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Life: USAF for four years until 1972. Undergraduate studies at Dallas Baptist College, BA Philosophy. Graduate studies at Texas Christian University, MA Philosophy and Theology(my thesis was on Moltmann's interpretation of the historical dialectic. Moltmann [Tubingen, germany} ended up becoming a good personal friend. I finally met him at Baylor university). Divorced, one son who is now 30 yrs old. published 7 collections of poetry. 4 were national award winners. nominated for the pushcart prize for best American writing 1998 to 2007. google my name to see samples of poetry. raced bicycles for 20 years(started with a French team[PETROLEUM CLUB] and then moved to an American team[bikes America/flyers] )now race masters division or senior division(racing for old dudes who refuse to grow up). also like photography. my heroes are: lance Armstrong because he cares about children fighting cancer, Jurgen Moltmann because he cares about all humanity and especially all those who died in German death camps during wwII. and finally, all of my English teachers at holt junior high and holt high school. Those teachers inspired me to become a writer. contact:
barry ballard

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lectures on jurgen moltmann


Saturday, August 30, 2014


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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.


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

Friday, June 20, 2014


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How are we to define the “self” as “subject” if we ignore “spiritual-seeing” and “spiritual-hearing”?
There is more to humanity than the cognitive and the construction of rational propositions. There is a more primitive dimension that also defines us. This dimension speaks to us in an unknown grammar, one that appears to the Hupakouo attribute of the “psyche” who possesses the right perspective or “stance”. Of course, this is the concern of phenomenology in the first place; and the concern of post-modern thought. It is time to re-acquaint ourselves with the “Animot-voice” of the animal-other.
In 10 days at a conference held at the Cerisy Cultural Center in Lasalle, France Derrida did just that. This is his treatise of “awakening”; his plea for a new “auto-biography”, one that will give the animal-monster, that currently exists in the world, a “new name”.


Derrida proposes a triad with regard to his approach. We could call this his “triad-of-Hupakouo”; a new LOGOS. Its parts: 1. the “being-after” of the self as a state of latency with regard to this quest for auto-bio definition. This is the self of shame and impropriety, and under the gaze of the interrogating animal-other. 2. The “being-alongside” marks a transition of the self where self enters the role of “negation” and negating the “monstrous animal”; and positing instead the “theoretical animal-other”. But discernment is still missing here. The self needs dialogue to get past this “lack” with regard to auto-biography. 3. The “being-near” of the self recognizes the role that ”Hupakouo” plays at the level of “presentation” concerning the “other” and “listening” with regard to the transcendentally intuitive “psyche”. Self and animal can co-exist in dialectic.

This is the same Derrida of the “phenomenology-of-writing”; therefore, we should recognize that the “PRAXIS” of all this is the positing of a written “zoo-to-biographical sketch”. This is a sketch of relation between the “I” of the self and the history of the “animal-as-concept”. We will enlist the attestation, argument, and proof of our recalled “auto-bio memory” as the apologetic accompanying proclamation; to help empower this PRAXIS.

The “notion” of this praxis-positing is formed through a process Derrida calls: “Limitophy”; which is a deconstruction of the false-singularity of “animal” currently in existence, coupled with re-interpreting the limit-point of our situation in a way that is “non-linear”. And the “cultivation” of the results of dialogue at the conversation-threshold with other selves involved in the process of forming a new name for animal. Cultivation takes place under the critique of a posited 3rd party called “Universality”.

Give yourself the benefit of reading this manuscript slowly; it is rich in content and addresses Derrida’s fundamental position in a way that centers on ”listening”. We are never so well advanced that we cannot learn new ways to awaken our spiritual listening.
5 stars for this 10-day conference.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


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Bultmann; much in the same manner as Levinas (but well ahead of his time), tells us that the self is confronted by both: a historical situation and text of existential importance. For Levinas, the text was the Torah and Talmud. For Bultmann, the text is exclusively the New Testament, and especially the gospel narratives (with a preference for John).
And both Levinas and Bultmann addressed the problem of a “kerygma-of-saying” that was enclosed in an “enclosure-of-said”. Bultmann calls this the “enclosure-of-myth”. Now; Bultmann precedes Levinas by about 8 years, so we should recognize just how ground-breaking Bultmann’s offering was and still remains today.

The “myth-of-the-said” that tries to enclose kerygma is composed primarily of Jewish apocalyptic and Greek Gnosticism. We need to extract the kerygma from this inauthentic enclosure and acquire the existential significance of New Testament narrative in its originary proclamation-state. Our task therefore includes this extraction coupled with the ongoing development of the self’s “self-understanding”.

The “psyche” makes its contribution by passing through the triad of: anxiety – faith – and eschatological-existence. The tension of “security vs anxiety” interrogates the self to open itself to the intangible love of god and openness to the future. This eschatological stance must be repeated again and again for every new situation; a continual negation of “egoism”.

The transition to the notion of the “true” passes through the relational-threshold of the “act-of-god”. For Bultmann, this means working through a triad: first; we internally posit the idea of “self-as-other”, where the love-of-god creates a self-acceptance equal to a self that is “other” than it already “is”; “self” becomes “eschatological-self”. Second; we pass through “dialogue with others where the “gnosis of revelation” is unveiled in the encounter with other selves that are also perceived eschatologically. And thirdly; the content of “kerygma” is articulated, as that within the Christ-event that is hidden under the mythical narrative. This means articulating the cross and resurrection as kerygma.

This threshold moment marks the self’s transition to cognition and the conceptual articulation of the cross and resurrection into an intelligible posited “word-of-reconciliation”. Essentially we are to posit the “saving-efficacy” of the cross as “intelligible” and available for proclamation and differentiation in actuality. For Bultmann, the cross is really all of the content we need. Resurrection simply stands for “faith” in the saving-efficacy of the cross. “Physical resurrection narratives” are later additions to the primitive text according to Bultmann.

“Praxis” means taking up the triad of: 1. taking up the stance of “being-for-another”; plus 2. Uniting that stance with the impelling “question-about-god” to form 3. A realized objectivity of the dialectical involvement of the kerygma in actuality. It will include using the existing lexical content of one’s tradition and its specific philosophy; but critiquing that philosophy with the “right” of an eschatological understanding of human existence.

What we can all learn here is how; after 61 years; a manuscript like this can take on new meaning in light of further offerings by post-moderns like Levinas and Derrida. 5 stars; and truly a transformative document.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


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In 1961, Levinas gave us his masterpiece of "Totality and Infinity" where he outlined his basic position on phenomenology. Now, 13 years later, in 1974, he gives us a refinement of his phenomenology that emphasizes the otherness of "being", by designating it "Kerygma"; much in the same way as Bultmann did for Christianity. Levinas wants to emphasize this kerygma, stripped of the contamination of the enclosure of the "said" (or imposed ontologies, etc.). His Judaic-demythologizing would strip or disrupt this "said", in order to create a fragmentation that would free-up the concepts so that the responsible self can engage in the task of re-instating their dynamic life as "signs" of "saying".

The proto-subjectivity takes up the act of the event-of-responsibility and enters the conversation threshold, where the dialogue passes through a triad of: "SUBSTITUTION - SENSIBILITY - SAYING". This dialogue has as its purpose to articulate the "proximity" of a "communal-sign-image" that "inspires" or motivates. This is the middle moment of one self standing-in toward another. But next, the self must articulate a "thematization" which will involve a new stance of the two selves standing together, facing a 3rd party; all within the atmosphere of "justice"

From "thematization", he moves on to "praxis", where he depicts in the triad of: "QUESTIONING - RESPONSE - DIACHRONIC PLOT". The idea of "plot" is interesting because it suggests "narrative", which is important for the Judaic-LevInas. The space between "questioning" and "response" is designated the workspace for articulating this non-ontological expression of "truth". All taking place in the "modality-of-responsibility"

LOGOS, therefore, is centered on the idea of "kerygma", a triad consisting of: "THE SAID-OF-KERYGMA / THE SAYING-OF-KERYGMA / THE DIACHRONOLOGY-OF-KERYGMA". The "diachronic-other" is the other of time that transits through all times; and therefore; usurps the previous autonomy of linear-time. "Time" is eschatological for Levinas.
This is a powerful manuscript that gives the view of a Judaic-Bultmann. Powerful and deep, but accessible if taken in small reasonable bites. 5 stars.

Friday, June 6, 2014


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Digitally published in 2013; this 90 page monograph addresses Levinas by articulating his phenomenology of “covenant”. I found no information on the author, so I guess she wants anonymity. But I would give her high marks.
Morris takes us through the Judaic symbols in order to define Levinas’ phenomenology. Basically these run as follows: SINAI; BASE OF SINAI TO PLAINS-OF-MOAB; GERIZIN; THE “AMEN-RESPONSE” AT EBAL & GERIZIN; TENT-OF-MEETING; AND THEN THE PRAXIS-OF-INVERSION & THE LOGOS AS “PLOT-OF-BEING”.
I thought she did an excellent job of articulating the symbols, except for shorting us on an articulation of the tent-of-meeting. But you can extrapolate that, based on your own understanding of Levinas: essentially this is the moment of the distribution of the tribes and symbolizes “proximity” which she does talk about.
To get the most from the monograph you should already have the thought-picture of the form and structure of phenomenology already in your mind. If you do; you can integrate this material easily. I would call it accessible, but deep enough to satisfy grad-level work.
For an indie-kindle-manuscript; I was pleasantly surprised and give it 5 stars. Enjoy this manuscript.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


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IN 1923, the concept of “phenomenology” did not exist. Instead, such positions were called “existentialism”. Such was the label attached to Buber. And phenomenology is equal to “existentialism as relation”.
However, as is the case with “prophetic-voice”; Buber anticipated phenomenology by 40 years. His “I and Thou” presented a phenomenology of “Relation”, long before the science would take birth in the 1960’s.

Roughly we can form a preliminary “Judaic-outline”:
1. RELATION-OF-EXILE: while, at the same time, being conditioned by “grace” and “covenant”. Where the self seeks out “meaning” in this barrenness.
2. RELATION-OF-MEANING: and direction, symbolized in pillar-of-fire. Where self interprets the acquisition of the “units-of-meaning” as gifts of grace in perceiving “meaning”. Self takes on receptive attitude of “stance-of-prayer” for this perceiving.
3. RELATION-OF-WORD: as symbolized as ark-of-covenant. The threshold of dialogue where self encounters three sub-system relations concerning the “speech-act”: a. “BELOW-LANGUAGE” of sensate-percepts. B. “WITHIN-LANGUAGE” of “cogito” relating to other selves. C. “BEYOND-LANGUAGE” of “spiritual-being” and acquiring the traces of the “eternal-you” in the shared experiences of other selves.
4. RELATION-AS-POURED-OUT: symbolized in the “mercy-seat”; where self articulates the form of the “eternal-you” from the compiled “traces” and conceptualizes them into “altar” & “sacrifice”; a sacrifice of risking “whole-being” in the positing.
5. RELATION-AS-ELECTION: symbolized a tabernacle in the desert. The hinge pivot-point of true subjectivity that never quite reaches a fixed home with itself; always no more than a tent for a tabernacle. Never a determinate “it” to define the interrogation for “praxis”. “Praxis” demands more than this.
6. RELATION-OF-PRAXIS: as a “relation-of-incarnation”; incarnating the “you” of SOCIAL-HUMANITY. It INCLUDES “3” sub-system-relations as follows:
a. “Relation-of-aesthetics” in the world of things.
b. “Relation-of-love “in world of other selves.
c. “Relation-of-meditation” in world of mystery and spirit.
AND THE “LOGOS”: for Buber, the “logos” is metaphorically represented as the “Manna-of-nourishment”.
This logos passes through a triad of: 1. the “i-it” of psyche. 2. The “blossoming-i-you” of “cogito”; and 3. The “i-you” as “process-of-event”.
This masterpiece of around 100 pages should be studied by any serious thinker who wants to better understand the current post-modern position. Highly recommended; 5 stars