Talking to Ourselves [Podcast]

Steve talks about control and coincidence – and what role God plays in our lives. Our view on that impacts our ideas about prayer – does it make a difference or our we just talking to ourselves? He kind of rambles on at times so hopefully it makes sense in the end. So what’s new right?

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10 thoughts on “Talking to Ourselves [Podcast]”

  1. Ian – when you choose to have faith in something that can’t be proven I guess your pretty free to think and believe whatever you want. There’s always an explanation or spin one can put on something to keep the mystery alive for our beliefs.

    And you’ve referred to this twice so I will comment on it.. you say I am black and white and don’t believe in mystery or see the whole world of grays out there. That’s preposterous. I just don’t plug God into what I cannot explain. That’s where your supposed “grays’ turn to black and whites. You can’t explain something, you just know it to be true because you feel it or have had some experience that was meaningful to you… so that gray turns to black for you.

    As an example you write: <>I can either choose to ignore the unknown or embrace the possiblity of a God. I don’t really see the anything in between as making any sense.<> Can’t you hear how black and white that is?? Nothing inbetween?? Really??

    There is a world of wonder out there. I don’t require answers for much of what I see or experience…and I don’t ignore them… I just sometimes sit and marvel at it all. And for the things I can change in my life, I don’t call on an invisible entity to help me… I just try and buck up. And for the things out of my control, I am learning to let go.

  2. It was just an observation. You had said that “when you choose to have faith in something that can’t be proven I guess your pretty free to think and believe whatever you want.”

    If I had a point, I guess it’s that, if we acknowledge that there are things beyond our control, then we all must necessarily act on faith, whether it’s faith in God, Karma, science, chance, fatalism or whatever. Letting go is always an act of faith. I suppose it’s also an act of hope, when you reduce it to its core.

  3. I think I understand what you’re saying, but I wouldn’t use the word “complete” regarding faith. I think complete trust would constitute perfect faith, and that would be extraordinarily rare.

  4. steve,

    I commented on the comment above before listening. Allow me to share a couple more thoughts in response to your podcast.

    I hear you trying to relate to God as though he were your equal or slightly higher. IOW with human thoughts and feelings. How can that be? If God is not the Creator or even a vague higher power, then I would say you are absolutely correct. And if that’s where you stand in your belief (or lack thereof) in a God, then your statements make perfect sense.

    But if someone has chosen to have faith in that which can not be disproven, then one must also explore the fact that God might not be as human-like as we like to refer to Him as.

    This means that our wants, desires, needs, might not match with the same priorities as His. This however does not automatically equate absense, lack of caring or love on God’s part either. It simply means that His perspective, knowledge, understanding of it ALL is far greater and deeper than we could ever hope to wrap our heads around.

    So for us to question if God listens or not, wether He intervenes or not, wether He has OUR best interest in mind (which BTW might often look radically different than what we might be imagening/asking for at the time), seems awefully presumptious of us mere mortals.

    Again, don’t believe in God: great, He’s not listening.
    But DO believe in God: and who are we to limit who/what He is and can or chooses to do?

    What I hear from you steve, is what seems to be an unwillingness to take a bite from the mystry apple. You’ve changed your spiritual diet and I respect that, but now it seems as though anything you can’t touch/feel/smell and/or physically feel gets thrown out as fallacy. I personally just don’t see a black & white world like that around me. And so in an effort to better come to grips with this, I can either choose to ignore the unknown or embrace the possiblity of a God. I don’t really see the anything in between as making any sense.

    I’m not trying to attack you with that, just stating my own observations and beliefs, and trying to better understand where you stand.

    thanks for sharing. And on a technical note, your audio levels where pretty low on this last one. I really had to crank it up to hear you…or maybe I’m just getting old.

    Also, sorry to hear about the job thing. We’re going through the same, and it blows completely.

  5. I am not sure why you say that Dorse… I don’t necessarily always see “letting go” as an act of faith but one could certainly apply that language to it.

    The Christian venacular is to “let go and let God”… so yeah that’s an act of faith.

    When I say I “let go” of things out of my control… it just means I don’t try to drive myself crazy trying to fix or control people or circumstances. It’s an action step. I’m holding onto something… so I let go. I try and drop it.

    Letting go can be an act of faith certainly… and I didn’t say I don’t have faith in things or people…. especially and most importantly I have faith in myself.

  6. When I was talking in the podcast about the book “Gospel of Coincidence”, I guess I need to dig that out because he has some excellent things to say. Maybe I will try and elaborate more in the next podcast – see if I can explain what my views are a little better.

    The definition of “faith” that I am using is “complete trust and confidence in someone or something”.

    I need to think about what you said in regards to things beyond our control (“Letting go is always an act of faith”) – I don’t think I agree with you (the “always” part) but I need to think about it.

  7. Your podcast reminded me of something my mother said to me years ago. I asked about funerals and why have them, the dead don’t know anyway. She said “funerals are not for the dead, they are for the ones still living”.

    Your idea now of prayer mirrors this. Prayer, like a funeral, is not for the receiving entity. It is for the sender. Like in a funeral, the buried don’t acknowledge the ceremony; it’s used as closure for the living.

    Prayer is not looking for answers from god, but itemizing problems by the living. Meditating in a sense, like you mentioned.

    Anyway, as soon as you started talking, a remembered that talk with my mom.

  8. steve, sorry for the late retort…busy weekend.

    My black and white assumptions came largly from how little I hear you talke about ‘general mysteries’ versus how much you dismiss God’s mysteries. But I respect and hear what you’re saying.

    the statement of mine you quoted was about people committing to their beliefs…or not. Tell me what the grey area there looks like, and to what end? Why toy with God? If you do not accept His existence (in any shape or form) than make a clean break. My general statement was simply, don’t reshape God to what suits your philosophy (not you…general), and yes this applies to many so-called Christians as well.

    If we’re talking about fuzzy mysteries and cosmic hick-ups that may or may not be involved with our existance, then let’s call them that, but when someone refers to God, then it’s usually the Creator and the God of the Bible that comes to mind.

    Every day we all are faced with faith-based descisions. Meaning, we are confronted with choices to which we do not know for certain what the outcome will be. You describe a path you’ve chosen, which leaves you to rely soley on your own mind, wisdom, and personal experiences…in faith that this will lead you in the ‘right’ direction.

    I too call on those same devices to make my choices, but then I also choose to weigh in the One who challenges me to be counter-self/counter-cultural and do not choose what is most comfortable or pleasing to me, but to forgoe self for others. The truth is, I tend to squelch that side far more often than to act on it, but I still try.

    Now, to be perfectly clear. I in now way am insinuating that you are some kind of egomanatical (made up) asshole. Your following post and actions obviously disprove this. But this was only one example of how Christ-like living challenges my way of living/thinking.

  9. Fascinating point Harmonica!

    If we believe that God is in fact omniscient, then God would know/hear everything, right?

    So then prayer is what…self gratification? I think it is part of us actively participating in a relationship with God. But with no strings attached.

    IOW, when I kiss my wife or tell her I love her, I don’t sit around keeping tabs on when she will reciprocate said affection. I understand that she loves me, and might show it in different ways at different times. It all balances out. Obviously if nothing is coming back, or going out, then the relationship might be due for a tune up!

    I believe it’s similar with God (at least for me).

    Hope that made sense.

  10. <>“And for the things out of my control, I am learning to let go.”<>Letting go is an act of faith in something you can’t see or prove, too.

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