From the age of nine, when I found out that, like all other human beings, I was on this immense journey toward death, I began to wonder what it was all about. My parents told me they were agnostics, the kind of people who phone Dial-A-Prayer and weren’t sure whether they heard anyone on the line or not.
Though I inherited my Judaism from both sides, I was never brought up with any religious training, though Dad, who’d served as a Navy chaplain during WWII, told bible stories from the Old Testament. He’d been an orphan, raised at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York City for most of his young life, and gotten parochial training.
We were the only Jews in a Christian neighborhood and, judging from our relatives, the only poor ones. But my father loved tennis, and so he stationed us across from tennis courts and a recreation center where he actively helped in community service.
My quest to find God has taken me through coursework and reading about different religions and going to different places of worship. It’s taken me into various philosophies and especially through scientific pursuits as a naturalist, and experimentalist, since childhood.
Though I have three degrees in science: BA in Natural Sciences, majoring in Biology and minoring in math, M.S. in Engneering Science and Mechanics from Georgia Tech, and Master of Engineering in Thermo-fluids, I’m more of a scientific generalist. And so I guess that’s what led me to begin my philosophical pursuit toward answering questions about the physical realm, those that might apply to our human-centered world.
As a self-made philosopher, I guess I’d have to say I’m a pragmatist. I focus on what works, since I note that in the realm of the observable universe, events that work are of longer duration than those that don’t. (In fact, events that don’t work at all are not given 100% existence in the here and now, but I’ll get to that later).
My philosophic bent tends to be focused on agreement, reflected in relationship. The only entities that can relate must somehow be mirror images of one another, across a kind of boundary. For example, slide a finger into clay—one side has clay with a huge finger-shaped depression, the other side has air in the shape of a finger. The finger mediates information transfer between itself the air and the clay. And, quite obviously, if there were no change from one place in space to another, there would exist no boundary, nor would there exist two points in space (neither location would have the ability to react to another through displacement, so neither location would exist, nor would the displacement).
I’m fascinated with the idea of dimensions, points of view, and how they color our perception, our sampling, and our interpretations of that sample.
The problem that measurement in space seems so different than the measurement in time has captured my imagination. Timely things, many of them subjective, in the mind, are thought to be not quite as substantial as those things that are laid out in space. (I’ll be examining that assumption in great detail on this website.)
Much thanks for my evolving ideas about space and time, birth and death, the God entity, whether He/She uses a top-down or bottom-up management type, go to the unlikely team of J. Krishnamurti (K) and David Bohm.
K thought there were two types of thought, subjective and objective. He thought subjective thoughts were the root of all disruption, dragging us into memory and a useless past. He thought objective thoughts, within the realm of science, were more productive. I believe being scientifically trained and analytical as I am is both an advantage and disadvantage in my adaptation to the world. I believe it is thought, or knowing in any form, that disrupts our natural, healthy functioning in the world. I believe Love (or Bliss) is in the Not Knowing.
The spiritual or religious irony I find that dominates my leanings is illustrated best in the first of the Ten Commandments (which I believe pretty much covers all of the rest or any other commandments we in today’s society can think up).
Something that many Judeo-Christian’s overlook in the Bible story is when God was creating our world, each day, at the end of every day, He/She saw the work to be good. He/She appreciated what He/She accomplished.
Today, It’s hard for us to look at the world as perfection, but growing out of my simple experiment (a mini-expanding universe in approximately two dimensions) I reached the same conclusion. Though many of us want more than existence, existence (everything fitting together like a grand puzzle) seems to be the ticket to what works at least for the most part.
I believe what each of us calls real is detected from our unique point of view, then it’s interpreted with our conscious minds to exist at approximately 100% in the here and now—over and over again from childhood into adulthood.