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Theology meets volcanology

William Crawley | 23:27 UK time, Monday, 19 April 2010

5ae07f05-bd11-4c57-a3b9-825217424eaa.jpgIt is only a matter of time before someone, somewhere, will offer a moral or metaphysical explanation for the Icelandic volcano. If you come across any commentator suggesting that volcanoes are the judgement of God, a consequence of sin, or an uncomplimentary comment on human affairs by one supreme being or another, do send me the link. In the meantime, here's a non-scientific explanation linking earthquakes with mini-skirts.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I've pointed out elsewhere that this is Thor reasserting his theological authority after centuries of neglect. In a conversation with Graham, we are divided on whether Thor likes ukuleles or not. I rather think he does, and all should play to avert his wrothful wrath and wrathful wroth.

  • Comment number 2.

    thank you Will - had a good laugh at the link ....so its not just men that quake at women with miniskirts! :-)

  • Comment number 3.

    It is a sad fact that many people will not tolerate ANY talk of sin and judgement, though they are realities each of us must face.

    However, it would be at best premature to suggest that the effects of the volcano in Iceland are in any sense a judgement from God, but it does at least remind us that we live on a planet where - because of sin - all is not well in the natural world (see Genesis 3:17&18), and that there are some things which man - with all his sophistication and technology - is unable to control. In my view, those are two very valuable lessons to emerge from this situation, and which we do well to condsider.

    Perhaps it is also worth suggesting that - since folk seem reluctant to acknowlege Creation, read the Bible, or reflect on the life, teaching, deatrh and resurrection of Christ - God may at times resort to other means to get our attention.

  • Comment number 4.


    "If you come across any commentator suggesting that volcanoes are the judgement of God, a consequence of sin, or an uncomplimentary comment on human affairs by one supreme being or another, do send me the link."

    Such crazy people come a dozen a dime unfortunately. Not just explaining volcanoes, but natural disasters in general. Here is an Indonesian government minister for you (whose crazy faith should have excluded him from holding such a high position, imo):


  • Comment number 5.

    Volcanology is the reason not only for the existence of Iceland but also the Earth's atmosphere and life itself - as illustrated in Ian Stewart's excellent programme on volcanoes
    still available on iPlayer

  • Comment number 6.

    From the host of "the biggest show in the country" in the USA, Rush Limbaugh,
    "God is punishing Europe for the Health Care Bill in America"

  • Comment number 7.

    Phil Phil Phil my dear boy - what strange pixies flit through your little head.
    we live on a planet where - because of sin - all is not well in the natural world

    So when you get a nice day for your church group barbecue, it is god blessing you and cabbage like that; if it rains, it's Satan trying to discourage you and hamper your work (or work your hamper - whichever). Volcano doesn't go off - praise god for our stable geology. Volcano goes off - bad bad sinful humans bringing the earth under the curse of the magic space pixie.

    As Allybalder has pointed out, if we did NOT have a dynamic world, we wouldn't actually even *be* here; life would never have evolved; we would probably be a dead rock like Mars seems to be (but we've only scratched the surface there, remember!). People who have bothered their backsides actually looking at the science appreciate that our universe is in constant flux - stability (whether you call it Gaia or the sustaining power of Yahweh or whatever) is something of an illusion - it is imposed by multiple mechanisms of negative feedback that almost inevitably arise in complex systems. Strange attractors, fractals, emergent phenomena.

    And of course the simple-minded like to put this all down to "sin" - as if our space pixie punishes the airlines and travellers for supposed misdemeanours. The religious mind is incorrigibly credulous.

    But there is a problem. Our more intelligent theistic contributors will note that god has to be in charge - the problem of course is that this means he's responsible for the rough AND the smooth; "Original Sin" is a convenient attempt at absolving god from such responsibility, but as we have shown elsewhere, it is theocabbage of the first water - an incoherent unjustifiable fallacious concept that a/ does not even work as a concept, and b/ can't explain natural disasters anyway. It also undercuts the flaky notion of intelligent design, since parasites like the Malaria protozoan would be a spectacular example of intelligent design *in their pathogenicity* - far beyond the capability of mere "sin" or the design faculties of Satan.

    Nope, sorry Phil - your position is an incoherent simpletonic mess.

    I like volcanoes. They're groovy.

  • Comment number 8.

    And floods in the UK are the result of pro-gay legislation, according to a Church of England bishop:


    "One diocesan bishop has even claimed that laws that have undermined marriage, including the introduction of pro-gay legislation, have provoked God to act by sending the storms that have left thousands of people homeless."

    I thought the CoE was supposed to be among the less insane flavours of christianity? Parr, this your cup of tea?

  • Comment number 9.

    You need look no further than some of the loons on the Talkback message board:

    "mankind is responsible for all the evil in this world. When Adma[sic] and Eve sinned, they brought a curse on Mankind and also on the Universe. It became flawed, because of sin. That is why we have earthquakes and the like. I do not beleive[sic] in Man made Global Warming, as postulated by the Cllimategate[sic] Criminals. However, if there was such a thing as global warming, mankind would be responsible for it because of their original sin, 6000 years ago. Before that, the Earth was perfect, and there were no earthquakes.

    What is postulated as "global warming" and "climate change" according to the Climategate conspirators, is different from the original version. I believe that if there is climate change, it is not caused by the actions of modern man as postulated by the GW religionists. It has been around for thousands of years, long before the Industrial Revolution."

    I'd love to believe that this post was some elaborate and clever host, but I've met enough of these freaks to know better.

  • Comment number 10.

    The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.

    May the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!

    Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke!

    ”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!”

  • Comment number 11.

    I was very moved by your erudite post - it's convinced me to burn all my science books and frantically look for a local Alpha Course!

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Re: sin - not a word I use as it comes with the baggage of making people feel bad/guilty etc.....however I understand that the word sin comes from the Greek word 'Hamartia' meaning to 'miss the mark'.....so perhaps when we don't think, speak, act , with, from and in love we 'miss the mark' .....eg when we judge other people. So with this understanding it's not something to feel guilty or bad about ....it's just the human condition ....as we learn and choose instead to be loving in all ways towards self and other.

    A few offerings.....to ponder .....feel......reject or accept as you wish.
    God is Love
    God/Love does not judge
    God/love does not condemn
    God/love does not punish
    Judgment is human not divine
    God is Love
    Love Loves.....all of the time, constantly, without exception, all people all of the time .....incl those who claim God judges, incl people of all sexual orientation, incl those who murder, rape and abuse .....such is the boundless capacity of love/God.....
    Where is this Love/God?
    'The kingdom of God is within you'
    The kingdom of God/ Love is within the inner heart of every person......even those who commit vile acts....who in their emptiness/contraction/disconnection from love ....evil comes through them....
    Even if we feel that love is not there/within us - it is
    It is man's separation from the love that they are and the subsequent loveless mind-driven and emotional choices that we make that give rise to many/??all man's ills......
    The mind is loveless unless impulsed by the inner heart to have loving thoughts....
    The mind as we commonly use that term cannot know God.....for God is love
    No man is an island
    All is interconnected
    There are no accidents/co-incidents
    All is energy, man is an energetic being, in communion/communication with the cosmos
    All of one's choices in thought word and deed energetically impact the body of the individual and the cosmos
    The body is the marker of truth and reveals all our choices .....from love or not love.....with harmony or disharmony
    ??????Is it possible that as a consequence of energetic laws (not divine punishment/judgment) that all of our wayward, loveless, emotional, mind driven disharmonious choices over aeons impact the earth in such a way that it needs to self-correct/cleanse/clear the disharmonious energy through fire, wind, earthquakes etc ???????is that possible even if it seems wild/far out?????
    Breathe your own breath
    Be still
    Be harmonious
    Be joy-full
    Be love
    with love E

  • Comment number 14.

    Eunice wrote
    ??????Is it possible that as a consequence of energetic laws (not divine punishment/judgment) that all of our wayward, loveless, emotional, mind driven disharmonious choices over aeons impact the earth in such a way that it needs to self-correct/cleanse/clear the disharmonious energy through fire, wind, earthquakes etc ???????is that possible even if it seems wild/far out?????

    No Eunice - volcanos are totally natural events and have no connection with any 'disharmonious choices' - whatever that means?
    Are you just trying to demonstrate your lack of basic scientific knowledge?

  • Comment number 15.

    It's worth noting, is it not, the case of Mount Vesuvius, by which God showed his wrath at the people of Pompeii with their phallic objects, landmark brothels and erotic art, and buried them all underneath a mountain-load of ash. If that isn't direct proof that God hates sex, I don't know what is.


  • Comment number 16.

    This is ridiculous. There was nothing in my post other than my usual fiery invective, carefully crafted to stir the limpid waters of this oracular blog just a smidge, and the Trans-Stygian Moderators of Doom have consigned its very ghost to the Hadean wasteland. Will, have a word with these people, will you? Simon Singh won - his appeal is now enshrined in case law; a comment is a comment. Where is the fun in commenting if you have to be polite about Alister McGrath??

  • Comment number 17.

    Helio, you have been warned. Today, moderation, tomorrow, if your blatant questioning of God continues, you shall be forever encrusted in lava like the evil residents of Pompeii. Woe, woe and thrice woe. Eunice, dont titter, Missus!!

  • Comment number 18.

    Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it infamy!

  • Comment number 19.

    And floods in the UK are the result of pro-gay legislation, according to a Church of England bishop

    Last I heard Peter the floods in dewsbury a couple of years ago were sent by God as a result of J.K. Rowling and those horrible satanic books entitled Harry Potter. I'm serious. I heard someone suggest this (J.K.Rowling apparently lives in Dewsbury). Then of course there's the bishop of Durham and the infamous ligting strike on York Minster (three days after his consecration), surely God being angry at his statements about the resurection.

    Still, I haven't heard anything from YEC quarters yet on this. Perhaps it's too difficult to explain in relation to a 6,000 year old Earth. Volcanoes are merely a natural phenomenon of plate techtonics. In thiss case it's the Eurasion plate moving apart from the American plate. Nothing strange or unusual about that. We've seen it on other planatery bodies as well. Venus, and in the past Mars. And then of course there's cryovolcanism !

  • Comment number 20.

    I was very moved by your erudite post - it's convinced me to burn all my science books and frantically look for a local Alpha Course!

    Indeed Allybalder.

    He's just demonstrated perfectly why the bible is not a science book.

  • Comment number 21.

    Allybalder and RJB - thank you for your feedback! :-)
    to clarify - re: disharmonious choices. We are designed to be harmonious ......disharmonious choices are choices that are not aligned to our true nature/our essence/our *natural* energetic state of being.......that essence/true nature energetically is love/joy/harmony/ stillness .......so anything that takes us out of that natural energetic state of being eg drinking alcohol, being emotional - anger/frustration/rage/saddness, being competitive, judgmental, critical..... etc etc (the list is very long) are disharmonious choices.....that brings an energy into the body that is not of God, not love, and is harmful to the body and the environment as we are not static matter - energy is flowing through us all of the time.
    I did not say that volcanos were not natural events. I did not even mention the word volcano!
    I did say that everything is energy including us and that everything is interconnected - thus nothing happens in isolation to anything else -even a volcano erupting. Energetic laws are natural. As I understand it physics and quantum physics affirms that all is energy and all is interconnected. Hence, my point was that we are not totally divorced from the *natural* events of the world but intimately interwoven with everything.....even if that is beyond the conception of the average human mind.....including my own!

  • Comment number 22.

    It would seem that my old Nemesis Norman Nevin has recently published a book: "Should Christians Embrace Evolution?" [It is on Amazon; my copy is ordered, and my review will appear on my blog and I'll see if the Church of Ireland Gazette are interested in a syndication].

    It would additionally seem that the answer, carefully culled from some very strange people of dubious relevance (including the high-value sociologist Steve Fuller from Warwick University who was ripped to shreds in "Kitzmiller", but precious few actual scientists) that the answer is a resounding "No", which will come as something of a surprise to very many Christians, some of whom even have brains.

    I am planning a follow-up series: "Should Christians Embrace Gravity?", "Should Christians Embrace Atheism?", "Should Christians Embrace Grizzly Bears" and so on. I expect high sales.

  • Comment number 23.

    Eunice, yes we are all interconnected, but you are very mistaken if you think that higher-order phenomena such as "concepts" are influential at much more basal systemic states. To a volcano it does not matter in the least whether or not we drink alcohol - such a concept has no relevance to the volcanic system. "Sin" is meaningless to a volcano (indeed, it's meaningless anyway - human behaviour is based on ethics, not "sin"). A butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can make the difference between a hurricane and a nice day a year later, but exactly the same category of outcome can arise from it not flapping its wings. Your world seems too small. Let it breathe a little. ATB,

  • Comment number 24.

    PeterK - # 8

    I am more a 'G&T' than a 'cup of tea' type of Anglican but this is very definitely not my glass of gin!

    I find it impossible to understand how any remotely intelligent person might see the abstract moral causation of natural disasters in human behaviour - the notion is essentially simply illiterate. (I do, however, like to imagine, sometimes in detail, the prodigious partying such people must attribute to the Permian Period).

    Volcanic activity, likewise, does not originate in the will or actions of God - as far as I am concerned the view that it might is utterly absurd and, again, I would tend to consider anyone holding such views to be either perverse or monumentally stupid, if not both.

    Perversity and monumental stupidity, however, have not traditionally been insurmountable barriers to achieving high office in Anglicanism as your link evidences all too clearly.

    We are a broad church: there are those who are more liberal than I, there are those who are more Protestant than Paisley, there are those who are more Catholic than the Pope, there are those who are more evangelical than any of the contributors I have so far encountered on the blog. You pays your money (a minimum of 50p per annum suffices) and you takes your choice.

  • Comment number 25.

    Eunice - I have to disagree.

    Drinking alcohol, in my case anyway, brings me into a very "natural energetic state of being" - you should see me on the dance-floor after half a dozen gins! It doesn't harm the love-flow either...

  • Comment number 26.

    But Eunice - we are talking about the cause of volcanoes - I haven't a clue what you are on about! The natuaral event of a volcano erupting has not a jot of a connection with human activity or 'energy', whether 'good' or 'bad' energy!

  • Comment number 27.

    Helio - thank you for your comments.

    Question - how can we all be interconnected to everything ......yet not connected to a volcano.....?

    I don't use the term sin myself ( I was just offering a different understanding of that word) and I agree that a volcano is not influenced by any concept - sin or otherwise.

    I also agree that drinking alcohol does not *matter* to the volcano per se - it was just an example of a loveless disharmonious choice......ask a body how it feels after a night on the booze!

    Drinking alcohol is not a concept - I know I have done plenty of it in the past......it has consequences.....energetic consequences ......indeed everything has energetic consequences......and if we live in an energetic cosmos then everything we think, say and do affects everything else - I'm not saying it is a direct causation..... everything is in constellation/interconnected....and .....perhaps too big a view for us to swallow .....not too small!! For if you follow the argument it calls us to live with a high degree of energetic integrity and responsibility in everything we do, say and think .....and most people just don't want their comfort boats and their G&T's to be rocked that much.....!!! :-)

  • Comment number 28.

    Parrhasios: I know what you are talking about for sure .....but I now hold a very different understanding re the consequences of alcohol ...... and if you/one connects to your/one's true 'natural energetic state of being' you/one can have love and joy nearly 24/7 - who needs alcohol!!

    Allybalder: as I said - it was just offered for pondering - to be rejected or accepted as you wish .....you reject -- that's fine! I'm not saying it is that way .....just making links with other understandings re the energetic nature of the universe and the interconnectivity of everything ....and following it to a logical conclusion (either everything is interconnected or it is not ......we cannot say everything is interconnected but this volcano thing is not connected to anything for then everything is not interconnected) ...and asking could it be possible??? I don't know .....it blows my mind to think that it could be that way .....but hey ....maybe it is ....maybe its not!?

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Eunice, we (that's us and volcanoes) are all part of the one universe, connected by spacetime, gravity, etc. I do think some people use the word "energy" in a remarkably sloppy sense that almost rivals the misuse of the word "quantum". Volcanoes are not a *breach* of some natural order - they are part of the way our planet works. Ditto for earthquakes - they were going on for billions of years before humankind evolved, and will do so long after we're gone. Our world is not unique - if you have been watching Brian Cox's brilliant series "Wonders of the Solar System" you will have seen the sulphur volcanoes on Io and the ice geysers on Enceladus - remarkable features that nonetheless tell us a lot about how the universe works. Disharmonious energy cabbage has zero to do with anything. Here we are - this is how the universe works (it is a LOT bigger than our wee Earth!). We've evolved in this minuscule nook because the conditions have allowed it, but it is foolish to think that things are the way they are FOR us, or that our annoyance of an imaginary series of space pixies results in them relaxing their surveillance so that the natural world just continues on acting in a natural manner. Whether you call it disharmonious energy, sin, ying or yang, chaos or wibble is irrelevant. The universe does not care how we behave. The connections are the laws of physics, not some smoky moral animism.


  • Comment number 30.

    helio - I have not time to respond in full right now but will do so later .....I agree with some of your comments and disagree with others .....question remains

    How can we live in a one interconnected universe and not be connected to a volcano?
    If we are not connected to the volcano - we are not in a one interconnected Universe?

    where do you stand - are we interconnected to everything or are we not ?- in your view.

    E=mc2 ....
    Einstein : 'matter and energy are interconvertible, a most unusual conception for the average human mind'

    He's not usually thought of as a 'sloppy mind' .....but perhaps you know differently?

    Have a great day Helio - catch you later! ;-)

  • Comment number 31.

    Eunice - # 28. I am glad to say that I do not need alcohol but I must confess I do rather like a drop now and then...

    Helio - all you need is a hamburger vendor. I am indebted to my 13 year old cousin for the following: Did you hear the one about the Zen priest and the burger van? He went up to the window and said "Make me one with everything".

  • Comment number 32.

    Hi Eunice, *Einstein* did not use the word "energy" in a sloppy sense, but it was not Einstein that I was suggesting was being sloppy. Alternative therapists, for example, very frequently misuse the word energy (as well as quantum and vibration and stuff like that).

    Of course we are connected to volcanoes - we live on the same planet in the same universe, share the same spacetime; they feel our gravitational influence and we feel theirs - it is all one big system.

    However it is silly to suggest that our *moral* choices influence volcanoes by virtue of their moral character. That is just bananas. Yes, you might argue that if we set off a nuke in a volcano, that would be morally a Bad Thing To Do and would probably upset Thor somewhat, but if I steal a packet of Smarties from Tesco, the morality or otherwise of that action has no bearing whatsoever on an eruption. The connections are physical, not conceptual or moral. And, it has to be said, stealing smarties from Tesco has no bearing (other than physical) on real energy, as opposed to the quantum vibrating woo energy that only exists in some people's heads.

  • Comment number 33.

    Helio: I use the word energy because that is what it is....and no other word can be substituted. It is not the morality I am talking about....there is no judgment here....I am not talking about bad/good/right/wrong nor even concepts but whether the choices are true/aligned with our true nature or not....in harmony with our true being or disharmonious to that true being....

    To say :

    *Disharmonious energy cabbage has zero to do with anything.* is false and
    *stealing smarties from Tesco has no bearing (other than physical) on real energy, * (I'm not sure what you man other than physical) but I take this to mean that you feel stealing smarties from tesco is of no consequence other than you physically taking the smarties? is also false.

    EVERYTHING we think, say and do involves energy......and there are energetic consequences to EVERYTHING we think, say and do.....ouch!!
    we are in deep, deep illusion if we think otherwise .....our bodies live every experience and every choice and it reveals the truth of all our choices due to the energetic and subsequently physical consequences of those choices....not so much what we do but HOW we do it....not only is there an energetic consequence of every choice on our body, it also impacts the environment/earth/universe/cosmos...even bigger ouch!!

    you say - *the universe does not care how we behave* ....it may not care but it is impacted/affected energetically and responds according to energetic laws....not any moral/concept etc I agree

    I am a student of life and I am open to learning and discussing and debating and sharing views etc and for sure there is heaps and heaps and heaps that I do not know or am ignorant about .... but for sure we are not bystanders in this world even if we think we are ....we are not self-contained limited pieces of meat .... we have immense potential to co-create lives that are joy-full and love-full, harmonious or indeed to create the very opposite.

    that said - re our connection to the volcano - yes I agree we are connected but how I don't know! I was just asking the question, extrapolating ....provoking debate (which it has) and see where it ends up ....! All good fun and not too serious! :-)

  • Comment number 34.

    Eunice, I recommend you read Tim Minchin's beat poem called "Storm". I think you will find some strong energy coming off it.Perhaps you may even find it a little "disharmonious". Enjoy!

  • Comment number 35.

    Parrhasios: re alcohol - been there, done that, got the Tee shirt for sure ....so I know all about 'enjoy', 'like' and the rest and have said them all myself .... however, as always, there is a much bigger picture at play when it comes to alcohol and why people drink in-truth (and it has nothing to do with character defects/moral weakness etc etc that gets bandied around)....rather than the superficial reasons they give for drinking ....people are free to choose to drink or not of course and there is no moralising or judgment here ....but it is impossible to truly love one's self (and this is not an egotistical self-love but a true honouring for who you really are) and drink alcohol. No amount of money (millions or billions) would persuade me to have even a sip of alcohol now.... can't beat the joy and love that are within...connect to that and alcohol doesn't get a look in!! On top of that it is pure poison to the human body and energetically very very harming....and in no way self-loving. Perhaps too strong for some and no doubt a few fuses will be lit.....but understand that I say it not from reaction/fear/judging/moralising - (people can drink as much as they like I am not going to criticise/judge etc them for doing so) ...but I say it out of love and understanding the real harm that alcohol does at many different levels. Perhaps it's as well I'm heading into the ash soon (with any luck)...I won't be able to see/respond to the comments this brings up after tom. for a few days !
    Be gentle and go easy you guys!! :-))

  • Comment number 36.

    Talking about connections, and since we have a heliopolitan among us - does anybody think the volcanic activity could be related to the apophis comet.....??

  • Comment number 37.

    It is on Amazon; my copy is ordered, and my review will appear on my blog and I'll see if the Church of Ireland Gazette are interested in a syndic

    Looking forward to it Helio.

    However, Prof. Nevin didn't write the whole book, just one chapter:


    9. Interpretation of scientific evidence

    A. Homology
    Norman Nevin
    B. The nature of the fossil record
    Norman Nevin

    Has he(Nevin) any background in paleontology ?

    The rest of the authors are a who's who of UK YECs, e.g. Andy McIntosh, Steve Fuller etc. The book is partly a response to Dr. denis Alexander's Creation or Evoltion: do we have to choose ?", as far as I know.

  • Comment number 38.

    nobledeebee: thanks for the recommendation re storm: entertaining......tho' I'm certainly not in her camp nor am I in his! One life ???? he's in a for a surprise! :-)

  • Comment number 39.

    There is something about this thread which seems to mark it out as somewhat different from what has gone before. It is not a response to what some alleged "religious hothead" has actually said, but an invitation to discuss what such "religious nutcases" might say (even though, from the lack of evidence proffered here, such comments have not [yet] been made).

    So even when we believers keep our mouths shut, the "anti-religion" brigade feels agonisingly frustrated and feels driven to imagine what we might have said, and then proceeds to rubbish these imaginary views with the same level of invective (copiously seasoned with the usual wearisomely predictable Kindergarten vocabulary) as if we had actually said those things. And to think that those same people wax eloquent about "straw men"! You really couldn't make it up.

    My diagnosis for this phenomenon is this: since atheism is a totally negative view of life (hardly surprising since it is built on a foundation of ultimate meaninglessness), its proponents need an enemy. They need "religious people" in much the same way that a parasite needs its host, and this thread rather backs up my theory.

    So, shall I play the shrink and put some of you out of your misery (you know who you are)? What bone shall I throw you to gnaw over? What message can I read into the ash cloud? Ah, yes. I know...

    "The Icelandic volcano is the direct result of the fuss made about those B&B owners refusing that gay couple!"

    There I've done it. I come up with just the sort of "interesting correlation" you're desperately looking for. Now get out your copies of Roget's Thesaurus and look up all the synonyms for "insane". Take three deep breaths, close your eyes for a few minutes and count to ten. Then open your eyes and start writing a suitably vitriolic post (without breaking the Beeb's rules), and get all your frustrations towards these "nasty deluded religious people" off your chest.

    I am sure that will make you feel much better. ;-)

    That's sorted that one. Next thread please....

  • Comment number 40.

    Eunice, energy is a very specific thing in science - what you are talking about is not energy, whether you think it is a coherent concept or not - find a new word and we'll discuss. If you can come up with a workable definition, so much the better. But it is rather bad form to take a well established term and twist it into something completely different, and expect people to carry over the concepts from the real meaning of the word to the invented one.

    Peter, yep - it is a guest list for a rather exclusive and somewhat surreal party. Norman Nevin is not a paleontologist - he is a clinical geneticist, previously a pathologist. However I note that he has left discussion of the genome to someone else, and from the extract that someone else does not know his genetics. The points that I can see in the extracts are painfully irrelevant to the conclusions the authors seem to wish to pull from them, and one has to wonder about their competence. Although the book's title poses a question, and a sane observer might expect a rational discussion of the issues, perhaps with pro and con being placed, and the reader invited to make a decision, that seems jolly unlikely.

    Amazon tell me they have dispatched my order (I also ordered Philip Pullman's "The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ" for a bit of light entertainment). I wonder could Norman's book be any worse than John Lennox's effort? I'm afraid it looks as if it could be considerably worse, but I don't want to damn it simply on the basis of its crude website and silly extracts.

  • Comment number 41.

    LSV, you're pretty good on the category errors, aren't you? Atheism a "negative view of life"? Silly old sausage!

  • Comment number 42.

    Eunice - thank you for your reply. I hope this does not sound insufferably smug but I have had a good life. I am at that stage where I have become distinctly conscious of the ebbing of my existence, a stage where one tends to look back and review one's past and, when I do so, I am content.

    I am not a saint but I actually quite like myself, I am happy with who and what I am. I do not, however, love myself. I would think it quite inappropriate to do so. I consider self-love, self-affirmation, self-honouring, self-anything indeed to be negative and potentially destructive behaviours. I am not into self-denial or hair-shirts either: as far as I am concerned the best possible thing a person can do with the self is ignore it as much as one can.

    As a Christian the life of Christ is of supreme importance to me - it points to a right way of being, it exemplifies what is truly holy. Christ vindicated, fulfilled, and completed His selfless ministry with the sacrifice of Himself; He led a life where love manifested itself in teaching concern for others, in the yearning for social justice, in serious dialogue and challenge, in deep connection and fellowship in the community, and, if we are to believe the Bible, the odd bit of wild partying (Matthew 11:19). If getting tipsy with your friends was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me...

  • Comment number 43.

    Helio - as a base line.....
    do you agree that ultimately everything is energy? (not me saying that - physics)
    do you agree that human beings are energetic beings? with energy flowing through us all of the time? (could use the word light instead of energy in that instance .....eg JC " I am the light of the world" .....we all are....we just don't know it!)

    and if you disagree with those can you say what you think the fundamental ontological nature/essence/core of the human being is?


  • Comment number 44.

    Parrhasios: thank you for your comments. I am intrigued as to why you say self-love is destructive and I suspect that we have quite different understandings of what it means to self-love/self-honour.
    As far as I am aware one of the main Christian teachings is to "love thy neighbour as thy self" .....how then is one to love thy neighbour if one does not love thyself first???
    One thing that all human beings have in common (even if they don't think they do) is the desire to love and be loved......why is that??????
    Because we were made in, from and with love, by thy father....God. The creator lives in the created.
    We seek that which we are - we are love.
    We don't get taught this nor is it demonstrated to us as children because our parents didnt know it either .....perpetuated by centuries of evil teaching that we are sinners/bad guilty and that to self-love was bad /evil etc etc and obviously you have been taught the same.....perhaps without fully considering the implications....these teachings are designed to keep you from knowing the truth about who you really are, to keep you small, contracted, empty, dependent on the love of another and loveless....

    As children we learn we are loved for doing .....first steps, spelling, good manners the list is endless ......but we do not get met and loved just for being.....
    So as adults we continue the seeking, the searching, and do heaps of stuff for identification, recognition and acceptance in order to not feel the emptiness.....and the fact that we didnt get met and truly loved for just being....
    No-one can give us that which is inside of us - Love
    It is indeed necessary to love oneself before one can truly be love for another - otherwise it is just emotional love based on an unmet need within us that we expect another to fulfil - and then get divorced when they don't do what it is impossible for them to do!
    True LOve(fire) is needless - and because it is needless it then just serves ......as per the life of Jesus .....but if we do not serve with in and from love (as he did) then we are not truly serving nor healing but harming ie. if we serve out of pity for others, out of seeing them as lesser than us or who they really are, out of needing to be seen to serve, out of a need to please, out of guilt, or do it with resentment because that is what the church tells us to do but we dont really feel like doing it or do it with any emotionality ......then, energetically we are harming and not truly serving.
    Jesus said 'I have come to spread fire across the world and how I wish it were already kindled' ......God is fire, fiery love, see many of the mystic teachings Bonaventure, St John f the Cross - God is fire. SO what force is behind the teaching that the last place you want to go is a place of fire (hell - which does not exist) ......when the heavens are full of it???? Another example of an evil teaching to keep man from knowing his true essence of love, of fire. (I use evil to mean anything that separates us from our soul - not just vile acts etc)

    Unfortunately Parr - as exemplified by your comments - the root problem with humanity today is that we do indeed love our neighbours as ourselves ......it is our lovelessness/ lack of self-love, our self-loathing and self hatred that leads to man's inhumanity to man at all levels .....liking oneself is better than hating oneself - but why are you resisting that which is freely given to you by God - your true divine heritage ?? Why would you not give yourself the very thing that most people spend their life searching and seeking for?? It is crazy!
    When all along it is inside you.....the more self-loving we are, the more we build that love in the body and the more we can be love for another irrespective of the circumstances/situation/story .....Self love is not egotistical self-love which in truth is not self-love but comes from an emptiness .....and perhaps you are equating self-love with that ??

    For someone who truly self-loves as Jesus did.....the call is to serve with, in and from love that another may be awakened to the truth of who they are for themselves...knowing that everyone is a son of GOd whose essence is the same, is love.......and that it is our separation from that love, our lack of self-love, our self-disregard/hatred/loathing that leads to all manner of human suffering ......we are doing this to ourselves!!

    "know thyself" Parr .....Know that whatever you have been taught or whatever you feel about yourself ..... you are Love .....you are free of course to reject/resist/deny this .....but why would you not accept this??
    Reason - we do not want to feel the fact that we separated from Love, and that our wayward loveless choices over aeons have resulted in all manner of human suffering for self and other.....that is a big big ouch!!

    Self love is not the destination - it is part of the journey - to build love in the body .....in order that we may be love, be the presence of love, of light, to serve wherever there is darkness ....... why on earth would you resist that??? and how can you possibly consider that to be destructive.???

    with love,

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Eunice,
    As I mentioned, some people use the word "energy" in a very sloppy way. Energy is not some mysterious spiritual undercurrent running through everything - it has a very precise and well-defined meaning in physics. It does not get "unbalanced" or possess characteristics such as "good" or "bad" (and please do not get confused by concepts such as "Dark energy" and "negative energy" which are used in cosmology, as these terms do not relate to our actions).

    Mass and energy are essentially the same "stuff" as Einstein showed; the underpinning of that is not yet known, but it is of no relevance to human behaviour. Energy does not care whether you drink alcohol, or how you behave. All that is manifestation of a system behaviour at a level which is irrelevant to energy and volcanoes alike.

    do you agree that human beings are energetic beings? with energy flowing through us all of the time?

    No, energy does not "flow through us" in the way you suggest. We are systems where energy does what energy does. You are confusing energy with some sort of mystical spiritual concept. If I kick a football, I impart energy to that football - kinetic energy. We understand how energy works very well indeed. But if I kick it in anger it makes absolutely NO difference to me kicking it in joy with the precise same quantity of joules transferred. Similarly, volcanoes care nothing for our emotions or reactions - it's all down to Joules, and the Joules we as humans are capable of providing to a volcano, whatever our motivation, and whatever we drink, are very very minimal.

    and if you disagree with those can you say what you think the fundamental ontological nature/essence/core of the human being is?

    We're clever apes. We are biological organisms with complex behaviours.

    So if you are using the word "energy", it helps to be precise. Energy is the capacity to do work. Measured in Joules. 1 Watt is 1 Joule per second - the unit system for power. 1 Joule is the energy required to move a force of 1 Newton 1 metre. And so on and so forth. Stealing smarties from Tesco doesn't even enter into it.

  • Comment number 46.

    Eunice - i dont know if this will help u out but i think you mean "consciousness" as energy flowing in the body :
    "..that embraces the concept of interconnectedness between man and nature. Everything is connected and we are all part of the same living system. And within this concept of physical interconnectedness are the concepts of mind and knowledge.." taken from Edward F Malkowski "The spiritual technology of ancient Egypt; sacred science and the mystery of consciousness.
    And Helio I think we can be effected by mass and energy. For example- taken from the same book_
    "in 1937 Schwaller and his wife Isha visited Egypt. While in Luxor at the temple of Amun-Mut-Khonsu, he reliized that the temple architecture was a "deliberate exercise in proportion" - analogous to to the symbolism used by the builders of the medieval cathedrals. The more proportionate the object is, the more beautiful it is and as a result emotions are evoked within a persons "being". So building something with proportion in mind creates an unspoken, thereby symbolic, reference to the individual who is viewing it."
    Though although our consciousness is effected by the physical would I dont know if the physical world (like volcanoes) can be effected by our consciousness. And I think it is our own consciousness that makes some people think that natural events such as volcanoes are a result of wrong doing.
    But I am just guessing! But I like your debate it makes me think more!!

  • Comment number 47.

    Parr ....hello - I sent a detailed reply to you in post 44 but its not shown up yet ......do posts sometimes get lost??? It wasn't refused -I dont have an email about it and there was nothing in it to refuse anyway...any ideas anyone??

    Helio/Wedwabbit - I understand where you are coming from re kinetic energy/work joules etc ....but there is much more to it and yes consciousness does certainly come into it .....I have no doubt that we are energetic beings and energy does flow through us .... and it certainly does make a difference to your body if you kick in anger or in joy....irrespective of the joules used......its not about whether the universe cares what we do ....its the energetic laws of cause and effect ....eveything we do /say/ think has (energetic) consequences becuase of energetic laws ....not because the universe cares or judges...another way to put it is there is the energy of love and that which is not love .....post 44 would be good if it was found as i mentioned alot about love and fire being the energy of love/GOd ....I wont repeat it here and hope that the post is found .....but basically we are love,God is love, and when we make choices that are not from with and in love eg are emotional that has consequences on our body too .....to say we're clever apes is such an understatement ....and totally betrays the truth of who we are and the immense power and potential we have....I understand you are coming from a strictly science base .....but there is so much more to the human being and science is good but doesn't always have all the answers .....I don't need you to accept what I say and I know you won't ...but just consider the possibility that you are very much more than an ape or a complex biological system ....

    with love


  • Comment number 48.

    ps ...short of time or would have said more ....

    Parr - if they dont find 44 I will reply to you early next week ...i have limited access at the moment....but hopefully the post will appear without me having to repeat it ....!!

  • Comment number 49.

    Eunice - i do like to read what u write. I too believe we r much more however i do think how we interface to "this much more" is thru a
    complex biological system - so i find it very fascinating!
    Does the body generate energy?
    I do enjoy this child ish trick - i have done it covered with a glass and u can make it go clockwise or anticlockwise.
    (Its just a piece of folded paper placed on a sewing needle stuck into an eraser.)

  • Comment number 50.

    Eunice, even if what you say was correct, you are not talking about *energy*. please be precise - energy is a well defined concept; choose another word.

  • Comment number 51.

    Parr - looks like 44 lost - this will only be a brief version of it ....
    You say self-love is destructive. Parr, Parr, Parr .....the self-love you are talking about is notthe same self love I am talking about ....

    I understand that a main teaching of the christian religion is 'to love thy neighbour as thy self'

    How then is it possible to love thy neighbour if you do not love thyself first???

    Answer - it is not possible to truly love another unless you love yourself....in-truth.

    You cannot give what you do not have

    You cannot be what you are not - if you are empty of love - you cannot be love

    MOst people equate love with emotional love that is based on an unmet need within them that they expect another to fulfil ....

    True fiery love is needless - because it is needless it just serves....as Jesus did...

    Self love is not the destination it is part of the journey ....to build love in the body in order to be the presence of love/light wherever there is darkness and whatever the situation .....why would you resist that ?? and what is destructive about that???

    You are perpetuating teachings of the church etc that self love is bad....and prob goes along with we are all sinners etc ....these teachings in my view are evil - and designed to keep one from knowing the truth of who they are, to keep you separate from the love that you are, to keep you separate from your soul ....

    IT is precsiely because people do love their neighbours as themselves that humanity is in such a mess - because it is the lack of self-love, the lovelessness, the self -loathing and self hatred for oneself that leads to all the inhumanities of man against man ......for if you truly love yourself - and know who you are and who everyone else is ....these inhumane and disrespectful and dishonouring acts would not be possible.....

    Consider the possbility that you have been sold a lie ....and the very thing that you miss ....the very thing that all humans desire ...(love) ...is yourself ...your true self ....for you are love...you can of course reject, refuse or deny this ....but why on earth would you ??

    with love

  • Comment number 52.

    helio /wedwabbit - will get back to you ....is it possible that there is more to energy than is currently accepted by science??

    I have to use that word helio for I know of no other that would replace it at the moment ....

    Have a great weekend!

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi eunice, like ww, I love your posts, not because I agree, but because they are at least *fun* :-) why not use the word "wibble" to describe what you're talking about? It's not energy - why do you *want* to call it "energy"?? If not "wibble", why not "zungo"? Or "funkajuice"?

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hm, never had a 3 word (well two words and a number)comment modded before. That's some going considering the word and number were Helio 53. I can only assume it was the link to some bloke's blog that was the problem - it looked innocuous enough, though.

    Anyway, I was only saying that Eunice writes in deepities, bless her. I won't risk another link.

  • Comment number 56.

    Gorkesx - 'deepities' ????????? any definition of that word available to enlighten me????

    Helio/Wedwabbit - glad you enjoy my posts - I prob said before I don't need you to agree Helio ....and fun is great......but even if you considered a what if ???? what if that is the way it is???? NOt that I'm saying it is ....that is for each person to feel ....but just what if??

    Love your suggestions HElio - you should write a new dictionary!
    Perhaps I can say a bit more re energy and see where it goes ....
    THe other word that could be used is light .....we are energetic/light beings .....light is flowing through us all the time ....does that work better for you Helio ? Then again what is light........??? Energy.

    Perhaps you can relate to some of these experiences ...

    when you just know/feel that someone is lying to you
    when you walk in a room where people have been arguing ....and you can feel the tension, feel that all is not well.....
    when you feel someone is angry - even though they may not have opened their mouth or done anything to express anger - just their very presence is anger... or saddness or depression could be susbtituted for anger...
    when you just know that a particular course of action is the right one to take even if it is unpopular ....

    BEcause we are energetic beings we feel energy all of the time ...even if we are not aware of it ....clairsentience is the ability to feel energy clearly ....so we can feel what is going on with other people or in the environment ....eg people can feel the energy of a place - eg very heavy or light ....and because everything is interconnected....we shut this down as kids so many adults are not aware that they are feeling energy all of the time or do not recognise or honour what they feel ....our bodies are feeling all of the time ...but we overrule that as well with our thinking minds ....we have become so linear and mind orientated that we negate what the body feels/what we feel.....this is a journey for me as I totally was a 'non-feeling' person - ie I would say I can't feel, don't know what I'm feeling ...and am very much learning to recognise and honour what I'm feeling....and to trust it!!!! It is by learning to connect to our innermost....our inner heart and make choices from there, from true fiery love, that we can really serve and also bring more love and joy and harmony into own lives! Why refuse that!!!

    Have a joy-full weekend... full of wibble, zungo and funkajuice!! ;-))

    with love

  • Comment number 57.

    I think "deepity" is a great word - I don't think Dawkins was the originator though. I have a feeling it may have been Jerry Coyne, but I'm guessing :-) Another Dawkinsism that I love is "apophatuous", to describe the nonsensical dribblings of the likes of Karen Armstrong and Terry Eagleton...

  • Comment number 58.

    Since LSV was not satisfied with examples so far of religious nutcases blaming natural disasters on acts of god, let me see if I can add one that he will approve of.

    An Iranian cleric had blamed earth quakes on sexual immorality:

    "When promiscuity spreads, earthquakes increase," he said. "There is no way
    other than taking refuge in religion and adapting ourselves to Islamic

    And as LSV likes to wibbit on about science he'll be pleased to learn the claim is to be investigated experimentally. An atheist blogger decided to put the claim to the test by declaring Monday 26th boobquake day:


    Women are encouraged to participate in an experiment to test the clerics claims. Dress immodestly, show lots of cleavage or wear very short shorts. And let's see if there is an earth quake on Monday.

  • Comment number 59.

    Rather surprised Eunice that you seek a definition of deepities, after all on the present level of discussion a word can mean whatever you want it mean. This isn't a criticism, religion isn't science, and those who are familiar with my posts will know that I am all in favour of the extended capacity for individual self-expression an idiosyncratic vocabulary brings.

    If your understanding of life works for you I am very happy for you. You exhibit, however, the dangerous tendency of the enthusiast which projects its own past, its own solutions, its own experience outwards and makes of them a system of universal application, a panacea for all the world's ills. Like all enthusiasts you are quick to jump to conclusions and to judge.

    You say there has been centuries of evil teaching that "we are sinners/bad guilty and that to self-love was bad /evil etc etc and obviously you have been taught the same". Not only is that not obvious from what I wrote it is not true. I grew up in a liberal Anglican family where sin and guilt were practically unheard of concepts - I was taught nothing of the sort. I do not believe in a creator God, I do not believe in hell as anything other than a state we may experience here on earth, I do not find sin a useful notion.

    Where many would use the word sin I would speak of selfishness and by that I mean selfish actions or selfish inaction. I would ten thousand times prefer a philanthrophist who did his works of mercy for acclaim than the type of mystic whos indulged himself in self-realisation while failing to engage with the poor. As far as I am concerned love cannot be separated from action: loving is something one does, love is what we do and only what we do makes us what we are.

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi Eunice - I liked ur talk about light. Light is actually confusing for me.I have heard others say that we r light. Yet to me I think if our universe (including our own personal worlds) can be thought of as information and we visually process our surroundings thru light (via a complex biological system (neuroscience and all that). Yet i think light is just one information highway(frequency) that we are built to process. I am coming round to the notion more that the universe is made up of many different types of information relayed in certain frequenies (energy) that we have been built to process. No need to teach a seed to grow and all that..
    But tomorrow i might wake up and think something completely different!!
    Too funny about the boobquake day!!

  • Comment number 61.

    I'm just thinking that boobquake day is a bit sexist, after all, we don't want the guys to be left out. Maybe they should dress immodestly too? :-)

  • Comment number 62.

    Well, not *all* the guys would be left out - after all, some are not exactly toned... ;-)

  • Comment number 63.

    Parr - my apologies - you are right ....when you said .......*I consider self-love, self-affirmation, self-honouring, self-anything indeed to be negative and potentially destructive behaviours. * in combination with your Christian beliefs I did jump to conclusions and assume that you had at some stage in your life as a Christian been told that human beings are sinners/bad/guilty etc and that self-love is destructive ......as I know many Christians have been told the latter.....and it was incorrect of me to make such links/judgments.....and was done in haste for it is not my intention to be judgmental.
    As for being an enthusiast - well I suppose you could say I am a big fan of God and feel he gets a bit of a bad rep. and blamed for doing things that aren't really his fault.....and yes I have lived a particular journey that included the 'hell' on earth experiences and have emerged from all of that with a very different understanding of life, of God, of myself and others.....and all of that has been transformational......so part of my sharing is to offer what I have learned that others may also escape their prisons .....on the understanding that they are totally free to reject/refuse/ignore/ etc anything I say ......and equally should it resonate or interest them that they are also free to enquire/explore/discuss etc further . They are also not all my own solutions or understandings but a combination of lived experience and study of the world's major religions, Ageless Wisdom and esoteric teachings and more. I am not dangerous (although I appreciate you only have my word to go on for that) and I do not consider what I write on here to be dangerous (and of course I would think that!) as it is based on the understandings of love.....and the love that I am talking about is not dangerous......but I am also aware that I am learning and unfolding in the living of that journey all the time myself ....and not just having the words or the knowledge but putting it into practice in everything I think ,say and do .....which is a challenge!!! and I do make errors and mistakes as I did in jumping to conclusions with yourself as mentioned above.
    For me being comes before doing ......and what we do can be done in different states of being or energetic states of being .....eg I can DO the same action with anger or resentment or love or joy .....with the latter being different energetic states of being. For me our true/natural energetic state of being is love/joy and true service is when we DO things with, from and in that love/joy rather than other emotional states .

    You say that *only what we do makes us what we are.* ......I would disagree with that .....for then people are defined and identified by their job/profession etc (which many people are .....and then face significant difficulties when they retire or lose their job and realise they are not what they do.....but then dont know who they are)....and for me it's not so much what we do but HOW we do it ......do we do it with love/joy/playfulness or with anger/resentment etc For me, who we are comes first .....but the problem as I see it is that most people do not know who they are and do not live from the understanding of who they are.....and even if we do know who we are we have all the aeons of living in separation to that to undo, that it is not as easy to live in practice as the words portray. The love in action, the doing with in and from love, for me is facilitated and emerges from the understanding of knowing that we are love in the first place.

  • Comment number 64.

    hi Wedwabbit - do you think it all (the universe) could be light but just different vibrations/frequencies of light?
    (Oh no Helio will be on my case for using the word 'vibration'!) eg could it be the light that is love and the light that is not love - the latter being harming to the human energy system.....??

  • Comment number 65.

    Hi Eunice,
    Yes, I would be on your case. The word "light" has many usages in the English language, but when you talk about "light" in physics you are talking about a specific range of the electromagnetic spectrum (often we will include the near infra-red and UV as "light"). But "harming the human energy system" is, I fear, meaningless.

    Like I said, don't use the word "energy" - use "wibble" instead. And for "light" you can use "fuggle". Probably steer clear of "vibrations" altogether (this is a family blog).

    It always helps to be precise :-)

  • Comment number 66.

    Grokesx - I finally found out re deepities ....thank you..... 'profound but intellectually hollow' .....you are too generous for sure .....in that as I see it what I offer is not profound but very simple ......and indeed it is not based on the hollowness/emptiness of the mind/intellect but on the fullness of the heart.....see another deepity for you to play with ! :-))

    Helio - I love the words you come up with .....but not enough to substitute them for the real thing......I totally get that from your world view/paradigm of thinking/understanding what I am saying may sound like gobbledegook......and unscientific nonsense......and that's fine.....I use to think God was just a figment of people's imaginations, a crutch to help them face life .....and I had nothing to do with any of it and totally poo-pooed any sort of complementary or alternative healing speak of energies, vibrations and auras etc ......but medicine /science do not have all the answers as yet.....and perhaps they can learn from other disciplines to consider other possibilities ......there are more ways to know things than through scientific endeavour.....so when I say harming the human energy system I know that that is not meaningless even if you think it is! :-)
    As for light - keep your eyes open and you will see that some people appear to be lighter/have more light than others by their radiance or their eyes......you never know, one day you might see an aura - then where would you be???!! :-)

  • Comment number 67.

    Eunice, as I keep saying, the words "energy" and "light" are really words with *scientific* meaning. Whatever the blazes you are talking about has nothing to do with *energy* or *light* - they quite definitely DO belong to my paradigm, and I suggest that you are misappropriating them and using them in a very wrong manner. Please do not do this.

    So let's see if we can fix this:

    when I say harming the human wibble system I know that that is not meaningless even if you think it is! :-)

    That's better. Now this:

    As for fuggle - keep your eyes open and you will see that some people appear to be fuggler/have more fuggle than others by their radiance or their eyes......you never know, one day you might see an fugglaura - then where would you be???!! :-)

    Hope that helps!

  • Comment number 68.

    Returning to the original subject of this thread, pastor John Hagee thinks the volcanic eruption in Iceland is the result of Britain breaking gods covenant:


  • Comment number 69.

    The Icelandic volcano has become a General Election issue for John Manwell (Christian Peoples Alliance candidate for Liverpool Walton), who suggested that the volcano erupted as a sign of God's displeasure at rampant secularism in our whole political system:


  • Comment number 70.

    Helio - it helps to entertain me! :-)
    You have previously agreed i think that matter and energy are interconvertible and that ultimately everything is energy .....(no doubt you will correct me if I have misunderstood your position and I apologise if I have )......so if everything is energy - we are energetic beings ......everything is /has energy - even the words you write on here ......Will and Chris were talking about language being important .....but even more important is the energy that the person is in when they write it .....eg anger/frustration/rage or stillness/centredness etc as those who can feel energy clearly (and I am not one) can feel the energy behind the words/the words are written in ......so whilst I totally understand where you are coming from - I am not able to use different words because it is all energy .....and I mentioned elsewhere - it is the energetic truth that is unifying and universal as it is not based on someone's opinion/belief or conception ......but on the energy! So if anything - you should welcome this because it is based on a scientific fact that all is energy and actually does make a lot of sense to those of us who need reason/logic etc to be fulfilled. Try it ....you might just love it!! :-))

  • Comment number 71.

    A methodist minister in Wales has an interesting perspective on this - he sees the volcano as God's judgement, but in a restorative rather than a retributive sense. He argues that the volcano may have had positive effects eg no planes flying so less noise:

  • Comment number 72.

    Eunice, I am being VERY explicit - you *cannot* use the word "energy" to describe anger and stillness and the warm fuzzies and all that cabbage because those words attach to completely different concepts.

    Category error. Kindly use the terminology I have described above (or some other that you may define), and we can have a meaningful conversation about these things. But if you insist on being sloppy and imprecise, anything you say degenerates into meaningless twaddle. "Energy" and "light" have very specific meanings. It is very disrespectful to pretend you can slide all over the shop and change your meanings at will, as some sort of protection mechanism for intellectual laziness. It does not work. Please pick up your game!


  • Comment number 73.

    Eunice - thank you for your reply and your reconsideration of your earlier response - appreciated!

    Let me elaborate on a couple of points. First "we are what we do" - I meant this on an ethical rather than an occupational level. Not all nurses experience life as heaven and, I suppose, not all accountants and bankers experience it as hell (after all there is no justice in the world). If we become too concerned with self-realisation and the understanding of our motivations we face paralysis and many might use the imperfections of their state of being as an excuse for inaction when there is in fact no excuse - for the Christian the moral life is an absolute imperative.

    We do not have to know love or to be love in order to offer it to others, love is a case where we can give away something we do not ourselves possess - many broken people who ache inside nonetheless bring real and powerful love into the lives of others.

    One of the things I considered dangerous in your post was that you could cause such shining souls to doubt further their own worth or to question the value and success of their ministry. There is surely no greater love than to give selflessly to others that which you do not know confidently that you possess yourself.

    That brings me to my second point. In posts # 44 and 51 - you suggest love your neighbour as yourself is a "main teaching" of the Christian religion - this is not, strictly speaking, correct. Jesus speaks this commandment purely as the second part of a two-part summary of the Torah of Moses and the whole moral thrust of the Hebrew Bible. To love God with all your heart and to love your neighbour as yourself, He was saying, is what is required of an observant Jew. Jesus, however, ups the ante for His followers. The New Commandment of Maundy Thursday goes a lot further than loving your neighbour as yourself. Jesus says "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another". The Christian is to love selflessly.

  • Comment number 74.

    Helio - relax, if you think what I write is meaningless twaddle then so be it - that is your choice. I know it is not - it is very real. Energy of anger is not a concept - it is real - feel it for yourself the next time you are angry /frustrated etc eg when I keep using the word energy!! :-) And in case you never get angry - feel it in other people when they are angry - it definitely is an energy. The body feels everything, lives everything ....all our choices and their consequences. Physical illness and disease occurs at the energetic level before it is matter/physical and is a consequence of our long term choices to self-disregard/be emotional and not live according to the truth of our true nature. :-)

  • Comment number 75.

    Parr - thanks for your elaboration. You ethical 'we are what we do' feels quite similar to my "not what we do but how we do it" ?? I take your point about 'paralysis' as that could be possible - the inaction until 'I really get there' ....but for me its about doing the best I can in any given moment, whilst also unfolding and evolving - both /and not either/or.

    Re *One of the things I considered dangerous in your post was that you could cause such shining souls to doubt further their own worth or to question the value and success of their ministry. There is surely no greater love than to give selflessly to others that which you do not know confidently that you possess yourself.*

    Parr my intention here is to do the opposite! To empower people - to know that whatever they may think or feel about themselves they do have and they are already love.....that they are so much more than the usual limited views we have of ourselves.....to help them know how shining and magnificent they truly are - no matter what life story or experiences they may have had. What if all those shining souls knew without doubt that they did possess that love for themselves?? Would that not strengthen and empower them even or especially when times were tough??

    Re: Selfless love - I agree we are to love selflessly and that true love is selfless and needless. I suspect we may differ on a more detailed understanding of what love is as to my understanding we cannot give that which we do not have in ourselves ....but everyone has this love within themselves whether they feel it or not ......because we are made from, with and in love ......but we also have the responsibility and free will to choose love in our thoughts, words and deeds .....or to choose that which is not love and emotional.
    When people know that they are love and that the kingdom of God is within - then they can realise that there is nowhere to go, nothing to do BUT to serve in and with that love .....that does not need for itself.....and because it does not need it is truly selfless as Jesus was. The impulse of love is to serve and comes from within. I make a distinction between selfless love that comes from the fullness of love itself and selfless love that comes from an emptiness/an outside order/the desire to please/to be seen to be good etc Not easy I appreciate and it is a journey for all of us - but when you know that what is inside you is pure love and joy -you begin to wonder why we make it so hard for ourselves!

  • Comment number 76.

    Eunice - thank-you for your reply and explication. I suspect, while we might use different language and disagree on some fundamentals, the practical out-workings of our understandings might not be too different.

  • Comment number 77.

    Yup. All feathers and no chicken.

  • Comment number 78.

    Helio - horses for courses - if, for example, you're going to stuff a pillow 'all feathers and no chicken' is just what you need.

    On a more general note, I was reading some of Cardinal Schönborn's sermons over the weekend and was struck by his entirely science-affirming approach to natural disasters. It is important to record that very many main-stream Christians have no truck whatsoever with the 'divine judgement' understanding of spectacular geophysical phenomena.

    I think, in the context of the thread it is worth posting the following brief quotation:

    "Recent events have made us realize again how violent and destructive "nature" can be. Earthquakes like the one that occurred off the coast of Indonesia on December 26, 2004 can cause tremendous destruction in a very short time. I read in a scientific report that it was a 9 on the Richter scale and had the power of 23,000 atom bombs.

    But powerful as this movement of the continental plates was, the planet earth, our home in the universe, hardly took notice of it. The rotation of the earth was slowed down by only 2 millionths of a second. Terrible as the consequences were of the tsunami that was set off by the underwater earthquake, this kind of earthquake activity follows from something that is indispensable for life on our planet. Without the mobility of the plates that form the crust of the earth there would be no life on earth. Experts say that this mobility is one of the conditions for the earth acquiring a stable average temperature, without which there could have been no evolution of life...

    So we arrive at a paradox: what causes the earthquakes and again and again leads to many deaths is at the same time one of the conditions for us existing on earth along with all the complex forms of life

  • Comment number 79.

    Indeed. All of which raises the question as to why we need a god at all.

  • Comment number 80.

    Parrhasios - i like your cardinal Schönborn's quote!
    and Helios i enjoyed your new lingo! And Eunice I dont know if this will help u out - but since we are talking about volcanoes,universe, energy exchange,cardinal schoborn - i'd like to bring in

    The fundamental frequency in the Universe is the Ryhsmonic (aetheric) frequency f* which is equal to 1/T* or 1/5.391 x 10-44 sec. which is about 1.855 x 1043 Hz.
    Interaction with this fundamental frequency under resonance conditions should result in an exchange of energy, i.e., energy extraction. Some possible resonances are now considered, with remarks on possible confirmation: without reference to powers (fundamental to operating frequency ratios) the basic frequencies are now listed:
    Frequency Remarks

    1) 1.855 Hz This is a Schuman resonance and is also seen in Rysmonic
    GW resonance (÷ 2 Hz).

    2) 3.710 Hz This is also seen in Schuman.

    3) 7.42 Hz This is also seen in Schuman as a more pronounced

    4) 3.710 KHz These frequencies were seen in the coil tests (Cosmology Note 3/16/96)
    9.275 KHz
    18.550 KHz Also, many of these frequencies were seen in
    24.115 KHz MRA tests, especially in Mini-MRA tests.
    33.390 KHz
    46.375 KHz Note: All the frequencies listed here cannot be just
    68.635 KHz mere coincidence!
    77.910 KHz
    89.040 KHz Note: The ratios of these nos. to 3.71 are 2.5, 5, 6.5,
    9, 12.5, 18.5, 21, 24, 35
    124.850 KHz


    These tests appear to indicate that sub-harmonic resonances with the fundamental rhysmonic frequency of 1.855 x 10 43 Hz do result in the extraction of some energy from the intrinsic energy of this Universe!" taken from [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    I'm not a phys - is -ist actually i just came across this site by accident it must have been the cardinal Schönborn's and the schuman link!
    Maybe we could invent a hat that when we were happy and resonnated with the universe we would give off white light and when we were angery and resonnated with the universe we would give of a darker light!! We could dragon den it!!

  • Comment number 81.

    Helio - once God is known you realise its not about what God can do for us ....but what we can do for God...as testified by all those great masters who have served on behalf of God....that said, why would you/why do you choose to reject the greatest source of love and joy there is?? and its free!! for nothing in the external world can top that....no amount of money, success, achievement, relationship, intellectual debate, prizes/medals/awards/degrees... nothing is greater than that which is contained within you.
    with love

  • Comment number 82.

    Hi Wedwabbit, thanks for the info....re the dragon den idea - God beat you to it .....as our 'light' /energy does change with our emotional states of being - we're just not aware of it .....but some people can clearly detect this!

  • Comment number 83.

    It's a wrap. My work here is done :-)

  • Comment number 84.

    Helio - I may be all feathers and no chicken - but now you are just chicken!! :-)
    So I'll ask it again;
    why would you/why do you choose to reject the greatest source of love and joy there is??

    with love

  • Comment number 85.

    Who said I rejected the greatest source of love and joy that there is? That would hardly be sensible! They don't call me Happy Helio for nothing, you know! :-)

  • Comment number 86.

    See Helio - you are at one with God afterall - you just don't know it!!
    love E

  • Comment number 87.

    Oh, I know it, but I use a much more appropriate word that is less likely to cause confusion :-)

  • Comment number 88.

    Helio - do you feel to enlighten us with your 'word'? In the beginning was the word .....according to Helio.... :-)

    I understand that approach but question it also ....is it not just adding to the confusion and perpetual bastardisation of truth re God if everyone keeps introducing new words to relate/describe/define what God is ??....if you know it ...then why not educate/enlighten others re your knowing that they may come to know it also (if they wish to....no preaching) ... the confusion is due to human error/separation not anything God did or didn't do ....so why not call God - God and dissolve the confusion by your ways of living and being....that others may then know God also...and we all sing from the same sheet! I know that is very far off given the current world we live in but got to start somewhere.....pandering to ignorance does not feel like the place to start to me....:-)

  • Comment number 89.

    It appears to me there is some inconsistency in how W&T treats this issue and the gospel of Christ.

    On the one hand this blog affirms and applauds the saving faith of Derick Bingham, explicitly affirming that he had gone "home to be with Jesus" etc.

    To me personally, I find this affirmation very welcome and perhaps a reflection on the very real faith at the heart of W&T.

    So we have this Christ of the gospels, resurrected and alive and well able to save the eternal soul of Derick Bingham.

    But then.... we also have the Christ of the same gospels speak of the historicity of such judgements as Sodom and the flood, warning of worse for Chorazin and Bethsaida... warning Jerusalem of its judgement for rejecting its Messiah....and warning of the many judgements for man in the future ie as seen in the gospels and the Revelation of St John.

    What just *seems* like a very jarring incosistency to me is the way W&T appears to affirm the actual saving faith in Christ of Derick Bingham...but then appears to mock the idea that this same Christ might have any hand in judgements in the very type of judgements that he said God would bring in future.

    (I am not saying this particular eruption had a specifically divine purpose; but then it also seems dangerously presumptious to me for anyone who believes in a God of purity and justice to mock that such a God would never dream of direct mass intervention in a world were injustice and evil so often prevail????)

    On the face of it there appears to be a very real intellectual confusion on this matter Will.

    Maybe you would unpack this issue for us some time perhaps?

    AT the end of the recent BBC documentary Will said he was not sure what he believed and he was portrayed as not sure which direction he was walking in.

    However I am very careful about confusing media portrayal of individuals with what they actually believe.....

    Might it be that there actually is a real honest intellectual conflict here??? No shame in that at all of course, I am just trying to pull the apparent mixed messages together.

    Best regards

    PS When I read about foretold judgements on earth in the New Testament, I always have CS Lewis' words ringing in my ears,

    "But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." --C.S. Lewis

    It sort of reminds me of the judgements suffered by the prodigal son, which would make us by analogy a prodigal world. And that would make God the father, the earthly father running out with tears to welcome the son he thought was dead....

  • Comment number 90.

    Eunice, I thought it was clear enough by this stage that in the beginning was the word, and the word was "mathematics". Much more satisfying than "pixie", don't you think? And much more beautiful and love-filled.

    Actually, OT has a bit of a point here - the jarring inconsistency is of course in the fact that a lot of people get consolation from the Christian story, but nevertheless the Christian story is not actually *true*. Jesus was not the son of god; he did not rise from the dead, and he's probably still crumbling under some rock near Capernaum, if he ever existed at all (and I think he probably did).

    But the story, to work, does not have to be true, any more than Star Trek has to be true for Trekkies to have a good time and dress up as Lieutenant Uhuru.

    Incidentally, has anyone read "The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ" by Philip Pullman? It is a most excellent book - I have blogged a review on Answers in Genes. Peter M astutely observed that the story of Jesus (in the book) is explicitly about spin - spin from a source that you never quite can explicitly say is *evil*, but nonetheless has as its objective the construction of the monstrosity that will become "The Church" (and recent months have revealed plenty about that).

    Will, you should get that Philip Pullman Johnny on your broadcastarooney on the wirelessamajig. He's a good egg.

  • Comment number 91.

    Helio, Helio ...mathematics is love-filled????????? what exactly about mathematics is love-filled?? Oh you divine square root, oh you glorious pie (will if it was apple...maybe), Oh you beautiful equation how my heart doth flutter when I behold thee, Oh you shining multiplication, I am filled with love for you my darling calculus???? You need to get out more dear Helio!

    Re the Jesus story - historically I never bought into the ' Jesus is the only son of God' line ....however, he is A son of God and we are all equal sons of God like him ....we all have the same potential....difference is he knew who he was (son of God) claimed it and lived it and we don't (and a bit more besides) ...the problem with story and the bible is that in my view there is both truth, wisdom and folly contained in it ...and it is for each person to discern what is Truth and what is not ....by weighing it up in our own hearts.... be a lamp unto your self (buddha) and perhaps accessing other wisdom teachings etc....so in my view we save ourselves by understanding who we are and living from that truth in all our choices ....Jesus exemplified the way but we have to live it for ourselves ....just saying Jesus saves doesn't do it.
    OT - for me God is love and love understands all and knows the errors that we make and loves us all the same , love does not punish nor judge, nor intervene to cause mass destruction but we suffer the consequences of our own loveless choices that we have been making over aeons and aeons.....choices that have been made in separation to God/love.

  • Comment number 92.

    "I thought it was clear enough by this stage that in the beginning was the word, and the word was "mathematics"."

    Actually H

    "In the beginning was the Logic, and the Logic was with God and the Logic was God." - Gordon H Clark

    Right enough, I rather think that is much more satisfying than pixie.

  • Comment number 93.


    "....just saying Jesus saves doesn't do it."

    But what do you think 'saves' means?

    I mean 'Shalom', and that just might, 'do it'.


  • Comment number 94.

    PeterM ....there are different understandings re what 'saves' means - one understanding is that one is 'saved' from or free from the emotional reactions/stresses and strains that most people experience in life and experiences love, joy, harmony (freedom) on a daily basis and is able to remain centred in the truth of who they are and live from there no matter what is going on in the outer world .....

  • Comment number 95.

    Jesus saves with the PMS?

    Pete, the problem is that if god is logic and logic is god, there is no longer any need for the word "god", and mathematics and logic do the job quite nicely. Eunice, you have presumably never beheld the Mandelbrot set...

  • Comment number 96.

    You are correct Helio ......I have never beheld the Mandelbrot set ---- obviously I need to get out more ..........

  • Comment number 97.


    Not quite sure where you're going with this, but perhaps if we're happy that the personality of our three year old's giggle (you know, the one that breaks our heart) is an equation, then maybe you're right.

    But then we'd need to know exactly which other words we're going to do away with as well.

    I mean, The #FFFF00 Brick Road doesn't have quite the same ring to it. And as for my, #C82536 Slippers, well, I don't know, and, inspite of the (what shall I say) mess of the rewritten PCI hymnbook, I can't see that we'll ever have to sing, "Are you washed in the #660000?"


  • Comment number 98.

    Hi Peter, systems have different characteristics and useful descriptors at different levels, yet higher order behaviours emerge from the levels below, and do not require external complicators. I can't help that - it's the way things work. Eunice, clearly you *do* need to get out more. Life is so much more fun than the boring world of cabbage :-£

  • Comment number 99.

    Helio - you are the cabbage expert :-)

    And I have all the fun and joy without going anywhere.....and I take it with me when I do go out...... :-))

  • Comment number 100.



    I particularly like the icy frosty frozeny patterns. Do a random search for 'fractal', or 'frozen ice + fractal' and check out the piccies. (not pixies!) There are better examples available than the one on the wiki link. Helio is *right* about their beauty. (He's *wrong*, tho, about the other bit!! :-)


    So it's an equation?


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