Daybook: Monday, June 12th 2023
Because of my currently troubled states of employment and housedness, my priority is not currently on this blog. Long story. If I decide to get into it here (and I may), it will be behind the paywall.
More, when I do get my feet on terra firma, my attention is likely to shift almost exclusively toward marketing copy. My intention is to create spec content to enter into that profession. (If you have any feedback as to what might be a potential niche for me, please reach out!)
Because such content will be of no interest to any of you, that will either be done on a LinkedIn newsletter, or I will start a punto-com of my own devoted to writing samples.
All that said, I still hope to continue to offer you all thoughts and check-ins on Mondays and Fridays, if for no other reason than to stay sharp and generate content for the book of essays on which I am working diligently. Life doesn’t get to dictate my right to work — unless fate chooses to take me out entirely. Fat chance. (Although one must always accept it as a possibility. And yes, I do practice Memento Mori — in fact, I did so this very morning.)
Podcasts are currently on hold.
On Christian Buddhism
Currently, my most helpful theological speculation has been on the Emptiness of God. (When I say “helpful,” I mean that it assists me with the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”) The concept comes from a Buddho-Vedantic term: Śūnyatā.
I do not equate “Emptiness” with ideas of “absence” or “lack.” To do so would, in my opinion, add a “negative” quality — a subjective value-judgment which (from my vantage) would be hubristic. You could call me “agnostic” in the sense that, technically, I’m confessing that (at the propositional level) I don’t know about the nature of God for certain. But I’m really far more Gnostic than that, and do believe that I “sense” very real qualities (which are admittedly anecdotal, and not subject to experimentation).
I link this to ideas of Advaita Vedanta which are source for the type of Meditation described here: David Lynch talks about the Unified Field.
If you don’t think Transcendental Meditation sounds scientific, it’s because it isn’t. (At least not in the contemporary sense of the word [which would incidentally also disqualify all of the Social Sciences, for what it’s worth].) And neither is Christianity. These are ways of talking about the nature of reality, a topic we can only accept as being continually elusive, composed of symbolical representations of abstract ideas. (Queue Poesis, and Poetics.)
For me, this old idea of Emptiness fits in nicely with guys like Aquinas with his notion of ipsum esse subsistens, Plato and Aristotle with their θεία ουσία, Plotinus with his constant flux, Tillich with his Ground of Being, etc, etc. Typical take-downs of patrially theistic conceptions of God are easy — just bring up suffering or the inefficacy of petitionary prayer. Kudos for these arguments. Even Bishop Robert Barron seems to appreciate them (although in practice, he seems to lapse back to an anthropomorphic deity once he’s done waxing theosophically).
But the existence of a base consciousness out of which the cosmos emerges allows for all ideas. Suffering is present for beings who are capable of suffering — who conceive of suffering as suffering. Buddhists start with that very notion — all of life involves dissatisfaction as we attempt to seek what we desire, and avoid what hurts or threatens.
The idea of Being, itself, suffering is basically impossible to imagine.
Ideas of Being which manifest as a God being a he are idolatrous and heretical, as far as this Sapien is concerned. When I speak of God, when I speak of prayer, I am not thinking of “a Being” to whom I am “talking.” I am submitting to the fact that, as a social primate, I have no choice but to embrace and work with this silly language and cognition and apply them advantageously rather than disadvantageously.
I am currently in a really bad place and, as such, I have had a number of negative thoughts — and have experienced a good deal of emotional turmoil. And while these things are difficult, my existence has in no way been seriously threatened. The reason for that is because I don’t confine “my” existence as something so limited as being able to be threatened.
Death would not be the end of “me,” and so I don’t fear it. Neither do I romanticize it. I’m Death Ambivalent. (Great name for a metal album!)
I Could Use Money
As I said, I’m between apartments and positions right now, and could always use cash. If you’re interested in contributing, you can subscribe to the newsletter or buy me a coffee. Otherwise, I do have Venmo and Paypal and all that. It’s not so dire as to need to start a fundraiser or anything. I’ll keep you in the know and, as I mentioned before, I may begin to journal more explicitly behind the paywall.
With Much Affection, and Appreciation,