Monthly Archives: April 2011

Are they misinterpreted?

2/15/08

Platonic Forms, metaphysical reality, transcendental, supernatural, “above” nature,  all of these are interpretations.  They are propositions of meaning to help humans understand philosophical and theological assertions.  These are not proven, existent “places” or “worlds” or even words with fixed and specific definitions.  They are rather interpreted meanings of philosopher’s words.

My most controversial proposal with regard to my proposal of Rational Existence is that Plato did not know the ideas he recorded would be mis-interpreted in the way they have been.  He proposed no “forms” which have been called for millennia “Platonic Forms” in his name.  He would be confused if confronted with ideas of a metaphysical reality interpreted or rather mis-interpreted from his work.  It seems the same would apply to Euclid’s work, I don’t believe he ever intended and would be confused by the criticisms of his work.  I believe he was well aware of the two-dimensional nature of our conceptions of his geometry in our rational existence.

I expect as people begin to consider my proposals there may come a time when someone will take the time to challenge these assertions.  It would be beyond anyone to tell us what was in the mind of Euclid or Plato when they worked so many centuries ago.  Much less would it be beyond physical possibility to say what was NOT in their minds.  So it would be up to someone to show that Euclid or Plato intended metaphysics or limited two-dimensional thinking to the exclusion of other ideas.  I say we cannot prove such things, and therefore whatever we say about their original work is an interpretation of that work.  It would be necessary to show that Plato directly included metaphysics, which was an Aristotelian interpretation of Plato’s work.  The interpretation has survived, influencing how the original work has appeared to readers ever since.  copyright Kent Johnson 2011

God?

The existence of God is easy to prove, accept and comprehend, as easily as proving the existence of any sort of order in the universe.  The question is what attributes God encompasses.

My way of comprehending existence, form, ideas and relationships separates the material from the non-material.  Humanity lives in a non-physical or rational world. The largest part of the non-material is the rational.  That which we think, which humanity represents in words and names is not material. Even simple things like say “chair” refers to a concept, not a physical. The order that exists in the universe is the foundation of human knowledge and intellect.  The order is distinct and separate, though intimately related to the matter in the universe.

The premise of RE is that we understand order not physical existence.  We see relationships, aspects and attributes of existence, not existence itself.

The order in the universe “preexists” and includes all matter, behavior and phenomenon in that universe.  This is how we think, the basis of our rational and conceptual reality.  We accept implicitly that  order exists but we cannot know or understand existence itself, only the implications of existence.

Humanity is, of course, not able to discern every sort of order possible, but some types and examples of order we find have proved useful to us in our shared rational model of reality. 

God is What He is by definition only, just as every concept we have is so by definition only.  The existence of a chair is subject to the definition, and the existence of God is likewise subject to the definition.

To express that which exists are words and names which place whatever order we discern in relation to other things.  In this way, we build and reify our world.  Everything is in some way semantic the way humanity understands everything, including God.  We use words, concepts, models and imagination to understand things. 

If order exists, which must be accepted at some point (or at least rationally acknowledged) and God is defined as that which emanates order, and further, that such order is a good thing, then we have the existence of God as fundamentally existent as any rock or relationship.

And ego, well, someone said ego was a bad thing.  I am not so sure.  Many things, like conquering the world, theories of general knowledge, massing fortunes for charity, centers of learning and spiritual awareness, were accomplished for ego.  Look at the great names of history, and if you took everything those people accomplished away, we would have a very different world.

–Kent Johnson

Beliefs… 1/11/08

With a Mormon running for President in the US pundits and regular folk are finding themselves in the uncomfortable position of rejecting the beliefs of another religion and having to examine the beliefs of their own religions.

Catholics have some strange beliefs, in my opinion, as do Mormons, heck, every religion has such beliefs. I was going to name this thread “Stupid Beliefs” or “Silly Beliefs” but I was afraid the Mods would complain.

Recently a point that has been made over and over on these pages is that beliefs among Baha’is are certainly not uniform.

One Baha’i said recently “…the only two symbols in existence are the straight line and circle and all things proceed from these.” Both of us were Baha’i but our beliefs were so very different it was hardly recognizable as the same Faith.

In the interest of community, Baha’is put up with a lot from their fellow Baha’is. My mother would say a true Baha’i is a Baha’i who remains a Baha’i after meeting the other Baha’is. I don’t think it is a specifically Baha’i problem that people are pushy about their beliefs, but I do know that Baha’is often assume I believe as they believe just because I accept Baha’u’llah and His Covenant. That does not mean I want to attend their therapy sessions or discuss the “calamity” or the afterlife in hushed tones after midnight drinking coffee. There was such a problem in the 1970s of Baha’is selling Amway at Baha’i meetings that it merited a letter from National.

Another Baha’i recently said “…if you are referring to pre-existence, my understanding is that this is exclusive to the Manifestations.”

This seems just the sort of misconception that we can discuss here.

Abdu’l-Baha spoke at length about “contingent reality” and preexistence.

Another Baha’is recently said: “…As a concept you pre-existed your physical self” I think it is obvious we are not concepts unless we are stretching that English definition a bit, but what do I know? I am just a Baha’i.

Another Baha’i said “The heart of the matter is your acceptance or otherwise of the truth of Baha’u’llah’s claims” In a very general way, I guess that is the heart of the matter. But whose conception of Baha’u’llah’s claims? Mormons believe in gold tablets, revelations from God, a Eurocentric planetary focus, but should we question every single Mormon I suggest we will find many who do not believe as we conceive of their beliefs. I know this for Catholics. In private they speculate on the basic, fundamental Physical Resurrection of Christ, quite freely. So we can’t say what Catholics believe.

And we certainly can’t say what Baha’is believe, except for their acceptance of the Covenant of Baha’u’llah.

–Kent

1/25/08  All the confusion

It seems to me there is great confusion in our earthly languages which make it impossible to make sense of words like “supernatural” and “metaphysical”.  How do we define such words?

….

But what we should be paying attention to is rational existence.  All words have a rational existence, and may or may not refer to something that has a material existence.  If we think of things in that way our confusion goes away.

Our Souls Decide.

My dear Derek.   As you receive this document you are no doubt feeling betrayed.  But you are being helped, if you only knew it. You might think that I am the one who betrayed you, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The blessed Assembly who gave me this assignment knows so much more than you or I know.  I can feel that you don’t believe it. But I must believe it.  I do believe it.  I need to help you see it.  Even now I can see so much good coming out of this project, this collision of old and new World Orders.  This is good for all humanity, and that is what we all want, isn’t it?

You should know that all of the people who interviewed you, the doctors, businessmen and working men and women, old and young, professionals and laborers, they were all me.  I appeared to you in costumes, holograms, projected images…  It is simple for me to appear however I want.  I enjoyed it, and I think it helped our relationship, which is why I did it, and is probably one of the reasons why the Assembly chose me to do this job.

I will not disguise myself to you any more.  You will recognize me as the schoolgirl who asked you questions about your family and your past.  I have prepared a report for you of your family tree, of the names, addresses and occupations of  all your descendents who are alive today along with a history of all the friends you named and their survivors.  I include that report as part of this package for your benefit.

As I was your appointed guide to this new world which is now your home, I will continue to explain to you things that will, I hope, help you understand many of the issues that confuse you most about our world.  In time you will understand why a 16 year-old girl named Courtney could be appointed host to a space traveler from a lost world.  I have included also copies of the journal entries you and I have made over the past week. 

Maybe you didn’t know that your journal entries were made available for anyone who is interested in your case.  Maybe you didn’t know that this project is course credit for me, that I am graded on how I handled it.  I hope you understand that these facts do not cheapen our work together.  As you see, nothing is secret in your new world.  We can all disguise ourselves as anyone we want, listen to anything we want, do anything we want.  Trying to keep a secret is impossible.

You should know that all of the people who interviewed you, the doctors, businessmen and working men and women, old and young, professionals and laborers, they were all me.  I appeared to you in costumes, holograms, projected images…  It is simple to appear however we want.  I enjoyed it, and I think it helped you feel comfortable.

You should know that it is considered bad form for me to ask or investigate who financed this project.   You asked about that several times.  We don’t know who finances anything, or rather, we all finance everything.  If we like a project we contribute to it.  It is not just money, it is life.

I have to admit that this project made me feel very important.  It is a feeling I liked even as I dread it.  I know this is harmful to my soul, how I rationalize looking at how many people are reading my journal entry at night.  I never used to look before, never thought I had something so important to say before.  I pray that I will be able to limit my feelings of importance when it becomes important to do so.

 even notice how many thousands of people read the journal reports I give to the Assembly every night is a sign of impure motives for me.  I was appointed by the Assembly to help you adjust to your new home. My job was to spiritualize your outlook, to bring you up to the future, your future, our future, this future.  This is your life now, and hopefully this document will help give a bit more insight into your life.

Journal entry 0708258

My name is Derek Paul, and I have been left here to write this accounting of my arrival here back on earth.  The five of us from the first star ship to approach the speed of light and return home are presumably doing the same thing.  We are told that this is part of our re-entry into earth society, that we will be free from this responsibility in about a week’s time. 

The “Just Science” was the ship of my design which was built mainly by the five of us.  I have always said that anyone who wants to do something bad enough can do it.  We did it.

To my knowledge at this time we are the first earth ship to experience a distortion in time and return back to earth in the future.  By our reckoning, the date is August 8, 2033.  But in our arrival back to earth after our approach to the speed of light the date by earth’s calendar is October 17 of 2102.  They use a different calendar, however, and this is the 7th day of the 13th month of the year 258 of their Era.

I have trouble remembering that I am home now.  There is nowhere else to go.  This is earth, and there is no going back in time.  I don’t know today what town I am in, or even what country.  But I am unmistakably on Earth in the middle of my very own Rip Van Winkle story.  The consolation is that this story is entirely scientific, entirely according to predictable laws of physics.  There is no magic.

 

Rational Existence

The Main Idea:

Rational existence or RE means existence is not physical but rather conceptual, related to ideas and intellect:  a mental construct.  What we envision, conceive, model, explain and communicate is our world.  And such things have no physical reality (although there must be a physical reality we can only know tangentially).  Our conceptual models relate to existent universal order, surely, but in no physical form other than ink on paper or stored electronic switches.

The reality we experience is perceived sensually (sight, sound, smell, feel, and taste, but we build our world conceptually.  Whenever we put a word or a name to any experience we begin to build a concept of that thing.  Although we can know a great deal about any single thing through our senses, our intellect, our shared experiences and imagination, we cannot know that thing’s reality.

What we can know is that which we conceive.  Our world, our universe, all that we can possibly know is our reality.  Actually, it is more than that.  Our world includes our misconceptions, our mistakes, our errors, superstitions, prejudices and other errors.

What is not real to us is physical reality.  If we do not conceive of a thing we are confused, lost, without rational thought.  The instant we begin to make sense or assign thoughts or words to a situation we have entered a conceptual realm.  We use input from the physical realm to build our conceptual worlds, but we do not live in the physical realm.

If our world were purely physical there would be no self-awareness, no coneptuality, no intellect, nothing rational.  We would react as animals react, as plants react, we would not be able build intellectual or conceptual models, use figurative wording, understand relationships, aspects or attributes.

Humanity lives in a conceptual realm.  The alternative is hardly possible. We cannot become purely reactionary, cannot forget to order our environment with language or map our surroundings, or model our relationships.

Rational Pre-Existence or Pre-existence is acceptance of the idea there is a real, true and scientifically verifiable conceptual reality.  It is recognition of the fact that some of our ideas and concepts conform to a real and true, independently verifiable universal form.  It is recognition of the fact that the universally verifiable laws and principles we recognize in science and society exist, and pre-existed our discovery of those laws and principles.

This is not to say that all our concepts, even our universal concepts like racism and other prejudices, superstitions, economics and political theories are correct.  In fact, to accept pre-existence implicitly accepts the fact that NONE of our concepts can be wholely and completele true.  We have but a limited model of a part of a pre-existent conceptuality.