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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, 5 months ago

Who wudda thunk. Seasons to quantum physics. Wow.

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BornAgainAmerican 2 years, 5 months ago

Imagine that...atheists posting in a faith forum. Who could have guessed?

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Barclay 2 years, 5 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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allamerican4ever 2 years, 5 months ago

keep smoking crack then all your followers will beive

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Gandalf 2 years, 5 months ago

Stars. galaxies and universes were created when Odin was forging his sword. Everytime he swung his hammer, showers of sparks fllled the heavens creating stars and planets.

Seasons were created when he struck the earth in anger, causing it to wobble.

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beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

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

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Ken Lassman 2 years, 5 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, 5 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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pace 2 years, 5 months ago

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

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Getaroom 2 years, 5 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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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 5 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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Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 5 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, 5 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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