Life, Pain, Sorrow, and Joy
A Personal Perspective
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | May 2018 (edited December 4, 2021)
No Dogma, No Perfection, Just Thoughts
Flourishing Life Society aren't written to show "the way." Life is complex and we are unique. We take different paths.
We are in the process of becoming—including me. I have no special claim to truth. I don’t desire unquestioned followers. No dogmas, no rigidness. No proclamations of the way things are. I hope my thoughts are helpful. My understanding of life, pain, sorrow, and joys constantly evolve. Perhaps, some of my thoughts are based on truth; while others are shots in the confusing dark, taking a stab at the complexity of unknowns.
How do we recognize the truth? Truth isn’t easily detected, appearing no different than many unproven theories. Scientific studies help, but they’re not absolute. A truth believed feels no different from a falsehood believed.
"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice,
for your soul is alive."
When new insight conflicts with a currently held belief, it’s unsettling. Letting go of a belief is painful, many explanations often stem from foundational beliefs. Re-structuring a foundation requires reordering life that was formed around the past belief that has now been disproved. We might even feel shamed for our previous faulty pronouncements. The pushes not to change are many, so, we continue in denial, ignoring evidence and clinging to falsehoods.
"When we have no way to explain our suffering, it seems like pointless pain or stress, a weight or burden that drags us down."
Dan Garro | Understanding Our Relationship to Suffering
When a new concept illuminates a personal weakness, we are prone to reject it—especially when we are deeply invested. Personal security creates protection against an unforgiving environment, giving order to our world—not the instability of unpredictable chaos. Our beliefs give reason to events. When a belief that created order to our existence crumbles, so does the security built upon those explanations.
"When a new concept illuminates a personal weakness, we are prone to reject it—especially when we are deeply invested."
The purpose of Flourishing Life Society is not to assuage my ego, although comments are much appreciated. We all need encouragement; but that is not my purpose. Articles are not to appease beliefs but to stimulate thought. This is accomplished by occasionally challenging widely accepted philosophy. This may cause momentary discomfort. I hope, on occasion an article does—not to deflate the ego, but to encourage thoughtful examination.
If everything written is unquestionable accepted by all readers, then the ideas are void of valuable content. Experiencing discomfort from a challenging thought should spur deeper thought; not immediate rejection. So please, if you disagree, see the post as an opportunity to reflect, examining contrary beliefs, and challenging stagnant patterns.
I allow opposing comments to be expressed when they are expressed with courtesy and kindness. Angry attacks destroy thoughtful exchanges. Instead of feeling edified, we feel shame, anger or sorrow. We pine over a harsh written exchange for hours. The harsh words intrude on peace. This is not the goal of FLS.
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