Yesterday, the 22nd August 1995, Ursula and I visited our friends, John and Esme Salmon at their house in Woldingham and, whilst we were walking after lunch, the conversation turned to the matter of belief. At one point John said he held no beliefs and I replied, that in my opinion, every human being must develop, during the course of their life, some sort of personal philosophy – it cannot be otherwise, even though we are sometimes not aware of this and might have difficulty in defining it to ourselves or others.
As John had declined to accept this, when we  returned home and I had slept on the events of the previous day, I resolved to try and write out, as clearly as I was able, what is my personal philosophy at this time. And the following is the outcome ;-

‘I believe that in order to be able to see myself as clearly as is possible I should accept the fact that I am a different person as a stand-alone individual as I am an individual within a group. I must start somewhere, so begin by believing that any self-analysis has to accept this premise when investigating innermost personal beliefs. The private individual differs from the public individual. As it is almost impossible for a human being not to experience during the course of life both conditions, it is necessary to ask if these conditions are mutually exclusive or complementary, even symbiotic? And it is my belief that they are the latter – both inter-mingled so that the analysis of either is correspondingly more difficult but, nevertheless, not impossible, up to a certain degree. Although I do not believe that I can complete such an analysis right up to the final stripping apart of these two intertwined strands.

In addition I believe that my personal philosophy is always in flux, changing through different phases as I go through life and yet, always anchored to some point of reference in myself that is immutable. To describe this matter of immutability, I believe that we all share some aspects of it while other aspects are exclusive to ourselves.

Certainly we share what is inherent in all life; the basic instincts of self-preservation and species propagation. There can, of course, be deviations from these two basic instincts, such as those people who sacrifice their lives for some reason, or take their own lives, but the instinct of self-preservation is present in all of us unless or until we choose to over-ride it. Likewise, the instinct of species propagation is general but, like self-preservation, it can be over-ridden.

So, unless we choose to over-ride the two immutable basic instincts we are born with, they will influence all our lives and cannot be discounted when we develop our personal philosophies. I also believe that in addition to these generally shared influences each one of us has individual attributes that influence each one of us. These are through a system of distribution common to all but, the manner in which the distribution is made, make them exclusive to each in the distribution sequence.

In the first case these are the genes we inherit from our ancestors through our parents. The mix of these, I believe, is unique to each one of us. Then – and here we begin to get into deeper water – there are the distinct attributes present to us by and on the date of our births, because, for me, the time of our birth endows us with unique qualities, as do the names we are given at birth.

So, like a fan opening, my personal philosophy changes with the opening, but the base on which the fan is hinged stays fixed because my personal philosophy will be mutable in some aspects and immutable in others and I will need to try and distinguish these two strands when sorting out my own philosophy, just as I will need to do between the private and the public me.

Enough ground has been covered for me to start to categorise what has been written up to this point and then to enlarge on each section of the categorisation.


PRIVATE SELF                                 PUBLIC  SELF


We are more often in the company of other people than we are alone but we do much of our thinking or dreaming or fantasising detached from others even though perhaps in their company. With other people we put on an act to present our better side and as this one-sided presentation of ourselves obliges us to supress what is disagreeable, irksome or unpleasant, we tend to build up resentments within ourselves before releasing them, usually on to other people we are in closer relationship with. Sometimes we bottle things up and do not release them and this can accumulate and have marked effects on ourselves in both private and public self.

Relationships with other people are necessary for us to learn to be able to fit into society and control our inclinations to be either more or less than we are capable of being or, it is better for us not to be. In other words we find a public level position through our relationships. Close relationships are necessary to allow us to express some of our deepest feelings at a level where they will be acceptable and understood because,  being understood is one of the strongest desires of the private person. Too close relationships can become stifling even injurious although, in spite of this, I believe that marriage and the family unit are the most desirable conditions for most people. Marriage enables people to establish a bridge between the influences of, and on, their visible public persona and the aloneness of their private persona.

I do not believe that the family is some idyllic state where all problems are resolved and all unpleasantness banished; to me it is similar to that definition of democracy – the worst system except all the others. It is possible to make the family function with the grain of most expectations by hard work and understanding and mutual respect and mutual self-interest. It is an arena where the more positive instincts can flourish and be expressed while the accumulated resentments of life can be down-loaded without creating irretrievable damage. It is also a place where relationships can be forged for mutual benefit and where incompatible temperaments can be accommodated and individuals learn to live together when, outside the family they might degenerate into intolerance, dislike or open hostility.

We do things in private we would be ashamed of doing in public. That, in a way, is a sort of safety valve and not necessarily a reason to condemn ourselves for hypocrisy; but as we grow older we should gain more control over our lives and, as a result, the differences between private life and public life should narrow, This, of course, is my belief, and is not presented as a fact. I know, only too well, that negative acts do not decrease with age in some people, rather the reverse; but my belief is that by our own exertions and through the help and influence of the group (relationships) we have the opportunity to overcome many of our imperfections and develop the more positive sides of our natures.

Just as we do things privately that we would not like to be known publicly, so the reverse is also true. We take a public stance because that is the view of the group. In some instances the view of the group can be held so strongly that it would be unwise or even dangerous for the individual to openly espouse alternative views. It is in such instances that the group  does things for which the individual may feel ashamed, perhaps because of keeping quiet when the group’s actions were unjust or, perhaps, the individual was swept away by the emotion of the group, not because of their own self-preservation but because of their own self-gratification.

The choice is always there. One can either let the individual philosophy waver because of peer pressure or disregard self-preservation by resisting peer pressure. And so it can be seen that the individual philosophy might or might not be influenced all of the time by good or bad peer pressure, but it is almost inevitable that for some of the time all of us are influenced to a degree by peer pressure (the group, society etc.) and, because of this, individuals change when they are in groups but, when they are, they do not necessarily have to sacrifice their beliefs


PRIVATE SELF                                                          PUBLIC SELF



Some terrible acts are committed through the need for self-preservation, but these acts are seen as terrible only in human terms because, I believe,  what we call Nature is completely neutral. Nature does not glory in success nor sorrow in defeat. To Nature death is not the end nor birth the beginning, as is seen through human senses, and I believe we wrongly attribute our human feelings and emotions as being extensions of Nature instead of studying more deeply Nature’s laws. I think this because I believe that through the study of Nature’s laws we will find, not a sympathy for our human frailty but, a link with our human spiritual identity. Human beings are a compound made up of the material (matter) moral, spiritual, emotional, mental, ethical, aesthetic and, no doubt, other attributes not yet identified or categorised and because, like the symbiotic nature of our private and public identities, so too are the multi-strands of our being, to form the beings we are.

The material part that carries the other parts around with it has to be protected; has to be able to defend itself to ensure the continuation of it and the other parts and so fulfil the demands of the instinct, that of species propagation. hence we are given the instinct of self-preservation. Nature has no moral structure by which it can judge how we use this instinct being, as I believe, quite neutral. However, this does not mean that we live in a moral void. Far from it. The judgemental aspect of our actions is one that is contained within the combined functions of our genetic make up and our cosmic identity. Further details concerning these two aspects of this personal philosophy will be dealt with later on.

Meanwhile, alongside the instinct of self-preservation we still have that of species propagation to deal with. Nature is a mid-wife and, as such, forms the link between the principals and what is created as a result of action by the principals. In human terms the principals are the male and female who, in union, become one and a resulting child, or children, is created. We can only view the mid-wife’s role as being that of an operator in this process. To the mid-wife it is a job where this most important part of the human process is helped along and similarly Nature also does its job of helping along the process of creation.

I realise that whole libraries of books have been written about, or included facts about, self-preservation and species propagation, so embedded are these in every aspect of our human lives, but the above details are included only so far as to explain their relevance to the views I hold within my personal philosophy and readers can almost certainly have different views on the subject which will only go to substantiate my belief that we all have our personal philosophies.


PRIVATE SELF                                                PUBLIC SELF


GENETIC MAKE UP                                     COSMIC IDENTITY


All humans have their genetic make up. These genes inherited from a  line longer than we can know, determine the limitations of the species we belong to and to a variable extent, ourselves and the way we inter-act with others of our species and the rest of Nature. Our biological composition divides us firmly, as a rule, into one or other gender by establishing our sex and they lay out the manner by which most of our physical parts work. Through our genes we may be tall or short, hirsute or hairless, dark or fair, brown eyed or blue eyed. Our five senses reflect the influence of our genes as do our main organs and the general functioning of our bodies. It would seem therefore that the genetic influence is all encompassing and we are locked into a condition which we cannot change and over which we have no control.

In my philosophy this is far from being the case. True, the inherited genes can launch us off into life with every indication that we are either favoured, handicapped or, likely to remain with the majority within the average band. The question to ask is, ‘do we have any further chance of developing ourselves beyond the genetic limitations?’ If the answer is ‘no’ then that is that. We get our genetic package and get on with life fixed from the word ‘go’ by our genetic limitations. If the answer is ‘yes’ we do have a chance to develop ourselves, then a control exists.

I believe that a control does exist. This, paradoxically, can be called a destiny which may imply that it is not a control at all but another fixed condition overlaying the fixed genetic pattern we inherit. But this destiny, which operates on our cosmic identity is independent of the genetic make up albeit, like the private self/public self, and the self-preservation/species propagation are also closely intertwined, one with the other, and also symbiotic.

Whilst most of us have absorbed in a general way the ideas of inherited genes and environmental influences, I realise it will not be easy to absorb an additional concept – that of cosmic identity and how it relates to these other two and I will attempt to explain this to the best of my ability.

I believe that the cosmic identity, as stated earlier, relates to us through the timing of our births and the names we are given. Well, of course, that raises any number of questions and I will begin by explaining what I believe the cosmic identity to be in the next chapter. Meanwhile, below is a chart of how I envisage the three dual conditions ;-


It is always interesting to study ourselves and others to learn why we do certain things and neglect doing other things; why certain expressions appeal to us and others do not and while some aspects of our behaviour and thinking have developed from the influence of others through our upbringing and experience or the environment in which we live or of our genetic propensity, not all our behaviour and responses to external stimuli can be so ascribed. Nor what is not behavourial can be shown to be of genetic inheritence. Besides the ‘Nature’ and ‘Nurture’ aspects of our behaviour and thinking processes there is what is contained within our cosmic identity.

What is Cosmic Identity? It is comprised of many things, one of which, I believe, to be the destiny each one of us is born with and comprises a framework in which we must live our lives. It is also our chance to make the best of the lives we were born to have. Putting it that way, if each life has a destiny, then each life must have a purpose.

Having reached a level of thought some time in my life which enabled me to understand this through mental application, experience, reading, rationalisation, talking, observing, I realised I would have to spend the rest of my life trying to absorb this significant insight. And a casual talk with a friend whilst on a walk has triggered off the idea of writing down my progress to date.

Everything in life is based on ‘either’ ‘or’ and this leads to ’cause’ and ‘effect.’ Therefore if one has reached a stage in one’s understanding of life to be able to say, ‘I believe there is a purpose in life.’ That must mean also that there is a purpose in my own life, your life and everyone else’s life. To believe this one can hardly do less than attempt to understand what ‘having a purpose in life’ means and, to me, the next step is to follow this through in an endless ’cause’ and ‘effect’ analyses.


To be able to say, ‘there is a purpose in life,’ means that one has to believe that this is so. It was first necessary for me to find out that such a statement cannot be proven. It is a belief, not a proven fact. This is also the starting up point for any religion, ‘belief.’ We cannot know but we believe. But why cannot we know? And if we cannot know, why should  we believe?

Believe me, dear reader, the questions and answers you will find in this essay may not be many but they are the result of many years wrestling with them. Here they are condensed  to a few lines or a page or so and indicate the summarisation of my thought processes and other parts of my mind. You may well be at a point in your own life whereby you either reject my thinking or you may have reached the same or similar conclusions but because of your different make up are able to understand them in different ways. But do not be afraid of diversity in thought. One of the conclusions I was forced to come to was that the human mind is finite. It has its limits and what we are trying to understand is infinity. And that is my answer to the question, ‘why cannot we know?’ Because we can see some but can never see all, and I use the word ‘see’ in a sense of understanding. The finite is part of the infinite but can never be the infinite. We can understand the finite as being contained within the boundaries of our comprehension, but we can never know or understand the infinite. It is a tremendous achievement in itself to be able to have a word to represent what we cannot understand. To us it is an abstraction, no more, therefore the idea of infinity corresponds with our use of the word, ‘belief.’

I can believe that there is a purpose in life but I do not know this nor can I ever know it. I can only use the senses I have been given, the genes I inherited, examine my private self and my public self and also those around me; I read thoughts of others and review the actions of historical and contemporary people and use any media that comes my way so as to be able to achieve a better understanding of life.

And in this way I learn still more. I learn that even though I can never understand all, I can always strive to understand more than I do and this is a great encouragement to me because it enables me to believe that I am on a voyage of discovery that is leading me to whatever it is that my imagination is able to perceive as the true direction that I must go in so as to be able to follow my destiny. And so this explains the second half of my question, ‘if I cannot know, why should I believe?’ We all have to live in the worlds we create.


No essay on a personal philosophy would be complete without a view on God. Does one believe in a God, or not? Or does one just say, ‘I am agnostic, I just don’t know.’ In general, scientists tend to believe that through persistent application of effort and enquiry through the usage of intelligence and skill all secrets of the Universe we inhabit can be discovered and understood. This view tends to the belief that there is no God because a God would know more than humans do and therefore be inimical to the scientific process. To my mind that is as much a belief as is the belief in a God. It is a belief in ‘no God’ so it can no more be sustained through rational analysis than can a belief in God.

Likewise, divisions in the belief in a deity are extended beliefs such as, ‘I believe in a God in whose image mankind is made,’ or ‘I believe in  a God who is a creator of the Universe, but more than this I do not know.’ of course neither can know, yet mankind, both believers in a God and believers in no God do not seem to be able to come to their beliefs in the matter and leave it at that. If a belief is an act of faith unsupported by any logic why does the human persist in extending this act of faith to a series of underlying, sequential beliefs? Such as, ‘God is good,’ ‘God answers prayers,’ ‘God is in us,’ ‘God rules in heaven.’ or, of course, the mirror-image – non-belief, ‘God doesn’t do any of these things because God doesn’t exist.’ So, to answer this we have to accept that there is something in humans that mostly needs to have an opinion about a deity. For or against; agnostics are fence-sitters just as there are fence-sitters in any opinion poll – whether on social issues, politics, educational theories etc. These people do not want to expose their views to a potentially dangerous and hostile world; and indeed, they have a point.

But why do humans have to have points of view on abstract matters such as metaphysics? And why do they tend to group themselves in religious groupings besides racial, cultural and linguistic ones?

Let me begin by trying to unravel my views about such questions by citing a non-metaphysical source – or maybe it will be shown one day that mathematics and religion are not so different. But let that thought lie for the time being. A mathematician by the name of Godel has proved, mathematically, that there are truths about elementary arithmetic that cannot be proven. A conundrum indeed. But proof and non-proof, belief and non-belief are all in the human mind and presumably the human mind has out-stripped, in evolutionary terms, all other minds on Planet Earth. In fact we don’t even know if other species have minds at all because we don’t have a definition yet of the words ‘mind’ and ‘brain.’

A brain is a physical thing and other species have these. But is a mind a part of the brain as a heart is a part of the body? There seem to be more inter-twining here between the two and I must confess that in so far as establishing my view on this by means of developing them into my personal philosophy, I have not given the matter much thought nor arrived at any conclusion. But what I can know, even with our still yet primitive knowledge of the brain, it has evolved and developed zones for our usage and understanding and appreciation in addition to the earlier ones of survival and procreation. We have developed analytical zones, artistic zones, aesthetic zones and spiritual zones. It is multi-faceted in all ways that humans relate to one another and to the outside world and the expressions needed in this relating. But it has gone further by creating a way of relating and expressing what has evolved as a spiritual zone in the brain.

So what, I ask myself – if we love and appreciate visual beauty through our brains, does physical beauty really exist? If we are attracted to and find endlessly rewarding the application of an analytical attribute in our brains, do the objects of this analytical treatment have meaning or existence outside our expression of them? I know these questions have been asked before and some sort of philosophies have been developed out of the questions, but this is my personal philosophy so I ask the questions to myself and seek the answers from myself. Seemingly, a mind at work – the question dodging about from point to point within my skull to seek a route that will lead me to………….to where?

And that brings me to my conclusion of the previous chapter – my own voyage of discovery. The answers don’t have to be true for all mankind but they have to be true for me before I can continue with my quest. I believe that if we all try to sort out our beliefs, different though they may be, one from the other, we are then progressing towards what I call the Eternal Truth. This objective can, alas, never be reached by any of us in our lifetimes and as we individuals get closer to it the greater is our awareness of the differences at some stage with others. As the individual thinking inevitably shifts to a group thinking so become the greater danger in conflicts.

We mostly adhere to groups, loosely or tightly, knit together by similarities of outlook, whereby people continue in an attempt to push hard fought for safety or enlightenment to the point of it being an Eternal Truth – and that, in my view, is impossible. Impossible because, as we seek truth within these groups, other groups on the same search are operating along different lines, and tolerance between these groups can never be permanent. From time to time the modus operandi between groups breaks down and struggles ensue between them. The search therefore must be an individual one and while this search can be aided through adhesion to a group it can never be finally interpreted within a group and real progress can only be made individually.

Because human beings are what they are, they need groupings for both their physical and spiritual needs so, what I have just written about is, in effect, a paradox. I can only assume that there is an evolutionary process within our brains for finding God but as yet we can only conceptualise the existence of a Divine presence – we can, through the medium of the spiritual sector of our brains, think that we believe in our concept, but in actual fact we are as yet evolutionarily incapable of true understanding at any significant depths.

This conclusion might seem to be a sombre one but can be relieved by the addition of how I believe God works his purpose. This through fate – a beneficent law that provides to mankind a measure, which in itself, whilst neither good nor bad – is a unifying bridge between the Divine Will and the personal expectations. It operates in the realm of cause and effect, offering results that surpass anything that might be merited and is beyond the understanding of humans’ finite nature.


I believe that each of us have to live our lives within a framework of a destiny that is given to us and, within the confines of that destiny we have free will to enable us to choose between the positive and negative aspects of the destiny. Because of this our lives unfold  through our own decision-making along a path that is for us- if we can but see it – the purpose of our lives. That purpose is to develop along the lines of our destiny which is contained within a greater and Divine plan. Our lives are all means to an end and the end is God consciousness or, consciousness of the whole.

If, as I wrote in the previous chapter, our brain development is insufficient for us to know God, it is here, through being true to our given destiny, that we can find the way. What we sow, so must we reap, in order to find expiation and understanding. How hard it is, you must be thinking, to be in a position where the drives of personal competitiveness, or passive, wilful or indifferent, selfish, egocentric, unfeelingness – all these and other human foibles are weighed against our efforts to follow the purpose of this destiny.

And our upbringing. Some of us were raised by loving and enlightened parents while others have been parented by careless and indifferent people. How can any system operate fairly within such extreme variables of chance? How can someone brought up on corrupted values be able to choose the positive path?

We are all influenced by other people in varying degrees and, however we strain to do so, we can never comprehend all aspects of the lives we lead. Because of this the best way to move in harmony with the flow of events is to view them with sufficient detachment as to be able to understand that they operate  on a time scale that dwarfs our own life span. To expect, or even hope for every detail of a cosmic system to work out to our own satisfaction within our life span is, in my view, to try and place ourselves in a more prominent position in the scheme of life than is possible. If we are all part of the animal world, as many people consider to be likely, do we then admit to human beings, born into a pre-destinational world where all other animals are likewise under the same laws? Let us go further; some view mankind as being an integral part of Nature. There are Darwinians or believers in the theory of Evolution and Natural Selection. Does pre-destination prevail everywhere in the world?

Here I would like to enter the Buddhist world for a moment. The Buddhists and the Darwinians do not appear to have many beliefs in common but, as I have strayed into the area of formalised beliefs which I had not meant to do because, although a personal philosophy may ride on the backs  of what I call ‘label’ philosophy for so long as there are elements of similarity between the two, it must depart from such an adherence sooner or later if it is going to be true to the progression of one’s own beliefs. Because, as I have said earlier, we are alone in our journey of exploration.

The Buddhist belief in re-incarnation is a very persuasive one and I have a strong wish to accept its validity. But I do not, and I cannot explain why I do not any more than I can explain why I accept the validity of our personal quests. And yet, that is not strictly true and everything I write here must be absolutely true for myself otherwise this whole essay would turn out to be a meaningless farrago. I accept the idea of a personal fate because the principles of Numerology make sense to me. Why they do I will try to make clear in another chapter. But, to return to re-incarnation.

The theory of re-incarnation would go a long way to clear up in my mind the gulfs that exist in it as far as coming to terms with the status of all living entities and humans in the plan of things. I do believe that humans are part of Nature and I can see that there is no obstacle in having different parts of Nature treated differently within the plan and to develop separately. The theory of re-incarnation is a unifying one in that while we are different as we go through our respective phases on Planet Earth, we may be re-cycled into any different state, and this done presumeably with a puropse.

I accept that this could be possible as anything that can be conceptualised might be possible but I cannot accept it as a belief in my own personal philosophy. Nor do I dismiss it. I wait for a touch-stone to give it greater weight one day. Let me now turn to fate, a matter on which my mind is more convvinced and, in the next chapter, I will develop the reason why I am convinced.


Numerology is a numbers system that can be used to outline the fate or destination we humans are born to; the sort of characters we are – the strengths and weaknesses we may have and how these strengths and weaknesses inter-play with the forces of our destiny which work on us during our lifetimes. And that, having been said is, I am sure you will agree, quite a lot to take in. What does it all mean? It is not going to be easy for me to explain nor, I think, for the reader to follow, let alone accept but, nevertheless, let us go on.
Numerology is an extended study of vibrations. How is that? Consider light rays; every colour is seen by us because of the light’s vibrations since light rays vibrate. The rainbow colours of red, orange, yellow, green, indigo and violet each have a distinct number of vibrations a second which enables our eyes to distinguish in the lights spectrum. Outside this spectrum of light rays there are the vibrations we can hear – the sound vibrations which we hear on a variable scale like that of the light spectrum.. We can hear these vibrations per second from shrill to bass until they become inaudible to the human ear receptors.

All matter vibrates and the scale of the vibrations determine how we see or hear or experience all matter, whether through the senses of sight, sound, olfactory or touch and whether matter is transparent, opaque, dense, smooth, rough, solid, liquid, gaseous. All vibrate and exist for us through our senses by their manner of vibration. Therefore, vibration for us is reality, is life. And life is matter that exists as a manifestation of energy which has vibrating electrons held together by the laws of attraction.

Before we can make sense of this knowledge about vibrations we need to have a numbering system. We could hardly undertake an explanation of the subject of mathematics without a numbering system, nor attempt to write down our thoughts – as I am doing now – without an alphabetic system of symbols. Nor can we compose and play any sort of music without a scale of notation. All of these human creations had to be developed, learned and understood before they could be used. Imagine the difficulties encountered at the first attempt to conceptualise, formulate and operate any of the above forms of human achievement before they were adequately developed.

Twenty five centuries ago Pythagoras, a native of Samos, laid the foundation of what is known as the Pythagorean Philosophy of numbers. The numerals of Pythagoras said Porhyry, who lived about seventeen centuries ago are ‘hieroglyphic symbols which, by using, he explains all ideas concerning the nature of things.’ The system of Western music which is based on the same laws of progression and periodicity as numerology, was developed by Pythagoras. he also devised the evolutionary cycle of 1 to 9 in which all expression of human life is contained. This is the numbering system used to interpret the vibrationory influences on each human being’s life during the course of their lifetime.

Anyone of us, having mastered the alphabet and the craft of writing, will be able to write an essay, a poem, a story, a play – even if not like the great playwrights and poets. Anyone of us, having mastered the sense of line, form and perspective and understood the spectrum of colours, can paint a picture – even though perhaps not like the finest painters. Anyone of us, having mastered the numbers and symbols of mathematics, can add, multiply, subtract, divide, understand theorums and calculate problems – even though we may not be able to develop a theory as complex as Einstein’s relativity. And learning the notes and scales of musical notation we can compose and play tunes – even if not a ninth symphony like Beethoven’s.

What I am trying to show in the above statements is that having knowledge and skill in these systems, we are able to write stories, paint pictures, solve mathematical problems and compose music. All this within the range of our competence and creativity. Similarly, if we take the trouble to learn the first principles of numerology we can use these to understand more about ourselves and others and the world about us.

The scientists, beavering away to find out more about the workings of the Universe are translators and recordists. That the world appears to work to certain defined laws as first emphatically shown by Isaac Newton and then, a little less certainty this was extended by Albert Einstein until more recently Max Planck demonstrated tentatively through sub-atomic physics that a pattern and randomness can co-exist in Nature.

Although the boundaries of astrophysics and sub-atomic physics – the two extremes -are never going to be reached by humans, in my view,  what lies between these two and which impinges on our world through our senses and understanding, is not random to us and we normally accept that it works to a plan and hence, a purpose. What that overall purpose may be is also beyond our understanding but, if we can understand the purpose of our own lives within the greater scheme of things, how can we really expect to know more? Especially as we have to share the search with the time-filling job of living a life.

The presence of a plan indicates the existence of a planner. To my way of seeing things, the planner, the architect, the divinity, God, choose whatever name you will, has a system interposed between the planner and the plan as far as humans are concerned. The system is comprehensive in that we fulfil or fail to fulfil our purpose in life within the plan. I cannot accept that intercession is valid. The system cannot be changed for any one of us and yet, it is so all en-compassing that we can intercede for ourselves through ourselves so that salvation (to use a biblical form) is within our attainment, just as failure is as well.

Whatever other aspects of the plan there may be, and I should assume that the part in which the human race is concerned is unlikely to be the most significant, as an all-encompassing plan must link us to all  other species on our Planet and perhaps beyond. There must therefore be a considerable gulf between our private response to this inter-linking with all species and our adherence to a public position to mans’ place in the scheme of things.

And what happens to those who fail to live their lives in harmony with their given destiny? Buddhists and some Numerologists maintain that such people come back again to learn the lesson they failed to learn or to enact in their previous lives. That a karma is part of their new destiny, a burden added that has to be overcome to repay the wrongs committed in an earlier life. This is a belief that would explain many things which worry thinking and caring people. Why suffering? Why pain? Why anguish and all the misery that can occur in life instead of only gladness, love, help and happiness? Why indeed? The theory of re-incarnation and karma explains how people who suffer are expiating wrong-doing in an earlier life. Instead of being pitied they should be helped to overcome their physical or mental karma. We are all on  different levels as we progress along  our journies to higher planes and should be aware of this for ourselves and our fellow travellers.

We can summarise Numerology by saying it is a belief that every human being has to live his or her life within the framework of a destiny that is given and, within the confines of that destiny, we have free will enabling us to choose between the positive and negative manifestations of our destiny. We reap what we sow.

For human beings to acknowledge the validity of Numerology means the acceptance of a very strict line of reasoning. This leads to the belief that the God-force is all powerful. For those who reject the tenets the outcome of the vibrations of the numbers will be the same, just as there will be light for the many even though a blind person may reject the idea of there being light.

In spite of my philosophy of ‘live and let live,’ to the extent that this can be accommodated to one’s own safety and survival and well-being and the belief in the variety of the human experience as stated in the opening comments of this essay, I do believe that all humans have to believe in some abstract, metaphysical concept, whether it is to accept some belief or refute the existence of such a condition. As I wrote earlier, an unbelief is a belief in itself and in this context denies any existence outside the human state, placing the human at the apex and as the arbiter of all existence. This belief can allow of no extension, no growth, no higher realm, no distant horizon of hope – what you have is all there is, the measure of human existence is the limit of human reason, of human thought and human logic. ‘There is no God,’ is a statement that refutes itself because it means that mankind is God in order to be able to say that.

To my way of seeing things all the reason of any thinking person should reject this belief that both reduces mankind to an absurd animal that cannot see its absurdity in placing itself at the top of Creation to proclaim itself as an all-knowing God while, at the same time, belittling the range of the Universe in which this animal lives to that of a mere fiefdom for itself. There are no mysteries here – we know all, or should do, or can do eventually. There is no explanation as to why we do not know everything now, at this moment in time. Nor why it is that as the human race discovers more and more about itself and the environment it lives in, it finds that this increased knowledge comes to mean less and less in its understanding of the whole. The more we learn the more we find there is to learn and the less we understand. Why is this? We set ourselves up to be God, denying that function to a greater and higher being than ourselves, and insist that with our own intelligences, and using our own resources we can scale the very heights of the Universe. But we cannot, and we never shall be able to do so and because of this it obviously does matter about the ‘unbelief’ in ‘belief.’ It is a sort of mental arrogance leading to spiritual suicide.

The great painters drew for inspiration from the universality of art, beauty and nature, creating masterpieces for our pleasure. But none could embrace the totality of what they sought to express and none of them ever will or even can, because the expression is inexhaustible. Similarly, the great composers express in their own ways parts of the whole range of music, just as do writers, poets and all those who set out to express creativity. Just as it is that every know-all is his or her politician or economist, even with a barely perceptable basic knowledge of the subjects about which they proclaim opinions denoting knowledge – so it is that any know-all can express certitude on the whole subject of creativity, about which any rational person would be obliged to admit to being unqualified for such a supreme exercise. And so it does matter since a more reasonable approach is to believe and to admit not to know rather than to know, or profess to know, and to admit not to believe because of such knowledge, since the knowledge on which unbelief is based cannot be comprehensive. We should draw from the universality of creation that which we are able to and which is suitable for the definition of what our finite natures are capable of expressing, and we should be aware of what it is we need to draw, and what it is we can express. Anything beyond this is beyond our understanding and crosses over into the area of belief.


The scientific school of thought maintains that one cannot advance a hair-breadth ahead of the facts that the intellect has, up to that point, satisfactorily dealt with in the form of submitting the material to a rigorous and scientifically approved method of testing. All else is supposition. Creationists – sometimes called Fundamentalists – maintain that religious facts are founded on sacred or ancient writings about which there can be no dispute; especially as much of these writings are purported to have been taken down from the utterances of God or God’s chosen so every new development of thought has to be tested against these truths and either fitted into this pre-existing pattern of belief  or rejected. Evolutionists – Darwinists – maintain that species evolve from uni-cellular to multi-cellular creatures, the survival of which is dependent upon the ability of each to adapt to a continually changing environmental condition.

If the Evolutionists are right, the Creationists cannot be and the Scientists can be in a limited way. If the Creationists are right neither the Evolutionists nor the Scientists can be right. If the Scientists are right the Creationists cannot be right and the Evolutionists can be right in a limited way. Creationists insist on a Supreme being, a Creator. There can never be a Supreme being for the Scientists as the word means ‘knowledge’ and not belief. The Evolutionists do not exclude the possibility of a Supreme being.

As I cannot subscribe to the way the Creationists view life and believe that the most likely strand of existence is through a Supreme  being working through a plan like evolution. The first question to this is whether the evolution is random or to a pre-existing plan? Neither answer would preclude a Supreme being but neither question would satisfy a Scientist who would maintain that without any form of proof they are unanswerable. The limitations of the Scientific approach can best be illustrated by a study of the Evolutionary angle.

If, as is supposed, complex multi-cellular life developed from simple uni-cellular beings over millions or billions of years, then we can assume that the development of the human, in its present form – vital organs, five senses, brains, immune systems etc did not all appear at one and the same time. Each part must have developed over these billions of years in response to a need for it to perform some necessary function in the process of keeping the host organism able to maintain its evolutionary trajectory – random or planned – within the ever-changing exterior environment. The abilities to feed and excrete and to procreate were evidently among the first, but the existing five senses have evidently come to us further down the line. Let us examine these.

Which of our five senses appeared first? Of course, having no knowledge of the prevailing environmental forces impacting on the host at the time, we do not know, but appear they did and, presumably, one by one, spaced out over time. Imagine the case of the existence of four of the five sensory bodily functions already developed; let us say hearing, smell, taste and touch. The fifth, an incipient visual sense is about to evolve. What possible dialogue could one have at the time with a Scientist – anticipating speech – ‘hey, I have a visual sense of colour, of shape, of movement, of danger.’ ‘What do you mean by visual?’ Asks the non-visual scientist, ‘it has no meaning.’ What one cannot experience and submit to proof is not a fact, to a Scientist.

As all the functions that humans commonly possess at the present time they once did not possess and then gradually came to possess on a developing scale so, might it not be possible that the human species is in the process of developing further functions through future evolution? Additional senses? A sixth sense followed by a seventh sense and so on? Within a few more million years the groping sense of a search for God through religion might become a fully developed spiritual sense? Some people can already describe experiences that are incomprehensible to others. The ability to conjure up hypothetical possibilities exist for some people, a sort of creative vision. Many of their prophesies have become realities, flying, space travel, moon landings, submarines etc. But all this vision of the future was denied to the Scientists just as developments that do not fit into a Creationist’s plan of things – like evolution – is denied to the Creationists.

What this illustrates to me is that we should keep our minds open to some aspects of creation but anchored to a distant belief that is not ruled out by the accummulation of facts already built up.


Let me go back to the commencement of this essay to CHAPTER 2 – Private Self and Public Self. In this chapter it was proposed, as with Sigmund Freud’s ego and super ego, that people act differently in their private lives when compared with their lives in public; and the differences were put in a general way, but specific enough to  identify how these differences can relate to each one of us.

My next step is to focus this generality to a degree that many people would be unaware of the extent that such specific influences bear on them. It is no new thing to state that all, or almost all, people live in a social world where other people around them are influential in shaping how they act and comport themselves. Let us call this the Social or Cultural System. Less obvious than this are the Political and Economic Systems under which, or in which, all humans live.

The proposal I wish to present is that the human condition has evolved to a degree where human lives cannot be unlinked from any one of these three Systems. In whatever forms these Systems may develop we are no longer able to escape from them; whether we agree or disagree with them, they are the main influences in everyone’s lives. It is true that if any of the three Systems become two oppressive or too disfunctional we may, as groups, work to modify them, but eliminate them – never.

One wonders whether Hobbes, speaking for the Political, Marx, speaking for the Economic or Emil Durkheim, speaking for the Social would have accepted that these Systems virtually dominate over our Public and Private lives? Can we truly say that all aspects of our lives are represented by these three Systems? Culture, Sociology, Religion, Art, Law, Economics, Commerce, Politics? I believe so – yes. They can be of organic growth or revolutionary imposition; one may transcend the others but never eliminate them, they complement each other and, in some cases, clash with one another but they have to be always present. And, although in a constant state of flux they are also the anchors holding humans in a society that expresses who they are as they also are the image of the way other societies see them.

Because we are the products of the Darwinian evolutionary process we may individually be active or passive participants in how we re-act to the influences of the Systems but, consider them how we may, when they are combined they impinge in a symbiotic manner, to the core of the individual.

The undernoted chart is, I hope, a way of demonstrating what I am trying to explain ;-

The three groupings are shown to be distinctive and separate from one another and yet, of course, they cannot be as they are all inter-dependent. The outer perifery can continue indefinitely adhering to the same patterned format and the inner can likewise because it is part of the individual but can never become the individual.


Much of the preceding essay has dealt with a philosophical aspect of humanity which is not surprising as it is about a personal philosophy of life. But in the on-going development of this philosophy one has to go where the evidence leads and whilst the Darwinian theory has been mentioned, it has not been investigated too deeply in relationship to the philosophy expounded to date. Can this be done? Let us see where it leads us.

The evolution of humans enables them to survive in the world about them. We have intellect and senses to interpret ourselves and our environment. Whilst the Scientists deal through the intellect, the Poets, among others, deal through the senses and emotions. But assuming they are inter-dependent, even symbiotic as all other principals turned up in this essay have proven to be, let us use the word ‘mind’ to signify what governs both.

Where the evidence has led me up to this point is to ask, ‘Why do we have senses?’ What is the impact of these on us and our reactions to them? The answers seem obvious and have already been spelled out previously, ‘for our survival.’ Sight to see the danger, hearing to identify the danger before sight (distance), taste to prevent us poisoning ourselves, smell to identify pleasurable or dangerous objects and touch likewise. The other side is to use the senses for recognising friends, hear safety sounds, smell kindred souls and touch gently. Then of course there is the sexual instinct (sense); there is also the aesthetic side to the senses. Why does evolution care about humans having  alternative uses for senses if these do not contribute towards their survival?

Humans have sexual impulses and pleasures but there is no guarantee that these may not be misused without an aesthetic part of the senses to refine the powerful sexual force. Similarly, sight to see the ideal of our desire and comparable cases can be made for the other senses. If senses are used either for our survival or for the propagation of the species (Chapter 3) why do we use them more and more for a non-survival and non-sexual appreciation of the world about us? We have already deduced in Chapter 3 that Nature is neutral, with no moral structure to judge good or bad – right or wrong. Likewise , the Cosmic Identity of Chapter 5 needs to be neutral for the forces of ‘either’ and ‘or’ to work their way through the labyrinthine applications for mankind, since Cosmic Identity is a twin of Nature, holding the ring with a set of rules allocated to oversee the progression of a creation.

Returning to the aesthetic sense and the foregoing when the question was asked, the aesthetic parts of our senses are now used more and more – for more people – for non-survival and non-species propagation purposes and I propose that the answer could be found in that this contributes towards the survival of the race ‘in toto.’ As against our individual survivals. For this to be true it points to a moral force, something above nature and the Cosmic Identity (which are both neutral) which does the allocating and sets the overseers to impartially apply the rules (Chapter 8) which we have called ‘mind’ and the Greeks ‘soul,’ and is agent to the Creator.


Discussing with Ursula during one of our early morning chats, the subject of Philosophy and Science came up, and it became apparent that we could not agree on the meaning of the word ‘Philosophy.’ The translation from the Greeks – love of wisdom – is scarcely incisive enough to serve as a definition. It then occurred to me that in writing this essay on my personal philosophy, I had started it, and continued to write it without defining what the word philosophy really represented.

Searching in the Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy, I found there – ‘Philosophia Perannis’ – this being the ‘common heritage of mankind; the truths which can command universal assent.’ But I doubt such a notion can exist and, even if it did, would in no way be my personal philosophy. Then there is philosophical anthropology, the enquiry into, or the theory of human nature. Additionally there are subjects dealing with  the philosophy of history or religion or law. The dictionary goes on to to say that philosophy is an intellectual activity dealing with either method, subject matter or purpose.

At one time philosophy probably encompassed almost every other field of enquiry – physics, natural science, medicine, culture, law, metaphysics, theology, even up to the time of Paracelsus in the sixteenth century. But, one by one, these have been sloughed away as a snake sloughs its skin and, down the line, to mix metaphors, further bifurcations continued dividing the subjects already separated from philosophy. This cascading down of subjects within subjects – like a family tree chart – is something that shows us there is a lot further to go before we find out the core subjects from which no further sub-divisions are possible.

The study of how these separations came about would make an entertaining book. Did theology first reject science or did science reject theology? When did the separation first occur between liberal public morality and private religious belief? Was it Anthony Ashley Cooper who first pointed out the need for this separation? Where does power fit in with philosophy? Do we have to thank Montesquieu for pointing out that the only way of checking power is by turning another power against it and by advocating the separation of the executive, the legislative and the judiciary in the governance of humans to enable a basic Greek-style democracy to become the modern form of democracy we now espouse?

All these questions need to be applied to the earlier chapter – Three Systems and us – and in so doing underlines the idea of the continuing sub-divisions of philosophy. It does not, however, get us any nearer to explaining what is philosophy. Nor does the Platonic view although I like it so much that it shall be included. He says, ‘philosophy begins in wonder, enabling us to imagine everything different from what it is; we can see the familiar as if it were strange, and the strange as if it were familiar.’

Since each one of us lives in a world of our own, making a world designed and influenced by our nature (inherited genes) and nurture (family, friends and environment) and by our cosmic identity (governed by our birth-date and name) and from these worlds we inter-act with others within their own worlds, looking for connections of mutuality or complementarity or even contrariety. The need for self-expression and self-fulfilment often clashes with the need to co-operate or unite in all of us and the attempt to achieve a harmonious balance between what is often a potentially inharmonious situation and our ideals, brings frustrations and even hostility, while a harmonious situation brings a sense of satisfaction.

We go through life ‘trading off’ between our individual worlds – another example of the private/public conundrum; but the effort does take its toll and the human solution is to form family units where the daily conflicts of harmony/disharmony can be worked out within a framework of mutual unity and inter-dependence. At a stage below (or above, if looking from the other position) this first building block of society and one that enables the family unit to connect and survive, is the formation of a social collectiveness (clans, tribes, religions, secret societies) where interchanges of mutual celebrations or mutual griefs can take place.

To begin with these manifestations of family and public togetherness might have been the limiting duration but, in the course of time, have expanded through such matters as migration, travel, trade, barter to eventually fill in every known aspect of what we now know as society, a distinct culture is formed. It has been shown above that power in a society has to be divided to limit its arbitrariness and oppressiveness and likewise, an operational society can only be stable when it is divided into its cultural parts, its economic parts and its political parts as is shown in Chapter 12.

These divisions in a society and the distributed power in a society make it more possible for the greater number of individuals in that society to participate in and achieve his/her expectation and identity needs. With the divisions of the social collectiveness required for its stability and the division of the power to make the rules by which society operates, the embrionic culture emerges which, to maintain itself, needs to function within certain harmonious norms. Within these norms the culture must evolve or perish and the evolution must keep pace with other contiguous cultures in order for it to survive and be passed on as a viable entity to each subsequent generation.

Is this an explanation of ‘what is  philosophy?’ I doubt it.

And so my essay comes to a close. Not with a bang but a question. And a question not on a private philosophical matter but a public question on the meaning of a word. And that could really sum up the whole context.

September 1995

March 29th 2016 – Twenty years on and I have thought of how to condense all the above into a few words.  ‘Question everything  until you have found something to believe in.’

October 10th 2017 – Still another P.S. I put up a note in the kitchen a thought, ‘There is a power to which we all are linked whose purpose we do not understand.’ But there is no last word. Someone said, ‘but life’s purpose IS to understand.’ And then, of course, the opposite, ‘There is nothing to understand.’ So, if the Chinese think that humans can never get beyond the dual ‘yin and yang.’ Believers, non-believers and agnostics never get beyond the trinity of belief, non-belief and don’t know.

June 11th 2018 – The genes we inherit from our parents come through generations of ancestors and have properties that influence but not in an absolute way. The influences we receive whilst growing up and beyond this stage mould us but not in an absolute way.

Both with genes and nurture the self has properties unique to our character that it is important to understand and learn what is changeable and needs to be changed and what is not, as the self has strengths and weaknesses that either need to be addressed or accepted.

Overarching this approach is the brain which is the instrument of change or laissez faire. A laissez faire approach leads to the establishment of comfort zones that justify the habits formed and requires constant review to see if they have become onerous to change in a positive direction. Similarly changes in our life style may be mirages when we first thought them to point in a positive direction, or a target aimed for  an illusion.

Nature deals in change, development and decay and we, as part of Nature, cannot uncouple ourselves from nature’s laws so, with the weapons we have – those of a belief in consciousness, an understanding of the laws of logic and reasoning, an acceptance of the reality of the external World and a relationship between our minds and the outside World – although none of these can be proven, they are, none-the-less our pilots for navigating ourselves through the mystery of life.