Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Time & the Primordial Universe - Einstein vs. Bergson, by Campo & Gozzano


Thankfully, I found this publication site the other day.... For those of you interested in process cosmology as I am, I would suggest reading Matt Segall's excerpt shown both here and on the Contents page further below (I've highlighted the pdf listing). For myself, I'd be interested in seeing how-and-where Matt differs with my own process-based estimate regarding the Time and the Primordial Universe (or Cosmos) which I have discussed in many past recent articles over the last several years. Too, I would also like to compare the same subject matter with the other listed author's views in Einstein v Bergson. Let's see what we find....

R.E. Slater 
Page 273
Matthew D. Segall

book: Einstein vs. Bergson
BY 4.0 license  Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2022

Einstein vs. Bergson

An Enduring Quarrel on Time

  • Edited by: Alessandra Campo and Simone Gozzano

Untying the Gordian Knot: Process, Reality, and Context - Session 9

The Alexandrian Solution

Untying the Gordian Knot:
Process, Reality, and Context

What an honor it is to hear from the second generation of process theologians and philosophers now in their late 80s and 90s still able to share their journey with us of the third and fourth generations. The Cobb Institute, as well as many other process organizations and websites like Relevancy22, have been dissecting and weaving together their dialogues, discussions, books, journals, and podcasts over the years so that they are not lost to history, and quite open for exploration and discovery by future generations of process Whiteheadians.

Do take advantage of these living souls in their late years. It is with great honor that these several process theologians continue to share their personal journeys into the realms of the biological, quantum and psychological/sociological sciences.

Lastly, thank you to all those in the process community who have been willing to make time and effort to share their separate process insights from their respective disciplines! Each thought, each soul, helps create depth to a very complex philosophy of cosmology.

As introduction to these series, earlier this past summer the Cobb Institute began an 8-part series discussing and distinguishing substantive philosophies and sciences from those of the process variety. Hosted by Matt Segall, John Cobb, and Tim Eastman each explore Eastman's book written in December 2020 on untying the Gordian Knot of physics. Enjoy.

R.E. Slater
October 31, 2021

Untying the Gordian Knot: Process, Reality, and Context

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Amazon Link

Untying the Gordian Knot
Process, Reality, and Context

by Timothy Eastman
In Untying the Gordian Knot: Process, Reality, and Context, Timothy E. Eastman proposes a new creative synthesis, the Logoi framework - which is radically inclusive and incorporates both actuality and potentiality - (1) to show how the fundamental notions of process, logic, and relations, woven with triads of input-output-context and quantum logical distinctions, can resolve a baker’s dozen of age-old philosophic problems.
Further, (2) Eastman leverages a century of advances in quantum physics and the Relational Realism interpretation pioneered by Michael Epperson and Elias Zafiris and augmented by the independent research of Ruth Kastner and Hans Primas to resolve long-standing issues in understanding quantum physics. 
Adding to this, (3) Eastman makes use of advances in information and complex systems, semiotics, and process philosophy to show how multiple levels of context, combined with relations—including potential relations—both local and local-global, can provide a grounding for causation, emergence, and physical law. 
Finally, (4) the Logoi framework goes beyond standard ways of knowing—that of context independence (science) and context focus (arts, humanities)—to demonstrate the inevitable role of ultimate context (meaning, spiritual dimension) as part of a transformative ecological vision, which is urgently needed in these times of human and environmental crises.

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The Gordian Knot is an intractable problem (untying an impossibly tangled knot) solved easily by finding an approach to the problem that renders the perceived constraints of the problem moot ("cutting the Gordian knot"). - Wikipedia

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Tim Eastman Unties the Gordian Knot - Session 9
Feb 14, 2022

In this session Tim Eastman provides some final reflections on the conversation series and some of the main topics, after which Michael Epperson, Mikhail Epstein, Matt Segall offer responses.
00:00:05 - 00:00:47 - Welcome from Matt Segall
00:01:01 - 00:11:39 - Presentation by Tim Eastman
00:11:54 - 00:30:46 - Response by Michael Epperson
00:30:55 - 00:52:09 - Response by Matt Segall
00:52:25 - 00:57:14 - Response from Tim
00:58:07 - 02:04:22 - Open Conversation Tim Eastman's final reflections: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Rx_h...
Meeting Chat Text: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r5_z...
Final Reflections, by Tim Eastman
This series is provided by the Cobb Institute. Please consider supporting this program and others like it by giving. https://cobb.institute/donate/


00:30:13 Jude Jones: Has anyone come across a philosophical discussion of overcoming the depersonalized dimensions of Zoom? I actually find it quite congenial to connection, but this is not everyone’s experience.

00:46:41 Kent Bye: Jude Jones: I'd recommend checking out Jeremy Baileson's work on Zoom Fatigue: https://news.stanford.edu/2021/02/23/four-causes-zoom-fatigue-solutions/

I've also talked about various different qualities of presence in other media like virtual reality that give insights into the affordances of video chat

00:48:43 Jude Jones: Thanks Kent, I’ve actually read that article but not Baileson directly. If you have links for your own thinking I’d love to see them!

00:49:40 Lynn De Jonghe: Lakatos, “Criticism and the growth of science” described the type of evolutionary paradigmatic shift that Epperson just portrayed

00:49:48 MZC Reirin (she/her): Thank you, everyone, to let me be here today! Have been following on YouTube and am very excited about this work in context with my Zen studies.

00:52:27 Kent Bye: Jude: I've been developing an experiential design framework for virtual reality that includes qualities of presence -- active presence, mental & social presence, embodied & environmental presence, and emotional presence. I

00:52:55 Kent Bye: I've been give more lectures than writing, but here's a 20-minute version of that talk. I have some longer versions that I still need to post

00:58:05 Farzad Mahootian: Sean Carrol’s anti-Bohr ideology approaches fetish leve intensity

00:58:28 Farzad Mahootian: 8level

01:01:50 Jude Jones: Thanks so much Kent!

01:04:21 Douglas Tooley: I’ve lost battery power, hopefully the YouTube will have the citations. T
hank you for a wonderful series. Hopefully it will continue in some, or multiple, fashion.

01:06:32 Lynn De Jonghe: Realist philosopher of science Richard Boyd has argued for the reality of theoretical terms.

01:11:30 Lynn De Jonghe: To Time

01:12:24 Thomas Royce: Despite the apparent upsurge in interest in “panspsychism” among those working in consciousness studies (e.g., Koch, Hammeroff, Penrose, and others), as well as, unflinching critiques of the reductionist agenda (e.g., Nagel) and a growing dissatisfaction with the “block universe” interpretation of “time” (e.g., Smolin), clearly, the dominant view of those involved in the scientific community still seems to be that of materialistic reductionism. Assuming you agree that is the case, what do you expect will be the level of acceptance within that community for the logoi framework you're proposing?

01:12:42 Farzad Mahootian: I’d echo & amplify, with Mike Epperson’s pre-Socratic speculation, Matt’s call to rethink Plato.

01:13:02 Kent Bye: I have a question about moving from substance metaphysics to a more process-relational metaphysics

01:13:42 Jude Jones: Plato of the Symposium has the most palpable respect for ‘possibility’ (via eros) that is not extinguished by the obsession with ‘Being’

01:14:31 Jude Jones: I’d love to hear Tim address Thomas Royce’s question!

01:15:19 Jude Jones: Partly because not only mainstream science and philosophy absorbed in reductive thinking, but because the young people we teach are often in the thrall of that as the default, obvious reality

01:18:54 Farzad Mahootian: Mikhail’s potentiation of actualities via aesthetic and intellectual arousal in philosophy, art (humanities in general), is exactly the platonic and more expressly the neoplatonic approach. Also well instantiatied in Islamic philosophers

01:20:18 Mikhail Epstein: A Philosophy of the Possible, English translation. (Brill, 2019)

01:21:29 Matt Segall: I will be reading your book ASAP, Mikhail!

01:21:50 Matt Segall: I was already sold, but then Farzad’s connection above made it even more urgent

01:22:01 Mikhail Epstein: Thank you, Matt, will be happy to talk with later.

01:22:06 Lynn De Jonghe: To Tim, What do you think the next stage m might be like??

01:22:37 Michael Epperson: Hi Mikhail-- Looking forward to reading this book asap!

01:22:58 Mikhail Epstein: Thank you, Michael.
01:24:42 MZC Reirin (she/her): Agree, Thomas!

01:32:11 Gary Herstein: We also have to make it acceptable to critique the gate keepers -- the Stephen Hawkings (who never really died, he "ascended"), the Sean Carrolls, the Laurence Kraus, the Brian Greenes

01:33:00 Farzad Mahootian: Spooky topologies are what VR is made of. VR

01:34:12 Farzad Mahootian: VR’s inventor Jaron Lanier is chuckling about this.

01:34:38 Jude Jones: Are we claiming for the good side, the reprehensible term ‘spooky’? 😄

01:34:56 Matt Segall: There’s a long history of mistaking the newest technology for ontology : )

01:35:06 Gary Herstein: VR is the metaphor du jour.

01:35:25 Farzad Mahootian: @ Jude: the goofy side of spooky

01:37:53 Jude Jones: Russell is the patron saint of legitimate thinking and whitehead is not

01:38:24 Kent Bye: For the record, I'm not a fan of simulation theory myself, but in Reality+, Chalmers makes a series of arguments that changed me mind that there is no way to conclusively prove that we are not living in a simulation -- he addresses various simulation blockers philosophically.
Here's my interview with Chalmers unpacking some of that: https://voicesofvr.com/1043-philosopher-david-chalmers-book-reality-may-change-how-you-see-reality-vr-is-a-genuine-reality-we-cant-prove-were-not-in-a-simulation/

01:39:14 Lynn De Jonghe: Thank. You for this wonderful series!

01:41:28 Kent Bye: Chalmers is still looking for a shortcut when I asked him at the end about Process Philosophy explicitly

01:46:01 Michael Epperson: Hi Kent-- Yeah, I came in hot on that one :) I didn't get the sense that you were advocating the idea, and should have made that clear--that I love the idea of questioning these claims as you're doing. I guess my frustration with the topic is that there are not enough meaningful questions about this topic--i.e., those that incorporate sufficient critical evaluation via physics and mathematics. It's especially annoying because the whole concept of simulation theory is fundamentally grounded in physics and mathematics! It's just cherry picking the parts that encourage the theory (and its popularization and monitization) and ignoring the parts that confute it, and that's super annoying to me!

01:47:04 Jude Jones: Kent that’s unfortunate because I begged him 15 years ago lol

01:48:12 Kent Bye: Jude: He did say that he's been asked by multiple people over the years to read Whitehead, and so he must have been referring to you in that complex of people who have suggested it to him over the years.

01:50:02 MZC Reirin (she/her): Jude, Young people also use psychoactive drugs and meditation that change their perceptions of reality and meaning....

01:52:18 Jude Jones: MZC Reirin yes! In the class I am referencing I am actually going to invite them to read about such things (it’s a course on “Philosophies of Experience”). We’ve also seen major upticks in engagement with things that fall (loosely or precisely) under the label of “magic” (I do not mean that disparagingly, but positively) during the past two years, including among young people

01:52:25 Kent Bye: Michael: Yeah, I'd recommend looking at Chalmers Reality+ to see if 
you have philosophical arguments against simulation theory that he lays out. Chalmers himself gives it a 25% probability. But he argues that perhaps there's a Quantum Computer running the simulation + cellular automata concepts that handle different layers of computational complexity. I started at 0% probability at the start at reading Reality+, and ended at 10-15% -- or at least that I don't have a solution to prove that we're not in a simulation if it's a perfect simulation

What's interesting in Reality+ is that Chalmers uses this line of reasoning to weaken people's minds about the nature of reality away from substance metaphysics, and explores more exotic metaphysical frameworks at the end of the book. So even if you have a personal dislike of simulation theory -- as I do -- there is utility in encouraging more pluralistic approaches to metaphyics

01:53:14 Farzad Mahootian: Islamic philosophy’s Alam al-Mithal, Dune (the book/movie) and a large-scale LSD experiment. Blend

01:53:30 Thandeka Thandeka: Should we bracket the term “object” in the claim abstract conceptual object?

01:54:31 Jude Jones: It would be interesting to confront Chalmers with the point Michael Epperson made about the system-level whole that the algorithms could not be/reproduce…to me this captures that flexible holism, dynamics of possibility, quality of “reality” that it is hard to imagine being produced digitally

01:56:03 Farzad Mahootian: Hear Hear John!

01:58:39 Gary Nelson: Could we get together like this a few times a year to keep the conversation going?

01:58:52 Jude Jones: More than a few times a year!

02:00:10 jonmeyer: Contagious Architecture: Computation, Aesthetics, and Space
by Luciana Parisi is a Whiteheadian-styled exploration of algorithms that is relevant to the VR discussions.

02:00:15 Jude Jones: Here’s a point of entry into Chalmers’ book but there is also Kent’s podcast that I now have in my queue: https://www.vox.com/vox-conversations-podcast/2022/1/12/22868445/vox-conversations-david-chalmers-the-matrix-reality

02:00:58 C Kamion Davison: And the eventual collapse of the deterministic path in the Dune Universe.

02:03:06 MZC Reirin (she/her): YES, Farzad

02:03:11 Kent Bye: I also interviewed Matt on my podcast

02:04:24 Matt Segall: Is this like what Corbin calls “the imaginal”?

02:05:10 Matt Segall: Alam al-Mithal, I mean

02:07:16 Farzad Mahootian: Yes! Corbin’s Imaginal World

02:09:47 Kent Bye: I'd love to chat more with you about all of that Farzad on a Voices of VR podcast episode at some point. That's the first that I've heard those connections to Islamic Philosophy and these more realms of potentiae or imaginal realms. Let me know if you have any references that you think of related to those concepts you were talking about. Regarding the exalted uses of VR, my 1000th episode of the Voices of VR is a 3-hour exploration the range of applications of VR

02:10:37 Matt Segall: This hermetically sealed mind approach of Russell’s is why, for the analytic approach to panpsychism, the “combination problem” has been thought so intractable, perhaps as “hard” as the hard problem of consciousness.

02:13:07 Jude Jones: Even Sartre was forced to admit in an interview that his philosophy invites metaphysics but that he’d just never taken the time to seriously engage it

02:14:18 Jude Jones: Eternal Objects…the third rail of Whitehead acceptability lol

02:15:03 Jude Jones: “Forms of definiteness” not platonic forms

02:15:24 Farzad Mahootian: To Kent: Yes! Happy to chat more. I’ll upload a couple of things. Matt mentioned Henry Corbin’s brief article on alam al-mithal which he translated as the mundus imaginalis (I’ll find a clean copy and attach it here).

02:16:01 Gary Herstein: They are "eternal" because temporal considerations are not relevant to them.

02:16:07 Jude Jones: There’s a possible pattern that seems to need to pre-exist process (formally) but not “in being”

02:17:14 MZC Reirin (she/her): Many Mahayana Buddhist schools have interesting ways to talk about mind and reality, which actually fit very well with this conversation.

02:17:19 Gary Nelson: Archetypes. Pauli suggested archetypes of matter. Jung proposes archetypes in psyche

02:18:22 C Kamion Davison: The 4 worlds of Kabbalah attempts to address this.

02:19:26 Timothy Eastman: Thanks to Matt for great leadership!!

02:19:38 C Kamion Davison: Thank you for this series!

02:19:52 Thomas Royce: Thank you all.

02:19:59 Jude Jones: THANK YOU for a wonderful set of months! Thanks Tim for such an amazing book!

02:20:02 Gary Nelson: Thank you for great experiences

02:20:04 Farzad Mahootian: Thank you Matt and Cobb institute! Thank you everyone. 

02:20:07 Tara-Marie Linne: Thank you Tim and everyone!!! A fantastic series-learned so much!

02:20:07 Kent Bye: Thanks everyone