Originally Posted by jasbirkaleka
Sat Sri Akal,
This discussion has been going on for months and no one has answered convincingly the simple questions,
EXACTELY WHAT DOES GOD DO?
WHAT ARE THE COMPELLING REASONS THAT MAKE US BELIEVE IN HIM?
All I find is the play of words.
According to me, in simple terms. it is the fear psychosis and wishfull thinking that makes man believe in supernatural power or powersswordfight
Everyone, please forgive me for the length of this response. I can't see how I can avoid going into details. . .and I do understand the sentiment expressed above. . .
I am going to recount the ‘compelling reasons’ that have convinced me that there is a God. In fact, I have evaluated psychosis/neurosis as an alternate explanation, but my circumstances don’t fit. I am perhaps too sane, rational and pragmatic to dwell for any length of time on conjecture and will only entertain hypothesis long enough to understand another’s point of view. I have considered that maybe I just have a superlative imagination, but still the accuracy and context of my ‘imaginings’ call into question chance theory.
What I will concede is that if there isn’t a God, what I have experienced throughout my lifetime, cannot be explained without assuming the existence of supernatural powers. Now, belief in God may be a comforting thought to some, but for others, the idea that there is an All-Pervasive Mind that intrudes upon ones private thoughts and subtly influences them is no comfort at all. In answer to your question. ‘EXACTELY WHAT DOES GOD DO?’ I give that. It – the God – shares consciousness and aims to evolve it, as well as enjoy it in all its myriad forms and states.
I can’t say I understand the atheist philosophy, but I do surmise that it is founded on rejection of the Presence within ones private thoughts for fear of judgement of its content. If the reasoning I possess regarding the existence of a Divine Presence is fallacious, it would be for the absolution of condemnation for what I am, think and do, through the belief that I am what the Creator made me to be and I only need try to heed His Will to liberate myself from the five evils.
‘WHAT ARE THE COMPELLING REASONS THAT MAKE US BELIEVE IN HIM?’ Here I recount the direct experiences I have had that compel me to acknowledge a Presence within self that is other than ego-self, which might be called ‘Id’. Yet, if the ‘Other’ is merely a part of my own psyche, it in no way is ‘natural’, but ‘supernatural’.
Having thought about incidents from my earliest memory and attempted to rationalise precocious wisdom, I was at a loss to do so. I had to admit to an external source and that is what I have identified as ‘God’.
I have a memory that stretches back to infancy. I remember a time when I was given thoughts of compassion toward my mother to counter typical self-centred infant behaviour. For instance, in my crib, I woke as the sun was cresting the horizon. I wanted out of my crib. I was hungry and my diaper was wet. I stood in my crib, whistling to wake my mother. She opened one eye, groaned and rolled over. I was disappointed, yet a thought-feeling arose that I would express with the words, ‘Oh, let her sleep. It’s early and she is still tired. This was a thought in my infant mind. It seems to me that to have such thoughts arise within the mind of an infant animal jeopardises its survival. This is an aberration of nature. While I won’t recount the details of what followed, I will say that I got out of the crib and got myself something to eat. I was under one year of age at the time. I recall, clearly, the thought sequence that made that ‘escape’ possible. At that age and with only a few months of experience, my mind inferred reasoned assumptions based upon observed facts and functioned no differently from the way it does now.
On another occasion, my mother was rocking and singing me to sleep. I was drifting off. When my mother stopped rocking and was about to put me down to sleep, I fussed to make her resume. I did this three time, but on the third, the thought came, ‘Let her go. She has work to do.’ Half-awake, I let her put me down to sleep. This was a thought of compassion and selflessness in my infant mind. Instinctive, self-centric behaviour was over-ridden. I did not experience thoughts of conflicting objects with the intrusive thought. Prior to it, I felt compelled to resist my mother’s will, but after it, I did not. I didn’t wrestle with ego to ‘do good’ versus serve self. There was no sense of sacrifice or benefit from letting my mother go. It was merely a thought to do what was right to do.
At four years of age, I recall seeing an effigy of a human form with gashes and blood. Rather than being horrified, I was repulsed that anyone would craft such a thing. A very simple question arose in my mind, ‘Why do they do this?’ It was immediately followed by a mental vision of the construction of a crude idol, which I can now identify as Moloch. This vision was accompanied by athought-feeling answer to the questioning I had in my mind that translates as, ‘They have always done this. They do not know what they do.’ What I saw in the vision was the piling of rocks, the stacking of un-hewn logs and the laying of clay-mud to create the shape of a large owl-like form. To class this vision as an imagination, only raises questions about the mind’s ability to know what has not been experienced. I knew nothing about idols and certainly less about archaic Semitic religious practices. I hadn’t even seen an un-hewn log at that point in my life and probably not even that species of tree – a conifer. Further, how could a four year old’s mind infer a crude clay-bodied owl form from a life-like effigy of a human form?
At seven years of age, I had a vision-journey through the geological formation of limestone. It was wholly accurate, but there isn’t even the remotest likelihood that this information could have come from education or social encounters. It was through this experience that I became aware that the thoughts that arose to answer the questions in my mind, were not originating from my repertoire of experiences. I asked, ‘Where did that come from?’ I got my answer.
While such experiences have happened throughout my entire life, these earliest ones are the foundation of my realisation that I am not alone in my thoughts. Instead, there is an intrusive Mind that counters my own, making recommendations for behaviour. I suppose we commonly call this ‘conscience’, but that typically refers to learned social morals. Such do not apply to an infant whose ‘conscience’ instructs them to be compassionate.
Further, the precocity of knowledge I have experienced does not have a material causative source. What could a young child know about idolatry or geology? For lack of a natural explanation, I have little option but to conclude a supernatural presence within my mind and if I must do that, I will have no other but the Supreme Being intruding into my thoughts. I can’t explain how knowledge arises in a void of understanding any other way, but to concede that Ik Onkar IS and I, like C. G. Jung, KNOW that God exists.
The next time you have an astoundingly brilliant idea, consider where it comes from. The next time your heart or mind is conflicted with dichotomous sentiments, consider how one person could be so divided within self. Consider how most creative and altruistic acts have no survival value at all, yet bring joy to the heart and inspiration to the mind. Consider the human psyche and emotions.
We make for a very strange and inferior animal. In fact, if we are only animal, we are an aberration. The neurosis and psychosis of our species might be rationalised as persistent remnants from the days when we were prey for other animals. Our irrational and self-defeating behaviour might simply be inefficient evolution, wherein our psyche has not adapted as quickly as our environmental advantages of safety and security have. All these things can be true without rejecting theories of supernatural influence over and qualities of our current state of consciousness. Homo Sapiens, the ‘Thinking Man’ still has not come to terms with the phenomena of his own thoughts to answer the questions of how knowledge and wisdom can arise in the absence of direct material experiences. Yet, it seems to me that we are either able to spontaneously draw ideas from some commonly accessible reservoir of experience in a self-directed way – let’s call it ‘the akashic records’ or the ‘collective unconscious’ or the ‘unified field’– or there is an intrusive influencer that directs human thoughts, or both.
However, my own experiences bar any possibility that I can believe that my most knowledgeable and wise thoughts are self-originating. To me it is illogical to assume that knowledge and wisdom can arise in a vacuum of experience and understanding. Either the human mind has some magical tricks to manifest information from nothing, or there is an All-Pervading, Highly Intelligent Universal Consciousness penetrating and influencing even our most private thoughts. I don’t believe in magic, so that leaves me to rationalise my experiences with the God theory.
With all that said, I hope you would consider explaining how you came to your non-theist understanding. I’ve often wondered how and what others think about the nature of consciousness in the context of being an animal.