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Time Travel

Another Classmates post: 


December 17, 2015.  Xmas Cheer

I reside in St. Louis, Missouri, but my experience feels less grounded—more like everywhere and nowhere. Personal reality for me today is both a blessing and a curse. It also carries an analogy to an earlier experience.

I took physics late in my college career, having switched majors several times before deciding to apply to medical school. I rarely grasped answers to physics questions without effort, but blindly following intuitive hunches usually proved effective, if not reassuring. I ended up with the top score out of 325 students. Essentially, I was highly focused on getting into medical school and did nothing except study all day long.  If not fun, it certainly was compelling. 

The analogy today is with philosophy, psychology having shot itself in the foot as behavioral science. The program I am trying to get into is Eternity 101. We appear to have a blind spot in our souls, the understanding of which feels analogous to grasping a physics problem. Reason alone tells us clearly that the world is spiritual rather than material. Reality exists, but no substance backs it up. Also, time, space, and cause are conceptual—when is the last time you caught a glimpse of any of these?  The Idealists, Plato, Spinoza, Berkeley, Kant, Fitche, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Royce, and Hocking, all saw the world as fundamentally spiritual. But viewing it that way today appears so counter-intuitive that common sense laughs it out of court. The truth of this debate becomes of utmost importance to the human race, since it determines what we are and what we may become. And like a physics problem, I do not yet get it but am aware of that deficit. Socrates would be proud of me. I, however, am not so thrilled. 

Yet perhaps we can understand ourselves, and trying to do so becomes a must. Ernest Hocking had an important aphorism that has become a part of my thinking: "Ask not whether something is impossible, but whether it needs to be done and if the finger of responsibility points to you". Few in my environment are working on the spirit/matter controversy, and about as many are interested in it. Responsibility seems to be pointing at me, and I cannot wriggle off this hook. 

However, alone with a compelling purpose, even at Christmas, is not a bad place to be. My life may yet have a final act, perhaps its most important one. So I am not bored, even though I do little else besides work on this problem and care for my dogs. Life is full of meaning, and hope appears to be more than an illusion. The essence of hope, by the way, appears to be placing “will” rather than “perception” as the basis of truth. That is a quantum concept. Hopefully, it will grow on us. 

                       ---Go Bears. 






Christmas 2015


See our Christmas greeting at Bill's Corner. 
Real poetry for real Christmas, even if a
paler shade of green. 











Soundtrack

Here is a soundtrack for Chapter Two, Cast Away
                      






                           
 




















Chapter Two

Here is part (loosely edited) of Chapter Two. This is becoming even more a book of a different quill. (click on picture for pdf) 
updated 12/8/15
















Better late than never

My post on Classmates.com:

       €"The past is not dead, it is not even past". I keep reliving that precept today, which relates to my experience of having a judge ask me at age twelve if I wanted to be adopted by the Andersens or go to a boy'™s home. (I was a black-market placement with them as an infant.) It seemed a simple issue of security back then. Today I cannot stop dramatizing it as a choice between disingenuous in heaven or reality in hell.  
         I chose heaven back then and ended with empty. Fortunately the past is not dead yet, and I get a chance today to choose reality. But, as expected, hell follows with it--”just look at the content of this post. Pain, loss, suffering and stress exists in hell, but so does hope. Empty, however, leads nowhere. Purpose and hope might be as good as it gets, even in hell. 

The take home message here is to pay cash for your hope. Do not buy it on credit. 

So off I go to do real--and fend off the bats. 








Coming Home

Coming Home is now a completed work. I shall post this notice and then move on. This is not a brief work, nor is it conceptually easy. But rather than apologize for these factors, I shall simply quote Baruch Spinoza: "All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare." 

In quoting Spinoza I appreciate that I face hubris from one perspective, yet lack of responsibility from another. Responsibility wins.   

                                                        The book is just a click away. 






New Stuff

Anatomy of an even newer book. Click on wagon wheel. (updated 11/25/15)








MacArthur park

"MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!"

This  new book is my MacArthur Park. Jimmy Webb, the author of the song had trouble getting it published (not so here), and after publication it was voted in some circles as “worst lyrics” “worst song ever” (possible here). I do not expect accolades for my work, but it is mine and I have come to cherish both its eccentricities and truth. This will be my major public contribution, such as it is, to the universe. 

Here are the proofs from the printer for the final work. Use the two page view, if possible, to get the actual effect. 
                                                           
                                                              Click on picture for pdf.  








Therapy



It is one thing to read a book, another to read a page. In readying the book for publication I added a page to the chapter on therapy. It sums up my 40 years of experience, mostly with PTSD. Here is a post-traumatic stress disorder primer in one easy lesson. 

"In Reflection: This reflection comes about three years after the original text, as the book is readying for press. What I thought was extraneous, the therapy at work, proved to be merely a part of the central issue, subjectivity. Nothing has changed about my views
of therapy, although I noticed the difficulty we had in describing our group orientation. No description is going to work for “orientation” because the very concept implies a focus when the problem lies in the whole. Good therapy employs all the orientations, and everything else as well. At that point it becomes closer to life than to therapy.

Trust has been broken in PTSD and it is not coming back. Therapy cannot fix permanent. The term is typically conceived as making repairs to get back to the original. But we will never forget a trauma sufficient to cause post-traumatic stress disorder. Looking away is the last thing you want to do. Facing it is the only thing that works. The door of the dragon has been opened and it can never again be closed. 

Therapy can point out the dragon, suggest avenues to deal with it, but the real action comes in living. PTSD is a disconnect between stress and resistance. The individual is overwhelmed. The dragon (unexpected danger) runs free, disrupting all other activity. But one can build up resistance. That does not occur merely with thinking. It requires action. The dragon needs a leash. This can be done. The dragon can be contained. It can perhaps even become a friend. But that is going to happen in life, not in an office, and with actions in the real world, not by doing homework."

                                        (click on he picture for pdf of the two pages.) 



















Finished Book

We have a finished book, perhaps three years in the making. It might corner the market for this type of book, if there was such a market.  At the risk of appearing pretentious, I still must say that this book might be important. Perhaps vanity is less of a danger than not speaking one's truth. 

                                                       Click on photo for pdf  of book 







Berkeley

I am doing final preparation on Coming Home, and have just finished sections on George Berkeley and Gilbert Ryle. This is as good as I can do, and if I must say, I have seen worse. Click on the picture below for pages 106-191 of the middle book of the trilogy. These sections can stand on their own. 














All the Difference

Hometown heroes are frequently reunited at sports events today. At halftime of a St. Louis Rams game a cheerleader was surprised by the return of her soldier husband from the Middle East. God country and apple pie. Can it get any better than a young man returning from preserving our freedom to a wife supporting our spirits? Well, yes it can. 

It is quite one thing when such support springs from the heart. But that does not seem to be the case here. The Department of Defense pays sports teams for these reunions. It helps recruiting. Adding our tax dollars or Federal Reserve inflation to the story diminishes its value. (And yes, we have inflation. The monetary authorities just cannot direct where it goes. Inflation is commonly defined as an increase in consumer prices, but today that is only in the offing. At present, because of zero interest rates, the money goes into the stock market and into the reserve currencies of the entire world. When the world tires of our assets, the chickens will come home to roost.) But that is a different story for a different day. Today, the point is that a message from the heart mixes poorly with the incentive for profit. The community did not sponsor this event; government did.  

Our local newspaper has a beautiful picture of the reunion, showing a full stadium, a handsome soldier, a beautiful cheerleader, bright lights, and fancy cameras. But this reunion should be an end, not a means. That distinction does not just make a difference; it makes all the difference. And this is not just about philosophy. It is about life. 


I would show you the picture from the paper but am not sure who owns it. If a lawsuit would get tried in Federal Court guess who would win. So instead, here is a picture outside another stadium. Creativity under duress. 














Trilogy

The second book in my trilogy is dressing up to go to press, or wherever books go these days to meet the public. Requiem set the stage for the second book, Coming Home offers a road map to the future, and Resonance will chronicle the actual journey. 

Coming Home has been several years in the writing. I hate to go back and review my work, fearing innumerable grammatical errors, or worse, that it has killed itself in contradiction. Visiting the work done perhaps three years ago now, I am pleasantly surprised. I say this not to toot any horn, but because we are after subjective truth, and that is quite what this is. My reaction is something like “whoever wrote this stuff, it is pretty good!”

So as the reticence hopefully recedes I shall continue to make ready for the dance. We now have 107 pages all dressed up. If I attend to this review it can move along pretty quick, but there is no rush. Coming Home needs a nice summary in the final chapter. That will take us to 650 pages. This effort transformed itself in the process, ending up essentially following William Ernest Hocking as our guide to just about everything the world has to offer. He is that good. Or at least subjectively that is my reality. But, paradoxically, subjectivity is quite our method. And I grew up around this conflict, so this is not just academic. The world is more than input; output counts quite as much. So that Hocking is my favorite philosopher puts real points on the official scoreboard. Good for our side! 

Click on the finished cover, and read the cover as a pdf (we waste no space). And the next 107 pages are also dressed up for the dance. (first song: Emmylou, by First Aid Kit)








About our rights

“Social media” is an oxymoron, at least for me. “Antisocial media” would describe it better—it is comprised largely of fits and epithets. And it is hardly media. Little useful information is provided. A heap of soap boxes is more descriptive. 

Nevertheless, I wanted to respond to an article on Facebook  but could not get my comment to post. So I am putting it on this site. It is about human rights. Human rights are not Christmas presents, and here are three other comments about them: 

1. For every right we receive we incur a responsibility. What others have to grant to us; we must reciprocate to them. No free lunch here. 
2. We have inalienable rights granted to us in the Constitution, but they are funded in God, and if no God, then no rights. 
3. Rights are only good when the sun is shining. Everyone can write insurance policies if no one ever needs them. When the going gets tough, the tough get going—away. 

Here is what I waned to say. It is about adoption, my native tongue, and the post I was addressing listed a bunch of things that adoptees  ought to have as rights from their significant others. I did not disagree with the list, but only with the “rights” part. I wrote: 

“To say that I deserve some approach to my adoption appears to insert a value judgement onto the part of another. The other, too, deserves to feel whatever he or she feels, even if that includes that he or she feels we claim too many "rights". But I will cut all meaningful relationships with anyone who disparages my reality. That is easy enough to do once we realize its importance and can pack our own lunch. However, unfortunately, doing so leaves precious few relationships. The world does not see adoption as win/win. It is a wrong side of the tracks issue to them. And packing our own lunch might leave precious little to share with conventional appetites. But it opens the door for innovation. 

We have no rights that we do not secure for ourselves. Everything dependent on others hinges on the direction of the wind. This is not just about securing food, shelter, and internet apps. It is about conceptual issues as well: beliefs, purpose, the nature of the universe, and our place in it. These are the basics of life; only you can protect them. And only you can give them away." 

(Sorry but this is so central to my experience right now.) 




Multitasking

Royce was providing my current reading, the teacher of Hocking, the two of whom are considered the last American Idealists. I do not know quite what the “American” part means, as there seem to be so many variations, but I get that Idealism means matter is a product of spirit, rather than the other way around. Royce fit nicely into my current understanding, and I was sailing through the fifth of his major six works. He can be like Kant, which is almost insufferable, but as the topics vary so does his intelligibility. When he heads to logic and mathematics, I do blank—but determined. 

Anyway, I simply will not follow him in two conceptions. If he tries to substitute community for God, then I bail. And when he thinks we can teach loyalty socially, rather than find it having evolved intrinsically, I simply trump him with my more extensive training. He was not a psychiatrist, and will not win a tussle about psychodynamics, unless he is creating them anew. 

So I retreated a bit from feeling I will ever transcend Hocking as a guide, and that is fine. But the unfinished book is almost all derived from Hocking, and revisiting took me back to what have become the basics. It is good to return to the blocking and tackling, rather than focusing on seven deep-blue passes on three. I can do both, work on the new, and review the not quite new. I am dressing up Quantum Psychology to make it ready for the dance. It is not just spell check and grammar; what I want to do it keep it as up to date as possible before publication. So I am inserting little commentaries at section changes to add something from today. Here is the latest.  (page 71) 

The picture is not just for effect. I am aware you cannot read the words. But it is both words and effect, which you can see my clicking on the page for a pdf.