Thursday, October 29, 2020

CONCERNING VOTING

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF YOUR LIFETIME?

                                                  ?????????????????!

Because some people reading this blogpost will not have come here by way of my Facebook post, I will start by repeating what I said there:

I have always tried to stay away from politics in my blog posts as much as possible, but the results of the election coming up November 3rd will profoundly affect our lives as Americans, and possibly the rest of the world, in very different ways for decades to come, regardless of who wins; so this is a time when your vote might really count for something. Ideally, everyone who votes should be well-informed about the issues and the candidates; but, unfortunately, right now, here in the USA, the vast majority of voters are either almost totally uninformed or grossly mis-informed. ---For that reason, I cannot remain silent.

I actually have many friends on both sides of the political spectrum; but because of the extremely emotional bifurcation of political thought in the world today, I am likely to alienate at least half of the people who might read what I have to say because of their political interpretation of my words. Even though I have always tried to avoid politics and stick to science and spirituality in my posts, I know there are people out there who think that, because I am a Mid-Westerner who believes in God and freedom from oppressive government control, I must be a conservative MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporter; and there are also people out there who think that, because I am an environmental engineer educated in an elite Ivy League school, and lived in California for a considerable portion of my adult life, I must be a progressive tree-hugging liberal; but the truth is somewhere in between.

I am hopeful that, precisely because I am not an ideolog adhering to either end of the political spectrum, that people on both sides will take time to read what I have to say. But, in this day and age when we are encouraged to vote without thinking, I want to offer some relevant information that may persuade even those who do not feel the need to hear anyone else’s opinion, to read on. I am appealing to you to avoid closing the page the minute you see a hint that my choice might be different than what you think is right. Please hear me out before you accept or reject what I have to say.

First, if you don’t already know, you may find it pertinent, or at least interesting, that I have a documented IQ above the 99.9999 percentile, well into what is considered to be the “genius” range. With such a rare documented IQ, I can claim to be very intelligent. But does that make me infallible? No, of course not! The most intelligent person in the world can be wrong about a given issue, because reasoning always proceeds from one or more a priori assumptions, and even the most impressive, time-honored a priori assumption may eventually turn out to be wrong.

On the other hand, a person of average intelligence can be quite well-informed if he or she is willing to spend the time to do the research necessary to understand both sides of an issue. That, along with mostly honest elections, and a democratic republican government with checks and balances, is what has made our country the envy of the rest of the world for so long. Having a high IQ may have its advantages, but experience, knowledge, and understanding are more important than reasoning power. So let me give you some other, more important reasons for reading what I have to say.

I believe that, as spiritual beings expressing our selves through the sentient biological life forms called Homo sapiens, the main business of life is learning. I believe that regardless of your chronological age, the minute you stop learning, you start dying. Because I believe this, I have made learning a life-long process, and I attribute my continuing good health at least partly to this attitude.

I have spent many hours, days, and years in the classrooms and libraries of some of our best universities, many more than required for the degrees I earned. I am not going to bore you by listing the courses and universities I attended, but rest assured that I have studied political ideologies and other issues that affect our lives. Also, I think it is important that I consider the learning I acquired outside of academia as just as important, if not more important than what I learned in the classroom. So I will only mention specific subjects that are relevant to the substance and conclusions of this post.

The message I want to convey in this post depends upon the development of a clear understanding of the importance of attaining a happy balance between two very real human needs: freedom and social organization. An imbalance between freedom and social organization, in either direction, inevitably leads to unhappy results. Extreme imbalance between these needs leads to destructive anarchism, in the case of radical individualism, and grinding poverty and loss of freedom, in the case of reliance on totalitarian organizational collectivism. As individuals, and more importantly, as a nation, we must find the proper balance between the two.

As a nation, we find ourselves strongly divided right now. Either choice available to us in the up-coming presidential election could represent a move toward one extreme or the other. Unless you have bought into the propaganda of one side or the other, deciding how to vote November 3rd may present a real dilemma. What I want to try to do in this post is admittedly difficult, and may be next to impossible, but I have to try: I implore you to vote based on known historical facts and logical reasoning, not politically biased interpretations and emotional demonization of the people on either side. Whether or not you make sure that independently determined facts have the most weight in your individual decision or not, is entirely up to you, but you should. To ignore the facts is to court disaster.

Because it is reasonable for you to wonder why you should listen to me, I shall attempt to give you some more reasons: I grew up in the lingering effects of the Great Depression, and I vividly remember World War II, with air-raid drills, gas masks, and food rationing. I have studied fascism, socialism, Marxism, and capitalism, both in real life and in graduate school. I am not a member of “the great generation”, and I am not a “baby-boomer”, but I have direct knowledge from interacting with both groups. I worked as a waiter, farm and construction laborer, door-to-door salesman, and as an actuarial mathematics technician and computer programmer in Los Angeles, before I earned my first degree. After earning a degree in math and physics, I spent about five and one-half years teaching mathematics and science in public high schools, about the same length of time teaching mathematical modeling and environmental engineering at the university level, more than twelve years as a scientist, mathematician, and systems analyst in a government agency (the US Department of Interior}, and more than twenty years as a principal hydro-geologist and environmental engineer in private consulting firms. Along the way, I earned several awards, a PhD, and Professional Engineering status (PE). I have worked and lived in several states and foreign countries. I have worked for large corporations, small companies, was Director of Business Development for a major technological firm in the Middle East, and later founded and built my own environmental consulting firm. After retiring from these careers, I have spent more than ten years doing advanced research in the application of mathematical physics to the study of consciousness. At 84, I am still active in research groups and international conferences.

The point is that I am not a one-dimensional person. I have meaningful experience in education, government, public and private employment, business building, planning, marketing, sales, project management, systems analysis, and leading-edge research in several fields. I think it can be argued that this broad background of life-long education and diverse employment across this country and around the world, provides a basis for a well-informed opinion on a variety of subjects.

Now to the problem at hand: the election November 3, 2020. Here’s my first, and probably most important advice: Ignore most of the hair-pulling, name-calling hysteria of the talking heads on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. Do your own research. You’ll find out that America, even with its flaws, offers more opportunity for freedom and the pursuit of happiness for people of every race and creed than any other nation on this planet. You will also find that COVID-19, while a horrible infectious disease, is not the end of the world. Healthy people rarely die from it. Don’t let fear-mongering for political purposes on either side blur the real issues and cause you to over-react, because that will only add to the problem. There is plenty of real information out there to give you a sound rational basis for your actions, including voting for the candidate who will be best for the country.

Yes, I know who I have to vote for November 3rd, and no, I’m not going to tell you who that is, or who I think you should vote for. And my next bit of advice may surprise you.

I am not going to follow the conventional wisdom and say: everyone should be sure to vote! If you are uninformed or mis-informed, It would be far better for the country, and for you in the long run, that you do not vote, because it will just add to the randomness of results, and you may be cancelling the vote of someone who has actually done the research and is well-informed. If you are only listening to either Fox News or CNN and MSNBC, you are not really well-informed. In fact, sorry to say, in my opinion, it is likely that you are largely mis-informed.

No one should ever vote for the sole purpose of voting against a candidate. Always vote FOR someone or something positive, not against. It is true that the current Presidential candidates represent very different visions for the future of America and the world. One is a career politician being dragged toward big-government socialism. The other is a political outsider favoring capitalism. But contrary to what the opposing ranks of those who have one political agenda or the other claim, both candidates have policies that are good, and both have policies that are bad for the country. Neither is pure evil, and neither is the savior of the world.

Don’t listen to the biased political hacks; get off your lazy backside and do your own research, and if the facts warrant it, be willing to change your mind. Search your soul, and if you find that you are planning to vote based on nothing but negative emotions of hate, or fear, or if you know that you are uninformed or mis-informed by biased pundits, then don’t vote. An uninformed or mis-informed vote is worse than no vote, because it only adds to the chaos. An uninformed or mis-informed voter is like a soldier on a battlefield with a gun that may shoot in the wrong direction and explode in his face.

The extreme agendas of the fringe supporters of either candidate, Trump or Biden, have the potential of  destroying our country. As a legally qualified voter, it is your privilege and duty to help decide which candidate is most likely to lead us to a happy balance and a world of prosperity and responsible freedom. That is a truly awesome responsibility. That is why you must put aside your personal desires and political biases and consider the choice based on facts, not ideological beliefs and emotional reactions. This has always been important, but I believe it is even more important now than it has ever been during my lifetime. If you cannot do this, and are voting based on emotional reactions to the superficial features of the candidates, you will serve your country better by not voting at all.

If you take the responsibility of casting your vote seriously, you must listen with critical skepticism to both sides, do your own independent research and thinking, and then cast your vote based on facts that you have verified yourself. The stakes are way too high to depend on the political mind spinning of career politicians and irrational emotional reactions.

ERC 10/28/2020


Saturday, October 24, 2020

EULOGY FOR DR DAVID M STEWART

 

EULOGY

OCTOBER 17. 2020 MARBLE HILL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

DAVID M. STEWART: A GREAT MAN, A WONDERFUL LIFE

I am honored to be able to say a few words here today about my long-time great friend, Dr David Stewart. It was hard for me to decide what to say to this gathering of David’s family and friends, in the 15 or 20 minutes that I have, not because I don’t have much to say, but because I could talk for a couple of hours about him and only scratch the surface. So my problem is how to convey to you what a great man David was, and is, in such a short time.  

I think that probably just about everyone here knows that David Stewart was a great teacher and writer of books, a great family man and friend, an outstanding scholar, and above all, a devout Christian of deep faith. Let me underscore the fact that he was a man of God by letting him speak for himself. In the introduction to his excellent book about the chemistry of healing organic compounds, sub-titled “God’s Love Manifest in Molecules”, he quotes Psalm 19: “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” David goes on to say: “The psalmist speaks of the power and nature of God as evidenced in the grandeur of the galaxies, the great dome of the sky, and the infinite scale of the cosmos. … even though inanimate creation does not speak in words, it still has a voice resounding everywhere, to be heard and understood by the spiritually attuned… the atoms are also telling of the glory of God; and the molecules proclaim his handiwork.”

These statements provide us with a look into the mind of Dr. David Stewart. Having talked with him on many occasions over the years about God and science, I know that he saw science and spirituality as complementary paths to Truth. He saw no conflict between science and religion. I suspect that this is something that most of you already know about David, but now, let me see if I can tell you a few things about him that you might not know:

I first met David when we were assigned to rooms directly across the hall from each other on the second floor of McMurray Hall, the freshman men’s dormitory on the campus of Central Methodist College, now Central Methodist University. He was a Philosophy-English major, planning to become a Methodist Minister. I was a Physics-Math major, planning to become a theoretical physicist. Classes for our major and minor interests were held on opposite ends of the campus. But David had an abiding interest in science and mathematics, and I had an abiding interest in philosophy and religion.

We did have one class together that year. As honor students, we didn’t have to take first-year English and math courses, and instead were allowed to enroll in more interesting courses like a creative writing course taught by one of the most popular professors on campus, Dr. Thomas Perry. We came to know each other in this class, and in after-hours small groups of students that tended to congregate in our rooms, and In late night discussions, common in college dorms in those days, we discovered that we both believed there should be no conflict between real science and real religion, and we soon became good friends. That was 1955. 65 years later, we are still best friends. I was fortunate to get to know Dave’s family. His father, who taught English to Penitentiary Inmates, had a delightful sense of humor. And Dave’s brother Ted said that Dave and I were twins. We just happened to be born to different mothers!

Dave and I thought so much alike that it was a little spooky at times. During those late-night discussions, we would sometimes say whole statements in unison, and often finished each other’s sentences. We both had numerous experiences of sitting in class, suddenly thinking of the other, just before looking out the window to see the other walking by on his way across campus. We seemed to have some sort of psychic connection. Partly because of this, we became interested in the then-new science of parapsychology. We carried out some very interesting experiments with the support of a physics professor and Dr. perry. We corresponded with Dr. JB Rhine of Duke University, the pioneer of parapsychology in the US at that time. He encouraged us to continue our parapsychological experiments, but wisely advised us to get a solid education in some other field, as there was little demand for parapsychologists!

Students were allowed to choose roommates after the first year at Central Methodist, so because of our common interests and our budding friendship, we chose to be roommates our second year, and again until the middle of our third year. One night in the second semester of our Junior year, in a discussion about life and the reason for existence, we agreed that we were not getting the answers we were looking for in the classrooms of Academia, so the next morning, we packed up and left.

After camping in a cave for three weeks, we struck out hitch-hiking across America to California. Our goal was to meet certain famous people who we thought might have some answers. That was the beginning of Dave and Ed’s Excellent Adventure!

We were honor students, so our parents and some of the administrators at Central Methodist nearly had heart attacks. I won’t go into details here, but we did meet some of those famous people, and we did find some answers, but we both returned, - not together or at the same time- to marry our sweethearts and finish our formal education. We both earned degrees in mathematics and science, including PhDs, and we both did post-doctoral research in several fields.

After Lora Lee called Monday to tell me that her father had left this earth behind, I posted a recent picture of the two of us together and a short notice on Facebook. It said:

Dr David M. Stewart exited this life this afternoon, I think this was the last picture taken with my best friend. We were on our way to enjoy dinner together at a local Mexican restaurant. We met as college freshmen in 1955, and have remained best friends all these years. I mourn the loss of his physical presence, but celebrate his exemplary life! He was a blessing to this world and will be remembered as one of the great minds of his time.

As of this morning, there have been 620 likes, 225 comments, and 72 shares, attesting to how many people held David in high regard. I’d like to end my tribute to David by reading a few of those comments:

“A most intelligent and humble man who changed and impacted my life in so many ways... The Holy Spirit led me to Dr. David Stewart and his beautiful teachings … I know his spirit longed to be with his beloved wife, Lee, who passed on a few years ago, and I am glad that they are now reconnected.

 

He was a brilliant man and has blessed us all with his work and writings. He will he missed.

 

He touched my heart, the first time I heard him speak

 

I loved him from his books and videos and knowledge that he provided. May he rest in peace. He did great work here on earth.

 

A great mind, student of life, kind personality, and wonderful teacher. We will all miss him.

 

He is a precious soul and moved mountains in this world. His education, gentle wise spirit, books and so much more left a lasting imprint on so many.

 

Such a blessing to this earth! Wonderful man who shares his wisdom! What a wonderful man. I love how Dr. Stewart used his genius to simplify things for us. He changed the world for the better.  Wishing you peace Dr. Close as you remember your dear friend.

 

Such a wonderful scholar he was and what a Blessing to all who knew and loved him. He will live on in our hearts and minds as we continue to reference his materials! I am so, so sorry for your loss.

 

May he rest in Eternal Peace ! We will be forever grateful for his dedication 

A life well lived. He has indeed left an indelible impression on the world.

 

He left the imprint of 'God's love in molecules' for all who were eager to learn from him. He will be missed, and I am sorry for the hole left in your heart. What as lovely friendship.

 

David Stewart was a precious friend and WHAT A GIFT TO THE WORLD!!!

 

We have lost a giant of a man of character and a library of knowledge that we benefit from every day. You will always be a remembered pioneer in God’s remedies for health.

 

 David was a great soul who dedicated so much to the betterment of humankind. Thankfully, his great books hold his research and knowledge. He now rests with God. Blessings to you.

 

Feeling sad today for the loss of this giant! So sorry, Ed, that your best friend has moved on to the heavenly spheres where I am sure angels have been welcoming him home and where Lee is waiting with open arms!  When I took a CARE seminar with him in 2004… I was blown away by his loving warmth, inclusivity and unconditional love! I learned a lot, but …my experience of his loving kindness changed me forever.

 

His  lifetime friendship and collaboration with you. Dr. Close will continue to pave the road for the future of post-materialist science and innate knowledge that our souls/consciousness live on through eternity.”

 

There were many more tributes like these.

 

When I think about Dave’s departure from this world, I remember what Jesus said in John 14:2: “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And I will come again, and receive you unto myself.”

Today, one of those mansions has a new resident.

His name is David Mack Stewart.

ERC Posted 10/24/2020




Wednesday, October 7, 2020

THE MIRROR OF CONSCIOUSNESS

 

THE DREAM WEAVER AND THE MIRROR

What do you see when you look into the mirror upon waking up each morning? Do you see a fa├žade hiding the real you, or do you see the state of your soul? What does one see upon looking into the depths of one’s heart when approaching the end of a life? Has one learned anything? Your progress and the state of your soul are reflected in your face and in your heart. You are a work in progress.

Whatever you see, it is what you have constructed for yourself. The substance from which you have constructed it is pure consciousness. That is the same for everyone; and, likewise, when we have become what we are being created to be, we are again equal, this is the way in which all human beings are created equal. It is blatantly obvious that we are not equal in every way in this world. We are not physically, mentally, and spiritually equal at any given point in life. We are all part of a work in progress.

So think carefully about what you are creating, and chose well: Don’t choose to create a place where malevolent thoughts lurk in the darkness of a hovel of depravity, dissipation, and defeat. Create within your consciousness, a temple of love and light, a palace for the Infinite, an edifice of brilliance, victory, transformation, and transcendence, because the world of your conscious construction is your home as long as you are a work in progress.

For analogy, think of the world as the canvas, and your actions as brush strokes, and the painting as the soul you are creating. Eventually, you must realize that you are the canvas, the brush, the paints, and the painter. But for the time being, the inescapable now, you are a work in progress.

Your consciousness is like a reflection of the moon on the surface of a pool of water, the slightest breeze ruffles and distorts it. It is only when you still the pool deep within your heart, that you can begin to see the real image. And that is just the first step on the journey of a million spiritual miles, to not only see a clear image, but to find the source of the image, the moon, the sun, the universe, the cosmos - and beyond. You are a work in progress.

You are the Dream Weaver. You will eventually learn that you are not just the fleeting persona that you have created through your actions and reactions, whether it has taken one or many lives in this and other worlds to create, you are the Reality behind your consciousness at any and every point in the process. Only when you realize this, will you fully understand that time and space are illusions. Space-time, as Einstein showed us, is not a universal framework within which everything happens, as it seems, it is just a reflection on the illusory surface of the pool of consciousness, an interface between your finite consciousness, that which you pretend to be, and the Infinitely Continuous Reality from which you have consciously separated yourself. It is malleable and insubstantial. It is an illusion reflecting the image of a work in progress.

If you feel proud or angry, or uncomfortable, or disappointed; perhaps even ashamed of what you think you are, remember that you have created what you are yourself, and that you can change it within the bounds of the laws of nature, if you want to. Recall that you are potentially perfect. You are a work in progress.

At some point, you may come to realize that there is nothing to be concerned about. Reality, and everything within it, is evolving according to universal laws, whether we are aware of them or not. At any point, the universe, and your experience of it, are exactly what they are supposed to be. Whether you know it or not, the universe is evolving toward an unimaginable goal, through a series of necessary steps, whether you know it or not. The universe is a work in progress.

If you just came into being when your body formed in your mother’s womb, you are a rarity. Most of us have been around much longer than that. The biggest secret of all, in this world - a secret willfully hidden and passively accepted - is the fact that we are immortal souls. We are born and die again and again, with memories of many lives and many loves, that fade like dreams in the harsh light of this life, as we embark upon another opportunity to be a work in  progress.

There is considerable shock and trauma when your soul is being born into, and confined in, a helpless little body, and after a while expelled from a sick and dying body, as the stuff of which that body is made is destroyed, or begins to decay and be recycled. That is what causes most of the forgetfulness. Most of the superficial details of the persona associated with a given body effectively dies with the brain cells of that body, but the lessons of the spirit remain with the soul to become the core of the next cycle of your work in progress.

For now, many, if not most of us, are enthralled with the drama of life on this planet. It is a captivating story, and even the misery and suffering of physical life, providing contrast, as it does, with the joy and ecstasy natural to Spiritual existence, are endurable. In fact, in my experience, the worse the suffering, the greater the joy of winning victory over that pain, against all odds! And once we realize that every new victory can be greater and more important than the last, we actually enjoy the drama of being a work in progress.

However, if we eventually tire of the endless cycles of physical reality, and begin to want to transcend the cycles of birth and death, of alternating pleasure and pain, then we begin to identify more and more with the eternal spiritual reality at the core of our existence, and less and less with the physical, mental, and astral personas of the ever-changing reflections on the surfaces of Reality. If we can see that the most important lesson to be learned is how to be truly free, and that the goal of existence is to wake from the dreams of our own making, then our lives will be transformed, the work in progress will be on its way to completion, and you, the Dream Weaver, will at last transcend your dreams.

ERC October 7, 2020