Friday, September 29, 2006

radically honest survey

How old are you...really?Depends on how you measure the time/space elapsed from 8:08 pm Central Standard Time, St. Luke's Hospital in Denver, March 27, 1959 A.D.
How old do you feel?at least half the age above...except when I hang with Kevin Foster
Favorite fun word/buzz word/impress your friends word?eschatological scatology; Spiritaneous (coined word), persisteverance (coined), microcosm,heteroclite
Embarrassing moment?preaching with fly down...were you there? which time? boxers or briefs?
Something most people wouldn't know about youI once went shopping with Paul Newman
Is it always wrong to break the law?Jesus broke a few laws
Most inspiring cartoon character and why?Patrick on Sponge Bob...because he is a Christian
Dream duet (or two bands you'd love to see join up)?Gee, this just happened...U2 and Green now I'll wait for Kate Bush, Sinead O'Connor, Bob Dylan and Keith Green to sing alongside the Violet Burning/77s/U2 while Neal Peart,Chester Thompson, and Keith Moon drum...gee, that might cause the rapture..
Second best thing that ever happend to you?met Sonya
a favorite quote?"When the forms of the old culture are dying, the new culture is designed by those unafraid to be insecure." (R Bahro) "Huh?" (you)
Favorite places?Basilea Tou Theou, Fresno, buggin my wife, Gethsemane; Huancayo, Peru; reading a book at a stoplight; bookstore, music store , ministering to someone and God actually uses me, delivery room, Tower Records w/my son, Uncle Harry's w/my daughter,
Fill in the blank: "In England, they drive on the ____ side of the road."Can't answer...this is a test...I will grade your answer, though (:
Stupidest debate Christians get in?Are the tongue-speaking Baptodisterians gonna go first in the pretrib rapture before or after Bill Clinton is exposed as the Antichrist in 1948?
Myers Briggs type?INFP...sometimes ENFJ.....i before e, except after c...break down and take the test here
Why do you exist?Well, here is my cheesy mission statement:"To encourage and empower saints and sinners to find, follow and fight for their divine destiny and dreams." Either that, or to watch Michael Pritzl lift his guitar in worship....or maybe to play PROBE with you next Tuesday. Call me.
What do you think about Jesus?He is "sneaky as a snake and docile as a dove" (Matthew 10:16), so I better be, too..
What advice would you give pastors...if you know they would listen?dang, i am a pastor...uh, lose the title, chainsaw the pulpit, spend less time with Christians, let God speak to you through "non-Christian" music...i guess most of my advice shows up at
Peter or Paul?i guess i am pretty pauline (do you know her?)
John, Paul, George or Ringo?John for honest expression, Paul for occasional creativity in the midst of silly love songs
Davey, Mike, Peter, or Mickey?Yes! Mike...he invented Edge's hat...and "Elephant Parts" and "Circle Sky"...and he is a genius;

Peter: for Peter Percival Patterson's Pet Pig Poarky "alone";Mickey:humor and hair Davey: Uh, sorry..I am a guy. We can't like Davey
Mary Ann or Ginger?Just look at my wife and you'll know....the boyhood crush leaned towards Mary Ann
What's your working definition of prayer?God talking to us...; "spiritual defiance of what is in the name of what God will do" (Walter Wink), holy irreverance (Luke 11:8)
What would you do if you knew you would not fail?Fail
Most significant invention of last 2000 years?printing press
Your favorite invention of last 2000 years?Sonya
Habla espanol?trato...a mi me encanta leer o predicar en espanol. (Gracias a Senorita Maya y Leslie "Twinkle Toes" Mark)
Hardest or most confusing Scripture?always the one i am currently studying
Order at Starbucks?aDefault: grande latte or (seasonal):banana coconut frap...Desperate: triple venti latte (illegal in Montana)
People would say about me (strengths):nice
People would say about me (weaknesses):nice


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Body of Christ Needs a Colon..and Katie Couric Helps Out

I love "secular"books like "The Wisdom of the Body" because God has embedded all kinds of imperfectly prophetic teaching in sources like that. To learn about spiritual shepherding, I study literal shepherding; to focus "cell groups," I study the body's cells, DNA etc.

Back to the Body lessons; click:

The Body of Christ Needs a Colon..and Katie Couric Helps Out

The Saints are Coming

U2 and Green Day prophetically inaugurate the Superdome..

Lyrics below to the medley that began with GD's "Wake Me Up When Sepetember Ends", seguing into a snippet of "House of The Rising Sun," picking up below with the adapted ...and jacked up with additional biblical imagery...version of the Skids song, "The Saints are Coming":

I cried to my daddy on the telephonehow long now

Until the clouds unroll and you come home

the line wentBut the shadows still remain since your descent

your descent

The saints are coming, the saints are coming

No matter how I try, I realise there’s no reply

The saints are coming, the saints are coming

A drowning sorrow floods the deepest grief

How long nowUntil a weather change condemns belief

The night watchman lets in the thief

Once had his day

The saints are coming, the saints are coming

No matter how I try, I realise there’s no reply

The saints are coming, the saints are coming

We're living like birds in the magnolia trees

Child on the rooftop, mother on her knees

Her sign reads "Please -- I Am An American!"

"Beautiful Day" (u2):

See Gentilly and Lakeview

Crescent City right in front of you

Birds sing in broken trees

They’re coming home to New Orleans

Lower ninth will rise again

Above the waters of Lake Ponchatrain

See the bird with the leaf in her mouth

After the Flood all the colors came out...

Beautful day, don't let it get away

Reach me;Take me to that Other Place;

Teach me, Lord, I know I'm not a hopeless case..

Fats Domino, you're beautiful

Allen Toussaint, you're beautiful

Music rising...

Later addition: Official video here:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

From Village to City

St. Len has been bloging quite a bit on an old article by Delbert "Twinkle" Wiens (uh, the one on the left in this phto found here )that has impacted me over the years; and tips us off to the fact that it is online..

Richard, you always teased  the secret to getting an A in Delbert's class was using the term "microcosm" or "paradigm" somewhere in your reserach paper(:....This article does indeed reveal a great microcosm re: church and culture...

Here it is:

From the Village to the City
Delbert L. Wiens(A Grammar for the Languages We Are)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Avril's Damn Cold Night, Neil's Beef with Christian Billboards

God-haunted Avril Lavigne: Is she praying on a damn cold night? Theologize on it here.
Neil Peart of Rush has also been tracked by the Spirit for years. Read about it here.
Interview here.
In action:


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Persecute Pastors for Being Relevant..Please! Part 2

(end of part one in small colored text for continuity)

And I still believe...more intsensely than ever..that persecution is a holy word.

But now I do believe...more intently than yesterday.... that persecution happens on a daily basis in USAmerica.

Wow, I cringe just to get that sentence onto the screen; typing it violated my conscience and offended my theology.

But "persecution" of Christians, especially pastors...occurs; to an insidious degree I never fathomed.

No one less than another veritable evangelical icon ..Eugene Peterson.. says so.

So the title is true, but only in the limited but large scope and context of the prophetic pastor's quote.

The context at last:

Pastors have an extremely difficult job to do, and it's no surprise that many are discouraged and ready to quit. Though it may not seem like it at face value, pastors are perscuted in North Ameerica. I don't believe I am exaggerating to say it is far worse than in seemingly more hostile countries. Our culture doesn't lock us up; it simply and nicely castrates us, and replaces our vital parts with a nice and smiling afce. And then we are imprisoned in a "mesh" of necessities that keep us from being pastors.

The Russian poet Irina Ratushkanaya was imprisoned in the Gulag for writing poems that were not so much anti-Communist but simply true....While she knew the desperateness of her situation. most North Ameican pastors are fairly oblivious to their own. We've been treated nicely for so long that we've forgotten we are in emeny territory..

...Contrary to popular opinion, pastors are not jacks and jills of all trades.. Everybody and his dog has a job description for the pastor...That's a problem, but what complicates and compounds it is that it's so nice to be needed, nice to have culture and congregation alike interested in defining our work....But virtually none of the people who (do) write our job descriptions seem to have erver read or even heard of the Text, the Holy Scripture, that orients our work...

(p. 183, "The Unncessary Pastor")

Now, it could certainly be debated whether or not "culture and congregation alike are interested" in our "job" at all; it may well depend upon our community. In the 1990's, I pastored a downtown mainline church in a California town of 30,000; so downtown and mailione that it wsa literally across from City Hall ( I could actually wave at the city manager in his office from my office in the parsonage). In this sort of mileu, with many older Midwest-transplants, that the pastor of such a church was automatically on the fast track to be president of the Rotary Club; invited to offer prayers (even in Jesus' name) at City Council meetings, write a column for the newspaper, etc...

...But now I pastor in a city of half a million; a setting more urban and urbane. Christendom isn't so deafault here and now. In fact, what may have changed is not primarily my setting, but the ensuing ten years. Postmodernism is now so entrenched, even here in the Bible belt of California, that pastors are no longer guaranteed the invitations and respect that came to me in that other church...and era.

Not that I'm complaining.

What better place.. and time... to be?

I need a healthy dose of "persecution" classically (and falsely, I have maintained) understood by culture-wars conservatives. It may well just refine me as much as or more than the darker and deeper brand Peterson paints.

I propose that we pastor types must re-imagine who we are to be; biblically and culturally speaking. I proffer and prefer that we move unabashedly towards these desirable traits; may be find ourselves increasingly:




4) immoral


Any questions?

Good. The remainer of this essay will address each in turn.


"These broken, wounded, and completely unpretentious people forced me to let go of my relevant self - the self that can do things, show things, prove things, build things - and forced me to reclaim that unadorned self in which I am completely vulnerable, open to receive and give love regardless of any accomplishments.

I am telling you all this because I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. That is the way Jesus came to reveal God’s love. The great message that we have to carry, as ministers of God’s Word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life. " (Henri Nouwen, "In the Name of Jesus")

Nouwen's "completely unpretentious people" were the residents of a community of mentally-challenged adults that he chose to live among for a season, in order to detox from pastoral ministry and expectations; and relearn (as the subtitle would have it) "ministry in the Name of Jesus."

His clamant conclusion , "I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant" rings heretical out of context; but heroic when "irrelevant" is redifined as "vulnerable."

Doesn't that simply mean we can just be ourselves? That there is a reason we are not called "human doings"? That we coopt our birthright when we buy the lie that we must be relevant at all costs?

Now, let me stop and encourage any of you who may be unnessarily tripping on the word "relevant." Of course, in one sense, we must be relevant; meaning real.

It may trip you some more, but Jacques Ellul coins this "inutility," suggesting that we have become defined by how "useful" or utilitarian we are perceived to be.

As godly and appropriate a goal as relevancy might sound, as Shane Hipps reminds us, in our current culture, "relevance is a moving target"(154) and any quest towards it inevitablly turns quixotic and idolatrous.

In an amazing article, prophetically recruiting leaders into what I might call "holy irrelevance," and (pastorally) indicting any likely any pastor who has ever left a congregation, Donald Gushee asks,

"Are Christians also human beings? Are we permitted to talk about our lives the way other humans do? Can we admit mistakes, confess uncertainty, and be honest about conflicts? Is it okay not to have an airtight spiritual explanation for everything that happens?

One of the greatest causes of cynicism among Christians is the way we lather God-talk over our lives in order to obscure realities we consider too painful to discuss directly.

Consider this example from church life (though such situations are not confined to local churches). A minister is not happy in his place of service. He wonders whether he was right in accepting this call in the first place. He has dealt with painful personality conflicts, constant power struggles, and criticism. Now he is leaving. He is leaving because he can't take it anymore. His future is most uncertain.

But he believes that he can't say any of these things. There is an unwritten Code in the church (and not just this church) that dictates how a minister says goodbye. So he says, "God spoke to me and is leading me to a different place of service at this time. I appreciate the opportunity to be your pastor. I now must move on to wherever God leads me next."

Everybody on the inside of the situation knows what these words really mean: "I am miserable here. I can't take it any more. At this point, I would rather be unemployed than continue to serve here. I'm not sure exactly where God is in all of this, but in any case, I know that I must move on. I sure wish you would deal with the issues that have led me to this point, but I won't tell you what those are, so I doubt that you will actually deal with them."

A departing pastor does a church no favor by not discussing its dysfunctions. How much better to be candid with the leadership group—perhaps bringing in a third-party consultant—in order to equip them to deal in a more health-giving way with their next pastor.

This probing Christianity Today piece actually suggests that "we risk taking the name of God in vain" by our spiritualizing dishonesty and "relevance."

In responding to readers of his "Attack Upon Christendom, " who pressed him with "What do you want?" "For what changes are you asking of the church?, Kierkegaard, denied asking anything but the one thing, the one word, that mattered:



To be continued.

Next: being childlike, worldly, immoral and uncertain

Friday, September 08, 2006

Persecution of pastors is far worse in America than anywhere else"????? Part 1, In Sackcloth

I am still a conscientious objector in the culture wars.

I still fear the tirades of the Pastor Artie Buccos, and the tribe of Rev. Fred Phelps of our nation, far more than I fear any “secular humanists” or edicts of the ACLU.

I still believe, in the words of a heroic Christianity Today editorial:

“Persecution is a Holy Word.”

Too holy to apply it to the Ten Commandments being removed from our courthouses; and prayer in Jesus name being removed from our schools. Far too holy to hitch it to the ACLU , no matter how misguided or maniacal .

I still stubbornly refuse and defuse any attempt to attach it in any way to all that I went through several years ago that (ironically) also made headlines in Christianity Today.

“Persecution is A Holy Word” was succinct and stalwart:

These double standards (of the type discussed above) are maddening examples of what CT columnist Stephen Carter has rightly called a "culture of disbelief." But in no way do they rise to the level of persecution…

How soft we in the West have become. How could we possibly tell a fellow Christian hanging from a cross in Sudan that the American Civil Liberties Union is "persecuting" us? How would the story of our church's zoning woes sound to a Christian sister in Pakistan who has been raped and forcibly married to a Muslim neighbor?..

The legal and cultural cases Limbaugh examines in his book can be called many things: injustice, liberalism run amok, or discrimination. But as long as we can redress these grievances in the courts of law and public opinion, for the sake of Zewar Mohammed Ismael's widow and five children, let's not label our grievances persecution. It demeans their sacrifice.
I still amen every word of that article.

Even though I am about to amend the amen.

Brace yourselves; all who know me, and would bet the farm that I still am no fighting fundie…

I…for the first time…gasp..…fully endorse…gulp.. the following statement:

“Though it may not seem like it at face value, pastors are persecuted in North America, I don't believe I am exaggerating to say it is far worse than in seemingly more hostile countries.”


That sound was every jaw in my congregation collectively dropping as one.

Pick up your jaws, and hold on.

I still believe...more intensely than ever..that persecution is a holy word.

True persecution does not happen in our nation.

But now I do believe...more intently than yesterday.... that "persecution"   happens on a daily basis in USAmerica.

Wow, I cringe just to get that sentence onto the screen; typing it violated my conscience and offended my theology.

But "persecution" of Christians, especially pastors...occurs; to an insidious degree I never fathomed.

No one less than another veritable evangelical icon ..senior statesmen Eugene Peterson.. says so.

So the title of this post is true, but only in the limited but large scope and context of the prophetic pastor's quote.

The entire “offensive” quote at last:

Pastors have an extremely difficult job to do, and it's no surprise that many are discouraged and ready to quit. Though it may not seem like it at face value, pastors are persecuted in North America. I don't believe I am exaggerating to say it is far worse than in seemingly more hostile countries. Our culture doesn't lock us up; it simply and nicely castrates us, and replaces our vital parts with a nice and smiling face. And then we are imprisoned in a "mesh" of necessities that keep us from being pastors. (The Unnecessary Pastor", p 168)

To be continued

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

"Just go low. Don't worry about getting up":The Word of Dodd on leadership

If you are a not familiar with my friend Brian Dodd's work, you need to be.

You are about to be.

1)A few years ago, Brian's "You are Not Crazy" email read our prayers/mind/frustrations.
If you have ever wondered if you have "lost it" in this new wineskin kind of day, read it;
then celebrating having been lost and found.

2)His first book on IVP, "The Problem with Paul" is a classic on the hermeneutical bridge between Paul's day and the postmodern context. It is bold enough to ask:

Was Paul a chauvinist?
Was he a prude?
Was he anti-Semitic?
Why did Paul condone slavery?
How might he have fared on the
Oprah Winfrey Show?

)His second book "Praying Jesus' Way" is now available free online. Enough said, price is right, click this.

3)His "Empowered Church Leadership: Ministry in the Spirit According to Paul" is especially "afflicting to the comforted" on grasping the consumer vs. communal. He nails the "bottom-up" leadership style that Scripture commends (One chapter is "The Race to the Bottom"). Here's a link to a short interview with Brian on the book.

This most recent book is worthy of several quotes to get you interested:

"I made the quantum leap in my ministry from planning to following" (33)

"I am your servant, but you are not my master"

"God maintains the 'divine incognito' of Jesus' ministry in ours by pouring out his power on the unlikely and imperfect" (84)

"All we have to do is go low. We don't have to worry about getting up." (146)

"For too many, life is lived in a contemporary version if the medieval model that focuses on buildings and clergy" (154)

"Healthy churches tend to have non seminary trained leaders. The comeback to this observation is sometimes 'But we need pastors who are doctrinally equipped.' What evidence is there that seminary education equips a pastor to be orthodox?...Most pastors learn just enough there to make them less than effective the rest of their ministries." (155)

"Paul did not have an organizational plan or a ten year vision. His direction seemed focused and occasional" (162)

"Pray for a burden. When God gives it to you, you will always know what to do next" (174).

"Lord, break our hearts for the people who are breaking your heart!" (178)

Worth the price of the book are these quotes from some classic giants, the first not available anywhere else:

"When we avoid this death talk we dishonor the death of Jesus. When we structure our lives to avoid pain and suffering we reject the way of the cross and dishonor the Son...It is common and easy to dishonor the Son by marginalizing his sacrifice. Old timers called this 'gnosticism." We can just call it 'unfaithful'...Sacrifice. Suffering. These are what (honoring Jesus) means. It is not pragmatic or practical, but it is what Jesus calls us to do,"
-Eugene Peterson (68)

"I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant "=-Henri Nouwen (148)

"God hates visionary dreaming" -
-Bonhoeffer, (168)

Stay up to date with Brian's more recent writing at

Tell him I sent ya..

Friday, September 01, 2006

We suck

Actual church T-shirt

"Music is time travel" or "The Quantum Physicist Neil Young and Singing Cells Walk Through Walls"

(early easy on me)
(builds on Part 1, Part 2)

I had a hunch, I googled it to see if it had been thought online before. The phrase?

"Music is time travel."

I'm not crazy.

I found it!

Oh well, no guarantee those two statements are connected.

Welcome to the latest installment based on the either insane or insanely accurate assumption that the Kingdom of God is in essence...uh, time travel.

Kinda sorta. See previous installments for clarification and/or confusion.

We move on to music likewise being essentially time travel (and therefore a God-Kingdom thing).

So where did I my actual online proposal that this is so?

Not in a physics dissertation, but on " Get Your Groove On," an online music magazine for fans of jam bands..whatever those are.

But of course! It's often the streetwise practitioners, far from the ivory tower and Ivy League, who discover and dissertate intuitively and accidentally.

Jam Bands columnist Erica Lynn Gruenberg (emphasis mine):

Amazingly, some of these CDs have been collecting dust, while others have not
even left the top of my stereo for months on end. Yet I found the representation
of many different periods of my life through this strange pile of CDs, and this
has been such a source of comfort to me. I listened to each and every one that I
picked out from start to finish and relived these periods, and came to the
conclusion I have come to so many times before: music is the most powerful drug
in the world. Music is time travel. Music is...the force

I won't wind up phrasing it so raggedly and ruggedly (and I'm not sure why not, Greuenberg's conclusion is both theologically sound...don't pardon the is intentional....and scientifically sustainable.

This gal may or may not be aware of it, but she is prophetically paraphrasing profound thruths that have only emerged out of painstaiking years of study and laboratory work!

And she is a jam band music reviewer who "wants to get a groove on" ...sometimes that's all the scholar God needs.

For any whose musical taste or scholarly preference requires a source a bit more
uh, classical..

I found/googled the provocative phrase at hand again, this time in an interview with composer László Hortobágyi, who noted:

- In fact, I do not consider myself to be a musician because music is time travel for me. It is the only one among the media available at present which is capable of taking you for a real time travel. Films are not suitable for that since they come out of us. But music comes from outside, too. ...

Really good music is never about health, the yes, the progress, but it always originates from some kind of essence of pain. Music is such a physical "drug" which cannot be replaced by anything else. You get ratios through your ears, constructions fly into you, which do not sneak into you through any other sense organ. These seemingly unanalysable, curious effects can only get into you through your ears in untraceable relations of ratios, rules. When learning music in Europe, it is usual to pay attention to the order of notes, what note is proceeding or following another. I thing that this method is not good as opposed to the ancient Indian approach which, in the first place, is interested when a note is followed by another, that is, music is imagined in its original medium, in time, it is followed by attention in time, it is evaluated and constructed in time, and not according to note height or the type of note series. The difference is essential.

And a third and final spin of the Google netted just one more direct hit of the phrase "music is time travel" (Of course, until I post this article). As you might haved guessed, this third usage appeared in a music review, in the context of...uh, drug use:

" an acid-fried friend once told me, "music is time travel" and this particular album proves that saying to be true like no other album I own."

Since you must know the "particular album" in discussion (Though I have not heard it, I recommend it over drugs any day) , and may want to travel back in space if not time to purchase it (It's cheaper than the time machines for sale on EBay) , it is..

..Withhold judgement, classical fans:

"Cha Cha 2000 - Live in Tokyo." a "cross-cultural pychedelic masterpiece." (Aren't we all?)

Okay, just so you feel a bit more reasonable, let's quote the PhD (whew! Feel better already?) Clifford Pickover, author of "Sex, Drugs, Einstein and Elvis."

But don't let that title trip you up.

This is a man of whom it has been said , "Bucky Fuller thought big; Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both!"

A man who wrote "Time: A Traveller's Guide."

A man and book of whom Scientific American boasted: "Only Clifford Pickover would think of mixing time travel and music. Gripping, clear -- this book could well be his best yet! A must buy for all wannabe time travelers." :

"The fundamental laws of physics appear simpler in higher dimensions.. in the music of time." - Clifford Pickover, "Time: A Traveller's Guide"

Before we bring in the heavy-hitters (like Neil Yound...seriously!) to help buttress this thesis, let's continue with a scientist-scholar or two. Tony Smith:

Music has at least two important characteristics:

Music evolves in time;
Music has mathematical structure.

...Onar Aam has noted that it is IMPOSSIBLE to create a STATIC 4-dimensional image of music. The reason is as that music is essentially a chain of partial gestalts in time, like a flow of
information rather than a single piece. ... Fundamentally, the physics model is LIKE MUSIC. Also like music is genetic information. It can even be represented by DNA sequence music (215k wav). It may take a mind like Mozart's to comprehend a complete piece of music, or model of physics, or a DNA/RNA organism, as a whole at once.

-Tony Smith,

Music is physics, and evolves in time. Thus, time travel.

Or if you're are having trouble connecting the heady constructs like dimensional gestalts, every one of you has experienced a version of what one blogger captured:

Is it just me or is it hear a certain song and you are completely transported to a very specific place in time...down to people's faces, feelings, ambience, even smells sometimes? Alright, they start off with Dream Academy, move on to Elvis Costello, The Cure, Siouxie and the Banshees, R.E.M., Madness....the next thing I know my eyes are completely glazed over and I'm back at WBHS or on the water at TCC...(now it's the Talking Head's "Once in a Lifetime playing) and I'm completely zoned...high, if you will. I'm completely sure that I can associate every single person I am (or have been) close to or different places I have been I can associate with a specific song...and can go right back to where I was. I think I just came back from one of the high school dances I went was Flock of Seagulls' "Falling in Love" that brought that trip on. Too freaky, right ?

Not freaky at all on an intellectual level. Makes perfect sense if music is time travel; and cannot not "take you back"...perhaps not just via memories conjured.

Especially in the West, we have overfenced the table; put too many boundaries between disciplines (which is why some are struggling with my unapolgetic apologetics of juxtaposing Ivy League and acid-head; reasearch scholars and MySpace bloggers).

"Human territory is defined least of all by physical frontiers.' , John Fowles suggested. And to continue the juxtaposition of sources, of course we need to quote another emeinent quantum physicist....

Neil Young .

Who else has crossed as many genres of music, completety unpredictable from release to release (punk followed by rockabilly by folk by techno). Young also helps us grasp that some of the boundaries and walls we need to walk right on through are those we have set around the nature of music itself:

''At a certain point, trained, accomplished musicians hit the wall. They don't go there very often, they don't have the tools to go through the wall, because it's the end of notes. It's the other side, where there's only tone, sound, ambience, landscape, earthquakes, pictures, fireworks, the sky opening, buildings falling, subways collapsing. . . . When you go through the wall, the music takes on that kind of atmosphere, and it doesn't translate the way other music translates. When you get to the other side, you can't go back. I don't know too many musicians who try to go through the wall.''

He stops for a moment.

''I love to go through the wall.''

As if you ever doubted it for a moment.

(interview by Steve Ericson)

Walking through the wall at the end of notes sounds like time travel to me, or at least the train station for time travel.

This the wall-bashing musician who released "Soundtrack to a Journey Through The Past".

Most likely a veteran and inveterate music-time traveler.

No doubt he smiled the same knowing sly smile upon saying "I love to walk through the wall" that someone who could truthfully, by experience, say "I love travelling in time" would don.

So I shouldn't have been so surprsied that when for a long-shot lark, I googled the phrases "Neil Young" and "Time travel" , knowing it result in a "Google-hack" (no results), but encountered. 1975 Rolling Stone intreview where Young predicted that his next album (it would prove to be titled "Rust Never Sleeps" would be at heart, "time travel stuff."

So the holy random bouncing between rocknroll and classical are twains that don't meet enough. Some days I fear they meet only in my CD collection, and in time travel theory.

Bouncing back to classical (in a quixotic Hegelian attempt to synthesize a thesis), Carnegie Hall-playing pianist Jefferey Biegel has written a short story intertwining music and time travel, as if the connection was obvious.

It is.

Witness his "post" from the year 2061 here (Maybe just making that click is time travel).

Also, consider Andrew Penland, who according to his website is "a multimedia artist who in addition to writing, also makes paintings, collages, drawings, zines, and CDs. He also uses the name Andrew Octopus, especially for projects involving music and time travel. "

How about this tongue in cheek (?) ad which matter-of-factly states: "Summer Muse returns to Powell River for an evening of food, local music and time travel. "

Casually connecting food, music ,and a throwaway " by the way", time travel?

Why not?


"The universe is at base, music, " Lenoard Sweet suggests is the short definition of string theory.

"A rock is frozen music," Pyhtagoras offered long ago.

It would seem inevitable that if life/ God is by nature musical, or Music; Himself; that
manipulating and managing (better yet unleashing and un-walling) sound iwould yield divine results. Einstein of course proved that movement faster than the speed of light is indeed, and in time, time travel. Yet it was insights from study of sound that lead to this and other breakthrouigh discoveries and proposals of his. What would it mean to travel faster than the speed of sound..or to travel with/in/as sound/music itself?

Paul Davies, reknowned physicist notes that"The Doppler effect...first used to desribe a property of sound waves..when added to the (Einstein) time-dilation effect" essentially invites time travel.("About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution", p.31) Perhaps manifestations of` such pheomenon..sonic booms, and the delay between lightning and thunder... hint at time travel in microcosm and miniature right before our eyes...if we only had "eyes to hear." And perhaps there is an invisible, embedded "sound" encoded by the Creator, a song somehow sung in the interim that speeds sound up so much that it, and time itself, run "backward." (63)

Davis notes (233),
"Sending a fax resembles the transmission of a sound wave." Sound/music, if fundamental to time travel; and if foundational or parallel to transmission of data;

Brian Clegg's "The God Effect: Quantum Entanglement, Science's Strangest Phenomenon, " Any message travelling faster than light also travels backward in time..If we sould send messages with no transmission delay, at an infinite speed, we would have the technology to build an informational time machine." (127)

Perhaps we have already built such a precursor to that machine; that it's arrival is inevitable:

Instant messaging! ( see Clegg, chapter five).

What if that instant messaging principle were applied, trasnmitted, in sound; more specifically music; more specifically music that was "tuned in" to the Ultimate Music (Of the Spheres)? Would that facilitate humans, and not just data, travelling in time?

It is likely. And is an amost given if string theory is accurate.

So where would we find such God-ordained music? Two places: in the aforementioned spheres of the universe, and in the other primary source of song:


They sing

While searching for the chemical origins of life, Shsumu Onnu found something unexpected: a waltz. Bored with tedious mathematical equations, the geneticist decided to convert chemical formulas for living cells into musical notes. He figured listening to the complex genetic codes, rather than staring at them, would make elusive patterns easier to detect. In the process, Onnu discovered genes...carry a tune. The tunes he found were not just the interesting random notes which other scientists had predicted...Onnu found genuine music...sometimes with an uncanny similarity to the works of great composers.

Translated into sheet music and performed on the piano, a portion of mouse RNA...sounds like a lively waltz. Except for its quicker tempo, parts of the mouse RNA Waltz are dead ringers for passages in Frederick Chopin’s "Nocturnal Opus 55."

The musical score within a cancer-causing oncogene sounds somber and funereal, while the gene responsible for bestowing transparency ot the lens of the eye is filled with trills and flourishes...When Onnu translated a funeral march by Chopin from notes to chemical equations, "entire passages appear identical to a cancer gene found in humans...the same patterns

which govern the movement of planets and galaxies also appear in genes and in music." -Dr. Jill Niemark

Cells sing.... sing the misic of the spheres; of life, of God

So an overall and overlooked strategy in the race to build a time machine, is singing (in an email or instant messagekind of format ) as close as possible to the pitch of our cells; the urythym of the unisvers, and the voice of God?

Sounds crazy; and it may ring too simplistic.

Or not.

Matching the Music of the spheres with a connecting, catalyzing harmony (or counterpoint..Camppbell (The Mozart Effect, 105)notes that in the Renaissance, "an elegant muisc known as counterpoint ebcame teh basic exzpression of the church"....) may well be the ticket.

Let our cells sing the song they intuitively know.

"This news has to encourage the hunt for nature's own time machines, which potentially exist in great profusion within the world inside the atom. They could be very close at hand and finding them may be the quick road to time travel" (Jenny Randles, "Breaking the Time Barrier,"p. 198 ). Randles wonders in the next few pages if recent resaerch with sound; especially "negative feedback, "essentially backward music, offer huge clues.

And in light of string theory (the apparent contradiction of classic relativity and quantum mechanics can only be reconciled if teh "universe is at base, music," it should be no surprise that Einstein was a violinist ("Einstein's Violin"), and today's mots popular populizer of string theory Brian Greene is even more specific in what type of music/instrument is at the heart of all life, and the universe; it is both chilling like; while also pattern-wise, different than:

The vibration patterns of the strings, like the vibrations of violin strings, give rise to slightly more familiar fundamental particles such as quarks and gluons. These, in turn, are the constituents of protons, neutrons, and electrons, which make up atoms and molecules. "The different patterns in string theory don't correspond to different musical notes the way they do with a violin string," Greene says, "but they correspond to the different particles that make up all of the stuff in the world around us, so there can be a richness that emerges even though the basic ingredient is so simple." String theory's ability to tie together general relativity and quantum mechanics with a common language has led some to call it the "theory of everything."

Okay, don't sing your instant messages; play 'em on violin.

I'm surprised Neil Young hasn't tried that yet.

Because "any acousticuan will recognize the importance of the walls and centre of a building in determining it's harmoinies (Julian Barbour , leading thinker in the arae of time, offers.p. 75, "The End of Time")

And watch what Barbour does here (325-27):

"(There is a) heavenly vault in which the music of the spheres is played...the only theory of the universe that makes sense is the muisc of the spheres.."

Dovetal this with inisghts from the groundbreaking "discoveries summarized in "Longing for the Harmonies"
Clles connect to mothr sgip unmivderdes, oberr teh song tgey are sinmginmg toe ach other ride its caottails, soudwaves, teval in time, no just "takes me back" sound-trcak.

"Sound has many mysterious properties. It can, for example., create physical forms and shapes....Cymiatics ist he s cience of how sound and vibration intreact with matter....
cells not only emit sound but react to sound one might be retrained to see sound; even sight the "mystical shape of sound," "hearing it's images". This of course is the territory of synesthsis, which I have explored extensively elsewhere.(33-35)

Dovetal this with inisghts from the groundbreaking discoveries summarized in "Longing for the Harmonies":

" music of the spheres emits not only in sound but in light (14), we should "listen to the light."

"...if our eyes were more perfect, we could see the atoms sing . A race of beings who had this sort of direct experince would no dount include a high propertion of poets and atomic scientists."

Exactly. That's why the MIT doctorate and Neil Young are invited to this party.

Of course, who needs modern theorists to discover what Johannes Kepler stated as flat fact in the 70s...1570s that is, in "Harminice Mundi ":
"The heavenly motions... are nothing but a continuous song for several voices,
perceived not by the ear but by the intellect, a figured music
which ..proceeds through pre-designed clausuras, and thereby sets landmarks in the immeasurable flow of time.”


Well, in conclusion, how to ame this all practical, whether or not a lteral time machine is ever invented..or better yet, "discovered".

1)Listen to music more.

2)Especially music that "walks through walls.

3)Study cells. Life is cellular. And besides, they sing!

4)Experiment with the violin (at risk of your family moving out!) and violin theory.

5)Finally, get to work on a time machine.

It's technical jargon may be amusing, but here is Willima Pensinger's outlne for how to buidl a tiem machine incororating all the above elemnts. Read it, try it, then meet me at the bottom of the page.

A miniaturized microbarograph would be required for the immediate experimental
task, and this device would have to mimic how the photoacoustic spectroscope is
an analogue of the superconductant DNA model. Essentially, in listening to
photosynthesis [see: Cahen, Malkin, and Lerner, 1978], a chloroplast (which
contains DNA, of course) is put in a sealed plastic bag, bombarded with light,
causing the chloroplast to change temperature, expand and contract, and send out
a pressure wave that causes the plastic bag to vibrate, which the instrument
translates into audible sound. This is exactly analogous to the quantum
properties, not only of superconductant DNA molecules, but also of p-electron
parcels in the p-electron gas environment of the molecule’s p-stacks. Both the
parcel and the molecule itself are pulse-code receivers and transmitters. One
structure to receive the coherent waves transmitted by the DNA molecule’s
p-electron parcel ensemble is certainly the cell membrane; another is very
likely the cytoskeleton. If you want to hear the music of the nucleotide pairs,
you put Jacqueline Barton's DNA sample inside a fractal drum (experimental
analogue of a cell) inside a Faraday cage, bombard it with a photon, use
Catherine Even's instrumentation [see: Even, et al., 1999; and Weiss, 1999] to
read the vibrations on the drum's liquid crystal tympanum, and translate that
into audible sound using the apparatus from the photoacoustic spectroscope. Do
this first with known sequences of nucleotide pairs to map the wave dynamics and
you have a fast track way to read the genome. No viral clipping and pasting, and
so on. I am sure creating such a device would be no mere afternoon's work, but
it seems to me likely doable. You put this together with Lipton's idea about the
cell membrane being a liquid crystal semiconductor for reading frequencies [see:
Lipton, 1986] and you have a good beginning on a wave-effect computer processor
as a light/sound interaction device. Optical logic. Superconducting
bio-junctions. All the buzz words. Moreover, in context of discussion of Isaacs'
ideas on molecular indeterminacy in the 1997 homeopathy paper [see: Isaacs and
Lamb, 1969; and Pensinger, Paine, and Jus, 1997], there is a direct route seen
on how to transform this liquid crystal semiconductor into a quantum processor
utilizing Post’s m-valued logics. That is where microtubules of cytoskeleton
come in, and ideas on Musculpt holography. Quantum tunneling (at synaptic and
ephaptic junctions) is modeled by a multiplexed branching of a fiber optic
microtubule into a pencil of skew-parallels defined in Hilbert space with Post's
m-valued logics. When the optical fiber branches into a pencil of
skew-parallels, it, by definition, leaves 3-space (tunnels), enters
m-logically-valued n-dimensional Hilbert space, wave-effect processes, then
re-enters 3-space at the other side of the neural or perineural junction in
parallel with vesicle diffusion: this being an example of partial redundancy of
mechanisms responsible for functional specificity and functional integration.
Viewed in this fashion, the brain is a device in 3-space for receiving messages
from m-logically-valued n-dimensional Hilbert space. The most cost effective
laboratory for studying all this is a flotation tank, with attached Musculpt
laser projection dome as an experimental model of the dolphin's sonic-visioning
system. Dolphins and whales don’t live on this planet -- although they do
occasionally visit. The whole Carl Sagan Hollywood popular science orientation
to extraterrestrial life is laughably simple-minded. Space travel. Ponderable
space even! Time travel. Passing-time even!

Okay, how did you do?

Barring successful comepletion of the machine; you are free to cycle back through suggestions 1-4.

As time allows, of course.