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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %GOD POWER SUSPEND NATURAL LAW PRAYER CONTROL LIFE+930822 %MISLEAD ULTIMATE QUESTION COMPULSIVE CONCERN LOVE 930822 We are motivated, led and guided by what questions we regard as being of ultimate importance; which in turn depends upon what are the most basic assumptions which we make without any thorough examination of their implications. If we assume that God is literally a person in a special place in the universe (as people have done) then it is meaningful to ask what color and length God's hair is. In human terms this is likely to depend upon assumptions we may make about what race God comes from and what sex God is. Then we are lead to ask what nationality and religious persuasion God is most intimately associated with. All these assumptions naturally lead us into conflicts which are naturally implied by the nature of the assumptions and the questions. Once we have made a certain set of assumptions and become compulsively preoccupied with the naturally associated ultimate questions, it is then impossible to arrive at integrative ways to find helpful responses to the questions; much less to find ways to resolve the human conflicts which the assumptions and questions engender. Rather than admit the folly of our assumptions and questions, we are more likely to increase our degree of certainty as has been described in the book "When Prophecy Fails" by Festinger. The book describes the pattern of behavior of people who publicly commit themselves fully to a prediction of the coming of the end of the world on a certain day. When the world survives past the date of the predicted end, such people become more committed and fanatical in the face of contrary evidence. They worship their predictions. If we assume that God is all powerful in the sense that humans (and especially addictive/codependent humans) conceive of power; and we believe that God can and does suspend the regular laws of nature---then we are almost certain that God does suspend the laws of nature to control the lives of living creatures and to favor "good" creatures more so than "evil" creatures. We are likely to believe that God will favor creatures associated with His Sex, His Race, His Nationality, His Religious Group, etc. Such assumptions, and beliefs are certain to engender high levels of conflicts which cannot be resolved with out changing the assumptions, questions and beliefs. If we believe that what should be ultimately important to us is the individualistic salvation of our individual souls by how we behave as individuals---then we are bound to be led to act in ways which sacrifice our communal integrity with the consequent loss of our personal integrity; for the two kinds of integrity are two sides of one coin. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================