Monday, August 27, 2012

A little context to the story

I feel as if I have set an unfair standard for anyone reading my blog. Most folks know me a bit, but, don't really know my background, so, I thought it would only be fair to put a little of my background to help contextualize my ideas and ramblings. Although undergrad degrees don't necessarily mean anything, in my case it does help tell some of the story. When I was in 7th grade I started reading, and, reading heavily. I began reading Kierkegaard, Kant, and, Nietschze. Now, to be fair, I was reading them. Not understanding. But, even though I was too young and too underdeveloped intellectually to get what these great minds were talking about and dealing with I kept at it. Ultimately, I branched into math, literature, religion and art. Nonetheless, most of what I read really escaped me.

When I got into college I started focusing on math, but, ended upon passing through literature as a major, then, finally settled on Religion and Philosophy with a minor in English. In my case, the degrees really were just pieces of paper. What ideas I was exposed to is what really mattered. I really enjoying wrestling with heavy ideas, tracing complex relationships, and, writing about it. Granted, that was 15 years ago, but, even though the topics are much closer to home, and, the conclusions really involve life and death, my draw to these sorts of questions still is strong.

So, I want people to understand, when I write these blog posts, part of it is real, unfiltered thought, where I am exploring the connections between my feelings, and, questions that arise. At the same time, my philosophy background kicks in when I wrestle with this stuff. I still sort it, parse and organize. That is, I do all the routine mental tasks to create a well-structured, thought out answer to the question. Systematic thinking and well-organized approaches to try and find truth. I think of it as a doctor preparing for surgery. Are all my surgical tools present? Check? Am I scrubbed in? Are my nurses present? There are steps to be taken, even in my own mental ramblings, just because of my make up. After reading a 1,000 books along those lines, I have gotten used to doing things a certain way. And, it's important people are aware of this as they read my posts.

I don't know where things are going, but, as I strive for answers I try to use the best approaches I can. Exactly what I hope to find? I don't know. Heck, in all of this, there is a lot I don't know. That's one of the key points of the blog: faith, rationality, and, the unknown. In this case, there are so many unknowns, it's virtually impossible to determine how many are in play here. The key is that in so many of my explorations focus, whether directly or circumstantially, the unknown is always somewhere in the discussion. It's in the form of death, or hypotheticals, or, concepts with too many questions to answer. As I write, there will be ups and down, uncertainties, but, the constants will be, as the blog is titled: 1) faith 2) rationality and 3) the unknown. Hopefully I will be able to share something that helps others, and, this post will give some framework with which to make sense of my posts. If nothing else, it may help explain why I focus so much on the "big questions".

While I recognize, as a basic assumption of this blog, there are some questions that cannot be answered, I still think wrestling with the ideas can be meaningful. If nothing else, it can spur on new discussion and lead to new connections between ideas. But, I have to be honest: I know there are questions that will not be answerable, will not make sense, and, will not build faith. Hopefully, if I run into questions like this, I can be upfront and tell folks when my wrestling with a question is more to help give some background or to put some context to another set of ideas. So, if you see something that is completely absurd, please give me a chance to resolve it from place of tension in the melody of ideas. In the end, my conclusions are what will matter, not my starting points or the paths by which I reach my endpoints.

1 comment:

  1. well said, and point well taken. It is good for all of us to wrestle with these thoughts, as we will each come to this point in life at some time...many will not have the opportunity to think about it and prepare for it when death comes knocking on their door. So it is a good idea to be sure of one's position and salvation now while still able to make those choices and decisions. Thank you for making us think. Perhaps that is all a part of the plan....