Monday, June 09, 2008

The Great Inscape!

There is a power in sight which is superior to the eyes set in the head and more far-reaching than the heavens and earth.... It stands to reason, if you consider it, that the space occupied by any soul is vastly greater than heaven and earth and God's entire creation. --Meister Eckhart

Life is hard enough. Imagine how difficult it would be if we couldn't fly around at will within the expanding cooniverse of mental space!

Then again, for most people, this imaginative space is either rather cramped and constricted, or else it is a kind of hostile environment that feels quite the opposite of "liberating." As a result, an unfair number of people choose to escape this inscape by living down on the surface of the senses, just like an animal. The point is, this space can be filled with hostile entities that produce persecutory thoughts, or it can be a cold and wet blanket of depression that forms the backdrop of one's life. No wonder people try to escape it through drugs, external distractions, compulsions, "political activism," etc. Who could blame the liberal for not wanting to live inside his own head, and imagining a fantasy utopia in the future? But any utopia will be instantly converted to a dystopia, so long as liberals live there.

So our mental space is fraught with ambiguity, or at least it must be conquered and made habitable, no different, I suppose, than the external world. After all, the world is indifferent if not hostile to our presence within it until we have transformed it into something fit for humans. This cannot be said of any other animal. Only human beings must create the environment in which man becomes possible -- both the exterior and, more importantly, interior environment.

One of the purposes of religion is to convey liberating knowledge. Unlike profane knowledge, which merely adds to the pile of facts and theories in one's head -- and which are indeed analogous to material "objects" -- religious knowledge should have the effect of transforming the subject, which is another way of saying the actual "space" in which we live.

Profane space is always a kind of wall, ceiling, or limit; sacred knowledge is always a mirror, a window, or a door that leads out to the limitless; in short, it is a way in, up, and out. (I should add that psychoanalytic knowledge is a kind of in-between knowledge, in that it should expand one's profane space, without necessarily entering the limitless sacred space; but there is no fundamental reason why the space of the psychoanalyst should be separate from the space of the mystic, which is why I was so attracted to Bion. Ultimately, O is O, which is to say, One in cOOnvision, which is to further say, healthy "20/∞ double vision.")

Let us stipulate that Eden refers to a time in which human beings lived within the eternal space of God-consciousness. One needn't necessarily believe that this ever existed in the horizontal/historical sense in order to understand the deeper lesson, that something happened in our "ontological history" to separate us from our source. Any remotely perceptive individual realizes that we are "exiled" in an unfamiliar world, but the question is, why? Obviously, no other animal feels "alienated," unless he has had sufficient contact with humans or Democrats. But humans have always intuitively realized that we live in a kind of halfway-house that is simultaneously familiar and strange, the former an echo of our horizontal evolution, the latter a dim recollection of our vertical involution. This intersection is indeed our cross to bear.

At the intersection of the horizontal and vertical energies -- at the center of the cross -- is the human heart, which is precisely the human transdimensional "organ" that opens out to eternity. Unlike other organs, it only achieves its full functioning by being wounded and pierced. Remember the Tin Man? Now I know I have a heart, because it's breaking.

This point -- like all points -- is infinite. It is simultaneously the center, the origin, the summit, the deep interior, and the presence of Presence, or Being, for short. It is where, as Perry describes, "the synthesis of all cosmic time and space" occurs, in an "Eternal Present centered in a superluminous fullness of beatitude whereof the Comprehensor is the transcendent Intellect or solar Deity dwelling microcosmically in the 'Eye of the Heart.'"

This is "a point without extension or a moment without duration," and is "centric and axial to all existences, where complementaries and opposites are contained in principial equilibrium..." If profane existence is where the Divine Space is deployed in time, this point is where "time is changed into space": or, to be precise, we feel this sacred space "roiling over" into time, like the waters from a central spring.

That's the microcosm, but it obviously simultaneously opens out to the macrocosm, so that we may know reality in its essence. Or, we might say that microcosm and macrocosm simultaneously co-arise; in this sense, it is absolutely correct that what we call "reality" is a form of our sensibility, so long as we stipulate that this is not an argument for relativism but for Absolutism. It is "the direct reflection of principial eternity, which excludes all succession"; it is both the "sense of eternity" and the "abode of immortality" (Perry). You know, Put down the apple and back away slowly, and nobody dies! (the Coonifesto).

Again, the ultimate purpose of religion is to bring us in closer proximity to this point and therefore this infinite space (and bear in mind that this reality simply "is"; as such, it is not "attained" but merely "realized." But on this side of it, we must speak the paradoxical language of separation (or sin) and purification and attainment at risk of being even more misunderstood; to paraphrase Schuon, before realizing one's essential unity with God, we must first realize the extent of our separation from him.

This, by the way, is another of my objections to new age dharma hustlers like Tolle; if he goes on Oprah and tells her motley group of fans that they are actually God, I say "no way." In a way, this is worse than atheists who preach the opposite, and ultimately just as fruitless. At least the atheist starts with the honest truth: I don't have a clue where God is, because I've completely severed myself from him.

In religious iconography, the Center is depicted as the Sun (macrocosmically) and the Heart (microcosmically). But these two are actually One, or at least not two. This is where interior and exterior (or subject and object) are ultimately unified: "The universe is only 'vision' or 'knowledge,' in whatever mode this is realized, and its whole reality is God: the worlds are woven of visions, and the content of these visions indefinitely repeated is always the Divine, which is thus primal Knowledge and the ultimate Reality -- Knowledge and Reality being two complementary aspects of the same Divine Cause" (Schuon, in Perry).

So, as Aristotle said, truly, "the soul is all it knows." And since she can know the All, she is potentially All, or infinite space. Again, this is "realized" in mystical union, whereas it is simply assumed (but never realized) in secular science. For example, when the secular scientist imagines "the cosmos" or "the big bang," he is dwelling within a profane and "de-spiritualized" shadow of the true Infinite Space which contains the cosmos. To put it another way, the soul of the scientist (or anyone else) is not in the cosmos; rather, the reverse: the cosmos is within the soul of the scientist -- over there, under the couch!

Like God, we always contain our reality, even if it means shrinking reality down to the narrow dimensions of the ego. In other words, even the ego is superior to the cramped little cosmos it creates and projects outward. We always "see double," which is to say, inwardly (first) and outwardly (second).

Well, I'm short on time and long on day, so I think I'll just sign off here. I'm not close to being finished with this topic. To be continued.

Our whole business therefore in this life is to restore health to the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen. --St. Augustine

And then our Lord opened my spiritual eye and shewed me my soul in midst of my heart. I saw the Soul so large as it were an endless world, and as it were a blissful kingdom. --Julian of Norwich

In these outlines, my son, I have drawn a likeness of God for you, so far as that is possible; and if you gaze upon this likeness with the eyes of your heart, then, my son, believe me, you will find the upward path; or rather, the sight itself will guide you on your way. --Hermes

(All quoted material taken from The Spiritual Ascent)


julie said...

See also here ;)

Petey said...

If that don't put the wink in co-winky-link!

mushroom said...

Yes, Julie, I do always read your comments. You are generally more to the point than some of us. Evidence below.

Wow, talk about co-winky-link, talk about syncronicity: Friday I was reading Galatians, "But the Jerusalem that is above is free and is our mother." It struck me anew that the Bible typically depicts the soul as feminine. The city of Jerusalem as the mother and the tabernacle/temple with its dark Holy of Holies. We don't want to get too graphic. I seem to recall a similar view in the Tao.

In Second Corinthians Paul calls us earthen vessels, clay pots that contain a great treasure. In the previous letter, he asks if the Corinthians are unaware of the fact that a person's body is the temple of the Spirit. We are that sacred space in which God dwells.

Anyway, all this was on my mind this weekend.

Then, struck low by sunburn and an overworked shoulder last night, I had crashed on my office couch with my mp3 player. I noticed that in the majority of my favorite cuts, the music is creating space, there are a lot of open acoustic stuff, e.g., Doc Watson, or oddball things like Lynnyrd Skynnrd's "Made in the Shade" and "Mississippi Kid" that have an old-time, roots sound to them. It's as if the sound is defining the space. And I could have had a touch of sunstroke, too.

Space, the final frontier.

River Cocytus said...

mushroom: there are layers to it, as well. The Church/New Jerusalem is also a symbol of Mary (the Theotokos) So there is a little 'inner church' in the soul (where your 'closet' is that Christ describes in Matt.) but there is also different instantiations on every level of this.

Van said...

Mushroom said "You are generally more to the point than some of us. Evidence below."

I'll second that.

ehm...("...Evidence below.")

Uh-oh...I'm below... ah well... look out belowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Van said...

"One of the purposes of religion is to convey liberating knowledge. Unlike profane knowledge, which merely adds to the pile of facts and theories in one's head -- and which are indeed analogous to material "objects" -- religious knowledge should have the effect of transforming the subject, which is another way of saying the actual "space" in which we live. "

I'll be brief... which is easy... since that says it all.


Robin Starfish said...

While exploring a river this weekend, I came upon an old carved out tree stump upon which sat a weatherbeaten paperback Bible, pages flicking in the wind. By the time I photographed it, it was open to Rev. 22:

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

And further down...

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Some big soul space in there/out here.

Smoov said...

Here we have a replica of Google News (already itself heavily leftist) as envisioned by a scary utopian staight outta Kos-dom:

Leftist Utopia reflected in Fake Google News Page

Storm-Rider said...

"Only human beings must create the environment in which man becomes possible"

We are creative because God made us in His creative image, with human reason a part of this creativity.

Dennis Prager explains that a Jewish understanding of the Genesis account of "Let Us make man in Our image" is where God is speaking to the animals He had just created. We humans are therefore created both in the image of God, i.e.: man with an eternal soul; but also created as animals. We are, as C.S. Lewis explains, miraculous hybrids.

A "real person" therefore is one who realizes both his/her full animal and spiritual potentials. Development of only the animal potential usually leads to evil, and this also holds in only developing the "spiritual" side. It is in developing of the whole man, both animal and spiritual, that a good life is found.

bob f. said...

"Our problem, though, is not that we imagine our world, but that we believe in and hang on to our imagined version as if it is the real thing." (quote from Julie's link)

The Leftist trolls do not understand why the world is unfolding as it is; as the above link makes clear enough, the failure of their worldview to actually explain what is happening is something they cannot acknowledge. Repeating the same delusional fantasies ten thousand times makes them true, don't you know?

QP said...

. . "we might say that microcosm and macrocosm simultaneously co-arise . . ."

I passed by a blog meme the other day w/o responding, til now:

"Go the closest or current book you're reading; open it to page 123; type the first three sentences in the 2nd paragraph."

Quote: "I was created from a clot and set in proud, free motion; so were they. So was this rotifer created, this monostyla, with its body like a lightbulb in which pale organs hang in loops; so was this paramecium created, with a thousand propulsive hairs jerking in unison, whipping it from here to there across a drop and back. Ad majorem? Dei gloriam?"

~ Annie Dillard

QP said...


OK, "it's not an endorsement"

(re: Dylan on BaRack)

NoMo said...

Robin - That's a new spin on Gideon. Did you leave it there or did you take it with you?

There are days when all that comes to mind is, "Too long in exile!" Then I'm reminded -"Eternity is on the inside"...and I'm home again.

Petey said...

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

That's a really big shew.

julie said...

QP - thanks for the meme, it gives me an excuse to recommend this book to any raccoon interested in riveting, relevant and well-written tales of military history (which I've been wanting to do since the first few pages):

Qoute: "That point made by the captain Pythiades is also well taken, that Syracuse - whose conquest, all concur, holds the key to Sicily - is a democracy. We have witnessed our young champion's appeal to the mob. Perhaps this, too, may work in the expedition's favor."

Steven Pressfield, "Tides of War"

It is excellent.

RE the Dylan quote,

“Poverty is demoralising. You can’t expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor."

it really cheeses me off that so many people equate poverty of circumstance with poverty of morality.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, based upon his autobiography, you couldn't be much more poor than Dylan was in his hobo days in the early 1960s. But he certainly didn't sound depressed. And that was even before the amphetamine!

Gagdad Bob said...

Interesting. I see that Dylan's eldest son, Jesse, directed's "Yes We Can" video.

Robin Starfish said...

"Robin - That's a new spin on Gideon. Did you leave it there or did you take it with you?"

I left the book there. And took it with me.

Bulletproof Monk said...

Re the Page 123 meme, I'm currently reading seven books! I'll just post the best trinity...

But whatever you wish to call them--complexes, fixations, repetition compulsions--there is no question that human beings serve as the unwitting hosts of "parasitic organisms" that operate independently of our conscious will and tend to subjugate it: "these perverse tendencies can deprive us of our freedom and enslave us. Worse still, they can avail themselves of our imagination and inventive faculties and lead us to creations which can become the scourge of mankind." That is, because these self-replicating "psychoviruses" keep reproducing themselves on both a personal and historical basis, they are, as we shall see, "a source of social infection as real and serious as are carriers of diphtheria and typhoid."

(One Cosmos)

Every single You is a glimpse of that. Through every single You the basic word addresses the eternal You. The mediatorship of the You of all beings accounts for the fullness of our relationship to them--and for the lack of fulfillment.

(I and Thou, Martin Buber)

Trespass Offerings

'Now if a soul should sin in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he saw or knew of the matter--if he does not tell it, he shall bear his guilt. Or if a soul should touch any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean animal, or one torn by a wild animal, or the unclean carcasses of creeping things, or the unclean carcasses of cattle; or should touch human uncleanness--even by any uncleanness, which by touching it he is defiled--and he is unaware of it, but afterwards becomes aware, he shall bear his guilt. Or if a soul should swear, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or good, whatever a man may pronounce by an oath, and it should escape his notice--and thus he should sin in one of these things, then he shall confess his sin in that thing; and he shall bring for his trespass against the Lord, and for his guilt, a female from the sheep, a lamb, or a kid of the goats as a sin offering.

(Leviticus 5:1-6, Orthodox Study Bible)

ximeze said...

Hey! the Arkive is back

(or did I just notice?)

Ray Ingles said...

How do you know animals don't feel alienated?

Petey said...

Do you have a confession to make?

Van said...

Julie said "Steven Pressfield, "Tides of War" It is excellent"

Julie, I really enjoyed that one - he's got several others as well, walking the Greeks story forward from Theseus to Thermopylae to Alexander; Pressfield knows his stuff and gno's how to draw you into it.

Van said...

Ray Ingles said "How do you know animals don't feel alienated?"

(blink. blink.)

Oh my.

Way to grasp the meat of today's post there Ray... I'm assuming you won't have any trouble finding the space to consider the facets of that one more fully.

Van said...

Somewhat OT - the other side of making mental and spiritual space, is withdrawing it. Societaly, this is another one to chalk up to the leftists - listening to Tivo'd Brit Hume's news, and there's a story about a special needs group of students in L.A. L.A. land's 'unified' school district - their special need? They're smart, and so dulled by dumbed down school's, that they barely motivate enough to make good grades. Says one girl "I didn't care, I didn't want to go to school, I didn't find any interest in it, but that totally changed when I got in a program where I was given work that was actually harder than I could do!" We've heard of the soft bigotry of low expectations, but how about the stealthy dulling and smothering of bright minds?

She was lucky to get a slot in the highly gifted program, but funding for such programs comes only after billions are spent on learning disabled and special ed kids. And her program is in peril of being cut.

How many of our best and brightest have been dimmed or even snuffed out through these godawful warrens? Tall poppies anyone?

Sick. Absolutely sick.

Of course I'd tell them to get the hell out of those mental charnel houses while they can, while they still have minds able to act under their own power, but for those who want to call this a 'school system'... WTF!?!?!?!

mushroom said...

Ray, we are not so worried about animals being alienated as we are about aliens being animalated.

QP said...

There once was a coon who said, "Ray,

It has borne in on me what to say:

"A creature that moves 
In predestinate grooves;
You're not even a bus, you're a tramway!" 

mushroom said...

Who was the guy, Rip Taylor? -- "You'll think about this later, and you'll laaaaugh!"

NoMo said...

"...and bear in mind that this reality simply "is"; as such, it is not "attained" but merely "realized.""

Realization vs attainment.
Faith vs works.
Assent vs ascent?

Yet another beautiful window in the coonthedral, Bob. It does take some gazing and patience for the light to come through just so.

will said...

>>Any remotely perceptive individual realizes that we are "exiled" in an unfamiliar world . . . <<

Believing as I do in the layered meaningfulness of dreams, ie., dreams can be interpreted simultaneously on the mundane as well as the mythological/esoteric level, I wonder how many of our common dreams actually do emphasize our "exile" from High Places - dreams, for example, where we find ourselves back in school and wondering what we are doing there, wondering what our locker combination is, etc.

As for me, I have these recurring dreams in which I am returning to my childhood home, only to find it occupied by another family, at which point I look downtown for my home and can't find it there either. The dreams always conclude with my less-than-joyful resolution to keep wandering until I do find home.

I think the medieval folklorist "Wandering Jew", an earthly archetype if there ever was one, crystallizes the essence of our exile. We're all Jews, wandering.

Ray Ingles said...

Van - Very detailed and elaborate (and self-consistent) systems can be made with all kinds of premises. (C.f. elliptic, Euclidean, and hyperbolic geometry.) The question is always, which premises actually match reality?

I'm sure Bob's conclusions mostly follow from his premises. That's not the same thing as those conclusions being correct...

Ray Ingles said...

(Oh, and besides... there seems to be resentment here for people who 'barge in' without acclimating first. Since there are still things I'm asking about (hint hint), why shouldn't I be polite and wait to address the 'meat' until I've got a handle on it?)

Van said...

Ray, as to your 04:23:00 AM comment, pardon me but... duh.

If after reading Aristotle, the comment you came away with was 'but how does he know that the sun goes around the earth', I'd say the same thing. As one wit said 'Yeah... but I wonder what it would have looked like if the Sun did revolve around the Earth?"

Such a non-error observation, whether or not in light of centuries more detailed observation and information proves to be incorrect, it is a statement of the obvious which there is no information available to make it reasonable to doubt.

And to come away from this post with only that observation being of interest... well... some wide open spaces are just empty.

As to your 04:34:00 AM comment "there seems to be resentment here for people who 'barge in' without acclimating first"... not resentment but annoyance, and that mostly at rudeness, complete willful ignorance, and self preening pontifications.

But come on, there is a difference between taking it slow and being tedious.

Van said...

Hey Will, Welcome back home!

er... well... half way house... uhmmm... flop house... flop den... er... oh crud.

Hi Will!

Ray Ingles said...

Van - I wouldn't say that there's no information available to make it reasonable to doubt... or at least pause for consideration.

Boundaries in the real world are always fuzzier and more complex than in our mental models. And the same things can be understood from different points of view. I've had similar thoughts to the ones Bob posted a day before about the additional complexity of male sexuality. One doesn't have to think Bob wrong in everything to disagree with some things.

Van said...

Now that's scary - I was guessing that you'd either link in a story related to the Parrot (the linguist John McWhorter had some interesting comments on him in a series of lectures he gave, and the distinction that needs to be made between concepts and symbols), or one of the signing apes. Again, missing the point.

"Boundaries in the real world are always fuzzier and more complex than in our mental models"

Yeah... but more often, it is the reverse.

Ray Ingles said...

Van - speaking of missing the point, I didn't claim that parrots or apes provided ironclad proof of alienation. Indeed, I explicitly said they simply ought to spark a "pause for consideration".

There are a lot more precursors of "uniquely human" behavior in animals than most people are aware of. (Again, David Sloan Wilson's "Evolution For Everyone" is a recommended read.) It doesn't take anything away from humans to recognize their connections with animals. The gap doesn't have to be infinite to be real, and large, and significant.

Earth's curvature is about 8 inches per mile. Pretty good local maps can be made ignoring that curvature, but in the long view, it's the difference between a flat Earth and a globe. You may regard the things I've pointed out as 'trivia' or 'noise'... but they may not be.

Van said...

"There are a lot more precursors of "uniquely human" behavior in animals than most people are aware of. "

Again, missing the point... or not even missing the point.

"It doesn't take anything away from humans to recognize their connections with animals."

Ray, I don't think that it does, I'll even go out on a limb and say that I think that there is much more in common than we suspect, and in ways that would make many people very uncomfortable, but again - that was not the point of the post, and there was much more worthy of noting and discussing than that. You do see that, right? If you do see this as being somehow quite relevant, how about relating it to the main points of the post, rather than dangling it out of context?

If I seem crankier than necessary, chalk it up to coming to the end (hopefully) of a string of 60+ hour weeks (oy should enjoy that), but it really is jarring to read this post, and out of all of it to have that brought out as a key issue... I don't know which target you're aiming at, but somewhere there's a side of a barn that is in no danger of being punctured.

Smoov said...

I've been in high tech for many years. Some of my best friends are "Ray Ingles" -- i.e., high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome.

Asperger's combined with a high (but narrow) IQ score produces precisely the sort of result we see with our own Ray Ingles: technically "correct" on many fronts, but with a scotoma where spiritual apprehension would normally be.

I'm not sure what the prognosis is for such people. They can lead happy lives (as can Down Syndrome people), but can they ever "get" what to chattering 'Coons comes so naturally (although the journey was long for at least some of us here)? Dunno.

I just know that attacking Ray is fruitless -- we're separated from him by a gulf which for now appears unbrideable. I say "appears", because I myself shared much of Ray's Weltanschuung for much of my adult life. Nowadays, even if I can't express myself with the fluidity of a Walt, a Van, a River -- for that matter any regular 'Coon -- at least I mostly get it. Ray obviously doesn't. The salient question is: can he ever "get it"?

julie said...

Good question, Smoov - although the fact that he keeps coming back, and that he's generally polite, suggests that there's hope for him yet. Nobody forces him to stick around and ponder, after all. He's still almost completely blind, so he has to focus on the only shady spot he thought he saw; the alienation of animals is probably the only thing that makes nonsense enough for him to grasp.

Ray Ingles said...

Um, even if y'all were correct in your 'diagnosis'... well, there's this to consider. (Click it, honest, you'll find it interesting.)

Van said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Van said...

Smoov said "...although the journey was long for at least some of us here..."

The long and winding road... (dut dahhh) that yOur door...
(youtube's blocked here, but I'm sure the link is out there...)

"I say "appears", because I myself shared much of Ray's Weltanschuung for much of my adult life."


"The salient question is: can he ever "get it"?"

Dunno. That's an answer only Ray can create.

I don't mind him trying though. He is polite. And very clean. (a ref that relates to the lyric above - a pawprint to who gets it first)

[oops, missed the start on last post]

Ray Ingles said...

Van - My point is that Bob might be wrong about the nature of that inner space, not its existence. Infinite is better than vast, of course, but at least vast has room to grow. Or perhaps it's easier to stop and call where you're at your destination than to keep going.

Van said...

Ray said " well, there's this to consider. (Click it, honest, you'll find it interesting.)"

Thanks for the link, that was interesting. I wonder from how many perspectives you've read it?

Though the verbal is the key interface to our concepts, and necessary to building much beyond the most basic levels of them, there are many other attributes which link to, convey, and even cling to concepts like a conceptual static electricity, which we largely miss in our daily doings, and which is, I think, one key to the poetic. The mood and tone, even with the printed word, often activates far more than the meaning than we are immediately able to grasp.

Well... for those of us who have I's to hear, anyway.


Van said...

I said "...I don't mind him trying though. He is polite. And very clean. (a ref that relates to the lyric above - a pawprint to who gets it first)"

Oh... come on... am I really the only Beatle buff to get that one? Gagdad? Toppermost of the punnerermost?

julie said...

"Or perhaps it's easier to stop and call where you're at your destination than to keep going."

Certainly, it's easier (but likely to get a bit dull after a while, don't you think?). If you are actually content with having arrived at your chosen destination, Ray, why go on a metaphysical snipe hunt? Because if your suspicion is correct, and there is no god, then that's pretty much all we're doing here. Obviously, there are a lot of people who get something positive out of this site, and who do believe; in fact, who (myself included) know Otherwise, even though there's no way to prove it to you. I'm genuinely curious, though, as to what keeps bringing you back.

Incidentally, that was an interesting link, though I don't think it means what you think it means...

petey said...

Grandfather: Would you look at him? Sittin' there with his hooter scrapin' away at that book!

Ray: Well, what's the matter with that?

Grandfather: Have you no natural resources of your own? Have they even robbed you of that?

Ray: You can learn from books!

Grandfather: You can, can you? Pahh! Sheeps' heads! You could learn more by gettin' out there and living!

Ray: Out where?

Grandfather: Any old where! But not our little Ray. Oh, no. When you're not thumpin' that pagan keyboard, you're tormenting your eyes with that rubbish.

Ray: Books are good.

Grandfather: *Parading's* better.

Ray: Parading?

Grandfather: [nods eagerly] Parading the streets! Trailing your coat! Bowling along! LIVING!

Ray: Well, I am living.

Grandfather: You? Living? When was the last time you gave a girl a pink-edged daisy? When did you last embarrass a sheila with your cool, appraising stare?

Ray: You're a bit old for that sort of chat, aren't you?

Grandfather: Well at least I've got a backlog of memories! All you've got is - THAT BOOK!

Ray Ingles said...

Van - Yes, I'm aware that there are many other attributes which link to, convey, and even cling to concepts like a conceptual static electricity. And yes, that's another key to the poetic, besides the one I mentioned before.

I'm fairly careful in trying to avoid ad logicam. My point was to ask others to refrain from ad hominem. After all, if smoov were right, it would be useless at best, counterproductive at worst. Ironically, smoov's own post was, well... :->

Van said...

petey said... "Grandfather: Would you look at him? Sittin' there with his hooter scrapin' away at that book!"

YES!!! Petey the wise and verseful!!!

Thank you. I feel better now. All is once again well with the world. Course now we're going to have to go find Richard/Ray/Ringo and save him from dropping kids into holes.

Ah well, so it goes.


(best I can do for a pawprint)

Ray Ingles said...

Julie - Where did you get the impression that I think I'm the one who's arrived at a destination?

Petey - Have you noticed that I rarely post on nights or weekends?

Petey said...

Well then, do tell us about the sheilas you've been embarrassing with your cool appraising stare! It would be far less tedious than the atheist drivel!

julie said...

*sigh* I know I'm wasting my breath (fingertips?) here, but again I can't quite resist.

Here's the thing, Ray. You think (though really, how you can have been here for as long as you have and still see us this way just demonstrates, again, your severe blindness; I suppose that, as Walt's post today suggests, you can't help - er, well, I'll just let you read it lest it sound like another ad hominem attack) that we have decided that God explains everything, and that as a result we have simply stopped exploring. You are like the scientist seeking a unified theory of everything, while completely rejecting the One unified theory that really does explain everything, and which allows for continued scientific exploration and development.

You look at the watch, all assembled in its beautiful precision, all its parts working just so, and you think (and I'm using an analogy here; it should be obvious that this isn't exactly how you think)

"pretty cool! it's really amazing that matter just kind of formed itself this way - the steel purified, the crystal just so. Look at all of the parts, they just naturally fit together. And they serve a useful purpose! Isn't that lucky? Amazing!"

It occurs to you that it's possible someone purposefully put it together, (though you think it very unlikely), but you prefer to believe that it just happened. And when a bunch of other people look at the watch and say

"Awesome! I'd like to meet the guy who came up with that! I wonder what he could teach me?"

You just shake your head and say

"Oh, you fools; why must the watch have a maker? Why can't you see that it just fortuitously happened. Here is proof after proof that the watch just is. Take it apart, see how amazing it is! It can be studied, and if we just break it down into small enough and big enough pieces, we'll understand the universe!" (yes, we do see, that's why we think the Designer is so cool!)

When we point out the machine marks, the fact that it only functions when someone winds it, that the function only matters to someone who can comprehend (and care about) the passing of time, you pooh pooh us, and tell us we're limiting ourselves by positing that the watch must have been Made; that the universe is vastly more interesting if the watch is a happy coincidence and nothing more.

What more can I tell you, Ray? Like it or not, it is you who have halted at a particular destination. We're still ambling and rambling toward our deustination. You're welcome to join us, and you're welcome to call it a snipe hunt. But stick around long enough, and you might end up where we're going anyway (and whether that's a good or a bad thing, only you can say).

See? Another exercise in futility. I seem to be at my most verbal when I'm procrastinating...

julie said...

As an aside, hey Bob - do you ever write your posts, and then afterwards wonder where they came from, 'cause you don't quite remember thinking those thoughts?

Gagdad Bob said...

Only every time.

Van said...

From Ray's last link, talking about the workings of DNA: "It occurred to me once that text is like that. You have about as many letters in the Roman alphabet as there are amino acids, and they are read in a straight, linear sequence. But as they are read, they interact with each other and the ideas and experiences already in our minds, forming complex, elaborate, and active concepts.

More, a strand of DNA in isolation does nothing, it's meaningless. It only becomes active - it only has a meaning - when it's 'read' by a whole complex cell around it. Similarly, a book by itself does nothing. It is only when interacting with a reader that it takes on meaning, that it becomes something more than just ink on paper. "

So near, and yet so far - a mere infinite separation... like Zeno proving that a speeding arrow cannot move.

Ray Ingles said...

Julie - I'll echo Van here. "So near, and yet so far."

I do, indeed, ask "why must the watch have a maker?" (Of course, why is it that watches stand out from a field or a beach, anyway? Why does a lawn stand out from an untended field?)

But I don't go on to ask, "Why can't you see that it just fortuitously happened?" (If that's what you think evolution implies, BTW, you need to read up on it.)

I'm kinda still waiting for an answer to the first question.

mushroom said...

The watch stands out from the beach because it unusual to find a watch on the beach. Kind of like human consciousness in the cosmos. So what's your point?

BTW, your link to your site is bad.

Your question is in which post does Bob explain the errors of darwinism and what darwinism does not and can never explain.

As a mere software engineer, I do not speak for the more enlightened, simply for myself. My view is that darwinism is not the default position. I don't have to prove my God-consciousness is God-given. You need to prove to me it isn't. You can't do that. You have, as they say, a God-shaped void in your soul. You don't want to believe that. Or, rather, you recognize it and you want to explain it away as something that evolved through natural selection so you can avoid dealing with the ultimate Reality. You say you don't need God to explain familial love and affection; you don't need God to explain appreciation of beauty or a sense of the sublime; you don't need God to explain the mathematical coherence of the cosmos; you don't need God to explain the uniqueness of human thought processes, language, comprehension, etc.; you don't need God to explain the meaning and purpose of human life.

I agree with you completely. You don't need God. You are much more courageous than I and able to face life on it's own terms, to deal with the random, meaninglessness of existence. Let me pat you on the back and tell you atta'boy.

Happy now?

Ray Ingles said...

Mushroom - (Thanks. I still haven't fully adjusted to having my domain hijacked a while back.)

Why would you think that that would make me happy? Can you explain the reasoning a bit?

Storm-Rider said...

"Why would you think that that would make me happy? Can you explain the reasoning a bit?"

Not to answer for Mushroom, but for myself; I believe there are two kinds of happiness.

On one level we humans can be happy just like the animals can be happy. There is the happiness of a full stomach, or happiness from a beautiful vista, or from a fragrant aroma, or from sexual expression, or from rearing our young. There can be happiness from living a long and fruitful life of creative labor, and there can be happiness from love of family and neighbor. There can be happiness that human rights come only from man’s reason, i.e.: man’s law; but it can be re-written. This is finite happiness.

There is another kind of happiness that mere animals cannot know. There is happiness from giving thanks to God for providing the meal through our creative labor and for the creativity its self, and happiness from giving thanks to God for the beautiful vistas and fragrant aromas, and happiness through giving thanks to God for sexual love within marriage and for the sacred family, and happiness from faith in God and for eternal life in the world to come. There is happiness that human rights come from God’s law joined to man’s reason, and it cannot be re-written. This is infinite happiness.

Storm-Rider said...


There is happiness that human rights come from God’s law joined to man’s reason, and it cannot be justly re-written.

Ray Ingles said...

Storm-rider: Sorry, I'm not asking about the content of Mushroom's statements per se. I'm asking why (assuming arguendo that they were meant seriously) him saying that is supposed to make me happy.

I think he's greatly misapprehended my motivations, that's all.