Date : 06/09/03
Bruce Almighty
an insight into spiritual motivation

saw this fairly entertaining movie last night. It featured a particular philosophical opinion that underlies all religious beliefs. It is not what I would call evil or pernicious. It's just a simple psychological mistake.
It is that ...

Everything happens for a purpose

Well, it doesn't. It just seems that way because we are the psychological center of our universe ... and ... the mind has an incredible capacity to see patterns which are not there as well as patterns which are there ... and to mix the two into a custom fitted pattern featuring that mind as the central player.

The very first thing we learn ...

... is that we are the center of the universe and that everything revolves around us. What I mean here is that as a baby looks out into the world, he is at the center of a sphere upon which events are played out. That which he does not see does not exist and that which does ... he controls ... or ... he cries until he gets his way. Thus, he is a God.

The procession to adulthood consists largely of dispelling that spherical reference frame with a Euclidean one wherein everybody is just another individual and there is no center at all. Imagine every dictator. He certainly sees himself as the center of the world so why don't you all fall down and worship and serve him? See what I mean?

Even as adults we may be drawn into the philosophical trap of seeing our situation as unique and important in the extreme ... so important that everything we do seems "important" in some cosmic sense. But it isn't. The import of events in which we participate is nil unless we possess great influence in the world. It is then easy to see why "power corrupts". One falls back into the "juvenile self-centered state" and thinks that one is the personification of greatness.

In the movie ...

... all is consonant with "God's" plan. But there is no plan other than the one you have imposed on the world. To the extent that you influence others to adopt actions consistent with your plan ... your plan may, in fact, be external to your own mind and may seem like a "divine intervention plan" if you are unaware of what others are doing on your behalf. Because this is very often the case, there are a lot of believers out there.

There are also accidents of chance which may fall into place to clear your path to success. You might ascribe these to divine intervention as well even though they are merely chance. And ... there are even more accidents which may thwart your plans (just by statistical probability chances are that there are more things to go wrong than right) ... so you have the choice to either accept them as "pure bad luck" or ascribe them to some "There out to get me" scheme. How you deal with these is determined by the extent of your rationality, i.e. the extent to which you have adopted the philosophical Euclidean reference frame.

Lastly, you may make use of the incredible power within you to detect subconsciously what is going on around you (the plans of others) and to insinuate yourself into an advantageous position (or into a dis-advantageous one if you are currently self-destructive). By my personal experience, I estimate that the computing power of your subconscious brain exceeds that of your conscious one by perhaps three orders of magnitude. Truly, it might be mistaken for Godlike intervention.

And ... one other thing.

If you are "unworthy" in your own subconscious estimate, you will not be favored with the magnificent results of your own subconscious ruminations. They will languish un-utilyzed ... in perpetuity ... until such time as you make yourself morally and ethically worthy (in your own estimate).

All this passes for

God's Plan

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