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How To Think of God

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posted on Aug, 1 2015 @ 07:19 PM
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Not all of us have had the "full range" of human experiences, by which I mean, the good, intense feelings, a full body laugh with others, the exhilarating feel of falling in the air (either towards water, or as sky diving) or winning a game for your team as onlookers watch on. These are intense, positively valenced feelings that do not happen often, but when they do happen, they occur primarily through interacting with others.

There are also bad feelings, and it is these sorts of feelings which create complexity in human experience - and the socializing process in particular. Some people, by no fault of their own, are prejudiced by their lack of negative affective experience that causes them to relate to the world in a rather 'myopic', or limited - in terms of the ways the world "feels" for humans - sort of way.

Because of this, not all minds are "equal" in their conceptualizations of things like 'God', because the concept of God is in itself borne from a world of feelings - a world where relation, with other people, and eventually with the objects of our minds, "build upwards" by biasing cognition towards certain types of thought.

The real crazy part is how thought becomes what it becomes. I believe past experiences, and in particular, hearing certain words, phrases, or narratives about a particular subject, spoken by others (and the feelings they evoked from us), form 'basins of attraction' (a concept from systems theory which highlights the influence of the past in "channeling" future processes; imagine a paths in the woods that are 'built out' of people constantly walking through them; basins of attraction operate, just like this, via feedback processes that in this case, take information from the 'perception' of the pathway, and utilizes it, unconsciously, in the selection of an action (to walk on the well trodden path) Action and perception, or perception and action, therefore 'feedback' and 'forward' to one another).

So when God passes into someones mind, it is inevitably filtered by the "way they feel" about the world. The way they feel, of course, is an enormously broad concept that encompasses the whole of our history, from the intrauterine events that biased late fetal feelings to infant experiences, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, adulthood ----> and on. The 'channeling' is ultimately affective, and the meanings or cognitions which give semantic structure to the Self-in-the-world, have emerged in a very 'natural' way, that is, by logical and law-based mechanisms.

I think suffering aids in the self-reflective process because it helps you pay attention to the phenomenological events that accompany our ordinary experience. It is a mistake to think we do not feel when we do feel, that is, when we do not recognize the occurrence of feelings that bias our attentional focus. Feelings such as these happen but are ignored because they have formed the 'background' of our experience of the world since childhood. It is also difficult to pay attention to the qualities of this process when the mind isn't well differentiated, or said differently, when prefrontal areas do not have the 'connections' for a deeper consciousness of mind events, i.e to be aware, via medial structures, of what is felt in the body.

On a side note, it is totally wrong to think that because we do not know that we feel, that we do not have a consciousness of feeling. Everyone knows the experience of persisting in a certain way of thinking, even though we know, implicitly and indirectly, that our body state (our feelings) indicates defensive arousal, yet we convince ourselves it's not even relevant. We do this, despite the event occurring as a feeling (one that can be integrated in focal awareness) even though we dot have a word for what we are doing (such as dissociation).

On to the topic: God.

This is how I see it:

When a human being suffers long enough and painful enough, it eventually is brought to a state of awareness: I can't do this alone. Why does it think this, or rather, feel and act, quite cognitively, in ways that restore a feeling of strength? It's simple: it cannot make the feelings go away. You think and think, and you may try all sorts of techniques to 'assuage' the feeling, but nothing works. Indeed, anytime we "watch" and pay attention to a negative feeling state, we are interacting, from a brain perspective, with that particular time-locked brain event. The "brain event" that is time-locked is the feelings you're perceiving in your body. The awareness OF THIS, then educes the perception of "fear". Fear amplifies the underlying stress-response bodily processes that keep up the terrifying arousal you are so afraid of. In this way, as anyone who has dealt with mental suffering knows, our thinking and reflecting become "locked" with an affective process in the body which maintains the 'circuit'.

Doing this eventually tires us, not in the dull old common way, where we get tired and can sleep; ah, no! The human mind which succumbs to such a feedback loop (were all capable of this) bears witness to its fearfulness, the anxiety in it's body, and in doing so, makes it worse for itself. Fear keeps generating anxiety, which then draws consciousness towards another act of perception: Fear! and then anxiety. Such a mind is too charged by norepinephrine, dopamine, cortisol and in particular, adrenaline, to stop paying attention. This is the environment-organism 'threat-detection system gone wild via existential rumination. Anxiety itself becomes the fear until eventually, fear becomes the threat that fear fears.

When you're put in this condition, presumably, an absolute extreme in terms of how a self-aware human can experience the world, one is incredibly impressed by the INEVITABILITY of "positing" an other - God, Buddha, an image of a loved one - so that one can 'feel better'. Amazingly, the theory of the social causation of self could not be better supported than this: the 'self' or self-care of the mind, only works not only when we posit, but when the posited force becomes operative, we feel it as "being loved", or "love", or even as 'compassion'.

The self only exists when it establishes a close relation with some 'other'. It amuses me how common this is - everyone who lives in relation and believes in something does it; but how many consider this process, so basic to human meaning-making, to be something to pay attention to? Self only exists in relation. Martin Buber probably said it most poetically with "I and Thou". The thou being anything, from the get-go, which gives the self meaning - whether that be Nietzsches concept of an Ubermensch (which he himself formed a close, ironic relationship with) or the concept of God, as best friend, personified and regarded as feeling human emotions.

In a sense, this characterization is not that weird when you consider the way this process - of always relating the activities of 'self' to some implied referent - is active in any meaningful activity we engage in. In particular, in our greatest moments of crisis, we remember "something" - an idea, which gives us coherence, control and stability - and all of a sudden summon the ability to 'feel better'.

Compassion in particular saves us from negative feelings. When we feel that bad, it is only love, feeling loved, seeing the faces of loving others, imagining a benevolent force of compassion (such as in metta meditation) or feeling the love of a loving God.




posted on Aug, 1 2015 @ 07:50 PM
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i,m going to answer cause you have obviously spent some time writing this but i,ll put it in fewer words.

i don,t believe in god either.



posted on Aug, 1 2015 @ 08:12 PM
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I like how you put it in the first few paragraphs. About experiencing. You're so right i never experienced all the joy of praise you pointed out in your first paragraph.

I've had a bad last few years and this just sunk me even lower.



posted on Aug, 1 2015 @ 08:40 PM
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Interesting idea, but not entirely true for me.

I believed in God from a very young age through direct experience, not of His love, but of His power to protect. I grew up in a haunted house, and the thing in the house I grew up in was decidedly not friendly. One of the things that consistently worked to drive its presence off was to either sing a child's hymn like "Jesus Loves Me" or to simply pray for Him to protect me. It never failed to work. That's part of what gave me faith and kept it going was that memory of driving away the horrible overwhelming fear of that entity in that house over the course of the more than 10 years I lived in it.

As for experiencing His love, I never directly experienced that in a pure fashion until a dream I had not too many months ago. And that was ... almost indescribable. The closest I can come is to say it was beyond anything I have ever felt. Close to what I feel for my husband only much more intense but without any sexual desire to it but with a deep yearning all the same. I only felt it for a short time, and remembering it brings tears to my eyes.

Now in between, I have suffered physically having chronic migraine and a bone spur in my neck, but I already had the faith. It simply helped me endure and wasn't grown in any way or developed by the pain.



posted on Aug, 1 2015 @ 09:47 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte





On to the topic: God.

This is how I see it:

When you're put in this condition, presumably, an absolute extreme in terms of how a self-aware human can experience the world, one is incredibly impressed by the INEVITABILITY of "positing" an other - God, Buddha, an image of a loved one - so that one can 'feel better'.

Compassion in particular saves us from negative feelings. When we feel that bad, it is only love, feeling loved, seeing the faces of loving others, imagining a benevolent force of compassion (such as in metta meditation) or feeling the love of a loving God.


honestly, i didnt really understand your post...
that said
i am not impressed with god at all.
when i think of your/a god it does not make me feel better at all
i have never felt the love of a loving god

i guess i just cant relate.
religion/god does not mean love and compassion to me

it means fear. oppression. repression.
things like that



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 04:31 AM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte

The self only exists when it establishes a close relation with some 'other'. It amuses me how common this is - everyone who lives in relation and believes in something does it; but how many consider this process, so basic to human meaning-making, to be something to pay attention to? Self only exists in relation. Martin Buber probably said it most poetically with "I and Thou". The thou being anything, from the get-go, which gives the self meaning - whether that be Nietzsches concept of an Ubermensch (which he himself formed a close, ironic relationship with) or the concept of God, as best friend, personified and regarded as feeling human emotions.


I have been online to check out this 'I and Thou' philosophy and have read it entirely differently to how you have presented it.
Martin Buber presents it as 'I-It' opposed to 'I-thou'.
The self only appears to exist as a separate entity when it thinks of itself and another - 'I-it'. In the 'I-thou' - there is no separation and this is GOD.

I and it - is separation. I-thou is this that is actually happening - 'what is' is not made of two things.
If what is happening is split into 'you and me' instantly there can be blame - 'you' are doing this to 'me' - 'me' can now blame or hold responsible 'you' and resentment can arise.
What is happening is always what is happening and this is God. But what is happening gets separated by thoughts of I and it - IT is happening to 'me' - God is then hiding behind this veil.
Really though - there is only ever 'what is happening' and it is not made of two.

Life is not happening TO YOU - there is simply life happening - the realization of this is God realization.



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 04:45 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

My dog thinks of me as God



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 05:17 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte
Have you ever heard of Jill Bolte Taylor? She is a brain specialist and in this video she speaks about how the brain is split in two - the right hand part is here and now - seeing and hearing - it is not separate from the whole of life energy. The left part is concerned with the past and the future and it can make it seem as though there is a separate entity and then life appears to be made of many separate 'things' but life is one - it is what is happening presently.

What is happening now is that life energy is making all this - is what this is. But where is the past, future or any 'thing' at all, separate?

Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke and at first did not realize what was happening - she (a brain specialist) got to see the brain functions slipping away from the inside.

This is an amazing talk - I cannot recommend it more.

I have recently posted it on another thread on ATS.


edit on 2-8-2015 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 07:39 AM
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OP

Your writing of fear makes me think of Amgydala fear overload in the body that will increase psychic ability quickly many times resulting into the kundalini awareness.

Even the hermited ones create the highest level awareness of what is real (rejecting all human view that do not fit the puzzle and are to simple minded) so the concept of god and previous human ideas do not have to be present. The self (mind awareness) can go thru a change in perception transforming the ego to something different and are able to communicate with the divine (love vibration) allowing certain information to raise to conscious levels to teach the awareness what is behind the veil of illusion.

Religions like Buddhism/Sikhism are born from one soul breaking thru the veil and having the environment around him to seed that awareness in other raising the level of thinking/understanding.
edit on 2-8-2015 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2015 @ 08:58 AM
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The assumption is that there is a god that can be experienced - but god is the experience. There are no person in experience itself.
Experience is one. And words and thought cannot know of direct experience. Words and thought can arise as experience.

Words tell stories about separate things.

'Thinking' and 'wording' is creating 'things' out of nothing (not a thing). No thing is ever created in reality - stories just make believe there is some thing.

There is only ever what is HAPPENING. Nothing is happening.
edit on 2-8-2015 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2015 @ 11:53 PM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

I was speaking about it in a relational or interpersonal sense. Buber was ultimately concerned with how people treat each other and he saw the difference in a different way of being, or feeling, vis-a-vis our relationship with another actor.

I understand that metaphysics interests you, but I am speaking about it mostly from the perspective of how our speaking from one state or another has the effect of deepening or dampening our relationship with one another.

In an object-relational (psychoanalytical) sense, we treat other people like 'objects' when we are caught up in a feeling that positions the other party as a static, passive 'other half' of an interaction. The idea is particularly complex because of it's phenomenological subtly, but one can notice the difference that accrues in the interactional 'errors' in perception when a state of embodied emotional-presence subverts ones relationship with the other party. To put it in simpler terms: when we experience ourselves in a state of 'flow', our brains biophysiological properties generate feedback processes between neuromolecular circuits that motivate and inhibit different kinds of behavior; in short, the brain is bound by the laws of physics, by chemistry, and so because of this, our mind 'follows' the dynamics of the biomolecular scale.

Anyways, it's useful to keep this in mind. Metaphysics is fun, but epistemologically, I think one is better led by considering and reflecting on those elements in the world and in ourselves that cause suffering - in relationship, in war, disease, handicap and the common experience of vulnerability. People cannot fix the problems that exist, and therefore, cannot change the subjective reality of present or future minds, if we do not dissect and analyze and understand the patterns which control how reality unfolds as it does. Empiricism, in my eyes, is what binds us one to another: were all exposed to the same world, bare, born with the same genetic predispositions, needs for attachment, and equipped with 'skills' to manage negative affective engagements with others. With empiricism, we see the world continuously bring forth and self-organize new behaviors from multiple interactions at different scales of activity - with the world 'out there' interactions, behaviors (and later on, symbols) and "in here", the biological maturational 'clocks' that 'lock' certain stages of experience into the developing organism - primarily, via the nervous system.

Soooo, there is much to learn from reality, itsnowagain. The future is not determined, but paradoxically, we possess the power to imagine how it will become.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 06:09 AM
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On the other hand, if you don't want to think of God and to play another futile game of semantic hair-splitting with others that merely reinforces your spiritual status quo, here is how to encounter God in a mathematical way.

P.S. Recommended only to those whose mathematical ability is up to it. After all, we are talking here about the intelligence of God. And only to those with the patience and time to make themselves eventually capable of comprehending that intelligence in a mathematical way. If you prepare hard to receive the Light, it will eventually flood you and dispel all doubt and mental darkness. But you have to work for it.



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 06:21 AM
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originally posted by: micpsi
If you prepare hard to receive the Light, it will eventually flood you and dispel all doubt and mental darkness. But you have to work for it.

The light that is here now is always here now - no need to prepare for it. Is this light overlooked or denied in favour of the stories the thoughts speak? Thoughts (mental darkness) speak of what is not appearing as the light - thought will say that the light must be sought and worked for.
Right here and right now is just the light but for the 'me' it is not enough, 'me' always seeks more (in the mental darkness).



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 08:10 PM
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Materialists ignore Chaos Theory. Which presents that what we generally accept as random, is not.

This is applicable to reality as defined by anyone.

Reality could very well be Non-Random.

Any thoughts?


edit on 9-8-2015 by Kashai because: Content edit



posted on Aug, 9 2015 @ 08:15 PM
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originally posted by: Trixster
a reply to: Astrocyte

My dog thinks of me as God


many 'religious' people believe the same way about God dont they?



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