Key Thought for this session:
“The outcome of my life fits my priorities.”
Okay! So, how you feel about your life’s story can play a major role in determining your worldview.
Let’s spend a moment looking at how history has identified the main quests of humans... regarding life.
From the beginning of recorded history people have been concerned about happiness or what some call satisfaction. Aristotle saw happiness as ‘telos’ or the natural culmination of human existence. Cicero equated happiness with human virtue, a trait we have that exists separate from our circumstances. Still another ancient philosopher, Epicurus, saw happiness as the absence of pain and the presence of pleasure. While there have been different views of happiness and satisfaction throughout the ages, the pursuit of happiness has been paramount to the human condition. Thousands of years after the Greek philosophers, but several hundred years ago, the USA was founded on Thomas Jefferson’s claim of man’s inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness.
How one perceives satisfaction is generally seen as the key to understanding a person’s world view. It works a little like this - worldview of satisfaction then influences worldview of what is the “right” life. We may think of “right” as feeling good, being our true self, being righteous, perfect, or holy or just being a good person. Most importantly, how we define “right” is our worldview, which then leads us to actions we choose to produce satisfaction.
However, happiness or life satisfaction is complex. First of all, each form of life (the body, soul or spirit) can have its own direct influences on satisfaction, such as when you break your arm, you have physical pain. Yet, when the body experiences physical pain, the soul and the spirit are affected, too. Also, how the spirit is SATISFIED (maybe by some power outside of ourselves) can affect the thoughts and emotions of the soul, which can then influence the way we process physical pleasure or pain. How these three forms of life interact is a very important function of worldview.
Across the ages humanity has developed ways to study each form of life to determine truth about how each works and therefore how each can be satisfied. The physical sciences like biology, chemistry, physics and related studies have discovered how our natural world and the body works. Psychology, sociology, anthropology and their related studies have developed to reveal how the soul works as it thinks, feels and chooses what to do. Fields of study like philosophy, theology, and their variety of other approaches try to explain the invisible spirit world, attempting to find out how these invisible forces of our world influence what is real and true for us.
One main issue with worldview is - which form of life takes priority over the others with respect to satisfaction? On one end of the spectrum secular-humanists like Maslow have proposed that the body’s needs must be satisfied first, that there is no spirit, and that full actualization of the soul is the highest form of life that comes only after needs of the body, such as nutrition and safety, have been satisfied. On the other side of this spectrum of worldviews are theologians like Augustine, who claim that the spirit is the highest priority of life, from which all needs of the soul and body are understood. Every other worldview falls somewhere in between. This session is about exploring the particulars of what life really is. Where does it come from? What makes a good life? We suggest you consider that life satisfaction may result from the way the three life forms fit with each other, based on the priority or the way a person orders their needs.
You may have heard the saying, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In this saying, treasure means what you value, and heart means your basic desires (or motives). Ultimately, your actions, that affect your life, will flow from what you feel is important. So, for this session we will focus on the memory principle: “the outcome of my life will fit my priorities.” Right? ...Because, the way my life turns out is a result of the priorities I have set for myself. So, again we are memorizing this for Session 3: “The outcome of my life will fit my priorities.”
Okay, so now I’d like to take a little time to focus specifically on the form of life we call the body.
The body seeks physical health, appearance, sensuality or physical pleasure and mobility. Many actions we take are based on our worldview of what physically satisfies us.
Let’s see what you think about satisfying the body.