We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Deep within each of us dwells a bottomless abyss, into which we pour an endless train of insufficient and destructive detritus. We seek to fill the abyss with material goods; with drugs, or alcohol, or food, or sex; we seek relationships, hoping through them to fill that void — then destroy those relationships when they fail to accomplish what they are utterly incapable of fulfilling. Neither power, nor money, nor eminence, nor the esteem of others will suffice. Only to be chosen by God; to be accepted, fully, unconditionally, eternally by Him: this alone fills the despondent destitution within — for that emptiness was made to be filled with naught but God Himself.
I understand what Dr. Bob is saying in his post, but surely not all foolish desires are displaced and misplaced yearnings for God...or are they?
Ephesians 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
I'd say "yes, they are". As the poet said, You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
“Great art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is thy power, and infinite is thy wisdom.” And man desires to praise thee, for he is a part of thy creation; he bears his mortality about with him and carries the evidence of his sin and the proof that thou dost resist the proud. Still he desires to praise thee, this man who is only a small part of thy creation. Thou hast prompted him, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee (Augustine, Confessions 1:1:1).
Sorry, I gotta go with the Self to fill this hole, so sort of a Nietzschean perspective, but with a big difference.
I believe in God - but not the White Hair Guy in the Sky. Those that use Him to fill the void are simply replacing a former, real parent figure with an imagined one that never leaves them, never rejects them. It works for a lot of people in Christianity, but produces more problems than it solves in some religions (think Islam, or even Old Testament Judaism, where God is angry and pissed most of the time, wanting men - always men - to destroy cities, peoples or other religions).
The problem is that most people do not have the discipline, strength, or Will to fill that void. I accept Tillch's argument that Will eventually comes from God, so God comes into the picture, but not as the "thing" that fills the void, but as the Spark that creates Will that supports the Ego that creates the Self that fills the Void.
The difference is between creating a dependency and becoming an individual.
It might be fair to say that ultimately all desires are desire for God. But some are cryingly obvious, as Bob notes, while others go through meandering paths leading through every aspect of humanity and desire. I don't know how one would give evidence that these are, in fact, desires for God if one does not start from the conclusion.
It happens to be something that I believe is in fact true. But that is more from experience, and eliminating the other alternatives as not fully satisfying, than from a positive argument.
Assistant Village Idiot
Is it possible, AVI, that the only way to define a concept/Person as vast as God is to define Him by negatives?
I would make a related claim, that deepening understanding of God is often "revelation by subtraction" as Michael Novack says. (Much reference to St. John of the Cross and the two recent Teresas on that). The creeds include positive statements, but also rely on negatives to define: "Begotten, not made," for example.
CS Lewis touches on this humorously but wisely in the "Imagine a Mystical Limpet" section of Miracles. Hmm. I like that so much I'm going to post it on my site.