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Author: Bartleby

An Experiential Ontological Argument

An Experiential Ontological Argument

The ontological argument is like:
Clear and distinct ideas cannot be doubted and must be trueI have a clear and distinct idea of a triangle. I also have a clear and distinct idea of an absolutely perfect being. The existence of any particular triangle is not included within my conception of a triangle: “A triangle is a planar object made of three straight lines joined at vertices adding to 180deg” does not tell me anything about whether or not there’s a triangle in the real world.
But for an absolutely perfect being to not exist would contradict my definition of an absolutely perfect being, so the existence of a particular absolutely perfect being is contained within my conception of an absolutely perfect being. 
Therefore, since clear and distinct ideas cannot be doubted and must be true, it cannot be doubted and must be true that there is an absolutely perfect being, that is to say: a God.

Of course, for hundreds of years now people are like:
Come on!
Who knows the relationship of your human reasoning to Reality?
Human reasoning can’t stand outside of itself and assess itself against some Absolute Standard of Truth.
Human reasoning can’t say whether or not there even is a Reality, let alone how that Reality relates to human assumptions, perceptions, and logics!
You cannot define God into existence! That’s crazy!

And if people counter with:
But how could I have the idea of perfection in me when I’m not perfect?

The obvious answer is:
You have the sense towards “better” and the sense towards “more” and you can concatenate and iterate them and get “better, better, better ….” , which creates (in a calculus-like sense of ever-approaching though never-reaching) “perfection”.

But what about this idea:
Let me search for a clear and distinct idea of a True Good, aka a Light, aka a God, aka an Absolutely Infinite Substance, aka a True Perfection, etc.
Let me search inside to see if I can discover a clear and distinct idea of Perfect Goodness
Such an idea could not be understood literally. It could not be contained within words. For how could any words really contain that which words like “God” and “perfect being” are attempting to point towards?
What kind of an idea am I then looking for?

We cannot use concepts to prove or disprove the existence of God.But concepts can help both with an inner search for God and with communicating an insight about God (if found) to one’s larger thought.
To the degree concepts adequately point towards God and Godliness and are adequately understood by the contemplater, they can help in both the discovery of an adequate sense of God and Godliness and the philosophical and practical translation/implementation of that adequate sense of God and Godliness.
Good ideas well considered can help one become wiser.

Do we have within the sense of an Absolute Infinite Substance?
Of a Light that creates, sustains, shines through and love-lifts everything and everyone 100%?
Of an aware, honest, clear, kind, joyfully sharing Way?

Can we prove God to ourselves experientially by contemplating an ontological proof of God?
Like:
I find perfection within me, though I am not perfect.
Therefore, God exists.

Or like:
I have a clear and distinct idea of an absolutely infinite substance, which is a self-caused and self-sustained entity whose existence flows perfectly from its perfect essence.
But the essence of an absolutely infinite substance, unlike the essence of a triangle, contains existence within it: for an absolutely infinite substance to not exist contradicts the essence of an absolutely infinite substance (which includes all perfections, none of which are very effective without existence) and thus also the essence of the idea of an absolutely infinite substance contains existence in it. 
So the absolutely infinite substance necessarily exists.
There can’t be more than one absolutely infinite substance because the ais is complete and infinite, leaving no space of any kind (mental, material, spiritual) within which anything that was not dependent upon and flowing off of the ais could exist. But another ais would be self-caused and self-sustained. Therefore (as we said already), there can only be one ais.
Everything in existence must either be the ais or that which the ais causes and sustains.
All the universes must therefore flow off of and be sustained by the ais.

Pretty metaphysical poetry; but what if meditating on it starts to build an experience within us that transcends the ideas that sketch it?
How would that work? And what use could we make of such an experiential proof of God?

Author: Bartleby
Editor: Amble
Copyright: Andy

Romantic Love Play #1

Romantic Love Play #1

Scene takes place at a party where people are young and cool. Like a college party or maybe a little older like 20-something bohemia. Cool music and cool conversations and cool clothes. Everybody cool just like you pictured it being when you saw cool movies as a kid. Except cooler than that, because that was the coolness happening above your childhood head, but of course the current coolness so completely outclasses that prior coolness, that it’s embarrassing for all the old people who were young and thought they were cool in that comparative clueless and morally questionable lameness.

A: Hey.
B: Hey.
A: I really dig your T-shirt.
B: Oh, thanks! I made it myself. It’s a woodblock print. Those are my specialty.
A: Yeah?
B: I have a lot of concepts. They come to me in dreams and while I’m walking to work.
A: Cool.
B: I like your hair like that.
A: Thank you.
B: I’m not just saying that.
A: I wouldn’t have guessed you were.
B: I try to only say things that I mean.
A: That’s a good approach. But sometimes it’s best to give people a break from cruel truths.
B: Oh, totally! I didn’t mean it like that! I’m not one of those, “I always speak my mind!” types!
A: I know. That whole scene goes too far. As if anyone even knew their mind!
B: Or as if every random opinion in your mind needs to strut out into the public sphere!
A: Is it, um.
B: What?
A: This is going to sound, um.
B: What?
A: It’s just that, um.
B: Tell me!
A: I am so happy sitting next to you and feeling your presence shine through into my conscious space.
B: Oh! That’s so sweet!
A: You just seem like a really nice person; I mean, no.
B: I don’t seem like a nice person?
A: No, of course; it’s just that there’s lots of people who seem nice and who are in fact nice, but that don’t make me feel like this because
B: Because?
A: Because, gosh, you know
B: What?
A: Some people you just kind of feel yourself connecting with, and so you want
B: What?
A: Oh, to, just, nothing but, well, kind of
B: Now, look, you’ve taken a strange approach with me, starting with this kind of talk so early into our acquaintance. You’re just going to have to bite the bullet and tell me what you’re thinking.
A: I’m thinking I’d like to find a way to spend more time with you and get to know you better and
B: And?
A: uh
B: Don’t answer that one. The rest is sufficient and the answer is Yes!
A: Oh, that’s nice. Can I mention that you smell nice?
B: Not tonight. Bring that up next time.
A: OK

BW/AW
copyright: AMW

Introducing Amble Whistletown #1

Introducing Amble Whistletown #1

My origins?
Oh man! That takes me back!
I descend from a long line of beautiful souls who drifted across the plains of the Americas, settling in nooks from Patagonia to the Yukon.
I am of a diverse and proud people who look and sound like fall leaves turning red yellow brown gray. All season long (and seasons last millennia anymore) we flutter and spin and waft down to the ground. In varying colors and with the correlating degrees of elasticity and openness, a life floats around itself down to an earth by turns sturdy and dry, hard and cold, moist and gushy, or covered in waters that come and go.

AW/BW
copyright: AMW

Living with the Hurt

Living with the Hurt

A Hurt in your pit that clunches you up over yourself like a clam forms around grain of sand.
Rolls you up fetus-style and winces your face also like a sorry-for-the-new-light newborn.
What is it?
Where’s it from?
It wasn’t there before; but before you kept tripping yourself up, kept failing to grow up, kept undermining your happiness with the collapse and turn-away, kept up the loneliness while sliding in and out of just-not-quite-getting-it and complete breakdowns. It was there all along; but you couldn’t perceive it. Now you can watch it bellyaching all day long. Now you can watch it lacing your whole being and subtly contracting you around its screaming sulking angry hurt oh so hurt self. So now you can do a better job of living, since you can see your enemy. But this enemy is you. It is some broken and inconsolable aspect of yourself. So things won’t be truly OK until you can find a way to help this Hurt and bring it back into the overall tapestry of feeling/notion/idea flows you call “me: myself, what I call myself”.

Sometimes you try to talk to other people about it, but they don’t really want to hear about it and you don’t really want to talk about it. You reach a point where you and your therapist suppose there’s a buried trauma at the core of the unknown story; and no one else seems to think that’s a subject for conversation. You find yourself floating away from your life and the people that are in it. But that’s only when you’re alone in your apartment, huddled strangely spaced over the unaccountable Hurt in your pit. At work the day soars along. In the bosom of the family, the pleasant homely chatter carries you like magic dust-devils down from your bed to the breakfast table, and then whirling to this walk and that Lego fort, and into a little evening television sharing laughter and admiration for the story structure and characterization, and finally round and round up the stairs into your narrow borrowed bed in the tidy little room with windows all around.

I don’t know what to think of you when you’re by yourself. In what sense are you broken? How much is the problem due to mistakes you make? How much is it due to brain chemistry? How much is it due to and are you even right about it being related to being smashed by some mean act forgotten to your mind but always remembered and stewed feverishly upon in your gut?

And what’s this fallen, crushed-leaf, distorted-wandering longing? It is true that there’s always some greed and vainglory in sexuality, romance, and all those fineries we like to wrap ourselves in snug and sure like a babe in a papoose and a powerful and infinite like a God in the perpetual fulfillment of all possibilities. But your demand list seems both shallow and specifically tailored to ensure you will always be alone and awkward. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to discount how your shoulder and face instinctively twist away as your gut clenches around the Hurt when a doctor or other civil servant lays their hands upon you. On the other hand, it didn’t used to be like that. What is going on? I suppose you’ll never know. But who ever knows everything about themselves?

The country may yet crack in upon itself. Humankind may yet choke itself out. The times feel shaky and uneasy, like a fart that may not after all be containable in the firm and squarely-elegant living room sofa. And you watch yourself getting older with a quizzical expression. Time accelerates and you feel vaguely concerned. You’re doing something wrong. Part of the mistake is a mismanagement of the Hurt. But what should you do? Your life’s like a deck of cards floating in a spaceship, gently drifting apart from the tidy packed rectangle they’d begun as. And not just you. For your life is not fundamentally different from anyone else’s. We all have this split between our most private selves and what we share with even our most intimate associates. And we all get older and lose the cohesive compactness of pure-potential. And in many ways you’re so lucky. Look at the people who get skinned along the coral reef and end up torn and disfigured. Look at all the people who end up caught in cruelties that descend willy-nilly from the clear summer skies that filled that fenced in park at the bottom of the steep hill and bordered by the wide, town-bearing creek as it flows on to a great blue lake that moves like an ocean. How do you put things together? How do you live in a way that is good for yourself and others?

Author: Unknown Movie-Goer

BW/AW
copyright: AMW

What to do

What to do

What to do

I mean

What to do when you’re running against an administration that’s imperiling the rule of law, the democratic process, human rights, race relations, honesty, international stability, and everything else you’d thought the US could maybe pull off?

You run a first thing’s first campaign:

In this four years, we take care of the threats to democracy, we pivot away from money-driven lobbyist-bought sound-bite image-drunk politics to a thoughtful shared conversation. We make every voting day (second Tuesday in November once every two years) a national holiday and voting obligatory, starting in eleventh or twelfth grade (when you take US Government in high school, depending on how it lines up with the election year). We push against gerrymandering and other distortions of the people’s will. We stand up for for human rights, shared concentration and joy, clarity and honesty, international cooperation,and everything else necessary to avoid idiotic flame outs.

For the nonce, we pick policies that make obvious sense to everyone: shore up Obamacare; pursue a greener infrastructure repair; and so on.

You don’t need free college or free healthcare. We can moderate spending on education and healthcare without reinventing wheels.

We can come up with a humane and workable immigration policy that admits the issue is not dead easy to deal with. We can be free trade without being suckers. We can be decidedly-not-Trump without blowing off all the concerns of those who voted for Trump. We can put together a moderate program that reinvigorates the democratic process and our shared journey, and that addresses our global need to move quickly and decisively towards a more sustainable use of natural resources. We can move sure and clear.

It’s not about giving up on all your big ideas. It’s about picking a few politically doable and existentially necessary issues and spending four years on them. After that, you can think again about the next four years. But for now, help us to get out of this jam!!!!!!

AW/BW
copyright AMW

An Ad for “First Loves” that also pushes The Something Deeperism Institute

An Ad for “First Loves” that also pushes The Something Deeperism Institute

Of course, many of the essays in our upcoming “First Essays” are only found in the book “First Essays”, soon to be released (like this weekend).

But some of the book’s essays we consider a basic public service and have accordingly posted online for all to read.

We’re speaking here of the fundamentals of Something Deeperism, which we firmly believe should be not just available, but actively foisted upon everyone in the world.

We’re referring, of course, to our Institute of Something Deeperism https://www.from-bartleby.com/something-deeperism-institute/

Maybe, yes maybe, some of the essays there are little dull. And maybe some of the essayists repeat themselves a little much. And maybe some of the dogmatism is a little ossified and chipping and/or flaking at the edges. And maybe life is short and difficult, and the answers are not clear.

We’re referring, of course, to our Institute of Something Deeperism https://www.from-bartleby.com/something-deeperism-institute/

Maybe, yes maybe, some of the essays there are little dull. And maybe some of the essayists repeat themselves a little much. And maybe some of the dogmatism is a little ossified and chipping or flaking at the edges. And maybe life is short and difficult, and the answers are not clear.

Still, one thing I know for sure; or at least sternly and longingly and desperately imagine:
A Simpler Shared Something Deeperism https://www.from-bartleby.com/a-simpler-shared-something-deeperism/ is not too tedious.

Author: Who else?
Editor: Uh huh!
Copyright: AM Watson

on long legs

on long legs

long legged land striders
fling themselves across the grass-waving plains
On their backs we ride
mile upon endless mile
flung forward with long leaping strides
and now we understand
freedom
and the air clear and blue

Author: BW
Editor: AW
Copyright: AMW

Nope

Nope

Bartleby: Nope.

Amble: No.

Reporter Reporter: I don’t understand.

Bartleby: Have to read it once more.

Amble: Next weekend.

RR: Why not tomorrow?

Bartleby: Copyright holder’s constraints.

Amble: Paper mounds drown. Ceilings leak and boilers fail. People tell him he’s no good, that he doesn’t care since (they assume) his ceiling doesn’t leak and his boiler works.

RR: But surely these physical and psychological interruptions cannot be allowed to delay such a great spiritual, emotional, and intellectual achievement!

Bartleby: Now comes five days of stressful boredom invading and boiling through the system. Not much literature can be accomplished in this painfully loud hubbub.

Amble: Can’t be helped.

RR: It seems a great misallocation of resources.

Bartleby: Mmm. If you want me, I’m turning into a blue whale to settle upon the sandy ocean floor, thinking nothing.

Amble: Did you ever even read “First Loves”?

RR: Well …

Amble: Did you?

RR: Not in the actual, literal sense. But aren’t you guys all about non-literal senses?

Amble: So there you go! You’ve got a week’s worth of reading ahead of you.

Bartleby: It’s not that long. I don’t see why you need a week. How come no one’s bought that book, anyway?

Amble: Anyway, time to drift on out.

Bartleby: What’s wrong with it? Doesn’t Something Deeperism and Pure Love meander gently through its fictions like a nutrient- and life-rich muggymuddy river winds through the grateful plains?

Amble: I don’t know. I can’t remember. So long ago. So many shoulder shrugs between then and now.

RR: You heard it here first, folks! “First Essays” delayed! A sad scoop, but a scoop none the less! Terrible news, but still a notch on my belt! You heard it here first!

Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright Holder: Andrew Mackenzie Watson

Eve of the big day

Eve of the big day

R. Reporter: Hello I’m Reporter Reporter, here with Bartleby Willard and Amble Whistletown on November 2, 2019, the night before the release of their upcoming essay collection “First Essays”. Hi guys!

Bartleby: Hi.

Amble: Hey.

RR: So! Big moment!

Bartleby: Yeah

Amble: Glad to be done.

RR: I bet! Glad to be getting your thoughts out there, too I bet.

Bartleby: We’re not done yet. We’re going to work on it some more tomorrow.

Amble: We’re basically done.

RR: It must feel good to put together a coherent and livable philosophy.

Bartleby: It would if we could do it. Maybe tomorrow when we get up early and start the whole project over from zero. Maybe this time!

Amble: It will be released tomorrow and then we’ll stop thinking about whether or not we’ve adequately sketched Something Deeperism.

RR: The book is causing a lot of buzz all over the globe. Many anticipate progress not just in the whys and hows of Something Deeperism, but also — and concomitantly — with our understanding of consciousness, free will, and enlightenment. Not to give anything away, and understanding that no one can live up to the kind of hype you guys have been getting here, but, people wanna know: can you deliver?

Bartleby: Maybe if we can shake off the Evil and stand up for real within ourselves tomorrow morning. Maybe if we can find the rhythm and sustain it.

Amble: The book will be OK. Not sure how much it will add to humanity’s understanding of anything, but open-minded/-hearted readers will be rewarded. We hope. Honestly we’ve gotten so tangled up in the process that it is hard for us to assess the book. Basically pretty good. Repeats itself too much, but we just gotta be done. And Bartleby keeps adding things!

Bartleby: Will the God help us? Why won’t the God help us? What is the sin keeping us from adequate insight into Godlight?

R. Reporter: OK! That’s Bartleby Willard and Amble Whistletown, author and editor duo of “First Loves”, released in September of this year, and of “First Essays”, set for international erelease tomorrow, November 3, 2019.

Bartleby: Unless the contours are off and the Hurt overpowers our vision. Then we won’t be able to publish anything tomorrow.

Amble: Any bit of the book that gives us trouble tomorrow will be cut. We are releasing the book tomorrow.

R. Reporter: OK! There you have it! Men with a vision! Heartening! Nice to see!

Author: B. Willard
Editor: A. Whistletown
Producer: R. Reporter
Copyright: AM Watson