We try to display ourselves as strong, independent beings, as confident and un-phased by the events around us. In reality, it is often a show, a facade, a cry for attention rather than an element of fortitude.
When was the last time you challenged your own beliefs? When I work with couples to design their wedding ceremonies, I always ask them how they were raised in terms of religion and spirituality and where they are now in those terms in their lives.
Here is how I've learned to control how I react: I take a pause and put on the armor of God. Reacting emotionally means we are allowing the situation, or other people, to dictate how we feel and how we act. And if we do that, we will never come out of a bad situation victorious.
Which "me" should be running the show? We're all in the closet, so to speak. We barely come out to ourselves and never completely to others. I've never met an unequivocal atheist or religious believer.
Looking at the Syrian crisis now, we may not, humanly, be able to see a solution. That's why we need to pray. Prayer is so powerful. All our prayers count. Your prayer may be the one that makes the difference.
We human beings don't experience the world as it is -- we experience the world through the filter of our minds. How we look at and think about the world informs the way we act in it, which then informs the way both religion and science are practiced.
You may not want to disappoint those closest to you, but it is your life. When you don't change, you keep doing the same thing over and over, perhaps expecting a different result. Albert Einstein referred to this as the definition of insanity. You're not insane, are you?
Faith is not reserved for the religious, nor does any religion have a monopoly on it. To the contrary, at one level, faith is a common and important psychological coping mechanism used every moment of our lives to allow us to function as normally as possible.
As a youngster with an Orthodox Jewish background and an interest in mathematics, an infinite God with infinite power who lived an infinite amount of time fascinated me. I felt that studying "infinity" would help me understand God.
They are drawn to take the journey toward individuation rather than individualism, and for many, that journey is not just a progression toward a healthy ego--invaluable as that is in itself--but also an opening to the transcendent dimensions of human experience.
How does one move from being a value and belief couch potato, watching one's life pass by, to becoming a participant and leader of one's own life and how can one custom design values and beliefs that fit?
Jesus obviously isn't the reason for the season. So what is? Many atheists joke that the reason for the season is the tilt of the Earth's axis. That's funny and all, but it only goes one level deeper than the Christian view. Here is the godless honest truth.
Jay Parini offers us in less than 200 pages a warm, bold, strong, well-written historical biography of Jesus Christ. No kidding. It is probably the most reliable biography on Christ written for a century or two.