When Jesus spoke to His disciples about a future time before His second coming, He spoke of birth pangs. The productive pain of something that is just beginning- or that has begun since the time of Jesus. A pain that leads to a positive result.
We hold this pain in the form of a longing for the return of Jesus Christ, and this longing grows as we grow in Christ. We can also relate to this pain in many varied ways. In the birth of a child, the birth of aspirations, the birth of hope fulfilled.
“It’s not small it’s just beginning” is a call to remember that the desires of our hearts, which God knows more than we do, which leads to wisdom and understanding is beginning to grow or increase rapidly, as the state of the world also increases rapidly in conquest, division, economic changes, and demise. Personal birth pangs and societal birth pangs are intensifying consecutively. Small now, but just the beginning.
Hope & A Future
For those who believe, Jesus offers us hope and a future. He offers us a time of maturation- a gestational period of development where our faith grows, and hope and love is made reality within us. As Jesus covers us in His righteousness and protection, He fortifies and strengthens us, and prepares us for the pain of birth and sanctifies us in the process as we submit to His process.
The birth pangs are real as they have been happening throughout the centuries. And now we feel them too. They are collectively happening within and without. A course of reckoning of the state of things. He has always been preparing His church body- His bride, and the world for His coming. And He has indwelled within us the Holy Spirt, full of purpose and promise for His glory.
Peace is an effect. It is the result of the quality of confidence you have in your state of being. It is of a resounding harmony. It reverberates against disorder and chaos. Peace is an active resonance in your mind and body that is as close to the nature of absolute truth as can possibly be.
There is an infinite amount of chaos or molecular randomness that resides constantly in the environment. But even chaos is governed by underlying patterns of ordered molecular motion. So, the momentum going forward is always and forever truth, order, and light, irrespective of the seeming unpredictability of chaos.
To the divergent force associated with chaos, the mental energy that resounds as peace is its antithesis.
The activity of consciousness remain deep and full, as it actively opposes lack and soaks up information– nature abhors a vacuum. The choices are substantial, otherworldly and earthly, and the integrity of consciousness clings to whatever brings peace. But peace has a noticeable pattern of wisdom and understanding that is both innate and self-evident because what brings us peace directly impacts our quality of life.
The world has a knack for feeding fears, and even at the heights of civilization, the world still devolves to meet our fear mechanism. As the world positions, engineers, and ensnares in an assault on our sympathetic response, it configures and inputs a type of ordered chaos and outputs an unstable feedback loop. And one small disturbance in our internal or external environment- exacerbates. One seemingly ineffectual but exacerbating feedback building upon another if the internal system does not value a steady state.
Without a competitive balancing feedback– without a system that is extremely sensitive to counteract each and every rudimentarily deployed fear tactic; without a neutralizing, stabilizing, negating effect in response to this overstimulated world which knows it has found its technological sweet spot; without an active program for peace in our internal environment which extends outward- we are outmaneuvered into an onslaught of misleading fear.
Belief + action + confidence = Faith. Go forward by faith. The only way forward is by faith. And how do we know this causation? Because our inclination is to always be moving forward. To not be at a standstill but to grow. We’re wired to move with time, to consider the future, to seek avenues that ultimately lead to progress and peace. We build upon what we know; we act upon what we believe. These are the building blocks of our faith that propels forward the chain of events in which life unfolds.
There is a reason for everything. A never-ending series of remarkable occurrences with causal connections. A way forward that draws us in the way of purpose, and draws us through time like magnetism. Should we care to know is an exercise in wonder.
We make our choices, every second of every day, one after the other. Without a thought or indiscriminately, or with impeccable planning and forethought; But also with guidance. An invisible hand in the form of momentum moving us forward.
Before you were born, you were inspired, breathed, and known by God. Every bit of information that is your intricate genetic makeup is known and stored within you by God. You are of a reverberating lineage; one that is vibrant and resounding in space and time. Who still remembers?
Innatism suggests that the mind is born with knowledge, ideas, and beliefs. Memory that transcends our experiences. Could there be memories encoded before birth? An intangible faculty of memory stored prior to all mind body experience.
Although the mind is not a blank slate at birth, we need our senses and experiences as keys to unlocking what is stored knowledge and intellect, and even remembrance. Things that are innate to you are things that you naturally identify with through sensation, reflection, and memory.
Memory is your brain’s capacity and function to encode, store, retain, and recall information from sensory experiences. The collection of our experiences since birth and our innate sensibilities. Every experience and memory shapes us in purposeful ways. And although specific memories may be forgotten, those memories that truly shape us are never completely gone.
Imagine for a moment, that what your eyes see, which is based on knowledge of visual perception and optics; knowledge which has been formulated through centuries of study, empirical data, and true to form scientific evidence; imagine for a moment that the science on which our interpretation of the visual world is based, has a determined gap or opening for persistent illusion; and that this gap for illusion, can forcefully mislead your senses and your reality in a duplicitous way.
Your eyesight is how you visually see the world. Your eyes collect visual information from light in the environment, and your brain processes and interprets this light. This is your visual perception. Your visual perception, along with all other information from sensory inputs from the environment, make up your perception of the world.
Looking at the world through your eyes is an instantaneous process. Visible light in your environment reflects off the objects in your field of view and enters your eye. The reflected light rays enter the eye through the cornea. The cornea refracts (bends) the light rays, the light rays then passes through to the lens which focuses the light into an image onto the retina. The retina converts the light photons of the image into electrical signals which are carried by the optic nerve to the visual cortex of the brain where it is processed. All in an instant.
What we see is essentially light reflection and refraction. It’s all about light. Light informs what our eyes see in the visual world. It is the basis for our reality of the visual world.
Now, visual perception can be tricky. The scientific study of optics shows us that important details of how light behaves and how light properties interact with matter is still a mystery. Sensory stimuli from light in the environment has a premise of being openly available for tricking the brain. We see this with illusions. Illusion can easily interplay with reality. An illusion is a confusion of the senses and a distortion of how our brains normally interpret sensory stimuli. Illusions distort our general perception of what we know to be reality or true.
So, if perception is how we understand the world through sensory information; is perception everything in understanding our reality? Can you trust your senses? Can you trust what your eyes see to be true?
What is True
In philosophy there are several schools of thought regarding knowledge of truth. There is empiricism, which states that knowledge comes only from sensory experience such as observation. Rationalism states that reason and applying logic is the primary source and test of knowledge. And there is innatism, which suggests that not all knowledge is gained from sensory experience but rather that the mind is born with knowledge not learned.
So, we have two ideas: 1) No knowledge enters the mind except through the senses, 2) There are eternal unchanging truths which are known by the mind not by the senses.
Science is wholly committed to one; the other says the senses can mislead you.
So, do we wholly accept our interpretation of sensory information presented by the environment? Or are our brains primed to be misled? Is it prudent to rely solely on our senses to inform our reality, knowing we can be misled by illusion and optics?…
Or is there a divine or innate knowing which we can believe, embrace, and rely on, despite what we see?
Seven delicate years in, and the 19th century was developing proudly. Puffed up- with a head crowned heavily with death and injustice in its formative years, it knew nothing of true freedom. Still fixed to stubbornness but the years grew wise in knowledge of what progress looks like. Injustice had a name, inequality grew shameful. A higher purpose was the calling. Visions of unity echoed out the mouths of babes.
The future had steam; the years had the momentum of industry. It pushed us forward come hell or high water.
The 20thcentury had undercurrents of hope and change not fully realized but inevitable. We moved with the civil rights movement. It made us better, humanity became stronger.
Information takes its place, the good and the destructive. Widespread and primed for manipulation, the 21st century has information technology fast and furious. Now, as we methodically advance through time, shaking in our knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs- what is our melody? Are we in tune?
The future has a sound. I hear it. It is intelligent beyond words. Beyond our imagination but of our imagination. The music is captivating. The drums are ominous, but the strings are soothing. The horns, harmonious. And the score is arranged for us to abstract the notes of who we are, and where we’re going.
It’s remarkable how images and symbols impress our minds. The implanting of an idea that elicits connection or relationship, with emotion, and the extent to which it subliminally echoes is astounding.
Symbolism is the use of symbols or images to represent and convey ideas and meanings. Symbolism is found everywhere and is used in a variety of ways. The most prevalent and pervasive use of symbolism is through the media, in entertainment: TV, Radio, Books, Newspapers, Magazines, Internet, etc. Symbolism can speak to our conscious mind or subversively speak to our subconscious mind. As such, symbolism can be used in both good and bad ways.
The transmission of an idea can be crude or well crafted; it can be obvious or inconspicuous, overt or hidden. But when an idea is well placed, it replicates, multiplies, spreads, “goes viral”. It starts in the mind with symbolisms that represent ideas. Like language, which is a system of symbols and signs, information is communicated, and our brains process the information that is transmitted. Transmitted symbols transform into thoughts and beliefs, which eventually drive our actions. What then, when symbolism is nefariously deployed through systems?
The gears turn in our minds; our difference engines. We hope to intelligently determine wise steps to take in life and move forward in our free will; learning from mistakes, lamenting our perceived missteps, reassessing, making our corrections, moving forward, and always checking in with our hearts. What then, when our thoughts are not our own, but rather unnaturally elicited thoughts and responses that determine our form and function? What then, when we are maneuvered by the mechanics of abstract symbolisms used in violation of our willful minds? What then shall we say when we are where we are in spite of ourselves?