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January 20, 2014

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Unity Blog

I am starting a new daily blog it is going to be a reflection on my 12 week gym challenge and my goal of finding cosmic spirit unity. So I will write about Christianity and religion, politics, news, history, sentimental fluff, in other words the thought fireflies flitting around in my mind. I haved named it the Unity Blog

This is something of a follow up on my year of fitness post. If you haven't read it, I'll link it, so you can hop over. My Year in Fitness: a work in process

Jan 20 ---- Jan 22

Jan 23 ---- Jan 27

Current Post the 28th and 29th

Jan 28

The four aspects of being, I am not trying to be all mystical. Anyone can deny the complex mysteries of our existence, ignoring the aspects of being that stretch beyond the feet firmly planted on the ground world. Everyone does exist in a most complex and mystical universe. The solid ground on which we stand is not solid. Millions of tiny particles and space exist in our most solid surface. All these millions of particles and spaces interacting in an innumerable larger universe. I believe accelerating universe according to the last pseudo-science article I read on the Internet tubes. We all exist in the world; a world no one fully understands. How to approach refining my concept of my being as it exists? One can cleverly argue, it might be an illusion; ala the Matrix. Deny the world in the expression, my true home is in heaven. Take a sarcastic ontological approach, I know I exist; I have my doubts about you. An unacceptable approach is elevating ignorance to a religious commandment. No matter the approach it does not separate anyone's existence from reality, whatever it is.

I am something of a pragmatic even in cosmological musing. If I want a good tomato I must plant one and live in a decent tomato growing climate with good soil, such as Forgottonia. Society could collectively advance enough that one person could grow enough tomatoes for a 100 others or 1000. Our society supposedly has, but it depends on your definition of a good tomato. At times I would rather have a great tomato than to achieve a beyond human capabilities understanding of the true nature of the universe. I know I could eat the tomato, but I would likely be dismissed as a lunatic if I had a full understanding of the true nature of the universe. We will move into a true understanding of the universe as collective humanity. The knowledge explosion is beyond any individual's ability to master, most of you do not even know how to grow a truly great tomato. If united in advancing civilization as one humanity, we can advance true understanding of the universe and of our existence in it. It is the true goal of science and the seekers of God. The sincerely curious, skeptical, inexhaustible searchers are one and the same, whether called scientists or spiritual pilgrims.

Physical, mental, spiritual, all sorts of terms just one of the problems with language and our individuality. We have many words; do we mean the same thing when using them? Is our experience the same as others, most assuredly I do not see the same world as my wife, yet we are a strong communicative couple. I have spent hours of driving my body in thought about my existence. I am attuned with my body. Body is the first aspect of being. Body includes mind. We coexist as mind and body. We normally do not control our breathing or our heart rate. Yet, we can calm ourselves learn to slow both, we can sense our heart rate. It is body that plays sports. We can train, study, and strategize, but the body reacts. It uses coordination and athleticism to play unconsciously.

The other aspect of being is the rational, logical part of us. The part that puts the world together, calculates, formulates words. The part that concludes we should stop at the next exit. A place where we can get gas, food, and keep Nancy happy. The body is just floating along; naw, I'm good, let's roll. Our rational logical part of being is the part that organizes someone to grow a great tomato, possibly through barter or in the present economic system variable reinforcement. The rational logical part of being constructs sophisms, that not helping the poor is in line with Christ, that struggling minimum wage workers without health care have it easy, that teachers are over paid, that climate change is a hoax, or that the universe was created 6000 years ago. It is also the part that allowed Einstein to describe the universe mostly by using his rational logical part of being. Einstein had few laboratories for research or computers to model and calculate. More often than not when his description of the nature of the universe could be tested it has proved to be true. If only the curious mind pursuing basic research, followed by scientific peer review, were how all our policies and laws were formulated and enacted.

The third aspect of being I labeled the soul. Have you ever met a good soul? I have met people where there is something that comes through as essential to their being that is beyond their body, mind,or rational logical center. It is an aspect that can be nurtured and grown. The soul may not tip a gram on a scale but it is what moves a world. It is all that an artist can try to convey, a musician can share, or what drives creative people to innovation. The soul demands we search, for meaning in the meaningless, for hope when there is no hope. The soul is nurtured by awe. The soul grows in reverence. Without a soul to grow there is nothing to hold the humanity of 1 Corinthians 13. It isn't that I think only the Christian or only the religious have souls or can be good souls, I do not. I have encountered many strong Christians who seemed to have no good in their souls. Other people outside any religion, who would best be described as the least of these, can possess a strength of soul. The scientist is asking where can I measure this soul. I can demonstrate neurons firing in the brain. I can point out the functioning of the hippocampus, I can give you a neural map, there is no soul. There is much about the physical world we are yet to understand. The history of science teaches us that as we advance there is so much we can explain now, that was invisible to us a few years ago. I read today again on those pseudo-science Internet tubes about a site found in Israel. It was thought to be a campfire, with stone tools that was 300,000 years old a time before homo sapiens. Maybe the findings will be disputed, but the suggestions of human development change constantly. We are just beginning to understand where we have come from and where we are headed. The soul will lead us beyond dreams. Music can touch our soul, you can measure waves, decibels, monitor neurons, but if you think you can reproduce music's communication from it's creator to the soul. Well your soul is musically empty. I believe the soul is the small part of humanity that is God like, the small part of humanity that captures the essence of the creative nature of the universe.

The fourth aspect of being is vision. It is even rarer than a good and strong soul. Vision is where we make a connection with creation. Vision is where we encounter the holy ground of a connection that allows our humanity to aspire. It is the place where some can come to see beyond what is visible. Without vision humanity can not evolve to new planes of existence. We have evolved, we are not just those 300,000 year old humanoids with better tools. Vision is our only hope as a species to prosper and allow all life to flourish. Vision is the aspect of being that will move us to a new plane of being, creators not destroyers. Vision is a real state of being, but not one that we live in often. It is a state of being that some never experience. All aspects of being flow and overlap, exist in the same moments, but leave us at some moments in our being. I once read a book on zen, a small popularizing philosophic text. I think the only truth I took away was striving after a thing, often pushes it away. I remember meditating on it as I went about my summer life on the farm during the break from college. We moved many square bales in those days. I came to the conclusion that after four or five hours of stacking square bales, zen meditations had become absent from my being. Only the body remained and the muscle memory of lift, knee kick, stack, and align. It may be that many human beings are no different than any other species, just as sometimes any other aspect of being beyond the body is not present. We as collective humanity have already stepped outside of nature as a species. If we are to evolve to other planes of existence, our aspect of being that will take us to higher planes is vision.

If you see me chugging away on the elliptical I may just be in the body, a sweat drenched body at that, or I may be floating in one of the other aspects of being. It is all one and the same.

Moving on, 12 weeks to better strength, at least I can feel progress with abdominal and weight exercises as I do them now.

Today's Internet thing

Pete get the people's voices singing whatever you are.

Jan 29

A short update, continued today with a night out at the gym, then we took in an under 500 calorie restaurant stop. Truth from others is the most annoying thing we must endure. At home peanut butter may be a hazard to weight loss, I do love it. I get advice, mostly unheeded, about my diet. If the advice is correct, that only makes it worse. I always thought the most satisfying effect of making the first year goal was I did it in spite of the unsolicited advice about my peanut butter consumption. In addition to peanut butter attacks the half & half in my coffee is often a target. Now I have to succeed again, so I can quietly ignore the well meaning advice from others. I try to do so with patience and a grain of grace. If I make this year's goals still having my coffee with cream, toast with peanut butter, ah it will be sweet silent revenge. I must work harder stay disciplined on food choices in other ways. I have done it before I should be able to accomplish it again.

Jan 30 -31

Life intercedes -- we had planned a visit to St Louis to see Alex. This was coincident with another winter weather event. I spent a great deal of time watching local weather videos from St Louis Springfield and the Quad Cites TV stations. These are great planning sources. I would not say it was perfectly stress free driving, but it was passable. My only exercise became an unfamiliar elliptical at the Drury Inn. I was modest in my out of town eating on the low exercise days. Slides were loaded for church before I left, I am ready for tomorrow. Closer to Free, the group I sing with, will be the worship band for both services tomorrow.

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SLU Law School in Downtown Joe and Loretta Scott Hall

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Forgottonia is a place where you can endlessly wander the lonely roads, and never once miss the fast lane. The name Forgottonia captures an image of a region, off the beaten path, which is very true of Western Illinois.

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