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Thread: How's this sound?

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    How's this sound?

    Alan Watts was a very gifted communicator and philosopher in the 60's who did a lot to popularise Eastern mystical traditions. In his book, 'The Book on theTaboo against knowing who you are' he explained a hindu view like this:

    God likes to play hide-n-seek, but because there is nothing outside of God, he has no one but himself to play with! But he gets over this difficulty by pretending that he is not himself. This is his way of hiding from himself. He pretends that he is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way he has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when he wakes up they will disappear.

    Now when God plays "hide" and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself! But that's the whole fun of it-just what he wanted to do. He doesn't want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself. But- when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will WAKE UP, stop pretending, and REMEMBER that we are all one single Self- the God who is all that there is and who lives forever and ever.
    You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that he isn't really doing this to anyone but himself. Remember too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. It's the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards and play again, and so it goes with the world.
    I found this idea interesting. It does contribute towards an explanation of the problem of evil and I find the idea of a playful and creative God very attractive.

    I don't 'believe' this is true. However it does make my list of things that 'might' be true and also my list of things that might be ok if they were true.

    I'd be interested in critiques of this 'myth'.

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    tWebber Kelp(p)'s Avatar
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    To me it sounds depressing. I don't know if I'll ever understand the Hindu and Buddhist hatred of differentiation and duality. Getting rid of suffering by giving up one's independent existence seems like curing a migraine by shooting oneself in the head.

    It also sounds extremely lonely. I don't know about you, but I don't want us to be the same person. If we're the same person then we can't be friends.
    Last edited by Kelp(p); 11-11-2014 at 08:13 AM.

  3. Amen Cerebrum123, Irate Canadian, One Bad Pig amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pancreasman View Post
    It does contribute towards an explanation of the problem of evil
    Evil is just a 'game'. Suffering and pain doesn't really matter because they're self-inflicted, 'dreams', illusion.

    Frankly, it just trivialises not only evil, but good.

  5. Amen Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
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    tWebber JohnnyP's Avatar
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    I find the biblical idea of a God who wanted creation to express Himself and to love like children more appealing. As human parents we already know we're going to bring children into a world with pain and suffering, but we do it anyway because we want the same kinds of things that kind of God wants. We figure it's better for children to exist with evil than not at all, and unless they turn out to be really evil themselves, we usually don't want to forget about them or wake up to find they've all been a bad dream.

    Having fun is ok but ultimately that Hindu view of god doesn't really love anyone but maybe himself if anything else is just a dream, I think that's what bothers me.

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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    More appealing and consistent with scripture. The jokester god does not come from Christianity, as the OP mentioned. To accept that one would have to reject the Bible whole cloth. The idea a cutesy frilly one, but not a sound one.

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    Thank you for your thoughts. I disagree with most of them, but who cares?

  9. Amen Jedidiah amen'd this post.
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by pancreasman View Post

    Then we shuffle the cards and play again, and so it goes with the world.
    So you/r god always play being tortured, and also the one who tortures.......

    Hard to imagine that the world is a mere "playground." And then play the same again and again!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FarEastBird View Post
    So you/r god always play being tortured, and also the one who tortures.......

    Hard to imagine that the world is a mere "playground." And then play the same again and again!!!
    I'd really appreciate it, if you actually read my OP. This is NOT my belief, I simply find it interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pancreasman View Post
    I'd really appreciate it, if you actually read my OP. This is NOT my belief, I simply find it interesting.
    I did. My mistake thinking that you are espousing it.

    I would like to add.....

    I believe that what Alan Watts was simply trying is to excuse the existence of evil while believing in that all things to be good. Having no explanation that evil cannot be part of God, he tries to numb the people of the pain of evil by deceiving that the whole scenario is a game, and concentrate on the whole experience as a game, and no more focus about good and evil. I believe that even Christians, and other religions, fall into this self deceiving tactic to evercome their sad estate, or of the inferiority/weakness/flaws of their belief. They focus on one part/concept of their religion, and then they ignore the flaws. It's like, as long as one is focused that it is a game, then good and evil becomes just part of the game.

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    tWebber JohnnyP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pancreasman View Post
    I'd really appreciate it, if you actually read my OP. This is NOT my belief, I simply find it interesting.
    What if it's really God's belief while he's pretending he's you not believing it's your belief but it's really your belief because it's God's belief?

    Do you believe this belief can cause some problems?

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