Monday, July 22, 2013

Religion, Science and Spirit

Could it be that the problems we face have nothing to do with Obama and that he is only the current example of what we see as something wrong? Since whoever is President is the leader and example of our society in the US, I posit that when the system is malfunctioning then the public leader of the system will look like he/she is malfunctioning. It does not matter if it is W, Obama, Newt, Hillary, or whoever. We need to change our view of what is real. That means looking a lot deeper than most of us are willing to look. It is so much easier to blame everything on a scapegoat. Just host another one up on the cross. That will fix everything. Then we can remain arrogant and self-righteous and feel good we did something (just remember to wash your hands). So, vote for whoever is not in power and things will all be better. Right - and I have some "land" in Florida for sale........... This article by David Korten called Religion, Science, and Spirit: A Sacred Story for Our Time is very thought-provoking. Check it out and let me know what you think.

74 comments:

Sojka's Call said...

I am going to transfer comments from an email thread to the comments section here using the first name of the people who commented. Just letting readers know so they are not thinking this is a conversation with myself.

Bob said...

Its like I said, most are in a state of denial!!!

Sojka's Call said...

Bob - i am not sure what you mean. What do you think people are in denial of?

Paul said...

A very interesting article. A lot of it reminds me of the days when we studied metaphysics and parapsychology. Except number 2 of course The Grand Machine (We are alone in a mechanistic cosmos devoid of any agency and possessing no purpose or meaning) Our teachers would have never bought into that. And if that was the case then why were we given any inherent behavior instincts such as right and wrong or morality and compassion. If that's the case then all is fair and step on anyone to get what you want or to where you want to go. Jeff R and I have had the conversation many times as I believe he leans toward believing in the Grand Machine Scenario.

I have had this conversation with you Michael many time. Regardless of what we should believe we have to live in the day to day reality as well. The one that we as a society create. It is no less real than any of the others. To say that the problems we face have nothing to do with Obama or we should say our government in general lets them of the hook. For remember they run our day to day reality. Believe what you want about the millenniums past and the millenniums to come (They are important) but controlling the day to day world we live in is part of our responsibility. What if we do live in the Grand Machine scenario?? Then controlling our day to day reality and existence is really all we have to do. You ever think about that.

I for one wont let our leaders of the hook for a piss poor job just because life is bigger and more complex than they will ever understand and the majority of the members of society will ever understand. Not enough people in this world will ever have the intelligence, the time, the belief, or the understanding to take on such deep thinking or contemplation. The article says that these belief,s may already be embraced by society and that it has no institutional support. I agree there is no institutional support but those searching for intricate answers to intricate questions are few as well.

I still believe that we need to function in the day to day world. It is our obligation to improve it, build on it, and nurture it. We should also give our spiritual beliefs equal time. No one deserves more than the other.

I like the analogy of the six blind men describing an Elephant. God, the Cosmos, our purpose and our future may just be to big to explain.

Sojka's Call said...

One of the points is to look at the macro and determine what is cause and effect. People, in general, like to point at politicos as causes of all their problems. My point is what happens in your own mind and view of the world when you take an alternative view and see the politicos as effects.

The next part is that if we are not willing embrace an Integral view of the world then we are stuck with what we have. You will never change the system by beating on the door. Together, our individual choices determine our collective fate and shape the course of the journey far beyond our time. So, we have to take individual responsibility for what is around us. And, that might mean holding people accountable through the voting box. It might also mean understanding that the universe is not a machine and there is not a grandfather-like personality sitting on a throne directing the actions of the universe. Instead, The Kingdom is within, and, The Integral Spirit cosmology is consistent with the findings of quantum physics, which reveals that the apparent solidity of matter is an illusion and at the deepest level of understanding only relationships are real.

If only relationships are real and you don't have a relationship with Obama, for example, then a person getting emotional about Obama or Paul Ryan is, on a personal level, getting upset with an illusion. What is someone to do? Understand what it is you really believe and if it is not an Integral view of the cosmo and you are still living in those past cosmologies then it just might be you who are the cause of the issues you see in the world.

Paul said...

I could not agree with you more. You will just never get the masses to go along with all this. I think the human race as a whole intellectually is pretty much still in its infancy. Maybe 1st grade at best. I guess my question is how do we educate those that are not educated or more important how do we educate those that don't want to be. We can embrace these ideas but without the cooperation of the majority how does it work? It only remains interesting reading and a great topic for a email thread. Implementation remains a dream.

Now on the other hand they will respond to their day to day existence. How can we incorporate a more utopian way of thinking into that?

Anyway as I said I could not agree with you more. Our role needs to be one of a teacher. You have to start at the beginning, the 1st grade or the day to day life that is controlled by those we have installed as leaders. We need like minded thinkers in government for the masses who rely on government for all their answers. And make no mistake there are those who are quite successful and highly intelligent that still think government has all the answers. But you know that and basically just said it.

I am interested in some others peoples ideas to this. The article was little long and the type was very small on my computer but it was a thought provoking read. It was worth the time.

Paul said...

On a simpler note free your mind and your ass will follow. Or in this case hopefully the masses will follow. It does start with us as individuals. Maybe that is all we can do or are supposed to do. If we accept that there is so much more to life than what our government controls than we will be much happier. And with realizing this and being happy it will rub off on those around us without us directly trying to enlighten them.
So just live for ourselves? But is that selfish? Maybe not if a few pick up on our positive energy.

Keith said...

I am pretty much in agreement with what you said. It is a nice but unattainable ideal. I think we agree with the concept however when it gets right down to what decisions need to be made with regards to adjusting our values to adopting "...the glory in a rising GDP with an irreversible declining Earth Product as an economic absurdity" it is where it all starts to come apart. This works on a local level, but the cooperative spirit immediately reverts to competitive Grand Machine thinking when other cultures and national boundaries come into play. Actually, I don't find much new here other than the author's doing a great job in organizing the three into definable categories. Isn't the Integrating Spirit a rework of Buddhism with a bit of Grand Machine thrown in to explain the mechanics. Further, there are already beings on this planet already doing a better job at specifically at a tribal level. Prior cultures within the early New World had already achieved the Integrating Spirit concept but were forced to embrace the Distant Patriarch or die. Even ants and bees are ahead on this integral spirit concept working together at a cellular level for the benefit of the whole, better cooperative systems than any "intelligent beings".

The description of the three helped me articulate each belief mechanism. With the Distant Patriarch however, I think, lumping Christianity in with Judaism and Islam is incorrect. Christianity or Christ's message was a move away from the relationship of individuals to God as priority to a primary relationship of man to one another as in "Love thy neighbor" which we all know only worked for a few years until Charlemagne came along and declared that killing for Christ was an acceptable tenet of the Christian faith.
To be honest, I like the Grand Machine scenario or narrative since it so effectively integrates quantum mechanics with the mysteries of what we refer to as reality and what is real with regards to the material. The Integrative Spirit seems unrealistic. I mean if we can't get the Christ thing right after 2000 years I see no hope in moving to the next level.

Within the essay is a great analogy to our expectations vs outcome and disappointment with government. If each of us is a cell in this organism called the USA, "...imagine the distraction of our minds (the government leaders being the mind in this case) in the attempt to track details of the life of each individual cell in our bodies". This is the problem. We have relinquished so much personal responsibility to the government and built up our expectations that we are bound to be disappointed. They cannot focus on "our" problem. At the same time we espouse and hold high the ideal of individual rights and liberties as sacrosinct. We operate in a system of contradictions and opposing values with an outcome that is never quite in balance. Individual vs the greater good. It is great that those that read this agree that there needs to be a new narrative involving the Integrative Spirit, but in reality first there has to be agreement on values and really basically what is "self-destructive" to the "Earth Product". Agreement on how we move from the Distant Patriarch to the Grand Machine to Integrative Spirit. Currently, we have relied on the government to do this through regulations and laws since individuals do not have the self discipline to do it on their own, being overwhelmed by the competitive instinct for survival. And isn't that same instinct the basic principles of Capitalism, which I am sure we are not going to abandon within our lifetimes is based upon.

Keith said...


On a cellular level it is no wonder we can only focus on a Paula Deen, or a Trayvon-Zimmerman or any other issue. I mean whatever happened to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the drone controversy. We just cannot focus that long on any one item too long and once the next one comes up we or should I say the media fixates on it believing we are also fixated on the issue and as long as fixation continues it sells advertising. They aren't selling news, they are selling advertising. That is the Grand Machine working in the form of capitalism. Which diverges into a completely different subject, ie what form of capitalism do we want to aspire. Is corporatism the next level of capitalism, the cellular reorganization into a more efficient form or a cancerous outgrowth? Certainly it distances us from operating on the micro level, prevents us focusing on the local level and the Integrative Spirit concept. Just a point to ponder.

Susan said...

Whew, some of that...right over the top of my head. I'm feeling like my I.Q. Just dropped quite a bit. I don't know what to believe anymore. I don't understand why the media chooses certain issues and ignores others i.e. the shooting of that innocent baby and his mother. Trayvon Martin and Paula Dean? No disrespect, but why them? I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, so I'll just listen. ��

Sojka's Call said...

To me, the fundamental point is that we change ourselves and find constructive relationships with those we interact with. There is nothing else better for us to do.

Of course it is unattainable to have a world as defined by our media that is ideal. That is the point! Forget about that and embrace a new paradigm of your own thinking that does the most good for all of nature, people, the planet, etc. That will bring you the most joy and do the most good for everything you interact with moment by moment.

Paul said...

Everyone's input and ideas are always welcome Sue.

Paul said...

Forgive me for repeating myself, that is kind of what I said here.

On a simpler note free your mind and your ass will follow. Or in this case hopefully the masses will follow. It does start with us as individuals. Maybe that is all we can do or are supposed to do. If we accept that there is so much more to life than what our government controls than we will be much happier. And with realizing this and being happy it will rub off on those around us without us directly trying to enlighten them.
So just live for ourselves? But is that selfish? Maybe not if a few pick up on our positive energy.

I find we are in agreement again.

WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keith said...

You are saying one thing which I totally agree with however, the author was writing this as a paradigm shift for a larger body of people in order to so to speak save the human race from total self destruction. The grass roots, bottoms up approach vs the top down led by government leaders etc. Clearly, we have been talking about this on an individual level for some time. So the Buddhists are right, crawl into a proverbial or symbolic cave as defined by what makes you happy and in a state of mindfulness living in the now and ignore what you cannot change or control. Further it makes sense to look at what appears in the media as not part of our local reality. If it doesn't directly affect us how important is it? After all if it wasn't on the internet or in print it wouldn't exist in our sphere of reality. It didn't 100 years ago when communication and news wasn't coming to our ancestors in nearly real time. And how much of it is actually real and not just an interpretation of some journalist spicing it up to attract our attention to sell advertising. So what do we do with all that information. I mean is staying informed and on top of current events something we should reject? How do we selectively get the information that doesn't interfere with our new paradigm? Wow, it will be a tough row to hoe.

Jeff said...

Excellent points by both you and Keith, Mike. To expound and interject my own thoughts on all this, I believe I have no control over anything or anybody. The only thing I have control over is myself, so I have to make decisions and act in an appropriate manner to elicit the outcomes that are best for me. Obviously I'm not perfect at this. We all make mistakes, learn from them, and our life evolves from birth to death as a result. Also, our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes do the same thing. Paul stated he thought I fit the grand machine scenario, and that may be. Sometimes I believe we are floating around in our lives relying on serendipity. I also believe we have interconnecting roles that we commonly use to advance civilization , those of us that find and use our gifts that is. We had to or we wouldn't have made it this far as a civilization. I believe each and every one of us are born with at least one gift, and it is our personal responsibility to find out what that gift is and utilize it. Did I always think this way? No! It is something that evolved in my thought process as I grew intellectually through the course of my life subconsciously inculcating all of my life experiences. I try and bring these very ideas to the minds of my students every year. Is that not the essence of the integral spirit? So I think I am an example of a coalescence of the grand machine and the integral spirit. Which I will this day forth refer to as "the integral grand machine spirit."

Keith said...

@Sue I think the message is "believe in yourself".

Keith said...

@Paul Scary. Sounds like a conspiracy.

Susan said...

@Keith Yes, I struggle with that in a big way. I've been doing this at a very personal level most of my life. Perhaps that's why I lack understanding and knowledge of certain things. I try but for some reason I am stuck, for a lack any other way of putting it.

Keith said...

I like the integral grand machine spirit and you have a follower. The one thing that puzzles me is concerning our having made it this far as a civilization or at least as a species. There have been lots of start stops for civilizations over the course of say the past 30 to 50 thousand years and we seem to have high opinion of ourselves as a intelligent beings, then I think of other mammals who seem to have attained a level of stability and harmony within their own species especially the primates without all this self psycho analysis need to determine where they need to go to save themselves from possible self extinction and destruction of the planet. I mean we really have to work at it while it all seems to come so naturally and having already reached a stable state as long as we leave them alone. It depresses me to think of how perfect this world would have been had it NOT been for humans coming onto the scene. I guess maybe that is what the real Garden of Eden story is all about. That is why the whole Distant Patriarch narrative seems so ridiculous. Why would a God screw up such an idyllic world with the injection of humans?

Jeff said...

I tell you what Keith, I don't watch the news anymore. I read the newspaper everyday to stay up with current events, but I don't let it effect my life or get my dander up. In all reality, none of it affects our life so much that we need to lose sleep over it (i.e. stress out). For example, I hate paying taxes at the level I pay them, but I have learned to ignore it and adjust my life accordingly. No matter what happens around me I just adjust and move on. And I'm a happier person as a result. Again, I can't change or control what other people do, just my response to it.

Paul might being saying right about now, "Bullshit. You watched the entire Zimmerman trial." That wasn't news. That was entertainment and a learning experience. I have a concealed weapon permit and carry a gun everywhere I go. I learned quite a bit about the law in so far as self defense is concerned. Also, I learned how your life can be totally ruined by defending yourself if you are not careful how you conduct yourself in the situation.

Jeff said...

@Paul I find it quite disconcerting all this agreeable shit. That's the quickest way to make me lose interest.

Jeff said...

@Keith
Exactly! Especially when He's suppose to know what is going to happen before it does. If I had that ability, I would have thrown that plan right in the trash.

Sojka's Call said...

In a way you hit on what ejected us from the Garden of Eden (except you ascribed it to God). It was the human's ability to parse time. With that ability we learned to make predictions about the future. Once that happened we left the present moment which is where the animals live.

Back to what the author wrote. My takeaway was that he was saying our current societal structures do not reflect an integral approach which I agree with. I don't expect them to at this point since there are still so many people living in the patriarchal (Old Testament) world or the Grand Machine (intellectual/scientist) world. Once enough folks transition to an integral spirit way of thinking things will change all by themselves. People will just know what is right in the new model and do it and it will be completely natural.

Paul said...

I Know if Michael and I agree too much It wont be any fun for you. Or is that funner.

Paul said...

I am reading the Bible right now from beginning to end. I just finished Joshua and am now starting Judges. The point you just brought up Keith and Jeff was addressed in Deuteronomy. It was at the end in one of the top 100 most asked questions. Here it is.

If God is all knowing then why does God allow bad things to happen?
No one knows the mind of God, except for God himself. He is infinite; we are finite. We are not entirely clueless about his character, however, because God speaks to us through his Word. According to the Bible, one reason bad things happen is because the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1Jn 5:19). That's why Jesus taught us to ask God to deliver us from the evil one when we pray (Mt 6:13). Even in the Garden of Eden - in paradise, before Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit - Satan was already there, waiting to tempt them to disobey God (Ge 3: 1-6).
Another reason bad things happen is because people sin. The reason why God allows people to sin and be tempted to sin is to test our character, faith, and love of God. We don't have to Sin. God gave us free will
(Dt 29:29). What we do know is that when bad things happen, we should not rage against God. To revolt against God is to fall prey to the devil. The devil is a liar (Jn 8:44) and wants us to believe that God is blameworthy. But the Bible says that God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1Jn 1:5). God is not the enemy; Satan is the enemy. Through his Spirit God empowers us to war against the enemy by following Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior - during good times and bad times.



Now don't argue with me about anything in the above paragraph. I just typed what was written in my Bible. I am still searching for answers myself.. I had not read the Bible in a long time. So many put so much stock and faith in it I decided to read every word of it. Some of it is pretty rough but that's for another discussion. When we see all these bad things happen do we blame God or if we don't believe in god do we just say well that's the way things are? Or do we fight evil, do we educate the ignorant, do we change the world . What is your participation in humanity going to be?

Sojka's Call said...

It seems prudent to realize that what you wrote is NOT in the bible. There is no 100 most asked questions and answers in the Bible. You wrote someones interpretation of what the answer would be.

Jeff said...

Okay, first of all, I'm not going to argue with you about God. That would be counterproductive. If you want to believe and have faith in God that is your personal journey and far be it for anyone to convince you of anything in that regard. I went through that journey several years ago and came out of it with a better understanding of Christianity. I just happen to have very serious reservations about an entity that requires me to stand on faith alone of something that happened so very long ago.

Secondly, you, me or anyone cannot force anyone else to do anything. (When we see all these bad things happen do we blame God or if we don't believe in god do we just say well that's the way things are? Or do we fight evil, do we educate the ignorant, do we change the world? What is your participation in humanity going to be?) All these questions you ask except the last one refer to us making other people change their behavior. You cannot change anyone. The only person you can change is yourself. You can't even change your core, you are who you are, but you can change how you respond and you can change your behavior. The last question is personal. I said previously in this thread that we are all born with at least one gift and it is our responsibility to find out what that gift is and use it. Most people don't even think in those terms, but utilizing our gifts is our contribution to humanity.

Jeff said...

There in lies another problem. If you are not a true believer then the word of God (the Bible) can be translated a plethora of ways and will end up being nonsense to you. Nothing is straight forward concerning God. Why does that book need to be translated so heavily?

Paul said...

I will not argue the point either. Its all personal and as I said I am still searching for answers myself. It just seemed to be a darn good place to start when basically all of Christian Humanity go by this book. I know you have read the Bible Jeff. If anyone in this thread has not read the Bible from beginning to end you might want to try it. Lots of information and it will help you to really understand others around you. If you get nothing else out of it that in itself is always important.

Sojka's Call said...

i have no problem with you quoting verses from the good book that make sense to you. Things get dicey for me when you feel compelled to quote some panel of theologians interpretation and not let us know that up front.

Paul said...

Well why I was in the shower I got to thinking that their answer is in the bible. If you read their answer they quoted or labeled the chapter and verse where they got their answer from. So don't let it get to dicey for you its what the Bible says. And what's wrong with a panel of highly educated Theologians who have made their whole life the bible help you out a little when reading the good book. Do with it what you want. I also did not say that it made sense to me, Where did you get that? It was a direct response to something both Keith and Jeff brought up. I thought I was very clear on that. And I did let you know that it was an answer to a question at the end of Deuteronomy. I was also very clear on that so I did let you know up front. Man you missed a lot!!!!! Re read what I wrote.

Sojka's Call said...

Jeff, you said that you think we are all born with at least one gift. What makes you think that, do you know what yours is, and do you think this gift is obvious to each one of us?

Jeff said...

Paul, it appears you are searching for something. I hope you find it.

Jeff said...

To expound on the question itself, instead of, "why does God allow bad things to happen?" I would have asked, "why does God allow bad things to happen to good people and good things to happen to bad people?" The answer may or may not have been the same, but it had the feel of an incomplete question.

And Mike, I thought it was obvious the question was not a part of the bible, but rather a question posed that allowed a biblical answer translated by theologians. I can't see that Paul did anything wrong or dishonest.

Jeff said...

@Susan I'm going to dodge your first question because I'm not sure. I need to think about what makes me think we all have a gift/gifts. However, yes I know my gift. In regards to our gifts being obvious, maybe, maybe not. It depends on the individual I guess. Mine is obvious to me. Often times we have gifts and use them and aren't even aware it's a gift. I haven't really ever thought about that. Good question. You used to play the violin (I don't know if you still do), that could be a gift. I've heard Paul sing, that ain't his gift (LMAO! Sorry that was there I had to use it). It could be something, seemingly, insignificant or something really huge, like running the country. We've seen Obama at work, and we know that isn't his gift either (couldn't help throwing that in too).

Sojka's Call said...

i hate beating a horse but guess this one is not dead. Paul wrote: Now don't argue with me about anything in the above paragraph. I just typed what was written in my Bible.

And, I was pointing out that 100 q & a's are not in the Bible. Let's let this little side note rest. It really is meaningless at this point (I hope).

An integral spirit approach to these questions (I think) would mean not asking these questions. They are unanswerable in the paradigm of the Great Father. Once one understands things from the integral spirit perspective they would not ask that question anymore.

Paul said...

Well its not something I am consumed with Jeff. I kind of figure my whole life is a search or learning experience. I am not expecting any definitive answer.

Paul said...

I really enjoy singing. I know I suck though. But I am not going to stop.

Sojka's Call said...

OK - I was not going to get into this one but feel inspired. Looking for a specific "gift" from God within yourself is an ego ploy. That does not mean we don't all have our role to play. Everyone is part of the whole. Without everyone there is no whole. So, everyone's gift is that they are part of the whole and without them the whole would not exist.

I don't think it is more complicated than that. Once one operates from a level of wholeness you will automatically exercise the exact correct action you should do every moment. The action could be inactivity, heroism, kind words, eating, or yanking someone out of the way of a bus. But, you will not be analyzing what to do and then make your choice. You will instinctively know what to do. If you had to analyze every moment to determine your next action you would end up with analysis-paralysis.

Sojka's Call said...

@Paul just do it when no one else can hear.....

Paul said...

I guess you have not looked at a bible lately. Many bibles are interactive and have side bars in them with explanations. Even Moms Old King James version is full of side bar discussions, quotes and facts, and interpretations. Its a large house bible. My new one is also that way. Unless all you have is just a pocket bible or one you carry to church they are just a simple bible. Every large house Bible I have seen have lots of other information and explanations. They are this way because they are used for Bible studies and family discussions. I am sorry I thought you knew this.

Susan said...

@Jeff The violin, um no. I sucked at it. I began playing at it in the 5th grade. When mom and dad stopped renting it, and bought me one. I felt obligated to play until I graduated from HS. I actually hated it. If I have a gift, I don't know what it is. I've actually thought about this long before this came up here.

Paul said...

@SojkasCall I am really knocking it out boy when I am on delivery in my truck. Hey Logan and Blue appreciate my voice.

Jeff said...

@Paul And you shouldn't.

Jeff said...

@SojkasCall I'm not so sure about that, Mike. It is in all of our nature (human nature) to ask why. I don't care what approach you are working from. We are by nature a curious species. Other animals, even primates, don't question anything. They just accept what is. That is one of the elements that separates our species from the rest. Even working from the integral spirit approach, one would not lose their curiosity, would they? If so, fuck that approach. I enjoy being curious even if I don't like the answer.

Sojka's Call said...

You are correct that we should not lose our curiosity. I think though that the types of questions and focus of our inquiry will change. That is what I was trying to say.

Maybe an apt analogy that comes to mind would be the study of electrical currents. Once you understand the binary (positive and negative) you would stop asking questions about why is there positive and negative electrons (good and bad) and focus on how to build circuits that can use the electricity (the good and bad together flow to create something else). IDK - does that make sense? It is difficult to find words for something that on one level is beyond language but certainly not beyond our understanding. Like the Heinlein science fiction book, Stranger in a Strange Land, you just "grok" the idea.

Jeff said...

Ahh, I think you misunderstand me. Let me try this approach after I've slept on it. First of all, I never was alluding to gifts from God. I don't really believe there is a God, so how could he give me a gift. Not that there is anything wrong with people who do. Instead of the word gift, let me try and use the word "ability." We all have an ability/abilities that can be used, by the individual, to make the "whole" better. I was only suggesting that one needs to pay attention to what their ability is and use it. No matter how small or how big that ability is, by utilizing it, as oppose to ignoring it, the whole is benefitted by it. I believe that squarely fits into the model of the integral grand machine spirit. The word gift seems like a more accurate word than ability, to me, but I think it clears up my meaning. I hope.

Now for something completely different. It has been stated many times in our threads that data and factual sources are the most important source of information to derive a conclusion through analysis, and I have been criticized for using gut feel. I read something recently that got me to thinking (oh shit). All of us have a gut feel based on an aggregate of our life experiences. We use this gut feel all the time without even realizing it. I don't care how logical ones mind works, we base our actions and decisions, often times, on gut feel. Even if we are also using data. My point is this, ones gut feel is accurate most of the time. Our first immediate reaction to something often times turns out to be correct (admittedly, not always). What made my mind go off in this direction was your comment, "The action could be inactivity, heroism, kind words, eating, or yanking someone out of the way of a bus. But, you will not be analyzing what to do and then make your choice. You will instinctively know what to do. If you had to analyze every moment to determine your next action you would end up with analysis-paralysis." So, gut feel can be characterized as instinct. Just a thought...

Jeff said...

Okay, I got you. We are in agreement then...SOB!

Sojka's Call said...

@Jeff
Good points that show the difficulty of using language to convey complex ideas. One book I am reminded of is the Tao Te Ching which when one reads it, seems to talk in riddles and sometimes contradicts itself. Yet, those techniques have shown to be the best way to convey an idea that is, at this point in our language skills, beyond our language.

Whether you use the word ability or gift, my mind wanders into this place where I see the concept tied into a personal ego. Then I get stuck on that and cannot go further. Yet, I get a vague sense you are talking about something else yet I cannot really see it.

Funny, how our minds work. That is why humor, letting go of the outcome, not making judgements of right/wrong, etc are so important. Otherwise, we get stuck and cannot flow with the process unfolding so beautifully in front of us.

Susan said...

@Jeff You answered my question about "the gift." I wondered if you meant ability. Sometimes they are synonymous and sometimes they are not.

Jeff said...

@Susan
"Whether you use the word ability or gift, my mind wanders into this place where I see the concept tied into a personal ego. Then I get stuck on that and cannot go further. Yet, I get a vague sense you are talking about something else yet I cannot really see it."

These statements you made is precisely why I didn't state what I know my gift to be. I didn't want anyone to think I was being egotistical. It is good enough to know your abilities without broadcasting them. It is only important that we utilize what we were given. Nothing more, nothing less. In other words, it only becomes tied into a personal ego if you go around bragging about it. Be comfortable with the knowledge that you are contributing even if it's only in a small way. That small contribution may be all that is required of you to make the whole function efficiently.

Sojka's Call said...

@Jeff Grokking!!

Jeff said...

@SojkasCall Alright, I'll bite. The first time you used the word I thought it was a typo, and I, therefore, ignored it. What the hell is grokking.? And it better be good (I've put pressure on you now). See curiosity got the better of me.

Keith said...

Jeff your are definitely in the zone on this thread.

Keith said...

And it all depends upon what Bible you are quoting from. It is also necessary to understand the history of the Catholic Church and how we ended up with only those books of the Bible as decreed at the council of Nicea in 325 rejecting a whole group of others because it didn't fit the narrative that the apostolic church was selling at the time. That history and the subsequent sects which were determined as heresies for those who didn't follow the "one true church" were coupled with significant penalties. Had those books been included it would have been a completely different following of Christ who hadn't prior to that time elevated him to the level of a diety. Subsequently, only those who knew how to interpret or whose interpretation was deemed correct were to be listened to. Even in my Catholic upbringing and attendance at a Catholic High Schowe were not exposed to the Bible until my freshman year religion class where we were guided through the Old and New Testament. Didn't even know there were other books of the bible not included until I was an adult. The emphasis at the time, as any Catholics will recall was the Sunday Missal deemed to contain everything you needed to know by the reverend clergy. The gospels and dominus vobiscum and et cum spiritu tuo. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa...

Keith said...

Amazing. The one gift thing I also took from the character Curley Bill played by Jack Palance in City Slickers with Billy Crystal on the cattle drive. I always have found that to be one of the most sage lines of a movie I have every seen. And it was a hilarious comedy as well.

Keith said...

Another with what I consider sage advice, Joseph Campbell states we should "follow your bliss" and you will find your gift and happiness.

Jeff said...

@Keith Oh my god!!!!!!!! That's where I got it. I couldn't remember where I got that idea. Thank you, oh thank you. LOL! Just joking around with my students, when I'm finished with a lesson, I always ask my students, "are there any questions...about anything, the meaning of life, anything?" Every once in a while a kid will ask, "what is the meaning of life?" To which I will hold up my index finger. That is so friggin' funny.

Jeff said...

@Keith Amen to that.

Sojka's Call said...

Sorry - I thought everyone knew the word grok. I did provide the reference in my first email. Check this out.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok

the wiki has everything!

Sojka's Call said...

for reference.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k1uOqRb0HU

I did not remember this scene and had to look it up

Jeff said...

Oh, that was good! We truly are grokking now.

Jeff said...

That's just great! You got that Sue? That's where I got that gift idea.

Keith said...

The meaning of life. The reply I like best aside from the index finger signifying "one thing" is "it is whatever you make it". It is up to us to give it meaning. Kinda simple and circular but for me makes sense.

Jeff said...

Absolutely it makes sense. The meaning of life is personal and different for everyone.

Keith said...

Hey this is better than paying a lot of money for a therapy session. We have accomplished a lot with this thread. Rejected the news cycle as a basis for anything really meaningful, sorted out the new direction of the foundations for belief for the human race, determined the key to personal happiness, and on top of that solved the mystery of what is the meaning of life. What more could one ask for?

Sojka's Call said...

Indeed! I was going to throw something else into the mix but hesitate because I like the vibe of where this is as well. I need to enjoy the good feeling for a while.

Keith said...

Hmmm...that trait of humans alone, curiosity, isn't that the one that whole Fall from the Garden of Eden is about. Eating of the Tree of Knowledge is what got humans in trouble. Or is it all just a metaphor for what distinguishes us from animals. Perhaps this so called "original sin" is really a misinterpretation of the burden and at the same time inate trait as humans. The loss of the ability to live in the now, curiosity and time based awareness and worry concerning the future, coupled with guilt with regards to our actions if deemed unacceptable (although I have detected great guilt in my dog when he did something he knew was wrong). Something about that whole Garden of Eden thing that didn't ring true until you brought up the curiosity thing. Not like a cat, but one that involves intellectual questioning.

Susan said...

@Jeff Yeah, I got it. I remember that line too. In fact, I can hear him in my head saying it. Lol
I figured you had gotten it from a line in a movie because that's where you get a lot of the Schtuff that you quote, I mean, say. Ha ha. I'm hear.
I'm listening to all of y'all. Lol
I know what your gift is Jeff.

Susan said...

Who started the thread? I'd have to go all the way back to check. ��

Susan said...

I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside too.

Jeff said...

@Susan Okay! That will be $100, thank you.

Sojka's Call said...

wow! an amazing thread and all thanks to Bob who said he liked to talked religion and politics and that made the original article attractive to me for starting a new topic. So, even though Bob had little input on this he provided the initial impetus without consciously knowing it.

That is what the whole enchilada is about. It takes surrender (letting of the personal ego and trying to control outcomes), trust (believe that everything is OK/will happen/is in balance/ is right), and gratitude (thanking our lucky stars/God/spirit/??? for being conscious and everything we currently have). Those three actions/attitudes/core beliefs will yield a state of grace (warm and fuzzy) sometimes when everything is harmonized.

Susan said...

Well then, thank you Bob for the idea and thank you Mike for taking him up on it. Hope my friends and family didn't scare you off. You and I have had several conversations along some of these lines. If whatever you say is offensive, or not, we can take it. I've listened to Mike and Paul go at it and wondered if they hated each other but that's not the case...I believe. You never know what will spark a long thread. Even though I say very little I follow along for the enjoyment, enlightenment, and education.