Faith and Work

seeker2seer

The Force is Strong With This One
Driving to work a few days ago I was thinking about why it is so hard to accept and then do the physical parts of the Work such as changing diet and networking. Even with all the information about the effects of thinking errors, early trauma, and diet on the brain it is still hard to acknowledge these things can and do affect the potential for spiritual/personal development.

I realized the foundation of my thinking was built on the idea that "spiritual" things or behavior mattered more than physical. I asked the question how did I develop that thinking? Then I remembered the teaching I grew up with of faith vs works from evangelical Christianity. Growing up, faith was the main thing taught and works were viewed as trying to rely on one's efforts to be saved. That is why spiritual things like prayer and worship took precedence because the body was viewed as only temporary and not important. Even in some of the alternative New Age philosophies this emphasis of spirit over physical is still present. The emphasis of spiritual only leads to very deep level programming designed to de-emphasize working on changing habits which affect the body like diet, which would lead to improving receivership capability.

Now with the new revelations coming through reading "Healing Developmental Trauma" it appears the origins of thinking errors and emotional trauma occurred much earlier in life than previously thought. It seems like the more I read about how our brains work or are supposed to work and the errors in thinking which lead to erroneous behavior and dissociation, the more my physical body desires the wrong things (sugar, carbs, junk food, and bad habits).

Has anyone else experienced something similar? Any advice on how to overcome this type of deeply programmed thinking error? Perhaps neurofeedback?
 

Ruth

The Living Force
Seems to me like a difference between an active or a passive response to a situation. The passive response is encouraged because it will have minimal results and rely on luck more than effort to obtain a result. In our world, which gives biased credence to the physical realm, it's not really surprising that we are 'encouraged' to 'have faith' i.e. do nothing and let the cards fall as they may.

Also it is possible that a passive response to something like 'faith' or 'spiritual' is the best receptacle for it. It may be because so little is known about these things because they're invisible.
 

msante

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
seeker2seer said:
Driving to work a few days ago I was thinking about why it is so hard to accept and then do the physical parts of the Work such as changing diet and networking. Even with all the information about the effects of thinking errors, early trauma, and diet on the brain it is still hard to acknowledge these things can and do affect the potential for spiritual/personal development.

I realized the foundation of my thinking was built on the idea that "spiritual" things or behavior mattered more than physical. I asked the question how did I develop that thinking? Then I remembered the teaching I grew up with of faith vs works from evangelical Christianity. Growing up, faith was the main thing taught and works were viewed as trying to rely on one's efforts to be saved. That is why spiritual things like prayer and worship took precedence because the body was viewed as only temporary and not important. Even in some of the alternative New Age philosophies this emphasis of spirit over physical is still present. The emphasis of spiritual only leads to very deep level programming designed to de-emphasize working on changing habits which affect the body like diet, which would lead to improving receivership capability.

Now with the new revelations coming through reading "Healing Developmental Trauma" it appears the origins of thinking errors and emotional trauma occurred much earlier in life than previously thought. It seems like the more I read about how our brains work or are supposed to work and the errors in thinking which lead to erroneous behavior and dissociation, the more my physical body desires the wrong things (sugar, carbs, junk food, and bad habits).

Has anyone else experienced something similar? Any advice on how to overcome this type of deeply programmed thinking error? Perhaps neurofeedback?
Hi seeker2seer, I suppose others will be able to tell you about different experiences and the various problems everyone has had along this path, but in my particular case, I can only tell you that after 7 years of having started to make changes in my diet and lifestyle, even today I sometimes feel the desire to eat something "forbidden" or feel the weight of maintaining a "good behavior". Personally, it helps me "not to hope for the cauldron at the end of the rainbow", that is, not to expect that after a difficult time everything will be better and easier. Although it is true that in time one can attains a certain "mastery" over some aspects of oneself (even from time to time there may be some "rest"), personally I feel the Work (in spiritual and physical sense) as an everyday endeavour that will continue until the last day of my life :scared:

If you has read this forum enough you know for sure that everyday arise new info and knowledge that move us to research new fields, try new things, review our previous knowledge, and rebuild our strategy. So that sounds to me like a Work and effort without end... but I am sure with a great purpose :flowers:
 

Meg

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A lot of factors affect our lives. everything goes from childhood, childhood traumas and experiences, improper upbringing. All this affects when we are adults. I had many health problems and could not change anything in my life, I did not have the strength. it turned out that it was a depression that lasted practical since childhood.
Hi Rorrvia,

Since this is your first the forum, we would appreciate it if you would post a brief introduction about yourself in the Newbies section, telling us how you found this forum, how long you've been reading it and/or the SOTT page, whether or not you've read any of Laura's books yet, etc. You can read other's introductory posts there to get an idea.

Welcome! :-)
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Then I remembered the teaching I grew up with of faith vs works from evangelical Christianity. Growing up, faith was the main thing taught and works were viewed as trying to rely on one's efforts to be saved. That is why spiritual things like prayer and worship took precedence because the body was viewed as only temporary and not important. Even in some of the alternative New Age philosophies this emphasis of spirit over physical is still present. The emphasis of spiritual only leads to very deep level programming designed to de-emphasize working on changing habits which affect the body like diet, which would lead to improving receivership capability.
Very good observations, seeker2seer, thanks for sharing! As far as I can tell, this whole protestant "faith vs. works" shtick goes back to Martin Luther's spectacular misreading of Paul. You might be interested in reading "Paul and the Stoics", where the author presents a very insightful interpretation of Paul and sets the record straight on this one.

To summarize, the point Paul was making was that becoming a Christ person involves a complete and radical change in perspective - away from selfish drives (the world of the "flesh" where one is always propelled to do the wrong things), towards a view that deeply acknowledges the needs and development of others (the world of the "spirit" where one is always propelled to do the right things). In other words, this radical change automatically leads to good works (we might say "getting your act together" in every way), whereas those who have not undergone this radical change and just follow some moral code ("law") might still do good works, but never completely, because they are still living on the level of the "flesh", so they will screw up because of the grip the "flesh" still has on them.

I'm no expert on Luther, but it seems he didn't grasp this nuance and interpreted Paul in a way that you can't be saved by "good deeds", but only by faith in Christ. But the whole point of faith in Christ is to reach a whole new level of understanding so that you can actually do "good deeds" in every possible way, which then eventually leads to you being "blameless and spotless" when you face the Creator, i.e. "saved". In other, more modern words: first you have a deep realization and gain a deep understanding of yourself and the world and that you need to change. Then, you go about the extremely difficult task of changing your habits and how you interact with the world. And you cannot do otherwise: this is the right path and you know it. But the Work must still be done!

This whole misreading of Paul presumably led to all this nonsense of instant salvation by accepting Christ, and indeed the over-emphasis on lofty spiritualism in New Age religions, and probably many other things. I think Martin Luther had a huge negative impact on the world, and no wonder, because he was dodgy character all the way, to put it mildly, IMO.
 
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Metrist

Jedi
I think spiritual matters are the essence and foundation of all things. And when someone attempts to convey this matter in language, it is through a materialistic process that takes a snapshot and captures the instant, and while it is accurate, it doesn't account for its everchanging all-pervading nature. It is but a perspective.

And so with all things spiritual, any description is likened to a tip of the iceberg. And since all matter is permeated with spirit the materialist is capable of no more than describing the tip, or superficial aspects of it. And to speculate beyond that requires faith.

And so, spiritual nature is not any one thing, but all things, separated only in appearance. And since we are mortal, we are limited in our scope of the boundless by our perspectives. And we diverge from each other in our perspectives. And so while we cannot help but see the spiritual in all things, our perspectives are divergent in their differing stages as to the scope - which is boundless; and comprehended in faith. So faith is a matter of faith - always.
 

seeker2seer

The Force is Strong With This One
Very good observations, seeker2seer, thanks for sharing! As far as I can tell, this whole protestant "faith vs. works" shtick goes back to Martin Luther's spectacular misreading of Paul. You might be interested in reading "Paul and the Stoics", where the author presents a very insightful interpretation of Paul and sets the record straight on this one.

To summarize, the point Paul was making was that becoming a Christ person involves a complete and radical change in perspective - away from selfish drives (the world of the "flesh" where one is always propelled to do the wrong things), towards a view that deeply acknowledges the needs and development of others (the world of the "spirit" where one is always propelled to do the right things). In other words, this radical change automatically leads to good works (we might say "getting your act together" in every way), whereas those who have not undergone this radical change and just follow some moral code ("law") might still do good works, but never completely, because they are still living on the level of the "flesh", so they will screw up because of the grip the "flesh" still has on them.

I'm no expert on Luther, but it seems he didn't grasp this nuance and interpreted Paul in a way that you can't be saved by "good deeds", but only by faith in Christ. But the whole point of faith in Christ is to reach a whole new level of understanding so that you can actually do "good deeds" in every possible way, which then eventually leads to you being "blameless and spotless" when you face the Creator, i.e. "saved". In other, more modern words: first you have a deep realization and gain a deep understanding of yourself and the world and that you need to change. Then, you go about the extremely difficult task of changing your habits and how you interact with the world. And you cannot do otherwise: this is the right path and you know it. But the Work must still be done!

This whole misreading of Paul presumably led to all this nonsense of instant salvation by accepting Christ, and indeed the over-emphasis on lofty spiritualism in New Age religions, and probably many other things. I think Martin Luther had a huge negative impact on the world, and no wonder, because he was dodgy character all the way, to put it mildly, IMO.
You are welcome luc and thanks for your insightful analysis which helps explain how that doctrine came to be. I have been following the Paul and Stoics thread and it has been very helpful in understanding what Paul was really trying to teach and do.
 

Metrist

Jedi
Faith and work

I think we are paradoxic in that we are individuals and social creatures, so we are both. And so, it is a question of balance.

To be one over the other is not to find the right answer, but to determine which answer applies best in the given situation.

But if you emphasis one over the other, in the bias is the acknowledgment of the other in the consideration, and that one is the same as the other with alternating precedence. So, it is not to choose in exclusion of the other, but to reinforce the other, and in doing so losing nothing in a choice.

So, we tend to dismiss what we don't give precedence to, and not acknowledge its inseperableness from its counterpart. And this is - at its core - a narrowed perception. A trick of logic leading down a path of irreconcilability - but in its entirety a natural state of our being.

Spirit over matter I liken to individual and social. They are one and for the other.

And so despite our different strata as people in different levels of development, we get along and help each other naturally.

Individuals can excell, but it is to the benefit of society the extent of this excellence. And society rewards accordingly. You see? Inseperable.
 
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