God Needs You




Thanks….but that was ancient history for me (not good memories). We live life with the good, bad, and the ugly. Hopefully, the good outweighs the bad. I’ve been lucky; so far the good has dominated but old age is a bitch. Lately, my brain and I are having frequent disagreements (kind of like putting stuff in your brain for safe-keeping but when it comes time to get it back the brain becomes really, really stingy). All this is getting really complicated because 11 days ago Agnes had a major stroke and was immediately helicoptered to St. Mary’s in Saginaw. She is being heavily sedated in order to give her brain time to heal. I’m taking today off from visiting the hospital. I’ve only managed two nights at home since the stroke. We won’t know how much is left of Agnes until she becomes conscious again. Worst case scenario is not pretty (I know she would prefer death over that and so would I). Immediate family only is allowed in to see her. Mathew was here for her two operations, Mika for her second, but both had to return to work. As for the dogs, the last one died about a week before Agnes had the stroke. Mika took the bird back with her, so it’s only me and fish now–and a good thing too! Count your blessings because the race between the good and evil never stops.

Take care,

Your old buddy,
Deadwood Dave

Here’s an afterthought to the personal tragedy above, it occurred to me (11-2-12) after I confessed to a friend over the telephone that I do not believe there is life after death. According to my philosophy (yes, it’s still telling me new stuff after all these years) when we die—we’re dead, nothing new there, I know! However, all the pain, suffering, heartache, and regrets….right along with the joys, happiness, love, and the rest of the “good stuff” that makes life worth living, lives on in God. All the events of one’s personal history (in past tense one’s life lived) was/is to God the same as it was/is to a living human being—we are nothing without a history and our history is preserved in God. Another way of saying this is that God and time expand together. But, at the level of humanity—just as our thoughts, words and deeds expand the significance of our human lives, so to do human thoughts, words, and deeds expand the significance of God. To quote Martin Buber, “That you need God more than anything, you know at all times in your heart. But don’t you know also that God needs you–in the fullness of his eternity, you? How would man exist if God did not need him, and how would you exist? You need God in order to be, and God needs you for that which is the meaning of your life.”

Well, that’s about it, except to say that, as my philosophy indicates, there is a right and wrong when it comes to appropriate thoughts, words, and deeds.

Here’s another quote from one of my blogs:  “God’s logical consistency is connected necessarily to the evolution of everything that we know about the universe, i.e., connected necessarily to all the possibilities of human behavior EXCEPT the behaviors that contradict God’s self-consistency, e.g., behavior that takes life unnecessarily, behavior that causes unnecessary suffering, behavior that does harm to the environment–harm to that which preserves and perpetuates freedom, life, love, and reverence for the God that makes “all possible”.

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11,000 Year Human Intelligence Experiment Ends—The End

Rolling Stone is the go to magazine for investigative journalism. In the article: The Reckoning, we read “Climate change has some scary new math: three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is.” By Bill Mckibben, August 12, 2012 issue (the rest of this post—mostly– is quoted, cut and paste style, from the article).

A 2 degrees Celsius rise in temperature puts the Earth that we have come to know and love at huge risk, so much so, that a team of London financial analysts (and environmentalists) warn that future investment in fossil-fuel companies put stock portfolios at risk.

565 gigatons: the number that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by mid-century and still have reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. In fact, according to the article, “study after study predicts that carbon emissions will keep growing by roughly three percent a year – and at that rate, we’ll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance in 16 years, around the time today’s preschoolers will be graduating from high school.”

2,795 gigatons: This number describes “the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies. In short, it’s the fossil fuel we’re currently planning to burn. And the key point is that this new number – 2,795 – is higher than 565. Five times higher.”

Again, we have more than five times as much oil, coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We’d have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground in order to avoid a meltdown. “Before we knew those numbers, our fate had been likely. Now, barring some massive intervention, it seems certain.”

“Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it’s already economically aboveground – it’s figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard these past years to figure out how to unlock the oil in Canada’s tar sands, or how to drill miles beneath the sea, or how to frack the Appalachians.


“If you told Exxon or Lukoil (Russian oil) that, in order to avoid wrecking the climate, they couldn’t pump out their reserves, the value of their companies would plummet. John Fullerton, a former managing director at JP Morgan who now runs the Capital Institute, calculates that at today’s market value, those 2,795 gigatons of carbon emissions are worth about $27 trillion. Which is to say, if you paid attention to the scientists and kept 80 percent of it underground, you’d be writing off $20 trillion in assets.”

Bottom Line

Within the span of one lifetime we will create a science fiction worst case scenario—a dead/dying planet (but those who can, will build a lifeboat–self-contained modules—prolonging select human life—the tortured souls who must bear the guilt of what they’ve (we’ve) done to our Mother Ship—Earth!

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Eyes Of You And Me—Mirrored In the Eye Of God

What We Have Here Is A Spinoza Monism With A Mobius Twist—God
Existing Inside Out

In the process of writing this paper I have deliberately refrained from using religious/spiritual language to describe freedom’s synchronic axis. And, indeed, I suppose one of the beauties of the synchronic axis of freedom is that one does not have to take the “leap of faith” to a more spiritual interpretation of freedom (the humanism of James or Dewey will do just fine here). But, the fact remains that my description of freedom is based on two logical primitives, first, the logic that something must “first be” before it can be negated, i.e., the principle behind Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum,” and second, the logic that follows from a double negative—not, not P = P. Self-consciousness, or discontinuity occurring in continuity (while occurring in continuity occurring in discontinuity—the material world), is the affect of the first logical primitive while God/Wholeness/Freedom/Affirmative Ideal is the affect of the second logical primitive. “Creation” begins in the structural primitive of ~~b (not, not being), which, in turn, becomes alive in ~bb (death/life), which, in turn, becomes self-consciousness in b~b~bb. The b~b~bb structure (Piaget’s functional center) is responsible for questioning, creativity, analysis, calculations, i.e., all the “constructive structuring that births language, myth, science, ethics/morality/civilization.”

Synchronic structure’s Wholeness is implied; that is, by virtue of synchronic structure, Wholeness remains outside of experience/physical event, i.e., is not part of creation. However, it only takes a small “leap of faith” to conclude that God exists in this affirmed indeterminate Wholeness, exists in this “ground of being,” exists in the “affirmative ideal” that is at the center of all creation—the creation that permits the freedom to ask the question: Does God Exit? God and freedom, from this point of view, are the same thing, however, operationally speaking, also from this point of view, God is all-knowing, all-powerful and all- present (knowledge, power, and temporality being a product of the synchronic structure that implies Wholeness/God). What we have here, ultimately, is a Spinoza monism with a Mobius twist, a God simultaneously existing inside out. In this Mobius twist we find the final answer to the questions, “Who participates?” and “What is participated in?” In the immediately grasped indeterminate, all-embracing oneness of God’s freedom lies the source of the knower and consequently the knower’s freedom. F. S. Northrop tells us how wondrously close we are to God when he says:

“Now it is precisely this ineffable, emotional, moving quale that constitutes what is meant by spirit and the spiritual. Thus in order to do justice to the spiritual nature of human beings and of all things it is not necessary to have recourse to idle speculations, by means of which one tries to pierce through the glass beyond which we now see darkly, to supposedly unaesthetic material substances behind, or into some unreachable and unknowable realm where mental substances are supposed to be. On the contrary, the spiritual, the ineffable, the emotionally moving, the aesthetically vivid — the stuff that dreams and sunsets and the fragrance of flowers are made of — is the immediate, purely factual portion of human nature and the nature of all things. This is the portion of human knowledge that can be known without recourse to inference and speculative hypotheses and deductive logic, and epistemic correlations and rigorously controlled experiments. This we have and are in ourselves and in all things, prior to all theory, before all speculation, with immediacy and hence with absolute certainty.” [F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West, 1946, p.462]

In other words, the same intuitive sensitivity and religiously felt compassion that you and I experience (that in one form or another all nature’s creature’s experience) is also experienced by God. Reciprocal movement, the same reciprocal movement that brings into existence language, myth, science, ethics/morality and civilization, also brings our emotional life to God. When I experience love, caring, happiness and reverence, so too God! It’s a two way street—a two sided reality that we share with Divinity. The telling factor behind this whole process comes with the knowledge that the “I” of God and the “I” of you and me are one in the same. Here I am reminded of the penetrating words of the Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart who is reported to have said, “The eye in which I see God and the eye in which God sees me are one and the same.” Again, the liberation of God’s non-being becomes God’s immanence in the here and now while, at the same time, there exists an implied transcendent God; that said, divine immanence is extremely important to you and me because it is, in addition to being Divine, the reality—of the good, the bad, and the ugly/nauseating.After 630-plus consecutive daily postaday posts (I started posting before postaday) I need a break. I have more material, so I’ll be back, but I can’t say right now when. Thanks much to all the people who have followed (and are following) my blog (you probably need a break from this blog too). Take care, be strong, and blog on! Thanks again.

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New Episteme-New Relationship With Nature

[The following two paragraphs are a brief summary of a theme developed in F.S. Northrop's book: “The Meeting of East and West,” 1946—see chapter entitled The Solution of the Basic Problem, p.436]

The new physics speaks in a strange language—the language of a new and exciting world. Where this physics will take us is presently unclear but, with evidence accumulating everyday, what is becoming clearer is that it is incorrect to think of our relationship to nature in terms of the three-term relationship of Locke’s mental substance, appearance and material particles. Berkeley, Hume and Kant addressed the inadequacy of this three-term relationship. In brief, John Locke did not have to
choose this three-term relationship to explain Newton’s particles. He could have
said that mathematical space and time is the vehicle which allows for an
analytical account of the aesthetic continuum and that the observer and what
appears for the observer are determinations of this aesthetic continuum. He could have said this but he did not because it would have been extremely difficult, given the interpretation of Newtonian physics at the time.

Now we know that it is more accurate if we describe our relationship to nature
in the form of a two-term relationship. The first term of the two-term relationship is the theoretically postulated, hypothetically designated, component of experience while the second term is the immediately sensed determinate portion of the aesthetic continuum. This aesthetic component of experience is relative to every individual while the theoretic component occurs in a public space characterized by repeatable experiences. Confirmation of the theoretical component of our experience becomes the key word here and this confirmation may be formal, as in a scientific result, or it may be informal, as in the best that pragmatism has to offer – if it works, use it.

On the other hand, if we remain in the episteme that Foucault characterizes as “belonging to the questioning of that to which one belongs,” then responsibility becomes absorbed into the power/knowledge relationship of “responsible to whom for what ends.” Certainly Foucault argues this position and, I might add, it is not a coincidence that Foucault characterized the modern episteme as “man’s obsession with what eludes him.” Man “must traverse, duplicate and reactivate in an explicit form the articulation of thought on everything within it, around it, and beneath it which is not thought…a constantly renewed interrogation” (Order of Things, p. 324).

“Yes,” we are living in what Foucault has described as the “modern episteme,” but “No,” that does not mean that we have to remain here. The door is open and what we must do is walk through it—and into a new relationship with nature (in the language of Foucault, a new episteme). Characterizing this episteme will be the realization (hopefully) of our Mother Nature/Self/Divinity connection and our participation in the liberation process that is this Divinity.

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Another Look At The Power/Knowledge Relationships Of Michel Foucault

Power/Knowledge Relationships—Another Obstacle On The Path To Liberation

Social organization and social structure are born out of the power arrangements
which best reflect the prevailing episteme. According to Foucault, man (as a
conceptual entity) and scientific knowledge are born out of these power
arrangements. Blanchot describes the theme that surfaces “above the analysis” in
Foucault’s books:

“Thus, already in The Archaeology of Knowledge, where we seem to indulge in the
illusion of an autonomous discourse (an illusion with which literature and art
perhaps bewitch themselves), there are announced the multiple connections
between knowledge and power, and the obligation to recognize the political
effects that are produced, at any given moment in history, by the ancient desire
to disentangle the true from the false. Knowledge, power, truth? Reason,
exclusion, repression?” [Foucault, Blanchot, 1987, p. 80]

These power/knowledge relationships, when considered in the context of the
liberation process, become just another obstacle that stands in the way of
liberation. These “pockets of power,” in the form of social structure and social
organization, may be thought of as static elements in the liberation process;
that is, from the point of view of the people who tend to benefit from these
“pockets of power” they are static, but, from the point of view of the people
who are “locked out” of these “pockets of power” they are oppressive. In other
words, although power/knowledge relationships dictate the options available in
terms of accessing one’s environment, ultimately, there is no preferred state of
privilege and control; it all becomes an obstacle in the liberation process.

Of course, in the real world, I realize I have just described the stratification of the “haves” and “have-nots;” and, I suppose, Foucault would be content to leave it at that. One cannot deny that built into the power structure of social organization is the secured status and privilege of the groups that possess the most power. And further, this security, more often than not, becomes secured by denying power (access to the environment) to the “underprivileged.” That said, it should be noted that the power/knowledge consequence of the liberation process, as it becomes manifest in the highly differentiated attributes of society (Durkheim) contributes positively to the individuals well being, health, growth, and freedom—all the freedom that satisfies needs, permits access to one’s environment, provides security, encourages aesthetic appreciation, provides moral examples, and, promotes justice—attests to this fact. At the very least, in so far as change is inherent in the liberation process, it remains open to positive results. Hopefully, change for the better will/ought to happen, but, in all likelihood, for this kind of change to occur, it will require (in Foucault’s language) the birth of a whole new episteme. This new episteme has already taken root in the logical implications generated by the new physics.

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Time Of Mind—Concept In Need Of Explanation And A Home

There Is Something Deficient In Our Idea Of Time Concluded

Why Relativity Theory And Quantum Mechanics Are Irreconcilable Scientific Theories

Discontinuity occurring in continuity (~bb) not only permits the fruits of civilization to manifest, it also allows individuals to actualize their own personal potentials— actualization that gives pleasure and meaning to life. But, “time of mind” is not recognized by science. Time, for science, has nothing to do with actualizing potential; time is merely an objectified measure of scale. As we attend to psychological “mind stuff” time speeds up. Nature’s meaningful and cyclic events are, typically, how we think of time, but that kind of time is not the time encountered in inquires concerning the meaning and significance of embodied physical events. If we are ever going to appropriately respond to the big questions, “time of mind” must be included, in one form or another, in this response. The physicist Edward Harrison, in his discussion of Relativity, tells us that this second nature of time (he calls it the time of becoming) is precisely what is needed if we are to put a “human face” on science. He says:

“In one sense we are aware of time as a state of being throughout which things
are diversified. From this point of view the now embraces all time—the past,
present, and future—in a state of being. This is the aspect of time that has
been spatialized and woven into the fabric of space-time. But in another sense
we are also aware of time as an act of becoming, of one state of being flowing
and wheeling into another state of being…The now of today with its past,
present, and future is different from the now of yesterday with its past,
present, and future. The tapestry of being in each act of becoming is rewoven.
This aspect of time defies spatial representation. It has been omitted from the
physical universe because we have so far not learned how to express it either
linguistically or mathematically. To condemn the act of becoming as an illusion
oversimplifies the world in which we live….If we cannot put the now with its act
of becoming into the physical universe, then it seems safe to say that we cannot
put consciousness and its awareness of free will into it either. We have failed
to represent in the physical universe even the rudest aspects of ourselves as
experiencing individuals. Possibly the next major step in the design of universe
will be the discovery of a more sophisticated way of representing time.” (Masks
Of The Universe, 1985, p. 155-56)

In the time of becoming, civilizations are born, endure, and are sometimes
destroyed. Anthropologically speaking, at the time when animals refused to
passively accept their environment and instead worked to actively transform that
environment was also the time when animals acquired the rudimentary
beginnings of “time of mind” (the implicative-affirmative’s symbol-generating capacity) i.e., the birthright of inquiry, analysis, conscience and imagination. So, we might ask, is it possible to reconcile this new concept of “time of mind” with the time-concepts of science? Or, to put it another way, maybe this new concept of time can help us to better understand why relativity theory and quantum mechanics are irreconcilable scientific theories.

Because observations occur in the space of continuity, determinism and locality
there is an unavoidable clash of worlds-the world of continuity, determinism and
locality (Relativity) clashes with the world of discontinuity, indeterminism,
and non-locality (quantum physics). Bottom line-Relativity accurately describes
natural phenomena. Einstein’s equations, when applied to the world of physical
events, provide accurate information concerning our status as participating
self-conscious agents in the physical universe. Likewise, quantum mechanics
accurately describes natural phenomena. The phenomena being described are
“fuzzy” because, as it is throughout the synchronic structure of freedom, the space
that separates also embeds and connects. At the quantum level, self-consciousness confronts its own ground condition in the form of the “phenomenal strangeness” of quantum physics. Ultimately, from its most holistic perspective, the synchronic structure of freedom tells us existence is a product of opposites; opposites are necessary for existence to exist. Therefore, were it not for synchronic structure (wholeness preserving opposites) self-consciousness, with its attributes of discontinuity, non-locality, and indeterminism would not/could not exist without opposites, i.e., determinism, continuity, and locality. In other words, if it were not for the existence of determinism, continuity, and locality we would not be free in a world of our own experience (by degrees, experience of our own choosing), seeking truth, justice, and religious meaning!

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The Synchronic Structure Of Time

There Is Something Deficient In Our Idea Of Time Continues

Time, As Such, Doesn’t Exist, But As A Utilitarian Experience, What We Do With
Time, Ends Up In That Familiar Experience We Call Temporality

Freedom effectively replaces temporality as an operational concept. Freedom, in
the sense of the logical proposition — not, not being, —here represents
difference, but implies sameness. From the synchronic point of view, on a
fundamental level, difference and sameness may be understood as two sides to the
same coin. But, this symmetry is lost when freedom moves from this base level to a higher level of freedom, i.e., from not-life to life. Reciprocal movement, on this higher level moves in one direction only, — no assimilation—no life, however, since nothing gets out of life alive, mortality conserves reciprocal movement. Freedom, now in this higher liberated state, is free to evolve into higher life forms.

But what about human time, the time that so perplexed Parmenides, Augustine and
Kant? What about “time as the determinism” that left the French mathematician Laplace no other option other than to declare that the existence of God was an unnecessary hypothesis? As I have already pointed out, human time comes to us by way of our senses and by way of constructed, logically consistent, scientific models used to measure time. Humans, like all the other animals, assimilate information from their environment as they adjust schemes-of-assimilation to better accommodate their environment. What makes humans unique in this process is their capacity to create symbolic models that help them to better accommodate and assimilate their environment, which, at least in part, is a utilitarian experience.

[Footnote: Concerning the utilitarian experience of time, Dr. Bronowski has this to say: “…..the animal lacks any apparatus, such as human speech, by which he can bring to mind what is not present. Man has freed himself from this dominance in two steps. First, he can remember what is out of sight. The apparatus of speech allows him to recall what is absent, and to put it beside what is present; his field of action is larger because his mind holds more choices side by side. And second, the practice of speech allows man to become familiar with the absent situation, to handle and to explore it, and so at last to become agile in it and control it."] Edited by John D. Roslansky, Creativity, A Discussion at the Nobel Conference, 1970, p.4

Time, as we normally think of it, doesn’t exist, but as a utilitarian experience, what we do with time, ends up in that familiar experience we call temporality. Operationally speaking, the time of being arises in the experience of discontinuity occurring in continuity, and we call this experience “time.” When we use implication to construct temporal models of time we are using “time” to understand time, — to understand the how-to-processes that help us to accommodate/assimilate our environment. On this operational level, human time is merely a by-product of discontinuity occurring in continuity, but then so too is language, number, logic, and self. The human temporal moment then, carries within itself not one account of temporality, i.e., the video time of sequential physical events; it also carries within itself “the center of action,” as Piaget calls it. Mind and identity are discovered in this “center of action,” (personal identity being that degree of permanence that we experience in the midst of constant flux). And, more importantly, the forward movement of our knowledge (information) is discovered in this liberated and liberating space that gets called “time.”

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