for some just plain good old-fashioned fun! Elves & Orcs, Good & Evil with no ambiguity, and lots of new chord positions to boot.

Tam - Got that right, brother. I don't think one has to be Christian, necessarily, to find God but I can't take issue with what you said. No sir. You just have to believe. It starts with believing and then it becomes a quiet inner KNOWING, which carries considerably more weight than belief. It's like knowing who you are. You know it in a way that no other human can. It's like that. It's an undeniable fact that you can't prove to anyone outside you, because it lives unseen and untouchable inside you.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 09:04 AM

Thanks,Bill!

One of the oddest things about the whole cycle of looking and seeing is the plasticity of projection. Drives those of us who were raised on Newtonian spacetime a little bit kwazy, :>)

Actually I think it (projection)   is a remarkable ability when used well, but it can sure raise havoc when you're seeking orderly dialogue in what appears to be a firmly agreed-on sandbox!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: *daylia*
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 11:48 AM

OK Bill here's a joke I hope you haven't heard before ... A priest told it during his sermon at Catholic Mass a long time ago.

One fine day a young man died. He went up to Heaven, and Saint Peter met him at the Pearly Gates, offering to show him around. Now Heaven was like a long bright hallway with many rooms on either side.

As they walked past the first door, the young man looked inside the room and saw that it was full of Muslims, heads bowed to the floor worshipping Allah.

They kept walking past the second door, and the young man saw that it was full of Buddhists, sitting in lotus position and chanting.

Peeking inside the third room, he saw that there was a lively Gospel meeting going on with much singing and swaying and praise the Lord!

But when they passed the fourth door, he saw that it was closed. Saint Peter put his fingers across his lips saying "SHHHHHHHHH", and they both tip-toed past. As they continued down the hall, the young man whispered "Who was in that last room?" And Peter whispered back "Ahhh, the Catholics are in there and they don't think anyone else is up here!"


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 12:50 PM

*grin*...and how did ANY of them get by the Jehovah's Witnesses toll gate?


oh...BTW, the Washington Post has been running a cartoon called Pearls Before Swine which currently has a series going about a little rat who dies and is trying to get into Heaven....you can go back and read the whole series. (perhaps I identify with the rat a bit..*weak grin*)


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: DougR
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:07 PM

GUEST (if you are not hiding yourself): If you have to pose the question, you probably never knew God in the first place.

Kendall, my friend: I was quite taken with your post of 11 January at 12:56 PM. Very deep. Very impressive. I'm not sure your Pagan friends are going to be inviting you over for tea anymore though.
:>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:12 PM

Am I mistaken in my understanding that Buddhists don't believe in Heaven? At least not in the same way we reconstructed Baptists do?


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: *daylia*
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:12 PM

{{{{ :-) }}}}


Thanks Bill! And BTW rats are a very intelligent, industrious and seemingly immortal species, so you're in fine company! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: *daylia*
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:19 PM

Kim I think the Buddhist parallel to 'Heaven' is 'Nirvana' (not to be confused with Kurt Cobain!). Rather than a place, it is concieved as a state of ultimate conciousness or awareness achieved through walking the righteous 'Eight-fold Path' and lifetimes of meditation.

For an interesting and colorful conception of "Hell" and the afterlife, try the Robin Williams film "What Dreams May Come". Very different indeed!

daylia


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:26 PM

And a durn sight closer to the ground facts o' the matter, IMHO!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: If there is a God why is he hiding?
From: JennyO
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 01:41 PM

Actually, speaking as a pagan, I rather liked Kendall's post, although I don't think he'd come to tea at my place - it's a bit far - Sydney, Australia.

I'm curious to know what ideas you have about what pagans think!

One thing is for sure, a pagan is very open to all forms of spirituality. That is one thing I like about being a pagan. It has nothing to do with belonging to a particular group and making the rest wrong.

I grew up in a very repressive religious family, where we were told we were better than anybody else, only I never believed it. I always preferred to be loving and accepting of all beings, and only later discovered that there were other people who felt the same.

I actually would rather there were no labels. I have always taken what felt true for me and discarded the rest, and am still learning. That is what I am here for. Every experience, whether it seems good or bad, has been given to me so that I can learn and evolve. I would never judge another person because of his differences, because that is his path.

God is not hiding. You only have to look inside and all around you and love all that you are and all that the world is. It is only people's inability to do this that causes all the problems.

Jenny


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