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God's Plan

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Razare, Jul 25, 2010.

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  1. Razare

    Razare Community Member

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    So while with my ex, I became religious. Being a strong Ti type, I needed some facts and well, strangely, they were provided by a higher source. I took the first step by believing in God, but not really anything beyond that... not religion, not prayer, not spirits, just God. Apparently, that was enough for me to begin my journey.

    I've heard this talk of God's plan from strong religious christian types and am wondering if I can get any tips on it.

    I've been trying it for like maybe 3 weeks now. From what I gather it's a feeling whereby you utterly trust God to lead you down the straight and narrow in life. Like one day, I was very mean to my ex and afterward I felt utterly terrible like I had done something terribly wrong. After that, I apologized and since then have felt like I'm back on the path. Yesterday, I told off my ex and explained how she had treated me like a worthless piece of crap with her actions, (even though she never intended to). But I did it in a very matter of fact way, without being too insulting. That made me feel like I had moved on.

    Then also, while following his plan, I felt that I should talk with someone I don't normally talk to. It turned out they had a job for me. So yeah... I'm sure some of you INFJ's have more experience with this. Can you give me any advice?

    To me, following God's Plan is like a serenity in your heart that persists even in spite of bad things happening around you.
     
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    #1 Razare, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
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  2. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    You seem to have it pretty spot on, it can get tough sometime to. I don't know if you've experienced any of the craziness yet, but just you wait and see the big one always just around the corner and for some reason it's always bigger then the one before.
     
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  3. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    The concept of God just serves as an external means by which to let go of control. Humans are rather obsessed with controlling everything, which is why we hold grudges, have expectations, fear mistakes and failure, etc. Having an external force that we can believe controls everything allows us to let go of our need to control and allows us to be happier just accepting the things we can't change. For example, AA groups are encouraged to believe in a higher power so that they can then admit that they have no control over their drinking behavior.

    In the theological context, God's plan changes depending upon which interpretation of any number of Holy Scriptures you wish to buy into. They are all ultimately memetic control mechanisms meant to ensnare people in circular logic with the end purpose being the perpetuation of the respective interpretation into later generations. Nonetheless, a belief in God is a fine psychological crutch.
     
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  4. OP
    Razare

    Razare Community Member

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    That's actually scaring me. I lost my fiance and nearly killed myself. I need a break before I take on anything bigger.
     
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  5. OP
    Razare

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    And I'm sorry, with the things I've seen belief in god is no longer a matter of faith. I perfectly understand how other people see it as a matter of faith since there is no scientific proof. For me, there is proof. It was blind faith at first, but after that God let me know it was real. It's the sort of stuff I could write a book about and everyone would say I'm full of it. It's not believable, so there's not much point in telling people.

    As for God's plan, even after I knew he was real and all, I didn't quite trust him in the daily affairs of my life. Now I do. But even then it's a choice whether I trust him. It's easy to stray from the path every single day. Every day is a test of some sort, whether minor or significant. It's possible to stray from it for a lifetime and still be admitted to heaven; just, to find happiness on this planet, I think I need to follow it. I've never found happiness relying purely on reasoning or whimsical feelings. Maybe it's me following my value system, which I never did before, so it feels great? But I think it's more than that because even when I've pretty much adhered to my value system, I can feel like shit for no explainable reason other than God is telling me I totally screwed up.
     
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  6. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    Satya's right about one thing, God is most definitely a crutch, but then again who in there right mind would ask a man with broken legs to stand on them.

    I do have one more bit of advice, doing wrong is often far better then doing nothing. Feelings of regret and pain drive us back onto our paths, but your motivation to keep moving must be personal and to be apathetic means to destroy your motivation.

    Scary as hell itself, but you'll make it out a little worn down but allot wiser.
     
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    #6 Barnabas, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
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  7. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Faith is a powerful thing, particularly for those who have suffered true despair or who have found their lives lacking direction. Believing in something greater than yourself can provide relief. One thing every human being in this world has in common is that we are born into this world to at least one caregiver and we rely on that person to nurture us and discipline us until we can care for ourselves. As we become adults, we realize our caregiver is flawed and imperfect and can't provide us with all the answers. The natural step is to create a perfect caregiver who can. That I think is what most people call God.

    From observing this world I can believe something rather beautiful exists. I remember when the grandmother who raised me was dying that I was lost in a horrible despair. I sat by the pond in her backyard and felt like the world was coming to an end. Then a robin flew down by the pond and I suddenly just a felt a presence that made me want to fall down to my knees. Others may have experienced such a presence as a supernatural deity but to me it was a feeling of connectedness to the world. I just realized how fortunate I was to be alive and to be experiencing even that pain and to have known someone as wonderful as my grandmother. That presence just lifted the burden off my shoulders and allowed me to be at peace so that I could let my grandmother go when she died. After that experience I don't consider God to be something separate or something that judges, but rather a state of being in which we can be accepting of ourselves, others, and the world. Some people may call that self actualization or enlightenment or even kung fu, but I can perceive that presence of love and connectedness as God. When you attain it, there is no need to fear death or loss, no need for an afterlife, no need for any ego whatsoever. You are just a part of something unique and beautiful and you feel fortunate for the chance to exist and experience it.

    I don't externalize God. I understand why others feel the need to do so but I know from experience that happiness is something that comes from inside. It comes from having an unshakable belief in yourself and your place in this world. And trust me, it is a lot harder to have faith in yourself than it will ever be to have faith in an invisible, omnipotent deity. Sometimes you have to have faith in the invisible, omnipotent deity, because you believe that it has faith in you. I say that the concept of God is a great psychological crutch, but perhaps a better term is proxy of faith. When we can't believe in ourselves, we need to believe something, somewhere believes in us.
     
    #7 Satya, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
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  8. muir

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    There is exoteric religion and esoteric religion

    The 'revealed religions' such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism have a tendency to externalise god.

    Spiritual systems such as: Zen, Buddhism, Taoism, Yoga seek to become one with god and recognise god within yourself and everything else. As someone put it to me the eastern systems seem to attain one with the absolute through clearing the mind, whilst western esotericism (eg cabala, esoteric christianity, masonic rites) fill the mind with information in order to achieve the same effect.

    Revealed religions do have moral codes to guide people but they usually tell you to worship something outside yourself. For example worship: this symbol, this relic, this ritual, this text, this icon and listen to these priests.

    The problem with this system is that people set themselves up as the guardians of these objects of worship and they exercise control over people by these means. Many priests have been found to be very unholy in their behaviour. So why should we trust these churches?

    All these different churchs are trying to shape your perceptions in order to offer you a form of comfort. However it might be the case that some are offering comfort but not growth. For example you could drink alcohol to calm yourself down but that act will not solve any problems or offer any insight which allows you to move forward in your development.

    On the other hand spiritual systems which try to put you in touch with altered mind states or in contact with your kundalini are also changing perceptions so they need to be treated with respect.

    There has been a lot of conflict caused around the world by the revealed religions. In contrast to this, the spiritual paths are trying to open peoples minds to the point where they no longer feel any need for conflict.

    Personally i find the revealed religions restrictive and i feel they do not allow people to fulfill their true potential. I think the spiritual avenues are worth exploring but only if your mind state is robust enough to explore new perspectives.

    The revealed religions will generally tell you that gods plan is that you must follow their code or else you will burn in hell for all eternity...doesn't sound very friendly or loving to me.

    The spiritual paths will tell you that you are god and so is everyone else. This approach perhaps then frees you from worry about what you are supposed to be doing as it becomes more possible to see life as an experience through which to learn, grow and experience things; even the bad experiences provide lessons and experiences for us, whereas the revealed religions will try to explain away pain by saying 'god works in mysterious ways'.

    The consciousness of humanity is developing. If we need to have a 'plan' perhaps the best one is to try to evolve consciousness.
     
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  9. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    One aspect of religion that makes a huge impact is the sense of centering, or anchoring. By this, I mean that when one has one's "treasure" is not something subject to change, but is something eternal, perfect, and omnipresent - nothing can upset/destabilise/corrupt/manipulate your core values/beliefs/hopes/strength/etc. It makes it possible to weather the worst of life's storms with an inner serenity.

    I remember hearing at school, that God's ultimate plan is to make it possible for us to be completely, perfectly, utterly and eternally happy.
     
    #9 Flavus Aquila, Jul 25, 2010
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  10. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    yes this exactly! God to me isn't something that is seperated from myself but it is life in itself. I'm a part of God, I am god and the more I believe/experience this, the more I can accept my life the way it is and the less I need to control it or shape it the way I want it. If you feel connected to life and really believe that you will always be a part of it, there is no fear for death or no desire for an afterlife because you will always be there whatever form you are in. You are life and you can just sit back and enjoy the ride!

    but do you think this vision of God is "the truth" or is it nothing more than a tool we created to be happier?

    yes I experienced this too. Every day you have to make the decision again whether you let go of control and let God "do his work" or take things into your own hands and try to force something.

    I always find it difficult to decide when I have to let go of control. Is it right to let go of control, what happens if I do, what if I screw up my life when I let go of control. It is like something is always telling me that something terrible will happen when I let go of control... Do you have that too?

    Yes I recently read something about this. The article said that there are two ways of building a value system. The first is to go out, experience it, learn, make mistakes and built the value system along the route. The second is to take over the value system of others (and that is how religions like christianity do it).The second may seem like a shortcut but in fact this value system works more like rules and are not as deeply incorporated in your soul as the first one.

    so I realy like all religions and paths that incourage people to go within and find the answers there. Because life is not about the answers or values. It is about consciousness and connection and that is something that can not be taught by others, you have to find it yourself...
     
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  11. just me

    just me GONE

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    There are those in the world that are called to believe in God. Those outside of God will try everything they can to make the called "realize" they are mistaken and it must be something else. That is how they believe, which is their choice. Try not to condemn them but stand your ground. Condemnation is not your job.

    You are like unto a mined diamond in the rough. I have people very close to me telling me how wrong I am in my actions quite regularly, but they do not understand my mind and heart. Unfortunately, I feel they never will truly understand me.
    That will not change my heart and mind one bit.

    Here I am over forty years later after becoming a Christian. Guess what? I am like unto a mined diamond in the rough, but there has been a lot of chipping away going on over the years. It can be painful at times; this living. When we choose to answer a calling, we are opening our self up to change. The change is well worth the effort.

    I offer you a thought from my mind: God's will. It says, "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

    As the sun appears to be rising every day, it is not. As the moon appears to be setting in the evenings, it is not. As people offer you their ways of thinking and they sometimes appear to be wrong, they are not; they may be merely speaking their heart. "From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." They may think very well to be helping you, just as I feel right now.

    "No man having put his hands to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Plow a straight line and focus on the path before you, as you will have no need of looking back. Study. Learn to pray in the spirit in the silence of your mind. Bridle your tongue if it speaks corruption or causes ill to another. Ask forgiveness when you feel you should, whether right or wrong.

    Put on the whole armor of God. Welcome to a lifetime of learning.
     
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    #11 just me, Jul 25, 2010
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  12. middle1

    middle1 Hellur

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    The hardest thing you will ever do is have to put your faith and belief in God. Its easier for most people not to believe. Nobody knows God's plan. I'm not entirely convinced he keeps up with everyone's every second of their life. But I do know actions have consequences, cause and effect. God gives us the freewill to choose between right and wrong. We reap what we sow.
     
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  13. NeverAmI

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    Firstly, I am sorry to hear about your loss, that has to be one of the most difficult experiences in your life.

    I have had one incident in my life where it made me really question the bare reality that is so commonly portrayed in Western society.

    I don't read the news, I don't read the papers, they bore me. However, one day I felt inclined to open the paper, which just so happened to be from my home town almost 2 hours away. I just happened to flip to the obituaries where I faintly recognized one of the pictures. That picture turned out to be one of my old bosses that I was close to.

    I would chock that up to some sort of unknown force rather than mere coincidence but I wouldn't attribute it to God. Please don't take my words the wrong way, I am not questioning your own conclusions, just sharing my own experience that relates.

    When I was 15 I read the Tao Te Ching, my uncle gave me a copy, to this day that is probably the one book that has changed my life the most. I have been reading on Buddhism which has been interesting as well.

    To me, God is not a conscious entity. Call me ignorant or simply not well educated enough to conclude this, but I believe consciousness stems from having limited intellect. We have to think because there is something we don't know. If we knew everything, or if there was nothing left to know, then where would thought go?

    If God knows everything, why would God need to think? Why would there be consciousness on God's part? Why would God's comprehension of me be so limited that I would have to prove myself? If we are simply arrangements of particles/atoms/molecules/biochemical constructs and in some people those differences make monumental changes then how would you describe some as good and others as bad, whereas the actual complications that alter behavior are vast, complex, and never black and white? If you look at the overall impact of the species of humanity that is so much a cancer on this earth, then what happens to this profound divinity that we supposedly possess? Out of all the entities on this planet, man is the only one that creates war; it is because we think, because we have this 'divinity' to symbolically blow things completely out of proportion, and because we are ignorant. What about killing bugs? We kill those all the time, isn't that good or bad? Is it because they are so much smaller in scale from us that we don't really think about it? Is it because they are more biologically different?

    I do not need an external entity for me to be moral, because I am self-accountable. My morality is based upon a collection of empathetic and intellectual inferences that help me to realize that certain actions are not worth their repercussions (both to myself and to the other parties that may be involved, even indirectly). I do not hold myself as the center of the universe. I am a drop in the bucket of, not only humanity, but of the world as a whole. Humanity isn't exactly the be-all-end-all of life either.

    Religion has helped many to find peace and direction in their lives. To me, religion and spirituality are all valid if used properly. But to me, they are just each a different material for building the same bridge that goes into the same part of the spirit/mind; just the architecture may be different.

    When such a tool exists that is so effective at changing the way the brain works, the mind relates, the way empathy is given, and the opportunity for social cohesion, it is no wonder so many flock to whatever religion is the most common in that social community (not necessarily geographically). There are some that don't, those that have truly searched rather than falling into place.

    The conflict comes when this social group, from a sociological perspective, sees another social group that has different motives, different rituals, different culture; all of which have a possibility of hindering the productivity of their own group.

    Whenever I search, it always just comes back to me.

    Sorry, I REALLY took that off on a tangent, lol.
     
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  14. NeverAmI

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    Why not free will to choose between more than just 2 paths?
     
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  15. Norton

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    I don't mean to be pedantic or off topic, but, often in history, doing nothing has been equivalent to doing wrong. This is the point of the following quotation by Edmund Burke.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

    This is best exemplified by the Holocaust, where German citizens and others did nothing to stop the evil of the SS. After the war, these citizens claimed complete ignorance. Lies.
     
  16. NeverAmI

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    Never underestimate the power of propaganda. Some knew, some didn't, I can guarantee you that.

    If humans never took up a spear, or developed weapons, and never sought to kill, then it wouldn't matter what others did or didn't do. One thing defines the other.

    The Germans were held accountable for their governments actions towards jews much as Americans are held accountable for our governments actions towards Muslims.

    I am not saying they are equal, but there are similarities in the way propaganda works and the way we can be tricked through daily repitition and 'virtue.'

    Just because I was born in some specific geographic location, I am responsible for everyone else's actions in that society.

    Bullshit.

    Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of problems with what happens, almost all of actions of corrupted power get to me badly, but you have to realize the sheer force needed to upset something so large when the wheels are in motion.

    Assassination or a coup d'
     
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  17. BostonAndy

    BostonAndy Community Member

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    My spiritual beliefs are deeply personal, and not even my closest friends fully understand them. THey do understand that I am spiritual and my beliefs are vaguely of a christian nature.

    SO I am not disposed to really openly discuss it. However I am willing to add a few things to the discussion on how my beliefs have benefitted my life.

    I lost my partner seven years ago, to a hate crime. It became a public spectacle. During that time, I realised I had to separate the actions of man versus the ability of my spirituality to help me deal with the what happened to someone that I planned on spending my life with.

    I chose to reach into my spirit to find the strength to go beyond and not use the actions of a man to hate a god concept.

    I found that spirituality is a thing of comfort, not a thing of control, as often religion is, and I had to separate those two things. I also had to own responsibility for my own spiritual journey and break free of Dogma.

    I simply seek the things that all religions agree on.... basic concepts... forgiveness, charity, compassion, love, tollerance...

    these are simple ideas that apply to any situation. I promise you, the most difficult of things can be overcome eventually and on the universal timetable, not mine.

    I know this one thing... If your spiritual journey makes you feel unhappy then you may want to re examine what you believe and challenge yourself to consider new ideas.

    Hope this helped.
     
    #17 BostonAndy, Jul 25, 2010
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  18. Norton

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    If you live next to a murderer, and you know it, and you do nothing, you are indeed complicit in evil. There is no moral ambiguity here.

    In the face of evil, the selfless few shine bright in contrast to the selfish many. Courage always trumps cowardice.

    Read: Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, by Daniel J. Goldhagen.
     
  19. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    There are many different interpretations of the concept of God. In some cases, it is just a psychological crutch. From my experience, God is actually a state of being rather than an external force. It's an awareness and mindfulness of our place in the world.
     
  20. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
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    ::This is not an attack on anyone's religion or beliefs, nor is it meant to be offensive towards anyone::

    God, whoever and/or whatever that may be, has no plan for humans. In my mind, to believe so is akin to believing that humans are above all other life on the planet; that this world, this universe, was created solely for us. Billions of years of universe formation, millions of years of evolving life, and it all leads up to us people? I personally find that incredibly hard to believe. Should this be the case, life should stop evolving, and when we're gone, the entire universe might as well disappear with us because it was built for us. I can't see that happening.

    To me, the belief that God cares about humans in a different way than God cares about any form of life is asinine (and that's asinine in my own perspective, it just doesn't make sense to me. I'm not saying so and so is asinine for believing it) In fact, I find it hard to believe that God cares about life in general at all. We simply exist, all of us, with everything that is alive. We are an animal just like anything else, but it's this thought that we are the end of creation, the sole reason for life, that is polluting our thinking.

    We have this notion that the "animals" and the "people" are different things. We also called uncultivated lands "the wild" as if it's something we don't belong in. It's this belief that we are the purpose of life, the end of creation, that we start thinking we are separate from all other life, and that this world is ours for the taking. It's like saying God has a plan for us, that we have a purpose, that we have the right to help ourselves to whatever the world offers us. It's going to be our undoing in the end. We will keep grabbing land, killing species, and destroying resources, until the living world cannot support us anymore. We will for the most part die off, but the rest of the world will keep on living.

    When people say God has a plan for us, or loves us individually and wants us to do certain things, I cannot help but feel that that is part of the attitude that is destroying the world (and please, don't take offense to this. These are simply my thoughts, take them or leave them) To say we have purpose basically gives us ownership over the world to do as we please. To say God talks to us in ways that he doesn't talk to other life separates us from all other life, raising us above it. In doing so, all other life on the planet has lesser meaning that ours because "we were chosen by God." It is my belief that there is fundamentally nothing different from humans and any other animal. We are simply part of the large whole, which is this living planet. We are not special, nor do we have special meaning.
     
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