Selected Correspondence Peter
RESPONDENT: Hello to everyone and everybody,
PETER: Matter, the stuff of which a thing is made, is commonly classified into three types – animal, vegetable or mineral.
If you asked a biologist, a doctor, a zoologist, a microbiologist, a mother or a teacher whether animal matter is passive, as in inert or inactive, he or she no doubt would look at you askance. That animal matter is ‘not merely passive’ is surely obvious but the extent to which it is not passive is literally breathtaking.
As an example, the smallest unit retaining the fundamental properties of life are cells, the ‘atoms’ of the living world. A single cell is often a complete organism in itself, such as a bacterium or yeast. Other cells, by differentiating in order to acquire specialized functions and cooperating with other specialized cells, become the building blocks of large multicellular organisms as complex as the human being. It would require a sheet of about 10,000 human cells to cover the head of a pin, and each human being is composed of more than 75,000,000,000,000 cells.
As an individual unit the cell is capable of digesting its own nutrients, providing its own energy, and replicating itself, in order to produce succeeding generations. It can be viewed as an enclosed vessel composed of even smaller units that serve as its skin, skeleton, brain, and digestive tract. Within this cell vessel innumerable chemical reactions take place simultaneously, all of them controlled so that they contribute to the sustenance and procreation of the cell. In a multicellular organism cells specialize to perform different functions. In order to do this each cell keeps in constant communication with its neighbours. As it receives nutrients from and expels wastes into its surroundings, it adheres to and cooperates with other cells. Cooperative assemblies of similar cells form tissues, and a cooperation between tissues in turn forms organs, the functional units of an organism.
In other words, the flesh and blood body known as No 32 is a cooperative assembly of cells that has developed from the multiplication of cells produced by the union of a male sex cell and a female sex cell. One day sufficient of these cells will cease to function as living organisms causing the flesh and blood organism known as No 32 to cease to function as a living organism. The dead cells that constitute the organism known as No 32 will then decompose, becoming the minerals of the earth again, and those minerals in turn will to help nourish or form other cells, be they vegetate or animate. The matter that is this planet is in fact in a constant state of being cycled between animal, vegetable and mineral – i.e. matter is ‘not merely passive’. Information on cellular life forms gleaned from Encyclopaedia Britannica
If you asked a botanist, a horticulturist or a gardener whether vegetate matter is passive, as in inert or inactive, again the response would be predictable. Having done a little bit of gardening and a good deal of tree planting in my life I am constantly amazed at the variety and virulence, prodigiousness and persistence of vegetate matter on this planet. Indeed scientific research has revealed vegetate matter that uses chemo-synthesis rather than photo-synthesis as its energy source together with many species that blur the distinction between vegetate and mineral matter and between vegetate and animal matter.
Similarly, if you asked a geologist, a meteorologist, a mineralogist, a chemist, an engineer or an architect whether mineral matter is passive, the answer again can only be no. It is obvious that inanimate matter is ‘not merely passive’ when in a gaseous state – the ever-changing atmosphere that surrounds this planet consists of a mixture of gases, water vapour and minute solid and liquid particles in suspension – this ever-changingness is what we humans call the ‘weather’. Equally it is obvious that inanimate matter is ‘not merely passive’ when in a liquid state – the very water of this watery planet is a constant hydrologic cycle of evaporation, movement within the atmosphere, precipitation, the downhill flow of river water, lakes, groundwater, ocean currents, glaciers, ice flows and icecaps.
What is not so obvious to many is that mineral matter in its solid state is also anything but passive and this is so because of the vast time spans involved in the movements and changes of mineral matter. Geological materials – the solid stuff the earth is made of – consist of mineral crystals continuously being cycled through various forms of host rock types – igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. This ongoing process – commonly referred to as the rock cycle – is dependant on temperature, pressure, changes in environmental conditions within the earth’s core, within the earth’s crust and at its surface, and time. So slow is the general rate of change that geological changes are measured in millions of years, although events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions bear instantaneous evidence as to the intensity of change.
I recently saw a computer graphic representation of the palaeogeographical changes of the European continent that have been mapped as occurring over several billion years. Whilst the time span is so enormous as to be almost inconceivable, what could be readily seen from the speed-up graphic was the constant rising and falling – literally a wrinkling and buckling – of the earths crust, an example of matter being ‘not merely passive’ on a scale that is astonishing. As if this were not proof enough, one needs only to consider the extent of changes and timescales involved in the study of astro-geology – the scientific discipline concerned with the geological aspects of all of the mineral matter in this infinite and eternal universe.
Whilst the fact that matter is ‘not merely passive’ should be patently obvious to modern-day humans, this was not so for those who lived in ancient times when ignorance of the actual nature of the matter of the universe led to the fear-ridden fables, superstitions and beliefs that all matter, be it animate or inanimate, was infused by good and evil spirits. It is obvious that if one ever aspires to live in the actual world, the first necessary step is to stop giving credibility to any of the ancient fables, superstitions and spirit beliefs that constitute so-called ‘ancient wisdom’.
RESPONDENT: Is (all) matter (water, trees, animals, various objects) alive and intelligent when experienced in a PCE?
PETER: No. Matter, when experienced in a PCE, does not change its properties for the properties of matter are inherent to matter itself. Water is not alive, as is animate matter, nor is it intelligent. Intelligence – the ability to think, reflect, plan, communicate, and to be aware of that ability as it is happening – is a faculty unique to the animate matter of the human brain. Trees are alive in that they are vegetate matter and I have described vegetate matter as being ‘not merely passive’ above. Trees are not intelligent.
Animals are alive in that they are organism consisting of cooperate collections of animate matter or living cells. The only animal with the capacity to be intelligent is the human animal – albeit that this intelligence is somewhat impaired by the genetically-encoded rudimentary instinctual survival passions that have now well and truly passed their use-by-date.
When the intelligence that is a function of the human brain is temporarily freed to operate unimpeded by the animal survival passions, as ‘experienced in a PCE’, the normal ‘self’-centred values that human beings impose on the matter of the universe – it’s ugly, she’s ugly, it’s abhorrent, he’s abhorrent, it’s dull, he’s dull, she’s dull, it’s depressing, he’s depressing, it’s annoying, she’s annoying, it’s aggravating, he’s aggravating, it’s beautiful, he’s beautiful, she’s beautiful, it’s dear to me, he’s dear to me, she’s dear to me, it’s spiritual, it’s divine, he’s divine, she’s divine, and so on – all fall away, as if a veil has suddenly been lifted.
What is suddenly seen is that the matter of the universe – all matter, be it animate or inanimate, be it animal, vegetable or mineral, be it unfashioned by humans or fashioned by humans – has an inherent quality. The inherent quality of matter is something that is experienced sensately and a sensate-only experience of the quality of matter experienced in a PCE is a sensuous experience – it’s warm, it’s cold, it’s moist, it’s dry, it’s shiny, it’s smooth, it’s soft, it’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s quiet, it’s boisterous, it’s loud, it’s scintillating, it’s fascinating, he’s a fellow human being, she’s a fellow human being, and so on. In a PCE the universe is experienced as it actually is – perfect, pure, pristine and peerless.
RESPONDENT: Is there a difference (concerning the quality of the object involved) when looking at a polyester cup in a PCE compared with our ordinary experience of it?
PETER: Again, the quality of an object does not change when an object is looked when one is having a pure consciousness experience, because the quality of an object is inherent to the object itself. What happens in a PCE is that ‘I’ temporarily disappear, along with the ‘self’-centred and anthropomorphic values and judgements ‘I’ automatically impose upon all matter, be it inanimate or animate – a constant evaluation of every thing as being good or bad, right or wrong, beautiful or ugly, something to envy, scorn, fear or desire, something felt to be ‘mine’ or ‘yours’, someone felt to be friend or foe, and so on.
A currently fashionable value that many people unwittingly impose on objects is that they regard any objects that are fashioned by human beings from the mineral matter of the earth as being ‘unnatural’, hence artificial, going against nature, alien, improper, false, ugly, deviant, corrupted, evil, harmful and so on, whilst they feel matter in its raw state to be natural, wholesome, beautiful, beneficial, good, pure, innocent, true, unadulterated and so on.
The root source of these emotion-backed judgements imposed on the objects fashioned by human beings from the mineral matter of the earth, is the belief that human beings were pure and innocent in their primitive stone-age state and that this purity and innocence has been corrupted by the technological progresses of the iron age, the bronze age, the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, the invention of electricity, the silicon chip and so on. In its crudest form this belief manifests as a collective feeling of guilt that human beings are aliens who have and are still corrupting and polluting the natural environment of the planet.
As can be seen, for an actualist there is a good deal of work to be done in demolishing these beliefs by replacing them with facts before one can expect to be able to sensuously experience the inherent quality of the matter of the universe, unimpeded by ‘my’ beliefs, values and judgements that ‘I’ unwittingly and automatically superimpose on everything I see, touch, hear, smell and taste as well as every human being I meet in person or hear about.
RESPONDENT: And is that perception objective, in the sense ‘that’s the way that cup really is’?
PETER: There is a world of difference between the normal human perception of the way it ‘really is’ or the way ‘‘I’ feel it to be’ and the ‘self’-less perception of the actuality of the universe as experienced in a PCE.
PETER: Sorry I haven’t got back to you earlier but I usually only write about 2 posts a week. As you might have gathered my writing style does not suit the usual rapid-fire mailing list repartee and by the time I do get around to replying very often correspondents have moved already on to another topic or have headed off down another alley of the same topic.
RESPONDENT: One of Peter’s latest posts to No 60 has occasioned me to write a couple of things to ‘set the facts straight’ so to speak. I want to address 3 main ideas that are false in Peter’s and (possibly) other actualist writings.
The false ideas:
1) Just because the ‘big-bang’ theory originated with someone who was a ‘theist’ does not mean that it is necessarily tied to belief in God. Some other factor must be established like for example that belief in God is a necessary part of the ‘big-bang’ theory. There are plenty of physicists who do not believe in God – and not agnostic – but are atheists – who also think the evidence (red-shift, 3K radiation, etc) for the big-bang is overwhelming. This demonstrates that there are plenty of physicists that are led to endorse the big-bang theory based upon the evidence (as they see it) rather than using belief in God as evidence.
To conclude that the big-bang theory is creationist cosmology because it was proposed by a creationist and because many creationists have been fascinated with it, by the same fallacious reasoning, evolutionary theory is ‘creationist’ since Darwin was a theist, and Newtonian physics is ‘creationist’ because Newton was a theist. It is reasonable to note that beliefs (specifically belief in God) can influence theory, but that is far from establishing in each instance that it actually has.
PETER: In order to give a considered response, I will have to break this down and respond to each of the points that you raise – no wonder I only get around to writing a few posts a week.
RESPONDENT: Peter’s false ideas: 1) The ‘big-bang’ theory is ‘creationist’ cosmology.
The facts: Just because the ‘big-bang’ theory originated with someone who was a ‘theist’ does not mean that it is necessarily tied to belief in God.
PETER: Indeed not, and this is why I said the following to No 60 –
Now whilst some cosmologists are upfront in saying that a God, by whatever name, had a hand in the supposed ‘Big bang’ event that created the universe, others are less circumspect, yet others make no mention at all of a creator God and yet others make no mention of a creationist event.
I came across an example of this last category when I typed the word Cosmology into the Encyclopaedia Britannica search engine –
– an example of cosmology with out a God. (Mr. Gautama Buddha supposedly gave no answer as to how the universe was created.)
When I looked up Greek cosmology as a matter of interest, I came up with the following –
This then led me to think that I should have used the word cosmogony instead of the words ‘creationist’ cosmology in reference to the Big Bang theory. But then I came across the term relativistic cosmology in the Encyclopaedia Britannica and lo and behold the article clearly and unambiguously explained that the ‘Big Bang’ theory came out of Einstein’s relativity theory … so my use of the term cosmology does seem appropriate according to at least one authoritative reference source. Are you hanging in with me on this? I just needed to check if I had used an appropriate term when I used the term creationist cosmology to describe the Big Bang theory.
So back to your point, yes I would agree with you that the ‘Big Bang’ theory is not necessarily tied to the belief in God. In fact I made the following statement to No 60 so as to leave God out of the ‘Big Bang’ theory altogether –
RESPONDENT: Peter’s false ideas: 1) The ‘big-bang’ theory is ‘creationist’ cosmology.
The facts: Some other factor must be established like for example that belief in God is a necessary part of the ‘big-bang’ theory.
PETER: If I said that the ‘big-bang’ theory is ‘Creationist’ cosmology (with a capital C) then I would be clearly making a statement that the belief in God is a necessary part of creationist cosmology, whereas I used the term creationist to mean that it was created – as in it had a beginning, it originated, it was produced, it came into being. Now for me a ‘miraculous thus-far-inexplicable event’ that is said to have created the universe at the very least requires it to be a metaphysical event in which, whilst one doesn’t necessarily have to believe in a creator God, at least one has to believe in miraculous thus-far-inexplicable forces.
RESPONDENT: Thank you for this – it goes miles towards explaining your use of the word ‘creationist’ – small ‘c.’
Here’s what ‘creationist’ means to me:
PETER: And yet I also said this in my post to No 60 –
thereby making it clear that I was not specifically talking about a cosmological theory – in this case relativistic cosmology – which specifically requires a creator God as you are apparently trying to make out I was when you said that my ideas were fallacious.
RESPONDENT: Consider this... I think that the Mississippi River ‘had a beginning, it originated, it was produced, it came into being’ – yet I do not hold a ‘creationist’ view regarding the Mississipi River since I do not think it was laid out by a god. To me, and I could make the case that for most people, the word ‘creationist’ implies a ‘creator’ – and does not simply mean to imply a belief that something ‘came into being.’ I have never encoutered a distinction between ‘Creationist’ with a capital ‘C’ implying a ‘creator’ versus ‘creationist’ with a small ‘c’ meaning ‘had a beginning, it originated, it was produced, it came into being’ until now. I have also not encountered your explanation of the difference in your usage until now, so it seems likely that either a) your usage is faulty, or b) you may have wanted to explain your ‘extra-normal’ usage of the term ‘creationist’ prior to using the word?
PETER: Or you could, and only if you wanted to of course, broaden your options to consider an option c) –
RESPONDENT: The facts: There are plenty of physicists who do not believe in God – and not agnostic – but are atheists – who also think the evidence (red-shift, 3K radiation, etc) for the big-bang is overwhelming. This demonstrates that there are plenty of physicists that are led to endorse the big-bang theory based upon the evidence (as they see it) rather than using belief in God as evidence.
PETER: You would probably be aware that I am on record as saying that Richard was the only thorough-going atheist on the planet, so we are going to get bogged down on this point straight away. Stephen Hawkins, a self-declared atheist when asked if he believed in God is on record as saying ‘I do not believe in a personal God’ – a somewhat equivocal statement, and Einstein is on record as saying ‘I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings’ and I can think of none of the major players in the formulation of the Big Bang theory who did not believe in some form of mysticism or did not have some type of spiritual or religious belief. I guess the only way one could establish that your fact is a fact is if one conducted in-depth interviews with each of the ‘plenty of physicists’ that you know to be atheists to determine whether they are thorough-going atheists, i.e. that they hold no metaphysical, mystical, spiritual or religious beliefs whatsoever.
RESPONDENT: The fact that you have gotten Stephen Hawking’s name wrong multiple occasions as ‘Stephen Hawkins’ makes me wonder whether you have difficulty typing or remembering his name – or whether you don’t really know much about what you are talking about (this is at least the third time on record you have spelled his name incorrectly as ‘Hawkins’).
PETER: By the same logic I could just as well say that someone who has misspelt the word ‘Mississippi’ as well as the word ‘encountered’ in the space of three sentences maybe doesn’t really know much about what he is talking about, but I am interested in having a sincere conversation about this topic and not in indulging in tit-for-tatting.
Spelling was never my forté, which is why I rely on the spell checker in my word processor to correct my spelling for me. Although my credibility horse has apparently already bolted, I will add ‘Stephen Hawking’ to my auto-correct.
RESPONDENT: Putting that aside: I can understand that you can ‘think of none of the major players in the formulation of the Big Bang theory who did not believe in some form of mysticism or did not have some type of spiritual or religious belief’ but it would indeed be a good idea to remain ignorant no longer about ‘major players’ that continue to ‘formulate’ and ‘buttress’ the scientific theory of the Big Bang.
PETER: Okay, but I did make the following point, which you seem to have ignored –
As such, when you claim that ‘it would indeed be a good idea (for me) to remain ignorant no longer’, on what basis you claim a superior knowledge of the beliefs or lack of beliefs of the major players – by what they have written (or not written) about their personal beliefs presumably? That’s also what I do initially but I also broaden my assessment to include what they are saying about the theoretical nature of the universe and of its supposed beginning. To ignore this evidence is to sidestep the main topic of this conversation.
RESPONDENT: I’m aware that God occupies the thoughts of Stephen Hawking – but as you yourself say – he is a ‘self-declared atheist’ and his theories are specifically designed to eliminate the need for a God from big bang comsmology –
PETER: I agree with you because Stephen Hawking is on record as saying ‘I not believe in a personal God’ so he would hardly specifically design a theory that gave credence to a personal God.
The more I have read about the history of relativistic cosmology, and most particularly in the last 50 years, it has been a progression of inventions of model universes each specifically designed to more and more distance big bang cosmology from any claims that a Divine or supernatural force was involved in the alleged beginning of the universe. This continual invention of yet more models seems to have much more to do with the age-old battle between the secular mathematical philosophers and the spiritual metaphysical philosophers for the intellectual, ontological and cosmological high ground than it has to do with anything remotely resembling authentic scientific enquiry.
But more on that later in the post.
RESPONDENT: personally, I don’t see his fetishism for talking about the ‘mind of God’ as supporting pantheistic belief – rather, it has to do with demolishing the need for a god in the big-bang theory.
PETER: Are you saying that when someone talks about wanting to know the ‘mind of God’, he is doing so in order to demolish the need for a God in his theories? Personally I find the difference between the term ‘mind of God’ and the word ‘God’ to be somewhat moot but presumably there is a difference between the two in the minds of philosophers and theoretical physicists.
But then again, from what I read, Stephen Hawking’s theories have already been superseded by yet more theories specifically designed to eliminate the need for a God from the big bang cosmology.
RESPONDENT: Here’s another major player for you – Steven Weinberg – atheist, through and through who wrote the book ‘The First 3 Minutes’ all about big-bang cosmology.
PETER: From what I can glean, Steven Weinberg is affronted by the fact that the spiritualists and deists have clasped relativistic cosmology to their bosom, so much so that he is at the forefront of the efforts to design models of the universe which, whilst remaining faithful to the theories of big bang cosmology, attempt to avoid, deny or distance themselves from the big bang central proposition that all of the space, matter and time of the entire universe was created in a singular near-instantaneous event out of no-space, no-thing, and no-when.
However, he stands on shaky ground in defending the facticity of relativistic cosmological theories, as this response to a question about the certainty of relativistic cosmology reveals –
Like all supporters of relativistic cosmology, he is so enmeshed in the theories of relativistic cosmology that he would not even begin to question the validity of the entire progression of theories that have been built upon Einstein’s original subjective thought experiment.
It was the theoretical scientists themselves who enthusiastically clasped Einsteinian relativity to their bosoms and then set about inventing a brand-new metaphysics consisting of flexible space, non-material particles, non-constant time and miraculous thus-far-inexplicable events, and by doing so they played into the hands of the mystics, spiritualists and deists. To now turn around and blame the mystics, spiritualists and deists for meddling in the affairs of science is, to say to least, a bit rich. The theoretical scientists who concocted relativistic cosmology in the first place dug their own hole and instead of abandoning it they are busily digging themselves an ever-deeper hole.
From what I read, Steven Weinberg is also at the forefront of the fight between science and religion as to who can best explain why the universe is here, where it came from and what is its underlying reality –
I can see now why you objected to my use of the term creationist cosmology – there is a battle raging between the materialists and the spiritualists and anyone who uses the term ‘creationist’ to describe the theory that the universe was created out of nothing is apparently waving a red flag at a bull. What I find cute is that both materialists and spiritualists have a passionate investment in supporting big bang cosmology – one side claiming it to be science and the other claiming it as proof of spirituality – and neither group is prepared to abandon it for to do so would be to admit defeat in the battle.
I am well pleased to be an actualist.
As for Steven Weinberg’s self-declared atheism, it is apparent from the following quote that he is uncomfortable with his atheism –
From what he says he is yet another ‘atheist’ seeking the meaning of life ‘somewhere else’ but here in this place in space and ‘sometime else’ but now in this very moment of time
RESPONDENT: Just a few more atheist big-bang proponents are Isaac Asimov, Paul Kurtz, Victor Stenger, and Adolf Grunbaum.
PETER: I’ll pass on Isaac Asimov as it is obvious that a science fiction writer would be an avid supporter of relativistic cosmology. So I will start by commenting on Victor Stenger as he is the only theoretical physicist in the group.
Victor Stenger has written a book entitled ‘The Timeless Reality’ and this quote is from a summary he has published –
Stenger appears to be offering a cosmological model that has much in common with Buddhist philosophy – as I said, relativistic cosmology seems to be only digging itself an even bigger hole in its efforts to fashion a metaphysics that is somehow distinct from that of the mystics, spiritualists and deists.
As a footnote to Victor Stenger – you are probably aware that he is an avid campaigner against supernatural beliefs and I came across this article in the Skeptic magazine in which he talks about time reversibility – the basis of the theoretical model of the universe he presents in his book ‘Timeless Reality’.
I post this as an example of how far into fantasy those who support relativistic theory have to go in order that metaphysical theories are not seen for what they are. It appears that it is politically correct to be sceptical of the super-naturalness inherent in spirituality but it is politically incorrect to be sceptical about the super-naturalness inherent in relativistic cosmology.
Moving on to Paul Kurtz, a secular humanist. Secular humanists are, by their very training and conviction, ethically motivated to challenge religiosity and support science and, as such, many have misguidedly taken up the cause of supporting relativistic cosmology whilst simultaneously turning a blind eye to its mystical and spiritual roots.
Adolf Grünbaum is a secular philosopher and secular philosophers are, by their very training and convictions, ethically motivated to challenge religiosity and support science and, as such, many have also misguidedly taken up the cause of supporting relativistic cosmology whilst simultaneously turning a blind eye to its mystical and spiritual roots.
I found the following quote to be of interest as it threw some light on the whole issue as to why it is so hard to get philosophers interested in discussing the facts of the matter –
From this I take it that it is pointless to ask either a philosopher or a physicist what was the cause of the miraculous thus-far-inexplicable event that is supposed to have brought all of the physical matter of universe into being. Apparently philosophy has its own inbuilt principles, aka logic, that serves to put ‘off-limits’ any sensible down-to-earth questioning of relativistic cosmology.
Adolf Grünbaum goes on to attempt to philosophize-away the ‘universe was created out of nothing’ dilemma that haunts relativistic cosmology with the following argument –
RESPONDENT: Peter’s false ideas: 1) The ‘big-bang’ theory is ‘creationist’ cosmology.
The facts: To conclude that the big-bang theory is creationist cosmology because it was proposed by a creationist and because many creationists have been fascinated with it, by the same fallacious reasoning, evolutionary theory is ‘creationist’ since Darwin was a theist, and Newtonian physics is ‘creationist’ because Newton was a theist.
PETER: My ‘false idea’ that the ‘Big Bang’ theory is a creationist cosmology is based on the theory being what it says it is, and this is how I translated the theory into down-to-earth terms –
That the Big Bang theory has its roots in Albert Einstein’s relativity theory, he who believes in Spinoza’s God, and was championed by George LeMaître, a Catholic cleric, is of but anecdotal interest for those on the list who might be vitally interested in the extent to which religion, spiritualism and mysticism continue to permeate and influence the world of science. In fact as I recall, I never mentioned Einstein or LeMaître in connection with the ‘Big Bang’ theory to No 60, the only person I did mention was Paul Davies and I only did so because No 60 had raised the issue. In other words, I never used the evidence in my posts to No 60 that you claim I used in making the point that I didn’t make that you now claim to be false.
As for Charles Darwin, what I find telling is that he agonized for years about publishing his discoveries because he thought he would be damned by other theists – as he was, and still is in some quarters. In fact some education establishments still refuse to teach the evolutionary process, whilst mainstream society have adopted the evolutionary process as being a sign of God’s work.
RESPONDENT: The facts: It is reasonable to note that beliefs (specifically belief in God) can influence theory, but that is far from establishing in each instance that it actually has.
PETER: But then again it would be sensible not to let this reasoning get in the way of allowing that beliefs have influenced theories in a particular specific instance.
If this is the summary of your statement of fact it appears you are using this reasoning to establish that beliefs have not influenced theory in this particular instance as a ‘fact’ – thereby proving ‘my idea’ to be false. From where I stand this reasoning is far from impartial – as far as I can ascertain you are establishing a rule of reasonableness and saying that what I am saying is false because it does not fit your rule.
RESPONDENT: It’s not that I am establishing a rule of reasonableness and ‘saying that what I am saying is false because it does not fit your [MY] rule’ –
PETER: And I was interested, of course, in the argument you were offering in this instance as a rebuttal of my ‘false idea’. I like it that you do not see it as being a hard and fast rule because it opens the door to the possibility of a clear-eyed seeing that relativistic cosmology is rife with metaphysical concepts, to acknowledging that it was heavily influenced by spiritual/ mystical beliefs in its formative years and that it is now unwittingly being supported by secularists and materialists solely on the basis that they feel compelled to support ‘science’ and disparage religion.
RESPONDENT: rather the confusion originates in the fact that you have chosen your own way of using the word ‘creationist’ that doesn’t fit with common usage – without explaining first that this is what you have opted to do. Such an unexplained arbitrary decision cannot but produce disagreement when you are using such a critical word as ‘creationist’ with a non-standard usage.
PETER: I notice that you are still dwelling on this point despite the fact that I have pointed out that I did not use the word creationist in the specific sense you took it to mean and that I provided several quotes from my post to No 60 where I made it clear that I was using the word creationist in the small ‘c’ meaning.
I also said in my last post –
– to which you made no comment.
RESPONDENT: Again, keeping with your usage of ‘creationist’ – you are a ‘creationist’ about the Mississippi River, for example – as well as anything else that ‘had a beginning, it originated, it was produced, it came into being’.
PETER: I have no problem at all about that the Mississippi River came into being at some stage as there is a good deal of empirical evidence that the geology of the planet has undergone radical changes ever since the planet itself came into being an estimated 6 billion years ago by some accounts, but it is an absurdity to imagine that all of the physical matter and all of the space of the entire universe came into being due to a miraculous thus-far-inexplicable spontaneous event, as the theoretical relativistic cosmologists would have us believe.
RESPONDENT: Peter’s false ideas: 2) The ‘big-bang’ theory proposes the universe was ‘created out of nothing.’
The facts: 2) I’m sure there are those that propose that the universe was created out of nothing – and they may be rightly termed ‘creationists.’
PETER: I take this to be a qualifier to ‘the facts’ you presented when you made the case in 1) that the ‘big-bang’ theory is not ‘creationist’ cosmology. If I can just summarize your case to date, your position now is –
I just want to get this clear as I find that I have to stop and think through what the other person is really saying if I am to make sense of what it is that they are really saying.
RESPONDENT: As it should be clear – ‘creationist’ does not mean to me what it means to you, so your representation of my ‘position’ is not correct. Put simply: ‘creationist’ cosmology normally entails a ‘creator.’ You have opted to change the meaning of the word without first informing us of that fact.
PETER: Okay that’s clear, your position now is –
And this is clearly the reason why theoretical physicists, together with secular philosophers, were compelled to design ever more models of the universe in a desperate attempt to refute all notions that there was a big bang event that happened in which all of the matter of the universe suddenly came into being out of nothing – in other words relativistic cosmology is involved in an ongoing process of denial and obscuration of its original hypothesis.
RESPONDENT: The facts: I know of no scientist who excludes God as part of their cosmology – who thinks the universe came ‘out of nothing.’
PETER: Which of course is not to say there aren’t any such scientists. I say this because you made the case for another point you raised on the basis that ‘there are plenty of physicists who …’
RESPONDENT: Right – people can have a variety of beliefs. My point is that people like Stephen Hawking and Steven Weinberg do not say that the universe ‘came out of nothing.’ Rather, they have theories about singularities, multiple expansions and crunches, etc – to offer.
PETER: I think you would probably agree that this is where it gets confusing because you are saying that Stephen Hawking who talks about ‘the mind of God’ is not a Creationist because he doesn’t say that the universe ‘came out of nothing’ and yet Paul Davies who also talks about the ‘Mind of God’ says –
But then again these are old-hat theories by now I take it. Is the model of the universe that Victor Stenger talks about at the cutting edge or are other models gaining favour? Just curious.
RESPONDENT: Rather, it is normally proposed that ‘prior to the big bang’ there existed great energy – that is hardly nothing.
PETER: Most of what I have read of cosmology theories seem to me to concentrate on imagining how the Big Bang could have happened and I haven’t come across many theories that concentrate on what supposedly existed prior to the Big Bang. If it is normally proposed that ‘great energy’ existed prior to the Big Bang out of which all of matter of the entire universe was created, I would ask the scientists if this was a non-material energy as in a metaphysical energy or if it was a non-matter material energy?
RESPONDENT: Sure, and that’s what scientists go on about. The question I’m focussing on now though is not ‘what existed prior to the big bang’ – rather, I am focussing on your misrepresentation of scientific theories of the big-bang – since you seem to think that big-bang theorists necessarily propose that the universe came out of nothing.
PETER: Thus far you have pointed me to other physicists and philosophers who use various descriptions to explain what ‘our’ universe supposedly came out of –
As far as I can ascertain, the cosmologists’ attempts to make nothing sound like something appear only to be playing into the hands of the spiritualists.
PETER: To give you a down-to-earth example we both can relate to – let’s take a computer mouse, and I presume you can see one in front of you as I can. Now what these scientists are telling me is that it is possible to instantaneously create matter such as this out of a ‘great energy’. In other words, an instant before there would be no matter and an instant after there would be matter. Hmmm….
But then again, if I remained open that this was possible, I would ask the theorists: did this supposed ‘great energy’ that all of the matter of the entire universe was created out of always exist – was it eternally existing prior to the coming into being of matter, or did some prior event cause this great energy to come into being? If so, what caused this ‘great energy’ to be created in the first place? Was this ‘great energy’ infinite or was it limited in size and scope in some way?
RESPONDENT: All good questions – and all questions that are being answered by cosmologists in a variety of ways – but peripheral to what is currently under discussion.
PETER: I take it that you are making a case for the facticity of relativistic cosmology, unless you are merely conducting an intellectual rebuttal of what I was saying to No 60 for the sake of making an intellectual rebuttal. Whatever your motive is in writing, I have appreciated your probings as it has spurred me to look a bit deeper into the world of relativistic cosmology and my investigations have served only to confirm my initial impressions.
PETER: I have just taken a break from this post and put my feet up for a bit and skimmed through a book from Paul Davies, who achieved an international reputation for his ability to explain the significance of advance scientific ideas in simple language. I came across this –
and further on …
If I take this on board, I can only assume that the ‘great energy’ that you say is normally proposed as having existed prior to the Big Bang would have to be a formless (there being no space existing before the big bang), spaceless (there being no space existing before the big bang) and timeless (there is no time existing before the big bang) energy.
And I say timeless because Paul Davies says –
From what I make of what Paul Davies is saying it also appears that I am wrong in saying that the Big Bang theory proposes the universe was ‘created out of nothing.’ because nothing existed prior to the Big Bang (as in no space, time or matter existed prior to the singularity) and not only that but the Big Bang was not an event and did not happen at a particular moment in time because the event did not occur either in a place in space nor at a moment in time (as in no space, time or matter existed prior to the singularity).
After re-reading some of this book, I knew why I regarded relativistic cosmology as being absurd when I first started trying to make sense of it … but I digress.
To get back to the practicalities of your statement, when you say this ‘great energy’ that existed prior to the supposed Big Bang is ‘hardly nothing’, what do you mean? Do you mean it is ‘hardly nothing’ because it is a cosmological theory or ‘hardly nothing’ as in it is a bona fide energy that had, or has, a real existence? I ask because I am interested in what sense you make out of these theories, not as philosophical sense but as down-to-earth sense. (...)
RESPONDENT: The facts: Also, there are those that propose that the universe actually expands and contracts and may go through a series of big-bangs – so this particular bang did not come out of nothing at all.
PETER: Yeah. I have read of many theories, amongst my favourites being the oscillating universe, a universe that is cyclic in nature, and many books have been written pointing out that this particular model is consistent with Hindu and other Eastern cosmologies of a cyclic nature (the reincarnating universe model?).
RESPONDENT: An ‘oscillating universe’ may be consistent with Eastern cosmologies of a cyclic nature, but it is quite another issue whether a particular version of an ‘oscillating universe’ is connected in anyway to Eastern cosmologies.
PETER: I would have thought that this ‘quite another issue’ is central to the discussion we are having.
As far as I can see no relativistic cosmologist has yet designed a big bang model universe that can explain the supposed instantaneous coming into being of all the matter of this physical universe without resorting to metaphysical explanations. Every culture throughout history has had its own cosmology, and its own cosmogony, such that there are thousands of explanations as to when, why and how the physical universe came into existence – i.e. what is the universe’s underlying reality – and as such it is highly unlikely that the currently fashionable cosmology will invent anything that hasn’t been thought of before. After all, human imagination is extremely limited as it is always anthropocentric and it is always bound by instinctual passions.
PETER: There is also the time reversing model, wherein in each successive cycle, time oscillates between running forward and running backwards. There is also ‘the universe creates itself’ model, the ‘Mother and Child’ universe model, the ‘many universes’ theory, the Darwinist Cosmology model and so on. From what I gather, most of these theories are not big bang theories but are theories that have evolved in order to avoid the difficulties inherent in the mathematics of the Big Bang theory – seemingly not only does time, space and matter disappear in a singularity but also mathematics itself gets somewhat lost.
If I can just summarize, the point you appear to be making is that my idea that ‘the ‘big-bang’ theory proposes the universe was ‘created out of nothing’’ is ‘false’ because it is a fact that there are also other theories that propose a series of ‘little bangettes’ as alternatives to the Big Bang theory. From where I stand, it would be misleading to call these subsequent theories ‘the big-bang’ theory. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I can’t follow the logic of your refutation.
RESPONDENT: To say the ‘big-bang’ theory proposes that the universe was ‘created out of nothing’ is to say there is a necessary connection between the two ideas – but many mainstream big bang theorists do not say the universe was created ‘out of nothing’ – therefore the ‘big-bang’ theory does not necessarily claim that the universe was created ‘out of nothing.’ Do you follow now?
PETER: I do follow, but from what I read of the efforts of relativistic cosmologists and philosophers to create yet more models that enable them to explain this ‘nothing’ in other terms – such as: it is a timeless, formless and spaceless void; it is the true reality, it neither was nor will be, it just is; there was no time in which nothing could be said to exist; it is a pre-existing embedding vacuum space, and so on – is doing nothing but digging an ever bigger hole for 20th century Western cosmology.
RESPONDENT: Peter’s false idea 3) That ‘Einsteinian physics’ relies on ‘an a priori principle that the universe was created out of nothing.
3) Fact: Einsteinian physics – if by that you mean relativity (special and general) by no means relies on ‘an a priori principle that the universe was created out of nothing.’
PETER: This is the full text of the passage you are referring to –
Yep, you have got me nailed on this one. Loose terminology and sloppy thinking. The conversation with No 60 had been shifting around between discussing creationist cosmology and Einsteinian physics, so much so that I obviously lost the plot a bit.
RESPONDENT: Not just ‘a bit.’ If you admit to ‘sloppy thinking’ on this occasion – isn’t it possible that sloppiness has entered the rest of your thinking with regard to relativity and ‘big-bang’ cosmology? Understand I am not making an accusation about you being a sloppy thinker in general – rather, I think you are right on much of the time – but there is much to be desired in your treatment of both relativity and – ‘big bang’ cosmology.
PETER: Well, I have always regarded the big-bang theory as science fiction so I never took it too seriously at all – for me it is simply another in a long line of fantasies that attempt to answer a question that is based on a false presumption – that there is ‘something else’ or ‘somewhere else’ other than this actual universe that we human animals sensately experience.
But apparently this was a naïve outlook as it apparent that a good many people take relativity theory and Big Bang cosmology very seriously indeed, so much so that many people have even taken it up as a ‘cause celebre’ in the ongoing battle between materialists and spiritualists. The Big Bang theory has been an issue that has been taken so seriously on this list such that at least two people that I know of have used it as one of their main excuses to turn away from actualism.
I am definitely somewhat of a newcomer to the world of relativistic cosmology and philosophy, hence I don’t necessarily understand what all the fuss is about, I don’t necessarily understand the passions involved and I don’t necessarily understand the type of thinking involved that is used to defend the theories and to repel the boarders. However, because I am neither a materialist nor a spiritualist, I am able to take a clear-eyed look at relativistic cosmology, which is why I can clearly see it for what it is – merely the latest in a long line of fantasies about the supposed ‘underlying reality’ of the physical universe.
PETER: In hindsight, t’would have made much more sense and would have been much more accurate if I had have said –
RESPONDENT: Now I’m not following your logic.
PETER: It’s not logic, it’s a clear-eyed description of the house of cards that is relativistic cosmology. This is how Richard put it recently –
I do realize that this pulls the rug out from under one of the core planks of modern theoretical science and that it also disenfranchises secular humanism from having its own naturalistic/ evolutionary cosmology – but then again t’is only a fantasy after all.
RESPONDENT: Fact: Einstein’s theories were proposed around the turn of the century – a good 25-30 years or so before big-bang theory got its start. In my readings about relativity, I have never read that Einsteinian physics relies on creation out of nothing. I can agree that ‘creation out of nothing’ is absurd – but the notion that Einsteinian physics (relativity) relies on such an absurd idea may be even more absurd.
PETER: Yep. I did put the cart before the horse – it was Einstein’s theories that led to the Big Bang theory (hence the term relativistic cosmology) and not the other way around. My statement was, as you rightly said, absurd.
Thanks for your correction. At least it shows that someone is trying to follow this discussion and is trying to make sense of the subject. As I said in my post to No 60 –
So your correction is welcomed because no doubt the issue will be raised again and again over the coming years and whilst I continue to be asked to write yet more on the subject I obviously need to not only get my terminology right but also to avoid sloppy thinking.
RESPONDENT: And it is good to know that you are willing to be corrected – rather than doggedly hanging on to a personal (incorrect) thesis.
PETER: I have no trouble at all in admitting I am wrong – as I said I have never had occasion to immerse myself in the details of relativistic cosmology, as a brief overview was sufficient to convince me of its fallacies. But I do stand by what I say about relativistic cosmology and the more I look into it the more I see it clearly for what it is – an impassioned fantasy.
PETER: I would like to add a postscript to this post as something you recently said to No 53 struck a chord with me. You talked about how you came to no longer believe in the Christian God. I’ll just repost it again for reference –
To No 53, How do you know, No 37, 3.2.2004
What struck me about this is that it is a straight forward matter-of-fact description of how you came to the conclusion you did. This was what I was trying to explain to No 60 in my post about how I came to understand that the belief that the universe is ephemeral, i.e. that it had a beginning. is nothing but an impassioned fabrication, a fantasy.
If I can be a little cheeky, I would like to juxtapose my conclusion about metaphysics into your words and the reason I do so is that it might help you in understanding how I have come to the conclusions I have.
The reason I have juxtaposed my position re: metaphysics to your position re: the existence of God is that it may help you to appreciate that I too have no ‘Archimedean point’ (whatever that is) from which I can say there is no such thing as metaphysics. I simply put my initial understanding down to my practical life experience and the application of common sense … and it was this common sense thinking that led to the conclusion that then opened the way to me having an experiential understanding based on the direct experience of the infinitude of the actual universe which one has in a pure consciousness experience.
RESPONDENT: Interesting reading – as it is an account of a personal odyssey. I would add though that both relativity and the ‘big-bang’ are not necessarily as ‘metaphysical’ as you make them out to be. They may both be wrong – but if so, they are wrong because the evidence doesn’t support them – not because they are ‘metaphysical’. Let me reiterate – I am not saying that there are not metaphysical theories associated with the big-bang and relativity by some scientists – I am saying that they are not NECESSARILY metaphysical.
PETER: I am not making a philosophical argument as to the rights or wrongs of Einsteinian relativity or Einsteinian cosmology. What I did was make a down-to-earth enquiry into the subjects and what I found was that both were predicated on there being an underlying non-material reality to the material universe, i.e. both are theoretical systems based on the theoretical interactions of hypothetical particles that have no material existence.
From what you say, you appear to be arguing the agnostic case as in because you can never prove the existence of God, nor disprove the existence of God, one must remain open to all possibilities. As I said before, I have always found that it was unacceptable to me to remain open to all beliefs and, after I met Richard, I particularly found it impossible to remain an agnostic towards the universe – this very world of people, things and events.
By applying down-to-earth pragmatism I came to understand that I had two clear choices. If there was in fact an ‘underlying reality’ to the material universe then I had better stick with searching for the meaning of life within that ‘underlying reality’. If not, then I need to abandon the traditional spiritual search and set about thoroughly road-testing actualism in order to see if it works in practice – which, as you know, was the decision I took.
When I look back on my early discussions with Richard, what we broadly talked about was life, the universe and what it is to be a human being. In these discussions what emerged were a few clear propositions –
Over the course of a few months these very simple propositions made increasing sense to me such that I set off on my own course to discover for myself the facts of the matter – and taking on board the utter simplicity of the facts of the matter have drastically changed my life to an extent that was unimaginable to me when I first met Richard.
Which is why you and I are having this conversation about the latest of the cosmological theories.
What does become startlingly apparent about the nature and properties of matter is that the matter that is the universe is not merely passive – the very matter that is this universe is in a constant state of change and transformation, often imperceptibly slowly, sometimes dramatically evident.
Sure, but none of this is inconsistent with relativity, or the ‘Big Bang’.
I was referring to the ‘self’-less experiencing that one has in a PCE – an experience which is objective – and as such has nothing at all to do with the subjective thought-experiments that spawned and feeds so-called relativity theory. The pure consciousness experience of the matter that is this universe is also completely at odds with the ‘Big Bang’ theory – a theory that would have us believe that the matter that is this universe is not constant, as in being in a constant state of change and transformation, but that it ephemeral – i.e. was born (apparently out of nothingness) due to a miraculous thus-far-inexplicable event and will therefore eventually die (apparently into the very same nothingness again), again due to a miraculous thus-far-inexplicable event.
RESPONDENT: Now, how did the PCE reveal anything about the origin, composition, extent, or duration of the actual universe?
PETER: As I said above, in a PCE it is clearly experienced that there is nothing at all mystical, nor spiritual about this actual world we live in and this direct sensual experience of actuality is all the more magical because it is devoid of the fears and fantasies of mysticism.
RESPONDENT: Sure, but that doesn’t answer the question as I intended it. I’ve been thinking a lot about Richard’s answers to my questions re cosmogony & cosmology, trying to make sense of it all. I wanted to know how the extent and duration of the actual universe can be directly experienced. The closest I can come to figuring out is simply that the mental constructs that sustain concepts of finiteness and temporality just drop away, revealing themselves to be figments of the imagination. Is that in line with what you’re saying?
PETER: I don’t know whether or not you have read my journal, but if you have you will notice that nowhere do I mention that what I wrote about was all spontaneously revealed to me in a PCE and nor do I say ‘this is what Richard has revealed to me’.
What I wrote about, and quite passionately wrote about, was the nitty-gritty process of how I became virtually free of the human condition (including the belief, be it religious, spiritual, mystical, cosmological or whatever else, that the universe had a beginning). In other words, what I wrote about was how a normal bloke with a full set of beliefs, feelings and passions came to understand, both intellectually and experientially, how the human condition operates such that I could get to the stage of being virtually free of the human condition. And as near as I can remember it, this is how ‘I’, as a normal person, applied my thinking to the matter at hand.
Regardless of what I remembered having experienced in a PCE, as normal bloke (being ‘me’) I found myself confronted by two diametrically opposite propositions – whether the universe is infinite and eternal or whether it is an ephemeral and transient construction.
Faced with this either/or choice, what I found I had to do was apply some practical common sense thinking in order to think it through so as to come to a conclusion one way or another. This meant making an evaluation of each of the alternatives based on my own common sense and my own life experiences as well as taking note of the experience of others. The next thing I needed to take into account were the consequences that would result in deciding one way or the other.
As you know, my experience of the failures of the spiritual beliefs that proposed that the physical universe is ephemeral in nature was that both the Western version and the Eastern version are but fairy tales. When I looked into cosmology I came to understand it is, as it says it is, the branch of science devoted to studying the ‘evolution’ of the universe. As birth and death is essential to the evolutionary process it became clear to me that cosmology is the branch of science devoted to the study of the birth and death of the universe. When I took this on board and did a bit of reading about the fields of research of cosmology it became aware that cosmology was a metaphysical science and not an empirical science.
As I dug into the history of cosmology a bit, I came to understand that cosmology has its roots in ancient spiritual beliefs and that it was a branch of science dedicated to finding proofs that would in turn substantiate one crucial aspect of spiritual belief – the belief that matter is ephemeral. Cosmological theories, as distinct from the rigorously-empirical and applied sciences, that propose that matter is ephemeral serve to ‘leave the door open’ to the core of spiritual belief – that matter is ephemeral and only consciousness is substantial and enduring – or in religious belief, that the universe is in fact an ephemeral creation.
When I came to understand this, the consequences of continuing to believe that the universe is ephemeral meant that I would continue to believe ‘I’ was, in truth, a substantial and enduring ‘being’ – that the spiritualists are right and this meant, for me, meant either staying on the spiritual path or, if I remained open to them being right, to stop searching and settle for being agnostic.
On the other hand, for me to consider that the universe was indeed infinite and eternal, i.e. it had no beginning to it, meant that the matter that is this universe is substantive and lasting and that consciousness arose out of this matter. Thinking this through meant that the consciousness of this material body only exists as long as this body is alive – physical death is the end of ‘me’ as consciousness – there is no after-life for ‘me’, as consciousness, after this material body dies. Death is the end – kaput, finito, no more, oblivion, finish. An infinite and eternal universe clearly has drastic consequences for ‘me’..
Firstly it meant that if I considered that the universe was indeed infinite and eternal I would be at odds with everyone else who believed in creationist theories, spiritual realms, supernatural forces or cosmological theories – including those agnostics who remained open to any such beliefs. But even more drastic than that, in an infinite and eternal material universe ‘I’, as the consciousness of this corporeal mortal body, have only one life to live and this made me realize this is the only moment, the only place and the only circumstances that I can actually experience being alive. This sudden in-my-face realization meant that I could no longer procrastinate, no longer equivocate, no longer postpone, no longer avoid the fact that I was not yet fully alive.
So I summarized my choice as either ‘more of the same’ – the spiritual path which I had already discovered to be shonky and more of not feeling fully alive – or embark on course of action that meant radical change. ‘More of the same’ was not an option for me so I took the option of radical and irrevocable change, which as you know, meant focussing my total attentiveness on being here in the world of the senses with the sole aim of becoming both happy and harmless. And what followed as a consequence of this decision was a progressive waning of all spiritual, mystical, metaphysical and supernatural beliefs, which in turn opened the door to many PCEs whereby I had direct experiences of the infinitude of the universe.
I wanted to lay out my thinking about this issue as thus far most discussions on this list regarding this matter seem to concentrate on the details of the either/or case rather than consider the broader issues and over-arching consequences. If I can summarize, it is a way of thinking that allowed me to get to the intellectual and existential core of the issue as quickly as possible, rather than get bogged down in details and sidetracks.
RESPONDENT: Actualists use the word ‘universe’ and spiritualists use the word ‘god’.
PETER: When actualists use the word universe they are referring to the physical universe – as in
whereas when spiritualists use the word God they are referring to a mythological non-physical Being or Life-force or Creative-Energy that supposedly has created, or is in charge of, or is running, or is permeating, the physical universe.
They are not the same thing – one is an actuality, the other is a fantasy.
RESPONDENT: Your word is more impersonal, more benign. You can’t say this is my universe and your universe like the wars over my god and yours.
PETER: Not one would assume that it is hard to argue or fight over a fact but human beings are prone to argue and fight over the silliest of things. I know I was before I stated to become attentive to my feelings.
RESPONDENT: Universe is a scientific term, god a religious, spiritual term.
PETER: Yes but not only are they different terms, they are different words that refer to different things – one being a fact, the other being a fantasy.
Words do have meanings – the word tree refers to something that is different to what the word sky means, exactly as the word universe means something different than the word God means – at least it did before the latter-day spiritualists collared the term universe and stuck a capital ‘U’ on it, thereby unilaterally anointing all matter with Divine status.
RESPONDENT: Your universe is benevolent and their god is benevolent.
PETER: I don’t know which God you are referring to but even as a kid I couldn’t understand that if there was a God, why he didn’t get off his throne come down and sorts things out and put a stop to all the misery and mayhem that human beings inflict on each other and themselves? I figured even then that if there was a God … then he was a very sick God indeed. (...)
RESPONDENT: You imply a purpose to life, so do they. You may have more in common with them than not.
PETER: Yes you can see, smell and touch a rose – its factual existence is firmly established by the physical senses.
RESPONDENT: So you say the rose, and I guess you mean people, too, are only of matter, exists only of earth?
PETER: Aye, indeed. The cells started to form and multiply when the sperm hit the egg, this body inside a womb of a woman, emerged into the world and here I was. This very brain remembers nothing before the age of about 3 years. I consume water and food from the earth, which is converted into me – proteins, vitamins, fats, minerals – all from the earth. And I keep going until an accident kills me or the system slowly deteriorate. Then I die and rot back to the stuff of the earth I came from. I have been here 50 years and could be here another 20-40 years.
There is nothing around me that is not from the earth. This computer – metals and plastics – all from the earth. This coffee cup – clay from the earth. Vineeto beside me – flesh and blood. Electricity – cunningly transferred by a wire system from some remote power station – but energy from the earth. There is nothing on this planet that is not ‘of the earth’ – except the alien entity inside us.
Peter’s & Richard’s Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.