explanation

"And now, Israel: What does the L-rd your G‑d ask of you? Only to fear G‑d" (Deuteronomy 10:12). Regarding this verse, the Talmud asks: "Is fear of G‑d a minor thing?" The answer given is, "Yes, for Moses it is a minor thing." At first glance, this answer is incomprehensible, since the verse says "What does G‑d ask of you" - i.e., every individual Jew! But the explanation is as follows: Each and every soul of the house of Israel contains within it something of the quality of our teacher Moses, for he is one of the "seven shepherds" who feed vitality and G‑dliness to the community of the souls of Israel.... Moses is the sum of them all, called the "shepherd of faith" (raaya meheimna) in the sense that he nourishes the community of Israel with the knowledge and recognition of G‑d... So although who is the man who dares presume in his heart to approach and attain even a thousandth part of the level of the faithful shepherd, nevertheless, an infinitesimal fringe and minute particle of his great goodness and light illuminates every Jew in each and every generation.

The application of psychoanalysis to sociology must definitely guard against the mistake of wanting to give psychoanalytic answers where economic, technical, or political facts provide the real and sufficient explanation of sociological questions. On the other hand, the psychoanalyst must emphasize that the subject of sociology, society, in reality consists of individuals, and that it is these human beings, rather than abstract society as such, whose actions, thoughts, and feelings are the object of sociological research.

These mysteries have a common element: they exhibit a staggering coherence throughout the reaches of space and time.” Furthermore, “There is no reasonable explanation in 'BB [big bang] theory' for the observed flatness of the universe; for the missing mass in it; for the accelerating expansion of galaxies; for the coherence of some basic cosmic ratios; and for the 'horizon problem,' the uniformity of the macrostructures throughout cosmic space. The problem known as the 'tuning of the constants' is particularly vexing. The three dozen or more physical parameters of the universe are so finely tuned that together they create the highly improbable conditions under which life can emerge... These are all puzzles of coherence, and they raise the possibility that this universe did not arise in the context of a random fluctuation of the underlying quantum vacuum. Instead, it may have been born in the womb of a prior 'meta-universe'... [i.e.] a vaster, more fundamental universe that is behind or beyond the universe we observe and inhabit.

In the conservative view human communication and interaction is limited to our sensory channels ... [but] we are linked by more subtle and encompassing connections as well...The connections that bind 'my' consciousness to the consciousness of others... are rediscovered today in controlled experiments with thought and image transference, and the effect of the mind of one individual on the body of another... Native tribes seem able to communicate beyond the range of eye and ear... In the laboratory also, modern people display a capacity for spontaneous transference of impressions and images, especially when they are emotionally close to each other... transpersonal contact includes the ability to transmit thoughts and images, and ... it is given to many if not all people... this is the finding of recent experiments... Reliable evidence is becoming available that the conscious mind of one person can produce repeatable and measurable effects on the body of another... [also] Intercessory prayer and spiritual healing, together with other mind- and intention-based experiments and practices, yield impressive evidence regarding the effectiveness of telepathic and telesomatic information- and energy-transmission. The pertinent practices produce real and measurable effects on people, and they are more and more widespread. But mainstream science has no explanation for them. Could it be that our consciousness is linked with other consciousnesses through an interconnecting Akashic Field, much as galaxies are linked in the cosmos, quanta in the microworld, and organisms in the world of the living?

A superstition is a premature explanation that overstays its time.

We teachers - perhaps all human beings - are in the grip of an astonishing delusion. We think that we can take a picture, a structure, a working model of something, constructed in our minds out of long experience and familiarity, and by turning that model into a string of words, transplant it whole into the mind of someone else. Perhaps once in a thousand times, when the explanation is extraordinary good, and the listener extraordinary experienced and skillful at turning word strings into non-verbal reality, and when the explainer and listener share in common many of the experiences being talked about, the process may work, and some real meaning may be communicated. Most of the time, explaining does not increase understanding, and may even lessen it.

This blindness (or prejudice, or whatever you may call it) of logicians is indeed surprising. But I think the explanation is not hard to find. It lies in a widespread lack, at that time, of the required epistemological attitude toward metamathematics and toward non-finitary reasoning.

Have you noticed how often it happens that a really good idea -- the kind of idea that looks, as it approaches, like the explanation for everything about everything -- tends to hover near at hand when you are thinking hard about something quite different? There you are, halfway into a taxi, thinking about the condition of the cartilage in the right knee joint, and suddenly, with a whirring sound, in flies a new notion looking for a place to light. You'd better be sure you have a few bare spots, denuded of anything like thought, ready for its perching, or it will fly away into the dark.

Facts per se can neither prove nor refute anything. Everything is decided by the interpretation and explanation of the facts, by the ideas and the theories.

Just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist.

We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We're a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don't really have an explanation for.

Just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist.

The true idea of the Oneness of God, is that this Oneness should also include the world. But, the reason that it is written “God is One,” is because that if it was written “God is Only,” the explanation would be that His Blessed unity was in the Ohr En Sof [infinite light] (and not in the world). Therefore, in order that the world would be able to feel this Blessed unity… it says “God is One” so that the seven heavens and the one earth, and the four directions of the world will be nullified to the One [Only] unity of the world… This appears in the revelation of the power of Atzmuss that includes and joins the idea of “One” and “Only.”

If man completely forgets that there is death, that there is an end to it all, we risk becoming monkeys again. The explanation is simple,the active man, the creative man, is especially excited by the idea that one day it will all be over, that there will be an end, a final rest. Be overly aware of the existence of this end and you'll get from people the most extraordinary efforts. Whomever knows this constantly is capable of raising mountains, is capable of the wildest liberties, the most courageous acts.

It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligence and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith.

In this hidden world of cause-and-effect, the environmental movement and the public stand at a crossroads. Is growth a product of “consumerism” — the most socially acceptable and socially neutral explanation that we usually encounter in discussions of environmental deterioration? Or does growth occur because of the nature of production for a market economy? To a certain extent, we can say. both. But the overall reality of a market economy is that consumer demand for a new product rarely occurs spontaneously, nor is its consumption guided purely by personal considerations.

Finally, “industrial society,” to use a genteel euphemism for capitalism, has also become an easy explanation for the environmental ills that afflict our time. But a blissful ignorance clouds the fact that several centuries ago, much of England’s forest land, including Robin Hood’s legendary haunts, was deforested by the crude axes of rural proletarians to produce charcoal for a technologically simple metallurgical economy and to clear land for profitable sheep runs. This occurred long before the Industrial Revolution.

Public concern for the environment cannot be addressed by placing the blame on growth without spelling out the causes of growth. Nor can an explanation be exhausted by citing “consumerism” while ignoring the sinister role played by rival producers in shaping public taste and guiding public purchasing power. Aside from the costs involved, most people quite rightly do not want to “live simply.” They do not want to diminish their freedom to travel or their access to culture, or to scale down needs that often serve to enrich human personality and sensitivity.

In the care of the sick we demand the physician be free from error, but in the conduct of life it is not only the philosopher whom we expect to be free from error, but all men alike, including those who give little attention to virtue. Clearly there is no explanation for this other than that the human being is born with an inclination toward virtue; all men speak of themselves as having virtue and being good.

Scientists use the term 'fact' to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples. In that respect, the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions.