great to hear from you! What, you don't like the Jupiter Project as a title? I can't help that - my Muse provided it, and thus I must accept it. It turns out that Jupiter (both the planet and the myth) have significant associations with what I am attempting here (I read up on both after selecting the title).
Which, of course, cannot really be understood until I write and one reads the Reasons Why (Part Two), which will deal almost entirely with the practical, worldly reasons for this step. As it is supposed to rain and be cold for the next few days, perhaps I'll finish installing this wood stove, stay inside, and write it.
Abby, as it happens, has a tracking device - it was not found by the original animal control agent. When he turned her over to the rescue organization, as they were preparing her for adoption, they re-scanned her and located the RFID, and contacted us.
As for the blog, I'll try not to make it all so meaty - but one of things I do hope to accomplish with the second half of my life is a genuine contribution to the pool of philosophical thought developed by man over the millennia. I am working on an outline for an essay that seeks to incorporate some of what is known or suspected in quantum physics into a metaphysical answer for an explanation of god, and another that explores patterns of exploitation in society, from a moral/ethical perspective (exploitation of parents by their children is not immoral, for example - it is necessary for the survival of our young).
Taking the universe from the big bang (assuming one accepts such), one can think of its evolution as a series of condensations of form - from energy, to strings, to quarks, to the families of particles that make up atoms (leptons, bosons, muons, etc.), to chemical processes, to conscious awareness. What might distill from conscious awareness? A higher consciousness? Might that consciousness mature over time, and come to resemble something that we, as humans, conceive of as God? Is my 'soul' part of an interweaving of all human experience into a greater, self-aware Entity that comprises myriad souls that cease to be self-aware as chemical life ends, but nonetheless continue? Much as a raindrop ceases to be a coherent aggregate as it falls into a body of water, but nonetheless continues to exist?
Obviously, this approach is informed by Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian philosophies - but, surprisingly, one can find support in Hindu religions that accept the existence of a 'soul' and claim it occupies a very small dimension, beyond our senses. How striking to learn then, that current thought in quantum physics calls for eleven dimensions, as opposed to the three of which we are directly aware, all of which are very tightly wrapped at the Planck level.
Perhaps all religions, and all science, like the five blind men examining an elephant, each have only a piece of the answer, and a synthesis is necessary. Call it the Grand Unified Theory of Existence (as opposed to the GUT of physics), I don't know.
For this reason, while I appreciate your concern for my spiritual health, I would ask that you allay your concerns. My atheism is more of a denial of the existence of a paternalistic deity directly responsible for, continually concerned with, and frequently impacting the existence and actions of man, that it is an outright rejection of an acceptance of all things spiritual. Recall, I have studied Christianity at some length, and at one point in my life considered the priesthood. My loss of faith stems solely from the logical contradictions inherent in Christianity and related Mosaic religions.
One should also consider (in your terms) that if your God does exist, and He gave me this mind (to which very few people on this planet have been deeply exposed), and life at a period in history where so much scholarly material is available to a casual autodidact, then perhaps His purpose for me is that I explore these topics. Perhaps a more accurate understanding of Him is required - certainly, the internecine conflict waged across the globe, where participants on all sides invoke His name and claim His alliance, is not not helpful to our development as either an intellectual or spiritual species.
Given the weapons we have constructed, it is quite possible for us to destroy ourselves. I reject submission to apocalyptic inevitability.
I think the Bible states that the meek shall inherit the Earth - I wonder how many people ponder what that means. Who are these meek, that they are offered such a divine inheritance? Are they the ideologues with nuclear weapons, professing love for their fellow man? The wealthy, Christian community leaders professing concern for the poor even as the working poor's share of wages (a measure of their productive output) declines relative to their own? Or are they the isolated farmers and and subsistence engineers who end up surviving global conflict by virtue of dispersion and luck?
That said, at the end of the day, I am simply a man examining my own existence - abiding by the Socratic imperative to do so. I have no hope of directing Humanity towards a more stable and cordial global society. But I do hope to add to the effort.