If I recall correctly I’ve already talked about this subject a little bit, so if you are a regular reader sorry for the repeat. I feel this is a very important topic and want to convey it as much as possible. This is very close to my heart right now, especially since in the next fifty days I need to putting ink to paper on some of the issues I’ll state further down this blog. Ideally you will be able to read this and see the struggle of one person, and either gain knowledge and wisdom, or realize you are not alone in your battle.
Ideals vs. Applied
What exactly am I talking about? What Ideals, what does applied mean? What I want to raise today is the question that is breaking my mind over, and over again. One’s Philosophy & Theology pitted against how they apply the philosophy & theology. As a Christian I do understand that there is a slight gap between these due to sin (the evil conceived inside of us from the fall of man). But as someone who likes to ponder, daydream, get in deep conversations, and figure out what I believe I’ve come across the gap and honestly see a larger gap between the ideals and the applied. There are the hard concepts that we can’t really even touch or comprehend that sometime stay in the realm of the ideals. These ones have some affect but could change and not really affect how we live. Unfortunately that is an ideal. Most concepts that we deal with in philosophy and theology actually should have the ideal, and should affect how you apply it. If I have the ideal philosophy & theology that all life is precious would I not then apply it by trying to protect life?
My dilemma is not “what’s right, and what’s wrong” anymore. The problem exists between my gaps. What I claim to believe, and then how I actually apply those beliefs. Example: If a believer says they believe Jesus could come back at any moment, but does not live like they might be on their last five minutes, do they honestly believe it?
I’m perplexed at my own gap. Some of it is simply hypocritical, others are not quite as obvious. Take for instance the divide of what is a human: A Monistic being (comprised of one part), A Dualistic being (comprised of two parts: body and soul), or A Triastic (being of three parts: mind [spirit], soul, and body)? You might not think of how this would affect your actions, but this is not purely an ideal. This is not an abstract thought to be thrown around. The magnitude of how this affects you is limitless. Primarily I will focus on the scientific part of it. This changes the game on if you think cloning a human is not only possible, but that the clone is a human being as well. It also changes the game on your view of artificial intelligence and uploading a person’s “mind” into an AI. Not only in those realms, but in the religious realms it changes the game on death. What happens to you after you die? What sort of chasm is created, and do you need a physical body resurrection to actually experience heaven to its fullest? This last view can truly be played out in the debate some people have over cremation and burial. Did you ever think about that?
For me the hard part is contemplating all of this. I have these “ideals” that I have claimed to hold to for so long… but do I honestly hold to them? Some are changing, as everything we grow and adapt as we age. Our views will change, our stance will change… but somethings will last. Those are your pillar ideals that have been placed to support the bridge of Ideals and the Applicable. The challenging part for me now is the refining. I want to close the gap between them to where my ideals and how I apply it are universal. They are the same, and there is nearly no gap. How do I do it? With lots of processing, internal thinking and changing the structure. If you can’t move the pieces, change the angle. So instead of creating Ideals and never holding to them I’ve decided I either have to move my Applied to match those ideals, no matter how difficult it makes life. Or move the Ideals to match how I actually live life and act in accordance to circumstances.
Where the difficulty lies is the fact that without lots of personal insight, guidance, revelation, processing, adapting, and planning you are going to fail. Without all of those pieces it would be like being blindfolded, put on a rodeo bull, on a moving platform, bouncing on a rope bridge, and being asked to hit a moving target with a bow and arrow. What are your chances of figuring that out?
The sad part, in mine own opinion, is that a lot people coast through life without wanting, or realizing that you can pull the blinds off, hop off the bull, jump on a walkway between the target and your rope bridge and shoot the target at point blank with a canon. – I just wanted to put canon somewhere in this narrative.
Anywho, do you catch my point? I’m at the point that I need to adjust both the Ideals, and the Applied to find the blend of what I can actually achieve philosophically, theologically, morally, and spiritually. I don’t want to spend my life saying A and living Z. Ideally – haha, funny placement right?? – I want to live in a way that the gap is non-existant or close to it. Whether that means changing portions of the ideals to match the Applied or changing how I apply life to match my ideals. This is my struggle.
To put it bluntly, I would rather be a Honest Heretic than a Delusional Hypocrite. Why? Because the Heretic can always be enlightened and change their views. The Hypocrite knows what is right and still doesn’t do it. That is part of my Philosophy and Theology, truth and honesty above living a lie.
-David C. Sager