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July 19, 2010

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Thanks for explaining the word "Sat", Brian, I will probably use it myself. (Reading on Wikipedia suggests it's a broader word than "truth", but lets not split hairs.)

This following the hard truth is something I find a real challenge (I past and future blog posts about this).

If I may ask an unrelated question, I read this in one of your posts of 5 years go:

"I don’t know if God is real, but I am confident that reality is real. For me, the essence of reality is what I call “God.” What it is, I don’t know. That it is, I’m persuaded by logic and science. How to realize it clearly is the mystery of all mysteries, the task of all tasks. If God can be known, and the testimony of mystics points to this conclusion, then opening oneself to a realization of the divine nature is the job of a lifetime."

Do you still hold this point of view, that a mystical path will lead us to "God" (however defined) ?

Warmly

Jonathan

With Carl Sagan's death, after some months I wrote the following little poem, entitled
PALE BLUE DOT (from A Vision of the Human Future in Space)

"I pluck a bloom of lavender
Someone else's garden
For you, Carl Sagan
Anyone on this strange world
Thinking of you?

Smelling the subtle fragrance
Knowing well you don't exist
Knowing well your stems of reality
Refusal to accept myths
Fearless in the hunter's face

but deep within the core of me
Resides the slimmest of hopes
Hanging as a cobweb thread
That somewhere in some spatial realm
Traces of you linger

Remembering the image from Voyager 1
Taken three millions miles away
One could scarcely see the
Pale Blue Dot : our home
In this unimaginable universe

Creating long breaths of awe
As it did to you within the Now
Time's elusiveness shedding light
Upon the margin of our plight
Of unknowingness

There is no secret
I drop the flower to the stony pavement
And walk on."

Jonathan, good question. Now that you've pointed out what I wrote five years ago, it sure seems like I wouldn't express those sentiments today.

Now I'm more uncertain about God, ultimate reality, whatever you want to call it, than I was before. Including whether it is possible for us humans to know the Big Freaking Mystery of the Cosmos.

Or... whether there's any point in seeking to know what probably can't be known. I think there's an innate urge in us Homo sapiens to be increasingly sapient: to know more, to understand more, to reveal more of the unknown.

But I'm no longer nearly as grandiose in my expectations in this regard as I used to be. I don't see much, if any, evidence that mystical practices (or any sort of practices) lead to "enlightenment." Certain varieties of meditation seem useful for calming the mind and providing insights into how our psyche works. But knowing God or some other supposed divinity -- I suspect not.

You want the hard truth? Life is exactly what it looks like. No more - no less. While you are alive, you eat, sleep, eliminate, reproduce, and think. Attempting to determine how things got to be this way is nothing more than amusement. There is no reason for anything.
Where are all the people who died? They do not exist. Whether they once existed makes no difference. It is the same for them as if they never existed in the first place, because they do not exist.

When you die (and I can assure you that you will) - there will no longer be a "you" to ever have existed.

The hard truth is completely obvious. No priests, gurus, shamans, rabbis, or PhD particle physicists needed.

I laughed when Sagan pronounced "eschew" as "es chew", thinking it was a funny mistake. Yet now I see the dictionary indeed mentions that pronunciation. That I could live for so long while missing this fact makes me dizzy. I don't think I can face this hard truth. I need to lie down.

Oh, "es chew" is an Americanism.

FYI Brian, I've linked this post here. http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/somewhere-over-the-rainbow/ Once again, thanks for your commitment to truth, it's admirable.

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