Sunday, August 30, 2015

Enough About Me. What do YOU Think About Me?

So, here's the real question: Why do we think we are invincible?

This is part three of a three-part series that focuses on the selfishness so prevalent in the human condition. (Please see "Down in Front!" and "The Invincibles".) My question is, why DO we think ourselves invincible?

(I'm going to refer to the bible in this article. Just so those who haven't been reading my blog regularly are aware, I've recently finished a sabbatical. During the sabbatical I had come to the personal conclusion that the bible is not THE word of God, but contains the word of God, and therefore should be treated more like a guide book than law.)

The bible mentions that God has placed "eternity in our hearts" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). What does that mean? We all have this concept of existence, and we have no concept of "not". Let me put it this way: have you ever contemplated what it would mean to NOT exist? To have no consciousness? "But J.P., that happens every time I go to sleep." Actually, you still have a form of consciousness, most commonly known as "unconscious". Unconscious is to be "under conscious" - below that of full consciousness - not without conscious. During sleep we even dream (whether or not you remember them).

You cannot NOT exist in your mind. You cannot recall existence before you were aware of it, nor can you comprehend the concept of not existing. Atheists may claim that we cease to exist upon death, but they themselves cannot comprehend not existing! It has been considered that those in comas are still aware of their environments, even though they are incapable of interacting with that environment.

I’m hitting 50 this year. The big 'ol half a century. But to be honest, I don't see myself as aging. Why? Because I still look through the same port holes (my eyes - former Navy guy). I'm still surprised every time I see my nieces (amazing how they've grown!). Why? Because, I haven't changed. Oh, I can look in the mirror and see that the years have passed, but again, the bible mentions that it's like a man who looks in a mirror and after turning away quickly forgets what he saw (James 1:23, 24). Since we are always looking through our eyes, and not at ourselves WITH our eyes, we forget the changes that time has wrought. And I'm not even going to mention the grey hair that the dark towel collects when I trim my beard!

It is in this very method of viewing life through our eyes that emphasizes the selfishness we exhibit. The only existence is ours, and the only view that matters is ours. There is a concept that says we cannot consider more than about 150 people around us as "real". Outside of that, people become an incomprehensible entity. No more "real" than those on the screens of our favorite movie theater. We may feel "sorry" for those in crisis, but it is another thing entirely to be truly "empathetic" towards them.

And since life itself is viewed only through our own eyes, it is easy to disregard the hazards experienced by others as having any impact upon us. We are "invincible".

Now, you'll have to excuse me. I need to find my cane. My leg is bothering me again.

© Emittravel 2015

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