“Dreaming on D”: YouTube Video Footnotes

Hey Internet fam!

This here is what happens when you wanna publish a YouTube video…

…BUT you find out you have WAY MORE to say than the 5000 character limit for the episode description will allow 🙄 😂

So without further adieu, here’s all the other stuff I didn’t have room to say via YouTube’s episode description thingie; hope you’ll enjoy!

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**TIMELINE OF VIDEO & FOOTNOTES **

The image for both this blog post & my YouTube video is a combination of Keynote magic & this Pixabay contributor:

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{0:00} Preface 

Rubato = expressive freedom to speed up here & slow down there

Poly-rhythms = using 2 or more distinct pulses/beats at the same time

Poly-phony = showcasing 2 or more distinct melodies at the same time

Poly-tonality = showcasing 2 or more distinct keys at the same time 

2 examples of rubato:

2 examples of poly-rhythmic music:

GIRAFFES? GIRAFFES! – I Am S/H(im)e[r] As You Am S/H(im)e[r] As You Are Me And We Am I And I…

Making Advanced™️ Kids Music (odd meters, metric Modulation, etc)

2 examples of poly-phony:

Palestrina – Sicut cervus – The Cambridge Singers

VOCES8: Beati Quorum Via – Charles Villiers Stanford

2 examples of poly-tonality:

Charles Ives – The Unanswered Question

And, lastly, here are 2 examples of psychedelic music:

Morgen – Love (Psychedelic Rock) 1969

Psychedelic Jazz Rock Fusion – Gambardella from Barcelona, Spain @ White Noise Sessions 30-10-2017

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{1:58} Prelude

Saw some bioluminescent waves with my fam! 

(We wore masks & tried to be as socially distant & cognizant & responsible as possible!)

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{2:20} Poem: Part 1/6

Once upon a dreaming, = 6

there was a Mystic wand’ring; = 7

Of ev’rything and nothing, = 7

the Mystic was a-wond’ring. = 7 

For starters, I’d define a mystic as one who is: 

***Aware of cataphatic & apophatic streams of religious thinking;

+ The cataphatic would say (e.g.) “God is __” or “God is like __”. 

+ The apophatic would say (e.g.) “God ‘is’?” or “God is not like __”. 

+ Even if one (such as myself) is totally clueless about whether we can think or say anything super duper meaningful/accurate about God/The Divine/The Numinous, the vibe I’ve been getting from researching mystics from various religious traditions is that they labor to be open to there being a God beyond their own conceptions of ‘God’ while also trying to be comfortable with thinking & saying “I don’t know” things concerning God. That is to say: much like scientists or editors (for instance), the creeds of mystics are always looking for ways to be revised, updated, & improved.

Consider (e.g.): 

* http://marikablogs.blogspot.com/2009/03/apophatic-and-cataphatic-theology.html 

* https://damiengwalter.com/2012/11/03/the-tao-that-can-be-told-is-not-the-true-tao/

* https://www.everythingeden.org/post/god-rid-me-of-god 

* https://dailymeditationswithmatthewfox.org/2019/09/14/silence-and-the-via-negativa/ 

* https://deopatriaelitteris.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/im-restless-til-i-rest-in-god/ (personal blog post plug; quotes within here are relevant!)

Some quotes to think about:

St. Augustine of Hippo Regius:

“If you have understood, then what you have understood is not God.”

And from https://insidethecosmicegg.com/taoism/

If you can talk about it,
it ain’t Tao.
If it has a name,
it’s just another thing.
Tao doesn’t have a name.
Names are for ordinary things.
Stop wanting stuff;
it keeps you from seeing what’s real.
When you want stuff,
all you see are things.
Those two sentences
mean the same thing.
Figure them out,
and you’ve got it made.

***Striving to practice contemplative prayerfulness on a 24/7 basis; 

+ The mystic labors to be open to a Church beyond any one ‘Church’ & a Bible beyond any one particular ‘Bible’ edition. Life & worship are inseparably intertwined! Every moment is an opportunity to be overwhelmed with awestruck wonder about the utter complexity of everything known & unknown– it never has to end! I mean, I wouldn’t say mystics are perfect…or that they would leap out of bed with a smile on their face every day (I would suggest that mystics are also fantastic at lamenting when individuals & communities are hurting & can tend to be, like the prophets/social-activists of olden times, great at subversive performance art to critique unjust domination systems)…but I think it’s safe to say that their headspace is pretty much this: every breath is a prayer, every action is a hymn, every thought is well-seasoned with love, & every communication is overflowing with yearnings to become ever better!

+ The mystic labors to be in love with philosophizing (seeking wisdom), always re-evaluating one’s own epistemology (what does ‘know’ mean? how much can we know? how much can’t we know? how much do we know? how much do we not know? do we have good reasons for the things we think? do good reasons matter? etc?), & thus is a Quest-ian! 

Consider (e.g.): 

* https://www.billdahl.net/articles/the-questian-confession-by-bill-dahl-2/

* https://cac.org/the-bhagavad-gita-2015-09-24/

* https://carlmccolman.com/nine-ways-to-foster-a-contemplative-church/

* https://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/09/04/relax-christian-you-dont-have-to-go-to-church/ 

* https://sojo.net/articles/gods-church-not-building

* http://wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/interreligious/cd37-09.html 

* https://deopatriaelitteris.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/dear-bible-pt-4-5-are-you-simple-a-discourse-from-the-mr-chidi-within-me/ (Gosh darn it, I couldn’t help myself from another plug! This is part of a series where I chat about the Judeo-Christian Bible as if it were a dear friend & I try to make the case that thinking critically about it is part & parcel with the mission to be respectful & polite towards it. I’m also trying to suggest that it’s more respectful toward the Bible to view it as a fascinatingly complex library of books with an epic history wherein lots of neighbors in life have many different convictions about how many books are in it & how exactly is the most ‘Biblical’ way to interpret it…and so on!)

An example of 2 fellow human beings engaging in a dank exercise of epistemology! #workingthemmindmuscles

Some quotes to think about:

Mr. Fritz Hinrichs

“To fully comprehend the biblical books Daniel and Esther, you will need to read the Greek historian Herodotus. The Apostle Paul himself quotes ancient Greek poets and Peter quotes from Jewish apocryphal writings. These few examples show that the Bible cannot be read without seeing its ties to the history into which it was revealed…If we do not study history, we risk turning the Bible into a mere collection of moralisms from which we derive daily guidance for our lives.”

That was from https://gbt.org/clasced.html , btw.

(I did 5 years of studying Western Civilization Great Books with him & a bunch of fantasmagorical neighbors in life & I love them all so much! Highly recommend his Escondido Tutorial Service!)

Mr. John Shelby Spong:

“Truth is never finally found in words. Truth is always beyond words. Yet there can be no truth for human beings unless we use words first to understand it and second to convey it. So we mortals live with our subjective truth in the constant anxiety of relativity. That is all we can do and that realization strikes a mortal blow at the traditional excessive claims of all religious systems.”

That’s from his excellent book on “Rescuing The Bible From Fundamentalism“, fyi!

Mother Theresa:

“I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”

***Alert to limitations of binary/dual mindsets & striving toward unitive consciousness.

+ Binary/Dual mindsets tend to say (e.g.) “it’s either this or that”, “it’s us versus them” (a specific form of this goes kinda like “it’s us sacred people pitted against the secular world!”), & “it’s black versus white”.

+ Unitive consciousness tends to say (e.g.) “it’s both”, “it’s all of us” (a specific form of this goes kinda like: “the world of nature is awesome…but sometimes the systems/worlds we design can get remarkably out of whack– we’re all in this together & we should try to work together to constantly improve ourselves & our environments!), & “it’s black, white, & then some more”!

Consider (e.g.): 

* https://cac.org/dualistic-nondual-thinking-weekly-summary-2017-02-04/ 

* http://www.smallgreenconsultancy.co.uk/the-limitations-of-dualistic-thinking.html

* http://free2quest.com/unitive-consciousness/

Bonus content:

https://www.age-of-the-sage.org/

https://subtle.energy/20-wisdom-quotes-to-awaken-your-inner-mystic/

https://www.wiseoldsayings.com/mystical-quotes/ also contains (e.g.) the following great quote!

Mr. Rumi:

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment;

Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition!”

Also, I just remembered this one that I also quoted in https://deopatriaelitteris.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/pensees-for-allie-what-about-god-phase-3a-4/

Mr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“In what way are we in a religionless and secular sense Christians, in what way are we the Ekklesia , ‘those who are called forth’, not conceiving of ourselves religiously as specially favoured, but as wholly belonging to the world?”

Boy, do I love me some avant-garde thinkers! And musicians! Oh, but that’s probably a discussion best left for another post 😂

Ah well, I can’t help myself…for now, I’ll just leave this here 😉…

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{7:05} Poem: Part 2/6

On the Weary World’s surreal sorrows = 10

didst the Mystic contemplate most fervently… = 11 

Of Covid-19 and of injustices; = 11  

Of bigotry and apathy and also = 11 

Racism and sexism and then some more = 11 

Didst the Mystic meditate most intensely… = 11

Yeah…that was my pithy expression of the many tabs open on my computer…& in my mind 😂…

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{8:30} Poem: Part 3/6

“Dona Nobis Pacem!”, = 6

The Weary World lamented; = 7

“Whatever shalt be done, God?”, = 7

The Mystic begged The Myst’ry… = 7

Consider (e.g.): 

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dona_nobis_pacem_(round) 

* http://www.classichistory.net/archives/dona-nobis-pacem

* Older version! I sing this a lot with my loved ones from the aforementioned Escondido Tutorial Service & boy do I dig this!

* Newer version! I also dig this! Yeah, I’ve got a soft spot in my psyche when it comes to choral music…

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{9:19} Poem: Part 4/6

Dearth, though, didst the Mystic feel so deeply… = 10

For: though the Mystic yearned to know The Myst’ry = 11

Both intimately and scientific’lly, = 11

The Mystic oft recalled the ancient quand’ry = 11

(“Deum tamquam ignoti cognoscimus”) = 11

And felt lost enough to resign silently… = 11

Consider (e.g.): 

* https://www.etymonline.com/word/dearth 

* For that Latin phrase, check out https://deopatriaelitteris.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/pensees-for-allie-what-about-god-phase-4d-4/ (another blog post plug!) 

* https://www.sdmorrison.org/the-problem-with-apologetics-t-f-torrance/ has these 2 fantastic quotes:

Mr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“A God who could be proved by us would be an idol.”

Mr. Stephen Morrison:

“God alone proves Godself if God is proven at all, just as God alone reveals Godself if we have any true knowledge of God’s innermost being.”

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{10:11} Poem: Part 5/6

But in the stark silence = 6 

The Mystic recalled Telos: = 7

A ceaseless Mythos-hope whence = 7 

Cosmic Peace becomes Logos! = 7

+ Here, I mean to refer to the idea of a ‘kingdom’ or ‘queendom’ or ‘realm’ of God…or Utopia/Eutopia…becoming a concrete reality rather than a nice abstraction! Hold on to that thought cuz I’ll address that more in the next section. 

Consider (e.g.): 

* https://philosophyterms.com/telos/ 

* http://journeytothesea.com/mythos-logos/ , https://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/41468 , & https://www.textandrock.com/blog/myths-matter .

* https://www.britannica.com/topic/logos & https://www.encyclopedia.com/philosophy-and-religion/philosophy/philosophy-terms-and-concepts/logos

Bonus: 

** http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-94222014000300007 

** https://outreachmagazine.com/resources/books/theology/37321-gods-kingdom-is-a-utopia.html

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{12:48} Poem: Part 6/6

“Behold Pathos and Ethos intertwined!”, = 10 

The Mystic with excitement reconsidered… = 11 

“As I struggle through my Voyage-In-The-Void, = 11

May I sail on for Joy to be discovered— = 11

Not e’en the tiniest of moments wasted = 11 

For ‘Sacred’ and ‘Secular’ to be revived!” = 11 

+ I don’t know whether there will be an afterlife Eutopia (I most definitely hope so!), but in the meantime I think it’s best to focus on doing what I can to bring Eutopia to this life (and it may just be the only life I/we have to live?)…For inspiration about how to improve our communities & ultimately every nation in this huge-and-yet-so-very-tiny globe of earth, I look to places like: Isaiah 11:6-9 & 25:6–8 as well as Micah 4:3–4 = Isaiah 2:4

Consider (e.g.):

* https://pathosethoslogos.com/ .

* https://medium.com/the-apeiron-blog/the-dark-night-of-the-soul-understanding-amidst-the-absence-of-meaning-3494cb193bc2

* A fantastic documentary from a deconstructing Evangelical standpoint:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/deconstructing-my-religion/#x

{Oh gosh, I could keep going with recommendations on the deconstruction thread…but I don’t want this post to get much longer than it is! That having been said, I’ll just quickly provide some great film suggestions: Mr. Martin Scorcese’s “Silence” + “Come Sunday” + “Leaving My Father’s Faith” + “Yes, God, Yes!“…& ya know, I’ll throw in “The Sunset Limited” too!}

* A great & relevant parable from one of my favorite Irish theologians!

The Rapture

* A great video essay that I saw recently that features Mr. Chris Hedges:

[11.22.20 @ 3:21 pm Edit: For some reason, YouTube marks this as age-restricted & I don’t quite understand why…Whatever may be the reason(s) for that, the link I provided above is entitled “American Psychosis | Chris Hedges” & is presented by the YouTube channel ‘Reflection of Passion’.]

* https://deopatriaelitteris.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/the-first-ever-westonian-voter-guide/ (contains more links to video essays on, e.g., the limits of capitalism & how socialism & communism are under-represented in our American system…& I’ve got even more to share at this point) 

Ah what the heck– lemme share some of them right here (yes…I watch a lot of video essays…maybe I have an addiction? idk– I’ll let you be the judge of me 😂)

I’m presenting them by YouTuber & not by when I’ve watched them in a strict chronological basis…but these are all videos I’ve watched through since October & I’m sharing them because they’re part of what inspired me to produce the piece of music that I did + I think you might possibly like them!

  • From “Second Thought”…

America’s Stunted Political Spectrum

America’s Two-Party Corporate Duopoly

America Compared: Why Other Countries Treat Their People So Much Better

The Electoral College Is Anti-Democracy

Capitalism And The American Pandemic Response

  • From “Renegade Cut”…

The Viral Pandemic & The Social Pandemic | Renegade Cut

When Were You Radicalized? | Renegade Cut

No More Presidents | Renegade Cut

  • From “We’re in Hell”…

Cr@ppy Jobs and the Protestant Work Ethic | We’re In Hell

“The Gender Pay Gap Is a Myth” Is a Myth | Christina Hoff Sommers

Stephen Harper Joins the Intellectual Dark Web

  • From “Corporate Aesthetic”…

The Dirty Con Job Of Mike Rowe

  • From Mr. Tom Nicholas…

The Fake Futurism of Elon Musk | Tom Nicholas

Neoliberalism: From Ronald Reagan to the Gig Economy | Tom Nicholas

Millennial Socialism and Centrist Dads: Political discourse after neoliberalism | Tom Nicholas

Should We Abolish Copyright? | Tom Nicholas

The Good Place: Ethics and Class in the Afterlife | Tom Nicholas

  • From Mr. Hakim…

How NOT To Talk To Liberals About Capitalism (Jubilee’s Socialist vs Capitalist ‘Middle Ground’ Vid)

  • From Mr. Dan Drambles…

Little Shop of Horrors: Critiquing Capitalism with Carnivorous Camp | Wholesome Halloween

  • And from Mr. J.J. McCullough…

What if the USA had a 10-party system?

What’s good and bad about Conservatism

The Essential Kabbalah (Pg. 153):

“There is a secular world & a holy world, secular worlds & holy worlds. These worlds contradict one another. In our limited perception we can’t reconcile the sacred & the secular, we can’t harmonize their contradictions. Yet at the pinnacle of the universe they are reconciled, at the site of the holy of holies.” 

Mr. Thomas Berry:

“The environmental crisis is fundamentally a spiritual crisis”. 

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{14:31} Postlude

Adapted from St. Teresa of Avila:

“Christ has no body now, but ours. No hands, no feet on earth, but ours. Ours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world. Ours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Ours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.” 

I retrieved that quote from https://www.coraevans.com/blog/article/14-Of-The-Most-Powerful-Peace-Quotes-From-St-Teresa-Of-Avila , but I’d first come across that thought some years ago.

Mr. P.C. Mozoomdar:

“Unless our creeds fertilize the world, and our lives furnish meat and drink to mankind, the curse uttered on barrenness will descend upon us.”

This quote is new to me & I love it! I was reading https://sojo.net/articles/when-american-christians-were-socialists when it brought me to consider Mr. George D. Herron’s sermon at https://archive.org/details/messageofjesusto00herr/page/14/mode/2up ; and that led me to want to read Mr. Protap Chunder Mozoomdar’s “Oriental Christ” book ( https://archive.org/details/orientalchrist00mozo ).

Oh boi…I have so many reading projects & so little time!!!

Mr. Woody Guthrie:

“I say to you, take up your post and your command of love.
I say to you, take up your very own gift and talent.
I say to you, take up your power of command.
I say to you (and to all of you and yours), take up your word, take word of your command.
I say to you, this power to command the absolutely neutral powers of love, this command is your very own birthright; no piece nor coin, no pile of gold, no penny paid, no dollar mailed, no stamp licked; no priest asked, no minister called-unless you so desire it and so command things to be thusly and solely (for the well and goodful use of most of us).”

This quote is very new to me, but I found it via https://www.woodyguthrie.org/biography/woodysez.htm . My goodness me: but the more I consider the history of music (as a passionate musician-philosopher-theologian taking classes in Jazz History & Rock History this semester), the more I love this guy & I can see why folks like Mr. Bob Dylan were inspired by dudes like him!

Mr. William James:

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does!” 

I found that one via https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/william_james_105643 .

Ms. Angela Davis:

“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” 

I found this rendition of the quote at this website article — https://swinemagazine.org/2020/07/14/you-have-to-act-as-if-it-were-possible-to-radically-transform-the-world-and-you-have-to-do-it-all-the-time-angela-davis/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CYou%20have%20to%20act%20as,time.%E2%80%9D%20%E2%80%93%E2%80%93%20Angela%20Davis .

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{14:38} Picture

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Long story short: albeit I’ve been undergoing religious-political deconstructions & reconstructions, and albeit these are troublesome times, I’ve been finding some comfort & motivation in considering that:

  1. Although I’m wandering/wondering in the brightness of delighting in ideas of God as well as in the darkness of yearning to be sufficiently convinced by God about Godself, there might just be a loving & wise God that might become real to me/us as time goes by! In short, I guess one could say that my faith/trust currently lies in the abstract & unknown maybe 🤷🏻‍♂️ 🤔 🙂
  2. In the more tangible & concrete meantime: although it is riddled with complexity & difficulty, I’m inclined to think & feel that we can work together for a better world little by little if we want! But we need to do something every day to try to improve ourselves & our communities, methinks…And so: even though I’d want to play this tune differently & phrase the lyrics differently, I guess one could say that I’m still yearning for the same-ish things as the following tune evokes!

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P.S. Further Reflections!

11.18.20 @ 11 pm – 11.19.20 @ 2:12 am

  • Thought 1: Ok, so earlier, I’d used the phrase “huge-and-yet-so-very-tiny globe of earth”…And I wanted to share some images from a recent pre-recorded lecture from my Palomar College Astronomy 100 class (many thanks to Professor Kardel for sharing these images to represent reality)! Also…I might be a bit weird in this way, but the Doctor Who + Star Wars + Star Trek sci-fi lover & theoretical quantum physics fan in me get super excited by thinking about just how incredibly vast is the cosmos within which we get to live! Check out these pictures!
(The red text was made by me on my iPhone because that’s what the Professor was saying.)
(Same deal again here– this time, though, I also drew those arrows.)

(Hehehe we’re so cute & tiny, us homo-sapiens & our neighbors in existence 😂 😉)
(Anybody else down to join me in low-key–and maybe eventually high-key–motivating humanity to exploring outer space with more intensity?)
[11.22.20 @ 3:19pm Edit: I’d forgotten to include this picture in previous revisions for this post, so here you go!]

  • Thought 2: Speaking about pictures, lemme also share this recent one of my fam’s dog Maddie sleeping… 🥰
(Isn’t she so gorgeous? ❤️)

Now, lemme tie these pictures back to my favorite subject in philosophy– i.e. epistemology!

Earlier on, if you recall, I had summarized epistemology as asking questions like: what does ‘know’ mean? how much can we know? how much can’t we know? how much do we know? how much do we not know? do we have good reasons for the things we think? do good reasons matter? etc?

And the more I interrogate myself about my current relationship to epistemology as well as trying to read more scholarly epistemology works whenever I make time to do so– the less I feel like I can say anything for sure about this stuff…Another way to put this might be as follows: I feel ever more uncomfortable with declaring that things are as I imagine them to be & ever more comfortable with suspecting that my imaginations of what reality is like are perhaps always cartoonishly incomplete.

And so, here’s this bumbling dancing clown of an idiot writing this post & trying to create art & daring to entertain that maybe…just…maybe…this all isn’t–ultimately–in vain 😂 . And this is a sentiment that I’m pretty sure I’ve at least alluded to many times in this website…

Anywho: if I can at least provisionally invest some measure of trust in my experiences of what I imagine to be reality, then the following items (at least for now) evoke within me as much “joy & leaping” [I’m thinking of, e.g., 2nd Samuel 6:14-23] as they do “fear and trembling” [I’m thinking of, e.g., Philippians 2:12..as well as that dank book by Mr. Søren Kierkegaard]…and perhaps they might be helpful to you?

*Pictures aren’t people, & yet I look upon them to remind me (e.g.) of dear ones whom I have imagined to have experienced before.

*Perhaps sometimes it’s helpful to us to consider (e.g.) pictures & people as ‘simple’, but more & more often I feel myself far more drawn to conceiving of both as superbly complex! Who am I to say that I understand either of them? Can I look at a picture in any digital or printed form & see subatomic particles at play? Can I look at pictures & see different kinds of light (like the infrared variety)? When I take a walk outside, can I see radio waves? When I look at loved ones & other people whom I would go out on a limb to provisionally suspect that I know them to some extent– can I see their innermost worlds of hopes & dreams & fears & thoughts & so on? And do I have the ability to instinctively know all possible views of their physiological conditions on a moment-by-moment basis? Can I see a diamond from every angle all at once? Do I even understand myself? [Lol…I’m still playing catchup with this topic 😂 ] And so: considering my selective filtering of what I suspect to be reality is something with which I have more & more of a complicated relationship…On one hand, it is bittersweetly humbling to be swaddled within such mystification (“I” feel like I know so little that I don’t even know how to best think about my “I[dentity]”); and on another hand, it genuinely excites me that there always seems to be more & more & more to learn about everything!

*Supposedly (if we can agree about this with regard to our human histories): if folks from long ago were to see our technological toys & tools nowadays, they’d probably think & feel that we are all wizards with magic objects that can pull off tremendously good or disastrously bad feats of wonder. (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a number of comedy sketches that seem to work by drawing upon such a train of thought…) And, looking back, there’s this sense that I seem to get–and perhaps it’s a stereotype about modern Western Civilization that should be taken as worth ‘a grain of salt’–that many of us (if transported back to their times) would marvel at how they perceived their cosmos to be full of magic & feats of wonder…On this topic, I wonder (e.g.): though contexts in time & space seem to experience some sorts of changes– is what we think to be our experience of reality ultimately any less magical or wonderful than what they thought their experience of reality was? [This is a slightly separate topic, but I also wonder how ‘smart’ our generation would look if we were challenged to try to construct things like pyramids with the resources our Egyptian predecessors would’ve had…] Though many of us might look back & think they had a lot to figure out– do we not also have a lot to figure out? Although we might have the more hindsight & wisdom when it comes to scientific discoveries & re-contextualizing what we tend to think is our experience of reality (e.g. not many of us nowadays tend to think that lightning strikes are caused by Zeus, but tend to think that they happen because of a lot of complicated physical processes), are we not in the same boat with the ancients when it comes to always having more to discover & be in awe about…perhaps even, in a round-about way, concerning the Numinous/God/Whatchamacalit? Wasn’t it not long ago when it was supposed that the atom was the most fundamental/basic part of organic life– & now we keep discovering ever more complexity in the microscopic dimensions? Wasn’t it not long ago when pretty much everyone thought that this earth was like a flat disk in the center of a 3-tiered universe– & now we’re learning about how the cosmos seems to be indefinitely expanding & that we’re perhaps just maybe in a multi-verse? And though we come up with terms to attempt to describe what we think constitutes our experiences & keep re-contextualizing how we think about reality scientifically, does this mean that minorities or majorities amongst us have got a monopoly on truth? At this point in my train of questioning– aren’t we back (in some sense) to the way that the ancients marveled at their magical universe…at our universe…at the cosmos? What if tomorrow we each received verification sufficient for all of us individually that there is some sort of a Divine…Thing? Even if the cost of such a discovery was to become bittersweetly overwhelmed by learning that both of us–past & present human beings from any space-time context–have all had oh so very incomplete ideas about God? {Ok, I’ve been rambling on this * point for an hour or so & it’s 12:54 am– so please forgive me as I’m not sure if any of this is making sense or if I’m being offensive…I dread stepping on any toes! Long story short…I think this struggling story called ‘me’ was trying to suggest again that–lacking proof for God that’s super convincing to me–perhaps some form of Divinity could become an undeniably apparent reality to all of us later on…Perhaps: much as I provisionally trust my senses enough to provisionally trust that pictures represent loved ones & I can deepen in my wonder for being able to experience pictures; and much as I provisionally trust that I might maybe know my loved ones well enough & can deepen in my relationships to them; maybe I can provisionally trust that maybe my ideas of God aren’t completely useless even if I get the sense that they are so very incomplete & maybe I can eventually deepen in a relationship to an intimate God as well as I endeavor to deepen my appreciation for ideas of God?}

Ok, I don’t have much writing steam left in me right now, but I wanted to end on sharing 3 more thoughts…

  • Thought 3: One thing that bittersweetly comforts me is being able to look back at (e.g.) the sad & angry Psalms in Bible editions, the existential angst of the Qoheleth/Preacher/Messenger of Ecclesiastes, the passionate [as well as lamenting] social activism of the Prophets, &…well…not feeling so alone concerning the emotions that I get to feeling. So many mystics of various traditions seem to have felt lost in heavy darkness when it comes to their yearnings for God– & while I’m very sad that they experienced such sorrows, I’m also somewhat relieved that I’m kinda in the same ‘uncertainty’ boat with them too…E.g. Even a Mother Teresa of Calcutta had immense pangs of faith-related pains– to which the following 2 links allude…

https://time.com/4126238/mother-teresas-crisis-of-faith/

So…maybe, just maybe, the mystics aren’t mystified for nothing?

  • Thought 4: I revisited Mr. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologiae/Theologica” lately & I love these thoughts…even though (as the struggling, deconstructing, wannabe mystic Christ-ian Questian that I am) I don’t exactly know where they lie on a true-false spectrum…

Prima Pars, Question 12, Article 1, in the “I answer that…” portion [ https://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa/summa.FP_Q12_A1.html ]:

“Since everything is knowable according as it is actual, God, Who is pure act without any admixture of potentiality, is in Himself supremely knowable. But what is supremely knowable in itself, may not be knowable to a particular intellect, on account of the excess of the intelligible object above the intellect; as, for example, the sun, which is supremely visible, cannot be seen by the bat by reason of its excess of light.”

— a quote which really reminds me of this more modern article: https://cac.org/mystery-endless-knowability-2016-08-23/

Prima Pars, Question 12, Article 2, in the Reply to Objection 3 portion [ https://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa/summa.FP_Q12_A2.html ]…

“The divine essence is existence itself.”

— This really reminds me of Mr. Paul Tillich’s theological language…

Prima Pars, Question 12, Article 4, in the “I answer that” portion []…

“Therefore the created intellect cannot see the essence of God, unless God by His grace unites Himself to the created intellect, as an object made intelligible to it.”

— And on that bombshell of a quote, this is back to the many sentiments from many past neighbors in life which I’ve been aiming to talk about this whole time!

  • Thought 5: In this extensive footnotes post, I’ve mentioned the concept of Utopia many times…And just yesterday (11.18.20) afternoon, I came across these fantastic thought provoking quotes– I’ve been looking into pros & cons of post-humanism & trans-humanism lately, & I want to share a glimpse of the reading that I’ve been doing…I expect that I’ll expand upon this reflection section later, but I thought it fitting to pause these reflections with considering what Utopia could look like (much as I concluded with the Rend Collective “Bring Your Kingdom Here” song earlier)!

” ‘Arrive?’ you say; ‘But isn’t the journey the destination? Isn’t Utopia a place that doesn’t exist? And isn’t the quest for Utopia, as witnessed historically, a dangerous folly and an incitement to mischief?’

My friend, that is not a bad way for you to think about it. To be sure, Utopia is not a location or a form of social organization.

The blush of health on a convalescent’s cheek. The twinkling of the eye in a moment of wit. The smile of a loving thought… Utopia is the hope that the scattered fragments of good that we come across from time to time in our lives can be put together, one day, to reveal the shape of a new kind of life. The kind of life that yours should have been.

I fear that the pursuit of Utopia will bring out the worst in you. Many a moth has been incinerated in pursuit of a brighter future.

Seek the light! But approach with care – and swerve if you smell your wingtips singeing. Light is for seeing, not dying.

When you embark on this quest, you will encounter rough seas and difficult challenges. To prevail will take your best science, your best technology, and your best politics. Yet each problem has a solution. My existence breaks no law of nature. All the needed materials are laid out in front of you. Your people must become master builders, and then you must use these skills to build yourselves up, without ever crushing your cores…

What is Guilt in Utopia? Guilt is our knowledge that we could have created Utopia sooner.”

*I highly recommend reading the entire piece at https://www.nickbostrom.com/utopia.html & checking out http://www.posthumanism.com/

Moreover, there’s this too:

“We have to make appeal to our poetic nature—to our poets, novelists, composers, musicians, dancers, actors, costume designers, pageant organizers, painters, sculptors, architects, to render the drama of our social life a glorious fiction to aid us in our faith. We must engage in narrative transformations of all kinds, adhering to these performances without any trace of belief, but with faithful courage in the face of inevitable risk.” 

That’s from http://anthropoetics.ucla.edu/ap1801/1801wright/ !

What if the middleman/medium/mean between imagination (i.e. which seems to be important if we are to have any goals/dreams for improvement; that which [1] has the potential to become real even if not so at a given moment or [2] is real & we just don’t have great awareness of such suchliness yet or [3] might only ever exist in the sense that…for instance…irrational numbers are…irrational numbers) & action (which seems to be important for personal & collective improvements too) is our selection of which stories/mythologies/parables/worldviews to invest in?

To riff on certain credit card commercials these days: what’s in our epistemological ‘wallets’?

Lol– and yet again, I feel like I’m back where I started a couple hours ago 😂

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

As always,

  1. thank you for visiting;
  2. if you think people you know will like this, I’d be honored if you’d share this with them;
  3. if the Numinous/God/fill-in-the-blank is not just one of the most profound & debated ideas ever conceived, but also legitimately existing in some fashion, then may the (presumably) gracious and peaceful force of God be with you always & may the odds be ever in your favor! 😇 🙏🏻 😎 🖖🏻

Yours sincerely,

— Weston (or: Gastun, your friendly neighborhood deconstructing Christ-ian [and by extension: Quest-ian] Dudeist Priest)

— Courtesy of Abide University, I’m also writing to you as one striving to become a cool:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Skeptology, Pop Cultural Studies, Metaphysics, Memetics, & Biasology;
  • Doctor of Divinity in Abidance Counseling, Ministry Science, Rockology, Leisure Science, & Limber Arts 

 Dudes & Dudettes, can’t we be like rugs that tie the rooms of the world together? So how ‘bout we unite to abide, y’all? 😉

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