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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. 



                                                                            







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.