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Here's a question for you to consider:

Are you in the universe? Or are you of the universe?

Yes, I know Jesus reportedly asked a similar question about “the world” (John 15:19).  I'm not talking about “the world;” I'm talking about the whole universe. I'm talking about everything there is (including your favorite god, if you absolutely must make this needlessly complicated).

Are you in the universe? Or are you of the universe?

Do you see the difference? Do you also see that most people's thoughts favor one viewpoint over the other almost all of the time?

If you do see that, do you see why it's so?

We can consider both versions true, of course. But there's a universe of difference in what they imply.


  1. A spirit in a physical world. Not me.
    A mind in a brain. Yes.
    Conscious in the physical, biological, physiological world: yes.
    In that sens Inam not of that realm.

  2. I am wondering if you have brief definitions of "spirit" and "mind", as you use them above. And while we're at it, is the brain simply "in" the universe?

  3. I do not use spirit because it has a metaphysical connotation that goes against what I try to express. I put that word in the same category as soul or religion and gods.
    Mind is more to my liking. It encompasses all neurological and biological underpinning of experiences, and the experiences of the self, including conciousness, free will.
    I have dissected brains and studied neurophysiology and I hold them to be material, of this world things that creat experience of life.

  4. Thanks, Circle. We seem to use certain words (such as consciousness and mind) is slightly different ways. I generally avoid the terms "free will" (for reasons already explained in this blog) and spirit.

    You seem be saying that the brain is "of" this universe. Have I understood you correctly?

  5. I see the brain as of this world. I see it's functioning and the emergence of consciousness from it as in an other level, form or aspect of reality. I call this other level the information or code level. It can represent the world it an abstract and yet correct way.
    Sam Harris is blogging on consciousness these days and I find the subject very interesting.

  6. It would be nice to reduce the number of disparities between our terminology. Can you say that the brain is of this UNIVERSE (not "world")?

    As for the brain's product being on another level, I can agree that it's so, but I would also say that it is potentially misleading — in a very dangerous way. When people start to separate the product of their brains or minds from that of which they are a part, what do you suppose might happen?

  7. Universe. Ok.

    I agree that the product of the function of the brain is in danger of being incorrectly separated from its source. I even contend that this is an important part of spiritual and religious convictions. That it is a problem and also a reality that non-believers must address. Otherwise believers have a better approximation of reality than non-believers. There is something. Something important. It must be taken into consideration.

  8. I consider that I am of, yet considerably more than merely 'of'. My brain creates waveform which encodes patterns of memory, decision, and initation of action via chemistry harnessing physics, yet those patterns are also influenced by the energies of which those patterns are created. The physical cells are also waveform, pattern and energy which recognizes existence via the experience of change throughout 'time'. Both 'in' and 'of' include connotations of separation with which I disagree. 'In', that I am a separate piece which interacts, 'of', that I am created thereby yet have moved beyond. It is possible that I am more than the sum of my pieces, and therefor have exist as an 'of', however since I only recognize that I am by interaction with other, I would say that I must be with. So, I am 'with' the universe. Maybe I need a new word...

  9. I like “with,” but it too could be interpreted as implying a separation. Perhaps we really do need a new word.