Category: Free Will Versus Predestination

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Closer to You


My experiences are my own. I would not trade one sleepless night.
My experiences are my own. They have led me to be who I am.
My experiences are my own. I could not imagine it any other way.
My experiences are my own. They have brought me closer to you.

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If Your Heart Were Truly Open


During difficult times I am reminded of conversations with God and the devil. As strange as that may seem, the message from both are lessons I will never forget. Almost seven years ago, the day before Thanksgiving, a friend of mine who lived on the other side of the world woke up from a dead sleep and felt compelled to message me three words, “Divide and Conquer.” During that time period I had already begun writing, but it was fairly infrequent. But when I saw those words, it was different. I began writing and writing and I could not stop. I literally wrote for hours from almost 10am to 4:30pm that day. I only stopped because I needed to pick up my son from daycare.

On the way to day care, I prayed to God and I asked Him in my heart, “Why can’t I stop writing?” In that moment, I felt a peace come over me. I heard/felt the words, “If your heart were truly open, would you ever want it to stop?” As I felt those words something happened. I could literally feel every emotion of everyone. I could feel love, pain, anger, hate, happiness, all of it. I could feel all of it all at once as if each thought and emotion were in some ether floating around, waiting to be felt, waiting to be expressed. It was all there, but it was not overwhelming. It was as if they simply existed, all without judgment. There was no good or bad. They were just expressions, existence. There were just the words I associated with what I saw. Just as I could feel the peace and I tried to hold onto it, it disappeared. It was still there but as soon as I tried to attach my understanding, and my perception to it, it disappeared. From that day onward, I would continue to write.

Sometime after that I had another “conversation.” In a dream I had seen the devil. There was no fear, anger or hate. There was simply understanding. In a dark room I could see the outline of a door. As I opened the door, I could see a figure. A light seemingly coming from nowhere shown upon this figure. I recognized him to be the devil. It was as if he was frozen by the light. He was not able to move, except to speak. I asked him, “Why are you the way you are?” Not expecting any response, he answered me. He simply said, “I forgot who I was. I forgot where I came from.” I could see remorse, and sadness. His burden was to see and feel the fruit of the seeds he had sown. In him, I saw myself and mankind. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten the light, and the way. And in doing so, it was as if we turned our backs on God.

Upon waking from this dream, I was instantly reminded of my conversation with God. “If my heart were truly open, why would I ever want it to stop?” Why would anyone want to turn their back on God? I have looked back on these moments. I often ask myself could I have done something different to continue feeling that peace? What can I do to come to that state of mind? But in trying to grasp at what we think we know and by trying to label those things that we think we understand, we judge. We judge our experiences by those of others. We judge every aspect of life. We judge our grief, our pain, and our losses. We judge our love, our happiness, and our gains. We judge and we lose sight.

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Leap of Faith


The danger with premonitions is that we can forget to live. Guidance is received in many ways and premonitions are just one of many. Guidance can come in the form of advice from a friend or a priest, or it can even come as a fleeting thought. The best guidance among them all is often the one we forget, the one that comes from our heart. If we live our life looking to confirm everything at every step, that’s not living, it’s trying to be right, but by whose standards? We are the ones who live with our decisions, positive or negative, and our decisions have an impact on the world around us. No matter how much we want to believe that our actions, thoughts and beliefs just affect us, we cannot fool anyone but ourselves. We affect each other, through our moods, words, action and inaction.

Though we may want that pat on the back every step of the way, sometimes we just have to put one foot in front of the other and take a leap of faith. Faith is not completely blind, when we follow our heart.

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Virtue


I don’t write as often as I used to and that is by design. We each walk into this world with our own challenges and tests. We are different after all. We are born into different circumstances, speak different languages, and are faced with different hurdles in life. Regardless of those differences, we are more alike than we sometimes see or hope to be.

For me, my challenge has always been that I have a hard time when others cannot see the world as I do. I have a logical mind. I have always been this way. I have the ability to break down problems into their discrete parts, and by that virtue find a solution to problems, or perceived problems. I see the paths, in, through and out of situations. I see people in very much the same way. That in itself is my gift, my problem and my challenge. I can break people apart into their smallest parts, their motivations, their fears, their hopes, and their desires. I see these things in relation to their environment and the circumstances from which they come. I can see these things in regards to the relationships they have with others. Regardless of this, people are more than their fears, hopes and desires. They are more than the things they show, or even the things they hide.

And so in seeing people in this way, it’s easy to dismiss what others may see as a challenge. Seeing people in this way is a double edged sword. In one hand it can be used to manipulate people, to use people against themselves. By understanding how one’s fears and motivations drive them, they can be driven to do things they would not normally wish for themselves. Also by the same virtue, by understanding their hopes, they can be driven to be the best person they can be.

Today, I choose to write, not to be above others, or to convince others. I write because it is what my heart drives me to do. I write because in the end, you and I are the more than just alike. We are the same. We are One.

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A Prayer of Guidance


I dare not claim to know the will of God. I only pray that God will allow His will to be my will, that my heart may be open, that it may listen, and that I may humbly fulfill His will without judgement. In doing so, may I see what I am meant to see, hear what I am meant to hear and be who I am meant to be, no more and no less.

Amen.

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Three Right Turns


When going around the block of life, three right turns doesn’t always make a circle. Sometimes we have to trust that God has a plan that we will not always understand. At different points in our life or our spiritual development, we may be blessed with glimpses.

These are just that, glimpses, because in a moment all that exists can be revealed and all that was unclear can be realized.

At each moment we have a choice. Sometimes those choices will not always make sense. We are passengers in life but we are not passive for our will is still our own until it is not so. We can trust in God, or we we can forge our own path. And though we may think our way is better, we may find ourselves at the same end, but on a path far more difficult than it needed to be.

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Down this Road


When you go down a road you’ve already traveled, you know where all of the hazards are. You know where to stop, where to slow down and where to speed up. Things are less of a surprise and you are able to anticipate your next move.

But when it’s a completely new road or path, everything is new. Surprises are seemingly around every corner. You find yourself speeding up when you should slow down and slowing down when you can actually speed up. You power through turns, and you can only hope if you launch off a cliff or ramp, there is a road beneath you.

Going down a new road is a lot like life. We have to learn how to roll with the punches. Life’s experiences help us to navigate hazards, but we can’t always predict what will come next or whether we’ll even be prepared when we see those hazards. Most times we are just happy we’re on something resembling stable ground.

In a lot of ways that’s okay. We don’t always have a choice. We can be overly cautious or plain reckless, or we can just live life. On some level we’re going to just have to trust that we’ll get through it all in one piece.

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All Are Loved


The hateful shall be hateful. The loving shall be loving. And all will be loved. Do not hate those who cannot understand. Do not spite those for whom peace has graced their life for the hateful shall be hateful and the loving shall be loving.

Do you not make another as you have become for peace and love find it’s way to each differently. Allow not your lessons to be another’s lessons lest they wish them to be. Foster understanding not by forcing your way but by allowing another to find their own way.

Do not foster resentment when another has failed to understand your path for it is on their path that their lessons are born. Instead be compassionate for all are loved.

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Bringing Down a Phalanx


phalanxDisbelief and self-doubt are powerful in their ability to destroy oneself and even those whom would place their trust blindly with others. No matter how inclined one is to follow a particular path or mode of thinking, seeing the doubt that others may have in the same idea can often be detrimental to one’s own ability to believe.

Where a bridge stood or a rope supported one’s weight, the support fades and we are left to question our own faith, and our own motives. Have we followed others all along, or have we forged our own path? Are we truly comfortable in our own skin, or have we lived off of the support of others?

Doubt can bring a phalanx down, but when confronted with a chance to redeem oneself, there is no turning back. There is only Us in the end, no one stronger, smarter, or more prepared. There is only Us and yet all we have to confront is ourselves.

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Concentric Circles


green concentric circlesImagine time as set of concentric circles moving outward from a single starting point. As we move outward from the starting point to the outer most circle time moves forward. Now imagine that each adjacent circle is connected by any number of paths, with each path representing a choice. That choice could be anything from crossing the street to not crossing the street, to something perhaps more consequential like having a child or not having a child, or saving money versus spending all of one’s money. The circles, which represent consequences, stay the same, but the path to each circle can be different.

What if life proceeded in this way? Would that indicate predestination or free will? Would it mean that our choices do not matter because the result is the same? What if one could bypass a circle of consequence? What if one could remain at the single point? What if one could move between circles or what if there were more than one set of concentric circles, or circles that crossed other circles? Could our lives and thus our choices be distilled so easily?

Perhaps these questions do not matter all that much, or perhaps we place too much energy and concern on the time spent from going from point A to point B, when in fact they are the same? Maybe what is important is not the consequence at all, but how we come to the decision that leads to that consequence, or is it the other way around?

We can spend an entire lifetime contemplating all the possible outcomes and all the possible choices and still not be satisfied with how things turn out. If we allow our lives to be dictated by the fear of what may or may not happen, then we have crippled ourselves before giving life a chance.

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