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Is there an inevitable polatiry to the universe? [Aug. 25th, 2004|12:08 am]
World Religion Discussion

art_of_religion

[bandarug]
[mood |sleepysleepy]
[music |does the music set the mood, or does the mood set the music?]

People often tell me that everything happens for a reason. And this is well and good, except for the fact that when something bad happens, they refuse to see any good in it. I'm not only talking spiritually, but mentally and physically as well.

I'm going to clear up a few things before I start here. 1) I do not think that you need to believe in god for you to believe that their is a guided path for yourself, and 2) I don't necessarily believe that their is a guided path for yourself, however, it is an idea that floats around out there. Ok, with that being said, I will continue.

I do agree that every decision you make takes you on a different path than the other. Kind of like a tree and it's branches, and depending on what path you take, you will live a certain way, or for a certain amount of time. However, it is very difficult for people to accept that what they have done in the past has affected how they are living now, or that what they do now migth affect the way they are living in the future. I know that it is very easy to say to yourself "Ok, if I eat 3 bags of chips in 1 sitting I'm going to feel gross tomorrow morning", but what happens on the larger scale?

So, we've already established that every decision we make takes us on a learning journey. The only problem is, how do you cope with the fact that once you realize there is a hurdle, that you have to get over it the best you can so that you can reap the benefits of the path you have taken. A lot of the times people will say "if only I'd make the other decision, I wouldn't be in this mess right now", but would you be in a greater mess? Question #1: Is there something guiding us along that has already made our minds up for us, or do we decide and set our destiny as we go?

Ok, moving on a little bit. If we do decided that there is something out their guiding us along, how do we come to terms with not blaming others for what is happening? I think it is all too often that people placee blame or shame on others to avoid coming to terms with the fact that we sometimes need to place ourselves in situations that help us look within for our peacec and serenity... because unfortunately, it's sometimes very unlikely to find it outside. When everywhere around you outside is chaotic and misinterpretted, how can you find it within yourself to say "hey, this is where I came from, this is where I'm going, and nothing around me is going to stop me"? It's very difficult... without first believing that regardless what decision you make, something has already decided it for you. Unless of course, you answered no to questions #1. In which case, I present you with question #2: where do you go in life if you're not guided by something?

In a strict regime in life, (a prison for example) where everything is set out for you like a day planner, it's very simply to know what to do and where to go. However, for the rest of the world who is not governed by a strict regime, where do we know where to turn? How is it that we can make decision in the present that we think might affect the future, but not know how? It's the classic "chicken or egg" syndrome.

Do we make decision that affect the final product, or does the "pre-destined" final product pursuade the decisions?

So, in short, everything is up in the air. Whether you believe in one religion and not the other, or one way of thinking and not the other, it all comes to what you believe for yourself. There is no one answer, but our own answer; and our own answer is only followed by more questions.

So, my final question. Question #3: How the hell does anyone get through life without a complete mental breakdown. I already feel lost and overwhelmed at 21, I can't imagine how much worse it gets as I get older! :)
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Comments:
From: jevine
2004-08-25 01:55 am (UTC)

Maybe I'm just muddying the water, but here are my thoughts.

1. Polatiry?
2. In my experience everything happens for a reason - I do not believe in chaos. This implies that everyone is on a guided path, and are allowed to believe otherwise. I think this means I believe in predetermination to a large degree, if not fully.
3. Faith negates a need for proof, and proof negates a need for faith, so I don't believe the two can coexist. Does this mean god(s) does(do) or does(do) not exist? No.

"Ok, if I eat 3 bags of chips in 1 sitting I'm going to feel gross tomorrow morning"

4. This depends entirely on whether you are watching Kiefer Sutherland in Stand by Me, or Kiefer Sutherland in Dark City.

Is there something guiding us along that has already made our minds up for us, or do we decide and set our destiny as we go?

5. I'd say the whole of existence does this for us, and somewhere above or beneath it may be a god pulling the strings. But I believe the only answer is that god cannot be a separate entity, cannot be separated from any entity or force, otherwise, there has to be a creative force for that 'god', and then one beyond it, and one beyond it. It is a rather all or nothing stance.

It's very difficult... without first believing that regardless what decision you make, something has already decided it for you. Unless of course, you answered no to questions #1. In which case, I present you with question #2: where do you go in life if you're not guided by something?

6. I would disagree, to the extent that decision making is not solely an internal process. You make an internal decision, yes, but the environment makes coinciding decisions, or vice versa. I think I am implying here the existence of an intelligent universe, that we are all part of the same organism, and that that total is god. And in that case, we do not have individual souls that exist outside of the confines of our body. Our body, the process of our 'brain', has to much of a formative impact on the soul. There is the arguement that we die and then the brain goes away and we are reunited with something prior, a god or knowledge or simply returning to our complete sense of self. However, that is a change, the being we are now dies. Or, souls do exist, in some particle way, but that being the case, the disintegrate and reintegrate along with all other forms of matter, which is why I heartily believe that reincarnation belongs on the same shelf with Harry Potter.
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From: jevine
2004-08-25 01:55 am (UTC)

second part of post - I'm rather longwinded on occasion.



In a strict regime in life, (a prison for example) where everything is set out for you like a day planner, it's very simply to know what to do and where to go.

7. Hmmm... seeing as I just watched Hurricane (and was awed by it) I think this post is... hmmm. 'guided' by some higher cosmic intelligence? or perhaps I'm just seeing what I want to see? Especially since the movie is about 3 Canadians trying to free an American boxer from prison? Does this scare you a tad? I know I'M getting chills. ;) Anyway, I would argue this point, because being in a 'regime' environment doesn't it make it any less easy to make decisions. Always the 'human' aspect interferes. You have to decide whether you stay human, or become human, or stay feral, or become feral - and then how to go about it. I would say that being in prison is no more a difficult regime to deal with than having, say, a set group of friends who doesn't expect or particularly want you to have desires and goals for yourself, because there is shame and guilt involved in that. That is why things don't improve on a community wide scale - it is easier for a person to leave a bad communtiy and do better alone, than it is to make a community better by staying and working. Ultimately, you decide how well you are doing for yourself, what your right and wrong are, but when community is involved, more people are involved in what is right and wrong, and the decision of who holds the moral highground can become a battle.

Do we make decision that affect the final product, or does the "pre-destined" final product pursuade the decisions?

8. Both. 100% of the time.

Question #3: How the hell does anyone get through life without a complete mental breakdown. I already feel lost and overwhelmed at 21, I can't imagine how much worse it gets as I get older! :)

9. Speaking as an older man *snort-giggle* I'd say that life is the degenerative process towards a mental breakdown, and then we die. Granted, some of us never reach the mental breakdown before dying, but we all die, and it's a hard arguement that death is not a mental breakdown, or that mental breakdown is not a death. If you can admit to being overwhelmed, then that implies you are trying to deal with your lack of understanding of the big picture, trying to assimilate all the information coming in (I'm not saying this in a condescending tone - not that I've been able to already and you haven't, because I certainly haven't - just didn't want you to take offense at this). I believe that as long as you continue to keep learning, keep fighting, keep trying to assimilite the life you have into your mind, that you are fine, and the moment you give that up, is either a mental breakdown or death. I also believe, however, that external factors are helping you along your way, and that the physiological facts of your body, your nervous system, your physical brain, these are also external factors, compared to what goes on in your thoughts. However, if thoughts are nothing more than a readout of what's going on in the physical brain, is there TRULY any internal mind? In which case, we are entirely connected to the entirety of existence, and only in that sum total is there any real soul. We are living bodies, and yet, we eat the non-living matter of formerly living entities, and this keeps us 'alive'. That strikes me as rather odd. Also, if it's fuel that keeps the body alive until death, what is the fuel that keeps the soul alive?
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[User Picture]From: bandarug
2004-08-31 05:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Maybe I'm just muddying the water, but here are my thoughts.

1. P-o-l-a-r-i-t-y Mr. Grammar police :P

3. I'm not sure if proof necessarily negates a need for faith. Perhaps it is proof of the faith. There are many people out there who believe they have seen physical proof of their religions. Stigmatas maybe? However, for the most part, this statement can be said - although it is generalizing a bit, but who doesn't do that now? :)

4. *L* Kiefer in any movie isn't good enough to save my tummy frrom 3 bags of chips!

5. I don't really have anything to say about this one... I might actually agree with you for once :) But wait.... read on... :)

6. I really haven't madee my mind up about this one. I definately think that all decisions are completely internal, and that that outside environment does flood in some influences. I'm contemplating the rest of this as we speak... or as I type. You should read "The Star Rover" by Jack London.

7. I wasn't implying that there are less decisions to make in the confines of a prison cell, I was merely stating the fact that the particular responses to decsions made don't change as drastically as they would in the outside world. I also agree with you, however that a group of friends is very similar. However, if your friends aren't agreeing with your decisions and your acts, it is much easier to suffer the consequences of someone not calling you out for beers than it is to spend more time in prison for trrying to escape.

8. Oh.

9. The fuel that keeps the soul alive? Discussions like this. Once you stop thinking of new things, once you stop challenging yourself, once you stop smiling at innocent children as they play ball in the still.... where are you going? you're falling into the slow downhill cycle that will eventually lead to your mental breakdown. To me, this is death: Looking at the most simply thing in the world and not being able to register one prescious or beautiful thing about it. Once you stop seeing beauty and life in every day, what do you have left but the dark that consumes your thoughts. Once it's dark upstairs, where else do you have to go except the eternal bleakness that is death.

Ryan figured this out, your cousin figured this out... what they did was an action to bring upon premature death based on false beliefs that the ordinary is no longer beautiful. The only problem is, they forgot what they were looking for in the ordinary. It's not that it wasn't beautiful anymore, it's just that they forgot how to see it - if only for that moment, it made sense to them.
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[User Picture]From: bandarug
2004-08-25 05:58 am (UTC)
you don't mess around.
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