A Story.

Dave at Big Story Guide is always wanting me to put my critical ideas in a story form.

Well, here’s one for Dave that concerns my earlier post about irony:

 

First, irony. In short: The last thing one would expect. There are mundane comic kind of ironies, and then there also stretches a kind of ‘cosmic’ irony. This last is sort of like the distance that people will ask of us from seemingly aggravating events; like, God is laughing at our frustration, that we need to repose in God and know God has the plan.

The irony that Gods purpose is to bring about its own destruction is of this later type: The purpose is to filter out the riff raff; but that will not happen through any sort of human negotiation or pondering decision:

 

But you want a story.

 

I suppose a good story would start with, say, Juan. He fears and loves God; he believes in Jesus. This is so much that case that all his prayers begin and end with ‘thy will be done’. After a time, or at some time, he begins to see God working in his life. Events unfold in a manner that makes sense to Juan, that God is indeed involved in his life, that indeed he has a relationship with God and Jesus.

 

Then something terrible happens that shakes his faith. He falls to the ground one night after many nights of being incapable of coming to terms with what happened; how God could, after all this time of being with Juan, of showing him the right and the wrong, of placing fortune and consequence in places throughout his  meaningful and faithful experience – how could God allow something to happen that is so terrible, so inconsistent with the relationship, so seemingly random.

So Juan falls to his knees one night in desperation, in failure to reconcile an apparent disruption in his faith. And in complete supplication, asks God to show him the truth.

God then takes Juan out into the wilderness and sends a demon. Juan is quite astonished and doubtful, but likewise is he kinda pissed at God. The demon says, “if you have such faith, then you will want food and it will be given to you. Follow me.” Juan is hungry and follows the demon and the demon feeds him when he is hungry. But then after a while, Juan has fallen far behind, and is beginning to wonder if being fed is so miraculous.

The demon notices Juan and looks back and says “It looks like the food is not fueling your faith well enough; you can hardly keep up!”

And Juan replies, “You’re kinda boring though. There are much more interesting things off the side of the road.”

“Are you coming or what?”

“Why would I want to?”

“You are the one with so much faith.”

And Juan remembers why he is here, and catches up with the demon.

After sometime in the wilderness, they reach a large town, and as they approach the center, any people look at Juan and are amazed at the site. He is dirty, skinny, and sunburned. Many go to help him, asking “What happened to you?”

“A demon lead me into the wilderness. Ive been walking there for about a month.”

They are even more astonished. “How on earth did you survive? There is no streams or food; when was the last time you ate?”

And the demon said to Juan, “These people like you. You can use this to you advantage. Don’t say anything about me and you will become great.”

So Juan said, “God fed my thirst.” And the people where humbled and sympathetic, that he would emerge from the desert almost dead and speak of God. They figured something terrible must have happened that he would’t speak of.

From then on, it got around town that Juan had survived a month in the desert with no food or water for a month. Everyone came to hear what he had to say. All he said was “God told me to go, so I went, and now Im here.” But all the people heard and saw was a naïve and perhaps zealous, disturbed, or maybe foolhardy and adventurous boy, so they had mercy on him, and they restored him to health and he lived happily every after.

So it was that after many years, When Juan was old and fat, with a big house and  many grand children that the demon returned. “Where is your faith now, Juan?”

And Juan recognized the demon and told him, “I have no faith. I had a crazy idea because I was pissed, to take off into the wilderness and forsake my family and friends. I almost died because I wasn’t really eating or drinking anything. Luckily I came upon this town and some people nursed me to health. There was this chick who thought I was cute. I am honest so a store owner showed me his trade. The rest is history. Faith; shmaithe.”

The the demon stood back and in a gleam of light, the glamour and deception of the demon was cast off, and God stood before Juan, and said:

“You wanted me to show you the truth.”

 

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119 thoughts on “A Story.

    1. We tries this before: Take any object as the object to work with. Look at it. Ask yourself what it is. Pretend that i sm totally ignorant of what that object is. Describe it to me. When do you stop your drscrption? When will i know for sure exactly what that object is? Your asking me questions that require a certain amount of investgation and effort on your part, that is, if you reslly do want to undetstand what im talking sbout.

      1. What’s the difference between distance and distinction?

        The reason I ask is because you make it sound like distance between objects is something that I maintain while you try to close it. But you agree that there is distinction among objects. Doesn’t “distinction” carry some idea of distance; some differentiation that doesn’t depend on whether I maintain it or not?

      2. Yes. Ok i thought you were implying distinction from distance. Id day Objects by definition are distinct. As well. In order to function in reality. There has to be distance between knower and ibject. This s why i say that the issue is ones orientation upon objects. Whether the known gained by the distance is relied upon as the one and only omnipresent and ubiquitous truth, such that all that can be must be present in that reality.

        Did you do the thought experiment?

      3. …that is also why i say there are two routes to knowing that do not reduce to ine another, what Kiekegaard called irony – but he was still trying to reconcile them. Barth attempts to describe the meaning of this ‘other’ route, but also reconciles by that description, again, as faith is the reconciliation. That is why i say ‘faith’ is the ‘suture’ that reconciles essentially different aspects of world.

        There is the route that does not depend upn the knower (speculative realism and object oriented ontology looks into these, kinda). And there is the route where the nondependence is the condition wherein such dependence determines all that can exist.

      4. I suppose. In one sense. When i look over all humanity and history, i see random events occasioned by my presense that is the making of meaning.

        But in another view, it is not difficult to see Christianity as the most encompassing story.

        It appears that these are the only possibilities.

        But. If i look with an open mind. At what poeple are actually expressing… If we take humanity on a level playing field, and actually hear what people say of reality, we might see that my reduction of truth to these two ‘ends’ is merely a particular way of meaning. That it is not the ‘the whole universe’ is ‘actualy’ this wAy that i am understanding. Rather that i am merely asserting upon people my sense, my meaning, of reality. Hence we get into the contruction of ideokogical power and its enforcment.

        Then ironically, when we see in this ‘equal’ view, that indeed it seems ‘my’ version has indeed taken over the world, so to speak, then i say that this is evidence that my story is true. But then again we consider that this indeed a function of consciousness, to make meaning, and that history is the negotiating of such functions…

        Which again argues that my story is correct…

        This motion occurs like a historical ‘motor’

        Bur then there are further meanings that preciptate out of this situation. Also.

      5. As far as the thought experiment goes, we’ve talked this over before. For example, you have asked me, “What is table?” I understand that I can’t fully convey table-ness to you.

        But, we’ve also talked about the fact that life calls for commitments. I can’t fully convey chair-ness or table-ness, but I am about to sit on this thing, chair, and eat breakfast off this thing, table.

        As far as discerning the most faithful telling of our story goes, Christianity includes a critical call for a commitment. I think the most faithful telling of our story includes a portrayal of Jesus as one who died and rose from the dead to accomplish something on my behalf. He calls for a commitment from me to receive Him (and what He accomplished on my behalf) and follow Him. I have a decision to make. Is His Jesus-ness such that I should receive Him and follow Him?

      6. Sure yes. I like that. I have to use the conventions to finction in the world. Sit in that chair please; the person k ows what im talking about.

        Commitments; well, two routes. As well why i say ‘faithmakes true’. This commitment we have made into meaning could not be chosen out of even if we wanted to.

      7. “Faith makes true” sounds as if I am more central to meaning-making than I am. If you mean it in sort of a ratifying sense, I think that expresses faith well. But, if you mean it in a Jesus/convention-is-incidental-to-the-meaning-I-am-making way, I don’t think that expresses faith well.

        I think Jesus is the carrier of Jesus-ness meaning, and I have a choice about placing faith in Him.

      8. I did answer. I don’t know exactly how God deals with each person, but I’m confident that God is loving and just and that Jesus is central to God’s dealings with every person. Romans 3:25-26 offers what I think is an interesting glimpse of God’s interaction with humanity, through Jesus. It refers to people who lived before Jesus was born into the world:

        “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

      9. Im sure you see a problem there. Its quite convenient that the story that is supposed to be the most cogent of our existence, uses a default to ‘i dont know’ the ‘ oh well God is so forgiving and just that he doesnt apply his scheme to the evil that came before’. Was he winging it? I thot its been the plan from the beginning? So all the bad people before Jesus got a pass? What prevented anyone from doing whatever they wanted?

        I think the while maybe that is the most cogent Story, a more exhaustive telling is that the story is merely a story. The most cogent would be that story of humanity making up stories to justify themselves in existence.

      10. I don’t see a problem with saying I don’t know exactly how God deals with every individual. And, I don’t see what is necessarily convenient about what I don’t know. I don’t see the hole in my not knowing that necessarily gives God too much wiggle room with His scheme.

        I don’t think the Romans passage I offered indicates that God didn’t apply His scheme to evil in the past. I think it’s a big assumption to say that God gave all the bad people before Jesus a pass. The passage says that “in His forebearance, He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.”

        I take “unpunished” to mean a judgment with finality. I think what this passage suggests is that God has a scheme of justice and mercy in which Jesus is central, even before Jesus was born. I believe it is a scheme that Jesus continues to bring to fulfillment.

      11. All im saying is that you say your story is the most cogent. But this cogency has a noticable hole. Im saying that it appears to me that the story that is sctially most cogent is one that notices this ‘i dont know’ and accounts for it in the same manner as everything else that is accounted for. It doesnt say ‘well i know all this, but that part i dont know’. It levels what it knows with reference to what it doesnt accont for, so it there by accounts fir everything.

      12. What is sctially? Actually?

        I don’t understand what “It levels what it knows with reference to what it doesn’t account for” means.

      13. God fills that hole; AND somehow there is a manner of knowing that requires no hole to be filled, nothing that is not known. Two routes for meaning that cannot be reconciled.

        Or maybe that the manner of knowing where no hole needs be filled, is indeed that knowing that God has filled.

        But then we are back to square one.

      14. …that ‘God/hole’. Perhaps rxemplifies the two routes. For if that hole is not filled, then the whole story collapses, because there is no absokute trascendence to hold it all together.

        So i say. It is not a negating reconciliation, of one or the other. But two routes. That are irreconcilable.

        Yet this has all come about by God ‘removing himself’ from the nessasry True Object. And placing him in direct relation to what only means.

        Two routes that do not communicate accross a one continuum. Because there is no longer a transcedent place holder of meaning.

      15. My point exactly. But when we go to talk about what we mean by God and Jesus, though we might agree on the terms to use, our meanings different. So are we talking about the same thing(s)?

      16. This is one reason big-story context matters. I would expect God and Jesus to become more recognizable to us as we see them interacting with humanity within our story. I would expect shared meaning to be more likely within the same big-story context.

        I don’t expect that the most faithful telling of our story will tell me everything. I don’t expect complete knowledge. And, I don’t think there is necessarily anything suspicious or hopelessly circular about appealing to God, the transcendent absolute, where knowledge is incomplete — especially when God’s interactions with humanity throughout our story give one good reason to assume the best from Him.

        And, I think there is good reason to expect the best from God in this situation where you are asking about people who never had a chance to hear about Jesus. I see good reasons to believe that Jesus is still central in God’s dealings with those people, and good reasons to believe that God is just and loving in his dealings with them.

      17. It sounds like you are saying that Jesus is involved with peoples lives even if they dont know it. Then it would seems more that there is a ‘jesus principle’ so to speak that functions through everyone.

        But as to cogency.

        Do you even know for example the Hindu Big Story?

        I cant say i do entirely, but im sure it makes total sense to them and is the most cogent.

        Now who is correct?

        Are we to say the Souix Big Story is not the most cogent because it doesnt use God and Jesus words?

        How do we prove this Grand cogency?

        Like myself, what to tou do when the meaning tou are trying to arouse in me is never aroused?

        What does that mean?

        Again id say that it comes back to why i need to believe what you are saying?

        Maybe faith is like that joke: where flood waters are rising and the guy prays to God to help him and a boat comes by and the guy said ‘no thank you the lord will save me’. And then a helicopter but still he refuses their help. He ends up drowning. And hes before God and asked him ‘God. I had faith and prayed but you did not save me’ and God said ‘i sent you a boat and a helicopter’

        I mean how many brick walls must a person who has faith run his head into before he considers that maybe the brick wall is trying to tell him something ?

      18. I think one of the reasons we’ve continued our conversation is because, as “the meaning has not been aroused in you,” I’ve been curious to know if we can get at your understanding of humanity’s story. I see a lot of value in articulating the most faithful telling of our story that we can.

        I’m familiar with some features of a Hindu big story. I understand it to be a relatively dualistic story, one that includes universal spirit (Brahma) and human beings that are sort of flesh-bound shards of divine spirit. As I understand it, our story is a journey of becoming disentangled from corporeal hindrances to our spirit in order to become one (again) with universal spirit.

        Does any of that sound like a more faithful telling of our story to you?

        I don’t know the Sioux big story. Other native american big story features I’ve heard sound more pantheistic/animistic than The Bible’s big story, for example.

        Does that sound like a more faithful telling of our story to you?

        Why do you have to believe what I’m telling you?

        You don’t. I can stop banging my head against you if you like.

      19. Lol. Im not a brick wAll.

        For example: What do you mean by ‘our’ story?

        What is ‘our’ ? Is it qualified with reference to other stories? So its ‘ours’ meaning some kind of cultural ‘we’?
        Or is it meaning we as implying the all of humanity that ever exists?
        Or is it the ‘royal’ we? A manner of speaking?
        Or something else?

      20. How do we allshare this story if not everyone agrees?

        Do you think women are inferior to men, so far as ability and capacity to know and general inteligence ?

      21. Apparently, there are still some people who think the earth is flat, but we still share the same planet with them.

        Wow, the male/female question came out of left field. No, I don’t think they’re inferior.

      22. The point is that at one time, even in Biblical times, and places, women are viewed that wAy. In fact. There was nothing anyone vould say to them to cause them to be able to think women were not inferior. It was, for them, The Truth.

        So i have to consider that what i may think is ‘most cogent’ is only so because of my limited view on the world.

      23. Yes, that’s why I ask for the most consistent, coherent, and cogent telling of our story. That would give me something to consider.

        Recently, you said that there is no grand story. I disagree. Humanity shares a story.

      24. But i am unable to explain to you so you understand what the Big Story, the terms of which are the same, what it means.

        The story is the story of the functioning of consciousness. How that consciousness comes to terms with the world, and the problems inherent of that situation.

        Hey thanks. Hows that for cegency and Coherence?!

      25. I think the functioning of consciousness is a feature of the story, but I don’t think it’s the story. If there is an origin or beginning of consciousness, then the functioning of consciousness isn’t the story. If, however, you want to say that consciousness, or the source of consciousness has simply always been, then I think that sounds like the beginning of a story.

      26. That, my friend, is one of the main contemporary ohilosophical problems. If the only way i can know anything is bound up in the knowing of it, is there any knowing that escapes this condition? And if there is, how is that possible and what constitutes its condition?

        This is no different that to propose a beginning of consciousness.

        This then brings into question of what ‘beginning’ actually means. How are we to apply the term ‘beginning’ if that too references only knowledge itself. Where or when does beginning occur? How?

        Again. I address all these in my book. 🐹

      27. Yes, and speaking of cogency. . . .

        “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

        and

        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

        How do those two “in the beginning” realities drive together? This is a remarkable beginning to our story.

      28. I never had to decide. I think thats significant. There is never. Was never a time where i had a choice about God in my life.

        But yes. For many people the Bible can be a sourse if steength and hope.

        For me it reads (much of it) reads like i wrote it myself. Strangly enough. And the rest just makes sense.

        Yes those two beginnings are nifty to look at.

        Id say they are complementary, exhibiting two routes.

      29. Hey. Why dont you pick snother post and commenr there. Start a new thread line. I dont know how to keep track either ive bern finding. 👌🏽

      30. The point of two routes is that apparently. There is a route to meaning that includes a decision, or a choice,
        And a route where there is no choce to be had

      31. … Send a comment on some other posr. And we will continue. Doesnt matter what post. I just dont know how i would initiatw a thread with tou from this end.

      32. We can just try it from this point.

        When I mentioned the two “In the beginning” passages in Genesis and John, you said:

        “Yes those two beginnings are nifty to look at. Id say they are complementary, exhibiting two routes.”

        I don’t know that this emphasis on two routes to meaning follows the story very well.

        I asked, “What about simply noticing that there is a Creator-God; a God who made the heavens and the earth?” And, what about recognizing Jesus, the Word, as having an essential role in creating?

        The New Testament writer, Paul, certainly recognized this. Here’s what he wrote in his letter to the church in Colossae:

        “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

      33. Ok. Lets see where this reply ends up, If you can find it. lol

        It took me a minute to reply to this because I have been really considering what you are saying; not necessarily its philosophical bases or consequences, but I was actually considering the “creator-God” as the object reference of those two entries: “In the beginning, God created…” and “In the beginning was the Word…”.

        Honestly, I had never made the correlation that you put forth here; namely that first God created… but also the Word is Jesus, and was with God and is God. I had never put them in the same instance.

        When I was a Christian, I simply took those introductions as variants of the same event, I suppose, similar to how the Gospels are supposed to be the tellings of various people of one actual event, or occurrence, of that one Jesus and his disciples and what happened. I just thought that here is one author saying ‘God’ and here is another saying ‘Word’. Perhaps I looked at it this way because the Bible that was hip when I was young, during the time I went to church and stuff with my parents, was “The Good News Bible”, all gold color; I can see it now. Perhaps I equated “God”, “Jesus”, “Word”, “Good News” as all basically meaning the same thing: That we fear and love God…and..

        .. ”I believe in the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was Buried. He descended in hell. On the third day he arose again from the dead, according to the scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the Dead. I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the life everlasting. Amen. “

        I remembered all that, just now it came to me. I didn’t think much about what it all meant because I think it was pretty straight forward; I guess I was young and it just meant all the same thing: faith, to have faith, this is what I believe and this is what we do.

        So this is interesting to me; I can almost see the picture, the schematic, the movement of time through just that idea, of what you are describing as we interact. I wont attempt to describe it right now, but leave it enough that what your saying is falling into place, what you’ve been saying and then this seems to present the whole picture now, of history, like you say.

        So I have been looking into myself, aside from the philosophical applications, and really considering just how to respond to your comment, really considering what possibility resides within me of understanding or belief faith or whatever you want to call it. Because I didn’t want to just be contrary; we are being authentic with each other I think.

        I have difficulty with the Creator thing. Honestly, I cant bring myself to find a reason for it; there is nothing in me that has any special respect for a Creator. It is a pure idea with which I have no attachment, no emotion either way; no want or need calls to me from ‘Creator’, whether it be an idea, a word, a being –there simply is nothing there more than if I said ‘flower’ or ‘cup’.

        I am not sure why this is. It seems very important to many people. It seems a preoccupation with many people that so much discussion is about ‘beginnings’ and ‘creation’, whether it be the Big Bang, what caused it, it something entirely different.

        I was thinking that one possibility why this is so is that I was adopted. Perhaps I did not have a reverence for who ‘created’ me like a biological parent because I was adopted. My parents were loving and my upbringing I think was quite normal an untraumatic. But then again, there are many adopted children who become quite interested in finding their biological parents. So, I dunno. They raised me Christian also, so my reasoning about why Im this way is all really just ponderings.

        So, likewise, I am not sure why a Creator should be venerated, or why that deserves love. Or why I should listen to anything from the Creator because He it’s the Creator. But what is significant to me is that if there is a Creator, then he must have Created me in just this way: To not worry about the Creator.

        But somehow I do have a certain understanding of God and with God, and this understanding conveys a meaning of the Bible to me that is solute, a meaning that has no holes, no situations that leave me wondering of how it can be.

        Somehow, the God that I understand, and that allows me to understand, has incorporated an understanding of Him or It that is not conditional or dependent upon whether or not I think He created me.

      34. I really appreciate the way you’re receiving this; the personal consideration you are giving to the Creator, the Word, and creation.

        Your comment about not having any special respect — much less, love — for the Creator is an important one. I don’t think it’s a given that respect and love should take place between the Creator and creation.

      35. Yet i do love, i wouldnt say fear anymore, God. Just whether or not He It is the Creator has never entered our relationship, except when i reflect upon the wholeness that is my life, then indeed God is the Creator; God being Creatir does did not influence our relationship. God ‘commands’, I ‘do’.

        Im just saying that God being Creator does not infkuence me either way. God is God despite whether God created me or not. (But i suppose if God did not then there might be a problem. 😉)

      36. (I hope this one comes through to be easy to find also)

        The ‘two routes’: There is a route of meaning where the Word is what allows for the first situation that can possibly be known, that even if this knowing knows of a creator, then this creator is likewise conditional upon the Word. Then there is a route to meaning like you, or Paul, has situated it, where there is an actual beginning that occurred in just this way, and the knowing of it occurs, basically, through divine intervention.

      37. “Conditional” strikes me as being an odd word, as if we are finding a mechanism that enables God’s existence. Could we say something more like,

        There is a route of meaning where the Word is what allows for the first situation that can possibly be known, that when this knowing knows of a creator, then this creator is found to be one with the Word, His Word.

      38. …so the Word, having arisen in knowing, breaks the enclosure of knowing to actually convey and manifest the Object, at that, The Truth.

        There is a whole series of consequences that arise from that postulate. Some modern philosoohers talk about a ‘cosmic erruption’.

        My concern is explanatory capacity. Basically, the simplest explnation that accounts for the most facts must be the most accurate portrayal of the situation.

        It is not, then, that knowledge is totally enclosed, rather that the total enclosure, the knowledge that allows for that, must be divinely inspired.

        If the contents of an enclosure can be described without any need for an outside reference, then the existsnce of the enclosure must have arisen from an outside element.

        Quite ironic.

        How does one know if the knowledge is from outside regulat knowledge?

      39. I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you talk about:

        *The simplest explanation
        *The most facts
        *The situation

        Are you talking about a historical creation?

      40. No, I get Ockham’s razor. I just wanted to make sure I understood what you were referring to. We were talking about creation. So, were you referring to the the simplest explanation for creation? The facts regarding creation? The situation regarding creation?

      41. I say ‘situation’ because how or what we are knowing of ‘creation’ is at issue. So, im referring to the somplest explnation of the situation. Is the act of creation the moment of knowing, or the moment that the content of knowing suggests.

      42. Im not remembering the line of thought cuz i cant locate the part of thebthread, but. Those are the two routes to meaning. I guess. 🤖

      43. Also, you had written, “There is a route of meaning where the Word is what allows for the first situation that can possibly be known, that even if this knowing knows of a creator, then this creator is likewise conditional upon the Word. Then there is a route to meaning like you, or Paul, has situated it, where there is an actual beginning that occurred in just this way, and the knowing of it occurs, basically, through divine intervention.”

        I replied, “Conditional” strikes me as being an odd word, as if we are finding a mechanism that enables God’s existence. Could we say something more like,

        There is a route of meaning where the Word is what allows for the first situation that can possibly be known, that when this knowing knows of a creator, then this creator is found to be one with the Word, His Word.

      44. But then how do we distinguish who is having this Word-God knowlede? What is the criterion by which we know who is exhibiting God’s truth?

        For if God is inherent to the knowkedge that only knows by virtue of itself, such that God is present there, how would we know who to believe?

      45. I would look for the criteria, and the exhibition of God’s truth, in the most faithful telling of The Big Story. What are God’s key actions in the story? What are humanity’s key actions in the story?

      46. But you are begging the question. What ARE the key actions? What are they ? What are you meaning? Yes sure, but Gods key actions according to what? Humanity’s ?

        How can the criteria of Gods truth be Gods truth? What is the criterion that Makes Gods truth The Truth? How can we know ?if the Word, the beginning of knowing, has content that is indeed God, then everyone who comes unto knowing is likewise Knowing of God. How do we discern? By looking to the Bible?

        Bur then we are back to our initial problem: Both of us ( you and I) Are looking to the Bible, but somehow we disagree.

      47. You asked how the criteria for God’s truth could be God’s truth. I don’t necessarily see a problem with this. Truth has to be grounded doesn’t it? I don’t see why truth couldn’t be grounded in God.

        You ask me what the key actions are in our story. I have highlighted several before, but I will offer them again:

        God created the heavens and the earth. He affirmed that what He made was good.

        God breathed the breath of life into the first human. I believe that this was more than a puff of air. I believe that God breathed His Spirit into humanity, and His intention has always been to live intimately in us and with us.

        God warned the first two humans we know of that they would die if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

        They ate from the tree and they died. They lost the breath of God. Humanity lost the breath/Spirit of God. Humanity is dead.

        God enacted a plan to restore the breath of God to humanity. He set the plan in motion with Abraham and the nation of Israel.

        For many centuries, the nation of Israel proved to be an unfaithful partner in this plan. But, through one faithful Israelite, Jesus, God has guaranteed the fulfillment of his promises and plan. Jesus’ death and resurrection has made possible the restoration of life — the intimate breath/Spirit of God — to humanity.

        People who receive Jesus, and begin following Him, now begin living the new, restored life.

        Jesus will return to bring God’s plan to fulfillment.

        ***

        If you want to tell a rendition of our story in which God and Jesus appear to different people in different ways, then please tell that story because I’m interested in the most faithful telling of our story.

        I don’t think something anecdotal, like the story of Juan — which was intended to illustrate of some larger point/truth, is especially helpful.

        Key events would include:
        Something about our origin
        Is there any intention or purpose involved in humanity’s existence?
        What, if anything, has gone wrong?
        Is there any direction to our story, from this point on?

        As I listen to any telling of The Big Story, I listen for consistency, coherence and cogency, comprehensiveness, and congruence with experience. Those are some of my criteria for evaluating renditions of our story.

      48. Ill try a rendition: The consistency is: Humans tell stories. The human story is the story about humans telling stories. But then another story consistency: Consciousness makes meaning, thats all it does. It constructs meaning and order out of nonsense, so it may have a world.

        Within and by this situation (above), a story begins. ‘God’/”Word’. From that unknown moment, meaning falls into place: the world was void. And may procede like Genesis, sendibly, meaningfull, until consciouness has self reflection: God makes Adam and Eve, ‘from the dirt’ and then ‘ from his rib’.

        Humanity in this way is in darkness to what is actially occurring. But then there was a light.

        A voice was heard in the wilderness, in the darkness, john said ‘get ready for the light’. He was not the light, but he knew the darkness was not where it was at. Jesus arrived who knew if our actual condition. He called this awakening as God heaven and such, but it was because he had no other way to describe the lght, the awakening. But also because the experience was cut short; but that is another story.


        But this too is merely another story: but it is a story that is so obvious and apparent to me that i donr even have to really think about it. The Bible reads clearest in this manner. There is nothing that the Bible speaks about that i cannot explain as part of a total situation; no ‘only God knows’ , no ‘im not sure’. I reads to me complete.

        Now; there is no convincing you of this truth, because the story for you likewise cannot be decided out of: the manner that the story has meaning for you does so completly.

        The only difference then between us is how God is situated in the World.

        My understanding does not exclude other human beings. But accounts for them through accptence instead of condemnation. It says that i do not have a priviledge line to God.

        But this is just a rough and short version.

        I have no ability to opt in God in sny way.
        God opts us in.

        But also; your version indeed functions, it indeed works in a manner exactly as you say.

        I am not suggesting that i am ‘more correct’. Ironically. I can only do what God has me do, undetstand what he has for me to undetstand.
        😉🙃🙂

      49. No matter what happens, you will make sense out of it, but not just sny sense, exactly the sense for which your story attempts to account.

      50. Sounds too skeptical to me. I don’t think the human story is the story about humans telling stories.

        We share an identity as humans and we share a story; a story that is meaningful and ordered. I don’t think it’s a faithful telling of our story to say that humans construct meaning and order out of nonsense.

      51. As i say : Two routes.

        But there is something to say about the Big Story that tells the story of all the stories. ( if mine is more a description than a story)

        This i think is where we havenissue.

      52. Maybe God and Jesus appears in this world, to different people, in different ways, under different pictures and texts, depending on how they are able to convieve and undetstand things. ?

      53. … If consciousness is allways been, meaning having no beginning. Then by the fact that the term ‘beginning’ is used to indicate something, we might also begin to be able to situate other terms with reference to this ‘different’ meaningful base.

      54. Yeah. . . . I know you like that question.

        I’m never going to be able answer “What is chair” to your satisfaction, but at some point you’re going to have to make a decision about sitting on it. In the same way, I’m never going to answer “What is God” to your satisfaction. But, I recommend The Bible’s telling of The Big Story as the most helpful context within which to get to know God. That will help you decide whether or not to trust that God.

      55. But. Im not asking what God is, like what in its (some kindof ) essense is God.

        Like the chair. I am suggesting that Indeed somehow there is an object there, but we just call it a chair. There is no ‘essential’ chair. There is no Platonic Form.

        So when i ask what a chair is, i am really asking if you think the term ‘chair’, the idea of ‘chair-ness’ and that object there, have an essential link that joins them at some true universal basis. Or if chair is just a usefull convention for an essence that cannot be conveyed in its essential content or basis.

      56. I don’t understand how any convention for an essence that cannot be conveyed would be useful.

        I think we convey the essence of things all the time. But, I think one point on which we agree is that we have a more limited ability to do this than we think do. So, yes, I think The Bible conveys God’s essence. I don’t think it does so completely, but I think it does so most faithfully.

      57. Kind of an interesting development. Previously, you’ve considered the possibility that consciousness is humanity’s “problem.” Now, you seem to be considering the possibility that it is eternal — or at least, has always been.

      58. The philosopher refers to this situation of consciousness you piont out here as ‘something went terribly wrong’ and also ‘miraculous’.

      59. The reason why I asked about women: Firstly, I think I cannot close religion of into some arena that never addresses or concerns the rest of whats going on in the world.

        second; I am reminded of the OJ simpson trial. (Im watching the series but I also just watched the ‘Real Story’ that was an assemblage of a bunch of media clips.)

        I think they do ver well at showing the situation of the OJ thing that no one really could get a grasp on 20 years ago.

        The question is: Is he guilty or not guilty?

        Now, while this seems lie a straight forward answer, we found that it is not. in general, blacks and whites viewed it differently.

        The whites saw it as a straightforward, business as usual, determination of what actually occurred; i.e. did OJ take a knife and stick it in Nicole and Ron?

        Of course the trial was turned into a trial about race and OJ was freed because the question was then never about whether he actually stuck the knife into those people. It was about whether the LAPD was a racist instiution.

        In a larger sense, it was a trial that concerned the whole American institution.

        What it revealed was that the Truth is not an objective situation. It is a subjective negotiation.

        The trial brought out to view the situation that Black people has known for their whole time living: That while white people (in general) just saw things as matter of fact, black people were affected unfairly and unjustly due to this ‘matter of factness’, that indeed this matter of fact was not based on any facts at all, or rather, that the institution that was erected upon this assumption of ubiquitous and obvious truth of the universe, was not only faulty, but ethically contradictory. It brought into view that Fact that what people know as true Indeed informs them as to their truth, such that they are incapable of seeing reality in any other way. Knowledge, in this way, functions axiomatically and self-evidently.

        Now; We should note that the above situation is not the case absolutely, but only transitionally, only to the extent and operation that something of the truth, for its reckoning, was left out. But the process by which we come to the truth must have truth as its object.

        Ie: It is not that truth is subjective and negotiated so much as there must be a negotiation of subjects in order to arrive at what the truth is.

        For reality, the truth always ironically works itself out.

        A civil suit was brought and OJ was indeed found liable for the murders. See here that it was not the Law that found his guilt, a ‘filtering’ of objective evidence upon a leveled field of consideration; rather it was the Law that justified the occasion of truth. It was indeed the Civil case, a negotiation of subjects, that found the Truth.

        **

        But this is the real objective case. This is the situation in which we find ourselves, albeit, objectively. In the search for truth, reality is the process of uncovering all possible parties involved in the case and the hearing of them in a proposed level playing field, even as the field itself is adjusted as each new party concerned is found.

        But what is left out in this consideration is the subjective case; we have to be careful here because too soon and readily do we tend to want to fall back into making the argument for the real objective case.

        In the effort to find Truth, ironically, we do not look for new parties and search for all the evidence. In this effort, the parties are all present and evidence is all logged and available.

        **

        My point is that I understand that when you say “the Big Story of the Bible is the most cogent telling of the story of humanity”, you are indeed talking about what you are saying here: There is a story that encompasses all the facts, and the Bible presents the best telling of the assessment of the facts.

        I say I agree. But when we go to discuss just what the facts are, what they mean, what that individual piece of information that goes to inform this logical result that is the Bible Big Story, we are finding that we don’t necessarily agree with one another.

        The way I am viewing this situation is that you are proposing the Big Story like a case of Law, of real (subjective-) objectivity, upon a level playing field, and as new parties come in you apply the best you can the letter of Law the the Story to account for the new party, and likewise new evidence. Hence, sometimes God has not revealed to you the purpose or placement of these new aspects, so you ‘don’t know’.

        Yet the way I see the Big Story is that your particular version, your orientation upon the story, your proposal as to its universality, as an objective ubiquity, is yet also part of the telling, Because all the evidence is in, all the parties accounted for.

        So I say the Bible is telling the Story that includes our telling of the story. And this situation is what is difficult to view when one sees the knowledge they have of any situation as being that of the objective case being heard upon a eternally leveled playing field.

      60. While the Christ/Bible story might sound like a more faithful telling to Me, im equally as sure that whatever other religious type explanatory stories seem just as a faithful telling for those people.

        But so far as me and you; once we start talking about what the story is really a story about, it appears there is two dufferent stories that use the same book. 😝

      61. Lance, I think this thread has become unmanageable for me. It has frayed into several threads, and I’m starting to miss some of your comments. Let me know if you have an idea for how to simplify.

        I just saw this comment about your book.

      62. …and while i appreciate and can agree with what you are saying, again when we get into what that actually means. Then we find we arent realky talking about the same things. But how can that be?

  1. Our Big Stories are the same, but the meanings of the terms are not. I see the big story as a means of describing a particular experience. I can speak of having a relationship with God because i am not lying, but likewise the truth of that situation is not cinveyed. It is a colloqiakism. For the purpose of helping another person if need. It has nothing to do with belief. It has to do with the only wAy i am able to exist in reality.

    This is the on the ground situation of our time: God or no God only concerns those who are invested in such meaning.

    Any Big Story there might be, it is alas, just another story. This is the condition of our times.

  2. I’m not seeing that God wants His own destruction in this story. I’m not seeing what God could want for Himself in His own destruction, and I’m not seeing what God could want for Juan/humanity in His own destruction.

    I also don’t get your allusion to Jesus’ return. For one thing, I don’t think it’s a faithful retelling of our story to say, “When everyone has been decieved by Satan, only then does Christ return.”

    Secondly, it looks to me like, in the story of Juan, Jesus would play the same role as the demon; giving way at the moment of God’s revelation. In the most faithful telling of our story, I don’t think this is the case. Your reference to the book of Revelation in The Bible is important. More specifically, Revelation is “the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). It is a revelation from Jesus (Revelation 1:1-3) and of Jesus (Revelation 19).

    1. I think The reason God does anything is completely out of our jurisdiction. Though i might think a got a grip on his plan, its really just a grip on letting God do what he wills and not me demanding he sticks to what i may think he let me in on. 😄

    2. I dont mean to be insulting, cuz i like our conversations, but im thinking why you cant understand how im meaning destruction because you see yourself as being an insider to Gods mind. Like you have a personal audience with his considerations. Which is fine. But thats partly why i say there are two routes to knowing that dont have a hierarchical relation to each other.

      1. I don’t think the reason God does anything is completely out of our jurisdiction. For example, when The Bible says that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, I think it is revealing God’s reason for sending Jesus. He loves us.

        Two routes to knowing what? God?

        Destruction of Juan’s misconception of God makes sense to me. I don’t see God actually bringing about God’s own destruction — even in “The Book of Juan”!

        As far as being an insider goes, I think that the most faithful telling of our story describes a God who loves us, knows us, and wants to be known.

      2. But you seem to place youself at a distance from yourself. Can you imagine of you knew nothing of Christ? What of all the people who know nothing of Christianity who died never having heard of jesus? What happened to them. ?

      3. It’s a good question — one that I remember discussing with you before.

        I think the most faithful telling of our story is one that tells of God making a profoundly loving and intimate move when He created humanity. God breathed His Spirit into human beings. His intention was for people to live intimately in Him and for His Spirit to live intimately in us.

        Humanity’s essential problem is that we broke that intimate relationship. God’s Spirit no longer lives in us as God intended. Humanity is dead.

        Jesus has acted to reconcile us to God and return the breath of life to people.

        How exactly will our loving, just, and merciful God deal with each individual? I don’t know. But, I think the most faithful telling of our story makes it clear that the reconciling move God made toward humanity in Jesus’ death and resurrection is central to God’s dealings with each person.

        If that telling of the story is not big or inclusive enough, I’m glad to listen to a bigger Big Story.

        I remember that you considered the possibility that humanity has no essential “problem.” You also wondered if consciousness might be the “problem.” You also suggested that Jesus was representative of a messianic concept that manifests in different ways in different cultures and religions.

        I don’t think any of those thoughts ever came together in a big story that was as comprehensive, consistent, and cogent as The Bible’s telling of our story.

      4. Maybe. I suppose if i agree with your story. Then i am more involved with the on the ground practical application of how it is occurring at this moment, like, that story translated into how people actually negotiate and deal with life at this moment. Maybe the Big Story is true, but the chapter were in right now: what is it meAning and how does it translate to everyday sensibility like wakking your dog or putting on your underwear. 😸

      5. I think your interest in the chapter we are living in right now is terrific.

        What have you found to be helpful or important to consider when you translate meaning to dog-walking, underwear, and other everyday stuff?

      6. In short, it is only putting on shorts or walking a dog. In long, weve already been through all that.

        What i see in you is distance making. Everything that is known or knowable, it seems, is so because you are separate from whatever object. That is how you know things. What fills the gap if the distance is God.

        This scheme of meaning by which you know things for certain does not allow any other manner of orgamizing meaning. This is why our communication breaks down at certain poinrs: Because when i attempt to close the distance you are incapable of concieving how the distance is shortening, is closing. Objects, in your meaningful world, hsve a fixed distance that must be maintained. Bcause God in a sense, occupies that space between knowable things. God is like an eternal or basic placeholder of meaning, a cornerstone, upon which your whole reality gains meaning.

        To you, thus, there is a organized meaning to reality and the grand organzizer thus comprises or makes sense a grand story about All.

        To me, there is no grand story; rather, Every story tells the ‘whole’ story, while also telling a peice that can fit into any other story in many ways.

        I have told you many stories, but you simply cannot see what i mean. You keep attempting to place distance into a meaning that does not reside upon a single scaffolding .

        Perhaps. When i finish ‘Absolutuon’. You can better undetstand what i mean. Maybe well see.

  3. Sorry — didn’t mean to release the wave of emojis!

    I don’t know what truth Juan discovered about God. I think you are probably just going to have to tell me the truth about God that Juan discovered.

    1. I dont know if he discovered anything, but his life was such that he had no more faith, and at that moment faith was actually gone, God was destroyed. By his faith. A demon led him. When faith was gone, God appeared. Sounds like Revelation huh? When everyone has been decieved by Satan, only then does Christ return.

  4. I don’t understand why you’re asking me about my faith. I thought “faith; shmaithe” was one of the truths of this story.

    I don’t know why God’s relationship with humanity would have to start with me.

    1. How could it not start with you? Did you know something before you knew anything? If God was in ‘humanities’ world before you, at what time were you not aware of this? And when tou became aware, did it happen that you were not there — i cant even imagine how any relationship of God could possibly not start with you. Even if the telationship with humanity were already there, at some point You became involved, which specifically then involved you and God, particularly. If your relationship were not sound, then the rest would be inconsequential. ??

      1. Is that the truth of your story; that Juan’s/my relationship with God is sound and that’s what makes the rest consequential?

      2. 😑🙄omg dave. 😝 you are so stubborn. Lol. It only takes a little bit of reflecting upon the story. Do you not ever read literature? I admit. I am small read there. But i at least have read a few short stories here and there. Come on. 🐸

      3. ..but. It is just as well to say. Yes. If you had no relationship with God, zero, then whatever relationship God might have with himanity would be meaningless.

    2. I mean, my Lutheranism taught me to have a ‘one on one relationship with God’. To ‘fear and love God’. What about your Protestant Christianity (non denominational) ?

      1. When Juan says, “I have no faith” and “faith; shmaithe,” he seems to have arrived at a point at which God wanted him to arrive. Juan’s prayer to see the truth is answered, and “in a gleam of light,” God is revealed to Juan.

        (I guess I don’t see the destruction of God. Maybe the transformation of Juan’s conception of God.)

      2. In a way, it took Juan destroying God for God to show him the truth of God.

        In another light, God had to negate himself by sending a ‘facimile’ of himself (jesus and the father are one) to be destroyed.

        And in the end times, everyone will have ‘lost faith’. Ie. God willbe destroyed, and Then God returns.

        But also, What truth did Juan find? What in the story is the truth? What part? If God is truth, what was Juan shown as to the truth he asked for?

      3. I don’t know what truth Juan discovered about God. I think you are probably just going to have to tell me the truth about God that Juan discovered.

        It appears that God is. It also appears that God has intentions toward Juan. I can’t really tell much from this story about the nature of God’s relationship with Juan/humanity or the nature of God’s intentions toward Juan/humanity.

      4. How can God have any relationship with himanity. If it doesnt start with you? Is your faith based upon how God is involved with humanity? Did you first consider the evidence then decide whether or not youd be a Christian ?

  5. I don’t understand the value of this story if it “only includes all humanity insomuch as it says nothing about them.”

    I don’t understand the value of your references to Jesus, God, and Satan if we do not share a story with them.

  6. It even says in the Gospels that God sent Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. It would seem that if Satan was not part of Gods plan then he wouldnt have tempted him.

  7. Thanks for the story.

    What I’m interested in is the most faithful telling of humanity’s story, so that’s what I’m listening for as I read about Juan.

    There are a few things in this story that seem important. Let me see if I understand. . . .

    God is.

    There is interaction between God and humanity.

    Terrible things happen to people — things that are “inconsistent with the relationship” between God and humanity.

    God continues to act in the lives of people who are desperate and pissed at God.

    Faith; shmaithe. There is an apprehension of, or experience of truth that is essential. In this truth, God is revealed to humanity.

    1. Or, because Juan has a personal relationship with God, never was there a time where Juans belief had anything to do with what is true.

      Similar to the story of Job, Gods plan is completly beyond our comprehension, and God and the devil are part of the same story.

      And: that this rendition only includes all humanity in so much as it says nothing about them.

      Irony. Is knowing that what you know is false, but you got nothing else to base this conclusion upon (the falsity of knowing that its false). 😄.

      Anyways. You asked for a story about the ironc destruction of God by God.

    2. To demand that the ethics God made for us applies to God also eventually dispells a need for God: Because we place our measure of things to reflect what God likewise must be.

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