Monday, August 25, 2008

Why Life Does Not Begin at Conception

Why Life Does Not Begin at Conception

Does a sperm have to be alive before it can fertilize an egg? Of course it does. Only live sperms can propel themselves forward to reach an egg. As for the egg, a dead egg cannot be fertilized. So whatever happens, life had already begun before conception.

True enough, when a sperm joins an egg, the combining of two DNA systems form a new entity, which is a plan, a layout for a new human existence. OK, but is this enough to qualify for the definition of a human being? Is a body without a head or a head without brain a human being? Is a humanoid embryonic miniature without a brain already a human being? The seed of a cherry tree once in the ground is not yet a tree because it does not have the components that define a tree. Indeed, in terms of human life a functioning brain is an essential defining element. Where the definition of death used to be the stoppage of the heart, it is now defined as the moment at which brain activity has ceased.

Basically, an embryo in its early stages is nothing more than a fertilized egg. One could claim that the fertilized egg contains the soul of a future hen or rooster, but in order for the soul to get from the great beyond to the here-on-earth, the soul passes through many steps of implantation such as fertilization, growth, hatching etc., and it would be absurd to claim the soul has a “right” to go from one stage to the next. Any acts on the part of human beings that promote or impede growth are part of the greater picture in which it is decided where and how far any given soul might travel.

No one would claim that anyone eating a fertilized egg for breakfast is eating a chicken. Would disposing of an egg that might contain an almost-hatched chicken mean the “killing of a chicken?” Animal rights activists might label the destruction of a chicken embryo murder because an animal's life is terminated. While we might never ever solve the puzzle of what came first, the chicken or the egg, it is generally understood that a chicken is not an egg, nor is an egg a chicken. Similarly, determining when an embryo becomes a real human being is not altogether different from drawing the boundaries between the chicken and the egg, so let us beware of being bludgeoned by the so-called “pro-life” bullies.

Monday, March 24, 2008

How I Got to my Spiritual Perspective

(This is a long overdue answer to Art Clarke's comment to my post of October 9, 2007.)

It's been a long process in the making. I remember as a child people celebrating Hitler's birthday and celebrating it as a national holiday. I remember one day suddenly hearing everyone celebrating the fact that the Fuehrer, God's representative on earth, being referred to as an s.o.b. who had just gone away. I remember being in awe of the gold ornaments, powerful organ music and great smell of incense during a Catholic high mass. I remember going to confession as a boy in grade school and the priest taking a keen interest in my sexual awakening.

I remember discovering my Jewish ancestry when I turned fourteen. I remember feeling hurt hearing a priest maligning Jews in a sermon. I remember saying good-bye to Catholicism and feeling incredibly liberated by my departure. I remember seeing the world as “absurd” when I became an existentialist. I remember having a new look at the world through psychedelic trips. I remember becoming aware of how often people do harm to others in the name of religion. I remember discovering an incredible calm through Subud exercises.

I remember becoming aware of a greater reality that is deep in one's being as well as in the outer world. I discovered I had found access to a sensory awareness I had not known existed. I found a calling to observe what and why people think and do whatever they do. I came to the realization that people create a divinity they feel is real, and that they lead their lives in accordance with that creation.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

More on Coaching

Often people are stuck in a workplace or in a dysfunctional relationship, or they cannot decide what career path to take. Or there may be other issues such as finance, ones environment or health. Finding ways for a change may not be easy because habits keep one from being open to new experiences or looking for new paths. Having a life/relationship coach at your side makes it easier to see the bigger picture. You begin to see things in yourself or in your world that you have never noticed. You discover your true vision in life. You learn to draw on abilities you may not have known you had, and you learn to shape your inner and outer environment in accordance with your personal values. Your coach is there to help you discover that what looked like a wasteland can become a world of abundance.

What is Life Coaching?

The term "coaching" is most readily associated with sports. Let's take prizefighting as an example. Becoming a successful prizefighter requires a natural talent which includes an ability to use ones arms for hitting and warding off a challenger's attacks and an ability to “dance” in the ring in such a way as to outmaneuver the other. The coach sees what the boxer's natural talent is. The boxer is then trained to observe what works especially well and what does not, and to exchange losing ways and movements for winning ones.

A life coach, just as a prizefighter's coach, is not his client's therapist or medical doctor. It is the coach's work to make the client better and better at what he is and what he wants to accomplish. The life coach, after finding out what his client needs and wants, helps his client to find and use his own natural talents to become a master in any arena of the “boxing ring of life."

Needless to say, not all are meant to become prizefighters. Many are drawn to be fishermen, gardeners or who-knows-what other calling. Through the coaching process the client finds out whether or not he/she is on the right path in life and then learns how to find fulfillment in his/her chosen direction.