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Sun Aug 26, 2018, 04:42 PM

Experiencing the Presence of God

Last edited Sun Aug 26, 2018, 06:55 PM - Edit history (1)

Have you ever felt the extatic immeasurable sense of oneness with our creator and the universe? I have. I felt it hiking the peaks of the Rockies in '74. I felt it diving in the amazingly clear waters of Hawai'i in 77'. I felt it standing on the summit of Mt. Ranier in 80'. I felt it at the moment each of my children were born. I felt it the moment my father died. You know what's so incredible about this out of body feeling? It's that our human brain has evolved to feel wonder, empathy and to seek the frontiers of our universe with emotion and reverence. Ironically, it's done so in spite of our ancient clan mentality that seeks to kill and destroy for the survival of the few.

Unfortunately, not all humans have been able to shake the ancient ways as those ways have become obsolete. Mixing early human survival, fear and anihilation of competition with more recent self-awareness and wonder has been a disastrous combination culminating in the worship of myth to the exclusion of reason and reality. Hopefully there's time left for humanity as many of us have decided to make the earth with all its natural beauty, intuition and warnings insignificant. In this final battle if we persist in fighting our existential mother, we will lose. The earth will wisk us out of existence as if we had never been; it will heal and continue.

This leads me to name God. It's none other than the physics of the universe and importantly the earth from which we evolved. It's not a mind or a being, it's greater than that. It's the perfect intellect of time, physics, matter and its creation. It doesn't demand worship, only respect. It doesn't demand immediacy but it won't be ignored.

D7

On edit hopefully for clarity:

Do theists have these esoteric, existential moments and call it God? There's a billboard that says, "There's evidence for God." and it shows a cute little baby, how nice, although it's a logical fallacy since babies come from a natural evolutionary process called sex and don't require a supernatural being. I don't think having prejudicial feelings toward a word because of how it's used is very useful. If we don't redefine the words they use in a way that leads to a reasonable conclusion, this kind of illogical thinking will persist memetically as it has for centuries, because words like God are not going to go away for a long long time.

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Experiencing the Presence of God (Original post)
defacto7 Aug 2018 OP
Croney Aug 2018 #1
defacto7 Aug 2018 #5
Voltaire2 Aug 2018 #9
defacto7 Aug 2018 #11
SCantiGOP Aug 2018 #14
defacto7 Aug 2018 #15
bitterross Aug 2018 #2
defacto7 Aug 2018 #4
Duppers Aug 2018 #7
defacto7 Aug 2018 #13
defacto7 Aug 2018 #18
bitterross Aug 2018 #8
defacto7 Aug 2018 #12
mia Aug 2018 #3
defacto7 Aug 2018 #19
Duppers Aug 2018 #6
defacto7 Aug 2018 #10
Croney Aug 2018 #16
defacto7 Aug 2018 #17
RussBLib Aug 2018 #20
defacto7 Aug 2018 #21
Towlie Aug 2018 #22
defacto7 Aug 2018 #23
Towlie Aug 2018 #24
defacto7 Aug 2018 #25
edhopper Aug 2018 #26

Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 04:47 PM

1. Have I ever felt oneness with our creator?

No. I'm an atheist.

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Response to Croney (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:08 PM

5. You haven't felt oneness with the natural forces

that created us... the earth, physics, time, through evolution? I am also atheist. It's a definition thing.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:31 PM

9. You seem to be sort of a pantheist.

With a bit of Gaia worship tossed in. You might also be an atheist if it is just “awe” you are talking about and not gods.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:42 PM

11. More of an ignostic. It's the semantics.

I am as atheist as one can be and not be illogical. No evidence, no supernatural being. If the evidence changes, I'll change. The ignostic in me says the word god has never properly been defined.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 06:06 PM

14. I'm a solotarian

Won't let anyone else in my religion, it's just for me. So I'll be the only one in my heaven.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #14)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 06:09 PM

15. Damn, I've been left behind.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 04:48 PM

2. Sounds like you had some endorphins kick in.

 

Perfectly natural side-effect of the events you mention. Our brains are capable of many things. Releasing endorphins at these special moments sounds like the most likely cause of your euphoric reactions.

I can't say I'd ascribe it to any higher power.

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Response to bitterross (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:00 PM

4. I agree. I don't ascribe it to any higher being...

I just redefine the term as a point of view. You have to admit that humans are not more than a blip in earth's history let alone the universe. That leaves everything a higher power ultimately as we hobble through a point in time.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:22 PM

7. Sorry re my post below.

I had not read this one.

Would you consider editing your OP a bit so that it's not so confusing?

Thanks.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:59 PM

13. Sorry for the confusion and I don't mind your comment.

If I failed to make my point in the OP I'll just take my lumps. But I kind of like it as is. I'll look it over again.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 07:15 PM

18. I added an edit. Hopefully it makes the point more clear.

Maybe I made it worse.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:23 PM

8. Higher power still reeks of determinism

 

I'm quite comfortable in my belief that everything is probabilistic and random. Contemplating a higher power leans toward some guided, deterministic view that just isn't realistic.

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Response to bitterross (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:55 PM

12. I agree with your point of view.

I don’t ascribe to anything deterministic. 12VDC at 10 amps is a higher power than 6VDC at 1 amp. That's my only analogical definition of higher power. As I was trying to allude in the op, there is no higher being. Maybe I failed in the attempt but it was a creative way to deal with feeling compared to reason.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 04:53 PM

3. Yes.

Your post reminded me. Thank you.

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Response to mia (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 09:57 PM

19. Thank you for the reply, mia

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:17 PM

6. You are not saying there's an entity

outside of your (our) brain, right?

I carefully reread your post because it can be a bit confusing because of your use of the word god, especially your capitalization of that word.

Yes, I have. I've been "there," in that mental place. But in no way do I believed in god or a god of any kind but I can understand how some people can identify their very intense existential feelings with what they perceive as some kind of supernatural force. There is no supernatural anything. There is only nature, which includes the chemistry of our brains which can imbue us with all kinds of feelings.

Please don't confuse that feeling or use the word god to describe it.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 05:36 PM

10. I agree with you completely

But the word god is a word. I'm redefining it. If someone attributes god to a supernatural being, I'm trying to show that their sense of awe is natural within our own brain as their mind tries to define what they feel and observe... as it tries to make symmetry out of chaos.
You may be right about capitalization but I don’t have much fear for words. It's still not illogical in a creative sense. Anyway, theists who read this with a capital G might be confused just a little; maybe it will help.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 06:12 PM

16. Might you be fluent in more languages than just English?

I ask because a phrase like "...I don't have much fear for words" might have lost a bit of meaning in translation.

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Response to Croney (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 07:02 PM

17. Colloquial, who knows. Just bad grammar.

I don't fear words... I have no fear of words... I don't distance myself from using words... whatever works.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Sun Aug 26, 2018, 11:13 PM

20. I have felt a deep awe

Usually when seeing a really beautiful place. It's easy to feel awe while in the outdoors. But I attribute it to nature. The earth is nature and the earth is alive.

While on LSD I have felt strong sensations of oneness with the universe. It's been a long while since I've had any, but I can still remember the feelings.

I would love to experience ayahuasca, but not having any luck so far.

Consuming mind-altering substances is as old as the hills and probably what prompted the bible in the first place.

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Response to RussBLib (Reply #20)

Mon Aug 27, 2018, 12:55 AM

21. I've never experienced mind altering drugs..

but oh, I have been tempted. Had something been available to me at certain times in my life I gladly would have indulged.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Wed Aug 29, 2018, 11:52 AM

22. If it's all about feeling the presence, you should join the Hawaiians and worship Pele...

... because they can at least see their deity!

Seriously,

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -- Douglas Adams



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Response to Towlie (Reply #22)

Wed Aug 29, 2018, 06:22 PM

23. Why? and of course.

I don’t think you read anything except the title.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #23)

Thu Aug 30, 2018, 10:34 AM

24. Yes, I read your essay. It's typical and easy to refute with commonly known quotes.

You wrote this:

This leads me to name God. It's none other than the physics of the universe and importantly the earth from which we evolved. It's not a mind or a being, it's greater than that. It's the perfect intellect of time, physics, matter and its creation. It doesn't demand worship, only respect. It doesn't demand immediacy but it won't be ignored.

Here's your response:

“Some people have views of God that are so broad and flexible that it is inevitable that they will find God wherever they look for him. One hears it said that 'God is the ultimate' or 'God is our better nature' or 'God is the universe.' Of course, like any other word, the word 'God' can be given any meaning we like. If you want to say that 'God is energy,' then you can find God in a lump of coal.” -- Steven Weinberg

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Response to Towlie (Reply #24)

Thu Aug 30, 2018, 02:42 PM

25. If that's how you read it, I'm sorry.

If you carry preconceived notions of the definition into it, ones that make you uncomfortable, your likely to read into it what you wish and miss the point while you're arguing a point that's not there. It is confusing.

You didn’t refute anything, just read your own bias into it. I'm no pantheist. I'm just trying my hand at rearranging a concept that won't go away by reconnecting it with the human perceptions from which it likely evolved in the first place then calling it what it really is. I'm only doing this exercise because the word god won't go away, unfortunately.

Thanks for the reply.

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Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Thu Aug 30, 2018, 05:33 PM

26. I have Blind Faith

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