Who or what is God to you?

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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Left Behind on Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:58 pm

Now Peter, I'm sure you're familiar with "Waltzin' Matilda". Which of course has nothing to do with dancing, or a lady by that name.

I have no doubt that the afterlife really exists. As for the analogy with Catholic purgatory: yes, I was raised as a Catholic, and the thought has struck me more than once that there doesn't seem to be any real hell in the afterlife, but there does seem to be a purgatory: an unpleasant place where certain souls go for a time, till they repent of their ways.

Jim

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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:26 pm

I thnk that what we may feel to have earned a spell in purgatory may mean something quite different on the Spirit Side.

However, I am not and never will be a Christian, so I find it easier to break from the chains of Abrahamic religions. The only piece of the bible that resonated for me even when I was 10 or 11 were the commandments of love from Jesus and the phrase you can all do what I do.

I spent a lot of time considering my position but concluded formal religion had nothing to do with Christs teaching with the codicil if theer was such a single being. The idea of the trinity came well after the time of Jesus it was a theological creation.


Last edited by Admin on Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:43 pm

Left Behind wrote:
I have no doubt that the afterlife really exists. As for the analogy with Catholic purgatory: yes, I was raised as a Catholic, and the thought has struck me more than once that there doesn't seem to be any real hell in the afterlife, but there does seem to be a purgatory: an unpleasant place where certain souls go for a time, till they repent of their ways.

Jim

We all know how Catholicism borrowed ideas and practices from paganism and other religious/spiritual belief systems.

I wonder where the Catholic idea of purgatory came from?

We were taught that mortal sins took you straight to Hell whereas venial sins meant a spell in Purgatory. I don't think there is any mention of this place/state in the Bible - but as Catholics we didn't read the Bible all that much - just pieces of it in the liturgy.

Perhaps in the spirit world 'purgatory' is a state of sorrow and regret for transgressions against the natural law, omissions etc. The sort of thing that Chan describes so vividly. Such transgressions would be balanced in some way by the Natural Law but this could occur in different dimensions and reincarnations.

I imagine that in the spirit world people continue to learn and develop. Silver Birch does mention spirits who are near to completely crushed by their life experiences and who need gentle healing, but this would not be 'purgatory'.

There are all sorts of different stories around.

We must not forget about forgiveness either. I think that forgiveness is different from the idea of Grandfathers God and Church waiving the wands or sprinkling with waters blessed.

Maybe forgiveness is simply the application of the Natural Law which may not be as painful as we think with our preconditioning about judgement, punishment and guilt.

Interesting thoughts and questions.

Quiet


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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Wes on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:35 am

If there is no right or wrong, is there a need for forgiveness?
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:54 am

Wes wrote:If there is no right or wrong, is there a need for forgiveness?

Maybe there is simply, as Silver Birch said, the Law Smile.

In one of the books I have Silver Birch advises us to attune ourselves to the Law. That is a bit mysterious because we have to find out what it is. Intuitively, we often know, however.

Also, who said there is no right or wrong? I guess it depends on who and where you are and what you do.

Stephanie Dowrick, an Interfaith Minister in Sydney and well known author and broadcaster, wrote a book called "Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love". Great reading for us earthlings.

She suggests that forgiveness is, amongst other things, a letting go. If we feel someone has hurt us we ultimately have to forgive them by letting go of the hurt, even if they don't even acknowledge the need. We have to do it for our own release from resentment, hurt or bitterness. It restores our balance, stops us being weighed down.

Forgiveness from the Great Spirit? That is up to that entity I guess.

Chan, Ivy Northage's spirit speaker, talks having been a warrior lord leading men to war and being responsible for much suffering and death. That is one of the reasons why he sought to bring hope to human beings through Northage's mediumship. He is restoring the balance. Maybe that is how he gains 'forgiveness'. Maybe forgiveness is a somewhat restricted word in this context.

I'm glad Chan came back. His words help me Smile. And others, I'm sure.

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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Wes on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:35 am

Forgiveness in a spiritual sense is something that rankles me. Once you say you need forgiveness from a higher power for your sins, you are disempowering yourself by claiming to be so broken you are incapable of fixing yourself. It's like god made us only hollow images of himself and deliberately left out some parts that only he can provide to make the finished product work. That reeks of shoddy workmanship Very Happy

If we truly are made in the image of the divine, then we already contain all the necessary parts to repair ourselves of our "sins" without the need to seek forgiveness from a higher power. A good place to start is to cultivate acceptance and all the wealth that flows from applying it to yourself and then to others.

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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by skfarblum on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:06 am

Wes.
Now that is wisdom.

Stephen
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:23 am

Great Wes
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by KatyKing on Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:43 pm

Spiritualist aspect of personal responsibility entails forgiveness for ourselves first then others with accompanying action to right wrongs where possible. SNU 'retribution' apart [and that's always been a contested word in their principles ] I don't think any of the main players necessarily accept a judgemental\forgiving role for the Great Spirit. We have to do that ourselves, both on this side and beyond.
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:31 pm

Wes wrote:Forgiveness in a spiritual sense is something that rankles me. Once you say you need forgiveness from a higher power for your sins, you are disempowering yourself by claiming to be so broken you are incapable of fixing yourself. It's like god made us only hollow images of himself and deliberately left out some parts that only he can provide to make the finished product work. That reeks of shoddy workmanship Very Happy

If we truly are made in the image of the divine, then we already contain all the necessary parts to repair ourselves of our "sins" without the need to seek forgiveness from a higher power. A good place to start is to cultivate acceptance and all the wealth that flows from applying it to yourself and then to others.


That is a good way of seeing things. I think I said that 'forgiveness' may not be the right word when talking about a concept which is sensitive in any context. The concept is easier to understand in the terms of human behaviour. If someone hurts me I have to ultimately forgive them as stated earlier.

What you are expressing makes sense in terms of the natural law of karma. To return the example of Chan, he was in some ways atoning for his earthly actions, redressing the balance. This is all speculation - although he implied it strongly in his work.

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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:24 pm

It would be good to have some discussion about karma. Maybe that has already happened here. I have not checked.

I think we learn through the application of karma. A person may do things which are not attuned to natural law, even though s/he did not realise this at the time. Later those actions have natural consequences.

Perhaps when we wonder about all this we may see that the consequences came from less that perfect actions. The balancing act is karma. At least, that is how I understand it at this point in time.

In as much as Spiritualism has a philosophy, I don't think it has any particular views on karma, although individual responsibility comes under the ambit of karma, I think.

Quiet


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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by hiorta on Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:09 pm

Absolutly, Quiet.
The Law of Cause & Effect, or Karma and covers the Principle of Personal Responsibility and Compensation and Retribution.

Karma has an educational basis rather than a punitive one, often 'leading us unknowing into Paths of Light'

SB gives it that the effects of the Laws are instantaneous and so at variance with the 'Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all Good and Evil deeds done' which has a heavy Christian 'heaven & hell' tone to it, particularly the word 'evil'
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by KatyKing on Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:47 pm

Quiet wrote:
KatyKing wrote:More like a mobile phone with inermittent service problems. Kinda glad really, there's those in Spirit as would be never off the line.
Only Aussie record my Dad sent back from Oz to us was Pub with No Beer... can't remember the artist but fifty years on the chorus lingers still
There's nothing so lonesome.. so morbid or drear.. than to stand in the bar... of a pub with no beer.

Was it by a Mr Slim Dusty ??

Slim Dusty - yes. 'Pub with No Beer' was his most famous song.

To confess, I first remember hearing 'Telephone to Glory' sung by Burl Ives Smile

I personally don't remember much about Jimmy Little from that time (1960s). Not so much publicity then. Black and white TV and radio.

God had different dimensions. I'd never heard of spiritualism but was just separating from the Catholic Church.

Never done a formal count as such but a fair few people over the years have said they were former Catholics. More so than most. Never heard anyone say 'As a former Unitarian or Quaker. Possibly because there are more Catholics to begin with and over here anyhow they have their own schools so maybe a stronger sense of belonging or formerly belonging. Or might it be that theres an implicit mystical side to Catholicism,apparitions of BVM for example or spiritual healing a a Lourdes... that maybe isnt so strong in say CofE or Baptists so that Spiritualism isn't such the big jump as it might be for others? On the other hand most Spiritualist services follow a low Free Hurch type pattern .... Interesting. I wonder if there has been any research done as to where folk came from. One thing for sure 'bithright' Spiritualists are few and far between,always have been. Most attenders were somehing else before they became Spiritualists.
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:05 am

Good questions. My father studied at one time for the priesthood, although he didn't finish. He was a very kind and reserved man and there was always something deeper to him. My mother converted to Catholicism for him and she was a deeply sensitive woman.

As I grow older, I wonder how many spiritual veins travel through the generations. I do believe in genetic heredity that can manifest in different ways; and in reincarnation.

I think there is something mystical in Catholicism that touches the soul and marks it forever. It's a pity about that macho political nonsense in which the Church has always enshrouded itself. It could have achieved so much if it wasn't for that.

For ages, however, the many mystical and deeply loving souls in the Western world operated within the Catholic Church. Many of then rejected the nonsense and came into conflict with the clergy and the Church hierarchy.

As a kid I really wanted to be Jewish only only to discover in adulthood that many of them were unhappy too Smile

You'll always find Catholic bred souls searching for other things!

I love what I've read and experienced about Spiritualism and mediumship but what happens in the Churches makes you draw breath sometimes. People are just as human, impatient and intolerant as they are anywhere else Smile


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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:16 am

And just as kind and loving too .......Smile

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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:24 am

Silver Birch said that the spirit understands the things it need to learn to progress and chooses the environment in which the most opportunity to learn will present.

This made me really think about my family. The people in my immediate family who have passed, and others, have all come through to me through evidential mediumship at some stage.

My siblings simply do not believe as I do, although one brother is very close to these things. I do wonder sometimes. Maybe they have other lessons to learn.

All very mysterious. I feel that the knowledge being offered now through learning and experience is quite special and suited to heart and spirit. So maybe all is well with the world Smile

Quiet


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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:40 am

I guess this brings us back to the meaning of life and God. Smile

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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by KatyKing on Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:51 pm

Lovely reflective posts. Thank you Q. Good job your Dad decided on a different career...
I'e not much experience of going to other denominations but Catholics round here have clubs and bingo nights and seem more socially active than say the baptists. But maybe those whoop it up too. Brought up Spiritualist I found it very dull. Nominal attender til Teens then stoopped but registered as one inArmy so I could wag off church parades. Married a CofE lass in our church. My aunie took the service but nada involvement until late twenties when I 'ame bak in' What I notice as a proper member is general cheeriness and positivity amongst regulars and its as much social side as the rest that keep us going. Ex wife took to it and still goes and the final Mrs K has taken to it too.
I don' think many Spiritualists are AS spiritual as say some of the Catholic religious who write about such things but there's a kind of warm loosey goosey familiarity being around Spirit that I really like and have found in those few Spiritualist churches I'e had doings amongst. Very down to earth people and if have one personal issue maybe that many take it for granted s its next to impossible having the type of chats you find on here with church chums. We tend to talk about hurch business or mediums coming or just gone. We do have discussion sessions too but with newcomers in those tend to be pretty basic . We've kinda said before Q I think... that the mystical writers from Catholic path are pretty much on the ball. Those guys really knew and tell it like it is. If it doesn' sound too daft I hitched my wagon to the Corinthians for insurance etc because of all Spiritualist groups in UK they make a dogma of being non dogmatic so are very inclusive. Our Progressive church that I attend when not working elsewhere is ex SNU and still has seven prnciples on wall and website but says each is free to interpret those according to own light.
I wouldn't feel at home in one of those places that tell people what they must believe in order to belong.
PS.. meaning of life = Cake, and lots of it.
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:47 pm

You were born a Spiritualist? Lucky man if that is correct - but then, things are as they are and we work with what we have. As a young person I had some anger towards my parents (as many adolescents do) but that was replaced with love many years ago.

I think you are right about the great Catholic mystics but there are also Sufi mystics like Hafiz and Rumi and the like, Not to mention Tagore and Lao Tzu. Lots of women in there as well and lots of common themes. Gives one great hope for the world.

I am not a member of any Spiritualist Church now, although I'm going to one this afternoon. When I do attend I also love the 'loosey goosey' feeling of being around Spirit, the normalcy of it all. Might have to find myself a community to join. Smile

Meaning of life is ice cream for me. It's bliss Smile

Quiet


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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by KatyKing on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:10 pm

Yep born into it but they do say Spirit has no grandchildren only children so everybody's a convert really. I just found a lot of it toe curlingly embarrassing when I was a kid and kept it v quiet at school. Very grateful now though of Lyceum indoctrination as things learnt young stick better also we had plenty of non spiritualist kids attending too. We had films and parties and all sorts. From what I heard of other denomination Sunday Schools it was all bible stories and colouring in. Lyceum ways have informed how I try to teach even now. Keep it fun busy and interesting.. We were the last Sunday School going generation us kids in the fifties and early sixties. I don't think there's a functional Lyceum anywhere in England these day.
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by KatyKing on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:24 pm

That Rumi was a character. In Turkey on hols bought a book of Rumi sayings and they were all jokes and funny stories that he told. Some lost a bit in translation but some real crackers, any mystic who writes gags has to be pretty wise.
Alan Watts says that Suzuki the Zen master advised his students to begin each day by having a good old out loud belly laugh at life.
Never been brave enough to try that. Mrs K thinks me potty enough as it is.
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by KatyKing on Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:43 pm

Here's a Rumi cracker....
Proud philosopher being rowed across a river asks the ferryman.......
Tell me my good man did you ever learn philosophy?
No sir I never had that opportunity... answers the ferrman.
Then you have wasted half of your life.... says the philosopher smugly.

But did you ever learn to swim sir?...asks the ferryman.
Certainly not! ...the philosopher snaps.
Ferryman shakes his head sadly and replies...
Then I am sorry to tell you that you have wasted all of your life sir...
The boat's sinking.
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:00 pm

KatyKing wrote:That Rumi was a character. In Turkey on hols bought a book of Rumi sayings and they were all jokes and funny stories that he told. Some lost a bit in translation but some real crackers, any mystic who writes gags has to be pretty wise.
Alan Watts says that Suzuki the Zen master advised his students to begin each day by having a good old out loud belly laugh at life.
Never been brave enough to try that. Mrs K thinks me potty enough as it is.

A lot depends on the translation. The Rubaiyat of Omar Knayyam is a good example. Edward FitzGerald did the Western world a favour when he translated this but Western scholars and other readers didn't always 'get' that it is an allegory. That is a kind of joke in itself.

Khayyam and other Sufi poets like Rumi used common similes so that the ordinary man could compare the joys of the mundane life with the joys of the spiritual life. So wise and funny.

Y'know KK, I was redirected to the Rubaiyat by a reading in my circle a couple of years ago and rushed out to get copies. My father had it and I first read it as a child. At the time of the reading I thought it was just an evidential message of love from Dad but as I write these words I can see another message in it Smile. The version that I really like is that produced by Yogananda's Self-Realisation Fellowship mainly because of the fantastic illustrations.

There was a woman in my circle who was very gifted medium who also ran a laughing yoga program. She was lovely but never got on with my then teacher. They used to disagree about various aspects of mediumship and psychism which was quietly funny in itself. They were both fantastic women but I missed the laughing medium when she decided to leave.

The diversity of opinion and approach amongst persons doing much the same work Smile I reckon the same applies in the spirit world. Controlled chaos = creativity?

Quiet


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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:17 pm

The Rubaiyat XVIII

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust unto Dust, and under Dust to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer , and - sans End


The message is why end yet another incarnation with your true Self, the immortal soul, still identified with the delusions of material consciousness?

We are asked to have the chance of advancing in our spiritual development through conscious choices and lessen the number of lessons we need to learn.

Now THAT is quite consistent with the Natural Law which SB espouses Smile

I know that not everyone believes in reincarnation but I do and think there is enough evidence around in the Spiritualist literature, in many other beliefs andan increasing number of more empirical works.

Quiet


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Re: Who or what is God to you?

Post by KatyKing on Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:27 pm

Two mediums = Three opinions.
Ten of us in our church fifteen if you count the card and related trades readers.
What was the main topic of conversation last time most of us were together?
Simon Cowell's return to judging Britain's Got Talent and possible impact on Saturday night meeting attendance.
[Down last week and don't know this week as it was my night off. Watched BGT, jolly good it was too].
We are a chaotic lot but luckily Elle Presidente [EP] and a couple of her capos keep things ticking over pretty smoothly. Be lost without 'em so we would.
EP says.... trying to manage mediums is like plaiting fog.
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Re: Who or what is God to you?

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