The Book of Continuing Creation:
Finding Life’s Meaning and Purpose – In Nature, Reason, and Science
(Earth-centered spirituality, without myths or miracle stories)

The Book’s Essays will be posted month-by-month, as they are written.  Each Essay stands alone, independent of the others; but you will want to read the Introduction and How to Read This Book first (they are both very short), and then read the Overview.  The 27-page Overview presents all the major concepts in the Book of Continuing Creation.  A list of all the posted Essays appears in the right-hand column.  

(This website also contains all of J.X. Mason’s weekly Author’s Blog Posts.  If you wish, you can subscribe to the Blog Posts and receive them in your email.  Everything is free and without advertising.)


Evaluating Buddhism

  Introduction This is another of our Essays that evaluates an important world religion or spiritual path. Our aim has been to compare each of them to our own Practice — the path of Continuing Creation: The Growing, Organizing, Direction of the Cosmos.  As we go along, we have been explaining the Strengths and Shortcomings […]

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Is Continuing Creation a Spiritual Path?

  Is Continuing Creation a Spiritual Path?  Yes and no. The word “spiritual” has different meanings to different people.  Conventional or Traditional Spirituality Most people feel that spiritual only relates to things that are supernatural and incorporeal. These include phenomena that are part of conventional religions — God, saints, ghosts, angels, religious rituals like the […]

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Meditations for Co-Creators

“Meditation is paying sustained, unmixed attention to one thing at a time.” — Paraphrasing Simone Weil. “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” — Anonymous “Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated? — David M. Bader “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you are […]

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Evaluating Taoism and Zen

Evaluating Taoism and Zen “Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which […]

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  1. Stephen Prothero, God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World, 2010, Harper One, p. 186.
  2. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature, 1902, Longmans, Green, and Co., Penguin Books edition 1982, p. 31.
  3. See also Ven S. Dhammika, “Good Questions and Good Answers,”  See also, Peter Harvey, 2019, Buddhism and Monotheism, 2019, Cambridge University Press, p. 1. See also, Matthew T. Kapstein, The Buddhist Refusal of Theism, Diogenes, 2005; pp. 52, 61.
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  7. Stephen Prothero, God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World, 2010, Harper One, pp. 186-190.
  8. Stephen Prothero, God Is Not One, 2010, Harper One, pp. 170-1.
  9. Stephen Prothero, God Is Not One, 2010, Harper One, p. 179 and 191.
  10. Norman Fischer, “Impermanence is Buddha Nature,” 6-15-2021, Lion’s Roar: Buddhist Wisdom for Our Time, Retrieved 7-18-2022.
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  13. “One of the fundamental teachings is that all the constituent forms (sankharas) that make up the universe are transient (Pali: anicca), arising and passing away, and therefore without concrete identity or ownership (atta). 13 See, retrieved 7-18-22.
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  15. See William James, Ibid. p. 401.
  16. Stephen Prothero, Ibid., p. 180.
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  172. Kendall Powell, “How Biologists are creating life-like cells from scratch: Built from the bottom up, synthetic cells and other creations are starting to come together and could soon test the boundaries of life,” Nature, News Feature 11-7-2018.”
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  186. Natalie Wolchover, "A New Physics Theory of Life," 1-28-2014, Scientific American.
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  191. Nick Lane, The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, 2015, W.W. Norton pp. See Lane, 58-62.
  192. Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis – How Life Came from Inanimate Matter,” a video film, 9-6-2019,
  193. Wikipedia article on “Panspermia,” particularly footnotes 163 through 169.
  194. Wikipedia article on “Panspermia,” particularly footnotes 171 through 173.
  195. Jurasic Park, motion picture, 1993, Amblin Entertainment, Universal Studios; Dr. Malcolm was played by Jeff Goldblum;, after the 1990 novel of the same name by Dr. Michael Crichton.
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  199. W. Martin and M. Russell, “On the Origins of Cells: A Hypothesis for the Evolutionary Transitions from Abiotic Geochemistry to Chemoautotrophic Prokaryotes, and From Prokaryotes to Nucleated Cells,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, published online at doi:10.1098/rstb.2002.1183 (2002).
  200. John Whitfield, “New Theory for Origin of Life: Mineral Cells Might Have Incubated First Living Things,” Nature, 12-4-2002, doi:10.1038/news021202-2. See also, Roldane, N. Hollinsworth, et al., “Bio-inspired CO2 Conversion by Iron Sulfide Catalysts Under Sustainable Conditions,” Royal Society of Chemistry, 3-24-15.
  201. D. Luo, D. Yang, S. Peng, and G.Q. Lu, “Enhanced Transcription and Translation in Clay Hydrogel and Implications for Early Life Evolution,” Scientific Reports, 11-7-2013;
  202. Paraphrased from Bill Steele’s article, “Before Cells, Biochemicals May Have Combined in Clay,” 11-7-2013, Cornell Chronicle, Cornell University.
  203. Bill Steele, Ibid.
  204. Bill Steele, Ibid.
  205. Martha Henriques, “The Idea that Life Began as Clay Crystals is 50 Years Old,” 8-24-2016, BBC.
  206. Leslie March, “Life's Crystal Code,” 3-19-2009,
  207. See also Martha Henriques, “The Idea that Life began as clay crystals in 50 years old, 8-24-2016, BBC.
  208. Leslie Mullen, “Life's Crystal Code,”
  209. Arvin Ash, “Abiogenesis,” a video film, Ibid.
  210. V. Erastova, MT Degiacomi, D. Fraser, and HC Greenwell, "Mineral Surface Chemistry Control for Origin of Prebiotic Peptides," December 2017, Nature Communications. 8 (1): 2033. Bibcode:2017NatCo...8.2033E. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02248-y. PMC 5725419. PMID 29229963.
  211. Leslie Mullen, “Life's Crystal Code,”]
  212. Martha Henriques, Ibid.
  213. Michael Schirber, “Diamonds May Be Life's Birthstone,”, 9-25-2008,
  214. Michael Schirber, Ibid.
  215. Michael Schirber, Ibid.
  216. Leslie Mullen, “Life's Crystal Code,”, 3-19-2009.]
  217. Robert Hazen, Ibid., p.138.
  218. Leslie Mullen, “Life's Crystal Code,”, 3-19-2009.
  219. D.R. Colman, S. Poudel,, The Deep, Hot Biosphere: Twenty-five Years of Retrospection,” Proceeding of the National Academy of Science, (PNAS), 7-03-2107, See also,
  220. Martin Homann, et al., "Microbial life and Biogeochemical Cycling on Land 3,220 Million Years Ago,” 7-23-2018, Nature Geoscience,11 (9): 665–671. Bibcode:2018NatGe..11..665H. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0190-9. S2CID 134935568; from the article, “Bacteria,” on Wikipedia,
  221. Jonathan Watts, “Scientists Identify Vast Underground Ecosystem Containing Billions of Micro-organisms,” The Guardian, 12-10-2018,
  222. HC Tung, NE Bramall, PB Price, 2005, "Microbial Origin of Excess Methane in Glacial Ice and Implications for Life on Mars," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102 (51): 18292–6. Bibcode:2005PNAS,10218292T. doi:10.1073/pnas.0507601102. PMC 1308353. PMID 16339015.
  223. F. Puente-Sanchez, A. Arce-Rodrigues, et al., Viable Cyanobacteria in the Deep Continental Subsurface, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10-1-2018, From Wikipedia, “Earliest Known Life Forms.”
  224. Carl Zimmer, "What Came Before DNA,?” Discover Magazine, 6-26-04.
  225. Sean Chamberlin, "Black Smokers and Giant Worms," 1999, Fullerton College, Retrieved 2-11-2011. See also, Brent C. Christner, 2002, "Detection, Recovery, Isolation, and Characterization of Bacteria in Glacial Ice and Lake Vostok Accretion Ice,” 2002, Ohio State University.
  226. Office of Legislative Affairs, “Microbe from Depths Takes Life to Hottest Known Limit,” 8-14-2003, National Science Foundation,
  227.   A.V. 22  Sysoev, A. V.; Kantor, Yu. I. (1995). "Two new species of Phymorhynchus (Gastropoda, Conoidea, Conidae) from the hydrothermal vents" (PDF). Ruthenica. 5: 17–26. From the Wikipedia article, “Hydrothermal Vent.”
  228. "Extremes of Eel City,” Astrobiology Magazine. 28 May 2008. See also, A. V. Sysoev and Y.I. Kantor, (1995). "Two New Species of Phymorhynchus (Gastropoda, Conoidea, Conidae) From the Hydrothermal Vents,"1995, at Ruthenica. 5: 17–26. See also, S. Botos, "Life on a Hydrothermal Vent," Hydrothermal Vent Communities.
  229. Live Science Staff, “Boiling Hot Water Found in Frigid Arctic Sea,” LiveScience,
  230. Kenneth Chang, "Conditions for Life Detected on Saturn Moon Enceladus," 4-13-2017, New York Times. See also, "Spacecraft Data Suggest Saturn Moon's Ocean May Harbor Hydrothermal Activity," NASA, 3-11-2015. See also, M. Paine, "Mars Explorers to Benefit from Australian Research," 5-15-2001, Both references from Wikipedia article, “Hydrothermal Vent.”
  231. For 19 separate footnote references to Dr. Muller’s scientific papers on this topic, see the Wikipedia article on Thermosynthesis.
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  233. From Wikipedia article on “Panspermia.”
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  235. Seth Shostak, "Comets and Asteroids May Be Spreading Life Across the Galaxy – Are Germs From Outer Space the Source of Life on Earth?,"10-26-2018, NBC News. See also, Idan Ginsburg, M. Lingham, and Abraham Loeb, "Galactic Panspermia," 11-19-2018, The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 868 (1): L12. arXiv:1810.04307v2. Bibcode:2018ApJ...868L..12G. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aaef2d. S2CID 119084109. 239 “Although computer models suggest that a captured meteoroid would typically take some tens of millions of years before collision with a planet, there are documented viable Earthly bacterial spores that are 40 million years old that are resistant to radiation, and others able to resume life after being dormant for 100 million years, suggesting that lithopanspermia life-transfers are possible via meteorites exceeding 1 m in size.240 Edward Belbruno; Amaya Moro-Martı´n,, "Chaotic Exchange of Solid Material between Planetary [Systems],” 2012, Astrobiology. 12 (8): 754–74. arXiv:1205.1059. Bibcode:2012AsBio..12..754B. doi:10.1089/ast.2012.0825. PMC 3440031. PMID 22897115. See also, "Impacts 'More Likely' to Have Spread Life from Earth," 8-23-2011, BBC. See also, Yuki Morono, Motoo Ito, et. al., "Aerobic Microbial Life Persists in Oxic Marine Sediment As Old as 101.5 Million Years," 7-8-2020, Nature Communications. 11 (1): 3626. Bibcode:2020NatCo..11.3626M. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-17330-1. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 7387439. PMID 32724059. 241 “Conditions similar to those of the Miller–Urey experiments are present in other regions of the solar system, often substituting ultraviolet light for lightning as the energy source for chemical reactions. The Murchison meteorite that fell near Murchison, Victoria, Australia in 1969 was found to contain over 90 different amino-acids, nineteen of which are found in Earth life. 242 M.A. Line, "Panspermia in the Context of the Timing of the Origin of Life and Microbial Phylogeny," 2007, International Journal . Astrobiol. 3. 6 (3): 249–54. Bibcode:2007IJAsB...6..249L. doi:10.1017/S1473550407003813. See also,  Wickramasinghe, D. T.; Allen, D. A. (1980). "The 3.4-µm Interstellar Absorption Feature," Nature. 287 (5782): 518–19. Bibcode:1980Natur.287.518W. doi:10.1038/287518a0. S2CID 4352356. See also, Allen, D. A.; Wickramasinghe, D. T. (1981). "Diffuse Interstellar Absorption Bands Between 2.9 and 4.0 µm," 1981, Nature. 294 (5838): 239–40. Bibcode:1981Natur.294..239A. doi:10.1038/294239a0. S2CID 4335356.
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  239. Alan W. Watts, The Way of Zen, 1957, Vintage Books, Random House, pp 4-5. See also Ray Grigg, The Tao of Zen, 1994, Alva Press, p. 3.
  240. Elizabeth Pollard, Clifford Rosenberg, and Robert Tignor, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World - From the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present, Dec 16, 2014, W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-91847-2. p. 164
  241. Linda Woodhead, Christopher Partridge, & Hiroko Kawanmi, Religions in the Modern World, 2016, Routledge, p.146. ISBN 978-0-415-85880-9.
  242. Isabelle Robinet, 1992, Taoism: Growth of a Religion, 1992, Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-2839-9, p. 1.
  243. Russell Kirkland, Taoism: The Enduring Tradition, 2004, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-26322-0, p. 61.
  244. Alan W. Watts, The Way of Zen, 1957, Vintage Books, pp. 13-14.
  245. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A Peer-Reviewed Resource,
  247. Ray Grigg, The Tao of Zen, 1994, Alva Press, pp. 21-27.
  248. Roger T. Ames, Roger T. (1998) ed. Wandering at Ease in the Zhuangzi, 1998, State University of New York Press.[/note)

    Our Way of participation in the positive Direction of the Cosmos advocates just the opposite: we affirm that reality is real, and our human constructive efforts are critically important in achieving progress… on all fronts that are moral.  (See our Essays, Leading an Ethical Life, Leading a Virtuous Life, and Leading a Fulfilled and Happy Life.)

    The Tao Te Ching

    Fortunately, the other foundational book of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, agrees with us: it is very much about purposeful living and working; but always in a centered, calm, and effective manner. In this view, “aimless wandering” is a meditative tool for resting and rejuvenating the mind and body, before returning to constructive living.

    The Tao Te Ching -- “The Way and its Power,” or “The Way and its Virtue” – is attributed to Lao Tzu or Laozi, “The Old Master”.  The Tao Te Ching is a collection of just 81 very short, poem-like statements (“chapters”) about the nature of reality and how to live life.

    Illustration for The Tao Te Ching

    Illustration for The Tao Te Ching

    There is no historical evidence that the Old Master ever lived, or that he wrote the Tao Te Ching. A number of scholars believe that the little book was written by a collaboration of authors. Legend says that after writing the book, Lao Tzu retired alone into the mountains, never to be heard from again. 256 Livia Kohn and Michael Lafargue, eds., Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching, 1998, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-3599-1.

  249. See
  250. Alan Watts, Ibid., pp. 16-17.
  251. Alan Watts, Ibid., pp. 16-17.
  252. Edward Slingerland, Effortless Action: Wu-wei As Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China, 2007, Oxford University Press, pp. 6-7. ISBN 9780195138993. See also, John Tierney, "A Meditation on the Art of Not Trying,” 2014-12-15, The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July, 2020.
  253. Stephen Mitchell, Tao Te Ching: A New English Version, with Foreword and Notes, 1998, Harper and Row, p viii.
  254. Eugen Herrigel, Zen in the Art of Archery, 1953, Pantheon; 1981 Random House.
  255. Stephen Mitchell, Ibid., p. ix.
  256. Alan Watts, Ibid. p. 25.
  257. Stephen Prothero, God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World, 2012, Harper One, p. 281.
  258. Kristopher Schipper, The Taoist Body,1993, University of California Press, p. 19.
  259. Henri Maspero, Taoism and Chinese Religion, 1981, Translated by Frank A. Kierman, Jr., University of Massachusetts Press, ISBN 0-87023-308-4, p.41. See also, Isabelle Robinet, Taoism: Growth of a Religion, 1992, Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-2839-9, p. 63.
  260. Robert Alan Segal, The Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion,' 2006, Blackwell Publishing, p. 50. ISBN 0-631-23216-8.
  261. Stephan Prothero, Ibid., p. 282]
  262. Tai chi exercises, a set of highly controlled gestural exercises, coupled with “right breathing” and “correct concentration,” are today practiced all over the world, usually outdoors in the open air. These flowing exercises can be performed by people of all ages and nearly all physical abilities.
  263. Tai chi (or Tai chi Ch’uan), began as a martial arts tradition. Two other Chinese martial arts practices are Bagua Zhang, and Xing Yi Quan. They also embody Taoist principles to a significant extent, and some practitioners consider their art a means of practicing Taoism. 270 Robert Rousseau, "An Introduction to Chinese Martial Arts Styles." Retrieved 2017-06-01. See also, Stephen Prothero, Ibid., p. 283.

  264. “chi,” published Mar 17, 2015, updated Apr 10, 2017,,
  265. Stephen Prothero, Ibid., p. 284.
  266. Livia Kohn and David Harold, Daoist identity: History, Lineage, and Ritual, 2002, University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 9780824824297. OCLC 47893514.
  267. Stephen Prothero, Ibid., p. 284.
  268. “Religion in China,” Oct. 11, 2018, Council on Foreign Relations.
  269. Ian Johnson, “The Rise of the Tao,” The New York Times Magazine, Nov 5, 2020.
  270. Alan Watts, Ibid.,p. 28.
  271. Jigoro Kano, Memoirs of Jigoro Kano, 2008, Watson, Brian N. (ed.), Trafford Publishing, pp. 39–40.
  272. Prothero, Ibid., pp. 303-306.
  273. Bill Haines, “Confucian Child-rearing,” The Useless Tree: Ancient Chinese Thought in Modern American Life,,extensively%20because%20they%20do%20it.