2008-03-02

The GOOD legacy of a fundamentalist and cultic life: 7 & 8

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by Neil Godfrey

Continuing the posts in this series (check the Winell link underneath the Book Reviews & Notes on the main page {click “Vridar” in the header above} of this blog for the earlier posts) . . . .

Marlene Winell lists Understanding of Gratitude as the next positive legacy of fundamentalism. If “gratitude” or “thankfulness” implies an attitude towards another, I’d prefer to use something just as appreciative but less personal. My gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness, is directed towards the chances of where I might be at the moment.

Marlene suggests that ex-fundamentalists might sometimes retain the habit of noticing things to be thankful for, a habit carried over from the mind-set of always being thankful for all of God’s blessings etc.

It is an art to graciously accept gifts — the beauty of a sunset, the presence of a loved one, the music of a symphony. Remembering to be thankful heightens the joy of living. (p.109)

I would assume it natural that most people from time to time who have good moments in life are appreciative of those times. Maybe having been consciously habituated into noticing even the smallest things to be thankful for does help one maintain a sense of both noticing and appreciating for the good things.

Marlene’s next point is Awareness of Nonmaterial Reality. She addresses those who may have had, I think, some personal experience of another level of consciousness with its awareness of something other than what most of us see and smell and feel and relate to daily.

It leaves the door open for you to develop a new spirituality — one that is more nurturing, empowering, and personally meaningful. (p.109)

Having just read Why God Won’t Go Away I’m reluctant at this moment to make any black or white comment. At worst, after digesting and thinking through the points made in that book, I may one day tilt a little towards an atheistic position of some kind. But I must confess I remain a little more intrigued about the associations between personal dreams and soon-subsequent events; and also between some of those unusual (also personal) experiences of temporary loss of normal faculties (e.g. all memory but the very! short term) and apparently related compensating sensations). I have no problem with the concept that the current scientific discoveries and/or methods will eventually prove inadequate for explaining all we experience. But I’m also happy for time and circumstances to take their course until those things are understood more healthily than via another merely irrational assertion.

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