Cosmological Musings

There is a sensation of the infinite within me and in every thinking, feeling human being. As Carl Sagan said, “We are star-stuff.” Our bodies are formed from the same matter as the rest of the cosmos.

Life itself is a miracle. Science has not yet been able to explain its origin. The fact that I am aware of my life is another miracle erected upon the previous miracle of life. I seek a third miracle. I seek the miracle of discovering the meaning of my life and my awareness. I seek to discover why I am here and what life is about.

The concept of God cannot be ignored when speaking of miracles. I question my conception of God more than I question God’s existence. If anything, God is a personification of the undiscovered source of those three miracles of life, awareness, and meaning.

A human being consists of three parts and like the three miracles of life, awareness, and meaning, each one builds upon the other. Those parts are body, mind, and heart. By the mind I do not mean the brain and by the heart I do not mean the cardiac muscle.

My mind does not rest behind or between my eyes, though at times it seems that way. My mind is my consciousness; my awareness of being alive. My mind is the tool I use to take in knowledge of the world, to learn. It is my interface to the external world.

My heart does not reside in my chest cavity. My heart is my tool for evaluation. It likes and it dislikes. It is how I experience pleasure and pain. My heart weighs what I learn from the external world and pronounces each discovery as “good” for me or “bad” for me. It internalizes the external world, incorporating what I value. That is the meaning of the phrase “take it to heart” or to learn something “by heart.”

Together, the heart and mind comprise the spirit. The spirit gives purpose to my life. It is the greatest mystery to me. I have been alive for 53 revolutions of the earth about the sun. In that time I have gained a fair knowledge of the ability of my mind and of what I like and do not like. I have yet to discover my spirit; my motivating passion, though. I want to know what my life means, so my current mission is to discover my life’s mission.

I am convinced that I have a mission in life and I am convinced that it is discoverable. The key to discovering my mission is to develop a deeper understanding of my body, heart and mind. Everything builds upon what came before. Nurturing my body, mind and heart nurtures my spirit, so a deeper understanding of my body, mind and heart should lead to a deeper understanding of my spirit.

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Reading and Subvocalization

There is an interesting book I am reading, now, titled, “How to Read a Book.” It had never dawned on me that there are actually different approaches and different levels of reading until I started reading this book. According to the book there are four levels of reading and each level builds upon the previous level. The first level of reading is “elementary reading” or “rudimental” reading; basically simply trying to understand the words on the page. The second level of reading is “inspectional reading” and this level seems to me to be more of a technique than a level. It involves reading through the table of conents and the indices to get a feel for the book’s structure then skimming the entire book; “systematic skimming” is the term the authors use to describe it. It’s a quick method to get the basic gist of a book. The third level of reading is “analytical reading” – characterized by a thorough and complete reading of the book while seeking to anwer many questions while reading. Some of the basic questions are:

1) What is this book about as a whole?

2) What is being said in detail, and how?

3) Is the book true, in whole or in part?

4) What of it? Basically asking myself, “So what?” What does it mean to me?

The fourth, and, the authors say, the highest level of reading is what they call “syntopical reading” and may be described as comparative reading. At this level the reader compares and contrasts what is being read with what has been read in other books dealing with similar subjects.

I have yet to finish that book. So many books, so little time! That brings me to the most important topic of this post…

Since I am interested in so many things I read a lot. The problem is one of time management. I need to read more efficiently to be able to read everything I want to read. To read as efficiently as possible I need to learn how to stop subvocalizing as I read, that is speaking the words in my head as I read them. So, right now I am searching the web for tips on how to stop subvocalizing as I read.

Well, after reading several interesting articles online about subvocalizing, I have decided it may be in my best interest to not try to stop subvocalizing since it is an aid to comprehension. Still I need to work on my reading speed.

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