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One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, What Does it Mean?

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View Poll Results: Your link to one infinite Creator, what is the search directed at?
I am looking for and believe in one infinite Creator as being some specific form. 3 13.64%
I am trying and want to get in touch with one infinite Creator. 5 22.73%
I want to fully understand all about one infinite Creator. 3 13.64%
I live with the ever increasing understanding of one infinite Creator. 10 45.45%
Not Sure... 1 4.55%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll


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creator, infinite, sikhism
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-Mar-2012, 11:16 AM
Ambarsaria's Avatar Ambarsaria Ambarsaria is offline
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One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, What Does it Mean?

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Infinity is a very large and larger than large limit indefinable concept. It can be given a symbol but from non-mathematical descriptions, it can require tremendously large resources even for a specific real number, concept and dimension.

Creator is infinite in dimensions (virtues, capabilities, functions, etc.) and infinite within each of these. So when Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji describes such to be limitless, beyond description, not enough words to describe, not enough time to describe, we need to pay heed. If we donít do that we will run into lot of issues in following the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

Let us check some of the possible common thoughts or expressions that one comes across within Sikhs and other communities.

EXAMPLE 1: Creator as being some specific form.
OBSERVATION 1: It goes without saying that a form and infinite do not go together if form is defined in concept or fact.

This has the impact of dissipating all concepts of Ram, Krishna, other deities as well as representation of creator in murtis/statues, carvings, prayed to forms, etc.

EXAMPLE 2: Getting in touch with one creator.
OBSERVATION 2: There is often talk of contact with the creator in Sikhism believers as well as others.

It is not uncommon to hear Sikh people say,
  • Doing Darshan/Visualization of the creator
  • Merging one self with the creator
It may relate to other religions in the concepts of resurrection, direction towards Hell or Heaven, and so forth.

None of this is plausible, achievable or worth targeting. The one infinite creator is not available by the very concept of infinity and all such are forms of illusions, misguided pursuits or false promises unchecked.

EXAMPLE 3: Wanting to fully understand all about one infinite creator.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/38210-one-infinite-creator-sikhism-what-does.html
OBSERVATION 3: Noble as this cause or approach is, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji repeatedly states the futility of setting this as an objective.

Instead the objective as stated for reality and realistic living is to always be in mode to understand more. Further, learning is not an end to itself. The teaching in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is towards ever increasing understanding and equally if not more importantly living with the ever increasing understanding.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38210

Sat Sri Akal.



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Last edited by Ambarsaria; 12-Mar-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-Mar-2012, 14:39 PM
harry haller's Avatar harry haller harry haller is offline
 
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Re: One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, what does it mean?

EXAMPLE 1: Creator as being some specific form.
OBSERVATION 1: It goes without saying that a form and infinite do not go together if form is defined in concept or fact.

This has the impact of dissipating all concepts of Ram, Krishna, other deities as well as representation of creator in murtis/statues, carvings, prayed to forms, etc.

Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38210

Ambarsariaji

Wonderful post Veerji, and completely in line with my own thinking, however, While I also reject the notion of a 'living' God, could these people have existed and just been very connected? This fails somewhat as to me, being very connected would also give you high levels of humility and grace, and to do some of the things that some Gods do are more egoistical and arrogant. I am talking about all depiction of personality of God, both in eastern and western religion. From the mind game playing and rather angry God of the west to some of the cruel and unforgiving Gods of the east, I do not see a representation of Creator in any of these, certainly not the Creator as described in Mool Mantra.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38210

I am not advocating Sikhism as the only religion to find enlightenment, but to say that Creator has no personality, no end, no start, no form, no record of speech or presence, seems rather more enlightened than religions that attempt to personify Creator
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Old 12-Mar-2012, 14:53 PM
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Re: One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, what does it mean?

Quote:
realistic living is to always be in mode to understand more
Veer Ji how can one really understand more about that which is infinite,it is a mistake to think one understands more,the only approach to adopt is that 'I understand nothing about the specific form of the infininte formless form'.

Last edited by Scarlet Pimpernel; 12-Mar-2012 at 14:59 PM.
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Old 12-Mar-2012, 15:09 PM
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Re: One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, what does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet Pimpernel View Post
Veer Ji how can one really understand more about that which is infinite,it is a mistake to think one understands more,the only approach to adopt is that 'I understand nothing about the specific form of the infininte formless form'.
If we talk about infinity, and rather than use a symbol, use the best number we can to give us the best answer, than 999,999 would give us a more accurate answer than 1.


I also think, dear Spji, that you are confusing the form of Creator of having some significance, whereas it has none, however, I think we can all agree that for someone to have no enemies, it does intimate love for all, so we have several qualities now, love, bravery, freedom from births and deaths, without form,

We will never be able to write down the full numerical value of infinity, but of understanding allows us to make that 999,999 into 99,999,999 we are a bit closer to not only understanding, but emulating, which in my view, is what it is all about.
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Old 12-Mar-2012, 16:17 PM
Archived_member15's Avatar Archived_member15 Archived_member15 is offline
 
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Re: One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, what does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet Pimpernel View Post
Veer Ji how can one really understand more about that which is infinite,it is a mistake to think one understands more,the only approach to adopt is that 'I understand nothing about the specific form of the infininte formless form'.
My dear Scarlet mundahug

I agree! We never fathom or understand God as God is is in Itself - that is as it is in its Essence. The great mystic St John of the Cross (1542 – 1591) wrote "That thou mayest know everything, seek to know nothing". St Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) also advocated the via negativa because God is not an object in the universe and it is not possible to describe the Deus absconditus with words or to grasp Supreme Reality with our finite intelligence. The highest form of knowledge is not via the intellect but through love, which pierces the great cloud of unknowing between ourselves and God. Where our finite intellect fails to comprehend the Infinite God, love fills the gap and draws us to the bosom of our creator. As Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464) explained, "I know, that everything which I know, is not God, and that everything I conceive, is no comparison to Him, but rather He excels it. God is unknowable by Human Beings; all that we can really know is that we are ignorant, so our knowledge of God is what He is not. Therefore God is nothing."


Yes you read that - Catholics regard God as "NOTHING" literally "NO-THING".

God's essence remains eternally unknowable and impenetrable. However, it is clear that God has revealed Himself to man and is encountered by man. It is through God's energies that we encounter God. Because God does not change, else we slip into a deistic conception of the Divine, a distant God who does not reveal himself to man through revelations. God's energies are eternal. Take, for example, God's love. God has never been without love, so God's love must be eternal. And these 'energies' are knowable, while his Essence is not.

When I speak about God's Essence I'm essentially speaking of His divinity, His (and forgive me the male pronoun which is not indicative of gender at all) 'God-ness' or 'Is-ness'. When I speak of His energies I am speaking of His actions. To understand the first we'd have to be God Himself, because only He has the capacity to understand that and therefore He IS, as the God, wholly transcendent and otherly. But, His Energies are knowable because they show us who He is and what He does. His Energies thus understood are His Providence, and Grace. In this way we can know about God's love, God's Will, God's Goodness without compromising the fact that he is utterly unknowable in Essence nor denying God's simplicity.

The ousia or Essence of God in Catholic Christianities, is God as God is in himself. God, as He is in Himself, cannot be understood by any save Himself. 1 Timothy 6:16, "Dwelling in that inaccessible light, whom no man has seen or can see." Its like my mind. You cannot know my private thoughts. In the same way you cannot posses God's mind and private thoughts. However you can know what I am thinking in my mind through my actions and speech. In the same way God's mind - his Essence - is revealed through his actions and activities in the world. The attributes of God tell us what He is and who He is. It is the energies of God that enable us to experience something of the Divine. St John Damascene (676 – 749) states that "all that we say positively of God manifests not his nature but the things about his nature."

His energies are also "Uncreated" along with the Essence.

This is the Catholic teaching. Some quotes:


"...The finest thing that we can say of God is to be silent concerning him from the wisdom of inner riches...Lord I have sought you in all the temples of the world and lo, I find you within myself. If a man does not find the Lord within himself, he will surely not find him in the world..."


- Saint Augustine (354–430 C.E)


"...You should not wish to understand anything about God, for God is beyond all understanding. A master says: "If I had a God that I could understand, I would not regard him as God." If you understand anything about him, then he is not in it, and by understanding something of him, you fall into ignorance...All that God asks of you most pressingly is to go out of yourself - and let God be God in you..."

- Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1327)


However there is no contradiction between the unknowability of God and the recognition of aspects of God in ourselves. God is not absolutely unknowable in terms of energies/attributes since even inanimate objects point to His existence and creative power, although he is completely unknowable in Essence. God is after all IN ALL THINGS. We can thus 'know' something of God's attributes through his creation, his indwelling within ourselves and in others etc. His love is evident in the immense value of life and our love for Him is itself a form of knowledge - it is in fact love which is the bridge to God where finite knowledge ultimately fails.


I also do get what our dear brother Ambarsaria was saying in this respect and I agree with him too.

Most journeys can be understood in three parts – leaving, traveling, and arrival. We leave with a particular destination in mind. There is a point of arrival. We have probably all asked or heard the familiar travel questions: “Are we there yet?” “How much longer?” “When will get there?”

However the spiritual journey is not like this at all. Arrival is not the destination of the spiritual journey. Are we there yet? No. How much longer? Eternity. When will get there? Never. The answers on the spiritual journey are different. The spiritual journey is one of eternal progress towards God. This is sometimes called the doctrine of epektasis and attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa.


"And so every desire for the Beautiful which draws us on in this ascent is intensified by the soul’s very progress towards it. And this is the real meaning of seeing God: never to have this desire satisfied. But fixing our eyes on those things which help us to see, we must ever keep alive in us the desire to see more and more. And so no limit can be set to our progress towards God: first of all, because no limitation can be put on upon the Beautiful, and secondly because the increase in our desire for the Beautiful cannot be stopped by any sense of satisfaction."

- St. Gregory of Nyssa in The Life of Moses (335 – c. 395)


St. Paul describes his own journey as one of stretching and straining forward [epekteinomenos] toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14). Paul is describing a constant move forward in an attempt to grasp something. For Gregory this movement describes the soul’s eternal progress in grace and perfection in God. Our longing for God is fulfilled in our progress towards God but is never satisfied. The grace of an unsatisfied soul calls us forward, deeper into the heart of the divine.

Based on the scriptures and the teaching of the fathers, Saint Gregory of Nyssa works out his doctrine of theosis as an infinite process which he calls Epektasis. In his Life of Moses he brilliantly presents his principal doctrine that human goodness is a continual progression towards an infinite God. It is precisely in this context that the spiritual idealism of Philippians 3:13-14 is realized. The virtuous life in this work is full of paradoxes; it is a mixture of standing on the rock which is Christ and forever moving forward, a mixture of running and standing still. Though we are already in Christ we are summoned to an ever increasing truth. In contrast to the Creator, ‘change’ is one of the distinguishing marks of creation. According to Nyssa this capacity for constant change in humans is a guarantee for progress in deification:

let no one be grieved if he sees in his nature a penchant for change…. Become greater through daily increase… For this is truly perfection: never to stop growing toward what is better and never placing any limit on perfection.”

(On Perfection, Gregory of Nyssa) "Perfection is an ongoing progress. Even in the eternal abode it is not a static experience but an infinite advance. There the journey goes on, with the eternal Bridegroom, into greater and greater delights, joys and beauties".


Do we Catholics make sense or do we sometimes speak gobble-de-gook? motherlylove

Last edited by Archived_member15; 12-Mar-2012 at 17:37 PM.
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Old 12-Mar-2012, 16:27 PM
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Re: One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, what does it mean?

Quote:
Do we Catholics make sense or
Veera Regardless of faith that which is spoken by a Saint must be sensible.
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Old 12-Mar-2012, 16:29 PM
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Re: One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, what does it mean?

This is my all time favourite descrition of God's Unknowable Essence from St John of the Cross (1542 – 1591).


The Song of the Soul that Delights in Reaching the Supreme State of perfection, that is, the union with God, by the path of spiritual negation


- Verses on the Ecstasy of Deep Contemplation
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38210
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38210



I entered where there is no knowing,

and unknowing I remained,

all knowledge there transcending.

I

Where no knowing is I entered,
yet when I my own self saw there

without knowing where I rested

great things I understood there,

yet cannot say what I felt there,

since I rested in unknowing,

all knowledge there transcending.

II

Of peace and of holy good

there was perfect knowing,

in profoundest solitude

the only true way seeing,

yet so secret is the thing

that I was left here stammering,

all knowledge there transcending.


III


I was left there so absorbed,

so entranced, and so removed,

that my senses were abroad,

robbed of all sensation proved,

and my spirit then was moved

with an unknown knowing,

all knowledge there transcending.


IV


He who reaches there in truth

from himself is parted though,

and all that before he knew

seems to him but base below,

his knowledge increases so

that knowledge has an ending,

all knowledge there transcending.


V


The higher he climbs however

the less he’ll ever understand,

because the cloud grows darker

that lit the night on every hand:

whoever visits this dark land

rests forever in unknowing,

all knowledge there transcending.


VI


This knowledge of unknowing

is of so profound a power

that no wise men arguing

will ever supersede its hour:

their wisdom cannot reach the tower

where knowing has an ending,

all knowledge there transcending.

VII


It is of such true excellence

this highest understanding,

no science, no human sense,

has it in its grasping,

yet he who, by self-conquering

grasps knowing in unknowing,

goes evermore transcending.





VIII



And in the deepest sense,

this highest knowledge lies,

of the divine essence,

if you would be wise:

his mercy so it does comprise,

each one leaving in unknowing,

all knowledge there transcending.

Its source I do not know because it has none.
And yet from this, I know, all sources come,
Although by night.

"I know that no created thing could be so fair
And that both earth and heaven drink from there,
Although by night.

Its radiance is never clouded and in this
I know that all light has its genesis,
Although by night.
......................

The current welling from this fountain's source
I know to be as mighty as its force,
Although by night. " (John of the Cross)
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Old 12-Mar-2012, 17:33 PM
Scarlet Pimpernel's Avatar Scarlet Pimpernel Scarlet Pimpernel is offline
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Re: One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, what does it mean?

Only a Saint could articulate so well that which transcends understanding.
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Old 12-Mar-2012, 20:43 PM
Ambarsaria's Avatar Ambarsaria Ambarsaria is offline
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Re: One Infinite Creator in Sikhism, what does it mean?

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Veer sp ji your inquisitive logical mind generates great questions. It is absolutely important to be tested versus living in self ignorance. So I thank you for your comments. Some comments below,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet Pimpernel View Post
Veer Ji how can one really understand more about that which is infinite,
  • In my mind to try to understand one infinite creator is to understand one infinite creation around us. At various levels of need to understand and need to know the creation around us does not pose challenges of infinity.
  • Is the Lion really angry in the each of the following? Do we make enough of an effort to understand what is around and live accordingly?



it is a mistake to think one understands more,
  • To be able to differentiate is to understand. Since in your statement itself you are able to review the concept of "more" you already understand more than when you were a suckling baby. We all do!
the only approach to adopt is that 'I understand nothing about the specific form of the infinite formless form'.
  • That is a fair premise. However you cannot use the same premise "understand nothing" vis-a-vis the creation of such infinite unknown. Knowing that this creation comes from one infinite will define your living in consonance to the best of your understanding.
Regards.

Sat Sri Akal.

Last edited by Ambarsaria; 12-Mar-2012 at 20:50 PM.
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