Proof of Self
This graph illustrates another proof for the existence of the self. This scale will be discussed from two positions. First by looking at the effort needed to achieve results by the body, mind and Self and second by looking at the high or low regard to which people hold these efforts. This discussion will take place through the process of using one example, the need to lift a heavy weight, and how its achievement effects the regard of humanity, through the use of each modality.
First we observe the amount of effort needed to move a heavy object.
1. Body -
We notice that using the body only, and a lot of effort, we can move an object up to a specific weight. If we then add to this observation a more subjective observation, by wondering in how high a regard do human beings hold the moving of a heavy object, with all its effort, visa vie the impact the effort has on the quality of the human condition, the answer is that it is not held in very high regard. Lots of effort, low regard. Using the body to accomplish various goal and objectives is usually characterized by 2 things -
a) LOW REGARD - These goals – like lifting, pushing, throwing, running fast, running far, climbing, seeing, hearing, shouting, swimming, jumping, etc.( basically all the physical things the body can accomplish without tools) have a limited nature. Except for rewarding those who jump the farthest, or run the fastest, we don’t hold the accomplishments of the body in very high regard, nor do we think these activities ultimately make a major contribution to the quality of human existence. They are all low on the scale of regard.
b) HIGH EFFORT - Most of the activities of the body are characterized by physical exertion, sweat and strain, and require the body to be in good shape. They are high on the scale of effort.
2. Mind –
Now we are going to apply the mind to the same activity and we will take note whether it takes more or less effort. Using the same example, the moving of a heavy object, we notice that over time we have developed the lever, the inclined plane, the wheel, the pulley, the crane, cranes on wheels, etc. We have been able to use a lot less effort to move heavy objects, a lot farther. We then add to this observation the same more subjective observation that is, in how high a regard do human beings hold the moving of a heavy object, with a lot less effort a lot farther. Does this impact the quality of the human condition? It certainly is appreciated. It is held in higher regard. Higher on the scale of regard, lower on the scale of effort.
Using the mind to accomplish various goals and objectives is usually characterized by 2 things :
a) MEDIUM REGARD - Not using the body or using it in combination with tools developed to supplement the body’s capabilities by the mind. By using the mind we have taken all the things the body can do and can’t do (like lifting, pushing, throwing, running fast, running far, climbing, seeing, hearing, shouting, swimming, jumping, etc. fly, stay underwater for days or months, see atoms and bacteria, etc.) to develop tools that supplement the body’s capabilities, which successfully enabled the body to do them significantly better. Using the mind to develop tools is much higher on the scale of regards and is recognized for making a lasting difference. We might argue that the quality of life has been improved by all the tools the mind has developed.
b) LESS EFFORT - Most activities associated with using the mind, like thinking, problem solving, predicting, learning languages, mathematical computation, etc. are characterized by less or no physical exertion, no sweat or strain. Advances such as cranes that can lift houses, high speed trains and cars that can take us faster then our legs can, telephones and televisions that help us see and talk across the world, farm machinery that grows an abundance of crops without breaking our backs, along with a million other inventions are all good examples of how the mind can be used to improve our quality of life with less effort.
Those who invented machines to supplement the strengths and weaknesses of the body, who epitomize the use of the mind are thought of with greater regard then those who exhibited physical power Accomplishments such as inventing the wheel, domesticating plants and animals, inventing the printing (Gutenberg), electricity (Ben Franklin), light bulb (Thomas Edison), penicillin (Pasteur), cars/assembly lines (Henry Ford), flight (Wright Bothers), the telephone (Alexander Bell) also the great philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Kant, Descartes and the great scientists like Newtown, Galileo, while useful, still don’t make us feel more human, closer and more loving toward other human beings. We would like to emulate their success, for the fame or fortune it might bring. We honor them and hold them in higher regard then the ‘body only’ achievements.
I am arguing that, even though those who have invented those machines are thought of in high regard, comfort, ease, and even extended life are not synonymous with happiness and true satisfaction in life. Are we happier today, do we have more inner peace, and more satisfaction? Do we get and give more love? It is highly arguable that we are happier today, but if we want to make a case for that, the question is, “Is our happiness attributable to our use of the mind that created tools or our developed use of the self?
The names of the people who conquered the world, who epitomize the use of physical force, used the mind to intensify the body’s power, such as Attila the Hun, Genghis Kahn, Caesar and Alexander, Hitler and Stalin, are generally not held in high regard in a positive manner, but held in high regard none the less. Wars, genocides, and other major evil acts have also impacted us, though fortunately only temporarily. They didn’t move us to feel more human, and feel a closer connection to other beings. But they did touch us. We regard them highly, with negative high regard, and we do not want to emulate them or for them to be emulated. Unfortunately highest regard may be for something very negative as well as very positive.
As impressive as these feats of the mind are to figure out problems, they still are not held in the highest regard by humanity. I am referring to the impact an act has on the quality of human life – our happiness, our inner peace, our getting and giving love. The highest regard is reserved for accomplishments that seem to touch a part of us, inside. Some might say touch our hearts, or souls, whether positive or negative, accomplishments that move us to feel, whether it is to cry, or to feel joy. Accomplishments that make us feel more or less human, feel a closer connection to or feel a greater distance from other beings, come from the full development of the Self.
3) Using the Self to accomplish various goal and objectives is usually characterized by 2 things:
a) HIGHEST REGARD - Using the self is usually characterized by a care and concern for the health and well being, for the joy, the peace, the satisfaction of other selfs. Not by sweat and strain or brain power. When we consider Olympic Gold Medalists or the Nobel Prize Winners it is easy to see who we admire the most. It is the people who win the Nobel Peace Prize. We sense that these people cared about us collectively – making our planet a more loving place to live. Historically, the people who were most identified with these type of endeavors: Moses, Jesus, Mohamed, Buddha, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, etc. are also the most revered, and held in highest regard. Their actions brought us closer to feeling our own humanity and a human connection to others. The touching of another’s self is the greatest power on earth, and can move humanity in ways that physical force, even intellectual force cannot.
b) LOWEST EFFORT – Using a developed self is effortless. In using the body and mind we can measure an effort output. It can leave us exhausted when we exert our bodies and brains. When we us a developed self there is no level of exertion. It comes from being – allowing ourselves to be. We are not using the body or mind in order to create more creature comforts, or things, or relating in any way to the body and mind when using the Self. There is no sweat and strain, and no problem solving involved. It takes work to develop self. It takes work to develop the body and brain. But it takes effort when you use the body and brain. When you use the self it has a quality of effortlessness.
The Efforts Scale is another proof that Self is real. A developed Self is needed by human beings to achieve happiness, peace, and fulfillment in life. This cannot be accomplished by using body or mind alone.