“Kant” Revisited: Arthur Schopenhauer

I was most certainly drinking while writing most of Kant. But there’s a reason why some of the best writers were, and are, complete drunks.

I don’t remember writing a single sentence for this episode. However, some things were obvious: when I was on, I was ON.

Not everything that I wrote during the course of the series worked. Yet there were times when I surprised even myself. I’d like to say that I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’d be lying. There were times when my writing and thinking soared between poetic and enigmatic. While I’m not a fan of Hegel, I was intrigued by his method of purposefully trying to make his writing difficult to understand. To a degree, I was trying to do the same…and there were times that I succeeded.

I don’t know if THIS exact episode is a perfect example of that. BUT when re-reading this, a certain dread came over me: have I taken a step back in my writing? While you might not be a fan of it, there’s a part of me that wishes that I can return to this form of enigmatic style.

Now that I’m sober, is it gone? Can I ever “re-discover” it?

I don’t know.

Really, I couldn’t even follow what I was talking about. I suppose the question I was trying to ask was: is free will found in unimpeded passions OR is it found in not becoming a slave to them?

With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ll probably be unloading a lot of these “Kant Revisited” posts. So look forward to that.

But as usual, I don’t edit or spellcheck these. Please forgive those errors. Enjoy!

What could art be, if it’s not the diversion from the phenomenal conditions of life?

As much as Zizek still finds Hegel relevant, he remains a minority. But while Hegel was at the height of his powers, while lecturing at the University of Berlin…he did manage to attract rivals. One such rival was none other than Arthur Schopenhauer…who would schedule his lectures during Hegel’s. But despite Schopenhauer’s animosity, Hegel managed to attract more followers in his time, leaving Schopenhauer bitterly frustrated…a characteristic that very much shows through his writing. Even though he didn’t find the attention he deserved in his OWN time, Schopenhauer seems to have bested Hegel among thinkers in our era. With his obvious crankiness resonating with modern audiences.

But as much as we become confronted with the nothingness that’s set before us, there’s a deep-seated concern for purpose. Why continue on? In his work “The Wisdom of Life, Schopenhauer introduces what he calls “Eudaemonology”….or how we can structure our lives, so that we may maximize our success and happiness. The key point here, being that existence should become preferable to the alternative…that of non-being. So, “The Wisdom of Life” for our practical purposes today…can help us navigate through the void.

But it would be interesting to speculate, how…someone like Schopenhauer would be received if he were alive today. In our Golden Age of self-help books and uplifting quotes, in order to be cherished in this era, one must appeal to the liberal democratic optimism of progress. There are few thinkers today that would deliberately take a contrarian or cranky perspective. Slavoj Zizek seems to come close, but he seems to take a scatter-minded, loosey-goosey approach, which may come across as contrarian, but in actuality…his writing is just a representation of his inner monologue. The writer and podcaster Bret Easton Ellis comes the closest to Schopenhauer, with his unfriendly views towards current entertainment and disdain for the thin-skinned millennial generation. But this attitude towards current times is hard to come by. Us liberals have been spoiled by the eight years of Barack Obama, that we ended up choking on our positivity when Trump got elected. Whatever sort of creative drives that are bourn out of disdain, will hopefully return under the Trump years.

But what would Schopenhauer HIMSELF think of these times? Even in his own era, he held contempt for the seemingly innocent activity of card-playing. Such distractions only took away from one’s own inner constitutions. Even though he would marvel at our technological advancements, notably the internet…but he would flip his lid to learn that we were using it for social media and vanity, rather than for knowledge and education. To him, social media would be a mindless distraction that would only reinforce our dependence on an interconnected world.

For Schopenhauer, real happiness is found in self-sufficiency. The mind shouldn’t have to rely on the stimulus of the outside world ONLY, in order to find happiness. As the cliché goes, one could be surrounded with material gains, but still be poor in spirit. Not that the external world and the body aren’t necessary. Schopenhauer would even state that physical health is necessary towards happiness. But for a genuinely happy person, that individual would have the power to generate meaning from their own intellectual faculties…or the world of the mind would be found to be infinite and sufficient.

Therefore, it is the intellectual pursuits that are held in the highest regard. The pursuits of the material world are nothing but empty drives of the will, aimlessly propelling the self forward without meaning. So it would be safe to say that Schopenhauer wouldn’t be supportive of the lifestyle decisions of James Bond…or even a Charles Bukowski. Although, these would be considered intelligent and self-sufficient men, their ambitions don’t go farther than the material world. Theirs is the acceptance of the nothingness and absurdity of the world, that they would find it unnecessary to live a self-sufficient life of intellectual pursuits alone. They primarily favor the physical extremes of sex, violence, drugs, and alcohol.

And it is here, where we come to a crossroads within the Schopenhauer system. If we accept our representation of the world as our will, and we reject the metaphysicism of dogmatic religion (like Christianity)…we have two choices. Possibly more, but I want to focus on two of them: we can adopt stoic-like practices, either through pure stoicism or other self-disciplinary practices like Buddhism (as Schopenhauer likely did), OR, we can engage in our animalistic/nihilistic tendencies and engage pursuits of the material world…or the path of James Bond.

Now must of us choose the happy medium in between. We realize that by failing to play by the rules, the external world will enact ITS WILL against us. To find cooperation, we adapt our will, so as to not piss off the Medusa of the outer world…one that can strike at us with its many snake heads. This path is the most comforting one…we acknowledge the beast within us, but to not agitate the large beast outside of us…we quietly take our prey, even if just in imagination, because keeping up appearances (despite knowing the falsity of the outer world) is the true gift from the gods…the blanket of conformity, to keep the world turning.

Perhaps the acknowledgement of both the blanket and the animal beneath it, is the true path towards self-contentment, if not happiness. But happiness itself is a far loftier goal. Ultimate happiness, or the perpetuation of unlimited gratification, can be considered unachievable. The mind carries excessive baggage from its journey from the pond…towards a self-aware being, that continual happiness would work against the purpose of the mind, therefore making the pursuit of it unwise. While ultimate happiness is unachievable, sustainable self-contentment makes itself a far more worthwhile goal. And this is done by making a truce between the nihilistic ghost driving the will, and the external beast ready to pounce at any moment.

Schopenhauer seems to see the intellect as being a releasing energy, made to liberate the soul from the material body. This is a gift to mankind….what elevates us from the animals that co-habitate the planet with us. But what if we took the contrarian view? The view that the intellect is not a blessing, but a curse? Life has been existing on this planet for millions of years. Life lives, it eats, it fucks…or it doesn’t, but nevertheless it procreates…and so the system goes on…millions of years without a hitch….species going extinct as nature dictates. Then blossoms the human intellect, taking us to places life has never been before. So mother nature, with millions of years of experience under her belt, then here we come, circumventing the process…going into space and fucking up the planet. Then, after years of reflection, we become aware of our destruction and impending doom.

What have we achieved with this superior intellect? We might have uncovered the mysteries of the universe, or we are well on our way towards doing so, but to what purpose? So that we can alleviate the pains of death and uncover the nothingness that awaits us? Everything comes at a cost, to include the intellect. Are we really better off knowing about our impending demise? Are we that much happier for knowing the justness and injustices of the world? Perhaps Eve was better off not eating the fruit of knowledge. We have been cursed with our knowledge, and we continue to pay the price for our great leap forward….with our continual deliberations on what it means to be happy.I guess, as the old saying goes…ignorance is bliss….or, it’s more bliss than knowing. Look no further than your pet; living a sweet blissful life, unknowing of the struggles of what it means to be human. Your dog, happily moving from one moment to the next…overjoyed at the prospect of getting a scrap of food, or a pat on the head. You take comfort in having an animal that gets the simplest joys in the most mundane things. You suspect that your animal could wish itself to be human, that you pity it in the most innocent of ways. But with this consistent blissfulness, perhaps its your dog that pities you.

Schopenhauer invokes Aristotle when says that life devoted to philosophy is the happiest. But how true has that proven to be? A life of philosophy has the burden of knowing the true conditions of reality. Knowingly believing in falsities is not a practice that the philosopher usually condones. If we took any philosophy out of history (say, Schopenhauer), and put them into a room with any religious cleric, I would wager to say that the cleric would be the most cheerful of the two. The belief that the nothingness of death are actually alleviated by venturing to the afterworld, is such a powerful nonsensical idea, that it disguises or obstructs the true pain of being. The believer is able to go through life without any burdens of the philosopher, because their questions have been answered…and they take comfort in the lie.

But what Schopenhauer is trying to reach towards, is the freedom we receive from being unobstructed from our pursuits. And a person with deep intellectual capabilities will find that their pursuits will spoil the other necessities of life, namely relationships with others…which they will find shallow and unrewarding. This person might, as a result, find themselves alone or bored, due to their unquenchable thirst for knowledge and wisdom. Schopenhauer acknowledges the burden of the intellectual, but on the flip side…the person that only pursues the joys of physical reality, (whom he calls Philistines), will also soon find themselves bored. But this specific boredom and restlessness, is of a much shallower variety. Their restless pursuits could never compare to that of a true intellectual.

So where does that leave those with deep inner worlds? Without the assistance of drugs, alcohol, and other substances, is true happiness attainable? Or perhaps a more suitable question should be…is happiness the ONLY worthwhile feeling? The burden of knowledge cannot be put back into the tube; Eve cannot attach the fruit back to the tree. We are, for better or worse, doomed with the reality of our knowledge. How does one move forward with this burden? The pursuit of happiness is the cornerstone on which liberal democracies are based. But is it the cornerstone on which existential meaning is based? It makes sense for governments to cherish this pursuit…but why must there be a pursuit of it at all? From a mental health perspective, the only obstructions to our happiness are the ones we place in front of it. If we adopted the way of the stoics, we can theoretically be happy in any situation, therefore negating the use of the pursuit. But is true happiness possible? With our awareness of uncertainty, and time, and the realities of the world, perpetual happiness is an unrealistic goal. At best, the greatest that we can achieve is perpetual solitude, a la the path of the stoics and Buddhist enlightenment. But what’s the mechanism behind this solitude?

In the last episode, Zizek explained to us that the real objective of philosophy, is to not explore the nothingness of the thing-in-itself, but to explore the veil of perception that covers over it. The human mind has been jostled from one extreme to the next…it’s far better suited for managing catastrophe (which is a better tool for survival), than maintaining any sort of grounds for perpetual contentment. Our actions of completing one objective to the next is not motivated by ONLY pure survival, but driven by a conception of the IDEA of happiness. It’s the carrot that dangles in front of us. We might get a nibble every now and then, which keeps us hungry for more…but the idea of living in a world with an endless amount of easily accessible carrots, is an empty one. Yet, that’s what moves us forward, despite us understanding that such a world is unattainable. It’s the temptation of the carrot, the veil over the nothingness, that keeps us wanting more. So it’s the idea of happiness, and not happiness ITSELF, that’s the valuable tool. It’s The PURSUIT of happiness that’s the real key towards eternal self-contentment.

But with this burden of knowledge, we know that a state of persistent pleasure is only a myth. When we look at the condition of life, we realize that happiness and pleasure are seldom applied. Most of our lives are spent in sleep or operating functions that might bring about pleasure, but are, in fact, not pleasurable in themselves. Yet while a life might be full of happiness…does that happiness bring about meaning? Has the one that has spent their entire lives in the solitude of pleasure…brought about meaning upon themselves? This pointless existence, in Schopenhauer’s terms, is just an aimless drive of the will…seeking pleasure because that’s what the machine demands. A blind allegiance to happiness is not, in purely self-aware terms…not a full utilization of the free will. By giving way to pleasure at every turn, then it is the pleasure that owns you.

Indeed, seldom do we find meaning in happiness, outside of its own sake. Usually, we find the excessive dwelling in it, to be precious time wasted. To construct meaning, to possess the burden of knowledge, is to live beyond pleasure and pain…and not to become a slave to them.

Have I argued in favor of Schopenhauer? I have no idea because, once again, I failed to make it through the entire book. But that’s okay, because that gives YOU the opportunity to explore this subject on your own. I’m not asking and answering questions so that you don’t have to, I’m asking questions because I want you to be up late at night, like me! The ball’s in your court, buddy! Go read the damn book yourself!

“Kant” Revisited: No-Self

I’ve been slacking off lately. My apologies. So I’ve got to make up some ground I lost for fucking around last week. So here’s some more transcripts from the My Life With Kant days.

As usual, I don’t edit. So please forgive the spelling and grammatical errors.

branches&creatures

I’ve bitched and complained before about having to live in modern society. Sure, not having to die in your mid-20’s due to a bear attack is awesome, but you know, if business school has taught me anything, is TINSTAAFL…you know, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything comes at a cost.

Although living in a production society for the last thousand years has produced tremendous results. Life expectancy has gone through the roof. We can go into FUCKING SPACE! What other species occupying this planet has done that? Love us or hate us, you gotta admit, humans have done pretty well for themselves despite running around with our wangs hanging out just a few millennia ago.

But like I said, everything comes at a cost. Millions, if not billions, of people had to die as a result of disease, war, and other atrocities in order to get to today. So there’s that cost. But what has it cost the human psyche?

We take for granted today that we have language and personal property and government protection and the billions of people that exist independent of you. It didn’t turn that way over night. At one point, somewhere in time, there had to be the first humans. Mind you, it was a gradual change, but what would have been the thoughts of the first people? Of course, it wouldn’t have been, “holy shit, we’re people, and alive!”. But, I imagine (and I’m more than likely wrong, but just entertain me here for a second), primitive humans wouldn’t have had a sophisticated language system to help them process thoughts. It was probably less of a system and more of a rudimentary local dialect, that would have shared similarities with other groups, but would have varied from group to group. Now there’s probably some language theorist out there somewhere calling me a fucking idiot, but that’s besides the point.

The point that I want to reach is, when did this conception of “I” come to be? Do you see what I’m saying? Now I’m sure that some Marxist out there would like to claim that the transition from hunter-gathers to agrarians would have caused a shift in personal identity, where the individual would have seen themselves as primarily a member of their family or group, or something like that. But I won’t go that far. But there had to come at some point where it finally occurred to someone, “shit, I’m gonna die someday.” I think this sort of existential angst is what sets us apart from other animals. I mean, do dogs wonder around thinking about death and life’s meaning? Maybe they do, I don’t know.

But what you gotta remember is, that back in the cavemen days (which was MOST of human existence by the way), discovering meaning wouldn’t have been much of a problem. There’s the argument that because they had to spend most of their time surviving, there was no time to think of such things. But there’s another thing. What would they have compared their meaning to? If they were just wondering nomads, what would have been their definitions of success? They weren’t searching for monetary wealth or fame, their neighbors probably had the same resources and goods that they had, so what more was there?

Of course, this would have been giving early humans more credit than they probably deserve. There was most absolutely oppressors and oppresses. But was there a conception of personal gain? Of history? Or ‘otherness’? I don’t know. But today, we are self-aware animals. But once upon a time, we were just animals.
….
Over the course of thousands of years, humanity has shifted the primary concerns of existence away from survival. Very few of us have to fear death from the elements or predators. Now we compete with one another. Questions of the day are no longer “how will I eat today.” Now it is, “will my existence matter?”.

We are no longer in a group of a hundred, where we struggled together for survival. Now we are just one in 9 billion people…forced to live in a world where the individual is just one cog in a greater machine. In a sense, there’s an insecurity that the individual feels, knowing that they are only one person within the multitude. Instead of the connection with others, they turn their focus to the inside…the mechanism of vanity. This is only enabled by our technological advancements. The tale of the 21st Century can be told through social media.

Now, perhaps more than ever, narcissism reigns king.

You know yourself, right? You are you…this finite being. Your appearance might change over time, but you still look behind the same eyes. Despite the tides and turns of time, you still remain you. Does it have to be this way? What if the idea of “you” was just an illusion? Let’s venture out of the comfort of European philosophy, and go east.
The Buddha was concerned with suffering. Suffering is pretty much the story of mankind. That’s pretty much what history is about, right? It’s mostly about how humans have inflicted suffering on each other. And it’s not just physical suffering that ails mankind. Mental anguish paralyzes individuals just as well as its physical counterpart. What are the emotions that you feel when undergoing mental anguish? Guilt, unworthiness, paranoia, and possibly even hate?

In certain Buddhist schools of thought, these emotions find their root in one cause: the idea of the self. You perceive yourself to be the same person one moment to the next. But break down this perception. Time is a flowing stream, and our bodies that house the mind, are no different. In a certain sense, you are literally not the same person that you were 20 years ago. You are growing and changing at every moment. Even our very thoughts are flowing forward in time. There’s not much about you that remains constant.
Yet we pad ourselves with our self-conceptions. Believing that we are among the constants in an ever changing universe.

There might be some relation here with Kantian philosophy. I believe I might have said as much in the first episode, but don’t quote me on that. But in the Buddhist tradition, over-coming the self can lead you towards the path of enlightenment. That sounds pretty Kantian to me. Or we can at least see some parallels between Buddhism and European Enlightenment philosophy. At least I do. The overcoming of self in order to achieve enlightenment sort of reminds me of the unknowable thing-in-itself.

But in the European tradition, at least if you are a follower of Kant, the thing-in-itself cannot be known. No matter how much we try, we have to use the faculties of the mind to understand the world. The mind is finite. We can know that the thing exist, but we can’t know it intimately. All kinds of things are going on around us that we can’t perceive. But our minds are designed in a way to perceive the things that nature created it to perceive. Even the things that you do perceive, probably look different to say…something like a reptile. So no one perceiving THING knows the world as intimitaly as it exist without a mind to perceive it. Your reality, in some way, is shaped by your perception. So perhaps George Berkeley wasn’t completely wrong when he said that a thing doesn’t exist without a mind to perceive it. Which is another callback to an old episode. But he wasn’t completely right either.

I might be going off the rails here. I might be seeing connections where none exist. But so what? I think that both Buddhism and Continental Philosophy see the same thing. You, and me, are the problem. The human mind plays a central role. As where European philosophy largely doesn’t concern itself with evading the mind, and instead I would say that it just wallows in it, Buddhism at least focuses on rising above it.
But perhaps it would be strong of me to insist on the mind being a problem. In a Buddhist light, that is probably not the best way to look at it. However, the mind is a product of nature. And because it is so, it is designed to do certain things. Despite humanity being able to overcome many obstacles throughout its history, the mechanisms that protected our ancestors are still present within us. It is within the mind’s own best interest to exclude itself from its surroundings. To extract itself from nature, rather than seeing itself as another extension of it.

This separation causes the advent of the self. And the self creates the concept of “I”. But your mind, and mine as well, are just creations. The idea of “you” and “me”, are just illusions designed to protect our bodies. The mind controls us, we are encased within it. It’s common to make division between us and the world, but what is the world? Perhaps for expediency, we group other minds in with the world, yet we consider our own to be independent. To take the path towards enlightenment, the being that’s encased within the mind and therefore distinguishes it from the rest of the world, now has to remove that division…To see one self, or better yet, become ones-self, as a stream of the world that moves forward in time.

The European, and less spiritual version of this, we can see as stoicism. Like the Buddhist, the Stoics sees themselves as beings that are a part of a greater whole. Perhaps erroneously, and stereotypically, people tend to associate Stoicism with inaction. And perhaps a few might see Buddhism in the same light. But I have always felt that that was a mistake. I think that what the two schools have in common is their doctrines on time and our relationship towards it. The past is like an unmovable rock, and would therefore be a waste of time trying to move. As Ray Lewis once said “Only fools trip on things behind them”. But the future is like a door. The present is therefore the key towards unlocking that door. So being focused on the here and now keeps us moving forward on our path.

A New Theology: Part IV- The Gnostic Lens

The reality is that I write A LOT. I’m sure this New Theology seems somewhat perplexing. That’s understandable. But this is only my musings on how to rethink normal theology. I don’t know if it will make sense, and frankly I don’t care it does. To me, philosophy is supposed to be challenging and daring. Through it, we are to find our own voice. And I believe that I have found that by entertaining this New Theology.

I doubt that I’ve constructed any sort of consistent “theology”, if you will. In the post regarding stoicism, I stated that passiveness is not a virtue. If we want to extend that out, I suppose we could argue that we should engage in the physical world rather than remain a mere passenger. Therefore, this allows us to create our own paths and maximize our “freedoms”.

And there are many variations that we could derive from that maxim. Yet I suppose that some might see it as an endorsement of the material world. Even though the skeptic within me wishes to err on the side of materialism/physicalism as the basis of all reality, the human side of me doesn’t want to reduce it to that end. As I’ve joked before, “I want to deny physical reality.” And as the history of knowledge has shown: we cannot wholly trust our senses and methodologies to arrive at “truths”. Old scientific systems get replaced by new ones,we find more truths buried under established truths, etc. Yet our inductive methods of learning the world are the best tool we have. And if we wish to discredit this tool, we have to apply more inductive research. Additionally, the senses we use to construct methodologies of research and understanding are notoriously misleading.

How we developed our sense of phenomenological perception is presumably due to evolution adapting us to a set of noumena (or the Kantian “things-in-themselves). It’s entirely possible that a different set of “intelligence”, which developed at a different part of the universe, would have a completely different phenomenological experience. And therefore having a different set of maths, sciences, etc. If ants grew to take over the world instead of us, would they have arrived at the same conclusions we have?

It appears that we are being “deceived”. We don’t actually have “true knowledge” of the real world.

Now I don’t want to venture off into the mystical, and then say that we are being actively deceived by some demonic force. But if I may steal some Gnostic terminology, our phenomenological field is our own “demiurge”; a misleading characterization of the things-in-themselves. Our perceptions may reveal qualities of the noumatic reality, but are not full and complete representations. EVEN THOUGH they are presented that way. And our minds appear to be limited by this demiurge. Any knowledge that we may receive should be questioned, or at least not taken at face value. I would even venture to say that we can apply that logic to, well…logic itself.

Now clearly we are coming across a MAJOR problem. The only way to refute the methodologies of the mind is to USE the methodologies of the mind. If we have to accept this, we might as well stop doing philosophy because it will reveal nothing real to us. So out of a lack of a better argument, I’ll just ignore this fact.

BUT, we can apply this line of skepticism down to traditional theology. If God exists, and there are things that we can know about Him, then we would have learned those things through our demiurge (i.e. our mind). And our mental capacities, as previously demonstrated, are fallible. Whatever supposed “facts” that we learn about God (either through ancient scripture, logic, or even empirical evidence!), we can question its validity. So whatever God or deities that might exist independent of perception would presumably go above and beyond any sort of human comprehension. A being that is not bound by our phenomenological existence would simply be…unfathomable. Therefore, in all likelihood, whatever information that WE HAVE received about God would be false or misleading regarding the totality of His existence.

Again, no demonic or mythical force is necessary here. Our minds simply act as our demiurge. And because of our finite and fallible capacities, it is likely that we are “cut-off” by a mind independent reality. And so we have yet to escape Kant’s philosophical conclusions: we don’t have knowledge of things-in-themselves. We are essentially “cut off” from God. Therefore there’s little sense in speculating about His existence.

UNLESS, we take certain presumptions about the capabilities of God. Namely, that God is capable of OUR phenomenological capabilities. Or, more specifically, our abilities “branch” out of His. If we are to take a physicalist/materialist assumption (and say that our minds are generated from a material substance) we could argue that, out of God branched out material substance. Or, perhaps more importantly, God is embedded into reality. The material world IS God. This would mean embracing a near (or total) pantheistic or panpsychic view of the universe.

Therefore, the demiurge-like deception lies not in the material world, but by providing an illusion that God is “out there” rather than “right here”…that God is somehow not a part of His creation.

I suppose we can say there’s an almost Manichean-like duality that permeates physical reality. This isn’t a battle between the material world and a supernatural world of ideas, but the struggle itself is firmly embedded into perceptual existence. And we directly take part in this battle. BUT (and here’s where I might completely derail if I haven’t already) this duality only exists within human consciousness. “Good and Evil” are the constructs of the mind. Obviously. And exact definitions of these two extremes vary among cultures. But, if I may make an assumption about all of humanity, such demarcations are made by all peoples. Somewhere, somehow, these two polar extremes become separated. Such constructions may have always existed within high-functioning minds. And if that were the case, is unification the end objective?

Again, I’m falling into a Hegelian-like argument that I wish to avoid. There isn’t an end objective for all of history. Good and Evil are not thesis and antithesis, which will later be synthesized. Instead it’s through our deceptive minds that such distinctions get made. It isn’t a case of HOW to unify, it’s a case of how to get RID of Good and Evil.

Mich has been made about mankind’s fall into damnation…how we somehow fell out of accord with nature. Perhaps the most famous mythical account is that of Adam and Eve: Once unified with nature, but through deception, they ate of the tree of knowledge and all subsequent generations were DAMNED. This burden of knowledge has been both our blessing and curse. Instead of living in accordance with nature, we’ve made ourselves a beast above it: dividing our knowledge into extremes…forever separating it into distinct phenomenological events. On and on this goes, with no end in sight.

It’s not as simple as turning back the clock. The knowledge we have gained cannot be put back into Pandora’s Box. It has become an extension of who WE ARE. So we could argue that this knowledge should not be forsaken. But because of our self-delusion, we have failed to understand what we DO know. We perceive the world as distinct and separate objects, and that they hold no relation to one another. So we ourselves have become distinguishable from nature. Clearly, to move past this barrier…the barrier must be removed.

A consistent theme with this “new theology” is the flowing stream of the universe. I’ve said previously that it was flowing FORWARD in time, yet it could be flowing in all directions. Yet our perceptions might only reveal a “forward only” direction (which may or may not conflict with traditional physics). But we apply division to physical reality because evolution needed to help us navigate a mind-independent world. Unfortunately, this division of material has brought us to near conflict with nature, each other, and ourselves.

As some quote that I recently heard stated (and I’m paraphrasing): “A flower doesn’t compete with a flower next to it. It just blossoms.” The only objective that we have in life (if we choose to accept it), is to blossom and grow.

And even though there appears to be many inconsistencies and contradictions embedded in phenomenological experience, it appears that mind shouldn’t be. There simply isn’t a reason for our reasons. Yet…they’re there. Descartes may have made many mistakes, yet the cogito ergo sum seems to be on to something. I may not be able to prove that “I” exist, but something is going on.

If I can’t know anything outside of this something, we may not know God. But if God isn’t capable of OUR something, could He really be considered all Powerful? Reality, or our existence, is a difficult thing to explain. And we often fail to appreciate how incredible this experience is. If we desire to understand something about God, we can’t search beyond to some supernatural world. If such a thing were possible, we couldn’t access it. The only direction to go isn’t “outward”, but to reach within. Because indeed, this consciousness would be the only thing we could have in common with God. If we are to know God, we needn’t look farther than our own material existence.

So do we actually possess this Knowledge?