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Blue Lion's Lair

Hunting for Answers and Devouring the Issues

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Category: Why am I here?

In the truly excellent science fiction TV show, Babylon 5, created by J. Micheal Straczynski (or Joe to those who know him) there is an episode dedicated to the question “Who are you?”.  This episode, entitled “Comes The Inquisitor” is available via Hulu.

There is a scene in the episode where one of the main characters, Delenn,  is asked over and over again in brutal fashion “Who are you?”  Delenn first answers with her name.  That, she is clearly shown, is not the right answer.   She is confused.  She doesn’t know what the “Inquisitor” is getting at.  In the end, she realizes the Inquisitor is asking “What is most important to you?”  “What do you stand for?”  “What values do you live your life by?”  It is only at this point that the testing ends.

So, who is the Blue Lion?  Clearly it’s not my name.  We can wear names like clothes.  Whether you call me Blue Lion, or Leo Blue, or Hey, you!!  Cranky guy.  It doesn’t matter.  It does not change who I am.  I guess the best answer I can give, is in what do I believe?  What are my values?  What would I be willing to die for?

Above all, I believe that life, everyone’s, life is unique and important.  If you’ve read my earlier posts you know that this is because I believe our lives are “God experiencing all there is to experience” or “the Universe figuring itself out (nod again to Joe Straczynski)” depending upon your view of a “Creator”.  Every person should have the right to seek out their own happiness as long as that does not impinge on the rights of others.  Since you need to be alive to pursue your happiness, I can state this as everyone has the “inalienable right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  The Founding Fathers of the Unites States got this exactly right.

I believe the most evil thing people can do, except under one circumstance, is to destroy another human life, as that is the ultimate abrogation of that person’s rights.  Strangely, maybe paradoxically, I also believe that you have not only the right, but the responsibility, to protect your life and the lives of those you love.  Those you love can, and often does, have a very broad definition in my book.  This leads to the one exception to the rule.  It is not evil to kill another if that other presents a credible threat to either your life or liberty, or the life and liberty of someone you love.  I wish I could say that you can wait to take action until after someone is being attacked, but by then it will often be too late and you’ll end of not saving the person who’s life you were trying to save.  I’m also not saying to kill everyone that threatens you.  It’s a judgment call that each person will have to make for themselves depending upon the situation at hand.

The Blue Lion puts a large amount of value on honesty.  Dealing with other people requires you to have credibility.  Always being honest accomplishes two things.  It cements your credibility and it keeps you from having to remember which lie you told to whom.  Trust me, as you get older the memory is one of the first things to go.  Don’t make it any harder on yourself than you need to.

I also believe that decisions need to be made on the basis of reason, not emotions, in almost all instances.  Emotional decisions, very often feel like the right thing to do, but more often than not end up making a mess of things, because they do not take the law of unintended consequences into account.  Welfare is a perfect example.  It feels right to help people who are struggling (the psychological basis for this is not as altruistic as most people think as it’s usually an ego boost to the helper), and in many cases it makes sense to do so to a limited point.  However, helping people for too long tends to make them dependent on that help.  This lessens that person’s liberty and even their dignity over the long haul.  Since the helpers (I’m talking about good people trying to help here, not those trying to take advantage) don’t intend this to happen, its an unintended consequence.  Help has to be temporary and people need to be made responsible for their own lives again as quickly as possible.

My studies of economics have shown me that capitalism is fairest way to distribute resources.  Read Basic Economics 3rd Ed: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell to get an idea of why this is true. Capitalism, makes those who need a resource most pay the most for it.  It also takes into account human nature.  Now, while I understand that every regulation or tax put upon Capitalism in some way constrains the free will of people to do as they want and slows the growth of an economy (the rising tide does lift all boats, even if it doesn’t lift them evenly), I recognize that rules need to be agreed to and followed so that less evolved people do not take advantage of the more evolved ones.  I also recognize that governments, that need to exist to enforce the rules and protect the populace from outside harm, need funds to accomplish these tasks.

Last of my core beliefs is that representative democracy, in other words, the US system, is the best, most practical form of Government yet invented by humans, at least for humans.  It gives each person a say in running the country, which directly impacts their lives.  However, it is also workable from a practical standpoint.  Pure democracy would mean everyone voted on everything.  In the end, noting but the voting would get done.  The sad fact that our current leaders are out of control and driving this country into a hole, doesn’t mean the basic system is bad.  In fact, in the not too distant future, the system will probably work very well to change the current leadership.  If the leaders we had, actually followed the Consititution and didn’t make things up as they went, we’d be better off than we are now.

As you can see, the answers I have found to the question of “Why are we here?” has had a major impact on “Who am I?”.  I have hopefully explained how my answers to my questions about God, the Universe, and why we are here, rationally (again, hopefully) lead to who I am.  As we go forward, we’ll start to look at “Where am I going?” and “How do I get there?” from both a personal level and at the group levels.  These questions are more practical in nature, and not so esoteric as what I’ve discussed up until now  Until then, good hunting.

I know there are many rational human beings that either don’t believe in God (atheists) or who are not sure there is a God since they have not seen adequate proof (agnostics).  These are my working definitions for these words, feel free to quibble.  I know that any atheists or agnostics reading this will have major problems with my last post.  That’s fine.  My belief does not require others to do so.  However, let me see if we can find some common ground to more forward.

The question Why Are We Here? has a very simple answer for the “belief challenged” (OK.  I think I need a better word to group agnostics and atheists, but I can’t think of one right now.  If anyone has any suggestions, let me know).  We are here, because we are. There are only two states possible.  Either the Universe exists or it doesn’t.  Thanks to Réne Descartes we have the brilliant cogito, ergo sum.  Since we exist and we need some place to exist, the Universe exists.  The rest of the story is just process.  The Big Bang happens, stars form, they blow up and create more complex elements, more stars form with planets around some of them with enough of the elements for life to evolve and here we are. That’s the streamlined Cliff Notes version.

Now we get to Who Am I?  This question has different answers for each person, obviously.  However, for this discussion we’ll limit ourselves to the part of the answer that pertains to the type of person we are.  What traits do you value?  What traits do you want others to value in you?  The interesting thing is that those to whom this post is addressed and those who see God the way I do have something in common here.  The point of living your life is to live your life. Terry Goodkind says it better in his excellent fantasy series “The Sword of Truth” series (The Sword of Truth, Boxed Set I, Books 1-3: Wizard’s First Rule, Blood of the Fold ,Stone of Tears).  At the end of the series Richard, the main protagonist tells everyone “Your life is your own.  Rise up and live it.”

Of course, the rational concept of enlightened self interest tells us that if we want to have the freedom to live our lives, we have to let others have that freedom as well.  That’s pretty much the same as the first part of the “Golden Rule” I talked about last post.  So, it seems as if we all have something in common after all, even if it’s for completely different reasons.  I being the Pisces I am (No, I don’t believe in astrology.:-)  While there might be some slight chance that your personality has something to do with what part of the year you were conceived, I only link those personality traits to astrological signs in a humorous manner.), I actually believe we should be following enlightened self interest, or the Golden Rule for both reasons.

I’ll get more into how that applies to our lives in a bit.  Next we start looking at the other 3 of the Five Questions.

I recently stated my belief, based upon logical thought and current scientific thinking, that God, assuming he exists, is outside of time.  I also commented that such a being would have only one over arching need that would not be fulfilled since outside of time everything than can exist does so all at once.  There is no experience of everything.  I’m not sure that a being can even exist in such a state.  However, I believe God exists, therefore I will pursue some answers based upon that assumption.  For my agnostic/atheist friends, I understand that nothing I state here can be proven, but these answers work for me and I expect that they may make sense for others as well.

So, where are we (sorry, wrong question)?  We have a God that exists all at once, with no way to experience the everything that can exist.  This all powerful, all knowing, all everything God has only one need.  A way to experience it all.  Now bear with me, we will be thinking of this in a logical progression which will take a few steps, which can only happen over time.  This isn’t really how it works, but it’s the only way we can conceive of it while we are living in time.  This need of God/The Creator/What ever you like to call it demands this need be filled.  As should be clear by now, at least one way to fill this need is to create a universe, or universes, where time and space both exist as a framework for the everything to be placed in.  Ironically, this creation takes place in a very simple way, the “Big Bang”.  Time, space, and enough matter to lead to the experiencing of everything are created and time starts to flow.  OK, maybe time doesn’t flow and all the matter and space move through the dimesions of time.

To use my amusement park analogy from before.  We now have the entire ride and all the possible tracks through the ride.  Of course, for the universe, the number of possible tracks is so large as to be what I call “functionally infinite”. Now we need some cars and riders.  Well, quarks, fundamental particles, atoms and inanimate objects have little to no possible “experience factor”.  While they do change over time, the changes are simple in nature and happen “automatically”  We need something quite a bit more interactive.  That’s where living beings come in.  Due to the size of the universe and the seeming ease in which life can be started, it is likely there is life throughout the universe.

Living beings make great amusement ride cars.  The more capable they are of  thinking and experiencing, the better ride they give.   They are interactive, they can make decisions, they can make changes to the way the universe is headed.  They are great conveyances through the everything that can exist.  What missing?  Well……how does God experience this everything?  God needs a way of riding along through the Universal Ride.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call the soul.

Now, I can finally answer, at least from one perspective, the question of Who Am I?  I am God (either in whole or in part) experiencing my portion of all there is to experience. The cool thing is that if you are reading this article, you are God too.  We are all part of the same.  I’ll get to the “in whole or in part” thing at a later date.  The implications for our lives in this simple statement are many and profound.  This statement also answers the eternal question of “Why are we here?”  This question is the one that many people would ask as “What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?”

It turns out the meaning of life, is life itself.

The answer so many people are looking for is too simple for most to see.  Our whole reason for being here is to experience the life we have.  That’s it.  We don’t have to worship the Creator.  Why would an all powerful being require worship anyway?  I know, if I was God…..oh wait, I am :-) …..I would not require worship.  Appreciation…..understanding maybe would be desirable….but worship?  Nope.  Not a chance.

The one more subject I’d like to address in this post is the Golden Rule.  No….not the one that goes “He who has the gold makes the rules!”  The one given to us by Jesus Christ (yep, he was God too).  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and love God as you love yourself (paraphrased)”  Us all being God gives a whole new meaning to this.  It is no longer a dictate passed down from God, but just a statement of rationality given the fact that we are all part of one whole and that God, at least in part but maybe in whole, is Who We Are.

Next post will present some of the meaning of life and how we treat each other in a less metaphysical way to put the “believers” and the agnostic and atheist readers on the same page when it comes to how we all live our lives.  Until then, live well.