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Finding God as a Concrete Thinker

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.


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.

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