THE UNSEEN FACE

THE UNSEEN FACE

Intimations of Deity for the 21st Century

I.

That Attentive Presence

The name is not the thing.

At some early stage in human development, our minds discover ultimate importance. This moment may be a fleeting glimpse or it may be a life changing epiphany. I think that on some developmental level all conscious, sentient, intelligent minds acquire an intuitive knowledge of an attentive presence, looming in the larger reality we inhabit and nesting within our very being. We experience first contact, a glimpse of what some call deity, what others call reality’s spiritual essence and others decline to name; we experience this with a combined sense of intimacy and awe. Until this experience is rationalized, explained away, or simply forgotten, it is automatically registered as real, because the experience is self-validating, much as information packets carried on the web carry a validation tag.

The word numinous is often used to describe the exalted level of experience of our ultimate encounters. Another word for this realm, sometimes misused, is holy.

Some of the most authentic human spiritual traditions simply refuse to name the source behind or within the numinous because all merely human names limit, confine and divide. Others simply use Zen-like negative descriptions to dispel the cloud of language that occults our apprehension of the ultimate experience itself. For purposes of this short discussion, I need to depart from that wisdom. With the understanding that “the name is not the thing,” I will be using the term ultimate source.

So what about the “God” controversy? Let’s leave aside all of the intellectual arguments and reservations about “God’s existence”, omnipotence and omniscience. The most persistent and vexing of the “God problems” have come about when someone took the core experience of the presence and tried to use it to erect a detailed authority structure. When some religious minds filled in the blanks by attributing a vast, detailed control of our experiences to deity-as-micro-manager, centuries of religious struggle and millions of weary atheists were spawned. I wish to put the control issue on the sidelines and invite us to return to examine that first raw intuition. I believe the awe inspiring sense of benign presence is the core insight permitted to any awake, healthy conscious being. In the current century, we need to face the likelihood that this experience is an authentic glimpse of reality.

We needn’t approach this subject in a vacuum. Over several millennia, huge numbers of accounts have accumulated from those who have shared this “first contact” experience and a rough consensus has emerged. There is approximate agreement of description, sufficient that reasonable minds can agree that essentially the same experience is being described. Of equal significance, there is a rough agreement as to the meaning of the encounter, at least among: (a) those who are willing to credit the witnesses and (b) those who find human existence to be meaningful as opposed to absurd or arbitrary. Allowing for differences in language and cultural expression, there appear to be several characteristics that are shared by that named or unnamed entity, principle, being, or “beingness”, the ultimate source of the numinous, the essential reality I am provisionally calling the ultimate source. They are:

A profound intimation of the unity of being;
A common source of all enduring significance;
A common locus of the numinous level of reality;
A common ground of all being; and
A common fountainhead of creation.

Having introduced the topic of creation, I should make an important side-comment about the ongoing creative tendency we observe in nature. Most religions seem to have marginalized or rejected the understanding of creation as an ongoing process. In the most extreme cases, some religions deny ongoing creation by rejecting evidence of biological evolution, while equally extreme secularists deny the reality or significance ongoing creation by rejecting evidence of a long term progressive evolutionary tendency in favor of chance. Yet I find the fact of ongoing creation in the universe to be a fact worthy of deeper explanation, one central to human esthetics, science, ethics and spirituality. Why the profound centrality of creation in an unfolding universe seems to have eluded many religionists and anti-religionists alike is an interesting topic in its own right.

We can dare to recognize that what we are calling ultimate source is something objectively real, i.e., that this otherwise unnamed ultimate represents a deep reality that prevails “outside our heads.” If faith is defined as the willingness to believe without absolute evidence, then of course this is a faith stance. But in this same sense, all fruitful social interaction requires faith, because our belief in the reality, value and normative significance of other feeling, thinking beings is also a faith stance. The faith stance that the ultimate source is not an illusion, not a mere mental construct is a reasonable one. Reasonable faith is its own reward.

On the larger stage, there are at least five aspects of our reality that otherwise defy any narrowly mechanical, materialist explanation. I believe they can be linked to a common source:

The emergent, controlling order in this unfolding universe;
The emergent, innovative form in this unfolding universe;
The emergence of all conscious being in this unfolding universe;
The emergence of all unity and integration in this unfolding universe; and
The emergence of all diversity and variety in this unfolding universe.

In drawing these connections, I’m not making an argument from logic so much as an assertion borne of experience and necessity. In the final analysis, I have simply concluded, as many others have, that there is no real alternative to ultimate source, save the absurd. In other words, the case for the deep reality and profound significance of the numinous and its ultimate source is radically simple. We choose to reject the absurd in favor of the ultimate. Similarly, the understanding that this source is linked to order, innovation, conscious being, unity, and variety in the world is deeply consistent with the reports, our deepest intuition, guided as it is by a bias in favor of unity of explanation and the rejection of the absurd.

But his is no academic exercise. From just the third listed aspect (the common ultimate source of all conscious being), we can readily draw a serious and wide reaching ethical implication, that of an optimal mutual respect relationship between all conscious beings. [For now, I will leave aside the other important questions of theology, questions that include the matter of the extent and nature of the ultimate source’s influence in the world and the exact nature of that relationship with us, indeed of the personal, transpersonal, interpersonal or impersonal nature of the source.]

For now I need to address an apparent contradiction. There are two divisions of reality into which philosophical thinkers seem to have assigned all things cognizable, crudely the material and the non-material. The five listed facets of reality “show” differently within each framework. In erecting separate frameworks for the physical/material and the non-physical/non-material, some philosophers have alternately announced the supremacy or greater authenticity of one over the other.

Within either framework, the five (controlling order, innovative form, conscious being, unity/integration, and diversity/variety) remain unnecessarily mysterious, even arbitrary. This is because each frame of reference is a reality filter.

For the mind fully centered in the physical/material, the filter is experience. Using this filter, all five aspects of ultimate source can seem arbitrary events, partly governed by natural “law”, partly by chance, a combination of the two, or even “outside” intervention.

For the mind fully centered in the non-physical/material, the filter is meaning. Using this filter, the mind expects reality to reflect meaningful, hierarchical, deterministic order, an ultimately harmonic state. But our lot in the space-time bounded physical world seems to be one of ongoing conflict. Harmony perpetually eludes us in our experiences of the “mere” physical life. Seen through this filter, the world appears broken. And creation is just another disturbance.

But, as I have just described them, these notions of a reality divided are the product of thinking through metaphysical filters. Each view is radically artificial. I am deeply persuaded that ultimate reality is actually seamlessly and fully integrated.

The integrity principle, defined as the necessary implication of ultimate unity, is an essential cognitive tool. This principle can be seen as the deeper legacy of monotheism and the natural extension of the faith stance of the entire human scientific enterprise. Both seek ultimate unity of explanation and reject the arbitrary disunities.

By adopting the fully integrated view, the physical/material and non-physical/material become aspects (sub-domains) of one reality; and their differences become artifacts of our frame of reference-distortions. This integration replaces their reciprocal mutual antagonism with a reciprocal integration. They are no longer independent “realms”, but sub-domains within a larger realm

The essential unity between physical and non-physical is evident when we are able to see all reality as essentially relational in character. [I return to this idea of a comprehensive relational reality briefly in the next section, and I’ve attempted a fuller explanation of this notion in longer work.] Pending that explanation, I need to stress three points at this stage: (1) When the mind is fixed in either sub-domain, material or not, the status of creation (especially ongoing creation) becomes problematic; (2) this problem is resolved when we find the origin of creative innovation in the dynamic between these sub-domains and the larger, overarching realm of relational reality; (3) this dynamic has important implications for the capacity of the conscious mind to directly access the ultimate.

The deeply integrated view of reality allows us to see that all potential creative innovations, forms, and ordering relations are fully encoded in the larger reality, embedded deep in the warp and woof of relationality, in effect, contained within the infinite storage capacity outside space-time. We then become able to understand creation as the communication between the domain of the relational non-material and that of the space-time bound material. In effect, creation is a message from the ultimate source.

But there is more. We know that the mind itself is an agent of creative innovation, one whose cumulative accomplishments have far outstripped the innovation rate of biological evolution. This is because intelligent consciousness is a venue of ongoing creation, the locus where the two domains meet. In fact, consciousness is the bridge state between the sub-domains of the material/physical and the non-material/physical. After all, what is the mass and location of an idea, an inspiration, algorithm, or an information set of any kind? In this century, more than any prior time, we are acutely aware that non-material ideas, inspirations, algorithms and information sets produce material effects.

Ultimately, the fully integrated view of reality is heuristic. It makes something clear to us that no other epistemological stance adequately does: The fruitful interaction of the material and non-material aspects of reality within human experience and cognition generates multi-level knowledge; it is the source of our creative inspiration, our esthetic and ethical insight, and our scientific understanding. Therefore, if we are to seek knowledge and wisdom, we dare not deny nor marginalize either domain, nor ignore their deep interrelationships within the larger reality. To deny this is self-disabling.

And we may not ignore nor deny the evidence of the numinous that is presented directly to our minds. That denial is less apostasy, than it is self-inflicted blindness.

II.

The Four Spiritual Modalities

As conscious beings, I believe we are inherently capable of discovering aspects of the universal via intra-cognitive means. Put another way, we are already equipped to detect universals by virtue of the inner structure of our minds’ “operating systems.” This detection process is necessarily a collaborative effort, the result of the multi-generational development of our thinking systems (reason, mathematics), communication systems, and our access to the shared memory of civilization’s accomplishments (and errors). We continue to train our internal cognitive faculties and refine our capacity for insight by sharing and comparing our intra-cognitive discoveries with others. In this way, over several millennia, four major spiritual modalities have emerged. [And a fifth (discussed below) is presently emerging.]

The context for these developments is our species’ discovery of the universal (reality aspects) within the individual conscious field. It is just this property of conscious intelligence that reveals the bankruptcy of comprehensive materialism (nature and creatures as machine entities). In the course of the human story, conscious experience has always been the central mystery and the source of our creative accomplishments.

As conscious creatures, we uniquely witness the reality of our conscious states, both in our own minds and in others, yet we find consciousness inexplicable in terms of the merely mechanical-physical. Intuitively we know that a larger understanding is needed, one that connects the realms of physical reality and non-physical reality. In a separate discussion, I have attempted to account how, in principle, the venue of physical reality, space-time existence, can be fully described in relational terms. There are relationship sets of space and time (extension-separation and duration-sequence), as well as certain other relational sets; these relations “carve out” the realm of space-time from the rest of relational reality and allow events to occur in space-time. I have concluded that the relational reality account is sufficient –without adding ultimate “stuff”– to fully describe the physical universe. This conception allows the two realms of reality (physical/non-physical) to be integrated as “phase related” domains of a unified reality. Such a comprehensively integrated reality should not be thought of as material or non material, but as a supreme domain that is ultimately relational in character and essence. And, just as consciousness itself is, in a limited way, self referential, comprehensively integrated reality is also self referential, but in an unlimited way. It consists of the totality of all relationships, potential, realized, past, present, future, within and outside space-time.

Relational context is a feature of all reality aspects that we are capable of apprehending. I propose that relational context is an inextricable part of the warp and woof of all reality, such that no isolated feature of reality can be adequately or accurately described or characterized without including it. This proposal has far reaching implications, because context is an existent in a special and necessary relationship to conscious existence. So the integration of context as a feature of all reality requires us to entertain the existence of archetypal or latent consciousness as an omnipresent referent. Conscious experience, (which necessarily exists –partly- in both physical and non-physical reality), cannot be adequately understood outside the context provided by the archetypal or meta-conscious being which bridges the two domains or phases of reality.

This brings us to the implications of the various meta-relational elements of reality discovered in conscious experience. They are universals that reflect deep aspects of the larger reality. Aspects of these insights have been intuitively recognized for millennia (whether explicit or implicit), and have found expression in some forms within at least four major spiritual modalities, each of which belong to major religious traditions.

Their key general and/or distinguishing features are identified as follows:

  1. The Hindu Model. The local “I-Am” (Atman) is identified with the universal “I-Am” (Brahman). At this level of insight, meta-being is seen as less “I” more “am”, hence its earliest description as the “ground” of being.

  2. The Buddhist Model. Contact with the universal “ground of being” (through “self-negating” meditative introspection) yields not only peace but universal compassion. The attendant ethical implications are authentic, but most often expressed in passive terms.

  3. The Moses Model. The universal ground of being (“I am,” more stress on “I” than in the impersonal “am” of the first two models) is seen as the Creator, a being separate from the created, and therefore capable of the “I-God” relationship. Individual and deity are seen as perfect model and imperfect copy. This yields the possibility (and obligation) of dialogue between human and creator, and to the resulting knowledge of moral law (as captured in the Torah).

  4. The Christ Model. Following Jesus’ example, the deity-human dialogue is individual rather than ecclesiastically mediated, and the moral law — focused on the core principle of love of creator and others — is universalized, taking it far beyond tribal application. The Torah law yields a doctrine of transforming love (seen as deity’s core message within the law). This leads to active moral engagement-in-the-world. The Christ-Jesus event carries the message further, yielding rebirth-in-the-world, and the hope of transcendence after.

III.

The Fifth Way

It seems apparent that the following “deep” problems of human existence are so intimately related that they are instances of the same underlying universal schema:

· The mystery of the emergence of our consciousness from the processes of “material” reality; and the mystery of our intuitive sense (acquired as conscious beings) of special access to the realm of non-material form.

· The evolutionary emergence of increasingly viable, layered and self directed forms of organization within the physical environment, and the relationship of their design-forms and developmental pathways to the realm of non-material form.

· The emergence of purpose within the physical universe carried or propounded by conscious life forms, and its connection with the realm of non-material form.

For the materialist mind, all the order and form that emerges within the material realm can be seen as somehow physically encoded, producing a pre-existent bias within the storm of matter and energy in the space-time continuum. My reference to a realm of “non-material form” reveals a reconstructed Platonist world view. This view is developed more completely elsewhere, but I believe that the underling universal schema is an ontological realm of pure relationship, only partly expressed in space-time. This ultimate realm holds all form, pattern and design, whether extant, latent, or potential, a source so great that it remains beyond full expression within space-time constraints. It is a quasi-Platonic level of reality, exceeding the classic model by virtue of its truly infinite information storage, and exceeding any physical/materialist model for the same reason. The information storage capacity of relational reality is utterly without limit.

In short, I am proposing that an infinite reservoir of form exists as relational reality; that what we perceive as the material and non-material are just sub-domains of relational reality. This reservoir pre-existed (and presaged) the current space-time bounded universe and will survive the end of this one. I believe this view will gradually take hold in the current century. As this happens, I predict that this century’s religions and quasi-religions will change focus. Non-theistic spirituality (think Buddhism), deism (think of Einstein’s “mind of God”), classic theism, “soft” theism, and what we might call Platonic humanism (those who are able to find the core principles of the moral order embedded in reality) will continue to converge on core ethics but differ on the divine nature. The remaining questions will include these three:

  1. Is the numinous source ultimate personality?
    
  2. If so, it what sense is ultimate personality authentically alive? [Think of archetype versus living being.]
    
  3. If so, is Ultimate Being actively involved in our lives?
    

However you choose to resolve these issues (and my own view is set out in the last section), the notion of an infinite reservoir of form, pattern, and design as universal schema, (the substrate/superstrate of space-time), must be understood in the context of evolutionary processes. The reservoir can influence evolution within the realm of space-time because determinism and indeterminacy coexist in a sort of creation-engendering détente. [As I explain elsewhere, a rigidly deterministic regime allows no room for change and innovation. A certain degree of indeterminacy is essential to permit the infiltration of innovative development.]

This suggests a picture of teleology that is essentially “stochastic.” [I’m using the technical term loosely to convey the general sense that purpose is an approximately determined aspect of reality, over the largest scales, whose details are gradually emergent in a milieu where determinacy and indeterminacy both operate.]

What we describe as “indeterminacy” or “randomness” or “chaos” in the space-time context represent(s) a “stochastic portal” through which both entropic and creative changes are allowed to emerge into a physical reality otherwise ruled by deterministic order. This is hardly an empty or sterile vision (even in its weakest, “Platonic humanist” version). Consider:

  1. In the beginning, there was uncertainty; and because of this creation was possible and there is no certain end.
    
  2. We share the following role with all conscious beings in space-time existence:  We are here to add purpose to the changing universe.
    
  3. We mine and extract the purpose that we add to space-time from the universal realm/reservoir of form which stands outside time.
    

Sketch of the Fifth Way. This development originates in the insights, strongly emerging in the 21st century, which achieve a greater integration of science, reason, mysticism, esthetics, and ethics, than ever before. The central organizing idea is the meta-value of ongoing creation. The human relationship with the ultimate, however conceived, becomes a self discovery dialogue, part of creation. And it is seen as deeply integrated with all human endeavors. It is universalized as the innate dialogue between meta-conscious universal being (whether as archetype or as the infinite, living meta-being) and all individual mortal conscious beings. By implication, all science, ethics, and esthetics are aspects of this dialogue. The “creation vector” is the divine impulse within space-time. The love of this ultimate source of creation, which is the enlarged love of self, gives ongoing creation an independent normative significance. Internalized, this alignment becomes the creation imperative, and operates as the highest expression of the life impulse. Creation and love of the creative become the center around which the norms of reason, integrity, balance, and compassion can form a comprehensive ethical system large enough to bind non-theistic spirituality, deism, theism, and Platonic humanism in all their rational forms.

III.

The Great Attractor

In phase space mathematics, a “strange attractor” is an emergent, orderly pattern that appears when ostensibly random, non repeating numbers generated by certain algorithms are graphically represented (in phase space). This mathematical operation suggests that order is implicit in some forms of chaos. Our notions of deity and all related values seem to emerge in a similar way.

The following insights have opened for me a riveting series of glimpses into the nature of deity or ultimate being (by whatever name) because our grasp of the true nature of teleology is also a window into the reality and nature of the theistic/numinous presence in the realm of space-time.

Integration of the universal with reason promotes confidence in an ongoing interactive epistemology. This supports robust scientific engagement. This confidence flows from the understanding that reason is a universal, a deep feature of an integrated meta-reality. Science can be carried out with the confidence of a discoverer armed with decent maps, sextant, and compass. Reason in all its aspects (inspiration, intuition, and principled cognition) is recognized as the key to understanding reality because reason is the organizing principle of reality. Reason assists ethics by providing cognitive tools for coherence and principle.

The indwelling universals-in-conscious experience become the cognitive link — in real time — to the archetypal universal consciousness, the meta-universal being, i.e., to deity, the universal “I-Am,” which supplies the meta-context for all that is.

Alignment with this universal, normatively and interactively, especially with its operating presence in space-time-existence, has profound consequences. The operating presence in space-time of the meta-universal is the “creation vector,” my term for the innate tendency of complex novelty to emerge and self-propagate in physical reality. Significantly, we see that the processes of creation are hugely accelerated and concentrated within consciousness itself.

Our conscious alignment with the entire body of universals links each of us, each transient, time-bounded individual conscious being with a-temporal life, with “the life beyond this.”

When our alignment becomes centered on the meta-consciousness as the source of creation, the alignment has a powerful normative component; we are led to universal ethical coherence at the most fundamental, core-value level; this orientation supports the three meta-value hierarchies: life over non-life, consciousness over non-consciousness, and ongoing creation over stasis.

Creative inspiration, seen as the personal expression of a universal creation vector, facilitates all self-development. Indeed, the creation vector operating within the individual conscious field acquires normative force, becoming the creation imperative.

My resulting personal view might be described as “soft theistic”: I am persuaded that the arrival/emergence of conscious being(s) in space-time worked a comprehensive normative reorientation of the entire universe in which conscious, valuing being became the center, the prime organizing principle, and the “great attractor” for all value-context. This event (still ongoing) represented a seminal diffusion from the infinite domain of creation engendering form into the space-time bounded domain of this universe. We are the product of this seminal diffusion, the partial emergence of the center, the prime organizing principle, the relational form of supreme conscious being. That parent being was already embedded within the universal reservoir of formation, and we humans, indeed each living, mortal conscious being, represent the partial emergence of the supreme, ultimate personality within space-time.

The Genesis model of hu-Man in G-d’s image is as close as could have been formulated in pre-scientific terms. I am personally persuaded that the ancient ideas of deity captured the most important truth: that the supreme ultimate personality at the center of the infinite reservoir of creation engendering form is no lifeless archetype, but the most authentically living being of all, one resident both outside and within space-time.

This parent Being (whether named God, “W”, or altogether unnamed) can be detected as an emergent formational influence within space time, a soft directionality that is substantially “stochastic” (or probabilistic) in influence over the realm of “material” processes. Moreover, this parent Being can directly be apprehended by conscious being in the form of numinous insight, and less directly felt in the storm of creative inspiration.

I grant this represents a departure from the traditional models, especially the ones that posit Supreme Being as sharply separate from both human and nature, a Being with puppet strings of irresistibly compelling power.

Several convergent visions of deity have acquired profoundly convincing force for me, driven in part by these insights, and in part by what I believe is the hidden “code” to be found in the ontological “wiring” of any mature consciousness. The common core of these visions is that God is always revealed in creation.

I believe that we discover evidence of the God-presence and influence in: the meta-design (within the universal realm of formation) for the forms of all life and consciousness; the unifying identity of “I am-ness” as a common nexus with the meta-design existing within the conscious space of all aware beings; and evolution’s large scale progressive vector. In these visions, God becomes the ultimate reconciliation of all paradox and conflict, especially: between indeterminacy and perfection; between separation and unity; and between life’s struggle, competition and death.

In all these visions, God is revealed in resolution, fruitful coordination and life.

In our deepest introspection, in an insight we potentially share with all sentient, conscious creatures, God appears to us as an actual, living emergent oversoul/innsersoul, and as the active nexus of profound connection between all contemporary aware beings in space-time.

Within the deep ontology of conscious experience, God is potentially visible as a conscious personality, present in the universal realm and linked in special relationship with all conscious beings in space-time existence:

W ® as a Being not yet fully evolved within space-time;

W® as a Being, at once a part of our separate beingness;

W® as the converse (a parent or living archetype), the Master Self, made up in part of our separate selfness, existing inside and outside time, yet always connected, always able to reach us.

It is as though the Biblical God of immense, immediate temporal power resides only incompletely in this space-time, but presides completely at some other far, far future time. God, in this vision, is the now and future Supreme Being who is simultaneously both the parent and descendant of every conscious creature in space-time.

God is that sole Being who is able, without temporal paradox, to reach back in time to influence the course of present events by touching the consciousness of living beings at a level which always preserves the ontological indeterminacy that we experience as freedom. These are subtle contacts, but contacts that can deeply stir and ennoble those who are ready to hear.

III.

Belief

It follows that epiphanies, insights, inspirations are God’s messages. And benign acts of human achievement, creation, and grace, are surely His miracles. This leads me to the following summary of my personal belief:


I believe in the holy origin of all things, in the infinite consciousness that is born and reborn in every living, conscious person and in the eternal impulse to creation that is present in our reality at all times and places. I believe that creation is holy and that conscious being is holy.

I believe that these three facts are sacred – holy origin, infinite consciousness, and inexhaustible creation – because they are aspects of the Holy One, the ultimate source of all moral truth, all beauty, and all hope. And I believe that it is precisely this, the deep unity whose reality is directly perceived by the mystics and saints, that binds us to all conscious beings throughout time and beyond time. I believe that this is the rock on which all ethics is founded. And that it is the core insight, the ur-foundation of all authentic religion. And I believe that, even if human beings were placed again on the earth deprived of any memory or history of religion, of the enlightened ones, of the saints, mystics or prophets, our species would necessarily rediscover these basic things. Because they are truths inscribed in the warp and woof of reality itself, imbedded in the architecture of all consciousness, awaiting rediscovery.

I believe that what we perceive as physical reality and non-physical reality share an integrated ontology– living consciousness is the bridge-state between them. That the common form of conscious being, the shared architecture of living consciousness, originates in and connects all being to the Holy One. Therefore each of us stands in intimate relationship with the Holy One, whether we believe or not. And whenever we apprehend the numinous level of experience, we apprehend the presence of the Holy One.

I believe that we inhabit a realm of reality we call “the universe”, wherein the work of creation is unfinished. That we are here to share the task of ongoing creation, of ensuring its continuation, and of safeguarding its fruits; and that these precious things have been entrusted to our care.

I believe that we are here to practice integrity with humor and humility, and to experience the journey of life, including all its pain and joy.

I believe that we are here to know the Holy One who fills the world with hope, who stirs our hearts, and whose face can be seen in that of all beings we encounter.

I believe that we are here to promote the Good, by honoring, facilitating and fulfilling creation in us and outside ourselves, by respecting the integrity and favoring the health of all conscious beings (starting with our own), and respecting all lives, starting with our own.

And I believe we are here to recognize the reality and threatening nature of evil in an unfinished universe and to oppose all evil with character, intelligence, and courage.

I believe we are brought here as children, and that we are allowed to stay here to grow and become wise children. So I believe we are both to play and to learn, because play is the fountainhead of creation, the wellspring of joy, and the birthright of children; and by learning we may yet become the wise children of God.

Copyright ã 2003 by Jay B. Gaskill.

Permission to make a small number of copies for use in any study or discussion group is hereby granted provided a courtesy notice is given to the author. The contact for all such notices and for permission to otherwise copy, print or publish this work, is to Jay B. Gaskill, Attorney at Law, e mail: office@jaygaskill.com

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