Monday, March 28, 2011

Es Es Percepe

Is there really an external world? Is there really a world outside of our experience? When you see an apple, you picture it in your mind (as you are right now); what happens when you close your eyes and think of something else? Does the apple disappear? Does the world disappear when you close your eyes? If everyone in the world closed their eyes and emptied their minds at the same time would the universe disappear? When we group our regularly occurring experiences we give them names. “Apple” is our word for a consistent collection of sweet, red, crunchy sensations of a certain size, texture, and smell. But that is all an apple is. Or is it? According to George Berkeley (1685-1753) that is all an apple is. To suppose that it is something more, something OUT THERE, is to go beyond the evidence of experience. Worse, it is to think the absurd thought that sweetness can exist untasted and red can exist unseen. To believe that something exists in the realm OUTSIDE the senses is to build a shaky scaffolding to stand on. Yet it might surprise you to know that George was a devout Christian. He actually used this “idealism” as evidence and proof for God. Berkeley argues that God perceives and therefore sustains the whole of the universe whether we happen to be looking at it or not. For Berkeley the continued existence of everything is proof not only of God’s existence but also his benevolence. If God blinked, not only would our world go out of existence but so would we. The Latin “es es percepe” means “to be is to be perceived”. What would we be without others experiencing us? What would we be without our own senses? What would we be without God perceiving us? With us being unable to trust our own senses reality and truth, then, is how God perceives it. The truth corresponds to reality as GOD perceives it: NOT OUR PERCEPTION. Our very existence depends on GOD perceiving us: NOT OUR PERCEPTION of HIM! I think ancient scripture writers understood this when they gave us the priestly benediction: “May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his FACE SHINE ON YOU and be gracious to you; may the Lord TURN HIS FACE TOWARD YOU and give you peace.” May the Lord PERCEIVE you too.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quantum Faith

There is a weird, yet incredibly powerful faith in something called “quanta”. The faith was first developed by a German physicist called Max Planck, who proposed that energy comes in tiny lumps called “quanta”. The faith was extended by Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Paul Dirac, and Werner Heisenberg; all priests of the faith in the 1920s.

It is because of the faith of quantum mechanics that we have most of our modern technology. This faith in quanta brought forth semiconductors and lasers which, in turn, brought forth all modern computers, MP3 players, cell phones, and many lifesaving medical treatments and scanners.

One of the priests: Niels Bohr commented on the faith, “If you are not astonished by quantum mechanics, they you haven’t understood it!”

Despite the tremendous success of the faith quantum mechanics remains shrouded in mystery because no one really knows how or why it works. It make certain predictions about the unseen world that go completely against our common sense. For instance, it explains how an atom can exist in more than one place at the same time until we check to see what it is up to and then it magically appears based on our looking for it. So it is everywhere until we seek it and then it appears in that particular place as if we called it there. This faith also says that an electron can spin both clockwise and counterclockwise at the same time until we try to measure it. So it is everything in every way until we seek to limit it.

I am anticipating the ACLU will soon ban the study of Quantum mechanics in all Schools.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


It is really very simple: this “making money” thing. I hear you telling me over and over that “it takes money to make money” which is only partially true. A more accurate statement would be that “it takes money to make MORE money.”

People around me talk about the security of a steady paycheck and insurance and retirement benefits. They say this as if “steady” and “secure” are good things! When EVER has mediocrity become a good goal? Steady and secure are means to mediocrity not to happiness.

Howard Thurman (1900-1981) said “There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”

If you want to slip out of the handcuffs of hourly wages, you must figure out how to be paid according to your accomplishments. “How long did it take?” isn’t the question you want to answer, but rather, “What is the value of my achievement?” People paid by the hour are paid for their activities. Wouldn’t you rather get paid for your accomplishments?
Average, mediocre people are that way because they cling to the avoidance of discomfort. Every successful person (defined however you want to define success) will tell you that risk and pain are part of any meaningful success. Comfort leads to complacency.

Niels Bohr “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.”

Marie Arana “Mediocrity has a way of keeping demons from the door.”

Solomon “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

And Solomon also said “The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.”

According to Solomon, HUNGER is your friend! For what are you hungry? For what are you willing to risk embarrassment? For what are you willing to get uncomfortable for? If you answer is nothing then you will also spend your time in mediocrity wondering why you cannot make ends meet; it is really that simple. The deepest sin of government assistance is NOT the spending of money we don’t have, the greatest sin is the promotion of mediocrity.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst …” Jesus said. Are you hungry?

Friday, March 04, 2011


There is a lot going on in the Middle East as I am writing this. There is a deposed leader in Egypt. There is death and rioting in Libya and in many other countries as the people try to rise up against their despotic leaders. The United States seems to be caught in the middle of supporting then not supporting then supporting again alternately the leadership, the people, then different people, then…

It is a mess and people are dying.

Will something better than before come from the ruins? History shows that eventually the right side wins but often after brutal and blood years. But history also tells us that the oppressed, when they come to power, soon become the oppressors. Then we have the mess again.

We feel the same thing in our country on a smaller, less deadly scale in the battles for control of state houses and political maneuvering. Our representative government is crazy, messy, prone to abuse, and sometimes hurtful BUT it is the best thing out there right now. Our nations motto is E Pluribus Unum which means “Out of many: ONE” We need to understand that we are MANY different people, different backgrounds, different colors, different skills, different advantages, and just plain DIFFERENT. But it is that difference that can make us whole and complete. The Bible calls us the Body. A metaphor that could be used nationally too. Some of us our hands, some feet, some muscle, some eyes, and some brains but we all NEED each other to make the whole body work. Can the eye say to the foot, “I don’t need you!”

Ancient philosophers looked up to the skies and saw a reflection of themselves twinkling back at them. Thy saw the diversity of the sun, moon and stars but they also saw how they moved in a particular order and harmony. They saw different colors and even some special stars like the North Star, but all in one. They decided to call what they saw “Unity” within “Diversity” or the shortened word: universe.

There is a sense, a standard out there that people need to see. We see it in the universe and we put it on our coins now we just need to live it.

Exclusivity and Truth

Today a key word in politics and social justice is “inclusive”. We need to include individuals who have ideas different than ours because, after all, ALL ideas are valid if someone holds to them. I can say to you that I love fish and I know that fish is good for me. You can hate fish but still tolerate my statement because it is an opinion based on my personal preference. As long as the statements revolve around personal preference we can “tolerate” each other and “include” each other in our own little society.

But what happens when my “true” statement is necessarily stepping on your personal toes? What happens when my statements, true for me, are stated to be true for you too? Statements like “Jesus is Lord” will step on the toes of those who say “Allah is Lord”. If I precede my statement with “I believe …” then no one would/should have a problem with it. I can say I believe Jesus is Lord and you can say you believe this tangerine is Lord and we would both be okay with it. Or would we?

The very definition of Pagan belief is “MANY gods” and was practiced by the ancient Greeks and Romans. They were okay with you worshipping whatever god you wanted to only make sure that you don’t have a problem with me serving my gods. Worship was a matter of DOING something for your god like offering a sacrifice at the temple of your god and calling it a day. You have your “religious activity” done for the day/week etc. Jewish religion changed that a little but didn’t force the pagan hand. They lived together and Jews had no problem with pagans as long as they left the Jews alone. Each can serve their own god, perform their religious rites, and go on their way.

Then came this crazy Christian religion. This religion said that there was only ONE God to be worshipped and to worship other Gods was wrong/evil/sinful and should be stopped. This crazy religion said that you needed to do more than just go to your temple and sacrifice, you had to actually BELIEVE in this God and BELIEVING was what got you to heaven. Pagans really didn’t have to believe anything they did, they just had to do it. This crazy new religion sought to convert others to their religion, to make them give up their gods and worship the “one true God” exclusively. How crazy is that?!

You will notice in Pagan religions, including Judaism that there is no such thing as heresy. The reason there is no heresy is that there is no orthodoxy. Orthodoxy means true or right belief and heresy means wrong belief. How can a Pagan religion have a wrong belief when you don’t have to believe, just perform a rite? How can a Pagan religion have orthodoxy when EVERYTHING is included and right and okay?

To me, this is PROOF of the truth of Christianity. Christianity MUST be true because it is the only religion that is EXCLUSIVE. Christianity must be true because it is intolerant of other gods and other religions, you cannot combine Christianity with any other religions and stay TRUE to Christianity. To say you are a Christian Buddhist is not only a stupid thing to say but it is also a WRONG thing to say. It is the equivalent of saying “I am a human tomato”. You cannot have truth without exclusivity and intolerance. I am sorry but someone has to be wrong, we can’t all be right.