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Author Topic: Knowledge of mysteries of the kingdom -- e.g. Mark 4:10-12  (Read 4326 times)
Alan
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« on: August 27, 2012, 08:55:40 AM »

Mark, 4:10-12
And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. * He answered them, "The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that 'they may look and see but not percieve, and hear and listen but not understand in order that they may not be converted and not forgiven' "

I started this thread to continue a discussion that came up in the Lectio section.

One thing to now it the use of passive voice, "has been granted to you."  Doesn't say, "God chose you from His list of Whom He Cares About or something, but we are so used to hearing about God being the ultimate micromanager and arbiter of the flow of blessings, that we tend to think everything is something God deterministically decides.  There's another scripture in Romans, I think, that adds to this illusion and it might just be something in the way St. Paul expressed himself.  The part about being predestined.  For this post I'm talking only about the above verse.

So as far as the passive voice, I could take it as an observation:  the power has been granted to you.  Jesus could see that they had the power.

But to those outside, their wineskins aren't prepared to witness the mysteries as they are, and no words can describe them analytically (or they wouldn't be very mysterious at all, really) so meanwhile we use parables -- which involve paradox -- to help condition our minds.

So I don't see it as a club where God says, "you, you, and you come in.  We'll be honest with you, but the rest of you stay out and we're going to exclude you from the conversation by talking gibberish."  (Kind of like the way my mothers' relatives excluded her from the conversation by speaking French when they didn't want her to hear.)

No, I see it more like a crowd of people trying to work their way through the mazes to get into the door of the club.  A few made it, and now that they are there, they see that the people outside are each taking a different approach, some getting closer than others to the club entry.  They see that every path is different, and without having the actual eyes of those trying, they cannot tell them which way to turn.  They can only offer encouragement and giving them allegorical hints such as parables.

Or here:  it's kind of like standing on "the ledge," 1,353 above the ground.  I paid the entry fee and rode up the elevator, and I was granted knowledge of the mysteries of standing on the ledge in a way I can talk about it but not fully describe.  Pretend for a second that this ledge is the kingdom by which all of salvation exposes its truth toward, as you look down and see the beauty and order that looks like so much trash from so many places in the streets below.  I cannot give you the experience of the ledge any more than I can "give" you the kingdom, but you can empathize and have some notion -- then if and when you find the ledge, you will have an understanding by which you can speak from your own authority (experience) rather than saying "I think it will be like this or that," but without really feeling it.

So the kingdom of heaven is like unto a ledge 1,353 feet above the ground.  Many people dream of seeing entire cities, but once on the ledge they can actually see into four different states.  (No challenge if you're at Four Corners, but you know what I mean.)  So now you not only become omniscient in your ability to see traffic patterns you could never see when you were in the flat world, but you have a different outlook and experience about the whole thing.

 So you explain it to others in parables:  it was like nothing I've ever seen; I thought I was brave and intended to go first, but I froze up and Julie walked right by me unto the ledge.  So the last was first and the first was last."   or how about this one ... "the domain of the ledge is like unto an avalanche.  Once you find the Ledge in your journeys, and have faith to take the first step away from the visual safety net that is the building, confidence builds and the whole thing changes and suddenly you feel empowered to stand there in peace.  Suddenly you realize your fear gives way to confidence and anxiety becomes peace, and when that happens you start to see around objectively rather than colored by feelings of fear."


So yeah, Jesus walked out on The Ledge that is the kingdom, and is trying to tell us about it, hoping we will first find the narrow elevators leading to the Ledge, and second, put aside our fear enough to take that first step away from the building.  When that happens, we won't need Jesus any more to tell us about the Ledge because we'll have our own experience.  Then we can "talk turkey" with Jesus instead of in parables.

Here's another reference to what I'm talking about:

Matt 13:10-13

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.  Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.  This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand."


Continuing the Ledge parable, they see because I show them photos.  They hear because I'm telling them about it.  But it's nothing like being there.  Actually it is something like being there, but it doesn't necessarily have the same "transforming" qualities -- except to the extent that you have faith, trust, and creativity to put yourself there mentally.  Like the Blue Angels do before each show.  They go through the entire routing, sitting around a conference table with their eyes closed and their hands on the table in front of them, holding imaginary joysticks.  Since they all know what is it they are pretending to do, they have sufficient empathy with the actual flying, that this exercise is useful.

Here is a video about the Blue Angels, that mentions what I'm talking about -- that they talk through their routines on the ground -- at 1:20.  I'll continue looking for a video like the documentary I saw that shows them actually doing it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeyjOFlO92Y



Jesus had a frame of mind that He knew was qualitatively different than other people around Him.  He can just see it in their faces and body language, and He knows (being a human Himself) what men think like, so they can tell from what they say, they've never been there.

(edit: Note that I wrote the following, thinking I was replying to John...)
I could just as easily say, "I want to follow John.  I want to go where you go.  I want to know what you know, see what you see and hear what you hear.  I want to walk the streets of the Vatican.  I want to see things I'll never see as long as I live in this wretched world I call Wichita.  I want to meet Fr. Rohr and Father Keating face to face, like you did."  Then I could go on about how I've been basically Wichita-bound for 11 years because I don't have business any more out of town and I don't have money, etc.  Well, you can speak of these things with authority, having been there.  But I can't; I have to borrow the authority of a photograph, a story from you, your answers to my questions, etc.  So you can tell me as much as you want, but the actual experience remains a mystery so anything I presume outside of what you specifically told me, remains speculation.  Now when I turn these presumptions into rules of morality that We All Must Follow, that's where it gets icky.  I go around telling others in Wichita, "you cannot see the kingdom of John without walking in his shoes.  You must take the path he took."  Well, not really.  I could see all those things without even knowing whether you yourself got there by plane, train, or boat.  But we know that you did find a path, and you're telling me that based on what you've seen, you have a new perspective.

Or still in Wichita, I could tell my friend, "when you go to the Vatican you will have an overwhelming sense of peace and awe, at the history and serenity of the place."  My friend could say, "I heard it was really pretty intimidating, and it smelled funny."  Well, I wouldn't have known it smelled funny and neither does he, except someone told him that and he bought into it.

Obviously I could go on much longer, but I'll rest a bit here ....


So John, you tell us what it is like in the Vatican, and I'll go on that trip vicariously through you.  You can go on the ledge through us, and we can both get into the kingdom through Jesus.  He is not the only way, but He is the most obvious way for the people whom he taught.

Jesus went to His kingdom, and we'll live that vicariously through Him until we pass through and experience the state of consciousness He is trying to tell us about with his riddles and parables.  Or at least trying to tell us what will work so that we will eventually let go of our bullshit ways of thinking and taste and see.

Alan
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Lanasshoebox
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 10:25:07 AM »

Just curious...why?
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Alan
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 10:37:49 AM »

Just curious...why?

If I understand you, I meant why go through all that?  Why not just tarry with Jesus?  Is that anything like you mean?

Since I'm new at this, I still have a lot of words and thinking left over that I have to lose.  So I can relax and let God lead me even better.

As far as all the process, people in the world (I, like John, fancy you as pretty mystical already so we are still catching up to you) like processes.  And since they don't know how to just be themselves, these are things that might give them ideas on how it works.

Let me know if I'm going in the right direction.  I'd like to hear your ideas because they will help me understand God better.

Alan
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 10:48:53 AM »

Silly Boy...lol, i meant why split the thread...lol

I agree that i might be categorized in the mystical department...but catching up seems a strange comment. When i made this thread, it was the FIRST time i opened the bible voluntarily. I simply do not do that out of fear of misleading myself via my own interpretation. I see others slander Gods word with their own agenda so often, and i refuse to mislead myself. A GREAT fear of mine. But...i did so here because i trust you guys to tell me if i do so.

Lana
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 10:58:37 AM »

Oh.

Wow.  Ummmm....

Lana, if what I wrote is acceptable to be in a thread you started, and that is not intended for debate or analysis, then maybe I'm starting to do things right.  My goal is to write in a way that makes sense to whomever it needs to makes sense to -- before it made sense only to me and fellow oddballs.  Wink

If you want to know my opinion, you were directed as to which passage you would "randomly" choose as your first.  But I can't say why I think that.  Grin

Alan
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 11:07:39 AM »

I agree that i might be categorized in the mystical department...but catching up seems a strange comment.

Matt 13:16-17
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.  For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.


And for "catching up" I figure we all are ahead of one another in some way, and if you are mystical and we're not, then guess what we want to be?


"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -- Albert Einstein

Oops, there goes that troublesome word "judge" again. Wink

Alan
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 01:17:14 PM »

Thanks Alan. I don't disagree with any of what you said but I'm not sure it addresses what was bothering me about the particular passage.

I did enjoy this quote though.


"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -- Albert Einstein


Of course there are those fish that actually can climb trees....

http://treesandshrubs.about.com/b/2011/04/01/some-fish-can-climb-trees.htm
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 03:04:02 PM »

I'm not sure it addresses what was bothering me about the particular passage.

Then do tell...lead us deeper...

Lana
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 03:59:30 PM »

I'm not sure it addresses what was bothering me about the particular passage.

Then do tell...lead us deeper...

Lana

It just had to do with the way that passage was worded Lana. Just an observation on my part.
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2012, 04:45:51 AM »

Dang...i was hopeful of at least half a page from this...

Just kidding...thanks for clearing that up...

Lana
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2012, 07:02:52 AM »

Dang...i was hopeful of at least half a page from this...

Just kidding...thanks for clearing that up...

Lana

Lana,

Last night I wrote a huge long post which was about two parts normal and one part rant, but then later I went back and deleted it.  Dammit.  I should trust myself more than that; there was a reason I put it up there.  Of course, I listened to the judgmental voices in my mind say, "keep it positive.  What if LURKERS WHO MIGHT JOIN" see that and think I'm negative about the Church and they'll come here and see me and think all they will get here is church bashing.  And besides, if I'm REALLY spiritual, I should be able to let it goooooo.....  why, Alan, do you have to be so critical, do you always have to go there? ....  blah blah blah" ------- and I fell for it and intercepted my own message.  Roll Eyes

Alan
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2012, 07:04:20 AM »

I'm sorry Lana. I didn't mean to disappoint you. Let me provide some deeper explanation of one of the mysteries of the kingdom....

Our current knowledge about the subatomic composition of the universe is summarized in what is known as the Standard Model of particle physics. It describes both the fundamental building blocks out of which the world is made, and the forces through which these blocks interact. There are twelve basic building blocks. Six of these are quarks--- they go by the interesting names of up, down, charm, strange, bottom and top. (A proton, for instance, is made of two up quarks and one down quark.) The other six are leptons--- these include the electron and its two heavier siblings, the muon and the tauon, as well as three neutrinos.

There are four fundamental forces in the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. Each of these is produced by fundamental particles that act as carriers of the force. The most familiar of these is the photon, a particle of light, which is the mediator of electromagnetic forces. (This means that, for instance, a magnet attracts a nail because both objects exchange photons.) The graviton is the particle associated with gravity. The strong force is carried by eight particles known as gluons. Finally, the weak force is transmitted by three particles, the W+, the W- , and the Z.

Are you with me so far?? (I'm totally lost personally!)
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
Lanasshoebox
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2012, 10:29:36 AM »

YUP...I'm Loster!!!

And Alan, rant away, but you taught us NOT to delete...Free Words.
You can easily say, i love God, but the church and i still have triggers, and that you are ranting.
THAT is all the new comers need, the rest should be without fear of judgment my dear.

Lana
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2012, 10:39:33 AM »

Yeah, the only Quark I know anything about was this guy from Deep Space Nine:

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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2012, 10:44:45 AM »

YUP...I'm Loster!!!

And Alan, rant away, but you taught us NOT to delete...Free Words.
You can easily say, i love God, but the church and i still have triggers, and that you are ranting.
THAT is all the new comers need, the rest should be without fear of judgment my dear.

Lana

I'm very defensive.  Ever since Sister Charlene screamed at me in front of the class for giving the right answer on a second grade math test, I have been defensive even when I believe what I am saying.  Because as an übernerd, what I learned about social life is that I cannot predict how people will react to anything I say because I don't know what triggers them, or why, nor do they tell me.  They just get mad and leave me clueless.  So basically I dodge all the time because I never know if what I say is going to earn me thanks or bullets.  Maybe that means something to you, after our energetic exchange last fall when we were discussing my communication skills.  Wink

You're right though.  The less I defend myself, the less I end up having to.  And I just thought of something else.  When I'm attacked when I'm not defending myself, I actually have a better defense than if I were.  Does that make sense?  If I'm defending myself and get attacked, it's awkward.  If I'm not defending myself and I get attacked, I have the emotional upper hand.  Cool

We talked about the Logical Song, by Supertramp, once before.  Here is a perfect time to mention it again, especially because I just found the music video and I like it more than the album version:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG4mgErUf0U


Alan
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2012, 08:27:03 PM »

To defend...hmmm, does this not scream feeling sooo inadequate, that it (the topic at hand) becomes debatable?

There is a time and place for a debate...when both want to...like politicians...lol
But to debate is really like a dance off. You keep trying to out dance the last moves.
When you think of defending yourself, you are using your words as a shield so you will not get hurt.

Your response is deliberate, true to your best knowledge and backs up your stance or beliefs.
That does not have to be believed by anybody listening to you...your feelings...done!
One thing NO ONE can take from you, or tell you how to do it, is to feel. Your feelings!

What happens is that you feel threatened by the possibility of a debate, and at the ready comes your need to prove your point.
But you forget, if they have a problem with how you feel...isn't that more like feeling threatened by your feelings?
Easily say, i am sorry you feel threatened by how i feel about this particular topic, but i stand firm on how i feel.
If they get like a bully, then apologize for their feeling such discomfort at you expressing your feelings.
(and end the discussion...do not debate, or prove your point unless there is no threat or need to apologize

Hard to do at first...it is WAY easier in a planned situation...but practice makes it all easier, and becomes your re-programming!

IMHO
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2012, 08:32:36 PM »

Sister Charlene...

A woman, frustrated, and not aware of the impact on her class. I was told, if any teacher yells, that they have lost control and respect of the class. Some teachers believe that yelling is how they get controle...but you can tell a nun never had children to not know this. Parenting can teach you this.

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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2012, 06:18:28 AM »

To defend...hmmm, does this not scream feeling sooo inadequate, that it (the topic at hand) becomes debatable?

In this case, it was straightforward.  My answer was correct and she marked it wrong on a test.  I asked why I got it marked wrong and she proceeded to explain it wrong, thus telling the class something was impossible when it was not.  There really was nothing to debate, but she didn't know that.  I answered "-1" which was absolutely and objectively correct.  She said, "there is no answer" which is absolutely wrong.  I NEVER argued with old people when I was a little kid; I was taught better.  So I didn't argue about matters of opinion.  In fact, I quit even having an opinion for a long time.  So when it came to facts and logic, I was the best.  In seventh grade I won the math contest for the archdiocese of Chicago, beating representatives from 420 schools.  When it comes to math, if I say I know something, then I'm confident enough I don't care whether 420 schools worth of people say I'm wrong.  Arithmetic problems are not a matter of voting which is the "best" answer.  In the example at hand there was no room for debate.  She was just plain wrong.

Quote
There is a time and place for a debate...when both want to...like politicians...lol
But to debate is really like a dance off. You keep trying to out dance the last moves.
When you think of defending yourself, you are using your words as a shield so you will not get hurt.

Your response is deliberate, true to your best knowledge and backs up your stance or beliefs.
That does not have to be believed by anybody listening to you...your feelings...done!
One thing NO ONE can take from you, or tell you how to do it, is to feel. Your feelings!

It had nothing to do with my opinion.  I had to do with the fact that I was right and she was wrong.  If I had put 4-3 is 1, and she said it's wrong it's really 17, well, that's how obviously she was wrong.  All I asked was why she marked my paper wrong and she got angry and hostile and then I got defensive because it was the first time in my life I'd seen an adult act totally irrationally.  I had no idea what the hell was wrong with asking why my correct answer got marked off, but it ended up with her fuming at me and sending me to the principal's office.

It wouldn't be for another 30 years that my parents opened up and told me that at a parent conference, Sister Charlene actually told them that she hated coming to class with me in it because she was very weak in math and that I knew more than her, and it was embarrassing to her.  She even told them she often went home crying after school because of how she felt with me in the class.

To which I say, "Sister Charlene, why didn't you just talk to me?  I could have been your greatest ally instead of something that bothers you so that you have to destroy?"  Why the hell couldn't she have talked to me after class?  Other teachers in later years kept me off their ass by giving me extra work to do that was actually interesting at times, or had me give private tutoring to those in the class who were struggling.  But instead of explaining to me that I have to hold my questions until after school, (I would have been totally willing to if she had only asked) and talk to me then, she has to shoot me down in front of the class in a way I cannot forget over 45 years later.

Anyway, this was the first time I became fearful of authority figures.  Not because of their power or their will, but because of their random behavior.  Often in school I didn't know why I was in trouble so I kept getting into trouble.  And of course I dared not ask, "what did I do wrong," because then they punish me twice as much.

Of course I have raised my own children to detect and correctly deal with these sorts of weaknesses in teachers, and they are thriving.  All six of them become teacher's pets in pretty much every class.  I teach them there are two things to be dealt with; the subject matter at hand, and the human game that involves everybody's feelings.  And they are currently in the process of taking over the world.   Grin


Quote
What happens is that you feel threatened by the possibility of a debate, and at the ready comes your need to prove your point.
But you forget, if they have a problem with how you feel...isn't that more like feeling threatened by your feelings?
Easily say, i am sorry you feel threatened by how i feel about this particular topic, but i stand firm on how i feel.
If they get like a bully, then apologize for their feeling such discomfort at you expressing your feelings.
(and end the discussion...do not debate, or prove your point unless there is no threat or need to apologize

Hard to do at first...it is WAY easier in a planned situation...but practice makes it all easier, and becomes your re-programming!

IMHO


Here's the thing.  I NEVER asserted my feelings over other people's.  In fact, my best friend Gary would kind of decide what we did and how we felt about things, and I'd go along because I liked his choices.  But since I went the technical route to the exclusion of the mystical route, I literally had no idea that other people are motivated by feelings, not information.  This made no sense to me, and so as I got older I just had to keep distance from people because they are erratic and chaotic in their behavior, at least they seem that way to this technical machine that was my mind.

But that said, I have no problem asserting facts over what other people claim to be facts but I know them to be wrong.  In my fact-centered world, there often is a right and wrong; it isn't a matter of opinion.  If a teacher asks you how many eggs in a dozen eggs and you say 12, you're right and if the teacher marks it wrong and says it's 10, then she's wrong.  Period.  If a teacher asks my opinion, I give my opinion, and it's debatable.  But when I'm asked for an answer and I give the only correct answer, it is not debatable.

It wasn't until high school that I saw teachers accepting corrections from students, and in college it was routine.  The teacher expected everyone to be following and if the teacher misses a step the kids had better notice.  I had some teachers that would occasionally make a mistake on purpose just to see if the class was paying attention.

Alan
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2012, 06:22:30 AM »

Sister Charlene...

A woman, frustrated, and not aware of the impact on her class. I was told, if any teacher yells, that they have lost control and respect of the class. Some teachers believe that yelling is how they get controle...but you can tell a nun never had children to not know this. Parenting can teach you this.



Amen!

Similar thing with some priests I think.  Did you know the Bible says that bishops should be married so they can learn to run a family?  I don't know where it is but I think it's funny!   Cheesy

Alan
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2012, 06:27:08 AM »

So, in a nut shell, God put you there so that it became an importance in parenting.
You literally taught your children differently because of it. That is the mystery.

Lana
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« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2012, 06:28:14 AM »


It had nothing to do with my opinion.  I had to do with the fact that I was right and she was wrong.  If I had put 4-3 is 1, and she said it's wrong it's really 17, well, that's how obviously she was wrong.  All I asked was why she marked my paper wrong and she got angry and hostile and then I got defensive because it was the first time in my life I'd seen an adult act totally irrationally.  I had no idea what the hell was wrong with asking why my correct answer got marked off, but it ended up with her fuming at me and sending me to the principal's office.


I'm actually in the midst of going through one of these right now. One where I am 100% factually correct and I'm being looked at like I have two heads for refusing to back down on that. I'm being undermiined by the very people who should be supporting my point and am about ready to just quit and move out to the lake. I've had enough of being hung out to dry and being punished for trying to improve things while people exercising bad behavior get rewarded for it.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
Alan
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« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2012, 06:34:36 AM »


It had nothing to do with my opinion.  I had to do with the fact that I was right and she was wrong.  If I had put 4-3 is 1, and she said it's wrong it's really 17, well, that's how obviously she was wrong.  All I asked was why she marked my paper wrong and she got angry and hostile and then I got defensive because it was the first time in my life I'd seen an adult act totally irrationally.  I had no idea what the hell was wrong with asking why my correct answer got marked off, but it ended up with her fuming at me and sending me to the principal's office.


I'm actually in the midst of going through one of these right now. One where I am 100% factually correct and I'm being looked at like I have two heads for refusing to back down on that. I'm being undermiined by the very people who should be supporting my point and am about ready to just quit and move out to the lake. I've had enough of being hung out to dry and being punished for trying to improve things while people exercising bad behavior get rewarded for it.


John, sounds like it's time for AES consulting services ... the two of us in one place will far exceed critical mass.  Our brains will then explode, raining down precious bits to those who sorely need them, as manna from heaven.  As for us, hell those brains weren't doing anything useful for us anyway, eh?  Grin

Alan
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2012, 06:42:40 AM »

Lana,

Another thing I want to say about the need to be right.

Last year, for Lent I even advertised this, but my penance was to fast from having to be right for all of Lent.

It changed my life dramatically.

Rather than get into detail, I want to show you a TV show I saw yesterday that freaked me out.  I could be that guy in the booth at the end.  I would love to live my life doing that sort of work!  His clients are like kookballs, but I see them very openly now.  I see why he doesn't give them answers but basically echoes back what they say, or asks questions to open them up?

So if you want to see a bit of how I see myself NOW, it's a bit like that guy.

"The Booth at the End:  The Rules of the Game."  http://www.hulu.com/watch/389374

Alan
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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