MY BRIEF TESTIMONY

BRIEF 5 min. PERSONAL TESTIMONY - BARRY BALLARD

On a warm summer day in Washington D.C., I sat in a small movie theater listening to a re-broadcast of a Billy graham crusade that had been previously given elsewhere. I was attending with a Christian group who ministered on the air force based where I was stationed, "Andrews Air Force Base". At the conclusion of the presentation, there was an invitation given to receive Christ and counselors were standing up front to pray with those who came forward. The house lights went up and I went forward and prayed to receive Jesus Christ into my life. This was not the moment of my true conversion, this was "preparation-of-heart", part one.

On a humid pitch-black night in 1969, my plane touched down on the Saigon airfield that was currently under rocket attack. Black-out conditions were in effect and we were rushed to trucks and then transported to our barracks and its inclusive bunker for protection. I was assigned an m16 rifle, two clips of ammo, and given a helmet and flack-vest. I spent my first night in Saigon standing in the bunker, wondering "why?" I was even here. I understood none of it, except that supposedly it had to do with communism and we were protecting democracy. But, I just felt abandoned to the most bizarre and remote assignment I could imagine. I worked "support", so I do not want to give the false impression that I was "combat"; but I did serve some time in the jungle. Only one man died in our group during the year I was there; and he told me beforehand that he wanted to die and never return home. He had received his divorce papers in the mail about a week before my arrival. He was shot down in a helicopter "one" day before he was to return home. My one year in Saigon was a lesson in the deterioration of the human spirit and soul. Eventually, I also learned to hate myself and "living" and could care less about what might lie ahead. I was returning to the states with a crushed human soul, devoid of all optimism. This was "preparation-of-heart", part two.

On a humid gray-dusk-like-evening, I found myself, in 1970, driving through the main gate of Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. I soon settled into my tasks of working in the 7th bomb wing headquarters, in support roles again as usual. I also served on the honor guard for special occasions for fallen veterans funerals, or award ceremonies. Even though my personal psyche was "wasted“; I was considered an admirable employee and respected for my abilities. My inner life however was an absolute disaster that I did not "share" with anyone. Strangely enough; I was visited by representatives of the "Navigators"; the same Christian organization that had approached me in Washington D.C. I began attending bible studies two nights a week and felt a little better about life by receiving this follow-up. I'll call this "preparation-of-heart", part three.

During my term of service at Carswell, I met my wife to be, Beverly, who invited me to her church in River Oaks, "Trinity Baptist Church". They had a young pastor, John Hatch, who was just finishing his doctorate at Southwestern and the atmosphere attracted me. It was in 1973, “4” years after that initial "preparation-of-heart"; that I made an honest commitment to Jesus Christ and immediately followed that with baptism.

From there, the road did not get any smoother, but my “soul” began a healing process that eventually went from healing to true "Wonder and Discovery". The first thing that was revealed to me was my spiritual gift, which is "Teaching". While at Trinity, I ended up writing three commentaries: James, Colossians, and Philippians. All three helped me grow in my commitment to Jesus Christ.

True conversion was preceded by three moments of "preparation-of-the-heart" in my case. Over a four year stretch of time, God never gave up on me. I think the strength of my testimony must be given to the strength of God's loving patience; to lead me along the final path that would secure my faith. Thank You.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ALEXANDER KOJEVE: NOTION OF "AUTHORITY" 2014 PUB DATE

CLICK ON LINK:  http://www.mediafire.com/listen/6a9pas5o669te3x/kojeve2.mp3

KOJEVE’S PHENOMENOLOGY OF AUTHORITY: or “Philosophy of Law”:
Putting this text in its relationship to Kojeve’s other works looks like the following:

Notion of Authority: written 1942, French pub. 2004, Eng. pub. 2014

Outline of a Phil. Of Right: written 1943, French pub. 1980’s, Eng. pub. 2001

Intro to Hegel: French pub. 1947, Eng. Pub 1969

The “notion of authority” was never intended for public availability and publication. Instead Kojeve wrote it to circulate among his “philosophy-of-law” friends in French government.
It essentially is a 100 page policy-paper to stir conversation between his political friends.
Because it is simply a 100 page treatise and not a book-project; a great deal of necessary material has been left out. You will have to have a very in-depth understanding of his position in his book on “introducing Hegel”; almost to the point where you can anticipate his thought. There are many holes here that the reader is supposed to just “understand”.
But he does tells us that it is written as “Phenomenology” first; then moves on to metaphysical consideration; and finally ontological expansion within the context of “Being”.

As an outline; you will have to fill in with what you understand from the “phenomenology of Hegel analysis” that Kojeve brilliantly produced.
But that helps us, in a way; because we know to approach the text from the point-of-view of self-consciousness and its grasp of authority. And we also know that the place of the “notion of the true” cannot alter in this text. We have a common intersecting point that keeps us on track.
“Authority” is a theoretical articulation of the “ideal” for Kojeve that always needs validation as “recognition”. There is no authority without recognition. And in phenomenology, we know that the theoretical self is the “master-self” for Kojeve.

We are taken on a journey of following the inertia of “Centripetal Thought”, headed for the axis of the TUPOS-SELF, and that important flip of priority, igniting the process of the praxis of the “slave-self”.
I will give you the “chronology of selves” that Kojeve creates in this treatise; and then you can use it to supplement your own research. The process evolves in the following manner:

1. NOMINATED-SELF: where the existing collective-authority makes possible our adoption or nomination into the authority-process. (Through the mediation of education).

2. LEADER-SELF: we develop our own individual universal-ethical-project and search for a way to implement it and gain recognition for our contribution.

3. CRITICAL-JUDGE-SELF: on the threshold of dialogue, we sort out the social implications of authority and refine our position by seeking to identify the eternal-authority that is veiled by the temporal-authority.

4. AUTHORITATIVE-SELF: here we construct our theoretical-model, which will include: an all-inclusive total-authority, with its selective sub-system authorities. Creating an ideal as a living-organism.

5. MASTER-SELF: already a central part of Kojeve’s thought-process; always thinking as a Hegelian. This is the “self” ready to take-on the “decisive-project”; through the RISK of positing. Transitioning from master to slave is going to involve existential-risk.

6. TUPOS-SELF: centripetal-thought finally reaches its AXIS-POINT, where the self performs the “axis-flip” of generating the priority of the slave-self entering into praxis.

7. SLAVE-SELF: “efficient cause” is initiated through this awakening of the “slave-self”. Who also carries with it the material cause of existential-memory.

8. CAUSALITY-SELF: realization for Kojeve is equal to a “diversified causality” of complex-authority. Combining efficient-cause; material-cause; final-cause; and contemplative-cause of the JUDGE-SELF.

9. NOMINATING GENESIS-SELF: we travel full-circle and get involved in education on the psychological level, in order to coax other selves into a continuing “nomination” to authority.

A difficult text, indeed. But after the hard work involved in researching it, I must say 5 stars for certain.

Monday, October 13, 2014

ALEXANDER KOJEVE : "Hegel through the Master/ Slave parable"

click link:  http://www.mediafire.com/listen/q5ye14ykk0kmvo5/kojeve.mp3

BEFORE THERE WAS “PHENOMENOLOGY”, THERE WAS “KOJEVE”:

This volume on Hegel was first published in 1947, well ahead of the French post-modern movement. But it rose to popularity in the 1960’s, along with that movement. Kojeve was a prophet, well ahead of his time.

Fundamentally, Kojeve interprets Hegel’s entire phenomenology through the parable of the “Master & Slave”. This parable functions for Kojeve as the generic-concept of interpretation. This parable is to be understood as depicting the internal dialectic that takes place internally within a singular self-consciousness. Therefore, we are to understand Hegel as depicting the progressive unveiling of the individual self-consciousness in its journey to develop itself; and then, after this moment, move on to seeking to double itself.

For Kojeve, the key moment in the phenomenology is the “AXIS-FLIP”, where the master-self slips back into latency and the slave-self takes priority (where just prior, the opposite was true). This occurs just prior to the moment of entering into the realm of “praxis”.

I’ll give you the summary moments that might assist you in your own reading.

1. The “assimilating-I” is interrogated by speech
2. The “negating-I” begins to surface but must pass from preservation to historical status.
3. The “historical-I” emerges in dialogue between desiring-selves at the threshold of dialogue
4. The “master-I” dominates in the realm of the notion-of-the-true.
5. The axis-flip, where “master-I” and “slave-I” exchange places of priority
6. Praxis stages of “slave-I” are 6-fold. Resulting in “citizen-I”
7. “slave-of-realization” reaches absolute idea and “idea” & doubling of self-consciousness.

Every serious student of Hegel’s work should read this work. It is the perfect text for any class or seminar. 5 stars.

Monday, October 6, 2014

FIRST PETER THROUGH THE MIND OF BENEDICT DE SPINOZA - chapter one


click link: http://www.mediafire.com/listen/w69qzbjfl84u2ky/peter01.mp3


GLOSSARY FOR FIRST PETER, CHAPTER ONE:  verses 1-25

LOGOS:                 substance as whole organism, with innate tendency to suffer through creation.

SARX:                    diverse modalities of extension, passive modes where divine attributes are hidden

RHEMA:                primary attributes of substance, Telos-of-Soteria, thought-as-voice, nested within                                                                                                                                              logos

SPOKALUPTO:   realm of unveiling suspended between Sarx & Rhema; where self employs 
“Hupakouo”

ANA-GENNAO: realm of subjective psyche where awakening in “new spiritual birth” takes place.


OURANOS:          extended presence of attributes in creation; usually translated “heaven”. Reveals                                elements for formation of our

 SHEMATIDZO –world view.

 copyright, Barry L. Ballard, October, 2014 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

SPINOZA: THE "INTELLECTUAL INSTRUMENTS" OF HIS ""LOGIC""

click link:  http://www.mediafire.com/listen/ygyhuh9khpkg28y/pollock.mp3

POLLOCK KEYS-IN ON SPINOZA’S “INTELLECTUAL INSTRUMENTS”:
I did not expect much from this manuscript. Pollock was only 35 years old when he wrote it; and I honestly did not think he could be equipped enough to write a sound treatise. I was wrong. He must have started philosophical investigation at a very early age. He is solid throughout the text. It is quite a good commentary. It is more of a commentary than an exposition. Pollock is rendering his “opinion” of the “ETHICS”, and its misinterpretations.
But, more importantly; he addresses Spinoza with the intent of keying- in on the articulated “intellectual-instruments” that really serve as the only foundation to Spinoza’s position anyway. Briefly I will list these for you, as given in the text. THEY ARE:
1. CLEAR AND DISTINCT IDEAS
2. SUFFICIENT ORDER OF GENERALIZATIONS
3. SINGULARITIES OF UNIVERSAL CONCEPTS
4. NOTION OF EXTENSION (RATHER THAN NOTION OF THE TRUE)
5. POSITED FUNCTIONAL SIGNS FOR PRAXIS
6. POSITED INFINITE INTELLECT.
In addition to this organizational work-flow; the material is also presented through the functional modalities of: PERCEPTION; REASON; INTUITION; IMAGINATION; & INTELLECT.
Because of Pollock’s background in contract-law; I found the material very systematically presented, which I liked.

NOTE: this is a scanned public-domain document and therefore there are no page breaks; material is run together and you are responsible for developing a habit as to how you can best read the material. You’ll learn how to skip notes after 30 minutes of reading. Bu don’t get too upset. You’re getting real solid commentary for 99 cents. Just overlook the inconvenience. I did. 5 stars for this surprise in scholarship

SPINOZA: THE "TRACTATUS"

click on link:  http://www.mediafire.com/listen/4qb0oeok758e8nx/spinoza3.mp3

WRITING A "PHRAESEOLOGY-OF-PROVIDENCE", WITHOUT SUPERSTITION:
Spinoza is almost as misunderstood as Hegel; almost. First; where does the "TRACTATUS" lie? And what is its specific role in Spinoza's overall body of work?
Spinoza's body of major works reads in the following order:

1661: the Logic of Man & Well-Being. (Which essentially was written as a pure "logic")
1669: this "Tractatus" appears in Amsterdam (written as a preliminary necessity-of-infinity that would inform the "Ethics")
1677: the "Ethics" appears which is his full system, including its emphasis on Subjective-Spirit.

These three major works were separated by "8" years" in each instance. So we find ourselves, within this manuscript; looking at Spinoza's take on the necessity of all that has been prophesied, the necessity of the "FADE" of "substance" (I'll explain in a bit); and the necessity of the praxis of "human-law" extending out of "divine-law". And, in all of this, how we are to avoid the entrapment of superstition and false metaphysics & ritual; and instead, reach the ultimate goal of "blessedness", consisting of an overwhelming epistemological "love-of-god" that will allow us to minister to the general population in posited phrases, or narrative-phraseologies that articulate "divine-law" as the "NOTION" of the "rule-for-living? This is our ultimate intent!

The best way to approach this manuscript is to correlate the emerging moments of the development of the "law", with the emerging moments of the "intellectual-instruments" in Spinoza's "ethics. I will list these for you and then you can use it as a reference when you investigate the text yourself:

1. INSTRUMENT OF CLEAR & DISTINCT IDEAS: corresponds to the first appearance of the "prophetic-voice" of the "Mind-of-God"
2. INSTRUMENT OF SUFFICIENT ORDER: corresponds to partitioning aspects of "prophetic-voice" into "existential-voice" of "divine-law"
3. INSTRUMENT OF UNIVERSAL CONCEPTS: corresponds to unveiling aspects of FADE: fortune, assistance, direction, & election of infinite substance
4. INSTRUMENT OF NOTION OF EXTENSION: corresponds to notion of "rule-for-living", from definitions gained from our dialogue concerning FADE
5. INSTRUMENT OF POSITED FUNCTIONAL SIGNS: corresponds to "proving-law-through-experience" & the dialectic of writing narrative that reinforces divine and human law.
6. INSTRUMENT OF INFINITE-INTELLECT: corresponds to extracting a phraseology-of-providence from Nature & Scripture, without the distortions of superstition.

There are a total of "6" intellectual instruments in Spinoza's system of thought.

I am a sincere fan of Spinoza because of his influence on so many great thinkers, including Hegel. But I do recommend you read that little "Logic of Man & Well-Being". It will assist you a great deal in understanding Spinoza's system. 5 stars for this well-thought-out treatise.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

SPINOZA'S "ETHICS"

click link:  http://www.mediafire.com/listen/mcepvaavy5yv67u/spinoza2.mp3

BEFORE HEGEL THERE WAS SPINOZA; THE TRUE "MASTER"
1677 was a remarkable year. It was the year that the public was given Spinoza's "ETHICS", which represented his entire scheme of thought; not just "Ethics". In fact, it reads more like an "Epistemology" or even a "Phenomenology. These are also the reason that Spinoza is so appreciated by post-modern thinkers.

He begins his phenomenology with "PERCEPTION", in the realm of the "psyche". He creates the first emergence of the idea of "Positing" when he announces that an idea can be "real" and "true", but not "actual" in reality. It can still exist as a true representation of Absolute-Essence.

Everything, including you and myself are all enclosed within the one "spirit-substance" that has gone out of itself in "EXTENSION". This extension takes the forms of: ACTIVE-ATTRBUTES & PASSIVE-MODALITIES that enclose those attributes.
Because we exist as part of that "extension"; we possess an "innate" understanding of the "GIVEN-TRUE-IDEA" that will enclose our finite attempts at forming our versions of the "true". Our particular-modality of thought participates in the "Absolute-Thought" of the one spirit-substance.

His methodology is simple and feeds post-modernism to a tee. Reductionism or deconstruction will take us to the singularities of meaning that can be grasped as "clear & distinct" "concepts".
After deconstruction, we pass through dialogue in order to acquire a preliminary "FORM" of synchrony for these concepts. There is an "order" to the infinite attributes that have emanated.

Passing through the refinery of reductionism, analogy, and reflective understanding; we can finally formulate a diagram or outline of the notion of the true; that begins with the "PRIMARY-ATTRIBUTES" and builds down from there, developing sub-system concepts as we go.
All of this takes pace in an "UNDERSTANDING-WORKSPACE" in the intellect that is adding & refining constantly.
After the "notion" is diagramed, we are ready to compose our ontology or "PHRASEOLOGY" of essence, in order to persuade existence forward in spirit. He proposes an ethics of "Writing" a narrative. Notion, alone, is not enough. It needs to be formulated into narrative and shared.

"PRAXIS", however, is something else in this deterministic model. We are simply to participate in the process of the "necessary & the impossible". "Substance evolves of its own necessity and things reach essence out of necessity. "Impossibility" only exists if we GET IT WRONG. If we mistakenly articulate contradiction within an essence. "Impossibility" s a subjective-failure, not an objective-weakness.

His final ontology can be labeled as follows: 1. SUBSTANCE "IN-ITSELF"; 2. SUBSTANCE GONE OUT OF ITSELF AS "EXENDED-SUBSTANCE"; & 3. SUBSTANCE RETURNING TO ITSELF AS "CONCEPTUAL-PHRASEOLOGY"

This is the thinker who inspired so many; especially Hegel. 5 stars for this masterpiece.