Saw this on the Onion this morning and enjoyed it, so I thought I'd share. Granted it is satire, but I was wondering your serious thoughts on the subject matter any way.
Just let me say that I don't think you're finished processing --
And to your answer, I reply: rightly so, my friend.
Granted, Barry, I do respect your intellect and your ability to reason, and believe me, I need all the friends I can get, but go too far in the "woo" department, and I'll be all over you like a mongoose with a cobra addiction - but in the nicest possible way --
RE: "Yes, I believe in the promise of eternal life. However, I do not think it is a second life. The eternal life can be had in the here and now" - I reread your post, and came away even more confused than I usually am, if I understand your statement, you either believe the end of the world is right around the corner, and you're going to live through it, or you as yet have no explanation for all of the people who believe as you do, but who have died, and certainly have no eternal life, "in the here and now."
Could you enlighten us? And no, I'm not ridiculing you, I really want to know.
You probably came away confused because it does not fit within the framework most Christians can be easily boxed into. What I mean by eternal life being had in the here and now has nothing to do with the apocalypse. Eternal life is what you are: the person who exists inside the body you are given to live. The negative influences or "forces" in ones life have a tendency to under realize the individual, overcoming such "forces" sets a path for your eternal existence, or that which is your life's true purpose. Once you are "realized" you have achieved it in the measure that it can be had in the here and now.
I, personally, am uncomfortable in describing it because it is not easy for my left brain to communicate it as well as my right can. I am more a right brained individual, so maybe - in a way - this might help explain things in a creative sense from another angle The Boy by Baile Ronin
Maybe, after reading this, you'll understand or have questions that trip the wire more easily in this brain of mine. The link above is my own work.
Well, I read The Boy by Baile Ronin and tried to leave a comment, using my WordPress account, but after posting, was given a message by WordPress that read, "You do not own this account." Well, if I don't, who the hell does?
Sorry, I went away for awhile, but I'm back now. I think you write well, and as a writer myself, if I wore a hat, I'd take it off!
In this story I am trying to convey that I know what it means to be under or not realized. While I grew up in a well-off middle class family that seemed quite functional, I found myself struggling to belong. In order to compensate for this, I often "did the right thing" or what was expected just to gain acceptance. In return, however, it cost me.
My folks and the educational system of which I was involved made it very clear to me that I had to live an existence that I did not quite fit into, but I tried anyway because I was often told that I didn't know was I was talking about, that I was stupid, or full of shit. I was also told since childhood that they "didn't understand me" making me feel as though something was wrong with me. It left me very much a boy inside.
The only person who had confidence in me was and is my wife, who saw something that I didn't. Yet even so, I spent all of my youth and young adulthood trying to fit into jobs, careers and roles that were acceptable to the world even though they fell short of who I am.
It was not until my thirty-third year that my inner self had other plans, and sadly such a transformation to shape in conflict with the church I was working in and my family. And so, I have spent the last 14 months reclaiming myself, declaring to my family and the world who I am and not giving a damn what they think of me if it is unacceptable. Afterall, I am doing this not just for me, but for my children. I have three boys, the middle child being very much like me, and I saw myself repeating the same patterns of behavior that was done to me. This ends now.
My hope is that he will be able to flourish in ways that were denied to me as a child, so that when he has to leave the nest he will go farther and faster than what time has allotted me.
I often find great wisdom in the work of the Lebanese poet, Kahlil Gibran, and two things he said, in different poems, both apply to you - he said that the strongest steel is forged in the hottest flame, and that confirms our own colloquial expression, "Anything that doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
He further said, poetically, what you have already realized your job to be - "You are the bows, from which your children, as living arrows, are sent forth upon the path of the infinite."
You have my greatest respect, and I will stop needling you, as much.
RE: "To me, what you is not a yes or no question." - Barry, I've established respect for your mind and your thought processes, but WTF does that mean?
It's called writing quickly and not proof reading! Oops! It was supposed to say: "To me, what you ask is not a yes or no question."
That wasn't a criticism, I can't count the number of times I've done something similar, but knowing I can do this, I generally proof my comment before hitting the "Add Reply" button.
Even then, I have to go back in and hit the "Edit" button, to correct anything I may have missed.
I know it wasn't. I took your comment very lightly, and laughed at myself. I often try to do the same as you with proof reading, but also get distracted sometimes and forget.