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OfflineFrog
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Dear God...
    #2333850 - 02/14/04 11:46 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Swami was asking the question (for the 3rd time) on another:

Why pray if you are going to get what you get regardless of whether you pray or not?

Did I get this question right, Swami?


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineSole_Worthy
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Frog]
    #2333890 - 02/14/04 12:08 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I heared praying was about being thankful for what you have. It is sort of beneficial for the soul rather than getting god to throw you a few bucks to keep ya sorted


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Re: Dear God... [Re: Frog]
    #2333903 - 02/14/04 12:17 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

If that were his question then it wouldnt entirely make sense. Unless of course you could create some expirement to test it out...and that would be interesting; heh I'd like to see it.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
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OfflineFrog
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Sole_Worthy]
    #2333918 - 02/14/04 12:25 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Sole_Worthy said:
I heared praying was about being thankful for what you have. It is sort of beneficial for the soul rather than getting god to throw you a few bucks to keep ya sorted




Actually, we're supposed to ask God for what we need, in addition to be thankful for what we have. (Don't make me have to go find where it says that in the bible.)


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Dear God... [Re: psyka]
    #2333921 - 02/14/04 12:27 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

psyka said:
If that were his question then it wouldnt entirely make sense. Unless of course you could create some expirement to test it out...and that would be interesting; heh I'd like to see it.




I know.  I could go look up his question (that he asked 3x) on the other thread, but then I might have to answer it, and I haven't formulated an answer yet.  Being lazy today. 

So, by asking Swami if I got his question right, I'm buying time, for me.  And maybe someone else will come and answer it before I hurt myself.  :grin:


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineViaggio
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Frog]
    #2333995 - 02/14/04 01:09 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I thought praying had something to do with praising...?


--------------------
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OfflineFrog
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Viaggio]
    #2334048 - 02/14/04 01:30 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

viaggio said:
I thought praying had something to do with praising...?




Of course! I'm not saying it doesn't!

There is some little "ritual", according to the fundamentalist Christians, or some group of Christians, and maybe the Catholics, but my memory isn't too good on this right now, because I haven't done it in so long, that, when you talk to God, you are supposed to:

1. First say sorry for your sins;
2. Then thank God for everything He has done for you;
3. Then ask God for anything it is that you think you need.

On that last step, you are supposed to say something about God's will being done, meaning that either He will answer your prayer with a "yes", a "no", or a "not now".

I don't follow that ritual any more, because I don't sin (j/k) and because I have everything I need.

Okay, j/k.

I stay in constant prayer. I constantly talk to God, and when I screw up, I say I'm sorry. And when I get something, I say thank you. And when I need something, I ask.

I don't believe any more in some formula for talking to God. Like the Catholics think that to talk to God, you have to go through a priest.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflinePedM
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Frog]
    #2334086 - 02/14/04 01:44 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

In Buddhism, prayer has to do with establishing a connection with the enlightened aspect. It is about humility, and deepening respect for the teachers that brought us Dharma. Humility makes our path quick, and respect gives us the will to follow it.


--------------------


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Ped]
    #2334104 - 02/14/04 01:50 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Do you pray to anyone in particular?

Christianity is about having a relationship with God. I don't understand God too much. I don't know the answers to everything. I find that Christian teachers intepret the bible, but usually within the context of the man-made religions.

And therefore that is why I am looking for answers to life and the universe in other places, like here.

So to whom do you pray, if anyone? Who provides wisdom? What kind of teachings? And feel free to simply refer me to a book or link that would provide these answers. (Did I say I was lazy today?)


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Frog]
    #2334139 - 02/14/04 02:02 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Yes, that is the question.

I have mentioned this story before, but when I went to a Catholic high shcool, one of the nuns was dying of cancer. So everyday before class started, we (3000 students) would pray for her recovery. Naturally, the nun died an agonizing death. So in theology class I asked the priest why she died in spite of our petitioning and got the standard response that it was Gods' will. So then I asked what the point in praying was - and got silence from the priest.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Swami]
    #2334169 - 02/14/04 02:16 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
So then I asked what the point in praying was - and got silence from the priest.




He was silently praying for God to instill you with the same screwy belief system. :lol:
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Swami]
    #2334191 - 02/14/04 02:27 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

*shrugs*

Going to go check with my guru...:lol:


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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Re: Dear God... [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2334235 - 02/14/04 02:40 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Seriously, though, I don't understand it. I DO understand praying as an act of being thankful, just getting a chance to reflect on what you have been given and everything..

I don't understand it as asking God for anything. If there is a God and he has a will, what He means to happen IS going to happen.

And now, for a quick anecdote from the Simpsons, based on the story of Joan of Arc..

Lisa (as Joan of Arc): I would like to call my first and only witness: God!

God: I told this maiden to lead the French to victory.

Groundskeeper Willie: Wait a minute, you two timin' spot of light. You told ME to lead the ENGLISH to victory!

Lisa: *gasps* Is that true, Lord?

God: *nervously laughs* Well.. I.. never thought the two of you would be in the same room, actually.... This is a little embarassing.. Goodbye now!


Both sides of a war pray to win and to have their enemies smited... but only one wins....
Peace.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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Re: Dear God... [Re: Frog]
    #2334252 - 02/14/04 02:46 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

>> Do you pray to anyone in particular?

Yes. As Buddhist, we pray to the deities to which we have any pre-existing close connection. If there is a pre-existing close connection, there is greater potential for deepening and broadening that connection.

The Deities to which I pray, and have close karma, are Avalokiteshvara, Dorje Shugden, Arya Tara, and Amitayus. There are many deities to which no one has any karmic connection, and are only preserved in text form should that karma change.

Avalokiteshvara
Dorje Shugden
Arya Tara
Amitayus

We pray not for the accumulation of wealth, or for the long lives of our family members, or for continued good fortune. We pray only for the continuation of our spiritual path and the paths of others, that our ignorance may be dispelled, that the ignorance of others may be dispelled, and that we may be able to be happy, and help all other living beings to happy, free from suffering and problems.

The prayer of the Four Immesaurables, for example, reads as follows:

May everyone be happy.
May everyone be free from misery.
May no one ever be seperated from their happines.
May everyone have equanimity, free from hatred and attachment.

Depending on the context of the prayer, the word "attachment" is sometimes subsituted with "confusion."

All Buddhist prayers lead back to this prayer. For example, if my teacher's car were to break down, he would pray for it's speedy and inexpensive repair not because he was concerned with his pocket book, but because his car enables him to bring Dharma to many others efficiently. By the same token, his students pray privately for his long life, so that he may continue following his path, and guiding us along spiritual paths, for the happiness of all living beings.


>> What kind of teachings?

The fellow in my signature is called Je Tsongkhapa, who lived and died in 12th century Tibet. He is the man responsible for all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, pure teachings uncontaminated since that time. Since the time of Je Tsongkhapa, there has never been a complete absence of pure teachings in the world. For accomplishing this, Buddhists award him great respect. Je Tsongkhapa attained full enlightenment shortly before his physical death, and thus his mind pervades all of time and space. Because he has mastered full control of his mind and broken all cycles of karma, his experience of the universe is what's called the Tushita Pure Land. All beings inhabit Je Tsongkhapa's Tushita Pure Land, but they cannot experience it because their minds are obstructed by ignorance and delusions which cause the appearance of this ordinary world filled with suffering. This means that while we are completely unaware of Je Tsongkhapa, his omniscience allows him to be aware of us. Though, he sees us only as pure, blissful beings. All we must do to enter the experience of Tushita Pure Land is remove the mental obstructions which prevent that experience. The main obstruction is our sense of a seperate "I", and our cherishing of that "I".

This goes back to your statement in another thread, about how you continuously question whether or not you inhabit the same universe as everybody else. Buddhism says that you do not. The reason we are able to agree on so many elements of our experience, such as the existence of one moon orbiting the earth, has to do with our similar karma. While each living being we encounter shares a very similar experience, they are all inhabiting a different universe entirely. In exactly the same way, Buddhas such as Je Tsongkhapa are also inhabiting a different universe. Though, because our karma is distant from theirs, we cannot encounter Buddhas directly. As Buddhists, we are seeking to purify our minds, to stop delusions, to stop ignorance, so that we can break free from our obstructive karma and enter a pure, uncontaminated experience of reality. One means of doing this is through prayer and mantra recitation.

Mantra recitation is special because the mantra has come from the mouth of the deity who originally spoke it. Most mantras, when translated, make little to no verbal sense at all. The purpose of the mantra is the sound itself, which has been chosen because of it's certain patterns, resonances, tones and so forth, all of which guide our minds in special directions. Just a piece of music invokes special feelings, a mantra invokes special states of mind which draw us closer to the enlightened aspect. That mantra in my signature sits there because my main wish at this moment is to expand my understanding of Je Tsongkhapa's teachings. Each time it is read by an individual, this potential increases in their minds as well as my own.

These points can be brought into Quantum Physics, and create a fantastic discussion. If we unify the theory of quantum parallels and understand the relationship between mind and reality, we discover through science our potential to follow spiritual paths. Already this is happening with recent experiments in particle physics.


--------------------


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Ped]
    #2334353 - 02/14/04 03:11 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

First, thank you for sharing those links. I will go check them out.

Ped: This goes back to your statement in another thread, about how you continuously question whether or not you inhabit the same universe as everybody else. Buddhism says that you do not. The reason we are able to agree on so many elements of our experience, such as the existence of one moon orbiting the earth, has to do with our similar karma. While each living being we encounter shares a very similar experience, they are all inhabiting a different universe entirely.

This makes sense to me. A couple of years ago, when I first started my "search" for the answers to the Universe (smile), I told my girlfriend that it is as if ... hmmm, how to explain it...

Imagine the world, a globe, opened up and laid out like a flat map. Then, interpose time over the map, and imagine everything moving in circles, time on one continuum, space on another continuum. Plot people and events on those continuums, somehow. Everyone is having their own experiences, but we are brought into contact with one another. So maybe that's why what you say makes sense. We all inhabit the same "world", but not the same "universe". Something like that.

As Buddhists, we are seeking to purify our minds, to stop delusions, to stop ignorance, so that we can break free from our obstructive karma and enter a pure, uncontaminated experience of reality. One means of doing this is through prayer. Since it is our minds which create our experience, a pure mind has only pure experience.

How do you know whether you have obstructive karma? Does everyone automatically have obstructive karma? How do you know what to pray for? HOw do you enter a pure uncontaminated experience of reality?

These points can be brought into Quantum Physics, and create a fantastic discussion. If we unify the theory of quantum parallels and understand the relationship between mind and reality, we discover through science our potential to follow spiritual paths. Already this is happening with recent experiments in particle physics.

Yes. This is what is discussed in that book "The Field", from which I keep quoting. I wish everyone would buy it and read it and then tell me what parts are FOS and what parts work. MM said he was going to buy it.

There was something in the book that I wanted to quote in response to the Existence thread, where you just posted something this morning. About things we perceive in the universe, and how we perceive them, and whether they have any existence apart from our perception of them.

I think I have to understand what Quantum Physics is, in particular. This book sort of presupposes an understanding of Quantum Physics.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Swami]
    #2334525 - 02/14/04 03:47 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
Yes, that is the question.

I have mentioned this story before, but when I went to a Catholic high shcool, one of the nuns was dying of cancer. So everyday before class started, we (3000 students) would pray for her recovery. Naturally, the nun died an agonizing death. So in theology class I asked the priest why she died in spite of our petitioning and got the standard response that it was Gods' will. So then I asked what the point in praying was - and got silence from the priest.




Here's what my guru said:

"There was no point.  They should have prayed for God's will to be done, and that she would have learned what she needed from this life.  That she would take away from it, the peace needed to understand it. That God use any one of them as a tool for Him to use to help her in this way.

This was another example of man's effort to circumvent the will of God, instead of going along with it and trying to understand it.  This was also another example of why I do not attend church.  To teach kids to pray for a a recovery is  not only pompous and arrogant, but pointless... 

God will do what is best for all regardless.  This was like praying against God.  In one breath we say "God knows best" and "thy will be done", then in another we tell God what he should do when we can't even see around time's corner.  We have NO idea what is next, but we want to line up events to suit our thoughts of how things should go.  We are just arrogant little children.

One day, when we are ready, we will be able to command the view of time to the point where we can see what is to come.  We are not ready for that.  We would use that to greedy means.  To gain selfishly, and not to help others even if it hurt them or us.  We're not ready for that, and so we must wait.  In the mean time, let God handle what is to happen.

The point for prayer SHOULD be to pay homage to God's work.  To ask Him for wisdom so that we can help others.  To be His tool.  NOT to try and command our own will upon a situation where we have only a fraction of the knowledge needed to judge it.

Make sense?"

:grin:


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflinePedM
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Frog]
    #2334537 - 02/14/04 03:49 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I will look for The Field at a bookstore when I have the chance. You might also want to check out The Tao of Physics, a famous book on the same topic by Fritjof Capra.

>> How do you know whether you have obstructive karma? Does everyone automatically have obstructive karma? How do you know what to pray for? HOw do you enter a pure uncontaminated experience of reality?

Buddhism approaches these questions pragmatically. In his time, Buddha taught extensively about how all beings wish for happiness and freedom from suffering and problems. He says that this wish pervades each one of our thoughts and actions. However, because we lack wisdom, we are always following incorrect paths. An incorrect path is one that leads us to the experience of suffering. Essentially, there is no experience of reality that is "wrong", unless it functions to produce suffering. Since our deepest essence is the wish to be free of suffering, only experiences of reality which are conducive to this freedom are considered correct.

More information about this can be found Here.


>> How do you know whether you have obstructive karma?

If we are experiencing suffering, or have the potential to experience suffering, we are caught within obstructive karma. For example, as human beings, we cannot escape the sufferings of sickness, ageing, death, and the unsatisfaction of our desires. There will be times when we are hungry, sometimes very hungry. There will be times when we cannot sleep when we wish we could. We will become ill. As we age, illness becomes more and more uncomfortable, until illness brings us death.

By the same token, if our day to day lives are filled with difficulty, we are caught within obstructive karma. If people are continuously interfering with our activities, and if we have a difficult time overcoming minds which perceive difficulty, we are caught within obstructive karma. For example, as a practitioner I've studied anger and have gained a very thorough understanding of the mechanics of the mind of anger, and how it cannot function productively. When a situation presents itself to me that prompts me to become angry, sometimes I still do so, even though in that moment I may be applying a great deal of oppositional logic to the mind of anger. This is because I have karmic obstructions to overcoming this mind. Only with time, and by continuously opposing the mind of anger, will I eventually purify that karma and cease all appearances of anger.


>> Does everyone automatically have obstructive karma?

If they experience suffering and wish to be free from suffering, yes.


>> How do you know what to pray for?

At first, we recite pre-written prayers composed by great masters and try to develop an understanding of their meaning. Once we have gained an understanding of their meaning, our heart will show us what is an appropriate request and what is not an appropriate request.


>> HOw do you enter a pure uncontaminated experience of reality?

By breaking free of the karma which contaminates our experience. Of course, this begs the question "How do we break free of the karma which contaminates our experience?" This is achieved by cultivating a wisdom which knows how to recognize an obstruction as it appears, and knows how to oppose it. For example, anger disturbs our inner peace and causes us to view others as enemies. It causes us to feel isolated and dejected, which are forms of suffering. It causes us to harm others. Although we may understand this, anger may still grip our experience and dictate our actions. Wisdom recognizes anger as it appears and says "Here, I have an option not to become angry." Further wisdom understands the valueless nature of anger, and knows how to choose the option to avoid anger. Still further wisdom opposes the mind of anger effortlessly, spontaneously. The highest wisdom pretaining to the mind of anger is a wisdom which never encounters the mind of anger to begin with.

In this way, we develop our wisdom until we never encounter obstructions, such as the mind of anger. With the perfection of wisdom comes complete and unsurpassed enlightenment. The final ground of the perfection of wisdom is the wisdom which opposes the inherent existence of phenomenon.

It is important not to consider other enlightened traits such as love and compasion as secondary or optional to wisdom. Love and compassion are emanations of wisdom in the same way that red and white are emanations of wine.


--------------------


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Dear God... [Re: Frog]
    #2334647 - 02/14/04 04:20 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

From some sources I've heard, prayer isn't supposed to be about asking for things as much as it's about being thankful for what you have and for centering yourself and feeling more connected with God. Of course, IMO, we are God, so there's really no need to try to connect with him.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Re: Dear God... [Re: Ped]
    #2334660 - 02/14/04 04:24 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

This gives me my work for the day. 

Thanks, Ped.  :heart:


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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