February 23rd, 2011

Thank you demonstrators! Thank you for showing us that our leaders in the West are hypocrite wimps. We have a great word for it in Hebrew, CHARZAF, which is the abbreviation of CHARA ZAF (shit floats). When you remove the saccharine surface, shit floats.

The West is a proud democracy trying to bully every other country into becoming a democracy. Well, not every country, only where they think they can win (like Iraq). The US administration was very pro demonstrators in Egypt, for instance, saying they are right in demanding freedom and democracy. If the US truly believed in their ideals, then they would not exploit Chinese slave labor, would have to do nothing with China until they granted human rights to their people. The US is big enough to be self-sufficient; it would be less rich, more modest and in integrity with its ideals. But no, greed is stronger than the ideals, so they pay lip service to their ideals and while stating that they want human rights and democracy globally, they exploit slave labor, they get their oil from countries that suppress, kill and maim women, and in general behave in ways unacceptable according to US moral standards.

Europe is even worse perhaps, their hypocrisy shit floats. If they were true to their ideals, to which they only pay lip service, they would have said that Gaddafi  is a terrorist (remember for example, the  Pan Am Flight 103, the so-called Lockerbie bombing with 270 people dead in 1988? Gaddafi had several similar feats) and that he should drown in his oil instead of buying oil from him. They too supported the Egyptian “freedom fighters,” they too said to Mubarak to stand down but now, that it knocks their own economy, when they are worried about their own oil supply from Libya, they stutter and are speechless witnessing Gaddafi killing hundreds of innocent civilians. Why don’t they tell him to stand down? Now that their economy can get hurt, human rights matter less?

Greed and humane ideals just cannot coexist. Tolerance towards everything (including intolerance of others) just cannot continue to exist. Wanting it all just ends up in politically correct hypocrisy. I can disagree with, and yet respect greedy SOBs who say, they don’t give a damn about anyone else, but I despise the self-righteous politically correct wimps who cannot stand up for their own proclaimed ideals.

 

January 4th, 2011

Anselm of Canterbury

I had a discussion tonight with the Professor. The Professor said that there is an ontological proof of the fact that there is a most perfect being (meaning God, of course).

Ontological proof? I thought, that already doesn’t sound too good.

“Look,” he said, “to prove it, let’s assume the opposite, that there is no most perfect being, in which case it means that there is another most perfect being, which is the proof that there is a most perfect being.”

“Huh?”  I hiccupped. “This is pure nonsense.”

“You don’t understand. If there is no most perfect being, then there must be a more perfect being, but since there can be no more perfect being than the most perfect being, this then is the proof that there is a most perfect being.”

“It’s still nonsense. Let’s say, ‘the most perfect being’ is A, and that it exists, is e. So you want to prove A(e). So you say, If not A(e), then B(e) – (where B is an even more perfect being), but since B cannot exist because nothing can be more than the most, then A(e) is true. And you say, this is an ontological proof, the proof of existence, that the existence of A is being implied by your argument. But there is no implication here whatsoever! No proof!”

“You think you are smarter than the great philosophers of the past 600 years? They see it as proof.”

“If so, they are wrong. This is no proof. The first statement, that a most perfect being exists, is a belief. Second, the negation of the existence of a most perfect being, could awaken the thought of a less perfect being just as well, which of course, does not imply whether a less perfect being exists or not. Also, I can conceive of a more perfect being than the most perfect being (which is indeed a paradox), but let’s not go into that now. Suffice to say, that by saying, there is no most perfect being, nothing is implied.”

“You are stupid,” says the Professor. “If you assume there is no most perfect being, then this implies that there is an even more perfect being, and this cannot be, so this is the proof, there must be a most perfect being.”

“OK. Let’s start from the bees and flowers. Your argument is like this: you want to prove that A exists. How? By assuming not-A, you say, if not-A, then B. B is impossible, so A must be true. It’s like saying, let’s prove that you are the smartest person in the world, by assuming that you are not the smartest person in the world which, according to you, implies that there is someone that is smarter, which cannot be true, so this is the proof that you are the smartest. Now what’s the difference between this argument and yours? The structure is the same, I only replaced the contents, but kept their structures. When you look at it this way, you see it is nonsense, because when you stated, ‘there is a most perfect being,’ you already believe in it, and need no proof of it. Logical proof is not dependent on beliefs, and if it relies on these, then it is not logical proof.”

“You don’t understand.”

“The negation of something that awakens a let’s say, an impossible association in your eyes, is no proof of the existence of this something you negated. Let’s say, you argue that there is ontological proof of the existence of the biggest number. Using your arguments, let’s say, there is no biggest number, which immediately awakens the association of there being a bigger number, which is not possible, so this the proof that there exists a biggest number?”

“You don’t understand.”

“If what you said was proof, then anything, but anything could be ‘proven.’ And then, ‘proof’ would be meaningless.”

“You don’t get it.”

And on and on it went…

 

August 1st, 2010

The multi-layered plot of Inception, a sci-fi action film, parallels its multi-layered meaning. Our sense of reality (the ability to differentiate between dream and reality) is based on several factors. First, continuance of what we consider reality. Most of us wake up into the same reality we left when we went to sleep. Another factor that differentiates reality from dreams is the agreement of others, that what we perceive is indeed, reality. There is also the “feel” of reality, which makes lucid dreaming feel very real. A major factor that allows lucid dreams to stay dreams is our knowledge while dreaming, that indeed, we are dreaming. If however, in lucid dreams we would meet up with others, time after time with these same others, and we would experience together the same lucid dream, then the border differentiating reality from dream would shrink and we would lose the ability to differentiate dreams from reality. This is one of the points made in Inception.  If we accept the assertion that what we perceive to be reality, is in fact reality, and that there can be no proof of the existence of an external objective reality – external to our perception, then the notion of shared lucid dreaming is a likely candidate for alternative realities.

The film is rich in Freudian and Jungian symbolism. Ariadne (Ellen Page) descends with the elevator into the unconscious mind of the protagonist, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). The name, Ariadne, is meaningful, as she was the princess of Crete in Greek Mythology, the mistress of the Labyrinth where the dreaded Minotaur was imprisoned. Ariadne helped her lover, Theseus, by giving him a sword and the ball of red thread that she spun, so he could get out of the labyrinth after overcoming the Minotaur who demanded human sacrifice. In the film, Ariadne draws the labyrinth and helps Cobb get out from the depth of his unconscious where he is trapped by guilt over the death of his beloved wife. The symbolism of likening the mind to the labyrinth is enticing.

Reaching the deeper levels of the unconscious mind and dream reality, the protagonist comes face to face with the Freudian Todestrieb, the death drive, impersonated by his dead wife. This is an interesting phase in the script due to the dual nature of the Eros/Thanatos concept that comes to emphasize the paradoxical duality of reality/illusion (dreams). Of course, sleep is the brother of death, as represented by the half brothers Hypnos and Thanatos in Greek Mythology. This creates a paradoxical situations where dream states, without an external reality factor that can point out that it is a dream, take place in limbo, in a potential that is neither life, nor death and also both. Is the wish for another reality, to live in a dream reality a death wish?  Cobb’s wife dies to continue living in her dream reality and she keeps tempting him to come and be with her forever in dream reality, which now, is real reality for her. So whenever he wants to be with her, he has to die,  which he does symbolically whenever entering the lucid dreaming state, like Orpheus going to the land of the dead, to retrieve Eurydice.  

Another strong symbolism referring to the workings of our minds is the Penrose paradox, the stairs that ascend and descend in a continuous loop, impossible in three-dimensions, as depicted in M.C. Escher’s Ascending and Descending. (The image is the copyrighted property of the M.C. Escher Company – Holland – presented in accordance with fair use under United States copyright law.)

Just as the Penrose stairs cannot be described with certainty as leading up or down, neither can dream reality be defined with certainty as either being reality or illusion, as we learn from the last scene (the parameter throughout the movie for establishing whether they experience reality or a dream is a top that in reality stops wobbling, whereas in dream reality, continues to wobble).

I find Inception a refreshing alternative to Matrix, which left me dissatisfied; Matrix said, reality is not what it seems to be and what we experience as our reality, could be a computer program, which is a great idea. However, what ruined it for me in Matrix was being told that nevertheless, there is a real, objective reality, even if I am not aware of its existence. Inception restores this simplistic view by introducing uncertainty into what we believe we perceive and know, and just as in Holophany, this uncertainty arises from inner paradoxes of the mind and of the process of perception.  The real question should not be, “What is the real reality?” which question presupposes the existence of an objective reality out there, but rather, “What parameters within our perception create our reality?” In other words, if everything we perceive, we do so from within our perception, then our perception of reality is reality. And then, when our perception is a self-referent closed system, it will necessarily be based on paradoxes, (which is what Gödel had proved in his Incompleteness Theorem).

What happens then in a world that is a closed self-referent system? In a world devoid of a viewpoint from beyond this world, for there can be no such viewpoint if the world is the entirety of existence? Such a system will be riddled with paradoxes, inconsistencies and indefiniteness. But wait, this IS our world! Then how can we find consistency, how can we live with the uncertainties, and how can we utilize the paradoxes at the fundament of such a system, so instead of a dead-end they become tools of creativity? This is the subject matter of Holophany.

 

April 24th, 2010

 

 

The God Maker: How God Became GodIt is rare to discover a work that crosses the boundaries of literary fiction and leaves the reader thinking, contemplating life, questioning one’s purpose for being. Philosopher and writer Clara Szalai has created such a gift in her thought-provoking and delightful novel The God Maker: How God Became God. As much a story of self-discovery as it is a challenge to readers to ponder the meaning of all life, Szalai draws us into her story and holds us spellbound.  The creator of the philosophy known as Holophany (the manifestation of wholeness), Szalai introduces us to an amnesic man who awakens in a hospital and must be guided toward regaining his identity. Along the way, he encounters SHET the God maker, who appeals to this everyman to become God, lest terrible events occur. The beauty of this novel is in the writing, true, but also in the author’s ability to introduce the complexities of philosophy through a wise and poignant tale about a man who loses everything…and finds himself.

My book, The God Maker: How God Became God is now available on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/God-Maker-How-Became/dp/1449989446/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272057997&sr=1-6) and in all ebook formats at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/12833

 

October 22nd, 2009

DCP_0186When Pumpking was a young cat, he was a pacifist. I saw him once attacked by a feral; although twice the size of the feral, he only cried and would not lift a paw, let alone claw someone. Then UPO, the cat sovereign of all the cats of the household, died. Pumpking was UPO’s natural heir, the biggest male of all the cats, no one doubted his ascendancy. Nevertheless, the girls started bitching, claws drawn, hissing, spitting, and in general, the cat population in the house was in turmoil. Pumpking, the pacifist, took them one by one and beat them up. Within a couple of hours, harmony was reinstated, and all the cat boys started adoring Pumpking and the girls respected him.

 For a couple of days he ate first, and even though there was plenty of food in many plates, he ate alone while everyone else was watching and drooling. Only when he finished his meal, did the others dare come to eat. A few days later, Pumpking allowed everyone else to eat first. To this day, he watches over his subjects and cares for everyone’s wellbeing. Of course, he is far from being a pacifist; whenever he deems it necessary, in spite of my objections, he claws whoever he thinks deserves it.

What happened to the pacifist? I asked Pumpking, how come he changed? He said, circumstances changed, so he too needed to change.

 “But you were a pacifist, you had ideals, ‘no clawing, no matter what’ was your motto. Your ideal was, ‘do not hurt another cat.’ Why did you change that?” I asked.

 “I didn’t,” he replied. “I prevented them from hurting each other and ultimately, themselves a lot more by hurting them a little. You know, as king, I have to be pragmatic.”

  “You are saying that being pragmatic is to give up on one’s ideals?”

 “That depends on the ideals,” Pumpking explained. “If said ideals are extreme, they are not pragmatic. I have a household to run. Sticking to extreme pacifistic ideals with cats who do not share the same ideals will create chaos, and they will hurt each other much more than I hurt them. Imagine a community of pacifists, who will not fight, no matter what. Imagine that this community is run over by another, barbaric nation, who wants to wipe them out. If they maintain their pacifistic ideals, they will be wiped out and with them, the pacifistic ideal. So to preserve the ideal for a time, when it will gain consensus, they must fight.”

 “So you are saying that you have compromised your ideals in order to preserve them? Sounds kind of paradoxical, don’t you think?”

 “Look at your world leaders. It’s OK they get elected with lip service to some ideals. When they are elected however, if they do not become pragmatic, if they do not show power and thereby gain respect, they are thought weak, and then they will be manipulated.”

 “How?”

 “By being paid lip-service, by holding him to his ideals and meanwhile dragging out time to do what they want. And then, this idealist in the leader position will try to achieve agreement with other nations because he does not believe in bullying, and his opponents gain more time to do what they want.”

 “And then?”

 “In the end, he will have to use force, but now, he will have to use much more force and he will hurt many more. He could have avoided that by using a little force to set things right in the beginning. Wanting to be politically correct and airing ideals of ‘let’s talk about it, let’s reach concession’ made him manipulable. So either barbarism wins or pragmatism.”

 “What about the ideals? Aren’t they worth living for?”

 “Meow, if pragmatism wins, with it, ideals will survive, even as some future goal. However, if the ideal wins in the short term, it is most likely that it will be its own terminator like the pacifistic ideals that allowed the barbaric nation to exterminate the community of pacifists.”

 

October 11th, 2009

What’s so interesting in reality shows? What’s so interesting in watching a bunch of people doing nothing, just being mediocre? Is it a justification to be mediocre? To gain acceptance in one’s own eyes? “Hey, look, they are just like me, and they are on TV, so it’s OK to be a bum.” Like the great majority of scientific research done about uninteresting and unnecessary issues, such as comparing the nutritional value of organic and non-organic cucumbers and reaching the conclusion that both are cucumbers, reality shows confirm the boring obvious, without an iota of originality. Like most mainstream science, unoriginal hairsplitting gains the grants and of course, the researches funded by corporations as their marketing strategies. Of course, a cucumber is a cucumber, and of course, the research did not relate to the toxic effects of cucumbers drown in pesticides. No wonder that a system encouraging mediocrity will rarely produce real original science.

 

On the other end of the scale we have the comics complex where the omnipotent and omniscient hero after severe tribulations, succeeds to save the world in the last second. Gilgamesh, Oedipus and Beowulf have been exchanged with Batman and Rambos – the cheap versions of the Campbellian hero – seemingly creating the same kind of catharsis in the viewer. Modern spirituality, or rather, the self-help genre could be the derivative of this comics complex. It offers subjective Superman-like achievements in the spiritual dimension, not unlike the Catholic redemption offered through the sale of indulgences in the early 16th century. That of course does not mean that real spirituality no longer exists, only that you won’t find it on sale alongside with achieving enlightenment in three easy steps.

 

October 7th, 2009

The Goldstone report reminded me that many years ago I was sitting on the lawn with my dog, Lady. A small child came by with his mother and kicked Lady in the face. Lady squirmed and moved away. The child’s mother didn’t do anything. I asked her, what would she have done, if my dog bit the child as a reaction to having been kicked in the face? She said, I would kill the dog. Why not educate your child instead? I asked, the dog was sitting minding her business, your child attacked, so isn’t the dog entitled to defend herself? She said, no, if “it” did react, she would have killed the dog.

Why did the Goldstone Report remind me of this story? Because after Israel moved out of the Gaza strip and passed it over to the Palestinians, the Palestinians kept sending daily rockets to Shderot. And when Israel reacted in self defense, the Goldstone Report asserts that like Lady, Israel has no right to defend its school children from Palestinian rockets. Of course, Europe has great affinity with Zionist hater Islam that reverberates with its inherent thousand years old anti-Semitism. To this day, although much of Europe whispers, “what a shame Hitler didn’t finish what he started,” they do not state it loud and clear because it is not politically correct. Instead, they create a Goldstone Report, which says it loud and clear and in a politically correct fashion.

 

September 13th, 2009

In the early hours of the morning when I was about to go to bed, I felt I should take a walk in the garden. Three of my dogs greeted me, however, the fourth was conspicuously missing. He was sitting in the other end of the garden holding something that had a very long tail in his mouth. I forced him to give up his possession, and a limp, wet little field mouse was placed in my palm. She seemed dead. I did mouth to mouse, massaged her heart, mouth to mouse, and so on. She opened her eyes and started breathing. Her eyes seemed to look into infinity and her breathing was ragged. I started warming her little body, and she made tiny squeaky sounds. Slowly, her breathing became calmer. I enveloped her in a pink and green bubble of love, wanting her to live. Tried to pump into her my life force and healing. She lived for two hours and died peacefully. With misty eyes I was staring at her little body, the big ears, the tiny hands, the beautiful silvery fur. So perfect, so beautiful. Dead. She could have experienced motherhood, running in the fields, frolicking in the grass, following scents, so many experiences she will never have. I managed to bring her back to life for just enough time to die enveloped in love… I hope…

 

September 13th, 2009

Question: It started with breast cancer and it went over to the bones and liver. I got chemotherapy and the blood tests have shown betterment in the past, but now it does not seem that I react. Why did I get it? I wonder whether this is the result of my life as a picture of a bad path. I went to a religious man and he said it was because of my evil ways of living, away from following the Godly path.

Answer: Let’s start with the spiritual why. During the years you have distanced yourself from your self, you decided to conform to your beliefs and repressed, suppressed your wishes as insufficient to do something about them. That is, you saw that your life was fairly good, and so, you let go of the very strong wish, the desire for a man’s love to you. On the outside you have done things correctly, yet it started a process of spiritual decay in the sense that you did not change what you wanted when physical reality presented you with a different picture, you only suppressed it. You thought of yourself as a ‘realistic’ person. Your  body did have the message of wanting, of reaching out, and that is exactly what the cells started doing. Your genetic tendency has then been activated when you buried your desire for couplehood and children under your beliefs and values.