Posts Tagged ‘Natural law’

by Glen Swartwout

According to recent research findings, “the more we actively contemplate mortality, the more we reject socially imposed goals such as wealth or fame and focus instead on personal growth or the cultivation of positive relationships.” (New Scientist magazine, issue 2887, page 38-40)

Traditionally, great value has been found in the contemplation of the “four last things”: Heaven, Hell, Death and Judgement… also known as the novissima, or the newest things, as they are the newest things we have yet to fully experience in this life!



Childbirth (Photo credit: popularpatty)

Death itself is a transition from one state of life to the next, very much like birth.  In the birthing process, we go through tremendous suffering, and emerge into a world full of newness, brighter light, a whole new range of colors and dimensions.  We take our first breath, and begin feeding orally at our mother’s breasts.  What an amazing transition, with so much newness to take in, so much to learn.  At first glance, we might question the value of the suffering inherent in the process, but if we look at babies born by Cesarian section, who avoid the tremendous pressures of squeezing between the mother’s pelvic bones, we find that the stress of vaginal birth is essential in initiating the normal development of the human immune system!



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by Glen Swartwout

The virtues are among the few things we can take with us when we leave our material possessions and even our bodies behind…

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sanzio, 1509, showing Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Philosophers Aristotle and Plato contemplated the four Greek cardinal virtues:

Temperance or restraint:  control is a fundamental function of life.  Physiology is a complex feedback system which regulates the physics, chemistry and biology of life.  The ability to regulate our own thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions is a great spiritual and physiological challenge, since these complex functions respond to both biophysical and psychospiritual parameters.  We are made to be self-governing, but when and to the degree that we fail, we call in external forces, such as worldly government, to govern us through forceful means such as threat, duress and coercion.  The Church, like the many earthly states, has a complete set of laws for governance of our people, the Kingdom of Israel.  The difference is that in the Church, the communion of saints and viable souls destined to become saints, we are self-governing beings.  There is no part of the law dealing with enforcement.  It is a law of Peace for a people of Peace.


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