Author Topic: Learning to let go and trust in God.  (Read 1601 times)

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Offline RobS

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Learning to let go and trust in God.
« on: July 04, 2017, 11:37:01 PM »
How do you do it? It's embarrassing to ask this because its so basic but I'm having such a hard time with it.

One of Fr. Hopko's 55 maxims is:

Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis, figuring things out. Once and for all, we have to stop trying to figure things out. God can illumine our mind and give us insight into the nature of things, but we can’t figure it out. We don’t have the equipment to do it, and we should stop trying.

This is one of the toughest maxims for me to do.

I look at the world and I can't help but ponder why the world is the way it is. And I obsess over the kind of suffering and problems people go through, it makes me melancholic. It's nobody specific, but general people. These things aren't up for me to decide and I need to stop dwelling so much on it. I've totally curbed all of my daily news intake (except for a weekly recap email, but I think I will unsubscribe to that), I just can't bear to know what's going on in the world anymore. One headline and my mind wanders into the darkest of places. Then I get these thoughts of how strange it is being in this human body, living in my apartment, in this city, this country, etc. but not just spatially but in historical time (21st century). I feel thrown into a world not of my making but it makes me feel powerless and imprisoned and disoriented. Then I work 5 days a week to keep me alive. Those feelings are probably tied up in my depression but I want to try to figure everything out on my own, instead of just turning over all I don't know to God. I look at everything as absurd (I feel exactly the way beebert does in his "Life is Absurd" thread). I know this way of looking and thinking about things is toxic, I just don't know how to break free from it. There's peace in "I don't know and its up to God", but I don't know how I can attain it.

I was feeling like my old self again for 3 days but now I'm back thinking these depressing thoughts. A lot about death, dying, me growing old, alone and feeble in a nursing home somewhere, not seeing my parents and sister in the future because they will be dead. I hate death for the fact of what it takes away. And I worry during the process of death there is nothing after, an eternal oblivion. It is interesting the origin of the word oblivion meant "forgetfullness, a being forgotten" and the Orthodox, after someone has reposed, say "Memory Eternal!" (there's a link here right?). But we didn't exist before we were born, however we exist now, which is something, a positive. Who's to say I can't exist beyond my physical death. Again I have to stop thinking about this junk, it brings no good.

I just started some medication for my depression so it's going to take weeks for the effects to kick in, but I need to do some other things mentally/spiritually. I have another therapist appointment on Thursday. This depression is paralyzing. I exist but I'm not living, a zombie. Although I don't have feelings of despair right now.

I just want to be in a place where I can say I'm done trying to ponder and pry into the workings of the world, accept it and leave it up to God. I don't know why that's so difficult. All I'm looking for is a simple faith in God that doesn't require any intellectualism on my part. Tired of the same philosophical problems that find its way in my mind that I have trouble solving and shadowboxing with God. Why can't I believe God it's your way not mine and take that as joyful? I really want to believe this and tired of wrestling with God.

Fr. Hopko is right. God is simple but its we humans who are a mess, complicated, confused, etc. We're the problem, not God.

And that leads to the other maxim of Fr. Hopko I have trouble with is:

Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings. When feelings come upon you, when thoughts come upon you, don’t engage them. If you accept them, they’ve got you, and you will sin. So you’ve got to cut them off, right at the very start.

I don't know how to do that. How do I cut them off before they spiral into my worries and anxieties? I'm tired of fighting negative thought patterns all the time, it's draining. I need to trust God in everything but I don't know how I can maintain focus to do it.

I have problem letting go of my worries of an uncertain future I can't control. Jesus says not to be anxious of one's life and the day has its own problems, and not to worry about tomorrow. Oh Lord if only I can let go of things I have no control over (a paradox I know).
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 02:37:30 AM by nothing »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 02:18:37 PM »
These are very good questions!

For me, something practical I do is I try to find a quiet place, and I try to stay silent for a five minutes trying to listen to God.  As I hear my breathing, I also try to do the Jesus Prayer.  Try to develop a sense of serenity in silence.

I have heard cases of people going through anxiety where the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is listen to or read the news.  Instead, try to pray.  Try to practice that prayer of silence, of trying to be in the presence of God, in the moment with Christ.

Try to replace bad feelings with good feelings as well.  Engage in good habits.  Sometimes, all it might take to push away bad thoughts and habits is to acquire a different lifestyle of good thoughts and habits.  Even monks realized this.  There is a story of St. Anthony the Great who had trouble combatting thoughts.  Then he saw an angel weaving.  The angel would take a rest from work to pray, and then he would go back to weaving.  Then St. Anthony heard a voice telling him, "Do likewise and you'll find rest in your soul."  You need to keep yourself busy, and eventually, you'll slowly acquire a new behavior, a new thought process without even realizing it.  But it takes time, and it takes perseverance.

These are just some of things I do and continue to do from my experience.
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Offline beebert

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 02:33:19 PM »
How do you do it? It's embarrassing to ask this because its so basic but I'm having such a hard time with it.

One of Fr. Hopko's 55 maxims is:

Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis, figuring things out. Once and for all, we have to stop trying to figure things out. God can illumine our mind and give us insight into the nature of things, but we can’t figure it out. We don’t have the equipment to do it, and we should stop trying.

This is one of the toughest maxims for me to do.

I look at the world and I can't help but ponder why the world is the way it is. And I obsess over the kind of suffering and problems people go through, it makes me melancholic. It's nobody specific, but general people. These things aren't up for me to decide and I need to stop dwelling so much on it. I've totally curbed all of my daily news intake (except for a weekly recap email, but I think I will unsubscribe to that), I just can't bear to know what's going on in the world anymore. One headline and my mind wanders into the darkest of places. Then I get these thoughts of how strange it is being in this human body, living in my apartment, in this city, this country, etc. but not just spatially but in historical time (21st century). I feel thrown into a world not of my making but it makes me feel powerless and imprisoned and disoriented. Then I work 5 days a week to keep me alive. Those feelings are probably tied up in my depression but I want to try to figure everything out on my own, instead of just turning over all I don't know to God. I look at everything as absurd (I feel exactly the way beebert does in his "Life is Absurd" thread). I know this way of looking and thinking about things is toxic, I just don't know how to break free from it. There's peace in "I don't know and its up to God", but I don't know how I can attain it.

I was feeling like my old self again for 3 days but now I'm back thinking these depressing thoughts. A lot about death, dying, me growing old, alone and feeble in a nursing home somewhere, not seeing my parents and sister in the future because they will be dead. I hate death for the fact of what it takes away. And I worry during the process of death there is nothing after, an eternal oblivion. It is interesting the origin of the word oblivion meant "forgetfullness, a being forgotten" and the Orthodox, after someone has reposed, say "Memory Eternal!" (there's a link here right?). But we didn't exist before we were born, however we exist now, which is something, a positive. Who's to say I can't exist beyond my physical death. Again I have to stop thinking about this junk, it brings no good.

I just started some medication for my depression so it's going to take weeks for the effects to kick in, but I need to do some other things mentally/spiritually. I have another therapist appointment on Thursday. This depression is paralyzing. I exist but I'm not living, a zombie. Although I don't have feelings of despair right now.

I just want to be in a place where I can say I'm done trying to ponder and pry into the workings of the world, accept it and leave it up to God. I don't know why that's so difficult. All I'm looking for is a simple faith in God that doesn't require any intellectualism on my part. Tired of the same philosophical problems that find its way in my mind that I have trouble solving and shadowboxing with God. Why can't I believe God it's your way not mine and take that as joyful? I really want to believe this and tired of wrestling with God.

Fr. Hopko is right. God is simple but its we humans who are a mess, complicated, confused, etc. We're the problem, not God.

And that leads to the other maxim of Fr. Hopko I have trouble with is:

Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings. When feelings come upon you, when thoughts come upon you, don’t engage them. If you accept them, they’ve got you, and you will sin. So you’ve got to cut them off, right at the very start.

I don't know how to do that. How do I cut them off before they spiral into my worries and anxieties? I'm tired of fighting negative thought patterns all the time, it's draining. I need to trust God in everything but I don't know how I can maintain focus to do it.

I have problem letting go of my worries of an uncertain future I can't control. Jesus says not to be anxious of one's life and the day has its own problems, and not to worry about tomorrow. Oh Lord if only I can let go of things I have no control over (a paradox I know).
Since you mentioned that you feel a lot like I have described what I feel, may I ask you, do you think a lot? It seems like you do. As you said, not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking. And in fact, I think Nietzsche was right when he said that philosophers are more married to thinking itself than the quest for truth. Remember(though I always for get it), that you are not just mind. You are body too. Try to feel you toes. Focus on your toes. Try it... It sounds weird, but if you think a lot and it torments you, then focus on your toes, or some other body part. In the long run, it will help. Also, do you go see any friends? You remind me a lot about myself
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 02:39:53 PM by beebert »
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Offline RobS

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 02:39:48 PM »
These are very good questions!

For me, something practical I do is I try to find a quiet place, and I try to stay silent for a five minutes trying to listen to God.  As I hear my breathing, I also try to do the Jesus Prayer.  Try to develop a sense of serenity in silence.

I have heard cases of people going through anxiety where the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is listen to or read the news.  Instead, try to pray.  Try to practice that prayer of silence, of trying to be in the presence of God, in the moment with Christ.

Try to replace bad feelings with good feelings as well.  Engage in good habits.  Sometimes, all it might take to push away bad thoughts and habits is to acquire a different lifestyle of good thoughts and habits.  Even monks realized this.  There is a story of St. Anthony the Great who had trouble combatting thoughts.  Then he saw an angel weaving.  The angel would take a rest from work to pray, and then he would go back to weaving.  Then St. Anthony heard a voice telling him, "Do likewise and you'll find rest in your soul."  You need to keep yourself busy, and eventually, you'll slowly acquire a new behavior, a new thought process without even realizing it.  But it takes time, and it takes perseverance.

These are just some of things I do and continue to do from my experience.

mina its hard. I've tried sitting in silence today and whatever thoughts come to me to turn that over to God, but I just can't keep my mind "blank" if that makes sense. I try not to think of thoughts but I end up thinking thoughts.

I will try to hear my breathing and do the Jesus Prayer. I need God's strength to conquer these afflictions in my mind.

Please keep me in your prayers.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline RobS

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 02:49:55 PM »
Since you mentioned that you feel a lot like I have described what I feel, may I ask you, do you think a lot? It seems like you do. As you said, not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking. And in fact, I think Nietzsche was right when he said that philosophers are more married to thinking itself than the quest for truth. Remember(though I always for get it), that you are not just mind. You are body too. Try to feel you toes. Focus on your toes. Try it... It sounds weird, but if you think a lot and it torments you, then focus on your toes, or some other body part. In the long run, it will help. Also, do you go see any friends? You remind me a lot about myself

No I don't have any friends I can see, and yes I think a lot. I think way too much. I try to get myself involved in some distractions whether it be watching TV or playing a game but in the back of my mind these thoughts overtake whatever it is I am doing in the present moment.

What makes me sad is the past weekend I was doing so much better than that horrible anxiety episode. It was the first time in a long time I felt truly happy, at peace with everything, comfortable, relaxed and I made a conscious effort to develop some new habits and steer away from old habits that I think are triggering my depression. I lapsed into reading some philosophical junk online that spiraled me right back into depression and when I'm there I obsess over those thoughts and they literally lacerate me.

Fr. Hopko says you can only go to hell by yourself, and we need others for our salvation. I get that but I need to do things in my own life too. I don't know. I feel so confused and jumbled. I make a little progress spiritually then I'm back at square one again. I don't get frustrated by it though.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 02:50:44 PM by nothing »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 03:04:42 PM »
... not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking.

It's a popular, and nowadays official, misconstruction of philosophy that it provides no answers, arrives at nothing. In fact, this is only the case if one groups all published thinkers into "philosophers" and attempts an assessment by consensus, as tho truth were a germ or an economics department. The fact is that philosophy has always been less a matter of true and false than of truth and lies. On the one hand, we can rank the right users of reason and intuition and on the other their enemies. There is no proper admixture or average, anymore than there would be a "true" nature of water and oil. Now, some of this is simple ignorance, especially in a time post-human when the concept of a lifework to attain a skillset is obsolete. However, for the most part it is purposeful deceit. From the time of the Enlightenment, there is a steady build of demonic hubris as thinkers proclaimed themselves ready to "show the way forward" from Plato. There is no "way forward" from truth, only departure. And so the last 500 years in philosophy have largely been filled by violent efforts to demolish Plato (and, coincidentally, as a result of the nature of their enterprise, each other), a war of titans against God. What the Hebrew prophets knew, what Plato knew, what the Cappadocian Fathers knew, and so on, was quite accurate and trustworthy and in it one must simply abide. This is not irksome; this is peace. At then end I must add that no man learns anything true without God's help; however, God seeks to help all: therefore, to refer to a gain of knowledge as due to the mind of man is not the whole story but neither is it false.
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Offline beebert

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 03:16:00 PM »
... not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking.

It's a popular, and nowadays official, misconstruction of philosophy that it provides no answers, arrives at nothing. In fact, this is only the case if one groups all published thinkers into "philosophers" and attempts an assessment by consensus, as tho truth were a germ or an economics department. The fact is that philosophy has always been less a matter of true and false than of truth and lies. On the one hand, we can rank the right users of reason and intuition and on the other their enemies. There is no proper admixture or average, anymore than there would be a "true" nature of water and oil. Now, some of this is simple ignorance, especially in a time post-human when the concept of a lifework to attain a skillset is obsolete. However, for the most part it is purposeful deceit. From the time of the Enlightenment, there is a steady build of demonic hubris as thinkers proclaimed themselves ready to "show the way forward" from Plato. There is no "way forward" from truth, only departure. And so the last 500 years in philosophy have largely been filled by violent efforts to demolish Plato (and, coincidentally, as a result of the nature of their enterprise, each other), a war of titans against God. What the Hebrew prophets knew, what Plato knew, what the Cappadocian Fathers knew, and so on, was quite accurate and trustworthy and in it one must simply abide. This is not irksome; this is peace. At then end I must add that no man learns anything true without God's help; however, God seeks to help all: therefore, to refer to a gain of knowledge as due to the mind of man is not the whole story but neither is it false.
I see what you mean. I agree with you. Though I would personally say that there are some other philosophers of worth in history too, even though they are more dependent of their time in history than Plato, who was an eternal thinker. I wouldn't completely cast away Aristotle for example, or Spinoza and Kant. Nor would I cast away Nietzsche, who exposed the failure of most of the history of western philosophy, by quite convincingly argue for that most philosophers have unknowingly been victims of their own unconscious wants and forces or drives. Sometimes I also believe, when reading Wittgenstein, that he in fact ended philosophy.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 03:19:05 PM by beebert »
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Offline beebert

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 03:24:45 PM »
Since you mentioned that you feel a lot like I have described what I feel, may I ask you, do you think a lot? It seems like you do. As you said, not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking. And in fact, I think Nietzsche was right when he said that philosophers are more married to thinking itself than the quest for truth. Remember(though I always for get it), that you are not just mind. You are body too. Try to feel you toes. Focus on your toes. Try it... It sounds weird, but if you think a lot and it torments you, then focus on your toes, or some other body part. In the long run, it will help. Also, do you go see any friends? You remind me a lot about myself

No I don't have any friends I can see, and yes I think a lot. I think way too much. I try to get myself involved in some distractions whether it be watching TV or playing a game but in the back of my mind these thoughts overtake whatever it is I am doing in the present moment.

What makes me sad is the past weekend I was doing so much better than that horrible anxiety episode. It was the first time in a long time I felt truly happy, at peace with everything, comfortable, relaxed and I made a conscious effort to develop some new habits and steer away from old habits that I think are triggering my depression. I lapsed into reading some philosophical junk online that spiraled me right back into depression and when I'm there I obsess over those thoughts and they literally lacerate me.

Fr. Hopko says you can only go to hell by yourself, and we need others for our salvation. I get that but I need to do things in my own life too. I don't know. I feel so confused and jumbled. I make a little progress spiritually then I'm back at square one again. I don't get frustrated by it though.
But do you have any friends? Meeting friends is a good thing. It helps you think less. though I know personally that one can easily become "addicted" to thinking and being almost paradoxically willing and unwilling at the same time to let the thoughts go, because they can provide one with a sense of "control". Also, try the think i said about focusing on a body part. You are body too. Go run. Read a great book that gives you the sense of meaning. I suggest a book like Don Quixote for example, if you feel like it. Forget philosophy for now... If you should read any philosophy, it should be about how to live and have a peace of mind.
'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 03:30:36 PM »
... not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking.

It's a popular, and nowadays official, misconstruction of philosophy that it provides no answers, arrives at nothing. In fact, this is only the case if one groups all published thinkers into "philosophers" and attempts an assessment by consensus, as tho truth were a germ or an economics department. The fact is that philosophy has always been less a matter of true and false than of truth and lies. On the one hand, we can rank the right users of reason and intuition and on the other their enemies. There is no proper admixture or average, anymore than there would be a "true" nature of water and oil. Now, some of this is simple ignorance, especially in a time post-human when the concept of a lifework to attain a skillset is obsolete. However, for the most part it is purposeful deceit. From the time of the Enlightenment, there is a steady build of demonic hubris as thinkers proclaimed themselves ready to "show the way forward" from Plato. There is no "way forward" from truth, only departure. And so the last 500 years in philosophy have largely been filled by violent efforts to demolish Plato (and, coincidentally, as a result of the nature of their enterprise, each other), a war of titans against God. What the Hebrew prophets knew, what Plato knew, what the Cappadocian Fathers knew, and so on, was quite accurate and trustworthy and in it one must simply abide. This is not irksome; this is peace. At then end I must add that no man learns anything true without God's help; however, God seeks to help all: therefore, to refer to a gain of knowledge as due to the mind of man is not the whole story but neither is it false.
I see what you mean. I agree with you. Though I would personally say that there are some other philosophers of worth in history too, even though they are more dependent of their time in history than Plato, who was an eternal thinker. I wouldn't completely cast away Aristotle for example, or Spinoza and Kant.

I haven't read Spinoza, tho I don't have any good feeling about him based on the little I know. My gnostic friend is a huge fan tho. Aristotle is very worthwhile, and I'm of the school that thinks he intended to be a Platonist throughout his life. The Peripatetics who sought to revive him were the problem. The Arabs understood him better. Kant is dazzling and has wasted much too much of my time, about which I do not at all complain.

Quote
Nor would I cast away Nietzsche, who exposed the failure of most of the history of western philosophy, by quite convincingly argue for that most philosophers have unknowingly been victims of their own unconscious wants and forces or drives. Sometimes I also believe, when reading Wittgenstein, that he in fact ended philosophy.

Such hogwash. Nietzsche has all the philosophical worth of some wretched adolescent glam rock band, and Wittgenstein is still respected only because nobody can understand him -- in fact, his feat is misapprehending Kant while impersonating Lewis Carroll.

If you have any earnest desire for the definitive philosophical truth put in terms of our day, and are not still only pining for sensation and ego-excitement, then what you want is Philosophical Fragments / Concluding Unscientific Postscript -- or, if you can't control that twitching in your cerebellum which pretends Kierkegaard was an Existentialist, then cut your grey matter straight to their core with St. Fr. Florensky's The Pillar and Ground of the Truth.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline beebert

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 03:54:39 PM »
... not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking.

It's a popular, and nowadays official, misconstruction of philosophy that it provides no answers, arrives at nothing. In fact, this is only the case if one groups all published thinkers into "philosophers" and attempts an assessment by consensus, as tho truth were a germ or an economics department. The fact is that philosophy has always been less a matter of true and false than of truth and lies. On the one hand, we can rank the right users of reason and intuition and on the other their enemies. There is no proper admixture or average, anymore than there would be a "true" nature of water and oil. Now, some of this is simple ignorance, especially in a time post-human when the concept of a lifework to attain a skillset is obsolete. However, for the most part it is purposeful deceit. From the time of the Enlightenment, there is a steady build of demonic hubris as thinkers proclaimed themselves ready to "show the way forward" from Plato. There is no "way forward" from truth, only departure. And so the last 500 years in philosophy have largely been filled by violent efforts to demolish Plato (and, coincidentally, as a result of the nature of their enterprise, each other), a war of titans against God. What the Hebrew prophets knew, what Plato knew, what the Cappadocian Fathers knew, and so on, was quite accurate and trustworthy and in it one must simply abide. This is not irksome; this is peace. At then end I must add that no man learns anything true without God's help; however, God seeks to help all: therefore, to refer to a gain of knowledge as due to the mind of man is not the whole story but neither is it false.
I see what you mean. I agree with you. Though I would personally say that there are some other philosophers of worth in history too, even though they are more dependent of their time in history than Plato, who was an eternal thinker. I wouldn't completely cast away Aristotle for example, or Spinoza and Kant.

I haven't read Spinoza, tho I don't have any good feeling about him based on the little I know. My gnostic friend is a huge fan tho. Aristotle is very worthwhile, and I'm of the school that thinks he intended to be a Platonist throughout his life. The Peripatetics who sought to revive him were the problem. The Arabs understood him better. Kant is dazzling and has wasted much too much of my time, about which I do not at all complain.

Quote
Nor would I cast away Nietzsche, who exposed the failure of most of the history of western philosophy, by quite convincingly argue for that most philosophers have unknowingly been victims of their own unconscious wants and forces or drives. Sometimes I also believe, when reading Wittgenstein, that he in fact ended philosophy.

Such hogwash. Nietzsche has all the philosophical worth of some wretched adolescent glam rock band, and Wittgenstein is still respected only because nobody can understand him -- in fact, his feat is misapprehending Kant while impersonating Lewis Carroll.

If you have any earnest desire for the definitive philosophical truth put in terms of our day, and are not still only pining for sensation and ego-excitement, then what you want is Philosophical Fragments / Concluding Unscientific Postscript -- or, if you can't control that twitching in your cerebellum which pretends Kierkegaard was an Existentialist, then cut your grey matter straight to their core with St. Fr. Florensky's The Pillar and Ground of the Truth.
Thank you for the advice, though I maintain that I believe you either misunderstand or simply underrate Nietzsche. He is misunderstood I believe. I am not saying I understand him completely, but he is more of a poet-philosopher than a regular philosopher, and I respect him, for pure aesthetic reasons if not else. Also I like Nietzsche because he was honest. Period. And he never claimed he was himself healthy, but he wanted to be healthy, as he said. As you perhaps know, he suffered enormously from constant migrane, nausea etc. Kant I respect too. I believe one must look at the situation he was in, where there was a big fight between rationalists and empiricists... And Kant tried to harmonize them for two reasons: 1. He wanted to save science. 2. He wanted to save God.
I have read Kierkegaard's Unscientific Postscript. I haven't read Philosophical Fragments though. But you do know that I like Kierkegaard, I just didn't mention him. Same with Augustine, he is also a philosopher of importance, and I prefer his philosophy to his theology. And Spinoza is great too IMO. At least Spinoza lived as he learned. He lived his philosophy, most philosophers don't do that. Florensky's book I have heard of before, but haven't yet had the time to read. I will eventually.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 03:58:34 PM by beebert »
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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 03:55:08 PM »
mina its hard. I've tried sitting in silence today and whatever thoughts come to me to turn that over to God, but I just can't keep my mind "blank" if that makes sense. I try not to think of thoughts but I end up thinking thoughts.

I will try to hear my breathing and do the Jesus Prayer. I need God's strength to conquer these afflictions in my mind.

Please keep me in your prayers.

Just say the Jesus Prayer, trying to focus on the words.  If thoughts come, let them come, don't try to engage them, whether to entertain them or to fight them off.  If the thoughts distract you from the words of the prayer, just return to the words.  Gradually, the invocation of the name of Jesus will overcome the noise, but it's war, so it's going to be a struggle and it'll have ups and downs.  Just say the prayer.   
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 03:55:30 PM »
... not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking.

It's a popular, and nowadays official, misconstruction of philosophy that it provides no answers, arrives at nothing. In fact, this is only the case if one groups all published thinkers into "philosophers" and attempts an assessment by consensus, as tho truth were a germ or an economics department. The fact is that philosophy has always been less a matter of true and false than of truth and lies. On the one hand, we can rank the right users of reason and intuition and on the other their enemies. There is no proper admixture or average, anymore than there would be a "true" nature of water and oil. Now, some of this is simple ignorance, especially in a time post-human when the concept of a lifework to attain a skillset is obsolete. However, for the most part it is purposeful deceit. From the time of the Enlightenment, there is a steady build of demonic hubris as thinkers proclaimed themselves ready to "show the way forward" from Plato. There is no "way forward" from truth, only departure. And so the last 500 years in philosophy have largely been filled by violent efforts to demolish Plato (and, coincidentally, as a result of the nature of their enterprise, each other), a war of titans against God. What the Hebrew prophets knew, what Plato knew, what the Cappadocian Fathers knew, and so on, was quite accurate and trustworthy and in it one must simply abide. This is not irksome; this is peace. At then end I must add that no man learns anything true without God's help; however, God seeks to help all: therefore, to refer to a gain of knowledge as due to the mind of man is not the whole story but neither is it false.
I see what you mean. I agree with you. Though I would personally say that there are some other philosophers of worth in history too, even though they are more dependent of their time in history than Plato, who was an eternal thinker. I wouldn't completely cast away Aristotle for example, or Spinoza and Kant.

I haven't read Spinoza, tho I don't have any good feeling about him based on the little I know. My gnostic friend is a huge fan tho. Aristotle is very worthwhile, and I'm of the school that thinks he intended to be a Platonist throughout his life. The Peripatetics who sought to revive him were the problem. The Arabs understood him better. Kant is dazzling and has wasted much too much of my time, about which I do not at all complain.

Quote
Nor would I cast away Nietzsche, who exposed the failure of most of the history of western philosophy, by quite convincingly argue for that most philosophers have unknowingly been victims of their own unconscious wants and forces or drives. Sometimes I also believe, when reading Wittgenstein, that he in fact ended philosophy.

Such hogwash. Nietzsche has all the philosophical worth of some wretched adolescent glam rock band, and Wittgenstein is still respected only because nobody can understand him -- in fact, his feat is misapprehending Kant while impersonating Lewis Carroll.

If you have any earnest desire for the definitive philosophical truth put in terms of our day, and are not still only pining for sensation and ego-excitement, then what you want is Philosophical Fragments / Concluding Unscientific Postscript -- or, if you can't control that twitching in your cerebellum which pretends Kierkegaard was an Existentialist, then cut your grey matter straight to their core with St. Fr. Florensky's The Pillar and Ground of the Truth.
Thank you for the advice, though I maintain that I believe you either misunderstand or simply underrate Nietzsche. He is misunderstood I believe. I am not saying I understand him completely, but he is more of a poet-philosopher than a regular philosopher, and I respect him. Kant I respect too. I believe one must look at the situation he was in, where there was a big fight between rationalists and empiricists... And Kant tried to harmonize them for two reasons: 1. He wanted to save science. 2. He wanted to save God.
I have read Kierkegaard's Unscientific Postscript. I haven't read Philosophical Fragments though. But you do know that I like Kierkegaard, I just didn't mention him. Same with Augustine, he is also a philosopher of importance, and I prefer his philosophy to his theology. And Spinoza is great too IMO. At least Spinoza lived as he learned. He lived his philosophy, most philosophers don't do that. Florensky's book I have heard of before, but haven't yet had the time to read. I will eventually.

Can you guys take this elsewhere and not ruin nothing's thread? 
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Offline beebert

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 04:01:54 PM »
... not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking.

It's a popular, and nowadays official, misconstruction of philosophy that it provides no answers, arrives at nothing. In fact, this is only the case if one groups all published thinkers into "philosophers" and attempts an assessment by consensus, as tho truth were a germ or an economics department. The fact is that philosophy has always been less a matter of true and false than of truth and lies. On the one hand, we can rank the right users of reason and intuition and on the other their enemies. There is no proper admixture or average, anymore than there would be a "true" nature of water and oil. Now, some of this is simple ignorance, especially in a time post-human when the concept of a lifework to attain a skillset is obsolete. However, for the most part it is purposeful deceit. From the time of the Enlightenment, there is a steady build of demonic hubris as thinkers proclaimed themselves ready to "show the way forward" from Plato. There is no "way forward" from truth, only departure. And so the last 500 years in philosophy have largely been filled by violent efforts to demolish Plato (and, coincidentally, as a result of the nature of their enterprise, each other), a war of titans against God. What the Hebrew prophets knew, what Plato knew, what the Cappadocian Fathers knew, and so on, was quite accurate and trustworthy and in it one must simply abide. This is not irksome; this is peace. At then end I must add that no man learns anything true without God's help; however, God seeks to help all: therefore, to refer to a gain of knowledge as due to the mind of man is not the whole story but neither is it false.
I see what you mean. I agree with you. Though I would personally say that there are some other philosophers of worth in history too, even though they are more dependent of their time in history than Plato, who was an eternal thinker. I wouldn't completely cast away Aristotle for example, or Spinoza and Kant.

I haven't read Spinoza, tho I don't have any good feeling about him based on the little I know. My gnostic friend is a huge fan tho. Aristotle is very worthwhile, and I'm of the school that thinks he intended to be a Platonist throughout his life. The Peripatetics who sought to revive him were the problem. The Arabs understood him better. Kant is dazzling and has wasted much too much of my time, about which I do not at all complain.

Quote
Nor would I cast away Nietzsche, who exposed the failure of most of the history of western philosophy, by quite convincingly argue for that most philosophers have unknowingly been victims of their own unconscious wants and forces or drives. Sometimes I also believe, when reading Wittgenstein, that he in fact ended philosophy.

Such hogwash. Nietzsche has all the philosophical worth of some wretched adolescent glam rock band, and Wittgenstein is still respected only because nobody can understand him -- in fact, his feat is misapprehending Kant while impersonating Lewis Carroll.

If you have any earnest desire for the definitive philosophical truth put in terms of our day, and are not still only pining for sensation and ego-excitement, then what you want is Philosophical Fragments / Concluding Unscientific Postscript -- or, if you can't control that twitching in your cerebellum which pretends Kierkegaard was an Existentialist, then cut your grey matter straight to their core with St. Fr. Florensky's The Pillar and Ground of the Truth.
Thank you for the advice, though I maintain that I believe you either misunderstand or simply underrate Nietzsche. He is misunderstood I believe. I am not saying I understand him completely, but he is more of a poet-philosopher than a regular philosopher, and I respect him. Kant I respect too. I believe one must look at the situation he was in, where there was a big fight between rationalists and empiricists... And Kant tried to harmonize them for two reasons: 1. He wanted to save science. 2. He wanted to save God.
I have read Kierkegaard's Unscientific Postscript. I haven't read Philosophical Fragments though. But you do know that I like Kierkegaard, I just didn't mention him. Same with Augustine, he is also a philosopher of importance, and I prefer his philosophy to his theology. And Spinoza is great too IMO. At least Spinoza lived as he learned. He lived his philosophy, most philosophers don't do that. Florensky's book I have heard of before, but haven't yet had the time to read. I will eventually.

Can you guys take this elsewhere and not ruin nothing's thread?
Of course yes! I apologize nothing!
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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 04:04:22 PM »
... not one great thinker in history has solved the problems of existence through his thinking.

It's a popular, and nowadays official, misconstruction of philosophy that it provides no answers, arrives at nothing. In fact, this is only the case if one groups all published thinkers into "philosophers" and attempts an assessment by consensus, as tho truth were a germ or an economics department. The fact is that philosophy has always been less a matter of true and false than of truth and lies. On the one hand, we can rank the right users of reason and intuition and on the other their enemies. There is no proper admixture or average, anymore than there would be a "true" nature of water and oil. Now, some of this is simple ignorance, especially in a time post-human when the concept of a lifework to attain a skillset is obsolete. However, for the most part it is purposeful deceit. From the time of the Enlightenment, there is a steady build of demonic hubris as thinkers proclaimed themselves ready to "show the way forward" from Plato. There is no "way forward" from truth, only departure. And so the last 500 years in philosophy have largely been filled by violent efforts to demolish Plato (and, coincidentally, as a result of the nature of their enterprise, each other), a war of titans against God. What the Hebrew prophets knew, what Plato knew, what the Cappadocian Fathers knew, and so on, was quite accurate and trustworthy and in it one must simply abide. This is not irksome; this is peace. At then end I must add that no man learns anything true without God's help; however, God seeks to help all: therefore, to refer to a gain of knowledge as due to the mind of man is not the whole story but neither is it false.
I see what you mean. I agree with you. Though I would personally say that there are some other philosophers of worth in history too, even though they are more dependent of their time in history than Plato, who was an eternal thinker. I wouldn't completely cast away Aristotle for example, or Spinoza and Kant.

I haven't read Spinoza, tho I don't have any good feeling about him based on the little I know. My gnostic friend is a huge fan tho. Aristotle is very worthwhile, and I'm of the school that thinks he intended to be a Platonist throughout his life. The Peripatetics who sought to revive him were the problem. The Arabs understood him better. Kant is dazzling and has wasted much too much of my time, about which I do not at all complain.

Quote
Nor would I cast away Nietzsche, who exposed the failure of most of the history of western philosophy, by quite convincingly argue for that most philosophers have unknowingly been victims of their own unconscious wants and forces or drives. Sometimes I also believe, when reading Wittgenstein, that he in fact ended philosophy.

Such hogwash. Nietzsche has all the philosophical worth of some wretched adolescent glam rock band, and Wittgenstein is still respected only because nobody can understand him -- in fact, his feat is misapprehending Kant while impersonating Lewis Carroll.

If you have any earnest desire for the definitive philosophical truth put in terms of our day, and are not still only pining for sensation and ego-excitement, then what you want is Philosophical Fragments / Concluding Unscientific Postscript -- or, if you can't control that twitching in your cerebellum which pretends Kierkegaard was an Existentialist, then cut your grey matter straight to their core with St. Fr. Florensky's The Pillar and Ground of the Truth.
Thank you for the advice, though I maintain that I believe you either misunderstand or simply underrate Nietzsche. He is misunderstood I believe. I am not saying I understand him completely, but he is more of a poet-philosopher than a regular philosopher, and I respect him. Kant I respect too. I believe one must look at the situation he was in, where there was a big fight between rationalists and empiricists... And Kant tried to harmonize them for two reasons: 1. He wanted to save science. 2. He wanted to save God.
I have read Kierkegaard's Unscientific Postscript. I haven't read Philosophical Fragments though. But you do know that I like Kierkegaard, I just didn't mention him. Same with Augustine, he is also a philosopher of importance, and I prefer his philosophy to his theology. And Spinoza is great too IMO. At least Spinoza lived as he learned. He lived his philosophy, most philosophers don't do that. Florensky's book I have heard of before, but haven't yet had the time to read. I will eventually.

Can you guys take this elsewhere and not ruin nothing's thread?

Yes, of course; I'm sorry.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 04:06:00 PM »
Prayers for you, nothing.   :)
I second both distraction and the Jesus prayer.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

Pray for me, a sinner.

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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2017, 05:35:37 PM »
Just say the Jesus Prayer, trying to focus on the words.  If thoughts come, let them come, don't try to engage them, whether to entertain them or to fight them off.  If the thoughts distract you from the words of the prayer, just return to the words.  Gradually, the invocation of the name of Jesus will overcome the noise, but it's war, so it's going to be a struggle and it'll have ups and downs.  Just say the prayer.   
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Re: Learning to let go and trust in God.
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2017, 05:38:44 PM »
mina its hard. I've tried sitting in silence today and whatever thoughts come to me to turn that over to God, but I just can't keep my mind "blank" if that makes sense. I try not to think of thoughts but I end up thinking thoughts.

I will try to hear my breathing and do the Jesus Prayer. I need God's strength to conquer these afflictions in my mind.

Please keep me in your prayers.

Just say the Jesus Prayer, trying to focus on the words.  If thoughts come, let them come, don't try to engage them, whether to entertain them or to fight them off.  If the thoughts distract you from the words of the prayer, just return to the words.  Gradually, the invocation of the name of Jesus will overcome the noise, but it's war, so it's going to be a struggle and it'll have ups and downs.  Just say the prayer.   

This is for me... Thoughts always come to my mind even blasphemous thoughts when I am praying... And I make the mistake to try to fight them.
For You keep my lamp burning; Lord my God You illumine my darkness. (Psalm 17:29)