So You Want to Be A Dreamer?

OneGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I wanted to tell you about  a new project I am working on.  This is something that I have given a great deal of thought to, and I have been asked by my friends and fans to discuss the philosophy behind my Waking Dream series.

The philosophy behind the Waking Dream is much more than a simple dark fantasy adventure story.  I truly believe that we all have the ability to change the course of our reality.  Dreamers are the ones who have that ability, and anyone can become a Dreamer, you just have to learn how to do so.

So, in response to all these questions from interviews, friends and fans, I am beginning a new project to be released at about the same time as the next book in the series, The Unkindness.  This book will be called The Little Book of Dreams – Libellus Somnium, and it will be a non-fiction view of a new philosophy I have formulated called Mism, the Merger of all Isms.  (Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Communism, you get the idea).  You can read the abstract at this link, and my view on creation.  This is only the beginning.

The book is targeted to those who want to lead a more peaceful and meaningful existence.  This is not to say that I have perfected my implementation of Mism in my life, but that is because we are not, and cannot, be perfect.  Perfection is a myth, and a fruitless pursuit.  We will always be learning, experiencing and evolving.  But, I can say with profound certainty that we are eternal spirits.  The body you inhabit now is just a vehicle.  It allows you to experience the world, and experience the universe.  When it is broken, you fix it.  When it completely fails, you abandon it and get a new one to continue your journey.

Many people believe that there must be some specific purpose to life.  There is and there isn’t. You create your purpose based on what you want to experience.  The only innate purpose to life is to live and create the universe.  We are all responsible for taking care of ourselves and one another, because we share a Oneness with each other.  We all affect one another, therefore we are inexorably linked.  My action causes your reaction.  Reading this article will invoke thought, negative or positive, and that demonstrates the connection between us.

I always start off my blog posts calling you Dreamers, because those who read my blog are Dreamers, or want to be.  And the more people I draw in, the more we can share intellectual discourse on how best to reshape our world.  So writing The Little Book of Dreams will simply be a compilation of all that I have learned and infused into my life, as well as the stories and novels that make up the Waking Dream Universe.

I also believe in the Weirdness.  That may sound strange to you, because it is just my word for magic.  Do I believe that magic exists?  Not in the Tolkien way, such as fireballs, wizards and dragons.  I believe that each of us possesses an inherent ability that super-cedes conventional physics and what we perceive as impossible.  I have seen and experienced many of these abilities in other people.  Nothing is impossible — somethings just may not be probable, as we have learned through quantum mechanics.

At the core of Mism, we must understand that to completely understand ourselves and the universe, we must merge all of our disparate ideas into a cohesive framework that allows science and religion to coexist and explain each other.  We would remove the distinction between the two and label it a philosophy of life.  A Philosophy of Everything, if you will.

Now, you are probably asking yourself, who is this guy to tell me anything?  The answer to that is very simple, I am the sum of everything everyone living and dead has taught me.  And you are the sum of the same.  I did not create this by myself, all of you have contributed to this idea, in one way or another.

Finally, you are probably asking, why would I bother to write this all down.  And you are free to agree or disagree with me.  But I am writing this down, because it takes just one thought to make a change.  Look around you, look at the state of the world.  Is this the ideal world you want to live in? Do you feel that the right decisions are being made?  Do you have fear for the future?  Are you concerned about what we are leaving our children?  Have you lost your way?  Do you know what you want out of your life?

I am going to give you my perspective on what truly matters, and hopefully in the process, I will learn more about you, so that I can improve myself as a person, and in turn make the world a better place for us all.

Have a wonderful day, and I thank you for listening to me babble, as always.

Michael

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The Universe (Part 2)

OneGreetings Dreamers!

Continuing with our exploration of the universe, and all its glory, I want to talk about Oneness.  Now you may think that this is not something related to the existence of the universe, but it is its most fundamental aspect.

The universe is an isolated system.  Which means all of the energy — and subsequently matter — is finite.  Which means, no new energy can enter or leave the universe.  It can only change forms, and it constantly does.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Oneness, let us talk about the fundamentals.  Every atom in your body was created by a star. From the carbon that forms all the molecules that make up your cells, to the iron in your blood, to the hydrogen and oxygen that make up the water, to the gold in your wedding band.  Every bit of it was created by a star.  This means, that we are literally made up from the cinders of burning stars.

We gain our energy from sunlight.  All of the energy that drives us in one form or another is derived by the sun directly or indirectly.  We consume plants and animals that are nourished by the sun.  And when they die or we die, we give up that energy for new life to be reborn, and the cycle continues until this planet is no more.  We cannot escape this.  And to think that any one of us is any better than another is plainly and simply wrong.  We all come from the same thing — no matter how much money you have, or what color your skin, or what religion you believe.  We are all connected physically this way.

But now, let us move onto the spiritual or energetic relationship we share.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I believe that all the knowledge and experience we create is shared amongst ourselves.  We are all teachers and students.  We thrive when we are learning from one another and sharing what we know.  This extends far into the past, as we learn from our collective histories, and into the future as we know what is to come.  It is only when we recognize that we are all connected that we can truly shed our differences and embrace each other as kin.

In my last post, I mentioned the existence of a creator, and I wanted to take a moment to discuss that, because our individual perceptions of a creator are as varied as there are people on the planet.  Since I cannot prove nor disprove God, I would never make a statement that there is no God.  I spent most of my life as an application programmer and architect. I know that an application does not write itself, nor can a house design itself.  The variables that define the universe are so exquisitely defined that if just one of them were changed infinitesimally, the universe would not exist at all.  If gravity were just a little strong or a little weaker, nothing would be as it is now.  All our atoms would fly apart, or the universe would crush in on itself.  So, being a programmer, I am willing to say that in the beginning there was an architect, but I cannot tell you whether he is within or without of our system.

But now that the universe exists, and it has balance.  We have become the stewards.  There really is no need for a God figure because we have been given everything we need to exist. And now we all are collectively God, because we are in control of our reality whether we accept the responsibility or not.  Accepting this responsibility is the most difficult thing we humans struggle with.  Some of us accept it openly, while others want to believe that they need guidance by a supernatural entity.  That is not necessary, because we have one another to admonish ourselves when we are wrong, and praise ourselves when we do amazing things.

The glue that makes us One, is that we are connected through a complex web of inter-relations, vis-a-vis, love, compassion.  When we make a friendship, we become connected to the friends of our friends, ad infinitum.  Social Media can show us that we all are connected at nth degrees of separation.  And though I’m not a fan of Facebook, it has shown me that you can follow a trail from one of your friends to just about anyone else on the planet.  It has exposed that we are all truly connected either directly or indirectly.  But I will take a leap and say that we are connected a much more fundamental levels.

Last night, a friend of mine posted this reply in response to my last post.  It is one of the most poignant observations I’ve read and I wanted to share it with you all.

It’s hard for Me – that is, everyone that I am, anyone that I am – to come to terms with being God…but once I know Myself, well, then, I know I am old and young, good and evil, man and woman, sick and healthy, straight and gay, and so on – how could I not have compassion, acceptance, love, and understanding of Myself? – Dr. Erik Andrulis

I urge you to check his blog, because he is on the same path as I am.  And his insights might give you further food for thought.

So today, I will end this post with another question, and I ask you to step out of yourself before answering.  Look at your friendships, your relationships, your family: Do you believe that every human on this planet is connected at a spiritual level or are we just islands in the sea?

Exploring Humanity (Part 5)

Compassion-3Greetings Dreamers!

I wanted to end this series with a positive message, and discuss the only thing that will fix our world, truly — Love and Compassion.

We all talk about love and compassion. Love is a word that is often thrown around with little earnestness.  Do we do it because we feel obligated because someone else has said it? Do we actually really mean it?  We should mean it, or not say it at all, because it can give the wrong impression, or make us appear as if we are just parrots.

How about compassion?  Do we really empathize with others and show them compassion?  In today’s world, so many people are hurting.  This is just the reality we live in right now.  For instance, here are many more homeless people in the world as a result of all the financial strife our country is facing. I see at least 10 of them every day.  It’s hard to know which one’s are for real and which ones are just looking for drug money, or are scammers.  This is where you have to listen to your inner self.  It is a very difficult thing to learn how to tell those who are earnest, from those who are not.  But if you have spare change, perhaps you should just give it away, no matter what.  In the end, it’s not our place to judge one another.  We must judge ourselves by our own actions. It really doesn’t matter if you give money to someone who doesn’t really need it, because it grows us all as people.  We shed this judgmental aspect of our being, and foster compassion in our hearts.

I don’t want to talk about all the bad things going on in the world — you don’t need me to remind you of that.  My simple message today is that we have to learn to be more compassionate and understanding to those around us.  I know that we are all individuals, but as I’ve said we are all One.  And when one of us is hurting, sometimes it just takes a kind word or gesture to completely change someone’s mood.  And it also means we have to pay attention to our fellow humans.  Some people hide their hurt deep inside.  I personally am very observant of the people close to me — family, friends, co-workers.  It doesn’t help to pry.  But it does help to just show the person you care, and be earnest about it.  When you say you are sorry to someone because they are hurting,grieving, or depressed, say it because you mean it, because they can tell by the tone of your voice whether you are earnest.  If you can’t be earnest, don’t say anything at all, because that will just make things worse.  Trust me, I know how I feel when someone says, “Aww…I’m so sorry.”  But i can tell they don’t mean it, and that just makes me feel more alone and hurt.

So I am ending this series on Exploring Humanity, and next week I intend to move onto a less serious topic — The Universe.  Feel free to suggest something to me.  I’m always open to exploring new ideas.

But before I go, I just wanted to sum this series up by saying that the only true way we can change our world, is by first changing ourselves.  These short essays were not intended to lecture you, or admonish you.  There are many good people in the world, and everyone has good in them — we must believe that though finding the good may take more digging in some, than in others.  Reach out to one another, befriend people and get out of your house.  Enjoy this wonderful world.  Revel in the company of friends and family.  Find happiness in each and every day, even if it’s just for a moment.  It has been a very rough ride for everyone on the planet for the last decade.  But we can change it.  I believe this and I hope you do too.  If we can truly love one another, then we can accomplish anything.

So I leave you with this final question:  Have you reached out and told someone you care about them today — and meant it?

 

A Programmer’s View of Religion and the Universe [Part 2]

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” – Hamlet I.v

In the first part of this post, I began by explaining the similarities between modern software programming and the fundamental design of the universe.  It is no coincidence that these similarities exist, because at the base of everything is the one unifying language — Mathematics.  All things can be discussed in terms of mathematics, and all things can be quantified, to some degree, using mathematics.  So in order to define the “design” we must look to mathematics.

From this we can draw the conclusion that the architect of the universe is most likely a mathematician, but this is not to say that the architect created mathematics.  Mathematics simply exists and does not require creation, just as the fundamental state of existence does not require creation.  Mathematics and existence simply “are”.  It is very difficult for us to grasp this concept, because everything we see around us was created in some form or fashion, or at least that is the way we see it. 

In software development, there arises a need before there is a plan.  A customer describes the need to solve a problem, and a program is architected, engineered and coded to meet the need.  In all my years as a programmer, I have never seen a program appear out of thin air to meet the need; someone must design it, create it and define its parameters.  If we look around us, we see any number of objects lying on the desk before us; pencil, monitor, keyboard, checkbook, house, building, car.  All these things we created to meet a need or serve a purpose, and we use them until they are broken or no longer needed.  We don’t usually keep things around us, or create things, that serve no purpose.  But what is purpose?

The word “purpose” is a very broad term because we can define it so many different ways in the context of day-to-day life.  For instance, look at the purpose of a fork as opposed to a work of art.  Some would say that a fork has a higher purpose than a work of art because art does not perform a necessary function.  We as humans assign purpose to everything, and if something has not collective purpose, we tend to disregard it.  So we should turn that discriminate eye on ourselves.  What purpose do we as humans serve?  This question is what has spurred the millenia long strife of religion.  We cannot truly assign a purpose to ourselves, as a result, God has become the purpose, as we identify ourselves as his children.  This is not to say that this is wrong, but we must then put ourselves in the same role with our own children.  At the base level, children are a drain on our existence.  Our time and resources are spent to care for them, to teach them, to prepare them to have their own children.  One could argue that a child is no more purposeful than the work of art I mentioned above.  However, with a different understanding of purpose, children and artwork provide some level of entertainment and joy.  They enrich our lives, allowing us to enjoy the act of existing.  But what is existence?

Existence, like mathematics, just “is”.  And that is all we know at this point since we cannot define, or unable to ever define, why something like the universe would exist at all.  According to everything we know about science, it would have been much easier had nothing ever existed at all — a universe of tranquility, energy in a perpetual state of oneness and still. Everything around us all the time is trying to return to this state of stillness, only instead of becoming more still, it becomes more chaotic and more disorganized.  And unfortunately, once you’ve disorganized something, in the perspective of space AND time, you cannot reorganize it.  Time disallows us to ever return something to its exact state.  How is this, you might ask?  That is the realm of entropy.

For today, I leave you with these words to ponder, and I would love to hear comments or observations.

A Programmer’s View of Religion and the Universe [Part 1]

“Far away, across the field, the tolling of the iron bell, calls the faithful to their knees to hear the softly spoken magic spells”- Pink Floyd

Religion has been a source of tension in our world since we first looked up at the sky and declared the sun and the moon to be gods.  We have all struggled with the search for purpose, wondering why we are here and who put us here.  Its amazing to me that we have come to the point we have in our world, where we are so disjointed in our belief systems, that we have resorted to death and violence in the name of God.  Does anyone else see this as a fundamental problem?

I must be clear that I am not in any way, shape or form proselytizing.  My own religious beliefs are exactly that — my own.  Being human, I think it is necessary for me to impart my own personal findings, as I reach mid-life.  I have spent a great deal of time studying other religions, and will continue to do so, because finding a common religion that we can all accept is the only true way we will reach global peace.  We all know this to be true, because we are constantly trying to get others to believe in the same thing we do.  World peace has become a cliche, or philosophical chimera — which is really quite sad.

I dont’ really need to speak about any religion in particular.  Each religion exists for a purpose, and obviously people who follow a particular faith have found their own purpose within that faith.  We do need to understand the importance of coexistence.  Without coexistence, we never have a hope of overcoming the disparity of thought surrounding the creation and purpose of the universe.  We must overcome our urge to disparage someone else’s belief system, because if you really think about it, every religion has its imperfections.  Imperfections exist because we are all human, and if we were perfect we wouldn’t have any issues in the world.  So obviously we are not perfect, and no religion is perfect if it does not appeal to everyone equally so. 

So I have come to several personal conclusions that I would like to share, perhaps helping you in your own explorations of the mysteries of the universe.  There are so many things that I cannot comprehend.  The vastness of the universe is overwhelming and we are just a tiny, beautiful jewel floating around a luminescent ball of pure undulating energy — one star among trillions of other stars.  It sustains everything that exists on our planet.  There is not one creature, big or small that does not get its nourishment and life from the sun; directly or indirectly.  Without the sun, there is only darkness and cold, which makes me think that the sun and others like it, are a significant aspect of existence.  A significant part of the design. 

I have approached this problem the only way I know.  I have been programming software solutions since the mid 1990s.  Object Oriented Programming shares a striking resemblance to the way that our universe functions.  What is strange is that when you really think about it, the universe really is very similar to the Matrix.  It all begins with the fundamental equations and constants.  We have constants in programming and in the universe — Gravity, Speed of Light, Planks Constant.  We have variables: mass, energy, acceleration.  We have a toolbox of elementary particles, or objects, to build from: strings, quarks, nucleus, protons, electrons.  We have functions assigned to each of the objects we build: attract, repel, fuse.

As a programmer and software architect, it would be silly for me to think if I just throw a bunch of code together it will just work.  There must always be a design.  Even the simplest life-form, or program, is a symphony of interactions that allow the life-form to exist.  Then the question becomes, “Who’s design?”

If you strip away the layers of dogma we’ve created for ourselves, it comes down to two simple concepts: Either there is a design, or there isn’t.  The “intelligent design” we have assigned to God, because we as humans must anthropomorphize  that which we revere.  With the multitudes of possibilities of configuration, it would be silly for me to say that the design comes from something that has been humanized.  God, in my opinion, is most likely something we cannot at all comprehend, because we are very limited in our experience and understanding of the universe.  The entirety of human history hasn’t even been a twinkle in the eye of the Universe.  We are only just getting started.

Looking back to the sun we see that its function is not only to provide use with the energy we need to survive, but through complex interactions, its creates the very stuff we are made of.  This one fact is something that a great many people simply do not understand.  Every thing you are made of came as the result of the fusion happening in stars, and stars that have long since died.  The carbon, the iron, the oxygen we breathe, all came from the death of a star.  Even new stars are formed from the death of other stars.  But the sun is not god, as we learned long ago.  So where do we even start to look for the design?

That is an enormous amount of information to grock in one sitting.  I will continue this article, after the holidays.  I hope you return to read the rest, and provide critique of my conclusions.