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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. 



                                                                            







Book Cover Rules

This website is essentially about books. Requiem started the train, Quantum Psychology followed, and now we head to Resonance—with Quantum Psychology not even yet finished. But all that is needed there are a few summary pages at the end, and some editing throughout, along with a few contemporary comments thrown in as it concludes. 
I have jumped forward to the new work because it fits my personal quest better. The whole series is a trek, first to understand society, then to understand psychology, and finally to understand reality—i.e., a useful and complete thesis about the nature of the world and our place in it. Essentially, I have gone from materialist to spiritualist (Idealist) and in the process conceive God as the cornerstone of everything. 

But this is not our father’s God. A new understanding is required. Truth does have its consequences. Quantum Psychology evolved as it progressed and ended up with its touchstone, William Hocking’s, The Meaning of God in Human Experience. Everything we need to know about living perhaps can be found in that book. But this is not just multiplication tables. Memory alone is of minimal help. Knowledge has to become real, a part of experience, and that means that we leave the blackboard and get out on the field. Resonance is about doing exactly that, but it has its corollaries. They entail a new psychology, not as a parallel energy field or an epiphenomenon of little baby particle-minds, but as an awareness of the logistics of thought, i.e. looking at what we look with rather than what we look at. We know God by appreciation, not perception. 

And we need a new metaphysics. Materialism has run its course. It has its place, but not at the center of the table. We cannot find purpose in multiverses or god-particles, and without purpose we collapse. Intuition screams there is danger ahead. We better listen. Science is not God. 

If this sounds like a big endeavor, it is. But if it needs to be done and the finger of responsibility points in one’s  direction, then I guess that settles it. Time is running— last time I checked.  

Here is today’s version of the new cover. Getting a cover is like signing a contract; it forms an obligation to actually write the book. Yikes! Perhaps you cannot judge a book by its cover, but if you make a cover you have to write the book. 





The Poem on the cover: 

                      I walked a mile with Pleasure;
                         She chatted all the way;
                         But left me none the wiser
                         For all she had to say.

                         I walked a mile with Sorrow;
                         And ne’er a word said she;
                         But, oh! The things I learned from her,
                         When Sorrow walked with me.
                                         —Robert Browning





Facebook Post

I am not a big fan of Facebook, although it does spread the news. But I made the following post, which follows the presumption that people put up there what they think matters. 

On Facebook: 

"Sorry about the repetition. I am trying to learn to speak Facebook, but apparently remain essentially illiterate. The following video is a four minute music video that attempts to capture the experience of returning from war. It is not a therapy. Actually, the word "therapy" is the kiss of death to improvement. Therapy attempts to reconstitute the original. We can do that for a broken leg; legs do not remember. But PTSD is about broken trust, and memory is forever. One cannot fix permanent. Reconciliation or atonement works, but only by stepping beyond the broken into something of greater value. Look up, not down, for meaning and purpose.

Oh, and look above for the video."


**Actually, here we have to look down for the video, since my website provider is having problems connecting to Youtube. Or you could copy/paste for the final, higher resolution video   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaiRsRIJ1SQ




Air Pressure

We have a bit of a problem in the United States with one of our sports, American football. The game itself has a problem, but that is another story. At issue here is what it reflects of our society. Tom Brady, the poster boy for the game, plays for the New England Patriots, the most successful franchise recently in the game. They cheat. Everyone knows and sees that now. The focus at present is on the player, but it should not be. A shocking piece of information came out yesterday that Brady destroyed his cell phone so the league could not access relevant information. Why did he do that? Is Brady the only bad apple here? Certainly not. He most likely destroyed the cell phone because it implicated higher ups (if that is possible, considering Brady is seen by many as our greatest living citizen.) The coach is a spokesman for arrogance, and the owner is not far behind, or even ahead. Brady is protecting the whole lot, not just himself. That is no excuse, but nether should he be the fall guy. At fault is the whole team, perhaps even the city. 

“Just win baby” used to be the mantra of the Oakland Raiders, the west coast bad boys; now the Patriots express it. Quite simply, if integrity is sacrificed for gain, then society suffers. The liver can only steal so much blood from the pancreas before the whole body suffers. Win at all cost entails self destruction. We survive only as a society, which needs to have some semblance of trust in order to run effectively, if at all. That football has now become antisocial is alarming. But a four game suspension is not going to fix anything. If everyone thinks individual, whereas we survive only in common, then we all go down together. Sport merely reflects society. We are in big trouble here, and not because of tainted Superbowls, but because we embrace nothing other than the adjective “more”--more money, more square footage, more cheating.  We are bereft of purpose, and can now only keep score with numbers. But value is not numerical. Creative purpose does not come with a price tag—and we have lost sight of that. There is no value in more than is necessary, but when nothing else matters then all we have is arithmetic.  

Sorry about the dreary report. Perhaps truth carries its own weight and it might help us value victory as an end rather than a means. Football is not war; it is a game. But then it does reflect survival. That is why we play games. 








Conjunction

I do not wish to push the previous video into the past, especially since truth is an acquired taste. The video below shares a perspective with the following verse, i.e. difficulty, so I place them together. The whole might be greater than the sum of its parts. 

And  difficulty is not impossibility; it just requires more faith and determination. At the bottom of this perplexity lies metaphysics, i.e. the assessment of the reality of existence. Thought will be required here, but the outcome is more important than the latest ball scores or fashion design. The goal might be,  perhaps even has been, found in Spirituality—not as cause, but as mode. 

The poem and video together perhaps points to an insight, which would be that the answer lies in the Whole, not in the parts. 

Omar Khayyam: 

“Up from Earth’s Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate
And many a Knot unravel’d  by the Road;
but not the Master-Knot of Human Fate.

There was the Door to which I found no Key;
There was the Veil through which I might not see:
some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was—and then no more of Thee and Me.

Earth could not answer; nor the Seas that mourn 
In flowing Purple, of their Lord forlorn;
Nor rolling Heaven with all his Signs revealed
And hidden by the sleeve of Night and morn.” 

Omar was talking about materialism, the metaphysics of today. Night and morn are not good enough. Spiritualism (idealism) is not just wishful thinking; it is quantum psychology. 


Living with the gun


My life now breaks down into theoretical and practical. Theoretical deals with whether there is a God or not and how we might verify this issue through experience. The practical felt like an essentially different issue (psychotherapy), but the two now appear to be inextricably related. So I oscillate and am fine with that. 

Recently the focus shifted to practical, and with a flurry of effort we put together a music video. It basically presents the position of combat vets upon return to civilian life. The audience this most directly affects are the vets returning today, but as a country we have a responsibility to these people, and it behooves us to have some understanding of their problems. Here is the effect of combat experience in a four minute video. I have seen 170,000 patient hours in out-patient PTSD therapy groups, so have had some experience here. Also, having once been  an United States Air Force Major adds a useful perspective. 

Bill Langanke wrote the song, the lyrics, played bass in the band, and provided the reflection. I simply added visuals and recorded it. This is entirely a home grown product, organic maybe, even. 


Robert Andersen, M. D. 



 
  

Checkmatch

Two men are playing chess and while doing so are also discussing whether or not there is a god. Let’s call them Bob and Bill. Bill insists that since God is incarnate (without form) we can never know anything about him. This is, as I recall, Kant’s position, so Bill has significant support. The thesis that we will never know rests on both God’s imperceptability and the assumption that by his being so much greater than us, we could never fathom his ways. Two punches, one apparent knockout, at least a TKO. 

But wait---rescue by analogy (something to always keep in mind when threatened by loss of consciousness). Bob falls back as the opponent fires a third punch, “How can you know there is a God if you don’t know what he is?” Bob’s defense goes to the game at hand, the chessboard (grasp for present moment when in doubt). He counters,  “How can you keep playing this game if you cannot see the ending?  Bill is taken back. He responds weakly,  “because I know there is an ending.”  Bob retorts, “That’s it, so too with God, I know there is an answer.” Saved by the bell. 

God is an indicative issue, not simply conjectural. This means that He either exists or does not, unknown we might concede today, but a real fact with a yes or no answer. We do not know  'what', but we know  'that'. So we keep playing the game because there is an actual, real, substantive answer out there--one way or the other. 

We have relativity theory and quantum mechanics today as a product of the previous century. It gives us more information. It lets us know that we only understand the rules for middle sized objects, not the very large or very small. How is the concept of God any different? Both positions, theism and atheism, make their points. True we are perhaps flipping coins today, but perhaps we will get better coins.  We might have science that encompasses reason, perception and subjectivity in the future, rather than just perception. So we keep playing (asking), because this answer, and there actually is one even if we cannot fathom it, is the fundamental question of life. 

We can be busy with things, wonderful, distracting, practical,  defensive, or disturbing as they might be; but meaning comes from the top down, and without God the top is humanity. In my view that is not high enough, and this is my song so I can write it any way I want. Pessimism can be either a weakness or a strength, depending on whether the issue in contention is possible or not, real or imaginary. I do not think we can ever get the proper perspective of ourselves viewing us from within. We need to have a way to get out. God offers that, a Grand Emperor does not. The Grand Emperor still would sit on a throne that has a cover. Borrowing from Becker, that says we can never get beyond contingent. Contingent is never absolute. It depends on something greater than itself for its existence, and so on, forever. Absolute is what we need to complete ourselves. “You complete me” (from Jerry Maguire)  can never be completely true of another human being. But it can be of God. 

This is quite where I am today. I know there is an answer, but am struggling to formulate it. This is apparently not something one can delegate. We each have to provide our own answer. It is like singing our own songs, the making of which, gives a song its value. Memorized experience is not learned experience, one is simply a cover band for someone else who creates. Good perhaps for a band (good copies count for something),  but not good enough for life. The answer to the big questions must be something we achieve, not simply borrow. The truth is in the experience, not the concept, and without the synthesis there is no conviction.

But there is an answer, a yes or a no. So we keep seeking. Seek and Ye shall find. No one is going to hand it to you. You do not want to face Manny Pacquieo in the ring without preparation. And while that issue is best handled by not meeting him at all, the metaphor it represents faces all of us. God and death are issues confronts everyone, and I contend facing them is better than bucket lists for distraction. When have you ever done anything from a list that was anything but a chore? We don’t need reminders of things we want to do.



Menlo-Atherton High School

It is the time in my life to tie up loose ends and try to put everything in order. The books are about that, but life is not just books. There are corollaries to books, some of them looking backwards. Since “the past is not over, it is not even past” (Faulkner) I had words for my high school class. This might be viewed as practical consequences of the writing (books). It feels real, and since subjectivity is hypothetically now our contact with the Absolute, I will share this. It perhaps carries more meaning than I appreciate. It suggests that we have choices in life between purpose and pleasure. Life forced my decisions, but like coffee, it produces a taste one can get used to, even prefer. Coffee, black, please:


"May 25, 2015: The rest of the story: 
        I get that Classmates is largely for sharing interesting life events and reminiscing about the good old days, all with an optimistic attitude that might step a bit heavily on truth, perhaps an all-comers version of ESPN. But maybe optimism has a variant grafted on more durable roots, albeit not quite as glamorous. 

It does seem to me that this might be the time in our lives when we should reflect on what life is all about. If not now, when? If we had submitted written expectations for our lives to be placed into a time capsule and opened some time like now, my expectations would not have been close, but not all on the short side. On balance, things just turned out different, quite different. 

On the down side, I have precious few relationships. My adoption (black market) severed all ties with natural family, the adoptive family failed by pretending to be real, and my children do not seem to be happy with the person I have become. I was professionally social, a psychiatrist/therapist, who has probably seen more combat PTSD patients in out-patient groups than anyone else on the planet (170, 000 patient hours), yet little of that carries over past employment, and a strange thing happened on the way to personal integration. 
 
The adoption issues proved to be much more significant than I ever anticipated. I learned about that issue at age twelve and just looked away, as instructed. Lessons learned from the vets and myself are that psychological trauma sticks around until it is faced, and facing it involves significantly changing one's life. Reference points change, and there is no turning back. I do not fit, almost anywhere (a result of conflict resolution), yet knowing that allows me to be genuine (albeit different) everywhere. I am now totally lost in my writing. Not that anyone really cares, although the website has 200 or so people each day (160,000 visits), but this is hardly a connection. Any connection is internal. I feel grounded. That is the good part of the story. The bad being the non-fit with the rest of the world. I am the guy who sees the sky falling and talks about it on the internet. (We no longer have to run around nailing posters in town squares) The fact about this issue is that nobody cares about the sky falling, until it does. But so be it. Somehow in the fifty-seven years (perhaps to the day) since we graduated I have come to see it as my job to formulate a Plan B. 

My note in the time capsule would have predicted a much more conventional life style--travel, dining, friends, etc. But what I seem to have instead is a compelling sense of responsibility about the sky falling, and a need to understand, as well as a fascination with, the whole. The good with the bad. On balance, not quite a wash. But there appears to be an inherent paradox here that puts someone in one camp or the other, which is that purpose and pain somehow go together. No pain, no gain. OneRepublic has a cool song (I Lived), which has a line that goes, "hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad". That would sound strange to someone seventeen, but perhaps not to us at seventy-five." 
         
                 ---Cheers, Robert 





The beginning of editing

Looking forward to Resonance and backward to Coming Home gives me balance. Here is some editing, which brings the Foreword and Introduction up to speed. Just click on the camera. 








Blackbird

Intelligent Design is the method of creation in theism. Theism is the position that postulates a higher power in the world, a God.  Physical law determines the process in atheism. Atheism, by its name, excludes a god. All is matter and motion. The picture below reveals intelligent design, human style. It can take a picture sharp enough to read an automobile license plate from 80, 000 feet, flying by at 2500 mph. We should be proud, or maybe not.

Brilliant in technology, we are brain dead in self reflection. It is a spy plane. Does the world need better spy planes? Will that make everyone safer? Might we not aim a bit higher?  Good fences might make good neighbors, but I doubt that better espionage will increase our popularity.

Our problem seems to be that everywhere we go, there we are. We fail to see our part in personal experience. Experience is a two way street, not just a collection of perceptions. Aristotle postulated four causal perspectives: 1) material, 2) formal, 3) efficient, and 4) final. To connect abstract to reality let’s consider the construction of a Boeing 747. First, it is made of matter (material). Second it is put together by some sort of design (formal). Third, something puts it all together, the production line (efficient). And finally, it was constructed in the first place for a purpose, i.e. to fly a lot of people a long way (final). 

Science can deal only with causes one and three. It usurps the second method although it has no warrant to do so. This is because it entails purpose (human) and science defines the world as entirely causal. We cannot intentionally do anything, but rather are simply driven by neuronal discharge. There is no consciousness in nerve cells, and purpose disappears along with consciousness. Pool balls and quarks do not think. Their happenings are called chance, and their language becomes empty. 

My point here is that while this airplane is technically brilliant, it is subjectively inane. It’s fourth Aristotelean cause presumes that more power directed at others will improve the world. If the ultimate abstraction in the question of human survival lies in the issue of friend or foe, then we have opted for foe and need secure our future through violence. If the essence of stupidity is continuing the same course and expecting different results, then the dunce cap fits us. Human history is largely the story of conflict. Maybe we need a new paradigm. How about cooperation, something that is not viewed as second best, or something we have to force ourselves to feel, but rather some genuine understanding of ourselves as subjective beings that carries its own battery pack. 

My professional experience was as a psychiatrist; let’s call the field Psychology. After forty years of experience I am entitled to an opinion. My opinion is that psychology, as it is generally practiced today, is no better than it was before the scientific revolution. “Behavioral Science” is an oxymoron. To throw away mind in favor of reflections off of body makes no sense at all. It is pretend science. We cannot view our minds. We experience ourselves, but not through a “mind’s eye”. There is nothing to see, hence nothing for science to work with. So we make great airplanes in order to spy better on our possible friends and think this is as good as it gets. Force will never work, and the clock is running. Our technology to deliver weapons will outrun our ability to eliminate the need to use them.  We need to aim higher than 80,000 feet, and I am not talking altitude; I am talking in terms of consciousness. This is a big picture problem, not one in the colloquial world of pool balls. Dare I say we might live in a world of consciousness and matter, rather than consciousness from matter? That might sound effete, like philosophers hurling epithets at each other. But smart might not be impotent. It brought us to nuclear energy. Perhaps it can save us from it as well.