What world am I in? or: “4 factors that lead me to read old stuff”

Russell Minick 2 Comments

Consciousness: I think about more than I need to think about to just survive. I am self aware. I seem to be able to perceive some degree of reality and I can imagine other than reality. That does not even remotely find satisfaction in materialistic explanations. The fact that I can and do imagine, and have aspirations of meaning etc., keep me from imagining how eternal matter/energy over time could create a ‘me’. Something spiritual, personhood beyond mere materialism, seems compelling and intuitive.

I am spirit from a Spirit.

Physical: The world is real. People who have argued against the reality of the physical, and then succumbed to physical mortality, have done more in dying to confirm the reality of the physical world than any written rebuttals to their works might have. The physical is real and is quite chronically insisting that it be acknowledged in daily appetite, aches etc.

I am a physical being.

Community: I like people until I don’t. The problem comes when I fail to contribute/interact appropriately and feel embarrassed or when they fail to contribute/interact appropriately and I feel offended. There really is a sense of ‘right and wrong’. It is more than mere pragmatism, though there are all sorts of practical implications, good and bad. There is a more than practical point of pain/pleasure, of meaningful virtue or disheartening vice (in me or others) that makes me acknowledge that any understanding of life that does not address community is lacking.

I am a social/ethical being.

History: I live in a chain of cause and effect. The realities in the past, for me, for my communities and the communities of others, all continually shape life as it unfolds. There is no immediate understanding of life. Understanding requires some degree of sweeping inclusion of very old and distant movements (in physics and history (earthly and spiritually)).

I am a connected being.

If I pause, I end up with the following conviction:

I am a spiritual being from a Spirit. I live in a physical body in a physical world. I need to figure out how to wisely related to myself by learning to relate to my spiritual source (“God”), my physical source (the “cosmos”), in relation to other people (interpersonal ethics and identity) with an awareness of how previous realities are impacting current realities (historical consequences).

When I take the time to reflect on that, reading the Old Testament, or the Gospels, seems quite natural. If I am just enamored with the flashing lights of the current technologically globally interconnected world community, reading such old stuff seems odd. Reflection is good. I think I’ll read The Book of Hebrews now.

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Comments 2

  1. “I like people until I don’t.”Nailed it, as usual. I keep thinking about this: embarrassment and offense. It’s not so much about annoyance or lack of common interest or incompatible personality. It’s more about being in debt too deep or appreciation too shallow.

  2. So we are enticed to the call of the recluse, but that doesn’t work either. We need people. So, I wrote my little note about TRIBE. But a friend from a tribe wrote about all the mutual indebtedness required to live in a tribe; the unspoken covenant not to advance without the others, and the retarding influences of community mess that up. As always, integration of unique elements is the trick. Life is a Rubik’s cube.

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