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Igitur Vita
(For this reason Life)

by

Jonathan Henderson

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Since the dawn of time, man has questioned life. Why are we here? Who are we? And ultimately, what created us? These are but a few of the questions this essay has explanations for. I will attempt to answer all of life's ultimate questions as they come to my mind. But take heart; these are but the opinions, of one person. Nothing in this essay can be counted as fact, and nothing here can really be counted as fiction. For none of it, can be proven.

As a child, I was raised into a Christian family. No one is born with any belief of their own. Beliefs, are fed to people as they grow older with time. Ideas are nurtured into peoples moinds. In an ideal world, everyone would be the same, but because of different ethnicities, different cultures, and different religions, none of this is possible. People are born nothing; they are raised something. As I was growing up I was raised Christian. But, like all things in life, you must not let others make your decisions for you, you must take the bull by the horns and make your own decisions. Life is what YOU make it.

You must make your own decisions in life, you control your own destiny, you are your own worst enemy, you are your own best friend. What you are is the result of your efforts, and what no one else has made you to be.

You make choices everyday. Some of them small; some of them large; some, well just not important enough to really care about. But your choices are affected by your environment and how you were raised, unless you have a strong willpower and are able to make your own decisions early in life.

Some philosophers of old condemn humans, some, praise them. Confucius, a philosopher of great renown from ancient China, said: "People are generally born good" Others will say "People are generally born towards mischief." The argument between the two could be as follows: How could a baby be born evil, how could a sweet innocent child be born evil? How can an innocent child, a new born baby be born perfectly good, and not mischievous. As we all know, some babies can be VERY mischievous, some also can be perfect little angels. If that is true, how can they be born good or evil. The view that I believe to be true is that all human beings are born into a state of neutrality, they gain positive emotions, or negative emotions as they mature. Their environment can greatly change their state of mind.

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Guidelines for living:

I believe that, for a person to be an independent, self aware, decent human being, they should accept the following guidelines:

  1. Realize that the way you turn out is no one's fault but your own.
  2. You must deal with the repercussions of all your actions.
  3. Your view is not superior to anyone else's view.
  4. Have an open mind.
  5. Treat others, as you would treat those you love.
  6. Condemn no one, for it is not your place.
  7. Have opinions, and be free to express them.
  8. Receive opinions willfully.
  9. Have faith in your beliefs.
  10. Question your faith.

Now to explain these things into detail:

Realizing that the way you turn out is no one's fault but your own. You are responsible for your own actions, no one can be at fault for something you have done, for you ultimately, choose your own path.

You must deal with the repercussions of all your actions. To deny any repercussion of an action you have committed is blasphemous to your self and to your own beliefs. So before taking action, think of the reaction. First figure out if you can handle it.

Your view is not superior to anyone else's view. You view, opinions, religion, and is not better than someone else's, nor is it worse. If someone truly believes something, then it is right for them. It may be not right for you. But respect their right to differ.

Have an open mind. Be conscious of everything around you. Do not resent others, or the ideas of others. Keep an open mind; human nature is always subject to change.

Treat others, only as you would treat those you love. The human spirit is fragile. Anything said or done to it is taken into account and affected in either a negative or a positive way. Be careful of what you do, harm no one.

Condemn no one, for it is not your place. Make no judgments of others. Your place is not to judge, nor is it to be judged. Every human being is entitled to their own life, without judgments.

Have opinions, and be free to express them. If you truly believe in something express it, do not be scared to share it. If you believe it, what is the harm of expressing it to others?

Receive opinions willfully. If you practice the art of having an open mind, then you will consider all opinions that are given to you, and think about what they mean. Do not brush off someone because of their opinion.

Have faith in what you believe in. Always have faith in you beliefs. If you do not, then you are just following a set of guidelines uselessly, and aimlessly.

Question your faith. Without examining your faith, how do you know what you believe in is right? Without questioning, you will receive no answers.

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The universe:

The universe is a void of small rocks we call planets and empty, blank, black, space.

How did it get there? This is a question for which there will be no definite answer, in the living part of your existence. My personal belief on the beginning of the universe is that it didn't. It never began; it always was; nothing created it; it was just here. Of course people will throw facts at you about carbon dating and such. They will say that the earth is so many billions of millions of years old, or we have blah blah blah amount of time until the sun explodes in a big mass of fire, killing us and destroying the earth and the rest of the solar system.

Everything happens for a reason, because something willed it that way. People have control of their own lives, as planets and starts, and moons have control of their own existence. Something is created or fades out of existence when it feels like it. I'm not saying that certain things don't have limits to how long they can exist in this universe. After all humans do have finite life spans. But, being conscious of things, your life limit may be under the average, or go beyond the average. in this way, all things choose when they will fade out of existence at their given time, considering a certain knowledge is attained.

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The earth as a central form of power:

We live on this earth. Why not believe it to be the central form of power in our lives? My belief is that it created us, somehow. But this obviously cannot be exactly explained until we reach the afterlife, in which I also believe. If we follow the guidelines above, all will be revealed to us.

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Your destiny:

Human-beings have the ability to do whatever they wish to do. You are in control of your own destiny. What you wish you can do, you can. You have the resources, and the abilities, and the potential to do anything. Life is full of infinite possibilities. No one can impede your progress. If you stay steadfast, concentrated, and stuck to that one goal. it will be achieved. What you wish you can do, you can.

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Beliefs and religions:

Webster's Dictionary defines "Religion" as:

  1. a) Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    b) A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
  2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
  3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
  4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

It defines "Belief" as:

  1. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another.
  2. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.
  3. Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

A belief is separate from a religion. You can believe that there is a God, without making that your religion. However religions have sets of beliefs. This is analogous to the observation that all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. A belief is not a religion, but all religions contain beliefs. A belief -- something you believe in -- can be many things. You probably believe that the sky is blue and the grass is green. But a religious belief is different: You may believe that there is a God, or that reincarnation is the true afterlife.

Do not persecute others for their religion or beliefs. Consider how would you feel if you were persecuted for your religions and/or beliefs. The vast majority of people claim that their beliefs are right and other beliefs are wrong. But religious beliefs conflict and there is no way to prove which, if any, are true. If a person believes something -- great. If you do not agree -- even greater. Just listen to what they have to say about it. Take everything into account. And remember, it is not your place to judge the beliefs of others.

Religion is a man made thing. Nothing is definite. But I believe if you believe in something very strongly, then it is true, for you. No matter how ludicrous it is.

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Death:

You cannot have life without death. It is a part of our reality. It happens. Everything dies. The continuous cycle of life, the meaning of the human being, birth, life, death, all repeat. In the middle somewhere, there is procreation, the creation of the same species by the same species. It is how we reproduce. Species have to reproduce to survive. Without reproduction we are nothing; we are gone; we would no longer exist on the planet.

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Originally posted: 2004-NOV-01
Latest update: 2004-NOV-01
Author: Jonathan Henderson

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