Musings

I think the most valuable luxury—the one that carries us through high and low times alike—is to experience tangible meaning through our actions.

It naturally follows that being able to create meaning for ourselves is something of a superpower.  I think that’s why creativity, clear perception, discipline, audacity, etc. etc. are emphasized throughout narratives/philosophies/religions—because all those qualities are conducive to empowering us so we can generate meaning for ourselves, without having to rely on eloquent figureheads.

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10 thoughts on “Musings

  1. Even through a religious paradigm, people aren’t necessarily widgets unless they choose to be. At the end of the day for a Christian or a Jew, it is still all about their relationship with God and how that defines their relationship with people. It’s a truly awesome thing to stand humbly in the presence of the infinite. There’s an axiom in Judaism that says the individual Jew must behave as if the universe was created just for him/her. That sounds terribly selfish until you realize that with such an awesome privilege comes a great responsibility to all of the other inhabitants of that universe.

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    • I hope so. I’m not sure there’s any way to definitively prove there’s free will or not. Studies with twins, experiments in mentalism, and clinical psychology all seem to indicate we have a lot less free will than we seem to think. I’m not advocating the abdication of responsibility here because we might not have free will, but I am advocating an open mind, education about how influence works (especially in ways we think our counterintuitive—when we think it’s exclusively our choice but evidence says otherwise)

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    • As far as the religious stuff, I lean more toward the mystical approach—I believe if there is such a thing as God, then the illusion is that we are separate from It, and all of Its power, wisdom, and glory can be accessed by erasing that illusory separation. I suspect that’s the underlying meaning behind the axiom you’ve mentioned. If you erase all semblance of separation between yourself and the divine, then you have, in point of fact, created the universe just for yourself, and you should behave accordingly. And then it follows that everyone else is connected to you and also an iteration of God, so you should treat them lovingly and kindly, as God is formed from love and since God is everything, it loves all of its love-formed parts. (Or so I believe, if there is a God).

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      • Both Christianity and Judaism have a rich mystical history and you might like Kabbalah , though I’d recommend a basic understanding of the Jewish Bible and Talmud (which would take years) before tackling that. I’ve done some reading in Jewish mysticism, and while it’s interesting, it makes my head hurt.

        As far as free will goes, I choose to believe human beings have free will and thus are responsible for their/our actions rather than laying the responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions at someone or something else’s feet.

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      • It’s a good stance; the opposite end of the spectrum—where we have no free will—holds no good implications. I like to moderate it though—I think we have less free will than we’d generally like to think, and I like to keep my mind open as to which parts of us are mechanistic, which, ironically, will allow me greater expression of what free will I DO have by using that will to manipulate the human machine known as “Kent” into a desired outcome. I read the interior castle by Teresa Avila, greatly enjoyed it. I’ve always been interested in Kabbalah, but from what little I know about it, the study of it is pretty dense and intricate. Definitely on my to-do list when I have more time.

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  2. We grow in our knowledge of the Universe both in the Cosmological and Quantum scales and begin the fathom the complex relationships. To become aware of those myriad strands and their inter-relationships, to perceive we are parts of this wonderous system is for me to feel a profound sense of wonder and release. And feel I am thankfully growing, somewhat

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