If you google that question most of what you get are explanations of why God allows so much suffering and proofs of God’s existence. For locations you get only: “everywhere” or in a “different dimension” or “hidden” or “inside you”; I have not found anything more specific. This is unfortunate because knowing where God is could reveal much about what God is. We can learn where he is by examining how he got there, a subject about which we do have some knowledge.
Our species has a powerful need to find reasons, to know how and why. Many conditions and events have no obvious explanation and are attributed, by some people, to unseen, mysterious powers. In antiquity, before the dawn of science, such happenings were very pervasive. To explain them various spirits with magical abilities were imagined. These spirits were mostly capricious, fearful and demanding. Often icon surrogates of them were made. Rituals, aided by the placebo effect, were invented to influence, cajole or placate them.
As societies became larger and more complex spirits morphed into gods; rituals morphed into worship and religions were born. Usually one god was imagined to be more powerful and was more venerated or feared than the others. For the Abramic religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- the supreme god became God. The remaining gods were eventually abolished, to be replaced, in Christianity and Islam, by angels.
The important takeaway is this: all of these spirits, gods, God and angels are not existent entities; they live only in human minds; they are mere figments of imagination, which, unlike reality, is unconstrained.
In this context it is worth noting that throughout “A History of God” (Random House, 1993)* -- the excellent seminal book by Karen Armstrong, who is not an atheist -- gods and God, as well as spirits, are treated as concepts not as actual beings.
These days, even though almost all of what once bewildered our ancestors is now explained or at least explainable, most people still believe there is a God of some kind. However, when they are questioned for details, one finds a plethora of God characteristics and versions, from the creator-supervisor of the universe and everything in it (who is demanding, loving, caring and trustworthy or demanding, jealous, vengeful and capricious or both); to a mere initiator of the universe; to an unknowable supernatural “something”. In short, God is whatever its believers-cum-creators concoct.
So, God, gods, angels, etc exist in human minds, no where else, especially not in any genes. They, and deeds attributed to them, are imagination supported by (usually willful) ignorance, nothing more.
* You can find a free PDF file by googling “a history of god pdf”
You see, if you scroll up, I clearly stated that there's no scientific study of what I was saying about the parallels between "Brahman" and "M-Theory," at least none that I'm aware of.
However, you twisted what I've said to imply that what I presented with Strassman's research wasn't scientific. It's as though you were deliberately vague and interpreted what I've said in the way you wanted to. If you scroll up, I said that I'm not claiming that his research was necessarily a scientific study of the claim I made about the congruities between eastern philosophy and string theory.
However, his research is a scientific study towards the claim that I made about the universal themes in experiential phenomena and archetypal motifs. So, that's being straight-forward. But in your case, you obviously misinterpreted what I said or rather interpreted it in the way you wanted to so that you could just say, "Bullshit! Okay, you're a waste of time," because maybe it's your bedtime and you have to get "the last word" before you go to bed, because that's part of your "game."
I mean, that's clear to me now, and I've seen other people point it out in other threads, but I've never experienced it first-hand with you until now and the evidence resides in the above posts.
No, Jimmy - I specifically asked you to back up your claim that the experience was 'universal'. In point of fact, you pointed to a chapter that specifically claimed it was not. Now you are trying to make all sorts of other claims, including that I am the one being vague. Sorry, you lose.
Okay, the chapter obviously revealed common details, overlapping characteristics, it didn't claim that this experience does not possess universal themes. To the contrary! Besides, that's just one paragraph! The entire book is fraught with these universal archetypes. And you said, "You start out with a bold claim," and the only "bold claim" I made was that there is parallels between notions in eastern philosophy and notions in string theory.
Furthermore, the fact that you have to use the phrase, "Sorry, you lose," is further evidence that you participate in some type of trolling game here. I mean, how can you make it more obvious? Perhaps your next post will reveal that, because I've noticed that another part of your game is always "getting the last word."
"Where is god?"
Maybe he's at the North Pole with Santa
It's just another fantasy.
From an ignostic point of view I have seldom managed to get a theist to give me a definition of his or her god that will stand up to scrutiny for more than a few minutes before I render it meaningless. So if we are to answer the question “Where is God?” then we should first define the attributes of “god”. The problem I have though is that they are always based on how people subjectively (yes that word again) define God. They will anthropomorphise god based on their own experiences, be they mystical or not. So God is just a concept. I am fine with that, just as 11 branes are concepts in quantum theory. However, to quote Dan Dennett, “the concept of god is a concept”. So I will repeat what I said earlier – god only exists as a subjective belief in the minds of those that do not see it as a delusion. They can wrap it up in the verbose words of whatever theology they want but it is still all a delusion. There are altered states of consciousness but they are not “higher” than the state of mind induced by critical thinking and logic reasoning about the world which is the “true state” of where evolution has taken us.
Abraham Maslow called this "peak experience," I believe, because he thought of it as being the "point of evolution." Richard Dawkins once used an example (which I'll link here) to explain evolution, if you can think of a mountain, for instance, and as you travel up the mountain from any point at the base of the mountain, you will travel up a very distinct pathway with its own unique crevices and tortuous bends. Each pathway depending at which point you start at the perimeter of the base of the mountain can be thought of as the unique pathway of each organism's evolutionary trail, and of course, the perimeter that surrounds the mountain becomes more and more narrow as you ascend the mountain. Of course, Dawkins never really elaborated on the "ultimate peak" or claimed there was one, nor did he elaborate on the "base of the mountain," for that matter, because he only used the analogy to make a point, but if you can consider that there is an "ultimate peak" of evolution, then you have a concept of what was meant by "peak experience" by Abraham Maslow.
In the case of the mystical experience, I wouldn't equate it to the anthropomorphizing of deities, because the experience in and of itself is somehow a resonance of this "ultimate reality." It's not a concept that is simply personified. So, I agree with Dennett's statement, that "the concept of God is a concept," just as the 11-dimensional hyperspace is a concept of M-Theory. However, what I'm getting at is that the reason they're considered a "higher state" of consciousness is because the mind is then a direct conduit of this "11-dimensional hyperspace" or "Brahman." It's a resonance of that which the mind, in an ordinary state, is only using critical thinking and logic to generate a concept to attempt to understand, while the mystical experience is, in some sense, that which the concept can only point to. Do you see?
Even if you do not agree with this, do you at least get the idea that I'm attempting to convey here?
“but if you can consider that there is an "ultimate peak" of evolution, then you have a concept of what was meant by "peak experience" by Abraham Maslow”
No, I do not consider that evolution has an “ultimate peak”. Evolution is not progressive in the sense of an upward journey like that of climbing a mountain. Climbing a mountain to reach a peak is an objective that once it is reached, is over. It is an end in itself. So yes you will have a peak experience if you reach the summit, but its (sorry) all downhill after that. It was a one time reality.
Evolution has no objective in that sense. Evolution is not progressive in the sense that the next generation are closer to the summit. It is not linear with a fixed aim. An organism will adapt according to its current environment. It will move up or down the mountain depending on which direction gives it the fittest attributes to survive. So each day is a “peak experience”. Each day is the ultimate reality. There is no journey to undertake to reach peak reality. All you have to do is realise that you are living it now. This is a real as it gets. It is what you do to adapt to it that is important. It is a constant reality. There are no peaks or dips. Yes, some days are better than others but the best days in the sun and the worst night in the dark are equally real. They told me when I was ....in the zone man, yeah I know what you mean :-)
Evolution is a work in progress (or sometimes the other way it seems)
Well, I was only using Dawkins analogy of evolution (which I linked) to make a distinction of the how it's seen in Maslow's interpretation in comparison to how evolution is normally understood. I'm completely aware of the concept of Darwinian evolution, I wasn't asking you to change your perspective of evolution, but to merely consider a concept.
I also made the point to say that Dawkins never claimed that there is a "peak" in his analogy implying that Dawkins, too, was not saying that there is a "goal of evolution." Although, he does talk about peaks along the pathway up (if you watch the video), but he says, as a rule, there is no traveling down the mountain.
However, in this other perspective of "higher consciousness," evolution takes on a different meaning altogether. So, "evolution," in this sense, is not that which occurs by natural selection over generations of human reproduction, but an evolution in the sense that is associated with transcendence, spiritual enlightenment, and union with the divine. In a secular context, higher consciousness is usually associated with exceptional control over one's mind and will, enhanced intellectual ability and improved memory as in Eidetic memory, etc. I'll paste an excerpt from Wiki here that elaborates on the spiritual context:
The concept of higher consciousness rests on the belief that the average, ordinary human being is only partially conscious due to the character of the untrained mind and the influence of 'lower' impulses and preoccupations. As a result, most humans are considered to be asleep (to reality) even as they go about their daily business. Gurdjieff called this ordinary condition of humanity "waking sleep," an idea gleaned in part from ancient spiritual teachings such as those of the Buddha.
You mentioned that "each day is the ultimate reality," I would say that each day is only a participation in a "subjective reality." You know, the dirty little secret among quantum physicists is that the concept of materiality leads to the appalling conclusion that there is no such thing in that when you dissect the atom, it has no fundamental essence, it can continuously divide onto infinity. Einstein has been quoted saying, "Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
So, the idea behind the spiritual context in which I'm proposing is that outside of this "illusion," the mystic through a phenomenon in consciousness returns to the underground fabric of reality, what an M-Theorist might call "the unobserved 11th-dimension," what Max Tegmark referred to as the "Ultimate Ensemble," the Teilhardian Omega Point, what Terence McKenna called "The Hyperdimensional Object at the End of Time," or the "Brahman" of Hinduism.
Of course, this is only a temporary glimpse in the case Savikalpa samādhi, and so this concept is oftenly spoken about in a contemporary context as "ego death," and of course, there's different interpretations on "ego death," but they have to do with the notion that you're able to return to the ordinary state of consciousness, but with the knowledge that the ego is ultimately illusory.
Rob Bryanton speaks of it in terms that a universe like ours is what you get when you have a break in symmetry, the Big Bang is a bang that occurred in hyerspace that flung all possible universes out, and so the goal of evolution or rather the natural order of the universe is to return to a balance.
So, perhaps it's that the mystical experience is a glimpse of an "end state" of consciousness or an entelechy, a glimpse of what all these philosophers were raving about, or a glimpse of future states of consciousness, it's what theistic religions refer to as "God." You're able to see beyond your universe as a collection of projected specific patterns into space-time, and suddenly you glimpse the entire "pattern that contains all possible patterns," the very fountain of which all universes pour out from.
In the mind with a narrow perspective of life the universe and everything because different people call diferent things god.