The God within

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The God within

Postby Martin007 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:25 pm

I have some Quaker friends who do silent meditation with the aim of experiencing "the God within". Sometimes the way they talk about this experience is reminiscent of Buddhist meditation, with characteristics like tranquillity, clarity and timelessness - though clearly the assumptions are different.

Personally I'm agnostic about God, but find the similarities intriguing. Your thoughts?
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Re: The God within

Postby Jesse » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:59 pm

http://www.amazon.com/After-Ecstasy-Lau ... +Kornfield

This was quite a good read for me, it goes into details about quite a few religions , and their similarities, but mostly from a Buddhist perspective.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: The God within

Postby futerko » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:02 pm

After the laundry... cornflakes!
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: The God within

Postby Jesse » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:11 pm

futerko wrote:After the laundry... cornflakes!


And Lot's more laundry :(
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Re: The God within

Postby futerko » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:15 pm

Jesse wrote:
futerko wrote:After the laundry... cornflakes!


And Lot's more laundry :(

Especially if you smother yourself in honey and then roll in the cornflakes before meditating - that can make doing the laundry quite a pain in my experience.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: The God within

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:58 pm

porpoise wrote:I have some Quaker friends who do silent meditation with the aim of experiencing "the God within". Sometimes the way they talk about this experience is reminiscent of Buddhist meditation, with characteristics like tranquillity, clarity and timelessness - though clearly the assumptions are different.

Personally I'm agnostic about God, but find the similarities intriguing. Your thoughts?


Sweet.

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Re: The God within

Postby oushi » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:38 am

porpoise wrote:I have some Quaker friends who do silent meditation with the aim of experiencing "the God within". Sometimes the way they talk about this experience is reminiscent of Buddhist meditation, with characteristics like tranquillity, clarity and timelessness - though clearly the assumptions are different.

Personally I'm agnostic about God, but find the similarities intriguing. Your thoughts?

It all depends on how we define God. If we lean toward the God of mystics, we will find striking similarities with the concepts found in Buddhism.
Here is a quote from my favorite christian medieval text, The Cloud of Unknowing:
"I know you'll ask me, "How do I think on God as God, and who is God?" and I can only answer, "I don't know".
Instantaneously a red light flashes in my head, "Mahaprajnaparamita". After reading both texts, there is no doubt that those two are pointing to the same thing, just naming it differently.
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Re: The God within

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:51 am

It might be interesting to note in passing that the word 'enthusiasm' is derived from 'en-theos' which means precisely 'god within'. In earlier times those who were 'enthusiastic' were possessed of some inner drive or power which caused them to devote themselves to some cause because of the 'god within'. In fact George Fox, who founded the Quakers, would have fitted the old definition of 'enthusiast' almost exactly, before the word became trivialized and generalized, like so much else in modern times.

(Agree with the post above, but don't use that kind of argument to pursue the idea that 'all religions are many paths up the same mountain' and so on. The differences - which are there for good reason - also need to be maintained.)
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: The God within

Postby lobster » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:36 pm

I would suggest that some Christian mystics understanding of Being that transcends notions of existence and non existence are more profound than some Yidam fanboys limited protesting prostrations.
For example Meister Eckhart.
So certainly the sense of divinity, the sacred, a sense of blessing may arise in the atheistic Buddhist and similarly a mystic on the full circle might find notions of God, empty, meaningless, ridiculous and superseded . . .

:meditate: :heart: :yinyang:
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Re: The God within

Postby Martin007 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:57 pm

jeeprs wrote:It might be interesting to note in passing that the word 'enthusiasm' is derived from 'en-theos' which means precisely 'god within'. In earlier times those who were 'enthusiastic' were possessed of some inner drive or power which caused them to devote themselves to some cause because of the 'god within'. In fact George Fox, who founded the Quakers, would have fitted the old definition of 'enthusiast' almost exactly, before the word became trivialized and generalized, like so much else in modern times.


Interesting, I didn't know this. Modern Quaker values are sometimes summarised as STEP, ie Simplicity, Truth, Equality and Peace.
Last edited by Martin007 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The God within

Postby Martin007 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:58 pm

oushi wrote:It all depends on how we define God. If we lean toward the God of mystics, we will find striking similarities with the concepts found in Buddhism.


Yes, Quakers seem to be on the mystical end of the spectrum, in the sense of focussing on inner experience rather than outward forms.
Last edited by Martin007 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The God within

Postby Martin007 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:59 pm

lobster wrote:For example Meister Eckhart.


I've read bits but struggle to understand them.
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Re: The God within

Postby oushi » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:16 pm

jeeprs wrote:(Agree with the post above, but don't use that kind of argument to pursue the idea that 'all religions are many paths up the same mountain' and so on. The differences - which are there for good reason - also need to be maintained.)

In those spheres, words are always poor arguments. Nevertheless, I would like to say, that I know no difference (except labeling) between two "not knowings". Differences arise when knowing arise. Without it, no differences can be found. If both of those religions point to the same "free from knowing" state, how can we assume that the object of this pointing is not the same? All this despite the fact that even this "sameness" cannot be proclaimed "there".
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Re: The God within

Postby lobster » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:13 am

porpoise wrote:
lobster wrote:For example Meister Eckhart.


I've read bits but struggle to understand them.


:smile:
No reason why they need to be part of our experience. All we can do is be true to our present. The important thing is as you mention, others are on a 'similar' journey. There are correspondences. Rest houses on the path if you will.

Form is empty as you might have heard and yet still forms. :twothumbsup:
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Re: The God within

Postby Martin007 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:35 pm

oushi wrote:In those spheres, words are always poor arguments. Nevertheless, I would like to say, that I know no difference (except labeling) between two "not knowings". Differences arise when knowing arise. Without it, no differences can be found. If both of those religions point to the same "free from knowing" state, how can we assume that the object of this pointing is not the same? All this despite the fact that even this "sameness" cannot be proclaimed "there".


It's an interesting question. Does having different assumptions and different language change the nature of the meditative experience, or are these differences really just superficial?
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Re: The God within

Postby oushi » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:46 pm

porpoise wrote:It's an interesting question. Does having different assumptions and different language change the nature of the meditative experience, or are these differences really just superficial?

I really don't know, because without knowing sameness cannot be known.
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