Does God have an Agenda?

By Ben Iscatus
(This is a guest essay submitted to the Metaphysical Speculations Discussion Forum, reviewed, commented on and approved for publication by forum members. The opinions expressed in the essay are those of its author.)

Don't say this isn't an ambitious subject!

Idealism takes many forms, but in what follows, I am assuming that monistic Idealism is true. This means that God (or Consciousness) is all there is. What we call 'matter' is just how ideas or thoughts in God's mind appear and register to the senses of avatars (humans and animals) in God's dream of Planet Earth. I will use the terms "God" and "Consciousness" interchangeably here. (Conventionally, I refer to God as "He", but the "She" and "It" pronouns are implied). The essay is an informal and sometimes avant-garde exploration of some of the issues, and I hope you find it entertaining.

OK, that's the premise. So what is God dreaming and wh…

Aristotle, Nagarjuna and the Law of Non-Contradiction in Buddhist Philosophy

By Peter G. Jones
(This is a guest essay submitted to the Metaphysical Speculations Discussion Forum, reviewed, commented on and approved for publication by forum members. The opinions expressed in the essay are those of its author.)

Life, they urge, would be intolerable if men were to be guided in all they did by reason and reason only. Reason betrays men into the drawing of hard and fast lines, and to the defining by language—language being like the sun, which rears and then scorches. Extremes are alone logical, but they are always absurd; the mean is illogical, but an illogical mean is better than the sheer absurdity of an extreme. Samuel Butler, Erewhon
This quotation from Butler’s topsy-turvy land of Erewhon describes the view of the professors of the Colleges of Unreason. His satire of academia is an odd mix of good sense and madness but by the way it questions so many of our intellectual habits and assumptions it provides much food for thought. The professors of Unreason argue …

Thoughts and plans for 2017

As the first, cold month of the year already draws to a close, I wanted to update you all on what is in the works for this year, as well as share a thought that seems relevant in the context of the current cultural ethos.

First of all, the thought: because I am a proponent of the philosophy of idealism—the notion that all reality is essentially mental—some people have concluded that I endorse the current cultural abomination often referred to as "post truth" or "alternative facts." Although the vast majority of you would never be so confused as to come to such a conclusion, I feel I must be crystal clear here:

Idealism does not entail, imply, or even suggest anything remotely similar to the notion that there aren't such things as facts. There are facts, alright; there are hard facts. We ignore them at our own peril.

All idealism does is to state that the essential nature of facts is mental. But mental facts can still be what I call "weakly objective" …

Dismantling idols: the current cultural inflection point

As recent events—culminating yesterday with the US election—dramatically show, we are at a major cultural inflection point in Western civilization; one that bears relevance to how we see the world and reality itself. The US election is by no means an isolated event: the European Union has been in upheaval since the Greek debt crisis; last summer's Brexit would have been unthinkable only ten years ago or so; Brazil has impeached and removed from office a just-re-elected president; and Germany continues to wrestle with its national values and identity as it deals with the refugee crisis. These are but a few examples. The important point is that these and other events reflect a deeper dynamics: a profound shift in the ethos of the Western mindset, with significant implications for the future of our mainstream worldview. It is this shift—and the opportunities and risks it carries with it—that I want to explore in this brief essay, for it potentially bears relevance to the deepest phi…

Realities of academic publishing

As some of you know, I have been busy for a few months now writing and revising nine academic papers, which together provide what I believe to be an unprecedentedly complete and rigorous formulation of ontological Idealism. The idea is to sharpen my arguments by exposing them to thorough peer-review. Of the nine papers, three have already been accepted for publication (one of which is already published), one is going through a major revision, and other five are still in initial peer review.

I have had mixed experiences with reviewers so far. On the positive side, one of the three accepted papers has been much improved by critical and extremely thoughtful reviews at SAGE Open, a journal I now consider a prime example of high professionalism in publishing. I also had a rejection by Neuroscience of Consciousness that was worth more than an acceptance: although my submission was considered not to match the journal's focus, its editor nonetheless provided me with extraordinarily detai…

Upcoming Sages & Scientists event

I’m excited to join Deepak Chopra and 30 other experts in Los Angeles, California for a 3-day symposium where consciousness and science meet. At Sages & Scientists we will explore life’s deepest mysteries and seek answers to its biggest questions in an effort to further understand ourselves, one another, and the universe. Join me as we discover new ways of understanding consciousness and delve deeper into the true meaning of human existence. I hope to see you there!

Key quotes from Part III of More Than Allegory

And now closing the series, here are the key quotes of Part III of my newly released book More Than Allegory. I hope these quotes can give you a fair taste of the book! Have fun.

‘And there I finally was, comfortably but firmly strapped to a customized recliner made to perfectly accommodate my body shape. … I knew that the complex and rather large rig around my head was about to kick into operation. … I took a deep breath to try to relax and—as instructed—began counting down from ten. At around seven, I already knew that nothing would ever be the same again…’ (The Explorer, p. 146)  ‘The alleged headhunter’s name was Sophie. Disarmingly attractive, … she was the key recruiter of a large, massively well-funded, yet completely stealthy project initiated by an unacknowledged club of (former) corporate leaders and high-net-worth individuals. Some would call this club a secret society, but the conspiracy connotations are totally inapplicable. I will refer to it simply as “the Club.”’ (Th…