About gigglinginthegutter

I read science at University with a final year specialisation in vertebrate evolution. I believe. There is meaning, and that is to be found in connection. Life and love are two sides of a coin. I'm a practicing Christian, but I'm not convinced about the Church (es). I'm particularly interested in quantum physics and what new discoveries tell us about reality and the meaning of life. For me at least, they point to a deeper meaning rather than the opposite. I'm also a musician - though as with my spiritual life I practice intermittently and struggle with manifest imperfection. I have been deeply influenced by Martin Buber, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Jung, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, Alfred Einstein, Professor Owen Chadwick, my family and friends, Jesus Christ and the Dalai Lama. Since nothing can be proved we owe it to each other to listen as deeply as possible, rather than to preach. If reality is indeed within connection, then it's the intensity of the act of conversation that is important rather than conversion to a particular point of view. What about you?

To love a Scottish lass

To My McLove – in a poem, a picture and a piece x

In a poem…

She used to like Scotties
But now she loves Pugs
What does that say of her journey?

From pugnacious aye-right
To soft scottish sky-bright
Unfolding from surly to girlie

A Picture…

And a “piece”, (click to play)

Blue Angel

Note to self

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Yes, Ego – but you’re only a confection. Candyfloss spun by my mind; and your price is loneliness. My “self” is a prison, and you, my Ego are a false gaoler. Death only exists for you, my Ego. Without it (in every sense) I  truly live. Live truly.

Eternal life is in relation, between I and Thou. You are death, my Ego. You and the relation “I-It”

Extract from Martin Buber’s I and Thou..

(For reading click here to listen …trimmed -i thou 1-7 to man the world is twofold

To man the world is twofold, in accordance with his twofold attitude.

The attitude of man is twofold, in accordance with the twofold nature ofthe primary words which he speaks. The primary words are not isolated words, but

combined words.

The one primary word is the combination I-Thou. The other primary word is the combination I-It;

wherein, without a change in the primary word, one of the words He and She can replace It.

Hence the I of man is also twofold.

For the I of the primary word I-Thou is a different I from that of the primary word I-It.

Primary words do not signify things, but.they intimate relations.

Climbing the number ladder…

Nought, Omphalos, Nothing Eternity and the void.

One is appearance. Miraculous number. The world is born with the appearance of 1. The archetypal change from nothing to all. But, one is one and all alone and ever more shall be so.

Two, and consciousness is possible. Granularity and separation. We can understand existence because we have edge. A within and without. Quantum mechanics shows that everything exists only as a cloud of possibility – until observed. It is the act of knowing that crystallises out reality from potential. Deliberately to mix language – it is witness that causes wavefunction collapse. It is consciousness that creates reality, and that is only possible when edge is born with the advent of the number 2. Duality appears to be a fundamental property of existence. Energy is the flip side of matter (e=mc2), everything is wave and particle simultaneously. Yin is nothing without Yang. Ich and Du embrace and the world unfolds.

Three, is unbalanced materialism. The 3 dimensions of space, but static – going nowhere without time. The trinity – all male of course! A way point en-route to…

Four, the mystic number,Jung’s number. The sacred number of alchemy. The four points of the compass and of course the description of all – space-time (the fourth dimension not separate as imagined until Einstein, but integrated). The alchemists believed that moving from 1 to 2 to 3 and then finally adding one to reach 4, integrating back to one was the route to perfection. Jung worked with Wolfgang Pauli to tease out an interrelationship between quantum mechanics and psychology. What synchronicity then that Pauli’s best know contribution was to discover through the exclusion principle that a fourth dimension is needed to describe reality. The three intuitive dimensions of space plus spin.

Scotland – Nationalism v Economics

This is a reprint from the Spectator this week…

Scotland’s deficit is higher than the UK average — an estimated 7 per cent of GDP, as opposed to the UK’s 2 per cent. It’s not hard to work out why. In 2018-19, Scottish public spending was 13.6 per cent higher per head than the UK average and revenue collected was 2.6 per cent lower. Scotland accounts for about a tenth of the UK’s population and a tenth of its economic output — but more than half of the increase in total annual government borrowing in cash terms.

How could the Scottish government possibly sustain that level of expenditure in the absence of the UK subsidy (about £10 billion a year)? It would have to go, tam o’ shanter in hand, to the bond market, but with the size of Scotland’s deficit, as well as the share of the UK’s debt it would inherit, the interest rates would be far more onerous than those currently available to the UK.

Bankruptcy would soon follow.

Would the IMF come to Scotland’s rescue, as it came to the UK’s in 1976? Maybe, but only at the cost of a huge reduction in spending on public services such as education, already a complete basket case under the SNP’s stewardship.

But let’s suppose the Spanish government waives its objection to Scotland joining. That wouldn’t exactly save the day. For starters, there would be the small matter of the hard border with the rest of the UK, not something conducive to trade with Scotland’s largest export market.

Then there’s the fact that Scotland would have to adopt the euro and become part of Schengen, both of which are non-negotiables for any new member states. But crucially, Scotland’s annual deficit of 7 per cent of GDP puts it over the 3 per cent threshold that automatically triggers the EU’s ‘excessive deficit procedure’, i.e. the

EU would insist on an eye-watering austerity programme as a condition of joining.

And if the people of Scotland want to know what that would involve, I’m sure plenty of Greeks would be happy to tell them. (Youth unemployment of 40 per cent? Not sure that will go down well in Glasgow.) It would make the levels of austerity imposed by George Osborne and Philip Hammond — which the SNP ceaselessly complained about — look like a mosquito bite compared to full-blown malaria.

Unknotting nottiness

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I hold to one-ness, to boundary intensifying connection. I reject the primacy of ego and materialism and the loneliness and fear of death to which they condemn.

Humanity is in a blind alley. We are here because we have followed two whopping lies.

Here’s the first (courtesy of Sigmund Freud).

You are not me.

You-Me. Yes to that – there is boundary – it is the edge between us that allows us to experience each other. It’s the little word not that causes all the problems. You are not me. Distinction, separation, contrast. The birth of Freud’s concept of ego.

And this nott-iness is perculiarly modern and western. After all the Hindu – Namaste means something like “I bow to the divine in you”. Our culture – European and American – is also rooted in “community”. Together, we are one. Do our achievements in the west not stand on the foundations of all of the tribes, families, villages, congregations, parliaments, colleges, schools, classes of the past? The individuals who we remember – the Shakespeares, Napoleons, Eliots, Einsteins, Washingtons, Elizabeth Reginas – were they not the flowering and expressions of their age. They did not appear singular and without context.

And here’s the second great lie (thanks to Marx and Engels)

All is matter.

Dialectic materialism. There is no such thing as spirit; no concept of purpose or any “other”. Without a yardstick against which to measure moral compass what is there? Self-referential humanism and its close cousin narcissism.

From these two ideas – “ego” and the exclusive worship of “matter” has sprung the western “triumph” of atheism, the advance of capitalism and the fragmentation of society.

I hold to one-ness, to boundary intensifying connection. I reject the primacy of ego and materialism and the loneliness and fear of death to which they condemn.

When my body dissolves, then the molecules will become part of new patterns. So too will my other essence. My soul. The fragment of spirit that animates this collection of atoms. As Rupert Brooke puts it.. “a pulse in the eternal mind, no less”.

Or perhaps

Let us go gentle into that good light,

Old age should turn to brave the close of day;       

Courage guag’d against the flighting of its wight

God only knows

It is all, let’s admit, unprovable. All – reality, God, no-God, meaning, purpose etc. That’s because there is no independent starting point, no external (to the Universe) objective truth. That is, there may well be – but it isn’t available to us as humans and to our thinking minds. That being so – all is conjecture and belief. I have been irritated by the messaging from materialists and atheists that tries to claim that “science” dis-proves God. They are trying to manipulate, and they do – or should – know better. However, as atheists can’t prove Un-God, neither can other religions prove God.

However there is the small matter of probability, and it seems to me highly unlikely that there is no God. This does not speak to what God might be. Declaring my hand, I do believe in God as personal and loving – but that is belief. However, if God were defined as “that which came before” or ” the ultimate cause outside existence”, then it seems to me overwhelmingly likely that God exists.

Cosmologists agree that the chain of events that have led to this existence are not random. The likelihood that the Universe – with it’s 26 physical constants (eg the exact speed of light etc) – is a random event is vanishingly small. Think of it –  from the “Big Bang” through rapid inflation of the Universe, pausing every now and then just long enough to create stars, the elements, the conditions for life and then an aware and self-conscious mankind. At every stage, if the “laws” of physics were just fractionally different – we wouldn’t be here. You only have to read the discoveries of science – and wipe away the slant that materialists would like to put on them..

In the face of this mountain of evidence that the Universe is not random, atheists and materialists hold up a model of Multiple Universes. This is their line of defence against God, or at least a God as I defined earlier. They do this because they can then say that in an infinity of Universes there would be one that had just the right conditions for awareness and life – and we think that’s special because we happen to be in it. Let me pause here simply to contrast probabilities. All agree that this Universe is infinetly unlikely. Which is more probable? Either that there is a creative impulse that set up the Universe (I define this as God), or that infinite Universes arises all the time and we happen to keep on track with the only one where awareness is possible? Leave aside the question of what was the creative impulse behind setting up the infinite Universes.

The Multiple Universes theory is  the “alternative” explanation to the Copenhagen Interpretation of the observer effect which has been proven in Quantum Mechanics. (There is a third, a kind of fudge called Environmental Decoherence – but that anyway relies on the Universe being singular and everything in it relative).

Revisiting what these theories attempt to address. Experiments show that everything exists (at least at the quantum level) as possibility – until observed. It is the act of observation that collapses possibility into a single reality. This isn’t contentious, simply fact established by experiment time and time again. (For me this leads to the critical role of consciousness, us, as reality engines. We crystallise out reality by our observation.).

” Before observation, a particle is in a superposition state of all possible values. During measurement, what causes the reduction of this state to a single value?” (Hidden in Plain Sight: The fundamental link between relativity and quantum mechanics. Andrew Thomas). Einstein famously could not refute the conclusions of these quantum experiments, but couldn’t accept them because he couldn’t explain them – “What I am really interested in is whether God could have the world in a different way; that is, whether the necessity of logical simplicity leaves any freedom at all”.

The Many Worlds Interpretation states that all the time the world is splitting into infinite Universes. Therefore the collapse of superposition into one state of reality is not caused by the observer, it is that the observer is also splitting infinitely. There is a logical problem with this however. To work – the “observer” has to be in a state of superposition before the observation (so that it can continue to split infinitely as supposedly does the “observed”. Yet the observer is not, the observer is in a single well-defined state.

So, for what it’s worth. This is why I believe that Un-God is overwhelmingly Un-likely. There is one Universe (Uni-verse!). It is agreed by all scientists that it is almost inconceivably un-likely that the conditions within this Universe leading to conscious life is random. It it’s simplest if God is defined as the primal cause, then God exists.

God, then at least as “the Word existing beyond Time and Space”. An implication of this logic is that, here and now, the nature of God is un-knowable (since we exist IN Time and Space). The nature of God, then, and not the existence of God is a matter of belief.

For me anyway…