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|04-14-2012, 12:46 PM||#1|
How does one know that?
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Chicago, Il
Personal or External Divine
Please bear with me I need a running start before getting to the question of this topic.
I'm using the word Divine as a generic term for the substance of religion even though it's a highly debatable term in Buddhism and Taoism and a number of others. But I needed a word, and that seemed tolerable. I hope not to start an argument about the word.
I've been looking at some old threads on this board trying to see what people have been concerned with. Obviously, some of the longest running threads were arguments about the divine and the world.
I apologize for the self-involvement of the next few paragraphs but I think it would be trolling to start a subject like this without putting my own views up for vivisection.
By any normal standard I am a full-on 6 on the Dawkins 1-7 scale atheist. I've had and am willing to have debates about any of the standard arguments for the existence of external gods.
But, I also use a number of religious practices from a variety of religions, and by most standards I've had and worked to have a number of what would be called religious or enlightenment experiences. I doubt I could get by in life without the disciplines I've learned and practiced from religious sources. I doubt I could get by without the disciplines I've learned from philosophical sources as well.
I don't see a contradiction between these two because as far as I can tell religious practice is of the mind, and exists to help us get along in the world.
If that sounds dismissive, it's meant to be just the opposite. As near as I can tell from reading and personal experience, the Divine is an integral part of human thought, the part that makes our thoughts coherent and foresightful. It seems to me that the Divine is the aspect of our thinking that lets us create large coherent awarenesses of things and follow ways of action even before we know what we're going to do.
From the personal perspective, it seems to me vital and inevitable. It makes our thoughts more than just individually generated notions, and lets us do more than simply be stimulus-response creatures.
I also think that people vary in what forms of the Divine work best for them. To some an embodied form works well, for others a sense of right and wrong, a path of reason, the careful study of philosophy, a practice of silence, and so on. People don't all think the same and this is an aspect of that difference.
Note: I am not saying that the divine is as some people say a figment of the imagination to be removed, rather that it is implicit in, inherent in the human mind and without it we would not be the thinkers we are capable of being.
Further note: I am not arguing about the origin of the divine in the human mind. I can make an evolutionary case for it, but that's not the point I'm trying to get to.
So, here's my question. Is this idea of the Divine enough for people?
Is an inherent guidance and more than what is normally deemed human understanding within our own minds in short is a Personal Divine enough?
Do people feel that a divine must be external to them, that it must explain the universe rather than be our guides in living in and understanding the universe?
I hope this question does not step over the line.
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