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18.1.17

The arrow of causality is from faith to reality. This is what Kant said that reality has to conform to our a priori knowledge. That is that reality has to conform to your faith. [I am saying that faith is a kind of a priori knowledge.] [That is the electron has to conform to how you measure it, with one or two slits, but the laws it follow are objective.]

But there is also free will. Thus the decision to have faith is dependent on one's will and it is part of the nature of the world to have this faith tested many times. But if one falls from faith because of some test and then his faith becomes less, then reality will conform that that lesser amount of faith. And then when things stop going right, then one's faith gets even less. And then things get worse and worse because they have to conform to his lack of faith.
At some point you have to stop the process and make a distinction between faith and trust. That is, you have to no longer trust that things will go your way-- so as to be able to hang on to simple faith in God that he is One, and he made the world ex nihilo,  and he has no reason or obligation to be concerned with you at all. Because at that point, you do not want to lose faith in God because of things getting even worse.
The best solution to this problem is simply not to fail in the original test of faith. To stick with trust in God, even though things are obviously not going the way you want and need. The trouble is that there is no simple formula for how to stand in a test of faith. [I should know..]

Appendix and thoughts.

(1) The arrow of casualty is actually determined by intention. Otherwise it is undetermined.
(2) בטח אל ה' בכל לבך ואל בינתך אל תשען היינו שיהיה לבך שלם במדת הבטחון ואל בינתך אל תשען שלא תאמר אבטח בה' אלא  אני מחוייב לעשות ולהשען

גם על שכלי ולכן אמר לא תשען על שכלך אפי' בתורת משענת וסוד העניין שתהפוך לבך לבטוח בה' בכל אז יברך אותך ה' בכל
That is: the Gra also said that reality has to conform to your trust in God.
(3) Just in the way to make it clear what I am saying. If you are in a situation where you are able to learn Torah [That is the Tenach and Two Talmuds], then unlike me, you should not leave. It is hard to find a situation in which one can learn Torah and if one leaves it, it is impossible to return. [By this I do not mean to exclude two topics the Rambam thought were part of the Oral Law, Physics and Metaphysics. It has always been the custom in the Lithuanian yeshiva world to gain expertise on the side, but not during the regular yeshiva session in the morning. However since Physics is hard I recommend the opposite--that is to do the Physics session  first thing in the morning and then later the sessions in Tenach (Old Testament) and Gemara.]




(4) Just in the way of explanation: Kant wants to justify universals (synthetic a priori) by means of the fact that reality has to conform to a priori knowledge. This really all started with John Locke and his primary qualities and Descartes. Then it dawned on Kant and even things we consider primary qualities like number quantity and extension depend on the observer.








17.1.17

Thus God can do miracles by means of people that we would not consider as worthy.

Kant said the most profound and important fact about spirituality: that when pure reason ventures into the area of uncondioned reality, it comes up with self contradictions.

This  you can see in the Torah itself in the verse The hidden things are to the Lord our God הנסתרות להשם אלהינו והנגלות לנו ולבנינו לעשות את כל דברי התורה הזאת [note 1] 

Thus God can do miracles by means of people that we would not consider as worthy. And thus all the questions that people have about spirituality  fall away because we simply cannot know. Not just human reason, but even pure reason can not go into areas of spirituality, -- because if it does, it will destroy itself.


All we can do is to learn and keep the Torah. 

So when I hear about miracles, my tendency is not to dismiss anything because I know God can and must work in ways that if we try to understand them will cause self contradictions. He works in ways on purpose that to us must not make sense.

On a related note I must mention that sometimes people make exaggerated claims. This undermines their credibility. The best thing is the old traditional Litvak approach "Learn Torah," and not to make claims beyond what the Torah says. 

In my opinion this applies to everyone. I have heard that Christians think they do not have to keep the commandments of the Torah because of the phrase, "until it will all be fulfilled." In any case they are depending on Paul against the testimony of Peter and James to support and interpretation that is against the simple explanation. See the Recognitions of Clement and you will see that Peter and James and all the in fact disciples were all holding the Law of Moses is forever and obligatory. They were not Judaizers. They were simply being as loyal to their teacher as they could. Saying the not one jot or tittle of the Law will be nullified means that when it says,  "Thou shalt do such and such" that  obligation continues.

[I also do not hold by individual interpretation. Laws mean something. And they way to understand the laws of the Torah is by rigorous analysis, not by feel good emotions. But to do the rigorous analysis is hard. Therefore there is a short cut. That is the מורה נבוכים, חובות לבבות, שערי תשובה, אורחות צדיקים and the other classical Musar books from the Middle Ages.

The Middle Ages were characterized by the rishonim that did painstaking and rigorous thinking about what exactly does the Torah require.  

[This is not to knock Paul entirely. Rather it is in order to get some perspective. I can see the points of Paul as related to the people he was addressing.]

I should add that there is an obstacle to keeping Torah and that is תלמידי חכמים שדיים יהודאיים false teachers. Since false teachers are all to common in the religious world. The trouble is that the Sitra Achra [Dark Side] has gone deeply into it. Thus  avoid the religious world completely, and learn Torah at home or make sure the place you learn Torah at does not teach Torah from the Sitra Achra. 



[note 1] ["The hidden things are to the Lord our God and the visible things are to us and our children to do all the words of this Torah."]


























Robert E Lee.

State rights makes a lot of sense to me. I could never figure out what the war was about. The Constitution was a contract. The South felt the North had violated the terms of the contact by interfering with local laws. So they thought they were justified because of breach of contract.
I think we ought to celebrate the birthday of Robert E Lee. January 19. It should be a national holiday not just for the South but the North also because it means the great importance of the  Constitution of the U.S.A..

The theory of the Background.

The way that Torah is interpreted in the religious world is that the foremost obligation is to be part of the religious world. But that seems to me to be highly inaccurate. But I can not disprove it except because of my own background. My feeling based on my own experience is that joining the religious world is the worst possible thing to do in terms of actually keeping the holy Torah.
The closest I could see to a sincere effort to actually learn and keep Torah according to its own background and core assumptions was in the two Litvak yeshivas that I was in in New York, Shar Yashuv and the Mir. But outside of the yeshiva world based on the Oral and Written Law of Moses, I found the religious world to be a hot bed of קטנות המוחין triviality and backbiting and a kind of living nightmare while awake.

The only way I could understand this was by means of Howard Bloom's The Lucifer Principle which he bases on Hobbes. The idea of the super-organism as being Lucifer.

Though he does not look at it in the same way the fact that he uses the term Lucifer to me implies a lot. That is by joining a larger community one gets to be sacrificed to Lucifer.










[The theory of the Background

John Searle: "What philosophers like Quine and Wittgeinstein got right, however, is the fact that verbal expressions underdetermine meaning, i.e. the number of ways that a given sentence could be misinterpreted is so great that, in their view, an interpretation or an assignment of meaning is something that doesn't even happen, because meaning in the traditional sense doesn't exist."


Sentences express abstract features, but these are always in a context of other abstract features (what Searle calls the "Network") 


The theory of the Background of Searle


"The thesis of the Background is simply this: Intentional phenomena such as meanings, understandings, interpretations, beliefs, desires, and experiences only function within a set of Background capacities that are not themselves intentional."]









Lawsuits and Affirmative Action.

Companies are generally trying to avoid lawsuits. If they  are openly not hiring incompetent people, then they are guaranteed to get lawsuits piled onto them. So they have to make  a show of being interested in hiring  people that got their degree because of Affirmative Action. 
But then they need to have competent people to do the actual work, so they have to hire only whites or Asians.