Saturday, July 31, 2021


2 Divergent, Contradictory Ways of Human Perceiving

Poetry versus prose, fact versus story, symbolic versus technologic, intuitive versus rational, emotion versus logic, experience versus learning, reason versus tradition,

religion versus science, transcendent versus temporal, sacred versus secular, spiritual versus material, supernatural versus natural, personal versus impersonal—

What bipolar opposites!

Yet they both exist within every one of us, the human species.

HOWEVER some modern thinkers claim they are irreconcilable.

Yet from a different angle, these 2 ways of perceiving, “seeing,” so often divergent and opposite, do sometimes interrelate.

They aren’t always extreme clashers/antithetical/ contradictory/mutually incompatible/ not always (as in never shall the twain meet) like “fundamentalists” of religion and “scientilists” of science adamantly claim--incompatible.

But they do, indeed, offer 2 very different ways of perceiving reality.

The HUGE question is whether those perceptions are mutally exclusive or complimentary, even married as in the old saw--opposites attract:-).

The issue of these 2 divergent ways of perceiving is like the old joke about sex: Is the word, sex, an acronym for “sensitive experiential ecstasy”?


the short term for biological interaction between a primate with XY chromosomes with one with XX chromosomes?

Or like the joke pun about the elephant versus the mouse in the room?

It’s ‘irrelevant’;- like these last few lines.)

-- #1 Our first contrast:


From the Jewish, Christian, Islamic religions, the ancient text of Genesis (written 500 B.C.E. in Babylon by Jewish scribes as a poem to honor the 7th day of Shabbat)

Genesis 1 In the beginning of G-d’s preparing the heavens and the earth — 2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness on the face of the deep, and the Wind of G-d fluttering on the face of the waters, And G-d said, "Let light be; and light is."

On the 4th day of Creation: 14 And G-d said, "Let luminaries be in the expanse of the heavens...and the stars..." And there is an evening and there is a morning, day 4.



From the Lecture 113--8. Early Universe by astronomer Chris Impey, University of Arizona, Tucson

"...the frontier of knowledge is...the Planck Era. An amazing ten to the minus 43 seconds after the big bang.

“Conceptually, this is a time in the infinite universe when space itself was as curved as a particle. When the distinction between space and time did not exist. Or the objects in space and the space that contain them. This was when the universe was smaller than the smallest subatomic particle.

“Just thinking about the Big Bang, it's an extraordinary event. A 100 billion galaxies and a 100,000 billion, billion stars they contained were all compressed into a space smaller than a sub atomic particle. What the big bang theory really says is that... The universe itself was created in a quantum event...

“...a theory of black holes, of galaxies, and a theory of, of atoms, of light, of force. So, we have two great theories of physics, the theory of the very big, Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and the theory of the very small, the Quantum Theory...

“The exponential expansion of inflation essentially blew up quantum fluctuations to macroscopic size, where they would subsequently become the seeds for galaxy formation. That same expansion of course, is responsible for the flatness and smoothness of space. Whatever the initial curvature, and it must have been extreme, space has now inflated to an enormous size, or space curvature in any large region is negligible.

“This idea puts the microwave sky in a whole new light. What is says is that when we look at the microwave background radiation through a radio telescope, we're look at quantum fluctuations writ large on the sky, the seeds for galaxy formation.

“So hypothetically, about a microsecond after the Big Bang, the universe would have had a temperature of about a trillion degrees. That's the energy from which neutrons and protons can have their anti-particle pairs created spontaneously out of pure energy. Below that temperature, or after that time, such creation is not possible. The speculation is that there was a very slight imbalance in the amount of matter versus anti-matter.

“From the time a few minutes after the Big Bang until just under 400,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe was simply an expanding and cooling plasma, cooling from a temperature of 10 million Kelvin down to about 3,000 Kelvin. When the universe reached this size, density and temperature, it reached the point where electrons could combine with protons to form stable hydrogen and also helium atoms.

“It takes perhaps 100 or 200 million years after the Big Bang for the first objects to switch on as light bulbs in the sky. Stars and galaxies."

-- The first account is poetic story, from us finite primates looking up and creating, telling a narrative of meaning.

The second account is factual prose, from us observing, discerning objective facts in the cosmos.

Are these two perspectives totally contradictory?

Is a complete divorce necessary as well as the killing of the former, like some secular scientists such as biologists Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins and astrophysicist Brian Greene think?

For instance, Greene, states: “The ancient declaration that "nothing exists but atoms and the void," is not far from the truth.” Though Greene does add, “But what's wondrous is all that atoms in the void, when arranged in organized configurations, can accomplish.”

Of course, then the question is HOW and WHY?

IF there is no story, no creator, no transcendence, no worth, no meaning, no moral realism, no human rights, etc.—“nothing except atoms and the void” HOW/WHY did those multi-trillions of “organized configurations” in Reality come about?!

What is the “void”?

I suppose many famous atheists could be correct when they posit CHANCE brought forth “organized configurations.” Given enough to infinity, possibly laws of physics, galaxies, solar systems, Life, consciousness, reason, math, stories, morals, etc. could have luckily appeared into existence over deep time, though I don’t see how.

Or why.

OR is the very contrary opposite account of what is REAL, actually the truth?

Reality is a sharing couple of both meaningful story and atoms-matter-energy facts, committed to interaction like geneticist Francis Collins, astrophysicist George Ellis, and astronomer Chris Impey think?

According to Chris Impey, the two contrary views are interrelated:

"We're made of tiny subatomic particles and are part of a vast space-time arena, yet we hold both extremes in our heads...the powerful narrative that science has created to help us organize and understand the world.

“We have a story of how the universe grew from a jot of space-time to the splendor of 50 billion galaxies. We have a story of how a broth of molecules on the primeval Earth turned into flesh and blood.

“And we have a story of how one of the millions of species evolved to hold those 50 billion galaxies inside its head." How It Began page xii, How It Ends, page 11 By Chris Impey

-- At this aged point in my long life of seeking and searching, BOTH the storied poetic and the factual matter-energy intrigue me and guide me.

I love both ways of perceiving.

In the Light,

Dan Wilcox

Sunday, July 18, 2021

All mass movements such as BLM, ANTIFA, EVANGELICAL TRUMPISM, CANCEL CULTURE, etc. "BREED FANATICISM...INTOLERANCE..." from the True Believer

"...some peculiarities common to all mass movements...all of them irrespective of the doctrines they preach and the program they project, BREED FANATICISM...HATRED and INTOLERANCE..."

from The True Believer
by Eric Hoffer

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

I Was a Nonviolent S.D.S. Radical: A Beginning Memoir of My Life in the 1960's

Late in 1964, I experienced a spiritual transformation, went from being a gung-ho rightwing individual (like my parents and work boss) who supported the bombing of Vietnam to realizing that such a war stance is contrary to the Way of Jesus as presented in the Sermon on the Mount, etc.

So, instead of joining the Navy Reserves after high school and going to Vietnam to kill communists for Christ, I chose a third way. At the time all of my relatives, friends, everyone I knew in Nebraska supported the war.

But there was a former missionary and a Mennonite family who also opposed war. Thus, I became a conscientious objector.

I applied for that status with my draft board. Even after those 2 witnesses vouched that I was opposed to war including the Vietnam War, our Draft Board in Lincoln, Nebraska still interviewed me, grilled me personally on various specific violent situations, such as what if your family is attacked by killers, etc.

Finally, they gave me the I.O. status, which meant that when drafted, I would be performing nonviolent alternative service, working with poor people in Latin America or with mental patients, etc. instead of killing.

A couple of years later, when I was drafted and taking my physical with many other young men, the friendly Black medical sergeant who was testing me, after seeing my conscientious objector status, started calling me “Brother Love.”

Then in the summer of 1965, after my graduation from Lincoln Southeast High School, a week later, I started attending the University of Nebraska. With in a few weeks, I became involved with the student protestors, those opposed to the War and opposed to segregation and racism.

The first protest I attended was for the latter. It was one against Apartheid in South Africa.

With in a few weeks, I also joined a new social action-civil rights-anti-war organization called Students for a Democratic Society.

Of course, this was long before when S.D.S. turned to hate and violence, arson, attacks on police, etc. like it did with its splinter group, the WeatherUnderground and its bombings, arson, and violence at various universities including Kent State University in 1970.

To make a long complex story brief, by the spring of 1967, I was living as a spiritual hippie in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, but got drafted that summer. BELOW is a picture of me in the spring of 1967.

I was sent to serve my service time at a mental hospital for emotionally disturbed children and teens in Trevose, Pennsyvania, got evicted from my apartment for an anti-war sign on the back of my Greenbriar van, “the Mystical Hippopotamus”:-), etc.

As the nonviolent protests of the 60’s turned to hate and violence, even arson, bombings, and killings, I despaired. Where had the wondrous nonviolent altrusim of Martin Luther King, John Lewis and others gone?

I very strongly rejected the new hatred and violence of the extremists. IInstead, I emphasized more and more the Quaker and MLK way of reconciliation.

Standing in silent Quaker-like vigils against the War, we tried in many conversations to reason with others (both violent and nonviolent), including a soldier who had just come back from Vietnam, where he had been seriously injured in his left leg.

That whole tragic absurd period of history was “the Best of Times, the Worst of Times.”

Still radical after all these years*

Dan Wilcox

*an obvious paraphrase of a famous Paul Simon song title:-)

Sunday, July 4, 2021


Here’s an incredible irony: BLMer’s, Democrats, and others are up in arms demanding the banning of the Confederate battle flag. I’m certainly not a fan of that flag that glorified killing and that represented a nation whose leaders believed in the institution of slavery.

HOWEVER, HERE’S THE IRONY: NONE of these BLMer’s, Democrats, and most Americans plan to ban Old Glory, the U.S. flag even though it flew over the U.S. in defense of slavery, invasive wars, huge land thefts, etc. from 1776 to 1865, a total of 89 years!

Even after 1865, though slavery had become illegal, actual slavery, racism, and legal discrimination continued in many states until the 1960's and 70's!

In 1877, President Hayes made a deal with the racist Redeemers and removed all Federal troops from the South.
The Redeemers brought in Jim Crow, Negro Codes, and Segregation. There were "Sundown" towns in the north. President Woodrow Wilson segregated the U.S. government offices! All of these horrors lasted until the 1970's!

-- Even after the Emancipation Proclamation of Lincoln in 1863, slave owners in the Union were allowed to keep their slaves. The Union slaves weren’t freed until the end of the war in 1865.

Lincoln had meant the E.P. only for slaves not under his control in a separate nation, the Confederacy. So, he freed slaves he couldn’t, and kept slaves that he could have freed in the U.S., enslaved!

And Lincoln was still trying to convince all Negros to move from the U.S. back to Africa or go to Latin America in 1863. Lincoln didn’t think that Blacks could live with Whites because he believed Blacks were inferior. While he opposed slavery, he didn’t think Blacks were equal, nor that they should be allowed to vote or serve on juries, etc.

During the Revolutionary War, and especially the War of 1812 the British offered freedom to American slaves, BUT the Americans, supposedly for freedom and liberty, continued to support slavery!

And in the invasion of Mexico and the annexation of Texas, the U.S. supported slavery, while Mexico had banned slavery.

Over the years, in some cases, Old Glory has stood for freedom and genrosity, but in the last 247-years most of the time it has stood for invasions and the rejection of refugees such as when we rejected escaping Jews from Nazi Germany in the late 1930's!

And now in the last 4 years, we've again supported a harsh rejection of the "huddled" refugees, a denial of the Statue of Liberty.

STATUE of LIBERTY on the 4TH of July: "Give me your huddled masses, longing to be free..."

Dan Wilcox

Thursday, July 1, 2021

The HORROR of Natural Evil and Human Evil Actions including the tragedy in Miami


Or questioners could have cited the horrific tsunami in Indonesia in 2004 that slaughtered over 240,000 innocent humans.

Or the 30 Years War, where about 1/3 of all the population of the area of Germany died, about 4-12 millions humans!

The list of human and natural evil events are endless. As a reader of many history book for many years, and a teacher of the American and world literature/history, and the Holocaust, etc., while at the same time being a liberal Christian, I couldn't account for these thousands of years of millions of events of horrific evil.

NONE of the lame theodicies of Christian theologians were satisfying. Most of them made the horrors all that more evil.

Thankfully, I wasn't a creedal Christian, but I did read in depth terrible answers from creedal theologians:

1. God doesn't owe humans any thing because we are his creations and so don't even deserve to exist at all. Its God's grace that we get to live at all.

2. God doesn't rescue the millions of infants who die horrible deaths because at conception, they are in "essence, evil" even though they haven't yet sinned. Michael Wigglesworth the famous American Calvinist stated in his theological poem that was a favorite in nearly every house in New England, that infants will be given "the easist room" in Hell.

3. God plans/ordains/wills all of those horrific evils because all evil brings God "glory" and "good pleasure." That was a favorite of Calvinist leaders:-( Even the Holocaust will give God glory! Whew:-(

4. God gave Adam and Eve free will but they ate the apple so they lost free will and all of us are thus damned, but God provides a limited number of humans, chosen before the foundation of the cosmos, eternal life. IF Adam hadn't sinned, then there would be no natural or human evils. ETC.

I also remember how many Muslim world leaders claimed the tsunami was for specific sins that the 240,000 humans had committed. And, also, one of the key doctrines of Islam is that whatever happens in reality is God's will. ETC.

So what did I do?

As a follower of Jesus and a moral realist, I was convinced that all evils--human atrocities, natural disasters, disease, etc.--are contrary to what is good, what is true, what is just.

So I was left with the terrible contradiction of God's love for every single human versus the utter lack of God's stopping constant evil-- hanging over me-- like a gullotine.

My whole focus was--and still is--on fighting against all human evil actions, and helping to alleviate those who suffer in natural disasters, etc. That is also how some Christian relief-development agencies deal with this.

For instance, MCC and World Vision, which has rescued millions of children and families from poverty, etc. since its founding int he 1950's states that the suffering of any and all humans "breaks God's heart."

They don't attempt to answer how this claim is so contradicted by all of the horrrific evils they work against.

My last comments: It seems to me, that those who think horrific human evil and terrible disasters, cancer, etc. show that God isn't in control is correct. Human history and current events prove that there is no monotheistic God who loves all humans infinitely.

There is too much evidence to the contrary.

Of course, I don't agree that the evidence proves that atheism is true. (But that's another story, why I don't think atheism is true, why I am a Process-theist.

In the Light of the Good, the True, and the Just,

Dan Wilcox