Hi. As most of you know me, I am erata – the Greek mythological muse for love poetry and music. I am also Courtney – a young 15-year old experiencing life through misty blue eyes. I can be categorized as a romantic, an idealist, a passionate liberal, an empiricist, a naturalistic thinker. I am one who asserts the freedom of man and the divinity of the whole. Ideas shape our world. The world that people actually see it is given form by these ideas and is thus less real because it is always changing, but the ideas are eternal and unchangeable. I emphasize passion and will.
The ideas are less important than the man with the ideas. I maintain the importance of personal responsibility, and that the life we all live is nothing more than an illusion. These are simply a few of my thoughts. This is not to say that if you hold different beliefs that either of us is faulty. I wrote this paper, mainly for myself, to clarify everything that’s been zooming through my head in the past couple months. Don’t think I wrote this to impress you or created it out of my Ego – I assure you, none of these thoughts are completely original. I invite you to read this, and dialogue with me.
Come and explore your own thoughts on these matters. I am truly interested in your thoughts on the following pages and questions such as: What are space and time? What is a thing and how does it differ from an idea? Are humans really free to decide their fate? Is there a first cause, or God, that has made everything and put it in motion? Is the world as people perceive it the basic reality, or do people perceive only appearances (or phenomena) that conceal basic reality? What are the boundaries between reason and knowledge? Is it observation, experience, intuition, or inspiration? Or is it some other basis?
How do humans judge what is beautiful? Is it a reasoned assessment, or is it merely an emotional preference? What is happiness? What is a good life? I understand that words obscure thoughts – that once a thing is written down, the thought is distorted. But this is the only form of expression via email – and as most of us our writers, it’s what we do best. I also understand that nothing is absolute (absolut vodka, maybe) So, I tried to put this paper in first person, because these are my personal beliefs. Simply because something is stated in a declaratory form does not mean it is truth.
It means that I hold it as truth. I didn’t want to make everything uncertain by placing qualifying statements before them. Also, if there are any contradictions within this text, please call them to my attention. (I’m sure there are many) So – on to my paper already! Love. Truth. Beauty. Knowledge. Freedom. In my opinion, these five aspects of human existence qualify the true experience of life. Nothing has greater significance than these underlying facets.
Imperative to a centered and content individual, they are the essential ideals I base my individuality on. In this, my first belief statement, I will explore all avenues I am currently discovering. From life experiences, perceptions, attained knowledge, a continued curiosity, and an immense desire to grow, learn, experience, and explore more of this physical realm I form my intellect. All occurrences create the person I am today. I inhale each aroma encircling me and, of my own free will, decide exactly what I think of it and choose its impact. I am evolving; I am becoming.
Using my relationship with my surroundings, I decide what I want to become. This is the joy of creating self – of knowing self. Of becoming, consciously, who I want to be. Such a belief implies the significance of an individual’s perception of reality – a state of mind that life is how one witnesses it. Everything known depends on perception, however, perception can never gain anything outside of itself to verify anything. Each human creates his world – each soul decides where it wants to be in life. The soul is one’s identity; the true metaphysical entity present within itself, but divine within the whole.
Ultimately, the spirit renounces what is not real. And nothing in the physical life we lead is veritable, except God. So God is the beginning and the end – the Alpha and the Omega. Life calls upon us to prove who we are by demonstrating aspects of who we are not. We should come to God through our hearts, not our minds. The mind speaks from the world’s perspective and distorts things with others’ opinions of them. Only through emotions can we truly experience ourselves. Feeling is the language of the soul – God speaks to us through it.
Just as God is three persons, so are we. We consist of the mind, the body, and the soul. (It’s been said many ways, but this is what is boils down to) Western thought seems to gratify the inflation of the Ego – praising people who succeed. I think this pursuit is in vain: why seek to enlarge something that only exists in this world? Eastern methodology contradicts it; it honors the man who denies his Ego. For, the Ego is nothing more than our personality – our worldly perception of ourselves. It is in this personality that man finds himself distorted.
We should strive to shed our personality, and take on the task of discovering our identity – the true form of ourselves. Life is eternal. We are immortal. Souls never die – they simply change form. The soul knows all, all the time. Nothing is hidden; nothing, unknown. Yet knowing is not enough. For example, one can know oneself to be generous, but unless one does something to displays that generosity, only a concept exists. The purpose of life is for a soul to live experientially. Through these experiences, these decisions, I create who I want to become. By my decisions, I paint a portrait of Who I Am.
When life is lived from a standpoint of damage control or optimum advantage, the true benefit of life is forfeited. The opportunity is lost, the chance missed. For a life lived thusly is a life lived from fear. Who we are is who we create ourselves to be in relationship to the rest of the world. The soul’s purpose is to fully recognize itself within the body — to become the true embodiment of all it really is. I assert the importance of individualism and diversity simply because the world would cease to exist without it. Genetic clones of ancestors and rock stars do not lead to a greater understanding of one’s self.
It paves the sordid path toward anonymity and conformity – a fascist regime of “Big Brothers” constantly peering down upon minor plebeians in a fearful attempt to control and enlarge their own egos through domination. Such a life is not one I choose to lead. I say this because the core of all human existence is choice. Free will and equality are the determining factors – democracy at its best. The Founding Fathers asserted as much in the Declaration of Independence; however, they also mentioned a greater power. A being higher than ourselves, one which created us in His image and likeness, to renew and rediscover.
This God is the energy we name imagination. He [she, it] is creation. He is first thought. And last experience. And everything in between. Some teachers preach of an angry God, a jealous God, a God who needs to be needed, one who will be so hurt at our rejection of him that he will ban us from his kingdom. This is not a God at all, but more of a neurotic substitute for an idealized deity. His purpose in creating us, His spiritual offspring, was so He could experience and know himself as God. We, the entire human race, are his vessels. The soul naturally pursues the highest feeling, the greatest thought.
It strives to become perfect love. The soul seeks to experience – which is why it resolves to manifest itself into a physical form. Yet, once manifested, the soul tends to forget. So life becomes a process of remembering who we really are. Those who are well-versed in remembering are said to be insightful. Essentially, to join together with the various parts of oneself is to experience the all of oneself – which is to say, the All of God. Life is not a journey of discovery, but a process of creation. I don’t need to “discover” or “find” myself – I need to create myself.
Thereby, my life should not revolve as much around as who I am, but more of what I want to be. The secular and moral concepts of “right” and “wrong” do not exist. No conditions truly exist. They just are. Everything is relative. There is only what serves one, and what does not. Natural law exists and remains present in our physical lives – it holds precedence. Value judgements only hinder one’s progress. Morality’s ideas about right and wrong are just those – ideas. They are the thoughts which form the shape and create the substance of Who I Am. Through these thoughts, I are more able to aptly demonstrate myself.
Only one reason exists to alter any of these; only one purpose to make a modification — is if I am not happy with who I am. Perhaps one should repudiate any and all bodies of beliefs as having no validity in one’s life. Morality is not so much conformity as It Is creation. Man does not ask what he must do; man asks rather what he wants to do. Thus as in Freudianism, desire determines destiny. It is existential man’s exercise of his freedom which makes his action right. For Sartre, there can be found no excuse for one’s action in the past nor is there any authentic meaning for existence to be discovered in the future.
His only justification is his choice to act. Man is not; he is becoming. That is to say, he Is what he is not; he is not what he is. The nihilistic implications of Sartrean existentialism are clear. One’s existence is a striving to become, but never a reaching; it is the striving after an Illusion, a search for a phantom. Rather than name something another chooses as wrong, people should live and let live. It is not appropriate to interfere or question choice; however, it is particularly inappropriate to condemn it. Each spirit should be allowed to live his own life, how he sees fit. It’s only natural.
People are good by nature, thus, with the acceptance of personal responsibility, society will become natural. Murder is not “wrong” merely because it steals a human life, but because disallowing a soul to walk its path contradicts the natural order of things, thus causing disruption and distortion. This interference of natural law leads to catastrophic consequences. The first step to changing anything is to know and accept that one has chosen, consciously or subconsciously, that it should be what it is. I seek to alter a thing, not because it is wrong, but because it no longer displays an accurate statement of who I am.
This in itself asserts the gravity of human thought. Thought is power. Through our thoughts, we change the world. Life is a result from our thoughts about it. Jesus Christ manifested water into wine at Cana simply through the power of his thoughts. Such a feat is no less possible for us than it was for him 2000 years ago. If one can transform the molecular structure of things, imagine what two or more could do if every ounce of their energy was focused on the same thing? World suffering would end, hunger, disease, war. All it takes is for everyone to simply accept and believe it.
Heaven, like hell, is a state of mind. Heaven can be described as self-realization. Nothing is more important than the “I” am: this is why we are present on earth. Everything is one – to increase my knowledge of myself is to benefit the whole. Should I catch myself committing an ungodly act as a result of doing what is best for me, the confusion is not having put myself first, but rather in misunderstanding what is best for me. Everyone is a part of God – God is energy, within everything. Each soul is goodness and mercy, compassion and understanding.
We are peace and light, forgiveness and patience, strength and courage. We are helpers in a time of need, comforters in times of sorrow, healers in times of injury, teachers in times of confusion. There is no uncertainty about the outcome of life. This doubt has created society’s greatest enemy – fear. For, if one doubts the outcome – one must doubt the creator, doubt God. Everyone achieves self-realization – heaven. Hell does not exist, except in the sense that some decide to survive in their own hell – an obscure definition of self.
There is no “last judgement. How could He judge anything He created as “bad? ” God does not care what actions we choose, as every action and thought helps create the self our identity wishes to become. If there were such a thing as sin, this would be it: to allow ourselves to become what we are because of the experiences and teachings of others. Our destinies in “heaven” are unavoidable. We cannot be saved – we already are. There is no hell except not recognizing this. Creation is life. It’s significance to actually living rather than merely existing lies in the thought process, or lack thereof.
Individuals must act rather than react. This same philosophy is found in the statement that to not decide is to decide. Creation echoes a passion for life. If one is without passion – essentially, one is without life. This individual lives a devoid existence without emotion, a rather apathetic stance. Every thought, every prayer, every emotion, every statement – is creative. Each thought, if fervently held as truth, will be made manifest in one’s experience. We can choose to be people who are simply results from what has happened or people who choose their stance based upon these events.
Essentially, I can’t change what’s happened, but I can change my attitude toward it. We cannot experience who we are until we encounter what we are not. This is the purpose of the theory of relativity, and all physical life. It is that which you are not that you yourself are defined. The space surrounding an object holds the object in place. To know God, we do not have to supercede and overcome all earthly passions; to understand them is enough. For, whatever one resists appears twice as forcefully; what one looks at disappears.