Monday, December 27, 2010

Mind blockers

I have been reading Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds. Dr. Kaku is a well known theoretical physicist, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics in the City College of New York of City University of New York, and the co-founder of string field theory. The man is amazing in so many ways, but for me, he is the guy that can take something like string theory and describe it in such away that even I can understand it—at least as much as I care to understand it.

In Parallel Worlds, he spends a little time reviewing the history and the personalities behind the great cosmological theories throughout time. Of course, the great turning point in that history came with Sir Isaac Newton, who was able to stand up against accepted “science” of the time and propose a whole new theory on how gravity kept the cosmos in order. And of course, later, in the late 19th century and early 20th century, more radical theories came into focus, including Edwin Hubble's theories that the universe was expanding and that there were more than just one galaxy in the universe.

And then, along came Albert Einstein with his general theory of relativity which completely uprooted Newtonian science and opened the door to the modern quantum physics and eventually, string theory.

Here's what impressed me the most about the history and the modern scientific notions concerning the universe, or multi-verse as it is becoming more widely understood. So called “science” while in past centuries purported to give absolute answers to the nature of our existence, has been time and again found to be absolutely wrong. But this is not all. The very institutions that set themselves up as the authority on all science, strongly resisted every theory or finding that proved their contemporary thought to be wrong. In fact, it was not just “resistance.” At times, they used brutal economic force coupled with vicious personal attacks to attempt to discredit any theories that contradicted the accepted explanations.

Modern theorists cannot reproduce the cosmos in the lab. It is known that Albert Einstein employed intense day-dreaming, or what many call visualization, to arrive at his general theory of relativity. He proved it out by observation and mathematical calculations. This is common practice for theoretical physicists. Some have even based their theories on accepted “scientific facts” ultimately ending in error that is corrected later by someone that opened the mind to alternative understanding of the universe and physics. Some have been corrected by others that have found error as they try to expand or build on the theories of others.

Is it any wonder why many of the atheists that claim to be solidly founded in “science” immediately remind me of those very wrong patriarchs and authoritarians that so sanctimoniously dismissed the theories that have now come to be known as truth. And just like these blind believers of the mainstream sciences, atheists can't seem to get beyond the current catechism of the scientific institutions. Talk about a group of people that blindly cling on to doctrines that are as vulnerable as any other religion, the atheists fit that description to a tee. They simply dismiss any thought that does not conform to their current doctrines. They engage in vicious ad hominem arguments against any notion of spirituality.


I cannot tell you absolutely, that I do exist as spirit. I cannot tell you absolutely that God exists. I can tell you that I have experienced events in my life that cause me to believe that is true. “Science” in no way precludes the existence of spirit or God in my mind. Even so, atheists employ the same strict legalistic interpretations of science every bit as much as do the text based authoritarian religious leaders. I do believe it is sad that some people choose to deny any possibility, even in the face of growing evidence in quantum physics that spiritual existence is possible.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Maisie

When I saw her, I stepped up to the gate and let her sniff my hand. “Hi, Sweetheart.” I say that to all the dogs, but this little girl was different. Her hair had been shaved off because she had been neglected and the hair was so knotted they had to cut it off. She had one tuft of hair tied with a bow on the top of her head. It was cute, but must have been humiliating to her.

She was an eight-year-old Tibetan Terrier, all of twenty-two pounds, and almost a strawberry blond in color. She had been at the humane society adoption center, and because of her age, not many people kept an interest in her.

She politely sniffed my hand as if to say, “Thank you for talking to me, but I know you won't want me.” She walked away. I called my wife to look at her. The dog greeted my wife in the same way. We quickly went to the find a volunteer to help us adopt her. There was something very special about her, but we didn't know for sure what it was.

The next seven years with her were expensive, but We had never had a dog quite as smart and as interesting as our Maisie. Our first major expense with her came after many vet visits because of urinary infections. The doctors finally decided to see why the infections just kept coming back. They found that her bladder had polyps, which gave wonderful breeding grounds for bacteria. It cost us $2500 for surgery to remove the polyps. It had already cost us a few thousand dollars to treat the urinary infections they caused.

Maisie was not dog friendly. She seemed to be driven to attack other dogs along the trails as we walked her. One day, she tried to attack from the middle part of a slight hill. She jumped up, and as she came down, she landed wrong on her left rear leg. She yelped and fell to the ground screaming and licking her leg. I called my wife to pick us up. I carried her about two blocks to get her to a street where I could load her into the van. The xrays at the emergency animal hospital revealed she had popped her anterior cruciate ligament and displaced her knee cap. The visit was nearly $500. The subsequent surgery to repair the damage was about $1800.

Then we had another bout with urinary incontinence. Tests ran close to $400 and revealed she had diabetes. From that point on, Maisie would cost us a minimum of $200 per month routinely, but most often the vet bills and medicine ran much more than that. Even so, there was no way that we would give up on our little girl. She had won a permanent place in our lives. There were a few more trips to emergency rooms when her blood sugar would become seriously out of balance. One emergency visit cost us $700. She was in serious trouble on that visit. We pulled through again.

She was now approaching fifteen years old. I began to think that her time to leave was coming up. I asked her on a walk one day how I would know when she wanted to leave this existence. One of those strange things came immediately to mind, “When I no longer enjoy walking.” It was clear to me.

After nearly seven years with our little Tibetan friend, things took a turn for the worse. She was losing weight rapidly, she did not want to eat, she was getting dehydrated. We were about one-hundred miles from a vet the day she fell to the ground and went into convulsions. She recovered, but we spent the next day driving to Ogden, Utah where we found a good vet. The vet was gentle. “I can keep her over night and do tests on her. We can see if it's ketones or something we can treat.” Her underlying message was clear. Maisie was very, very ill—irreversibly ill. Maisie squeezed up to me as if to say, “No, I don't want to stay here and I'm tired of all the poking and the prodding. Please don't put me through anymore.

“Should we consider putting her down?” my wife asked. “It is an option to consider,” the doctor replied.

It did not take long for me to make up my mind. It was obvious this precious little girl was hanging on because she didn't want to hurt us by leaving. She could no longer enjoy her walks. They were painful. Everyday was more and more painful. I could not stop crying. She had become my best friend.

The doctor left the room and an aide took Maisie away to place a drug portal in her leg. She came back. Maise laid down by me on the floor. I petted her and talked to her. She went to sleep. Then the aide gave her the final lethal injection. My girl was gone and I could not shake it from my mind that maybe I had made the wrong call.

The following day, we returned to the vet to pick up some items we had left at the vet's office. The doctor called us into a room and assured us that we had done the right thing. "I found a big tumor around her liver and spleen. She would have lived only a few more days.” I felt better, but I was still unsure.

Tonight, I thought of that sweet little girl laying on the floor by me when she died. She came to me trusting me but I betrayed her, I thought. I started crying uncontrollably once again. My little Cooper, our Lhasa Apso ran to me and jumped up on the couch and covered me with kisses. Then that quiet little voice that told me “when I no longer enjoy my walks” came back and assured me, I had fulfilled my agreement with her. She was ready to go and was asking me to let her go when she pleaded to not leave her for more testing at the vet's office. That little girl gave me so much joy and comfort when she was with us in the flesh. She still hangs around to give me assurances now.

The Spiritual Universe By Fred Alan Wolf

Well, I have say that I should have read Michio Kaku's Parallel Worlds first. Then I would have had a good review of string theory which would have been helpful in understanding Wolf a little better. While I appreciate Wolf's sense of humor and writing style, I'm afraid he lost me in a few places. Even so, I could hang in there enough to understand his basic message. Einstein's General Theory of Relativity along with an understanding of the Heisenberg principle of uncertainty helps explain our spiritual existence as well as how we can exist on this earth as well as a spirit in some other place. It explains the Qabalistic notion of how what is done on earth is also done in heaven.

For me, it was once again affirming, but probably a lot deeper into the quantum mechanics of things than I wanted to go.

Reading Micho Kaku now. Hmmm. I contradict myself all of the time, don't I?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The God Code

I read Gregg Braden's God Code recently. In spite of all the good things I have heard about it, it was a disappointment. Why? Well, because of all the good I heard about it, it was not what I expected.

Here's the thing: when I professed to be a Christian, I spent 20 plus years studying all the proofs, Biblical and extra-biblical that what I professed was right. I spent hours synthesizing all that I read so that it fit within the narrow lens of evangelical Christian theology. All of that reading; all of that thinking; all of that synthesizing has left me exhausted, frustrated, and perhaps even bitter. When it comes down to it, in the end, I believe whatever I believe in my heart, not all the volumes of stuff that tell me what I should believe and why I should believe it.

Sadly, The God Code struck me as just another synthesis; another synthetic justification for believing something. Braden takes about one-hundred-and-fifty pages to synthesize the connection between the tetragrammaton (Name of God) and the elements of air, water, and fire, to DNA and our humanity.

Let me make it clear, I am fully convinced that we all carry the spark of the Divine; we are all derived from the Divine Mystery, the Source. I am fully convinced of it. Even so, I'm not so sure that I would take on the task of trying to say that our DNA is derived from the written name of God, especially since that name in the form of the tetragammaton is found only in middle-eastern literature. It is a stretch.

Listen, God, the Divine One, the Great Mystery, however you wish to name the Creator of all that is and is not, is what It is, and what It created is part of what It is. Why waste 150 pages to link it to something like a written name?

Well, Braden goes on to speculate that if everyone just realized that we are made up of the stuff in the Divine Name, that we would see the world in a different light and we would treat each other like we need to treat anything that is of the Divine. Wars would end, exploitation of our Earth would end, etc.

OK, let's explain this to the radical way-out extremists of any religion, while they cut off our infidel heads supposedly in the name of this Creator. As much as I love and respect Gregg Braden and the work that he does, I think some how he lost touch with the reality of how unreasonable we, "man the wise," can be. Isn't that so tragically ironic?

I want to whine

I want to whine. I am tired of having everything figured out mentally, yet nothing resolved in the heart. I really think that putting something on an intellectual level is really a cop out; it's hiding from the reality of who I am while I try to wrap up who I want to be in my mind. That way I can convince myself that "I am working on it" and doing nothing to really implement the thoughts and actions that need to be implemented to become who I want to be. The Apostle Paul says it is such in such a great way, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15)

I have been hiding. I occupy my waking hours with anything but me. I don't want to look at me. I don't want to mess with me. It is too overwhelming. I don't know where to begin, and what's more, just maybe it's too damned hard to be what I want to be.

Deep within I hear the words: "Just surrender. It's that easy. Stop trying and just surrender to what is. Let it be."

It seems the more you want something, the harder it is to get. Perhaps the key is "I want." As long as "I want" I am still seeking for myself. I just don't get it, do I? I want to be who I want to be for myself. If I become what I want, it is a badge of honor, to my edification. The self is everywhere there. It passed my mind just briefly tonight that I need to put my eyes on the "other" and forget this entity called "self."

Ha! easier said than done!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It has been a long time since my last entry. My favorite story about Hillel the Elder is when a gentile came to Hillel and asked him to explain the entire Torah while standing on one foot. Hillel responded quickly, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”

After all of my reading, after all of my thinking, after all of my explaining, after all of my prayer, I have found, after all, that life is quite simple. All we need to do is live it. Everything else is explanation and not worth the effort to write, or the breath to speak.

The bottom line in life is unconditional love of God, the Source, the Creator, the cosmic consciousness, whatever you want to call it. I am a spark from the Divine. I choose to live as a spark of the Divine, to be peace, to be love. Anything else I can say is just commentary.

This is probably my last post. All you have read will some day go into oblivion. But I am eternal. I will continue to live and to learn. I will be love. I will be peace.

As the Reverend Jerry Williams sings:

All that is in me, all that I am, there's nothing I withhold from Him
All that is in me, all that I am, will glorify the Lord