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The Pursuit of Happiness (3rd Revision)


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Dear Reader, please note that I may capitalize, adjust font sizes, and colorize words and phrases for better understanding of a particular topic related to this essay. I also liberally use parentheses to further explain the meaning of a particular word or phrase.

Introduction
 
"Son, if you look for the good you will find it. If you look for the bad you will find it too." This was the first moral teaching given to me by my father when I was just a boy. I have found focusing on the good has brought me comfort in troubled times. Learning the truth of good and bad starts with life experiences with family (mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, guardians etc..) friends, classmates, teachers (pastors, priests, rabbis, professors, gurus, councilors, etc), adversaries, and unknown individuals. Truth can be further shaped with the knowledge gained from media (music, news, talk shows, art) communicated through devices (radio, phone, cinema, books, tablets, etc.) through various platform networks.

In this age of coexisting rationalities (reasons) between Spiritual Faith, Natural Selection, Random Chance, or a Combination of ideas it can be difficult Discerning (Inferring, Understanding) the Truth that is part of an Intelligent Design of a Creative Force of Nature outside known understanding that resides within a Collective Consciousness of all People.  Is it possible that like Nature, Truth is shaped by the many transformative ideas shared by emotionally spirited individuals throughout Our existence.   

For me, Happiness connotes being or tending to be in a pleasant state of mind subjectively content with who I have become and my pursuit of being at peace with myself and everything in the world I interact with.  A good mental framework will adapt to a world where Nature competes with a digital universe of mixed media for our time memory. In my present time there is an overabundance of media information on social platforms that it makes it quite difficult to just focus on the thought or just one topic if you are not centered. Although, I personally find Living in the Present is something that is not natural for a dreamer like myself.  At first, Meditation reminded me of after school detention. I would stare at the clock until my time was up to leave. Instead I preferred the quick prayer for help from a higher power. 

It is Self Evident that We the People living in this world have been given the gift of perception and a conscious mind to experience this very moment of what I have written is Now connected to what you are reading in the present. My endeavor is to share to the Wisdom I have gained through life experiences to solve present problems and help map a conscious Well-Being framework within ourselves on how to be happy.  I hope that this moment of Connection is a beneficial memory of our shared Pursuit of Happiness that endures and influences others to focus on the good in themselves. 

Like all Earthly Creatures, we homo sapiens learn through sense of connection to our surroundings. It is our Perceived Sensations (Sensuality) within our body that we can recognize and internally predict what actions are necessary to best survive in either a Natural or Imagined (Virtual) experience. It is through our sensual experience that we gain have gained the ability to reason and believe in more than just ourselves. It's how we react (internally process) to every day feelings that gives us a sense of harmony or conflict that generates both short-term and long-term effects of happiness and misery.

All species have the ability to learn and adapt based on past experiences, and we often use this knowledge to avoid pain and discomfort and seek out pleasure and gratification. The things we need to survive, such as food, shelter, and companionship, can provide natural rewards and bring us pleasure. We can form connections with both living and non-living objects, and pleasure and happiness are important aspects of the human experience that can influence our decisions and actions.

Understanding Desire

The concept of desire has been present in many different cultures and societies throughout history. In ancient Greek philosophy, desire (Epithymia) was often seen as a natural part of human psychology and was associated with the pursuit of Pleasure (Hedonia) and the avoidance of the Pain (Algos) of physical or emotional suffering or discomfort. Plato, for example, argued that desire was a fundamental aspect of human nature and that it played a central role in driving human behavior for pleasure or material possessions. Aristotle also believed that desire was a key aspect of human psychology, and he argued that it was an essential part of the process of achieving Happiness (Eudaimonia).

Pleasure is a positive emotion that is often associated with feelings of enjoyment, satisfaction, and contentment. People may pursue pleasure in order to find meaning and fulfillment in their lives, and it can be experienced through physical comforts such as food, water, and sex, as well as through mental pleasures such as artistic or philosophical pursuits. However, it is important to note that pleasure is not dependent on eliminating negative emotions like pain or discomfort. While it is true that people often seek to minimize or avoid negative emotions, it is possible to experience pleasure and happiness without necessarily eliminating negative emotions entirely. The concept of happiness is subjective and can mean different things to different people, and it is possible to find happiness through the pursuit of physical or mental pleasures, or through other means. Overall, pleasure and happiness are important aspects of the human experience, but they do not depend on the elimination of negative emotions.

Each one of us has a Sense (Cognitive Awareness) of the abstract concept of Happiness. I believe that we all have an innate desire to be held, viewed, heard and loved. Like other sentient organisms we have survival mechanisms to seek out and gratify our biological desires One mechanism is the gift of a time memory, which enables us to reflect, dream, make decisions, and set goals.  

Hedonic motivation begins the moment we seek out a known (remembered) object of our pleasure.  Is there a Happiness effect without a physical cause? Can you have a state of mind of being Happy? Or is Happiness just a temporary emotional response from one or more pleasurable feelings that fades in time? We will explore whether Happiness involves more than just physical pleasures. I learned early on that a true loving relationship can help alleviate suffering and bring Happiness. 

A good hedonic appetite nourishes our emotional well being and drives us to find positive ways to express ourselves and connect with others we enjoy. The tone and speed of thoughts expressed predict the the emotional response they invoke. Through active communication with other we learn to choose the proper words, gesture and posture to create coherence in conversations and  participant involvement. Our sensuality and rhythmic timing creates a nurturing environment through outward expressions of inner feelings and desires. A relationship (pattern of attachment) forms as soon as we feel comfortable to confide our personal thoughts, feelings and intuitions with another being. Our brain adjusts behavior according to the pleasure or pain actions received from interacting with the world around us.

It is evident that our lives can be enriched by having relationships and bonds with different types of people we interact with.  When we like someone, we subconsciously assign positive characteristics to them, such as confidence, intelligence, honesty, kindness, and generosity. Our conscious understanding grows exponentially when we reach out and connect with another object or living being outside of ourselves. Once a connection to an object is made there is a process of leaving behind our old identity and becoming something new. Depending on how secure an interpersonal or object attachment is, conscious and subconscious interactions can be quite sensual and immersive (deep) for everyone involved. Emotions can have distinct body reactions, expressive movements, and behaviors. It is possible that your response may induce relaxation or tension for your partner.  A good partner understands your feelings and wants to help bring you happiness.

As an interpersonal relationship evolves, hedonic adaptation allows us to adjust our habits, routines, impulses, and reactions to mutually accepted behavior patterns.  The adaptation benefits give opportunity to build greater understanding and fulfillment of our passions and intuitions of our roots to who we are beyond what we see in our reflection.  Experience allows us to perceive and empathize with the emotional feelings of others with relative accuracy. When a person, creature, or an object appears happy, aroused, distressed or another perceived emotion, an auditory, visual, or olfactory trigger may stimulate a response of joy, excitement, gratitude, compassion, sympathy, indifference, discomfort, anger or another feelings within ourselves.  Every new understanding is a transitional process of leaving behind our old identity, and becoming a more evolved being. Like a caterpillar form our understanding and behavior go through a series of changes, taking on a new shape. In the cocoon, the caterpillar's form Undergoes a series of changes, our understanding and behavior take a new shape. As the metamorphosis completes its shape. And when the transformation is done, Like a butterfly, we break free, Ready to take to the sky and have fun.

Building Relationships

Building relationships often involves taking the initiative to reach out to individuals who share your interests. It's always nice to meet someone pleasant and engaging, and introducing yourself is a good way to start. I have learned that it is important to be respectful when initiating a conversation, and I try to be open, honest, and mindful of feelings, opinions, and boundaries in all my communications. This includes being patient, listening to others, and considering their perspective, even if I don't necessarily agree with it. I also hope for and appreciate the same mutual courtesy in return. By actively seeking out and connecting with others who share your interests, you can build strong, meaningful relationships in your life.

Effective communication is crucial for building and maintaining relationships, whether they are personal or professional. I have learned that each person is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. In order to communicate effectively, I try to clearly express my thoughts and feelings, and I show an interest in the feelings and experiences of others by asking questions and actively listening to or reading their responses. To avoid misunderstandings or confusion, I also make an effort to paraphrase what has been said or agreed upon by restating it in my own words. I like to think that effective communication is like a dance, A back-and-forth exchange of movement and chance. Both require a response to the other's needs, A dancer attuned to their partner's glance. In order to achieve understanding, connection, and the ability to know when to follow or take the lead.

When initiating a conversation, I adjust my communication style to match that of the person I am speaking with in order to make the conversation more comfortable and effective. This may involve adapting my tone, language, pace, and body language to align with theirs. I pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, and eye contact, as well as verbal responses, including tone of voice and choice of words, in order to tailor my approach and better meet their needs. For example, if the other person is using expressive nonverbal cues and engaging language, I might respond with a more expressive and open communication style. On the other hand, if they are using more reserved cues and formal language, I might choose a more concise and formal approach

If someone shows genuine interest in your life, they may ask about your feelings, experiences, and opinions in order to get to know you better. When trying to get to know someone better, it is important to be respectful, open, and honest in your communication with them. Pay attention to how the person behaves in different situations. Do they have similar values and behaviors to yours, or do they seem to approach things differently? A potential friend, partner, or love interest might have a different style of expressing themselves or different ways of interacting with others. Gaining a deeper understanding of someone's personality and values can help to strengthen the connection and build a more meaningful relationship.

In the early stages of a relationship, people may experience intense positive emotions, such as excitement and joy. However, over time, these emotions may tend to fade as people get used to the new circumstances and their level of happiness or well-being returns to their baseline. This process of hedonic adaptation can potentially lead to a decline in the intensity of experienced positive emotions. By fostering appreciation and gratitude for the positive aspects of a relationship, people can potentially counteract the negative effects of hedonic adaptation and maintain a sense of happiness and well-being over the long term."

Intimacy in a relationship refers to the various levels of closeness with a partner where you feel validated and safe. There different stages where your brain decides what type of relationship you want to pursue. Intimacy with a partner varies from a recreational, aesthetic, intellectual, physical, mental, esoteric, sexual, and spiritual connection. It is possible that partners can share one or all the mentioned intimacies that inspire security, openness, and relaxation.

Recreational Intimacy begins when partners find sports, hobbies and interests as a way to connect and bond. It is nice to make friends with people that have similar interests as you. Take every opportunity to share recreational experiences because it is such an easy way to generate and grow the feeling of companionship. Recreational intimacy can also be shared appreciation in physical beauty brought by an object, performance or idea.  Discovering mutually enjoyable activities is fun to do together and creates wonderful memories. I personally connect well with individuals that seek the truth and beauty of our gift of life. 

Each decision we make with our partner can alter both of our entire lives in an instant. In order to survive we need-inappropriate choices to manage our thirst and hunger. And our sex drive is no different. As a bond grows insights may shift attitudes toward sexuality, moral authority, and social liberation. Sex may be considered a domain of pleasure and self-expression that may or may not require a higher purpose beyond immediate temporary gratification. There are also those that practice restrain sexual thoughts in order free ones mind from the bonds of physical matter. Sex produces a deep sense of bonding and spiritual experience.

Physical Intimacy begins when there is desire and opportunity to explore the pleasures of physical contact (touching, hugging, kissing, cuddling and sex) with your partner. Pleasurable stimulation of of the body can generate a physical response, such as relaxation, arousal, masturbation, sexual intercourse and orgasm. Good connected partners share their experience with favorite pleasure stimulation switches that induce a stronger desire and erotic energy for physical intimacy. A partner may enjoy having a tense neck rubbed, ears fondled, or skin lightly scratched that stimulate erogenous nerves and feel good hormones. Sustained rhythmic, physical stimulation leads to neural entrainment to enhance one's Arousal (Excitement) to pleasurable feelings that outcompetes our self awareness for access to consciousness.

Foreplay is the sexual excitement from erotic touch and stimulation of body's erogenous zone (tongue, nipples, genitals, anus) the mind (conscious) and soul (imagination) before intercourse. As the anticipation for sexual pleasure builds a female vagina produces lubrication and the male penis get erect (hard), engorged (swollen), enlarged and usually stands outward or upward away from the body. Both the female the pea sized female clitoris, just under the pinkish brown fleshy wishbone shaped clitoral hood, and male the frenulum, the area on the underside of the penis just below the pinkish purple acorn shape head have thousands of nerve ending sending signals to the ejaculation center of the spinal cord. When a woman becomes aroused, glands under the hood folds secrete a lubricant that helps erotic objects (fingers, tongue, penis, or device) to glide over the clitoris without friction. Playful licks and light pressure on the clitoris and frenulum will often coax more blood to these areas and cause  heightened states of sensitivity and arousal, and pleasure becomes the center of attention. 

As passions run high, one can engage in adult activity to stimulate their partners and prepare them for intercourse. Many couples swear by the sensual arousal of erotic massages. Not only is it relaxing to have your body massaged, but is also thrilling to have it done by someone you love. The mere act of massaging lubes or oils onto the unclothed skin is enough to let passions take over. In stimulating your partner, take enough care to be gentle. Foreplay is meant to be a passionate game and not a wrestling match. The genitalia are sensitive enough to respond to the slightest touch. It is by alternating speeds and pressure that one can achieve the state of perfect arousal to sustain a fulfilling intercourse. 

I believe that everyone has at time been tempted or overcome by strong Hedonic Motivation (Appetites, Cravings, Desires, Wants) to indulge in excessive pleasure.  I sometimes act impulsively on the recommendations of others. Watching people experiencing a particular pleasure can cause a certain amount of curiosity to discover what makes the feeling so special.  We can be influenced by the delightful stimuli in our environment to produce an hedonic reward in our neural coding that affects our conscious behavior and emotion to seek that particular object of experience for ourselves. Hedonic hotspots (brain sites) within our limbic (emotion and expression) circuitry are thought to generate our desire for pleasure rewards. Getting pleasurable sensations is considered the essential intrinsic value of an instrumental (learned) behavior action performed to reach a particular desired outcome. Hedonic Motivation can trigger actions that have previously yielded immediate pleasure and and temporary emotional happiness.

Often, people are unaware that extreme Hedonic Motivation is problematic or can have negative consequences. In the aftermath of a temporary pleasure, you become more prone to magnifying your desire to seek immediate fulfillment again.  Indulging in excessive pleasure unknowingly strengthens a craving to the point where one becomes enslaved (addicted) to pleasures regardless of the consequences. It can also become more difficult to experience the satisfaction originally experienced.  One can be so involved in the want of having a desire being fulfilled that nothing else seems to matter.  Extreme Hedonic Motivation has the power to develop a mental bias towards short-term pleasure maximizing goals and away from judging the merits of pursuing long term well-being. The failure to act on a hedonic craving may result in anxiety and strengthen impulsive behavior even more to seek immediate gratification.

The impulsive pursuit of a particular pleasure may interfere with the actual conscious experience of gratification once remembered. Extreme pleasure can cause your body to adapt tolerance to a particular stimuli. When Hedonic Motivation consumes too much time, you and others may eventually regard the behavior disdainfully. This impulsive error of thinking leads to a systematic path of confusion and regret. Reflection of one's own conscious thoughts and feelings become more weakened as the disorder progresses. 

It is important to stop facilitating impulsive behavior so conscious reality does not become clouded with insatiable desire.  Before you lose the power of choice try to disengage from the desire of a pleasure and stop abruptly. Take a deep breath and focus on your body sensations that are driving this impulsive behavior. Is it worth spending time, money, and energy to satisfy your desire for pleasure?  At some point it is wise to restrain our physical desires to not override our personal ethics or moral values. Science and wisdom can be used to understand a particular action if one chooses to accept them.

There are also Individuals that are motivated to delay and deny immediate and momentary pleasure. The motivation to suffer is usually done to accomplish a goal or achieve a reward in the pursuit of physical gain, enlightenment, empowerment, redemption, salvation or transcendence. One goal may be to set emotional attachment boundaries to make better decisions and adapt within situational environments that may be beyond normal comfort zones. The reward would be the gratification (positive psychological change) experienced as a result of getting past physical and mental stress (struggles) of painful life experiences. Positive transformation is the result of committing to a lifelong process psychological detachment from the constant influence of peer pressure and the strong memories particular pleasures that led to impulsive Hedonic motivations you once felt.

A remarkable change occurs when we switch our physical desire from "I want to be held, heard and loved" to a mental intention of "I want to hold, listen, and love."  According to neuroscientists, the hormones Oxytocin and Vasopressin are responsible for interpersonal bonding and attachment to an object. We pay greater attention to objects or people that evoke feelings of empathy, compassion, love, and tenderness. Our Hedonic adaptation begins with words of understanding and encouragement that hopefully will stimulate a positive response. As the connection grows between partners there is a greater dependance on each partner emotionally, physically, financially, and other healthy selfless ways. Actions can often speak louder than words. Sensitivity to a partner's suffering, coupled with a desire to hug, a shared meal, an offer to do a needed task to alleviate their suffering. Expressing a need requires some vulnerability since it signals that you are lacking something or require help from your partner. At the same time, it important for a partner to understand and respect the autonomy and independence of their significant other may need as well.

In philosophy, spirituality, and religion the construct of transcendent pleasures in Hedonia depends on a Good Spirit (Eudaimonia) or the desire of obtaining fulfillment in the highest sense of human good. This form of Happiness is a pleasure of compassion found and given by Love to help one another regardless of who they are. Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another's suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering. All Monotheistic (One God) faiths have a calling to serve not only the people we see in our daily lives, but look for opportunities to help the oppressed, orphaned, widows, and protect the natural rights of all human beings. Buddhist philosophy teaches the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. The widows and orphans of Native American traditions that I have encountered are loved and cared for by the tribe. Prior to European and Asian contact they received a portion of meat and skins. Living in harmony with the tribe, their neighbors, and nature has been their the way of life.

I have been fortunate to have the honor to have met individuals that have guided me on how to slow down and enjoy the moment and not focus on anything. My thoughts become clouds that drift away. I vision a clear blue sky lit by a powerful white light. When I am at this state I like to perform a Devotional Chant (Prayer) that furthers gives understanding (enlightenment) of what Happiness is. I honor the pleasant thoughts that reside within myself. I find that staying in a pleasant state of mind causes people to turn up in my life that have a similar belief system as mine.

We will access and engage with present and past thinkers who will give greater understanding of my self, your self, and others, and the world we live in through information literacy and science.

In my experience creating a Happy healthy mental framework (thought process) of finding meaning with positive and negative emotions through a balance of instruction and shared connections with others. I have chosen to select writings designed to stimulate and strengthen my brain's neuronal pathways as well as create new ones that light the way to finding true happiness. We all have the opportunity to experience a sense of inner peace, if there is a desire (inclination) and patience to recognize the value of it.

Constructing a healthy mental framework requires that we identify and then reconstruct the context of Misery (negative memories) by learning how to overcome any negative experience that is uneasy, uncomfortable, unpleasant, and or difficult with understanding. It has taken me a lifetime to accept the discomfort of negative experiences. I have been motivated find solutions to ease problematic memories and that reside within me. One of my main reasons to write this essay began on a cathartic effort to help me process my own personal misery. Everyone has bad days and to function we have to learn how to live our lives. This essay is designed to make your mental framework come alive and diffuse the negative energy of events that cause worry, panic, sadness and bad habits to rise.

The first step to changing context is to accept that certain events in life will not go your way. You need to understand yourself as interwoven with the the world outside of you that may at times cause both Joy and Misery. Though meditation (prayer) and education, one can learn to identify and negate destructive reactive behaviors connected with a particular negative memory. Traumatic negative memories and habits may be challenging and take more time overcome depending on the severity of the event or series of events which caused stress, fear, anger, and harm.  I personally have been working breaking away the bad habit of repeating the same mistakes again.  A habit is a behavior pattern of actions that bring a recognized memory and an associated emotion that is repeated both consciously and subconsciously. We should all want to identify and remove bad habits that bring us Misery and make a concerted (mutual) effort to replace bad habits with good habits that bring us joy. Our understanding of what is a healthy mental framework should be connecting with individuals social and organizational ethical frameworks that compliment a mutual Pursuit of Happiness.

In my opinion, Consciousness is relative to our capacity to integrate information we perceive subjectively and objectively to the surroundings around us.  Some theorize that a brain creates a reality hallucination that is primarily focused on our survival. There are others that testify to a genuine and distinct spiritual intelligence that communicates the Truth of Life and Who We Are through thoughts we can understand. Regardless, if you believe our Consciousness exists in or outside our physical brain, our True Selves wants to be Happy and in Social Harmony with family and friends.

It is Self Evident that our True Selves consist of distinct thoughts and sensations that coexist with a constant changing reality we live in. We are all given personal freedom of Conscious to Believe that the existence of Time, Laws and Declarations are the Design of a Supernatural Creator, a Creative Force of Nature, or a mere ‘Accidental’ Truth. There are those that purpose we are all  just Avatars in a Mental Simulation. Some think everything is a mechanism of a Perfect Pattern generated by random chance. Each one of us can evaluate for ourselves what is right and good. But coexisting with others requires communication and respect for different ideas of what is reality.

Important life experiences proliferate our memory cells to help stabilize an unique emotional well being.  This is similar to data memory in computers. A close analogy would be that Artificial Intelligence is able perceive the environment, engage in decision making of whether to accumulate or discard in moments of time memory.  We store, edit, and delete information on our personal computer all the time.  Other memory cells get discarded for various reasons. 

Depending on who you are talking to the True Self, also known as a Subjective Conscious or Soul, gives your physical brain the ability to prioritize  attention, make rational choices and take action without being overwhelmed by external stimuli or internal thoughts and feelings.  There are times when we all have sudden panic attack where there is a sense or fear of losing control. I have had days where all I was doing was over reacting to emails, texts, phone calls completely dealing with other people’s needs. When get overwhelmed with anxiety and stress I find it healthy to disengage like a bird flying away from a storm. In a safe environment I  hunker down and wait for the tempest of hysteria to pass. I choose the analogy of flight of birds, because they are mobile, visible and well-known in the research of stress management. Acute stress response plays an important role in how birds, animals, and humans cope with challenges because elevated corticosterone (CORT) levels can mediate learning and memory consolidation and help to increase their survival prospects.

I hope to strip away current bias of belief and unbelief to better formulate what Happiness means by presenting testimony and definitions to you.   We will journey past the darkness of ignorance of mere opinion or guess work across disciplines of knowledge to assess justified reasons for spiritual illumination known as True Belief. We will search through the Ages for Wisdom of Theologians, Rabbis, Professors, Philosophers, and sacred text, oral testimony that our existence is nurtured by Transcendence, Enlightenment, Grace, and Desire of Human Beings to share stories. 

Take a minute and focus on the word HAPPINESS. Now put a smile on your face and meditate on nothing, but what you believe HAPPINESS to be. Do this as long as you feel that it is comfortable. Now close your eyes and focus on Happiness.

Take a break from reading and connect with a loved one or friend that is easy to talk to.  

I will leave the light on for you.

Welcome back. Do you have a better idea on what Happiness is? 

In approximately one-twentieth of a second the words you have been are attentively reading are being experienced and internally processed while other thought streams (trains of thought) are simultaneously processing stimuli you have chosen to see and perceive. Many time memory cells make a home in your mind through a sensory register process (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch). Time memory cells can connect with similar cells to proliferate (multiply) a dramatic experience through a concept of time.  When I explained to my son how the brain processes information, he used the analogy of how telling a story will change over a period of time. The experience may become more dramatic and in context with today to bring audience focus into the story.

For me the phrase,  "I will leave the light on for you" has a nostalgic tie to when I was young, and my parents would leave the front porch light on when I came home late at night. That episodic memory still puts a smile on my face and like many Americans connected with the advertisement slogans like the nostalgic Motel 6, "We will leave the light on for you."

Our ability to recall episodes shows and advertisement slogans have purpose. Episodic memories are formed by physical, internal contained information, and behavioral changes that our regulated by a 24-hour circadian rhythm cycle (body clock).  These natural rhythm processes respond primarily to our light/dark, sleep/awake process, and also cell oscillations manifesting as marked changes in memory acquisition and recall of previously encoded events and connected emotions that are stored in the brain.

When my son and I see an oval inflated football it brings a smile to our faces. My son and I both enjoy American Football. Luke Jr. is currently experiencing playing the sport for his High School. We both enjoy watching the game live or on television. For me it brings back those happy episodic memories of playing with my friends in my earlier years and celebrating the times when the teams I have rooted for won the game. My son and I enjoy football movies or television series because we emotionally connect to the characters. guy Rudy is one of my favorites. It’s the classic story of an underdog Daniel (Rudy) Ruettiger and his lifelong dream of playing for the University of Notre Dame but lacks the good grades for a scholarship or money to pay for tuition. Coming from a working-class family I can relate to the story's premise.  

Recreating the context that brought you Happiness will improve your memory performance of the associated emotion.  Observing my parents, I learned early on the joy of having someone give support and guidance with life decisions.  My parents only incentive was to see me happy and healthy. Their only reward was to see a smile on my face and gratitude for guidance.   An example, would be the context for the happy memory "I will leave the light on for you."  becomes incorporated with the associations and thus the path of retrieval, facilitating recall of other happy memories that had a similar context, which includes marketing slogans.  Watching people helping others in need makes me happy. The associative memory cells (neurons) of watching people helping others triggers an emotional response of happiness that gets strengthened through a process called consolidation.  In this process the labile state (Short Term Memory) of your experience is transformed into a more stable state (Long Term Memory) effect during deep sleep and meditation. Try not to immediately engage in attention-demanding tasks after learning. This impairs the consolidation of previously learned information. The memory of Happiness becomes a gift to our conscious that is not easily forgotten.

At this moment I want you to recall that fond memory of someone helping you and associate it with the concept that LOVE BRINGS HAPPINESS THROUGH THE SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE OF OTHERS.

Take a minute. And focus on the word CONNECTION. Now put a smile on your face and meditate on nothing, but what you believe CONNECTION to be. Do this as long as you feel that it is comfortable. Now close your eyes and focus on Connection that brings Happiness.

Take a break from reading and share happy thoughts with a loved one or friend that is easy to talk to.

Welcome back. Do you have a better idea on what Connection is? 

For Humanist, Love can be a Radiant (Aura) of Connection (Mutual Memory) experienced according to the dictates of individual conscious.

"We are family. Get up everybody and sing."

This timeless song by Sister Sledge shares an amazing message for parents and siblings connecting together in one Spirit of love and faith in each other.

Take a minute. And focus on the word SPIRIT and do nothing, but breath. Now put a smile on your face and meditate on nothing, but what you believe SPIRIT to be. Do this as long as you feel that it is comfortable. Now close your eyes and focus on Connecting with a Universal Spirit that brings you Happiness.

Take a break from reading and connect with a loved one or friend that is easy to talk to.

Welcome back. Do you have a better idea on what Universal Spirit is? 

"We have Spirit, yes we do, we've got Spirit, how about you?"

In Sports competition, the home-team advantage stems from a supportive home crowd that is connected to players. Spirit is defined as a collective belief in an animating force (pervading truth) of principles that keep our nation alive and unchanged in an evolving future.

One of our Countries Founding Framers, Patrick Henry understood the American Spirit to be a Devotion (Patriotism) to the cause of rational regulated Liberty (Freedom) through Constitutional Rights where any defects can be amended by the motions made by elected representation on citizens behalf. The American Spirit has been tested in times of war, natural disaster, and peace.

The Debates in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Virginia, On the Adoption of the Federal Constitution

In Convention, Richmond,

Patrick Henry - Thursday June 5, 1788

Quote

If, sir, there was any, I would recur to the American spirit to defend us; that spirit which has enabled us to surmount the greatest difficulties: to that illustrious spirit I address my most fervent prayer to prevent our adopting a system destructive to liberty.

The American Spirit is defined as a collective belief in an animating force (pervading truth) of principles that keep our nation alive and unchanged in an evolving future.

Many people like myself believe Love to be an invisible power connection with the Creator (God, Great Architect, Holy Spirit) of everything we perceive.

It is my opinion, that is possible to bridge a connection between Humanist (Materialist) and Theist (Spiritualist) through a broad definition of the Universal Spirit of Love, meaning being in the presence and connecting with one Divine Conscious or many kindred Spirits (soul mates, manifestations) that share the same belief, cause, and/or ideal.  The wisdom of the Universal Spirit gives our heads (rational actions) and hearts (emotional actions) a way of becoming free (no attachment) of Misery (guilt, shame, persecution, torment, trauma). It is through the teachings of the Spirit of Love can undo and vanquish the bad actions associated with Misery.

Representatives of the Thirteen original colonies wrote that through sheer will and power the our Great Universal Spirit (Creator) endowed humanity with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness as defined in the Declaration of Independence. I ask you the reader to temporarily suspend your preconception or disbelief on whether or not a Creative Force of Nature exists or how a Faith teaching can give understanding on how the choice of our actions can lead to Life of Happiness or Misery until Death.

To understand my reasoning on the topic of LOVE it is important to that I give you the reader background on the concepts of truth, virtue and the opportunity for happiness. I will be introducing and organizing relevant subject material (data) that establishes a frame of reference relating to systematic chains of thought that accurately explain the noumenon (concept) known as Virtue (Good Conduct) and how it relates to Love. It is my intention to guide you to the benefit of building strong character traits of respect and love for others without being to verbose, which might be not possible.  

In humility, I hope my essay to be an addendum to Jefferson's "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" (also known as the Jefferson Bible) and George Washington's "Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior" to best present the moral truth found in the Didache of the 12 Apostles and other works of Wisdom.  In hope of sharing my personal Happiness, I claim the right to poetic license and layout design when it comes to the Emphasis of my thoughts and feelings in defining this idea. I will cite all my work with hyper text links to support a maxim (theory).

Like Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior it is my first premise that there is a fraternal order of a true beliefs and customs that are self-evident (obvious, eternal) to finding Happiness and virtuous people of good character. We can understand the fragility of life to be self-evident. But, understanding a worthy purpose and value is unclear for many. And we must must be on guard to discern those individuals and media that attempt to dissuade us from the pursuit of true Happiness.

The focus this study on discovering Happiness is searching for true wisdom instruction on how to obtain it.  To get started on this endeavor; We must commit ourselves to NOT dishonor every gift of Wisdom that we accept as Truth. And knowing the Wisdom of Happiness is different from actually living it.  Once good advise has been found, I have tried to honor this achievement in gratitude by inspiring others to discover and share its Usefulness and practice it in daily life. Teachers in fields in education can appreciate the benefit of positive reinforcement.  An honest Social Engineer (Constitutional Framer, Lawyer) would see the benefits of a mentally happy community (society) that share the same understanding values. Those of faith would discern this as a method to reinforce the Dynamic (Generation) of Goodwill (Honor). I believe it is self evident that there is no downside to staying upbeat with positive thinking.

In this essay we will explore the mechanisms to create positive neuroplasticity (physical change to the brain) and socioplasticity (cultural change to a society) that should be studied for its benefits to the happiness of our human condition. In addition, we will look at the ability to adaptively change the expression of our social behavior (cognitive mechanisms) according to experience we have in understanding the beliefs and intentions of others. This can be done by identifying social constructs of conduct that have been created and accepted by people throughout history. In the Age of Enlightenment the United States Declaration of Independence  “the pursuit of happiness” was understood to be both a public duty and a private right by which society is governed through principles of law.

I am using President Thomas Jefferson's syllabus method used in his book "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" as a starting point to best present the historical evolution of good and bad conduct. Jefferson's book was made made by cutting out gospel wisdom passages of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject that he thought best to present the philosophical teachings of Jesus without the supernatural attention to showcase a well reasoned path to happiness in the world we live in and the hereafter.

Thomas Jefferson to Charles Thomson, 9 January 1816

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I too have made a wee little book, from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy of Jesus. it is a paradigma (theoretical opinion) of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject a more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen. 

President John Adams understood the magnitude of Jefferson's work to be separating Jesus from the Divine to Jesus the Philosopher.

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 14 November 1813

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I admire your Employment, in Selecting the Philosophy and Divinity of Jesus and Separating it from all intermixtures. If I had Eyes and Nerves, I would go through both Testaments and mark all that I understand. To examine the Mishna Gemara Cabbala Jezirah, Sohar Cosri and Talmud of the Hebrews would require the life of Methuselah, and after all, his 969 years would be wasted to very little purpose.

I will follow Jefferson's same syllabus method by adapting the modern technology of copying, cutting, and pasting a reasoned comparison of the Didache's text line by line with my life experiences, media and the Holy Word (Scripture) given by a supernatural Creative Force of Nature that has been witnessed and testified by the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. In addition, I will include other faiths, philosophy, and natural science in context to critically research a particular social teaching.

I have chosen to research based on an outline of the Didache of the 12 Apostles, because the text is honored as the 'first catechism' (articles of faith) of the Christian church.  The Didache (dee-da-ke, Greek word for teaching) of the 12 Apostles is a timeless moral compass that identifies selfless positive actions that lead to life and prosperity and negative selfish actions that lead to death and destruction. For nonChristians the Didache is a code of conduct without references to angels, prophecy and miracles. The principles of right living by the golden rule apply to everyone regardless of culture or creed. For those in Behavior Sciences and religious naturalist the Didache is a good window to understanding the evolution of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic social morality. Congruent (in harmony) to the Laws give to the Israelites through Moses, the Didache is an instruction manual that defines how to be righteous (law abiding) Christians. Over time the original Didache was replaced with revised teachings that brought about new catechisms, church schisms, reformations, and the birth of Arianism, Islam, Protestantism, Mormonism and Unitarianism. We will then contrast the Didache's principles of good conduct with British philosopher John Locke social contract theory of civil government that greatly influenced American political thought. 

My first premise is the path (mechanism) to finding Happiness is to understand, accept and develop a Cognitive Behavior (Conduct) Appetite (Desire) to being Good (Virtuous). I find optimizing Behavior to be similar to understanding the human body by developing a healthy lifestyle. Through repetition one habits will change to clear Vision (Memory, thought) of what past actions and testimonies (teachings) by others brought a true or false Sense (Cognitive Awareness) of Happiness. The first form of repetition you can practice is the wisdom of Hope by sharing the story (memory) how someone helped you find Optimism on your future. It is clear from my experience that people that practice goodwill live longer, happier, healthier lives.

My second premise is to understand and distinguish the balance of our desire and memory of Pleasure (Release) and Serenity (Tranquility, Peace)  with a clear vision of Virtue in our pursuit of Joy.  Throughout this essay I plan to prove that it is Virtue (Honor) that provides us the ability to be aware of a higher form of happiness than a temporary pleasurable moments to our physical Appetites (Cravings). By being Mindful (focusing) on knowledge learned on how to optimize our natural Moral Instinct (Sense, Personality Trait) to love others will bring greater happiness over our Desire (Passion, Inclination, Physical Instinct) of of temporary sensual pleasures.  It is also my position that Nature has given our brain the ability to express any form of Virtue or Pleasure( Survival (Necessity) requires. Both forms create a psychological loops, Virtue develops inner regulation of calmness and peace, Pleasure is outer sensory physical release.

My third premise that to obtain this Virtue one must learn to develop the ability to discern (reason) what actions (decisions, paths) are deemed good that bring Happiness and the bad actions that bring Misery.  It is up each one of us to choose the right path to take and face the outcome of our decision. The achievements and failures we make in life teach us the contrast of Happiness to Misery. For me, Happiness like being comfortably cool floating in clear water with a slight. And Misery is experiencing the agony of sweat boiling from hot stagnant humidity. In time, the repetition of Good (Virtuous) actions that have brought us happiness will develop into automatic habits that are done without intentional thinking. Through practice one can develop a moral sense of Joy by developing a Habit (force of will) doing good (virtuous) actions without the expectation or need to constrain the reward of pleasure. In the Hebrew Scriptures Proverbs 11: 24 One person is generous and yet grows more wealthy, but another withholds more than he should and comes to poverty.

To pursue the Truth of Happiness we must aspire to find those unique individuals we universally respect as role models (mentors) and take seriously their wisdom given that leads us away from the darkness of despair to the light of happiness. The function of a good mentor is to evaluate (judge) our mental and emotional wellbeing and to provide explicit and implicit lessons related to development of a conscious controlled balance of maintaining happiness in work and personal life. It is of equal importance to be able to connect our internal understandings of Happiness to the position to a particular role model's moral foundation. 'Practice what you preach!' is common feeling of betrayal when an mentor is caught not following the values that are being taught. We have to remember that even the best of us are only human and stumble from time to time. I know that I have made plenty of mistakes in my life. But, the wisdom that I have learned from flawed mentors like myself has been profound. One lesson I have learned is that Forgiveness (Mercy) is one of the most beautiful acts one can do to obtain happiness. In today's cancel culture forgiveness has become a rarely used function of modern communication. It is my opinion, mercy and a mutual willingness to work together through positive and negative experiences are determining factors on the outcome of finding true joy. 

The essay will also discuss how to be on guard against individuals that have a negative moral character that ruthlessly pursue their own interests, even when it negatively affects others (or even for the sake of it), while having beliefs that justify these behaviors. Psychologists understand the term 'dark traits' to include negative personality features that are linked to not giving aid to individuals in need. In psychology, the dark quintet comprises the personality traits of egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, sadism, spitefulness.  People with these traits tend to be callous and manipulative, willing to do or say practically anything to get their way. They have an inflated view of themselves and are often shameless about self-promotion. These individuals are likely to be impulsive and may engage in dangerous behavior—in some cases, even committing crimes—without any regard for how their actions affect others.

On my life path to happiness I have had the pleasure and honor of encountering happy mentors that have the ability to dissipate any negative feelings with their welcoming presence and positive influence.  Through keen observation these happy individuals have trained (neuro hacked) their minds to consciously Discern (Judge) what is negative and be in harmony with the positive. Through Force of Will (Will Force, Thought Force) they are able to induce (manifest) an aura (good actions, vibrations, energy) love (goodwill) and joy to the environment (people, animals, plants) around them.

I have also met persuasive mentors who can confidently look me in the eyes, while asking my interests and what will truly bring happiness (fulfillment) to my life. Through experience I have witnessed the keen ability of these individuals to predict a likely outcome based on my given response.  Some predictions by these individual were so powerful that I perceived as true and like grace (magic) that they began to initiate a self-fulfilling prophecy to me in a particular moment of uncertainty.  Interacting with these mentors can become a compelling activity for susceptive (vulnerable) people going through life transitions (new job, relocating, ending relationships, children leaving home, medical condition, death). 

In similar manner I have experienced authoritarian mentors that have the power to dictate and control both the decisions and actions I made in daily life. Through repetitive emotional conditioning a drillmaster (taskmaster, disciplinarian) has an Alpha (Dominant) Will power that totally breaks down individuality and bias experienced living in everyday in mainstream culture.  One becomes inculcated (indoctrinate, remolded) to unhesitatingly obey and NOT discuss (question, deviate) from the desired behavior (manner). An authoritarian force of will can cause one to relinquish individual responsibility for actions taken and see behavior to be a consequence of group norms and expectations. At the same time we have to recognize that fear is one of the most basic human emotions programmed into the nervous system and works like an instinct. A good authoritarian mentor teaches you a good framework (form) to confront your worst fears. A bad authoritarian mentor searches for your deepest fears on how to manipulate you and give little actionable advice on how to find happiness.

From experience the first trait I look for in a Mentor is one that can remain Calm (Centered) with expressing their feelings and actions. And intentionally cultivates a positive learning environment that supports their method of instruction. Of particular interest is learning essential life skills such as responsible decision making and emotional regulation.  Both the mentor and student should share identifiable anxieties honestly, and wholeheartedly encourage seeking of wisdom in order to be able to properly cope with them. The Mentor may not condone certain beliefs or actions the student may have learned in life. But, they need to understand the path they coming from.  And one lesson is learning to avoid life mistakes the hard way.

As you become familiar with a mentor's idea on how to find Happiness you will be able to better formulate your own method to attain a path to happiness that lies within our individual circumstances. Just like finding a proper mentor you have the right to expect from this written essay the sincerity of my purpose in pursuing happiness and evaluation of the evidence supporting it. It is my endeavor for you the reader to objectively compare my thoughts of happiness and contrast it with the wisdom of others.

Understanding happiness can also emanate from produced media (written word, oral tradition, role play, audio podcast, video stream) wisdom and instruction given by wise individuals currently living or no longer dwelling (deceased) on this plane of existence. Finding good instruction on how to truly attain happiness can be a difficult task. The need to convey our feelings and thoughts to each other in the society has been felt from time immemorial. Faced with countless different Authors, how does a truth seeker know what to look at, let alone read?  I have found in good books the author's intent (purpose) should be made clear in the introduction. I propose that the truth to happiness is eternal and not relative to the period of time you live in. But, I also do believe that the definition of happiness does evolve and can be subject to the environment that surrounds it.

There are many subtle levels of meaning to understand 'What is Reality now and back in past?" Wisdom often is modified, distorted, and scribed into something different from it original meaning. The more accepted eye witnesses accounts to a particular author and the cultural environment around a particular point of time a revelation is revealed the clearer the message will be received. Modern Anthropology uses scientific theory, taxonomy, philosophy, history, and prehistorical evidence to contrast the increasing pace of cultural change of understanding to what is the reality of a particular wisdom writing in your time to that of mine and the past. In writing this essay I have spent many hours researching translations done in the native tongue or source language to get the best representation of ideas expressed in a particular wisdom and its development throughout history.

The way that this reality is known is through one's perceptions of it through a nuanced process with respect to revelation expression of any subject or event.  We know perceptions based on evidence from one or more of the five senses can derive from a distorted revelation. Van Gogh had a color vision deficiency that was displayed in the contrast of his paintings. Hellen Keller's loss of vision and hearing gave her a different understanding of what is 'inner light' her writing. Moses had a speech impediment so he used his brother's voice to speak with the Israelites. We must then focus on the mind of an author.

A young thirteen year old George Washington translated a maxim of conduct from the French book of Manners that one must respect all in Company and Conversation. The Father of the United States taught the Nation that Enlightenment (Understanding) was found through the etiquette of proper manners (behavior). I do my best to follow his advice in all my communication. His decorum of respect for others was followed throughout his life.  After explaining this to my 13 year old son Luke, he responded that understanding happiness takes practice doing what you believe to be good.

George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior

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 Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect, to those that are present.

It is my hope to give the same Civil (Reasonable) courtesy and respect all the individuals that I mention in this discourse. In my experience Civility leads to rich human conversations, smiles, and laughter.

The importance of Respect for others was taught to me early on through televised communication. In the 1970s millions of American parents sat their girls and boys in front of the television to watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on Public Broadcasting System (PBS).  Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister. But, I did not know that when I was a kid. I just remember Mr. Rogers, as a kind gentleman that always wore a warm cardigan sweater and blue sneakers (boat shoes). Mr. Rogers was my first television neighbor who always welcomed me every morning with, "I'm glad we're together again." He taught children like myself to love everyone.  Fred Rogers understood the importance of Civility when meeting with other Neighbors, Associates, and any anyone we come in contact with; regardless of race, nationality, religion or other distinctions.

The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

We are All Neighbors - Page 61

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If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

It is my belief that we all have to focus on Righteous individuals like Mr. Rogers that have an instinctive desire to preserve and improve all life. The value of Collective (Sharing) Wisdom from Righteous individuals is enormous; it inspires us; it warns us; it furnishes us with names, facts and scenes from collaborative storehouse of memory. It directs our thoughts, tastes, and accomplishes tasks so intricate that individually we do not have the capacity to obtain.

No one can be coerced to search for Happiness. But, through mutual respect and Social Contract (Declaration and Constitution) Society can advocate its Citizens to be healthy and do good in their Independent Pursuit (Liberty) of obtaining the Grace (Gift) of personal Joy.  Mr. Rogers did not force me to be mindful of others, rather he gently encouraged me to focus on my Ideal of Happiness and learn to understand its opposite. 

Fred Rogers masterfully taught me to idealize myself as a special person that had the power to influence the lives of everyone I meet with either happiness or misery. This ideal (fixed purpose) led me to begin visualizing what Happiness and Misery really is.

The Pursuit of Happiness

In our pursuit for the Truth of happiness I shall begin my essay with a quote from the United States Declaration of Independence adopted by The Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Behavior Science has taught me that learning comes through observation, imitation, and modelling individuals that appear happy and successful. Every time we learn something new our mirror neuron system (network of neurons located in frontal lobe of brain) becomes active and stores that episodic information, so in the future we can act accordingly.

 The first advice of of achieving happiness comes from a distinguished American gentleman that exemplified leadership, vision and civil (virtuous) conduct throughout his life. Our nation's first President, George Washington writes a letter to his elderly mother, giving practical advice on what is really important in life.  Washington's belief that implicit happiness is not a quantifiable object or equation lost in the world.  Rather, America's first President regarded happiness to be found if understood as an internal framework mechanism (attitude) within our conscious that controls the outcome of our thoughts. Any man that can convince and train battle weary soldiers to fight for the ideal of happiness gets a seat in my campfire as guest I value and trust.

From George Washington to Mary Ball Washington, 15 February 1787

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happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person's own mind, than on the externals in the world. 

A Neuroscientist (neurobiologist) at this point may interject and state that Happiness is just an illusion of the mind, due to a flooding of the our brain's limbic reward regions (biocircuitry) with dopamine, a feel good neurotransmitter chemical that causes a decrease in frontal cortex regulation. When when we eat food that we crave or while we have sex our dopamine system is activated, we are more positive, excited and eager to go after goals or rewards, such as food, sex, money, education,  professional, family achievements, salvation.

A person of faith would look at happiness to be more than just a frontal cortex limitation (illusion) involving higher-order executive functions that maintain; our self-control, emotions, behavioral regulation, awareness, attention, memory, bias, associative learning, which results in a suspension (interception) in judgement (reason) that distorts our perception and future actions within a network of neurons (nerve cells) containing memories that remind us what to seek out and will be rewarded. I believe it is important for us to investigate the various brain states associated with happiness and the components that relate to well-being. And contrast these associations and components of happiness with those of desire. My focus will be group of nerve cells that function as control centers affecting happiness (peace, joy, sated) and desire (motivation, arousal, hunger).

Scientist theorize that Happiness as an emotion produced by a interaction between our internal (endogenic) metabolic substances and processes that originate from within the hypothalamus, a peanut sized structure deep inside the brain and external (exogenic) factors of that activate our attentional orienting system.  When you experience Joy, happiness  floods  your body  with  a  wave  of  endorphins

I remember in school as a student my teacher posed the question on which came first, the chicken or the egg? I see a similar case, on which comes first, Happiness or Desire? It is not clear which metaphoric adjective is the cause or effect to these stimuli. Is it Spiritual (Supernatural) or Biochemical perception and response to external (surrounding) world (environment, stimuli)? Or is it a mixture of both?

Is our Conscience result of Universal thought manifestations (Spirits) from a Cosmic Creator (Hashem, Allah, God) operating on a dimensional plane outside known Creation? Is the neural activity patterns of our Conscience attention orienting system supernaturally designed (developed, coded)to be intentionally influenced by supernatural manipulation of both space and time affecting our cognitive beliefs, attitudes, behavior involving faith practices, including prayer(meditation, contemplation) and nurtured learning.

Science theorizes our conscience to result of a neurochemical identification filtering process that involves not only the evolution of perception through Natural Selection, but through a Bioalgorithm underlying our sociocognitive beliefs, attitudes, or behavior involving intentional and unintentional influence of nature including meditation and nurtured learning.  If it is the latter, then we are the product of random chance design that has evolved over time to create an organism with stereotypic burst-firing neurons that involve voluntary (deliberate) and involuntary (unintentional)  influence to internal memory, perception, understanding and imagination? 

If our conscious a result chance of Natural Selection (Biological Determinism) , that our body creates awareness, then awareness is governed by physical laws and sociocognitive learning dies (ceases to exist) along with the body in one final dream. 

If our consciousness created by a supernatural Spirit, then whether our body is governed physical laws and our consciousness (awareness) experiences death is not clear. Further, I would our Conscious (Mind) is a experiential bridge between our measurable biochemical powered brain perception and our undetectable (unmeasurable) Spirit (soul, light) from an unknown system outside time and space. This experiential bridge has unique design synaptic (brain) thought pattern (configuration) of encoded neurons and synapses memories that are incompatible with biological determinism.

The concept of Happiness gives us hope beyond explicit reason. Testimonies of happiness have been shared in wisdom storytelling and spiritual writings (symbology) in cultures since the beginning of recorded time. Through the use of metaphors (symbols) and allegories (parables, tales) our mind can grasp invisible realities (imagination) of the unmeasurable Spirit by association with experiences we have encountered in our physical environment and nurtured learning of reality throughout our lifetime. As our physical and cultural sense grow, our Personal Story (Identity) our Point of View (Frame of Reference) of this world becomes more defined. 

Monotheists and Polytheists profess (believe) that the Frame of Reference to our physical and Spiritual existence is a result of the Glory and Wonder of the Great Spirit (Creator, God, Hashem, Allah, Brahma). The Conscious Mind of the Creator emanates (radiates) waves of light, energy and sound similar the Sun we see every day. The Creator emanates Thoughts (Angels, Pure Spirits, Constructs, Messengers) manifest themselves throughout our ever expanding Universe.

One thought manifestation is known by Christians to be the Spirit of Love. It is believed that the Fruit of the Spirit of Love (Happiness, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Goodness) is bestowed (Graced) to individuals that Pursuit (Seek, Desire) as a result virtuous deeds to frame their mind to understand and accepting Wisdom (Truth) of this Eternal construct. 

Galatians 5

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22 ...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 

Thomas Jefferson believed this it can be quite difficult to see distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior with just one self. Morality is to found by observing our duty to the rules agreed upon by a social contract made with fellow citizens. The imperfection of ego allows one to share false implicit ideas of what is good is a life of self gratification. Self love leads to putting ourselves over our duty to being civil with and at times endanger others. For this reason Jefferson considered that self love should not be defined as being either moral or virtuous. Our late president went further and affirmed that through instruction and discipline one could attain virtue. Jefferson believed the primal emotional pleasure of happiness originates from the realization that that is a natural instinct to love of others. And it is my premise that this love drives our instinct to help others escape the primal emotional pain of misery. But, it is our imperfection of senses that limit our ability to understand this instinct to love with temporary rewarding and pleasurable experiences our brains are wired to seek and enjoy that with excess can impede our pursuit of happiness.

Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 13 June 1814

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Self-interest, or rather Self love, or Egoism, has been more plausibly substituted as the basis of morality. But, I consider our relations with others as constituting the boundaries of morality. With ourselves we stand on the ground of identity, not of relation; which last, requiring two subjects, excludes self-love confined to a single one. To ourselves, in strict language, we can owe no duties, obligation requiring also two parties. Self-love therefore is no part of morality. Indeed it is exactly it’s counterpart. it is the sole antagonist of virtue (goodness), leading us constantly by our propensities (inclinations) to self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to others. 

...take from man his selfish propensities, and he can have nothing to seduce him from the practice of virtue. or subdue those propensities by education, instruction, or restraint, and virtue remains without a competitor. Egoism (self-interest), in a broader sense, has been thus presented as the source of moral action. it has been said that we feed the hungry, clothe the unclothed, bind up the wounds of the man beaten by thieves, pour oil and wine into them, set him on our own beast (horse, livestock), and bring him to the inn, because we recieve ourselves pleasure from these acts. so Helvetius, one of the best men on earth, and the most ingenious advocate of this principle, after defining ‘interest’ to mean, not merely that which is pecuniary (monetary), but whatever may procure us pleasure or withdraw us from pain, [de l’Esprit. 2. 1.] says [ib. 2. 2.] ‘the humane man is he to whom the sight of misfortune is insupportable and who, to rescue himself from this spectacle, is forced to succour (aid) the unfortunate object.’ this indeed is true. but it is one step short of the ultimate question. these good acts give us pleasure: but how happens it that they give us pleasure? because nature hath implanted in our breasts a love of others, a sense of duty to them, a moral instinct in short, which prompts us irresistibly to feel and to succour (assist) their distresses; and protests against the language of Helvetius [ib. 2. 5.] ‘what other motive than self interest could determine a man to generous actions? it is as impossible for him to love what is good for the sake of good, as to love evil for the sake of evil.’ the Creator would indeed have been a bungling artist, had he intended man for a social animal, without planting in him social dispositions. it is true they are not planted in every man; because there is no rule without exceptions: but it is false reasoning which converts exceptions into the general rule. some men are born without the organs of sight, or of hearing, or without hands. yet it would be wrong to say that man is born without these faculties: and sight, hearing and hands may with truth enter into the general definition of Man. the want or imperfection of the moral sense in some men, like the want or imperfection of the senses of sight and hearing in others, is no proof that it is a general characteristic of the species. when it is wanting we endeavor to supply the defect by education, by appeals to reason and calculation, by presenting to the being so unhappily conformed (adapted) other motives to do good, and to eschew (reject) evil; such as the love, or the hatred or rejection of those among whom he lives and whose society is necessary to his happiness, and even existence; demonstrations by sound calculation that honesty promotes interest in the long run; the rewards & penalties established by the laws; and ultimately the prospects of a future state of retribution for the evil as well as the good done while here. these are the correctives which are supplied by education, and which exercise the functions of the moralist, the preacher & legislator: and they lead into a course of correct action all those whose depravity is not too  profound to be eradicated. some have argued against the existence of a moral sense, by saying that if nature had given us such a sense, impelling us to virtuous actions, and warning us against those which are vicious, then nature must also have designated, by some particular ear-marks, the two sets of actions which are, in themselves, the one virtuous, and the other vicious: whereas we find in fact, that the same actions are deemed virtuous in one country, and vicious in another. the answer is that nature has constituted utility to man the standard & test of virtue. men living in different countries, under different circumstances, different habits, and regimens, may have different utilities. the same act therefore may be useful, and consequently virtuous, in one country, which is injurious and vicious in another differently circumstanced. I sincerely then believe with you in the general existence of a moral instinct. I think it the brightest gem with which the human character is studded; and the want of it as more degrading than the most hideous of the bodily deformities. I am happy in reviewing the roll of associates in this principle which you present in your letter, some of which I had not before met with. to these might be added Ld Kaims, one of the ablest of our advocates, who goes so far as to say, in his Principles of Natural religion, that a man owes no duty to which he is not urged by some impulsive feeling. this is correct if referred to the standard of general feeling in the given case, and not to the feeling of a single individual. 

A Social Disposition can be a desirable or undesirable intentional pattern of behavior (character) that can include an intentional stance (belief) and/or action that may impact other individuals or the environment around them for the better or worse. Examples of desirable dispositions; resourcefulness, curiosity, persistence, honesty, empathy, leadership, integrity, and respect. Examples of undesirable dispositions, such as selfishness, impatience, and intolerance. It is my belief that these dispositions are developed through a habit of mind under both by conscious and unconscious suggestions observed from intentional and accidental events.

Jefferson wrote to his friend, the principal author of the United States Constitution, James Madison, on his view of proper education playing a key role in safeguarding National Liberty. All Americans should take the time to study the concept of Human Rights and illuminate problems encountered in protecting them. ALL PEOPLE should learn the religious, philosophical and social customs that have evolved and enabled the Framing a Social Contract that is significant to our lives. 

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 20 December 1787

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Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to; convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of Liberty.

 

 

 

Before you start reading further, please take the time make yourself comfortable. Relaxation will open your mind to understanding the knowledge being shared to you. Reflect on a cherished memory of people you trust and love. I have many fond memories of vacationing around the country with my parents.

One reoccurring memory I have is vacationing at Big Meadows Campground secluded in the rolling hills of Shenandoah National Park.  In my memory I am roasting the perfect marshmallow over the glowing coals of our campfire. Dad tells Mom what a good time he was having and how much he loves us. I like to now imagine a new memory of my father camping with the grandchildren he never got to meet during his time here on earth. I can clearly imagine my parents and family ancestors sitting around a campfire with sharing their thoughts of love in a safe bliss of peace. 

Every time you recall any given moment that brings you happiness, it becomes a catalyst (stimulus) to cause a biochemical synthesis (chemical reaction) that produces extra receptors (signal-receiving neurons) that are stored to the amygdala in a unique emotion long term memory (ELTM). The amygdala is functionally connected to the fusiform face area (FFA) and stimulates a visual episodic long-term memory (VLTM). The amygdala also is connected to the hippocampus and stimulates a unique spatial long term memory (SLTM). Like physical exercise, one must intend to consistently practice thinking about a Happy moment even when it is uncomfortable. Through conditioning neutral and negative stimuli can become connected to that specific long term happy memory (LTHM).

 I can imagine the Greek Empiricist (Passive Sensualist), Epicurus sitting around our campfire teaching us how to frame our intellect to seek the wisdom of what brings happiness, long life, and good fortune. Their wisdom has taught me to focus on Just (Good, Righteous) social relations. With like minded Good People I have been able to discover further path's to a peace of mind. Some of these good individuals lived at a different point of time, but their words endured the test of time. I now point the torch of wisdom to the Greek Philosopher Epicurus warning one to avoid the unhealthy risks and consequences of engaging with Corrupt (Bad, Wicked) minds in constant unrested conflict.

Principal Doctrines, 310 BC – 270 BC

Epicurus

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17. The just person enjoys the greatest peace of mind, while the unjust is full of the utmost disquietude.

Epicurus shared good wisdom. We need to guard our conscious against the suggestion of fear, hatred, selfishness, greed, self-depreciation and other negative forces, derived from surrounding ourselves chronically distressed persons or focusing on unfortunate circumstances to be the social norm. We need to train our minds gather accurate Inferences (Conclusions based on evidence and reasoning) from sources that are Just with peace of mind.

Let us imagine Aristotle's talks of reason in Lyceum (Peripatetic School, public teaching space outside the city wall of Athens) to the ears of every male citizen taking an active part in the running of the Democratic Athenian government, his method to advance the Western Civilization (Civilized Society, Refined Culture, Advanced Education). 

Plato's student, Aristotle understood that knowledge of what happiness is comes first through distinguishing and storing the memories of the pains and pleasures that come from our senses every waking moment. Through our memory we are to frame our thoughts to recall and contemplate (meditate) the pleasurable moments to override the painful ones that transpire. Try meditating on the cherished happy memory you choose earlier to relax when you are in pain, stressed, or depressed.

Metaphysics , 340 BC

Book 1, section 980a

Aristotle

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All men naturally desire knowledge. An indication of this is our esteem for the senses; for apart from their use we esteem them for their own sake, and most of all the sense of sight. Not only with a view to action, but even when no action is contemplated, we prefer sight, generally speaking, to all the other senses.The reason of this is that of all the senses sight best helps us to know things, and reveals many distinctions.

Now animals are by nature born with the power of sensation, and from this some acquire the faculty of memory, whereas others do not.

Aristotle believed virtue (good habits) to be the supporting structure for our internal framework our minds to think above our established visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile pathways to the brain. It is virtue that provides us the ability to be aware of a higher form of happiness than a temporary pleasure moments to our physical appetites (cravings).

To obtain this wisdom one must learn to develop the ability to discern (reason) what actions are deemed virtues. In time, the repetition of virtuous actions will develop into automatic habits that are done without intentional thinking. One will gain wisdom (greater understanding) to the benefits and risks of following principles (ideas) that may or may not lead to happiness. A behavior scientist would state this neuronal override is accomplished through Pavlova conditioning of amygdala neutral and negative stimuli can become connected to that specific Long Term Happy Memory (LTHM).

The Nicomachean Ethics , 340 BC

Book X - Chapter 7

Aristotle

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instead of listening to those who advise us as men and mortals not to lift our thoughts above what is human and mortal, we ought rather, as far as possible, to put off our mortality and make every effort to live in the exercise of the highest of our faculties; for though it be but a small part of us, yet in power and value it far surpasses all the rest.

 In this passage, the Greek philosopher Plato shares the meaning of happiness through conversational exchange between Plato's teacher, Socrates persuading his fellow Athenian, Cleinias to love and share wisdom. It is through this dialogue that Plato frames happiness and good fortune being found through wisdom (knowledge) of the right use of things in life. The Greek philosopher shared his truth to our reality through the Socratic Method (Prose Dialogue) of constructing social exchanges that reason (harmonize) with our independent intellect (mirror neuron system).

Euthydemus 380 BC

By Plato

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SOCRATES: Let us consider a further point. Seeing that all men desire happiness, and happiness, as has been shown, is gained by a use, and a right use, of the things of life, and the right use of them, and good fortune in the use of them, is given by knowledge,-the inference is that everybody ought by all means to try and make himself as wise as he can?

CLEINIAS: Yes, he said.

SOCRATES: And when a man thinks that he ought to obtain this treasure, far more than money, from a father or a guardian or a friend or a suitor, whether citizen or stranger-the eager desire and prayer to them that they would impart wisdom to you, is not at all dishonourable, Cleinias; nor is any one to be blamed for doing any honourable service or ministration to any man, whether a lover or not, if his aim is to get wisdom. Do you agree? 

CLEINIAS:Yes. I quite agree, and think that you are right.

SOCRATES: Cleinias, if only wisdom can be taught, and does not come to man spontaneously; for this is a point which has still to be considered, and is not yet agreed upon by you and me-   

CLEINIAS: But I think, Socrates, that wisdom can be taught

SOCRATES: Best of men, I said, I am delighted to hear you say so; and I am also grateful to you for having saved me from a long and tiresome investigation as to whether wisdom can be taught or not. But now, as you think that wisdom can be taught, and that wisdom only can make a man happy and fortunate will you not acknowledge that all of us ought to love wisdom, and you individually will try to love her?

CLEINIAS: Certainly, Socrates, he said; I will do my best.

At this point it is important to do a comparative analysis of Western European thoughts to those a continent away forming different traditions of obtaining happiness. Let us begin in the state Lu (Tengzhou, Shandong Province) just east of the green misted Taihang mountain range, known for its ancient religious worship and schools of Eastern philosophy.  

Mohist innovation culture, which is the outstanding tradition and important spiritual trait of the Chinese nation

the ancients of Chinese mythology, but he criticized the Confucian belief that modern life should be patterned on the ways of the ancients. After all, he pointed out, what we think of as "ancient" was actually innovative in its time, and thus should not be used to hinder present-day innovation

Shandong's Mount Tai is the most revered mountain of Taoism and one of the world's sites with the longest history of continuous religious worship. The city of Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius the Hundred Schools of Thought.

Mozi (Mo Di, Mo-tze) was a Chinese philosopher who founded the school of Mohism philosophy of logic, rational thought and science. Mozi taught that a Righteous (Superior) Being has a unique ability to frame the mind to sacrifice self-interest and focus on respectful actions of altruism towards others. Superior beings are free from corruption and humble with their fortune. One must respect and love and mourn all that have passed through all stages of life and death. By being mindful (focusing) on knowledge learned on how altruism brings happiness over temporary pleasures.

Like Aristole, Mozi aimed at the development of morality and reason. 

Mozi developed the concept of Universal Love (兼愛; pinyin: jiān ài) arguing that there should be no degree or conditionality in love. Ancient Greeks had at least four different types of love, among which agape was unconditional, spiritual or divine love. 

 

 

 in representing the world in their paintings. 

Moral Relativism to a particular 

Aristotle provided observational arguments supporting the idea of a spherical Earth, namely that different stars are visible in different locations, travelers going south see southern constellations rise higher above the horizon, and the shadow of Earth on the Moon during a lunar eclipse is round, and spheres cast circular shadows while discs generally do not. Aristotelian physics include the structuring of the cosmos into concentric spheres, with the Earth at the centre  (center) and celestial spheres around it. The terrestrial sphere was made of four elements, namely earth, air, fire, and water, subject to change and decay. The celestial spheres were made of a fifth element, an unchangeable aether (ether). Objects made of these elements have natural motions: those of earth and water tend to fall; those of air and fire, to rise. The speed of such motion depends on their weights and the density of the medium. Aristotle argued that a vacuum could not exist as speeds would become infinite.

This understanding was accompanied by models of the Universe that depicted the Sun, Moon, stars, and unclothed eye planets circling the spherical Earth, including the noteworthy models of Aristotle (see Aristotelian physics) and Ptolemy.

Mozi 470 - 391 BC

Book 1

Self-cultivation

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...The superior men are daily more energetic in performing their duty, but weaker in their desires, and more stately in their appearance. The way of the superior man makes the individual incorruptible in poverty and righteous when wealthy; it makes him love the living and mourn the dead. These four qualities of conduct cannot be hypocritically embodied in one's personality. There is nothing in his mind that goes beyond love; there is nothing in his behavior that goes beyond respectfulness, and there is nothing from his mouth that goes beyond gentility. When one pursues such a way until it pervades his four limbs and permeates his flesh and skin, and until he becomes white-haired and bald-headed without ceasing, one is truly a sage.

Mozi was originally a follower of the teachings of Confucius, until he became convinced that Confucianism's dutiful love for the nobles, and the family patriarch, should be replaced with a wider dutiful love and respect for all.  Mozi teachings became embraced by the lower classes of society.

Mozi

Book 4

Universal Love III
 

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Whoever criticizes others must have something to replace them. Criticism without suggestion is like trying to stop a flood with another flood and put out a fire with another fire. It will surely be without worth.

Partiality is to be replaced by universality. But how is it that partiality can be replaced by universality? Now, when every one regards the states of others as he regards his own, who would attack the others' states? Others are regarded like self.

When every one regards the capitals of others as he regards his own, who would seize the others' capitals? Others are regarded like self.

When every one regards the houses of others as he regards his own, who would disturb the others' houses? Others are regarded like self.

Now, when the states and cities do not attack and seize each other and when the clans and individuals do not disturb and harm one another -- is this a calamity or a benefit to the world? Of course it is a benefit. When we come to think about the several benefits in regard to their cause, how have they arisen? Have they arisen out of hate of others and injuring others? Of course we should say no. We should say they have arisen out of love of others and benefiting others.

If we should classify one by one all those who love others and benefit others, should we find them to be partial or universal? Of course we should say they are universal.

Now, since universal love is the cause of the major benefits in the world, therefore universal love is right. And, as has already been said, the interest of the magnanimous lies in procuring benefits for the world and eliminating its calamities. Now that we have found out the consequences of universal love to be the major benefits of the world and the consequences of partiality to be the major calamities in the world; this is the reason why partiality is wrong and universality is right.

Confucius is known in China as "Master Kong" (Chinese: Kongzi) a Chinese thinker from Qufu City in the Shandong Province of Eastern China.  Confucius is the first professional teacher, writer and scholar of moral education.  He believed that human beings were naturally good and that selfish interests could be controlled by adherence to virtue.  His influence upon East Asian intellectual and social history is immeasurable. 

The Analects (Selected Passages) of Confucius recorded by his students. In the Analects of Confucius teaches that outcome is related to one's thoughts and actions. Happiness is having a positive attitude during every moment of your life under any circumstance. Wealth and honors are outside who you are  What others say about you is only a guide to how you present yourself. All of these material things fade away. 

The Analects of Confucius 

7. 述而  Shu er -  Transmitting - 475 - 221 BC

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7:15 Confucius said: "I can live with coarse rice to eat, water for drink and my arm as a pillow and still be happy. Wealth and honors that one possesses in the midst of injustice are like floating clouds."

It is said Kunlun became identified with Mount Sumeru (Meru, मेरु), Sineru or Mahāmeru) as the axis mundi in the 5th century. Mount Sumeru is the sacred five-peaked mountain of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. On the top of Mt. Meru is the symbolic home of Buddha and the 33 gods. Around Mt. Meru are the four continents in the four directions. Each of the four heavenly kings protect one direction, one continent: Vaishravana (North), Dhritarashtra (East), Virudhaka (South), Virupaksha (West).  These four kings represent the first Indian gods incorporated into the Buddhist narrative. The Four Guardian Kings came before Shakyamuni Buddha just after the Buddha achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree. The four offered, each individually, a black bowl made of sapphire or lapis lazuli to the Buddha. The Buddha accepted the offer and the four bowls miraculously became one bowl. This is the black bowl that is typically seen in the lap of Shakyamuni in painting and sculpture.

Although we often speak of "the Buddha," there are many Buddhas with different names, forms that play multiple roles. The word "Buddha" means one who woke up," and in Buddhist doctrine, any such enlightened individual is technically a Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha is a name given to the historical Buddha, especially in Mahayana Buddhism. So it's nearly always the case that when someone is talking about Shakyamuni, he or she is speaking of the historical figure who was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama, son of  King Suddhodana and Queen Maya of the Shakya Clan. In later life, Siddhartha renounced his royal title, became known as Shakyamuni (Sage of the Shakyas). After fighting off Mara, an evil spirit who tempted him with worldly comforts and desires, Siddhartha reached enlightenment, becoming a Buddha (Shakyamuni Budha, Gautama Buddha) at the age of 35

Buddha framed happiness to be found in all beings free of hate or violence. One should have a solid attitude of gladness. Life is a chrysalis (transformation) of existence recorded in many thoughts. Those that are beneficial have a chance to be immutable (unalterable, eternal). But, many thoughts get altered through malice and hate.

Shakyamuni Buddha

KALAMA SUTTA 563 - 400 BC

The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry

The Four Exalted Dwellings

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He lives, having pervaded (filled), with the thought of gladness, one  quarter; likewise the second; likewise the third; likewise the fourth; so above, below, and across; he dwells, having pervaded  because of the existence in it of all living beings, everywhere, the entire world, with the great, exalted, boundless thought of gladness that is free of hate or malice.

It is a natural desire to want and hope for happiness, long life, and good fortune. Daoist (Taoists) believe emotions and  Yi (desires, wishes, intentions, thoughts)  are the natural meaning of Xuè (blood) and Qi (Chi, Ki, Gi, Vital Energy, Spirit, Prana, Force). Qi moves through the earth and manifests into an uncountable variation of material forms each with unique conditions. Scientist would define Qi as a type of quantum thermal (kinetic) energy of particles, atoms and molecules. Yang and Qi are believed by Daoism to be the driving forces of biological activities in the human body.  Blood is said to be is a denser form of Qi, and more Yin (feminine, nourishing, moistening) in nature. Qi is more Yang (masculine, vital, active, energetic, etheric) in nature. The Shén residing in heart and named Shén and is said to be above others and representing human spirit and in a way the Self.

Taoist (Daoist) believe that the universe is a great conduit of Qi that flows through all things. This energy is known as Dan, (Dan Tien, Elixir, Sea of Qi, Cosmic Energy). Like Cosmic Rays, Dan is the force that pervades and nourishes all things in our expanding universe.  There is a maxim where Xīn (intention, mind, heart, center, core) goes, Qi follows. At times Qi is attracted to water and gives life to a myriad things. Qi proliferates into the offspring of these new creations. A biologist would define water as a unique medium (substratum) on which living organisms can be made to grow.  

Shen (Spirit, Mind) implies our consciousness, mental functions, mental health, vitality, and our "presence." We derive our Shen Qi from the Tao, or eternal aspect of the universe and the underlying nature of everything. Shen can be centered (balanced) or uncentered (imbalanced). Daoist believe when someone has centered Shen, they can easily flow with the laws of nature and universal rhythms, and feel plenty of joy. When someone has uncentered Shen, they might experience uncontrollable emotions like sadness, depression, anxiety, or over-thinking. 

Ancient Chinese people saw the Yellow River (Huang He) as "the Mother River" and a point of convergence (joining) the essences of Qi and Shen (Divine or Inner Human Spirit, life, oneself) that produce Jing (vitality, fertility, DNA). The Yellow River originates from Bayan Har Mountains, a southern branch of the Kunlun Mountains, in the Qinghai province of Western China.  It is said that this region is the Axis Mundi (navel, center of the world, cosmic axis) connection between Heaven and Earth" or the "higher and lower realms. In ancient times, it was believed that the Yellow River flowed from Heaven as a continuation of the Milky Way. The Kunlun Mountains are said to be the dwelling place of the gods, fabled plants and mythical creatures. It is in these Mountains that have long been seen as the origin of the Chinese civilization. 

The name China means Middle Nation" (中国 pinyin, Zhōngguó) is often interpreted as an expression of an ancient perception that the Chinese polity (or group of polities) occupied the center of the world, with other lands lying in various directions relative to it. The ancient Chinese saw Kunlun as a microcosm of order because it was known and settled. Taoist belief, the sacred landscape of Kunlun is also considered to be a medium through which people communicate with the immortals and the primeval powers of the earth. 

Outside the boundaries of the Kunlun lied foreign realms that, because they were unfamiliar and not ordered, represented chaos, death, or night. But from this center, people ventured in the four cardinal directions, making discoveries, and establishing new centers as the realms became known and settled. 

Throughout this discourse we will see similar spiritual traditions have a similar view to the Chinese way of orienting our world (human realm) through a sacred landscape (mountain, cave, tree, pillar, gate, ladder) Axis Mundi (hub, navel, center) earth portal (vortex) to something that transcends it (heaven, other worlds) that either brings happiness (prosperity) or misery (destruction).

Lao Tzu (Laozi, Lao-Tze, Old Master) was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching (Book of the Way), the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.

Tàishàng Lǎojūn (Laozi, Lord Lao of Grand Supreme, Lǐ Ěr, Boyang Li Dan) 601 - 531 BC 

Nèiguānjīng (Classic of Internal Contemplation)

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Examine and contemplate your embodiment

From emptiness without center comes causes and reasons

Steering and gathering essence and concentrating Qi

Riding with Lotus the Shén (Deity, Soul, Spirit) descends

Mixing and combining to receive life...

Laws of Heaven reflect on Earth

Inhale Yīn ­ exhale Yáng

Sort out confusion in five phases

To resonate four seasons

Eyes are Sun and Moon 

Hair is like the constellations and planets

Eyebrows are like magnificent canopy

Head is like mount Kūnlún

Lined around are imperial watchtowers

Resting place of the jīng (essence, extract, vitality) energy is the in the center of 10,000 things

Highest in human is the Ling (spirit, soul that may chime a bell using the wind, zero)

When xìng (nature, character, sexuality, humanity, form) and yuán (fate, karma, reason)  join the Dao (way, path, route, road, doctrine, principle, belief)

Man falls in love with it.

In Daoist literature happiness in life cannot be attained by forcing one's own destiny; instead, one must be receptive to the path laid for them by tiān lǐ (Heaven's law, natural order) and yuán (destiny). Daoist meditation focuses heavily on "developing the mind of intent." All of the more advanced practices are based on developing skill and clarity of this "mind of intent." 

Tàishàng Lǎojūn (Laozi, Lord Lao of Grand Supreme, Lǐ Ěr, Boyang Li Dan) 601 - 531 BC 

Nèiguānjīng (Classic of Internal Contemplation)

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Dao (ethical way, moral way) provides our role and it is known as yuán (fate, circumstance, destiny)

From this naturally follows our běn sè (distinctive qualities) and shi (type, form, pattern, style)

And that we call Xīng (Moral Nature)

This Xing assigns beings their proper places

We call this Xin (Heart, Disposition, Mind)

In Xin resides the Yi (Reason, Memory, Desires)

We call it intention (insight, visualization, image, form)

When intention manifests we call it Zhi (will, knowing, aware)

Will used without ignorance is called shén zhì (proper mind, wisdom, treasure)

Wisdom about 10,000 beings is called intelligence.

Just as this energy exists in the universe, Daoist believe it exists in people, too in special areas called Dantians (energy flow centers). There are 7 main Dantian elixir-of-life fields where "essence" and "spirit" are stored within the body. These energy centers are known as Chakras and are responsible for delivering energy into the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on balancing and enhancing Qi to bring the body into a state of health and vitality to maintain long life.   Qi Gong (mastery) is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention to open vital energy blockages in the body that can manifest as disease. There are a variety of physical and emotional conditions that are thought to diminish your Qi. Among the most common causes are chronic stress and sleep deprivation.  

The three Dantians are each associated with one energy, collectively known as the three treasures.  They are:

The Lower Dantian: (Jing) located two inches below the navel, it is the source of energy which builds the physical body and allows us to develop and use Qi and Shen.

The Middle Dantian: (QI) located at the heart, it is energy created from food and air and relates to our emotions and thoughts.

The Upper Dantian: (Shen) located at a center point just higher than the eye brows, it is related to our spirit and/or consciousness. 

Shi

Tian shi Celestial Master, Heavenly Teacher is title bestowed upon Zhang Daoling and his descendants; the first Taoist religious community

Qi gong translates from Chinese to mean, roughly, to cultivate or enhance the inherent functional (energetic) essence of the human being. It can be described as a mind-body-spirit practice that improves one's mental and physical health by integrating posture, movement, breathing technique, self-massage, sound, and focused intent. 

Chi Kung is the exercise to build Chi and store it in the body. Teachers often compare this to “saving money in the bank for a rainy day.”

Qiqong is like saving and investing money. Everyday you put a little Qi in the bank, so when you’re old or sick you have a nice big savings stored up and you can use it to stay healthy, active and vibrant.

Li” (etiquette and ceremony).

Lao Tzu (Laozi, Old Master) taught his students that how to frame one's mind to seek happiness by learning from individuals with a good attitude towards life and calm actions that are open and respectful towards others free from malice or hate. 

Tao Te Ching  (Daodejing)
Classic of the Way and Virtue 

Chapter 20

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Enlightenment of the absolute Tao can free a person from worries and sorrow.
How much is the difference between a respectful response and an angry response?
How great is the difference between good and evil?
What people naturally fear, one should also fear.
One’s endless desire can result in negligence of the true nature of life.
People like to pursue after excitement as if they were ascending the terrace in spring and
celebrate a sacrificial feast.
But I alone remain quiet and calm like an infant who is pure and innocent.
And I alone appeared to be lost like one who has nowhere to go.
All people have a surplus, but I alone was simple and left out like a fool.
People seemed bright and shrewd, while I seemed dull.
People like to dispute, while I alone remain quiet.
I am calm and peaceful like the boundless ocean.
I am open-hearted and free like the wind blowing high above the sky without hindrance.

Everyone thinks of themselves as capable and outstanding while I appeared unlearned.
I am the only one to be different from others for I value highly the Great Tao and joyfully act accordingly. 

Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwo (ston pa gshen rab) 1917 BC - 23,000 BC

Shenrap is the founder of the yungdrung (eternal)  Bön (chant, religion of Tibet). Bön developed their beliefs through folk customs and practices stretching back into Tibet's prehistory

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Virtuous means without negative actions. This is one who is committed to serve virtue through their body, speech and mind. Service means serving without holding contradictory views and properly remaining steadfast in service to virtue.

Bonpos (believer in Bon) in the existence of energetic channels in the human body, where meditation deities dwell. The tantra is based on the belief that an adept can be transformed into a specific meditation deity thanks to appropriate visualizations and energy manipulation prophecy, reveal truths, give advice, heal the sick people and livestock, exorcise evil spirits, bring good fortune. 

The Nine Ways of Bon

The Ways of the Fruit (Result)

The 5th Way of the Virtuous Lay Practitioners (gen nyen, dge, bsnyen theg pa)

Ten and the ten far- reaching attitudes (perfections)

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Ten far-reaching attitudes: The following mental factors that, when held by the force of a bodhicitta (generative power) aim and strengthened, serve as causes for attaining enlightenment:  ethical self-discipline, patience, perseverance, concentration or mental stability and wisdom or discriminating awareness, skill in means, aspirational prayer, strengthening, and compassion.

Zarathushtra 6184 BC - 551 BC

Zarathushtra composed the Ahuna Vairya (Yatha Ahu Vairyo) a sacred prayer and wisdom that if understood and implemented into daily life will provide the key to receiving blessing from the Creator and defeat evil, by doing virtuous acts such as protecting the poor with a loving mind. Buddhists would accept happiness to found in all beings free of hate and protecting those in need with love. Epicureans would accept turning away from selfish hate for altruistic love to be a higher frame of mind.

Ahuna Vairya, 1500 BC - 1000 BC

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Just as the Ahu (Sovereign Lord, King) is all-powerful,
So the Ratu (Spiritual Teacher, Rabbi, Pastor, Guru) by reason (judgement) in accord with his store of Asha (Truth, Virtue, Purity),

The gifts of Vohu Mano (Loving Mind, Good Thinking ),
For works (deeds) done for the Lord of Creation in this world,
And the Kshathra (Blessing, Happiness, Power) of Ahura (God) descends indeed,
Upon him who becomes a Shepherd (Protector) to the meek (poor).

The Great Prophet Moses taught the just (virtuous) will prosper under the Creator's protective care.   

Devarim  - Deuteronomy - Second Law - Chapter 12, 1300 BC - 609 BC

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Look down from Your holy abode, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the soil You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.”

Unlike Zoroaster, the Prophet Moses taught no Dyeumorphic manifestation of abstract concepts such as Truth and Righteousness that emanate from the Creator's thoughts.  However, like Zoraster, Moses reveals the Torah (Teaching, Laws) as way for one to connect to the Creator thoughts and receive His blessings of prosperity and offspring.

Devarim  - Deuteronomy - Second Law - Chapter 12, 1300 BC - 609 BC

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11. observe faithfully the Instruction—the laws and the rules—with which I charge you today.

12. And if you do obey these rules and observe them carefully, the LORD your God will maintain faithfully for you the covenant that He made on oath with your fathers:

13. He will favor you and bless you and multiply you; He will bless the issue of your womb and the produce of your soil, your new grain and wine and oil, the calving of your herd and the lambing of your flock, in the land that He swore to your fathers to assign to you.

The Israelite King David made a declaration that the pursuit of happiness is not to be found in ideas given by corrupt minds. Happiness can be found by understanding the laws given by a Just Creator. The Israelite King believes one needs to follow the instructions revealed to Moses to connect to the Creator and receive His blessings of prosperity and offspring. David uses an analogy that like trees that need an adequate water supply to thrive and set fruit, we need to be adequately connected to the Torah given by the Creator to help us be happy, thrive, and be fruitful in all of our endeavors.

Psalms, 1407 BC - 586 BC

Chapter 1

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1. Happy is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or taken the path of sinners, or joined the company of the insolent;

rather, the teaching of the LORD is his delight, and he studies that teaching day and night.

He is like a tree planted beside streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, whose foliage never fades, and whatever it produces thrives.

Peshitta Holy Bible 

In this passage John write's a letter to a Senior,  lady member and her Christian family.  John simply states that the Truth to Happiness is the Commandment Yeshua (Jesus) gave to Love.

2 John 1 

 Christian Church

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1.The Elder to The Elect lady and her children, those whom I love in the truth, but it is not I only, but also all those who know the truth, 2.Because of the truth which dwells in us and is with us for eternity. 3. May grace, mercy and peace be with us, from God The Father and from Our Lord, Yeshua The Messiah, The Son of The Father, in truth and in love. 4. I rejoiced much when I found some of your children walking in truth, according to the commandment which we have received from The Father. 5. And now I would persuade you Lady, not according to the new commandment I wrote to you, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandment; this commandment is according to what you have heard from the beginning, in which you have been walking.

Concious Reason

Before he became the Architect of American Government, A young Harvard graduate, John Adams wrote to a school friend, Richard Cranch his plan to study law with James Putnam the leading lawyer of Worcester.  In this letter, Adams shared his exploration of understanding the gifts of sense, intelligence, and reason the Creator (Nature) has bestowed upon us. He found acts of kindness to be of lesser value in understanding the purpose to the design of life. 

From John Adams to Richard Cranch, 29 August 1756

Quote

But shall I dare to complain and to murmur against Providence for this little Punishment, when my very Existence, all the Pleasure I enjoy now, and all the Advantages I have of preparing for hereafter, are Expression of Benevolence that I never did and never could deserve? Shall I Censure the Conduct of that Being who has poured around me, a great Profusion (Abundance), of those good Things that I really want, because He has kept from me other Things that might be improper and fatal to me if I had them. That Being has furnished my Body with several senses, and the world around it with objects suitable to gratify them. He has made me an erect Figure, and has placed in the most advantageous Part of my Body, the sense of Sight. And He has hung up in the Heavens over my Head and Spread out in the Fields of Nature around me those glorious Shows and appearances with which my Eyes and my Imagination are extremely delighted. I am pleased with the beautiful Appearance of the Flower, and still more pleased with the Prospect of Forrest and of Meadows, of verdant (lush vegetation) Fields and Mountains covered with Flocks, but I am thrown into a kind of Transport when I behold the amazing Concave (inward curve) of Heaven sprinkled and glittering with Stars. That Being has bestowed upon some of the Vegetable species a fragrance that can almost as agreeably entertain our sense of smell. He has so wonderfully constituted (created) the Air we live in, that by giving it a particular Kind of Vibration, it produces in us as intense sensations of Pleasure as the organs of our Bodies can bear in all the varieties of Harmony and Concord (same mind). But all the Provision (gifts) that He has made for the Gratification of my senses, though very engaging Instances of Kindness, are much inferior to the Provisions for the Gratification of my nobler Powers of Intelligence and Reason. He has given me Reason to find out the Truth, and the real Design of my Existence here, and has made all Endeavors to promote that Design, agreeable to my mind, and attended (been present) with a conscious Pleasure and Complacency. On the Contrary, He has made a different Course of Life, a Course of Impiety (Abuse) and Injustice (Inequality), of Malevolence (spite) and Intemperance (excess), appear shocking and deformed to my first Reflection. He has made my Mind capable of receiving an infinite Variety of Ideas from those numerous material Objects with which we are environed (enclosed). And of retaining, compounding and arranging the vigorous Impressions which we receive from these into all the Varieties of Picture and of Figure. By inquiring into the Situation, Produce, Manufactures &c. of our own, and by travailing into, or reading about other Countries, I can gain distinct Ideas of almost every Thing upon this Earth at present, and by looking into history I can settle in my mind a clear and a Comprehensive View of the Earth at its Creation, of its various Changes and Revolutions, of its progressive Improvement, sudden Depopulation by a Deluge, and its gradual Re peopling, of the Growth of several Kingdoms and Empires, of their Wealth and Commerce, their Wars and Politics, of the Characters of their principal Leading Men, of their Grandeur and Power their Virtues and Vices, of their insensible Decays at first, and of their swift Destruction at last. In fine we can attend the Earth from its Nativity, through all the various Turns of Fortune, through all its successive Changes, through all the Events that happen on its surface, and all the successive Generations of Mankind, to the final Conflagration, when the whole Earth with its appendages shall be consumed by the furious Element of Fire.

  Conscious Liberty for All

Washington believed that when the people learn the light of truth they would discard the darkness of an concealed falsity (lie, untruth).

From George Washington to Charles Mynn Thruston, 10 August 1794

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this we know, that it is not difficult by concealment of some facts, & the exaggeration of others, (where there is an influence) to biases a well-meaning mind—at least for a time—truth will ultimately prevail where pains is taken to bring it to light.

   Bolingbroke taught that History's greatest heroes individuals are endowed with a spirit of reason to restrain to bad inclinations and habits they are addicted to the most, then focus on following the will of the Creator.

Henry St John, Lord Viscount Bolingbroke
Letters on the Study and the Use of History

Letter III

Quote

there can be dispute, concerning that share which I ascribe to the study of history, in forming our moral characters, and making us better men. The very persons who pretend that inclinations cannot be restrained, nor habits corrected, against our natural bent, would be the first perhaps to prove, in certain cases, the contrary. A fortune at court, or the favors of a lady, have prevailed on many to conceal, and they could not conceal without restraining, which is one step towards correcting, the vices they were by nature addicted to the most. Shall we imagine now, that the beauty of virtue and the deformity of vice, the charms. If a bright and lasting reputation, the terror of being delivered over as criminals to all posterity, the real benefit arising from a conscientious discharge of the duty we owe to others, which benefit fortune can neither hinder nor take away, and the reasonableness of conforming ourselves to the designs of God manifested in the constitution of the human nature; shall we imagine, I say, that all these are not able to acquire the same power over those who are continually called upon to a contemplation of them, and they who apply themselves to the study of history are so called upon, as other motives, mean and sordid in comparison of these, can usurp on other men?

Claude Adrien Helvétius defined physical sensibility as an instinctual function of the mind to perceive then remember resemblance and differences in objects. This instinctual function also allows us to distinguish agreements or disagreements of ideas and show compassion for others in their time of need. Ideas that we take notice originate from individuals we trust and have acted to benefit our self interest. It is testimony of these trusted individuals that communicate impressions of pleasure and pain that give a basis of judging the truth of personal and public morality. It is the formation of these accepted ideas that gives us respect of others. Helvétius believed that we praise individuals that promote, support, and defend our self interest. At times the testimony individuals share with us give the illusion of honesty, but in reality stem from their personal self interest and not for our benefit. It is through our intellect that we must reason whether these testifiers are good or bad. If the the individual appears genuinely to believe that his testimony  is to our benefit, then we must look to the general interest of the people where the idea the originated.  

Helvétius explained that the concept of Liberty is the attainment of wisdom of knowledge on how to train our physical pleasure and pain instincts to remember and discern the truth to ideas and actions that make us happy or sad. Further,  he was of the opinion that the knowledge of Liberty can only be achieved  by an individual with no mental disability, paying close attention and connecting ideas that are being communicated about the subject. The more an individual discusses Liberty the greater one gains Wisdom to genuinely understand the concept of it.

Helvétius was  of the position the problem of misunderstanding Liberty was not only found in with individuals with mental conditions. Intelligent people with physical sensibility can process and adopt false ideas given by those who they trust and admire. Contextual associations can be linked to deliberative or unintentional false truths (misleading ideas) to agreed upon code (rules) of conduct made with fellow citizens by social contract. A false truth given by those that we have an instinct to love and admire can initiate a duty preserve and propagate the error.

De L'esprit, Or, Essays on the Mind, and Its Several Faculties
by Helvétius

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Preface

I desire but one favor of my reader, that is, to hear, before he condemns me; to the chain that unites all my ideas together; to be my judge, and and not of my party

I say then that the Physical Sensibility and Memory, or, to speak more exactly, the Sensibility alone produces our ideas, and in effect Memory can be nothing more than one of the organs of Physical Sensibility.

This principle being laid down, I farther say, that all the operations of the Mind consist in the power we have of perceiving resemblence and difference, the agreement or disagreement, of various objects among themselves. And this power, being the Physical Sensibility itself, everything is reducible to feeling.

Through internal Understanding if others do good then you feel happy and they do bad you will feel sad

If you only yourself you will not understand what is good and bad. In a social situation someone may either say something nice or mean to you and you might react in the wrong way. If you help others you will feel happy and good about yourself 

We have a moral instinct to love and help others in their time of need.

Essay II

Of the Mind Relatively to Society

Contents

It is proposed to prove in this discourse, that the same interest which influences the judgement we form on actions, and makes us consider them as virtuous, vicious, or allowable according as they are useful, prejudicial (harmful), or indifferent, with  respect to the public, equally influences the judgment we form of ideas; that, as well in subjects of morality, as in those of  genius, it is interest alone that dictates our judgments; a truth cannot be perceived in its full context, without considering probity (honesty) and genius, relatively, 1. to an individual; 2. to a small society; 3. to a nation; 4. to different ages and countries; and to 5. the whole world.

Essay II

Of the Mind Relatively to Society

Chapter 1

Page 37

Every individual judges of things or persons, by the agreeable or disagreeable impressions he receives from them; and the public is no more than an assemblage of al the individuals; therefore it cannot fail in making its interest the rule of its decisions.

The word interest is generally confined to the the love of money; but the intelligent reader will perceive that I use it in a more extensive sense; and that I apply it in general to whatever may procure us pleasure, or exempt us from pain.

Page 38

...personal interest alone dictates the judgment of individuals; while general interest dictates that of nations; and consequently that, in the public as in individuals, it is always love and gratitude that praises, and hatred and revenge that depreciates.

...interest is the only judge of Probity and the Understanding.

Essay II

Of Probity Relatively to the Individual 

Chapter II

Page 43

...personal interest is the only and universal estimator of the merit of human actions; and therefore, that Probity, with regard to an individual is, according to my definition, nothing more than the habitude of actions personally advantageous to this individual.

Chapter III

Of the Mind, or Understanding, With Regard to an Individual

Contents

...we esteem (respect) in others, only the ideas we have interest in esteeming.

Chapter IV

Of the Necessity We Are Under of Esteeming in Others Only Ourselves

Essay i 

Chapter 1

page 49

...the desire of esteem is common to all men; though some, to the pleasure of being admired, will add the merit of contemning (disdaining) admiration; but this contempt is not real, the person admired never thinking the admirer stupid; Now if all men are fond of esteem, every one, knowing, from experience, that his ideas will appear esteemable, or contemptible to other, only as they agree or clash with their own, the consequence is, that swayed by vanity, every one cannot help esteeming in others a conformity of ideas, which assure him of their esteem; and to hate in them an opposition of ideas, as a certain indication of their hatred; or, at least, of their contempt, which is to be considered as a corrective of hatred. But suppose a person should sacrifice his vanity (excessive pride) for the love of truth, if this person be not animated with the keenest desire of information, I say, that indolence (laziness) will allow him to have, for those opinions opposite to his own, on an esteem upon trust. In order to explain what I mean by an esteem upon trust, I shall distinguish esteem into two kinds, one, which may be considered as the effect, either of diference to public opinion, or of confidence in the judgement of certain persons; and this I call esteem upon trust. 

page 50

...Whether, after forming to ourselves a vague idea of the merit of those great geniuses, their admirers, in this idea, respect the work of their own admiration; or whether pretending to be judges of such a man as Newton, they think to share in eugiums (praise) they so profusely (excessively) bestow on him. This kind of esteem, which our ignorance often obliges us to use, is, from that very circumstance, the most general. Nothing is so uncommon as to judge according to our own sentiments (opinion).  

The other kind of esteem is that which, independently of the opinions of others, is produced solely by the impression made on us by certain ideas; and therefore I call it Felt-esteem, because the only real esteem, and that which is here meant. Now, in order to prove, that indolence (laziness) allows us to grant this kind of esteem only to ideas analogous to our own, it will be suffient to observe that, as geometry sensibly proves, by the analogy of secret relations which ideas already known have with unknown ideas, we obtain a knowledge of the latter; and that, by following the progression of these analogies, we may attain the utmost perfection of a science; it follows, that ideas of no analogy with our own, would be unintelligible ideas. But it will be said, there are no ideas which have not necessarily some relation, as they would otherwise be universally unknown.

Let a manuscript work be put into the hands of seven men of genius, equally free from prepossessions (preconception) or prejudice, and let them be separately desired to mark the most striking of passages; each of them will underline different places; and if, afterwards, the approved passages be compared with the genius and temper of the approver, each will be found to have praised only the ideas analogous to his manner of seeing and perceiving; and understanding is, if I may be allowed the expression, a string that vibrates only with the unison.

...it must be acknowledged, that the only difference between the learned, or men of wit, and the common, is, that the former having a greater number of ideas, their sphere of analogies is much more extensive. If the question relates to species of wit, very different from what he is master of, the man of genius, who is, in all respects, like other men, esteems only those ideas that are analogous to his own.

Now, if superior men, entirely absorbed in their respective kinds of study, and not susceptible of a Felt-esteem, for a species of genius too different from their own, every author

Page 53

who abounds with new ideas can only expect esteem from two sorts of men; either young persons, who, by not previously adopting any opinion, have still the desire and leisure of informing themselves; or of those whose minds, being desirous of truth, and analogous to that of the author, had previously some glimpse of the existence of these ideas. But the number of such men has always been very small. This retards the progress of the human mind; and hence the extreme slowness of which every truth comes displayed to the eyes of all the world.

...It appears, from what has been just said, that most men, subject to indolence, form a perfect conception only of those ideas that analogous (comparable) to their own; that they only a Felt-esteem for no other that this kind of ideas; and hence proceeds that high opinion which ever one is, in a manner, forced to have of himself; an opinion which the moralists whould not, perhaps, have attributed to pride, had they been more thoroughly aquainted with the principles laid down. They would have been sensible, that the sacred respect and the profound admiration, which, when alone, they often feel for themselves, can be nothing more than an effect of the necessity we were

I say then that the Physical Sensibility and Memory, or, to speak more exactly, the Sensibility alone produces our ideas, and in effect Memory can be nothing more than one of the organs of Physical Sensibility.

This principle being laid down, I farther say, that all the operations of the Mind consist in the power we have of perceiving resemblence and difference, the agreement or disagreement, of various objects among themselves. And this power, being the Physical Sensibility itself, everything is reducible to feeling.

Through internal Understanding if others do good then you feel happy and they do bad you will feel sad

If you only yourself you will not understand what is good and bad. In a social situation someone may either say something nice or mean to you and you might react in the wrong way. If you help others you will feel happy and good about yourself 

We have a moral instinct to love and help others in their time of need.

Essay II

Of the Mind Relatively to Society

Contents

It is proposed to prove in this discourse, that the same interest which influences the judgement we form on actions, and makes us consider them as virtuous, vicious, or allowable according as they are useful, prejudicial (harmful), or indifferent, with  respect to the public, equally influences the judgment we form of ideas; that, as well in subjects of morality, as in those of  genius, it is interest alone that dictates our judgments; a truth cannot be perceived in its full context, without considering probity (honesty) and genius, relatively, 1. to an individual; 2. to a small society; 3. to a nation; 4. to different ages and countries; and to 5. the whole world.

Essay II

Of the Mind Relatively to Society

Chapter 1

Page 37

Every individual judges of things or persons, by the agreeable or disagreeable impressions he receives from them; and the public is no more than an assemblage of al the individuals; therefore it cannot fail in making its interest the rule of its decisions.

The word interest is generally confined to the the love of money; but the intelligent reader will perceive that I use it in a more extensive sense; and that I apply it in general to whatever may procure us pleasure, or exempt us from pain.

Page 38

...personal interest alone dictates the judgment of individuals; while general interest dictates that of nations; and consequently that, in the public as in individuals, it is always love and gratitude that praises, and hatred and revenge that depreciates.

...interest is the only judge of Probity and the Understanding.

Essay II

Of Probity Relatively to the Individual 

Chapter II

Page 43

...personal interest is the only and universal estimator of the merit of human actions; and therefore, that Probity, with regard to an individual is, according to my definition, nothing more than the habitude of actions personally advantageous to this individual.

Chapter III

Of the Mind, or Understanding, With Regard to an Individual

Contents

...we esteem (respect) in others, only the ideas we have interest in esteeming.

Chapter IV

Of the Necessity We Are Under of Esteeming in Others Only Ourselves

Essay i 

Chapter 1

page 49

...the desire of esteem is common to all men; though some, to the pleasure of being admired, will add the merit of contemning (disdaining) admiration; but this contempt is not real, the person admired never thinking the admirer stupid; Now if all men are fond of esteem, every one, knowing, from experience, that his ideas will appear esteemable, or contemptible to other, only as they agree or clash with their own, the consequence is, that swayed by vanity, every one cannot help esteeming in others a conformity of ideas, which assure him of their esteem; and to hate in them an opposition of ideas, as a certain indication of their hatred; or, at least, of their contempt, which is to be considered as a corrective of hatred. But suppose a person should sacrifice his vanity (excessive pride) for the love of truth, if this person be not animated with the keenest desire of information, I say, that indolence (laziness) will allow him to have, for those opinions opposite to his own, on an esteem upon trust. In order to explain what I mean by an esteem upon trust, I shall distinguish esteem into two kinds, one, which may be considered as the effect, either of diference to public opinion, or of confidence in the judgement of certain persons; and this I call esteem upon trust. 

page 50

...Whether, after forming to ourselves a vague idea of the merit of those great geniuses, their admirers, in this idea, respect the work of their own admiration; or whether pretending to be judges of such a man as Newton, they think to share in eugiums (praise) they so profusely (excessively) bestow on him. This kind of esteem, which our ignorance often obliges us to use, is, from that very circumstance, the most general. Nothing is so uncommon as to judge according to our own sentiments (opinion).  

The other kind of esteem is that which, independently of the opinions of others, is produced solely by the impression made on us by certain ideas; and therefore I call it Felt-esteem, because the only real esteem, and that which is here meant. Now, in order to prove, that indolence (laziness) allows us to grant this kind of esteem only to ideas analgous to our own, it will be suffient to observe that, as geometry sensibly proves, by the analogy of secret relations which ideas already known have with unknown ideas, we obtain a knowledge of the latter; and that, by following the progession of these analogies, we may attain the utmost perfection of a science; it follows, that ideas of no analogy with our own, would be unitelligible ideas. But it will be said, there are no ideas which have not necessarily some relation, as they would otherwise be universally unknown.

Let a manuscript work be put into the hands of seven men of genius, equally free from prepossessions (preconception) or prejudice, and let them be seperately desired to mark the most striking of passages; each of them will underline different places; and if, afterwards, the approved passages be compared with the genius and temper of the approver, each will be found to have praised only the ideas analogous to his manner of seeing and perceiving; and understanding is, if I may be allowed the expression, a string that vibrates only with the unison.

...it must be acknowledged, that the only difference between the learned, or men of wit, and the common, is, that the former having a greater number of ideas, their sphere of analogies is much more extensive. If the question relates to species of wit, very different from what he is master of, the man of genius, who is, in all respects, like other men, esteems only those ideas that are analogous to his own.

Now, if superior men, entirely absorbed in their respective kinds of study, and not susceptible of a Felt-esteem, for a species of genius too different from their own, every author

Page 53

who abounds with new ideas can only expect esteem from two sorts of men; either young persons, who, by not previously adopting any opinion, have still the desire and leisure of informing themselves; or of those whose minds, being desirious of truth, and analogous to that of the author, had previously some glimpse of the existence of these ideas. But the number of such men has always been very small. This retards the progress of the human mind; and hence the extreme slowness of which every truth comes displayed to the eyes of all the world.

...It appears, from what has been just said, that most men, subject to indolence, form a perfect conception only of those ideas that analogous (comparable) to their own; that they only a Felt-esteem for no other that this kind of ideas; and hence proceeds that high opinion which ever one is, in a manner, forced to have of himself; an opinion which the moralists whould not, perhaps, have attributed to pride, had they been more thoroughly aquainted with the principles laid down. They would have been sensible, that the sacred respect and the profound admiration, which, when alone, they often feel for themselves, can be nothing more than an effect of the necessity we were under a higher esteem of ourselves that for others. 

Chapter V

Page 57

Of Probity in Relation to Private Societies

Certain virtuous societies indeed frequently appear to lay aside their own interest to judge the actions of men, in conformity to the interest of the public; but in this they only gratify the passion which an enlightened pride gives them for virtue; and consequently, like all other societies, obey the law of personal interest.

... in each society private interest is the only distributor of the esteem bestowed on account of human actions.

... interest is the only judge of the merit of men's actions

Page 60

Chapter VI

Of the Means of Securing Virtue

A Prince has a thousand places to bestow; he must fill them up; and he cannot avoid rendering a thousand people happy. Here then his virtue depends only on the justice and injustice of his choice. If, when a place of importance is vacant, he gives it from friendship, from weakness, from solicitation, or from indolance, to a man of moderate abilities, preference to another of superior talents, he ought to be considered unjust, whatever praises others may bestow on his probity.

In the affair of probity, he ought to only consult and listen to the public interest, and not to men by whom he is surrounded; for personal interest too often leads him into an illusion.

In courts, this interest gives falsehood the name of prudence (wisdom), and that of stupidity to truth, which it there considered at at least as a folly, and must be considered as much.

offensive virtues will always be considered in the rank of faults.

...in the case of probity counsel is not to be taken from private connections, but only the interest of the public: he who constantly consults it will have all his acions directed either immediately to the public utility, or to the advantage of individuals, without their being detrimental to the state.

The person who succors merit in distress gives undoubtedly an example of beneficence (charity) conformable to the general interest; he pays the tax which probity imposes on riches.

Chapter VII

Of the Understanding in Relation to Particular Societies

...society weighs in the same balance of merit of not always being comformable to the general interest, them must, in consequence of this, form very different judgments of the same subjects from those of the public.

If we are under a necessity of pursuing happiness whenever we discern it, we are at least at liberty in making choice of the means for procuring our happiness. Yes, I know the answer; but then Liberty is only synonymous term for Knowledge. The more or less a person understands the law, or the more or less eligible will be his measures (discernment). But, whatever conduct be, the desire of happiness will always induce him to take those measures which appear to him the best calculated to promote his interest, his dispositions (character), his passions, and in fine, whatever accounts his happiness.

Chapter VIII

Of the Difference Between the Judgements of the Public and those of Private Societies

...societies must affix great esteem to what is called good breeding and polite conversation.

Chapter XI

On Probity in Relation to the Public 

...general interest regulates judgement formed by the public of the actions of men.

Chapter XII

Of Genius in Relation to the Public 

...the esteem of the public for the ideas of men is always proportioned to the interest people have in esteeming them

Chapter XVIII

The Principal Effects of Despotic Power

...viziers have no interest in obtaining instruction, or supporting censure; that, being taken from the body of the citizens, they, on entering into place, have no principles of justice or skill in the art of government; and cannot form clear ideas of virtue.

Chapter XX

Of Genius, Considered in Relation to Different Countries

...the interest of among all nations, is the dispenser, of the esteem granted to the ideas of men; and that of nations, always faithful to the interest of their vanity, extreem in other nations only such ideas as are analogous to their own.

Chapter XXII

...vanity rules nations as well as individuals; that every one obeys the law of interest; and if consequently each nation has such an esteem for  morality as it out to have for that science, it is because morality is still in its cradle, and seems to hitherto of no use to the world.

Chapter XXVI

...interest, as we propose to prove, is the only dispenser of the esteem and contempt affixed to the actions and ideas of men.

Essay III

Chapter III

Of the Extent of Memory

Page 202

...attention alone may engrave in the memory the subjects that, without attention, would only make insensible impressions upon us

...to judge whether a defect of memory is in men an effect of their inattention, or an imperfection in their organs, we must have recourse to experience.

The extent of memory therefore depends on the daily use made of it: secondly, on the attention with which we consider the objects we would impress upon it, and which without attention,..., would only slight traces that would be easily effaced; and thirdly, on the order in which we range our ideas. To this order we are all prodigies of memory; it consists in uniting together all our ideas, and consequently charging the memory only with such objects as by their nature, or the manner in which they are considered, preserve between them a connection sufficient to recal each other.

page 203

The frequent representations of the same objects to the memory are in a manner so many touches of the graver, which cuts them deeper in proportion to the frequency with which they are represented. 

...the sagacity (wisdom) of mind in one person, that is, the promptitude (timeliness) with which one man is struck with the force of truth (revelation), frequently depends on the analogy of that truth with the objects about which he is employed. He cannot catch it by perceiving all its connections without rejecting all the ideas that first presented themselves to his rememberance, and without turning up-side down the whole magazine of of his memory, to search for the ideas connected with that truth.

This is the reason why so many men are insensible to the exposition of certain facts, for those truths shake the whole chain of their thoughts, by awakening a great number of ideas in their minds.

under a higher esteem of ourselves that for others. 

Chapter V

Page 57

Of Probity in Relation to Private Societies

Certain virtuous societies indeed frequently appear to lay aside their own interest to judge the actions of men, in conformity to the interest of the public; but in this they only gratify the passion which an enlightened pride gives them for virtue; and consequently, like all other societies, obey the law of personal interest.

... in each society private interest is the only distributor of the esteem bestowed on account of human actions.

... interest is the only judge of the merit of men's actions

Page 60

Chapter VI

Of the Means of Securing Virtue

A Prince has a thousand places to bestow; he must fill them up; and he cannot avoid rendering a thousand people happy. Here then his virtue depends only on the justice and injustice of his choice. If, when a place of importance is vacant, he gives it from friendship, from weakness, from solicitation, or from indolance, to a man of moderate abilities, preference to another of superior talents, he ought to be considered unjust, whatever praises others may bestow on his probity.

In the affair of probity, he ought to only consult and listen to the public interest, and not to men by whom he is surrounded; for personal interest too often leads him into an illusion.

In courts, this interest gives falsehood the name of prudence (wisdom), and that of stupidity to truth, which it there considered at at least as a folly, and must be considered as much.

offensive virtues will always be considered in the rank of faults.

...in the case of probity counsel is not to be taken from private connections, but only the interest of the public: he who constantly consults it will have all his acions directed either immediately to the public utility, or to the advantage of individuals, without their being detrimental to the state.

The person who succours merit in distress gives undoubtedly an example of beneficience (charity) comformable to the general interest; he pays the tax which probity imposes on riches.

Chapter VII

Of the Understanding in Relation to Particular Societies

...society weighs in the same balance of merit of not always being comformable to the general interest, them must, in consequence of this, form very different judgments of the same subjects from those of the public.

If we are under a necessity of pursuing happiness whenever we discern it, we are at least at liberty in making choice of the means for procuring our happiness. Yes, I know the answer; but then Liberty is only synomimous term for Knowledge. The more or less a person understands the law, or the more or less eligible will be his measures (discernment). But, whatever conduct be, the desire of happiness will always induce him to take those measures which appear to him the best calculated to promote his interest, his dispositions (character), his passions, and in fine, whatever accounts his happiness.

Chapter VIII

Of the Difference Between the Judgements of the Public and those of Private Societies

...societies must affix great esteem to what is called good breeding and polite conversation.

Chapter XI

On Probity in Relation to the Public 

...general interest regulates judgement formed by the public of the actions of men.

Chapter XII

Of Genius in Relation to the Public 

...the esteem of the public for the ideas of men is alway proportioned to the interest people have in esteeming them

Chapter XVIII

The Principal Effects of Depotic Power

...viziers have no interest in obtaining instruction, or supporting censure; that, being taken from the body of the citizens, they, on entering into place, have no principles of justice or skill in the art of government; and cannot form clear ideas of virtue.

Chapter XX

Of Genius, Considered in Relation to Different Countries

...the interest of among all nations, is the dispenser, of the esteem granted to the ideas of men; and that of nations, always faithful to the interest of their vanity, exteem in other nations only such ideas as are analogous to their own.

Chapter XXII

...vanity rules nations as well as individuals; that every one obeys the law of interest; and if consequently each nation has such an esteem for  morality as it out to have for that science, it is because morality is still in its cradle, and seems to hitherto of no use to the world.

Chapter XXVI

...interest, as we propose to prove, is the only dispenser of the esteem and contempt affixed to the actions and ideas of men.

Essay III

Chapter III

Of the Extent of Memory

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...attention alone may engrave in the memory the subjects that, without attention, would only make insensible impressions upon us

...to judge whether a defect of memory is in men an effect of their inattention, or an imperfection in their organs, we must have recourse to experience.

The extent of memory therefore depends on the daily use made of it: secondly, on the attention with which we consider the objects we would impress upon it, and which without attention,..., would only slight traces that would be easily effaced; and thirdly, on the order in which we range our ideas. To this order we are all prodigies of memory; it consists in uniting together all our ideas, and consequently charging the memory only with such objects as by their nature, or the manner in which they are considered, preserve between them a connection sufficient to recal each other.

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The frequent representations of the same objects to the memory are in a manner so many touches of the graver, which cuts them deeper in proportion to the frequency with which they are represented. 

...the sagacity (wisdom) of mind in one person, that is, the promptitude (timeliness) with which one man is struck with the force of truth (revelation), frequently depends on the analogy of that truth with the objects about which he is employed. He cannot catch it by perceiving all its connections without rejecting all the ideas that first presented themselves to his rememberance, and without turning up-side down the whole magazine of of his memory, to search for the ideas connected with that truth.

This is the reason why so many men are insensible to the exposition of certain facts, for those truths shake the whole chain of their thoughts, by awakening a great number of ideas in their minds.

If we are to implicitly believe that the Will of Our Creator is Natural law. Then we can implicitly believe it was the Will of the Creator to give mankind reason to decide what actions in life will bring us happiness or misery. It is the testimony of both prophets and philosophers that the path of happiness is making the choice to follow the greater good at the expense of lesser evil. It is up to government and religious leaders to properly guard Citizens with the use of reason over personal inclinations and be happy with the blessing our Creator has given. It is up to our citizen patriots to understand that the common happiness of Civil Liberty depends on the importance of individual duty in submitting to what the law and government permits, which  firmly opposes evil corruption and promotes the common good. 
Jefferson considered supreme happiness to not come from nobility or priests, but rather from having faith that Nature (Creator) has given us a sense of justice through the cherishment of others. It is also my opinion, that Jefferson also also reasoned against selfish false teachings that man bestowed aristocracy the hereditary right to govern and judge one's fate. It will be through the false teaching of fearing others without sound reason that can as a consequence destroy established law and order built by free men. 

From Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 12 June 1823

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...ours, on the contrary, was to maintain the will of the majority of the Convention, and of the people themselves. We believed with them that man was a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights, and with an innate (natural) sense of justice, and that he could be restrained from wrong, & protected in right, by moderate powers, confided to persons of his own choice, and held to their duties by dependence on his own willwe believe that the complicated organization of kings, nobles, and priests was not the wisest nor best to effect the happiness of associated man; that wisdom and virtue were not hereditary (legacy); that the trappings of such a machinery consumed, by their expense, those earnings of industry they were meant to protect, and, by the inequalities they produced, exposed liberty to sufferance. We believed that men, enjoying in ease and security the full fruits of their own industry, enlisted by all their interests on the side of law and order, habituated (became accustomed) to think for themselves and to follow their reason as their guide, would be more easily and safely governed than with minds nourished in error, and vitiated (spoiled) and debased (wicked), as in Europe, by ignorance, indigence (poverty) and oppression. The cherishment of the people then was our principle, the fear and distrust of them that of the other party. Composed, as we were, of the landed and laboring interests of the country, we could not be less anxious for a government of law and order than were the inhabitants of the cities, the strong holds of federalism. And whether our efforts to save the principles and form of our constitution have not been salutary (satisfactory), let the present republican freedom, order and prosperity of our country determine.

The Call of Duty

 

 Trust is an essential elixir for maintaining National Unity.  Our Founders understood that elected leaders must be held to the highest standards in their service to protect America's Independence and Liberty. Otherwise, leaders may lose public trust that their actions are for the common good.

The Federalist Papers : No. 57

The Alleged Tendency of the New Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many Considered in Connection with Representation

From the New York Packet
Tuesday, February 19, 1788.

Author: Alexander Hamilton or James Madison

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 The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust

   

 

 Liberty: A Path To Its Recovery
by F.A. Harper

Page 44

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...it is, in fact, a main purpose of liberty that the blind are free to follow those who can see. The danger is that in the absence of liberty the blind may become authorized to lead those who can see—by a chain around their necks!

Jefferson and Washington taught the honor in focusing on the welfare of the People of all nations and religions. And to be on guard against those that pursue their own self interest and personal advantage over Civility of accepted conduct.

 Notes on the State of Virginia:
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826

QUERY XVII

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Our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. If it be said, his testimony in a Court of Justice cannot be relied on, reject it then, and be the stigma on him. Constraint may make him worse by making him a hypocrite, but it will never make him a truer man. It may fix him obstinately in his errors, but will not cure them. Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free inquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free inquiry been indulged, at the era of the Reformation, the corruptions of Christianity could not have been purged away. If it be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged.

As a pastor and evangelist, Elder John Leland believed it was of the utmost importance to safeguard their individual civil rights, religious freedom. Elder John Leland preached to the Citizens of Connecticut his observations of  influence and power American Citizens bestow upon their Representatives. 

 The Rights of Conscience Inalienable, by John Leland (1791)

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I shall ask the citizens of Connecticut, whether, in the months of April and September, when they choose their deputies for the assembly, they mean to surrender to them the rights of conscience, and authorize them to make laws binding on their consciences. If not, then all such acts are contrary to the intention of constituent (appoints, elects) power, as well as unconstitutional and antiChristian.

Congress gives Washington the Power to Command the Military

George Washington to the Executive Committee of the Continental Congress, 1 January 1777

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Yours of the 31st last Month, incloses me sundry Resolves of Congress, by which I find, they have done me the honor to intrust me with powers, in my military Capacity, of the highest Nature and al〈most〉 unlimited in extent. Instead of thinking myself free’d from all civil Obligations, by this mark of their Confidence, I shall constantly bear in Mind, that as the Sword was the last Resort for the preservation of our Liberties, so it ought to be the first thing laid aside, when those Liberties are firmly established.

 President George Washington believed that Love and Humility (Subordination) were necessary factors in achieving Happiness. When a group of Continental Army soldiers overtook Independence Hall, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, President Washington wrote a letter to Congress to be Public Notice to all Citizens of the United States. The notice was written in response to soldiers demanded back pay for their services to the federal government. President Washington understood the importance of calming the soldiers. He reminded them of the obedience to their oath.  George Washington's National responsibilities and experiences as Commander-in-chief bestowed upon him the wisdom of the broader view of the proper communication to the United States institutions and more importantly, its Citizens. 

From George Washington to The States, 8 June 1783

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I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you and the State over which you preside, in His Holy Protection that He would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination & obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field—and finally that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do Justice, to love mercy and to demean (deprive our ego), with that charity, humility & pacific (peaceful) temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion & without a Humble Imitation of whose example in these things, we can never Hope to be a Happy Nation

 During the Revolutionary War, oaths of allegiance were administered to officers of the Continental Army under General Washington. These officers swore to defend the Free, Independent and Sovereign States against King George. 

Extract from the minutes, CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.

Four resolutions of the Continental Congress concerning the loyalty oath.
Signed: Extract from the minutes, Charles Thomson, secretary.
Journals of the Continental Congress, 197

In Congress, February 3, 1778

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IN CONGRESS, FEBRUARY 3, 1778.

RESOLVED, THAT every officer, who holds or shall hereafter hold a commission or office from Congress, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation;

“I do acknowledge the United States of America, to be Free, Independent and Sovereign States, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the Third, King of Great-Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear (or affirm) that I will to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States, against the said King George the Third, his heirs and successors and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents and will serve the said United States in the office of which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding.” So help me God.

 

After the Revolutionary war, General Washington relinquished his power to serve under the Creator and the Charter of the United States Constitution. It was President Washington's hope that the Creator would bless America with Liberty and Happiness.

George Washington, December 23, 1783, Resignation Address

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Mr. President: The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place; I have now the honor of offering my sincere Congratulations to Congress and of presenting myself before them to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the Service of my Country.

Happy in the confirmation of our Independence and Sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable Nation, I resign with satisfaction the Appointment I accepted with diffidence (modesty). A diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task, which however was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude (righteousness) of our Cause, the support of the Supreme Power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.

...The Successful termination of the War has verified the most sanguine expectations, and my gratitude for the interposition of Providence, and the assistance I have received from my Countrymen, increases with every review of the momentous Contest.

I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to his holy keeping.

Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theater of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.

In Washington's farewell address our Nation's Founding Father stressed that WE THE PEOPLE must always be on the lookout for those  individuals, organizations, and outside nations that desire to weaken our Unity of tranquility, peace, and prosperity. Furthermore, there will be always a cost (expense, debt) of gratitude to share in safeguarding a Social contract that promotes the Happiness of ALL its Citizens (WE THE PEOPLE). More importantly, we must have Respect and Admiration (Love) for All PEOPLE, Foreign and Domestic.

Transcript of President George Washington's Farewell Address (1796)

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The Unity of government which constitutes you One People is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real Independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices (tricks, deception) employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your National Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium (safeguard) of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing (disapprove) whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly (displeasure) frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble (weaken) the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation (title) derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

 

 Like Bolingbroke, Blackstone wrote that it is the duty of those who Nature (Creator) and Fortune (Grace) have bestowed abilities and time to serve their country and master their understanding of its Civil Laws.  It is the power of these Civil Laws that protects all Citizens from physical and mental injury by fellow countryman and foreigners. It is the power of these Civil laws which Civil Liberty is derived.  Liberty is what is that which those that govern the land permits. 

INTRODUCTION. Of the Study, Nature, and Extent of the Laws of England.

SECTION I.

ON THE STUDY OF THE LAW.

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And, first, to demonstrate the utility of some acquaintance with the laws of the land, let us only reflect a moment on the singular frame and polity of that land which is governed by this system of laws. A land, perhaps, the only one in the universe, in which political or civil liberty is the very end and scope of the constitution. This liberty, rightly understood, consists in the power of doing whatever the laws permit, which is only to be effected by a general conformity of all orders and degrees to those equitable rules of action by which the meanest [small minded] individual is protected from the insults and oppression of the greatest. As therefore every subject is interested in the preservation of the laws, it is incumbent upon every man to be acquainted with those at least with which he is immediately concerned; lest he incur the censure, as well as inconvenience, of living in society without knowing the obligations which it lays him under. And thus much may suffice for persons of inferior condition, who have neither time nor capacity to enlarge their views beyond that contracted sphere in which they are appointed to move. But those, on whom nature and fortune have bestowed more abilities and greater leisure, cannot be so easily excused. These advantages are given them, not for the benefit of themselves only, but also of the public: and yet they cannot, in any scene of life, discharge properly their duty either to the public or themselves, without some degree of knowledge in the laws.

All gentlemen of fortune are, in consequence of their property, liable to be called upon to establish the rights, to estimate the injuries, to weigh the accusations and sometimes to dispose of the lives of their fellow-subjects, by serving upon juries. In this situation they have frequently a right to decide, and that upon their oaths, questions of nice importance, in the solution of which some legal skill is requisite; especially where the law and the fact, as it often happens, are intimately blended together. And the general incapacity, even of our best juries, to do this with any tolerable propriety, has greatly debased their authority; and has unavoidably thrown more power into the hands of the judges, to direct, control, and even reverse their verdicts, than perhaps the constitution intended.

Yet farther; most gentlemen of considerable property, at some period or other in their lives, are ambitious of representing their country in parliament: and those, who are ambitious of receiving so high a trust, would also do well to remember its nature and importance. They are not thus honorably distinguished from the rest of their fellow-subjects, merely that they may privilege their persons, their estates, or their domestics; that they may list under party banners; may grant or withhold supplies; may vote with or vote against a popular or unpopular administration; but upon considerations far more interesting and important. They are the guardians of the English constitution; the makers, repealers, and interpreters of the English laws; delegated to watch, to check, and to avert every dangerous innovation, to propose, to adopt, and to cherish any solid and well-weighed improvement; bound by every tie of nature, of honor, and of religion, to transmit that constitution and those laws to posterity, amended if possible, at least without any derogation. And how unbecoming must it appear in a member of the legislature to vote for a new law, who is utterly ignorant of the old! 

...the science of legislation, the noblest and most difficult of any. Apprenticeships are held necessary to almost every art, commercial or mechanical: a long course of reading and study must form the divine, the physician, and the practical professor of the laws; but every man of superior fortune thinks himself born a legislator. Yet Tully was of a different opinion: “It is necessary,” says he,“for a senator to be thoroughly acquainted with the constitution; and this,” he declares, “is a knowledge of the most extensive nature; a matter of science, of diligence, of reflection; without which no senator can possibly be fit for his office.”


The Free Exercise Clause of the United States Constitution gives Citizens and legal foreign guests Liberty to reach, hold, practice and change beliefs freely according to our individual rights of conscience.  The United States government may not penalize or discriminate against an individual or a group of individuals because of their religious views, nor may it compel persons to affirm any particular beliefs.

United States Supreme Court

EPPERSON ET AL. V. ARKANSAS.
APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF ARKANSAS.
No. 7. Argued October 16, 1968.-Decided November 12, 1968.

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The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.

Benjamin Franklin was 81 years old and nearing the end of his life when the Constitutional Convention, also known as the Philadelphia Convention, met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May 25 to September 17, 1787.  Franklin’s voice was too weak to speak, so he put a paper into James Wilson's hand to read aloud containing his reasons for assenting to the Constitution. Considering all the different points of view of Representatives at the convention, Franklin thought it was remarkable that the Constitution was a superior document of collective wisdom.

Benjamin Franklin's Final Speech

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Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain french lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said "I don't know how it happens, Sister but I meet with no body but myself, that's always in the right — Il n'y a que moi qui a toujours raison. (It's just me that always has reason)."

I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. 

 

 MR. JUSTICE BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.

United States Supreme Court

EVERSON v. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF EWING ET AL.
APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF ERRORS AND APPEALS OF NEW JERSEY.
No. 52. Argued November 20, 1946.-Decided February 10, 1947.

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The First Amendment, as made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth commands that a state "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . ." These words of the First Amendment reflected in the minds of early Americans a vivid mental picture of conditions and practices which they fervently wished to stamp out in order to preserve liberty for themselves and for their posterity. Doubtless their goal has not been entirely reached; but so far has the Nation moved
toward it that the expression "law respecting an establishment of religion," probably does not so vividly remind present-day Americans of the evils, fears, and political problems that caused that expression to be written into our Bill of Rights.

Whether this New Jersey law is one respecting an "establishment of religion" requires an understanding of the meaning of that language, particularly with respect to the imposition of taxes. Once again, therefore, it is not inappropriate briefly to review the background and environment of the period in which that constitutional language was fashioned and adopted.

A large proportion of the early settlers of this country came here from Europe to escape the bondage of laws which compelled them to support and attend government favored churches. The centuries immediately before and contemporaneous with the colonization of America had been filled with turmoil, civil strife, and persecutions, generated in large part by established sects determined to maintain their absolute political and religious supremacy.

With the power of government supporting them, at various times and places, Catholics had persecuted Protestants, Protestants had persecuted Catholics, Protestant sects had persecuted other Protestant sects, Catholics of one shade of belief had persecuted Catholics of another shade of belief, and all of these had from time to time persecuted Jews. In efforts to force loyalty to whatever religious group happened to be on top and in league with the government of a particular time and place, men and women had been fined, cast in jail, cruelly tortured, and killed.

Among the offenses for which these punishments had been inflicted were such things as speaking disrespectfully of the views of ministers of government-established churches, non-attendance at those churches, expressions of nonbelief in their doctrines, and failure to pay taxes and tithes to support them.

These practices of the old world were transplanted to and began to thrive in the soil of the new America. The very charters granted by the English Crown to the individuals and companies designated to make the laws which would control the destinies of the colonials authorized these individuals and companies to erect religious establishments which all, whether believers or non-believers, would be required to support and attend.'

An exercise of this authority was accompanied by a repetition of many of the old-world practices and persecutions. Catholics found themselves hounded and proscribed because of their faith; Quakers who followed their conscience went to jail; Baptists were peculiarly obnoxious to certain dominant Protestant sects; men and women of varied faiths who happened to be in a minority in a particular locality were persecuted because they steadfastly persisted in worshipping God only as their own consciences dictated.' And all of these dissenters were compelled to pay tithes and taxes to support government-sponsored churches whose ministers preached inflammatory sermons designed to strengthen and consolidate the established faith by generating a burning hatred against dissenters. These practices became so commonplace as to shock the freedom-loving colonials into a feeling of abhorrence." The imposition of taxes to pay ministers' salaries and to build and maintain churches and church property aroused their indignation.'

It was these feelings which found expression in the First Amendment. No one locality and no one group throughout the Colonies can rightly be given entire credit for having aroused the sentiment that culminated in adoption of the Bill of Rights' provisions embracing religious liberty. But Virginia, where the established church had achieved a dominant influence in political affairs and where many excesses attracted wide public attention, provided a great stimulus and able leadership for the movement. The people there, as elsewhere, reached the conviction that individual religious liberty could be achieved best under a government which was stripped of all power to tax, to support, or otherwise to assist any or all religions, or to interfere with the beliefs of any religious individual or group.

The movement toward this end reached its dramatic climax in Virginia in 1785-86 when the Virginia legislative body was about to renew Virginia's tax levy for the support of the established church. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison led the fight against this tax. Madison wrote his great Memorial and Remonstrance against the law." In it, he eloquently argued that a true religion did not need the support of law; that no person, either believer or non-believer, should be taxed to support a religious institution of any kind; that the best interest of a society required that the minds of men always be wholly free; and that cruel persecutions were the inevitable result of government-established religions.

Madison's Remonstrance received strong support throughout Virginia," and the Assembly postponed consideration of the proposed tax measure until its next session. When the proposal came up for consideration at that session, it not only died in committee, but the Assembly enacted the famous "Virginia Bill for Religious Liberty" originally written by Thomas Jefferson. 

 From George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, 18 August 1790

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The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

As the primary author of the United States Declaration of Independence , Thomas Jefferson understood the liberty of choice our Creator has given us to pursuit the wisdom of life and prosperity or suffer the evils of death and destruction. The truth of choice that the followers of religion and/or nature, universally agree upon is defined as 'self evident.' 

History shows that people evolve both physically, mentally, spiritually, and culturally. Individuals, groups, educational institutions, political parties, religions, and even nation states may resistant to change. They find comfort living in an environment they grew up in. And when the environment changes due to a human modification or disregard of a particular custom, individuals may become agitated and possibly hostile. That is why civility of clear and concise communication is important to better understand a proposed change. Jefferson knew through experience,  Activist and Politicians like himself become hypersensitive to any proposal of change. 

Proposals to Revise the Virginia Constitution:

Thomas Jefferson to “Henry Tompkinson” (Samuel Kercheval), 12 July 1816

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Some men look at Constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, & deem them, like the Ark of the Covenant, too sacred to be touched. they ascribe (attribute, accredit) to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well: I belonged to it, and labored with it. it deserved well of it’s country. it was very like the present, but without the experience of the present: and 40 years of experience in government is worth a century of book-reading: and this they would say themselves, were they to rise from the dead. I am certainly not an advocate for frequent & untried changes in Laws and Constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. but I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. as that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. we might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors. 

 Like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington understood that Civility of Law and Order depends on the cherishment of people in all stations of life that mutually desire Happiness and understand their duty to follow the agreed upon rules to enjoy it. 

George Washington to Joshua Holmes, 2 December 1783

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The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent (wealthy) & respectable Stranger, but the oppressed & persecuted of all Nations & Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights & privileges, if by decency & propriety (civility) of conduct they appear to merit (be worthy) the enjoyment.

 The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland Including Some Events in His Life.
by John Leland, L. F . Greene

December 12, 1826

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Faint yet pursuing. The summer past I have spent chiefly in travelling and preaching. I have attended three Associations — the jubilee and funeral of three Presidents — as also a general meeting which lasted four days — preached eighty-one times, and seen eighty -six Baptist preachers since the first of June.

Two remarkable events have taken place the present year. Two old patriots, both of them Ex-Presidents, died on the 4th of July ; just fifty years after they signed the Declaration of Independence — John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The first aged ninety-one, the other eighty-three. Mr. Jefferson drew the Declaration of Independence ; and by his writings and administration, he has justly acquired the title of the Apostle of Liberty.

Elder Leland taught the difference between Civil and Divine government. The Function of Civil government is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the community. The Baptist Elder believed Divine government begins the moment after death. The Christ the King honors those that based their early life on simplicity, humility and their love toward others.

The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland Including Some Events in His Life.
by John Leland, L. F . Greene

The Government of Christ a Christocracy

Published 1804

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Civil government is designed to protect the lives, liberty, and property, of the community, but the divine government is adapted to pardon the guilty, reform the heart, instruct the mind, and improve the morals of the wicked. The promotions and punishments of civil governments, are all this side of the grave, but those of the divine government, are in the succeeding world. Blood, warlike valor, and state policy, raise men to high rank in the governments on earth, but self-abasement, love to enemies, simplicity and humility, are the characteristics of those whom the King delights to honor. The great names of Alexander, Caesar, Washington, or Jefferson, will be no more regarded in the judgment day, than the names of their meanest servants, unless they possess that moral excellency which their servants do not. 

As a devout abolitionist, John Leland believed slavery to be against the Liberty of the individual pursuit (self interest) of Happiness. His Christian Faith (Belief) taught him to understand that Freedom of Liberty in the Bible meant: Freedom for All.

The Founders profound respect for our right of conscience is well-documented. 

From Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 23 January 1808

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I consider the government of the US. as interdicted by the constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. this results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the US. certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general government. it must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority.

James Madison's message is clear to stay away on all matters of liberty of religious conscience that are unessential to government authority.

James Madison to Jasper Adams, September 1833

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I must admit, moreover, that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation, between the rights of Religion & the Civil authority, with such distinctness, as to avoid collisions & doubts on unessential points. The tendency to a usurpation on one side, or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded against by an entire abstinence of the Government from interference, in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, & protecting each sect against trespasses on its legal rights by others.

In McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky, 545 U.S. 844, it was the Supreme Court opinion that the United States was founded on a secular principle of neutrality in regards to all sincere conscious religious and atheist beliefs.

MCCREARY COUNTY v. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF KY.

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the principle of neutrality has provided a good sense of direction: the government may not favor one religion over another, or
religion over irreligion, religious choice being the prerogative of individuals under the Free Exercise Clause. The principle has been helpful simply because it responds to one of the major concerns that prompted adoption of the Religion Clauses.

The Framers and the citizens of their time intended not only to protect the integrity of individual conscience in religious matters, Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U. S., at 52–54, and n. 38, but to guard against the civic divisiveness that follows when the Government weighs in on one side of religious debate; nothing does a better job of roiling society, a point that needed no explanation to the descendants of English Puritans and Cavaliers (or Massachusetts Puritans and Baptists). E.g., Everson, supra, at 8 (“A large proportion of the early settlers of this country came here from Europe to escape [religious persecution]”).

A sense of the past thus points to governmental neutrality as an objective of the Establishment Clause, and a sensible standard for applying it. To be sure, given its generality as a principle, an appeal to neutrality alone cannot possibly lay every issue to rest, or tell us what issues on the margins are substantial enough for constitutional significance, a point that has been clear from the Founding era to modern times. 

The Free Exercise Clause is the part of the First Amendment that reads:

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Washington urged Americans to always place the interests of the nation over their political and regional affiliations.

MCCREARY COUNTY v. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF KY.

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Syllabus P. 3

the Commandments being a central point of reference in the religious and moral history of Jews and Christians. They proclaim the existence of a monotheistic god (no other gods), regulate details of religious obligation (no graven images, sabbath breaking, or vain oath swearing), and unmistakably rest even the universally accepted prohibitions (as against murder, theft, etc.) on the sanction of the divinity proclaimed at the text’s beginning. 

Opinion of the Court

Page 2

In Pulaski County, amidst reported controversy over the propriety of the display, the Commandments were hung in a ceremony presided over by the
county Judge-Executive, who called them “good rules to
live by” and who recounted the story of an astronaut who
became convinced “there must be a divine God” after
viewing the Earth from the moon.

Page 4

that the Kentucky House of Representatives had in
1993 “voted unanimously . . . to adjourn . . . ‘in remembrance and honor of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Ethics’ ”;
that the “County Judge and . . . magistrates agree with
the arguments set out by Judge [Roy] Moore” in defense of
his “display [of] the Ten Commandments in his courtroom”; and that the “Founding Father[s] [had an] explicit
understanding of the duty of elected officials to publicly
acknowledge God as the source of America’s strength and
direction.” Def. Exh. 1, at 1–3, 6. 

The dissent, however, puts forward a limitation on the application of the neutrality principle, with citations to historical evidence said to show that the Framers understood the ban on establishment of religion as sufficiently narrow to allow the government to espouse submission to the divine will. The dissent identifies God as the God of monotheism, all of whose three principal strains (Jewish,
Christian, and Muslim) acknowledge the religious importance of the Ten Commandments. 

President George Washington's Farewell address emphasized that Religion and Moralism share the same objective platform in framing a civil society. Both concepts share faith (trust) in others and belief that justice and benevolence (goodwill, virtue) should be universal (equal) truth.

Washington's Farewell Address 1796

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Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it - It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.

Having just overthrown the King of England during the American Revolution, Jefferson and his political Democratic-Republican party feared Federalist desire for a strong national government would threaten the Liberty of a young Nation with a growing Federal control of power.   The American Colonist revoked their allegiance to the British Crown and the Social Contract (Laws, Rules) that bound them to it.

 Declaration of Independence
 

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The Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude (righteousness) of our intentions (desires), do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence (Will), we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

General Washington believed that it was through Divine Intervention his Continental Army was able to survive the entire Revolutionary War despite great odds favoring the enemy. He believed that the key to maintaining Divine Purpose was by following a proper code of conduct.

From George Washington to Samuel Langdon, 28 September 1789

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The man must be bad indeed who can look upon the events of the American Revolution without feeling the warmest gratitude towards the Great Author of the Universe whose divine interposition (intervention) was so frequently manifested in our behalf—And it is my earnest prayer that we may so conduct ourselves as to merit a continuance of those blessings with which we have hitherto been favored. 

Washington clearly thought the United States to be similar to the Israelite Nation in gaining freedom from the bondage of a Tyrant through a union of friendship and greatness to be under the Providence of Creator to be self-evident.

From George Washington to Landon Carter, 27 October 1777

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May the same Wonder-Working Deity, who long since delivering the Hebrews from their Egyptian Oppressors planted them in the Promised Land—whose Providential Agency has lately been conspicuous (clearly evident) in establishing these United States as an independent nationstill continue to water them with the Dews of Heaven and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal (material) and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah (Yahweh).

Both Adams and Cranch were influenced by George Whitefield, a famous Oxford Graduate and Methodist preacher. In his time, he was noted to be a Christian hero of British citizens and American Colonist. Here are some selected quotes Whitefield on how our conscience becomes aware of a greater Divine Being through the selfless love of others.

Sermons
By George Whitefield

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Sermon 40. - The Holy Spirit

I say, GENERALLY: For, as God is a sovereign agent, his sacred Spirit blows not only on whom, but when and how it listens. Therefore, far be it from me to confine the Almighty to one way of acting, or say, that all undergo an equal degree of conviction: no, there is a holy variety in God's methods of calling home his elect...

How wretchedly are they mistaken, that blend the light of the Spirit with the light of conscience...

Sermon 2. - Walking With God

It is the very breath of the new creature, the fan of the divine life, whereby the spark of holy fire, kindled in the soul by God, is not only kept in, but raised into a flame...

In order to walk closely with God, his children must not only watch the motions of God's providence without them, but the motions also of his blessed Spirit in their hearts. ‘As many as are the sons [and daughters] of God, are led by the Spirit of God', and give up themselves to be guided by the Holy Ghost, as a little child gives its hand to be led by a nurse or parent. It is no doubt in this sense that we are to be converted, and become like little children.

Sermon 6. - Britain's Mercies, and Britain's Duty.

I take it for granted, further, that you need not be informed, that among the various motives which are generally urged to enforce obedience to the Divine Commands, that of Love is the most powerful and cogent

the fire of divine love kindles in [our] soul

The psalm to which the words of our text belong, is a pregnant proof of this; it being a kind of epitome or compendium of the whole Jewish history: at least it contains an enumeration of man signal and extraordinary blessings the Israelites had received from God, and also the improvement they were in duty bound to make of them, “Observe his statues and keep his laws.”

Sermon 29. - The Extent and Reasonableness of Self-Denial

The spirit of God will move on the face of our souls, as he did once upon the face of the great deep; and cause them to emerge out of that confused chaos...

Sermon 43. - The Almost Christian

An almost Christian, if we consider him in respect to his duty to God, is one that halts between two opinions; that wavers between Christ and the world; that would reconcile God and Mammon, light and darkness, Christ and Belial. It is true, he has an inclination to religion, but then he is very cautious how he goes too far in it: his false heart is always crying out, Spare thyself, do thyself no harm. He prays indeed, that "God's will may be done on earth, as it is in heaven." But notwithstanding, he is very partial in his obedience, and fondly hopes that God will not be extreme to mark every thing that he willfully does amiss; though an inspired apostle has told him, that "he who offends in one point is guilty of all." But chiefly, he is one that depends much on outward ordinances, and on that account looks upon himself as righteous, and despises others; though at the same time he is as great a stranger to the divine life as any other person whatsoever. In short, he is fond of the form, but never experiences the power of godliness in his heart. He goes on year after year, attending on the means of grace, but then, like Pharaoh's lean cows, he is never the better, but rather the worse for them.

If you consider him in respect to his neighbor, he is one that is strictly just to all; but then this does not proceed from any love to God or regard to man, but only through a principle of self-love: because he knows dishonesty will spoil his reputation, and consequently hinder his thriving in the world.

He is one that depends much upon being negatively good, and contents himself with the consciousness of having done no one any harm; though he reads in the gospel, that "the unprofitable servant was cast into outer darkness," and the barren fig-tree was cursed and dried up from the roots, not for bearing bad, but no fruit.

He is no enemy to charitable contributions in public, if not too frequently recommended: but then he is unacquainted with the kind offices of visiting the sick and imprisoned, clothing the unclothed, and relieving the hungry in a private manner. He thinks that these things belong only to the clergy, though his own false heart tells him, that nothing but pride keeps him from exercising these acts of humility; and that Jesus Christ, in the 25th chapter of St. Matthew, condemns persons to everlasting punishment, not merely for being fornicators, drunkards, or extortioners, but for neglecting these charitable offices, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, he shall set the sheep on his right-hand, and the goats on his left.

But to proceed in the character of an ALMOST CHRISTIAN: If we consider him in respect of himself; as we said he was strictly honest to his neighbor, so he is likewise strictly sober in himself: but then both his honesty and sobriety proceed from the same principle of a false self-love.

It is true, he runs not into the same excess of riot with other men; but then it is not out of obedience to the laws of God, but either because his constitution will not away with intemperance; or rather because he is cautious of forfeiting his reputation, or unfitting himself for temporal business. But though he is so prudent as to avoid intemperance and excess, for the reasons before-mentioned; yet he always goes to the extremity of what is lawful. It is true, he is no drunkard; but then he has no CHRISTIAN SELF-DENIAL. He cannot think our Savior to be so austere a Master, as to deny us to indulge ourselves in some particulars: and so by this means he is destitute of a sense of true religion, as much as if he lived in debauchery, or any other crime whatever. As to settling his principles as well as practice, he is guided more by the world, than by the word of God: for his part, he cannot think the way to heaven so narrow as some would make it; and therefore considers not so much what scripture requires, as what such and such a good man does, or what will best suit his own corrupt inclinations. Upon this account, he is not only very cautious himself, but likewise very careful of young converts, whose faces are set heavenward; and therefore is always acting the devil's part, and bidding them spare themselves, though they are doing no more than what the scripture strictly requires them to do: The consequence of which is, that "he suffers not himself to enter into the kingdom of God, and those that are entering in he hinders.

Thomas Jefferson himself thought that through reason one can observe a perfect design in nature organized by the power of an Ultimate Creator that was the Initial Cause that set everything into motion. This is the key tenet underlying the Declaration of Independence.

From Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 11 April 1823

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I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in it’s parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a Conviction of Design, Consummate (perfect) Skill, and Indefinite Power in every atom of it’s composition. The Movements of the Heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal (pushing) and centripetal (pulling) forces, the structure of our earth itself, with it’s distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere, animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles, insects mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organised as man or mammoth, the mineral substances, their generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is , in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an Ultimate Cause, a Fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms, and their regenerator into new and other forms.

Being a staunch defender of Conscious Liberty, Thomas Jefferson was reluctant to talk about his personal beliefs in public. His private letters reveal a man of deep moral conviction who spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the Providence and Justice of the Creator. Jefferson's writings do reveal his acceptance of a Creator and Divine Justice.

Notes on the State of Virginia:
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826

QUERY XVIII

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And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that His justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.—But it is impossible to be temperate and to pursue this subject through the various considerations of policy, of morals, of history natural and civil. We must be contented to hope they will force their way into every one's mind. I think a change already perceptible,

Thomas Jefferson firmly believed that Judgment is made on the Works in one's life or lack thereof. He also could not deny Jesus works of mercy, compassion and love pointed to the something beyond the works themselves. Jefferson admired the purity of innocence of Jesus unblemished character and hoped everyone follow the virtue to his moral teachings. stripped away the supernatural and left only wisdom he accepted as a materialist Unitarian thinker.

From Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 13 April 1820

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Your favor of Mar. 27. is received, and my granddaughter Ellen has undertaken to copy the Syllabus, which will therefore be enclosed. it was originally written to Dr Rush. on his death, fearing that the inquisition of the public might get hold of it, I asked the return of it from the family, which they kindly complied with. at the request of another friend, I had given him a copy. he lent it to his friend to read, who copied it, and in a few months it appeared in the theological magazine of London. happily that repository is scarcely known in this country; and the Syllabus therefore is still a secret, and in your hands I am sure it will continue so.
 
But while this Syllabus is meant to place the character of Jesus in it’s true and highlight, as no impostor himself, but a great Reformer of the Hebrew code of religion, it is not to be understood that I am with Him in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist; He takes the side of spiritualism: He preaches the efficacy (value) of repentance towards forgiveness (mercy) , Start insertion,of sin, End, I require a counterpoise (balance) of good works to redeem it Etc. Etc. it is the innocence of his character, the purity & sublimity of his moral precepts, the eloquence of his inculcations (instilling), the beauty of the apologues (spirtual teachings, parables),in which He conveys them, that I so much admire; sometimes indeed needing indulgence to Eastern hyperbolism (exaggeration).

Thomas Jefferson admired, but did not accept Jesus as the being begotten of the Creator. He  considered the Christian Trinity to be analogous to Cerberus, the three headed hound of Hades guarding the gates of the Underworld. Jefferson was greatly influenced by Joseph Priestley, a British Unitarian who rejected the Trinity and asserted the perfectibility of man through reason.

In my limited understanding I find the Trinity to be analogous to the three main parts of our brain: the cerebrum (Father with higher sensory functions), cerebellum (Son that receives and carries out instruction) and brainstem (Holy Spirit that connects the Father to the Son and everyone). It is through this system of communication our conscious is made aware. A Behavior Scientist would understand the Holy Spirit, to be a of synonym of Wisdom, a method of integrating the accumulation of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding in daily life.  Like Jefferson, Athanasius has been slandered by the followers of Arius,  a North African priest who taught that Christ was the Jewish Messiah, but not the Creator.

From Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 8 December 1822

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I have to thank you for your pamphlets on the subject of Unitarianism, and to express my gratification with your efforts for the revival of primitive Christianity in your quarter. no historical fact is better established than that the Doctrine of One God, pure and uncompounded was that of the early ages of Christianity; and was among the efficacious (effective) doctrines which gave it triumph over the polytheism of the ancients, sickened with the absurdities of their own theology. Nor was the unity of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian Creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius. the hocus-pocus phantasm of a god like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads had it’s birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs. And a strong proof of the solidity of the primitive faith is it’s restoration as soon as a nation arises which vindicates to itself the freedom of religious opinion, and it’s eternal divorce from the civil authority. The pure and simple unity of the Creator of the universe is now all but ascendant in the Eastern states; it is dawning in the West, and advancing towards the South; and I confidently expect that the present generation will see Unitarianism become the general religion of the United States. The Eastern presses are giving us many excellent pieces on the subject, and Priestly’s learned writings on it are, or should be in every hand. in fact the Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one is so incomprehensible to the human mind that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea. he who thinks he does only deceives himself. he proves also that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder is the sport of every wind. with such persons gullibility which they call faith takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck.

I write with freedom, because, while I claim a right to believe in one god, if so my reason tells me, I yield as freely to others that of believing in three. both religions I find make honest men, & that is the only point society has any authority to look to—although this mutual freedom should produce mutual indulgence, yet I wish not to be brought in question before the public on this or any other subject, and I pray you to consider me as writing under that trust. I take no part in controversies religious or political. at the age of 80. tranquility is the greatest good of life, and the strongest of our desires that of dying in the good will of all mankind. and with the assurances of all my good will to Unitarian & Trinitarian, to Whig & Tory accept for yourself that of my entire respect.

 In Joeseph Priestly's work, Socrates and Jesus Compared, Socrates devout religious belief to help citizens and others to be good was greatly admired. He taught the one Law of Nature is to do good in return for good received; or face the penalty of being deserted by your friends in you time of need. Priestly also writes that taught of a decisive power superior to man. And Unlike Epicurus belief that the gods were unconcerned spectators of the plight of man, Socrates reasoned the gods were concerned and interceded in the affairs of man. At his trial Socrates said that he had often heard a Daemon (divine voice) who was frequently present within him. He trusted the judgement of his personal reason and the wisdom of the gods over people. During his trial,Socrates listened to his Daemon repeated commands not to make any defense to the accusations, which led to his demise against tyrants. During Socrates sentencing he pleaded a justifiable reason of vanity that he if was executed, Athens would find no other man like him. Ultimately Socrates execution made him even more famous as a martyr for morality.

To Priestly it appears that Socrates had little or no faith in the sanction of virtue in the doctrine of a future state. But, believed in the pleasure received during life and the chance of honored by the living after death. Priestly writes, "Socrates, according to Plato, generally speaks of a future state, and the condition of men in, as the popular belief, which might be true or false. Priestly does mention that Socrates taught that there was a privilege given by the gods to only a select group humans initiated in the right manner into a philosophy of meditation of a pure mind over their body to live with them. Socrates did not know whether or not he had succeeded in this endeavor or not.
 
SOCRATES AND JESUS
COMPARED
 
BY JOSEPH PRIESTLY
 
page 22
 

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"If" says he "what is said to be true, we shall in another "state die no more. In death "he says to his judges "we either lose all sense of things, or as it is said, go into some other place; and if it be so, it will be much better; as we shall be out " of the power of partial judges, and come before "those that are impartial."

 Priestly maintained Socrates theorized that the substance of man's power of thinking, or mental action may remain when the corporeal body ceases to exist. Priestly then added the Greek general belief of an afterlife during the time of Socrates could have been similar to the Jews idea of afterlife, but the record of this Future State revelation had been long lost.

Thomas Jefferson letters and essays reveal an American leader with a strong Unitarian sympathy, but a free spirited man that did not formally belong to any Unitarian congregation and regularly attended Sunday Baptist Services at the United States Capitol. Jefferson passed away one year after the founding of the American Unitarian Association (AUA) in 1825. The Sage of Monticello (Jefferson) prior letter to Doctor Benjamin Waterhouse, co-founder and professor of the Harvard Medical School and Unitarian minister at Cambridge, Massachusetts displays his affinity to the country following the moral teachings of Jesus in proper method to follow a Just Creator. 

From Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waterhouse, 26 June 1822

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Had the Doctrines of Jesus been preached always as purely as they came from His lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian. I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered it’s creed and conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the US. who will not die an Unitarian.


The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
(The Jefferson Bible)
by Thomas Jefferson

XXXI. - To be Born Blind No Proof of Sin.

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AND as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Disclaimer

Romans 1

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16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”

Jefferson understood the idea where a man could be both physically and morally blind. But, he rejected the Spiritual (Supernatural) part of John's testimony where Jesus used the Creator's power to give a blind man the miracle of physical sight.

John Chapter 9

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4 We must perform the deeds of the one who sent me as long as it is daytime. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said this, he spat on the ground and made some mud with the saliva. He smeared the mud on the blind man’s eyes 7 and said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated “sent”). So the blind man went away and washed, and came back seeing.

Great Isaiah Scroll - Chapter 42

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16: I will help the blind walk by a way that they do not know. In paths they do not know I will lead them. I will make the dark places before them light and rough places level. I will do these things and I will not abandon them.

Titus

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1:2 in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began

Jefferson in the “Kingdom of Everlasting Glory.”

Jefferson wrote back a little more than a month later. He thanked King for his letter “because I believe it was written with kind intentions, and a personal concern for my future happiness." Jefferson believed our Freedom Conscience to be a sacred part of our human nature to think for ourselves. Jefferson supported all religions that supported the Freedom of giving us a choice to speak and act honestly towards all members of our society. 

Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 26 September 1814

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 I have trust in Him who made us what we are, and knows it was not His plan to make us always unerring. He has formed us moral agents, not that, in the perfection of His state, He can feel pain or pleasure from any thing we may do: He is far above our power: but that We may promote the happiness of those with whom He has placed us in society, by acting honestly towards all, benevolently to those who fall within our way, respecting sacredly their rights bodily and mental, and cherishing especially their Freedom of Conscience, as we value our own. I must ever believe that religion substantially good which produces an honest life, and we have been authorized by One, whom you and I equally respect, to judge of the tree by it’s fruit. Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our God alone. I inquire after no man’s, and trouble none with mine: nor is it given to us in this life to know whether your’s or mine, our friend’s or our foe’s are exactly the right. nay, we have heard it said that there is not a Quaker or a Baptist, a Presbyterian or an Episcopalian, a Catholic or a Protestant in heaven: that, on entering that gate, we leave those badges of schism behind, and find ourselves united in those principles only in which God has united us all. let us not be uneasy then about the different roads we may pursue, as believing them the shortest, to that our last abode: but, following the guidance of a good conscience, let us be happy in the hope that, by these different paths, we shall all meet in the end. and that you and I may there meet and embrace is my earnest prayer: and with this assurance I salute you with brotherly esteem and respect.

 

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