A Past Present and Future Definition for “God”——Is it useful?

 
fractalzen
 
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04 January 2017 04:32
 

PAST—-The causal definition of “God”, the ultimate unknown CAUSE of everything “I” personally do.

“God” is the name “I” use for the ultimate unknown CAUSAL SELF of WHY “I” do stuff,  and, like infinity, “I” can mentally get closer and closer to “God”, but “I” never reach it.  This infinite regress of “I’s” approaches “God” as a limit, in much the same way as .9999999…. approaches 1 as a limit.

For example:  Why am I typing?  Because I want to share ideas?  Why do I want to share Ideas? Because it feels good. Why does….

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PRESENT—-The present definition of “God”.

“God” is the name for the ever-fleeting experience “i” have of MY PRESENT SELF in the moment.

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FUTURE—-The teleological definition of “God”.  The ultimate PURPOSE.

“God” is the name for the ultimate unknown IDEAL SELF, which “I” am becoming.  It extends infinitely far into the future, and like the Past definition, it is mentally approached but never reached.

For example:  I want to be rational.  I want to be rational AND happy.  I want to be rational, happy, and rich. I want to be….

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This three part definition, which I INVENTED in my mind, and as far as I know, does not exist independently of my mind, is an intellectual TOOL, an IDEA, the only question then becomes “Do “I” find it useful?”  Is it PRAGMATIC???
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Most people have no problem accepting INFINITY as a useful idea.  Nuclear fusion can blow stuff up, but it also gives us sunlight, and powers cities.  “i” is clearly imaginal, but “I” is still useful, so could “God” ever be a useful idea as well? 

 

 

[ Edited: 04 January 2017 04:53 by fractalzen]
 
Ola
 
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04 January 2017 04:45
 

Well, yeah, it could, but calling it “God” may make it less useful than had you called it something else that doesn’t conjure up images of fire, brimstone, and Ted Cruz.

 
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04 January 2017 04:59
 

I think you’ve just hit the nail on the head.  I don’t get those images.  For me God is a purely intellectual exercise.  For me God is just a word that represents some ultimate mental destination, which I can’t at the present time fully conceive of.

 
EN
 
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04 January 2017 05:06
 

“God” has so much historical, cultural and religious baggage that he needs an army to carry it.  “Creator”, “Supreme Being”, “Original Cause” or something else would be an improvement.  Otherwise you are just painting more pictures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, adding to an otherwise jumbled mess.

Actually, bb’s “nature in its fullest expression” is not bad, because that can include intelligence, consciousness and will.

[ Edited: 04 January 2017 05:09 by EN]
 
Ola
 
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04 January 2017 06:17
 
fractalzen - 04 January 2017 04:59 AM

I think you’ve just hit the nail on the head.  I don’t get those images.  For me God is a purely intellectual exercise.  For me God is just a word that represents some ultimate mental destination, which I can’t at the present time fully conceive of.

That’s how I define “time”. And “success”.

  “God” already has a widely understood definition - including: supernatural being, ruler, creator, spirit that controls the universe, superhuman entity that affects the universe, etc etc

Your definition is fine, as far as it goes, but it sidesteps the basic definitions as above, doesn’t it? So why call it god? Why not call it “the unknown” or “the life force” or “I”?  Or nature?

Some people will argue that the “life force”, “unknown” or “I” is God, but then presumably to argue such a thing you’d be using a predetermined definition of God which includes supernatural being, etc etc.

Are you saying you believe in [a] god (but not in any religious sense/definition) - or are you saying there’s a direction/meaning/driver in life but it’s not [a] god?

 

An aside:

  I putter around talking to the universe sometimes—thanking unknown for something it probably didn’t cause (at least, on purpose), or asking for help it probably can’t give (at least, on purpose). It’s not god, but it’s exactly how people treat god, so I guess I could call it god. I don’t because I’d be kidding myself. I’m talking to me or to no one.

No “thing” is helping or hindering—despite the game I play when I pretend it is. But by talking to the universe as if it is playing a part, I am controlling situations. I’m controlling my reactions to situations, more specifically. I’m acknowledging a situation or event is not in my control, and by doing so I can react more effectively: I react more rationally, and to reality, instead of wasting my time imagining I’m the central player and it’s all about me.

 
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04 January 2017 12:23
 

I think that there is a trend towards decentralization in society, e.g. bitcoin is decentralizing money or music used to be artist-centered and it’s become more listener centered.  In the Christian sphere the protestant revolution attempted to create a “priesthood of all believers”, where everyone had direct access to God, and didn’t have to go the a priesthood intermediary.  It seems to me not so much that the idea of God is wrong or bad, but that it has been co-opted by a priesthood class and used against the interests of the individual. 

I use the word, “God” to define an causal or ideal definition of my “self”, call it my God self.  It is separate from me only in the sense that my past self and my ideal self are separate from me.  All my self’s are PERSPECTIVES which live in my mind.  For example,  I don’t have a degree, so I imagine my future self in a cap and gown holding a degree.  Or I am taking classed at a university and I feel like going to the beach instead of studying, so I remember the vision of my past self, and why I wanted to go to the university to begin with, and I go to class.  All these “selfs”, all these perspecitves, exist only in my mind, and “I”, my present self, ultimately rule them all.  Sure calling it “success” could work, or “the uniiverse”, could work, but my “self”, my particular perspective, is intimately intimately and inexorably involved in every “vision” I create.  For me that’s why humans invented “God” in the first place, to help organize the varying perspectives in their own minds. 

Sure the God concept, like music, like money, like the media, like much of everything else, was co-opted by centralized power, but the world does seem to be decentralizing, the internet being a big part of that.  The fact that the God concept has been co-opted by power is a tragedy, but for me PERSONALLY, the being in charge of my own mind, it doesn’t negate it’s usefulness.  I have freedom of thought, freedom of imagination, and no priest or hierophant nor anyone else can tell me what I can or can’t think or imagine in MY OWN MIND.  That’s the beauty of decentalizing God.  Call it the new polytheism—-the freedom to design, create or imagine whatever God, or flying spaghetti monster, you like or find useful to you personally.  To use another word to describe this phenomena would have us abandon the third definition of “god” in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, “a person or thing of supreme VALUE”.  What other word would you have replace this definition?  I know of none.

 
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04 January 2017 13:11
 

I think there is a lot of “seeking” in that definition that’s gonna cause you problems in the future. If I had to give some kind of definition for experiencing God (not a definition of God, but of a mental encounter with such a figure,) it would be finding that which is completely satisfying, outside of temporal bounds (many things are ‘quite satisfying’ for some brief duration, but that is different.)

 
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04 January 2017 15:34
 

“I think there is a lot of “seeking” in that definition that’s gonna cause you problems in the future. If I had to give some kind of definition for experiencing God (not a definition of God, but of a mental encounter with such a figure,) it would be finding that which is completely satisfying, outside of temporal bounds (many things are ‘quite satisfying’ for some brief duration, but that is different.)”

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Yes there is “seeking” but in that occurs in the past and the future, and we all do it, whether we name it “God” or not.  The present Self is where the real experiencing comes.  In the present “God” completely disappears in the experience of being fully present in the moment, it is only from the past causal perspective, and the future ideal perspective that the present can appear as an other named “God”.  Perhaps this present aspect of “God”, might be better named BEING or PRESENCE.  Essentially “God” is a mental phenomenon.  It implies separation, dualism, there’s you and there’s “God”, but in BEING there is no separation, and no mind. 

One might compare this schema to the Trinity. The father is the past cause, the son is the future ideal, and the holy spirit is the Presence.  Or perhaps Freud where the superego is the past cause, the ego is the future ideal, and the id is the Presence.  Perhaps the correspondence isn’t dead on, but the patterns do seem similar.

 
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04 January 2017 16:10
 

Yes there is “seeking” but in that occurs in the past and the future, and we all do it, whether we name it “God” or not.  The present Self is where the real experiencing comes.  In the present “God” completely disappears in the experience of being fully present in the moment, it is only from the past causal perspective, and the future ideal perspective that the present can appear as an other named “God”.  Perhaps this present aspect of “God”, might be better named BEING or PRESENCE.  Essentially “God” is a mental phenomenon.  It implies separation, dualism, there’s you and there’s “God”, but in BEING there is no separation, and no mind. 

One might compare this schema to the Trinity. The father is the past cause, the son is the future ideal, and the holy spirit is the Presence.  Or perhaps Freud where the superego is the past cause, the ego is the future ideal, and the id is the Presence.  Perhaps the correspondence isn’t dead on, but the patterns do seem similar.


This is of course not your fault and there’s no way you could know this, but I have reached my over saturation point with “Be In The Moment!”. Don’t get me wrong, I went to a mindfulness course and went “Woooow!“over the concept when I first learned it, and no doubt at that point I probably saw it with the freshness required for truth. Now I have seen it on too many mugs (often positioned next to other products that say, and I am not making this up, things like “Love moments, not things”, which causes one to have an existential crisis and freeze mid-store, wondering if you are supposed to buy the mug or have an intimate moment with it or fling it at the wall in protest, as it seems to be sending out a very mixed message, since it’s, you know, a ‘thing’, that’s for ‘sale’, not a ‘moment’, but…); and spoken too many times as a deepity that can mean anything from “Hi how are ya” to “You suck for not being as in the moment as me” to “If you just clap your hands and believe, this pretty much crappy situation will seem awesome if you’re in the moment enough. Do you believe in The Moment? I believe in the moment!! Just clap your hands!!!”.


Anyways, I think it’s a decent point but as part of a much larger tradition, possibly over distilled to the point of confusion in many situations.


That point aside - I think you’re possibly forgetting that God is often described as what is outside of time and space, not just time. To my mind, love is what remains when one has a sense of unity in one of those realms but not entirely in the other. And total contentment is total love.

[ Edited: 04 January 2017 16:14 by NL.]
 
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05 January 2017 10:01
 
EN - 04 January 2017 05:06 AM

“God” has so much historical, cultural and religious baggage that he needs an army to carry it.  “Creator”, “Supreme Being”, “Original Cause” or something else would be an improvement.  Otherwise you are just painting more pictures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, adding to an otherwise jumbled mess.

Actually, bb’s “nature in its fullest expression” is not bad, because that can include intelligence, consciousness and will.

I do not hold that God is “supernatural”.  It is my understanding that God is “nature”, to nature’s fullest extent.