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Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Panpsychist's Fathers Day Sermon

It's been a rough week for America. Its mind is folded five ways and stuck where the sun don't shine --or maybe it just has the jumps. When I get the jumps, I go see somebody about it but it's Sunday and I settle for a beer --Guinness Extra Stout-- or two, and think about panpsychism.

Panpsychism is a philosophical term for the idea that mind, thought, is a fundamental feature of reality. It suggests mind --every mind-- exploits some quantum coherence to the irreducible as well as  tremendous operations of the sidereal universe. Where is this astonishing thing, this mind?

Tap your noggin. There it is.

There is, in this plenum, this vast assembly of all possibilities, a mechanism for generating thought. Getting its parts to think together rationally, benevolently and constructively is a more difficult proposition --including, as it does, every life-form in existence that has a brain in it. Of course, it's my brain telling me this and I suspect that organ of bias in favor of itself.

There is, however, a special concert of mind that shows us something even specialler, realization. When we realize we can't be in the universe without it being in us, there is a moment of unity, of reality. The universe becomes apparent --our parent, and we are one family, a family very much in need of counseling for the jumps but still...

[Richie Havens, Open Our Eyes]

...a family.  When we finally realize.
Your regular pastor will be back when he finds out why he isn't here. Until then,
Go in peace.

31 comments:

  1. Go in peace is such a wonderful, hopeful thought.
    Thank you. So much.
    While the whole world is hurting it is a joy and a delight to realise that others are recognising the sameness of us all. And prepared to celebrate the sameness, and appreciate the differences.

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    1. Thank YOU, EC. It's important to listen for that bell, go to a neutral corner and get our hurts attended to.

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  2. Thanks for the Richie Havens song, haven't heard this one before. His inclusion in the first Clinton inauguration is one of the remaining ways I try to look on him with some favor.

    Dunno, Geo. I think your faith in people hasn't encountered the shakes and tremors I have, but I hope you are right, rather than my view.
    Cheers, Pal.
    mike

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    1. Song is a favorite from 1969 "Stonehenge" album I bought in the '70s. Some nice person put it on YouTube. Of course my faith has shaken, trembled, but not yet shattered --I believe it might be some kind of polymer. Trust you had a good day today.

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  3. There were several sentences here that I only had to read once or twice, but I'm sweating bullets from reading and re-reading the rest of them, Geo. But I think what I am hearing is that you are an eternal optimist. And I like that in a person. The world needs more of those.

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    1. Anybody using the word "eternal" is arguably an optimist too. That makes two of us. Yes, world definitely needs more.

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  4. Thanks for the uplift! We are all in this together so we'll keep seeking that loving peace.

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    1. Most welcome, Tom. I believe it's been 3 years since that beautiful, beloved man followed a soaring chord into eternity, but his songs still call us to life, yes, to loving peace.

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  5. Richie Havens is an old favorite of mine and a lovely way to start the day. Thanks Geo. When people are collectively jumpy destructive times can follow. It might be time to turn up the music and dance through it.

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    1. It's a great healing force you describe there, Chicken.

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  6. I saw Richie Havens at a concert in our small old town theater a few years before he died. He could still jump and he exuded so much joy of life it was hard not to catch that feeling also. I think if you listen to the right message and believe in kindness, you can drown out some of the awful noises that surround us and hurt our hearts.

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    1. Indeed, Arleen, Havens was a national treasure. How fortunate you were able to attend a performance!

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  7. If only everyone will go in peace. The best we can do is keep on walking in love and hope that others will do the same.

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    1. Sounds like a solid plan to me, Emma.

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  8. We are a family. Families can get messy but we're all we've got.

    Definitely losing our collective minds, though, if congress is anything to go by.

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    1. Again, you nail it, Squid. Families are relatives. Sanity is relative. The two should be closer.

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    2. Oo, nice little word play there! And so true.

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  9. Still waiting...and hoping...that our collective family will someday learn to live in peace.
    Does that hope make me a fool? Maybe. But I can't shake the notion that each one of us has our part to play.
    So I will keep trying to spread love and compassion...and just see what happens...:))

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    1. Love and compassion run into a lot of interference, but they are influences that have no perceptible end. There's no foolishness in the hope they spread.

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  10. Dear Geo., I read Shawn's post today - "Those on the watchlist are not allowed to get on an airplane, but they can still legally purchase assault weapons." - and I commented that I have to work very hard to keep my optimism. But I keep it - so we are at least three.
    I feel very panpsychic now. Thank you for that!

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    1. Oh I hope there are more than 3 of us! Do keep your optimism. I shall try to keep mine too.

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  11. For a few days Beethoven’s Ode to Joy has been in my mind. Will Schiller’s words “Alle Menschen werden Brueder” (all men are brothers) ever come true? I doubt it. You’d have to go a long way back, maybe to Cain and Abel . . . . . .

    Ooops.

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    1. Ooops indeed! Cain, Abel, then Rebecca's contentious twins --shows what happens when families put off counseling. Thanks Friko!

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  12. "We are stardust, we are golden; we are billion year-old carbon, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Love love love.
    x

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    1. Beautiful lyrics, Austan, with an important message. Thanks!

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  13. I'm a pathological optimist, and fully embrace the concept of unity, which makes it even more difficult to comprehend vile acts of hatred. How can anyone not appreciate the beauty and fragility of life, and feel compelled to preserve and respect it? I don't get it. But I DO get your post. Nice job, dude.

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    1. Dude appreciates the encouragement, Susan. Thank you. Your optimism shines like a beacon.

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  14. Hand out beers with your sermon, that'll draw me in every time...

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    1. Sage, it's great substitute pastors that come up with good ideas like that. Consider yourself ordained.

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  15. We definitely need to be uplifted in these crazy and turbulent times...thank you, kind sir :)

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    1. Keith, it seems humanity is always recoiling from one blow or another --much in need of optimistic existentialists.

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