15 Nov The Spirit and Its Identity.Part4
Our body’s cells are renewed continuously. Every day, millions of cells die and are replaced. Biologists say that all bodily cells are renewed every 6 months. Despite this continuous renewal, the face’s main features remain unchanged. We recognize individuals through their unchanging facial features and fingerprints. The cells of a finger change, due to such renewal or injury and bruise, but their prints never change. Each individual’s unique spirit makes these distinguishing features stable.
Our spirit makes us unique. Our body experiences uninterrupted change throughout its existence. This change is directed toward physical growth and development until a certain period, gradually becoming stronger and more perfect. When this growth stops at a certain point, decay begins. Unlike our body, we can grow continuously in learning and development, decay spiritually and intellectually, or stop and change direction while developing or decaying. Our moral, spiritual, and intellectual education does not depend on our bodily changes.
Furthermore, our moral, spiritual, and intellectual differences have nothing to do with our physical structure. Although we are composed of the same substantial, physical or material elements, we are morally and intellectually unique. Which part of us receives this moral and intellectual education, and which part is trained physically? Does physical training have any relation to learning or moral and intellectual education? Are physically well-developed people smarter and more moral than others?
If not, and if physical training or development do not affect our scientific, moral, and intellectual level, why should we not accept the spirit’s existence? How can we attribute learning and moral and intellectual education to some biochemical processes in the brain? Are those processes quicker in some than in others? Are some smarter because they have quicker processes, or are the processes quicker because some study and are thus become smarter? What relation do these processes have with our spiritual and moral education and development? How can we explain the differences regular worship makes to one’s face? Why are believers’ faces more radiant than those of nonbelievers?
Our physical changes engender no parallel changes in our character, morality, or thinking. How can we explain this, other than by admitting that the spirit exists and is the center of thinking and feeling, choosing and deciding, learning and forming opinions and preferences, and causing differences in characters?
Our spirit feels and believes or denies. All people have innumerable, complex feelings: love and hate, happiness and sadness, hope and despair, ambition and the ability to imagine, relief and boredom, and so on. We like and dislike, appreciate and disregard, experience fear and timidity as well as encouragement and enthusiasm. We repent, become excited, and long for various things. If we look through a dictionary, we find hundreds of words that express human feelings. Moreover, we do not all “feel” the same way. We may reflect on what is going on around us, the beauty of creation, develop ourselves through learning, compare and reason, and thus believe in the Creator of all things. Worshipping and following His Commandments causes us to develop morally and spiritually, until finally we are perfected. How can we explain such phenomena other than by admitting that each human being has a conscious spirit? Can we attribute them to chemical processes in the brain?
Are we only physical bodies? If we are only a physical entity of blood and bones, flesh and tissues, and attribute all our movements to biochemical processes in the brain, why should we obey any laws? We have established that our physical body is renewed every 6 months. If we were tried for a murder we committed a year ago, would not the following conversation be entirely logical, given the above understanding?