Sunday, July 24, 2011

The hidden power of ego

In the course of a single day we may wear different hats, that of a father or mother, son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister, employee or boss etc. Our thinking and emotional output corresponds with the the roles we play. A common thread underlying all our experiences is our sense of individuality. This sense of individuality can also be referred to as the ego or “I”. We carry this distinct stamp of individuality as long as we live. The joys and sorrows we experience in life are due to our identification with this attribute.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Being rich

I was having dinner with some friends the other day. The current state of the economy came up as a topic of conversation. Someone pulled out a smart phone and pulled up an image of an ATM receipt. Now why would anyone care what an ATM receipt looks like? This was an unusual one. It showed a remaining balance of 99 million dollars after a withdrawal of a few hundred dollars. Whether it was a real or not, this image changed the tone of the conversation considerably. With that kind of money, simple struggles of life would vanish. Looking at the faces around the table attested to this. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Limited or unlimited

When we refer to someone by name, we generally attribute the name to a physical human form. This human form is a collection of many trillions of atoms. There is a hidden glue that keeps these atoms together as long as life exists in the body. Essentially everything in the universe is built from atomic structures, just arranged in different ways to create everything from the creatures in the ocean to the air we breathe. Luckily for us, on a day to day basis, we don’t have to deal with orchestrating the dance of the atoms within our bodies. As we wake up and go about our day, we simply carry our atoms with us, without giving it much thought. We don’t often acknowledge the impressive internal order between atoms, cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. Instead, we usually focus on the body as a whole. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Obstacles to happiness

While the perimeter of a person’s brain is confined by the skull, the mind is like an endless ocean. We know he brain is real, because it can be seen and studied, but what about the mind? Intuitively, we feel its existence, but cannot prove it so easily. It’s impossible to transplant one’s mind into another person as we can with organs such as the heart, lungs, kidney or liver. However, we can share ideas with people in a way that causes the seeds of our thoughts to plant themselves in the minds of others.