Jamberoo Abbey- part three. The slightly more profound bit.

I’ve just been reading over my notes/journal/poorly formed ideas and have been reminded that I absolutely decided that I would stop complaining, that it’s an awful character trait and I need to rid myself of it immediately. Not quite sure why I decided that it was so terrible, but I seemed to think that it’s an important thing to stop. And promptly forgot about it. Oh well.

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I know that I tend to talk about ‘proof’ a lot, in that I often say that I’m never going to find proof and that I should just move on and dispense of the need for it. And then soon after I’ll write another post about it so clearly I haven’t moved on and proof and I are destined to always be more than ‘just good friends’.

But it’s occurred to me that I may have been looking in the wrong place.

Relating to the whole proof conundrum, I actually have a half written post about the Multiverse vs. God and how they relate to each other and the whole general mish-mash, but I don’t think that I’ll ever post it because my lack of knowledge of the scientific intricacies will be glaringly obvious and someone will end up telling me my fortune (probably legitimately) in the comments so I should probably stick to more abstract topics and not ones that contain strings of words along the lines of ” The extra 6 or 7 dimensions may either be compactified on a very small scale, or our universe may simply be localized on a dynamical (3+1)-dimensional object, a D-brane”***

Anyway, I digress.

Basically, I always come back to ‘proof’ so I should just freaking embrace it I guess. Unless, of course, ‘proof’ exists in a whole other sphere to faith (a parallel universe, maybe? See what I did there?) and trying to find a common ground between the two is going to end in a futile frustration. Perhaps the need for ‘proof’ is buying in to the Western scientific paradigm, when actually ‘faith’ exists completely separately. It’s like…. I’m trying to think of a good analogy here. Feel free to add one in the comments.

As I see it, proof is an intellectual stance and a thought pattern where one thing is contingent on another. Faith doesn’t exist there. Faith is set apart from our thinking and our reasoning; it resides with our emotions and our passions, our instinctive desires and needs.

Maybe what we need is a ‘faith in God’ rather than a ‘belief in God’.

Mind you, it’s very hard to avoid the language of belief. I’ve had to rewrite the next few lines several times because I kept falling back on it and I’m sure that I will time and time again in the future.

The deep, soul touching feelings that we have, the tears that come to our eyes or the catch in our breath when we hear beautiful music or see an amazing cloud or a breathtaking stream of sunlight, feel the spring breeze on our face or hear of an heroic act. These things touch us so deeply and profoundly, yet why?

Numberless times everyday I am transported by something I see in nature and I like to think that the reason our heart is possessed by these is that God doesn’t try to connect with us through our intellect. God wants to connect with us through the transcendent, through the beautiful or even through the mundane that can so often be amazing.

Whenever we see or hear or smell something that touches us in a place that we just can’t explain or justify, that, for me, is our soul connecting with God.

Our most authentic desires; beauty, nature and art, are gifts from God and our heart stirs when, on some level, we acknowledge this. We don’t need them on any physical level but we need them so, so much. They speak to an indefinable part of ourselves that seems to get little credence these days.

We have been trained out of listening to our intuition, of trusting our hearts ands following where our instincts lead. Maybe, if we really want to follow the trails that God intends us to lead or live our most authentic life we need to be more in touch with the nameless places that within us, that call to us on a soul level.

Maybe the more that we make an effort to notice beauty, to create it on our lives and in our words and to help others find it when things just seem too hard, the closer we get to an awareness of God.

And I suppose not complaining so much does connect in with all that, doesn’t it?

***That’s copied from Wikipedia. I don’t know what it means. I now have a headache.

12 thoughts on “Jamberoo Abbey- part three. The slightly more profound bit.

  1. Loved it but then fell to the depths when I read that it was copied from Wikepedia. Are you serious?
    “Basically, I always come back to ‘proof’ “, I just have to say one thing on this thought. God gave us proof and it was called Jesus. I have been contemplating later on the real truth of the fact that Jesus was a real person, who walked, talked and suffered. And other real people knew him and wrote down and passed on what they really saw and experienced. We are so far past the time when all of this really, truly happened that I found I gave it intellectual consent without the awe of really realising that it was truth. They were flesh and blood people just like us,

    Glad to see you back blogging even when you do frustrate me. I guess it is good for me.

  2. I think it’s OK to require ‘proof’ to have faith. After all, what is faith if not a string conviction, something in which you are fully persuaded? If you need proof to be fully persuaded, then that’s OK.
    The problem could be, that we tend to see what we expect to see: the ‘proof’ could be all around us and as Jeniffer pointed out, substantially evidenced in history, but if we filter or discount it on poor assumptions we could easily miss it.
    I would ask the question: what would ‘proof’ look like?

    • My own barometer for proof seems to be quite tricky, with a unconscious and self imposed very high bar. I’ve failed to be convinced by the philosophy, history or science of faith so I’m having to branch out in to more ephemeral areas 🙂

  3. Hi Eva, I think because we are all different, we all need different things to convince us. So while I think we’ll never get absolute proof of anything very much, we can certainly find evidence. In the end, some people rely moistly on evidence (that’s me) and others rely on a little evidence and a lot of intuition and experience (which is sort of evidence anyway) – and everywhere in between.

    I think faith comes in when we decide what we think is true and decide to trust God with that. In my teens, I spent a year thinking christianity was true but refusing to trust God enough to commit myself to following Jesus. But I got there eventually.

    It’s not all that different in relationships, especially with a life partner. We have to first get to know the person enough, but when we get to that point we are able to choose to commit to them. We can’t ever prove that trust is justified, but it isn’t based on nothing either – and as life goes on, our experience (hopefully) strengthens that trust. (Of course sometimes, unfortunately it doesn’t, but that’s a different story.)

    • Yes, I see what you mean. My basic stance now is that I’ve got enough ( defined in my own special way) evidence here which builds my personal case, and then the leap to the next level is one of trust and faith.
      I’m not that great at using my own personal relationships as a basis for thinking about these issues- but as, you said, different story 🙂

  4. These things touch us so deeply and profoundly, yet why?

    That’s a good question. Explaining it with because god doesn’t explain anything. It diverts us from seeking an honest answer and replaces it with a pseudo-answer that too many of us then assert that these experiences are evidence for the the conclusion we ourselves assert. This is a closed circle of thinking that imposes our belief about god ON reality, which we then confuse to be FROM reality.

    See how easily we fool ourselves?

    That’s why you have no ‘proof’ external to your a priori beliefs. God seems to come into being only by belief and does not seem to exist independent of it. I think that’s a pretty powerful clue that your explanatory model doesn’t work.

  5. Thanks for the jamboree of Jamberoo posts! I like how you pick up the cultural dimensions of our struggle with proof. For me, the cultural divide between us and Jesus is so great that “getting it” is as much by luck as judgment.

    The other cultural dimension may be how individualistic our society has become. Now, it’s “my faith depends upon what I see and I decide if it’s valid or not. Then I have faith and I am saved (whatever the hell that means) and I have found God.” Somewhere in there the gospel notion of faith being found in loving God and loving others gets lost. Perhaps faith is discovered in doing something for others – rather like those quiet old nuns giving up their precious silent space in order to do something for others who need a little retreat from the world?

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