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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Spiritual Development

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  #51  
Old 12-10-2017, 04:33 PM
Kioma Kioma is offline
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In my mind, the universe is the word of God. It's His creation, so carefully observing the universe gives direct insight into the mind of God. We are part of the universe.

I think it a widely held belief that spiritual progression is built on the acquisition of spiritual skills and awareness. It's also a widely held belief in spirituality and the more spiritual religions that the ultimate goal of existence is union with God. What does this mean exactly, and how does this correlate with what we can observe in the universe?

One thing I have observed countless times in countless ways is that the universe seems hardwired to reward awareness. That's not to say everything is necessarily knowable or even understandable to us, but I think enough of the rudiment comes through to make it clear. That awareness rewards in nearly any capacity is self evident. The penalties of avoiding awareness are also generally self evident.

So yes, I find it entirely understandable if, on a spiritual level, each life could have preferred goals or intentions, set before birth. As an example, if in a previous life one was consumed by selfish interests, he might come back in another life situation that would be more conducive to building awareness through compassion and empathy.

As to whether this is predestination, no, I don't think so. Something else I have observed is all the evil in the world. It seems there is no end to the horrible things people will do to other people. If there is a God, how can S/He let that happen? For me, this gets back to the union with God question, but let's ask another question: If God is omnipotent, and God wants union with souls, then why doesn't he just instantly whip up a bunch of souls and 'union' away?

Sounds odd, put bluntly like that, I know - but really, why not? Why go through this whole rigmarole of creating an entire universe and all that? Going back to the question of evil, and observing the universe, we see God does allow evil to exist - a lot of it - and pain, and suffering, and all the woe and misfortune people can bear, and more.

In my mind, the answer to all this is simply the choices we make. At the same time, I also observe that it is a shared universe - what I do can affect you, and what you do can affect me. It would seem that cooperation is another encouraged action, something I see we are learning very slowly, though it is encouraged by such spiritual values as compassion, empathy, kindness, etc..

The point being, as I see it, is that we have free will. Yes, situations and behaviors can have a lot of inertia, but we can and do have have some potential influence, small or large, depending. I know we have free will because evil exists, because we are, in our physical consciousness, separate from God. Looked at in this way, the existence of evil becomes a powerful proof of God's love. God seems to love us so much that he grants us true individuality, and wants us to freely expand our selves, our awareness, to the point that our awareness encompasses the universe, to the point of omniscience, to the point of union with God - but this is not predestination. We can grow, but we can also fail to choose to grow. Observing the universe further, we see there is nothing directly coercive about God's plan. We must freely choose to take responsibility and expand and grow - but choice is meaningless if we are compelled to succeed. For choice to actually be meaningful, we must also be free to fail. Evil, both banal and heinous, is perfectly representative of our failures, IMO.

So, set goals in spirit and learn is what people do - one hopes.


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  #52  
Old 13-10-2017, 01:55 AM
weareunity weareunity is offline
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Hello Kioma. I have just managed to access the site and have had a first read through. I really appreciate your response and look forward to studying it further as time allows--in the spirit of genuine interest and exploration. Thanks. petex
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  #53  
Old 13-10-2017, 03:31 AM
Kioma Kioma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weareunity
Hello Kioma. I have just managed to access the site and have had a first read through. I really appreciate your response and look forward to studying it further as time allows--in the spirit of genuine interest and exploration. Thanks. petex
Understood.


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  #54  
Old 13-10-2017, 10:27 PM
weareunity weareunity is offline
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It is a pleasure to learn of your thoughts and belief Kioma.
I find that you explain well and concisely. My efforts to do likewise often result in using poetry--not very good poetry I think, but I hope providing something of the same concise communication of thought and belief as your writing.

I had a strong feeling that we share thoughts in common--and this proves to be the case--though coming from different places, and with perhaps differing emphasis.

As an illustration here is a poem written in about 1985 in an attempt to communicate very similar thoughts to your own I think regarding free will/choice/love. Time has passed. I have grown older/old but for the most part my thoughts remain much as described in the poem.

If there is no choice there can be no love
For love insisted upon becomes obedience,
And so you have free will.

Yet the hand of mankind is forced through mankind's own hand,
For when mankind walks away from the path of love
By that same measure are the consequences of so doing increased.
Eventually those consequences upon consequences will present mankind with the choice of ultimate consequence.

For as the magnitude of the consequences increase
So also do the remaining choices decrease,
Until, finally, one choice remains.

That choice has always been available,
But only now are you obliged to face it.

Much life has been spent to reach this obligation.
Now that you are able to destroy utterly
So are you poised to create.
This is the nature of choice,
Without both options it does not exist.

all the best. petex
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  #55  
Old 14-10-2017, 01:06 AM
Kioma Kioma is offline
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For many years I was a technical writer. It does lend itself to very precise speech - and very UN-poetical, I'm sad to say.

I very much appreciate your poem, and would love to hear more of your thoughts on the subject.

Namaste.


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  #56  
Old 14-10-2017, 03:51 AM
weareunity weareunity is offline
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Hello Kioma. In the spirit of exploration, I can already see a possibly large hole somewhere near the waterline of the case made by my younger self which is food for thought. It is this:--
Does a condition which we might call loving obedience contradict the thoughts expressed re love and choice? Actually, ---is loving obedience a very special condition indeed. And why ? petex
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  #57  
Old 14-10-2017, 10:42 PM
Kioma Kioma is offline
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Another great question.

In my view, there are two ways of looking at this, the spiritual way and the secular way, though the implications are the same in either case.

In the spiritual view, God created the universe. We are part of the universe. The question is why does God create anything? The obvious general answer, without trying to assume too much, is so that it can exist. It is God's will that something should exist, so S/He causes it to exist. What that something does after that is generally innate from it's creation, circumstance, and being. I call this 'expression'.

To be clear, 'expression' is not some rote behavior without freedom of will. Expression, as I use it, is a dynamic attribute springing from one's creation, circumstance, and being. It is what one DOES, including one's own consciousness and imagination, as one relates both to oneself internally and the world and others externally. It is, as Alan Watts put it, "People 'peopling'." Newton thought it perfectly logical to assume God created something a specific way and it ran afterward like clockwork. These days I like to think we've come to see that God is God, with a love so profound that his creations are endowed with a freedom of will that allows us to transcend the conditions of our initial creation, should we seek to do so, among many other things. This freedom is, however, a two edged sword, as I elaborated on earlier.

So, recognizing that our very existence is the will of God, and the innate value of our individual 'expression' that implies, it follows that we should honor other individuals and their 'expressions' as we honor our own. The error would be to limit another's 'expression' because to do so would be to abuse our freedom by thwarting an act of God. After all, if God did not want us 'expressing' as individuals, then why would he create us as individuals? I believe this is the foundation of the Buddhist reverence for 'sentient' beings, and also explains the worth of the cardinal spiritual values of compassion, empathy, kindness, etc.

On the secular side, one only need to agree that other peoples lives are equal to one's own. It is a rational decision, based on logic and awareness - and again reliant on compassion and empathy, but without the spiritual perspective. From there, the very same conclusions can be drawn; that each person has innate worth, and that anyone can do anything they want as long as they don't take that right from another, because to do so is to deny their innate worth.

So that is my basis of morality. Getting to your question of 'loving obedience' IMO goes into the question of individual expression. 'Loving obedience' to me is about sacrifice. From that sentence alone, you could probably tell I'm not very obedient, for any reason - but that is strictly my view. Others can, and will, see it differently.

The fundamental question, to me, is always "What is my true expression?" In other words, "Who am I?" For some, this might be loving obedience. For others, it might be hateful rebellion. This is the utility of the cardinal spiritual values of honesty and integrity, both with oneself and others. If a person truly feels loving obedience is their thing, then that is the right thing to do. If, however, someone feels their expression is theirs only and not to be given to another, then that is the right thing.

Also, one's answer can change. Children are expected to have loving obedience to their parents when young. This is a demonstrably advantageous view - when young. At some point, however, there is usually a moment when the child realizes if he is to become an adult, he must make his own way, and they are right, though their timing may not always be the best. This is very common.

So, if you had a specific situation in mind, I am unable to speak on it without further information. But that's how I look at it, off the top.


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