Circumstances change your attitude.
I was sitting in my swing in the back yard yesterday enjoying the beautiful day and watching the birds as they courted, pecked the trees, and sang. It was heart warming to view the creation. Then a robin flew over to the tree above my head and I said no, don't crap on my head. I got to thinking of how circumstances can make you view things so differently. Had the bird crapped on my head I would have disliked birds very much right then.
I thought of my dog, how loving she is while sitting in my lap, but how different I feel when she craps on the rug.
And how warm and loving I feel when my wife and I are making love, but how it changes when she tells me how stupid and lazy I am(Even if it is true).
And what about my grandchildren when they are cuddled in my lap they are so precious, but when they are running through the house yelling and going through my personal stuff, you feel a little different.
When you are one of those who are born again and the preacher is saying hallelujah and praise God and I KNOW I'm headed for heaven and you feel so emotional, but if you don't believe you are saying what a bunch of bull.
So it seems that your contentment and happiness may depend on the circumstances or attitude at the moment, or I'm I all wrong?
I really think you have to balance your life between the two circumstances in everything except religion, here Christ may have said some truth, you can't be luke warm, you are either hot or cold, or does this apply to life in general?
Letting my mind wonder,
I agree, your attitude and current circumstances affect how you feel at any given time. For example, I used to think:"how could anyone ever leave God's org? I can understand drifting away, etc.. but to leave and (shudder) turn apostate!" I simply could not imagine it.
Then my circumstances changed, and many years of repressed doubts and inconsistencies added up, my "faith" was literally blown out of the water. And not because I did anything wrong or different, at the time still making every effort to do everything "Gods' way". And guess what? It wasn't working. And I learned the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.
So I had two choices. Keep doing things the same way, and getting nowhere, or opening my mind to the slightest possibility that what I was doing wasn't the right thing, or even really Gods' way, for that matter. And once you crack open that door of possibilities, you can't go back. So now I'm free, and much happier.
As to being religious or having a particular faith, yes I agree, you either have it or you don't. I don't think there's a lot of middle ground there. Now, belonging to a certain religion or being spiritual is an entirely different matter. Lots of gray areas. I for one do not belong to any religious org. and never will again, but am I a spiritual person? Yes, I am. As a matter of fact I'm a better person without the religious restrictions and predjudices clouding my mind.
Thanks for sharing your "wandering thoughts". Sometimes we wander into good territory:)
So it seems that your contentment and happiness may depend on the circumstances or attitude at the moment...
Enjoy the posts everyone. Ken, you may be interested in reading about Taoist philosophy, you can start with the Tao Te Ching. Some of the things it says like the contrast of opposites are reflected in the gospels, like "he that is hungry will become full" etc. but just from a more philosophical standpoint. I think that when you've accepted that there are highs and lows in life, then you can become truly happy. It helps to laugh at yourself too. A friend in school who used to be a witness opened up his sandwich and a bird crapped right in there. Now, of course that didn't happen to me, but I think it would be pretty funny. :-)