Sunday, July 20, 2014

Eternal Chaotic Inflationary Theory

This theory holds the Universe doesn't begin in a hot state but more interesting to me is that it holds that it is a fractal and universes (multiverse) are infinitely created.  And, the reason "our" universe seems anthropic is simply because it is the one in which we are able to thrive.

Events might be mere flecks of foam in the surf, foam flowers, whereas the real movers are the tides and the swells.  The swell of the wave, the cresting and curling, makes the ephemeral bubbles.  These are conditions along the boundaries.  We humbly seek from our vantage point in the flecks of foam to embrace the swell, the wave, the tide.

Here, discussing Aristotle, I wrote:  "... I have an idea that the Universe is infinitely malleable, which idea, I think, has its roots in the principles stated here. My notion that the Real is akin to a fractal, I think, is also bound up in these concepts. It is infinitely self-inventing, and every instantiation increases and enriches the pregnancy for ensuing evolution. All that will ever be is already actual in the "beginning" even though all that will ever be is an elaboration on the infinite stream of prior instances. Every new instance is a new beginning and a new boundary for the new. Every new instantiation is an elaboration of its predecessor. And, our heavens are self made as are our hells..."

Then a few days ago I found this from theoretical physicist, father of the theory of eternal chaotic inflation, Andrei Linde:

"Think about it this way: previously we thought that our universe was like a spherical balloon. In the new picture, it's like a balloon producing balloons, producing balloons. This is a big fractal. The Greeks were thinking about our universe as an ideal sphere, because this was the best image they had at their disposal. The 20th century idea is a fractal, the beauty of a fractal. Now, you have these fractals. We ask, how many different types of these elements of fractals are there, which are irreducible to each other? And the number will be exponentially large, and in the simplest models it is about 10 to the degree 10, to the degree 10, to the degree 7. It actually may be much more than that, even though nobody can see all of these universes at once.

"Soon after Alan Guth proposed his version of the inflationary theory, he famously exclaimed that the universe is an ultimate free lunch. Indeed, in inflationary theory the whole universe emerges from almost nothing. A year later, in the proceedings of the first conference on inflation in Cambridge, I expanded his statement by saying that the universe is not just a free lunch; it is an eternal feast where all possible dishes are served. But at that time I could not even imagine that the menu of all possible universes could be so incredibly large."

I would also submit for consideration something I've noted before from Michael Hanlon.  On the multiverse:

"The ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum physics was first proposed in 1957 by Hugh Everett III... It states that all quantum possibilities are, in fact, real. When we roll the dice of quantum mechanics, each possible result comes true in its own parallel timeline. If this sounds mad, consider its main rival: the idea that ‘reality’ results from the conscious gaze. Things only happen, quantum states only resolve themselves, because we look at them. As Einstein is said to have asked, with some sarcasm, ‘would a sidelong glance by a mouse suffice?’ Given the alternative, the prospect of innumerable branching versions of history doesn’t seem like such a terrible bullet to bite."

Marcel Proust wrote in Remembrance of Things Past that "Reality takes shape in memory alone."  I agree.  This comports nicely with the notion that " ‘reality’ results from the conscious gaze."  Whether this is true, I don't know.  What if the whole thing is self aware, or some permutation thereof?

"It is infinitely self inventing" has the same sentiment, I think, as the Linde postulate.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Snowy Range Pass



It was July and a getaway was needed.  At 10,847 feet this was literally the high point of the trip.  The mountain is Medicine Bow Peak towering over the pass at an elevation of 12,013.  The last time I was up here was in June a few years back.  I traveled that day from Cheyenne west through Laramie and then took Wyoming 130 over the pass.   There were walls of snow piled on either side of the road eight feet or more high.  It was like riding through an ice hallway.  And, there were snow flurries on interstate 80 as I approached Laramie.  I had to wear my most serious cold weather gear that day and was still cold.  Medicine Bow Peak was completely covered with snow.  Having come up through the western mountain ranges of Colorado this time and seeing absolutely zero snow I expected Medicine Bow Peak to also be dried out; and it almost was, compared to the previous ride.

This time I came up through Walden, Colorado and traversed the Medicine Bow from the West.  Colorado was teeming with tourists but by the time I got past Walden, way in north Colorado, past all the main attractions like Breckenridge and Vale, the traffic thinned to a trickle.

I don't know how many miles I rode on this trip.  A direct route from my house to my destination, Gillette, Wyoming, is 1200 miles.  So at least 2400.  The first day I did over 500 and the second and third and fourth about 400.  Spending the third night in Laramie I arrived the next day in Gillette where I stayed about a week and then took two more nights to get back home; Limon, Colorado, Amarillo, Texas.  It was a hard ride particularly since because of other activities I haven't been far afield on the bikes in three years but I'm glad I went.

The 1993 BMW K1100LT has close to 112,000 showing on the odometer now.  I think next time I'll take my 1976 R90/6 which has only about 145,000 miles on it.  At 600 pounds its 300 lighter than the K bike and doesn't have a fairing so it's more fun to ride, in my opinion.  They both, however, have an insatiable appetite for asphalt.  I sure wish I could spring for a new K1600 but I just don't like some of the nanny features though I am sorely tempted by the 160 horse power six cylinder engine and the mere 708 pound weight in spite of that.

We are a moving picture:


Monday, April 08, 2013

On Board the Hermione

In August of 1990 wife Helen and son Christopher and me met her parents at Baltimore harbor where the 1923 Elco motor yacht Hermione was tied up.  We then cruised down the Patuxent river to Solomon, Maryland for an overnight then on down the Chesapeake bay and up the Potomac to Hermione's home berth at Colonial Beach, Virginia.  This is a VHS video of that cruise.

Update:  I have since learned that the Hermione suffered complete destruction in a January 7, 2011 fire at McCotter's Marina in Beaufort County, North Carolina.  The owners have a webpage devoted to her.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Further Reflections on the Nature of the Real

"Socrates said the same thing always, having only one thought, idea of universality.  Modern philosophy has many ideas, all having limited truth."

The idea that ‘reality’ results from the conscious gaze was mentioned in the previous post.  This notion is supposed to have been put forth by the proponents of quantum mechanic's so called "string theory."  It comports with a philosophical notion that I find has merit, that only that in which we believe is real.  People find themselves in a body in the world mediated by eyes, ears, etc., and come to believe that perceived phenomena are real.  This notion has been questioned by many down through the ages with Merleau-Ponty's statement that we must not wonder whether we really perceive a world, we must instead say, the world is what we perceive being a fair rendering of my personal position.  Assuming the world thus perceived is real, it follows that this reality is, because we believe it to be so, because, we can "see", have given it our "conscious gaze."  However, this leaves most in a quandary as to the "existence" of that which is beyond the phenomenal.  I've written many times about this but find myself going back to the subject again and again.  What about God and other non phenomenal attributes?

Ask not if God exists.  Ask if he is Real.  There are beautiful things, most would agree; in my scheme the "things" exist but not the "beauty", at least not until it is realized.   Beauty is not perceived in and of itself.  Beauty is only seen when there is first a thing.  Like the divine beauty is eternal; and truth, and Love, and so forth.  And what is Real is found only through faith.  Believe not and that reality falls away.  God is likewise manifest in things.  But God is not a thing except as a potentiality.  So he doesn't have existence, being eternal.  Nonetheless he is Real, the primal Real, but only for those who believe.  Truth, beauty, and love, etc., potentially manifest, but likewise require a "conscious gaze".  One makes a conscious choice to see or not see the truth, or the beauty of a phenomenal object.  A value judgement is made.  One makes a conscious choice to Realize the deity.  Failing to do so leaves one with an empty cold Universe where only ephemeral objects are real, and that only because we have affirmed them, and when they dissolve into that whence they arose, including the body in which the "conscious gaze" originates, all that can be said is that out of nothing comes nothing.  In the end if you have no faith, nothing is your reward.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Commentary on Grand Unified Theory

"In the order of intelligible things his intelligence holds the same rank as does his body in the expanse of nature, and all it can do is perceive the appearance of the middle of things, in an eternal despair of knowing either their beginning or their end. All things proceed from the nothing, and are led towards the infinite. Who can follow these marvellous processes? The Author of these wonders understands them. None other can do so."
Blaise Pascal

"That’s why we’re here: the passing of time has no meaning unless experienced by conscious beings."
James Lileks

...or consciousness, truth, beauty.  Time and these are universal but must be individualized, localized to be meaningful.

God hides in plain sight.  He does not do the things man does, think, etc., but he is there when we do them.  We are confronted with the incomprehensible Otherness of the opposite.  Today I see woe has its wisdom, sorrow enlightens the soul.

Michael Hanlon on theory of "pocket universes"  This sounds a lot like Aristotle: "If it is allowed by the basic physical laws (which, in this scenario, will be constant across all universes), it must happen.  This idea from the Multiverse theory.  And from Michael Hanlon on string theory: "The ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum physics....states that all quantum possibilities are, in fact, real. When we roll the dice of quantum mechanics, each possible result comes true in its own parallel timeline. If this sounds mad, consider its main rival: the idea that ‘reality’ results from the conscious gaze. Things only happen, quantum states only resolve themselves, because we look at them. As Einstein is said to have asked, with some sarcasm, ‘would a sidelong glance by a mouse suffice?’"

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Hawking:   "If Einstein's general theory of relativity is correct, the universe began with a singularity called the big bang. Now because it was a singularity, all the laws of physics broke down. And therefore we cannot predict how the universe began. A few years ago I was at a conference on cosmology that was held in the Vatican. And at the end of the conference the participants were granted an audience with the Pope. The Pope said it was fine for them to inquire into the early history of the universe, but they should not ask questions about the big bang itself... because that was the work of God. However, at that conference I proposed that Einstein's general theory of relativity would have to be modified to take quantum mechanics into account. And that modification would mean that there was no singularity. Space time would be finite in extent, but with no singularities. In this picture, space time would be like the surface of the earth. It's finite in extent, but it doesn't have any boundary or edge or singularities."

Interviewer:  SO IT WOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE TO SAY THAT REALLY THE UNIVERSE HAS A BEGINNING OR END, OR WHAT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO SAY ABOUT BEGINNING AND CAUSATION?

"The universe... the universe would have a beginning and an end in the same sense that degrees of latitude have a beginning and an end at the north and south poles respectively. There isn't any point with a latitude 91 degrees north. And similarly, there isn't any point in the universe which is before the big bang. And the, but the north pole is a perfectly regular point of the earth's surface, it's not a singular point. And similarly, I believe that the big bang was a perfectly regular point of space time. And all the laws of physics would hold at the big bang. And if that is the case, we can completely predict the state of the universe from the laws of physics."

 ALL OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS SEEMS TO BE DIRECTED TOWARDS THE EVENTUAL GOAL, THAT'S A UNIFIED FIELD THEORY, AN UNDERSTANDING OF FUNDAMENTAL LAWS THAT UNIFY ALL OF NATURE, INCLUDING MANKIND. WILL WE EVER FIND SUCH A THEORY, AND IF SO, WHAT COULD BE THE CONSEQUENCES?

"I think it's an open question as to whether we will find a complete unified theory. All I can say is that we don't seem to have one at the moment."

YOU WERE SAYING THAT THERE MAY BE SUCH A THING . . .

"We may never find a complete unified theory, but I think that there is a 50-50 chance that we'll do so by the end of the century."

WHAT WOULD BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH A THEORY? WOULD WE THEN KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT PHYSICAL REALITY?

"In principle, but not in practice. Because the equations are very difficult to solve in any but the simplest situations. We already know the laws of physics that underlie the behaviour of matter in normal circumstances. So in principle, we should be able to predict all of physics, all of chemistry and biology. But we've not had much success in predicting human behaviour from mathematical equations."
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Commentary

Science posits the Real, the source of meaning and purpose, in an absolute other.  It's over the horizon and is called something like "complete unified theory" and would resolve the general theory of relativity with the (theories of) quantum mechanics, the physics of the very large with that of the very small.  There are no concrete objects, but waves in force fields.  Every discovery leads to new postulates as the absolute other is approached but never quite reached.  Like going the speed of light requires ever more energy as one approaches light speed, to make the final leap requires all the known energy in the universe.  I postulate that to calculate the grand unified theory similarly requires ever greater calculus and that eventually you run out of calculus coincidentally at the same moment you would reach the ultimate theory.  Anyhow, Hawking says, the theory can't be solved in anything but the simplest situations and then only in principle, not in practice. I think the evidence can't be finally owned because it hides in plain sight.  You can't find it because the premise you don't already have it, is false.  The mention that ‘reality’ results from the conscious gaze does indeed border on a line of inquiry that gets into territory normally shunned by physics, by science.  But Hanlon says it seems mad.  James Lileks could have formulated his statement thusly.

What's also interesting is the notion that if a reality is possible it will eventuate.  Aristotle postulated this too, and noted that unimaginable horrors were necessary conditions.  Also notable is the absence of anything not quantifiable from these types of proceedings.  Sean Carroll, for instance, dismisses philosophical insights relating to consciousness, the soul, and religious notions of transfiguration, for instance, as flowery speech.  Science generally doesn't consider anything that can't be measured.  And religion, it's parent, or at least predecessor, tends to shun measurement.  Thus, for science, measurement becomes the sine qua non of knowledge. You own reality by taking measure of it.  But knowledge isn't the only path to understanding.  Indeed it can be an impediment.  It seems to me a grand unified theory would actually account for time, beauty, love, truth, and such coming to have meaning when actualized in a field of consciousness of a sentient life form.  My personal grand notion, call it theory if you want, is consciousness is the instrument of the soul and the issue of Grace working through the emotions, through mind, to affect the apotheosis of matter.  Art, religion, science, history, and philosophy as developmental stepping stones, as stages on life's way, taken together give better results than any one taken alone.  Consciousness is directed outward in all but the last, just asking the question, or positing the answer in a false other.  In philosophy consciousness actually returns on itself ever going out only to find that outwardness is another way of looking at inwardness.  This scheme is elaborated by R. G. Collingwood, and Soren Kierkagaard.

People, science won't believe in God because they have no proof, evidence.  They fail to realize evidence always pertains to some thing and that God is not a separate thing unto himself.  Its closer to reality that he is all that is in which case the "evidence" is hiding in plain sight.  He can't be parsed from the whole of reality: neither can you. If you must have evidence look at the  back of your hand, look at all that is, for the whole thing is God is as valid a statement as he is not, doesn't exist.  Precisely.  We perceive ourselves, taking that as evidence we exist and at the same time as the paradigm for the proof of anything at all.  Self measure is established as the measure of all things.  We anthropomorphize the whole of reality.

Extending our mind with mathematical equations we define alternately increasingly fine and/or gross models of reality.  We see particles so small, the Higgs Boson, for instance, the so called "God" particle, they revert to fields of energy, and worlds so dense and large, black holes, that their matter assumes  the distribution observed in the whole Universe.  Our mind holds these realities as we extend our experiments searching out valid proofs.  But the mind was always there with the proofs coming behind.  What kind of world is it where mind is centered everywhere, bounded nowhere? No matter where we focus our technologically enhanced senses, our mathematically precise concepts, we find, if we care to notice, consciousness, mind, precedes us.  Our reach always exceeds our grasp.

If that's too much to swallow then here is a simple formula that is known to work:  "Praise no day until evening, no wife until buried, no sword until tested, no maid until bedded, no ice until crossed, no ale until drunk."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is there an Apriori Realm? Existentialism, Essence, and Existence


We must not, therefore, wonder whether we really perceive a world, we must instead say: the world is what we perceive.
M. Merleau-Ponty

Perception…. is the background from which all things stand out.
M. Merleau-Ponty

More Merleau-Ponty: "….doubt….could never finally tear us away from truth. …in so far as we talk about illusion, it is because we have identified illusions, and done so solely in the light of some perception which at the same time gave assurance of its own truth. We are in the realm of truth and it is the experience of truth which is self evident. The experience of truth is self evident. To seek to ground this in a more pervasive claim, such as Descartes’ doctrine of doubt, would prove unfaithful to my experience of the world; one should be looking for what makes that experience possible instead of looking for what it is. The self evidence of perception is not adequate thought or apodeictic self-evidence. The world is not what I think, but what I live through."

To be limited is in turn to be a limit because it is not possible to say which defines a thing/limit more, its definition of itself or its definition in the terms of that which it limits.

Consciousness I see as non ego and if I am only conscious then I am living in the original image of man in the the world, i.e., everything is equally conscious. The advent of ego awareness makes consciousness ‘mine’ but not really because ‘I am of the universe’ and to say something is ‘mine’ is therefore absurd, tautological - it says the universe owns itself.

If consciousness is truly passive it can’t be affected. It is the background –as passive- for change, and change appears intelligible by virtue of the passiveness of the illuminating nature of consciousness.

So the void (consciousness) is like a mirror that stands, as it were, ‘behind’ the ego and functions as a perfect mirror – it reflects (illuminates) absolutely indiscriminately and equally whatever is immediate to the ego. And since the void is infinite, consciousness will be the same for any possible ego, i.e., infinite.

Since consciousness is coextensive with the void then an explanation of consciousness in physical terms would be an explanation of vacuum in physical terms, i.e., there is nothing physical about it.

By virtue of the infinite quality of consciousness I can abstract my “self’ and go, with abstraction, anywhere to do anything. That is to say, I can ‘picture’ in my mind the configuration of the sun, moon, from above/outside. I can visualize being outside, at an almost infinite distance, the whole cosmic reality, seeing the ALL as a mere luminous dot/unity. I had this dream/experience/vision while a child.  Must I not have already been there in some sort of way to do this?

Valence: clinging by vectors/same energy levels/inclination/tendency

People participating in religious, artistic, musical, scientific, etc. activities participate in a movement of mind/matter spread over space and time. The direction of these endeavors depends on the valencies of the participating people, in their thinking and doing being combined in a total historical movement, e.g., communism, etc. How can the world shake these patterns? How can we be free of harmful tendencies/habits? Just by seeing and doing….?

..and again how does one articulate in a vacuum? Easy! Out of an utter sense of newness, freshness, vitality, and the assurance that nothing whatever is in our way, finally speaking. We will go wherever our inclination takes us. The only choice we have is how we will be inclined. And isn’t that just seeming as well?

At the center of all inclination/intention is the thirst for the real. This is irreducible…..and untouchable in the sense that you can’t see yourself, who and what exactly you are without first relaxing the process generating that end. This is the first thing, the beginning of true life. This is the state of vulnerability. It is where the first and last risks are taken. If you learn properly to take a risk, if you can relax to a deep enough level, you can act on what you see laid out before you with certainty and precision. You know your acts go to their mark, because you have seen everything there is to be seen.

Repeated acts are volitional to their own repetition. Deeds of a kind attract, ergo, bad doing equates to bad company; ergo, its possible to attract “higher beings” good and bad.  Every "doing" generates and is sustained by its own spirit/life force.  Go once to charity or love or compassion and it is easier to do so again.  The same is true for the opposite.  Spirits grows by participation.

Whatever is, whether one or many, participates in the Real. This participation provides one commonality. Allow that it may be that the only way objects can appear to be separate is in part because they really are not.

Our own perceptions are among the class of external objects as well as ideas, knowledge, sensation, etc.

Consciousness is primordial, I think. In the sense that it is a universal principle that the “One” should be awakened as we awaken (to our godliness), “God” rises to self consciousness in human awareness; on the emergence of sentience.

About gestalt versus sequential views of the Real: Perhaps some see the universe as a gestalt, perhaps a very young child, for instance, but “man” sees the same universe in terms of sequential images in his vain attempt to rationalize with propositional relations what Camus calls the absurd realm, that realm outside our consciousness. To accomplish this ominous task would presume the necessity, and even the possibility, of placing in one to one correlation, an abstract, verbal (or mathematical) proposition with every atomic proposition and every possible combination of all atomic propositions. Our universe will probably be approaching inclusion in this particular pulse of its symbiotic, onomatopoeic existence. Man should recognize, as a pragmatic fact, that the universe is a tautology and that each thing that is will continue to be, only in different space and time. Man should learn, therefore, to function temporally, but from an eternal perspective… Strive to see the whole instead of its nebulous parts as the ground of reality.

Existentialism has two schools. The christian school of Jaspers, Marcel and the Atheist one of Sartre, Heidegger.

Atheistic existentialists have in common the belief that existence precedes essence or that subjectivity is the starting point.

Your Christian existentialist holds that production precedes existence. To build the first table the artisan had to have conceived its image, its essence, before setting to work. God is considered a superior sort of artisan.

And again, the atheist view is that man is the only being in which existence precedes essence. Consciousness precedes thought, for instance. Man appears, defines himself and all other things. He makes himself what he is, as the essence he defines is, by a necessity of language, subjectivity. He is responsible for himself and, at the same time, all other men.

Say that man is chained to human subjectivity, this is the essential meaning of existentialism. By choosing his own will man chooses mankind's will as he always picks the good over the evil. There is not an apriori realm, and there is nothing for man to cling to either within or without himself.  When clinging arises wisdom is shut out.

Those unfortunates who spend their lives waiting on God sadly miss the point that God is waiting on them.  Many live in hope of getting a better gig in "heaven".  Really, we already have a gig in heaven.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Table

But is there an actual "table", for instance, if every instance is somehow different from every other? Is the rose ever actual or is the actualization of the rose, and the table, in itself endless? And man? In what sense is he never fulfilled, complete? Doesn't this touch on the lack of concreteness in beauty, truth, wisdom, understanding, and, of course, Love, and Liberty? Isn't it why God himself must be taken on Faith? For how does one grasp, hold, have, keep what is itself a kind of infinite potentiality? Consider that the "reason" we can never have final knowledge about anything is because nothing in itself is ever final.  Understanding is available but comes with a leap beyond mere reason, a leap from having to being.  Being or Having...you figure it out.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Word


 
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John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Luke 19: 35-40  And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.  And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.  And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;  Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.  And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

The intake of your breath is the exhalation of the universe.  Your exhalation is the breathing in of the Universe.

In my last post I wrote about the first act of creation, of the principle of illumination.  But what is the Word?  Isn't it just a primordial principle capable of self actualizing.  Think of Greek Logos or Hebrew Davar;  first principle with the power to manifest itself, or, potentiality with the power to self actualize.  Then think of the rose.  The actualization of the rose is endless.  There is no actual rose, only potential.   Likewise, there is no concrete "word" or "truth" or "beauty".  There is no now, no present.  Try and hold onto one.  If there were we could own these but since we can't we are only borrowers.  The word is in the manifested cosmos, and vice versa, as the rose is in the bud and the bud is in the rose; for every actuality there is a new potentiality.  And, my sight of the rose is the rose's means of seeing itself.

We know nothing, really, any more than we can hold onto the present.  It's best to let God keep his secrets.  Many claim God "loves" them.  I don't know but intuit rather that God is Love.  We are blessed to participate in this Love and in this moment; my concern is not that he loves me but that I love him.  The potentiality of love of the deity is in the very rocks at our feet.  The emergence of sentient life gives voice to these stones.  It's because we don't or can't fully know that we have a sense of wonder, awe, and an appreciation of beauty and truth. These keep us searching, make the journey ever new whether it really is or not.  Were the truth about the ultimate purpose and meaning of existence vouchsafed to us reality might be as boring to us as it must be to God without his life in and through his creation.  Christ is the word made flesh, it is written.  I write that the whole of Reality is the manifesting Word.

The Star of David and the symbol for the Hindu sacred syllable Om.  The esoteric meaning of the Star of David is that God descends into matter in order to reascend a self realized spiritual being.  That is another way of stating Christ is the word made flesh.  I think the Om symbol has the same meaning.  The sacred syllable Om is the equivalent of the Word.  Our voice is the rocks crying out.

"The Universe is in us", he says in this video.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preaching, Passion, and Illumination

"It would be a poor thing to be an atom in a universe without physicists, and physicists are made of atoms - A physicist is the atom's way of knowing about atoms..." -George Wald

"...no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Meditation on these points. The subject is that which is in the object that can stand outside the object and view itself. The faculty for this is consciousness.
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I continue my reading of Aristotle at the Metaphysics as an oblique reference to these thoughts.

I don't find the word preacher appealing.  It means minister or sermonizer.  It also means Ecclesiastic.  But Solomons are rare.   My problem is, I guess, and they are not alone in this at all, preachers make you feel the heat but if you want to see the light, move on because the heat of their passion effectively blocks out any enlightenment.  Conceded, heat is a form of light, and does give comfort if you are out in the cold.  So does passion, and they do communicate passionately, and this is good because faith begins in the heart.  It is felt, not reasoned.  That feeling is the first tentative step to wisdom, understanding, light.  Preachers compare to sophists.  Rhetoric is their main faculty; and they both pass the collection plate from Protagoras on down.  But truth can't be conveyed rhetorically.  Truth is not something that can be taught, or bought.  Only "things" are teachable.  Truth might inform things.  So might beauty.  But you can't teach beauty any more than truth itself.  Both are available to be realized, not learned.  Truth and beauty and the other concomitants of consciousness are aspects, facets, of the spirit that confer universality.  Sermonizers pray for this or that, implying they have power to move God in their favor, and, more to the point, that you can too.  Well, "Deeds can't dream what dreams can do", but, intention plays a greater part, I think, than actual work on behalf of the petitioner by the divine creative force behind the whole existential Reality.  What really happens in these settings is a longing for the Real, for truth, is set up but never fulfilled.  Instead they are satisfied with their dogma, which can be taught, and is bought, dearly.  But dogma does not confer universality and truth does and the sophist's belief he has a direct pipeline to truth, in the final analysis, tragically shuts off the possibility of discovery.

To be clear, I don't doubt the divinity of Christ, or any man, not that all men are Gods.  Is a drop of water the ocean?  I submit Christ understood how it was, and more importantly, how it wasn't.  People following this path like to say, "I know God loves me."  First of all, how selfish.  Secondly, say to them, if God loves everything the same then it begins to look a lot like indifference, and watch their eyes glaze over.  Their God is anthropogenic and the lie to their "faith" is that the more they pursue it the more they claim certitude.  Its true, rather, that real faith results in greater doubt, trepidation, humility, the closer one approaches the divine.  In the end one arrives at a sort of infinite resignation that knowing God is impossible.

Its written that in the beginning was the Word and the first act of creation was of light.  Leaving aside what is the Word think of the light as principle, not as visible light, per se.  As principle, illumination is participated in by the various forms, the concomitants of consciousness, e.g. Love, Liberty, Truth, Beauty, Grace, Wisdom, and so on.  All of these pertain to the substance of things; they are aspects of the indwelling spirit, of the potentiality inhering in the energia of matter and of the entelechy, the end within.  It is the form of things that facilitate display of these and in doing so universality is conferred on the subject by their presence.  The form makes a thing, a painting, for instance, individual, but it is the beauty that gives it appeal, universality.  Forms make the concomitants intelligible, available, individual.  The concomitants make the individuals universal.  People like to ask what a work of art means.  It doesn't mean anything.  It is a question; Who am I?  If it is a beautiful piece the answer is; I am everything that is.  My meaning and purpose consists in the instantiation of beauty in this individual object.  Likewise for love and the others.  You can't teach love, liberty, wisdom, grace, beauty, but your life is enriched beyond compare if you can find paths that participate in the divine light in which these qualities facilitate the awakening, the apotheosis, of the divine.  You can be Love, Freedom, Wise, Grace, Beauty; Truth can be lived.  No learning necessary.  To borrow from T.S. Eliot, the drop of water slips into the shining sibilant sea and arriving where it began knows the place for the first time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Birthdays

My son, Christopher M. Hinds, turned 26 this past Sunday.  Granddaughter, Eleanor Margarete Hinds, was two Sept. 6.  Nice photos at this link, Au Coeur blog.  They live on Nantucket.  Also, Christopher's mother, Helen Elizabeth Ragsdale was born this month.  Sept. 16.