[QUOTE=Surya Deva;33003]Some logical arguments for why there cannot be a god distinct from the self:
Jnana you want? Let me give a shot at it.
- If there a separate god who created the world what did he create the world out of if there was nothing in existence? The only logic that makes sense that god created or projected the world out of himself. In which case the whole is made out of god. Including us.
The terms of this argument are: GOD, WORLD. These need definitions. You have given none, but you are operating with the terms losely, as they are commonly used. Commonly, in most religions, God is percieved as the creator. Now, first, why would the world have to be created ? Why it could not have been there all the time ? We arrive to something called TIME. We cannot exclude time as a term from this argument. Creation means, that something came into being what did not exist before. Before means that there is time. Now, if there is a God, he must not be restricted by time. Because if he is restricted, meaning he has a timely existence, he is not God, or rather time is stronger then God, meaning that he rules God. In fact, the ancient greek indeed saw time as a god, and they called him Kronos, or later, the romans called him Saturn. But I digress. This means, God must be timeless, greater than Kronos, this means, there is no before and after for God. He simply is, exists, not continuously, but timelessly. This leads us to the thought of causes and results. Thomas of Aquinas reasoned that God is the cause of everything, the archcause of everything. This can easily be percieved as creation, and the world as a result. But time belongs to the world we know. I have shown that time cannot be the cause of God, but rather it is an effect, or a result of a world existing in space. Without time, there is no space. Because without time, you cannot arrive from one point to another. Only if you have infinite speed. You see, time, speed, space are all related. God is not here and there, because he is not in space. He is beyond space. I have talked about infinite speed. We can talk also about infinite time, or infinite distances. But the moment we apply infinity to a term like this, it has lost it’s purpose. Infinite speed is not speed any longer, infinite time is not time any longer, infinite distance is not a distance any longer. Infinite means endless. It also means without a beginnig, because if it had a beginning that would already be an end from another point of view. But if there is no space there are no points of view. Infinity or endlessnes, or being without a beginning, thes are terms what only can describe something not of this world. Thus they could define God, but to that extent, God is not in this world as in a place or on a time, but he is still it’s cause. Thus, you cannot say God is in the rock you touch. Of course God is the ultimate cause by what the rock exists. But the rock is not God, and God is not in the rock, at least not the way that he is inhabiting it. While touching the rock, lifting it, throwing it, breaking it, you do not affect God at all. Thus, if we seek God, we must not seek him in a rock. This makes sense. If you want to talk to a man, you won’t talk to his jacket, but you will try to meet the person. As far as the rock is not God, but a result of his existence, our physical body is not God either, but a result, a creation. In stating that we are created by God you do not diferentiate at all between our various aspects. Generally, everything what is created, and exists in time and space must be a result of him, but this does not mean the results equal the cause. The results can, and clearly are less than the cause as they are limited to time and space. All these I said to show how the ordinary concepts of our mind are inprisoned by the world of the senses we percieve as our world. You did not mention what world do you talk about. The outer world ? Or the inner world ? For the sake of the argument it does not matter apparently, but it still does. Based on your reply, you were using the world in the usual sense, meaning the outer world. The inner world has it’s own rules and limits, but it is far less limited than the outer one. Otherwise there would be no room for so many erroneus thoughts, like the ones we have.
- If god is infinite and omnipresent than can be no place where god is not. If there is something that is not god then god is not infinite and omnipresent. The only logic that make sense is that god is everywhere including within us.
God is not in space, thus, it does not make sense talking about him being here or there. He is beyond space, he is it’s cause, but not subjected to spatial limitations.
- If god is an all benevolent, all forgiving and pure love then there should be no evil and suffering in the world. If god has given us free will to choose our destiny then we are the architects of our destiny and god plays no role in the world. Therefore the only logic that makes sense here is that we are our own gods.
The term benevolent is a result of a dualist thinking what percieves some things as good, and others as bad. This is the nature of an egoist mind, what naturally perceives things what please him as good, and unpleasant things as bad. This is the instinct of an animal, or the deliberate will of the selfish man. Saying that that good or bad are rules what even God must obey, is saying that both good and bad are absolutes and above God. But nothing is above God by definition, or if it is, than those things are in fact God, and God is only their puppet. But if we accept this, than there is no one God, but two gods, the Good, and the Bad. But this is in conflict with the idea of God being the soul cause of creation. One of them must be the cause of the other, and if that’s tha case, let’s say Good is the cause of Bad, than Bad loses any meaning as Bad cannot come from Good directly. If Good is good, than it cannot cause bad. Unless, the cause is affected by a third, what changes the good result in bad. So duality does not stand, as it either is disolved by itself, or, it supposes the existence of a third. But that thrid if it was able to change good to bad, it must be greater than either good, or bad, thus that third is really God, and we arrived back where we started.
- If god is perfect and we are imperfect then we should not know what perfect is because it is not our quality. However, this is not true, we have natural ideals for perfect and are always being driven by the quest for perfection, immortality, power. The only logic to explain this god is only a potential within us that we can realise.
What is perfect ? Above we have seen that perfection only means unalteredness by anything. God must be perfect. But His results need not be perfect. A perfect thing might create less than perfect things, this makes sense. How ? By withdrawing his perfection. The less than perfect thing created might retain the link, the memory of perfection what has withdrawn from it, but memory supposes time. This proves that less than perfect things are able to exist in a less than perfect world as a result of perfection. Simply, creation might be radial, creating individual, separate things in time and space. The cause is above all this, and perfect, but the separate individual things are there to play with each other obeying the many rules of the created world, or nature. That we have ideas of perfection, proves nothing because all our ideas of perfection are linked to perfection of something. And our idea of Perfect, as God, is an abstract one, one without meaning to us, one without any drawing power for us.
- If god and us are so absolutely different in that we are imperfect and finite and he is infinite and perfect then there cannot be any contact between us. There will always be an infinite gap between us and we will never be able to reach him. In that god cannot be known, however we do know god. The only logic to explain this there is not an infinite gap between us and we are one with god.
We do not know God, at least we are not aware of God, most of the time. He knows us, as the cause of the worlds and the laws what govern our being. Like our digestion, soul processes. (not necessarily in a direct way) In fact, what we really control is very little, and we are mostly unconscious in our many activities.
If there is a gap between God and us, this does not mean that gap must be infinite. We are created beings and we have limits. If the gap between us and God is larger than that the extent of our limits God might seem inexistent or unreachable, while in reality, He might not be, to use a spatial example. Those limits might be extended, and than, the gap might be reduced if not totally, but to provide a glimpse on the path towards him.
We might be in God, and not be aware of it, because the limits of our awareness. God might be creating us any moment, our creation must not be finished.
- The knowledge of god comes from humans. In other words god is within the psychology of the human. There is no empirical proof for god. If there was then we could find god in the world. Therefore we have no reason to believe god is outside of us but must be within us at the core of our own being. Therefore by realising self we realise god.
The knowledge of a theoretical God comes from the speculating intellect of humans. This God is abstract, and really nothing can be said about Him rather what he is not. There is empirical proof of God, that of rare people who have aquired the ability to experience God. Indeed the kingdom of heaven is within us, meaning that the hidden, undeveloped faculty of realising God lies in one’s inner being. Mind you, the faculty to get in touch with God lies in our soul, and not God. Indeed, the formulation of God being in us, is a mistake. The most we can state is that we are in God, as God is of a higher hieararchy, he is the king of the hill of all hierachies.
- It is clear that the world obeys scientific laws and everything within the world can be explained by principles of nature(physical, mental, spiritual) Therefore there is no role for god to play it can all be explained by nature. In other words god is nature. As we are within nature then it means we too are god.
Not clear at all. Life is unexplained. If scientists would know what life is, they could create life, but they cannot. All they can do is to alter it, usually with abysmal results. Even the material world is unexplained. We do not know what matter is, and how it is built up. We know something about it, but ultimately, there is not even theory of physics what could explain all natural interactions in single unified theory.
If we deatch ourself from the ruling materialist world-view, among the undreground esoteric ones, the best explanation I know to this date is Steiner’s antroposophy; given it’s author’s scientific background, we can trust that his work explaining the eastern wisdom based theopsophy, togheter with being based on genuine seership, is sound from prejudice and wishful thinking. But you need no faith in his authority; an unbiased study of his main books, perhaps starting with Occult Science, or Philosophy of Freedom, for the utmost hardcore jnani wannabe, will convince. If one is able to study them, that is.
Finally, the ultimate reduction is to get rid of the word god because it is identical with the word “self” So rather than saying we are one with god. We should say that “self is god” or “I am god” I think Neitzche was onto something when he said that god is dead and we should all become our own gods. In fact, it seems this seems to be the message within some interpretations of Christianity itself.
God is not identical with self, and even if He would be, self still needs to be explained. What is the self, how it came to be and so on. Switching a name for another does not exonerate us from the need for explanation.
Nietzsche was a tried and sick man, especially at the time he wrote anti-christian works. The saying God is dead is from Thus spoke Zarathustra. This is yet an earlier work and it has much merit, and Rudolf Steiner wrote an essay about him called Friedrich Nietzsche fighter for freedom. His work must be understood in this context. Of course, it is eliberating to get rid of the punishing God figure, this does not change the fact that God is just, and true. And justice and truth demands that people need to learn about themeslves. And all evil and bad things you talked about, are not there because of the will of God, but they are there because of the will of men. God has given free will to his children. His justice relies in karma, and his wisdom is greater than that of the phariesee who often demand immediate action or punishment.
The ego is tricky. Only through self surrender we becme ready to embrace something more than we are, only through humility and self denial, we are able to imagine someone greater than ourselves, and only this way we will find the strenght to grow up to that higher being. In this context any self encouragment, self satisfaction, any self glorification is harmful. You have said earlier that you are not inclined towards karma or bhakti yoga. But what we are inclined comes most of the time from the ego, and other times from Karma. Your above arguments do not show the roots of an ability in jnana. But if you indeed want to do jnana, you must try harder.