<![CDATA[Comments on: Write Your Own Epic]]> Jonathan WordPress 2007-05-30T12:35:26Z 2007-05-30T12:35:26Z <![CDATA[Comment by: His Sexy Wife]]> I remember that semester. I think it was just because you were suppose to be graduating and you wife was expecting. Maybe he felt sorry for me really. Or he just didn’t want to put up with you for another semester.
Is he still teaching?

]]> 2007-05-30T13:04:17Z <![CDATA[Comment by: mel]]> Sounds as if, in his eccentric way, he was teaching how to deal with ambiguity — though I have no idea why CS students would need an extra dose of that?!

So here’s my pithy response to the conundrum of finding meaning after Mormonism:

Daniel Dennett has this saying that “if you make yourself small enough you can externalize everything” … and though it’s not his intended meaning, it occurs to me that by giving up the Mormon myth we have simultaneously found ourselves to be much, much smaller _and_ much, much larger. In this new found view of self we are no longer so much agents that work on the universe, but integral to the universe. We are the universe.

Kind of new-agey sounding, I realize. But nevertheless, we do not disappear when we die, we just change material states … we get reorganized and retasked.

I recall reading Carl Sagan talk about the chances of being restored to a state that is a roughly equivalent of a continuation of our current selves (the question being: will we see each other again) and he said, if I recall correctly, “why not”? Infinite means infinite. And the time it might take to come full circle is meaningless.

]]> 2007-05-30T13:59:37Z <![CDATA[Comment by: Jonathan Blake]]> He might have had pity on me because you were pregnant, but I earned that A-. I swallowed my pride and did exactly what was expected of me. He retired a couple of semesters after I graduated. Not soon enough to save my pride. :)

Mel, I’ve been pondering the smaller/larger paradox, but haven’t really had a good way to express it yet. I like how you put it. If we think about it we can define our self smaller and smaller. I am not my body. I am not my personality. I am not my thoughts. And so on until nothing is left. Or we can define our self larger and larger until it includes the universe. I need my body to exist. I need food to sustain my body. I need the earth and sun to make food. And so on until the chain of dependency ends up including everything and all time. There’s another way to include everything in our definition of self: my thoughts are a product of my brain. My brain operates on its inputs. My brain’s inputs come from the part of the universe that I perceive. The parts of the universe that I perceive are supported and influenced by the parts that I can’t perceive. So my thoughts are the product of the entire universe and everything that has come before the present moment.


I also just read The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra by Thich Nhat Hanh. It made me think about death and what it really means. His view of reincarnation seemed to align with what you’re saying about being repurposed. I plan to write a review at some point.

]]> 2007-05-30T16:17:35Z <![CDATA[Comment by: mel]]> I like it. Especially the brain path to cosmic Zen. Seriously, isn’t this profoundly more meaningful and awesome and … and ringing with truth than the “man-god creating planets with his harem” paradigm?

]]> 2007-05-30T17:18:05Z <![CDATA[Comment by: Jonathan Blake]]> I do find it more meaningful, but I don’t think it has become instinctual to see my life from this perspective yet. I also don’t think that I’ve quite found a specific way to seek self-transcendence yet, so my hunger goes unsatisfied. I’m happy to be able to feel this hunger though because I can only see it motivating me to good things.

]]> 2007-05-30T21:05:43Z <![CDATA[Comment by: Eugene]]> Your blog caught my eye when I clicked on your name for your comment to Stephen Carter’s SunstoneBlog essay. I like the way you and your wife are talking and wondering and deciding. Regarding the notion of “self-transcendence”, might I suggest a peek at Joseph Dillard’s I’d bet that if you gave it a serious look it would intrigue you. Besides, I believe JD is an admirer of Maslow.


]]> 2007-05-30T23:53:57Z <![CDATA[Comment by: Jonathan Blake]]> Do you suggest the dream yoga program from personal experience? If so, what was you experience?

]]> 2007-06-01T07:18:52Z <![CDATA[Comment by: SilverRain]]> Although I haven’t “given up the Mormon myth” as you put it, that search for self-transcendence and the desire to be special or unique is something I understand all too well. Perhaps it is because I rode the crest of “Generation Y,” but it’s hard for me to adjust to the humdrum daily life after the blaze of growing up.

I think it is inevitable that we go through times where we feel “empty.” It’s a sign that you haven’t stagnated – that something within you still searches and yearns for more. It is a good thing.

]]> 2007-06-01T08:20:36Z <![CDATA[Comment by: Jonathan Blake]]> I agree. My next question is what to do about the emptiness. :)

]]> 2007-06-01T17:26:34Z <![CDATA[Comment by: SilverRain]]> Well, you probably wouldn’t like my answer to that one! :D

]]> 2007-06-01T21:43:02Z <![CDATA[Comment by: Jonathan Blake]]> No, I guess I probably wouldn’t. ;)

]]> 2007-06-02T06:39:33Z <![CDATA[Comment by: Write Your Own Epic | Main Street Plaza]]> [...] [Originally posted at Green Oasis] [...]

]]> 2007-06-02T14:16:35Z <![CDATA[Comment by: Jonathan Blake]]> You know, the more I think about it, the point of this post is that your answer isn’t good enough for me. My answer isn’t good enough for you. We must each quest for our own answers. We may share thoughts and inspirations, but it is ultimately up to each person to choose to accept the truth that resonates with that part of ourselves which recognizes truth.