Alexis wrote:Why do you refer to "God" as a male?
Because Christ addressed God as "Father". Obviously it doesn't have a biological connotation; it means the one that generates.
Alexis wrote:Where did you get your belief that someone or something (eg., "God") is clairvoyant, i.e., he/she/it can know what will happen in the future, particularly your future?
Because it seemed more likely to me than the converse. We're getting into the area of faith here, which is the biggest difficulty in this kind of discussion.
Alexis wrote:Is your understanding of the word "God" a belief in an entity that is personally watching over, i.e., cares about your fate?
Yes, because we believe that God created humans, in the words of the old Catechism, "in his own image and likeness"; from that it would follow that he concerns himself with what happens to us (not just in time, but in eternity).
Superstitious Fool wrote:...They are well-tried methods of clearing the mind of actual reality so that it can focus on what is beyond that.
To clear the mind of "actual reality" (what other kind of reality is there?) means to be dead and when one is dead there is no more life, i.e., reality.
You are right to question the wording I used. I have since had second thoughts about it. "Actual reality" is a nonsensical term which is open to the challenge you have made. It might be better to call it "immediate reality" or, making allowances for the illiterateness of the adjective, "perceived reality".