Do I believe in God?


I was asked this question recently by a dear friend, and I quickly responded “No!”.
I have since greatly regretted my lack of mindfulness in responding this way. I know this is a huge question to many people, and I think I was unskillful and ignorant to answer in this way.
So I am taking this opportunity to have a “do-over”. And I present the question to myself here publicly for all to read.
Do I believe in God?

I answer this question by raising a few other questions.
Can I prove there is a God? No. Can I prove there is no God? No. And what difference will it make in my thoughts and actions when I choose to believe or disbelieve? None.
Now I know that some would say having belief in God makes all the difference. But just speaking for myself personally, my thinking and morals will not be changed by this. My intentions to be loving, kind, compassionate, accepting and equanimous are the focus of each and every breath.
Am I often unwise and lack skill in my thoughts and actions? Absolutely.

Bottom line is that I do not have all the answers in the Universe. I am not even attempting to do so. I am simply doing my best to be as fully present as possible right here and right now.
All of this makes me think of a previous post where I spoke about labels. And is it any different to think “this is me, this is you, this is God”? All of these are labels, and I think that all are highly delusional (moha), and only serve to create separation.

“This is not mine, I am not this; this is not my self.”

So what do you say, do I believe in God?

May you be well, happy and peaceful.

116 comments for “Do I believe in God?

  1. NileTallman
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Well put. I often describe myself as an atheist that practices Buddhist meditation. The truth of the matter is that I personally doubt there is a God or gods, but I can not be 100% sure. I used to get my undies in a bundle over the issue but have learned to let go. God or no God, I will act with as much compassion as I can muster. Arguing about or fretting over the existence or non-existence of an being that may be beyond our comprehension will just cause myself and others more suffering. (Not that I am a bastion of mindfulness by any stretch of the imagination.) Thanks David!

    • WHPDave
      Monday, October 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

      @NileTallman So glad you enjoyed the post Nile, and you make very good points. Just being nice is a really good thing. :)

    • TimGraves
      Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      I’m like you, I used to get all hot and bothered by the theists, and I too learned to not let it get to me. The same with politics. Our preacher at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Palatine actually spoke about this last year. People who are as loudly Atheist as Christopher Hitchens among others, are just as bad as the people who beat you about the head with religion. You don’t have to get into the fray.

  2. JSzafraniec
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Great post Dave! Glad to see another that’s Good without God.

    • WHPDave
      Monday, October 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      @JSzafraniec So glad you enjoyed it john szafraniec .

  3. jms_kail
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I think if someone asks you if you believe in God and you answer “no” that this is hardly being not mindful – it’s being honest. Their reaction is their concern. Being a closet atheist just promotes this misconception that you have to be religious to be a moral, wholesome person.

    • WHPDave
      Monday, October 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      @jms_kail Sorry if my post was not clear on this james kail . Answering no to the question was simply incorrect. As I stated, I can neither confirm nor deny Gods existence and I do not think it is a subject that I personally need or desire to take a stand on.

  4. jgshobie18
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Great post, like how your wording. Like you said, I don’t know if it would make a difference as I am really enjoying the path I have been on the last few years.

  5. DianeBrodson
    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I want to believe in God – a force or an energy for loving-kindness – that I can tap into. I love what Gandhi wrote:

    “I do daily perceive that while everything around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves, and re-creates. That informing power or spirit is God. I see it as purely benevolent, for I can see in the midst of death, life persists. In the midst of untruth, truth persists. In the midst of darkness, light persists. Hence I gather that God is life, God is light, God is love. God is the supreme good.”

  6. Well Happy Peaceful
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Thank you Aric, glad you enjoyed it.

  7. ejes
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I see a lot of wishy washy atheists commenting and it makes me sick!

    There is NO GOD.

    Your initial reaction was 100% correct. There is no proof of any infinite eternal creator, none. Furthermore it’s not up to us to prove something like that does exist, it’s impossible to prove the non-existence of something. In fact, it’s up to those who believe in this supernatural abomination to prove it’s existence. They are, after all, the ones making these extraordinary claims.

    You have to keep in mind that any reason for doubt, no matter how far-fetched or speculative, is NOT sufficient reason to conclude that a God exists.

    Compare belief in God to belief in Santa Claus, leprechauns, invisible pink unicorns, the flying spaghetti monster, and so on. If all supernatural explanatory hypotheses are equally plausible, despite the fact that considerations from inductive logic like scope, simplicity, etc. show that these hypotheses do have equal intrinsic probability.

    Putting it another way, would you have the same response to someone asking you if you believe in Pink Unicorns? how about Santa? Leprechauns?

    Atheists must TAKE A STAND.

    Remember that “atheism” as the LACK OF BELIEF in God, not the belief that God does not exist, so that even newborns and individuals who are in a permanent vegetative state count as “atheists,” despite the fact the vast majority people do not use the word “atheist” in that way.

    • Raaj
      Friday, October 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      @ejes What causes the 100 trillion cells in the human body to act cohesively with each other to form and function as a human? What is that which changes when the body dies? Why is it no possible (at least so far) to put together the materials that make up a single cell and animate it?

      I’m not claiming that the above have anything to do with God. Im just pointing out that there is a lot we don’t understand but this lack of understanding doesn’t logically imply a lack of existence of another layer underneath the limited perception we call “Reality”, so dismissing what we don’t perceive yet as having no existence is a very limiting position to take, no?

      • DianeBrodson
        Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 7:54 am

        @Raaj@ejes Why couldn’t there be colors and worlds – dimensions – we can’t see in our current form? It is entertaining to wonder.

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 10:54 am

          @DianeBrodson@Raaj

          there can be, but why does this mean that there could be a god? remember, that any reason for doubt, no matter how far-fetched or speculative, is NOT sufficient reason to conclude that a God possibly exists.

        • DianeBrodson
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 10:59 am

          @ejes@Raaj

          NOT sufficient reason to conclude that a God (or multiple gods) exist, but it IS entertaining to wonder about our existence…

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:16 am

          @ejes@DianeBrodson It doesn’t preclude the existence of God either! :)

        • DianeBrodson
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:17 am

          @Raaj@ejes

          or gods – plural!

        • WHPDave
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:38 am

          @DianeBrodson@Raaj@ejes And what about ghosts, goblins and spirits?

        • DianeBrodson
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:39 am

          @WHPDave@Raaj@ejes

          not to mention elves, fairies, and other assorted wee folk…

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:43 am

          @WHPDave@DianeBrodson@ejes What about them, Dave? :)

        • WHPDave
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:47 am

          @Raaj@DianeBrodson@ejes I think there is no reason to dispel any possibilities Raaj.

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:27 pm

          @Raaj@DianeBrodson

          no, logic is what precludes it’s existence.

          it simply does not follow

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm

          @ejes@DianeBrodson I am sorry but Logic does not lead there. At this point, I’ll just choose to respectfully disagree with you and let it be. Peace!

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm

          @Raaj@DianeBrodson

          yes logic does, there’s a whole page devoted to logical proofs here: http://www.infidelguy.com/article3.html

          here’s another with 300 more proofs:

          http://www.tektonics.org/guest/300proof.html

          you might want to participate in a elementary logic class.

      • ejes
        Monday, October 31, 2011 at 10:53 am

        @Raaj just FYI

        http://inhabitat.com/artificial-life-scientists-create-first-synthetic-living-cell/

        people HAVE created synthetic living cells, so it IS possible to put together the materials that make up a single cell and animate it.

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:15 am

          @ejes Sorry, not the same as creating a single cell from scratch – this was DNA injected into a living cell. We aren’t there yet. Sentience is yet another matter altogether.

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm

          @Raaj It’s a step closer, and it’s not far fetched that we will one day create life from nothing.

          Even if we can NEVER create life, this is still not proof for any deity. It’s simply stupid and incredibly short sited to think that a “magic” being must be involved for life to happen.

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm

          @Raaj

          http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9005023/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/researchers-creating-life-scratch/#.Tq7boPTCNK0

          and FYI, there is a huge amount of progress being made to developing life from nothing.

        • DianeBrodson
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

          @ejes@Raaj

          surely there must be some ingredients…. or a wand at the very least.

  8. DianeBrodson
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I just ran across a quote from Einstein in Antony Flew’s book entitled There is A God: How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind.

    “I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Out limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.”

  9. jms_kail
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Christopher Hitchens, the famous essayist (and atheist) said it best. “Whatever can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. No need to prove.

    “Reason is the Devil’s harlot, who can do nought but slander and harm whatever God says and does.” Martin Luther

    “We sacrifice the intellect to God.” Ignatius Loyola

  10. DianeBrodson
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Stephen Hawkings: “An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job.” (also from Flew’s very interesting book p 138)

  11. TodNielsen
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    The Buddha said that even the highest gods in the highest heavenly realms are subject to the same three poisons as all sentient beings: attachment, aversion, and delusion. Or as one of my Tibetan teachers put it: “Maybe there is a god who made this universe. But even he, she, or it is subject to greed, hatred, and delusion.”

    • DianeBrodson
      Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 7:47 am

      @TodNielsen Now that IS a scary thought! Then we would indeed be made in “God’s image”!

      • WHPDave
        Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:29 am

        @DianeBrodson@TodNielsen Thats so very true Diane!

  12. WHPDave
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    As I read the many comments on this post, I can see how powerful and emotional this topic is for many people. Which words encourage inclusiveness and which may create separation?

    Regardless of race, color or religion, I see us all as human beings with a wish to be well, happy and peaceful. I say to embrace your Brother or Sister who is Christian, Atheist, Jewish, Buddhist or Muslim. I think that we are more alike than many of us may sometimes like to acknowledge.

    “”Be lamps unto yourselves” ~ Buddha

    • ColeenPawela
      Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      @WHPDave AWESOME!!

  13. shinde.raaj
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    There is God. Call him/her God, call it the Universe, call it Consciousness, call it the Divine Spark that is within us. Call it the mysterious dance of sub-atomic particles. Call it the dance of Energy.

    And these questions makes absolutely no difference either way – the intellect can only take us so far. The strident voice of the intellect is Maya… :)

  14. Raaj
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    There is God. Call him/her God, call it the Universe, call it Consciousness, call it the Divine Spark that is within us. Call it the mysterious dance of sub-atomic particles. Call it the dance of Energy.

    And these questions make absolutely no difference either way – the intellect can only take us so far. The strident voice of the intellect is Maya and reliance on the intellect alone leads often to hubris… :)

    • WHPDave
      Friday, October 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      @Raaj I like that very much Raaj. Beautiful.

    • ColeenPawela
      Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      @Raaj Where is the loooooove button!

    • ejes
      Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:44 pm

      @Raaj

      there is no god. you can call “the strong force” god if you want to, that doesn’t make it god. God is the label given to a being, not a force.

      • Raaj
        Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm

        @ejes And you know this how? :)

        I didn’t say anything about labels and forces…

        The Strong Force is too limiting a definition…

      • WHPDave
        Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

        @ejes I’m sorry, but I had to delete your last comment. Please try to keep your comments free of swearing and anger. I think we can all discuss and disagree in a kind manner. Thanks!

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm

          @WHPDave

          yeah, okay…. but really god-d*mn is very pg 13.

          you should delete all my posts if you’re trying to censor anger.

        • DianeBrodson
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm

          @ejes@WHPDave

          I apologize if anything I posted caused anger… I enjoyed every minute of this conversation. I like to read what other people think and say and sometimes I get carried away with flippancy and whimsy. Be well ejes, Be peaceful…. and happiness will follow.

  15. jms_kail
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Dave – you ask “which words…may create separation?” That’s an easy one – hands down, the most separation (and suffering) historically is caused by the word “religion”.

    • WHPDave
      Friday, October 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      @jms_kail You are such an instigator Jim! LOL

    • DianeBrodson
      Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 6:12 am

      @jms_kail religion is just a label- it’s the organizers who are divisive

  16. A.h.Long
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    You express the views of a possibilitarian. The fact alone that existence grows infinitely large and shrinks infinitely small should give the thinking mind food to chew on. We are too small in comparison to make blatant statements that we know the laws that govern ALL of existence. Our knowledge is limited to a small section of infinity and therefore we can’t even begin to fathom exactly what is beyond our knowledge. It’s like when man discovered that the world was round, before that, using “facts” that they had available to them, people would have taken their stance to their grave.

  17. DianeBrodson
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Thank you David! What a great conversation you initiated.

  18. ColeenPawela
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    awesome! May I trust in the unseen today :) may you well, happy, and peaceful :)

  19. ColeenPawela
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    awesome! May I trust in the unseen :) May you be well, happy, and peaceful :)

  20. ColeenPawela
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    David how do you feel about a power greater than ourselves? :)

    • WHPDave
      Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      @ColeenPawela I think it’s obvious there are powers greater than ourselves, just look at the Sun or the wind. So many things are beyond my knowledge and understanding. My best intentions are to learn as much about the self while I am here. Perhaps I will know more on the next plane of existence. :)

      • ColeenPawela
        Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm

        Me tooooo :) I think the “labels” can be beautiful but are limiting :)

    • ejes
      Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      @ColeenPawela

      as in what?

      Power is the rate at which work is performed or energy is converted. The sun converts energy in a very efficient manor. I think that it’s pretty nifty.

      Power as in some sort of being? There is no proof of any being that fits this description, so, until one lands here, I have no feelings either way toward them. I’ll reserve judgement until I meet them.

  21. jms_kail
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    The person in A.h. Long’s comment who lived long ago thinking that the world was flat, could not even imagine what science and technology has done and is doing today. He could not imagine the discovery of evolution that explains how our minds and bodies were designed, or that we know what stars are made of 100 light years away. Physicists are currently working on a unifying theory that encompasses all the laws of physics. One human brain has more connections than there are atoms in the universe. We are hardly “too small”.

  22. cloudberry
    Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:39 am

    epicurean paradox – 300 b.c.e.- the riddle of epicurus

    if god is willing to prevent evil,

    but is not able to

    then he is not omnipotent

    if god is able, but not willing

    then he is malevolent

    if he is both able and willing

    then whence cometh evil

    if he is neither able or willing

    then why call him god

    • DianeBrodson
      Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:40 am

      @cloudberry

      why call god “him”?

      • ejes
        Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

        @DianeBrodson@cloudberry

        grammar rules says that either sex may be referred to as “him”

        FYI.

      • cloudberry
        Monday, October 31, 2011 at 3:25 pm

        @DianeBrodson personally i do not call give gender to god

    • Raaj
      Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:43 am

      @cloudberry That is a very anthropomorphic viewpoint. There is nothing that says God has to be cast in our image. We, historically, have had a terrible need to ascribe human attributes to entities outside our “direct” experience…

      • ejes
        Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm

        @Raaj@cloudberry

        this is rhetorical nonsense. saying this is like saying “i can define god as anything i want, and therefore god is true”

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:44 pm

          @ejes@cloudberry Really? How so? Do explain why any entity(ies) beyond the human has(have) to be cast in the human image.

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm

          @Raaj@cloudberry

          The definition of “god” says:

          A supreme BEING, the creator and ruler of the universe.

          A supreme BEING considered with reference to a particular

          attribute: the God of Islam

          one of several DEITIES, especially a male deity, presiding

          over some portion of worldly affairs.

          a supreme BEING according to some particular conception:

          the god of mercy.

          In Christian Science.

          the supreme BEING, understood as Life, Truth, love, Mind,

          Soul, Spirit, Principle.

          ALL of these definitions are a BEING. If you define god as a particle, then you’re not using the standard definition of god, and are just being ignorant.

          I can call a flower dongpilfe, this doesn’t mean it’s not a flower.

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm

          @ejes@cloudberry Ahh! So not using “standard” definitions is “ignorant”? :)

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm

          @Raaj@cloudberry

          no, redefining the world to fit your definitions = ignorant

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm

          @ejes@cloudberry That’s not what you said – “ALL of these definitions are a BEING. If you define god as a particle, then you’re not using the standard definition of god, and are just being ignorant.” So which is it? Non-usage of “standard” definitions or ” redefining the world to fit your definitions”? They are both different, you know…

          And BTW, the folks that said the world wasn’t FLAT were “redefining” the world in “their” way too. By your definition they would be ignorant as well. I believer something similar to your brand of “logic” resulted in Ignaz Semmelweis being called much worse than “ignorant” too. :)

        • WHPDave
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:01 pm

          @ejes Ejes, your thoughts and opinions are very much appreciated. But keep in mind this is not a discussion of right and wrong. This is intended to be an open loving exchange of thoughts, ideas and opinions without judgement or criticism. The basis of my Blog and my posts are of loving kindness, compassion and equanimity. I think we can all disagree and still offer these qualities and intentions.

          Blessings to you!

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm

          @Raaj@cloudberry

          When we cannot agree on a definition we cannot argue the same thing.

          By not using the standard definition, you’re essentially “making up” what god is.

          and of course, there’s no argument to that because, well, it’s made up and arguing a made up thing is impossible because you made it up.

          you “made up” what god is!!! you “redefined” it to fit your argument.

          As far as calling the world round vs calling the world flat – they’re dealing with a provable, definable and well documented scientific process, not someone calling “TPM or tethered particle motion” god!

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm

          @WHPDave

          yes it IS a discussion of right and wrong.

          it is WRONG to support an archaic ideal that is responsible for everything from social imbalance to desecration of basic human rights to the literal genocide.

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm

          @ejes@WHPDave Wow! Right and Wrong eh? And who gets to define that?

          I am reminded of this piece I read a while ago – “if out of the many truths of this world you choose to follow ONE to the exclusion of all others, that truth becomes a falsehood and you a FANATIC”

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm

          @Raaj@WHPDave

          it is well defined and publicly agreed upon. i would suggest that you start by looking in a book, perhaps a dictionary.

          http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/god

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm

          @ejes@cloudberry I thought we *were* arguing about the definition! :)

          Also, at the time of the first suggestion that the world may not be flat, the “fact” wasn’t “provable, definable and well documented scientific process” Hindsight offers extreme clarity. That is the nature of hindsight. :)

          BTW, you avoided my question about what you defined as “ignorance” in the light of your contradictory posts…

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm

          @ejes@WHPDave Ahh! So “publicly agreed upon” = TRUE, in all cases?

          By that standard, the folks that ostracized Sammelweiss were right, no?

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm

          @Raaj@WHPDave exactly when it comes to defining WORDS we all have to agree on what they mean!

          If we all agree on the definition of “blue” then we can all refer to the same thing as blue. But if you want to call yellow, blue, i can’t stop you… but i can call you a moron for calling the sun a beautiful blue orb in the sky because that’s NOT the agreed to definition.

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm

          @Raaj@cloudberry

          there is no contradiction. it is ignorant to make up a definition of something and refuse to use the publicly acceptable definition – yet argue against it.

          YES it was provable, by either floating off the edge of the world or around it. seems to me that a kindergarten kid could have figured that one out.

          And if we WERE arguing about definition then, everyone can define god as whatever they want since we can make up what god is any time we want. Today I have decided that god is the wind. prove it isn’t.

        • ejes
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm

          @Raaj@WHPDave you want to support religious causes then you truly are a terrible person.

          Religious practice today insists on genital mutilation – of course you must agree with this, since it is “right” or at least you’re not willing to take a stance that it is wrong. god also insists that gay people aren’t worthy of the same rights as a straight person. how about 9/11? those guys were following gods orders weren’t they?

          ANY SYSTEM / BEING / THING that says these things are right (even by proxy) IS IN FACT WRONG!!!

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm

          @ejes@WHPDave We could agree on what is blue but the neuro-chemical response in my brain to “blue” could, in fact, be the neuro-chemical response in someone else’s brain to “red”. Where are we then? :)

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm

          @ejes@WHPDave The folks responsible for 9/11 were/are as convinced their way was “RIGHT” as you seem to be.

          I am afraid you aren’t getting the point of my arguments – that there is no one “RIGHT” way -that believing in one is fanaticism aka jihadism.

          The world isn’t black or white. There are many shades of gray in between…

        • cloudberry
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm

          @ejes@Raaj when you come to the edge of all light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown. faith is knowing one of two things will happen;

          there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly. my wish for you raaj is that your god be the wind beneath your wings and to continue on a positive note

          to bring joy to a single heart is better than to build many shrines for worship …abu sa’id ibn abi khayr

        • Raaj
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 3:07 pm

          @cloudberry Thanks, cloudberry! Those words you shared have in them much that is worth learning.

        • cloudberry
          Monday, October 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

          @Raaj you are welcome kindness to you and yours

    • ejes
      Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      @cloudberry This is my favorite argument.

  23. WHPDave
    Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    The mind is primordially luminous, but due to defilements which come from without, it is defiled. The mind is primordially luminous (once again), when defilements which come from without are cleansed from it.

    ~Buddha

  24. jms_kail
    Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    What defilements do you want to wash from your brain, Dave? and do you want them completely gone?

    • WHPDave
      Monday, October 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      @jms_kail greed, anger and ignorance.

  25. jms_kail
    Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    What about lust, fear, envy, jealousy, aggression, competitiveness, and selfishness? And again, do you want them completely gone or just somewhat gone?

    • WHPDave
      Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

      @jms_kail I think all of those could fall under those three categories Jim. And I don’t think I like to say I want them gone. I prefer to think of the self as a work in progress, and with determination I work on the elimination of all these defilements. i think this is good intention don’t you?

  26. jms_kail
    Monday, October 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    No, I don’t. These “defilements” are not defilements but are mechanisms that we are born with and that make us human. At some point in our ancestral past, they were beneficial to survival and reproduction. No one teaches these to us. All cultures have them because they are universal. They were handed down in our genes which designed our brains. All of these mechanisms may be useful in situations today. Our mindfulness helps us to accept them as a part of us and decide if it is beneficial to one and all in each separate situation. Our stain glass window shows a beautiful lotus as a symbol of our group. A better stain glass window would show the complete plant with its gnarly, slimy roots and stem that is just as wonderful as the flower.

    • WHPDave
      Monday, October 31, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      @jms_kail Thank you Jim.

  27. angbblue
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

    How do you actually know if “What difference will it make in my thoughts and actions when I choose to believe or disbelieve? None.” If you never have believed? You don’t know. I don’t see how it could not make a difference.

    • WHPDave
      Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      @angbblue I was born and raised Roman Catholic, and later in life became a Born Again Christian. But please understand that my words here are only my thoughts and opinions, and are not held to be authoritative in any way my friend. I simply believe that peace, love and compassion are universally available to all of us.

      • chieflewal
        Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

        What about integrity? Integrity compels us to shed light on Judeo-Christian mythology the way we did so many others. The peace of compassion should be ever-present, but the wisdom of integrity is the first requirement of enlightenment.

        • WHPDave
          Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm

          @chieflewal What brings you to this understanding Chief?

        • chieflewal
          Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm

          I used to be a crusader for integrity, thinking the light of truth could purge the world of all evil. But its relentlessness could be harsh in some practical situations. So I came to the conclusion that it must be tempered with compassion. But that doesn’t mean you can forget truth. I’d submit that ignorant bliss (contentment, or peace, with a lack of true understanding) is a sin. “Understanding” is a coin with two sides; you can BE it, and you can HAVE it. To live a truly righteous life, if I can borrow from Buddha, requires both.

  28. cloudberry
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    the world is full of cactus

    the trick is not to sit down

    smile and wave boys

    smile and wave

  29. WHPDave
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Faith in Buddhism (From Wikipedia)

    Faith (Pali: Saddhā, Sanskrit: Śraddhā) is an important constituent element of the teachings of the Buddha—both in the Theravada tradition as in the Mahayana. Faith in Buddhism derives from the pali word saddhā, which often refers to a sense of conviction. The saddhā is often described as:

    a conviction that something isa determination to accomplish one’s goalsa sense of joy deriving from the other two

    While faith in Buddhism does not imply “blind faith”, Buddhist faith (as advocated by the Buddha in various scriptures, or sutras) nevertheless requires a degree of faith and belief primarily in the spiritual attainment of the Buddha. Faith in Buddhism centers on the understanding that the Buddha is an Awakened being, on his superior role as teacher, in the truth of his Dharma (spiritual Doctrine), and in his Sangha (community of spiritually developed followers). Faith in Buddhism is better classified or defined as a Confidence in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and is intended to lead to the goal of Awakening (bodhi) and Nirvana. Volitionally, faith implies a resolute and courageous act of will. It combines the steadfast resolution that one will do a thing with the self-confidence that one can do it.[12]

    As a counter to any form of “blind faith”, the Buddha taught the Kalama Sutra, exhorting his disciples to investigate any teaching and to live by what is learnt and accepted, rather than believing something outright.

  30. DianeBrodson
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    And then there was the reading assignment I had years ago in Asvaghosa’s The Awakening of Faith…. Can I just comment with Oy vey!?!?

    • WHPDave
      Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      @DianeBrodson That’s certainly not light reading! LOL

  31. TimGraves
    Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 8:10 am

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

    • Raaj
      Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 8:18 am

      @TimGraves Well said, Tim!

  32. brublr
    Monday, November 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    All thought is prayer and all thoughts are answered. It must be so, the infinite constrains it.

    • WHPDave
      Monday, November 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      @brublr Not sure i understand your comment. Can you explain?

      • brublr
        Monday, November 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm

        @WHPDave Actually, it’s Seth’s comment from Jane Roberts book “Seth”. Start by considering William of Occam, “Unknown entities cannot be introduced to explain other unknown entities”. Therefore, the God concept is a form of infinite regress (who created the creator? and so on) and God, as an unknown entity, cannot be used to explain the ultimate unknown, why anything exists rather than nothing at all. The simpler explanation is that nothing at all is unstable for some reason. Prayer postulates all as conscripted as just perhaps’ penultimate; or, anyway, as scripted, even if it’s not a con, but thought is constrained by the multiverse which necessarily contains all possibilities, so prayer is useful as meditation on the plausible, but unreliable otherwise,

        • DianeBrodson
          Monday, November 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm

          @brublr @WHPDave Considering Occam’s Razor, do I believe in channeling an unknown entity to explain the unknown? Hmmmm.. I might…

  33. jms_kail
    Monday, November 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    As brubir says “meditation..is useful…on the plausible”. The “plausible” is our framework or model of reality that enables us to engage with our environment successfully – it makes no difference if it is really reality. Buddha was asked questions about the “ultimate unknown” and he brushed them aside saying that his teachings (meditation included) were meant for this human life and not meant to answer the questions of ultimate reality.

  34. Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I believe that God created all of us, no matter what religion. I just think that God would like for us to treat everyone nicely.

    • WHPDave
      Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      @evelynonline80 Nothing wrong with that Evelyn. Thanks for your comment.

  35. cloudberry
    Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 11:37 am

    kindness that is my religion

    • WHPDave
      Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 11:08 am

      @cloudberry I like that!

    • DianeBrodson
      Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 11:11 am

      @cloudberry that is also the Dalai Lama’s religion…

  36. erikc
    Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    No. Nor do I.

  37. Bryan J
    Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    To me, God is the creator of creations. He is the name for positive energy that is within everything and everyone. God is in all of us. There are three types of thinking. Through your mind, body, and soul. But what I mean by that is through you external mind (reaction/instincts), internal mind (beliefs/morals) and the positive energy within granted through God. To me, there is no negative energy just less positivity. When you react, reason, and answer anything your conscious goes through a process. To come to a conclusion with anything and you truly believe that is the answer, your external mind and internal mind are in complete sync (like talking to yourself in your head.) Your mind has different energy levels for different subjects. When you become angry for any reason, your positive energy lessens enough where you can only fume about the badness of a situation or subject. When you can finally manage your energy levels, you have become entirely content and awakened to comprehend there will always be obstacles in life. To realize that destiny is all interconnected through everything and everyone else besides yourself is the true enlightenment to understanding life. To be spiritually connected with the world and people, you must understand everyone’s energy levels are different(soul), everyone’s mindset is different because of situations and events from birth(external mind), and everyone’s way of life is different (internal mind.) I truly believe this is what God is and how Life is. I don’t know what religion or religions or way of life this is, but I think positively about the universe and everything in it. I love, love and spreading happiness because being happy is being positive. be Peaceful Loving Uniting and Respectful. P.L.U.R. is a true way a life of harmony.

  38. stare
    Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 3:44 am

    the sign of Islam that shown in chart is not correct. that moon and star sign is the flag and the emblem of the Republic of Turkey. That sign is the flag of a country, not some religions’ emblem!!!!

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