Our Mental Hard Drive – “The Brain”


“Challenging Ourselves through Questions”

Have you ever done something and later asked yourself, “Why did I do that?”
Did you ever tell yourself, “If I would have know that, I would have done things differently?”

Information is generally involved in everything we do. Information is essential and can be critical as we take steps through life desiring to make the least amount of mistakes.

The information available today is at an all time high. Media and online resources are exploding. It is at our finger tips if we care to explore for it. Even if we don’t realize it, the information that is absorbed by our mind, plays a role in how we react to any given situation. It is at the heart of what we eat, the fun things we enjoy doing, the work details we perform, our reaction to things we fear, virtually every function or task we undertake.

In many ways we could look at the information absorbed by our brain similar to information stored on a computers hard drive. Our thinking process utilizes this stored information. We use our mind to search back in time to what we recorded in it, or we kick in gear an understanding or reaction based on past experiences. A little like an application running on a computer. Sometimes we utilize our stored information subconsciously in our decision process. Sometimes we need our subconscious mind to quickly react but it doesn’t because we never trained it properly. Then after the fact we might say, “If only I would have done this.” There are times when we react so quickly that we never recognize if we reacted properly all based on something in our minds that triggered the response. Only when someone calls us out do we possibly slow long enough to question if our understanding was correct.

Through repetition, receiving the same information several time, repeating the same thoughts, we begin to place a priority over less received information. Companies today monitor our activity online or our purchasing history. They begin to see a pattern and as a result, they put things in front of us that follow this pattern of thinking.

We need to be aware that we can subconsciously feed our minds with one-sided information.

If we feed our minds with one-sided information, then we become lopsided, or possible what someone else would like us to become. It may be our way of feeding our minds with things that bring comfort, satisfaction, or even fill our emotional desires. The more we feed or are fed the same information, the more we believe it.

Is it possible that we are allowing ourselves to become brain washed?

Sometimes a computers hard-drive becomes overloaded with outdated, incorrect, or flawed information. This can cause results that while looking correct, are not. So some hard-drives may require reformatting, or at the least, old files and programs need to be removed. A clean-up program can be run to enable it to operate correctly. Outdated programs need to be replaced with new one that have bugs removed. Proper information needs to be made available to them.

Our brain requires a similar type of updating. Some things we learned 10, 20, 30, or 50+ years ago may not be totally correct. Sciences continue to learn and produce updates. New findings become available that could totally alter what one was taught during their education years. If we stop our learning process, we become outdated, we lock in our beliefs and understandings.

What would be nice is if we could just install a mental program that would search out and remove all misunderstandings, erase old outdated information and beliefs, clean up all the fragmented thoughts and reorganize how our information flows during our thought process.

Our mind is a powerful tool that we are blessed to have,
and

Proper care and maintenance are required.

This brings us to the question about the evolution of, or the creation of our brain.

Regardless of where you choose to place your faith, in evolution or in creation, one need to explore and understand details behind both sides. Did we evolve or is God real? Do the sciences support both creation as well as parts of our understanding of evolution?

Are the grounds that you stand on with respect to God and creation solid?

 

 

Reflecting on Life


When I look back on my childhood, taking the time to evaluate my life, or maybe I should say the areas that I wrapped my arms around and embraced and those that I didn’t, it brings great joy and in some cases a level of sadness. Turning the clock back to my childhood, growing up on the farm during the 50’s and 60’s with little spare cash, just enough to get by with and sometimes not even that much, I had a good life that taught me more than I ever gave it credit for.

Graduating High School in 1968 while the Viet Nam war was in full swing, seeing many of my friends serving there and returning home not the same person, some in a box, some missing limbs, but mostly changed personalities due to the effects of the war, was a difficult time.

Getting married at age nineteen, building our first house at age twenty, becoming a father at age twenty-one, were huge steps in life for me.

The foundation learned as a youth growing up was never lost, only forgotten for many years. Saddened by so much I had witnessed as a youth and my mid-teenage years in the religious arena, set my life path in motion. Determination set in, a drive to enjoy life, to become financially sound, to take a stand against all that didn’t fit into my version of faith, all began while still in high school.

Working my way up the ranks of my first job, I worked hard. I took on two jobs in those early years trying to earn what I felt was required to be a good provider. Then becoming licensed in the electrical trade and eventually starting our own company my life was very busy. Between work, family and fun, I had my hands full. Then my eyes were opened to the rest of the world when I took a new job in 1986. Being able to travel to many parts of the world, I began to see and feel the effects that war really has. To be close to war, hearing how others dealt with war both old and new, grasping the many religious faiths and beliefs including those that have no belief in God, it kicked in motion my past and the emotions caused me to re-evaluate my understandings of life.

So what does this mean in the grander scheme of things? It shows that from childhood on, our lives and personalities are set in a direction and become altered as we continue to age, grasping new information, learning about others we cross paths with. The real question is; do we allow ourselves the freedom to open our mind and explore what we see and hear? Or do we remain set in our ways determined not to allow change? Do we even recognize that we are closed to anything that may disrupt our desires and beliefs in life?

For me, I spent the time to re-evaluate my past, examine what I had learned and experienced, and to wrap my arms around what I believe this life is all about. I worked hard to eliminate the mental blocks that so often accompanies our attempt to truly understand, disabling any rational outcome. What I found was that I could make a decision for myself, placing my faith in what I had come to understand. While it was influenced by many, it was in the end, my choice, my decision, my beliefs.

So there’s this lingering question

When was the time you slowed down long enough, shoved the distraction aside, threw out the external influences of those that educate with an agenda whether religious or non-religious or educational and dug deep enough that you allowed yourself the freedom to choose where you have placed your faith?

One of the biggest things I learned along this adventure is that it takes faith to believe in life, it takes faith to believe what it is all about. It takes faith to believe in God or to not believe in God. It takes faith to believe in the direction we choose for our lives.

Where is your faith placed?  

 

Just Follow

Just Follow


When you know there is something you must do, just make a plan and go do it!

Orlando Espinosa

Don’t let anyone crush your dreams! Remember to follow your heart!just follow orlando espinosa

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37 – Searching for Answers – Tom is Released


Two days had passed when the doctor walked into Tom’s room around 6:30 am. Tom looked up with a bit of anxiety on his face and offered up good morning Doc. The doctor picked up Tom’s chart and looked over the details that the nurses had left during the evening. He walked over to Tom and asked how he was feeling. Well to tell you the truth, I am feeling pretty good today. The doctor smiled as he said; you sound like you would you like to go home pretty soon? You have no idea Doc! Well if you keep this up the rest of the morning and promise to be good we just might let you go home this afternoon. Do you live alone or do you have someone that lives with you inquired the doctor? You shouldn’t try to stay home alone. Yes I do live by myself, replied Tom. Well you really need to stay with someone for at least the next week just in case you need some help. You should make sure you can handle things on your own before you try it. You might want to start thinking about it and I will stop back by before leaving the hospital and we will make a decision then. Oh that would be great replied Tom as the doctor walked towards the door stopping just long enough to say; see you around noon.

Tom picked up his phone and dialed Ann not thinking about it being 6:35am. It rang a few times then went to voicemail. Hi this is Ann. Sorry I can’t take your call right now. Leave a message and I will call you back as soon as possible. Hi Ann. Tom here. Guess what. I think I can get out of here today. Call me when you can. Love you, Tom. Tom quickly dialed Joe and he picked up after the first ring. Hi Tom is everything alright. Yes of course. Why? Well it’s 6:35am for one. Oh my, now I know why Ann didn’t answer. Sorry, but I think I’m getting out this afternoon. That is great news replied Joe. Are you going to go back to your place? Well that’s a problem. The doctor wants me to stay with someone for a week or until I am sure I can handle everything by myself. Well you can come to my place if you want Joe quickly added. All we need to do is get a second bed so you have something to sleep on. Would you really do that for me Joe? You know I would. So when do you want me to pick you up? I will need to call you once I know for sure which should be around noon. Just call me on my cell and I will let the boss know. He will be cool with me leaving a little early. He is always asking how you are. Better run though or I will be late. Call me when you know for sure were the last of Joe’s words as he ran out the door heading towards his car.

Tom hung up his phone and leaned back in his bed and looked at the ceiling and smiled. I guess maybe we will be saying goodbye pretty soon. You have been a great listener and you never have much to say but I will miss you just a little. Well maybe not too much. Tom closed his eyes and let himself drift back in his thoughts.

Tom’s eyes quickly opened when he heard his phone ring that special sound he had set just for Ann. Hi my lovely almost wife. How are you doing? Well I’m fine but… I’m getting out Ann, Tom blurted out not waiting for an answer from Ann. Where are you going to stay inquired Ann. You can’t stay by yourself at your place can you? No – the doctor told me I need to stay with someone for a week to see how I was able to handle being out of the hospital and Joe asked me to stay with him. I am feeling really good and can’t wait to get out of here. This is great news Tom. Joe is a special friend and I know he will crack the whip on you if you misbehave. They both chuckled a little before they settled into a more serious talk. We haven’t talked to our parents yet about us Tom. I know Ann. I wanted to tell them yesterday but it never worked out where everyone was here at the same time. Maybe we can tell them over at Joe’s later today, Tom continued. That might work, but leaving the hospital and settling in at Joe’s place could take a lot out of you Tom. I will be ok Ann. I am just so excited to let them know. My parents will need to leave pretty soon and go back to Michigan so we need to do it before they leave. You should take it easy this morning and come over to see me at Joe’s. If something changes I will let you know. You probably should tell both of our parents what is happening. I will Tom. Just take it easy and don’t overdo it. Be careful. I love you and want you out but I want you getting better. I will be fine replied Tom. I will call you as soon as I know everything for sure. I love you Ann. I love you too Tom. I’ll talk to you after a while added Ann as she closed her phone and laid it on her bed stand. Ann leaned back on her bed and closed her eyes trying to let everything sink in a little. A few minutes had passed when she heard her mom crack her door open and asked if she was going to come down and join them for breakfast. I will be right down mom.

The morning dragged along and Tom was sitting up in bed wishing Ann had come to the hospital when the door opened and the doctor walked in. After looking over his charts and checking Tom over a little he looked at him and said; well do you have a place to stay? Yes, yes. I am going to Joe’s apartment and will stay with him until I am strong enough to handle things on my own. Ok then. I will sign the release papers and you can leave by mid-afternoon. I will have the nurses get everything ready for you and I will have them set up a follow-up appointment the end of this week, probable Friday and I want to see you in my office. No driving and take it easy. They will give you a list of do’s and don’ts before you leave.

Tom quickly called Joe and let him know that he could leave around 3 o’clock. That will work out good Tom. Paul had a spare bed and we left work at lunch time and moved it into my spare room. So we are good to go. I get out around 2:30 today so I will swing by the hospital and pick you up. Thanks Joe. You are the greatest friend anyone could have. Oh, Ann may swing by after we get to your place and maybe both of our parents if that is ok. Well, the place is not too dirty, but I can spiff it up a little after we get you moved in. Maybe you better let Ann know so we have a little time to get you settled in. See you around 2:40.

The afternoon dragged on for what seemed like forever when the door opened and Joe walked in. Well you ready to go? Yup, I’m just waiting for you. I signed all the papers earlier and all they need to do is wheel me out. I stopped by the desk on my way in replied Joe and they said they would be right down.

I wasn’t long and Joe had Tom loaded in his car. They pulled out of the parking lot turning right and were heading towards Joe apartment.

“To be continued”

To Love or to Feel Love


Do you love what you love, or just the feeling? This question was part of a personality test written by Jonathan-Safran-Foer and posted by my friend David Kanigan. A great question that is worth the time to ponder. Giving this some thought it brought many questions to mind. These are just a few.

Do you love the feeling you get or do you love unconditionally?

Do you love when someone is not there or only when you are with them?

Do you spring into action when something attacks what you love or do you sit and wait for the dust to  settle?

Would you die for what you love or only attempt within reason to help?

Can you show your love or is your love just a hidden feeling you can’t or don’t express?

Can you show your love even when it is not to your benefit at the time?

Can you love and forget the shortcomings of your love or do you let the shortcomings affect your love?

Do you always nurture your love or just when you want that feeling of love?

Would you give up anything and everything for your love or would you sit back and wait until your timing was better for you?

Are you addicted to your love for the right reasons or are you just addicted?

Can you let your love go and still love what just left?

What is true love of someone or something? Love is very precious and should hold a place in our heart that no one can disrupt. Only we can spoil that love. That love does not spoil itself. One can spoil love for the other but it was not love that spoiled it. If we could all choose to love unconditionally then love would flourish! The hurts would disappear. The lives of everyone in this world would be affected in a positive way allowing God’s plan for each of us to be fulfilled. The golden rule comes to mind. “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Do to others as you would want them to do to you as my Grandmother always said. True love would change our lives and those around us. My resolution for the future is to attempt to always love unconditionally. What will be yours?

 

15 – Searching for Answers – Feelings, Convictions, Deep Thoughts


Where is Joe’s head anyway? Why doesn’t Sarah just give in to her feelings for Joe and not worry about any differences in beliefs? They have a great time together. That should be enough!

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Before long Joe was back at his place still wondering where those words “I think I love you” came from. Man, am I an idiot. I can’t live my life-like this. I’ve never believed in God let alone the one Sarah talks about. I don’t want to become one of those people I generally dislike. Besides, those church goers don’t want much to do with me. I don’t want to become a churchy guy and miss out on all that life has to offer. I really like Sarah but this is crazy. Joe was sitting in his favorite chair when he realized he hadn’t eaten and was quite hungry. He quickly jumped up and headed back to his car and drove to the local Pub.

Joe jumped up on one of the stools at the bar and ordered up an IPA along with a burger and fries. He was sitting there deep in thought when one of the bar tenders returned with his beer, sit it down in front of him and said; some heavy though going on in that head of yours Joe. What’s happening anyway. Joe looked up to see that it was his x-girlfriend, Carol. When did you start working here Joe commented with a startled look on his face. Just the other day. I needed some extra spending money so they hired me back. If you remember, I think that was the very same stool you sat in when we first met, Carol continued. Anyway, what’s your story? Stumbling to find words Joe continued saying – it’s really a long one. More than you probably want to hear. Well maybe you better give me a try. I’ll be on break in about ten minutes. I’ll be back and you can tell me about it or we can just catch up as she smiled and walked away.

Joe smiled saying, see you in a few. Joe was slowly drinking his beer while waiting for his burger to arrive and thinking about what he would tell Carol. They always had fun together but she left town for a while and they just seemed to drift apart. Man, she is still really good-looking. Then he remembered Sarah and drifted back to his thoughts. Next thing he knew someone put their hand on his shoulder saying, hi Joe. And it wasn’t Carol. Before Joe knew it some guy asked if he could join him. Joe was expecting Carol, not Dr. Bob.

Oh hi, Dr. Bob. I am surprised you remember my name. Oh I can’t forget a face especially when that face came to one of my meetings with Sarah. And you have to call me Bob. I really don’t like that doctor title. Ok Bob, Joe replied adding the question; what are you doing in town? Well, I had some business here at the school but it got late and I needed something to eat so I just stopped in for a quick bite. But it’s nice to run into someone I know Bob continued as he pulled up a stool next to Joe. When you travel it can get a bit lonely on the road. Bob sitting his coke on the bar asked Joe how things were going. They had some small talk for a while and before long Carol was back with his burger. Well I guess you found a friend already Carol said with a grin. Oh well, maybe I will see you later. Sure replied Joe.

Bob smiled and asked, are you still hanging out with Sarah? Oh yes, replied Joe. We were together earlier today at the library. The library! Now that sounds like a fun date Bob said with a smirk. What were you guys doing there if you don’t mind me asking? Well to be honest, I was studying up on DNA so I could ask some good questions Sunday night. Trying to stump me are you? No, not really Joe said jokingly. Just really confused on this God thing. Sarah is totally convinced that God is real and that he created everything. I really have a hard time with it. I believe that DNA really points at evolution as being true. Just the proof that it changes based on environment is pretty solid. Bob reach over and picked up his glass just to find it was empty. Joe let me buy you another drink. My glass seems to be empty and I need another one. Bob waved down Carol and told her to bring another round to Joe and that he would have the same. Joe almost slid off his chair. He knew Sarah would have an occasional beer, but Dr. Bob. Thanks Bob Joe finally replied.

Joe let me see if I can give you a little more information. This is what convinced me that God was real and maybe this will help you begin to sort this thing out. It has nothing to do with the issue of DNA or its ability to change based on its surroundings. It has to do with how it got started. It has to do with if it had any chance at all to even get started. We know it is required or nothing would be here and we wouldn’t be sitting here talking. So when I looked at the odds of it happening, my ideas started to shift towards creation. Have you ever heard of Borrell’s Law? I kind of remember it from school and didn’t you mention it a little in that first meeting, replied Joe. It really didn’t sink in for me so maybe you can explain it again. Well it states that for anything to have a chance at happening it must have better odds than 1 out of 10 to the 50 power. So far I have not found any scientist who actually gives evolution or the foundation of DNA that good of odds of happening. It kind of kills the big boom theory or at least puts some serious doubt in it. This is what helped me make a decision that creation is real and this also made it possible for me to believe God may have just really created everything as the Bible say He did.

Joe and Bob picked up their drink and clicked glasses while Joe added, I will tell you one thing, you do put it in a way that raises serious doubt about how evolution got started. I want to know the answers Joe continued. I will tell you one thing Joe. You will find that it takes faith either way. You have not met God in person just like you have not seen the big explosion in person.

Joe sat his beer back down, his thoughts we running wild again. He flashed back to the dinosaur chasing him and Sarah waiting for him. So let me ask you something Dr. Bob. Come on Joe, we agreed no doctor, just Bob. Alright Bob, I have this recurring dream. Please don’t think I crazy. The short story is that it begins with a dinosaur chasing me and then something happens and I see Sarah smiling and waiting for me in some beautiful place and the dinosaur is gone. Ok, I know it sound kind of crazy, but I have had this same dream with some alterations, several times. Some times I am sinking deep in water just to have someone or something pull me to the surface and there is Sarah again. Sarah has tried to help me figure this out, but I am not making any headway. Wow. Sound like an adventure Bob added. Not an adventure I want to continue, added Joe. After a little time passed, Bob looked at Joe and said, can you remember when these dreams started? Go all the way back to the beginning and start there. Joe sit silent for a while and then said. I guess it all started when I was at that party and found myself sitting alone staring into the fire thinking about life in general. Why are we here, how did this all start, how will it all end.

 Let me ask you Joe, do you believe in Angles? Well I am not sure Joe quickly replied. Maybe it is an Angle trying to get your attention and is using Sarah to carry out the task replied Bob. I do know one thing for sure. Things happen in the world that we have no explanation for and we continue to search for answers to them. Some times we have to just let our mind absorb what we hear, learn, see and feel. It is when we let our thoughts explore things no mater what we believe that we start to find the answers we search for. That is the best place I can tell you to start at. Just be open with your self.

Well I got to get going Joe. I look forward to seeing you Sunday night.

“To be continued”

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What will Joe do now? Has Carol disrupted his feelings for Sarah? Did Dr. Bob help steer Joe down a road that would in the end help him find the answers he is searching for? Will Sarah get her prayers answered?

14 – Searching for Answers – What’s this all about


Will the evening end with answers? Will Joe and Sarah decide they are a real couple?

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Joe quickly walked around the back of his car feeling a little lite headed as the adrenalin kicked in gear from Sarah’s kiss. His head was spinning so fast he had to slow his walk just to catch his breath and give himself a few seconds to regroup and not look like a total idiot when he climbed in the driver’s seat. Wow – that girl has an effect on me. Still a little in la-la land, Joe open his door and slid into the driver’s seat and as he looked over at Sarah their eyes met again. The fireworks again exploded as their mind’s were racing so fast neither of them could say anything. Reaching across the seat, their hands touched and as they looked at each other they both knew that they needed to get to the bottom of Joe’s dreams if they ever would stand a chance at a real relationship which in each of their minds they both deeply desired even if they had never said the words.

Lets go to the library Sarah suggested. Maybe we can find some books on DNA. I have my iPad and should be able to connect to their internet and do some research online. I think it is important to look at both sides of the question and not just use Dr. Bob’s take on it. And I really want to be ready to talk about this when we get back together with him on Sunday night Joe added. I am sure he will enjoy the discussion Sarah commented as she privately prayed Joe would see that God really did create everything, that Joe would come to know that He is real. Sarah sat back in her seat as Joe headed towards the library when her mind started telling her that maybe Joe would never believe as she does, that they would in the end just become good friends and nothing more. As Joe was driving towards the library he quietly thought that maybe things would be too difficult and maybe impossible to reach a solid conclusion to the question about God and evolution. Maybe he and Sarah could just agree to disagree. Yes, that could be the answer. But, would that be enough? Would Sarah ever agree to that? But there has to be an answer. I have to figure this out before I have another night of dreams. Someone or something is trying to tell me something.

They arrives at the library and made their way to the science section. Joe sat down at the library’s computer and typed in the letters DNA and the screen quickly populated with several books on the subject. Joe recalling what he had heard on the radio, looked for a reference that could add clarity to his ideas. Sarah typed the letters “DNA and God” into her pad and looked at the reference material as it filled her screen. The more she read the more she confirmed her faith in God. She looked over and could see Joe deep into reading information from a book and could see the letters DNA on the spine. Joe sat back in his chair and looking at Sarah said; if everything has its own DNA and it has been proven that DNA can change on its own due to different foods we eat, the environment it is in and by diseases, then does that not support evolution? Sarah felt the wind leave her sail as the impact of what Joe just said set in. Was Joe leaning towards a faith in evolution? After a short silence, Sarah replied with “but how did DNA get its start? How could something so complicated just evolve on its own without totally killing itself off. How could every living plant and animal have its own complex DNA structure evolve at the same time when many of the different plants and animals needed each other just to survive?” Joe looked up at Sarah feeling the hidden impact of what she had just said and smiled saying, maybe I better dig a little deeper.

As the afternoon moved on they bounced different ideas off each other and before long they heard that the library would be closing in 10 minutes. Looking at the clock they discovered it was 7:20pm. Wow time fly’s when you’re having fun they said in unison. After a short laugh they put their books away and headed for the car.

Joe took Sarah’s hand as they made their way to the car when he stopped just long enough to say; Sarah I am trying to find the answers to this God and evolution thing and I can see your side as well as the other side. Thanks for all your help and support. I really like you, actually I think it’s a little more than just like. I just need to figure this thing out. I sure hope you will stick with me no mater what the outcome is. Sarah smiled and with a squeeze of Joes hand she looked him in the eye. Joe I feel the same way. I will help you in any way and please be honest with me about your feelings on everything.

As they arrived at the car Joe asked Sarah if she would like to grab a bite to eat. I would love to but I still have a couple of things I need to get done tonight. So could I have a rain check. For sure Joe offered up with a smile and continued with an apology for keeping her out late and not thinking about dinner.

Joe drove Sarah back to her place and pulled up in front of the house. Joe quickly got out of the car and by the time he arrived at the other side Sarah was just closing her car door. He reach out for her hand and they made their way to the front door saying nothing as they walked up the sidewalk. Joe turned to Sarah, put his arms around her and with a firm but soft embrace he kissed her good night. Just as he was about to let go and walk away he turned and looked Sarah in the eyes and out of his mouth came the words – I think I am falling in love with you. Sarah knew she felt the same but also knew this was leading down a path that she had promised herself she would be careful of. Joe I think I am also, but until we find the answers to your dreams and you are able to draw your own conclusions, I need to make sure I don’t allow myself to sidetrack either of us with feelings and emotions. I promise I am here for you. After one last short kiss, Sarah walked inside and closed the door as Joe made his way back to the car.

Sarah leaned against the wall as she offered up a prayer. Dear God, please help Joe find his answers. Please help me give him support and help me to not get so involved that Joe makes a decision based on emotions for me. Help me keep my emotions and desires in check. Please help me find the information he needs and help him find the answers, please help him find You.

“To be Continued”

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Where will Joe go from here? Will he find his answers? Can Sarah handle the emotions of a continued relationship with Joe while he figures this all out? What will Sarah do if Joe sides with evolution?