Sunday, October 23, 2011

20 Spiritual Questions to Ponder

In the documentary ONE: The Movie filmmakers asked well-known spiritual teachers and everyday people philosophical questions that explore the meaning of life. I haven't seen the movie yet but I did read the questions and they are great food for thought. What do I believe? Some answers came easily but others required much more reflection. It's interesting to ponder how my beliefs have changed over the years and consider how they will continue to evolve in the future. Feel free to copy the questions and post your answers on your own blog. Make sure to share a link in the comment section so I can read your answers!

1. Why is there poverty and suffering in the world?
Because the majority of us that could do something about these issues are too far removed from the problem to really care. Humans can be selfish, greedy, fear-filled creatures. We live in an unelightened world.

2. What is the relationship between science and religion?
Science studies creation but religion is focused on the creator.

3. Why are so many people depressed?
They've lost a sense of meaning and purpose. They are disconnected.

4. What are we all so afraid of?
Being criticized, abandoned, forgotten, alone. That death is the end.

5. When is war justifiable?
I don't know.

6. How would God want us to respond to aggression and terrorism?
With prayer.

7. How does one obtain true peace?
By surrendering.

8. What does it mean to live in the present moment?
To act without an attachment to the results, let go of the past and stop trying to control the future.

9. What is our greatest distraction?
The limitless void. The illusion that more (money, stuff, power, recognition, talent, travel, friends, prayer, etc.) will make us happier.

10. Is current religion serving its purpose?

11. What happens to you after you die?
I'm pretty confident that our spirit separates from our physical body and based on accounts from near-death experiencers I think it is possible that we are guided by spiritual beings and participate in a life review. I believe we continue our education while in the spiritual realms and reincarnate if necessary. I believe hell does exist and some souls go to hell because they have made a conscious decision to reject God. I also believe there are realms beyond imagination in which we enter into communion with God.

12. Describe heaven and how to get there.
Heaven is communion with God. It is experienced when we take up our crosses and follow Christ -when we die to self and become Christlike.

13. What is the meaning of life?
To encounter and transcend adversity. To experience the physical realm, practice free will, embrace life and learn to love. To find pleasure in God's creation.

14. Describe God.
God is the sentient life force that exists in all living things and watches over us at the same time. God is a part of and separate from; intrinsic and transcendent. God is the creator and the creation.

15. What is the greatest quality humans posses?
The capacity to love that which seems unloveable.

16. What is it that prevents people from living to their full potential?

17. Non-verbally, by motion or gesture only, act out what you believe to be the current condition of the world.

18. What is your one wish for the world?
That everyone will feel safe and loved.

19. What is wisdom and how do we gain it?
Wisdom is the ability to see the big picture. We gain it by learning from our past and listening to God.

20. Are we all One?
We are, but we don't yet know it.


Michelle said...

Some of you may recognize these questions. I originally posted them on another blog, but I edited it to my current beliefs and reposted it!

Brian said...

Wow! GREAT questions! Very impressive answers!

Anonymous said...

Love this/these! Going to take up the challenge to re-post... and where is the other blog?

Michelle said...

I can't wait to read your responses Cheryl. My other blog is my old blog... Came to Believe.

Anonymous said...

May I ask:

#7: What and to whom/what?

For example: I shouldn't think it true peace to surrender my soul to hell.

But we may have a difference of opinion on that, as well.

Michelle said...

Hi Tragedy. I think true peace is obtained by surrendering to God -by putting my will in line with God, not because I have to but because it's a joy to do so. When I die to self and live in Christ peace flows even if chaos surrounds me.

Anonymous said...

While your last sentence is indisputable, why did you use the term surrender?

What causes me to ask this is that the Bible never demands surrender to God, only submission. And I was wondering why you chose that term.

Lewis Wells has this saying: "He who defines, wins." And while I don't agree that that is true [I am more of a Dostoevsky than a Tolstoy, on that,] I think words mean things, and semantics are important, sometimes.

But I would prefer to reason together, and together find a definition.

Why did you choose "surrender" to God over "submit" to God?

And why does the Bible choose "submit" to God over "surrender" to God?

What do these two words mean or imply?

Michelle said...

To me (with absolutely no consideration of biblical use of the terms), submission means to do God's will regardless of how I feel because I am accepting His authority. I can submit to God outwardly but still be fighting Him internally.

Surrender on the other hand is the freedom that comes when I have given up my position completely -when I no longer wrestle with my own will. There is peace in my decision. Peace and freedom.

Anonymous said...

What you have said is:

-I wrestled with my own will. And then I gave up my position completely.-

If you were wrestling with your own will and surrendered, to whom would you be surrendering?

Anonymous said...

I do not understand this outside/inside idea of dealing with authority. By internal, I think you mean: thinking; and then you seperate what you do from what you think.

But I am uncertain how one does something without first determining through thought to do so. Thus, I would say that I have decided to submit internally, before my actions are submission and not merely agreement as to the best course of action.

If you tell me to do something, but I had already intended to do so, or I agreed with the logic of your proposition, that is not submission to your authority. I do not need to submit to you. We are in agreement, no less and no more.

Anonymous said...

Some interesting questions! I have been asking questions for some 40 years. I bookmarked your blog some time ago - Exploring the Garden.
I've been looking at some of your posts - we seem to have been on similar journeys.

I've just finished rewriting a couple of blogs - you might be interested in my journey - but I am a bit of a heretic.

Michelle said...

Hi Peter, thanks for introducing yourself! I look forward to reading your blog posts. Heretics usually make for interesting reading!