Beliefs vs. Reality

There was a fascinating show that my wife and I watched last night on Mind Field with Vsauce (Michael Stevens). It was season 3, episode 7, titled “Behavior and Belief.”

It was all about the nature of beliefs, and whether they are real, lies, true, false, or something else more fuzzy. I think it explored this subject in a very intriguing way, doing experiments with people, and they came to some stunning conclusions. This has many implications for religious and spiritual beliefs, particularly those beliefs that we may have believed were true and yet found them to be not so true, or perhaps even false, and have shifted our beliefs in that wake. What does it mean to “believe” something, or believe in something? What is the nature of superstition? Do our beliefs coincide with an objective reality, or do they have another function?

Continue reading “Beliefs vs. Reality”

Reconstructing Mormonism’s “Holy Ghost”

(This continues a series of posts about reconstructing the Mormon/Christian narrative. Please read this introductory post first, if you haven’t already, before continuing.)

The “Holy Ghost” is perhaps one of the most mysterious figures in Mormon theology (and perhaps more generally in Christianity). Many Mormons likely know this being of the Godhead as a “personage of spirit,” which “has not a body of flesh and bones,” “were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell within us” (D&C 130:22). This already begins to sound quite supernatural, a ghostly person that may come and dwell within me? How are we to make sense of this?

Continue reading “Reconstructing Mormonism’s “Holy Ghost””

Our Ideas of God Are Not God

The ideas we have about God are not God.

Any idea, thought, or concept never was and never will be God. They may be helpful symbols that point to God, metaphors, analogies, allegories, images, but they are not God as God is. They will inevitably conflict with one another and are fallible, as every symbol eventually fails at actually being the thing it is supposed to represent. The symbol is never the thing-in-itself. Continue reading “Our Ideas of God Are Not God”

A Word about Guided Meditations

It seems to me that many people consider meditation to involve elaborate fantasies, imaginings, and visioning in the mind. This seems to be facilitated and encouraged by many guided meditations. I perceive that these kinds of meditation can have many positive benefits in creative pursuits, visualization, and problem solving, to go on adventures and vision quests in the mind. However, I think meditation can offer much more than this. Continue reading “A Word about Guided Meditations”