I'm becoming more and more godless with age

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I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby manas » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:15 am

Hi all

When we being life as a young infant, we come in with no conscious conceptions about reality, thus 'god' does not apply at this age. Gradually, some of us are 'educated' regarding whatever our prevailing culture regards as the 'summum bonum' or great Spirit (or vengeful sky-god, etc).

As a young adult, I tried to use certain mainstream Paths to attain this 'force' or 'spirit' I had seemed to touch upon in my youth, with mixed and inconsistent results.

But now? I'm becoming a godless old wretch. I don't believe in much at all anymore...(still holding out that rebirth according to kamma might be true, though, just in case...you never know).

Any other godless folks out there? I mean, really-and-truly godless, blinded as if on the road to Damascus, except that the light spoke to one and said, "guess what? THERE IS NO GOD!"

with much metta,

a godless old wretch.

*An editorial postscript: re-reading this post of mine from a few weeks back, I realize there is a tone of bitterness in it. I've kind of 'moved on' from that mood of subtle disappointment. Now, I don't know what to say about the issue of god, or what god is even supposed to be. I think if asked now, the best answer might just be silence.
Last edited by manas on Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:24 am

Don't look back! Rest a little and walk on. How can you be sure that it is not the right track to such thing as a god. The path is good so no need to worry to fail anything that could have been missed.
Just the next step.

or as Maha Ghosananda once said

The Present Is Mother of the Future



We may notice that the vase of flowers on the table is very beautiful, but the flowers never tell us of their beauty. We never hear them boast of their sweet scent.
When a person has realized nirvana, it is the same. He or she does not have to say anything. We can sense his beauty, her sweetness, just by being there.
There is no need to worry about the past or the future. The secret of happiness is to be entirely present with what is in front of you, to live fully in the present moment. You can’t go back and reshape the past. It’s gone! You can’t dictate the future. So there is no need to worry!
The next time I fly on an airplane, who knows what will happen? Maybe I will arrive safely, or maybe I won’t. When we make plans, we can make them only in the present moment. This is the only moment we can control. We can love this moment and use it well. Past suffering can never harm us, if we truly care for the present.
Take care of the present, and the future will be well. The Dharma is always in the present, and the present is the mother of the future. Take care of the mother, and the mother will take care of her child.


Image
Guess, lost which way would be the best?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby manas » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:48 am

Thanks Hanzze.

I feel as though I really haven't got much left. Nothing really belongs to me...nothing is going to last...even my kids will grow up, and eventually grow old and also wither away...and there ain't even a god to pray to anymore.

My Hovel

The world before my eyes is wan and wasted, just like me.
The earth is decrepit, the sky stormy, all the grass withered.
No spring breeze even at this late date,
Just winter clouds swallowing up my tiny reed hut.

- Ikkyu


But I have just got to keep on going, right? Walking the Path...heading for no particular place.

_/I\_
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:52 am

That would be real freedom, wouldn't it? What ever comes along, no more worry. It's just like this and it's much more easier then else.

Worries are like a rock:


Carrying a Rock

"Letting go" actually means this: It's as if we're carrying a heavy rock. As we carry it, we feel weighed down but we don't know what to do with it, so we keep on carrying it. As soon as someone tells us to throw it away, we think, "Eh? If I throw it away, I won't have anything left." So we keep on carrying it. We aren't willing to throw it away.

Even if someone tells us, "Come on. Throw it away. It'll be good like this, and you'll benefit like that," we're still not willing to throw it away because we're afraid we won't have anything left. So we keep on carrying it until we're so thoroughly weak and tired that we can't carry it anymore. That's when we let it go.

Only when we let it go do we understand letting go. We feel at ease. And we can sense within ourselves how heavy it felt to carry the rock. But while we were carrying it, we didn't know at all how useful letting go could be.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:15 pm

I am completely antitheist! If there is a god, I hope to not go where he is after death, because he's one mean mf. As the great Paul Erdös called him: the SF, or Supreme Fascist.

I love the discourse of the devil in the end of "The Devil's Advocate". It says it all.

let me give u a little insight information about god.he likes to watch. he is a prankster. think about it. he gives men instincts. he gives u this extraodinary gift. and u know what he does.i swear, for his own ammusement. in his own private cosmic gag reel. he sets the rules in oppostion.it's the goof of all time. look but dont touch. touch but dont taste. taste but dont swallow (evil laugh) and while you are jumping from one foot to the next. what is he doin? he is laughing his sick f***ing ass off. he is a tight ass he is a sadist. he is an adsente land lord. worship that.... NEVER!!!!
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Hanzze » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:28 pm

“Everybody and every religion has something that is respected as the Highest (called “God”). Those who have not developed much wisdom have to believe in a personal God or gods in heaven and pray to them asking for favours in a superstitious way. But those who are wise have God in their heart: they respect the highest principle of nature (conditionality or idappaccayata) and can rely on themselves by living in the appropriate way.”

Ajahn Buddhadasa
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby SDC » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:52 pm

Since ultimately many of us are seeking to develop ourselves to the highest levels of wisdom, goodness, knowledge, etc., it is no wonder that we are no longer intrigued, or able to make sense of an all powerful god that has created the world and maintains an influence over how it functions. IMVHO a being with those attributes is inferior to one that is awakened. Such a being is bound to the world for all time. I would actually feel pity for such an existence.
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby appicchato » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:57 pm

a godless old wretch.


The first part...good...the last not so much...wretchedness is a mental state, not a physical one...one has the option to think otherwise...and the middle part, well, we've no control over that, so why give it a second thought?...
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:02 pm

Im an anti-theist godless old curmudgeon myslef :) Monotheism especially usually manifests in a brutal ugly and judgmental way and i cant think of any other single philosophical error that has resulted in more human misery. It actually looks sometimes like the monotheists are going to get their apocalypse and take the rest of us with them. Finding a cure for the mania known as monotheism seems an urgent priority to me, but what can you do with them? Beat them with an IQ stick?
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:31 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:Monotheism... i cant think of any other single philosophical error that has resulted in more human misery... but what can you do with them? Beat them with an IQ stick?
I do not believe it is correct to say that monotheists generally have a lower IQ than non-theists, atheists, polytheists et al. Indeed, I have heard that the majority of humankind adheres to monotheism, and the average IQ is, by definition, 100.
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby daverupa » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:07 pm

An interesting chapter on this question.

Here is a pie chart reflecting some general themes with respect to numbers of adherents.

I was born agnostic and raised agnostic, so it's an easy choice. I don't spend any time worrying about whether Zeus is concerned with my moral behaviors, and that goes for 'em all. I don't bother with asserting "no god(s)", but it's probably true.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:53 pm

appicchato wrote:
a godless old wretch.


The first part...good...the last not so much...wretchedness is a mental state, not a physical one...one has the option to think otherwise...and the middle part, well, we've no control over that, so why give it a second thought?...

:goodpost:
Pretty much what I would have said :smile:

:namaste:
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby manas » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:57 am

appicchato wrote:
a godless old wretch.


The first part...good...the last not so much...wretchedness is a mental state, not a physical one...one has the option to think otherwise...and the middle part, well, we've no control over that, so why give it a second thought?...


Greetings Bhante,

I'm not really a 'wretch'...that was just my black sense of humour in operation. I got that term from one line in a (translated) poem I once read of the Sufi mystic Rumi, where he wrote: "The fool says in his heart, 'there is no God'. Look again, O wretch!" So, coming from a Theistic backgound, I must admit there is a part of me that is a bit concerned at how godless I am becoming. But I can't turn back the clock. If selfhood is just a process, then that kind of forces me to re-evaluate all the other stuff also, including the idea of 'god' in the monotheistic sense. The Buddha's words are too powerful. I can't go back to my previous beliefs as they were. So no I wasn't putting myself down, just expressing a kind of odd feeling I get sometimes. That the world has changed for me, and I sometimes feel like I no longer recognize myself. Which is just fine.

kind regards. _/I\_
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Reductor » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:29 am

My wife maintains some ties to a fundamentalist church she once attended. When asked by one member last year about my belief, I replied that the presence or absence of god no longer meant much to me.

Does that mean I'm godless?
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Reductor » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:35 am

In connection to IQ and theisism, I'd say that smarts play little in what way someone believes.

It all has to do with cravings. Some crave security over all, while others desire 'truth' in whatever mode it's available. And nowadays, that mode is usually the scientific method.

Even some stupid people reject god and embrace empiricism; and some smart people I know, and have known, embrace full-blown theism and church going (people smarter then me, I'd hazard to say).
Last edited by Reductor on Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Ben » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:35 am

Reductor wrote:My wife maintains some ties to a fundamentalist church she once attended. When asked by one member last year about my belief, I replied that the presence or absence of god no longer meant much to me.

Does that mean I'm godless?


No. Its pretty close to where I am at, I think. Whether gods and devas exist - I don't have the experience of encountering them.
Hence, I am agnostic (without knowledge) as to their existence.
Having said that, I feel closer in temperament to (non-fundie) Christians and Muslims than materialist atheists.
Perhaps its their having a compass that comprises of sila and some form of samadhi in prayer.
Who knows.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:39 am

Ben wrote:I feel closer in temperament to (non-fundie) Christians and Muslims than materialist atheists.
Perhaps its their having a compass that comprises of sila and some form of samadhi in prayer.

Me too. :smile:
People who don't even think about how they live in the world disappoint and leave me somewhat baffled.

:namaste:
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby Hanzze » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:56 am

Today there are even more Sotapanna's or people of the first person are found in other religious environment. That's for sure and it is always better to assisoate with the wise rather with very outwardly indentification.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:07 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:Monotheism... i cant think of any other single philosophical error that has resulted in more human misery... but what can you do with them? Beat them with an IQ stick?
I do not believe it is correct to say that monotheists generally have a lower IQ than non-theists, atheists, polytheists et al. Indeed, I have heard that the majority of humankind adheres to monotheism, and the average IQ is, by definition, 100.


I just really meant the phrase to denote a lack of awareness generally, but since you bring it up, i would bet that agnostics, non theists and atheists have a higher average IQ than monotheists.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: I'm becoming more and more godless with age

Postby DAWN » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:50 pm

I think that for believers, God is some kind of ideal of behavour.
If we takes the qualities of God, we see taht God is :
- Wise (Non attachement)
- Limitless (Infinity)
- The One (Unity)

If we take a emptyness of dhammas :
- 0 is wise against +1 or -1. Wisdom is when you conemplein good or bad how it is, and so there is no affection of craving for good or bad, you take a positon of 0. = Wise quality
- 0 can't be multiplied. = Infinity quality
- 0 can't be devided. = Oneness quality

It's all the same qualityes.

BUT !
The God and Zero is two extremes. The Buddha teach The Dhamma by the middle.
Thee is nothing so everything is eternal.
If somebody would like to understand what it means, i can explain.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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