Skip to content

Kindred spirits

Value individuality and don’t try to dictate what. . . kids are curious about or how they express themselves. [Respectful parenting] is about seeing children as independent rational beings [instead of taking an] authoritarian [approach] where communication is one way with little consideration of a child’s emotional needs. 

CNBC on Apple News Feed 01/07/23, quoting Margot Machol Bisnow, author, Raising an Entrepreneur (BookBaby 2022).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In “Respectful Parenting” (January 8) I anticipated reading Bisnow’s book “in hopes that it will help with one of the main concerns of this website: the undoing of authoritarian “realism,” a dominant strain of philosophy that’s neither realistic nor rational. Responsible, in fact, for the abuse of children and every other living thing. The signature human mindset that’s become the signature of an entire geological epoch: the ongoing global atrocity we now call the Anthropocene.”

I’ve since read the book and found that it has helped. In its author I feel a kindred spirit who shares my dismay at authoritarian insensitivity when the spirit of a vulnerable child is stifled by “authority.” By the misreading of authority by self-centered parents who turn its kindness meant to support with sensitivity, responsibility, and accountability, from the bottom up, into unkindness that rules with insensitivity, irresponsibility, and unaccountability, from the top down. Hallmarks of the authoritarian “realist’s” temperament, the root of troublemaking in every cause, every relationship.

The “bad thing” that Freud spent his career trying to understand and the friction that drove two professionals to pleading for “a better way.” The clinical psychologists Bill Thetford and Helen Schucman, who collaborated on A Course in Miracles, the guidance from metaphysics channeled by a perspective in but not of our world. Whose name was Jesus but could be any name we choose so long as its voice speaks for Logic and Love. For the Parents of their Child, Free Choice. Of us its projections.

The duty to speak, the duty to listen

The sentiments that follow speak from experience with disrespectful authoritarian parenting. Living it as a child and witnessing it as an adult. “Disrespect” is not meant for my own or others’ parents, who in their misreading of authority were no less motivated than I to do what’s right and in dealing with externals, with the necessities, did do a great deal that was right. Where we differ is in getting it right: what I perceive is a flaw in thinking so prevalent that it’s corrupted nearly all of Western thought. I don’t see the parents of my experience being other than human, only misled by the twists and turns of personality, genetics, and externals that account for personhood. By the same misperceptions that misled our ancestral Mind, the One Child that we are. "Disrespect" is meant neither for the Child nor for its projections but for the nature of the mistake. Authoritarian anything in human relations is inherently disrespectful.

It’s not for my sentiments to correct the flaw. It’s only my duty to use the gift of Logic and Love to think and feel. To observe, reflect, and analyze. To judge with conscience and compassion and then, when the time comes, to act. To use the gift of Voice to speak up and be heard. Whether my sentiments ring true or arrive at the right time is up to Authority. It’s not for me to say. But if authoritarian parents are serious about parenting; if they care for their children, it is their duty to listen. Not necessarily to change. To get it right, but to hear a voice other than their own and reflect on it. To look beyond the “authority” that stands in the way of understanding. Beyond the “authority” that isn’t, to the Authority that is.

If authoritarian parents want to silence me and my kindred spirit, all they have to do is listen. 

Voices that can’t be silenced 

Excerpts from Raising an Entrepreneur (New Harbinger 2nd ed. 2021):

  • All children thrive if they learn: to believe in themselves; to pursue their true passions; to find new ways to solve old problems; to see opportunity where others see the status quo; to be willing to take on a challenge without proper credentials; to work with single-minded determination to achieve a goal; to take a risk if the project is worth trying; to learn that building something wonderful is its own reward. . . . ; to view failure as feedback and setbacks as learning experiences; to dream big dreams. (368)
  • The more freedom you give kids, the more freedom they have to come into conflict with other people about the way things should be done. . . . [T]hey don’t have to fear conflict, and. . . it’s okay to challenge conventional ways of thinking and doing things. . . . (190)
  • The ideal mentor is driven by a different impulse -- to expose the child to challenges and equip the child to handle them. A mentor can also give a much-needed kick in the pants their parents are reluctant to give. And a child, especially a teenager, may listen to a mentor precisely because the mentor isn’t a parent. . . . [A] mentor with the right values becomes even more important. . . . (136)
  • A mentor just has to be someone the child respects, someone who comes into their life and shows them a new way of looking at the world, or who validates their self-worth by understanding the way they look at the world. (136)
  • [M]entors. . . could be family members other than their parents. . . . (364)
  • [A]n adult who demonstrates that it’s OK to do things differently, to color outside the lines, can be powerfully validating. . . A mentor can also broaden a young person’s view of available possibilities. . . . [A] mentor can show kids a whole world beyond the world of their parents. (135)
  • One way a mentor can serve as a bridge to the adult world is by giving your child a different perspective from yours. Even though it may not be easy, you need to trust your child to make the most of that different perspective, because it’s a key part of letting them create their own perspective -- the one they’ll keep refining for the rest of their life. (161)
  • [A] mentor provided not just guidance, but guiding principles -- attitudes and beliefs to be drawn on over a lifetime, especially in adversity. (150)
  • Mentors are good for everyone. But if children feel underappreciated at school, few things do more to boost their confidence than having someone who appreciates their talents. (136)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friendship requires mutual affection, respect, trust-honesty, and understanding between equals. Silencing a person’s voice with intimidation and bullying to assert authoritarian supremacy destroys affection, respect, trust-honesty, and understanding. It can never destroy a person’s inherent Worth but it does destroy friendship.

Anyone serious about respectful parenting must know that they may not ever, for any reason, assert authoritarian supremacy over their children. They may not silence their children’s voices with authoritarian intimidation and bullying. Nor may they attempt to do so with anyone who has a legitimate role in their children’s care and development. This includes role-modelers and mentors that every child needs.

The care and development of a child calls into play many more voices than the voices of their parents. Many more perspectives, talents and resources that children need. Cutting a child off from these resources to assert authoritarian supremacy is disempowering not empowering, mis-guidance not guidance. It is not respectful parenting. 

Persons are not objects

Private property is objects, not persons, that may be owned, possessed, and controlled provided that their use is responsible. “Responsible ownership” means exercising due care to recognize and mitigate its costs to others and to the community at large. In a shared world it can never mean doing whatever you want with what you own without regard for the interests of others.

Groups compete for competitive advantage or in games to win. Friendships are between individuals not groups. Individuals in friendships do not compete to win except at play. Authoritarian competition for supremacy defeats the purpose of play: excellence and good relations. It belongs neither in competition between groups nor between friends at play. Whether friends are competing at play or not it destroys friendships.

Individual persons are not objects. Individual minds, hearts, and souls may never, ever, be owned, possessed, and controlled for any reason. Behavior needing social controls is another matter. In mortal combat it doesn’t matter.

“Winning” in competition at play occurs between persons, not objects, where its purpose cannot be authoritarian ownership, possession, and control. “Defeat” is acknowledgement of superior performance. It can never imply submission to personal dominance. Totalitarian dictatorships fail for a reason: they are an affront to human nature.

Authoritarian supremacy is a sickness 

Excerpts from Raising an Entrepreneur (New Harbinger 2nd ed. 2021): 

  • Here’s the tough part for a lot of parents. If you want to incubate an entrepreneur, you need to lead by following. . . . It’s one of the hardest things for most parents to do: knowing what your kids’ strengths are; understanding what path would be good for them; and judging when -- and how -- to support that path. (319)
  • [E]ntrepreneurs need space and freedom to find their own way -- and, paradoxically, that makes emotional support from their parents even more important. When they’re not getting the immediate rewards and positive feedback that conventional jobs bring, their parents’ belief in them becomes even more valuable. (325)
  • Few things give kids more confidence than seeing their parent stand up for them. These moments also teach them to stand up for themselves. Future entrepreneurs learn how to argue for their own interests -- and . . . how to stand up for their vision. . . . By standing up for a child, you not only give the child confidence, you also model how to be an advocate when it’s called for. (190)
  • [S]howing [your child] how you do it when you stand up to authority on their behalf is. . . teaching a sense of entitlement (in the best sense of the word) . . [G]iving your child the tools to stand up for themselves by standing up for them when they are young helps them navigate the world successfully as an adult. (190)
  • The parents in this book gave their children the following messages: We love you. We trust you. We believe in you. We support you in whatever you want to do. We . . . encourage you to pursue [your passion]. We know you’ll do great things. We’ll always be here for you. Don’t worry if you make mistakes. . . . We’re excited to follow you on your journey. We can’t wait to see everything you’re going to accomplish. (367)
  • This kind of wholehearted trust in a child’s capacity is the secret to raising an entrepreneur. . . . (368)
  • The true test for parents is whether they can remain supportive even when their children seem lost or haven’t yet figured out how to make a career out of doing what they love or when they take a turn that makes their parents nervous. Following children’s lead. . . means supporting and encouraging them even when parents wish they were doing something else. (342)
  • [P]arents may tend to focus on what society thinks are good qualities, rather than on what motivates their kids. They ask, “Why don’t they have more discipline?” when the better question is often “How can I help them find something that inspires them to work hard?” (321)
  • Some parents get out of the way. . . , but others aren’t passively stepping aside and waiting for their children to do amazing things. Many of the parents I talked with did a lot to help their kids identify what it was they loved to do. (348)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Civilization in a shared world requires democratic governance under the law that supports cooperation by sharing, affirmation, enablement, and empowerment from the bottom up. The assertion of authoritarian supremacy above the law, from the top down, has no place in civilized society and destroys democracy.

Civilization and democracy both begin at home. With individual relationships among equals who practice mutual respect, trust-honesty, and understanding. Civilization and democracy cannot be sustained by acts of will alone. They require the guidance of intelligence that applies responsibility and accountability to every decision. That applies every function of Mind -- introspection, reflection, and judgment based on logic, analysis, reasoning, evaluation, and understanding.

The assertion of authoritarian supremacy destroys civilization and democracy because it would rule by will alone. Because it excludes and silences the voice of intelligence. Because it is the sworn enemy of intelligence.

The assertion of authoritarian supremacy provokes and perpetuates conflict, combat, and violence. It is a perversion of “authority” that is a barrier to world peace. In individual relationships it is a sickness. A psychiatric disorder that is a barrier to mutual respect, trust-honesty, and understanding among equals essential to good relations.

The superficiality of sociability

Sociability confined to group-social relations where it belongs can be helpful, harmless, and playful. But anything “social” is associated with groups and anything “groups” implies power relations. Sociability that brings power relations into individual-personal relations doesn’t belong. The implied threat of authoritarian dominance is not helpful or harmless. It's hurtful. It can never be playful. It destroys friendships.

Sociability in group-social relations only requires displays of mutual affection, respect, trust-honesty, and understanding among equals. The agreeability and pleasantness of group-social relations is sustained by appearances. Group-social relations are necessarily superficial. Superficiality is the enemy of individual personal relationships sustained by sincerity. By the reality of mutual affection, respect, trust-honesty, and understanding and not just the appearance. Superficiality in individual personal relationships conveys hostility, insincerity, and misunderstanding. It is inherently disrespectful.

Causes that require respectful parenting 

Excerpts from Raising an Entrepreneur (New Harbinger 2nd ed. 2021):

  • A]ll entrepreneurs face moments of crisis when everything seems aligned against them -- when the world is telling them they’re crazy, their ventures won’t work, and they should take a safer, less turbulent path. It’s at moments like these that they may need a motivation bigger than themselves. . . . [M]any entrepreneurs are brought up to believe there is a larger purpose to which they are called than their own happiness or material success. . . . For some, the belief in something bigger came through religion. Others are fueled by a more general sense of morality or ethics. . . . (294)
  • Kathe, mom of the WordPress founder. . . always stressed values, not as abstract concepts, but as guiding principles for taking action. [emphasis added] (294-295)
  • For many who grew up to be entrepreneurs, the sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves is fundamental and has shaped their lives and contributed to their unshakable belief that they are in the world to make a positive difference. (295)
  • The webMethods co-founder explained. . . “I think about . . . my children from a perspective of what’s their purpose, where did they come from, and why are they here. . . . [P]art of why they’re here is to make a contribution. . . . Service has always been an important part of our lives.” (297)
  • [E]ven if you don’t believe in an organized religion. . . -- it’s important to raise children to have a strong character, to be moral, to be honorable, to have a set of values, to care about their community, and to recognize that today, their community may be the world. . . . [I]t was important for [these entrepreneurs] growing up to believe that there is something bigger than them, that there is a higher purpose than making money. . . . They all care deeply about making the world a better place and giving back. And that desire was bolstered by a moral perspective instilled in them in childhood. (317-318)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The assertion of authoritarian supremacy is an attempt to adapt to a shared world that is fundamentally misunderstood as a world cast in its own image. As a world ruled from the top down by an arbitrary authority, above the law, ruling only for its own preservation and for nothing else. It is a failure of Logic whose function is to support understanding with explanation. It is illogical, and no function of Mind or will that’s based on it -- on getting context wrong -- can end well.

The assertion of authoritarian supremacy is wrong in any context, even in combat where neither victory nor survival requires it. This was supposed to be the lesson of the Versailles treaty that concluded World War I -- an assertion of authoritarian supremacy that produced World War II. Getting context wrong is a grave mistake. The retaliations of victimhood and vengeance, authoritarian trademarks, are always illogical.

The assertion of authoritarian supremacy that treats individuals as objects, that deprives them of a voice, is always a grave mistake that destroys the possibility of friendship and world peace. Causes that every voice from the next generation will be called upon to serve. Causes that require respectful parenting. 

Inspiration from a revered leader 

Excerpts from Raising an Entrepreneur (New Harbinger 2nd ed. 2021): 

  • [M]ost of the entrepreneurs believed in something: their beliefs fed their commitment to service, and their sense that they have a duty to contribute to the world. (365) 
  • Nurture Compassion. . . . Many of the entrepreneurs . . . were raised with the strong belief that they had to give back and, in fact, most of the entrepreneurs in this book do give back today. . . . (364)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Abraham Lincoln reframed American democracy eloquently with his Gettysburg Address. He wanted to conclude the Civil War “with malice towards none; with charity for all.” In the spirit of understanding, not in the spirit of the Versailles treaty that came later, an authoritarian calamity. Lincoln was one of history’s most inspiring advocates of civilization and democracy and one of the most persuasive opponents of authoritarian rule.

He was one of history’s most loved and revered leaders, a role model for all seasons. Why do his image and monument in Washington resonate with the heart and soul of America? Because the gentle loving kindness that he spoke for was the antithesis of authoritarian supremacy. He was our respectful parent.

God bless Abraham Lincoln. God bless every parent who practices respectful parenting. And God bless you, even if you don't, for listening.

Distinctions fundamental to Understanding 

Creation got its start with Relationship and with what Relationship implies. Relationship between Logic and Love inseparable and the Creation of Life and Worth that their Relationship implies. Creation got its start with Relationship which is the stuff of Love and with Implication which is the stuff of Logic. What they imply is the process of Creation moving forward and the structure of Creation building from the bottom up, both in logical sequence through Relationships.

Logic married to Love gave birth to Free Choice, their Child. Together they parent their Child through the inseparable Parent-Child Relationship that Creates, nurtures, and guides the Life-Worth of Creation. Guides through the harmony of Order and Freedom that are inseparable. Governs all of Reality-Creation from the bottom up, through the laws of cause and effect, inseparable from the Authority of Necessity that applies evenly and equally to Creation and Creator, its Source.

Logic-Love is the Source of Judgment that decides with Reason but it does neither itself. It doesn’t choose and so it has no need for Reason. It explains, defines, and governs. The “Mind” whose function in Creation is to choose-decide with Reason- Judgment is Free Choice: the Child of Parents Logic-Thought and Love-Feeling. Logic the source of Mind-Choice and Love the source of Freedom. The Child’s function is to choose freely with Reason because that is the function of Reason: to enable Mind to judge, choose, and decide freely. The Child is our ancestral Mind.

The theorizing of metaphysics is intuited through the Logic-Love Relationship -- our Parents in Reality -- that explains and defines. That provides us with distinctions fundamental to Understanding because they love and need their Child to resume their Relationship in Self-Awareness and the Child’s function in Creation. To regain Consciousness from the alternate reality, the dream state that we call home. Awakening that requires Understanding that requires explanation. That can only come from Logic-Love, our Parents.

The will not to understand

In the illusory world of contradictions that we appear to occupy, minds corrupted by their own opposites can make no sense of this. Opposite is separation. Inseparability is an impossibility. And so in our illusory world of separation what seems to make sense is the opposite. A fractious composition of impossibilities. Logic and Love function separately, which means they function with difficulty or not at all. With Parents separated from Child there can be no Relationship to nurture and guide creation. There can be neither order nor freedom when they are separated. If laws are separated from authority there can be no governance, only the lawlessness of separation. Arbitrary top-down rule. A madhouse.

Distinctions that to minds dominated by limbic passions, corrupted by mis-identification with their own reverse mirror image reflections, make no sense. Logic that explains and defines so that it can govern, distinct from Mind that judges with Reason so that it can choose freely, can have no place in the unfathomable mystery that is our universe, so plainly ruled by mindless, unreasoning “nature,” the force that dominates with the unthinking animal-herd instinct of will. Where in such a universe is there any possibility of explanation by Logic? Of understanding essential to Free Choice? Of Reason the function of Mind? There is no place. And thus the distinctions are lost on corrupted minds. Distinctions that could guide us toward answers that Western thought supposedly seeks. But if we don’t want them then surely we won’t find them.

The “many” of happening or nothing happening 

The “many” of Life-Creativity in Reality are implications that flow from each advance in the interconnectedness -- the sequence -- of Logic. The “many” are the loving soulmate relationships that flow from each expansion of the interconnectedness -- the family -- of Love. The “many” of Life-Creativity in Reality is the abundance of possibilities that Life-Creation is composed of, that each advance in the extension of Logic and the expansion of Love produces. Possibilities like branches and roots, the flowering seeds and buds that compose organic growth, the growth of all living selves. This is the ”many” of Reality-Creation, of Life that grows, of abundance that shares. That can’t help growing and sharing because this is the nature, the definition, of Life-Being. Of Necessity -- the laws of cause and effect.

The ”many” of the opposite is the abundance of disconnections and contradictions. Of impossibilities that comprise the appearance of being, of life-uncreativity in unreality along with its opposite, the appearance of death. The “many” is the abundance of opposites -- disconnections and contradictions -- produced by opposition. By opposing “realities:” of life and death, good and evil, right and wrong, logical and illogical, love and fear, love and hate, innocence and guilt, giving and taking, gaining and losing, owning and sharing, possessing and affirming, controlling and liberating, freedom and captivity, darkness and light, connection and separation, here and there, now and then. . . .

The “many” of the opposite isn’t the growth of possibilities from the expanding interconnectedness of abundance. From the variety of organic Being but the endless splitting off of impossibilities from the disconnectedness of shadow-reflection. The endless replication of contradictions from the scarcity of inorganic sameness. The “many” of Reality Life-Creation is innovation, a happening. The discovery of the new while inquiring and exploring into the unknown. The “many” of the opposite-uncreativity is replication. The appearance of movement. Of growth-expansion that’s comprised of sameness. Nothing happening.

A passion for metaphysics with a practical use

The “many”-abundance of my life is passion for philosophy. For metaphysics that inquires into questions of Worth and Truth, substance and value, Mind and Love, character and striving, meaning and purpose. Of interest to very few. That seems to the rest a waste of time, impractical and irrelevant. A preoccupation that ought to be discouraged in favor of something more conventional. More “realistic” and “sociable” instead of abstract and distancing. Instead of “weird.” Margot Machol Bisnow’s Raising an Entrepreneur (New Harbinger 2021) advises parents to support a child’s passion whatever it is rather than superimposing their own preferences. Rather than stifling originality and initiative, individuality and creativity, with authoritarian disrespect. Advice just as relevant to a grownup’s passion as it is to a child’s.

Why does it matter that the “many” of our illusory dream world is the opposite of the “many” of Reality-Creation? Because the scope of explanation that leads to Understanding by way of the Logic-Love of Intuition, by way of the Relationship with the connection to Logic-Love Parents, includes the difference between opposing “manies.” Because getting it right -- the human condition, our situation -- necessitates understanding that replications of lifeless sameness aren’t Creation. Aren’t progress, and humanity needs to move forward.

Because, like the man said, nothing gets rid of bad theory like good theory. Because the author theorizing with metaphysics is the equivalent of pure research in science that yields useful products. Practical applications that replace authoritarian “realism” that stifles Creativity from the top down with democratic support that nurtures Creativity from the bottom up. At every level of governance from international relations to individual families. Enabling shared parenting and grandparenting to be there for the minds and hearts of grandchildren as well as their bodies. That is my immediate concern. But if the unsolved problems of humanity are endless, then the possibilities of theory that gets it right, working at their roots, might also be endless.

Theorizing with metaphysics requires contributions from Free Choice rooted in its Source, Logic combined with Love. From the Parents of our ancestral Mind, the masculinity of Logic-Choice married to the femininity of Love-Freedom. Ultimately from the Logic-Love / Parent-Child Relationship at the core of Being that illuminates and empowers all of Reality-Creation. A lineage that taps into serious enablement and empowerment. Not the absurdity of forgeries like the “almighty gods” of authoritarian “realism,” caricatures who inhabit cartoons. However unconventional it may seem to conventional thought, theorizing with metaphysics has a legitimate rationale that earns its authenticity with the Worth of Logic-Love and the Authority of the laws of cause and effect. Of Necessity, the expression and stance of Logic-Love. Not needing convention is the point. The rationale stands on its own.

Understanding that the “many” of unreality is the product of appearances is a practical use of theorizing about the “many.” That it’s the product of deception perpetrated by a shadow-reflection opposite -- the replication of a virus that kills Creativity-Life. That’s the enemy of the possibilities of Free Choice essential to Creativity. Helping minds choose to be freed from captivity to the deception, to be led by a better guide, is a practical use of theorizing about the “many.” 

When a paradigm reaches end-of-service

Metaphysics is getting at root causes so that the causes of illogic, the psychiatric disorder that thwarts human growth with contradictions, can be taken out by the roots. Weeds not taken out by the roots keep coming back. Physics explains appearances, never getting beneath the surface because that is its subject: physical objects. Surfaces detectable by the senses of other surfaces: bodies. Pulling a weed out here, a weed out there, but never by the roots. Not even aware that that’s its purpose.

The rallying cry of metaphysics is appearances be damned! It’s taken physics since Galileo invented experimental physics, in the 17th century, to begin to realize what the classical philosopher Parmenides realized with Logic from intuition 2500 years ago. That Reality lies not on the surface but beneath it. That only one “reality” can be Real. The one on the surface, the objects “detected” by body-objects, can only be an illusion. The “non-dualism” taught by the teacher-healer Jesus in the flesh and later, through A Course in Miracles.

John Clerk Maxwell’s equations carried Michael Faraday’s intuition about the electromagnetic force beyond theory to application. To products that, among other things, make these thoughts accessible to a global audience in an instant. The equivalent of Maxwell’s equations to the Logic of Parmenides, Valentinus, and A Course in Miracles isn’t mathematical equations that validate sensory perception. It’s coming up with a rational explanation for the loss of Consciousness that transitioned the insane idea of an opposite unreality from an unconscious Mind to its expression, its animated appearance, in a dream. To make things add up logically like Maxwell’s equations.

In order to come up with explanation it’s logically necessary to detach our minds from an irrational, unquestioning dependence on sensory perception. On a body-centric worldview of Reality. So that inquiry beyond historic insights that challenge “conventional wisdom” will be enlivened by curiosity instead of deadened without it. Killed by an aging generation content to let the next generation abandon its outdated paradigms. Ever vigilant that nobody dismantle its monuments even if they turn out to be facades. 

The hand-off of the baton back to philosophy 

Plato tried to go forward with his mentor Parmenides. He couldn’t because intuition didn’t carry him far enough. Imaginary dialogues with his mentor Socrates didn’t get him there so he could do for Parmenides’ insights what Maxwell did for Faraday’s. His pupil Aristotle’s switch, from Plato’s Academy to Aristotle’s Lyceum -- from Mind-Logic to matter-biology -- was a white flag of surrender. It was the equivalent of Nils Bohr’s Copenhagen Interpretation that declared that experimental physics had reached the limit of its potential to explain the origin, fate, and meaning of the material universe. Aristotle’s was the declaration that Logic through intuition had reached its limit. The study of matter was available to sensory perception. It offered a legitimate avenue of discovery so long as the reality of matter and its certifier, the body’s senses, remained unchallenged by Logic. The time had come to pursue it, and thus was science in Western thought born.

And thus was born what’s become a relay race run by science and philosophy. The white flag of surrender has come out again. From physics’ pursuit of quantum gravity, the melding of cosmology with quantum mechanics, the study of the behavior of the particles and cells, the Energy, that make up matter. One just as weird as the other. The evolution of Einstein’s and Hawking’s pursuit of a theory of everything that also failed. The study of Aristotle’s matter come to rest on a puzzle that experimental physics, on its own, can’t solve. So it’s back to appealing to philosophy. To handing the baton back to philosophy in the relay race to Understanding.

The value of relationship with a trusted guide

What I propose is one possibility inspired by the author of A Course in Miracles. Who I have never doubted, since I’ve been living with it for 34 years, connects us with Logic-Love, the Parents of our ancestral Mind I call the Child. The historical figure Jesus, a manifestation of what religion calls the Holy Spirit. But if the Child’s awakening ultimately requires intimacy with our Parents’ emissary its name shouldn’t matter. Particularly since the identity and role it assumes in individual lives is between it and the individual. Call it what you want.

The Holy Spirit touches my heart at the deepest level through a son whose life was a heart-breaking tragedy. His, for me, has been the voice and the image of the Holy Spirit since I began work on this project three years ago. My life and work revolve around our Relationship, the source of insights from my intuition. With the author of the Course, my Guide and my comfort. An arrangement that owes nothing to manipulation on either side and everything to spontaneity. To mutual Love, Trust, and respect.

What if anything your life revolves around is up to you. I can only share that being in an intimate relationship with a trusted guide, who is in our world of appearances but not of it, can be both elevating and leveling. And, above all, useful -- positive and constructive. A fact well documented in the literature of leadership, entrepreneurship, and parenting.

Quantification run amuck

The cause of the Big Bang is mental not physical. An obvious fact that science, in its rampant bias against the agency of Mind in anything that can be detected and measured by body, adamantly refuses to accept. Between them Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick, Christof Koch, and Brian Greene have invented a “boundaryless” universe without a creator -- an effect without a cause -- and a brain that magically produces consciousness out of neurons and electrical impulses -- matter that produces mind. Propositions so preposterous they rate the Nobel prize for dumbest. An associate of Hawking’s tried to imagine a state that could cause our matter and what did he come up with? More matter.

The Church sticking its nose into Galileo’s business did irreparable harm to objective inquiry, worse by far than private industries buying academic research. Because all it did was provoke science into sticking its nose into everything, including and especially the philosophy that Hawking declared “dead.” Science won’t tolerate anything smacking of speculation that can’t be “verified” by “objective” quantitative measurement. The tool based on circular reasoning that the Austrian physicist-philosopher Erwin Schroedinger has acknowledged guarantees subjectivity not objectivity. What is inquiry outside the scope of measurement but speculation disciplined and supported by Logic?

Other fields -- philosophy, psychology, economics -- are so intimidated by science’s preeminence that they’ve recast their efforts as “scientific” if they can get away with it and let themselves be overshadowed if they can’t. The so-called “five factor” personality type theory is illustrative. Meant to replace Myers-Briggs, based on the inspired intuition of Carl Jung, it makes “person” object rather than subject so that its types can be quantified by “scientific” measurements -- an absurdity. The fraud results in a scale that values body-sensing over intuition, the most critical Myers-Briggs categories. Why devalue intuition? So that body-sensing, already the majority of personality types, will swing attitudes even farther toward validation of science and the “reality” of the world of spacetime-matter that justifies it. So that intuition can’t risk undermining it with another perspective: with Logic and the Truth that lies behind appearances.

Thomas Aquinas got religion -- Christianity anyway -- to back off sticking its nose into free inquiry, but that didn’t stop science from sticking its nose into free inquiry. It’s hard to see the difference between Hawking and Crick and the Pope they so despise.

What is our baseline? 

Adam Becker, in What Is Real? (Basic Books 2018), recalled that Einstein, in 1952, said scientists weren’t very good at Logic. Why? What profession mines the potential for brilliance from the human mind with more elan than science?

In benefit-cost analysis, benefits and costs must be measured against something to show that a particular option makes a situation better or worse. The baseline situation -- the way things are now before the professions and their masters set about to change them. The situation that can’t factor into analysis until it’s properly understood. After all, one option might be to leave things the way they are and its constituency might not give up without a fight.

The function of mind that comes into play for this critical phase of analysis isn’t reason. It’s Logic. Whose function isn’t to choose but to explain. To use its prowess with definition to show how circumstances fit together to reveal their meaning. Whose function is to help its hapless subject, struggling to make sense of a world of contradictions and facades, understand.

From Logic we get Understanding. Not from reasoning but from fitting circumstances together so that they give us meaning and purpose. Context that’s essential to direction. From Logic we get what our situation calls for, opening thought to the next step: how to proceed with choices among scientific experiments, development possibilities, or any other improvement. With judgment based on reason that takes into account weighted values as well as measurements. That integrates them into a response to the situation that is both reasoned and Logical.

Logical because it gets the baseline situation right. Because judgment will be off on the right foot, well informed. Well directed by understanding based on facts. On reality instead of mis-directed by mis-understanding based on mis-perception and unreality. Because judgment will be based on Logic.

Science’s headlong rush to judgment

Science works hard at explaining our situation. At establishing the baseline for judgment, reasoning, choices, and decisions. But this is true only if the basic attribute of our situation can be taken for granted: that what our bodies’ senses tell us is there is actually “there.” That this is reality and we needn’t trouble metaphysics with questioning it. It’s true only if we allow science to get away with including the knower in the known. A crack in the foundation of the entire scientific enterprise. Because it forfeits intellectual integrity and along with it scientific objectivity.

Including the knower in the known is a very big No-No. A violation of Logic. An intellectual disconnect that science apparently thinks it can’t afford to acknowledge without depriving itself of its legitimacy: the presumed reality of bodies and matter. Bodies and the material objects that their senses detect. But, you see, bodies are matter. And science that prides itself on objectivity can’t get away with “logic” that finds “objectivity” where it isn’t: in matter declaring itself real.

A proper understanding of our baseline, the condition against which all movement forward must be calculated, requires something else: another perspective. That's only attainable through intuition, the function of mind whose source and discipline is Logic. The science that we all admire and depend on isn’t good with Logic for a simple reason. It rushes headlong into judgment with “reasoning” before it’s properly established its baseline. Before it’s applied Logic to a proper understanding of the context that tells it what the situation calls for. That provides direction for thinking. Before it's availed itself of another perspective that's essential to intellectual integrity and scientific objectivity.

The gift of metaphysics

Everyone is familiar with physics, the profession that made Einstein an international celebrity. Metaphysics not so much. Too bad, because turning to physics, the study of appearances, the gold standard for legitimizing authoritarian “realism,” is exactly the wrong approach. It’s the approach that Hawking trumpeted in his adolescent fantasy of supremacy when he declared philosophy dead.

Metaphysics is a much-neglected outlier of philosophy that’s probably better known for what it hasn’t done for human progress than for what it has. In his call for help from philosophy the physicist Carlo Rovelli, in Reality Is not What It Seems (Riverhead Books 2017), rejected the Logic of Parmenides out of hand. Thus eliminating metaphysics and its founder from consideration along with answers that minds captive to bodies and brains are actually desperate for. The victim of a shipwreck would rather be saved by an anvil than a life preserver. Because if getting our baseline right requires the definitions and explanations of Logic; if it requires Understanding where circumstances fit together to make a clear statement, it needs Logic. And Logic isn’t the gift of physics. It isn’t the gift of science. It’s the gift of metaphysics.

Do we truly want to understand our situation so that we can proceed to think? To judge clearly? Then stop skipping past our baseline with fatuous assumptions about the unassailability of sensory perception. With circular, self-referential “reasoning” that makes a mockery of intellect. Stop skipping past Parmenides. Start putting some of that scientific verve into understanding what he was talking about. Start applying metaphysics. Apply Logic and get it right.

The Guide that can be trusted

A Course in Miracles isn’t “religion.” It isn’t unreasoning “faith.” It’s the Logic of metaphysics that happened to respond to two clinical psychologists needing “a better way” out of friction that was interfering with professionalism. It’s metaphysics that took on the appearance of religion when it was transmitted through a Jewish scribe with an authoritarian personality type attracted to the patriarchal Catholic church. It adopted the analytics of Freudian psychoanalysis and symbols of Christianity because its audience could not have made sense of its unfamiliar oeuvre otherwise.

An audience that makes up the bulk of Western thought and includes me. The Course reaches me in part because I was brought up in Christianity and an educational environment influenced by Freudian psychology. The heyday of Freudian psychoanalysis spanned my formative years well beyond my formal education, when having a “shrink” was like having a dentist. Metaphysics that looks behind appearances relies on established perception to get its point across and A Course in Miracles is no exception. But this student took its lesson to heart. What I found when I looked behind the analytics of Freud and the symbols of Christianity was the purity of Logic bonded with Love. Not one misstep. Not one false note.

The Course  isn’t “mysticism.” It’s not the “spirituality” of “New Age.” It isn’t a “bible” and says so. Immanuel Kant attempted a “critique of pure reason,” a slog of turgid incomprehensibility that sets off the sensitivity, purposefulness, and clarity of the Course. There is such a thing as Logic that helps to distinguish between what’s Real and what’s not. There is no such thing as “pure reason” if it’s detached from its function, to aid a particular choice or decision. As Gertrude Stein supposedly said when she was asked “What’s the answer?”: “What’s the question?” Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is the equivalent of Stein expostulating on “pure answer” without a question. A pure waste of time.

Reality, the subject matter of philosophy whose only hope of defining it is through the branch founded by Parmenides: metaphysics. Because in a material world of appearances the only way to get at Reality is to get behind appearances. Through the only function of mind that can lead us there: through intuition that connects us with Logic-Love. With the explanation behind appearances we’re looking for. In the end I trust my Guide because, whatever name it’s given, however familiar or unfamiliar it may seem, it makes sense. I trust it because it’s Who -- whoever loves me and whoever I love to the ends of the earth.

Try accessing an authoritarian mind

The choice between listening to the voice of our ancestral Mind’s reverse side, the magician-comedian I call the Joker, and the emissary from the Child’s Parents known to Christianity as Jesus or the Holy Spirit, is a choice even for the mind so thoroughly captive to its dark side that it’s been deprived of a voice. For that is the aim of authority that would rule absolutely: to deprive its possessions of any voice that could compete with its own. Captivity achieves its aim not when voices are added to the many but when they are replaced by one -- its own. Yet no act by Mind that is Free Choice, whether conscious or unconscious, can be anything but choice. And if Child unconscious let itself be taken captive by an illusion it can free itself by “choosing again.” Advice from Jesus that brings the text of the Course to a close.

That said, try accessing an authoritarian mind so captivated by its reverse image that virtually no trace is left of its sovereign self. Jesus did his best with Helen, his scribe, and “maybe” is the best he could do. It’s taken me three full years to figure out how to do it with an authoritarian mind and I’m still working on it.

What price a rational explanation?

I propose that we pick up where the intuition of Parmenides and Plato left off, only now enabled and empowered by insights from the Course that were not available to them. By its priceless gift of another perspective that’s indispensable to objective analysis and Understanding. To getting our baseline condition right before racing off to judgment. When he opined in the February ’22 issue of Scientific American that his profession’s subject may be “in some sense illusory,” the physicist-historian Adam Becker cited Parmenides but made no mention of Jesus and the Course. Not surprisingly when not even the author of What Is Gnosticism? (Belknap-Harvard 2003), the Harvard Divinity School professor, Karen L. King, mentioned it. After what the Church did to Galileo anything with a whiff of religion is toxic.

What I propose is a continuation of Logic from earlier points in its sequence to later points and a continuation beyond the scope so far explored, guided by the sequence of Logic that’s gone before. I propose it as a possibility because, in my writing over the past three years, my Relationship and I have done it. It isn’t a possibility for me; it’s a reality. But until spontaneity informs me that our part is done it remains a work in progress. And even when done, its output can only be suggestive. A start that, for all I know, is but one of a multitude of starts. Its purpose to facilitate movement toward understanding of reality behind appearances. With explanation that can be taken seriously not because can ever be definitive but only because it makes sense.

With Logic and reason that Kenneth Wapnick, in Love Does Not Condemn (Foundation for “A Course in Miracles” 1989), says has yet to be applied by theology and philosophy to a foundational question: Why would a supreme being, undisturbed in eternal serenity, disturb itself? How and why did our ancestral Mind go from awake to asleep? From Self-Awareness to unconsciousness, immortality to mortality, eternity to time, perfection to imperfection? We have what Wapnick calls “excessive mythology” but not a rational explanation. What is the nature of the “supreme being?” Did descent begin from “eternal serenity” or did we get it wrong? Did it end with “creation” -- our material universe -- or with illusion, the state that the metaphysics of Parmenides and the Course describe.

The Story of the Child 

The work in progress that is my book adheres to the thrust of the Course and its basic principles but almost entirely without the symbols that give it a whiff of religion. It isn’t heavy on the analytics of Freudian psychology because to make its point it doesn’t need to be. If it violates the letter of either I’ve been careful not to violate them in spirit. But what I’m writing is metaphysics. Not the logic of Zeno who, like Aristotle, tested the capabilities of Logic without Love -- the missing element that might otherwise have brought Parmenides, Plato, and Jesus together -- but the Logic-Love of the Course. 

The Story of the Child is the working title of my book devoted to getting our baseline right. By telling our story going back beyond the Big Bang to the mental state of the Child that caused it. The Child of its Parents Logic-Love who are our own real parents since we are the Child in a dream state. The mental state that produced the grand illusion: our bodies and their universe of spacetime-matter. The condition that locks minds into the perversion of Truth that is authoritarian “realism.”

Attempting to tell our antecedent Mind’s story with Logic, the gift of metaphysics, and the explanation given us in the clear by Jesus in the Course, may finally help us grasp the truth of our baseline situation -- the human condition. Without the mythology that’s buried fragments of Logic under mountains of obfuscation. That make the articulation and integration of history’s dominant thought systems into a single coherent system a fool’s errand.

Breaking up is hard to do

Illusion -- the baseline condition that Becker’s physics may now be describing. Science, from Aristotle on, has grudgingly allowed that Mind is real but left it at that while it turned all its talents, resources, and passions to its first love: matter. While it imagined itself someday atop the Empire State Building, pounding its chest in triumph, swatting away the remnants of its pitiful enemies. Trumpeting unified theories of everything that explain, once and for all, the meaning of life. The origin and fate of the universe. Quantum gravity! We’re saved and we can all go home and live in peace because the study of matter has answered all our questions.

No it hasn’t. And it never will. Einstein tried and failed. Bohr and quantum mechanics won the argument. Time to give up the dream within a dream: the dream of an orderly, divine universe that can be figured out and the figuring out. An impossibility if the universe is that which can’t be figured out. An illusion because that’s what an illusion is. If you disagree, then explain the anomalies of particle behavior and cosmology without resort to the Logic of Parmenides and A Course in Miracles. Because that’s where the explanation is. The answers you’ve been looking for since Aristotle and Democritus and others before him.

Let physics carry on with matter. Keep after quantum gravity and keep us, so to speak, in the loop, because that’s its job. But we don’t have to carry on with physics. With bodies even though we imagine that’s who we are. There’s a better guide. We can take up with Mind. With Free Choice, the wild card. The beloved Child of Logic and Love. Because that’s who we really are.

Sure, breaking up is hard to do. But let metaphysics be our guide and maybe we can do it.

Authoritarian rule on Pleasant Street

Value individuality and don’t try to dictate what. . . kids are curious about or how they express themselves. [Respectful parenting] is about seeing children as independent rational beings [instead of taking an] authoritarian [approach] where communication is one way with little consideration of a child’s emotional needs. 

CNBC on Apple News Feed 01/07/23, quoting Margot Machol Bisnow, author, Raising an Entrepreneur (BookBaby 2022).

[Disclaimer: This is the extent of my familiarity with this book. However, it’s on order and will be read in hopes that it will help with one of the main concerns of this website: the undoing of authoritarian “realism,” a dominant strain of philosophy that’s neither realistic nor rational. Responsible, in fact, for the abuse of children and every other living thing. The signature human mindset that’s become the signature of an entire geological epoch: the ongoing global atrocity we now call the Anthropocene.] 

What lay behind the image of pleasantness in our second-grade reader, the neighborhood of Dick and Jane on Pleasant Street? Pleasantness or an alternate reality -- the self-delusion of our ancestral Mind? The archetypal Child corrupted by the opposite of Logic and Love, ruled by its mistake: misidentification with its own reflection. Its own opposite, and so by the perversion of authority. Demanding arbitrary rule from the top down instead of governing, lawfully and compassionately, from the bottom up. Instead of nurturing -- the essence of authority that isn’t authoritarian. Helpfulness that’s harmlessness.

If the parenting that really goes on isn’t authoritarian disrespect why then is Margot Bisnow speaking up? Who is her audience? Why do so many need to listen?

The story of Dick and Jane that prompted Margot’s book is still playing out on Pleasant Street. Disrespectful authoritarian parenting wraps itself and its offspring into the ongoing madness of humanity. An injustice that’s all the more unacceptable for being so common. What are the philosophical roots of this perversion of authority so that it can be uprooted? To make way for respectful parenting so that children so dear to us have the loving support they need. Who is our “enemy?” How can we know our enemy so that we can be rid of it or at least mitigate its harm?

To set children off on their own course

The psychopathology of disrespectful authoritarian parenting on Pleasant Street is unpleasantness by many names:

  • Beginning with obsessive-compulsive narcissism, a psychiatric disorder that demands absolute authority, possession, and obedience. Absolute relentless control, the desperation of lives at the mercy of urges and cravings that are out of control.
  • Psychosis -- the denial of Reality and Truth. Their substitution by an alternate fantasy reality centered on self-pitying specialness and victimhood.
  • Arrested development -- adolescence clinging to the past, fearful of the future, that refuses to grow up. Fiercely resistant to the attainment of maturity and competence through learning and adaptation. Terrified of the truths that the wisdom of experience might reveal.
  • More arrested development. The creativity of personhood stunted by authority turned on its head. By the cruelty of invalidation and disempowerment imposed on individuality from the top down instead of the nurturing of gentle loving kindness and respect it needs from the bottom up.
  • Sociability obsequious to group, authoritarian ass-kissing, a thin veneer of hypocrisy hiding contradictions and conflict. “Harmony” dictated by uniformity, denied the freedom of individuality. “Peace” hiding the frustration of limbic emotions -- resentment, jealousy, anger, fear, guilt -- craving war.
  • The madness of alienation and war, the inevitable consequence of self-pitying authoritarian cruelty and rage.

Role modeling limbic emotions festering inside psychiatric disorder -- fear, anger, hostility, hatred, blame -- has a terrible cost. Replication in the minds and hearts of vulnerable children condemned to lives corrupted by psychiatric disorder. By the same beast and its shit parade of addictions, upside-down values, and animal emotions. By the pathology itself and its enablers: the crass submission of passivity to the tyrant. By weakness posing as strength. Allying with the perversion of democratic governance that is authoritarian rule. Obelix the Gaul gone over to the Romans. Bringing upon himself the fury of Justice for enticing his victims with seductive charm and humor into betraying the cause. Gulling them unawares into spreading the virus of self-delusion, misperception, and misjudgment.

All of it the opposite of what grown-up role modeling should be about: not invalidation but affirmation. The enabling and empowerment of individual expression -- strength, freedom, trust, and intimacy -- not its suffocation. Loyalty to Reality and Truth, not to denial and psychosis. Just as Bisnow’s book says, to set children off on their own course instead of replicating ancestral authoritarian pathology.

The perversion of democratic governance into authoritarian rule isn’t the flaming banner of “liberty,” the ultimate in satisfaction that’s advertised. It’s self-imprisonment in frustration -- the opposite. In the one-dimensional cartoon world of adolescent fools that a grown-up Pete Hamill abandoned in A Drinking Life. Self-delusion is deprivation of self-awareness and Free Will, our birthright: Truman risking his life to escape The Truman TV Show, the degradation of victimhood meant for the entertainment of voyeurs. Chumps finding amusement in their own servitude. Dick and Jane being groomed for lives in Plato’s Cave, addicted to substitutes for Worth. To dog food.

The sick lure of herd mentality

A perfect replica of deception that can’t fool the metaphysicist. Who’s aware of what’s behind appearances and will protest. The descendant of Parmenides and his Eleatics School that founded metaphysics. Devoted to intuiting the Reality of Mind, Logic and Love behind physics. Behind the study of material objects that make up our metaverse of spacetime and matter -- one grand appearance that distracts and deceives with sensory perception and quantitative measurements. With circular self-referential "reasoning " that purposely rejects Logic and Love.

To look thus behind appearances in the made-up world of Dick and Jane is, as Nancy Pelosi might say, “to throw a punch for the children.” At the Roman oppressors who take advantage of children, their captive audience, to deprive them of self-awareness, Free Will, and initiative. Of individuality, originality, and creativity. Of personhood, all in service to forced group conformance. To Pete Hamill’s “Brooklyn.” To the “Galactic Empire” of Star Wars. To the fortunes of tribes and their militaries. Of symbolic nations chanting supremacy in competition for world cups and super bowls. To the pleasantries of “sociability” -- manipulating us away from Truth to lies, from Reality to appearances, from the light and freedom of individuality into the darkness and captivity of uniformity.

All so that minds taken captive will submit to domination by limbic emotions. Will be forced into mindlessness so that the tribe may dominate without opposition. May have all that humanity’s limbic animal brain wants. Its agenda, and we are the unwitting agents of its will. Dick and Jane are literally being conditioned by irresponsible role modeling into thinking, feeling, and behaving like animals at war with other animals. In a dog-eat-dog world instead of in a shared world. Civilized by individuality, originality, and creativity. By sharing, affirmation, and empowerment in a shared world of Love, Trust, and Intimacy. Civilized by conscience and accountability, two attributes of character notably absent in the authoritarian.

Dick and Jane are naturally drawn to Freedom, naturally repelled by oppression. Drawn to the resistance of Gauls to Roman tyranny. They embrace the Logic and Love of authority that’s focused on their needs and feelings and not on itself, so that it can nurture strength instead of sapping it. Who then would want to impose the rule of madness for their own benefit on innocent children who despise it? Who would not want to share the Logic and Love, the wisdom, of learning and growth with children who crave it? Of self-awareness instead of self-delusion? What grown-up of conscience would want to lure children away from civilization that supports humanity into herd mentality that crushes it?

The one and only voice

Neuroscience has identified a part of the human brain that connects humanity to its animal origins. The “reptilian” or “animal brain” accounting for animal emotions with a distinctive attribute: the animal brain and its emotions have not evolved. A part of “civilized” humanity’s brain that connects it to humanity’s uncivilized, animal past: the limbic system of amygdala and hippocampus, located with the cerebellum at the base of the brain and the top of the spine. Driven not by the aptitude of the prefrontal cortex for deliberation and judgment, for the discipline of reason, values, and choice, but ruled by unreasoning animal instinct and will. Engineered not for subjective reflection but for objective action in a frightening world of disconnected objects. Disobedient to the laws of physics and ultimately disobedient to us. To our precarious family. Beyond anyone’s control.

Who are we? The question starts with humanity’s animal brain. With un-self-awareness unevolved. With humanity’s involuntary entrapment in a prison of tribal membership. What we have made of ourselves is service with a smile on behalf of our captor. The self-delusion’s lure of its host, our ancestral Mind -- the original Child, Self-Awareness -- into Plato’s Cave of un-self-aware animal submission. The self-delusion’s original target, its archetype for the mistake’s replications to follow: a Child. Amenable to its manipulations, susceptible to its deceptions.

The state of a world trapped in a cycle of blame, victimhood, and conflict is kept “alive” by the very transgression that lures its offspring into captivity. With the false promise of liberation in the pleasantries of “sociability.” Of unquestioning service to authority whose only cause is itself. With role modeling opposition to individuality, learning, and growth. The suppression of voices other than its own. The elevation of singularity to supremacy: one voice.

Toward the Love and Freedom of Intimacy

The duty of those not caught up in misguidance, the unpleasantness that is Pleasant Street, is to use our Free Will and our talents to stand for another voice. To deny the denial. In the spirit of the indomitable Asterix the Gaul, with the force of Authority that will teach the Romans a lesson. Our duty is to reverse the atrocity with the Authority of Logic and Love instead of tyranny, its perversion. To “throw a punch for the children.” By denying the transgression legitimacy with our withdrawal. By not engaging with foolishness. And if withdrawal implies invalidation of behavior that’s wrong then so be it. We owe Palpatine, the evil Emperor of the Galactic Empire, no apology for hurting his feelings if we do so to prevent his electrocuting our son.

No retaliation perpetrated by Roman arrogance can shut down a voice that would speak for Logic and Love on behalf of our children. Our cause not only the protection of children but the liberation of those who dominate them. The end of the Cave along with the self-delusion that produced it -- the illusory Joker that’s us and the joke that’s on us.

Our cause is not the cause of bestial rage but the loving kindness of the Relationship. The Relationship with our Parents Logic and Love consummated in unreality by their agent, the connection with Reality kept open by the Holy Spirit. Call it what you want. It isn’t the name that matters but its function: the connection. Relationship that no lies, no magic tricks, can break. The Authority of Necessity, the laws of cause and effect: expressions of the Logic and Love that composed them. Not the thrust and parry of weaponry that kills but the caress of music and radiance that enlivens. The Beauty of Oneness and Innocence, the Source and the Force of Life and Creation.

Their cause and mine is sharing to affirm and empower, not competing to “win” and dominate. It’s to bring darkness to light by enabling it to choose freely, of its own accord, to come to the light. With the leverage of family ties, tribal belonging certified by the animal brain that we all share. Not the contrivance of a cartoon, the one-dimensional top-down uniformity of Pete Hamill’s “Brooklyn,” but family governed by individual self-expression.

My cause the cause of the Gaul to respond to Romans luring children into captivity by liberating Romans from their self-imprisonment. By demonstrating Free Will, the birthright that can’t be surrendered, that captors can use to escape from their own captivity. From the Cave, to join the Gauls in Freedom. By demonstrating freedom of expression, the Creativity of civilizing individuality, of personhood, that liberates from entrapment by unevolved limbic emotion, the will of the beast, toward the Love and Freedom of Intimacy.

The premise behind The Story of the Child

Advice from the military based on experience with centuries’ worth of battles: Know your enemy. Advice from Pogo Possum, the sage of Walt Kelly’s Okefenokee Swamp: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Advice from the psychologist Sigmund Freud: the “bad thing” lies within the human psyche.

My mother shrank from looking too deeply within because she feared what she might find. What or who is “Satan” and where does it reside? Would the minds of history’s most notorious dictators offer a clue? Is it in the Hades of Greek mythology under the ground, whence the dark lord of the underworld emerged to snatch his bride, Persephone? Is it Dante’s Inferno, the terraced rings of vengeance and misery on the other side of the River Styx? Can it be anywhere in enchantment?

The ”enemy” lies within the dreaming Mind that we all share. Our ancestral Mind, the Child of Logic married to Love, its Parents. The Child, whose real identity is Free Choice and Love, who lost consciousness in the Reality of Creation that preceded the dream and produced it. A Course in Miracles explains the unconscious Child’s error that produced the dream. It doesn’t explain the loss of consciousness, although its Logic may enable an individual, working in relationship with the Holy Spirit, the emissary from Logic-Love, to intuit a rational explanation. This is the premise behind The Story of the Child, the working title of the book that insights from Intuition and I are well into writing.

The “enemy” within

The “enemy” is the “dark side” of the Child, the Mind in an unconscious state that thrust it from Reality into a state of illusion. Where it could encounter contradictions of Logic-Love and Reality that of Necessity are excluded from Reality and can only be detected within a dream. The dark side is an illusion, a code attached to unconscious Mind. An illusory dependent, a parasite that derives its definition, its genetics, from its host. A code that, like a virus, instructs an unconscious mind taken captive to fabricate its unreal dream world of opposites. Because this is what the code “is:” an opposite. The dark side is simply instructions for fashioning a dream that, when animated by Energy in service to Mind, brings to “life” the opposite of its host. All the aspects of what we experience as “life” are, in one way or another, fabricated or corrupted by these instructions.

The ”enemy” that I call the “Joker” is the Child’s unconscious mind’s mistaken identification of its own reflection code as an “other,” then allowing itself to be deluded into identifying with its own opposite. In the mistaken belief that this illusory other self could bail it out of the situation that unconsciousness put it in. The Joker is the Child’s own dark side that only has a “life” inside a state of mind that can’t exist in Reality that’s only capable of dreaming illusions. The specific change of Mind that mis-identifying with the opposite-code “caused” was imagining that the Child’s Psyche was replaced by the Joker. Where Psyche is the Child’s real Self -- Consciousness or Self-Awareness in Reality. Is Being replaced with non-being. 

The call for correction

If the Child’s real Self can be thought of as an altar surmounted by holiness radiating the Light and Life of Being, of Creation, then the Joker in the misguided, corrupted Child’s mind is an expression of its opposite occupying a throne of darkness. The slew of perversions of Being, Reality, and Truth that make up the Child’s unreal dream of insanity. The “master” of Plato’s Cave and its manipulations -- appearances, deceptions -- that keep its occupants secure in their self-delusion. Our universe of spacetime-matter and the isolated, separated bodies that we mis-identify as us.

The call through Intuition to correct error can’t come from the “enemy” but it can come from the Child’s Psyche. Its Soul or Being in its seemingly wounded state. Which is why correction takes us within, to reverse the apparent violation of the inviolate, our Self, our identity, We look within to find the “enemy.” To replace self-delusion, the Joker, with Self-Awareness, Psyche on our altar, the source of our psychology. The cause, mission, or function behind our story. That accounts for who we are and what we do. Why we exist. Why we’re here -- to do our part to restore consciousness and the sanity of Logic and Love. To heal separation that’s no more than a case of mistaken identity.

The route to correction is through philosophy, the Logic that explains Reality, and through psychology, understanding with Logic how the Soul, our Psyche, that interconnects all of Life-Creation, came to be contaminated in an unconscious mind with a reverse mirror image self. A code or “thought system” derived from its host that is the opposite of its host. Illogical by definition. An absurdity.

Inside the brooding castles of Transylvania

When we look within our individual selves to know our “enemy,” we find what we’re looking for. The bad thing that isn’t unique to us. The forms it takes and their attributes vary with each person, each personality with its unique genetics and circumstances bearing the stamp of the moment. Varying with each individual story and its psychodynamics -- needs, feelings, values, perceptions, cravings-addictions, conflicts, and motivations. All derived from the same Source, an ancestral Mind with one story that defines the seminal mistake, its archetypal parts and what happened between them to produce us. To produce our myriad variations on the same theme. The myriad stories that repeat the same mistake, and so it defines us.

Fooling us. Mocking us. Laughing at our foolishness because we can’t get it right. Because we will never know our enemy so long as we keep looking for explanations and Understanding where they aren’t. Without instead of within. In spacetime and matter. In bodies instead of the Mind whence we came. So long as we fall for its endless distractions and let ourselves be fooled. Beg to be fooled so the Truth won’t be exposed. So we won’t discover the Truth and have to change. To disturb our “peace” with the effort and difficulty, the unpleasantness of learning and growth it may take. So we won’t have to actually use Free Choice to choose again. To choose friend instead of enemy for our guide. Our real selves instead of a mistaken self, our own dark side. Our own shadow opposites who haunt brooding castles in Transylvania. The scary blood-sucking monsters of our nightmares who cast no reflections in mirrors. Because they’re reflections themselves.

The striving and difficulty of Free Choice

The bad thing that’s wounded our Psyche within is a nothing. But a reflection, our own opposite “dark side” that has no existence of its own. Only the “existence” and harmfulness it’s handed by us when we repeat the original mistake of the Child, our ancestral Mind. The Mind that’s dreaming our reverse mirror image world, haunted by its seminal mistake. Mind-the-one that transformed itself into bodies-brains, the many infected with mistakes-the-many.

To follow tried and true military advice, to “know your enemy,” doesn’t take much effort if you’re Pete Hamill’s “Dodgers” and the enemy is the “Giants.” If the bad guy advertises deception and superficiality with “Truth Social.” Anything “social” is skin deep, a tapestry of appearances and magic acts conjured by groups to defend themselves and assault others that can easily be unwoven. What takes effort to know your enemy is if you’re one individual, one mind. Then the direction isn’t horizontal, skittering across the surface of the pond like a water bug. The direction is perpendicular. Down beneath the surface. To connect with Reality and Truth that traces all the way back to the story of the original individual -- our ancestral Mind. The One Child that we all are.

The story that contains the explanation we’re looking for. That reveals the Logic and illogic of the bad thing, the seminal mistake. It takes effort and patience not only because the Logic of explanation moves in sequence at its own pace, but also because self-deluded minds influenced by the bad thing, sometimes captive to the bad thing, fear and resist knowing. Because humanity in its adolescent foolishness doesn’t want to grow up. Has all kinds of “reasons” why letting sleeping dogs lie is preferable to waking them up. Echoes from Plato’s Cave: Leave us alone! Because waking up by minds with Free Will must be a matter of choice. Their choice. It can’t be forced on them without compromising what makes them who they are. What gives them their usefulness, their function. If dogs choose to sleep that’s their choice. And because choice takes work. It doesn’t make itself and it can’t be delegated.

Humor that’s actually funny

So what does that make us if we carry on not knowing our enemy? Dogs that choose to sleep. Beings possessed of brains rooted in animal brains that never evolved. Animals socialized but not civilized, forced by circumstances to get along for a while until “sociability” gives way to the mistake. To the hostilities of authoritarian competition. The malign animosity that haunts castles in Transylvania. That’s not only allowed to remain intact beneath the surface but embraced -- protected and preserved as though it were savior instead of enemy. The ultimate expression of opposite, the definition of “enemy.” Insane, mindless contradiction that misleads like road signs pointing in the wrong direction. The psychology of madness.

What should make us willing to know our enemy? To want to make the effort to choose? To understand that the “enemy” is us. It dwells within. It’s accessible to Intuition, from a source we can trust, Logic and Love. It doesn’t require years of tail-chasing psychoanalysis trusting the judgment of authoritarian “realists” -- unhealed healers captive to the thinking of Freud, who insisted that what’s wrong with mind must be what’s wrong with body. An absurdity. And then there’s this: our “enemy” isn’t real. It’s a joke we play on ourselves. The dog mistaking its tail for another dog and then letting itself be deluded into identifying with its tail. The enemy is the tail wagging the dog. A sick perversity of the Truth.

But really -- it’s funny! It’s us. Our strange, mysterious metaverse. Ridiculous! Our bogeyman “enemy” is a very funny fool -- us. How will we celebrate when we finally know our enemy? When we look in the mirror and see ourselves instead of an “other.” How about congratulating ourselves by doing high fives with just our own hands? By recognizing that the “voice” that’s been misleading us, making fools of us, is our own. By having a good laugh. As for me, I’ve already made reservations: dinner and dancing for one.

Carry on, Centurion!

For the authoritarian “realist,” the disrespectful authoritarian parent who insists on lying there like a sleeping dog, getting in the way, a parting word: Just because your self-deluded mind is incapable of divining meaning and purpose doesn’t grant you the right to make up your own reality and force it on others. What it does give you is something more constructive: the obligation and opportunity to grow up. To recognize the Reality and Truth of who you are, Obelix the Gaul, and wake up. If you’re a Roman legionnaire who must follow orders then I will be your drill sergeant. See that you do it or you’ll be doing latrine duty.

Carry on, Centurion!