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Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

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Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

Testing.......

Yes, it is working.

Congratulations to Cyrellys & Co.!

I will be continuing the BPWH blog from Compass Morainn, which was a continuation from the original OMF site on ProBoards, which is in the process of being re-archived from that site.



(cont.)



Last edited by dan on Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Mon May 14, 2012 7:04 am

If every person is essential, then is every atom essential?

In their own, inimitable fashion, yes. Consider the atoms that make up our DNA, for instance.

Some are more essential than others? Well, the more 'essential' are essentially dependent on those that we suppose are less so. Consider the holders of the Vice Presidency, such as Lyndon Johnson, just as a for instance. One day he is a joke. The next day he is the savior.

God keeps all of us on our toes.

But what does this have to do with immaterialism? Well, essentiality has everything to do with immaterialism. Do materialists dispute that the President is essential? Well, not in so many words, and not in public. But, to be consistent, they should so dispute!

Materialists are not dumb. They don't go around disputing Presidents. They only dispute God, bless their little hearts.

I might point out that, in a bureaucracy, every bureaucrat, theoretically, at least, is essential, bless their little hearts, and their little flow charts. In an ecosystem, every gazelle is essential to the pride whose last meal she was, or whose next meal she will be.

Would a materialist dispute this? Theoretically, they have to. It's all just atoms swerving in the dark. Everything else is purely subjective, i.e. illusory. Don't ya know?! What about for the ecologist? Are they all just smoking? They like to play their own little word games. Don't we all? Do ecologists believe in God? No, just in Gaia.

And what about ethics, and ethicists? Is ethical materialism an oxymoron? Ehthical Societies pride themselves on their atheism. Kant was famously agnostic. Was he a humanist? From whence comes humanism, and how do they distinguish themselves from animism?

Ok, let's take a look at humanism.......... and also, perhaps, at anti-humanism(!).......
The young Karl Marx criticised the project of political emancipation, embodied in the form of human rights, as symptomatic of the very dehumanisation it was intended to oppose. Marx argued that because capitalism forces individuals to behave in an egoistic manner, they are constantly in conflict with one another, and are thus in need of rights to protect themselves. True emancipation, he asserted, could only come through the establishment of communism, which abolishes the private ownership of all means of production. While the mature Marx may have retained a belief in the inevitability of progress, he also became more forceful in his criticism of human rights as idealist or utopian. For the mature Marx, humanity is an unreal abstraction: because rights themselves are abstract, the justice and equality they protect is also abstract, permitting extreme inequalities in reality.

For Friedrich Nietzsche, humanism was nothing more than a secular version of theism. He argues in Genealogy of Morals that human rights exist as a means for the weak to constrain the strong; as such, they deny rather than facilitate emancipation of life.

It is true that ethics and humanism are incoherent, just to the degree that they reject metaphysics.

And the only coherent metaphysics is the one that can speak to the question of who we are and whither we go. And there is only one coherent answer...... We come from a Source, to which we return.


12:45----------

I understand that Gus Russo has been invited to submit proposals on three topics to a major TV investigative journalist outfit. Two topics are given..... Watergate and the JFK assassination. For the third, to be of his own choosing, he is contemplating an eschatological theme...... along the lines of a human induced cataclysm, along the lines of What a Way to Go and Surviving Progress. I did not realize that he was pursuing this interest mostly on his own, and mostly independent of Sam.

No...... that there be an additional topic, and the theme of it, was suggested purely on his own initiative. Sam has already submitted a draft proposal for Gus to consider, which I'm about to peruse.

Along with the draft proposal, Sam sends the following Op-Ed piece........

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/opinion/game-over-for-the-climate.html?_r=1

Sam's draft to Gus is excellent. We need a place to archive such material. What can I add to it......?

It would be simply to expand on some of the above......

An essential point is that Humanism will be the very first victim of the death of Progress.

Humanism is essential a pean to human progress. And so is its intellectual cousin, materialism. And both worldviews are incoherent, just to the extent that their metaphysics is truncated, i.e. denies Simplicity...... simplicity being a species of emergentism.

What I have to do is combine various points into something newly coherent.......

1.) essentialism

2.) emergentism

3.) simplicity

4.) eco-holism

5.) limits to progress

Somehow we have to find a joint critique of Kant and Kripke. Both reside on the fringe of rationalism. Both have a piece of a transcendental imperative. Their greatest common denominator is their agnosticism. Is not agnosticism the end of coherence? How can we avoid Pascal's wager?

My main criticism of Kripke is his overindulgence of modalism. I wonder if Kant may have fallen into the same trap, implicitly.

See this..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigid_designator where such entities are refered to as Kripkean souls. If this is not about essences, then what is......?
Essentialism.......

In Naming and Necessity, Kripke argues that proper names and certain natural kind terms—including biological taxa and types of natural substances (most famously, "water" and "H2O") designate rigidly. He argues for a form of scientific essentialism not unlike Aristotelian essentialism. Essential properties are common to an object in all possible worlds, and so they pick out the same objects in all possible worlds - they rigidly designate.
Can anyone who believes in essences also be coherently agnostic? I doubt it.


3:45----------

OMG........ Take a look at the 1980 review from the LRB.....

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v02/n17/richard-rorty/kripke-versus-kant

Rorty is saying it all.


Then we have this...... http://www.iep.utm.edu/kantmeta/




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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Tue May 15, 2012 9:20 am

I'm still struggling with Kant, Russell, Kripke and Dilworth on the matters of ontology and simplicity.

I'll be having lunch with Sam to discuss Gus's end of the world show. I should have something written up, but I don't.

I don't yet see how relationalism relates to simplicity. They may even be logically contradictory.


3:30----------

I'm going back to review the topic of Speculative Realism, which is a revival of non-reductionist metaphysics, much of the discussion occurring on the Internet. Craig's Simplicity could contribute greatly to it. Most participants adhere to some form of panpsychism, but they largely eschew any sort of monism or metanarrative. The radical pluralism of Process philosophy is a common denominator.


Cosmic simplicity is a very small cloud on their horizon.

What I see in SR are some very early attempts to provide a metaphysics for postmodernism. They desperately need a dose of simplicity, but it will not come easily.



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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Wed May 16, 2012 7:24 am

Speculative Realism bills itself as a radical attack on Continental Idealism, the ground of continental philosophy since Kant. Its 'materialism', however, is hardly of the mechanistic sort, so beloved of science. Continental philosophy is simply rediscovering and reconnecting with science, something that their confreres across the channel and across the pond have been engaged in for most of the last century. They bring a very different flavor of thought, decidedly non-analytic, to the enterprise of critiquing science. I'm finding it helpful, as I peruse their seminal document........

http://www.urbanomic.com/Publications/Collapse-3/PDFs/C3_Spec_Real.pdf

Surprisingly, much of their discussion is focusing on Schelling's thought (~1800), dubbed Naturphilosophie. The panpsychism is rampant.......
Naturphilosophie (philosophy of nature in German) is a term used in English-language philosophy to identify a current in the philosophical tradition of German idealism, as applied to the study of Nature in the earlier 19th century. German speakers use the clearer term Romantische Naturphilosophie, the philosophy of nature developed at the time of the founding of German Romanticism.
Hmmm......

What I find so refreshing here is that their Realism is decidedly non-reductive, non-analytic. Romantic Realism is wonderfully oxymoronic....!

This is Essentialism, even Platonism, with a vengeance, after millennia of a fawning neglect!

Anyone for some radical Neoplatonism?

Will Romantic Realism save me from the atoms swerving in the dark?

Cambridge Platonism (1633-88) comes to mind. I like to suppose that the Oxford Inklings are a latter-day reincarnation of the Cambridge Platonists.


6pm---------

I've been studying the Spec_Real dialogues as closely as I've studied anything, recently. I'll have more to say, soon.......

I'm particularly interested in Graham Harman's analysis of Heidegger and causality, in the light of Islamic occasionalism, starting on p. 66 (371).


Here is another take on Harman.......

http://earth-wizard.livejournal.com/49695.html

And here is his original essay.......

http://urbanomic.com/Publications/Collapse-2/PDFs/C2_Graham_Harman.pdf




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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Thu May 17, 2012 9:03 am

Here is a recent, short and crucial exposition of his Vicarious Causation, by Harman..... Time, Space, essence, and eidos: a new theory of causation. I'll be discussing it after lunch......


4pm---------

I've downloaded Harman's Quadruple Object, of which the above article is a preview.

I remain hopeful that his new insights on Vicarious Causation will prove helpful.




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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Fri May 18, 2012 6:34 am

As far as I can tell, GH comes closer than any phenomenologist to attempting to grapple with the ontological problems that I've been struggling with, particularly in terms of atoms, despite the fact that he barely mentions atoms.

Better yet is the way he concisely characterizes the shortcomings of his 'continental' colleagues. All the better for me to see what I'm trying to avoid.

No one out there in philosophy land is playing with a full deck..... it's really just that simple.

Phenomenology, per se, has run out of steam, and probably did so, decades ago. Precious little has transpired since Heidegger, Husserl and Sartre, each of whom studiously ignored the non-human world.

Now, these young continental turks are trying to invent a supra-scientific ontology, or, in Harman's case, an object oriented ontology (OOO), and one that is not Antropocentric. Those, except for GH, see mathematics as the primary means to avoid anthropocentrism. Only GH is reconsidering the premoderns, starting particularly with the Occasionalists. Theirs is the ultimate problem of physics....... how do things interact?

GH provides us with an ontological scorecard, and shows how, particularly with the four-fold scheme explained in Quadruple Object (2010), the historical systems may be contrasted and compared.

I used to think that I had a pretty good idea of how things interacted, physically. Is there any other way? Explaining another way is what we all struggle with. It is very hard to break the atomic habit. It is vastly more seductive than heroin.

What GH hopefully provides is a scheme wherein ontology may be democratized between non-human entities, keeping atoms better contained.

How do emergent properties interact..... is a way to translate the occasionalist OOO (O^4) problem into a more analytic problem. Is there anyway to analyze these occasions? How do we work the downward causation of freewill, for instance? GH takes barely a stab at it.

Pan/Polypsychism is what GH is resorting to. Is that better than ghosts? He points to David Skrbina's Panpsychism in the West.

Graham rejects Relationalism, rather too quickly, by simply observing that relations do not exhaust objects. Well, that all depends on the definitions, it would seem. He speaks to the great ontological depth of ordinary objects. Others put it to 'potentiality'.

Most philosophers take seriously the ontology of unicorns. I don't see how they could fit into the Quadruple scheme.


12:40---------

Just discovered the very lengthy OOO wiki entry......

Referenced in this entry is......
None of the other original speculative realists do object-oriented philosophy. In fact, they are all rather anti-object, each in his own way. (Even [Iain Hamilton] Grant, whose position is much closer to mine than those of Brassier or Meillassoux, does not think the world is made up primarily of individual entities. These arise for him through obstructions or retardations of a more primal global energy.)
Interesting..... about IHG!

And then this, from the same sub-ref.......
But then I criticize both Whitehead and Latour for reducing these individual entities to their relations. And I continue to maintain this point despite an increasing number of claims that Whitehead and Latour do no such thing. I’m willing to keep fighting this battle, but I really don’t see how the point can be avoided. Both of them not only reduce entities to their relations, but do so quite proudly and explicitly. Indeed, both of them consider this to be among their own major innovations.
GH is adamant in his anti-Relationalism!

And here, GH explains why he is not just a neo-Meinongian.


5:30------------

Here is a diagram of GH's conception of vicarious causation......

http://kvond.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/vicarious-causation-diagrammed/

with links to other comments. The more I read, the more confused I become. Each 'explanation' seems to raise more questions than it answers.

This quote is from GH's article on VC......
Vicarious causation, of which science so far
knows nothing, is closer to what is called formal cause. To
say that formal cause operates vicariously means that
forms do not touch one another directly, but somehow
melt, fuse, and decompress in a shared common space
from which all are partly absent. My claim is that two
entities influence one another only by meeting on the
interior of a third, where they exist side-by-side until
something happens that allows them to interact. In this
sense, the theory of vicarious causation is a theory of the
molten inner core of objects – a sort of plate tectonics of
ontology......

...... While Husserl bases his system on intentional or ideal
objects (which I will rechristen sensual objects), Heidegger
restores real objects to philosophy through his famous tool-
analysis. It is seldom realized that these two types of
objects are both different and complementary. The
interplay between real and sensual objects, if taken
seriously, provides ontology with a radical new theme.

In the tool-analysis of Heidegger, which fascinates his
opponents no less than his allies, we find perhaps the most
enduring insight of twentieth century philosophy. Our
primary relationship with objects lies not in perceiving or
theorizing about them, but simply in relying on them for
some ulterior purpose.




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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Sat May 19, 2012 8:35 am

I'm just beginning to penetrate GH's thoughts about causation, using his detailed article on Vicarious Causation. In footnote #4, he refers us to George Molnar's Powers: A Study in Metaphysics (2003/posthumously), which I may need to purchase. George had quite the life!


1:20-------

And then browse this collection of essays.......

http://www.amazon.com/The-Metaphysics-Powers-Grounding-Manifestations/dp/0415876850


GH never quite gets to the bottom of causation. We are left dangling from allure/allusion, on the last page of his VC article.


Here is an interesting review of GM's book......

http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/23687/?id=1387 ......
The most controverted area for ontological economy is that of the properties of macroscopic objects. The quickest way (though not without its difficulties) to banish worries about causal redundancies in one's system is simply to identify a macroscopic property with a structure of microscopic properties of the object's parts. Is it Molnar's way? The evidence is mixed.


Essences often imply dispositional powers. Essences are causative when properly triggered or provoked. Does this imply panpsychism?

I'm perusing Natural Kinds in the SEP........

Do thoughts have dispositional power, or are they reducible to neurophysiology?

Does intension determine extension, wrt reference?

Consider the death of a rider, thrown from a horse that was spooked by a stick, taking it to be a snake. What was the (essential?) cause of death? A reductionist would attribute it to equine neurophysiology, triggered by an unusually shaped stick. OTOH, some horses are disposed to 'spookiness', by nature and/or nurture.


What happens if we turn emergence around, and look at atoms as emergent entities? Is this illegitimate? Or is it just unconventional? Atoms exist mainly by Occam's argument. But then so do natural kinds, in biology. Should mathematics be given precedence in picking out natural kinds?

Is it more 'accurate' to say that atoms emerge from metabolism, or vice-versa? Is it mainly our Darwinian bias that lends priority to the latter? Could not ontogeny recapitulate epistemology?


And here is a review of Brian Ellis' The Metaphysics of Scientific Realism.




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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Sun May 20, 2012 6:28 am

Ok, I think I've managed to make my way around the hermeneutical circle wrt causation, yet again. Each time around, one does pick up on a few more of the nuances.

The problem is that we moderns have circle-phobia. The history of our sojourn into materialism has been the story of our attempt to break out of this 'vicious' circle, not quite realizing that it also had its Ouroboric virtues or overtones. We are about to hit the overtone with our warp drive...... this will be our Mother of all paradigm shifts/ships (MOAPS/S). Hail, Mary!

We have tried to break out of the circle of eco-logical non-causation, circle of life, from both the top and the bottom, by somehow combining the Big Bang with the LHC. Nice try! And we do have the T-shirt.

But it's not about hadrons..... it's really about leptons/electrons. That's where the causal magic resides.

Loosely speaking, the end of causation resides with the atoms, or so we materialists suppose. But the real metabolic action resides with the electrons, of course. We are the body electric. Mourning becomes Electra.

The infinite regress of causation becomes a meta/eco-circuit..... and with quantum electro/chromo-dynamics (QE/CD), we end up chasing our own mathe-logical tails/tales. Just ask Srini R.

We truly don't know how electrons interact. It has something to do with E8, the largest exceptional Lie group, a cousin of the Monster group.

What?.... you say. It's just the electric force....KISS....! Yes... just that.... But why does that force act on the electron, and not on the neutron, pray tell? Well, the force is connected to the charge, which is connected to the particle. It's all right there, in the E8. Trust us! But, wait.... how is the E8 connected to the electron? Well, the electron is a manifestation of the E8. It's all about spontaneous symmetry breaking, which came with the Big Bang.

Ok, wonderful.....! But what are you and I a manifestation of? Of the Monster? Of you know Who? And what about all the creepy-crawlies..... all our natural kith and kin/kinds? Is there not a monkey God? Are we a monkey's Uncle?

Well, ecology is an outward manifestation of the inner workings of metabolism. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. What else could it recapitulate? But which came first, pray tell?

If monkeys didn't exist, the Darwinians would have had to invent them, or else they'd look awfully silly. If it's not about the Anthropic Principle, then what is it about?

The World....... it all hangs together or it all falls apart..... into atoms swerving in the dark. Mourning becomes Electra.

Where does this leave us wrt Graham Harman (GH) and Panpsychism? Unless there is a reality to our inner lives, then there is no such thing as logic and reason, and certainly no freewill. Electrons have an inner (E8) life.... why can't we, for pity's sake? Only we can curse God. Monkeys don't do that. They don't need to.


1:20--------

At the end of SfA, we got into a discussion of rationalism vs. empiricism. This came out of Bill's presentation on the impact of Xianity on culture, particularly with it's invention of systematic or formal education. This became greatly amplified with the advent of the printing press, and with the reformation.

Needless to say, I was the main defender of reason.

2:30--------

And I spent the last half hour on the phone with John C, discussing rationalism v empiricism. And now I see from the wiki entry that the integration of R + E = pragmatism. Hmmm......

I hadn't thought of it that way.


4:30---------

Yes, CS Pierce does have useful things to say about pragmatism. But I'm not sure how to apply them to the BPWH.

It has everything to do with the Coherence v Correspondence theories of truth. How much faith can we put in coherence. I think we are going to have to place a lot of faith, therein, in these latter days.



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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Mon May 21, 2012 9:12 am

Simon Critchley has reviewed Phillip K Dick's posthumous Exegesis. I have read none of his books, not even VALIS, which is tempting me. The closest I've come is RAW's Cosmic Trigger, and that was many years ago.

It would be fun, but, instead, I have to worry about billiard balls, a-la GH's Quadruple and CD's Simplicity (tbp). I feel badly for Craig. He had a bit of a meltdown at the DeGrowth conference in Montreal, last week. Jack Alpert had given the preceding talk. Sam and Genya will be visiting him in Sweden, next week. He seems to have recovered. He continues getting good reviews, also on Too Smart. It's tough, being out there, on the edge, especially in these latter days. It's a long way down, with nothing for them to hang onto......

There are ideal, 'elastic' collisions, of which billiard balls approximate. What could be simpler? It took 10,000 years of civilization to figure that out. End of story? Hmmm........

G Harman is not so sure. What's it like to be a billiard ball? What's it like to be a bat? Pan/Polypsychism may be at work. We also have Galilean symmetry at work, 'occasionally', anyway. What does Occam say, simplicity-wise? What does he say about Anthropics and Cartesianism? Simplicity is fine sword, if you know how to wield it...... ask Sophie? Now we are all Sophie.

We can knock heads and/or billiard balls together. Which has the greater explanatory power and/or simplicity? WWGD? Whose choice, now?

Is it all just billiard balls swerving in the dark? If that is not the unlikeliest thing in the world, then what is?

Anyone for some pan-Platoism? Platonic billiards? Of course! Why the heck not? What the heck else?

It wasn't until the incarnation that we realized that there was also heaven on earth, albeit well concealed. It's a game of hide and seek. Ask ANW.... it's a process, a metanarrative, where God only knows the ending, and we do the guessing. Ours is but to do and die...... and to have a mustard seed of faith. To be is to relate, to the story.

Natural kinds.....?

It's not quite as easy as that. Relations run deep, all the way down to the atoms. They are emergent, and so are we. Terms and relations tend to trade places, kinda like musical chairs. Can't have one w/o the other. Isn't that still monism? What is one without the other? Dialectics? Hegel was still too Newtonian wrt time. As, of course, was Darwin. Atoms are highly relational. That may be where the math comes in, and how it comes.




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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Tue May 22, 2012 7:23 am

So are billiards Platonic or atomic? How Platonic.....?

Are there billiards in heaven? Well, there is a sphere in heaven, and, maybe, only one. Perfectly elastic collisions exist there, as well, in theory. Atoms exist there, too, as needed. We are speaking of the platonic forms, thereof. But, as long as the laws of physics are properly functioning, do they need to be instantiated, other than on Earth, or in any other such confines?

But, then, how do we arrange for entropy, friction, decay, etc.? Is the Second Law not a perfectly good law, in theory, and totally necessary for living systems? That's where the platonic atoms come in. There exist only perfect atoms, even down here. Are there any imperfect stars? Which ones? Life is perfect, despite, or even because of its myriad and essential imperfections, such as death.

But, if we already have platonic atoms, would not platonic billiards be redundant? Or, is that like saying that mammals are redundant to vertebrates? How do we arrange for such diversity in nature, if not through the benefit of forms and essences? Do we not entertain formal ideas? Are they not all essential and natural kinds? Then we add some evolutionary-style continuity, just to augment the overall coherence.

Were it not for the patina of evolutionary continuity, nature would appear very clunky, i.e. unnatural. Is DNA part of the 'patina'? DNA is a logically emergent level of existence.

But is the cognitive coherence of nature merely a spandrel, as Gould would say? No, coherence runs deeper than that. It's more like mathematics. It is of the very fabric of existence.

But is mathematics truly necessary? And how so? Why so? A world w/o math would be suboptimal, even for those of us unable to balance a checkbook. Wait, what's a checkbook?!

But do numbers do any real work? Do emergent atoms? Or do they just look pretty, like a red sunset?


Did I just say that life was perfect...?! Allow me to elaborate......

An essential aspect of the perfection of life is its perfectibility, by you and me. And we will perfect it, just as soon as we figure out what it's all about, Alfie! And, if it's not about the BPWH, then what the heck is it about, Wilhelm?

So, why is Coherence such a big deal? Is it just another red sunset? It's about the monism. Ok, but why monism? What's that about?

It has a lot to do with functionality and interoperability, whatever that is. It avoids redundancy. It's the only way to get the best possible.... anything. Organicity...... does anyone have a problem with that? Would you like to have an artificial leg. Artifice has some positive connotations..... Are we not the masters of artifice!

Mathematical coherence contributes greatly to physical and biological coherence. We could even say that mathematics is an emergent property natural coherence. They could well be co-dependent.

Was Creation an immaculate conception..... or was it more dialectical? If such, then, presumably, in a non-temporal or quasi-temporal manner. Yin and yang? Plus a holy spirit?

Is mathematics dialectical? Could be. It has to be worked out. It is the ultimate of analysis and synthesis.

Are SuperBalls platonic? Are polymers such? There are surely aspects of polymer physics that are strongly emergent, supra-quantal phenomena. DNA physics must be so.

You just gotta love the pro-metaphase of mitosis. Does it look like atoms swerving in the dark? Does that mean that mitosis cannot or should not be analyzed? Please do. The harder we look, the more miraculous it will become. It is about the holism of the genome, and of Omic systems, in general. The Mandelbrot captures some aspects of this organic holism.

Is the Mandelbrot a miracle? 'One' is a miracle. What genius was the first to utter that word? How did she explain/define it to her linguistic cohort, pray tell? Singularity could only have emerged from multiplicity, despite the fact that, in arithmetic, we are taught just the reverse.

One is derived from 'human'. This makes sense. Identity is an essential aspect of unity. Identity, and its human aspect, is perhaps the most fraught idea in philosophy.... Nay, it is the beginning and end of philosophy.... As in... Know thyself.

Speaking of which, I attended my second meeting of Think Atheist. It gets to me. I find its utter banality to be oppressive, in the extreme. Just give me some of that old-time religion. The banality of evil, comes to mind. Is religion not also banal? Of course, but never at its core, provided there can be such! And do keep in mind that the essence of religion is the ubiquity of the sacred. When monotheism appears to contradict that notion, it is only because too many day-trippers find its monism to be more than a little inconvenient in their daily lives, in keeping their checkbooks balanced...... bless their hearts.... and pass the MoAPS!

The word, religion, derives from 'ligare', to bind. It has to do with the sequestration and taboos placed on the sacred. The shaman were typically housed beyond the pale of the villages. Ritual cleansing and contamination worked both ways. Everything in its proper place, especially the unfathomable powers of the supernatural. We go to great lengths to exorcise ghosts and spirits.

Are the pantheists just less paranoid concerning these powers? Well, folk pantheists are often burdened with superstitions, especially as they verge into magic and vodun.

Science, as its secondary cultural function, is just to exorcise nature. It has had great success in this regard. In its early days, scientific inquiry was likened to an Inquisition wherein Nature was to be put to the wrack! That sentiment still lives in vivisection. Militant atheism/materialism is another of its expressions.....the enforcing of a flat-earth banality and a pan-reductionism.

It's easy to complain about materialism, but it's a lot harder to do something about it. What chance does holism have against the scalpel of the vivisectionists? The materialists used their scalpels to escape the flimsy paper-bag that is holism, in a semi-reversal of the Pandora event. Putting the cat back in the bag will be no mean feat. It will, necessarily, come down to a David and Goliath.... dustup. It won't always be pretty. Hey, we like your toys, we just don't like your attitude!


4:20----------

Which came first, bits or computers? Do bits emerge from computation, the way I suppose atoms emerge from metabolism? I'm rather skeptical that God invented atoms, and then tried to figure out what to do with them. But this is what we suppose of Nature. Nor did the Phoenicians invent the alphabet, and then try to figure out what to do with all those letters.

With Graham Harman we have an object oriented ontology. I did a bit of SmallTalk, in my day, which was an early object oriented computer language. It felt a lot more natural than Fortran, certainly. Does it violate our notions of cause and effect? Sure, to a degree. Do the bits and bytes simply evaporate? Are they magically subsumed by a Platonic computer in the sky? Can they coexist?

If I can't translate OOO to the world of bits and bytes, then I'll have to resort to quantum magic, which is an ontological cop-out, IMO. The quantum is a symptom of holism, not its cause. Keep in mind that, as a card-carrying immaterialist, I frown upon power lines. I like it better when they're buried, and it's not just about aesthetics, either!

Television is a symptom of cosmic remote-viewing, not of the electron or the quantum. Everything is a convolution of direct perception. The more convoluted, the more material. Yes, we will have TV in heaven. It's called RV.

If you sneak up our telephone pole and cut the wires, will the house get darker? If you go to Las Vegas, will your wallet get lighter? It's also about the cosmic infrastructure, and balancing the checkbooks. Isn't there a free lunch in heaven?



(cont.)


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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by Guest on Tue May 22, 2012 7:14 pm

Dan, I've been negligent in passing this on to you ...

http://books.google.com/books/about/Consciousness_and_Quantum_Mechanics.html?id=FZPV0YycI44C
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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Wed May 23, 2012 7:52 am

Thanks, Gary, for keeping me posted on the literature.

Quantum consciousness and quantum computing have become rather more than cottage industries, of course. Can quantum computing be explained without resorting to a strong/robust form of the Everett/DeWitt many worlds interpretation (MWI)? (Bryce is an alum of my tiny high-school in Concord.)

Whatever is the weak form of the MWI, I'll be happy with that. With the WMWI we will be able to have our quantum cake and the BPWH, too. Fear not! But strong Anthropics is not compatible with strong Quantum. Right?!

God does not play dice with the world. Whoever believes otherwise has a very serious values problem. I have absolutely no clue about the attraction of atheism, other than as a misguided reaction to misguided religion. Two wrongs don't make a right, Gary.

Nonetheless, I would like to have access to the book. I'm sure that it could provide me with some new insights into the WMWI. However, its price is unconscionable, for a popular science book, and there is no digital version available. Also unconscionable.

What the quantum freaks forget, Gary, is to apply the Quantum to Creation as a whole, wherein you would naturally use Feynman's sum over histories to derive the best possible world by obtaining the constructive interference of the 'maximal' histories, as constructed by all of us, teleologically inspired, creaturely participant/'observers' in this BPW. Our collective unconscious and altered states are the playing field for the various fringe realities, competing for the pride of place, herein. This is what Leibniz was driving at, instinctively. He was lightyears ahead of Newton.


Now back to atoms and bits......


Gary, you just need to loosen up a little, in order to grasp the cosmic Quantum. That's where the action is. Just have a mustard seed of faith, my friend. I know that your own muse told you to follow the physics. So did mine, but we can't just stop there, as if it were the end of reason. There is a logical path from the physics to the metaphysics, and MBM is struggling with it, also. But you do have to have a coherent vision to guide you through the Meinongian/metaphysical jungle. We all have such a vision, but too few of us have the fortitude to trust it..... to its logical conclusion..... the BPW.

Here's the deal......

You and I, Gary, are Bytes of cosmic consciousness. We are chips off the Monad. Yes, we are lost in the cosmic hologram. Why? Who threw us 'out' like this?

Can you not imagine that there may be a method in this Fortean madness.... this PKD/Matrix puzzle palace?

It's all about the MoAPS..... We are, seemingly, overdue for Godot, for the cosmic Trigger.

Yes, Godot is not playing dice with us, but she is playing Brinksmanship with our hearts and minds. Yes, she is a drama Queen, bless her big Heart!

Teilhard had it about right, with his Omega Point, but his timing was a bit off..... He was thinking it would take a million years to boot-up our Noosphere, but, hey, he was only off by four orders of magnitude. We physicists get worried only when we're off by, say, a ~hundred orders of magnitude.

So, yes, we are about to experience a global phase change, or panpsychic 'catastrophe', as we transition from our present pupal stage of maturation to the Chrysalis stage. It will be an interesting time. Just now, we catch only the first tremors, as the knowledge explosion turns into a knowledge implosion, both via the Internet. There is a corresponding transition in our concept of Truth, from correspondence to Coherence. If the BPWH is not on that bleeding edge, then I'll just have to eat my Chicken Little hardhat.

For an interesting new twist on coherence, see its deployment in Bayesian statistics.

I calculate, therefor I am, say atoms and bits. I think, therefor I am, say you and I.....

Well, hang on Sloopy, because we're all about to have a close encounter of the Coherent kind.....

What does this have to do with GH's Quadruple Obects? Hmmm.......


1:30----------

I just noticed this link to an old Hawking paper, that Jack Safatti sent out on Monday.......

Populating the Landscape: A Top Down Approach

It appears relevant to several of the above points.


3:15-----------

When Gary or Jack S notes an interesting physics article, I may do multiple 'track-backs' to get the latest follow-ups to it. This is done by clicking on the 'cited-by' link on the abstract page. This way I came to a 2011 review article on dark energy, that is also very interesting, and now I'm tracking that one into 2012. How else can one stay on the bleeding edge?

Generalized Holographic Dark Energy and its Observational Constraints...... This one also discusses IR cutoffs, something I haven't seen lately.

Here is a review of HDE...... http://www.science20.com/hammock_physicist/holographic_dark_universe

Notice the reference to IR/UV mixing.




(cont.)

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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Thu May 24, 2012 7:43 am

I'm reviewing Gilbert Harman's QO, in light of the discussion of atoms and bits (a/b's).......

Do they fit into GH's quadruple scheme? Not obviously. How about polypsychism? His anti-relationalism is unhelpful to immaterialism. How can there be coherence w/o real relations?

But, in the BPWH, it's not clear what is holding the atoms and bits apart. Why don't they collapse right back into the Monad, under the weight/gravity of all those relations? Cosmologists use HDE, holographic dark energy, in the role of Atlas, holding up the sky. What can monists use for Atlas?

How about space and time? Easier said than done. We have no clue what they are. No one does. Physically, we have the exclusion principle, and the conservation laws, all of which are highly relational, based on mathematical symmetries. What holds the numbers apart? What is behind all those mathematical structures? Polypsychism? If numbers are not entirely relational, nothing is. There is a sense in which telescopes hold up the stars, and computers hold up the numbers. The pillars of Hercules. I hope the astronomers keep up their weight training. I haven't seen my hardhat, lately.

Habituation of the metabolic cycles and circuits is a big part of our Occasionalism. It's habitualism. Uncorrelated phenomena are no phenomena. We are blind to anomalies..... creatures of habit, are we. The MoAPS hardly has a chance. Mathematics is just the abstraction of our habits. The identity of indiscernibles....?

It's complexity v simplicity..... Is it a tug of war? A dialectic? Who breaks the symmetry? There are the IR/UV and the panpsychic catastrophes. And there is the ouroboric symmetry, broken by the rebooting at the O/A spark gap.

These are the ducks that need to be realigned, in these latter days. The outward symmetry breaking is internalized/subsumed in the monad. External complexity becomes an inner/implicit simplicity. But the symmetry breaking.... is it explicit or implicit, global or local, etc.? How does the cookie crumble? And then who eats it, in the Hieros Gamos? Do black holes have 'hair'? Aren't we the hair of the gods? And where is the holographic horizon? Don't forget Maldecena and his AdS/CFT duality disco.


6:30-----------

In reference to bits, what about q-bits? And which came first, the bit or the q-bit....?

The atom operates as a quasi-qubit in bio-systems, i.e. somewhat controversially, they can be highly entangled. Also, I should point out that even when atoms are supposed to be behaving classically, as in evaporation, they are, more accurately, behaving statistically, which is rather different.

Is a statistical atom less real or objective than a classical atom? Sure, even though it can be explained with classical statistics..... No, it cannot be so explained! The indistinguishability of atoms, a purely quantum attribute, has a profound effect on their statistical properties. Classical objects are defined as being distinguishable. Liquid helium, in contrast, has many bizarre properties. There is, then, no such thing as a classically behaving atom, even in non-biological settings.




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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Fri May 25, 2012 10:45 am

Just now, I'm seeing three kinds of objects...... animate, inanimate and microscopic. I'm wondering if they may not be of different breeds. All three meet in the virus, which would then be an ontological mongrel.

Ontology is supposed to be black and white.... subject and object, or, perhaps, a platonic pluralism, but never a mongrelism, TBMK. Earth, air, fire and water could mix, but not 'mingle', as it were.

I'm just saying that atoms are a breed apart. Viruses are not a new breed. They are a family, say. Then there are subjects.... you and me. There are sapient and sentient subjects.... two different breeds. Only we are the imago dei. The others are offshoots.... within Creation, they play a supporting role. We are the dramaturges, the demiurges. God is the drama queen.

Thus we have, so far, a quintuple ontology, divided in two phyla. What about Graham H, where we have an intermixing of the the real and the sensual, and with the objects and their qualities. I'm not yet finding the taxonomy to be coherent. At best, there would be a (2+3) + 4 ontology..... kinda messy.... apples and oranges. Where is the monism?

Come to think of it, what happened to the Subject, with GH? Is it twisting in the phenomenological breeze? Where's the soul?

The 'subject' comes up on pp. 138ff, where, yes, it remains in left field, and where maybe we are the co-creators. Do keep in mind that Graham is presenting an OOO. Very explicitly, the Subject has been bracketed.


(cont.)



Last edited by dan on Fri May 25, 2012 11:45 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by Jake Reason on Fri May 25, 2012 11:16 am

Hi Dan,
I stumbled upon a lecture by Dr. Stephen A. Hoeller today, entitled "Christ: The Misunderstood Redeemer".

Bio:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephan_A._Hoeller

He is an internationally respected Gnostic, historical scholar, philosopher.

I am listening to it now during my lunch. I'm sure you will find his talk interesting and thought provoking. After a brief preamble, he talks about the history of the study of the history of Jesus and Christianity.


1:16 hr. The download link can be found here, in the first paragraph;
http://gnosis.org/welcome.html


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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Fri May 25, 2012 11:38 am

Thanks, Jake, I'm listening to it now.........

And while I'm listening to his talk, I'm also reading a gnostic synopsis, which he seems to be following......

I find in this written into a deep-seated pessimism, which I do not share.

Clearly, the Gnostics are awaiting the Incarnation of Sophia, as mentioned in John 16:12ff.

Is this not what the imminent Disclosure/Revelation will be about?

I am anxious to see what Stephan has to say about D/R......

He is stressing that Jesus is of another race. I sure hope that he won't be an ET.

I'm now at the 25' mark.....

@29'.... Jesus is a prototype or archetype. I agree.

Note that Stephan follows the Golden Dawn of Manly Hall, which has roots in Aleister Crowley. The Golden Dawn preceded the New Age. It commenced in the out-working of the moon-child, qv.

@30'....... http://www.amazon.com/The-Sacred-Mushroom-Cross-Christianity/dp/0340128755

@32'....... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_J._Schonfield

@33:50...... Jesus is a spiritual grab-bag of spiritual archetypes....! In the early centuries of Xianity, there was a strange transgessivity between historicity, mythology and mysticism! And, don't forget, the psychedelic Jesus.

>>> @31:07....... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_the_Magician:_Charlatan_or_Son_of_God%3F

@31:30....... http://www.amazon.com/Johannes-Lehmann/e/B001HPHK7S/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

@35:12....... full circle to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tübingen_School

37:50..... Tell me whom I am like.....

46:10...... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Williams_(British_writer) ..... tangentially involved with Golden Dawn.

(Convo with Bill S.... this summer we will be studying the Resurrection..... Habermas, Wright, Moreland, etc...... It will be biblical and philosophical. I asked how the risen Christ related to the Holy Spirit, and he quoted from John 16. We also discussed the Second Coming, wherein Jesus is both pre-Millennial and pre-Trib. Bill also mentioned the amillennial view, but I don't recall how he characterized it.)

46:30....... http://www.amazon.com/The-Greater-Trumps-Charles-Williams/dp/1573831115

47:48....... see p 23 in the Amazon copy. It's all about the Fool/Trickster...! Which is to say that it is about the living Jesus, the living Word/Logos. What is the ontology? What is vital force? Is the Force with us?




(cont.)

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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Sun May 27, 2012 7:54 am

Yesterday, I did a wiki review of Gnosticism, and see that Valentinus, with his more positive view of Creation, comes about as close to the BPWH as any historical figure. He was a second century Christian.

Modern gnostics tend more toward pantheism and paganism. I guess they've given up on Xianity.

Now back to ontology......

I'm looking to a somewhat more theocentric view of Creation, wherein the flora and fauna can be seen as a more direct emanation of God, and so be afforded a somewhat more independent role as non-sapient co-creators..... particularly wrt the fauna, of course, but the flora will also have a special ontic status.

One way that I'm trying to understand this broader view is to think of humans as part of the fauna, as if viewed from a distance. Then we see ourselves as an integral part of the biosphere. Does this retain its immaterialism, which is usually viewed as anthropocentric?

I'm definitely not reverting to Amit Goswami's view that ontology began with the first cellular life forms. I am suggesting that the various life forms were created more totemistically, if you will. There is more animism and vitalism in this view.

Now, off to SfA.........


1:10-----------

@SfA, Bill finished his presentation of the influence of Xianity on Western Civilization. Next Sunday we will start researching the Resurrection, starting with Gary Habermas, who has several books dealing with the subject. This material might be used in various contexts and venues.


Back to an immaterialist ontology that is not merely anthropo- or theo-centric........

We wish to include the animals, vegetables, minerals and atoms in this scheme, each in their own participatory fashion.

Previously this has come under the rubric of cycles and of the Jurassic Parc/k.

What was the ontological status of cycles? It was phenomenological.... of the human kind..... and the metabolic kind. How much biology can we cover, without bringing in cells and atoms, in some explicit manner? And what manner is that, exactly?

First come the animals......

In which case, we discount Cartesianism by not mechanizing matter. We avoid the mechanization/reduction of matter by bringing in atoms, explicitly. This is where panpsychism comes in.......

One place where Hegel missed the boat, with his dialectic, is precisely the loophole that Marx and Engles picked up on...... Dialectical Materialism, in general, and the Dialectics of Nature, in particular. This is what I first picked up on, when I gave a presentation (&ff) on Rational Theism, an early, dualist version of the BPWH, to the Guangzhou Branch of the Society for the Study of the Dialectics of Nature, back in 1980, which Society may no longer exist.

I'm now off to the monthly meeting of the BGF......

.
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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Tue May 29, 2012 7:40 am

Mon, may 28 

The challenge here is to 'dehumanize' the idealism, but only to a limited extent, and to still keep it geocentric....... 

By 'dehumanize' I mean to make the idealism less anthropocentric, by affording some participation to the other organic elements, by way of a limited panpsychism.  Atoms could be included via a quantum-vitalism that, otherwise, remains to be defined.  Sentience is included with the sapience in providing a basis for the immaterialism.  
--------- 

tues, may 29 - 9:30 

It occurred to me last night that the BPWH could be turned upside down.....

Recall that I sometimes refer to immaterialism as being the inverse of materialism, i.e. materialism stood on its head.  I am not now contemplating a double reversal.  Rather I'm contemplating a reversal within the BPWH, wherein the Creator is the driving force behind Creation.  This will require some explanation of both the before and after..... 

As previously envisioned, the BPWH was simply a bootstrap operation, with God/heaven being a virtual appendage, almost an afterthought. God was mainly just the trigger and the 'fruit' of the operation, using temporal priority as a metaphor for the logical priority.

One nagging problem of this version of the BPWH was specifying the power source. On the materialist view, the Sun drives biology, and Uranium drives geology. With the BPWH the 'power' source is much less clear.

The BPWH specifies a virtual reality, with God being the ultimate programmer. Wonderful! But then on what computer is our virtual world being implemented, and what powers computer? Well, I was implicitly assuming that God was the hardware, software and the power. That, very candidly, is assuming a lot. How could I be so presumptive?

No, that's not right, either..... I was assuming that the Creator was the computer and Creation was the dynamo. We were the power source for heaven. It is sometimes supposed, within the sic-fi genre, that we are the food of the gods. One can take that more or less literally. Our blood, sweat and tears has got to be good for something. Our psychic turmoil is the power plant for heaven, or something like that.....

But it has occurred to me that there might be another PoV......

Suppose that Creation is the fruit of Heaven.

A biological model that comes to mind is that of the........?


4:30-------

Well, I was looking for Sporiform flora, which were the progenitors of (eucrayotic) multicellular organisms. I don't recall if any procaryotes exhibit this degree of complexity. The endospore produced by some bacteria is a seed-like, spore-like adaptation amongst procaryotes.

What I have in mind is the ability of fungi to form fruiting bodies, which then disperse spores or seeds. Fungi are the most primitive form of multicellular organism, and are animal-like only in the sense that they are obligate feeders, having no photosynthetic ability. The chrysalis is a more advanced form of fruiting body. I have suggested, implicitly, that God/heaven is a fruiting body. But that organic metaphor can also be inverted to suggest that Creation is a fruiting body of the Creator. In fact, I would further suppose, that the two metaphors, rather than being contradictory, are complementary. Is there a fungus among us?

Three stages of history may also be posited..... tribal, existential and intentional.

Come again....?

Well, in organic terms, these would be the larva, cocoon and chrysalis, corresponding also to the prehistoric, historic and Millennial phases.


(cont.)

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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Wed May 30, 2012 12:56 pm

I believe that progress is being made......

1.) Yesterday, Gary B sent me the following link........

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1870526265/the-god-problem-how-a-godless-cosmos-creates-book ,

which was my introduction to Howard Bloom.

2.) This morning I wished Sam and Genya, bon voyage, on their way to Sweden to visit Craig Dilworth, frequently mentioned, herein.

3.) Deb forwarded this link......

http://www.amazon.com/What-Money-Cant-Buy-Markets/dp/0374203032/ .....

subtitled..... The Moral Limits of Markets, by Michael Sandel.

4.) In the meantime, I continue to read up on slime molds and swarms.

5.) And I've just noticed this..... Complexity.

What is going on here? Well, it's all about complexity v simplicity. How so......?


5:30---------

And here is another link from Deb.......

http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/12-05-30/#feature

..... about Lawrence Krauss and his Universe from Nothing.

And then there is this......

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scarcity-humanitys-final-chapter-christopher-o-clugston/1110955922?ean=9781621412502

Then there is this except from an email.......
7.. There can be no durable sanctuary from collapse. No "island" of sustainability that will not make itself a target for the starving marauding masses. My own community--a haven of soft-green New Age environmentalism and the idiot optimism that runs through it---- has declared itself to be "Transition Island" (that is what the signage now says). If you want to know what the fate of a "Transition Island" will be, check out Lindisfarne or Holy Island in Northumbria. The monks had a good thing going there until my mom's ancestors, the Vikings, popped in for a visit a while back. So much for relocalization. As John Wesley Rawles says, if want to live in a post-collapse world, you had better be mean, armed or hidden. No one living east of the Mississippi will have a chance. No well-provisioned fortress, bunker, or 'relocalized' community will endure in the face of the scarcity(and conflict) that is implied by this data. I am sorry, but staking your hopes on a relocalized, 'sustainable' oasis is as silly and futile as was the campaign to build nuke-proof bomb shelters in the 50s and early 60s. Or water-proofing your cabin on the Titanic. I don't think people have a clue about the full ramifications of collapse. It is like planning for a camping trip. There is always something you didn't think to bring with you. Something you didn't anticipate. But at least on a camping trip you could go back home. We won't have that option.
And this, from the same email (Tim Murray)........
10. "Sharing the wealth" or improving tech efficiency or reducing our total consumption of NNRs by reducing our headcount or our per capita consumption rates or a combination thereof can only give us a temporary reprieve---not a pardon. Thus there is no such animal as a "sustainable population" that makes use of NNRs. For me, that was a real paradigm-breaker. I am still recovering. Another bitter pill: the realization, after reading Scarcity, that "environmentalism" is irrelevant. As one would expect, in this economic 'downturn', the number of Canadians who now consider "the environment" to be a major priority have diminished considerably, from marginal to marginally fringe, even though this recession is but a pale foreshadowing of what is to come. When it comes to the crunch, Joe Suburbia, as Jack Alpert has told us, doesn't give a damn about rising sea levels or old growth forests. It's the price of gasoline that grabs his attention. Do I like that? No, but who cares?

 (People will do what they have to do to stay warm and fed. Frak every mountain, risk every coastline and drill in the AWR and cemetaries if necessary. Leningraders loved their parks, but when their power was cut off by the German seige, they cut down the trees, uprooted the floor boards of their apartments and burnt them with their family heirlooms to stay warm while they feasted on the disinterred bodies of people who recently succumbed to hunger and cold. Some even resorted to cannabilism. Nothing is "sacred" when mere survival hangs in the balance. Especially "nature". Yet environmentalists insist on fighting battles on THEIR terms. They'll lose. Stop screaming about potential oil spills and talk instead about the stupidity of our gold-rush mentality and resource policy! )

Paul Chefurka, on this same list, gives this reference........

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


8:30-----------

And this..... http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Economics-Money-Society-Transition/dp/1583943978.




(cont.)

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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Thu May 31, 2012 6:32 am

I'm trying to figure out how to best to introduce myself to the newly expanded deGrowth email list that I was referencing, yesterday........

The last person I referenced was Paul Chefurka. He is the only person on the list who has professed a spiritual orientation wrt the environmental crisis, and he is unhappy with Jack Alpert's call for a radical political response to the crisis. He is suggesting that the spirit/nature is best left to its spontaneous self.

I think my best course is to address myself to Paul, as the only other member with an explicit spiritual orientation.

This was sent to Paul and a few others on the list.......
From: Dan Smith
Date: May 31, 2012 11:10:45 AM EDT
To: Paul Chefurka
Cc: ........
Subject: Re: Reply to Hopfenberg and Feeney

Paul, et al..... 

I can appreciate your concern about Jack Alpert's desire to see a radical government intervention on the population/resource front.  Nonetheless, I count myself amongst his backers, albeit to a modest extent.  

I am responding particularly to you, because you are, so far, the only other person on the (larger) list with an explicitly spiritual take on this human crisis.  

Yes, we all appear to agree that there is a radical problem requiring a radical 'solution'.

There are two contradictory ways of envisioning the problem.....  Most, if not virtually everyone else on the list, see this as a biophysical problem, wherein the human species has become a cancer on the Earth, requiring radical 'surgery'.  

You and I, and a few publicly visible spokespersons, see a more positive possibility...... Earth and humanity are on the verge of some sort of birth-trauma.  

Does mother Earth need a 'C-section'.....?!  

Actually, that comes as close to describing my PoV, as any.  

And, yes, this is also the view of the vast majority of our species, who also happen to believe that we do not live by bread, alone..... that there is some greater spirit, at work amongst us.  

Perhaps I've said enough already.....  I'll also be posting this to the Open Minds forum.....  

http://openmindsforum.forumotion.com/t6p30-hello-cy-hello-omf-ii#133 

If there is a continuing interest in discussing the various alternatives, then there ought to be a public venue/forum for this.  

Dan 

p.s.  My friend, Sam Hopkins, arrived in Sweden this morning, on a visit to Craig Dilworth.  Craig's, about to be published, 'Simplicity' will provide, implicitly, a philosophical rejoinder to his 'Too Smart'.  Therein may lie the ontological basis for our way forward, out of our Vicious Circle.  



On May 30, 2012, at 12:04 PM, Paul Chefurka wrote:

Jack,

You say, "...if our goal is to avoid the worst for the children of man..."

We face "The Mother of All Wicked Problems" - a predicament that amounts to a singularity in the human experience.  There is no solution to it.  There is no way to plan for any reliable outcome on the other side, either positive or negative.  It's too late to mitigate our entry into its gravitational field.  If we try and fix things we'll reliably fuck them up worse.  That's the message of the VCP, and why understanding it is crucial for would-be "saviours".

Having a goal like you expressed above is, in my opinion, a classic example of the thinking that got us into this mess.  It is not my goal and I will have no part of it.

I have my own idea about what might be useful, but saving humanity from itself is not on my agenda.  Humanity is not in need of salvation.  I take my philosophical musings out a lot further than the Craig's VCP - out to the territory of Elisabet Sahtouris' butterfly metaphor, or even to Charles Eisenstein's description of the coming events as humanity's rite of passage from indolent adolescence into responsible adulthood.

Given that perspective, I think what we are about to endure is absolutely essential to our unfolding experience as a species.  The last thing I want to do is to try and prevent us from having this opportunity, and run the risk of trapping us forever in some ersatz "sustainable development" limbo.

I am implacably opposed to all the "planners and solvers" who wish to impose their visions (an implicityly their fears) on a humanity that has not asked for it.  I implore you to let us find our own way, as is our inherent right as sentient (if not sapient) creatures.

I may be on the wrong mailing list...

Paul

I am continuing to read Charles Eisenstein, whose book, Sacred Economics, was referenced last evening. I'm now focusing on his Ascent of Humanity.

Charles, along with Elisabet Sahtouris, is in a unique position.......

They are amongst the few 'spirituals' who are openly engaged with our historical crisis. Another person, Barbara Marx Hubbard, comes to mind, but she is not nearly as much engaged with re-envisioning the present system, or engaging with it. Charles, for instance, has engaged with the Occupy movement, along the lines of revamping our economics.

I am paying close attention to Charles' view of design wrt our world. He rejects Intelligent Design, but he also rejects scientific reductionism. Where, then, does that leave us? Does not the BPWH provide the optimal synthesis of the theist and pantheist views? Would Charles also reject the BPWH? On what specific basis, I wonder.


1:40---------

I have received a very thoughtful response to the above, from Paul. I'll be composing a reply, herein, after my appointment.


4pm-------

Two others have responded to Paul. Now I'll try a follow-up.....

I see two groups responding to the resource crisis...... deep ecologists and 'deep' academics. Both groups agree that it would take a 'miracle' to turn around the juggernaut of modern civilization.

Miracle....? How so? May I suggest the best possible 'miracle'? Not too big, not too small..... a new worldview..... That's all.

That sounds awfully tame. Well, ok, how about the mother of all paradigm shifts (MoAPS)? This is a worldview that will synthesize (coherently) materialism, pantheism and theism. Per impossible?

There is only one coherent possibility.... immaterialism. Oh, but that is much too radical, everyone will say. Well, a radical problem demands a radical response. It requires thinking outside of all our previous boxes. It does not mean discarding (scientific) materialism, it merely means that we turn it 'upside-down'...... or put the spiritual 'horse' before the material cart, understanding that spirit is behind it all, as the pantheists (and philosophers!) have been telling us, all along.

So what? So everything....... It simply means that we get to reinvent/re-envision the world. For our pains, we should expect to get nothing less than the best possible world. Oh?

This will require some explaining...... some apologizing.


(cont.)

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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:46 am

Paul C references this article that he wrote last year......

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/50000_Foot_View.html





(cont.)

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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by Paul Chefurka on Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:39 am

Dan,

I hope my insertion of this comment into the flow of your blogging is appropriate. If not, please let me know.

You mention pantheism fairly often, and this has prompted me to share the following thoughts.

I've come to think of spiritual development as a process that travels from a position of exclusion to one of complete inclusion.

The exclusionary position may be one of either atheism (especially "strong" or explicit atheism: "I believe there is no "God") or traditional theism ("God is out there")

The process seems to travel naturally toward pantheism: "God is identical with all of reality."

In my opinion though, pantheism is still not a completely inclusive position - that honour goes to panentheism. This idea comes naturally out of the search I've been on for the last few years:

I started life as a positivist atheist, but after a while almost blew out psychologically from the lack of any sense of the sacred to anchor my life.

When I went looking for it, I found the first traces of that sense of the sacred in Deep Ecology (all life has intrinsic value), then more of it in pantheism (God is identical with the natural universe). Both of these are naturalistic ideas that didn't ding my veneer of scientific rationalism too hard.

Next on the menu were non-dualist philosophies like Zen and Taoism. Further along the non-dualist path, Advaita teaches that we are identical with Brahman and Jnana Yoga teaches that we "are" consciousness.

Following that path towards the sacred led me to this recent conclusion. I am actually a panentheist for whom Consciousness is a supreme sacred manifestation, identical to what others call "God".

The key for me is that in traditional panentheism, God acts both in the world and outside it; creates reality yet works within it; is both transcendent and immanent at the same time. In David Bohm's terms, God both enfolds the implicate order and unfolds the explicate order.

For me that God-role is entirely and adequately fulfilled by Consciousness. Consciousness is the vessel within which my reality occurs, and yet my consciousness acts within reality at every moment. Consciousness is the manifestation of the divine, in the exact way that God is described in classical panentheism.

So, that's all fine if one is looking for an elaborate framework for the sacred. Lately though, yet another layer of the onion has been peeled back.

True, completely inclusive awakening involves transcending even the notion of sacred. It involves transcending all belief and non-belief, all notions of judgemental relationship like higher/lower or better/worse), all the concepts and structures that our mind lays over reality - including concepts of the sacred, or God or the Absolute, or the Void.

Pasradoxically this transcendence lands us right back in the lap of purely ordinary reality, but with our grasping, clinging, resisting, rejecting needs resolved in the clear perception of What Is.

All that is left for us is to dive back into the Dance of Lila, but now with the awareness that we are both dancing and choreographing.

Travelling this path to its conclusion leaves us with all the elements of our story intact.

In my case this means:
I am still an atheistic, pantheistic panentheist;
who neither believes nor disbelieves anything;
who feels that Life, Love and Consciousness define the sacred;
who recognizes that all the apparently distinct elements of reality are simply playful manifestations of the One;
who thinks it is useful to suspect that "What Is" is a conscious co-creation of all its elements;
who feels that this apparently personal manifestation called "me" is God, human, individual, universal, everything and nothing at the same time.
In a bit of a surprise, although the elements of the story may still be intact, they no longer define someone called "me". That is moksha - or at least that is my moksha - the liberation of being "not-me".

This perspective informs fundamentally my position on the unfolding Global Predicament. From here the situation is revealed as not being a predicament at all. Such a divided, conflicted, judgmental interpretation of the situation is simply a product of our attached perspective from inside its ongoing self-expression.

From a point of view outside the unfolding of our reality, from the pantheist or panentheist perspectives for example, the "predicament" is revealed to be just the way Life is expressing itself at the moment.

Transcending the apparently final position of being a Witness to that unfolding is what allows us to carry this awareness back into the core of the Dance itself.

That act of re-entry - coming back into the Dance as Consciousness itself - allows us to participate in Life again; but to participate without judgement or reservation, with joy and complete commitment.

In that moment of completely ordinary simplicity, our value to ourselves, our species, all of life, the universe and reality itself becomes as great as it can possibly be.

Warm regards,
Paul
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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:37 am

Paul,

I agree with everything you say......... but....

So what? What then, my dear........?

Where does this leave us wrt the historical human crisis?

Is it (just) an illusion? What's it all about, Alfie?



(cont.)


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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by Paul Chefurka on Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:53 am

It's definitely not an illusion.
It's reality.

That's not the issue. The issue is how we each choose to respond to it. That's as personal as deciding what we want for breakfast when faced with the actual contents of the refrigerator.

Jack Alpert chooses his path of universal coercive moral persuasion. I choose to watch and say things like, "Wow, did you see that?" You will choose something else. In the end we will each choose, and it will all work out as it works out.
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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by dan on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:06 am

Paul,

As you may be aware, there are now two conversations...... here and on the email list.

I have just responded to Jack's continuing skepticism concerning the possible significance of truth.

In my many years of engaging with pantheists and panentheists, I have found that the concept of 'truth' barely registers in their scheme of things, i.e. in their ontology.

Perhaps it is best to keep these two conversations separate, for the time being..... lest not to confuse either potential audience.......



(cont.)


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Re: Hello, Cy, hello, OMF II

Post by Paul Chefurka on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:15 am

I agree with your proposal to keep the conversations separate. This one is probably a bit too far out there for some of the email participants.

"Truth" eh? Slippery concept, that...

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