274 thoughts on “About

  1. I found this sentence particularly telling, in regard to how the Gospels were written:
    As a rumor travels, it is altered in a fashion that brings it more closely in line with the hopes, fears, and world view of those who hear it and retell it’.

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  2. Now I know where she got the title of her post. Just think it all started cause one christian couldn’t bare to see me in a tank top and shorts. Good thing he didn’t read my post the culture of rape where I went actually naked for Naked Jihad!

    Lol good blog now following.

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  3. I just wanted to say this: “Gulliver’s Travels” was also one of my many favourite books as a child. I need to buy another copy to replace the one that got lost so many years ago…
    🙂

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  4. Hope you don’t mind, I’ll make it go away if you do – I posted a link to “Linguistic Creationism” on Quora.This is one of the comments…

    I honestly can’t tell if that link is supposed to be real of if it is an atheist site mocking creationism. At any rate, I suspect that the group of people who would believe that kind of thing would be a perfect overlap to the group of people who believe in plain old creationism.

    If you want to follow the question, here’s the link –

    https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-believe-in-Linguistic-Creationism

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  5. John, having a small debate concerning the creation. Opponent said what caused the beginning? i replied “Bang” They replied what caused the bang? I thought i remembered you giving an explanation of this somewhere. or at least a logical response.

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    • Hi Larry

      Short answer, no one knows if this universe had a beginning. If someone tries to say it did, they’re lying. The Big Bang has never been proven. It’s still a hypothesis. A strong hypothesis, but still a hypothesis. The problem is, we have exactly zero information in this universe of what was happening before Inflation. All physics breaks down, leaving the only honest answer to be “We simply don’t know… Yet.”

      The cosmological argument is a favourite of theists, but it commits a shocking logical fallacy. For the argument to work the rules of causality must be unbreakable, meaning you can’t have an infinite regress. This in itself is wrong. As Anthony Aguirre said: “Given eternal inflation, the universe may be free of a cosmological initial singularity, might be eternal (and eternally inflating) to the past.” Still, the theist relies on this premise, but then they throw in god and say it is not subject to those rules. Viola! It’s magic!! It’s also a festering case of Special Pleading. So, if your friend is trying to posit a first cause (ie. god), then the simple thing to ask him/her is: If you’re willing to grant an exemption to the rules of causality to your particular god, why then not grant this exact same exemption to the universe itself? Why one and not the other? If they try and answer it’ll typically be a word salad of “metaphysical” nonsense.

      But ultimately, on the question of origin, no one knows. That is the only truthful answer.

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  6. Opponent said what caused the beginning? i replied ‘Bang’” – You walked into their trap, Larry. You should have answered their question with this question:

    What do YOU think caused the beginning?” – then when they say, ‘god,’ you ask, “What caused your god?” Then you follow with this:

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  7. If you’re willing to grant an exemption to the rules of causality to your particular god….” – As the video points out, John, that’s special pleading.

    When Man was earthbound, His god lived in the clouds, above the earth, hence the Tower of Babel fable. Then, early in the last century, Man learned to fly, so their god put in a change of address card and moved into space. Then we went to the moon. Now their god conveniently lives in a place beyond time and space – a location the Bible authors would never have dreamed even existed, and where theists are certain Man can never go.

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      • Hi Paul! Both those links take me to the same page from here, though thank you for including the shortened version. And yes, I am indeed the mysterious Laconic Sesquipedalian. I read your own review earlier this evening in fact; it seems we both got much from John’s work. See you soon my friend, Hariod.

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    • I’m gobsmacked! That’s an awesome review, my friend… and I utterly adore this line:

      ”just as does the invisible and unknowable God commonly worshipped by much of humankind”

      Now, I must apologise for the time its taking me to finish your work. It’s not something you pick up for a 5 minute pre-sleep read. Presently I think I’m about 2/3’s of the way through, but I need time to dedicate to it… and that’s been proving difficult these last few weeks.

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      • My account is with Amazon U.K. John, so when I signed in to make the review it tracks me as a verified purchaser within the U.K. and posts the review to the relevant site. In the U.K., the Amazon.com reviews are accessible, but you need to click a link to see them all – so what appears first are U.K. reader reviews, of which mine is the first. I have no idea if the same applies in reverse, though assume U.S. readers can see my review somehow? If not, I can probably duplicate it on Amazon.com for you.

        There is no need in the least to apologise for not reading my own book John; I suggested at the outset that it’s not going to be your cup of tea, it being an introductory guide to formal contemplation and all that malarkey. Also, you oughtn’t feel in the least that you must wade through it so as to leave a comment on Amazon, by way of reciprocation – really. I am more than happy to have the engagements we do on each on other’s blogs, and the book is very much secondary to that.

        Did you understand the remark I made in the review about the greyed-out sections? I thought I should leave some minor gripe there, yet not one which in any way detracted from your amazing words, which were a thrill to read.

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      • I loved that you made some criticisms. Hell, I’m waiting for someone to lambast it completely!

        I didn’t know Amazon UK would be different from Amazon.com. You’d think all reviews would be bundled together regardless of geography. Odd.

        And, my friend, formal contemplation and all that malarkey is my cup of tea! I used to devour Jane Roberts’ books and have explored a universe of alternative concepts. I’ve even seen the Dali Lama speak twice. Atheism doesn’t mean non-spiritual. Buddhists are atheists, after all. In fact, I’ve been meaning to ask you about how much influence Buddhist thought has been on you. I get the sense you’ve read Jainism, too. The concepts come through, but I’m curious to know if you follow those trains of thought through to similar ends?

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      • Hi John, I’ve made a couple of minor tweaks to the review and posted it on Amazon.com because it wasn’t showing any option to display reviews from other territories, such as the U.K.

        Thanks for asking about my interests and training. I spent about 25 years having a very close involvement with a Buddhist monastery here, practising dry insight meditation. I was typically male-obsessive about it, and used to meditate 4 hours every day, except for the retreats, which comprised about 7 weeks a year, when it would be 8 hours a day. This was entirely due to my lack of perspicacity of course.

        After that, I drifted into the self-formed practices you see in my book, which are somewhere between Vipassana and Zen I suppose, but really neither – particularly not the non-local stuff, which you may not have got to yet. That came about due to what some might call a Satori experience, when everything fell into place, and was so powerfully obvious, yet never realised before then. There had been glimpses of this and that, but never a full-on disappearing act, which was so striking in what I can only call its revolutionary ordinariness. It comes and goes.

        I realised that the whole conception of a subject becoming ‘enlightened’, or absorbing into something conceived of as ‘enlightenment’, was a complete fallacy, a total conceptual failure and misunderstanding. That’s why I write on my blog about the unattainability of spiritual freedom – much to the annoyance of some, as the seeker necessarily conceives of themselves as a subject apprehending objects. In other words, enlightenment is conceived as an object (knowledge) attained by a subject (me the seeker). At some point, the seeker has to disappear, and for it to be seen that subject and object are purely mind creations. Of course, the physical world is still there – Transcendental Idealism is nonsense – but the constant referencing to a point of centrality (my self) is not.

        Awareness is apprehended as non-local, not presumed as something that channels as if along a unique conduit to ‘me here’ from objects or people ‘over there’ (in the way that particles of light do, say). Yes, there is ‘my body here’ in physical reality, and ‘things over there’ too, but the awareness knows of itself that it’s not a localised point of centrality for apprehending the world. It’s bloody hard to explain of course, but there are practices that gently introduce this idea, and even quietly asking of oneself ‘where is awareness?’ inclines the mind to being open to new possibilities. There’s a certain contentedness in it John, or that’s what I choose to call it, as it removes the erroneous idea that there’s something special to be attained, something out of the ordinary and ‘spiritual’ to be grasped by the mind – that can never happen. Some say differently of course.

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      • Reading this I couldn’t help but think of Jonathan Livingston Seagull… The fastest way to travel is to know you’re already there 🙂 This is sort of what you’re hitting at, right?

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      • I suppose that’s one way of putting it, but knowing something intellectually isn’t much help; if it was, then sometime in the last 5,000 years we’d have it orally transmitted, then documented or formulated, and the best anyone’s managed is expressing it in terms of a ‘via negativa’ – a way of knowing what it is not. But yes, obviously there are not two ‘realities’, two ‘truths’, so we can never be removed from either – not that those particular terms are helpful in any way. The mind is stuck in the gearbox of its own comprehension, dividing everything up into a subject/object dichotomy as a reflection of the physical world – it just doesn’t know it’s doing it as a fabrication, a meta-level abstraction from that physical world. We can appreciate that is so intellectually, but it’s not enough for it just to be an accepted concept. The shift is far subtler than we imagine, like a 1db attenuation in signal noise or some visual equivalent, but weirdly it seems revolutionarily different – at first anyway. The lasting effect is that thoughts lose their power over what is now known as an imagined subject, and given they are the prime source of discontent, so we feel more at home in ourselves. Blathering on here! o_O

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  8. Feynman’s one of my heroes, I never tire of lauding his praise. I chose the shorter version – click on YouTube, and it will take you to the original, where you will also have the opportunity to choose from other videos he made before his untimely death.

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    • Yes, after a brief look at what’s on YouTube I noticed that. His videos will most certainly be watched. Will likely feature one or two of them over on Learning from Dogs. Once again, great addition from you.

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  9. Absolute ages ago you asked me for recommendations re science fiction novels.First paragraph into tonight’s ponder (remarks on Heinlein”s novel Starship Troopers)finds me breaking away to send this link.With a “duh, why didn’t I think of it sooner”, followed immediately with “duh, I’m sure he thought of it himself” I send you to the complete list of Hugo Award winners since 1953. 🙂
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel

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  10. Actually they were both concerned that archaeopteryx was not my real name, and I’ve not met anyone else who has ever questioned that, so while they may not be the same person, I suspect that at least, they know and email each other.

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  11. I agree. His 2 internet identities are different too. I started referring to “Bobbie” as “Leroy”, I even apologized for not realizing he was the same guy, and he stopped responding. Kinda creepy. Internet stalkers and pedophiles do this kinda thing. I tell ya, these bible quotin’ Christian types are not playing with all their marbles intact.

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  12. Ahh, well… apparently I’ve missed this party by several days. LOL

    I had sent you a Gmail John about the very “character(s)” you, Jeff/InspiredBy, ARCHAEOPTERYX1, and Nan are all discussing here. As Jeff is already familiar over on my blog — on 1 page and 1 post — the very topic all of you are sorting out here was manifested on my blog 2-3 days ago.

    John, you may want to read my Gmail to you. 🙂

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  13. Came home from work to a what the fuck moment and I need to vent, so – tag, you’re it. 🙂 Left a comment on this post,https://sepultura13.me/2016/07/08/still-speechless/#comment-6571 ( mine is the only comment, the next 5 entries are responses from the blog author to my comment. America is bat shit (even if this Canadian was 3 glasses of wine deep when she wrote it ) If the link doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll cut/paste.

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  14. I sent WP an email on this. My guess is, it may be an issue they’re having. You can access my blog via the WP reader, and by googling it directly. I hate not to get comments now that I’m “Poe’s Lawing” all this Trump stuff. The guy is a meal that simply does not not feeding me. 🙂

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  15. This week, several of Ark’s posts have given me, “Well, This Is Embarassing!” and informed me that that webpage can’t be found. But only on some of his, the rest, no problem.

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    • Yep, just tried again and same result. How odd,. Can’t get to it through email notification, or through your avatar here. You are working in the nude, aren’t you? You know WP doesn’t work properly unless you’re naked.

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  16. Others don’t have that issue. They can get to it through my avatar but not the variouspontifications.com address from the comment section. Very odd. Still waiting on WP. Can you get to my site from your reader or from a Google search? Oh, I’m always naked and sitting in a bath of warm scented oil when I blog. 🙂

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  17. John- I am now following your blog. Thanks. How did you learn all this stuff? I looked for a biography or something but could not find it using my small, broken and hard to see notebook. I find myself asking myself if I am just slow at learning and remembering things or is everyone else just better at it than me? HaHa.
    Very good blog. I would like to know more about you personally if that is OK. -MD

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    • Hi MD. You’re talking about the stuff here? Product of simple curiosity and a deep love for the Lord Veles: the god of mischief, musicians, and magic… But I can’t play an instrument, or even do a card trick 😉

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      • Hi John. Yes the stuff you wright. The Lord Veles eh. I will have to look that up on your blog. Any kind of biography? Is that even you in the picture or are you being mischievous? I think I need a new computer and a faster connection. -MD

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      • Yeah, that’s me, MD. My biography, though, has nothing to do with the content here.

        Just scanning through your blog, and I’m sorry to hear about your son. I’d never heard of YL until now, but they sound a little like the Good News Club, which I have written a post or two on. In fact, it’s because of organisations just like that why I started blogging.

        I have a great blogging buddy here, Neuronotes, Victoria, who has experienced something along the lines you have. I hope your paths meet.

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  18. John- Doing my regular research on YL I saw that they are established somewhere in your part of the country and noticed that they are talking about expanding their influence there. Bigger and more more more seems to be their style. Neuronotes and I have met a little already. I really need to get a real computer that doesnt lock up and crash regularly. -MD

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      • YL is in both countries and expanding in both. I had noticed that they have a special site just for Brazil and expansion is all that they know. It operates like a pyramid scheme, always building up the bottom with energetic young people while the rich get richer and become “millionaire prophets” with ready made worshipers everywhere. -MD

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