Sunday, April 9, 2023


                                                METAPHYSICS AND ONTOLOGY

The following discussion is merely a compilation of information I found on the Internet.  I’ve edited some of it and removed the redundancies.  It is kind of what I had in mind when I was struggling to identify a “theme” for our discussions. 

The word Metaphysics comes to us from Ancient Greece, where it was a combination of two words – Meta, meaning after or over and beyond – and physics. Thus, the combination means over and beyond physics. In the definition found in most dictionaries, metaphysics is referred to as a branch of philosophy that deals with first cause and the nature of being. It is taught as a branch of philosophy in most academic universities under the label of “Speculative Philosophy.”

In today’s world the word metaphysics has become a sort of description of many fields of interest. When one expresses an interest in metaphysics, that interest may be in any one or a combination of the following subjects:

Philosophy, Religion, Parapsychology, Mysticism, Yoga, ESP, Dreams, Jungian Psychology, Transpersonal and Theocentric Psychology, Astrology, Meditation, Self-Help Studies, Positive Thinking, Life After Death, Transcendentalism, Reincarnation

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of BEING and considered a subcategory of Metaphysics. The common denominator of these and all similar subjects, of course, deals with an exploration of reality, and in the idealistic sense, how such knowledge may benefit human life on this earth, both individually and collectively. If, then, this is the aim of such interests, it is why most professional metaphysical practitioners regard metaphysics as a spiritual philosophy or way of life.


All but a very few practitioners in metaphysics today have a pivotal point in some sort of spiritual philosophy in whatever system or teaching of metaphysics they are engaged.


And if we were to go from one metaphysical teacher or organization to another, we would find people engaging in different disciplines such as those listed above – or basically a search for truth, purpose and meaning in life, wherever that search takes us.   


In a more absolute sense, I like to think of metaphysics as dealing with the basic questions of life, such as the relationship of man, mind, and the Universe, which leads to discussions of the age-old questions posed by most of us when we reflect on life:  “Who am I; what am I; what is my purpose, where have I been, and where am I going?”


What are your thoughts? 


Sue McGhee

Friday, April 17, 2020

Earth Day

                                     April is the Cruelest month,
                                      Breeding lilacs out of the dead land,
                                      Mixing memory and desire, stirring
                                              Dull roots with spring rain.
                                       T. S. Eliot – The Wasteland                                         

As I sit here looking out my window upon the third day of intermittent, then heavy, then dry, then fluffy and by any measure – beautiful snow, I cannot blame the time of year on my uneasiness.  

But I am beginning to feel that “I” am the “dull root” being stirred – not with a sense of renewal, but with dread and suspicion. My elegant, bright daffodils are still maintaining their valiant stance even as the spring snow tries to bury them.  What beauty!  What courage, I think! And, I am a part of this rhythm of earth’s renewal. Will my courage wane?

Now we are threatened with a plague and many of us remain strong, even while meekly peeping our mask-covered heads now and then out of our self-imposed quarantine. We respect Nature; we even respect the virus because it is new and stronger than any of us. But it is part of Nature – like the asteroid’s that took out the dinosaurs all those millions of years ago. Like the Black Plague centuries ago. It is a sign that Nature is in charge and we are all part of it. We can battle the virus and will survive it. It is part of Nature as are we.

But there is something else that we may not survive. And this is what is now stirring my dull roots. Does it stir yours? 

I worry.  I worry about our Wildlife reserves.  Our parks and our wilderness areas. 

Did you know that our current president has rolled back  some 95 different laws and initiatives to protect our earth, our water, our wildlife, initiated by previous administrations (mainly Obama’s) and some national forest lands which had been set aside way back in the twenties to protect those lands from development.  


We as Americans need to wake up before we lose what we’ve fought to retain all these years.  Our earth and our natural environment are under attack but that is not all.  We are in danger of losing our Democracy.  This man wants to be King. We must not allow it. 

It is Spring and the earth is awakening. So must we. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Profile in Courage

Senator Mitt Romney has just restored my faith in government, in truth and in the decency of our politicians.
Today he gave a speech only an hour or so before the Senate is to vote to acquit our president from impeachment and the removal from office which he so readily deserves. Romney appears to be the only Republican who is living up to the oath they all must take:  Conscience first, County second and Party last.  He is the only Republican who had the grace and the conscience to stray from the long vindictive arm of Mitch McConnell and therefore will invite a lot of vituperative comment and retribution from Trump. Still, in his speech, he acknowledged that; indeed, he expects it.
As we all have been reminded ad infinitum over the past couple of months, our constitution warns no one is above the law.  This president, however, is too ignorant and too arrogant to care. And with his staff of sycophants including Barr and Pompeo, he doesn’t have to. And once this acquittal takes place, this president will feel he can do anything with impunity, as the Senate which is supposed to be the check on the Executive Branch, will allow him to do whatever he wants.
JFK, may we include Mitt Romney in your pantheon of Profiles in Courage?  And may we award him the Medal of Freedom.
He deserves it. Not Rush Limbaugh.   

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Complexities of the English Language -- a reprise

With the undaunted and continuous reporting on every aspect of our world – both political and personal – as a result of the “twenty-four-hour-news cycle,” certain phrases appear again and again in our Media ad nauseum.   It isn’t just the “talking heads” who commit the sin of “pundit drivel.” It’s the supposed “experts” of all fields whom the pundits interview.  

We are being proselytized on a daily basis to thinking in terms of the clichéd cliché.

Here are few that have come to make me cringe:  

“. . .having said that...”

“. . .that being said. . .”

“. . .at the end of the day. . .”

“. . .we’ll get to that on the other side. . .” (of the commercial break).

“. . .he allegedly. . .” (did something like cross the street).  

". . .whatever. . ."

". . . it is what it is . . ."  

“. . .what were (are) your feelings. . .?” (asked of someone who can hardly speak because of being choked up with tears after a tragedy in their lives).

". . .sorry for your loss  . . ."

". . .what was going through your mind . . .? (when the gunman shoved the gun in your face). 

“. . . let’s DO this. . .”

“. . . be that as it may. . .”

“. . . so . . . “  (a word currently used to preface the answer to a question – Mike Morell should know better!)

“. . . like . . . “  (Oh, please, let’s get rid of this word used to begin a sentence or to fill a pause.  Like, I'd be over-joyed!)  

“. . . I know what the optics are. . .” The White House Staff uses “optics” a lot.  How about something like, “. . . I know how this appears. . .”

Appearances do matter and so do words.

My latest peeve, however, is the use of “complex” when the speaker means “complicated.”  Yes, the dictionary makes it sound like they are interchangeable.  However, there is a subtle difference in the connotation of the words.  In the case of the word “complex” the connotation is and has always been one of the following: containing multiple interconnected parts; a composite; multi-faceted; a complex system of something.  

"Complicated," on the other hand, is not that complicated -- it connotes difficult to understand, analyze, explain or follow.

Am I the only one who gets rankled with the sloppy use of "I" and "me," "he" and "him" as well as "she" and "her?"  One should give it to "me;" therefore, one should also give it to "him and me" or "her and me."  Please don't let one give it to "her and I," since one would never give it to "I," would they?   

Oh, well. I guess it's just me!  

Next up:  my rant on Pharmaceutical commercials.  I’ll bet you can’t wait! 

Friday, November 22, 2019

November 22, 1963

Today is not a day to celebrate but to remember.  

I was very young and very idealistic.  But I have never been more in tune with or involved in government and what it was doing than those days of the Kennedy administration.  My generation believed that government could work back then; we believed in the Constitution, in equal rights, in the freedom of the press.  

We were warriors, we were involved; we were activists, we lived fervently, rebelled ostentatiously and loved freely; we fought back; we became consequential.  We did not "go along."   

We had a leader who inspired.

Kennedy's legacy through the years has been laced with a kind of blandness as though aside from his youth, his wit and charisma, his attractive young family, he really accomplished very little. This was blatantly wrong.

Now, however, appreciation of Kennedy's accomplishments grows with each passing year. And it should.  True, he allowed Khrushchev to get the upper hand (at first). Also true, that the Berlin Wall went up during his tenure. Indeed, he resided over the Bay of Pigs fiasco and we're all aware of his "indiscretions." But I believe today, that had that young president lived, he might have been one of our greatest leaders. Remember, he had only a thousand days in which to accomplish his agenda.
As for his accomplishments, take note: the Peace Corps, the Alliance for Progress, Civil Rights legislation, the Space Program and the introduction of the Green Berets. His major accomplishment, however, was a tight and tense little psychological drama between the USA and the USSR known as The Cuban Missile Crisis, which, without the successful maneuvering of the Kennedys, might have left the world in a state of nuclear disaster.

I guess his potential greatness will never be known which is what happens when someone takes you out before your time. But I think when all is said and done, his star will ultimately shine as one of the brightest.  

I remember and I am grateful to have learned my political abc's under your leadership, JFK. You never blamed others for your mistakes -- you took your lumps with calm and grace. You spoke decisively but with care for the feelings of your listeners, with admiration for those in the Press who covered you, with respect for those who opposed you and with dignity that matched the office you once held. 

You made us dream.

I miss you, JFK.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

God, Religion and Biocentrism

       God, Religion and Biocentrism
         Rambling Thoughts on the Nature of Being

        My dad died in my arms when I was 15 years old; he died suddenly from a heart attack, gasping for air, sprawled on the bathroom floor. We were alone and I tried to revive him without knowing how.       
       I began a long journey of blame and self-analysis, searching for answers to all the ancient questions like, “who am I?” “Why am I here?” “Where do we go when we die?”  I dabbled in everything and rejected everything. I considered becoming a Trappist nun after reading Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton when I was seventeen. I didn’t. But I did join the Roman Catholic Church and for a time became devout. I observed no meat Fridays, Holy Days of Obligation; I had my babies baptized before they were six months old.  
       But I continued to explore. I ran the gamut, studying every off-beat version of philosophy, science and religion. I thought of myself alternately as a mystic, a Pantheist, a half-hearted Buddhist, and ultimately, an agnostic.  
       I studied the big bang theory and in my mind became a bit of stardust, believing for a time that is where we all came from as a result of this cataclysmic event – an explosion 13.7 billion years ago that created massive energy allowing us to drift around until we began to form into atoms and molecules.  And all that blustery energy stirred the primordial stew until there was our earth and the seas and sea creatures who gradually migrated to land and trees and... 
        When I was a child, my WASP-ish parents dutifully sent me to Sunday school and then my grandmother had me dunked at her Southern Baptist Tabernacle by Dr. Huston when I was somewhere around ten. When I embraced Catholicism, I grappled with a God who was cool and distant, who would have condemned me to an eternity of hell, fire and brimstone had I sinned mortally and not had the good sense to go to confession before getting hit by a bus. (That god led me into a miserable marriage – yes, miserable, but it produced four wonderful children whom I love with all my heart.)      
       The idea that I was a jot of mystical stardust from heaven was warmly comforting for a while and I basked in the knowledge that I was a creation of light and energy, exuding that life force into the world.          
       The “God is Dead” period in my life was difficult and demeaning. I was lonely without a God – believing that if in fact He wasn’t really dead, He certainly no longer gave a damn. He became to me the so-called “clock maker God” who created the multi-verse and then turned his back on all that he created and sold us to a pawn shop.        
       But I hung on to a belief in miracles. Because in hard times they came to me at the precise moment I needed them – to help me find a job, a buyer for my piano in order to pay the rent, to keep the house my kids and I were living in; to avoid an on-coming out of control semi as it roared down the mountain in my lane. My life was full of them.  Still I searched.  I wondered. I doubted.            
        Then I learned about the Quantum Theory.       
        Oh, but Quantum Theory (Mechanics, Physics, etc.) excludes the big bang, doesn’t it?          So I asked myself: how did we come to be if there was no beginning? We created ourselves is Quantum’s answer. In the quantum system, reality is in the eye of the perceiver and therefore nothing is really real unless someone observes it.       
       Not too long ago, scientists began looking for the God particle or gene or VMAT2 which they said would explain everything to everyone and bring back the God of my childhood, He, who crammed all his creating into seven days and nights, the God of Genesis.           
       After the end of my marriage, Religion began to lose all meaning to me and I stopped going to church. I soured on it all -- that is, all traditional religions including Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam -- believing they do more harm than good. The Bible, a revered piece of God’s Word became no more to me than a fanciful piece of literature, an ancient text filled with stories of ancient people, compiled and edited by those attending the Council at Nicea in 325, to include only those events and characters that supported the doctrine of Christianity (sold, in my opinion, hundreds of years earlier by Paul, a talented mythmaker who never even knew Jesus).       
       I don’t mean to offend the reader, here. But really, how much of the Bible is myth, especially the New Testament?  I know that Jesus walked the earth because of Josephus, who was his contemporary and a major historian of the time.  I know that Jesus lived, but was he God?                 
       History of the Crusades, the boiling in oil of non-believers, antics of Catholic priests, terrorism by the Jihadists, distortion of the Koran, all added to my disenchantment with religion. Think about how our Evangelical Pastors manipulate their congregations and make money off of their flocks (yes they do – especially through “televangelism” with Television pastors who fly around in their “Jesus Jets” and live in tax free mansions they call parsonages paid for by their supporters).       
       Religion became a joke to me.  Belief, on the other hand, was still an important part of my life.
       From the time I was a child chasing a lost spider or ant around the bathtub to keep from washing him down the drain, I’ve always loved and protected animals and nature. I remember sitting for hours watching my goldfish twist from side to side, then float upside down in his fish bowl; I prayed that he would live. He didn’t.  I had a turtle named Ike who was eaten by my dog, Tony. My dad told me he had wandered out of the house to find his mother in the pond down the street. I was heartbroken, but still I prayed that he would somehow amble his way back to me. But,  I prayed -- to someone or something.       
        My love of nature led me to Biocentrism, the belief that we and our animals, all sentient beings have worth and that we humans do not necessarily have dominion over the animal world. It fit perfectly with what was then becoming my belief system.    

The term biocentrism encompasses all environmental ethics that “extend the status of moral object from human beings to all living things in nature.” [5] Biocentric ethics calls for a rethinking of the relationship between humans and nature. It states that nature does not exist simply to be used or consumed by humans, but that humans are simply one species amongst many,[6] and that because we are part of an ecosystem, any actions which negatively affect the living systems of which we are a part adversely affect us as well,[6][7] whether or not we maintain a biocentric worldview.” [6] Biocentrists believe that all species have inherent value, and that humans are not "superior" to other species in a moral or ethical sense.
                                                        (From good ol’ Wikipedia)

        Of Course! The statement above implicitly includes our environment.       
       But, back to my dilemma. How then did our world come to be? And, who’s in charge?         Are the earth and its creatures created by God or did we just randomly appear and assume our roles as a result of an incredibly long evolution from stardust to sea creature to land beings? How does one make sense of it all?       
        And, really, do I want to put God back in my belief system?       
       Better Yet, can I have my God without Religion?       
       Western science has always maintained dualism, back in the days of the Greeks followed by the Romans.  Our western gods were separate and apart and living a life of luxury and war in their pantheons, but still experiencing similar emotions as we, such as love, hate, jealousy and wars. Still, we looked up to them.  They were above us. Western physicists, including Newton, managed to keep the maker in their theories of Physics. Newton defined creation as a grand happening, but it was always understood that there was a higher intelligence behind it.
        In most, certainly many, eastern religions, we are one -- the divine is within us – we are God.  And since I started practicing Yoga and studying the ancients, I realize that may be where I’ve landed and will end my life-long search for answers. Maybe we are God or at least, we are partly God.  We are the Source. So everything we say, do or think affects not just our family and friends, but our community and the world beyond.  Perhaps the new Biocentrists (who do embrace some of Quantum Theory) are correct – that our consciousness is the real creator.

I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” – Max Planck, the originator of quantum theory (source)
       In the last ten years, two young scientists (Dr. Robert Lanza and Bob Berman) seem to express what I’ve been grappling with all these years – a theory that allows me to believe in something that is more than just randomness, although still with an abundance of questions – which will probably never be answered.  
       Did the Big Bang happen according to Biocentrism? Yes.  How? This is what they say:

The laws of physics seem to be exactly balanced for life to exist. For example, if the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, the cosmos would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies and stars to have developed. There are over 200 physical parameters like this that could have any value but happen to be exactly right for us to be here. These fundamental constants of the universe aren’t predicted by any theory — all seem to be carefully chosen to allow for the existence of life and consciousness. (Yes, consciousness raises its annoying paradoxical head yet a third time.) Although biocentrism supplies answers, the current model has absolutely no reasonable explanation for this.                                   Robert Lanza and Bob Berman from Biocentrism

       The universe is over 95% energy – dark energy and dark matter -- and we are all a part of it.  We are all connected – to one another, to animal life, to plant life, to the entire planet.  We do not die, because our consciousness, (no, not the brain) lives on.  
       So then, what is consciousness?  We don’t know. What is dark matter? Still unanswered.  What is infinity?  We don’t know that either.  What happens to us when we die?  No one knows.      
       Thank you Dr. Lanza for satisfying my need to feel relevant.  But no thanks that your perfectly perfect “theory of everything” does not answer much of anything.  There are still questions whopping around my head. More than ever.      
      Was God involved?      
      Yes.  According to Lanza, etal. There was some knowing Power that made the conditions simply perfect for our world to become.  Remember, There are over 200 physical parameters like this that could have any value but happen to be exactly right for us to be here.”        If so, isn’t that a good thing?       
       Knowing there is a superior power out there should compel us to be good. And suggests we might live on after death.  If there were no motivation that leads us to “do unto others,” why should we?  If not heaven, hell, the fear of retribution, then why should we try so hard to do the right thing? Is this religion talking? Or does it matter?  Will my moral behavior propel me into a higher and richer existence, or a lower, more demeaning life than the one I am now living?  
       And what brought me to this life?  Was it my immoral and unforgiving behavior in a prior incarnation? Or a bargain I made at some celestial bus stop before being born?  Since I’ve had a pretty challenging yet fulfilling life this time around, perhaps it was because I lived a decent, moral life before. Do we live in a system of rewards, then?  
       And. I know I am happier when I live morally -- when I am generous and giving and grateful for what I have.  I am unhappy when I allow myself to sink into resentment, anger, revenge or retribution. 
       Perhaps that means we are naturally imbued with a sense of morality, goodness and love. And when we reject those things, we are out of balance.  And so is our world.  Perhaps this is our moral imperative. To be good. Not because of fear or a possibility of reward, but because it behooves us to be good – to our family, our community, our world.  We can make it better just by being good.  How powerful that is!            
        Oh, my God.        
        Just think about it!  I have.          
        But I don’t have the answers.        
        Do you?           

Friday, November 23, 2018

House Cleaning

Interesting to watch as the House Majority, still attempting to flex their muscles, try yet again to thwart the lawful purpose of oversight by selectively leaking and distorting information resulting from secret testimony. 

They have now subpoenaed James Comey and Loretta Lynch for closed door hearings regarding events during the 2016 campaign. Mr. Comey’s attorney, David Kelley has replied, saying Mr. Comey will be happy to testify but not behind a “closed door” session. 

How refreshing it will be in January to have new occupants of this House, sweeping away the dirt, the secrets and the lies, scrubbing out the stains of hypocrisy, opening up the windows and allowing the sun to shine through.