{Start Here} My Life Theory

I started this blog in August, 2008, out of pure and simple boredom. Since then, I have loved embracing the many joys life has to offer: for me, those joys include crafting, cooking, photography, traveling, and wonderful family and friends. This blog is, for the most part, a personal blog. It’s not a food blog or a photography blog. It’s simply my life, available for you to step into once in a while.

So far, I have lived a blessed life, full of God’s love and mercy, and showered with loved ones and priceless experiences.  I know that I am so far beyond lucky.  But this doesn’t mean I’ve avoided hardship–I’ve had difficult times and experiences, and I know there will be more in my future.  My greatest blessing, though, has been to learn from those experiences and work them into making my life truly “real.”  And my prayer for myself and for everyone: that we may continue to learn what it means to become “real” and then to make choices in our lives that reflect those lessons learned.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you when a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become REAL.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Sometimes.” For he was always truthful. “When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But those things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams

9 thoughts on “{Start Here} My Life Theory”

  1. i love this! I might have to steal this.

  2. rodionsturmoil said:

    It’s unfortunate that you attribute your successes to something other than yourself. They are your achievements, you made them happen. You overcame hardships and difficult times. You have learned from your mistakes, no doubt, not because something, or someone else, allowed you to. Wouldn’t you agree? If you want to live a “real” life, then acknowledge reality. Give yourself a little credit. To achieve a goal is empowering, inspiring, and motivating, but how can you claim these feelings for yourself when they’re origin is attributed to an unreality?

    • megstermeter said:

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I do believe that my hardships, accomplishments, etc were primarly a product of my decisions. Sure, I’ll take a little credit. But I also feel like these successes were in part due to the influences of family, friends, teachers…I’m sure you’ve been influenced by others as well, right? Have you ever accepted help from someone? Or maybe acknowledge that something couldn’t have been possible without the right nudge? One step beyond that for me is my faith. In my life, God’s influence is as “real” as my parents’ influence–it’s present, though intangible at times. I’ve learned from it, grown in it, been hurt by it — just as I have with every relationship in my life. So yes, I do attribute much of my success and failure to what I consider a very real reality.

  3. rodionsturmoil said:

    Sure, many of my accomplishments could not have happened without the help of someone else. But I know who these people are, where they were, and how they helped me. They are tangible. How do you attribute help from God? In other words, how do you know for sure that without faith, your accomplishment would not have been? How do you discern between God’s help and your own resourcefulness? How do know when to attribute success to God, or to others? It seems to me that such a decision would be highly subjective.

  4. megstermeter said:

    I don’t know any of it for sure…that’s what “faith” means.

    • R. Romanovich said:

      So, do you believe in Santa Claus? You’ll never prove he exists, but how else could those presents have gotten under the tree? Ah, of course, your parents put them there. I think you’d agree that that is a simple and rational explanation and that any supernatural explanations would be superfluous. So why do believers abandon their faculties of reason when god comes into the picture? You realize that to many people, the stories about god are just as ridiculous as Santa Claus, and just as improbable – maybe even more so. How can you believe in god, and not Santa Claus?

      • It’s usually with a twisted grin and a sigh I read the common fallacy that people who believe in something impalpable don’t use their reason. Likewise the statement that you can’t believe in something intangible. Leaving aside for the moment Aristotle’s (?) statement that someone who creates something leaves evidence of what they’re like in what they create (perhaps valid, but epistemologically specious), the statement reflects the philosophy known as logical positivism (I’ll abbv it to LP), sort of, as I understand it, a twentieth century kind of Hume’s philosophy. So for the LP advocate, the only real standard of evidence or truth is science.

        Science is the best way to obtain objective information, because it combines reason and experience. However, the LP position – that something can only be said to be true if it can be directly experienced – is flawed: can that statement (The only true or real knowledge is that which can be directly experienced”) be proved to be true by scientific or merely empirical means? It can’t; so the basis of LP cannot be validated by the means it asserts as the way to certain knowledge. It is at best a common sense assumption but it is not an internally consistent philosophy.

        To believe in things we can’t see or objectively experience doesn’t mean we turn off our reason, and it doesn’t mean they aren’t true. This latter is the mistake Terry Pratchett made in “The Hogfather”, when he had Death say that justice and love were “lies”: that is, we believe they exist, but they aren’t tangible, so they don’t really exist, and we shouldn’t believe that they do.
        Think of legal procedure for a criminal case: the aim is to prove the claim beyond reasonable doubt. We can’t provide scientific proof of the crime itself, because the event happened in the past. Scientific methodology requires direct observation and measurement: so anything that occurred in the past cannot be subjected to this.

        What we can do with science is to measure evidence of the event, and use this evidence to form a theory. The theory may or may not be true; which is when we have to use practical reason. If judges or juries only came to verdicts based on scientific proof (as opposed to scientific evidence from which we form a theory – theory opposed to hypothesis) then no one would ever be condemned – assuming that one is innocent until proven guilty.

        Consider the place of scientific proof and evidence in the following case. For example, consider the proposition that “I had breakfast today.” This can’t be proved true by science, because the event is past. This can be proved true using scientific methodology to obtain evidence by which we form a reasonable conclusion. Measuring my usual rate of digestion, the kind, current state and position of the food: it’s all alimentary.  There ends science’s reach: we must think about the evidence and come to the most probable conclusion. There are several possible conclusions we can draw from the breakfast evidence: some are more reasonable – the food entered my stomach at a time that we would call breakfast – but some less so – aliens put it there after kidnapping me; I took a medication that slowed down or sped up my metabolism. Using the evidence from scientific tests, our rational conclusion is that I ate breakfast.

        Like events in the past, entities exist that we can’t directly measure – black holes for example. We can’t see them as such, we can only see their effect as light is drawn into their gravity well. We can’t see gravity either, we can only see its effect. Gravity is the interaction between the characteristic of all concrete (as opposed to abstract) entities called mass (apparently caused by Higg’s boson, although that hasn’t been found yet). Gravity doesn’t exist as an independent, concrete entity yet it exists: it is how we describe the force that draws two entities together.

        And what of emotions, such as love, or attitudes, such as gentleness or cynicism? Or other abstract concepts such as justice? We can measure the correlation of the experience of emotions with the activity in the brain and stipulate the cause as neuropsychology, but even so, there is no concrete entity called, say, fear. We can measure a person’s response to a “fearful” stimulus by the intensity of the brain’s activity and the person’s physiological response, as well as their statement, but these are the reactions. They are concomitant with, or the causes of, fear, but fear, like being in love, is an emotional reaction: a relationship between the person experiencing the emotion and the cause of the emotion.

        Consider the senses. Sound and sight and touch are abstract entities. They don’t actually exist, as things we can point to or measure in themselves: they are the way we describe how we interact with the world around us. Sound is the relationship between compressed waves of air, at particular lengths and amplitudes, hitting our eardrums (Did you know we have two systems for hearing, one mechanical and the other electrical. They cross over at about 2-4 kilohertz (I think), which is why it’s difficult to tell where a sound is coming from, when it’s at that frequency.

        The point is, while we can’t point to a deity as a concrete entity, this doesn’t mean that some better-by-nature being doesn’t exist. We have to assess the evidence and make a reasoned conclusion. That’s why you can believe in God and not in Santa Claus, or St Nick, or Pere Noel etcetera, because of the evidence. I’ve spent almost 20 years studying religion, philosophy, science, logic, language, documentary analysis and history.

        One final assumption everyone seems to have is that people want to believe what they believe. One guy is reputed to have said, “If Jesus were proved wrong, I’d rather stay with Jesus than with the truth.” I would not. Personally, I’d be quite content if there was no god: who wants to believe that we’re all guilty before a perfectly just deity; that none of us can be self-righteous; that the only way out is if god pays our debt? What guy wants to believe in no sex before marriage, and only with the wife after? Who naturally wants to forgive their enemies? Who wants to believe something like the Trinity that, while it isn’t a contradiction, is just bamboozling to human reason? If I were to invent a religion, I wouldn’t invent Christianity.

        But I believe that Jesus is who he claimed, from conclusions I have come to, based on the evidence. You might like to Google “scientists who are Christians”; not “Christian Scientists”, you’ll get a completely different response. 

  5. stuckoutsidethebox said:

    I have always loved that book and I love how you used it! I totally agree with what you say. :)

  6. Your blog looks great! And it was started out of boredom, I love it!

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