Doubt, Uncertainty, and Fear

It’s terrible marketing, and it’s also all of the challenges in my life right now.

Doubt: meditation. I was all “why have I done this for two years without noticing any benefit? and why should I keep doing it?” The only answer I could come up with was “faith”. This bugged me.

Rewind eight years and I’m a clever little snot meeting up after class with the best theologians at St. Ignatius High School. (my teachers, I mean.) I think I was honestly searching for something to believe in, although I might have been trying to be smart. We went through all the arguments for and against some divine something, and I fell pretty quickly on the “for” side of that. But then I said “well, what about Christianity? why should I dedicate my life to this Jesus fellow instead of any other wiseman?” and their responses boiled down to “he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.” That is a slam dunk argument if it is true! But given the ambiguities with early Bible history and folks' tendencies to worship (npi) their heroes until they’re larger than life (npi), I wasn’t convinced. The next line of defense was “well, of course you can’t prove Jesus is God; you have to have faith.” I can deal with faith in people, or institutions, or whatever, that have earned my faith, but making the leap from Jesus being a wise and good guy to that pretty astronomical legend, well, that bugged me too.

(it didn’t help that this was popular on the radio about that time.)

So what’s the difference? How is my current *ahem* faith in meditation better than my childhood faith in Jesus? I think to get at that, you have to take the Buddhism out of it. Faith in reincarnation, say, seems about on par with faith that Jesus is God. But faith in developing a stronger, happier, more fulfilled mind through meditation seems pretty believable even for the skepitickest skeptic.

At any rate, I’m back at it, plugging away no matter how futile it might seem.

Uncertainty: my work! I’m working on a short javascript sorta-game to test a hypothesis that just learning can be fun, if it is well structured. My timeline is: finish game by June 15, iterate until June 30, do some tests by July 15, have results and write paper by July 31. I am not sure if I can hit any of those deadlines. I’m not sure if I’ll get any results if I do.

I guess the good life here lies in savoring the uncertainty. That’s what I wanted, right? To work on newfangled things that might or might not work? Try them, see if they work! That is the fun of it all! It is good to remind myself of that.

Oh, and Fear: well, that comes from getting lost three miles into a snow-covered forest at midnight last weekend. Hah!

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