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Oro Se do Bheatha Bhaile

Oro Se do Bheatha Bhaile

Watch and suppose
maybe you could be Celtic
like they say you were
long ago

Watch and imagine
you could be this
and have a people
a look a sound a stance

papoosed
all snug and safe

Bullshit!
Evil
piled upon more evil

There’s only the one people
only the one look sound stance
only Godlight shining through
all things
winning forever
because it is not here to win
but only to cherish, uphold, lift-up
be a Friend

There is no People
There is only people
and time is sharp

let cockroaches
and salamanders
suppose
they are cockroaches
and salamander

People should use their wider conscious space
to know themselves as
the One LIGHT

Editor’s Note:
So what happens?
While of course the team understands that there has to be a balancing act between the fact that there’s no such thing as any people except God’s People, to which all people are 100% members, and the fact that in human history many confusions over which people count for what have created many problems that continue to hurt some people more than others: while of course the team agrees with that general view of the situation, they every so often have to point out that identity politics are essentially contrary to Something Deeperism. Something Deeperism holds that we are all equally bound in and through and for the One Light and are all in this together and any other notion of who we are or should be is swamped and overwhelmed and made comparatively tiny by this most important fact. There’s no such thing as being anything but All God’s Children. That’s just how it is. Political conversations contrary to how it is are counterproductive. So what? What does this have to be with anything going on now? Hard to say. The ideas turn to vapors and the passions lump up and up and out. All that happens is that every so often we have to say, “there is only one identity: Godlight dressed up in funny positions. Now you can all do as you will, but we’re wandering wide along the splashing waves. Still this remains: we can work together. We can share in decision-making. What binds us as ONE is infinitely larger than what differentiates into these half-ass suppositions about being different.”

Ashamed Poet

Ashamed Poet

The hurt
is killing me

Other people have had and other people have
real problems

They get stuffed at the start or squashed in the fire
in the trench cold and dank or jungle hole hot and wet

I just can’t handle a little noise
a little scream
a little emanation
from my own silent gut
from my own peaceful smile

The country degrades
the answers twist
the monsters win

And I watch
I stare
I care
only for this lonely bellyache

How to stop?
turn the corner?
change to the better?
so tired
slip into the dirt

failing

Another Cotter Story (Response-Story to Joyce’s “The Sisters”)

Another Cotter Story (Response-Story to Joyce’s “The Sisters”)

[This is a response-story to Joyce’s “The Sisters”.
We did an analysis here: The Sisters – Reaction & Analysis.]

“That’s my principle, too,” said my uncle. “Let him learn to box his corner. That’s what I’m always saying to that Rosicrucian there: take exercise. Why, when I was a nipper every morning of my life I had a cold bath, winter and summer. And that’s what stands to me now. Education is all very fine and large. . . . Mr. Cotter might take a pick of that steak,” he added to my aunt.

I looked up with a wan closed-mouth grin, cheeks-furrowing outward, eyes raised like arch window. An old church pew had been repurposed as a bank for one side of the dining room table. And it was there, my back against the wall and my meal on the plastic blue-and-white checkerboard table cloth atop the long wooden rectangle table, that I trapped between wall and table, that I took every meal that summer.

“You’ll be wanting a bit of potato with your steak, Mr. Cotter?” My aunt was swinging open the fridge door, leaning forward over her patchwork apron.

Mr. Cotter, unrightful head of the table at every meal, leaned back a measure in the sturdy old wooden chair with the wide arms and convex back. “Well, then, if there’s a bit of steak and potatoes left, well I guess if no one minds an old man’s strange breakfast habits. Never was one for cereal.”

Insufferable old goat! To steal at breakfast all the best leftovers every single day! When no one else even had the stomach to rightly desire the goods, let alone argue for their rights! And using, and this though he was not yet 50, the same ridiculous excuse every day without fail round about 7:30 AM, and this though breakfast was generally either a delicious pudding-like porridge with fruit and nuts or egg and home fries with avocado and cooked tomato and almost never cold cereal with milk, “well I guess if no one minds an old man’s strange breakfast habits. Never was one for cereal” !!

You could tell by the pout in his lips, tilt of his head and scratch at his beard, by the leanback with arms hanging orangutang-like over the wooden chair arms, by the indulgent, back-throated, roundly rolling pronouncement rehearsed every morning and fit for the two-bit melodrama stage: you could tell he was proud here too! Here too proud over some bit of inanity. Just like how he read only books written before the beginning of the last century. Just like how he “economized time and money” by always wearing the same outfit (white dress shirt, tan slacks). Just like how he would praise Bach to the disadvantage of Beethoven or Mozart at least once a day, regardless of how improbably it fit into any of that day’s conversations. Just like how he had been “unlucky in love, but lucky in my pipe” out there stinking up the back porch with his billowing carcinogens. Proud! Proud of little peculiarities adopted in no small part simply because they seemed to him somehow extraordinary proofs of his own greatness.

To the outside observer, perhaps, he seemed a kind of sad character. Old and defeated before his time. Broken by whatever it was that he couldn’t quite manage. Pretending his idiosyncrasies were the ingredients of a profound genius, rather than self-imposed cliches he hid in while his few relatively good years floated past, floated with the seagulls on the salty billows that gusted along the half-mile-wide estuary behind the house. But I was fifteen and outraged with both real anger and the pride one finds in scorning and despising another.

– – – – –

“And then his life was, you might say, crossed.”

I heard my aunt say to my mother as I trundled down the gray-carpeted steps.

Thirty, and fresh from the seminary, ready after those “exploring years” — a phrase that always sounded so ironic when my parents, who could not help but tuck their chins and otherwise frog-face while ribbitting it — to take up the family business. Well, kind of. There was to be one more adventure. An intermediary step. And as my aunt and uncle lived reasonably close to the airport, and as we were about due for a visit anyway — well, here we were!

My uncle stood tall and slender at the sink, doing the dishes in the slanted evening light. My aunt and mother leaned towards their teacups at the dining table at one end of the long living rectangular living room and adjacent the long rectangular kitchen. It was the link between kitchen and living room. Where food and community met. A perfect sort of place. Cozy from every angle, as coziness flowed in from all sides. Even out yon wide windows overlooking the small sailboats bobbing in fading sunlight; even from that direction came a gentle depiction of homey americana (well, new-england-americana). My father, though nearly 60, had chosen to spend the last of the day’s light skimming rocks along the river at medium-tide. He’d invited me to come along, but I’d demurred with a comment about my need to organize for the trip.

“Yes,” said my mother. “He was a disappointed man. You could see that.”

I felt a strange, unchristian, lump of animosity welling in my throat. To let that feckless old humbug off with such soft talk! My mother noticed my eyes grow large and my head snap in and back. “Is something the matter?”

I didn’t want to tell her about how I’d been shocked to discover myself overwhelmed in this sad moment by a boyhood animosity, especially one that I’d knowingly stoked out of boredom spite and pride, and which I’d subsequently, if not quite repented of, heartily shook my head and went “sheesh! of all the silly jerky behavior!” about.

“Oh, just. I’d not realized. So he’s passed then? Cotter?”

“Yes. Didn’t you hear my father and I talking about it on the way up?”

“Yeah, um, I was lost in the, um …”

“Quite an adventure you’re going on, Timothy!”, broke in my aunt.

My mother eyed me from across her tilting teacup, took a sip, returned cup to saucer, and, both hands cupped around her ancient ritual, gave me a tired, thin-lipped smile, “You ready to go?”

I came and sat down at the chair that Cotter had stolen every day of that summer now long gone when my aunt and uncle had been so kind as to take me in while my parents worked abroad and I studied for the entrance exams of a big-deal high school. I’d been set on transferring. I had in fact transferred. I’d always kind of regretted transferring, blaming it on my loss of childhood friends and blaming that on some cool, ethereal, distant unhappiness that I’d noticed lacing my bones and which I felt somehow kept me locked inside myself. But that was all crazy talk. Not completely. But largely. Oh, who can say? And what difference does it make now? Things have turned out well enough.

“Yup. All set!”

My aunt smiled her full cheeks at my mother, and with face down and eyes up, “He’ll have to take some oatmeal cookies for the plane ride.” And then turning her neck to face me, eagerly, her straight shoulder-length grey hair flopping a little up and down with the sharpness of her movements, “Timothy! You’re not too health-conscious for a few oatmeal cookies, are you?”

“I’ll never turn down your oatmeal cookies!” I said, glad at how honest it made me feel. There was at least one salt-of-the-earth, hearty, family-friendly enthusiasm that I could still voice without even a trace of irony. Now, of course, I shake my head at this Cotter-like self-deification of my own failings. But, well, that was me at 30, I dunno.

The next morning we had a fine breakfast of spinach and gouda omelets with sweet potato home fries. Though it was a Saturday, my aunt and uncle were dressed for church. My uncle had to perform Cotter’s funeral.

My father could not stop speculating about which route would be ideal. He consulted various traffic apps. He considered the day of the week, the time of year. He wondered aloud and then into his phone about the possibility of some event or events that my aunt and uncle, being rather “out of the loop — well all noneclesiastical loops” might not have heard of. He recounted driving surprises from the last few decades of his life: those occasions when one begins the day confident that one’s chosen the best possible route, but is proven terribly wrong by the day’s evolution. He agreed to a bit more eggs and sweet potato but said he’d had enough coffee. He stood abruptly up to go look at a large sail boat heading towards the drawbridge. “If they lift the bridge now, we should wait for it to close and then head out.” He also liked watching the bridge go up and down and relating the inner workings of the machinery — like you might — even perhaps without being bidden to, even perhaps if it meant trampling over the conversation that that person or people was clearly trying to establish — translate a song for someone who didn’t speak that song’s language.

My uncle quietly took my father by the arm and asked him to come outside so he could hear better see the bridge as my father explained the gears. My aunt and mother exchanged bright, eye- and cheek-popping smiles — the kind where hilarity holds itself in check because bursting out laughing would be a little mean.

“Timothy! You excited for this trip! I’m so excited for you! I think it’s gonna be big! I think there’s something there for you to discover. That’s what — I was telling this to your mother — I’ve got a sense — a real sense about this!”

I smiled, sipped the tea, thought vaguely of Cotter and his orangutan-recline.

Author: CG Triolog
Editors: BW/AW
Copyright: AMW

Light Work

Light Work

With the breath filling the thorax, let the light in.
From the bowl between butt and sex, all along the space between spinal column and abdomen.
Up through the neck and head.
Out the crown.
Light in at hips and shoulders too.
And legs, arms, everypart.
Breath held in as body expands outward, creating more space for breath and light to stay.
Then, still holding the breath, push out from the center-line of the conscious space running down your body/mind.

Push out from within, pushing the light within to meet the light without.
Fast or slow? Violent or gentle?
The main thing is: with the push outward, you open up and unfold from the inside out; that line running down the center of your conscious space explodes the rest of your conscious space open, so that you are just that line and the infinite space of conscious light. Well, that’s the direction you’re pushing for.
Hold where you are and invite more light in.

Alternate between pushing out from within and thereby unfolding your conscious space / exploding the shell of self; and (while remaining open and unfolded) letting the light in from every direction.
You are pushing, opening, and unfolding to close the gap between the light outside your “self” and the light inside your “self”: you are pushing and pulling to know yourself as the one thing / nothing (interconnected whole created sustained and shot-through by, and ultimately one with the One Light prior to all particular-things / no particular-thing).

Slowly and perhaps in steps, you push the air out, straightening chest forward, shoulders over haunches, head straight ahead from the tilt created when you were pushing and pulling the light.

You can also let just a little air in after you push air out, but you open up your body so that that little bit of air fills all of it. You can play around with being full and emptied of air as you play around with turning your inner space inside-out and letting the light flood in.

Why?
Why are you doing this?
What do you hope to achieve?
More loving effective joyful intelligent kindness; less mean stupid bullshit.

How?
How will you succeed?
Mmmmm

And it’s also good to sometimes picture the center-lines of the conscious spaces of other people in our life and pray, “help _______; help us all grow together in wisdom, true success, and shared joy” while (in your imagination) you and they together push out from the center line, unfolding your conscious spaces into the infinite One Light. It is good to do this not just thinking of people you like and/or know well, but other people too. Because what you are trying to learn is that and in what way it is True to say “we are all in this together and can and should treat ourselves and others like children of God, children of the One Light, creatures that can and should grow in wisdom, creative activity, and shared-/giving-joy together.”

Oh
I see
Is that what we’re supposed to do??
Because?
Who said?
And well
I guess there’s no other way
to stand life
to be who we want to be
to do anything cool

Author: Belumpt Bedizd
Feckless Editorial Squad: BW/AW
Stingy Copyright Holder: AMW

Chapters of “First Loves” (with links)

Chapters of “First Loves” (with links)

Dedication
Disclaimer
Beginning Quote, Like Books often Have

Sec 1: Introductions
1a. How to Read this Book
1b. Intro to the Project
1c. Intro to First Loves
1d. The Pitch! [beginning: https://www.from-bartleby.com/chapter-2-the-pitch/]
1e. About this Project

Sec 2: Customer Testimonials
2a. A Couple Decides Whether or not to Drink
2b. From a Dissatisfied Customer
2c. Hurt Girl / Girl by the Creek

Sec 3: Manufacturing Pure Love
3a. Earthworm Factory Farm 1 [beginning: https://www.from-bartleby.com/factory-farm-part-1/]
3b. Tainted Love Factory
3c. Earthworm Factory Farm 2
3d. Love Engineer

Sec 4: Stories from Pine
4a. Ichabod the Pure Love Salesman
4b. John of Charles

Sec 5: Fictional Theories of Pure Love
5a. A Something Deeperist Prayer
5b. Love Theoreticians
5c. The Pure Love Scientist
5d. I’m Researching Love
5e. On Writing Books of Pure Love
5f. Love Mathematician
5g. Seed of Wisdom
5h. Plato & Bartleby Exchange Texts

Sec 6: Fade Out
6a. Alternating Loves
6b. Love Alarm
6c. The Buddhist Marriage Counselor Explains Pure Love

The End of the First Book

Wait! Don’t we have time for an Ad for Pure Love?!?

Sec 8: A Few Essays
8a. About these Few Essays
8b. A Standard Model of Pure Love
8c. A Simpler Shared Something Deeperism
8d. In A Republic
8e. Why Something Deeperism? Simple!
8f. Something Deeperism without Metaphysics??
8g. How do Humans Learn?
8h. A Note on Self-Deception
8i. Relationship of Truth, Pure Love, and Something Deeperism??
8j. Wisdom is Attainable Text Messages
8k. Texts in Service of a Minimal Dogmatism
8l. A Standard Theory of Pure Love

A Glossary

Footnotes

Outtakes

The beginning of “Moments of Wisdom”

The beginning of “Moments of Wisdom”

“Moments of Wisdom” is included in “First Essays”, available on this site at “Buy the Books!”

The assumption that an unenlightened person can on occasion — in deep reflection or the throes of creation, contemplating a divinely inspired text or moment, or just caught off guard — catch a bit of divine insight explains away a lot of great spiritual mysteries.

Examples: How is it that singer-songwriters who’ve not reached the apotheosis of wisdom and goodness sometimes capture true wisdom and goodness? Or why do certain holy scriptures, maintained by researchers to be the work of the same author, seem in places wondrous holy, but in others rather too bedraggled by the happenstances of time and place to soar into the Basically-True? Or why is it that the wisdom of certain great religious figures seems so uneven?

In that final case, I’ll think of Martin Luther. You’ll see a movie where he prayed so desperately for God’s guidance and had the insight and courage to fight against the ecclesiastical folly of 15th Century Rome and help bring about many undeniably salutary reforms; and then, years later, you’ll come across some docuconcern about how his views on Jews started out time-/place-relative relatively tolerant but, after disappointment at their disinclination to conversion, he at some point began proclaiming them full of “devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine” and suggesting their synagogues burned, homes razed, and other Nazi-esque interventions. [Editor’s Note: “Von den Juden und iren Luegen” (“On the Jews and their Lies”) by Martin Luther, 1543.] Or I’ll even graze a quibble past that slawart of buddhadarma known by posterity as “the Buddha”, who generally comes off as remarkably enlightened — pace-settingly so — , but who still had to be begged and begged into accepting what is now obvious: there shouldn’t be just buddhist monks, but buddhist nuns as well. [Editor’s Note: The Buddha didn’t write anything. There are, however, some texts suggesting he was initially reluctant to permit monastic ordination for women.]

Let us, we woefully amateur and tragically part-time watchers for the Light, put together a few lyrics by mere musicians, singersongwriters unaided by perfect wisdom or miraculous revelation, but in whose song&dance we nonetheless felt some real — aka: eternal/infinite — Truth:

{And then the author quotes Jewel; Sinead O’Connor (now officially Shuhada’ Sadaqat, although it was still officially SOC when this essay was written like 2015/16); John Stewart Singer-Songwriter from California; and Bob Marley. And then weaves them into a coherent metaphysics. Or so we suppose.}

The Author of this Essay is Sandra Sandstone.
Editors are B. Willard & A. Whistletown
Copyright is AM Watson

Chapters of “First Essays” (with links)

Chapters of “First Essays” (with links)

[Available for purchase on the “Buy the Books!” tab.]

Dedication
Disclaimer
Preface
Where are they?
Unwise Authors
Pure Love Give-Away
Apology

Sec 1: Saturday Morning Philosophizing
1a. Moments of Wisdom [The beginning: Beginning of “Moments of Wisdom”]
1b. The Things We Long For [The beginning: From “The Things We Long For”]
1c. The Structure of Human Thought / Purpose of the Author
1d. How We Learn / Against All Talk of “Philosophical Zombies”
1e. Important Notes on Practical Philosophy
1f. Two Notes on Poetic Truth
1g. A Note on Self-Deception

Sec 2: Lonesome Feeling
2a. Readerless Authors are Lonely
2b. The Law
2c. (Former) Prefatory Speech
2d. Prayer from the SAW Expatriots [Original Version: SAW Expatriots Prayer]
2e. End of “Supposing it were True” [The Whole of this essay is here: Supposing it were true]

Sec 3: Scraps of Love
[What is Love?[What is Love?]
I Love You
The Hurt in Love
A Buddhist Marriage Counselor Explains Pure Love to a Mopey Young Man]

Sec 4: A (Later) Saturday Afternoon Politics
4a. A Fun New War [A Fun New War]
4b. The Importance of Clarity
4c. A Shared Something Deeperism
4d. In a Republic

Sec 5: Harried Religion
5a. A (Failed) Story of God’s Eternal Love
5b. The Evil Things God Does

Sec 6: A Couple Pure Love Ads
[Pure Love: More Effective than Classy Sneakers
Pure Love for Sale (but Not for Pick-up or Delivery)

Sec 7: A New, Improved Manhattan Project
7a. Introductory Ode
7b. Preliminary Worries
7c. The Proposal
7d. Some Tips for the Geniuses

Sec 8: Short Sketches of the Hurt / the Evil
[To be Someone Who Cooks Green Beans
Temporary Insanity
Still its only Wishing
Wounds without an Audience
Blogging the Hurt
His Sickness
A Consistent Evil
On Stopping the Evil / My Disappointing Performance
Dear God in the Highest
Play for Sarah]

Sec 9: Errant Philosophers
9a. The Prophet of the Irreducible Rends his Garment
9b. The Something Deeperist & the Lech
9c. Freedom of Will
9d. Amoeba Salvation
9e. A Theory of Mind
9f. “The Myth of Sisyphus” and Something Deeperism [This is the original version: Myth of Sisyphus Essay
The version in the book is longer and (hopefully) clearer.]

Sec 10: Last Minute Entries
[Say People
Deep in the Americas
Info Age Sins
The Failure of Something Deeperism
Living with the Hurt]

Sec 11: A Little More Philosophizing
11a. Plato & Bartleby Exchange Texts
11b. On Philosophical Systems
11c. A Something Deeperist Writes a Deeperist
11d. Anti-Corruption/-Madness, Pure Kindjoy

Sec 12: Political Exhaustion
12a. What to do / First-Things-First Campaign
12b. The Worry Grows: Impeachment Trial in the Ophthalmologist Waiting Room
12c. Abortion & Government / What about a Work-Around?? [Abortion & Gov / A Work Around??]
12d. An Abandoned Preface to “First Loves”

Sec 13: Excess Something Deeperism
13a. Something Deeperism Minus Metaphysics?
13b. Intro to Something Deeperism
13c. Pure Love Factory Farm Corporate Metaphysics

Sec 14: Why Something Deeperism? Simple! It’s Rivals are Self-Defeating and it isn’t!!

Sec 15: A Last-Minute Ad for Pure Love

Sec 16: End of the Book / What Comes Next

Sec 17: Bonus Essay
17a. Platonic Therapy
17b. Three Models of Knowledge
17c. Two Attempts at an Experiential Ontological Argument for God’s Existence
17d. The Greatest Commandment
17e. Philotexting
17f. You Know What?

Sec 18: Standard Theory of Pure Love

Sec 19: Fragments of Something Deeperism

Sec 20: A Glossary

Sec 21: Outtakes & Footnotes

A Theory of Mind

A Theory of Mind

[Editor’s Note: February 2, 2020: This essay appears in First Essays. We don’t particularly suggest it there or here. Maybe we’ll keep working on it. You never know with us.]

The body instinctively perceives/organizes/reacts-to the outside world (picture yourself walking through the creek, thoughtlessly navigating the slippery stones, curling waters, and fallen logs). The body is subconsciously creating senses-of-things (swarms of pre-idea notions about how objects and situations feel, how you can and cannot manipulate them, what other phenomena they are associated with, etc) and in this way learns how to move through and manipulate the physical world.

The mind does the same thing, except it consciously watches various hypothetical combinations of senses-of-things (example: you sit on the bank and look at a log fallen in the creek, contemplating how best to hop stones to get to it and then shimmy up it once reached and then bask in the glory of wandering up into its still living branches) (actually, in most day-to-day thoughts, we consciously contemplate the iceberglike-tips of various hypothetical combinations of senses-of-things; I’m not sure if abstracted contemplation of, for example math or first principles, allows us to hold the whole or at least the bulk of a single sense-of-something in our conscious space — maybe. But generally, we’re consciously dealing with the tips of larger, mostly subconscious contemplations.) .

The mind consciously employs the same basic method the body subconsciously uses: it feels senses-of-things and moves them around in accordance with felt senses-towards-logic, senses-towards-preferableness, senses-towards-physical-manipulation, spatio-temporal-positioning, and etc (the same senses-towards that the body subconsciously employs).

I’m not sure exactly how consciousness works. I guess the different aspects of one’s subconscious thought can to some degree turn towards the conscious space and both project notions, ideas, and/or feelings into it & consciously observe it. Does that sound right? Consciousness is a shared screen that subconscious-shading-conscious sections of thought use to debate/evolve complex thoughts together?

And the exact mechanism — ??

Simple awareness and background consciousness are what? And then contemplative focused conscious contemplation of specific ideas is different from the background of aware subconscious chatter how? (I say “the background of aware subconscious chatter” because it seems like what the Buddhist’s call “background consciousness” is subconscious thought that has sort of bleed onto the shared screen, but that has not been particularly engaged with by conscious focus.)

What is the Light? How does it relate to that which we call “God / the True Good / Dharmakaya Buddha”? Are they one and the same? Is awareness the Light? Or is it just that the Light shines through everything and so the less distracted one’s awareness is, the more one’s awareness is aware that the Light is all there really is?

Let’s say the Light = Reality = God = the True Good = the Dharmakaya Buddha (or Buddha Nature). And let’s say the Light shines through each human conscious moment and thus constitutes a kind of background vista for every human conscious moment.

From this it follows:
The Light is Reality and to the degree a conscious space focuses on the Light, the conscious space finds itself within an environment of selfless love and infinite joy. To the degree a conscious space is able to perceive that fundamental inner vista lacing the back of our conscious moment and shining through every conscious thought, that conscious space is in heaven and is inundated by heaven’s perspective: by infinite selfless joyful kindness. In the way and to the degree a conscious space relates to that environment, the conscious space will grow in wisdom and think and act more aware, clear, effectively helpful and joyfully kind.

Mind and body are linked by feels (feels include: perceptions, pains and pleasures, senses-of-things, senses-towards). Every conscious thought shades into unconscious thoughts, which — also via feels— shade into the body and the body’s instinctive assessment and decision-making. The spiritual and the mental are linked via the aware and self-conscious Love shining through all things (aka: the Light; “Love” is how It appears to human hearts: as an infinitely joyful and compassionate explosion of holding, rejoicing-in, and uplifting us all). You are what you love, and to the degree a conscious space is focussed on Love, it loves Love: ie: it assents-to and pursues infinitely effective kind joy.

When you are in a creek, you instinctively react to that setting. To the degree you realize you are most fundamentally within an infinite Kind Joy, you are enlightened and instinctively move in accordance with the True Good. To the degree your decision making process happens within the Light, your conscious decision making process is directed towards aware, clear, honest, competent, gentle, humble, effective compassionate joyful kind creative thought and action.

Ideas are concentrated and hardened swarms of impressions/feelings/senses-of-things. The body perceives inner and outer states and reacts to that input. The same process is done in conscious thought, but here the body explores swarms of perceptions and assessments consciously. In instinctual, not-consciously-regulated life, the body is like an amoeba (with its basic desperate push towards better-than-now and away from worse-than-now) unconsciously gathering and analyzing and reacting to perceptions and hypothetical interactions with that subconscious-landscape. In conscious thought, the body is like an amoeba doing the same thing but within a conscious space. In both cases, swarms of ideas/feelings interact and evolve and tussle for supremacy (for the “we’re going with this!”). To the degree a conscious space is turned towards the Light, the idea/feeling swarms perceive spiritual Love as the fundamental makeup of their reality; and because spiritual Love has the indelible stamp of Truth within It, the ideas and feelings also realize that Love is the most basic Reality of their setting.

Actually, the process of perceiving and reacting to the Light occurs in the subconscious, as well as the conscious; however, outside of consciousness, (at least from the point of view of virtue and joy) the Light’s sway is not noticeable. It is only by growing the Light in our conscious space that we can consciously experience and appreciably improve the way our ideas and feelings perceive and react to wisdom, and are thus changed and improved. Not only that, but at our deepest level we are not ideas and feelings, but rather this calm clear Light; and so by relaxing the grip of animal impulses, we can allow our truest essence to shine forth and influence the mental/material flux starting from our own vantage within this interdependent flow.

Everything is an interconnected flowing of mind/matter created by, sustained by, and shone through with a conscious Light, which Light is also everything’s essence (the Nature off of which everything flows). Therefore, to the degree one is conscious, one is more than deterministic causal chains: one is aware of and following a fundamental consciousness that is also the essence of everything. Human freedom follows axiomatically from mental/physical causal chains perceiving freedom: perceiving the free-cause: perceiving the undifferentiated Light off of which every particular thing flows. Human freedom follows from finding oneself most fundamentally within Reality; insofar as one does that, one’s thinking/feeling is overwhelmed by and cannot help but follow one’s true essence. To say one can resist wisdom is to say one can resist a nuclear explosion: when one is far far away, one is less affected, but if one turns fully to the blast, the blast will shatter one’s shell.

Since all flows together accordance with and is shone through by the same essence, the essence of all things is identical with each individual’s essence. Our essence is the Light. Wisdom is more whole-being conscious awareness of our essence, of the one essence, of the Light that creates, sustains, shines through, and ultimately overpowers the interconnected web of causality.

After Reading “There is No Such Thing as Conscious Thought”
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/there-is-no-such-thing-as-conscious-thought/
(An interview between philosopher Peter Carruthers & article author Steven Ayer)
Peter Carruthers said that reasoning, analysis, and judgement making — all of what we might call “higher level thinking” — are done subconsciously.

He said consciousness is always rooted in sensation. Sometimes we speak thoughts to ourselves or picture a solution and in that way create our own mental input, but for a thought to be conscious it always has to be felt like a sensation is: it can never be the kind of pure cognition (reasoning) with which we often associate thinking.

He also said that consciousness is largely an inference about the thinking and feeling of the subconscious space. In conversation, we hear the meaning, rather than the logical piecing together of sound, words, meanings, grammatical rules. And experiments show that we subconsciously discover patterns before we consciously discover them. And he notes that people with autism have difficulty both reading other people’s minds and their own, suggesting that there’s only one system for inferring both our own thoughts and others. The image of consciousness is, as he puts it, “a sort of statistical summary”. As if the consciousness were the president getting briefed about what the nation is thinking and feeling. (Except most presidents have had some reasoning ability.)

Did any of you read my essay about how humans learn via empathy? That is: we associate certain words, actions, and concepts with certain internal states by reading other people’s body-language; mapping their body-language in our own mind/bodies (ie: you feel what it would be like to grimace like they are grimacing; or sometimes you even actually grimace along with them and feel it all the more acutely); and then correlating what they say and do with xyz feelings (the feelings we believe they experience because they are the feelings that we make when our body language is similar). From this it obviously follows that the worse people are at mapping feelings to and from body-language, the less insight they will have on other people’s internal thoughts. But if (as per Carruthers) the same people who struggle understanding other people’s internal thoughts struggle understanding their own, it does seem to imply that in some sense we are learning about our own internal states by reading our own body-language — both explicitly expressed by the body, or as mapped into the mind on a sort of mirror-body that the mind uses to keep track of the body (and which I read about years ago — I think it is called “homunculus”).

I can believe Peter Carruthers is correct to say that we do not consciously control the reasoning process. But does he think we can still consciously help guide it along by holding it in our conscious space and demanding it not give in to xyz-conclusion, but rather keep searching or come from another angle? That’s all we spiritual-seekers need: for reasoning to be a tool that consciousness can use and tune better or worse by holding it (reasoning) in the Light of wisdom, and thus demanding it (reasoning) proceed with intellectual, emotional, and spiritual rigor.

From my experience, consciousness may not control reasoning directly, but it can hold reasoning within its space and demand reasoning try harder and differently. That is to say: consciousness can push back on subconscious processes. This seems to agree with Carruther’s general assessment. He didn’t mention specifically the process of consciously holding the reasoning process accountable to higher standards than it might want to hold, but he gives a couple examples of consciously pushing back on the subconscious. He puts pictures of his family on his desk to motivate him to keep working. And he says sometimes with awareness we can consciously catch a mistake of the subconscious, his example being that sometimes he thinks he’s irritated but he’s really just hungry.

If I understand him correctly, Carruthers believes that consciousness arises when some sensations are focused on by awareness. Awareness and consciousness don’t always directly overlap. He gives the example of a spectator missing a gorilla running in front of him because he was preoccupied watching a basketball game. At some level his awareness registered the gorilla, but his consciousness only (he says) gets a general overview of what his body is aware of. I guess he thinks of what we call “awareness” as a kind of background awareness that is 100% sensory (with the caveat that the mind can create internal sensations, so awareness is not just of the external world) and “consciousness” as that part of the background awareness that we consciously focus on long enough to contemplate (hold it in our working memory, I guess [in accordance with the working memory theory of consciousness]). So the gorilla was never held by working memory because the conscious space could care only for basketball.

In Buddhism, there are eight consciousnesses: five sense perceptions, mind (perception), manas (self-consciousness), and storehouse consciousness.

Per Buddhist scholar Thich Nhat Hanh, mind consciousness makes plans, worries about the future, and is dependent on the body. This type of consciousness takes a lot of effort and should be minimalized. Per Carruthers, then, this sort of consciousness is not actually always conscious — only those moments when mind consciousness focuses on sensations (created either by the senses or by the mind imagining sensations) are conscious. I guess Hanh’s “mind consciousness” and Carruther’s working-memory-consciousness (we’re conscious of what we consciously focus on and hold in working memory) point to the same basic phenomenon.

Per Hanh, storehouse consciousness holds all impressions and processes them. Store consciousness is always flowing, though mind consciousness can be interrupted (ex: in a dream or coma). Per Hanh, this storehouse consciousness is what neurologists call “background consciousness”. Storehouse consciousness often goes through mind consciousness to interact with the five senses, but not always. Hanh gives the examples of pulling up a blanket while you sleep, and of mindlessly but still successfully driving a car (in both cases he clains store consciousness bypassed mind consciousness and interacted directly with the senses).

From a Youtube video I watched of Thich Nhat Hanh, I learned his view that mind and body rest upon each other: you cannot have consciousness without a body, and a body is not fully a body without consciousness animating it (well, not a living body). From this you might think it follows that there is no consciousness after death. But many Buddhists (including TNH) believe that spiritual energy continues on after death, and so in some sense we are reborn after we die. What then happens to one’s conscious space at the final nirvana? What happens to the spiritual energy that doesn’t enter another body? They say it is a candle going out, but they also speak of a different state of awareness, and the idea that the enlightened consciousness simply ceases to exist seems to not be what the Buddha suggested. (https://tricycle.org/magazine/nirvana-2/) (https://tricycle.org/magazine/no-self-or-true-self/).
[You Tube video just mentioned: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=thich+nhat+hanh+life+after+death&view=detail&mid=6B4C223C16B7576F9FBB6B4C223C16B7576F9FBB&FORM=VIRE]

Per Hanh, store consciousness can be trained to become wiser. I guess store consciousness survives the body’s death. Sense and mind consciousness depend on the body and so must die with it. And manas (self-consciousness) is the illusion of “I am a particular being” that is rooted in store consciousness but that (I think) comes alive in mind consciousness. But store consciousness flows on always, even in the absence of mind consciousness. Store consciousness is not completely unconscious. It is the consciousness that connects senses to sense-objects, as well as the container for all we “are”, including our Buddha Nature (the One Essence we all share and which constitutes our true “self” [not, of course, in the sense of a particular being]). It is our ground or “background” or fundamental consciousness. https://upliftconnect.com/thich-nhat-hanh-the-four-layers-of-consciousness/

I guess one always observes at least some aspect of store consciousness, though we don’t generally focus too much on it, except in some types of meditations or perhaps certain ways of zoning out. Mind consciousness seems, as noted previously, to be what we’d normally call “conscious focus”; but sometimes in meditation we can focus on nothing-much and so then our conscious focus is actually on store consciousness. So maybe it is better to call mind consciousness “consciously focusing on some particular sets of ideas and feelings (all of which, according to Carruthers, we have to somehow feel).

Carruther’s idea that all consciousness is based on sensation fits pretty well with my sense of my own conscious space as moving felt-feelings and felt-ideas in around with felt-senses-of-logical&physical&moral-rules. But then don’t I think I am consciously controlling the reasoning? I don’t know; the experience is more of pushing back on reasoning and letting it evolve as it will in that pushed-towards direction; and then seeing what arises and perhaps pushing back again.

I guess if you don’t get enlightened, your store consciousness still has seeds of manas in it, and for this reason your energy chases after another body. However, upon the final enlightenment, store consciousness becomes a type of pure awareness filled with all that you’ve seen and been in all your lives, but most of all overwhelmed by your Buddha Nature and so ready to melt into everything/nothing. In this way you become awaredly what you have — as per Spinoza — have always been: a memory in the mind of God/Nature.

What about this: All the universes and their timespaces create a type of infinite mind that the enlightened watcher realizes s/he is one with, and upon death s/he melts into that mind instead of taking another particular body, which are only interesting to deluded energies that think they can be individual successes or failures?

Hmmm

Mind consciousness as working-memory consciousness.
Store consciousness as background consciousness with the twist that it is both subconsciousness and the fleeting moment of conscious awareness that we can gaze forgetfully and thus react to without the aid of mind consciousness OR focus and concentrate consciously on by holding in our working memory. And with the further twist that store consciousness does not depend on the body, but is in fact an eternal flowing.

Now why shouldn’t store consciousness depend on the body? Can’t we in fact show that long-term information is stored by the brain? So here we seem to have a disagreement between Buddhism and obvious scientific fact: the brain does hold information for long periods of time. Well, either consciousness contains an eternal component that, in tandem to or somehow in cooperation with the brain, stores and processes information; or Buddhism is just wrong on this point (on the never-ending nature of store consciousness); or I misunderstand Buddhim on this point.

Certainly, we can agree with Buddhism that store consciousness is always processing information — with the caveat: so long as we’re alive. But when we die? What then? Maybe we are reduced to our most basic energy and maybe that energy holds some basic information in it: like some manas (some illusory/unwise sense of individual self) and some deep, pre-idea, pre-feeling insight into Reality (some wisdom); and maybe that falls into another body upon the destruction of the one we’re currently inhabiting.

Well, it’s hard to say exactly what is Real, but it’s interesting to consider various perhaps-possibilities.

Authors: BW/AW
Copyright: AMW
Official Statement: Well, some ideas anyway

Abortion: A Spiritual Argument? / What about a Work-Around?

Abortion: A Spiritual Argument? / What about a Work-Around?

Who of us knows the difference between a fetus and a child?
Listen to this surprising testimony from a liberal father:
“I used to think that there was something to the argument that a fetus has an inalienable right to be born, but then I became a parent and noticed the fundamental difference in the love I have for my child versus the love I had for the fetus. I did not love the fetus at all like I loved the child. I did not feel a human soul shining forth from the fetus. When I hold my children, I am aware of the soul; I know they are full humans and must be protected and nurtured and allowed to find their way into the soul of things. I did not have that with the fetus. And so I found that argument wanting, especially as the current Federal limits on abortions restrict them after a fetus is six-months old (because this is the age at which a fetus can live outside the mother’s womb, and is thus biologically ‘viable’), and about 90% are performed within twelve weeks of conception. Pair this with the Republican’s willful and informed destruction of the planet that we need to keep habitable if any child is to have a future, and their stance on abortion strikes me as ludicrous. Not to mention their willingness to separate real, living children from their parents as part of their immigration policy.”

Well, huh.
This had not occurred to me.
I missed out on those years of blooming adulthood when a man perfects a trade, finds a woman, settles down to raise a family and live in a chaotic but love-filled domesticity. I was at sea from approximately age 19 to 39. Lost at sea? Or exploring? Ah, but the distinction gets blurred out there in the pelting elements, the indifferent currents, and lonely wave-sloshed reveries. I’ve held newborns in my arms and felt the soullight streaming forth from them, much wider and brighter and clearer than any purely-animal fire might glow. But as to fetuses, I am inexperienced. They stay in bellies that I shy away from, feeling like the delicate incubation is best left undisturbed by the rough reckless hands of a seafaring and, though God-seeking, not particularly God-realized man.

Perhaps a panel of spiritual experts could gather around a collection of women in all stages of expectation? Wise hands could be placed on bellies? Great insights won? A consensus reached?

Of course, we shouldn’t mix religion and politics. That encourages politicians to deceive themselves and others about the most sacred things (what they find written in their heart of hearts about the True Good). Combining church and state dangerously consolidates metaphysical and worldly authority — cheapening the former, over-inflating the latter, and corrupting both.

But we Something Deeperists do not believe the spiritual should have no place in our collective decision-making. We maintain that certain spiritual values are required for any human ideology to be coherent, and it therefore behooves us to collectively accept and pursue those values. Specifically: We should think, feel, and act aware, clear, honest, accurate, competent; pursuing always loving-kindness and shared-joy. And so we believe in the need to grow as individuals and collectively in wisdom: in an active insight into that and in what way it is True to say, “we are all in this together.”

So could we perhaps support the organization of a panel of spiritual seekers from all religions and nonreligions who, while to keep them “honest” could not directly decide matters of state, but who could review spiritual questions in government and issue suggestions that the citizenry and government alike would take seriously? Or is that too likely to shade into the corruptions inherent in the wedding of political and metaphysical authority?

Suppose it is indeed true that a well-intentioned and acceptably-wise person could find fetuses to be either soulless and/or not universally in need of being born. Suppose, for example, that it is not necessarily wrong to suppose that the death of a three-month fetus is neither a moral nor spiritual problem from the point of view of either the fetus or the Source from which all things spring and to which all things return. And suppose that for this reason, or some other morally and spiritually reasonable one, a fetus’s death need not always be a morally and spiritually wrong choice. If such suppositions are allowable, the debate’s tilted in favor of abortion rights: a woman should have the right to decide what she does with her body, women are already here and active in indivual and collective endeavors, and a well-meaning and equally-wise people can differ on the question of whether or not a fetus has an inalienable right to and need for life.

Except: What if we said we should err on the side of life? Since while it may be inconvenient to bring an unwanted child to term, it is much less convenient to be killed.

Maybe: Could it be that it is morally wrong in at least the vast majority of situations to have an abortion, but it should still be legal? That is: Could it be that it is not OK to abort your fetus, but it is still not OK for a government to tell you what to do with your body, and therefore it should be legal for you to decide what to do with your body and fetus?

Or: Am I looking at this all wrong? Is morality not something governments can weigh in on, except insofar as they protect the ability of living people to think and act in accordance with what they, through much soul-searching, consider to be the most clear, honest, accurate, kind, and joyfully-sharing way that they in a given moment can think and act ― the most in keeping with an understanding that and in what way it is True to say, “we’re all in this together”? (Because, after all, per Something Deeperism: Any individual or shared philosophy and/or life-choice is undermined to the degree it does not help people to better and better understand that and in what way it is True to say, “we’re all in this together; and must think and act clear … joyfully-sharing”.) If that’s the case, then, ah, well, then we have the question again of who’s already living.

What if we could come up with an end-around to this question? What if we could transfer a fetus into an artificial womb right away? What if the procedure was no more difficult or dangerous than an abortion? What if we turned abortion clinics into transfer clinics, where interested parties would pre-sponsor fetuses, pledging to nourish and care for them until they were graduated from college or trade school (so up to say, age 24)? If we paired that with energetic support for family-planning? Would that be a reasonable compromise between a woman’s right to privacy and a fetus’s right to life? Would it allow us as a nation to move forward together? Would it allow the unwanted fetuses the chance to be wanted and well-loved and -cared-for? Would it allow women the freedom to escape unwanted pregnancies? Clearly, there would have to be very explicit laws severing child from natural mother and cleaving child to adopted family. I don’t know; can medical technology provide us an end-around this debate which medical technologies (albeit in many instances crude ones) have created? Or would avoiding the issue in this way do more harm than good?

Ah well, an old pirate will doodle ideas in the margins of the ship’s journal late at night, in the bursts afforded and denied by the swinging of a lone lantern suspended overhead on a rusted chain. An old pirate, with no family of his own, and who’s never known the thrill of working within the parameters of a legislature, will consider weighty matters alone in the hull of a stolen schooner. May the Great God forgive us all.

Signed,

Captain John Terrible

[Editor’s note: This article, along with one other from the same author and numerous considering Something Deeperism, can be found in “First Essays”, which can be purchased as an ebook on this site for $2.99, which is to say, “about three dollars”, which is to say, “about as much as or a little less than an iced tea from a coffee house or a magazine or a bottle of beer.”, which is to say, “as much as you fritter away without a second thought in one form or another most every day”. I guess the bigger question is: “Is this book worth my time?” Oh, man, well, we dunno: we tried to put the more gently-flowing, easily-imbibed essays towards the front of the book. But we performed a similar maneuver on “First Loves” and so far it seems that no one’s finished that book except the author, who was contractually obligated to read and review the entire manuscript.

Editors: AW/BW
Copyright: AMW