1. The Metaphysical Nature of Science, Medicine, and You John Hughes, D.O. Master of Theological Studies Midwestern University April 18, 2005

2. Where Are We Going Today?  “The shaman of tribal peoples of northern Asia and the Americas is the doctor of bodies, souls, and situations. He has learned to be a personal mediator between the everyday world and the ‘other world,’ leaving his body to commune with the spirits and learn the specific causes of illness…” –Andrew Weil, Health and Healing

3. The Metaphysical Nature of Science, Medicine, and You  Introduction  What is Metaphysical? How is science metaphysical?  What is Science?  Naturalism?  Rise of Modern Science  What is Contemplative Medicine?  Who are You as a Healer?

4. Introduction: Dialogue Time  “A scientist who writes poetry!” exclaimed the college girl (now wife) I was attempting to swoon by thoughtful prose. Yeah, I guess I’m a little outside the box in comparison to most modern scientists but maybe for good reason or at least, good passion. My undergraduate years entailed traversing the mountains of the Carolinas by foot, kayak, and bicycle, interspersed with a few necessary tests about some kind chemistry and biology I really do not understand very well anymore.

5.  With beautiful collegiate girls, amazing fall and springtime colors, pleasant weather, mountain waterfalls, I possessed a heart ready to experience the world—who wouldn’t be poet in such a landscape! Sure, I was a scientist—even one who traveled the country proving (to someone out there) that I could create some novel heavy metal chelation compounds or destroy toxic industrial chemicals using spent rocket fuel—but I was also human full of passionate ambitions, youthful energy, and a mind to somehow explore and describe the adventures of life.

6.  “Dude, CALM DOWN! This is a scientific paper; not some journal sharing time about your life experiences and how you contemplated some salamander who caught you peering at him under a rock in a cold stream on a warm sunny day with the most beautiful girl in the world by your side. If you insist on discussing salamanders, talk about the “science” behind them: how they mate, how the stripes on the males converge, how they grow body parts back, what the hellbender salamander looks like, and why they require constant moisture.”

7.  “Sure, I like all that physical data, especially the mating, and the naturalist activities that go along with obtaining such information, but do not salamanders and maybe even humans have more important qualities than those determined by modern science? If “science” really involves a holistic pursuit to discover and know all that makes up life, why should I quell my passions or contemplative thoughts about the salamander under the rock or the mountain mist that sprays our shivering legs as we stand at the base of a majestic waterfall? Perhaps modern science, with all its claim to intellectual predominance, just has little desire for my poetry, my passions, my musings, or even “me” or “you” beyond an identity as objects to be studied in a maybe a limited fashion.”

8.  “So,” comes the emotionless reply from those who question the idea that modern science understands the world in a limited fashion. “Who really needs poetry anyhow? How does some passionate contemplation about life promote the progress of society that a benevolent use of modern science does?”

9. Introduction: Dialogue Time  A Dialogue with Science  Passion, Beauty, Poetry: In Scientific Papers?  What is the classical understanding of natural philosophy (aka “premodern science”)?  What is Modern Scientific reasoning? Based upon what kind of information?  What does it mean to reason?  Is Modern Biology really the study of all Life? If so, how does one “know” the Unseen Life?

10. Introduction: Identity Quest(ions)?  A Crisis of Identity: The Opportunity to Be More Alive, More Whole, More Healthy  In Crisis: The Art of Medicine- If the basis of Science goes beyond the so-called “natural” world, how does the entire entity of medicine operate? In other words, is the idea of evidence-based (based on “seen” evidence) really true to the ancient art of medicine?  In Crisis: Your identity as ontologically “human”: Is this identity perhaps more powerful than the title “physician” or “patient”?

11. Introduction: Identity Quest  Ultimately the quest for identity is a quest for sense  Our “sense” of reality (including our understanding of science, medicine, and whoever “we” are) stems largely from core philosophical and metaphysical patterns  These metaphysical patterns, usually only unconsciously acknowledged, inform our sense of reality go far beyond what we call our “own” minds.  Hence, an exploration into the identity of “science,” “medicine,” and “us” necessary includes some of understanding of metaphysics

12. Metaphysical and Metaphysics  Metaphysical: beyond the physical, incorporeal, or supernatural  Metaphysics: philosophy of first principles, including ontology and cosmology, and is more intimately connected with epistemology.

13. Metaphysics: Ontology and Epistemology  Ontology: the nature of being  Epistemology: how we know what we know  Cosmology: philosophy dealing with origin and general structure of the universe

14. Metaphysics: Ontology and Epistemology  We all hold particular ontological (the study of being) and epistemological (how one knows “being” and all reality) perspectives  These perspectives frame how we perform (actualize) and conceive (potentiate) science, medicine, and ourselves  Bringing these perspectives to the forefront is the purpose of metaphysical dialogue

15. The Metaphysical Nature of Science  For Aristotle, the most exact science deals with 1st principles (nature of being) and ultimate ends  Aristotle’s “ultimate science” has as its primary concern knowledge and awareness  On the contrary, for Aristotle, “ancillary science” deals with the utilitarian and productive aspects of the universe and is thus less authoritative  The pursuit of “ulitmate science” begins with wonderment (of the stars, moon, origin of life, cosmology) which inspires one to acquire knowledge

16. The Metaphysical Nature of Science  For Aristotle (along with other ancients like Plato), “reason” (especially scientific reason), is consistent with the order of cosmology  That is, the cosmos has a particular, normative order–an order in which the moon travels around the earth, an order of how plants grow and develop, and even an order about how humans act

17. The Metaphysical Nature of Science  Humans can understand, connect with, and participate in the cosmic order through “reasoning” thus become more aware  In fact, for Aristotle the very purpose of “scientific reasoning” is greater synchronization with and awareness of the cosmic order  The methodology of Aristotle’s premodern scientific reasoning includes what we know through deductive or inductive reason, contemplation, feeling, intuition, and higher ways of awareness (eg. revelation)

18. The Metaphysical Nature of Science  This science, and its methodology, stretches as far the imagination can go because all arenas of cosmic order of being (the aspects of life, death, life beyond death, all the universe, heaven, earth, etc.) are open to exploration  The end of such scientific pursuit is the “general good of the whole of Nature”  Such science even facilitates knowledge of the highest orders of Being  In fact, the most honorable science, for Aristotle, is the divine science

19. The Metaphysical Nature of Science  Divine science is that which deals with divine objects and the first principles from God  In short, the metaphysical essence of this supreme science exists in the realm of the supernatural and might also be known to Aristotle as “Theology” or “Wisdom”  The methodology of supreme science is contemplation  The “good life” for Aristotle and other ancients is one of continual contemplation

20. What is Science: E.O. Wilson and Consilience?  Wielding a freshly exhumed 19th-century neologism, E.O. Wilson sets forth his 1998 work, Consilience, to show that human learning should be more unified. “This new unity will come about when the scientific method supplants the dominant modes of inquiry of those disciplines which it has not yet conquered.” –MCAT Lesson Book, 2001

21. What is Science: E.O. Wilson and Consilience?  Ultimately, Wilson wants to “prove the applicability of the scientific method outside the natural sciences.”  What is Wilson really saying? Is he on the same parallel about “science” as Aristotle? What does he want to conquer?  In other words, if really comprehended and practiced, where does Wilson’s claim take us?

22. What is Science: Naturalism?  Naturalism: The belief that the only valid epistemology for humanity’s understanding of the entire universe is modern scientific inquiry  For naturalists, modern scientific inquiry means the acquisition of knowledge that can be discovered only by the five senses (taste, touch, sight, sound, and physical feeling) through the scientific method.  All other epistemologies–belief, faith, intuitive feeling-(i.e. love, care), contemplation, even reason apart from the senses) have no place in the universe of the naturalist

23. What is Science: Naturalism?  The Society of Natural Science is an example of contemporary naturalism which describes fundamental characteristic of its truly scientific religion.  Their mission statement: “The foundation stone of this [scientific] religion—and the only aspect of it that we must take on faith—is that the primary means of understanding human nature and the universe is through science. Thus, the scientific method governs.”  Note the epistemological challenge of this Society’s claim: They possess“faith” only in the autonomy of the “scientific method” (which is, by their understanding is antithetical to “faith”)

24. What is Science: The Scientific Method?  The scientific method? What is this?  We all know it:  Observe (through the physical senses) a phenomenon (I see blue color up in the air)  Offer a hypothesis (The sky is blue during the day)  Make predictions (The sky will be blue tomorrow in the day)  Test the prediction with an experiment (Go outside tomorrow and look up)  Repeat last 2 steps until predictions and experimental findings produce a theory

25. What is Science: The Scientific Method?  Why is the scientific method such a big deal today?  Why is it so important to those participating in the Western framework of medicine?

26. The Rise of Modern Science The rise of modern science in the seventeenth century ‘outshines everything since the rise of Christianity and reduces the Renaissance and the Reformation to the ranks of mere episodes, mere internal displacements…the theologians of the period… ‘replaced the inquiry of the question by the pedagogy of the thesis.’ –Nicholas Lash

27. The Rise of Modern Science: Thesis  Lash explains the incredible impact of the 17th century rise of modern science, a science characterized by an emphasis on an epistemology based in the scientific hypothesis  Modern science affected the entire world because it challenged the epistemology of the previous era, based largely upon the authority of the government- church and other societal hierarchies

28. The Rise of Modern Science: Enlightenment  This 17-18th century time period (1688-1789) is known historically as the Enlightenment and was spurred on by Bacon, Newton, Locke, Descartes, Diderot, Voltare, and various other philosophers  The Enlightenment enabled many to find liberation, especially in France, from what they saw as constrictive control of the government, church, and classical philosophy  While rejecting the government-church, these liberated now individuals came to bow to Reason

29. The Rise of Modern Science: Baconian Science and Cartesian Reason  Baconian science (based solely on the scientific method) and Descartes’ Reason ruled  (Note: Because of their wedded nature in the 1800s, the terms “science” and “reason” will be used interchangeably in this presentation)  These philosophers embraced “reason” as supreme with the physical world being a place to assert reason’s dominance (through a scientific method type of epistemology)

30. The Rise of Modern Science: Reason and Nature  Reason was the agent given to all humans equally by which universal truths could be discovered which would enable humanity to agree (as to avoid wars, etc.)  Nature was understood as only the physical universe by which humans could use reason to put physical matter to use for human benefit (rather than to attune themselves to, as with Aristotle)  For the modern philosophers, there was no inherent reason in Nature for humans to attune themselves  Instead, Reason derived from within an entity called the “individual” rather that from the cosmos (as with Aristotle)

31. The Rise of Modern Science: Rational Control  The individual, now liberated from the cosmological and other “external” orders, could now use Reason to develop his own order over nature.  In short, Reason came to equal “rational control over Nature” by the individual (an entity now separate from Nature)  For these individuals, human nature, especially the moral and religious components of it, is no longer subject to any order except personal choices (because human nature is not considered part of Nature)

32. The Rise of Modern Science: Nature or Soul?  For the modern philosophers, Nature, because it only consists of only physical matter, does not include any kind of metaphysical realities  Hence, the Baconian science does not understand anything beyond the physical as its object of study  Thus, the body and the spirit (and soul) are separate along with the body and the earth (This is known as Cartesian Dualism)  Under the Baconian science, the soul’s place in reality dwells only in the after life while the body is a object, like the rest of nature, to be poked, prodded, controlled, and

33. The Rise of Modern Science: Theology in Bed with Baconian Science  “Theology,” instead of, as Lash points out, being a continual “question” (aka wonderment) about the mysteries of God now is a partner of the Baconian science  Theologians pursued an exacting “apologetics”, the use of the physical world to prove the existence of God.  (Descartes’ writings, lab journals are full of proofs for the existence of God).  Theology became an analytic practice rather than an contemplative one

34. The Rise of Modern Science: Theology in Bed with Baconian Science  Modern Theology, now as an analytic practice utilizing Nature as its object came to serve, just like the Baconian Science, the ends (most often utility or comfort) of the analyzer, the human individual (a being now deemed separate from Nature)  Contemplative questions about Nature and her inherent cosmological and theological ends came to exist as an aberration from the productive purpose of modern science and theology

35. The Rise of Modern Science: The Baconian/Puritan Religion  Taylor explains that “The Baconian Revolution shifted the central goal of science [also theology] from contemplation to productive efficacy.”  Productivitiy for the betterment of humanity was particularly the goal of science and theology  This end of science is quite different that the “general good of the whole of nature”  Faith became simply a way for the soul to survive the after life, which Baconian science had no tools to quantify; otherwise religion’s ends and methodologies ran parallel with those of Baconian science

36. The Rise of Modern Science: The Baconian and Puritan Epistemology  Taylor writes, there is “a profound analogy between proponents of Baconian science and Puritan theology”  Both promoted reality as living experience which acted for benefit and use of humankind  “Individual, experiential commitment” for the Puritans  “Sensory observation” for the Baconians  The Baconians and the Puritans rejected Aristotle’s teachings for an order based largely on experiential, modern scientific reasoning founded derived from an “indivdiual”

37. The Rise of Modern Science: The Baconian and Puritan Epistemology  Aristotle was the father of medicine (along with Galen) and the philosophical mentor to the scholastic theologians  For Aristotle, as we recall, the end of natural philosophy (aka premodern science) was in the realm of contemplation, speculation, and the abstract.  The Puritans rejected Aristotle, his scholastic theologians, a cosmological order out of “necessity”; They set up “reasonable” religious standards to control those in their community  In fact, if one did not follow the Puritanical rules of reasonable religious standards, the person was labeled a

38. The Rise of Modern Science: Burning Witches Yesterday and Today?  Burning the witches (perhaps anyone with an epistemology that stretched beyond “reasonable” religious or scientific standards) was not simply a matter maintaining order, it was to uphold the use of nature for mankind’s (yes, not womankind’s) benefit  (Women, just like rest of objectified nature, enjoyed the “privilege” of being part of the masculine order of religion, science, etc.  Indeed, the same religion of productivity exists among the modern Puritans (most Western Christians) and modern Baconians (most doctors, scientists, and anyone who works in the Western world)

39. The Rise of Modern Science: Use and Production, a Modern Religion?  Jerry Falwell, Baptist minister and televangelist stated, “God created plants, oceans, and the beasts of the earth all for the use of man.” –Outside Magazine’s list of top 20 counter- environmentalists  Along a similar line, Dr. Steven Weinberger (Senior VP at the American College of Physicians) states, “The pressure for productivity for physicians in practice …has both taken time away from patient care and the physician’s ability to keep up with things.”

40. The Rise of Modern Science: Produce or Die or Both  Production, at whatever cost, may be the strongest aspect of the Enlightenment religion/science

41. The Rise of Science and The Romantic Movement If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down! –Henry David Thoreau

42. Romantic Movement and Rise of Science  The Romantic Movement arose in response to the Modern Scientific perspective and includes authors such as Rousseau, Emerson, Thoreau, Wordsworth, Yeats, and Blake  These authors stood in the face of the Cartesian dualism, hyperproductivity, rational mechanistic control, emotionless empiricism, and the abuse of Nature by the Baconians  They sought the reunion of body and soul through the honor of Nature and all her aspects

43. Romantic Movement and Rise of Science  They contemplated, lived as part of, and wrote poetry about their haven of Nature where their sentiments (feelings or passions) could be free  They recognized Nature’s inherent order and realized that her harmony is that of all the universe  Emerson writes, [Nature’s] enchantments are medicinal, they sober and heal us. These are plain pleasures, kindly and native to us. We… make friends with matter, which the ambitious chatter of the schools would persuade us to despise.

44. Romantic Movement and Rise of Science  Through their writings, in particular their poetry, they described the Voice of Nature and her mysterious reality  Note: While they arose in response to Enlightenment ideals, Romantic beliefs did not exactly represent a return to Aristotle philosophy,  This was especially true in regards to their (and our) notion of individual and that his or her originality determines how he or she should live (For Aristotle, the “good life” was a universal sort of end for humanity)

45. Romantic Movement and Rise of Science  They inspired the hippies of the 60s and the environmental movement of the 1970’s and perhaps some osteopathic students in 2005  Leaving the epistemology of the Baconian science/theology, the Romantics also explored Eastern thought of the Vedic texts and popularized what is now known as Transcendental Meditation (TM).  TM, like many of contemplative meditative practices used by Yogis, shamans, monks, (and most all cultures that were not products of the Enlightenment) offers a bridge to understanding “contemplative medicine”

46. What is Contemplative Medicine?  The essence of the Crisis of our times is that we are approaching the limits of our knowledge of the cosmos…and are now in need of turning over attention to the consciousness of ourselves. –Jonas Salk

47. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Does Salk really think that we are really that close to the limits of the cosmos? If not, does he mean that modern science, with its focus upon only the physical world, is limited in its exploration of the cosmos?  What is the Crisis of our times? What is consciousness? Why would a medical scientist like Salk believe that turning attention to consciousness and its development be important?

48. What is Contemplative Medicine?  “Consciousness” might be defined by the “awareness of existence (of the self, surroundings, all of reality and nonreality)  Humans and all reality can vary in their levels of awareness (or consciousness states)  A simple example: One man may be aware of the elderly lady who needs help crossing the street while another man simply has no clue  One human may be aware of a global fever while another human is ignorant or careless about such matters

49. What is Contemplative Medicine?  From these examples, one sees that the level of consciousness of all beings impacts their behavior  One may consider that greater consciousness (awareness) is a desirable end  In fact, in many belief systems, complete consciousness (being omniscient) may be characteristic of the divine  Some believe that humanity as a whole, as part of the whole of nature, is developing in its consciousness (evolving) throughout time.  For example, some humans at one time treated women or different ethic groups with much less respect than they do today

50. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Raising of the consciousness of humans (or any other creation) may involve cognitive information  A big step in humanity’s consciousness growth (in the “developed” world) has been the priority of “modern rationality” and “thinking” over more violent, aggressive behaviors  The Enlightenment, to its credit, sort of upheld this priority but perhaps all too well (although with a little contortion of the nature of “rationality”)  Note: “Rationality” is now used justify violent, modern wars with modern “science” creates its weaponry

51. What is Contemplative Medicine?  But enhanced consciousness goes far beyond intellectual cognition  In other words, we (modern Greeks, modern scholastics, modern Baconians) have spent generations giving such priority to “thinking” as part of our consciousness (societal) development that we have neglected some higher pathways of being aware  However, some Eastern societies or tribal peoples (made mostly of nonGreek descendents) do not prioritize “thinking” as we have

52. What is Contemplative Medicine?  In such societies (eg monastic orders, tribal peoples, Tibetian people), “thinking” is important but as part of the larger picture of consciousness development  While we in the West used intellectual thinking to develop the physical matter of the universe, these peoples have spent time developing the consciousness beyond “thinking”  We indeed have much to learn about how to let go of a lust for “thinking” to become more conscious and ultimately closer to our ultimate Self and the divine

53. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Indeed, if Salk is correct, the future development of Western medicine may reside in the raising the consciousness (of patients and practitioners)  William James (Harvard Psychologist, the Father of American Psychology) concurs as he writes,  “The greatest discovery of the 19th century was not in the realm of the physical sciences, but the power of the subconscious mind touched by faith. …All weaknesses can be overcome, bodily healing, financial independence, spiritual awakening, prosperity beyond your wildest dreams. This is the superstructure of happiness.”

54. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Now is James really serious? He sounds like a New Age infomercial.  Does increased awareness really connect with medicine? How?  How does one in the Western world let go of “thinking”?

55. What is Contemplative Medicine?  “The purpose of the image, the symbol, poetry, music, chant, and ritual is to open up the inner self of the contemplative, to incorporate the senses and the body in the totality of self-orientation to God that is necessary for meditation.” –Thomas Merton

56. What is Contemplative Medicine?  In meditation, God is present to the ground of our being but hidden from the investigating mind (Merton)  The mind (functioning from the Ego) often tries to capture God and secure possession over God  However, God, like all of our sacred creation, is beyond objectification (even that of modern science)

57. What is Contemplative Medicine?  In letting go of the mind (often dictated by human rationality, desires, self-created problems, and other mind games, there is space for the universal and/or higher consciousness (aka intuitive nature, subconscious) to exist and operate  Note: your rational minds (aided by the ego’s desire for “rational control”), at this very moment, may be analyzing question the reality of a “universal consciousness”

58. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Yet, the reality and powerful nature of this universal consciousness and intuition have been made known to our questioning minds:  “As we move through the world, we tend to presume that success comes from understanding… But memory studies have intuition leading by a country mile.” –Taylor

59. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Supra-cognitive disciplines such as poetry, images, art, good architecture offer us a path for letting go of the relentless desire for “thinking”  Even the world of Western medicine is beginning to pursue such meditation as part of a daily communal practice  Duke University Medical Residents’ Poetry time  William Carlos Williams: on medicine and the poem, “they amount to nearly the same thing”

60. What is Contemplative Medicine?  While those at Duke begin to find awareness beyond intellectual rationality, some cultures have medicine men, or shamans, who are characterized by heightened consciousness states that give them “an acute perception of their environment” (Stanley Krippner)  While the epistemology of shamans includes repeated observations (like science), it also includes revelation from the spirit world, from plants and animals, and “from journeys to altered states of consciousness”

61. What is Contemplative Medicine?  This heightened acuity, supported by an epistemology that includes the “surreal,” enables the shamans to understand their world in a way that may be more enhanced than that understanding generated through Baconian science  For example, a shaman named Rolling Thunder was asked how he could identify healing plants he’d never used before; He replied, “I ask the plant what it is good for. Some plants are beautiful. Some are meant for food. Once a healing plant has spoken to me, I ask its permission to take it with me…”  Do you thing such an epistemology and awareness would save pharmaceutical companies a lot of time and effort?

62. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Some shamans actually use the plants to facilitate altered states of consciousness for themselves and their patients as part of the healing process  The shaman dona Maria explains, “When someone came to me for help, we would eat the mushrooms together. Jesus Christ is in the mushrooms, and he revealed the problem to us.”  Note: the use of these psychotropic shrooms; dona Maria used these fungi as part of ceremonial practice (the abuse of such mushrooms, while it may alter conscious, on would not result in the same type of healing state)

63. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Many monks (from Tibetan Yogis to Cistercians), like shamans, have a similar type of heightened consciousness  These monks spend their lifetimes in contemplative prayer as a pathway for raising their consciousness to God  Contemplative prayer consists of inner meditations to spiritual practices such as Yoga, Qigong, Lectio Divinia, prayer wheels, rosary chants, sweat lodges, and beyond

64. What is Contemplative Medicine?  We Westerners may acknowledge that practices such as Yoga may help humans with stress, aid digestion, sore muscles, etc.  But the medicine of the monk’s mediation reaches far beyond physical ailments  The monk’s awareness enables him or her to connect with the universe and its people in dramatic ways  Merton writes, “For the monk searches not only his own heart, he plunges deep into the heart of the world of which he remains a part although he seems to have left it.”

65. What is Contemplative Medicine?  Because of their contemplation, these monks from St. Anthony, St. Francis, Mother Teresa to the Dalai Lhama see the depth of the heart and soul of the world  In the midst of “suffering,” these monks, like Jesus Christ, are empowered to manifest the powerful love, peace, and healing of God  This powerful consciousness of love and peace resonates and heals even those far beyond whom the monk personally contacts

66. Who Are You as A Healer?  So, if the quest is ultimately a quest for meaning (for sense) then where is the meaning of you as a healer, patient or physician, coming from?  Is there an order beyond the Ego, society’s constructs, or the framework of modern science to understand your identity?

67. Who Are You as A Healer?  With the epistemology that stretches beyond modern science, who are you?  Why think?  Is your mind in charge of you or are you in charge of it?  Where is the mind? Do you generate your thoughts?  Consider Aristotle. Feel the Romantic passion  Love Nature. Who is medicine? Do you like her?

68. Who Are You as A Healer?  Work, work, work to produce, produce, produce; then remember it was all a set up.  Watch the Puritans and the Baconians today: Love them then and now.  Laugh alongside those advocating evidence-based science/theology; play their game if you’d like  Be? One.  O Contemplation

69. O Contemplation “Who are we?” Echoes the Eternal Questioner “Why do we think and act The way we do?” Begs the Contemplative. It appears as though We simply respond to stimuli, Rats in a cage Running to water, to food, to sleep. We hunger So we eat We try to keep up So we study or work. Seems normal to us: We’re emotively moved, And we act, think or We’re mad, sad, or glad. So what’s the hang up? “Inner desperation Ever striving for so little gain,” Voice out the ever Quiet ones, Always at peace in the wind. “But what motivates your ponderings, Your meditations, your being?” say Responders. “Surely some stimuli precedes Such so-called “higher life.”” “Is it hunger?” “Not really.” “Confusion?” “Nay.” “Desire for Meaning?” “Yes, perhaps, And, like most, simply wanting life Life to its fullest: The good life of contemplation, of course.”

70. “What! You contemplate Because you desire contemplation That’s redundant!” “Well, do I desire Contemplation Or is she just there Like a being and ever present entity Who must cajoled awake By strange, poetic prose?” “You are off the rocker Oh Being of the Instrumental Age Now you are again decrying The utilitarian nature of it all.” “Give it up Contemplation can’t help, You post-modern.” “Yes it can; Contemplation is alive As sure as Plato exists.” “But you are a rational being Full of choices And life hopes, dreams, and more.” “So why dost I feel like a computer That’s gets programmed, Or simply a carrier of neural responses Composed of a soulless body.” “Why does it even have to be About this Inward Me? No Me is ever inside.” “Me is all of us We all cry out For life beyond the system We all want life and goodness And goals beyond “use” or “produce.” We don’t want to “Take the Job” Because it’s the “highest” paying We desire more.

71. O Contemplation, Friend And Partner on the Path She’s there To help us to life, to healing, to being.” “To rest and rest,” Contemplation calls aloud. “No more of these Doings I love Beings.” “So, okay, if “we” must contemplate, Then for what? So we can carry on the journey The journey of parting the path For Time eternal. So for what again? What’s the point of it?” “Cannot you see? You stick to the instrumental On the “use” Of even our lives as “we.” The good life of contemplation Doest not for anything or anyone She simply is With her, we live beyond the noisy network, The system that plans stimuli And responses. Yes, Being is And contemplation helps us See Being there or know her/him/we/me/God. And Being offers To us these unifying words: Put aside the complicating and Simply Be-Be-Be One with all That lives Is the Key.”