Sunday, March 23, 2014

Intro to Philosophy Midterm: A Few Thoughts

1. On Philosophy--

Bertrand Russell states in “The Value of Philosophy” that philosophy is used for the sake of approximate knowledge; in his own words, it “aims primarily at knowledge.” However, knowledge based on certainties and facts is not the type to which he is referring. Russell explains that philosophy aims to better understand the unity and framework that holds sciences together. Its purpose is not to provide a definite answer or to reach some kind of resolution, but instead to make an attempt to understand the mysteries and causal forces that propel us through our human experience. My philosophical experience has most certainly confirmed this claim that Russell makes. In Plato’s “Apology: Defence of Socrates,” Socrates justifies his attempts to expose the “pretensions to knowledge” and ignorance of ‘knowledgeable’ individuals. By the mere act of questioning established knowledge (and perhaps rocking the existential boat), Socrates is put on trial and killed. The most important aspect of his philosophy was indeed this “questioning” (“Apology: Defence of Socrates” 23a). Socrates tried to teach his fellow Athenians that thinking critically and examining our systems of thought and belief serves our intellect better than arrogance on any subject matter. At first, this acknowledgement of uncertainty is something that frustrated me; now I see that the uncertainty is the very essence of philosophy. Socrates--the martyr--did his best to instill his passion for philosophy and thought in his contemporaries. David Hume made another compelling argument for the sake of philosophy in his discussion “Of Skepticism with Regard to the Senses.” Although he does not argue for philosophy on the whole, his perspective offers an important insight to our experience. The senses, Hume claims, are but tools to convey “impressions of very existences by a kind of fallacy and illusion.” The greater implication in his statement is that there are realms of consciousness or understanding that go beyond what we are able to perceive sensibly; there is a reality that our senses are only able to hint at. Enter PHILOSOPHY. It is a reasonable, logical, and ‘scientific’ approach to attempting to understand the meta-mind-reality we encounter with intellect, curiosity and consciousness. Even though philosophers must admit to ultimate uncertainty, it is the uncertainty that allows philosophy to evolve alongside our intellect. Philosophy allows us to critically examine our own pretensions to knowledge, and at least try to better understand the mysterious universe of experience in which we find ourselves wondering.  

2. On science--

Scientism is a belief or practice in which the authority of science is placed above that of philosophy, religion, morality, the arts, et cetera. David Armstrong supports this doctrine because he genuinely believes that science has a greater capacity for reaching intellectual consensus (Armstrong, “The Nature of Mind”). There is good reason for this. Armstrong argues, “The best clue we have to the nature of the mind is furnished by the discoveries and hypotheses of modern science…” Before any advancement in scientific methodology, and well before the establishment of a scientific community, “inquiry proceeded, as it were, in the dark.” According to Armstrong, science is the best way to achieve consensus on controversial ideas, and consensus is paramount to the formulation of an established truth or science. While religion or morality can alter human perception, science provides insight into the structure or fabric of the reality in which we exist. Because science is predicated on empirical data, observation, and repetition over time, it is better suited to establish a consensus on the nature of man and our experience. David Hume makes similar claims in his “Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.” In section four, Hume explains that knowledge is based on prior experience or observation; knowledge of something is not realized until the event upon which the knowledge is predicated has occurred. To prove this fact, Hume argues the inability of one to determine the effect of a specific cause if he or she has not already experienced or observed it. One cannot make a decision (or predict the effect of any cause) based on knowledge “without the assistance of observation and experience.” It is this very principle, Hume claims, that has kept philosophers from remarking upon the “ultimate cause of any natural operation, or [showing] distinctly the action of that power, which produces any single effect in the universe.” This is a problem for science, but also for us philosophers. How are we to formulate even an approximate knowledge about anything if we have no prior understanding or experience of it?  Wesley Salmon examines this in “The Problem of Induction.” Salmon exposes the uniformity principle upon which most science is dependent. It is necessary scientifically to observe or experience a phenomenon in order for it to become knowledge, and to be accepted as established knowledge. However, this type of knowledge cannot be formed in regards to an unobserved fact or phenomenon—this is the problem of induction. Salmon asserts that there is no such thing as ‘knowledge’ when it comes to dealing with unobserved fact; this assumption that we make based on science and our experience is called ‘belief.’ Because accurate knowledge of an unobserved event or phenomenon is impossible to attain, it is impossible to ‘know’ with any certainty that one will experience a distinct or predictable outcome. This makes sense until we reexamine this statement from a scientific perspective. Induction and the assumption of uniformity (or that history will repeat itself) is highly problematic for science. Science depends on past experience and patterns that emerge from observed phenomena. Technically speaking, science is a pretense to knowledge. Even with scientific evidence to support a claim, science does not constitute knowledge. Science does its best to provide the evidence and reasoning for believing a ‘fact,’ but it does not constitute knowledge. Salmon comments, “A ‘science’ that consisted of no more than a mere summary of the results of direct observation would not deserve the name.” Given the circumstances and our human limitations to knowledge, I would wager that science is still our best bet towards understanding the nature of our experience. Science, even if compromised by the assumption of uniformity and plagued by the problem of induction, still offers us a better understanding of cause and effect, and similar past events. It would serve us philosophically and otherwise to admit and fully understand, though, that even science stems from ‘beliefs.’ In other words, we know even less than we thought!

3. On the existence of evil--

I would like to argue against the existence of evil. In “God, Evil and the Best of All Possible Worlds,” Gottfried Leibniz asserts that there is such a thing as a ‘necessary evil.’ Although he denies that God “chose poorly” by creating a world with evil in it, he explains that perhaps God created evil for the sake of a “greater good.” He references St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, contending that it is perfectly understandable that an “imperfection in the part may be required for a greater perfection in the whole.” Now, I don’t wish to speak ill of the experience or opinions of Leibniz, but I would venture so far as to say that his conclusions about the purpose of evil and its presence in our experience depend on beliefs about God as a being, and about God’s intentions. Leibniz assumes that God is perfect, and therefore would create the perfect world—even if it meant there were suffering in it. By allowing for evil to exist, perhaps one fosters the creation or experience of ‘good’ in response to ‘evil.’ I believe there is something to be said about balance in the universe, though I am not convinced by his reasoning that evil is necessary for the existence of good, or a ‘greater good.’ Russell refutes the argument of design for the exact same reason Leibniz subscribed to it. In his “Argument from Design,” Russell attributes the apparent lack of design and existence of evil to the fact that there is not a perfect God responsible for the creation of our experience. Life evolves and does what it must to survive, and the resulting experience is judged as “evil.” Hume approximates my own stance on the existence of evil in his “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.” Philo, one of his characters, states that true nature is neither good nor evil, and that God (or whatever supreme being) is or would be indifferent to good and evil. Instead, Philo describes a natural state of balance, in which events occur that can be judged as “good” or “evil;” however to do so is simply choosing the way in which to relate to these events. Nature, as it exists naturally, is an ebb and flow of events. ‘Good’ and ‘evil’ are simply human reactions to the stimuli from one such event. Hume’s view (as expressed by Philo) seems to be the most congruent with objective experience, or what I would refer to as ‘reality.’ Evil and good are just ideas; they do not exist outside of the framework of a conscious, judgmental mind. Balance is another thing all together—“balance” is a better way of looking at the ups and downs of our experiences. In my opinion, no human acts unjustly based upon his or her individual experience; in fact, nothing in nature acts unjustly, or outside of what he or she is able to justify. But one conscious being might judge the acts of another as evil because of the way those actions affect others. I like to think of life as a pond into which stones are constantly thrown… A conscious, objective person would not judge the ripples as good or evil, but simply accept them for what they are, as they are. I would postulate that good and evil do not exist, but sensations and human reactions to stimuli do exist. It is the way we process these stimuli, and relate to each other and reality that shape our perception of “good” and “evil.”

4. On human identity--


Identity—“who we are”—is one profound topic. As far as my own identity is concerned, I have established a sense of ‘self,’ but I am not sure what it is that I am. A mind? A computer? A living organism, yet also a thinking organism? Over the course of our readings, there were several stances on identity worth mentioning, and I’d like to address those here. First, I would like to acknowledge Searle and his concept of intentionality. This force of will that we exert on our surroundings and others rules out the possibility that humans (or our minds) are simply machines. Searle argues that the human mind is comparable to a computer, and that a computer can in fact think. But we humans are not just computers; computers lack something that is natural to a human—“intentionality,” as Searle puts it. Even though a computer could be created to replicate processes of the human mind, and even though the cause-and-effect events in the mind could be duplicated, the “causal powers” of intentionality and our own distinct experiences are more responsible for our perceived identity. These causes of our experience go beyond programming, or what we might refer to as ‘instinct,’ or ‘human nature.’ It is intentionality and the very nature of choice that allows us to participate in the formation of an ‘identity.’ So, we are somewhat machine like in the sense that our minds have the capacity to compute and process information, but our identity seems to stem from something deeper than programming and input stimuli. Derek Parfit claims that identity is dependent upon psychological continuity and connectedness, though connectedness is most responsible for our “self-survival” or maintained sense of self. Our identity can change depending on our experience; Parfit uses Wiggins’ case to illustrate this point, and how connectedness is essential to defining our sense of self. If one experiences an event-stimulus in which some perceived aspect of the self is changed (either intentionally or reactively), the event is comparable to fission (Wiggins’ case). During this fission, whether the stimulus is internal or external, one may realize a disparity between the established identity and the resulting one. Maintaining a connection between these ‘different’ selves over the course of one’s experience is what shapes his or her sense of identity. Parfit emphasizes that this connectedness, or relation to oneself over time, is the essence of the identity that we experience. This self or identity is constantly undergoing fissions (and fusions arguably) that mold our perception of it; but maintaining the psychological connection from fission to fission is responsible for the “survival” of any one “self” of ours that we experience. This fact reveals the perpetual evolution of our individual self and identity, and allows us to see ourselves more objectively. This truth has played a fundamental role in my understanding of my own identity. Lastly, Descartes—a man after my own heart. Descartes ponders his true essence in his second Meditation dealing with the nature of the human mind. Descartes can come to terms with the fact that he is, but he has trouble deciphering the I in “I am.” He is able to deduce that he exists, and that he is something—“I am a thing that thinks,” he says. He spends a fair amount of time assessing ways in which he can prove the extent of his identity in relation to objects, thoughts and “imperfect” mental inspection. After all of this thought still, he arrives at his conclusion that by considering ways in which he is able to “grasp” a concept or physical object, he is able to better grasp and reveal to himself the nature of his own mind. Obviously, the nature of self and identity is complex, but Descartes reduces himself to nothing but his thoughts, and therein realizes his essence. “I think therefore I am.” In my humble philosophical opinion, there is no greater truth. We are conscious beings, capable of thought beyond what we perceive. We have the ability to think with an awareness about ourselves, and formulate relative opinions based on our own experience with this ‘self.’ This is the nature of our identity—our own thoughts and reactions to a ‘self’ that we exist as and simultaneously outside of. Because of our consciousness and self-awareness, we are able to comprehend that we are something…but the essence of “what we are,” this identity, is created, evolved, and simultaneously experienced in the whirlwind of our life experience. Are we our minds? Yes, but in addition to something else—the will, intentionality, consciousness, and desire to express “who we are”—these all play a part in the symphony of our identity. At least, I think. Descartes said in his infinite wisdom, “My mind enjoys wandering, and it won’t confine itself to the truth. I will therefore loosen the reins for now so that later, when the time is right, I will be able to control my mind more easily.”

Friday, January 24, 2014

I Am: My Self and My Mind (the latter of which is simply my perception of my Self)

It's been a while since I've had a social life worth mentioning, but a friend of mine told me recently that we were long overdue to hang out. At the sheer prospect of a social engagement, I cleared my schedule and decided that I ought to draft an outline for the conversation that might ensue.

You read that right--I drafted an outline. The E.C. Glass high school English department would be proud. And I was only about halfway through it when I started having this dialogue with myself that began along the lines of, "Why are you making an outline for a social engagement with a dear friend? Seriously, what's going on in my head?"

Anyway, it turned into the kind of blathering I normally do here, so--

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I don’t really feel like the “myself” that I used to feel semi-confident about in high school. The hesitant, innocent John has left the building and the man that remains is somehow different. As if I’ve suffered some kind of injury, or mild amnesia—my life is not at all what I would have pictured, and all of a sudden I’ve “woken up” and am this new being. 10 years ago I wanted to be a veterinarian because I liked animals. Now, I’ve almost graduated with a degree in Spanish (I’m proud, but whatever) and I’m working a minimum wage job, waiting to pay back student loans. Not a whole lot is “going on right now,” but that’s semi-all right with me. That’s what I want to talk about.

John: Look at this outline. Who the f*** drafts a goddamn outline for a friendly catch-up and a movie? Shouldn’t these things come naturally? Why are you thinking so hard?

Other John: They do come naturally, I don't know!

John: Then why are we sitting here having this conversation?

Other John: Because it’s important to me. Somehow, this interaction between friends is so dear to my experience that I want to make sure that not a second of it goes to waste. I don’t want someone whose time and presence I value so highly to feel like I am not invested in them, in their experience. I want to make sure I am as fully present as possible, and outlining what I want to discuss and ask her about is a great way of making sure I don’t leave out anything important or worth mentioning.

John: Why do you feel so strongly about this?

Other John: Because I no longer align with the set of values and understandings that I once held as a naive young teenager with dreams of securing financial wealth and the confidence that comes with having a beautiful wife and family. It’s not at all that I resent those things; in fact I DO want those things. But the difference is that, now, I better understand that the processes of obtaining and maintaining material wealth and comfort are far more deplorable (in most cases) than I had ever imagined. It’s like I went to college, found out I was really interested in MORE than making money or being recognized for something—I wanted fulfillment and satisfaction in my heart, in the most basic way. Something about my experience was all of a sudden so fundamentally different from what I had imagined, it made me depressed. Where was the love? I could hardly contain my disappointment. I became cynical. I started to feel like I didn’t want to be a part of “the world” because it was all so fucked and dead anyway. The way people with money and power played the world, meddling in wars, politics, economics—the fabric of our lives—the whole world! It just made me sick to “grow up” a little bit and realize that everything I had been waiting to take part in and enjoy was actually a greasy, lopsided struggle for temporary gratification. And if you wanted long-term success or wealth or whatever, you have to pay for it with your life—time away from loved ones, friends and yourself, your spiritual self—your fucking LIFE. I don’t know—I guess I just got really disillusioned with the way things were and it messed me up psychologically. I felt like I couldn’t be who I wanted to be any more. I had to change my wasteful, greedy ways of living. It made me realize I was taking everything important for granted and worrying about the most trivial aspects of life. So I start investigating spirituality, consciousness, science, humanity, and truth …blah blah blah—

Fast forward to now. I am this totally different human being that is hell-bent on being spiritually/ecologically/economically/sociologically/physically/politically mindful in a way that will benefit everyone with whom I come into contact, and aid in the evolution of humanity’s consciousness. I want to progress the way people think and relate to their lives—it really is MIND over MATTER. Quantum physics and consciousness are already introducing radical changes in perspectives on consciousness and life in our universe; it’s only a matter of time before human consciousness reaches the “next level.”

But these are the things that have consumed my hours, days, months, years even—science, spirituality, consciousness, other universes/dimensions, the “inner space” of the mind—

And somehow I’m trying to bridge the gap from 18-year-old John who just got to college and is disappointed because his experience wasn’t what he expected. The realities were harsher than he anticipated. And that’s ok—that’s all a part of learning. And not all of his life after that moment was bad; it just meant that innocent John had to think differently about a lot of new things now.  22 year old newly “conscious” John wants a simple life in which he doesn’t have to worry about debt, his kids getting a shitty education, or some kind of radiation/chemical poison rotting my pineal gland so that I don’t get to experience the afterlife of oneness.

These are some juxtaposing ideas—“wants afterlife of oneness with the energy of consciousness that binds the universe together, but fears the powerlessness and hopelessness of being JUST a human being in a society of human beings in which the wealthy elite rule the globe, and the rest are expendable guinea pig worker bees." Not exactly the best metaphor, but you get the idea. Anyway, my outlook on life is not actually this bleak… I have hope for the future because I know that things will change—I’m going to be instrumental in the success of this change—the evolution of human consciousness. We all will. This spirituality that has sort of spawned from my obsession with uncovering the truth has altered my perspective. I’m not a super depressed person anymore because I realize that my own mind and my own thoughts are directly responsible for what I experience. But that’s also kind of isolating.

Because I’m trying to live this life of INTENT—love, purpose, direction, progress, change, evolution, peace, harmony, nature, beauty, abundance, nirvana, oneness with all things—I sometimes feel like in order for me to be successful at achieving what I want for myself, I have to disconnect from the world that is more concerned with themselves than they are evolving themselves. So, because I feel this way often, I find myself feeling separate from others, separate from the world that I live in. And that’s the opposite of what I want! That’s the illusion with which I was disillusioned—SEPARATENESS. I want others to know my love, and I want others to feel inspired to share their love! Not because of me, but for themselves, and therefore me, also! It’s fucking crazy, I get it. Trust me, I ‘m a fucking lunatic by most people’s standards… But that’s exactly my point. I let myself not care. I let myself get away with what I do (and think) because it’s myself, and I don't want to be anything else.

WHY FIGHT IT? I’m a great guy. I’m genuinely concerned with the way our planet and its people are being treated. We’re all in this together. It’s cliché, but if someone doesn’t say it, we’re all gonna be dead. There is more to living than having a “successful life” – what the fuck does that even mean? That you have money? That you have status? AND IT’S FINE IF THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS—as long as that’s what it means For You.

People (in America, I guess) are far too concerned with making sure they can afford everything they want to make their lives comfortable. Beyond that, their worries are varied… but that’s the biggest one right now--money! That’s because there exists this entire organization (called our culture, society, way of life—the pre-existing notions that make up the infrastructure for this bogus imposition of a socio-cultural like-mindedness perpetuated by a group of people that is content with letting the rest of us rot) that more or less—(more)—pressures you into homogenizing with the rest of the “melting pot” so that we all come out this grey, slightly overweight, slightly-educated, psychological mess of a person (because of the ADD/ADHD meds, among other things: food/diet/lack of exercise/no value placed on development of self/sense of self/self-confidence/self-ANYTHING) ------ and then we expect to live a healthy, meaningful life.



Many of us do, but this particular plan doesn’t appeal to me. I want to do something bigger. I have delved into my mind and pondered my heart, and what I found after all of this digging is that I care so deeply about our humanity, at such a spiritual and basic level—because I see myself in others—because I see all of us in myself—I want better for all of us. I know that we have plenty of money and resources to make things different, but for some reason we lack the presence of mind. We lack the confidence—we lack the KNOWLEDGE that we are the most capable beings, that WE GOT THE POWER. We are the instruments of our own experience—when we marvel at the world, we marvel at ourselves. It is our own Selves that we do not understand; it is our conscious mind and CONSCIOUS COSMIC IDENTITY that needs work.

This is why I feel that, sometimes, I wish I were separate from the world. I feel that if I were fortunate enough ONCE to be placed in such a high place of power and responsibility, I certainly would not perpetuate a national/global debt that cannot be paid back—an eternal slavery that is separate from the power of the law. I would not fabricate a system that operates based on privilege and exploitation. I would not deny the world a sense of love, peace, justice and balance. And yet, that is the world we live in—one that is deprived of true peace, true abundance, true love. These things exist naturally; but a select few prohibit the rest from experiencing them. 

ANYWAY, because I spend so much time pondering these life-truths, theories, ideas, spiritualities, realities, sciences, conspiracies—I have these “Walter Mitty” kind of moments where I catch myself in a state of semi- or extra-consciousness—I’m just kind of disconnected. And when I “wake” back up and find myself doing something or going somewhere, I have to ask myself what I was doing. REALITY CHECK!

This sounds so crazy, I’m sure, but I don’t know how to explain it simply. I am (trying to be) so involved in the conscious creation of my own spirituality/mental-state/reality that I feel weird about my “public” or “HUMAN” self—you know, the “me” that everyone else experiences. I think about being social like I normally would, and all of a sudden it’s different. I’m still peppy, easy-going, friendly John, just like anyone would remember… But MENTALLY I’m so far from the same. It leaves me feeling like I have to explain something, like I’m some alien being that’s covering up that he’s a goddamn alien. And maybe it has something to do with being back in the same town, trying to fit into a context that doesn’t really match who I am any more. It’s like there’s this expectation that I’m going to be like the old me—the “happy” me, as I would say—and I can’t meet that expectation. WHICH IS ALSO OK… It’s not even an explicit expectation—it’s just that I feel like the ghost of the old John is still here; now that I’ve changed it’s like there are two personalities that inhabit this space and I am expressing the current one. The other is in my head, making me feel guilty because I’m not the hopeful, innocent John that the world was going to love back in 2009. I feel like, “Why am I not that person? Wouldn’t being that person be better?” Not really. That person didn’t know a whole lot. Now I still don’t know a whole lot, but I know a little more about myself

I guess that’s really it—this insane mental distance between the “real” me and the world that I experience. I don’t know why I feel that way. Maybe because if there’s more distance between myself and the (aspects of) society that I don’t want to be a part of, there’s less of a chance of me feeling like I had to experience something I didn’t want. It’s a shell, really, if I’m honest (which I am). I’m trying to let myself see the world as something to which I am intimately connected and dependent upon. The Earth and all of the lives contained within it are a part of my experience, and for that I am grateful. But I’ve made it my life’s purpose to bring out the better versions of our Selves, the enlightened selves that exist at the core of our consciousness. We’re all good people, but we have to remind ourselves of our own power—the power of the mind not only to communicate and understand, but also to deceive and allow ourselves to be and feel manipulated—hopeless. I have felt depressed, manipulated, victimized and hopeless. I am also realizing that I have great power to affect change and therefore great responsibility to affect change… but I can’t do it by myself, and I don’t want to. The evolution of consciousness is perpetual, so I trust that my satisfaction and fulfillment in it will come. BUT THE SOONER THE BETTER AM I RIGHT?! The reality that I choose to experience is my own, and sometimes it makes me feel lonely, separate in a way that I only understand in the fabric of my own mind. But I know that if I am honest with myself, let myself be, express myself and live in a peaceful and loving mindset, there is nothing that I will not be able to experience if I wish it so.

At least I think so. I hope so.


So it’s so.

TLDR-- "I didn't own slaves, but I'm a WEIRDO!" -Patrice O'neal on white people



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Quantum Physics and Spirituality

Quantum experiment with space station over texas; manipulating photons-->quantum "spooky" entanglement theory being researched by the ISS. When one photon of the pair is manipulated in a lab in Texas, its identical/"twin" particle on the ISS will react in direct relation, despite any amount of space/distance in between.

"twin connection" or supernatural bond exists between twin siblings?
strong supernatural bond evident in a mother's relationship with her newborn child. She can often "sense" or know what the baby needs. experience a super-natural bond that exists within the mind? though it is supernatural/metaphysical, it can be felt (6th sense-ish) and known (experienced) in the mind

this spiritually-energetic force that binds our consciousness to our other lives and other individuals' consciousnesses will soon be discovered to be very real... I think quantum physics and the concepts realized by the spooky entanglement phenomenon will be the basis for a human understanding of the spiritual fabric (for lack of a better term) of our reality. "the force."

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The excerpt above is the skeleton of an entry that I wanted to write back in the summer... Never really got around to fleshing it out, as you can tell, but there it is. What's interesting is what I wrote for myself this evening after further investigating some key concepts of quantum physics. After feeling like I had a better grasp of what quantum physics has set out to explore and reveal about our universe, I felt inspired to write. It's rare that this happens, so I went ahead and obliged myself. It's noteworthy to me because I just finished writing about quantum physics and this concept of a universal unity, a metaphysical/spiritual/quantum-physical connection between all living things, and all points in space and time. And thought, "Maybe I should put this on my blog." Weird, because I haven't written in here since March and had plans to delete it. But as soon as I open it up, I see some raw ideas about quantum reality. Anyway, here's what I wrote:

11/4-5/2013

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done this, but I’ve decided that if I really want to achieve the peace and change that I say I do, I’m gonna have to start doing something about it. That means writing, reading, meditating, working out with regularity, and keeping a positive and loving mental state—all while trying to achieve the earthly goals I’ve set for myself.

But what prompted this entry (after a lapse in writing) was my somewhat haphazard discovery of the importance of quantum physics. Totally random, yes, but that’s part of why I felt it was so compelling.

After spending some time reflecting on my day, I decided to start writing again for the sole (soul) purpose of communicating my thoughts with The Universe, The Divine, The Energy, The One Consciousness—and with what I would come to understand even better through my investigation of quantum physics: the True Unity of All Beings, All Minds, All Points in Time and Space, The Singularity, The Shared Consciousness that creates both our inner space and the universe in which we find ourselves.

I was checking my email when I got a notification about a World Meditation that’s going on from 12-1pm later today. That directed me to a Facebook event where I found various links to other spiritual/scientific/new-age “Like” pages. On one of these called spiritualer.com, I was looking at these 'inspirational' quotes over photographs (yes, the cheesy internet ones). Somehow amongst these posts, I read something or saw something that said SOMETHING about quantum physics, and all of a sudden I was like—“I wanna know about quantum physics.” So, I google “understanding quantum physics” (like a naiive jackass) and I watch seven 4-9 minute long videos by this Australian girl, who illustrated some basic concepts quite brilliantly. 





From there, I went on to read an essay, some Wikipedia explanations of concepts, and “quatum physics for dummies”-type articles online. Then I watched another ten-minute video about quantum physics and how our universe is essentially an illusion, producing/manifesting (seemingly) singular events in observable ‘locations’ in space-time (even though all possible events simultaneously occur and are connected in space-time). 





*Humans perceive time linearly, meaning it has a beginning and an end. However, time simply exists. The past, present and future are simultaneously occurring and do occur. The ‘time’ that we use to keep our lives in order is simply a measurement of movement, simply a measurement of an object through space. This is how we measure time—the “time” it takes for one object to move a distance through space. However, this observation is “relatively” (pun intended) arbitrary. Because all points in time and space are connected, time is irrelevant. If we were conscious enough to observe and intimately know this reality, we would be farther along in our exploration of the universe, our own inner space and ourselves as an individual entity expressing itself in all possible ways in the universe. In other words, we are all ‘one’ individual life-force—the creator, the observer, the participant, The living being, and the divine or metaphysical. We are all the same one. We are all of us, and each one every bit akin to the other. 

"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together."

We are all intimately connected, our experiences directly dependent on that of the other. That which we do to/for others, we do to/for ourselves. What an amazing universe this truly is.

And what’s more is that, for me, it starts to bridge the gap between science/reason and spiritual ‘reality’ that I am interested in exploring. Quantum physics and theory are the first signs of proof that the spiritual or metaphysical reality is not at all separate from science, but instead directly dependent upon it. This is the very fabric of our universe. As advanced a society as we are, we’re still barely scratching the surface of understanding the universe and the true nature of physicality; quantum physics, I hope, will shed more light on the common ground between mysticism and science on a universal scale.

I think quantum physics is essentially the clue to discovering that our ‘reality’ is merely a function of our own mind, and that our experience is a direct and immediate (because time is not real) response to what we create for ourselves. All we have to do is choose, and exercise the power of our beautiful, conscious minds to nurture our experience and the experiences of others. (Which begs the question: ARE WE FULFILLED BY THE EXPERIENCE WE’RE CREATING?)


Needless to say, I was inspired. I want to know. I am choosing, and I am knowing. The entire universe is mine to discover and revel in. I know it. I am it. I am constantly creating it, for myself and for others. And others are creating it with me. It is a collaborative effort on the part of all living beings, all that which is life. We are all creating for each other the experience that we share as One.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Reflection on Self-Expression


Writing is my favorite art form. At first glance, it’s just text. All you can see and observe (without giving in to reading and understanding it) is contrast. Before there was writing, there was just a blank page, a white canvas. But as soon as the writing begins, the emptiness starts to disappear. All of a sudden, SUBSTANCE takes the place of EMPTINESS. By writing, you are literally filling a void.

When I was depressed, discouraged, and feeling unfulfilled by the world-path my Self and I had chosen, I started to write. I wanted to understand better what I was feeling. WHY did I feel like I wasn’t good enough? What about myself was I misunderstanding? Why didn’t I get satisfaction from what I was doing?

When we write, we take the purest form of What We Are and we share it. This is the purest form of What or Who We Are, and it’s called an idea.

When we share these ideas, we expose a little bit of Who We Really Are.

This is a divine act. Therefore, writing is a divine act.

Writing is an act of creation; it is one of many ways humans manifest their godly powers of creation and expression.

When we write, we establish a conscious connection with our inner Self. Just as with any other art form, we are expressing in real-time the “Stuff” residing in our bodies that makes us live.  

This “stuff” is called CONSCIOUSNESS.

Consciousness is the very substance that animates us.

When we attempt to express our Selves, or Who We Really Are, we better recognize that individual entity inside us. We are literally closing the gap between our physical and metaphysical manifestations of Self.

By doing this, we are better able to connect with and understand each other.

(This is why I dislike personal reviews and critiques of ANYTHING. Who is one individual to judge the way another individual feels? Maybe they’re not judging how he or she feels, but instead how effectively he or she communicates those feelings?

Well, whether or not they express them effectively is up to only one individual:
The artist. The author. The Soul that bore himself to others in hopes that they would see the beauty in Him. This is divine.

The act of expression is one in which an individual with something to say reaches out to its human counterparts and says, “Can no one else relate?”

“AM I ALONE?” it asks.

What critique is there that would answer that question? Who would jeer or criticize someone reaching out to others? And yet we do! We scorn others’ attempts at art, music, poetry or beauty.

We scorn self-expression, and cheapen it by comparing it to the works and expressions of others (both living and dead!).

We are all individuals. If you will, we are all separate, individual entities. So much so, that we could venture so far as to call each other “gods.”

We’re all gods. Therefore, no one should judge another unless he or she would like to be judged!

“God” is the only judge, the final judge (so say many religious texts). So if that is true, and we’re all gods, that means that we are free only to judge ourselves.

That being said, I am the only one who can judge me, and I can judge only myself. What anyone else makes of what I do or say is irrelevant.)

Writing, like all other forms of art, is a tool for expressing original ideas (the rawest versions of Self)—

YOUR THOUGHTS MAKE YOU WHO YOU ARE.

Does this sound familiar?

“I think therefore I am.” –my main man, Descartes

SELF-EXPRESSION.

Writing is creating. Creating is a divine (as in the purest form of ‘personal’) act. Therefore, writing is a divine act of creation.

All forms of art are used for one thing: expression. We as human beings long to express Who We Truly Are. We want others to know us better, and to see us for the beautiful, godly, creative beings that we are.

This is why music exists. This is why writing exists. Architecture, sculpture, athletics, acting, singing, dancing—

EVERY SINGLE THING WE DO IS AN ATTEMPT TO COMMUNICATE WHO WE ARE TO OTHERS.

ART itself is a human response to whatever meaning we wish to convey. However these feelings or “moments of ‘being’” in which you feel connected to your Self, your soul, and your consciousness—these are the moments in which great works are inspired.

Writing is my favorite way to convey meaning and share ideas, but it’s also the way that I best learn about mySelf. Since I’ve started writing, I’ve figured out a lot about Who I Am. I want to do that person justice, and I want to share the meaning I've found with the people I love, but also with anyone who finds meaning in my expression of Self.

The whole point of all this is to share meaning and fulfillment. 

No matter who you are or whether or not you think you’re creative (because you definitely are), YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.

Your physical body is your pen, and your lifetime is your canvas. What do you wish to write today? What do you want the world to see? What do you wish to learn about yourself? What if you don’t know?

All you have to do is make the attempt. Inside your Self you will find the ideas you long to express, the meaning you long to share with the ones you love. And if you can't seem to find it, it's yours to create! But YOU have to start the dialogue; you have to look for your Self!

Man’s perspective of the world includes everything but himself because he sees from his own eyes. He cannot see what he looks like because his point of view is fixed inside himself. This is the plight of our Selves. We cannot know our True Self because we have no way of “seeing” it. But let’s introduce a looking glass—now man is able to see his own physicality for what it is. Because the mirror offers the exact opposite point of view, man is able to look at himself objectively instead of subjectively.

THIS IS WHAT WE MUST DO WITH OUR META-PHYSICALITY. 

If we are unable to perceive our Selves (our consciousnesses) by looking from the inside out, we must introduce a looking glass—some act or thought process through which Our True Selves are revealed to us. This act or thought process is called "reflection." 

CREATIVITY is our inspiration, the bubbling-up feeling that makes us feel impossible to contain, unstoppable! Self-expression is a great way of showing yourself (your Self) or Who You Truly Are.

The process of “finding your Self” is called introspection or “soul searching;” it creates a metaphorical mirror/window to your soul/consciousness to help you decide Who You Really Are.

Any kind of self-expression is a way of bearing your soul and sharing your consciousness; it not only helps you understand your Self, but helps others to understand You.

All we want is to express ourSelves honestly and feel fulfilled…

 If only we would let each other!

I’m slowly realizing that the purpose of this life is to EXPRESS all that you are—your Individuality, your consciousness, your True Self. Not only will you be fulfilled, but will fulfill others also. “And there was much rejoicing.”



Express your Self. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Life Works

It's important for us to remember what certain things in life are important. If you were to ask anyone, they'd probably tell you that the most important things in life aren't things... what are they, then? 

American culture idolizes fame, money, celebrity and anything larger than its original version. I believe that our society is plagued with obesity, depression and lack of fulfillment in human life because we are seeking out the wrong types of fulfillment. 

We live in a physical world. We are constantly buying and surrounding ourselves with new matter to make our lives more meaningful. We search for things that we can have that will leave us feeling satisfied. But this satisfaction doesn't last. 

We always want MORE. We can't seem to find just what it is that we feel like we need. 

But we feel it! We feel that there is something more, something greater than earning a paycheck, eating and repeating. We look to find satisfaction or greater understanding in religion, shopping centers, job security and our own well-being--"I'll be happy when my family is secure and I don't have to worry about finances, etc..."

Yeah, but there's still something missing. Our lives aren't enough. We're still missing something. I mean, since when is LIFE supposed to feel like it's not enough?! 

This hole in your being, this lack of fulfillment--that is the "missing" feeling. We are missing what we as human beings need most--a relationship with ourSelves. 

This relationship with your Self, or your highest consciousness, is the greatest source of love and energy in the entire universe. When we establish a connection to ourselves, when we've realized our own individuality and consciousness--our own godliness!--then we can start to discover what it is to lead a fulfilling life. 

The aim of most American businesses is to make money. Everyone in the U.S. needs money. We have to have money to survive: to buy food, transportation, clothing, shelter, resources, etc. 

Money is the means by which we receive the things we need in order for life to be carried out. 

THIS IS THE HUGEST FLAW OF OUR ENTIRE GLOBAL SYSTEM. 

We worship money.

Money allows for the inequity in distribution of resources on this planet. If money wasn't a concern, we would all have enough for ourselves and our families, and everything that we had in excess would be shared and given to those in need. This is what seems fair and rational. HUMANe. 

But instead, we allow money to flow in and around our economy. Some people are craftier about making money than others. Some people use their money to buy up resources. Some people use their money to buy and exploit other people. Some people use their money for good, but those people are much fewer than the people who don't. SO...

We have a culture that worships wealth and material success--BINGO. We're gonna be unhappy because we've already learned that physical/material things (MATTER) don't actually FULFILL us human beings. We need something more than what we're able to get our hands on physically. 

***This is because relationships are the most important aspect of human life.*** 

More importantly than money, we need relationships. If you have all the money in the world, but you have no one to share it with, it means nothing. 

Money doesn't make a business. People do. Money doesn't make more money--people do. PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY REASON MONEY MEANS ANYTHING! 

None of our lives--not one single thing--holds any meaning without the presence and well-being of other humans invested in your experience. This is where FULFILLMENT and MEANING come from. They are mutual agreements between humans to share in a beautiful life experience.  

Only we've gotten distracted. Now it's about stuff, success and money--"people suck." 

I know this feeling, and I know it well. I got weary of feeling heavy all the time, like I was the only one that felt connected to my fellow human beings. I can't stand to watch human suffering in movies--it literally makes me sick. I see what some humans do to other humans, and I get depressed. "How will we ever overcome?" We're meant to love each other and share meaning and be chill. That's it. It's easy. But somehow we manage to complicate life and finding/creating meaning into this unattainable thing you work your whole life for and then never have. That sucks--that LIFE sucks--because there's no meaning in it and you withdraw yourself (your Self) from what it needs the most, which is love and human interaction. 

So, I get sick and tired of feeling unfulfilled by the life that so many were content with following that I started writing and asking questions. I embarked upon a quest to find my Self, my True Self, in which I did a lot of writing, thinking, meditating and reading. 

But what helped me was sitting down and having a conversation with myself. I wrote about what I felt. That's all I knew to do. 

It felt visceral, like I was being moved, or pulled. I was being pushed to do something. 

ACTION WAS NECESSARY. So I started writing. And as I got better at writing what I felt, I got better at recognizing how I felt and why I felt the way that I did. 

I came to four important realizations: 

1. My life experience is a direct result of the choices I make in dealing with that "life" experience

2. Feelings (or instincts) are our greatest physicalization or manifestation of a "divine" or extra-physical/metaphysical consciousness tethered to our body (basically feelings are tethers of energy that are given to our physical manifestation of our Self by our highest consciousness or "Self" to help guide us through difficult life obstacles, hence the expression "go with your gut, listen to your heart, etc.")

3. The universe is comprised of consciousness, which is an energetic substance that ebbs and flows through the universe just as it does our own minds. Our most basic form of consciousness is our recognition of ourselves as intelligent beings. However our consciousness is tethered to our metaphysical Self, our "soul." In other words, the physical versions of ourselves--our Selves--are tethered psycho-spiritually and energetically (via the brain, i.e. pineal gland) to the purest version of our consciousness. This is The Entity Which We Truly Are. 

4. The universe does not care about just or unjust, dead or alive, right or wrong. The universe is a balance. Balance is key. By our creator, whatever that force be, we are conscious beings and able to make choices for ourselves. Our choices create the universe in which we live, as do our thoughts. This universe and all of the circumstances contained within it are a direct result of the combined decisions and thoughts of humanity and other forms of life. THIS IS CALLED FREE WILL. If you believe we have free will, then you cannot argue that God is the one to blame for any kind of suffering or injustice on earth. This last realization is perhaps the most important: GOD IS BLAMELESS. We are technically made in the image of God, meaning that we are capable of what a god is capable of. This is true. However, this also means that God is not responsible for any of the stupid stuff we do to each other or ourselves. TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY.

So, whenever we're about to do something wrong, we feel bad/sad/guilty/angry/remorseful, etc... This is because we know that our physical actions have not done justice to our True Self. When we do bad things, or things we know we shouldn't do, we feel bad because our physical actions did not coincide with the experience our soul or True Self/Consciousness wants for us--the experience we want for ourselves (the Self).  

Think of your soul as God. Our souls are the greatest versions of our Selves that exist. Our souls are the best versions of ourselves. When we're given this beautiful physicality to play around in for a few years, to see what we can share with each other, we are made to forget what our consciousnesses know to be True. We forget these things so that we get an original experience (every time, if you believe in reincarnation). 

However, our universe is not so cruel or unbalanced that we are left to figure things out entirely on our own... our spiritual counterparts that are not bound to this physicality are able to offer us wisdom and guidance, if we ask. 

Many people expect to hear it, read it or simply come to know this divine wisdom--many deny its existence. 

However, we all know what it's like to have a bad feeling. An intuition. A premonition. A feeling. You don't know what it is, but you can't describe it. It just doesn't feel right. 

Or maybe it does! Maybe you feel led to write, or speak, to lead others to this wisdom, to a happier way of life! 

Either way, humans know these feelings. They are powerful and are often spoken of as being felt in the stomach (visceral) or the heart. We really feel it in the core of our being, though. It's not in your intestines; there's no place in the heart from which feelings spring... They are not of the mind; they are not of a physical origin. 

If our universe is a large-scale version of a brain (see first post), then these "feelings" are the electrical impulses that parts of the brain send to us to relay important information. Some people deny that these feelings have any real significance beyond the way you feel in your mind... but we all know that it feels good to do what we feel is right. We always feel good after doing the right thing, or helping a fellow human being. 

This is the exact same thing. When you feel good because you've done something good, it's your soul's way of saying, "This is the kind of thing I was meant to do!" Keep it up. 

That's your Self/consciousness' way of letting you know that you're right with the universe. You're doing good, vibing good vibes--and other people will notice that you feel good! It's attractive to feel good, and to do good. The satisfaction we get from helping ourselves and others at the same time is incomparable to material satisfaction... for some reason, feelings are stronger when they are shared between people.

This is how prayer works! Read the post on prayer! We know that feelings are manifestations of divine wisdom, and this way there's no way we can confuse it with something physical or something mental. 

You feel it instead of thinking it. 

Finally, I love this video of Will Smith talking about what he wants for himself. It's relevant because he literally describes the flow of the universe, and how he makes a point to create the life he wants for himself and for others. This short clip illustrates how someone using their celebrity is trying to affect real change in the universe, and it's working. Don't believe me? Compare your life to his and get back to me. 

Will Smith, you are one righteous dude.