A friend of mine, AprilK, invited me here and suggested that I post here what I had written on my Facebook page. It is written from a Latter-Day Saint Perspective and so contains references to LDS scripture and quotes. The information presented here is based on personal research, beliefs, and experiences and is subject to corrections and further discussion as the author learns more:
Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 10:51pm | Edit Note | Delete
Morality? Physics? So… what is the connection?
First, let us define Morality. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition defines “morality” as such as found on dictionary.com:
mo·ral·i·ty (mə-rāl’ĭ-tē, mô-) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. mo·ral·i·ties
1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
3. Virtuous conduct.
4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc., expounds on the definition adding examples:
Mo*ral”i*ty, n.; pl. Moralities. [L. moralitas: cf. F. moralit.]
1. The relation of conformity or nonconformity to the moral standard or rule; quality of an intention, a character, an action, a principle, or a sentiment, when tried by the standard of right.
The morality of an action is founded in the freedom of that principle, by virtue of which it is in the agent’s power, having all things ready and requisite to the performance of an action, either to perform or not perform it. –South.
2. The quality of an action which renders it good; the conformity of an act to the accepted standard of right.
Of moralitee he was the flower. –Chaucer.
I am bold to think that morality is capable of demonstration. –Locke.
3. The doctrines or rules of moral duties, or the duties of men in their social character; ethics.
The end of morality is to procure the affections to obey reason, and not to invade it. –Bacon.
The system of morality to be gathered out of . . . ancient sages falls very short of that delivered in the gospel. –Swift.
4. The practice of the moral duties; rectitude of life; conformity to the standard of right; virtue; as, we often admire the politeness of men whose morality we question.
5. A kind of allegorical play, so termed because it consisted of discourses in praise of morality between actors representing such characters as Charity, Faith, Death, Vice, etc. Such plays were occasionally exhibited as late as the reign of Henry VIII. –Strutt.
6. Intent; meaning; moral. [Obs.]
Taketh the morality thereof, good men. –Chaucer.
Is morality simply a conformity to established rules or is there something more? If morality is doing that which is virtuous and good, what defines which actions are virtuous and which actions are good? Why are certain laws and rules defined as moral laws?
We could say simply, “because the Bible says so”, “because God told Moses so”, “because Jesus said so”, or any other religious or political figure “said so” and be satisfied with that.
But the curious and doubting ask, “What is there inside the box of morality?” “Why is morality important?” “Why does the Bible, Book of Mormon and other sacred scripts say we will be judged according to our conduct and even our words and thoughts?” “Why does it matter what we think or do?”
What We Are Made Of
In Biology class, we learn that the human body is made up of organs such as the heart, lungs, stomach, brain, eyes, ears, intestines, skin as well as systems such as the circulatory system, lymphatic system, and nervous system. Each of these organs and systems are made of and are the workings of cells which are visible under a microscope. Each cell consists of a membrane, DNA, mitochondria, ribosomes, and other minute sub cellular components which both store information, take in nutrients and oxygen from the blood and excrete waste materials. What are these sub cellular components made of? If we get a more powerful microscope or even an electron microscope, we can see that they are made of molecules. Molecules are strings or other arrangement of atoms of different elements – carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, iron, selenium, potassium, silver, etc. We have now entered the realm of chemistry, specifically biochemistry – or chemistry that has something to do with “living” organisms. Lets go further.
Welcome to the realm of physics. Each element’s atom is made of particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons. The protons determine the type of element, the electrons determine the overall charge of the atom, and the neutrons determine he isotope of the element. Usually, in pictures, subatomic particles are shown as balls, with the protons and neutrons clumped together in the center called the nucleus with the electrons orbiting around them on different levels and in different configurations dependent on the number of electrons. However, physicists have discovered that there is more to subatomic particles than meets the eye.
Speaking of eyes, lets zoom out quite a bit. The eye is an amazing organ – our windows to the world. Light enters through the cornea, the hole in the iris, and then through the lens. Muscles around the lens tighten or relax to change the curvature of the malleable lens to focus an image, or the reflection of the light the front of the eyes are facing onto the retina.
What is in the retina made of? The retina consists of special cells called “rods” and “cones”, named after the shapes of these specific cells, which connect to nerves that send a signal finally to the brain where the information is processed, analyzed, and interpreted. “Rods” are cells particularly good at picking up dim light, but are monochromatic – detecting only the degree of light. There are three types of “cone” cells which detect red, green, or blue. The combination of these cells allow us to see the spectrum of light and colors. Because the cones do not work so well in very dim light, it can be difficult to for us to see the colors perceived from objects. Our physical eyes are also limited to a spectrum ranging from violet to red. A few, more sensitive people, can see the “higher” range of the infrared spectrum, and the “lower” range of the ultraviolet spectrum of light that is either radiating off a glowing body or being reflected off of a surface. Now we’re getting back to physics.
The Physics of Light and Matter
The theories and experiments of Christian Huygens, Isaac Newton, Thomas Young, Augustin Jean Fresnel, James Maxwell, Max Planck, and Albert Einstein established that light demonstrates a wave-particle duality effect in that light showed behavior like both tiny balls or packets, which they called photons, and waves dependent on the type of experiment. It was discovered that even electrons, protons, and neutrons were packets of energy which also demonstrated wave-like qualities in experiments. Einstein revealed to the world the equation energy equals mass times squared the speed of light and showed how mass could be converted into energy and back again. (See [URL=”href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_wave_duality”]wave-particle duality[/URL])
Energy affects matter and matter effects energy. We experience this when we are out in the sun too long and get either a tan or a sunburn. What burns the skin on our arms? Ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun is the culprit. However, the magnetosphere, atmosphere, and also clouds surrounding the earth reduce the amount of UV radiation that reaches our skin so that we aren’t as fried as we otherwise would be. Speaking of sunlight, there have been many studies done correlating the relationship between human exposure to sunlight and emotional status such as the degree or frequency of depression to the point of inventing and distributing lamps that emit sun-like for people to enhance their mood. I’m getting ahead of myself, but you’ve gotten a hint of where I am going here.
Principles of Waves
In water we can see waves. Surfers especially like the waves. However, the waves I am talking about don’t break. If they did, we might have some very tiny surfers. 😛 Back to physics. Waves have certain attributes: amplitude and frequency.
Ahhh, diagrams are nice. Different frequencies of light create different colors, some of which we can see:
(Images from Wikipedia.com)
Other frequencies we cannot see with our physical eyes but can see (or hear) with certain detectors: radio waves, infrared waves, ultraviolet rays, x-rays,and gamma rays.
Another word for frequency is vibration. “Good, good, good, good vibrations.” Sound consists of vibrations through the air and are made up of a series of higher pressures and lower pressures. These pressures move through the air from its source to our ears, another amazing organ. Our eyes and ears are limited to certain ranges. Beyond those ranges, we might as well be deaf and blind without an instrument that can detect other ranges for us. When I was at BYU, while talking with some friends, I contemplated the possibility of building an instrument that can detect spiritual matter. Little did I know at the time what was in store for me.
“Does morality, the choosing of right and wrong, affect the spirit?”
Yes, and the physical body as well. Many of our choices directly affect our physical bodies such as the choice to take drugs, have premarital or extramarital ***, and causing physical damage to ourselves and others. Such things lead to and can cause the body pain, disease, disability, or death. But there is more than that. There is the spiritual effect. The spirit is directly linked with the physical body.
Spiritual is physical.
If you are floored by this statement, let me expound.
If you take drugs, your spirit will be damaged too and it will take a long long time for it to heal if it isn’t permanent. If you smoke, your spirit will smell like smoke even after you die. There are things that directly affect the health of your spirit and body such as loud music.
Dr. Masaru Emoto did a study on the effects of music, prayer, words, and even pictures on water crystals. His study can be found at hado.net We are 70% water. However, I don’t think the effects are limited to just the water molecule, but to all of matter. Dr. Emoto believes, just as I do, that all matter is conscious. So what I am saying is that the chair you are sitting on, your table, your mouse, your computer, the clothes you are wearing, and even the food you eat are also conscious of you.
When I was a little girl, I had a bunch of stuffed animals and dolls at the foot of my bed. Before I went to sleep, I kissed each one of them good night. When I was in 6th grade, I had a pair of blue sneakers with Velcro straps. I wore them so much, they had holes in them. My mom wanted me to throw them away, but I didn’t want to because I believed that my shoes would miss me. It seems kind of silly now, but I think I was more aware of something then.
I really liked singing this song as a freshman in college:
You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
from Disney’s Pocahontas’ “Colors Of The Wind”
Native Americans are an amazing people who have historically been very spiritually focused and attuned to the life of the natural world and of the land itself. LDS scripture also reveals the consciousness of the Earth:
“And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?
And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? Wilt thou not bless the children of Noah?” (Moses 7:48-49)
Joseph Smith, Jr. stated, “There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.”
Joseph Smith gave some sound advice that illustrates the difference in properties between spiritual matter and physical matter:
“There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.
When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear—Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message. If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.”
How is it that spirit can easily pass through physical matter? First we must ask what is physical matter? I have before explained about atoms. So solid physical matter is lattices of atoms. There is much empty space in each atom between the nucleus and the moving electrons. The solid rocks are not so solid. There are many types of rocks that are porous and allow water to pass through. Glass and certain plastics are transparent allowing light to pass through. Why then, when we put our hand on the table, our hand does not go through and the table feels solid? It is the repelling electromagnetic force between the electrons around the atoms in the table and the electrons around the atoms in our hand that keeps it from going through – that is all.
From near-death studies I have learned that spiritual matter can easily go through walls and other physical objects. I have come to the conclusion that spiritual matter, like neutrons and neutrinos, does not have quite the same repellent electromagnetic quality as electrons. What I do know from personal experience however is that although it is difficult for a physical hand to shake a spiritual hand and feel it, it is no problem for one spiritual hand to shake another spiritual hand and feel it. Therefore, I conclude that the particles of which a spiritual body consists of repel the same particles of another spiritual body.
Spiritual bodies can be felt by their vibrations (aka frequencies). Casper, in the 1995 movie, explained it as being like putting your hand barely on the tube of the TV set without actually touching it and feeling the static electricity. He’s right; it’s very similar.
Probably in your life, you’ve talked about someone having good vibes or bad vibes. Being in the presence of someone either made you feel comfortable or uncomfortable. You could actually “feel” them, their emotions, couldn’t you? Why do you think you can feel this? I’ve had experiences where I’ve had someone angry with me and I could feel their emotions so much, it would cause me to shake. I realized the emotional-spiritual-physical connection when a prolonged experience caused me to have the runs. It is no wonder that those with higher levels of emotional stress have more cases of ulcers and high blood pressure. On the other end, there are very pleasant experiences, like a person we always like to be around because they make us feel good.
I was standing in the living room with my mom as she was watching Oprah. Oprah described her meeting with a friend of hers as being an experience where though they were standing far apart, it felt as though they embraced in the spirit. This brought tears Oprah’s and to my mom’s eyes. At the moment, I, almost in disbelief of this emotional reaction, thought, “What’s the big deal? I experience this every day. I guess it’s more “real” to people when Oprah talks about it on national television.” Actually, at times, there have been experiences I’ve had that caused me to cry with the same kind of sentiment.
Thoughts, emotions, feelings – these are all attributes that come from the spiritual body(ies). Many, whether they believe in the spiritual or not, scientists, doctors, and psychologists try to give all the credit to the brain, and discredit the spirit, usually to appear more credible to their peers and not appear as a “kook”. To someone like me, it makes them appear less credible due to the displayed ignorance of spiritual matter. The spirit is what powers the brain; When the spirit leaves the body, the brain dies.
Morality consists of thoughts, choices, emotions, and actions. Every emotion and every thought we entertain in our minds and hearts has a vibration or “vibe” as some call it. Attributes of thoughts and emotions we often consider to be good and moral (i.e. honesty, chastity, virtue, loyalty, generosity, selflessness, love) have a high frequency. On the other hand, thoughts and emotions we often consider to be amoral (i.e. vanity, lust, greed, deceit, selfishness, hate, anger, etc.) have a very low vibration.
Each of these thoughts or emotions affect the vibration of our entire spiritual body which in turn affects our physical body with which it is intimately connected from birth. The more frequently we entertain a thought or emotion of a certain vibration, the more our spiritual and physical bodies become attuned to that frequency. Over time, it can “harden” and get stuck at a certain frequency.
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