Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dueling with Duality by Louis Evan Palmer


Duality is a natural state for people. We learn that basic "fact" early on and never quite seem to shake it. Typically, we never have reason to. It is a state where we feel, without obvious effort on our part, that almost every thing we sense has something which stands opposite to it or in opposition to it or apart from it in some relationship.

Duality seems to have aspects of a "state", aspects of a "relationship" and also to merely reflect the presence or absence of something where we often feel that the absence is a force or substance of equal stature to the one we sense by its presence.

For example, cold is the absence of heat. Heat is the presence of energy, cold is its absence. Yet, we feel cold as a force on its own even when factually it's nothing, it's the absence of heat.

Another clear example, darkness is the absence of light. Again, we usually feel darkness as a force on its own but it's an absence we detect and to which we react.

It's a perfect incarnation of the binary concept where 1s and 0s are the substance and 1s are the presence and 0s are the absence. However, this concept presents an interesting twist whereby position and relation give meaning to the absence beyond just being nothing.

Another idea to think about - if we looking at either a presence (say, heat) or an absence (say, cold), we may never notice it if it didn't vary. It is the contrast which allows us to observe many, perhaps all, phenomena. If, in fact, we cannot perceive things which do not vary then who knows what myriad of "things" we co-exist with but not not perceive because they do not vary. ..... like the source of everything.

We must also remember that context is part of the equation: we apprehend something like heat in a universe of space and time and mass and energy; we detect the presence or absence of one thing while situated in a realm on other things in which the presence or absence manifests itself.

To touch on the variance theme, we can go one further, if something exists which we cannot perceive in any way (to date), then we are not aware of its presence or absence. If that element were significant then our whole definition of reality would become suspect.

Thus far, we have a presence or an absence; we have a state which varies; and, we have a relationship wherein an absence or a presence gains additional meaning; we have context; and we have that which we cannot apprehend.

Some of the common things that we consider to be related in a dualistic relationship: love versus hate - hate seems to be more than the absence of love, where an absence of love seems to imply a frigidity, a lack of emotion, a lack of interest or empathy for someone; hate draws to mind, an active force directed at someone but with malice and ill-will. Is coldness and no feeling the opposite of both Love and Hate? It is if we want to maintain duality as a balance of presence versus absence. However, that's probably not how most people think of it.

Other potential dualities are more of the type where one thing stands apart from some other thing in some kind of a relationship. "Here" versus "There" or "Now" versus "Then". These are more of the measuring kinds of dualities - the one thing is located at a different point on some measuring standard versus another thing - in one case, it's a measure of space as in "here" versus "there"; in another case, it's a measure of time as in "now" versus "then".

"You" versus "Me" can be looked on in this way but it's really more than that though - it's one type of being versus another instance of that type of being.

"Motion" versus "Stillness" is an absence versus presence duality. "Conscious" versus "Unconscious" may be this type unless we use the more common meaning of "Unconscious" as a type of consciousness of which we are unaware - then it's two types of consciousness.

Some would argue that "Evil" is the absence of "Good" and in a similar manner that "Hate" is the absence of "Love" but it doesn't seem that way.

Reaching into the physical world again, we have a "Particle" versus a "Wave". Here is where an interesting thing happened. It was regarded for hundreds of years that phenomenon that exhibited these characteristics had to be one or the other and it was up to us to figure out which one a given thing was. At the turn of the 20th century, it began to be realized that a photon, for example, was actually both a particle and a wave. How it was both became the focus of another profound debate which is still going on today.

The Wave - Particle debate can be considered similar in some ways to the relationships a given person may have with other members of one's family - say for a male: son, brother, uncle, nephew, father, grandfather... we don't consider it an either-or proposition and yet it's the same person who has these very different relationships - is it also a duality of sorts? Maybe a photon has a "wave" relationship with certain physical aspects of reality and a "particle" relationship with other physical aspects. If so, a photon, or any other particle of this type, may have other non-wave non-particle relationships that affect its interaction with the physical world.

Is duality a lesser reality, a circumscribed version of the real thing, which allows us to navigate this universe but never actually apprehend it directly? Is it possible to adjust, or un-adjust, the observer so as to see the reality from which the duality emerges? Since it appears that the final arbiter emanates from consciousness, it would lead us to conclude that we can apprehend the reality in which duality is embedded.

What changes would ensue from this type of breakthrough? Or, perhaps "breakthrough" is not the right word as it implies something new when, in fact, it's something prior - maybe something like "unbirth" is a more accurate way of phrasing it.

It's reminiscent of sages who say we live in two realities - the dualistic one and the one from which it emanates. The feeling is that it can only be a "good" to see beyond duality.

Dueling with Duality, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Co-Creation by Louis Evan Palmer


Its Source

Its Purpose

Its Substance

There is a single substance out of which everything in this universe is created. And if so, then everything is this substance be it awareness or consciousness or material or not.

In another universe, might it be another substance? No. It might be another manifestation of the substance, there may be different rules but the ultimate substance must be the same.

Yet there is something which precedes even the single primordial substance and that is the formless, limitless ocean of potential and awareness out of which the universes emerge.

In the entirety of creation, it is easy to imagine a vast range of sentient beings with an equally vast range of creative power. Creatures who are so powerful as to be able to create worlds and indeed whole universes.

Is it possible that the myths that point to powerful angelic beings are reflections of a reality where powerful beings possess the power of creating realms of existence in which beings such as humans can live?

This could lead us to think that the universe we know might be the creation of an extremely powerful being and our entrance into it is by choice and our remaining in it is also by choice abetted by delusion and unpaid debts.

Let us call this awesome creature an angel and name her Gloria. She may resemble other figures of mythology like ISIS or even, to some, Lucifer, but the idea is the same - a being who can create worlds, who could create an entire universe.

Our Universe is then a creative object composed of a single primordial force & substance but created by an apparently unique entity, by Gloria. Now the humans in Gloria's universe are amazed and humbled by Gloria's handiwork and outpour their praise of her - they worship her, they call her God. And it is God if God means the single source and fabric and soul of everything but it's not God if it means "who made it?" although the maker of the maker is part of whatever that creation then makes. If that secondary creator actually exists, of course.

This sets up a dynamic that if we attribute the wrong source to the universe we live in, we will never get to the correct destination. We will always stop short because we'll have mistaken the apparent boundaries of this universe for real boundaries. We will then stay in the wonderful world of the co-creators while longing for the ultimate source.

If something like this were true, then everything about this universe including afterlifes and choices to do with reincarnation are part of the chosen existence.

"Free Will" is the energy that drives the manifested realities. "Free Will" is the allowance that Love demands so as not to impose but it, in turn, enables the contention and relation that drives us further into the chosen created reality and away from the unchosen uncreated reality.

Are these the kinds of things that our various myths are trying to convey to us?

The "fall" is our emergence into this life in this universe. "Satan" is the being who created this universe to entice and entrap us and to convince us that he is "God". Or when the Buddha admonishes us for clinging to illusion.

We add to this universe with our own co-creation which goes some more way towards making "it" seem more real again. Gloria has mesmerized us and holds us in thrall as we live life after life in her universe and feed all that spiritual and mental energy into maintaining and expanding her magnificent creation.

Co-Creation, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Universe of Love & Hate by Louis Evan Palmer


Due to its scope and somewhat extemporaneous composition, this will be a rambling dissertation.

In our Universe, there appear to be at least two cornucopias both emotions. The first being the font of Love, the second, of Hate - where these emotions can pour forth in a seemingly endless flow. It is possible that Hate doesn't actually exist and is merely a twisted or mirror-image of Love. These observations being mostly empirical but also to a degree logical.

Perhaps, the initial questions should center on emotions in general and where they originate. Are they only the sparks and surges of a body and its nervous & endocrine systems? If they are, in fact, the effects or emergent qualities of a physical system then they are, by definition, transient and malleable which does seem to be the case.... yet.

An interesting question suggested by the above: are there any emotions or feelings that exist and persist throughout our life, or for years? Do emotions require outside stimulation; in other words, are they always a reaction?

One thesis being offered is that all emotions are offshoots of a single primal emotion; for the sake of argument, let's us call that primal emotion "Love". Where an emotion will be taken to be a thought & a feeling wrapped around a memory and an expectation - which seems a lot like saying it's unknown.

Like a photon, an emotion may be a force without mass. Whereas, Light is a number of photons, Emotion could be viewed as a number of elemental emotion particles which may organize themselves like Elements in the atomic table into a hierarchy of relationships and their associated energies and effects.

Because they seem to be twins of each other and the most powerful of the emotions, it may be instructive to look more closely at the emotions we call Love and Hate.

Love is a force that moves towards the object of its affection with good intentions and gifts of every sort; it imputes goodness and seeks to provide and protect for its beloved. For the most part, it is active and hot. It has desires to be with the object of its affections and to share and care and enjoy and empower. Sharing, may in some situations, entail consensual taking as in sexual love.

Generally in our experience, Love has an object, it is not undifferentiated. It is a powerful emotion or state and can override even the urge to self-preservation.

Hate is also powerful, some would argue more powerful. Hate can motivate someone to kill another, more easily than Love. Hate also thrives best with an object on which to focus - undifferentiated Hate lacks power. In our experience, Hate is typically focused on other humans.

When Hate takes on a non-human focus, such as particular types of animals, it is usually derivative - that is, that animal has killed someone the human values or cares for (a family member, a pet, an animal in a herd); or, the animal has come to represent qualities that humans dislike or fear - say, a wolf representing a snarling, blood-thirsty incarnation of evil. It's not a case of, say, hating large sea-going turtles for themselves and no other reason.

Hate would focus and direct bad intentions or perform actions and make plans that will harm or hurt the hate-object. In this way, Hate would be seen as different from repulsion in that repulsion constitutes a flight response based on Fear - which may generate Hate but is a precursor as it were.

There can be a "hot Hate" or a "cold Hate". A "hot Hate" will generate destructive actions against the hate-object but also still has a conscience and can still feel revulsion at some of its actions. A "cold Hate", on the only hand, has submerged its malevalence and now carries out its hateful actions without feeling. Of the two, the "cold Hate" is more dangerous because it can now "go industrial" in its Hate.

Hate can go back and forth between "cold" and "hot" but once its goes "cold" the "hot" flashes become merely interludes in a "cold" landscape. "Hot Hate" is the first phase which if maintained for long enough will generate a cadre of "cold Hate" haters - they will then take the Hate to an industrial level, that is, long-term actualized mass hate. At an individual level, it's murder.

Hate thrives on differences, their identification, their magnification, their preservation. Hate will comment or elaborate on differences to do with dress, custom, foods, beliefs, mannerisms, symbols; more powerfully, differences to do with religions, economic status, interaction with others, symbols; most powerfully, when the hate-object becomes identified with an ideological enemy - then almost anything becomes possible as the battle is now with the equivalent of a spiritual or cultural virus or plague.

Groups that use, or depend on, differences, particularly extreme or superfluous differences, and the powerful reactions they can generate as a means of generating solidarity and exerting control are playing with an explosive mix. Yes, a mature society will have evolved a means of tolerance that can accomodate these differences but this almost always entails compromise on both sides - when that is missing, or not present to a sufficient degree, then the brew that feeds Hate starts heating up.

By the time we arrive at the propaganda stage, we are in danger of having past the dialogue point and are now entering the pre-conflict stage. The early stages of propaganda is the time for urgent action to identify and accomodate and correct, to the extent possible, the catalysts of ill-will towards the hate-object. Propaganda being replete with unfair characterizations, attributions and threats and violent proposals. (You may have noticed that we are inundated with propaganda)

Domination can be considered a form of Hate where intentions and motivations are the deciding factors. A father's or mother's discipline when temperate and for the obvious betterment of the child should thus escape from being labelled as a form of domination.

Interestingly, Free Will, especially when viewed in opposition to domination, can be viewed as an expression of Love.

Does "hate" have any place in our civil society? For example, is it possible to just "hate hate"? Or, stated in another way, can Hate be controlled and used for "good"? In effect, using "Hate" as a tool for the purposes of "Love". The Means versus the End again.

The answer seems to be clearly "NO". They have different goals and motivations. One is fed by division, the other by communion. etc. etc.

Hate most commonly is directed towards actions - we hate what other people "do" rather than what they "are" - the "hot-hate" against what people "do" will get increasingly hotter until it reaches the end state of "cold-hate" against what people "are" - now, the hate-object is no longer human, no longer worthy of existence, it is a mistake of creation, or a faulty experiment in human dynamics that is to be terminated, or a plague to be wiped out.

This brings up the interesting question of "rights" - what gives anyone the right to hate anyone else (or love)? And, more importantly, to do anything about it? Having or being in a Family is the obvious example but beyond that? A mystical family? A common origin and destination? A shared journey and purpose? All of these reasons point to "Love" rather than "Hate" making it seem that the Hate is the frustration of Love, its thwarting, and the loneliness and fear it (or rather "we") generates.

To be continued.

Universe of Love & Hate, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. 


Monday, October 09, 2006

Death by Bilateralism by Louis Evan Palmer

The Delicate
Art of

Countries like Canada, so-called middle powers, have a tendency to get deeply immersed in the various tints and hues of diplomacy and tea leaf reading.

Because of Canada's peculiar geography, it has only one direct neighbour, America, and one, Russia, at a slight distance but with the Arctic expanse as a buffer. This tilts what would be the normal stance of the smaller, less powerful, neighbour keeping the other at arm's length. As a result, it has created a dangerous dynamic of cyclical relations with their potential for getting seriously out-of-synch. Cyclical by its nature is riskier than steady state.

It's safe to say that bilateralism is the preferred mode for a powerful state. It then has the upper hand in every dealing and derives the maximal benefit for itself. Conversely, the less powerful nation should avoid bilateral agreements like the plague as they entice with the sweet allure of a special relationship and a permanence when in reality neither loyalty not longevity is possible in international relationships.

Canada has tried to be particularly clever in weaving both bilateral and multilateral agreements and has somehow failed to notice that the bilateral agreement will have precedence. The powerful country, in this instance, the USA, will always push for bilateral relationships for the simple, obvious reason that it can better dominate and dictate in that relationship than in a multilateral one.

Another disadvantage for the less powerful partner in a bilateral relationship is that it can impede and retard relationships with other countries. Other countries may come to regard the junior partner as irrelevant and negotiate with the stronger partner regarding both countries. Or, it may feel that the stronger country has a veto over the less powerful country. Or, it may view the less powerful country as a proxy for the more powerful country and therefore as threat and a potential enemy.

A significant insight that Gwyne Dyer presents in the latest edition of his classic "War" is that the strongest nations are at war the most and suffer the highest losses. It's a bit of a debunking of the peace through strength argument although it may just as well be highlighting the workings of the national psyche of a powerful nation in that it is more willing to resort to a military solution because it thinks it will win it; or, more popularly phrased as "Might makes Right".

What does all this lead to for countries like Canada?

That multilateralism is the way and has really always been the way both from a logical perspective and a practical, empirical one.

In addition, Canada should be actively looking at making its trade flows more evenly spread out between rest of North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. There must be targets like 20% of exports to the rest of North America, 15% to South America, 10% to Africa, 30% to Asia, 25% to Europe. Hard targets with hard dates. This is the type of planning and action that can save a country if extreme hardship hits one part of the world.

The same logic applies to defence, to trade, to immigration.

Tying ourselves so deeply and inextricably to the United States, or any country, through FTAa and NAFTAs and NORAD/NORTHCOM is a recipe for disaster.

Death by Bilateralism, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,

Copyright Louis Evan Palmer 

He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications.