Saturday, August 21, 2010
Dictated to me today, through my brain, by my friend Maverick. He's been bugging me about it for weeks. Make what you will of it.
This is so simplified as to be almost false, or barely credible. And yet it is my gift. It is my best attempt.
The body is a sophisticated piece of bio-machinery designed to house a spirit.
(MW: by whom? why? what is a spirit?
Mav: These plaguing questions are beyond the body's limited ability to comprehend.
MW: Isn't that convenient?
Mav: I'm not convinced it's true. I simply cannot make it into language for you. I am not so skilled.
MW: You don't trust me
Mav: You don't trust me. Please leave this exchange in for others.)
The body is of matter. The spirit is of energy. The concepts of matter and energy are not prerequisites to understanding; yet, they should be self-evident if you try.
The body cannot act without the spirit. The spirit cannot matter without the body. The concepts of acting and mattering are not prerequisites to understanding, but some rudimentary contemplation would be advised.
I posit that spirit and body matter and act through a third, new entity that is created when they come together. We can call this the self. The self is a creature born of body and spirit in solution together (chemical use of the word solution).
The body and spirit fight for control of the self, while the self often goes about its business of surviving this strange and hectic plane, totally unaware that it is not, itself, the body. The body cultivates this belief. Pre-programmed with a tremendously adaptable self-preservation mechanism, the body strives to act, through the self, to preserve itself. It does not always judge well in its determination of how to do that. Its tools of choice are often chemical and electrical, beyond the control of the self; completely automated bio responses to stimuli.
The spirit, on a quest to reunite with other spirits to...do something...attempts to sway the self using, primarily, brain processes. Because the body already hard-wired many early brain processes, and life was experienced primarily through fight-or-flight responses to negative stimuli, the spirit started out at a disadvantage. The spirit is limited by the pathways available to navigate in the brain and nervous system. Creating new pathways is difficult, though it becomes easier once self-awareness begins. The spirit also remains disoriented for some time, having no memory of why it is here and often no understanding that it can be part of the self and not just a passenger in the body.
As the self becomes more aware of the pushes and pulls between the body and spirit, it may come to resent both. When the self becomes open to one at the expense of the other, the favoured rewards it. However, the rejected finds ways to punish the self. When the self is open to body and spirit through love of both, and especially if it can help them love each other, the self can begin to become self-aware with a lifetime goal of self-actualization. Few win the race, but many finish the marathon. We do not know if it is possible for everyone to reach the state of capacity for self-awareness. I believe it is possible for all undamaged humans to attain this.
I must tell you that there are many who do not believe in the self at all. In fact, it is not a mainstream belief. We have not found a way to prove or disprove its existence. We tend to see the process of spirit inhabiting body as one of spirit learning to control the body as a benevolent dictator, taking care of the body while guiding its actions. Failure to do so results in a life with limited attainment, with the body dictating the majority of actions and decisions.
We assume that the spirit becomes so confused by the process of mattering that it lets the body take over and get the upper hand, early on, and has a hard time learning to control things. The idea that the self, a third entity, comes into existence...well, it is game-altering.
And so I ask you, does it exist?
Gee, Mav, you used to be more fun.
(Shut up, it's important.)
Okay, I'm going to chew on that for awhile. Care to share?