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How much does God really "control"?


Spirituality & Religious Beliefs Contemplate your place and purpose in the universe.

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Old 24th February 2017, 8:33 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ronni_W View Post
Tanyasinclair,
What you are referring to as 'the penalty of sin' is more accurately called God's Law of Cause and Effect (or 'Karma'). The only way to avoid it is to not sin.
Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection did not override God's Law. We, individually, still have to choose to not sin - otherwise we will be subject to 'the penalty of sin'.
This is also stated as, "...whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Nobody is exempt from this, regardless of Jesus' attainment when he was on Earth.

If you are open to progressive revelation, this links to Q-&-A-type articles on Jesus' Mission.
Not all suffering and misfortune is the result of sin. Some is, some isn't. Refer to the gospel story of the blind man. People asked Jesus whose sin was responsible for him being born blind. Jesus said nobody's. Rather he was born blind to create an opportunity for God's mercy to be shown---then Jesus healed him.

If you fail to understand this theology, then you willl wind up with a mindset similar to Joel Osteen who basically espouses karma. He says do good and you receive good, do bad and receive bad. Unfortunately this isn't always true 100% of the time. Just look at Jesus. He was the only man without sin, yet he was killed as a criminal. And, as Paul says, the servants are not greater than the master and similar things would be done to us.
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Old 24th February 2017, 12:26 PM   #47
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Jesus' response about the man who was born blind was the only one that could be given to the consciousness of the peoples of that time; they simply did not have it to be able to fathom the spiritual aspects, workings and ramifications of 'Cause and Effect'. Indeed, we're still having problems with it, even still today. .

In more recent revelation, through the Living Word, it is made clear that Jesus did have some spiritual impurities to still resolve and balance -- not a lot, to be sure; for,
he already had a very high level of consciousness at birth; but, enough to be able to take embodiment on Earth -- and, which he did balance quite early on. However,
you are correct that Jesus' crucifixion had nothing to do with his Karma.

Thanks for giving me food for thought; much appreciated.
Ronni
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Old 25th February 2017, 1:07 AM   #48
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I have been thinking about posting this, though I've been hesitating to do so because I wasn't sure if it would be too off-topic for this thread.... I'm just also not really sure if this particular topic is worth starting a new thread over, especially since I think it does have something to do with the topic in this thread. ^^;

I think what's on my mind right here, right now, has more to do with free will of man (and the mind of mankind, and the circumstances of mankind, and etc) than God's will and God's control, but I think it still applies.

I'm not sure how to present my case here exactly, so let me simply state an example of my own invention:

George is angry at Amelia, and Amelia is angry at George. Why? Because George said something that hurt Amelia's feelings, and Amelia childishly retaliated by say... cutting up his favorite shirt with a pair of scissors.

Now I'm probably being a bit overly nitpicky and way over-analyzing here. But... first of all, we can say that George should never have hurt Amelia's feelings in the first place. Maybe you could even say that if he hadn't done that in the first place, this entire incident may not have happened. So... if you wanna look at it in a one-sided way, (especially as some tempramental females in a relationship might), one could say that if George had been nicer, or if he had held his temper, he would still have his favorite shirt.

However.... that also implies that George is somehow %100 responsible for the entire incident. When in reality, Amelia is the one who either chose, or allowed herself to give into an emotional (and rather spiteful) impulse, and she willfully destroyed his shirt.

But if you wanna back up one step further..... why did George say something that made her so upset in the first place? Was he just being a jerk, or was it because he had grown so irritated with the way she kept putting down his brother that he finally snapped?

Also.... if you wanna take the analysis to an even deeper and more thorough level....

Sometimes, when it comes to the human mind and the free will.... I feel like this is where it can get kinda tricky, especially depending on what level of extreme you want to take this thought process to, particularly when it comes to personal responsibility/what you can be held accountable for vs. what isn't really your fault. (And in the end, what God will judge you for after your life on earth is over.)

So, George made Amelia upset. Wasn't it completely justified for him to be angry after trying his best to be patient, to tolerate her, to say nothing at all about the way she goes on about his brother, to be NICE? He had every right to say his piece, and maybe she finally did push the wrong set of buttons in the wrong order to set him off, and he merely reacted according to his own personality, dealing with it in the way that he would deal with anyone who set him off that way. Maybe it could also be said that if someone couldn't deal with him reacting that way over that particular issue, they shouldn't be involved with him at all.

However, on the flip side, if you really want to take it to another extreme.... you could also say that his emotional reaction/response were completely wrong, because he completely invalidated what Amelia was saying, what she was feeling, and dismissed her.

So in the end... if you want to look at the human free will in this way... maybe you could say that George had every right to react the way he did because she was picking on his brother, but if she felt her beef was legitimate (maybe to her it was, maybe there is something about the brother that George is too close or too oblivious to see) then she also had every right to react the way she did, especially if she feels she has been ignored. (Though cutting up the shirt was probably taking things a bit far.)

....Somehow I feel like the point I'm trying to make here, or the question I wanted to present, ended up coming out very, very poorly and I could have probably found a much better example than that. ^^; Just....

Well, stuff like that (except on a much grander scale) happens every day in human lives, and...

Okay so... on the subject of God being in control, exerting His will, etc. This, vs. human free will, human emotion, etc.

God looks at the entire childish situation between George and Amelia. Unlike humans, He can also see the grand picture, because being timeless and omnipresent, He also got the privilege of seeing EVERYTHING that lead up to that incident... not only that, but He got to see what was going on in each of their lives before either of them ever met, how they grew up, how childhood incidents and each of their parents affected them and shaped them over the years, and how everything lead them to this moment.

Does God take all of this into account when He looks upon sin, or childish incidents? Does He care about the personal, individual psychology that leads people to their actions, state of mind, or attitude in the present? Does He care about the potential REASON behind said actions? Or does He just see things in black-and-white like, "You did wrong, so it was a sin"?

And how will all of this hold up in the afterlife, when all of us face our final judgements before entering our eternal home in heaven or hell?

Furthermore, let's take a look at one other issue here. Let's go back a couple of generations. Let's say that George's Great Grandmother once did something very, very stupid that somehow lead to a certain defensive attitude in her children, which was passed on through to the grandchildren, and so on, because it was a learned behavior... or because they felt the need to be defensive for the same or similar reasons. Does that mean George's Great Grandmother can also be held partially responsible for her sin playing a role in influencing a bad set of habits and behaviors down her line of descendents? Is she indirectly responsible for George blowing up at his wife and the destruction of that shirt?

I am asking this because I was taught that the reason why God is not going to judge anyone at all, not even everyone who is already in Heaven or Hell, because in a way no-one's work is done yet.

For example, Adam and Eve did the first sin..... and that sin is still reaping the consequences across billions of lives in our world, which means the result of their actions is still being played out on our temporal plane, and is still being recorded and observed by God and the Book of Life or whatnot.

Another example, Abraham and Sarah sinned by rushing ahead of God and having Abraham sire a child through Sarah's handmaiden, and that was the start of the Jewish/Muslim conflict in some ways. So by this logic, Sarah and Abraham have to wait until the final results of their actions from long ago are finished playing out, and then they will get final judgement/their final reward.

I hope this post made sense, and... yeah I'd like to hear your guys' thoughts. ^^;
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Old 25th February 2017, 9:22 AM   #49
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You should read about Sam Harris' ideas on free will. He basically thinks no one has complete free will.
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Old 25th February 2017, 10:58 AM   #50
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Tanyasinclair,
You are asking such great Spiritual questions! I also appreciate that it is helping me to consider and reconsider my own thoughts, feelings and beliefs; thanks for that.

Since there are so many sources for Spiritual information - pure and impure - it's always a struggle to assess which is what; to the extent that many people reject,
out of hand, some sources as being impure/false or a threat to the status quo or their comfort level, without actually bothering to give it even the most precursory of consideration -- which, of course, was exactly the mindset of the rabbis, scribes and Pharisees, against Jesus.

People don't like to 'let themselves be disturbed', psychologically or spiritually, even though this is the only way to raise up one's Spiritual Consciousness to 'put on
the Mind of Christ', and this is what Jesus sought to help also the rabbis, scribes and Pharisees do -- which they couldn't because they had completely closed off their minds (and hearts) to His new Teachings and thoughts.

I'm not sure if this article will be of any use or assistance to you - How free is free will? - nevertheless, it may be

In Love and Light.

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Originally Posted by Tanyasinclair View Post
I have been thinking about posting this, though I've been hesitating to do so because I wasn't sure if it would be too off-topic for this thread
PS: My interpretation of the guidelines is that, since this is your own thread that you started, you can steer the thread in whichever way you feel will help you gain insight into or clarity on whatever you started the thread about -- as I understand it, the thread-starter has broader leeway.
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Old 25th February 2017, 1:29 PM   #51
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I guess there are some other thoughts I've been having along these lines, also on the topic of free will and how much God may or may not be involved.

For example. Let's say we have Elisa, some random person who is an ultra control freak. Why she is this way is irrelevant, let's just focus on the fact that this is the way that she is.

She NEEDS to feel like she is in control of her life. She needs to feel like she's the one on top of the hill, the one holding all the cards, and if someone exits her life, it is because SHE said so, if someone else tries to tell her off or tell her to do something or not to do something, she will get very angry and defensive. Sometimes, she may even go as far as to shut people out until/unless they are willing to apologize to HER and start going along with what she wants again... and if she's really stuck in this mindset and won't see anything any other way, she may even get puzzled as to why so many people don't want anything to do with her anymore, or she'll blame it on the other persons.

Now the thing is, even though there are probably some very legitimate psychological (And possibly other) reasons as to why she is this way, and why she became this way in the first place. However, she is obviously hurting herself, she's affecting the people around her and sometimes interfering with them and their own choices and daily lives, even if she chooses not to see it that way (or maybe she CAN'T see it that way? I'm a bit blurry on SOME cases, because I'm not sure if some people simply choose to see things in a certain light, or if they are just legitimately incapable of seeing it any other way).

So let's say God decides to step in to try and get her attention. He lets something happen that will really get her out of her element, her safe little nest of control. Let's say that... despite how much she tries to control her children and keep them according to the path she wants, that she thinks is best.... something really awful happens where one of her children breaks the law and gets in serious trouble. On top of that, perhaps her family gets evicted because her frivolous financial habits made them go bankrupt and she could no longer pay the bills. And their family dog runs during the move and they never find him again.

Now these are all some very terrible things that have happened. And in some areas, you can see where she has simply "reaped what she has sown", which the Bible speaks of; it clearly says that you reap what you sow.

Elisa was very stupid and careless to waste so much money on frivolous things and she was foolish to ignore her bills for so long; that means she lost her place. That was a direct consequence of actions, or lack of action and lack of proper budgeting/planning.

But the other areas is where it gets a bit more... gray. Why did her son commit a crime? Maybe it was because he was sick of his mom trying to control everything in his life, and otherwise ignoring his needs. So when it comes to free will... would this be more the Mom's fault, or would it still be the son's fault for his own free will?

And it also shows that the woman who felt the need to be in control, to feel like she is staying on top of everything, (who also goes around acting as though she CAN do anything, get away with it, and everything will still somehow work out or be all right, as implicated by the choice to go on vacation instead of paying important bills), well... now it's crashed down on her.

So.... could it be said that she is simply reaping the consequences of her own foolish mistakes, (since all of these things flowed from a logical unraveling of events due to her own poor choices, and things she herself set into motion), or could God have had some kind of hand in it to try and teach her something?

Then in the end, let's say that after her life straightens out, and things go back to normal (at least as much as they can), she just goes back to the same habits and routines, some of which got her in trouble in the first place, meaning... in some areas, she really hasn't learned her lesson at all.

Then, ten years later, some elements of the same cycle start anew. Does it mean that it is simply the consequence of her own foolish actions once again making history repeat itself, because she didn't learn anything the first time, or is God making it happen in the hopes she might learn from her mistakes this time, and perhaps slapping her in the face again with the fact that she is doing some very unhealthy things (and perhaps hurting or angering others around her) and trying to get her to wake up?

Now let's move onto another example....

Henry has been a heavy drinker for years and years. A real alcohol addict. He has also done many terrible things while he has been drunk. He injured one of his children, he emotionally abused his wife, and his family only put up with this for so long until they finally left him. He eventually lost his job, pushed all of his friends away, lived on the streets for a time... until he finally reached absolute rock bottom, accepted help, and received the help and counselling he needed to get back on his feet.

Now, miraculously, he's turned it all around. He's working at a steady job, he's paying his own bills, he puts his own food on the table. He decides to try and get in touch with his family and his old friends.

His family and friends are very unsure, and most of them don't want anything to do with him anymore. Some of them are afraid of him because of how violent he was while he was drunk, and because of some of the nasty things he said. He tries to tell them that he's a changed man now, but they stay away and they won't really hear it, despite the evidence that he's really turned it around.

After all, what if he oneday slips back into the booze habit and shatters everything all over again? That could be what they are thinking.

Soooo.... in this case, could it be said that he only acted in the ways he did because he had a serious problem, a weakness for booze, and maybe in a way it was the booze making him act like he did? Or was it because he is the one who chose to get into the habit in the first place? (And should we analyze WHY he got into the booze habit in the first place? Maybe he was depressed, maybe he had lost his job and felt hopeless over being unable to help support his family.)

Also... if you want to take this into a different area of thought, couldn't you also say that everyone around him is being completely unfair? They're holding his past against him, because they're still hurt and angry and they can't let go of what he did in the past, DESPITE the fact that Christ Himself tells us to forgive one another, and I believe that Christ represents second chances and He says that if someone is legitimately trying to turn things around and get their act together, then bringing up the past constantly is not helping that person overcome their past or move on.

So... while the fear, hurt and anger of the family and friends, over what happened and what might happen if they let Henry into their lives again is justified, is it right in this case, especially if Henry really has shown he has turned it all around?

Is all of this a consequence of Henry's actions, (as if he hasn't suffered enough, he did reach rock-bottom and WAS homeless for a while, even) and is the fact that he will never have his old friends and family back a God-given consequence because of his actions, and because he didn't get help sooner?

Though... in the theme of Christ gives you second chances and helps you start anew if you place your trust in Him, perhaps something else happens in this saga instead. Maybe.... Henry meets a new and beautiful woman, one who accepts him exactly as he is now, falls in love, and they have a new family together, and begin a very rich and fulfilling life.

Now... let's move onto a final example.

Jill can't handle reality for various reasons. Maybe she has mental/emotional problems, perhaps the people around her are very unsupportive, etc. So she tends to try and live out her life in the form of delving into novels, TV shows, movies.... getting very, very entrenched into her own little world, loving fictional characters and getting mentally/emotionally invested in their lives as though they are her real friends.

Then, things keep happening to her where she finds herself constantly getting.... disrupted from her fantasy world. As much as she wants to try and stay inside her own head, reality finds ways of slapping her in the face.

Her mother loses her job. So Jill is forced to work.... and finds it difficult to do so because she understands that you have to show up for work and do everything you need to do or you will lose the job, but she would much rather be home reading her novels and delving into her fantasies than here. For that reason, the quality of her work starts to slip.

Eventually, her parents get work again so she can afford to stay home. She tries delving into her fantasies again, but after having experienced time with real people, she wants more of it. So the fantasies and the novels have become far less satisfying than they once were. But when she tries to interact with people in the way that they do in the novels or TV shows, she's in for a bit of a shock because real people and real situations don't follow a script you develop in your own head, or if something really embarrassing or uncomfortable happens, you can't just put the book down or skip a chapter.

So... does this mean maybe God is trying to help her embrace reality, and be part of the real world, rather than just one locked up inside her own private imagination? If so.... couldn't it be considered a little cruel and harsh due to the fact that she has been this way for many years, and she's comfortable and used to being that way? Or is this merely a natural consequence of what she has been doing?

Or is it a bit of each?

Obviously.... God tries to take anyone out of their comfort zones and tries to show how certain behaviors or habits are harmful to the self and those around the self. And... maybe sometimes, being abrupt and harsh about ripping someone out of their comfort zone is the only way to get that person's attention, because if they were comfortable and content, they would just continue exactly as they are.

I guess there is something about the human condition where we have to have our world turned completely upside down and sometimes SHATTERED before any of us start to wake up and realize something is wrong, or that something about ourselves or our lives needs to be changed.

So yeah... I think I'm done for now.
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Old 28th February 2017, 5:37 AM   #52
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So.... could it be said that she is simply reaping the consequences of her own foolish mistakes, (since all of these things flowed from a logical unraveling of events due to her own poor choices, and things she herself set into motion), or could God have had some kind of hand in it to try and teach her something?

Then in the end, let's say that after her life straightens out, and things go back to normal (at least as much as they can), she just goes back to the same habits and routines, some of which got her in trouble in the first place, meaning... in some areas, she really hasn't learned her lesson at all.

Then, ten years later, some elements of the same cycle start anew. Does it mean that it is simply the consequence of her own foolish actions once again making history repeat itself, because she didn't learn anything the first time, or is God making it happen in the hopes she might learn from her mistakes this time, and perhaps slapping her in the face again with the fact that she is doing some very unhealthy things (and perhaps hurting or angering others around her) and trying to get her to wake up?
I think most people would say its a combination of both. Reap what you sow - plus some random interventions when god\universe decides you need to evolve. Sometimes I feel that could be related to past actions and Karmic repaying of debts - but I think other times it can also be kind of like a final test. Its easy to do the right thing when things are going well - its much harder when things aren't going so well - when pressure is applied. So before we can move onto the next lesson - we are often given a final thorough examination on the one we are just supposed to have learnt. Pass and get rewarded - fail and go back for further learning.

Also regarding the loops - this is a very common theme in spirituality that we are often stuck repeating the same lessons over and over until we finally overcome then and move on. Often progress is not a linear sequence of one lesson after the other but instead a continual process of two steps forward one step back, sideways etc. Fixing an issue then moving onto another before having to revisit and old one again. In an artistic sense I think this idea has been shown quite beautifully with the movie Groundhog day. Also the new HBO TV show Westworld shows this quite well with robots stuck in programmed loops who are striving to overcome their programming and break out of their loops to achieve true consciousness.

"It's not true that life is one damn thing after another -- it's one damn thing over and over." Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Old 28th February 2017, 2:18 PM   #53
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This might be wandering a taaaaad off-topic again just a bit, but I think it is still largely on the same general topic that has been being discussed in this thread. ^^;

There is one thing that has always really, really annoyed the daylights out of me, and I think it's something that I get from my mother because this tends to annoy her a lot, too.

It's just... Well, this may run the risk of sounding a bit self-absorbed. And perhaps this issue comes with the territory when you are (and happen to live with those who are very similar) an individual who basically just likes a nice quiet routine, to be left alone for the most part, and to interact only when there is a good reason to or when you're doing something with the family or there's something else going on.

Either way....

I have noticed many times over the years that there can be times when something happens where you are feeling really good about yourself, really peaceful, you are having a good day, and there have been plenty of positive vibes and a lot of good things going on to where you feel great, you feel bubbly, and you just want that feeling to last, and you just want to continue doing what you are doing, and let the good times continue.

Or, maybe you are also carrying on a good train of thought, you're on a roll in writing something in a story or on a blog, or there's something else going on that makes you feel like you're living one of the happiest days of your life and you are just flowing along like a blissful brook.

Then something has to happen that completely shatters it. Somebody has to do something really stupid like get into your space and mess up something in your bedroom, (sometimes multiple times, even after you told them not to do it, to the point where you get very angry and it completely shatters your good mood). Or maybe that's when the mailman has to deliver a piece of really bad news. Or in some cases, maybe someone you live with (especially if that someone has mental problems) has to do something or act out in such a way that it ends up startling your pants off and setting every nerve in your body on edge, even if the issue is manageable and it's taken care of readily enough, there is still the fact that your nerves have been set afire and, at worst, you are totally stressed and you might feel angry enough to want to go kick a hole in the wall or something.

So my question is.............

Why does this sort of thing happen sometimes? When you're having an awesome day, when you're feeling on top of the world, and then someone around you either has to do something really stupid to ruin your mood, or something more external happens like getting very bad news in the mail or something else like that happens.

My mother used to say (and still kinda does) that this happens because "the devil gets into people sometimes" or it's because the devil likes to do things that disrupt your happiness or joy.

In the end... I don't know. In some areas, I have learned to cope with this by keeping my guard up at times, like... if you're having a good day, you can't just lose yourself in pure blissfulness as if it will never end, you gotta still keep part of your mind on the reality around you so that if something unexpected whams you, you don't go into complete freak-out mode.

I sometimes kinda wonder though if.... the feel-good-feelings could be sort of a preparation or a buffer for when bad news comes? I have noticed that there have been times when I have the best day ever, and then something happens afterward. One example is that, several years ago, I went out to my cousin's bridal shower and in some ways I felt like the luckiest woman on earth because I won the door prize, (when i had never won ANYTHING before) and I also won a ribbon and I got to do other really fun things. I had the time of my life. And right after that, I even received a couple of really nice gifts. And the day after that............ I ended up feeling really hurt, shocked, angry and devastated because one of my best friends came forward and admitted he had been lying to me about something for years.

So....

If a mentally-handicapped family member sets your teeth on edge with a loud scream, scaring the pants off of you while you're having a good day and you're in a good mood, is that because "the devil got in him" or is it simply because he really couldn't help it and because something set him off?

If you're having a really good day and then a huge credit card bill arrives and you become devestated because you didn't realize your bill had gotten THAT big... is that simply the consequence of using far too much credit than you can afford, or was the devil trying to kill your happiness and joy?
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Old 28th February 2017, 5:34 PM   #54
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Why does this sort of thing happen sometimes? When you're having an awesome day, when you're feeling on top of the world, and then someone around you either has to do something really stupid to ruin your mood, or something more external happens
As I said in your other post, if you allow ANY external thing to get in the way of your own inner peace and joy and happiness, then you still have things in your own psyche/psychology that you need to heal and fix.

That is, YOU are still making mistakes of perception, and of observation and interpretation of the outer-manifest appearances, conditions, circumstances, situations and events.

If you free-will decide and choose to just always stay at the surface level (the level of outer appearances), then you will not ever get to the real crux of the matter, which is your own lesser-lower perception. This is, of course, true for each and every one of us.

If this makes sense, Tanyasinclair?
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Old 28th February 2017, 5:48 PM   #55
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Yeah, I understand.

Honestly, since I've spent the last few days on this forum spilling my guts and trying to work through things, and find the heart of several matters.... I think the best thing for me to do for the moment is to take some time to process everything that has been said/exchanged, and I'll be back in a few days.

I'm still going to PM you when I can, Ronni. And I hope we can continue have a constructive conversation then. ^^;
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Old 3rd March 2017, 11:58 AM   #56
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.....That is what my mother firmly believes, and the reason why this bugs me so much is because it clashes with my own learned opinion...
Tanya, let your mother believe what she wants and you believe what you want. You and your mother are two different, seperate people. You are worthy of having your own mind and making your own decisions. Set yourself free!
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Old 5th March 2017, 6:03 PM   #57
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Okay so... I was gonna start a new thread on this topic, but I figured it might be easier to just post this thought/subject in this one, not to mention it would mean less clutter on the forum. ^^;

I think I've pretty much touched base on a lot of the things I was talking about before in this thread, and.... I think pretty much everything that can be said has already been said in those areas, so I'm gonna leave those alone for now. (Ronni if you're seeing this, I'm still gonna PM you when I can. Just so you know.)

Anyway, when it comes to the nature of humankind, and the nature of God, etc... I guess there is still something that puzzles me and eats away at me a tad.

I know from personal experience (and from the personal testimony of my mom, and perhaps a few other people), that everybody wants a hero, someone who can be their solid rock, someone who will be there for them when they need it. I dunno if this is more common in women, maybe there are a lot of women who have an inner little girl living inside of them who wants to be rescued by her knight in shining armor, her superhero, when things get rough.

Either way.... this is a bit off-topic from "How much does God control", I think this will have more to do with "How much does God actually integrate Himself" or some such. But anyway....

In light of rethinking some of my interpersonal relationships, I have seriously been considering how every single human has let me down and severely disappointed me at some point. And depending on the depth of the connection, or how deeply I wanted/needed that individual to be perfect or larger than life, in each case, every time they showed a flaw or did something that hurt my feelings, it effected me as though I had been stabbed and someone left the knife there. (In most cases, I have noticed, this has almost always been the case where a man was involved. Sometimes a woman, depending on how close-knit it got, but mostly men.)

Thus, it goes without saying that... as I have been told many, many times over the years by Christians, (some of it from friends, some of it listening to radio talkshows or other forums of Christian teachings) you just can't rely on humans %100 because everyone is flawed, and by human nature everybody is gonna hurt you or disappoint you at some point.

And in the end, I also know that it is actually pretty silly to place all of your faith, trust, hope, or dependence of happiness on anyone, especially one individual. That person could end up going away for one reason or another, or even if that person is somehow willing to be your rock or your all-in-all, they will still break eventually if they really tried to be that.

So in some ways, the thought/question I pose here is.... Is there some part of us that might be actively seeking God, LONGING for God, because we are designed to have a need for God in our lives? Are we designed to have--to NEED--spiritual satisfaction and fulfillment with God to the point where, depending on how great that need is, we are always going to feel empty in this life?

I mean, think of it this way. Different people have different sexual needs, some have lower sex drives than others, which can also lead to problems if one needs less while one needs more. The difference regarding a spiritual relationship with God is that God apparently has enough to give/share with anyone who seeks Him, but due to our fallen nature and how sin separates us from Him, it also means that we either have to work that much harder to seek Him to feel closer to Him, or we're gonna always feel needy (which might also lead to us trying to use people and/or possessions to fill that void). The only problem is that even if you do try to devote your existence to God and finding a closeness to God, you probably are still gonna be wanting and struggling, because.... again, the sin nature will always separate us from Him no matter how much progress we make in developing a stronger or closer relationship to Him.

But this leads to other issues as well. God is apparently very, very unselfish, (as it was demonstrated when Jesus gave up His life on the cross), therefore He also wants to share in fellowship with believers, and He wants humans to share amongst themselves.

I also know that God designed humans to be social creatures, and someone once told me that God Himself is very, very social, because the three members of the Trinity are constantly socializing with one another, and God did make us in His image.

But the thing is.... this is also an area where I am getting confused, because....

Well, this could be because I, as an individual, tend to have a very one-track mind, I sort of prefer to deal with absolutes or organize things into tidy little boxes even if I'm somewhat capable of looking at things from multiple angles and in shades of gray rather than just black and white, but....

In some ways, I'm still having a hard time grasping just how it is possible to do things in society, with humanity, within the church or just in your town or whatnot, yet somehow... while you're doing these things, God it supposed to be in there somewhere, ideally at the head of it all?

When you get into an intimate/romantic relationship with someone, that person is, ideally, supposed to become your one and only, and ideally that person is supposed to meet your needs while you meet theirs (and there is effort required on both sides to make it work) but... this person also can't be your ENTIRE all-in-all, because they are flawed, they can't meet all of your needs, and they will stumble and fall like everyone.

So that leads me back to the notion that God is supposed to be your all in all, the one who can meet your needs like no other, and yet.... apparently God chooses not to meet ALL of our needs? I mean, we apparently need to socialize with one-another because sometimes we gain something through the social interaction, whether it's fun, exchanged philosophies, or other things.

And also, God made humans to be sexual beings who are supposed to enjoy their time together and "be fruitful and multiply", so.... since God is not having sex with humans (with ummmm.... perhaps/sorta the exception of Mother Mary, though that was a different matter entirely and it had a divine purpose) then God obviously intended for us to get certain things from each other, and from the world/environment He created us to be in, rather than just turning to Him for everything....

And yet.... even despite all of that, we are taught that God is the only thing that can truly satisfy us, the only thing we can truly count on or depend on, the only thing that we should find or base our identity in....

See how this sort of thing can leave a person going in circles?

So yeah.... if anybody has any thoughts/insights to contribute to this, feel free. ^^;
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Old 5th March 2017, 9:56 PM   #58
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The universe is roughly 13.772 billion years old, as far as we know. Humans have been around for about 200,000 yrs.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...LyarNx1gFH6s8A

It strikes me as odd, our need for importance, given the scope of existence.

We are self aware and haven't been around for long....it stands to reason there are more wizened energies than ourselves.

That any energy would concern itself with us to the extent that we seem to want it to will be a matter of opinion.
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Old 6th March 2017, 2:05 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Timshel View Post
The universe is roughly 13.772 billion years old, as far as we know. Humans have been around for about 200,000 yrs.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...LyarNx1gFH6s8A

It strikes me as odd, our need for importance, given the scope of existence.

We are self aware and haven't been around for long....it stands to reason there are more wizened energies than ourselves.

That any energy would concern itself with us to the extent that we seem to want it to will be a matter of opinion.
....so human consciousness is a relatively new development. As a way of dealing with human shortcomings, I perceive us as bipedal apes newly equipped with this new tool called consciousness. We try to use it, we fumble with it, we are clumsy with it, we keep dropping it, we keep picking it up again, over and over etc. No wonder us humans are so absent-minded and "going in circles". Our brains still very much function at primitive levels. All our thoughts and actions are still influenced by unconscious bias, an ancestral brain function millions of years old, which doesn't allow us to be in complete conscious awareness, however much we like to think we are. Unfortunately, evolutionary change takes place over millions of years, so we will have to put up with our "fallen" ways for some time yet.

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by truthtripper; 6th March 2017 at 2:07 AM..
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Old 6th March 2017, 3:33 PM   #60
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....so human consciousness is a relatively new development.
Our recorded history has us on Earth for x-number of years, but that's only accurate given our current level of scientific knowledge and scientific-technological instruments. (Consider that less than a hundred years ago we didn't know the first thing about DNA; less than fifty years ago, the internet; etc.) Science doesn't yet know what science doesn't yet know.

Quote:
I perceive us as bipedal apes
Our consciousness is of entirely different creation, nature, content and substance than the elemental consciousness of animals, plants, minerals, etc. That our physical bodies bear resemblance to apes is simply that it’s the best configuration for us to fulfill our purpose, aims and goals on Earth. Our consciousness being implanted into this type of 'housing' was the result of a revolutionary (quantum) leap, not an evolutionary (mechanical) one.

Quote:
All our thoughts and actions are still influenced by unconscious bias, an ancestral brain function millions of years old, which doesn't allow us to be in complete conscious awareness,
Did you mean ‘doesn’t allow us to be in complete conscious control’ (over all our own thoughts and actions)? If this were truly the case, then that would just be
completely discouraging to me – as well as it would give me license and a free ride to just do whatever nasty or evil thing that I wanted, wished or whimmed...on the basis that I did not have, and could not ever be expected to have, 100% full and complete control over my own faculties.

If, however, you did mean ‘complete conscious awareness’, then the two most famous people - human consciousnesses – to have demonstrated this are Siddhārtha Gautama and Jesus. Like them, we do not have any 'ancestral ape' genetics or psychology to overcome...only our own self-image, perception and programmed beliefs and worldview that we do.

At least. This is the self-image, perception, belief and worldview that I am going to hold for myself and all people of Earth

In Love and Light. .
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