With Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove
The Integration of Wisdom and Knowledge
March 18, 1999
JEFFREY MISHLOVE: Good evening, everybody! Tonight is another joyous evening for me. It's a pleasure because I'm here with Dean Brown. And when I think about wisdom, when I think about knowledge, when I think about the integration of wisdom and knowledge, which is our subject for the day, Dean Brown comes to mind.
Dean is a physicist, he's a Sanskrit scholar, he's a student of Biology, he's an entrepreneur, and a businessman. He's a computer scientist. He has been a pioneer in the field of computers, on the start-up team of the Zilog Corporation, famous for the Z-80 microchip, and also the person who first conceived of the idea back in the 1950's, that we could take computer technology and apply it in education. Dean is a Cosmologist and a student of Literature, and a Linguist. He's a person who embodies the ideal that everything is relevant, that every blade of grass and every grain of sand are expressions of the Divine. And if you want to discover the Divine, it's a good idea to take a look at each blade of grass and grain of sand.
So I expect Dean Brown to be a regular Guest here on Virtual College, and also, for the benefit of some listeners who may not know, in about a week and a half, we'll be renaming this program from Virtual College to Virtual U!
That's right! After only a week and a half, we're graduating from -- well, are we graduating from "college" to "university"? Or does "U" stand for something else? That will remain a mystery to be solved, the Mystery of "U"! Welcome, Dean.
DEAN BROWN: Itís good to be here again, Jeffrey. The "U" that I'm thinking about is sometimes spelled "Y-O-U",
MISHLOVE: its sometimes spelled "Y-O-U". We're going to spell Virtual U with a big capital "U", like the University of Michigan or something,
BROWN: "U-turn" in the Cosmos.
MISHLOVE: Yeah! There you go. When I think about the integration of wisdom and knowledge, I'm reminded of back in the 1960's, when I was an undergraduate student and I was taking lots of college courses, in many different subjects, but there was an enormous pressure in the sixties for the students to skip class and protest the war in Viet Nam, or some other activity. It could be racism or it could be well, sexism hadn't become an issue yet [publicly], but the point was the watchword of the day was "relevant". University education had to be "relevant" or else it was considered worthless, and I was really puzzled by that, Dean, because I have always held the view that nothing is irrelevant.
BROWN: My view, which is basically Vedic, is that everything's connected to everything. In physics that's true, that if you wiggle your little finger, the implication of that is felt throughout the Universe. Chaos Theory's interesting, because Nature being chaotic, we all sometimes amplify things into huge things. Yes, everything is connected.
MISHLOVE: If everything is connected, and everything is relevant, then how do we make discriminations? How do we decide what Path to take in Life? How do we determine for ourselves, what's important?
BROWN: Aristotle talked about that, using the term Entelechy. Entelechy is the direction that our lives take. In my view, and I think in Aristotle's view, too, the Entelechy is given to us. There's a mission. In Sanskrit, your mission is your Artha. So Buddha was called "Siddhartha", meaning a person with a perfected mission. The mission's given to each of us, so, to answer your question directly -- all we have to do to take the right course of action, is center ourselves, and listen to the signals that are being given to us.
MISHLOVE: That is a sensibility in which the "artha" or the "entelechy." It's like a deep level in Nature, and it's something that we discover.
BROWN: It's given to us, but we have to be quiet enough to receive it. We discover it when we're quiet and let it come in.
MISHLOVE: That, I think, would be a view that is somewhat opposed to the Western notion, for example, in Existential Philosophy, that says There's nothing to discover. You try and find your purpose or your path in life. You can't discover it. You have to create it.
BROWN: Well, Existentialism may sound different from this idea, but it comes out to the same thing, because if you have to "create" it, what motivates your creation? And that's the "artha".
MISHLOVE: I see. So it's at a more subtle level than in the Western appreciation of Existentialism.
BROWN: You see, the Existentialists are right in the fact that they say, Sit quietly and take what you get. So that part of it's right. They don't dwell so much on the deeper forces in Nature. There's an interesting difference between Intention and Purpose. Your purpose is your artha. Intention is, in its purest form, effortless. But purpose guides your life. And here's where Aristotle comes in. Aristotle connects energy with purpose. He teaches all the energy in the Universe comes from purpose in the Universe. Which is revealed to the Existentialist, or to the Buddhist Meditator. Or to the person who simply center himself, or herself.
MISHLOVE: Aristotle would probably be closer to the Vedantist, or the Sanskrit scholars, than he would be to modern Western thinkers.
BROWN: And yet he's the father of most of our thinking.
MISHLOVE: He talked about "First Cause". About the "Unmoved Mover". And yet, when you get back to Nietzsche, to the Existenitalists, and Nietzsche was of course a very spiritual person, and I wouldn't deny that the Existentialists are also. But they seem to be saying, along with the Post-Modernists, that Reality, when you get right down to the bedrock, common level as far as you can go, it's meaningless. It's chaotic; it has no purpose and no entelechy, no teleology, nothing of that. No Destiny,
BROWN: Yes, I accept your analysis here. But I wonder how much of that is truly Western. Most Westerners that I know believe in Purpose. They believe in Destiny. So I think the Post-Modernists represent a fringe out in Left Field somewhere, who are making some interesting cases. But they don't represent Western thinking.
MISHLOVE: Maybe they're a minority viewpoint, theyíre certainly dominant in Academia today. And I think if you look at the history of India, you will find this point of view expressed even in ancient times.
BROWN: It's interesting to set out the Sanskrit writing on this. Of course we have to count Aristotle as in the Vedic Tradition. Because the Greek language is derived from the proto-Indo-European. The Sanskrit people, the Vedic people settled Greece as a commercial venture. And the Greeks in turn settled a large part of Egypt as a commercial venture. Western culture has a double origin. The Vedic comes down to the Greek to our modern European philosophers, to us today. Whereas the Hebrew part comes down through our religion. And Jesus zipped together the Vedic part, because he held forth in Alexander's greater Greece. And he's a straight descendant of the Hebrew line. So, Western thought, as we have it today, is a hybrid of Vedic and Hebrew. Which I find, as I read the newspaper every day, are in an exquisite interplay.
MISHLOVE: What you're saying, then, is that the nihilistic point of view, the point of view that expresses the chaotic meaninglessness of Life, is a minority position wherever it appears.
BROWN: Right. And it flowers there. In any time, in any culture, and I find purpose in it. The nihilistic view is a stimulus for the rest of us to think it out and arrive at our own conclusions. We should pay them!
MISHLOVE: We wanted to talk, today, amongst other things, about the Theory of Evolution, Darwin's Theory. And interestingly enough, many spiritual thinkers, the Theosophists and Madam Blavatsky, have said that the Theory of Evolution shows that there's a purpose in Nature towards greater consciousness, greater complexity, and we will eventually evolve into Avatars, into Ascended Masters. Whereas the Scientific Biologists say just the opposite, in a way. They say Evolution is proof of the meaninglessness of the Universe. Richard Dawkins, who writes about Evolution, shows that God is nothing more than a blind watchmaker.
BROWN: Well, the Vedic position is purpose. And there are in Veda four Yugas, four epochs of time. Cycling from one to another. But it's a spiral. And evolution proceeds along a tree of dispersion. It gets more and more branched, but then through the actions of Nature, branches are cut off -- call them extinction of a species, or extinction of a branch of the tree -- and new branches grow. But the thrust of that growth is purposeful. It is an entelechy. Now, you can answer this question for yourself, each listener, by simply finding how you feel about them through your direct experience. Most people feel there's purpose, through their direct experience. That's a primitive, and it's more profound than the domain of logic.
MISHLOVE: We each as individuals certainly have a purpose. I have a purpose in talking to you tonight. And one might say that that is an expression of the Purpose of the Universe.
MISHLOVE: I think the Post-Modernists, who we have to acknowledge, have a kind of dominant position in Academia, which represents the cream of the crop of intellectual culture,
BROWN: Academia, not intellectual culture!
MISHLOVE: O.K. One can argue that point, and I think with great effectiveness, that Academia may even be an intellectual backwater --
BROWN: Yes. They're always the last to know.
MISHLOVE: Perhaps WisdomRadio may be the cream of the crop of intellectual culture,
MISHLOVE: I would hope so. I would like to say so! But the Post-Modernists, I don't think we want to dismiss them lightly.
BROWN: No, they challenge us to make us think.
MISHLOVE: And they do take a very radical position. I understand it. I could be wrong. That radical position is fundamentally based on the meaninglessness of everything,
BROWN: That denies experience.
MISHLOVE: Why should Experience necessarily be meaningful?
BROWN: It is. It's an axiom. It's my own experience. We're outside the domain of logic here; we're on propositions.
MISHLOVE: What you're saying is, your experience. Experience is meaningful to the experiencer.
BROWN: Right. There is no other definition of meaning.
MISHLOVE: That's a pretty good one. I'm caught without a response. I'm trying to give the --
BROWN: I"m invoking Pierce's idea of Firstness. Which he stated 150 years ago. Firstness is the ultimate Reality. That is, what you experience is Reality. Everything else is
derived from it.
MISHLOVE: And Firstness is our primary experience.
BROWN: Right. It's wordless. It's ineffable.
MISHLOVE: So when we're grounded, when we're rooted in our own raw experience, that is fundamentally the source of meaning.
BROWN: It can't be changed. It can't be challenged. What everybody says about it, including yourself, is irrelevant. Because you know this.
MISHLOVE: O.K. I'm going to try and challenge that when we come back after these messages.
MISHLOVE: Welcome back to Virtual College, I'm Jeffrey Mishlove. My Guest, Dr. Dean Brown, a Linguist, Sanskrit scholar, Physicist, Entrepreneur, Student of Life in all of its manifold facets and dimensions. He's been discussing with me the integration of wisdom and knowledge, and we've been looking at the source of true meaning. Dean has pointed out that meaning is fundamentally rooted in experience. That each person, each experiencer gives meaning to their own experiences.
And that is the source of meaning. I'd like to probe "meaning" a little further with you, Dean, by highlighting two opposite views. One would be the traditional theological view, which according to people like Houston/Huston Smith, a/the great scholar of religion, he would say, God is the Source of all meaning. That things become more and more meaningful, the closer we are to God.
The other view, in contrast to that, is more in the Post-Modern vein. I'm thinking of the philosopher Wittgenstein, Idwig/Ludwig Wittgenstein, the early-twentieth century logician, perhaps one of the greatest logicians who ever lived. His philosophy is complex, but I believe that in his Tractatus, his brilliant early work, he more or less made the claim that nothing really is meaningful. And just because I arbitrarily give meaning to my own experience, it doesn't mean that there's anything at all absolute about those meanings. That's just sort of relative, in effect, meaningless in itself.
BROWN: That's young Wittgenstein that we're talking about. He moved a lot beyond there. As a matter of fact, Wittgenstein's life shows how much meaning there is in it. Wittgenstein was born in Austria, the First World War came along. He volunteered for the Army and tried to get on the front. Now a psychologist would say, Why was he under such a compulsion to get in the bloodiest of the fighting?
There's something in his purpose, the meaning in his life, that put him on the front. That was before he wrote the Tractatus. The Tractatus came along when he was responding to positions taken by Whitehead and Russell and Frege. And it's a dazzling work. But then Wittgenstein got wiser. And his last works are on Certainty -- you see, this Post-Modernist view says nothing is certain -- but Wittgenstein's last book is titled "Certainty". And his penultimate book is titled "Color", which deals with moods. Wittgenstein came around to the position that everything is meaningful.
It's interesting, that the last years of his life he is in England during the V-bomb, the Blitz, and sometimes he'd go give lectures, at Cambridge, or Oxford. He never had a post there. When the bombing got the worst, Wittgenstein disappeared. And they found him a long time later, anonymously, working in the/a British Hospital, sweeping up the floor and taking care of the bandages in the Surgical Operating Room. He was so compassionate that he couldn't keep out of the war, and he spent it in hospitals, turned his back on his career, such as it was. After that, he became a recluse and lived with preachers and Vickers in England and Ireland where he wrote these beautiful books on "Certainty" and "Color".
MISHLOVE: There is a sense, if we look at the life of Wittgenstein, and use that as an archetypal model, it suggests that the Nihilistic Philosophy, the Post-Modern Existentialist World View, and a very common world view, that says, in effect, Life is Meaningless, and therefore, it's like a heroic struggle to create meaning in a meaningless world, that viewpoint which challenges us, also expresses a certain phase in the human life cycle, and it's not the phase of complete maturity.
BROWN: It's a phase of Nihilism that comes with the late teen-ager. I think everyone goes through it, and I think I went through it when I was thirteen.
MISHLOVE: And it might last a long time,
BROWN: Some people get "stuck" in phases, yes.
MISHLOVE: As cultures do.
BROWN: Yes. But there's six million people in the world, give or take. About half of them men, half women. If you went around and polled them all, you'd find 99.9 percent believe there's purpose.
MISHLOVE: How about -- Let's go back to the Perennial Philosophy, as articulated by Huston-Houston Smith, who claims that meaning comes from God, it doesn't come from the human experiencer.
BROWN: In Veda, there's no difference, because God is in you, your Center is God. "Achman" is another word for God, which means the entire Universe. The etymology of "Brahman" is "ever-expanding". And Veda says, "Achman" equals "Brahman. So you want to visit the God of everything? Go to your center. So Huston-Houston's right.
MISHLOVE: The source of all meaning is the experiencer; the source of all meaning is God! In effect, it's an equation. Those are the same.
BROWN: Yes. The experience and the experiencer are the same. They are infinitely large and infinitely small. And co-exist with you as a person. And with the tree and with the cat and with the worm, anything that's alive.
MISHLOVE: On the other hand, the Post-Modernist Nihilist would deny that God exists.
BROWN: Well, then they'd have to invent a new word. Let's talk about this concept, this experience they'd have. To deny that something exists, falls on its face if somebody's experienced it. The Post-Modernists say, "You didn't have a car-wreck." And you say, "Well, I had a wreck and I went to the Hospital and they cut my foot off!" And he'd say, "You didn't have a wreck," so you just invent a new word for it: "I had a disaster!" So their denial doesn't touch the fact of it.
MISHLOVE: We'll be back again with Dean Brown on Virtual College after these messages from WisdomRadio.
MISHLOVE: Weíre back again with Dean Brown, on Virtual College. We're exploring the Nature of Meaning, the nature of purpose. Is Meaning something that exists, Meaning and Purpose and Value, do they exist at large in the Universe? Or is it merely a human fabrication? And we're looking at it from a metaphysical perspective. We've talked about the great Hindu equation of Achman and Brahman -- the God within and the God without, how they are the same, and ultimately it's us, and the way we give meaning to our experience, Dean Brown has pointed out, is the source of meaning.
I had thought, as we went into our break, that maybe we had said it, that's the last word on Meaning, and we'd move on to another topic, but Dean reminded me of C. S. Pierce, the great philosopher, who lived around the turn of the century in the Boston area. He was a colleague of William James, and was one of the founders of the American Pragmatic School of Philosophy. Dean told me he regards C. S. Pierce as maybe the greatest philosopher who ever lived, greater even than Aristotle. And that Pierce had a lot to say about meaning that we haven't yet touched on. I welcome this discussion now, about Pierce, because he's one of the philosophers that I never studied much.
BROWN: You see all the references to Pierce nowadays, becoming fashionable some time after his death here.
MISHLOVE: It's been about a hundred years or so,
BROWN: Going on a hundred, yes. His great active epoch was in the 1890's, although his main ideas were seated way back in about 1850 or so.
MISHLOVE: He never held an academic post, I believe.
MISHLOVE: Sort of like Wittgenstein.
BROWN: That's right. He was too much of an independent thinker. He grew up in the Harvard community, and his father was one of the greatest mathematicians that the United States has ever produced. He had a superb education. But he was a freethinker, and they don't do well in Academia. One has to conform, and go for tenure, and get other people to sign your chits.
MISHLOVE: That's one of the reasons that we created this radio program, Virtual U, to have a forum for the D. S. Pierces and the Dean Brown's of the world.
BROWN: And the Isaac Newton's. Newton didn't do too well in Academia, either.
MISHLOVE: Oh, I thought he held a various esteemed Chair at Cambridge.
BROWN: They created the Chair downstream. The fact was, he was a Reader at Cambridge and when he finally got a job, it was because the Queen got him a job as Director of the Mint. But he's far from an academic. Newton's the guy that invented the knurls on the rim of your quarter, to prevent people from filing it off and debasing the coinage. So he was a practical man. And poor Wittgenstein. He never got any post at all.
MISHLOVE: And that surprises me because there is a story that I have heard, and we want to come back to Pierce, but let me interject this about Wittgenstein: that he lectured at Cambridge.
BROWN: Oh, yes. As did Isaac Newton.
MISHLOVE: On one occasion I've heard, some visiting scholars wanted to come hear Wittgenstein lecture and he kicked them out of the lecture-hall, saying, "No tourists allowed!"
BROWN: That's right! And he wouldn't publish his class notes. So his students published them on their own, the Blue Book and the Brown Book is one of the windows we have on Wittgenstein at the peak of his career. But he wouldn't publish them because he didn't want nitwits misinterpreting his work.
MISHLOVE: Then C. S. Pierce, you're saying, was a great philosophical genius, like Newton or like Wittgenstein.
BROWN: Yes, he's in that category. William James dedicated his books to Pierce, and acknowledged what he got from Pierce.
MISHLOVE: And William James is my hero, I can tell you that.
BROWN: Many people's hero. He was/is a great man. But Pierce had the idea that the Universe existed on three levels, which is the same as the Vedic idea. In Sanskrit the term is The Great Trichiliocosm - three cosmoses co-existing and interpenetrating. Or Gary Zukov has the Cosmos of the Spirit, the Cosmos of the Soul, and the Cosmos of Nature.
MISHLOVE: Gary Zukov, author of "Seat of the Soul", and a colleague of mine in the Intuition Network.
BROWN: This idea of a threefold Universe permeates Church thinking through the Middle Ages, Vedic, I pick it up in every culture. The Buddhists make a lot out of it. And it's in the Catholic and Protestant theology. But Pierce focused that. The First World is Experience. It is the "I", the "eye" in "I am". And "I experience this" and "I witness that". It's personal; it's mostly non-verbal. A person doesn't go through a day without talking to himself. The second world is that of "I and Thou", as Martin Buber would say. There's where you learn to verbalize, or hand-motions, or show pictures to communicate between two or more people.
BROWN: Relationships, secondness.
MISHLOVE: Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher, had sort of a Hassidic bent.
BROWN: Yes. And he was maybe the all-time expert on Secondness, specifically. Then Thirdness is relationships. The principle of Pythagorus. The square of the hypotenuse in a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the two sides.
MISHLOVE: In other words, the laws of the external world.
BROWN: Not natural, though, but the world of ideas.
BROWN: So there's physical law, and that's always based on experiment. And there's logical law, which includes mathematics and aesthetics, which have nothing to do with experiment. They just exist.
MISHLOVE: Are they both in Pierce's Third World?
BROWN: Yes, but he wouldn't emphasize physical sciences as much as he would psychological relationships.
BROWN: My wife is always interested in her relationships between her and other mothers, and with their babies. For her that's a whole hyperstructure, very interesting, very important. It's a major thing in her life and in her friends', and they use the phrase "relationships". That's Thirdness, a Thou. And the way you stand with regard to your family, personally, is a Thirdness. It isn't "I and Thou".
MISHLOVE: "I and Thou" is a right here-and-now.
BROWN: Yes. We're doing an "I and Thou" thing, you and I, and also over the Network, we're contacting. We are participating in Secondness. By contrast the "I" experienced the dream you had this morning.
MISHLOVE: Well, "I" and "Thou" out there in Wisdomland, we'll be back after these messages.
MISHLOVE: My Guest, Dean Brown, and I, have been exploring the Nature of Meaning, and he suggested to me a whole different way of considering meaning, and from a threefold perspective rather than from a traditional Western, Cartesian, Dualistic dichotomy of the Inside and the Outside, there's me and then there's the rest of the world.
What C. S. Pierce is saying is that there's me and my experience, then there are the direct relationships that I have -- the "I-Thou" encounters of my life -- and then there's the world of relationships in general. It's a little unclear to me what that means, but I think it has to do with the conceptualizing of things, and the interaction groups and people-- the consensus Reality.
BROWN: See, that Thirdness would include the Jungian archetypes. The Jungian archetype exists without regard to time or culture. I don't have to speak any language, it's there, I may or may not be aware of it, but it's operable. So Jung's major work would deal with what Pierce called Thirdness. Whereas Buber's major work deals with what Pierce called Secondness. Whitehead's major work, we got close to Whitehead's major work a few minutes ago when we talked about Wittgenstein and Russell --
BROWN: But Whitehead's position as he matured past his epoch with Russell, was the importance of axioms and propositions and Firstness.
MISHLOVE: Why are axioms and propositions related to Firstness? I would have thought they are in the Firstness.
BROWN: When you experience them, they're in the Firstness. When you relate them to other things, they become Thirdness. So as a cycle, round and round
MISHLOVE: How do you experience an axiom? I would think experience is way beyond words or propositions or logic. It's just raw experience.
BROWN: It is, and that's the proper way to state it, but axioms are milked out of it.
MISHLOVE: I know, when we talk First, Second, Third, it gets a little heady. It gets a little hard, at times, I think, for some of our listeners to follow,
BROWN: If it's a new concept.
MISHLOVE: And it's also a bit jargony. First, Second and Third. What it reminds me of here, is William James, who, as you say, was influenced by Pierce. William James developed a philosophy he called Radical Empiricism. And for him, Radical Empiricism was, I think, about Firstness. That raw experience is the most fundamental empirical data that we have. Everything else follows from this Firstness.
BROWN: Which is Whitehead's position. And Pierce's.
MISHLOVE: And Pierce's position. It's different from the post-modernists, who don't always take that point of view. They might say, "Everything follows from Secondness."
BROWN: How does one perceive Thirdness? By Firstness, again.
MISHLOVE: Right, right. But often we try and pretend that we're not actors in the game.
BROWN: Well, that violates the ideas of Physics. Physics teaches us that above all, we're actors in the game. Just a little convenient mnemonic here. Firstness comes from First Person, "I". Secondness comes from Second Person, "You". "I" and "You". If I say "You", I mean Not-I. And Thirdness is Third Person. We say "It". So it is a law of Physics to have Maxwell's Equations, or the Hamilton-Jacoby Principle or Least Action. Those are Thirdnesses because they're neither You nor Me. And we can perceive them with varying degrees of revelation. Physics is a process of Progressive Revelation, of Thirdness.
MISHLOVE: Well, I suppose that if everything emerges out of the Firstness of things, that whatever concepts we develop in our Physics, have to ultimately be as much a reflection of who we are as what the world is.
BROWN: Absolutely. Now that gives the Vedic people no problem, because the world is a projection of you. Also, the Jewish mystics, the Kabbala, see an individual see an individual, an Adam Kadmon, as the same person.
MISHLOVE: Adam Kadmon is the concept of the universal androgynous perfect human.
BROWN: Right. And you are "It". So the world is a universal hologram. Again, Physics has no problem with the equation Atman equals Brahman. Or with you being Adam Kadmon. Physics says, and these mystical traditions say that everything is included in the smallest piece. A hologram.
MISHLOVE: I like that idea. I like it a lot. And I'm very comfortable with it. And I'll take responsibility. I keep setting up these straw men, straw women, the ones who won't accept this fundamental world-view. You and I are very comfortable with. I think it's very consistent with the worldview that's expressed 24 hours a day on WisdomRadio and Wisdom TV. And yet there is a sense that individuals in the world -- we're calling them "Post-Modernists" for now, but there could be many other labels. There are people out there who find this worldview very threatening.
BROWN: That's because, if they accept it, they become powerful. And there's a few people I call a minority, who are insecure enough that they won't acknowledge their power. That's the psychological root of Post-Modernism.
MISHLOVE: And you were going to talk, earlier, about the psychological root of Meaning.
BROWN: Yes. Meaning, in psychology, is the connection between different experiences. Meaning depends on Memory. You can rebuild your memory. You can retrofit your memory a lot. I saw a cute bumper-sticker on the freeway the other day: "It's never too late to begin [have] a beautiful childhood". Meaning that you have the ability to go back in your synapses, and reconnect them so that your childhood was just great. If you don't like the childhood you had, I don't care if you're 80 years old, go fix it. Because your childhood in your mind today is only a memory, and memory's faulty, and more than that, we can lie to ourselves very creatively.
MISHLOVE: Now you're getting at something very powerful here, and very profound, and we're going to spend the next hour and I think, if I could summarize that idea in a sentence, it is that because we give meaning to our experience, we have the power to be At Cause in the world we live in, to create a meaningful life, a life that no matter what happens to us, we can make something of it.
BROWN: No matter what the Post-Moderns say.
MISHLOVE: Dean Brown's E-mail address: it's not that he has any seminars, or workshops or books or projects or programs, or tours to sell, but some of you may feel moved to contact him. He's a man of experience and a man of wisdom and he often enjoys being of assistance to people. I think Dean's mission in life is to be of assistance. For that reason, I will give out his E-mail address. It is HDBROWN@best.com. And if you'd like to comment, or let him know that you've heard his program, and have some thoughts you'd like to share with him, or ask him a question, feel free to send him an E-mail. He'd like to hear from you.
If you are listening to Virtual College and would like to know more about this program, I invite you to log onto my website, www.mishlove.com, where I keep a listing of all my guests, and their contact information, so you'll see who we have coming up, and how to visit their websites, and there are many other activities of interest that you can link to through that website.
Including many, many different organizations that I'm involved with or our guests are involved with, and in particular, the Intuition Network, the nonprofit organization of which I am the President, dedicated to creating a world in which all people are encouraged to cultivate their intuition, and I'm proud to say that Dean Brown is a member of the Board of Directors of the Intuition Network. Do you have any final thoughts, Dean?
BROWN: Yes, but I'll leave them for the final segment.
MISHLOVE: Welcome back to the second hour of Virtual College. We're broadcasting live from San Rafael, California at the base of Mount San Pedro in Marin County. My guest this evening March 18, 1999 is Dr. Dean Brown and Dean is an individual who brings an extraordinary depth, and not just depth but a perspective that encompasses the paradoxes of Life. Dean is a man with white hair who must be approaching seventy now?
BROWN: I'm past that now!
MISHLOVE: He has two little children 3 and 4 years old. He is a Sanskrit scholar, but he's also a Physicist. He's a student of Cosmology and Metaphysics, but he's also a Computer Scientist. He's an Entrepreneur, and he's a Father, and a student of many, many, many deep and wise things. We're very, very lucky to have him with us today on Virtual College, and I'm very hopeful that he'll come back often to be with us, and to share his unique perspective.
I regard Dean Brown as one of the great mentors of my life. And we've been talking for the past hour about Meaning, and about experience and about our experience as the source of Meaning. And the God-Within-Us, ultimately, as the Source of that Meaning, because we give meaning to our experience, and we have the power, by virtue of giving meaning to our own experience, to recreate our past. I thought we would focus this coming hour on the question of Causation. How it is that we become the Cause of the events in our life. Or how we can become the cause of events in our life, and not just be at the effect of everything.
BROWN: Two old friends met in the street, Sid and Sam. Sid says, "How ya doin'? I haven't seen you for years." Sam says, "Well, I'm doing pretty good under the circumstances." Sam says, "What in the world are you doing under there?"
MISHLOVE: I'm hiding, right?
BROWN: Yeah. What's this business of rolling under the wheels of Circumstance? You ought to be driving!
MISHLOVE: It's a great place to hide from yourself! Is, under the wheels of Circumstance.
BROWN: Yeah, but it hurts!
MISHLOVE: But isn't Life ultimately kind of a game of hide and seek? Every child plays hide and seek, don't they? And isn't that what we do?
BROWN: The hide and seek that I play, and my children, is to find the Laws of the Universe. They're hidden. The Universe is occult, it doesn't need to be. The Universe is omnipotent. It doesn't need to conceal itself. But it's a Woman. The Universe is a female principle. And a part of the female agency in the Universe is concealment!
BROWN: And that permits Revelation. Without concealment, there's no Revelation. So another part of the Universe, the female elements, are truth, root Concealment and Revelation. And it's up to each of us, boys and girls alike, to tease that out. That's the motive that drives us, the song and the dance.
MISHLOVE: We lost ourselves, in order that we can discover ourselves.
BROWN: That's right.
MISHLOVE: Or in order that we can create ourselves discovering ourselves.
BROWN: That's what one of my favorite psychologists, Mike Csikszentmihalyi calls Flow. He writes a lot of books, and they're well-read and well-written books, on Flow. Flow is when you lose yourself. His examples are the painter, the surgeon, the child at play, a young couple going out to a candlelight dinner, lose all sense of self.
They experience it, but they're not self-aware.
MISHLOVE: There is a sense about an interview, like this, an "I-Thou" discourse, where there's a feeling of Flow. I don't have a sense of Self in this, in the way we might use "Self" as some kind of nagging, Ego issue. It's more like a dance and a joy.
BROWN: Right. That's why the Vedic people have their Gods and Goddesses dancing. Or in other, perhaps unrespectable enterprises. But the Vedic people aren't inhibited about that.
MISHLOVE: There's a delicate paradox when it comes to causation. That we can be "at cause" for the events in our life. We can be at cause, all of us together, here, hundreds of people listening right now on WisdomRadio, could be at cause together, to create a better world, a more harmonious, peaceful, prosperous world with greater social justice! And greater respect for the ecology. We can be at cause for that.
BROWN: Yes, and people in the world today are causing the economy of the world to do what it does. The Stock Market. That is a collective of causation. The fathers of the United States caused the mothers, in the 1700's, caused this country to become what it is today. And that's karmic.
"Karma" is the memory of what you've caused. So karma is related to cause in that sense that you're remembering it.
MISHLOVE: "Karma is the memory of what you've caused" you'll have to explain that one again.
BROWN: The root of karma comes from kree, which means to create. We have kree in our word "create". And we have kree in our word prakridi, or practical, which is "to create". ëKrií is also the root of the Sanskrit Karma in a general sense, which is translated as work. But if your work doesn't have any effect, then it's forgotten. But if your work has an effect, then it's a Sign points back to what you did, once, and that's the karma you carry with you. A person can step off the Wheel of Karma any time he wants. It's just as bad to be run over by karma as it is to be run over by Circumstances.
MISHLOVE: The customary way I think of karma is, like, Cause and Effect, "As you reap, so shall you sow" the consequences of what we do are going to come back. It's like a physical, immutable law. You're saying,
BROWN: Unless you erase it. And karma can be manipulated just like your memory. Matter of fact, manipulating your memories of childhood is manipulating karma.
BROWN: So karma's like putty in your hands and if you don't do anything with it, it'll run over you, like Circumstances, and you'll be brought to pay for what you'll be brought to reap for what you planted.
MISHLOVE: There are many people who are having "bad luck" often say to themselves, "What did I do in a Past Life to deserve this?"
BROWN: There's probably an answer to it. It doesn't matter. Because you can pull the plug on it.
MISHLOVE: All right, let's talk about pulling the plug on it erasing karma. I'm not sure I'd want to, but if I did want to, how would I do it?
BROWN: Karma's a good thing. I don't think people really want to erase their karma. But the way to do it is simply through meditation. By achieving the pure center-position of your Atman, that picks up on cosmic power and flows it into your system, achieving Csikszentmihalyiís ideal flow. There's no karma in a state of high flow. Karma can be totally abolished, through meditating and opposing it without any effort. Now the Law of Action and Reaction -- Newton's Law -- holds strongly in psychology, so if you fight a karmic record, then it will deepen and entrench even deeper, the record. So you don't fight it. You kiss it.
MISHLOVE: It sounds sort of like the Chinese concept of Wu-Wei, Actionless Action.
BROWN: Right. Effortless Effort. Actionless Action, you get yourself off the Wheel. Karma's represented as a Wheel because it keeps going round the same way,
MISHLOVE: So it's when we're kin of trying through great effort, to achieve things by virtue of our ego or our muscles, I mean, it might be a good work-out.
BROWN: Oh, yeah,
MISHLOVE: There's always a time and a place for everything under the sun, I suppose, but now we're talking about something different, being At Cause through Effortless Effort, Actionless Action.
MISHLOVE: There is a Sanskrit term that you have mentioned at times, that I think is related to this: Ritam Bhara-Pragyam.
BROWN: Ritom Bhara-Pragyam is the place where the archetypes exist. The Platonic ideals. The Thirdness. Meaning exists there. And these things without regard to this particular Universe. They don't operate in Time; they don't operate in Mass. They are absolute, eternal. But they cover the world of Mathematics, Geometry, and Ideas. Causation is related to that in an interesting way. There was an article a couple of years ago in Scientific American about megaliths that were discovered in the southern Sahara.
A megalith is like Stonehenge. But these in southern Sahara were thousands of years older than Stonehenge. There's probably a hundred major megaliths in Brittany, in Western Europe. It makes a nice tour, up and down Europe visiting megalithic sites. The one in southern Sahara is much older. They've excavated it and discovered that people had herds of cattle and lived in a cattle economy. There was more rainfall at that time. We're talking about maybe 7,000 years ago.
The people were much like the people of Masai of Kenya are today. They were interested in astronomy, so they built the megaliths as astronomical devices to say precisely when to plant, and when to harvest. Later on those people -- they were nomads -- they migrated up to Egypt and laid the basis of the pyramids and founded the dynasties of later Egypt. The point I'm making is, these Nubian nomads brought into Egypt the idea of predicting seasons and thereby science. When two cultures collide, as happened in prehistoric Egypt, the one with the better ideas wins. That's a way to interpret all of history from the Neanderthal to the present! So I want to emphasize the importance of ideas. Which are Thirdnesses.
MISHLOVE: We were talking about actionless action. How does an idea fit in with actionless action?
BROWN: An idea reaches its fullest power when there's no effort. Aristotle points out that energy has a potential form and a kinetic form. If you roll a marble off the table, it takes a little energy for me to put the marble on the table. I roll it off no energy is expended until it goes off the edge. At that point, it's philosophyís zero, sunyata. It hits the floor at a maximum velocity, and that's kinetic energy, and the potential energy's lost.
Notice that the idea of "power" means potential. A person's "power" is his "potential". Meaning Nothing is happening. And you're at your lowest power when you're at your maximum kinetic energy.
MISHLOVE: OK. This is very important. You're at your lowest power, but it sounds like very vital metaphysical teaching here. Your lowest power, when you're at your maximum kinetic energy. If I can translate that into practical terms, when you feel that you're at the Effect of Life, and you're running around like crazy, putting out fires, trying to struggle, make ends meet, this and that, running round, effort, effort, effort that's your lowest power.
BROWN: That's on the end of the Wheel of Circumstances. The marble on the floor has maximum velocity. It's under the Circumstance. It's under the effect of karma. The marble at the top, which is rolling around with no effort at all, has no karma.
MISHLOVE: And that's, in effect, Meditation. Being in the Flow, being in the Dance, singing, knowing yourself, being centered.
MISHLOVE: We'll be back, with Dean Brown focusing on Meaning and Causation, after these messages from WisdomRadio.
MISHLOVE: Before our break, we were talking about the metaphor of a marble falling off a table, and Dean brought up another metaphor that I'd like to get into. It reminded me of a rhyme that I learned, probably at the age of about eight, that goes like this:
"Oh, how I'd love to be up in a swing,
Up in the sky so blue.
Oh, it is just the most wonderful thing
Ever a child could do."
And that rhyme captures a certain experience that is really relevant to the question that we are discussing here, of Effortless Effort. Of the metaphysical principle of causation.
BROWN: In Physics, the swing is at its maximum velocity, at its maximum kinetic energy, at the low point. And then it swings to the high point. Then it's suspended in mid-air. It isn't going anywhere. And that's when its potential is the greatest.
Your potential as a person is greatest when you're centered, and not going anywhere at all. And your potential is lost entirely when you're at your maximum velocity. So Effortless Effort is setting your intention, when you're perfectly centered at the high point of the swing, and enjoying the experience. It's your intention of what you're going to do next. And purpose belongs to the low point, where your kinetic energy is the highest, lowest? The intention translates to purpose, through the laws not of Nature, but through the laws of the absolute, the laws of Spirit.
MISHLOVE: So ultimately, when people are feeling trapped under the weight of circumstances, in a word, I suppose, or two words, you would tell them "Slow down."
BROWN: Yes. Get back to your potential. You can't be enjoying potential energy if your kinetic energy is high.
MISHLOVE: And if people say, "But I can't! I can't! You don't understand, I've got things to do, have to do!"
BROWN: There's skill comes in here, and I'm glad skill comes up. Because all these lovely ideas, they're practical. And they're dynamic. They're not abstract at all. They seem abstract, but they still may not work for you, because you haven't developed skill at it. The way you develop skill is through practice. And the word "practice" comes from the Sanskrit prakridi, meaning Nature. So adapt to a theoretical Reality, God, from Sanskrit devas, in Greek, Theos, meaning ësensesí to practical, meaning Natural, embodied in matter.
This brings up the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, which was a very dominant force in the Middle Ages, and led to Alchemy, and modern Chemistry and Science, Physics. "As Above, So Below". Everything in the material world is a reflection of things, relationships, in the Absolute [Invisible] World. And Absolute Realities become manifest in the Material World through the agency of intelligent beings like us. And things in the Material World, which are imperfect, become perfected by lifting them to the Absolute World.
So there's an Interplay between the two Worlds, which is symbolized, say, in the Kabbalah Tree of Life. The Interplay between the Ayn Soph and the Malkuth. The Ayn Soph being the Ultimate Abstraction, and the Malkuth being the Ultimate Manifestation. So Causation -- and I hope we talk a lot about this, but in one word -- Causation is the mapping from the Upper World to the Bottom World, and reflecting back to the Upper World.
MISHLOVE: I hope you don't mind, Dean, but I hope you don't mind if I ask you some questions about this. Part of it is in preparation, because I'm going to be in Los Angeles on Easter Sunday, giving a lecture at the Philosophical Research Society. Our mutual friend, Obadiah Harris, was my guest yesterday on Virtual College. My topic is exactly this: the Microcosm and the Macrocosm.
BROWN: The Achman and the Brahman.
MISHLOVE: The Achman and the Brahman the As Above, So Below. And I think of you as a person who embodies this. Really, in amazing ways. And I wonder if you can help me because I'd like to try to capture this a little bit. For example, you're wearing a flannel shirt right now. That's a very particular detail of your life. It's a flannel shirt. I guess flannel is made out of cotton, or wool.
BROWN: I think it's wool.
MISHLOVE: It's got a plaid design, now our listeners might be wondering, what does this have to do with anything? My point is, if I'm correct, if I'm understanding you correctly, As Above, So Below -- Something that might be as mundane and trivial as the flannel shirt that you're wearing,
is actually imbued with deep archetypal, metaphysical meaning.
MISHLOVE: Thirdness. And I wonder if you can help articulate what that meaning is. I mean, what possible meaning can there be in a flannel shirt?
BROWN: There are many shirts I could wear. Or any of us. And some of them feel better than others, to wear. What's the difference? Well, the wool feels good, but it's more the pattern, the color. The pattern belongs to the World of Absolutes. Mother Nature has patterns in everything, and they're lovely. But we find them pleasing of not according to whether
they're in harmony with the Absolutes. Certain symbols, certain music, certain ways of speech, certain sounds we take as being better than others. And that's because in the Absolute, these are closer to the Archetypes.
MISHLOVE: Now I'm beginning to see something unfolding here, in your flannel shirt. It's a wool shirt, and it's got black, it's got green, it's got brown, it's got a little white but it's primarily a sense of Earth tones.
BROWN: It's an earth-tone shirt. I put another one on, and changed it for this one tonight, because it felt right.
MISHLOVE: And the Earth tones are surrounded by kind of a grid, like a mapping.
MISHLOVE: There's a sense of the intellect and the earth coming together there in your shirt. The Marriage of Heaven and Earth right there in this shirt, and I didn't see it. I'm amazed. And actually, as I look at my own sweater, the same thing, in its own way.
BROWN: And I changed into this without thinking about it, guided by my instincts.
MISHLOVE: Dean Brown is my Guest, and I can't help but notice the ads that Wisdom Radio runs, in between our discussions. We've been talking about the metaphysical principles of Causation, and now I hear that Deepak Chokra's book, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success", has just been advertised. I think there may be a relationship. You phrase it in terms of what you call the algorithm of Causation.
BROWN: Yes. An algorithm is a recipe. A formula. It's an Arabic word. It goes back to the times of Alchemy and Algebra, and Algorithm. But your mother cooked Thanksgiving dinner with algorithms in her head, to mix things in the kitchen and bake them. Just a formula. But it's interesting to note that algorithm doesn't exist in the domain of Nature. An algorithm has no time and no manifestation, which is the domain of Nature. It doesn't necessarily exist in your mind because there are algorithms that you don't know. But you may know, some day.
So algorithms exist without regard to your Center. Where you find all the Laws of the Universe. The universe of the domain of algorithms existed before the big bang, or any of the manifestations of the Universe. It caused the universe to come together in the way it did. It caused Life to emerge from the molecules formed in neutron stars in the way it has.
So the universe as we see it, including Life as we see it and consciousness, is an expression of a set of unmanifested algorithms. That was the central concept of Pythagoras. The algorithm for Causing would apply to the Creation of the Universe with a Big Bang, or might cause my car to drive safely to the Safeway store. It's always the same.
MISHLOVE: The same algorithm in both cases?
BROWN: Yes. In every case where there is a Cause, that algorithm is being followed. I drove up here across the Golden Gate Bridge, which is always a nice experience. That Golden Gate Bridge was caused by somebody, a person, working in harmony with Nature. Principles of engineering in this case. We could trace back the history of the bridge and find the name of that person, an individual!
MISHLOVE: There's a statue of the engineer who designed the Bridge right at the base of the Bridge, on the San Francisco side. There's a little park there, and a plaque in his honor.
BROWN: So there's a nice example, something that's been "caught". And he used this algorithm. He probably doesn't use my words, but he used this algorithm to make that Bridge. And it stands there for everybody to look at. You can put your hand on it, kick it, and it's there. Nothing abstract about it.
BROWN: But the idea is totally abstract. There's nothing manifest about it. They're both real. But Reality doesn't mean Manifest. Because most of the things in the Universe aren't manifest, but they're real. Any Experience you have is real. By definition of "Reality". It's interesting to think of the etymology of "real". It comes from the Sanskrit Ritam Bhara Pragyam which means "it's right" and it has this same kind of connotation as royal. "Real" is what's "Royal" is what's "Right". And it's an ideal in the Platonic sense.
So, the algorithm starts like this. You decide what you want to Cause, and you check it out to see if it violates the Laws of Nature, because you can't Cause anything that violates the Laws of Nature. Because Nature's your partner here. The Buddhists call it "Conditioned Coproduction". If you're going to Cause something, you're half of the Cause, and Nature's the other half. But you're the active agent. You drive and Nature will support you. Now that includes Morality, too. You can't Cause something that you consider to be immoral.
Now, there are immoral acts in the world that are Causative, but the person who's doing it has rationalized it so it doesn't violate his sense of morality. And Morality is always relative to the person. You see three people, you're always looking at three definitions of Morality. On any issue. It's a question of whether Morality extends to the cat and worm and the bacterium, but at least for people who use the word "Morality". Those of us who use it, we can't violate Morality, and produce an Effect.
The next thing you do is center yourself, get to that Effortless Action place, and then you present yourself in the middle of the environment you want to Create a Cause in, from a perfectly centered position. And then you place your Intention on the desired Result. As soon as you do that, "accidents" begin to happen. Jung calls them "synchronicities". Be prepared for those accidents to happen. You know they're going to happen. You don't know when or what they're going to be. Every one is a surprise. But every time an accident occurs in a situation, you pick it up and say Thank you to Mother Nature for creating this accident. And place it on the focus of your Intention. The causation thus begins, and your idea begins to become manifested. You're building a bridge, you're building a house, you're building a relationship with your girl friend or boy friend. You're bombarded with chaos and accidents, but every time something happens that aligns with your intention, thank the universe for it, position it, stroke it, mould it, "kiss it", as Blake would say. And go back to the beginning. I'm drawing a closed loop to fulfil your intention. Correct things to be sure that the results you're getting are what you really want. Get centered again. Be alert for more "accidents". And Mother Nature will produce what you desire. And She'll thank you for it. Mother Nature is a living principle that is dedicated to your well being, but you've got to ask before She can do it. So She's sitting there begging for you to try some tricks.
MISHLOVE: This reminds me of a lovely passage in Hermann Hesse's novel, "Siddhartha", in which Siddhartha has learned how to manifest, and he says, really, it only takes two Principles. One is Persistence, knowing where you going and the other is Patience. If you're persistent and patient, everything will come to you.
BROWN: I would add Trust to that.
BROWN: Persistence, Patience, and Trust. Trust yourself, trust the Goddess!
MISHLOVE: "Trust the Goddess." We're going to be taking a break, and we'll be back on Virtual College, with my Guest, Dr. Dean Brown, for the final Segment, before we wrap up the hour here. I'm your host, Jeffrey Mishlove.
MISHLOVE: Dean Brown, we've gone quite deep these past two hours together. Somehow I feel playful about it, and profound about it at the same time, but in our last segment, we brought up the issue of Trust, how important that is, and what a delicate issue it is to trust. Sometimes trust is very easy, sometimes it seems like the hardest thing in the world to do is to trust -- trust ourselves, trust Nature, trust the universe!
Sometimes we go through life feeling incredibly empowered, and sometimes we're feeling incredibly impoverished and miserable. Your words brought to mind a line from some poetry from an interview about ten days ago on the wisdom of Hafez, the great Sufi poet, who wrote that when we come into the throne of God, into the halls of God, into the kingdom of heaven, we all go as paupers.
BROWN: Including Vishnu.
MISHLOVE: Including Vishnu. And you even pointed out, including Jesus.
BROWN: Jesus, yes. Jesus would be the pauper, the beggar, the Buddhist monk. Jesus said "The stone that's cast out becomes the cornerstone of the Temple". He was quoting the Old Testament, of course. "That inasmuch as you do unto the least of these, my children, you do it unto Me". So we've got the idea of Jesus being humble. The word ëhumbleí, ëhumaní derives from the Sanskrit with which you began this session. We've been playing with the idea, Jeffrey and I, of Rabbi Jesus, which he was, and so people called him. We know Jesus, the rabbi beggar. Arenít we all!
When Jesus came from Samaria down into Jerusalem, to begin his ministry, he stopped along the way at a well and asked a young Samarian woman, a social, outcast for a drink of water. Jesus was perfectly able to dip a cup in and get his own water, He could even turn water into wine, but in fact he begged, just as the Buddhist beggars do. I was saying just a minute ago: If you want to cause something, beg it from Mother Nature. She wants you to beg from her. And that activates Her to respond.
MISHLOVE: I didn't get the feeling of begging. I got more the feeling of flow, of dance, of partnership.
BROWN: That's the way Jesus and Woman at the Well were. They flowed, and she said, "Oh, you must be the Messiah." Jesus said, "Lady, you said it." So it was playful. But it's more blessed to receive than it is to give. That's the message that Jesus gives us, [and] to the Woman at the Well. It's the way you should be to Mother Nature. She wants to give, and you should receive. Of course it's the end of the Book of Job, where Job, In opening the Book, he's giving to everybody. He's charitable. But after he's had his revelation with God, and everything is restored double to him. Everybody comes to Job and gives him a ring or a jewel, so giving is, or William James would say, giving is a higher mode of action. To receive is a higher mode than to give.
MISHLOVE: "To receive is a higher mode." I often think of it as, because you're honoring the people who give to you, by receiving from them.
BROWN: Right. And when you give, then you're putting them down. I have a friend who's a Sikh, who has a big birthday party every year, and gives something to everybody. He doesn't want you to give him a present, but he's got something for everybody. That's the way he celebrates his birthday.
MISHLOVE: By giving. Instead of receiving.
MISHLOVE: Isn't that the opposite Principle, then?
BROWN: Yes, but wants to honor his guests, so he puts himself in the lower position.
MISHLOVE: All right. It's a kind of Yin-Yang situation. Everything contains within it, the seed of its opposite. It's better to receive than to give, and it's better to give than to receive!
BROWN: It's a beautiful ñ itís what Jung would call enantiodromia. It's a twist on things. If something is true, then a contrary to it is even better. In Becketís play "A Man for All Seasons"; Satan accuses Becket of being selfish, for wanting to be a martyr to God. Satan says, "Oh, heaven's a nice place and you just want to assure your place in eternity and in history by becoming a martyr. You are only self serving." There's no way out of that argument. Satan could be totally right or totally wrong. You can argue it either way. But it's resolved by the spontaneity of Becketís response.
MISHLOVE: So. Enantiodromia.
BROWN: The Jungian term. It's Greek but it's a neologism. Jung invented it.
MISHLOVE: We're really getting into paradox here. That place of Actionless Action.
BROWN: One of the Cosmic Laws is the Law of Paradox.
MISHLOVE: "Effortless Effort". It's a very potent place. It's, I suppose, like a quantum vacuum state that is anything but a vacuum! It's filled with all possibilities, probability waves!
BROWN: Modern physics is based on that, on paradox.
MISHLOVE: In potentials, in potencies. And so when we approach the Kingdom of Heaven as a beggar, we are also approaching as a prince.
BROWN: That's right. Absolutely. The yin-yang symbol epitomizes paradox. A little black inside the white, a little white inside the black, and so on ad infinitum.
MISHLOVE: And the Principle of Causation, ultimately, it's like dancing on the head of a pin!
BROWN: Exactly right! We're with the medieval philosophers on that. If you want to truly Cause astounding things, that has to be on the head of a pin. Where the blacks and the whites are perfectly balanced, and both have their full interplay. We've been talking earlier this evening about the question of evil. For some other time, we'll go into that.
MISHLOVE: We will do that! That we're going to save for a future discussion.
BROWN: Goodness and evil must be in balance. If you're against evil, it'll come back and bite you in the rear end. You can't be against it, because of the Law of Contraries.
MISHLOVE: That's another one of the great Paradoxes of Christianity, when Jesus said: "Resist not evil."
MISHLOVE: And we see great evil coming out of those who resist evil! Dean Brown, sitting and having these discussions with you reminds me of "Another Universe", when you and I maybe were immortals in heaven, and we passed an eternity doing this.
BROWN: Or two.
MISHLOVE: Or two. I think I could, and I look forward to having you back again and again and again, on Virtual U.
Transcribed By Joyce Rosenfield
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