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Something I wrote

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  • David Leon Henise
    I will post here something that I wrote on one of my websites. Wondered if you had any thoughts. And as it suggests, for those unready to hear, don t worry
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 15, 2006
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      I will post here something that I wrote on one of my websites. Wondered if you had any thoughts. And as it suggests, for those unready to hear, don't worry about it. And for those who might get something out of it, but dont have anything to reply, well that's great. So, for whatever it is worth to each reader, here it is:
       
       
      Faith on the Rocks: How to Enjoy the Rocks

      Pre-text:
      It's not just from one person or one area of my life right now, that these sorts of issues are coming to my attention. Here is a bit of personal reflection, and some honest direction, whether you choose to heed it or not, and whether you're ready to soak it up or not.

      I used to be a Christian apologist. Actually, through my internet presence alone, it's not as if I collected a following, but I was (however incrementally) recognized as "an apologist" at one time. For WHAT was I apologizing? WHAT was it that I was defending? I never really was sure about that, to be honest. Christianity? "Faith?" "Joy?" What about OTHER religions? Who knows.

      It didn't take me long to realize that modern apologetics easily becomes the defense of trying to live life to its fullest, so to speak, rather than simply trying to defend a certain way of looking at things, a certain "faith" or religious or spiritual tradition. Apologetics, in that sense, holds a major element of open analysis, because without definition and re-definition of WHAT to believe in, there isn't much to defend. I suppose it's like the intellectual version of defining one's fighting lines and one's political boundaries on land, in old-fashioned physical warfare (war being old-fashioned to ME, at least). You have to not only be open to defining your own boundaries, but open to "changing" them to adapt to new situations, as well as open to changing the way you PERCEIVE the definitions.

      I'm not interested in apologetics any longer. It's a dead horse that could be beaten. But beating a dead horse is the farthest thing from the reality of what I want to do with my life.

      It's not that I have something AGAINST faith. As much as it might sound like a pun, I just dont BELIEVE in faith. I think that the experiences on which we base our personal faith, and the experiences which we call faith, are interesting to study neurologically. But I just dont think that it's something to base my life upon. Anything that you can come up with to define what "faith" is to you - I will nearly guarantee you that I'm not interested in basing my life on that definition. And any benefits that you get through your faith, I can nearly guarantee you that those benefits are available through a more analytical, and less depending-on-the-mystical lifestyle.

      Take any fundamental personal enthrallment, any basic sense of community, and anything like those things, which can be so important and can be major motivations for someone's "faith." I can give you my own personal testimony that, with a hearty dose of willingness to reflect and readjust, those benefits or integral pieces of faith can be had for only 3 easy payments of 9.95 plus tax, shipping, and handling...oh, and a little willingness to be responsible for your own decisions by applying "principles" rather than pre-set "rules" to your life. And, personally, when you're ready to develop that side of you, I think the benefits outweigh the seeming losses. It takes you from a focus on guilty, personal performance standards to a focus on seeking counsel, self-respect, and community - for starters. 

      And I dare say that many people who think of themselves as "not very religious" still fall into a lot of the same experiences. They would benefit, as well, if and when they are ready to reflect on what they're living for and how their basic plans on how to live are working out for them. Because, as they say, whether you know it or NOT, you ARE acting as if you have a plan for your life. It's just a question of how meaningful it is to YOU, and how aware you are of what you are ACTUALLY living for.

      That's my non-commercial advertisement for non-commercialized mind-candy. The best things in life are free, right? ...or at least they START that way, so you can learn what it is you want to buy...with your time, with your money, with your life's energy.

      But, learning to ask ourselves what we expect from people and what we expect from ourselves, much less what we CAN or SHOULD expect from people and expect from ourselves - that is an adjustment. And it may not seem like there is always support out there for us to each adjust in that way, toward our collective and personal future. However, think of it this way, when you're not sure where to start:  Even if no PERSON supports you, PROGRESS supports you. And progress EVENTUALLY must win. I've seen that concept comfort people (including myself) when they would otherwise be down, depressed, unsure of whether they're even "doing the right thing," or maybe feeling impatient or confused with the world or with the attitudes of individuals who have influenced them on a particular day. 
      Take care. "Dont sweat the small stuff," right? ..or, whatever that means to you, as long as it's something useful. And, in a way, that's the point - being more USEFUL to yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn't have felt uneasy, or you wouldn't have felt the need to ask, "What is this 'reality' or this 'real world' that surrounds me?" in the first place.
       
       
      peace n blessings,
      Dave

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