Faith Perspective/Focus – Here, There, and Everywhere

Youre assuming in this statement that life is only about being in the physical form, that once you die, youre dead zippo. If our experiences follow us as spiritual entities, then maybe their honor follows them too. And maybe thats the significance behind, even our violent actions. How you perceive and give and receive them will help shape your “LIFE” in its spiritual form. Your view on Morality seems to be skewed by your physical presence.” (John)

I would answer quite easily – the physical idea is all we can go by – we have no clue if there is actually a second dimension to this when we all ‘pass on’. But we are quite sure we exist and live ‘right here – right now’ – it does make sense to base our actions on that alone.

It is true I am skewed, and limited, by a human frame – but it’s also stark reality in my opinion. I have not seen heaven and nor have I seen great evidence for it – however – I believe it exists (purely by faith). Those same kind of wonderings I need not make about my neighbor, my work, my marriage, or my passions – I see how those things really exist and work out in real life.

That is why I come from a very human perspective when approaching faith – I also think the scriptures (the gospels anyways) are doing the same thing. Which is to say my actions and what I do have more value here and now – then there and then. If I am being judged – I am being judged in the here and now – not on what happens in the next life. My perspective reflects that.

As for some spiritual form of life – I don’t know if I even buy into that anymore…to me spirituality is just how you live – each and every moment. We either choose to do good or we can choose to not good – but the choice is always ours to make and live by. I just think life is a spiritual thing. I don’t worry much about some spiritual existence outside this existence (although there is likely something to it) – it would put my focus on other worldly things when I was born to this world.

What do you think – faith – a ‘here and now’ perspective or a more ‘there and then’ focus? I have stated my opinion – but I would love to hear where people put their faith and that focus.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Faith Perspective/Focus – Here, There, and Everywhere

  1. Everything is a “here and now” because that is the only time we have. Even if there is a life after death, there is no communication between the living and the dead, so no one knows anything about it. We have wonderfully poetical and comforting dreams or vision about heaven but that is all they are: dreams, not reality.

    Is it so hard to believe that after we die there is nothing? When you sleep you can lose consciousness for hours, Maybe death is the same way. And your body decomposes and goes on to nourish the earth and sustain further life and the legacy of your life of good deeds is an inspiration to others to live morally. That’s all the reward we can ask for.

  2. I would much rather focus on faith as being about the living the religious life in the here and now than worry about a strictly hypothetical afterlife. What happens after I die is what happens.

    And your body decomposes and goes on to nourish the earth and sustain further life and the legacy of your life of good deeds is an inspiration to others to live morally. That’s all the reward we can ask for.

    Nicely put.

    In addition to that, process theology offers one other reward for us, which is that our experiences enhance the Divine life because our lives are incorporated into God’s and God experiences what we experience. This means that everything we see, feel, and do lives on forever in God’s memory, and that God is therefore enhanced in a sense by our own short, mortal existence. The term for this is “objective immortality”, as distinguished from the subjective immortality of us living on as experiencing beings after we die.

  3. Ok JB

    “I would answer quite easily – the physical idea is all we can go by – we have no clue if there is actually a second dimension to this when we all ‘pass on’. But we are quite sure we exist and live ‘right here – right now’ – it does make sense to base our actions on that alone”

    Someone breaks into my home and I defend it. I shoot him dead. My neighbour pisses me off, and I decide to shoot him dead. Now here we have the same “action”, which is killing, yet they both have different “intentions” behind them. Now what is an intention? It is very hard to pinpoint in “reality” where an “intention” comes from. In some ways its almost like talking about the spiritual realm, we know its somewhere we just cant tangibly take hold of it. Its out there, somewhere beyond our grip. Now when I talk of the spiritual realm, im not necessarily talking in absolutes like Heaven and Hell. In my mind this is too simplistic. I am talking about a continuation of our existence, no different than passing from baby to child to adolescent to adult and ……………….

    “What do you think – faith – a ‘here and now’ perspective or a more ‘there and then’ focus? I have stated my opinion – but I would love to hear where people put their faith and that focus.”(societyvs)

    Why not a faith with what my intuition tells me. One of a continuation of Life, in many forms and many dimensions. It makes sense to me that what I do here does have consequence in an overall sense.

  4. “Is it so hard to believe that after we die there is nothing?” (Wolf)

    Yes – for this faith anyways. The hope of the story of Jesus (or one could say the reward) is that Christ did resurrect (life after death). If Christ did not resurrect then there is no need to worry – there is no life after death to be talked about from this faith. I borrow the point from Paul but it is quite legit – Jesus is that hope of life after death.

    What I also find depressing about the view that after we die then we are ‘poof’ gone is that (a) it in and of itself is depressing and (b) it runs counter to our existence.

    (a) Depressing in that fact – try saying that as comfort at a funeral or to the deceased’s family. It also is a very hopeless thought for teens when they face up to their mortality.

    (b) We exist to live (in my opinion) – we live for like some 70 + years on average – which is like 25550 days of life and we die how many times? Once? On 1 day this all ends. The view that we are ‘living to die’ forgets how much living we really do in our lives. It seems like life is the reason for the human existence and not death.

    “Now what is an intention? It is very hard to pinpoint in “reality” where an “intention” comes from. In some ways its almost like talking about the spiritual realm, we know its somewhere we just cant tangibly take hold of it. Its out there, somewhere beyond our grip” (John)

    I think an intention, for most purposes, is actually traceable and defineable. It may take some serious and honest reflection on said issue – but in the end we know why we do what we do and why the actions we use are the ones we use.

    For example, the other day my wife and I’s roomate had guests over the day we were at a wedding – and left a mess in the house my wife was not happy about – she screamed and hollered at him (literally). There are 2 problems that had to be figured out here – why did the roomate do what he knew not to – and why did my wife over-react? The roomate’s intentions were clear – he wanted to impress his friends and give them a place to drink (so they came there); plus my house is nice. My wife’s intentions were of anger and let-down – she had to clean this after a long day and was angry that the roomate broke the known rules; plus the house is nice. In the end, the situation worked out well – both knew their mistakes and decided to make things right.

    Spirituality is something we speculate about – as to what it is and do we have a soul and a spirit? I get all that – plus it’s such a process we know little about – being not tangible. But if this is so – then we cannot place much of a focus on it – since it is not something we can know much about. I wonder about that anyways.

    For me, spirituality is who we are – and it’s all aspects of us entangled together. The physical effects the spiritual; the emotional effects the mental; the mental effects the emotional; etc. We actually cannot distinguish one aspect from the other within us – they are so intertwined as to effect the whole person. So to me, spirituality is something we do as we live from day to day – our normal lives are spiritual – as much as they are physical, mental, or emotional. Just what is so spiritual about any of that? The culmination of the other 3 (mental, emotional, physical) and how that changes us.

  5. “Imagine there is no heaven” John Lennon

    I have.

    “…we are ‘poof’ gone is that (a) it in and of itself is depressing and (b) it runs counter to our existence” SVS

    a) Yes, it’s depressing,

    b) Yes, it runs counter to existence, but death does exist. No one can escape that fact. We all die. G-d created death.

    But for me all the more reason to be a moral, rational, and a pro-active force now, because now is all I have. I have a lot to do before I die. I want to see another continent. I want to experience as much of life as possible. I want to be a good person, so I leave a legacy of hope and love. I can’t do those things after I am dead. All I have is right now.

    I know the thought of nothing after we die is not comforting. I think that is one of those truths that is meat. You have to chew on and it and think about it. It is not for the weak or young. It’s a tough concept. I know.

    I guess why I feel so passionate about this, is because I have met to many people who are either are waiting for the world to end, so G-d sets everything right again (so they don’t have to do anything right now about the environment, or the way they live, kind of like the perfection arguement you have on the next blog, why be good if its all going to end anyway or Jesus has paid it all?). Or, I will be rewarded in heaven for all I have done (So I have to go door to door and force my views on others lest they miss out on this reward.) I hate being evangelized for anything, not just church, but tv commercial, billboard advertisments. all saying that something is wrong with me and if I had what they have, I could be a happy, better person.

    I am content and happy without all of it. The more they push, the more I don’t want it. I believe if something is true, you will discover it. in time, on your own. If you never do, you probably didn’t need it. We all have own journeys. no one can tell me if I am on the right or wrong track. Only I know that. And I guess I believe that everyone else is their own path also.

    Paulo Coelho said something profound about evangelism “We are always trying to convert people to a belief in our own explanation of the universe. We think the more people there are who believe as we so, the more certain it will be that what we believe is the truth. But it doesn’t work that way.”

    Anyway, now I am preaching and being contradictory to what I believe 🙂

  6. “But for me all the more reason to be a moral, rational, and a pro-active force now, because now is all I have”(Wilfred)

    Man that sounds awfully Fundamenalist of you lmao. Its funny how we all like to talk in absolutes. So heres my absolute for ya. I think my consciousness will outlive my physical body. You know how I know this, Just Because………… 😉

  7. “Man that sounds awfully Fundamenalist of you lmao. Its funny how we all like to talk in absolutes” John T

    Well put. 🙂

  8. ““Imagine there is no heaven” John Lennon…I have.” (Wolf)

    Don’t use Lennon on me (lol) – I love Lennon a lot. I agree, I have contemplated the same ideas and I think Imagine as a song – speaks to the here and now perspective. Something I also agree with – as you can tell.

    “I guess why I feel so passionate about this, is because I have met to many people who are either are waiting for the world to end, so G-d sets everything right again (so they don’t have to do anything right now about the environment, or the way they live, kind of like the perfection arguement you have on the next blog, why be good if its all going to end anyway or Jesus has paid it all?).” (Wolf)

    I agree – I think that’s why this topic is of more than theological importance – it will effect the way one views their life here and now. I think we have to keep our focus on ‘earth’ because that is where we are situated and live our daily lives. I also have to admit – I think there is a heaven and all that – but that is a ‘there and then’ concern – when we live in that reality. In the end, my focus is here and now – but my hope extends to a ‘there and then’.

    I am with you on the focus of many Christian denoms on the ‘there and then’ – I always wonder what good is that hope if it does not translate into the ‘here and now’. For some, it doesn’t. Those same people still struggle with employment, health, finding community and acceptance, relationships, family, etc. The teachings seem to address these areas and making them more complete for us – and how we can get involved in the change (for ourselves and for others). I think the teachings are about what we can do/be here and now – in the there and then there is still hope for us – but it’s not our focus.

    “no one can tell me if I am on the right or wrong track. Only I know that” (Wolf)

    Just wait…word has just come over the wire from God – and yes…wait for it…doh…it’s the wrong track (lol). Im kidding – I think you are right to a point – someone can tell someone else if they are on the wrong track some of the time. For example, if we know someone that enjoys stealing stuff from their friends or neighbors – i think we can both say for assurety that this can be addressed as ‘not the right track’ (since they have no right to someone’s else hard earned stuff).

  9. i like heaven.. i’d love to see my loved ones and review our lives and sit around and chill and have a beer with gandhi, buddha, einstien and christ. that’d be dope! however what i object to about heaven is when it’s used as a tool.

    it can be used as a behavior corrective or an opiate of the masses. for example when the upper classes tell the others.. it sucks to be rich, you wouldn’t want it. you’re good people where your at, so don’t come after my wealth cause you’re getting to heaven, we’re going to hell (remember ol’ LAZARUS AND THE RICH MAN in Luke 19). it’s used as a tool to oppress the poor in some circumstances.

    the kingdom of God is for the here and now.. not the later. as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel says “to be religious is to be impatient with injustice, a breathless impatienc with injustice, a hysteria with injustices.” we rarely get indignant or overly excited any more. why wait for heaven when we can have it in the here and now?

  10. I am peon who answers a phone for a computer help desk 🙂

    ” think we can both say for assurety that this can be addressed as ‘not the right track’ (since they have no right to someone’s else hard earned stuff).
    ” SVS

    I agree. I think there has to be a balance between individual freedoms (I love to steal) and living within a community (But, I cannot steal from my community).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s