Monday, January 29, 2007

Besides Hosting a Cable Show, What Happens When We Die?

We're still considering the 20 Coon questions posed by Anonymous the other day. The next two are related: "Where was my consciousness before my birth?," and "Where will it go after I die?"

I've noticed that Larry King always asks that latter question whenever he has one of those slippery psychic mercenaries on the program. What happens when we die, Sylvia? I don't know, you tell me, Larry. What's it like to have the longest running cable program hosted by a ghoul in suspenders? (I know, I know, another pointless cheap shot that compromises Dear Leader's spiritual authority. Honestly, I find the man genuinely creepy, like a purely vital being.)

I regret to inform you that I do not have good answers to the above questions. To be perfectly accurate, I could give you some lively and imaginative answers, but I would be spookulating, which is something that a Raccoon never does but spiritual hacksters who appear on Larry King always do. Rather, for a Raccoon, his spiritual knowledge is always rooted in spiritual experience, or it is no knowledge at all. When we speak of colonizing consciousness, we speak only of lands upon which we have personally set foot and planted the Raccoon colors, in that order.

Nor can I say with any degree of confidence where our consciousness was before we were bearthed and begaialed. Of course, some people reportedly do remember previous incarnations, and there is apparently a researcher -- I can't remember his name -- who has published at least one book with compelling evidence of children who remember odd details about past lives, things they couldn't possibly have known, but which have been subsequently verified by investigators as true. And there is an abundant literature -- disputed, of course -- concerning "near death experiences."

While I personally remember no past lives, I do have many very specific traits, capacities, and even knowledge that I cannot account for and which no one else in my clan shares. Perhaps, as in psychology, "living out" is a form of remembrance. And I do know that when my father died over 20 years ago, I thought that if actually saw him die, I would never stop having nightmares. But the opposite was true, for when he died, there was a palpable sense that he was simply no longer there in that body. Or, to put it another way, that body was definitely not him. It was actually comforting. ( I had no particular spiritual beliefs at the time.)

But the pre- and post-death literature has never interested me. Or perhaps it did when I first began to be interested in spiritual matters. Looking back on it, I can see why. Real spiritual knowledge is a realm of ontological subtlety. That is to say, it is very real and very distinct, and yet... what's the word, Jeeves? Diaphanous? Mmmmm, no. That makes me think of the Victoria's Secret catalog. Ethereal? No, not exactly. That conjures up "airy fairy." Reminds me of some of the Colonel's stories about Dame Edith.

State specific, sir? Yes, I like that, Jeeves. "State specific." I find that real spiritual knowledge initially arises from certain subtle states that eventually become solidified and "prolonged" into traits. Thus, someone with no experience is naturally drawn to something that appears more empirically "solid" in order to bolster his faith. You might say that it is a replacement for experience.

But in the end, this kind of knowledge is no more useful than, say, reading stories about people who have undergone psychotherapy and gained insight into this thing called the "unconscious." Their stories might be perfectly true, but what good are they to you if you haven't personally experienced it for yourself? In many ways, this type of "gross" knowledge can be a defense against subtle knowledge. In other words, it can fool us into believing we know something we actually don't. As such, it becomes part of the vast cognitive wasteland of "minus k" (-k) taking up space in your hardhead drive.

(-K) constitutes everything we know "with the head of another," but do not really know ourselves. Importantly, this does not generally apply to empirical or rational type knowledge. For example, it is not (-k) for me to believe that a solution exists to the little plumbing problem I am having, even though I can't figure it out. I know that my neighbor, the plumber, knows the answer, and that's more than enough for me. It would, however, become (-k) if I were to believe that plumbing holds the key to the cosmic enigma.

Similarly, it is perfectly acceptable to believe that a neurologist will have some useful (k) if I suffer from migraine headaches. But it would be pure (-k) to believe that he has anything useful to say about the nature of consciousness itself. This is how we know that atheists such as Sam Harris or Steven Pinker are so "full of it." What they are full of is (-k) about spirituality, precisely. In fact, there is a good chance that my plumber knows more about Spirit than they do. I'll have to ask him. Then again, plumbers charge so much.

Many spiritual seekers are looking for tangible "signs and wonders" to bolster their faith, as opposed to "subtlizing" their own instrument, which is one of the purposes of a spiritual practice. I think that this is what motivates a lot of the "intelligent design" movement -- which I have no real objections to (the responsible ones, anyway), so long as they do not confuse the (k) of intelligent design with what in the Coonifesto I call the (n) of genuine spiritual gnosis. When (k) usurps or replaces (n), it becomes (-k).

This is a constant problem with religious dogma, which is definitely necessary and good, and yet, can become a sort of rigid (k) if it is not regarded in the proper way. As I mentioned the other day, whenever this happens, a "messiah" will be required to shatter the existing containers that have become too saturated to hold any (n). The more subtle the realm, the more we must guard against (k) replacing (n), and thus, never knowing what we do not know. In approaching these subtle realms, we must adopt an apophatic attitude of (o), or achieve what Bion called the "negative capability" of suspending memory, desire and understanding. Only then do we clear a space for the more subtle understanding we are seeking to take root.

Our postmodern world has become so spiritually "gross," so "opaque," so encased in ice, that it is as if people require a kind of hammer to the head for spirit to get through at all. This itself represents a triumph of empiricism and materialism, for it is as if people cannot believe unless they have placed their hand directly into the wound. But blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed. To be precise, blessed be those who have unknown in order to awaken their subtle vision, thereby converting the assurance of things hoped for into the conviction of things unseeable with eyes made by Darwin.

Now, it is certainly possible, using pure intellection alone, to know that a post-death state must necessarily exist. Furthermore, there is no question that this must be a realm of both perfect mercy and of perfect justice. How do we know this, not just with the head of another, but our own?

We know it because the source of our being can only be the sovereign good. I will address this in more detail in some of the subsequent questions, but yesterday we spoke of how the human subject is comprised of 1) love, 2) will, and 3) truth, or virtue, freedom, and knowledge. Now, these things did not -- could not have -- come from "below," through any kind of purely materialistic process -- through so-called "natural selection." It is frankly absurd to think so, and self-refuting at every turn.

Free will, knowledge of good and evil, disinterested love, objective truth -- you will notice that science cannot actually account for any of these things, so it must make them "go away." They must be metaphysically "disappeared," stuffed into an academonic trunk and driven off the pier. Free will? A persistent illusion. Good and evil? Morality is all relative to sophisticated Pomo Man. Love? Ha! Nothing but lust jostling for power. Truth? Don't even go there, girlfriend. The astonishing mystery of subjectivity? An illusory side effect of neural computation.

Wait, is that true?

I said don't go there girlfriend. Mama don't play. How would you like a can o' tenure-denying whoop ass upside the head?

Even so, no matter who you are, you cannot help knowing that your existential mission in the herebelow has something to do with willing what is good and knowing what is true. Go ahead, ask Sam Harris. Do you want to do bad? No? Why not? Do you want your ideas to hurt people? No? Why would you possibly care? Don't you just want to be powerful and to bestow your sexual favors upon as many females as possible, like a demented raccoon on a beagle? Why would you conceivably care whether your ideas are "true," whatever that means?

Now, you no doubt have your own explanation for how and why the following happened, but it did: one way or t' other, God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his noustrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. At least this version of events acknowledges that Darwinian man preceded spiritual man by some 100,000 years, and that these merely genetic and material dustbunnies did not become proper men until their souls were awakened "from above." We know this because the same is true today of every earth-formed Stone Age baby who comes into the world. They too must recapitulate this "awakening" to the above on pain of spending their lives as a mere beast in human form, like La...

At some point, truth, love and beauty "descended" into the earth realm. In my book I have explained how I believe it might have happened, but the important point is that it did and it does, and that materialistic and reductionistic science is in principle unable to account for it. The human being is the "link" between the vertical and horizontal, celestial and terrestrial, heaven and earth, however you wish to conceptualize it.

The good, the true, and the beautiful are ontologically real "presences," while their opposites represent varying degrees of privation. In knowing this, we can also know that biological death must be a privation, not a real presence. It would simply make no sense if it were.

Scientists are well aware of the fact that some things are regarded as true because if they were not, then everything else that we know to be true would be false. But the same holds true of metaphysics. Given certain things that are true, other things must also be true, even if we have no personal knowledge of them. One thing we can know is that our creator is both good and beautiful -- indeed, is the source of beauty and goodness -- and if so, biological death cannot be the end. That would make this a very bad and pointless cosmos, which it most certainly is not.

And when I find out something more specific, you'll be the first to know. Look for a small feather to float before you as you're reading the Coonifesto.

70 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

(k)+(n)+(ow)=know

Most people would prefer to skip the ow part, but it seems to be impossible to discover and understand the cosmos without hurting yourself a little.

Bob, please stick around much longer before doing any personal research on after death stuff. We can wait!!!

1/29/2007 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger dicentra63 said...

"Where was my consciousness before my birth?," and "Where will it go after I die?"

Unfortunately for us, the answers to these questions are not self-evident, nor are they meant to be. We can't deduce the answers from the data we have, because in this mortal realm, we are utterly cut off from them. If we existed prior to birth, we have no real memory of it. And no one has come back from the grave except Jesus, and he doesn't have a blog.

The only way anyone comes by these answers is if they are revealed directly from on high, to a Moses or a Paul. All else is guesswork, including the "research."

Thanks for being intellectually honest enough to say that you don't know what you don't know.

1/29/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Rookie Raccown said...

I think the article is good with the exception of the premise the article was at least in part founded on:

It would, however, become (-k) if I were to believe that plumbing holds the key to the cosmic enigma.

Who says that plumbing does not hold the key to the cosmic enigma.

1/29/2007 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Bravo, Lisa!

The "ow" indeed is a part of the knowing.

Rookie, Arthur Dent is looking for you.

1/29/2007 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Cool. I ask questions on Van's blog and have 'em answered on Bob's. It's Coonversation at its cosmic best.

But seriously. Thanks for this post, Bob. It brought me closer to God and further away from Larry King. I can't ask more of a blog. It had a groovy beat and I could dance to it. I give it a "9".

Some days, that old depiction of Snoopy, dancing his heart out? You know the one? Yeah. That's today's post.

1/29/2007 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

I'm like 99.999% sure I saw a spirit shortly after someone died when I was a little girl. I think I've posted this account on here before. But just briefly once again... I was about seven y/o - and living with an old American Indian couple at the time. Mrs. N's sister was bedridden for several years and lived across the field in another house, taken care of by mostly her teenage daughter and Mrs. N. I got up to go to the bathroom in the wee hours of the night and as I passed by Mrs. N's bedroom window I saw a bright ball of light kind of hovering right outside the window. There was a catawba tree covering the window, so it wasn't the moon - and even at that age I knew what the moon looked like. Anyway, scared the bejeebus out of me and I forgot about going to the bathroom, and just hopped back in bed and threw the covers over my face. The next thing I knew the phone was ringing and it was still dark outside and someone was calling to tell Mrs. N her sister had just passed away.

Here's what I believe: That some kind of energy, who we actually are, inhabits our earthly bodies and is our life force. When our earthly body dies, that energy leaves the body and goes someplace else.

1/29/2007 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous old man stickety said...

This is one of your better posts, Bob, taking the bull by the horns. The bull being the mystery of death, which is well nigh impenetrable.

I speculate that death is required to break up a soul's work into manageable units (call them shifts of work) interspersed with "days off". The amnesiac effect is required so that cross-contamination of each discrete "lesson" does not occur.
Of course, while "off duty" (dead) the soul can probably look at the whole series in its entirety.

But, I know nothing of all this. I speculate because its fun.

1/29/2007 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Bird Dog said...

Bob:

I am still stuck on "Why do ham sandwiches exist?"

Not ready to face death yet. But, when it comes, I hope what little consciousness I have can go fishing.

1/29/2007 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Jung Freud said...

The Unconscious is one of the most significant features of human existence, yet it is also one of the most overlooked and misunderstood features as well. There was a time at the beginning and through the middle of the 20th century when there was significant interest but for the last few decades investigation of it has fallen into disrepute and has been neglected by most.

This is unfortunate since nearly all areas of human behavior stand to be illuminated to some degree by a better understanding and a further integration of the Unconscious mind. Religion and Spirituality can hardly be understood coherently or effectively dealt with without such an understanding and integration.

What is the great impetus for Religious belief? It is the feeling in most that there is something else beyond what is taken to be the self[that which in reality is only the Conscious Mind] that one is connected to but doesn't understand. This Other terrifies, comforts, confuses, gives aid, creates feelings of guilt along with a vast array of other things. No one can deny its existence but it can be, and most regularly is, misunderstood and turned into something it is not.

This Other is externalized by most and called God or some other Spiritual force or Principle. What is really just the Unconscious is taken to be some great Other that is the source of all those things taken to be beyond our small and simple self. This is why most cannot remove their belief in such things. When asked to not believe in it they cannot assent since they are continuously presented with its reality.

You are worshiping and believing in a part of yourself that you have misunderstood and therefore externalized and deified.

1/29/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

An arrogant statement of pristine ignorance coming from a man who knows precisely nothing of what he speaks -- especially of the unconscious!

A true 19th century Freudian postivist whom the world of psychoanalysis has long since left behind.

1/29/2007 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Jung Freud said...

Freudian Positivist? What an odd diagnosis. Your misunderstanding of the Other[in this case me, an actual Other, in contrast to the Phantom Other you call God] continues.

An interesting Gender assumption.

1/29/2007 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Here I was, having a delightful morning of slack and contemplating the ideas put forth in the Coonifesto, in conjunction with today's post and the thoughtful comments submitted, when my eyes were sullied by Jung Freud's remarks in much the same way feet, enjoying a delightful stroll across a lush, sun-warmed field of fragrant grass and loamy earth, might feel upon discovering they have just trodden upon a particularly large banana slug.

Why, oh why, must they keep wafting the same (always the same! Like we haven't been over this ground a thousand times already!!) miasma, while insisting that the rotten stench of death and stagnation is actually the sweet ambrosia of Life?

(rhetorical question; I'm sorry Bob, sometimes it is enough to drive me loopy...)

1/29/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

young fred,
Perhaps you could grant some of your deep wisdom to the unknowing with personal insights and anecdotes into your own "Great Other".
Otherwise all you have is a subjective theory more effectively
marketed elsewhere to people who worship at the unconscious.

1/29/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Jung Freud:

Bob does not assume genders. He uses "he" to designate mankind, inclusive of dames.

That comment alone tells a Coon all she needs to know about your cluelessness.

You may go now. We accept your confession of spiritual ignorance as genuine. But so long as your delusion remains fixed, we cannot help you, nor would we ever wish to try.

1/29/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous obviousman said...

"Where was my consciousness before my birth?," and "Where will it go after I die?"

Well DUH! It was/will be somewhere else!

1/29/2007 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Lisa said-
"(k)+(n)+(ow)=know

Most people would prefer to skip the ow part, but it seems to be impossible to discover and understand the cosmos without hurting yourself a little."

Precisely, Lisa!

However, in my case, I hurt myself a lot.
That's in addition to the pain of truth.
It took a lot of pain to focus my attention away from frivolous and dangerous distractions.

Pain, if reacted to with a humble heart and a thirst for truth, provides a shipload of lively revelations.

Thank you for sharing that Lisa!

Dear Leader-
You played another fantastic game of coonball!

1/29/2007 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

JulieC-
Good point.
Salt works well on jingo-fraudian banana slugs. :^)

1/29/2007 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

lisa's "ow", (n)+(ow) I see, Pilates thingy looks painful indeed. heh heh


We go to HE Ave. N of course.

1/29/2007 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

A little inadvertent experiment on the run-up-to-death stuff...

'Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get it under control. I trust you are not in too much distress.'

1/29/2007 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hee Hee, thanks for putting up with all my ridiculous comments over the months/year because every once in a while I can come up with a good one! It's a bit like dating, have to weed through the hordes of losers before meeting a prince/keeper!

Glasr- Pilates is the good kind of OW. It is well worth the effort. God likes slackers not slouchers! ha ha!

1/29/2007 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jung Freud:

Please take your banalities elsewhere. You are outranked both theologically and psychoanalytically.

1/29/2007 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Thanks GB, I was really wearying of our "young friend".

Thanks for the link Dilys - that's an awesome story!

1/29/2007 01:08:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. E said...

"We know this because the same is true today of every earth-formed Stone Age baby who comes into the world. They too must recapitulate this "awakening" to the above on pain of spending their lives as a mere beast in human form, like La... "

Dear Leader,

This dear reader would like to know how the sentence ends or
are we expected to "free associate" and fill in the blank with whatever fits the bill? But if that were so, why show "La..."?

I don't know any atheist or jihadi whose name begins with "La".
***Ahhhhhh*** - is it La Roche?

1/29/2007 01:19:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. E said...

Duh - Larry King. Sorry for the interruption folks.
Go back to whatever you were doing.

1/29/2007 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Yes, Dear Leader caught himself there. He is trying to resist the impulse to lay on the amusing but gratuitous insults in the futile belief that it will make his critics think he is more "spiritual" -- a domesticated "house Coon," as it were.

Being that wimpiness is provocative, I don't believe it will have any effect except to invite more anti-Bobbery, but D.L. doesn't listen to me. Frankly, I think the coonskin cap obscures his hearing.

1/29/2007 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad & Lisa, really like the (k)+(n)+(ow)=know. That's a keeper.

Joan of Arrgghh! said ..."Cool. I ask questions on Van's blog and have 'em answered on Bob's. It's Coonversation at its cosmic best."

Hey, just part of our open Gnor policy, all authentic racoon tender cheerfully accepted! I used to be amazed at all the synchronisitic occurances that go on here, but after a short while, it all becomes so routine that now I just try to remember to dot my I's & cross my synchronisities and enjoy the Cosmic view.

(I've actually come to suspect that, like Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan [Petey Pan?], Gagdad, in his early morning sesions, gnowing that "...it is the nightly custom of every good [Racoon]
after ... asleep to rummage in their minds and put
things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper
places the many articles that have wandered during the day." (If you wake to find things amiss, or looking like Guiness was spilled on your thoughts? - probably DuPree swiping the keys and looking for the Murphy bed again.)

BTW Joan, I replied again to your reply. Good points.

1/29/2007 01:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Jung Freud said...

Though you will remove this, let me point out an irony.

You claim to 'outrank' me despite you not knowing anything in regards to that. But the irony lies in the disregard you have for all those in Academia and in the professional journals you do not subscribe to[though you would love to be published there I'm sure, if only you had the intellect for it] that most clearly outrank you[if by that you mean in academic and clinical credentials] yet in your attempting to Lord your oh so unimpressive 'Rank' over me.

I hope you enjoy your little band of uncritical and unintelligent followers since you clearly don't have enough awareness or intellectual honesty to make it beyond your small little pool. You should ask yourself seriously why you censor a critic when all your other readers already lap up what you tell them with no second thought anyway. Is it for them, or for you?

1/29/2007 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jung Freud:

As if it needs to be said -- I have published many articles in various psychoanalytic and psychohistorical journals and have no desire whatsoever to publish any more. Interestingly, from my present standpoint, I can now see that some of the articles were very stupid, which is no doubt why they were accepted for publication.

As for why I would censor a critic, I have given my reasons before, 1) because their language is just too vicious or vulgar, or 2) because their comments are just so stupid that they are not even fun to ridicule.

In your case, your language is not too vicious or vulgar.

1/29/2007 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Congratulations, Jung and Junger, you have officially become one of the most obnoxious and idiotic trolls ever...and that's saying a lot!

But seriously, you are funny for such a stupid girl. Thanks for the laughs, what a maroon! It's so sad when they don't even realize how out of their own league they are! ;0)

1/29/2007 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Click here for an artistic rendering of DL in the morning. The secret of the coonskin cap is revealed...

1/29/2007 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Jungfrau,
FYOI, Stewey imitations should be left for FamilyGuy fan blogs.

No matter how good an imitation of a juvenile messianic totalitarian complex you are able to channel, in this blog we slavishly worship only Dear Leader.

1/29/2007 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What is ironic -- among other things -- is that if I were to ever put on messianic airs, I trust that my fellow Coons would be the first to turn me into a cap. It is only these clueless idiots who project their own immature omnipotence into me and then criticize me for it.

1/29/2007 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Freddy K - You are a figment of your own twisted imagination -- wake up, Freddy, wake up! Or, just take a dirt nap...whatever.

1/29/2007 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Dang, I address a troll and he gets zapped -- sort of leaves me hangin'.

1/29/2007 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Or, could it be...the power of NoMo!

1/29/2007 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Or, he was never really there...and I need to wake up!

1/29/2007 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger noid said...

Hsving just lost my dad a couple of weeks ago, I can vouch for that feeling of "That's not my dad" associated with viewing the body.

I've been reading the blog for a few months, having followed a link from the Belmont Club, and have been dawdling over the book for almost as long. I have always had a sense that the universe is a benevolent place, but quietly hanging out with all y'all has helped put some "why" and "how" with that belief. So thanks, Bob and 'coons; you've helped make these last couple of weeks of deep sadness much more bearable.

1/29/2007 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Dear J.F.,

You keep using that word, "irony." I do not think it means what you think it means.

Why, your very presence here is totally dependent on an Other. The very blog-air you breathe is granted to you by Almighty Bob. Whether you believe in him or not. I find that incredibly sad and funny all at once.

But in illustrating your pointless post, can we use your fuzzy logic and assume that you're merely railing at the Other that is you? Bob is you? Oh, hell...

You see the dilemma of letting you post here? Trying to unravel your dizzying intellect just may cause a break in the time-space continuum. We can't have that, lest Bill Shatner somehow appear and all the 'coons mistake his hairpiece for a marsh rat.

And you would rail at the Other that is, um..., you... or who?

1/29/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad Bob said... "... if I were to ever put on messianic airs, I trust that my fellow Coons would be the first to turn me into a cap."

Yep. A very fluffy size 10 is about what we figured, going from juliec's lifelike sizing picture linked to above('Will' was thinking a size 8, but we all just figured that was Fergus swiping his nic & making his own estimate).

Not that we're watching THAT closely. Not even sure if I could wear a size 10... just keeping a casual eye out. Besides, I'm still waiting to get my hands on the fright wig & clown shoes Will snapped up last year.

1/29/2007 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan of Argghh! said..."You keep using that word, "irony." I do not think it means what you think it means."

My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my fader, prepare to die!

1/29/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous The Grim Reaper!! said...

Death does not come to here, to happen TO me. Death is something I must DO.

Death requires a loving, fearless, sorrowless, unangered volunteer of me. Death requires the feeling-heart's participation--enamored, self-forgetting, and without participation.

Death is an un-selfing kind of wind-- A SUDDEN weather, any day. Death is the body's True fidelity to life, to love, and to Reality--regardless of the weather and the day.

To die is necessary, in life's poor drama--but, it is not Right and True, unless it is enacted from the feeling heart. To die by yielding bodily, from the feeling-heart--as when in the Embrace pf body-love--is PERFECT trust, beyond every fearful thought of the little bed of poor me. Such feeling-death exceeds ALL loss of human love--by means of the human heart's felt constant Un-denial of the the Inherent Fullness of the Divine Reality.

Therefore, true love's Right death is how the body-I keeps faith with the universe, and What IS.

This constant dying, with the feeling heart, is the constant toll required of all hearted beings--without a thinking thought.

1/29/2007 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Noid,
So sorry to hear about your Father. I'm glad you were able to find some comfort here.

1/29/2007 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Yo, Grim. Give credit where it's due. Unless you're the author of The Mummery Book.

1/29/2007 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. E said...

Noid,

Remember the feather Bob spoke of here today?

The night we buried our Dad I was awakened about 2 in the morning and "called" to go outside into the still dark night, and in the still quiet sky above my head a pair of geese circled twice uttering the raucous, sound characteristic of wild geese and I was filled with peace.

May your pain float through you gently as a feather.

1/29/2007 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

JulieC: Great drawing.... thought the way the 'coon is situated, I have to admit that I always thought something else came down from above to feed Bob's daily ministrations.

noid: my condolences on losing your father. the only thing I can hope for is that this event starts you on a spiritual journey like mine when I lost my dad. The fact that you have found a group like this is good news.

1/29/2007 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Mihcazel Andreyal;kovichy said...

well THATs fine bob. I dont' really ahve anything to say except that our delcine down the vertical slipery solpe is picking up speed. I think this country ahs become infestedwith mind parasites far more insidious and far more dleady than anything that'xs stuck in the head of yr average ISLamist. And its because of thise filthy fukcing parasites that we are going to lose this war and surender to the DARKnESS.

GOD isn't going to he;p - form my impressions of the fapst fdw centueires he's more like the WATCHMAKER the DEists talk about the one who sset up the universe an got it rolling but hasnt' done anything to interfere since. He dopens't inject ihimsel finto the lvies of his folowers or those who don't follow him - he stands bakc lik a spectator and wqatches it all, with his IMPASSIONATE FUCKING EYE

sorry if Im a little incoherent but something deep inside my head made me call in sick this morning to work and I've done nothing all morning and all afternonon but had nine rum-and- okes and 2 nice big cigars. im' havin permobnitions of the end of thw3 wowrld.

No wonder Mark steyn is worried about the declining Demographics of Western society - too many of us have looked into the abyss that is our future - the imanentizing of HELL isnted of the Eschatno - and wonde3red who on Earth would be sasdistic enuf to bring a kid into this world - apralzyed on one side by the politically correct mafia, who are warning him not to do anything about the Islamafia tearing his other side apart because if he dares to speak up therelll be CONSEQUENCES. WHY ASHOU>LD I PUT ANY KID OF MINE THEROUGH THE NEXT THIERTY yEARS! NO CHILD WOULD AKS FOR TYHIS> AND THERES NOT SAVING HIM EITHER

christ i hope i can pu the verification thing in

1/29/2007 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Mihcazel Andreyal;kovichy,

I think some of that Rum spilt into your keyboard... might want to blow it out & dry it off.

As Gandalf answered to a similar statement about troubled times, so do those of any time, it isn't for us to choose our time, but to choose how to act within the time we have. I would add that it's also not for us to decide that humanity should end because its just too scary for poor wittle us. If our delicate minds aren't up to the task, then step aside for the next Generation to take over - but don't try to deprive them of their lives on account of your own cowed sensibilities.

Undoubtedly we are headed into tumultuous times (when, out of curiosity, have we not?) - with an 18, 14 & 7yr old, I'm well aware of that. But these are also the times where someone among our children might choose to act other than in craven fear - more likely if we choose to show them how to stand, rather than shrivel.

And one, just one with the Fire, can make all the difference. Go back and read Churchill's "The Gathering Storm", the people of his time, cast and crew, were if anything worse than ours, but one rallied them and transformed them into the Greatest Generation. I'm sure that the parents living in the generation before Theseus felt the same as you, or as with Aeschylus, or Augustine, or Arthur, or the Founders, or Winston C. or Ike, or.... these are the times in which the tepid & cowardly may shrivel, but they are also the times when hero's thrive, and in which the tepid & cowardly might change their own stars with such examples to learn from.

It's all in the teaching and the choosing.

1/29/2007 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C said...

"Deprive them of their lives?" The preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that we are not fighting, let alone winning, the war for the future of our culture; it's more or less become a half-assed act of self-defense, with the missing half being mostly on the home front. We need to change that, but we aren't. What lives are our kids going to lead in that eventuality?

When—not if—America, the country and the culture, falls (as I believe it will, and Michael the Drunkard over there apparently agrees), then we will have only robbed the unborn of a lifetime of pain and misery.

...I'm really, really sorry. My brain has trapped me in a very dark and apocalyptic mood this evening, and it seems Michael is in the same situation. Maybe something in the air. Christ, I don't know.

1/29/2007 05:45:00 PM  
Anonymous debass said...

Well, I had some special (k) for breakfast and feel much better. Being a Frisbetherian, I know that when I die, my soul will go up on the roof and I won't be able to get it down. Of course, maybe some friendly passing raccoon may assist me.

1/29/2007 06:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Another Bob said...

All,
As you can see for yourself--that is
if you were unfortunate enough to read
the allegedly drunken diatribe above--
it really is the recipient of the
message who determines its meaning.

I think I'll go scrub my computer
out with soap and water now ...

-Another Bob

1/29/2007 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

hmm... I dunno. I see the dark time too.

Right now my mind is rather hardened; I find that as with music, there is a cycle between reading music (playing others' music) and writing music (or really just sitting down and rhapsodizing.)

I can kind of see what's being said here; it is somewhat not my territory, I guess. Dunno, I'll let it roll around in my head for a bit.

About your pre-life, it is clear that if the soul is immortal, then it certainly had to pre-exist. As to my actual (n) on that.. dunno. Its pretty much only (k) at this point.

Anyway, I was thinking...

(grrr) + O + K = Grok!

1/29/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Void,

This may or may not be particularly helpful, but your comment and the others brought it back to mind. I was with my Dad when he drew his last ragged breath. I hadn't seen him in a couple months (Christmas, as a matter of fact), and he looked weak then from fighting another onslaught of cancer, but I wasn't prepared for what it had done to him in the last stages. His body had been ravaged, his face skeletal, the only thing that still resembled my Dad, were his hands. He had the hands that sculptors seek to chisel.

We'd thought surely that he'd drawn his last breath a couple times prior, but he kept coming back. A thought entered my head, and I whispered to him "Don't worry about Mom, we'll take care of her" and the next breath was the last. It was a very... slow, wrenching moment.

There is something... oh, this is entirely inadequate, but 'Fitting' in the child being present at the Fathers death. You see, as mentioned, that the something there before you, that was your father, no longer is, he that you loved is gone from there. You also see that the life your Father lived, lives on, with you and your children. I had the clear sensation that he who gave me life, was gone, and it felt as if I had been cut adrift from that which had anchored me. But I also saw more clearly, that I was that for my children... perhaps 'sublime' is a good word for the moment.

A couple of months later, I'd been having a difficult time with my oldest (just entering his teens at the time), I was alone in the basement, a bit hunched over, thinking that my Dad had done so much better than I... and an odd feeling came over me, and my eyes focused on my hands. My hands are much different than my Dad's, but I had the inner vision of his Hands, works of Art, super imposed over mine and the sense that "It'll be Ok, you'll do fine, he'll do fine, as did you, as did..." and it passed, leaving me with a sense of peace and calm that I hadn't felt in a very long time.

There is of course nothing to say that the episode was anything but a product of my own mind - but it really didn't matter, and it really doesn't matter.

Your Father lived, and lives on through you, and beyond you, and in the end that is the way it is supposed to be. It doesn't make it feel any better, but it does help to remember that it will be ok and you will do fine. As did your Father, and his....

1/29/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Jacob C said "...The preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that we are not fighting, let alone winning ...it's more or less become a half-assed act of self-defense, with the missing half being mostly on the home front. We need to change that, but we aren't. What lives are our kids going to lead in that eventuality?"

What are you doing about it? I don't mean that in a gotcha sort of way, but really what are you doing? I think it requires us not to each go all Rambo, but to speak up when needed. When someone makes a PC comment, don't shrug it off, say you don't agree. If the reason's why are clear in your head, go into as much detail as makes sense for the situation. That IS what is important. Don't let some head puffed leftie make a snickering comment when you or someone else says something you know to be true and valueable - don't let it go, turn the embarrassment on them.

Note that the viles responses from Trolls, are over Gagdad's humor - it's the tool they used to knock our values down, and they didn't have the luxury of Reality being on their side. Fight back. THAT is contagious. It is the little things that work miracles. Do that enough, spread it enough, and eventually a Churchill type will be able to rise up and push the dark back again.

And don't discount the Gen X'rs that are in Iraq now, and friends of them who are here now. That's where the Leaders come from. Give them a chance, don't abandon them in THEIR time of need.

Just remember, it is a never ending process - if you don't want it to swamp you, then You have to push it back.

1/29/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

rather...

grr+(o)+(k) = grok.

Ah, well, moving on. Work is still to be done!

1/29/2007 06:51:00 PM  
Anonymous interlocutor said...

Bob, I applaud your decision to go light on the criticism of Larry King.

That kind of restraint is a manly virtue that warms my heart.

I deeply appreciate your writing and when I say critical things to you, as I sometimes do, it is always with the intention of building you up.

I am perhaps your most committed fan; it is my respect for you that causes me to speak out when I see
you veering away from the path of highest honor.

Because you are worth it.

1/29/2007 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Interlocutor, you have got to be kidding, you don’t really believe anyone would think for one second you are being sincere when you said “I am perhaps your most committed fan; it is my respect for you that causes me to speak out when I see you veering away from the path of highest honor. Because you are worth it.” Jeeze what a load.

Bob thanks for the posts, the book and the recommended reading. I’m always amazed by anyone that has the ability to present so many insights of the Cosmos. Your ability to do it has had me enthralled for the last six months, been lurking and learning but interlocutor got to me. I can’t take much pomposity with out calling it out.

1/29/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger ~C4Chaos said...

i think the researcher you talked about is Ian Stevenson.

as for Survival of Bodily Death, they actually have conferences on this thing ;)

~C

1/29/2007 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Erm, it is usually in bad taste to push one's own blog on another's (except through trackbacks) but, I feel the need to note this and this.

Back to your reglr'ly sheduled (k)->(o)->(n)->(K)'s.

1/29/2007 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

River Cocytus said..."Erm, it is usually in bad taste to push one's own blog on another's..."

Oh I know, I really hate it when people do that.

acakrgh...ribb-bit...ulk...ahem.

sorry, frog in the throat.

1/29/2007 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Interlocutor - You're good enough, you're smart enough...and doggonit, people like you. Chin up!

"Because you are worth it."

1/29/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob,
Among other things you said:

"Thus, someone with no experience is naturally drawn to something that appears more empirically "solid" in order to bolster his faith. You might say that it is a replacement for experience."

I see this as a somewhat natural progression in life; what I don't understand (and I think I was this way in the past but it's been so long I'm having a hard time remembering) is why people will continually rely on "experts" and defer to others throughout their lives. It seems to me that after a few decades, we become the most qualified to be the general expert in our own lives.
For instance, it seems these days one area where many employ an "expert" is with a "spiritual advisor", but rather than incorporating what spiritual teachings the advisor has to offer into our own being,(assuming the advisor is a non-charlatan) the advisor is used like a hairdresser and consulted on a "need to know" basis.
It also seems that people will pick advisors (charlartans) who seem to have the same proclivities as the advised in order not to experience any pain or be shown the need to change (the image of Jesse Jackson "mentoring" Bill Clinton during his being Lewinskied comes to mind).
It's as if people don't have the time or couldn't be bothered in dealing with spiritual matters, they must get on to the more important aspects of life. I know my own life would be basically worthless without a spiritual focus and I've known that from very early on. (though I took a slight detour for about 10 years from my late teens to late 20s)
I guess what I'm asking you about is your view on the developmental level where people get stuck and are afraid to proceed. There are always going to be people who are more knowledgeable and I guess we all are stuck in certain areas of our lives and are reliant on others, but the spiritual part and the reluctance to learn and to proceed sort of baffles me.
Is it a perception of too much responsibility? Or of our losing victim status and being unable to blame anyone else? Or a situation where a person is afraid of actually have to put the money where the mouth is?

1/29/2007 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

That "jung freud" character is a piece of work, huh?

Assuming for a moment he actually is a tenured psychoanalyst (or whatever), did it not strike you how un-intelligent this person is? S/he is just so wrong, so unpersuasive, and so boring.

Lee Harris once stated that it took him 25 years to reverse the damage academia had done to him. I am increasingly thankful I curtailed by formal education with a B.A., and dove into commerce instead. In business--for the most part--money talks and bullshit walks.

"Jung Freud" was a fat load of bullshit on stilts. I just know that, in the same way I just know when a deal is about to go sour.

On a more positive note, this column left me almost dizzy (with awe and joy). I am going to have to re-read it several times. Bob is tremendously gifted, as if any of you didn't already know that.

1/29/2007 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

OT:

Does anyone have an opinion on Hans Kung? I had thought of him as a reknowned Christian theologian (I started to read On Being A Christian about 20 years ago). Recently I read some remarks he made which were of decidedly moonbattish/BDS cast.

What's the 411?

1/29/2007 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Interlocutor,
I think you've probably helped raise Bob's self esteem and caused him to feel more like a manly man's man. Good goin! :)

1/29/2007 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Jesus. I just went over to Mike's blog. I think something other than booze is keeping him up late. Screw it, I'll pray for him anyway.

1/29/2007 11:28:00 PM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Interlocutor: Once again, how sappy. You've GOT to be Joking? You have enuf problem being responsible for your own self let alone for being G-Bob's shrink, cheerleader, supporter, critic, etc. that he doesn't need, never asked for from you, etc. You insanely KEEP critiquing the Writer instead of the Topic - always the stoopid mark of the Leftist ad hominem attack & their bullshit way. Grow up already! Are you really THIS badly deteriorated that you refuse to move out of such inane subjectivity into true Objectivity no matter how many of Bob's posts you read??? Get Unstuck.

OBVIOUSLY no one here buys your bullshit - so why keep shoveling it? If you wanna roll in your own poop, fine don't let us stop you. But for Gawd's sake, do whatever it is you need to do to stop being such a "PIA patient." If you critiqued your own self 1/2 as faithfully as you do to G-BOB, you might actually get somewhere up the Vertical. It's not your job to harass G-BOB or use this forum for your personal attack bs - comment on the posts or don't comment if you're not mature enuf to handle that. I tell you this becuz I care for you and its for your own good.

- PrincessSpirit -

PS: Wont even comment on Jung Freud who obviously has his head stuck up yunno-whos assertions & never learned to leave the cave yet. Ugh. Great posts always seem to draw the most insipid comments, nihilists, etc.

1/30/2007 12:36:00 AM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Smoov: If money talks & bullshit walks, then I say we pay the Trolls $1 to walk away from the Blog! They contribute nothing worthwhile & choose to not do so. Otherwise, I'll be happy to send G-BOB the moolah to ban the IPs of the most retarded Trolls who are nothing but downers. Would be happy to bid on "Ban the Troll for a Month" just to enjoy the resultant peace without the Blog being cluttered up with senseless Troll-poop.

- PrincessSpirit -

1/30/2007 12:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as Art Buchwald said:

"the question isn't where I'm going after this, the question is what the hell am I doing here"

1/30/2007 01:55:00 AM  
Anonymous PrincessSpirit said...

Anonymous, Sundays post addresses "Why do I Exist?" As to why you're here specifically, that answer exists between you and Big Daddio. Your relationship w/Him will answer it; or your lack of relationship w/Him will drive you to Him for the Answers.

He gots the goods if enquiring minds really wanna Know. If He answered all Mysteries for us concretely we wouldn't need relationship w/Him. Thank God He knows us & meets our needs - during life, pre- & afterlife. In Him We Can Trust.

- PrincessSpirit -

1/30/2007 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger allenupl said...

Since some of these posts have dealt with near-death experiences (NDEs) and related issues of what happens after we die, if might be of interest that for the past 30 years, near-death experiences have been the focus of many scientific studies at universities and medical centers throughout the U.S. and around the world. You can read about them on the website of the International Association for Near-Death Studies at www.iands.org. In particular, you might want to check under the Research tab for published papers outlining new findings from the most current research, particularly the two written by Dr. Peter Fenwick and Dr. Pim Van Lommel. Many medical professionals who have seriously studied the research – and it is extensive – no longer dismiss this phenomenon as hallucinations or pharmacologically induced.
Allen

1/31/2007 04:25:00 AM  

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