Posted in philosophy, tagged Benny Thomas, body, collective memory, environment, experience, genetic push, life, life experience, man, mind, miracles, nature, progress, Thomas Malthus on February 2, 2012 |
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Man’s needs, say for a specific example his social needs have configured his anatomy accordingly. No one will dispute the fact he as a social animal requires speech in order to communicate. Apes also are gregarious and live in social groups and speak in a manner of speaking but speech of man is altogether of another league.
His speech owes to the larynx or voice box, that sits lower in the throat than in chimps, one of several features that enable human speech. Human ancestors evolved this roughly 350,000 years ago. We also possess a descended hyoid bone — this horseshoe-shaped bone below the tongue, unique in that it is not attached to any other bones in the body, allows us to articulate words when speaking. Add to this the use of hands where we can bring our thumbs all the way across the hand to our ring and little fingers. We can also flex the ring and little fingers toward the base of our thumb. This gives us a powerful grip and exceptional dexterity to hold and manipulate tools with. Thus man although he bears many similarities to other species have cut the bridges behind him so to speak. Research has shown that monkeys that live in larger groups grow bigger brains. If man did learn to speak at first with signs or clicking his teeth he went further to perfect speech. Here also modulated speech served him well to give different shades of meaning to his thought. Wisdom and power in the case of man was put to a specific purpose.
By inventing writing around 3100 BC he added his skills to strike a different path from other species. Writing led to other skills art and literature,- each step keeping his progress so unique, and reversal would never mean going back to the state where he began. Life experience of one has become common for all. His personal experience has become part of collective memory of his species.
Experience and his social back up are the two pinions that keep the species survivors. Miracles and ability to move through other dimensions are as trivial as a conjurer’s tricks. It does not add to the common experience.
No man lives for himself and his pioneering work adds to the common fount. Have you thought the invention of wheels by a nameless inventor is even now crucial to human advancement? Invention of movable printing freed man’s thought from the Church of Rome’s stranglehold. Man’s progress is fuelled by unrestricted exercise in setting goals for individual advancement and in meeting them experience has added to the whole.
We as humans traded off working with many dimensions in order to get our image of the physical universe in focus. Our body thus is made to prioritize our goals since we are mortals and bequeath our gains to our children. Our genetic push is not only in terms of hereditary traits but also our civilization. Is it not better to live focused and be vital in one’s short life than live useless playboy style of living for some 200 years, and competing with our children for livelihood and place in the sun? Nature also indicates this point according to Malthusian theory on Population and Resources. Under threat of limited resources wars, plagues and calamities Nature clears off the old, useless and the weak. The idea is that the young and strong stand better chance of passing on the gains forward.
In such trade off what we call as miracle is against natural laws. Every day Prophet Muhammed did not ride up his winged horse to commune with the Angel Gabriel. Nor did Jesus of Nazareth make five fishes and loaves multiply to go around. This being the case a man being able to enter another dimension or distort time holds for the world no practical value or merit. Nowadays the Church of Rome needs to propose a name for sainthood more often and ascribe miracles to the candidate, which seems more an exercise to distract the world from looking at the all pervasive sex abuse and corruption that goes under the Holy See.
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Posted in Christianity, tagged Benny Thomas, body, fable, God, grace, Greed, human wisdom, Jesus Christ, soul, spirit, The scriptures, Trinity on December 9, 2011 |
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The Aztecs believed in after life. They sacrificed the first born to the Sun in a belief that souls of the dead occupied the starry heavens. These souls according to them kept the best place for their fathers and for the siblings. Thus each Aztec warrior took pride that the perfect fruit of his loins had found his perfect bliss.Of course they had also reserved their place in heaven. On the All Soul’s Day the believers climbed to the top of a volcano in order to have a foretaste of it. They stood hand in hand around the crater to celebrate life. It was a mystery which admitted only the Aztecs.
On the twelth year after this rite was made an important event in their calendar, they climbed to their sacred spot.
On top of the mount they ate and drank according to the custom and at the wave of the High Priest’s staff they began their sacred rite.
But they were not alone.
There was a tribe of pygmies who lived nearby and whose custom was so different from theirs. Hearing some strange rumors they slipped unnoticed to enjoy the spectacle.
As the Aztec warriors danced in frenzy flames of fire seemed to descend and each warrior was transported in spirit to commune with his soul above. The pygmies missed what happened before their eyes. All they saw were their straw sandals and their belts of hemp. Pointing to their own shoes of finest vicuna hides and plumes of exotic birds they sniggered. ‘Such beggarly material!’one exclaimed and another said they were dirt farmers from the plains.
They did not see the Aztecs! They wondered where they could have run to.
One controlling his laugh said, ‘If all I had for my shoes such sorry sandals I would also jump into the deepest hole.’
The pygmies were disappointed. After returning to their own camp they narrated how the Aztecs had commited mass suicide for shame of their unfortunate circumstances.
Is it not how we speak of things we do not understand? As humans how we can measure God except in human terms?
We are least equipped to know God in his divine form. Even so we draw ridiculous assumptions according to human wisdom. It is not the Writ but what our reason can digest we pontificate. Instead of taking the simple meaning to words we weave clever philosophy. ‘The earth he has given to the children of men(Ps.115:16) is a verse that pleases some TV pastors. It is a license to add to their wardrobe the most expensive and abuse the poor circumstances of their flock so blatantly.
Before the cameras and under lights they behave like prima donnas and speak words calculated to bedazzle the congregation. All these for what? For some gold and silver! We lay so much importance to our body and its appetites. What we dismiss is the best part of our being. Our soul must speak for us here and now. God is love. Can we also love others? Can we also forgive as He has?
Our souls must also speak for hereafter.
In the Fable ‘What Price Grace’God forgave the foolishness of the pastor for his human failing. Grace covered his soul from being lost. The flesh profits nothing and what is for the earth to the earth shall go. My belief is that the Lord God shall purify my soul till is fully resored after my term on earth is ended.
But one world at a time. If I cannot prove my credentials in this world who shall entrust me with a world to come?
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Posted in philosophy, tagged Alice in Wonderland, autopilot mode, body, Cheshire cat, dreams, grin, Lewis Carroll, memory, mind, REM phase, suprreality, surreal, symbols, wakeful state on June 26, 2010 |
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A Cheshire Grin…
(…The grin is a shorthand of reality of the cat.)
“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order”. Carl Jung
So true; I call it anomaly of matter. Laws of Nature in our cosmos allow light as a wave and as particle. In Newtonian model while studying dynamics of a ball we have the precise equation to study its velocity and position at any given time. But in quantum mechanics it is not possible. The more accurate velocity is, its position can only be guessed. Vice versa. There is an uncertainty. All these contradictions or anomalies are smoothed out while we think of cosmos as a whole.
In Alice in Wonderland there is the Cheshire cat disappearing except for its grin. The grin must explain anomaly of matter. Its body must be elsewhere thereby validating its being. It is not dead because it can grin. Merely because Alice can’t see its body doesn’t mean it is non-existent. It is Alice’s problem.
Death of a friend or a member of the family is a fact. Reality of death is our problem. Coming to grips with it is only valid for our body. Memory has no problem, neither dream has a problem. We hold the dead in memory as well as in dreams.
In our wakeful state we are conscious; and we see dreams while asleep. There is a kind of consciousness that must explain the REM phase. Language of that consciousness has different grammar. Would it be wrong then to assume universal consciousness shall have a language and rules different from what we are used to?
The dead and alive are realities in such a universal consciousness, which however is not what we can crack with our intellect. It is our problem just as Alice had with the grin of the cat.
Tail piece: how big is our consciousness? Are we connected to Universal Consciousness say of God? I think so.
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Posted in Christianity, tagged Ananias, body, Christian living, glory, godliness, Patriarch Abraham, Sapphira, Sarai, soul, spirit on April 23, 2009 |
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Soul as I mentioned in the earlier posts has its own language; so has our rational mind. Soul of man is a finite representation of something otherworldly. Thus we have two components :body and soul. Both work often at contrary purposes.
Let us take the life of Patriarch Abraham. He was seventy five when the Lord God promised him a nation (Gen 12:2). In the land of Sichem, a Canaanite land God appeared to him in a vision. ‘Unto thy seed will I give this land.’ It is Soul that sets up visions that to a believing heart shall have a great impact. Moses sees the burning bush and what does he do? He removes his sandals in obedience to the vision of God. Similarly the day of Pentecost prompts Ananias and Sapphira. Soul’s prompting must have been sufficiently strong for them to sell their possession as so many others. But did they follow it through?
Others brought the proceeds from the sale to the common fund. Cold logic however prompted Ananias and his wife to reconsider. ‘If they gave away all their wealth on what shall they live on? (Ac 4:32, 5:1-3) Here we see how differently soul and body exert their pull on man?
Coming back to Patriarch Abraham could not in his worldly wisdom believe Sarai could bear children. He chose to go into Hagar and she bore Ishmael as a result of the union. Since then Ishmael’s seed posed an ever present threat,- and still is, to the children of Israel. We see how sometimes our intellect can trip us up.
Spirit is what settles a man to walk the line after he had believed the Soul’s prompting. Spirit is part of the equation where each and everyone who takes the name of the Lord may live a fruitful life. (2 Pe.1:3-8)
St. Peter begins the second epistle with the idea of divine power, which is a two- fold impact of soul and spirit on a body that is imperfect. We wear our corruptible bodies and yet we are slowly undergoing a certain process that can only be called divine. Since God has begun this change in us we may say godliness begins even in our very imperfections. Only that we are subject to a higher authority while we go through the motions of living on this side of paradise.
Tailpiece: For a Christian the scriptures is the work of Holy Spirit (2 Pe 1:21) Even so how a Christian can be settled in a life of godliness is a slow process. Spirit has much to do since it is a spirit of belief, of knowledge and so on.
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Duality of man is such that his body and soul must come to terms and perform as one. Body lays its emphasis differently than what Soul would. The analogy of wakeful and dream states given in my post A Habitual Offender is apt here. In a material universe each body must function from a purely material plane. How it works can only be understood if one remembers the limits in which it has its being.
But why it should be so? Any answer to it,- if it can be led to something meaningful or significant will require yet another method.
There were some 30 gospels extant till Iranaeus the Bishop of Lyons thought of establishing four of these as canonical text? These were not written by the disciples with whose names, they have now come inseparably attached. Mark, Matthew, Luke and John have as much claim to the real Jesus as Judas or Thomas. How come then the gospel of Thomas are Judas are non-canonical while that of John is? (Your guess is as good as mine.) How shall we settle this difficulty by sticking to any rational inquiry?
I cited this to show what feeds reason need not necessarily be the fodder for Soul.
If I believe in the permanence of my soul while my body is corruptible I might weigh now and hereafter on different scales.
In a tussle between Hereafter and Now the latter always needs to be addressed. Time is of the essence. It is indeed foolish if I should give up the bird in hand for the two in the bush.
The other side of the coin is when we have by a choice made on insufficient evidences. Who on earth can tell what tomorrow may bring? Esau sold his birthright merely because he was faint with hunger. To him his hunger was all that mattered. Later he repented over his decision bitterly but to no avail. The younger had established his precedence once and for all. If I respect my soul as something special I may appreciate Abraham who lived in tents since he sought for ‘a city which hath foundations.’(Heb 11:10)As a Christian my enquiry of my soul is set in context of the faith of my forefathers. An experience I have given in the following section thus has to be understood within this framework.
From my young age I have been instructed from the Bible and it never ceased to exert its hold on me ever since. It stimulated my interior life as much as other books, films, music and art.
I was Benjamin to my father (obviously my name is derived from it). I was led into reading the Bible because my father brought up each of his children in what he thought was right. I never read the Bible with the feeling of hell or punishment and seeking out His ways through the ages interested me. My conclusions were my own. Honing my intellect on His Word was an essential part of me. Curiously enough I had as a result a ‘strange’ feeling that God was ever present. My life went on its sedate steps,- and in my fifties, one night I woke up from my sleep. All I could remember was the verse 12 from Deut 33. I referred the Bible and found that it was Moses’ blessing on Benjamin. ‘The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him…and he shall dwell between his shoulders.”
What made me think the verse referred to me? Did my soul take over at that point to convince me so? It was uncanny that instantly I could bring out the meaning in its many ramifications as a hint of things to come. I convinced myself that I was beloved of God as though God validated what I had felt all along. What dwells between the shoulders if not the head? I knew then I was in the plan of God. Or in the Mind of God. Of course I heard later from another person who ( bore the name Benjamin) had a similar experience. On looking back I see it more of my soul at work, laying down a warning. My body or intellect could not have guessed it. Of course there was a very distressing moment a few years later when I needed all the resources at my command to face it. ( Was it then Soul at work ? I was all alone but partly because of my belief I could face the challenges. Nurture of Bible and an independent turn of mind also contributed.) Having survived the crisis I can now look back and say it marked my adulthood. Besides it was but the beginning of the most fruitful and emotionally satisfying phase of my life.
I think Soul merely stepped in where my body was inadequate.
Soul worked with my life in a manner that was natural. It could tap on my nature and nurture to take my life on yet another plane. I may not go to Church or read the Bible as carefully as I did before. Yet God is as real as it was then. In a way different from that of my father or my brothers. Soul of man is God made as real as any man who would learn of Him. If one says it is Supreme Intelligence or any other it is so for him or her. Who am I to contradict soul of another?
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Posted in speculative philosophy, tagged body, duality, gestalt psychology, here and now, hereafter, in or out, inversion principle, optic illusions, soul, spirit on October 16, 2008 |
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Consider the optical illusion where we could spot a figure or a vase depending on what we are looking at. In other words we choose to see what we want to see. (see note)
Can there be an island without the sea? We may be talking about the island but sea is ever in the background. Merely because we see the reality of island shall not make the reality of the sea any less.
Duality of Man has body and spirit. Both are conjugated because of the soul. Inner life and Physical life. From our inner or spirit life we translate thoughts into actions by means of energy. In the past posts I have been discussing energy as bills of exchange. Energy as the means to negotiate our hereafter is as permanent as our absolute position is forever fixed in the cosmos.
Suppose death means stepping out of here and now into the hereafter our energy profile should still carry certain facts about us. Energy cannot be destroyed or created. So energy profile encapsulates our physical life on Time-Space mode.
The scriptures speak of spiritual bodies. I think hereafter is where we are reversed. What would that mean? What was our inner life or spirit becomes our body while our corruptible body or whatever is left of it becomes our inner life. Flaming creatures we shall be.
In short on the pinions of soul we switch our body and spirit around as in the face-vase illustration mentioned above.
Note:‘To make sense of the world it is necessary to organize incoming sensations into information which is meaningful. Gestalt psychologists believe one way this is done is by perceiving individual sensory stimuli as a meaningful whole. Gestalt organization can be used to explain many illusions including the Duck-Rabbit illusion where the image as a whole switches back and forth from being a duck then being a rabbit and why in the figure-ground illusion the figure and ground are reversible.’(wikipedia)
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