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No invisible means of support

Wolfgang 07 Dec 05 - 09:57 AM
Janie 07 Dec 05 - 10:37 AM
Janie 07 Dec 05 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 08 Dec 05 - 12:05 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 08 Dec 05 - 12:31 AM
Jim Dixon 08 Dec 05 - 03:58 PM
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Subject: RE: No invisible means of support
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 09:57 AM

Well said, Bill.

I'm more realistic than those who find certainty

Art, there is even more truth in what you say than one could wish: People tending to depression are more realistic than others (the causal connection is a riddle still), there's even a research field called 'unrealistic optimism'.

In a nutshell: You either can be wrong and happy or you can be right and unhappy.

That simplistic dichotomy is of course faulty for at least two reasons: First, people cannot chose what they are like a lifestyle ("from tomorrow on, I'll be an optimist"), second, the correlation is not very strong and there is a very large overlap.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: No invisible means of support
From: Janie
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 10:37 AM

Like Mick, I am confident that there is a power greater than myself. I am comfortable being clueless about what that power is. Maybe it is a Creator(ess), maybe it is a collective consciousness of all sentient beings, maybe it is simply the power of relaionships. It doesn't really matter.

I understand religous and creation stories as powerful metaphors and tools that are useful in helping one think about the ineffable. People vary in their preference of tools.

When my grandfather died at age 97 I found myself reflecting on how his ways of being in the world shaped my father and in turn my own ways of being in the world. My son, who never knew him, will also be influenced. And so, for better or worse, he will live on as long as there is a chain of influence. The same will hold for you and me, Giok. For all I know, that is what eternal life is. It doesn't really matter. Meaning is what matters and each of us have to make meaning for ourselves.

Janie


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Subject: RE: No invisible means of support
From: Janie
Date: 07 Dec 05 - 11:10 AM

I find the experience of the community of my church, the practice of the rituals of the service, and prayer supportive, helpful and meaningful in sustaining myself and others 'spiritually.' What do I mean by 'spiritual'? Again--I'm not sure--but it is part of what I use to make meaning and it definitely has to do with sustaining a sense that I am not the most important unit of creation, and that I am part of and responsible to the great web of creation and life--even those aspects of which I have no knowledge or awareness.

I call myself a christian with a small 'c' because I have been inculturated to be able to use those particular metaphors reasonably effectively to shape a paradigm of meaning.

Wolfgang,

In my experience as a psychotherapist, people who cannot create some existential meaning are more likely to experience depression that is extremely resistant to treatment. Often, but certainly not always, these are people with strong narcissistic tendencies whose paradigm of the universe has them at the center--not talking here about inflated ego and an overvaluing of self--but of the inability to experience others except from the point of view of the self. (example I can never have a successful relationship because if they really knew me, they would hate me as I hate myself--which, of course, often creates self-fulfilling prophecies.)

Being realistic without having a sense of meaning IS depressing. Whether one believes in God or believes there is no God--both are beliefs. Meaning can be made within either framework.

Janie


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Subject: RE: No invisible means of support
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 12:05 AM

No belief about it. Just logical delineations from observing the world all around me. ---- And for what it is worth, the most religious person I know has the most pain from mental illness of everyone/anyone I've ever met.

My sense of peace comes from existentially going with the flow as I've told about experiencing it in this thread.

(As Dragnet's Joe Friday, used to say, "Just the facts, mam. Just the facts!" ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: No invisible means of support
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 12:31 AM

From all the years I spent playing my found folksongs for people on the Mississippi River steamboats (not gambling boats) I have learned to try mightily to appreciate perusung whatever floats in the passing parade that come my way down the big stream to enlighten me -- pretty much by chance---by lucky happenstance. Even with reality's toxic pollution floating by on occasion, if you aim your camera's sights at the intriguing patterns of color and light and dark, quite often you can save images that are worth keeping.

Art


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Subject: RE: No invisible means of support
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Dec 05 - 03:58 PM

"People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God." ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


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