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In being responsible and free, the course of our actions spontaneously begins to depend on our desires and on our recognizing these desires and this interdependence. In these circumstances, it is possible that the most enlightening aspect of these reflections about reality and reason is in recognizing that the rational understanding of the most fundamental aspects of the ongoing human existence, which resides in responsibility and freedom, emerges from the reflection about emotioning, which shows us the non-rational foundation of what is rational.

Reflections on the human experience

People often misunderstand the notion of freedom as if it meant they could do anything they please. What is not clear that there are always constraints, though these are often implicitly accepted. Yet we do have an experience of freedom. Oddly, we often have this experience in situations where there the constraints are extreme, where there is only a very narrow path that is at all tenable. The experience of freedom is grounded in our ability to live recursions; it happens as we choose our choosing, or we are responsible for our responsibility.

Thus the experience of freedom can arise in a narrow path as long as that path is chosen in the awareness of choosing it as an autonomous being able to make that choice. The experience of freedom comes from within. Yeah, get some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Of course not.

The filmmaker is bringing us to the deep conscious revelation that something is missing. He is safe. He is comfortable. But he is bored. And worse, he is empty. Something is missing. In one of the most influential voices to emerge was that of Jane McGonigal, who released a best-selling book, Reality is Broken. McGonigal is a world-class video game developer, and the title of her book is also her explanation as to why she has been so successful.

She believes that she has tapped into a common human experience. When people look at reality, they see something that is broken, and they are desperately searching for some escape into a life of greater excitement and meaning. Listen to her describe it:. They have jobs, goals, schoolwork, families, commitments, and real lives that they care about. Her message that large number of people feel like something is missing has been picked up by leading periodicals including The New York Times , Fast Company , and The Harvard Review. It clearly hit a societal nerve.

Whether its U2, John Mayer, Will Ferrell, Jane McGonigal, or a host of other cultural voices, there is a clear social consensus acknowledging the reality that something is missing. This in turn creates quite an interesting conundrum for those who follow Jesus. We believe that humanity has broken its relationship with God, and that the corresponding result is a huge spiritual void at the center of our being. We assume that honest and aware human beings will continue to recognize this, and are therefore able to celebrate any ways that artists or anyone else contribute to the collective enlightenment process around this.

When we placed our faith in Jesus, we theoretically eliminated that void. Hence our conundrum: we love Jesus, follow him faithfully, yet still carry this gnawing sense that something is still missing.

Recollections, reflections, and revelations: personal experiences in ethnobiology

What now? When you come to this point — and I am convinced that every devout Christ follower will — you will find yourself at a critical crossroads. If you choose to be brave enough to embrace this growing reality you will find it pushing you in one of two directions. Embracing this reality will either push you towards a deeper, richer experience of God, or it will push you down a path filled doubt, struggle, and at times even despair.

I think of someone like my friend, Jonathon, whose story bears resemblance to many of us that have tried to make sense of this reality. Jonathon truly loved God and was a devoted follower of Jesus. It showed up in many pockets of his life, and each time it did it seemed to push him farther away from God. He was active in a small group at his church, for instance, but found that the weekly gathering only agitated the reality.


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Each week a different person would share a testimony about a way that God was working in his or her life during group time. Jonathon would consistently experience contradictory feelings during these sharing times.

Unapologetically You Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

On one hand he would be excited for that person, and could authentically cheer on their growth. But he would have a simultaneous feeling of doubt and depression as he did. Each person that shared a way that God was moving seemed to only shine a spotlight on his spiritual stagnation. A similar dynamic would happen on Sundays at church. He would come in, hoping to meet God in a profound way. During the singing time he would look around, and it seemed that everyone was having a powerful time of worship. During the sermon it would seem that the message was resonating with everyone, with multiple congregants furiously writing notes.

He wanted to experience vibrant worship and hear the voice of God during the service like everyone else seemed to be doing, yet he seemed to be watching it all happen more like an outsider. The most difficult environment of all was his alone times with God. Though some of his friends had resisted because it smelled like legalism, Jonathon had always appreciated the discipline. His quiet times had consistently created space for him to experience God, and maintaining this spiritual practice the regimen was not difficult for him. But now those quiet times had become dry as well. Jonathon remained disciplined, yet each time he carved out time to be alone with God his frustration grew.

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He genuinely longed to know and experience God, yet God seemed strangely distant. Something was missing. Instead of small group being a place where he could try to crack the code, it started to become an instigator for his emerging cynicism. He would listen to people talking about God, and he would wonder if they were just faking in an attempt to look super spiritual to their friends. At church on Sundays his posture began to also change. Rather than coming in with a sense of expectancy, he began to dare God to show up.

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And quiet times? Those began to quickly disappear from his daily life routine. Have you ever found yourself caught in one of these spiritual death spirals? People have been known to retain a sense of personal inner freedom in terrible circumstances of illness or imprisonment. Nonetheless, in circumstances where the space for autonomy is denied, the opportunity for experiencing a sense of freedom is limited. I for one deeply value my mobility and my ability to choose my activities in collaboration with those others whom I choose to collaborate with.

In the first photo it seems to be the excitement of the ride. In the second she appears to realize that she is actually fully responsible, the consequences are up to her. Thus this appears to me as a reflection, happening in the moment of being engaged in an activity.

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I am struck by how fleeting the happening of such a reflection can be, even as the result of it having happened endures. I wonder -- when does the reflection become recursive? Is Lia experiencing the sense of freedom that comes in the acceptance of her responsibility, of being responsible for her responsibility?