Do you have an open mind? I thought I did, and through the course of my life, I have come across three theories that challenged my open mindedness. This is part 3 in a 4 part series. Be sure to read part 1 and part 2 if you haven’t already.
Several years ago, I was having a discussion with my father. We often had talks, usually while hanging out by the smoker while waiting for our lunch to slow cook. Our talks often cover the unexplained, the paranormal, or spirituality. We both find these topics to be very interesting, and thus many conversations end up on these topics. On this particular warm sunny day, our talks turned to spirituality. Specifically we were talking about our purpose in life. Why are human beings here on Earth? Why does our spirit enter into the physical form, and live in a physical body on this planet? No doubt about it, this is a pretty deep topic.
As I’ve gathered from various books, and from attending church as a child, the reason we are here is to learn some lessons. In the Christian belief, we live here for a short time, lead a righteous and upstanding life, and then move on to heaven. Others, like Buddhists for example, believe that we reincarnate rather than going to heaven. Yet the same basic principle of spiritual growth still applies. In fact, I think that most major religions teach the same basic concept. We are here to learn, to grow, to advance along a spiritual path.
Here is where the mind opener comes in. My father proposed a theory that we are here not to grow, but to simply experience the physical world in a physical body. The mere act of existing on this physical plane, this planet Earth, meets our goals for existing.
Our purpose in life is simply to exist, and to experience all the physical sensations available to us.
That sounds pretty simple. It was a little hard for me to swallow. Could it really be that simple?
Now, the theory has another component, a twist you might say. If the only reason we are here is to experience the physical, then we would need to experience all the feelings available to us. Of course pleasure is the preferred feeling, but given the theory presented, to experience all physical sensation, this would also need to include pain and suffering. Oh, what a sad twist to this theory on existence; the need, the requirement to experience each and every physical sensation available, including pain and suffering.
Twist Number Two
Ready for twist number two? How is it possible to experience all pleasure and pain available on this planet? Well, pleasure is easy; we have the ability to experience pleasure every day. But what about pain and suffering? Yes, we all have our fair share (or what we might consider our fair share.) But have you ever experienced extreme physical pain? How about pain caused by traumatic injury (stabbed, shot, third degree burns?) How would it be possible for the billions of people on this planet to experience real pain and suffering? The only way this could be possible is if we lived in a violent, warring world.
The Unexpected Results of this Theory
Given the theory that we are here to experience the physical world and all the pleasure and pain that goes along with it, and given the fact that we must live in a violent world for this to happen, this leads to an even more thought provoking theory. For all this to be possible, we must assume that there is no good or evil.
If our sole purpose is to experience the all aspects of the physical; pain being part of that, then good and evil as we humans define it cannot exist.
There simply is; we simply exist. Simply living on this planet fulfills our purpose, in all its pleasurable and violent glory. If part of our time here requires the experience of great pain, then evil (as we humans define it) is practically a requirement. And, if it’s a requirement, then it’s not really evil at all, it’s simply part of our required experience.
Let that sink in for a minute. No good or evil. That seems to go against everything we were taught, but can you consider the possibility? In spirit form, as we assume to exist prior to entering and after leaving our physical bodies, we would be unable to experience a great many feelings or emotions. A spirit body has no pain and experiences no sense of touch. The only place these experiences can take place is in a physical body on a physical plane of existence. If we come for these experiences, then we must be looking for experiences of great physical pleasure and great physical pain. For so many people to experience the sensation of real pain, we would have to live in a violent society; one with war, murder, and even torture.
I’m going to stop here and let that theory stew for a bit. I’ll wrap up this series in my next post, in which I’ll add some things I learned about myself, and some of my thoughts on these topics.
Until then, I’d love to hear from you. What do you think about this theory? Are you able to consider the possibility? How do you view your open mindedness?
Other posts in this series.
The Open Mind Test – Part 1: An open minded 2nd grader
The Open Mind Test – Part 2: A Great Teacher, A Little Philosophy, and A Whole Lot of Love
The Open Mind Test – Part 3: Our purpose in life
The Open Mind Test – Part 4: Conclusions, Comments, and a Challenge
Photo by sugargrl14