There Is No Plan

Discussions about holding onto your faith and beliefs, whether by staying LDS or by exploring and participating in other churches or faiths. The belief in any higher power (including God, Christ, Buddha, or Jedi) is true in this forum. Be kind to others.
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Give It Time
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There Is No Plan

Post by Give It Time » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:42 pm

I remember, as a faithful lass, when things were not going as I wished, I'd sit down for a frustrated cry and say, "I wish I just knew the plan".

When my shelf fell and I went picking through the rubble of my testimony, "the plan" was kind of low priority. I don't know why. It just was. I am most comfortable with the idea that the universe is pragmatic. It sounds harsh, at first, because nature isn't always kind. Pragmatism involves accepting that there's just going to be a certain amount of cruelty in this world. However, is it really less cruel to imagine that a loving God is visiting you with all kinds of prolonged problems? That you can't seem to stay upright and fully functional for more than two weeks at a time? That this loving God is withholding his reasons from you for these trials and it is for you to figure out God's "why", God's plan?

I don't.

I find it much more empowering to say that's just the way it is. There's no plan I need to figure out, no lessons to learn, no one is sending a spiritual wrecking ball into 2/3 of my spiritual cottage in order to make it a spiritual castle. No one is going to save me. I'm not saying don't learn. I'm not saying not to take your adversity and do something good with it. I'm saying it is very freeing to simply say "that's life" and get up and fix or mitigate what I can. Sure beats crying on the couch.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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alas
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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by alas » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:17 pm

I had a friend who owned a store in a shopping mall. Well, the building had a plumbing problem and four times her store got flooded with sewer water. She was struggling with what she needed to learn from these trials, as if God was sending her sewage rather than the mall had a faulty plumbing system. I thought it kind of stupid that she was looking for a lesson from God in the sewage, rather that learning the lesson of, "if the shopping mall cannot fix their plumbing problem, tell them they have violated the lease and you are finding a new store location." But, no, she was looking for the lesson God wanted her to learn. Stupid. I wonder why we are no longer friends?

There is no plan. Stuff happens, random stuff, and we just do the best we can with it, and we learn what we can. Often the only lesson is that shit happens.

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Give It Time
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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by Give It Time » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:33 pm

alas wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:17 pm
I had a friend who owned a store in a shopping mall. Well, the building had a plumbing problem and four times her store got flooded with sewer water. She was struggling with what she needed to learn from these trials, as if God was sending her sewage rather than the mall had a faulty plumbing system. I thought it kind of stupid that she was looking for a lesson from God in the sewage, rather that learning the lesson of, "if the shopping mall cannot fix their plumbing problem, tell them they have violated the lease and you are finding a new store location." But, no, she was looking for the lesson God wanted her to learn. Stupid. I wonder why we are no longer friends?

There is no plan. Stuff happens, random stuff, and we just do the best we can with it, and we learn what we can. Often the only lesson is that poop happens.
Exactly right.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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SaidNobody
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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by SaidNobody » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:04 pm

There is a plan.

Imagine that you are an electronic engineer. You have a design for a light switch. This includes the light, the switch, the conductors, and the power source.

In a technical sense your plan is perfect. But suddenly you have to decide how you are going to make your components. What kind of power source, what kind of conductors, what kind of switch, what kind of light? The plan is simple but has taken Humanity thousands of years to manifest it.

Each human IS THE plan. The bodies are materials, such as the conductors, power source, switch, and light. But everything has to be developed and refined.

You have a core set values, such as survive, love, improve, joy, beauty, etc. We all have those values, those are our plan, our design, so to speak. How we each express or manifest those values is up to us, but the spirit of God provides the core drive for those things.

If we play our hand well, the will of God drives us forward. If we get confused and twisted up in the game then we become stopped. We then have to sort out our priorities and get refocused on our values before we can continue forward.

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alas
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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by alas » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:04 pm

SaidNobody wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:04 pm
There is a plan.

Imagine that you are an electronic engineer. You have a design for a light switch. This includes the light, the switch, the conductors, and the power source.

In a technical sense your plan is perfect. But suddenly you have to decide how you are going to make your components. What kind of power source, what kind of conductors, what kind of switch, what kind of light? The plan is simple but has taken Humanity thousands of years to manifest it.

Each human IS THE plan. The bodies are materials, such as the conductors, power source, switch, and light. But everything has to be developed and refined.

You have a core set values, such as survive, love, improve, joy, beauty, etc. We all have those values, those are our plan, our design, so to speak. How we each express or manifest those values is up to us, but the spirit of God provides the core drive for those things.

If we play our hand well, the will of God drives us forward. If we get confused and twisted up in the game then we become stopped. We then have to sort out our priorities and get refocused on our values before we can continue forward.
Evolution gave us instincts. We were taught values by our parents. I don't know that there is a God to give us a core drive. I think that can be explained by science just as well if not better than by God. If we look at humans, our fears are often irrational, yet perfectly suited for survival of our species. (If a few million years outdated) There is an instinctive fear of snakes, but not turtles. There is an instinctive fear of huge reptiles left over from when we had to hide from dinosaurs. (Explains why every culture has dragons.) There is an instinctive fear of human like furry things, left over from when homo sapians were not the only humanoids and bigger more ape like humanoids killed us. (Explains Bigfoot/yeti, which shows up all over the world) Scientists are just finding that very early humans avoided inbreeding, while Neanderthals didn't. We have an instinctive avoidance of incest, and perhaps Neanderthals didn't and went extinct because of it. At least that was what an article I read yesterday said.

So, if you want to call survival by instinct a "plan" or attribute to God what I attribute to evolution, then, yeah, there is a plan. But the world makes more sense to me believing that we are accidently intelligent beings being confused by a random world over which we have limited control. We try to believe we have more control than we do by inventing ideas like "God". Or inventing superstitions. But, no, I do not believe there is a "God" who has a master plan for our lives, and I find that belief very comforting because I don't have to worry about a God who hates me when something goes badly.

Perhaps there is some kind of god, but not the Mormon one who loves his sons but not his daughters, and is constantly stepping in to protect those he loves, or bless the righteous, and has a "plan" for us for eternity. If there is life after death, I think we are all "gods" and decide for ourselves where we want to be incarnated next.

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by SaidNobody » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:30 pm

That is understandable. I personally find that God is more "nothing" than something. For sure, God isn't selective about whom he loves.

Recently, God is more about understanding the relationships. You named "evolution."

But, evolution of what? How did it get here?

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by wtfluff » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:30 pm

SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:30 pm
But, evolution of what? How did it get here?
Probably the same way "god" got "here".
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Who taught you how to hate?

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SaidNobody
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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by SaidNobody » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:54 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:30 pm
SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:30 pm
But, evolution of what? How did it get here?
Probably the same way "god" got "here".
God is eternal, always had been, always will be.

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alas
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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by alas » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:07 pm

SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:30 pm
That is understandable. I personally find that God is more "nothing" than something. For sure, God isn't selective about whom he loves.

Recently, God is more about understanding the relationships. You named "evolution."

But, evolution of what? How did it get here?
How did life get started in order to evolve? That is something that has scientists stumped. They have some "primordial soup" theories. But really, we don't know, because we can't test it. it is one of those, "what was there before the Big Bang?" Or "who created God?" Type questions.

No matter how we look at things there are questions we don't have answers to. One explanation just leads to another question. With the Mormon view of things, with God the Father being first a human on some planet of some other God, and progressed until he became God. But with the God of his planet being someone who was a human on some planet and you just get infinite regression, which doesn't answer the question at all.

For most of these questions, we couldn't comprehend the answer if we had it.

But to me, the idea that all the elements of life came together and a chemical reaction happened. Think about prions, those not life chemical reactions that cause mad cow disease. They are not "life" yet they replicate. So, maybe this this primordial soup, these chemical reactions happened and replicated the same not quite life, which evolved into chains of DNA, which evolved into more and more complicated chains of DNA. Perhaps we are nothing but a very complicated combination of chemical reactions.

Yet....

I have had some experiences that tell me there is more. That something that is "me" can separate from this physical body, that something that is us still exists after we die, that someone intelligent "out there" can communicate with us, tell us what no living human can know. But I can't explain any of these experiences. I think there is something to near death experiences. I have several close friends who have experienced a NDE, and none of the scientific explanations fit the experiences.

So, who knows.

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by wtfluff » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:18 pm

SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:54 pm
wtfluff wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:30 pm
SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:30 pm
But, evolution of what? How did it get here?
Probably the same way "god" got "here".
God is eternal, always had been, always will be.
Then evolution must be "eternal" also.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Who taught you how to hate?

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by SaidNobody » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:21 pm

Scientists will be scratching their head for many years to come. This is because they refuse to look at the most sophisticated expression of life that we know of. They refuse to acknowledge that the most advanced species ever discovered all worship gods. They refuse to acknowledge that for the entire span of recordable history humans have used gods to build their civilizations around.

They refuse to acknowledge that the greatest engine of ideas as a place of real consequence. That the imagination has more power than all the facts in the universe combined.

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by Newme » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:25 pm

SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:21 pm
Scientists will be scratching their head for many years to come. This is because they refuse to look at the most sophisticated expression of life that we know of. They refuse to acknowledge that the most advanced species ever discovered all worship gods. They refuse to acknowledge that for the entire span of recordable history humans have used gods to build their civilizations around.

They refuse to acknowledge that the greatest engine of ideas as a place of real consequence. That the imagination has more power than all the facts in the universe combined.
The I AM THAT I AM - or consciousness behind the consciousness - is such a part of our being that it's too often ignored or dismissed.
Gottfried Leibniz explained the difference between seeing brain activity on an EEG and a person having mental thoughts or images.
There are some things that are definitely a part of experience - yet are not really something that can be studied with scientific tools.
So, it seems that many who insist on using scientific tools for everything - as if they are using a hammer to tap into blue-tooth - and since it doesn't work, they assume blue tooth is as ridiculous as its name. :D

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by Newme » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:35 pm

Give It Time wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:42 pm
I remember, as a faithful lass, when things were not going as I wished, I'd sit down for a frustrated cry and say, "I wish I just knew the plan".

When my shelf fell and I went picking through the rubble of my testimony, "the plan" was kind of low priority. I don't know why. It just was. I am most comfortable with the idea that the universe is pragmatic. It sounds harsh, at first, because nature isn't always kind. Pragmatism involves accepting that there's just going to be a certain amount of cruelty in this world. However, is it really less cruel to imagine that a loving God is visiting you with all kinds of prolonged problems? That you can't seem to stay upright and fully functional for more than two weeks at a time? That this loving God is withholding his reasons from you for these trials and it is for you to figure out God's "why", God's plan?

I don't.

I find it much more empowering to say that's just the way it is. There's no plan I need to figure out, no lessons to learn, no one is sending a spiritual wrecking ball into 2/3 of my spiritual cottage in order to make it a spiritual castle. No one is going to save me. I'm not saying don't learn. I'm not saying not to take your adversity and do something good with it. I'm saying it is very freeing to simply say "that's life" and get up and fix or mitigate what I can. Sure beats crying on the couch.
I don't think there is a plan as in Mormon-approved punitively packaged plan. But I do think there are spiritual laws of cause and effect. And I love how Carl Jung merged Psychology & Spirituality as inseparable. But I also believe, as you seem to, that it's not so much outside of me. I'm trying to take charge of my own psychology & spirituality - so in that way- I do have a plan. Also, I believe in intuition and spiritual guidance - which has helped me live & love better than I would have otherwise. So that's kind of a general plan. I don't agree with some "gurus" - but one said something that made sense - about the law of attraction - how essentially, if you tell your subconscious what you want - in general terms - it will give you the best possibility of that. But if you're specific in your "plan" - then you'll get that specific thing which you may come to find out is not what you really wanted in the big picture.

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by Give It Time » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:24 pm

Newme wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:35 pm
Give It Time wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:42 pm
I remember, as a faithful lass, when things were not going as I wished, I'd sit down for a frustrated cry and say, "I wish I just knew the plan".

When my shelf fell and I went picking through the rubble of my testimony, "the plan" was kind of low priority. I don't know why. It just was. I am most comfortable with the idea that the universe is pragmatic. It sounds harsh, at first, because nature isn't always kind. Pragmatism involves accepting that there's just going to be a certain amount of cruelty in this world. However, is it really less cruel to imagine that a loving God is visiting you with all kinds of prolonged problems? That you can't seem to stay upright and fully functional for more than two weeks at a time? That this loving God is withholding his reasons from you for these trials and it is for you to figure out God's "why", God's plan?

I don't.

I find it much more empowering to say that's just the way it is. There's no plan I need to figure out, no lessons to learn, no one is sending a spiritual wrecking ball into 2/3 of my spiritual cottage in order to make it a spiritual castle. No one is going to save me. I'm not saying don't learn. I'm not saying not to take your adversity and do something good with it. I'm saying it is very freeing to simply say "that's life" and get up and fix or mitigate what I can. Sure beats crying on the couch.
I don't think there is a plan as in Mormon-approved punitively packaged plan. But I do think there are spiritual laws of cause and effect. And I love how Carl Jung merged Psychology & Spirituality as inseparable. But I also believe, as you seem to, that it's not so much outside of me. I'm trying to take charge of my own psychology & spirituality - so in that way- I do have a plan. Also, I believe in intuition and spiritual guidance - which has helped me live & love better than I would have otherwise. So that's kind of a general plan. I don't agree with some "gurus" - but one said something that made sense - about the law of attraction - how essentially, if you tell your subconscious what you want - in general terms - it will give you the best possibility of that. But if you're specific in your "plan" - then you'll get that specific thing which you may come to find out is not what you really wanted in the big picture.
Interesting. Good point, because I've actually had both those scenarios happen to me.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by Give It Time » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:33 pm

Newme wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:25 pm
SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:21 pm
Scientists will be scratching their head for many years to come. This is because they refuse to look at the most sophisticated expression of life that we know of. They refuse to acknowledge that the most advanced species ever discovered all worship gods. They refuse to acknowledge that for the entire span of recordable history humans have used gods to build their civilizations around.

They refuse to acknowledge that the greatest engine of ideas as a place of real consequence. That the imagination has more power than all the facts in the universe combined.
The I AM THAT I AM - or consciousness behind the consciousness - is such a part of our being that it's too often ignored or dismissed.
Gottfried Leibniz explained the difference between seeing brain activity on an EEG and a person having mental thoughts or images.
There are some things that are definitely a part of experience - yet are not really something that can be studied with scientific tools.
So, it seems that many who insist on using scientific tools for everything - as if they are using a hammer to tap into blue-tooth - and since it doesn't work, they assume blue tooth is as ridiculous as its name. :D
I like this. The Chinese have a saying I will paraphrase. Trying to explain chi to a skeptical person who doesn't believe in it because he can't discern it with his senses is like trying to explain the ocean to a skeptical fish who can't discern the water with his senses.
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

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SaidNobody
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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by SaidNobody » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:05 pm

Newme wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:25 pm

The I AM THAT I AM - or consciousness behind the consciousness - is such a part of our being that it's too often ignored or dismissed.
Nice wording. Modern thinkers use the term "mindfulness" which is sort of the "observer of the thinker." A Buddhist ideal, I think.

That is what is cool about seeking God. It's the similarities. That in spite of God being a personal thing, it's also an universal thing. There is a nature to consciousness that is God. Yet, consciousness must be developed.

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by nibbler » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:33 am

Image
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by Just This Guy » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:06 am

SaidNobody wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:21 pm
Scientists will be scratching their head for many years to come. This is because they refuse to look at the most sophisticated expression of life that we know of. They refuse to acknowledge that the most advanced species ever discovered all worship gods. They refuse to acknowledge that for the entire span of recordable history humans have used gods to build their civilizations around.

The concept of "god" has evolved constantly over the course of human history. It has changed as much as civilization has. It also has evolved with each different community. To one person, god sits on Mount Olympus and is very human in emotions and motivations. To another god is the great spirit that is very un-human, detached, and only a driver of natural forces.

To one, god is a super human. To another, god is a hybrid of human, animal, and other parts. To someone else, god in formless and abstract.

It is also interesting to see how gods have changed. If you took someone from the middle of human history, most likely they would not regonize the gods of a 1000 years before them or 1000 years after. Take Christianity. In the early church, Jesus was rather limited in scope. By the early 1000's AD, Jesus was a mighty god that bestowed favor on kings and Popes. Eclipses, meteors, and famines were his signs. Today, Jesus lost lot most of that power. Today he is someone who will save your soul, commonly for a fee. Jesus works in feelings and people on TV and I include both televangelists and general conference in that.

I find it more likely that people have in innate need to understand their surroundings. The concept of god is something that has evolved over the years to fill that void in our understanding. As human understanding of their place in the universe, the idea of god has evolved as well to adapt to that. As understanding of natural forces evolves, then God shrinks because the need for it is not as large. God is no longer the driver of the wind, moon, and stars. Today god is something to make you feel good when you feel down.

Additionally, humans are naturally social and community animals. The idea of god is appealing to be able to control people. Partially it feeds on a person's unknown, partially it plays into a persons need for drama in their live. Whether it is priests trying to maintain their standing (and income) to the divine birthright of kings.

If god were real, then it would be a more consistent entity through the course of human history. However, the idea of God as evolved as much as human civilization has so either that is a very weak or un-involved god or it is a purely human creation.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by SaidNobody » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:09 pm

Just This Guy.

You both Miss and make my point. The physical description of God is Not and never will be correct or complete. It is the idea of God in all the many forms that it comes that makes humans special. You gave it one description, as of void of our understanding. And that is fine.

If you did a scientific study, with two groups of monkeys and gave one group a Bible. And then after 20,000 years one group was making rocket ships, what would be your scientific findings?

A. Would you assume that the god described in the Bible must be the truth?
B. Would you assume that the idea of a god had a powerful effect in driving technology and advancement?

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Re: There Is No Plan

Post by Just This Guy » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:09 am

Actually, my point is, if the concept of god was built on anything that is an actual entity, then it would have consistency throughout history. The simple fact that it changes radically throughout history shows that what someone's idea of it is changes radically and constantly.

To put it in another way: Someone looks at a tree. The exact details of how they describe it vary, but if it is someone in ancient Egypt or modern South America, it is still easy to tell that at the root of the description, it is still a tree in one form or another. All descriptions basically will not vary much n the core details.

For a description of god throughout history, descriptions vary WILDLY! It is like one person describing an oak tree and another person describing a dog. They are nothing alike in their core details. If there actually is a god, then the core elements of that god would be consistent throughout history. But since the descriptions are that far apart, the only real logical conclusion is that they are describing different things. They are not the same god that various groups throughout history are talking about. From there using Occam's Razor, there are only a couple possible conclusions.

People may or may not have a need to believe in something beyond them, but the best conclusion based on the evidence is that they create their own idea of what that higher power is based on their environment. It is not based on a single entity, (or group of entities) or descriptions would be more consistent.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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