Is the Transitive Property of Equality (if A=B=C, then A=C) the quick and clean explanation of existence and a beautiful example of the perfection found in circuity? If consciousness relies on trusting our awareness, try assigning the above formula these values: Trust=Faith, Faith=God, then Consciousness=God. Since faith by definition cannot be proven, neither will human awareness ever be explained.
I do not purport to be an expert on any of this (in fact, I’m sure I’ll be corrected by those who are), but the argument between physicalists and dualists is ancient. Physicalists can be seen as atheists, for their faith is placed wholly in the proven, solid, material world. Dualists are the spiritualists, ever seeking, yet content in their strong belief in immaterial, unproven planes.
Panpsychists believe that all matter experiences a certain element of consciousness. If quarks indeed have consciousness in that they react to human observation, then even a stone is aware on some level. (Suddenly, the word “stoned” takes on new meaning)
In his article, What is Consciousness, Kristian Marlow states that “consciousness seems to have boundaries,” and that panpsychism has difficulty explaining this, so therefore, the theory doesn’t hold up. But these boundary constraints cannot be proven. This is where faith comes in, in my opinion, thus strengthening the linkage to a Higher Power consciousness: that which can never be proven.
Perhaps the tenant suggesting that humans are physical in order to experience, is that of the power in pure faith; the accomplishment possible through strong belief. As humans, this ability is only now being resurrected in practices like the Law of Attraction. Therefore, the biblical line “as you sow, so shall you reap” is not be only literal in its definition, and not only specific to how we treat others, but also a reflection of how we feel (how we treat ourselves), and how those feelings draw to us specific events designed to mirror those feelings.
Pure, higher consciousness is a big, all-inclusive club: every quark in the infinite universe within every stone, living creature, dark matter, and star.
If it is a feeling based universe and like attracts like, then when things are good and we revel in that feeling, the world we see gets better and better; when things are bad, and we wallow, our world disintegrates. As well, if we do not feel appreciation for the wonders surrounding us, we leave ourselves open to “random” events. In a very real way, we are able to guide our life experiences if we just pay attention.
Perhaps New Age thinking is nothing new at all, but simply a remembering.
The experience of Marlow’s hypothetical Mary, where she is liberated from existence in the black and white room into a world of color she’s never before seen, can be interpreted as death: that release into the known (where pure consciousness understands all) from the unknown (our physical universe which is one big question mark, noting that the word, question, is rooted in “quest”).
Indeed, as Marlow suggests, “experience is not reducible to the purely physical,” but includes the world of wonder, that which defies proof.
Perhaps the point to any physical existence is in granting understanding to a Higher Power. What if God’s first words, as the bible stated, were misinterpreted, “I am” instead becoming “What am I?” In this case, the individuation of matter in all forms is the individuation of experience in every form, whether humanity sees it as good or bad, in reality, judgement is non-existent. All serves the purpose of Higher Consciousness. In a very real way nothing bad ever happens.
So, if pure physicalism can be disproven in that wonder exists, how can atheism hold up? There is a God.
Or rather, there is a God?
And if A=C, then C=A, as well. Consciousness is a Higher Power dependent upon faith, forever remaining a mystery.
For another view: Why Panpsychism Fails, by Keith Frankish.
Nothing drives home the point of ebb and flow more than being on a boat. I feel the tide go in and out four times a day during the summer. Time and tide, waiting for no man, give a clear window into the inescapable ebb and flow of life. Nothing new, but the annual spate of reflection bores deeper into my psyche each year.
A theory exists suggesting that the universe is built as a hologram, the higher dimension coded onto a lower dimension. On the hologram, only one part is physical: the lower plane. The image looks three-dimensional, but nothing is truly solid.
Already proven: more dark matter exists than particulate matter. Nothing actually touches. If the holographic theory is true, and mathematical calculations have proven this to be possible, the Universe may be born of another plane. Yet, our “reality” is as fundamental to our senses as the clock running forward. Oh, wait. Einstein has already suggested the illusion of time.
If some three dimensional spaces can be mathematically reduced to two dimensions, is this flatter plane their origin, or can they be further reduced to the singularity that is God? Is this holographic image similar to depictions captured double mirrors: infinite? Or are they one-in-the-same?
If we really live in a giant hologram, who’s to say that all the artificial worlds we build within computers, film, literature––our private dreams––aren’t as “real” as the world around us?
Imagination, whether originating on this plane or another, is the driving force of all creation, physical or fantasized. May they be holograms of each other?
The Universe, a non-linear rotary engine: circular. As complex as creativity; as simple as a button.
It has been said that one never gets things done because of perfection in nonexistent. If you can never get it right, you can never truly finish, and if you never finish, you never get it right. But the moments arrive when an author must pen the last sentence, give the work a final polish, hold a breath and press send.
I’m about to do just that with my third novel, Sun at the Edge of the Sky.
The path created by this story wound through disbelief, scaled challenge and ultimately came to rest beside a clear, still pool of serendipity. I was forced to take to heart the message of my own book: There’s magic in believing. Because just as they do in the novel, disjointed pieces fit perfectly as if falling from the clouds with a map and GPS.
The tale entwines two seemingly unrelated people, connected by the events of two September eleventh mornings separated by eighty-four years. Inspired in part by the life of Georges Guyñemer, the highly decorated and most beloved French ace of World War One, the writing of this novel is a story in itself which I will, at some point, assign in words. Suffice it to say that strange things have been afoot over five years of inspiration and research; the writing of scenes that turned out to be very close to the facts–months before those facts were found; the meeting of people associated with Guyñemer in some way, seemingly by accident (I have come to believe there are none); a few supernatural incidents, including the disappearance in one spot and reappearance in another of an item significant to him: an authentic pewter pin of Escadrille #3 once belonging to a squadron mate of his; the showing up of a Eurasian collared-dove in a remote Canadian location (foreign to that species) at I wrote a particular scene which featured this bird so common to northern France.
The list is long and growing.
Yes, something is afoot, or in Guyñemer’s case, a-flight.
I’m eager to discover just what. But since “you never get it done,” I suspect I may never truly be certain of the perfection of it all. So I’ll call it faith.
Notice? I took a semi-hiatus from digital communication the past year. In part, because I have several writing projects racing to the finish line, and in part, because I had an epiphany a year ago: face-to-face contact makes me feel good. Not that I went completely dark: I still use my cell phone, and I do most of my research online.
Not that I went completely dark: I still use my cell phone, and I do most of my research online. But I have scaled back from posting daily (to my agent’s chagrin), I call instead of text, I read a real hold-in-the-hand book instead of a digital screen. All have confirmed what I already suspected: texting, Facebook and blogging are not honest forms of communication. They have their place. But they’re not trustworthy.
Words are often mistaken as the best medium for expression, yet communication falls flat without the crutch of emotion. And emotion cannot depend on emojis, it hinges on sight and sound to reveal its truth.
Consider the phrase, “I love you.” Tossed around mindlessly at times, the truth behind the meaning is purely dependent on the tone of voice delivering the intention. Think of the many ways those words might be spoken. The degrees of love, defined.
So, I have scaled back my digital engagement in order to be more engaged with humanity, with nature, and with myself.
With eyes averted from personal digital devices, and I am reminded that human interaction at the visceral level, and nature itself, is integral as a transformative experience. No need for an online course, daily quotation, or word-of-the-day delivered to my email inbox.
Digital-free becomes a full-immersion experience without the the blindfold of virtual reality glasses. Glasses that may simulate, but will never replace, the “God-light” of early morning or late afternoon where the spirituality of the natural world is revealed.
And words delivered in person tell me the truth of a matter more surely than any missive read on the screen. Loving or bloody, they touch the emotion. They leave scars. And scars show us the color of our blood, the tone of our humanity, they teach us to be human, to handle our emotions, to show us emotion should be embraced by every fingertip. That we must dip ourselves into the blood, feel it’s warmth, and its energy.
I had the great good fortune to sit next to legendary director, Mike Nichols, on a Swissair flight from Warsaw to Geneva in the early 1980’s.
We both made our homes in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California; both bred Arabian horses, and both loved Poland. We attended the Polish National Arabian horse show and auction the week before and experienced a wonderful few days of spectacular horses, great friends, and marvelous stories.
The acting director of the Janów PolaskiPolish Arabian Stud
we visited had spent a good deal of time reciting his adventures as a stable boy at the Janów Stud the summer of 1939. Fun, that is, until the Germans invaded Poland, and Russia crossed the Bug river less than two miles to the east, laying waste to the country as they rushed toward Berlin. What the German’s hadn’t destroyed, the Russians did.
Andrzej Krzysztalowicz told a tale in Polish with an English translator in riveting detail. When Mike and I emerged from lunch, all we talked about was the horrific, yet heartwarming, story of a young boy who, when the Russians threatened, opened the stall doors to a band of Poland’s most precious broodmares, climbed on the back of their best stallion, and guided the herd southwest bridging the border into the safer haven (he thought) of Hungary. Krzysztalowicz saved the seed blood of the Polish Arabian horse breeding program.
When the Americans visiting the Polish Stud climbed aboard the flight from Warsaw, and the plane took flight, the passengers cheered. Not because we hadn’t been treated exquisitely by the Pols. The Iron Curtain was yet to be drawn open. The oppression they suffered at the hands of the Russians was palpable the moment one stepped onto Polish soil. Americans needed to be sponsored just to visit, shepherded around at all times by those affiliated with the government. Freedom was a very foreign word.
Mike and I spent the short flight talking about how wonderful it would be to turn the Krzysztalowicz yarn into a film. The vision he held in his eyes as he spoke of the possibility bespoke the grandeur of such a film by his hand. But Mike felt the only place the film should be made was in Janów, and the red tape involved in accomplishing that seemed insurmountable at the time. By the time we landed in Geneva, he was talking about other projects in his queue: Working Girl, Heartburn, Biloxi Blues. Unfortuantely the dream of honoring Krzysztalowicz and the great influence of the Polish Arabian, unlike that Swissair plane, never got off the ground.
Andrzej Krzysztalowicz has passed, and the Polish border is an easier bridge to cross––but Mike is gone.
The tale itself might be dead. But the memory of that day will live on. My writerly fingers can’t help but tap an invisible outline somewhere in the recesses of my mind.
There are simply too many tales to tell.
Auf Wiedersehen mein Freund. Mike, your movies will never let you go.
Guest Blog––from the Dog.
Something seen, or heard, or felt?
When experienced, what is the result? It draws us in, engenders pleasure. There is a physiological alchemy to it that transforms us. We may leave the beauty behind (quit the museum, turn off the music), but the sense of it is captured in memory that can be called upon at anytime.
That feeling, defined: Appreciation. The sensation most like love. Response is visceral when we look out over the Grand Canyon, examine a Renoir, listen to Beethoven (or Bob Dylan), or hold a child in our arms. But the simple memory of these things also calls forth feeling. The feeling of beauty is what changes a person. The feeling of love, as well.
If beauty is feeling, and appreciation closest to love, one can intuit the importance of beauty in our lives. And the definition of beauty is as diverse as those who appreciate it.
The object matters not. The feeling is the thing. Feeling is always the thing. Universally available at anytime, anyone has the freedom to go there. There is a certain liberty attached to beauty and one’s sense of it. We are all free to appreciate whatever we wish.
We need beauty as much as we need love. We need love as much as we need freedom. A equals B equal C.
Accesible anytime. Transformational, all.
|Ever wonder who the first person was to sing? And why? Did a lone man walk to the edge of a canyon one night and try mimicing the cry of something wild, like the wind through the trees, or a lonely wolf?
Or was it simply inspiration at the sight of a rainbow or newborn child that took wing through the human voice?
To me, this seems the more logical origination for song: feeling, unchained.
This time of year, in particular, I think about what prompted that first a cappela song, and who joined in to make the original choir. I love the sound of the human voice alone, as though infused straight from Source, energizing and hypnotic at the same time.
I have visited Salzburg’s Nonnberg Abbey (the abbey featured in The Sound of Music) many times for the mesmirizing midnight mass they hold on Christmas Eve. No matter one’s religious affiliation (or lack thereof), the mass sung by sequestered nuns, without the accompaniment of musical instruments, is nothing short of spiritual revelation. The old stone church is perched atop a hill above the city, its echoing walls the perfect foil to what seems to be music sent straight from angels above. Just the thought of it makes mefeel wonderful; makes me want to sing.
If you had never heard song before, what feeling would inspire you to tilt your head back, open your mouth, and utter that first ode?
In this season of joy, think of that inspiration and feel yor way into song.
Evolution of the soul is akin to creative success. It doesn’t arrive in a flash, but is revealed inch-by-inch in editing. As humans, we tend to target imperfection miles before embracing the ideal. With this able companion to the edit, negative thoughts and actions are replaced with the sweeter. We reach toward perfection.
But, as any writer knows, there is no perfection. As any soul understands, utopia is impossible. Novels are published, typos are found, sentences could always be rearranged to be more pleasing, story structure improved. “Could have, would have, should have,” is our mantra.
But looking back is nothing more than second guessing. So it is with our lives. It is only in reaching toward the perfect that we encounter the divine. In that reach, eternal hands always appear offering help. If we are astute, we see them and reach up. But even if we don’t, their embrace is powerful in subtle ways.
At every stage of humanity’s self-edit, we are offered a thesaurus, if you will. A higher rung on the ladder. Those rungs take the form most attractive to us individually in order to coax spiritual growth: music that touches us, art we cherish, literature we re-read, a friendship, a rival.
Simple and intricate at once, each form is a mirror. Look closely and you will see in yourself that which needs editing. Just realize that no matter how much is done, the work will never be complete. For in completion, there is perfection. And in perfection there is stagnation.
Because what is there left to do?
In the end, life’s mantra is no more than “can, will, and shall.”
Nelson Mandela said it well:
“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”