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(Im)Personal God, Wu Wei, Native American Religion

1. Which appeals to you more, the idea of a personal God or the idea of an impersonal one? Why?

2. Offer examples of your own personal experience with wu wei.

3. There has been a lot of interest in Native American philosophies/religions in the last few decades, often related to environmental issues or issues of social justice. Especially with the material that I have read.

This seems to have led to a lot of information -- correct and incorrect -- about the way "Indians" are portrayed and understood in our culture -- both historically and currently.

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(1). [Which] appeals to you more, the idea of a personal God or the idea of an impersonal one? Why?

This is a complex question and a personal one, because the idea of a personal god vs an impersonal god suggests in my opinion is based on one beliefs regarding who or what makes a true god. This is one of the reasons why personally, I am more inclined to focus on spiritual views, because it allows me to respect the religious views of others. In my opinion, a personal God is often based on one's religious views (i.e., whether he or she is Christian, Jewish, Muslims, etc.). In other words, the god that appeals to most people is the one that is the center of their religious philosophy. Religious people perceive their idea of god for the actual God. If you tell a person who is committed to his or her beliefs that their god is not the true god, they would beg to differ, because it challenges their beliefs. Consider, the dissension and debate surrounding the religious controversy between Christians, Jews, and Muslims. For many Christians, Jesus Christ is perceived to be their personal God (I fall in that category). To not accept this religious philosophy that is the foundation of my beliefs would in fact be considered to accept an impersonal god. However, Jews and Muslims don't agree with the religious philosophy that Jesus is actually God—but do claim along with Christians to serve the One, true God.

Hence, the acceptance and/or denial of Jesus Christ as one's personal savior is based on his or her religious philosophy. However, this religious belief should in no way cause the person to deny the true commitment of others who to a god they feel is their actual personal God. For this reason, I tend to lean more to embracing the concept of spirituality over religion. Spirituality is defined as an, "invisible phenomena associated with thoughts and feelings of enlightenment, vision, harmony truth, transcendence, and oneness with God; and religion is referenced as, "theistic religious beliefs, practices, and feelings that are often, though not always, expressed institutionally and denominationally" (p. 22). Spirituality, thus suggests oneness with God, who is the individual's one true and personal God.

(2). Offer examples of your own ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the Taoist practice of Wu wei and Native American spirituality