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Becoming Better-The Goal Of Life

March 11, 2015

The other morning my 17 year old son said. ”The new boats came out today”.  He likes to wakeboard and surf with friends and family that have boats.  I loved water skiing when I was his age and for many decades after. I thought that is great, what is the difference between the new boat and the old boat?  We don’t have a boat nor do we plan on getting one.   So I wasn’t sure why he mentioned it. He told me some of the differences and what you could buy for 100K plus. 

Out of curiosity I am also reading his psychology class book with him as he begins his senior year.  I am being reminded of what I had learned and forgotten from my earlier years.  The wonder of how neurons are stimulated and electrochemical connections of dumping into the synaptic cleft cause us to move.  If we could only behold the full wonder of our brain and the way it houses our mind.

My thoughts went back to my personal experience with new and better things.  My first brand new car was a 1986 Mercury Sable. If you've seen one lately they aren’t that cool anymore if they ever were.  How is it that some cars never lose that effect.  Well in 1986 they looked cool for awhile.  It turned out to be a lemon of a car though.  I am sorry to say that I never bought another American car after that until they made Nissans and Toyotas in the USA.  

Now my question with all this is; who would buy something if it was not better than the thing it was replacing, be it a car or whatever?  In a nutshell this is the concept, theory or science of personal development and what advances the development of the human condition in comforts and intelligence.  The idea that you can take a person, each of us individually and make yourself better. Better at what?  That is the question! For some comfort equals better for others out of the comfort zone means improvement.

August Turak, an author and speaker makes this observation. "Whether you call it personal development, personal growth, self-actualization, self-transcendence, or spirituality does not matter. What matters is realizing that the reason you were born is to become the best human being you can possibly be. Personal development is not a tool for reaching a bigger goal. Becoming a complete human being is already the biggest and most noble goal you can aspire to."

Ideally this would become a collective pursuit. By collectively seeking to become better, all things should improve for all people. Leaders will rise and fade away hopefully illuminating a path of constant improvement. The greatest of these leaders of course should be parents. We have this interesting characteristic called individuality, choice and personal will.

I believe that everything we do or say has a consequence to it no matter how small or large.  I speak from regular and personal observation not as a psychologist or scientist, so you may want to tune out now if you think they have all the answers.  All I concern myself with is practical application of knowledge, behavior and results.  

Not withstanding, the effect is in one or several areas. The three I am familiar with are physical, emotional/mental and spiritual. The physical and emotional are very much intertwined.  The spiritual relates as well but is separate from the physical in certain ways but it too is connected to the mental.  I am just speculating a little bit here so take it however you want.  

We have discovered many things about bodily science and the brain.  We also know quite a bit about emotional science.  We have been cutting on bodies and observing personality disorders for many decades now.  They are connected because the things we take into our body, food, drugs etc., exercise and other things do affect our emotional and mental state.  They would also affect our spirit since it must be connected to our body in some fashion at the present time.

It is true as well that our emotional state affects how we feel physically.  There may be a physical trigger or an emotional trigger but they both take place in the same body to cause a reaction of one kind or another. It is an electrochemical process and interconnected in amazing ways.  We are quite profoundly beings that operate on a level of light however small it might be. Sometimes malfunctions can be corrected sometimes they cannot. We simply do not know at this time enough to fix them all.

Most of us have heard of the runner's high and some of us have experienced it.  There is really nothing spiritual about it unless you realize that the science that causes it has always existed.  The electrochemical nature of nerves and neurons, memory and feelings and the hormones of the body may be recent discoveries but the science of the body is not. Just because someone discovers something for the first time on earth doesn't mean it didn't already exist as a scientific truth.  Truth is eternal and is always the same.

The body may age but the science on which it exists is ageless.  It is not a new thing.  In the same way that smartphones are a new discovery the science that makes them work is not. Whether you think this earth is many billions of years old the science of the earth has no beginning and no end.

Other parts of us including the atoms that form our bodies that are also part of all creation suggest that the spiritual nature is simply a higher intelligence of a more complex nature.  Atoms can't be created or destroyed.  Spirit is a more refined power of light and energy on a scale we currently can't discover.  In the present state of life it is confined to act on a limited basis depending how we train our body.

There is also the genetic science that determines so many things. These last two items may be another discussion and I mention them so as to remember to explore the relationship more.

Now you take a physical body and introduce a spiritual element to it, even a personality let's say. Was that personality created out of nothing, or has it always existed?  Is that personality the sum effect of the electrochemical reactions in the body or does it have its own power in the body?  Is the birth of a baby the beginning of the personality? Only spiritual revelation can answer that questions. The theology of such answers must be a sound philosophy and science of truth.

These are theological questions and your opinion depends on your personal theology.  I say opinion because the answer can only come by revelation of some kind at this point.  Here we delve into the concepts of fact, fallacy and fantasy or fiction.  There is a truth about the matter, the question is whether you or I or someone has discovered it in our personal searching or if God has set it out to be discovered. It isn't a matter of proving.  It is a matter of evidence and having experience with it.

"All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all [like a laser beam, I suggest]; And those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies. [Teachings,p. 355]." Joseph Smith

Now as I said I like to speculate so if you don't then stop reading. How the spirit interacts with the body is it can actually begin to exercise control over it.  The spirit is where the will resides and may even be what controls the powerful subconscious part of our brain. When the spirit makes choices for the body to act a certain way, the electrochemical processes begin to adjust to the dictates it is given. This is how we develop a habit or overcome an addiction.

The spirit of God can interact with our spirit and give it powers that may not be readily visible to the secular mind. We are familiar with the signals all around us that our devices use to communicate. There is no mystery as to how they operate if you are familiar with the science that they are based on.  So too is spiritual science. The only conflict with science and theology is when people make them up or theorize about what might be without any evidence.  Theories however inspire us to search for knowledge and greater evidence.

My discussion has obviously crossed the line from personal development to another subject yet both are connected.   The goal of learning about the body and the mind is to achieve health and happiness. Non-religious or non-spiritual people do find purpose in pursuing objectives related to their bodies and minds even if it is temporary in nature as opposed to eternal.   

Some are content to leave any spiritual connotations on a shelf and wait.  My preference is to understand how the spirit connects and have a complete experience rather than just a partial participation in what lays inside us, around us and even beyond us.  I have had sufficient experience to be convinced that eternity and endless space are self evident facts that we should not ignore.

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