I start out pretty sure of my line of thought.  But I peter out around number seven.  Hopefully others can pick up with this line of thought--assuming anyone else shares my first seven belief modules.  That's allot of modules to get through and still be buying into my line of thought:-).

God

Propositions

  1. God is definable, natural, perceptible, and certain.
  2. The nature of God is logically and scientifically verifiable through reason and repeated observation.

Nature of God I:

  • St. Anselm said, “God is that than which a greater cannot be conceived.” I, however, have remembered it thus: “God is that than which nothing greater can exist.” To define God as what “can” exist is preferable to defining God as what can be conceived because it puts the definition purely within the realm of possibility. In fact it makes the definition as incontrovertible as the definition that “A” is a letter. The fact that you disagree is really quite meaningless. “A” is by definition a letter.

Definition of God I:

  1. God is that than which nothing greater can exist.

Nature of God II:

  • God is only possible within this definition. It is possible that nothing exists and therefore that God does not exist. But if we accept that something exists, we accept that God exists. Spinoza’s definition of God is useful in establishing this fact, “God is one, that is, only one substance can be granted in the universe. Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived.”

Definition of God II:

  1. God is that than which nothing greater can exist.
  2. God is the totality of nature.

Nature of God III:

  • Along with our above definition—and Descartes’ thesis, we may know that God at least encompasses self-consciousness. Cogito ergo sum. By this definition, we may also be certain that our thoughts exist, even if only as illusions. Our thoughts are informed by our senses. Therefore what we sense exists even if it is only illusion. We arrive from here with the knowledge that the universe exists, even if only in our minds. There are also laws to this universe that are part of this universe. By thinking certain thoughts and creating (at least) the illusion of physical action, we can consistently affect the universe in a certain way. Consistency is what saves us from descending into masturbatory solipsism. Even if the universe is all in our head, there are certain laws that lead to consistent results. So we know that God is at least all that we perceive.

Definition of God III:

  1. God is that than which nothing greater can exist.
  2. God is the totality of nature.
  3. God is at least us our thoughts and all that we perceive.

Nature of God IV:

  • Of course, as Descartes pointed out, our perception can be faulty. What appear to be ropes, can, upon closer examination, turn out to be snakes. The nature of God is therefore a probability. We can never be certain, but we can be certain of the probability. In other words, we can be certain of God even if we can not be certain of his nature.

Definition of God IV:

  1. God is that than which nothing greater can exist.
  2. God is the totality of nature.
  3. God is at least us our thoughts and all that we perceive.
  4. God is certain, but we can only know the nature of God as a probability.

Nature of God:

  • We become more certain of God’s nature as we examine him. We do this by deductively examining thoughts through logical and inductively examining nature through science.

Definition of God V:

  1. God is that than which nothing greater can exist.
  2. God is the totality of nature.
  3. God is at least us our thoughts and all that we perceive.
  4. God is certain, but we can only know the nature of God as a probability.
  5. The nature of God becomes more certain with a combination of theory and observation.

Nature of God VI

  • When we observe God, inductively or deductively, we are looking for consistency.  We define truth by it's level of consistency.  The same effect is reached when we apply a certain cause.  This consistency can be determined through our senses or our intellect or any number of modes (Spinoza, Bahgavad Gita's three modalities, Roger Penrose's Road to Reality, etc).

Nature of God VII

  • The modes of knowing/revealing God are defined by culture.
  • The Piraha were unable to learn to count to 10 after 8 months of teaching because their culture does not allow them to conceive of numbers.  Similarly, most of humanity may be unable to learn another mode of knowing/see a mode of revealing God because it is unable to break free of it's cultural constraints.  For instance, the Piraha, who have no ability to talk of the abstract, refer to the spirit world that they apparently observe to be as real and consistent as the physical mode of reality.  The ability to conceive of number/mathmatics (or Chomsky's UG) seems as stable (real, objective) to Penrose and most Westerners as the ability to exprience physical reality.  Even if someone doesn't know how to count, they can learn to count because it is a consitent and repeatable activity.  But the Piraha, conditioned by their culture are simply unable to concieve of number.  Similarly, we may be unable, because of cultural conditioning, to experience the consistency/laws/repeatability of the spirit world.  More likely, there is simply no utility in our culture of being able to understand the repeatable aspects of the spirit world.  It is as completely irrelevant/unknowable/unobservable/unrepeatable as being able to count is to the Piraha and their culture and way of living.  It is not just that we have not learned how to see the spirit world.  It is not possible for us to ever experience this mode of perception because we have already been culturally hardwired to not see it.  We can not learn it.  However, just as there are those that, throughout history, eventually stumbled upon/were born with the gift of conceiving numbers (maybe just the ability to distinguish between one and many), there are those that were evolutionary anomolies and could see the spirit world such as Socrates, Jesus, and a few other true prophets).  It doesn't mean that most of the rest of humanity will ever have the hope of doing more than randomly guessing what they meant or exprienced.  In order to achieve this, these men would have had to raise a child from infancy to understand and live within their mode of reality.  The rest of us live constrained by a culture that relies upon counting, but not certain spiritual verities.
  • I can think of certain spiritual experiences that I had that were profoundly experienced, repeated themselves, were consistent at least from one experience to the next and probably between myself and others (Monstrous Cubical Crystals), that drove me to action.  And yet I can not label them as real because they are not shared by our culture as a whole and when I talk about it, it holds very little important or even attention because it has not been experienced by most others.  It would be like an individual Piraha trying to relay the idea of one and two to another member of their society.  It is so hard to comprehend that it is ignored by society and the individual who had the vague idea of number at one point.  In order for the concept of number to take off, there must be another member of society with whom to work out the development of the mode of experience, to define the shared experience.  For instance, understanding the nature of consciousness may be completely beyond the grasp of our culture--forever unfathomable to us--but possibly knowable by another culture/civilization/species.
  • The Piraha are the cultural link between animals and most of humanity (that is such a controversial thing to say).  It's not that they don't have the cognitive ability, they are simply culturally constrained.  Similarly, all humans probably have the ability to experience other modes of reality.  They simply never will.
  • We are completely alien to the Piraha.  We are as gods to them.  It's an amazing thought.

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An interesting series of belief modules.  A question I would ask is what are the prerequisite belief modules leading to the ones you have listed here.  Do your god belief modules have an underlying belief module for themselves?  The knowledge of "God" stems from a cultural upbringing (apologies if I sumarized that incorrectly)?  Do you think this may be the result of another belief module of you believing there are things you cannot understand?

A great post, Long, and I look forward to your future posts.

jlong7, I really appreciate your contribution.  I'm kinda on the go right now but will give this a fuller read but I wish more of us would be wiling to put it on the line.  I like the way you've laid this out.  Did it come easily or did you need to work at getting this clarity and refinement.

Anyway, it sounds like you are a sincere worker and seeker of the (your) truth. Keep it coming.  I live finding more . . . don't you?

. . . and it's free.

Metatron, my attempt here was to follow Descartes in an attempt to find the unquestioned bedrock of my beliefs--which is different than an unquestionable bedrock.  So, yes, I think there are pre-requisite belief modules.  But they are not accessible to me in my current state of consciousness.  And frankly, I have no intention of entering other states of consciousness in the near future.  If I did so, I'd probably realize I'm not happy with my current circumstances and just pack up and move off to some foreign country shortly before starving to death.  So, for now, I'm not interested in digging deeper.

Kernel, I wrote the above about five years ago.  I had thought about it for a few years probably before just writing it all in one sitting and never getting back to it.  It seemed a little too brief at the time.  But I find that I still tentatively believe these things (usually I read something from five years ago and am amazed I could have ever thought the way I did:-).  

This is a great community here on this website!  Very nicely put together!  I'll share more as it comes.

Hi jlong7,

I think it is reasonable for people to perceive God as that than which nothing greater can exist.  The greatest idea(s) one can conceive of and live by would be ones concept of God. 

Over time, I have worked with other, less traditional notions, that also seem to work well and produce different results.  Like, suppose God is/was not of this physical domain but of a metaphysical realm that proved to actually be of a more subtle "substance" than the physical one we currently exist in?  Suppose there is another reality - a non-physical reality that supports this physical one.  Suppose God was not infinite or greater than the greatest but more subtle . . . and rather than being beyond infinite, suppose God could best be understood as infinitesimally subtle or small.  

As we begin to intellectualize about God, it does not take long for people to start using words like perfect and perfection . . . but how can perfection exist in a universe of continuous change unless all change everywhere and always is defined as perfect.

When I understand God to be beyond the universe of change we can realize a domain that is perfect - beyond time, space and matter - the world which exists beyond the speed of light . . .for it is here that time and space no longer exist.  This is the world of thought/mind/consciousness - the place where there is no movement, no space.  This is the universe of pure particle energy and wave forms (vibrations).  This is our real home.  This is from where we all come - pulled or attracted into matter to express and experience . . . we come into superposition - me and "my" body.

Change the underlying assumptions and the conclusions begin to change.

Kernal,

Wikipedia says Spinoza, "contends that "Deus sive Natura" ("God or Nature") is a being of infinitely many attributes, of which thought and extension are two. His account of the nature of reality, then, seems to treat the physical and mental worlds as one and the same. The universal substance consists of both body and mind, there being no difference between these aspects."  This fits my concept of God.

I believe that "thought/mind/consciousness" is one aspect of the non-physical universe that you refer to.  And I believe that this aspect of the universe exists and that I can experience/observe it.  It sounds, however, like your concept of the non-physical universe has aspects to it that I have not experienced or observed.  For instance, I'm not sure that a domain beyond space and time that is perfect exists.  I believe that physicists inability to come up with a unified field theory may be because of inherent limits on mathematical (mental) models.  This, to me, is imperfection.  Of course, I'm making assumptions about how you define perfection.  

I have perceived certain mental realms that I think some might refer to as perfection.  But they have been highly unstable and transitory.  In fact, they have been so fleeting that I have been unable to identify any consistent or repeatable aspect to them.  So, I have very little to say about them--which is as it should be, both because that is the nature of the ineffable and the requirements of social decorum, I suppose.

If I did have to define perfection, it would be as balancing.  So, an equilibrium between birth and death would be perfection in an ecosystem.  Of course, the birth and death of ecosystems might be perfection to the planet.  But from a human perspective, the absence of death is often thought of as perfection.  And certainly from an individual perspective, death is a disaster and the antithesis of perfection--at least to most people.  Spinoza believed that the definition of good and evil were relative to the human experience.  So, the plague is evil from a human perspective, but close to perfection from a viral or bacterial perspective.  Of course, this may not be how you are defining perfection.  

You've referred to perfection as unchanging.  It is hard for me to even conceive of the unchanging as being existent.  You've described it as beyond time--which makes sense since one definition of time would be the observation or experience of change.  Both nature and one's mind is observable only because it changes.  So, it seems to me that this would make the realm beyond time also beyond experience or observation.  And so I am skeptical that it exists and therefore skeptical that it is an aspect of God.  Skeptical, but not by any means, ruling it out.  My definition of God is that he is *not* dependent on my ability to conceive of him (as St. Anselm defined God), but simply that he must exist--and existence is certainly a larger category than my ability to conceive.  

I'm most familiar with Thelemic metaphors for describing some aspects of God.  In Thelemic theology, God as infinitely subtle and small would correspond to Hadit.  Nuit being infinite extension and Ra-Hoor-Khuit as the mystical experience of the joining of Nuit and Hadit.  And it is Hadit, or thought/mind/consciousness, that most interests me in the pursuit of an understanding of God.  It seems, at least, the most ineffable and spiritual aspect of God.

It has been so long since I've had these types of conversations.  I feel as though I've discovered an oasis in the midst of a desert.  Thank you!

Perfection is changeless and therefore beyond movement through time and space.  The essence of time is movement through space. Perfection is changeless and knows not time or space.

Yes, perfection can be seen as an equilibrium - as in an ecosystem . . . however the notion of ecosystem conjures up a physical (not metaphysical) reality.  Nevertheless, in this framework if one were to look for perfection in the physical universe, it would be as you suggest . . . the perfect equilibrium you identify is otherwise identified as a cycle. . . and indeed, examples of cycles abound.  They abound because you are correct.

If one assumes that death is the antithesis of physical perfection, one draws a certain conclusion. If one understands that life is a continuing process, an eternal yet unchanging process that repeats itself identically, one arrives at a new set of understandings with which to navigate their way through life. 

Great point. “Both nature and one's mind is observable only because it changes.” With this understanding, one can develop a very rich understanding of life as a physical process – however, to appreciate life as a metaphysical reality, one must understand how old souls are rejuvenated or reconstituted to become new again.  This is a practical question to which I have almost no answer.  My Christian brethren tell me I need only accept Jesus as Christ, into my life, and the need to further understand the mystery of how God reconstitutes us old particles of conscient energy into “new” (pure) ones will dissipate.   

Use the resources of your personal blog space to educate us of Thelemic metaphors.


jlong7 said:

Kernal,

Wikipedia says Spinoza, "contends that "Deus sive Natura" ("God or Nature") is a being of infinitely many attributes, of which thought and extension are two. His account of the nature of reality, then, seems to treat the physical and mental worlds as one and the same. The universal substance consists of both body and mind, there being no difference between these aspects."  This fits my concept of God.

I believe that "thought/mind/consciousness" is one aspect of the non-physical universe that you refer to.  And I believe that this aspect of the universe exists and that I can experience/observe it.  It sounds, however, like your concept of the non-physical universe has aspects to it that I have not experienced or observed.  For instance, I'm not sure that a domain beyond space and time that is perfect exists.  I believe that physicists inability to come up with a unified field theory may be because of inherent limits on mathematical (mental) models.  This, to me, is imperfection.  Of course, I'm making assumptions about how you define perfection.  

I have perceived certain mental realms that I think some might refer to as perfection.  But they have been highly unstable and transitory.  In fact, they have been so fleeting that I have been unable to identify any consistent or repeatable aspect to them.  So, I have very little to say about them--which is as it should be, both because that is the nature of the ineffable and the requirements of social decorum, I suppose.

If I did have to define perfection, it would be as balancing.  So, an equilibrium between birth and death would be perfection in an ecosystem.  Of course, the birth and death of ecosystems might be perfection to the planet.  But from a human perspective, the absence of death is often thought of as perfection.  And certainly from an individual perspective, death is a disaster and the antithesis of perfection--at least to most people.  Spinoza believed that the definition of good and evil were relative to the human experience.  So, the plague is evil from a human perspective, but close to perfection from a viral or bacterial perspective.  Of course, this may not be how you are defining perfection.  

You've referred to perfection as unchanging.  It is hard for me to even conceive of the unchanging as being existent.  You've described it as beyond time--which makes sense since one definition of time would be the observation or experience of change.  Both nature and one's mind is observable only because it changes.  So, it seems to me that this would make the realm beyond time also beyond experience or observation.  And so I am skeptical that it exists and therefore skeptical that it is an aspect of God.  Skeptical, but not by any means, ruling it out.  My definition of God is that he is *not* dependent on my ability to conceive of him (as St. Anselm defined God), but simply that he must exist--and existence is certainly a larger category than my ability to conceive.  

I'm most familiar with Thelemic metaphors for describing some aspects of God.  In Thelemic theology, God as infinitely subtle and small would correspond to Hadit.  Nuit being infinite extension and Ra-Hoor-Khuit as the mystical experience of the joining of Nuit and Hadit.  And it is Hadit, or thought/mind/consciousness, that most interests me in the pursuit of an understanding of God.  It seems, at least, the most ineffable and spiritual aspect of God.

It has been so long since I've had these types of conversations.  I feel as though I've discovered an oasis in the midst of a desert.  Thank you!

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