Friday, September 05, 2014

The Limitations of Selfishness

We are clearly living in a time of veneration of the individual in western society. In North America, it's part of our mythology. The strong, independent, self-sufficient person is admired, and you see this reinforced in every area. Paul Simon sang about being a rock, an island against all the rest. The Marlboro Man squints against the sun, confident in his capacity to tame that stallion and build that barn single-handed. Rambo wins the Vietnam War all on his own.

Anything that deep in our psyche commands there unchallenged. There's no option to consider since all other options get dismissed even before we really entertain them. We might flirt with alternatives like socialism and collectivism, but only when we're young and impressed by challenging the status quo.

Individualism - one man, one vote - the democracy of individual rights, obviously has its place as a worldview to govern our lives. But it can stimulate neurosis and even backwardness if not analyzed.

The Limitation of Selfishness, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

The Scandal of Drugs

We've seen a lot of good ones go way too early because of drugs, haven't we? Seemed like a new one a week back in the '60s and '70s. Janis and Jimmy. Then Elvis. Now Whitney and Amy.

In Brazil, too, some great ones exited early thanks to substance abuse. Elis Regina, Tom Jobim, Tim Maya. Those are the high profile ones, and reams have been written and spoken about them and the problem. Can there possibly be anything new to say? Without preaching or proselytizing, of course. Both the moral finger wagging of the right and the societal condemnation of the left seem wholly inadequate to provide any healing at all.

And the situation's not improving much. Easy access to drugs, more desperation and tough times, materialism and lack of spiritual connection - it's a fatal recipe for increasing abuse.

Well, I am of the mind that a deeper analysis of our entire modern mindset is in order, and this is our proposal on this show. So, let's tackle the Scandal of Drugs, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bringing Theology and Philosophy Together with Science

I’m Richard Lloyd Jones, and this is TWSEH.

Oil and water. Black cats and white sweaters. Neckties and bowls of soup. Some things just aren’t made to go together. Like being given plastic cutlery at a Brazilian barbecue restaurant, they’re all a bit difficult to reconcile. Some more profound examples could include faith and doubt, humility and self-confidence. And what about God and science?

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Bringing Together Theology and Science.

This is a prickly subject I’m embarking on here, I’m aware of that. But I feel I would be doing a dis-service if I didn’t address the subject. I say this because of the fundamental questions that can only be addressed if we wade into these controversial waters.

Questions like, what is the origin of life and the universe? What is the purpose of life anyway? And more existential even … why am I here? We can’t begin to tackle these questions without a consideration of today’s topic.

These questions don’t occupy our conversations much these days, if they ever did. The Facebook posts we read seldom broach the existential beyond the collective questioning we embark on after a tragedy occurs or a famous person dies. I was recently visiting my aging parents in Canada and their diminished quality of life has caused no small reflection on my own life and purpose. So there are times when we venture into the reverie that generates this discussion. Although it’s rare. Especially in recent years it appears. We’re not much for the deeper considerations in our materialistic and consumerist society of today, and I don’t think this has been positive. “What’s it all about, Alfie?” seems a faintly anachronistic and old-fashioned question today, doesn’t it?

Or is it that we’re just embarrassed to admit that we ponder those questions, admittedly late at night when no one’s watching? There’s precious little reflection of life’s mysteries in our modern art. The poets and song writers mostly seem intent on considering love only from the “how am I going to live without him or her?” position.

In that light, I just finished reading Leonard Cohen’s biography, and was touched by the deep yearning he has had over his long career to explore the profound and the profane, so I know it’s not completely uncool to pose the deeper questions.

Well, in fact, who cares if it’s uncool to be involved in understanding the human situation. I’m not sure when displaying profundity became unmodern, but I’m all for returning to a time when the artists considered they were conversing with the beyond and a human being wanted to consider his short life as fitting within some larger purpose and design.

In large part, I think what’s going on here is a result of the splitting of science from theology and philosophy over the past 500 years or so – culminating in our 20th Century position that there’s no way to marry the three. Science has become a strictly materialistic pursuit perfectly represented in Einstein’s famous formula – the most famous of the 20th Century – that E=mc2. In other words, no matter, no energy, making Einstein’s theory arguably one of the most materialistic in the history of science. I’m sure that wasn’t his intention, of course, but it’s hard to escape the stark materialism of his proposal.

It’s also difficult to distill a coherent spiritual philosophy from the Quantum Physics camp. Parallel realities. Alternate universes. Unlimited realities awaiting your choice to come into being. How to make sense of that in any practical way? I watched What the Bleep do we Know a couple of times and, I must confess, couldn’t make head or tails of it. It seems sexy to consider that universe a series of possibilities awaiting my choice before unfolding reality, but I somehow can’t quite conclude that reality actually bends to my will despite my wishing it so.

The Architect’s speech from Matrix Reloaded is a classic example of how confused we’ve become by this separation of science and theology. Critics call it “profound” but “confusing”. And it is that. Listen:

“The first matrix was perfect … flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure.”

What does that mean? And since when did confusing become profound? No, we need a better starting point than this. A starting place that can be found in the work of Norberto Keppe. His Analytical Trilogy is the synthesis of science, philosophy and theology that has been missing. Keppe considers philosophy to be the mother of science and theology the grandmother, and it’s very illuminating to look at reality through Analytical Trilogy eyes.

Let’s do that today … try to bring the incredible wisdom from 5000 years of theological and philosophical study back into science. Or at least, start the process of understanding that. Keppe’s books will fill out the knowledge. If you’re interested in more, write me at rich@richjonesvoice.com.

Bringing Together Theology and Science, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Peeking Behind the Curtains of Power

Ever since Dorothy pulled back the curtain to reveal a perfectly ordinary Wizard of Oz manipulating switches to make him seem more powerful, the image has served to portray a reality. Somewhere, in the shadows in not behind an actual curtain, unseen forces are in control.

Perhaps when they are officially unmasked, they will show themselves to be as feeble and full of bluster as the wizard from Frank Baum's classic, but while they stay hidden they exert enormous influence, as the Wizard of Oz did actually - until Dorothy blew his cover.

The Bilderbergers, the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion - most of use have no idea what goes on in their closed meetings. Or even if some of them actually exist. This ground is ripe for the wildest imaginings of the most paranoid of conspiracy theorists, but it would be foolish to dismiss the central idea out of hand - that our world is really controlled by individuals we seldom see.

It's a nefarious world of secret influence and elite privilege that survives only on deceit.

Peeking Behind the Curtains of Power, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Recovering True Humanity

I'm Richard Lloyd Jones, and this is Thinking with Somebody Else's Head. 

With so much tension and confusion in  modern day life, it seems appropriate to do our show,  which deals so directly with the core issues of human existence. In fact, perhaps any of us who don't feel deeply disturbed by our situation are dangerously alienated or excessively cold-hearted. That would appear to be the case with the power structure that governs our affairs today.

Norberto Keppe, whose science of Analytical Trilogy underpins our show, considers that the way power is being used today to be the biggest problem facing us.  We live in a world dominated by the pathology of power, which is even more responsible for our modern crises than our individual problems.  Still, we condone this abuse by not learning more about it and by following it. Ignorance is no excuse, and we must become smarter about psycho-socio pathology, the purpose of our show today. 

Recovering True Humanity today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Recapturing the Flavor of Romance

Like so many words, romance has been banalized in western culture. Coming to a head in what we now know as medieval chivalry, it's become associated with more mundane items today, like chocolate and Valentine's cards. Those medieval tales talked of chivalric adventure and didn't combine the idea of love until late into the 17th century.

Romance, then, has something to do with flowers and candlelight dinners, but much more to do with tilting at windmills it appears. And it is in this latter sense that we embark on our adventure today.

And like words such as service and humility and reverence, this definition of romance can seem a little fuddy duddy in our hip and flip era where nothings is sacred and all is looked at with a jaundiced eyes from our position of bitchin' awesomeness.

But romance is anything but lame. And nowhere near as anachronistic as modern society would like to believe. Let's go a little deeper into romance today.

Recapturing the Flavor of Romance, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Losing Our Religion

A reading of modern scientific and philosophical thought can be unnverving. Human beings, goes this materialistic scientific view, are the product of causes that are accidental and purposeless. All individual achievements are destined to extinction in the vast entropy of a universe relentlessly bound for ruin.

We are nothing but gigantic lumbering robots built by our genes as survival machines, asserts Richard Dawkins, a leading proponent of this modernist stance.

And I'm not exaggerating the bleakness. Reading Dawkins or geneticist Steve Jones (no relation) or philosopher Bertrand Russell is a depressing journey that reduces Man's greatest imaginings to the garbage heap of cold, unforgiving material forces that care not a whit for such romantic notions as hopes and ideals.

It's all so very modern. No good and evil, no confusing purpose, just relentless survival over incomprehensible time periods.

Maybe there's something missing in it.

Losing our Religion, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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