Click here to see part one of the interview.
Polymathic Thought Journey with C. Joybell C. – Part Two
Dr. Cotellessa: I really think there is something to be said for exposure to different kinds of people and values and ways of living and being exposed to that at a young age is a very valuable experience, I think! It’s kind of a polymathic way of experiencing life, to grow up with a really diverse family and not just racially diverse but diverse in terms of just who they are and how they’ve lived.
JoyBell C.: Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly. And even moreso, since my daddy was such a rebel, his parents disconnected him from the family business in the USA. During that time, before we moved out of the country so my mother could rejoin her own family business, we lived in poverty. I know what it’s like to line up at the church door to ask for clothes and food! Really! This happened to me a number of times as a child during that period of our lives! But then on the other hand, when I would visit my grandparents, I would be running around in a mansion that had its own doll room, sports arena, cricket field and badminton court! There is also that extreme duality of wealth and poverty that I am accustomed to.
Dr. Cotellessa: Wow, so interesting. Back to the duality theme. Thanks for sharing that!
Yes, you’ll find this same pattern all throughout my childhood.
Another question. So for a lot of polymaths, they have this strong growth mindset. And for a lot of polymaths, self-actualization is something they think about. They just have this strong desire for continual improvement, to reach their potential. Do you feel that push at all?
Yes, I do. I want my spirit and my body to be up to par with each other. I don’t want to have a strong mind but weak muscles. I don’t want to have a strong spirit but a flat booty! (laughs) I don’t believe in the imbalance of spirit and body. I believe in the equal capacity and development of both. I personally wouldn’t take spiritual advice from someone I wouldn’t want to look like physically. Because what is on the inside is forming what is on the outside, therefore, how can I believe what you are saying when you are in an unfavourable physical condition? This is my own personal persuasion
(Laughs) I like that! You want your body to be a reflection of your spirit-self. That makes sense.
I am impressed by your aerial skills!
People tell me I am really strong on the aerial apparatus, but I honestly don’t see that in myself. I see people who are so much stronger and far more skilled and I just focus on pushing myself to achieve more. However, I am currently on hiatus from aerial arts because it’s expensive to train! I have a son who will be going to college soon and so much of my financial focus is poured into that, at the moment. So, now I focus on yoga, tai chi, acrobatics and dance. I do all this at one gym that is a 2-minute walk from my apartment and this just makes it so much more convenient for me. I used to travel at least thirty minutes to get to the circus arts training centres and that always ate away at my budget of both finances and energy.
I think that my acknowledgment of the strengths and the capabilities of others is a big factor in what pushes me to achieve more. Rather than my desire to impress others. It’s when I see how great others are, it encourages me to do more, it challenges me. I have a deep appreciation for other people’s abilities and achievements.
That begs the question for me: do you think our bodies, our faces, our physical selves, our molecules, are all manifestations of our spirits (before we were embodied)? I have wondered this. Because I feel like a lot of the time we get a sense of an “old soul” or a person’s essence by how their bodies and faces look! Is it just my brain trying to make sense of someone’s appearance and making a snap judgment, or do you think our spirits manifest into bodies based on that soul’s essence? Did this question make any sense?
Your question does make sense. Kabbalistic Rabbis actually teach that we may be able to read into a person’s soul through the structure of their hair, so on and so forth. Before I ever read that particular Rabbinic teaching, I always felt like I could take a single glance at a person’s hair and be able to read them. That’s why it’s difficult for me to be around bald individuals, because I feel as though I cannot read them. But anyway, I just wanted to mention that since it’s in line with your question. But to answer your question, I think that how we physically look is an expression of our DNA. Our DNA dictates the colour of our eyes, hair, skin, shapes of our faces et al. DNA is passed down through genes that come from ancestors, so I think that a human soul would have little leeway coming into a human body, not enough to influence things like eye colour, etc. With this been said, I do believe that our souls may influence the structure and the form and overall outcome of our bodies. I just don’t think that we develop in the womb according to our soul’s dictation. I think that later on in life we are able to do that though, to a degree. And this would rely on the individual inner development of a person.
I think you have great self-confidence. Based upon what I know about you. And also great self-esteem!
People always think I am extremely self confident. I have had people ask me how I am able to be that way. People ask me this in person! And I am left bewildered! They ask me at times when I am feeling my lowest of lows and with very little confidence! I feel not only bewildered, but actually astounded! Just not so long ago, I felt like I could of dropped dead from the feeling of low self-worth and I had two people just ask me, how I am possibly able to be so self confident at all times! My jaw dropped. I felt like, I must not know myself at all if I simply cannot see in me what others are seeing when they look at me!
One of my spiritual teachers taught me something I will never forget: the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem! Self-confidence, he said, is your belief that you have the skills to get something done. It’s all about your skills/abilities/knowledge. He said self-esteem is totally different – it’s more like self-love. It’s believing you deserve goodness regardless of your achievements. And that hit me like a ton of bricks because I have a ton of self-confidence in my abilities to accomplish goals, get achievements, resume items, etc. But I punish myself in the process! I’m working on my self-esteem now, just being more loving to myself. At the same time I still want to grow and improve, just at a more loving pace I guess.
Thank you for sharing this with me, I’m glad to see into this part in your life right now. I actually never feel self confident! (Laughs)
When people act impressed that I was able to juggle a full time job, a doctoral program, a family business, and also having a baby all at the same time (and frankly, excelling at all of them), I usually say how not many people would put themselves through that! At the end of it all, I just feel like it was an exercise in slave driving myself. (Sighs)
The thing I need the most in my life, is to believe in myself. I am working on it!
I believe in you. Having a public persona, I’m sure, affects one’s self-esteem negatively. I can’t even imagine…
I am incredibly aware of my flaws and I believe that it is within this immense awareness of flaws that I am not able to feel the emotion of self confidence. The amazing thing is that others see the opposite of how I feel. I think what this means, is that I am winning at a daily battle and while people see me winning; they don’t see the battle.
By the way… since this is a topic of Polymaths, would it interest you if I say that I would consider myself Polytheist, as well?
Yes! Can you tell me more?
Before anything else, just to clarify this point, I do not mean this in a sense that I am a worshipper of many different gods. But what I mean, is that I don’t believe in a legion of jealous Gods, each fighting over the exclusivity to human worship. I do not believe that gods are like people: competitive, insecure, envious and greedy of power! We have obviously painted our Gods in our own images; instead of the other way around. With my limited human imagination, even with its limits, I am still able to understand that a God would have to be better than a human. But we have made our gods into more powerful versions of our perverted selves and we use those powerful versions of ourselves to scare others and to attempt to control politics and world affairs. Therefore, if there are Gods, then they ought to be better than we are, and I do not imagine Gods feeling insecure over which other God has more followers! Come on! Are we supposed to see Gods as having Instagram accounts, comparing their number of followers?
So, when I say “polytheist”, I mean I believe in the fact of life that all tribes and all peoples have their own Gods whom they worship and I am in no position to tell anyone that my God will beat up their God, or anything of that nature. Human faith is excruciatingly beautiful and the only thing that makes it ugly is human insecurity. Insecurity here being the need to feel exclusive and dominant. People have their own experiences with their own Gods all throughout history, until the present day, and I look upon these experiences as dignified ones. Furthermore, I don’t feel any fear of entering any temple or church or sharing in the spiritual experiences of other human beings. If there is a God that loves all of human kind, then surely, the one true religion would be the communion of all human kind, with one another. To love your neighbor and to commune with them—this would be the one true religion. And if there is a God who does not love all of human kind, well then, why are we making Him into a God if he does not exist to us in love?
Besides, it would not make sense for any all-powerful Being to actually need or care about a carbon species (humans) praying and worshipping Him. Any interaction with humans would have to be purely affectionate in nature, for it to be logical. Truly powerful things don’t need less powerful things, unless it is sprung purely from love. Therefore, if there is a God, then it follows that He loves all of human kind and that the only true religion would be to love our brethren, to be friendly to them, and to share with them. And if there is no God, well then, living this life as a kind person is still better than not.
That makes a lot of sense. Sometimes I wonder if our experience as humans on earth is like a very advanced virtual reality for our souls/spirits. I know that makes me sound cray-cray though. I believe there definitely exists a physical plane though. But I wonder if there’s another, even more real/reality-feeling place, where we came from. Do you feel like an old soul?
I don’t think that sounds crazy at all! You actually sound like some very prominent Astro Physicists. The questions you are asking are what the most brilliant minds on this planet are discussing!
I know I’m an old soul.
I also wonder, given emerging technologies, if you fast forward into the future enough, could we create the technology to produce things like (1) everlasting life or (2) consciousness that exists outside of bodies? And I think the answer is, yes, we will. And if we can do it in the future, how do we know it didn’t already happen — and that’s why we’re here?
I wonder if technology will someday be used to explain spiritual phenomenon.
I think you’re an old soul too. Like, do you feel like you came just knowing things, already having learned lessons, like it was downloaded into your DNA or something already?
Well, the points you have brought up are legitimate points of current discussion amongst futurists, scientists, and business people like Elon Musk. And they do think that this is all very possible. Not only possible, but, the predictability of this happening is something some have labeled to be around 88% probable! The question of whether this should be done is a totally different thing, though.
This is something I have explored to great lengths in a project I am working on with a bunch of astronauts, engineers and scientists. But let’s not dive too heavily into that, since it would require a whole new interview! (Laughs)
I think that technology does, and has been, exploring spiritual phenomena. Right now, scientists are obsessed with trying to understand the roots and the substance of human consciousness. They are equally obsessed with attaining the ability to recreate/ duplicate human consciousness in robots. What is human consciousness? This is something that I would consider “spiritual phenomenon”. It has existed since the very first human being existed on the planet, has it not? And now, scientists are busy developing all manner of technology and formulations that they can possibly come up with, in order to tackle this phenomenon. And there you have it. Science pursues what is of spirit then interprets it through scientific language.
Your above question… Yes, I do feel like I just POOF showed up and already knew things. I get very much frustrated with what I feel is a snail-pace acceleration of humanity at a spiritual level. For example, right now, humanity is all divided by all of these religions, because human beings have this image of spirituality or religion being something that they are required to pledge allegiance to. Like there is a panel of Gods that exist, who are envious of one another, who all want to prove something to each other, to prove that humans are giving one more worship than the other!
Humanity has attributed human traits such as envy, jealousy, wrath, and petty emotions– to their Gods! This frustrates me. I feel the longing in my heart… I feel that it is time for all people, everywhere, to know that spirituality is about human faith, rather than about Gods! Spirituality is about the experience of human faith. I could repeat his again and again and again! It is not about Gods needing to fuel themselves on human worship and loyalty! This is why I will visit a Shinto Shrine, I will visit a Buddhist Temple, I will visit a Christian Church, I will visit a Synagogue… I relish in the experience of the act of human faith, expressed in their diverse forms, laid open with so much beauty!
“Spirituality is about human faith, rather than about Gods!” (Quotable quote!)
(Laughs) Many quotable quotes to be found here!
As for religions, I think it’s awesome you are so curious about the beauty of all the religions! I had a really bad experience in very strict Christian schools growing up (pre-school through 12th grade) and it left this really bitter taste in my mouth. I’m not as open to religions, just to even explore them, as I wish I could be (like you are). I just have this bad reaction to structured religion, especially if there’s rules involved. I’m more drawn to just vague, indescript, non-structured spirituality. I guess self-help has been my spirituality of sorts. The church of self-improvement!
You know, this (similar wavelength) topic is something I was recently discussing with some friends from a Jewish gathering place I go to. They all go to (just) this place, while I go to this place and other places as well (again, with regards to the relishing in the expressions of the beauties of human faiths); but anyway, returning to the gist now: I told them that people like to explain unfortunate events (very unfortunate events, like small children being raped or murdered), through spiritual concepts such as Karma and reincarnation. It helps bring solace to the human heart. You see, when something so unimaginably tragic occurs, such as, a child being murdered or a child being raped, this is just too staggering, it’s far too much for the human heart to accept or to process. I can see that there sprouts from this all sorts of explanations: “Oh that child did something horrible in a past life, this was her karma in this life,” but I outright do not believe this at all! No child deserves to be murdered and given an explanation of having a negative pastlife. Just no. This makes my heart hurt just thinking of it.
Bad things happen in this world to people who don’t deserve it. And it’s horrible. And explaining it through past lives and karma and all that, just does not create initiative in us to CHANGE SOMETHING about our justice systems, about our governments, about our societies, in order to ensure that it DOES NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!
And the reason why I inject this particular thought process right here, is because this is something that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth with regards to religion and other such patterns of belief and other concepts relying on human trust. Using concepts that are intangible, in order to cope with what is incomprehensible, simply robs people of initiative to stand up and change things, or to stand up and fight something crippling in society that needs to be fought.
Do you think things happen for a reason?
Things like children being raped and murdered do not happen for a reason, I cannot and never will agree to that. The only reason is that someone is a psychopath and should not have been integrated into society, to begin with. I believe in determining psychopathy from DNA, and eliminating the psychopath to begin with. I know this sounds harsh and immoral, but, if we are able to develop an effective scientific method of determining this through DNA, to decipher who would inevitably become a violent murderer psycho, then the pregnancy could be eliminated before the violent killer is even born. Needless to say, this would take a whole bunch of science and then the question of morality comes in…but I am on this side of the discussion; I’m just saying If this discussion ever occurs, I am on the side of elimination of negative humans before they are born. Now, I am entirely aware of the implications of what I am saying here and I am prepared for certain people to come at me with pitchforks for saying this, but, having studied crimes and criminals, it’s just not okay for an innocent person’s life to be taken from them by someone else just because that someone else is a psychopath. I am talking about distinguishing violent killers, okay? I am not talking about gentle people with mental illness.
I agree with you. But then sometimes, I feel like things DO happen for a reason. But maybe not all the time? I don’t know. What do you think?
“Everything happens for a reason”, is true, when not applied to “everything.” Everything happens for a reason, but just not “everything”. (Smiles)
This phrase “everything happens for a reason” – it’s so common. I’ve tended to believe it. But, maybe it’s not true all the time. Maybe just some of the time.
It sounds like a nice thing to say, nevertheless, “everything” is really a lot of things (smiles), and when I look around this world, I can see plenty of things that simply should not happen to innocent people. There is no reason and no rhyme. It’s because we sit back and let it happen, because we think that everything happens for a reason. Enough already. Even in our personal lives, we sit back and let shit happen because we try to find reason and rhyme where there is none! It really needs to stop, it really does. In many areas of life, there is reason and there is rhyme. Even to a mystical, mysterious degree! Nonetheless, in many other areas of society, in this world, there is just none.
Look for Part 3 of this interview, coming soon!