Channeled Message: Good vs. Evil

Hello, hello. I hope you are all doing splendidly.

So, my guides came in strong with this little philosophical message about ethics and morality. I hope you enjoy:

What is right and what is wrong? There is no objective truth. Everything gains meaning in context, but actions themselves have no moral weight.

Instead, it is all about intention and purpose.

What may have seemed inherently “bad” at the time may ultimately cause more good in the future. Everything has its purpose and its plan.

Good and evil are human labels imposed upon fluid events. These two opposing ideals ultimately need each other. They are two sides of the same coin, forever locked together. You cannot have one without the other.

Morality may not be clear cut, but we still know in our hearts what is right. Follow that instinct. Let your intentions be of peace, love, wisdom, and grace.

Channeled Message: Fate vs. Free Will

The gods know what the final score of the football game will be, but we still have to play it - British classical scholar A.W. Gomme

Hello, hello. I hope you are all doing splendidly. Prepare yourselves for another mind-bending philosophical post.

This time, my guides will tackle an age-old question, one that fascinated philosophers for thousands of years: Free Will versus Fate.

So, without further ado, here are my guides:

You cannot avoid your fate. What is destined to happen will always happen. It will happen one way or another. However, you can delay and postpone the inevitable for a time and you can choose your route to that predestined destination. It is a delicate play, a delicate balance.

Do not fear your fate. It was not imposed upon you by some remote puppet-master, but you yourself. You co-created your journey with the universe in order to serve your highest and best good.

So, in one sense, you truly are the creator of your own destiny.

Three Brief Theories of Time

Time, man. Does it even exist? Well, I think it’s high time that we discuss the fourth dimension. Here, I will delve into three mind-bending theories about the existence of time and the nature of its flow.

First up 一 the theory that time is cyclical. This is the belief that time consists of repeating ages. It’s just like Nietzche’s Eternal Recurrence and that episode of Futurama, The Late Philip J. Fry, when Fry, Bender, and the Professor use a time machine to go to future. They discover that time is a closed loop and they can get back home just by going around again.

Friedrich Nietzsche. Killer mustache, by the way.

Friedrich Nietzsche. Killer mustache, by the way.

Espoused by the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, and several Native American tribes, this ideology depends on the "Big Bounce" theory 一 the belief that the universe has expanded and contracted into the singularity an infinite number of times already and what we call the “Big Bang” is the latest iteration of this much larger pattern. Since the laws of the universe are unlikely to change, the same sequence of events will likely occur every single time.

The next theory is Presentism. Here, neither the future nor the past exists. Only the present moment is truly real. All events and entities that are wholly in the past or wholly in the future are just mental constructs.

Presentism contrasts with the final theory, Eternalism which argues that the flow of time itself is an illusion. The past, present, and future are not only all real here, but they are all happening at once. So, the extinction of the dinosaurs, Da Vinci laying the final strokes on the Mona Lisa, and human beings one day landing on Mars are all happening right now.

Also called the Block Universe theory, this notion presents space-time as an unchanging four-dimensional block. Your sense of the present is just reflecting where you are within the block. While this theory does depend on Determinism rather than Free Will, it does allow for time travel, which could be fun. However, if you do travel to the past, you can’t change it and same thing with the future. It’s just like Oedipus Rex, you can’t change your fate. The universe has a way of course-correcting.

So, let me know what you think of these theories. Do you think any of them are plausible? Do they resonate with you? Thank you so much! Bye for now!

The No-Self Theory

Who are you? I mean who are you really? We as humans often believe there is a stable, autonomous identity at the center of ourselves, but is this truly the case?

According to Buddhist philosophy, our thoughts and feelings really do exist but there is no individual “person” or static soul behind them and if we stop to think about it, it makes sense. You are not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, even a moment ago. We are constantly learning and evolving. Even on a cellular level, our bodies are continuously dying and renewing themselves.

And what happens when we examine our minds? If we are honest with ourselves, we simply find a collection of transient feelings, sensations, and impressions.

And this rejection of a fixed, cohesive identity is not just found in Buddhism. Enlightenment philosopher David Hume came to this very same conclusion with his famed Bundle Theory. Here the great Scotsman argues that what we call the self is merely a bundle of ephemeral perceptions. He boldly declares, “I always stumble on some particular perception - heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure, but I never catch myself.” Hume reasoned that the human mind with its penchant for patterns and meaning simply cobbled together these fleeting experiences into an illusionary sense of self.

Hume are you? Who, who, who?

Hume are you? Who, who, who?

Given the blunt, unvarnished nature of this idea, many of the Buddha’s early followers mistakenly assumed that he was espousing nihilism, and this could not be farther from the truth. In reality, he posited that our true identity is actually rather broad in meaning and scope.

To help us understand, let us imagine waves upon the ocean. We typically identify ourselves with the small, individual waves as they crest and fall, ebb and flow.  This pervasive sense of individuality, of me and mine, can often give rise to clinging, jealousy, fear, and other poisons of the mind.

However, once you begin to identify with the boundless, infinite ocean of consciousness, with all of creation, you no longer drown in petty emotions and hangups. You see them for what they are - plays of form, like briny swells as they splash and crash. You recognize that the boundary between “you” and all of existence is merely an illusion and a wave of peace washes over you. Yes, this is a lot to take in and consider, but it is according to Buddhists, it is liberation, nirvana, ultimate understanding.  

So, let me know what you think of this idea.  Does it resonate with you? How does this fit in with your own world view? Thank you so much. Bye for now!

Plato's Ladder of Love

I thought I would begin this blog and video series with the philosophy of love and beauty as described in Plato’s Symposium.

Here Socrates makes an impassioned speech in favor romantic love or Eros in the voice of one of his teachers, the priestess Diotima. He goes into great detail explaining one of her seminal philosophies, the ladder of love. More than just the inspiration for a tender ballad by the 1950s doo-wop group, the Flamingos, the ladder of love illustrates the ascent of the human lover from pure lust to the contemplation of divine beauty itself. Referred to here as the Form of Beauty, this mental state is described as “an everlasting loveliness which neither comes nor goes, which neither flowers nor fades.”

According to the priestess, in order to gain access to this heavenly realm, one must first actively engage with five ascending aspects or levels of love. As a side note, Mary Magdalene also describes an eerily similar ascent of the soul in the Gospel of Mary, if you are interested.

So, the first rung on Diotima’s ladder is a love for one particular body. Here, she essentially describes puppy love. It is the first awakening of desire and attraction. However, she does not discount this lust, arguing that it is the catalyst, gateway to the divine, and entirely necessary step in the soul’s evolutionary process.

Following the desire for an individual’s physique, the second rung centers upon the realization that many bodies are beautiful. It is at this stage that we develop our “types,” including specific facial features, hair colors, and body types. We come to see that many people possess this type of beauty.

Making the monumental leap from the purely physical to the emotional, the third rung on the ladder is the love of beautiful souls. In this phase, the lover awakens to the moral beauty in a person and begins to desire a deep spiritual connection. While physical desire may still be at play here, it is not the be all and end all, but simply one aspect of a multi-dimensional bond. Again, Plato did not wish us to abandon our lovers but abandon the limited scope we see them in. It is from this rung on the ladder that we witness the seeds of Platonic love and the cult of the 11th-century troubadours.

First rising to prominence in the royal courts of France, these lyrical poets would often pen wildly romantic verses for their lady loves. However, they would never engage in romantic or sexual relationships with these women. Instead, they resided in the realm of idealized infatuation, the intoxicating first blushes of a romance before reality sets in. Believing this to be the best stage of love, the troubadours refused to taint this perfect image with something flawed and real.

Ascending even further on the ladder, the fourth rung on the ladder comprises a love of beautiful laws and institutions. Here, the lover develops a passion for democracy and a society rooted in justice and equality as well as in community in a legal and societal sense.

The fifth rung expresses a desire for the beauty of knowledge and philosophical wisdom that helped inform and create the beautiful laws, souls, and bodies of earlier stages.

Once the lover has achieved this lofty realm of thought, they can then begin to comprehend the final stage, this all-encompassing sea of beauty, a love for all of creation. According to Diotima, the Form of Beauty is the origin of our being. Our souls remember and sometimes ache for our spiritual home, this pure love and bliss. This is why we are drawn to beauty and begin our ascent in the first place.

One way to think about the ladder is to imagine it as the human body with the chakras or energy centers mirroring the rungs. With the lower chakras dealing with earthly pleasure, the middle ones dealing with feelings of connection, and the top ones assigned to the divine, let us stand tall and embrace all versions of our love.

Or perhaps another way is to see the rungs is like the notes of a musical scale composing a sublime symphony.

Here the Ladder of Love offers us a possible road map to the divine while arguing that desire is the driving force behind it all. It teaches us that romantic love is a glimpse of eternal splendor.

Treat each other well! Lots of love to all!