Foreseeing the Second Coming
The Second Coming must be a touchstone for any spiritually inspired vision of the world and its history. It is unavoidable even for non-Christians.
A spiritual vision of the world must be coherent and comprehensive. It must be a theory of everything. As such, it would be an understatement to say that it would constitute a revelation of biblical proportions, because it would necessarily transcend the Bible and every other previous revelation. It would have to be the seal of the prophets. And even that is not quite enough. The vision would also have to encompass all previous knowledge: spiritual, philosophical and scientific.
Virtually every tradition has its prophets, messiahs and avatars, past, present and future. Every one of them is strongly associated with the revealing of knowledge. I believe that it is not at all unfair or improper to include science among these traditions.
The next issue is whether we might not rather anticipate a partial revelation, something that falls short of a theory of everything. All I can do is give you my thinking on this matter.
It has been a long time since there has been a world-class prophet. There is a threshold that must be passed. I am only suggesting that at this late date we are in a situation of all or nothing, with respect to prophecy. For instance, neither the bible nor the Koran lend themselves to partial revision. Any emendation to those instruments would have to be perceived to be taking place in a apocalyptic or eschatological context. Buddhism and Hinduism are more flexible in this regard since they do not have a tradition of a closed cannon.
One might contemplate a vision that would bring the prophetic, theistic tradition around to a more pantheist and mystical viewpoint. This is partly true of the vision being put forward on these pages. I further suggest, however, that there is a reason for the less flexible posture of the prophetic tradition with regard to its various cannons. The simple reason is that the prophetic, theistic tradition has always been and is necessarily eschatological. This fact is not so easily rationalized, but it is perfectly evident historically. For there to be a partial vision with a global impact, it would have to successfully deconstruct or radically immanentize or psychologize the eschaton. By doing so, however, the vision either renders itself acosmic, which effectively leaves cosmology in the hands of the scientific materialists. This is exactly what the pantheists have been doing. But this sets us back to the Cartesian and gnostic vision of world divided between spirit and matter. The pantheists' can maintain their monism only by declaring matter to be a negative illusion, i.e. something opposing spirit. The very idea of Creation and Incarnation then become an anathema. At that point, any hope for a dialog with the theists runs aground.
The vision presented here purports to surmount this barrier by taking onboard pantheism's monism, universalism and immaterialism, while, at the same time, discarding the notion of an absolute or omnipotent deity. Does that bring me too far in the direction of pantheism for the theists to be able to follow. I believe not, but that remains, perhaps, the single biggest issue for the BPW vision. Theists fear letting go of their absolutism, because all they can see is a slippery slope into pantheism. Much of the challenge here is to show how that fear can be overcome; that the slope is not as slippery as most people think.
If that challenge can be met, then the BPW vision is on its way to something beyond just biblical proportions. However, its place in the pantheon of prophecy is, I suggest, best seen as being associated with the Second Coming. The next most logical association would be with the advent of the spirit of the truth as briefly described in John 16:12ff. This latter view was my original stance, but I now see that as being something of a spiritual cop-out!
Of course, it is not terribly unusual for people to have and harbor solitary cosmic visions. I submit, however, that a solitary prophetic vision borders on the oxymoronic. If the BPW vision wishes to avoid being an oxymoron, then it must have legs. In fact, it is my recently raised estimation of the suitability of the Mandelbrot set to serve as one of these 'legs' that brings me around to this recapitulation of the prophetic gambit. Indeed, I presently see the Mb as a necessary and sufficient pedagogical segue from matter to spirit. That puts the Mandelbrot out in front. Next would come the anthropic principle, and then I propose we take a leap to Srinivasa Ramanujan. As if that were not a big enough leap, our next and final touchstone may just be the Incarnation. Permit me now to outline this sequence of pedagogical steps, as a partial test of their suitability.
The Mandelbrot set has been covered extensively on the the last two pages. In the last couple of weeks, my informal demonstration of it to two small groups that had not been previously exposed to it indicate that, when presented in a suitable context, it can be a powerful visual stimulus toward rethinking the nature of mathematics, and, more importantly, about the possibility of emergence and holism in the physical world, from a non-Darwinian perspective.
The next logical step would be to raise the issue of anthropics, which has been frequently mentioned here, and which is extensively and cogently treated in a theistic context on other websites. With some additional work on linking the Mb with anthropics, there could be a significant pedagogical synergy.
If needed, there are plenty of other matters to raise, all which cast doubt on the enterprise of scientific reductionism. These could be readily added to suit the occasion. The primary issue to be raised, in this regard, is, of course, the mind-body problem, but, in the present context, I'm thinking that Srinivasa presents us with an excellent case study to this end. At the same time, Srini maybe our best segue to the ultimate issue of incarnation. I'm thinking very pragmatically here about future 'evangelical' possibilities. I have in mind informal presentations to small lay groups. The aim would be to achieve a maximum impact in a single sitting. That limits us to about two hours, which would only provide about half an hour to each of four major topics.
The point raised by Srinivasa is the issue of genius. It may well be that Srinivasa is the greatest known exemplar of this attribute. When taken in the context of the Mb and anthropics, his genius adds very significantly to the pedagogical synergy. These points have been already been treated here. If there is an intelligence behind anthropics, Srini demonstrates the astonishing degree to which the human psyche can attune itself to that cosmic, mathematical intelligence. This evidence favors theism over pantheism with regard to the cosmic intelligence. This also provides an opportunity to introduce the real possibility of immaterialism. I need to elaborate on this latter point. This will definitely be stretching our thirty minute window. The most difficult segment remains.
Is incarnation really necessary? Yes, and for many reasons. The main point is that all of us are incarnations, and by 'us', I am referring to creatures generally, but mainly to humans. Jesus may simply be seen as the primary exemplar. That there is divinity in all of us is not controversial except for a materialist. That Jesus could have a special and astonishing genius for performing his central role in a salvation economy is made more plausible by the special case of Srinivasa.
Besides the materialists, the main objections to the special divinity of Jesus come from Islam and Buddhism.
Many religionists and non-religionists object to the participation of divinity in what is ultimately such a violent act. Such folk would prefer a more remote, dignified, impassionate deity. How is this not a reversion to human sacrifice? Have we not transcended that need? I believe that this objection has been more than adequately answered by many very articulate theologians. We need only to outline these long standing arguments. The genius of Michelangelo's Pieta provides the best single response. I appreciate Mel Gibson's genius, but I give precedence to the greater universality of the Pieta.
Islam has a special objection to the issue of idolatry. It is not clear, however, that their objection is not mainly technical, and so is shared in the Protestant convention of the empty cross. I see only a matter of degree. Among Buddhists, only the purist practitioners of Zen Buddhism can object to the nearly universal notion of the Avatar. There are matters of degree here, but not of kind.
Here it is that I put forward the least orthodox aspect of my theology. This is simply a reworking of the Trinity: mother, son, spirit. In this context the son is the creative logos, and this brings us back to the Mandelbrot. The further point is that the creative logos maximally pours itself into the Incarnation. Thus does the notion of the Death of God, take on a real significance. In the apokatastasis, or universal resurrection, Jesus becomes the first of equals as we all participate in the body of Christ, and we complete our universal participation in the entire Creation, by maximally recreating God, keeping in mind that this temporal process, can occur only in the context of eternity. That sentence was a mouthful! Can we meet the two-hour deadline, without throwing out the Bambino?
The situation does not call for perfection. If we can simply enable folks to imagine an idealization of the generic presentation, we can reawaken the possibility and potency of a cosmic Evangel. That potential is our passion, not to coin a phrase. This process will certainly be a collective effort, BUT, if it is ever to take on a global dimension, the notion of a Second Coming is too thoroughly embedded in the prophetic tradition too allow for even the semblance of coyness. Ooops! Speaking of which, I have overlooked the eschaton! The idea of a Y2C/X2-event logically implies the eschaton. It should only take a very few minutes of additional hand-waving to bring the eschaton to the fore. Most of the groundwork will have been laid.
By putting it out in front, a large expository burden is placed on the Mandelbrot. If we put so many eggs in that one basket, we'll have to watch it carefully. Debunkers will likely see it as the weakest link. I can only hope that it will become their tar-baby. Come to think of it, the Mandelbrot looks like nothing if not a tar-baby!
What is left besides some embellishment and the location of a suitable flagpole? I was sufficiently lazy to hope to dispense with the pressing of the flesh, in lieu of pushing a few buttons. Road trip, anyone?
4:42 - Arrivederci, il Papa....
Have four legs, will travel: BPW with the Mandelbrot, Anthropics, Srini and Jesus. This is not the only viable configuration, but we can hope for the best, and know that the best will suffice. We are certainly not here to impose a Second Coming, but, gosh, what better vocation can there be? The view is that the earthly Christ is an office. Is that not the meaning of Anointment? The first was meant to be an easy act to follow. Let's not make it any more difficult on ourselves than necessary. One might then wonder how the returning Christ relates to the risen Christ. The biblical statement of the Second Coming is a coming down from heaven in glory. The popular view is to take that quite literally. That, however, is hardly in keeping with the divine minimalism in all things other than Creation itself. There is still the Prime Directive of non-interference, which, in this case, is minimal interference. God is not here to hit us over the head, no matter how much we might wish to see that bestowed on our brothers and sisters. The Eschaton is about the continuity of Spirit. We can let our ouroboric nature take care of itself. It might also be noted that the Jewish concept of the Messiah was always something much more mundane. Impatience is seldom a virtue.
The Second Coming is a process. But, it is a process that will be given a human face, ultimately because it is our process. It is of the people, by the people and for the people. If you know a better way, now is the time to speak up.
It just occurs to me that we might want to adjust the sequence. What about Mb:Srini::Anthropics:JC/X2? It might flow better. The Srini genius is a logical segue from the Mb to anthropics. That underscores the Pythagorean harmony of Creation, recapitulating the Mb, and the point that the anthro in anthropics is no accident. How could we have learned to count without our fingers?! Yes, this is a definite improvement. It points toward our implicit involvement in the UEM. It is we who are the link between spirit and matter, via the UEM. Therein lies much of our co-creative role. The Mb is mind from number. Srini is number from mind. How does matter come into the picture? We now have Ouroboros, MDX/Z, AZO/X/QRP & Mb:S::An:X. There is some mnemonical/archetypal integration ahead of us.
The two foci of matter in the above are R&J. We might then wonder about the role of elliptics, and, perhaps, dialectics. What is the deep and abiding dialog between matter and spirit? How does matter finally yield to spirit? Everything speaks to this issue, as does the Mb. With the Mb there are the mu-atoms whose proliferation is suggestive. There are the space time symmetries that make matter possible. There is the 2/3/4-fold symmetry of the mu-atoms. There is the ubiquitous paradox of the iota. We have a temporary covenant with matter. Matter is a frozen logic. Let us not forget e^i*pi. Do we need an analog of the big bang? The MG is also present, along with QED. On the other hand, in a truly monistic system, the specificity of matter might emerge gradually, right along with the psyches, memory, space and time. In dealing with the sun, I spoke of heliotropism. Might it have some special association with the matrix. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as bare or unqualified matter. The question in the previous paragraph needs to be reframed. The Mb might say something about the relation between Z and R in terms of their analogs of the bulbs and mu-atoms. Z/R should have something to say about mind/body. In going from Z to the mu-atoms, we go from the plenum to the space of the atoms and egos. That space is rather stringy, we might add. The bulbs on the positive cusp may relate to both Alpha and Omega. The apparent symmetry needs to be broken in the interpretation, with the X-bulb/spear serving as the pivot of the story. One is reminded of Hamlet's Mill. What is the meaning of the singularity of the cusp? Is that our big bang?
The Mb is a cosmic Rosetta stone or mathematical fossil that will stimulate us to reconsider our temporal interpretation of the physical fossils, and, hopefully, we will begin to see them in a supra-temporal light. It may also be that the Mb provides and/or indicates a link between mind and matter. It does demonstrate how an external pattern can supervene on an otherwise closed mechanical process. If the Mb cusp is meant to be an analog of the big bang, that would help to provide additional linkage between the physics and the metaphysics, but then we'll need to grasp its metaphysical import.
Please bear with me while I try this experiment in technology: The Second Coming.
This is the bare beginning of a power-point presentation. Forgive me, Lord.
Jack Sarfatti tells me that, with his iMac, he is unable to access p-pt file in its present 'mht' format. We'll need something more compatible. Here is the 'ppt' version of the above presentation, and here is a power point viewer from Microsoft. I don't know if this will help for an iMac. I may have to convert this to Adobe 'pdf' format. Here finally, for now, is the 'rft' version, lacking the ouroboric graphic. When the presentation is actually presentable, it will be at least several dozen 'slides'.
But there is a larger problem looming, now that I'm confronted with the ouroboros in all its serpentine glory. How am I to reconcile this animistic beast to theism? Funny how I have managed to dodge this bullet up to now. Is it back to the drawing boards? It's time for some heavy-duty rationalization.
I doubt that this beast is avoidable. It is also clearly reminiscent of the Taoist yin-yang symbol. It speaks to the Alpha and Omega, but also seems to be sliding into a cyclical/reincrantional view. The serpent is the symbol of the Devil in the Bible. It is also the symbol of healing as in apokatastasis. I am told by my Sufi guru, Bob Clark, that the primary and unique role that Islam assigns to Jesus is that of world healer.
It is odd then that this primal archetype seems to refer more to Jesus than to the Matrix, particularly in its logos-like pi and circularity, which is where we find X in the Mb. And we are just scraping the surface of the ultimate mystery that must underlie even the most coherent possible system of being. X supersedes Matrix, X emerges from Matrix. This is the profound paradox of eternal origination. There is an ultra dimension 'beyond space and time' (thank you, Jack), that eludes the dimensionality of our more mundane minds. This warns us not to take too literally any particular set of archetypes, leading us only to idolatry. Forewarned is fore-armed. That is the best I can do for now, folks.
I'm still working on The Second Coming: for all us dummies: (formats: PDF, MHT, PPT, RTF). I may be working on this for some time, yet. [a] The most up to date version will usually be the PDF version.
Memo for a talk to be given by H.:
It has been my privilege to witness first hand the triumph of the human spirit over many very significant challenges and adversities. I see many more challenges ahead and yet I have every reason to maintain my faith in human nature and our continued ability to prevail.
My own participation in the events of history is nearing its conclusion, and so I come before you today in what may be a last role on that stage. Admittedly, this is something of a departure from what you may have come to expect from me, but I do ask you to bear with me nonetheless.
Over many years, I have observed with interest two dimensions of our humanity. When freed from our most immediate needs, again and again through history we turn our attention on the one hand to our objective understanding of the world, and, on the other hand, to our more subjective understanding of our relation to this world. These pursuits are among our highest callings and both have directed our historical progress.
The challenges of poverty and limited resources will continue to mount in the foreseeable future. All of us here have an abiding concern with these challenges. These are our immediate needs. Without wishing to distract you from that urgent task, I urge you not to neglect our responsibility to remain faithful to the higher pursuits I mentioned earlier.
I have noticed a significant dwindling in our expectations concerning fundamental developments in our understanding of ourselves and the world. Could we really be facing diminishing returns in these pursuits? Do I have any reason to counsel you otherwise?
Over the years I have had opportunities to delve into this question.
Memo (2nd draft of the above):It is not infrequent that people in positions like those I have held are privy to information that we are expected to take to the grave with us. I did not, until very recently, expect to be personally and partially exempted. It is then with some trepidation that I come before you today, near the end of my sojourn here, to impart just a few words to you.
I was made aware some decades ago that there were solid reasons to believe that my adopted country would have a special role to play on the world stage. This was something beyond the very high expectations that so many oppressed peoples have held for my country, from its inception, as a guiding light to freedom.
There are two parts to the freedom equation: freedom from and freedom for. The first part of that equation has always been manifest to those seeking shelter on those shores from tyranny abroad. And so, we have been blessed by an unprecedented spectrum of talent that has found a safe harbor in my country, over the centuries. Yet, it is all too seldom that we have a real opportunity to reflect upon why we may have been called together in this unique fashion.
As all of you know so well, we face unprecedented challenges regarding the environment and our wisest use of every resource. We can expect very significant developments on this score, but there is more.
We know that the very foundation of freedom is the freedom to communicate. It cannot be an accident then that the same country that has served as the primary source of freedom, should also be at the focus of a global communications revolution that continues to expand apace.
If we were then to permit ourselves to speculate, we should wonder that, if there were some higher purpose in play within history, there might not be a significant piece of information to be imparted to the world from those shores.
Or, so I have heard, and so I have come to believe.
Furthermore, along with the freedom to communicate there is a responsibility to use our minds to their best advantage in order to use our freedom most wisely. Certainly we have been the guiding force behind the scientific revolution that continues to shake the world. Perhaps less appreciated in these circles, is the evangelical zeal that has also been empowered in no small part by this new-found freedom and technology. And where does that leave us? What more is there to communicate?
It is with that question that I must leave you today. Be assured, however, that this gathering and this seemingly foreshortened message will not go unnoticed or be forgotten. The members of this forum have some very special responsibilities with regard to all of the above and to that which is here foreshadowed.
God be with you.
Now that things have settled down again, permit me to try to recap some recent events, here for the 'public' record. This might help to explain something about the above memo for H. [a]
On my side, there were two precipitating factors: the Mandelbrot, and the usual 'spring is in the air' bit. One more thing was that Sam decided to attempt once again to launch a small, open ended discussion group. First we met with Gus R. to discuss the reopening of his Kennedy/Oswald investigation with the help a German documentary group. Significant new leads had been uncovered into the Cuban intel links between Lee-Harvey and Bobby. There was one high-level agent in particular who had contemporaneous contacts with both up until Dallas. This ought to be sensational, but there has been a lot of water under that bridge.
The three of us met with Dennis R. who recapped for us his investigations into the claims of various polar explorers, and of Ptolemy, and how these efforts put him at odds with significant portions of the academic community. The following week Sam included a producer from WYPR-FM. It was then that I invited myself into a discussion with Dennis concerning the merits of his evident atheism, and the discussion was 'frank'. The subject of the Mb came up, and I did not hide my surprise that mathematician Dennis had not heard of that object. By this time I was already launched into the previous page. This incident helped me to conclude that the Mb might, indeed, help to put this BPW pedagogical project over the top. It is a strong visual aid that is conveniently located at the crux of many of the archetypes. The use to which I could put it would be novel. At our next meeting I tried it out and met with some success. This then got me thinking about using it as part of a power point presentation as noted above. Sensing something of a pedagogical breakthrough, I decided to get back to CF, with whom I had barely spoken since last summer, and he readily agreed to a meeting. In the meantime I was getting a positive response from Jack S. and some of his group, which was unusual.
Then came the meeting with C just this last Sunday. After a quick review of the presentation we talked shop. It seemed that there might be an opportunity to get a message through to H, who could then convey it to a significant group of folks in a few weeks. I was to do this in collaboration with Jack and Gordon, the latter of who was owed a favor by Adnan K, a friend of H. I was not to mention the particulars to Jack. Jack did not seem to get the point, and so I concocted the above memos, that later of which was sent to C, J, G, S & A. It took Jack awhile to sus out the particulars. It turned out that C and G were not on the same wavelength. G thought he was simply requesting a meeting with H. When I went back to C with this confusion, he supported G's version. That left my participation up in the air.
The next topic with C was his changing job status. His career is now at a point where there is very little that can be discussed about it. Needless to say, one might think that, especially now, he would have better things to do than stir up the muck in these waters. I would like to conclude that it was for some higher purpose. Last year at about this time, C & I were getting together again for the first time since just before and after 9/11. Eventually, after a couple of months it became very important for Gordon and me to meet. It turned out that neither of us had the faintest idea of why we were meeting, and it was a real blowout. This agenda-free meeting scenario is not uncommon with C, but that and one other miss-cue, was the end of our communication.
This time around, at least G and I were meeting in the same ballpark, but I was in right field and he was in left. And mercifully, it only took us a couple of days to reach an impasse, rather than a couple of months. Last year there was never even a specific target. This year the target as described to me was emphatic, and definitely over the top, relative to jumpstarting the BPW/EFG business, sufficient to convince me that my work was virtually over. So here we are back at square three. It could be that a plan proceeds, with me now spared the details.
That other miscue might be revealing. It involved finding a job for a mutual acquaintance, B. On Sunday I was given the definite impression that B has had a job all along, and they were having a bit of fun at my expense. End of story? Not when you are dealing with C. The pretense(?) of joblessness had been so elaborate and unremitting, and seemingly almost entirely for my benefit, that I am still left wondering, which is apparently where I am supposed to be. [4/15 - B takes strong exception to C's information concerning a job.]
At this point, I am wondering about a possible encore. This is the first time in our thirteen years that C has taken our little story over the top. Where can the story go next? Are we then to assume that this is the logical end of the story time? Your guess is as good as mine.
And there you have it.
Oh, one last loose string. I am informed by an independent(?) source that Adnan has a personal interest in the paranormal, and has, like Bigelow, been into the funding of it. G has only ever displayed a mercenary interest in the mechanical side of it, even more so than Hal and Jack. Another point is that Jack does seem to be displacing Hal on the political side. Does this mean that Hal is being moved up or out? As to the first point, several parts of the H & G story do not make sense. Assuming that it was not out of whole cloth, I proceeded in the memo on the only version of it that might make sense. (BTW, C's reaction: 'I don't know what this is but it certainly is well done!' Now I ask you, is this our tax dollars at work?! C had better bone up on his signatures intelligence.) But when you compare the stories of G & B, are we not left wondering whether many of these same players are quite aware of the charade of the mechanics, etc., even including Gordon. If so, my hat goes off to them. It would be way beyond my ability. It is on my high school record that I failed at playing a dead person in Our Town. Was that part of my bone fides?!
So where were we? Something about 'The Way Forward?'
Here we go again!
Memo for a meeting (of ???) to address the future of energy:
There are dire projections concerning our energy future. Demand continues to grow, supplies continue to dwindle, prices continue to rise as a result. There is a growing body of opinion suggesting that within the next very few years, certainly less than ten, the global production of carbon based fuels will reach its peak, and then decline thereafter.
There are alternatives to carbon. These range from wind power to fusion power. We must push ahead with these, much more seriously than we have in the past.
Even under the most optimistic scenarios, however, there will be drastic dislocations to the global economy, starting any day now, as a critical mass of people wake up to our very uncertain energy future.
What we wish to bring to your attention are two related perspectives on this imminent crisis, which, while treated separately in the past, we feel can be combined into an effective strategy for the future.
We are not saying that this scenario is ready for public consumption, but we are suggesting that it now deserves more serious attention from policy level people than it has received so far.
The first part of this bi-perspective is fairly straight forward. It includes the field of free or zero-point energy. It is likely that this source of energy is already being observed in the so-called 'cold-fusion' experiments, which are being aggressively pursued by an international network of professional scientists. Other more radical approaches are being investigated theoretically and experimentally on an ongoing basis, and that includes scientists in our own smaller network.
Those of us on these further shores of the energy crisis, as we push on the envelope of physics, find that we can hardly ignore the cosmological ramifications of our equations.
An obvious consequence of nearly any form of breakthrough physics is that it will make possible radical changes in the modes of space-based transport and communication. At present, our perceptions of interstellar communication are based entirely on conventional physics. When it comes to SETI investigations, we may be looking for signs of cosmic life in all the wrong places. Very likely, we are much less lost in space than the conventional wisdom would have us believe. The handling of the energy crisis, ought to provide ample motivation for us to put more of our intellect into rethinking our place in the cosmos.
Since the inception of science, scientists and theologians have been searching for a common ground. We have early indications that out of the energy emergency, there will emerge a much broader field of thought that will afford science and religion much more room to realign themselves in common cause. Will this positively impact the global sectarian strife? It is hard to believe that could be poised here on this watershed of history if it were not part of a cosmic plan.
There have been some further twists and turns in this latest political initiative. It all tends to confirm my long held suspicion that ufology is being used by cosmic and central intelligence as a cover for eschatology. The need for such a cover in the early political phase ought to be abundantly clear. I'm waiting to see if Jack agrees with this assessment.
<-- Prev Next -->