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How Did God Get Started?
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If you consume violent video games, you will become a violent person. Human beings are maddeningly complicated to evaluate and manage from the outside. Very few of the white kids watching the video for Trap Queen on YouTube are going to go out and cook up some crack or join a gang so as to have a rival gang with members to shoot.
Does that mean that it doesn't have any influence? That would be more of that all-or-nothing thinking that helped our foremothers survive in life or death situations, but didn't help all that much in creating the philosophy or science that have allowed us not to be in life or death situations nearly so often.
Of course it has some influence, and of course to tell exactly what nature and how much we are stuck with the uncertain means of statistical social science or the cumbersome ones of brain scanning, but we can look at ourselves and those closest to us and get some sense of the situation.
It should be too obvious to need stating, but once we are in the presence of a song or a movie or decide to start reading a book, we can't consciously choose what elements will influence us and leave the others behind. I'm kind of upset at American culture for feeding me enough stimuli, with no conscious cooperation on the part of myself, my parents, or my teachers, to imbibe the whole gospel malispel? I can't entirely shake the sense that burdened me so heavily as a teenager that if only I was doing what everyone else was supposedly doing getting laid , I would be happy and my life would be worth living.
It takes effort to keep it at bay, and used to take enormous effort that crippled me as far as the work of growing up and finding my vocation was concerned. This all also comes back to the question I posed myself about knowingly filling my mind with fiction.
If you're watching Scarface snort cocaine and shoot people, you're distancing yourself from reality. I sure hope. There is help if part of that is your reality. Add up enough distance, and it starts to make sense to call it dissociation. How does this relate to "frequency"? I'm going to go out on a limb here with my modest familiarity with the term "frequency" and my considerable experience with dissociation and say:.
If surrounding oneself with reminders and expectations of good things and affirming the good that has been placed within you is vibrating at a high frequency, while surrounding oneself with mediocrity and telling yourself you're a fraud and barely getting by is vibrating at a low frequency, then losing oneself in fantasy and living apart from reality is not to be vibrating at all Just like absolute zero, no living person is all the way down at zero frequency, but some of us are only at a few millikelvin.
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw a massive change in economics and intellectual culture, centered on Europe, but rapidly affecting the entire world. At no time in prior world history had Europe come to stand in such a position of dominance. By the end of the period, the European states--fractured and warring states, in no way unified in their goals--were unquestionably the military and scientific rulers of the planet.
It had never been that way before. In prior centuries, India, China, the Muslim states, or pre-Muslim Persia and Egypt had been peers or obvious superiors to any European state, even unified Rome.
The effects of this on Christian thought should not be understated. In the early centuries, Christian thinkers were continuously occupied with apologetics, the laying out of arguments for the intellectual credibility of Christianity as opposed to the other philosophical traditions at large in the Mediterranean and wider world. Even after Constantine, pagan thought gave ground only slowly. Persian thought remained non-Christian, and Persia remained a political and intellectual rival to Rome, all the way up to the Muslim explosion of the seventh century.
In the medieval era, Christians were in constant tension with Muslims, intellectually as well as politically and in the most basic tenets of faith in God. Yet by the thirteenth century, things were already changing. The Crusades marked the beginning of the military counterattack by Christendom against Muslim states, as uneven as that would be. Although the Turks remained dangerous foes into the seventeenth century, and came close in the sixteenth to wreaking tremendous havoc in the Mediterranean, they were no longer serious intellectual rivals of Italians, Spaniards, and Northern Europeans.
Precisely because there were no longer perceived to be serious intellectual rivals to European, Christian thinkers, I would propose that various ridiculous ideas reached the height of fashionability, and have left distorted schools of Christian thought in their wake down to the present. They did not start in the sixteenth or even fifteenth century, nor did they completely rule the scene even in that period, but they flourished and bore the largest share of their bad fruit then. I mean ideas like:. I am certainly a Roman Catholic, and I look with horror back at many of the doctrines of the first Protestants, but it is most assuredly true that many Catholics at the time followed them or even led them down these very paths.
I think that other Catholics felt driven to express themselves in similar language or else risk losing their audience. In the centuries since, members of these same Christian societies began to be so scandalized by these ideas that they rebelled against Christianity--really, the distorted version of it where these ideas are so prominent, but in their minds, that was all Christianity was.
The Post Christian meditations address the larger question, " Why do people believe science and the Catholic, Christian faith are mutually contradictory? Definitely the word that generates the most eye rolls per appearance. I have something of an allergy to physics metaphors that I didn't create myself; that's a character defect.
There is also the chilling sense that I get that people like Jen Sincero and Danielle LaPorte and so forth in some sense think they're talking literally about the frequency of Unless and until you can show me the plot of frequency versus mood or attitude, tell me how many hertz are involved, and show me what is actually vibrating, I'mma go on considering it to be a metaphor.
Frequency is tied up with the law of attraction. Apparently you attract things by "raising your frequency" to match the thing, or type of thing, you want to have in your life. This raising of frequency is accomplished by setting expectations and taking external actions to reinforce them: changing how you dress, the decor on your walls, the way you eat, and the people you choose to spend time with that last being the most difficult and the one where the fewest suggestions are given!
God, Faith and the New Millennium
Underneath the pseudo-scientific name of "frequency" I think there's a ton of insight lurking. It's so clear that different groups of people set very different expectations for one another. My neighbor down the road hangs out with a biker club on the weekends. Here at Walmart.
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Where is Your God? - Concluding Document of the Plenary Assembly, March
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