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Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:36 pm
by moksha
Maintaining a mythology that helps shape us into better people can make us appreciative of that mythology. Our "black box" feedback loop needs to constantly examine whether our particular mythological narrative is succeeding or failing in shaping us to be better people.

Your thoughts?

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:44 pm
by Perfigliano
I think it's useful to be acquainted with all sorts of mythology for the sake of being cultured. I'll probably tell my kids the major Bible stories, but I'll teach them just like any other mythology... when the stories are age appropriate. Abraham nearly murdering Isaac and God committing genocide for the flood are definitely PG-13. There is discretion to be had.

Just because something is mythological doesn't mean it can't teach real principles.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:36 pm
by Arcturus
This idea was shared in an online group I follow. If you believe in God and you don't believe the BofM is complete nonsense, I think this might be interesting to you. I'd be curious to see what you think. Your use of the term "beneficial mythology" made me think of this guy's use of the term "manure" as a fertilizer for cultivating spiritual growth. So thought I'd share it. I imagine this will not be interesting at all to many in the NOM community.

Quote:

In Alma 32, he says he's not even asking you to "know something"...he just hopes that you'll start with the simplest "desire to believe", and that you'll let that grow into experiments on that desire to believe that will help you come to various stages of knowing. But you should be clear what it is Alma is suggesting the "seed" is. It isn't whether or not the church is true, and it isn't about the Book of Mormon itself, and it isn't about the current leaders.

Alma explicitly tells us (though we're all blind to see it), that the seed we are to plant is that "God is Merciful unto all that believe". That's the idea/seed he hopes you'll plant in your soul and allow to grow. The BoM, Leaders, The Church...these aren't the seed...these are the manure/fertilizer whose SOUL purpose should be helping the seed that "God is Merciful" to grow. Alma suggest that you sit with this idea, trust in God's mercy, allow the idea of God's mercy to rest in your heart, and decide if it fills up your soul (especially compared to the idea that God is a judgmental a-hole who is just waiting for you to fail miserably and then punish you for it).

He says that once the idea of God's mercy expands your soul...you can at least "know" that single idea through experience...that God is merciful and that believing such is a relief and a delight to the soul. But then he says you don't know much of anything else more than that...everything beyond that is still faith....belief. He says it will take a long time for the seedling you plant about God being Merciful to grow into a tree that can produce the fruit of everlasting life (deep inner connection to God, the type Jesus was always talking about was available in the path he was leading people on).

In case we don't believe that Alma was saying the Seed = God's Mercy...when the people ask him in Alma 33 what he meant by the seed that they should plant, he spends the rest of the chapter talking about a God who is merciful, and willing to be near to people in every moment of their lives, and not just in sacred spaces like temples or synagogues. He quotes a prayer that says that one thing that makes God truly angry is that people won't comprehend or believe that God is merciful. He talks about people who won't simply look in order to be healed...because they think something more has to be done in order to "earn" it (i.e....all the Mormon "do's" that you hinted at.)

God is apparently very patient with the whole "knowing" thing....much more patient than mormon vocabulary suggests. That he's fine with us just believing, or even us just desiring to believe. The foundation of it all isn't "church, BoM, Joseph Smith, Pres. Nelson"...the foundation upon which everything is built is that God is Merciful and Mighty to Deliver. Other things are only "true" in so far as they help us understand that single and beautiful aspect of God's character. They are the manure, not the seed. They are supposed to help the seed grow...but if they don't have sufficient nutritive power to do so....it's best to find other manure that fosters a belief in God's Mercy.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:42 pm
by Arcturus
My personal belief is that there is a God and that God is loving and wants us to love each other. My theory is that God speaks to people differently and through different systems of belief. And so if that system or mythology helps people love each other, God cares much less about the mechanism and much more about the end result.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 3:48 pm
by moksha
The movie Plan 10 from Outer Space made the following postulate:
Just because something is made up does not make it untrue.
Let's consider another such postulate:
Just cause something is made up it can still have value. Mythology is a joy of Humanity's desire.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Sat May 05, 2018 4:03 am
by moksha
moksha wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 3:48 pm
Mythology is a joy of Humanity's desire.
Spoken like a true fan of science fiction and fantasy. As they would say on Planet Obliblish, "Enish-go-on-Dosh" or "Keep your Kli-flos-is-es and Hah-ko-kau-beams out of my photonic resonance chamber!"

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 9:54 am
by MoPag
Arcturus wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:36 pm
This idea was shared in an online group I follow. If you believe in God and you don't believe the BofM is complete nonsense, I think this might be interesting to you. I'd be curious to see what you think. Your use of the term "beneficial mythology" made me think of this guy's use of the term "manure" as a fertilizer for cultivating spiritual growth. So thought I'd share it. I imagine this will not be interesting at all to many in the NOM community.

Quote:

In Alma 32, he says he's not even asking you to "know something"...he just hopes that you'll start with the simplest "desire to believe", and that you'll let that grow into experiments on that desire to believe that will help you come to various stages of knowing. But you should be clear what it is Alma is suggesting the "seed" is. It isn't whether or not the church is true, and it isn't about the Book of Mormon itself, and it isn't about the current leaders.

Alma explicitly tells us (though we're all blind to see it), that the seed we are to plant is that "God is Merciful unto all that believe". That's the idea/seed he hopes you'll plant in your soul and allow to grow. The BoM, Leaders, The Church...these aren't the seed...these are the manure/fertilizer whose SOUL purpose should be helping the seed that "God is Merciful" to grow. Alma suggest that you sit with this idea, trust in God's mercy, allow the idea of God's mercy to rest in your heart, and decide if it fills up your soul (especially compared to the idea that God is a judgmental a-hole who is just waiting for you to fail miserably and then punish you for it).

He says that once the idea of God's mercy expands your soul...you can at least "know" that single idea through experience...that God is merciful and that believing such is a relief and a delight to the soul. But then he says you don't know much of anything else more than that...everything beyond that is still faith....belief. He says it will take a long time for the seedling you plant about God being Merciful to grow into a tree that can produce the fruit of everlasting life (deep inner connection to God, the type Jesus was always talking about was available in the path he was leading people on).

In case we don't believe that Alma was saying the Seed = God's Mercy...when the people ask him in Alma 33 what he meant by the seed that they should plant, he spends the rest of the chapter talking about a God who is merciful, and willing to be near to people in every moment of their lives, and not just in sacred spaces like temples or synagogues. He quotes a prayer that says that one thing that makes God truly angry is that people won't comprehend or believe that God is merciful. He talks about people who won't simply look in order to be healed...because they think something more has to be done in order to "earn" it (i.e....all the Mormon "do's" that you hinted at.)

God is apparently very patient with the whole "knowing" thing....much more patient than mormon vocabulary suggests. That he's fine with us just believing, or even us just desiring to believe. The foundation of it all isn't "church, BoM, Joseph Smith, Pres. Nelson"...the foundation upon which everything is built is that God is Merciful and Mighty to Deliver. Other things are only "true" in so far as they help us understand that single and beautiful aspect of God's character. They are the manure, not the seed. They are supposed to help the seed grow...but if they don't have sufficient nutritive power to do so....it's best to find other manure that fosters a belief in God's Mercy.
I love this^^^

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:10 pm
by moksha
Perfigliano wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:44 pm
Just because something is mythological doesn't mean it can't teach real principles.
Especially the mythology that we can subscribe to as an adjunct belief system. We can tailor that to include all the nuggets of wisdom we have learned throughout our life and infuse it will a goodness that makes it better than any off the rack mythology. It can serve us as a guiding star, a worry stone, and a nice comfortable easy chair in our time of need.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:35 pm
by moksha
Thoughts on Spirituality

To the extent that anyone can find an abstract concept, one can find spirituality.
Sometimes when it is missing it can be found hiding in the corner along with
happiness, the TV remote, and a couple of lint balls.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:29 pm
by Emower
MoPag wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 9:54 am
Arcturus wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:36 pm
This idea was shared in an online group I follow. If you believe in God and you don't believe the BofM is complete nonsense, I think this might be interesting to you. I'd be curious to see what you think. Your use of the term "beneficial mythology" made me think of this guy's use of the term "manure" as a fertilizer for cultivating spiritual growth. So thought I'd share it. I imagine this will not be interesting at all to many in the NOM community.

Quote:

In Alma 32, he says he's not even asking you to "know something"...he just hopes that you'll start with the simplest "desire to believe", and that you'll let that grow into experiments on that desire to believe that will help you come to various stages of knowing. But you should be clear what it is Alma is suggesting the "seed" is. It isn't whether or not the church is true, and it isn't about the Book of Mormon itself, and it isn't about the current leaders.

Alma explicitly tells us (though we're all blind to see it), that the seed we are to plant is that "God is Merciful unto all that believe". That's the idea/seed he hopes you'll plant in your soul and allow to grow. The BoM, Leaders, The Church...these aren't the seed...these are the manure/fertilizer whose SOUL purpose should be helping the seed that "God is Merciful" to grow. Alma suggest that you sit with this idea, trust in God's mercy, allow the idea of God's mercy to rest in your heart, and decide if it fills up your soul (especially compared to the idea that God is a judgmental a-hole who is just waiting for you to fail miserably and then punish you for it).

He says that once the idea of God's mercy expands your soul...you can at least "know" that single idea through experience...that God is merciful and that believing such is a relief and a delight to the soul. But then he says you don't know much of anything else more than that...everything beyond that is still faith....belief. He says it will take a long time for the seedling you plant about God being Merciful to grow into a tree that can produce the fruit of everlasting life (deep inner connection to God, the type Jesus was always talking about was available in the path he was leading people on).

In case we don't believe that Alma was saying the Seed = God's Mercy...when the people ask him in Alma 33 what he meant by the seed that they should plant, he spends the rest of the chapter talking about a God who is merciful, and willing to be near to people in every moment of their lives, and not just in sacred spaces like temples or synagogues. He quotes a prayer that says that one thing that makes God truly angry is that people won't comprehend or believe that God is merciful. He talks about people who won't simply look in order to be healed...because they think something more has to be done in order to "earn" it (i.e....all the Mormon "do's" that you hinted at.)

God is apparently very patient with the whole "knowing" thing....much more patient than mormon vocabulary suggests. That he's fine with us just believing, or even us just desiring to believe. The foundation of it all isn't "church, BoM, Joseph Smith, Pres. Nelson"...the foundation upon which everything is built is that God is Merciful and Mighty to Deliver. Other things are only "true" in so far as they help us understand that single and beautiful aspect of God's character. They are the manure, not the seed. They are supposed to help the seed grow...but if they don't have sufficient nutritive power to do so....it's best to find other manure that fosters a belief in God's Mercy.
I love this^^^
This was an interesting post. I like it as well but --- I would argue as most of us here would argue --- if you adopt that view you seem to step outside the general mythology. I dont think the mormon mythology is useful if you find yourself on the outside. That has been my experience.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:32 pm
by Emower
moksha wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:36 pm
Maintaining a mythology that helps shape us into better people can make us appreciative of that mythology. Our "black box" feedback loop needs to constantly examine whether our particular mythological narrative is succeeding or failing in shaping us to be better people.

Your thoughts?
How does one measure the shaping of a better person if the metrics continue to change? What overarching metric or standard do we need to agree on in order to determine whether we are a good person or not?

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:15 pm
by moksha
Emower wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:32 pm
How does one measure the shaping of a better person if the metrics continue to change? What overarching metric or standard do we need to agree on in order to determine whether we are a good person or not?
Since we would be evaluating ourselves, I guess it would be up to us to supply our own metrics. For myself, I would look to behaviors I had admired such as looking out for one another (being my brother's keeper) and treating others as I would like to be treated (Golden Rule).

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:46 am
by Emower
I agree then that everyone's feedback loop needs to involve examinations of whether your actions and beliefs are actually getting you where you want to go.

Broader question. Is mythology (which is my mind includes unverifiable beliefs or information) a good thing to maintain in general? Is there anything you get from mythology that cannot be found focusing on verifiable truths?
For example, Christian mythology supports chastity as a virtue for its support of a sacred gift or power. Therefore, "no sex before you are married kids because it is too sacred and powerful." Or, sociological research on cohabitation includes the following nuances: ______________, therefore, "make an informed decision kids because it could affect your life in these ways and be safe."
I could go on all day with examples of why I think mythology is not a good way to go, but it comes down to a humanistic vs religious approach. Which is better, or does it matter?

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:07 am
by Arcturus
moksha wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:36 pm
Maintaining a mythology that helps shape us into better people can make us appreciative of that mythology. Our "black box" feedback loop needs to constantly examine whether our particular mythological narrative is succeeding or failing in shaping us to be better people.

Your thoughts?
My DW and I were talking about this topic this morning. I believe that mythology can be beneficial, and I think there are some new studies showing that religion can be psychologically healthy for people. However, when mythology becomes manipulative and destructively shames individuals for something that is not even real, it becomes detrimental.

Take Santa Claus for instance. The idea of Santa can enrich Christmas traditions and make it exciting and fun for kids. But if you weaponize Santa by shaming your kids' behavior all year (manipulation) then it is unhealthy and wrong.

IMO, Mormonism is largely a detrimental mythology for too many reasons to discuss here.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:12 am
by moksha
Arcturus wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:07 am
Take Santa Claus for instance. The idea of Santa can enrich Christmas traditions and make it exciting and fun for kids.
Santa is a bit like a god of conditional love for some children. Woe unto those who are naughty and wonderful presents for those who are nice. Obey and you get your rewards.

Santa can be a bane of existence for those children whose parents cannot afford presents. If can make them feel unworthy and unloved. Those children could benefit from an unconditional love Santa who offers them hope in a world of pain. A Santa who will be there without his Elves demanding a 10% cut of all they possess in return for that eventual surcease from pain and promise of presents yet to come.

Those children cannot take their Santa from salesmen and reindeer who would red nose those same salesmen. They must forge a Santa to their own needs and liking. A Santa for all seasons.

Re: Supporting a Beneficial Mythology

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:34 am
by Angel
When the honest truth is too painful to talk through, mythology allows us to explore scenarios, emotions, and appropriate reactions from a safe distance.

As Christmas comes, and we all put our statues out - our nativities, and trees - some good things to think about.