• R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States


This conversation is closed.

How is it possible that God is 'Love'?

Everything in the natural world, or even the known universe, is competitive. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. Human's most successful means of progress is competition. Win or lose. Succeed or get left behind. Do or die. Even stars and planets are created by violent fusion. Only the strong and competent - in any system - survive. Yet, we 'believe' that God is 'Love'. But where in the natural world is 'love'? Where in the universe is this love? Since we cannot 'see' it or identify it outside of human experience, and if it exists, where is it? Surely if God is Love, then His/Her creation should reflect it, shouldn't it? But all I see is violence. The wolf kills the deer. The bear kills the fish. The croc eats the human. The virus attacks the cell. The star explodes. Why have all of the major religions concluded that God is love? It seems obvious that God is not love, but God is 'Survival', or God is 'Violence', or God is 'Victory'. Because if God were love, then everything would be lovers, and the animals would commune, and the planets would 'birth', and our human problems would be centered around getting something done and getting out of bed because we'd be too busy loving each other - not killing each other. So, how is it possible that God is 'Love'?

  • Oct 14 2013: I believe Don was on to something when he described a "spectacular conversion". If everything remained the same what would be the beauty in that. Our love and beauty is found in our differences and movement. I certainly would not want to live in a world where everyone was as graceful and beautiful as me.
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    Oct 14 2013: R H,

    I suggest you study Buddha’s teachings; enlightenment comes from learning how to view this reality.
    An exploding star can be viewed as a violent death, or spectacular conversion from star to matter.

    Many view hardships as punishments; I view them as lessons to be embraced, for we are here to experience and learn from the experiences, things we can’t experience in heaven, and thus can’t learn in heaven.
    • Oct 14 2013: Thar's a hole lotta truth goin on heaa TY Don
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      Oct 16 2013: Hi Don! you named Buddha and said 'enlightenment comes from learning...'
      As your focus is on nothing but 'Learning'.. Do you think Buddha learned enlightenment ?
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        Oct 16 2013: Do I think Buddha learned enlightenment?

        Yes, but not in the traditional ways of learning. Instead from a teacher or book, he looked inward and found/learn the answer to his question of “why bad things happen?” (Death, sickness, old age.)
        And he learned/discovered that …… I’ll just say its lot more then I can put into a post.

        Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one” and so we all can be Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha and who is commonly refer to as the Buddha.

        Rather learning is the path to enlightenment or enlightenment is the end result of learning, I’m not sure and can't say. But learning to look inward, I believe is key.
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          Oct 16 2013: Learn/Found ... Learned/Discovered ...
          You are confused Don!
          If you knew Buddha, you would not say so... That's why i asked this question. I suggest you to 'know' Buddha --- not 'learn' Buddha. :)
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    Oct 12 2013: If God is Love then it follows that Love is God.

    Love is the Universal creating force that brought all into being. It transforms all things through time to reflect its conscious desire to be.

    It shows itself through beauty, harmony and peace.

    From love everything grows into being and without it everything that exist falls apart.

    Love is, like light or warmth without an opposite.
    Darkness, coldness or fear are words that express the absence of light, warmth or love.
    Those that are ignorant lack the knowledge of love and regain this only through suffering from all that isn't love.

    If one isn't loved that one feels hurt which provokes: hate, anger, greed, judging, neglect, cynics, arrogance and many more, the causes from which again other people suffer.

    Light and Love are the protons of the universe that provide energy and direction for a conscious reflection of the will to be of the one Being that is referred to with terms as God, Brahma, Tau, Allah and many more.
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      Oct 12 2013: Nice Frans:>)

      When people genuinely reflect God/Love - Love/God, we can feel it much, much more than when a god is presented and reflected as fear.
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    Oct 11 2013: Hello RH,

    I see your point, but you might be confusing levels.
    What you see (physical violence) is only a very small part of the picture, and limited to the level of the material. There is a much MUCH bigger picture going on, part of which is also reflected at the material level in terms of acts of compassion, kindness, beauty and taking the risk of trusting another human - should you wish to see them.

    The earth is a school-for-consciousness-growth which demonstrates the full range from hell, to heaven. What I see out there reflects my own inner state of mind, and is nothing but a physical illusion-projection. This is now confirmed by top-end physicists in consciousness research, as well as being what has been taught by ancient sages the world over for thousands of years. IE: we are spirit-beings being fast-tracked for learning in the earth-school, precisely because the material level offers direct feed-back of our immaturity of consciousness - and that includes the unresolved violence (rage) within our own minds.

    Scott Bell, the first commenter in this conversation has rightly suggested there is a need to define what is meant by "Love". Here goes: "Love" is a complete set of incorruptible and benevolent laws that govern the self-organising universe with the singular purpose of promoting growth in consciousness that we are One".

    Love therefore does not hide from us the immature state of our consciousness, nor its reflection in physical violence, but patiently goes about its benevolent business until we reach our "point of enoughness" (individually and collectively) whereby with our gifted free-will we choose to end the violence in our own minds, thereby transforming earth from a hellish mix to a heavenly mix.

    Therefore a "God of Love" is not irreconcilable with the existence of physical violence on earth.

    (I've got a feeling the above comments will get me into trouble, but it's a possibility, isn't it?)
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      Oct 12 2013: Cute trick. A lot of people probably think that love has something to do with the unselfish feelings of caring by one being for another. But by defining love as a set of laws you've managed to prove that God is that kind of love. God is a set of laws ...

      Redefining words is the oldest debating trick in the book, but it is just a trick.
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        Oct 12 2013: Hello Paul,
        I wasn't aware of any deliberate trickery by redefinition. The statement "God is Love" doesn't really get us very far so, as Scott Bell suggested, I made an attempt to flesh out a bit more what this statement might mean. I'm open for others to have a go too.
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      Oct 12 2013: " Reach our point of enoughness " - I love it!! - that is a " heavenly mix" :-)
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      R H

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      Oct 12 2013: Hi Joshua. Thanks for responding. I like your 'big picture' viewpoint and the 'earth school for consciousness', but you lost me with your interpretation of the illusion of what we see, the description of spirit-beings, and the immaturity of consciousness and unresolved rage. It is the 'self-organizing' universe that I am attempting to define. My question seeks to reconcile the definition 'God is Love' with the mechanics of the self-organizing universe - more specifically how 'love' is reflected in the constant exchange of death between the participants of that universe. So if I get you correctly, 'love' then means that it is something that is more fundamental than our self-realization (because our 'illusion' of pain and fear are insignificant to the exercise of 'love'), and we must 'resign' ourselves to this 'love' and 'suffer' in our state of illusion. You must be Catholic. :)
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        Oct 12 2013: I can state I'm not catholic, but I did have a churchy upbringing, which I left behind in my early 30s in order to try and find some more satisfying and convincing answers as to why I was here on this planet.
        I have also looked at the world of violence and asked myself the same question - how does all this make sense in relation to the statement that "God is Love"? I'll try again:
        1). In order to make sense, it must be in the context of some much much bigger picture of what's going on. What sort of bigger picture might make sense of it all?
        2). Only if somehow the violence is not ultimately "real" - though of course it is tragic, horrible and very real at the material level of experience. It is not "real" when our true existence is at a higher level. How could this be so?
        3). Our higher level of existence is that we are some kind of eternal spirit-beings of God-consciousness who live for ever, but who are in some way 'damaged' and need to awaken and heal ourselves back to wholeness. What damage?
        4). A mistaken belief that we are separated from the "God is Love" who created us and who says "You remain forever as I created you". And this God then adds "Being separated from me is impossible (for we are One), but since you have free will to choose how you relate to me, and exercising your free will has consequences, then my benevolent laws that govern the self-organising universe will allow you to experience this impossible status of separation". But how can the impossible be experienced?
        5). Only in virtual reality, in an illusion, {or as in when we are asleep, dreaming it all (viz: The Matrix)}. Welcome to virtual planet earth where the violence that comes from the belief in separation from the "God is Love" is played out on the human scale. So what's the way out?
        6). To wake up in consciousness and realise that we are NOT ultimately separated from the "God is Love", and to demonstrate this fact in relating peacefully to one another, and reaching out in trust.
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          R H

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          Oct 13 2013: a very, very clear explanation. Thanks.
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    Oct 11 2013: I must certainly say I agree with Mary M. Can you not enjoy life? Is your life a constant struggle for superiority? Each day there are thousands of things one can enjoy, just like Mary says. It can be the starry skies, but also the everyday activities. Do you not feel good after doing something? That's a mark that if someone/thing created this universe it must have had at least a bit of compassion for us.

    Let's just consider humans. If no one would love anyone else, we would have soon died out. Have you ever heard of the Maslow's hierarchy of needs? He recognized, that after fulfilling his own basic needs a human experiences a need for sharing with others to be happy.

    You may see a wolf that kills other animals to survive. You do not see that in today's human world, one can achieve far more by giving and being given, than on his own. One takes everything to survive alone, then one is left alone. If one collects a treasure for oneself, earlier or later one will lose it, and there will be nothing left.

    It is true we do not love everybody. Most often we prefer to love the people who can love us. But humanity achieves more together than individually.
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      R H

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      Oct 12 2013: Hi Franciszek. Thanks for responding. Please see my response to Mary.
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        Oct 12 2013: You are very observant. There are two examples of love or something of that kind in the animal(actually insect) world which I can give you:
        1. Spiders- after copulating, the female spider(which is bigger than the male) eats the male. Why? There multiple hypothesis, but it is mostly considered as a sort of self-sacrifice in order to ensure his offspring is born and can survive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_cannibalism
        2. Bees- to sting someone, a bee needs to sacrifice its own life. As a result, it dies for the sake of the beehive and bee-community.

        Both of these are clear signs, that the organism does not consider itself as an individual to be the most important, but exhibits a consciousness that it is a part of a bigger "organism"/community. In similar ways, humans by "sacrificing" their lives (loving others) become a part of something bigger than themselves.
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          R H

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          Oct 13 2013: Now that is very interesting. In this lies the 'interpretive crux' for me: Is the creature 'self-sacrificing', or is it following a decisive method of reproduction and/or species continuation chosen by random evolution processes - similar to the various hominids that existed before home sapiens? In other words, are those species simply on a 'delayed' path of 'chosen successful species for survival' not yet realized in their fullness? Even so, is not this display that you cite more evidence of the inherent violence of God? If I 'sacrifice' myself to death for the good of the species (humanity), how is their 'love' for me? My 'love' therefore, becomes self-immolation. I must 'destroy' myself to achieve love. I see a contradiction in terms here. But thank you very much for your thought provoking responses.
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    Oct 11 2013: Hi RH.
    If you mean the god of the bible, then the answer is fairly straightforward.

    God made a perfect universe and a perfect man & woman to live in it.

    He gave them one rule to obey, with the threat that if they broke it they would die.

    They broke it & died. Not only that, but the whole universe started to die as well. That is why we see decay all around. Second Law & all that.

    God came to earth as a man & died in order to reverse things. Because He loves us.

    He will shortly dissolve this universe & make another perfect one. This time He will staff it with volunteers, who have chosen to obey, & gladly subject themselves to His authority, because He loves them.

    This lifetime we have is for us to choose; either in, or out. It's up to us.

    God is, was, & always will be LOVE, that is obvious to all who know Him.

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      Oct 12 2013: Peter,
      "He gave them one rule to obey, with the threat that if they broke it they would die.
      They broke it & died. "

      Haven't you ever puzzled over the fact that God put Adam and Eve to a moral test before they had tasted of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? They were not created with that sense (they were obviously not "perfect"), and without knowledge of good and evil they could not know whether the order by the old man in the garden should trump the seemingly sensible advice of the serpent. God was manifestly unfair, not to mention that he knew that they would fail - so the whole thing was a charade, apparently for the purpose of bringing on a pained, unhappy, warring and doomed future for his creations.

      Pretty bizarre, perhaps pathological, though I can't say much about what passes for normal psychology among gods. Perhaps the old saying that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" is apt here.
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        Oct 12 2013: Hi Paul.
        You've got me. Never thought of that before. They didn't have the knowledge of evil, so thought it would be ok to disobey God ? Interesting concept; would really need to know if they had a functioning conscience. Why would god give an instruction if He hadn't told them how to obey? I'll think on that one....
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      R H

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      Oct 12 2013: Hello Peter, and thanks for responding. I didn't mention 'the Bible' because many religions don't reference it as they have their own texts, but I am familiar with its contents as I have read it on multiple occasions. Your summation is excellent but is not the explanation I am looking for as it is too subjective and depends on 'faith' in its precepts. The idea that 'God made a perfect universe' does not address the violence between the inhabitants of that universe that depend on mutual destruction for survival. I cannot reconcile the concept of 'God is Love' with that violence - and by violence I mean the killing that is necessary to eat and succeed in living. Where is the 'love' there?
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        Oct 12 2013: Hi RH,
        Initially all creatures were vegetarian, & will be again in the new universe. The present carnage was initiated by our disobedience. Currently mankind has been given free will by God & uses that free will to destroy the planet & everything in it. If he hadn't given us free will we would have called him unloving as well; He can't win with us lot.
        All we get is a snapshot in time. Looking back, all will become clear.

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      Oct 12 2013: Hello Peter,
      You state "If you mean the god of the bible, then the answer is fairly straightforward."
      Interpretation of the bible by claimants who state that it is/was all a "fairly straightforward" process has landed us with over 150 different christian denominations and a history of fighting and infighting, splits, factions and tragedies.
      That's why I am a great fan of the Taizé community in France.
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        Oct 12 2013: Hi Joshua.
        There are more than 150 football teams; that doesn't mean that football doesn't exist.
        Christians are Christians, denominations are just man made smoke screens, I have Christian friends in lots of them, there is no real difference.

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          Oct 12 2013: Hello Peter,
          Fair point. I agree that in the end "there is no real difference", for truth is truth, and false is false. My point was that the various perceived differences have been enough to instigate less-than-holy bickering and fighting, and that such perceived "differences" tend to become more entrenched the more people claim that they have the 'fairly straightforward' way of interpreting a holy text.
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        Oct 13 2013: Hi Joshua.
        Bickering is something that humans are particularly good at. Religion is just one of an endless list of subjects that fuels our desire to bicker. Jesus tells us to love & care for one another; if we interpret that as having a go at one another, that is hardly his responsibility.

  • Oct 11 2013: I like your question. I believe you may have a misunderstanding of Love. Can you provide a brief synopsis of your understanding of Love? I feel it is vital as your entire question may require some sort of agreement as to what Love actually is.
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      R H

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      Oct 12 2013: Hi Scott. Thanks for responding. I watch the animals care for their young, and watch humans do the same. With the title question, I try to reconcile this activity with the fact that while they're caring (loving), they're looking over their 'shoulders' waiting for the next killer. Then, they must eat to survive. So they go out and destroy something to live - ie, kill some other animal or destroy (eat) a plant. When it comes to human love - which I have studied to some extent - I see an emotional need for, and the exercise of, peace and harmony. 'Attraction', or a deep inner 'movement' towards connection with another, or 'love', seems to be a manifestation of a natural, 'blueprint' type, need to find that connection, or to reproduce. The rest of human love seems to be wishful thinking. Juxtaposing this with life beyond humanity, and all of the violence contained therein, I see 'love' as possibly a human creation, and 'God's plan' as an energy transference between the participants of creation that He/She 'loves' to allow.
  • Oct 15 2013: First, let's put aside the link between god and love. Nobody can say that without god, then there is absence of love. For example, many mammals, or even birds, usually protect and nurture their young one with tender love, sometimes even fight or sacrifice their lives for the competition for the survival of their species. If this is not love between the the adults and the young ones then what would you call it?
    There are some love between even different species, such as between dog and man. Sometimes, the dog even give up it's life for man as a friend, and occasionally in a few cases of the reverse. Again I would call them friendly faithful love.
    IMO, the word "god" should be defined in this way. It could be the god in Christianity, or "Allah" in Islam,or "Buddha" in Buddhism, or for those who are non-religious; "Mother nature" (you couldn't deny it's existence, because it's here and now!). Let me play a (Chinese) word game: The Chinese word "天" means heaven or the god or any other term including the "Mather nature" , it resembles a stick figure of a human with a hat or crown on his head. Then the word "犬" means a dog, but it resembles the same stick figure, but with a hat in his right hand. Similar to the god dog analogy, that means that we have two friends; a 天 who we honor and reverence, a 犬 (personified) which we befriend and love. This seems not so inconsistent or incongruous between love and competition, or is it?
    • Oct 16 2013: Hello Bart, you said
      "First, let's put aside the link between god and love. Nobody can say that without god, then there is absence of love."
      Why do you separate God from animals??? God created the universe from love, even materials, whole planets, are attracted to each other. The big difference between humans and animals is that they do not have spiritual free will like us. But they certainly are alive and God, or Higher Power, is the only Source of life.
  • Oct 13 2013: I heard this vicious rumor about Love......

    love is not desire.
    love is not pleasure
    love is not ambition
    love is not a remembrance

    It is as strong as Death
    It is as vital as Life

    where there is love, there is no jealousy
    where there is love, there is no authority
    where there is love, there is no possession

    When we examine All of these Within Ourselves, relying on No authority but Our Own, deeply understanding, We ask.......Is it possible to be free of these things which Cover and Blind Us to Love?

    Love is the very Water in which We Swim. Find and Remove that which Blinds You.
  • W T

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    Oct 11 2013: No matter where man lives on this earth he finds beauty, whether it be in the great tropical forests or perhaps in the majestic snow-covered mountains in different areas on earth. Then there are the beautiful clear-blue waters and white-sand beaches of the tropics and subtropics, as well as the great plains covered by flowing golden grain. Or there are deep-blue lakes and beautiful green pine forests. Yes, even the barren deserts have their own peculiar beauty and charm. And we all delight in seeing the starry heavens on a clear night, do we not? Not only are the stars magnificent to behold, but they also provide guides for man in his travels. So they have a practical value too.

    All this is a reflection of God's love for us, his human creation. He made it for us.

    Humans have chosen to either accept that fact, or deny it. Some struggle their entire life trying to find convincing evidence to believe in God and to accept he is truly loving.

    A time will come when the Earth and all it's inhabitants will be at peace again. Will we live to see it in our life time? Perhaps?

    I sincerely hope you find an answer to your question that fills your heart with peace.
    Sometimes we ask ourselves questions that go unanswered for a really long time, and all the while we had the answer there, in plain sight, the entire time.

    Be Well RH.

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      R H

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      Oct 12 2013: Thanks Mary for your well-wishes and for responding. I wish the same for you and all the other participants of TED -and everyone else for that matter. But I don't think you've answered the question. 'Beauty' is not love. What we find as 'magnificent' may evoke love within us, but does not necessarily define the fundamental plan of life, or 'God's' plan. Can you cite any example of love, as a fundamental motivation for survival and success in life, in any of creation outside of the human experience? Also, if God created everything 'for us', then we have the 'right' to decide what to kill or let live for our own benefit, per our interpretation of God's dictates. In that system, I would not want to be any other creature than human. Here's an example: Let's say it's not humans that God made creation for, but it's lions. Lions eat your children because they have interpreted this is God's will. The lions say this is the love of God, and God is love. How does that work for you? Lastly, why does this question infer that I need my heart 'filled with peace' (don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful sentiment and I'm grateful for your offer of it), or that I may not already have peace? I find peace in truth, and I asked this question to the TED audience for a rational explanation of it regarding this subject.
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        Oct 12 2013: Don't read too much into what I wrote.
        I just meant that I hope you find a satisfying answer to your question.

        I'm sure you will find it here on TED.

        {edited to add a line from a poem}

        I came across this line in an article I read last night.
        It is from a poem entitled 'Prodigal Son' by James Weldon Johnson

        Young man—
        Young man—
        Your arm’s too short to box with God.

        Thought I'd share it. :)
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          R H

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          Oct 13 2013: Thnx.
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    Oct 23 2013: It is


    (Trust or don't trust)
  • Oct 16 2013: Thanks RH, it's nice this is about what God is, not if God is :)

    But do we realize that every single move of our body is caused by a love we have?
    "Love is the life of mankind" ES You may have heard the expression, "We are what we love." And that can be good or bad, as you've shown above. It is easy to list all the wrongs in this world and come to the conclusion that God can't be love. But that is focusing on the negative. Besides hell, we also have heaven's side in this world.

    Every human being is kept in a spiritual equilibrium between good and evil, and not everyone makes the right choices. No one is forced to rob a bank or steal a car. We have free will to make a choice between good and evil and experience the pleasure we love.

    God does not want evil but permits evil because He gave us the choice, for the sake of our eternity. Only in this life can we make the choice. God cannot, after death, change an evil person into a good person.
    Also, no part of us us divine or God-like. If so, God loving us, would be loving Himself. We have been created beings outside and apart from God so He could love us and make us happy, as individuals, each of us a different pixel or brick of heaven.

    Anyone that wants to read the source, you'r more than welcome
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    Oct 13 2013: Sri Aurobindo;
    "Consciousness is the Key, the means and the end"

    Unfortunately too many focus on 'domination and control' the opposite of reverence. So there is no way back to the garden. We are fouling our and all species nest possibility for all time. certainly for human time and we called it progress.

    Imagine that....
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    Oct 13 2013: Hello RH again,
    Having just read this conversation through from beginning to current end, I thought you might be interested in "A Course in Miracles" if you're not already familiar with it. You can read it on-line.
    (I consider the question you ask, by the way, as the single biggest stumbling block for people believing wanting to believe in a God of Love, but see the ubiquity of violence as ruling out that possibility).
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    Oct 13 2013: God is DOG looking in the mirror, laughing at the stupidity of humans...who got it all backwards. Heaven isn't in the clouds, it was here on Earth, until we got it confused with hell. That disconnect has allows us to turn heaven (Earth) into hell by destroying nature and thus ourselves.... A Rod Sterling story of unparalleled consequence.
    • Oct 13 2013: what is to be done about the madness?
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        Oct 14 2013: Confront the insanity wherever you find it... Beyond that... hold on.. the ride will get bumpy...
      • Oct 14 2013: Embrace it
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      Oct 13 2013: Hello Craig,
      I don't think a God of Love would be "laughing at the stupidity of humans", although I'm sure God laughs.
      However, God probably rests assured that the divine laws set in motion provide a way for humans to wake up in consciousness and find the way back - perhaps particularly since The Way of Christ Consciousness has been so well demonstrated. Of course, this includes the possibility of things getting a lot worse before humans 'reach their point of enoughness' and use a crisis as a catalyst for evolution in consciousness.
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        Oct 14 2013: Hi Joshua,
        May I ask you where the "way of Christ consciousness' Manifests?

        Seems to me there has been far more domination and control emphasized than love thy neighbor....Certainly far more evidence of it....
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          Oct 14 2013: I would say the 'way of Christ Consciousness manifests' in principally two ways.
          1). Through people doing their best to compassionately help others in need
          2). Through people doing their best to keep their own minds open and free (from ideological control-and-domination thinking).

          Part of the problem might also stem from the mis-translation of "Love thy neighbour as thyself" which I think (according to the Gospel of Thomas) is more correctly translated as "Love thy neighbour as part of thyself", thereby emphasising unity, rather than separation.
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    Oct 13 2013: Hi RH :)

    No! GOD is not love RH...
    Nor HE is hate or violence... Yaa, but HE is both! :)

    You know why there isn't any proper definition of LOVE or GOD ? To understand this lets consider a man, who do not know anything about coffee. he never tasted it. Even he don't know the name of it, the color, the aroma of it, nothing. Now its your job to make a proper definition of 'coffee', so that after knowing only, he can experience all about coffee as equally as experienced one. can you RH?

    The biggest difficulty of us (humans) is to define something out of our experience. Our compulsion is to take the help of something known (to us), which belongs to our experience. Now, this is the problem. Even who has experienced The GOD, can not define it. All are our perceptions.

    So, the only pure eternal undefinable thing that human can experience and that can be used to define GOD is the 'LOVE'. You know people says - GOD IS LOVE!

    LOVE and HATE (root cause of violence) are the two sides of same coin. One can not exists without other. Like Light can not be without darkness and friend can not be without enemy. These things exists simultaneously.

    You asked - 'if God is Love, then why his/her creation don't reflect it?' I say - GOD is violence too! why his creation must reflect only love, why not violence too? ..... Simple RH, who consider HIM as love, see the one side of the coin and other see the other side. All negatives positives are happening within this creation, within HIM only.

    A lover can see love and its beauty in violence too RH. When lover see a lion killing deer, he sees - 'The lion loving its life, how beautiful life is.' But when violent see, he sees -'The violence and cruelty'. What one see in the creation, just gives the information about the nature of that seer, nothing else. That's why there is two main division in human world Theist and Atheist.

    No! GOD is not love.... nor HE is hate (violence)... :)
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    Oct 12 2013: Have you thought of imaginative 'counterbalance'?
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    Oct 12 2013: The definition of 'love' can be defined into similar, but different meaning. I think what we need to focus is 'how' we love god. As you know, love can be defined as the relationship between couples who love each other, giving affection to others who are friendly with us. From this point of view, it is possible to love god although the way of loving god is far different from what we think. We can say that respecting and believing in god is the way of loving god. Instead of this, there are many other ways of loving god. (This doesn't mean that I'm maniac believer of god)
    P.S. Besides, please understand my terrible English. I'm not native speaker...
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    Oct 12 2013: Hi R H....good question!

    I think it is possible (anything is possible!) there might be a loving god out there somewhere, and I don't honestly believe that there is.

    I certainly do not believe the god in the bible stories is very loving. We are told that "he" is unconditionally loving, AND "he" would also send us to an eternity of burning and suffering in hell if we do not recognize "him" as the one and only god?

    That didn't make any sense to me even as a wee small child.
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    Oct 12 2013: personally ,it's us who need to be love for God love us or choosing to be hate and God will hate us....if you saw the violence in the nature ,have you forget that the perfection of it it's did for our comfort ?....why your logic is taking you for the wrongness ?,do you think your focusing in the bad will makes the wrongness Right without intolerance ?....don't take the God like a joke or you'll find yourself like Nietzsche.and to prove the undemonstrable it's the big mistake to start by it ,it will help only the wrongness to control your free will...
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    Oct 12 2013: The "God is love" notion is really only a couple of thousand years old. The apostle Paul transformed the Israelites' ancient tribal god Yahweh (Jehovah) from the frightful force that the Jews rightly feared to a loving father figure that would go over better with the gentiles. Yahweh was a bloodthirsty god who regularly killed thousands at a shot for seemingly peevish reasons, and capped it off by killing practically everyone on Earth in Noah's flood. Not much love there. His first order to the Hebrews in the wandering in Sinai was to fear him. They have ever since.

    So forget "God is love." It's a bit of nonsense cooked up by a first-century fanatic. Make your organizing principles earthly, such as fairness and caring for your fellow beings and for the Earth itself.
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      R H

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      Oct 12 2013: Hi Paul. Thanks for responding. It seems you would agree that God is not 'love', but that love is necessary in stewardship - by your prescription for 'caring' for our fellows and the Earth. That 'first-century fanatic' tried to explain that God's kingdom 'was not of this earth' and that God was 'a Father' who would not 'give his son a rock when he asked for a fish' - which for me, is a parable for the bounty of the universe that is greater than, in the estimation of people's abilities of the times, we could conceive of. In this, I believe, was his definition of 'love'. For me now, this answers the question. As I try to reconcile the mutual destruction that occurs between the inhabitants of natural living, with the 'bounty of benevolence' that the universe seems to provide, it becomes obvious that we are players in an order. How we choose to live, what dynamics we choose to enhance or to minimize, are there for us to take. It's not so much how 'we feel' about it (human 'love'), but how it is and how we choose it to be for us. Your 'stewardship' is a great place to start. Thanks again.
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    Oct 11 2013: Why do you say all major religions conclude this? Which faiths other than Christianity include this belief?
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      Oct 12 2013: Hello again Fritzie. I would say that Buddhists 'love' creation in their respect for all living things. Moslems 'love' God and those who love God. Jews find love through God's magnificence. They all promote love of one another in various fashions as a basic tenet. This is (very clumsily) how I attribute it.
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        Oct 12 2013: I understand that religions talk about love and that those who practice these faiths, as well as those that don't, feel and express love- most for nature, some for God, for neighbors, and so forth. I had misunderstood your claim and thank you for clarifying.
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          Oct 13 2013: I am working through it myself. Thnx again.