Big Freeze or Big Squeeze?
Martin LeFevre: Does the universe as a whole, as all life on earth, and indeed the sun and stars themselves, go through cycles of birth and death, or is the universe somehow exempt from the cycle and end in a Big Freeze or Big Rip? .... The cyclic universe is the only logical hypothesis that fits the pattern at stellar, planetary and terrestrial levels. ... That's not to say we live in a reincarnated universe, but rather that each 'bounce' of a Big Bang incarnates an entirely new universe. ... Let's suppose that what astronomers are calling "dark energy" is actually a property of the continuous creation of the universe, flowing from the same source that produced the initial inflation as well as all observable energy and matter...
Nov 12, 2019, 5:13pm
Being Suspiciously, Subversively Religious
Martin LeFevre: A strange, creepy piece appeared recently in the Washington Post. It was disingenuously and lugubriously entitled: "What Will Christendom Look Like When It Is Almost Entirely Scrubbed of Christ?" ... You know America's moral exhaustion is complete when WAPO feels it necessary to attempt to shore up the disintegrating Christian foundation of the West. Even so, dishonest questions are sometimes the best ones to honestly ask. ... Responding to a dishonest question with an honest one, it's fair to ask: Do reasonable people have to now presume that conservative politicians, religious figures and commentators are coming from some degree of projection?...
Nov 9, 2019, 5:34pm
The Universality of Human Nature
Martin LeFevre: A curiously and spuriously Western idea has crept into academia, and from there, into civil society and politics. Having ruthlessly dominated and colonized Africa and Asia under the guise of universal human values, Western intellectuals now proclaim that there is no such thing as human universality. ... Information and people cross increasingly porous borders in an irrefutably global society. That alone disproves the claim of non-universality. ... We are all human, and though there are many superficial differences between people and peoples, the underlying commonality of our humanness is what gives us the capacity to understand and relate to each other, irrespective of language, culture and tradition...
Nov 7, 2019, 5:26pm
Carter's Faith and Obama's Intellect
Martin LeFevre: Jimmy Carter's faith is plain for all to see. Barack Obama, as far as I can tell, has no faith except in himself, and misguidedly while president, in the American people and system. ... In direct proportion to the ecological emergency, described as a "climate emergency" by over 11,000 scientists, man's darkness is saturating human consciousness. ... Is only darkness operating effectively in human consciousness? Clearly yes ... Calling for more incrementalism at a time of ecological, economic and ethical emergency amounts to gross negligence...
Nov 5, 2019, 2:14pm
When Did Purity Become a Dirty Word?
Martin LeFevre: Why has human consciousness become nearly synonymous with darkness? Is it because content-consciousness is cumulative, and has become the real "dark matter," the untenable ground of our existence on this planet? Are the few who are still inwardly alive being tested and forged by assaults by darkness, within and collectively, or is all for nothing? ... We have to disabuse ourselves of the idea that "the way to deal with darkness is to focus on the light." ... There is an approach that ends the duality between the darkside and lightside. It entails facing the darkness within and without, without introducing the idea or ideal of the light. Questioning and remaining with what is, one brings insight into the darkness. And since insight is light, it lights the way ahead...
Nov 2, 2019, 4:05pm
Owning the Cons
Martin LeFevre: Trumpsters have a malignant game that many liberals (years ago wimpishly changing their name to 'progressives') don't even know about. It's called "owning the libs." .... It means deliberately provoking and triggering reactions in liberals by intentionally pushing their buttons. A hate-filled, rightwing neighbor and his wife tried it on me in last week, and the fellow even admitted it when I confronted him. ... Owning the cons, unlike "owning the libs," begins by taking complete responsibility for the darkness within one, rather than projecting it and trying to trigger reactions in your "enemy," as Trumpers often do. ... Self-awareness is integral to normal human development. When a person, much less an entire 'tribe' or people don't acquire this crucial character trait, a nation displays a case of mass arrested development...
Oct 29, 2019, 2:55pm
Inter-Cultural Philosophy Is False and Futile
Martin LeFevre: Inter-Cultural Philosophy is defined as "the endeavor to give expression to the many voices of philosophy in their respective cultural contexts." (Italics mine.) As such, it raises a fundamental question: Is philosophy dependent on cultural context? Indeed, is it philosophy at all when cultural contexts are given primacy? ... The root meaning of philosophy is the love of wisdom, which has at its core the quest for truth. To place philosophy within cultural contexts is to maintain that truth (even with a small 't') is relative. And if truth is relative, then there is no such thing. ... That doesn't mean truth is absolute, since absolutism is merely the flipside of relativism. It simply means that insight arises from a deeper source, and therefore speaks to a dimension beyond particular cultures, irrespective of language, tradition or background....
Oct 24, 2019, 2:59pm
Face It: This Is Who We Are As a People
Martin LeFevre: The American people as a whole are responsible for this hideous leader, not invasive Russian bots, or repulsive Republican hypocrites. ... The international order is history, and American leadership is dead. The United States will continue to project the enormity of its military power, but without any pretence about extending democracy, protecting human rights, and making progress toward the rule of international law. ... Why does evil, a man-made phenomenon that can no longer be theologized or psychologized away, continue to rule and expand in this world? ... Without self-knowing, which has always been and continues to be rare, darkness is an inevitable by-product of 'higher thought,' accumulating over generations...
Oct 22, 2019, 4:09pm
Scale Doesn't Apply
Martin LeFevre: So is there only darkness, and it's negation in meditation in the rare individual? Or is there a cosmic intelligence that cares about the fate of potentially intelligent species such as humans? ... To my mind, the "particular species infinitesimally located in time and space" idea doesn't apply. ... Scale is irrelevant, since it's a question of emergent consciousness over billions of years of random evolution in a universe imbued with consciousness from its inception... Not just because potentially intelligent species are rare in the universe. Rather, because the cosmos is an expression of consciousness, and we humans, as a potentially intelligent species, are an expression of the cosmos....
Oct 19, 2019, 4:38pm
The Paranormal Is Not Immanence
Martin LeFevre: For awareness of immanence (the sacredness existing within the material universe) to be, all psychological functions of 'higher thought' have to yield and spontaneously fall silent in attentiveness. ... What I'm saying is that all paranormal phenomena, to the degree they actually occur, still belong and pertain to thought, just in some form that we don't yet understand in scientific terms. ... They have little importance, since experiencing the sacred has nothing to do with paranormal activity, though it's often confused and conflated with experiencing the numinous. ... It's difficult for most people (especially smart people) to see that thought, however far scientific knowledge advances, is inherently limited, and is imprisoning us...
Oct 12, 2019, 5:36pm
Elegy For Hovering Kites
Martin LeFevre: The most exquisitely graceful phenomenon I've ever seen in nature is the flight of a hovering kite falling gently to earth from 100 meters above the fields. ... The kites are gone now, their habitat destroyed by a sprawling multi-purpose "development" on the fields that were their hunting ground just two years ago. ... I mourn for the kites, coyotes, long-eared rabbits, pheasant, quail and even the rattlesnakes that I encountered here a decade ago. ... Man, dominated by symbolic thought rather than the master of it, is destroying the Earth. There's been a reduction of three billion birds in the last 30 or 40 years in North America alone. Humankind urgently needs a revolution in consciousness...
Oct 8, 2019, 1:44pm
The Observer Is the Source of Suffering
Martin LeFevre: Questions regarding the nature of the observer have been arising from readers and in dialogue. For example, a reader asks: "Is the observer the origin of suffering?" ... We are inquiring into suffering per se, and whether it can end within ourselves. ... It isn't possible to sustain the observer without sustaining suffering, and for suffering to continue without sustaining the observer. ... Find out the truth of that for yourself. When the observer, which is the entity that judges, evaluates and chooses, completely ceases, the brain is simply observing. There is no illusory 'I' that is observing. ... Without the observer, the whole brain is choicelessly attending to what is, within and without. Suffering ends, if only temporarily, and there comes "the peace that passes all understanding."...
Oct 3, 2019, 5:30pm
Astronomy Isn't Philosophy
Martin LeFevre: The sun slid behind the tree line while I sat next to the stream, and it grew chilly as the light began to fade. ... Is the universe a stage for the evolution of consciousness? Is there an intrinsic intent in cosmic evolution to evolve, through random processes, brains with the capacity to commune with Mind? ... What is consciousness? Is the universe as a whole, which is unfolding order from beginning to end, conscious? ... When the mind as thought is completely still, one feels so...
Oct 1, 2019, 5:20pm
New Clairvaux: The Monks and a Mystic
Martin LeFevre: The strictest monks in Catholicism are "Cistercians of the Strict Observance," usually known as Trappists. ... There are only 16 Trappist monasteries in North America, and one of them, New Clairvaux Abbey, is only 20 minutes from here. ... I initiated a series of dialogues with the abbots (previous and present) and some of the brothers around questions of mystical experiencing and tradition, and the relationship between the contemplative life and the active life. ... Of course, to be inward looking has a negative connotation in this nation of Manifest Destiny, implying inaction and paralysis. ... However this is why balance between "vita contemplativa" and "vita activa" is essential. The fact that America ran so heavily toward the active life that it ran off the cliff into a materialistic abyss, only makes an equipoise between contemplation and action all the more necessary.
Sep 28, 2019, 4:59pm
There Is No Higher Self
Martin LeFevre: It's near dusk, and the parkland is teeming with Cooper's hawks. One of the large, brown, stipple-winged raptors takes off from the path ahead of me with some small animal in its mouth. ... Being creatures of thought, we fear any break in thought, because thought is the basis of consciousness, as we know it. That is not only a baseless fear however; it's an increasingly ruinous one. ... Meditation, and meditative dialogue, cannot truly begin until the mind/brain lets go of its attachment to ideas and images. No trick or technique can cause it to do so. Undivided observation alone, and questioning without ego together, loosens the bonds and erases the ruts of thought...
Sep 24, 2019, 5:58pm