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Archive for Saturday, November 5, 2011

Faith Forum: Why do you think God created the seasons?

November 5, 2011

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The Rev. Shannah M. McAleer, senior minister, Unity Church of Lawrence, 900 Madeline Lane:

As everything in God’s creation, I believe there is a divine plan to the four seasons — and on many levels. First, it is an amazing balance of the needs of the natural world to have the seasons.

For example, the leaves fall from the trees just before the winds and snows of winter. This way, there is less damage to the trees from breaking limbs. Likewise as winter goes into spring, we see the flowers begin to poke through the snow and wet earth and know that the winter snows have prepared the soil just right for those resting bulbs to bloom. There are many examples of the balance of the earth working this way from season to season. We also appreciate the seasons within our inner landscape. An example might be in how as we slow down from all the activities of summer and beginnings of school and more activities in the fall, winter allows us all an opportunity to go within and reflect in the quiet times at home about our connection to creation and to God.

Winter is a natural “slow down and rest time.” Lastly, who hasn’t said from time to time: “Man, I wish summer would be over? Or fall? Or winter? Or spring?” Just when we are about to toss in the towel with all the heat or all the cold — we get a new season. It’s all in God’s divine plan.

Let’s all get out there and enjoy the beauty of autumn and all the seasons to come. Remember as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” — in our natural world and in our lives. Blessings to you all for a wonderful month of giving thanks.

— Send e-mail to Shannah McAleer at rev.shannah@unityoflawrence.org.

Charles Gruber, member, Oread Friends Meeting, 1146 Ore.:

The Sufi wisdom is there are two categories of existence: one which is subject to change, transformation and realignment, and another which is eternal, omnipresent and unchanging.

The Zen poem “The Human Route” has a line which states, “Life is like a floating cloud that appears and death is like a floating cloud that disappears. The floating cloud did not originally exist. But there is one thing that is not subject to life and death.”

The Sufis call the first category Hayyo. Examples of this category are the seasons in nature (fall, winter, spring, summer), the seasons of human life (birth, youth, growth, aging, death), and the rhythms of nature (the tides, the moon phases, the constellation movement, 17-year locusts).

The second category is eternal, omnipresent and unchanging. The Sufis call this Qayyum. This category has no beginning or end, is present everywhere in all things and in the spaces between all things. It is not subject to coming and going, birth and death, time or season. It is beyond aspects or realignment. Some people call this God or Spirit or That Which Has No Name.

The two categories exist in all of creation. This paradox fascinates curious minds.

I believe that Hayyo is an aspect of Qayyum, but Qayyum includes everything, everywhere, at all times, and is not an aspect of anything. It is the totality of everything. My belief is that the Eternal provides us with seasonal changes to remind us of the ever-changing nature of life.

I go outside and check the tree colors blazing in the sun, notice the nip in the air and the grasses turning brown. In one sense, it helps me remember that change is ever-present and that which is behind change is solid, permanent and unchanging.

— Send e-mail to Charles Gruber at cgruber@cgruber.com.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

My personal belief is that G-d did not create the seasons. That is an explanation that is far to simplistic to be actually believed, at least not by me.

Instead, He created our entire three dimensional time space continuum reality so that what we see today has developed in accordance with the natural laws that He created eons ago, and thus we have ended up with the seasons that we see today.

The seasons are only the natural result of a great beginning that happened long, long ago. After that, our reality took its natural course.

But, there is a spiritual aspect to our lives that is recognized by very few among us.

For example, which is the greater miracle, the creation of light, or the creation of the seasons?

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Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 10 months ago

Here we go with the 7th grade science explanation that I just gave yesterday. The seasons result because Earth revolves around the Sun and rotates on an axis that is tilted at 23.5 degrees from vertical or 66.5 degrees from the plane of he planets orbit around the Sun. We are not unique in having seasons. Mars also has seasons.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

"The Sufi wisdom is there are two categories of existence: one which is subject to change, transformation and realignment, and another which is eternal, omnipresent and unchanging." - Charles Gruber

That is so very true, and yet not obvious to so many. I could expound upon exactly why that statement is so very true, but this is not the forum for that.

It would be quite interesting for our 7th grade science teacher to provide an explanation for exactly what dark matter and dark energy is and why we cannot perceive it, considering the fact that at the cutting edge of physics and astronomy there is no explanation at all for what it is, where it is, or why we cannot perceive it or detect it in any way.

And, it composes over 90% of all that exists!

What is it? Where is it? Why can't we perceive it?

And, the finest minds of our times would like to learn of an informative explanation of exactly what gravity is. It is defined as "the attraction mass has towards itself."

But, why is that the case?

Perhaps the Enlightened One can explain exactly why mass has an attraction towards itself, then his answer will be peer reviewed and perhaps proven.

Then, he will become at least as famous as Albert Einstein, and he won't have to waste any more of his valuable time teaching 7th graders.

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roguesword 2 years, 10 months ago

Or perhaps as a species whose existence has been so brief as to only begin to understand the complexities of the natural world, and whose technology limits our ability to measure and thus quantify things light years away, we simply lack for an explanation of what and if dark matter and dark energy is. And, do not forget, there is no consensus at all about if dark matter/energy exists at all let alone in what quantity.

So you seek for simple explanation, one invoking invisible men in the sky who have the power over all creation and that somehow is more believable to you than we, as reasonable beings, still having much to learn in order to more fully understand our universe.

But you're right, I'm sure the invisible guy in his cloud castle did it.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

"So you seek for simple explanation"?

You either didn't read or understand what I wrote, I'm not sure which.

I'm quite sure that the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, NASA, which is a US government agency that successfully sent a few men to the moon and back many years ago is more informed than you are.

http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/

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Getaroom 2 years, 10 months ago

Assuming A GOD did create seasons, it is most likely it was done so people in Kansas could say things like, "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes..", or because A GOD is a Neoconliberal and creates seasonal jobs that change often thereby offering growing numbers of illegal aliens opportunities to do a wide variety of jobs no one here wants to do anymore and then A GOD can punish those people and the individuals and companies that hire them. This creates fear and guilt, which A God is well known for and thusly - perpetuates the belief that there really is A GOD. It was a very practical and self-serving/self-perpetuating objective of A GOD. To every season, turn turn turn, to every season there is a reason, to every season there is a time........ turn turn turn. Getting dizzy? Dizzy is, as dizzy does.
A GOD created seasons to cause bad backs to ache, sell yard bags, rakes, and make a foot fall crackle with sound, mounds of leaves to jump in, air to fill with smoke, and gutters to maddeningly clog, sell gutter screens, sell snow shovels, leaf blowers, snow blowers, ice melt, environmentally friendly rainwater catch barrels, flooding, broken limbs, paint to fade more on the South side, leaking roofs, concrete to crack and settle, basements to leak, more windshield wipers, ice scrapers, rodents to enter your homes, grass to grow, crops to fail. As you can see it was mainly an Economic Act of A GOD. All 100% natural and organic, disasters and all.

Next weeks question on subjects religious to Rev Gov Brownback: why are you playing A GOD?

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pace 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't believe there are seasons, I am a practicing aseasonist.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

Anything that anonymous posters claim on this forum has the same level of meaning as the graffiti that is often seen spray painted on railway boxcars.

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beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

Graffiti is actually often signed, identifying the person to other taggers in particular. Knowing who the graffiti painters is doesn't make his or her work any more meaningful.

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Ken Lassman 2 years, 10 months ago

OK, so in my humble opinion, the issue is that this is a very odd question to even ask. It is akin to asking: why do you think that God makes the sun rise in the east?

Last time I checked, once the Catholics reluctantly agreed to the veracity of the heliocentric model for the solar system, questions about the sun rising in the east ceased being religious questions at all, and the same can be said about the seasons. There is no religious questioning as to the science behind the seasons, which, by the way, are 2, 3, 4, or even 5 in number, depending on where on the planet you live.

Shannah McAleer's comments seem to focus on the reality of the seasons being a metaphor for leading a balanced life, much as does the Ecclesiastes comments on how for everything there is a season. I don't think that McAleer seriously believes that we have seasons BECAUSE they remind us how to pace ourselves, rather, like many other things found in nature, there is wisdom to be found in being aware of and respecting the rhythms found in nature.

Charles Gruber's observations are more about the nature of reality in general, and how some things are changeable while other things seem unchangeable, with the seasons obviously fitting into the former category, while at the same time being aware that behind them rests the eternal, unchanging laws of the universe, or the void from which everything arises from and settles back into.

So here we are, observing the ever unfolding complexities of our living planet with our minds, teasing out its secrets with our intellect while at the same time keeping our hearts open to the possibilities of wisdom informing our lives by reflecting on those processes.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

I am very sure that our entire three dimensional time space continuum reality that we are now enmeshed within is only a very small subset of all that exists. The fact that dark matter and dark energy is apparently the greatest part of all that exists was something that I learned of over a decade after I reached the conclusion that I'm sure that there's at least two or more completely different realities that are right here in front of us, but we don't see them because we can't see them.

Our entire three dimensional time space continuum reality is like a goldfish bowl, we cannot imagine or comprehend that there is anything that is outside of our little goldfish bowl.

And, no scientific experiment could possibly result in any firm conclusion about anything outside of our reality, except perhaps from extrapolating from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle or some other principle of physics that time is quantized.

So, entirely different realities could easily exist in the time segments during which our entire three dimensional time space continuum reality does not exist.

Some years ago I wrote a short story that expounded upon that topic, but the problem has been that very few have ever understood what I was talking about. But, most of the readers of the story had not studied quantum physics, so I suppose that was to be expected.

I have been quite sure for many years that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a direct consequence of time being quantized, as everything else that we know of is. I don't think there is any scientific way of definitely proving it, but I could be wrong on that point.

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beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

Here is a question for the believers: Are there seasons in Heaven?

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rockchalker52 2 years, 10 months ago

If one is an Ansel Adams or an Audobon, one earns a heaven with seasons. If one is a Julia Child, one earns a heaven with seasonings.

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beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

There is no heaven without seasonings, of this I am sure.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

I wouldn't know what a "believer's" opinion is, I could only make a projection that it would be based upon what he was told to believe. I suppose that it's possible I'm saying that because I'm not sure what you mean by "believer".

But as a spiritual person, which is a very different thing, I don't understand why anyone would bother to wonder about that. We're here on Earth right now and we're alive. The point of being alive is not to worry about being dead, so why even bother to think about it?

And besides that, we don't have the concepts to understand such a thing anyway, and for sure not the words, to even begin to comprehend or describe our situation after our life here is over anyway.

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allamerican4ever 2 years, 10 months ago

keep smoking crack then all your followers will beive

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes, and you'll forget to capitalize the first word of a sentence and also forget how to spell.

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Jeff Barclay 2 years, 10 months ago

The seasons were not "created" by God. They are the result of the earth's circumstances after the world wide flood described in the Bible at the time of Noah. After the flood, the Earth's rotation and the unique angle of it's axis, as well as the separation of land masses and interconnected oceans, have produced the seasons and climatic differences. Concerning the world wide flood... What would one expect to find? Millions of dead things, buried in rock layers that have been layed down by water all over the earth. What do geologists find? Millions of dead things, buried in rock layers that have been layed down by water all over the earth. The seasons point toward God's initial creation, temporary judgment, resurrection, and promised final restoration.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

They are making rejectionist postings in an attempt to sound wise, not realizing how foolish they are showing themselves to be.

Anonymous posters do that in here a lot.

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beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

Almost like a Republican posting on an article about Democrats. Imagine.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

Who wudda thunk. Seasons to quantum physics. Wow.

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