Are we simply our personal selves? Are we what our self-consciousness vision believes itself to be? Is this flesh and blood that compose our bodies all that we are? 

The chemicals we are made of are replenished daily and most of the cells in our bodies renew often. Obviously, we are not simply that which we call our body. Most of our perceptions are mental. We live in a dual mental and physical world. We look in the mirror and see only a portion of ourselves. Neither that self-reflected person in the mirror nor the deepest imagined self buried within us is our whole being. Our lives are the stories of our personal changes.

Once Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” 

Did Shakespeare see life as a play, a dream played out on a cosmic stage? Then who is the dreamer? Are we both the dream and the dreamer, if the universe about us is a play? Does another force dream us into being?

Hindu beliefs tell us that all is an illusion. Modern physicists will tell us of the strange quantum world where imaginary virtual electrons pop in and out of existence and only have a defined reality when measured and observed. 

For objectivity to exist, there must be a subject as well as an object. Every object must have a subject. Ultimately, if the object and the subject are the same, then neither are truly substantial. That is one reason why many people believe that we live in a world of illusion, Hindus among them.

Attempts at rationality and logic all lead to a leap of faith—then to assumptions and beliefs. Logic cannot come to our rescue. We cannot logically prove anything exists but our own thoughts and consciousness. We know that something is being observed and we call it the world. We know that something is thinking and something is recording our perceptions. We call it our brains. 

Even that is a leap of faith, as we cannot even prove that we actually do the thinking. Thoughts come and go at random as our attention refocuses. Because we perceive others with the same perceptions that we perceive ourselves, we can validate their independent existence. Only a nonphysical approach—metaphysical means above the physical—can lead to answers to the timeless questions about our own existence. 


Her name was Christine, blonde, wild hair that floated in the wind, a profile like Bardot’s, a nose too small and a chin too square, but beautiful all the same. She spoke carefully, delicately, her words clipped and precise, her voice always mellow and laughing as she spoke. Her hair smelled like shampoo and her breasts pushed against her blouse, as though trying to break free from confinement. All I knew about her could be spelled out in a few seconds. She had graced the earth for nineteen years, had been married and separated, was the mother of a two­-month-old baby boy, wanted to be a writer, and had attempted suicide three times within the past four months–twice with razor blades and once with sleeping pills.

I had met her earlier in the evening when Mel Thomas and I drove down to Shady Knoll to entertain at a private party. Before leaving Jackson, Mel wanted me to stop and pick up his date. The girl was Christine.

During the day I am a starving and frustrated young writer working feverishly on the next short story, always knowing that this is the one that will sell. After it comes back from the editor’s desk, rejected time after time, I place my hopes on the next story and send it out with stars in my eyes and a confident cloud of glory around my head.

I shoot at stars with an air rifle.

Evenings, I cloak myself in the guise of a singer and entertain here and there, playing my guitar, singing folk songs and crooning ballads to rock-and-roll graduates who wonder why Elvis Presley sent chills down their backs not so many years ago. Though I often dislike singing for some of these people, it is the bread in my mouth. I sing folk music because the taste of the earth is there, the feelings of the long buried but never forgotten loves, the deathlike drudgery of the chain gang derelicts always within sight of the ghastly prison walls that close in around them, hoping, cursing, praying for revenge and escape. 

I croon because I can. I am good at it.

It was a month of ghosts and goblins, witches and rattling bones, pumpkins with hollow faces. It was a month when love ends for the summer and hate bubbles up to face a frozen winter––the month of death, October, when love can bloom and wither in a night.

After the songs were sung, the jokes sprung and the night still hung in the dark October sky, we headed back to Jackson and this little party with some not-so ­close friends in a hazy little room with just a bed, three chairs, and a stereo sitting in a corner on the carpeted floor choking to the sounds of Beethoven’s fifth. 

There were six of us and only Mel had brought a girl––yellow-haired and pale with a straight pink scar on her left wrist and a fresh slice on the other. The right wrist was stitched and swollen up on a frail and delicate arm. Two yellow balloons lay at the foot of the bed. I didn’t know why they were there. In fact, I hardly noticed them at the time. The party threatened to last forever, rolling on and on further into the morning, then coasting toward the dawn––rolling yet, but slowing.

I popped the easy-open tabs on the last six-pack. Christine came over and sat on the arm of’ my chair. I sat back and she reclined against me. Mel sat on the floor immersed in a trance.

“Fake,”  someone yelled, “you’re drunk.”

Mel sat cross-legged, arms folded, eyes glassy and staring into nothing. “So are you.” he said, without moving his lips. “Quiet, please,”

“Want another beer, Christine?” I asked, “Or is seven enough?” 

“Ale,” she said. “And, yes, I’d like another.” 

“Give her a razor blade,” someone said, “She’ll put on a great show.” 

“A bit messy, but great.”

She didn’t know whether to smile or hide her face. She looked at me and attempted a look of pity that looked like a Greek mask of tragedy while Beethoven played in the background.

“Hey, Christine, why don’t you read our palms?”

I felt her back stiffen against me. The scent of dew slid by and around me, then she relaxed again. “All right,” she said. “If you want.”

“Who wants to be first,” someone said. “Mel, for Christ’s sake, get up and come to.”

“I would ask you to dance if I could stand up without falling,” he said .

“You are without a doubt a very fine gentleman,” she said. 

“Yes, without a doubt.”

Christine began reading palms. Mel was to die young, along with two others whom I called Zake and Jake for lack of a better name. My palm was evidently novel length because she read for several minutes. I was to live to a ripe old age, and have three mistresses, a wife, and three children. I was to quit striving for recognition and become content with an ordinary life, then after the years have mellowed me I am to pick up my stray and dormant ambitions and become a great success.

The party was still, the atmosphere eerie. The hushed voice of doom had silenced everyone.

“You’re a witch,” Zake said. “A goddamned real live witch. And drunk, too. Haw, I’ve never seen a drunk witch.” 

“You’ve never looked closely in the mirror,” I said. It was lame, but the best I could do at the time.

The party had gone the course of all parties, the rolling stone was now still and moss-covered. Mel had come out of his trance without any noticeable after-effects. Freud’s theories had been examined, and found acceptable but lacking. Our fortunes now lie bare and cold before us at 4:00 A.M. on a Sunday-turned-Monday morning.

“I have to go,” I said. “I’m a little stoned out. It’ll take me an hour to drive home in this condition. “

“Yeah,” Mel said. “I’ve got to be running too. I’ve got an 8:30 class to make. Calculus. Of all times to have calculus! 8:30 they’ve got to pick. He stumbled over his feet and caught himself on the arm of a chair.

I disappeared into the hallway, then turned back. “By the way, it was a very fine party. Thanks to whoever was responsible.”

“That’s me,” Jake said.. I didn’t really know his true name. “Hey, I forgot your name.”

Adam Rawlings,” I said. 

“Come again, Adam, as Eve said,” he replied.

I laughed politely and closed the door behind me. 

Christine came out into the hall carrying one of the yellow balloons that had been lying at the foot of the bed. “Do you really think that it is safe for you to drive?” she asked, closing the door. The moonlight gathered around her face.

“I have a long lifeline on my palm, remember?”

She laughed. “Yes, but that doesn’t prevent tragedy. You have several tangent lines that run off into tragedy. You ought to delay it as long as you can.”

“I have to sleep,” I said.

She walked over to my side, the balloon, the fat little yellow balloon in her hand. “Touch this a moment,” she said, placing my hand on the yellow skin. I love yellow balloons. “There’s a story behind it. I’d like for you to hear my story about a yellow balloon. Perhaps you could write it much better than I.”

“I would love to hear it,” I said, 

“You can come over to my place,” she said.

“I thought you were with Mel.”

“He wouldn’t mind. I’m the constant Good Samaritan.” 

“Then I would be crazy not to accept, wouldn’t I?”

“Yes, very much so.”

“Then I accept.”

“Perhaps we could take the bus,” she said. “I’ll tell Mel we’re leaving.”

“The folks have gone for the weekend,” Christine said, opening the door. “I do hope Larry’s all right.”


“My baby. He’s so cute. I told the neighbors to come in and check on him every now and then. He’s all I have.”

“I see.”

“Sit down for a second while I check to see that he’s all right.”

The soft red couch sat upon grass-green thick carpeting. A small orange stain at the foot of the couch glowed in the semi­darkness making the carpet seem greener than green. I lit a cigarette and awaited her return. I could hear her cooing far down the hall. 

“He wants his bottle,” she said, coming down the hallway. She disappeared into the kitchen and I followed. 

“It’s a wonder he didn’t howl all night.”

“I gave him a few drops to make him sleep,” she said. “Doctor’s orders. He has an extremely bad digestive tract. I don’t know what will happen when we have to put him on solid food.”

“Do you leave him like this often?”

“No, just when I have to. Sometimes the walls close in and I have to get away. Usually my parents are here to look after him.”

“What about a sitter? Don’t you ever get a sitter for him? He’s only two months old. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Babies.”

“I shouldn’t have left him, I know.”

“Promise me you’ll get a sitter next time and ‘I’ll be happy again.”

“Yes, I promise.”

“What ‘s that stuff?” I asked. She was putting drops from a brown bottle into the formula. 

“…three … four …five. Phenobarbital. The doctor says he needs it. It makes him sleep. I can’t stand him when he howls.”

She put the formula on the stove. I said nothing and returned to the sofa.

In a few minutes, her head peeked around the corner and a little painted finger wiggled for me.

“He’s so cute,” she whispered. “Just like his father.”

“Not like his mother?”

“Just a little. Maybe in the eyes.”

She adjusted the bottle and the baby sucked with wide blue eyes.”

“Look, the hair. Isn’t that something for his age?”

“Sure,” I said. “He’s…”

“Shhh… he’s going to sleep.”

“Those drops?”


“They can make anybody dopey. They’re very dangerous you know.” 

  “It keeps him quiet,” she said. “I love him, but I hate him. “The motherly instinct was lost in me somehow.” 

“Maybe you married too young.” 

“Yes,” she said. “Perhaps.”


We were sitting on the couch. The green carpeting with the stain glowed orange and yellow in the faint moonlight under our feet. The yellow balloon lay in her lap, her fingers running over the tensile yellow skin. Her nails were painted red but badly bitten, leaving little crescents of fingers above the nails.

“When I first met Larry’s father, my husband, it was at a street carnival. I was carrying a yellow balloon, like this one. It could have been no other color but yellow. Yellow symbolizes love. Doesn’t yellow mean1 love to you?”

“It could,” I said.

“What other color could be love? What color is love?”

“Perhaps red. Perhaps white.”

“White is not a color. It’s a combination of all colors. And black is the absence of any color. Yellow is the color of love, red the color of anger, and green the color of hate.

“I was carrying my yellow balloon by the merry-go-round listening to the tinkle of the calliope and suddenly, a gust of wind blew it from my hand. I reached out for it and caught it just as Gary grabbed hold. We both held it for an instant, rather like we both refused to give it up. Then he smiled and handed it to me. And that was how we met.”

She lit a cigarette. “Do you believe that when two people touch a love balloon at the same time that they will fall in love and their love will be strong until the balloon loses its air?”

“It’s new to me,” I said, “but fascinating. Go on.”

“We fell in love. Whenever we would meet we would buy a little yellow love balloon and blow it full and tie a knot in its tail to keep the air in. We even had a love balloon carried down the aisle with us when we were married.”

Her hands gently caressed the balloon with little squeaks of contact. “Gary is a writer,” she said, “like you, but he would not write without an inspiration. He was never satisfied with what he wrote and never sold a thing. I have only about ten thousand left in the bank now. Daddy gave me twenty-five when I turned eighteen and we lived on that until…” 

“Until what?” I asked.

She stubbed her cigarette in the ashtray. “Until our balloon broke. I was eight months pregnant with Larry. When I was seven months pregnant I fell down the steps and they thought that I would lose him. Now they think that’s what is wrong with his digestive tract.

“Gary and I were sitting in a restaurant. We had our love balloon with us, lying on the table. A girl Gary used to know dropped over and sat with us without an invitation. She lit a cigarette. When she dropped the ashes in the ashtray the hot tip touched the balloon and it burst. Gary and I just looked at one another. We both knew.”

Her eyes rested on the balloon in her lap. “I will never trust anyone again,” she said. “Do you like the story? Do you think you would like to write about my yellow balloon?”

“It’s your story,” I said. “You should tell it yourself.”

“I’m so closely involved that I could not do it justice,” she said.

“I would love to write your story, Christine, but that’s not the end.”

“Why is that?”

“How old do you think I am, Chris?”


“Twenty-one. Just legal, not wise. But yet I know that there is more fantasy than fact in your story. The story doesn’t explain that slice on your wrist and that drugged baby sleeping in the other room.”

          “I’m schizophrenic,” she said. “I have two personalities and five psychiatrists. Perhaps that explains something.”

I lit a cigarette and put my arm around her shoulder. She nestled towards me. “Tired?”

“Not really,” she said.

“Should I try to fill in some gaps in your story?”

“If you’d like.”

“If I hit the nail on the head, promise you won’t get angry?”

“I promise.”

“The story stops before the wedding bells, I suspect. I imagine that there were no wedding bells and if a yellow balloon walked the aisle of matrimony, it walked by itself.”

“It makes an interesting footnote,” she said.

“Did you love him deeply?” 


“And the girl with the cigarette?”

“He’s with her now.”

“And he never really returned your love. You sought attention with sleeping pills but prayed that you would be discovered before the four horsemen bore down upon you with the smell of death on their swords.

“And the wrists,” I continued. “When was the first time?” 

“Just before the balloon broke and Larry was born.” 

“What did it accomplish?” 


“Do you mind if I talk about it?”

“No, I’d like to talk about it too. I want to get it out of my system.”

“Talk will help, but it won’t heal. Like the other wrist. It’s infected now, isn’t it?”

“I’m taking penicillin to keep the swelling down. The doctor may have to lance it. I would hate that. I don’t mind doing it myself, but the thought of letting someone else do it… Do you know what mood I was in? What would you guess would be my mood?”

“Unhappy. Brooding. Lonely and craving someone or something that was nowhere near.” 

“I was happy, just as I am now. I went to the bathroom to powder my face. Daddy had left his razor blades lying on the lavatory. Larry was asleep and he had been a perfect little man all day. Mother was in the kitchen. Suddenly, I wanted to see my blood spurt up and away from me. I wanted to drain myself from my soul. I took the blade and cut deep. The doctor said another fraction of an inch and I would have severed my nerves and lost all control over my right hand. The blood spurted up, throbbing bright red and I ran out here laughing. The stain on the rug, there, see?”

She pointed to the glowing orange against the grass-green carpet.

“It’s hard to believe this night is happening, Christine,” I said.

“This morning,” she said. “The sun is almost ready to rise.”

“Then we have to watch the sunrise,” I said.

“I hate them,” she said. “They depress me. Every time I see a sunrise I would like to throw a stone at it.”


“Could I have another cigarette?” she asked.

I lit one and put it between her lips. Her head lay on my shoulder.

“A penny for your thoughts,” she said.

“They aren’t really worth that much. I’m debating.” 

“With what?”

“With my conscience.”

“Adam. I like your name. Adam Rawlings. It floats through the darkness. Adam Rawlings is debating with his conscience,” she laughed.

I kissed her and she responded warmly with open lips and lascivious arms.

“What is your debate about?” she whispered.

“Whether or not to make love to you.”

“You have a choice?”

“Yes, there’s a choice.

“But what if I say ‘no’. Then there is no choice.”

“Would you say no?”

“Probably not. Even if I did, there’s always rape. But that ‘s already been done when I was fifteen.”

“You’re not shocking me, Christine. We passed the point of shock a while back. Are you drunk?”

“No, not now. I once was, but not now.”

“You know what?” I asked.


“Nobody has ever really loved you, have they?”

“That’s true.”

Her lips once again found mine. They were warm and sweet and seeking. Soft little slaps of’ love entwined with the waning darkness, and the sharp click of’ touching teeth.

“So, do you really hate men because of that?”

“They aren’t very gentle,” she said, seeking her breath.

“Am I gentle?” I caressed her softly near the small of’ her back.

“Yes, I suppose,” she sighed. “Uhmmmm, but I want a man who wants me for more than sex.”

“Of course,” I said. “You know something else?”


Our lips met again, her body arched and pushed towards me and she slid down on the sofa. “I think I could love you for you and you alone, even though what I’ve seen of your motherly instinct and those scars on your wrists ought to repel me.”

“You get to know a person psychologically and you can build your line on that.”

“I’m not building a line,” I said. 

“Yes, I know.”

“I’m not going to make love to you,” I said.

“What if I should offer it?” 

“Tomorrow you’d regret it.”

“You’re different,” she smiled. 

“Dammit,” I replied.

We relaxed on the couch. “There’s a wonderful person hidden in there,” I said.

“You know, I like you, but…”

“Don’t say it,” I said. “I know what it is.”

“Tell me, then.”

“This is only for tonight and there is no tomorrow. You are only playing games. I am a game in the night. Tomorrow there will be more razor blades.”

“Yes,” she said. “Yes.”

“So did I guess right?”

“As close as anyone ever could.”

“Good. I want to love you, you know. I ache and want you badly. But I want to be more than just a game. Tonight could hurt us both.”

“There is no tomorrow.”

“What about a hospital? Have you ever considered one?”


“But you won’t go?”

“Ohhh, Adam. Adam One Night that cannot be always.”

“A hospital could help. I would wait.”

“No, you wouldn’t. I know you psychologically too. Besides, our balloon would lose all its air.”

The balloon lay against the wall on the sofa’s back.

“I would blow it up every day,” I said. 

“Let’s talk about religion,” she said.


“Yes, do you have a religion of any sort?” 

“Just my own. What about you?”

“I’m still looking.”

“Would you like to try mine on for size?”

“If you can explain the unexplainable.”

I noticed the golden light streaming in the window. “The sun is up,”  I said.

“And I forgot to throw a stone.”

“You know, we’11 get drunk if we talk about religion. We can get drunk on thought as well as booze.”

“Let’s both get stoned on thought,” she smiled. “Try putting it as simply as you know how.”

“There is nothing but space and matter,” I said. “The smallest thing we know of is an atom, and it is divided into protons, neutrons and electrons, and other particles. Atoms go together to form molecules. But supposing that we are atoms, you and I,

“Forming a molecule by uniting?” she laughed. “What a line.”

“Not tonight,”  I smiled.

“No, not tonight. Go ahead, please.”

“Well, if we were just simple atoms in a world far vaster than we could ever imagine,” I continued, “just an atom in some yellow balloon on some grand planet, and that in turn was just a molecule on some grander thing that we have no word for, eventually, at the peak of greatness, we would have God who can move and direct the tiny atom that we know. So on it goes in an unending circle.”

“Yes,” she said,” I like that.”We are simply protons that make up an atom of some unknown element that makes God. It’s good, but it makes me feel so small. If I feel much smaller I’ll go back to a razor blade diet.”

“I’m a poor analyst,” I said.


Someone knocked on the door and Christine began straightening herself. She pecked my lips with a kiss, brushed her hand through her hair, and answered the door. The scent of her beauty lingered and left me feeling hollow at the separation.

“It’s Mel Thomas,” she said. “He says he’s going to class and will drop you off at your car if you want to go with him.”

“I’d better,” I said. I have to get some sleep and back to work. Tell him I’ll be right out.”

She closed the door and sat beside me on the couch. The grass-­green carpeting with its pale orange stain stared at me in the daylight. I found myself looking at the wound on her wrist where the stitches were still sticking out like tatters of thread on an otherwise perfect piece of cloth something entirely out of place. The wound was even more swollen than it had been during the night.

“Don’t look at it,” she said. “It’s ugly.”

“You really want to live, don’t you? I would never leave you alone if I thought you would go back to razor blades.”

“I want to live desperately,” she said, lighting a cigarette. She bent forward and kissed me on the mouth. “My One Night Adam.”

She picked the yellow balloon from the back of the sofa and put it on the burning cigarette. The sound was like the explosion of a bomb. The baby began to cry and the beauty that had been was suddenly shattered into dreamy fragments and lay at my feet in the cruel light of day.

“It would never work, you and me,” she smiled. 

I shook my head.

“God, that baby. He wants another bottle. I’ll have to sit up with him all day.” 

“Try not to hate it so,” I said. “It’s just a part of life that we all have to face. We call it reality for lack of a better name.”

“Goodbye, Adam,” she said.

“If you go to the hospital, I’ll wait for you to get out.” 

“Perhaps I wouldn’t come out,” she smiled.

“But you would,” I said. “Just a short time and…”

She held up the small, limp fragments of the yellow balloon. “lt’s broken,” she said.

“Christine, I don’t even know your last name.”

“It’s just as well,”  she said. “Don’t forget to write my story.”

-Ken H. Finton

October 9, 1963


by Kenneth Harper Finton

I have made demo recordings for most of my life. I remember the day we made this one. Chaya had written a song and I wanted to get it down on tape before it was lost and forgotten. As I had done hundreds of times before, I set up the microphones and turned on the little cassette tape recorder. Then we recorded this first demo version of “PLEASE SLOW DOWN”. There are quite likely more demos in the files, but this one gives the original idea and conception of how we thought the song should go. as the song was professionally recorded by a production team in Kentucky later.

For comparison, here is the produced version created in a studio in Louisville, Kentucky. It is much cleaner, loses much the original idea, and becomes a 90s dance song.


By Kenneth Harper Finton ©2015, 2022)


-KH Finton (2015)

Unconscious thought needs no brain to advertise its presence.

Thought brings to light a spark, impulsive waves that create space

and burns their way through time to start the clock of matter.

Living movements are preceded by thought.

All life thinks, as life is thought made manifest in form.

All of nature thinks, as all of nature is ruled by physical laws.

We see it in the movement of the wind,

We see it in the birthing of desire,

We see it in the crackling of a fire.

Even the cosmos is a living, breathing being

that looks endlessly to propagate and create

and sifts through infinity itself to find its better half.

Our self-centered, self-reflecting species has come to believe that we are the only thing that thinks. Despite the fact that plants seek the sun and tendrils wind their way up and down, despite the fact that insects show intelligence and microbes show awareness, our limited definition of thought has hidden the truth of the world from us. We have equated our brains with our intelligence and our nervous system with our thoughts. It has not occurred to us that thought precedes essence, that the spark of thought ignited the entire big bang that we theorized made the universe itself.

All movement is preceded by thought. It is thought that causes movement. Without movement, we can have no space nor time, or existence. We can experience the truth of this statement within our own selves. In order to do something, we must first contemplate and think about it–even if the thought is unconscious thought.

What is thought? We must define the words to be clear:

The word thought comes from Old English þoht, or geþoht, from the stem of þencan “to conceive of in the mind, consider.” [Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of Though.” Online Etymology Dictionary.]

Noesis (n.)

1820, from Greek noesis “intelligence, thought,” from noein “to have mental perception,” from noos “mind, thought.”

Mind (n.)

late 12c., from Old English gemynd “memory, remembrance, state of being remembered; thought, purpose; conscious mind, intellect, intention,” Proto-Germanic ga-mundiz (cognates: Gothic muns “thought,” munan “to think;” Old Norse minni “mind;” German Minne (archaic) “love,” originally “memory, loving memory”), from PIE root *men- (1) “think, remember, have one’s mind aroused,” with derivatives referring to qualities of mind or states of thought (cognates: Sanskrit matih “thought,” munih “sage, seer;” Greek memona “I yearn,” mania “madness,” mantis “one who divines, prophet, seer;” Latin mens “mind, understanding, reason,” memini “I remember,” mentio “remembrance;” Lithuanian mintis “thought, idea,” Old Church Slavonic mineti “to believe, think,” Russian pamjat “memory”). The meaning of “mental faculty” is mid-14c. “Memory,” one of the oldest senses, now is almost obsolete except in old expressions such as bear in mind, call to mind. Mind’s eye “remembrance” is early 15c. Phrase time out of mind is attested from early 15c. To pay no mind “disregard” is recorded from 1916, American English dialect. To have half a mind to “to have one’s mind half made up to (do something)” is recorded from 1726. Mind-reading is from 1882.

Thought has been linked with the mind since the beginning of language and human communications. Consciousness is also related to the mind, as consciousness is the state of being aware of one’s own existence.

Our physicists envision a singular spot of infinitely dense particles with indescribable temperatures where all particles once congregated in unfathomable density before exploding in the big bang.

Have we failed to comprehend that it was the spark of thought that preceded the observed reality of existence and started the interconnected chains of experience that became our universe?


[ik-speer-ee-uh ns]


1.   a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something:

2.   the process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something:

3.    the observing, encountering, or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time:

4.    knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone:

5.    Philosophy. The totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered.


[The term “prehension” indicates that the perceiver actually incorporates aspects of the perceived thing into itself. The term is meant to indicate a kind of perception that can be conscious or unconscious, applying to people as well as electrons.]

The march of time and space begins with prehensions of attraction and repulsion as elemental waves and particles recognize themselves and react. The reality of our world is not made of fundamental bits of matter that exist independently of one another as many believe. Reality is composed of the intermingled and entangled chains of events that make up experience.

These prehensions are felt in the most elemental of particles and waves. Particles and waves are the palpable recorded experience of thought in different states of energy and organization.

Awareness: the basis of existence

noun: awareness; plural noun: awarenesses

knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

Awareness precedes perceptions or perceptions would not exist.

In order to have prehensions and conceptions, we must have an awareness that can recognize these senses. We prove this in our own existence. If we did not have both a conscious and an unconscious mind, we would know nothing and be nothing.



noun: perception; plural noun: perceptions

the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses.

It is that original awareness, the primal state, that creates the process of consciousness. If it were not present, there would be no registry or history of existence at all. The process of consciousness is the history of existence. We continually concoct existence out of nothing in every frame of time that we create.

Awareness is the precursor of consciousness. Consciousness is not a thing, but a process of self-objectification that constantly creates the world anew each moment. Through thought, awareness becomes conscious and organizes matter into being.

noun: consciousness

The state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings. The awareness or perception of something by a person. 

plural noun: consciousnesses: The fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.



noun: feeling; plural noun: feelings

the capacity to experience the sense of touch. The sensation of touching or being touched by a particular thing.


noun: perception; plural noun: perceptions

the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

Perceptions are feelings that have come to consciousness and made self-aware.

The most elementary of things experience the sense of touch. If it did not, it would not react to or be influenced by another object. Without a rudimentary sense of self, an object would never know or be influenced by another. This sense need not be intellectual, but as simple as gravitational attraction and repulsion.

All remembrance is of the mind.

Perceptions are coded into matter with chemical compounds made from elemental particles and waves, then stored, and organized into related conceptions by thought. This is the process of experience.

Thought is the eternal spark that interprets the electrical pulses and links chemical changes.

Actions are organized thoughts made manifest, as thought becomes material by recording temporal changes upon material particles and chemicals. It constantly changes the universe within us and around us.

It is all a part of an eternal process where fundamental awareness creates and projects experience so that the world as we know it might exist and continue in this existential experience. 

Existence is a process, not a goal nor an end. The external world is composed of sound and light, mediums that are in essence vibratory. The elements themselves are not solid but composed of matter whose ultimate material nature is also vibratory.

Perhaps in its purest state, virgin awareness is void of experience and thought. That is easy to picture if we try to remember the time before we were born. It is void of space and time and particles and waves. Thought is the spark that creates all matter and all space and all time. All existence began as realized thoughts as the one reflected upon the other and objects were born.

Thought created the history of existence. Realized thoughts actually change the substance of matter. Matter itself is the record of thought having passed through points in space and time and imprinted the record of its passage on particles and elements, creating temporal events that become recorded experiences.

Albert Einstein did not believe in an Abrahamic God but assented to the laws of nature in the way Spinoza had done centuries before. He believed that order, not chaos, was the rule of the universe.

He once said that he did not believe that God played dice with the universe.

“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.” – Albert Einstein

Einstein also said: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty…We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”

– Albert Einstein


It is a normal thing to wonder about where the universe came from. “Why is it here?” “Why am I here?” These are questions that even children ask. Scientists have left these queries to religion and philosophers. Science demands repeated objective results, but an objective method to find answers to these questions seems impossible.

To attempt to solve that, we must first try to determine whether the universe is infinite or finite. An infinite universe would always exist, with no beginnings and no endings. The terms “infinite” and “eternal” both imply time and space. The eternal has no beginning in time while the infinite has no beginning in space.  The Big Bang Theory of universal formation would be a creation model, giving the universe a beginning, as do many genesis-type origin theories from around the world. 

Seeking out something that could be physically infinite is difficult. All things and events that take place in space and time have beginnings. That which has a place in time and space does not qualify as being in an infinite state. Infinity is that which is beyond space and time. For many people, infinity is unknowable. Others claim to have glimpsed it.

When contemplating infinity and the universe, there is no way to escape the concept of God. Most cultures have had gods since the beginning of civilization. Something in us wants to give a name to that which existed before the universe came to be and will continue after the universe has ended. 

That which existed before anything and after anything, even though it be nothing or voidness, is still another concept for God in the minds of many. Nothing is, of course, no thing. God is not a thing as well. There is a parallel here, but God cannot be nothing.

An empty void has no existence without a world in which to place it. We cannot see nothing because it is not there. If it is not there, then it logically does not exist.

We live in a universe of complementary states. We have bad and we have good. We have right, we have left. We have up, we have down. We cannot have a subject without an object. One needs the other like a child needs a mother.

Picture a place without time and space where thought has melted into a pool of undifferentiated possibilities, a seemingly endless ocean of events and experiences that have not yet occurred. 

All is still for the briefest of instants because when time stops, existence ceases and the one is no longer measured as being separate from the other. Measurement occurs in spacial dimensions, but not in primary dimensions where only points, lines, and possibilities exist.

Before we can have a world, we need events. To have events we need an observer to recognize that event. To have an observation we need to have awareness of an object or an event. The essential quality for observation or interaction is to have awareness of an object. Awareness, then, is the first cause for the existence of time and space. All things are not only produced by awareness in its myriads of localized forms but all things are formed from the eternal and non-material awareness which has always been –– as the eternal now is ever-present.

For some people, this primal awareness is called ‘God’ but there is a great social danger in calling anything holy and above natural law. Creation is a process and an act, not an unexplained miracle. The act of creation spreads knowledge and organization across the universe. This Universe is a system with properties that we define. 

Awareness is the cause of time and space, though it forever dwells outside of time and space.  Without awareness, nothing can be distinguished as separate. There is no essence of being without awareness. It is of another dimension that has no beginning nor end. This awareness is potentially infinite, yet responsible for the existence of the finite. It is beyond self, yet produces not only the act of consciousness but describes and brings to being a forever changing universe of unlimited potential.

We can describe the world as not only a work-in-progress, but a record of historical events and experiences where thoughts were made manifest and tangible by actions, recorded by the bricks and mortar of matter, and re-interpreted by the mind to formulate experience from contiguous entangled events.


By Kenneth Harper Finton

My friend Tim believes that the universe is infinite. If you could travel in a straight line forever, you would see nothing but stars and dust with galaxies, clusters, and planets so far beyond our sense’s ability to perceive that we could never find an end. It keeps on going forever. Even if matter is not present, Tim believes that space goes on forever. That is his picture of an infinite universe. 

The problem with this image is that it is impossible to know. If energy cannot be newly created or destroyed (according to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics), then energy simply changes form. There would not be enough room in eternity to have infinite matter unless the universe is also infinite. Objects like the universe have a place in space and time. Therefore, both space and the universe must be finite. When the universe expands, everything is bigger and farther apart. In an eternity, the whole of finite matter that composes all objects would be so large as to be totally separated from one another. 

So what is the universe expanding into?

That which is beyond the boundary of the universe is often called “voidness”. It is not anything. It is not in time and space. Voidness can be infinite because there is nothing there at all. You cannot travel there because it is not there. You cannot see it because it is invisible. Voidness is not simply the stillness of quantum fields without movement. Voidness is the infinity of nothingness, the original state of non-existence. 

But is there something that can be eternally held in the nothingness of the void? Can the void hold potentiality? Potentiality is not something real––not something that exists. It has no definite time and occupies no space. In this case, potentiality is the invisible seed of something that can possibly exist.

If the void is capable of holding potentiality (as I assume must be the case), then it must have the ability to store both the potentiality of energy and the potentiality of alertness and awareness. Both are essential components of world formation. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines potential as “existing in possibility, capable of development into actuality.” See

Potentiality is not actuality. It need not be in time and space. It can, like the void, be infinite. From the beginning, in order to start the unveiling of a universe, potential energy must exist within the void. This potentiality of the void would take up no time nor occupy any space because neither space nor time exists in the non-dimensional. Further, if the void can hold potential energy, then it can hold potential awareness and the potential intellect of the natural mind. The void’s potential information can serve as a two-dimensional blueprint for the unveiling of a universe.

We must then suspect that awareness and energy have their origin in the void. They do not exist there, but the potential to exist must be harbored in the void. 

There are three fundamental necessities for the universe to exist––energy, awareness, and information. All are invisible and all are infinite––without form or body.

With these three fundamentals, the void has the ability to bring the universe into existence. In modern terms, an excitation of a cosmic thought in the potential eternal energy of the void creates the zero-dimension, a dimension similar to the void––in that it is outside space and time––but unlike the void in that the newly-released energy becomes kinetic instead of potential and is perceived by the potential for awareness in the void. Movement, like the released energy that creates a thought, creates a zero-dimension that is infinite and unique in that it sprang from the void by actuating the void’s potentiality.

Is it any wonder then, that this voidness would be interpreted as God by our ancestors, both remote and recent? The void has the property of holding the potential to activate nature itself with the potential energy and awareness that is somehow stored within it. 

Tim’s wife also believes in an expanding universe that grows faster and faster as objects speed away from one another. If you ask her what the universe is expanding into, the answer is that “the universe is all there is. Nothing exists without it. It keeps getting bigger. It is not expanding into anything because there is nothing in which to expand.” 

That is precisely my point… at the remote end of the universe is the void, just as in the remote beginning.

The good thing about the void is that it can be anything you want it to be. It can be God, Buddha, Allah, Jupiter, or Ra the Sun God. It can be the Tao, the heavens, Nirvana, or altered consciousness.

What is created can be nature, reality, illusion, Maya, or something in between. It can be nothing and everything at once. Nothing really exists but the void and the realized potential it has wrought.


by Kenneth Harper Finton

How do children develop a sense of self?

The question was asked, “Did man invent mathematics or did he discover it?” We assume that mathematics springs from a universal source because the universe exhibits mathematical precision and patterns from the very start.

Before we can have a world, we need events. To have events we need an observer. To have an observation we need awareness of an object or an event. The essential quality for observation or interaction is to have awareness of an object. Observers are generally thought of as being people, but they can also be a system. An observer is a person or a system that observes.

Awareness, then, is the first cause. It is responsible for the recognition of an object and events. Objects and events exist in time and space. Awareness comes in myriads of forms and degrees. It is present in all living things. It is present as prehensions and in inanimate things. All things are produced by awareness in myriads of localized forms. When organized, awareness becomes consciousness. All things are formed from the eternal and non-material awareness which has always been present––as the eternal now is ever-present. This is where the concept of the world in the mind is most convincing. In order for there to have been an evolutionary path through the birthing of elements in stars, there had to be an observer.

As the positive numbers in the mathematical universe continue endlessly, the negative numbers continue endlessly as well. The sum of all these numbers negative and positive are zero, that is, the total mathematical value of the mathematical universe is zero. It has no numerical value, as it is not a thing and needs no value. For example, the sum of 1+2+3+4 subtracted from the sum of -1-2-3-4 equals zero. It has no value because it comes from its source in the non-dimensional. All the mathematical universes must add up to zero as well. In order for that to occur physically—to add up to zero—negative values must be paired with positive values.

When change occurs in the dimensional universe, that change is recorded physically by changes in the physical matter of the universe. [Rock hits a rock, and forms a crater. Cut your toe, feel the pain, see the injury.] My take is that the non-dimensional is both opposed to and complementary to the physical universe. It is the realm of thought, mathematics, and ideas. Data from the physical world is simultaneously coded and stored as data in the non-dimensional realm.

Matter behaves like both a particle and a wave. Matter is the temporal recording media of physical change. Events are coded physically and stored to form our mental experience. The non-dimensional process of thought and awareness constantly creates our consciousness in the present moment. This is how the non-dimensional interacts with the dimensional. It has done so throughout the process of evolution. Non-dimensional activity is present in instincts and the workings of the unconscious mind. This activity is unfurled into finite chemical and electrical activities that evolve further and, in turn, record their changes back into the non-dimensional.

The dimensional universe creates a boundary that limits infinity to localized viewpoints.

My take is that In the non-dimensional realm, records of events are coded into wave frequencies that hold mathematical descriptions of their counterparts in the dimensional universe. The equations and formulas in the non-dimensional realm come to being in the physical world and guide the unfolding of the physical universe. Our physical changes may be coded in mathematical forms and also simultaneously recorded in the non-dimensional realm from which the physical universe is projected.



By Kenneth Harper Finton ©2015, 2021

Is the universe itself a brain? They certainly have a similar look in these pictures. That might not prove that it is a brain nor that it has intelligence, yet everything we know about the workings of nature and the universe, in general, seems to have a masterly and thoughtful aspect about it. 

Mathematics are human tools used to calculate facts and events in the natural world, but the math systems themselves seem to work because they uncover pre-existing patterns that follow universal laws and principles. Does that mean that mathematics came first and we humans simply discover the underlying equations? This often appears to be the case.

We view the world emotionally. How we view our world and the universe about us plays an important part in our emotional well-being. It is impossible to envision a life without pain and suffering, as these things are natural tools essential to our survival. Without pain, we would not know what was bad for us. Without suffering and loss, we could not value happiness and gains properly.

To get to the actuality––I will not call it truth because we can only paint a local image of what we observe––to attempt to describe our world, we have to get beyond our emotional feeling. We need to throw out the dogmas our religions have created. 

Our emotional natures reflect upon our own demise and often create negative emotions when we think about our temporal stays as existing beings.

I published an article in Helios about the near-death experience of a young girl who was certain that she was about to die. She put it his way:

 “…when a vision of absolute nothingness rises before my eyes with the sudden damning conviction that there is nothing after death and our life is but a tiny spark in the midst of eternal meaningless darkness. The thought of such insignificance and meaninglessness is so daunting, and the idea of the world carrying on irrespective of our existence so unbearable, that our mind hurries to close the idea up again, with the result that the vision or realization disappears as soon as it appeared, leaving only the cold clammy feeling of an uncertain dread in its place. The realization of our minuscule existence in the enormous scheme of things can’t fail to be accompanied by a lack of faith in the meaningfulness of our insignificant lives. It’s an idea probed time and again by writers and artists alike, yet it is one that can yield no answers. It causes us to question the nature of existence itself, and the justification behind its repetitive mundane pursuits.”

I remember being a child when Jehovah’s Witnesses came knocking on the door to spread their gospel according to their teachings. They said that: “Millions now living will never die.” By this, they meant that the world as we knew it was coming to an end and a new world where death was vanquished for the faithful believers was just around the corner.

In one form or another, that is the message of most of the world’s religions. They offer either a heaven or an altered state of consciousness where death is no longer something to fear or fret about. Because people want to believe this, such religious dogmas take root and are used by organized religion to control the minds, emotions, and lives of the believers. The masses want a God of understanding and love who will want to keep their experiences in living memory. They want heaven for continued experience and Nirvana to be more than a rock group.


The question then, is there anything else that can give solace in our emotional quest for everlasting life? Would we even be pleased with an eternal life from which there is no escape from the essential suffering and loss that is built into existence itself?

Is it necessary for our life experience to be recorded infinitely or continue eternally for the soul to be happy with its lot? 

We humans forget many things and our memories are often faulty. Some mundane events do not seem to be worth the remembering. Our own experiences disappear into memory and we lose track of the mundane details. In order to save our better experiences for later times, we developed writing, drawing pictures, and photography.

Is the physical matter that exists and in our world a record of events and actions that have occurred in time and space? 

It seems obvious that this is so. We reconstruct our history from past events and experiences that left a physical mark on time and space.

We can experience the reality of this ourselves. Our movements and actions make changes in the outside world that are recorded in memory as events and experiences. Actions are recorded in the world outside ourselves as well, as we change our world physically every moment. We, ourselves, change physically from moment to moment.

We can––with a minimum of effort––reduce and simplify the world enough to show that we exist in a continuing process of conscious and unconscious awareness. This too is obvious by the nature of our minds and status as Homo Sapiens.  That this is true of all of nature is my best-educated guess.

Giving the attribute of awareness to inanimate and non-living chemicals is a stretch for some people. We equate awareness to higher forms of life and intelligence to those mammals with brains and nervous systems. Yet, most processes are not what we would call conscious processes, but unconscious processes.

Underneath, the unconscious goes about creating processes independent from our intellectual understanding. There is a difference between that which we consciously know and that which is an unconscious process that keeps the intellectual consciousness alive and builds the world itself.

We need to redefine that which we term to be the mind. If the unconscious mind were actually non-conscious or unaware, it could not function with the degree of precision that we observe.

Transmissions of information and transformations of matter into energy and back again take place in the smallest of events from chemical bonding to electromagnetic attractions. To my way of thinking, this can and should be defined as being a mental process, something controlled and actuated by a mind that is obviously different from the human brain. Nature itself thinks and creates, apparently without the need for self-awareness. 

Nature is constantly experimenting with new forms and redesigning the old. Nature itself is still learning, as there is an indefinite amount to learn. Nature has the urge to unite and compound, the propensity to create new elements for more advanced compounds––all this occurs and is nurtured by nature. 

The instinctive and unconscious desire to be more than we can be by ourselves alone seems to be the driving force behind evolutionary change. Nature has been producing matter and life for billions of years, long before self-consciousness arose in the form of the human species. Our self-reflective species did not cause the universe to exist. Time and space arrived before human cognition.



By Kenneth Harper Finton © 2014, rev 2015

4874028-portrait-of-thomas-jefferson-2-dollar-note“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”   

 – Thomas Jefferson

This famous quote by Jefferson, the opening line of TheDeclaration of Independence, has long been the battle cry for freedom and equality.

Since the time I was a child, I felt chilled by the power and the wisdom in these words. I never doubted for a moment that these words were true because I wanted them to be true.

Is this really true?

Is it self-evident that all men are created equal? What if we substituted ‘gorillas’ instead of men.  Are all gorillas created equal? Are all snakes created equal? What about women? Are all women created equal as well?


View original post 1,281 more words


By Kenneth Harper Finton

“She has a lot of potential,” someone said. That means that buried within her is a chance, a proclivity to succeed at a task. That potential is not something that exists in the present, but something that could come to exist in the future. Potential does not exist in the present except as a vision or concept but it is a chance of action in the future. She can either fill her potential or fail to do so.

Potentiality is the highway upon which evolution is built. From the appearance of the first bursts of energy to the choices we make on a moment-to-moment basis, we are guided and ruled by future potentiality. That is what brings the world to our senses.

I think it is quite important to find and relate a way that the physical world comes into being. Ontology is about the foundations of being itself.

If energy cannot be created, then all the energy that ever existed still exists, albeit in different forms. That in itself is quite humbling. We are not only made from stardust, but the very atoms in our bodies are ancient.

If the universe is a finite composite of existing things, then it too had a beginning––begging the question as to what was here before the universe.

If the universe is infinite and eternal, then we would not be here at all. Why? Because if energy cannot be created, the universe cannot forever expand into nothingness. Energy would be spread so thin that it could not interact in an eternity. 

The other option, of course, is that energy can be created, but this runs counter to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics which declares it cannot be created.


We know now that it was primal energy that was present before the universe because it cannot be created. We do not know beyond doubt that mass of any kind was present. If mass were present, it would have been from a previous universe. However mass cannot travel at light speed, whereas energy can.  It is easier to accept that there was no mass before the emergence of the universe, as matter is energy in a temporal form. The primal potential energy that existed before time and space, precipitated mass from the potential energy that has always existed. 

Potentiality has no physical being. It is a property of a system, not of an individual body or particle. As such, it does not come into existence until it becomes kinetic energy. Energy is only manifest when it is released in time and space. Even space contains potential energy. 

Potential energy need not have EXISTED before the universe, but being a property of a natural system, it comes into existence when movement occurs. Primal energy is timeless (immortal), because it cannot be created, and exists only when in motion. At rest, it is a potentiality that needs no measures of space or time until movement occurs. It is the movement that requires energy to materialize from the potential to the actionably manifest. The potential energy in its pure form requires no time or space. It is the perception of movement that actuates the chain of evolution.

That which is beyond the boundary of the universe is the void itself. It is not anything. It is not in time and space. Voidness can be infinite because there is nothing there at all. You cannot travel there because it is not there. You cannot see it because it is invisible. Voidness is not simply the stillness of quantum fields without movement. Voidness is the infinity of nothingness, the original state of non-existence. 

But is there something that can be eternally held in the nothingness of the void? Can the void hold potentiality? Potentiality is not something real––not something that exists. It has no definite time and occupies no space. It is the seed of something that can possibly exist.

If the void is capable of holding potentiality (as must be the case), then it must have the ability to store both the potentiality of energy and the potentiality of awareness. 

Potentiality is not actuality. It need not be in time and space. It can, like the void, be infinite. From the beginning, to begin the unveiling of a universe, potential energy must exist within the void. This potentiality of the void would take up no time or occupy any space because neither space nor time exists in the non-dimensional. Further, if the void can hold potential energy, then it can hold potential awareness and the potential intellect of the natural mind. The void’s potential information can serve as a two-dimensional blueprint for the unveiling of a universe.

We must then suspect that awareness and infinite energy have their origin in the void. They do not exist there, but the probability that they can exist must be harbored in the void. 

The third fundamental for universe formation is information––energy, awareness, and information. These are the three fundamentals. All are invisible and all are infinite––without form or body.

With these three fundamentals, the void has the ability to bring the universe into existence within a single point. Excitation in the potential eternal energy creates an eigenstate in the zero-dimension, a dimension similar to the void––in that it is outside space and time––but unlike the void in that the newly-released energy became kinetic instead of potential and was perceived by the potential for awareness in the void. 

The zero-dimension is infinite in that it sprang from the void by actuating the void’s potentiality.