God Created This World or Not

A place for anything that doesn't fit into the existing forums

God Created This World or Not

Postby brighthope » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:12 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum and I'm so glad I found it :)
I hope someone has some good input or insight to this question.

I have been "searching" for a while and I have read many books about spirituality, enlightenment, etc. etc.
While reading those books, I found about a Course in Miracles(ACIM) and noticed that many spiritual teachers or even psychologists/Life coaches refer to it all the time, including Tolle.

To me, the significance of ACIM is the idea "God did not create this world" and/or "God has nothing to do with this world."
It even says that God does not know about us in this world (as A parent doesn't know his/her child's dreams).
It does not deny that the world is "crazy" and doesn't make sense, but it is just a dream, and we can still use it to learn things and wake up.
Other than this idea, it is *basically* pretty much saying the same thing as other non-dual teachings (please don't split hairs :)).
Actually Tolle described ACIM as "Western Vedanta."

But, many teachers of non-dualism mention God as the creator of the world, though it's an illusion.
For example, I recently read a book by Mooji and he said the world was "God's play." Sri Maharshi said "Trust God" "Surrender to God" etc.

ACIM says there are many ways to Truth and it is only "a" course, and a universal theology is impossible.
Many teachers say it does not matter which route to take as long as it gets you to Truth.
I understand what they are saying however this difference is huge to me.
It is the difference between seeing the world as an expression of God and seeing the world *just* an illusion.
It is the difference between seeing (or imagining) some divine purpose to all this and seeing the world as just crazy (ACIM or its teachers say so).
It would change the way I live in this (illusory) world depending on which "belief" I have.

Has Tolle said anything about it?
What your thoughts on this?
Any other traditions, teachings that clearly says "God did not create this world?"

Thank you.
brighthope
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:58 pm

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby Webwanderer » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:30 pm

Welcome to the forum brighthope. Of course no one can decide this for you. That's the beauty of it. Those who have followed external answers and cite this book or that are walking somewhat blind through life. Well blinder than needs to be. All external information is valuable only as pointers to our own insight. What 'feels' right to you? There in lies your best course of study. Making the connection with your own inner being and learning the wordless language of feeling and insight, is the true philosophers stone and sacred alchemy.

ACIM says there are many ways to Truth and it is only "a" course, and a universal theology is impossible.
Many teachers say it does not matter which route to take as long as it gets you to Truth.
I understand what they are saying however this difference is huge to me.
It is the difference between seeing the world as an expression of God and seeing the world *just* an illusion.
It is the difference between seeing (or imagining) some divine purpose to all this and seeing the world as just crazy (ACIM or its teachers say so).
It would change the way I live in this (illusory) world depending on which "belief" I have.


My sense is that both sides are correct. The distinction and difference is in the context.

What is God? All that is? Source Being? Infinite Intelligence? Love? One could make a very long list indeed describing what God is. But they are only descriptions of what words cannot possibly define.

Is the world an illusion? Sure it is. Looking at its fundamental structure through the fast growing science of quantum physics, there is no such thing as solid matter. It's all just vibrating energy that appears to be this or that depending on the nature of the vibration. But its being an illusion doesn't really matter (pun intended) to its primary purpose. What is important and fundamental, is that life in this structure of a world is about experience. So while we may not be physical human beings in the most fundamental sense, we get the 'experience' of being human.

While we may not have legs to walk or mountains to climb in the most fundamental sense (human life being a kind of dream), we can have the experience of legs and of mountains to climb. Experience is reality. While one can say the world is an illusion, the experience of it is none the less real - and that is where the value lies.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6280
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby randomguy » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:27 pm

ww wrote:But they are only descriptions of what words cannot possibly define.

Yes.

Consider for a moment the possibility that there is no objective truth, that nothing can be stated that is ultimately true.
From this perspective the words from teachers appear as a variety of expressions.
It also means that none of those statements are the authority on what it true.

Have you heard the expression "a thorn to remove a thorn"?
It means that what a teacher says to remove a misconception is itself ultimately also an untruth. It is just a tool to remove (not add) a misunderstanding to reveal what is already there.

How can that be? It can be because you already are the truth.

How would you explain to someone that is searching for truth that they already are the truth? Not by offering another idea that reinforces the notion that there are objective truths to hold to?
Like ww suggests, the authority on what is true is yours to recognize. After all, who is experiencing what it is that is being discussed?

Have you heard Tolle's cautioning to not collect sign posts? What is said are just pointers. What they point to is the treasure and it can not be captured in words. Ergo it is not worth holding to.
What happens when you hear Mooji say "God's play"? Doesn't it and it's impact naturally fade away? Isn't the statement like everything else in the perceived world that comes and goes?

Did God create the world or not?
Can you notice the dynamic of the question? Who is asking and what is that movement like toward an answer? How is the "God" in this question conceived of? Does the question change if God is that which words cannot possibly define? Have you succeeded in defining your own existence? If you have would you be asking this? Are you other than this very undefinable existence?
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
randomguy
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:00 am

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby brighthope » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:37 am

Thank you both for your replies.
Sorry it took me a while to respond (and say thank you).
It was because your messages were easy to "understand" but difficult to "digest" enough to reply.

I (theoretically, in my head) understand what both of you are saying.
However, these ideas/thoughts are still difficult for me to grasp.

Yes I have "searched" enough to know what all the teachers are saying is "you are the truth" or "you're that" or "you're already home."Unfortunately for me, it is difficult to feel that way (well otherwise I wouldn't be asking questions :p)

I'm aware of the caution randomguy mentioned. It's not just Tolle who say something similar to "Don't mistake signposts for the truth itself." I think I've followed the signposts rather than just collecting them if you know what I mean. My emotional state became much, much better ever since I started to "search," and I feel I'm on the right path or going in the right direction.Thinking back, knowing "my thoughts are not really me" was a big breakthrough. The more I read, the more I realized something, then and I felt less "attached" to this world. Also I feel more peaceful. Therefore these pointers seem still useful to me. After reading many books I noticed most of the pointers seem to be essentially pointing to the same direction. But to me, it sees like I'm at the fork of the road and these signs are pointing to the different directions when it comes to this "God created the world or not" thing.

Maybe someday I realize it doesn't matter. Maybe someday I realize that since I'm "home" so I'm not on the road so there is no fork of the road. But at this point I can't *grasp* why both of the notions can be "true." (yet)

I'm not sure if I was able to articulate.
I'll post again if I come up with a better way of saying it.

Again thank you both for your replies.
brighthope
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:58 pm

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby randomguy » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:42 pm

Nice chatting with you, brighthope. Thanks for sharing here.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
randomguy
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:00 am

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby dijmart » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:55 am

But to me, it seems like I'm at the fork of the road and these signs are pointing to the different directions when it comes to this "God created the world or not" thing.


So, what is god? I find the word so misused and abused that I'm really not comfortable with it any longer. I'd rather say consciousness or awareness. I "AM" that in essence (consciousness/awareness), I'm not thought, emotion, the body or anything I can be "aware" of....but the paradox is that consciousness/awareness is "everything" that can be perceived, as well. So, in your terminology, god IS the world and you also...unmanifest and manifested. Nonduality is loaded with paradoxes!
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2079
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby smiileyjen101 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:31 am

The all - everything, no thing excluded, for me. including me lol!
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
User avatar
smiileyjen101
 
Posts: 3688
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby brighthope » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:25 pm

dijmart wrote:
But to me, it seems like I'm at the fork of the road and these signs are pointing to the different directions when it comes to this "God created the world or not" thing.


So, what is god? I find the word so misused and abused that I'm really not comfortable with it any longer. I'd rather say consciousness or awareness. I "AM" that in essence (consciousness/awareness), I'm not thought, emotion, the body or anything I can be "aware" of....but the paradox is that consciousness/awareness is "everything" that can be perceived, as well. So, in your terminology, god IS the world and you also...unmanifest and manifested. Nonduality is loaded with paradoxes!


It may be the essence of my question.

I didn't meant to discuss one particular theology, but since Tolle and also other teachers refer to it all the time, please allow me. Also, please note that below is my (more than likely limited) understanding of ACIM.

According to ACIM, "consciousness" or "awareness" is not really God or part of God. This is because "consciousness" or "awareness" needs objects. You have to be conscious/aware of something. So in that sense it is "dual."
This world is not created by God - but *we/I (God's child)* had a crazy idea "what it would be like if I separated from God" and dreamed up this world. That' is the beginning of "consciousness" and therefore consciousness itself is not "God," rather a crazy dream. A lot of ACIM students do ask if we are part of God and perfect, how come we thought of something crazy like separating from God. ACIM teachers' usual answer to this is it really didn't happen because it's just a dream.

Anyway, I know a lot of sages, teachers have said all there is is consciousness/awareness and we are part of it. Therefore we are "it." It doesn't basically contradict to what ACIM teaches. Yes we are part of God. But ACIM seems to be going a step farther and saying, "Consciousness itself is a dream." (To me) It's like most sages/teachers are saying "Wake up to consciousness" but ACIM is saying "Wake up *from* consciousness." Does it make sense?

Anyway, this difference is significant to me as I have mentioned several times. It is because if we are consciousness/awareness and this is all there is (maybe we can call it God), then there may be purpose/beauty in everything. We can think of seemingly bad things as part of God's plan, or even God's play, and there is some kind of purpose in it.

However, according to ACIM, this world is just a crazy dream. God didn't create it. God doesn't even know this world.
We are part of God but we are temporarily forgetting about it and dreaming this world up. So, there is no "God's" purpose in this world - though we are part of God but we are essentially dreaming about being separated, therefore this world doesn't really "exist."

Anyway, again, it is only one way of thinking of this world and no one can really know what's the truth by words or by discussing it, and as some of you said at the end of the day it is me who decides. However I still want(ed) to know what everyone's take is like.
Which theory I take changes the way I live in this world.Also, because Tolle refers to ACIM along with many other teachers, therapists etc., I thought it is worth discussing.

Thanks again!
brighthope
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:58 pm

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:11 pm

brighthope wrote:However, according to ACIM, this world is just a crazy dream. God didn't create it. God doesn't even know this world.
We are part of God but we are temporarily forgetting about it and dreaming this world up. So, there is no "God's" purpose in this world - though we are part of God but we are essentially dreaming about being separated, therefore this world doesn't really "exist."

Again, I suggest you consider another perspective. Arguing whether or not this world exists or how it came to be in whatever fundamental expression may have given rise to it is a secondary matter. The essence of 'being here' is that the experience of this world, this human life, is real. That in itself makes it worth our attention. It doesn't seem to be an accident whether it's labelled crazy or not. So while we are here, what is our best course of action, what is our wisest relationship with what this life experience has to offer?

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6280
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby dijmart » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:14 pm

I have never read ACIM, I've started to read it on line a couple times and have been turned off by it every time. So, I can't comment on what it or its teachers say.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2079
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby runstrails » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:15 pm

Brightope wrote: Actually Tolle described ACIM as "Western Vedanta."


Welcome to the forum, Brighthope. I am not familiar with ACIM but I know traditional Vedanta and it's interesting that what you describe as ACIM's teaching does not appear to be too far from traditional Vedanta.

Here is the view of traditional Vedanta (in a brief nutshell):

There is one fundamental reality or truth or existence. This essential reality is awareness. Here I am talking about impersonal (pure) awareness that is not specific to any being. It's the essential nature of reality, since there has to be awareness if there is existence and vice versa. So, existence and awareness are non-separate or non-dual.

Awareness has a power/energy in it called maya which projects (manifests) the entire universe (from the big bang, including all forms, beings, egos, NDE's and stuff we’ve not yet discovered either). Thus, the universe exists within awareness, but the existence of all forms is temporary or apparent. Ishvara (or what is commonly thought of as God) denotes the laws that govern the universe or the field of existence.

Since reality is non-dual---your ordinary awareness (i.e., the undeniable fact that you exist) is not different from the impersonal (pure) awareness within which everything happens. However, it is important to note that the human mind (which is an object within awareness) cannot experience pure awareness as an object. The silence, the feeling of limitlessness, the spaciousness that Tolle talks about are simply reflections of the impersonal awareness in a still mind and are the closest that the mind can get to experiencing pure awareness like an object.

It’s best to think of impersonal awareness as what gives the universe existence or allows it to exist. In other words it illuminates the world.

Awareness (or what I think you are referring to as God) is completely unaffected by experience or whatever happens in the world. It is simply self-aware and self-evident. Importantly, pure awareness does not control the workings of the universe, those are controlled by Ishvara or the laws of the Universe. Awareness does not do anything, does not wish for anything, it does not create anything and does not experience anything.
It allows experience to happen, but awareness itself is completely unaffected by experience. Awareness allows mind to exist and mind experiences things. However, awareness (or what you are calling God) is completely unaffected by experience.

Regarding purpose: Obviously, awareness has no purpose (since it is simply the one fundamental reality)—but perhaps the purpose of the human mind, would be to realize it’s true nature (as awareness). However, whether mind realizes it’s true nature or not, is irrelevant to the awareness within which it exists.

Hope this helps!
runstrails
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 am

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby dijmart » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:35 am

My mind likes to chew on things, like the rest, but ACIM just is confusing, overly wordy and with sprinkles of Christianity throughout. I've tried to read it, like I said and ack just couldn't get very far. Not my cup of tea I guess, but it also didn't make much sense, at least what I read of it, maybe because of the mix of religion with nonduality.
Take what you like and leave the rest.
User avatar
dijmart
 
Posts: 2079
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby randomguy » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:02 am

A lot of ACIM students do ask if we are part of God and perfect, how come we thought of something crazy like separating from God. ACIM teachers' usual answer to this is it really didn't happen because it's just a dream.

I love the question. The question is great. It touches on the very "God's play" sense of being. But does the "usual answer" fit with your experience? At night during a vivid dream is that not experienced? Does it make sense to deny the experience of a dream?

Anyway, I know a lot of sages, teachers have said all there is is consciousness/awareness and we are part of it. Therefore we are "it." It doesn't basically contradict to what ACIM teaches. Yes we are part of God. But ACIM seems to be going a step farther and saying, "Consciousness itself is a dream." (To me) It's like most sages/teachers are saying "Wake up to consciousness" but ACIM is saying "Wake up *from* consciousness." Does it make sense?

Does it make sense? Not really. What is being told to wake up from consciousness? This recommendation is somehow directed to non-consciousness where there is no hope to receive it? What is the root. Like Mooji asks, can what observes be observed? That question can be very powerful. Can you make yourself appear as an object to yourself? No. But a story of yourself can appear to what you are. The story is not ultimately you, but it is also not not-you either. Does wake up from consciousness make sense to you? What would be conscious of the waking? Just me, but it's sort of like saying, you now, disappear. Which in all seriousness is a great thing to attempt. This also points out the limits of mind and perception nicely. Just be absent. Not so easy, right? Impossible actually but knocks at the knees of what we can think we are. The thing to wake up from, to realize in this situation is the limits of ideas and thoughts. The limits of philosophy.

Anyway, this difference is significant to me as I have mentioned several times. It is because if we are consciousness/awareness and this is all there is (maybe we can call it God), then there may be purpose/beauty in everything. We can think of seemingly bad things as part of God's plan, or even God's play, and there is some kind of purpose in it.

It might be interesting to explore the origin of this idea of 'purpose'. Purpose is a comforting idea isn't it? However, it is comforting in a way that counters a painful interpretation. Such as if we hear some news that is interpreted as horrible and bad. There is no shortage of material for that. If there is a purpose it is somehow more comforting. But how does one know that the interpretation is correct? How does one know the universe edequately to call that knowing absolute truth with a brain that's good for putting sticks together to make fire and bring food to mouth? Does one ask the same question about the feeling of joy or happiness? As in gosh, there must be some purpose for this feeling of hapiness. Or is the contrast just the contrast? I think it could be worthwhile to explore the origin of the gravitation toward an idea of purpose to begin with, how that comes about within one's self.

However, according to ACIM, this world is just a crazy dream. God didn't create it. God doesn't even know this world.
We are part of God but we are temporarily forgetting about it and dreaming this world up. So, there is no "God's" purpose in this world - though we are part of God but we are essentially dreaming about being separated, therefore this world doesn't really "exist."

I found it more helpful in considering the world in terms of real and unreal vs exist or not exist. It seems too harsh to me to say the world doesn't exist. Existance is. Bold to deny it. If it appears as this world dream or not, that is the apparence of it. So what is it? What is seeing it? What is the root?

This has been quoted many times and many be me but it sums up the waking journey so nicely.
"The world is illusory; Brahman alone is real; Brahman is the world." - Ramana

I think it's a good place a fork in the road where ideas don't add up. Maybe they never have? It's a unique experience yes?
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
randomguy
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:00 am

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby randomguy » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:05 pm

I wrote the above when fairly tired. I probably misunderstood a few things
... answer to this is it really didn't happen because it's just a dream.

If what is being referred to here is that the separation from God/Supreme Reality never happened then this makes sense to me. It is fair to say the separation didn't happen except as a dream.
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
randomguy
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:00 am

Re: God Created This World or Not

Postby brighthope » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:54 am

Thank you everyone for your replies.
I really appreciate them.

I'd like to reply to your thoughts, opinions, advice, suggestions etc, but first I want to understand them fully.
It is not an easy topic - please give me some time before I can do so.

I still wanted to say thank you for your replies at this point, because I know all of you took some time to reply and again I really appreciate it.

Thank you.
brighthope
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:58 pm

Next

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest