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God is in all of us.

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by filly33, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    And we are in everyone and everything.

    I would always hear that in church when I was young and wonder, what does that mean. I could never grasp that concept with my mind. And while I was reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle I realized something. If God is always present, and he is always in the now, and every single person, every thing and animal can only ever be in the present moment, then are we not all one?

    Mitch
     
  2. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Yes, that is exactly what enlightened people mean by saying to lose a sense of "self".

    To people like us who haven't let go of ego or self yet, this sounds very scary, to lose your sense of self.
    The ego will try to talk you out of that thought, because the ego will disappear once you reach enlightenment.

    However, thinking of what comes in place of your sense of "self" is quite promising !

    To feel whole with the world, all it's people and animals, to really see the world and it's things for what they really are, a manifestation of God or what ever name you feel most comfortable with, to see the divine shining through and out of everything...

    strange thing is, as I describe it, I realise I know the feeling, not by memory, but "knowing" , as if I have allready been there and know I will return there.
    I am pretty sure we all have that same feeling.

    Like every enlightened person says, we are all enlightened, but most of us cover it up with a false sense of self and numerous thoughts !

    Paul Wilson uses a nice analogy of a volume botton on a stereo.
    Most people assume that a volume button turns up the electricity to the speakers as you turn up the volume.
    However, an amplifier actually gives the full amplification, and the volume button turns it down !

    It seems to be the same with us, we are all enlightened, and all we have to do is turn up our awareness to experience it full volume ! This means letting go of self and ego, living fully in the moment.

    There is one thing I am wondering about, and that is kind of a chicken and egg kind of quiestion.

    Have enlightened people reached enlightenment through living in the now, or is the only way to live fully in the now to reach enlightenment ?
     
  3. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    Life renders the mind powerless.

    Is that a fair statement?

    (Btw Edwin thanks for the response. I thought about this when I was reading the Power of Now and I had to say it, now I want to get back so I'm keeping this short.)
     
  4. Edward G.

    Edward G. Member

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    God and enlightment..

    So many people, so many Gods....
    According to the dictionary, God is also the "Creator", and since there is no evidence of such a "person"......
    "Where does He come from?" is the first thing that springs to my mind every time someone mentions "God".
    I am not even questioning if there is a God. It is common sense to me that there is none, period. (To cut a long story short...)
    Which makes me an atheist....
    (Some people may take offense from the above, however, this is not my intention.)

    Mystics in the (further than you think) past all ready knew (through looooong meditation) that everything and every living thing was connected and consisted of One energy....They couldn't really grasp it however, and named it therefor "God" or other...
    How right they where!
    What they really meant was, what scientists later discovered and confirmed,the Zero Point Energy Field....
    So, science and religion come together at this point and that is great.
    However, there is a lot of stuff going around on the internet about the ZPEF,
    filter it wisely, if you go looking for it.


    Easier said than done!
    Very nice indeed. books about enlightenment, brain training, you name it, it is there for our disposal to reach enlightenment.
    And how many people do we know who claim they are enlightened?
    It took years -if decades- for Buddhists monks to reach enlightenment.
    Funny thing is that enlightenment should never be a goal...
    This reminds of the path of Hinayana which will lead to the liberation of suffering:
    ("Right" meaning that it's okay.)
    Right inside
    Right thinking (and feeling)
    Right speech
    Right doing
    Right way of life
    Right effort
    Right attention
    Right meditation.
    if you don't work on those eight principles first, enlightenment (and meditation) won't have any meaning at all. If you ever get there....
    One more thing that I have learned wich is even more important than enlightenment, is that we should embrace life...with all it's up and downs..

    Nice Koan, Edwin!
    As you said earlier, we all ready are enlightened and living in the now, so the one comes with the other and visa versa..
    Gassho to all,
    Edward
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  5. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Wow, so much to react to :) somehow you know how to push my buttons ;)

    I can't help myself, here it comes:

    No offense taken on my side, everybody is free to believe whatever they want ( or not believe ).

    I myself never thought of God as a person... More as a kind of gathering name for the creative forces at work all around us. Scientists may say they understand how a plant works, I will believe that as soon as they are able to build one from scratch ! Until then, I am awestruck by- and humble towards the immense power of life manifesting all around us. So fragile and yet so strong !

    Interesting stuff once you dive into it ! Thanks for pointing that out :)

    I don't know if this knowledge changes anything about my religious feeling.
    It's like that biologist that finally managed to isolate the hormone that caused "being in love"... According to that biologist, knowing what hormone it was and what caused all those strange effects in his body changed nothing for him, it felt exactly the same !

    It's not how I want to explain God, it's how I experience God. To my mind God means nothing, to my heart it is everything, literally !

    How very true ! Been thinking about that myself... I wonder if living right isn't something that comes naturally when you fully emrace life and all it's aspects.... I still have quite some work to be done before I consider myself "right"... I am not exactly a priest !

    :) I like talking with you, I get new insights as I try to answer you !
     
  6. Edward G.

    Edward G. Member

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    Dear Edwin,
    I deliberately put down a simple description of "God" to make it absolutely clear that creation (in 7 days?) is not my cup of thee.
    Evolution however, makes a lot more sense to me.
    Does that mean I take everything for granted?
    Absolutely not.

    Here is where we come together! What you mean by "creative forces" is what I see as that energy that drives and connects everything and every living thing.
    The Chinese call it "Chi" for thousands of years....

    You are not alone!:)

    Food for thought...
    What is your definition of spiritualism?
    Gassho....
     
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    A CHALLENGE :D !!!!

    It's more to me than just defining that what is considered undefinable ( at least for now ).
    To me spirituality means "the feeling that there has to be more to life"
    Something everybody must have had ( Doe Maar, "is dit alles" )

    somehow "knowing" from inside that there has to be more. At first, I tried to find it by starting a family, later by gathering wealth, even children could not shake that feeling, in fact, it only got stronger !

    I am not sure where my quest will bring me, as I am still searching, but I blame my spirituality...

    Hope that makes sense...

    I will think about it some more tomorrow, I need to get some sleep now.
     
  8. Edward G.

    Edward G. Member

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    Tough one. hey?
    At least you are not looking for a "higher-self" which is major trap to fall into..
    There is no self, let alone a higher one!

    I have been there and I just let it simply drop...
    Problem solved.

    Compassion
    Without prejudice
    Open minded
    Open hart
    peace full
    emotional in control
    no substance abuse
    Sound in health
    To name but a few things which means spiritualism to me.
    And of course:
    So, it takes more than a subscription on "Happinez" to be spiritual.
    Where other people look to the sky in terms of spiritualism, I prefer
    to look around me....
    Goodnight...
    Edward
     
  9. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    What are you trying to do mitch? You just poked a hole in the ego's balloon:mad:
     
  10. Jeb

    Jeb Member

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    Difference for me

    Here is the difference in my beliefs, Edward and all:

    "Common sense" doesn't do it for me. That's why I've been on this spiritual quest since I was 11. For me, being spiritual involves getting beyond common sense into the real quest into the "Great Cloud of the Knowing." Entering this Great Cloud can only be accomplished by deep and continuing meditation.

    As for the "present moment" in which we are all forced to live and should strive to live, this "present moment" insures us unity with whatever or whomever God is... and forever - for all eternity. It is like the young monk who asked his elderly teacher why the elderly man had to go away (death). The elder replied "where would I go?" Even death can not separate us from the present moment. We live on forever in this Earth and this Universe. (We walk on the bones of our elders).

    Therefore, the tenents by which I abide are these:

    1. We are ok with ourselves however we are feeling;
    2. Our thinking and feeling at the present moment is our reality, and should be acknowledged and honored;
    3. We are constantly striving to live more in the present through study (feeding our intellect) and prayer and meditation (feeding our spirit);
    4. We acknowledge that we are part of everyone and everything, even those everyones with whom we disagree;
    5. The universe is unfolding as it should. (Stolen from the poem "Desederada").

    (If you haven't yet, try reading some of the work of Thich Nhat Hanh).

    But, I have a LONG WAY to go!

    jeb



     
  11. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Sharing

    Hello Friends,
    I have been reading this post these last few days. I am touched and encouraged by the open-hearted and in "goodwill" manner this thread is progressing. True dialogue is such risky business. I like this quote:

    As Klostermaier puts it:

    He who has understood the meaning of dialogue will not want to have anything more to do with academic dalliance or a science of comparative religion, behaving as if it stood above all religions. He will also not want to know anything more of a certain kind of theology that works 'without presuppositions' and pleases itself in manipulating definitions and formulas and forgets about man, who is the main concern. He will be more and more pulled into what is called 'spirituality': the real life of the mind. . .
    The real dialogue takes place in an ultimate, personal depth; it does not have to be a talking about religion. But something does distinguish real dialogue: the challenge. Dialogue challenges both partners, takes them out of the security of their own prisons their philosophy and theology have built for them, confronts them with reality, with truth . . . a truth that demands all. . . All of a sudden the shallowness of all religious routine was laid bare, the compromise with the world. That which is essentially un-Christian in so many things that bear Christ's name. . . If dialogue is taken seriously, Christianity must be deeply sincere and upright--different from what it is now (Klostermaier, pp.98F. and 102f.).

    I use to be very active in organized religion. At this moment in my life, I no longer am. For so many years, I thought I KNEW and that it was my duty to convince others of the TRUTH so they could be as happy as I was. And even though I no longer choose to be active in organized religion, there remains something that still speaks to me in the writings of contemplatives from all the religious traditions--to include my own religious tradition.

    I am grateful for others who have taken time to share with me things they have experienced which have benefited them. So, here are some excerpts from some of my readings that speak to me. Thank you for allowing me to share. --Keith :)

    “No Longer Knows What God Is”
    In the end the contemplative suffers anguish of realizing that he no longer knows what God is. He may or may not mercifully realize that, after all, this is a great gain, because “God is not a what,” not a “thing.” That is precisely one of the essential characteristics of contemplative experience. It sees that there is no “what” that can be called God. There is “no such thing” as God because God is neither a “what” nor a “thing” but a pure “Who.” He is the “Thou” before whom our inmost “I” springs into awareness. He is the I Am before whom with our own most personal and inalienable voice we echo “I am.” (New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 13)

    “To Find God”
    If nothing that can be seen can either be God or represent Him to us as He is, then to find God we must pass beyond everything that can be seen and enter into darkness. Since nothing that can be heard is God, to find Him we must enter into silence.
    Since God cannot be imagined, anything our imagination tells us about Him is ultimately misleading and therefore we cannot know Him as He really is unless we pass beyond everything that can be imagined and enter into obscurity without images and without likeness of any created thing.
    And since God cannot be seen or imagined, the visions of God we read of the saints having are not so much vision of Him as visions about Him; for to see any limited form is not to see Him. (New Seeds of Contemplation, pp. 131-132)

    “In Finding God, I Find My True Self”
    The secret of my identity is hidden in the love and mercy of God. But whatever is in God is really identical with Him, for His infinite simplicity admits no division and not distinction. Therefore I cannot hope to find myself anywhere except in Him.
    Ultimately the only way that I can be myself is to become identified with Him in Whom is hidden the reason and fulfillment of my existence. Therefore there is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.
    But although this looks simple, it is in reality immensely difficult. In fact, if I am left to myself it will be utterly impossible. For although I can know something of God’s existence and nature by my own reason, there is no human and rational way in which I can arrive at that contact, that possession of Him, which will be the discovery of Who He really is and of Who I am in Him.
    That is something that no man can ever do alone.
    Nor can all the men and all the created things in the universe help him in this work.
    The only One Who can teach me to find God is God, Himself, Alone. (New Seeds of Contemplation, pp. 35-36)

    “What it Means to Seek God Perfectly”
    This then is what it means to seek God perfectly: to withdraw from illusion and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from the works that God does not want, from a glory that is only human display; to keep my mind free from confusion in order that my liberty may be always at the disposal of His will; to entertain silence in my heart and listen for the voice of God; to cultivate an intellectual freedom from the images of created things in order to receive the secret contact of God in obscure love; to love all men as myself; to rest in humility and to find peace in withdrawal from conflict and competition with other men; to turn aside from controversy and put away heavy loads of judgment and censorship and criticism and the whole burden of opinions that I have no obligation to carry; to have a will that is always ready to fold back within itself and draw all powers of the soul down from its deepest center to rest in silent expectancy for the coming of God, poised in tranquil and effortless concentration upon the point of my dependence on Him; to gather all that I am, and have all that I can possibly suffer or do or be, and abandon them all to God in the resignation of a perfect love and blind faith and pure trust in God, to do His will.
    And then to wait in peace and emptiness and oblivion of all things.
    Bonum est praestolari cum silentio salutare Dei. ("It is good to wait in silence for the salvation of God.") (New Seeds of Contemplation, pp. 45-46)

    “What is God?”
    What is God? The eternal One Life underneath all the forms of life. What is love? To feel the presence of that One Life deep within yourself and within all creatures. To be it. Therefore, all love is the love of God. (The Power of Now, p. 129)

    “Our Idea of God”
    So much depends on our idea of God! Yet no idea of Him, however pure and perfect, is adequate to express Him as He really is. Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him. (New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 15)

    “Experience of “God” #1”
    To our cloudy perception, God, Who operates in and through infinite Love, Truth, Light will seem to manifest in many different forms. Each person perceives God according to who or what they believe they are. As we become more aware, these “forms” of God will often surprise and delight us. If we remain open and receptive, God, Who is “Being Itself,” will transform us in profound and beautiful ways. (Keith Jensen, February 2007)

    “Experience of “God” #2”
    These experiences, besides being ecstatic, were for me aha! moments. They gave me a new understanding of the meaning of the word God. I realized that God does not refer to a supernatural being “out there” (which is where I had put God ever since my childhood musings about God “up in heaven”). Rather, I began to see, the word God refers to the sacred at the center of existence, the holy mystery that is all around us and within us. God is the nonmaterial ground and source and presence in which, to cite words attributed to Paul by the author of Acts, “we live and move and have our being.”
    Thus I began also to understand what it means to say that God is both everywhere present and “up in heaven”—both immanent and transcendent, as traditional Christian theology puts it. As immanent (the root means “to dwell within”), God is not somewhere else, but right here and everywhere. To speak of God as being “up in heaven”—that is, as transcendent—means that God is not to be identified with any particular thing, not even the sum total of things.
    God is more than everything, and everything is in God. Being a thinking type, I began studying experiences of God in both mystical and nonmystical forms. I learned that even though these experiences are extraordinary, they are also quite common across cultures, throughout history, and into the present time. Gradually it became obvious to me that God—the sacred, the holy, the numinous—was “real.” God was no longer a concept or an article of belief, but had become an element of experience. (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, pp. 14-15)

    “God is the “Presence” in Which We Live, and Move, and have our Being”
    That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:27-28)

    “Being / God”
    When you say Being, are you talking about God? If you are, then why don’t you say it?

    The word God has become empty of meaning through thousands of years of misuse. I use it sometimes, but I do so sparingly. By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what it is that they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as, “My or our God is the only true God and your God is false,” or Nietzsche’s famous statement “God is dead.”
    The word God has become a closed concept. The moment the word is uttered, a mental image is created, no longer, perhaps, of an old man with a white beard, but still a mental representation of someone or something outside you, and, yes, almost inevitably a male someone or something.
    Neither God nor Being nor any other word can define or explain the ineffable reality behind the word, so the only important question is whether the word is a help or a hindrance in enabling you to experience That toward which it points. Does it point beyond itself to that transcendental reality, or does it lend itself too easily to becoming no more than an idea in your head that you believe in, a mental idol?
    The word Being explains nothing, but nor does God. Being, however, has the advantage that it is an open concept. It does not reduce the infinite invisible to a finite entity. It is impossible to form a mental image of it. Nobody can claim exclusive possession of Being. It is your very essence, and it is immediately accessible to you as the feeling of your own presence, the realization I am that is prior to I am this or I am that. So it is only a small step from the word Being to the experience of Being. (The Power of Now, p. 11)
     
  12. Edward G.

    Edward G. Member

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    A quick reply

    Thanks Jeb!
    Great stuff!
    I couldn't agree with you more!

    The first "description" I read of God that makes sense to me.
    I have read the "Power of Now in practice", great to read his version of God.
    Thanks! I was raised as a catholic (they tried to), so this is new to me.
    It also is good explanation for what I experience during meditation, when I am in between thoughts.
    Just a first few thoughts before I go to bed, thanks again Montana and Jeb!
    Nighty night!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  13. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    I'm confused.
     
  14. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    Awesome stuff Keith. Your posts are always a pleasure to read.

    Mitch
     
  15. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    What he meant was that you gave him insight !

    When the balloon or bubble of the ego pops, all that is left is stillness underneath.

    Apparently bashmaki's ego needed to add the :mad: smile ;)
     
  16. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Keith you rock ! :)
     
  17. Edward G.

    Edward G. Member

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    Thanks Edwin, for making things clear concerning Bashmaki's post.
    It confused me too! As I am not the smartest around here..
    But hey, a brainteaser every now and then....:)
    I've been thinking a lot about Eckart Tolle's words In Keith's post today.....
    It took away the grudge I had for so long against any form of God.
    He made it crystal clear for me.
    Mitch, you were right all along!:)
    I am going for a run now, have a good weekend!
    Edward
     
  18. Bhavya

    Bhavya Member

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    This is such an interesting discussion. I enjoy reading your thoughts, all of you, on what to me is the most important and meaningful subject of all. Like you, Keith, I too believe that God is in me and I am in Her. :p( Not to be stuck on gender but why is God usually put in the masculine form when we all know She is far beyond masculine/feminine dualistic thinking! :p)

    When I'm open to seeing the God/Good in all, it's remarkable how life opens up. Somewhere in here you, Edwin, talk about that openness (being attractive in a deeper sense) which is helping you attract good into your life. Isn't it wonder -full to have life unfold that way...in beauty and grace... challenges may continue, but the Presence within makes it possible to flow with the current.

    Thanks for all of your deeply considered thoughts.
    May we all fully and completely have that deep, ongoing experience of Pure Being, oneness with the Infinite!

    In peace and love :):):)
    Bhavya
     
  19. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    Mitch,
    The realization of oneness is the beginning of the end of ego;)

    I was just poking fun.


    "Don't you know you are the talking book of God . . .the whole of the universe is doing nothing but interpreting you." Gaibi
     
  20. Edward G.

    Edward G. Member

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    Hey guys and dolls,
    I think my earlier posts on this thread were (a bit?) over the top. So to speak.
    I was quite full of myself when I wrote all that.
    Well, learned another lesson!
    Reading Thich Nhat Hanh now, "Fragrant Palmleaves", great reading, Jeb!
    Peace- Edward
     

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