The Science of Returning Resurrection: A practical approach by Ghideon (UTS’77)

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Introduction

 

“Mourn not for the dead, but for the apathetic mass, the dead and living cowards and the weak, who see the world’s evils [and their own] and anguish, but dare not speak or act.”

 

 

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We live in a dual world: the world of matter, material goods and finance, and our mortal bodies; and the world of the mind, ideas, feelings, and the spirit.  This paper takes up the issue of “Returning Resurrection” from the standpoint of science, financial preparation and responsibility, as well from that of scripture and spiritual concerns, hinting at their common elements and eventual unification.

Eternal life, reincarnation, and resurrection always have captured the profound interest and deep desire of people; while the scientific method, trying to make sense of all of nature, have been used to study both the visible working of the human body, as well as the intricate functions of the human mind and emotions, and soon, hopefully, the soul[1].

Ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramids in hopes of bringing the Pharaoh’s mummified bodies eventually back to life.

Greeks and Romans also believed in an afterlife, a place on the other side of the river Styx where spirits continued their conscious existence.

The Christian faith, like all world religions, also believe in a world beyond this material plane of existence, and even on reality TV we see shows like Long Island Medium and other shows of various ghost chasers.

The continuity of life everlasting is a universal human desire, and I would say even conviction. Now this drive points in the direction of a natural fusion between what can be called “spiritual resurrection”, and the contemporary phenomenon called life-extension.

Biological Aging and Life Extension

By now, everyone is familiar with stem cells, those incredibly flexible and malleable cells that, with some help, can be made to transform into most any type of cell (skin, muscle, bone, and more.)

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Yet stem cells are just the last tip of the genome revolution that started just a few decades ago. Today we can map our own genome, and for just a few dollars you can get the results on line. We can see the illnesses to which we may be predisposed, and take action to prevent them. We can regrow a whole human heart and transplant it, we cure many diagnosed with blood cancer. Soon we may grow new hair follicles and more.

Telomeres

In addition to changes you can see and feel as you age, there are less obvious ways in which your body ages. For example, all specialized cells in your body need to make copies of themselves to offset injury and general wear and tear. This renewal process, however, is limited by the length of your telomeres. Telomeres are DNA sequences that protect the ends of chromosomes and get shorter with each new copy. When a cell’s telomeres become too short, it can’t make any more copies of itself and eventually dies. For these reasons, telomere length is sometimes used as an indicator of “biological aging”, meaning that it can be used to understand how old a person’s cells appear. Telomeres tend to be longer in women than in men and their length is strongly influenced by genetics. Non-genetic factors such as smoking and obesity also influence telomere length. Some scientists have suggested that telomere length directly influences longevity, but more research is needed to know for sure. Telomeres, those little pieces of DNA at the end of each cell may or may not be the key to something that allows our cells to reproduce almost indefinitely, but it sure seems like a good beginning. And a lot more is coming, if we just can keep this world from falling to pieces from all our other habits of self-destruction .

Life Extension in Nature

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Life extension in the natural habitat is widespread.  Think of bears for example, that hibernate for months, or insects that hibernate for years, and seeds that keep dormant but alive for centuries.  There are bacteria that live even in the near-zero cold in asteroids for millennia. Have you asked why do white bears do not have excessive cholesterol with all the fat they eat and store. Obviously their system has some sort of cholesterol controlling mechanism that regulates the lipids in their bodies. Additionally, in order to release and use the fat they stored during the summer months, there must exist a system that regulates the absorption of fat into their bodies transforming it into energy.

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By studying the mechanism of hibernation in all animals, like cicada and other animals that can also put their bodies to sleep for long periods of time, even going into a state of suspended animation, we can learn a lot about true life extension.

Before you start thinking that there is no links between science and resurrection, note the television program, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freedman, on human cloning. There is widespread use of stem cells everywhere, just ask any resident of Beverly Hills. But it is in the hospitals and clinics that we see the great benefits of the many applications of this fantastic technology. Stem cells are one big hope for a science-based interpretation of the term resurrection.

Another scientific approach to a sort of returning resurrection is the prolongation of an individual conscious life on earth by way of a suspended animation.

Even a superficial search for ways to keep or renew our physical bodies in this wonderful planet Earth, we can begin to think once again on eternal question, can we live forever? On the Wormhole television show the answers seems vague but promising. Astrophysicist Dr. Michio Kaku approaches the question in light of the second law of thermodynamics, how can we put aging on ice (Nov 4th 2013 episode: Resurrect your body by cloning, http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/through-the-wormhole/) while Dr. Doris Taylor, University of Minnesota, resurrects red blood cells from cadavers.  But be careful !!! Remember, 90% of our cells in our bodies are NOT our own, but bacteria that help us deal with our environment.

I believe a time is coming when we can combine science, technology, reason and spiritual knowledge in order to understand more clearly what we really are made of, what we can achieve with and within our bodies, and if we can, someday, reach for the even the literal dream of the Tree of Life.

Financial Preparation

What is really required to create a life of prosperity and abundance for ourselves and the generations ahead? What do we want most to pass on to our children and to those that may inherit our mission?

What we can do NOW ?

Your Life changes, and so should your planning for “retirement.”

Do you have a plan or do you just live and work day to day? Every thoughtful person should have a clear and confident retirement plan.  Such a plan should include:

  1. Your Finances.
  2. Your Health, both physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
  3. Your “last” will and testament, and how to influence those dear to you and those who may follow your mission.

Remember, it is never too early, or too late to start planning for “retirement.” By breaking it down into small pieces, retirement planning can become simpler and more manageable.

  1. Define your expectations
    • It’s important to refine your goals and expectations for the short term and for the “long” term.
  2. Reflect on your retirement experience with a friend or in a journal.
    • Write down goals that you have for your “retirements” and review it with some appropriate advisers.
    • Plan to talk to your spouse, close friends and family members about how to handle your estates, your legacy after some unexpected event.

Contrary to what many people think, you don’t need to be a millionaire to have an estate plan. An estate plan is an important part of any ongoing, financial planning process.

Your life, your dreams, your legacy

Your legacy does not mean just money. It also encompasses your values, your mission, and who you are and what you have accomplished in all aspects of your life. Your wishes and dreams should include using your assets (financial, intellectual, spiritual) to help secure your family’s future.  Or you might choose to support some other cause (by supporting people who will continue your life-mission) or people who are really close to your heart. Such a choice might be your favorite charity, your community, your school, or your place of worship, to name a few.

Elements of an estate plan

A will lets you specify your wishes, including how you want your property distributed, who will administer your estate, and who will care for your minor children.

A trust holds your assets for the benefit of one or more people. This can be you, your spouse, your children, or ANYONE WHO SHARES YOUR DREAMS, YOUR LIFE GOALS, YOUR LIFE MISSION. One way this can be achieved is by connecting with young people who share your present objectives and who will continue to carry them on after you pass, not just in a vague devotion, but with deep personal relationship with you, and with your internal and explicit directions.

Why Not Live Fully Every Day Of Your Extra 30 Years, by Gordon Burgett, is an innovative guidebook for planning out and taking full advantage of all the years of one’s life. And how about management from beyond the grave? On a lighter note, we can even leave pre-recorded messages (ifidie.net) for our descendants on the ever-present social networks (www.youtube.com/user/IFiDieApp).

 

Spiritual Resurrection 

Robin williams

What Dreams May Come, one great movie, probably the best description of the spirit world that Hollywood has ever made, tries to explain the relationship between the two worlds.

http://www.wat.tv/video/what-dreams-may-come-3ip4l_2gwh1_.html

Dream may come

 

I have been studying Tibetan Buddhism since the age of 14. In the years since I have had the privilege of meeting the Dali Lama on eight separate occasions. I follow many of his teachings and have attended personal seminars that he gave to small numbers of people in the United States, some that lasted as long as one uninterrupted week.

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I do not know enough about Buddhist teaching on resurrection, but the most amazing thing concerning reincarnation (at least in the tradition of the Dalai Lama) is the very practical and hand-on teachings and practices concerning the return of one’s self.

For the last centuries, as each Dali Lama ages and comes closer to death, he leaves indications to his close followers regarding the location, the skills, the attributes and other details of a young boy, somewhere in the world, in whom he will return or reappear. After his death, monks search for this new boy. With the indications left by the departing Lama, the monks find the family, the father and mother where the new boy will be born. Somehow most of the earthly memories do not remain with the new individual. What remains are the more profound indicators, things we might call “spiritual” memories, those attached to profound feelings, what in the Western world we might call the things and people that the departed loved most. These kinds of memories seem to remain even in the young mind of the new ‘reborn” individual Lama. Many of these practices, honed over centuries, seem to be rooted in very practical and pragmatic tests that may well prove certain Buddhist beliefs concerning returning resurrection.

Most Christians believe that men and women are composed of both a “spirit or soul,” in addition to a material, physical body.

When an individual dies, it is generally believed that the body is completely discarded and the spirit is freed and released from the body. Over the centuries, well before the Christian era, there have been individuals who claimed to be able to communicate with men and women who were departed, and most mediums and spiritualists, including those in reality shows like Long Island Medium seem to confirm this notion.

Even Jesus, clearly spoke to and obviously heard those who were no longer on the earthly plane. Just before his crucifixion, Jesus has been said to have a conversation with Moses and Elijah concerning his crucifixion.

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But Christians are often told to refrain from contacting the dead in no uncertain terms.

The reason seems to be that it is not easy to distinguish between real communication, and thoughts and voices that may originate from oneself or that may not be truthful. A more profound study of the common elements between returning resurrection, or the communication between the spiritual world and the physical world in Christian tradition, and reincarnation in Tibet teachings and beliefs, may bring about a better understanding of the true nature of this phenomenon.

Scriptural References

A  few words of scripture:

Paul: 1 Corinthians 20

“But Christ has been raised to life! And he makes us certain that others will also be raised to life”

The Gospel of Thomas:

“These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down. And he said, “Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death”

 

History, Resurrection, and I

The self, the individual I, is what we identify with, and yet we often feel we do not know who or what we are, and what is the truth about ourselves[2].

As an individual, each one of us is a product of history.  If we consider our genetic origins, our DNA and the scientific data concerning the development of humans on this planet, we can safely conclude that we are the results of countless generations and of the        choices [3] that our ancestors made during their lives.

Adjustment Bureau

Going from Los Angeles to New York, last October, I watched a good movie on the plane: “The Adjustment Bureau.”

 

adjustment

 

I saw the movie before, but this time it was much better because lately (the last decade) I have been struggling with the issue of destiny, and of resurrection. Yes, returning resurrection and destiny are connected by way of what we refer to as “CHOICES.”

Sometimes movies seem to inspire and actually move human hearts and minds powerfully, but in a stealthy way, their message reaching deeper than long lessons or boring textbooks or sermons. The movie, with Matt Damon, is inspired from a novel by the title “The Adjustment Team.”

In the movie the question is raised: Are we the masters of our own destiny? And if so, to what degree our freedom of choice is truly so? Toward the end, it seems clear that only those who can prove to be able to overcome negative passions and stay in line with the “Plan” can make the “big” choices about their lives and their destinies.

The main character arrives at a simple (maybe simplistic) conclusion: “if you qualify (and that’s a big if), and when, you can write your own destiny; or at least some of it, as long as you move along the general guidelines.”

But that is precisely our problem: we have very few specific guidelines, the details are hard to see and we are afraid to make mistakes in the dark. So we do what men and women have always done when they were in the dark, we wait. We wait to see if a little light shows us the way, or at least leads us away from danger. We wait hoping someone will come to our rescue, we wait hoping our enemies, and the causes of our fear go away.

But the solution is different. We must move, take action. Force the issues within ourselves and within our communities. We need to push away the fear and realize that we are stronger than any and all enemies and that we can outsmart any danger, overcome any challenge. And even if we should fail, we must know, clearly understand and accept that it is never over, we cannot always loose, but that we will, eventually, always win.

So let’s look straight into the eyes of our fellow travelers. We are all in the same boat, and even if they are too afraid to move or too tired to work up a sweat and do what needs to be done, we can still act alone, like countless men and women have done since time immemorial.

Matrix

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In the room, there were only a couple of old armchairs. Morpheus, the older man with the deep, reassuring voice, said to Neo, “The moment you questioned was the moment you chose your new destiny.”

A few moments before, Trinity told Neo, “I, too, was looking for an answer. The question is what drives us.”

In the meantime, deep down, into the bowels of the earth, people dream their computer-aided dreams, and the world, as we know it, goes on.

In the movie, The Matrix, a bit reminding of the novel 1984, we find ourselves caught in a new yet age-old question: Is this reality that we perceive real, or is it just an illusion? Do we live in a dream, while the real world lies somewhere else, maybe closer to our dreams? To be or not to be? To dream or to awake? Are we really free or are we being deceived by something that manipulates our perceptions, our senses and our minds? What is the true nature of reality? The important thing is that men and women have often felt a loss of control over their own destinies.

“Alienation” was a big word in the 1960s psychology craze. Even Karl Marx, in 1848, spoke of alienation to vent his rebellious and revengeful nature and to justify the cult of class struggle and the destruction of the enemies of his deranged ideology.

We all know that, undoubtedly, things could be better. We could have a little more control over our situations, and we would like to a have a little more influence over “Big Government” or “Big Business.” We could do more to protect our environment, have cleaner beaches and fresher air in our cities, enjoy more parking spaces downtown, and maybe even return to a little higher speed limit on our highways. Is it really that much to ask? Matrix, the movie, had a nice subliminal message (maybe more than one!?!) about how to break the “code” that has kept people in darkness.

Are you one of the few who are ready to abandon the cozy, predictable, even sometimes hard life of your controlled sleep in order to face a more traumatic, maybe truer and possibly freer life?

The issue of control over one’s own destiny is something we witness more and more, from life improvement seminars to movies.

Before presenting Neo with the choice of the two pills, the red or the blue, the choice to go on like before in ignorance, or to find out the hard reality, Morpheus asks his young friend, “Do you believe in Fate?” The answer, of course, is that most of us prefer to make our own choices. We prefer to be in control of our lives and of our immediate surroundings. But to what degree are we really free? Are our minds slaves to an invisible web of cleaver programs?

I believe that the first, and maybe the only thing necessary to start freeing ourselves is to become aware of our own chains. We need to understand the “matrix,” the “code,” and that means to understand what those chains are made of and how to remove them.

False beliefs, false values, corrupted laws, dark-age superstitions, unrealistic hopes, wrongful assumptions and misplaced traditions — these are the real villains.

Remember President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inauguration speech about “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” ?

franklin

 

We should not be enslaved by fear. Fear is almost always the rotten manifestation of ignorance, and like rotting mildew and parasites, ignorance and fear grow in cold darkness.

Ignorance, the putrid feeding ground of fear, is, as many classic philosophers have argued since Socrates and Plato, the worst evil for man’s mind, the most debilitating ill for man’s body, and the saddest and most cruel pain for man’s heart. I say, “Let’s get rid of it all: fear, ignorance and despair, and smile at these powerless phantoms as they vanish completely in the sunlight, like undetectable mist in a hot summer morning.”

Historical DNA

For those who believe that human history has a specific purpose and goal, be it directed by nature or by a Supreme Being, each human being is a product of both: a historical “Providence,” a “material” DNA, as well as “historical choices,” and a “spiritual” DNA.

For some Christians, the individual who needs to accomplish his or her purpose in life (mission) and in their present historical time, is none other than I, myself.

Such a person understands the need to take up the cross of history and accept responsibility to fulfill one’s calling.  To this end, he or she tries to complete, in one’s own lifetime  if possible, through both prayer, personal efforts and conscious choices, the purpose of his, her life and remedy as many past mistakes as possible. To become such an historical victor, they argue, it is necessary to understand the heart of the purpose of human history: how it developed with past Biblical figures and historical events and the details of the “missions” entrusted to them.

The path which all past saints, scientists, artists and yes, even soldiers,

like Joshua,

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or Rome’s Romulus,

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or Patton,

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walked as they strove to fulfill God’s providential Will is the very path we must walk again today. Beyond that, we must continue on to the end of the path, even walking trails they left untrodden. We will find the path that leads to real life and resurrection with a deeper understanding of the particulars of the providence of restoration and returning resurrection.

 

To be continued….

 

 

END NOTES


[1] The natural world and our perception of it are such that they allow only a limited number of solutions to any given problem. Our prehistoric ancestors, be they hunters, fishermen, gatherers or farmers, if they wanted to survive in an often hostile environment, had to learn about realities relevant to their survival, be it by hunting, fishing, gathering, farming, or . . . stealing from other more successful villagers.

But, those of our prehistoric ancestors who did not contemplate survival-through-raiding techniques had to find the correct answers to questions such as: How do animals behave?  How can they be captured or killed?  Do they taste better roasted or raw? What tools are best suited to catch them? When and how must a seed be planted and how must it be nurtured in order to grow into fruits or vegetables? When is the right time to harvest?  How can fire be started? Why is it not a good idea to start a fire in the middle of your field of wheat just before harvest time? Such experiences became part of the human heritage. This knowledge, formulated and accumulated through trial and error, became one of the most valuable things that an individual or a group could possess.

For a while, humans lived in an “information age” or “knowledge age,” when the right kind of information was greatly valued — a little like today. But the “right” knowledge, in order to be truly valuable, must be valid in New York as well as in Albania. Take pi for example, the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter.  Everywhere in the world it is the same: 3.14 . . . etc. Anyone, regardless of his or her language and culture, who can draw a nice circle, measure its circumference and its diameter, and divide one by the other, will reach the same conclusion about the measure of pi.  We all have the capacity to observe reality and, as a result, make up our minds about its meaning and decide how to act, but facts remain what they are, regardless of our opinion.

Years ago, an interesting movie (Quest for Fire) about prehistoric times and the quest for the making of fire was released in the theaters. I believe that primitive people must have had a somewhat mystical experience when they learned to tame and even create fire. Before that special moment, fire came from heaven, often in the form of lightning or a more rare volcanic eruption; sometimes, it came as the spontaneous combustion of dried grass on a hot summer day. But to our ignorant prehistoric ancestors, it must have manifested itself always as a supernatural force. Imagine the surprise of those people when someone learned to strike two rocks together and “miraculously” started a fire in the brush. There were many other mystical moments in our early history, like the discovery of the use of tools, as the famous movie,GV3

2001: A Space Odyssey, depicted so beautifully.

One single element has consistently served as the catalyst for human progress and evolution throughout the ages, and that is knowledge. From the day men learned to master fire and the wheel, to understand farming and onward, learning and knowledge have determined the advancement of the human race. But, real knowledge extends to all areas of human endeavor, like understanding the motion of the moon and other heavenly bodies, mathematical concepts, philosophy, economy, the nursing of the arts, understanding the human body and medicine, and, more recently, psychology and the study of the human mind and heart.

Today and tomorrow:GV4

the scientific study of the human soul and even our Creator.

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[2]

SELF AND TRUTH: Religion and science, a binary truth?

“Tonight we eat microwave food. I have no time to make dinner. The bus was late, and I’m tired as hell.” Maggie O’Reilly sat in front of the television with her three sons, Mark, 17, Michael, 14, and Rob, 12. Her husband had gone out one fine, Sunday morning last spring to get a wedding cake for her cousin in nearby Londonderry. But he never came back. Patrick died from a sniper’s bullet and was buried in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery the following Tuesday. It was a small flat. Too small for her and her three kids. There wasn’t enough money, but she insisted that the kids go to school for as long as possible. The TV showed the pictures of seven British soldiers killed in an ambush in Northern Ireland, the reprisal for three IRA men killed earlier. “Will my children be next?” The thought of not knowing, living with that fearful doubt, made the pain all the more unbearable. Maggie dropped the remote and began crying . . . again.  How many have died for the sake of religion! How many more will? And, for what?

Speaking of perception, a short footnote is due on a special kind of perception: religious perception, religious experience, and the presumed purpose of religion.

It is hard to understand the real purpose of religion and the reason for man’s search for spiritual enlightenment. Many people believe the purpose of religion is the search for truth. This has caused endless bickering among those who assume to know “the” truth, and its “right” interpretation. But truth is hard to find and even harder to define. Even though the meaning of the word truth seems to be obvious, it is actually extremely difficult to formulate an acceptable definition of the term. The very notion of truth is based more on an intuitive insight than on a scientific thought construction, even though the search for truth seems to be claimed exclusively by those avenues of investigation that call themselves, precisely, “scientific.”

Philosophers, epistemologists, theologians and other scholars of every persuasion have so far been unable to offer a clear, unambiguous assessment of the various existing definitions of the concept of “truth”, and they have not been able to reconcile the numerous interpretations of it. Philosophical speculations have actually been the source of additional misconceptions and contradictions regarding this term.

Many of those who, throughout the centuries, have attempted to define what truth really is, have done so by starting not so much from objective and measurable data (as would be characteristic of the scientific method), but rather from fideistic assumptions. The history of human thought has thus been marked by a confrontation between faith and science and between paradigms belonging to the past and the future. But it doesn’t need to be so. Before going any further, let me assure the reader that I maintain excellent relations with Catholic representatives. I even presented the Italian version of my books to His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

Everyone remembers the confrontation between Galileo Galilei and the Catholic Church in the first half of the 17th Century. Galileo was summoned by the Inquisition to explain his convictions (i.e., that the Earth, considered until then as the center of the universe, being the planet chosen by God to be the home of his favorite creature, human beings, was actually revolving around the sun and not the opposite), and he was subsequently forced to formally recant his findings. In spite of this, the Inquisition ordered his writings to be burned in 1633, and he had to spend the last eight years of his life in house arrest. At that time, like many other times before and after, scientific evidence was met by the so-called moral force of faith, or rather by the human fears of those who were unable to administer that faith except by terrorist means.

When a human being is convinced that he or she knows and possesses the only unique and unquestionable Truth, this conviction can be so deep that, in a great many cases, people have been willing to sacrifice even their very lives in order to defend their ideals (this is particularly true in the case of religious beliefs). In fact, the number of early widows in Ireland and Isreal could easily be topped by those in the Middle East, in India, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, etc.

Thus, truth does not only require us to believe in it, it also expects us to lift its banner with pride, even when this means a real sacrifice.

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Unfortunately, not all believers are willing to sacrifice themselves. Many more people have been willing to sacrifice other people’s lives (see recent examples in the Talibans’ Afghanistan, Saddam’s Iraq, Milosevich’s Serbia, Rwanda, Somalia, and so on) instead of their own and often with greater enthusiasm, efficiency and exuberance.

It seems, however, that even the most meticulous investigations, be they of a spiritual, philosophical or scientific type, are unable to uncover the whole (!#@!*x!) Truth.

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What we can actually achieve, on the other hand, are so many small and partial truths (lower case!). As for the One, Big Truth about the meaning of life, and the world,  our Milky Way galaxy, the origin and purpose of the universe and the existence of God, I think we should be satisfied when and if we can even approach it as that great example of wonderful British theatrical humor,Monty Python: Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, clearly shows   (I confess, I am a great fan of most of the Monty Python movies).

brian

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On the positive side, we must admit that man’s trust in the existence of one big Truth is also expressed by his sharing and passing on all the little truths he or she, as an individual, can make his own. Thus, the sharing of beneficial information, insights and innovations with the greater community allows progress and growth.

The search for big and small truths has always had great importance in all societies and in all ages. Almost all cultures and societies of the past and present have had and continue to have a particular respect and admiration for those who have the courage to risk their lives in the search for truth and thus manage to catch a glimpse of it, becoming its messengers, illuminating humankind in the light of their discovery.

We all love big and small truths, not just wisdom revealed by prophets and saints or scientific research into the cause of cancer or the workings of germs and viruses, but also more mundane truth. Smaller truths, like the truth about polluted waters (here the success of the movie Erin Brokovich), cigarettes’ relationship to lung cancer, as well as not-yet-released little truths about UFOs, Nixon’s tapes, and Clinton’s lady-friends; well, it can be a long, boring and unpleasant list.

In conclusion, we notice a parallel track: on one side, men and women seek truthful information regarding the external world in which we live; on the other side, there is a quest for deep answers to more personal questions dealing with our inner lives.

Being consistent with the binary categories described before, it would follow that the internal desire for happiness and fulfillment leads man to search for information dealing with the inner aspects of our lives, and that is the realm of religion, philosophy, and spirituality, while the desire for strictly physiological well-being, pleasure, comfort, and more mundane joys often find its answers within the realm of scientific investigation. A binary type of truth, if you like: one internal type of information is addressed to the inner self, the other is external, addressed to the external world. Both types are often overlapping, complementary if you want, but also quite distinct and sometimes conflicting.

[3]CHOICES

Sometimes, the needs of the individual coincide with those of the community (e.g., the need for a healthy environment, sufficient nutrition, an appropriate transportation system), but, on other occasions, the self-centered desires of the individual can be in conflict with the norms and parameters established by the community (e.g., speed limits on the roads, zoning laws, etc.).

Just as goals can be divided into two categories (individual and collective), human choices can also be divided between those that are made by the community and those that are made by the individual.

 

à      Collective   goals

Goals

à      Individual   goals

 

à      Collective   choices

Choices

à      Individual   choices

 

In this context, it is interesting to note that it is practically impossible to foresee the outcome of choices made by individuals. That’s because the parameters used for making these judgments are peculiar to the heart and mind of each individual, and because they are entirely subjective and can be affected by temporary changes in the psychological, social, and cultural situation of that individual. It is easier to anticipate the choices and changes relating to the community. In this second case, it is even possible to make statistical calculations on the community’s reactions to a given situation.

Strictly speaking, individual choices are not entirely subjective, otherwise, it would also be impossible to reach statistical probability for a group of people who are all acting in an entirely subjective manner. There is some degree of objective predictability even for an isolated individual action, but it is, of course, much lower than for a group where the unpredictable factor linked to human freedom is balanced out by the large number.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Michael Shea
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Can’t seem to read the paper. It goes to a Google link off the UTSAlum site.

    • UTS Alumni Association
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Fixed, I hope

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