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Originally posted by Astrocyte
reply to post by Euphony
To answer some questions:
My conception of God would probably best be described as panentheistic.
God is all and is in all, with a remainder.
We can say "I am a part of God" or "We are a part of God", but it would be wrong to say that "WE ARE God". As said, there is a remainder, a part that none of us can account for. A part that is outside the system, designing, controlling the variables.
I do believe humankind's evolutionary development, on a physical and conscious level, represents in part "the universe becoming conscious of itself". Why is this happening? A possible interpretation is that God wanted to actualize himself. However, at no point in this process will there be an end where "we" can say that "we" are creating the universe in "just" this way. Each of us is embodied, which limits us to one brain, and one unique perspective, different from the billions of other minds. This limitation requires the existence of an all powerful, omniscient whole - what we call God - that is ultimately in control.
That we exist, that we are allowed to partake in this amazing process, is wonder enough. But I think there will always be that aspect of mystery, of ignorance - a gap in knowledge - between human and God.
Certain religions believe that the ultimate form of liberation is release from the consciousness of object-subject duality. As a pragmatic goal, I admit, if that is the "core" of reality, then you have good reason for wanting to repose in there. But people make a categorical mistake in believing that because there is a blank canvass before the painter paints, that the canvass is all that matters, that ultimately, what matters is the substance of the canvass, and not the picture that the painter paints.
There is a fundamental error - or confusion, if you will - in saying "we are God". I have no problem thinking, we are a part of God, the Kabbalah uses the metaphor of an ember to describe the relationship of the human soul to the Creator; but we are not the Creator Himself.
What of the world that we all experience together? No single individual can account for this.
Of course, this is all just one persons personal theology. My attention is cued to the forms the material world takes on, post creation, which fascinates me. I don't think any one religion has it right, since so many religions developed to emphasize a slightly different aspect of how the divine might relate with human reality.
I do not profess to know what God is, but there are certain things I think we can say:
He is everything.
All that exists exists in Him.
He not only provides the energy that sustains existence; but more deeply, he IS existence
He is as much personal as He is impersonal. To apply restrictions such as God is impersonal would be to say our experiences as personal beings - our fears, loves, the emotions we daily experience, the people we experience the world with - are just accidental byproducts not controlled by God. This would contradict the principle that God is everything; ergo, God is also the particular life situations we find ourselves in, as well as the experiences we have. When we pray, we connect to that cosmic center in hope that we can better harmonize ourselves with his beneficent will.
Originally posted by DeReK DaRkLy
If you awoke one day to find that you were nothing but pure consciousness, with absolutely nothing around you, what would you do?
Would you create something from your infinite imagination, or choose to remain alone?
If you went with the option to create, what would it be?