I want all the readers of this blog to understand why I have chosen to share all of these thoughts with the public. My object is clear. My father was taken from me at the age of 19 in a very unorthodox manner. While sitting at a stoplight at a busy intersection, a school bus went out of control and took his life, along with another man's. This event has propelled me into a spiritual journey that probably doesn't resemble that of most 24 year old men. My father was a VERY wise man and a spiritual man, always thinking of how he could help the less fortunate and cognizant of the amazing miracle that is life. From a very young age I was introduced to as much information as he could expose me to. He was not biased or judgmental in any of his teachings nor did he encourage that behavior. He grew up in a strict Nazarene family. Upon growing older, he had many unanswered questions. Straying from the dogma of his childhood religion, he began exploring the universe from as many angles as he could. Knowledge became his religion and drove him. He was incessantly pursuing ways to better himself and to relate to less fortunate individuals. I'm the luckiest boy in the world to have had him as a father, which is why I never want his life to have been in vain. I believe in his philosophy and I am dedicated to sharpening the essence of it so that I can one day clearly present it to the world. For now, this blog is a collection of previously written reflections, essays and sentiments of mine regarding education, philosophy, religion and the pursuit of self improvement. Please read with an open mind and feel free to post ANY comments... Thank you.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Are we believing correctly? 5-1-07 with a 3/18/09 reflection


It seems so late right now, in the time for humans at least. 2007 is the furthest point in the history of Homo sapiens. No humans have ever carried this race as far as we have. At this point in time, we are the most advanced animals to have ever occupied this planet. Our minds are the most advanced that this race has ever seen.
For any given year, a person can say each one of these statements and they would all be true. These are powerful statements when you think about the veracity of them. My mind knows now more about the history of thought than Socrates did. I have lived a few thousand years later and been open to thousands of years of knowledge, all served to me in a little bowl for me to digest in my youth alone. It didn’t take me half as long to know what I know as it took a man in the year 1800 because how fast the rate of learning has been able to increase. Society stresses education more than anything and will not stop at anything to make learning a little easier. Are we teaching our youth all the right things though? It is one thing to advance in the use of technology, but to advance in the application of moral principles is another. The latter is of the utmost importance, yet are we stressing it enough and in the right ways? Have our brains advanced enough?
Although my brain might not be much more advanced than a brain in 1800, it is surely much more advanced than a brain in 2000 B.C. I understand so many more things about the world in general than an old wise man (perhaps in the time of Descartes), and I am 21 years old. It makes sense to claim that I have thought about more advanced ideas at age 21 than Descartes did at 21. If I can make his ideas understood to me, it can follow that I have mastered the technique of meditating, as Descartes calls it, at a much younger age than he, for he was an older man when he wrote the meditations. Even if my brain wasn’t more advanced in philosophy at a younger age than Descartes, it surely is in modern science. Humans have achieved so many remarkable things that Descartes could have never imagined. These ideas are omnipresent in the environment that I live in. They are made custom to me—almost second nature. This is a learned second nature.
Perhaps this learned second nature is imprinted overtime somehow on DNA, or it is just such that toddlers learn at such a faster rate than adults that complex actions are learned entirely by the child. Perhaps our limitations for learning at a young age are endless. It is hard getting what I am thinking on paper. It just seems so simple that it becomes hard to identify with words, more simple than words can explain if that’s possible. But of course its possible. Humans are always coming up with words to make explaining situations more simple.
In the year 2,000 A.D. there was no word for heliocentric, because a heliocentric model of the universe didn’t even exist, (model which shows that the sun is at the center of the universe rather than the Earth as Aristotle believed). Of course the idea of the earth being the center of the universe was impossible to explain at one point in the history of humans. At one point, there weren’t even any concepts of planets. Now that concept is imbedded in us from the moment we are toddlers. This is why it is apparent that the rate of learning has increased exponentially from rate that humans have learned at for any given time in history. Maybe it would be better to describe it as the quality of learning. What children learn today and take for common knowledge is of better “quality” than what humans took for common knowledge in the not so distant past. Common knowledge is always changing.
My brain understands now at age 21 more than what a master of philosophy understood in, (well, so not to be presumptuous), at least 2,000 B.C., and quite possibly even much later than that, say, 1800 A.D.. For even if I do not know as much as now at age 21 in 2007 than a scholar of philosophy in the year 1800, what I do know now didn’t take me as long to learn. And still there are things that I know more about than that man because what he knew was all that was available for him to know.
My brain hurts. It’s like I have an idea I am trying to get out and can only get it out bit by bit. I am afraid to check over what I have written for fear that it doesn’t make sense. For all I really want is to make sense of this world. It seems to be an innate desire in me. I cannot live with an explanation if I think there might possibly be a better one. It is the driver of my inquisitiveness. It is why when I read Descartes and Socrates that it is spiritual to me, like the Bible appears to be spiritual to Christians. I can learn much from the Bible and be moved spiritually, but I believe it is that way for all knowledge that allows me to gain a better understanding of life. I feel as if I am gaining actual knowledge when I open my mind up to all different schools of thought, not just knowledge about my beliefs. This gaining of knowledge of beliefs appears to be actual knowledge because it has provided a comfortable way of living for a couple thousand years at least now, but religion has existed since the beginning of man. At each stage in our race it seems that we have had a different set of religious values. At each stage they were considered to be just as true as and evil to go against as people believe modern values to be now. It is merely a pattern in human history and fairly easy to define once a person thinks about it.
Socrates was killed for believing something that the majority of the people around him didn’t believe. His beliefs had not become apparent to the rest of society yet. They hadn’t thought about it. So people, just like cells, have a natural tendency to eliminate organisms that go against what we know. The human body attacks foreign cells unconditionally, even in cases such as transplants where the foreign cells are there to help the person live. The cells do not care though, they were programmed to eliminate anything that is unrecognizable. They do not know better; cells do not have the capacity to understand that they should not attack other cells that are transplanted into the body, and that doing so would essentially lead to their own demise.
This was the case for Jesus, I believe. It is ignorant for humans to kill our most fearless leaders, but throughout history we have found many ways to do so. Jesus was necessary in the development of the human race. However, so are for people of today such as Martin Luther King. Racism is now looked upon negatively, as it should, but it took a man like him to help us all realize that. All throughout the timeline of our race we have had those who figured something out that was essential for the furthering of our race, and almost systematically some person or group of people have found ways to kill that person. People become so threatened when something they have believed for so long and based their lives around becomes questioned. Why do we let ourselves behave like cells, which have no brain? Even the most outrageous of beliefs, such as racism, are enough to cause a person to kill another person. The Civil War is the perfect example.
These important people in history are all people who have not been given sufficient enough answers as to how we can get along, either with each other or independently. They have been compelled to find answers at any cost. It is what is essential to our race, and any race really. We need people like Christ, King, Washington, Lincoln, etc., to influence those of us who are not fortunate enough to have figured out life’s most important lessons. It is people like this that are why we have come as far as we have. The majority of society doesn’t concern themselves with these issues, so it makes sense that we need leaders to help us understand. It seems to me that a majority of people are concerned with satisfying the senses—what Plato would refer to as “lovers of sights and sounds”—and this mentality lends our minds to seek eternal sensual satisfaction, or heaven. This motive is so often why people are driven to succumb to a certain doctrine: eternal salvation. When this desire is so strong that it leads one to cause harm to another, it has gone too far. What can we do to facilitate an environment where people can satisfy that hunger without the expense of other human souls? The most effective leaders are those that make concepts seem easy for the rest of us to understand.
Galileo was a genius for his time. He took the idea of the Earth being the center of the universe, and in the face of the Catholic church, brought down more logic and common sense on the notion than Aristotelian believers could bear. It was too much for the Catholic church; they were so threatened by an idea that directly contradicted what they took to be “the word of God” that they stopped at nothing to conceal Galileo’s work. The Vatican actually made Galileo confess that his writings on a heliocentric universe were heresy and made him publicly announce his research to be nonsense. I cannot understand the level of ignorance it must take for any person or group of people to have to treat a person like Galileo the way that he was treated. He was a modern genius and is responsible for the knowledge we know have of the universe. It is not to say that if the Catholic religion succeeded in killing Galileo and burning all his books, (which they failed to do so, his work leaked out for other seekers of knowledge to discover), that no other man would have done so. It is important to realize though that at some point, someone would have introduced the idea that the sun was the center of our solar system and I don’t doubt that he/she would have been treated with the same disrespect as Galileo. It must take a very small person, or someone very deeply insecure with their beliefs, (although they might exhibit a strong sense of faith prima facie), to try and rid the world of such a man like Galileo, or Socrates, or Jesus.
When will people catch on? For there are certainly people like that today who are so threatened by others yearn for the purest form of truth who would stop at nothing to keep such “truth” from being introduced into the rest of the world, no matter how revolutionary it may be. The most revolutionary ideas have no doubt, more often than not, gone against popular belief. The problem is that these beliefs are the foundation on which many people’s whole lives rest, so naturally they will defend it. I am not saying I don’t understand literally why people act in such a way; I don’t understand how they don’t see what they are doing and the problems that way of thinking causes. Prime example of today: the war in the Middle East. The Muslims are so brain washed that they will stop at nothing to kill people in the name of Allah. Christians are not better in a sense. For thousands of years they have killed people in the name of Jesus. Do we really think we are wise enough to know enough about our creator and the purpose of our lives that we can justify killing other human beings in the name of it? I cannot think of a single more ignorant act. YES, strive to behave like Jesus perhaps, he was no doubt a great man, but is it really relevant that you have to believe he was the son of God and rose again? What difference does it make? Those two prerequisites to becoming a “Christian” are however the most important.
To me, it seems to be intuitively irrelevant. Why does one need to believe such things out of this world to know that acting like a Christian is the way to live? Or at least a good enough way to live that it deserves examining. It seems like those at the top of the religion, the leaders, would see that many more people might be attracted to the teachings of Jesus, in the same way that people are attracted to the teachings of any leader in our past, scientific or theological. There are not prerequisites for learning about any other subject matter except the matter that is most important. Why does one have to have beliefs going into the religion in order for others to accept them and want to teach him more? And if a person does not possess these beliefs, how can anyone rightly claim to know that this specific person is going to hell? Or that when the “Judgment Day” comes all those who don’t believe will perish?
I would say that religious beliefs, or spiritual beliefs, are those that are most central to the core of anyone, assuming a person possesses such beliefs, (those who do not are probably turned off by the short-comings of those who have so valiantly tried). So why would those beliefs, the most important beliefs a human can have, require the most amount of faith? Why would we let ourselves believe something so important, yet based on the least amount of knowledge available? And for that matter, why should we choose or have chosen for us our religion as a child? For a subject of that importance, why shouldn’t we wait until the end of our life to choose what we believe to make the most sense, after we have experienced many situations and analyzed our emotions and perceptions to the fullest? When we are children, we are the most ignorant. How can we possibly be expected to follow a religious doctrine in that state? That seems to be a terrible injustice to our youth. Any single other aspect of our lives requires us to have the MOST amount of information possible. In fact, those who act before they possess certain knowledge are considered by society to be buffoons. Even something as simple as buying a car requires a person to have hard knowledge—we just can’t have faith that the car will run properly or that the salesman will treat us fairly. If we had faith in everything, that is require minimal amounts of knowledge, our species would not be here today.
At some point in time there was the first deer to have ever recognized the smell of a hunter and associated it with danger. Either it came from within, or because it had seen another of its kind taken by this other animal, the hunter. If it came from within, it was created by something. For it had to have been created by something to exist prior to a sensory experience that had taken place that resulted in the learning of the habit. In other words, the deer would not have snorted at the humans because it was another mammal. There are plenty of other mammals a deer are around that it smells and is not afraid of.
So either this “instinct” to avoid humans existed before the first deer in the history of the universe saw a human, or it was learned by one deer at one point and every deer from that moment caught on… Deer could no longer afford to have faith that whatever it was it smelled was not going to hurt them. If I was to just have faith that everyone drove safely I would be dead a hundred times over. Having more faith than fact is detrimental to every species in every single situation I can think of. So why would we incorporate it so heavily into our religious beliefs? Look how detrimental it has been historically. I don’t need to be a historian to know that millions of people have been terminated because someone or some group of people thought they knew the right way to worship God. NO ONE KNOWS! The sooner we all accept that, the sooner our world will come to rest and allow this species to take things to a level no one has even began to comprehend yet. If all of us were working together, in unison, the limits of our species would be unfathomable.

3/18/09 Reflection
As I have skimmed over this, I have had some additional thoughts. Most of the time I just write as directed by my flow of consciousness, and often times I do not read over what I have written for quite sometime. I think it is important to reflect on the views of oneself because they should most certainly be changing with time. As life goes on, one experiences an enormous amount of sensual stimulation. This information should always be retained and learned as lessons. Any sense we experience that does not give us information is in essence useless. Our mind is trained to learn from the physical experiences our bodies go through. If we don’t, what information can our lives add to the soul of humanity? Our lives should be lived to experience the events that will allow our posterity to more easily tackle the imminent challenges of the future. If for generations our race were facing the same problems, we would have become extinct centuries ago.
So as I read my thoughts from a couple years ago, my views on faith should have at least some new perspectives. If my motive was not to improve upon the structure of those beliefs, there would be no reason to take on any new challenges—which are so crucial to the overall development of a species. If our goal is not to develop, then why do we care to exist at all? Who wants to live in a life where there is no improvement? Maybe heaven became too boring for god and he needed to challenge himself. Maybe before any physical matter existed, God’s mind was dreaming constantly, perfectly manipulating every situation to satisfy every desire. It could be possible heaven existed before we did and that our ideas of heaven are actually the opposite of God’s intentions. God could have dreamt up the idea to create physical matter to embody his mind in. In doing so, he forfeited the luxury of being able to will away his problems. Our current life is the outcome of those events, which would render our current beliefs of heaven antiquated. If that were true, then we would not want to go to heaven when we died. Instead we would want to live a life of sensual experiences in a corporeal state. We should just be lucky we are hear experiencing any of this life when the alternative would be to experience a constant dream state where nothing ever made sense. If life was a constant dream, there would never have to be a reason for anything that happened to us. The only stipulation that it has is that your mind can conceive it. Would be care what happened to us then? Would we ever feel like we were moving towards something that made more sense? Without any boundaries or base such as the laws in physics, we couldn’t ever really dream how it would feel to walk perfectly because no person ever existed to know what true walking felt like. In order for us to imagine something, it has to have happened in some way or another to us. If nothing ever happened physically, our dreams would be vague and uninteresting. The price we pay to have gravity is heavy, but with it our care-free mentality is vanquished and we must face real problems. It is a trade off.
The point is, we all need a little faith. I might have seemed in the piece above to believe no faith is necessary. However, some is critical. Too much can lead to a belief system based on too little facts or experiences. When our neighbor tells us an unbelievable story, often times we have to “see it to believe it”. For some reason, however, millions of people are willing to believe and literally interpret fables from millennia ago. Doesn’t this seem counter-intuitive? Shouldn’t we try to have the “best” faith possible? That is, the type of faith that is produced from a never-ending search for wisdom and self-efficacy. This search alone generates a feeling of awe from within our minds and an appreciation for the life we have. Upon truly taking this journey we become aware that it truly is impossible to fully understand the meaning of life. This awareness, this acknowledgment elicits on its own a sense of faith. For knowing that so much is still to be learned by our race, one should have faith that we will move forward with each generation; one should have faith that if he or she is truly devoted to the pursuit of a better model of living, that the universe will conspire to aid us in our journey and grant us that which will act as a catalyst in our mission. That is a faith where utility is concerned, what is best for all, where as other doctrines aim to satisfy the individual's desire to exist peacefully after death. Since God exists in all of us, wouldn't it be best for Him to do what is best for every human soul? I don't see how one could argue that point.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mission Statement

After reading Bean's brother's statement, I had to add my own.

Personal Mission Statement
D.L. Gleason

Faith in my own cause will negate any naysayers’ attempts to slow my shark down. The only way to survive life’s peril is to trudge through the muddy seas of adversity or it will capture me completely, drowning me in a swirl of indifference. Commitments are only whispers carried off by the wind without my attempts to anchor them to my soul with perseverance, dedication, and goal setting. I will write down and keep the promises made to myself for if I fail to do so, I will not be strong enough to support those who depend on me; every other thought is just a good idea. I will learn to sacrifice and delegate to myself activities of worth and the time I must spend on them to succeed in a life full of uncertainty. I will take moments each day to breathe and know it’s okay to be unsure at moments as my guiding forces will find a way through the darkness into a light so prosperous and serene that any man would be in awe.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

On Religion

So many things have happened to me in only my 20 years of life. I have triumphed and failed, loved and been loved, hurt and been hurt, but above all, I have learned. Wisdom through experience, as I like to call it, and I have experienced quite a bit more than most twenty year olds. Often, experiencing something is the only true way to learn life’s lessons, but more importantly, our experiences shape us to be exactly who we are today and what we believe. I think that the problem in the world, in regards to religion, lies in the labeling of beliefs. Why does everyone feel the need to put into words an idea that no amount of words can describe? God.
Since my father has passed away, I have become much more spiritual. I think about him every day as a “Christian” would Jesus Christ, (I quote the word Christian because that term is ambiguous to me. All it technically takes to be a Christian these days is to say that you believe Jesus came to Earth to die for our sins. That is at least all it takes for some people to believe they are a Christian. How easy is that? For I can say I do believe and still not posses the characteristics of Christ). I feel like my father guides me every day, when before I would ask and ask God for understanding and truth and guidance and it never came as strong and abundant as it is now. It is almost as if every good decision is rewarded by an opportunity. Nothing is just given, however. God uses my father as an instrument to get through to me, as he uses Christ as an instrument to get through to so many people who don’t have any immediate reason to be spiritual. And I believe all this stems from God. He needs helpers so that the fast growing population of the Earth can be equally attended to. I don’t mean “helpers” as in elves, implying that God is not omnipotent enough to tend after everybody himself, and not as in angels, but helpers like Dave Gleason to give faith to a faithless population.
Not partaking in the selfish, reckless, lazy, activities most people do, including me, seems to help me, whether I am guided to see opportunities that I would not have otherwise, or am warned by scaring me to the point that I learn a lesson without being harmed. I think of these signs every day and am reminded and it actually impacts what I do and the decisions I make. I wear a “WWDD” bracelet (What Would Dave Do) and I find that since I have been actually looking at it and asking what it really means, things have been going my way. My intuition is stronger, I foresee things ahead of time, random business leads and opportunities, grades, and everything gets better. I ask him for forgiveness, thank him for warning me, read the same books as he read; I emulate him completely and it makes me feel a feeling unlike any I have ever felt. This seems comparable to Christians and the feelings they get when they worship Christ. What it boils down to is that although I may not be a Christian in some peoples’ eyes, I am slowly starting to believe in the idea of Jesus Christ. In essence, the idea of him to a typical Christian and the impact he has on them, equates to that I hold of my father. All of the energy I get when I think of my dad, when I miss my dad, when I come to realize wisdom that he revealed to a na├»ve young boy who has grown into a man, is the same energy and hope Christ gives to Christians. I do not necessarily trust the information given to us in the Bible, only because I think men promulgated it. I do, however, strongly believe that Christ was a message from God.
To me, it is irrelevant why or how Christ came and this seems to be the biggest problem between religions, even within the religion itself. All that matters is that he was here. We spend all out time trying to work out the discrepancies when we should be trying to figure out how we can all get along and realize good people are people who believe in something—aren’t we all really longing for the same thing? It really shouldn’t matter if Christ was born to a virgin mother, or if he was indeed the “son” of God. Why can’t we just believe that God sent him here as if to say:
Humans, I have created you and you have evolved into creatures from the brain I provided to you. You have learned how to deceive, to steal, to fight out of greed, to do all of the things less evolved animals are unable to do because they are trapped to their instincts. At first, you were obsolete. You fought as wild animals do over females, you chased after females just as a wild deer or a turkey does when the females of their species are ready to mate. You were trapped to your instincts. This was the only way you knew. Now your brain is complex and you are all smart and using it for reasons unintended by Myself. Here is an example of how you need to live in order to be happy, to lead a full life, to love and be loved by all; here is Jesus Christ. I don’t really care how you worship him or me, just be like him and you will have made Me, Your Creator, proud as a father is proud of his victorious son!

God is so smart that he found a way to connect to each culture. He gave each culture what it needed, something to believe in. He knew that if humans felt that their lives were empty, we would find no reason to stay (i.e. suicide and it is common). Isn’t it funny that not one culture, in all the different parts of the world, which originated as if they were the only culture on the Earth, totally independent from one another, believes the same thing in regards to religion? He is so wise that He saw from each culture’s perspective. He knew what would make sense to them and how they could relate to the omnipresent energy and spirit of God. Isn’t that what makes a good human? Being able to see from somebody else’s point of view and see him/her as wholly good without first judging them? Isn’t that precisely what each religion does to the other, judge? It is because we are scared, so scared that we might be wrong that we don’t even open our minds to anything on the contrary. It drives us to fight, to kill. I know many Christians who are not nearly as good a person as I believe myself to be. It is about the heart, the soul, and the person underneath. Knowledge Is dangerous because it leads us to danger. Doesn’t a father want his child to stay ignorant? There is nothing worse than knowledge being carried in the wrong hands. The little knowledge a three year old possesses of a gun, even that it exists, is dangerous because he is mostly ignorant of the ramifications and cannot comprehend it because it is out of the realm of comprehension by their under developed brains.
It is proven that humans only use up a fraction of out brain’s potential. Is that not under developed? Not to us functioning on a normal level every day. Life is stressful and our brains are running rampant constantly. That might be true, but a fish in a fishbowl is underneath the same amount of stress, respectively. It would be impossible to try and teach a fish why it is where it is. First, it cannot understand English, or any language obviously. If it could, it could not speak back to us. But let’s say we have a one of a kind fish. The conversation would go as follows: “Okay fish, you are here because we captured your parents in the sea and you were born inside of a fish hatchery. I paid for you with money that I earned, at a job…” and the fish says, “Whoa, whoa! You are going way too fast. First of all, my parents? Who are they? And how did they make me?” And you would say, “Well, there is this thing called mating…” Any person can see how that conversation would carry on infinitively.
So, are we fish in a fish bowl? Maybe there is so much out there that we are unable, like our fish friend, to understand and God sees no point in trying to tell us exactly. It would literally be impossible. We don’t speak his language, our five measly senses are outmatched by even animals on this Earth… we were only given a brain. Is it a person’s fault who uses this wonder of God called a brain, to question? To pursue wisdom? To accept God for who he is and say, “God, I don’t know how you did it, but you are awesome! I hope you tell me everything when I am done finishing my task here on earth; to find a way to love everyone and see everyone through loving eyes as you do; to seek wisdom in order to further myself, intellectually and spiritually; and to appreciate the life I was so thoughtfully given everyday by not taking it for granted.
My point is this: Can’t we use this brain of ours to connect to each other? Can’t we accept the fact that God is great and that there is still so much to learn? I believe it is illogical of any culture to try and pinpoint exactly how we got here. Imagine our fish’s explanation: “Uh, okay, this is how it happened. This water I am in was… uh, it had to have come from that sink over there. Okay, so the sink… it uh, what is a sink? That guy must have put it here, and he must be the master of the whole world! Yes! And he must know this whole room and he must have created it with a wave of his hand! Wow, look at how big it is!” Are we not equally ignorant? Regardless, it is inherent in every culture to try and explain it. It is what every human longs for and instead of fighting each other to try and get the other person to believe what we believe, can’t we come to a mutual agreement that we are all ignorant? Let’s say, “you do it your way and I’ll do it mine, because mine makes a lot more sense to me and I was told if I didn’t believe it that I would go to hell, and I don’t want to go to hell but I’d rather be on the safe side.”
God began by dispersing himself (if you think of him as a presence rather than an actual person, which I think he is) throughout all of humanity (The Big Bang). Why can’t it be that all schools of thought have validity, just not ultimate truth? God created the universe, physically, with the Big Bang. Then, the earth and the universe were set in motion as he planned, taking billions of years (Evolution). As it is yet to be proven, He might have picked planets light years away from each other and said, “Here is the planet of the Apes,” that is us, “and I will give you a brain capable of almost anything you want, but you have to start from scratch.” Maybe as time went on, humans evolved and figured out that their brain was powerful. We saw that we could get things we wanted, or desired, by communicating and interacting. Pretty soon we started to figure out short cuts, because after all, we are all smart. God gave us these brains. God saw humans and the path they were on and sent Christ, in whatever way, to give us faith and something to believe in ( I use us as people who could relate the easiest to him, Caucasians and Europeans).
When we would get to out of hand, like reverting back to our animal instincts and fornicating loosely, he sent us STD’s as if to say, “Stop this! This is not how you better yourself and I will harm only a little to cease these actions.” To Christians, or whatever religion, all of these sinister actions, or actions that keep us from being the human we can be, is sin.
3/24/08 continuation--- In reality, all of these sinful actions are merely shortcuts through our brain that our thoughts take to follow the path of least resistance. It is not very hard for me to eat a twinkie, or to get an erection by looking at a beautiful naked women. It is not very hard to sit and watch TV, or to enjoy smoking marijuana, or to indulge in whatever leisure activity a person desires. For the most part, every sin in the Bible is identified by these same characteristics. Our law is even in agreement with many, if not all of the 10 Commandments. All of these taboos seem to have one thing in common—they all don’t take very much thought. When you think about it, isn’t that the core to many problems among people? Being considerate of a person requires thought, and when a person fails to show this towards another person, a multitude of problems are likely to arise. It is easy to get your feelings hurt by such actions. It is also easy to commit these actions.
It is hard to analyze situations and to try to take into account all of the factors that go into them. When a person gets hurt feelings, I have learned that almost all the time they have failed to take some other factor(s) into account. That is why in his book “Psycho Cybernetics”, Maltz iterates that being able to place the best interpretation on another’s actions is paramount to living a stress free, happier life with better relationships. When I would used to get my feelings hurt frequently, I would almost inevitably have jumped to a conclusion without knowing all of the details. It is not easy to keep your cool when your feelings are hurt, let alone try to think about the unknown factors that might exist. Analyzing is the key to making the right decisions.
In spirituality, it is almost impossible to analyze all of the factors that correlate to the origin of our species. This of course does not stop us from trying, which is good, but there is the tendency to draw conclusions even though many facets of a religious belief structure are usually not analyzed to the fullest.
Creationism vs. Evolutionism
One of the world’s hardest epistemological questions to answer is, “Where did we come from?” It is a question that many great minds have tried to answer in the past: Socrates, Descartes, St. Augustine, etc. It is hard to rule out scientific knowledge as well, because so many other aspects of our lives depend on knowledge that is only attainable through science, that it becomes difficult to rule out the possibility of evolution. Why can’t there be a middle line? Many people argue over the “Creation” theory and the “Evolution” theory. There are clearly defined “Creationists” and “Evolutionists”, either the world was created by God and He created us, or we evolved from apes. Why is it that there is no middle line between the two extremes? If the middle line could relate to both theorists, it might solve a lot of problems.
I think it is possible that God created us, and then allowed us as a species to evolve. If our species is examined closely, it appears that we have evolved in at least a physical manner. Archaeologists have found many remains of a species that is no doubt closely related to ours. There is strong evidence that suggests the possibility that we are direct descendants of this specie. It is nearly impossible to trace back to the beginning of civilization. There were limited ways to communicate. It is likely that we had to grunt at each other at one point in time. There had to have been some first form of language. No records of early civilizations exist because communication was so primitive. Now there are endless ways to communicate with each other. From internet, to cell phones, (which every person has), to just plain talking, information flies fast. There will definitely be documentation of this step of the human species for Wouldn’t it seem then that the brain has evolved then, at least a little, if we are capable of so much more than we used to be able to do? All of these questions are hard to answer, but maybe someday.
It seems apparent in life that most things that are of value have endured many hardships, why would the human species be any different? Extreme heat and the pounding of a hammer forge a sword. A championship team endures extreme hardships and suffering, no matter what team it is. A good education is not easy; many students falter and some never try. It takes great hardship to achieve anything meaningful in life, even a family. Why would our race be any different?