Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October 31, 2006


A Poetic Approach: The Macrocosmic Molecule

The organization of Life
Is so precise--
So beautiful,
So perfect the Plan:
The solar atom
Is the home for man.

The Sun is the nucleus--
Protons positive,
Controlling the unit of One:
The planets, electrons--
Negative orbits,
Balancing the Sun.

The solar atom
Blends in the galaxy
These macrocosmic molecules
Forming the element of

Gayl (1969)

Monday, October 30, 2006

October 30, 2006



This discussion will be relatively “difficult.” Clearly, some will wonder how this could possibly relate to a “world view.” I can sympathize, and assure you that indeed, it is not necessarily related to anyone’s world view--except mine. What I am trying to do with these discussions is to point out the kind of factors that contribute to a person’s world view. By seeing what influences someone else, each person could expand the perspective for viewing his/her own views, and hopefully to better understand all contributing factors.

[Note: the following summary of information on the holographic qualities of the universe and relevant quotations come from “The Universe as a Hologram” by Michael Talbot, available at various websites on the Internet. See http://homepages.ihug.co.nz.]

In 1982 a French physicist, Alain Aspect and his team “discovered that under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn’t matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart.” This relates to what quantum physicists call “non-locality.” This concept and other quantum physics theories were depicted recently in the film entitled What the Bleep Do We Know? This film was puzzling to many, but highly interesting to others to the extent that currently over 75 study groups have developed around the world to explore and discuss the concepts presented in that film. This concept of “non-locality” has possible significant spiritual implications. If we think of God as the “All That Is”--the conscious holographic universe-- then the religious idea of an omnipresent God makes complete sense.

Then University of London physicist David Bohm, along with other theories he developed, such as his “implicate order,” came to believe that the universe is “a gigantic and splendidly detailed hologram.” Just what does that imply? I am unable to clearly explain how a hologram works, but most of us have experienced holograms, and there is one basic principle that is vital to our discussion. In general, a hologram is a three-dimensional image created by the use of laser beams. Anyone who has been to the Haunted House at Disney World has seen the holographic “see-through” images dancing like three-dimensional “ghosts.” That is fun, indeed. But the point is that if a holographic image is divided, each tiny snippet will always contain an intact version of the entire original image. In other words, “every part of a hologram contains all the information possessed by the whole.”

Now, stay with me on this. Next I need to use an analogy that keeps turning up in books by many different spiritual, and sometimes scientific writers. The analogy uses the human body and its cellular construction to makes its point. Let’s hypothesize that each human being, including the physical body and the soul are a “cell” in the body of “God.” Now we take the analogy in the opposite direction. What do we know about the cells in our body? Medical science seems to be telling us that DNA in each and every cell contains the entire “blueprint” for our body. In other words, our cellular structure acts much like the holographic image. Even the very smallest part contains the pattern for the whole. Now, if the cells contain the blueprint for the “whole,” what can we imagine if we consider each individual human being as a “cell” in the body of God? Once again, the spiritual implications are significant. Did not Jesus tell his disciples to seek the kingdom of God “within”? Hold this idea as you continue to read the following paragraphs.

Given the new theories from quantum physics that the Universe (GOD) is a hologram, then each part of the universe, down to its smallest part (sub-atomic particles) contains the “whole.” David Bohm argues, moreover, that “at some deeper level of reality such particles are not individual entities, but are actually extensions of the same fundamental something.” To take the argument further, this means that “at a deeper level of reality all things in the universe are infinitely interconnected.” We will come back to tying all these things together as we progress through our discussions. But meantime, try to just follow the gist of the main points here. Clearly, this all has metaphysical, spiritual implications. For example, if everything in the universe, down to the smallest particle (sub-atomic) is part of a holographic universe, we could theorize that the “superhologram” is the “matrix that has given birth to everything in our universe.” Now we are getting into theories of creation and God that are very different from what science has postulated in previous centuries, and a scientific way of stating something quite similar to the Bible's creation story.

All of the discoveries of quantum physics offer multiple potentialities that help me comprehend (to at least a small degree) the great mysteries of the universe. Many people are able to just accept these mysteries on faith. Admittedly, we all have to do that to some extent. Even the Dalai Lama, a very spiritually oriented individual, has written that we just have to accept that there are many things in the world that we can never understand.

Nevertheless, for me and for some other people, these new insights make significant connections for us that supplement our belief systems, our “faith,” in ways that confirm, expand, or support various teachings. Ultimately, one’s belief system is just the underlying framework that structures how we live our lives.
After all, the Bible also says, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Therefore, the ultimate goal is to live in such a way as to express one’s beliefs, or world view, in the most positive way possible. So our next goal is to make connections between all this “scientific” data and how that could affect how we live and how we treat others.

[My apology to readers if all or some of the above discussion is hard to follow or feels “incomplete.” It is important to remember that entire books have been written on the subjects. I am trying here to summarize them as simply as possible.]

Other references for this topic:
The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot (Harper Collins, 1991).
Holographic Paradigm by Ken Wilbur, Ph.D. (1982)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

October 29, 2006


A Pair of Dimes (Paradigm)?

Seldom do I find a person who understands the word, “paradigm.” Actually, its usage has changed in recent years. Originally the term meant “a pattern or model, an examplar,” and that is what you will find in a dictionary. One of its original uses was in science to define the model for any particular experiment. Then in the second half of the 20th century, various scientists and social scientists began to use the term to refer to what we have been defining as “world view.” T.S. Kuhn (1970) defined a paradigm as: “an entire constellation of beliefs, values and techniques shared by the members of a given community.” In effect, it is a kind of “view of reality.” Social scientists in particular began to speak of “paradigm shifts.” To understand this, we need to look at such paradigms and how shifts have taken place in the past, and possibly may be taking place in the present time. [Information here comes from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on the internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradigm].

Let’s take a very brief look at history and at some of the dominant paradigms at various times. A “dominant paradigm” means “the values, or system of thought in a society that are most standard and widely held at a given time.” Prior to the development of Christianity, the Western world was a kind of “mixed bag”. Since in those distant years, there was little communication, most people were illiterate, and opinions were largely scattered and more limited in scope than today. Some influences at the time, especially in the Mediterranean area, were Greek philosophy and then Roman power. Whoever was either in power or doing the teaching tended to influence how local people thought.

When the Christian Church developed and gained considerable power in Western Europe, the Church and its theology largely directed the thought and opinions of the people in the area. For most of those years the average person couldn’t read, and therefore was dependant on priests and scholars of the church who told them what to think about the Bible, God, and the world. Even most of the ruling heads of Europe were under the control and auspices of the Church. Therefore the paradigm at that time was centered on God and the teachings in the Bible as interpreted by the Roman Church. There were no other options, for any disagreement at the time brought the label of “heretic” and the threat of torture or death.

A paradigm shift involves “a new way of thinking about old problems.” (Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, 1980). A shift, or transition in thinking about the world occurred around the time we now call the Renaissance. The word means “re-birth” and it was a re-birth of some of the older ideas from Greece and Rome. Plato and Aristotle’s philosophies became a part of the education of at least upper class students. The arts and architecture of earlier periods were examined, appreciated, and copied. New technology, such as the printing press, made it possible for greater numbers of people to learn to read.
The fact that many more people could read the Bible themselves contributed to the revolution called the Reformation, the time of Martin Luther. Protestantism challenged the former total power of the Catholic Church.

Ultimately in paradigm shifts, some blending or synthesis of earlier ideas takes place, and certainly various new perspectives about life, spirituality, government, evolve. At this very same time (1500-1600) the New World was discovered and explored. And we see the beginnings of modern science with Galileo, Copernicus, Isaac Newton, and Rene Descartes leading to new thoughts about the world and its reality. Somewhere around 1600 historians report the big shift to a scientific view, based on Newton’s description of the world as based on mechanical forces. This new paradigm, sometimes described as a “clockwork universe,” prevailed until the 20th century.

In other words, although most people still include a spiritual perspective within their world view, guided by whatever religious training they may have received, the predominant model of the world since 1600 has been largely “controlled” by the scientific community. People in general, especially in secular education, looked to science for the answers to how the world was created, and what we are expected to do within it. The mechanistic model is still apparent in many modern aspects of life, especially our medical model. For example, allopathic medicine, by definition, treats illnesses by focusing on symptoms. That is, the body is thought of as a machine. You go to the doctor to get “fixed,” much as you take your car to the auto repair shop.

Many writers today--social scientists, frontier edge scientists such as quantum physicists, and spiritual teachers--propose that we are in another transition period, moving toward another paradigm shift. One can easily observe this new trend in medicine with the growing interest in and support for what is called Integrative Medicine. Simple research will confirm that most major medical schools are now including integrative medical courses in their curriculum. Different in philosophy from allopathic medicine, integrative medicine views the patient holistically, as a combination of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual being. Traditional medical schools fought this new idea for awhile, but many today, from Johns Hopkins to the University of Michigan to UCLA Medical schools and Duke University are encouraging the exploration of these new models (literally paradigms) of medicine. In other words, in medicine today we can see the “shift” towards some new perspectives, new opinions, new approaches to healing.

For the hard sciences, Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity “formed a new paradigm that superseded Newton’s physics.” Even more rapidly, the growing science of quantum physics is moving us into the new paradigm. Research and studies by Alain Aspect, David Bohm, and Karl Pribram, among many others, are discovering new aspects of reality that can drastically change many people’s world view. At least, it can affect that change when and if people learn and assimilate this new information. For me it has been highly significant and has clearly expanded my world view. We’ll get to that later. First we have to discuss “The Universe as a Hologram.”

Saturday, October 28, 2006

October 28, 2006



Obviously, each person’s world view, conscious or unconscious, develops very slowly over a lifetime and has multiple influences. Let’s look at the influences as if we are examining a large onion. The outer rings of the onion will represent the big, general influences that are likely to be similar for all others born at the same time and place as the individual. As we go deeper into the center core of the onion, we will see the possible variables that make each of us unique.

Much of a person’s world view is somewhat accidental to the extent that portions of that world view depend on when and where one is born. Let’s look at some large generalities, analogous to the outer skin of an onion. We have all heard of the differences between the “Western world” and the “Eastern world”. The philosophies of the two demonstrate notable differences. But even such a division is variable and open to change over the centuries. At one time the Western world referred largely to Western Europe. But after the discovery and development of the Western Hemisphere, the “Western world” grew to include all of North America and South America, and then Australia and New Zealand. It is important to remember the paradox that change is constant!

Even within the “Western world”--a world highly influenced by the Judaic-Christian religions--one finds shades of differences and variables from country to country, often patriotic in nature, sometimes geographic, sometimes historical. The general “world view” of a German is not exactly that of a Frenchman or a Brit or an Italian. The American “world view” will differ from that of a European, as will that of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Besides a commonality of religious traditions, the factor of attitudes toward government shades the views in each of these areas of the world.

Therefore it is obvious that any individual’s worldview is shaped by the century or even decade in which he is born, the culture of the country or even the part of the country in which he is born [consider the different attitudes in New England, the Midwest, Deep South, and Far West of the U.S.], and certainly his family upbringing.

A person’s view of the world begins with the nuclear family. Does the child feel loved and safe? Or threatened and rejected? Is the child taught, or indoctrinated in a specific belief system? Or is he encouraged to think independently? In the past, even the immediate past, a family’s values were fairly easily transferred to the child. Currently, however, it isn’t so simple. Children are exposed to multiple values and mores (some clearly not beneficial) via television, video games, computers, peers, and general pop culture. Still, “whoever most controls a child’s early environment will likely be most influential in contributing to the development of the child’s worldview.” Some families, especially those with strong, fundamental belief systems, want the child to keep those values and worldviews for their entire lifetime. That is not easy to accomplish these days.

The fact remains, however, that the adult’s worldview may, but often does not, remain consistent. As one matures, even more factors influence one’s worldview. The further one proceeds with education, the greater his exposure to new ways of thinking. Travel exposes one to new experiences and different cultures. Even moving to another part of the country brings in subtle new attitudes toward life and the world. Clearly, personal life experiences often contribute great alterations of one’s outlook on life. This can come from economic situations, new relationships, parenthood, tragic losses, illnesses and other personal situations, or even life-time learning. All such factors contribute to a person’s perspective about the world and humanity’s place in it. All of these factors have certainly contributed to my world view.

And as for remaining consistent, I am always reminded of a quotation originating from famed American author, the Transcendental philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson: “A foolish consistency is the hob-goblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Clearly, Emerson believes that as we learn and grow, we are expected to evolve in various ways.

Next, we shall examine a fairly recent term for a scientific view of the world, a term that has expanded in meaning and connotation to include “world view.”

Friday, October 27, 2006



What the heck is a “world view”?

Before I proceed into some serious definitions and explanations, first a little humor. I must share some images that have popped into my head. I can’t help but imagine one of the late night comics (LNC) going out into the big city and asking the “man on the street” (MOTS) the question: “What is your world view?” The following imaginary dialogue has provided me with some late night chuckles.

LNC: Hello there! We are asking folks tonight about “world views.” What is your world view?

MOTS #1: Gee, I don’t have one. My apartment only has one window, and it overlooks an alley!

MOTS #2: Does that have something to do with the UN?

MOTS #3: I don’t think I have a world view. I think that photograph of the Earth from outer space is pretty neat, though. I do have a photo of the Grand Canyon in my den.

MOTS #4: I’m just too busy to do any world viewing! I’m plenty stressed just with the price of gasoline. What do you expect from a low-paid worker?

Well, do you get the picture? Except for serious academics and deep thinkers, the average person just doesn’t think about world views. In fact, my old unabridged dictionary (1966) doesn’t even list the term. Still, as I said before, everybody has a world view. They just don’t know that they do. Therefore, we need to clarify just what a world view is, how we develop that view, and how it relates to our thinking, our behaviors, and our attitudes toward life. So now we will get serious.

The internet is a place where one can find discussions about world view, along with discussions about any possible topic one can think of. When I use material in any discussion in my blogs, I will always try to cite the source. Since I often like the way someone else states something, I will sometimes quote them. My first source is an article called “What is a world view?” (http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/WORLVIEW.html) Their explanation is simple and clear. They explain that a “world view” is a kind of “framework,” a kind of personal structure that “ties everything together, that allows us to understand society, the world, and our place in it.” This kind of inner thought-structure usually “synthesizes the wisdom gathered in the different scientific disciplines, philosophies and religions.”

When we think about this definition, we start to comprehend the complexity of what a world view is and why it is so difficult for nearly all of us to articulate our own world view. I am discovering that nearly everything I write in my blog is inter-related in some way. We could refer back to the blog (See Sept. 25) relating to why each of us is unique. Many of the factors discussed there relate directly to individual world views. Each person’s life experiences contain multiple components. The majority of those components are internalized largely subconsciously over one’s lifetime. Seldom do we bring them out into conscious awareness in order to delineate them and to write them down.

Let’s look at some other definitions and sources. Another website presents an interesting discussion of the topic: “What is a worldview?” (http://www.teachingaboutreligion.org/WorldviewDiversity) This site offers two definitions, apparently from a more recent dictionary than mine: “The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world,” and “A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.” This site notes that a worldview can be “religious or nonreligious,” and it is a personal insight about reality that is often called a “life understanding.” What does this include? “The personal insight comprising a worldview will encompass notions of the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural and a deity or deities; the origins of the universe and of human life; the source of morality and values; identification of what is good or evil; how to live one’s life; and the meaning of life and of death.” Do we all start to see why I say this concept is a complex one? How can anyone state her world view in a few sentences? I don’t find that possible; at least, for me it is impossible. I will admit, however, that persons raised from childhood with strict fundamental religious beliefs might be able to recite the “world view” from their particular religious theology. It’s certainly true that it is simpler to recite an indoctrinated belief than to develop one largely by oneself. There is no judgment implied here; just an observation.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

WORLD VIEW - An Introduction

Recently a friend asked me to discuss my “World View.” I found that a surprising request. It just seems to me that in all my experience as a teacher, writer, and facilitator of discussions, I have never heard anyone speak of his/her “world view.” In fact, I rather think that most people don’t have any idea what a “world view” is. By that statement I am not accusing anyone of being stupid. What I understand about world views leads me to think that while everyone actually has a world view, for most of us it is quite buried, either in our subconscious or unconscious mind. This makes it very difficult to actually state it in so many worlds. Still we all function in the world based on that very world view.

Therefore, since I function both as writer and teacher, it is important for me to attempt to write about “world view” with the intention of both clarifying my own view as well as acting as a clarifier of the idea for anyone who might stumble onto this blog site. I always hope to both inform and inspire.

In my judgment, a world view is a very complex entity indeed. All sorts of factors contribute to its totality. For most people it may not be important to identify those contributing factors; as for me, I like to recognize all the factors and conditions that have led to the present “me.” I hope that through the various discussions to follow, others may find insights from which to gain better self understanding as well. It is always a matter of free will and choice. One can practice being the objective observer of oneself; or just go with the flow, as they say.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

October 17, 2006


I am working on several ideas to explore in this blog. Should anyone ever read my blog, I hope they know that my intention is to inform and inspire. Therefore, don't expect to find some rapid message every day. I tend to write about serious philosophical things and issues that I would like to explore. I will avoid politics (hopefully). I also hope to include sources and recommended reading for others who wish to explore a particular thought or issue.

Watch this space! I shall return here soon with some discussion on a pertinent subject.

Monday, October 02, 2006

October 2, 2006
Peace in the Heart

Every time I need to work on peace in my heart I end up turning to the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

This simple little prayer is the most practical tool I know for coping with everyday life.
Today, I'd like to discuss how it works.

"To accept the things I cannot change"---
What are those things exactly? Let's face it, those things are everything in our life "out there."
That involves all other people in our lives, in fact all other people on the planet or who have been on the planet.
That involves all circumstances: health issues, family issues, community issues, poliltical issues, world issues.
Reality tells us that all things outside our very being are NOT things in our control. This is a problem for most of us. I swear that everybody I know or meet has "control issues." The more education we have, the more understanding we have, the more we "want" to control our lives. Most of us spend our entire lives struggling to control things that are, in fact, not under our control. This creates great dissatisfaction and frustration in most of us.

If, on the other hand, we pay attention to this first line of the Serenity Prayer and work to try to apply it in our lives, we gradually recognize all the things we cannot control. Then we can choose to ACCEPT that fact, and deal with it! This leads us to step two, the second line of the Serenity Prayer.

"To change the things I can"--
Now, exactly what is it that we CAN change? The answer first must be that we can only change those things NOT outside of ourself. So we can work on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual things that are uniquely a part of us. Physically, we can't change the basics of our physical being, such as DNA, genetic traits, height and eye color. But we can actively promote and support our well being with proper diet, exercise, and all steps that help us maintain our physical vehicle (called the Body Temple by Edgar Cayce). Emotionally, the work is harder. Human beings tend to "react" to outside influences in emotional ways. More and more we learn that emotional reactions often lead to physical pain. So if we want to "feel good" we need to become more aware of our emotional reactions, and over-reactions. Use of the Serenity Prayer can help.

One of the biggest changes that each of us can make involves mental processes. We can, by choice and practice and discipline, change the way we THINK about things. Often this is discussed as "attitude changes." Attitude, as they say, is everything. As we THINK, so we FEEL. We can prove this to ourselves very quickly. If we think about something sad, like losing a pet or a dear friend, we can immediately "feel" emotional and physical reactions. We "feel" the sadness or grief, and our throat closes and feels raw, and tears form in our eyes. This happens so immediately, it can surprise us.

Given these examples, we can decide to intentionally pay attention to our thoughts and choose to think in positive, loving, peaceful, calm ways. Admittedly, this isn't easy to do. Meditation and prayer help. Intention helps. Practice always helps. Everybody knows in one way or another that anything we need to become skilled at requires lots of practice. Consider how that works for musicians and athletes!

Finally, we look at the last line of the Serenity Prayer.
"The wisdom to know the difference"--

This takes paying a lot of attention to what is going on both outside of us and inside of us. It means staying awake and aware to our thoughts, feelings, and responses. It means spending some time learning more and more about what it means to be human. It means learning about the difficult topic of "consciousness." Human beings are so much more than most of us realize. We can gain inspiration from our great role models.

For me, a special role model is the Dalai Lama. I have read numerous books both by him and about him.
From his many years of study, meditation, and discipline he can be both completely compassionate to each human being he meets, while at the same time completely "detached." I spent years trying to understand the concept of "detachment." For so many, and for myself for some time, it felt like being cold and remote from others. But it isn't that at all. The Dalai Lama practices, with genuine unconditional love, total attention to each person he meets. This compassion comes directly from his heart, and is a major goal of Buddhism. When that person leaves his presence, the Dalai Lama releases any attachment to that person, that person's problems or concerns. There is no judgment, and no emotional connection. He gives love; then let's the person go. Literally, he is practicing the Serenity Prayer. He has no control over that person or that person's life. He can, however, offer that person total acceptance, compassion, and unconditional love. And since he is wise, he knows the difference between the two. Bible students will find this same message in the teachings of Jesus.

So, there we have it--the lesson for today.
Accept WHAT IS.
Do the best you can. Be aware of attitudes.
Be aware of the difference. Grow in wisdom.