Noah (2014) – Esoteric Analysis

Noah film poster.

Noah film poster.

By: Jay

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has become the talk of the Internet and religious folk.  As a film, I found it flawed and a little odd in its pacing, but on a deeper level, there is plenty to mine.  Most analyses that focus on the deeper elements come from the evangelical right, up in arms about the “lack of biblical” elements, and some even saying it is blasphemous and “gnostic.”  Readers of Jay’s Analysis know I have no hesitation in slapping the gnostic label on Hollywood’s latest, yet here I am not so eager.   It’s not that the film has no gnostic elements – there are some.  It’s that the film is utilizing kabbalistic  and Jewish oral tradition, which I think is the source for much of the confusion.

Aronofsky did make Pi, which is also based around kabbalistic ideas, particularly numerology and its relation to God.  I am very interested in numerology and how it relates to God, yet on a personal level I just didn’t connect with Pi.  It’s not a bad film, I just found it depressing.  The relevance here is that Pi shows Aronofsky is very much a man of Jewish mysticism and esoterism, despite his claim to be an atheist.   So, more than containing a lot of “gnosticism,” Noah contains a lot of kabbalism, as well as ideas from the Bible, the Book of Enoch, and Jewish midrash.  I don’t pretend to be an expert in these areas, but I have far more familiarity than most.

Overall, I liked the film.  There is nothing wrong with looking beyond there mere text to the oral tradition and the wider context that surrounds the classical biblical narratives.  Evangelicals that were thrown into a frenzy are generally unaware that the “environmental” message was, in fact, accurate.  In the biblical narrative, Noah and his sons had not yet begun eating flesh.  Longevity was much greater due to being still relatively close chronologically to the Edenic state.  Granted, the film took liberties with giving Noah a period of doubting where he thinks he may not have done correctly, since it appeared for a time that God wanted all humanity dead.  Noah was a man, not a superhero.  I think it is appropriate, like all the saints of Genesis, he is portrayed as a flawed man.  Like the rest of the prophets, Noah was not perfect.

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Egyptian Mysteries of God and Energy in Relation to Modern Geopolitics

God made the eye. It is not "evil." The mysteries of creation and energy are contained within it.

God made the eye. It is not “evil.” The mysteries of creation and energy are contained within it.

…I will show you a great mystery.

“The Cosmos moves within the very life of eternity, and is contained in that very eternity whence all life issues. And for this reason it is impossible that it should at any time come to a stand, or be destroyed, since it is walled in and bound together, so to speak, by eternal life.”
Asclepius III, 29c.

By: Jay

Energy is not something pondered by most, yet energy is one of the most fundamental aspects of reality and figures prominently in physics, metaphysics and theology.  But what might a fundamental aspect of metaphysics have to do with geo-politics?  Is there a correlation between energy and its process and social and political trends and movements? I think there is, and in this article I intend to lay it out.  Movement itself is energetic.  All movement represents energy in motion, from one state of affairs to another.  In theology we speak of God’s active energies or attributes are the ultimate causation and ground of being in the universe, meaning energy itself is the locus of power.  Speed also factors into this, since speed is a certain rate of energetic action.  Modernity has seen the increase of the speed of motion due to the advancement of technology: both matter, information and persons are all able to move much faster and in much greater quantity than ever before.

Before considering questions of modern and future energy expectations, I would like to highlight an argument I’ve made a few times now concerning the ancient Egyptian hermetic notions, and how their archetypal religious symbols encoded basic principles of quantum physics and the energetic process.  As many esotericists and traditionalist thinkers have commented, it seems as if ages or eras of history also partake of cosmic processes or aeons.  Eastern writers speak of “kali yuga,” where proper roles of hierarchy and caste are reversed.   Spengler spoke of civilizations as having an organic lifespan and Western man as “Faustian Man.”  My thesis here is that the cyclical process of energy itself gives a model of ages, too.  If movement is energetic, then history and time also reduce to energetic movement.

The basic triadic structure, utilizing the vesica pisces.

The basic triadic structure, utilizing the vesica piscis.

I have mentioned in the past that the rites of the gods encode secrets of nature.  One of the best examples of this is the mythology of Isis, Apophis and Osiris, whose mythology includes the principles of life and energy itself.  Isis is the feminine principle of nature/energy extended in space and time.  Apophis represents the principle of destruction and entropy, and Osiris represents the reemergence of energetic loss towards eternity to a higher state of eternality and immortality.   The ancient Near Eastern symbol of IAO was representative of this formula, and when considered in comparison to the Pythagorean monad, dyad and triad, the same imagery is found to encode the same formulae.  The point or monad extends to the dyad, with the two points connected forming a line.  The line either has a circumference drawn around it and/or extends to a third point.  It can also form a vesica piscis, or an eye.

The monad extends, utilizing the generative principle, forming IAO.

The monad extends, utilizing the generative principle, forming IAO.

The eye is also a circle with a dot in the middle, as well as a circle surrounding a point or an extended line.  This is the meaning of the obelisk in the circle, which, when viewed from above (as the gods would have seen it) is also a dot in a circle.  Quantum physicist Brian Greene discusses the fundamental energetic nature of reality as mirroring the binary computer model as follows:

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What is the New World Order and Why Does it Matter?

Fabian socialist H.G. Wells set the stage for the sci fi deception of the new world order.

Fabian socialist H.G. Wells set the stage for the sci fi deception of the new world order.

[Many readers have requested some articles that are more readable and simple.  This is an old article I have redone to aid those that want a better introduction to what this site is all about.]

By: Jay

Unfortunately, we have been programmed and conditioned from the earliest years to not believe in the existence, or even the possibility, of large-scale conspiracies.  Students of history learn in introductory courses that there are three views of the philosophy of history.  First, the random contingency view in which historical events are merely “one damn thing after another” (as one of my professors so elegantly stated), with no apparent reason or causal significance. Second, the so-called “great man” view, in which key religious and political figures cause certain landmark events with history revolving around these figures, such as a Napoleon or a Caesar.  The third and least popular is the providential or conspiratorial view.  In this view, history is led along by unseen forces, be they malevolent or beneficent.  Humans play their role to be sure, but man is not the autonomous god of his own destiny.  He is the actor on a stage in which there is a grand narrative and ultimate reason for every event, even if humans are not always cognizant of those reasons.

Coming to see the truth of a worldwide conspiracy that has been especially centralized in the past few centuries in a western, Anglo-global establishment is also not something people prefer to hear.  Humans tend to have a normalcy bias and what is called cognitive dissonance.  Cognitive dissonance is the tendency to continue to believe something erroneous in the face of masses of contrary evidence, due to the devastating psychological impact discarding the previous erroneous belief would have.  Americans are raised with the narrative of being a nation of independent individualists: the frontier mentality still dominates and is an image is always latent in our culture. This individualistic mentality refuses to consider itself as the victim of any conspiracy: we are too great a nation to be ruled by an evil elite, bent on world depopulation.  After all, Obama is a  “liberal” president, isn’t he?  “How could there be a massive conspiracy?  If there were, they would all be caught!  It’s just not possible,” the opponent says.  That’s all “black helicopter, tin-foil-hat nonsense.” To those with low education or no critical thinking skills and common sense, it’s evident that none of these objections suffices to demonstrate that the conspiratorial view is false.  From the fact that one is a “proud American” or that George Bush claimed to be a Christian, it does not follow that the conspiratorial view is false.  This is called, in logic, a non sequitur.  The conclusion does not logically follow from the premises. Continue reading

Audio Debate: Is Darwinism Philosophical & Scientific?

In this installment, fellow student of philosophy Josh Dale joins me to hash out the question of Darwinism. Is Darwinism scientific and philosophically defensible? I argue in the negative, he argues the pro. Enjoy!

Darwinism Annihilated – Jays Analysis

Part two of “Deconstructing Darwinism”

In part 2, I pick up where I left off, devling deeper into the Darwinian and evolutionary paradigms. I focus more on the philosophical problems, particularly its chief flaw – the lack of a unifying principle. This constitutes the most significant philosophical contradiction in this outdated theory/narrative.

Part 1 is Here.

Wma Audio File Here

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Ginger Snaps of the Apocalypse

Back when the holidays meant something.

Back when the holidays meant something.

By: Jay

(Dedicated to Rev. Lloyd Johnsonius)

If the holiday season means anything, it means sermons based on cute turns of phrase and highly clever ideas. I’ve gone ahead and supplied a list of great sermon and homily titles, prepackaged for all you ministers, preachers and holy men out there:

“Ginger Snaps of the Apocalypse” (Tie that holiday homily into a fiery furnace exposition of the end times, but with a touch of cookies.)

“The SINod of Bishops” (A casual rebuke of the degeneracy of the clergy.)

“The Theory of EVILution”  (Set those atheists straight with some Genesis, but focus on the sexy stories.)

“Foreskins of the Founding Fathers” (Highlights the founding fathers of Amerika and their beliefs in the good ole book. Ties in well with Moses.)

“Faith to SMOOTH Mountains” (Got a church full of young players and “mack-daddies”? Set them straight on how sex isn’t the goal of life)

“Elijah and E-LIEjah” (A moralistic tale on – you got it – truth tellin’!)

“Scrooge’s Tithing Lesson” (Forget the Bible – just tell a moralistic Dickens story)

“90 Proof Truth” (The next time that parishoner thinks about drowning himself in goblets of Wild Turkey, he’ll think again!)

“I’m Cross with You” (An exposition of how love crosses all boundaries. Forgive and forget – most of the time, of course) Continue reading

Energetic Aether Metaphysics

The Egyptian/Pythagorean tetraktys, an image of the fundamental structure of reality, psychical and physical.

The Egyptian/Pythagorean tetraktys, an image of the fundamental structure of reality, psychical and physical.

“‘Everything that is in motion must be moved by something.’ Gregory of Nazianzus, responding to Aristotle’s identification of God as a “fifth element” alongside the traditional four stoicheia, asked: ‘What is the force that moves your fifth element [aether] and what is it that moves all things, and what moves that, and what is the force that moves that?” -Jaroslav Pelikan’s Christianity and Classical Culture, pg. 66

By: Jay

Modern science is very much interested in the question of quantum mechanics and yet still dominated by the reductionist, physico-biological model of reality.  The spirit of dissection and quantification has resulted in numerous, amazing discoveries surrounding the sub-atomic level of reality, which no one can deny.  We learn that at that infinitesimal level, the interaction between mind and matter is much more nuanced and mysterious.  The action of the observer appears to affect the result of the experimentation, especially in regard to examinations concerning light itself, which gives evidence of being both a particle and a wave.  This dialectical, sneaky manifestation light produces suggests several things in my estimation that call into question the current reductionist models of reality, suggesting ideas much closer to older, ancient models, where fundamental metaphysics was based around principles like Eidos, entelechy and tropoienergeia, telos and aether.

One of the central areas of research for quantum issues is CERN, the European Institute for Nuclear Research, and a central figure in nuclear research is of course Wolfgang Pauli.  Readers will recall that I have cited Pauli in past articles, but in this article I want to focus on other elements that relate to philosophy, Platonism, Theism and metaphysics.  In light of recent responses from atheists, it will be especially pertinent to consider the fact that the endeavor of quantum studies from the mind of Pauli and his inspirations were, in fact, based on Pauli’s hermetic and Platonic presuppositions and speculations.  I think that the electromagnetic forces in “nature” are unified by the very things that Pauli was looking into that pointed to older models of reality, especially aether.  And when we consider that perception is an active, energetic presence that subtly interacts with its intentional objects, we are back at metaphysics, like Pauli.

Indeed, a survey of eastern patristic metaphysics, sharing much with Hellenic and Egyptian metaphysics that preceded it, demonstrates numerous insights into how we might construct different models that integrate and harmonize these disparate and seemingly unrelated sciences and topics.  In the case of light, we have what appears to be a contradictory amount of evidence: is it a wave or a particle?  In similar fashion, all reductionist models of reality end up placing particularity in the subject mind of man as something foisted upon the objective world, with no way to bridge that gap.  Since reality is monistic (all one type of thing), in the atheist/materialist view, we have with these sophists a return of the ancient atomists (I am aware that atomists had a more sophisticated view than mere materialism).  Similarly, with both Plato and Aristotle, all reality is reduced at some level to the One or Monad, making temporal reality an emanationist iconographic manifestation of copies of that fundamental reality.  For Plato it was the One, for Aristotle, Prima Materia, etc.  Modern scientific endeavor owes much of its heritage to Aristotle, of course, and in that respect, we should consider a fundamental error in Aristotle that remains today in all his monistic successors.

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Response to An Atheist

Evangelical atheist Dawkins stands before a bus illustrating red herring: the cosmological argument is flawed.  So what?

Evangelical atheist Dawkins stands before a bus illustrating red herring: the cosmological argument is flawed. So what?

By: Jay

I started this out as a long comment, but I decided it would make for a good post, as I’ve been seeking an educated atheist to debate for a while now.  Writer Cameron Gaunt is an atheist who has studied philosophy and took issue with some points I made in my last post, “Atheism and Total Vindication.”  Cameron’s comments are in that post and I want to thank him and welcome him to the blog.  From the outset, I would like to clarify things.  I am an adherent of transcendental philosophy and apologetics. Once we’ve established that things like the scientific method aren’t self-justifying, we can move to the question of metaphysics. I specifically make the argument that after this, we can ask the question of meta-logic, meta-ethics, meta-physics and meta-epistemology (if you will), all of which require some unifying principle or means by which the various fields or sciences may be related and harmonized.

In faithfulness to apophatic theology, I believe the only solution to this question lies in the theology of a God that possesses all the omnis and is immanent as well as transcendent. If that is the case, we can see how all the particulars of our experience can be related and unified with the universals of our experience. So, for example, if we ask the question of induction – how do we believe the future will be like the past?, we can posit a rational justification for that, which is divine Providence, and because God is an infinitely Personal God (and not just an abstract force or impersonal principle), history and all reality, ultimately, are inherently rational and meaningful.

You state as follows:

“As an atheist with a scientifically informed worldview, I understand the epistemic limits of empiricism and logical positivism. While these philosophies are flawed in the pursuit of “ultimate truth”, I consider the concept of “ultimate truth” to be unattainable/made up and thus value post-positivism as a “good enough” metric.”

You have definitely seen through what a lot of atheists I’ve discussed with have not. I applaud you for admitting this. My philosophy of science professor was very good on this point, and was himself a hardcore atheist/materialist. On a personal level, I welcome anyone who is willing to look objectively at the issues. The ad hominems were more tongue in cheek than anything. I mock quite a bit of religion and “Christianity” here, as well. Continue reading

Rational Theory Choice and Religious Traditionalism

Philo Sophia

Philo Sophia

By: Jay

A major problem for the philosophy of science and religious traditions is the question of observational neutrality and rational theory choice.  Can one’s observations be independent of an entire theory or paradigm?  Can there be a rational choice made between theories, paradigms and religious traditions?  The question is answered variously by relativists, objectivists, pragmatists and realists.  My thesis is to offer a possible idea that might point towards an answer.

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn outlines the pragmatist approach to the question of theory choice succinctly, giving several examples why he believes rational theory choice is not possible.  The book has since become famous as an example of paradigm or worldview analysis as it relates to the question of scientific methodology and principles.  Initially, Kuhn argues that the transformation of a prevalent theory choice is like a revolution: “These transformations of the paradigms of physical optics are scientific revolutions, and the successive transition from one paradigm to another via revolution is the usual developmental pattern of mature science.”  Next, Kuhn explains that normal science is puzzle solving, and that the choice of paradigms simply provides a criterion for choosing problems that are assumed to have an answer.  Third, he details the nature and inevitability of scientific revolutions, writing, “Scientific revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense…that an existing paradigm has ceased to function adequately…”  He proceeds to compare scientific revolutions to political revolutions in that there is a period of crisis, division into factions, and mass persuasion eventually prevails to establish the victorious paradigm.

Kuhn falls into scientific relativism at this point, declaring,

“…the choice [of paradigms] cannot be determined by merely the evaluative procedures characteristic of normal science, for these depend in part upon a particular paradigm, and that paradigm is at issue.  When paradigms enter, as they must, into a debate about paradigm choice, their role is necessarily circular.  Each group uses his own paradigm to argue that paradigm’s defense.” (brackets mine)

Since, for Kuhn, “there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community,” he carries this thinking through and argues that scientific revolutions are changes of worldview.  “When paradigms change, the world changes with them,” Kuhn says.  It is as if the academic community has been “transplanted to another planet” where scientists are “responding to a different world.”  It is at this point that Kuhn correctly elucidated that paradigms are requisite for perception itself.  Paradigms or worldviews are the matrix or program through which we interpret the world.  They are a schema that we develop from our given upbringing, social relations and individual thought.

Kuhn does not seem to think, however, that gestalt experiments are definitive proofs that observation is theory-based.  “They do display characteristics of perception that could be central to scientific development…”  The reason for this seems to be that a gestalt experiment is an isolated event in which the subject knows his perception has shifted, and can be controlled and checked by the subject.  The scientist, however, cannot have recourse to anything beyond what his eyes and instruments tell him because there is no higher reference point to refer to.

Kuhn goes on to give some astronomical examples of paradigm shifts: William Herschel’s discovery of Uranus, which had previously been believed to be a star, and that Western astronomers first saw astronomical change fifty years after Copernicus’ new system.   The Chinese, Kuhn clarifies, had observed sun spots centuries before Galileo.  What was before a star was now a planet: scientists now operated in a new world, Kuhn concludes. Continue reading

Numbers Prove God

The Divine is the highest of Infinities.

The Divine is the highest of Infinities.

By: Jay

When considering the question of “proofs” for the existence of God, the history of argumentation has often been lacking.  The dialectical relationship of the empirical/materialist tradition debating with the idealist/Platonic tradition is a perennial feature of the history of western philosophy.  Modern “New Atheists,” for example, are eager to pounce on flaws in the so-called “classical proofs,” as if these were the b-all, end-all of the question of rational certainty for the divine.

The chief problems with the “classical proofs” are that: 1) They do not prove what they set out to prove insofar as they are (classically) based on an empirical theological method that stems primarily from Aquinas, 2) The arguments themselves are non sequitur, where the starting points of the proofs do not logically necessitate the conclusions, and 3) The philosophical and theological assumptions implicit in the arguments are not consistent with the theological beliefs about God in the biblical system.  These three majors flaws have led to centuries of debates that were often fruitless and have allowed overly confident pseudo-philosophers and “scientists” to presume that these matters are bound up with medieval superstitions that were heroically suppressed and refuted by the rationalists of the Enlightenment era.

Ironically, this narrative itself is a modern mythos presented by the “New Atheists” and the average run-of-the-mill academicians.  The modern materialist apologists are themselves buried in a faux dialectic that ignores, suppresses and misses the real issues at hand.   It should also be remembered that ancient and medieval thinkers had not asked questions that would later be raised, and in particular, I’m thinking of more foundational philosophical questions that never entered the mind of the medieval man.  Areas of philosophy and physics that developed in the modern world, like subatomic research, phenomenology and linguistic and semiotic research were not within their purview (obviously).

With such being the case, we can assess that the classical proofs are not necessarily terrible, but flawed due to the fact that they were posited with certain presuppositions.  But what happens when, over time, philosophy and science (and theology) questions those assumptions, and asks how do we make sense of these principles themselves.   For example, all medieval thinkers utilized Ancient Greek principles of logic and geometry.   Numbers, logic, and geometric forms were assumed to be the case: It never entered Roger Bacon’s or Photios of Constantinople’s mind to ask, “How is it possible for logic and numbers to be.”

In other words, the medieval mind didn’t consider things from a meta perspective.  There is logic, but what about metalogic?  Logic functions, but is there a higher level logic to logic?  What are the necessary conditions for the possibility of logic to be at all?  One could probably trace out a deeper connection between the artistic forms that were created in different periods and the development of 3d perspectivalism on a 2d surface, compared with the philosophical and scientific questions that began to be asked in that period.  Were the developments in optics and the study of light influential on the Renaissance portrayal of 3d perspectives?  I’m sure they were.   However, it had not entered the mind of medieval man to think in meta or transcendental categories.

It is true that ancient and medieval man posited transcendental arguments: Aristotle presents one for the law of non-contradiction, as well as filling out a more specific consideration of the different categories, which do match up in certain ways to Kant’s categories, so it’s not correct to say the medievals had no idea of what a “transcendental” was, or what a transcendental kind of argument was.   It is correct to say they did not consider the various sciences and arts from the perspective of how they are possible – what the necessary conditions for the possibility of those things to be were.  When the secular scientistic revolution occurred asking a lot of these questions, western Theism marched confidently along professing the same old, tired arguments that were unprepared to meet the level of questioning the revolutionaries were asking.  Western theology was ill-equipped due to its own assumptions about God’s existence being strictly the same as His essence, Actus Purus, an absolutely simple monad, with all human predicates equalling the divine ousia itself.

Given those kinds of theological presuppositions, it was impossible to meet the onslaught of Humes and philosophes that were merely forcing the western theological assumptions to be consistent.  If God is an absolutely simple First Cause, and this (and the other “proofs”) is the extent of the “rational” evidence for His existence, then it doesn’t follow from that premise that the God presented in the Bible is that Deity.  Perhaps the First Cause is the impersonal Being of Greek thought.  Perhaps the First Cause is the theism presented in Mohammedanism.  Perhaps it is an unknown First Cause of the Enlightenment deists.  It should be evident that this argumentation as presented is useless (and actually harmful) to anyone who professes the Bible in whatever capacity, since these views are not the Biblical view, especially since Thomists, Muslims, Deists and Greek philosophers have all used this  bad argumentation. Continue reading