The greatest question I have is there are times when it seems everything has a purpose -- that little things lead to bigger things and suddently, things unexpected happen that are good.
Then there are times, when I wonder is there any purpose in life. I pray and try to find God inside and then there are challenges that are so stressful.
I know there are always lessons to be learned in things, but I keep questioning. Are things left to chance only (or that you yourself can control), or is there really a greater force "guiding" us. I guess you could think that about dancing too.
The thing I notice most about myself is that I do have a tendency to pray when things are not so good, so maybe that is a weakness of mine. And when things are good, I don't really think as much about the greater force.
I keep asking myself if there is a higher force, why doesn't it reveal itself to us. Especially in this day and age. I also ask myself -- was Jesus Christ really the son of God, or a very clever person who was able at the point in history, to manipulate truths, do some "magic" (as in magician's) and was good in PR. Yet, the principles he developed were so powerful that it has existed for all these centuries.
Thanks for your comments.
Location: New York, NY USA
Hi, Agnostic... Not every Dancer is a Christian, yet we each have our own belief system that carries us through the day. Yes, many times, your mind is on work or personal issues, but you can't live in unhappiness all the time... SOOOO... maybe, if you make believe all is well until is really IS, then your religious belief system will have a different meaning for you... It will take shape and give you a real reason to be thankful for so many things, including your ability to dance. Good luck.
God has given us these talents and he wants us to use them to the best of our ability. My first compettion is in 3 weeks, I'm only new to all of this and I've found one of my talents, which is dancing and I know that I'll pray and give it all to God on the day.
I believe that no matter what you are working toward you can only achieve as high as you can dream. If you want to be a world champion dancer but you can only imagine yourself as a semi-finalist--you will obviously never make it. I feel that you should always reach higher than you thought you could. The same, I feel, goes for life. I believe that by believing in a supreme being gives me something to reach for that almost seems impossible: perfection. But because that is my goal, I ALWAYS have something to work on, and I will (hopefully) always be rising higher toward that goal. I prefer to believe in an afterlife so that I have a purpose for life. Those beliefs are what make me happy and help me find contentment.
To tie it in to this post, I do thank God for my ability to dance. I like to dedicate my dancing to Him because of the life He gave me.
It is fun to hear others points of view on this; I have always wondered how other dancers felt.
[ 08-03-2001: Message edited by: spunkystar ]
[ 08-03-2001: Message edited by: spunkystar ]
Location: Southern California
Actually, I dance for myself! I'm not Christian, so God never figures into my dancing...I am thankful always that I *get* to dance, but I try to make it a dance for me, for my partner, or for the audience. My personal favorite? The audience..they are the best!
Do I meditate beforehand? No...I stretch and hug my boyfriend. I have found that if I don't think at all, I do better!
Location: Virginia - USA
MICrzy? Not at all.
My partner (husband) and I just had the competition experience of our (short) careers (we've only been competing for 2 yrs). I feel that, looking back on it, one thing we did differently was take more time to be emotionally and spiritually "ready." On the plane ride out (the day before) I started feeling uneasy and sick to my stomach at the thought of competing at Nationals. My nerves were really kicking in. That night, at the hotel, I just felt compelled to get down on my knees and try to "give it to God" b/c I knew I was not at my best (not that I ever really am if you want to be real about it). We prayed that night for good rest, calm minds and hearts and healthy bodies. The next morning we got ready (I didn't sleep much at all and still felt very nervous ) and warmed up behind the bleachers. Then we said another prayer together: that God would give us the strength and energy to dance in a way that would glorify Him and be pleasing to Him.
This did two things for us. First, it took away (almost lifted away) a great burden to do it all ourselves. We now were relying on Someone greater than us to accomplish what we were meant to accomplish (which we left strictly up to Him). We were right with our Lord. Secondly, with that burden lifted, we just focused on having the right (positive) attitude and ENJOYING the moment. One of the most common compliments we got after we danced was "you two just looked like you really connected to one another and enjoyed what you were doing out there." I felt blessed to be on the receiving end of such a wonderful outcome, not only were we in the right spirit (one of humility and dependence on our Lord for everything - mental acuity, strength, stamina, etc.) but we really enjoyed the gift of dance! It was a wonderful experience and I recommend to to anyone who puts their faith in the triune Lord.
p.s. we also said a prayer of thanks to God for creating bananas... we were fighting muscles that wanted to cramp up most of the morning and bananas (God-sent) took them away and gave us that energy we so desparately needed.
I dance ONLY for myself. I don't believe there is a "God" (I guess that's called being an atheist) and don't think there is anything spiritual about dancing. It is simply a pleasure of life that I happened to have discovered and that I enjoy. Noone brought me to dancing, noone helped me improve but my own drive to become better at what I simply happen to enjoy. When I go to competitions, I rely on myself and my partner, that's it. I couldn't even imagine dancing for anyone or anything but myself because it is MY hobby. I pay MY money to be able to enjoy it better by doing well at comps.
Agnostic, have you ever wondered why you feel the need to look elsewhere for a higher purpose and to "believe in something" when it is simply being alive and doing what you love that is/should be the highest purpose of your life? My greatest question has always been what is it that makes people doubt this simplicity and turn to other things to find their purpose. Dance is just one of the things that I find is necessary for me to know that I am living my life to the fullest, i.e. enjoy it as much as I can while I am alive. Think about it, Agnostic, the highest purpose of your life is implicit in the fact that you're alive, not in the belief that someone/something else exists out there to make your life better. Only you have that power! Who else but you can know best what makes you happy and how this happiness can be accomplished!!??
Location: Virginia - USA
I find your point of view exciting, in part because it is so different from mine. I'm curious to know more about how you came to your thoughts and opinions (I abstain from using the word "beliefs" b/c to me that implies some sort of spiritual introspection and/or faith as opposed to the highly factual, realism, look-about-you-and-what-you-see-is-all-there-is viewpoint that comes across in your post.).
I do think it's dangerous to use words like "should"...
I won't tell you that you "should" recognize that part of being alive, in and of itself, implies that being NOT alive is also part of reality. And that if life ends, then it must have begun at some point. And that you should recognize that someone made YOUR life begin, and even if you disect that down to the egg and sperm in a petri dish basics, someone still made your mom and dad alive. That applies to their parents, and their parents' parents, and so on. Where did it all begin? With whom did it begin? Did one of us (or I guess it would take two...man and woman) just spontaneously exist at some point in time? And what about all this other LIVING stuff all around us? How did it all come to be? And how did it happen that we have this perfect planet to exist on (kept at just the right temperature and distance from other planetary bodies... I'll refrain from the obvious "heavenly bodies" out of respect for your belie- uh... I mean thoughts)? And that our cells each know what to do to take us from fertilized-egg-mush to fully-developed-(and growing)-human with all the abilities to think and reason and dance (among other things)?
I find all these questions OVERWHELMING! At least I used to. It was just looking around me (and somewhat inside me) that caused me to look for answers to these questions. I can't say why Agnostic is searching for answers, but simple awareness of life around you is a good place to start.
I should also say that I agree with your sentence below...
Just being alive is something to marvel at. And I agree that people who search for someone or something else out there to make their lives better are going to end up unfulfilled. However, that leads us to your next point...
I would say, the One who made you (and, therefore, the rest of us) alive might have some idea... especially since I'd bet none of us would have a clue as to how to create a human. Even if all the DNA pieces and cells and macrophages and all that junk were placed in a pile in front of us... I doubt any would be so bold as to step up the challenge. Not to mention, someone had to make all that self-enacting DNA and cellular stuff to begin with. So... given all that, just look around and inside you and see if you think maybe there's someone out there who knows better than you (i.e. b/c they know more in general about you and everything). A lot of people call this "someone" their Creator, and pay respect to that entity b/c of that knowledge and power that brought us all into being.
I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this.
First of all, congrats on our great showing at the Nationals (this is still a ballroom forum )! I saw you on tape yesterday-what an awesome costume you made!!!! I wish I could hire you to make mine! lol
Second, you're asking very basic questions about our existence that have already been answered by science and since I am not a scientist I could not even begin to try to explain the Big Bang and evolution. I would just say that the planet Earth is unique in our solar system in that it is the perfect place for life to originate and sustain. The fact that it is unique in no way points to conclusive evidence (such as the conclusive evidence we have of evolutionary processes) that there was a "Creator" who made Earth the way it is, made up DNA and made human beings. However, people's uniqueness in the universe has lead them to be afraid of what is out there and fear always inspires unsubstantiated beliefs. I used to be an agnostic, i.e. I wasn't sure that God didn't exist. But now I know it because I did look around and thought about it extensively and questioned it. I don't believe that a perfect, omnipotent being exists yet does not use his omnipotence to end all suffering by the very people he created; that that being created humans in his image, gave them a mind to think with and eyes to see the world with but will let them accept his existance merely on faith; mostly, I just cannot believe in something that has not been proven to exist without surrendering all the other senses I have to get to know the world around me.
As far as the Creator knowing what makes me happy better than me: I DISAGREE. That would mean that your parents would know what would make you happy better than you but that is never really true. They may be alive longer than you, know more but they can never know what's in your head, things you truly love and enjoy doing. Same with anyone you may think is smarter or knows more. The point of living is to gain knowledge, think and make decisions. Noone can do that for you better than you. Reading all the scriptures in the world written by somebody else will not allow you to stay attuned to what's in your own mind and the dreams and aspirations you may have. The only thing I can and will worship (if you could call it that) is a human mind, equally capable of dreaming up gods and building a rocket to land on the moon.
I only used the world "should" because while, to me, it is so evident that the highest purpose in life is my own happiness that I could easily use the word "is" (as I did), I realize that for many the highest purpose in life is to please some higher entity such as God. Using "should" is simply my way of emphasizing that I think those people are wrong. This is my opinion and I try to live my life according to this view. If you want to talk about this some more, you can e-mail me at email@example.com
Quote from Tonia.
Where did it all begin? With whom did it begin? Did one of us (or I guess it would take two...man and woman) just spontaneously exist at some point in time? And what about all this other LIVING stuff all around us? How did it all come to be?
Reply. Think of DNA, a self replicating molecule. Many years ago it was shown that basic self replicating molecules (not as complex as DNA) could be produced from base elements and simple compounds (electric spark through the enclosed system to replicate early conditions on the planet). Simple extrapolation would *indicate* that DNA could have developed over time.
Quote from Tonia. And how did it happen that we have this perfect planet to exist on (kept at just the right temperature and distance from other planetary bodies).
Reply. Try the Gaia theory developed by James Lovelock (and a lot of input from Lynn Margulis), Daisyworld scenario shows how temperature can be moderated. Please note that the star the Earth orbits is getting hotter but the temperature on the surface here hasn't changed greatly over the last several million years.
Personally I don't believe in higher beings looking after us or manipulating our actions.
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