Cryptcl: Faith and the Human Condition

Perhaps anytime is the best time of year to ponder man’s spirituality and the human condition. We all are complex in our own ways. We all have our unique needs, faith, beliefs, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. There is no one size fits all. Some reject organized religion while other’s find comfort in organized religion. There is no wrong or right. Each individual has their own needs to satisfy, and work most of their lives trying to find what works best for them. Some gain comfort by mocking other’s choices, some respect other’s choices, and some are targets of mockery. The human condition and our faith impact all our lives everyday.

First lets look at spirituality. Our spirit, our faith, helps us make decisions in our lives. It’s our outlook and our relationship with all aspects of reality. This facet of the human condition impacts our physical, emotional, and mental synergy. It provides a “big picture” theme as a background to our daily lives. Spirituality occurs when one relinquishes some responsibility for the absurdity of our existence and places faith in an unproven/proven external entity. Be it science or psychological therapy, or be it the “God(s)” of Christainity, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, or any other religion, is irrelevant. It’s the psychological therapeutic process of relinquishing control. Reassigning many of man’s worries and burdens to an external entity whom we will put our trust in. It is the acceptance by one that some things are “not under man’s control”,  regardless of how much each of us wants to be in control. Psychological therapy routinely attempts to try and lift dysfunctional worries, blame, guilt, and responsibilities from the patient to some external source. The result of this process is an individual that now understands and manages what he/she can control, and accepts what they cannot control.

Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) and Narcotics Anonymous(NA) are examples of therapies that routinely examine and adjust what individuals can and cannot control. With relation to addictions of any kind, usually the person is dealing with the impossible burden of feeling responsible for everything, or the person is dealing with the impossible burden of being unable to control anything. One’s mental health status usually rests somewhere between these two extremes and is related to their willingness to accept a “higher power” to unburden them. Unburdened an individual’s “spirit” becomes more forward looking. AA and NA meetings are essentially places where the troubled can go and confess their burdens. The faith of AA and NA advocates is that the “higher power” exists, and the individual can’t be blamed for everything. AA and NA techniques have been proven to work very well for many.

All religions provide a similar approach to provide aid and comfort to the individual. Not only do they provide a “God(s)”, that is responsible for much that happens, but they also provide some form of confession to remove the unchangeable burdens of the past, focus on the reality of today, and the aspirations of a changeable future. As part of confession, one is shown forgiveness for the actions and guilt of past mistakes. That lifts a tremendous burden off the individual and encourages a forward looking view of the world. A forward looking view is the focus of “spirit” within an individual. The holy books, Bible, Qu’ran, etc. define and describe the relationship between man and “God(s)”. The faith of the religious person is that “God” exists and the individual can’t be blamed for everything. Through two thousands years of history, religion has been proven to work very well for many.

For Atheists, Agnostics, Darwinists, evolutionists, and others that do not accept the notion of a “higher power” or “God”“Science” becomes the solution for the individual. Generally, these are the people focused on scientific truths, and place all their confidence in science to explain everything. As scientists have discovered our body of knowledge changes over time, and our understanding of that knowledge also changes over time. But in a certain way, the sciences themselves become the “Diety” to which one gives control. The quantifiable, testable, and observable physical world through science provide the equations and physical relationships that exist outside the control of the individual. All sciences control certain aspects of our lives, and defines other aspects of our lives. I can open a textbook and see the exact physical relationships between two entities. I can test that relationship and prove that relationship. Through scientific progress and understanding , one’s “spirit” tends to be more forward looking. The faith of the non-religious is that “Science” exists and the individual can’t be blamed for everything. Through a thousand years of science has been proven to work very well for many.

So in all cases, the human “spirit” uses faith in external entities, and some form of “confessing or exposing or understanding” our mistakes or weaknesses to define our human condition. Our “spirit” will be more forward looking, less despondent, less depressed, and less burdened when our “spirit” learns how to reduce our burden and not try to manage the weight of the whole world by ourselves.

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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