Monday, July 09, 2007

It doesn't compute....

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Sure, evolution explains the physical advance, even the mental advance of human beings, along side the physical changes and slightly increasing mental abilities of the animal kingdom (the fauna) and, yes, the plant kingdom (the flora).

And the whole evolutionary track, particularly slow and not so deliberate – consider the dinosaurs – throws a chink in the armor of the Intelligent Designer.

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The piecemeal pattern of evolution is hardly intelligent, but that’s obvious to Darwinists, and the creationists, and neo-creationists, have to accept, at some point, that the whole of creation was conceived by haphazard natural selection or a procrastinating Creator.

The universe, with its infinite longevity, is also a product of chaotic physical laws – not Newtonian laws, but meta-quantum laws – or the plans of an addled Creator.

But that’s not the point here exactly.

Avatars, such as Moses, Ankhenaton, Lao-Tze, Jesus, Mohammed, Joseph Smith et alia, all brought soppy bromides to their audiences; they brought nothing of a technical or quasi-technical nature – nothing that would advance or help humankind survive materialistically or practically.

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The gods who supposedly proffered information to prophets or their alleged progeny were highly deficient in the physical laws of the universe or refused to divulge those laws for some obtuse reason.

And the promises of an impending paradisiacal Eden never materialized, and still haven’t arrived. (See Jesus dictum that his generation wouldn’t pass away before the things he promised would come to pass: Mark 13:30.)

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So what is the program? Is procrastination as much a part of nature as it is for the gods? What’s the end-game? Is there one?

Neither evolution nor an Intelligent Designer, or even a Supreme Being, appears to have a conscious, well-thought out plan for humans or the Universe.

It just doesn’t compute….

14 comments:

Bruce Duensing said...

Hi
I read this post and was surprised to find that we both seem to be on a tangent track as both my last two posts have been on human evolution or more specifically the lack thereof.
I intuit that inasmuch as Darwin himself considered adaptability above fitness etc as the key component of his theory of why species either flourish or perish, perhaps we also share a sense of dismay, whether it is unfounded or not, that we, as a species dont appear to be very adaptable at all these days.
My own view is that our own evolution is linked to that of our planet and the signs appear to indicate neither one is doing very well...

RRRGroup said...

Bruce:

In subjective terms, what happens to the Earth or humankind doesn't really matter, does it?

We live, we die.

What's the point?

Now if there's an afterlife, that's something else, but even then what does that matter?

What can we do to enhance an existence in an afterlife when we have no idea what that afterlife consists of.

It's nihilistically futile.

Bruce Duensing said...

Youve baited a large hook.
In regard to subjectivity, it depends on which definition you are using and what are you comparing and on what scale and in what state? I have no simple generic answer as to whether all experience can be reduced to subjectivity, however the fact that I am typing this response and that you will read it is a manifestation of a common phenomenon that would be difficult to define by saying this is simply subjective phenomenon in of itself. However I recognise that some experiential phenomenon is purely subjective such as the passage of time, which, on a deceptively empirical basis depends on breath, or rotation, or any number of scales of measurement, whether it is a hummingbird or a planet etc. I think to label all as subjective is akin to reductionism and as a useful tool, I relegate this term to an exclusively intellectual cognition that discounts other pre-existing factors as well as other forms of awareness and cognition.
If you view the surface of things particularly from a static, linear point of view, yes, we are manifested, function and then cease to exist if we can fully make the assumption that what we observe from what we can view can be said to be the end all and contains all the potentiality of knowledge.. However, in simple terms its all about choice, discernment and most importantly self valuation in relation to the same in others which is dependant on a non intellectual function..for lack of a better term, the heart, for which I intuit that this is the focal seat of our experience. The switchboard computation of a hard drive, and all the software is not the phenomenon of manifestation communicating to you in this comment section. The same applies to my brain which not only possesses these in its own form but also functions as a transceiver. In other words, I am arranging and formulating this message, yes, from my fingertips, from my computer desk etc but ultimately I am viewing both myself and this page from a non local perspective. You and I as well as all of the rest of us are explorers sent by one who seeks to explore oneself in a mirror image as we seek ourselves in a reciprocal arrangement, which are two sides of the same coin. From my own perspective, when you depart the sensate world your interior becomes your exterior. So is this next realm subjective?
So again its a valuation on a personal point, on a more global scale, simply put, I do not want others to suffer from either choice, ignorance, desire or circumstance. Perhaps all four apply. They do to me.

RRRGroup said...

Bruce,

We know that you're a cogitator of the most extreme kind. (That's a compliment of course.)

And I assume this latest post, with its Cartesian implications, is meant to be uplifting in a way.

The problem (if it is, indeed, a problem) lies in the "fact" that we (no one of us) has defined a categorical imperative for our existence.

That is, what's the purpose of this communication between us, and what's the purpose of being generally?

Yes, we observe reality, or what purports to be reality. And since you and I both share the same observation, I guess we can say that we have an objective reality at our disposal.

But it ends when we die.

Then, perhaps, we move on to another realm, a continuation of our existence even, in a different format -- a spiritual format if you will.

But where are the parameters of that next realm, if it truly exists?

And how does one prepare for it?

The various theologies are awfully vague about this.

Do we continue to advance, explore even? Or is it pure Nirvana?

Sartre's No Exit deals with this, from an atheistic slant obviously.

But religious "insights" by the prophets, Sons of God, et al. are woefully inadequate.

One would think that the gods (or their messengers) would be much clearer about the afterlife they hint at.

But that aside, what do we do with this seemingly here-and-now, tangible existence?

Do we blog our way to an understanding of our purpose here?

And what is that purpose? Just to be, sometimes primitively, that is without full use of our senses and intellect (as is the case with the bulk of humankind)?

I don't get it. And apparently the greats didn't get it either.

Well, maybe Schopenhauer, but that's it.

RR

Bruce Duensing said...

The catagorical imperative is to have an interesting discussion..just kidding, perhaps. Viewing Being exclusively through an intellectual lense as to a singular cause or reason from my point of view will bounce like a blocked e-mail due to the fact it's akin to using a hammer to thread a pipe...or perhaps a better analogy is attempting to derive an accurate analysis of air by deleting all our neurological imputs except our eyesight. If we view this situation of existance in it's ultimate existential end as a isolated and singular manifestation with absolutely no basis of comparison that provides no opportunity for self exploration, you have some indication as to why we exist from the point of view of a Creator, and we, in effect, are Co-Creators, similar to, but ultimately incomparible to our source, whose purpose is our purpose, in a reciprocal exchange of gifts, which, for each of us, these gifts both internal and external are different, for some it's children, or an artistic bent, a analytical gift...our unique task as the official representive of the One who sent us here to maintain our small portion of this, by being good stewards of resources, help one another, eliminate as much suffering as we can, and so forth. This is a planetary nursery for sentient being, we arrive here to develop something unique, differentiated,formed dimensionally in the space between exterior and interior realities, which has the opportunity to form an independant existance within the larger levels of eternity, to create..to have responsibilities in accordance with our understanding in the willing cognition that it is an honor to serve this oppotunity. What happens when you dream, in the hands of the little brother of so called death? You create your realm. Beyond that, there are no lines of demarcation set up except by us in the narrow view of the intellect by names, definitions, conceptualisations, etc. Mistaking a term for a reality. A book I think you would enjoy was written by Rodney Collin entitled The Theory of Eternal Life, which was ( the last time I checked ) was available free on line. Another good one is the Metaphysics of Imagination by Ibn Al Arabi.Very specific non vague guidance. You asked which prompted an opinion, but then again, I think all of us need to seek our own conclusions...and not believe any old tale...without a skeptical mind...it takes work, payment in work..false leads, blind alleys, no road and no road map, only the proverbial mountain men, the explorers who ventured there and returned with a catalog of recognisable objective landmarks..surveyors of this new territory...no guarantees when we embark...some will perish, some become get distracted and become bakers....some end up in locked mental institutions.

RRRGroup said...

Bruce:

You are an eternal optimist, in every sense of those words.

The interaction you suggest, between the Creator and us, seems viable.

That is the Thing or Force or Being that brought this existence to life seems interested in deriving vicarious thrills and emotion from our human vicissitudes and imagination.

Our pain is sought. Our sexual creativity too. And most of all, our creative enterprises: music, art, literature, language, et cetera.

But the Being (or Force) that generated humankind to interact with sometimes gets jealous -- as the demiurge of the Hebrew Bible (Yahweh) exemplifies.

And when that Being (or Force) experiences jealousy, those who create better than It are punished: Beethoven's deafness, Joyce's blindness, Van Gogh's insanity, and so on.

Those who create sexual joys that the Being (or Force) cannot experience (by virtue of Its amorphous entity), get AIDS or cancers of the breast.

Jung's "Answer to Job" states the mind-set of God, who begat Jesus in order to expiate His (God's) sins (malfeasances) directed at His creation.

And Jesus, as Man/God, felt the emotions and physical abuses that man had been subjected to.

But this didn't quell the jealousy of the demiurgos or the God above god (whichever one is in charge here).

Thus the creative greats have been maligned, or worse, and creation, sublime creation, has been subverted and remains subverted.

So, as we state elsewhere, the Moby Dick syndrome -- where God is sought (hunted down) -- will only bring down disaster upon the heads of those seeking Him (It).

But you think better of that Creator, and maybe you are correct, but the evidence isn't in your favor.

RR

Bruce Duensing said...

To me, The Great White Whale is quite naturally the figurative and literal the embodiment of nature itself, which, from my point of view is neither good nor evil in of itself much like Jung's concept of Abraxis. To seek God can be a dangerous proposition as for every insight there are countless self deceptions, dead ends, figments of imagination, projected desires masking as piety, as well as pride.
However, should we attempt to conquer or destroy nature in an act of misguided judgement based on desire,I agree, we will destroy ourselves, using nature or in this case, the white whale as our chosen actor..it will crush our little ship and the crew The whale, much like the Creator, gets the expediant defacto blame all the time for the deeds we should responsibly ascribe to ourselves, in this specific case, the self justification of vengance. I also agree that we have subverted both nature and our own potentiality, but then again if a Creator threw the ball instead of us what would be the point of the exercise without choice, without the musical interval we call accident..it opens possibilities both good and bad. Taking away the ball, the field, the players would not lead to any potential learning curve, if that occurred, one would be better off creating a waxworks, but then again, without the critical faculty of conscience, some are already dead and are unable to discern this. The irony in this is that we are ruled largely by the dead. Someone once said life is like stepping onto a boat thats about to sink. It's a conditional bridge as in the parable concerning the potentiality of growth by sowing seeds,and the condition of the soil not all seeds take root.
Its not rigged process, although at times I wish it were, of course, rigged in my favor,its that subtle whisper echoing softly with persuation in my inner ear.."you deserve this...you should not have to bear this..who is going to care?" As if all this were not enough we have to contend with the Imp of The Perverse. Poe and others found that genius is often an impractical curiousity in other mens eyes, with no value as it cannot be easily exploited in a profitable return, except in hindsight.

RRRGroup said...

Bruce:

Melville's whale is Evil, just as the Gnostics proclaimed, as you know of course.

The problem is this: Are we subject to a demiurge, or a Supreme Being that is aloof and removed for all practical purposes; or are we alone with physical laws and an impersonal nature from which there is no recourse, now or later (after we die)?

The clue to an Evil Creator or perhaps an impersonal creation (the atheistic view) comes from the suffering of innocent children or good people.

The suggestion that there is a separate entity such as Satan to account for such suffering is bogus by our reckoning. Either God contains an evil nature, as Jung postulated or Nature doesn't give a damn about human suffering; it (nature) is non-sentient as we all know.

To pursue the essence of God or Nature is a folly, as the Cabalists told us.

We humans exist to exist it seems, with no reason other than that.

We do not affect the Universe surely, and we only degrade the Earth, so purpose is negative at best or inconsequential altogether.

It (existence) just doesn't compute....

Bruce Duensing said...

In my view, the Creator made manifest a self creating process once, which is all that is required. Any tampering is in opposition to it's purpose. Nature, on the other hand is the essence of tampering, for it's own purposes. The Demiurgic contingent is allied with nature. To term this realtionship evil is to lose its subtle nature. You will have to define evil for me as everyone appears to have their own definition. Just as The Creator is not an elderly Jewish man with a white beard, Lucifer is not a horned monster. All of these are iconographic attempts to, in effect define attributes of our own nature.As far as a quest for God, the Sufi's would respond, "He is as close to you as your jugular vein." We have been given an opportunity and if we discard it, then it's poor manners and denial to make blameworthy the One who provided it. Maybe it's a software problem...ha..ha

RRRGroup said...

So, Bruce...

You think, if I have it right, that the Creator started this existence and now sits back, hands off, to let it work its way out in a free way. (No predestination here!)

That's an acceptable philosophical position of course.

Our view (my view) is that the Prime Mover created existence, is existence, and is beyond comprehension.

The god beneath that Prime Mover --the demiurgos, created the Earth, was comprised of malevolent (or insane) intentions and good intentions (marred by Its insanity).

Yahweh is the archetype.

That Creator (Yahweh) is dead, and Christ also. The Holy Spirit -- the soul of that Creator (and Christ's) -- is intact however.

I could also accept a God and a Satan (or Lucifer), contending for humankind, but neither is the God above god(s).

For a complete exegesis of Jesus and then Christ, see the two books (one entitled Jesus, one entitled Christ) by brilliant theologian Edward Schillebeeckx.

The God or Creator whose essence is existence is conscious of humankind and indirectly created it (via the demiurge) perhaps, but humankind is inconsequential; even the dinosaurs had more consequence at some time in the evolution of the Earth.

(Or were those creatures a product of the insane demiurge?)

I get the impression that you think God or the Creator is accessible.

Maybe so, maybe so.

And is the Universe (or all of them) in existence for eternity, with bubbles of renewal (The Big Bang in our area of the Universe (or better, the Metaverse) that bring life into recurring existence as the Vedas say, cyclical existence as it were?

Well, I have a migraine now, conjuring with all this....

Maybe you can sum it all up, in a pithy way.

RR

Bruce Duensing said...

"Questioner: How do you know God? Abu Asa'id al-Kharraz: By the fact that He is the coincidentia oppositorum. Corbin's commentary: . . . the entire universe of worlds is at once He and not-He (huwa la huwa). The God manifested in forms is at once Himself and other than Himself, for since He is manifested, He is the limited which has no limit, the visible which cannot be seen. This manifestation is neither perceptible nor verifiable by the sensory faculties; discursive reason rejects it. It is perceptible only by the Active Imagination (Hadrat al-Khayal...) at times when it dominates man's sense perceptions, in dreams or better still in the waking state (in the state characteristic of the gnostic when he departs from the consciousness of sensuous things). In short, a mystic perception (dhawq) is required. To perceive all forms as epiphanic forms (mazahir), that is, to perceive through the figures which they manifest and which are the eternal hexeities, that they are other than the Creator and nevertheless that they are He, is precisely to effect the encounter, the coincidence, between God's descent toward the creature and the creature's ascent toward the Creator. The "place" of this encounter is not outside the Creator-Creature totality, but is the area within it which corresponds specifically to the Active Imagination, in the manner of a bridge joining the two banks of a river. The crossing itself is essentially a hermeneutics of symbols, a method of understanding which transmutes sensory data and rational concepts into symbols (mazahir) by making them effect this crossing."

-Ibn Al Arabi

RRRGroup said...

Bruce,

The Ibn Al Arabi commentary, which Jung would condone and endorse, as would Joseph Campbell, implies that God is a subjective (back to that!) manifestation; that is, God is perceived or intuited perhaps by the percipient in diverse ways, depending upon the accumulated sensory data of the person perceiving or intuiting.

(Note the varying mandalas that Jung collected.)

That's why science eschews serious discussions about God (usually); the differing beliefs or accounts of God do not coalesce into one entity.

God is all things to all people, and with the addled mental capabilities of humans, how can we come to a consensus about what God is?

That's been the problem with philosophy also, not just religions.

What we need is one God, and not the God of Moses, to whom we can address our antagonisms for the human plight(s).

Bruce Duensing said...

Unfortunately, I can't offer any assistance in supplying a clearly delinated definition of an "objective" Creator because God is incomparible. There are similarities in comparitive relationships, beyond that evidentiary phenomenon, there is a delimiting factor that must deal with differentiation, apparent in individuals, cultures, perhaps in the various planetary species which may exist. Each relationship is inclusive according to their understanding, while excluding no one. We are all human in species but each is unique. This is a personal relationship as intimate as this term applies, if this is subjective by the view of another, its understandable.I think you would agree that an objective God as a practical matter leads to dogma, which leads into the result, to the history of religious wars based on delimiting concepts, rules, pre-conditions, intermediaires...all of which are reductionist attempts to pin the incomparible. So, I respect where you are coming from, but one size does not fit all. A living Creator within us rather than a totemistic portrayal, and if we were to see beyond the veils, who is to say we would comprehend what we see because in a sense, this objective conceptual model is a supposition that we are prepared either in evolutionary terms, or our state of being for that, and this should require no effort on our part to rise rather than the Creator descend, which discounts an incentive to grow. Why cant a seed bask in the sun when its in the ground? It could, but whats the point? Thats as objective an answer as I can give you, but perhaps the two of us could meet with Carl Jung on the other side, we may come up with two entirely different impressions, does that mean there is no Carl Jung?

RRRGroup said...

Bruce:

This is the problem for science: that God (or Whatever) is non-measurable, intangible or, rather, ineffable, to the nth degree.

You hope (or believe) that this shall all be resolved on the other side.

One could wish that this is so, but it becomes more evident every day (and with every discovery of science) that the other side may not be what we think it is.

The Vedic verses and the concept of Nirvana may be closer to the truth or reality that awaits us: eternal bliss and quietude, with no dynamic(s) of any kind to get us all worked up, as is the case in this reality.

As for God -- do we care? Does it matter?

We can outgod God, with our own aoofness and disinterest in Him or It, just as Him or It is disinterested in us.

And God is disinterested. That's the reality which we can't deny.