Unrequited Love

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“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” – 1 John 3:22

It seems too good to be true to be able to ask for whatever you desire (that which is in accordance with God’s will) and receive it. The mind can run wild with the boundless possibilities and potentials that wait for us through prayer.

But, though we want to receive gifts, don’t we also feel a pressure to reciprocate when a gift is given to us? I think this can be especially understood with the Christmas season upon us. Receiving gifts is wonderful, but is a guilt associated with receiving. What if I can’t reciprocate appropriately and return the relationship back to balance through an appropriate response?

This may have merit in human exchanges, but it is impossible when regarding our relationship to God. From the beginning, the relationship was unbalanced: “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). There is nothing we can give back to God to ever even the score – but, this is not an issue; it is the shining example of God’s beautiful and boundless love and grace!

“In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give.” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves.

God wants to give to his children. He wants to love us, not just a little bit, but love in abundance because abundance of love is all that God knows. The gifts he graces us with our beyond even our wildest imaginings. As Matthew 7:9-11 states, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

Therefore, our jobs become to accept God’s grace, love and abundance and accept that we deserve none of it, but He, nevertheless, showers us with it. Then, we can begin to walk in perfect love without fear, guilt or doubt and share this pure love with one another. But, “let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action” (1 John 3:18).

Think What You Become

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“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” – Matthew 6:22

“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” – Proverbs 23:7

Cathexis is a term used in psychoanalysis which is the act of placing energy into a person, object or idea. This is in reference to your mental and emotional energy, but can more easily be defined as your focus.

This verse from Matthew references how your eye is what will fill your body with health and light.

But what is this really saying?

Our eyes are how we view the world. We are primarily visual creatures; however, visual sight is not the only way we see. We have the gift of thought, imagination and mental creativity that all take place within the sight of the mind. These wild imaginings and thoughts about the future and past all take place, not in front of our physical eyes, but center stage in the theater of our minds.

So, now let us turn to the second verse and apply the idea of cathexis. We have the ability to place mental energy onto the world around us and we do so all the time. We are thinking about our loved ones; well, we are using this mental energy to focus on them. They are then becoming a part of us. We also can do this for objects. We might spend all our time thinking about some new car and using our cathexis on this car, so much so, that we become it.

And that is the main point: You become what you focus on. This may not seem like a novel concept, until I say that I mean it quite literally. Our thoughts and the energy we use to place a focus make up our lives. Of course, we usually spread this energy around into many different people, objects and ideas, but not always. Sometimes there is a central person, object or idea that we focus our lives around. And this can be dangerous, or it can be glorious.

For if we prize something so much that we let it consume us and all our mental and emotional energy becomes channeled into it, then we become whatever it is. Therefore, if it is some material manifestation of this earth, we become it and we become bound to this world. But, if we consume ourselves with the idea of love and that turns our focus to loving people and using objects to help people, then we have been consumed by something that is much more powerful than this earth and we are liberated.

 

 

 

Applications of Omnibenevolence

Let us revisit the omnipotence paradox. Simply stated it calls into to question the characteristics most often ascribed to the Christian God; that is, omnipotence (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all present), and omnibenevolent (all loving).

The idea is that if God is all loving, then evil shouldn’t exist. Evil does exist. Therefore, he is either not powerful enough to stop it (not omnipotent) or allows it to happen and therefore not all loving.

Now, a quick rebuttal is that to have free will one would have to have the option to do evil. If you have free will to do anything, but you can’t kill, or hurt people then that is not truly free.

Some would argue that we are determined and do not have free will, but let us suppose that there is a drop of free will in all of us, and therefore evil is a natural byproduct, which does not affect God’s omnibenevolence.

So, if this is the case and evil exists and God remains all loving, then let us apply this concept to the world.

If God is all loving, then that is totally inclusive of everyone. It means God loves Hitler, Ted Bundy and Osama bin Laden. Moreover, he didn’t just love them after their crimes, he loved them during as well because he is all loving and there is no room in that definition for exceptions.

Now, it is possible that a being which is truly that powerful and loving is so beyond human understanding that it can transcend anything. Also, God being all knowing would obviously know and understand so much of this illusionary life that we live and what the true reality really is.

Regardless, it is a hard concept to wrap your mind and around. My main point of writing this is to not try and harm people’s faith or challenge the existence of God. I solely want to call into question the characteristics we ascribe to God and what they actually mean. Moreover, how these concepts such as all powerful and all loving and being infinite are truly concepts that our human minds really cannot understand and we are speaking about them while viewing them through a pinhole.