Frank L. Jordan III has not received any gifts yet
I write different things for different reasons. I've written songs for over thirty years to commemorate major life, family, and even national events. One of my earliest songs was written when my daughter was born. My latest song was written when she moved to Germany at age twenty-eight to be with her boyfriend. Most of the songs I write are gifts for the people I love. I think it will always be that way.
I wrote a memoir, really more of a personal narrative, during a particularly dark period of my life. I originally wrote it to help ground myself, and to chronicle that painful episode. I converted the narrative into a manuscript in order to maybe help others who were either going through the same kind of thing, or who knew somebody that was. I pitched it to agents for a good portion of a year, got a nibble, then a pass. So I gave a copy of it to a local columnist who said that she would consider writing a foreword. Waiting for her to do that helped break the spell of that manuscript, and I went on to a bigger and better project.
For many years, I had been writing the manuscript for a book introducing a new philosophy -- a worldview that attempts, among other things, to reconcile science and spirituality. At one point, this manuscript got swept up in that dark period I mentioned earlier, and both works overlapped and influenced each other for a time. When I finished the book of philosophy, I decided not to start pitching it to agents immediately, but to self-publish. I started my own publishing company, edited and proofread the copy, and had a finished product by October of last year.
What really amazed me was the quality of the book supplied by CreateSpace, the print-on-demand company I used. It was as well-made as any paperback I had ever found at Barnes and Noble. I don't care what anyone says about the drawbacks of self-publishing through POD technology, there's nothing like the feeling of holding a book you've written in your hands for the first time. And if you've put in enough time and effort to make it a book of high quality, then the feeling is all the more satisfying.
By self-publishing my book of philosophy, I've been able to share it with a significant number of professionals, most of them philosophers and theologians. I've gotten positive feedback that I might never have gotten had I not self-published. I recommend it to anyone who's tired of the waiting game.
Introducing ~SOUNDINGS~: Exploring the Depths of God and the Universe
"What gives poignancy and power to his thinking is the way it has come out of his personal suffering and joy." - John B. Cobb, Jr., Ph.D., leading process theologian
Has the problem of evil become a problem for you? Does it threaten your relationship with God? Does it call into question your very belief in the existence God? Then this book could be for you.
In ~SOUNDINGS~ I attempt to articulate two things. The first is evidence of the reality of God. This is accomplished through a description of a mystical experience I had twenty years ago during a personal crisis. This account is found in the book's introduction and is revisited in the final chapters.
The second thing is a philosophy I call derivism* that sheds new light on God's relationship to the universe, and on the problem of evil in particular. It has been noted that in addressing the problem of evil, the omnipotence (all-powerfulness), omniscience (all-knowingness), and omnibenevolence (all-goodness) of God must all three be somehow reconciled with the realities of life that cause us pain. I attempt this in one way by elaborating on what God's power truly is, and what it is not. If God can't exert a kind of power that is a product of one's imagination -- and therefore is not real -- it doesn't limit God in any way. It just reveals that one's concept of what God's power is is an illusion. A person has unreal expectations, so they don't get realistic results.
Derivism also addresses the problem of evil by reporting on what could be an important discovery regarding a fundamental dynamic between God and the universe. That dynamic is this: In the beginning, the basic realities of the universe (the chemical elements, light, gravity, electromagnetism, and the laws that govern them) were realities that derived directly from God, who is the Ultimate Reality. Therefore, it was inherently necessary that these realities be what they intrinsically were. It was essential that they be what they were.
This shouldn't be confused with the "anthropic principle", which recognizes that some realities of the universe (i.e., the universe's rate of expansion, the size of protons) have to be what they are for life to exist at all. This is the current-day context that most people think of when entertaining the idea that the universe has to be what it is, or had to be what it was in the beginning.
However, derivism addresses the realities of the universe, starting with the Big Bang, in a new context. This context is that the basic realities of the early universe were realities that derived directly from God, and therefore it was absolutely essential that they be what they intrinsically were. For instance, if you imagine a chemical element -- maybe call it Saturnium -- it could never in actuality ever really exist, because it is an imagined element, even for God. It is not a reality that derives from God, who is the Ultimate Reality.
On the other hand, real natural elements inherently have to be what they intrinsically are. The quality of "realness" that they are imbued with is a unique quality that is derived from God and God alone. It is also a quality that enables these natural realities to resist the full influence of God's power, thus setting the stage for the development of the universe over time -- as an unfolding manifestation of God, a collaboration of nature with God.
Through this understanding, new light is shed on the dynamics surrounding the realities of death, accidents, natural disasters, disease, and evil. Perhaps most importantly for some, an understanding is arrived at that God, who is Pure Love, is at every moment offering us everything in his power. God isn't withholding anything. Any barriers between God and us are within ourselves -- ourselves physically, chemically, biologically, and psychologically.
These fundamentals of derivism are covered in the first chapters of ~SOUNDINGS~. The remainder of the book is a journey through cosmic, biological, and human history to further understand the processes and development of the universe and ourselves in light of this philosophy.
I'd like to introduce to you a new spiritual philosophy by first asking a timeless question:
Why does evil occur if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good?
As a young adult, I can remember grappling with…Continue
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