[This really is a continuing of my thoughts, in a sense, responding to "smalls", with some related rambling along for the ride. . . .]
“The idea that you’re the center of your own narrative and that you can create your life is a great idea . . . I totally believe it. I’ve been really lucky, but I feel I’ve completely created my own life.” --from recent interview from actress Julianne Moore
“Structure, it’s all imposed. We impose order and narrative on everything in order to understand it. Otherwise, there’s nothing but chaos.” --more God-hating inane self love from Moore
I recently listened to a 3 hour long interview with Brent Metcalfe on the popular "Mormon Stories Podcast". [Brent is a long-time, well known Mormon-history researcher, now excommunicated and an agnostic, who was also very close to the whole Mark Hofmann forgery/Mormon Murders event in the late 1980s.]
An intelligent, likeable guy, Brent's worldview and personal philosophy is much the same as Julianne Moore's, since he realized the Mormon Church was built on a fiction made up by Joseph Smith.
Brent expounded on his "born again" moment when he says he realized (I'm paraphrasing) that, "there's no One there. We are on our own . . . to make of our lives and reality what we will. The JOURNEY is the thing. It's all about 'the journey', that's it. We must develop our own meaning and everybody is on that 'journey'--their own 'journey'."
Brent described how the tragic events surrounding the Mark Hofmann bombings/murders caused him to question the very existence of God. If there is a God, why didn't He warn the victims or others that tragedy was about to take place? Paraphrasing, he said, "If God can't tell us important things, like when a murder or accident is about to take place, why should we care what He says about little things, like where the Book of Mormon took place geographically?!"
And here we see the common reaction many people have when they wonder why there is evil in the world--suffering--and why God doesn't stop it. (Because, I guess it is just too taxing mentally to consider that God might have a very good reason for permitting suffering and evil, eh?)
Other than having the attitude/"worldview" of Belief, I would say this is THE default philosophical position of most people to varying degrees.
. . . .And it is replete with so much childish, small-minded, self-centered illogic and arrogance . . . that I find myself marvelling at the extent of the deleterious noetic effects of the Fall upon mankind.
BUT, I must add, I've been there myself, and but for the grace of God, I too would be just as blind, shallow and infantile in my thinking.
Still showing His Mormon mystical conditioning, Brent emphasized (I'm paraphrasing) that "it's all about feeling. . . . What a relief it was to realize that there is no (God) to answer to and that I am free to make my own meaning and journey according to what I FEEL is right for me." (He recounts one time going to the temple, doing "work for the dead" and not "feeling" anything spiritual afterwards. No "feeling" in the Mormon spiritual experience means . . . no spiritual "truth.")
Anyway, I think I've heard that one before. The part where Brent extols how it's all about creating meaning and purpose for yourself--the "journey"--according to how it makes you feel. Aleister Crowley popularized it in his Luciferian injunction, "Do what thou wilt, is the whole of the law." Witches, who fancy themselves of the "white" variety extol a version: "Do what you want, just don't harm anyone."
This is pretty much the modern, secular-humanist moral by-phrase by which they would order themselves and society. "The goal in life, for yourself, for the world, is to alleviate suffering and reduce harm. There is no God to answer to--YOU are your own God; now do what you want, just try not to harm anybody."
And what is so wrong with this guiding principle, besides being derived from a toddler-like intellectual capacity? What is the defect in Julianne and Brent's brave new vision besides being embarrassingly self-centered, logically fallacious (as it "begs the question"), as old as the hills and exasperatingly pompous and presumptuous?
Well, that it is also so obviously THE VERY doctrine of the devil that kicked-off the whole corruption of the world, when it was first stated, "Did God really say? . . . You don't have to answer to Him. YOU can be your own god! Rebel!"
So, Brent has made "the journey" his god. But "the journey" to where? Oh, he would say, it doesn't really matter--that's the point. It's not the destination, it's all about the "journey". . . .
How convenient. And vapid.
"Journey": an act of travelling from one place to another.
Here we have more evidence of a muddled, unregenerate mind. The word "journey" specifically means to be going from one place to another. Yet, Brent can't tell you where he's going on his "journey". In fact, it doesn't really matter, so long as it feels good along the way. The way to where? Doesn't matter, "it's all about the journey."
Which, like all of agnostic/atheistic, secular-humanist "reasoning" ends up helplessly self-refuting. It's nonsense . . . gibberish . . . pseudo-intellectual mush . . . splattered from minds adrift in the tossing sea of emotion-driven subjectivity.
And what is "harm"? What is this "do what thou wilt, just do no harm"? Who defines "harm"? Again, from these knuckleheads, it's all subjective, relative. They have no objective, absolute standard (that would be GOD!) who can tell them just what "harm" is, and thus, just what is to be avoided, or, on the other hand, promoted.
Is it harmful to say to a child, "no you cannot eat all the candy you want. No, you cannot have every single toy that you see." From the child's perspective, yes. From the love of the parent, no it is not harmful to say "no" but is actually in the best interests of the child's mental and physical health.
Is pain a "harm" to be avoided? Not when you're sticking your head in a bonfire and about to get 3rd degree burns BUT FOR the pain, the "harm" that results (thank God) to your skin to prevent you from bursting into potentially fatal flames.
It's an old saw but it works: The Nazi's thought Jews, Christians and the disabled were a "harm" to the positive evolution of human society and biology. To prevent the "harm" of these "inferiors" from infecting the "superman" ideal, the pink, Nazi elite decided extermination was the way to go. Were they wrong? The Soviet communists tormented and murdered many millions more who they considered a "harm" to the great march of social/political evolution. Their "journey" FELT right to them. Were they wrong?
The one who "doesn't have to answer to God anymore" cannot say they were "wrong", except from their own opinion. The Soviets' opinion disagreed. Who's right? Without an absolute standard; without a God Who has all knowledge and Who IS the standard of what is "right" and "wrong" we are left with a world of chaos, except where "might makes the 'right'".
But the self-centered, "I just want what FEELS good to me" toddler-intellects can't think that far. Well, they CAN, but they are blocked, they are blinded by their hatred of God, of The Authority. They are in rebellion and so, close their eyes to the truth. They must go further and say, "there is no truth" . . . there is only "what's true for you."
. . . .Pure, unhinged, feeling-tossed, floundering subjectivity. Arbitrariness. Feet planted firmly in mid-air.
The difference . . . in all of this mess . . . and the difference between the devil's doctrine of "be your own god", which is a lying delusion . . . versus being able to see the truth of God and the reality of the situation . . . is where you start your thinking from. That's what separates the men from the boys, the goats from the sheep.
If you start from your self, which is ridiculously limited, finite, influenced and formed by present societal norms, taboos, directives etc., then you will never be able to think or reason your self to seeing the truth. Not only are your thoughts and emotions only capable of reaching just to the limited boundaries of whatever information you've acquired or been fed, but they are hopelessly corrupted by your own selfish interests, whatever egalitarian gloss you attempt to smear over them. There is no greater racket than declaring to be acting in the interest of others as all the while you're really benefitting your self (even if it's just to feel better in the process). But there is only one Being Who is in a position to declare what is truly right and wrong--what ultimately results in "harm" or not--and Who can determine and judge whether a "journey" has any ultimate meaning and purpose or not.
And that has to be a Being who has all knowledge, all goodness, all justice--PERFECTION even--Who knows the end from the beginning, because He designed and controls the whole thing.
Only when you start from HIS perspective, from HIS directives . . . can you have any hope to see The Truth of things. YOU don't have all the knowledge of the universe, of life and death, of extended and final consequences in order to know what is actually "harm" in any ultimately meaningful sense. But HE does. And He has spoken! He has laid it out sufficiently so that, beginning with HIS wisdom, HIS light, HIS absolute perfection and knowledge, there IS a way to know and follow which is RIGHT!
Although it comes in a gentle, amiable voice, can you fathom the arrogance--the hubris in a statement like that of Brent Metcalfe's which demands, "God, you have to warn me of harm, in the time and way that I want, or you are worthless to me!" Is it really that difficult to comprehend that God, Who is all knowing, all powerful . . . might have very good and (eternally) important reasons to allow suffering and tragedy to take place sometimes in our short mortal lives in this world? You actually mean to tell me, that you, with your finite, emotional, myopic, narrow, human point-of-view have the audacity to question and demand of the Creator of the universe and of all that is, that He jump when you say "jump"; and tailor His eternal plans to your need or wish of a moment? Are you seriously that delusional?--that immature in your thinking, if you could even call it "thinking". . . ?
No, the fact is, you are a brat. You are a self-seeking, petulant, rebellious toddler who wants what YOU want and God's WANT be damned! Instead, you'll go with that other guy--the one who tells you to forget the "Big Tyrant" and become your own boss!
"I feel I've completely created my own life!" miss Moore proclaims exultantly.
"What a relief to realize there is no One there; that I don't have to answer to some God," Brent coos.
"Yes, It's all about the 'journey'", says the 'angel of light'. "Destinations? Pshaw! It's all about how you feel right now, what floats your boat as you make your own 'journey'. Forget that heaven and hell stuff. That's 'destination' talk. That's bully talk. That's just patriarchy, hierarchy propaganda--'religion' stuff! Now that Julianne Moore--what a doll!--SHE'S got the right idea. Completely 'create your own life' like she did! (What a girl. An example for women everywhere, making her own way!) What a relief it is to give up that old notion that you have to answer to some ultimate Authority. Just answer to your self, that's the ticket! Then you're 'on a journey', like Brent Metcalfe says. You've got a ticket and you're on a fantastic journey! Wonderful! To where? Doesn't matter, it's all about the 'journey.' Consequences . . . destinations . . . pshaw! That's fear tactics, that's 'religion', just dead old white men and dead old Jews trying to control you. 'Equality, fraternity, liberty'--now THAT'S what we want and what we'll have, once we get rid of this whole, old-fashioned Jesus thing. Do what thou wilt, is the whole of the law. Capeesh?"