” I don’t want to go to school every day thinking about which exit is the closest and what can I use to protect myself in case of a shooting. I don’t want to practice lockdown drills every time something happens at another school.

They’re dead: people my age, who attended classes and had friends like I do. They played sports and sang and danced and lived and breathed.

But they aren’t here anymore, all because you want to keep your guns. Because it’s “your right to bear arms.”

Sheer Yedidia, age 15

To me I found acceptance. I no longer morn the loss of my mother and have forgiven all the special people that ran around like headless chickens in my life.

For me, I live by forgiveness,  but this does not mean I forget. I can forgive someone or a situation for harming me, by not forgetting means I am able to be wary of any potentials knives etc directed my way.

“It is not death
  If you refuse it.”

–James O’ Barr(the Crow)

Through many perspectives and life experiences I concluded that life is temporary and fleeting as is the world of politics etc.

“To be in the world but not of it.”

The practice of Introversion (text below) spoke directly to me, in its cold humbling sobering nature.

Accepting that anyone can let you down and that being attached to idea that others, beings, events etc will some how always acknowledge, accept, embolden or just be a positive in my life is just not always true. It is a long road to conclude those agencies, personages etc in your life, may not actually be in your life…they just have an agenda to be there in/on their own terms.

To be attached is to be mortally wounded when disappointed,  upset when you realize the source of discomfort is

“why did this happen to me?”

Life is fleeting. But we can see the beauty of all, if we just look.

….

….

There are some who

bear the burden

for us all

who are unnoticed

and unsung

come to show the way

and tend to the Light

from the beginning

to the end.

There are memories

older than time

and friends

dearer than life itself

–Miriam Baum

The practice of Introversion (extract)

“To share in the life of the foolish will lead to the states of woe; You share not, and they will hate you; what good comes from contact with fools?

Good friends at one time, of a sudden they dislike you,

   You try to please them, quite in vain – the worldly are not easily contented!

   Advice on their duties stirs anger; your own good deeds they impede;

   When you ignore what they say they are angry, and head for a state of woe.

Of his betters he is envious, with his equals there is strife;

To inferiors he is haughty, mad for praise and worth at blame; Is there ever any goodness in these foolish common men?

Self-applause, belittling others, or encouragement to sin,

Some such evil’s sure to happen where one fool another meets.

Two evils meet when fools consort together.

Alone I’ll live, in peace and with unblemished mind.

Far should one flee from fools. When met, they should be won by kindness,

Not in the hope of intimacy, but so as to preserve an even, holy, mind.

Enough for Dharma’s work I’ll take from him, just as a bee takes honey from a flower.

Hidden and unknown, like the new moon, I will live my life.

The fools are no one’s friends, so have the Buddhas taught us; They cannot love unless their interest in themselves impels them.

Trees do not show disdain, and they demand no toilsome wooing; Fain would I now consort with them as my companions.

Fain would I dwell in a deserted sanctuary, beneath a tree, or in a cave,

In noble disregard for all, and never looking back on what I left.

Fain would I dwell in spacious regions owned by no one, And there, a homeless wanderer, follow my own mind,

A clay bowl as my only wealth, a robe that does not tempt the robbers,

Dwelling exempt from fear, and careless of my body.

Alone a man is born, and quite alone he also meets his death; This private anguish no one shares; and friends can only bar true welfare.

Those who travel through Becoming should regard each incarna­tion

As no more than a passing station on their journey ‘through Sam­sara.

So will I ever tend delightful and untroubled solitude,

Bestowing bliss, and stilling all distractions.

And from all other cares released, the mind set on collecting my own spirit,

To unify and discipline my spirit I will strive”

The sixth consideration deals with Nature itself and so we must must now define Nature. But Nature is a difficult thing to define, even amongst the wise there was disagreement about which came first, God or Nature. For if Nature came first, then God must have been created, which he cannot have been. But if God came first, then Nature must have been created, for only if Nature can have been born can it really come into existence. But some wise men define Nature as the originator of fire, and it is through fire that it enters sensible matter to enable its reproduction. Indeed it is clear that all things are created principally by fire. But Plato defined Nature as the Will of God, and this is the definition that meets with the most approval amongst the philosophers, for the Will of God is complete Goodness in its entirety and is present in all things. His will is born from his Divinity, so that things may be as they are, as they have been and as they always will be, and that Nature may be proof against aging. Nature, sensation and the whole world contains this Nature within them, in fact every living thing contains it. For each sex is fulfilled through procreation and this joining of the two or, more accurately, this unity between them-which you may well call desire or love (or both) – is quite beyond our understanding, just as much as are desire and love. However if both God and Nature are considered to exist and since neither can come from the other (for it must be that which is born of the first comes second), neither God nor Nature can be considered as having been born. Plato was quite correct when he stated that Nature is the Will of God, for God has always willed and it is necessary that he does so, for this is the truest cause of all things. Since, if it is the Will of God, Nature cannot have been born, then neither it nor God can have been born, and thus we must understand that the nature of the Macrocosm beyond the Microcosm is not Nature at all but God. For this same Nature, by which the world exists, is the Will of God; but the art that pursues Nature (that is, the Will of God) is the true knowledge of the Microcosm, and of what must be done. For it is not Nature that carries the vitriol from the mountain into the furnace, or builds a fire beneath. The true concern of man, his true art, is to prepare and produce the Medicine. Every man who has known that this art is the only true one may then practise it faithfully. He who has learned may then assume control. But whoever tries his skill should take care that he does not sin against the Will of God or the Laws of Nature.

The Consideratio Brevis of Philip à Gabella

simple tree colf simple tree coldsimple tree colcsimple tree colba

“[the final outcome of the gnostic] is when he is
just as he was
where he was before he was.”

–Dhu’l-Nun

I embarked on three journeys. On the first journey I came across sciences understood by the common folk [‘amm] and the elect [khass]. On the second journey I came across sciences understood by the elect, but not the common folk. And on the third journey I came across sciences understood by neither the common folk nor the elect.

–Dhu’l-Nun ( from Qut al-qulub of Makki)

I dreamed of Orchil, the dim goddess who is under the brown earth, in a vast cavern, where she weaves at two looms. With one hand she weaves life upward through the grass ; with the other she weaves death down- ward through the mould ; and the sound of the weaving is Eternity, and the name of it in the green world is Time. And, through all. Orchil weaves the weft of Eternal Beauty, that pass- eth not, though its soul is Change.

This is my comfort, O Beauty that art of Time, who am faint and hopeless in the strong sound of that other weaving, where Orchil, the dim goddess, sits dreaming at her loom under the brown earth.

–Fiona MacLeod

Even if I walk in the light, I am not the light.

Even if I am a taut stringed lute, I am not the lute player

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Seeing Michael Dowd give a discussion on his work to prevent the catastrophe of global climate change was interesting. He appeared at my local Unitarian Universalism church. Dowd outlined a “new” movement where people of all faiths are coming together with Science and scientists to discuss and hopefully combat climate change.

Religious naturalism is an approach to spirituality that is devoid of supernaturalism. The focus is on the religious attributes of the universe/nature, the understanding of it and our response to it (interpretive, spiritual and moral). These provide for the development of an eco-morality. Although it has an ancient heritage in many philosophical cultures, this modern movement is currently not well defined. Theistic or nontheistic religious naturalism is a basic theological perspective of liberal religion and religious humanism, according to some sources.

Religious naturalism is concerned about the meaning of life, but it is equally interested in living daily life in a rational, happy way. An alternative, more anthropocentric approach, is to look at it as answering the question: “What is the meaning of one’s life and does it have a purpose?” It is an approach to understanding the natural world in a religious way and does not offer a detailed system of beliefs or rituals. Religious naturalism also attempts to amalgamate the scientific examination of reality with the subjective sensory experiences of spirituality and aesthetics. As such, it is a combination of objectivity with religious emotional feelings and the aesthetic insights supplied by art, music and literature. It is a promising form of contemporary religious ethics and pluralism responding to the challenges of late modern religious transformations and ecological peril. In so doing, it is emerging as an increasingly plausible and potentially rewarding form of religious moral life consistent with the insights of the natural sciences.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_naturalism

Thank-God-for-Evolution

This is a very adimarable goal. I enjoyed Dowd’s talk, until he started discussing Humanism. Dowd himself and his wife, Connie Barlow, are partners and Co authors. Both have spent more than a decade on the road discussing their views, books and the problem of the scientific community in our modern lives.

Dowd himself admits he is a preacher, an ordained minister. Connie is described as an author of “popular science” books. Popular science books, the term doesn’t bode well.

Dowd outlined the need to view reality with reverence and the physical as sacred.

…….

The outer world of earthly existence corresponds in all its details to the inner world of man’s soul, and there is a similar correspondence between the Garden of the Heart and the Garden of the Soul, but these are only two particular  instances of the general truth that all the different domains in the Universe correspond to each other in that each is an image of the Universe itself. 

–Martin Lings, THE SYMBOL

b00c52b1b8

QVOD SVPERIVS EST EST EST SICVT ID QVOD INFERIVS
(“The top is like the below”)

MACROPROSOPVS – Macrocosm

MICROPROSOPVS – Microcosm

Now, this is great. Of course reality is sacred as is the very ground beneath my feet. Dowd admirably preaches and teaches a philosophy of reality as sacred. Hardly news to me or anyone with an ounce of sanity, in my opinion.

For Dowd, reality, or God as he interchangeably calls or labels things, is sacred and must be treated as such. Reverence for all, in order to prevent climate change… Dowd outlines this by dismissing God, destroying any notion of the supernatural and proposes that observation is our savior and will enable the unification of science and religion. Of course this is overly simplistic and not something I could get behind.

Not that scientific and aesthetic understanding is not necessary –but it should do its work faithfully and immerse itself and disappear in the truth of the relation which surpasses understanding and embraces what is understandable.

–Martin Buber (I And Thou)

By discarding the divine for:

“reality” is divine, but only that which is
” observable” we are being dishonest. By dishonest that is, to me it is dishonest.

Observation only works due to assumptions.

Assumptions include a shared language, for example if we are discussing chickens it is assumed we are discussing chickens that all have two legs and two wings, in reality what if the chicken is deformed? In a real sense this means we are assuming like and like. We are assuming that 1 (chicken) plus 1 (chicken) is 2 (chickens)…. Assuming that both chickens are equal. Which in the real world they would not be.

Observation only works due to an agreed upon yardstick. To quote Dowd

“You don’t have to believe in the sea, it’s just there.”
No, you are wrong Mr Dowd. The sea is only the sea because we agree it is the sea. If we measured using an electromagnetic measuring device, for example, we may have problems separating the sea from nearby rivers. In turn, if we change our yard stick a drop of rainwater is the sea. Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrates this in his essay on the coastline of Britain, demonstrating it is of infinite length, measuring from rocks, stones, sand… atoms etc.

Dreamsmandy

The work of Werner Karl Heisenberg famously explored the problem of light being a particle and a wave, though I understand to some modern physicists the solution is that it’s a wave. At the subatomic level we can only measure where something is or its velocity, not both. To summarize Heisenberg we can simply say the
“observed and observer are inseparable “

This means any observation is a compromise as it is fully changed by being observed. People may counter this by saying this is only at the subatomic level. Again though, it depends on our yard stick. There are numerous ways and means that demonstrate this phenomenon of the inseparable nature of observation. In the end, it is just a complex way if stating observation is dependent upon perspective and perception. For example if we only studied the sky at night we could learn many things, during the day, yet other things, at both times we observe the sky.

Every experiment destroys some of the knowledge of the system

which was obtained by previous experiments.

“Critique of the Physical Concepts of the Corpuscular Theory” in The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory (1930) as translated by Carl Eckhart and Frank C. Hoyt, p. 20; also in “The Uncertainty Principle” in The World of Mathematics : A Small Library of the Literature of Mathematics (1956) by James Roy Newman, p. 105

This isnt to mention other things like Godel’s incompleteness theorem, that demonstrates that the only logical conclusion of logic is that logic doesn’t work.

A statement sometimes known as Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem states that if number theory is consistent, then a proof of this fact does not exist using the methods of first-order predicate calculus. Stated more colloquially, any formal system that is interesting enough to formulate its own consistency can prove its own consistency iff it is inconsistent.

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GoedelsIncompletenessTheorem.html

At a basic level, if we started to discuss Star Wars with a dog, the dog would not understand who Darth Vader is…. sadly humanists are assuming that through observation we can understand reality, just as a dog can one day discuss Luke Skywalker. Uh, no….

But the cult of the intellect knows no bounds.

The point where we seperate from our origins…or the divine/God.

It is this type of world along with its overriding orientation and pursuits which we have destroyed. Our society is man-made, not a divine order. It is one in fact which represents a projection of the human mind that has cut its links with the divine and with the earth; and in so far that it has any ideals these are purely temporal and finite and concern only the terrestrial welfare of its members.

–Philip Sherrard, MODERN SCIENCE AND THE DEHUMANIZATION OF MAN.

To a humanist mindset and many other similar groups (notably modern scientific pantheists for example) throwing out the divine makes perfect sense. If logic, observation, bar charts and other intellectual tools won’t cover reality then anything else is garbage, to the humanist (collectively humanists but each and every group with this mindset).

I am reminded by the recent book/TV show where Stephen Hawkins disproves God. All these groups seem to have one thing in common, an overly simplified verging on puerile understanding or concept of God. The science may or may not be remarkable, advanced and inspiring, but the understanding of the sacred is childlike at best. Hawkins demonstrated this very adequately in his television appearance, in his defense I have not, nor do I intend to read his book.

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up til he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.

–William Blake (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)

Dowd, like Hawkins touches upon God, largely only in a puerile simplistic manner, the sky daddy playing chess. This overly simplistic image betrays a lack of perspective or genuine lack of investigation into the nature of God. As such, there is no place beyond the observable, the logical or even beyond the physical. As such we, to this modernist mindset, are merely dogs learning about Star Wars, one day able through language and concept to discuss the finer points of Star Wars.

Of course the talk was only an hour or so long, and I have not actually read his books, so my understanding may be limited.

Language of course fails us every time. Modernists use mathematics to overcome this.

The problem with secular liberals, as distinct from traditionalist liberals and traditionalist conservatives, is that they insist on inventing reality by denying any higher truth than themselves. They deny the natural law of holistic education, including the metalaw of holistic haqq, which is to be sought heuristic ally and holistically not created by human fiat.

By claiming the source of truth they deny the essence of anything and anything, because without essence everything is relative and truth cannot exist. If everything is relavistic, there is no purpose, then the practice of human responsibilities and the corresponding and resulting human rights has no logical basis.

The denial of any reality beyond the power of personal preference is the source of all totalitarian ideologies, beginning with the liberal logic of the French Revolution, which produced Communism, Fascism, and both Zionist and Muslim Statism today, where the sovereign state or global caliphate claims divinity based on top-down political process of might makes right.

 The Metalaw of Holistic Haqq: Toward a Just Third Way beyond Capitalism and Socialism in the Holy Land
by Robert Dickson Crane

….

In conclusion, Dowd and other humanists make giant compromises. Dowd does however stress the urgency of climate change. His concepts work for the ignorant i.e. those expecting the rapture, denying evolution, biblical aging of the planet and other ridiculous literalisms that demonstrate once again observer and observed change things; as literalisms as found in modern times, never existed in the ancient world. However, Dowd is educating the small of understanding, the ones that arguably need to be spoon fed understanding. His goals are also good ones. However, I don’t agree with all his political leanings. Sadly, I think Dowd’s allusions fit well at my church amongst the right people (which may or may not be a good thing depending on your perspective). I enjoyed his conclusions i.e. live in harmony with the earth or die, it is not all doom and gloom, we may do better in regards to combating climate change.

                       .

yet the crisis itself is not first of all an ecological crisis. It is not first of all a
crisis concerning our environment. It is first of all a crisis concerning the way we think. We are treating our planet in an inhuman, God-forsaken manner because we see things in an inhuman and God-forsaken way. How we see the world depends above all upon how we see ourselves. Our model of the universe – our worldview – is based upon the model we have of ourselves, upon our own self image. Unless our own evaluation of ourselves, and of what constitutes the true nature of our being, changes, the way we treat the world around us will not change either. The industrial and technological inferno we have produced around us, and by means of which we are now devastating our world, is not something that has come about accidentally. On the contrary, it is a direct consequence
of our allowing ourselves to be dominated by a certain paradigm of thought that impels us to look upon ourselves as little more than two-legged animals whose destiny and needs can best be fulfilled through the pursuit of social, political and economic self-interest. And to correspond with this self-image we have invented a worldview in which nature is seen as an impersonal commodity, a soulless source of food, raw materials, wealth,
power and so on, which we think we are entitled to abuse by means of any scientific and mechanical technique we can devise and produce, in order to satisfy our self-interest. Having in our own minds de-sanctified ourselves, we have de-sanctified nature as well.

Our contemporary secular scientific mentality goes hand-in-hand with a
corresponding and increased erosion in us of the sense of the sacred. We do not have any respect, let alone reverence, for the world of nature because we do not fundamentally have any respect, let alone reverence, for ourselves. It is because we have lost the sense of our own reality that we have lost the sense of every other reality as well. It is because we cripple and mutilate ourselves that we cripple and mutilate everything else as well. Our contemporary crisis is really our own depravity writ large.

So the only real answer to this crisis is to stop depraving ourselves. It is to
recover a sense of our true identity and dignity, of our creation in the image of God, of our self image as sacred beings. Once we repossess a sense of our own holiness, we will recover a sense of the holiness of the world about us as well and we will then act towards the world about us with the awe and humility that we should possess when we enter a sacred shrine, a temple of love and beauty in which we are to worship and adore the Creator. Without a sense of the holy – that everything that lives is holy – and without
humility towards the whole – towards man, towards nature and to God Himself Who is beyond both man and nature, their transcendent source and origin – we will simply proceed headlong along the course to self-destruction to which we are now committed and which is our own choosing and for which we are entirely responsible.

Philip Sherrard (1922-1995)
(The Rape of Man & Nature: An Inquiry Into the Origins and Consequences of Modern Science)

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