Symposium Upper West Side 2

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Speaker: It doesn’t matter, even though we are dealing with a metaphysics and we’re dealing with a quantum physics and you need an equation, the equation doesn’t have to come today.

Audience Member: The cards have been on the table today so that we understand it and maybe time will let us know whether it works or it doesn’t work.

Audience Member: Perhaps the key discrepancy between our natural, chronological time and the divine perhaps time has another time issue that makes it perhaps impossible to ever really come to a definitive conclusion.

Speaker: It’s true, it’s safe to say that I feel a metaphysics has to be viable at the moment in time that you present it as a viable, one hundred years from now, it has to be viable one thousand years from now, that’s number one. I suggest your point. As far as that, we are all aware of that. We don’t know, we do not know the boundaries of time, we do not know the dimensions of time, we can only deal with time as best as we know it and to assume it’s relatively as we experience it. That’s the best we can do in contemporary times. This is metaphysis or call it contemporary times and that’s what we’re dealing with here. We’re presuming that we’re rational, logical, what we see is what we see, what we feel is what we feel. We feel pain, its pain. We think we see evil, it seems to be the realm of evil. So again we waste more of that semantic discussion which you find in academia where nothing is real. Now we’re saying everything, let’s assume everything is real. We are real

Audience Member: I know I don’t disagree with you. Our perspective is on Israel in so far as we have a concept of time, then there is yet another dimension.

Speaker: Fair enough. We’re aware of that, that’s the next question. We’re aware of that.

Audience Member: I think one of the things that relative care is saying however is that you can’t have instant gratification. We’re not going to know, you’re asking sort of a question does this make sense, is it internally consistent, does it have this elegance. We may conclude yes, may conclude no, but the only way we’re really going to know is to see how its x plus facto validated.

Speaker: No question about that.

Audience Member: My mind’s considered definitive not because it’s on time, it’s necessarily that it is definitive but because over the long term his, well his philosophical writings, his [inaudible 0:02:18.7] writings, his other writings have “stood the test of time”

Audience Member: Past the time

Audience Member: Past the time.

Speaker: No question about it and we’re all in agreement on that. We are not here to say today that this is genius, brilliant solution, we’re here to discuss how does this feel, what parts of it seem to feel good. Does it seem to be internally elegant or does it seem to be a gaping hole in it. I think that’s, I think that’s the maximum we can attempt in a discussion like this.

Audience Member: I think there’s no hole. I think that you jumped into the ocean, easy to drown, you swam through it, you did your homework, went through all your predecessors, gained their strengths as well as the weaknesses that each tried to produce a unified theory, this is Newton, this is Einstein, now maybe it’s a Birnbaum. But to try to have a unified theory that is relevant, that is acceptable to the scientific world, to the philosophical world, fair to God, fair to you and me, and can enhance a human being and maybe prevent another Auschwitz.

Speaker: Now one of the purposes of writing this was that I felt it would both elevate, frankly the Jews in particular, and I felt the world at large. I felt the underlying theme that quest potential drives the divine and the cosmos in a very energizing and uplifting theme. Universal and somewhat hard to argue with.

Audience Member: Intense.

Speaker: Especially if it’s a core divine dynamic. The basis says that the poverty stricken person born in Bangladesh achieves his potential if he advances as much as he can with his family, his lifetime in parallel to the person born into a privileged home. I [inaudible 0:04:31.6] with that person only if he achieves his potential from his starting point. So potential is relative.

Audience Member: Everyone has the potential and you deal with intellectual potential. There’s all types of potential if the human being can fulfill his potential, God can also fulfill his potential. So there you find the unified theory of our philosophy of life, of a way to live that makes sense, that’s spiritual, that’s intellectual and satisfying to the human being and satisfying to the divine potential. Is it divine potential or is it human potential?

Audience Member: I didn’t quite, maybe I didn’t grasp it right, I was troubled a bit by that concept. Are you saying that if this is divine potential that there is an ever evolving divinity that there is yet a fully developed or fully realized God that seems to mitigate against everything I’ve learned along the way. I mean that there’s a perfection that is both in potentia and in octu [PHONIC] together and there is no room at least in the divine realm for any further development in terms of character, which leads yet to another problem in terms of character, but that’s a separate issue.

Speaker: According to [inaudible 0:05:55.4] I’ll address it. There’s no question that is a component in Orthodox Judaism will reject this. They will say divine is perfect [inaudible 0:06:07.3]. By the same token, there’s a big constituency in orthodoxy which will say there’s room to say the divine is an ongoing perfect potential. So it’s a question of if you wanted to be within the realm of orthodox Jewish [inaudible 0:06:25.0] if you wanted to be outside on the Jewish dharma, it also is

Audience Member: I’m sorry, they’re inherent contradiction, how can there be ongoing perfection if the perfection of something realizes and remains immutable, the suggestion is that the perfection has yet been totally realized.

Speaker: You know it does not say in the Torah God is perfect, you know it told you there is a God. Just as some of these philosophers were perfect, which perfect is a loaded word. What’s perfect to me? So it’s again, from my perspective, you know, if you want to the position that God is perfect and perfect means immutable then the book is trafe. I’m not worried about that because Jewish philosophy is a way of coming around to reality where it has to. They discover evolution, all of a sudden Jewish philosophy is onboard with evolution which it wasn’t for several thousand years. So Jewish philosophy morphs to reality. If this [inaudible 0:07:20.6] totally turns out to be bonafide a
nd true, then Jewish philosophy concludes right in core elements we’ll morph to it. That’s my position.

Audience Member: I’m not a hundred percent sure that this issue really is that stark because it’s an extent we’re dealing with things that are not only beyond our knowledge but on our ability to know. In essence what we’re saying is the prophetic conundrum as it was, does God change his mine. Yet he appears to change his mind, for example, Saul.

Audience Member: I think what it is, is potential that Mr. Birnbaum is referring to is pretty much a potential perfectionary, evolving perfection in so far as it’s evolving not necessarily in God him, her, itself, whatever the concept is, but within our understanding, our relationship, our sense of sense just how the world is together. I read once in a statement that whereas many years ago God made miracles for us, crossing the Red Sea for example, nowadays man has to make miracles for himself.

Audience Member: To this point I think that the bottom of really, I find a bit problematic is that it has to be this way but the gross antimorphism of the divine isn’t necessarily a part of this discussion, but to apply these concepts that the perfection of strength, of goodness is gone, to God obviously would know the choice. There’s no way we could understand exactly what those concepts to mean other than to the use the realms negative, actually [inaudible 0:09:13.1] but I think that’s where I find it a bit difficult because it has to ultimately lead to this kind of a human perception of qualities and traits and characteristics that are really not applicable.

Audience Member: Even the [inaudible 0:09:25.5] negative traits are still to an extent that have antimorphed ,God is not, not just.

Speaker: Remember that I write the series, I’d say the series works with or without God. If you’re a religious person and you want it to work within a religious context to God of Israel, it works.

Audience Member: You can.

Speaker: If you’re not a religious person and you want it to work without class of God, it also works. I personally tilted toward the spiritual version of this, but

Audience Member: The religious person I found to work on a non-spiritual way in the premises

Speaker: But it’s not necessary, meaning that’s only my personal [inaudible 0:10:05.1]. The book is written, it works with or without a classic God of Israel or a classic God of [inaudible 0:10:13.7]. Correct. So this book will certainly not be held hostage to any right wing who says that God is perfect and immuniable.

Audience Member: That’s your position.

Speaker: And I believe time will pass you by both in Jewish philosophy and in greater philosophy. The lesson stamped is no Jewish philosopher or non-Jewish philosopher whose metaphysics holds water, period. They are all fatally flawed. That’s a strong statement, which came about what [inaudible 0:10:49.5] said. No one even comes close. There’s a whole industry built around metaphysics, it isn’t philosophy but respectfully they all break down. I write books which are missing from my children’s’ library. It takes a long time for me to write a book, it’s a thirty year endeavor and this book’s missing from my children’s’ library, unified metaphysics. I grew up [inaudible 0:11:11.9] and went to Shiva University High School, I went to CCY Engineering, went to Harvard Business School and I went to the Harvard programs, I never, always looking for a unified metaphysics and not one metaphysics came close. What is metaphysical comes close, someone should please enlighten me to what it is. That’s what we had, it’s not that there’s alternative competing metaphysics, Jewish or non-Jewish it actually works. Gaping, severe gaping holes, and again that’s a whole course on what are the gaping holes in metaphysics, we can’t go into that.

Audience Member: I’ll tell you what the gaping hole is, we’re talking theology. What’s the Hebrew word for theology? There is none. What do you mean there is none? We invented God, gave God to the world, that’s our contribution. What’s the work of theology, there is no work. We haven’t been talking theology in five centuries, seven centuries, ten centuries. You know we’ve been involved with the Torah, the Halakai [PH] and how we live, which is fine, but there is, the subject hasn’t been on the table for far too many centuries. We don’t have the lexicon, we don’t even have the words of it to use and if you want to deal with the issue of the revelation, is God final, is God not final, one we don’t have the terminology, but you do read about it. Berkowitz used to write about it, I think about evolving revelation, what’s evolving there?

Speaker: Orthodox Berkowitz, Orthodox Berkowitz.

Audience Member: Here’s the Berkowitz.

Speaker: Right, right, correct.

Audience Member: You do have [inaudible 0:12:50.2] what’s been? I thought creation was finished already you know when God went to sleep, it’s over, but it may not be over. So anyway whatever occurs

For David Birnbaum philosophy, metaphysics, see also HP USA-Nimoy