Religious? Not religious, but spiritual? Agnostic? Atheist? I’ve been all but the last. Changing deeply held beliefs changes you? First some quotes about change.
I have never believed that the world and all its wonders came about accidentally. But, I do doubt the quality of the creative forces that have given rise to the world and the worlds beyond. Some days I am sure that the creative force or forces are ruled by love, other days I suspect not. If not, they might be ruled by evil. Or perhaps, our world is the creation of some curious scientists who are watching the particular Petri Dish that includes our earth.
I found agreement with some of my ideas in the book, God According to God by Gerald Schroeder , a physicist and Torah scholar. He speaks at one point about the rebellion of the fruit trees during the earth’s creation. God commanded on the third day:
“…let the earth sprout vegetation, herbs yielding seeds, fruit tress yielding fruit each after its own kind.” The earth disobeyed and instead of “fruit trees yielding fruit, the earth produced “trees yielding fruit.”
Seems straightforward but not to Rashi – one of the most revered commentators on Torah. Torah study demands commentary. Serious about studying Torah or the Old Testament, then you must discuss it with others and particularly those who know the great commentators. Otherwise, you are getting something equivalent to Facebook sound bytes.
Rashi noted that in the original text, that the word “fruit” modifying “trees” could be interpreted as trees yielding fruit or “fruit trees.” Rashi’s point was that “fruit trees yielding fruit would mean the tree, its bark and leaves would also taste like the fruit it yielded. Not the case. Earth rebelled and a brought forth trees that only produced fruit and not bark or leaves that also tasted life fruit. “
Here in Schroeder’s words are what this all means to me:
“Rashi makes a point of informing us about the rebellion to break that image of an always controlling Master, a super powerful father image. Such a God makes a lovely, heart-warming, even reassuring fable, but unless the Bible got is all wrong, the hands-on God of our childlike imaginations is not the Deity of the Bible….
The Bible in these verses tells us an almost incomprehensible fact. Nature, purportedly bound by unbending “laws of nature” which were themselves created by God, somehow was able to do the unimaginable. Nature was able to go against God’s explicit command. Nature rebelled.
And more intriguing, this three-thousand-year–old biblical claim of nature rebelling against the command of God, of nature having a “mind of its own” is eerily similar to modern-day observations of quantum physics.”
I have long thought that DNA was the building block of our world and that mutations combined with the randomness of life made changes good and bad part of life. I also believed that those changes gave us some choice, but not unlimited choice.
The main choice that keeps us on the path to the good life is how we respond to the choices we are given. Without choice we would be mere puppets and God however you name the forces stronger than humans, a mere puppeteer.
When I finally found my religious home – modern Jewish Orthodox, one of the attractions was that Jews argued with God and with each other.
Emotional Fitness Training Tips
Emotional Fitness Tip one: We all need one or another belief that explains the world and us to us. Given that we all are different, have different experiences, different teachers, different levels of the ability or desire to think about things, we come to different conclusions, some true and some false.
The various religions speak to both the need to understand our world and the different paths we take to that road. Also provide us with some true and some false beliefs.
Emotional Fitness Tip two: When one of our deep-seated beliefs is challenged by someone else’s deep-seated belief, we can doubt or become uncertain about our beliefs.
Jerome Kagan notes that the need to resolve doubt and uncertainty is as big a motivator as feeding and f——-.He also notes that one of the major ways we resolve the uncertainties that shake our deeply held beliefs is to blame the person who creates that uncertainty. Taken to an extreme that blaming can become a deadly anger focused on eradicating what is creating uncertainty and doubt.
Those bent on controlling others use uncertainty as a tool for war and personal gain. Think of the Christian Crusades and Islamic jihad. Think the Roman Empire , think Stalin, think China and Tibet, think current day atheists bent of eradicating the Ten Commandments. or other signs of faith in a god.
Emotional Fitness Tip Three: Examine the basis for your deep-seated beliefs. Many who turn away from believing in God or back, do so because of personal hurts. Understood, but being ruled by emotion, not reason.
Emotional Fitness Tip Four: Attack and condemn the bad theology, not the good. Across the ages, the sages, and the scientists agree the path to the good life lies in what is called the Golden Rule.
Emotional Fitness Tip Five: Know your mission – what you want to stand for at the end of your life. My eBook Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals will help. It costs only $3.09 which is less than a movie and longer lasting.
Remember temperament, age, and stage when dealing with your children and helping them deal with change. Go here for more thoughts about that.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO
Please Practice Kindness by sharing all you find of value on the internet including this post. All crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.”Comments say you have read and thought about the post.Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness bless you.Stay strong, it is not always easy.
This post was not inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt – Sweeping Motions: What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.
However, it does related to changing and staying the same. What’s messier depends on the day of the week. Today of the above are messy, tomorrow I clean up for Shabbat.
My life has become less messy once I decided to think more deeply about missions and goals. Founding and developing Emotional Fitness Training, Inc and thinking about what matters worked for me. Why I try to share it with you. I also share it hoping to make it profitable enough that someone will help it live when I have moved on.
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.