Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cause and Effect

I need some fatalism in my life.

I have come to see most things as simple cause and effect. We are in the situations we are in simply because of our personal and collective choices. To follow God or to bring forth his goodness, we must simply enact the very commands he offers us.

Climate change, war, bad relationships, inner anxiety...I have not seen these things as externally-willed things, but rather human decisions (indirectly or directly).

Still, I read passages that haunt me...about God setting up and disposing of Kings and such. Some folks try to remind me that God is God and I am not. And while of course I believe do not believe that I am God, I do not see the division so starkly. That is, God is not simply God, out there, and I am me, down here. We have the Spirit of the Creator within each one of us, the Image of God.

So I have opted to believe that it is a partnership. Our partnering with God. Is this foolish though? I am reminded by some authors of "how small I really am" yet Jesus told his disciples that, with faith, they could command a mountain to move. I am still stooped at this faith.

I think I need to just buy into some fatalism in order to experience a deeper Flow. This is gonna be hard.


Anonymous said...

good and raw comments Ryan...I have a friend here in Idaho who is struggling in the same way you are...it is honest, refreshing and integrity filled. if only we could all be so blunt in our sharing...

here's a quote that has meant alot to me:

"How correct does your theology need to be before grace takes effect?"


Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Robin, I guess I'm not necessarily trying to iron out my entire theology (just yet!), but more trying to understand what is at the core of what I believe about God in our world. And that's got me stumped.

Hugh Comerford said...

Cause and Effect are interesting, but not quite as satisfying as thinking systemically.

Cause and effect imply a closed system whereupon two actors behave in ways that only affect each other.

A random activity restults in a cause (a tsunami) which creates an unprectable effect (a tidal wave of certain proportions) which now has a further unpredictable effect (Holly and Ryan head to Thailand)

If Descartes, Tesla and Galileo were 1.0
Cause and Effect were 2.0
Einsten and Systemic thinking is 3.0

or something like that...


Beautiful Food Gardens said...

I'm not liking the word fatalism, but I've been thinking of this for a few days now and can't put my finger on why. Yes, God does have control of things, and yes, sometimes things happen that we can't explain (but God can) ... but I just don't like the attitude there. Maybe God let them burn the toast so they'd pay more attention to what they were doing!

Actually, my son loves burnt toast. So I kept thinking they should invite him over. Hee.

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Sorry, fatalism is a bit of a characature...or hyperbole. I am simply saying that I need to appeal to something other that is messing with my simple cause-effect scene.

Hugh, you're dead on. Systemic thinking is much more useful. Although that is what I was hinting at with the use of collective cause-effect. That is that the systemic comes from individual/communal/contextual choices combined into systems of our making. I think that we can no longer choose simple cause-effect in the world we live in. Once enlightened as to how our spending affects our neighbors 4000 miles away, or how an atomic bomb can leave ash for the entire atmosphere, we can no longer simply see things in a single-transaction sort of way.

Okay, off to plan my life and make space for the Flow.