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Author Topic:   What Benefits Are Only Available Through God?
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11761
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 76 of 166 (798262)
02-01-2017 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Stile
02-01-2017 10:22 AM


Re: Hope this helps
I think it's very important that we acknowledge that each and every one of us is "the authority" on our own personal feelings.

I don't think so. Take "The Muse" for example: When I'm being creative and I get an inspiration, it can very much feel like the source is not my self. In order to really get the full fruit of the inspiration, you have to submit to it and let go of your control over it. That, to me, is very much not being the authority on that personal feeling.

I don't think we all "feel" or "experience feelings" in the same way. I think that such things are partly shaped by our physiology but also shaped by our experiences and current understandings.

Well, there's the "mechanical" (or chemical) underlying framework that is in place that I would think is similar across the board. How we respond to those things, though, is going to vary by person.

I don't think that having feelings separates us from the animals. I think that how we react to the feelings we receive is what separates us. That is, I think animals experience feelings as well... but we tend to call them "instincts" when animals are concerned due to how they instantly react and "choose" a course of action.

I don't mean to say that animals don't have feelings. I think I was talking about those feelings in particular, if you know what I mean. And I do think that we experience feelings that the other animals do not. But yes, what we do with those feelings and how we respond to them is certainly our own thing. And I would consider instincts a distinct subset of feelings, in general. We certainly have instincts, and feel them, but there is a set of non-instinctual feelings that, if the animals are having them too, are playing a much larger role in our day-to-day lives.

That we can use our sentience to analyze those feelings and do with them what we will, is a whole 'nother level that I don't see the animals being a part of.

My point on this is that we need to figure out what type of person we are, and move on from there.

My point is that people are over-confident in their selfs and that submitting to your feelings under the guise of you not being fully in control of them allows for people to understand that they are not, actually, the sole authority on their personal feelings.

There is more inside of you than your self, and there's power in realizing that you're not dependent on only your self in finding the will and drive to achieve your goals.

For me, it's the other way around. My individual willpower seems (and always has been) an unending, seemingly-infinite source of motivational power that has always (in my personal experience, of being me) been stronger than any and all external forces ever acting upon me in my life.

I'm not saying you're wrong. In fact, in my view, I expect many people to be the way you're describing... that the external power is larger and stronger than anything you've ever experienced.

No, forget "external". This is all internal. Perhaps what you are referring to as your "individual willpower" ties in to what I'm referring to.

Are you in complete control of your will? If you have the will to do something, can you simply decide to change that into desiring something different? Or, is it more like your will is this thing that provides to you those desires that you then pursue?

I guess "willpower" could be used as a term for the power to pursue what your will has provided you, or, the strength of the things, themselves, that the will has provided you.

I could see it either way: You could be talking about the willpower as the strength that you, yourself, have in doing what you want. Or it could be talking about the strengths of your wants, regardless of how good you are at doing them.

Either way, I have the will separated out from the self so that it is thing that is providing to you, yourself, the things that you want to do. Your mileage may vary.

In fact, in my view, I expect many people to be the way you're describing... that the external power is larger and stronger than anything you've ever experienced.

It's internal. It's just that it is not from "me". Does that change your response?

quote:
I don't think we can "know" whether or not such things are externally provided or internally created.

Perhaps I should call it: "internally provided".

Its not from me, I'm listening to it. Am I just listening to myself? I dunno, but there's the me that's doing the listening and it's different than whatever it is that is doing the providing.

Are there two me's? Hell, I am a Gemini

In that way, a benefit that is only available through God would be the meeting the goal that you could not achieve on your own by yourself.

And this, I agree with. However, this is what I describe as "individual benefits for specific people" as opposed to some sort of "general, objective benefit that would work for everyone."

I suppose it could be phrased so that it generally applies to everyone is some sort of tautological way... but I don't think that's what you're looking for.

I wouldn't say there nothing I can't do on my own.
I'm only saying I get "my most powerful feeling of motivation and purpose" from inside myself (as far as I can tell, anyway).

Yeah, me too. I'm saying that power is not coming from my "self", though.

I'm looking more for something that only God can provide.

That's kinda what I was getting at: the power to achieve that which you cannot yourself.

Not things like "I'm happier than I've ever been!"... that's fantastic, but I'm happier than I've ever been without God...

So you think

so this doesn't seem to be something that only God can provide.

How would you know?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Stile, posted 02-01-2017 10:22 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Stile, posted 02-01-2017 3:25 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 77 of 166 (798286)
02-01-2017 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by New Cat's Eye
02-01-2017 12:08 PM


Re: Hope this helps
New Cat's Eye writes:

Stile writes:

I think it's very important that we acknowledge that each and every one of us is "the authority" on our own personal feelings.

I don't think so. Take "The Muse" for example: When I'm being creative and I get an inspiration, it can very much feel like the source is not my self. In order to really get the full fruit of the inspiration, you have to submit to it and let go of your control over it. That, to me, is very much not being the authority on that personal feeling.

We're missing each other here.

When I say "the authority on our own personal feelings" I mean this:

If I look deep in thought, and you come up to me, and think I'm sad, and ask me how I'm doing... and I say "I'm happy." But you then say, "nope, I saw you... you're sad."

This is what I'm talking about. As long as you don't think I'm lying... If I say I'm happy, I'm "the authority on my own personal feelings" in the sense that you don't get to say I'm sad just because you think my deep-in-thought-face looked sad to you.

Here, I'm not really talking about where the feeling comes from, but more what the feeling actually is (to the person feeling it).

This gets into things like comparing happiness. Is this even possible?
Are you happier than me? Am I happier? How can such a thing be judged? On some level, it can be... that is, if you are crying and profess that you are sad... and I'm laughing and profess to be happy... then obviously I am "happier" than you.

But what if we are both laughing and profess to be happy?
Does the width or size of the smile matter?
What if someone's nerves in their mouth no longer work due to an accident? Is their happiness forbidden?

These are the sorts of questions I intend to deal with when I mention someone being "the authority on the feelings they have."

Not "where those feelings actually come from."

There is more inside of you than your self

Are you talking more of a conscious vs unconscious kind of thing?
That is... I may like chocolate.. but why do I like chocolate?
If I get the urge to eat some chocolate, I did not consciously decide-to-get-an-urge... so it came from "not myself?"

I certainly agree with this... concept.

and there's power in realizing that you're not dependent on only your self in finding the will and drive to achieve your goals.

But I still only agree with this if you add on to the end for some people.

Are you in complete control of your will?

No.
In the sense that I don't decide-to-get-an-urge-to-eat-chocolate... I just "get the urge."
In the sense that I don't want to feel road-rage when I get cut-off in traffic, I just do... then I have to deal with it so I don't ram my vehicle into the "offender."

If you have the will to do something, can you simply decide to change that into desiring something different?

Yes.
At least, for some things.
For example: road-rage. I get cut-off... I am filled with the will, the desire, the neeeeeed to ram my car straight into his candy ass.
But I decide to change that into desiring something different.
I think of my wife, my friends, having to go to jail if I followed my desire of road-rage and never seeing them again.
And it melts away.
My desire changes.
My will changes.
I no longer have a will or desire to crash into the jerk.
I just smile and laugh at "the jerk" and continue with my own more-conscious desires for the day.

In fact, I have never come across a will-I-did-not-want-to-have that I have not been able to change or "release" (may be a better word?) and replace with another will that I do actually want.

Some, I have not tried to change.
Like, I did not choose to love my wife... I loved her when I met her.. and now I want to love her more and more.

Can I choose to not love her?
I don't know. And I really don't care to try and find out, either.
Based on my experiences, I think I could, theoretically... but I would require some other motivation that I desired in order to make the change... some reason to not love her any more. Maybe she cheats on me? Maybe I become a terrible, horrible person?

and there's power in realizing that you're not dependent on only your self in finding the will and drive to achieve your goals.

This is what I mean... for me, there's power in realizing that I am dependent on my self in finding the will and drive to achieve my goals.

Does this mean you're wrong? I don't think so.
I think it just means we're different.

I work this way, you work that way.

Or, is it more like your will is this thing that provides to you those desires that you then pursue?

This is true for me sometimes.
But I can also mold my will to whatever-it-is-I-want-it-to-be if I "get one" I don't like.

Unless, of course, I'm miss-understanding you again.

Your mileage may vary.

That's exactly my point.
Except my point is that your mileage may very a hell of a lot depending on just "how different" we really are.

New Cat's Eye writes:

Stile writes:

In fact, in my view, I expect many people to be the way you're describing... that the external power is larger and stronger than anything you've ever experienced.

It's internal. It's just that it is not from "me". Does that change your response?

Not the sentiment of my response, but it does change my wording in order to facilitate communication so we're closer to the same page. I'd now say:

In fact, in my view, I expect many people to be the way you're describing... that the internal, not-from-their-conscious "self" power is larger and stronger than anything they've ever experienced.

But I'd still say that, to me, my internal, fully conscious self is the most-powerful thing I've ever experienced.

Again, I think it has to do with some combination of physiology, experience and understanding.
Maybe one of us is wrong.
Maybe we're both right to some degree.
Maybe we're both absolutely right, just "right for ourselves individually" (my theory/stance/argument).

I can say this:

I grew up in a VERY safe and stable household.
My parents rarely fought. They didn't drink, didn't do drugs, didn't gamble, didn't cheat on each other, didn't have different ideas on what to do with money, didn't have any massive wedge between them at all. They loved each other as close to a fairy tale movie than any other real-life relationship I've ever seen... they did whatever they could to provide for us and teach us life.
My childhood was extremely protected, sheltered and comfortable. Some is because of my parents, and some is just luck (really).

By the time I was introduced to the evils and terrors of the world, my brain and intelligence had grown to the point where I could understand it, understand my place in it, and understand my personal risk, involvement and illusion of safety.
I also happened to be a very athletic, physically coordinated and smart-enough boy.
Therefore, during my "formative years" I never experienced terrifying fear.
I never experienced "a situation out of my control."
I never experienced "something I couldn't practice a few times and basically master. (relative to my peers)"
I never experienced "an issue I couldn't overcome."

Now, that I'm older and more... "worldly," I've certainly experienced all these things and more. But experiencing these things after you've already developed an adult-brain is a lot different from experiencing such things during your "formative years." They affect you differently.

Is that why I am the way I am?

Maybe.
Maybe it's just lucky.
Maybe I molded myself and my environment allowed me to do so.
Maybe it's just the way I was meant to be and nothing could have changed it.
Maybe God made me this way.

I don't know.

Maybe what I just explained has nothing whatsoever to do with how I am this way.

But I am this way.
And it seems to be very different from how you are. And we both seem very different from how Phat is (just to show I don't think it's some sort of dichotomy).
In fact, whenever I get into this sort of "nitty-gritty" with anyone, it seems pretty much everyone is different on this level. Certain similarities, yes, sometimes... but always certain differences, too.

New Cat's Eye writes:

Stile writes:

I'm only saying I get "my most powerful feeling of motivation and purpose" from inside myself (as far as I can tell, anyway).

Yeah, me too. I'm saying that power is not coming from my "self", though.

Right.

As far as my understanding goes, yours is coming more from your unconscious or "not-conscious" (may describe it better?) internal-ness.
And I am saying that, for me, I definitely get such power from my fully-conscious self.

New Cat's Eye writes:

Stile writes:

Not things like "I'm happier than I've ever been!"... that's fantastic, but I'm happier than I've ever been without God...

How would you know?

The only honest answer here (as far as I can tell) is "I don't know."

But again, this comes back to comparing happiness.
Is your happiness greater than mine?

I don't know. How could we know?

I do know that I've tried the way you're describing... and it doesn't make me as happy as I am now.
I also know that the way I do things now, is the happiest I've ever been.

I'm also saying that I think it's quite possible for the way you're describing to make "you the happiest you're capable of," while my way is the way for "me to be the happiest I'm capable of" simultaneously.

The only purpose for this sentence to be here is to make the post even longer.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-01-2017 12:08 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-03-2017 12:22 PM Stile has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4300
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 78 of 166 (798313)
02-01-2017 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by Stile
01-31-2017 11:05 AM


Re: Hope this helps
Hi Stile
I am enjoying your discussion with New Cat’s Eye. I’d like to take a different approach. Your discussion is pretty much about feelings and one’s response to those feelings. You both seem to agree that we can’t know whether those feelings are totally self generated or if there is an external influence such as “the still small voice of God”.

I’d like to approach it from another direction. You said in your last response to me:

Stile writes:

I certainly agree that truth matters.


The truth is that Christianity is dependent on the belief that God resurrected Jesus. I believe that He did and I contend that there is rational, but non-conclusive evidence to support that belief. However, I’ll put myself in your shoes and assume that I do not believe that to be the case.

Firstly, I would see no need to call myself a Christian and would be much more inclined to base my life on more recent figures, much the same way you say that you have been influenced more by eastern thought or religion. Buddhism has pretty much the same social message as Christianity. Gandhi or Martin Luther King would be great figures to revere.

I would also agree that all thoughts and feelings are totally self generated. There would be really no reason to think otherwise. As a matter of fact, I don’t think we would find much to disagree about.

The question I would ask is for you to consider how you would feel about these things if you were to conclude that Jesus was resurrected by God into a new form of existence nearly 2000 years ago.

As we agree, truth matters. We can’t have absolute knowledge of the truth but we can come to a conclusion of what we believe the truth to be.

I guess my contention would be that the answer to your original question really boils down to what we believe about Jesus. How do we respond to my signature? Is it really God that is calling us to humble justice and kindness or is it just our naturalistic human nature?


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Stile, posted 01-31-2017 11:05 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Phat, posted 02-01-2017 6:03 PM GDR has responded
 Message 81 by Stile, posted 02-02-2017 10:17 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9882
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 79 of 166 (798315)
02-01-2017 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by GDR
02-01-2017 5:28 PM


Re: Hope this helps
As we agree, truth matters. We can’t have absolute knowledge of the truth but we can come to a conclusion of what we believe the truth to be.

I guess my contention would be that the answer to your original question really boils down to what we believe about Jesus. How do we respond to my signature? Is it really God that is calling us to humble justice and kindness or is it just our naturalistic human nature?

Some believe that it is the belief itself that "activates" the communion. Others believe that behavior matters and therefore the belief itself is irrelevant. Personally, I believe the former, and I think GIA is asking you to consider the belief also....even if you don't think you need it.

The peanut gallery here at EvC always pushes behavior and declares belief irrelevant. While one side says that belief matters, the other side seems to say that GOD Himself is irrelevant and that only behavior really matters...be ye atheist or Nah....


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by GDR, posted 02-01-2017 5:28 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by GDR, posted 02-01-2017 6:22 PM Phat has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4300
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 80 of 166 (798322)
02-01-2017 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Phat
02-01-2017 6:03 PM


Re: Hope this helps
Phat writes:

Some believe that it is the belief itself that "activates" the communion. Others believe that behavior matters and therefore the belief itself is irrelevant. Personally, I believe the former, and I think GIA is asking you to consider the belief also....even if you don't think you need it.

The peanut gallery here at EvC always pushes behavior and declares belief irrelevant. While one side says that belief matters, the other side seems to say that GOD Himself is irrelevant and that only behavior really matters...be ye atheist or Nah....

That isn't the point I'm trying to make though. The point isn't about whether it is belief or behaviour that matter, it is about what we believe is the basis for our beliefs and behaviours. Are our beliefs and behaviours formed with or without the influence of God? As this thread is is specific to Christinaity, then I'm saying that what we believe about that is based on what we believe about Jesus.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Phat, posted 02-01-2017 6:03 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Phat, posted 02-05-2017 6:53 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 81 of 166 (798403)
02-02-2017 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by GDR
02-01-2017 5:28 PM


Re: Hope this helps
Stile writes:

You both seem to agree that we can’t know whether those feelings are totally self generated or if there is an external influence such as “the still small voice of God”.

I would agree with this.

To expand on my view of it:

-I personally think that there is no "still small voice of God," I think there are many not-conscious parts of "me" that make their way into "my consciousness" in the form of creativity, Jiminy-Cricket-Style "conscience," and other imagination-related ideas.
-I do not have any evidential basis to show such a thing is valid
-I do not have any evidential basis to show such a thing is invalid
-From what observations I can make, this idea seems to explain how such things are possible and not be "contradicted" For example:

If we did say that "the conscience" was "the still small voice of God"... how do we explain the conscience of certain phsychopaths and serial killers who say that their "still small voice" was telling them to hurt other people and such things?

My way - "the conscience" comes from the not-conscious part of the human being... their brain-make up, experiences and understandings could be different from others and therefore causing their conscience to tell them "evil" things.

"Still small voice of God" way - I would assume we say these "evil conciences" are not from God? So then what? The pshycopaths are lying? Maybe. Or it's from "the devil?" Maybe. But these additional ideas seem to me like they are just more "ad hoc" explanations to try and "patch a hole" of an explanation that has some issues.

Of course... this is in no way "objective" or "evidential basis" to show I am right... I'm just explaining my reasoning on why I think the way I think, in light of there being no evidence either way.

GDR writes:

The truth is that Christianity is dependent on the belief that God resurrected Jesus.

I can take your word for that

As we agree, truth matters. We can’t have absolute knowledge of the truth but we can come to a conclusion of what we believe the truth to be.

I absolutely agree.

The question I would ask is for you to consider how you would feel about these things if you were to conclude that Jesus was resurrected by God into a new form of existence nearly 2000 years ago.

I'm not sure if I can do this.
Take my above example... where things "are consistently explainable" to me if I consider "the conscience" to be the way I think it is.
Then if I use the "still small voice of God" way... there are certain... not-consistent outliers that would pick at my brain.

Now, if I "fully believed" in God and Jesus' resurrection... I don't see how this would change the things that pick at my brain. I mean, one method would be to ignore them... thinking something along the lines of "Oh, I'm sure God has this all figured out, nothing for me to focus or worry about, I'll move on..." But that doesn't remove the little ticks at my brain for the open-ended strings.

Could those little ticks at my brain just go away if I "fully believed" in the resurrection of Jesus? I don't know the answer to that question.
If they did... that seems a bit scary in the sense of ignoring certain possibilities of reality, to me.

In fact, this was sort of how my conversion out of being a Catholic happened. I did fully believe in God and being a Catholic and such things. But the more I investigated the "minor inconsistencies" (as I thought of them) that kept picking at my brain... the more I realized that ideas-without-the-involvement-of-God were more consistent and required less ad hoc additional explanations for outliers. I don't mean in some objective sense (regardless of whether or not such evidence exists)... but more of a "makes sense to me and my experiences and my observations and my understandings" kind of way.

Does that make it right or true? I don't think so. Which is why I'd be very open to receiving actual evidence that does point towards God and Jesus and I would fully re-evaluate my position.

I guess my contention would be that the answer to your original question really boils down to what we believe about Jesus. How do we respond to my signature? Is it really God that is calling us to humble justice and kindness or is it just our naturalistic human nature?

Ha ha

That's interesting... you seem to say that we get a different answer depending on how we view things... and I'm saying we get both answers (and that both are okay, and "right") depending on what sort of person we really are.

Sort of saying the same thing... and at the same time, sort of not saying the same thing


This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by GDR, posted 02-01-2017 5:28 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Phat, posted 02-05-2017 12:20 PM Stile has responded

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11761
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 82 of 166 (798555)
02-03-2017 12:22 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Stile
02-01-2017 3:25 PM


Re: Hope this helps
These are the sorts of questions I intend to deal with when I mention someone being "the authority on the feelings they have."

Not "where those feelings actually come from."

Well I'd rather talk about where they come from

This gets into things like comparing happiness. Is this even possible?
Are you happier than me? Am I happier? How can such a thing be judged? On some level, it can be... that is, if you are crying and profess that you are sad... and I'm laughing and profess to be happy... then obviously I am "happier" than you.

But what if we are both laughing and profess to be happy?
Does the width or size of the smile matter?
What if someone's nerves in their mouth no longer work due to an accident? Is their happiness forbidden?

I think I see it differently... either you're happy or you're not. Within the realm of happiness, then, are different "levels" that would be better described with different terms. Are you simply content? Or fullfilled? Maybe excited? Even ecstatic? All those are on the happiness spectrum, and could be thought of as more or less happy, but I don't see much value in trying to determine that one person is happy-er than another.

Are you talking more of a conscious vs unconscious kind of thing?
That is... I may like chocolate.. but why do I like chocolate?
If I get the urge to eat some chocolate, I did not consciously decide-to-get-an-urge... so it came from "not myself?"

I certainly agree with this... concept.

Yeah, I think so. But there's more there that a simple preference for taste. Like, say, a strong drive to make positive changes in the world without even having the particulars ironed out yet. Or the knowledge that you can, and are going to, accomlish something you've been meaning to.

That's not something I could respond to with: "Meh, I don't want to do that." The desire stems from the core of my being, and it is not conscious in the way that my thinking is, but I am conscious of it.

Further, I see where "the small still voice of God" is being mentioned, but to me this is not small nor still. It's loud and proud. I have to set it aside to focus on other things. Like a deep seated desire, it may creep up and nag me out of the blue. On the other hand, if I submit to it and listen, it can almost be a bit overwhelming.

and there's power in realizing that you're not dependent on only your self in finding the will and drive to achieve your goals.

But I still only agree with this if you add on to the end for some people.

I'm not convinced that it cannot work for all people.

Are you in complete control of your will?

No.
In the sense that I don't decide-to-get-an-urge-to-eat-chocolate... I just "get the urge."
In the sense that I don't want to feel road-rage when I get cut-off in traffic, I just do... then I have to deal with it so I don't ram my vehicle into the "offender."

Gotcha. I was explaining to someone: It's almost like you're just stearing the ship... You can guide your desires or fend them off into different directions, but the intensity and angle are given to you, not something that you create yourself.

My desire changes.
My will changes.
I no longer have a will or desire to crash into the jerk.

I wonder: Don't you still want to? You just realize that you want another thing (not going to jail) more?

In that sense, did you really change your desire? Or did you overcome it?

In fact, I have never come across a will-I-did-not-want-to-have that I have not been able to change or "release" (may be a better word?) and replace with another will that I do actually want.

Release, get over, overcome, let go, power-through... yeah, but do you ever really negate it?

and there's power in realizing that you're not dependent on only your self in finding the will and drive to achieve your goals.

This is what I mean... for me, there's power in realizing that I am dependent on my self in finding the will and drive to achieve my goals.

Your self is only going to get you so far. If you're happy then go on and be happy. If you find that you need more than your self, there's more in there to find.

This is true for me sometimes.
But I can also mold my will to whatever-it-is-I-want-it-to-be if I "get one" I don't like.

Unless, of course, I'm miss-understanding you again.

Desires are fed to the will to be used. I don't think you can change your desires, you can only use your will to guide your actions.

In fact, in my view, I expect many people to be the way you're describing... that the internal, not-from-their-conscious "self" power is larger and stronger than anything they've ever experienced.

But I'd still say that, to me, my internal, fully conscious self is the most-powerful thing I've ever experienced.

Maybe there's more for you to experience.

Therefore, during my "formative years" I never experienced terrifying fear.
I never experienced "a situation out of my control."

Well I stared death in the face. Certainly scary and out of my control.

Now, that I'm older and more... "worldly," I've certainly experienced all these things and more. But experiencing these things after you've already developed an adult-brain is a lot different from experiencing such things during your "formative years." They affect you differently.

Yeah, I'm learning about that. Have you looked into Mindfulness? And the difference between the thinking mind and the being mind?

I've been using my thinking mind mostly and only recently have I started realizing how to tap into my being mind. It's a lot different. Like, rather than thinking about your desires and what they mean, just let them speak to you and listen. Submit. Hear them out. It can be very interesting if you can get yourself to stop thinking about it (that's the hard part).

Do you meditate? I'm only getting started and I suck at it.

But again, this comes back to comparing happiness.
Is your happiness greater than mine?

I don't care if someone is happier than me, or me them. Are we both happy? Yes? Cool.

I do know that I've tried the way you're describing... and it doesn't make me as happy as I am now.
I also know that the way I do things now, is the happiest I've ever been.

If you haven't, try meditating and see where that gets you. It's really hard and everyone sucks at it, but when you do get there it's pretty sweet.

We're getting away from benefits only available through God, but maybe only tangentially.

There's benefits that are available only through "not using only your thinking mind". Overconfidence in the self, and the reliance on thinking over being, can lead people into a false sense of happiness, imho.

Is that a bad thing? Hard to say... if the placebo is helping the patient do you continue to prescribe it to them knowing that it doesn't really work? (that's a rhetorical age-old question)

I'm also saying that I think it's quite possible for the way you're describing to make "you the happiest you're capable of," while my way is the way for "me to be the happiest I'm capable of" simultaneously.

If you could be happier, would you try even though you already think you've got it good enough?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Stile, posted 02-01-2017 3:25 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Stile, posted 02-07-2017 10:26 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9882
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 83 of 166 (798733)
02-05-2017 6:53 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by GDR
02-01-2017 6:22 PM


Re: Hope this helps
GDR writes:

Are our beliefs and behaviors formed with or without the influence of God? As this thread is is specific to Christianity, then I'm saying that what we believe about that is based on what we believe about Jesus.

This is biblical.

Mark 8:27-29 writes:

Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "You are the Christ."

Some say Jesus existed, others do not. Some say He was just a man...others say He was more. If in fact there is a unique impartation caused by personal belief in Who He Is, Christianity becomes a revealed belief rather than simply an intellectual one.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by GDR, posted 02-01-2017 6:22 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by jar, posted 02-05-2017 8:02 AM Phat has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 29423
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 84 of 166 (798737)
02-05-2017 8:02 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by Phat
02-05-2017 6:53 AM


Re: Hope this helps
Phat writes:

If in fact there is a unique impartation caused by personal belief in Who He Is, Christianity becomes a revealed belief rather than simply an intellectual one.

But that is simply a meaningless tautology. You can say exactly the same stuff about any religion.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Phat, posted 02-05-2017 6:53 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Phat, posted 02-05-2017 12:07 PM jar has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9882
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 85 of 166 (798762)
02-05-2017 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by jar
02-05-2017 8:02 AM


Re: Hope this helps
You can say exactly the same stuff about any religion.

Indeed. We can and we do.

Jesus asks "Who do you say that I am? Your answer reflects your understanding. This is more than logic, reason, and reality, jar.

Jesus is more than just another Jew.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by jar, posted 02-05-2017 8:02 AM jar has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9882
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 86 of 166 (798764)
02-05-2017 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Stile
02-02-2017 10:17 AM


Re: Hope this helps
stile writes:

Could those little ticks at my brain just go away if I "fully believed" in the resurrection of Jesus? I don't know the answer to that question.
If they did... that seems a bit scary in the sense of ignoring certain possibilities of reality, to me.

And this is an honest answer. While some may argue that not to choose is to in fact have already chosen, others would argue that keeping a critically minded approach is a smarter move...sort of like hedging one's bets. I took the plunge and chose...thus I would feel uncomfortable throwing that decision away...makes me too wishy-washy.

stile, to GDR writes:

That's interesting... you seem to say that we get a different answer depending on how we view things... and I'm saying we get both answers (and that both are okay, and "right") depending on what sort of person we really are.

Sort of saying the same thing... and at the same time, sort of not saying the same thing

Which leads to the question: Does a definite commitment matter more than a wait-and-see stance?


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Stile, posted 02-02-2017 10:17 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Stile, posted 02-07-2017 10:30 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 87 of 166 (799085)
02-07-2017 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by New Cat's Eye
02-03-2017 12:22 PM


Re: Hope this helps
New Cat's Eye writes:

Are you simply content? Or fullfilled? Maybe excited? Even ecstatic? All those are on the happiness spectrum, and could be thought of as more or less happy, but I don't see much value in trying to determine that one person is happy-er than another.

I completely agree.
Which is why I mention that each person is their own "authority on the feelings they have."

You are not capable of saying that I am "excited" or "ecstatic." Such a comparison is something that only I can make for me. And only you can make for you.

Yeah, I think so. But there's more there that a simple preference for taste. Like, say, a strong drive to make positive changes in the world without even having the particulars ironed out yet. Or the knowledge that you can, and are going to, accomplish something you've been meaning to.

That's not something I could respond to with: "Meh, I don't want to do that." The desire stems from the core of my being, and it is not conscious in the way that my thinking is, but I am conscious of it.

For me, sometimes it's loud, and other times it's quiet.
Depends on what the subject is, and how my "unconsciousness" reacts to it.

New Cat's Eye writes:

Stile writes:

New Cat's Eye writes:

and there's power in realizing that you're not dependent on only your self in finding the will and drive to achieve your goals.

But I still only agree with this if you add on to the end for some people.

I'm not convinced that it cannot work for all people.

To be a bit more clear, the point I'm trying to make is not that such a thing doesn't function or "work" in all people... my point is that it's not the "best way" for all people to find the will and drive to achieve their goals.

To make an analogy, I'm sure everyone has a feeling about chocolate. But we do not all agree that chocolate is the best flavor.

I understand that "flavor" is a simple feeling, where "finding the drive to achieve your goals" is a more complicated one... but without some sort of specific deconstruction on exactly how those feelings work... how can we say they should be treated differently?
What if we eventually do get a deconstruction on how such different feelings work... and it turns out that they should be treated similarily as I'm describing?

In other words, this is what I'm asking you:
What, specifically, allows people to have different favourite flavours, but prevents them from having different favourite ways to "find the drive to achieve their goals?"

I'm personally unable to identify a difference.
I do not know of any studies or experiments that offer insight to such an area.
My observations (for example, you and I dealing with things differently) lead me to believe that it is possible for people to have different favourite ways to "find the drive to achieve their goals."

Gotcha. I was explaining to someone: It's almost like you're just stearing the ship... You can guide your desires or fend them off into different directions, but the intensity and angle are given to you, not something that you create yourself.

Right. I'm not arguing that I do not get such urges. I fully admit that I get such urges.
What I'm arguing is that the urge-itself isn't where I get my best "drive to achieve my goals."
I get my best "drive to achieve my goals" from my fully conscious, self-aware decisions.

When I either decide to mold the urge a little abit.
Or maybe I decide to change it drastically.
Perhaps I decide to reject the urge and pick another one entirely.

...But, for me, it is this fully conscious decision on what to do with the urge that provides the "most powerful power" I've ever experienced in finding ways to live my life.

For me, I don't tend to get "one urge" for a situation.
I tend to get 20+ urges, for any given situation that comes up on a daily basis.

Even just walking down the street and seeing a stranger, a flood of "urges" pop into my brain.

I get an urge to shake his hand.
I get an urge to ignore him.
I get an urge to punch him in the face.
I get an urge to hug him.
I get an urge to steal his wallet.
I get an urge to kiss him on the lips.
I get an urge to grab a near by weapon and hit him as hard as I can.
I get an urge to give him all the money I have on my person at the time.
I get an urge to invite him to dinner.
I get an urge to send a spit-ball at the back of his head.

I usually laugh at all the things my brain/body "come up with" for me to handle the situation.
Some urges will be stronger than others, some will be faint. It's not always the same ones that are strong when the "same situation" comes up again, either.

All of this tends to happen in a split-second.
And I then use my intelligence to choose the one I want to do. "Ignore him" is the likely winner for this situation.

New Cat's Eye writes:

Stile writes:

I no longer have a will or desire to crash into the jerk (who just cut me off in traffic).

I wonder: Don't you still want to? You just realize that you want another thing (not going to jail) more?

In that sense, did you really change your desire? Or did you overcome it?

I do not still want to crash into them.
Yes, I just realize that I want another thing more.

I think I did "really change my desire" because I no longer have the previous desire (wanting to crash into the offender), and now have a different one (wanting to reach my destination safely.)
I would also describe this as "overcoming it" though... so I'm not sure of the distinction you're trying to make?

Release, get over, overcome, let go, power-through... yeah, but do you ever really negate it?

Yes. All those things. Even fully negate it.

Your self is only going to get you so far. If you're happy then go on and be happy. If you find that you need more than your self, there's more in there to find.

And what if I were to say that I tried it that way, and did not find anything more. In fact, I found "less."

To me, this goes back to the measuring who is "happy-er."

You are saying I (might) be happier if I do it that way.
I'm saying I've tried it, and it doesn't work for me... I'm happier when I do it this way.

Yet you're trying to say that you know me and my feelings better than I do myself?

I could be lying to you. And I can only provide my personal assurance that I'm not. But now what? Are you still convinced that I'm simply "doing it wrong" because it's more powerful for you to use an alternative method?

Are people who don't like chocolate just "doing flavours" wrong?

What, specifically, is the difference?

I'm saying that we cannot define this difference, or.. at least, to the best of my knowledge we cannot.
Therefore, based on the inability to show a difference, we need to accept that my way (for me) is just as valid/good/the-best-possible-way as your way is (for you).

Desires are fed to the will to be used. I don't think you can change your desires, you can only use your will to guide your actions.

I would agree with this.
In the sense that I don't think we can change the desires we receive into our minds.
But (as I stated above) I do think I can change the desires I accept into my mind.
Can everyone do this? I would assume so... on varying levels. Just as "everyone" can experience empathy... on varying levels.
Some will do it more than others, some less. It's up to the individual and the situation at hand to judge if more or less is "better."
Doing anything more or less is generally helpful for certain situations, yet detrimental for others.

What I do not agree with is that the desires themselves are the most important part in some absolute sense.

I would agree that the desire itself is the most important part for some people.
However, for other people (like myself), it is the fully-conscious side of the equation that is the most important part.
I'm sure others may have other ways to look at these. Maybe some like a combination, some may like a more fluid-approach where they sometimes run on the unconscious side and sometimes on the conscious side. Maybe there's even a third (or more) option on un-conscious vs conscious that I'm not even aware of.

Maybe there's more for you to experience.

Maybe.
Maybe there's more for you to experience.

Who's the best judge of this?

Wouldn't I be the best judge of this for myself?
Aren't you the best judge of this for yourself?

If I'm telling you I've tried it the way you're suggesting, and I find a "fuller experience" the way I'm describing it... why are you unable to take my word for it?

Because I'm different from you?

Why is being-different-from-New Cat's Eye such an obstruction for doing something?

I'm sure we don't like all the same things.
I'm sure we don't react exactly-the-same to all the same stimuli (we are likely not ticklish to the same levels in all the same physical areas).

Why can't we be different in the way we find "the best possible way" to search for and achieve our personal goals?

Well I stared death in the face. Certainly scary and out of my control.

So did my wife, she doesn't deal with these things the way I do either.

Have you looked into Mindfulness? And the difference between the thinking mind and the being mind?

I understand the terms.
My wife uses such things as tools (her therapist introduced her to them).
In our experience, the "idea" is more important than the specifics from the instructor.

That is, my wife's therapist gave her examples of this-and-that to try... and my wife has developed her own specific ideas to use that are more "in-tune" to her personal thoughts and processes.
Some of the developments were mere adaptations, others were outright differences.

As an example: One idea was for my wife to think of herself as a tree, and her "roots" ground her.
But, the idea of being "rooted" is scary to my wife, it makes her uncomfortable. She does, however, like nature and trees.
So she altered the idea to being a tree with many "tree-houses" inside it... rooms she decorates and hold certain feelings for her when they come up. Areas where she "holds things" that need to be held onto. But also keeps them separate from other ideas.
This idea "speaks" to her more, so she goes with that instead.

Like, rather than thinking about your desires and what they mean, just let them speak to you and listen. Submit. Hear them out. It can be very interesting if you can get yourself to stop thinking about it (that's the hard part).

I submit myself to "listening" to my urges all the time. I try to promote it as much as possible. Or, at least, I think I do (how do you know if you're actually doing this, vs. just thinking-you-are-doing-it?)
To me, "thinking" about things is not dangerous or bad. It's what we decide to do with those thoughts that makes something dangerous, bad or good.
I try to allow my creative side, my urges, my thoughts... to come up with any and all possibilities at any time.
Then I simply choose out of those available possibilities.

I'm afraid that if I ever try to prevent "bad" possibilities from entering my mind... then this may also inadvertantly prevent "good" possibilities as well.
Since I don't know how urges and feelings get to me in the first place, I'm not sure how to put any sort of "control" on them in a way that I would like to happen.
So I decided a long time ago to not put any control and, in fact, put in place whatever I could to promote "any and all" urges, possibilites and creative-ideas to come into my mind.

Then, I use my conscious intelligence to choose the one I want.

Do you meditate? I'm only getting started and I suck at it.

Maybe.
I don't do any official "I am meditating now" things.
But I do constantly monitor my self, think about things, reflect on ideas/events... that sort of thing I do constantly.

I don't care if someone is happier than me, or me them. Are we both happy? Yes? Cool.

But you do seem interested in me "experiencing" things that you do? In the way that you do?
To me, this is the same thing, just using different words.

If you haven't, try meditating and see where that gets you. It's really hard and everyone sucks at it, but when you do get there it's pretty sweet.

I have tried it.
In fact, I try every so often (few months, maybe years or so) just incase I somehow become "better" at it.
But, I never tend to reach anything I would call "sweet" from it.
I do, however, reach places I would call "sweet" while not officially meditating and simply doing things the way I like to do them.

There's benefits that are available only through "not using only your thinking mind".

I would word this as saying there are "experiences" that are only available through not-using-your-thinking-mind.
Whether or not those experiences are beneficial or not (as far as I can tell) is up to the individual and the situation at hand.

Overconfidence in the self, and the reliance on thinking over being, can lead people into a false sense of happiness, imho.

With this, I would agree.
However, I would add that there are many different ways to monitor and analyze such things. Certain ways will work better for certain people.

Is that a bad thing? Hard to say... if the placebo is helping the patient do you continue to prescribe it to them knowing that it doesn't really work? (that's a rhetorical age-old question)

To me, "placebo" has more to do with "active ingredient" - a physical property.
Where "working" has both sides to it, physical and mental. The mental side isn't always best-treated with physical properties.
Perhaps the act of taking a pill... confers a certain mental aspect of "I am helping myself"... almost a meditative tool.
In this, the action of taking a pill would be most helpful, along with making that pill a placebo so that you can use the tool whenever required without causing physical differences.

Is this still a "placebo?"
Is this not "really working?"

If you could be happier, would you try even though you already think you've got it good enough?

Yes, most definitely.
It's why this thread exists.
It's something I make attempts at every day.
I have what works "best for me now."
But I constantly try other things, new things, things I've tried before that didn't work out - but might work now...
I'm always looking for more and better ways to make a "better me."

But, again, I have to be the judge of whether or not something is "working" for me.
And in turn, you have to be the judge of whether or not something is "working" for you.
How could it be any other way?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by New Cat's Eye, posted 02-03-2017 12:22 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Phat, posted 02-09-2017 1:34 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 88 of 166 (799086)
02-07-2017 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by Phat
02-05-2017 12:20 PM


Re: Hope this helps
Phat writes:

Which leads to the question: Does a definite commitment matter more than a wait-and-see stance?

To me, the answer to this question depends entirely on being able to know if you're right.

If you can know that you're right.. then obviously you want a definite commitment rather than a wait-and-see stance regardless of how many "detractors" are screaming in your face.

If you can't know that you're right.. then making a "definite commitment" seems entirely foolish and opens one's self up to being used as a tool for evil.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Phat, posted 02-05-2017 12:20 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 9882
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 89 of 166 (799301)
02-09-2017 1:34 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Stile
02-07-2017 10:26 AM


Re: Hope this helps
stile writes:

I'm always looking for more and better ways to make a "better me."

But, again, I have to be the judge of whether or not something is "working" for me.
And in turn, you have to be the judge of whether or not something is "working" for you.
How could it be any other way?

But is this (or should this) be the essence of what contemplative spirituality is all about? Should any of it be about us as individuals?

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.~Proverbs 28:26

This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Stile, posted 02-07-2017 10:26 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Stile, posted 02-09-2017 9:44 AM Phat has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3006
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 90 of 166 (799329)
02-09-2017 9:44 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Phat
02-09-2017 1:34 AM


Re: Hope this helps
Phat writes:

Stile writes:

I'm always looking for more and better ways to make a "better me."

But, again, I have to be the judge of whether or not something is "working" for me.
And in turn, you have to be the judge of whether or not something is "working" for you.
How could it be any other way?

But is this (or should this) be the essence of what contemplative spirituality is all about?

I think so, yes.
If you have a better solution, could you describe it? Then we can compare.

To me, as soon as someone else is judging how other people should be "better.." it leads into that "someone else" controlling those other people without realizing the actual impact they're having on them. How can someone else know what you are feeling, specifically? I don't think that's possible, as far as I can tell, anyway.

But sure, if you can explain a better solution, have at it. I'd be interested to see what sort of alternatives could be available.

Should any of it be about us as individuals?

Um.

The topic at hand was "how do I become a better me?"

How can any answer not be about the individual?

Perhaps you were thinking of something else? Feel free to expand and explain, if you'd like.

This is not some sort of "only question" thing.
There are many other questions:

"How can I help others better?"
"How can I hurt others less?"

These sorts of questions are included in my ideas of becoming a "better me."

But they still deal with things about me.

I'm just not sure I understand how your thoughts are connecting to the current discussion.

Or are you asking if we should ever try to improve ourselves?
That seems... like a breeding ground for evil.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Phat, posted 02-09-2017 1:34 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Phat, posted 02-09-2017 4:23 PM Stile has responded

    
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