How to Be In Babylon but Not Of Babylon (Part 3)

I love to read your hard-to-follow but yeasty thinking, Dennis. I’m going to take more time with this tomorrow, but I’ll share one brain problem that bedevils me frequently: spatial perception. I can’t make mental maps, so visualizing these brain areas and pathways pulls up a blank screen for me.

I have DTD, Developmental Topographical Disorientation:

I took Dr. Iaria’s test and he says I’m a textbook case.

My hippocampi are apparently fried, maybe from childhood stress, I don’t know.

I don’t get lost in my house, or usually on familiar routes because my procedural memory compensates. But if I’m under stress, like with sad anniversaries, I get lost in my own neighborhood, like I recently did. I was half a block from home, and had no idea where I was.

Maybe I can find an app or something to help me visualize better, because I really want to follow what you’re saying.

Also, the Blakelee’s book is on Scribd Audio, so I downloaded & will listen soon.

Interesting about pain biofeedback. There’s a whole army of us out there on the Internets who can’t afford dentistry, and I have a whole protocol for when my teeth tune up, which is rare. Processing emotions is key, and eating cashews is magic for teeth, for some reason. Also, on YouTube, Rife Frequencies, Isochronal Binaural Beats, etc. Its actually kind of fun to play with what you can do with pain.

So I know that pain is a malleable thing from experience. Resistance makes pain worse, as any woman who has delivered a baby without anesthesia knows. And I know from doing Doula work that I can calm a woman and ease her pain just using my presence, voice and touch. You have to trust the Universe.

Someone loaned me Ron Wyatt video cassettes decades ago. I just couldn’t go there. I watched a couple of YouTube videos last week, and I can take what he says poetically and appreciate his devotion. I hope your thesis won’t unravel on that point—that is, I hope he isn’t pivotal to my understanding what you are saying.

We may venture into Panpsychism…


PS: Been meaning to ask you, Dennis, or anyone:

Do you think the Temples were on the current Temple Mount, or were they in the City of David? The Gihon Springs are in the City of David and drain into the Kidron Valley.

@DogTail. If you like Sacred Geometry, you might like this:

The Helical Heart: A Revolution in Cardiac Anatomy

Basic science review: The helix and the heart

It is an enormous privilege and honor to be asked to give the basic science lecture. Please join me on an adventure that I have taken over the past three years. I described this type of voyage to my daughters many years ago as “discovery,” in which you walk down certain common pathways but always see something different on that journey. I will tell you about my concept of how the helix and the heart affect nature, the heart, and the human.

To pursue this new route, I select a comment from my hero, Albert Einstein, who said, “All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike, and yet is the most precious thing we have.” We all have to be students, who are often wrong and always in doubt, while a professor is sometimes wrong and never in doubt. Please join me on my student pathway to see something I discovered recently and will now share with you.

The object of our affection is the heart, which is, in reality, a helix that contains an apex. The cardiac helix form, in Figure 1, was described in the 1660s by Lower as having an apical vortex, in which the muscle fibers go from outside in, in a clockwise way, and from inside out, in a counterclockwise direction.

Indeed, but some say it was a Roman garrison. And did not Jesus say that not one stone would be left upon another? Whence, then, the Wailing Wall?

If it is merely a retaining wall, and not part of Herod’s Temple, why is it considered holy? (All naive questions, I know.)

Some say the Third Temple could be constructed in a matter of months—that the priests have been trained, the golden vessels have been made and it’s all prefabbed. If someone became convinced it could legitimately be done in the City of David, it could happen a flash, sans WWIII.

If any of this is true, or what it might mean, I have no idea. The Vatican does seem to have great interest in Jerusalem.

Progressive Adventists are allergic to prophecy, and conservative Adventists have it all figured out. No one seems to be paying attention.

No need to reply, unless you have time and want to, Dennis—just thinking in pixels. Get your leaves raked. :slight_smile:

Dennis, while you are out, I’m going to spend some time outlining your posts, blending the outlines, and then trying to distill the message of what you are saying here, which I will then share back with you.

You can then tell me if I’m in the ballpark, and a proper dialogue can happen from there, if you’d be interested.

I’m also going to work on visualizing and understanding the brain structures you’ve discussed. I imagine we’re very much on the same page about empathy and shared pain, as well as many other things.

See you later, I hope! :slightly_smiling_face:

My brain feels a bit scrambled after reading that. Where to start…

First of all, thank you, Eddy, for this article, which provides much good food for thought and reflection. But allow me to muse a bit about my personal experiences around these issues…

As a person who is thankful to have escaped Adventism with my life, though a dear one did not, I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to “the popular concept of spirituality.” It saved me and carried me through long years of turmoil when nothing else in my life made sense, and there was no one to talk to about it.

Psychotherapists (some of them) meant well, but even the well-intentioned ones didn’t have a clue about my near-fatal religious angst.

Over the last few decades, I’m sure I’ve spent thousands of dollars on “popular spirituality” books and media, and that is what has, by the grace of God, saved my life and my sanity, if the gentle reader will indulge my conceit that I am reasonably sane (which I should never assume).

It appears that the article is conflating the Self Help and Spirituality genres, and while there is some degree of overlap, I think that is too broad a generalization to be useful in discussing a topic this subtle.

Regarding “genuine, biblically-defined spirituality,” I must demur that many disparate beasts are in that corral, e.g., genocide, child sacrifice, not suffering witches to live, instructions on how far one can go in beating one’s slave, as well as the kinder, gentler, not allowing women to speak in church, etc.

In addition, “biblical spirituality” (ignoring the fact that the term is undefinable), is not proof against running one’s life via willpower.

In fact, willpower-fueled spirituality is the number one occupational hazard of being a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, I would say, what with the Lake of Fire, and the Investigative Judgment always nipping at our heels.

And that is not to mention Ellen White’s saying not one in twenty Adventists will be saved, and also that one unconfessed sin will bar us from heaven, and that we should not assert or assume that we are saved.

There is nothing like fear to gird up the loins of our willpower!

Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

—Samuel Johnson

So that is why I think Dennis’ laser focus on brain function is especially helpful and appropriate at this time, as Adventism seems to be unraveling, and its vision and mandate lost in acrimony.

Revisiting the use of the will vis a vis spirituality, biblical or otherwise, is of the essence!

A sampling of Ellen White on the Will:

Everything Depends on Its Right Action: The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man-- the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. Desires for goodness and purity are right, as far as they go; but if we stop here, they avail nothing. Many will go down to ruin while hoping and desiring to overcome their evil propensities. They do not yield the will to God. They do not choose to serve Him.

–MH 176 (1905).

The Spring of All Actions:. Your will is the spring of all your actions. This will, that forms so important a factor in the character of man, was at the Fall given into the control of Satan; and he has ever since been working in man to will and to do of his own pleasure, but to the utter ruin and misery of man.

But the infinite sacrifice of God in giving Jesus, His beloved Son, to become a sacrifice for sin, enables Him to say, without violating one principle of His government: “Yield yourself up to Me; give Me that will; take it from the control of Satan, and I will take possession of it; then I can work in you to will and to do of My good pleasure.” When He gives you the mind of Christ, your will becomes as His will, and your character is transformed to be like Christ’s character.
–5T 515 (1889).

Man’s Will Is Aggressive:. The will of man is aggressive and is constantly striving to bend all things to its purposes. If it is enlisted on the side of God and right, the fruits of the Spirit will appear in the life; and God has appointed glory, honor, and peace to every man that works good
–RH, Aug 25, 1896. (HC 153.)

Impossibility Lies in Own Will: Our entire life is God’s and must be used to His glory. His grace will consecrate and improve every faculty. Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character; for if you come to this decision, you will certainly fail to obtain everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, the you can not overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of unsanctified hearts, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God.
–YI, Jan 28, 1897.

A Grand Soother of Nerves. The mind and nerves gain tone and strength by the exercise of the will. The power of the will in many cases will prove a potent soother of the nerves.
–1T 387 (1863).,_Character,_and_Personality_Volume_2/index.htm?http&,_Character,_and_Personality_Volume_2/38_Decision_and_the_Will.htm

Thank you Eddy and Dennis!


@DogTail. Just jotting down some things that were on my mind early this morning, for possible later reference:

There is an Internet forum called Soma Simple that is largely populated by PTs, and people with other body therapy occupations. They talk about the phenomenon of pain endlessly, and interestingly, I think.

This is definitely an enter-at-your-own-risk environment. They will chew you up and spit you out with glee.

I’ve seen it happen to various unwary newcomers, notably alternative anatomist Tom Meyers, of Anatomy Trains. (I occasionally lurk, but don’t contribute.)

And speaking of Anatomy Trains, fascia is a huge topic these days, and astonishingly important, it seems to me, though skeptics are vocal. And I think that probably ties in with Mae Wan-Ho and her New Science of the Organism.

Ida Rolf was a pioneer. Uprightness is spiritual, social, moral and physical.

Warning: cadaver dissecting images in first video:

Pro 10:9 He that walketh uprightly [tôm, completeness] walketh surely, but he that perverteth his ways shall be known

Psa 15:1. A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

Isa 33 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

Pro 2:6. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

Talking about the brain necessitates talking about the whole organism, and the social and physical environment of that organism. I don’t see how it can be avoided.

BTW, I ordered a physical copy—it should arrive tomorrow:

I’m really going to try to grok what you’re saying, Dennis. It will take some time.


Observation: Eddy in his OS is equating Babylon with The World.

Interesting thought. That bears reflection.

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world. [kosmos, orderly arrangement], but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

—John 17

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon [Babulōn, literally or figuratively as a type of tyranny] the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

—Revelation 18

So, off the top of my unschooled head, it appears that “the world,” i.e., orderly arrangement, and “Babylon,” i.e., tyranny, are different, incompatible concepts.

The opposite of “orderly arrangement” is “evil.”

It wouldn’t make sense to say that “We must be in tyranny, but not of it,” would it?

Does the Kosmos sin? We can’t very well come out of it, anyway, can we?

Perhaps, as much as this is a biblical truth, it is also a physiological truth.

Where are we? We are in the Kosmos, and in physical bodies.

So that must needs be where the Holy Spirit ministers, right here on terra firma, amidst the blood, sweat and tears.

Hence, the right arm of the Adventist message is the ministry of healing. Or was.

So, I can’t really tease “biblical truth” from spirituality proper, in my mind.

I’ll leave you with a word from Milhaly Csikszentmihali:

Activity and reflection should ideally complement and support each other. Action by itself is blind, reflection impotent.

It is relatively easy to bring order to the mind for short stretches of time; any realistic goal can accomplish this.

But it is much more difficult to extend this state of being through the entirety of life.

For this, it is necessary to invest energy in goals that are so persuasive that they justify effort even when our resources are exhausted, and when fate is merciless in refusing us a chance to have a comfortable life.

If goals are well chosen, and if we have the courage to abide by them despite opposition, we shall be so focused on the actions and events around us that we won’t have the time to be unhappy.

And then we shall directly feel a sense of order in the warp and woof of life that fits every thought and emotion into a harmonious whole.

Flow. p. 226, 227

Not being “in flow” is a kind of tyranny of the conditioned brain, and being in a tyrannical church, that arrogates the right to control people’s consciences, is the outpicturing of inner disharmony.

Come out of her, my people, whatever that means to you, personally.

So…off the top of my unschooled head, The Problem with equating Babulōn with the kosmos is that it leaves Adventists with no eschatology, which is The Problem that George Knight wrote about:

It is also The Problem with John Harvey Kellogg’s pantheism, that Ellen White wrote about (assuming she was right, and he was not merely a benign panentheist, which I need to reflect on more):

…which would also mess with what Jesus said:

And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
—Mark 4

Quench not the Spirit.

Despise not prophesying.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
—I Thessalonians 5

And @DogTail is absolutely right, Jesus’ parables are fractal:

That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
—Mark 4

Good catch, Dennis! Excellent work!

Give me that Old Timey Adventism:

O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.

Through The Thresher

The English word tribulation is derived from the ancient Latin word tribulum which was a device used for threshing grain.

Threshing was a necessarily violent process (as it still is, as made evident by the number of farmers who are tragically injured or killed each year by getting accidentally caught in the mechanical workings of a combine or other sort of threshing machine) in which grain was furiously beaten and “thrashed” to separate it from the straw and chaff.

From that, tribulation came to mean a severe trial or catastrophic event. It’s used to translate the original Greek word of the New Testament (pronounced) th-lip-sis which means anguish or persecution.

Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.

Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?

When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?

For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.

For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.

Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.

This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.


Bread Corn is Bruised

“Bread corn is bruised” (Isa. 28:28).

Many of us cannot be used to become food for the world’s hunger until we are broken in Christ’s hands. “Bread corn is bruised.” Christ’s blessing ofttimes means sorrow, but even sorrow is not too great a price to pay for the privilege of touching other lives with benediction. The sweetest things in this world today have come to us through tears and pain.
–J. R. Miller

God has made me bread for His elect, and if it be needful that the bread must be ground in the teeth of the lion to feed His children, blessed be the name of the Lord.

We must burn out before we can give out. We cease to bless when we cease to bleed.

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Ellen White: God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations, it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them' (Matthew 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ's church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.

—Letter 108, 1886

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@DogTail Dennis, Dennis, Dennis, you deleted, and I didn’t have it all in Evernote yet! I’m sooo dismayed! I knew I was supposed to copy all that down days ago, but I neglected to do it. My bad! I am so sad now.

I don’t know what to do. I was praying so hard for you just now…your work is so valuable. It doesn’t belong to you, if I may be so bold as to say that. Your labor is not in vain in the Lord, Dennis!!!

And when I said to you that my thoughts about the corpus callosum were naive, didn’t YOU encourage ME not to throw anything out because it might be part of the larger fractal puzzle?

Well, I suppose I should just sing my swan song and get it over with too…this will probably be the end of me here, but, so be it, if that is the case…

The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord make his face to shine upon you all.

Amen and amen

Ponder how one can be “put to death” while not a hair of one’s head perishes.

Or crazy old women.

Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

—I Corinthians 4

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I hope both you and Dennis will both discuss here at your leisure, Timo. I find your thinking interesting, both of you…

Perhaps you and Dennis could profitably discuss things in another venue.

For my part, as in math class, I think it’s good to “show our work,” i.e., how we arrived at our “solutions,” which must always be provisional, and open to the future, surely.

So for years I’ve kept my discussion of Adventism public, which serves my peace of mind better, in the long run, I’ve learned.

@DogTail I’m sorry your job situation is so frustrating, right now. :frowning:

Correct me, but where I seemed to completely lose you was when I suggested that the 1888 message was “unpreachable,” and not “linguistic.”

I was suggesting something like the following:

In From 1888 to Apostasy, George Knight has done some fine thinking and made some helpful comments.

He distinguishes between a doctrine and an experience and suggests that what Ellen White desired above all was that we experience righteousness by faith rather than define it minutely.

So, do you agree that the 1888 Truth is experiential, and if so, how can that be best conveyed in words?

Or, conversely, do you believe the 1888 Message is conceptual and can be adequately conveyed by preaching?

Is the prescient 1888 Truth:

  1. Experiential?
  2. Conceptual?
  3. Both experiential and conceptual?


Ellen White:

God will give additional light, and old truths will be recovered and replaced in the framework of truth; and wherever the laborers go, they will triumph.

Every ray of light received is to be communicated to others.

One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,

—Review and Herald Extra, Dec. 23, 1890

In other words, @DogTail Dennis, I would say your Insular Cortex did a fine job of lining up with your Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, which are also related to writing and typing, according to some things I’ve read… :slight_smile:

Very clear essential testimony, in my opinion. An integrated “global emotional moment,” translated onto the Internet, maybe.

Know your brain: Insula

The role of the insula in the somatic marker hypothesis was expanded upon by A.D. Craig, who has developed a hypothesis that the insula is the cornerstone of our overall awareness.

Craig suggests that the insula constantly receives a heaping of information about the location and condition of our bodies, our subjective emotions, and the key features of our environment.

It then incorporates the salient, or important, information into what Craig calls a “global emotional moment.”

A global emotional moment is an image of ourselves at one point in time that includes all of the information that is important to us (e.g. I am happy, stimulated, yet hungry).

It is the stringing together of these global emotional moments, according to Craig, that allows us to be subjectively aware of the present moment, and it all happens in the insult

the insula mediates motor aspects of speech production, specifically, articulatory control. Although it has direct connections to Broca's area, the canonical speech production region, the insula is also broadly connected with other speech and language centres, and may play a role in coordinating higher-order cognitive aspects of speech and language production.

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@DogTail That said, Dennis, at some point I hope we can have the Big Conversation about inspiration that I feel is so vital in Adventism now.

Paul kept TIC needling me about it earlier, so I will just post a link to my response, for now:


Now, I want to have all the Big Conversations in the world with you and @Timo, my visionary friends! My what treasures you both are!

But…and this is a big but…realistically, I’m at the saturation point right now.

(But rest assured, I have you safely tucked away in Evernote now! Mwahahaha–you can’t escape my clutches now! :laughing: )

I realize this is TMI, but what the heck, that’s what I’m all about.

In early childhood, trees and weeds were my friends and parents. They saved me.

In Academy, I found a visionary friend who opened new doors of my perception, and thank God for her.

Since then, I’ve sort of collected visionary friends, with varying results. One plagiarized. One stole from me. One burned up in Waco with dozens of others.

Visionaries are kind of a crapshoot, I observe. But I learned beaucoup from all of them.

That is a surpassingly strange thing to understand and integrate, and I’m not there yet. It is what it is.

In my personal life right now, I have two SDA visionary men friends that I go way back with, and that I’m in touch with this week.

One of them is writing his third book on the meaning of the Blood of Christ. The other has made the Sanctuary a focus of his spiritual experience and study.

Since I think so highly of both of their visions, I tried once to get them to talk.

Disaster. Not. Happening. Lesson learned.

When people have a visionary insight from God and the Bible, their experience is so very compelling, that perhaps sometimes they tend to fuse their egos with their superegos, at it were. So, they’re loners and never fit in, because their vision is so very compelling, and must be recognized as such, and the “hermeneutical community” be damned.

Well, the hermeneutical community is where it’s at, in my opinion.

So…point taken about the 1888 Message! About which more later…

Anyway, back to why it’s going to take me some time to read and respond to all you’ve said (thank you very much!), one of my visionary friends sent me loads of Scriptures relating to the Church of the Firstborn, which I promised him days ago I would “prayerfully go through,” and get back to him “soon.” Haven’t started. Likewise, I have yet to completely go through my other visionary friend’s books on the Blood of Christ. :frowning:

In addition, I am blessed with three living sons, and one in the arms of Jesus, and five granddaughters. Being Grammy is so important! My darlings, my darlings!

My second son just got back from Switzerland, and is excited to call and tell me about it this evening.

In addition, I am physiologically disregulated (I know you understand!) from perseverating so much on these issues–can’t eat, can’t sleep regular hours, in a word, dysfunctional.

I have watched all nine seasons of The Hoarders, some episodes more than once.

I started out with The Sidetracked Sisters protocol to try to get organized. Got obsessive.

Went to The Flylady. Got obsessive.

Went to The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. Got obsessive.

Many of my prayers go like this: “Dear God, please help me to clean this place up before I die so I don’t leave a mess like my parents did!” When I’m not praying, I commence to cussing myself, sometimes. (Yes, I do that too–childhood tapes.)

Don’t get me wrong–I don’t have dead cats and rotting pumpkins buried in trash in my house, but my brain’s piddly Executive Function definitely needs a shot of non-compulsive Grace and Righteousness by Faith in the Suzy Homemaker department.

(One of my husband’s Academy students use to come to our house, and once he said to me, “Mrs. Cassie, stop cleaning.” Yeah. Compulsive. Now burned out.)

Anyway…TMI…but I’m not ignoring you, Dennis…I’m just going to try to stay on this planet a bit longer, and I hope you do too!


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Deleted by DENNIS HOFER . . . who has abandoned words, ‘definitions’ and ‘messages’ to go in search of an ‘experience’, as per George Knight, whose aisle I saw a while back at the Berrien Springs ABC.:sunglasses:

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