God

Tower of Babel: Fact or Fiction?

Off the keyboard of Stuck in NJ

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Published on The Burning Platform on September 20, 2013

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PROLOGUE

Along with The Arky Arky and the Great Flood, the Tower of Babel is one of the best known bible stories.

But it is famous beyond its ACTUAL content … a mere 236 words (in English). Yet, the story has come to mean much more than its actual words. For example, the idea that God is so afraid of tall brick structures that he has to create multiple languages to keep people from becoming too smart for their own good.

Most have at least a vague idea of what the story is about, or at least know the name “Babel”. But, let’s take a look at the entire brief text. I will follow-up with my usual outrageous observations.

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THE BIBLICAL TEXT — GENESIS 11:1-9
“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

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BACKGROUND

The Babel story is a great example why a literal interpretation of many OT stories makes no sense whatsoever. A literal interpretation makes a mockery of science, tortures logic, and detracts from the author’s actual spiritual meaning (if any) he intended to impart.

Genesis is a narrative dealing with “beginnings,” as its title indicates. It records the beginning of the universe, plant life, animal life, and even mankind. Hence, one is tempted to apply a literal interpretation that the primary lesson of the Babel passage is the record of how human beings began to speak different languages. This is incorrect, as you will soon see.

That being said, “Babel” may very well be a story of beginnings. The city “Babel,” is the same exact term used of “Babylon” elsewhere in the Bible. Indeed, the Tower was built in Mesopotamia, not Israel. So, more than just a possible explanation for the confusion of languages, it may also function as the etymology of “Babylon” …. the very same Babylonian empire that would wreak tremendous havoc on Israel in sixth century B.C.E. … and the very same Babylon called a “Whore” in Revelation, representing all that is evil, and ultimately destroyed.

Before I get into specifics, it is worth mentioning the origin of the word “Babel”. Strong’s Concordance says the word means “confusion”. That may be true regarding the meaning, but that’s not its etymology. In Hebrew “el” is a name for God … any God, actually. In Ezekiel — “I am el (God), in the seat of elōhîm (Gods). The Hebrews called God El-shaddai (God almighty), ImmanuEL (God with us), and dozens of other “el-” names. The Miriam Webster dictionary gives the following etymology — “Middle English, from Hebrew Bābhel, from Akkadian bāb-ilu, gate”. So, what is Babel? Literally, the Gate of God. So, is it the city that’s called Babel because that’s where God “came down” … as the text says? Or, was the actual tower the people were constructing the “gate of God” … their attempt to “reach to heaven”, or more likely, their attempt to provide a means for God to come down? The text is not clear. So, we’ll leave as interesting speculation.

THE MYTH OF A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.”

A literal interpretation presents problems right from the get go. That’s because there has NEVER been One Universal Language spoken by all humanity. However, I don’t wish to debate philology. A fine overview of the origin of languages is here; — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_language

Rather, I am much more interested in the status of human language AT THE TIME referred to by the text. Scholars diverge wildly regarding the possible date the Tower of Babel could have been built – anywhere from 3500BC – 2500BC. So, let’s take the earliest possible date (3500BC) and briefly examine the archaeological evidence.

I need only one example. Spirit Cave in Thailand is a stratified site showing human occupation from BEFORE 5000 B.C. We do not know what language they were speaking in what is now Thailand …. but we can be darn sure it was not Sumerian, or Hebrew. Also, an archaeological dig in Pakistan revealed trident-shaped writing on fragments of pottery dating even further back at 5,500 years BC. Pretty sure they weren’t speaking Sumerian or Hebrew either. There, I gave you two examples.

The fact of the matter is the writer of Genesis 11 was oblivious to the existence of the Far East, Australia, the Americas, and pretty much the rest of the world beyond a few hundred miles of his locale. . Had he been aware of these lands, the peoples, and their cultures … which existed AT THE SAME TIME as when The Tower was built …. then he would have had a much better understanding regarding the history of language, and he would NEVER have said “.. the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech”.

Furthermore … and quite significantly … the previous chapter in Genesis, Gen: 10, seems to completely contradict the Babel story. Gen 10 is known as the “Table of Nations”. It lists all the nations that derived from Noah’s sons (Shem, Ham and Japheth) after the flood; Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, dozens of other “ites” and even including Egypt and …. Babylon. No one in their right mind would suggest that ancient Egypt and ancient Babylon spoke the same language. We have written texts from both areas to prove otherwise. So,now we have at least two languages. Of much, much greater significance is the fact that the Bible itself states that once dispersed …. these people spoke “after their tongues”! Let’s be clear about this; the Bible states people spoke in unique tongues BEFORE the construction of the Tower.

Either the author of Chapter 11 was being redundant at best (an unlikely repetition in Chapter 11 of what was just reviewed in Chapter 10), or much more likely, he didn’t know that God ALREADY dispersed the nations … each speaking after their own tongues. That’s quite a conundrum for literalists.

GOD GETS ALL PARANOID, ONCE AGAIN

“ And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower … Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down,”

1)- God says, “let US go down”. Who is this “us”?? Some folks say it is a figure of speech; such as when a British Royal Queen refers to herself as “we”. Unfortunately, there was no British royalty back then … and the royalty that did exist simply didn’t talk that way. But most Christians say God was talking to Jesus in his pre-incarnate form .. cuz Jeebus existed before he was born. I don’t know how to debate time-travel fantasies, so I won’t. The more logical explanation is that the ancient Jews, before they developed monotheism, believed in multiple Gods. Even Abraham’s father worshipped multiple Gods, and almost certainly Abraham was raised by his own father to do likewise (until he didn’t). Many years later, perhaps decades, Rachel was caught hiding the “household idols” inside her camel’s saddle. Then after the Jews escaped Egpyt, one of their first acts was to construct and worship a Golden Calf. However Christians want to interpret this. The fact of the matter is that early Judaism adopted very many of the Gods they left behind, they believed in multiple Gods, amd monotheism actually took centuries to fully develop.

2)- Why does an omniscient, omnipotent God need to “come down” to see anything?? And, where exactly is he coming down from? Does he walk, or take a bus? Theologians call this anthropomorphism; “the attribution of human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being, such as a God.”. These attributions must be made because no one has ever seen this OT God. Moses came closest, and even then, he only saw God’s “backside” … literally, “ass”. Who said there’s no humor in the Bible? “Anthropomorphism” is just a way of saying; “We make our Gods in MAN’S image.” Have you ever noticed that Western Gods behave just like humans? Especially the Greek and Roman Gods with all their fornication and backstabbing and jealousy and murder. And the OT God who laughs, cries, repents, has massive bouts of anger so much so that he has attempted to wipe out the human race, is often driven to jealous rage, and suffers from severe bouts of paranoid insecurity. We “anthropomorphize” deities because the more the Gods become like men, the easier it is for men to believe in the Gods.

3) Regarding paranoia in the Tower of Babel story —- why would an omnipotent God be so damn afraid of humans [supposedly] speaking one language? Why is he so afraid of humans building a structure that is, at best, about 300 feet high? Why didn’t he strike dead the builders of One World Trade Center who just completed a 1,776 foot skyscraper? Why is God afraid of technological progress? Does God REALLY believe that by having one language that “NOTHING” will be “impossible” for mankind? The implication being that puny finite mankind can (will) overthrow an all-powerful eternal God …. unless their language be confounded. Isn’t this idea just beyond silly, and indicative of massive paranoia?

And this isn’t the first time God exhibited his paranoia. He freaked out when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit …. fearing that mankind is “now like us”. (There’s that ‘us’ again.) Really?? Humans are now like God because they ate some fruit? Shortly thereafter God freaked out again … afraid that Adam and Eve might eat from a tree that would give them eternal life, so he had an angel with a flaming sword drive them out of the Garden to prevent that. Another time God was so freaked out over man’s wickedness that he sent a Great Flood to wipe out all but eight people from the face of the earth …. you know, because this all-powerful God was totally powerless to influence humanity. There are dozens more stories in the OT where God freaks out, and when God freaks out, humans die. A strange and paranoid God.

HOW DID GOD PULL THIS OFF?

Almost always in the reading of God’s miracles, they are almost always simply accepted at face value. The reasoning being that God is All-Powerful, and therefore He can do anything He wants. So, when the Bible states that the planet Earth stopped spinning, or the sun stood still, (so that Joshua could kill more Amorites), well, not one in a hundred Christian readers stops to ask themselves “how in the hell is that even possible without the earth exploding into space in a million fragments?” “More miracles” is the only possible response. But that answers absolutely nothing. Such cop-out explanations are akin to the Hindu idea that the elephant holds up the earth. Someone asks, “What holds up the elephant?” Answer: Another elephant. And so on, ad infinitum, ad absurdum.

So, exactly how did God pull this off? Did folks suddenly and immediately in the blink of an eye start speaking, for example, German? Were they suddenly able to pronounce “umlauts” and that crazy “ch” sound? Did they suddenly and immediately understand the nuances of the German language and realize that one can now end a sentence with a verb? Did they suddenly wear Lederhosen? Language is in the brain, of course, so did God have to “rewire” each and every person’s brain, from 5 year olds to 100 year olds? Key question; did they forget their original language … or were they bilingual, in which case, of course, the people would all STILL have a common language! Lol

WAS CONFOUNDING LANGUAGE A GOOD IDEA?

It doesn’t seem that confounding human language was all that brilliant. SAME language / culture unites … MULTICULTURALISM divides. It is significant to note that up to this point in biblical history, man had not fought against his fellow man other than in conflicts between individuals. There had been no mention of wars, no racial strife, no religious bigotry, no patriotic blood baths. Man had no reason to gang up and attack other groups of men. At that time, man was not at war with his fellow man and all men communicated freely in one tongue. It was this free communication which God knew he must put an end to if he planned on keeping men enslaved. Brilliant!

IS GOD BIPOLAR?

I ask this because thousands of years later in the New Testament book of Acts (2:1-11), God has a totally different agenda. This agenda is the antithesis of Babel … ONE language. This is the narrative. Believers were all in one place and of one accord (just like in Babel). The story even uses the word “confounded”, but for a different reason. This time after having received the Holy Spirit, the apostles preach … and men of diverse languages hear the sermon IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGES. Back in Babel the plan was to separate people, and now in Acts we’re seeing the exact opposite; a great re-integration. Bad one time. Good the next time. I wish God would make up His mind.

It seems that God’s primary reason for “coming down” was not necessarily the Tower structure itself – that was merely the means to an end — but because the people of Babel wanted to “make a name for ourselves”. But, in the very next chapter it is God himself who makes Abraham’s name great. King David spends a good portion of his life making a name for himself (2 Sam 8:13) without any negative repercussions or divine reprisals. It can be really hard to figure out what God really believes / wants.

WHAT LESSON CAN WE LEARN FROM THE TOWER OF BABEL?

Are we really supposed to believe that the Builders of the tower were motivated by building a structure that could reach heaven? How stupid would that be? They built the thing on “the PLAINS of Shinar”. A FLAT plain. There were MOUNTAINS nearby which would have given them a few thousand feet head start. Lol Are we to believe that they thought they could build a structure higher than a mountain? If they really wanted to reach the heavens, wouldn’t they have built the tower on the nearest high mountain? Yes. So, there must have been a different motivation … one we will never know. However, I can speculate on what the writer of the Babel story intended.

We can all certainly agree that the end result in the Tower story is one of division (one of God’s specialties). Let’s take a very brief look at one other major example in how God divides. OK. So, God chooses one race to his people … creating Judaism in the process. God later sends a Messiah to create a second division of his people …. creating Christianity in the process. God then chooses another guy, Mohammed, to create a third division of his people …. creating Islam in the process. And don’t tell me it wasn’t God who did all this. You should know that for ALL three of these divisions, God used the angel Gabriel as the messenger. Of course, these divisions have resulted in the longest and bloodiest conflicts in human history … which continue to this very day.

So, what are we to make of all this?

The 16th century philosopher, Machiavelli, may be able to help understand what is going on. Machiavelli described how a third party could manipulate two other parties … and maintain control over them both. It works like this;

—– 1) The Ruler creates a division amongst the people.

—– 2) The Ruler does this by creating conditions which accentuate the differences between groups. This causes conflict, and so the groups fight amongst themselves rather than against the ruler.

—– 3) The Ruler hides that HE is the cause of the conflicts, going so far as to feign innocence.

—– 4) The Ruler then offers support to ALL parties involved, thus maintaining their loyalty and faith in him.

—– 5) The Ruler is now viewed as The Beneficial One – Machiavelli uses the term “concerned parent” — no matter how bad and evil The Ruler might be in reality. After all, ONLY The Ruler can help bring everyone back together. There is a steep cost, of course. Many will suffer. Few will benefit. But, no one will ever blame The Ruler … which is just the way he likes it.

Now, am I saying that God is some type of Machiavellian monster? No. But, I am saying that that’s how the writers of Scripture often portray Him. Some may not want to hear this, but I am 100% convinced that the various authors of Scripture had no clue whatsoever that they were writing Scripture. There was no voice from heaven thundering “Hezekiah! Grab a pen. Let’s write some Scripture!”. They had no clue that the words they penned would take hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years to be considered “The Word of God” … and even then, only by a fatally flawed procedure of humans voting. The Ancient Sages had even less of a clue as to how the world works, human psychology and all that, but that didn’t stop them from trying to explain it.

So they wrote stuff, lots of stuff … some of it eventually became God’s Word … based on their observations and very limited knowledge. I imagine some smart (at the time) guy trying to explain to the people how multiple languages came into being, so he fabricates a story that at one time all humanity spoke just one language (a blatant misconception). No one apparently knew better, so people believed it. They believed it for so long, that even when the truth of the matter was made know … people STILL believed it. That, my friends, is the power of propaganda, believing the temporary lie until it becomes permanent truth. So, people have a choice to make. For me, the Tower of Babel story is an interesting piece of ancient literature. Nothing more.

Outta Gold, Outta Ammo

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

Published on Economic Collapse on April 25, 2013

Discuss this article at the Gold Table inside the Diner

All over the United States we are witnessing unprecedented shortages of ammunition, physical gold and physical silver.  Recent events have helped fuel a “buying frenzy” that threatens to spiral out of control.  Gun shops all over the nation are reporting that they have never seen it this bad, and in many cases any ammo that they are able to get is being sold even before it hits the shelves.  The ammo shortage has already become so severe that police departments all over America are saying that they are being told that it is going to take six months to a year to get their orders.  In fact, many police departments have begun to trade and barter with one another to get the ammo that they need.  Meanwhile, the takedown of paper gold and paper silverhas unleashed an avalanche of “panic buying” of physical gold and physical silver all over the planet.  In the United States, some dealers are charging

premiums of more than 25 percent over the spot price for gold and silver and they are getting it.  People are paying these prices even though they are being told that delivery will not happen for a month or two in many cases.  Some dealers are feverishly taking as many orders as they can, and they are just hoping that they will be able to get the physical gold and silver to eventually fill those orders.  Personally, I have never seen anything like this.  If things are this tight now, what is going to happen when the next major financial crisis strikes and people really begin to panic?

The shortages and rationing of ammunition at gun shops all over America just seem to keep getting worse.  The following is from an article by a gun owner down in Texas named Brad Meyer

If you’d like to see a normally sullen sales clerk chortle with derisive pleasure, just walk into just about any gun range, sporting goods store or mass merchandiser and try and buy a couple boxes of .22 ammunition.

Gun enthusiasts are up in arms about a nationwide shortage of ammunition. Handgun ammo in general is particularly difficult to find – and when you do find it, there are restrictions on the amount you can buy and how much you’re going to be paying for it.

While the list of hard to find ammo is long, .22 long rifle and 9mm handgun ammunition are particularly difficult to find in quantity. And the few places that have it are charging a premium rate and usually limiting purchases to one box, per person, per day.

Many gun owners try to find ammunition by going on the Internet, but things have gotten so tight that now any ammo that becomes available online is often gone within seconds

There are websites where people across the country post links to where ammunition is available – and it sells out within seconds. Not minutes or hours – seconds.

Unfortunately, all of this demand is also driving up prices.  Just check out what Meyer says is happening to the price of standard .22 ammo…

The demand is driving up the cost of ammunition. Six months ago, standard .22 ammo – the most common type of bullet produced in the world – could be had in bulk for around five cents apiece. It is now going for 50 cents or more on some websites – and people are paying it.

But this shortage is not just affecting private citizens.  According to Newmax, police departments all over the nation are dealing with ammo shortages unlike anything that they have ever seen before…

Sheriff Anthony DeMeo of Nye County, Nev., was told his department’s regular order of 50,000 rounds could take up to a year to arrive.

“This is the first time ever I’ve heard that there’s a problem with a law-enforcement agency getting ammo for their agency,” DeMeo told The Las Vegas Sun.

These departments are not alone. Law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia are among many that are having to limit how much they give their officers due to the shortage.

Could you imagine waiting for “up to a year” to get more ammunition?

A recent article posted on CNSNews.com had some more examples of police departments that are reporting that there is a massive wait to get more ammo…

Chief Pryor of Rollingwood, Texas says of the shortage:

“We started making phone calls and realized there is a waiting list up to a year.  We have to limit the amount of times we go and train because we want to keep an adequate stock.”

“Nobody can get us ammunition at this point,” says Sgt. Jason LaCross of the Bozeman, Montana police department.

LaCross says that manufacturers are so far behind that they won’t even give him a quote for an order.

“We have no estimated time on when it will even be available,” LaCross says.

This is insane.

What in the world could be causing such an ammo crunch?

Well, certainly the demand for guns and ammo has been trending up in recent years – especially since Barack Obama was elected.

But that doesn’t fully account for the shortages that we are witnessing at the moment.

So what is going on?

Well, some people believe that the federal government is responsible.  It has been reported that they have signed contracts to purchase “up to” 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.  According to Forbes, this amount of ammunition would be enough to fight a “hot war” in America for 20 years

The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice.  It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.  As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month.  Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.  In America.

Could this be a way that the Obama administration is trying to restrict the amount of ammo that gets into the hands of private citizens?

That is what some people are suggesting.

According to talk radio show host Michael Savage, the ammo contracts that the federal government has signed give them priority over all other purchasers…

What Homeland Security is doing here is they’re issuing a contract to buy up to that amount of ammo if they want it…

It’s a way to control the amount of market that’s available on the commercial market at any time.

If they go to the ammo manufacturers and say give me 50 million rounds, give me another 30 million rounds… if they periodically do this in increments, they’re going to control how much ammo is available on the commercial market.

As part of their contract it stipulates in there that when the government calls and says give us another quantity, that everything they make has to go to the government priority one before any of it goes to the commercial market.

So, if  they get nervous, all they have to do is use that contract that they have in place… and they just say ‘give us some more.’

So whenever the government wants to tighten the supply of ammunition, all they have to do is invoke their contracts and order more for themselves.

Meanwhile, Obama appears to be doing other things to restrict the amount of ammo that gets into the hands of private gun owners.

For example, there are reports that the Obama administration plans to use executive orders to greatly restrict the importation of ammo from overseas.

So if anything, the shortage of ammunition is only going to get worse, not better.

Meanwhile, the “panic buying” of physical gold and physical silver that we have seen lately has really run down inventories.

According to Reuters, demand has become so intense that the U.S. Mint has suspended sales of gold coins for the first time since 2009…

The U.S. Mint said it has suspended sales of its one-tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins as surging demand after bullion’s plunge to two-year lows depleted the government’s inventory. This marks the first time it has stopped selling gold product since November 2009, dealers said.

At the same time, precious metals dealers all over the country are scrambling to meet the voracious demand that they have been seeing this month.  The following is an excerpt from a letter that the CEO of Texas Precious Metals recently sent out to his customers…

The physical silver market is, in a word, ugly. There is no telling at this point when mint inventories will return to normal, but you can be sure it will not happen within the next 8 weeks. Most dealers, at this point, are selling their current customer demand forward, meaning they are selling product they do not presently have, expecting to pull from future mint allocations. Consequently, future allocations will face pressure from today’s demand. It is not my intent here to comment on the business practices of other companies, but I will say that no one can possibly predict future allocations at the time. The US mint, for example, releases its allocations weekly, and until then, dealers have no insight into allocation levels. Last week, we turned away business in excess of 100,000 ozs of silver because of stock depletion. However, we stand by the notion that it is better to lose a sale than lose a customer by delaying delivery two months (or more).

A similar thing is happening over in Asia.  According to the Financial Times, soaring demand has caused a shortage of gold at the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society…

Haywood Cheung, president of the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society, said the exchange had effectively run out of most of its holdings as members looked to meet a shortfall in supply amid rampant retail demand for gold products.

“In terms of volume, I haven’t seen this gold rush for over 20 years,” he told the Financial Times on Monday, adding that the exchange only had around twenty 1kg bars, and 100 five-tael bars left in its inventory. “Older members who have been in the business for 50 years haven’t seen such a thing.”

But most disturbing of all is what Jim Sinclair told King World News recently.  Apparently his friend went to get his gold out of a Swiss bank the other day and they refused to give it to him…

A person that I know with significant deposits in one of the primary Swiss banks, in allocated gold, wanted to take out his gold and was just refused on the basis of directives from the central bank….

They told him the amount was in excess of 200,000 Swiss francs and the central bank had instructed them not to do it because it has to do with anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering precautions.

I really wonder whether those are precautions or whether the gold simply isn’t there. Now you tell me that a London delivery has basically failed. It has to raise our suspicions that the lack of physical gold behind the paper gold is literally so severe that we are coming to understand that it is in fact not there.

The gold that people think is stored is not stored, and the inventory of the warehouses for exchanges may not be holding deliverable gold. There has always been speculation about whether or not the physical gold the US claims to store is in fact in those vaults.

The greatest train robbery in history might be all of the gold, and it would only be something like we have described above that would happen right before gold makes historic highs.

There simply is no gold behind the paper. One example is AMRO, a second is your example with Maguire, and a third is my dear friend who was refused his gold on the basis that its value was too high. Remember this friend of mine had his gold in an allocated account in storage at a major Swiss bank. I repeat, there is no gold.

So are we going to see more of this?

Will it soon become evident that there is simply not enough physical gold to cover all of the promises that the banks have made?

Jim Sinclair sure seems to think so.

In another interview, John Embry expressed similar sentiments to King World News…

This gets back to the tip of the iceberg when the Dutch Bank ABN AMRO came out and literally said that if you have allocated gold with us, you can’t have it.

That, to me, is a default, and it gets back to what Jim Sinclair related when one of his friends went to a Swiss bank and couldn’t get his allocated gold.  I mean that’s preposterous.  If it’s allocated it should be there, but it’s clearly not there.  I think this is the beginning of the end of the massive Ponzi scheme in paper gold.  I have been talking about this for some time, and it will have an enormous impact on future gold and silver prices.

When it becomes widely known that all of the people who think they own gold in fact don’t own gold, that it’s been hypothecated and re-hypothecated so many times that there are 100 claims for every single ounce of physical gold, that is when the prices of gold and silver will really go berserk to the upside, and at that point the shorts will have serious problems.”

If those that helped engineer the recent takedown of paper gold and silver were hoping to scare people away from physical gold and silver, then they failed miserably.  For even more on this, please see my recent article entitled “10 Signs The Takedown Of Paper Gold Has Unleashed An Unprecedented Global Run On Physical Gold And Silver“.

All of this is just another example why I encourage people to get prepared while times are still relatively good.

Once disaster strikes, it may be too late to get the things that you need.

Right now there are a whole lot of people out there wishing that they had stocked up on ammo when it was much cheaper and much more readily available.

We are moving into a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken.  Use the stability provided by the false bubble of economic hope that we are experiencing right now as an opportunity to get prepared.  The next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching and time is running out.

 

On the Divine

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Featheredserpentnotchedplatevol2mississip86.png

Originally published at Off The Grid In Minneapolis

Discuss this piece in the forum under Epicurean Delights

 

“Pealing back the veil, looking within, grounding oneself in the earth, and trusting that you are divine.”

 

I said this to the kulturkritic Sandy Krolick on his blog, offering it as an antidote to the despair that arises, among those who face the full ecological, economic, energy predicament Homo Sapiens is in at this point. He challenged me to say more about the divine. I went to see an old friend too, one of my first friends, who says she reads my blog and wishes I talked more about what I really think about this life.

 

In my first book, I repeated three times:

  

A unique, astonishing, utterly beautiful manifestation of the spirit, a divine being, a child of the earth, a child of the sun, Homo sapien sapien, sacred.

 

Contrast that with a few passages from the Judeo-Christian tradition here in the West (KJV):

 

The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth… Genesis 8:21 [fragment]

 

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked… Jeremiah 17:9 [fragment]

 

Wherefore, as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men; for that, all have sinned… Romans 5:12 (I futzed with the grammar to make it readable)

 

If we are divine, why are we always made to feel so small, so weak, so inconsequential, so incapable of anything but wickedness unless we obey? Why is the watchword obedience? Why are we made to submit, often irrationally, contrary to sense, by our parents, by our teachers, by our employers, by our government? If we are truly divine, shouldn’t we be able to rule ourselves? Why is it such a sin to question Authority?

 

First, forget everything you have ever been told about spirit, about soul, about an afterlife. What do I mean by divine? I take my understanding not from any spiritual tradition, but from nature, and from science.

 

As a child, I spent many of my days alone, exploring the lakes, woods, creeks and swamps around my house. It seems my whole adult life has been a search to recover the sense of connection I felt there, the sense of calm, the ease with which all the troubles of my youth were stripped away and I no longer thought, I simply was. Contrasting that, with the madness I found everywhere there were people. The cruel, petty, controlling unaccountable behavior, the crassness, the hypocrisy, the disconnection. I heard a lot of people talking about God, but not a one of them made me feel at ease anything like the way I felt when I was alone in the wild.

 

I wrote this about the core of being, in a recent post on free will:

 

Quantum physics has taught us many things, but most of what it has to offer, after one hundred years, has not yet trickled down to the general consciousness. Imagine for a moment: the atoms that are the fundamental structure of your bones, making them as hard as they are – if you inflate one of the quadrillions of atoms in your bones, to the size of an apple, the next bone-atom closest to it, would be a couple of city blocks away. Everything in between is empty space – as is most of the interior of the atom. We conceive of matter as dense. Matter is energy, at it’s core. Quantum physics tells us, the void, empty space, is denser energetically than matter, by an infinitude. Ponder that for a moment – energy vastly denser than what you are, flowing through you now, in every moment…

 

It’s not simply that everything we believe as solid is mostly empty space. Think about those atoms at the quantum level, how far apart they are from each other relative to their size. What kind of gravitational force could be so powerful, not just to hold these atoms in place, but to be also the foundation for something so hard as bone, or steel, or diamond? Nassim Haramein says the energetic density of the atom, is in fact the same as the energetic density of all the matter in the universe combined, which is to suggest, there are the makings of whole universes in every one of the thousands of quadrillions of atoms in your body. Now imagine the atom, from the second half of my post on governing ourselves:

 

every proton at the core of every atom is [like] a black hole, with a gravitational intensity that would explain the electrons spinning around it at near the speed of light. Or dual protons in close proximity spinning around each other at the speed of light.

 

And,

 

we are beings of light. If you consider too that the DNA strand is an emitter of photons, then it is perfectly in keeping with physics to say so.

 

Nassim is about as wild as a physicist gets, and with many of his ideas, he verges on charlatanism. But in a way, I trust him more than the average, standard model physicist. What does the typical scientific/materialist/atheist have to say about the universe:

 

It arose out of nothing, accidentally, for no reason, without meaning.

 

Translation:

 

You arose out of nothing, accidentally, for no reason, without meaning.

 

Why the incessant need to minimize?

 

Let’s look at the DNA strand, from my piece on Jeremy Narby’s Cosmic Serpent, Complexity and Wonder:

 

shaped like a spiral…..There are about 50-100 trillion cells in a human being. In each cell, there are two strands of DNA, one from the mother, one from the father. Each strand has three billion chemical base pairs, like rungs in a ladder, which are arranged in the “language” or “text” required to build the cell. If you remove a strand of DNA from a human cell, it is six feet long, but only ten atoms wide. To put this in perspective, if you were only ten atoms wide shoulder to shoulder, and you were to climb a strand of your DNA like a ladder, one rung, or base pair, per second, it would take you more than 93 years to climb bottom to top – assuming you didn’t stop to rest at any point in the journey.

 

All the DNA in your body is about 125 billion miles long. The distance from the Earth to the Sun is 93 million miles. That’s a little more than 134 times, to the sun and back.

 

DNA is the code at the foundation of all life. The code is found in genes, which are sections of the DNA strand where the base pairs form in specific ways, and in chromosomes, which are portions of the DNA strand tightly woven together. The translation mechanism is found in ribosomes, which pull amino acids together to form proteins, which become the structure of the body. Cells are like little factories, taking in energy, transforming it into something else, manufacturing at times exact copies of itself. As Narby points out, it tips to absurdity to suggest that both the language (DNA), and the translation mechanism (ribosomes) could arise by chance together, by accident, out of any random primordial soup.

 

It’s also worth noting, for fun, that the DNA in your cells is not inert, but endlessly writhing within the nucleus of the cell like a snake, wrapping around itself and the companion strand, in myriad ways. One hundred and twenty five billion miles of DNA in tens of trillions of cells, writhing like snakes.

 

Of course its not just the cells in your body that have spiraling, ever writhing DNA, nor just mammals, but insects and plants as well. So when you are outside, surrounded by living things, you are surrounded by a writhing, living energetic matrix of profound energetic complexity; and at the same time, empty space more energetically dense than all of that, by an order of magnitude running to infinity, is passing thorough all of it in every single moment.

 

And then there’s consciousness. Which science pompously attempts to minimize to electrolysis in the brain, basically.

 

And what has the industrial social model reduced you to? A consumer, disconnected from everything. It’s like the ultimate debasement.

 

I don’t know what universe you think you’re living in, but the one I’m living in is divine. It is conscious. And feeling that, knowing that, I’m inclined to think, the predicament humanity faces at this point, is primarily a spiritual transformation, however overwhelmingly material it would seem to be. Humanity awakening to itself, people looking deeply into the core of their being, learning to trust what they find there, cultivating that and offering it to the world. I wager, the more you know yourself, the less you need to be ruled, the less tolerant you will become of other’s attempts to dominate you. Religion, government, Institutions, the command and control domination we are so familiar with, is about maintaining social cohesion in hierarchical form, to benefit primarily a few. We are made to feel small, weak and inconsequential because such a people are more malleable, more easily manipulated, more easily controlled. Look around at what that has brought us. What we need now, is an expansive anarchism, self-rule, people taking responsibility for themselves, in relation to the world around them, in respect of and for the inherent connectedness of all life, of all things.

 

I’ll expand on this theme in future posts, and what one might do to cultivate a deeper awareness of ones profoundly energetic being.

Infinite Regression Analysis of God

Despite the fact I have been attempting today to get back to questions of Economics and put the Existential Questions of life on the Back Burner, my fellow Diners have NOT been cooperating with me here.  LOL.  Further debate in the Out of this World thread led me to leave my work on my Manufacturing Money article and address once again my Belief Structure as pertains to God.  My initial stuff on this topic can be found in the On the Existence of God  article I wrote some time ago, originally on The Burning Platform. My initial response in this portion of the debate was to Diner EndIsNigh, and I am including a few further exchanges.  For a complete reading, follow the link to the OOTW thread inside the Diner.

RE

From RE

What is an uncreated intelligence, if not something from nothing?  Perhaps the concept of nothing is itself false.  Physics supports the concept that even where there appears to be nothing, there is indeed something.  Can there even be an “outside” of the universe?  Interesting to ponder.  The problem is, we don’t seem capable of separating the observer from the observed.

You work your way into an Infinite Regression problem once you discuss the Big Bang, where the Universe we can perceive sorta Popped into Exitence from Nothing, beginning as it were as a Point and expanding from there.  Expanding into WHAT though?

So you then postulate there is another Bigger Multiverse of which this one is just a part, but of course then you could have a whole other tier after that, ad infinitum as it were.  Where you wish to stop this Navel Contemplation is up to you, but in the end you have Non-Existence vs Existence, and the Existence is GOD.  God just represents the Existence of all things, all universes, everything outside of Nothingness.

Next step is to look at Existence itself.  Is Existence Random?  Is the Universe Random in organization?  Is Matter Random?  Is Life random?  None of these things are Random by any definition of the word, we can perceive even just on our own plane of existence all sorts of Laws which govern interactions, they are not random at all.  In fact most things are highly predictable because of a lack of randomness.  The sun rising and falling in the sky as the perceived from the Earth as it spins is pretty predictable stuff of course.

So, we have Existence, and Existence is not Random.  It has Organizing Principles, a “Thought” process behind it if you will, and that OP is God.  If you want to Anthropomorphize God you jump out on a much more fragile limb of course, then you make the case that God will sorta consolidate Himself into a Package and appear on Earth in a variety of forms He chooses to take at any given time.  In general I do not think that is highly likely, but not impossible.

I do think though that it is possible to forge a closer connection to God by grasping hold of more of the OPs the Universe we can observe obeys. Less possible but still not impossible would be accessing the Power of God to perform what might be called Miracles.  Miracles would be localized suspension of the typical Laws we observe around us in operation.  Parting the Red Sea, Walking on Water, that sorta stuff.  I don’t consider either of those as highly likely to have really occurred, but I don’t discount the possibility either.  However, to BELIEVE in a Miracle, I would definitely have to see it with my own eyes.  I could not believe such a thing merely from Stroies in a Book, anymore than I believe the Starship Enterprise could travel Faster then Light. None of these thing obey laws I am familiar with in my observation of the Universe.

Far as Jesus Christ is concerned, He seems like a Good Guy who was quite in touch with many of the OPs of the Universe, but not all of them of course, limited as He was by the overall Knowledge base of the time.  IMHO, He misperceived many things about the nature of biological organisms, dominance issues, population dynamics and overshoot, etc.  This stuff just wasn’t inside His sphere of knowledge.  As to whether He was able to perform Miracles, its POSSIBLE, but not PROBABLE.  Far as being the personification of God on Earth is concerned, EXTREMELY unlikely.  By no means though does that mean God does not Exist, He certainly does, because God is all around us.  God is EXISTENCE.  God is the ONE AND ONLY SOMETHING THAT CAME FROM NOTHING.

The End of the Infinite Regression analysis, as it were.

RE

From Tao Jonesing

So, we have Existence, and Existence is not Random.  It has Organizing Principles, a “Thought” process behind it if you will, and that OP is God.  If you want to Anthropomorphize God you jump out on a much more fragile limb of course, then you make the case that God will sorta consolidate Himself into a Package and appear on Earth in a variety of forms He chooses to take at any given time.  In general I do not think that is highly likely, but not impossible.

So you’re basically a modern day Deist.

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Far as Jesus Christ is concerned, He seems like a Good Guy who was quite in touch with many of the OPs of the Universe, but not all of them of course, limited as He was by the overall Knowledge base of the time.  IMHO, He misperceived many things about the nature of biological organisms, dominance issues, population dynamics and overshoot, etc.  This stuff just wasn’t inside His sphere of knowledge.  As to whether He was able to perform Miracles, its POSSIBLE, but not PROBABLE.

You assume (1) that there was an historical Jesus Christ, (2) that JC taught what he was alleged to have taught, and (3) that those who conveyed what JC taught had no ulterior motive in conveying what they conveyed.

I will spot you (1), even though I don’t believe it myself.

I can’t spot you (2) because (a) none of the texts were written while JC allegedly lived (i.e., they were all pseudo-epigraphical, a polite word for forged),  (b) the Roman Catholic Church decided which texts were canonical four centuries after JC allegedly lived, and (c) the New Testament was subject to numerous interpolations (another polite word for forgery) after the canon was formed.

I won’t spot you (3) because what was conveyed formed the foundation of a super state, the original “New World Order,” which nowadays is known as the Roman Catholic Church.  The RCC conveyed JC’s alleged teachings in a manner designed to assume control over the masses, and they managed to do so for over a thousand years.  NWO v2.0, aka Classical Liberalism, didn’t manage half that span, and NWO v3.0, aka Neoliberalism, has run out of gas (literally?) in less than fifty years.

From Roamer

Re: Out of this World

RE, So in your view is God still evolving??  In mine I tend to think that God is an ever evolving organizational principle that arose from a sea of nothingness and that is refined over the creation and destruction of countless multiverses.  I also do not think that the sea of nothingness that God arose from is nothingness per say, its just the most subtle fabric of all of existence and it happens to be continually ordered through the OPs God has discovered in countless multiverse experiences. So there never was nothing and never will be, there just is this basic fabric or stuff of existence which through ever evolving organizational principles undergoes successive arrangements as universes and multiverses.  More less a never ending kaleidoscope of ever changing existences…no begining no end.  The whole beginning and end thing seems to be unique to western religions and IMO was a really key notion on getting people to jump aboard key principles of extractive economics (easier to get people to rape planet when they believe an end rapture is going to save them when TSHTF).
From RE

So you’re basically a modern day Deist.

I think the precise term is Pantheist.

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You assume (1) that there was an historical Jesus Christ, (2) that JC taught what he was alleged to have taught, and (3) that those who conveyed what JC taught had no ulterior motive in conveying what they conveyed.

I think there is sufficient evidence that there was a Charismatic Preacher walking around the Roman Empire of the Era to accept the historical existence of Jesus.  Anyhow, you spotted this one.

Far as #2 goes, these may or may not have been all His teachings, but they do have a pretty coherent theme runing through them, so I would not be surprised if they all came from one guy.  Whether the Words you find even in the oldest Latin or Hebrew texts were precisely as they came out of the mouth of Jesus, that I doubt.  They didn’t have Tape Recorders back in those days, and I don’t think there was a Stenographer out there when JC gave his Sermon on the Mount.

For #3, there is no doubt that all of this stuff was taken and manipulated for Control by the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and still further forms of control by later denominations, like our Mormon friends of course. (Did you read about the Mass Resignation of 150 Mormons in Utah a few days ago?)

However, taking somebody’s ideas and then developing a control structure around them in and of itself doesn’t show the ideas were not his to begin with.  You could take Karl Marx as a good example of that, or the Founding Fathers and their “Constitution”.

The main issue with Christianity is the same one that Islam and Judaism have, which is that so MANY people believe them blindly.  Religions become a tool of Mass Control in this way, and it really doesn’t matter what the underlying principles are at all really.  They can always be manipulated to the ends of whoever is running the show.  The vast majority of the population does not think in detail about any existential questions at all, they depend on their Pastor or on Biblical Scholars to tell them what the “truth” is.  I’m not like that of all at course, I only came to understand God in the way I do by observing the Universe around me and how Nature and People operate inside this corporeal world we inhabit for a while.  Christ or Reptilian Aliens don’t appeal to me as good Expalantions for what I observe, so I reject both ideas on First Principles.  Doesn’t make sense to me.  Josey Wales makes sense.
RE

From RE

RE, So in your view is God still evolving??  In mine I tend to think that God is an ever evolving organizational principle that arose from a sea of nothingness and that is refined over the creation and destruction of countless multiverses.  I also do not think that the sea of nothingness that God arose from is nothingness per say, its just the most subtle fabric of all of existence and it happens to be continually ordered through the OPs God has discovered in countless multiverse experiences. So there never was nothing and never will be, there just is this basic fabric or stuff of existence which through ever evolving organizational principles undergoes successive arrangements as universes and multiverses.  More less a never ending kaleidoscope of ever changing existences…no begining no end.  The whole beginning and end thing seems to be unique to western religions and IMO was a really key notion on getting people to jump aboard key principles of extractive economics (easier to get people to rape planet when they believe an end rapture is going to save them when TSHTF).

Evolving?  Not really.  Evolving would have the sense of Time in it as linear.  As you say in your response, “no beginning and no end”, it all Exists, all times all places.  God is sort of a Guardian of Forever idea from Star Trek there.

Anyhow, the set of Laws we observe as True in this Universe may or may not hold true in others.  Inside this Universe, while you are trapped inside your corporeal being there is not really “Free Will”, you are constricted by the Laws and have only limited room for maneuvering about them.  Depending on circumstances some folks are more constricted than others of course.  For instance, a poor child born in Libya in the midst of a Civil War is far more constricted than a child of the Rockefellers born with a Silver Spoon stuck up his ass.

So, while your soul is in its corporeal host, you pretty much have to operate according to the Laws of the Universe, which include the way social animals behave, and Homo Sapiens is of course a Social Animal.  You can’t artificially make Laws that don’t conform to the way Social Animals truly behave, and Christianity tries to do that in numerous ways. This to me is what makes it highly unlikely that Jesus Christ was the Son of God.  A REAL Son of God would have come to Earth preaching principles that actually conform to what God created here.
RE

Holmes and Watson

Occassionally on the internet you encounter people who give a lot of thought to the problems which confront Homo Sapiens going forward here.  Such a person is Ashvin Pandurangi of The Automatic Earth.  Quite a few others I have run into as well, Steve from Virginia who runs Economic Undertow and Gail the Actuary who runs Our Finite World are some others I have had the great pleasure of engaging in debate on the questions that confront us all.  None so much as Ashvin though, who is much like me in the respect he never quits on an argument and obligates himself to responding in great detail and at great length all the time to any and all comers in such discussions.

Over the last few months, Ashvin and I, along with numerous other commenters on the questions we are concerned with have been battling it out, pushing forth our varying perpectives on how best to handle the problems we are confronted with here.  Those being the clear and obvious collapse well underway of the monetary system we all depend on, along with the also obvious depletion of global resources not limited to just energy, but water as well, and finally the clear OVERSHOOT of Human Population on the planet.

I have great respect for Ashvin and the philosphy he espouses on the pages of The Automatic Earth.  I have never run across anyone else ever on the net who thinks in as much detail as he does about all these questions.  At  the same time though, I seriously disagree with Ashvin on a few core principles, and that is where the Holmes-Watson stuff comes into play.

Even though Ashvin and myself are in general agreement about the deflationary nature of the monetary collapse and also many of the Fascist outcomes resultant from that, we have some serious disagreements on basic MORAL principles.  So regardless of how any discussion we have begins, whether it is with a Greek Default or the validity of OWS Non-Violent Protests or any other manifestations of the spin down, we always get back round to arguing about fundamental postulates about God, Religion and Morality.  All to the good there IMHO, because if you cannot resolve those fundamental issues, you got no chance whatsoever  of resoving the practical problems which face us now.

We have been working through this inside the Diner and also on the pages of TAE as well.  All to the good there also, because it is the most important debate to consider of our time, far more important than whether Obama-sama or Catcher’s Mitt gets dropped into the POTUS spot in the next go round of faux-Democracy.

I do not know if Ashvin and I will ever work out these existentail questions in a way both of us can agree on.  I do believe however that it is important to continue the exploration of them in order to find the best pathway possible out of the current mess we are immersed in.  A challenge always, and I am extremely greatful that the Internet has made it possible for Ashvin and myself to debate these questions, and for all the rest of you folks also to be a part of that debate.  Not everybody writes as much as Ashvin and I do, but IMHO everyone who reads theses Blogs and Forums thinks on the problems quite a bit these days.  All to the good again.  Be aware.  Understand the issues.  Figure out your own plans to handle what is coming down the pipe here..  Best of luck to all of you in this endeavor.

In the most recent of the debates between myself and Ashvin, he used the Classic Line of “No SHIT Sherlock!” with respect to a farily obvious deduction I made on how social extermination plans often will play out.  This is a most interesting metaphor here, because of the roles both of us play in how we approach these questions, and it will be a metaphor for me from here on in.  You see, Ashvin is very much the Button Down Dr. Watson always, and yours truly here is always the somewhat crazed Detective looking for answers. I respect Watson, but I do not think like he does.  I think Watson respects me also, but he thinks I am off the Deep End and hopes to save me from myself.  So be it.

Below follows the latest in the Holmes-Watson Debate.  I expect it will continue in various forms until the Internet Goes Dark.  To Watson I say, as always, it is Elementary Sir.  LOL.

RE

I thought the whole point of this “thought experiment” of yours was to see what types of economic and sociopolitical dynamics will realistically happen in upcoming years?

No, if you read what Surly has written in this thread and I write all the time, the purpose of the Thought Experiment is to SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN.

The principle is thus: We are faced with a Die Off of astounding proportions, at LEAST 50% of the population is going to the Great Beyond here no matter WHAT we do. As I work it out in the TE, if we do not get rid of the vermin running this show, this Die Off is going to be 90% and quite possibly 100%, aka an EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT. Bold and Caps together doesn’t emphasize this enough. We are at serious risk of the END of Human Sentience. If you value Biblical Morality more than that maybe you risk this, but I do not so highly value morality which makes little sense in this world. “Go Forth and Multiply?” WTF? That is the LAST thing we need to do these days. My moral principle here is to Save as Many as I Can.

We would all choose OMMP if we knew how to do it in a perfect way and one that is in harmony with our personal beliefs/values. But, REALISTICALLY, we know that there are a dime a dozen problematic issues wrapped up in this thing, and I am just pointing out to you one of the major ones that I see. And I know I’m not the only one, because other people have mentioned how it could be co-opted by the Illuminati and what not. I am simply taking that logic a step further and positing that it may already be a part of THEIR master plan to deceive the masses (as always) and warm them up to their faux Orkin Man. If that is true (and I maintain that it is a much more likely outcome than your OMMP with truly righteous intentions), then we are simply playing into their hands when we advocate for it. We are helping to sow and water the psychological seeds that they would like to see fully grown.

Clearly not everyone would choose the OMMP no matter what, that is what you yourself argue all the time. You argue that some principles are so inviolable that in fact it might be better to let ourselves go EXTINCT than to violate them.

I am fully aware of all the risks involved here in any kind of Plan to Manage Death, either Illuminati generated in an IMP or J6P generated in an OMMP. What I am quite certain of now though is that SOMEBODY is going to be managing this Death and the battle before us is all about WHO gets to do the managing here. Most often through history the Illuminati have been the Managers, but not 100% of the time. Evidence of that is in the Reign of Terror of Robespierre and the fact Nicholas and Alexandra Romanoff were filled full of LEAD in a Ruskie Basement and Marie Antoinette’s HEAD went rolling down the Champs d’Elysee like a Bowling Ball. The Elite do not manage the death so well 100% of the time, and occassionally they DO get the short end of the stick here. This is one of those times we have to make sure J6P runs the Death Show, not the Illuminati. In fact there is probably no time in all of recorded history when this was more important, because never before has the risk on the other side been the complete and total anhilliation of the human species, along with probably all other life forms above the level of the Tardigrades.

If we do NOT step up to the plate here and take control of this, then we are in fact going to be responsible for our own extinction. I for one am not in favor of that, so I run my TEs to find a WAY OUT. I don’t like what I see as the only road out here anymore than you do Ashvin, but it is a Morton’s Fork. The signpost up ahead says Mass Death to the left and Extinction to the right. I will go left here.

I don’t think there’s much left to debate down this spiritual road. You are convinced that spiritual truths have zero application to human dynamics in the “real world”, and you are unwilling to do any research about the spiritual perspectives and principles that you casually dismiss.

All of the evil you see happening now and in the future is exactly the same evils that those of faith see, but they have fundamentally different explanations for why it is here and therefore fundamentally different views on what we can do about it.

You and I will say that we knew all this stuff was coming down the pipeline for years, and they will say “oh really? well half this crap was prophesied in the Bible 2000 years ago, and in some cases even earlier…” Even you like to quote Revelation 18 as being relevant to how monetary collapse would go down today.

If you still can’t understand why their faith is critical to what they think is an acceptable course of action and also what they believe will happen in the future, both to them personally and the world as a whole, then there’s nothing more I can say to make you understand that.

You think they’re wrong, they think they’re right, and I think they are a lot more right than you are. That’s all there is to it.

No, that is NOT all there is to it.

I understand well enough why people have faiths of varying sorts, and I understand also well enough IMHO the Christian Faith also.

The problem with about all of these faiths in a world of serious overshoot is they have limited applicability if you want to Save as Many as You Can. I don’t think all those folks who generated up these Faiths were “wrong” in their assumptions when the world was new and resources seemed limitless. Conditions have changed here now though, and for much the same reason that the monetary system we run based on growth will not work, so also the “truths” many hold near and dear to their moral center ALSO will not work.

People do not let go of truths they think are universal very easily, only really when personal survival becomes the name of the game are such truths really tested vor veracity. A few souls will hold onto their truths right to the bitter end, and get Nailed to a Cross for it. The fact they will do that is quite remarkable, but it doesn’t make them Right all the time either.

RE

Unforgiven

Discuss this article inside the Diner

 

Surly recently wrote a post inside the Diner in the Usury thread begun by El Gallinazo  reviewing the exploits of Pol Pot, Cambodian Cleaner extraordinaire, as a Counterpoint to the Orkin Man meme I use to drive home the nature of beast we have here before us.  I suggested he turn the post into a Feature Article for the Blog, which he did.  I am compelled however to rexamine the questions Surly does in his analysis, because he does not paint a complete picture here.

Humanity is an Unforgiven bunch overall.  We all know where this is leading…no has already led to.  War.  Actually, Wars since there will be many of them.  Precisely how many will end up dead as a result of these Wars I have no idea, other than it will be a big number with lots of Zeros after it.  Beyond that, it is not a huge leap to make that our JIT food production and transportation will be compromised by increasing disorder in the society, leading to famine of unprecedented proportions.

Confronted with all of this, I look back at the history of Homo Sapiens and how societies react in these type of situations.  This is not the first time this has occurred, though it may be the biggest and the last time.  Is there a Way Out of the mess?  Yes there is, but it is full of unpleasantness no matter how you cut it.  The best you can do is try to find a path that Saves as Many as You Can.

Below follows some of my thoughts on how you go about this, and what the Morality and Ethics are when societies are confronted by trials like this.

RE

I go through this bizness of the Nasty Dictators all the time with Ashvin over on TAE, and certainly it is not an easy position to take on the Orkin Man Idea when you have such nefarious types as Pol Pot in the Terminix bizness.

I am NOT defending Pol Pot here, because he took on this massively counterproductive attempt at social cleansing with tons of wrong ideas and with tons of corruption involved as well.  it also was bound for failure because it was undertaken while the Conduits were still functional.

Taking out the Crystal Ball here and looking into the FUTURE though, let’s consider some of the ideas involved in this mess.

Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”  included forced evacuations of Chinese cities and the purging of “class enemies, ” a move that would apparently gain favor among participants in this thread. Pol Pot now stood up his own “Super Duper New and Improved Great Leap Forward” in Cambodia, which in itself was new and improved, hence renamed the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea.

On the “Forced Evacuation of Big Shities” question.  It wasn’t true for sure in Cambodia, but look at the Mass Death that may occur in the Big Shities if they are NOT evacuated before JIT delivery fails.  You could have a 99% Death Rate in those places.  If Pol Pot II was running the show and forcibly evacuating people NOW, maybe you only get a 50% Death rate.  So here PPII goes down in History as the Mass Murderer of say 3B People.  Except if PPII had NOT done this, 6B would have gone to the Great Beyond instead.

It’s obviously a tough call to make for a Political Leader when to pull the plug on the Big Shities and tell everyone they have to EVACUATE NOW.  It will inevitably result in a Massive Death Toll.  But if you think it will be WORSE if you don’t do it, if you are willing to take the heat as the worst Mass Murderer in all of Recorded History, maybe you do it.

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Millions of Cambodians accustomed to city life were now forced into slave labor in Pol Pot’s “killing fields” where they soon began dying from overwork, malnutrition and disease, on a diet of one tin of rice (180 grams) per person every two days, the better to become compost and improve the yields.

OK, here we  have mostly agreed that Industrial life is going the way of the Dinosaur and people HAVE to go back to the Land as Farmers at least, if not H-Gs.  What is going to happen to Obese J6P when you put him out on the land pushing a plow?  Instant Heart Attack!  Most people currently used to EZ Living courtesy of the thermodynamic energy of Oil simply are not IN SHAPE to work out in the Fields.  Is it PPII’s FAULT these folks are too fat and weak to pull their own weight out there?

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And you can’t have a party without the purges… a veritable binge of purges. Up against the wall went the remnants of the “old society” – the educated, the wealthy, Buddhist monks, police, doctors, lawyers, teachers, glasses-wearers all, no doubt. Ex-soldiers were killed along with their wives and children. Eventually the taste for human blood leads to a paranoia of sorts, and why not?  Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Pol Pot, including eventually many Khmer Rouge leaders, was shot or bludgeoned with an ax. “What is rotten must be removed,” a Khmer Rouge slogan proclaimed.

Here of course is the EXCESS which occurs in many an Inqusition/Reign of Terror type scenario.  There is going to be a lot of BLOWBACK resultant from many people who have lost their comfortable life and who want to see PPII DEAD because of that.  He gets blamed for the problems they have; he gets blamed for their loss of economic status in the society.  So PPII gets PARANOID, for good reason.  People really ARE out to get him.  So he starts Killing Them before they Kill Him.

This of course is the Omellette issue Uncle Joe talked about.  Its just about impossible to be a manager of massive Die Off without yourself becoming a Target.  Yet if SOMEBODY doesn’t get int here and try to manage it, the Die Off is WORSE.  Morton’s Fork situation of course.

Now, back in Uncle Joe, Mao and Pol Pot’s era, if they played along with the Iluminati they likely could have avoided all that dieing.  Except these guys wanted to Exit the Game early, and to exit it they essentially were cutting off their Noses to spite their Faces.  They lost the ability to Trade with the outside world and were attempting to Go It Alone, and this messed up all their in place systems which sorta worked as long as you paid your Vigorish to the Illuminati.

So all of them go down in History as the most vicious and Genocidal Dictators in all of Recorded History, at least in gross numbers if not in Percentages.  I still maintain that the Romanoffs were WORSE than Stalin, but that is not really that important here at the moment.

Moving into the FUTURE here, the issue is you cannot even Save As Many as you Can by PLAYING BALL with the Illuminati.  Why?  Because said Illuminati are Fresh OUT of Cheap Oil to sell you with Loans they hand out to you.  So unfortunately here in this Morton’s Fork situation, the social dynamic is likely to produce numerous PPIIs and Great Uncle Joes.  Because unless somebody does SOMETHING to try to keep the society organized up, the Dieing will be WORSE than it would be if you have some Dictator FORCING people to evacuate the Big Shities.  They aren’t going to do that on their own until it is too late and they all are starving and Cannibalizing each other.

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Although the image of banksters and stockbrokers mucking out pigpens and pushing wheelbarrows through knee-deep mud remains a compelling one for me.

You know, I paint all sorts of pictures based on the Spanish Inquisition and the Reign of Terror, but the fact of the matter here is that if you simply took away all their wealth and power and dropped these folks into a Housing Project in Chicago and left them their Shoelaces, Silk Neckties and Gucci Belts, they would all Hang THEMSELVES in short order.  So if you want to go about it this way to absolve yourself of a sense of Guilt for lopping off their Heads, I am fine with that one also.

Regardless of the means here, whether it is Sepuku or Capital Punishment, the situation is going to create the BLOWBACK from people who once had power, now removed.  They will attempt Counter Revolutions and so forth.  So you get forced into a battle here no matter what, and people DIE no matter what.

Practical sort of fellow that I am, I work my way through this dynamic to try to find the pathway with the least pain and the greatest survivability for the typical Slave in our society.  The means I see working best is to take the battle to the Illuminati before they get the Death Camps rolling in earnest here.  You do have to wait for the Failure of the Conduits though, because as long as the Iluminati have the Big Ass Military and Gestapo organized up and functioning, you stand no chance here.  Once those Conduits fracture though, the playing field is LEVELLED.

Then you don’t just get MAD, you get EVEN.

The issues most folks have when confronted with these problems are of Morality and Ethics and how you interpret God in the whole schema.  If there is a God, what is he really after here with Homo Sapiens?  What does He expect us to do confronted by Mass Death no matter which way we turn here?

For people brought up under Judeo-Christian morality, all the solutions which historically ARE taken are all unnacceptable.  War is unacceptable, Fighting Back is unacceptable (Turn the Other Cheek), even passing Judgement on the Guilty is unacceptable (Judge not lest ye yourself be Judged).

In fact few Christians besides Saints follow all the advice of Jesus even in good times.

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

WTF does this?  Up here in Alaska if you did this in the winter you would freeze to death in minutes.  Maybe that worked in the Middle East where its warm all the time but not here.  Christians also regularly go to War, regularly charge Usurious Interest and regularly commit Adultery also.  So it seems the vast majrity of Christians kind of pick and choose which of Jesus’ Words of Wisdom to follow on any given day.

For most of human history though, this set of principles was never followed by anybody.  Certainly not by tribes of Inuit who would practice Infanticide and Abondonment of the Elderly as tribal survival strategies.  You can also make a very good case that people who lived with this moral structure lived a lot more in balance with the world surrounding them than Christians or Muslims have ever managed to do.

The real questions of human survival come down to the needs of the many weighed against the needs of the few, or the one.

I personally believe in the existence of an Eternal Soul, and I also believe in Reincarnation, although in my own peculiar sort of way.  I’ll explain it in detail at some point, though you might try reading my On the Existence of God article.  Actually, that one might be worth a Cross Post on TAE, it certainly got a lot of conversation going on TAE when I originally posted it there.

Anyhow, while encased in your corporeal existence, you are subject to Natural Laws.  You personally have survival imperatives, and so does the community you are a part of.  The choices you make when confronted with these imperatives can impact your Eternal Soul, but it comes down to Motivations rather than Acts in the end.  I discussed this with you already in my example of the Liquor Store robbery Killing versus the Rapist Killing.  In one case the Motivation for the Killing is Selfish and Evil, in the other case it Helpful and Good.

On the agregate level of society similar questions arise, Infanticide is one of them.  If the purpose of the Infanticide is to provide for the Needs of the Many at the expense of the Needs of the One, the motivation involved is a Good one.  I don’t think this impacts negatively on your Immortal Soul, because you are trapped by the imperatives involved while you are a corporeal being.

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On a more practical level – what if the baby would have turned out to be an Einstein when it comes to H-G or leading the Tribe? It is possible that the decision to murder the baby in order to spare the more productive member is a grave mistake. Perhaps the short-term risk of Tribal extinction is even worth it. The Tribe will never have enough information at the time of the Act to know that, though. BUT if there’s a possibility they will all suffer in the afterlife or in subsequent lifetimes, then it may be a lot better to err on the side of moral caution.

Well, the absolute value of Einstein, Newton, Leibniz, Edison or even Mother Theresa can be questioned to begin with.  After all, Einstein’s Special Relativity Theory led to the Atom Bomb and Fuk-U-Shima, now didn’t it? The Calculus of Newton & Leibniz led to Financial Derivatives, now didn’t it?  Edison’s Light Bulb led to the mass burning of Coal and huge inputs of CO2 into the Atmosphere, now didn’t it?  And finally, the Selflessness of Mother Theresa giving to the Poor contributed to Overshoot, now didn’t it?  So you see here, whther they be Great Theoreticians, Great Inventors or even SAINTS,their existence on Earth had major Blowback involved.  So perhaps we need fewer of these folks, not more of them.

RE
Derrick Jensen makes a case for resistance using similar logic, that weve tried being nice and it hasnt worked, but with different timing.  He advocates more immediate action to avoid the system grinding on another 300 years, or the elite realizing its over and rather than let go of their rule, nuke it all while they hide in bunkers.  The effort of such pre-emptive strikes would be justifiable.  In your scenario collapse is guaranteed with a short event horizon.  I have doubts an OMMP is a “matter of utility,” as El G puts it.  Energy of all kinds (psychologic, physical, social, material) will be at a premium in a fast collapse scenario.  Efforts may be better directed elsewhere.

I’m not entirely sure of the “Event Horizon” on this.  In terms of passing the point where collapse is inevitable, I am sure we have pased that EH.  However, I am not sure that at least in some Ringfenced countries BAU might not be possible for another 50 years.  So calling in the Orkin Man NOW when we might muddle through a while longer at least here has questionable value, at least for US.  For the 3rd world countries who are bearing the most pain right now though, an Orkin Man arrival in the FSofA might take some of the burden off of them.  It would of course send the FSofA into a Tizzy of Civil War requiring all the troops currently dispatched over the globe to return home to quell the violence.

In reality here, we have not one but TWO Orkin Men running for POTUS, Obama-sama and Catcher’s Mitt.  They are both committed to Exteminating folks outside these borders who are inconveniently sitting on top of OUR OIL!  It’s all about who the Orkin Man sets about exterminating.

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I know you will claim that’s exactly why we need the OMMP, so we don’t repeat the cycle, but maybe the OMMP perpetuates the type of thinking that sets it up.  The likely outcome is there will always be another pigman unless the very nature of dominator culture changes.  A global collapse has good odds of achieving that without the need or utility of an OMMP.


I can’t promise an Orkin Man solution to the Illuminati problem will prevent the cycle from repeating itself.  The main thing the Orkin Man has to do is prevent an ELE now.  So someone who will decommission ALL the Nuke Plants in the country/wold DESPITE the fact that a shortage of Electricity will end up in millions dieing by itself is necessary.  An Orkin who MANDATES that the Big Shities are evacuated BEFORE JIT fails is necessary, despite the fact millions more will die in the relocation effort.  An Orkin Man who pledges to get rid of all Greedy Parasitical Scumbag Pigmen currently walking the Earth is necessary, despite the fact we may eventually breed up NEW GPSBs.

 40 Years ago when 4 were Shot Dead in Ohio by the National Guard on the Campus of Kent State University, we might have still had a CHANCE to correct our behaviors without an Orkin Man Solution.  Now it is TOO LATE.  We missed the Bus.  Now its a dichotomy between MASS DEATH or EXTINCTION.  Which one do you choose?  Only an Orkin Man can make that kind of choice.  The key is to find the RIGHT kind of Orkin Man who Exterminates the RIGHT Vermin.  The Orkin Men we have to choose from right NOW are 180 degrees opposite from that.

So now, we are presented with a Morton’s Fork of unprecedented scope in all of recorded history.  We have on the one hand the very REAL possibility of an Extinction Level Event, not just for Homo Sapiens but for about every other living creature on the face of the earth with the possible exception of the Tardigrades, who can withstand close to Absolute Zero temperatures and bombardment by Gamma Rays and STILL pop back to life in the right conditions.  Sadly for Homo Sapiens, we are not as resilient as the Tardigrades.

On the other hand, the choice is MASS DEATH coming by one means or another here.  War, Pesitlence, Famine and Death, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are ready to Ride Herd on Humanity once again now.  Which is the BETTER alternative here, Extinction or Mass Death?  To some folks, Extinction is a preferable alternative to compromising Judeo-Christian ethics they think are more important than life itself.

If systematic genocide is the last best idea we can come up with, then maybe it would be better to let ourselves go extinct.

First off, it depends how you define Genocide.  In the case of the PPII evacuating the Big Shities and in the process killing 3B People, is this genocide if he had not done that and 6B would have died instead?  Looked at the other way, PPII SAVED 3B lives!
Far as being better to self-extinguish, I can’t ever buy that one.  Always a chance to improve if you are still walking the earth.

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All of this just convinces me that it will always come down to a question of moral values in the end. Your cut-throat, last Hoorah Utilitarian morality just doesn’t do it for me…

And your moralism to the point of self-extinction doesn’t do it for me either.  We’re even there.

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If you believe in an immortal soul, universal reincarnation, multiple universes, or anything of that sort, I think this assertion of yours is plain stupid. Who cares about saving your physical body on Planet Earth if you are risking eternal damnation in a fiery abyss?

Ashvin, YOU are the one who thinks you risk Eternal Damnation for this, not me.  If that were true, then generations of Inuit have all gone to Hell for Infanticide and abandoning the elderly to die.  Beyond that, every Soldier who ever went to war and killed people ALSO got sent to Hell.  I don’t BELIEVE that Ashvin.  I believe people like Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon go to Hell, not people who make practical choices for their own survival and that of their tribe.

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Not smart, just good – however you want to define that. How can the information that the Infant will be, let’s say, another Christ-like figure not be relevant in your extermination decision?? It MUST be relevant, or else your Utilitarian morality falls to pieces and you have no justifiable leg to stand on.

 Look, if Christ can be born twice, he can be born 3 times.  Hopefully next time He chooses to born, the Hunting will be better.
Starting out there fresh out of the oven, kids have different physical attributes and mental ones also based on how good the wiring is inside their brains.  How “good” anyone will become at anything is based on much more than just what they were born with in terms of physical gifting.  From my observation with kids, they seem to be “infected” with a soul around the age of 2 or 3, not at birth.  Then there are all the circumstances that come after that, nutrition over the years, education etc.  So you can’t really say anything for sure about a newborn, and its random whether anyone lives or dies also.  You can’t be sure if one of the kids who die in a Bus Crash might have been the Second Coming of Christ either.
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Yes, and this has been the conundrum of the human condition over the ages, but especially in recent years – we try to make calculated, optimal decisions in the short-term temporal sphere based on extremely imperfect information and then justify them after the fact as being in the best interests of humanity, as if we could have possibly known that. After all, the survival of that Tribe has gotten us where exactly?

The point I try to make Ashvin is that the Tribe I am after did NOT survive.  Agriculture and Industrialization rendered this Tribe EXTINCT, or nearly so.  We have to REVERSE ENGINEER this tribe back into existence.  It’s not going to be easy, and no road for the Squeamish either.  You start by getting rid of the most egregious offenders and then attempt to re-educate all the rest.  Those who cannot or will not Repent and change their ways will go to the Great Beyond, one way or the other.

I do not see Mass Death as avoidable at this point, and I cannot accept the alternative of allowing what is going on now to end in an Extinction Level Event either.  So the only real question for me here is who lives, who dies and how you cut the losses as best you can.  The only people who can do that are Orkin Men.  I don’t believe there will be ONE Orkin Man of vast power and control like a Mao or Uncle Joe here, I think the society is fracturing too fast for that too organize up now.  Rather I think the fractured society will breed up various Orkin Men, all with varying styles and methodology, but in the end all will be responsible for the very same thing, which is MANAGING DEATH.

If  YOU were charged with this unbearable responsibility, how would YOU react, what would YOU choose to do?  For me, the right meme does not come off the pages of The Bible, it comes from the Pop Culture  paradigm of the Old West, personified best by Clint Eastwood in so many films, fromthe Spaghetti Westerns to the Unforgiven.  We ARE an Unforgiven bunch as Homo Sapiens, and there really are times when a Stranger needs to Ride into Town and take out the Bad Guys.

This is one of those times, for sure.

RE

On the Existence of God

Another Blast From the Past here on the Diner.-RE

Discuss this post at the Out of this World table in the Diner 

RE’s Daily Rant-3/20/2011

Posted originally on TBP on 22nd March 2011 by Reverse Engineer  in Uncategorized

I’ll open this Rant with the series of questions Yojimbo posted in the last Daily Rant:

Dear Reverse Engineer,

At some point, I would like to read your thoughts on the following (and, no, I am not joking, being insincere, or otherwise; these times lead me to ponder the unknowable):

1. How and why did souls/spirits enter our species, an essentially highly adaptable, highly creative, highly aggressive animal, driven by powerful hormones and glands towards animalistic behaviors, and driven by our deep brain structures toward violence? There seems to be an irreconcilable irony or oxymoron inherent.

2. Are there in fact an infinite number of universes where a multiplicity of outcomes occur, each creating a new universe, thereby different from each other universe? Why does it appear to our perceptions that we inhabit only one? Is it possible to connect energetically with others?

3. Is collective spiritual evolution possible throughout the human species, or is it only possible on an individual basis? What about the evolution of consciousness? Has there been an evolution of consciousness during the history of human beings, or is it only hubris for us to think so?

4. Is there a difference between a soul and a spirit? How are they initially created? Are they created over time, slowly advancing, or all at once, out of whole cloth? Do animals have them? What occurs to them after the death of the physical body? If they remain whole after death, are there other worlds or states of existence that we enter, where we are challenged to grow or wither, as in this one?

5. Do other entities or beings affect this world’s events, either in a macro sense, or on an individual basis? Are other entities or beings affected by this world’s events? How and why?

Feel free to tackle these at your leisure. I assume during your years driving that you have come to some tentative conclusions. These are truly times that try one’s belief in humanity

The above all represent existential questions which nobody really can answer by citing “Scientific Fact”, yet it’s the kind of stuff just about everybody thinks about when confronted with Life & Death scenarios, either directly for yourself or by empathizing with the circumstances of other people. I’m not going to answer these questions sequentially, rather I’m going to look at the main question of the existence of God, from which all the rest of them flow.  Some explicit answers are here in the OP, others may come out in the comments.

Connected as we all are now Globally through the marvel of the internet, you get an even BIGGER picture of all of Humanity in an existential crisis, and you have to wonder just what is the Purpose of it all, if there is indeed a purpose at all?  Are we simply the result of Random events eventually generating up Sentient beings bound for eventual self immolation as a species?  Muckabout appears to believe that to be the case, he regularly informs me that there IS no “Other Side” we will someday meet up on. Too bad if he is right, because I sure would enjoy shooting the shit with MA in the Great Beyond.  Bright fellow, even if he is Older than Dirt. LOL. At least unlike some premature Alzheimer’s victims here he doesn’t smear feces all over the pages of TBP.

For most of my life I held this type of viewpoint, generally an Atheist although I always left it open as Unknowable, so that let me sit the fence as an Agnostic.  Its only in the last few years I “got Religion” and decided for myself that God Exists and there is a Great Beyond.  How and why did I come to that conclusion?

Its hard for me to pinpoint exactly why I came to this conclusion, but I think in general it is because of the LACK of randomness I perceive in nature now.  I see so many connections now in numbers and spatial and temporal organization that it has become impossible for me to believe that mere randomness was capable of organizing up what we see as “Life”, and more than that “Sentience”, which is the ability to perceive yourself as an independent unit in the whole organization. It took me a long time to see these things, really just about my whole life. I had to process my lifetime of experience to get a glimmer, and it is by no means complete.  I keep writing as means to organize what I observe in the world, I have been doing this for well over a decade now, long before the monetary system problems hit my consciousness, I was concerned with other things 10 years ago. I have tens of thousands of pages written on other topics on the Yahoo and Google servers, much more than I have written on the pages of TBP, believe it or not. I think about it, then I spend each day writing about it. It is a Habit for me.  Except for some short periods on vacations or out in the bush not connected to the internet in the last decade, I have done this EVERY DAY.  Its just a chronicle of figuring it all out for myself.  I like the interactions with people, I like to write in dialogue, I like to debate. It helps me sort things out.

I wasn’t brought up with religious Dogma, I was Confirmed as a Unitarian in my infancy. Unitarians are basically a catch all for people from different religions who sometimes believe in God and sometimes don’t.  I went to Sunday School and listened to Stories from the Bible, most of which stretched my credulity even as a 5 year old before we moved to Rio.  I once got in a 2 hour long argument with a Presbyterian Minister in Brazil as a 7 year old, the Church we joined there because there were no Unitarian Churches in Rio at the time.  He did not convince me God Existed, I did not convince him he did not.  Very unsatisfying result overall for both of us. LOL.

Anyhow, I hardly got a comprehensive inculcation into “Christian” thinking, but I did learn a few of the parables from the Bible during that time. Mostly I forgot them though through my life and just lived as most people do, worrying about your day to day things like making a living and getting laid.  I wandered around a whole lot, much more than most people, through many jobs in different trades living in many places. I have been in my life in addition to being a Teacher and Trucker, a Risk Analyst on Wall Street, a Research Chemist (I helped design some of the first Radioimmunoassay Tests back in the 70s), a Clinical Chemist, a Cardiac Catheterization technician, a Respiratory Therapist, an Assistant Chef in two NYC Restaurants and a Carpenter. Unpaid work, a Writer, a Hunter and a Fisherman.  Gambling and games for money, a sometime Poker Player, Bridge Player, Shooting Pool and Squash  and Table Tennis player in my college years and a while thereafter.  Shooting pool helped put me through college, along with playing Squash at the New York Racket Club. Against the Chinese students in the Columbia School of Engineering playing Ping Pong, I about broke even.  Maybe. You tend to forget the losing games.  LOL.  Sometimes employed in Unions, other times not, other times as an Independent Contractor.  I like doing many different things, so I changed jobs all the time. Besides driving every last mile of the Eisenhower Interstate in my Freightliner (well, Hawaii was in a Rented Car and Alaska doesn’t have Interstates and I haven’t driven the Al-Can, but I may do it this summer), I have lived in 8 different states, NY, NJ, MO, MI, IL, GA, FL, AK and 3 different countries, FSofA, Brazil, Oz. I moved inexorably outward from the center of civilization in NYC where I was born, ending up here on the Last Great Frontier, which I never intended to do, it just “happened”.  Random?  If Muckabout is right, indeed it was, but I no longer think so.

Either way, I am positioned here now and have a perch from which to observe the entire world in “relative” safety, certainly a whole lot safer than anyone living in the M.E. right now or in the Fuk-U-shima Prefecture of Japan anyhow.  What will happen to all those people, why were they ever even BORN?  How did we end up with this complex system after all the millennia of Evolution?  Off we go now into Tin Foil land.

If you have read my writing for a while, you should observe that I am very Binary.  Black and White, Good and Evil, Haves and Have Nots, etc.  There are of course Shades of Gray in there, but each of those shades is just a result of lots of little Binaries all contained within a bigger one.  You can digitize the world in this way, in all things. When you then go ahead and try to reconstruct existence, it again comes from a Binary, which is Existence versus Non-Existence.  The Universe itself either IS, or it IS NOT.  From all of our perceptions, it most certainly IS, I doubt anyone here would support the idea we do not exist.  We do have some observable evidence though that once a few Billion years ago this Universe did NOT exist in the sense we observe it now, it seems to have come from NOTHING in a “Big Bang”.  Can you really make “Something from Nothing”?  Everything we observe says you CANNOT make Something from Nothing, so from my observation point here on the Last Great Frontier, the Universe we observe MUST come from SOMETHING.  That “something” is something we cannot observe from this reference point, but it MUST exist.  In effect, we are Flatlanders, 2 dimensional beings in a 3 dimensional space we cannot observe until we rise ABOVE the 2-D space we exist in.  This is the analogy, just the dimensionality is higher.


So now you are confronted with the question of what the “Something” was that this Universe was created FROM?  You can’t answer that question other than to say it must have been created from SOMETHING.  If this Universe was created from something, other Universes likely were as well, at least there is no a priori reason they couldn’t be.  If this planet bred life and sentience in this Universe, likely others did as well.  Will any of these ever meet up?  Not likely in the “real” sense we experience the universe as corporeal beings, the general laws of physics make it impossible.  We exist in between a Binary, the very small of quantum mechanics and the very large of astrophysics.  This “gray area” is itself a product of many binaries, but we can only go so far either way exploring the very small and the very large.  Both are beyond the physical capabilities we have to do anything more than observe their effects, we cannot CONTROL them.  Not now for sure, nor do I believe we ever WILL be able to control them, not in a corporeal sense anyhow.

I keep returning to the idea of Corporeal existence for a reason, because each of us lives within our own bodies, our thought process essentially a product of a bazillion chemical interactions happening inside our little brains.  This thought process certainly exists, at least for you, and for me also if I read what you write here on the internet.  What happens to that thought process though when you or I DIE in a corporeal sense?  Does it, CAN IT simply DISSAPPEAR from existence entirely?  Here is possibly the biggest Leap of Faith I have come to, which is that just like you CANNOT make “Something from Nothing”, NEITHER can you make “Nothing from Something”.  Once a “soul” exists, it cannot EVER “disappear”, it always EXISTS in a Dimension of Time and Space.  The question would be, once freed from corporeal limitations, could a consciousness continue to exist time and space independent? To me, likely it can, because I observe how consciousness “infects” sentient beings.  You can observe it happening in children generally around the age of 2-3 years old. “Personalities” develop, and they are quite Timeless, independent of both circumstance and parenting.  They come from SOMEWHERE, not NOWHERE.  That “somewhere” is the Great Beyond as I see it.

Human Sentience is a marvelous thing, but I do not think it is Unique in the Universe.  In the “Gray Area” between the very small and the very large, it evolves from a series of binaries, and the Universe is a very big place with lots of opportunity to recreate similar physical circumstances conducive to corporeal existence and sentience.  None are likely to ever meet up because of physical constraints of the Universe we observe, but they are likely out there somewhere.  They are THERE, somewhere, and your “soul” will find one of them again somewhere and in some time once you leave the brain encasing your consiousness right NOW, because you cannot make Nothing from Something.

Beyond this Universe, how far back does it all go for how many iterations?  It goes back Infinitely, and there is no “Beginning” and no “Ending” for reality.  You can be in one place or another, but you cannot be nowhere.  Nowhere does not exist, because Nowhere is Somewhere.

If you choose to conclude that there is a “somewhere” beyond the observable universe, you then have a binary to deal with, which is if outside or “above” this universe there is “God” or “Gods” or No God.  The organization of the Universe itself speaks to the presence of some sort of organizing principle at the very least, whether or not you anthropomorphize it.  The Universe has ORDER, it is not random, our sentience is evidence of that.  The Order that you see is the evidence of God’s existence, because God IS the Order.

If you accept this much abut God’s existence, the next question is whether God Personifies, either in multiple forms as a Blond Norwegian with a Mighty Hammer or a Roman with Winged Feet  or as on Old Man with  White Beard or as a skinny guy with Long Hair nailed to a cross.  I’ve never seen anything sufficient to convince me God ever personifies, but I do think you can tap into the Order, and possibly Jesus Christ was able to do that.  He clearly was convinced he was directly connected to God, and he convinced quite a few other people of that.  So he was either a first class charlatan or he really was tapped into God, though that doesn’t make him the “Son of God” any more than any other Sentient being is.  If it’s a real tap, it just allows such a person to see more clearly, you rise above the Flatland into the world of 3D, so to speak.  That world is the world of the Spirit, and to me the world of the spirit is the result of an interplay between two basic elements of the Universe, Energy and Gravity.  Gravity is a relative constant in any location, Energy varies quite a bit.  I have an equation for this, which is S=G/E.  When Energy in a local area is High, the Spirit is very low.  When Energy is low, the Spirit rises.  Its an inverse relationship. When Energy goes to Zero, the Spirit rises to Infinity.  For an individual sentient being, when your personal energy goes to Zero (aka you DIE), your Spirit rises to Infinity.  For groups of people, its similar, the lower your energy footprint the higher your Spiritual connection to God.  From what I have observed on a cultural level, the people with the lowest energy footprint have the most REAL Spirituality, not the fake stuff of Organized Religion.

As far as what this means for our Future, I have a rather Cinematic and Grand Hope, which is that as the total Energy we are able to access drops, that somewhere somebody, a “Prophet” if you will but more than the Strauss & Howe kind of Prophet will arise somewhere, to pull off some of those Charleton Heston/Moses kind of MIRACLES like raising his staff and Parting the Red Sea.  You know, the “BEHOLD, THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD!” sort of thing.  Not counting on it, but it sure would be grand if it happened. LOL.  Every so often I try this myself, I take out my Louisville Slugger and raise it up in the Cabin and do the “BEHOLD, THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD” thing to rid the world of all the Pigmen, but sadly it never works.  Lucky thing for the Pigmen I am not a Prophet of God. LOL.

Even if no Super Duper Prophet hits the scene though, I do think as available energy drops our spiritual connection to God will increase, and in aggregate enable Homo Sapiens to survive the challenges that lie before us.  Clearly not ALL Homo Sapiens are going to keep their corporeal bodies here, but even though I See Dead People it doesn’t disturb me all that much because I don’t think their souls ever die.  Those souls go off into the Great Beyond where they Belong, some are sucked down by Gravity into the Pit of Hell, other rise up with Infinite Energy into the Kingdom of Heaven, still others wander around the Universe and are captured by newly born beings with the ability to house a Sentient Soul. In a kind of Hindu fashion, I think you can go through many cycles of this before reaching a final destination in Heaven or Hell..

That Yojimbo is best as I can explain it.  If you “get” what I am saying, you will understand it.  If not, its just a bunch of solipsistic BULLSHIT.  I am quite sure most people will read it as BULLSHIT,  most certainly Stuck will read it as such, but then again he also believes the Sun will come out Tomorrow. So it will, just probably with a HUGE magnetic storm vibrating the molten iron core of the earth and bringing us all just a bit closer to the end of Homo Industrialis.  Not the end of Sentience EVER though, it will always exist somewhere, not nowhere.  If not here in corporeal existence on the Planet Earth, then it will in the somewhere of the Great Beyond or in another corner of this Universe or another one.

In the end, a Belief in God is mainly about HOPE and FAITH.  To not believe in God is to be relatively Hopeless, without Faith.  It means you believe there really is no REASON behind Existence, you simply walk the Earth for a number of years as a collection of cells and then when you Die you are no more, and it matters not that you lived or died either, because the world would have certainly gone on either way.  For Better or For Worse perhaps if you have an effect on others during your lifespan, but even that becomes pretty meaningless without REASON, because then Good and Evil are relative concepts.  Many people think that is true, one Man’s Good is anther Man’s Evil and so forth.  I don’t buy that, I think Good and Evil are ABSOLUTE concepts, not relative ones.  To be absolute, there must be a reason for them, and that reason is God, or the Order of the Universe, however you like to think about it or phrase it is up to you.

I don’t know if I answered all the questions you asked Yojimbo, but it was a good platform upon which to explain how I see existence. It most certainly will drop me into the Tin Foil club, but given so many of my ideas put me there anyhow, this hardly bothers me much. LOL.

However it spins down here, all will never be lost, there is always HOPE if you have FAITH.  How you perceive God is up to you, its not about Organized Religion which really is a form of consummate Evil.  Each and every person has to forge their own connection to God, to greater or lesser degrees of success for us all, but we all have the opportunity while we walk the earth to do that.  You have to SEEK GOD and forge your own connection, and there are many ways to do it.  For me, I found God in the Mountains here on the Last Great Frontier, but God is everywhere to be found if you look.  Certainly harder to find though in the 30 Blocks of Squalor than here on the Last Great Frontier though, I will say that.  I am sooooo grateful to be living up here now, because when I look out at the really BIG Mountains which surround the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley, I feel very close to God.

See You on the Other Side.

RE

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