Rummaging around in my directory of raw materials for possible blogs, I came across the following, posted as a note on Facebook about four years ago, inone of my very rare responses to a game request. (Often I unfriend the requesrer for wasting my time.) I had fun with this and it previewed several topics I’ve since written about. So enjoy.
1. Starting at UC Berkeley at age 16, I was invited to a reception to receive Honors at Entrance. I found my hand being shaken by Robert Gordon Sproul, President of the whole UC system, who thanked me for coming to his school. This was because of my 1580 on the SAT. And being 16, I didn’t figure out until afterward that I should have invited my parents to it.
3. I have a very complex theology but a very simple spiritual discipline, because, no matter how special you think you are, you do have to finally follow the instructions, just as everyone else must. That’s why I have 32 years sobriety.
5. Having thought about the mathematics and theology of the infinite for approximately 52 years, I have concluded that there are an infinity of infinities, that every true deity is the unique ultimate reality, that our human distinctions between one and many, same and different, past and future, self and other, do not apply to the infinite, but that the mystery of gender is itself an ultimate reality.
6. I like surrealistic aphorisms and art that breaks through its frames.
7. Ontology recapitulates philology.
8. I am at an age when I do not write out of ambition, but because I love my children.
I never see
only ones who
remind me of
those I once loved.
10. There’s a joke about the college freshman who expects his philosophy course to answer his questions about the meaning of life and so on, but it never does, because academic turf wars prevent most college professors from even asking such questions. Well, right now I’m teaching a philosophy course, and I do ask and try to answer those questions. If not me, who?
11. One of my favorite insights is Neil Bohr’s remark that a profound truth is one whose exact opposite is also a profound truth. It’s fun collecting them.
12. I’ve been telling my philosophy students that philosophy depends on asking profoundly simple questions, such as, “Why is the sky dark at night?” The Hubble telescope has revealed that the expansion of the universe has been accelerating for the last five billion years. If you grasp the implications of that, then you may understand that perhaps Fred Hoyle should have received the Nobel Prize.
14. I think all prophets must be reprobates, since anyone bound by ordinary rules could never do something so extraordinary as founding a genuinely new religion.
15. Have you ever considered the implications of the fact that the founders of the world’s major religions were all alive at the same time, ca. 500 BCE?
16. There were many decisions in my life that I can look back to and consider to have been mistakes, yet if I had made any one of them differently, I would probably be dead and would certainly not have my children.
18. The most parsimonious concept of the Deep Mind is that it is a single consciousness, not limited by the Kantian a prioris that program our ordinary minds. That is, we are not ten billion isolated individuals; we are a single immortal being housed in ten billion bodies. Blake called that being the Giant Albion. Yes, I believe he had deduced that also.
19. When I was seventeen, my naivete was perhaps excusable, but not ten years later. Several women, old and good friends, single again, wanted me to make love to them, but I realized that only afterward. In each case, I never saw her again. I regret that I failed those friends when they needed comfort and reassurance. As Zorba said, the unforgiveable sin.
21. As Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living. However, the overexamined life is not worth shit either.
22. What is the difference between a game and an art form?
23. My academic studies started with mathematics, progressed into poetry, then reached into theology. Why? Because all three are systems for manipulating abstract symbols in order to create maps of possible realities. That is, all three are special cases of a more fundamental underlying system of analysis and synthesis.
24. Mathematicians burn out very young, but poets can keep going forever.
25. So why do the preceding constitute random facts about me? Because they’re the sort of things that I think about.