Black-and-white thinking? Come on, we ALL do it!

I’ve thought for a long time that black-and-white thinking is one of humanity’s biggest problems. But trying to eradicate it with more black-and-white thinking is just ridiculous.

When I was a medical student doing a psychiatry rotation, I noticed that all the white coats, myself included, had a powerful desire to be seen as absolutely NORMAL.

The feeling came out of nowhere the first day we started seeing psych patients. Some of them weren’t free to leave the building. There was an unspoken fear that we caregivers might be, in some unseen way, indistinguishable from the patients. It was both a subtle and a consuming motivation that made everyone subconsciously try to act and speak as if they were hyper-normal in every conceivable dimension.

I’ve rarely felt anything like it since.

In those days on the psych wards, one big sign of derangement to avoid was “magical thinking,” which meant believing in anything that wasn’t established by science or grounded in secular Western middle-class society.

Since LLUMC was a religious institution, Christianity was begrudgingly considered OK on the psych wards, or at least not necessarily equal to magical thinking… unless the patient thought he or she had an unusual religious purpose in life such as being Jesus Christ, a delusion that was said to be “not uncommon.”

Between the lines, we knew that any “visions of grandeur” might put us at risk of being too similar to the inpatients. And while there was no chance of being locked up for it, a med student couldn’t hope to pass a psych rotation where the people evaluating you thought you were basically nuts.

So if anyone had a personal relationship with God that meant everything to them, as I did (and still do), she or he had to be careful to tuck it away along with any secret hopes of someday becoming objectively great by doing extremely valuable work in the world.

And of course, some of us tried to down-size our ambitions and become genuinely satisfied with the psych ward’s prescribed mediocrity.

That never worked for me. I couldn’t escape my burning desire to do something great. I still can’t.

But to this day I’d never admit such a grandiose hope to a shrink. Only to you.

I wonder if the new boogeyman for med students on psych rotations today is black-and-white thinking.

It’s finally becoming a mainstream negative, which would be a good thing if it were opposed logically rather than in binary terms, such as the current “normal versus borderline personality disorder” dichotomy and other B&W approaches.

If you want to really insult a thinking analytic person, say that she’s a black-and-white thinker. The accusation is powerful and leaves a red mark.

It usually comes with the assumption that black-and-white thinking is always narrow-minded and inappropriate.

But it ain’t necessarily so…

Simple arithmetic, for instance, is black-and-white. No one will accuse you of B&W narrow-mindedness if you lower your guard and admit that you believe one and one equals two.

But with imaginary numbers (i.e., the “lie” that a negative number can have a square root), math itself enters a gray zone with the letter “i” keeping track of imaginary calculations.

So math starts out black and white but, like fiction, merges truth with imagination. Neither math nor fiction is really lying because the letter “i” and the word “novel” tell us we’re sort of pretending. Both explore the human experience by merging black-and-white foundations with a story written in symbols.

Physics is similar. When you calculate a coefficient of friction in a college Physics lab, it’s black-and-white Newtonian work. But if you’re ever trying to decide which version of string theory clashes the least with your classical Einsteinian bias, you’re quickly up to your eyeballs in shades of gray and spectrums of color.

Ironically, the popular all-or-none belittlement of B&W thinking, typified by the picture above, misses all the boring details of reality and winds up in subtle hypocrisy where the only black-and-white thinking it allows is its own binary criticism of black-and-white thinking.

Splitting humanity into “black-and-white thinkers” and “normal in-color thinkers” may be useful to some shrinks, I guess, but for the rest of us, it’s often used as a polarizing weapon to belittle people and silence unwelcome ideas.

Case in point…

To convince people that there’s no such thing as good and evil, some have associated good and evil with the dreaded black-and-white thinking. Some have claimed that the scientific version of Deity (the Intelligent Mind within the Quantum Field) isn’t concerned with such black-and-white matters as good and evil.

But does this make sense?

Can the rape of a child, for instance, be seen as morally neutral in the eyes of an intelligent Universe and the Mind that fills it?

Perhaps the Quantum Mind of God is not as preoccupied with negative judgments as our fading Western traditions tell us.

But this Mind is smart enough to write original DNA code. We are the products of that code. Most of us feel deep empathy for suffering children.

How then could the Code Writer be incapable of empathy, or reject the truest words to describe our human predicament: good and evil?

The best thing about humans is our capacity for compassion and empathy. These traits simply must have been written into our DNA by Someone who knew them. But we’re supposed to believe that the Code Writer is a stranger to empathy and suffering? Too broad-minded to see the difference between right and wrong?

This kind of thinking isn’t rational.

While black-and-white thinking is obviously one of humanity’s greatest limitations, the binary mindset that now pretends to oppose it is unwittingly promoting it by using shame to paint negative emotions on unwelcome ideas.

The situation is analogous to William Cooper’s old videos from the 1990’s where evil attempts to overcome evil. His conspiracy theory describes secret societies that plan to rid the world of evil by killing billions of people with viruses, then following up with a “benevolent” dictatorship run by the murderers.

But fighting fire with fire doesn’t work in the realm of good and evil. A pretty ending can’t overcome an ugly plot.

Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD

28 thoughts on “Black-and-white thinking? Come on, we ALL do it!

  1. Free Speech

    To see an area which is totally black and white you have to identify,
    whatever the cost.
    Okay it’s Jesus.
    You say you love Jesus.
    One tea is enough for you and me.

    When you confront the world in moral terms,
    you are good and they are bad.
    God might be bigger than sin.
    Like a rainbow,
    there’s God’s love even upon the sinner.
    Would victim allow that?
    And victims continue.

  2. M. Talmage Moorehead,

    “To fail to respect and learn from all sources”….

    I indeed have respect and learn from any and all sources, however what I respect them for and what I have learned from them may not be the same as someone else may claim.

    Too many religions have their exclusive V.I.P. club that teach moral superiority based simply on whether or not you’re a member of their religious V.I.P. club.
    I believe in moral superiority and moral inferiority, but not based on whether or not someone is waving a certain religious teams flag.

    Unfortunately, not all religious scripture and religious teaching teach the inclusive ideal.
    I look forward to the day that we progress well enough as a humanity, to legitimately call that a long ago and out dated statement.

    Let us all work towards that precious day.

    Thank you for your time graciously given.

    Brother Mark:)

  3. M. Talmage Moorehead,

    Thankfully, the Mahabharata isn’t actually Buddhist religious scripture, or else I would need to think seriously about being a Buddhist.
    There are three different Tipitaka though, the Pali Canon Tipitaka, the Chinese Tipitaka, and the Tibetan Tipitaka. The Theravada have the Pali Canon, while the Mahayana have either the Chinese or the Tibetan depending on what branch of Mahayana you adhere to.
    The Mahayana also revere various derivative literature and commentaries that were composed much later, although this doesn’t make any of it necessarily what would be considered Buddhist scripture.
    The Mahavamsa is a good example of this.

    At the very best, the Mahabharata could be considered some story telling of Hinduism and Jainism if you wanted to identity it with religious terminology, or perhaps you may wish to put it in a category of early Indonesian philosophy.

    Last I checked though, Christianity understands the Christian Bible to be their religious standard of authority.
    I therefore fail to see an accurate comparison.
    If we look at the Christian Bible, there is far more murder being santioned then there are such loving kindness words from Jesus.
    The best teacher teaches by example, and I believe that as an example we may need to take a look at something in the New Testament of the Christian Bible such as the Book of Acts Ch. 5 where the “Holy” Spirit murders a husband and wife in cold blood for telling a lie as they were accused by Peter of trying to deceive the “Holy” Spirit.
    According to the story, they sold some land and lied about how much they sold it for before giving the rest to the church. If you believe in the Trinity as most Christians do, then that same Jesus who gives the words of kindness that you mention, would have had a hand in the murdering of this husband and wife also. Birds of a feather flock together. Lets not forget as well that the Old Testament teaches that the God of Israel is an unchanging God.

    If we keep in mind that the best teacher teaches by example, I find much more to teach moral depravity, than any examples of virtuous teaching in the Christian Bible.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Brother Mark:)

    • Sorry, I wasn’t trying to make a comparison between Christianity and Buddhism. I’m too ignorant to connect or not connect the Mahabharata with Buddhism. Pitting one religion against another is never anything I intend to do.

      It may well be that the Buddhist literature is morally superior to the Christian literature. Since I haven’t read or studied Buddhism in depth, I’m unable to make that judgement and will gladly take your word for it.

      The lack of an Intelligent DNA Code Writer, however, in any belief system, whether scientism, or any of the religions that presumably exist on other planets, would be a sticking point for me, personally, in terms of joining.

      But not in terms of learning morality and every other extremely valuable thing from them.

      I’m simply convinced by my life’s spiritual experience and my reading of science that God (or any word one chooses for a Great Creator or Creators) exists.

      I’d like to call myself a Christian, but a more objective person from any of the current Christian organizations would probably consider my beliefs to be unworthy of the term, Christian. They would call me a Deist, I guess.

      I simply prefer the term Christian because of my history and the overall admiration I have for most of the actions and words attributed to the traditional Christ character. But anyone who thinks I shouldn’t claim to be a Christian because I’m not at all a fundamentalist is welcome to speak their truth. I’m not able to argue the point. These sorts of labels are not important to me at this time.

      I don’t think science has “proven” that an original Code Writer exists, it’s just that the evidence is completely compelling to me in the context of my subjective past.

      I hope that Christianity can survive any enlightenment that might be forced upon it.

      For any belief system to survive, it will probably need to learn to pick and choose wisely from among various texts, whether from the Bible or other religious and nonreligious (sacred and secular) writings.

      To fail to respect and learn from all sources would probably be a fundamentalist-style mistake. Sort of a black-and-white limiting of human spirituality.

  4. M. Talmage Moorehead,

    “The best thing about humans is our capacity for compassion and empathy. These traits simply must have been written into our DNA by Someone who knew them. But we’re supposed to believe that the Code Writer is a stranger to empathy and suffering? Too broad-minded to see the difference between right and wrong?”

    “Tissue samples from two adult mummies from about 3,500 years ago yielded the earliest known DNA from a parasite that causes malaria. One man in his 20s who died about 2,900 years ago—and somehow ended up in a woman’s coffin—suffered from Hand-Schuller-Christian disease, a rare, painful condition that produces bone tumors.”

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/03/130321-mummies-diseases-ancient-archaeology-science/

    This is only one example of many examples of a genetically inherited disease.

    If the Quantum mind of God code writer that you make mention of is something that has written compassion and empathy into our D.N.A. code, then why has genetically innate and inherited suffering been written in also?
    Would that be to make sure that we had something to utilize our compassion and empathy on?

    This all sounds to me like a rendition of the preacher who gives credit to his God deity when someone’s parents are able to find a third morgage for their house, but when that school bus has breaks that fail and there’s a major catastrophe, well then…. it’s the work of the devil or we should just marvel perhaps of the good lord’s mysterious ways!

    Is generally inherited disease not a product of the great code writer but a product of humanity’s evoloution?
    That would be like the great master of perfection code writer making a snowball that it tosses down a mountain, and when it travels down the mountain it eventually grows so big that it annihilates a family of five while they’re eating dinner.
    Not a problem though, we’ll just blame that on the mountain!

    If what you say is true, that perhaps it’s as simple as the code writer that you mention wanting humanity to suffer from disease as well as have compassion and empathy.
    That would sound like a pretty sadistic and cruel code writer, to give the good with one hand only to then cause great suffering with the other.

    Once again, please forgive my feeble attempt at a sense of humor, it is not meant as a personal attack.

    Thank you for the worthwhile read, your insights are most valuable to consider.

    Brother Mark:)

    • Humans are currently able to alter genetic code. I doubt we’re the first in the Universe to come upon this technology. I’d be surprised if human DNA is not vastly different from the original DNA codes written by Someone who exists at least partly outside of time and space, and acted some 13.8 billion years ago if scientists’ time speculations are correct.

      My answer to the question of why there’s imperfection (suffering) in a Universe made by a benevolent Being is simply that God created free will. Once that enters the Universe along with high intelligence, you’ve got the ability to create, the ability to bring new uncaused causes into being. Like deciding what kind of Ice cream is your favorite, or deciding to combine a spectrum of DNA code segments into the duckbilled platypus, or perhaps, if a culture is smart and technologically advanced, to create whole new species from scratch, complete with the defects that happen in a Universe where nothing is perfect.

      As to the cruelty of creating free will at all, I’m thankful to have mine and thereby exist as a sentient being despite the trouble it causes me. But I would certainly respect the contrary opinion of anyone who has suffered more than I have and would prefer not to have it.

      And I realize you don’t believe in free will. I respect that scientific materialist perspective, so popular among educated people in the West.

      At the risk of boring you further (because I’ve mentioned this before), I suspect that we all existed in a better place once, a place where God was physically present. But we each came to wonder what we would be like without God’s physical presence and influence. And we asked God to create a simulation for us so we could find out what our character would be like in God’s physical absence and without that strong direct influence.

      This crazy idea came to me when I was writing “Hapa Girl DNA,” the chapter where Johanna has a near-death experience and chats with the Great Creator (a young Surfer) aboard Anahata. Since then it seems to be less crazy, and I use it as an example of one remotely possible broad-picture justification of human suffering – we asked for it because we wanted something we valued more highly than an absence of suffering, a true knowledge of ourselves.

      Another influence that would account for genetic diseases is random DNA mutation, almost all of which is deleterious to an organism and must be quickly repaired by molecular machines that seem to have been designed for complex repair jobs.

      I don’t deny that random “bad luck” seems to exist, along with the random good luck. I don’t think God causes it, but what do I know, really? Maybe in the sense that God created this largely material Universe, God feels responsible for all the random bad luck people have. I hope not.

      • M. Talmage Moorehead,

        “Humans are currently able to alter genetic code. I doubt we’re the first in the Universe to come upon this technology. I’d be surprised if human DNA is not vastly different from the original DNA codes written by Someone who exists at least partly outside of time and space, and acted some 13.8 billion years ago if scientists’ time speculations are correct.”

        Forgive me, I didn’t know that you were talking about some sort of advanced alien creature! I thought that you were referring to the concept of God as the usual concept of the perfection of all that is good and pure and….. infallible.

        Please explain to me how someone exists outside of time and space.
        I’m not being sarcastic here….I would just like to know your thoughts on this.

        “And I realize you don’t believe in free will. I respect that scientific materialist perspective, so popular among educated people in the West.”

        Remember this?

        https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/#FreAccClaCom

        “Another influence that would account for genetic diseases is random DNA mutation, almost all of which is deleterious to an organism and must be quickly repaired by molecular machines that seem to have been designed for complex repair jobs.”

        So….they must be quickly repaired by molecular machines that seem to have been designed for complex repair jobs?
        Unfortunately, this code writer that you speak of didn’t design it well enough for repairs to be made to a standard that would prevent genetically inherited disease.

        Remember the analogy that I gave you regarding the snowball being tossed down the mountain?

        It (DNA code) starts off rolling, but before you know it, it’s now big enough to annihilate a family of 5 while they’re eating dinner!

        Are we to seriously believe that this quantum mind DNA code writer was SO brilliant and supreme in intelligence as to write our code….
        but failed to understand the eventual consequences?
        OR did it not care?

        But wait a minute!
        That would mean that “God” didn’t mind us suffering, or wasn’t intelligent enough to do a better job of it….. and what kind of God would that be?

        Brother Mark:)

        • Existing outside of time is a concept that my roommate, Dominic Chu, pointed out to me in college as being implicit in Einstein’s equations of time dilation, namely that if a being is able to attain the speed of light, the difference between his/her frame of reference and that of the stationary observer becomes a number divided by zero, which is infinity. As the traveler approaches the speed of light, the Universe in his window is seen moving faster and faster until at “c,” everything is moving “infinitely fast,” which I envision as the entire history of the Universe being visible all at once, or perhaps being a time-holographic picture of some sort that isn’t moving, but is all there to see, every detailed second of everything.

          I envision being “outside of space” as identical conceptually to being anywhere in existence before the big bang created space and time, or before God created them, if you’re open to what I think is more accurate terminology.

          I’m not saying that I think the Great Code Writer is one of the code writers who most likely came along later within the Universe and botched the original code.

          Neither am I saying that this Universe is capable of containing any source of infallible writing, whether genetic code or religious and secular texts.

          I see God as not needing anyone to write God’s genetic code (and maybe not needing any DNA) because God lives, at least in part, outside of space and time, in a truer reality than ours.

          This is my mental image of things. If it’s accurate, I’d be surprised, but it’s the best I’ve got.

          As to whether or not God is perfect and infallible, I don’t know. I do assume (by faith and as a result of subjective experience) that God is totally compassionate, benevolent and fun to be around.

          But is God capable of writing perfect DNA code in a Universe that was specifically designed to allow free will to create unpredictable imperfections?

          I think this is like asking for square circles. It’s not a reasonable, informed request.

          Part of the purpose of this Universe is most likely tied up in its basic “imperfect” nature. This seems true to such an extent that the human concept of perfection is profoundly uninformed and inaccurate.

          If the purpose of the Universe includes having free will in God’s physical absence so that we can know ourselves better as a result of the suffering we cause ourselves and other, and this is a situation we all requested and enter into freely, asking that God not bail us out or interfere, then this would be the perspective from which to judge how well God has given us what we requested. In this setting, the perfect gift is imperfection. And while I don’t insist that my sci-fi scenario is close to accurate, it opens the doors and hopefully some eyes to other better possibilities that make sense of the human condition without throwing out purpose, meaning, free will, responsibility, and nonrandomly derived morality.

          To assume that God created a flawless Universe that would, if he cared about us, stay perfect even after free beings have done much to alter it for billions of years is an assumption I’m not ready to make.

          Is the Bible correct in Genesis 5 where it tells us that God made a mistake and regretted ever creating humans?

          I’m not sure, but I doubt it.

          I also doubt that God sent a flood to destroy all of us except Noah and his family.

          At the same time, I think the scientific evidence is excellent for the occurrence of a global flood about 11,800 years ago. And I suspect there’s much literal truth in many of the details of Noah’s story.

          But it all comes down to what you choose to believe. And we all do have a choice, otherwise scientific materialism is correct and we’re wasting our time exchanging ideas, hoping that randomness will allow us to snag another illusory mind with our own false illusion of personhood and its false sense of being able to think, reason and decide.

          • M. Talmage Moorehead,

            Thank you so much for your response.
            It is so refreshing to be able to have an intelligent conversation with someone.

            As we look over Einstein’s special theory of relativity and it’s consequences on theories of time travel, I have never wondered why Einstein himself never fully believed in time travel. One would need to be a master of time travel to exist even partially outside of space and time.

            The fallacy I believe is in treating something immaterial as time as if it were something physical.

            The discipline of science is restricted to observing and testing the physical world, it cannot study the immaterial. 

            As discussed in this article that I am recommending, time has yet to be demonstrated as something physical. A clock is physical but a clock isn’t time. This would be like considering hearts and kisses to be “love” as opposed to a rather crude and inadequate representation of love.

            “It is true that clocks in high speeds of motion move slower than clocks traveling in low speeds of motion, but the same is true of all other forms of material things.”

            When you have the time from your busy schedule please take a look at this critical analysis of Einstein’s theory of special relativity:

            http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/einsteintime.htm

            Once we start basing our spiritual life on theories of time travel and existing outside of time and space that have never been in any way actually observed as demonstratable , we may as well believe in anything at all and call it “logical” if we can think of a theory for it.
            A “Deist” would need to do this to seem logical, but alas, I do not.

            “I envision being “outside of space” as identical conceptually to being anywhere in existence before the big bang created space and time, or before God created them, if you’re open to what I think is more accurate terminology.”

            Did the Big Bang really create space and time?

            “However in the last few years, several mathematical cosmologists have taken seriously the idea that there was a Pre-Big Bang. Part of the reason for this may be because of the Cosmic Background Radiation data from satellites like WMAP. This data shows larger scale structure in the early universe than the older theories would have predicted.”

            “In particular Roger Penrose has developed a view that the period since the Big Bang should be called an aeon, and that there were earlier aeons each infinitely long. This makes the Big Bang a kind of transition period between two aeons. The theory is speculative in several respects, but it is based on some mathematical constructions in General Relativity. This theory is called Conformal Cyclic Cosmology (CCC for short).”

            https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/5150/did-spacetime-start-with-the-big-bang

            I find it interesting that this all conforms very neatly with ancient Vedic philosophy where this is referred to as a Kalpa or if you would prefer, the Buddhist term Kappa. It is considered the time between the creation and recreation of a world or universe.

            As far as any discussion of DNA and the great Quantum mind code writer, and the subject of genetically inherited disease as it commonly affects the general population at large, I believe that to say anymore would be unnecessary and redundant.

            Thank you so very much for the great conversation!

            Brother Mark:)

            • With the assumptions of “scientism” stepping into the realm of religion and declaring that there is no God, no free will, nothing inside or outside the Universe but matter, energy and imaginary, illusory consciousness, it seems unavoidable to use science to support spiritual values and ideas. This may be a mistake on my part because science is so primitive in 2018, but it’s the best I can do for now.

              You’re welcome for my time. It seems that nothing I say makes an impact on your thinking, and vice-versa for me with regard to your ideas. Perhaps this is empirical support for your contention that we are not free moral agents capable of changing our minds, but instead we are deterministic machines with a bit of random complexity thrown in to confuse us and keep us imagining that we’re real beings.

              I have to reject this depressing view of myself, but I respect your opinions of the false nature of consciousness and human identity.

              Thank you for your time, too, Brother Mark.

          • M.Talmage Moorehead,

            A few last thoughts on this conversation…..

            In spite of the fact that it might be a bit redundant for me to say so at this point, as I have given you this in different ways…..as far as genetically inherited disease and gene mutations are concerned, there is Hereditary and there is Aquired.
            In the aquired version, the DNA might make an error when making a copy of itself, although this would not be a hereditary trait.
            I fail to see how any of this can be in an all encompassing way, blamed on anyone’s free will or a universe designed for such, especially the hereditary type.

            However, you at least acknowledge that the God of your understanding isn’t in as much control nowadays as most others would profess, whether you consider the contrary a matter of finding a square shaped circle or not.

            I shall now graciously give you the last word.

            Thank you once again for a great conversation!

            Brother Mark:)

            • This was supposed to be my last comment, but WordPress isn’t always on time as to the sequence of how these comments are published, or whether they get published or show up in any way at all!

            • Mutations of the gametes are passed on to progeny. These diseases become hereditary. “Hereditary and acquired” mutations/diseases are simply ways of looking at an individual’s genetic problems and asking if they came from his/her parents or not.

              All non-lethal mutations that haven’t been repaired can become hereditary if they involve the individual’s gametes (sperm and ova). In the same way, all intelligently altered genetic characteristics, whether helpful, detrimental or neutral will become hereditary if the gametes are altered. GMO Corn, for instance, passes its genes along to the offspring.

              A somatic mutation not involving gametes would not be passed along to progeny. You’re right about this, but it’s irrelevant to my point about intelligent design and the way mutations of gametes as well as various intelligent code writers throughout the Universe’s history are realistic factors to be taken into consideration discussions of alterations of an original genetic code written by God, but not necessarily “perfect” in the sense that God is not able to do what is against the presumed purpose of this Universe or what might be impossible (like making square circles).

              I speculate that God has been asked by us to interfere as little as possible with the cause-and-effect outcomes of our personal choices within this Universe. I could be totally wrong about this, of course. Those who believe that God is intimately involved in every detail of their lives may be right. I respect that viewpoint a lot. 🙂

          • M. Talmage Moorehead,

            Thank you so much for your response.
            It is so refreshing to be able to have an intelligent conversation with someone.

            As we look over Einstein’s special theory of relativity and it’s consequences on theories of time travel, I have never wondered why Einstein himself never fully believed in time travel. One would need to be a master of time travel to exist even partially outside of space and time.

            The fallacy I believe is in treating something immaterial as time as if it were something physical.

            The discipline of science is restricted to observing and testing the physical world, it cannot study the immaterial. 

            As discussed in this article that I am recommending, time has yet to be demonstrated as something physical. A clock is physical but a clock isn’t time. This would be like considering hearts and kisses to be “love” as opposed to a rather crude and inadequate representation of love.

            “It is true that clocks in high speeds of motion move slower than clocks traveling in low speeds of motion, but the same is true of all other forms of material things.”

            When you have the time from your busy schedule please take a look at this critical analysis of Einstein’s theory of special relativity:

            http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/einsteintime.htm

            Once we start basing our spiritual life on theories of time travel and existing outside of time and space that have never been in any way actually observed as demonstratable , we may as well believe in anything at all and call it “logical” if we can think of a theory for it.
            A “Deist” would need to do this to seem logical, but alas, I do not.

            “I envision being “outside of space” as identical conceptually to being anywhere in existence before the big bang created space and time, or before God created them, if you’re open to what I think is more accurate terminology.”

            Did the Big Bang really create space and time?

            “However in the last few years, several mathematical cosmologists have taken seriously the idea that there was a Pre-Big Bang. Part of the reason for this may be because of the Cosmic Background Radiation data from satellites like WMAP. This data shows larger scale structure in the early universe than the older theories would have predicted.”

            “In particular Roger Penrose has developed a view that the period since the Big Bang should be called an aeon, and that there were earlier aeons each infinitely long. This makes the Big Bang a kind of transition period between two aeons. The theory is speculative in several respects, but it is based on some mathematical constructions in General Relativity. This theory is called Conformal Cyclic Cosmology (CCC for short).”

            https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/5150/did-spacetime-start-with-the-big-bang

            I find it interesting that this all conforms very neatly with ancient Vedic philosophy where this is referred to as a Kalpa or if you would prefer, the Buddhist term Kappa. It is considered the time between the creation and recreation of a world or universe.

            As far as any discussion of DNA and the great Quantum mind code writer, and the subject of genetically inherited disease as it commonly affects the general population at large, I believe that to say anymore would be unnecessary and redundant.

            Have a great day!

            Brother Mark:)

  5. M. Talmage Moorehead,

    Genesis 2 Vs. 16-17 (K.J.V.)

    16. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

    17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    Genesis 3 Vs.5 (K.J.V.)

    5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

    Your recent post is a very interesting piece of commentary.
    It is noteworthy that for the Abrahmic lineage of religion humanity’s presumed fall from paradise is indicated by our want to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that conversely our pristine spiritual state as a humanity in the eyes of this creator God deity is that of humanity being too ignorant to know the difference.
    It can be said perhaps that we had knowledge of right and wrong, but without the knowledge of good and evil it can only be in a way as a dog would know not to defecate on the bedroom floor, because it’s master has taught it to understand this act as wrong.

    Just about any other religious persuasion understands the knowledge of good and evil as a very basic and necessary building block for one’s spiritual growth.

    How would I define good and evil?
    It’s simple really.
    Helping humanity’s level of knowledge and spiritual potential grow is good, to inhibit such is evil.

    I’ve never been much good playing the role of an ignorant dog on the masters plantation, and I believe you and most others I know wouldn’t as well. If others want it so badly, I have offered to pay them for a labotomy, but as I have suspected none have since taken me up on my offer! This is where they start making a desperate and convenient distinction between the symbolic and the literal even though it’s all pretty clearly spelled out here for us.
    I have also heard it said that this God deity had a plan to eventually give us this knowledge, and when I ask for some sort of scriptural substantiation…there is none.

    I find value in your discussion of black and white thinking, although many that I have had this type of conversation with will rally against it because they yearn to have their cake and eat it too, in some ways when all they are left with is to criticize black and white thinking.
    Scientists who support their pet theory in spite of a lack of evidence of anything that can’t be otherwise just as well explained some other way, would be a good example here.

    May the compassionate Deva advise and guide you.

    Brother Mark:)

    • I appreciate your clear thinking, Brother Mark. As always. 🙂

      I came across the blog of an atheist who had been a Christian minister/ pastor. He told the story of how his son had gone off to college and come back an atheist, then had convinced him to become one. His son was able to point out logical contradictions in the protestant version of the Bible, so that was the end of his non-secular faith and the beginning of his secular faith. He left Christianity because, as he put it regarding various passages of scripture, “You can’t pick and choose.” Meaning, the Bible is either internally consistent or it’s worthless.

      I think that this sort of fundamentalist demand for a “magic” or perfect message from God is the sort of black-and-white thinking that will end Christianity if we hang on to it. But I could be wrong, of course. It’s conceivable that somehow the messages that seem contradictory to me are actually not contradictory by some line of logic/thinking that’s beyond me now.

      For now, I think the best approach to spiritual wisdom (which I agree is humanity’s greatest need) is to acknowledge that all books, not just religious books, and all gurus and Popes require us to pick and choose.

      When the Mahabharata shows the Deity telling us to go ahead and engage in war because no one really dies, I don’t accept this. When the Bible has the Deity telling Samuel and the Saul to attack the native inhabitants, killing men, women, children, and animals, then stealing their land, I reject this, too. But when Jesus is quoted to have said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” I accept it because I can readily see that it’s humanity’s only hope of surviving our nuclear and biological WMDs now.

      When, as a child, a math book had an error, I rejected it. But I still learned to do math from the flawed book. When a guru like Desponza tells me that the Field of Mind/ Intelligence/ Consciousness isn’t interested in good and evil, I reject the idea (as detailed in this post), but I’m still willing to learn from him how to connect with the Mind in the Field (or the Holy Spirit, if you choose Biblical terminology).

      I’m afraid that fundamentalist Christians who believe they need a perfect book are in for a spiritual meltdown if they actually read the book, compare the values of the OT with those of Jesus, and then compare the words attributed Jesus with those attributed to Paul, and James and then “John” the Revelator, whomever he really was.

      In my humble and yet infallible opinion (haha) there probably isn’t a single sacred-cow Christian doctrine that can’t be supported as well as refuted by at least one “clear” text.

      That’s why all fundamentalist Christians have to “interpret” the texts they don’t like in order to make the ideas congruent with the texts they like. This “interpretation” is denial of the fact that they are essentially “picking and choosing” the texts that support their doctrinal views.

      I think it’s better to come out of denial and admit that we all pick and choose our “texts,” not just from the Bible but from every source of information. We have no choice but to do this because we have the capacity to think and reason, albeit a limited capacity as humans.

      Scientists seem to fall into two bell-shaped curves. those who have made science essentially a religion (scientisim) with unquestionable dogmas that must be upheld in order to keep their jobs, and those who are more interested in finding the truth wherever it leads, even if it leads to (gasp) the recognition that a Supreme DNA Coder must exist if the universe is only 13.8 billion years old and finite in size… Even if it means that beings from other planets or from some breakaway advanced human civilization are responsible for some of the UFO sightings that society in the US has ignored until recently… Even if it means taking people seriously who say they have been contacted by being from a broader reality or dimension.

      Of course, there may be a group of fundamentalists that has a book or guru that is right about everything. Casting out that possibility by assumption isn’t scientific, spiritual or logical, as best I can tell.

  6. I loved non-Euclidean geometry. I also used to make Möbius bands for fun. When I was homeschooling my kids, teaching them about the bands and the bottles was a hoot.

    When I was in nursing school, I was prepared to fear and hate the Psych quarter, but it turned out to be my favorite part of the whole curriculum.

    Great blog post. This one’s a keeper. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Christine! We homeschooled our kids for a long time, too. I wish I’d taken it more seriously myself. I kept “busy” with other things and my wife did all the work.
      I enjoyed my psych rotation mainly because it was a low-stress environment relative to most other rotations. In retrospect, I would have been happier doing psych research for a living than suffering for decades in the stressful field I wound up in, surgical pathology. But I helped a lot of people, so I shouldn’t complain. That’s what I set out to do.

    • I don’t think TV politics is going to solve the human crisis. Today’s insane political divide seems to me to be a tightly controlled tool (in the hands of five companies, probably) for producing angry people who hate each other. I’m learning ignore it. 🙂 My life is happier.

      • Aside from (or beyond) politics, Trump is a fascinating study, not only in what makes him what he is, but in crowd psychology. I don’t think, from a “we’re all in this together ” standpoint, that it helps anyone to ignore how these things are manifested and play out politically, but I can appreciate where you’re coming from.

        Thanks for your time.

        • You’re right that ignoring things doesn’t make them go away and can’t solve the underlying problem. But to ignore the bias hype on TV might actually bring a person closer to an accurate observation. Just my opinion, of course. Check out the video on a post I wrote called “Orwellian News.” It’s a helpful piece of observation by whomever put that video together.

  7. Jordan River

    How did you distinguish clinically between a patients claim to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus from someone who really saw and talked with Jesus ?

    • It was always assumed that no one could have a real vision of Jesus or God except maybe the Prophetess of the early SDA church, Mrs. White, though on the psych wards she was probably considered to be either a fraud or a tad crazy. It was really a typical materialist style assumption being made, one that couldn’t be tested, only believed or rejected on a person’s gut feeling.

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