Nov 22, 2022

Deus Absconditus

“First, pay the cancellation fee and cash in your first-class ticket to Lhasa.”

Deus Absconditus

Nov 17, 2022

Advertising

“Madison Avenue knows us. It knows that our deepest longing is to be ourselves, to be what we are, to lose our absolute freedom in the security of an identity....'Never happening!”

Advertising

Nov 15, 2022

King James

“We’re not in Kansas (or even Kensington) anymore, are we?”

King James

Nov 10, 2022

Aletheia Today Needs YOU!

“Satisfaction…is potentially limitless.”

Aletheia Today Needs YOU!

Nov 8, 2022

Election Day 2022

“Whatever we do, each of us is commenting on the current state-of-affairs, advocating for some future state-of-affairs, or rejecting the political process altogether.”

Election Day 2022

Nov 3, 2022

Gettysburg Too

“To determine if a particular government is operating for the people, we need a checklist. What are the identifying marks of such a government?”

Gettysburg Too

Nov 1, 2022

The Gettysburg Address

“After Lincoln, the legitimacy of government is an all or nothing proposition.”

The Gettysburg Address

Oct 27, 2022

Who Invented the Internet

“Al Gore claims the honor, but research shows that proof of concept testing began in 802 AD...”

Who Invented the Internet

Oct 25, 2022

Church and State

I will write (my law) upon their hearts… At that time, there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in their own mind.

Church and State

Oct 20, 2022

How to Destroy a Culture

OMG, what have I done? I’ve just given you "The Ultimate Imperialists’ Cookbook!"

How to Destroy a Culture

Oct 18, 2022

I Led Three Lives

“Modern physics is right now living at least three lives and possibly a fourth.”

I Led Three Lives

Oct 11, 2022

I'm Too Old for War

“So that’s it for me; I’m done. I’m too old for war now, period. Put me down on your list as…no longer compliant.”

I'm Too Old for War

Oct 6, 2022

The Search for Self

We are Le Neant, nothing – and nothing could be better than that!

The Search for Self

Oct 4, 2022

Who Dunnit?

“Was it Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the Wrench? Or…”

Who Dunnit?

Sep 29, 2022

A Many-Worlds Interpretation of Social Dynamics

“There was more cultural overlap between the Confederate States and the United States in 1860 than there is today between red states and blue.”

A Many-Worlds Interpretation of Social Dynamics

Sep 27, 2022

The Death of "God?"

“I had not known that God’s alleged demise had been elevated to the status of a fact.”

The Death of "God?"

Sep 22, 2022

You Say you Want a Revolution!

“A successful revolution is not something you cook up one summer evening over burgers and beer…”

You Say you Want a Revolution!

Sep 20, 2022

Football and Social Change

“…You feel your body sliding between other bodies, not under them; you look up and OMG, it’s Morning in America, daylight after all.”

Football and Social Change

Sep 15, 2022

Give us your honest opinion, please.

Give us your honest opinion, please.

Give us your honest opinion, please.

Sep 13, 2022

/ˈdjuːti/

Why can’t a monarch wear whatever shade of nail polish she wants?

/ˈdjuːti/

Sep 8, 2022

Stein Time

“That’s why Tom Brady can’t retire!”

Stein Time

Sep 6, 2022

Who Am I?

“My job is to experience, even enjoy, the prairie, not fix it…”

Who Am I?

Sep 1, 2022

Coming Attractions

“We’ll ‘listen’ to a performance of Handel’s Messiah and then ‘fly’ to London to take a look at Henry Moore’s iconic sculpture, Nativity.

Coming Attractions

Aug 30, 2022

Theory of Everything

“Only six verses long, this Christology contains the elements of a complete Theology, and, beyond that, of a complete Cosmology.”

Theory of Everything

Aug 25, 2022

Aletheia Today Magazine Issue #3

Countdown to our next issue...

Aletheia Today Magazine Issue #3

Aug 23, 2022

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Who’s the hero now, Julius Caesar…or you?

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Aug 18, 2022

Meet the Piraha

Piraha has no words for numerals (e.g., 1, 2, 3) or for colors (e.g., red, green, blue).

Meet the Piraha

Aug 16, 2022

Enlightenment!

“It is often said that victors write history. That is even truer when the war is cultural rather than political.”

Enlightenment!

Aug 11, 2022

I Shop, Therefore I Am

I before me except after T (Theos)

I Shop, Therefore I Am

Aug 9, 2022

Who Is Mary?

The relationship between Jesus and Mary is the relationship between God and the World, and the relationship between God and the World is the paradigm of all external relatedness.

Who Is Mary?

Aug 4, 2022

Time

Contemporary views of Time include such ideas as: ‘there is no such thing; it’s an illusion; it’s a giant block and every moment is a slice; time is just one more dimension in spacetime,' etc.

Time

Aug 2, 2022

John Vianney

“He used to travel…to isolated barns for clandestine Masses…”

John Vianney

Jul 28, 2022

A Many Worlds Interpretation of Social Dynamics

“There was more cultural overlap between the Confederate States and the United States in 1860 than there is today between Red States and Blue.”

A Many Worlds Interpretation of Social Dynamics

Jul 26, 2022

Common Sense Academy Routs Info Tech, 97 - 3

"Imagine that the Borg Collective and Jean Luc Picard had a baby…"

Common Sense Academy Routs Info Tech, 97 - 3

Jul 21, 2022

Inside/Outside

Living in an orientable universe is no fun! Thank God we don’t live in such a universe!

Inside/Outside

Jul 19, 2022

Things Are Not Always the Way They Seem to Appear

This alternative turns a simple, two-stroke process of alienation into a four-stroke process of alignment. How so?

Things Are Not Always the Way They Seem to Appear

Jul 14, 2022

Special Issue Ahead--Your exclusive look at ATM's Summer Issue

All of us at AT are super excited about what we’re building: a hyper-active community of folks dedicated to the convergence of science, philosophy, and theology in the 21st century.

Special Issue Ahead--Your exclusive look at ATM's Summer Issue

Jul 12, 2022

God Calling!

“I wrote the answers to life’s riddles on the cuffs of your shirts, and I encouraged you to cheat. And still…”

God Calling!

Jul 7, 2022

The Sovereignty of God

God’s sovereignty is absolute; it is part of God’s essential nature and therefore cannot be subdivided, shared, or delegated…it can only be reflected.

The Sovereignty of God

Jul 5, 2022

How is Government Like Soft Serve Ice Cream?

Democracy, Oligarchy, Monarchy, Tyranny, even Anarchy, are means of government, not government itself.

How is Government Like Soft Serve Ice Cream?

Jun 30, 2022

Abraham Lincoln and the Book of Judges

“If time travel is perfected in my lifetime, I know exactly where…and when…I’ll visit first!”

Abraham Lincoln and the Book of Judges

Jun 28, 2022

Faith vs. Belief

“Courage is how 'who you are' overcomes 'what you are.'"

Faith vs. Belief

Jun 23, 2022

I'm Bored!

“We are co-responsible for the world. We are all always our siblings’ keepers!”

I'm Bored!

Jun 21, 2022

Everything is Interesting…What Went Wrong?

Childhood today could be and should be utopian, but it isn’t. Not even close! Why? How did we screw things up so massively?

Everything is Interesting…What Went Wrong?

Jun 16, 2022

Extra! Extra!

“Do I really have to wait three months for more ATM?" No, you do not! We’ve decided to add a special issue (7/15) to our 2022 publication schedule. Here's what we have planned...

Extra! Extra!

Jun 14, 2022

The Mass Shooting Epidemic

People who perpetrate mass shootings are searching for answers, for meaning in life…

The Mass Shooting Epidemic

Jun 9, 2022

Believers Need Not Apply

We’ve constructed a super-elaborate cosmology to explain how ‘it is’ arose spontaneously from ‘it is not.’ (If that doesn’t make any sense to you, trust me, it doesn’t make sense to me either.) How did the universe come to be? It just did! How did the ratios of the masses of subatomic particles get so finely tuned? They just did!

Believers Need Not Apply

Jun 7, 2022

ATM or ATM

But OT or NT, is the information fungible? Well, it may not get you a cool ride or an awesome crib, but it might just get you eternal life instead.

ATM or ATM

Jun 2, 2022

Two New Articles Added to Aletheia Today Summer Issue

We were thrilled when the opportunity arose to add these additional articles to our first issue.

Two New Articles Added to Aletheia Today Summer Issue

May 31, 2022

Official Launch of Aletheia Today Magazine

Your exclusive look at the all-new magazine for believers in science and God!

Official Launch of Aletheia Today Magazine

May 26, 2022

The Power of Intuition

I love to say, “I know.” Be honest, so do you! We all love to say it – well, all of us except Nicholas of Cusa (1401 - 1464), who preferred to say, “I don’t know.” But that’s another story for another day.

The Power of Intuition

May 24, 2022

Lao Tzu

Do we live life or does life live us?

Lao Tzu

May 19, 2022

Black Hole

“…We just caught our first glimpse of the big black hole that lies, curled up like my favorite pussy cat, at the center of our galaxy.”

Black Hole

May 17, 2022

The Algorithm Challenge!

…We do not experience ‘objective time’, we only experience ‘subjective time’. In subjective time, a minute never ends but entire years go by in a flash.

The Algorithm Challenge!

May 12, 2022

Being and Nothingness

But there are holes in this Swiss cheese. First, while it is true that ‘events’ constitute the universe, what we’re calling ‘events’ (above) are rarely primordial events.

Being and Nothingness

May 10, 2022

Offense Taken!

There is nothing more self-satisfying or self-aggrandizing than ‘taking offense’.

Offense Taken!

May 5, 2022

Is 65 the New 45?

That’s conventional wisdom…and in this rare case, conventional wisdom is not wrong…but neither is it perfectly right.

Is 65 the New 45?

May 3, 2022

You have Nothing to Lose but Your Clouds...What if you could vote to change the weather?

Suppose every day we could vote what weather we were to have tomorrow. What fighting there would be, what killing of one neighbor by another…most things that we vote for do not really matter, you are a little more or a little less uncomfortable as the government does one thing or another but the weather oh dear…that would be a disaster.”

You have Nothing to Lose but Your Clouds...What if you could vote to change the weather?

Apr 28, 2022

Everybody's Autobiography

Is it possible to write an autobiography of everyone, to somehow incorporate the wildly varying events of different people’s lives into a single story? Absurd, right? But not so fast!

Everybody's Autobiography

Apr 26, 2022

May Day

A survey of Western traditions suggests that May Day might once have been the most important day of the year. That’s right, May Day! This day links pagan fertility rites, mythology, cosmology, Christian theology, and Marxist ideology. Quite a feat! Or is it?

May Day

Apr 19, 2022

And Then...

This was perhaps the last time we could say, “God is in his heaven, and all is right with the world.”

And Then...

Apr 14, 2022

Check the Date

You can’t resist the urge. You peek back at the front cover. Is this really a book about Eastern Europe c. 1000 A.D.?

Check the Date

Apr 12, 2022

Death Valley

We expect that death will seem closer each time we check, but surprisingly, that isn’t what we experience. It seems as though death were retreating from us. The closer we get, the further it recedes.

Death Valley

Apr 7, 2022

The Problem of Evil Through the Prism of Job

A famous paradox runs like this: “Is it good because it is God’s will, or is it God’s will because it is good?” In other words, is God subject to universal ethical standards or are those standards universal merely because God wills them?

The Problem of Evil Through the Prism of Job

Apr 5, 2022

The Riddle of the Sphinx

What walks on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening? Of course, by now we all know the answer: human beings. Babies crawl (4), adults walk (2), seniors often need a cane (3). But there’s more to this riddle than meets the eye.

The Riddle of the Sphinx

Mar 31, 2022

All or Nothing

Time is the spotlight of being. For a short while, we are in the spot; then we aren’t. We are merely ‘shadows of our former selves’ (shades).

All or Nothing

Mar 29, 2022

Pardon My Language! (An Introduction to Gertrude Stein)

For the most part, modern English limits itself to a handful of cases, voices, moods, etc. That would not do for Gertrude Stein. She needed more!

Pardon My Language! (An Introduction to Gertrude Stein)

Mar 25, 2022

“…And the Pursuit of Happiness.” (The Declaration of Independence, 1776)

We honor ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ as inalienable human rights, but not all of us can say with assurance that we are always on the side of ‘life’ and ‘liberty’. Sometimes we can’t even agree on what these words mean, and we certainly don’t agree on how these rights should be applied in specific situations. (For example, many of the men who wrote the Declaration themselves owned slaves. We don’t always see ourselves through the eyes of civilization or the lens of history.)

“…And the Pursuit of Happiness.” (The Declaration of Independence, 1776)

Mar 22, 2022

Can Subject/Verb Agreement Make the World Go Round?

We imagine that our world is made up of ‘things’ (nouns), their accidental qualities (adjectives), and the relationships between them (verbs). We imagine this because just such a classification system is embedded in our native tongue: modern English, for example, or most any other contemporary Indo-European language.

Can Subject/Verb Agreement Make the World Go Round?

Mar 10, 2022

Classified Information

Classification is a tool we use to organize our experiences into categories based on the intrinsic content of those experiences. Flying in planes may define a different category of experience from hiking in mountains. Of course, no two flights are ever the same, nor are any two hikes. Still, it is useful for some purposes (not all) to classify these experiences differently.

Classified Information

Mar 8, 2022

Where'd You Get That Spark?

Is the spark of the Hasidim the same thing as Whitehead’s Primordial Nature of God?

Where'd You Get That Spark?

Feb 28, 2022

The Gospel of Luke

In the Gospel of Luke, a lawyer questions Jesus: “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) The question resonates through all eras and across all cultures. Our mental apparatus is tuned to notice differences among otherwise similar entities; we find it much harder to pick out similarities. Intelligence tests given to children often ask them to distinguish differences: e.g., which of these shapes is not like the others? The same tests given to adults (e.g., MCAT and LSAT) are more likely to ask them to find similarities (i.e., analogies).

The Gospel of Luke

Feb 24, 2022

500 Year-Long Nap

It’s 1000 A.D. and Pope Sylvester II is the undisputed leader of the Christian Church in Europe. He is also generally regarded as the continent’s most accomplished scientist.

Faith was strong at that time, but it did not interfere in any way with the exploration of nature. The relationship between Science and Religion was symbiotic…and synergistic. It was widely accepted that God revealed himself through the structures & processes of the universe as well as in Scripture & Tradition.

500 Year-Long Nap

Feb 17, 2022

Big Ideas

Homer, the blind poet, and Parmenides, the pre-Socratic philosopher, provided European civilization with its first comprehensive view(s) of the world. Homer gave us the Iliad, an epic poem detailing major events during the Trojan War, and the Odyssey, an epic focused on the experiences, thoughts and values of one man, Odysseus, himself a Trojan warrior.

Big Ideas

Feb 14, 2022

There Are No Theists in Foxholes

“There are no theists in foxholes,” at least not according to ‘conventional wisdom’. After all, even Dostoevsky had a death bed conversion! So, in this rare case, it turns out that conventional is, in general, correct.

Or was he correct! I do not think it is correct any longer. Why not? What changed?

There Are No Theists in Foxholes

Feb 10, 2022

Turing, Searle, & Penrose

According to Alan Turing of ‘Turing Test’ fame (1950), we can have no privileged insight into the state of another entity’s consciousness. Turing taught that we can only evaluate the consciousness of another entity by experiencing the behavior of that entity. If a machine interacts with you in a way that is indistinguishable from the way another human being would interact with you, then you have no logical grounds for regarding the machine’s thinking process as different in any meaningful way from your own. Who knows, as we subject a machine to the Turing Test, that same machine may very well be conducting a Turing Test on us!

Turing, Searle, & Penrose

Feb 7, 2022

Dr. Martin Luther King

“We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.”

Dr. Martin Luther King

Feb 2, 2022

Candelamas

Today is the feast of Candlemas, aka Groundhog Day.

Candlemas is a Christian holiday commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. In accordance with Leviticus 12, it falls on February 2nd, which is also final day of the Christmas–Epiphany season. In some countries, Christians don’t remove their Christmas decorations until the day after Candlemas.

Candelamas

Jan 31, 2022

Voice Verbs

“I am stuck on Band-Aid ’cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me!”

So says the jingle for one of the world’s most iconic products. But more importantly, and quite unexpectedly, this slogan is one of the best examples of ‘middle voice thinking’ in American pop culture.

Voice Verbs

Jan 27, 2022

Viktor Frankel

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ——

These words are attributed to Viktor Frankel, holocaust survivor, philosopher, and author.

Viktor Frankel

Jan 24, 2022

Book of Job

Continuing with the Book of Job theme, Job is arguably the most important work in the entire Old Testament, possibly the second most important book in the whole Bible – behind the Gospel of John. Some Jewish commentators claim that it is the 5th book of Moses and rightfully belongs as part of the Torah. It is frequently quoted in the works of the Church Fathers (100 – 500 AD), perhaps more than any other single book of the Bible, and it has inspired a number of modern adaptations (e.g., Archibald MacLeish’s J.B.).

Book of Job

Jan 20, 2022

Adam and Eve

In one respect at least, The Book of Genesis and the Book of Job are mirror images of one another. In Genesis, mankind (Adam) finds itself in Paradise with all its needs met; yet ‘Adam’ chooses to sin. In Job, a man (Job) finds himself in the most dire straights possible; yet he continues to practice virtue and he defends both God and Goodness against the relentless taunting of his wife and 3 (or 4) so-called “comforters”.

While Adam put his ‘significant other’ (Eve), the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (apple), and even the serpent (Satan) ahead of God, Job never waivers in his monotheism: “For I know that my redeemer lives and that he will stand on the earth on the last day, and though after my skin (is gone) worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I will see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine own eyes shall behold, and not another’s.” (Job 19: 25 & ff)

Adam and Eve

Jan 18, 2022

Trinitarian Model

Last week (1/10/21) we talked about the idea that God is better understood as a ‘process’ than as a ‘person, place or thing’. Readers have asked me to clarify, and perhaps expand, on that thought.

While most religions and spiritual practices share ideas, there are a few ideas that are unique to Christianity, e.g., the Trinitarian model of God. According to this model, God is one entity (or ‘substance’) expressed in three ‘persons’: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Each of these ‘persons’ is wholly and fully God; and yet God is not God without these three distinct expressions of Godhead. In the Christian view, the nature of Divinity is to be understood as the relationship among three independent persons.

To add yet another layer of complexity, in the Trinitarian model The Holy Spirit is the relationship between the Father and the Son, but that relationship is in no way subordinate to the Father and Son. Rather, the Holy Spirit is a person in his own right, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son.

In 325 A.D., the Council of Nicaea published the basic tenets of the Christian faith in a document now known as the Nicene Creed. This Creed reads, in part, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, he is worshiped and glorified.”

So, God is indeed ‘process’ (i.e., relationship, dialogue, love). So, while God transcends all parts of speech, God functions more like a verb than a noun. From 1 John 4: 8 to the latest hippie bumper sticker the message is the same: “God is Love.”

Most religions and spiritualities emphasize the importance of Love. Those that include the concept of God often crave God’s love. Their bumper sticker might read, “God loves!” paraphrasing the ever popular, “Jesus saves”.

But a God who loves is not the same as a God who is Love!

But when we think of process, we think of something that unfolds in time. God, however, is eternal (non-temporal); he exists outside of space and time. So how can God both be pure process and non-temporal? How is that possible?

For the most of the Church’s history, this was a mystery that had to be accepted on Faith alone. But those of us privileged to live in the 20th and 21st centuries can see that non-temporal process is not an attribute of God alone. In fact, non-temporal processes underly the entire phenomenal world. The temporal processes that we work with every day are just the tip of a much larger, non-temporal iceberg.

Specifically, I’m talking about ‘non-locality’ (Bell) and ‘the collapse of the wave function’ (Schrödinger). John Bell showed that once subatomic particles have interacted with one another they can remain entangled no matter how far apart (in space or time) they may come to be. In that case, for them there is no space or time. And it is believed that most subatomic particles in the cosmos today are ‘entangled’. Therefore, the web of non-local, non-temporal entanglement is much more fundamental and universal than the web of space-time.

Likewise, Schrödinger (famous for his ‘cat’) showed that what we call ‘things’ and ‘events’ depend upon the ‘collapse’ (or resolution) of a probability function known as the ‘wave function’. Before collapse, the wave function does not exist in spacetime but rather in a dimension we know as ‘probability’. Only after the wave function has collapsed (possibly as the result of a broken ‘entanglement’, above) does it enter into spacetime (as an object or event).

So, we ‘moderns’ do not have to accept the idea of God as non-temporal process based on faith alone. Rather, we have empirical examples of non-temporal processes right in our material world.

Trinitarian Model

Jan 14, 2022

Four Noble Truths

A dear friend of mine recently responded to an email I had sent. I loved this response and wanted to share the relevant parts with you:

Four Noble Truths

Jan 10, 2022

God is Eternal

According to the Trinitarian model, God is relatedness, dialogue, love. Therefore, God is process, the process that animates the spatiotemporal world and the process that constitutes His own Being. But when we think of process, we think of something that unfolds across time. God, however, is eternal; He exists outside of space and time. So how can God be both pure process and atemporal? How is that possible?

God is Eternal

Jan 6, 2022

Pre-existing

In my last post, I reflected on the idea that all the world’s ontologies (philosophical, theological or scientific) fall into one of two camps: (A) Some sort of Determinism, where the ‘actual’ is ultimately embedded in what is falsely called the ‘potential’ or (B) some sort of Indeterminism where potentiality is selectively converted to actuality through an agency that somehow, in some way transcends pure potentiality itself.

Pre-existing

Jan 2, 2022

There Must Be Something Before There Can Be Nothing

From Aristotle to Whitehead, from Sartre to the 20th century ‘quantum mechanics’, there is a broadly held view that Being at its core is Pure Potential. Potentiality is selectively converted to actuality through the agency of something other than pure potentiality itself.

That agency is called ‘Creativity’ by Whitehead, ‘Le Neant’ by Sartre, or ‘Collapse of the Wave Function’ by Schrödinger. In none of these cases, however, does pure potentiality alone determine its own actuality (that would be Determinism and would negate the concept of ‘potentiality’ entirely). Something other than pure potentiality itself must convert what could be to what is.

The Apostle John expressed the same idea: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him and without him nothing was made.” (Jn 1: 1 – 5)

According to John, “the Word of God’ (Christ) is what converts potentiality to actuality. Everything that is comes to be through that ‘Word’ and without that ‘Word’ nothing comes to be.

In final analysis, I think that all the world’s ontologies (philosophical, theological, or scientific) fall into one of these two camps: (A) Some sort of Determinism (where the ‘actual’ is ultimately embedded in what is falsely called the ‘potential’) or (B) some sort of Indeterminism (where potentiality is selectively converted to actuality through an agency that transcends pure potentiality per se).

Group A would argue that there must be nothing before there can be something; Group B would reverse it: there must be something before there can be nothing.

There Must Be Something Before There Can Be Nothing

Nov 29, 2021

God Hypothesis

A much beloved friend and family member sent this to me T-day morning. Much appreciated! But I could not help but notice the care taken to avoid any reference to “God, the father almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth”. I am not suggesting that everyone must believe in God. Far from it. But I am suggesting that substituting various ‘pagan’ alternatives does not work: “god (as if God could be anything else but a proper noun), universe, life, earth”. Imagining that any of these could be sui generis capable or creating all that is ex nihilo is absurd. If you don’t buy into the “God Hypothosis”, ok, well and good, but suggest a viable alternative.

God Hypothesis

Nov 24, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Really? With COVID, economic insecurity, terrorism, etc. what do we have to be thankful for?

Only everything! Literally…every thing. Being is a function of being good. (Don’t tell that to my 10 year old self.) We ‘are’ only in so far as we are ‘good’. We don’t realize it, but we have a blind spot. Sadly, we are not “all that we could be”.

But what is this thing called ‘Good’ that we celebrate this week? It’s God. It’s what makes Being be. It is the yardstick by which we measure everything in our world. But because it is a yardstick, it can’t be among the things that it measures. It must transcend our everyday world. And what transcends our everyday world is what we call “God”.

Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 15, 2021

Electricity

“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain” is a movie currently playing on Amazon Prime. Louis is an early 20th century English painter with zero artistic merit…but that’s not important. What is important is the way Louis experiences the world.

From time to time, he encounters the ineffable in the course of his everyday living. He imagines that what he is experiencing is a form of ‘electricity’ that permeates the world but lies beneath the plane of ordinary sensory perception.

Many of us have had a similar experience; but I doubt if any of us called it “electricity”. In my day, it was fashionable to call it “energy”; Star Wars called it “the force”. I wonder, what’s the current nom de jour?

The ineffable is the ineffable because it is…well, ineffable. It is the ‘immanence of transcendence’ in our everyday world. If we must name it, we must name it metaphorically. It is, after all, ineffable.

In classical times, it might have been called “beauty”; in the middle ages, “God”. But to Louis Wain, it is “electricity”. How come?

Louis Wain lived in the final days of a dark age ironically known as The Enlightenment. Though long past, it still casts a shadow. The Enlightenment was rooted in materialism and mechanism and in the certain belief that technological progress would inevitably bring about Utopia. So “electricity” was the closest anyone of that era could come to naming the ineffable.

We know better today; but we are still struggling to find our own metaphor for the immanence of transcendence in the world.

Electricity

Nov 8, 2021

Becoming

Absolute evil is non-being. But non-being is inconceivable since whatever we conceive is conceived as at least potentially being. Non-being is not and has no potential to be.

Becoming

Nov 4, 2021

Everything IS Possible

Yesterday, my 8 year old grandson told me, quite authoritatively as usual, “Nothing is impossible, everything is possible.”

My first thought was, “Hmm, that doesn’t seem right.” But I should have known better; whenever I disagree about anything with any of my grandchildren, I am usually wrong.

In this case, I started coming up with examples of things that are impossible. For example, a circle that is also a square. But then I realized, it’s not that a ‘squared circle’ is impossible, it’s that it’s not a thing.

Despite riddles to the contrary, you cannot have something that is black and white at the same time. The meaning of the concepts themselves, the words ‘black and white’, preclude something that is both. (White is the sum of all colors; black is the absence of any color.)

On the other hand, a unicorn, even if does not actually exist, is certainly possible. There is nothing about the attributes of a unicorn that would make its existence an impossibility.

So, historically we’ve gotten this all wrong. Everything IS possible! But not every random combination of attributes constitutes a thing.

Everything IS Possible

Nov 1, 2021

Prologue

It takes roughly 100 years for the bleeding edge discoveries of science to be fully integrated into the popular psyche. For example, Newton’s 17th century discoveries did not become common knowledge until the 18th century. And this is great news!

20th century science produced three absolutely revolutionary discoveries: relativity, quantum mechanics, and non-locality (Bell’s Theorem). Today, a “what you see is what you get” view of the world is entirely untenable. But don’t tell that to your neighbor: popular culture is still firmly rooted in 19th century mechanics.

But if past is prologue, the 21st century will see these insights integrated into public consciousness. Science, which plunged us into the so-called Enlightenment, will provide a tunnel out of that Dark Age into something brand new…and unpredictable. Exciting times!

Prologue

Oct 28, 2021

Entropy

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (aka ‘entropy’) ensures that the universe will meet with a bad end: oblivion! Our lifelong battle against evil (the absence of order, i.e., the absence of being) is ultimately hopeless. Evil will triumph in the end…gradually, sporadically, but inexorably! But this all takes place in spacetime; what if spacetime is not all there is to Being?

Spacetime represents an unrelenting progression from past to future; we know it as ‘aging’ (mortality). But there is a problem with this model. If everything is either past or future, then nothing is present, and if nothing is present, then nothing actually is. Bottom line, if there is being, there must be a ‘present’. But there is no present in spacetime (and if there is, it is infinitesimal and so of no consequence).

If there is Being, there must be a Present. That is where Being resides. To be is to be present. The Present is a dimension perpendicular to spacetime. It is what people mean when they talk about ‘God’.

The world consists of events. No event is 100% evil and only one event (God) is 100% good. The Present (God) preserves what really is (i.e., the good) and harmonizes every such good into a single event which, per Alfred North Whitehead, is God’s Consequent Nature.

So, the battle against evil is ultimately hopeless, but the struggle itself is the source of all hope – the fruit of all faith and the expression of all love.

Entropy

Oct 21, 2021

Antonyms

In school we were taught to recognize homonyms, synonyms and antonyms. But there are no antonyms! Cold is not the antonym of hot; they are both relative measures of molecular motion. Likewise, ugly is not the antonym of beauty. Everything, no matter how ‘ugly’, contains an element of beauty; otherwise, it would neither be ugly nor beautiful…it would simply not ‘be’ at all! “Everything is beautiful…in its own way!” ‘Ugly’ is somewhere on the aesthetic scale just as cold is somewhere on the scale of molecular notion (aka ‘temperature’).

All of which leads us to a surprising conclusion: there are no antonyms (plural), but there is an antonym (singular). One, single, universal antonym! One word is the antonym of all other words; and that one word is ‘evil’ and its many synonyms (different word, same meaning): non-being, nothingness, etc.

Antonyms

Oct 18, 2021

How and Why

Prior to 1600, to be accepted in the West, any new scientific theory had to demonstrate that it was compatible with the basic tenets of Christianity. Since 1600, every religious doctrine has been required to demonstrate that it is compatible with the discoveries of modern science.

How and Why

Oct 14, 2021

If He Chooses to Do So

My previous ‘thought’ concerned God’s dual role as ‘Creator of heaven and earth’ and ‘comrade-in-arms’. Further reflections:

How can God be the creator of a radically free universe and yet play a role in the evolution of that universe? The answer lies in standing an old proverb (‘Man proposes, God disposes’) on its head. In fact, it is God who proposes but ‘man’ (i.e., worldly events) that disposes. Consider God’s words in Deuteronomy (30:19): “I set before you life and death (God proposes). Therefore, choose life. (Man disposes)”

If He Chooses to Do So

Oct 12, 2021

God

The Creation Story in Genesis makes it clear that ‘Adam and Eve’, and by extension the entire cosmos, are entirely free; otherwise, the idea of ‘creation’ would be a sham. If the cosmos is just a figment of God’s imagination, subject to his absolute control, then it is not ‘created’ at all but just ‘dreamed’. Creation implies that a new entity comes into being that is no longer subject to the will or the whims of its creator.

God

Oct 8, 2021

Nihilism

Nihilism comes in two flavors: Ontological Nihilism (“Nihilism of Being”) and Ethical Nihilism (“Nihilism of Value”). Shakespeare (anticipating post-Enlightenment science: bootstrapping, heat death, entropy, etc.) would be an example of an ontological nihilist:

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on.” (The Tempest)

Nihilism

Oct 4, 2021

Joy

Joy is what we experience when we live according to God’s Will, Natural Law or Transcendental Ethics (take your pick – whatever you’re comfortable with – they all amount to the same thing in the end). Joy is very different from happiness, contentment, peacefulness, etc. These later qualities pertain solely to our own internal state of mind; they imply nothing about the outside world or our relationship to it.

Joy

Thoughts While Shaving

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