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The Declaration of Independence and Constitution are the basis of the law of our land. They have served us well since the beginning and will continue to do so because they are based in First Principles.
All right then—what are First Principles? First Principles are what IS—everything else is based upon them; nothing exists without them. They cannot be deduced, nor can anything be deduced without them. In Latin: ab initio. They are what in mathematics are called axioms or postulates. You may use givens.
TRUTH is a first principle. So are the EM (electromagnetic) Spectrum and Gravity. TIME may also be included, as well as PERFECTION. For us, EARTH is a first principle, as are its atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. (The ultimate first principle is a subject for another time…) We’ve dealt with these before and will again.
Numerous blogs in this website deal with first principles. Without these, neither science nor philosophy (or anything else) makes sense. They must be assumed.
ETHICS is a first principle, being founded in and one with truth, and the Constitution is based in these: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The rights protected by the Constitution are private—the bill of rights is all about individual rights. Government exists to secure, NOT PROVIDE OR LIMIT, the rights of the individual. The Constitution says so. This is important!
Modern progressive philosophy advocates social, political and economic reform—putting government in charge—which requires changing the Constitution. Progressive philosophy holds that we are in a post- constitutional era and that our system must change accordingly. Progressives favor government expertise, science, technology and especially education, as the solution to perceived societal weaknesses, individual rights be damned. This requires a belief in the ability of government experts and in efficiency of government intervention. The Founders were right to warn against this.
Our modern Administrative state would place the collective welfare of the people over liberty and render private rights subservient to collective rights. The problem is that THIS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
What IS constitutional is of course the Constitution itself and its foundation in the equal protection of individual rights. This of course demands an obligation of individuals to protect the equal rights of their fellow citizens. This in turn requires that THE PEOPLE BE A MILITIA, anathema to progressive thought.
Does this seem like we’re getting off the subject? Well, consider this: Putting all your faith in government negates the need to think for oneself. Just trust government. You don’t need protection because government will take care of everything. The problem is that a police state is required to make this work. http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=576
If you subscribe to this line of thought, then you deserve whatever you get, and the time will come when you don’t want it.
The first ten Amendments to the Constitution clearly support those individual rights which constitute the very spine of our nation. They include the right to trash the government, and here comes the right of militia and the all-important Second Amendment.
Surrender your Second Amendment rights and you surrender those of the First as well, and the rest won’t make any difference. Trade independence for security and lose both.
Be careful what you ask for. You might get it. The Constitution—it’s the American Way. Read it! And support it! If you want to amend it, the rules are there, and clear.
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE (Part II)
Part I of this article told of a peak experience I had about twenty years ago and something of what I’ve come to know from it. http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=827 It concluded with a brief narrative on the consciousness that underlies the Universe, and how we are integrated with it. Part II concludes the article with something of what I’ve learned from it personally. It’s here for your consideration. What you do with it is up to you…
The Big Bang theory about the beginnings of our universe satisfies most of the scientific community because: 1) it makes sense; and 2) vital parts of it can be proven. Basically it postulates that the universe began about 13.7-billion years ago from a singularity—a dimensionless point—whereby mass (no less than the entire mass of all that makes up the universe) was created (sorry for the word, but give me another—how else would one define it?), virtually instantaneously and totally, from …what? WE. DON’T. KNOW. Actually, particle physics, quantum and string theories suggest answers, but for now let’s just stipulate that whatever “it” was had to be there prior to the Big Bang. Anything greater than the universe must be important!
It follows that this primal singularity must be the source of everything that follows, both material and not (like our minds), dimensional (how many of those are there?) or not. Further, there’s no real reason to doubt that it still exists.
Please realize that this is a subject that can’t possibly be resolved at this time. We can’t use the product (universe) to prove its source (?) any more than we can use science to prove its source (philosophy) or words to prove reality. We can’t begin to explain the origins of that initial something/nothing that fuels our existence. There’s no standard by which to even estimate it, nor do we know that one is possible. We don’t even have the words to articulate it. For instance: Because of the non-existence of time before the Big Bang (our very concept of time depends on matter in motion, so time in our terms could not have existed before matter), that singularity cannot include time and therefore must be by (our) definition ageless, dateless, timeless and continuous. We could say, for now at least, that it could be eternal and immortal (maybe even instantaneous? Now there’s some food for thought…).
Since we can’t use the terms energy or force because their scientific/engineering meanings can’t be used to define their precursor, it is perhaps best described by the philosophical term dynamis (of which energy is its actualization), which will have to suffice for now.
It may come as a surprise that this suggestion of some eternal singularity (and its undeniably spiritual overtones) springs from the very science that often seems bent upon proving otherwise. At any rate, we may postulate with some certainty that whatever preceded the universe not only still pervades everything in it (and perhaps–why not–beyond?), but also is continuous within it, existing in an unbroken continuum within and between quarks, solar systems, constellations and galaxies. It was, is, and will be, at least until the end (if there is one) of the entire system that contains it. Disbelieving or not accepting this potency doesn’t change it (it doesn’t matter): if the Big Bang makes any sense at all, so also does the idea that we must be given of it and whatever preceded it, whatever else we may be.
So much for the (quasi-)scientific aspect. There’s another. The stuff of religious philosophy, at least in this context, turns out to be no more or less than assigning the dynamis preceding the universe to some entity, power, potential or what have you that precedes (and pervades) our world. This singularity is universally continuous from mankind’s point of view–a given. It was, is, and as far as we can know, will be—ageless, dateless, timeless, eternal, immortal, all-being and unproveable. Given these parameters, many religious philosophies (along with Isaac Newton, arguably the most brilliant and influential scientific mind of his time—possibly ever, for that matter) choose to equate it with an all-powerful supreme entity. (And why not? Consider the Big Bang vs. “creation theory.” Darkness must have preceded the Big Bang, light not being possible without mass and energy. How different is this from conditions preceding the pronouncement: “Let there be light!”? Both require an initial darkness, and what’s the cause of the Big Bang anyway?)
Are they wrong? Was Newton wrong? Let’s just say that you don’t know, nor do I. Without making judgment as to the validity of any particular religious belief, it seems clear that for there to be a universe at all, there must at least be some primal cause beyond our current ability to comprehend. We may debate its origins or purpose, but it’s reasonable that it was, and is, there. And it is scientifically consistent with the Big Bang, as far as science can go with it, as well as with the spiritual proclamation re: light.
So. What does all of this mean to you and me? It means to me that we are integral parts of the whole, not only in the world but of it as well. We are part of what’s happening and, while we have no control of it, we do have control of what we, individually, do with it. It doesn’t matter what anyone or any situation does to us. We can only accept its being done. Whatever happens, happens; it’s our reaction to what happens that determines its effect on us—we can only deal with our response to it. But each of us is responsible for his own life and its effect on others. This means that we retain ultimate control of ourselves. We are truly autonomous, responsible for and in complete control of how we handle our individual lives. And we all have the same resources!
In order to live right, you need only be right. Life continues, time passes, and things move ahead. You can even stop thinking. But you cannot stop knowing. And once you know that you don’t know what you know, you will begin to know more and more. Let it come to you–you don’t have to chase after it.
If you’re aware, you will realize things that even the highest levels of science cannot teach you, because you already hold the knowledge. Wisdom is a gift, there for the taking if you will only accept it, within each and every one of us, no group required. You can be in complete control of your life, directing it wherever you choose. The trick is to know yourself completely and believe what you already know. It’s all there for the taking. That’s your project—the rest of it, all the rest of it, doesn’t matter.
One thing I’ve learned, and it’s about ethics: Knowing that mankind will progress in any case takes some of the pressure off each one of us but doesn’t excuse our personal responsibilities. These responsibilities are best served by living the truth. It’s all about truth. Life itself is a truth. Truth is the norm–the way it really is, the way it’s supposed to be—a primary First Principle. Any doubts regarding what to do are resolved by reverting to truth. We can always return to an even keel by returning to truth. It’s universal, a given. We do not define it; it’s simply there for the appreciation of it. Not accepting it is our loss.
“Human beings do not realize the extent to which their own sense of defeat prevents them from doing things they could do perfectly well. The peak experience induces the recognition that your own powers are far greater than you imagined them.” Colin Wilson…and I can second that.
You may wish to read the book. It’s built on this fact.
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE (Part I)
About twenty years ago I experienced a life-changing epiphany. What caused it I can’t say, but I know that it happened. I was there, and my life since that time is witness to it. The story’s in two parts, both from my book, To Tell The Truth… PART I follows. PART II will come later.
I was in anything but a spiritual mode when I fell asleep one clear and moonless night in a Colorado B&B, but about 3AM I shot bolt upright in bed shouting “It doesn’t matter!” loud enough to wake myself up. The room was in white light—bright but not overpowering—and there were no shadows. It was still dark outside. Hard to imagine, but true.
Why I woke up just then or what didn’t matter wasn’t clear, but I experienced a sudden perfect insight of my place in the universe, instantaneous but complete, that immediately began to fade. I remember desperately trying to hold onto it as it (and the light) faded—it couldn’t have lasted more than a few minutes—but I only managed to grasp a few points before it was gone.
I stayed awake—how to sleep after something like that—frantically thinking and trying to reason with what was clearly unreasonable, and made a few notes. What didn’t matter? But after what must have been about two hours I fell asleep, exhausted and thoroughly confused by what had happened.
What had happened? The best I can tell you is that I was truly enlightened in the strongest sense of the word. And while I learned a lot, it was merely a tiny fraction of what had been revealed to me in that instant. But I came away from the experience with a new and lasting appreciation of life that has benefited me ever since, and continues to manifest itself in different ways with time. I’m a lucky guy.
After the initial shock I felt a total calm—equanimity became a part of my life. Situations somehow became simpler and as time went on I realized that I’d lost all fear. Where the thought of dying had been literally paralyzing, that had disappeared—totally gone. I found an empathy and new appreciation for everyone with whom I came in close contact—unusual for me. They tell me that I became a better husband, father and person generally. And I found a new sense of purpose. For some reason I was driven to become a student of ethics and to write a book about it. At 60-years of age my life had been wholly transformed. I’d had a “transient moment of self-actualization.” I’d had what I found out later to be a peak experience. http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=620
I had no idea of what that was—I only found out years later while reading philosophy and ethics and discovered the psychologist Abraham Maslow. All I knew at the time was that I’d suddenly become a different person for some reason that wasn’t at all clear. It continues to unfold, and it continues to amaze.
This I know: I’ve been graced with a spiritual appreciation, metaphysical not religious, that defies description. At the risk of appearing less than rational, I’ll try to relate what’s been made clear to me and what I’ve been able to piece together in the years following the event.
“It doesn’t matter!” Why this sudden powerful awakening in the middle of night? What exactly is it that doesn’t matter? (Begging the other side of the coin: what does matter?)
The best I could come up with at the time was that whatever was or will be doesn’t matter. Things and situations come and go, leaving only traces as they pass through the now. What matters is the omnipresent now. And what matters is not so much what we do, as that we are when we are. We’re all here in our own time for some reason, the primary why being that we exist—nothing happens without that—and every one of us is important.. We (not it) are what matters, and when we are here matters every bit as much.
Mankind will reach its goal in spite of any one of us. But this gives us freedom to experiment to our hearts’ content, even foul up our own lives and those of others, and it will still advance and still reach its goal.
We live in a reality that we experience but do not–cannot–understand rationally. We know enough to fool ourselves into believing that we can know it all, which keeps us from discovering what’s right in front of (and within) us. We accept some givens but deny others. We believe that we can work it all out logically. But the fact is that we can’t because it is, in fact, irrational—truly beyond us. We can only begin to understand what is beyond understanding when we know that we cannot know, shut up, and listen.
When it comes to the ultimate purpose of the universe and mankind, it doesn’t matter what I, or you, or anyone thinks. We are inexorably on a path to the future, the length and direction of which we have no clue. Mankind will survive and progress in spite of us. The puzzle of the universe is what it is, no matter the shape or size of our individual pieces.
This doesn’t mean that we, individually, don’t affect its direction or pace. What we do individually in fact has universal effect (because we are indeed universal beings), even if it doesn’t appear to affect substantially our immediate surroundings. But, at least in this context, What matters is not so much what we do, as that we are, NOW.
There’s an infinite and eternal unity (for want of a more suitable word) that simply IS (rather than ‘exists’). This unity has no scale and probably is best thought of as a singularity having none of the three dimensions we commonly deal with (but perhaps containing more), a source that can’t be subdivided, complete unto itself yet unintelligible, an eternal unchanging truth (a principal principle) concomitant with intelligence: Consciousness. GoTo: http://www.extremeethics.org/?p=801
CONSCIOUSNESS–everything springs from it. Everything that exists in and of the universe, including its inhabitants, is an intellectual consequence of this ubiquitous singularity, ageless and timeless, existing before time itself (time requires mass in motion, and was itself born with the universe). We are inexplicably integrated with it. Our consciousness is its consciousness; the entire wisdom of the universe exists in each of us. We all have it, and it’s available to us by turning inward. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been shown a part of it. That others have as well gives me confidence to proceed.
So that’s what I’ve come to know from that experience. You can believe it or not, but it doesn’t matter(!). I wrote a book—To Tell The Truth…–based on it. You may wish to read it. Or not…
Stay tuned for PART II…
It’s inevitable that we be involved with others and will both affect and be affected by them. Each of us operates subjectively using our own five senses plus our intuition, instincts, insights and unique thoughts and reactions. This makes each of us unique with respect to our personal interaction with the rest of the world, each of whom is as unique as we are.
While you are entitled to your interpretation of what’s happening, others are entitled to theirs, and chances are excellent that they won’t be the same as yours. Given equal input, each individual may react differently and come to a different conclusion. In other words, there will be virtually infinite combinations of actions along the line.
In the context of mankind, that’s no problem. Humanity as an ethical whole will handle whatever its members throw its way. And while it may appear from our limited points of view to be a chaos of pressures, tensions and constraints with no hope of resolution, that’s not the case.
There’s an intricate system at work: a complex adaptive system or, if you prefer, spontaneous order. Nature always adapts “on the fly” and we haven’t a clue as to how it really works. But one thing we do know is that it happens and it works in spite of whatever we do to thwart it because the norm—mankind—is innately ethical. If it weren’t, humanity would have been done for long ago.
Then, what’s the problem? “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Well, the problem can’t be the (generic) individual, or the family, or the community (think extended family or tribe) because they’re givens and therefore essential, vital and absolutely necessary to humanity, still another given. There’s only one thing left, and that’s the group, not a given but instead a social construct. The tendency to form groups may be argued to be a given, but no particular group is a given.
Man in his arrogance would remake the world in his own image right now, so he organizes to get it done. No matter that it’s progressing in its own way and will continue to do so, we want to make the world as we believe it should be, our way, right now, using what we think is state-of-the-art technology (but really is only very limited knowledge that may be described as applied folly). So we form our groups and crash into the future and, because we don’t really understand the system, we suffer the consequences.
Groups operate on the vitality of those individuals comprising them. A person relates differently to the group than he does with individuals in the group, because the group is a what, while the individual is a who. This profound difference needs to be appreciated if we would understand why the individual relates to groups in a different way than with whos of humanity.
From the point of view of the individual, a relationship with a group will satisfy his need(s) while at the same time not cause him to lose a significant part of his self. And, because he’s vital and the group isn’t, he remains responsible for his relationships. The group cannot be responsible for individual relationships.
From the standpoint of the group, a favorable relationship is one with individuals having similar interests or needs and the desire to help meet group goals. The group’s function is to serve the individual by providing support, protection, stimulation and/or consensus, and/or to serve humanity by augmenting the effects of individuals. The group exists to serve, not exploit, the individual or mankind.
Problems develop when the individual-group relationship is misunderstood or abused. The group, being more visible than the individual, may appropriate greater authority and members may assume greater importance than “outsiders,” forgetting that it’s the individual who really has the power.
A group with an exaggerated idea of its own importance may equate itself with community or even try to speak for mankind (think churches or society). This—placing the institution above the individual—discriminates against or even subverts humanity.
But in the last analysis, any group is at the mercy of the individual. The significance of this statement can’t be over-emphasized.
By definition, groups deal with special interests. A vital connection, a personal bond—blood, heritage—basic to the person rather than the group, is not required. This makes group relationships distinctly different from vital ones. The difference is critical.
While community retains vital relationships, it also provides fertile ground for the development of groups. Members of different communities can be attracted to each other for many reasons. As these earliest relationships grow in strength and number, survival becomes less of an issue. As interest begins to include personal and end-centered factors, groups are formed.
People create better ways of doing things and the ability to concentrate some of their efforts on improving their lot. They learn, teach and progress, growing into larger and more productive cultures, and as they do they are able to pursue more personal avenues of interest— to specialize more and more as individuals. But the individual’s relationship to any group never has been vital to his existence. Any relationship with any group may be severed without permanent damage to the individual or mankind generally.
Nevertheless, groups have assumed greater importance as civilization has progressed (and are in fact a contributing factor in that progression). They get some things done faster and often better than a family or community could because they can concentrate their efforts on the task at hand rather than deal with all of the complex functions necessary for a complete life. In one way or another, groups specialize and develop systems that enable them to operate more efficiently in their efforts to accomplish their particular ends. But in so doing, something often is lost.
Even though group rules may infringe to some degree on members, those individuals subscribe to them in the cause of accomplishment. It’s the same with any group, small or large, and it’s important to realize that even our society is nothing but a very large group—supergroup—that’s still submissive to the whole of humanity and may not supersede any individual’s personal vital link with humanity.
But groups often assume more importance than they own, affecting in a very real way the relationships between individuals.
HOW? WHAT HAPPENED?
It takes considerable time and energy to learn all you need to know to become tops in your field, or to collect the knowledge necessary to develop a new product, or to break out of the mold into a new way of thinking. In our drive to do it all and do it now, we’ve spawned an elite of experts—specialists—who spend some part of their individuality to achieve some goal. You may number among them.
Experts know more about a particular subject than most others. Usually they attain their level of expertise through education, experience and critical thinking. But more appropriate here, experts tend to collaborate with others working in the same specialty, stimulated by interaction and challenged by their peers. They may pour their very life into their work in order to advance the state of their particular endeavor. The effort may be altruistic, commercial or selfish, and results may or may not be worthwhile, but often the fruits of their labors benefit mankind in some way, large or small. But at the end of the day, most of these specialists leave their group to return to family or community to renew their link with humanity and its collective purpose.
Most specialists and experts operate in the context of the group only to get something done, leaving the group in order to recharge their batteries. While their group may develop a “life” of its own, it’s not a whole life because it’s not complete. Its purpose is to provide a channel for the creative power of the individual, improve a product, increase the clout of the group or further the cause of individuals within it. If it were to somehow provide a total environment, it would be in danger (?!) of becoming a community.
Many groups including our society reward experts with higher status and greater compensation than the man on the street. While this status within the group may be earned, it doesn’t extend beyond the group. Status within any group, however large and powerful, is not directly transferable to humanity.
But when many expert-specialists leave their group to renew their vital link, they take their status with them and apply it liberally to the lives of others with whom they come in contact.
Our society and its laws facilitate this. Experts, authorities, specialists, entertainers, government officials, athletes, even “personalities” in highly-visible fields often are afforded importance out of proportion to what they warrant as human beings. Take, for example, medicine, law and higher education, callings usually requiring advanced degrees and considerable investment of time and money. Individuals in these fields join together in what have become powerful and dynamic groups that benefit and compel the respect of society and those with lesser “professional” status. But often, key individuals within these groups are sought out as authorities beyond their areas of expertise. The same may be true of rock stars, actors, politicians, even meteorologists. Wealth or notoriety alone may be sufficient to justify their opinions in politics and public discourse. While the rich and famous may be at the top of their own fields, there’s no reason to assume or accept their influence beyond those fields. They may have no expertise to offer beyond their fame.
All might be well if these individuals honestly aim to serve humanity and act morally. Some do. However, unless their authority is tempered with responsibility, it’s all too easy to become answerable only to themselves and their group(s). When this happens, the system that we have created overpowers us. The tail wags the dog.
It’s all too easy to become engrossed in one’s own work and importance and relate especially to others who understand and approve of what we’re doing, at the same time disregarding other aspects of our own lives and those of others. We all have to guard against this inclination for we all are experts and specialists in our own right. Each of us is totally unique, and each of us is equally and totally responsible.
Groups can pose a problem in that we may allow ourselves to be viewed less and less as individuals and more and more in the context of our groups. Since every group has its own agenda that defines it, our individuality can be compromised by letting our personal relationships be displaced by institutional ones. It’s very easy to sign over individual creativity, imagination and ingenuity to the groups and institutions to which we belong, effectively giving them permission to tell us what to think. The result is that we are led to believe. If this power is misused, we create those problems identified earlier. And the truth is that our complex super-developed culture has inexorably been redefining ethics in its own image.
We have to seek the truth as individuals. We have to know. We can’t be satisfied with being led to believe. An ethical person has to avoid groupthink and think for himself.
Groupthink might work temporarily when you’re in power, but suppression has consequences. If you favor unity over integrity, you’ll lose both. Beware of groupthink.
Ethics—it’s a given, too.
(More on this subject will be found in the book, To Tell The Truth… ) http://www.extremeethics.org/
A TALE OF TWO PHYSICS
It’s important to know up front that what follows has nothing whatsoever to do with religion (religions are institutions, which have agendas—we’re simply seeking truth). It has to do with life, with being, with self, and therefore with ethics. We’re about to consider the very foundation for being itself—consciousness.
Which requires that we lose touch, literally, as well as the other four senses (sight, hearing, taste and smell). We’re going beyond the physical into the metaphysical. Until about a hundred years ago this was decidedly spooky territory. It still is, but with the advent of quantum theory in the 1920s it’s become fertile ground for serious study.
To review: “Mind is the complex of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness, thinking, reasoning, perception, feeling and judgment…” (Wikipedia). Notice that mind is not a physical thing, but instead a ‘complex of faculties’ (abilities, capacities), a function of the brain and nervous system (which are things of substance).
Consciousness, the essence of life, is universal—it exists apart from the person as well as within. Consciousness is not a product of the mind. It is its foundation–a given, a first principle, an integral and eternal part of the universe that cannot be separated from the universe and without which humanity (or the universe itself) would not exist. It is, always has been, and always will be. It is eternal and infinite (could it be instantaneous?).
That part of the quintessential life force residing in the individual you is what identifies you as who you are—your self. And it simply is, always has been, and always will be. This concept is not easy to appreciate, but then neither is eternity, infinity or quantum theory.
Consciousness existed before the universe—it is the foundation of the universe and, as such, cannot be explained by science, which is a product of it and therefore unable to explain its parent. In fact, consciousness cannot be explained by any conventional method. It is known to exist simply because it does. It has to, because you wouldn’t be reading this without it.
Every cause may have an effect and every effect a cause, but it stands to reason that there must have been an original cause—a singularity, still extant—that underlies the whole of reality, whatever that may be. Humanity had been making progress toward its discovery for nearly two thousand years before we were sidetracked by the Cartesian duality of the Enlightenment, which largely purged spirituality from the system when it threw everything smacking of religion under the bus. But the simple fact is that even Descartes’s “duality” had to have an origin somewhere at some time (after all, you can’t have two without first having one). Quantum theory has demonstrated that something can come from nothing, strange as that may seem, and that both something and nothing can be (not just exist) at the same time, concurrently. We now know that light is at the same time both particle (matter) and wave (not matter). There being no further need for it, dualism can be dispensed with as a bad idea. Only a singularity is required That singularity is consciousness.
So we enter the realm of metaphysics, which goes before (and beyond) what we perceive as physical reality. It enables physics and the whole of science itself. Metaphysics deals with ideas, products of consciousness.
We can’t use the product (universe) to prove its source (consciousness) any more than we can use science to prove its source (philosophy) or words to prove reality. We can’t begin to explain the origins of that initial something-nothing that fuels our existence. There’s no standard by which to even estimate it, nor do we know that a comprehensible standard is possible. We don’t even have the words to articulate it. For instance: Because of the non-existence of time before the Big Bang (our very concept of time depends on matter in motion, so time in our terms could not have existed before matter), that singularity cannot include time and therefore must be by (our) definition ageless, dateless, timeless and continuous.
Nor can we use the terms energy or force because their scientific/engineering meanings can’t be used to define their precursor. Whatever it is, it’s perhaps best described by the philosophical term dynamis (of which energy is its actualization), which will have to suffice here.
It may come as a surprise that this suggestion of some eternal singularity (and its undeniably spiritual overtones) springs from the very science that often seems bent upon proving otherwise. At any rate, we may postulate with some certainty that whatever preceded the universe not only still pervades everything in it (and perhaps–why not–beyond?), but also is continuous within it, existing in an unbroken continuum within and between quarks, solar systems, constellations and galaxies. It was, is, and will be, at least until the end (if there is one) of the entire system that contains it. Disbelieving or not accepting this potency doesn’t change it; if the Big Bang makes any sense at all, so also does the idea that we must be given of it and whatever preceded it, whatever else we may be.
So much for the (quasi-)scientific aspect. There is another. The stuff of religious philosophy, at least in this context, turns out to be no more or less than assigning the dynamis preceding the universe to some power, potential or what have you that precedes (and pervades) our world. This singularity is universally continuous from mankind’s point of view–a given. It was, is, and as far as we can know, will be—ageless, dateless, timeless, eternal, immortal, all-being and unproveable. Given these parameters, many religious philosophies (along with Isaac Newton, arguably the most brilliant and influential scientific mind of his time—possibly ever, for that matter) choose to equate it with an all-powerful supreme entity. (And why not? Consider the Big Bang vs. “creation theory.” Darkness had to precede the Big Bang, light not being possible without mass and energy. How different is this from conditions preceding the pronouncement: “Let there be light!”? Both require an initial darkness, and what’s the cause of the Big Bang anyway? We don’t, and may never, know for certain.)
Any ideas? Stay tuned…
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