Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Game Board

Rules Activity governed by a specific set of rules is a game. This is no to imply that all of our activities are just trivial and frivolous; rather, the word is used with its widest possible connotation: our social activities are games in the sense that they depend upon rules which in turn always rest upon certain distinctions. Draw a distinction between the all-saving God and the all-sin-full man, and this will lead to a rule that man can be saved only by getting in touch with God; this is the Religion Game. Draw a distinction between valuable success and humiliating failure, and this will lead to a rule that to be valuable one must avoid failure; this is the Competition Game. In a word distinctions lead to rules which in turn form games.

The point of all of this will be glaringly obvious if we now ask a simple question: what happens if we draw inappropriate distinctions? Straightforwardly, an inappropriate distinction can lead to contradictory or paradoxical rules which in turn can lead to self-defeating and frustrating games. And a society built on such self-defeating games is an ideal breeding ground for neuroses and psychoses. That is, the distinction, rules, and games of a society can themselves be concealed contradictions and paradoxes, so that trying to act upon them places the double-bind on us all, for this type of game has rules that insure that we will never win the game!

Ken Wilbur in his 1977 book, Spectrum of Consciousness is explaining that our beliefs create the game board of life. The distinctions we form within our beliefs create the rules we live by. If our distinctions are inappropriate, the rules can be distorted, but we still believe them to be true. Our distinctions and the perceptions that form from our beliefs dominate our reality. We would not follow a certain religion if we perceived it to be fake, but the distinction of it being a religion might convince us it is not fake. We get caught in the paradox of conflicting associations that fill our belief structure.

In the game of life, we expand from each distinction and learn from each perception. We tune into our core beliefs and understand the paradox of not understanding. Our beliefs are compounded by objective influences as well as subjective suggestions. We move through the game board and pass through each moment to feel the value of physical distinctions, and the rules that create a game we always win even when we don’t realize we are winning.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Creases Of The Soul

He must attain and maintain that lofty sight where facts yield their secret sense, and poetry and annals are alike. The instinct of the mind, the purpose of nature, betrays itself in the use we make of the signal narrations of history. Time dissipates to shining ether the solid angularity of facts. No anchor, no cable, no fences avail to keep a fact a fact. Babylon, Troy, Tyre, Palestine and even early Rome are passing already into fiction.

The Garden of Eden, the sun standing still in Gibeon, is poetry thence forward to all nations. Who cares what the fact was, when we have made a constellation of it to hang in heaven an immortal sign? London, Paris and New York must go the same way. “What is History,” said Napoleon, “but a fable agreed upon.” This life of ours is stuck round with Egypt, Greece, Gaul, England, War, Colonization, Church, Court and Commerce, as with so many flowers and wild ornaments grave and gay.

I will not make more account of them. I believe in Eternity. I can find Greece, Asia, Italy, Spain and the Islands; the genius and creative principle of each and of all eras in my own mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote those thoughts in his 1842 essay History. Facts turn into fiction as time moves through our minds. It’s hard to distinguish between fact and fiction because we like to turn fiction into facts. Writers write facts, but those facts are covered in the unique flavor of fiction. Fiction is an assortment of facts turned inside out to express possibilities. Experiences are composed of endless facts. Some of those facts become beliefs; some become lies. We judge facts and label them.

Our beliefs create a snapshot of the reality we call factual, but within our beliefs there are kernels of fictitious growth. Our reality is a mindful experience as well as a physical one. The mindful experience is registered in the creases of the soul. In those creases, fact and fiction are the same. In our physical experience facts rule until they fade into the fiction we call history.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Slavery To An Unknown Mind

The Chinese world-view depended upon a totally different line of thought than the Western view of a mechanical universe externally ruled by a political Monarch and Creator. The harmonious cooperation of all beings arose, not from the orders of a superior authority external to themselves, but from the fact that they were all parts in a hierarchy of wholes forming a cosmic pattern and what they obeyed were the internal dictates of their own natures. Modern science and the philosophy of organism, with its integrative levels, have come back to this wisdom, fortified by new understanding of cosmic, biological and social evolution.

Joseph Needham, the British academic, was known for his research on Chinese culture. “Needham Grand Question” was why China was overtaken by the West in technology and science despite its early successes. He believed that Taoism and Confucianism played a role in slowing the pace of Chinese scientific discoveries. Chinese philosophical concepts focused on self-responsibility and unity within the self. The Western world immersed itself in inventive separatism. Western cultures are united in the diversity that exists in fragmented beliefs of others, not in the internal dictates of their own nature.

From our fragmented beliefs, our Western culture developed a system of knowing that was controlled by a force outside of us. This force evolved into a political and judgmental monarch that ruled with a firm external voice of a church. The slightest misstep can cause eternal damnation, but complete compliance means future rewards. These rewards are not specific in nature. They are promises filled with esoteric thought. The rewards and the punishment are self-inflicted, but we believe they are the work of this multi-purpose being that supports approval and vindictiveness.

The Chinese never adopted this philosophy. Hence, their political system is different. Their family structure is different, and the way they perceive their reality and the universe is different. The Chinese system is not better or worse than the Western system. It is a system that allows restricted freedom of mindful self-expression. In Western culture our system promotes slavery to an unknown mind. In China, they recognize the mind.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Bond Of True Friendship

Our account of truth is an account of truths in the plural of processes of leading, realized in rebus( actuality) and having only this quality in common that they pay. They pay by guiding us into or toward some part of a system that dips at numerous points into sense-precepts, which we may copy mentally or not, but with which at any rate we are now in the kind of commerce vaguely designated as verification.

Truth for us is simply a collective name for verification-processes, just as health, wealth, strength etc., are names for other processes connected with life and also pursued because it pays to pursue them. Truth is made, just as health, wealth and strength are made, in the course of experience.

Our belief that yon thing on the wall is a clock is true already, although no one in the history of the world should verify it. The bare quality of standing in that transcendent relation is what makes any thought true that possesses it, whether or not there be verification.

You pragmatists put the cart before the horse in making truth’s being reside in verification-process. These are merely signs of being, merely our lame way of ascertaining after the fact, which of our ideas already has possessed the wondrous quality. The quality itself is timeless, like all essences and natures. Thoughts partake of it directly, as they partake of falsity or of irrelevancy. It can’t be analyzed away into pragmatic consequences.

William James, in his 1907 essay Pragmatism’s Concept of Truth explains how truth is a vacillating concept that forms an energetic response from us. We protect our truths. But what we protect most is the verification of truth. That fact is obvious in the struggle to accept same-sex marriages. Church leaders say there’s no truth in gay and lesbian unions, and they verify their position by quoting the Bible or man-made laws of the church.

The church faithful believe the truth that exists in the Bible. They believe in church laws that claim marriage is for a man and a woman and beliefs become truths. But those truths are verifications of constructed truths, not truths that are innately rooted in consciousness.

We base our lives on truths that are designed by the perceptions of others. We don’t search inside of us and feel the truth of being one with all that exists in this particular time sequence. We are truth advocates, but we allow half-truths to rule our decision making, and we allow them control our choices.

Real truths are innate truths. They are subjective verifications of what we already know to be true. We already know that marriage is not part of a government license. Marriage is a contract between two people that want to share life’s challenges together. Friends of the same sex form similar contracts every day. The contract of marriage takes that bond of true friendship to another level. Marriage is an innate truth, not a religious or political one

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Footprints Of Fools

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness.

It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you is, that it scatters your force. It loses your time and blurs the impression of your character. If you maintain a dead church, contribute to a dead bible-society, vote with a great party either for the government or against it, spread your table like base housekeepers─ under all these screens I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are.

And, of course, so much force is withdrawn from your proper life. But do your work and I shall know you. Do your work and you shall reinforce yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1841 essay Self-Reliance explains self-responsibility and how easy it is to put it in the hands of others. When we allow the crowd mentality to rule our decision making, our creative expression is lost in the footprints of fools. We become fragments of sensibility in the wind of confusion. Life becomes a tug of war that nobody wins. Our energy waits for approval and as it does it stagnates in the fluids of mass confusion. We float from promise to promise like a leaf that has left the tree of life for a place in the dirt of censored traditions.

Our institutions have become cults that worship greed and irresponsibility. Religions fight each other to gain the favor of a God that has no favorites. Our political system rots in the bowels of lawyers that corrupt the will of the people with the stench of half-truths and fictitious fears. We sit in the pews of terror and see ourselves looking into the mirror of justification and revenge.

The solitude of self-responsibility waits for us to cross the threshold of creativity, and be the housekeeper that is no longer sweeping up the distorted rituals of life. Our solitude brings us in line with our subjectivity where the footprints of fools vanish in the vastness of the art.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Infinite Mind

There is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think; what a saint has felt, he may feel; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.

Ralph Waldo Emerson opened his 1841 essay, History with that statement. The mind is a hidden treasure. We know we have one, but we don’t know where it is. Emerson thought the individual mind is connected to an infinite mind. He said the infinite mind is filled with wisdom, and we tap into that wisdom to produce the knowledge that serves us in our particular time sequence. The infinite mind straddles time sequences and disperses its wisdom as needed. The need for wisdom is created by the sum of its parts. As the knowledge flows through times so does the awareness it brings with it. We capture that awareness in our individual mind and the infinite mind expands in the process.

We could call the infinite mind God, but we don’t, because it has no face, or characteristics that are familiar to us. We could say that mind is inside of God, and that would sound right since that association gives us the comfort of familiarity. So, if that is the case, then Emerson’s thoughts make sense. Everyone has a connection to the mind of God. We all have the ability to tap into the mind of a saint, the genius of an Einstein or the madness that exists from the distorted associations produced by others.

We use our mind to experience the knowledge that has been used in other time sequences by other minds. We just tweak it to conform to our beliefs. We are a whole part of a gestalt that continues to offer us what we want to know, but the issue is, we don’t know what we want to know. Immersed in that paradox, we create experiences, and from them we add more knowledge to the gestalt. But in that process we also add the gestalt to our mind.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Time Void

The void is what I call the space where everything exists before it is formed. It is as if you had an image in your mind of a figure, and then you carved the figure out of wood. Before the wooden figure emerged, the idea of it was in your thoughts. It is the same with everything that exists; an image of everything exists in the void before it was created. An image is fully formed, including all of its states of change, from its birth to its seeming death, all at the same time.

Fu Hsi, the mythical emperor of China, lived over seven thousand years ago. He created a mathematical model of the universe with all its conditions and changes using 64 six-line figures which he called Kua. We now can these figures hexagrams. His knowledge was put in a Chinese book known as the I Ching

Two hundred years ago, German mathematician Joseph Leibnitz created a numerical system containing zeros and ones. That system is known as the binary system. The binary system is the language of computers. At some point, Leibnitz read a copy of the I Ching, and he started to compare Fu His lines with his binary system. When he substituted his zeros and ones for the broken and unbroken lines of the ancient Chinese system, they were identical. The language that computers use today was around over seven thousand years ago, but it was in a different form.

The point of the story is; nothing is new. Wisdom has a way of re-inventing itself into knowledge that fits the energy expressing it in a particular moment in time. If Fu Hsi came up with his version of computer language at his moment in time, it also was used before his time in a different way. The stories of primitive man may be only one story of human evolution. Other stories of man’s incredible creations existed thousands upon thousands of years ago if we measure them using time.

As Fu Hsi points out, all those creations existed in a non-physical form before they were physical. Creation is a simultaneous act of energy that expresses more than the sum of its parts. Other parts exist in a reality where time has no meaning. Those parts are the action of an infinite consciousness that moves through the time void and expresses awareness.