Tag Archives: contemplative

Believe

via Daily Prompt: Believe

Socrates comes to mind, naturally, when he says: “I am wiser than anyone else because I know I don’t know.” Belief is a strong, determined word. In the hilarious movie ‘Dogma’ (1999) the character Rufus, the thirteenth apostle (played by Chris Rock), asks “Do you believe, or do you have an idea?” The film was a criticism of the institution of the Church, which tends to foster sound doctrine, black and white beliefs, and in some corners of the Church, fanaticism (albeit, fundamentalism).

The issue of religious belief is always objectivity trying to defeat and ridicule subjectivity.

It might be that faith is a better word, but even that is a loaded word. But as author Ann Lamott says: “Faith begins with experience, and our faith is our reaction to that experience. Science begins with intuition and not logic.” And she also adds: “You have to experience something before you can know something.” And, “The opposite of faith is certainty.” and so, back to Socrates.

I prefer to speak carefully of the experience of soul work, the contemplative life, and my experiences of Other. Do I believe? Well, I don’t disbelieve, but I prefer to say, I have an experience, which is something more than an idea.

 

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Critical

via Daily Prompt: Critical

So many possible angles on this. What is critical? Trump vs North Korea? Turnbull vs his own political party (even himself)? Or, have you thought about restorative justice, now that’s a critical issue? Or, are you responding to climate change with solid critical thinking (dividing the truth, reasoning)?

But from a contemplative point of view, critical, or critical thinking (or processing), is deductive vs inductive thinking (or processing). Inductive reasoning involves inquiry, exploration, trial and error. Whereas deductive reasoning involves establishing a truth and supporting it. Inductive reasoning has helped us to grow and explore in every field of learning, whereas deductive learning has kept us corralled in a particular moment of learning.

Inductive learning helps us to think and respond critically to ideas, processes, facts, learning, discovery, emotions, and feelings. In theology and politics (and other fields of learning too) deductive learning is usually associated with closed thinking, even fundamentalism(s). Whereas inductive learning is exponential, it keeps on keeping on, because it recognises our potential to never fully know, but to be always engaged with learning new aspects of a truth or an experience. Inductive learning is not about black or white, right or wrong, who’s in or who’s out, it is about how do we move forward with each revelation, and how do I integrate that learning and contribute to it too? Deductive learning has its place, but its more about what we agree to be set truths and paths to learning, and of which there are few.

I’m for trial and error, its more forgiving, more fun, and opens up a myriad of possibilities every time. but it really depends on how you look at life, are you open to new ideas and paths at each turn, or do you yearn for set ideas and paths? The great thinkers of each generation have been inductive thinkers and teachers.

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