Archive for August, 2006

The “selfish” nature

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

In previous posts, I’ve been talking a lot about what I call my selfish nature. I describe this nature as a force inside myself that is decidedly against my spiritual well being and the good of others. However, I was thinking that to describe this nature as selfish or self-centered is not quite accurate. What activities are self-centered or selfish? I have always associated selfishness as being a bad thing, but being self-centered is good in a sense. If I’m hungry, I take care of myself and eat. If I’m tired, I sleep. If I am cold, I get a jacket. If I’m exhausted, I take a break. So far, these things are good. Read the rest of this entry »

Purpose of philosophical thinking

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

As I mentioned earlier in my previous post, the active study of the spritual life in a philosophic manner has many traps and dangers. So what am I to do?

Many of my friends who I admire greatly see this failing in people like myself and simply veer towards anti-intellectualism in spiritual matters. They don’t respect the scholarly community, and mainly get their input of spiritual truth from pastors. Adopt a simple faith they say. Just believe what the pastor says to believe. I understand their reasoning – people who doubt, question things, or think deeply about spiritual issues can often have less then perfect motivations that will lead them into spiritual danger, but I’ve been given a brain to think with, so I’m going to use it. I’m keenly aware of the dangers (see my last post). Willful ignorance does nothing to improve my life. Why turn the direction of my spiritual life over to others to control? Of all things in life, should this not be entirely my responsibility?

The answer may reside in my understanding of the purpose of philosophy. Here are some thoughts on that subject, some from Epictetus, some from James, and some from myself. Note: beware of that last group… 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

Pitfalls of philosophical thinking

Monday, August 21st, 2006

When searching for truth, like any other endeavor, you need a good tool. I’ll use an analogy of removing a tree for this. Philosophy is my tool to discover spiritual truth like a chainsaw is my tool for cutting down a tree. Philosophy, like a chainsaw, can be quite dangerous to me if I don’t use it properly. It’s good to understand the dangerous of this tool before jumping up and using it. Why? Becuase if I don’t pay attention to its use, and understand its inherient dangers, I can seriously injure myself. This is not to say that philosophy itself is dangerous any more than a chainsaw sitting on the ground is. It has potential danger, but it requires kinetic energy (me) to interact with it for it to become dangerous.

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Regarding material possessions

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

As a Christian, I often hear of a philosophy that states we should spend more time with our spouse and God, and secondly, our immediate family, and thirdly, friends and extended family. They are very important in our lives. Careers (this means being a pastor, elder, deacon, or missionary as well as an engineer or designer), money, vacations, cars, hobbies are not important things. I believe there are very good intentions behind this philosophy, but it seems off to me. Let’s examine this philosophy. Read the rest of this entry »

A Mind on Fire

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Over the past year I’ve been reading a weblog by a guy named John over at mindonfire.com. Although I come from a different background, mine being a moderate evangelical Christian and him from a Morman background, I greatly appreciate his thoughts on spiritual matters. Recently it appears he has made a transition to an atheist /agnostic stance due to some bad fallout with his religious community, the details of which I know nothing about.

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The beginning

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Well, this is my first post, which has been a dream for me for about a year now and has finally come to fruition. I finally got a weblog site up, and have so much to talk about, and so little time to do it. I apologize for my “out-of-the-box” theme. It’s quite boring, and as a web designer I can do a lot better, but I have a desire to write so badly that even my own training and passion as a visual designer isn’t holding sway over me.

Something else is. Something greater than visual beauty and far beyond me.

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