She Cries Wolf

t is not enough to merely believe in love.
For it to be real, it must be born.
Love as an idea is an empty promise.
Love embodied is what moves minds and changes the world.
Hate can change the world as well, but typically acting on one’s hatred is far easier than acting on love.
The risks are never considered when anger is expressed; there is no time.
We leap head first for revenge.
But love can be contemplated for eternity.
The risks are untold, incomprehensibly large.
If it weren’t for the legends of those who have loved that call us like sirens, no one would ever venture near such a trap.
Or maybe it is not the legends of others that sing to us, but the deepest secret of ourselves: that love is the seed we grew from.
Is love then but nostalgia?
Do we wish for retreat to the womb?
No, because love is also what makes the blood course through our veins even now.
It is what makes the Sun shine and the rivers return to the sea.
It is what fills the clouds with tears and makes them cry.
Why is such a beautiful feeling the cause of so much sadness?
If it is not nostalgia –if it carries regret but leaves room to rejoice– then what of it?
The pain of birth accompanies every creation.
Love is transformation.
Love is eternal life, but before we can know it, we must die.

Dennett’s Dangerous Idea

I am a little more than half way through Daniel Dennett’s book about how evolutionary biology provides you with the only meaning your life needs (or at least the only meaning it can have, regardless of what you may think otherwise). Thoughts are, after all (after Dennett waves his material wand), just the side effects of your history, which can be reduced without greed to the result of adaptation due to natural selection. That is, the molecular development of the stuff of which you are made has arisen in such a way that absolutely no intentional autonomy on the part of any one was ever required. There are no “thoughts,” no “I’d like it to be sos.” Unless by thought you mean the purely mechanical reaction of one atom colliding with another.

There are only atoms. Or in the case of your body, only macros (Dennett’s word for the molecular algorithms responsible for building you). Macros are what atoms become in spacetime. But that’s the rub.


What could we mean by the “environment” when we say it selects the fittest organisms? What could we mean by the “space and time” in which atoms collide? What is an atom but an act of mental significance upon the stage of life?

Hold on now, I’m going to take off from a discussion of atoms (the figure) and soar up into a discussion about spacetime (the ground). The motion and distance of the empirical world are ephemeral manifestations reflecting off the invisible intensity of time, the spiritual world.

Aristotle saw the world as made up of things. Darwin discovered that it was made of doings. Dennett wants to shift our attention from nouns to verbs. He wants to say that the mind is an emergent property of the brain, the process instead of the product. We are our history.

I want to say that this is not enough. We must go not only from nouns to verbs, but from grammar to nature, to our actual embodiment.

We are process and product, as well as producer, all rolled into one. That is, we are body, mind, and spirit.

Reality is not composed of words, whether they are nouns or verbs. Reality is without space and without time. Words are the world of consciousness, communication, and fabrication. Words are for the actors on the stage, the separate interactions of particles in space. The functions of their waves can be computed and arranged. But in reality, the whole production is but a show. When it’s over, the curtain is drawn as the darkness envelopes the participants. They become as one, as though uncreated. With no conflict, there’s no story to tell.

History does not eliminate essence. It merely swallow it, assume it. Order is derived from the mindless interaction between many “seeds” called atoms. But within what fruit do the seeds grow? Dennett hasn’t eliminated mind from his metaphysics, he’s just turned it into a unit of information (a measure of work done). An algorithm. He wants everything to admit it has a mother except atoms, which are virgin births of transcendental import.