I am still trying to form a coherent picture of the implications of the discussion that I heard last night. I have hit a contact zone (we are reading Pratt in Eng102) with my roommate, and he has told me some pretty profound things. He doesn’t know what he is telling me, but after they are fed through my perspective they come out pretty interesting. This week in out morning Bible study he told me (in so many words) that I did not have a relationship with God, and that I needed to be filled with the Holy Ghost in order to be “saved.” The facts that I have not undergone immersion baptism, and that I have never spoken in tongues were two of the main reasons that he seemed to concentrate on, but I think that his primary proof was simply his interaction with me thus far. I am not like him. We worship in different ways, but he seems to be telling me that there is only one way. That doesn’t bother me so much as the focus on the external. The right way to worship only has one form. Also, baptism and the tongues (“don’t seek after the tongues” he told me. “seek after the spirit and the tongues will come.” I liked that one, because he seemed to be changing the focus from the external to the internal, but he didn’t stay three long. “The tongues will come if you are truly filled with the Spirit.” I think that if it does indeed work that way, then why doesn’t God give “good Christians” something more useful than talking in gibberish than no one can understand. I can see the context in the original manifestation with the disciples. Right now I think of religion something like I think of politics; it really doesn’t matter to me which path you choose to take, just so long as you try. I don’t like weakness, mainly because I don’t like it in myself. Perhaps an ideal mission (like mission work with a church) that I would consider now is going and trying to help the peoples of foreign lands to get people to start searching for God. Not necessarily to force people into the established tradition of that land, but to get them to be honest with themselves. If the follow Yahweh, so be it; Allah, so be it; Christ, so be it; Shiva, so be it. I do not like people hiding from their problems. (Nevermind, this thought isn’t quite baked yet.) I really haven’t been thinking that much about religion lately, I have been trying to keep up with all of my commitments, and that takes quite a few resources. In listening to the mentor discussion last night I was tempted to start equating the process that you all were discussing with the one that I was experiencing with my roommate. To say that you were not only able to gauge the position of a person on their growth (or loss) journey, but that you were in possession of knowledge that was universally able to help people progress. The temptation was not very strong, and it did not last for very long, but it did pop up. Right now when I think of a “spiritual” journey it almost completely internal.
I had to go here. I went to the last of the Tai Chi workshop, and watched the Shawshank Redemption. I have now lost my previous train of thought, so I will try to recapture my original purpose.
I believe that my jump reaction to your discussion of mentor arose from the thoughts that were bouncing around in my head. I didn’t properly clarify my (limited) concept of the program that you were describing before I jump judged. I am still trying to form a coherent system out of what I heard described. I think that is important in order to decide the course of action to take. The problem as I understand it is that you have a process (or whatever) that allows students to grow in what I now perceive as a spiritual journey. What exactly that perceived journey entails in benefits and requirements is far outside of my thoughts and a simply e-mail. Also, it is irrelevant in the large picture. There are several ways to approach this problem. One is the life philosophy or at least wisdom of my high school economics teacher. A venture should be undertaken if net profit exceeds net capitol. In this case, the beginning capitol seems to be your time and after students have been added the quality of their experience seem to be added. Apparently, up to a point adding student increases the value of experience (perhaps by adding a variety of viewpoints or an opportunity to develop relationships?), but it tops at a certain point. In the economic theory it is still profitable to add more students, because the loss to the group as a whole is less than the gain to the added student. The precise goals that you have would help to decide the cut off point for this theory, and not knowing it I cannot go any farther. What do you want to do? The second “model” is not quite a model, simply an outlook on life that I really like right now. Doing things not because anyone wants us to, or because we are afraid of divine wrath, but because we want to out of (a concept close to) love. What exactly this is would take more time than I have right now, so I will not try to address it. You help the students, because you want to; because you “love” (not quite right, or at least not quite right with my current concept of love, but that is what comes closest) them. This type of living either takes a huge concept of existence, or reliance on some other type of knowing. Perhaps you felt that it is best to help as many people as possible, but in doing so you are in fact hurting some students by giving less than you would have if you had been more focused. Also, the ramifications of the lessened “state” that those student are at, will affect their affects on others. I am making an assumption that being at a heightened (I use heightened to mean different in such a way that there is maybe more truth no necessarily better or worse, just different) state will affect their external presence and that will affect the “journeys” of others. We exist in a closed system, it just includes everything. In the economic theory, I only use information of where I am now, this system is the same thing, simply with a larger scope. I don’t see how you can use any system like this unless you define your goals and a certain finite system that can be observed. I do know that I would hate to be in your shoes if I knew that I had something to offer someone that would improve their life, and that I had to exclude people in order to help anyone. I don’t think that to be a “god” like that would be in anyway enjoyable. I could not make that choice. For your info… I think (for a moment) that our relationship with others, ourselves, and God are one and the same. If you neglect your own self (physically or emotionally) that is (to me) as much of a “sin” as myself ignoring the rest of the world. My friend at UTK has been taking caffeine, and I think that he is avoiding his problems just like someone who gets drunk to forget their pain; it is the same, but he says that the ends justify the means (the sin is in the thought not the action)(sorry, I think that began to be a tangent). Love is more than loving others… I really need to go to bed, more later perhaps.