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Does God Have NPD?
December 24, 2005
8:10 pm
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zinnia
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OK, Worried Dad, now I'm the one who is worried. Here is a piece of one of your posts:
=========

So I felt it appropriate to point out the ridiculousness of the question--if Zinnia really is making a point that God has NPD then I reasoned that he/she probably does not believe in the diety they are questioning.
=========

A. what's belief got to do with it?
B. How is it a ridiculous question? Why claim it was "making a point", and not actually asking a question?

There is a whole body of literature, most of it in the Old & New Testaments and the Quran, that describes a very specific personality, and my question was about the personaltiy described.

I asked it here because I thought discussions of a general nature belong here and not in the more personal "Support" threads.

C. If it were possible to have a serious conversation, my next question would have been, why does such a large portion of the human race choose to deify a personality with the set of traits we see in Jehovah-Yahweh-Allah?

I admit I am a child of Western/European culture, and so I ask this question with only the vaguest idea of what the "personalities" of other deities might be. As far as I know, none of the Buddhist or Hindu or similar cultures have a Deity who makes all the same claims as Jehovah-Yahweh-Allah, but I admit to near total ignorance in hazarding that guess.

I would love to hear what someone raised in a non-Western tradition would have to say about this.

December 24, 2005
9:02 pm
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My apologies, ZInnia--no mind reader, me--sometimes I go out on a limb and the darn thing cracks under my weight. How embarrasing.

So let me see if I understand your question. Are you asking:

1) Is the creator of the Universe, the Lord of Hosts, our Heavenly Father mentally ill in the sense of having a diagnosable case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Or

2) Does God, as a literary character described in the bible have narcissistic personality traits?

December 24, 2005
9:25 pm
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zinnia
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I don't think it matters whether you consider the God of the Bible to have objective "reality" or to exist as a literary character. In either case, a lot of people choose to worship him as described in the Bible, and so I am wondering what that means if one looks at it in the context of a discussion of NPD?

December 24, 2005
9:38 pm
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It matters because if God does not exist then he cant have NPD.

December 25, 2005
11:27 am
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zinnia
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Worried Dad, if God does not exist, then why does it matter so much to you that others might want to have such a discussion? Why focus so much energy on preventing something that is meaningless to you?

December 25, 2005
12:51 pm
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zinnia,

I'm from Western culture myself, so I can't give you a non-Western perspective, but to answer your question:

"why does such a large portion of the human race choose to deify a personality with the set of traits we see in Jehovah-Yahweh-Allah?"

What other contender is there for God in Western culture, with an associated well-developed body of literature (i.e., scriptures), worship places, etc.? There's no other God per se available to us. So it's either deify him or nobody.

Now, regardless of whether or not he's the only God readily available for me, I happen to believe, no, I know, that this God really is God. He has answered many of my prayers, and I get the sense he is watching over me. He's prevented me from getting into situations that I sought to get into that would have been disastrous to me and others. That's why I deify him myself, and I accept him for who he is, regardless of what disorders he might seem to have to others.

Many people do not deify him in our culture. They choose to deify a God from a different religion or don't turn away from religion or God. I can't speak for them, obviously.

December 25, 2005
12:55 pm
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zinnia,

I am not trying to prevent such a discussion. I am attemtpting to get clarification from you as to which perspective the discussion is being approached. I didn't say that God doesnt exist, btw.

December 25, 2005
2:58 pm
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zinnia
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I think the questions are pretty straight-forward. What do you mean by "perspective"?

December 25, 2005
5:30 pm
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Seekerw

Hi fellow time traveler of the male gender.

You said:

"I know, that this God really is God. He has answered many of my prayers,"

If you 'hear voices' then this could be diagnosed as schizophrenia. 🙂

On a more serious note, and I suspect that this is more likely to be the case, you prayed for something and then you attributed divine causation for some subsequent life event to that God to whom you prayed.

If you watch the movie "What the Bleep is going on" with intense concentration, reflection and contemplation and/or study the relevant Buddhist sutras you might come up with an entirely different explanation for causations of your 'answered' prayers.

And you said:

" ... and I get the sense he is watching over me. He's prevented me from getting into situations that I sought to get into that would have been disastrous to me and others."

Alternatively, it could be your inate higher 'awareness levels' that you are sensing and into which you are tapping that brought about your 'salvation'.

You followed up with:

"... That's why I deify him myself, ..."

Yes - yet you would in all probability pity poor, primitive tribemen for deifying the white 'gods' who stepped out of aeroplanes in New Guinea in WW2.

Is you willingness to attribute supernatural causation to events beyond your human understanding any different from those causal attributions made by primitive New Guinea tribesmen?

These PNG tribes built altars resembling aeroplanes and prayed on them to beg the Gods to return. Proof of the power of their prayers was manifest to them when their Gods did return with strange powerful 'manna' from the heavens, like thundering fire sticks that inexplicable and magically snuffed out human life. Is not ignorance at the heart of any God based religiousity?

" ... and I accept him for who he is, regardless of what disorders he might seem to have to others."

Yes and with much pity and empathy I accept the ignorance of primitive tribal PNG natives. But given the opportunity, I would show them as gently as possible that 'thunder sticks' are not the weapons of some God but simply the result of the laws of physics and chemistry in action. Of course I would be destroying their 'faith', their religious beliefs. Would it not be more cruel to leave them in their ignorance?

Quantum physics and the effects that our consciousness has at these quantum levels may well explain the phenomena to which you attribute divine intervention. Many quantum physicists and other scientists seem to think so.

I'll leave any further explanations in that arena to someone like WD who does not suffer from my lack of expertise in that field.

What strikes me as extraordinary is that the Buddha seemed to have seen these quantum levels in action. He seems to have seen the human brain in operation at a synaptic level too.

Even though the language of Shakyamuni Buddha's time was totally inadequate to describe such synaptic events, the Buddhist Sutras blow my mind away in so far as the brilliance the Buddha had in describing mental processes of which the social sciences have only recently becoming familiar.

I suspect that Christ also attained similar insights. But so far posterity doesn't have the benefits of any of these insights having been documented. All we have is some very small glimpses in the writings of Thomas's Gospel. After all how could common fisherman of that era have understood sophistocated explanations that mystify many of us so-called educated humans today. It is a wonder that Thomas understood what he did. Maybe that is why reportedly he was thought by the other apostles to have been Christ's favourite apostle.

Ignorance is our enemy - not some imaginary Satanic Being. Our salvation will not come from some God but from our own minds and our faith in the power that they possess. One physicist in 'What the Bleep ...' said that with 'absolute faith' in the power of our minds to perform such tasks, we could literally walk on water. But it would be no miracle, just a 'natural' interaction of the power of our minds at a quantum level or lower.

Let us all, myself very much included, awaken from our deep slumber and pull our proverbial heads out of our fundamental orifices before we destroy this wonderful planet.

December 26, 2005
12:03 am
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Hi Tez,

{"I know, that this God really is God. He has answered many of my prayers,"

If you 'hear voices' then this could be diagnosed as schizophrenia. 🙂 }

Good, you've learned to put smiley faces in appropriate places. Can you persuade WD to do the same? (just kidding, WD) :o)

Yes, the voices "could be" diagnosed as schizophrenia by the gods of psychology who are jealous that I've found a different God. Of course they'd discredit me. I'm cutting into their business. :o)

You make analogies between my answered prayers and PNG tribesmen. I'm reminded of the Native Americans, who deified the early American explorers and also Captain Cook in Hawaii. But they later changed their minds about them. Why? Because they saw in time that these settlers were not godly in their conduct. That's why Cook was killed by the same people who initially reverenced him. Give them some time, and more contact with the WWII pilots, and I'm confident they would stop deifying them.

I have seen no evidence of ungodly conduct in the answers to my prayers (which are not voices in the traditional sense, BTW). And I continue to see answers to my prayers over a 20 plus year time period. This is too much to be coincidence.

You speak of a connection between quantum physics and consciousness. I was in graduate school for a while and took quantum physics, but never heard of any research into a connection between these two areas. In fact, there was no interaction at all between the physics and psychology departments. Can you tell me more about these physicists who think there's a connection?

December 26, 2005
6:14 am
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I am going to just spit it out. This is so totally my opinion and of course I do not claim to be correct.

God, as described in the bible, is not a very mentally healthy or ethical person...

I do not believe that God, as described in the bible or its related texts is an accurate representation of God. For example, he is described as a "jealous God." My knowing of God is that God is not a jealous person.

In other words, I believe that the Bible slanders God and also slanders Jesus.

The authors of the bible did the best they could. But the authors and editors of the bible were impaired by ignorance, conflicts of interest and politics. And the best authors of the bible were impaired by the work of the people who edited and editorialized their words after they were dead.

Particularly, I believe that Jesus is spinning in his grave pissed off about how subsequent editors and editorialists twisted his words and put words in his mouth.

In the bible there is described a person known as "God" who is just not right in the head.

I don't blame God for the wacky things people say about him.

December 26, 2005
10:57 am
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WD,

Good! Now we get to see the real WD, unobscured by the scientific jargon and technical verbiage. I like some amount of jargon and verbiage, being a physicist and a technical editor, but I also like plain, easy-to-understand language.

I'm not being flippant or anything. I'm glad you came right out and told us how you felt about God. Now I understand you better.

December 26, 2005
9:47 pm
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OK!

Doesn’t the condition of Narcissism, imply that the characteristic grandeur and entitlement exist mostly in the mind of the Narcissist Person? That Narcissist are somehow flawed for their expectation of praise and worship?

Well, in the case of God, the idea of his grandeur is shared by billions of people around the entire world-no continent untouched. You can literally find a servant everywhere who will happily tell you about the grandeur and superiority of God per your request...and sometimes, despite it!

It's the ZEAL factor...what are you gonna do? One Biblical dude (Jeremiah) metaphorically described his passion for God as fire shut up in his bones!

You don't even have to leave your house to hear of the Grandure of God: just read the book of Psalms. I'm telling you no one, NO ONE worships him like David did!

God? Narcissistic? Naah! See, he has the numbers to back it up.

Frued may have been a Narcissist! The more I learn about NPD the more certain parts of his bio spring to mind.

-He didn’t have a close relationship with any of his siblings, and considered himself their superior; he was his mother’s favorite.

-He literally dreamed of achieving fame and making amazing discoveries since early adolescence.

-Even as a child, he only made friends with others who matched his drive and zeal for success.

-His friendships and associations were usually intense, but generally short lived, including his relationship with his golden boy Carl Jung whom he thought would skyrocket Psychoanalytic theory into its proper place of international prestige and honor. He said on the subject, “My emotional life has always insisted that I should have an intimate friend and a hated enemy. I have always been able to provide myself afresh with both”

While still on the cusp of formulating seduction theory, he equated his findings to that of the Nile River.

“The Interpretation of Dreams”, which has been called his greatest work, was more or less the result of his OWN daily self-analysis.

He often felt persecuted (personally, outside the context of his Jewish heritage), and had a tendency to hold grudges disproportionate to the alleged offense, and often felt intense feelings of isolation.

We know he was brilliant, diligent, persistent, and had lasting impact on the theories of personality and Psychology at large (using only a primitive form of the scientific method, and a lot of case studies, and introspection). Despite his own contribution to the subject, Freud might have been a Narcissist.

December 27, 2005
6:04 pm
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"You speak of a connection between quantum physics and consciousness. I was in graduate school for a while and took quantum physics, but never heard of any research into a connection between these two areas."

Since the study of consciousness is in its relative infancy I doubt that you would be aware of any.

However at a quantum level, you would be well aware of the phenomenal effect of the 'observer' upon the 'observed'.

But I had in mind the research work done on the effects of consciousness on matter by Pauli together with C.G. Jung. Pauli later withdrew from the research project and didn't publish for fear of ridicule of his peers. However on his deathbead at the very end he only called for Jung to be present.

You also said:

"I have seen no evidence of ungodly conduct in the answers to my prayers (which are not voices in the traditional sense, BTW). And I continue to see answers to my prayers over a 20 plus year time period. This is too much to be coincidence."

I have no problem with either your 'hearing' answers or with your beliefs about the source of thesse answers.

But I am curious as to why you attribute the source of the answers to your notion of some Christian God??

What reasoning do you have that underpins this assumption?

December 28, 2005
11:31 am
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Tez says it all for me.

I believe that answers to prayers are really due to what I call tapping into the universal energy which I believe is explained by quantum physics.

Tez, I think this is an excellent point. I never thought about it before but really if god is everywhere inside of everything...

"If God is the 'boundariless all' that is the All, then there can be no separating God from that which is 'other than God'. This implies that God is the supreme 'masochist'and therefore likes suffering on a massive scale."

I think Zinnie's question is very valid. I think that the god described in the bible is totally grandiouse and where is his empathy in the mass murders and tortures of jews during WWII?

To say that god works in mysterious ways is to me a total cop-out and merely is a non-answer.

Young & restless,

what does Freud have to do with this discussion? Saying that Freud had NPD lends zero points to your arguments about god.

"Ignorance is our enemy - not some imaginary Satanic Being. Our salvation will not come from some God but from our own minds and our faith in the power that they possess. One physicist in 'What the Bleep ...' said that with 'absolute faith' in the power of our minds to perform such tasks, we could literally walk on water. But it would be no miracle, just a 'natural' interaction of the power of our minds at a quantum level or lower. " Tez

I agree completely. I may not be adding much to this debate by agree with Tez but why repeat what Tez said?

WD makes an excellent point,

"But the authors and editors of the bible were impaired by ignorance, conflicts of interest and politics. And the best authors of the bible were impaired by the work of the people who edited and editorialized their words after they were dead. "

I think this is so true and adds to my belief that the bible is not the word or words of 'God'.

Hence, I don't beleive in giving the words in the bible any power.

I find the belief that god died for my sins as very shaming. jeus died way before I was born. Where is the empathy in this attitude that I am full of sin? sounds very judegmental to me.

I left the catholic church when the latin mass was converted to English. Now I knew what i had been saying all of these years. One thing was that I am not worthy to come before god! Why not worthy? I think this is a horrible thing for asnyone to beleive. Again where is the empathy in that statement? How grandioise can one get to tell people to say such as a thing?

December 28, 2005
7:13 pm
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Kathygy.

It is nice to meet a liberated ex-Cahtolic like myself.

I remember the Latin Mass well. I was an altar boy and had to spruck the mindless latin litany without having a clue what it all meant.

I saw an excellent series of documentaries featuring eminent Christian academics who researched the authors of the new testament, what was included, excluded, when, where and why. It is available on DVD. It is called: "Who wrote the New Testament?"

Fundamentalist Christians would do well to watch that DVD. It might serve to overcome some of their misplaced zeal and open their eyes a little to the games 'Christians' have played over the centuries.

December 28, 2005
7:47 pm
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By the way, the movie "What the Bleep is Going On", to which I made reference above, is coming in for some well founded criticism from certain scientific quarters.

I have read that is has been funded by cult members of the 'Ramtha' Sect in order to gain credibility for their beliefs by getting on the scientific band wagon.

The credibility of the expertise of some if not all of the quantum physicists has been called into question. This Dr. Emoto(The Message of Water 'fame'?) apparently is very suspect. I went to his site only to discover that he is flogging his special water(snake oil) at absorbitant prices??? Apparently his 'research' has never been peer reviewed as he claims. For $29 USD Emoto's 'research' can be downloaded from his site. Scientific academics who have done so have pointed out the totally unscientific nature of the 4 page document that contains mostly photographs.

Also the movie shows graphic images of electrical discharges across synaptic clefts. To my knowledge, transmissions across the synaptic clefts are chemical in nature involving neurotransmitters.

Notwithstanding all of the above, the movie is still very thought provoking, even if not entirely credible. I would hate to throw the baby out with the bath water. 🙂

December 28, 2005
10:21 pm
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Well Kathy,

I don’t know if your question is designed to be rhetorical, or if you’re truly seeking an answer on the subject. Just in case you’re actually looking for an answer, mine is simple-Transitional Phrasing.

You see, the use of a well placed transitional phrase allows me to comfortably segue from one subject to another as well as introduce a myriad of new yet relating ideas to the discussion.

When I concluded my NPD comments as they relate to God, I segued into my NPD comments as they relate to Freud. Then, I posted key rememberences about the personality of Freud which I believe strongly parallel the Narcissistic personality profile (based on independent searching as well as a thread in support entitled Curing Narcissism...I think).

And, I’m not too proud to say that I’m STILL hoping for feedback on the sujbect (Agree? Disagree? Addendum?) from a few people.

Hope this answers your question.

Hope you're having a swell day!

December 28, 2005
10:32 pm
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you could say that back in the day when people believed demons possessed a person, it was prbably paranoid schitziphrenic.

December 28, 2005
11:08 pm
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Now this is what I meant to start: a genuine multi-facetted discussion! Thank you, everyone, for this nice Christmas present! I needed it!

WD, thank you for explaining your pov a little more; I was a bit put off by the combination of signals I was getting from you: that you are both a believer and a cynic in things Deitical. Now that confusing mix is more easily understood: I see you expressing your belief in God and your disappointment in the picture the Bible gives us. That is not so illogical after all.

I am fascinated bby all the paralells between various issues in mental illness and various spiritual and religious assertions. Not from a pov of being judgemental, but from a genuinely curious pov. I accept that whatever is, IS, and all our explanations and beliefs have more to tell us about our own efforts to understand than they do about the reality we are attemtpoting to comprehend.

I am trying to figure out why we, as the human race, chose so many Narcissistic-appearing concepts and traits in the Biblical attempt to explain or describe God?

It is not hard to see how we got the concept of demons from experiencing the results of schizoprenia in the days before medicine, for example.

There are a lot of things that fascinate me this way.

December 28, 2005
11:21 pm
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BTW, I am not "Zinnie" who I understand is a "senior" member of this community. I am a newcomer, and I took the name "zinnia" after one of the flowers native to where I now live.

Another BTW, getting back on-topic, more or less: I am reading a book called "Fighting Words", by Hector Alvarez. It is a very interesting look at violence and religion. I don't 100% agree with what I have read so far, but I am only 2/3 way through the book. It is nicely written. Maybe by the time I have finished it, there will be more to add to this question of Narcissism and the Bible.

December 29, 2005
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WD,

{You said: "But the authors and editors of the bible were impaired by ignorance, conflicts of interest and politics. And the best authors of the bible were impaired by the work of the people who edited and editorialized their words after they were dead. "}

Last I knew, NOBODY knows how we got our earliest manuscripts of the Bible. We don't know much about the men who originally wrote and the others who later copied and re-copied the words. We don't know why the books in the Bible were selected for inclusion. The Bible alludes to other books as being inspired by God (the book of Jasher, Nathan the prophet, Gad the seer, etc.), but we don't know why they weren't included.

I don't think we know enough to safely say the things that you did.

December 29, 2005
5:19 pm
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WD

Be gentle with Seekerw now. 🙂

Seekerw:

The 🙂 is so you know my facial expression when I wrote the above.

December 29, 2005
10:34 pm
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Lass,

Very interesting point here!

Zinna,

Good to meet you! Cool Thread by the way.

I like your questions above. They are provocative and stir up so many emotions in me.

Based on your post, we are clearly from different school of thought on the Bible. I consider the Bible to be the literal and inspired word(s) of God. So, I don't believe humans chose narcissistic symbols to represent God as much as they were the instruments in which he chose to describe himself.

"Fighting Words?" As it relates to Narcissism and the Bible. I'm gonna google it. Can't wait to hear your assesent of the book once you've finised.

December 29, 2005
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^assessment

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