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Author Topic: Getting godly attention  (Read 6620 times)
treekisser
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« Reply #15: May 22, 2010, 05:10:44 am »

Actually you did, "Even outside that [devotional] context, do you ever find that you draw attention, deliberately or accidentally, through some types of thought or action?"

'Have you ever found that you deliberately barfed up your meals to get thin?'

Asking that would not necessarily indicate that the questioner wants to do the same thing.

Thanks for the rest of your post, the sphere-of-influence point makes sense.
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treekisser
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« Reply #16: May 22, 2010, 05:21:12 am »

Clear as mud?

I think so (I mean I think I get it!). If God is always there and attentive, then it's about humans being more aware of God then the other way round.

Is this necessarily tied up with less anthropomorphic conceptions of God? It's easier to imagine more human-shaped gods paying and not paying attention. Certainly if lovemaking transported me anywhere I'd rather it be to a faceless divine presence rather than someone specific like the Morrighan...
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« Reply #17: May 22, 2010, 05:24:54 am »

But...  I think there's a huge difference between my toddler continually interrupting with "MOMMY LOOK AT ME!!!" when I'm trying to do something else because she wants to show me for the hundredth time how she can make a silly face, and an adult politely saying, "Excuse me, but..." in order to get my attention when they need to ask me an important question. 

Do you think that a deity can get annoyed if approached constantly, even if that approach is polite?
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« Reply #18: May 22, 2010, 05:42:24 am »

Do you think that a deity can get annoyed if approached constantly, even if that approach is polite?

I think that constant approach can become rude in and of itself even if the forms are polite.  I'm not sure at what point that occurs, though.
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« Reply #19: May 23, 2010, 02:21:44 am »

Intuitively I agree with you. But what is it about these actions that draws attention?

I suspect Sperran has answered part of that question. These actions place one in an altered state of awareness. Perhaps this is where the gods can more easily focus on an individual.... or perhaps, it is where the individual can become aware of the gods and focus on their attention.

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« Reply #20: May 23, 2010, 02:31:05 am »

Please read my post carefully, and in full context.

I never said the Gods ignore mankind, that is *your* assumption of what I have said.  I said I doubt the Gods really invest that much interest in the day to day goings of we mere mortals.  Why would Apollo suddenly take such a fascination with me picking up a penny off the street?  It makes no sense and creates the idea that the Gods have less important things to do with Their time and energy.



These are the quotes I was referring to

"I personally don't think the Gods care that much about what we mortals do.  I honestly don't.    I guess what I'm trying to say is that the odds of grabbing the random attention of a deity are slim to none."

 "Not to mention, it seems rather foolish in my opinion and will just get you slapped in the face."

If the gods had no interest, I doubt they would bother to slap you in the face either.

The fact is that many people have an intense personal relationship with one or many gods. Your doubting that the gods find the mundane activities if humans beneath their notice is not substantiated by these experiences. I will not get into a debate on the validity one way or the other of these experiences. I was only mentioning that your statements seemed on the one hand to be rather judgmental of those who do in fact have that relationship; and then of course, I was puzzled by the opposing nature of them.

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« Reply #21: May 23, 2010, 11:24:25 am »


The fact is that many people have an intense personal relationship with one or many gods. Your doubting that the gods find the mundane activities if humans beneath their notice is not substantiated by these experiences.

People are capable of having intense experiences, and some do. That's factual enough. What causes those experiences, what they mean, how they are best interpreted, etc., those aren't matters of fact. People's personal interpretations of ineffable experiences does not constitute objective evidence of the nature of the gods.

I would argue that such experiences are evidence of the human capacity for moments of greater-than-mundane awareness, but that's an assessment of humanity, not deity. 

Like it or not, there is a substantial theological current that runs contrary to the idea that gods are beings with human-like personalities that care about individual human beings and their affairs.

An alternative view is that the gods are beings of an altogether other order, and that their totality is beyond human comprehension, but because they are the very forces behind the existence we know, their natures are reflected in the nature of any and all extent things, and so maybe we can come to know something about them through those reflections. Within that current, the experience of deity can be understood as a conversation with the divine nature that is reflected in ourselves and the things around us.

That we are capable of experiences that seem like a two-way interaction with a foreign intelligence is, again within this current, a byproduct of human need and human perception; it says nothing of what the gods actually are, or what they're like, etc. So from that point of view, one doesn't attract the attention of the gods literally, but rather directs their own attention to divinity, which can under the right circumstances initiate the unique experiences that may lead to deeper insight into the nature of things, and our own nature. 
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« Reply #22: May 23, 2010, 09:40:56 pm »

I think that constant approach can become rude in and of itself even if the forms are polite.  I'm not sure at what point that occurs, though.

This has been playing on my mind now. Do you think 'standard' devotions (eg a prayer before starting work each day, or eating, etc.) count as a claim on a deity's attention? Is it possible to use a deity's name and still be under the radar, so to speak?

I ask because on the one hand, I think it's...well, 'nice' is the wrong word, but 'pious' is too strong...desirable?...to remember the gods constantly. But on the other hand, wouldn't want that to count as pestering.

Eh. I suppose an annoyed deity would let you know. Or I wonder if they have an 'ignore' button.  Grin
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« Reply #23: May 23, 2010, 09:42:35 pm »

That we are capable of experiences that seem like a two-way interaction with a foreign intelligence is, again within this current, a byproduct of human need and human perception; it says nothing of what the gods actually are, or what they're like, etc.

What do you think it is about human need and perception that creates experiences suggesting 'two-way interaction with a foreign intelligence'?
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« Reply #24: May 23, 2010, 09:53:29 pm »

I think so (I mean I think I get it!). If God is always there and attentive, then it's about humans being more aware of God then the other way round.

I think that's a good way to put it. 

Quote
Is this necessarily tied up with less anthropomorphic conceptions of God? It's easier to imagine more human-shaped gods paying and not paying attention. Certainly if lovemaking transported me anywhere I'd rather it be to a faceless divine presence rather than someone specific like the Morrighan...

Yeah, that would be pretty creepy, or at least unsettling.
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R. Eugene Laughlin
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« Reply #25: May 23, 2010, 10:35:57 pm »

What do you think it is about human need and perception that creates experiences suggesting 'two-way interaction with a foreign intelligence'?

The full answer to that is probably a lot longer than you'd want to endure, so I'll reduce it to the basics.

The "need" part is easy to understand. A heart-felt drive for meaning in ones life, the yearning people feel to understand their place in the universe, etc., is an extremely powerful motivator.

The perception part is just something we can do. Any good stage hypnotist can use simple hypnotic suggestion to give a willing and amenable participant a very convincing experience of talking to a six-foot chicken, for example. That doesn't mean that I think deity experience is the same as hypno-chicken experience. I think what drives the communication comes from very different places, but the perceptual mechanisms are the same.   

Deep devotional prayer, ecstatic ritual, and many other techniques can produce the state necessary for deity interaction, and in purely technical terms, those techniques are comparable to what a stage hypnotist can do, or what most people can do with self-hypnosis techniques on their own. But the drive to reach out to deity, as I suggested, is very powerful, and can carry the individual a place no stage hypnotist could. 
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« Reply #26: May 24, 2010, 07:06:52 am »

This has been playing on my mind now. Do you think 'standard' devotions (eg a prayer before starting work each day, or eating, etc.) count as a claim on a deity's attention? Is it possible to use a deity's name and still be under the radar, so to speak?

I ask because on the one hand, I think it's...well, 'nice' is the wrong word, but 'pious' is too strong...desirable?...to remember the gods constantly. But on the other hand, wouldn't want that to count as pestering.

This is why I say I don't have a good feel for where the line is, because I run up against pretty much the same dilemma.  And come up with pretty much the same answer--that they're perfectly capable of telling me to buzz off if it's too much.  I suspect the exact point where "enough" becomes "too much" is one of those things that depends on the deity, the exact nature of the relationship between deity and worshiper, etc., etc.
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« Reply #27: May 24, 2010, 09:28:12 am »

This is why I say I don't have a good feel for where the line is, because I run up against pretty much the same dilemma.  And come up with pretty much the same answer--that they're perfectly capable of telling me to buzz off if it's too much.  I suspect the exact point where "enough" becomes "too much" is one of those things that depends on the deity, the exact nature of the relationship between deity and worshiper, etc., etc.

This line of discussion reminds me of an SNL skit that showed Jesus (Phil Hartman) coming down and asking a super fundie woman if she could stop praying, quite so much.  It was hilarious.

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« Reply #28: May 24, 2010, 11:53:01 pm »

This line of discussion reminds me of an SNL skit that showed Jesus (Phil Hartman) coming down and asking a super fundie woman if she could stop praying, quite so much.  It was hilarious.

Sperran

Toss in the six foot chicken and we have the beginnings of a great running gag here.

 
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