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Personal experience and suffering

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posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:07 AM
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In my short 25 years of life, i have had a few moments where i feel utterly helpless; utterly alone and at the point of looming disaster.

Two major ones were at 21 and 24. Both of these episodes has a traumatic influence on me. The former i still quiver when thinking of it. I grew, and the experience was extremely cathartic, but at the same time, the experience and horror of the weakness and fear was just unbelievable.

Again a year ago i had an experience that again had me at the whim of emotion; of fear, anxiety, panic and sheer delusion.

But each time i turned to G-d. At those moments where one realizes all is gone; hat hes nothing, that all he has is ephemeral and in the end, meaningless, he attains a lofty degree of self transcendance. The ability to transcend your own reality; your own thoughts, emotions, fears, joys and everything about you, to rise above and connect with a point of infinity, a point where there is no fear; no worry, or any real loss. I can only describe this state as trust. A profound trust in some great unknown and ineffable source; of self, and existance. This source radiates love and compassion and is entirely purposeful. This source and you are one. This experience; this fear, panic, or whatever pain or suffering the person endures is but a screen; in truth it refines you as an individual. It opens up new horizons of mind and consciousness and allows you to reach the greatest joys that lie beyond the self. In G-d.

As horrible as these experiences can be, they are a profond wakeup call to the soul. To a greater reality and greater purpose which one has to either accept with humility and effort, or..have it burned into your mind as the only sensible choice one has. Self love eventually becomes self transcendence; manifested as profound altruism for others and a purposeful mission in life.

G-d is truly good. It saddens me that some people deny that G-d is as much a personal G-d as he is the creator os the concept of limitation. A G-d beyond limit does not limit himself to a suprapersonal prerogoative. The most meaningful things are those which are grasped, understood and felt. When one understands that G-d is with each and everyone of us; and indeed, ultimately IS us. Our sufferings being his own, than one is moved to work to glorify G-ds great name. His wonderous power, might and awesome compassion for human beings.

The greatness of G-d, is truly in his humility. that jhe created such a vast universe, and still only did so in order to relate to a self conscious being; man, should imbue us with a humility, patience and intense trust in his ever present love.

Shalom.




posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 03:18 AM
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"Oh God what is man that thou art mindful of him?"




posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 



I have felt as you with no reason, although I dont attribute the Good feeling to god...

if god created us in his image why are we all born sinners?



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by -W1LL
 


Thats christian dogma.

The bible doesnt think we are born sinners. That entire concept to begin with is pretty pessimistic.

Judaism believes that everyone has freewill, and therefore no one is born 'into sin' and incapable of change.



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 11:29 AM
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Suffering will be the experience if you believe it is personal. When it is seen that our thoughts and actions are gods thoughts and actions, where are we?



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 




The greatness of G-d, is truly in his humility. that jhe created such a vast universe, and still only did so in order to relate to a self conscious being; man, should imbue us with a humility, patience and intense trust in his ever present love.


Shalom dontreally, glad to see a thread of yours that doesn't have "Jews" in the title for a change!

I quoted you above, thought maybe you might elaborate. You seem to suggest that God created the universe "in order to relate to a self conscious being". All humility aside, but you have stumbled upon the Meaning of Life?

Well, this doesn't seem to fit with what I have learned about Judaism's thoughts on the matter, since they usually emphasize the utter transcendence of God, so much so that even within the mystical realms, major mental gymnastics are introduced in order to even begin to answer why there is something (rather than nothing), i.e. the cabalistic tzim tzum (God's "fingernail"!).

You seem to almost go to "christian" lengths, dare I say, to "humanize" God, bring him down a bit? I'm not saying this as an insult at all by the way, I'm sure you will explain what you meant better since you have obviously spent much time examining Judaism.

JR



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 04:19 PM
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I jsut wanna say something real quick,

Light is the greatest healer

Darkness is the greatest teacher

Neutrality is wise or lazy

That is all



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 05:24 PM
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reply to post by JR MacBeth
 





All humility aside, but you have stumbled upon the Meaning of Life?


This is a 3300 year old belief. Its Judaism.



Well, this doesn't seem to fit with what I have learned about Judaism's thoughts on the matter, since they usually emphasize the utter transcendence of God, so much so that even within the mystical realms, major mental gymnastics are introduced in order to even begin to answer why there is something (rather than nothing), i.e. the cabalistic tzim tzum (God's "fingernail"!).


"Both views are the words of the Living God" (Eiruvin 13b

Paradox is apart of the fabric of existence. In some instances, certain views are held, and in others, different ones. For instance, G-d is infinite, but we are limited. G-d created a limited universe that expresses his infinity in finite form...A paradox. Man knows that G-d is infinite, but cant even begin to comprehend that concept. G-d therefore limits his infinitude through a Tzimtzum, and expresses himself in limited forms; the 10 sefirot and the 22 letters.. the 32 paths of wisdom.

Furthermore, G-d has created modes by which we can know him. These modes are 'names' because they constitute archetypal relationships between G-d and man. There are two essential names. The first, Elohim means "powers", and also can be understood in the singular, as G-d. This therefore means that all the powers, and phenomena we experience, in a natural context, are called Elohim. The letters of Elohim can be rearranged to spell "Mah Eleh" - "what are these"? It leaves one asking questions. He sees, but doesnt understand. Because ultimately the name Elohim is impersonal. The gematria of Elohim - 86. is also the same as HaTeVa - nature. HaTeva also means "the word", which aswell is a contraction of the divine essence, into actual reality. The 2nd name, YHVH, on the other hand is a completely opposite mode which transcends the framework of physical, lawful reality. YHVH contains the words "haya, hoveh, yehi" is, was, and will be. The name itself is derived from the root "to be". YHVH is the name which all mankind is meant to know. While Elohim is the result of the TzimTzum, YHVH precedes the tzimtzum, and demonstrates the infinite power of G-d in physical reality.

Thus, on one level, man can know nothing of G-d. This is the essence of Elohim. Elohim is bounded, and lawful, and strict justice. The kabbalists explain that the Tzimtzum is the greatest mystery; which is why it hadnt entered kabbalistic doctrine up until the ARI. The tzimtzum in itself blows our mind. How can the infinite contract himself to create the finite? while at the same time, remaining infinite? Elohim is impersonal, and therefore transcends our understanding. Conversely, YHVH is entirely personal and the whole purpose of G-ds using this name is to connect with man on a personal level, so man can know G-d to revere and serve Him in His 'garden' which is the physical world. The former name is associated with gevurah - strict judgement, while the latter is associated with Chesed, love, and mercy. When one calls out to G-d, to his infinite source, he calls to this name. G-d therefore supercedes the strict judgement and law of Elohim in compassion to him who calls back to him.

The physical world has been described by kabbalists as Gods 'tapestry". That the entire world itself is one long speech of the creator; crystalized energy. So, G-d speaks to us through nature, and through symbol. We in turn speak to him through moral actions, and prayer.

This is what the song of songs is talking about



posted on Jan, 23 2011 @ 05:57 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 


Thanks for the thoughtful reply, although it wasn't really an answer to the "why".

And I don't have a big problem with the primary answer being, "it's a paradox". No, not exactly "satisfying", but that's fine, no one seems to have anything figured out anyway.

What I find interesting is how within Judaism we encounter a rather "christian" looking development in treating of the nature of "god", or more specifically "godhead".

Why is it that we must always break "Him" into several "pieces"? No, I wouldn't guess anyone would prefer to look at it quite that way, but isn't it interesting that in Christianity, they have a Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and yet, within a very Jewish context, we find ourselves speaking of Elohim, YHVH, and even Chesed, each of which seem to relate rather strongly to the Christian notion of Trinity.

Hope you are getting what I'm saying here, seeing as how you were once a christian. Elohim sounds very much like the Christian "Father", very transcendent, so much so that people don't really encounter "Him" directly, which called for an "intermediary". YHVH seems to fit this role, does he not? (Notwithstanding the fact that he does not incarnate.) Chesed, or the Shekkinnah, more mystery as these ancient concepts/entities seem to find their counterparts in the notions that developed later. Certainly this latter is often spoken of in Christian theology as an early manifestation of the Holy Ghost/Spirit.

As you may recall, I'm agnostic, I am no fan of the old religions (not the silly new ones either, quite frankly), but for me it isn't so hard to see it all as very human. Even the ancient pagans were already on this road to a triple division within Godhead. Modern science seems to hand us the annoying fact that "we" are in fact "mini-trinities", with advances in brain hemisphere research that strongly indicate that each of us is indeed at least TWO "people", with a third implied by our perception of "oneness". None of this seems to help the ancient religious notions of morality, personal culpability, etc., IMO, when the "person" being treated of is in fact more than one, with science telling us that each can even differ on their favorite color!

Well, if you reread my initial question, and you come up with a better "why", be sure to let me know.

JR

PS: I admire the fact that such a young person as yourself has seemingly jumped into something quite difficult, so enthusiastically, especially having begun as an outsider. Who knows where such a rare attitude can take you?



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by JR MacBeth
 





Hope you are getting what I'm saying here, seeing as how you were once a christian. Elohim sounds very much like the Christian "Father", very transcendent, so much so that people don't really encounter "Him" directly, which called for an "intermediary". YHVH seems to fit this role, does he not? (Notwithstanding the fact that he does not incarnate.) Chesed, or the Shekkinnah, more mystery as these ancient concepts/entities seem to find their counterparts in the notions that developed later. Certainly this latter is often spoken of in Christian theology as an early manifestation of the Holy Ghost/Spirit.


Not at all. In Judaism, there is the ultimate sense of separation between G-d and man; whereas in Christianity, G-d IS man, and that is offensive to the Jews and their bible, which has nothing to do with these pagan concepts. (see for instance, Dionysus, or Tamuz, whos essence was drank as "wine" prefiguring the christian tradition).

The fact is, natural is a plurality of forces. There is such a thing as the "laws of nature", and there is ALSO such a thing, as transcending these strict laws, and seemingly immutable forces, to connect with ones very source, in a personal, intimate sphere. These are two basic substances of life. Judaism didnt create these contexts, G-d did. He gave the Torah and in the Torah he expresses himself primarely through these two names (there are others aswell; El, YHVH Tvaoth, Ehyeh, El Shaddai each symbolizing a particular faculty of G-ds relating to man),.

All names of G-d are simply modes in which he acts. Were not describing G-d. Were describing what G-d DOES, and this is different. Kabbalistically, G-d is simply known as the 'Ein Sof' - the infinite. G-d is simply beyond us. In his compassion and love he has revealed himself to us through his names, which are realities we interact with.




As you may recall, I'm agnostic, I am no fan of the old religions (not the silly new ones either, quite frankly), but for me it isn't so hard to see it all as very human. Even the ancient pagans were already on this road to a triple division within Godhead. Modern science seems to hand us the annoying fact that "we" are in fact "mini-trinities", with advances in brain hemisphere research that strongly indicate that each of us is indeed at least TWO "people", with a third implied by our perception of "oneness". None of this seems to help the ancient religious notions of morality, personal culpability, etc., IMO, when the "person" being treated of is in fact more than one, with science telling us that each can even differ on their favorite color!


To those initiated to these systems, its clearly seen that the concept of trinity is not the same everywhere. For instance, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - the patriarchs, constitute a trinity. In that each represents or typified a particular thrust in service to G-d. Abraham was Chesed, Isaac, Gevurah, and Jacob, Tifereth. If you read over the narratives of each one you will be amazed at how beautiful and true this is.

In the most basic, archetypal terms, 3 symbolizes thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Thus, Jacob reconciled the kindness of Abraham and the severity of Isaac.

Now, this basic concept of 3 can be philosophically applied in different ways. Gnostics and Hindus, dont look at 3 in the same sense that Jews do. And Jews certainly do not look at 3 a Christians do. 3, to a Christian, contitutes the ultimate oneness. At a deeper level, in christian esoteric thought, 3 is meant to be that reality - christ - which transcends the polarity of good and evil (as alluded to on the cross, where Jesus was between two criminals) which Jung called the "self", which is neither the conscious mind or the unconscious, but some etheral force - unus mundi - which regulates the two.

Judaism doesnt look at three in that way. creation is made up of opposites, and these opposites are reduced to Love - chesed, and Strength - Gevurah. The formers main function is expansion, whereas the latter is contraction. Evil, is a complete and unneccessary abberation, unlike in christian thought which is overtly antinomian (having rejected the law of moses).

So the christians twist Jewish metaphors and this is the basis of Christian antisemitism. People tend to forget that Christianity was born out of Greece and Rome. Their theology permeates the christian scriptures, to the dismay, and dismissal, of todays christians im sure.



Well, if you reread my initial question, and you come up with a better "why", be sure to let me know.


Forgive me but i cant figure out the "why" of your question. Do you mean why would G-d want to create a self conscious being? The sages say that G-d wanted another he could share himself with. Without creating the concept of 'other' G-d has no other to share himself - which is love, so he created a man, built in his image who could serve and come to know him. So G-d created man so he could be known by another.

this is reflected in the hamonry between male and female forces; the basic duality of existence. The Shekinah, is female, and we all constitute a part of the Shekinah. Together, humanity and creation, connects with G-d, the infinite source of all.




PS: I admire the fact that such a young person as yourself has seemingly jumped into something quite difficult, so enthusiastically, especially having begun as an outsider. Who knows where such a rare attitude can take you?


Thanks. I dont know where ill go in life but it sure will be exciting!
edit on 24-1-2011 by dontreally because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by dontreally
 




Forgive me but i cant figure out the "why" of your question. Do you mean why would G-d want to create a self conscious being? The sages say that G-d wanted another he could share himself with. Without creating the concept of 'other' G-d has no other to share himself - which is love, so he created a man, built in his image who could serve and come to know him. So G-d created man so he could be known by another.


Thanks dontreally, I enjoyed the first part of your reply that emphasized divine transcendence, while still allowing limited creatures some access, through divine action (as you explained, what he "does"). Certainly seems reasonable, and to the extent that forces, or creatures even can "personify" the particular divine attribute, it could make sense that God might wish to convey knowledge of portions of his essence in such concrete ways. Even allowing humans a part in that play, if what you say about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is true. Sounds plausible.

What doesn't sound all that special when it comes to Judaism is the fact that practically EVERY religion at least begins to "personify" natural forces (wind, or thunder), or virtues (like a "goddess of mercy" perhaps), or divine attributes, including pagans, who's "solution" is to simply add another god to their pantheon. Perhaps not as enlightened as Jewish thought that maintains a laser-sharp focus on this unapproachable infinite transcendent god, but perhaps not so different, when a Jew can honestly say that Shekkinah is "female".

The anthropomorphic tendency, in it's various manifestations, seems to go across the board, probably because it's a very natural human thing to do. Obviously there is a broad spectrum, with crude attempts perhaps on one end (such as god having a body), to something perhaps more Jewish, where even an "image" of God just can't make sense. And yet, we are stuck with images, in the broadest sense of that term, as we attempt to understand our world, whether we like it or not.

And now to the quote above, yes, that was exactly my question, I apologize for not being more precise.

You answer that God wanted to create a self-conscious being because God wanted another to know him, and further, that "other" is made in God's "image". Which obviously relates to the point I made above, so forgive this small digression...

I realize that traditional Judaism does seem to look at the multitude of "false" religions in the world pretty much as you pointed out, just many different ways of worshiping "self", with the present trend to somehow deify Man practically on steroids these days. I made a narrow distinction above specifying "traditional" Judaism, because this trend is very much alive in modern Judaism, just as it is everywhere else. Of course, the attempt to deify A people is perhaps not as wild as trying to deify Man in general, but it's not a significant difference from my perspective.

And yet, even in traditional Judaism, we are stuck with a version of "self" literally at the very "genesis" (forgive me
) of this ancient faith, that informs us that we ARE in fact made in "God's image". No, it doesn't say we "are" gods of course, but really the majority of traditional religion doesn't either, as I'm sure you recall from your days as a Christian.

But let me move back to the point I initially wanted to make in quoting you.

God created the entire universe, seemingly, so he could be known by another. I'm sure you know where this is headed. This would imply a "need", or some incompleteness in your version of god, which I know is entering into a very difficult area of theology. We're back at the Tzim Tzum.

So, on the one hand we are to believe that God simply IS, with no "lack" whatsoever in himself, and yet, he creates the entire universe so he could be known by "other". Definitely a paradox!

And yet, let's look at the "christian" solution for a moment. As I'm sure you recall, since we are supposedly made in God's image, we can in some sense legitimately look literally at ourselves for some clues to the Divine Nature.

One of the primary things we enjoy is RELATIONSHIP. One would see that if we are in God's image, this might be because he himself "enjoys" such a thing. And yet, here it breaks down, because God "can't" have, what we have, when it comes to this "most" important thing. That is, the solitary Jewish God can't enjoy relationship in the most important sense, with an equal, because he has no equal.

Some naively like to imagine that God made men for this reason, but I know you are beyond that. God could not get anything from a relationship with a human, or even all of humanity. If we are truly less than a flea, what possible "relationship" can He have with fleas? To put it another way, if God wanted to be known, why did he choose "fleas" to know him? And introducing "angels" with magnificent natures is not going to cut it either, considering that in "comparison" to God, they are every bit stuck in the "flea kingdom".

And so back to the "Trinity". Not necessarily an idea introduced merely because of ancient pagan precedent, or even because of more basic "three's" (as you pointed out), but primarily because God does in fact "need" an "equal", if He is to enjoy "relationship", as we do.

The pagans understood this, which is a reason why "the gods" enjoyed their separate existence on Olympus, perhaps painted as too "human", and yet enjoying each other's company, the company of equals.

Christianity solved the puzzle neatly by positing "relationship" as part of the very essence of God, his nature remaining "one", and yet three "persons" sharing that same divine nature, which was said to reduce to "love", finally making sense, at least within the human context, since it is really "only" in relationship that we even approach genuine "love" at all.

And they dispensed with the superflous pantheon, rejecting "too many", yet retaining seemingly just enough to solve the "paradox" of missing equal relationship, when such a thing is implied by monotheism.

Probably 30 years ago, I spoke to Dennis Prager, and a rabbi that he had on his radio show, about this very thing. I've still never heard a Jewish answer that comes close to satisfactory.

JR



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 08:19 PM
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"Therefore fear not little ones, nor let your hearts be troubled, for it pleased the father to share his kingdom with all his children."

And when we look to the implications of modern quantum physics, what do we see, but the circle of all existence joined in consciousness, and a God both innerent and transcendant.

Surely there is a simplicity in all this at the far side of complexity..?

And man of course can never be the absolute, and therefore must always and forever maintain a fundamental and indespensible i-thou (Buber) relationship WITH God, as per the original intent and design.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 12:00 PM
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Why do we tangle ourselves up trying to find the answer? Or worse, think we have the answer.
There is no answer and all questions are the minds way of staying alive. Mind tricks and games leading you away from what is sought, it can never be found. How can you find what you are? It may be revealed and be made apparent, only when the search has been called off, will there be a seeing, a knowing.
All religions at their core point to this. God is not a thing on a pedestal to be worshiped. God is everything and nothing. Look out of the eyes and see the every thing, what sees is the no thing. There is nothing separate here.
It is all one. One without a second.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 07:51 AM
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many profound statements in this thread, dontreally, from you and others.


I, too, have been through some horrific experiences that caused me many years of torturous grief and heartache. The key is to understand how vital these experiences are to your spiritual growth....and for that reason, you should be thankful for them. This can and should be your truth no matter what ideology you follow.

God doesn't care so much about your material or physical comfort as He does about moving out of your comfort zone and pushing your spiritual evolution. Stasis = death worse than physical death.




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