At the Core

jigsaw_puzzleI am wired to solve puzzles; understand what works. It’s at the core of my profession, how I see, and how I live. It’s a blessing in allowing me to design, and be creative in many ways. It’s more like a curse when I watch the ways of the world and see detrimental patterns’ interminable repetitions. An intent observer from a young age, I’ve heard the same endless chattering for decades, and watched the same predictable jumble continue. For a puzzler, when “non-answers” are the status quo, just going through life can be an exercise in frustration.

This website was something I thought I’d try to share the way I see things, in the hopes my perspective might provide a productive alternative. (Since then, I no longer hope it will amount to anything, but I use it on occasion to work out ideas for myself.) I wanted to avoid what might be barriers, so I didn’t make too many declarative statements about the core of my beliefs. That now feels like a miss, so I lay out my basics here.

There are key pieces in making sense of life. Within each I find pivotal points that crystalize its understanding. There’s plenty more, but those key pieces come together like building blocks to a foundation.

≈Existence is a creation, not a happenstance.

  • The question is this: is consciousness a by-product of the physical, (thoughts are the firing of neurons in the brain); or is consciousness a necessary precedent to the physical?
    • What can be observed all around is evidence of existential workings.
    • Every observation shows thought gives rise to creation. Ideas beget stuff. Not vice versa.
    • A while back I enjoyed a video of a seriously heady interview with a Harvard astrophysicist, conducted by another scientist. They engaged in a thought experiment on how the existence of everything can be imagined without it being planned. I was amused at the irony that the presence of the imaginer necessarily preceded the exercise envisioned. Even the very concerted effort of those gifted brains couldn’t ultimately fashion a scenario that truly removed the necessary precedent of consciousness.
    • The duality of existence is best understood when it is acknowledged as creation: there is both the temporal and the spiritual. Supposing everything arose originally and continues to flow from the physical misdirects understanding.

≈A creation has a creator.

  • What do we know about his being, nature, and role?
    • My ability to perceive the creator’s nature has no bearing on the reality of what it is. He is what he is, regardless of my knowledge, or anyone else’s.
    • Many others know a great deal more than I do. While I always seek to know more, I am comfortable with accepting the limits of what can be known, and patient to learn as I can.
    • To me, the most important reality is that he is THE ORIGINAL CONSCIOUSNESS out of which all else flowed.       
    • I also think it doesn’t matter whether there are things about the universe that are outside what we think we know- how old the earth is, if there are multiple universes, if there are aliens and other dimensions! Whatever the fullness of reality is, it still is the result of the original consciousness.

≈To create is by definition to be intentional, purposeful.

  • What is the purpose of existence?
    • Whatever he wants it to be. He bothered to make it, so he had to have a reason.
    • Creation is limitless, but it’s hard to avoid the thought that humans matter pretty significantly in it.
    • Relationship also seems to be integral to the purpose of creation- ours to the creator and his to us, as well as ours to each other.
    • If creation is purposeful, and we matter in it, then determining our purpose within creation is the truest stuff of life.

≈If humans matter, and I am human, I must matter, even to him, somehow.

  • He made us with the ability to ponder our existence and craft it to suit ourselves.
  • I may imagine all sorts of options, but it strikes me as eminently logical that my best option should be whatever gets me closest to the reason I was made- the reason he bothered to create.
  • Accommodating myself to his ways as best I can manage seems the most likely way to realize my potential, and live my purpose.

≈What are his ways? How can I know them?

  • The Bible and Judeo-Christian tradition are the best I can see and relate to.
  • I have read most of the Bible some, and some of it a fair amount, but that is barely scratching the surface compared to the depths that can be plumbed.
  • It is the most-studied book of all time, so I know there is more to lean on in it than not, and am OK to trust in its history and others’ knowledge while I work my way along.
  • C. S. Lewis is acknowledged as one of the finest Christian thinkers of the last century. He believed all true seekers would be welcomed. I celebrate all seekers, trust that we are brought to the truth as we are called, and believe that it’s not my place to dictate or judge anyone else’s path. I also want mine to be respected.

≈What do I do about the cross? (Billy Graham’s familiar phrasing)

  • With so many religions in the world, why do I stick with Christianity- the faith of my forebears?
  • I haven’t done a comparative analysis of all faiths, and I do have some fondness for some aspects I’ve seen of others. I know a couple practicing Buddhists who are especially thoughtful and wonderful, for example. But…
  • Even strictly objective analysts rightly observe that there is no other religion that claims what Christianity does.
  • From C. S. Lewis again- this is possibly the most profound thing I have ever read, and I find it absolutely irrefutable and compelling:
    • “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
    • Either/or- there is no middle ground.
    • Christ came to restore our relationship with God.
    • We are restored by grace, not by our actions.

≈What about evil?

  • This is where most of us get lost when we wonder if God exists.
  • I do believe evil exists, as a reality and as a force. (see Ephesians 6:12.)
  • I wish it didn’t, and I don’t fully understand why it does.
    • Even having read many good treatments of the subject, my humanness still makes me wish there was a way to have creation without it.
  • The best I can do is accept that my understanding is too limited to fully get it, but I have to imagine there is a reason, and I may know it someday. Until then, I trust his ways and guard my own actions.
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Sharing a vital message

This says something I’ve that been wishing for a very long time I knew how to say. I never heard of this guy before stumbling onto this. Doesn’t matter. The message is vital. I really wish we would all take it in.

Ask Andrew W.K.: My Dad Is a Right-Wing Asshole

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2014/08/ask_andrew_wk_right_wing_dad.php

awkmountain560.jpg

(Please copy the url and paste into your browser.)

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So Much to Fix

Dear everyone with a passion to fix the world,

If, because of that passion, you find yourself aggravated with others-

angry, rejecting, disparaging, hostile, even hateful toward those you think stand in the way of the better world you want-

you will not fix anything.

You are making the problems far worse.

I beg you to realize that. I beg us all.

Look around and see what is happening to us and between us. Really see.

When anything gets in the way of loving our fellow man,

we do not have what it takes to make anything better.

Whenever you get wound up about the ways of the world, please see that. What’s wrong “out there” is nothing compared to what’s wrong “in here”. Realize the true power of focusing from the heart.

While we beg for “new ideas” and “fight” for causes, nothing is greater or more urgently needed than the distilled and greatest wisdom of millennia:

Love your neighbor as yourself. 

Each of us making the effort to love will do more good than anything else can.

Sincerely,

BCB.

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Soaring Spirit

Dune Eternity

click to see in my store

This is a picture of my daughter, taken by my brother when we vacationed together on Prince Edward Island 27 years ago. From the first moment I saw it, and ever since, it captivated me. Its composition is striking, with its geometric arrangement of thoroughly organic elements.  Its color and contrast are rich.

But most of all it captured a compelling sense of spirit.

I love the exuberance expressed in her outstretched arms- how they parallel the slope of the dune; their contrast an exclamation point. With the wind rippling her hair and the dynamic pose, you can just about imagine her taking flight.

And this is in the midst of, and because of its soaring spirit somehow intimately connected to, the glorious beauty of creation. The mass of the dune is such substance, though we know nature changes them with time. The aqua sky and white puffy clouds draw our eye to the distance and hint at the vastness of the universe in which we find our place.

Increasingly I am taken by how often truth is found in paradox. When these four words recently popped into my mind as one thought, they immediately brought to mind this poster I have loved so long, and the blank field of sand at the bottom that almost cries out for an appropriate saying to be added.

Embrace Eternity Live Now. After I thought them I played with various ways to show them, sometimes including “to fully” between each pair in either direction. When I saw that I was overthinking and changing what they say, I knew I should leave them together and show them as the one thought that originally came to mind.

The idea is not of utility- an instruction for how to live or to use life to get to forever. They are warp and woof of the same tapestry.

We are spiritual beings meant to live this temporal life. Staying mindful of that dual reality enhances all life and brings us closer to living our purpose.

 

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Reset

Time to go with visual expressions. This one is very near the core of everything I want to help people see. I gave its fuller explanation here.

Though I’d always planned to include visuals, I’d thought of them as accompaniments to essays, or that there had to be essays to support the illustrations. You can see I have put up many of them on my store page.

Essays aren’t doing it – for several reasons. I struggle too much in what I want to say, don’t have a fluid style or the knack of drawing people’s interest. My last was the day of the election. Haven’t had the oomph to come back to them since. There’s one I may yet do in response to a facebook discussion I had 2 days later with a few people, but otherwise…  It’s been an interesting few months.

Creating these pictographs has been more personally satisfying of late, which gave me a real “practice what you preach” moment. As I was fussing with the graphics program, I realized I was enjoying what I was doing, and my own words (from the essay linked above) came to mind:

The funny thing is that I had no clue then, and still have none, as to what exactly [the] reason is [for why I was made this way], or more precisely just what the result of acting on that reason will be.

This “grand A-ha!” was not about seeing the final picture, not about knowing what it had to be … It was seeing that the way the big picture comes together depends on each of us bringing to it just what we are.

And then I saw how I was to recognize what that ‘real me’ was…

We are each given a feeling, a love, some kernel that draws us, holds our interest, beckons our attention. It is placed inside us to guide us to what to do with our life. It may be a faint whisper or a burning passion. It may not even seem sensible – just some quirky thing that caught our fancy

… Whatever it is, … It should only be lovingly accepted and gratefully embraced. It is uniquely our own, a precious gift, the very key to our place in the universe.

Following it wherever it leads opens us to experiences, accomplishments, satisfactions, and contributions we are meant to have…

So I’ll enjoy myself in puttering away at these, and see where it leads.

 

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Peek Behind the Curtain

Government is primarily a force for good. At least that’s the view of many. They’re half right. Government is primarily a force. If we truly desire a better world, we must account for these dynamics.

Just as there are physical forces whose properties are studied by physicists to explain the workings of the natural world, so are there metaphysical forces whose properties we must also understand. They impact our lives no less than gravity does. Ignoring them or acting against them is as counterproductive as supposing we can step off a cliff and fly instead of fall.

Science is showing the universe as an incredibly ordered place. Its finely-tuned properties are increasingly being thought to indicate that the universe’s purpose is to support life.

“The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the Universe in some sense must have known we were coming.” — Freeman Dyson

The most striking quality of human life is its duality. It is Continue reading

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Seeking Truth

Truth is a universally proclaimed value. We all say we want to know the truth. Do we?

Then why do we suck in our gut when we look in the mirror?

Here’s another way to test whether we really want the truth.

If we were to hear someone else say, “I wish everybody would be open to the truth,” we should take note of our first impulsive thought.

If that thought says, “yeah- then everybody would know what I know!”, what we are looking for is affirmation, not truth.

If that thought says, “I wonder if I would see something I’m missing,” we are actually looking for truth.

Settled answers shouldn’t be our goal. We should never be afraid to find out we could see things differently, or more completely. A thought that is afraid to question, that rules out anything but its own affirmation, is a weak thought.

A thought that dares to challenge even itself can only become stronger, even if it has to change to do so.

We shouldn’t expect to find it all, shouldn’t even want to. If we thought we could, we would deny that there is any more to find.

And as I heard in a bit of wisdom recently, “there is never not more”.

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Behind the Curtain

What more is there to be seen beyond the status quo?

Recently I came across someone’s hypothesis that there is a progression to knowledge of the way life works; as though it is layered, and each layer is separated from the next by a “veil” that is simply impenetrable to the majority of people. From each layer fewer see through to the next. We go about our lives without any awareness of it, thinking we know all we need to.

This theorist places life’s basics as the first layer: the day-to-day tending to elementals like food, shelter, sex. He posits eight layers. At the pinnacle is the ultimate truth of the universe.

The political realm is only the second.

He is among many who investigate and report on what goes on “behind the scenes”.  He is frustrated that Continue reading

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Individual and Society

Individuals and their chosen associations do have the ability to provide for society’s needs- and more.

Most of us haven’t lived in a time when there was any other way than having the government be our problem solver and take care of the needy. There is reflexive acceptance of the idea that these are government responsibilities, and doing them makes things better for the individual as well as society.

It’s so expected it hardly occurs to most of us to question it. Certainly not to conceive that something as abstract as hampering individual empowerment and voluntary cooperation could even happen, or is remotely comparable to its perceived merits.

Keeping the perspective that the status quo is the bottom line will get in the way of seeing anything else.

And there is much more to be seen.

Please click to see this and other designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Intersection of Politics

The intersection of politics and the mission of Blue Collar Blonde is the conscience.

Blue Collar Blonde seeks to celebrate the uniqueness of the individual, and cultivate recognition of it as the root of humanity’s potential. Conscience is ultimately the core and source of meaning of individuals.

While most of us acknowledge some importance to the individual, too few of us appreciate what conditions are necessary to foster it.

When politics presumes to provide answers in ever-increasing areas, it necessarily interferes with the role of conscience. Allowing government wide scope of management and command substitutes for conscience, and is utterly incompatible with the empowerment of individuals.

It is worse than a lack of empowerment; it becomes a diminishment. Individuals are unavoidably diminished when government is advanced. Diminished individuals are less able to pursue their strengths, and to organically create their associations, both of which form the natural reservoir of human potential.

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