Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Donate Your Life


Nearly a century ago, a 32-year-old aspiring businessman stood on the precipice of ending his life. Failing at everything he attempted, he finally declared bankruptcy, and believed his wife and family would be much better off without him. Before throwing himself into Lake Michigan, a wild notion crossed his mind. It seemed like a waste to throw away his life. Since he was going to end it anyway, why not just donate his life to science? Why not give his life to the world and live it as a scientific experiment?

This eleventh hour epiphany gave this young man named Buckminster Fuller another 55 years in which he went on to become a philosopher and noted inventor, inventing the geodesic dome and the concept of Spaceship Earth.

Taking a cue from Bucky, maybe we are given our lives not just to live them, but perhaps to donate them to the world in a grand “experiment of one” to see if we can perhaps advance the world as well as the lives of others around us.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Quantum Compassion


When we hear the word “compassion” we may think of it as a nice sentiment, showing empathy and kindness toward another. In the Buddhist tradition the ideal takes on a much more sophisticated meaning, complementing what we have learned from quantum physics. The Buddhists describe compassion as a loving participation in the world. Some say it is “the practice of enlightenment” itself, something we can cultivate in daily life based on our true understanding of the world and our relationship to it. The Boddhisattva, one dedicated to awakening the heart and mind, understands that love of self and love of others are one and the same. Out of this intuitive understanding that all things are ONE, compassion then represents the supreme expression of human freedom.

Compassion is not only the field but is also the intention we put into the field. The choice that an individual makes out of free will directly impacts not only humanity as a whole, but the entirety of the universe. The reverberation of our actions through time and space is karma. The perception of selflessness associated with Buddhist compassion is actually a divine selfishness where two selves are served simultaneously – the small self of the individual and the greater Self of the collective all.

Compassion is what connects all things. It is this understanding of the relatedness of all things, as well as acting from that relatedness, that may offer the key to our spiritual advancement as individuals and citizens of the universe.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Big Pharma, Big Profits


Guess what the number one killer in America is? Cancer? Nope. Heart Disease? Nope. Number One is the practice of medicine itself. The Nutrition Institute of America found that “the estimated number of iatrogenic deaths – that is, deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures – in the U.S. annually is 783,936.” Compare that to just under 700,000 for heart disease and 550,000 for cancer.

Health care should not be on this list at all! Somewhere along the way pharmaceutical companies have diverted the Hippocratic path of medical care from healing to profiteering.

The American public has been hoodwinked into believing that all ailments, whether a transitory affliction or a chronic issue, can be remedied by swallowing a pill. Under our modern allopathic medicinal approach, the causes and cures for disease are the consequence of circumstances that only a medical specialist with years of advanced study can understand.

Health care in the United States is more expensive than anywhere else in the world, yet in terms of actual quality of health care our country is closer to the bottom of industrialized nations. Costs for health care have exploded BECAUSE HEALTH CARE HAS BECOME A FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS. Despite the competent, well-intentioned professionals who administer our nation's health care, we are overshadowed by an ideology where making a profit is more important than healing.

The drug industry is the most profitable industry in the world. In any given year, more profits are earned by the top ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 than the other 490 Fortune 500 companies combined.

More and more people are beginning to awaken and take back control over the myth of big pharma being the best answer. More than half of Americans already visit alternative healing practitioners, using modalities proven to be equally as effective, less expensive, and significantly safer than following the counsel of allopathic physicians that dole out pharmaceuticals for every affliction. Whether it is because of the increasing risk of iatrogenic illnesses or the skyrocketing costs of health care, more of us are claiming control over our medical options.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Last Days of the Banking Scam


The world's two largest bankers are the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), created at the end of World War II by 45 Allied nations to create monetary and financial order at the end of the war. Ostensibly, the world Bank provides financial and technical assistance to developing nations and countries recovering from conflict or natural disasters and in cases of humanitarian emergencies, while the IMF monitors global financial systems, exchange rates, and balances of payments.

While virtually every nation on the planet must deal with these banking entities, critics maintain that the primary purpose of the World Bank and IMF is not for the benefit of poor and disadvantaged countries, but for the benefit of big business in the United States. The net effect of their policies and actions since their creation has been to preserve global poverty by keeping developing nations in a state of permanent debt. The credit that is extended (more like, overextended) to Third World nations is a scam in which banks and their preferred crony capital partners reap billions at the expense of the poor.


This occurs by the banks purposefully lending these Third World countries more than they could possibly ever repay, then assuming ownership of key economic resources when they ultimately default on repayment. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, and if the powers that be in the poor nations don't like it or aren't willing to play by the Bankster's rules, they are strong-armed, threatened, or eliminated.

All this is about to come to a grinding halt. The days of easy money that is hard to pay back are coming to an end. The Banksters are soon to be Trumped. Wait for It.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Since 1948, the United States has spent $15 trillion on its military-industrial complex. If there was such a thing as a million dollar bill, you would have a stack of one million dollar bills reaching nearly a mile high to equal this amount of money. It is a sum greater than all factories, machinery, roads, bridges, water and sewerage systems, airports, railroads, power plants office buildings, shopping centers schools, hospitals, hotels, and houses in the country added together. That will buy a lot of bullets and bombs. It is an amount of money that would have completely revitalized the American infrastructure had it be reallocated to useful domestic purposes.

Certainly there are forces that present a threat to American sovereignty and the American people, but it is hard not to imagine what benefit this kind of investment may have yielded had it not been spent for defense. It is also hard not to imagine that much of this expenditure may have been used for the benefit of those who beat the war drum for profit.

I was a United States Marine, volunteering during a time of the conflict in Viet Nam to serve my country in a time-honored tradition. While I was trained to fight and prepared to use that training against an enemy, I have always preferred to look at my role in military service as that of a peacekeeper. In order to thwart aggression it is generally prudent to carry a big stick and know how to use it, whether you have to whack someone or not. Clearly some of that investment in defense has been appropriate, but it is always questionable whether the expense of American lives is worth it.

Among the legends of the United States Marine Corps, I learned about the exploits and bravery of Smedley Butler, the most decorated Marine in history during his lifetime. Butler was a Marine Corps major general, the highest military rank authorized at the time. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Toward the end of his life, he spoke disparagingly about war profiteers and with regret about his time fighting wars. In a speech in 1931, later published in a booklet entitled War is a Racket, Butler said: “A racket is something... conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many.” He further declared, “War is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious racket. It is the one... where the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

Many of the Marines I served with along with other veterans I have met since my time of service shared my commitment to standing up to keep the peace. It was nice to come across a quote from a genuine war hero and admired Marine Corps leader who shared the same sentiment.

Friday, October 18, 2019

the Chalice and the Blade


Early American colonists, by and large, voyaged here to escape the tyranny of European law, dictated by royalty which delegated power at its discretion to nobility, where it ended. Upon reaching the New World, colonists were exposed to a novel idea by the indigenous peoples that the power of leaders must come from the people. Native American culture was roughly egalitarian; resources of each nation were distributed according to need, not social class. The basic unit of government was the clan, most often headed by an older woman. Clans used the land to grow what was needed with no individual ownership of resources. Politically, the clan achieved the greatest harmony and balance when women and men treated each other as equal. It was the older women, the Council of Grandmothers, who were granted true political power within the clan, making all the important decisions and being arbiter of all disputes.

Native American culture perceived Earth, plants, and land as feminine in character. Because older women were closest to the basics of life – growing and preparing of food, childbirth and caring for children, and the domestic work of the clan, men readily acknowledged women's fundamental power. When America's Founding Fathers adopted the political structure of Native American culture, the one thing they conspicuously failed to include in America's constitutional system was the important role of women in the community. As enlightened as the founders were and even though they embodied the feminine in the Declaration of Independence, the idea of actually giving women an equal place of authority and decision-making in society was inconceivable, - clearly the consequence of European bias, not to mention 5000 years of discounting and disempowering the feminine.

If we are to continue as a successful species on the planet it may depend upon how well we can reawaken, revitalize, and reinstate the feminine in our culture and throughout the world. One of the leading figures in the early women's rights movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, observed poignantly, “The world has never yet seen a truly virtuous nation, because in the degradation of women, the very fountains of life are poisoned at the source.” Even our primate cousins, the bonobo chimps, remind us of the natural order of things. Bonobo females bond with each other and effectively curtail all communal bullying by males. It is not that the females dominate the males, but they are able to counterbalance male power with their collective solidarity. Again, it is the feminine which brings balance and peace to society. As our testosterone-driven culture of aggression and domination may finally be running its course, it is a rebalancing by the feminine that may restore America to its original grace.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

the Politics of Procreation


by Joel Kotkin, September 5, 2019

Throughout most of history, starting a family was a task that most people either aspired to or dutifully performed. Today, that is increasingly not the case—not only in Europe, Japan, Australia, or North America, but in the world’s most economically dynamic region, East Asia. The trend towards post-familialism, a society in which the family and marriage are no longer central to society, will reshape our politics, economy, and society in the decades ahead.

Since 1960, the percentage of people living alone in the United States—where the percentage of Americans who are mothers is at its lowest in over three decades—has grown from 10 to 30 percent. Similar phenomena can be observed in virtually all wealthy countries; in Scandinavia 40 percent of the population lives alone. In Britain, the number of single parent households was 8 percent in 1970 but has now passed 25 per cent, while the percentage of children born outside marriage has doubled to 40 percent over the past three decades.

Even East Asia is also now seeing the early signs of a breakdown of its once impregnable family structures. In Japan, the harbinger of modern east Asia, the proportion of the population living alone is expected to reach 40 percent by 2040. Nearly 70 percent of China’s adults aged between 18 and 36 are on their own; the country now has 200 million unmarried adults, including 58 million single people between 20 and 40 years of age. The percentage people living alone in China, once virtually nonexistent, has risen to over 15 percent since 1960.

Political Implications

The trend towards post-familialism is already shaping new political divides between two geographies: large cities on one hand, and smaller cities and suburbs on the other. Households living in the central urban cores, notes demographer Wendell Cox, are one third as likely as those in the suburbs and exurbs to have children of school age.

In many big cities, the long dominant bourgeois family model has been increasingly replaced by a preference for single and unattached living. This trend was powerfully influenced by the rise of bohemianism in the twentieth century, which stressed individual empowerment over family obligation. In the United States, more than a quarter of households were single-person households as of 2015. In urban areas like Manhattan, that figure is estimated to be something more like half, the majority of which are headed by women.

Throughout the world, the urban centers that dominate contemporary economy and culture—Beijing, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Sydney, and San Francisco—are becoming “demographic graveyards.” In Beijing and Shanghai, the fertility rate is barely one-third of that needed to replace the current population. Inner London, notes the Office for National Statistics (ONS), has a fertility rate fully one-third lower than the surrounding suburbs. In severely overcrowded Hong Kong, according to one recent survey, two-thirds of women said they did not want an additional or even a first child. The fertility rate in the Chinese territory is now less than half that of 1980.

For progressives, the shift to post-familialism promises almost unlimited power, particularly in urban areas. Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg has noted that the singles, particularly single women, represent the Democratic Party’s largest core constituency, with two-thirds voting for Democrats. As families have fled from the largest cities—particularly their inner cores—the urban electorates have become almost Soviet in their voting patterns, with Democratic majorities upwards of 80 compared to 60 percent as recently as two decades ago. Overall in 2016, 52 percent of married people voted for Trump, while Clinton took 55 percent of the single vote.

Family formation and fertility rates of differing geographies could determine the election in 2020. The 11 states with the lowest fertility rates—including New York, California, and Massachusetts—are all hotbeds of progressivism, and unassailably Democratic. In contrast, all but one of the 25 states with the highest rates of fertility, from South Dakota to Kentucky and Texas, supported Trump and remain dominated by Republicans.

These patterns can be seen in most higher income countries. Brexit, for example, fared poorly in inner London, where fertility rates, particularly among whites, are substantially lower, but was far more popular in the more distant suburbs and smaller cities, where birthrates tend to be higher. Similarly, the growth of the Green Party in Europe, and pro-green sentiment in Australia, has been greatest in the heavily childless core cities, and less marked in the suburbs or smaller towns.

This could change if the next generation demands policies—notably the building of affordable family-friendly housing—that challenge the near-universal progressive embrace by planners of forced densification. As generational researchers Morley Winograd and Mike Hais have pointed out, American millennial attitudes about families and preferred housing types do not differ significantly from those of prior generations, albeit with a greater emphasis on gender equality. A 2012 National Health Statistics Report found that barely six percent of childless American women under 44 were “voluntarily childless.” The vast majority of millennials, meanwhile, want to get married and have children.

The struggle over urban form is already underway in places such as California, where tech- and real estate-backed groups like the YIMBYs (Yes In My Backyard) embrace extending high-density development into the remaining lower density bastions of middle- and working-class families. Fierce opposition from these neighborhoods, particularly in the San Fransisco and throughout the LA area, has slowed densification drives from the state, at least for now.

These conflicts are also seen in places like Sydney, where groups such a “Save our Suburbs” have worked to slow down densification schemes in some of the area’s bucolic neighborhoods. But this is not really, as some suggest, an anti-urban movement, but one that seeks to preserve  something of the very family-based—and often diverse—middle-density neighborhoods that amazed Jane Jacobs with their “staying power.” In contrast, the new urban paradigm, dominated by the rich and childless, tends to create the same repetitive apartment streetscape, the same shops, the same kinds of people, the same architecture.

Economic Impacts

Post-familialism will drive many of the biggest economic challenges facing many countries. To be sure, a major reduction in childbearing is a blessing in some impoverished parts of the globe, but declining birthrates, and the consequent drop in the workforce, will sap the growth of the higher income countries they depend upon for trade and finance. Already in the United States, workforce growth has slowed to almost one-third of the level in 1970 and is likely to fall even further.

Over time, falling populations in advanced countries will threaten economic growth, both limiting the size of their labor force and undermining the fiscal viability of their own welfare states. As the employment base shrinks, some countries—notably Japan and Germany—have already raised taxes on the existing labor force to pay for the rising tide of older retirees.

Some countries even face an inexorable depopulation reminiscent of early feudal times. In Russia, for example, between 1991 and 2011, a total of about 13 million more people died than were born. Overall, Europe’s population, notes Futurist Frederic Pearce, is destined to fall from 738 million to roughly 482 million by 2100 when the elderly in a shrunken Germany will outnumber children under 15 by as much as four to one.

The demographic decline in East Asia has been, if anything, even more dramatic. Over the past few decades, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore, have seen their fertility  rates fall well below that required to replace their populations. Perhaps the most extreme case is Japan, where this process had started by the 1960s. If the current patterns hold, the island nation’s population, according to Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, will decline from 127 million to under 80 million by 2065.

More important, China’s working age population (those between 15 and 64 years old) peaked in 2011 and is projected to drop by over 200 million by 2050. China will lose 60 million people under 15 years of age by 2050—approximately the population of Italy—while gaining nearly 190 million people 65 and over—approximately the population of Pakistan, the world’s fourth most populous country. By then, China’s ratio of working to retired people is expected to have more than tripled, one of the most rapid transitions in history.

Overall, world population growth could all but end by 2040, suggests Austrian demographer Wolfgang Lutz, and begin to decline as early as 2060. These demographic declines will reshape economic prospects in the twenty-first century. Today, a majority of people live in countries with fertility well below replacement rates. This number will grow to 75 percent by 2050, according to the UN; rapid aging, and a declining workforce, will become increasingly common around the world.

Children and How We Deal with Humanity 
 
Ultimately, the issue facing the high-income world—and increasingly China as well—is how we regard humanity itself. British author Austin Williams describes this question as a conflict between whether humanity represents “the biggest problem on the planet” or the “creators of a better future.”

Like their Medieval predecessors, many environmentalists view climate change as the singular explanation for everything from starvation, wars, and crop failures to hurricanes, floods, or any other unusual weather. As a result, some climate researchers, such as at Sweden’s Lund University, believe population growth, even in the low fertility countries, should be limited. Scientists at Oregon State University have even proposed severe taxes on people who have children, particularly more than one, for  their “carbon legacy.” These notions have been embraced by the UK’s influential Guardian newspaper and such luminaries as Bill McKibben, Paul Ehrlich, and John Holdren, who served as President Obama’s science advisor. If the old clergy attacked sex, the green one focuses on preventing the traditional result from a proverbial roll in the hay.

As the numbers of singles and childless grow, our immediate political future could shift to the left. In Britain, Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrats are losing younger, largely childless voters. But the Greens have almost tripled their support since 2014, which is now almost now equaling the Tories among voters 18 to 24. Nor does family orientation seem a factor in European politics; today many of the leaders, virtually all the leaders of the continent (Germany, France, Netherlands) are childless. France’s President Emmanuel Macron even identified child-bearing with ignorance.

Yet, in the long run, the anti-natalists could face an unexpected turnaround. The heirs of the post-familial city are not reproducing themselves, leaving only a digital legacy. The fact that these centers appear to be “post-Christian” may accelerate the pace. Secularism, with its tendency towards identity politics and hyper-individualism, notes author Eric Kaufmann, undermines itself as it fails to “inspire the commitment to generations past and sacrifices for those yet to come.”

In contrast, the more religious, more family-oriented population, living mostly in the suburbs and smaller cities, will reproduce themselves. Kaufmann explains in his important book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? that those who embrace more traditional religions—which generally favor families—will prevail. The future of Catholicism won’t be shaped by a Pope, whose closest advice comes from liberal bishops in Germany, where the church is now losing nearly 170,000 adherents annually. The new faithful will be those nurtured by the more traditionalist African bishops, who enjoy the fastest church growth.

Ultimately, the believers and families may have the upper hand. By 2050, for example, Islam may constitute a larger faith community in Britain than the Church of England, the state-sanctioned but hardly faith-centered Christian denomination. The family-centric Mormons, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, continues to thrive, while the more “progressive” Protestant faiths lose parishioners. Among Jews, the increasingly strident and politicized Reform movement is demographically stagnant and aging. Today, the Orthodox constitute the majority of Jewish children in the New York metropolitan region, and by 2100, they are projected to become the majority of the Hebraic community in Britain.

No matter how many communes anybody invents,” the late anthropologist Margaret Mead suggested, “the family always creeps back.” This will prove to be the case in the decades ahead. Greens, progressives, and feminists may seek to weaken this most precious institution, but in the end, they cannot manufacture future generations. As they have done from primitive times, families create the future, in the only way humanity can remain fundamentally human.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Scientific Heresy


All advancements in science are somewhat heretical, each important new discovery partly, if not completely, negating the prevailing views of the day. To be a true explorer in science – to follow the unprejudiced lead of pure scientific inquiry – is to be unafraid to propose the unthinkable, and to prove friends, colleagues, and scientific paradigms wrong. Hidden within the cautious, neutral language of experimental data and mathematical equation is nothing less than the makings of a new world, which slowly takes shape for all the rest of us, one painstaking experiment at a time. 
Lynne McTaggart

Nationalism vs Globalism

If I was to characterize the current Democrat Party in a single word, that word would be HATE. Ever since Hillary Clinton characterized half of the supporters of candidate Donald Trump as “a basket of deplorables”, everyone so labeled seems to be the subject of passionate hatred and disdain by those who feel that Clinton was denied the presidency in 2016. The hatred seems only to get more passionate as the Democrat Party tries and tries and tries to take down President Trump with failure after failure after failure. It may be tempting to hate the haters in return, but that is characteristically not what Trump and his supporters do. Trump has been termed a “media hate figure” with its crazed followers hating his supporters as much as the man himself. The fact that Trump is such an odious figure for millions of Americans should arouse suspicion in and of itself.

It's not just ardent supports of Trump who express suspicion over such extreme negative reaction, but there are millions of liberals, progressives, Democrats, and even Never-Trumpers and socialists who have seen through the establishment’s programmatic hatred, despite (or perhaps because of) the coordinated loathing coming from every quarter—entertainment, academia, corporations, politicians, and all mainstream media, online and offline.

Trump loyalists will never abandon this bull in the china shop, for above all things he has exposed the Democrat versus Republican, Right versus Left, liberal versus conservative paradigms as, if not obsolete shams, then at least models that have lost most of their dialectic vitality. They remain real and represent important differences, but they are overshadowed by a new political polarity, worthy of urgent and vigorous discussion — globalism versus nationalism.

Before Trump, the globalist agenda crept relentlessly forward under the radar. Issues that now can be framed explicitly as globalist versus nationalist—immigration, trade, foreign policy, even climate change—found deceptive expression when shoehorned into the obsolete paradigms.

It suited the uni-party establishment to engage in phony, ostensibly partisan bickering to keep up appearances. It suited them to pretend that immigration and “free” trade bestowed unambiguous global economic benefits, while claiming that to oppose it was economically ignorant and “racist.” It was convenient to pretend ceaseless foreign interventions were based on moral imperatives, while silencing the opposition as “isolationists.” It was easy to get away with promoting climate change policies based on supposedly indisputable scientific evidence, while stigmatizing opponents as deniers,” in the words of Edward Ring.

Trump's Copernican breakthrough was that he dared to draw attention to the stealthy advance of the globalists by painting a distinction for all to see: If you believe in open borders, free movement of capital and jobs, and a restrictive international climate agenda, then you are a globalist. If you do not, then you are a nationalist. It turns out that the vast majority of us are nationalists in principle, even if not by political persuasion.

The problem with globalism is not only that it destroys cultural identity, but it does not work, either economically or environmentally. It is an epic disaster, unfolding in slow motion. If globalism isn’t stopped, it will engulf the world in war and misery. Donald Trump's focused intent is to make sure more and more people understand this. It is not just conservatives lining up behind Mr. Trump. There are liberals, progressives, and socialists who get it as well. They see how their lives are being destroyed. They see through the platitudes, they see the hypocrisy. They can tell that globalism is not working. They’re looking for new ideas that work for everyone.

Donald Trump may have brought attention to globalism's aggressive agenda and been a catalyst for the accelerated nationalist movement worldwide, but the ideals of nationalism transcend him. It is not a new idea to simply acknowledge the practical reality of borders, language, culture, and history, and the ongoing right of citizens to determine their own destiny and compete in the world. Why is it that to the establishment in America and throughout western democracies “globalism” is still held up as an ideal and the inevitable destiny of humanity? Why can’t that inevitability be restricted to the technical advances of globalization in communications, transportation, trade, and finance without also requiring a surrender of national sovereignty? Why can’t nationalism be compassionate, benevolent, economically enlightened, and inclusive? Nationalism can be all those good things. And it can be a model for world peace and prosperity as well.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

the Choice to be Happy


Throughout your brain there is a collection of synapses separated by empty space called the synaptic cleft. Whenever you have a thought, one synapse shoots a chemical across the cleft to another synapse, thus building a bridge over which an electric signal can cross, carrying along its charge the relevant information you’re thinking about. It’s very similar to how nerves carry electric signals from a sensation in your toe all the way up to your brain where it’s actually “felt”.
Here’s the magic of it: Every time this electrical charge is triggered, the synapses grow closer together in order to decrease the distance the electrical charge has to cross. This is a microcosmic example of evolution, of adaptation. The brain is rewiring its own circuitry, physically changing itself, to make it easier and more likely that the proper synapses will share the chemical link and thus spark together – in essence, making it easier for the thought to trigger. Therefore, our thoughts reshape our brain, and thus are changing a physical construct of reality.
Beyond the absolutely incredible fact that your brain is always doing this, consistently shifting and morphing with every thought, even more exciting is the fact that the synapses you’ve most strongly bonded together (by thinking about more frequently) come to represent your default personality: your intelligence, skills, aptitudes, and most easily accessible thoughts (which are the source of conversation skills).
It’s important that one recognize that this obviously is not a fool proof practice that will completely eradicate negativity from our consciousness; sometimes emotion weighs too heavily and sometimes the chemical charge you catch will be the negative one; but, like any muscle, if you exercise those loving synapses enough, you will find yourself in possession of a new innate strength that will make the world shine more beautifully far more frequently. You will also find yourself being far more happy because of better health too.
If there’s any ability that truly separates us from our primate ancestors, it’s that of imagination. Imagination lets us live in the past and in the future, and by escaping the present moment we can use our memories of the past to predict what will happen in the future; this is so instinctual we don’t even recognize it’s constantly happening with every symbol that we’re perceiving in our day-to-day moments. But it is this ability that allows us to navigate the complexity of our world. Even more exciting is the fact that this skill also works with emotions, not just situations.
When we see someone experiencing an emotion (be it anger, sadness, happiness, etc), our brain “tries out” that same emotion to imagine what the other person is going through. And it does this by attempting to fire the same synapses in your own brain so that you can attempt to relate to the emotion you’re observing. This is empathy. It is our shared bliss at music festivals as well as our solidarity in sadness during tragedies.  It is also how we get mob mentality, where a calm person can suddenly find himself picking up a gun against a common enemy once he is influenced by dozens of angry minds.
Buddhists say that the universe is suffering, most likely because the universe is in chaos, and thus by its very nature out of our control. When we try to force desires, we are bound to find innumerable occasions where the universe will not comply. The trick, they say, is to stop desiring to the point of attachment. Begin the practice of acceptance of which Buddhists speak, Drifting in the Tao, accepting the natural flow with an optimistic attitude of love, saying to every moment that comes your way, good or bad, “thank you for the experience and the lesson, and now bring on the next moment so I can give it the same love.” 
Do this over and over, moving those synapses closer and closer together to the point where any synapses in the brain associated with sadness, regret, pessimism, fear, desire, melancholy, and depression have a smaller and smaller chance of triggering before the synapses of love form your reaction, your thoughts, your personality. Your default state thus becomes one of optimism and appreciation, and the illusory burdens you attach to this existence are lessened.
It’s not just your thoughts that can alter your brain and shift those synapses; the thoughts of those around you can do it as well. It is very important to spend time with people who lift you up, because the wrong friends may be moving those fearful, cynical, pessimistic synapses closer together, making your default, short-path-personality as jaded and bitter as your peers. Want to be happy? Surround yourself with happy people who help rewire your brain towards love, not towards fear of being invalidated.
The thing about negativity, of regretting, of attachment to desires, of pointless complaining about impermanent things that will always continue to pass in an existence where time moves forward is that it all causes stress. When your brain is firing off these synapses of anger, you’re weakening your immune system; you’re raising your blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, and a plethora of other negative ailments.
The universe is chaotic, from unpreventable super storms of wind and rain, to unpredictable car accidents, to the capricious whims of our peers whose personal truths have the ability to emotionally damage or physically hurt others. Any moment holds the potential to bring you any one of these things, any shade along the gradient of spirit-soaring bliss to soul-crushing grief.
Our choice is simple: Love or Fear. It may be hard to find happiness at those times when you feel like you’re all alone in the world, when a loved one passes, when you fail that test, or get fired from that job; but when these moments come, you do not have to live in regret of them, you don’t have to give them constant negative attention and allow them to reshape your brain to the point that you become a bitter, jaded, cynical old curmudgeon that no longer notices that the very fact that they’re alive means they get to play blissfully in this cosmic playground where you get the godlike power of choice.
What you can do is say; “Yes, this sucks. But what’s the lesson? What can I take away from this to make me a better person? How can I take strength from this and use it to bring me closer to happiness in my next moment?” You see, a failed relationship or a bad day doesn’t have to bring you down; it can be an updraft that showcases to you the things you like and don’t like; it can show you the red flags so that you can avoid them next time. If there was a personality trait that your ex-partner had that absolutely drove you insane, then you now have the gift of knowing you don’t want to waste your time with another partner who acts the same way.

If you are mindful of the lessons of your shortcomings, there is no reason that you can’t make the default of every day better than the one before it. Do something new everyday, learn its lesson, choose love over fear, and make every day better than the last. The more you do this, the more you will see and appreciate the beauty of this existence, and the happier you’ll be.

Adapted from Steven Parton, “
The Science of Happiness: Why complaining is literally killing you”

Monday, October 14, 2019

Five Mindfulness Trainings of Thich Nhat Hanh


THE FIRST MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Reverence for Life 

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, nondiscrimination, and nonattachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

THE SECOND MINDFULNESS TRAINING: True Happiness 

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others, and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power, and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming. 

THE THIRD MINDFULNESS TRAINING: True Love 

Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness — which are the four basic elements of true love — 
for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future. 

THE FOURTH MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Loving Speech and Deep Listening 

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness and gradually transform the anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness. 

THE FIFTH MINDFULNESS TRAINING: Nourishment and Healing

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products that contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing, and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society, and the Earth. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Life Energy Generator


If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy,
vibration and frequency.” - Nikola Tesla

I recently came across some intriguing technology called Tesla Purple Plates, which I ordered and aim to give a fair try. Named for Nikola Tesla these plates are used to remedy and balance personal energy levels. Used originally by Tesla himself, the plates are being used by millions worldwide with a positive result. The aluminum plates work as transceivers of cosmic energy, creating a positive field of energy around itself that will penetrate any material substance by osmosis. Its life-force energy beneficial to all living things the plates cure or prevent the progress of disease, reduce tension, alleviate the results of stress, and generally improve mood.

In the 1940’s the creator of the Tesla Purple Plate, Ralph Bergstresser, met Nikola Tesla; they became friends and Bergstresser was a frequent guest in Tesla’s laboratory. After Tesla’s death, Ralph Bergstresser studied for the next 28 years how currents of certain frequencies influence certain materials and reached a discovery that strong low frequency currents, passed through aluminum, create an antenna and transmitter for cosmic energy. He reached the conclusion that a strong tachyon field is created (a tachyon is a hypothetical particle faster than light) which cures disease and speeds up the process of cell regeneration and spiritual growth. Afterwards colored in purple color (the healing part of the rainbow spectrum), he created the first purple plate. Considering that Tesla taught him practically everything regarding electricity, Bergstresser gave it its popular name – Tesla Purple Plate, out of gratitude to Nikola Tesla.

Science has proven that by projecting “love” (positive energy) to plants, they will flourish and grow more vigorously. The positive energy plates will do the same to plants. The underlying mechanism is the same principle at work in faith healing, laying of hands, prayer, and a mother's love. Sending healing energy or what the Chinese call “Chi” to another accelerates the healing process. The plates work in the same way.

The plates help raise the vibrational rate of anyone using them. They are especially effective at promoting accelerated healing for any injury. In no way can they be harmful. Food can be preserved longer by exposing it to the plates. Water can be energized by setting it on a plate for two or three minutes. Just carrying a plate around with you as you go through your daily routine will increase energy levels and decrease fatigue. They can be put in a pocket or carried in a purse as no body contact is necessary for them to work.

After over 47 years that this product has been on the world market, over 50 million units have been sold; Tesla Purple Plates and Tesla Purple Discs may be the most recognizable technological aids in the field of alternative medicine today. With significant scientific and radiesthesic testing, I figure it is worth testing personally.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Skulldugggery that Changed the World


One of the most pivotal events of the modern era that would shape the world for ever after was the publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species in 1859. Prior to that time the source providing the answer to the most important question of “How did we get here?” was the Church. While science was steadily making advances in eroding the Church's power base, it could not unseat monotheism as civilization's official truth provider until Darwin answered the question with “We evolved.”

As a product of his times, Darwin built his primary conclusions on the evolutionary ideas of Jean Baptiste Lamarck and the geological implication of Charles Lyell as well as Thomas Malthus' faulty conclusion that biological success, while it comes from biological adaptation, does so in a fight over scarce resources. Perhaps it was Darwin's subtitle for his work – The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life – that led the scientific community to take a more penetrating view of Darwin's concepts. The unfortunate interpretation taken up was that in order to improve humanity's chances for survival a purification of race must occur, which meant removing unfavorable genetic influences. Taken to its extreme, Darwin's concepts became the state-sanctioned science and mission of Nazi Germany.

In later life Darwin would attempt to shift attention away from this interpretation by focusing on the evolutionary value of love, altruism, and kindness. His disciples thought his new ideas were tantamount to sedition, undermining everything that Darwinism had come to represent. In the end, the advocates of Darwinism dismissed Darwin himself and continued to perpetrate their version of the theory.

In hindsight, the theory of evolution may have taken a different track with completely opposite implications. In truth of fact, Charles Darwin was not first to advance the notion of evolutionary theory. Evolutionary thought had been ripening for nearly a century before Darwin was born. Even his own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, had studied and written about the subject. Darwin spent most of the thirty years after his five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle thinking about evolution and rehashing his ideas, dragging his feet in publishing his expose. This was a time pregnant with ideas on the subject from various other researchers and writers. What prodded him finally to action was when he received a package from the English naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1858, entitled On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type. The package was Wallace's theory of evolution and he had asked Darwin to kindly review it.

The work was brief, elegant, academic, extremely well written and should have rightfully qualified Wallace as the rightful originator of evolutionary theory, a title upon which Darwin was ultimately bestowed. With urgency, Darwin pushed his work forward with the aid of the esteemed Charles Lyell in what has been termed as “one of the greatest conspiracies in the annals of science.” Lyell used his acclaimed status to orchestrate fabrications, alter documents, and plagiarize, so that Darwin would get credit over Wallace as the creator of this grand evolutionary theory, with Wallace listed as a junior contributor.

Such chicanery, on the surface, might seem trivial in relation to the impact of these ideas upon the world, but the way this incident was handled has had profound reverberations that continue to impact the world today. The difference between whether Darwin or Wallace received credit for the theory is the evolutionary epitome of the glass being half full or half empty.

Wallace recognized that evolution was driven by elimination of the weakest, while Darwin interpreted the same data to mean evolution resulted from survival of the fittest. Had Wallace's approach prevailed we might be living in a world where we would strive to improve so as not to be the weakest. In contrast, in Darwin's world we struggle to be the best. It is interesting to speculate that had Wallace been given the credit justifiably due him, we may now be living in a world less focused on competition and perhaps more focused on cooperation.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Love Will Always Trump Hate

"The further a society drifts from truth
the more it will hate those that speak it.”
George Orwell

Today's breaking news from this morning's screenshot of Breitbart News is that left-wing rioters attacked supporters of President Donald Trump leaving a rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota last evening — assaulting them in groups, setting fire to pro-Trump hats, and attacking the police. Riot police stood by as members of Antifa were seen dragging steel barricades away from the Target Center where the rally was held. They were filmed by Elijah Schaffer, a correspondent for the conservative news site, who was maced as he filmed.

Only hours before the rally, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey proclaimed 'Love Trumps Hate Day', claiming that, “Minneapolis is built on, and propelled forward by, a commitment to inclusion. The people of Minneapolis will not be baited by voices that promote conflict and intolerance. Minneapolis will put on full display tonight the love and compassion for our neighbors that has made our city world-class … in Minneapolis, love will always trump hate.”

Schaffer tweeted out afterwards that as the situation deteriorated, “A protestor can be seen waving the Chinese flag in front of riot police. While people in Hong Kong wave American flags for freedom, we wave Chinese flags.” He further tweeted, “Anti Trump protestors in Minnesota stole about 40 hats off the heads of Trump supporters & then lit them on fire at the Trump Rally. They then left the ashes as a vigil against fascism, leaving a f*ck Trump sign on the top of the pile. This is tolerance. This is the left.”

Exactly my first reaction: “This is tolerance. This is the left.” Where was “the love and compassion for our neighbors” that the mayor said would be on full display?

One bystander, Kali Finch, who was not a Trump supporter or even part of the rally was attacked by the Antifa mob, later tweeting: “In this riot of anti-trump, I was just trying to get through with my brother, and I’ve never been called a racist so many times let alone ever. I’ve never been shoved for just walking through for thinking I was a trump supporter. I don’t have opinions on trump but this was wack.”

The rally itself — with 72,000 ticket requests showing a capacity crowd inside and tens of thousands outside — passed without serious incident, but local police seemed unprepared for the violence by anti-Trump rioters after the event was over.

I add this supplement to my daily blog to air my thoughts on just how disconcerting the situation is becoming with our divisive national politics. Were I a subscriber to the politics of the left, I would be embarrassed to say I aligned with such outright hatred and disregard for opposition opinion. Hatred is never in the right. In every exchange between left and right on the streets of America, it is the left that has abandoned dialogue to engage the opposition with hatred and violence. Never have I seen supporters of the president act in an aggressive manner toward those on the left. The intolerance and animus is completely owned by the left.

Where today can we find the passive non-violent resistance, Satyagraha, of Mahatma Gandhi? Where is the American spirit of civil disobedience exercised by Henry David Thoreau in countering that which he objected to? If the left has truths it is passionate about, it is those truths which must be advanced, not hatred and violence.  We need calm dialogue, not acrimonious shouted platitudes.

George Orwell was prescient in what we are seeing today. The truth is coming out. The hatred is directed at those who are speaking that truth. The powers behind the left know that if they feed the public propaganda long enough, this is the result. Nothing can stop the truth, the facts, and the evidence from coming out. The truth will always find the light of day. Mayor Frey was right about one thing: “love will always trump hate.” Transparency is only the way forward.

the Zero Point Field


According to American physicist Richard Feynman, the energy in a single cubic foot of empty space is enough to boil all the oceans of the world. That would mean that there is more energy or power in “nothing” than we've ever found in any material thing. This potential energy of nothingness is referred to as zero-point energy and if we can figure a way to tap into it, it may just be the energy that powers our future.

This field of energy has been described by Lynne McTaggart, author of The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, as “an ocean of macroscopic vibrations in the space between things – a state of pure potential and infinite possibility.” The particles of energy that make up the zero-point field exist in every imaginable state until they are disturbed by us through observation or measurement. It is only then that they settle down into a state that we can understand as real. It would seem that reality exists only on a “need-to-exist” basis.

It is hard for even the best and brightest physicists to get their heads around something as vastly unimaginable and mind-boggling as the zero-point field. But what is falling out of all this is an utterly fascinating conclusion: Everything is Everywhere all of the Time. Reality emerges only when our minds (awareness) plucks things out of the cosmic soup and sorts them into time and space. By playing around with the cosmic soup, scientists have been able to send signals incredibly great distances instantaneously and have even been able to affect events that have already happened. Time and Space become what we make them!

Science has, by and large, previously ignored such elusive topics. But it is foolish to ignore something just because we do not understand it or cannot explain it. Scientists on the cutting edge of discovery in the modern era are leaving behind the narrow focus of the previous scientific paradigm and taking up the challenge of things unseen.

There is an unexplained invisible field behind everything we think is real that holds much promise if we can unlock its secrets. Most of us already appreciate that we already tap into it with the power of prayer as directed to heal others. And it is an acknowledged fact that if a certain threshold of people focus their meditation on peace or reducing crime, wars are brought to an end and crime rates fall precipitously. The majority of people acknowledge that we each have a mysterious psychic ability to communicate with others or otherwise order up reality to suit our desires. And how is it that pets always know when you are coming home? Such unexplained phenomena used to evoke little curiosity in the scientific community, but no longer. Like the surprise of pulling a rabbit from a hat, what we are about to pull out of empty space is going to change all of our lives.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Maya


From the Vedas to the Kabbalah
ancient spiritual traditions reveal
that the everyday world we think we know
is an illusion (maya)

Quantum Physics has revealed
that there is a field that projects
what we call reality
onto matter

The separation
between Us and Them
or between Us and Nature
is an illusion (maya)
held in place by our beliefs

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Shifting Truths


I had a discussion with a friend who argued that if one cannot empirically observe or measure something, then it doesn't exist. In his linear Newtonian way of looking at the world, he was excluding the entire existence of the unseen world from what we acknowledge as real, which I perceive as the matrix behind the entire nature and mechanics of the Universe that we claim to scientifically know. The current ruling paradigm of scientific materialism has established itself as the conclusive arbiter of what is real and true, such that if something is deemed unscientific it becomes at best questionable and at worst something illegal or even punishable by law. The defenders of scientific dogma too often see their conclusions as absolute, infallible, and unquestionable.

This scientific paradigm that defines the truths we live by is based on four dominant tenets that are deemed indisputable facts. First, the physical world we can measure is all there is. Second, that nature favors the strongest and the fittest will prevail. Third, that we are victims of our biological inheritance and the most that we can hope for is that science finds a way to compensate for our inherent flaws and frailties. And fourth, that life is essentially random and without guiding purpose. With these tenets as our foundation, it is clear how we have arrived at a point where money, material goods, and machinery are more valuable than things unseen.

Science is now our religion, but it wasn't always the arbiter of truth. Before Darwin sailed in the Beagle, it was the Church that served as the guiding paradigm of all things true. The truth was different then. The tenets of the Church were essentially that we were on this Earth only by divine intervention, put here to live out a morality drama and obey the Word of God – or else. And before that the truth was that we came from chaos, here only to please the whimsy of mischievous gods that one had better not anger or offend.

Like the adherents of science today, the Church positioned itself as the sole source of civilization's knowledge. The Church was able to control the power of that knowledge by controlling education, amassing vast wealth and great influence in the process, not unlike defenders of science today. As the mighty intercessor between God and the King, the Church was able to secure the arm of the law to secure its dominion. In time, with its intoxication with power and authority, the Church's original mission of helping humanity took a back seat to the more immediate mission of helping itself. Like science today, its precarious power and authority rested solely upon the fragile foundation that its knowledge represented absolute truth.

But nothing lasts forever – not even truth - and the Church was inevitably challenged as followers arrived at new truths. The bloody Inquisition and the Renaissance laid a path for science to supplant the old paradigm with its new truths. And like the Church, the things that pass for truth in our mass consciousness today, as defined by the scientific paradigm, will pass as well. This is already happening under the weight of its own inquiry. The spirit of science is alive and well. Scientists thinking outside the defined parameters of scientific limitation are creating unexpected upheavals at the leading edges of science. It is their new findings that are dramatically rewriting the way we see the world. Look around and we see we are in the throes of revolution. The defenders of the old scientific dogma have dug in to hold onto a paradigm that is quickly slipping away. Like the Church, it is those who profit from obsolete dogma that most resist the change of long held cherished beliefs. Science can no longer defend its disappearing dogma by saying “it is true because we say it is.”

A new paradigm of holism that includes unseen things is emerging. There is much, much more to the universe than just the things we can observe and measure. Matter does not matter as much as the unseen matrix behind it. We are not alone. We share a universe that is teaming with all manner of conscious beings. Darwin's evolutionary hypothesis, in part, is but one of many working hypotheses. We are not victims of genetics, but have full control over our biological expression at all times merely by changing the way we perceive the world we interact with. We are not here by chance but because of a driving overarching purpose. Every aspect of life has meaning, and like our scientific understanding of energy, that which makes us alive cannot be destroyed and is eternal. These are the truths we will come to know and believe and trust as we transition into a new paradigm, a new era, now, right in front of our eyes.