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Proof of Manipulation

The best personal evidence for this divine preference toward manipulation rather than creation comes from the fact that there is a "loss" of capability of the Holy Spirit to influence thoughts when one is tired or ill.  This, of course, has nothing to do with any lack of  power of the Holy Spirit, but is a natural result of the burn-up of neuro-transmitters and other essential materials within neurons during the day that are replenished during rest periods.  It is not that neurons cease production of the necessary complex molecules during the day.  Rather, the burn-up rate of what they produce exceeds the rate of production while one is awake and less than the rate of production while one is asleep or resting. 

It is quite often the case that engineers learn more from failure than from success.  A firm understanding of what is happening in our brains when we sin or fail late at night, while sick, or during times of prolonged distress, is required to appreciate that the root cause of this particular problem lies, not with the Holy Spirit, but with ourselves and the way our bodies are constructed. 

I will use several illustrations to get the core idea across.

As a first illustration, picture a hydroelectric dam powering a nearby town.  It is operated in such a way as to "load follow".  That is, it produces more power when the electrical demand goes up, and less power when demand goes down.  Power production comes from releasing water that is replenished by the rivers that feed into the resevoir at a constant rate.  If we mapped water level versus time, we would see it rise during the night and go down during the day, reflecting the fact that power demand is less when everyone in the town is sleeping than when they are awake and busy at their jobs.  In the long run, the amount of power that the town can use over the period of a day is limited by the power that can be generated by the amount of water flowing into the resevoir during a day: the resevoir exists to allow temporary power generation higher than river inflow.  However, if the residents are not careful with their electricity usage, they will slightly overdraw on the resevoir on a daily basis, resulting in a steady lowering of the average daily water level until, at some time and day, they will lose the storage in the resevoir by draining it dry, forcing them to reduce power usage to a level equal to the inflow of water from the rivers. 

Another illustration is that of the battery/generator system in all cars: car batteries are used to provide start-up power, and are slightly drained as a result.  To recharge the battery so that it will last longer, it is being constantly recharged by a generator turned by the gasoline engine whose start-up was initiated by the electrical starter motor powered by the battery.  Car batteries initially have a power margin greater than the margin needed to power the starter motor and ignition electronics, but as batteries are discharged and re-charged, they slowly lose the ability to recharge as quickly or retain their charge once charged.  Eventually, the battery wears out to the point where driving the car around does not charge it fully to replace the power drain needed to start the car.  Eventually, we get a "dead battery".  (A similar effect occurs more quickly when the generator burns out: the car runs solely on battery power which is not replaced, and it eventually is drained.)

My next illustration is one's checking account balance.  While all people know the consequences of writing a check larger than the balance, many do not appreciate the need of keeping a minimum fixed amount of money in the checking account to act as a buffer.  Because bills tend to arrive during the second half of the month that have to be paid by funds that have to be present in the account during the first half of the next month, it pays to mantain a minimum balance much higher than the one required by the bank to avoid extra fees in order to ensure that no check 'bounces'.  In other words, because checks arrive at the bank at unpredictable times, one cannot just look at one's current checking account balance and write a check that is less than that amount and still be safe since the sum of the amounts of checks that are outstanding, after adding in the amount of the new check, could exceed the balance of the account at the time all those checks arrive simultaneously at the bank. This is known as maintaining 'cash flow', which for a business means having enough cash on hand to pay immediate expenses: the books may show that the business is sound, but the business can still fail if too much of its value is in in inventory instead of in cash.  Many businesses do not see the need for maintaining a large cash account, preferring to do spot borrowing to tide them over such potholes lurking in their accounts payable.  This is why the current (October, 2008) financial crisis affecting banks has wider ramifications: if banks are unwilling to do spot lending, otherwise viable businesses can fail due to a temporary lack of cash.

My next illustration points out the more insidious problem that can strike one's checking account: when one spends only slightly more than what one earns.  It doesn't matter if the over-spending is large or small: the smaller the over-spending, the longer it takes to run through the buffer to get to an account balance of zero.   Not getting to zero is the whole point of ensuring one doesn't spend more than one gets, either by a large or small margin.  The smart checkbook user updates their running account total, balances their checkbooks promptly, and keeps an eye on the trend of their minimum balance to catch downward spirals early.

For my final illustration, I will present my current working model of how the Holy Spirit interacts with the human brain.  I picture the human brain as being similar to a pipe organ with billions of "keys" (cells) upon which the Holy Spirit "plays".  In this model, the neurotransmitter buffer acts like the bellows that blows air through the pipes to make the organ operate.  Before organ wind systems were driven mechanically, it took a human being to operate a pump to supply the "wind" necessary to make the organ work.  In this "organ model", the neurotransmitter budget is similar to air pre-stored in a tank that supplies the "organ".  As the Holy Spirit "plays" on the "keys" (brain cells), each "touch" causes neurotransmitters to be secreted.  The "score" then generates a mental "climate" in the person's brain.  The usage of neurotransmitters is therefore dependent on the "score" the Holy Spirit is "reading".  Some "scores" burn off more neurotransmitters than others.  Depending on the situation, the "organ" may have enough "air" to finish the day, or may come up short.  (The model is extremely simplified, since the "brain" doesn't use just one kind of neurotransmitter, but many, each with its own buffer storage, "tonal quality", and overall effect.)

These are examples of the "runout" of a resource, or resources, that are used up (manipulated), but are replenished at a fixed rate or in fixed amounts at a fixed frequency.  Manipulation means that these resources are intelligently managed and used so that "there is enough to make it" or "there is a reserve for emergencies".  If Creation was the way these resources were "manipulated", then there would never be a "runout" at any time since the resources would seem to appear out of nowhere as they were required.  Imagine that city being powered by a nuclear reactor instead of a hydroelectric dam: the equivalent amount of water would seem endless.

These examples may suggest, by analogy, that neurotransmitter usage within the Host needs to be "managed" in accordance to some "strategy" or "plan".  This is indeed the case, but there are subtleties that can trip up the unwary if a "naive" or "obvious" strategy is followed.

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