Faith and Understanding
edited: Tuesday, December 21, 2010
By Regis Auffray
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010
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An article by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.
Faith and Understanding
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha'Tara]
"Faith is believing in things that common sense says aren't real." (Miracle on 34th Street)
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (the Bible, KJV)
Sometimes just pure logic doesn't work. For example, in spring the snow melts at the lower levels but remains on the higher mountain peaks. Logic alone would indicate that since tall mountains are closer to the sun, the snow would melt first at higher elevations. When I think about that, even common sense would indicate the same thing. But as we know, there are other forces at work beyond logic and common sense and sometimes our conclusions drawn from simple observations are stood on their heads by other interpretations of what is.
Logic and common sense – faith and imagination. Are they mutually exclusive? Does one come before the other? Does one drive the other? Do they exchange places at times? There's an idea for the thinking cap. Let's see what comes up as I try to answer those questions for myself.
A while back I remember writing about miracles and coincidences. I was rather harsh on the miracle side of things if memory serves. But then, like the mother in "Miracle on 34th Street" I don't trust easily because it's a sure thing that trusting will get you swindled or hurt in some way. If there is one well-known character that's sure to leave you hanging, it has to be God. I have this from the best of authority: my own experience. So it's best to bet on sure things. Unusual things can happen, do happen, but instead of believing that God makes them happen, and will consistently do it again when asked, I think it's safer to believe it's coincidental. I think that if God made things happen, he'd make sure we knew it was him, and not just happenstance. The proof is simple: by using the same "prayer" to access God's will in the matter, a similar occurrence can be repeated. Any genuine miracle must be more than a verifiable unnatural act, it must be reliably replicable on demand. We expect this of our machines, and even our professionals, surely we can't expect less of God.
For those who just love to argue this point: no, it cannot depend on another person's faith in the matter. That's the cruncher and the clincher. When God and the Believer truly team up to heal someone of some affliction, how the "patient" believes does not matter at all. The deed will be done regardless. True faith broaches no argument and does not allow for dissimulation. A matter of knowing, not understanding.
In "Miracle" the lawyer friend of old Kris Kringle was able to prove that he was Santa Claus. But his case hinged on a complete coincidence and the verdict was based on a technicality. Had the judge not been so self-serving, he would have ruled differently. On the other hand, could it have been a miracle? Could some "force" have played on the minds of post office workers, giving them the idea to deliver all their Santa Claus mail to the court house where the Kris Kringle trial was going on? This is where it really gets interesting because if we allow for some "divine" or "spirit" intervention, we re-open Pandora's box of individual interpretation of what can only be understood through faith.
I think the word "understood" here is an overstatement. Faith does not explain anything, therefore does not contribute to any understanding. That is its great weakness and why it can be manipulated by zealots, greedy fools and snake-oil salesmen of various colors.
"Anything that interferes with understanding should be discarded." (The redemption of Althalus by David and Leigh Eddings) Well, there you go. Understanding comes after everything else. After faith, after common sense, logic, observation and experience. After these have fought it out in the mind and a decision is arrived at and a stand is made, that's understanding, then? Yes and No. It's personal understanding but it's not the kind that can be given to another. That is why "organized" religion is such an oxymoron; the abode of hypocrites; of people with no understanding whose faith remains in the realms of the imaginary. They believe without experience; without evidence, except for mountains of man-made events, man-centered collectives, buildings, properties, programs and misinterpretation of poorly collated ancient anthologies.
Just like the people of New York who believed an old man named Kris Kringle who kept a long white beard and spoke Dutch was Santa Claus. They believed it because the Post Office delivered mail addressed to Santa Claus to the court house and this dovetailed with another set of beliefs: that a government institution cannot be wrong. But what was the institution's motivation? To get rid of stacks of letters addressed to Santa Claus clogging its dead letter containers. What a serendipitous set of coincidences!
Does faith necessarily interfere with understanding? I don't think so. Riding a tricycle does not interfere with learning to ride a two-wheeler. In terms of understanding, I'd say that faith is a sort of kindergarten. When you are first born, your entire days are lived by faith that the giants who surround you will take care of your basic, and at that point, your only needs. What choice do you have? None. Faith then, is for those who have no choice but to believe. Interesting. Can there be understanding when there is no choice? Categorically no. Faith is when you cannot know. So you accept. As the child's thinking is molded through acceptance of the parents' ways, so is the believer; the faith person. Eventually such faith becomes complacency. As some "children" remain in the home until the parents die, the mind comfortable with faith no longer seeks for understanding on its own. It wallows in the troughs of religious, political and financial offerings and programming and it creates a deadly path for all kinds of charlatans, greedy swindlers and psychopaths to take over the reins of the powers that such childish, lazy faith relies on. Take this a few steps further, look at your current society as it implodes all around you, and see the cause and effect.
Do you understand, truly understand, what is happening right now on a global scale? What all the fuss is about? Where your 7 billion Earthian compadres are heading? Do you know why things are as they are? Do you even realize things are as they are; that they are not just following a natural ebb and flow of changes? Probably not. You are looking for that silver lining on the darkening clouds of political and economic disintegration; the rainbow after the storm. Your faith in the System is still strong, whatever your faith is focused on. You won't lose your house; you won't be divorcing; you won't be denied that loan; your job is secure; your kids aren't drug addicts; no one close to you is about to be murdered, or run over by a drunk driver. Your health is good. And certainly your country isn't about to be invaded by some unexpected enemy and overrun and you won't be taken to a work camp or lose your family in the debacle. No natural catastrophe is about to strike your land, either of earthquake, flood, drought, hurricane, tornado or such. What does your faith tell you? That such things only happen to others. Usually far, far away. Right. No need to give it any more thought, or have some understanding part of the mind open to such eventuality and prepared to deal with it, through self-empowerment, common sense, and some degree of logic. Even if you allow for these possibilities, this is still a "religious" world, and there's always God, or some aspect of God, to fill in the blanks left by the other Powers should they fail you.
All's well. There is no need to change the way we've been taught to believe and programmed never to engage the thinking process beyond satisfying our basic needs, desires and pleasures. Faith's mandate is to see that people never leave their mind kindergarten, never evolve beyond the simplistic and the silly taught by the preacher priests of the Powers of religion, politics and economics. The question here is, is this really faith? Or false faith?
I think that all ISSA* beings must have faith in some form or other, having evolved mentally beyond other creatures. They can all "see" beyond the natural world and without faith there really are no explanations for those visions. It can't all be as simple as a badly digested piece of dinner meat as Scrooge thought, can it. There is a real world out there and it encompasses a whole lot more than what our senses can probe. Life isn't just physics and biology; even space and time. We sense this, especially now that the great systems who have provided the wherewithal for the love affair we've developed with technology, and the party we've been enjoying for several decades is becoming loathe to, or incapable of, providing the means to continue. The heat is being turned off and the lights are going dim, the music is turning to nothing but worn out crooning or industrial-strength noise even as more and more people are crowding the floor to join the meaningless dance of Wal-Mart shopping and McDonalds drive-thrus.
The problem isn't faith but the misuse of faith. Continuing to use faith to rely in unseen or known to be corrupt "deities" for daily sustenance and eventual salvation leads to madness. Madness leads to fear of those who do not believe as we do. That fear inevitably leads to war and destruction. I'm not making that up, it's history.
The problem with faith is that it can mean almost anything. "I believe in" applies to so many things doesn't it. Understanding however is a horse of a different color. Unlike faith, one does not simply decide to understand something. Understanding comes from the crucible of experience. And where does experience come from? It cannot come from just one input source. Eve discovered this truth in Eden. She convinced Adam. They had help from other than the One Source they'd been warned to rely solely upon. The breakdown in Eden was a micro-event; a reflection of a macro-event that took place long before, in "heaven" and that event had already led to a cosmic war. Earth is now poised to experience another war-event, as the old Powers struggle to maintain their stranglehold upon ignorant and childish Earthians and their trite, failing, global Earthian fantasy.
What Earthians cannot see is that this coming war-event is not aimed at people at all. The forces tearing apart the social fabric of earth are not of this world. On this world, people will take sides with this or that Power. All but the very few will be victims of forces they don't undertand at all and all will lose, even those who believe they have no belief. As Frank Herbert says in his series of novels "Dune," "In war, there are no innocents." Because of faith, there are no innocents anywhere because faith is a necessary appendage of ISSA consciousness. Catch 22. Is there a way out; a path outside the realms of the Powers?
*(ISSA: Intelligent, Sentient, Self-Aware)
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|Reviewed by LadyJtalks LadyJzTalkZone (Reader)
|again, what is good about passing on to ISSA being?|
|Reviewed by Micki Peluso
|Well thought out commentary--trying to answer what has no answer, yet is the answer."Logic and common sense – faith and imagination" the first two come from the brain/mind, the next two from the essence soul, whatever it is that makes us who we are. Whatever creator made us gave us free will and stepped back to see what we would do--how different would it have been had we not been given that doubled-edged sword--I wonder. Good job!!
|Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK
|If You Regis Live Be 75 Or Whatever--It Is Not Faith Got You There It Simply Is Was Balls, Blood Sweat Tears...If You're Poor You Are Honest-Hasn't F--ken Thing Do With Faith=
Religion As Jesus Freaks Is CRUTCH For You Those Of You Are Weak...
The Meek (Weak)Shall Inherit This (Holy Hell) Earth...
Ignorance Is Bliss...
Read In Bible...Really (God) Could Care Less..
I Am Realist Not An Idealist...
.......(God) Threw Out The Rope
.......Either You As I Hang On To It
.......Or You Hang Yourself(s) In(Lasso)Loop
.......Most Certainly Humans You Humanity Has Done Just That
.......HANG YOURSELF(S) IN THE LOOP...
|Reviewed by Ronald Hull
|Knowledge is power. As you put in many words, Faith is for the powerless. A recent illustration of 'numbers' I showed you shows most Earthians being poor, unhealthy, and short lived in 1800, to becoming healthy, wealthy, and long-lived today. The only thing left out was what was happening to the Earth as a result.
Hence my optimism that while 70% of us leave our lives to fate, more and more are throwing off the blind faith in religion and will become adult enough to make the transition.
|Reviewed by JASMIN HORST SEILER
|What is coincidence? You are rattling my cage, shouting God where you are, and something of what you call coincidence will happen, such as reading this provocative article. The mind is a great tool, but highly overrated to perceive all there is, we are only seeing shadows of the truth, and from there we can possible abstract what is, maybe. The general public accepted belief systems, and those that fog the country side with it's abstractions, the snake oil salesmen, as you so aptly call them, that enrich their collection plates and their pockets, have always been persuasive to the human psyche, and I believe, they always will be.
Comfort, is our second nature, and will for that reason most likely be the driving force of exploring anything needed for our survival, faith to some, is their biggest comfort, to others thinking or understanding, neither one in the end will heal any of our basic delusions of importance to this world. Self perpetuation, in the limits of our comfort, is where all things happen, and spring from.
No one has the answer; therefore, what to some are miracles, to others are coincidences, but not truly knowing what coincidences really are, or why they happen. Your article as usual is most interesting, and makes room for a lot of mind play, a wonderful pastime, thank you! Happy Holidays!
|Reviewed by Emile Tubiana
|My dear colleague Regis,
Sha'Tara just touched a very nice subject that normally no one dares bring to light.
Of course, logic doesn’t work. Sometimes there are coincidences that no one can explain.
I liked her example about the snow and the mountain peaks. I fully agree with her that there are many other forces unknown to us beyond any logic and that we cannot explain. Here we use our intelligence which has no value. This leaves the place for many who pretend being spiritually higher than us. Here is a big misunderstanding. That’s why there are various interpretations including all the Holy Scriptures. For our good understanding let us avoid the German word God. Let’s say there are powers above every comprehension. I call them sacred invisible forces within ourselves. Even if many expect that these forces can do everything, we can also say that these forces have their own law and rule which no one can break including themselves. Faith explains our limit. I agree with you about the “religion” without however wanting to define them.
|Reviewed by Lew Duffey
|Regis, I didn't have time to read the whole thing but I will pick it up later. I did get to the part about being self-serving and we are. Who are we thinking of when we say Lord help me? You are right about the faith. Paul did not ask Christ to meet him on the road that day. He hated Christ. I guess the Father and the Son said, "we have to do something about that guy.
God bless and Merry CHRISTmas!