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  1. MFBukowski and I have had conversations in the past hereabouts on the subject of JSJr's and Mormonism's unique ability to anticipate modern philosophical thought. The Late XVIIIth-Early XIXth Century poet, playwright, and thinker Schiller advised his hypothetical philosopher king to pursue through aesthetics the worthy goal of transcending matter and mind in order to become a creator through play [Spieltrieb]. JSJr taught that we are, at our most fundamental, both in our prior life, our present life, and in our life to come, demiurgical beings. We once helped to create the world we now live in. We seek to continue on to be creators with and for G-d in the hereafter. We are to create in partnership with G-d, as He communicates TRVTH in our hearts and in our minds, an abundant life here. It is the creation of that abundant life that I wish to explore in this thread, and all are welcome to offer what they wish, so long as it's on topic. It occurred to me reading Alma 34:37, which is connected to and of a kind with Philippians 2:12-13, that "working out our salvation" is just another way of saying we are to create that abundant life here. Now, yes, there's the often confusing "fear and trembling" [phobos kai tromos] which suggests the attitude we should bring to the work of our creation of our lives. Let's get this at least partway out of our way, however. That is a paraphrase of Psalm 2:11, which states: "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling." Cf. Psalms 55:5. The "fear" in the Hebrew [which is also translated in the Septuagint as phobos], is more in the nature of "respect" and "awe," rather than terror, and the way that "trembling" is presented in the Psalm is likewise not to be understood as "shaking in fear" as used, but rather in excitement and joy. We are thus to "work out our salvation" with respect for G-d, standing in awe of Him, but with great joy to the point of trembling. As MFB never tires of pointing out, our ability to perceive the world around us, the phenomena we encounter and, to a certain extent, even ourselves [please keep Freud out of this], depends upon our senses communicating data to our minds and hearts. We can know nothing except as filtered through our perceptions and colored by our experiences. Thus we in a sense create the world by taking in our perceptions of it, making sense of those perceptions by employing our native abilities and our experience. Our salvation, I argue, we create "work out" in the same way. The key to making our lives abundant, however, is in that Hebrew/Greek idiom phobos kai tromos. Only by having a correct attitude towards G-d, a correct conception of Him and relationship with Him, can we hope to live in abundant joy to the point of dancing naked on the beach, having created a world where such joy is an everyday thing. Men are, after all, that they might have joy. Have at it!
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