EQ/RS Lessons

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
AmyJ
Posts: 571
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by AmyJ » 19 Apr 2018, 10:18

Roy wrote:
02 Dec 2013, 12:40
Everyone has assumptive worlds. The three most basic assumptions are that the world is good/just, that life has meaning, and that the individual is deserving or worthy. Without these assumptions there is pure nihilism. The world is just random occurrences, nobody and nothing matters.

These assumptions transcend religious belief, but religious belief may be built upon and reinforced by these assumptions. Mormonism in particular seems to be tied to these basic assumptions. Again, I believe that there are limitations in the choices we make in our assumptive realities. I don't just decide that the world is a generally good/just place, or that there is meaning in my life, or that I am worthy - any more than I decide that it is cold outside - these things are felt based upon our experiences.
These were the first planks I re-designed when I "came to myself" and realized that my perceptions of reality were likely to be woefully incomplete and/or defective.
a. "The world is good/just" - I now view the world as neutral with elements of good and bad involved. I understand for myself that the world is less good/just for people of similar brain wiring, and that the choice is mine to work harder/smarter to compensate for an unkind/unjust world.

b. "Life has meaning" - I now view life as having as much meaning as gets ascribed to it. I am only qualified to define if aspects/choices of and in my life have meaning - and whether I can assign some meaning to it by my actions. For example, I deliberately chose to phrase what I do in my job as "I get the chance to help others" instead of "I talk to confused frustrated people all day who would love to take it out on me if possible (by accident... I think)". This brings more meaning to how I spend 40 hours of my life. In everything that has meaning to me, I did something to start the ball rolling and/or made choices that made that meaning possible.

c. "the individual is deserving/worthy" - I now view individuals as innately being and having the right to do so. "Deserving" or "Worthy" are external constructs based on circumstances. Everything else falls under Article of Faith #11.
NOTE: There are going to be times of extreme stress where an individual becomes "emotionally compromised" to quote Spock. It is honorable for a person to recognize that and take that into account when making decisions. It is more honorable for those around that individual to recognize that and take it into account when interacting with that individual and/or advocating on their behalf.

NOTE 2: Sometimes we have to talk ourselves into believing and acting on our own self worth. I HAD to believe that there was a job out there for me with my name on it - that I was worthy of that consequence in order to have the motivation to go out and get it.
Roy wrote:
02 Dec 2013, 12:40
Again I don't think a person chooses to have their assumptive world collapse. I do not know why some events will trigger assumptive world collapses in some people but not in others but I am convinced that it is not based on choice.
I did not see mine coming, and when I try to explain it to others to give them a form of reference, it sounds really lame. I think that others can and will make a case that it was a person seeking a way out.... and that is their right to do so. I believe I made the best choices possible under the circumstances I found myself in.
Roy wrote:
02 Dec 2013, 12:40
For me it was such a relief to stumble upon the concept of the assumptive world collapse. I had thought that I was just going crazy, that my whole world was shifting. I believe that my subconscious/psyche knew what it was doing even when my mind did not.
I do describe my world view collapse as "coming into myself" like the Prodigal Son because my perception of everything shifted. I believe that it shifted for the good and/or that it can and will be for my good if I perceive it as a good thing and make better, more informed choices because of it.
Roy wrote:
02 Dec 2013, 12:40
Roy wrote:Sometimes something happens that is so powerful as to challenge all previous assumptions.
As spokesmen for a particular brand of assumptive reality it is somewhat the job of Mormon Church leaders to suggest that some assumptions should NEVER be challenged. I'm ok with that, I'm just somewhat aware that my experiences place me somewhat outside of the boundaries of their worldview.
I do not believe that many Mormon Church leaders are capable of understanding where I am coming from. They do not have the vocabulary or the flexibility within their own framework to frame my journey as I do.
Agree. I teasingly tell my husband that I am literally 1 in a million now - between a host of unique circumstances that me me who I am. Since I am such a rare bird, it is unrealistic to expect that they would off the cuff have the insights and resources to deal well with me. The great thing is, that they can develop/use the tools of Charity, Empathy, and Developmental Insights they have to work with me to build a bridge towards that understanding. The other great thing is I know that it would be a bigger challenge then expected, so I can make additional allowances and start the bridge earlier (and give pointers on how it works with me).
Roy wrote:
02 Dec 2013, 12:40
They frame me as “struggling” or “losing testimony” or “confused.” I try to present myself in as harmless a way as possible so that I am not labeled as apostate or wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I feel that my experience jarred me out of the boundaries or the common Mormon worldview. We used to be on the “same page” but now we are using different books.

My worthiness is no longer tied to my behavior. My life’s meaning is no longer to test my obedience. The good and the bad that happens in my life is no longer related to my being deserving/the hand of God. I am not striving for the carrot nor trying to avoid the stick. I am to them a conundrum.
My "worthiness" is tied to my behavior in response to a specific set of constructs. However, because I am, I have worth. Because I have worth, I need to build on that and make the best choices possible following my personal path instead of being stagnant. It really is the grace vs works conundrum. I am "worth" a good marriage companion because I practice good marriage companion principles (made a smart choice spouse-wise) and make choices in line with those expectations and responsibilities. If my marriage gets to a point where my husband feels I am not doing my part in that situation, or we have changed too much for that cost-benefit analysis to generate that result, then we decide if it is "worth" it to go back to the drawing board, or move on.

Ultimately, I get to determine the inspiration/revelation/integrity of being "worthy" of a temple recommend if I want to go to the temple. The representatives are there to assist in the process and give some questions that can provide opportunities for introspection PRIOR to sitting at the chair in front of said representatives. They get to decide based on what I tell them, what others tell them, and the vibes given in the situation on whether they agree with what I feel God means in that situation.

Roy
Posts: 4783
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by Roy » 19 Apr 2018, 12:21

Thanks for bumping this thread.

Wonderful thoughts through and through. I love the idea of realizing when someone is "Emotionally compromised" and making allowances for that. To paraphrase curt - If someone is blind to something we cannot argue them into seeing it.
AmyJ wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 10:18
I did not see mine coming, and when I try to explain it to others to give them a form of reference, it sounds really lame. I think that others can and will make a case that it was a person seeking a way out.... and that is their right to do so.
People generally want to believe that bad things cannot happen to them because the are better, more righteous, smarter, or more heavily armed than those who receive terrible circumstances. It is a coping mechanism. I believe that our church reinforces this through a heavy emphasis on agency, worthiness, and consequences.
AmyJ wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 10:18
I do describe my world view collapse as "coming into myself" like the Prodigal Son because my perception of everything shifted. I believe that it shifted for the good and/or that it can and will be for my good if I perceive it as a good thing and make better, more informed choices because of it.
I too find that I "came to myself". I have read a number of books by individual that have struggled with their faith under difficult circumstances. I find it interesting that people who find themselves having some sort of religious awakening / call to repentance / shift in alignment towards God - also feel that they "came to themselves". They feel that their previous understanding was in error and now they are on the correct path. This realization helps me to have a dose of humility in the "rightness" of my own path and a dose of respect for the valid perspectives of those that take different paths.
AmyJ wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 10:18
Agree. I teasingly tell my husband that I am literally 1 in a million now - between a host of unique circumstances that me me who I am. Since I am such a rare bird, it is unrealistic to expect that they would off the cuff have the insights and resources to deal well with me. The great thing is, that they can develop/use the tools of Charity, Empathy, and Developmental Insights they have to work with me to build a bridge towards that understanding. The other great thing is I know that it would be a bigger challenge then expected, so I can make additional allowances and start the bridge earlier (and give pointers on how it works with me).
Yes! I love this.
AmyJ wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 10:18
However, because I am, I have worth. Because I have worth, I need to build on that and make the best choices possible following my personal path instead of being stagnant. It really is the grace vs works conundrum.
When I "came to myself" I had a powerful impression/revelation that God loved me just the way I am. I shared this with my bishop at the time and he responded something like "Of course God loves you, that is why He wants you to do....."

I love the concept of a heavenly parent that will always be there. He loves us first, last, and always. This love of grace provides a safety net of sorts. I can and should make choices of growth. I can climb as high as it suits me - knowing if I fall God will be there to catch me. This is a valid and true way to frame it.

However, a person can opt for a quiet, peaceful, and unassuming life. Gods grace/love can to this person be as walking through the meadow of life holding the hand of a dear friend. This is another valid and true way to frame it.

I would disagree with any implication that because God offers a safety net - therefore we must climb high (and that the higher we climb is a measure of the trust we have in the safety net). That may work for some people, especially if they love to climb, but it does not appear to work for others. I believe that God is big enough to adapt himself to the personal needs and circumstances of all of his children.

I very much appreciate your thoughts and the opportunity to ponder my own thoughts in writing back to you. Thank you Amy.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

AmyJ
Posts: 571
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: EQ/RS Lessons

Post by AmyJ » 19 Apr 2018, 12:59

Roy wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 12:21
Thanks for bumping this thread.
You are welcome:)
AmyJ wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 10:18
I did not see mine coming, and when I try to explain it to others to give them a form of reference, it sounds really lame. I think that others can and will make a case that it was a person seeking a way out.... and that is their right to do so.
Roy wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 12:21
People generally want to believe that bad things cannot happen to them because the are better, more righteous, smarter, or more heavily armed than those who receive terrible circumstances. It is a coping mechanism. I believe that our church reinforces this through a heavy emphasis on agency, worthiness, and consequences.
As near as I can tell, my situation rarely happens in the church. People don't realize a "diagnosis" or "description" that aptly applies to that person will shift their perception of themselves and their perception of God. I gather it happens for some people who have similar brain wiring - and I know for myself it does happen.

I am not even sure it is a bad thing. I think it is a rare and uncomfortable thing with positive and negative consequences. I think that I will get what I reap - if I focus on the negative, that is what I get (and vice versa). Periodically I second-guess myself, but there is no way that given who I am that I would not wind up connecting the dots in the same way over and over again. I am known for finding the 3rd option when 2 are listed, for taking the more difficult path because that is the path I see.
Roy wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 12:21
I too find that I "came to myself". I have read a number of books by individual that have struggled with their faith under difficult circumstances. I find it interesting that people who find themselves having some sort of religious awakening / call to repentance / shift in alignment towards God - also feel that they "came to themselves". They feel that their previous understanding was in error and now they are on the correct path. This realization helps me to have a dose of humility in the "rightness" of my own path and a dose of respect for the valid perspectives of those that take different paths.
I perceive this path as developmentally appropriate for me for where I am now. I perceive my previous path as a component of what brought me to where I am now. When I was a child and had temper tantrums, those choices were made because I did not have the understanding and resources to react differently. Adolescence (which I survived - Yay) increased my brain capacity, giving me greater resources to control my behaviors better. Adulthood gave me the understanding to understand the consequences of throwing temper tantrums and led me to better. more effective choices.
AmyJ wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 10:18
However, because I am, I have worth. Because I have worth, I need to build on that and make the best choices possible following my personal path instead of being stagnant. It really is the grace vs works conundrum.
Roy wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 12:21
When I "came to myself" I had a powerful impression/revelation that God loved me just the way I am. I shared this with my bishop at the time and he responded something like "Of course God loves you, that is why He wants you to do....."
I believe I am a humanist in that I believe that individuals have innate worth because they are human. I want to believe that God is involved enough to love us as individuals - that my new path has meaning/purpose given from God. The best I can do is act as if this path was set before me "for such a time as this" as was Esther - because my perception shapes my reality and my reality will be a lot more unbearable if there is no meaning to entering Stage 4 for me. In any case, believing that the faith ball is in my court motivates me to make better choices.
Roy wrote:
19 Apr 2018, 12:21
I love the concept of a heavenly parent that will always be there. He loves us first, last, and always. This love of grace provides a safety net of sorts. I can and should make choices of growth. I can climb as high as it suits me - knowing if I fall God will be there to catch me. This is a valid and true way to frame it.

However, a person can opt for a quiet, peaceful, and unassuming life. Gods grace/love can to this person be as walking through the meadow of life holding the hand of a dear friend. This is another valid and true way to frame it.
To me, both ways of framing it work for people and are valid. In fact, I think that both ways of framing it will work for the same person at different parts of their life. The important part is whether climbing the mountain or wading through the meadow, the person is moving forward and not resting on their "worthiness" laurels.

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