Sunday, September 28, 2008


Well here goes. After a letter sent to the Phoenix members of IT, some discussion with dinner and wine on Saturday night, and such, what follows is offered as an opening to an active blog. SO, I hope to see comments coming back.

At our gathering last night a most important question was raised. Thanks Jeanette. I think it is directly related to my questions about a definition of spirituality that I have submitted in an email. How do we know something? How many ways are there of knowing? The irony of the moment when that question was raised was that the discussion was interrupted by the Stones’ song “I can’t get no, Satisfaction.” Irony because satisfying the “longing” was a theme in my email that I submitted to the group that raised this question and because after we all enjoyed a sing along of wonderful proportions, we did not get back to this question.

I would like to ask for reflection on this: How do we come to know something is true? In my past studies, we called it the epistemological question. I think this is at the root of my on-going discussions with my friend about what if anything, is spirituality

In our time, it seems, THE method of gaining knowledge that is considered by some to be the only way to gain knowledge, especially if it is to have “truth value,” is the method of scientific investigation. I hear from many different people the demand that whatever claims are being made about almost anything, must be able to get through the sieve of scientific investigation. So I would ask in this blog, can we define “scientific investigation” and is such activity required for all knowledge? Interesting twist, from trying to define “spiritual” to trying to define “scientific investigation,” but one that may beg ‘investigation.’ One question related, is scientific method synonymous with scientific investigation?

Here is my personal connection of spirituality and scientific investigation: My experiences that I call spiritual do not stand up to the methods of scientific investigation. The prophets and priests of our time, the scientists, would not consider such experiences to have much “truth-value.” (There is another term begging definition.) I, at this moment, find that attempts to defend my perspective to that system of “knowing,” appear to be exercises in futility. I find that I have become more and more skeptical of that way of knowing, even as my very employment depends on it. I recall one amongst us, a scientist no less, questioning the “sacredness” of that way of “knowing” as demonstrated by Joseph Campbell.

So how do we know something to be true? Does everything left inside of the sieve of scientific investigation fail to be true? (The image I am using is the sieves used in separating dirt from rocks or flour from husks. That which stays on in the sieve is not used, that which falls through is used.)

And, I return to an old theme of mine: Does functionality have any say about what is true?
I ask you all to speak up. Having this conversation with myself is like clapping with one hand.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday's Events

Having fun with watercolor!

Wine tasting. Voted best: 2001 Napa Nook (courtesy of Mike)
Roll your own sushi!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pilgrim's Progress

Hi everyone. I've been listening to Kris Kristofferson alot lately - what a prophet! Anyway, here's a song that seems to capture the essence of some of our own musings. It's simple, but true:

Am I young enough to believe in revolution
Am I strong enough to get down on my knees and pray
And am I high enough on the chain of evolution
To respect myself and my brother and my sister
And perfect myself in my own peculiar way

I get lazy and forget my obligations
I'd go crazy if I paid attention all the time
And I want justice but I'll settle for some mercy
On this Holy Road through the Universal Mind


I got lucky I got everything I wanted
I got happy there was nothin' else to do
And I'd be crazy not to wonder if I'm worthy
Of the part I play in this dream that's comin' true


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wine = 10

Wow, such a good list of wine must mean there is a GOD. No doubt about it!!!

Klinker Brick YES!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


In thinking about our upcoming wine tasting, I thought I'd toss out some wine names that have been favorites of ours. Often, the occassion on which we discovered something was a large part of what made it special, so your mileage may vary.

Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Rubicon Estate Rubicon (Francis Coppola)
  • Cousino-Macul Antiguas reservas, Chile
  • Halter ranch 
  • Sterling vintners collection
  • Errazuriz
  • Los Vascos - Colchagua
  • Marquis Philips S2
  • Nappanook
    (discovered during our summer in Portland)
  • Heitz Cellar
  • Continuum
  • Klinker brick lodi old vine
  • Peachy Canyon, CA
    (discovered when we stumbled into Restaurant 1881 in Bridgeport, CA - good eats) 
  • Valley of the Moon 2002 
    (one of two favorite wineries in Sonoma Valley)
Pinot Noir 
  • Andrew Rich, Willamette Valley
  • Lorca 
  • Ledson (Sonoma) 2004
    (one of two favorite wineries in Sonoma Valley - we stop in every time)
  • Iron Horse (Sonoma) 2002 
  • A to Z
  • Duckhorn Goldeneye - Anderson Valley
    (special treat to celebrate Verena's birth)
  • Rosenblum hillside
    (hands-down favorite from a Caffe Boa wine dinner)
Petite Syrah  
  • Bogle
    (a favorite everyday wine)
  • Bierzo Descendientes de Jose Palacios "Petalos"
  • Vina rey "70 Barricas"
  • Jose Maria da Fonseca, Portugal 
I'd love to hear from others what some of their favorites are.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Convincing indicators of existence of "God," a scale

Hi all,

To whoever is interested, I was wondering about creating a scale of how convincing an idea was as "proof" of "God's" existence, whoever she is.

As an example, Phil and I were talking last night about the idea of the "hyper agency-detection-device" , HADD, (note the three hyphenated words are a single noun). The person who wrote about that idea was trying to "prove" god's existence. Phil was reading this author who was from Calvin College. The idea of HADD is about our evolutionary progress to the present moment where we concieve of god as existing.

Phil and I both were not completly persuaded that HADD really proved God's existence but only our perception.

I speak for myself now: This idea would be a 2 or 3 on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being strong evidence of God's existence.

Any other ideas that people might want to put on such a scale? Is it useful?

I get back to experience, that is, experiencing a sense of the holy via the HADD is part of my life. The experience convinces me of God's existence, regardless of the means that the experience comes into my mind. Is experience scalable or too subjective?

Just a start of a blogg if there are any out there that wish to comment.