What do you mean by "God," anyway?

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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby dr. ski wampas » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:05 pm

It doesn't really have any special meaning to me. And TBH it never really has, not even when I was exploring the idea of magic and spirituality, or psi or whatever you want to call it.

Whenever used in a conversation, I just assume that the other person means some variation of any one of the dictionary definitions.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:07 pm

Thanks.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby dr. ski wampas » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:27 pm

I'm not trying to convince anyone. I can't tell someone what to believe. There is just no hard physical or scientific evidence. That is not so much my opinion, as it is the way things are.

I am not trying to be combative by stating the plain truth either. The evidence that you would say you have, is not subject to empirical testing. You would say that all I need to do to prove it to myself, is to have a similar experience. I am not asking how I can have my own similar experience. I have already had plenty of my own. What I am saying, is that there is no objective evidence that any of our mystical experiences amounts to any more than fantasy. There is nothing wrong with indulging in fantasy from time to time.

If you do not agree, then that is perfectly fine. I would just like to know if you have any objective evidence, or any real reason why anybody would believe you when you say that you have had a real spiritual experience, other than to take you at your word when you say that you have experienced it?
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Al-Shariyf » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:36 pm

dr. ski wampas wrote:It doesn't really have any special meaning to me. And TBH it never really has, not even when I was exploring the idea of magic and spirituality, or psi or whatever you want to call it.

I would assert that it actually does have some meaning for you. It has so much meaning for you that you, of your own free will and accord, take time out of your day to come onto this forum and consistently present your case against the existence of what you've built up in your mind as "God".

The existence of God is such a concern for you that you've come onto an online forum and asked people what they mean when they say "God". Out of the trillions of other actions you could be taking and things you could be doing and conversations you could be having and activities you could be engaged in...here you are, on the internet, trying to convince other people that they're wrong and you're right.

If God didn't have any special meaning for you, you would be taking a completely different set of actions in the world. It literally would not occur to you to come on here and engage in some of the conversations you've been engaged in. Life would literally occur for you as Godless. A conversation about the existence of God or the meaning of God wouldn't even show up on your radar. You wouldn't even utter or type the word let along ask other human beings for evidence. *EDITED*
Last edited by Al-Shariyf on Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:36 pm

dr. ski wampas wrote:If you do not agree, then that is perfectly fine. I would just like to know if you have any objective evidence, or any real reason why anybody would believe you when you say that you have had a real spiritual experience, other than to take you at your word when you say that you have experienced it?

Off-topic to this thread. (I'm the original poster. It was created to open up a sharing on the topic.) As Admin, I've now removed the OT posts so we can get back to business.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby dr. ski wampas » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:27 pm

Al-Shariyf wrote:I would assert that it actually does have some meaning for you. It has so much meaning for you that you, of your own free will and accord, take time out of your day to come onto this forum and consistently present your case against the existence of what you've built up in your mind as "God".

I'm not presenting any case. And I am not about to. If you want to believe in what you believe in, then you will probably believe it without actively seeking out information that will eventually invalidate those beliefs. Instead you would probably engage in activities which reinforce those beliefs, and avoid things and conversations that challenge them. That is ok if it works for you, but do not erroneously attribute the same sort of zealousness to a person who does not believe in anything in particular.

[Fair response allowed. The OT rant following is deleted. After giving much leeway, one more OT post and account will be deleted without further warning. - Admin]
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby dr. ski wampas » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:30 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:
dr. ski wampas wrote:If you do not agree, then that is perfectly fine. I would just like to know if you have any objective evidence, or any real reason why anybody would believe you when you say that you have had a real spiritual experience, other than to take you at your word when you say that you have experienced it?

Off-topic to this thread.

Does that mean I can start a thread just for discussing the question, and it won't be deleted?
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:33 pm

dr. ski wampas wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:
dr. ski wampas wrote:If you do not agree, then that is perfectly fine. I would just like to know if you have any objective evidence, or any real reason why anybody would believe you when you say that you have had a real spiritual experience, other than to take you at your word when you say that you have experienced it?

Off-topic to this thread.

Does that mean I can start a thread just for discussing the question, and it won't be deleted?

Yes, as long as it is not in violation of forum policy such as the one explicitly prohibiting opposition to or dismissiveness of spiritual, magical, or mystical things. Such a post would be de facto off topic to the entire forum.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Al-Shariyf » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:57 pm

dr. ski wampas wrote:If you want to believe in what you believe in, then you will probably believe it without actively seeking out information that will eventually invalidate those beliefs. Instead you would probably engage in activities which reinforce those beliefs, and avoid things and conversations that challenge them.


I healthily and wholeheartedly welcome conversations that would challenge my beliefs and willfully examine them. Conversations like this provide me with ample opportunity to distinguish un-examined beliefs, assumptions and interpretations I've either inherited from others or created myself in the moment of unconsciously reacting to something. I want to be proven wrong and willfully relinquish my attachment to any belief, assumption or interpretation I hold that proves, through action and first hand experience, to be inaccurate.

dr. ski wampas wrote:That is ok if it works for you, but do not erroneously attribute the same sort of zealousness to a person who does not believe in anything in particular.


See this is where things get dicey, for you, because you DO believe in something particular and you are fooling yourself if you think you don't. I don't know exactly what it is that you believe and I'm not so foolish to expect you to openly disclose it and put it up on the mat. I do not say any of this based on an assumption. I say this based on this: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13814 and this viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13847. It doesn't take much to discern your general point of view that is shaping, influencing and constraining your view of reality.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:43 pm

Hey Doc,

Just for s#!ts and giggles, I'm going to attempt to show you where your decision to attack what you perceive to be the underlying assumptions of this thread is getting in the way of your actual understanding of the thread. I don't really expect this to be successful but... hell... anything's worth a shot, right?

A few posts back, you said:
dr. ski wampas wrote:I'm not trying to convince anyone. I can't tell someone what to believe. There is just no hard physical or scientific evidence. That is not so much my opinion, as it is the way things are.
Now, the fragment that is your third sentence assumes an antecedent of "God", as in, "There is just no hard physical or scientific evidence [of God]." The problem is, by not engaging in the actual topic of the thread, this sentence is fundamentally false. By assuming some generalized "dictionary definition", you are allowing for all of them. That means the definition of the pantheist is just as applicable as that of the monotheist, or the atheist, or the late-night comedian, or whichever one chooses. If we go with that of the pantheist in this instance, then there is plenty of physical and scientific evidence that God exists. In fact, there's nothing but. That's not so much my opinion, as it is the way things are.

By dismissing any use of the word that doesn't fit into your barely-defined parameter of "supernatural hoax", or however you want to word it, and not acknowledging that the person with whom you are speaking might understand the term differently, you are the one with underlying, and very likely unexamined, assumptions that are controlling your thought processes. It is at least partially the goal of the early stages of the A.'.A.'. (and, by extension, Temple of Thelema) to bring the aspirant face to face with these underlying assumptions that are ruling his/her life. That process is what these boards are in service of. That is why your statement,
If you want to believe in what you believe in, then you will probably believe it without actively seeking out information that will eventually invalidate those beliefs. Instead you would probably engage in activities which reinforce those beliefs, and avoid things and conversations that challenge them.
seems so out of place here. This assumption of yours runs contrary to the work of the A.'.A.'.. If you are here voluntarily, that is the work you are telling the rest of us that you are interested in undertaking. Are you?

So, once again, and in all earnestness: What do you mean by "God" anyway?
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What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Hermitas » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:09 pm

You know, we've been given a variable to use: HGA. Under this label, we investigate the phenomena of what everyone has always called "God."

It's set up not to require a belief in God. But it's also set up to demonstrate that the classic phenomena do exist and that they do manifest in the experience of an intelligence greater than one's own - a an initiator into and a revealer of mysteries.

I'm not here to debate whether or not that experience really exists. I'm here to further participate in it and understand it.

So, I've already said what I mean by the word "God." But taking the above perspective, given that people experience this, I tend to let people use the word and use it however they like. Bottom line, I know the phenomena they are attempting to describe.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby oldfriend56 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:52 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:I prefer a mythic approach. Humanity loves stories: we live by stories, often being satisfied to live life as a soap opera or a Great Tragedy rather than have no story at all. Frankly, all that most people need in order to transform their lives is to write or find a better story to live. ...



Such wise words Jim! thank you for this and this great question. I find myself in harmony with much of what you write here. The only exception I have is just the actual word and sound of G-O-D, separate from whatever meaning it would have. It just sounds a little too guttural of a word, more like a grunt or primitive sound to express something so elegant and infinite.

Which is what I love about liber AL and it's triune concept. G-O-D is just the vast and infinite collection of all sentient points (Nuit/Hadit) manifesting in 'us' right now (RHK).

Personally, for me the word that expresses this full 'completeness' is Allah, and specifically and thankfully and directly due to the beautiful revelation from Liber 31 - the inhalation AL and the exhalation LA - is so simple, poetic and universal.

But lately, I am also enjoying some of the 'futuristic' concepts emerging that play with the 'God' concept. One of my favorite Kurzweil quotes "People ask me if God exists and I always say 'no, not yet'". Especially with movies like Interstellar entering the mainstream, and this concept of 'Us in the future' from a sci fi perspective also being, in a sense, God is also quite harmonious in many ways I believe and we may just need a new word after all :)
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Takamba » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:39 pm

oldfriend56, I like you choosing Allah. I use God, god, gods when I please, but at heart I prefer El.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby HA 86 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:08 pm

I have never liked the word "God" because of its muddled etymological origins. However, based on its conventional associations in natural language, my working definition of "God" is currently: The experience of the universe. Though, in the logical metalanguage of Thelema my working definition is currently: The experience of Nuit, i.e. Heru-Ra-Ha.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby FraterTeth » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:07 pm

My view has varying levels, from the simplistic pantheon idea to that incomprehensible level of existence that I cannot fathom. To put it simply: for every action there is a reaction, only every action is a reaction. God is that which was the first action. At the same time, everything is God. God is, therefore, the sum.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Hermes » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:30 pm

A further way of describing what i mean by "God" is concentration, meditation and extasis. The three gods(Nuit, Hadit, RHK) correspond to those three practices, wich correspond to actual forces(yin, yang, tao)that even manifest physicaly(electromagnetic force).

Now more and more i rise up the standard of that wich makes me think"that's God"(though all is god too...). There is the perception, then the intensity of it, then its alignement within the universe, then its actual direct effects upon the universe. If, to some significant extent(that varies, thats the idea of progress lol) all this are balanced, then i can say, whatever the God among the three basic ones(and a few others) is concerned, that the experience is genuine.

It is a fascinating path, the gradual unveiling. I think when at the same time knowledge increases, humility increases, and one is fine with whatever happens as far as one practices as willed by the great all, then it is a good sign. The great danger in the path towards God is the adversary, the black powers.

The black powers can be tempting except if one stabilises the image of HGA and practices seriously equilibration with that in mind(maintaining image, always remembering),These two, if were always remembered would avoid many mistakes and "unnecessary" wanderings in black magick and suffering. Though even such mistake is perfect ! How could it be more perfect than what actually IS...?!

There is also a possibility of falling/failing, and it would be not perfect if this was not so.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby gurugeorge » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:05 am

It's a tough one. I'm in more of a rationalist, scientific mood these days, so I tend to think of "consciousness" as a term restricted to particular usage (a property of certain animals, a behavioural precipitate of the brain's activity), and I don't see any sense in saying the Universe as a whole is Conscious (as it were, with a big 'C').

But I do see the consciousness that crops up in particular individuals as capable of being the Universe's consciousness in a metaphysical sense (i.e. in the sense that the Universe buds these things which are its organs of consciousness).

I can also see the sense in using "God" as a term projecting some label (any label) onto the fundamental mystery of things, and I can see the psychological value in personalizing that Mystery, but strictly speaking, a mystery is a mystery is a mystery, which means we can't really say anything about it.

That whereof we cannot speak, and all that ...
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby gerry456 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:37 pm

"the House of god" is mentioned in Liber Al i.e. the author of Al uses the term "God" but elsewhere also derides the use of the very same term. "There is no god where i am". Was it Krsnamurti who said that "God" is like a box that we all put our own meanings into?
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: What do you mean by "God," anyway?

Postby Frater 639 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:23 am

Generally, I don't use "God," but not because I have a bias against it or for it. I just enjoy clarity in conversation and will try to speak in terms that people widely accept - it's just more efficient. It is mostly because most people have a certain idea of what "God" means in my culture, and that usually means something close to the Judeo-Christian Father-god archetype. I would say, 9 times out of 10 (not a scientific poll), most people would assume that...

I'm not out to rewrite common working definitions for things. I don't correct people if they say "Kleenex" instead of "facial tissue." Regional vernacular is just that and I don't fancy myself a vocab crusader or a spiritual pundit.

That being said, I agree in a certain way that "God" could be considered a nice term for convenience that tries (in vain) to encapsulate the Absolute, albeit misleading for most people for the reasons mentioned above.

So, to answer the question, what do I mean by "God," I have to go with this - it is another perspective, which we create, that has meaning for us. The famous(?) Blind Webster poem is how I tend to look at what GOD TRULY IS - we make God by worship and by our creation, which is action:

It is not necessary to understand; it is enough to adore.
The god may be of clay: adore him; he becomes GOD.
We ignore what created us; we adore what we create. Let us create nothing but GOD!
That which causes us to create is our true father and mother; we create in our own image, which is theirs.
Let us create therefore without fear; for we can create nothing that is not GOD.


At the end of the day, probably just easier to try to explain in detail what we mean, in the best way that we can.
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