Sunday, February 28, 2021

Creating a Better World

Organize your reality

according to your strength,

according to your playfulness,

according to your dreams,

according to your joy,

according to your hopes.

Then you can help those

who organize their reality

according to their fears.

Seth

Conversations with Seth, Volume 2

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Quantum Computing

The kind of computer or smart phone you are reading this blog on is essentially based upon a binary system wherein everything is coded by either a 0 or a 1 or some combination of these two digits. A quantum computer goes one level further, operating within what is called a quantum state, with three variables instead of two - called qubits – including the 0 and the 1 and an additional superposition state (or quantum position), which is a state in which both the 0 and the 1 exist simultaneously. It may be hard to get your head around this idea, but no harder than trying to understand how quantum physics is different from classical physics. The addition of this third factor, however, is the basis of the emerging Quantum Financial System that we will all soon be introduced to and live our lives within from hereon.

To help understand the potential for quantum problem solving using computers with this third variable, consider the case of Schrödinger’s cat. It’s a thought exercise wherein physicist Erwin Schrödinger imagined a cat in a steel chamber alongside a Geiger counter containing a tiny amount of radioactive substance. The probability of an atom of that substance decaying is equal to the probability that no atoms of it decay. Also in the chamber is a mechanism for releasing a poison that will kill the cat immediately if even one atom of the radioactive substance decays. You cannot see the cat, so to you, there is an equal chance that the cat is alive or dead. Schrödinger’s view was that the cat is simultaneously alive and dead until the observer opened the chamber to see if the cat is alive or dead.

If that seems confusing, understand that it’s confusing to modern computers as well. The most advanced main frame computers can figure out whether the metaphorical cat is alive or not, but they require years right now to do so. Most modern computers simply cannot do it. Quantum computers on the other hand can make parallel computations and calculate so much faster than their classical counterpoints that this problem is elementary for them. They can figure out in seconds or minutes what most classical computers could never do. Each additional qubit doubles a quantum computer’s processing power. The biggest quantum computers have less than 100 qubits right now, but IBM aims to have a 1,000-qubit computer by 2023. As one might imagine, there are all sorts of exciting applications for this kind of power.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Escape by Reading

I have become lost in reading books of adventure this past month - real experiences of accomplishment and tragedy of high mountaineers mostly. Sometimes I pick up a book and can hardly set it down to eat, sleep, or do anything else. It is as if once deeply engrossed in a story, reading takes me beyond any measure of time and space, freeing me from the limitations of any further need for social interaction, and giving me a ticket to escape normal reality for awhile.

When I read, I step out of time and go somewhere else completely. Whoever we encounter as we read from the pages of a book or a blog, whatever lives we have vicariously lived through their story, entertains us certainly, but we may be affected deeply, perhaps having our entire view of the world changed forever after, opening our eyes to a wholly different way to live and value life.

Writing can be the immortality that some of us seek – thoughts and words left behind for future generations to hear from beyond the grave and awaken the memory of another's life. While I write this blog sheerly as an outlet for personal creative expression and validation, once it is published who knows whose mind these words may someday impact. A writer has a responsibility to write with as much discernment as the attentive reader may one day give his words.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Mona Lisa's Smile

My wife said that she had the pleasure of viewing Leonardo's painting of Mona Lisa at the Louvre when she was in Paris, along with other attractions like the statues of David and Aphrodite. She said it was a lot smaller than she had imagined, measuring only thirty by twenty inches, not like you would think with so much being made of it. So, I took a moment to bring up the image and stare it down for a bit to see if I could coax out the enigmatic smile that all the Da Vinci aficionados like to debate.

For nearly 500 years, people have been gazing at Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of the Mona Lisa with a sense of bafflement. First she is smiling. Then the smile fades. A moment later the smile returns only to disappear again. What is with this lady's face? How did the great painter capture such a mysterious expression and why haven't other artists copied it? The Italians have a word to explain Mona Lisa's smile: sfumato. It means blurry, ambiguous and up to the imagination.

Mona strikes me as rather disapproving, maybe even bored. Thinking about it, I wondered about how long she had to sit while Leonardo worked his magic. It couldn't have been comfortable and the castle was probably cold, as they were in that day and still are. Wife of a Florentine nobleman, Mona Lisa Gherardini was probably used to being pampered, and it must have challenged her patience to the limit to have to sit for so long.

As I understand it, her husband did not like Leonardo's masterpiece when it was finished, and refused to pay for it. One can only imagine Da Vinci's reaction. Didn't anyone tell her husband that this was a masterpiece that would long outlast his noble achievements? I can just see Da Vinci throwing a tantrum, tossing his brush across the studio, heaving a loaded palette at the Gherardini's as they made haste to escape his outburst.

So much for the rest of the story. Little did they know, or Leo for that matter, that his work would immortalize this lady for centuries. I do empathize with her, however, in hindsight. She must have been absolutely bored out her mind and probably squirming to get up and go take a pee. That explains the lopsided awkward smile that I can only imagine was her expression at the time! Questa è la mia interpretazione della sfumatura del suo sorriso!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Nothing is Sacred

In the East there is no sacredness, because there's nothing profane. So everything is sacred. So sacredness is just a different level of profanity, or profanity is just a different level of sacredness. Maharaj used to say that gods are former demons, and demons are future gods. Only time separates them. In India everything is sacred. That's why you have children running and laughing in the middle of the most sacred temples. Nothing is separate. In the West we have been taught in this very dualistic fascist tradition, which separates right from wrong, sacred from profane. In the East, there is no such thing. Everything is profane, everything is sacred. To eat is sacred, to make love is sacred, to fight is sacred, to kill is sacred. To build a castle is sacred, to rest is sacred, to write is sacred, to do calligraphy is sacred. There is nothing which is not sacred.

You'll see that if you look into the profane, actually it is not profane, it is sacred too. But it is harder to see it for you. And when you call something sacred, that means you have an easier openness to it. For instance, most people feel more open when their body is healthy. So, when they’re healthy, they feel holier. When they're sick, they feel more profane.

So, there is no difference. Even in the West, during the Middle Ages all activities were considered sacred. At the Renaissance, the democratic movement of humanism replaced God at the center of the heart with the human being. This decadent fantasy created sacred and profanity. Actually there is no such a thing as sacred and profane, sacredness and profanity.

But we could agree to say that if you feel something is sacred, it means that it's easy for you to relate to. If you feel it profane, I would say look deeper, and the deeper you look into it, the more you will see that what you thought was profane is actually sacred. We think that to be born is beautiful and to die is horrible. When we look at it in a deeper way, we will realize that to die is as beautiful as to be born. It is only our mind which separates the two. In the traditional East there was this wholeness, and so there was no difference between sacred and profane.

by Eric Baret at scienceandnondulaity.com

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Silence

Silence is a practice - a discipline or a passion - which is essential if we want to understand the deep meaning of our existence and of Life in general.

Alone, facing ourselves, with no distraction, we let ourselves feel bored, empty.  We feel the irresistible desire for physical or mental activation, anything to avoid experiencing this raw moment. We want to run away into any activity because feeling the emptiness is unbearable. We practice staying there, without looking for alternatives or comfort. We let the disturbance find its way up. We remain face to face with silence, with emptiness, with this unknown space without filling it with scenarios or day dreams. We dare to stay naked, in this elusive space, without holding on to anything.

We explore an authentic state of being where nothing is known, but everything is lived in such immediacy that there is no more space for dissonance or problems.

This raw aloneness creates a contact with our most fundamental truth. Through it we get to touch our essence. 

by Nathalie Delay at scienceandnondulaity.com

Monday, February 22, 2021

Approaching Seventy

Age is said to bring wisdom, prudence, and the comfort of experience, but to be honest, I'd trade every bit of that in a heartbeat to once again make idiotic mistakes and not give a damn. I don't think I'll ever lose my childlike appetite for novelty and adventure. I've got too many dreams on my bucket list yet to chase, and no time for being an old person. I came across these two quotes from unknown sources that confirm that I am not alone in the way I look at the subject of aging.

Nobody grows old living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, distrust, fear, and despair... these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every living being's heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement of the stars and star-like things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing child-like appetite for what is next, and the joy and game of life.

Youth is not a time of life... it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, and supple knees... it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions... it is a freshness of the deep springs of life.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Why Do I Climb Mountains?

  
The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness 
and the greatest enjoyment from life
is to live dangerously.
Friedrich Nietzsche

There is something very enlivening about climbing mountains that keeps me going back time and again. Despite its risks, there is something very vital about ascending high places and living on the edge of danger that touches me deeply. I am inexorably drawn to the stories of remarkable climbers who accomplished high feats, yet often met grisly and unfortunate deaths doing what they loved. Their lifestyle, achievements, and passion are beyond extraordinary – yet seeing through their eyes and feeling their emotions that few others would wish to experience leaves me mesmerized.

The lure of climbing mountains fills me with emotions of both excitement and hesitancy – the same way I feel when I inch closer to the precipice of some plunging chasm that would surely spell death should an unexpected gust of breeze send me off. It is hypnotic in its appeal – purely irrational – and difficult to convey to a non-climber. Call it a heady mixture of anticipation and anxious dread. Who would do such a thing?

Every climber struggles with explaining why climbers climb, and the strange paradox that climbing presents. Still, despite knowing the inevitable risks and the dire logistics of mountain mishaps, I love it fiercely.

Men fall off mountains

because they have no business being there.
That's why they go. That's why they die.
Syd Marty ~ from the poem Abbot

One of the world's most exceptional climbers ever, Alex Lowe (pictured above), one of the original driving forces of American climbing, with an extraordinary list of ascents and technical skills on both rock and ice, and an inspiration for more than one generation, once humbly proclaimed on the MountainZone website:

Thinking back... I appreciate why I come to the mountains; not to conquer them but to immerse myself in their incomprehensible immensity - so much bigger than we are; to better comprehend humility and patience balanced in harmony, with the desire to push hard; to share what the hills offer and to share it in the long term with good friends and ultimately with my own sons.

Upon the avalanche death of climbers Alex Lowe and cameraman David Bridges on October 5, 1999, on a training hike in the Tibetan Himalayas, their surviving partner Conrad Anker published the following tribute in Climbing Magazine as he attempted to find meaning in this stark and brutal loss:

The old questions we ask ourselves about climbing took on new meaning. We knew the risk. Should we have done something different? Are the risks we take worth the rewards they bring? What drives us to climb? The exploration of the unknown has led humanity to where we are today. The quest for knowledge, the willingness to accept risk for an unknown outcome, has allowed people to progress spiritually and intellectually. The thrill of discovering new reaches remains with many of us, in all walks of life. Those of us who found this calling and pursue it in the mountains are fortunate. For Alex this is what climbing was about, the exploration of the soul, the trust and learning gained from attempting something difficult and improbable.

For me, and those like me, climbing mountains is a spiritual experience. I do it for my soul. Being in high places ever reminds me of my own transience and fragile mortality and that in the scheme of All That Is, my place and efforts are ever insignificant. The mountains will always have about them an ethereal and evocative appeal that I find impossible to resist. They are at once both an infuriating and a fascinating contradiction. Climbing perhaps makes no sense, but it always feels right.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Ode to a Mountain Climber

                      Who knows a mountain?

Only a mountain climber knows,

as one who has scaled its heights

to worship its beauty in the dawn;

one who has slept on its breast;

one who has measured his strength

in its height;

one who has followed its longest trail

and laughed in the face of its fiercest gale.


A mountain climber

who has scaled its peaks

and climbed its windswept summits,

alone with God.


Only a mountain climber knows

the awesome feeling of being.

Friday, February 19, 2021

We are Never More Alive than When We Face Death

 

This is an account of living through an avalanche from a collapsing serac on Chaupi Orco on the border of Bolivia and Peru (like the one pictured above) by Joe Simpson in his book The Beckoning Silence on pages 40-41. As a recreational mountaineer who has tip-toed across steep, questionable snow fields beneath unstable ice seracs in my early days, I copy it here as a reminder to always pay attention and trust my instincts, whether climbing on the edge or otherwise. Each moment is precious, but also vaporous. Sometimes the only thing that separates living from dying is sheer luck. I try never to lose sight of that. May I always be at the right place at the wrong time!

The sound of ice cliffs collapsing is unmistakable. You can do nothing. The explosive force of a large avalanche can kill you with its air blast before the snow and ice have even touched you. It is loud, violent, and disorienting, and you know that you are seconds from being pulverized out of existence. You are momentarily completely out of control – numb and helpless. Your fate will be determined by luck and nothing else. It is a deeply unpleasant experience.

This one came out of the darkness without warning, falling from far above us in a gathering roar. As the first cracking sound snapped down from the night air I was consumed with fear. The rumble stilled my senses and for a long helpless moment my mind seemed frozen into silent resignation.

As the sound of crashing ice blocks rose to a furiously discordant crescendo, I ducked in against the boulder and braced myself for the impact. Tiny charges seemed to pulse through my limbs, and my mind was as empty and as shockingly aware as if I had been plunged into icy water. I was unbearably tense, filled with dread. Yet it was not unpleasant. As the avalanche swept down I felt frozen – a chilled numbness – yet I was recoiling at sounds, mouth tightening, staring wide-eyed through huge pupils, searching for death in the darkness. I was suspended in an insensate limbo, oblivious of my body as if detached from my senses. I had the unnerving sensation of looking down watching my body about to die.

Time seemed to extend as the avalanche rushed past, expanding as the ice blocks exploded into crystals and bloomed down the rocky couloir. It took only seconds from the explosive start to the random knocking thumps as the last chunks tumbled slowly to a halt. I never took a breath. I simply stood in the dark waiting to die. It was a very long wait.

Then I rose up unsteadily as if from a sleep, from a panicky dark clenching fear that held me in thrall. Only then did time begin to move again. I peered around dazed, reprieved, uncomprehendingly. I was alive. That was all I knew: alive.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Pig or Lion?

It is said that a pig enjoys an orgasm for up to thirty minutes. A male lion, on the other hand, may enjoy orgasm during coitus up to fifty times a day. Thinking aloud... if you had a say in what type of animal you would come back as if you reincarnate after this life, which would you prefer: coming back as a pig, or coming back as a lion?

And what if you could come back with the best of both worlds? A half hour times 50 would mean you would be experiencing orgasm 24 hours a day. Imagine that.

Super Soldiers

What happens when you mix pig and monkey DNA? Chinese experimenters can tell you. How about growing human-like organs in animals? They have done that as well. Bing Su, a geneticist at China's government Kunming Institute of Zoology, "recently inserted the human MCPH1 gene, which develops the brain, into a monkey," according to Gordon G. Chang, author of "The Coming Collapse of China" and a Gatestone Institute senior fellow. "The insertion could make that animal's intelligence more human than that of lower primates," he explained. "Su's next experiment is inserting into monkeys the SRGAP2C gene, related to human intelligence, and the FOXP2 gene, connected to language skills.”

It is frightening to think that in a communist society with unrestrained ambition, researchers are pursuing such weird science.

Beijing may already be engineering super soldiers, according to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's statement in December 2020. The DNI said, "U.S. intelligence shows that China has conducted human testing on members of the People's Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities." The reference was to efforts by the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party "supporting research in human performance enhancement and new concept biotechnology."

All these Chinese moves are meant to obtain biological dominance. He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen used the CRISPR-Cas9 tool to remove gene CCR5 to give twin girls enhanced intelligence.

That brings to mind the Third Reich's attempts at a master race. Even worse, is that China's advances in gene editing human embryos for super soldiers is persuading others they must do the same.

Soon, for instance, there may be 'Le Terminator.' The French government has just given approval for augmented soldiers. “We have to be clear, not everyone has the same scruples as us and we have to prepare ourselves for such a future,” declared French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Party.

So how did China access the complex research and technology to move toward "homo robocopus"? From the United States, of course!

As Brandon Weichert of The Weichert Report explained, "China has gleaned access to CRISPR and advanced genetic and biotech research, thanks to their relationship with the United States and other advanced Western nations.”

"American research labs, biotech investors, and scientists have all striven to do research and business in China's budding biotech arena explicitly because the ethical standards for research on this sensitive issue are so low," Weichert said.

We all agree it would certainly be a bad thing for China to dominate the world economy, right? ...or international groups such as the World Health Organization or United Nations. But what about a world in which the Chinese Communist Party would dominate biologically... with "super soldiers"?

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Blockchain Revolution

We are lucky to be living in one of the most interesting times in human history... because we get to witness and experience the exciting journey from one economic system to another. The entire financial structure of the world is about to change. We're talking about blockchain technology. Digital Money. Cryptocurrencies. This is what is going to replace our current fiat money system in the near future. There's no stopping it. We're on a journey from an old economic system to an entirely new structure of monetary transaction. And we get to take part in that transformation, and we have front row seats.

Imagine you are out shopping and get to the checkout but your card doesn't work. It turns out that your bank has had a computer meltdown and none of its customers, including you, can pay for anything. But what if during checkout you had access to a record, or ledger, of the balance on your credit and debit cards that was updated anytime you bought something? Even with the bank's systems down your card would still work at the supermarket, because the retailer itself would know your balance.

That is just one possibility offered by a distributed ledger, also referred to as a blockchain. The technology has been around for more than a decade and has been heavily hyped. The blockchain acts as a universal record of every Bitcoin transaction ever made. The blockchain is a ledger, or log, of those transactions and users on the network collaborate to verify new transactions when they occur. They're rewarded financially for this effort - an enterprise known as "Bitcoin mining".

The basic idea is of a ledger of information distributed around lots of different users instead of held centrally by a bank. Blockchain is an ingeniously simple technology that powers Bitcoin. But it is much more than that, too. It is a public ledger to which everyone has access, but which no single person controls. It allows for companies and individuals to collaborate with an unprecedented degree of trust and transparency without a bank in the middle. It is cryptographically secure, but fundamentally open. And soon it will be everywhere.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Clear and Present Danger

So, we have this farcical presidency now for most of four weeks. This masked Bi-Den character (masks have always been a sign of deception) who doesn't even look like his namesake nor is he flying around in Air Force One; he's riding around in a dirty suburban from some rental car agency attended to by security personnel in blue jeans. What's with that? And why do the lights go out in the White House every night like clockwork at eleven o'clock?  Why are there still fences around Washington D.C.? Why are there troops in the streets of the Capitol? And who or what was in all those body bags being carried out of the White House basement these past weeks? Something is not right here.

We have this sock puppet acting like the president, who still hasn't stepped foot in the White House, performing his “presidential” duties from an Amazon studio in Culver City, California; signing executive orders that are clearly blank pieces of paper. For the people in la-la land who trust the evening news, drink beer while watching sitcoms, and don't question what they are told, this is the duly elected president and, with remote in hand, life carries on as before.

They are not paying attention. Or just plain ignorant.  It doesn't mean they are not in danger. It doesn't mean their children are not in danger with a dangerous predator on the loose. Why is Cheyenne Mountain on lockdown? Why has this Bi-Den character been refused all national security updates from the Pentagon? Why has the military withheld the nuclear football launch codes from the new “duly elected president”?

I guess the larger question that looms is: Who is really in charge? Is it those pulling the strings of the Bi-Den puppet, or is it the United States military? In this bifurcated government, the people want to know who is really in charge????

The situation is not that much different than the country's dilemma in the early 1860's. Who was really in charge of the southern states then? Was it President Abraham Lincoln or President Jefferson Davis? DJT is not wielding power any longer. He stepped down; left the White House and is living as a private citizen, comfortable in Mar-a-Lago. We're not hearing from him these days. Now that this impeachment fiasco has run its course, no one should be throwing stones at him any longer. He is not running the military. He's not in control. The military is completely separate with their strategic gymnastics, trying to decide what they are going to do with their Constitutional authority.

The military has not fully turned over the keys to the masked invaders. They have indisputable proof from DNI Ratcliffe's report of January 19, 2021, that the election was interfered with by foreign interests. On that basis, the ball is now in their court to act. Right now, apparently the military is taking its time doing diligence, making an internal assessment and evaluation, in lieu of taking immediate and perhaps rash action. It takes time to make a bureaucratic decision based upon law and order.

What seems imminent, however, is some crisis event (false flag) that is going to call the hand of the military. The military knows that we, as a nation, are under threat... whether it is a cyber threat or a threat from invasive troops that are positioned offshore or along our borders ready to invade. If certain triggers are breached, military command will hopefully act swiftly and decisively to counter any move by enemies of the Republic. But right now, despite intolerable public anxiety, the military is taking its time to sort everything out. So far, while there may be real looming threats, there have not been immediate threats.

Probably what we are going to see shortly is some catalyst that accelerates this. The globalists that want to see this through and grab complete power need a pretext to create a crisis across the world in which the U.S. military's hand is forced to act. They may get a response that they don't expect if and when that happens, however. It could be something over Taiwan, or Syria or Iran or some other Cuban-missile-crisis type event somewhere in the world. Or it could be a fake alien invasion!

No one knows what will happen at this point, but the next few weeks are primed for a significant event to be initiated. Time along with public patience is wearing thin. The only hard cutoff is the March 4-6 inauguration planned in Washington D.C., less than three weeks from today.  Waiting!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Tocqueville on Socialism and Democracy

                                     by Rush Limbaugh - March 5, 2012

I spoke earlier about integrity, self-reliance, rugged individualism, things that made this country great, things which define the institutions and traditions that made this country great. They’re all under assault by people who actually hold you in contempt. They don’t look at you as competent. You don’t have what it takes to make the right decisions. They know this because, given the choice, you would not turn your life over to them. And when you won’t turn your life over to them, you’re a threat. They derive their power from forcing you to turn to them for your very needs in life, not just your wants, but your very needs.

If you want an endless supply of anything, they’ll be happy to provide it as long as you vote for them, but you’re never gonna get too wealthy in the process, because then you become an enemy. You must be cut down. It’s called class envy. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote on this subject in a famous book, “It is indeed difficult to imagine how men who have entirely renounced the habit of managing their own affairs could be successful in choosing those who ought to lead them.”

In other words: People who have totally abandoned self-reliance, managing their own affairs — people who have given up running their own lives — what in the heck kind of people are they going to elect to lead them? “It is impossible,” Tocqueville writes, “to believe that a liberal, energetic, and wise government can ever emerge from the ballots of a nation of servants. The American republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education, the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint.

“It’s not necessary to do violence to such people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy. They themselves willingly loosen their hold. They neglect their chief business, which is to remain their own masters.” They give that up, which is fine, but then they come along and demand that all the rest of us give up our own self-reliance and our own independence. They’re not content to live their lives the way they want. They then must try to make all the rest of us live the same thing way, and that is what the entire Obama administration is about. This administration actually has an enemies list. This administration actually calls the names of private citizens and holds them up for ridicule and attack.

It encourages those attacks on private citizens who simply disagree and who do nothing more than speak constitutionally protected words! Have you ever thought what kind of people they are who are literally threatened to death by words? Well, that’s President Obama and his supporters and his political party. Words! And publicly ridiculing? Some might say that we really aren’t private citizens anymore under this regime, that we are more like subjects. If we behave properly, then if we need pair of sneakers, we might get it; if we need a new kitchen, we might get it. Don’t behave accordingly and not only will you not get it, you’ll get called out. And a nation of Obama supporters will then attempt to ridicule you into silence and acquaintance.

Back to Tocqueville: “Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: Equality. But notice the difference. While democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” The equality of socialism is everybody equally miserable, everybody equally wanting, everybody equally unhappy. Not liberty, but equality in restraint and servitude. “America is great,” Tocqueville concludes here, “because she’s good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” The greatest threat that the nation faces is the absence, right now, of a moral core. Any attempt to establish one is fought tooth and nail by those who do not want one.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Drinking Beer Makes You Smarter (and Healthier)

I recall an episode of Cheers where Cliff Clavin was explaining to his buddy Norm the Buffalo Theory. It went something like this: “Well, ya see Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. When the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of its slowest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain work faster and more efficiently. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers!”

In fact, a 2012 study from the University of Illinois at Chicago showed that drinking beer may actually make people smarter - especially when it comes to creative problem solving. The fact that alcohol may help with the creative aspects of your brain is certainly a fun little fact you can revel in during happy hour. So maybe one or two wouldn't hurt...

The study tested 40 males between the ages of 21 and 30 - giving half the group two pints of beer and the other half nothing to drink. All participants had to solve a series of word association problems where they were given a set of words and had to propose a word to associate with it. The result? The more inebriated bunch solved 40% more problems, and also finished solving the problems quicker than the sober group. The study also found that although the group that imbibed were better at creative problem solving, they also did worse on memorization tasks.

Health-conscious beer drinkers may think those brews are generally harming their health, but it may be true that the opposite is the case. Beer may help the body metabolize natural toxins, drugs, and pollutants more effectively than other drinks, including water. Two particular components of hops, which are used to make beer, appear to help the body clean itself out. These components – lupulones and humulones – stimulate the production of liver enzymes that in turn metabolize harmful compounds coursing through the liver, according to Gilbert J. Mannering, professor emeritus of pharmacology at the University of Minnesota.

Lupulones and humulones are only two components of hundreds of other compounds in hops that may have a similar effect. Mannering noted, however, that no one yet knows whether any of the components survive the brewing process, and if so, how much beer a person has to consume to get the benefit of efficient toxin metabolization.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Daily Reminder


It's All Good

New Earth Rising

Despite the social chaos we are now experiencing around us, we are living in a time of incredible spiritual evolution. Evolution is always preceded with revolution, however. The uprising that is happening around us has been evident through natural disasters, wars, disease, food crisis, the coronavirus, and other catastrophes, and will continue until the Old Earth systems have entirely collapsed. What will remain lasting when the dust finally settles will be those systems that support humanity as a collective, not as individuals.

This restructuring has been occurring throughout humanity’s history, and there have always been individuals playing roles in the revolution so that humankind evolves. Those people have been perceived as rebels, teachers, or healers, and are called by many names because this project of getting people to the New Earth, to our rightful 5th dimensional home, has been orchestrated by countless groups throughout time. Our 3D brain may refer to such groups as being either on the Light Team or the Dark Team, but in truth, there is only one team.

We are in the middle of an unprecedented shift of energies right now. On planetary levels this is the accelerated movement of the New Earth into expanded form and being; it is all good. The New Earth we are moving into is more vibrant, creative, loving, and awesome beyond words.

As we leave the Old Earth, the old polarities, dualities, all of that which divided and separated us from ourselves and others, is brought into wholeness and unity within, with unconditional love, as we step into the truth of our souls... as the true creative masters of our reality.

Note that all of this is happening in the yet, invisible planes, for it is exceedingly high frequency, but it is something the soul can still tap into and experience, and indeed start living in, the moment the Old is completely left behind, and the physical body transforms into a much lighter body. Then we will live in full embodiment of a much higher vibrational frequency level.

Friday, February 12, 2021

To Live and Die with Valor

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

Chief Tecumseh

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Update on Climate Change

There is no “climate emergency”, according to a recent study for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by independent scientist Dr. Indur Goklany. It will be hard for green activists to dismiss Goklany as a “denier”. His credentials as a climate expert are impeccable. He was a member of the U.S. delegation that established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and helped develop its First Assessment Report. He subsequently served as a U.S. delegate to the IPCC, and as an IPCC reviewer.

Goklany says: “Almost everywhere you look, climate change is having only small, and often benign, impacts. The impact of extreme weather events ― hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts ― are, if anything, declining. Economic damages have declined as a fraction of global GDP. Death rates from such events have declined by 99% since the 1920s. Climate-related disease has collapsed. And more people die from cold than warm temperatures.”

Even sea-level rise — predicted to be the most damaging impact of global warming — seems to be much less of a problem than thought, according to to the study’s findings. Goklany says: “A recent study showed that the Earth has actually gained more land in coastal areas in the last 30 years than it has lost through sea-level rise. We now know for sure that coral atolls aren’t disappearing and even Bangladesh is gaining more land through siltation than it is losing through rising seas.”

In his report, Goklany destroys many of the green movement’s shibboleths, including the notion that fossil fuels are bad for the planet. Not only, he suggests, has their CO2 contributed to “global greening” — “contrary to prevailing wisdom, tree cover globally has increased by over 2 million km2 between 1982 and 2016, an increase of 7 per cent” — but they provide the fertilizers and pesticides which simultaneously feed the planet and reduce the amount of land required for agriculture:

Thus, nitrogen fertilizers and carbon dioxide fertilization have together increased global food production by 111 per cent. In other words, fossil fuels are responsible for more than half of global food production. Without them, food would be scarcer, and prices higher (assuming all else, including food demand, stays constant). To maintain the food supply, croplands would have to more than double, to at least 26 per cent of the world’s land area (ex-Antarctica). Adding in pastureland, the human footprint on the planet would increase to 51.2 per cent of the world. In other words, fossil fuels have saved 13.8 per cent of the non-frozen parts of the world from being converted to agriculture.

Goklany concludes: “While climate may have changed for the warmer: Most extreme weather phenomena have not become more extreme, more deadly, or more destructive. Empirical evidence directly contradicts claims that increased carbon dioxide has reduced human well-being. In fact, human well-being has never been higher. Whatever detrimental effects warming and higher carbon dioxide may have had on terrestrial species and ecosystems, they have been swamped by the contribution of fossil fuels to increased biological productivity. This has halted, and turned around, reductions in habitat loss.”

None of the doom-mongering claims made about a decline in human welfare stands up, either, according to the study. Access to cleaner water has increased; mortality from ‘Extreme Weather Events’ has declined by 99 per cent since the 1920s; fewer people are dying from heat; death rates from climate-sensitive diseases like malaria and diarrhea have decreased (since 1900 malaria death rates have declined 96 per cent); hunger rates have declined; poverty has declined (GDP per capita has quadrupled since 1950 even as CO2 levels have sextupled); life expectancy has more than doubled since the start of industrialization; health adjusted life expectancy has increased; global inequality has decreased in terms of incomes, life expectancies and access to modern-day amenities; the earth is green and more productive; habitat lost to agriculture has peaked due to fossil fuel dependent technologies.

The report will make hugely depressing reading for all the prominent environmental activists - from the Pope and Doom Goblin Greta Thunberg to the Great Reset’s Klaus Schwab - who have been pushing the “climate emergency” narrative. It is an article of faith for the globalist elite and their useful idiots in the media, in politics, in business, and the entertainment that the world is on course for climate disaster which only radical and costly international action can prevent.

But Goklany’s report - Impacts of Climate Change: Perception & Reality - claims there is little if any evidence to support the scare narrative.

At the end, Goklany provides a table, setting out all the scaremongering claims made by environmental groups - and then comparing them with observed reality. Only one of the claims stands up, according to the study - weather has been getting slightly warmer:

  • More hot days and fewer cold days — Yes

  • Cyclones/hurricanes more intense or frequent — No

  • Tornadoes increase and become more intense — No

  • Floods more frequent and more intense — No

  • Droughts more frequent and intense — No

  • Area burned by wildfire increasing — No (area peaked in mid-19th century)

  • Cereal yields decreasing — No (they have tripled since 1961)

  • Food supplies per capita decreasing — No (increased 31 per cent since 1961)

  • Land area and beaches shrinking, coral islands submerged — No. (Marginal expansion)

    Adapted from an article by James Delingpole on February 7, 2021

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Trust in the Moment: All is as it Should Be

It’s so easy to feel a little forlorn if we both passively watch and also buy into the current narratives that the world is a dark and dangerous place: that a dystopian future is already manifesting. It’s true that technology brings more and more hyper-stimulating news coverage of world events that we would have never previously been exposed to. Technology and our seemingly inextricable new limbs; smartphones and wifi screens are manipulating our perceptions.

We are ‘choosing’ our own realities that are actually generated by algorithms. We are losing agency every day. So of course the world feels alien and causes anxiety, perhaps even mild trauma. Mini earthquakes across our heart-fault lines. Eventually we are too exhausted from anti-nourishment that we close down a little every day.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Nothing ever is. The miracles of life on our planet-home continue to beckon us into their mysteries. Not to find answers but to be in awe. The caterpillar while regressing into what appears to be a primordial soup, has no idea that soon, an orchestra of imaginal cells is playing a magnificent butterfly into creation. The caterpillar is not concerned with her future and yet she is integral in the design, construct and the explosion of beauty and color that will ultimately be a butterfly.

Take a deep breath. Let your shoulders relax. Take another deep breath. Relax your belly. Open your mouth wide and make some strange sounds from your throat. Let a long sleepy yawn ask your eyelids to be heavy. Relax. Your worry and anxiety is better transformed into prayer, kindness, loving thoughts and altruistic gestures. Sit down. Drink some cool water. All is as it should be! And if you feel called to take right-action and make changes then call the energy that’s needed for that from your heart, your kindness, your well-being, your relaxation and your love. Then you’ll truly know energy and power.

Adapted from the words of Dr. Bruce Lipton

Monday, February 8, 2021

Mysterious and Powerful Human Beings

Each human being is an utter mystery. Each of us possesses vast powers that go largely unrecognized. Most people, it seems, simply have no idea of their intrinsic magnificence nor of the full extent of their creative potentials. Many live their lives on the hard surfaces of ‘concrete-reality’ and often complain about boredom – or as Thoreau put it, they, “… lead lives of quiet desperation.”

What is the mostly unrecognized, untapped essence of a human being? For starters, and directly stated, each human being is an inscrutable intersection of infinities. You, me – everybody! Consider this: Like tiny bugs blown out to sea on great storms, engulfed by the immensity of sky above and black depths below, we, with our self-reflective consciousness, are able to consider our presence within three vast arenas:

  1. Temporal; past times, and future times yet to be

  2. Spatial; of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ spaces

  3. Numerical; of the inconceivable numbers and relative sizes of things: atoms, microbes, cells, people, seas, mountains, planets, stars, and galaxies

Recognized or not, these realities contextualize and intersect within each of us. Such disturbing vastness, when deeply contemplated, can for some bring on a sense of nausea, and thus the scientist Teilhard de Chardin metaphorically referred to each of these immensities as a kind of ‘malady.’

Numbed and entranced by all the dizzying demands of modern living, few people ever scratch the surface of their basic high school science. We mostly miss the staggering circumstances in which we are embedded. Philosopher Abraham Heschel counsels us,

Under the running sea of our theories and scientific explanations lies the aboriginal abyss of radical amazement.

It is ultimately a profound realization to understand that the sun is actually a star, just like all the brilliant white pinpoints of light seen at night; though instead of a distance of light-years, our home-star sits a mere hundred and fifty million kilometers away. It takes but a few minutes for light to reach our eyes from our home star… light from a somewhat ordinary star amongst hundreds of billions in our home-galaxy, the Milky Way.

Now astronomers have concluded that there are one to two trillion galaxies in the known universe, meaning that in the cosmos there are more gigantic thermonuclear balls of gas (stars) than there are grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth.

Yogis and mystics throughout the ages have told us that what we consider the ‘inner-universe’ is just as immense as the outer. Each human being is situated between these truly ineffable immensities, wherein words are incapable of adding meaning to the sheer fact of it all.

Again, we exist between a deep past and a deep future – measured in billions of years, tottering precariously, briefly, just on the edge of now. Our modest life-spans seem to blur into what some have called ‘time out of mind.’

And then there are also the scales of reality – the relative sizes of things. Humans seem to be medium-sized – in the middle – between galactic clusters and quantum particles. Thus, in these three ways (temporal, spatial, numerical) we are truly, each one of us, an intersection of infinities. Miraculous!

We traverse our days and nights, having our unique (and often undervalued) experiences as glowing self-aware mysteries, moving – hopefully evolving (perhaps inevitably) – toward greater Self-Awareness. Life is amazing!

So, being actually poised between all these immensities, what then are our creative capacities? Maybe consider this example: To a tribal hunter-gatherer who has never seen a car, it would be intriguing to simply look at a car – to walk up to it, tap the roof, prod the tires with his spear, and if he were bold and a door were open, maybe get in – perhaps sit in the driver’s seat, or even turn the steering wheel. But from only this much experience does this individual know what a car really is? And how might his understanding intensify were a driver to get in, start it up, and drive that car away?

How much do we really know about our potential as human beings? Have we ever truly plumbed the depths of our intrinsic powers? Hints can be found in cases of the acute dissociative condition commonly known as ‘multiple personality disorder.’ In this extreme affliction, a human being has more than one centralized identity.

Consider a woman with fourteen distinct personalities – each with a different name and unique personality traits. In scientific studies of this condition, it has been verified by blood sampling wherein over thirteen hundred highly complex biochemical changes occur in the human body in a matter of moments as each of the personalities comes to the fore.

Food can be deadly for one personality who has a severe allergy to that food – yet in the same physical body, a different personality can eat that food without any adverse reaction. One personality could be a diabetic with all the intricate biochemistry and needs of that condition, but a moment later, as another personality emerges, that diabetic biochemistry disappears and the condition of the body becomes completely normal. This kind of modulation of the physical body seems to border on the supernatural.

The biochemistry of love is vastly different from that of anger. Yet, we can let go of anger and feel love – or feel love and then experience intense anger – each state radically transforming our body’s biochemistry, posture, facial features, resonance, and behavioral repertoires.

The good news is that emotional states can be modulated consciously, and renewing-emotions like gratitude, compassion, and joy are only a choice away. It’s like we’ve heard so often - ‘Just choose love!

And the power of love? Any browser search for mothers lifting cars off trapped children will give examples of how love trumps the impossible. Mystics, yogis, top athletes, and thank goodness, mothers, have given us many demonstrations.

We mostly hear derision when a profound healing experience occurs after someone has taken an inert substance thinking, believing, and expecting it to be medically active. “Oh, that’s only the placebo effect.” Only! It’s a case of mind over matter if there ever was! Something of the inner-mind has brought about a real and often dramatic change on the physical plane, and to the physical body.

The medical literature is filled with case histories of what seem like miracle cures. One of the most well-known and medically documented placebo-response cases was of a ‘Mr. Wright’ that occurred in Long Beach, California in 1957 when tumors the size of oranges melted overnight when his physician, Dr. Philip West, injected him with the serum, Krebiozen, that was later proven to be completely ineffective against cancer.

The essence of this research is that human beings themselves are generating the measurable changes; not some inert substance! We have powers and potentials that slumber within, and yet, all too often fear and doubt induce a repression of that magnificence.

One of the supreme attainments of all our human potentials occurs when we ‘re-cognize’ our way into an ‘awareness of awareness.’ This explosive, iterative, sweet-spot of ‘Self being consciously aware of (It)Self’ – Self-Realization – happens outside of time. The ‘little-self’ gently evaporates. Linear time evaporates. Verbs evaporate... and then: … the always-already-present Unified-Reality beyond all the conceptions of the thinking-mind … bliss, compassion, wisdom, love, infinity … just … THIS!

Spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, by her prescient nudging, shines a light onto this dilemma of the small self, its fear, and its associated potentials when she says,

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

And sometimes the linguistic residue of this realized wisdom consists of moving poetic pointers: Again, from Heschel,

Each thing is a surprise, being is unbelievable. We are amazed at seeing anything at all.

Adapted from article by Richard Henry Whitehurst on Monday August 24th, 2020 at upliftconnect.com

Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Power of Storytelling

Going all the way back to the time when I was a little boy, I would sit enthralled for hours listening to family elders tell stories of a time before that I could only imagine. I was blessed to spend time with a large number of seasoned old gents and dames who were at the tail end of their colorful lives, with nothing but time left to spin tales to entertain children. Nearly seventy years on myself, I still recall with vivid detail many of the stories I heard as a boy. Some were so remarkable that they stick with me to this day, long since added to my own repertoire, with perhaps a bit of elaboration.

Hearing accounts of how my elders and parents experienced life before me was a form of bonding and had a large part in shaping my own personality in the formative years. One could say that most of the stories that survived are directly tied to my identity - what I have become over the years. As soon as I came of age to become a storyteller myself – when I first sat around campfires with other boys in the Boy Scouts - I had many stories to share. Since then I have sent tall tales to the stars above around a thousand campfires on countless adventures. Add to that a few years of entertaining a captive, but receptive audience while teaching high school, I have had a lifetime of opportunities to spin endless yarns and leave my own legacy.

Exchanging stories with family members in particular is not an inconsequential pastime. Research published in Emory University’s Journal of Family Life shows that a people’s knowledge of their family history correlates to higher self-esteem, lower anxiety, stronger familial cohesion, and a better sense of control over one’s life. Furthermore, internalized family narratives can influence one’s sense of individuality.

James Allen, an assistant professor of psychology at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, has studied narrative identity theory, the notion that an individual’s stories about one’s life should be regarded as an essential element of one’s personality.

There’s lots of evidence that the stories we hear growing up in our families and in our cultures play a major role in how we develop a sense of autobiographical memory, which then leads to a sense of identity. The stories we hear growing up help us develop our sense of identity.

Narrative identity theory also maintains that the manner in which people tell stories about their lives may predict certain outcomes, such as their quality of life. In other words, people who tell happier stories about their lives tend to report higher instances of well-being, compared to those who share primarily negative stories. Telling stories with a mixture of qualities is associated with shifts in well-being over time.

Allen has also examined the relationship between oral storytelling and the socio-emotional development of elementary school-age children through a series of studies on their engagement with oral narratives. One characteristic he pays special attention to is the coherence with which children reproduce the stories they’ve been told.

Narrative coherence is a developmental skill that children learn, and it’s something that’s part of our socio-cultural environment. When we’re young children, we tell a lot of stories with our families, with members of our cultures, and with our friends. Each of these experiences of listening to stories is giving us different kinds of resources we can use to build our own stories.

A recent study by researchers from Princeton and New York universities found that there is significant overlap between the parts of the brain activated by both speech production and speech comprehension. This includes parts of the brain associated with social cognition and the ability to discern the mental states of oneself and others.

Trisha Lee, a U.K. based educator, founded the non-profit theater and storytelling arts program Make Believe Arts in 2002. She travels to schools to train teachers in a form of storytelling known colloquially as ‘helicopter stories,’ in which children create a narrative out loud as a teacher writes it down. The children then act out the story.

Participation isn’t mandatory, but students often come around on their own terms, Lee said. She described scenarios in which she’s seen otherwise non-communicative children happily participate in the creation of helicopter stories. How we make sense of ourselves is where we fit in the stories of our peers. That’s what we do in life—I understand your life because you tell me a story about yourself, and that’s what happens with the children. Stories help us understand and relate to others, which is important as children.

According to narrative identity theory, stories often convey a sense of purpose—or perhaps a lack thereof—on behalf of the narrator, and the delivery of a person’s story can provide insight into the state of their mental or physical health. Symptoms of mental disorders such as schizophrenia, for example, might include disjointed narratives.

According to pediatrician Sayantani DasGupta, the ability of health care professionals to attentively listen to their patients’ stories is vital to successful treatment. DasGupta teaches in Columbia University’s program in narrative medicine, an interdisciplinary approach to medicine that upholds that the humanities are as much a part of the health care profession as the hard sciences. The program is training the next generation of medical doctors in honoring the stories of their patients so as to produce better health outcomes.

DasGupta said: “Storytelling isn’t new to health care. It’s actually always been at the heart of health care. Before physicians and nurses could provide antibiotics and life-saving surgeries, what we had was the ability to show up and bear witness to people’s stories.”

While the advancement of medicine has improved society’s collective health, the quality of human interaction has diminished. When that happens, you get dissatisfaction on both sides of the stethoscope. We see the problems that happen when people on two sides of a relationship don’t communicate.

The consequences of poor communication between doctor and patient can manifest in the form of overlooked symptoms, misdiagnoses, and a lack of trust. DasGupta teaches her students a concept she’s coined: ‘narrative humility.’ It’s the idea that a listener—usually a practitioner—respects that stories are not complete windows into a person’s experiences. Narrative humility, DasGupta said, was born in response to the misconception that cultural competency can be achieved by studying paradigms that pathologize the health behaviors of people from different socio-cultural backgrounds. The humanities are as much a part of the health care profession as the hard sciences.

With a similar ethos in mind, third-year Brown University medical student Anna Delamerced founded a storytelling program at an assisted living facility after bonding with an elderly resident she visited as part of her first-year curriculum. Research has shown that group reminiscence activities, or sessions during which people exchange stories about their lives, can help combat the ennui seniors experience upon being institutionalized and reduce health risk factors such as social isolation.

“I wanted to start this storytelling program as a way to bring people together, make connections for the residents, and sort of let their voices be heard,” Delamerced said. She meets with the residents of Ethan Place in the city of Warwick, Rhode Island, at least once each week and prepares story-exchanging activities for them. While the initiative is primarily intended to benefit the residents, Delamerced said it’s been mutually beneficial. “I’ve just been humbled and in awe of their life stories. It’s helped me I think become a better med student and informed me in how I want to practice as a medical doctor in the future.”

Stories always brought me closer to not only my elders whose stories entertained me as a lad, but also to my peers, students, and my own children who I continue to share stories with to this day. I took it as a great compliment when a friend of mine, after we had run all night together in a hundred-mile race, related to another friend that the time passed so quickly and that I never repeated the same story twice. I guess I will always find an outlet to share my storied life. It makes me a better person, if nothing else, to listen to the stories of others as well as share my own.

Adapted from The Power of Sharing Stories by Liz Brazile  on February 3, 2021, in upliftconnect.com

The Spartan Warrior in Me

I must have been a Spartan warrior in a former life. It is a lifestyle and mindset that suits me, and maybe always has. Being a Spartan in...