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Old 01-06-2011, 07:25 AM   #40
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,184
Re: Spiritual Principles Applied

Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
Thought it was clever actually.
But...what I struggle with: Isn't that answer just a distraction from the original question?
iow: seeking to ignore it, .. to suppress the desire to be safe?
As I understand it, the answer would be "yes and no". Yes, in the sense that repressing a desire is not the answer, any more than indulging in a desire. So, if you're gritting your teeth and putting up with uncertainty and hating it every second, that's ultimately not a whole lot better than if you give free rein to your control-freak impulses and try to regulate everything in your life and cram everything into little boxes (although it may be easier on the people around you!).

I think the goal is to find a third way, where you're truly okay with the uncertainty. That doesn't mean you're always joyously happy about it; on the other hand, no matter how much you dislike it at first, uncertainty does provide its moments of delight. How you find it, I think, is a combination of confidence that you'll be okay even if you don't have it all lined up and labeled, and (more important) not making a big deal out of things. Not trying to nail down the ultimate truth. Not trying to come up with the formula that explains everything.

Here's another quote I love, from the novel "Grass" by Sheri Tepper. The scene is a hallucination or dream or vision or call it what you will, that the main character has after a head injury, of a conversation she has with the Supreme Being about all the Big Stuff:

"I don't have much confidence," she said. "A lot of what I've been taught isn't making sense."

"That's the nature of teaching. Something happens, and intelligence first apprehends it, then makes up a rule about it, then tries to pass the rule along. Very small beings invariably operate that way. However, by the time the information is passed on, new things are happening that the old rule doesn't fit. Eventually intelligence learns to stop making rules and understand the flow."

"I was told that the eternal verities--"

"Like what?" God laughed. "If there were any, I should know! I have created a universe based on change, and a very small being speaks to me of eternal verities!"

"I didn't mean to offend. It's just, if there are no verities, how do we know what's true?"

"You don't offend. I don't create things that are offensive to me. As for truth, what's true is what's written. Every created thing bears my intention written in it. Rocks. Stars. Very small beings. Everything only runs one way naturally, the way I meant it to. The trouble is that very small beings write books that contradict the rocks, then say that I wrote the books and the rocks are lies." He laughed. The universe trembled. "They invent rules of behavior that even angels can't obey, and they say I thought them up. Pride of authorship." He chuckled. "They say, 'Oh, these words are eternal, so God must have written them.'"

Another very wise book for us very small beings.
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