Jordanic Derivism: A Crucial Piece of the Cosmic Puzzle

A spiritual philosophy developed by Frank L. Jordan III that addresses the problems of natural and moral evil in a new way, while also seeking to reconcile science and matters of faith.


Young stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), one of the closest galaxies to our Milky Way.

Image credits are as follows: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ.Potsdam/L.Oskinova et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

JORDANIC DERIVISM  (di`rīv ism),  n.  a philosophy developed by American philosopher Frank L. Jordan III that has as its core principle the assertion that it was inherently necessary for the fundamental realities of the early universe (e.g., primordial chemical elements, light, gravity, and electromagnetism) to be what they intrinsically were because they derived directly from the Ultimate Reality, which is Pure Love Personified — or God — therefore forming a basic manifestation of God. Furthermore, derivism asserts that the reality behind this principle has impacted and continues to impact the development of the universe.

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Did God have any choice in creating the universe? – Albert Einstein

For me, this has always been one of Einstein’s most fascinating ponderings. Is he asking, “Did God have any choice in whether or not he created the universe?” Or is he asking, “Did God have any choice in how he created the universe?”

Both questions are incredibly profound. And although I do have some thoughts on the first one, it’s the second one that has really grabbed me for so many years. It’s that second question that has inspired me to dedicate so much of my life to apprehending the answer.

This quest has led me to some startling realizations. The universe is not simply a creation of a Supreme Being that we call God. It is more accurate to recognize the universe as a manifestation — an unfolding manifestation — of Pure Love Personified.

When the universe first came into existence with the Big Bang, it derived directly from this Pure Love. The birth of the universe was the initial basic manifestation of Pure Love Personified — or God. Therefore, the fundamental realities of that early universe (e.g., primordial chemical elements, light, gravity, and electromagnetism) had to be what they intrinsically were. It was an inherent necessity that these realities be what they were. This is the core principle on which the philosophy of derivism* is based.

The reality behind this principle has impacted and continues to impact the development and evolution of our universe in amazing ways. An understanding of the dynamics between God (Pure Love) and his/her unfolding manifestation (the universe) is chronicled in my collection of verse essays entitled ~SOUNDINGS~: Exploring the Depths of God and the Universe. This collection can be found in its entirety here at

So to answer Einstein’s question “Did God have any choice in creating the universe?” I’d have to answer it with another question:

Does a musician have any choice in whether or not to use music when creating a composition?

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*The philosophy of derivism introduced in ~SOUNDINGS~ is not the religious doctrine found at the website or in the book Derivism: A New Understanding in a New Age. Each author arrived at the term derivism independently. The philosophy introduced here is specified as Jordanic derivism.





Franklin Monument in Boston; photo by F. Jordan III


The following is a letter to the editors of The Boston Globe, The Virginian-Pilot, and the Daily Press:

Dear Editor,

Another act of terror has occurred in yet another one of our beloved American cities. What may come to be known as the Boston Marathon Massacre raises yet again that age-old question, “Why didn’t God stop it?”

The few times I’ve experienced the life-altering presence of God, its defining feature was pure unconditional love—the very opposite of what motivated the bombings. So if God is against such acts of evil, then why do they occur?

I am convinced that prevailing attitudes about the nature of God’s power and how it actually works need to be revised in order to better understand God’s response to tragic events like those in Boston. Could it just not be the nature of God’s power to ever work from the outside in, but always from the inside out—never to someone, but always through them? Could the multifaceted barriers between us and God be solely within our natures alone, and for complex reasons become very real obstacles to God’s fully exerted power?

If the answers to these two questions are yes, then it could help us to understand why God doesn’t stop such heinous acts. The answer is that God does everything within his power to stop them. The pure Love of God isn’t withholding anything. But we tend to define what God’s power is, how it operates, and the results it accomplishes by our own criteria. We imagine God to work in a certain way, and we expect certain results.

But what if we’re mistaken?

Frank L. Jordan III

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~SOUNDINGS~: Exploring the Depths of God and the Universe – Contents and Introduction

~SOUNDINGS~ Final Front Cover


PO Box 9785
Norfolk, VA  23505

Copyright © 2011 by Frank L. Jordan III

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the author and/or publisher.

Cover image: This composite picture of the Helix Nebula, often called the Eye of God, was created by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

ISBN-13:  978-0-6155-5462-4
ISBN-10:  0-6155-5462-4


For my mother and father—of the Silent Generation,

my wife—of the Baby Boom Generation,

my daughter—of Generation X,

my son and stepdaughter—of Generation Y,

and my granddaughter—of Generation Z,

and really …

For all of their generations



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PART I: The Essentials

     1. Manifestation – here

     2. Collaboration – here

     3. Processes – here

     4. Evolution – here

     5. Humanity – here

     6. Presence and Absence – here

     7. Sensation – here

PART II: The Effects

     8. Chance – here

     9. Time – here

     10. Environments – here

PART III: The Obstacles

     11. Death – here

     12. Natural Disasters – here

     13. Accidents – here

     14. Disease – here

     15. Mental Illness and Disability – here

     16. Evil – here

PART IV: The Interventions

     17. The Chosen – here

     18. The Man – here

     19. The Exalted Way – here

     20. An Inspired Life – here

     21. A Matter of Balance – here



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God is real. I know that God is real because I’ve personally experienced the love, presence, and power of God at key points in my life. Usually these have been times of extreme crisis, but God’s love has flowed during good times also. The elation I felt when my two children were born was from God, although I didn’t fully realize it at the time. The enveloping love that grew over a four-day religious retreat took me by surprise.

I’ve also experienced God’s transforming power during many of the realizations I had that make up the contents of this book. I consider most of these “good time” experiences. But some of the realizations came only after I had had a profound conversion experience, a conversion that occurred during one of the worst crises of my life. At one point in our marriage, my previous wife and I were on the brink of a serious separation when I realized that I would never be the father that I had always wanted to be for our children—our daughter, then eight, and son, seven—and that that would hurt them. All of a sudden this incredible love swept over me, filling my heart with joy, and I knew it was from God. I knew it was God’s love because there was a presence and a power to it. This love knew me intimately, was closer to me than my very breath.

Even though my previous wife and I did still separate for a few months, this life-changing event was key to us being able to reunite at that time. We would remain together for ten more years, years that I’m certain helped shape our children into the wonderful young people that they now are. I am proud to have been their full-time,  live-in dad during that time.

It was from this conversion experience that I learned that God is Pure Love, that he loves us passionately, and that there are times when this love breaks through in a profound way. I can’t say for certain, but it’s possible that some of the realizations I had before my conversion—many of which are found in this book—could have contributed to my being able to receive that experience when I did. God only knows where I would be, and how my children’s lives would have been impacted, if I hadn’t received it.

The views put forth here—my soundings—took many years to develop. They have enabled me to reconcile aspects of my faith with much that modern science has to teach us. They have offered me comfort and peace during the deaths of all four of my grandparents in the same year, the loss of a close aunt to colon cancer, the tragic death of my younger brother in a car crash, and the loss of a beloved stepmother to Alzheimer’s. They helped me make sense of the world when my defenses came crashing down in the midst of an emotional breakdown—an episode that has even worked its way into the pages of this book, and will resonate in me for the remainder of my days.

I offer these soundings as a possible comfort and support to others. I don’t believe these poetic essays will in themselves save anybody. Only the Spirit of God can do that. But I do believe that they offer unique, contemporary explanations for many of the dynamics between God and the natural universe—explanations that could help tear down some of the walls between us and Pure Love. In the process, I’ve tried to articulate with some clarity a worldview that is often otherworldly. I hope I’ve succeeded.

God knows I’ve tried.

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1. ~SOUNDINGS~: PART 1 – The Essentials | 1st Essay – Manifestation

1. Manifestation

Crab Nebula image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech



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I can’t escape these thoughts when gazing out on Creation,

     on how maybe Creation is a somewhat misleading word,

          implying that nature is the result of an activity

          of the Creator alone,

               when it’s obviously more complicated than that.

So with an open heart and mind, I send out my questions,

     my yearnings for answers,

          like soundings,

          and receive these impressions,

               like echoes from the depths of time.


I believe that God, who is Pure Love,

     first created space, and then tremendous energies.

They moved—and time began.

Eventually, as the universe cooled and expanded,

     these energies condensed into matter,

          becoming the basic chemical elements

          of hydrogen and helium.

Gravity worked on these elements, forming the stars.

Within the cores of these stars,

     thermonuclear fusion bound the nuclei

          of hydrogen and helium into heavier elements,

          which were eventually scattered

               throughout the universe.


God, who is Ultimate Reality and Truth,

     would not bring into existence

          anything less than real or true, it would seem.

With this in mind, could the newly created universe—

     the early space-time continuum—

          have been anything other than it was?

Could the primordial light and elements,

     with their forces of electromagnetism and gravity,

          have been anything other than they were?

God, who is Ultimate Truth, manifests that which is true,

     making the universe, in the beginning,

          a basic manifestation of God.

Is it possible that the universe had to be what it was,

     that it was essential that it be what it was?

The answer to this question is a resounding Yes!


The universe has changed since the beginning.

And theories have been devised to explain these changes—

     some supported by evidence, some not.

Let’s say that our planet did condense, cool, solidify,

     that our oceans and atmosphere

          did gradually form over time.

Were these direct acts of God, who is Pure Love?

Or is it possible they were the essential developments

     of a combination of elements being worked upon

          by gravity, over time—

          natural elements that must be what they are,

               gravity and time being what they must be,

               and all of these being governed by laws

                    that must be what they are,

                    only that which is true

                         being manifested by God, who is the Truth,

                         only that which is real deriving from God,

                         who is the Ultimate Reality?


To embrace these possibilities

     is to embark on the philosophical journey

          of derivism.

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2. ~SOUNDINGS~: PART 1 – The Essentials | 2nd Essay – Collaboration

2. Collaboration

Amoeba image courtesy of Iceclanl



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Our planet stabilized, was ready for life.

But how did the creation of life occur?

Was it an act of the Creator alone,

     with no input from matter,

          some now more complex?

There is a yearning within that which is manifested

     by Pure Love,

          a yearning to expand,

          to unite in order to become something more.

Like crystallizing minerals, the elements themselves

     yearned to develop.

This is part of the truth of their reality,

     a reality that is derived from God.


As the elements yearned,

     so God met them in their yearning—

          for Pure Love would fulfill every authentic need.

The elements—some now forming more complex molecules—

     yearned to develop, to expand,

          to go where they didn’t know where to go—

          to change, to be transformed,

               to reach out with yearning, in freedom.


The need is deep enough, the desire complete.

God meets complex matter, in freedom,

     imbues it with power—

          and life is born on earth.

For God is the Source of life.

Living cells, having more complex needs—

     to eat, to grow,

          to reproduce, to thrive.

A new phase of Creation is risen from the ashes of the old,

     feeds upon the ashes of the old.


This Creation is more than an act of the Creator alone.

It is more like a collaboration.

That which is manifested by God,

     that which is real and true,

          yearning for that which only God can supply,

          yearning freely, completely,

               and being touched by Love—

               changed, transformed, brought to life.


And this is only the beginning.

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3. ~SOUNDINGS~: PART 1 – The Essentials | 3rd Essay – Processes

3. Processes

Dissected Lithops plant (site of photosynthesis); photo courtesy of yellowcloud



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Just as the natural elements,

     comprising a manifestation of God,

          are indispensably what they are,

          so too are many of the phenomena, laws,

               and processes surrounding the elements.

Once life came into existence

     many of these processes began.


One of the first to begin was the process of respiration,

     which at present is the absorption of oxygen

          and the releasing of carbon dioxide by an organism.

On the cellular level, this oxygen is burned

     with various foods to give living cells energy.


Another such process—found in plants, most algae,

     and many forms of bacteria—is photosynthesis,

          which is when these species use energy from sunlight

          to convert carbon dioxide and water into their own food.

Photosynthesis is a process that also causes oxygen

     to be released from these organisms,

          a supply of oxygen that is absolutely necessary

          for them—as well as humans and lower animals—

               to engage in the life-sustaining process of respiration.


Also essential for lower animals and humans to thrive

     is the food stored in many plants and algae,

          for it is with these plants and algae that the food

          lower animals and humans use originates.

It is the consumption of organic nutrients

     such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins,

          and of  inorganic nutrients such as water and minerals,

          that makes up a third process

               surrounding the existence of life—

               a process that must be what it is.


It is through the digestion of such organic nutrients as food

     that a type of fuel—first stored in plants and algae,

          and then transferred through the food chain—

          is supplied to the cells of a lower animal or human.

This fuel is oxidized, slowly burned,

     releasing energy that the body uses

          to perform every kind of motion,

          internally as well as externally—

               even the motions of thoughts,

               the movements of feelings.


Did God, did Pure Love and Wisdom

     (which is pure knowledge imbued with love)

          freely create these life processes out of the blue?

The answer is—not exactly.

It’s possible that respiration, photosynthesis,

     the consumption of all nutrients in general,

          and the digestion of organic nutrients in particular,

          are now, as they were in their beginnings,

               indispensable phenomena deriving

               from realities that life is built upon,

                    such as light, the elements, gravity, time,

                    and the laws that govern them—

                         realities that have to be what they are.


From the moment life came into being,

     respiration had to take place,

          nutrients had to be consumed and digested,

          and photosynthesis had to occur—

               once plants, algae, and bacteria came into existence.

The reality of life existing automatically gave birth

     to the realities of the processes

          that provide life with energy,

          that maintain life and enable it to grow.

And all realities are found in God.


This outlook can be applied to a myriad of life processes.

The reality of sleep is an essential product

     of a living organism.

Where there is life, there is rest

     in the form of the sleep-state.

However, all sleep is not exactly the same.

The sleep of a butterfly is different from human dreaming,

     but the difference is more one of degree than kind.

The sleep of humans must replenish

     the complex human organism—

          the simpler butterfly sleep, butterflies.

However, all sleeping—like eating or drinking or breathing—

     has to be what it is.


And then there’s reproduction.

The differences in consumption and sleeping

     cannot compare to the differences in reproduction.

How can the splitting of an amoeba

     be compared to the procreation of a human—

          beginning with sex between a man and woman,

          and culminating with birth?

Both are acts of reproduction, but both are so different.

The sameness results from the fact

     that both are living organisms.

The differences have to do with the fact

     that both organisms are separated by evolution.

But generally speaking, reproduction must be what it is—

     although some unique characteristics have developed

          because of the needs of particular life forms.


Recapping on some ideas before moving on …


The origin of the universe

     was a basic manifestation of God,

          who is Pure Love.

As a result, early natural phenomena—

     like light, the chemical elements, time,

          and the laws that govern them—

          were what they had to be,

               realities deriving from God,

               who is the Ultimate Reality.

This philosophical outlook is called derivism.


It is the nature of the elements to develop,

     to become more complex.

This yearning to become more is met by God,

     and life is born—through collaboration.


With the existence of life comes life processes

     that are as indispensably what they are

          as the realities of light, the natural elements,

          electromagnetism, gravity,

               and the laws under which they operate.

Some of these life processes are respiration, photosynthesis,

     the consumption and digestion of nutrients, sleep,

          and reproduction.


With this in mind,

     let’s move on to the development of all life

          as we know it

          within the natural universe.

*  *  *

4. ~SOUNDINGS~: PART 1 – The Essentials | 4th Essay – Evolution

4. Evolution



~  ~  ~

In order for life to develop as a whole,

     forming an ecology within an environment

          that is often hostile to it,

          a plan must be followed.

Who knows this better than God?


Our world’s biology must be an intricate fabric

     of mutually supportive species—

          some feeding, some being fed upon,

          some cooperating, some competing,

               some living, some dying,

               some sacrificing, some partaking of the sacrifice.

To put it bluntly, the indispensable ecology

     of our world having to be what it is

          derives from the indispensable nature

          of the elements, of life, and of life’s processes

               having to be what they are.

A plan must be followed.


God is the author of the forms of life.

The vast majority of plants must have roots,

     a stem or trunk, branches, leaves.

God patterns most higher life forms to have sense organs,

     a head containing a brain, a body—

          with body parts to transport the species,

          to experience sexual pleasure and reproduce,

               or to manipulate the species’ environment.

But the individual species are given creative freedom

     as they evolve from simple to more complex organisms.


Each species supplies the need to adapt to its environment,

     the yearning to survive, to reproduce,

          to protect itself, to find shelter, to progress,

          to express itself, to love.

God supplies the power to each species, to all species,

     to achieve these goals.

But God tempers the achievements

     of each species (except one)

          in consideration for the world’s ecology as a whole.

Notice how it all works so well together—

     except for diseases, accidents, hostile weather,

          natural disasters, and evil.

But these are topics in themselves, for another time.


Here is an explanation of the development of a species

     in light of this philosophy.


A small horse-like creature needs to survive.

     Its need is strong.

It has been food for fearsome felines once too often.

God recognizes this need,

     knows the creature’s every fiber,

          knows the environment it thrives in

          like the back of an omnipresent hand.


God knows what would make things more difficult

     for the creature’s predators.

So God, with fathomless love and knowledge,

     empowers the creature with a defense—

          one written on its very hide.

And, over time, the zebra has its stripes.


In a pack, the stripes twist and merge,

     making the individual zebra harder to spot,

          giving the species the edge that it needs,

          not to mention a bit of self-expression—

               a collaborative effort, these stripes.


This approach to evolution can be applied to

     thousands of life forms—plant and animal.

Have fun.

I suspect God does …

     especially with the primates.

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