Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spiritual and physical life

Okay. Here's what I'd like to do. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer authored a small book published as Everyday Wisdom. I got it for Christmas or something from somebody in the family. I didn't note who gave it to me or when. Vaguely, I think I remember getting in my sock, so that would suggest it was from Shelley. In any event, it gives a snippet of "wisdom" to contemplate for each day. Perhaps I'll attempt utilizing it as a guide to some free writing and thinking, trying to do maybe one per day and perhaps posting it. So here goes, the first one:

"You are not a human being having a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a human experience."

I have so often heard that quotation at church, that I assumed it came from some scripture or from a General Authority or something. I am surprised to learn that it came from Wayne Dyer. I wonder if he stole it from someone else or paraphrased what someone else had said. I suppose that's true of everything that's ever said, isn't it?

It could be said that the notion expressed goes to a fundamental truth LDS people cling to: that we had an existence as a spirit being before we became human beings. I don't know if that's what Wayne Dyer had in mind or not. It would be interesting to know if he believes in an existence via spirit before the existence of body. My inclination is to believe he does.

I have believed and continue to believe that I am a spiritual being clothed in a physical body in concert with what is taught in Mormon theology. Of course, I don't have any memory from a life before this one, and I don't have any experience with anyone coming back from the dead to give me any objective evidence of the continuation of life hereafter. It is something I accept on faith after having listened to and studied out what others have said and believe on the subject. Additionally, there are self-serving reasons for believing it. The notion of complete obliteration after you die isn't something that appeals to me or, I suppose, most people. Perhaps that accounts for most people's belief in a hereafter.

Naturally, there are times when I kind of hope there isn't a hereafter; for instance, when I contemplate my failings and that there will be some sort of accountability there. On the other hand, there seem to be times when something from a past seems to be there, an insight or intuition, that I can't account for in the earthly life that I have experienced and that I remember.

So, bottom line for me is that I do believe in a duality of personality. Part of that belief includes the notion that in some stage or another I have always existed and always will. Perhaps that belief, however, stems from a longing for life incompatible with death.

No comments: