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|Topic: What Benefits Are Only Available Through God?
New Cat's Eye
I would say that we are not "called to" work together.
But I still "want to" work together,
I would describe my desire to help people as being called to do it.
Much like any desire, its not that it comes from my mind as much as I just experience it through feeling.
So where do those feelings come from? Do you think that your self is the sole source of them? Are you sure about that?
When I look in there, and see out through the other side, as see a source for those feelings that is not my self. I use the term "God" sometimes to describe that source.
Would those feelings be there if there was not a God providing them? I don't know, but I doubt it. That's what separates us from the other animals, imho, or, er: the men from the boys (finally got to watch that "now you're a man video" and you were totally right).
Now, from my experiences, you don't even have to believe in God to tap into that source and be driven to follow your desires (that, of course, wouldn't negate God's necessity if it were true). But, realizing that it is not your self that you owe all your wonderful desires to ends up helping the individual find the drive to follow those desires more strongly.
To me, personally, it is better to make this decision on one's own instead of following "some call" from any authority. That is, anyone can follow an order (being "called") to do something... but to do something because you think you need to do it... to be a good person just because you think it's the right thing to do... without any higher authority to fall back on... that (to me) speaks to the core of someone's heart as opposed to then having to ask "why do you follow the calling?" Which, of course, the answer may very well similarily be "because I want to."
So, it's not following the call from authority for authority's sake, it is realizing that there's something bigger than you involved and that you can do things for reasons that are greater than just because you want to.
The strength in the drive from that "call" can exceed the one that comes solely from the individual's willpower to follow their own desires.
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. I suppose if there's nothing you can't do, and you have it all figured out and are doing everything that your heart desires, then perhaps there's nothing left for God to help you with
Also we are told that our hearts as Christians are more open to that still small voice of God or His Holy Spirit that touches the hearts of all of us, than we would be otherwise.
Perhaps it is.
Perhaps it is not.
That's my question
Can you show that it is?
I can only testify that opening myself up to God has allowed me to achieve things that I couldn't before. Other than that, I could try to show you the way to the door, but you have to open it yourself and look inside and be ready to accept that there may be something there responding.
And I don't even know if it's God, that's just a fairly decent term to use to talk about this thing.
New Cat's Eye
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?
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?
New Cat's Eye
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?
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?
New Cat's Eye
Perhaps the question is whether perfection is a valid goal and ideal for us to strive towards...without fully understanding what it is.
No, perfection is the enemy of good.
Trying to do your best every day is one method.
Put in your best effort, but don't be dissatisfied with falling short of being the best. It happens. And failing that shouldn't prevent your efforts.
Trusting that the Creator understands our shortcomings is another.
Just don't let that be an excuse
Scripture says that the fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom.
I feel that a healthy fear of how far I have to go to even approach perfection is a loving form of discipline. It's like realizing that one has to write a fifteen-page term paper over the weekend.
All you can do is try your best and hope that the teacher will overlook the fact that all you managed to produce is 12 pages double spaced.
I dunno, man, maybe you should be setting more attainable goals?
Finding God has made me rethink that whole fear of the lord thing. God isn't scary. But you do have to submit to Him. I think it may be more about how you're going to have to listen for God in order to find His message and you're not going to be able to take charge and go get it. So, if you approach Him with the same behaviors as you would if you were afraid, then you might get better results than thinking you're the boss. That seems more realistic than being afraid of what God'll do to you if you mess up. IMHO.
Just as with the term paper, it is unwise to procrastinate. People should begin to think about whether they want to have a relationship with an unprovable invisible Deity long before they are on their deathbed.
That deathbed will wake your ass up tho!
I'm not convinced it matters all that much, regardless, God will be there.
For me, I try and be honest with myself in prayer and meditation.
Finding God has allowed me to hear my self as well. Setting goals that I actually want and can really achieve has provided me with a lot of new good times to be had, and that's been helping keep my mind in the present.
To stick with the analogy, I guess I'm trying to say to forget the paper's deadline and go write about something that you want to write about. Then you won't have to worry about putting a lot of effort into coming up with content - just receive it.
And don't worry if it's perfect or not.
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