Saturday, February 11, 2006

Magic Eightbob Time

Today's post will be a bit late. It is now 6:30, and I have agreed to look after the beast at 7;00, thus allowing Mrs. Gagdad to sleep in. Not enough time to work out what I want to say. I'm in the process of downloading it from the beyond right now, and the ingredients have not yet coalesced. It has something to do with death cults (including leftism), grief, martyrdom, the moral vanity and superiority of the easily offended, the affable gallantry of President Bush, turning the other cheek, and disidentifying with one's thoughts and unpleasant emotional reactions. At the moment I don't see how, but Petey promises me that it will all "add up."

In the meantime, does anyone have any questions? As before, I would be happy to field any and all inquiries, except, of course, from our resident troll. The questions can be for me, for Petey, for Mrs. G., and can be about any topic you wish. Again, if I don't know the answer, I can probably point you in the right direction, or at least come up with something that will plausibly convince me that I know what I'm talking about.

Most of the questions last time around were quite challenging and thought provoking. Unless they are particularly straight forward, I'll probably devote an entire post to each one. Last time I tried to answer two or three at a time, and the posts got too long and disjointed.

The blog is probably going to be changing if not ending soon. I'm getting a little antsy dwelling in the known, and would like to return to my normal state of affairs, which involves pushing into the unknown. If the blog is to continue, it will have to involve more of that. So many blogs already do such an outstanding job disseminating the known to those who would like to know it. Is there any interest in a blog that disseminates the unknown to those willing to unknow it?

Answer hazy. Ask again.

UPDATE--

Thank you all for the kind words. I'm extremely touched.

Just to clarify--this has nothing to do with the family. I actually have plenty of time for them. Nor does it have anything to do with being burned out. It really does just have to do with what I said. It's not a matter of time. It's a matter of timelessness. But timelessness takes time.

There's a certain level of depth that can only be achieved with a lot of unstructured time spent in the bewilderness. Doing the blog means that I have less time to make those "raids on the inarticulate," to develop new ideas, to or to deepen and synthesize some of the new ideas that are bubbling around in my brain.

The realm of the known is like a big, bright spotlight that illuminates everything in its path. We can even imagine that the spotlight shows all there is. But obviously, the vast majority of reality lies outside the spotlight. For a long time, I've felt that I've been making progress in venturing beyond the edge of that light. In fact, I sort of measure a given day in terms of whether or not I made any progress in that direction.

I literally think of it as a frontier. Just as humanity moved westward until the external frontier closed in the late 19th century, I think of the interior horizon of the cosmos as the new frontier. We've only just begun mapping it. So to the extent that the blog prevents that, that's the problem. How do I continue it and retain my inward mobility in the vertically expanding cosmos?

23 Comments:

Blogger Dan Spomer said...

It's not a question, but a request... PLEASE don't end your blog. Reading here is literally one of the high points of my day.

OK, HERE'S a question: are there alternate realities based on choices, much like Richard Bach wrote of?

2/11/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to know your thoughts on programs like est. Do you consider it a cult, and what are the long term effects?

2/11/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Bob:
Please don't end the blog. But as much as I enjoy the discussions on politics and current affairs, I really come here for the spiritual angle. If you're going to steer it in that direction, then HOORAY!
I am interested in your views on reincarnation. (But right now, oatmeal calls.)

JWM

2/11/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

I'd be really disappointed were you end this blog. I read it every day, and get a lot of insight from it. The combination of spirituality and psychology backed up by actual (as opposed to pseudo) eruditon is just delightful. What, if I understand you correctly, is known to you is pretty much a revelation to me. I have a lot of background in spirituality (having at once time been a Catholic priest) and psychology lite derived from the 12 step and self help movements. Much of what you say rings true, based on a sort of incohate pre-knowledge I've garnered as I browsed about the world.

Of course I understand that a blog is the instrument of it's author, meant to serve his purposes, not simply to be interesting and/or useful to the readership. So I get it that I the reader have no power to compel you with a "But I want it!" tantrum. But I do want it.

That being said, the notion of a blog that dissememinates the unknown to the unknowing has a certain Quixotic and avantbob charm.

To a question then! Much of what write of the known is a psychological analysis. Were you in a position to do so, what would you prescribe? How would you treat the Arab/Muslim shame based culture? How would you lead and Islamists to lauch? In dealing with the mind parasites of unavoidable others (assuming for the sake of argument that I've got my own fairly well quashed), how to avoid being coopted by their agenda at a personal and organizational level? Or, to put it another way, how does one sidestep rampant political correctness, avoid getting swept along by its agenda, set one's own and not get discredited and marginalized in the process? Is it possible to retain one's sanity and act sanely in an insane organization?

2/11/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger lmg said...

1) Please don't go away. Your blog is top drawer, like ShrinkWrapped, Dr Sanity, Neo-Neo, et al. Maybe you all can form a PA.

2) But if you branch out into The Unknown, that would be cool. Will these be Rumsfeldian "known unknowns" or "unknown unknowns"?

2/11/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

Wow Bob...give up your blog? I hope this is just a comment because you hadn't had your coffee yet! Ha Ha

When you get antsy or whatever it is you are feeling (perhaps its a result of us not challenging you enough as readers/responders by relaxing too much here and expressing our own frustrations with the current events, I know I have been guilty of that)then maybe you could just suggest a "vacation" from the blog first instead of abandonment. Look at the comments left here since you made that statement..."Please" and "Please" and "I would be disappointed" Oh my...the sad faces! We would miss you terribly!

If you don't like the topics we tangent off on or get stuck on, then, LEAD US back on the narrow path of your focus. You can't just hook us in and then toss us over the boat! Ha Ha

You asked if we had any questions...about the "unknown" well...ok, how about you give us a few topics under "the unknown" category that you feel inspired to address to kinda jump start us because you should get something out of this too. This should be fun for you!

*maybe we need the word association thingy*

2/11/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bob,

I really don't care if you decide to quit blogging as long as Petey continues in your place.

Seriously, your blog is one of the very best.

Your explorations into the spiritual dimensions and your perspectives on current political topics keep me coming back for more every day.

Please don't say goodbye.

2/11/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger The Viewfinder said...

I'll echo the others here, in that I love your blog and would hate to see it end. But I also get the feeling of being tired of exploring the known.

Several years ago, I was going around in circles in my own explorations and heard my own "Petey" voice (mine happens to be named "Kajah" (I don't know why LOL)). He said "Why don't you stop focusing on the world as you see it and begin focusing on the world as you see it could be?"

Now, of course, being a libertarian, the world I want to create generates a lot of freedom, so I kind of took this to mean "don't sweat every detail, it's all headed in the freedom-loving direction." The question is really, "how are we going to get there? The more painful way, or the less painful way?"

Sometimes it seriously looks like the more painful, more traumatic way is pretty much unavoidable. When I get that way, I take a break. Look around me, at the here-and-now details of my life, notice all that's good around me, and laugh. It makes it a little easier to put the crap into perspective and get back to a vertical sense of vision.

I'm not doing justice to the idea here, I know... my first comment on your blog, and it surely isn't containing everything that I feel in the energy of my fingers as they type. sigh.

Let me just say... I feel a connection to your writing, and I'd like the opportunity to continue to know you.

Best wishes,
Cathy

2/11/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous urthshu said...

Well, OK.
If the Mrs. would like a practical & somewhat timely question: Could she address in any way the differences & complexities of dealing with ex's as friends, perhaps juxtaposing that with it's modern polar opposite, the casual partner?

While that might seem a rude-ish question, it really isn't meant to be. In some ways, I tend to think that being friends with ex's goes against the grain of evolutionary psychology [hence the modern insistence upon it, maybe], yet the modern sex-obsession is equally destructive to obtaining or maintaining healthy relationships as well. Maybe it's the latter that gets in the way of the former?

2/11/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Bob,
I'll echo what others have said. I read you daily and enjoy your insights. Maybe you need to drop down to a post every few days or even once a week. Daily posts must get tiring. Thanks for your good work.

2/11/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous primal_john said...

Bob,
Your family comes first in my book - definitely before your continually growing band of admirers.
Why not just have fewer postings?
I also prefer the psychology and spirituality angle of your postings.
Specialize in that area as you spent more time with the Mrs. and Jr.

2/11/2006 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

Bob, Do you have "blog burnout" or does the discussions that always end up on the political side just make you nervous or depressed?

I see that Petey suggested cutting down on the post, well, ummm do you feel that this blog has become work to you like "omgosh, I have to get up or stay up and write something for those crazy guys, because they are expecting it" kinda thing?

Because I agree with primal_john, that your family comes first, and wow, we all understand that you have a tiny demanding person in the house now *not meaning Petey* so, whatever you do, don't ever feel compelled to churn out daily material here on our account, just toss us a bone when you feel inspired or have the time and seriously, by all means, only write if its fun or you are enjoying yourself. Life is too short to create complications for yourself.

I do want to say something to all of you that long for the unknown and are getting more "antsy" or "uncomfortable" being in the "known" all the dang time, because I think part of that is that once you "tap" into the vertical, and your spirit is reborn, you instantly become a stranger here in the "now" on this earth. We don't belong here anymore. We become the "alien" not of this world being, because in our minds, we live each minute and take each breath with bodies that we know are just a tent that we are just renting and yet our souls remind us all the time that it wants to go home to a place that is prepared for us and much grander and meaningful than here and the more in tune we are with that realization that our retirement homes, which we inherited are not of this world, then the more we long for it and the more we outgrow this skin. It's kinda like the lobster that has to keep shedding his hard shell in order to grow another one, because literally he starts to feel uncomfortable from the internal growth inside. His hard shell doesn't grow with him so he has to sorta shed it and be vulnerable as another one hardens even tougher and bigger. This happens all during his life here. In comparison, our internal growth is always painful just like that. Sometimes we have to "shed a layer or two" to grow bigger on the inside and get tougher on the outside in order to survive and so while we are waiting to be beamed up out of this strange land called the "horizontal" we will continue to feel like we don't belong here. because we don't. We belong to someone else and as soon as our purpose for Him is up down here, then we are going home. Our redemption draweth nigh!

2/11/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger wildiris said...

First off, please don't stop your writing. I am a daily visitor and consider your blog, “One Cosmos” on the same level as “The Belmont Club” in the quality of its subject matter and presentation. If you need a break, just take a few more days between postings. But don’t stop. In the mean time, here is an observation of mine that I would love to see your thoughts on.

But as a quick footnote before going any father, when I was at UC Santa Cruz I was introduced the concept of the evolution of human conscience. That is the notion that just as humans have evolved as a species over time the collective conscience of humans has as well. This includes the basic ways in which we think, view the world around us and our sense of self. Given your background, I’m sure you’re probably more familiar than I am with this view of human evolution. So with this as my point of reference…the ancient Hebrew people appear to be responsible for several major advances in human conscience.

First is the concept of a “portable” god. The omni-potent, omni-present, god of all gods, the concept of the monotheistic god we all today, take so for granted. I used the term portable because until that point and time gods were always tied to places or things, god of the forest, god of the mountain, god of the wind, or god of a particular city or people. It was perfectly normal for someone to say to a foreigner in their midst ”my god is better than your god”. The other aspect of religion, before the ancient Hebrews, was that gods, while superior to humans in their powers, still had all of the same traits, anger, hate, envy, and etc. as mortal people did. As far as I my reading has let me see, the ancient Hebrews seem to be the first people to let go of this old view of the gods and take the step to the next level of spiritual abstraction.

The second step that the ancient Hebrew people seem to be first at is the concept of sacrificial substitution. In Genesis: 22, God tests Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. But at the last moment an angel of the Lord stopped Abraham and provided him with a “ram caught in a thicket” to sacrifice instead. Again, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first point in time in the ancient history of humanity where God said to man,” stop, I don’t want or need a human sacrifice anymore”. And of note, it is only in the context of this ancient Hebrew notion of sacrificial substitution that crucifixion Jesus Christ makes any sense as a religious act. But unfortunately, even up until the time of Solomon, it appears that some of the Hebrew people were still falling under that old apostasy of offering their children in human sacrifice as burnt offerings to the Canaanite god Moloch.

And lastly, and something you touched on in a recent post is that the ancient Hebrew people seem to be the first to confine sex to the wedding bed. By restricting sexual relations to be only between a man and woman and only within the confines of the marriage relationship, they took male sexuality out as a dominant social force within their society/culture and left themselves free as a society to evolve culturally in ways that other societies around them, where male sexuality often dominated both the religious and social dynamics of the day, couldn’t go.

2/11/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahn the Road said...

Bob,

Talk to us - what can we do to inspire you?

Obviously, it would seem counter to your own philosophy to keep this up as a chore on account of us. But if there’s anything we can do, any particular types of questions you’d like us to ask, or ideas you want to bounce off us, just say so.

Like many, I too come here for the spiritual angle. As great as your political insight is, like you say, there are others with a similar perspective. However, for us right-leaning spiritual seekers it can be a lonely world. I'd hate to have to go back to sifting through stale dogma and new age gibberish to piece together truths that you are somehow able to crystallize in a 20 minute morning ramble.

Personally, finding your blog last month has been a revelation. I was going through a difficult time, and between your book (I'm just getting into Part 4), your daily insights and, especially, your generous personal advice, I find that I've made amazing leaps in my understanding and personal growth. Frankly, I'm not sure how I would have gotten through the last few weeks without you. Concepts, truths and lessons that I've struggled to grasp, confirm and/or put into practice for years have suddenly come into focus thanks to your unique perspective and gift for words.

Also, as I've linked to your posts, showed friends your book and discussed your ideas I've seen some amazing responses from people of all perspectives - especially fellow musicians and artists who have been dealing with issues similar to my own.

Now, you seem like a pretty humble guy, so I don't want to scare you off by making you out to be our L. Ron Hubbard anything (perhaps more of a spiritual Leo Strauss for us cosmos-minded neo-cons?) ;-)

Still, as much as we love you Bob, you've got to follow your heart. So, regardless of what you decide, let me take this opportunity to extend endless gratitude for all that your efforts have meant to me thus far.

Of course, if Petey sees fit to include us (Pleeeeease Petey….pretty pleeeeease...), I know I’ll be honored to tag along on any of your further journeys into the unknown - wherever they may lead.

Thanks again, Bob.

- Mike

2/11/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

I'll throw in two more cents here. My favorite little corner of the internet has been a geeky hobbyist BBS. We have an on-line group that has evolved into a community with participating members in over twenty different countries. It's fun, but the topic is limited to BSing about toy collections. We avoid politics, religion, raunchy stuff, or flame wars. Or deeper stuff in general. It's just for fun. I like LGF, but frankly, the discussions are getting a little repetitious, and the scrapping has become tedious. I see a community starting to form here as well, but centered around far deeper stuff. I look forward to both reading Bob's posts, and hearing what Goesh, LLH (by the way, great post), Khan, shrinkwrapped, and several others whose names didn't just drop off my fingertips right now, have to say. I'd like to see that continue.I'll second what others have said, as well. Family first. We out here in radioland can do with less if needs be.

JWM

2/11/2006 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Now that's a thought. More of an online community of the like-minded...

As long as I get to be L. Bob. And have the exclusive franchise for selling orgone mind parasite eradication machines.

2/11/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Anonymous larwyn said...

Dear Bob,
I save OneCosmos for the evenings after supper - you are either my dessert or a thought I can explore while
waiting for sleep.

When you do the current
"knowns", yours are very different from others.
Please don't stop those
- but don't feel that every
post must be topical.

lmg used one of my favorite
Rumsfeld's - that the "intelligent journalists" couldn't understand.

Please do the "known- knowns" with that touch of
the unknown, the vertical that you do so well.

And do our "known-unknowns"
by trying to point us in
directions that we may eventually identify them as
our "known-knowns".

And the "unknown-unknowns",
for we mere mortals must be
greater than all the gigabytes of every computer,storage system and
data bank in existance.

But give it a shot.

Finally, not every blogger
posts every day. I have great patience waiting for the worthwhile. I will still check every day,
don't go away.

2/11/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Mrs G said...

Dear Urthshu,
I'd be honored to give my take re. your question. I spend most of my day chasing the boy, so as soon as I can, I'll respond. If you want to email me more details in the meantime, I can respond by email.

Mrs. G
lesliegodwin@earthlink.net

2/11/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

As long as I get to be L. Bob. And have the exclusive franchise for selling orgone mind parasite eradication machines.


I have the blueprint hidden in my secret vault. As soon as the dilithium crystals arrive it's a go.

JWM

2/11/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

L Bob said, "As long as I get to be L. Bob. And have the exclusive franchise for selling orgone mind parasite eradication machines."


jwm said, "I have the blueprint hidden in my secret vault. As soon as the dilithium crystals arrive it's a go"

Hey jwm, does the blueprints of that machine look anything like a HAYLING and will it make Bob glad to be here?

2/11/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Well, I don't know that I have anything to add to this Many-Years-Premature Gagdad Festschrift. I especially liked the acknowledgement of the priority of the small demanding person who is not Petey, and, indeed, the suggestion that Bob take all the vacations he needs until he misses us (I found that quitting blogging for up to a week, pretending I had "really quit," worked wonders with burnout).

I say, Liberty Hall. Write what's fun, or challenging to write, when it's fun or challenging to do so. All upside, no downside.

And I also agree the spiritual and developmental perspective is the distinctive one, though the political amuses as it oozes good sense.

As to questions, I would have confidence in Petey as a gonzo Miss Lonelyhearts. His answers are always surprising but inevitable, like the greatest works of art. If I asked him, for instance, how a woman over 50 can get an interesting job with a flexible schedule and pays lots of money, I'll bet he would, with the help of GagMom, offer a new insight. A kind of stereo Oracle of WiFi.

A community is forming, and IMO shouldn't be forced. Someone will have an idea for creative implementation at the apropos moment.

2/11/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Anonymous yesandno said...

Since I am behind on the 'known' things, maybe a discussion of the 'unknown' will allow me to be more equal since if it is unknown, I might start out kind of equal to everyone else! (yes, I am kidding)

Actually...I start my days with this blog and I learn something everyday, find something to chew on. Whatever path you choose, if I can come along just as a spectator, I would be very pleased...education is a life long event and there is so much here.

Your book is enlightening, your blog just as well. And many people who post here are outstanding. I hope you will choose to remain here.

2/11/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahn the Road said...

JWM’s suggestion of a forum, gave me (or maybe my, as of yet unnamed, version of Petey) an idea:

Bob, it sounds like you're interested in a more useful application of your knowledge and skills – something more interactive and responsive than the limited soapbox format of a blog. Meanwhile, many of us readers have a shared interest in spiritual matters and, in particular, your perspective as ‘one who’s gone before.’

Soooo, instead of just another forum to talk about those zany Muslims and their dread cartoons, how about a - hmmm, how I do explain this without sounding like a moonbat - ah, something like a 'mastermind' group, as they say in the business/leadership books, where we can exchange ideas, help each other out and, in particular, discuss spiritual questions, insights, impasses, experiences, etc. We could have it regulated to keep out trolls, moonbats and parasites (mind and otherwise) and Bob, GagMom, Petey and whom(or what)ever else can chime in at their leisure. Perhaps even Shrink-wrapped and some of the other brilliant PhDs in our virtual neighborhood would be inspired to stop by.

I guess it would be kind of a cosmic support group - but without the touchy-feely, airy-fairy, BS!

2/11/2006 10:48:00 PM  

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