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A Conscious Creator In Sikhi And Other Faith Traditions?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Harkiran Kaur, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    A conscious creator in Sikhi?

    I have noticed on here in recent times that some people claim to be Sikh and yet do not believe in a conscious creator, but instead personally interpret Gurbani to be instruction on how to live in harmony with nature / creation and compare Sikhi to Athiesm. But they do not believe in a conscious creator / deity. Others, personify Waheguru as being conscious of creation. I thought this was a good debate… Personally I believe in a conscious creator, not just because of the obvious intelligent design that to me could not just happen by chance, but also from quotes in Gurbani that seem to support ONE supreme conscious creator, from which everything exists in a state of duality from that ONE.

    So let’s look at how the creator is described in Gurbani, starting with the Mool Mantra, where it clearly states qualities such as Ik Onkar - ONE God/Creator (Non Duality). Some people chose to translate Onkar as ‘ultimate truth’ and take any persona out of it, however the follow on statements seem to point to a persona: Without Fear, Without Hate for example, while stating the absence of something ‘could’ mean reference to something inanimate, but then why state them at all? You could continue on forever with statements of things that an inanimate universe does not possess. (without jealousy, without anger, without passion, etc ---- without CONSCIOUSNESS) So why use specifics such as ‘hate’ and ‘fear’ if the creator is unconscious?? It doesn’t make sense to me. The only way it makes sense is to say ‘without fear’ … as to specify fearlessness… ‘without hate’ … as to specify loving / compassionate --- these are qualities of a conscious persona, not an unconscious creation / reality that just ‘happened’ without conscious design. Of course there is MUCH deeper meaning in the Mool Mantra and you can read more here: MOOL MANTRA

    So basically the Mool Mantra describes the creator… some also say creation… and yes you can go as far to say they are one in the same (as I will explain below) But to say that creation just came about without conscious design doesn’t make sense. And to say that something as abstract as the personal internal world of our consciousness came about as merely an emergent property of an unconscious creation without any intelligent design, just does not make sense! Throw a bunch of golf ***** into a pile and you will only ever have a pile of golf *****... no matter how many you throw there!

    In SGGS you will find many references to this reality being a dream.

    The use of the term ‘dream’ is interesting because a dream, which requires consciousness to occur, infers a DREAMER. If this reality is a dream and we are within the dream as suggested by the above, then WHO is the dreamer? Certainly not an unconscious creation that just happened on its own! And if we, conscious within the dream, and are able to question our existence… then the dreamer must certainly be conscious as well! Just like when you dream at night, you interact as one character, but in reality ALL the characters are really you. And outside of that dream, you exist as a CONSCIOUS dreamer, maybe not aware that you are dreaming when you are within the dream, but once you awaken, you are very conscious of the dream that took place.

    That brings me to another quote:


    The above describes the world as a play... similar to a dream. A play must be created, it can not exist without a writer. In the above, the actor is also the writer of the play, and also playing all of the characters within it. This certainly describes a conscious creation to me. Then it goes on to say that once the costumes are removed, there is only ONE. But for the above to occur there had to be a consciousness that staged the play. To me the use of this reference is very supportive of a conscious creator in Sikhi because, a play which was a good comparison in a time before television etc, by its nature is artistic, and requires a mind, an intelligence to create.

    So to summarize, my belief is that reality is ONE consciousness, and that ONE is all that really exists. It is formless... pure frequency (as vibration is the basis of everything also supported in science), and is creative and conscious. This reality, this Universe is as a dream - the dream of the creator. As a formless, pure point of consciousness, the only tools you would possess to create would be thought - dreams - creativity. Everything within this creation, being a dream of the ONE universal consciousness, by extension is part of the ONE - everything within the creation IS the ONE. That means there exists fragmented parts of the ONE consciousness within everything and everyone, which is in agreement with Gurbani. To summarize my belief I would say that this reality is the expression of the ONE universal conscious creator, to subjectively experience itself, which it is doing through its own creation. Some people say we are as drops from the ocean that is Waheguru and we need to get back there through discovering the divine within us. In reality, I don't believe we ever left the ocean... we just forget where we were.

    So what do you guys believe???
     
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  3. Rory

    Rory
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    re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions

    Why are there so many differing views on this? Sikhi seems at best very versatile in terms of the definition of God. The other monotheistic religions have fairly set ideas of what/who God is, at least with much less leverage than in Sikh theology.
    Does it matter a lot whether God is conscious or a force? I think so, and I think the idea that works easiest for most people is that God has at least some kind of thought or consciousness comparable to human thought.. that's what we can relate to easiest.

    I find it weird to think that the WaheGuru could have any remotely "human-like" thought process. A God so perfect and untouchable, confident in the constant movement of every atom in the entire universe lightyears across and expanding to infinity, knowing the future and every single detail of the past, the laws of everything in existence, with the power to alter anything at the whim of His hukam - how could such an unimaginably knowledgeable and powerful personality need to consider or think about anything? Surely at the tiniest fraction of a second that a situation occurs, His answer or Hukam is immediately known to Him? And that every decision or action He must carry out from here to infinity is known by Him even since the beginning of time.

    Your mind gets tangled even thinking about it! I don't think we are supposed to comprehend the Guru's infinitely amazing personality at the level of words with our tiny tiny human minds, maybe we are supposed to marvel at the unbelievability of it until we can catch some iota of understanding. Even understanding the tiniest fraction of the Akal Purakh would be enough to fill our mind beyond the brim.

    There's no answer that I can give really, how can God be a personality? How can He be a non-emotional force? How would any mix of the two make sense?
    ..asked every theologian ever.
     
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  4. Archived_member15

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    re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions

    Dear Rory,

    Just to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your reply above to Akasha's great first post and thread.

    You have a truly wonderful way of explaining what is beyond words to describe, eyes to see, ears to hear or the mind to conceive.

    You wrote:

    Exactly. The most we know about God is that we do not know Him as He is in Himself and never can with our merely human intellect. We can only experience Him, His presence in our lives, as we stand, sit, talk, love, play and so on. We have the assurance that we live, move and breathe in Him and He in us.

    In my understanding, God does not have emotions. Why? Emotions signify change, from one emotional state too another. God is not human, nor he is in time. He is in eternity beyond time. In my own tradition this is called the Eternal Now without before or after. We cannot envision what it would be like to be such because we are time-bound creatures.

    On a purely personal level, I know God best when I realize that I do not know Him. I am in love with a God I can never comprehend, whose majesty overpowers my finite intelligence and ravishes me with his incomprehensibility. My brain is wracked with desire to grasp him, though he is neither this nor that yet paradoxically within everything by his grace, power, presence and essence. I must eventually abandon my created knowledge and cleave to God with a simple gaze of loving faith towards Him comprised of an unknowing knowing. I know God most of all as the Unknown who through love and by grace shares Himself with me and calls me to participate in his Divine Nature eternally.

    I like how Ruusbroec put it:


    Where He is now, beyond Time, I will be one day, as another mystic puts it:

     
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    #3 Archived_member15, Mar 25, 2013
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  5. Rory

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    re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions

    Nice to see you back for a visit Vouthonji! :mundahug:
    What I like about Sikhism is how the door is opened in this respect - the emphasis is on dealing with people, dealing with life, helping others and doing our best. What I find a little repelling about Protestant or at least "faith-alone" Christianity is the idea that we don't need to do anything in life other than accept Jesus in prayer, and that we'll be fine for the afterlife.
    The Gurus taught people how to live their lives for the WaheGuru, they stressed each desirable trait and taught by example what we can do with our lives even as common people. The Gurus taught people to walk the walk, it's just a shame that a lot of Sikhs don't realize this. We shouldn't spend every day stifled up in Church or Gurdwara sahib or Masjid when there's work to be done in the world!

    Anyways, I've added about as much as I can for now.
    Your quotes are always thought provoking and relevant Vouthonji.
     
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  6. Archived_member15

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    re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions

    Bless you brother :mundahug: I will be around for a little while and then take another hiatus. I think that is what I will probably keep on doing, pop in for a few days from time-to-time just to see how your all keeping.

    I agree. Sikhism places the immanence of God and the social aspect of loving-kindness too others at the very centre.

    I couldn't agree more. Thankfully neither my own church nor the bible supports this. Faith without works is dead, as James said in the New Testament.

    Again, my heart warms. Spot on! We can also find God anywhere and everywhere:





    As are your posts as a whole my friend :kaurkhalsaflagred: (totally meaningless smilie but just had to use it cos this wasn't here last time I was on SPN!!!! lol)
     
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  7. spnadmin

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    re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions

    The thread us titled Conscious Creator in Sikhi. However the conversation is taking an interfaith turn. Many visions of a conscious divine are being presented. To co-opt the purpose of the thread makes the "in Sikhi" part irrelevant. Thread has been moved to Interfaith Dialogs with a title change to Conscious Creator in Sikhi and other Faith Traditions.
     
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    #6 spnadmin, Mar 26, 2013
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  8. Rory

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    Sorry to Akashaji for somewhat hijacking this thread, tried to keep my replies as relevant to Sikhi as I could.
     
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  9. Archived_member15

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    I want to apologize to Akasha ji for waylaying the thread into an interfaith discussion. The fault is solely my own, I should have took more heed of the title of the thread.

    Please accept my humblest apologies.
     
  10. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    It's ok guys, though my intention was to have the discussion in reference to Sikhi. But this is ok too...
     
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  11. findingmyway

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    I have had to contemplate on this topic for a while (who knew housework could be so useful for contemplation!) I don't think it is as simple as conscious versus unconscious. Hate and fear (or ignorance as I have seen in one interpretation) are conscious traits in a life form. However, the next line refers to without death or birth, without form and these are show the opposite to a life form.

    Within creation consciousness means different things. A human obviously is conscious. A rabbit is also conscious but it is of a different nature to human consciousness. A tree is conscious but once again it is of a different nature to human consciousness. When there are different types of consciousness across creation, why try and relate Akaal Purakh's consciousness to human consciousness?

    Gurbani talks a lot about how Akaal Purakh cannot even be imagined and much of the Creator is unknowable and beyond our incomprehensible. So, I think the consciousness of Waheguru is also beyond our comprehension :meditatingkaur:
     
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  12. Luckysingh

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    I more than firmly believe that a supreme consciousness exists.
    We have part of this consciousness that is absorbed and mixed with the duality we live in.
    Once you can break away from the duality and be advait, then the remaining consciousness becomes part of the supreme consciousness.
     
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  13. Ishna

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    I'm eagre to get into this thread when I have some time (I would like to contemplate it here at work but I don't think my boss would like that!).

    Meanwhile, just soundbytes from me.

    Is a tree conscious?

    A tree grows the way it is programmed (by its evolved DNA) to grow. It may appear to be conscious because of the mechanisms within it which are triggered by certain events like day/night and seasons. But I wouldn't call this 'consciousness'.

    I know it's impossible to define but if we're to try and talk about the 'consciousness' of the Creator I would say it's closer to a tree's "appearence of consciousness" than to an animal's.

    Rehras Sahib is pounding in my brain right about now:
    ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ
    Āsā mėhlā 1.
    Aasaa, First Mehl:



    ਸੁਣਿ ਵਡਾ ਆਖੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ
    Suṇ vadā ākẖai sabẖ ko▫e.
    Hearing of His Greatness, everyone calls Him Great.



    ਕੇਵਡੁ ਵਡਾ ਡੀਠਾ ਹੋਇ
    Kevad vadā dīṯẖā ho▫e.
    But just how Great His Greatness is-this is known only to those who have seen Him.



    ਕੀਮਤਿ ਪਾਇ ਕਹਿਆ ਜਾਇ
    Kīmaṯ pā▫e na kahi▫ā jā▫e.
    His Value cannot be estimated; He cannot be described.



    ਕਹਣੈ ਵਾਲੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਰਹੇ ਸਮਾਇ ॥੧॥
    Kahṇai vāle ṯere rahe samā▫e. ||1||
    Those who describe You, Lord, remain immersed and absorbed in You. ||1||



    ਵਡੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਸਾਹਿਬਾ ਗਹਿਰ ਗੰਭੀਰਾ ਗੁਣੀ ਗਹੀਰਾ
    vade mere sāhibā gahir gambẖīrā guṇī gahīrā.
    O my Great Lord and Master of Unfathomable Depth, You are the Ocean of Excellence.



    ਕੋਇ ਜਾਣੈ ਤੇਰਾ ਕੇਤਾ ਕੇਵਡੁ ਚੀਰਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ
    Ko▫e na jāṇai ṯerā keṯā kevad cẖīrā. ||1|| rahā▫o.
    No one knows the extent or the vastness of Your Expanse. ||1||Pause||



    ਸਭਿ ਸੁਰਤੀ ਮਿਲਿ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਕਮਾਈ
    Sabẖ surṯī mil suraṯ kamā▫ī.
    All the intuitives met and practiced intuitive meditation.



    ਸਭ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਕੀਮਤਿ ਪਾਈ
    Sabẖ kīmaṯ mil kīmaṯ pā▫ī.
    All the appraisers met and made the appraisal.



    ਗਿਆਨੀ ਧਿਆਨੀ ਗੁਰ ਗੁਰਹਾਈ
    Gi▫ānī ḏẖi▫ānī gur gurhā▫ī.
    The spiritual teachers, the teachers of meditation, and the teachers of teachers -



    ਕਹਣੁ ਜਾਈ ਤੇਰੀ ਤਿਲੁ ਵਡਿਆਈ ॥੨॥
    Kahaṇ na jā▫ī ṯerī ṯil vadi▫ā▫ī. ||2||
    they cannot describe even an iota of Your Greatness. ||2||



    ਸਭਿ ਸਤ ਸਭਿ ਤਪ ਸਭਿ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ
    Sabẖ saṯ sabẖ ṯap sabẖ cẖang▫ā▫ī▫ā.
    All Truth, all austere discipline, all goodness,



    ਸਿਧਾ ਪੁਰਖਾ ਕੀਆ ਵਡਿਆਈਆ
    Siḏẖā purkẖā kī▫ā vaḏi▫ā▫ī▫ā.
    all the great miraculous spiritual powers of the Siddhas -



    ਤੁਧੁ ਵਿਣੁ ਸਿਧੀ ਕਿਨੈ ਪਾਈਆ
    Ŧuḏẖ viṇ siḏẖī kinai na pā▫ī▫ā.
    without You, no one has attained such powers.



    ਕਰਮਿ ਮਿਲੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਠਾਕਿ ਰਹਾਈਆ ॥੩॥
    Karam milai nāhī ṯẖāk rahā▫ī▫ā. ||3||
    They are received only by Your Grace. No one can block them or stop their flow. ||3||



    ਆਖਣ ਵਾਲਾ ਕਿਆ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ
    Ākẖaṇ vālā ki▫ā vecẖārā.
    What can the poor helpless creatures do?



    ਸਿਫਤੀ ਭਰੇ ਤੇਰੇ ਭੰਡਾਰਾ
    Sifṯī bẖare ṯere bẖandārā.
    Your Praises are overflowing with Your Treasures.




    ਜਿਸੁ ਤੂ ਦੇਹਿ ਤਿਸੈ ਕਿਆ ਚਾਰਾ
    Jis ṯū ḏėh ṯisai ki▫ā cẖārā.
    Those, unto whom You give-how can they think of any other?



    ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੁ ਸਵਾਰਣਹਾਰਾ ॥੪॥੨॥
    Nānak sacẖ savāraṇhārā. ||4||2||
    O Nanak, the True One embellishes and exalts. ||4||2||



    This may be getting a bit off-topic but I'd say we can talk and talk and contemplate and ponder but it's only our personal experiences with this 'Creator', our 'intuitive sehaj understanding' that we'll come anywhere close to having an understanding, and then we can't explain it in words anyway, like trying to explain a taste to someone who hasn't tasted something before.

    Perhaps we are all indeed on the same page but we just can't express it?
     
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    #12 Ishna, Mar 26, 2013
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  14. Luckysingh

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    The question is are you in CONTROL of your consciousness ???
    If you are in complete control, then who are you exactly ??
     
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  15. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    I am one of those people Bhenji, allow me to answer as best I can. I have never claimed any expertise on Bani or Sikhism, however, having lived the life I have, I have found the accumulated understanding very close to the teachings of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. I personally believe that the best Sikh is the one that forgets about the whole concept of God altogether. When I say God, I mean the personality known as God. If, instead, you embrace the concept of energy, or creative force, it is harder to make deals with it, harder to beg it, to ask it, one need only be aware of it, and aware of what it stands for, and it is capable of. I find personalising God a huge insult to this energy, that it could be so base as being deserving of personality.

    by this do you mean a personality, with conscious thought? I find this is like trying to use basic engine techniques on a computerised electric car, I think such concepts as conciousness cannot do justice to this energy.

    If I were to state my own feelings on the matter, Ik Onkar, Sat Nam, would translate to me as the sole ultimate eternal Creative energy, whose name is the truth.

    I do not find this Creative energy without consciousness, I would say that this energy is superconscious, in a way that we cannot even imagine. However, I do agree that to give it a state of consciousness akin to what we all know as conscious, is wrong, as we are dealing with concepts that are unknown to us. If you have never driven a Range Rover before, and I tell you that driving one is similar to driving a Toyota Land Cruiser, then your expectation and your visualisation would be centred around a Land Cruiser. However, if I tell you that driving a Range Rover is like nothing you have ever experienced, then that is more akin to what I am suggesting about the facets of Creator.

    In my belief, that entire conscious design was contained in the first miniscule cell of life. And then the game began. I agree with you, but agree only that this design started everything of, I do not believe that this design, or Creator interferes with life. I do not believe there are special deals for good people, or bad people get punished. The rules of Creation are known, follow them and live happy and in peace, do not follow them and suffer the consequences of Creation.

    No, it does not, and I do not believe this to be the case. We are the end product of centuries of product refining. From the first single cell life, through to monkeys, bear man, pig man, and even wolf man, we have ended up here, with thousands of years of history and development in our brains, but the ultimate source will always be Creator, the ultimate designer will always be Creator, but the history is Creation.

    I agree with everything above, barring the one consciousness. I think what we call conscious pales into insignificance compared with the true ultimate consciousness of Creator.,
     
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  16. Archived_member15

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    :mundahug: Dear Harry Haller ji :mundahug:

    Now that this is an interfaith discussion ( :thinkingkudi: ) as a result of my own faux pass I cannot but be intrigued by your frequent reference to God as energy.

    For some reason, it seems very Taoist to me. That is a good thing by the way, I love Taoism.

    The Tao is not a personal Creator yet is a kind of benevolent life-force that is the Mother of all creatures and sustains all creation. The Tao that can be named is not the Eternal Tao. The word in Chinese literally translates to mean, "The Way". Living in the Tao is living a way of life, the way of the cosmos.

    On top of the Tao there is Te or Chi the natural energy coursing through all living things that comes from the Tao.

    The Tao has no form yet has attributes. Gentleness, benevolence, serenity.

    However the Tao is not an omnipotent Being. It guides the universe . The Universe springs from the Tao, and the Tao impersonally guides things on their way, each in their own way according to nature.

    I see a fascinating linkage too your own comprehension of God. Am I wrong in this? It is merely an observation.
     
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  17. Harry Haller

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    Vouthonji

    good to see you again, have you finished our book yet :)

    If we accept that God is not in fact some long bearded hippy type sitting on a cloud eating rice pudding and being worshipped, then what else can it be

    :mundahug:
     
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  18. Ishna

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    But is not an energy or creative force... http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/quest...-how-do-you-know-god-exists-3.html#post181615

    *hmph*
     
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  19. Archived_member15

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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    Dear Harry :kaurhug:

    As a matter of fact, I have! I enjoyed it as much (if not more) than Siddartha which was my first outing into Hermann Hesse. I saw a bit of myself in both characters, although the one that stayed in the monastery and had a kind of hubris with his holiness, I suppose I might veer more towards him. We should discuss it again some time! I'm also reading a fascinating book ATM by W. Somerset Maugham known as "The Razor's Edge". Its kind of a spiritual quest for knowledge. You should read it!

    I think it depends on whether we try to understand God or simply experience Him. If we seek the path of knowledge, God will always remain something beyond us, impersonal and unknowable because we cannot reach a level of consciousness beyond time and without human emotions.

    If we seek Him through experience then we can love Him and live in Him even though we do not know Him as he His.

    For me God has an impersonal and a personal aspect. If we seek to know him as He Is then he will be impersonal because he is not human, nor time-bound, has no emotions, successive thoughts, feelings etc. Anything we understand as personal.

    However if we simply love him with unknowing love, then we become his Bride.

    I think the choice boils down to: Love or knowledge?

    As one of my mystics put it (and here I go again, the walking, talking quote database :blush: ) :

     
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  20. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    Sisji,


    That is my current understanding, and it is what gets me through the night. Given that my understanding 2 years ago was complete atheism, it is not impossible that my understanding will change, who knows, however, I would rather embrace a concept I understand and am comfortable with, that mirrors my understanding of the SGGS, than accept something just to pay lip service to a concept just for the sake of it.

    Ambarsariaji is much much more knowledgable than myself on these matters, and I consider him to be further down the path, so I take his writings quite seriously, I also know he is not a man to accept concepts blindly, but at this stage in my life, at this time, the concept of God not being a Creative force or energy is not something that I can embrace. It is a personal thing, part of the journey for me,
     
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  21. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions ?

    I'm there with ya bro, I was just throwing it out there. For brains such as mine it's difficult to accept plurality of belief about something as central as Ik Onkar but you've explained it nicely.
     
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