Tuesday, September 1, 2009

That Which is Fact and That Which is Fiction

It’s easy to believe that touching a blue spot on paper each morning can put one in protective custody for the rest of the day. And that a bowl of oranges on the table can provoke congeniality within a household. Or metal bracelets can relieve physical distress, or potions of the most unlikely mixes of raw ingredients can relieve pain. Or practicing mental stretches of thought can provoke a life of wealth and success, and vitamin supplements of unknown origin can extend earth life, and a dab of frog-sweat on the epidermis can cure skin disorders.

Yet, in this mix of unscientific and trumped-up unproved convictions, why can’t we wrap our silly heads around a belief in a loving and supreme creator though it seems to me, in light of these other convictions, it should be easier than easy.

But of course one has to understand that if our magical and mystical potions do not work, there are good and valid reasons. Most obvious is probably because our biological make-up is too alkaline or too acidic. Other easily understood reasons – the blue spot is too dusty, or the metal bracelet was too close to an electronic device that drained its power. Or the potion was contaminated with a metal spoon, or our mental stretches were too fragile, or the frog sweat was collected prior to sunset, etc.

But really, there’s no problem when these things fail. It is easy to accept that such therapies waver in heat, and cold, and light, and temperature. And of course, it is understandable, as well, that these are therapies that only work for some of the people some of the time.

Still, let me remind you, that these are convictions about potions and rituals that are regularly and forever collaborated in a reasonable way by others in the group who have been cured and cleansed of a depressed mind and ill-health by following the prescribed regimen with dedicated resolution. And furthermore, small moments of doubt, of faltering disbelief, are usually not long-lived. Not with a common sense approach that sets a proper context for standards. When these remedies fail, so what?

It is undoubtedly our own fault. We obviously erred in the application.

On the other hand, when it comes to the God-thing, we are intellectual and reasoning realists. In light of that, we are totally unable to accept a fairy-tale God without solid proof. Since the Big Bang Theory, drop it. There is no collaboration in the God-thing provided by trees, breezes, flowers, and sunsets.

And of course, if there is a God, he/she is unquestionably obligated to benefit our being ALL of the time – with unsurpassable perfection and profuse blessings. We can’t have none of the wavering that accompanies our other collection of deeply embedded and ever expanding convictions.

What excellence in critical minds, rational minds, thoughtful minds—like ours, that have sufficient wisdom to so wisely filter out that which is fact and that which is fiction.


Pauline said...

The idea of a God works for some of the people some of the time, too. I'm not a believer myself and that that should have an effect on anyone else's beliefs is a puzzle to me.

WheelDancer said...

Belief is such an individual thing that some folks don't know it's theirs to choose. In our instant-gratification society, we all expect everything to fall at our feet at just the time we are expecting and are ready for it.

I heard a song the other day, someone singing about how every request we send to God is answered but often the answer is NO. No [diety of choice] is an order taker like the voice in the fast food line, but we may not have the wisdom to correctly interpret the answer.

Roberta S said...

Unfortunately Pauline, whatever we believe about color, beauty, faith -- all of it -- we render our hearts closer to those united in the same beliefs. Still, you are right in that the God-thing is private choice so it should not affect anyone but you.

And so I write often with tongue in cheek hoping readers might simply chew on some notion I have for three minutes or less and then simply spit it out.

Roberta S said...

Thank you for that comment, Wheeldancer. It is certainly true that we have become a society that has no time for delayed responses, or even alternate responses outside of our own expectations - especially from that deity with whom we think we have formed a solid relationship. And that is when the 'personal choice' you spoke of gets lost in the shuffle.

Dick said...

Ah, faith and doubt... Great post, Roberta.

wally said...

I like this quote from A.W. Tozier:

"Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reson being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know, but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering. To admit that there is one who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage him."

Roberta S said...

Hi Dick, thanks for that comment. Glad you enjoyed the post. We are in the same mindset this week as often happens. I found your poetic reflections on 'faith and doubt'(Sept 5) at Patteran Pages absolutely fascinating. Rounds out a lot of the discussion.

Roberta S said...

wally, thank you for visiting and thank you for that quote. It is a lovely bit of reflection.

Esther M said...

I find it's very hard NOT to believe in a Higher Power or Grand Designer when looking at the intricate delicate design of a butterfly wing, or gazing upon a perfect sunset against the ocean or when contemplating that my lungs breath, my heart beats thousands of times per day and I don't even have to tell it to do that, or in those unexplained and magical moments of serendipity, when someone says the exact right thing I needed to hear and the exact time I needed to hear it. I see "God" everywhere and in everyone, I'm just not sure he's wearing a white robe or has a long flowing beard.

Roberta S said...

Hi Esther. Your comments are lovely and inspirational. Thanks for visiting.