To be aware or not to be aware, that's the issue of our times
Slogans have a life of their own and can exert a powerful influence on the lives of millions of people that either adopt them or are victimized by them--or both. It is not just a matter of empty words. Words tend to become motivators when associated with powerful emotional forces. Nationalism, which did not always exist, became such a powerful emotional force. Before nationalism, there were tribalism and religion.
Tie these three together and you get the McCain-Palinist Convention, with lots of self righteous emotion.
Like I said, nationalism can be very attractive and infectious, and Sarah Palin is one hell of a charming, pistol packing, moose hunting, caribou gutting, salmon fishing, lipstick wearing pitbull of a barracuda beauty queen and high school basket ball captain hocky mom that clearly put a head of steam into the old political engine of Caspar the Friendly Ghost McCain, but nationalism is and remains a steam engine that has had its better and more functional days.
Examine for a moment the implication of putting Country First as the Republicans say they do. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
If Americans put their country first, it stands to reason that other countries might follow this example.
Russians will put Mother Russia First, Germans will put Deutschland über alles, the French will continue to glory in la Gloire Gauloise, the British will insist that Brittania rule the waves, the Chinese will want to impose their Mandate of Heaven on the world, and Muslims, who collectively consider the Ummah or religious community as their country will seek to impose a reconstituted Khalifate on others.
Even those wien Neerlands bloed door de aderen vloeit (whom Netherlands blood through the arteries flows) once put their little wooden shoes in the ring in an attempt to sweep the English off the seas, before that Perfidious Albion whipped them into submission.
For that story, see: The Broom and the Whip . It is not clear who had the broom and who had the whip--I always thought the broom was Dutch, and the whip English--but the story hereunder has it the other way around. In any event, it is an amusing tale--though with a sad end--if you are a Dutch nationalist, that is.
Seems like the Dutch and English navys were going to meet in a major engagement. The Dutch Admiral, to raise his peoples morale, Had the fleet hoist long leather whips to the highest points on their ships, in their quest to "Whip the british" during the upcoming battle. The British Admiral immediatly hoisted a common straw broom to the top of his mast, Indicating that he intended to "Sweep the Seas" clean of his opponent.
Well, the dutch lost the Battle. But the whip idea intriqued the british so much, that long streaming pennants representing the whip came into being, and were flown from the mastheads. These pennants eventually evolved into a ships comissioning pennant, which is a strip flag thatis hoisted apon the ships entry into the fleet, flys until its almost gone, then replaced.
The latest use of the broom became famous in WW II, when a US Submarine returning from a sucessful ship sinking patrol would often tie a broom to its periscope or other tall structure...indicating that it had swept the sea in its patrol area and had a most sucessful mission.
It is not that country is unimportant. Family is not unimportant either, nor is the individual self. But humanity is greater than country, just as country is greater than family, and family is greater than the individual self.
If individuals, families and countries all put humanity first, then the country, family and individual will all be better off in the long run. It would even be better if we put the whole biosphere first.
The Jews have always said to each other:
Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad
שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד
[perhaps a better translation for 'shema' would be 'observe', as in 'observing' the law]
What evolved Jews and all other human beings ought to say to each other nowadays is:
Observe oh Mankind: Humanity, our Human Species, is a Single Species.
Once we treat all members of our single species with respect and compassion, we may even grow beyond an awareness of our single species and recognize that other species are one with us in an even larger context:
the planetary biosphere
And who knows what lies beyond our planetary biosphere? It won't be too much longer before we may come across other planetary biospheres, also known as exobiospheres. There may even be some forms of life that exist outside any planetary biospheres, simply floating around in a galactic or even cosmic biosphere, on tiny asteroids or in clouds of organic molecules--and our own biosphere, our own species, our own families and our own individual selves may all have evolved out of those galactic and cosmic biospheres.
We are indeed the outcome and off-spring of these cosmic processes
But let's not stop there. Those cosmic exobiospheres could not exist without the non-biotic elements from which they develop and in which they evolve. Even the non-biotic universe we can see or detect with our current technology is not independent of the dark matter and dark energy which we have not yet the capacity to detect and observe, other than as a mathematical conclusion.
So are we connected to that dark matter and dark energy in some causative chain of events, are they the placenta of our visible physical cosmos--and is the physical cosmos the placenta for the cosmic biosphere?
Are we all just tiny fluctuations in an ocean of cosmic energy, visible and invisible? And is that ocean of energy and being an ocean of awareness as well?
Could and should we even call that Flowing Ocean of Energy Good, Bad, or Ugly?
Or should I just call it a day and let this flow?
I guess I will, but first a note on the Shema Yisrael - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.
The literal word meanings are roughly as follows:
- Shema (A three part word) — listen, or hear and "act on" [i.e.: 'observe']
- Yisrael — Israel, in the sense of the people or congregation of Israel
- Adonai — often translated as "Lord", it is used in place of the Tetragrammaton
- Eloheinu — our God, the word "El" or "Elohei" signifying God (see also: Elohim), and the plural possessive determiner suffix "nu" or "einu" signifying "our"
- Echad — the Hebrew word for the absolute number 1
- Yisrael — Israel, in the sense of the people or congregation of Israel
And to conclude, a note on the word elohim: energies, powers, forces, demons, gods
Elohim has plural morphological form in Hebrew, but it is used with singular verbs and adjectives in the Hebrew text when the particular meaning of the God of Israel (a singular deity) is traditionally understood. Thus the very first words of the Bible are breshit bara elohim, where bara ברא is a verb inflected as third person singular masculine perfect. If Elohim were an ordinary plural word, then the plural verb form bar'u בראו would have been used in this sentence instead. Such plural grammatical forms are in fact found in cases where Elohim has semantically plural reference (not referring to the God of Israel). There are a few other words in Hebrew that have a plural ending, but refer to a single entity and take singular verbs and adjectives, for example בעלים (be'alim, owner) in Exodus 21:29 and elsewhere.
In most English translations of the Bible (e.g. the King James Version), the letter G in "god" is capitalized in cases where Elohim refers to the God of Israel, but there is no distinction between upper and lower case in the Hebrew text.
Thus it is clear that Genesis meant to refer to a single force, rather than a plurality of energies or powers. That single force was translated as a single God (i.e. the Good force) in English. Just as we say 'the U.S. is' a single country--using a plural expression in a singular sense. But regardless of what the writers of Genesis understood it to be, can we really say with clarity that energy must be seen or understood as a single force--or is it many forces? To the Canaanites the Elohim (the plural of El) represented the entire extended family of their main Deity, El. See: Elohim - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, from which I quote:
It appears the Hebrews, after having ethnically cleansed the Canaanites from the land of Canaan, took that extended family of God the Father and made a Single God out of it, giving it the plural name of Elohim. But what's in a name? Some historians even think that the Hebrews actually were a Canaanite tribe themselves. Who's to say. The historical record is very confusing and unclear.
In modern science we recognize at least four basic forces: the weak, the strong, the electromagnetic and the gravitational forces. which make up (and give form and flesh, substance or materiality, to) the universe. E=Mc2 could perhaps also be stated as: Elohim = Stuff x the square of the speed of light--or alternatively: Stuff (dust) equals Elohim divided by the square of the speed of light.
Metaphorically, or metamagically speaking of course, not in any precise mathematical sense, like E=Mc2, or more time-directionally appropriate: M=E/c2. Once you use both sides of your brain, mathematical precision may fly out the window but some greater insight may come in.
As time goes by and our insight deepens, humanity may in fact develop a precise TOE, a Theory Of Everything to unite these forces under one umbrella as a single force--as monotheistic religions like Judaeism and Islam have done. To do so, it is generally acknowledged that we would have to take consciousness into account and include it in whatever Theory of Everything we may come up with.
In his 1996 book The Conscious Mind, David Chalmers argues that a theory of everything must explain consciousness, that consciousness does not logically supervene on the physical, and that therefore a fundamental theory in physics would not be a theory of everything. A truly final theory, he argues, needs not just physical properties and laws, but phenomenal or protophenomenal properties and psychophysical laws explaining the relationship between physical processes and conscious experience. He concludes that "[o]nce we have a fundamental theory of consciousness to accompany a fundamental theory in physics, we may truly have a theory of everything." Developing such a theory will not be straightforward, he says, but "it ought to be possible in principle."
That's a tall order by any standard, but even if it were possible and we succeeded in explaining all of ourselves and even all of being, awareness and relationship to boot, that would not mean we still wouldn't experience and even treat the various manifestations of this single force as many forces, many different kinds of energy--and even give them distinct names and personalities--as trinitarian Christians and polytheistic Hindus still do for practical purposes, while recognizing that, ultimately, there is only one single God, a Single Force: which is what is meant by the Absolute.
If for practical or ideological purposes we do give one or more names and personalities to these forces, we are called theists, if we don't we are called atheists--like the Buddhists for example, who do not personify the Absolute. If we don't know whether we should or not, we fall in the category of agnostics.
At the higher levels of awareness of any religion, however, it is tacitly understood that all of these categories have their origin in limited human awareness and that none of these man-made categories can bind, limit or define the absolute--simply because it is entirely self-evident that:
the absolute is not subject to dispute
de absoluto non est disputandum
For an idea of what is referred to by 'the Absolute' see Hyponoetics - Glossary - [A]
absolute is derived from the Latin term
ab-solutus, which means free from, losgelöst, absolved. This is the meaning of the word as it was used by the German idealists of the 19th century. The Absolute is what has its being independent of anything else. It is neither rest nor motion, neither matter nor mind, but the indefinite ground of all consequent processes proceeding necessarily from it. The Absolute contains all differences and opposites that follow from it by the process of self-evolution, but it remains aloof of this evolutionary process of change, it remains ab-solved, perfectly free from entanglement or attachment to its consequents. It is determined solely through itself, its essence is aseity.
Leaving the Absolute aside for now (an absurd thought in itself!) what about the evolutionary process of energy, or as I tend to think of it: 'being at work' (essens en ergia) was it E Pluribus Unum--Out of Many One? Or was it really Ex Uno Plura--Out of One Many? Or is this a chicken and egg question better left to first, second and third graders to worry about. Like the issues of number, mask or persona--time and the directionality of time are also mere human fabrications and perceptions, as modern science is now beginning to discover--but something many enlightened ancient philosophers have always known.
So let me ask it again--what comes first:
Country or Humanity?
(hint: this is definitely not a chicken and egg question one did come first)
But just to be ready for dispute I am going home now to put some lipstick on my pitbull
You got to like that Sarah Palin though--she rescued the RNC from terminal boredom.