The Times They Are A Changin’

The times continue their incessant change (both inside and out), as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (535 BC – 475 BC) famously observed. And while looking up that quote for this post, I learned that he also was responsible for “establishing the term Logos (λόγος) in Western philosophy as meaning both the source and fundamental order of the Cosmos.” I knew that John had based his theology on existing secular philosophy, but did not realize it had originated five centuries earlier.

The changes in the outer world are pretty much the same as they have been throughout record history – hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, senseless mass murder – though it’s probably safe to say that the intensity of the last few months has spiked a bit above average. Those without a sense of history take these latest perturbations as evidence that we have finally reached the “end times” that were promised to be “coming quickly” in the Bible two thousand years ago. It’s a pity that the fundamentalist mindset makes it impossible for them to see the irony of their position.

Meanwhile, my internal changes have continued on their relatively smooth trajectory towards a more settled sense of self. One of the big questions was “What should I do with this site?” I’ve neglected it quite a bit lately, busying myself with work and recreation. It took a lot of work to set everything up again after the crash, and with work and recreation, there wasn’t much time or energy left to write posts and answer questions. But that’s changing now. I have the site working better than before. I installed SSL for security and upgraded this blog to a new theme that is responsive for mobile clients. I have lots of new ideas for where I want to take it. But first I will begin by responding to a lot of unanswered comments in various threads.

The recreation has really helped me tremendously both physically and mentally. Rose and I typically ride over a hundred miles a week, and just last week I joined the Bearded Monkeys of Yakima for a 100 mile ride called Field 41 Century. It was excellent. I felt strong, healthy, and energetic. I finished the 100 miles in 5 hours 39 minutes, at an average pace of 17.7 mph. You can checkout the ride on my Strava page. Here I am with my bike just before the ride:

At the start of the Field 41 Century ride.

At the start of the Field 41 Century ride.

And here I am near the finish line:

At the finish of the Field 41 Century ride.

At the finish of the Field 41 Century ride.

Rose and I also get out for an intense hike once a week. They typically take up most of our Saturdays. Last week we conquered the 3350 foot climb up to Goat Peak. It was only a six mile round trip, so the average grade was about 20%. Here’s a panorama from the top:

View from the top of Goat Peak

View from the top of Goat Peak

We would have been very hesitant to stress our middle aged knees on such a descent if not for the amazing assistance provided by our Nordic Walking Poles which also gives a full body workout. They are the best hiking innovation since the invention of the shoe. We call them our “magic sticks” because they have totally transformed our hiking experience, giving us an aerobic upper body workout while easily doubling our endurance and reducing knee strain to almost nothing.

On top of Goat Peak

On top of Goat Peak

 

And on that note … it’s time for Rose and I to head out for our Saturday hike. Today we are going to head north on the Pacific Crest Trail from Chinook Pass.

 

Posted in Thinking Freely
7 comments on “The Times They Are A Changin’
  1. Richard Gambino says:

    Coming in rather late to all of this…I stumbled upon your material. It seems “the more things change the more they remain the same” is a good description of your posting. You use the same tools that led you astray to get to where you are and thus nothing you write is trustworthy because it is concluded with the same modes that you arrived at and proved wrong previously.
    It’s still a religion whether hippies in the woods, acid in any form, or visions accredited through dreams. At least you’ve attracted more attention to yourself than the ‘wheel’ self admittedly afforded you…and that’s what your about perhaps, self more than truth. Just say’n

  2. Spasiba5 says:

    Richard, that’s fantastic to hear. You and Rose truly understand how important exercising is. Your shared adventures remind me that I certainly need to be much more pro active in what I do physically from now onwards.

    Thank you for sharing this informative and inspiring insight into your lives.

  3. Coming in rather late to all of this…I stumbled upon your material. It seems “the more things change the more they remain the same” is a good description of your posting. You use the same tools that led you astray to get to where you are and thus nothing you write is trustworthy because it is concluded with the same modes that you arrived at and proved wrong previously.
    It’s still a religion whether hippies in the woods, acid in any form, or visions accredited through dreams. At least you’ve attracted more attention to yourself than the ‘wheel’ self admittedly afforded you…and that’s what your about perhaps, self more than truth. Just say’n

    Hey there Richard,

    I don’t understand your comment. What exactly are the “same tools” that you think I used to both delude and debunk myself? Obviously, I used logic and facts in both cases, but the difference is that I justified my former beliefs with cognitive errors like selection bias and confirmation bias, whereas I exposed and rejected those errors when debunking myself.

    Neither do I understand what you mean by the “same modes” since that is exactly what changed. I fell into delusion because I used a mode of “magical thinking” and I freed myself when I became skeptical of my own beliefs and challenged them with logic and facts. Obviously, skepticism is not the “same mode” as magical thinking and religious belief. So I really don’t have any idea what you think you are talking about. Please clarify.

    And I love your snarky attack, suggesting that I am motivated by some sort of narcissistic desire for attention. You’re clearly a powerful intellect who has seen through my shallow selfishness. Makes me think you must be a Christian since that line of attack is one of their favorites.

    Cheers.

  4. TennesseeWildman777 says:

    Hey there Richard,

    Believers do say the Darndest Things! LOL.:D

    What really disturbs him is Obviously your Doubt/Skepticism and use of basic logic. What they fear is Hard Reality and Truth. They literally demonize, attack doubters, sceptics, and free-thinkers as if they were willing-tools ruled by blinded by Satan

    This believer-tactic is an attempt to project their little insecurities on tom others, to demean, to accuse, to dismiss valid-criticism of their bullshit of “supernatural-woo”and dogmatic-beliefs by treating the belief as something that all people should know and that should be obvious and self-evident to any investigator– even when this is clearly not the case.

    The conner is the controller of others! The problem is that sometimes the conner comes “to believe in his/her own cons!”

    All fundamentalist-religions are basically Cons and the faithful are the conned and thereby the controlled. All are “up to their eye balls” in lies, delusions, denials, victiming blaming, shaming and character assassinations of conscientious skeptics in order to thereby hold their control over people.

    It’s all a “Psychological Affair,” if you will…A Theism of God and Fundie Religion boils down basically to a Psychology of Persuasion and Hypnosis IMO. A Charlatainism of a most vile-thing to perpetrate on “those who do not really understand and an evil we could do without.”

    Since a primitive theistic-style of God does not exist, we needn’t be a coercive sheep-cow herd anymore. We can read and ponder information, websiteslike Richard’s which inspire many of us.

    It’s a combination of “the shadow-side” of the ranting “screacher-preacher personality” and the position of domination and feeling of spiritual-power that they find themselves in.

    How big of an ego trip is it to have a few hundred people sitting in silence, listening to you, and taking notes on what you say every Sunday morning? It’s the system that we’ve set up that encourages us to give up our reality, sanity, will and control of our souls or minds to someone else.

    And that shit doesn’t work very well for the rest of us! LOL. 😀

    These idiots and dolts constantly dabble in silly make-believe apocalypto-conspiracism and withdraw into some dark spiritual section-8 mental psyche-ward within themselves.

    Or the more Progressive and Broad-Minded Religious folk and like-minded people can make the Right-Choice, “look out at the real world and deal with real problems using tolerance, moderation, and “reason” to strive for community, friendship and brotherhood

    The real pitty of it all is that by rejecting all humanism, secularism, doubt and skepticism they have rejected not only all learning but also the love of humanity as well…the end result is just more dark, human-backwardness and retardation of humanity and civilization.

    It’s the Skeptics, Doubters, and Dissenters are absolutely necessary for this world to stay civilized. And there just aren’t enough of them.

    23-Skidoo!

  5. TennesseeWildman777 says:

    AND ONE MORE THING…

    We know that one “Transcendent-Thing” *Does Exist* in Nature…Our Cosmos or Universe. IMO If an infinite biblical theistic and dualist-style Iron Age God really existed, then Nature would obviously Not! God would have no need of Nature just as Nature has no need of God. So it’s a primitive Demiurge/Creator-God OR Nature, it *Cannot* Both!

    And Futhermore and on top all of that, it would Contradict Observed Reality. (Oh Yes! LOL.) Since the existence of such a fantasic god “would have direct-implications that contradict our known observed reality,” If there is an infinite intelligent creator – which by the way, is a logical contradiction- shouldn’t simple observation of nature through the basic scientific method, common-sense and reason,reasoning skills should be all that is required to reveal it.

    There would be no doubt about and self-evident to all observors on earth.

    God would *Literally* have No space nor time,- a Total-Brakedown or Singularity basically,- No room for a Demiurge to do anything or Create, and hence no rhyme or reason to do so…Nothing for a God to do!

    The Universe is the “Uncreated Primary” which exists whether we or we exist or not and whether we want it to exist or not.Most people are too quick to categorize anything they don’t understand in the domain of the “Supernatural” as “GodDidIt!” The supernatural of theism simply *Cannot Exist.* Period.

    I think Nature is big enough and can infinitely-encompasses everything.

    Note: The biblical account of creation says God created everything, even light (actually, the book of Genesis is two-contiguous, conflicting Assyro-Babylonian cosmogony *creation myths*, so either one of them is not true or they’re both not true.

    But that’s another subject for another day. I’m sorry for rambling on here, Richard. LOL. 🙂

    Later.

  6. K C Sunbeam says:

    R. A. McGough: Greetings. I’m absolutely brand new to this blog.
    At ago 30 I began a book to explain my religious beliefs. From there it evolved into a more balanced work embracing philosophy, science, politics, gender, race, social issues, technology, and so on. I still have my book so to speak, after almost 20 years. I have 181,000 words, but have probably deleted 300,000. Perhaps all deep thinkers go on a journey. And if we have held to wacky ideas, I see that as primarily the fault of society, who has no interest in things of importance and therefore ideas remain unchallenged and therefore untested.

  7. K. C. Sunbeam, that reminds me of a chinese aphorism. Man should not think of writing a book until he is 50! Perspectives truly change over a time if you have a tendency to endeavour a bit more.

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