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What Image Comes To Your Mind When You Think Of God?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Randip Singh, Sep 3, 2010.

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  1. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Hi all,

    I tried to raise this question in another thread but people misunderstood it.

    I am curoius to know, what kind of image comes up in peoples mind when they think of God?

    I have spoken to many people of many faiths (and no faith) and they have stated the following:

    1) A bearded man on a throne
    2) Bearded man in the sky
    3) A Hindu Demi God type person
    4) Someone in the image of the Buddha
    5) Abstract Concepts - Energy, the Power of the Universe, Interdimensional beings.

    What comes to your mind and why?
     
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  3. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Nothing comes to my mind when I think about God's nirgun form... all intellectual distinctions end at that point. He is just pure consciousness... and you can't picture consciousness can you, its formless?

    Everything comes to mind when I think about God's sargun form and how it is revealed to us through Maya. The universe itself comes to mind.

    Page 250, Line 11
    ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਆਕਾਰ ਆਪਿ ਨਿਰਗੁਨ ਸਰਗੁਨ ਏਕ ॥
    निरंकार आकार आपि निरगुन सरगुन एक ॥
    Nirankār ākār āp nirgun sargun ek.
    He Himself is formless, and also formed; the One Lord is without attributes, and also with attributes.
    Guru Arjan Dev - view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    We can only talk about the Sargun side of Ik Ong Kaar as Nirgun has no image and I agree with Bhagat Singh ji on that.

    The Sargun side is expanding every moment in front of us when new discoveries,cures for diseases are found.

    The Sargun of Ik Ong Kaar can be found in the places like "Walter Reed Center" and many other places like this around the world, where the wounded soldiers from the two horrible wars are given new hope to live normal lives with the help of artificial limbs.

    The Awe! and the Wow! factors that surround us when we discover new planets, Galaxies, Milky ways in the worlds beyond.

    And lastly, the expression of contentment, happiness, exhilaration on the face of a mute and deaf person when he/she puts his/her favourite sweet in the mouth.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  5. Harvir007

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    One thing about Sikhi that makes it more unique than most other religion is that the concept of God can be a non-anthropomorphic, so we can say he is the universe itself and thats what I stick by.
    Also this article made me giggle http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11161493
    So God didn't create the universe huh? But he is the universe :happymunda:
     
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  6. Randip Singh

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    So does anyone have like an image, like a kind of flow of energy that is shapeless and glowing or something, or a picture of the entire Universe?
     
  7. Harvir007

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  8. spnadmin

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    If the universe is created matter, it is sargun even if it is invisible to the human senses because of its form or distance. However, God is both sargun and nirgun, so how can we limit our experience or vision of God to the universe?
     
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  9. findingmyway

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    My intellectual side knows God has no form but when I think of God I remember the amazing life in the rainforest or the crashing of waves on a beach or numerous other scenes of God's creations that have filled me with awe when I have seen/experienced themwahkaur
     
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  10. BhagatSingh

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    We can definitely experience (and only experience) the Nirgun... by making introspective efforts, by turning inwards and by turning off the mind's eye, becoming one with subjectivity.

    It is said that this experience cannot be described.

    I think when we hear about Spiritual Experiences, these people have somehow either by accident or by skillful training like Yogis have actually experienced the Nirgun. They have actually experienced the unity that underlies our world, Ik Oankar.
     
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  11. Tejwant Singh

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    Bhagat Singh ji,

    Guru fateh.

    Yes indeed, Nirgun is a very personal experience as this Spiritual journey is the journey of the individual and each of us carry our own individual Spiritual torch.

    This Nirgun experience for some could be like a Runner's high or Tim Leary's. I met many Nihangs in India that claim that they are able to talk to Guru Gobind Singh ji after drinking their magic potion and all these Nihangs were from different Jathas and I happened to meet them many times.

    The true Nirgun experience is manifested in a Sirgun manner with the individual's deeds and actions, what he/she has left to make this world better for others to follow. If not then it nothing but the magic potion of a Nihang, and Tim Leary's. But as an ex runner, I would still consider Runner's high as a Nirgun experience because with time, when one has been running for years, especially long distances, one's attitude towards life changes towards better.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  12. ik-jivan

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    Randip Singh ji,
    When I was seven and had an encounter with the Presence of God, I knew then that God didn't have a form. But that didn't stop me from imagining what God WOULD look like if He did have a form. . . I imagined that old man, all in white, on the portly side, with flowing white beard and all aglow with Divine Light. I laughed at myself then for having a want to even imagine that God could be contained by just one little human-shaped form.

    I'm sure Carl Jung would have had something to say about how we envision God's 'form'.

    Sat Sri Akal,
    t
     
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  13. Randip Singh

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    Thanks to everyone for sharing what image comes to mind.

    I have had very few fleeting times when I can say I have had an image in my mind of "God".

    I take comfort in the Sikh notion of what God is i.e with form yet without form (sounds familiar to how Obi Wan Kenobi described the force mundahug).

    When I have fleeting moments of being able to control the 5 thieves then I have a perfect calm in my minds eye. There is an image, but no image at the same time. It is everything yet nothing. I feel I am one yet many. I am alone yet in tune with everyone. I get the same feeling when I actually learn something new too. I feel I am edging closer to truth, a bit like a snail crawling from the North Pole to the South Pole.

    These few seconds are interrupted by Krodh usually, sometimes Kaam, sometimes Hankaar. I'm working on this and may achieve it just a few seconds before I die icecreammunda.
     
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  14. skeptic.freethinker1

    skeptic.freethinker1 United States
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    When I think of God, following scenes which are part of His creation flash in my mind..


    • A young kid afflicted with polio. (God created the kid and God created the polio)
    • Numerous impoverished children dying of hunger in Africa
    • Thousands of infants dying in developing countries due the lack of basic health services. God can help them but he chooses not to, for some divine reason.
    Since he is the all mighty, I don't question his wisdom in afflicting above brutalities on the innocent children. He probably is punishing the kids for some reason which is totally beyond me.
     
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  15. Randip Singh

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    So you see God as a being? A he?

    It is sad, but isn't it also amazing that we as humans have been created with compassion to recognise other human suffering and also have the potential to do something about it.

    The main thrust of Sikhism is moving on from just being an animal, and allowing such injustices to carry on throughout the world, and be a human, and help fellow humans.
     
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  16. skeptic.freethinker1

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    Randip Ji,
    Thanks for the reply.


    I used 'Him' primarily as a figure of speech. I hope the ladies don't take offense to that.

    So, are you saying that to teach us compassion and to guide us towards helping others, God tortures innocent kids, maims them and then kills them!!

    Isn't this equivalent of....say I have five kids. And to make them compassionate towards each other and to teach them to help each other, I torture and kill one of them??
     
  17. Seeker9

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    A slightly extreme example perhaps!
    But the question of why suffering happens is none the less valid
    People answer with Karma which I suppose is fair enough for individual
    But when millions die every year in natural disasters, what then?

    This is a question I have never been able to answer

    It is also the reason why my current thinking is around the God is energy and natural processes will occur type concept instead of the more common belief system that God is the old patrirarch who punishes people for sin
     
  18. skeptic.freethinker1

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    Seeker9,
    Thanks for your articulate response. I couldn't have put it in a better way.


    I am myself gravitating towards something similar but since sikhi does mention certain immoral acts which are to be considered sin, I would like to know how the more enlightened and knowledgeable sikhs among us explain this?
    If waheguru watches over us at all times, why do so many innocent children die such miserable and avoidable deaths?
    And if he does not watch over us as, and natural processes including creation/destruction occur without His intervention, as Seeker9 mentioned, then why do we pray?
     
  19. Seeker9

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    Thanks

    I think it is fair to say the Sikh concept of prayer and say a Christian concept of prayer are completely different

    I would suggest Nitnem prayers are there to help the individual with their spiritual discipline. Other prayers in other faiths can do this too but they can also be of the kind "please help me with this" or "please don't let that happen" etc which is completely different
     
  20. Tejwant Singh

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    Skeptic.freethinkerji,

    Guru Fateh.

    I am surprised at your explanation of a deity God while claiming to be a Sikh.

    Your above post has nothing to do with Ik Ong Kaar because Ik Ong kaar is not a deity like in other religions. So what you envision is not the Sikh concept but more an Abrahamical one or a Hindu concept.

    Once again Ik Ong Kaar is not a deity the way you have projected above.

    I would suggest that you read the description of Ik Ong Kaar as described in Mool Mantar by Guru Nanak. In fact there are many translations of Mool Mantar in this forum. Just use the search button.

    Good luck in your search.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
  21. skeptic.freethinker1

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    Tejwant ji,
    Thanks for the guidance. I will surely go through the relevant articles.


    Regards.
     

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