Thursday, June 26, 2008

Darwinians and Other Creationists

I have this eery feeling that I'm not going to have enough time to evolve a post this morning. Then again, if earth evolved life in only 150 million years, then surely I can come up with something. Remember what I mentioned in the Coonifesto -- earth was way too hot to allow life until just 4 billion years ago (or whenever it was), and the earliest appearance of life is 3.85 billion years ago. That is way, way too quickly for pure chance to have resulted in Life.

And remember, when we say "earth evolved life," we are obviously using "evolved" in a non-Darwinian sense, since Darwinism only applies to the already living. So Darwinism has nothing to say about the evolution of Life per se (just as it has nothing useful to say about the further evolution of consciousness toward the higher planes).

Come to think of it, is it possible to speak of the creation in the absence of creation and therefore a Creator? What I mean is that Darwinism is always sneaking in higher order concepts that its ideology won't permit, such as purpose, creativity, truth, etc. In reality, Darwinism enshrines its own form of creationism, except that it is magical as opposed to spiritual. We're all creationists. At issue is how it is possible for true creativity to occur in a dead and meaningless cosmos.

Perhaps we should first define creation. Let's see... for me, creation involves bringing something entirely novel into existence, something that certainly couldn't have occurred randomly, but only through the creative act. Therefore, all true creativity is analogous to the original creatio ex nihilo. If the Beatles hadn't created I Am the Walrus in 1967, then no one would have. Ever.

Similarly, if I don't write my posts when I do, they'll never be written, for you can never pass through the same stream of consciousness twice. Admittedly, I practice a form of extreme seeking and off-road spiritual adventure in which I suspend memory, desire, and understanding, in order to spontaneously cook up a fully half-baked post from scratch each morning, but even so, that's just pushing the creative process to the inner limits. Plus I'm too lazy to prepare.

My models in this regard are Bion and a particular teacher I had in graduate school, Dr. Panajian (through whom I first encountered Bion; I suppose I should also mention Aurobindo, who spontaneously wrote about ten books at the same time in this manner -- he called it "overmental writing"). I bring this up because I literally cannot imagine who I might have become if I hadn't met Dr. Panajian, and through him, discovered the works of Bion.

Assuming that today "I am who I am," then I might have easily not become who I am, or else become who I am not. In any event, this was one of those existential crossroads, that when you look back at your life, looks preposterously "arranged" -- perhaps as if my future self were drawing toward itself what it needed in order to be, or to transition from potential to actuality. (As the rabbis say, God spends most of his time arranging meetings and marriages.)

Before you dismiss this out of hand, we know that human development is teleological, in that it is "guided" by an end point, i.e., mature adulthood. This obviously takes place on the biological plane. By virtue of what principle can it not take place on the psychological or spiritual planes? In fact, there is no principle that forbids it, which is one of the reasons why the Raccoon stresses the importance of synchronicity -- which is not mere "coincidence." Rather, Jung's point was that it was meaningful coincidence, in particular, a coincidence that illuminates some deeper understanding, or places one on an entirely new path, or opens one up to the world of the transcendent, etc.

For example, I read something about how at the Tim Russert funeral, they played the song Over the Rainbow, and then, at the conclusion of the service, a real rainbow appeared over Washington DC. For me, that's a fascinating coincidence. But for another, it might have been a synchronicity that shattered their egoic defenses and opened them up to the transcendent plane. The latter is what counts, not the coincidence itself. In other words, if you try to inductively arrive at a spiritual worldview based merely upon cataloguing all of the weird coincidences that have occurred in your life, you'll never get there. Rather, the synchronicities must reach way down and in. They're usually connected to a deeper psycho-spiritual organizing principle.

I know for a fact that many people feel the same way about this blog, as if they were "guided" or "drawn" here. I don't know, but I do find it interesting that as soon as I abandoned myself to this process and let 'er rip (as opposed to being a more conventional blog in its first few months of existence) I drew a sort of core audience that hasn't really grown or changed much. I find that odd. And the oddness cuts both ways, because I really couldn't do this in the absence of the ideal little audience that somehow found me.

Anyway, back to Dr. Panajian, whom I believe I mentioned in at least one previous post. He was so completely different from any other teacher I had ever encountered, in that he used no notes whatsoever, but would spontaneously spin his lectures out of his own psychic substance -- in the way a spider produces a web from its own body -- for two or three hours at a time. He would slowly pace back and forth, looking as if he were focused on a reality we couldn't see. It was as if he were taking a leisurely stroll in psychic space, and just describing the landscape. He would pause to look at that small creek over there, or turn this rock over down here, in order to see what was underneath. Look! Mind parasites!

Now, I suppose anyone can "run off at the mouth." But this was obviously different, in that is was so deep and true, not to mention "hypnotic." What I mean is that there was also a certain "rhythm" to it, and I have subsequently discovered that this rhythm is one of the essential features that spontaneously occurs when one is operating in the mode of O-->(k). This is because it is not just "order out of chaos." Rather, there is a deep ordering principle at play, which reveals itself as a sort of rhythmicity.

For example, when I abandon myself to these posts, they nevertheless seem to spontaneously reveal a beginning, middle and end. I never cease to be surprised at how often the post meanders to its logical end, and I say to myself, "Oh. It's done." It doesn't happen every time, I think in part because I never know for sure how much time I have. But if left alone in an unstructured space of time, the posts do finish themselves. This also occurs in the practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Once the patient adapts to the 50 minute time frame, their unconscious often spontaneously produces a narrative that has a beginning, middle and end, and "closes itself up" by the conclusion of the hour.

Bion simply took this to a logical extreme, both in lecturing and in conducting therapy. He said that the job of the psychoanalyst was to "abandon memory, desire, and understanding" during the session, so that genuine meaning could spontaneously emerge in the session. He is the one who coined "O," in that he applied this symbol to the "ultimate unknowable reality" between analyst and patient. As they sat there together with the patient free associating -- that is, saying whatever comes to mind -- certain meanings and patterns would spontaneously form, like clouds in a clear blue sky. The job of the analyst is to notice these formations when they are "ripe" and robust enough to warrant it. This is quite the opposite of a therapist having his own predetermined structure, or (k), that he merely superimposes on O. For Bion, truth is perpetually discovered in the now.

Naturally it takes a great deal of skill, intelligence, training, and intuition to do what Bion did. After all, if most people "suspend memory, desire, and understanding," they will produce only amorphous mush -- for example, Obama when he is not guided by a teleprompter. Oddly enough, I see something quite different at work in President Bush. While liberals love to make fun of his communication style, I always see someone struggling to convert O into words. I can feel it, but he simply lacks the verbal facility to do what a Dr. Panajian could do. In fact, I don't see how any politician could do it, because it would be far too dangerous. This is why, when you see them interviewed, they are all like robots, with their pat answers. Bush is not like this, and yet, he is criticized for it. (One of the annoying things about Bill Clinton is that he is always "faking" O-->(k), when he couldn't be more transparently insincere.)

Obviously, the process is very similar to jazz, which also requires an intense amount of preparation which must then be "forgotten" in order to spontaneously create something truly novel in the moment. For that is another thing about creativity: it can only occur now.

This is why I emphasize the concept of higher non-doodling, or what the Subgenius calls "floating on the luck plane." I have discovered that only by this kind of slack-driven life can one be guided by the nonlocal attractors that are everywhere. In my opinion, it is these nonlocal attractors that are responsible for the meaningful coincidences in our lives.

Please. This is not a Newtonian universe. Rather, it is made of conscious energy, so there is no reason why there cannot be higher fields of conscious energy that guide evolution in a teleological way. In fact, no one could convince me that they do not exist, which is really the point Plato was trying to make 2500 years ago. Clearly there are nonlocal forms that guide the evolution of the human subject.

In a sense, I could say that my entire spiritual life has involved deeply immersing myself into the phase space of this or that saint or sage, which literally drew me into the same space once I made the conscious effort to "meet them halfway." And I must emphasize that this was an utterly different form of learning than mere memorization, for it was a kind of top-down learning, in which the particulars are spontaneously produced by some sort of convergence with a deeper principle. I have seen this take place over and over in my life, in which I suddenly have access to new forms of knowledge that cannot be explained by anything I have learned only in the exterior sense.

In fact, one of the reasons I was such a poor student through so much of my education, is that I was presented only with "exterior knowledge" that was of no interest to me. I just couldn't see its point. But perhaps even worse is when religion is presented in this exterior manner, which automatically trivializes it. And one could certainly say the same of psychology. Again, what made Dr. Panajian unique in my experience was his teaching -- or "trancemission" -- of the subject from the inside out.

Which is what I always try to do with the blogging. I'm sure none of you have failed to notice how our trolls inevitably come at the subject from the outside in. But you cannot get here from there, any more than you can get from matter to life, life to mind, or mind to spirit. Creatio ex nihilo only works the other way around. Otherwise you end up with nihilo ex creatio. Or let us just say that you are either a creationist or a nihilist.

102 Comments:

Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Similarly, if I don't write my posts when I do, they'll never be written, for you can never pass through the same stream of consciousness twice."

Ho! That sent a shiver through my mind!

6/26/2008 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, what I really meant is that you can't pass through the same chit creek once without a paddle.

6/26/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"As the rabbis say, God spends most of his time arranging meetings and marriages."

My life has had so many of these crossroads, it's almost unreal; this past weekend, I danced from one to another, and on Sunday having breakfast with family I was struck anew at how miraculous and really beautiful they all are, and how amazing it is to be a part of that. I hadn't really real-ized it before now.

And I don't know what it is about this place, but the synchronicities that spring up within the community would sometimes be alarming, if I didn't know that there was something higher at work.

Mysterious ways, indeed.

6/26/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Assuming that today "I am who I am," then I might have easily not become who I am, or else become who I am not. "

There are many points along the way from which I am very glad I did become who I am not... at least from the point of view of who I was. Though from those vantage points, had I seen me now, I most certainly would have said "That is not who I am!", it is then who I was, who became who I am not.

(That hurt)

6/26/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I bring this up because I literally cannot imagine who I might have become if I hadn't met Dr. Panajian, and through him, discovered the works of Bion."

I'll say the same thing about myself, Bob.
If I hadn't met you and the Raccoons, I'm purty sure I'd be floundering somewhere...still searchin' for Religion that would fit.
And still ignorant of what I don't know, what I ought to unlearn, and what I have come to gno.

Anyways, thanks, Bob! I have no doubt I'm much happier now than I would've been had I not discovered You and the OC. :^)

6/26/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "...the synchronicities that spring up within the community would sometimes be alarming..."

No doubt. The way Petey and Ricky were rummaging through my head last night... unwrapping my thoughts before I could get the bows off... kind of annoying sometimes.

6/26/2008 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van said-
(That hurt)

But in a Good kinda Way, I'd wager!

6/26/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"What I mean is that there was also a certain "rhythm" to it, and I have subsequently discovered that this rhythm is one of the essential features that spontaneously occurs when one is operating in the mode of O-->(k). This is because it is not just "order out of chaos." Rather, there is a deep ordering principle at play, which reveals itself as a sort of rhythmicity."

And you gno it when you're in the midst of it... just flows... doesn't happen as often as I'd like, but I damn sure recognize it when it does.

6/26/2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"In any event, this was one of those existential crossroads, that when you look back at your life, looks preposterously "arranged" -- perhaps as if my future self were drawing toward itself what it needed in order to be, or to transition from potential to actuality."

Destiny! Destiny! No escaping Destiny!

Okay, you probably could, but that would really suck.

6/26/2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Sibylline Zipper said...

Speaking of Jung, what is your take on him? He obviously took religion seriously, but he also seemed to reduce it to psychology. He seemed to treat it like a useful fiction that was a projection only.

6/26/2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Although I am ambivalent about Jung -- especially because he conflated the spiritual and psychic/mythological planes, or the upper and lower waters -- I think he was pretty much right on about synchronicity.

6/26/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben said "But in a Good kinda Way, I'd wager!"

Yeah... kind of like going for that fully pretzled stretch... it's "Ooghh-aph!"...
and then
'ahhh'

;-)

6/26/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

sibylline zipper--

I swear to Petey I posted that comment before I saw your question!

6/26/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A synchronicity about synchronicity.... Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor!

6/26/2008 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"I find that odd. And the oddness cuts both ways, because I really couldn't do this in the absence of the ideal little audience that somehow found me."

Precisely! What would be the point? It would be like fishin' in a mud puddle.

6/26/2008 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ben--

Not just that, but it's like an interaction of two fields, each drawing the other out.

6/26/2008 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"He said that the job of the psychoanalyst was to "abandon memory, desire, and understanding" during the session, so that genuine meaning could spontaneously emerge in the session."

Now that's another reason I come here. Because genuine meaning beats the hell outta SnObama's "hopium for the asses" (coined by BabbaZee) and if we're lucky, some pocket change when he'a done adding a tax to everything.

Genuine, realized meaning that is accepted will produce real change, an evolution of the soul into more awareness of and receptivity to Truth.

6/26/2008 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Holy smokes - I step away for a couple minutes and this place is jumping (via Lileks)!

Ben,

"I'll say the same thing about myself, Bob.
If I hadn't met you and the Raccoons, I'm purty sure I'd be floundering somewhere...still searchin' for Religion that would fit."

Indeed.

6/26/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Gagdad Bob said...
Ben--

Not just that, but it's like an interaction of two fields, each drawing the other out.

Aye! That synchronicity thing...like a soul meld, sorta, and yet our unique souls remain our own. It sounds paradoxical, but it ain't.

6/26/2008 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I notice my wife and I often do the same thing...that sychronicity...same thoughts or thought patterns, same reactions. It's cool!

6/26/2008 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

"...I drew a sort of core audience that hasn't really grown or changed much." I have to disagree with that last part - we've all grown and changed...for the better.

Even God doesn't have universal appeal, but, in fact, a "core audience" as well...if you will. Your way of seeing can only resonate with a few - particularly given the limitation of language alone.

Interesting that even though God has no such limitation (many are called) - faith being a common tongue understandable by all who are made in His image - still only few are "chosen".

6/26/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ain't nothin' like the real thing.

6/26/2008 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The surreal thing.

6/26/2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Sibylline Zipper said...

Wow! That's cool. I had an amazing bit of synchronicity happen to me a last year. I was walking along singing/humming the song(Sinatra I think) ''Fly Me To the Moon'' under my breath and I come accross a piano bench in a storage area at work. On impulse I open the top of the bench and a photo-copied front page of ''Fly Me To the Moon'' is lying right on top of the contents. Whoa! Seriously...WHOA!

6/26/2008 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob said;

"I have seen this take place over and over in my life, in which I suddenly have access to new forms of knowledge that cannot be explained by anything I have learned only in the exterior sense."

Possibly the ultimate pslackologist I've ever met, a true hobo, used to call it, "getting in to the library". He would spend hours in the mid-morning meditating in that post awakened state.
Although I respect him for what he showed me, I couldn't agree with the path he was treading which involved too much irresponsibility and new age flakyness. In me, that lack of accountability would have produced unease and guilt in my living situations to the point of interfering with the pursuit of truth.
One thing I can say for him is that he wasn't worried at all about material stuff.

6/26/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I should emphasize that I practice my method within the context of taking care of the material plane first, but only in order to provide the boundary conditions to allow me to have inward mobility. In other words, I work, support my family, plan for my retirement, take care of my health, etc.

6/26/2008 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

'Life can't come that fast.'
A confident assertion
from just one sample.

A tangential reflection here.

6/26/2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow, Ray - once again you win the award for "most completely missing the point." And the Great Filter? Really? Do you find that more plausible than a created cosmos?

6/26/2008 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As explained in my book, one of the greatest filters to higher intelligence is human neoteny and our uniquely trimorphic subjectivity, which I believe mirrors the inner life of the Cosmic intellect.

6/26/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Hmm, yeah, the intense slacking/improv. In order to create you must discover, or rather, you must discover potential realities (which have a certain type of existence) and actualize them.

6/26/2008 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

The only way, or wu wei, to that is intense nondoing, or wu wei.

Ready, set, gno!

6/26/2008 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous christopher said...

I am too freakin' pushed here at work today, but I am tracking, and this post is one of the better ones.

6/26/2008 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Bob,
Incredible post.

“As the rabbis say, God spends most of his time arranging meetings and marriages.”

In-line with what I meant the other day about things being “perfectly proportioned” to me. As if I am of a unique type of metal (just as everyone else is :-)and there are particular types but complimentary magnets made of the same Metal attracting me. Perhaps my metal was predetermined, but not the “attracting” events or “when” they would happen. When an event didn’t take place, tension built stronger for it eventually happening later on, or when in the vicinity of a different but stronger or "closer" one. Maybe this is why a “rock bottom event" can really be just what a person needs to get the metal rolling again.

6/26/2008 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

…and of course, God likes to jump back in and kick-start this slinky every so often :-)
Thanks, God!



Sorry about last night, Van.
I think?

6/26/2008 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ricky:

Another thing those twicky wabbis say is that each person contains the missing part of someone else. It may even be of no value to the person who has it, but precious to the person who needs it to complete himself.

6/26/2008 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean about Clinton's faking it? Can you give an example? I'd like to see more about what you mean about your O->k through some examples, perhaps both Bush & Clinton?

6/26/2008 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Clinton faking it?

Ho!

6/26/2008 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Let us just say that some people do not lie, because they are a Lie.

6/26/2008 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Anon,
Your request reminds of a Dilbert cartoon when his boss asked him for a hardcopy of the internet.

6/26/2008 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Peter Gabriel says that rhythm is like music's spine; you can't make a really different music with the standard skeleton.

Perhaps some people "come at the subject from the outside in" because the outside they observe doesn't match the spine that's proposed here.

6/26/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't like Peter Gabriel. But that's beside the point. Rhythm is the pulse of music, not the spine -- except in bad music.

6/26/2008 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

For example, rock & roll that loses its pulse and has only a spine descends into mere "rock" with no roll at all.

6/26/2008 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Needless to say, a great jazz drummer gets "inside" the beat.

6/26/2008 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Well, Bob, about the rhythm: it's never strict. (This was the point of Rhapsody in Blue...) A 'spine' makes it seem like its locked-in. But as long as you can feel the pulse - which is how true free verse poetry works - you can 'see' the composition.

A drummer I work with likes to move the stress beats around, and thus while you have the same 'meter' you get a different pulse.

6/26/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Chris,

Is the "man" pushing you to perpetuate more murder? ;*)

6/26/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I think the idea of it being the spine is okay as long as you don't treat that as some kind of rigid analogy. It is what gives the music strength, it does not rigidly restrict its expression.

6/26/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

This synchronicity thing is deep and real. I have wondered how God would personally act in a world so strongly based on the necessity of free will as is our human world. God obviously can interfere with free will should He choose. He apparently very rarely does. Make this axiomatic. God won't act in my life in any obvious way unless I ask effectively somehow. Two issues there, honestly asking first, and effectively asking second. And third, do I even know what I want for real.

But I believe that God is infinitely, intimately present. I don't normally see him: no matter. He is my Partner, very quiet, very still. Except...

God threads the free will boundaries, dancing their changes, exquisitely moving with impeccable timing, finding the sweet spot and CHANGING something errant towards His ultimate plan. Sleight of God. No one looking. No one's free will violated. This will leave a sign of His presence, perhaps.

Now think about synchronicity in that light.

In AA they have a saying that coincidence is God's way of staying anonymous. While this is simplistic, it may sometimes also be accurate. In any case, synchronicities abound in successful sobriety stories.

6/26/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

River--

Yes, Coltrane's drummer, the great Elvin Jones, was famous for finding the pulse of the music and playing in and around it with various polyrhythms, syncopations, and implied beats.

And I'm getting very little work accomplished today... must... turn... off... computer...

6/26/2008 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Carl Jung is one of my primary lights, not so much in his written legacy, but in his example. As a musician, I know music is far more for playing than for listening, at least for me. Claiming jazz great to hear is not the same as doing jazz, especially in a group. Being able at that level... Ho! indeed.

That is how Jung did his work. And he was a singular light in the development of psychology as we have it today.

Jung explored his own mind and the mental fields of the planet, not stopping with the present but deeply including the past as well. He impressed people enough that millions, probably, follow him today. My understanding is he didn't really want followers in the sense they exist today.

I agree with GBob that he conflated realms - but wait a damn minute! He was essentially a pathfinder. The realm is so vast and filled with so many ambiguities and reversals when it is unfolded in real time. He felt it was his responsibility to remain close to human scale as a discipline of mind and communication. IMO that is why it came out for him the way it did.

In his private thinking he may have had more to say about the presence of God as God and not an archetype. I bet he did.

6/26/2008 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray's link said "The important question for us, however, is just where on the long timeline of development this Great Filter might be."

I kinda wish the filter had been between the writer Nick Bostrom, and the Dallas News' copy editor.

6/26/2008 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Hoarhey,

I am running a salt delivery system upgrade to four of six oven lines. This system delivers topping salt to Premium, Ritz, and the snack cracker lines. The old automated system design did not work. We hope the new design will work. It will in this instance not take people out of the equation but it will take manual labor away from the people who run this part of the oven lines.

This involves designing the runs of two 3" stainless steel tubes a couple hundred feet and accurately hitting certain branch locations so that very large salt shakers will work in four locations. All so you can taste the salt on the cracker....

6/26/2008 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

synchroni city
village where bob and petey
upstage keith jarrett

6/26/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Johan said...

Ben said:
"If I hadn't met you and the Raccoons, I'm purty sure I'd be floundering somewhere...still searchin' for Religion that would fit."

Same goes for me. And the funny thing that is I got here because of an atheist (I wonder if he still is a reader?).

/Johan

6/26/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

By the way, there's a cool Coldplay song called 'Viva la vida'. Dunno how well it'll hold up in the long run, but interesting imagery/symbolism.

6/26/2008 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

NoMo said, Even God doesn't have universal appeal

"If God lived on earth, people would knock out His windows." -- Yiddish proverb.

Chris says, I have wondered how God would personally act in a world so strongly based on the necessity of free will as is our human world. God obviously can interfere with free will should He choose. He apparently very rarely does.

Romans 8:28 "For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

One analogy is that God is like the master chess player, perfectly countering each move that evil makes and, in fact, turning it to bring about His purpose. You can read the same thing in the creation story in The Silmarillion (damn, I've revealed my inner geek).

Also in line with Christopher's comment -- in the biblical book of Esther, God is not mentioned once. But a series of truly amazing coincidences occur ("you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this") to thwart evil and save God's people.

6/26/2008 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Sybelline Zipper said "Jung...obviously took religion seriously, but he also seemed to reduce it to psychology. He seemed to treat it like a useful fiction that was a projection only."

I often am in danger of doing something similar to that, I think, with my emphasis on the 'Poetic' and all... but I try to keep in mind (along similar lines as Petey's 'it's not true because it's logical, it's logical because it's True') that things don't have that spiritual something because they are poetic, but are Poetic because they have that spiritual something.

I’ve got a moment while I’m waiting for a table to rebuild… to put my two counterfeit sense in... assuming the existence of anything remotely as we imagine Life, the Universe and Everything in IT to be... since we in fact 'can't take it with us', then obviously anything that qualifies as an 'it' is of no interest whatsoever to that on the receiving end of that last great journey which we all try to take IT on - or in the here and now, for that matter. And taking into account that it took n Billions of years to reach the developmental level we have, the Deisigner is seemingly pretty pleased with, and patient with, his handeiwork, and is probably not prone to 'tweaking' the system - things are, in his mind, probably developing quite satisfactorily.

Kind of makes you wonder what's the point of it all, and of something like prayer? Though, most people with a grasp of the spiritual, tends towards some urge to pray, Why?

Given the previous givens though, praying 'Please, please, please... please ME!' is likely a non starter. And what do these givens leave for Him to have an interest in us in? Like the parent who has no interest in whether their child is pretending to be Captin Kirk or King Arthur or how many gold pressed latinum bars or jewel encrusted swords they are pretending to have, but DOES have an interest in how well they are playing and behaving in their games, I suppose the point of interest for the deisigner would be Us, the inner us which has free will, that which sets us not only apart from the third rock from the sun, but interior to it; us the truth metabolizers. If the point of it all is to develop souls in tune with the maker... then souls which align themselves with Truth... souls which, both in living their lives and in the act of proper prayer, seek towards that truth... then the very act of seeking, done properly - truthfully - is going to produce the only thing that really does matter, a soul more aligned with and developed towards that One Truth. And in engaging in those acts, you are in effect communing with the maker, via that interior bridge between the outer and inner, Truth.

Seek, and ye shall Find.

Such souls are also going to tend towards instances consonant with them – skating along towards points of juicier Truth - there is however, no guarantee of course that those points of Truth are going to gibe with our "IT" perspective; you might find just as much Truth in your arm being bitten off by an alligator, as much as in getting a promotion. Still, seems to me, as I'm pondering how God would have deisigned the program if he'd consulted me first... it's still more likely that those seeking towards that alignment, are naturally going to brush up with those people and circumstances operating at similar beats and frequencies in the key of Truth - a syncopated synchronisity.

6/26/2008 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

I have a feeling that the Truth is no less difficult to realize now than it ever has been. Or easy. It is not dependent on language, not even concept IMO. It is instead a state of Grace, a vantage point, which I sometimes call the gift of seeing with God's Eyes.

Because we are highly verbose we can write of this Truth extensively, but an illiterate Asian shepherd may well be wise hearted enough to take the raw materials and religious legacy near him or her and also KNOW as well or better than we do.

6/26/2008 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous the drive-by Naudo fan said...

Blogger Sibylline Zipper said...

Wow! That's cool. I had an amazing bit of synchronicity happen to me a last year. I was walking along singing/humming the song(Sinatra I think) ''Fly Me To the Moon'' under my breath and I come accross a piano bench in a storage area at work. On impulse I open the top of the bench and a photo-copied front page of ''Fly Me To the Moon'' is lying right on top of the contents. Whoa! Seriously...WHOA!

That calls for a bit 'o the ole NAUDO! ;-)

Fly Me To The Moon

And while we're on the subject of Synchronicity...not Naudo but a blast from the past.

The Police (live)

Enjoy!

6/26/2008 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Now here is News any Raccoon can use:

This book will educate about the Laws of Coincidence, and this one will tell us all we need to know about synchronicity.

From the Book Description:
"Unpredictable coincidences are, the author maintains, important messages that can be used to achieve one's true destiny. This process of synchro-destiny consists of connecting the individual soul to the universal soul through a number of mental exercises, provided here. Although Chopra's theories are expressed in a confusing and repetitive manner, the techniques he advocates may prove interesting to those who enjoy his humanistic, if convoluted, approach to self-help."

For those wishing even greater understanding of related subjects, Deepak's 2008 Kama Sutra Wall calendar may be of use.

This is an educational blog!

6/26/2008 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This Deepak is able to vulgarize any truth. I can't figure out if he is merely luciferian (perverting the light) or satanic (in opposition to it).

6/26/2008 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Chopra is at the least an embarassment. Lucifer is egotistical. Not such a bad guy. But messy. Satan is pissed off.

6/26/2008 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Naudo Fan, Sting used to be cool, once....

The Deepak Chopra Kama Sutra Wall calendar? That sounds about as appealing as walking in on your parents at an inopportune moment.

6/26/2008 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "The Deepak Chopra Kama Sutra Wall calendar? That sounds about as appealing as walking in on your parents at an inopportune moment."

Lol!

6/26/2008 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Actually, if it features pictures of him, I think it would be orders of magnitude worse...

6/26/2008 03:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

The Deepak Kama Sutra Calendar: The Antidote to Viagra

6/26/2008 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Also highly recommended for severe cases of priapism.

6/26/2008 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

The calendar depicts all the ways Deepak screws his followers.

6/26/2008 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Cit - The Sense that makes sense of all other sense experiences and organizes them into cornrows.

tw: robinstarfish

6/26/2008 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Actually, for those of us who already own calendars, there's the Chopra Sex Poster.

Comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

6/26/2008 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous the drive-by Sting fan said...

Haha! That was great Julie, about Sting. Kinda cool...[guffaw]

6/26/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Walt - only 2 left in stock! Order soon!

6/26/2008 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Complete aside (other than being about truth)...

Read the Supreme Court judgement from today's Heller case for the reality of how some people are in search of Truth and some are in search of "their own truth" (ie. Scalia vs. Stevens).

It is embarassing to read the twisted logic put forward by Stevens/Breyer. ( Scalia calls this "logic" "grotesque" at one point.)

Truth certainly has its opponents in the worlds.

6/26/2008 05:37:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

I can trace the web of coincidence that brought me here back to 2001. I wasn't a leftie before 9/11, but I had serious moonbat tendencies in many areas. My entire worldview crumbled with the Twin Towers. I could think of only one person who had the wisdom to make any kind of sense of what was happening- Dennis Prager. I bought a small transistor radio with an earphone so I wouldn't have to miss the show. Shortly after I got my first computer in 03 I heard Dennis interview Charles Johnson. I found LGF, and in the LGF community I was drawn to several people- all of them voices of Faith. I looked forward to Bob's one liners, and was hugely intigued on the rare instances when he would comment on a thread. Next thing I knew, here I was.
In 2001, I had a vague belief in God, but I would have told you that America's greatest threat came from conservative Bible belt fundamentalists who want to take away our freedom, and impose a Christian theocracy.
Interesting- If you take:
Conservative.
Bible belt.
Christian.
out of the previous sentence, and replace them with:
moslem.
jihadhist.
islamic.
I would have been correct.
As for all of those 'conservative Christian' types. I've met the enemy, and-

decided to join up.
Dang, but life is strange.

JWM

6/26/2008 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And now Charles himself is exhibiting such marked moonbat tendencies, what with the anti-religious fixation and hysteria. Strange man.... His blog is now a serious den of anti-intellectualism, "right wing" instead of conservative....

6/26/2008 06:09:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

On a similar note:
Up until recently (excepting my toy-geek bbs) I would have called LGF my 'home'(top priority site) on the web. One Cosmos has held that spot for a while now, and I'm camping out with the Feral Remnant over BabbaZee's, or checking out any of several fine blogs when I'm not here.
Things evolve.

JWM

6/26/2008 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

HOLY COW, Bob!
Talk about synchronicity-
I was typing my second post there, as you were hitting the post button.

JWM

6/26/2008 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

There are only a few blogs that virtually never let me down, and they're all in my side bar. The Pentheon, in particular, have such a high level of wit and intelligence -- not to mention writing sytle -- that they are hard to surpass. (I'm not talking about the coonosphere, but the wider blogosphere.)

6/26/2008 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first paragraph of the post seems to imply that 4 billion minus 3.85 billion equals 15 million.

6/26/2008 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I totally agree with you -- LGF was my home away from home. Now I no longer cast my comedic pearls there, where they are wasted on the swinish riff-raff....

6/26/2008 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anonymous:

Good point. I thought my math was off: 150 million. Duly noted.

6/26/2008 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

JWM, thanks for mentioning BabbaZee. I think I saw Ben mention her recently, as well. I've never been there before, but she has some interesting links, including this to an article in Scientific American about Faith and Physics. I'm not sure what I think of the interpretation, but it's food for thought.

6/26/2008 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Odd coincidence, but I too used to have a lot of extended exchanges with Babbazee at LGF, back before it went skinhead. In fact -- long story, but speaking of synchronicity -- she was familiar with Mrs. G.'s grandfather, who used to appear on the Joe Franklin show back east, when he was known as "The Dancing Dentist."

6/26/2008 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I reckon it can be very difficult to understand the meaning Raccoons ascribe to words, including our OM vocabulary.
I gno now that when I lurked many moons ago I might've written the OC off as eccentric and quite possibly nuts.

I might've, if I myself didn't have a deep sense of humor, and that was a big part of the attraction, at first.

After readin' Bob awhile, he literally shattered any of my first impressions.

Lessee, he's not a new ager, not a kumbaya kinda preacher, not a pacifist, and he actually agreed with me that Jesus wasn't a pacifist.
Heck, I could go on and on, but it's kinda funny, in a cosmic kinda Way, how Truth can contain humor. As well as OMpassion. Goodness. Beauty. Justice. Mercy. Honor. Etc...

And I continually (most the time) delve ever deeper into the True meanings those words convey and the Word made flesh oy veys.

Three words just popped into my head:
Mutual OM aha! :^)

My advice to Lost Raccoons that, through the most bizarre "coincidences" just happens to find themselves here:
Don't give up on the attraction you sense pullin' you into these hollowed (virtual) pages of In-sanity.

I find it quite fitting that a game of chess and several O-tours led me to ShrinkWrapped, where Gagdad Bob was commenting.

When he started the OC, well, I hadta investigate further. Mostly, at that time, because Bob is funny and he tickled my funny OM.
Only I didn't realize I even had a funny OM at the time.

I thought OM is what hippies did when they were trippin' on LSD.
Hey, I was ignorant, and OM has gotten a bad rap, what with new ager quakers pimpin' it like magic.

Now I be trippin' but it ain't from LSD, and these trips are real! :^)

6/26/2008 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

The Dancing Dentist?
Please, PLEASE tell us about the Dancing Dentist! Ha ha!

6/26/2008 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

If you google it, there's (presumably) a completely different dancing dentist who comes up...

6/26/2008 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Try googling Abe Kroll Dancing Dentist.

6/26/2008 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

So, I'm sitting her reading Bob's blog for, oh I don't know, the
20th time today and I notice for the first time a little button in the line at the top that says "next blog". I may not be observant, but I can be curious, so I press it. WTF? What exactly does "next" mean?!?! It is never the same. One time its some pig farmer family in upstate NY, the next its some teeny-bopper (do people still use that word?) with crazy hair. The next is in Japanese and animated. The next is just embarrassing (and animated).

I have decided that I'm going to resist this brave new world of "next blog". Contrary to what some people say, I'm actually not very adventurous.

Bob - if not for all the words, your blog is pretty blahg. Right up my alley.

00
>
(_)

6/26/2008 08:35:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

In reality, Darwinism enshrines its own form of creationism, except that it is magical as opposed to spiritual.

Yeah, and wouldn't atheism in general have the ironic effect of mystifying the universe? Because if God didn't create the universe ex nihilo, then the universe must've created itself ex nihilo -- which is a pretty magical thing (magic being all that's left when there is neither a spiritual nor a natural reason for something). Atheists like to demonstrate that they too are capable of awe by telling us how moved they are when they see some majestic natural sight. But maybe what really awes them, deep down, is the majical power that the scenery must possess according to their philosophy.

And why wouldn't a magical universe also be a capricious universe? Who's to say it won't rewrite its laws next Tuesday just to make the scientists look silly?

It seems to me that one of the benefits of believing in a good God is that it brings confidence that the universe is trustworthy and stable and obedient to the laws that govern it. There is no magic -- it is a rational universe, created by Spirit. What we learn of it is real and enduring. It submits humbly to our science because it's good that it do so. The universe is intelligible because God is good and by crackie he likes it that way!

6/26/2008 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In other words -- to paraphrase Schuon -- the modern sophisticate says "Thomism is out of date," instead of "I am not intelligent enough to understand Thomism."

6/26/2008 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Barak who?

6/26/2008 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous hussein said...

Obama

6/26/2008 11:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt that people who say Thomism is out of date are really too stupid to understand it. In reality, a few simple questions show it must at least be updated. For example, in his second way of proving God, how does Aquinas jump to the conclusion that God is the cause? He makes a leap larger than that of modern evolution's supposed gaps. Of course one could question if it isn't something else, but if it takes a religious man that much proof to fill an evolutionary gap, why does it take so little for a theistic gap?

But the thing is, there are many questions over each of his methods that simply put don't have a unanimous answer from theologians. So if the people who say it is out of date are too stupid to understand it, and the people who interpret can't agree on how it actually works, maybe it's not that it's beyond what people think, but actually that it's nonsensical. I doubt that you could answer many of the questions raised for Aquinas, and simply put you probably don't fully understand it yourself.

6/27/2008 12:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I rest my case.

6/27/2008 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Infinite regress -
'impossible' by fiat.
Progress is fine, though.

6/27/2008 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

"Similarly, if I don't write my posts when I do, they'll never be written, for you can never pass through the same stream of consciousness twice."

What does a Platonist think of the Library of Babel (the collection of all possible books), or the Dennett's Library of Mendel (the collection of all possible genomes)? Mustn't that actually exist in some way?

6/27/2008 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - EVERYTHING "exists" in God's mind.

6/27/2008 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "... Mustn't that actually exist in some way?"

You know, as an Aristotelian, I used to think that there must be an entity behind you... now I'm not so sure.

6/27/2008 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Van - Wouldn't you need a mirror to see it?

;^]

6/27/2008 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Nomo - Including the alternate Bobs that wrote different posts?

6/27/2008 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

anonymous: you make the mistake of making it intellectual.

In any case, religion proper never begins or began as an intellectual thing. Theology is a way of humans understanding the incomprehensible and knowing the unknowable.

That is, God.

When someone makes a 'leap' we must ask why: They might be crazy - but if its the same leap many others have made that explanation - even if its intellectually inconsistent to us.

A great deal of the madness that arose in the 1800's and 1900's was a result of the enlightenment telling men to 'dare to know' - to try to force the infinite into their mind and make it wholly consistent.

6/27/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Including you, Ray.

6/27/2008 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

River said "A great deal of the madness that arose in the 1800's and 1900's was a result of the enlightenment telling men to 'dare to know' - to try to force the infinite into their mind and make it wholly consistent."

ehh... I get what you're saying... but I've a slight quibble; the problems of the Enlightenment (and applies more to its end, than its development) came more from evading what it meant to know, pretending that what you wanted to know made it so and evading what you did know and how you knew it. This let the 'air' out of knowledge, and the post-enlightenment then took that deflated 'nowledge' as a basis for putting across their flattened world view; aka: Descartes, Rousseau, Hume & Kant and on to Marx, etc.

6/27/2008 09:41:00 AM  

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