Check this out. It's interesting - ignore the quality and age and listen to what it says.
Check this out. It's interesting - ignore the quality and age and listen to what it says.
Something strikes me as interesting in this diverse social world we live in. I found it in myself. Its a spirit of debate. It's an immense desire to be right; to be validated. Anyone who reads this blog has a very likely similar desire within them. It's why people don't let other people be. It's why a select group of extremist followers of Islam terrorize. It's why Christians convert and preach. It's why conflict occurs. It's the why behind alot of things in this world.
Let me clarify what "it" is, and what I mean. We all come in a process of maturation to need validation, to need a sense of security. We put solution of this in others. You can see often that when something anti-Christian comes out many Christians respond with haste, and usually throw in a bunch of arguments for God. The same is true for pro-religion vs. agnostic & atheism. Why?
Why do Atheist's throw in their two cents?
Why do Agnostics?
Why do the religious?
Few of these people engage in discussion to change their own minds. To develop their own beliefs. Most arguments are of passion and emotion. They come out as attacks. They call names. They criticize. Why try to change someone else's mind? Why does this matter?
A religious one might call it a desire to show others "the path." I would at first call this a lie before a truth. It's an insincere justification for tossing out what they think and believe. We all have this desire to have others think what we think, and do what we do for it to be validated. We need this to feel right. I will admit that it may be true that some people legitimately are looking out for other souls, but I would say it is usually an outcry or a feeling that saying what we believe to others and then defending it creates stability and validation in our "side" and in our beliefs.
I believe most people at a point in their maturity are insecure about what they know. They don't want to admit they are wrong to others...or themselves. They want to know that they have made the right choice and that they are right, and so if anything to the contrary comes up, they have to stomp it out. They have to respond with something that shows they "win." When they "win" they believe that this insures the integrity of what they think and believe. People base the validation and integrity of their beliefs in others. Now I will say that they in the previous sentences refers to most all of us.
This almost always arises in religious debates. There is always a fundamental set of arguments that results, and people begin vesting emotions into it. As soon as you start mixing emotion with your expression of ideas and thoughts with controversial discussions you tend to begin to be guilty of this. Every time you call someone a name, your attempting to write them off instead of considering the actual idea that they said. We protect our ideals and beliefs by deceiving ourselves. It's sort of like hiding or running when anything touches what we hold sacred, but in doing this one becomes a creature of ignorance and if is public about it, typically a creature of conflict and anger.
Too many think everyone has to think what they think, look at yourself it's very possible it's true with you too. It was with me. Only in recognizing it and dealing with these deceptions can you make any conscious choices in what you think in this area. When I say look at yourself, I mean really look at yourself. Think about your thoughts and emotions inside when religion comes up. Do you get happier or angry when someone say there is a God? What about when someone says there is no God? If yes to either of these then I think you are guilty of letting others create the validity for your beliefs from the insecurity (lack of integrity) of your beliefs that you have. This isn't saying you should believe a certain way. Simply that if you do this, then you should step back, and take a look at yourself and what you believe. I don't think you should need others to create the validity and integrity for what you think and believe. That should come from yourself.
You don't need others to think what you think or do what you do to think what you think and do what you do.
This is an amazing article, on skepticism and beliefs, reality, etc. I can't really describe it, but it is a really good article. This article developed some really interesting ideas for me so I thought I would post it here.
Dec 14, 2008
I encountered a few things over the past week that caused me to reconsider my entire understanding of spirituality. They caused me to re-examine myself.
Beginning and Preface
In the beginning around age 7 or 8, life was simple but there was always something in the back of my mind. Something that was always echoing in my mind between thoughts. What is this? What does Me in this world mean? Am I needing a purpose?
So in sixth grade I encountered one of the most amazing teachers in my life. I had a fairly natural aptitude for computers and my teacher encouraged me in this pursuit. This gave me an "identity." Something that defined what I was, yet I would still look in the mirror and ask who I was at really was. My focus in computers at the time gave me something to do and think about until mid-high school. At age 14, I began asking myself the questions of life in more detail. Who am I? What is my purpose? Do I need a purpose? The who question bothered me greatly. I felt like a carbon copy of others. An empty shell.
Over one summer, I believe at age 16 I had a discussion with a friend of mine. We somehow ended up talked about personal identity. I discovered many of her questions and conclusions were similar to mine. We managed to help each other unlock the first pieces of the "puzzle." We decided that choices define who we are,as well as a couple other things. This answer was satisfactory enough to lay the main "who am I" question to rest for a while. This discussion changed my life and started my spiritual journey.
At the age of 17 I began to seek. I searched for an answer as to weather there really was a God, and if there was what it meant. I looked for God for a long time. My other blog posts cover the decision specifically so I will omit the middle-story here, but I decided that I would choose to believe in God. After I decided to believe in God, I looked at religions. I am rebellious when it comes to religion. I don't like what it creates - the walls that it builds. Still I searched. I looked at many up to now. I have decided to follow no specific religious doctrine, but to follow what I can accept and believe in my heart. This is where I concluded a relationship with God (atleast in my P.O.V.) was best developed personally between God and myself - not through someone else.
I struggled for a long time after accepting God. I finally decided to choose to accept Jesus, and ask for forgiveness for the wrongs I have committed. I felt confident in my choices of faith and belief in God and Jesus. I looked further. I read teachings of many religions. Hinduism and Buddhism resonated well with me. for me they offered a very direct logical view on life. The teachings were clear and were more tolerant, than some others in the attitudes of portrayal.
As you can see from a previous post, I decided that as for my primary belief on what takes one into Gods home, it is tolerance. I found tolerance to make sense. I found it to fit with the world, and it echoed what I wanted to hear.
My Blindness and Ignorance
I secretly had great pleasure in choosing tolerance as a tool of judgment in my belief. I have this hatred of structured religion. More so than the others - of traditional Christianity. It infuriated me, when followers of Christ were lashing out against others in the world for believing other things (Oprah in particular - her belief that there are many paths to God and people lashing out at her for having this belief). People act out in such anger and hatred in God's and Jesus' name. They seemed to be intolerant of anything that wasn't what they saw. My hatred and anger of these people was no better. I was committing against my own belief. I saw these religious "zealots" as different people because of their actions based on their beliefs. I was disgusted by them. I was blind. I should not judge them on their beliefs even if their beliefs seem to infringe on others. I shouldn't judge them, because what they believe shouldn't matter in weather I love them or hate them. This time and reflection has revealed to me.
Refraction - A Different Picture
Recently I have started to be concerned more and more with the "other side." What if God isn't who I think he is? What if when judgment comes I am wrong? What if I make the biggest mistake of eternity in my choices of beliefs?
I don't want to go-to hell. I started looking into theology. The 7 deadly sins is one of the things that arose to me (Catholic based - Envy, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, Pride, Wrath.) These sins are hell bound things from a Catholic perspective. I had apathy towards them, before my recent considerations of what a mis-perspective of God could mean.
I have a problem. What do I accept? What do I reject? How do I decide what is truth and what is misinformation and what is outright lies? I can't allow my heart to place my soul in the hands of someone else. I can't assert that what someone tells me is right because they say they are an authority in it. I cannot assert that because it is in a book it is divine and true. These are things that I believe with all that I know and all my heart right now.
So how do I decide?
This is where an enlightenment occurred.
I shouldn't be considering where information, beliefs, or ideas come from. I should be considering the information itself. I should seek to filter not sources of beliefs and information, but the information itself. Applying this to the Catholic Seven Deadly Sins, I don't want those things in my life. They are not what I desire. So weather or not my soul's placement is based on them, I choose to do all that I can to avoid committing them.
My desire is to live a life of goodness, happiness, and love. I want to have joy. I want to take every present moment and lose myself in it's beauty. I want these things. These things that many religions say followers must follow to go-to heaven. I don't want them because of the "spiritual authorities." I don't want them, because it is catholic, Mormon, satanic, or protestant. I want them because they are aspects of what I believe is an ingredient for a good man. Things that will help me make the world better, and actually live. They are things that temper my mind. That train me to make choices and do what it takes to secure my destination.
There is one small conflict or problem, but at the time it does not weigh heavily upon me. There are some things that I may choose apathy towards or reject. These are things of religious ceremony. Things like confessions, penitence, or sacrament for the Catholics or things like marriage for eternity required to be in a Morman temple, things like going to Sunday school everyday or paying tithe. These things I can't evaluate. There isn't a clear "this is something I want because it is an aspect of who I choose to be." It is more of a "formality."
Alot of these ideas, I would have outright rejected a couple years ago. I resented things because of who said them or where they came from. Things that meant nothing to me a year ago, I suddenly find amazing beauty and quality in. Things that seemed obvious before have upon a second look revealed some of the greatest secrets of life. This spiritual puzzle has an amazing beauty to it, even if it turns out nothing beyond this world exists.
I understand some of why some people may act the way they do in the name of religion. When you believe so strongly that in order not to goto hell certain things must be abided by and someone comes and tells your friends and family something different. It's significant. To you they are misguiding your loved ones. They are sending them to a place of pain and suffering. For most people it seems to be an insecurity, however - "Everything different has to be squelched because if my view is the only one on the table it's an easy choice on what it is right." There is a great conflict for those that have loved ones and firmly believe something different, that what a loved one does. At least don't hate each other because of the difference in belief, remember why you care about others - I don't think it should be because of what they believe.
Dec 10, 2008
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear; and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
by Christian D. Larson, 1912
The Optimist's Creed
Dec 3, 2008
Posted by Joshua Enfield at 3:21 PM
Said by Venlafaxine at the whirlpool AU forums:
It couldn't be any more ironic then that "Think for yourself, question authority" speech. The last thing people need is more people telling them what to do. So, the irony is, "don't do what people tell you to do", but unfortunately then you'd be doing what I told you to do. But, the most ironic thing is, watching a documentory on revolution. You have an uprising against authority, and that uprising becomes the authority, and then another uprising occurs again replacing that current authority.
We are a society that refuses to think. We need to be told how to think and feel. We need to be told how to be successful. And children are raised to be robots, whilst kids that have any real free-thinking, are bullied and squashed.
Pasted from http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=770362&r=12157365#r12157365
I feel what this person said to have something of value so I posted it here.
Look at a tree.
What defines the tree to you?
What defines the reality of the tree?
Touch, Taste, Sight, Sound, Smell - these things define our reality.
What are these things?
Let me propose a provocative question, what is a thought to you? Is it also a sensation?
Is the thought of a tree, a creation of the tree in your mind any different than the actual tree?
What is different between the thought or visualization of a tree in your mind, and one you can experience in the world?
From your brains point of view is there much of a difference, outside of the lack of some of us to visualize as vividly as the real world?
I used to believe feelings were subtlety manipulative. From my first posts you can see an analyzation of the idea of real control of life being the ability to override emotions and feelings when they aren't in correspondence with what I want. I use to believe the "will" to take control, is how to create a life of contentment success, and one of fulfilled dreams. Recently however I ran across the idea that feelings are a feedback response. A feedback to our thoughts. The feelings don't control us. We create them. This idea says we create the direction and the feelings respond to this.
The thoughts you have in your mind affect you this is undeniable. Could thoughts have more power that you initially feel they do? Is controlling your thought the key to control of your life?
If a thought is real, thoughts are a major portion in the creation of your reality. A thought can change your world and your experience of it. This would be mean, since feelings are considered a feedback mechanism here, that affirmative thoughts create good feelings. So a "happy" life can be attained through affirmative thoughts. Conversely, this also means depressing, unfufilling, negative thoughts create negative feelings and emotions.
So you probably already were kind of aware of this idea. However, considering the above thought creates our reality. So the thoughts I choose to passionately focus on are creating my experience and view of my reality, and in some considerations the reality itself.
In a metaphorical sense the above concludes that if I emphasize "bad" things in my home then my home will be a bad place. If I emphasize "good" things in my home then my home will be a good place.
We must be careful in our considerations of this. this is not saying "bad" thoughts should be ignored or censored. It is saying what we embrace passionately is important. At the moment most of us passionately chase the things we are not...things we do not have...things where we have failed. This creates a negative feedback in our emotions & feelings. This sends us in a downward spiral into depression.
The idea of contentment here requires a small amount of work and effort, but only a little. It requires that we frequently create thoughts or think of the things that create good feelings.
There is a book & movie I have looked at recommended and advertised heavily by Oprah. "The Secret" - It's advertising and thematic elements are very entertaining and make it a good watch. "The Secret" echoes the law of attraction. In a nutshell, it says you attract what you are passionate about, and that if you passionantly believe in something the "universe" (or I suppose God if you prefer here) will gravitate or attract to you. The action in this work is in correspondance with some of my considerations so I felt it was worth a mention. I recommend watching the video.
It wreaks of propaganda and new age self-help schemes, but nonetheless it is a very interesting watch.
A skeptical side and a cross-examination of this "Secret" is well represented here in a very good discussion:
I don't accept or reject the "Secret" idea mentioned above. It relates to what I'm talking about and is entertaining so I figured it was worth a reference.
So enjoy life. Think of the good things in your life. Think of the good things you want. Create a good life from passion exercised on what you love.