Thursday 4 August 2016

The power of framing. It all depends on what you think this world is for, and how it works...

It is so difficult to stick to the subject - so easy to drift off the point: The Point is what is this world for in relation to me, my life, everybody else and their lives - and everything that is. Unless each of us has formed some answer to this question, then sooner or later - and it practise sooner rather than later - you will miss the point badly, and start talking about something else altogether.

Then there is the matter of how it works. Suppose you have decided what life is about in some ultimate sense... Then how does it work specifically? Supposing that you have some idea about spreading the word, changing people's attitudes and improving their behaviour - persuading them to stop doing this or that... Then you need to have an idea of how the world works in order to decide how this might be done: what could be effective, and what ineffective. 

Let's get specific. I happen to believe the Western world in in an extremely bad state of self-imposed alienation, nihilism, self-hatred and covert suicidality. The context is that this world was made by creators who are our divine parents, we chose to be born and were placed in the kind of situation that best suits our needs; and that everybody's main purpose is to incarnate and die (this applies to all humans who have ever lived, including those who died before being born) - and also for some people - and to varying degrees and in various ways - to gain experiences we need to advance spiritually towards divinity. 

So - what next? There is an absolutely colossal world of lies and deception and evil - which has led and continues to lead masses of people to various forms of spiritual disaster, using a vast array of mass media, arts, official and unofficial communication channels - and there is me.

But are these monopolised communication channels the only possible way of communicating - do I actually believe that? Of do I believe in a multitude of other ways and forms of, and reasons for, communicating... Well I believe that there are a multitude of ways, some imperceptible.  I believe, for example, in telepathy communications via dreams, that God and angels can reveal knowledge directly into our minds...

Beyond this, I believe that the natural, spontaneous, underlying basis of reality is a state of total communication and minimal differentiation - that things began as a kind of sea of consciousness, with separate elements as vestigial seeds of potential but hardly-actual awareness.

What this implies is that the problem of my communicating the truth as a minority of one in a world of lies is actually a non-problem; because communication happens, it cannot not happen - everything I do, including everything I think, is very generally available, and makes a difference.

See how it works? Before I have thought this through, I felt as if the world was against me, and I had no chance against the world. But by refocusing on clarifying and reasoning-from my primary assumptions, I recognise that this was a false conclusion.

And as a result I feel greatly energised and motivated to continue to do my best, at the highest level. Such is the power of framing.


David Balfour said...

It is comforting to know I am not the only one who thinks like this Bruce. At the end of the day the question of the overriding meaning of life frames everything and that includes for those people who claim the question cannot be answered or has no intrinsic value. But one cannot not answer that question and whether we know it or not the lives we lead reflect the answer to that question. A scary thought! Fortunately we can repent and use our free will to change or start again at any moment thanks to the atonement. It does not bare contemplating where I would be without that glorious gift.

For me, perhaps the hardest thing about believing in a world you cannot see or sense directly through the 5 senses is that when you share that perception with others they dismiss it offhand or deny it as obviously false. I find that such reactions hurt me badly at a personal level now that is difficult to explain but which seems to be especially potent because at a deep level I *know* that denying God or Christ is a deep form of self-harm perpetrated on the reality of all that is good in creation, to deny all significant meaning or purpose to humamity. So, I thank you for reminding me daily that there are others out there who dont think its mad to believe in God even when the world tempts me to doubt it or to abandom my faith. I find that the stronger my faith becomes the stronger the world tries to rob me of it. I prey I will not be overcome by the world. At the end of the day what possession could be of any greater value? Without faith there can be no hope and without hope? Well, a man can endure the absense of food or shelter but without hope he must surely perish. Christ is my hope.

Anonymous said...

Stephen C. said: Cardinal Newman (who was a great and not very indirect influence on Tolkien,my favorite poet) thought the most important thing in this world is the fact that heart speaks to heart (Cor ad Cor loquitur). If Newman is right, which he is, dreams and prayers and Christian contemplation are extremely efficacious and important things in this world. The Gospels are full of people who desperately care about each other - the good Samaritan, Joseph of Arimethea, Mary Magdalene, and not only the Prodigal Son, who knew Poverty, but also his comfortably rich father, who never knew poverty but who still somehow knew how to love; and Joseph and Anna and Zechariah and Elizabeth and all that crowd, and Peter and John the Baptist and all those nameless but wonderful people in all those true stories who begged Jesus for healing miracles for their friends - but in today's world, let's face it, only the richest or luckiest or most attractive among us (I am not one of them but I am not complaining) have ever gotten in the habit of knowing the feeling of being desperately cared about (in this world). That being said, the more of us (for the record, this includes me) who accurately and really believe those we love will be blessed with miracles, the better. The last words of Jesus, describing those he had met in this world, was simply that "they know not what they do." That is actually a very nice thing to say, considering the unpleasant circumstances.