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Jay, you don't look a day over 50. Forever young, indeed.

Your father's political sympathies echo the social tumult that Sinclair Lewis captures in Babbitt. I've been listening to that on Audible recently and may write about it. To many businesspeople, communism (or socialism) went hand in hand with being an academic. Uncanny how deeply rooted that polarity is in our own time. This is partly what I bristle at when I see the LinkedIn conversations about academia and industry potentially being two sides of the same coin (with no awareness of the irony of that metaphor).

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Josh, you're very kind -- and I didn't even dye my hair that day! ;)

You're right, my father's early years in the U.S. very much echo Sinclair Lewis -- and before him the kinds of determining social conditions Theodore Dreiser wrote about. The laboring mileu of late 19th and early 20th century America is a forgotten if ever remembered history for too many Americans, part of too much being forgotten. And yes, the irony of that metaphor is, dare I say, rich.

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I am immediately fascinated by the premise and process. Love this comparison to film greats and their methods of meticulous preparation…and not. It works because this reads like a series of framing of memories. It’s incredible the way we can be hooked by great thinkers, not just to understand their words but to be thrown into a tumultuous world of philosophical discovery. Look forward to the rest, Jay!

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Thanks so much, Kathleen. I feel your understanding of and sympathy with the project. It's encouraging. And now that I've settled into some changes I've made around here the past few weeks and have this underway, I can catch up on some favorite Substackers whose writing I've been neglecting, including that Vienna novel of yours in which you immediately conjured such an intriguing atmosphere. I've been seeing people's comments! Can't wait to get back.

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Aw thanks so much! There’s never a rush. Appreciate it.

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Wow thanks for the profound deep dive into the process of how you have discovered your own belief system. You have clearly thought about and felt it more than most who muddle through life in confusion and anxiety. Thank you for sharing and for being Jay. 🙏

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Thank you for reading and for saying this, Dee.

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May 30Liked by A. Jay Adler

A full dose of thought here Jay. Keep 'em coming.

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This was a challenging essay, in the best way. I'm still trying to understand the sentences below you quoted:

"Unlike the nunc stans of the Western medieval tradition, the eternal present is not lifted out of time. There is, so to speak, no time from which it could be lifted out. Each instant, as it is, is an (the) eternal present."

I may not have the philosophical or spiritual training to grasp fully what seems to be a beautiful and holy concept. (I had to look up "nunc stans.")

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I'm glad it was in the best way. :) Any particular training aside, I think the best way into these concepts is through a natural extension of the imagination -- which can stretch and strain the mind. Trying to imagine what eternity is. Is time (like people imagine God) eternal? It goes on forever -- what we live in -- but unlike us it never ends? Or is eternity something outside time, as we experience it, because, in part, time is an experience of consciousness. There is no "time" for rocks, there is no "time" for the dead. Stuff like that . . .

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