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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 05:23AM

None of us pick the circumstances we're born into. Or the environment we're raised in. Much of what shapes, influences and molds us as people is outside and beyond our control. We learn by imitation. Same for our parents and teachers before us.

We are quite literally, the products of our environment.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 09:47AM

OK.

We are certainly influenced by our environment. And you're right, we have no real choice or control over much of that environment.

But I think we're a product of our own choices and actions.
No matter what environment we're in.

No environmental factors control us. We can choose not to be a part of any environment we're in -- like so many here chose not to be a part of the mormon environment they were raised in.

We are what we choose to be, not what the environment pushes on us.

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Posted by: spiritist ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:15AM

Based on what I have studied and 'believe' it is just the opposite.

We all do choose the life we are in, based on the 'potential' to 'progress' in our experiences and understanding ----- whatever that really means. It may mean a lot more to a 'eternal being' from an 'eternal' perspective versus a human with limited knowledge/understanding.

What we 'make' of the life we have chosen is another issue!

Based on what I have studied, if we are not making 'progress' in the life we have chosen there are 'early exit' points/opportunities.

If you are 'older' it may mean you are doing pretty well in 'progressing/learning' with this incarnation. That doesn't mean your life was or will be a 'bed of roses'!

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 02:58AM

suppose we do reincarnate, what really happens after we die? Do we choose the parents to which we will be born? Are our circumstances in the next incarnation based upon karma as taught by several religions? Or do we take whatever life happens to be available? Why do we reincarnate at all? Is there some sort of authority that governs the process? I have wondered about this ever since I was first introduced to the concept.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 05:43AM

I believe there is an authority, but we are not "it."

We really don't have any control over our birth, our life or our death (ultimately.) We make choices, we have agency. We do not control the outcome or the future or events.

Sometimes our lives (I believe,) are written in the stars before we're born. If we're here to learn and grow it's a process that's eternal in nature. It didn't start with our birth. Nor will it end upon death.

Some relationships may survive life after life I believe as well. What say we have in this, is it really up to us? Or is it our destiny to be with those who we are a family? Who knows? I love my family, but if I could pick and choose I'd choose a more ideal sort. Then again, what's ideal?

I really love my kids, and can't see an eternity without them in it. It's said 'life is what we make it.' But it also makes and breaks people - it gets back to that control issue. Some things and events are beyond our ability to do anything about.

True, how we respond and react is up to us, to a point. Even the strongest have their breaking point. So that is flawed as well.

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Posted by: spiritist ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 05:49PM

SM stated: suppose we do reincarnate, what really happens after we die? Do we choose the parents to which we will be born? Are our circumstances in the next incarnation based upon karma as taught by several religions? Or do we take whatever life happens to be available? Why do we reincarnate at all? Is there some sort of authority that governs the process? I have wondered about this ever since I was first introduced to the concept.
-----------------------------------------------------

First, sorry for not responding sooner but I have been out-of-town, without internet. The below is my 'belief' based on experiences and study of others experiences in books, etc.. No, I don't completely understand/or can rationally explain everything from my currently 'human' perspective.

!. Our bodies (like a suit of clothes) die but we (spirit/conscious) do go to an 'in-between life dimension'. We are greeted by relatives and friends, but then go with our 'soul group', normally relatives and friends. We basically, have a 'life review' and do other review work with our 'soul group' to maximize the 'learning' from our experiences (good or bad). We, along with our 'soul group' identify what experiences/learning we will shoot for in the next incarnation. Where eventually, we are given some options by guides and advanced spirits/people (who meet with us during our life review) when reincarnating again. Roles are normally reversed to increase the learning experience. For example, my current wife was my mother in a past life and my father was my current son. I married my current granddaughter in a past incarnation. Male and female gender will be experienced also.

2. To a limited extent we have a choice of our parents based on the 'optional' lives, normally within the soul group, we chose.

3. Karma has something to do with what we need to 'experience' but we have lived many lives and one life's Karma is just that ----- just a fraction of what we are trying to experience and grow from. Also, we may experience something to primarily benefit only a portion of the group. I wish I knew how many 'options' were available ----- appears it depends. The vast majority do chose to reincarnate so the 'options' and our attachment to our 'soul group' must be significant enough to chose to reincarnate again, and again, and again. Maybe we are 'optimistic' we can do a lot with whatever life ----- I don't know.

4. We were 'separated/split off' from God and are trying to attain 'oneness' by learning and experience ----- progression. That is what I get but not sure I know what it means exactly. I am sure we have a better idea of this in the in-between life or we would not reincarnate again which is supposedly an option.

5. There is in fact 'more evolved' persons (spirit guides and counselors, not sure I have heard of others) that help us and our groups learn and plan new experiences for 'growth/progression'. Doesn't sound like these 'souls' dictate anything to us but help us in our individual and soul group 'journeys'.

I wish I could give an example of everything above but I just can't remember 'those experiences' so far, so I don't know the 'pressures/opportunities' existing at each decision point.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2017 05:55PM by spiritist.

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 09:02PM

I would love to KNOW what happens. Regardless of what is waiting for us after this life, I suppose it would not really benefit us to know. Maybe that would even be part of the appeal. It's a chance at an entirely new experience.

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Posted by: spiritist ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 09:29PM

I definitely do not 'know' very much but have experienced past lives, a little of the in-between life, and some other general experiences.

If you expect us to be basically humanoids (men and women), you may be shocked. Of course you won't because by the time you get to that stage you will have had your memory restored of what you have gone through possibly hundreds of times.

However, many experience immediately after death how their attitudes change and experiencing meeting with past relatives. Based on my study, not much of the in-between life has been experienced except meet relatives/friends, life review, other general discussions about life experiences, then seeing aspects (like in a movie) and choosing, among some alternatives, the life you are coming into.

These 'basics' come from past life regression hypnotists, remote viewers, psychics, mediums, and channeled people in case you want to study what some have reported. There is not a lot out there so maybe we are not suppose to be very aware of this as humans.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/20/2017 09:29PM by spiritist.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 10:27AM

You cannot choose the environment you are born into, but you can choose your reaction to it.

You also can't choose the genes your are born with. You don't get to select a particular combination of all the DNA that comes from your myriad ancestors. And, neither do the other people born in the same circumstances as you, who are also born with their own unique set of genes. And that unique set of genes is the deal breaker here that evens the playing field between nature and nurture. We are born with tools that allow us to shape our future so that we are not slaves to our environment. Some get better tools than others, though.

We are not quite literally the products of our environment. We can be a slave to our environments influence or use the same to catapult us to the stratosphere. We can reject, rethink, and recalibrate. We can expand our knowledge and experience by widening our environment. Planes, trains, and automobiles. We can claim ourselves which is what we all did to get to RFM in the first place.

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Posted by: slayermegatron ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 03:07AM

Planes Trains and Automobiles is a great movie... I am sorry, I could not help myself. Good point though. Nothing in this life is equal or fair. People are born with varying degrees of intelligence, and a myriad of circumstances. It all seems very random.

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Posted by: paintinginthewin ( )
Date: June 19, 2017 04:47PM

Ok & on this topic about understanding

Song of the day is: " I Could Not Ask For More" as sung
by Sara Evans or Edwin McCaine

Oh and Amyjo regardless of it's it's cultural + home environmental x genetic or epigenetic plus cultural home environment
It is still resilience that makes an inherent difference. What factors that developed this? and who are the folks whose moments & environmental influence acts or existence that saved me ! is what everyone ought to be asking

What factors which could be hedged or influenced environmentally upper my resilience? Which factors could we manipulate increasing at risk kids resilience? Are there cut off times developmentally or is it ever too late to to instigate an effective intervention which increases resilience? What actions or statements might make the most effective significant difference increasing resilience in others?

How is resilience developed groomed grown , what are key factors that make resilient people
Despite their environment / despite their epigenetic roll through life; how does one promote bouncing back (despite obstacles of environment or epigenetics) that is the question.

Bounce back bounce back
Bounce like a ball each time You fall
hit the ground harder bounce higher

That's resilience

Listen to the song of the day : hear it
I could not ask for more select make or female voice rendition your preference Edwin McCaine or Sara Evans



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2017 06:32PM by paintinginthewin.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 02:01AM

Not necessarily. How many of us are still Mormon?

You overcame that. I'll bet you overcame a lot. I know I'm way different than I used to be.

It reminds me of a discussion I was just having about energy blockages. A block isn't a bad thing. It's just nature's way of saying you have enough on your plate. If you remove a block, it makes space for the next thing. Maybe the block should stay until you're ready for the next thing.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 02:35AM

I refuse to have free will.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 09:37AM

Best line every! LMAO. I need that on a Tee shirt. Haha.

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Posted by: jacob ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 11:58AM

Who are you asking and who is doing the giving?

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 12:02PM

had planned for me. Don't they teach that God knows what you are going to go through when he sends you here and he is testing us to see how we do? I can't remember exactly the teaching. My PB told me that I'd meet a man of God and blah, blah, blah.

When I finally started to breathe again, I started to walk out at the middle school track and I'd talk to God or whoever was listening or just getting it all out (I don't know what I believe anymore). I kept saying to God out loud "I can't believe this is what you would have wanted for my life" and I got the feeling, "This is not what I wanted for your life, but it is your life."

It was actually a relief to realize that. I made some peace with my life at that point.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 01:47PM

cl2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> had planned for me. Don't they teach that God
> knows what you are going to go through when he
> sends you here and he is testing us to see how we
> do? I can't remember exactly the teaching. My PB
> told me that I'd meet a man of God and blah, blah,
> blah.
>

That's exactly as I recall it too.

> When I finally started to breathe again, I started
> to walk out at the middle school track and I'd
> talk to God or whoever was listening or just
> getting it all out (I don't know what I believe
> anymore). I kept saying to God out loud "I can't
> believe this is what you would have wanted for my
> life" and I got the feeling, "This is not what I
> wanted for your life, but it is your life."
>
> It was actually a relief to realize that. I made
> some peace with my life at that point.

That's a good perspective to have. We can only work from the hand we are dealt. If we could change things or fix things in hindsight, it wouldn't pass for experience.

The reality sure didn't match the expectations we were taught as Mormon youth growing up in the morg.

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 06:22PM

Reading both the comments of the OP and the subsequent comments from others, I think that a lot of you are taking a lot of things for granted. The assumption that having a positive attitude equals having a successful life is a very faulty assumption at best. Also, believing that I am successful because I did everything from my own initiative without assistance from anybody else or even society at large is a terrible failing that many have, especially in a society that values individuality while ignoring groups and group behaviors. There are a lot of people out there (I have met many) who have very positive attitudes towards their lives but who have never attained the success they believed they deserved. On the other hand, I have met people who have been very successful in life but who still believe they are not getting their fair share.

The whole story about how successful one's life is going to be depends on, as far as I can tell, three different criteria: genetics, social strata, and ethnicity. Genetics will give you a pretty good idea of how long you will live as well as letting you know if you are more prone to certain debilitating diseases than others. We in the U.S. often ignore it, but whatever group you belong to, will have a big effect on how successful you are in life and what opportunities will be made available to you. By the same token, your ethnicity will have a lot of say in how successful you become--if you are born into the (current) majority Caucasian group in the U.S., a lot more doors will be opened to you than if you were born Hispanic or African-American, and there are statistics to back me up on this.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 07:58PM

I disagree about the racial stereotyping. Blacks and Hispanics have broken through many cultural biases to succeed in the arts, medicine, and politics.

There was a graduate program I applied to in the 90's, and was turned down because I was not black. I was told this by the admissions office. If I had been black I would have been admitted.

I wasn't dark enough. So don't tell me about blacks being discriminated! I was reverse discriminated!

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 10:47AM

I was considering not replying because this whole subject is fraught with emotions, but I have decided differently so here goes:

1) My mom, who is as Caucasian as I am, was once turned down for a preschool assistant's job at a school for the blind in California because she wasn't black. She resents that to this day.

2) While I think that it can safely be said that African-americans and Latinos have done well as entertainers in the music industry, I'm not so sure I agree with you about the other fields you mentioned or even in the managerial and background positions in the aforementioned entertainment industry. The question is not whether there are minorities in a given industry; rather it is whether those minorities are employed and promoted to positions based upon the percentage of qualified minorities in the industry being cited. Put another way, does the percentage of qualified minority employees in an industry with a job roughly equal the percentage of qualified white people in that same industry who have a job. Getting those percentages right will, in fact, result in some of the individual "reverse discrimination" you and my mom experienced.

3) Bringing this back to religion, the philosophy cited in 2) actually came from a social justice teacher I had while attending a parochial Jesuit-run high school. It is (somewhat) related to liberation theology, a doctrine that many conservative Catholics do not accept and that many Protestant churches, and the Mormons, often attempt to refute as it is not wholly supportive of capitalism and the free market system. While I do not consider myself to be a believer in the Roman Catholic faith anymore, I do find myself in agreement with many of the social justice and liberation theology concepts that I learned while in high school, including the ideas cited in 2).

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 03:40PM

I think you've got a great many of your own racist assumptions to deal with. I'll largely leave you to them.

I'll just point out that you could be of some "favored" skin color (caucasian), have great genes, and be born in a high social strata -- and fail miserably in life.

And that you could be of some "disfavored" skin color, have horrible genes (and even -- gasp! -- a low IQ), and be born and raised poor, and still succeed wonderfully in life.

So while those things can and do affect how you deal with life, they don't determine what your life is. You do. By the choices you make and the things you do. No matter what your "race," genes, or social strata.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 05:27PM

You have some odd ideas about social strata, kolob.

Someone with a low IQ is always going to have a low IQ. A higher IQ person by virtue of a keener intelligence will naturally have more opportunities and advancement than a poor person born with a low IQ.

Social class in America is stratified. It is rare to break out of the class a person is born into, including in America. It happens sure. But is the exception, not the norm.

Poverty is multi-generational. Being poor and black in the inner city ghetto is compounded when a person lacks the initiative or IQ to advance themselves out of the lot they were cast into.

The choices a person makes do not necessarily translate to success and promotion by virtue of their wisdom or virtue.

Bad things really do happen to good people, planned or not. Some people have luck, or things handed to them with out any effort at all.

We don't control the outcome of our lives, or by a large measure, much of our lives. Things happen outside our control whether we like it or not. The things we have some control over is a false measure of security, because there are more things we just don't.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2017 05:31PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: jacob ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 05:46PM

Amyjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Someone with a low IQ is always going to have a
> low IQ. A higher IQ person by virtue of a keener
> intelligence will naturally have more
> opportunities and advancement than a poor person
> born with a low IQ.

You are going to need to define what success, opportunities, or advancement mean to each individual before you start comparing lives. However if you define and characterize people by their inborn opportunities than at the very least you are prone to see them. Which might make you a bit racist (if that is the right word).

>
> Social class in America is stratified. It is rare
> to break out of the class a person is born into,
> including in America. It happens sure. But is the
> exception, not the norm.

Data please.

>
> Poverty is multi-generational. Being poor and
> black in the inner city ghetto is compounded when
> a person lacks the initiative or IQ to advance
> themselves out of the lot they were cast into.

This such an offensive statement. I'm not sure you understand how awful this statement is.

> The choices a person makes do not necessarily
> translate to success and promotion by virtue of
> their wisdom or virtue.

Again define success for each individual.

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Posted by: laralee ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 06:41PM

I remember being on the floor getting hit or kicked or something at a very young age and screaming "I AM A CHILD OF GOD" over and over. I always had trouble with the line: "and he has sent me here, has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear..."

I am a grown-up now and even though I believe that we travel through many life times with a very small group of people in various roles each time, that "God" does not give us parents kind and dear or otherwise.

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Posted by: laralee ( )
Date: June 20, 2017 06:43PM

Some people are born into truly horrible situations and they come out okay and other people have a pretty good beginning and manage to screw it up eventually. So we do have some control over how we respond to what we start out having or not having.

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Posted by: Paintingnotloggedin ( )
Date: June 21, 2017 03:12PM

Yes, but I do not know if the capacity for curiosity, persistence, fine motor dexterity, communicative engagement, skill acquisition, acquisition of skills applied to tool use, perserverence seeking tools related to changing environments

Nor if the capacity to explore emotional experience, to be capable of reflection or meta cognition, or to be curiously engaged in either

Nor if the capacity to perceive patterns of light or material in any form as beauty, and to seek to explore it see hear be or create it in art

Nor if the some inherent capacity capable of being developed for linguistic understanding or exploration through vocabulary phrasing impacts not only thought, but establishes cognitive access to scientific or all fields of information

The capacity to engage submit assert communicatively and acquire seek or utilize opportunities to learn skills..a sequence both of sought and unsought skills which developmentally undergirds a foundation (if you knew it was engineered or not)

What part of these capacities , are instinctively driven? Which are chosen?

What part of these capacities are inherent genetically like air or oxygen but which parts and to what degree do any of these capacities vary epigenetically switched expressed or expressing phenotype son or off with sequences of various environmental exposures environmental experiences ?

And what capacity exists that is developmentally capped in a time phased skill acquisition window during which time environmental cues exposures epigenetic interaction with the human organism makes set points, or set ranges of specific gene alleles expression

So what can we do to enhance and to optimize the greatest ranges of expressed genetic phenomenon,

And what can we do seeking the greatest possible resilience given any situation? If one walked through vast difficulties yet acquired sufficient skills to ------- (name a life experience habit skill set or capacity any outcome you value . Looking back what people or situations turned one to growth or enhanced skill sets which enhanced you? )

Which capacities are valued by one cultural subset but I valued by another cultural subset. Which capacities valued by Mormonism serve one well outside Mormon cultures vs which capabilities devalued by mormon culture serves one well outside Mormon cultures. Is skill acquisition application and satisfaction varied based on enculturation and applying cultural judgement of self and skills within or, between, cultures

These are real questions. Really cool questions. I wonder about these things.

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