Finding God as a Concrete Thinker

Updated on November 29, 2018
asdianspiritualis profile image

As an apathetic INTJ Enneatype 5W4, I am a concrete thinker who questions everything. It's in my nature to do so. I question that, too.

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Concrete Thinking vs Abstract Thinking

The mind is a fickle thing.

It is layered, it remembers more than it lets on, and intentionally forgets what it deems as irreverent. Thoughts, dreams, and memories all exist within the depths of the human mind, the three of them tied together in a way that delves deep into the very nature of what it means to be a human "being." A human is a being of earth and water, of blood and bone, that contains an immortal star called a soul. This soul is tied into emotion, into dreams and thoughts and memories, and these things are fused and inseparable.

The world, however, is viewed differently from one person to the next. The way the world is seen, how it is experienced, centers on the type of thinking a person uses and the level of awareness they have over their own fate. It is, without a doubt, a very interesting concept to delve into - the abstract mind vs the concrete.

The differences between abstract thinking and concrete thinking are as clear as day to night, yet, for some, can be hard to separate. The ways these two minds see the world are different. The way they relate to their surroundings and others are also very different. Which, in a way, makes this a rather interesting topic.

How does one tell the two apart, someone may ask. The answer is simple.

Here's A Quote: 'People Living In Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Stones.'

  1. Concrete: Throwing Stones in Glass Houses equals Broken Glass
  2. Abstract: People who have faults of their own shouldn't criticize others

This is a case of 'taking things literally,' something which I, myself, do. I have for a very long time. I've been told, many times, I take what someone says to me exactly as it is put. So, in this case, if someone told me, "Brittany, don't go throwing stones in glass houses," I would, quite literally, answer, without thinking, "Why would I throw stones in a glass house?"

It would take me a moment to realize they're meaning the metaphor and not being serious. Last year, I had a family reunion. My cousin had a birthday some time before and my aunt made her a cake. On it was slices of mandarin oranges. I was handed one and, not really thinking about it, I asked, "What is this?"

My sister said (who was standing next to my aunt): "Oh, that's just some baker's sugar shaped and painted like an orange. Aunt Belinda did a good job."

I took her literally. My aunt was staring at me the entire time. Then, as my sister laughed to herself, she said, "That's an actual orange. Not candy."

Concrete thinking, there.

Another Example: A Person Sees A Dog/Cat/Animal

  1. Concrete: Thinks about the animal in question
  2. Abstract: Thinks about the animal at large or different breeds of that animal

Examples Continued: Teamwork

  1. Concrete: Focus on the strengths of each person to get the job done
  2. Abstract: Knows the strengths but also relationships and how they impact the group as a whole. They pull ideas from past experience from various parts of life or different, unrelated jobs to get the work done without overlooking the weaknesses other teammates may have

The main difference between abstract thinking and concrete thinking is applied in how it is used. Concrete thinking is physical and within reach or sight. There's a clear path from Point A to Point Be. Abstract thinking, on the other hand, is able to take emotions and insight (like how two people are subtly flirting {something a concrete thinker isn't likely to see}) and apply it to the things they are doing.

In this manner, one can say concrete thinking is related to action. The metaphor about the glass house is a good example. Without explanation, it can be taken on a literal level. However, if directed to think of a person as a 'glass house' and why a person who is a 'glass house' shouldn't throw stones (at other people or themselves) can be understood on a deeper level.

Which makes the jump into faith and god and religion an interesting journey. The very concept of faith and god is about as abstract as abstract can get, but, when handled with care, and with plenty of ground to work with, even a concrete thinker can understand, and utilize, something as abstract of 'faith' and 'god.'

Understanding God As A Concrete Thinker

As a concrete thinker, the likelihood of taking anything on a basis of faith, without a speck of proof or experience to back it up, is unlikely. Concrete thinkers are prone to questioning everything. The world is divided. Everything has its place, its purpose, its use, and the world functions all the better for it. That's simply how it works.

Concrete thinkers, such as myself and others who share my style of thinking, don't question the way things are laid out. We know gravity works because we feel it each and every day. We don't question that. We know we can breathe air because plants provide it for us, and we, in turn, provide the plants with what they need in order to survive. Children learn this in school, at an early age, and this isn't a fact that is questioned or disputed. It is, simply, The Truth.

Throw God, Faith, and Religion at us, and there's a good chance we're going to stare you down like you're an idiot. The analytical mind doesn't do this because they are trying to be rude. They aren't coldly staring someone down because they find are cruel or mean. In most cases, these curious, ever-questioning minds are in the process of trying to figure out how anyone can blindly believe in something they cannot interact with or experience on some level.

Many concrete thinkers have the same experience with ghosts and spirits until they have an encounter with one. After that, they spend a great deal of time trying to figure out what had happened, why it happens, and then delve into theories and ideas and possibilities without finding any clear answer. It happens. There's no getting around that. Everyone hits that stumbling block at one point in their life.

With God and Faith, the pill's harder to swallow.

It is difficult to believe in something for the sake of believing in something. My own mind struggles to grasp that concept. I have experienced ghosts, have seen the way they work, and I know they exist. It's impossible to dismiss a ghost's presence when you're sitting in your room and a candle lights itself on fire. It is equally impossible to ignore something calling out your name late at night when only you and a friend are home - and the friend is just as surprised.

Understanding what God is, as a concrete thinker, isn't an easy task. However, if one stops and looks at the world around us, and if we understand the Law that states that nothing can be made from nothing, and that no energy in this world can be destroyed (only reshaped or changed), then one realizes that something had created all we see around us. Something created gravity. Something created the universe. Something prompted the 'Big Bang' and jump-started the creation of the the great, endless void known as outer space.

From the mind of a concrete thinker, God, then, is a force of creation. Perhaps it is the very thing behind the Big Bang, which would make God a massive entity made of energy and dark matter and cosmic forces. In many religions, God, as a singular force or as the many gods and goddesses of history, are often said to be 'part' of all things. They created everything and are, as a byproduct, a part of all they made

With this perspective, the phrases 'man was made in the image of God' takes on a meaning that's abstract in nature. Humans have no way of knowing what God or the Gods looked like. The books simply state that is how it is, but when looked at from a deeper level of thinking, an 'image' could be a reflection. An 'image' could be a recreation, something made so the original isn't forgotten.

In this manner, one could say it isn't the human who is the 'image' made in the likeness of God. It is the being within the human that is made in 'God's Likeness.'

The soul, not the body, is a creative force which cannot be seen. It lurks in the flesh, fills the body with a current of energy that can be felt, to a degree. It is part of the body but separate, the bodies we wear like puppets pulled by mental strings. It is, after all, subconscious commands that make the body work. These commands are order which we made from a long time ago, in our earliest years, and the way we think and talk is a byproduct of history for we learned how to think, to talk, from those who came before us.

Which makes me ponder where each language came from. The Bible has an interesting concept of the 'City of Babble,' where all people had, prior to its creation, spoken one language. Then, suddenly, they were sent out to different lands, and they were "given" different tongues so communication wasn't easy anymore.

Do I believe this? No, not really. I don't think the human race began with solely two people (Adam and Eve) because, truthfully, incest breaks people. In all likelihood, if there is a God that created humans, then this entity created many humans, all over the planet, in various areas where, at first, they couldn't reach one another.

Perhaps the souls existed first and the bodies came second. This is theory, at this point, but it is interesting to ponder. Something made everything we know of, some great force in the universe (or multiverse) blew apart the heart of the universe (and, perhaps, that is where 'God' resides) and created everything in a very chaotic surge of creative inspiration.

As a concrete thinker, that is how I understand God. Does this view line up with any faith or religion? I haven't studied them enough to say for sure. Do I think there's some kind of connection between religions and the various 'Gods' they have? I do, without a moment of doubt. I also think that, in the end, the 'grand picture' is far more complicated, and complex, and utterly transparent, than we realize.

Finding God In All Things

Here's the thing: if God (in whatever form we image) created everything, then we can find God in all things around us. Look at the laptop we use to place down these articles. Think about how the Internet works. Then think about how electricity works. It is, without a doubt, mind-boggling and complex. On the same hand, it is also made readily available, and simple, for humans and their limited comprehension to use.

Go outside and take in the sights. See the grass growing alongside the sidewalks, see the trees rising into the sky. Watch as birds build their nests, as cats and dogs play in the yard, as mother walk their children down a sidewalk. All of that was created by some force beyond human understanding. Each of those things also have sparks of the original source in them, some kind of energy that fuels the body and gives it life.

There is a power within each of us that gives us the ability to think, to reason, to contemplate. We have no way of knowing if other creatures, or if the Earth itself, has this same ability. We can assume as much, however, because all these creatures can feel pain, they can show love, they can feel joy and fear and sadness. They can remember things that have happened, can feel caution after having suffered through abuse.

In the fires we raise to give us warmth, there is power.

In the waters that sustain us, there is power.

It is easily seen how everything is connected. When we eat meat or plants from the earth, the energy they had transfers to us (thus energy is never destroyed, ,only transferred or changed). The water we drink comes from rivers and springs. When we sweat, water is pushed through our skin and it evaporates into the air. The sky is filled with water drawn from the oceans and rivers and lakes and ponds, and, yes, from the sweat of our skin. It is recycled and altered, over and over, before it is cast to the ground once again to be used and consumed once more.

Energy is the byproduct of God's creative force.

Energy is also, oddly enough, the driving force behind magic.

So, yes, God, or the Maker, is in all things. The Creative Master, Maker of the Cosmos, forger of worlds, creator of all things animate and not, exists within each and every person. This force lies in the earth, in the sky, in the flames and raging rivers. It exists in the grass, in the trees, in the laylines crisscrossing underneath the planet. All things draw from the Maker. All things give back, in a process that was made long ago and can be seen and analyzed through the various functions of life itself in all Kingdoms of Animals (including humans).

God As An Artist: An Ending Note

For as long as there have been humans, humans have questioned the Maker.

They have debated the existence. They have watched the world and how it grows, seen horrors rise and fall that show that what destructive powers we posses. When it comes to God, the Maker, there is no doubt that God/Maker is an artist. We simply have to look around us, see the world and every awe-inspiring crevice it contains, and anyone who isn't blind can see the greatest masterpiece ever created: our world and all that exists within it.

Even those who are blind can find this beauty in the sounds they can hear, in the things they feel, in the food they taste. God is a Creator. God is an Artist. God is a force which creates, continuously.

I cannot say if one religion is right over the other.

I cannot say if any of them are wrong.

Truthfully, each religion is right in their own manner because every religion, every belief around this world, has their own way to understanding, of finding, the Maker in a way that supports their way of life in the world they grew up in. One person's view may not be the same as their neighbor, but that doesn't mean it's any less valid at any point of time.

Questions & Answers

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      • Abdullah Askari profile image

        Abdullah Askari 

        2 weeks ago from Lahore, Pakistan

        Its always pleasure for me too.

      • asdianspiritualis profile imageAUTHOR

        Britta Nicole Miller 

        2 weeks ago from Earth

        Religion has its uses, certainly.

        I think the world would be a far darker place without it. I can't say which religion or path is the right one, no one can with any certainty, but we can all agree that it, at the very least, provides a foundation for the world to rest upon that can, perhaps, shine a way to a world that isn't filled with tragedy and darkness. Or maybe that's just me?

        Either way, there is much to be said on a topic like this. Thank you, Muhammad Abdullah Askari, for your input and your conversation. It's good to see that people have an interest in a topic like this.

        Who is willing to discuss it civilly.

        That's always a good thing, in my book. So, thank you. Again.

      • Abdullah Askari profile image

        Abdullah Askari 

        2 weeks ago from Lahore, Pakistan

        Purpose of religion is to provide answers to questions we are discussing and many other. It gives purpose, an explanation, an end, a sense of right path, keep people in there own control. I cant go back but it does help people.

      • asdianspiritualis profile imageAUTHOR

        Britta Nicole Miller 

        2 weeks ago from Earth

        Questioning the things around us is a good idea. I'm in the US, so there isn't too much issue with beliefs. I do have different beliefs than those around me, but it isn't as bad as it could be.

        I think religion does serve a purpose. It does give a sense of purpose, that there's meaning to life (as the thought of not having a purpose is depressing beyond thought). Hard work to improve ourselves and aide those around us, it's a noble goal. It is also a hard one, as many people aren't all that willing to be helped. Sad, but it's the truth.

        The history and geography of the areas each religion was founded also play a role. Many of these faiths had turbulent beginnings and it can be seen within the works of the religious texts. There's good in them, a setup for people to use to improve themselves and an idea that if we're on this world with a purpose (as teachers, educators, artists, or whatever else there may be), then there is a reason and intent behind all we do. Perhaps it is simply the thought that we are paving the road for our children and their children.

        It's hard to say, with certainty, but the thought does persist. After all, what is the real purpose of religion and faith? Outside of the goal of giving humans a reason to live, to get up and go on with life, to live as well as they can...what's the purpose?

        You keep giving me more and more to think about.

      • Abdullah Askari profile image

        Abdullah Askari 

        2 weeks ago from Lahore, Pakistan

        I would consider my self more like abstract thinker.

        I just wanted to say that for concrete thinker who is born with some religion it is more easy to keep up with that instead of questioning it.

        Let me give you an example I have tried to convince three people (muslims) to question what they believe and analyze it through history and logic. In all cases they might have rises to upper mental level but with depression and sense of uselessness. Because if there is no one or religion is just man made what is the purpose of this hardwork and race.

        I dont know where you are and how are conditions. But here everyone is working(studying) to get at least some minimum standard life. If there is no God no religion no purpose why should even struggle.

        You might not agree with all these, but I have observed due to those 3 people that dont grow seed of questioning in mind of some religious person in a 3rd world country.

        When I started it I was also thinking that it would help them, they will get rid of ridiculous religious concept and will become better persons. It does not mean that they leave the religion but were sure that its no as much great as it should be.(or what they were thinking)

      • asdianspiritualis profile imageAUTHOR

        Britta Nicole Miller 

        2 weeks ago from Earth

        How would you suggest a concrete thinker to believe in religion when the very concept of it isn't all that easy to handle (aside from what I've already mentioned in the article, that is)? Motivation and happiness are hard to come by when the mind works against abstract thought. My own mind is that way, though I have managed to work with it than against it.

        Would you consider yourself abstract or concrete, if you don't mind me asking?

      • Abdullah Askari profile image

        Abdullah Askari 

        2 weeks ago from Lahore, Pakistan

        About the religion for a Concrete Thinker, he should believe in religion otherwise its very difficult to get some motivation and live happily.

      • asdianspiritualis profile imageAUTHOR

        Britta Nicole Miller 

        2 weeks ago from Earth

        Trying to convince someone that ghosts do, in fact, exist is a very difficult thing to do. I've had my share of that conversation. It goes one of two ways - either they agree or they think I'm crazy. The second is the most likely result, but sometimes the first does come around.

        I can see your point. If 'God' exists, in the manner so many people think (the loving, caring father), then you would think he'd/she'd/it would take an active role. There are many people who don't believe in a 'God' in the traditional sense.

        On a personal level, I see the term 'god' as a placeholder. A job description, really. I would say this entity that is called a god does create things, or had, at one point, created the world around us, but it is more content to sit back and observe. Many faiths state humans were given free will, therefore god intervening would be taking that away from us in some manner.

        Hard to say.

        I'm more of an omnist. I think there's truth in all religions, as in they are all correct in some manner, but I also think they're all wrong at the same time. I am unsure if that makes any sense. Do let me know.

        In the end, we are responsible for ourselves and those we take care of. A parent has a duty to ensure their children are healthy. Proper food is a must. Too many parents let their kids eat tons of junk food instead of focusing on a healthy, rich diet that'll help the child grow and function as they age.

        Granted, some children are naturally born with a few health issues. I was born about five weeks early. That's had an impact on me. Granted, most wouldn't know I was five weeks early considering how tall I am. Humans are interesting creatures in general. I am curious, however, how atheists think and view the world. That's another topic I think I'm gonna research. That's something I don't quite have a grasp on.

        Thank you for your time. It's been delightful.

      • Abdullah Askari profile image

        Abdullah Askari 

        2 weeks ago from Lahore, Pakistan

        I would just want to answer to the point that 'art has dark sides....'. Then why we consider it(world or god) so divine and perfect. It has flaws and breaking points like if we have created it. Why so much hype to his greatness.

        Lets consider your example of cancer in child. Ok! this could be by careless parents or by person himself in his food etc. If this was some mistake by his parents than where is God in this process when it is all dependent on our own deeds. Do you want to say that he created the world and its environment and then left it like that to observe. Which also mean he is not supervising what we are doing just observing or maybe even not observing.

        I have no objection to point this world might be created by someone(intentionally or unintentionally), like your point of ghosts was too strong (I always stuck here when trying to convince someone). But the point which is more important in my opinion whether he is concerned about this world too or not. Because I think (you might not agree) that if he exist but have nothing to do with this world there is no point for us to care for him either. So far i have reached to point that 80% he does not exist, 15% he exist but dont care.

        Thanks for your time.

      • asdianspiritualis profile imageAUTHOR

        Britta Nicole Miller 

        2 weeks ago from Earth

        It's a good point, and it certainly has me thinking over the nature of the world we live in. Thanks for the valuable input. I enjoyed reading what you had to say on this topic.

      • asdianspiritualis profile imageAUTHOR

        Britta Nicole Miller 

        2 weeks ago from Earth

        On my own end, I would say that, yes, something had created our world. The earth itself is a massive thing with dozens of different ecosystems in it. From the highest mountains of our world to the realms of the lowest reaches of the ocean, there is life. There are creatures in both these environments that cannot live anywhere else but where they are naturally found.

        As for the bacterial colony? Those are made by man, yes. The bacteria itself has always existed, however. They're unicellular microorganisms, and they thrive and exist in the world. They can be harvested, however, and studied much like the rest of the world we live in. While these organisms are rather destructive (they are the ones responsible for a lot of sicknesses and diseases), the fact they can live in environments humans couldn't is short of amazing. However, there are also good bacteria that helps and aides in a healthy body.

        And, yeah, if these lifeforms are on earth, then I would say that, somewhere in the universe, there would be another planet with similar lifeforms. It might not be the same ones we know on earth because this force of creation isn't likely going to just pop out identical copies of earth across the universe. Unless it's a sort of lab trial, seeing which "Earth" lives the best when introduced to certain biological and environmental conditions. An interesting thought, that one.

        I do agree that art, as a whole, does have its faults. I use that area of thought to point out that some of the most breathtaking things in this world, they are things which the world flock to. The Seven Wonders of the World, for instance. Each of those locations has a long, rich history.

        The Great Wall of China towers over the land it divides, and it stretches over great distances. This was manmade, yes. Made by the people of the world long ago. The materials it was made of came from the Earth. I don't know if you'll agree with this, but that Great Wall is a work of art. The history around it, it's bloody and long and brutal. It's built on the graves of many who designed it, the ground thick with blood. There's no way to not recognize the many scarifies that were made to create it. To look the opposite way, to ignore the death and blood involved, would be the basis of an ignorance and foolishness.

        Humans, themselves, are similar to machines. Our bodies are made of various organs, all with their own functions and roles to play. Throw a wrench into the network and the rest of the structure will suffer for it. I know that all well enough.

        Cancer is a horrid thing. I just lost my uncle to it, and my mom has Pancreatic Cancer (the same that took the life of her brother). My grandmother had breast cancer. My grandfather bone cancer. On one side of my family, everyone's had their gallbladder removed at one point in their life. From what the doctor said, there's a good chance I'll have to get mine removed sometime soon if the way my stomach's been aching is any indication.

        Cancer is horrible. There's no getting around that. It's a monster of an organism, about 15% of it being caused by bacteria or some virus. Other cancers are due to the way people live (such as drinking too much, consuming too much sugar, inactivity, among other things) and the way they go through their day-to-day lives. Cancer itself is a demon among organisms, something that lurks underneath and latches onto the unsuspecting when their bodies and their biological structures are compromised.

        It doesn't happen to everyone. Children who get cancer, that's tragic. It's horrible. A great number of those children, the fault of their condition does lie upon their parents. Not all of them, but many.

        Cancer itself has skyrocketed over the years. Back sixty years ago, one-of-ten people would have cancer. Now, it's one-in-three. This is due to the fact that the stuff we put into our bodies should not be going into our bodies. Our food has chemicals in it. The grounds our cattle graze upon are treated with pesticides, which is then placed within the cattle (thus, contaminating the meat, which we eat). Pollution fouls our oceans and sickens the lifeforms living in it (again, which a great deal of it we eat).

        Yes, there is something machine-like to a lot of our world. However, machines are also built by people. There are some circles, for instance, who would say time doesn't actually exist. Everything that happens throughout the day happens all at once, like how, right now as we're discussing this rather difficult topic, someone is getting in a car crash. Someone's heart is failing. Someone is being murdered. An infant is being born. That's all happening at the exact same moment in various parts of the world.

        I would say everyone does have the right to have their fair share of life, regardless of what's going on. No one should go hungry. Thousands of dollars of food are thrown out of many restaurants, food that could go to the hungry and homeless. People who have lost limbs due to war, they should be able to come home to a place that will take care of them.

        War itself should simply stop because it doesn't do anything but cause more hatred and bloodshed. An old man should be able to sit next to a fire. A child should be able to play in her/his yard without fear of being snatched away.

        The world itself is full of wonder and mystery, as are all the creations on it. However, as you said, there are parts of it that are dark and sinister, there is sorrow and pain and tragedy existing alongside the beauty and dreams.

        And these creations, both the bold and the beautiful and the dark and the horrid (as there are those who intentionally make horrible, horrible art) are subject to the test of time, to the elements of the world. I would say nothing is meant to last (hence why humans aren't immortal), and everything is in a state of decay. Everything has a melting point and, when the temperatures get high enough, no one can deny we are all made of the same stuff.

        Thanks for stopping by, Muhammad Abdullah Askari. You certainly bring forward a lot of interesting points and made me think quite a bit. I will, however, be exploring the thought of "God" as a scientist, now. That's a scenario that's doing round in my head. Happy reading and may you be healthy and happy.

      • Abdullah Askari profile image

        Abdullah Askari 

        2 weeks ago from Lahore, Pakistan

        Last para was just the point I have reached yet.

      • Abdullah Askari profile image

        Abdullah Askari 

        2 weeks ago from Lahore, Pakistan

        For whole of your discussion or point we have to accept your assumption that as everything is created by someone then this world must be created by someone too. Just assume a bacterial colony would you call that a creation or just a thing formed due to environment. There is no creator of that thing but it exists. So there is a creator of everything but its not always an intentional person or force. It could be anything. Want some logical ground just go through your concept that if God has created that he should have created these lifeforms on various planets.

        As for your concept of masterpiece and I am sure that you are going to go for that again after my concept of accidental creation. Just imagine this world of injustice and suffering where no one is created equal(born with some disease, some financial issue, some family issue and also some without any of them). You consider this a masterpiece where a child is born with cancer(or any fatal disease) in a poor family why because his/her parent has some genetic issues. Dont you think its like machine when you have some issue in the line product will always be contaminated. If that was masterpiece dont you think that everyone should have a fair share of life for a standard period of time after which everything is on their struggle.

        So, not different then a machine. Like this masterpiece will melt down(will not be able to live on) because the temperatures are rising. Like a plastic doll looks perfect but nothing but plastic inside.

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