Experience As The Tool Of Natural Theology - Anne Marie Lee - 6 Oct 01greenspun.com : LUSENET : Experience into Words : One Thread
Sean says "The highest form of knowledge comes from experience. For example, I cannot truly know 'hot' without experiencing 'cold'." One can sympathise without having experienced, but empathy comes out of shared experience and even then there are limitations.
To stand barefoot on a cool, smooth rock in the middle of a brook, clear water rushing and gurgling on either side. Shards of sunlight breaking through the leafy trees arched overhead. To feel damp air on my skin and breath in the scent of woodland. This type of experience transports me to a sacred space. Into this space, which is in me, descends calm, peace, centeredness. Out from this space arises praise, thankfulness and joy. It is pure communication with the Creator - my God.
One could ask, "If ones' life experience was, for the most part, negative and painful, what kind of knowledge of God would it lead to? In my life many negative, painful experiences only confirmed my faith in God. This is probably where the gift of Grace comes in.
-- Anonymous, October 06, 2001
Knowledge of God on the one hand and a life of pain on the other. In my experience I cannot find God in my own life's suffering. Rather it is a more fundamental belief, undamaged by suffering, which continually reminds me that there is a way through suffering and closer to an experience of God's love. This is not to leave suffering behind or to deny its presence in human experience but maybe to suggest that learning about the nature of suffering can teach us about its limits, its entries and exits, its loops and returns. The knowledge that we can survive it is somewhere in the region of a beginning experience of God if I can coin someone else's title.
-- Anonymous, October 17, 2001