Randolph Harris Research and Development

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The Heaven We Chase—Power is Only Pain Stranded through Discipline for Each Beloved Hour

Love. Who knows about another’s love? The more you love, the more you know the burnt our loss of love, the more the silence of the unknowing in the face of another’s spiritual bondage. Our dilemma is that we are born into a World of others. We are, simply by virtue of being born, a member of at least one social grouping, our family. Thus, one has both an individual identity (“Baby Leo”) and a group identity (“Leo Harris”). He is given, at birth, several statuses or positions which he will occupy. He is first son, or middle child, or change-of-life baby, or only child, maybe even a big brother. He is male. He is European or African or Asian or Hispanic. He inherits a specific religion and an economic classification. However, he is also 1/7.40 billionth of the human population of Earth—a statistic, a fraction of a decimal. This knowledge may eventually give him a sense of insignificance that can overwhelm the other identities and statuses altogether. And this, too, is part of the newborn child’s reality: He is a Somebody. Not Everybody, not Nobody, a Somebody. At times, a child is made to feel that the Sun and Earth rotate around and because of him! At other times, he is reminded: “You are not the only one in this house, you know!” or “You do not want to eat that? Think of all the starving children in the World!” #RandolphHarris 1 of 10

Parents expect him to learn to share, to give-and-take, to earn, produce, strive, achieve, win, compete, and do thousands of things that convince him not only that he is not alone in the World, but that in many cases it is an extremely difficult, dangerous and cutthroat World in which to live. So an individual has to compete with millions of others, and since there are so many of them, one solitary individual often feels that he just does not make much of a difference. This is called the feeling of insignificance. It is more than a feeling that our individual vote, voice, dollar, or presence does not matter much. It is much more than getting lost in the gears or fearing that a computerized machine is going to take our job or feeling that the World is getting too crowded. It is very much akin to being trapped—a feeling that individually and as people we are fighting a losing battle to maintain our own uniqueness and that there appears to be no end in sight. Perhaps this is the strength that we all have at a young age. The child never gets bored of asking “Why?” “Why?” and “Why?” It is the adults instead that are too tired to answer and we do not even know that we are weakening this beneficial strength! Curiosity is taking an interest in ongoing experiences for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering. #RandolphHarris 2 of 10

One study shows that curiosity is one of the components of optimal functions and links challenge and novelty with the opportunity to grow. For example, searching for the meaning of things could guide a sense of direction and purpose in life. Furthermore, in social contexts, people with high curiosity are more responsive, infuse more novel twists of excitement to interactions, and are more likely to seek, capitalize, and build on interaction partner disclosures. The anxiety of meaninglessness is anxiety about the loss of an ultimate concern, of a meaning which gives meaning. This anxiety is aroused by the loss of a spiritual center, of an answer, however symbolic and indirect, to the question of the meaning of existence. Everything is tried and nothing satisfies. The contents of the tradition, however excellent, however praised, however loved once, lose their power to give content today. And present culture is even less able to provide the content. Anxiously one turns away from all concrete contents and looks for an ultimate meaning, only to discover that it was precisely the loss of a spiritual center which took away the meaning from the special contents of the spiritual life. #RandolphHarris 3 of 10

However, a spiritual center cannot be produced intentionally, and the attempt to produce it only produces deeper anxiety. The anxiety of emptiness drives us to the abyss of meaninglessness. The question then is this: Is there a courage which can conquer the anxiety of meaninglessness and doubt? Let us look at the times. In the past one hundred- and twenty-eight-years men and women have produced more inventions than have accumulated throughout all of recorded history. This means that the mind of human beings is capable of creating a limitless number of forms and processes. Thus numbers to grow, because of each idea suggest other idea, each machine contains the hint for another machine. People say that no one has created a machine that can think, but that is currently being investigated and hotly debated among some of the most brilliant minds. Scientists have created mechanical apparatuses that can actually repair and, in some cases, completely reproduce themselves. Even if machinery if machinery is limited by the minds of its human devisers, some of the machines perform so well, so faultlessly, that many human beings feels extremely threatened. They have to admit that they cannot produce as much, as often, nor for as long a time, as some of the mechanisms now being manufactured. And these same people wonder if there is any particular advantage in being mortal. #RandolphHarris 4 of 10

The courage to be conquers the threat of meaninglessness by courageous actions. Faith is the basis of the courage to be. Is there a kind of faith which can exist together with doubt and meaninglessness? The act of accepting meaninglessness is in itself a meaningful act. It is an act of faith. The faith which creates the courage to take them into itself has no special content. It is simply faith, undirected, absolute. It is undefinable, since everything defined is dissolved by doubt and meaninglessness. The content of absolute faith is the God above God. Only if the God of theism is transcended can the anxiety of doubt and meaninglessness be taken into the courage to be. The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt. Humans are human because man and woman are capable of reflective thought. In the World, some say that humans alone have yet been able to demonstrate that one can cognitively consider his or her own existence, one’s own ending, one’s own limitations, and one’s own strengths. Perhaps the limitations of human’s communicative abilities keeps them from knowing any more than one does about the talents of others members of the Earthly kingdom; nevertheless, what one is sure of is that humans can perform these other, higher acts. #RandolphHarris 5 of 10

Let us be faithful to what we have believed and know. The human’s ability to anticipate, to project oneself into abstract situations, to think of things not present and physically real to one: these are evidences of advanced cerebral functioning. In the search for significance it is time that people dwelt upon these features that make one unique among other living beings. People’s ideas about themselves both limit one and set one free. A person can call oneself cripple (or an Eighteenth Street prisoners) and that is just what one will limit oneself to being. Or, an individual can say that he or she is a free thinker and adventurer and one can get to Jupiter and beyond. Humans have spiritual gifts and propensities. Pray to understand your spiritual gifts—to cultivate, use, and expand them, even more than you ever have. One person will change the World as they pray to better understand their spiritual gifts. As Godly people, you can inspire others and set a standard of worthy emulation. Each decade of life brings unique challenges, and yet, many people, week after week, still mingle together and teach the word of God together, and make a real difference in the World. #RandolphHarris 6 of 10

The potentials of the natural essence of human beinghood have scarcely been touched. When all the facts are in, we may find that humans do have E.S.P, that one is affected by movements of stars and planets, that one has a soul, that one has an afterlife. However, we are primarily interested in finding out through  studies and approaches that begin with capabilities and experiences that are accessible and familiar to all people, right now! As humanists, we follow what has become an informal Code for Humanism based accepted guidelines for humanistic orientation in the study of who and what we are and how and why we live our lives the way we do: Because we are a part of Nature, we are evolutionary products of the Nature of which we are active participants; our minds are inseparably joined with the functioning of our brains; and as inseparable unity of body and personhood, we can have a conscious (or real) survival in eternal life. As impossible as that may seem with all you are trying to manage in your life, if you will accept this invitation with full purpose of heart, the Lord will help you find a way to achieve it. And, as you prayerfully study, I promise that the Heavens will open for you. The Lord will bless you with increased inspiration and revelation. You and your family will be drawn closer to the Savior through this process. And changes, even miracles, will begin to happen. #RandolphHarris 7 of 10

With courage, vision, and reliance on our own human resources, we can solve the problems we have created and which are imposed on us by natural circumstances or happenstance. Although most of us are conditioned by the past and even the present, we have genuine freedom of creative choice and action, and within certain objective limits, are masters of our own destiny. The humanist ethic or morality bases all human values in the experiences and relationships of this Earth and has as its highest goal the happiness, freedom, and progress (economic, cultural, personal, and ethical) of all humankind in this World. A full appreciation of cultural values and contributions is also part of this morality. However, observation shows that only very few persons are capable of remaining polite, not to speak of objective, in any scientific dispute, and the impression gained from a scientific quarrel was always a horror to me. Perhaps this attitude of mine has been misunderstood, perhaps I have been considered as good-natured or so intimidated that it was supposed no further consideration need be shown me. An individual attains the good life by harmoniously combining personal satisfaction and continuous self-actualization with significant activities that contribute to the welfare of one’s human community. No person is an island, nor is one part of a mob; people are both an individual and a member of one’s society and culture and World. #RandolphHarris 8 of 10

Please teach those whom you love what you learn from the scriptures. Teach them our to turn to the Savior for his healing and cleansing power when they sin. And teach them how to draw upon one’s strengthening power every day of their lives. This will allow the Lord to teach you how to draw upon his priesthood power with which you have been endowed. This view of life proposes a far-reaching social program that stands for the establishment through the World, peace, and a high standard of living on the foundations of a flourishing economic order, both national and international. Such a view assumes that we can operate with the fullest resources available to us as humans and that our reason and science, utilized in humanitarian fashion, can provide for full freedom of expression and civil liberties in all areas of economic, political, and cultural life. In the development of this new way of life, the esthetic experience can and must become a pervasive reality in the lives of people. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they have persecuted the prophets before you,” reports Matthew 5.11. You have permission from God to love yourself. #RandolphHarris 9 of 10

Together we can do all that our Heavenly Father needs us to do to prepare the World for the Seconding Coming of his Beloved Son. Such view proves that we can operate with the fullest resources available to us as humans and that our reason and science, utilized in a humanitarian fashion, can provide for full freedom of expression and civil liberties in all areas of economic, political, and cultural life. “God created humans after his own image, and God gave humans commandments, and because of transgression, humans had fallen,” report Alma 22.12. In the development of this new way of life, the esthetic experience can and must become a pervasive reality in the lives of people. Humanists advocate the widest possible development of art and the awareness of beauty. They also insist on the ending questioning of a basic assumptions and convictions including their own in order to develop a way of living life that is always open to experimental testing, newly discovered information, and more rigorous reasoning. The emphasis here on reasoning is not a contradiction of our previous statements on the importance of emotion, group experience, interaction, and other human experiences. Introspection, the self-report of our own thoughts, ideas, reactions, moods, feelings, is very important. Reason, combined with the other human resources, can make our lives fuller, freer, more satisfying, and enable us to better understand and live with the other 7.4 billion human beings who occupy space on Earth. #RandolphHarris 10 of 10

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 Silence Suffused the Story and a Softness the Teller’s Eye and the Children No Further Questioned

CaptureI left them and opened the door and went out on the rear balcony. The breeze had picked up. The banana trees were dancing against the stucco walls. I could see the white roses in the dark. An illicit fire burnt inside of me. My heart was thudding. I would have liked the long way—a walk uptown through streets narrow and wide, the open-mouthed roar of the streetcar or its heavy metal clatter through Holden Drive, the vision of the pilgrim oaks struggling on lower Jewel Street, the festering flowers of the Garden District, and the glistening moss on the bricks. Though these different ultimate searches do not follow a straight-line progression, it is interesting to see how people search for meaning in life and do see how things like the wind reverently receiving strange words seem to form a pattern. As one search runs it course or proves to be a sterile course, another comes along full of challenge and promise. After the Enlightenment, historically, people pursed several variations on different themes, some emphasizing perfection and morality again, and others emphasizing the need for pleasure. However, since there are always a few individuals who try to get above the concerns of their everyday existence, new ideas and new goals continually arise. “Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God,” reports Moroni 8.8. #RandolphHarris 1 of 14

Many thinking and aware people are shocked when the idea of human finitude is suddenly brought to their attention. Many people are aware of this intellectually, but have not really known the idea of mortality emotionally: this time on Earth will not last forever. Our souls are immortal, but our bodies are not yet. We are still on this mortal journey and our goal is not only immortality, but eternal life. We have something to do with our lives between mortality and eternal life, we need to find the meaning for our existence, for it may well be all that we have on Earth. Ask yourself whether there is a distinguishable goal in your mind that corresponds to something worthwhile on Earth and will help you reach eternal life. We often open a book, expecting to encounter an author, and we meet a man or a woman! When we read another person’s experience, this is what happens. Our own existence is not at all a matter of speculation, but a reality in which we are personally and passionately involved. Anyone who chooses or is forced to choose decisively—for a lifetime, and thus for eternity, since only one life is allowed us—experiences his or her own existence as something well beyond the simple mirror of thought. One experiences the Self that one is, not the idea of that Self. “For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity,” reports Moroni 8.18. #RandolphHarris 2 of 14

Once we begin digging into the meaning of our own existence, we find a problem. What do we mean by meaning? Meaning here dicates that we must find it possible and necessary to become intimately, passionately, subjectively, aware of everything about our own existence. And we do this not with book-learning, theory, or formal instruction, or even mediation. We do this by existing so fully, so real-ly, that existence takes hold of us. In order to make the very best use of our mind, we have to pay special attention to the integration phase of learning. As we persist in the reflection process, we will find that unless we find the courage to confront our pain, it will haunt us forever. After several weeks of silent soul-searching and reconstructing what has been lost, it will unburden the soul and allow for renewed energy. One will start to feel more optimistic. Many will find that the worst phase of their grief and self-recrimination will end the day they give up looking at the past and began to focus on the future. Look forward with a different sense of self—become tougher, more self-confident. Pay attention to your day dreams, they are likely guiding you to something your soul is seeking. And once God has put a vision in your heart, he also has placed a date of completion for it to come true. #RandolphHarris 3 of 14

The Rationalists, the Enlightenment people, all talked about grasping hold of knowledge. The existentialist talks about becoming one with one’s own existence: living fully, experiencing widely. Meaning, then, comes from existence. For many people, worry over the physical aspects of getting older far overshadows other concerns, and it is tempting, in the face of so many seemingly immense obstacles, to throw in the proverbial towel or kick the imaginary bucket and focus instead on mental or emotional skills that can compensate for physical declines. However, we are people of God and are not supposed to have bucket lists, we have goals and dreams and aspirations about how to improve our life on Earth and how to prepare for eternal life. We are not born to fail, give up, nor run away. We have the spirit of golden state warriors, and much of what upsets us about our body can be fixed or improved upon; current research on biological gaining is very encouraging and could eventually lead to immortality on Earth. Also, the physical component of our journey is intricately connected to all other components. If our body is not functioning near its best, our mind, emotions, and relationships cannot be at their peak. Your body may like hanging out on the couch, but it also wants and needs regular exercise, nutritious food, and understanding. #RandolphHarris 4 of 14

Most important, is your body willing and able to take you where you want to go? If you are already in terrific shape, do not make the mistake of assuming you have nothing to gain by going down the path of physical vigor. There is more to the physical side of you than simply being in great shape. We have the opportunity to enrich our physical experience by becoming more attuned to the unique ways our bodies express their needs. Furthermore, by giving ourselves more peak physical experiences, we put ourselves on the path to greater mental, emotion, and spiritual rewards. However, for many people, they blame one another for their tragic state of existence. Loyalties and faith dissolve; inhumanity began to dominate the lives of some people. Most of all, however, people affected by disorder allow defeat and despair and disintegration rob them of their desires or needs. Eventually, everything will be sacrificed for the sake of simple survival. Various psychological and psychoanalytic explanations have been given to explain what happens to people who are imprisoned by their minds and expecting a state of lack and limitation. One theory is that under such hideous stress, the person simply regresses to a primitive level of functioning. “For they do not repent, and the adversary stirreth them up continually to anger one with another,” reports Moroni 9.3.  #RandolphHarris 5 of 14

Another view is that the person cannot control their minds, but allows their minds to control them, they develop characteristics that resemble those of a schizoid character. Some will relate to reality only when it is nonthreatening, and to fantasy (by withdrawing from other people, for example) when reality it too burdensome. The view of limitation and transitoriness of life itself can easily bring about an existential loss of structure. They feel there is no escape and consequently no end to suffering. When a person cannot conceive of an end point, of a future, one is in danger of falling apart inwardly. “I fear least the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them. For so exceedingly do they anger that is seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually. And now, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God,” reports Moroni 8.4-6. #RandolphHarris 6 of 14

However, for some souls, suffering, poverty, pain, and humiliation will not allow them to feel apathy, futility, nor despair. People who have a strong faith in God are able to sustain their hope, and to assist in lifting others up and teaching them the love of God. “And Christ truly said unto our fathers: if ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me,” Moroni 10.23. Although people have lost their homes, cars, clothes, jewelry, and every physical, material, tangible scrap of people property have been taken like their great grandmothers’ picture, their grandmothers wedding picture, and property belong to their grandfather, and their bodies were stripped bare and subject to torment, anguish, humiliation, filth, and shame, one thing could not be touch and was therefore free! This one thing—perhaps that which distinguishes humans from idiots—is their sense of Being, of Selfhood, their freedom of thought and attitude. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength,” reports Philippians 4.13. When I think of the Winchester mansion, that is one passage I am always reminded of. “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you,” reports Philippians 3.8. Being less affluent does not automatically make a person a prisoner. #RandolphHarris 7 of 14

No matter what our financial status is or what side of the river we live on—a person is still free to decide whether one will become a prisoner or remain a people who happens to have faith in the Lord and will persevere. Although many people will succumb to the traps of the adversary, we must still commit ourselves to the fundamental possibility of preserving our humanity. We must serve as examples to others, and a chain reaction will be set off that will inspire and perhaps save the lives of many others. In this endeavor it is very important to know who you are an where you are, because the knowledge will help you to be gentle and patient with yourself and others as you go. Remind yourself of your strengths, and of any ways in which you are already in concert with God’s commandments. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the imaged of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together,” reports Colossians 1.13-17. #RandolphHarris 8 of 14

God will bring not only our conscious level but also the deeper levels of our life, which we cannot reach, into perfect harmony. Even without belongings, dignity, privacy, and rank, we are still human beings and children of God. What does that mean? It means that we can keep a bit of our own Self in our hearts and minds and no one can take that away from us. Not even a threat or a trap can take that away, no matter where we are or what we are experiencing, we still have freedom. And no one can take that away! The only way we can lose our humanity is to give it up, sacrifice it to despair! “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to this glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light,” reports Colossians 1.9-12. #RandolphHarris 9 of 14

So, in this way, many people are able to find meaning in an apparently meaningless life. For they keep a private reserve of faith, hope, pride, decision-making, choice-making and have the ability that is right of every practicing human being who knows God. And being human takes continual practice! “Yea come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God, reports Moroni 10.32. That is why people fear God and want to rob you of their religion, because they realize no human has more power over God, and as long as you believe in God, a person will never be your master, nor will you fear anything they can do to you. The adversary, human or otherwise, knows that as long as you believe in God, you have a light inside you and hope for a better day and know that you will have eternal life with God, which is much more powerful than anything a human can offer or take away from you! Therefore, remember the joys you had, the love you have experienced, the fulfillments that have been yours. #RandolphHarris 10 of 14

By fulling your consciousness with times have been and will be meaningful, one is able to block out the seemingly meaningless present. And, by nurturing private hope, one is able to preserve one’s own meaningfulness. Work to acquire each habit you desire, one at a time, beginning with the easiest. Then tackle the next easiest, and so on. However, many people sabotage their efforts at lifestyle change by taking on too much at once. Only after one habit becomes almost automatic (and this may take days, months, or years) should you proceed to the next one. For example, it has taken me months to get back in the habit of praying and giving thanks before my meals, I have even had to place signs on the refrigerator and on the wall near my table. And I remember to pray 85 percent of the time before a mean now. Sometimes I may have to stop eating and pray during my meal, but I make sure to give God thanks. Therefore, do not be surprised, however, if in accomplishing one beneficial lifestyle change that one may acquire another. Our bodies and minds tend to shift in many ways with only one intervention. Look for these physical and mental and spiritual epiphanies and welcome one’s newfound capacity to bring balance and harmony to one’s own mind, body, and spirit. #RandolpHarris 11 of 14

Games! Fraud! Trickery! Those are some of them terms you may have muttered as you read these lines. “That is not true meaningfulness! That is deceiving oneself!” Maybe we should reiterate to you that each person has to give meaning to each of his or her own experiences; that, by themselves, some experiences are simply neutral, devoid of any quality. A bit of diligence with this relatively easy shift in one’s lifestyle habits will help revive one’s stamina. Because all we can control is ourselves. Also, some people think that by starving themselves, they will lose weight, but the body will retain water and cause you to eat like it is a competition when you start eating. So, if you are really looking to lose a few extra pounds, nutritionists tell us that the earlier in the day we start eating, the earlier we begin to increase our metabolism and burn calories. Therefore, in that same manner, our creative approach to improving our minds is a terrific example of the ways in which individual tastes can be the heart of individual success. Sometimes spiritual experts know more than a novice because they have been there before, and that is why I said, my testimony is still unfolding, and I think someone more mature would be better to teach you, but I can share what has been helping me get through these dark and painful days, weeks, months, and years. #RandolphHarris 12 of 14

This is very subjective existence. However, with the existential thinkers we must raise the question: how can one’s own existence be anything but subjective? There are other examples of this procedure of being. During the war, allied soldiers in Vietnam reported doing the same sort of thing, through they did not attach the philosophical labels to it. Nor did they have video cameras nor medical staff to help them and document their journey. All they had was each other and God. Some people relieved the fear and emptiness of their service in the war by playing mental games. We have accounts of people who worked out math problems entirely in their heads. Others played chess games, conceiving each move mentally and retaining an image of each piece’s location on the board. Others were able to envision their wives, sweethearts, children or future children, homes, cars, and other meaningful personal experiences. These reminiscences and attempts to recreate the happy parts of their lives actually pulled many of these people through times when the darkness that seemed to have no ending filled their lives. Some would call this faith in God. Others would say that it is part of the most fundamental learning of the human being: to anticipate, to recall, to choose, to commit, to follow through. “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us,” reports Mark 9.22. #RandolphHarris 13 of 14

It is in the place of humiliation that we find our true worth to God–that is where our faithfulness is revealed. Most of us can do things is we are always at some heroic level of intensity, simply because of the natural selfishness of our own hearts. However, God wants us to be at the drab everyday level, where we live in the valley according to our personal relationship with him. Each of these searches mentioned is important. Together they form the living, quivering, suffering, occasionally cracking mosaic of human experience. It is good and necessary to experience pleasure and joy, wisdom and learning, transcendent relatedness, whether to God or to Nature or to the Outside of Self, perfection or the search for it, and, of course, to the ability to actualize the most potential aspects of our humanness by conferring meaning on our own existence. However, there seems to be more. It is all well and good to find one’s own existence meaningful, to know that one has an identity no one else can take away. However, what seems to be emerging now is a search to establish oneself as significant. That is why everyone is trying to do something that means something to the masses. #RandolphHarris 14 of 14

The Brain is Wider than the Sky and Deeper than the Sea–It is the Love of God!

You think she is keeping secrets from you. Magic secrets, secrets you have not explained to anyone. You have resented her all these years as the doctor, the mad scientist, yes, right, the mad scientist, the keeper of the keys to the magic, coming in and out of your chamber and never really telling you what was happening. I can see these words sinking down, down into your mind, and what you sense is you cannot deny and cannot retreat from all the truths. Is God giving you the power to writhe and spit with anger? Because in the Christian religion, absolution is the act of forgiving someone for something negative that they have done or thought. The love you should feel in your heart is something one cannot know in shallow wanderings. Friendship, trust, honor, respect, admiration—this whole experience is supposed to be a revelation. Once is supposed to do all they can to protect you and watch the Sunrise in your eyes. As those who have indeed entered into a sacred covenant, we must remain true to the way, the truth, and the life. Adam, the prototypical First Man, is created perfect. He is veritably the image of God. However, for reasons that differ in interpretation by as many splinter sects as they have produced, Adam committed a disobedient act, eating a piece of forbidden fruit, and was condemned by God to work and sweat and become mortal, instead of being immortal as the original plan dictated. #RandolphHarris 1 of 10

This concept has been called the doctrine of The Fall of Man, the Depravity of Man, and other similar names. It assumes that man, originally created to be perfect, fell from that state of perfection and must go through all kinds of rituals, ordeals, trials, and tests to regain some sort of tentative perfection, or, as it is often called, Salvation. However, there is nothing in the World more deleterious or harmful to the human family than hatred, prejudice, suspicion, and the attitude that some people have toward their fellows of unkindness. In matters of politics, whenever politics cause one to speak unkindly of another person, know this, that one is on dangerous ground. The great mission of the latter-day kingdom is not to be a militant church to which we belong. This is a church that holds out peace to the World. It is not our duty to go into the World and find fault with others, neither to criticize people because they do not understand. However, it is our privilege, in kindness and love, to go among others share with them the love of God. Wherever we live in the World, we have been molded as a people to be instruments of the Lord’s peace. God has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. We cannot afford to be caught up in a World prone to give and to take offense. We must neither envy, nor be puffed up in pride. We are not easily provoked, nor do we behave unseemly. We rejoice not in iniquity, but in truth. Surely this is pure love of Jesus Christ which we represent. #RandolphHarris 2 of 10

 It seems clear to even a casual reader of the words of Jesus Christ that attaining this Salvation is a matter of a rather complete change of heart, resulting in better behavior toward one’s fellow humans. “The Lord God hath given a commandment that all men (people) should have charity,” reports 2 Nephi 26.30. Needless to say, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all the churches since have made Salvation-searching a bit more complicated! We cannot expect all our readers to agree with this, but it is a very respectable and well-studied viewpoint. Following in the wake of a difficult period, the young Christian movement became an institution. When we turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places us into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace, we stand justified. The followers of Jesus became a community of believers, and with the acceptance of Christianity by the Roman Emperior, Constantine, it became the Church. With institutionalization came the exclusive right to interpret the doctrines according to Church Law. It also brought the right to publish new doctrines. One of these, with very speculative scriptural basis, is priestly celibacy. #RandolphHarris 3 of 10

The doctrine that leaders of the Church should forsake the pleasures of sexual activity and family living did more than just make the priests a special category of people. It also elevated the idea of celibacy above the more prevalent practice of enjoying sexual pleasures. This not only made ordinary people feel that their priests were superior human beings because they could follow a vow of chastity, but also made many millions of non-celibate people feel a bit inferior, since there were not forgetting their bodies and the drive built into them. Some have even felt extreme guilt for their base, primal nature. “And now, as the preaching of the word has a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. And again we thank thee O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen,” reports Alma 31.5 and 18. We will never know the joy of abstaining until we surrender in every detail of our lives. Yet abstaining is the most difficult thing for us to do. However, as soon as we do totally surrender, the Holy Spirit gives us a taste of his joy. “The kingdom of God is near you,” reports Luke 10.9. There are many different levels on which one’s mind can work. #RandolphHarris 4 of 10

The systematic study of human behavior must include looking objectively at such long-held and sacred doctrines as celibacy. What do such beliefs do to human beings? Examples tumble forth: St. Anthony of Padua, under a vow of celibacy, lived alone in a cave to shut out the World and make meditation more possible Being only a man, he dreamed dreams of sexual activity that woke him from his sleep. He was disgusted and disappointed at his body’s inability to see that his soul was in charge, so he punished his body for responding so naturally. He rolled himself in briar bushes, letting the thorns rip through his flesh and tear at the so weak and fragile body in which his soul was imprisoned. St. Bernard of Clairvaux dreamed even worse dreams than did St. Anthony. His sexual dreams concerned the Virgin Mary. He punished himself for such an offense. St. Francis of Assisi was a gentle and kind little man. He was convinced of the vileness of his physical body and its drives that he tried through flagellation, whipping himself, and going on long periods of fasting to force his body to give up its demands and release his soul. Martin Luther, while still a Catholic priest, also engaged in flagellation in search for salvation for his soul, at his body’s expense. One of the foremost tenets of the Lutheran Church, founded after Luther split with Rome, was that salvation could never come through works such as flagellation and vows of good deeds; it came through simple faith. #RandolphHarris 5 of 10

The search for spiritual perfection has left many a mark on human’s history, some beneficial and some destructive. Out of Christianity’s concern for other human beings has come the development of hospitals, both physical and mental. In spite of many abuses and colonial enterprises that were exploitative, much good has been done by Christian missionaries for people who needed to acquire certain academic skills and better understanding of health measures. On the other hand, many of the most infamous acts in history are traceable, directly or eventually, to attempts at Perfection and/or Salvation. The Crusades are but one example. Others are the Holy Wars, the Holy Inquisition, and the persecution of witches in New England is Sacramento, California (Prisoners of the River).  When Christian nations go to war and religious leaders in those nations proclaim that the holy war carried on in God’s or in Christ’s name, it can for some be the most offensive extensions of this search. The Lord’s people must be at peace one with another during times of trouble, regardless of what loyalties they may have to different governments or parties. God lives. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, love your neighbor as yourself,” reports Luke 10.27. Let us daily renew in our hearts the pure love of Christ and overcome with our Master the darkness of the World. #RandolphHarris 6 of 10

A similar search, not always linked to religious belief, is the finding of perfection in the fullest development of human’s intellectual and rational capabilities. “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth,” reports Doctrine and Covenants 93.36. This thrust has been called by various names (Rationalism, Age of Enlightenment, etc.), which, though differing in individual matters, all emphasized human’s search for wisdom and knowledge. The sons of the Enlightenment—Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Voltaire—were sure that through rational means people could become masters of all, lords of eternity. Noble as it was, this emphasis on intellectual and cognitive skills became the hobby of a secret elite. To have the time, energy, and ambition needed for intellectual pursuits, one needed to be wealthy or living in a monastery or the pet of some wealthy patron. The large masses of people had more basic pursuits—getting enough to feed themselves and their families, keeping a roof over their heads, and fighting off the many obstacles of less affluent existence. For the majority of the population, rationalism and intellectual activity had no survival value. However, all who are faithful will see the Lord is a promise made to people who had to devote their lives to earning a living. Do whatever it takes to improve your confidence in your creativity. #RandolphHarris 7 of 10

The idea of an Intellectual Elite is still with us. We subsidize think tanks in various parts of the nation, where highly trained and vastly experienced men and women come together to pool ideas, to explore rationally the urgent issues of our times. “And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good,” reports Abraham 3.23. Yet, too much of this valuable brainwork goes unshared by the ordinary mortals who may be just as intelligent, but who have more immediate personal obligations and commitments. “Intelligences that were organized before the World was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones,” reports Abraham 3.22. The worship of intellectual power, the predisposition to believe that all problems can be rationally solved and the subsequent ignoring of other aspects of human experience like emotion, joy, and fellowship, creates an imbalance in social attitudes that is ultimately detrimental to the individual’s sense of significance. The Enlightenment period made people aware of their brains and untapped potential of human intelligence, and for this we are grateful. Solving mental games can actually raise measurable Intelligence Quotient (you will notice you get better at the capacity to learn).  #RandolphHarris 8 of 10

However, because of a continuing tendency to believe the human beings need only to accumulate information, to gather knowledge, to amass wisdom, with no need for feedback into the pool of human experience, we would ask the worshippers of Knowledge to consider the question, “Knowledge for what?” Our personal intelligence is everlasting and divine. There is a dignity of the human spirit. Because of our sacred regard for each human intellect, we consider the obtaining of an education to be a religious responsibility. Yet opportunities and abilities differ. In the pursuit of education, individual desire is more influential than institution, and personal faith more forceful than faculty. God assures us that knowledge acquired on Earth with me ours forever. “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through he or her diligence and obedience than another, one will have so much more advantage in the World to come,” reports Doctrine and Covenants 130.18 and 19. Our crystallized intelligence workout also facilitates our understanding of complex issues in our personal life. We are laying the ground work for other areas of growth.  Your work will actually promote neurological change, which can increase the rate and depth of your growth. #RandolphHarris 9 of 10

If our mind is sharp, we will have an easier time understanding the paradoxes of spirituality, or the fundamentals of interpersonal effectiveness. Once we have reached a place where we continually challenge and enjoy our mind, we deserve to celebrate. Wisdom is one of the special virtues that humans possess. Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own for formally is related to the strength of curiosity. Love of learning does not have to be limited to only in a school or classroom. The World is the biggest classroom ever. We can enhance this strength by going out and engaging in new skills and experiences. Wisdom is the key to improving ourselves and it helps us tackle challenges and setbacks. People with high strengths in love of learning can maintain a sense of efficacy and motivation while learning longer than those who do not. Wisdom is used for the sake oneself and others well-being. People with the strength and thirst for knowledge see things through a wider lens. In addition, perspective is all about the experiences. Perspective or wisdom can be developed through life tasks, adjustments, coming to terms with life choices, life changes, and stressful life experiences. Wisdom provides a great advantage to human beings. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. There are many different ways to explore and expand the mind, using it to help one decide what one wants in life and how to get it. #RandolphHarris 10 of 10

When Heaven Looked Upon Us All with Such Severity–I Felt Apology were Due to an Insulted Sky!

You cannot imagine what it is like to give birth to one of these babies, they speak to you even from the womb, they know you, and you know them, and they are hardwired with the knowledge of their kind. That is what a woman once told me about pregnancy and child birth. At the most basic level of existence, human beings are an organism. This word means that their aliveness is described by the same fundamental characteristics found in any organism in nature: irritability of the protoplasm, nutrition and digestion, reproduction, and motility. Whatever else humans are, one begins with their biological existence and not only builds that, but also builds with it. For it is a wondrous piece of equipment, this body that humans possess. It is weaker and more fragile than many animal bodies, and more prone to disease and destruction than many. It has senses less acute than most others animals’. Human beings also have the longest period of dependency on parents of any organism in nature—nearly 18 years. And by no means do humans live the longest. Their evolved posture makes them among the least coordinated organisms and has rendered the human frame and internal organs particularly vulnerable to all kinds of infirmaries and disorders. Yet, the human brain and the rest of the nervous system of human’s body are of a quality unduplicated in nature thus far. #RandolphHarris 1 of 14

There must be a reason why emotions are part of our human nature, though we cannot fully explain it. Probably there are survival values attached to certain strongly-felt emotions, such as fear, anger, surprise, and sorrow. However, even beyond this, a human being meeting the variety of experiences life presents cannot help but realize that a great part of really getting into life is emotional and sensate and intuitive, as well as merely cognitive. An instinct, experience, or tendency has survival value if it helps (or once helped) human beings to stay alive. Dependence on instinctive behaviors has been far exceeded by reliance on learned behavior, making humans more in control of their lives than any other organism. Thus, we can say we are first of all highly specialized organisms, organized systems of nucleic acids, performing vital function, with sensory and neural mechanisms of a particularly selective brand. However, what else? A porpoise is also an organism with a highly specialized nervous system. So is a chimpanzee. So are millions of creatures further down the evolutionary scale. We could add to these traits the fact that this particular nervous system enables us to learn, but a fantastic array of other organisms can be conditioned, can profit from trial-and-error experiences, can imitate, can be instructed. Is it in the kinds of things we can learn that a proper distinction can be found? #RandolphHarris 2 of 14

Human beings find themselves born into a beautiful World. They live in a whirlpool of love, caring, happiness, and are blessed by the ultimate goal of trying to gain access to eternal life. People would like to escape from the burden of anxiety, but one would also like to know its meaning. Our instinctive emotions are those that we have inherited from a much more primitive World, and contain, therefore, a larger portion of fear than they should. Instinctive responses are those which are natural or inborn, not learned. Psychologically, it is nearly impossible never to feel fear. However, we have all learned society’s attitudes about it, so, in order not to appear cowardly, people deny their fears, jump boldly into danger, and may die foolishly and needlessly. Anxiety is similar to gear, but far more common to most of us is the emotion of anxiety. Other names for anxiety are worry, dread, and apprehension—Chicken Little crying out “The sky is falling!” Anxiety is usually based on threats or dangers that are indefinite or are not real or very likely to come right away. People living in the Sacramento Valley might be worried about the protection the dams and levees provide and might be justified in fearing them failing, since the Oroville dam (the tallest dam in the US 770 feet (235 meters)  failed in February 2017, and 188,000 people were evacuated. The total cost to repair exceeded $400 million. #RandolphHarris 3 of  14

The main thing in life is not to be afraid to be human. As far as is known, only human beings can control and use fire. Human life has been differentiated from other animals not only because of their use of fire, but also because of their development of shelter, clothing, tools, weapons, complex social structures, and the practice of some form of magic or worship. The tranquility of the souls is based on reconciliation with God and each other. If we are meek and courageous enough to pursue it, the Holy Spirit will guide us and we cannot fail. The amazing thing about being human is that even the complex social structures built by people are somewhat different from those found in troops of baboons or colonies of paper wasps. Human’s social structures seem to spring not necessarily from instinct, but from cultural patterns built up around both biological and social needs. The patterns of family, for instance, are designed to meet both the bodily biological needs for sexual activity, touch-tenderness, nurturance and protection and instruction of the young, and for division of labor. The human family is much more than a springboard from which the young dive into adult living. The miracle of reconciliation is always available to us, and out of the for the family and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we know to be true. #RandolphHarris 4 of 14

Other questions about human’s nature are raised by persons interested in the existence of soul, or spirit. This concept, however, is apparently more than just another name for human’s essence, because most religious systems relate soul to some outside, transcendent, pre-existing, surviving Force. This Force is known to most people in the Judeo-Christian heritage as God. Many scientists, and psychologist in particular, are generally unwilling or reluctant to admit religious or theological notions into their theories and practice. They maintain that religion and belief in God are, for the most part, super-naturalistic, beyond the concerns of science. However, the practice of religious belief and the behavior which results from believing are appropriate areas of concern and study, even if the beliefs themselves are in super-natural subjects. Therefore, since so many sincere people hold meaningful notions concerning the soul—some equate soul and mind and consciousness—an exploration of the concept can add to our understanding of human nature. Willingness to forgive and move forward in spite of the imperfections of others has brought blessings that are still coming—and will come forever. As humans, we have been asked to live together in love with no disputations among us. Spirit of contention is not for us. #RandolphHarris 5 of 14

Indeed, a great degree of out relationship to God will be determined—or at least affected—by our relationship to each other. Among the many things we find in humans that we have not yet been able to find in other animals is a concern with Value. In its simplest definition value means the worth of something. So far as we know, only humans set up criteria of value by which to judge everything from pickle relish at the country fair to abstract qualities like Goodness, Truth, Beauty, Justice, and Right. Surely each of us could cite an endless array of old scars and sorrows and painful memories that this very moment still corrodes the peace in someone’s heart or family or neighborhood. Whether we have caused that pain or been the recipient of the pain, those wounds need to be healed so that life can be as rewarding as God intended it to be. Like that old, stale chocolate cake in your refrigerator and the sour ice cream in the freezer that your grandchildren carefully check on your behalf, those old grievances have long since exceeded their expiration date. Children are too young to realize things expire sometimes, but as an adult, please do not give precious space in your soul to them any longer. Let us not compromise our spirit for some old cookies and spoiled milk. #RandolphHarris 6 of 14

4Humans began putting value-labels on things probably when they first found themselves choosing between things they needed and those they did not. No doubt early people found that they could keep or carry or guard only so many things, which is why diamonds, sliver, and gold have such a high value, and had to decide which were necessary, useful, vital for their survival and which were not. This evaluative process was expanded when these early men and women and children began grouping together and had to make judgments about which items and actions had survival-value for individuals, for groups, and eventually for societies. Later, of course, as societies became more complex and mere physical survival became a less critical concern, necessities—and thus values—were redefined in terms of other needs, likes, or wants. It is also important for people to realize that God did not say that you are not allowed to feel true pain or real sorrow from the shattering experiences one has had at the hand of another. Nor did God say in order to forgive fully, one has to reenter a toxic relationship or return to an abusive, destructive circumstance. However, notwithstanding even the most terrible offenses that might come to us, we can rise above our pain only when we put our feet onto the path of true healing. #RandolpHarris 7 of 14

God is the Healer of every wound, God rights every wrong, and asks us to labor with him in the daunting task of peacemaking in a World that will not find it any other way. Some people are letting miserable misunderstandings run on from year to year, and even for decades because they do not want to face justice; many are also keeping wretched quarrels live with the vicious imaginations; and often people speak to others out of spite or to merely annoy them. If we are lettings people’s hearts ache for a word of appreciation or sympathy, we must realize that we may never have another chance to show our appreciation for others. Human beings are a valuing creature, and we can now wonder at the multitude of things which have been stacked on top of each other as humans have tried to organize their values. These systems and hierarchies have had a deep effect on the way in which people have lived their life and related to others. By addressing problems before they can grow larger, conscientious individuals maintain better healthy overall and, on average, live longer with better quality life. Conscientious individuals also perform better at some jobs than others. We always know when God is at work because he produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring. If one knows of an old injury, or a relationship needs mending, repair it. Care for one another in love. #RandolphHarris 8 of 14

In our World of reconciliation, it is up to us to be peacemakers—to love peace, to seek peace, to create peace, to cherish peace. We make this appeal in the name of God. “Behold, now I say unto you that he commands you to repent, you can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. But behold, this is not all—he has commanded you to repent, or he will utterly destroy you from off the face of the Earth; yea, he will visit you in anger, and in his fierce anger he will not turn away,” reports Alma 9.12. The placement of highest value on happiness actually begins with a belief that the greatest good is Pleasure. Good is the pleasure of the individual: I know not how I can conceive of the good, if I withdraw the pleasures of hearing, and withdraw the pleasurable emotions caused by the sight of beautiful form. All the living creatures as soon as they are born take delight in pleasure, but resist pain by a natural impulse apart from reason. Things are good insofar as they are pleasant. “Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD,” reports 1 Chronicles 17. #RandolphHarris 9 of 14

Whatever is the object of any person’s appetite or desire, that it is which for his or her part one calls good. Please is the Greatest Good. We endeavor, wish, desire, or long for nothing because we deem it good; but, on the other hand, we deem a thing good because we endeavor, wish for, or long for it. Eternal life is thought to be pleasurable because we will not only be immortal, but we will live eternally, with God, and that is why we find being good and obeying God pleasurable. It is thought that once we reach eternal life, we will be able to create our own Worlds and that is certainly something to aspire to. Therefore, that is why we must love each other and not only selfishly seek pleasure, but aim for the greatest happiness of all humankind. “Acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek God, he will be found by your; but if you forsake God, he will reject you forever. Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work,” reports 1 Chronicles 28.9. Large-scale happiness is something we are to strive for. Many of us are motivated by our instinctive biological urges to gain pleasure and avoid pain. “The Lord will deliver you out of bondage accord to his pleasure,” Mosiah 7.33. #RandolphHarris 10 of 14

What about this? We have felt with the biologists and others that we all are equipped with bodies that are capable of responding easily and readily to pleasure and which turn away from pain as often as possible, We know that all the touch receptors contained in the body are far more receptive and sensitive to pain than to any other feeling and thus we get the idea that avoiding painful injury is one of the most important tasks of our sensory equipment. Thinking that you are aware is altogether different from being aware of thinking. Working with our mind means being consciously and undividedly attentive to whatever arises in it—thoughts, fantasies, images, judgments, comparisons. (A well-grounded mindful practice is very helpful with the practice of this.) Most of what arises in our minds is invoked unbidden. Becoming aware of this is the beginning of mindfulness. Observing what our mind is doing, and maintaining this awareness for more than a few minutes is not easy, but must be learned if we are to cease being automatically run or hooked by what passes through our minds. The opposite end of the discomfort continuum is pleasure, total comfort, and thus human striving away from pain puts the attainment of pleasure very high on the priority list. “Gates of hell shall not prevail against those who build upon Jesus Christ’s doctrine,” reports 3 Nephi 11.39. #RandolphHarris 11 of 14

In this history of human’s relationship with the Christian Church we can observe, too, that one has been condemned again and again for one’s bodily desires and for seeking physical and emotional pleasure. Perhaps the medieval church, by placing such emphasis, albeit negatively, on the searching for physical happiness, has forced many to experiment with something so obviously important to a very large segment of society. There are some indications that the human mind cannot translate the work “don’t” into action. Experimenters in the field of psychocybernetics maintain that the mind translate whatever image succeeds the word. As a negative consequence, “Don’t take drugs,” becomes, in the mind, “take drugs.” So, it may actually help to remind people to make sure they are sober and of clear mind and judgment before they drink. And also remind them to remain sober because the adversary is out there preying like a thirsty tiger, looking for someone to devour. All the facts are not in, of course, but the idea is worthy of consideration, particularly in relation to why “don’t” so often seems to be a challenge or dare that is difficult to ignore. “But charity is the pure love of Jesus Christ, and it endures forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with God,” reports Moroni 7.47. #RandolphHarris 12 of 14

The Search for Pleasure ethic is far from dead. It forms the central emphasis in the Playboy Philosophy. Playboy magazine has for the past few decades been making public the personal ethic of its publisher, the late Hugh Hefner, who emphasizes the pleasures of sexual activity for their own sake, provided the participants recognize the responsibility of their actions. He feels that it is unnecessary to justify or institutionalize sexuality. It is a bodily drive like hunger and thirst and needs to be satisfied as easily as are the other drives. Love, he feels, is a pleasant accessory to sexuality, but not necessarily a prerequisite. He advocates neither adultery nor extramarital affairs, nor the violation of the rights and privacy of any one. Sexuality, says Hugh Hefner, is and should be a personal matter between two consenting adults. His criticism of conventional morality for giving most of us our hang-ups and guilt feelings is very biting and penetrating. Yet, there is a sophistication and a call-to-arms about the Playboy Ethic that makes it more than just a modern-day challenge, telling Victorianism to go to its long-awaited grave and stay there. It is almost as Mr. Hefner, its strategist, is crusading for the end of repressive and guilt-producing attitudes regarding sexuality and other bodily pleasures. There are many who are rallying around Mr. Hefner’s flag. #RandolphHarris 13 of 14

However, most scholars would agree that the major emphasis in Christian theology is not necessarily pleasure, but Godliness, or more correctly Christlikeness. God has sent an example, to be followed and to be worshiped as God’s own son. Strive to be like Christ, commit yourself to him, and God’s grace will save humanity. We can, through faith and worship, become perfect. “There are so many kinds of voices in the World, and none of them is without signification,” reports 1 Corinthians 14.8-10.  Our World is not much the same as it was in the Victorian era. “If it were not for the prayers of the righteous, we would even now be visited with utter destruction,” reports Alma 10.22. Of course, there are many many upright and faithful who live all the commandments and whose lives and prayers keep the World from destruction. Many good people are being influenced by the bold spirit of times. “The Lord delights in chastity women and men,” reports Jacob 2.28. #RandolphHarris 14 of 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the Land the Sunset Washes and these are the Banks of the Yellow Sea

We need to learn the secret burning in our heart. To do that, sometimes it is necessary to step back from the World and assess our life. Adjustment is the ability to balance demands of the ego with id and superego demands; being effective in reason, emotion, and interpersonal relations; a definition having to do with reaching some sort of external, socially established goal; and so forth. The difficulty we have found with most of these approaches is in seeing adjustment in terms of something outside of, and apart from, the life of any human being. Unless we take the time to reflect, we may not realize the impact of this fast-paced environment on our daily lives and the choices we make. Every human being carries within one’s own life the only real and possible goal or standards by which to measure adjustment—the actualization of selfhood. This may mean, for some, that personal adjustment may take place at the expense of social adjustment. People who attain self-actualization are neither sociopaths nor anarchists. They know that we live in social World and benefit greatly from social experiences, and are able to approach the external World more deliberately, with their own best interests at heart. These individuals are also able to discover aspects of themselves that had once been neglected or pushed away. #RandolpHarris 1 of 11

As we negotiate a new balance between our internal World and the external one, both changes help us face the World with confidence. Getting this balance right is the key to wisdom. Becoming wise is one of the major objectives of Selfhood. How wise we become depends in large part on our ability to watch our public self with the curiosity of a detective and the compassion of a saint. Assessing our lives also gives us an opportunity to step back from the World, reflect on where we stand on the covenant path, and, if necessary, adjust ensure a firm grip and a forward gaze. If anything in our lives need to be changed, today is the perfect day to change it. The attempt we make is to actualize our selfhood as fully as possible while keeping a realistic understanding of the social demands made upon us. This often calls for compromise in behavior, though not always for compromise in thought and attitude. We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in God and strengthen our families. What we observe ourselves doing in the course of our journey to eternal life may at times startle us, discourage us, confuse us, and overwhelm us. Therefore, it is important to be gentle with ourselves. Understanding that we will renegotiate this balance over and over in the years to come may help us be patient. #RandolphHarris 2 of 11

A higher state of mind and spiritual vision can only be achieved through the higher practice of personal character. If we live up to the highest and best that we know in the outer level of our lives, God will continually life us even higher. When God elevates us by his grace into Heavenly places, we will find a vast plateau where we can move about with ease. “Come up here, and I will show you things,” reports Revelation 4.1. The requirements for self-actualization include a full appreciation of the social relations and needs of each person. Every self-actualizing individual, then, is as fully meaningfully oneself as one can be without infringing upon nor limiting the Selfhood of any other human being. We are life affirming itself in the midst of other lives affirming themselves. “Blessed are the pure heart, for they shall see God,” reports Matthew 5.8. The search for significance has to be a very personal, even solitary experience: each person must figure out one’s own identity and live out one’s own life. Though it may, it need not, be a lonely search. The population on Earth has double in the past 50 years. There are now nearly 8 billion other human beings currently alive at this moment who may also be interested in what it means to be alive. Therefore, there is a sense we learn empirically what being is. #RandolphHarris 3 of 11

There must therefore be a cause (in a metaphysical, not a physical, sense of cause) of their existence; this must be a necessary being, identified with God, who exists by one’s own nature. Contingent beings, like horses and houses, are obviously contingent because being composed of matter, their existence is finite—they begin to exist and cease to exist. Matter also accounts for the individuality of things: things that are identical insofar a what they are, or in other words, things that have the same nature, are still different things because of the matter of which they are composed is different. God, on the contrary, is immaterial and, hence, one and unchanging. The struggle to be alive, stay alive, to find meaning and significance in life is perhaps the only real purpose humans have. The experience of discovering that we are a Being-in-the-process-of-becoming is a wonderful and fearsome one. However, it can be so much more rewarding and thrilling than the mere ongoing, business-as-usual, type of life lived by so many people that we find it difficult to believe that we will not be stimulated and goaded and challenged by this idea. At the very least, we feel, we will have to do something with the ideas we are considering. We may be able to forget or repress them, but they will remain part of our experience. #RandolphHarris 4 of 11

All of us are familiar with people who repress memories to block out pain too terrible for them to feel. Some of these children even develop two or more personalities as a way of coping with the trauma. Adults who has survived great pain or danger often report going outside themselves as crucial moments. Our mind can protect us, but dealing with the facts of life in a realistic fashion is part of the struggle. Many people never make the transition from self-consciousness to self-awareness. They get stuck in self-sabotage: they stop caring altogether. The man who just lets himself go, or the woman who says, “Oh, I am just no good at cooking,” are engaging in self-limiting behavior. A self-aware person makes conscious choices about what to do about simple facts. In contrast, a self-sabotaging person will see the facts, may even see what needs to be done, but will go on no further. Living life fully is not a straight-line path toward some external other-directed goal of adjusting or mental health or perfection. “For behold, this life is the time for people to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for people to perform their labors,” reports Alma 34.32. We are trying to reach eternal life by experiencing mortal life all deeply, richly, dangerously, riskily, and humanly. Life is blood, sweat, and tears, and joy and glory. #RandolphHarris 5 of 11

The challenge of living fully is well illustrated by a poem from the fertile mind of the contemporary American poet, Dwayne Tipton Cannon: Lord, light my fire with purpose beyond the thought that life, happy or unhappy, successful or unsuccessful, is extraordinarily interesting. Mighty warriors, celebrated and honored, allow me the pleasure of living the multitudes of humankind, of escaping intolerance, a unique adventure. Beautiful starts, is it so wrong to embrace the Sun, to enjoy Spring air, and to love, to think, and act courageously? Powerful faith, do not betray me in my hour of need and despair, a superior person is marked by rising the fallen hawks and doves, an ultimate triumph. Mountain peaks, do not reject me while my direction wavers, for all things must change to something new, to something strange, for flowers grow. Ocean winds, might you offer more than fresh silence to my solitude, and allow me the conviction that only the little minds are subdued by misfortune, and sadly mistaken? Dark granite, forget your cold rewards, your solidarity is needed, a virtuous deed should never be delayed, the impulse is too strong, and hesitation unnecessary. Bold rose, do not weary of life, your thorny stems lead inward to secret doors, and are doors outwards, out of self, out of smallness, out of wrong, to eternal peace. #RandolphHarris 6 of 11

We have looked at the many crises each of us faces. The one with which we want to deal is that of insignificance: the feeling that our personal existence is not only meaningless but does not matter, is not relevant or even related to anything or anybody at all. To begin to understand, we must confront the most important fact of life: our own mortality. “Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while this life, then comes the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed,’ reports Alma 34.33. Our significance is directly related to how we live our lives in accord with a full appreciation of the fact that we will someday leave this World. This is dealing with the existential anxiety that all of us must confront one time or another in our lives. Our goal is to understand the very real dilemmas of human existence and attempt to guarantee that all our study and research can be applied to make human life more fulfilling, richer, and more significant. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. #RandolphHarris 7 of 11

 Understanding our divine origins is essential to our eternal progress and can free us from the distraction of this life. “If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” reports John 8.31-32. Selfhood is described as one’s consciousness of who one is. The goal is for us to learn how we can actualize our own selves for more significant, meaningful, and above all, joyful, living. Adulthood presents us with a gift: the virtual end of self-consciousness. Any of us can use this gift to pursue wisdom. All we have to do to become wiser is to listen to our own internal rhythms and use them in our daily lives. Sounds simple, right? However, anyone who has tried it knows that it is constant work. Wisdom is not a goal but a process. “If any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I had, I would never know,” reports Joseph Smith History 1.12 The greatest achievement humankind can make in this World is to familiarize ourselves with divine truth, so thoroughly, so perfectly, that the example or conduct of no creature living in the World can ever turn us away from the knowledge that we have obtained. #RandolphHarris 8 of 11

The practical yet complex aspect of human intelligence either remains stable through life or continues to grow as we age. Making it grow involves nothing more than staying mentally challenged. No humanistic writer is blind to the fact of human foolishness, their cruelty, their faithlessness. Yet, the words can be read and understood, apart from their irony, as fitting descriptions of the potential self lying formant in each human being. They are not myths nor lies. They are simply too often unfulfilled. People can claim such wonderful inventions, such ingenious insights, such remarkable creations. Yet one is capable of the most supreme folly. The creature who can paint a Sistine Chapel ceiling is the same creature who can turn Lake Erie into a cesspool. The same nature that can conceive of the most altruistic love can also butcher millions of their fellow humans. Contradictions? Possibly. More likely we will find as we explore the nature of humans—our own nature—that seeming contradictions pop up because we take limited glances. Much like in the 1994 film IQ, no one could see that Ed Walters (Tim Robbins), an auto science engineer, was only pretending to be a physicist and cheating to answer questions correctly because they so desperately wanted to believe in him. #RandolpHarris 9 of 11

Our perspectives are fogged or fenced-in by our needs, wishes, fears, and unconscious ambitions. Hatred can cause us to see only hate in people about us. Love can truly limit our vision to that of loving. Human beings are more than any one picture of them can accurately portray, and they are more than all the pictures assed together can say. If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of people that attack the truth, we must learn to receive revelation. We must learn to rely on the Spirit of Truth. “For the Spirit speaks the truth and lies not. Wherefore, it speaks of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spoke them unto prophets of old,” reports Jacob 4.13. People have been the subject of billions of works of very fine poetry, literature, drama, music, and oratory. We have fashioned our images out of wood, marble, clary, oil, acrylic, soap, sand, wire, cheese, papier-mâché, glass, ice, and welded iron. We have dissected, analyzed, studied, and X-rayed ourselves in every way conceivable. Yet for all the experiences in recorded history of which people have been the subject, the one thing that cannot be made or reproduced is that slipper something called one’s essence, one’s nature. #RandolphHarris 10 of 11

Even if we succeed in setting down in black and white the most descriptive, accurate, meaningful words ever used to try to set forth the nature of humans, all we would have succeed in doing is talking about it. All this fire our soul, and, provided that we are not disturbed, our subject enlarges itself, becomes methodized and defined, and the whole, though it be long, stands almost complete and finished by our mind, so that we can survey it, like a fine picture or a beautiful statue, at a glance. Nor do we hear in our imagination the parts successively, but we hear them, as it were, all at once. Wat a delight this is we cannot explain it! All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing, lively dream. This means that words are too frail, too limited to capture a live-and-kicking experience. The nature of human beings is such an alive, personal, fluid thing that as soon as the words are dry on paper, the nature of human beings moves on to be something else. However, it is possible to talk about what has been considered to be the nature of humans by various people in various times. Thus, by a process of both elimination and simplification we can almost conclude that since other descriptions have not yet captured it, whatever is left just might begin to do it, at least in written form. God will turn these expressions into a wonderful lesson of growth for the future. #RandolphHarrs 11 of 11

 

After a Hundred Years Nobody Knows the Place—It Intimates the Finer Want Termed Immortality

All of us to some extent need to find a purpose or goal in existence. Everybody has to know where he or she is going. Every great person in history has set up guidelines and goals for one’s life! Agreed. There is certainly nothing wrong with goals. We all need them. However, too many people overstructure their lives for careers and achievement and end up feeling intensely guilty if they cannot build the structure according to plan. Or they feel envious and even resentful of others who make it. Some people spend their lives regretting the past and fearing the future; therefore, they are unable to experience joy in the present. As a result, many become mere victims of painful emotions that they do not handle and which trigger endless intellectualization and elaboration. They may spend an entire lifetime constructing sophistical intellectual systems to justify what is glaringly obvious as simple suppressed emotions. Possibly the worst problem of all is that they feel their lives, once structured, have a purpose and that thus, as individuals, they are justified in using up Earthspace and breathing Earthair. We maintain that this attitude is unfortunate. None of us can recall asking to be here, nor remember having anything to do with getting here. We have as much right to be here as anyone, and we do not have to contribute anything or produce anything or even be anything special in order to show good cause for our continued existence. #RandolphHarris 1 of 10

Many adults express this goal-purpose orientation in empty arguments concerning restless students or others they loosely call hippies. A common statement from established, comfortable, hardworking middle-class adults is “What do they do to earn the right to demonstrate or even lie around? Who pays the taxes to support their wild terrorisms on campuses and in the streets? Who keeps the store while these kooks are ‘finding themselves’ through all kinds of extravagant orgies and ‘trips’? When are these creeps going to settle down, join the human race, and pick up their fair share of the load of responsibility for building and continuing our way of life?” We have no simple rebuttal to these arguments. However, we do have a basic commitment to the intrinsic worth of each human being, including those labeled “kooks,” “creeps,” “weirdoes,” and “trouble-makers.” “The Holy One shall execute judgment in righteousness,” reports Nephi 22.21. None of us has anything for another person as a way of paying back the debt of being here. However, once each individual is guaranteed the simple right to be here and is enabled by those who care about one to survive and grow and become what one potentially is, one will become, we believe, productive and contributing and caring and compassionate. One will feel the self-worth of each other person because one feels one’s own self-worth. #RandolphHarris 2 of 10

Our only purpose in life, if purpose is needed, is to be what we are, fully, vitally, in a context of other people having the same right. “If you nourish seed with great care, it will get root,” reports Alma 32.27. That means the virtues that we share and treasure will be reflected in our lives the more we practice them. The realization of the needs of others ought to produce, in sensitive people, the necessary checks and balances to make sure we do our thing without infringing on the important rights and needs of other thingdoers. In fact, in order to guarantee the satisfaction of our deepest needs, we must be concerned about the need-satisfaction of others. “The Lord has commanded that all people should have charity,” reports 2 Nephi 26.30. In short, we can state realistically but not pessimistically that our only deal goal is eternal life, and thus our big challenge is to live significantly, fully, meaningfully. If we pay attention to our feelings, we stay on the road to healthy, reflective thought. With informed thought, we can actually vary the intensity of our feelings, or shift from one feeling to another. For instance, by focusing on the long-term gains that we will accrue if we tolerate the frustration of finishing a tough assignment, we can shift from feeling anxious to feeling eager—a subtle but powerful difference that will affect our work. #RandolphHarris 3 of 10

Failure to feel, on the other hand, leads either to unproductive circuitous thought (which produces further anxiety) or denial (and its companion, procrastination). A full life depends on a total realization of just how short and limited that life might be. With life’s ending in sight, the time still available becomes more valuable for meeting the challenge. The more time each of us spends searching for purpose in living, the less time we have for living itself. Life is given! It is not earned, not entrusted, not loaned or rented, just given. And we do not have to get bogged down in philosophical or theological arguments about who gave it. However, when someone out of a relationship of love gives one a gift, one does not need to day “thank you,” or return it, or give a gift in return. The idea is to take it, unwrap it, appreciate it, use it, and enjoy it. Existence and Being are gifts, with all the rights and privileges attached. Filling them with meaning and significance is up to the individual who receives them. Never give up—however deep the wounds of your soul, whatever their source, wherever or whenever they happened, and however short or long they persist, we are not meant to perish spiritually. We are meant to survive spiritually and blossom in our faith and trust in God. God stands ready to save us from the sorrows and pains of our wounded souls. The Savior is our Good Samaritan, sent to heal the brokenhearted. #RandolphHarris 4 of 10

Let us regroup. What is the something we grow into? We are born as units: individual cases of Homo sapiens, solitary examples of people. We develop into something that has its potential in our human nature; human beings. We become persons. There are many ways of describing this. Some people speak of soul, while others talk about spirit. Some speak of personality, and others use the term character. We call it Selfhood. As human beings unfold, like flowers blossoming from nib to bud into full-blown flowerhood, they become conscious of who and what they are. The self is the for the awareness each of us has of our Being, potential and actual, latent and manifest. Reaching awareness is a complicated process, but each of us with or without help managers to come to some sense of who one is. Each self is different, and each is important. Although we use many copy-patterns (models, heroes, ideals, images) in the identity-formation process, there remains through it all a core which is uniquely our own. Enormous suffering gives us experience, and can help us develop. How can painful wounds be for our good? In the crucible of Earthly trials, patiently move forward, and the Savior’s healing power will bring us light, understanding, peace, and hope. We must pray with all our heart. #RandolphHarris 5 of 10

Life is a series of success and failures, hellos and goodbyes, high and lows, peaks and valleys, births and deaths; the fully actualizing self experiences them all and deals with them effectively. It is more than coping or battling life. Self-actualization often means knowing when to ride with and fully experience those many life encounters that are difficult and painful. We do this with the joys and pleasures; why not also wit the rest of our life? Remember, repentance is powerful spiritual medicine. Keep the commandments and be worthy of the Comforter, remembering that the Savior promised, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” In a sense, the self is like a tool kit that contains the necessary tools (and often weapons) to work effectively with life. In another sense, the self is like a makeup kit in which we carry the materials for wearing the many faces or aspects of our being. In the course of living, even within the same hour of any day, we exhibit many aspects of ourselves. The soul is a simple substance and therefore indestructible. The soul might nevertheless lose its consciousness, but the divine wisdom and goodness of God would not allow this to happen. #RandolphHarris 6 of 10

Looking backward, remembering that we proved our worthiness in our premortal state, we know that we are valiant children of God, and with his help, we can triumph in the battles of this fallen World. We have done it before, and can do it again. Rather than spend good time, paper, and energy discussing what might be considered a good life, a well-adjusted life, or a full life, one must look forward. Our troubles and sorrows are very real, but they will not last forever. Our dark nights will pass. Disappointments come to visit on occasion, but are never allowed to stay. We are troubled, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. We may be exhausted, but must never give up. Is not one of the most central problems of modern Western humans that some experience themselves as without significance as an individual? Let us focus on that aspect of our image of ourselves which is our doubt whether we can act and one’s half-aware conviction that even if we did act it would do no good. This is part of our lives. It is why we are here. We are here to have a body and to be tried and tested. Some of those tests are physical. Some are spiritual, and our trials here have been both physical and spiritual. #RandolphHarris 7 of 10

We have not given up, and that is something to be proud of. Increasing our faith in God will bring us added strength and greater hope. For us, the righteous, the Healer of our souls, in his time and his way, will heal all our wounds. No injustice, no persecution, no trial, no sadness, no heartache, no suffering, no wound—however deep, however wide, however painful—will be excluded from the comfort, peace, and lasting hope of God, whose open arms will welcome us back into his presence. A human being, with all the potential and actualized abilities we have, who still can feel that we do not matter, it is impossible to know all that informs our minds and hearts or even to fully understand the context for the trials and choices we face. Humans, the master of the World, able to doubt that what we are and does is significant. Self-doubt which reflects the tremendous technological power that surges up every moment about us to dwarf overwhelmingly our own puny efforts. Humans, seeing themselves, for all their created and expressed potency, as impotent is more than a Frankenstein’s monster turning on and destroying their creator. In that act, the monster was admitting Frankenstein’s power and demonstrating that the only way to go round that power was to kill the man having it. The act of self-doubting is more pernicious. #RandolphHarris 8 of 10

 The monster creations and programs of human beings have become so powerful that, mindless as they are, they can afford to sweep one aside as being too unimportant to waste energy on killing him. That is the stimulus, the challenge, the treat to the very existence of human beings and human beings that leads us to explore the dilemma. We propose, with the help of thoughtful and insightful people from many different times and backgrounds, to present the problem and explore its dimension. We hope to show that Human’s Ultimate Concern is more than what in that past has been listed as seeking happiness, enlightenment, wisdom, control, power, salvation, adjustment, or even identity. The concern of each of us is to find some way of getting alive, staying alive, and fulfilling that aliveness, and making it (and ourselves) count in the scheme of things. “Fear not, for behold, it is God that has shown unto you this marvelous thing, in the which is shown unto you that you cannot lay your hands on us to slay us,” reports Helaman 5.26. Perseverance means more than endurance—more than simply holding on until the end. Entrust yourself to God’s hands. #RandolphHarris 9 of 10

The Romans had a sign in their shops that read “Caveat Emptor.” “Let the buyer beware” is an antique cryptic phrase demonstrating an ancient concern that people should only purchase if they are aware of the possible consequences. Some of the difficulties to be encountered in absorbing this set of ideas are set out here for us to peruse, carefully, thoughtfully. We may, for instance, find that in looking into this dilemma it will defeat us, or at least knock us down emotionally. It is very difficult to confront the problems of life. If we are interested in finding ourselves, becoming who we actually are, in discovering not only our identity, but what worth that identity has, we may be in for hard work. So, buyer beware! We may be in for frustration, self-pity, self-hatred, and defeat.  However, we may also attain a rich and rewarding life and come to value the person that we really are “because you kept my command to persevere,” reports Revelation 3.10. Even though we cannot see God right now and cannot understand what he is doing, we know him. We can minister grace through compassionate language when the cultivated gift of the Holy Ghost pierces our hearts with empathy for the feelings and context of others. It enables us to transform hazardous situations into holy places. God looks down on our hears and cares what we are thinking. #RandolphHarris 10 of 10

How Many Legions Overcome?

 

There is a beginning or a potentiality of goodness in human nature. Humans are rational beings and have moral sense and knowledge. The need we have long felt and which we are trying to meet here on this Earth is an idea of what it means to be alive, to face the fact of death, to discover our own self-hood and identity, to struggle to live significantly in a World such as ours. The situation is often gloomy. We try not to be, not because we do not see what is going on, but because there is a tremendous challenge in being alive today. Learning without thinking is labor scattered; thinking without learning is dangerous. Both learning and thinking are indispensable. Without learning there are no data for inquiry. Without thinking no principle or concept can be reached. We must penetrate more deeply and understand the sense of hearing and seeing do not always think and can be obscured by external things. When one thing comes into contact with another, as a matter of course, one leads the other away. To the office of the mind belongs the office of thinking. By thinking, it gives the right view of things; by neglecting to think, it fails to do this. Sometimes people are so focused on the external World, they cannot even comprehend their own senses, and they project them on to others. #RandolphHarris 1 of 12

When people possess an ability, but do not take the time to acquire learning by their intuitive sense, they may be out of touch with the reality of others. Sometimes the sense a person is feeling is unique to them, and not share by others. For example, one may feel an attraction to someone and assume that that person is attracted to them, but there may actually be no chemistry on the other side, which is why we have communication, so we can check our assumptions before assuming they are facts. Communication saves people from being hurt, embarrassed, or from leading themselves on. We try to paint the background of existence with a broad brush, using whatever colors we find in nature. The foreground and details are painted with a finer brush, often dipped in the lifeblood of existence. The foreground and details are painted with a finer brush, often dipped in the lifeblood of existence. We deal with hopelessness, not by catering to it, but by confronting it with what we continue to find all about us: hope springing significantly—if not eternally—from countless human hearts. In spite of the welter of confusing cries and curses, there is hope in the fact that the words come from human voices, not television speakers alone, nor alone from computerized feedback units, nor just from the printed page. #RandolphHarris 2 of 12

In all the hatred and violence we pray we find hope, because real human beings are refusing to cop-out a plea of instinctive aggression or economic determinism. They are still willing to wrestle with the facts of learning and feeling and working problems through. The perception of beauty strengthens the representative activity of the soul and makes it more perfect, thus causing a feeling of pleasure. The perception of beauty causes intuitive knowledge; in its highest stage it becomes the aesthetic illusion in which, for example, fable appears as reality. Hope is to be found in people who are willing to struggle to keep meaning and significance alive-and-well in their lives. These are the people who cry out that though they may die with a whimper, they are determined not to live with one. These are the people, the human people, the meaningfully existing selves-in-becoming. These are the people who are doing their human thing in their own way, who come into our lives, classrooms, social scenes, and consulting rooms and who give us the spark by which to see the hope. “For behold, the Lord has blessed them so long with the riches of the World that they had not been stirred up to anger, to wars, not to bloodshed,” reports Helaman 6.17. #RandolphHarris 3 of 12

We want to give people some idea of the importance of life and of living it fully, experimentally, excitingly. You have only this one short life. Turn on to it. Drugs, gurus, flowers, Zen riddles, and fast cars do not make it; living fully, openly, as a full-fledged, full-functioning human being does! Are you asking God to give you life, liberty, and joy? Once we face the strain in life, we will immediately get the strength. It is also important that we acknowledge the thousands of people, friends, and loved ones that have added to our lives and insights. We can grow with each contact we make. And one of the few obligations we have in life is to share that growth with others. Amazing though it may seem, in a World of nearly eight billion people we can still be cold and lonely, unless we know of and acknowledge the love and caring of others. Your aches and pains, poor sleep, or lack of stamina may be the early warning signs of unresolved stress on your body. You are probably pushing yourself too hard, perhaps as a result of some internal pressure to perform. Rarely are symptoms such as these related solely to the aging process. If you leave them unresolved, you are opening the door to physical decline. The body is designed to communicate with us, to help us achieve mind-body balance. #RandolphHarris 4 of 12

Busy, achievement-oriented people find it difficult to give up control over the body. There is an agony and ecstasy of being fully and wonderfully alive. To be a person is to be unique and at the same time to know of our kindship with every other living thing. To be a person is to be independent and dependent and interdependent. To be a person is to know that we have needs and motives, that we learn value, love, work, play, adapt, maladapt, feel good, feel bad, feel right, feel wrong. To be a person is to know that we must live. Each of us needs to live experimentally. This means taking the customary, the traditional, the usual, and subjecting it to the experimentation of living experience. We are all very much alike in the sense of being living, breathing, loving, bleeding, climbing, slipping, human creatures whose selfhoods are always in the frustrating process of becoming. We are all unique in that we will have to live our lives in our own way, on our own terms. Life goes on and may we all catch a good ride. “In the days when the seventh Angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants and prophets,” reports Revelation 6.7. What we do not know is what God’s compelling purpose is, but whatever happens, we must maintain our relationship with him. #RandolphHarris 5 of 12

Sooner or later someone is going to catch the imagination of these people with some new magic. At the bottom of it will be a promise of regaining the feeling of participation, the feeling of being needed on Earth—Hell, dignity! The wish for immortality or prolonged life may be a universal wish, but no scientific evidence has yet to produce a person who has lived forever, and only a few who exceed ordinary lifespans by a couple of decades. Existential anxiety—the fear and dread of death—may be one of the most basic fears in human beings. Indeed we are finding evidence that it underlies many other kinds of anxiety. People have all sorts of ways of cushioning or even avoiding a realistic acceptance of the fact of death. Many people put it out of their thoughts by alluding to their youth: “Death? Oh yeah, when you are older. Me? I am 18 (or 25 or 60), and my life is just beginning. I am going to live a thousand years.” If Anne Rice was God, maybe that would be possible. Some people use religious faith: “Sure, I will die; it’s God’s will. However, there is a God and there is a Heaven, and since I am saved, I have got a nice cushy place waiting for me up there. What is the big deal?” Others block out death: “I am gonna live fast and furious, death is gonna have to have a 747 jet to catch me!” #RandolphHarris 6 of 12

Do a little soul-searching. The urge (and ability) to leave a beneficial mark on the World is nature’s way of elevating us to the plane of self-discovery. The call of God can never be understood absolutely or explained externally; it is a call that can only be perceived and understood internally by our true inner nature. Some people are so frightened by death that they absolutely refuse to let the thought of it enter their consciousness: “Why must you dwell on it? Do not speak about it; it is bad luck. Me, I never think about it.” Some people who notice these disturbing feels of mortality panic, worried that something is severely wrong with them. They feel too old to be searching for answers to the mysteries of life, death, and the meaning of existence, especially if they dealt with these issues in the past. They may numb themselves with liquor or drugs: “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be. Drink up; trip out! With what we got in us, we can take on death and anybody he brings alone to help him!” Those are rough games and the competition is not very equalized. If we do not struggle to find more satisfying answers to these fundamental questions during our midlife journeys, we risk facing old age with fear and anger as our main companions. #RandolphHarris 7 of 12

Some escape into some form of mental illness and thereby beat death to the punch by assuming a living death type of existence: “That old Grim Reaper will not find me out here on the funny farm.” Trouble is, “he’s” been there quite often. If we can begin to wrestle with our mortality, we open ourselves to a spiritual awakening that makes the second half of life a deeper, richer experience than we imagined possible. Sometimes we are struck over the many different ways we see others being able to breathe new life into their spiritual lives. Some study sciences with the hope of gaining spiritual insight from recent findings about the way the subatomic World works. Others return to the traditions and teachings of the religion they were taught as children, and reexperience those rituals and writings at a deeper spiritual level. Some people who rediscover spirituality do so after they have themselves up to the glories of nature, and those who studied many religions with the idea of creating new belief systems if their own. There is no limit to the methods by which one can tap into peace and meaning. Truth is where you find it. Rest assured that the spiritual journey we are on has many rewards independent of the answers we seek. Existential thinking is that each of us is going to die. The only choice we have in the matter is when. #RandolphHarris 8 of 12

If we choose to live until we die, naturally, then we tacitly acknowledge that we have only so much time and that we do not even know just how much. Since life is not open-ended and since we do not know how long it will last, had not we better do some living? Find ways of making the most of the time we do have? Discover the meaning in every single event in our lives, so we can do some choosing and attempt to develop the most significant aspects of our existence? Should we waste a precious moment? Can we not squeeze a whole lot more pleasure and significance out of this life that is, as the Existentialists say, all we have? People interested in human behavior need to consider the importance for a person’s life and one’s attitude toward death. People who have stressed their fears and anxieties about living, wondering whether any life that would end in nothingness could be worth living. Existential psychology has many followers. Humanistic psychologists work not only with those who are emotionally disturbed, but also with people who have more ordinary problems in living. Our present concern is living fully and fully living. It takes as its premise that our lives are finite, and that it will end someday. Human beings can actualize (bring into actuality) their hidden potentials for self-hood. #RandolphHarris 9 of 12

We can grow by experimentally, by continually challenging ourselves and our environment, by taking risks, by experiencing the unknowns, and by showing the courage to be. If we choose to live, we choose not only joy and love, peace and fulfillment; we must also accept the other ingredients in the package: pain, anxiety, conflict, hurt, anger, fear, frustration, and eventually passing into Heaven. “If you keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord does command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever you must do with them) behold, no power on Earth or Hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words,” reports Alma 37.16. Human beings are not only capable of observing and reporting on human behavior objectively, but of introspectively reporting on one’s own subjective experiences. Humans are also capable of experiencing themselves as a self, as a person, using all the techniques and methods of gathering together what is True, or factual, and making it Real, or personally meaningful. Many people are pragmatic. They have been raised on a diet of goals, purposes, functions, and success versus failure. They look for the point or purpose or use in every action, word, book, film, play, and experience. #RandolphHarris 10 of 12

Our culture has conditioned us—and very well, too!—to seek the practical reason why in virtually every important sphere of our lives. God places his saints where they will bring the most glory to him, and we are totally incapable of judging where they may be. “Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to him in doing good,” reports 1 Peter 4.19. Most of us design our work so that we can always demonstrate that there is a purpose to be found, a task (always noble) to be done, an end result to show for our efforts. Similarly, our schools get caught up in the need to educate students to answers previously written questions on an exam so that grades can be given and diplomas or degrees awarded and transcripts forwarded: all to show that the educational process works and has purpose and is thereby justified as significant. The lives of religious people are filled with similar concerns: sermons must have key points and a final summary (a justification for the sermons?); our rituals must demonstrate their effectiveness; offerings must go somewhere; churches are still judged successful if their programs work well enough to bring in larger numbers of members. Ask yourself what is special about your own holy moments. What truth was communicated to you? What did your soul receive from the experience? #RandolphHarris 11 of 12

As human beings, we are capable of reflecting on the mysteries of life and of celebrating the magnificence we find. When we are able to actively replay our holy moments at will, we find that our connection to the deeper, more meaningful side of life becomes part of our daily existence rather than a once-in-a-blue-moon stroke of luck. When we discover the power of our holy moments, we discover a well that will renew our spirit and keep us fully alive. In economic, governmental, and other social institutions, there has to be a working structure with specific functions demonstrably serving general functions. Accounts must be kept, and results or reports must be made periodically to let someone know that everything is working well. Purposive Pragmatism, the eternal seeking for the Reason-why or the goal-in-justifiable-terms, while not totally bad or unhealthy, is what ties so many people up. It keeps them from experiencing life and its fascinations, from undertaking any project—be it a course in Anthropology or creative writing, a hobby or sport, a civic service, or recreation—unless they can find a socially valid answer to the question “What for?” The person who expresses a desire to take up golf invariably finds it necessary to add, “The exercise would be good for my health,” not “Because I have always wanted to.” Holiness is not simply what God gives me, but what God has given me that is being exhibited in my life. #RandolphHarris 12 of 12