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Personal vs. Impersonal God

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That’s no problem. It’s a bit of a shame though, because I think my latest analogy nicely illustrates the proposition in post #14, on the basis of which you accused me of impersonalism! I assume that you agree then, that this is not impersonalism:

 

 

 

Agreed! :)

 

To prevent the disease of impersonalism from spreading, please don't forget to add "a part of the" in front of any and all words that refer to a "supreme divine concept or entity". As an example, instead of saying "God is seen everywhere", say " a part of the God is seen everywhere" , instead of saying "All is divine", say "All is a part of the Divine". Thank you.

 

and about that Ramadan being Rama and Dan, I was kidding...I don't know how you can find that helpful or useful, but if it gives a sense of bhakti and tolerance and understanding, i am glad.

Edited by Redsox

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That’s no problem. It’s a bit of a shame though, because I think my latest analogy nicely illustrates the proposition in post #14, on the basis of which you accused me of impersonalism! I assume that you agree then, that this is not impersonalism:

 

 

 

Agreed! :)

 

The confusing thing is you are saying both things and apparently don't know it.

 

By the way don't assume anything.

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Its funny to read,

Does personal God look like Indian?, Is there a Hindu personal God, Christian God etc etc.,

 

If He takes form in India, He looks Indian, if He takes form in Israel, then He looks middle eastern, If He ever takes form in United states, then He might appear any color, may be hispanic, or african american, or white or Indian or mediteranean or chinese.

 

If you see the idols of Buddha made in China, Budda looks like chinese, while he was actually born in the Indian sub continent part..

 

If you see pictures of Krishna painted by Hare Krishna, Krishna has blue eyes, while in reality He was different.

 

This is hard to explain, and the only explanation I can think of is, STOP speculating and contemplating..

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Another analogy:

 

Suppose everything is consciousness. Since nothing in our individual reality (down to the absolute quantum level) is ever static, consciousness must be an extremely dynamical phenomenon. Nevertheless, each individual person must be a relatively stable recurrent dynamical pattern of consciousness, which forms a coherent dynamical conscious system in itself.

 

This may be seen as the small persistent eddies in an overall whirlpool. The small eddies are part of larger vortices, which are in turn part of larger vortices et cetera. If in this analogy each persistent dynamical pattern of a vortex is an individual person, the small eddies are individual persons and the larger vortices are also individual persons. Ultimately all individual consciousness exists within this overall whirlpool of consciousness that is itself a person.

 

Now, if the overall whirlpool is God, every individual vortex or person is part of God and ultimately one with God. However, each individual person is also different from God.

 

If you think this analogy is impersonalistic, then can you explain why..?

 

You think too much. God's revelations are descending in that they come to us by God's grace and not by our mind. I believe in the past I addressed the difference between philosophic speculation and mental speculation.

 

Anyway your point is incorrect because each vortex as you call it that comes off the individual souls is NOT a person. You have no ability to create another living being. That is done by God alone.

 

Krishna has various energies. The living entities are one such energy called marginal energy and are always subordinate to Him. Marginal entities, us, are tiny points of consciousness, localized and not omnipresent. Only Krishna is omnipresent.

 

He also has what is called an inferior energy which is always unconscious and makes up the energies but subtle and gross that make up these manifested universes. Your vortexs would fall under this category, Inferior, non-conscious, non-living.

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Its funny to read,

Does personal God look like Indian?, Is there a Hindu personal God, Christian God etc etc.,

 

If He takes form in India, He looks Indian, if He takes form in Israel, then He looks middle eastern, If He ever takes form in United states, then He might appear any color, may be hispanic, or african american, or white or Indian or mediteranean or chinese.

 

If you see the idols of Buddha made in China, Budda looks like chinese, while he was actually born in the Indian sub continent part..

 

If you see pictures of Krishna painted by Hare Krishna, Krishna has blue eyes, while in reality He was different.

 

This is hard to explain, and the only explanation I can think of is, STOP speculating and contemplating..

 

 

thats why its ok even to worship the flying spagheti monster, as long as it helps you become a good decent human being who doesn't judge others but treats others with equality and respect. Love and compassion. Kind of like remaining in the muddy water, but having the heart of a lotus, so on and so forth.

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In the past few posts I questioned hindustani's suggestion that we should drop trying to understand higher concepts and just concentrate on being good human beings.

 

The heart of my objection is contained within the idea of being good before seeking God. This contains the inherent idea that one has to qualify himself in some way before he can approach the Lord. I vehemently reject this idea.

 

We can never become good enough on our own merit to chant the names of God. To think so would be very arrogant on our part. No special religious rites are needed. No qualification by birth is required.

 

All that is required to chant the holy names is the willingness to do so. As we progree in Nam Bhajan we will become good by the influence of thew Holy Names.

 

Hare Krishna

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The confusing thing is you are saying both things and apparently don't know it.

...

 

I'm well aware of this! :) Achintya-bheda-abheda, isn't that the whole point? Oneness and difference must both be true!

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In the past few posts I questioned hindustani's suggestion that we should drop trying to understand higher concepts and just concentrate on being good human beings.

 

The heart of my objection is contained within the idea of being good before seeking God. This contains the inherent idea that one has to qualify himself in some way before he can approach the Lord. I vehemently reject this idea.

 

We can never become good enough on our own merit to chant the names of God. To think so would be very arrogant on our part.

 

I object, you better be good before you turn to God, because if you are not good, then the ignorance (tamasic mode) will not enable you to understand the teaching and you come to a muddy understanding that ends up blowing us all up over God's green earth, just look at 9/11 it has fundamentalist thinking written all over it :deal: .

 

So I object to your objection.

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Its funny to read,

Does personal God look like Indian?, Is there a Hindu personal God, Christian God etc etc.,

 

If He takes form in India, He looks Indian, if He takes form in Israel, then He looks middle eastern, If He ever takes form in United states, then He might appear any color, may be hispanic, or african american, or white or Indian or mediteranean or chinese.

 

If you see the idols of Buddha made in China, Budda looks like chinese, while he was actually born in the Indian sub continent part..

 

If you see pictures of Krishna painted by Hare Krishna, Krishna has blue eyes, while in reality He was different.

 

This is hard to explain, and the only explanation I can think of is, STOP speculating and contemplating..

 

If one goes on a darshan tour of Radha Krishna temples world-wide, Radha in middle east look middle eastern, Radha from Toronto looks French, from Maharashtra , Banglore, Mayapur, Florida, Houston, South Africa - they look like the people from those ethnic places. None of them look exactly like Radha-Shyamsunder in Vrindavan.

 

Why is that ? The first thing that occured to me, is that this is done on purpose, so that people of each location can warm up to the deities as human beings made in the Deities' image. So they feel a sense of belonging.

 

On the other hand , its very important to preserve the roots , and know what historical Buddha looked like although His images may look Chinese, for instance.

 

 

-------

 

When its a genuine personal experience of God, however, its totally upto Him whether to make it fit into the jiva's prior ideas about Him, or to completely knock the ideas off.

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"retain our individuality at any subsequent liberated state of being."

 

---without a 'relationship' to a transcendent Absolute ENTITY [God's Personage] . . . what constitues 'individuality'?

 

What makes one individual individual, except in contrast to other Persons?

 

Does Personal preference(s) constitute an individual? Does samsara steal-away our preference(s) or do our Personal preference(s) change birth-after-birth . . . since, amidst samsara, we are always self-ascribing temporary conditioned 'likes & dis-likes' as the definition of one's own individuality?

 

What makes for ABSOLUTE individuality?

 

Not sure if that was rhetoric or real qns to stimulate discussion .....

 

Could the answer be Thought ? The individual stays unique by personal thought. Thought creates experience - given by the Lord. Even after liberation the soul can choose to have thought - on the spiritual plane. So likes and dislikes can continue on a much higher level.

 

Why does Tungavidya wear white and Champaklata red ? Is this in relation to their rasa with Krshna, or Radha, or is it strictly personal preference ? Can the 2 things be seperated ? I do not know. The colors do represent some aspect of the Divine, i believe - like white for vidya .

 

 

Thought, sometimes followed by belief and choice, is the phenomenon that makes an individual , individual. Krshna (God) reciprocates according to this phenomenon, although He already knows what it will be.

 

Desire to get engrossed in Brahman without any active interaction or service to the Supreme Lord, is also individual choice . Just that all Sayujjas probably look the same - or similar. That's their choice. It only means they are a part of the Supreme, that just wants to "be".

 

 

 

Quote : "Do our personal preferences change birth after birth ?"'

 

They should. The kind of actions , attitudes , perspectives, Sadhana, chosen or picked up from surroundings , get embossed on the jiva as 'samskAr'. The 'samskAr' gets carried over into the next life , so samskAras create new preferences as their side effect.

 

As the 3 modes of material nature fluctuate, so will the preferences.

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yeah, and here are a few other things that might be useful for you...

 

you know Ramadan? why its holy for muslims? it comes from Rama & Dan, Rama is lord Rama and Dan means (if i remember this correctly) Donation. Lord Rama Donation, they are giving their devotion to allah and donating it to Rama who is none other than that Allah.

 

Wrong. Ramadan is Rama & Danava. Rama and Danava were enemies. Followers of Danava who were killed by Rama (Siva) became alive again after Danava placed them in a well which brings the dead back to life. When Muslims fast on Ramadan it`s to remind them of how Rama and Danava fought a war that one thought would never end. Until Lord Visnu in the form of a cow appeared and drank all what was inside the well Danava built.

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Wrong. Ramadan is Rama & Danava. Rama and Danava were enemies. Followers of Danava who were killed by Rama (Siva) became alive again after Danava placed them in a well which brings the dead back to life. When Muslims fast on Ramadan it`s to remind them of how Rama and Danava fought a war that one thought would never end. Until Lord Visnu in the form of a cow appeared and drank all what was inside the well Danava built.

 

nice, and actually it took vishnu a month to digest it all, because he has a lactase that actually takes around a month to digest the milk, and it only works at night, and stops working at sunrise , this is why the muslims only eat food before sunrise and after sunset to remember and commemorate this fact and we can go on and on ;)

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by Redsox

 

 

Says me, yes just go back to my post earlier and read it again and look at it closely, I just took the sonic yogi's argument and wrote "Abrahamic religion" where he wrote Hinduism and switched the word hinduism with whereever he wrote abrahamic religion.

You can see how his argument is quite meaningless, just like my argument and you can turn it either way.

 

Yes, you're right ... your argument regarding Personal God versus impersonal God is meaningless.

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You think too much. God's revelations are descending in that they come to us by God's grace and not by our mind. I believe in the past I addressed the difference between philosophic speculation and mental speculation.

 

Well, since the forums are closing within a few days, I guess we don’t have time to revisit that discussion. I think Prabhupada himself said that religion without philosophy is sentiment. One must inquire into the truth. The rest is up to God’s grace.

 

 

Anyway your point is incorrect because each vortex as you call it that comes off the individual souls is NOT a person. You have no ability to create another living being. That is done by God alone.

 

That’s exactly what is illustrated in the vortex analogy of post #45. Every small localized vortex is created as a function of God’s overall non-localized energy. Forget about vortices within vortices. If such a hierarchy exists in reality, it’s clear that we are at the very bottom and God is at the absolute top (although every living being is obviously created within another living being as its offspring).

 

 

Krishna has various energies. The living entities are one such energy called marginal energy and are always subordinate to Him. Marginal entities, us, are tiny points of consciousness, localized and not omnipresent. Only Krishna is omnipresent.

 

In the analogy, all vortices (the tiny conscious entities) are localized. Yet, they are created and sustained by God’s omnipresent energy which continuously flows through them!

 

 

He also has what is called an inferior energy which is always unconscious and makes up the energies but subtle and gross that make up these manifested universes. Your vortexs would fall under this category, Inferior, non-conscious, non-living.

 

We already agreed elsewhere (in discussing the sun analogy and a mathematical chaos analogy), that no material analogy of absolute reality can be perfect. In a sun analogy of reality, the sun and the sunlight are also not exactly God and his energies. In a fire analogy, the tiny sparks are also not living entities. Likewise, in this vortex analogy, the flowing water must be seen as just a very crude analogue of God’s energies that create and sustain vortices that must be seen as a very crude analogue of our individual or personal consciousness. The whole idea is just to indicate how we might be both one with God and different from God, and how simultaneously God can be a person like us, albeit a transcendental one. Actually, this vortex analogy is quite similar to my earlier mathematical chaos analogy. The latter is even simpler and much more powerful, but also more difficult to imagine or visualize in your mind.

 

Anyway, It has been a rare pleasure discussing these ideas with you. It’s quite sad the forum will be closed. I really think we ultimately could have agreed on a more formal or logical concept of God, in accordance with Vaishnavism and perhaps even modern science. Actually, I don’t think we disagree that much. We just see things from a different perspective. I wish you all the very best.

 

Hare Krishna! :)

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Hey Primate!

 

This was your best yet ---maybe its because it is more readable:

 

Suppose everything is consciousness. Since nothing in our individual reality (down to the absolute quantum level) is ever static, consciousness must be an extremely dynamical phenomenon. Nevertheless, each individual person must be a relatively stable recurrent dynamical pattern of consciousness, which forms a coherent dynamical conscious system in itself.

This may be seen as the small persistent eddies in an overall whirlpool. The small eddies are part of larger vortices, which are in turn part of larger vortices et cetera. If in this analogy each persistent dynamical pattern of a vortex is an individual person, the small eddies are individual persons and the larger vortices are also individual persons. Ultimately all individual consciousness exists within this overall whirlpool of consciousness that is itself a person.

Now, if the overall whirlpool is God, every individual vortex or person is part of God and ultimately one with God. However, each individual person is also different from God.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

This analogy is NOT impersonalistic ---but it does not refer to the description of God's status as a person. It describes the Jiva's relation to God.

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This was good too!

 

 

Primate wrote:

Our consciousness is personal (an obvious fact). Our consciousness, including our sense of Self, is part of reality (another obvious fact). If everything in reality is God (a premise), then God must be total consciousness (a logical conclusion). And if all consciousness is personal (a speculative proposition), then God must be personal (a logical conclusion)..

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My old allegory:

 

Nothingness and Something-ness both existed together and sustained each other since time-immemorial, together this is called the material manifestation or the Cosmos.

Something-ness may be found either conscious or in-animated.

The Self: Each conscious Individual, within the cosmos, has as its own address a "Vector Point" [X-Y-Z Axis Intersection]—which is indivisible, individual, eternal, and conscious.

An animated conscious individual may occupy a body [encasement].

This encasement allows the pursuit of its own gratification by way of:

1 Eating,

2 Sleeping,

3 Mating,

4 Defense (Physical, mental, ego).

After the temporal stages of birth, growth, old age and death the vector point retains only the spirit of 'direction toward a **goal'.

Thus by dint of prior cultivated interests, inherits a new body/encasement which accommodates another lifetime for the pursuit of gratification(s) along the same lines of interests that where cultivated during its last life. When this is repeated since time immemorial the sages call this 'samsara' [the cycle of birth and death].

[**the goal is often without guidance thus the 4 pursuits become the ultimate means and end of life's journey to nowhere except repeated gratification. Proper guidance allows us to reconcile, "What in the hell are we doing here?" during a lifetime].

The setting of the above pastimes [of every animated or inanimated individual point] is a large empty space of Nothingness [the sages call this empty space: 'brahman'].

The in-animated elements within the cosmos are of two kinds:

1 gross matter [earth, water, fire, air, either], and,

2 subtle [mind, intelligence, ego].

The mystery of life is the attainment of transcendence.

Some say the attainment of nirvana, or merging with the primordial 'Nothingness' is the goal.

The chain of succession of knowledge that comes to us from Vyasadeva shows us [through dissatisfaction with our own pursuits —life time after life times of gratification in countless species of life— in varying births of different status] that the goal of life is to seek the 'Absolute Truth' not relative truths.

The conclusion of the Vedas and thus the conclusion of Vedanta is the 'Absolute Truth' known as the personage known as Krishna. We know this 'Absolute Truth' in the same way we know who are real father is: from our mother [except for those who cultivated future disadvatages]. The Vedas are like our mother telling us who are father is etc, etc.

Krishna Consciousness is the top most mystic yoga discipline:

Remembering the transcendental name, fame, form, personality, paraphernalia, entourage, and, pastimes of none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead Bhagavan Sri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, brother of Balarama, cousin of Arjuna, source of Mahavisnu and Narayana, the original-original eternal, all-cognizant, all-blissful form of God in his Transcendent Heaven where every soul pursues reciprocal pastimes with God face to face.

Yoga is to re-link with this 'Absolute Truth', thus remembering Krishna's form assists the minute living entity [conscious Individual Vector Point] at death so as to acquire a next birth that further cultivates Krsna Conscousness till successful completion. Remembering Krishna in the material world is prescribed thus [it is also the easiest]: Chant Krishna's names. Chant the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra. Read the Bhagavad-gita's Chapter 10 "The Opulence of the Absolute” to learn where to see God's opulence spread through-out the cosmos

 

 

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WOW, Primate and Bhaktajan, you have both put it very well. Thank You.

 

I find most of your analysis and anologies (leave aside "pratishtha", basis for a moment) , very interesting and helpful. You are most certainly not a Primate. What an ironical name !

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