Saturday, December 7, 2019

Mermaid's Wineglass

I remember back in graduate school being fascinated by a little plant by the name of Acetabularia. With its dainty up-to-two-inch long stem, topped by a broad sombrero-like cap, it is best known by its poetic nickname – Mermaid's Wineglass. What is most fascinating when you hold this common little green algae from the subtropical waters of the Caribbean and Mediterranean is that, with all of its delicate detail, it consists of just one single cell.


Just one cell. All this beauty. Because of its size it is a most excellent model organism for studying cell biology. Its nucleus always can be found at the rhizoid, the base of the stalk, and only divides once the plant has reached its full height. Nowhere else in nature can one look at the entire complex morphology of life within a single cell large enough to be visible without a microscope.

The caps of Acetabularia may also be exchanged, even from two different species. If a cap is removed, the nucleus sees to it that it is regenerated. In addition, if a piece of the stem is removed, with no access to the nucleus in the rhizoid, this isolated stem piece will also grow a new cap. It was a wonderful little plant to play around with in the lab to visually appreciate the miracle of nature, reminding one just how remarkable each cell of every living thing really is, with its unfathomable number of chemical and energetic processes occurring at every instant, right there in your hand. A good analogy would be a whole automobile made of just one single moving part, with all its various functions operating at the genetically programmed direction of a single nuclear robotic brain within. When you extrapolate the magic of this one cell by 30,000,000,000,000 times, you get the average human body. Even with this great number of cells, there are really only about two hundred different types of cells in our bodies, each with its own genetically programmed nuclear brain directing all the chemical and energetic processes that keep us alive moment to moment. Wow, talk about running on autopilot!

Friday, December 6, 2019

the Inevitable Financial Reset


The top 1% of people own 53.2% of all stocks and mutual funds, and if you add in the next 9%, the rich control 93.2%, leaving the remaining 90% of us with just 6.8% of stocks and mutual funds. Furthermore, that same bottom 90% of us owe 72.4% of all the debt. It is debt slavery. When will the plebs tire of being indebted serfs to the elite few??? Why not Now!

What's wrong with this picture? The stock market, controlled and owned by the super-rich and those that serve their interests, has become increasingly fraudulent and parasitical. The families that own the Western central banks are printing money like never before and handing it over to corporations they also own, sucking the lifeblood out of 90% of the population. The financial system has become a giant black hole, which makes a collapse of all things connected mathematically inevitable. While it’s easy to spot a bubble, it’s harder to predict when it will burst. But a financial reset seems imminent. One thing financial experts do agree upon - when financial markets fight against reality, reality always wins.
 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Healing the Anger


The animus between people in America these days is troubling. I have become so desirous of avoiding confrontation that I no longer read or post anything on Facebook to avoid dealing with uncomfortably stark political differences with friends. Keeping relationships with people is more important than inserting myself into our differences of political opinion. Perhaps I am a coward. Or maybe it is not that important to me to be right. Or maybe inside I am willing to admit that perhaps I am wrong in my read of the world. Somebody is uninformed – maybe it is me! Or maybe I intuitively trust that all things will work out for the good, even if we have to go through some pain to get there, and in the end our differences will settle.

I see the problem largely as one rooted in fear. It is a fear that has arisen because everything we think and believe and take for granted to be real has all of a sudden been thrown into question. Realizing that others see things so differently undermines our whole sense of reality. It occurs to us, if only in a quickly suppressed flash, that everything we see, and everything we think we know may all be an illusion. And perhaps this sudden and disorienting sense of groundlessness, along with our survival instinct, is at the root of why we get so defensive and angry and fight so hard for our one-sided opinions, however arbitrary they may really be. With our fight-or-flight instincts, somewhere deep inside we think we are in a struggle for dear life, trying to survive and preserve our concept of “me.”

Or if we think outside the box and draw different conclusions, we fear being criticized or ostracized by the people we keep company with. To each of us, our current viewpoint - our current movie of waking life - seems irrefutably real. We are all convinced that the way we see things is the way they really are. The illusory appearance that consciousness creates is, after all, very convincing! And yet, no two of us see everything in exactly the same way. Some of us see things in completely opposite and utterly irreconcilable ways. So what really is real?

What happens within us when someone comes at us with judgment, anger, hatred and violence (whether actual or verbal)? How do we react when someone makes it clear that they despise us and consider us to be scum? What reaction does this bring forth? In my reckoning, it usually makes us tighten up and get even more hardened in our recalcitrant positions and hateful of the perceived adversary. But what would happen if we were met at such a moment with genuine (not fake or manipulative, but genuine) love and compassion by someone who sees beyond our surface behavior of opinionizing to the light inside of us, however buried it may be? In my experience, when we are met in such a way, we are much more likely to let go of our hardened opinions, taking a closer look at what we’re doing, and wake up to the reality that we can be all one people, one country, with mostly shared values and objectives, really. That is real.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Loserthink


I am thinking of picking up a copy of Scott Adams' latest book Loserthink, about how we look at the world from inside familiar bubbles, setting ourselves up to fail. Adams explains it is not exclusive just to “losers.” We all do it. Interesting! The problem is not that we lack the facts necessary to understand our reality: that, he explained in Win Bigly, is just part of the way we are wired. Rather, the problem is that the way we train ourselves to think tends to work well inside certain disciplines, but not others.

For example, he notes, it is common that Hollywood stars, many of whom are exceptionally talented and highly trained, fail to understand politics. The worst part is that they don’t know they fail: they act as though their opinions are the only correct ones. That is partly the result of conformity: few conservatives dare to come out of the closet in Hollywood. But it is also a result of loserthink: they assume their expertise in one area carries across to another.

Likewise with climate science, Adams says. To journalists, and even to many scientists, the familiar graphs that predict global warming far out into the future seem convincing. But to anyone with experience in the corporate world, Adams says, those graphs look like every phony economic projection ever used to sell an idea. That does not mean climate change is a fraud. What it means is that it is being sold as a fraud, which is why so many people doubt it.

The problem is that most people who believe in climate change are trapped in loserthink bubbles. (So, too, he says, are some of the climate skeptics.) Thinking narrowly does not make you a “loser,” but it means you are less likely to succeed. In the climate change example, that means you are less likely to persuade others, or you will adopt policies that make everyone miserable without solving the problem. 
 
There is something in Loserthink to shock everyone — which is his point. This book may be a way for many of us to break out of our “mental prisons”. Adams hopes that by encouraging his readers — and those they encounter online — to familiarize themselves with new ways of thinking, from different disciplines, he will help break down the divisions that have emerged in our society which make us all so unhappy.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Spiritual Healing


Life is like a river, ever flowing, but the water is never the same from moment to moment. Like a river, we humans too are ever in a state of dynamic flow. Most every part of our bodies is replaced in time. Stomach cells are renewed every two days. Skin cells last about two weeks. Red blood cells stay with us for around four months. And while the liver is completely rebuilt every year and a half or so, it takes a decade to regrow bones completely. Some brain cells, certain cells in the eyes, and some germ cells are never replaced over the course of a lifetime.

Disease can exist within the body and last a long time, but in most cases, it too may be replaced by excellent health. A disease that stays with us a long time is generally of our own creation. We are not victims of bacteria and viruses. Spiritually speaking, the body is following a “blueprint for illness” that YOU are providing.

Each part of the body follows the concept of what you believe yourself to be. The body will always do its best to come into alignment with your thoughts, so it is important to always think appropriately positive thoughts. If you harbor destructive thoughts or are self-punishing, if you often show aggression toward others or get angry and lash out in discontent, your thoughts are drawing illness and negative conditions. Whatever you put out always returns. What goes around comes around.

When you become ill, it is most certainly because you have been harboring negative thought patterns that have solidified into a kind of mental attachment that eventually manifests as a particular kind of malaise. You may seek treatment from a doctor, but it is not the doctor that heals you. Healing only begins when you deal with the original cause (your thoughts) yourself.

To heal yourself, first make a change in your self-awareness, then shift your thought patterns accordingly. Seeing yourself objectively is one of the hardest things to do. A person must be objective to understand how the mind may become distorted from time to time, or how one's lifestyle has seriously gone out of balance.

A good place to begin is to spend more time in self-reflection, expressing feelings of sincere gratitude. The body will always follow the mind's lead, so always establish a healthy image of yourself in your mind, one that corresponds to the complete opposite of whatever condition or illness you are currently experiencing. From this then determine to manifest a healthy image by doing the following:

First, be increasingly aware of how you think about your body and how you think about any illness you might have. You get that which you focus on most. If you constantly remind yourself how much you hurt or how bad your condition is, you are not going to heal. Change the way you think about your body to be more positive.

Next, keep a positive mindset as you go through the day and take action to correct your condition. Tell yourself that you will take the necessary steps every day to improve the condition, then do it.

Next, begin an encouraging conversation with your body. If you commit to taking steps to heal yourself and promise yourself that you will do what it takes, your body will begin to react in a positive manner. Attitude is 99 per cent of the battle.

Be patient. It may have taken a lifetime for your body to express your illness; give it some time to repair and rebuild. Plant the idea in your mind that you are moving in the direction of better health, then stand back and let the body do the rest.

Be consistent and do all the things that will help you heal. Keep a positive outlook and express abundant gratitude from your heart for all the wonderful opportunities you have been given to learn and grow.

Follow these steps to regain your health or anything else you may desire in life. Stop negativity in its tracks and replace it with a positive outlook, then get out of it's way and let the spirit within you do what it can only do to bring you back into healthful balance.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Letting Go


Scientific Caveat


Perhaps the most defining characteristic of a true scientist is a willingness to suspend disbelief and remain open to new discovery, even if it means challenging the existing order of things, alienating colleagues, or even opening oneself up to censure and professional ruin. The greatest discoverers have always been scientific heretics of one sort or another.

Unfortunately, to be a revolutionary in science today is to flirt with professional suicide. Much of most every field of study purports to encourage experimental freedom, but... the entire structure of modern scientific undertaking, with its highly competitive grant system and publishing and peer review system, depends upon researchers conforming to the accepted scientific worldview. The system as it exists tends to encourage individuals to carry out experimentation whose purpose is first and foremost to confirm the existing consensual view of things, or to further develop technology for industry, rather than to generate true innovation.

One must always keep this in mind when the words “scientific consensus” are used to support any issue or measure in the public domain. The climate conversation comes to mind. As with the evolution of every established social institution, eventually self-preservation of the institution rises above public benefit.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Open Wide the Doors of Perception

One of the greatest mysteries of both philosophy and science that has yet to be solved is how consciousness happens... and what happens when it goes wrong. With all our advances we still really don't know how the brain and body give rise to consciousness. Billions of neurons in the brain are working together to generate a conscious experience – not just any conscious experience, but your own individual experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. So how does this actually happen?

We experience joy and suffering; do other animals? Do they have a sense of self as well? If you have pets you have some sense of the answer. And what about plants? And as computers get smarter and faster, will there come a time when your iPhone develops a sense of its own existence?

The prospects for a conscious AI are probably pretty remote because consciousness has less to do with pure intelligence and more to do with our nature as living and breathing organisms. Consciousness and intelligence are different things. You don't have to be smart to suffer, but you probably do have to be alive.

Consciousness involves both awareness of the self and awareness of the world. Think of your brain in its bony skull, trying to figure out what's out there in the world. There's no light or sound inside the skull. All the brain has to go on are streams of electrical impulses which are only indirectly related to things in the world. Perception becomes a form of informed guesswork in which the brain combines these sensory input signals with its prior beliefs and expectations about the way the world is to form its best guess about the cause behind the signals.

The brain doesn't perceive anything directly nor does it interpret the world around it entirely from signals coming in from the outside world. It depends as much, if not more, upon perceptual predictions based upon experience flowing within it. We don't just passively perceive the world, we actively generate it. The world comes as much, if not more, from the inside out as from the outside in.

Our conscious experiences of the world around us and of ourselves within it are kinds of controlled hallucinations that happen because we are alive. Hallucinations are a kind of uncontrolled perception. Perceptions could also be looked upon as a controlled hallucinations, in which the brain's predictions are being reigned in by sensory information from the world.

We are all hallucinating all the time, including right now. When we agree about our hallucinations, we call that reality. When someone's hallucination varies enough from the norm, we call that illness. Your experience of being your self is a controlled hallucination generated by your brain. What if you are fooling yourself with your own self hallucination? How would you know?

Visual illusions can deceive the eyes and therefore the brain. All of us can be fooled by a good magician. But how can you be deceived about what it means to be you? Most of the experience of being a person is so familiar and so unified and so continuous that it is difficult not to take it for granted. But we shouldn't take it for granted. All the ways we look at ourselves as a unique self can come apart. The identity of the self in the brain is of rather fragile construction. Even the brain's idea of what the self is is a matter of a best guess, a kind of controlled hallucination.

The way we perceive the world outside is quite different than the way we perceive ourselves. The outside world is perceived as a bunch of objects; even the body is an object, a thing. But we don't perceive the world within us as objects – unless we have problems. We know we have a heart and kidneys and a spleen, but we we don't sense them as objects. Perception of the internal state of the body isn't about figuring out what is there, but about control and regulation – much of it autonomically – keeping our physiological variables within a narrow range of conditions to continue our survival.

When the brain uses predictions to figure out what is going on, we see that objects are the cause of sensations. When the brain uses predictions to control or regulate we experience how well or how badly that control is going. So most basic experiences of being a self or being a body organism are deeply grounded in the biological mechanisms that keep us alive.

Our conscious experiences of both the world and our self, since they depend on the identical mechanism of predictive perception, all stem from this basic drive to stay alive. We experience the world and ourselves with, through, and because of our living bodies. We literally predict ourselves into existence.

There are several implications here. Just as we can mis-perceive the world, we can mis-perceive ourselves when the mechanisms of prediction go wrong. Understanding this opens many new avenues in psychiatry and neurology because we can finally get at the mechanisms instead of just treating the symptoms, especially with conditions like depression and schizophrenia.

What it means to be me cannot be reduced to or uploaded to a software program running in a robot, no matter how advanced. The biological mechanisms that define us depend upon a living, breathing biology. Just making computers smarter is not going to make them sentient.

Finally, our way of being conscious is likely just one possible expression of being conscious. Human consciousness is just one example in a vast array of possibility in a very, very large universe. With the application of quantum thinking, a growing wealth of research suggests that not only do all living things have some form of conscious awareness, but so might all inanimate matter and energy as well. We must be careful to leave the door of possibility open to all manner of perceptual predictions, both on our own planet and beyond.

Understanding the biological basis of conscious experience is one of the great challenges for 21st-century science. As with life, so with consciousness, once we start explaining its properties in terms of things happening inside brains and bodies, the apparent insolubility of what consciousness is starts to fade away.
 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Stories


It is the stories we tell that define us. Our stories relate the way we look at the world. From these we shape our societal structures and our relationships with each other and the environment around us; our stories show the way we do business and educate our young, and how we organize and divide our planet. Our science is not so much the ultimate last word on truth as it is yet another story, shifting with time as we make new discoveries.

Our current scientific story is more than three hundred years old, originating with the remarkable discoveries of Isaac Newton. In many ways we still live in a 17th century mind-set. In this story the universe is a place in which matter moves within three-dimensional space and time according to certain fixed physical laws. It is a reliable place with well behaved and easily identifiable matter. But Newton plucked the Creator from the world of matter, ripped out the heart and soul from matter, and left in its wake a lifeless collection of interlocking parts.

Our current story also arises from the evolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin who suggested that survival is most likely only for the genetically fittest among us. Darwin told us we came to this life in a random way, that we are predatory, purposeless, and solitary. He told us we were no more than an evolutionary accident and that if we want to survive we must be the best. He might as well have said that we are genetic terrorists and that it is imperative that we dispose of the weak in order to survive. This story idealizes separateness; we have been told for three hundred years that life is a zero sum game, that for every winner, there is a loser. And so that's the way we have come to believe our world really is.

These paradigms – that the world is a machine, that humans have to compete for survival – have led to our technological mastery in our world, but at what cost? On a spiritual and metaphysical level we are desperately isolated. Newton and Darwin have brought us no closer to any understanding of the fundamental mysteries of our own being – how we think, where life originates, what it means to get ill, how a single cell can turn into a fully formed person, and what happens to human consciousness when we die.

The story that we have all grown accustomed to, however, is about to be replaced with a drastically revised version. With new discoveries in the past century, the emerging story suggests that we essentially exist in unity, and are furthermore interdependent, with every thing impacting everything else at every moment. The coming changes and their implications are extraordinary.

With our emerging understanding of our quantum reality with its invisible web that we live in, we are going to have to rethink our definition of who we are and what it now means to be human. If we're constantly interacting with not only our own local environment, but with the entire cosmos as well, then our current notion of human potential may be but a hint of what is possible.

Winning and losing lose their meaning if we no longer think of ourselves as separate. No more us and them; we're all “us”. When we redefine what it means to be “me”, we'll have to reform the way we interact with other people, animals, plants, and the world at large. We will need to reconsider how we choose and carry out our work, structure our communities, and raise our children. We may even have to abandon all previous societal creations and imagine a new way to live and an entirely new way to “be”.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Enlightenment


Enlightenment occurs when personal consciousness realizes it is identical with Universal Consciousness. Think of enlightenment as sort of a permanent shift in perspective that comes about through direct realization that there is no thing inside you called “self”. Once you get a glimpse of the truth, it is the most profound transformational event of your life.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Smoke Signals to the Star People


When I was a kid I would travel each summer to southern West Virginia with my family, driving past the giant radio telescopes at Green Bank Observatory. Seven radio telescopes ranging in size up to 100 meters in diameter still stick in my memory as an impressive technological spectacle representative of the emerging space age we lived in during the 1960's. For over 50 years now we have been beaming radio signals into the far reaches of outer space under programs like the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI). The dream is as much alive today as ever as we await the day when we might establish communication with another life form beyond our blue orb and prove that we are not alone in the universe.

I smile, these days, when I see these technological arrays with their teams of enthusiastic scientists, like the actress Jodie Foster in the movie Contact, still listening, waiting with geeky anxiety for ET's return message. It is not that I have become increasingly skeptical over the years; it's more that I have gained a greater respect for the quarry which they seek to find.

Much of formal orthodox conventional science is in denial about the abundance of life throughout the universe. Our governments and the media continue to have reason to lie to us and hold back our awakening. Most of us accept what we are told about things without much question, satisfied to continue to dream about the future while entertaining ourselves with the distraction of the latest fiction or propaganda presented by modern media. “Is there other intelligent life in the universe?” we continue to ponder. Seriously? I mean, really??? It's more like, “Can you show me evidence of intelligent life on Earth?”

We are not alone in the universe by any stretch of the imagination. There are more life forms than one can imagine – an endless variety of beings, more like us than not who have been coming and going from our planet since long before our history began. Many of them call Earth home. Each of us likely has met or know someone who is alien to this planet, and we don't even realize it. Not only have alien beings been coming here forever, but we've been traveling into space and to their worlds, some beyond our own solar system, since the early 1940's. There is not a major government or major corporation on planet Earth that does not have a space presence with personnel and a vested interest in off-planet trade activities. But that is an entirely different campfire story.

What amuses me with the continued use of radio telescopes is when you consider the many intelligent beings that inhabit our local universe, you must assume that if they can come and go as they please, they must surely be at least a few more years if not a few million years (maybe a few billion) more advanced than us. They are likely to know far more about nearly everything than we do – technology, communication, consciousness, etc. Some may use flying craft more advanced than our technology; some may not need craft at all. If our scientists have begun to manipulate the space-time continuum, it makes sense to image that perhaps some of our space brethren may have gone far beyond our current understanding in manipulating space and time for more efficient travel, at least. While we are generally a warring species on this planet with a savage history and scary advances in weaponry, other beings from far-off worlds probably are not – or they could have wiped us out long ago with little challenge.

I would imagine, for the most part, that any off-world civilizations that have taken an interest in our planet probably observe us with curiosity and likely judge us as rather immature in the larger scheme of things. In fact, they probably view our species with some degree of empathy as rather infantile, spending most of our time sleeping, pooping, and crying. They have probably been very patient, waiting for the day when we are able to reach out telepathically to say hello; waiting for the time when we grow beyond the egotistic individuals we largely perceive ourselves to be, apart from each other and alone in the universe. Why would any consciousness with a galactic perspective have any interest in spending much time or energy to engage with infants?

Using giant radio telescopes in hopes of spotting signals from ET is like trying to talk to star people using smoke signals. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility, but probably not worth the time sitting by the phone anxiously waiting for ET to answer.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

the Puzzling Precision of Science


How is it possible for a three-pound chunk of neural tissue wrapped in a meat suit of warm, gooey protoplasm and bones to not only describe itself in exquisite detail, but also describe to an unbelievably precise degree vast realms of an expanding physical universe that was around for billions of years before we even discovered fire, one which our bodies and brains cannot even access with our five senses? Maybe the brain didn't come up with these ideas. Maybe the ideas dreamed up the brain.

It is uncanny, even puzzling how accurately we have been able to measure the world around us. Some of the fundamental physical laws we have discovered are precise to an extraordinary degree, far beyond the precision of our direct sense experiences. The abstract structures provided my mathematics to describe how things work very often seem to have a life of their own. They don't just describe it, but in some sense the mathematics literally is the universe.

It is astonishing when one looks closely at the ability of mathematics to accurately describe the behavior of the physical world. In spite of how complex the world is, we have been clever enough or lucky enough to discern certain “laws of nature”. Without these clearly discerned regularities, science never would have progressed.

Look at Newton's gravitational theory as applied to the movements of the solar system. The theory is precise to one part in ten million. Then there is Einstein's general theory of relativity which improved upon Newton's ideas by another factor of ten million. It has always seemed extremely eerie that energy and matter could be equated by a precise constant of the velocity of light squared, without variability, and stranger yet that someone could even discover this relationship.

Mathematical physicist Roger Penrose suggested that the amazing accuracy of these mathematical predictions “was not the result of a new theory being introduced only to make sense of vast amounts of new data. The extra precision was seen only after each theory had been produced.” When the universe acts just like you theorize it will, when it obeys every rule that was predicted, it leaves one scratching one's head with dropped jaw. Are the theorists doing that good of a job? Why is it that we find precisely what we are looking for always in the direction we are looking, without even minor discrepancies? Are we finding only that which we expect to find? Are we creating our own outcomes according to our expectations? Is the universe giving us exactly what we are looking for?

All curious questions. Underlying all of it is the deeper query of whether or not consciousness underlies all of our discoveries in science and our attempt to give them meaning through the symbols of mathematics and language. Is the world we perceive a precise reflection of our own consciousness? Do we perceive the real world or just the symbols we choose to describe the world? Will a different consciousness in a far-off galaxy perceive an entirely different world through the symbols it chooses from the sensual input it receives?

In a multi-dimension quantum reality, perhaps there are an infinite number of precise realities uniquely created and symbolized by an infinite number of unique living things with consciousness, all part of the collective Universal Consciousness. It gives new meaning to the idea that “you create your own reality”, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

In Science We Trust


Science is all about discovery, and should always aspire to be rigorous and open in the face of the great unknown. But scientists are human too, with the same tendencies to slide back into comfortable ways of thinking just as the rest of us. Virtually every scientific and scholarly discipline struggles against the tendency to become defensive and collapse into dogmatic thinking.

Science is exceptionally adept at studying features of the external world, but so far it has barely scratched the surface at developing ways to study what lies beyond or within. Part of the failure is due to the method that gives science its power. The origin of the word science is from the Latin for “to know”, “to distinguish by separating”, rooted in the Latin sindere, “to cut”. These meanings capture the essence of the scientific application of reductionism, working only for things that can be separated. There is much left over in the world we know that cannot be separated, especially at the quantum level. Science does not know what to do with anything that cannot be sliced and diced.

There are certain assumptions about the nature of reality that most of us agree with, based upon the established scientific worldview. If we accept that worldview as absolute and inviolate, as most scientists do, then any evidence outside of those assumptions, whether anecdotal or derived from controlled circumstances, just doesn't matter. Such phenomena are considered impossible and written off, so that's that.

There is convincingly strong scientific evidence for the validity of such things as telepathy, remote viewing, and precognition, among other psi phenomena, yet the scientific community balks at accepting such findings as valid and worthy of further exploration. These ideas are too far removed from scientific dogma.

I personally have had a broad experience with all manner of strange encounters that make for great stories for entertaining friends around a campfire. Most of my stories that are “outside the box” of the consensual scientific worldview generally draw an indulgent chuckle and some light-hearted eye-rolling; even my closest friends generally reject any kind of acceptance of the expanded reality that I consider as valid and real.

Even though I base most of my personal beliefs of such things upon personal experience and anecdotes, I have asked some of my more logical and reasonable friends what amount of evidence or data would it take for them to accept such “strange” phenomena as valid or at least possible. Surprisingly, most have responded that no amount of data would change their minds. I've then asked them what research they have read, and they mostly admit they haven't taken any time to look more closely at whatever we're talking about. While they may take issue with my settling upon beliefs without the support of scientific findings, they have arrived at their opposing beliefs, as well, without any supporting evidence.

Skepticism is a good thing if one thinks something contradicts settled thinking on any matter. But when credible data exists that the impossible is in fact real, it is time to acknowledge and expand one's worldview to include new findings. But we are stuck with being human, I guess. Even in the face of clear evidence, we tend to stick to entrenched dogmas and not believe anything new, even with proof. I have asked skeptical friends what it would take for them to become believers. Interestingly, almost without fail, most responded that it would take one strong personal experience – which is right back to the basis of my own beliefs about personal reality.

Staying within the boundaries of any scientific discipline stifles new discoveries and constrains genuine innovation. To advance the scientific worldview, we need always to pursue an understanding of the impossible, to cross over the boundaries of every discipline and seek to know what lies beyond the edge of what is known. Science defines for us what is true, but when it is asked to go beyond the boundaries of its methodology, science needs to find new ways to continue to explore what is considered not true... yet!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Power to the People of Iran

The politics of Iran are somewhat puzzling for most Americans, in most part because we are largely uninformed about who is in charge and what is going on. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 brought to power radical Islamists led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who created a unique and peculiar political system mixing theocratic and republican institutions. It is a complex system of competing institutions, parliamentary factions, powerful families and military-business lobbies.

Today, the system is dominated by hard-line conservative groups backed by the most powerful politician in Iran, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the son of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The conservatives have managed to sideline both the right-wing populists backed by former President Ahmadinejad and reformists calling for a more open political system. Civil society and pro-democracy groups have largely been suppressed.

The Iranian political system is corrupt and rigged in favor of powerful groups that care about money more than ideology and who deliberately perpetuate tensions with the West to distract the public from domestic problems. To date, no political group has been able to challenge Supreme Leader Khamenei. Dissent, freedom of the press and freedom of expression remain highly restricted in the country. Journalists and bloggers are continuously arrested by the Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for "colluding with the foreign media" and sentenced to prison.

In the past week and a half there has been a complete shut down of the news after the internet was taken down by the Ayatollah Khamenei, well known for not being the brightest guy in the world. He further made life more miserable for Iran's population of 82 million by increasing the cost of gasoline by 50 percent. As a result, young people have taken to the streets to protest that they can't make a living by any means. Performers at musical concerts, particularly those featuring female vocalists and musicians, are being arrested, and a full 25 percent of the population is now living in poverty. The young people have reached a breaking point. The Revolutionary Guard was ordered to crack down on the young protesters and as a result sources say that 200-300 young people have been recently killed along with thousands arrested to suppress the protest. Not good news when a tyrannical government is killing its own people.

What it does say is that the oil tariffs of President Trump are working to bring the government of Iran to heel. Iran has a long history of destabilization and consequent overthrown of government by the people. Analysts predict the overthrow of the regime of Ayatollah Khamenei within the year for the simple reason that the corruption it has created has become so intolerable that the whole country is soon to break out in rebellion to throw out the people involved in this corruption.

The same scenario has just taken place in Lebanon and will soon likely happen in Venezuela as well. A month ago in Lebanon, young people began demonstrating to protest the corruption of Prime Minister Saad Hariri over the past three years. In a very brief time the protesters were successful in throwing out this billionaire politician and his corrupt family and are now looking to replace him with a leader that will serve the interests of the “patriots”. You won't see this in the news because the media does not want anyone getting the idea that the ultimate power in any country is and always has been in the hands of its people.

Tyranny does not work. War is not the answer. Killing the young of your enemy in the streets or on the battlefield is no longer tolerable. There are other means of restoring power and authority to the people and ridding nations of self-serving oligarchs. Hats off to President Trump in taking the necessary measures to help set in motion a new era of world peace.


Tonglen Meditation


Tonglen refers to a meditation practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Tong means "giving or sending", and len means "receiving or taking". Tonglen is also known as exchanging self with others. It is an ancient Buddhist practice to awaken compassion. With each in-breath, we take in the pain of others. With each out-breath, we send them relief.

Tonglen practice reverses our usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure. In Tonglen practice, we visualize taking in the pain of others with every in-breath and sending out whatever will benefit them on the out-breath. In the process, we become liberated from any pattern of selfishness. We begin to feel love for both ourselves and others; we begin to take care of ourselves and others.

Tonglen awakens our compassion and introduces us to a far larger view of reality. It introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness of pure emptiness. By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of our being.

Tonglen can be done for those who are ill, those who are dying or have died, or those who are in pain of any kind. It can be done as a formal meditation practice or right on the spot at any time. If we are out walking and we see someone in pain, we can breathe in that person’s pain and send out relief to them.

Rest your mind for a second or two in a state of openness or stillness, awakening your heart-mind, opening to basic spaciousness and clarity. Breathe in feelings of heat, darkness, and heaviness and breathe out feelings of coolness, brightness, and light - a sense of freshness. Breathe in completely, taking in negative energy through all the pores of your body. When you breathe out, radiate positive energy completely, through all the pores of your body. Do this until your visualization is synchronized with your in- and out-breaths.

Focus on any painful situation that’s real to you. Traditionally you begin by doing Tonglen for someone you care about and wish to help. However, if you are stuck, you can do the practice for the pain you are feeling yourself, and simultaneously for all those who feel the same kind of suffering. For instance, if you are feeling inadequate, breathe that in for yourself and all the others in the same situation and send out confidence, adequacy, and relief in any form you wish.

Finally, make the taking in and sending out bigger. If you are doing Tonglen for someone you love, extend it out to all those who are in the same situation. If you are doing Tonglen for someone you see on television or on the street, do it for all the others in the same situation. Make it bigger than just that one person. You can do Tonglen for people you consider to be your enemies - those who hurt you or hurt others. Do Tonglen for them, thinking of them as having the same confusion and stuckness as a friend or yourself. Breathe in their pain and send them relief.

Tonglen can extend infinitely. As you do the practice, your compassion naturally expands over time, and so does your realization that things are not as solid as you thought, which is a glimpse of emptiness. As you do this practice, gradually at your own pace, you will be surprised to find yourself more and more able to be there for others, even in what used to seem like impossible situations.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Anima Mundi


Everything that exists has awareness and all consciousness is connected. Unseen fibers connect every imaginable aspect of the universe. If we stop and tune in, we each can sense this intrinsic connection. Distance and time do not separate any aspects of the whole. All is One, and All That is One is of one universal, omnipresent soul – the anima mundi.

When a frog farts in the Amazon, the winds atop Mount Washington shift mysteriously. When a child sneezes in Botswana, dust is kicked up on the surface of Mars. When millions of minds intently focus on the same event, a ripple is literally felt across the fabric of space-time. The tragic event like that occurred in New York City on September 11, 2001, literally created a wrinkle in both time and space, distorting the fabric of reality itself; there is no doubt it was felt by all.

In the movie Star Wars, Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi suddenly staggers as if in pain, then says, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced,” as the Evil Galactic Empire used the Death Star weapon to destroy a planet inhabited by millions of people. Perhaps the best way of understanding this Force in the universe that the Jedi were connected to is the description offered by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the movie: “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”

Can you feel it?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Retrocausality


Time behaves in enigmatic ways. We've all had some strange experience where time did not behave the way it is supposed to. As conscious beings, we take for granted the consensual assumption that time flows in one direction, in a linear fashion - from past to present to future, but does it really?

Physicists increasingly hypothesize that time may flow in both directions and that the present may indeed influence the past. A 2010 article in Discover noted: “A series of quantum experiments shows that measurements performed in the future can influence the present.” Does that mean the universe has a destiny? Are the laws of quantum physics pulling us inexorably toward a scripted fate?

The ability of present events to affect those that happened in the past is known as retrocausality. While physicists have more work to do to flesh out this theory, proponents say that a double-headed arrow approach to time explains many other largely unexplained concepts in quantum mechanics, including entanglement.

Entangled particles are those that share a special relationship. Their entanglement begins while they are close together, but even when they are separated by vast distances, measurements made of one particle can affect the other particle in predictable ways.

Physicists have struggled to explain this behavior, with some suggesting that information passes between the particles to keep them in sync. That, however, would require information to move faster than the speed of light, which violates Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Retrocausality may hold the solution to that problem. According to the theory, when something is done to one particle in the present, the effects travel back in time to a point when the two particles were close together. In that way, information from the future is transferred between the two particles. These effects then carry forward into the future - without violating relativity.

This, of course, appears to replace one strange phenomenon - particles communicating instantaneously across vast distances, with another - the present affecting the past. But if you look at time as laid out in the same way as space, with past, present and future all existing at once, it’s easier to comprehend. Movement of information across time, even into the past, is similar to movement of information across space.

Retrocausality may not open the way for a broad reshaping of our past, as one might at first imagine. Proponents admit that we would only have a “limited amount of control over the past.” Such effects would be more noticeable at the quantum level. This would also preserve the movement of the universe from its highly ordered initial state following the Big Bang to a more chaotic future.

From a non-dual perspective (which is free of the mind’s conceptual filtering and therefore not really a perspective) there is only the ceaseless eternal moment; there is not a series of moments, only the incessant now beyond the narrative of time. In this sense, all phenomena are causeless and all stories (including those about the past, present, and future) coexist momentarily, flickering in and out of eternal existence.

At this point we need no longer use temporal words or terms, or at least we can employ them with lightness while we are deeply rooted in this enduring stability. The pull of the ticking clock and its dizzying force, which seems to push us toward the future, bringing with it remnants of the distant past, decelerates. Or rather, our expanded focus seems to alter the very time mechanics of the universe effecting all that was, is, and will be. All impermanent phenomena arise and dissolve in us, are made interdependent by us, without cause. For cause and effect are a single movement, an interwoven dance of being, expressions of a single unified creative existence.

As we dive deeper down the quantum rabbit hole, things become stranger and stranger as we discover that:

Now is not a time. Here is not a place.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Beyond the Shadows


Most people are like chained prisoners in a dark cave, to borrow Plato's allegory. All they can see is the wall in front of them. They cannot see even the fire that glows brightly behind, nor the actors holding the puppets that dance as shadows against the wall of the cave. For these prisoners, their entire world consists of these shadows on the wall.

One day one of the prisoners is released from the cave to the outside and at first he is blinded by the brilliance of the sun's light. Once his eyes adjust he is shocked by a full spectrum of colors that surround him in a reality that has more depth than he could ever have imagined, shattering his former concept of the world. When he returns to the cave he excitedly explains to the other prisoners that their shadow existence is all an illusion, that a richer, intensely luminous world exists just a few steps outside the cave. No matter how he tries to convince the others that their reality is but a pale fragment of what he had experienced, the other prisoners think he has gone mad.

There is a difference between the everyday appearance of the world we think we know, shaped by a consensus of everyday language and ideas, and the real world from which all things spring eternal. The real world cannot be discovered and experienced through observation or intellectual rationalizing. Another higher domain of reality lies behind the illusion of the shadows that we call the real world, and it can only be discovered and experienced through a quieting of the mind and directed attention to a level of awareness that opens the doors of perception and understanding to knowledge that is otherwise hidden behind the illusion of the day-to-day world.

Learn to quiet the mind, say the sages. See the world as it is, not as it appears to be when viewed through multiple layers of cultural conditioning.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Verum Quid Pro Quo


A quid pro quo (Latin: I give, so that you may give) is an exchange of valuable consideration of equal value; something given for something else; a tit for tat; in legal terms, an equivalent; a thing given or offered in exchange for or in consideration of another. The practice of offering consideration of one sort or another for benefit has existed in our republic since the beginning, but it may have become out of control and may be destroying everything we cherish about our exceptional form of governance.

Every member of Congress has his or her own version of quid pro quo performed on them nearly every day by a number of people that surround and outnumber them by a factor of 23 to 1 by way of representation. This is the world of lobbyists.


The recent impeachment hearings attempted to pin the charge of bribery on the President. Did he really exercise a bribe in the course of his exchange with another sovereign nation? What is bribery and how do we recognize it? Is there any difference between bribery and campaign donations? Are speaking fees in excess of $100,000 a form of bribery? What about the guarantee of a seven-figure income after you quit your government job? If you are given access to purchase pre-IPO stocks, does that pass the smell test? And then there is the huge amount of consideration that lobbyists lavishly paint the town of DC with – isn't that really quid pro quo?

When you have over twelve thousand special interest lobbyists swarming around Washington with more money than any of us can imagine, who really has the power in DC? Spending by lobbyists in the US exceeded $3,400,000,000.00 in 2018 alone. Whose pockets did this end up in? When you look at the distribution of wealth among current senators and congressional representatives, there are currently 12 members worth over $50 million, 34 worth between $10 and $50 million, 157 between $1 and $10 million, 155 between $100,000 and $1 million, 49 with net worth between $0 and $100,000, and 123 with a negative net worth. Considering that as of 2019, the base salary for all rank-and-file members of the U.S. House and Senate was $174,000 per year, plus benefits, how did many of these people accumulate such wealth after arriving in Washington?

Lobbying benefits both sides of the aisle and it keeps former members of government with their deeply rooted relationships in Washington on the payroll of lobbying companies. Lobbyists are a large part of the swamp that the President is trying to drain. While President Trump has placed a permanent ban on some government officials from ever performing lobbying duties after leaving government service, even with that there currently are lobbyists who have formerly worked for 18 members of Congress and 11 Senators.

So why is lobbying even legal in the United States? Outside interests continue to pour money into Washington to rewrite our laws in their version of real life quid pro quo - not the faux quid pro quo of the impeachment hearings by hypocritical members of Congress. Lobbying must be effective for large companies to continue to send billions of dollars to Washington to influence legislation. After all, when scrutiny or oversight increase, so do lobbying efforts and money. Big Money believes it is money well spent.

The bottom line is that Big Money controls our government of representatives which were elected to represent the interests of the people first and foremost. Big Money is the real quid pro quo. Bribery is how business gets done in Washington. Follow the money.

Mitochondrial Aging Theory


Why do we age? With all the advancements we have made in medical science, why aren't we able to extend our time here on Earth and live a lot longer? One theory is that aging is caused by a decline in mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, their proteins converting nutrients into chemical energy that we need called ATP. The interesting thing about mitochondria is that they are actually another completely unique organism living within each of our cells, and there is not just one of them per cell, but up to hundreds or even thousands of mitochondria in each cell.

When we are young and healthy, everything works at its optimal best, but as we age we gradually lose mitochondrial function and have less and less ATP available. The theory is that as our ability to make energy decreases, we age and increasingly experience degenerative diseases.

Mitochondria were once free-living organisms that joined our cells in a symbiotic relationship about two billion years ago. They were originally alpha-proteo-bacteria that can still be found living freely throughout the world. The important thing is that these mitochondria have their own DNA. They brought their own genome with them when they merged with our cells. Many of the genes of their DNA have been transferred to the nucleus of our cells, so really we are just a mesh-mash of two species living together. 

The genomes of the mitochondria and our nucleus are not the same and need to constantly communicate with each other to maintain their coexistence and keep things functioning in a healthy manner.  One of the problems that may be a factor in our aging is that these two bodies lose some of their ability to communicate with each other. Throughout life our mitochondria generate free radicals during metabolism that damage our enzymes and DNA, and especially the DNA within the mitochondria, so we begin to lose the code within our mesh-mash of mitochondrial DNA. We get mutations and big deletions that accumulate over time. If we could slow down this damage to our DNA, the idea is that perhaps we could delay aging, be healthier, and have a longer life.

Since this theory was proposed more than half a century ago, we really have not had much success in slowing free radical damage to DNA, unfortunately. No matter how many antioxidants you take, they really do not have much of an impact on reducing DNA damage. On the flip side, more recent evidence suggests that free radicals may actually be beneficial on net and actually extend life span.  So the science is far from settled in regard to free radicals.

Recent research is demonstrating that if you catch aging early enough, it may be reversible to some degree. Approaching the aging issue by attempting to improve communication between the nucleus and the mitochondria has shown more promise than attempting to manage free radicals in holding back the tide of aging. Findings in 2013 showed that perhaps one of the main breakdowns of communication results from the nucleus believing it is not getting enough energy from the mitochondria anymore, so it slows sending signals to the mitochondria to generate more energy. It is believed that this entire winding down cycle begins with the loss of a small molecule called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) that is critical for cells to maintain their communication.

When NAD levels were restored to youthful levels in test studies with mice, their mitochondria were revved up again, remarkably within a week, but there was no evidence that muscle strength was improved. While there is promising test-tube data and animal research regarding NAD boosters, no human clinical results on them have yet been published. Supplements containing nicotinamide riboside, or NR, a precursor to NAD, may be able to boost NAD levels, but the jury is still out.

The increasing number of NAD findings lead us to an ongoing story about certain enzymes called sirtuins, which have been implicated as key players in conferring the longevity and health benefits of calorie restriction. Resveratrol, a wine ingredient, is thought to rev up one of the sirtuins, SIRT1, which appears to help protect mice on high doses of resveratrol from the ill effects of high-fat diets. A slew of other health benefits have been attributed to SIRT1 activation as well.

NAD fuels the activity of sirtuins, including SIRT1 - the more NAD there is in cells, the more that SIRT1 does beneficial things. One of those things is to induce formation of new mitochondria. NAD can also activate another sirtuin, SIRT3, which is thought to keep mitochondria running smoothly. SIRT1 helps insure that communication signals get through between the nucleus and mitochondria. When NAD levels drop, as they do with aging, SIRT1 activity falls off, which in turn makes the crucial signals fade, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and all the ill effects that go with it.

NAD boosters that can be found on the market might work synergistically with supplements like resveratrol to help reinvigorate mitochondria and ward off diseases of aging. While resveratrol has hogged the anti-aging spotlight over the past decade, an increasing number of studies show that a resveratrol-like substance called pterostilbene, found in grapes and blueberries, is a kind of extra-potent version of resveratrol. The pterostilbene molecule is nearly identical to resveratrol's except for a couple of differences that make it more "bioavailable" (animal studies indicate that about four times as much ingested pterostilbene gets into the bloodstream as resveratrol). Test-tube and rodent studies also suggest that pterostilbene is more potent than resveratrol when it comes to improving brain function, warding off various kinds of cancer and preventing heart disease.

Scientists reportedly have characterized the effects of these precursors to NAD and supplements on metabolism as "nothing short of astonishing," at least in mice. Evidence for the beneficial effects on human cerebral function is just beginning to emerge. Pterostilbene use points to improved brain health as well as we age, with beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory outcomes. Human studies are still lacking, but it may be worth giving these supplements a try to measure any personal improvements to energy or strength, and just cross your fingers that you may be aging more slowly and delaying degenerative disease.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Edge of Discovery


Frontier science involves inquiry into the impossible. 
All major achievements in history have resulted from asking outrageous questions:

What if heavy objects could overcome gravity?

What if heavy objects could float on water?

What if there is no end to the Earth to sail off?

What if time is not absolute, but depends on where you are?

What if our thoughts create the entire world around us?

What if we were no longer afraid to explore the darkness of our ignorance?

Let your curiosity go where no one has gone before.

Ask unpopular questions.

Challenge cherished beliefs.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

the Cold War Raises Its Ugly Head


The publicly broadcast impeachment hearings have brought a perspective to light that I had not considered before. What has been overwhelmingly apparent heretofore is the exercise of a soft coup by a deeply entrenched bureaucracy of unelected officials in government, relentlessly attempting to remove the president by every conceivable illegitimate means from his duly elected post since his election. Donald Trump has vowed to clean up the swamp of bureaucrats in Washington while it has been desperately fighting back to hold its ground. In the end, with the rule of law on his side, I believe President Trump will prevail over these initial skirmishes with a major thinning out of the bureaucratic elite who have come to believe it is their right to make policy and run government.

The imminent Inspector General's report will initiate the indictments of many of these same attacking members of the entrenched bureaucracy, thinning their ranks and sending the most notorious among them off to the gallows or Gitmo. Serious crimes have been committed by many in the swamp, most preceding the current administration and the recent acts of unlawful espionage, sedition, and treason. Those in the swamp fighting so desperately right now know that the Justice Department has them dead to rights with prosecutable concrete evidence. The insane attacks on the president are their last stand, and they know it. Those who speak the loudest in opposition are likely the most guilty. Their remaining choices are few – fight, run, or commit suicide. Their end is unavoidable and imminent.

What is new and striking for me came out with the witness interviews of ambassadorial personnel. Their testimony did not support any incrimination against the president so much as it showed that they were personally upset that the president had usurped their power and authority in rewriting foreign policy that impacted their roles. They were upset or saddened that the president was exercising his constitutional authority to change foreign policy to one that opposed what they believed in, and that he discharged ambassadorial personnel at his discretion without apparent cause. The media chimed in when Attorney General Barr reminded everyone that the president was acting well within his constitutional authority. Their testimony was little more than sour grapes and out of place in the context of an impeachment consideration.

Throughout the world there are 75,000 American personnel assigned to embassies and consulates. It is a burgeoning bureaucracy with security detachments that is outdated and for the most part no longer necessary in an age of instant virtual communication. By and large this network was built after World War II as a front to monitor the Cold War with the Soviet Union. In virtually every field station in every foreign country a fake radio network was established to spew propaganda in an effort to combat and take down the old Soviet Union. These secret tendrils controlling all the world's media in every nation still exist today, but they have morphed into something more twisted and criminalized that far supersedes their initial Cold War objectives.


After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia emerged in the 1990's as a democratic Christian nation. The nuclear warheads pointed at the US still existed, but nonproliferation agreements were dismantling these to close out the Cold War. But those people on our side in particular that were getting big fat pay checks to fight the Cold War didn't disappear. Literally thousands of 'agents of deceit' continue to operate to this day in Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia. These field stations are as busy today as they were during the era of the old Soviet Union, only now they are busy manufacturing plots and endlessly stirring to keep any action going that justifies their continued existence. Blood continues to be drawn around the world incited by those who continue to profit by such conflict, incited too often by American diplomats solely to keep their power and position.

As the Cold War ended, many of these operatives tied themselves to organized crime while retaining their ties to the “Cold War survivor” organizations in the US. While the President has sought accord with Russia, those around him “dance with the devil,” enmeshing themselves in aging plots and affiliating themselves with what has become a vast criminal underworld that runs an ugly organization of drugs, human trafficking, and pedophilia some call the Kosher Nostra. It has become clear that those around Trump have created their own “swamp” within the dregs of CIA plots decades old, a love affair between the ignorant and greedy and “oligarchs” and “facilitators” that emerged during the power vacuum created inside the former Soviet Union. 

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, every president until Trump has fallen in line and largely overlooked what has been going on, profiting in huge ways from this bureaucratic rot. Like their president, many American institutions saw a continuation of the Cold War charade as fertile ground for creating something likely to be useful. Throughout the world their goal was to plant the seeds of rot from within many nations, creating weakened states whose resources could be plundered and their people enslaved.

This is the America inherited by Donald Trump. Those around during its creation are long gone, those who understand its mechanisms are dead, retired, or silenced. The institutions capable of resisting were long ago destroyed, and, as the impeachment process will prove, the endeavor itself will be fruitless except, of course, for airing the “dirty laundry” of the criminal underbelly that existed long before Trump took office.

Until the controlled press and rigged elections change, nothing can or will be fixed in America, even with Trump. All mechanisms of informing the public are now subject to newly minted “fake news filters” under the control of the “worst of the worst” self-serving bureaucrats. Ignorance is institutional in America. Within our regrettable culture of ignorance, the criminalized mechanisms of the Cold War with the defunct Soviet Union have continued to play out unchecked. Trump wasn’t targeted exclusively by the Deep State but by something even more sinister, the vast mechanisms of the Cold War that survive to this day.

Unfortunately, this outrage will never find its way into a history book, will not be taught at any university, and certainly will not enjoy a part in the narrative of the 20th and 21st centuries where such truths have long been hidden or forbidden. Only when we pull back our embassies and consulates from most of the world and dismantle its antiquated Cold War network will this enemy of all people in the world disappear. Trump is only the beginning. From the year 2024 and beyond the United States will need leadership that continues to remove the vast tentacled bureaucracy that holds us to our warring unproductive meddling past.

Mermaid's Wineglass

I remember back in graduate school being fascinated by a little plant by the name of Acetabularia . With its dainty up-to-two-inch lon...