A Universal Glimpse
This article is a little different. The theme of my articles is nearly always health and fitness. However, the real nature of it is that I as a person, am very well versed in health and fitness, but it is not my goal in life. In fact, my life goal is so large that it is unattainable, but that is the point.
My goal in life is to strive consistently and without hesitation to become a better person. It is to improve myself in order to improve the world. This article is about that, and the reality is that the only reason I care so much about health and fitness is because of how powerfully I think it helps us improve.
I’d even go so far as to say that addressing your health with diligence, patience, depth, and discipline is the best, fastest, and most bang-for-your-buck way to improve.
There is so much scientific evidence that deep negative mental states such as ADD, anxiety, autism, and age-related cognitive decline have almost nothing to do with your personal will power and have everything to do with the biological cards you’re dealt.
I know many people will take offense to such a notion, but even your proclivity towards taking offense has to do with the physiology of your body. I don’t care if you’re religious, (I myself am spiritual) the evidence is, however that what you are is the product of chemical reactions, atoms, and brain cells.
Why this is considered a reduction, however, is beyond me. We are vastly complex beings. We represent universes worth of data, interaction, and awe the result of which is a being. And not just any being.
We are a being that is aware of being a being. What does that even mean? So, yes, we are subject to many deep, complex, and powerful influences that may make many of you uncomfortable.
However on the flip side, the more we understand and adopt these complex patterns, the more free will and power we have. Furthermore, just because I can find a way to say that everything we are is represented physically, does not mean that other forces do not exist.
You can say: “If all I am is subconsciousness and physical manifestations, how do I have deep meaningful conversations that make me contemplate everything good in the world?” Well, if you didn’t contain multitudes of complex systems, such as the chemicals that make you feel good when you connect with somebody that interests you, how would any conversation lead you anywhere?
Here is what I am getting at. We are most likely the manifestations of physical reality. We seem like more than that merely because of our sheer complexity. However, because of our complexity, we operate better by thinking in terms of ideas rather than internal physical reactions. We cannot fathom the complexity that causes a moral such as loyalty to matter.
However, by aligning with virtues or morals such as loyalty, we often become better, more fulfilled, healthier, etc.
Furthermore, I like to think of this “aligning with virtues” or making the conscious decision that virtue matters as a bit of a safeguard for life after death. There may be nothing there after we die, but when you are having your last breath, if you lived simply for the pleasures of life, I imagine you will be angry in dying. Angry that it had to end, and angry that you were deprived of pleasures.
If instead you took on a life of virtue, perhaps changed the lives of others for the better, or saved the life of a few of your fellow complex kin, well then, you did things that will live-on even in death. Essentially, you leave knowing you did something greater than the sum of your physical parts.
There is even evidence of this living on in death in scientific and biological literature. Descendents of Jews who survived Auschwitz are notoriously skinnier than those who did not. Whether we call it meaning, or complex biology, what we experience in life matters beyond the point in which we cease living.
I’ve heard within the health community that we are the sum of the 7 generations before us. It has been shown that toxins will take at least 3 generations to clear without an external detox, and the genetic expression of one generation will affect several to come. To me the idea that the emotional and physical experiences of our ancestors dictate a significant portion of who we are is un-surprising.
If I’m going to be honest, this article did not go where I thought that it would, but none-the-less, I like the direction my wandering thoughts took. If I were to impart anything upon you with this information, it would be that there are no arguments that life does not matter, simply because those arguments are useless to you if you intend to keep on living.
If you do intend to keep living, then the best thing you can do is try, no matter the hardship, to live a life that has meaning. It is not easy to be a good person. It is very difficult. For that matter, it can be difficult to be a bad person too, but without tremendous effort, most of us are somewhere in the middle.
Strive to improve yourself. Strive to be a better person, and maybe even the rare good one. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping. So many people will not take their own medications on time but will make sure their dog is healthy on schedule. Do not be ashamed of yourself, because even if you have plenty of reason to be, the fact remains that the better you are and the more you improve, the more you will help others and the world in a positive way.
The last point I’ll leave you with is that much of this article is inspired by the work of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. I know that this article may come across as controversial, rub some feathers, or may simply be of no interest to some of you. To those folk, I apologize. There will be a nerdy, scientific, and much more light-hearted article on something like preventing cancer with beet roots tomorrow.
However for those of you who found yourselves resonating with this, please look into his work. This is not supposed to be a fan article for him, and much of this ties into thinking and philosophy that influenced me long before I ever found Jordan Peterson. However, I think his work is much more profound and hits the nail on the head for some very important issues regarding living well in the modern world. So again, if you liked this, I think that not only will you like him, but that his work may be helpful to you.