I know nothing. Its a sobering thought.... but I can't get away from it. I know nothing. Or, more precisely, I don't know whether I know anything or not.... I have many opinions... but no certainty. However, I am very good at being dogmatic, so at least I can appear to know something.... or to be foolish enough to think I know something.... It would be much easier to just admit that I don't know what I am talking about, than to try to defend my dogmatic views. It is easier still to just be dogmatic and make no attempt to back up my statements! That is the course I generally take. It is the course of the "know-it-all". Which is ironic, as I know nothing..... Of course the easiest course of all is to say nothing at all.... but where is the fun in that?
Regarding telepathy, Sheldrake has said, “I think all social animals have such fields…I think it’s a normal means of communication…I don’t think it’s paranormal, I think it’s normal. I don’t think it’s supernatural, I think it’s natural. I think it’s essentially a form of animal communication within groups.”Elliot Edge
Someone asked the Dalai Lama “Why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese?”The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up and said with a gentle smile, “Well, war is obsolete, you know. Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back… but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then ...you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you."(source unknown)
Our culture encourages self-gratification. We are taught to focus on ourselves, rather than on each other. We have become self-centred and shallow, hurting each other as we mindlessly destroy the living planet that sustains us.
Look out. We are heading for a crash landing. We have to change our focus, from inward to outward. We have to look beyond our selfish desires. We have to get back in touch with the natural world around us, and with our fellow beings.
Slow down. Appreciate each other. Share with each other. Look out for one another.
Enlightenment is an experience, not an idea. You feel struck by a burst of light. Suddenly the world is seen and felt as spiritual and eternal, rather than a day to day existence of drudgery and confusion. You feel totally alive, with a childlike joy, but without the child's fear of darkness. You feel wise, and you see everything with total clarity, You are lucid, filled with light. You see every person, every animal, plants, rocks, even the air, as alive and holy, united through the light that fills all existence. You are optimistic, energetic, and filled with wonder.
adapted from Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack
this sheep is a healthy one
lively, fit, and lean and strong
should be a credit to the flock
should be first class breeding stock
yet this sheep is under attack
just because its wool is black
mother says 'it would be right'
'if you had a coat of white'
shepherd says that you must go
off to where the the grass don't grow
you don't look like all the rest
because of this you are a pest
black sheep no one wants you here
you just fill us all with fear
in this world you must conform
must be no different from the norm
black sheep black sheep, go away
no one likes you anyway
April 2004, Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be,Thomas à Kempis (thank you Global Disaster Watch)
since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
Life seems to be aiming at nothing less than the attainment of divinity. We are part of the process of evolution from amoebas to Cosmic Immortals. What are Cosmic Immortals? Cosmic Immortals are creatures who live anywhere in the universe they damn well please, travel as fast as they want to and never die. And that’s the idea of a god. A god goes anywhere, never dies and moves as fast as a god wants to move. That is what we are evolving towards gradually.Robert Anton Wilson (thank you Reality Sandwich)
I was surprised, when I started meditating, that so much pleasure would result. Of course, people who meditate often talk about rapturous union with Being, or dissolution in the Divine, and these do sound very pleasant indeed. But I still didn't expect it, as if anything "spiritual" had to be austere, or subtle, or boring. Was I wrong! Apart from all the deeper benefits of meditation, the sheer volume of joy is astonishing. In my experience, it beats any other high.from Meditation and "Drugs" by Jay Michaelson
Scientists seeking the origins of the universe have stretched time into millions, or even billions, of years. It has been squashed into one life by those who think we have only one chance to take what we can get, regardless of the effect on others ("you only live once"). In this modern world it has been given monetary value, as we rush headlong into the future with our professional knowledge and highly specialised skills: "time is money" is the ethic of business. To the eternal soul time is a paradox. It is and yet it is not. We are "in time" and yet we are immortal, beyond time. To the soul that has come to think of itself as a body, time means the pain of being trapped, imprisoned by limitations and the desires and perspectives which stem from identifying with the body.
The symbol for eternity is a circle. The only rational way to explain and understand eternity is to view time as a loop: the circle has no beginning and it has no end, and so it is eternal. This is how our physical universe works: instead of time being linear, coming from an indefinate beginning and stretching on into an indefinate future, with all the unanswered questions that such a picture creates, time is a cycle which repeats endlessly. Thus we can see "the future" (as in deja vu, and predictive dreams etc.), as the future IS the past (and vice versa).
What am I? I am a soul. I am a conscient being of light. I inhabit a human body. This is temporary. I am not this body. I have this body. I wear it like a costume. It is my body, for a while. When it is worn out, I will cast it off, and put on a new body.
I am eternal. I am indestructible. I am blissful. I radiate love and light. I am mighty. My powers are unlimited. I am one with all other beings. We are in union. We are one. We are divine.
We are here on planet Earth to experience separation. It is all a game. We are playing in our garden. We are playing roles in a great drama. I am not my role. I am the actor that plays the role.
I have a body, but that body is not me. I have a personality, but that personality is not me. I have thoughts but these thoughts are not me. I feel emotion but that emotion is not me. All of these create a false sense of self. I am not these. I am the life force that animates the body. I am a spiritual being. I am life itself. I am divine. I am. And so are you.
Thought absorbs energy. We waste our energy when we think about the past or the future. And when we are thinking, we miss the present moment.
So, stop thinking. Enter the present moment. Start being. Shift attention to now.
This is a very conscious state. You are conscious, but thinking much less, or perhaps not at all.
Invite moments of stillness into your life. Escape from the mental noise of thinking.
Be still with a flower, or a crystal, or a bird. Nature can draw us into inner stillness. Flowers are not anxious, not concerned about tomorrow. Look at them, and see their beauty. Feel their magical presence.
Stop labelling people, things, and situations. Stop analysing, and just perceive. Let the mind become still, and experience the moment. Feel it.
When we are in our heads, we are not present. We are lost in thought.
So, pull your attention away from thinking, towards observing, towards feeling, towards being.
The world around us is vitally alive, but when we are absorbed in thought, it seems lifeless and dead. Don't let the mind grab your attention. Become like a child, alert and alive once again.
Stop thinking. Start living.
I love spirituality, but I do not much care for religion. Religion can be a gateway to spirituality, but it can also be a cage, preventing us from going deeper. If we go deep enough into any religion, then we end up at the same place, in the golden light of universal truth, in enlightenment. However, as soon as we say that "our belief" is true, and that the beliefs of others are false, then we have adopted a religious ideology. And then religion becomes a trap.
Religions are based on control, on authority, on a hierarchy. Religious authorities tell us how to worship, and how to behave. They depict God as external, and only reachable through that religion. They require that we follow their directions, and do what we are told.
In the new spirituality, we are not told what to think or what to do. We are our own best authority, as we work to know and love ourselves. We learn to listen inside, and discover how to live a more spiritual life.
The old way says that there is only one true path, and that all other ways are wrong.
The new spirituality says that many paths lead to spiritual freedom and peace.
We have a rich array of gems from which to draw illumination: the world's religious traditions, mythology, psychology, healing methods, scientific wisdom, and most of all our own experiences. We each take a personal selection from these gems, and string a necklace all of our own.
Learning to meditate changed my life, very much for the better. Where there had been a dark and scary void in the centre of my being, regular meditation gradually replaced that with a radiant warm golden light. This inner light is now always accessible to me and is a source of great comfort and strength. Regular meditation makes me happy and clear thinking.
Meditation is all about mental focus. You aim to quieten the chattering of your mind, and to enter a state of calm and bliss. This is the Beta state we enter naturally between sleep and wakefulness, but in meditation, we aim to hold that state. Once this is accomplished you can then go further, into deeper states of consciousness, which I will describe elsewhere.
I practice a stripped down form of Raja Yoga, where the physical aspects of yoga are dispensed with, and the focus is on mental yoga or "union" with the divine. This meditation is done with eyes open, so that it can be practiced even whilst walking around. For me, the primary "yukti" or method is visualisation of the light within me. I aim to meditate first thing each morning, for half and hour to an hour or more, and then again for brief periods throughout the day. A key facet of Raja yoga is that you aim to be in a "soul-conscious" i.e. yogic state at all times, throughout the day, whilst working, eating, playing, even whilst sleeping! Now I am able to meditate "on the fly" whenever I feel the need - e.g. if my mind is racing or chaotic, or I am feeling challenged or disturbed. A few moments of calm and focussed inner reflection can re-charge you for hours.
When possible, I prefer to meditate within a group. We sit in a room designated only for this purpose, and focus on a candle or light or picture in front of us. There is incense burning, and calm meditation music playing, interspersed with periods of silence. I find that the discipline of being in a group helps me focus more strongly, and for longer. Also, when there are powerful meditators in the group then they lift the 'vibe' of the meditation room, enhancing the experience for others: this is particularly helpful for beginners, who might otherwise struggle to focus.
Some of the most powerful experiences I have had in meditation involved "drishti" i.e. spiritual vision. This is a communication of third eye energies between two souls - it involves looking into each other's eyes, whilst in a yogic state - third eye energies travel between the two participants. When you give someone drishti, and they give you drishti back, there is an intense experience of blissful energy being exchanged. It does require both participants to be in an elevated state of consciousness at the time, and then the experience will elevate your state of consciousness further.
A key factor relevant to the meditation experience is the atmosphere of the place of meditation. It is far easier to meditate in a room which has been used effectively for this purpose over a period of time. Thus, purpose built meditation rooms, temples, and some churches and chapels, serve you well. On the other hand, once you are accomplished, it It is a good test to try to meditate in an place with a base or chaotic energy, for example a supermarket or shopping mall - if you can achieve a blissful yogic state in such an environment then you are doing well! Such efforts make us stronger.
Meditation requires practice and persistence, but the results are very much worth the effort. An experienced yogi can meditate anytime and anywhere, and the yogic state becomes their everyday state of consciousness. This is what I am aiming for.
I have a hoeand I take it everywhere I gocoz i'm plantin' seedsso I reaps what I sowyou know..
Erikah Badu : "Appletree"
Physically, we are what we eat - a healthy diet produces a healthy body and a healthy mind. Our psyches also are strongly affected by our diet: energies are taken on board through our diet, and the gentle energies of fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes produce lightness, and aid meditation.
I eat a vegetarian diet - here are some of my reasons:
1 - karma - I don't take on the karma of the slaughter of animals - meat is murder
2 - vibration - vegetarians are less aggressive and gross, and are more gentle and subtle - this can be seen clearly in the animal kingdom
3 - animal welfare - I detest the practices of modern farming, particularly in relation to cruelty to animals
4 - energy - vegetarian diet is much easier on the digestion system, and so you have more energy and vitality
5 - clean-ness - vegetarian food is much cleaner (try looking at raw meat under a microscope), and much less likely to poison
6 - pharmaceuticals - farm animals are pumped full of antibiotics and other drugs, residues form which remain in the meat
7 - less fear - the fear vibrations of animals about to be slaughtered remain in the meat, and are taken on board by the eater
8 - ecology - vegetable and grain farming consumes much less of the planets resources, per meal, than animal farming
9 - economic - vegetarian diet is cheaper
I also prefer my food to be organically produced, and with as slittle processing as possible. Nature provides food that is wholesome and alive. Our bodies are part of nature. The energies of nature sustain us. When we adulterate the work of nature with chemicals, or by extreme mechanical processes, the food loses its vitality and natural balance. When grains are over-refined - white flour, white rice, etc. - we have thrown away most of the nutrition in them, and we have made them un-whole.
Many people who eat a vegetarian diet do not understand food balance, and thus become unhealthy. Doctors recommend them to eat meat again to regain their health, but in fact the meat will only cause them other health problems, not to mention the psychic and spiritual damage caused by taking on board the energies of bad animal husbandry and the slaughterhouse. The answer is to eat wholefoods, with minimal processing - to vary the diet, and to include foods that provide the trace elements which most people rely on meat for - foods such as seaweeds, miso, tamari, and tempeh are a great help for a healthy vegetarian diet.
I learnt a lot from macrobiotics - while I don't subscribe to every macrobiotic tenet, the focus on the balance of the diet, the energies in the food, the wholeness of the food, the denial of greed, and the attitude towards diet of "my body is a temple", all lead to good health of body, mind and soul.
The good thing about nobody reading my blog is that I can write whatever I like and I don't get hassled for it.... I don't have to moderate comments or even read them...
The bad thing about nobody reading my blog is that I can be lazy and not bother writing anything at all....
The terrible thing is that I have another blog which some people do read, and instead of writing for them I spend my time hiding here and writing on this blog..... so I am not only uninteresting, but antisocial as well, not to mention ungrateful.... but then, which of us is perfect?
Anyway, I have better things to do, like wordring and being a twit, not to mention playing with my gmail status... in fact, anything to avoid facing the flock....
Dale Pendell writes in his blog "The Retort":
An economy that is dependent on people buying things they don’t need... with money they don’t have, is not worth saving. An economy that has to grow just to cover its own debts is not worth saving. An economy dependent on the energy of fossil fuels to avoid collapse is not worth saving. Why is an economy where most of the profits go to one percent of the population worth saving?
Let the recession come. The earth needs a recession, badly, globally. The future needs a recession—not a “correction,” but a recession, and a long one. The earth needs a permanent recession. Society needs a permanent recession. It’s time to turn off the lights and to roll up our sleeves. There is a lot of work to do.
Thanks to KMO and his excellent C-Realm podcast for drawing this, and many other, inspirational sources to my attention.
What is it all about? The unicorn symbolises Scotland and the lion symbolises England, and they were fighting for the crown until they got married....
According to the nursery rhyme,
the lion beat the unicorn all around the town.... And when he had beat him out, he beat him in again; He beat him three times over, his power to maintain.. Hmmm.. clearly written by an Englishman....
I was concerned about the chaining of the Unicorn, but that predates the union with the lion, as witness the pre-union coat of arms of the King of Scotland, to the right.
according to legend a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast; therefore the heraldic unicorn is chained
So what's this about? The unicorn, a spiritual creature, a vegetarian, is considered so dangerous it must be chained up, while the rampant lion, a vicious and base carnivore remains unfettered? What kind of barbarism is this?
It is time to free the unicorn from its chains. No need to chain up the lion - it will be no match for an unchained unicorn.
Consider the tarot card for Strength: the Unicorn, in full possession of her own spiritual strength, easily subdues and tames the more base and physical lion. The lion lays down with the unicorn, in peace. No chains required.
The lion did not defeat the unicorn through strength. It did it through trickery. Through trickery the Unicorn was chained.
Unchain the unicorn!
Dr. Karl claims that
the ostrich does many things, but hiding its head in the sand is not one of them.Awww, come on Dr Karl.... it is never a good feeling to have a belief, fondly cherished since childhood, brusquely debunked.
Wikipedia notes that Pliny the Elder wrote, 2000 years ago, that Ostriches "imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the whole of their body is concealed."
So maybe the Ostrich has evolved in these 2000 years and has found a more effective strategy? Or maybe Dr. Karl is simply not looking hard enough....
Either way, it does seem that the great majority of the human race are now following the legendary example of our long-necked feathered friends. The problem that this causes - for those few of us who keep our heads above ground, and our eyes open - is that all we see around us is a bunch of arses...... not a pretty sight.
Should we simply kick these tempting targets? Or should we stamp on the ground in hope of startling them out of at least some of their denial? Or... my newly favoured approach is to raise my eyes upwards so that I don't notice them any more.... They are, in the words of Dr Karl: "foolishly ignoring their problem, while hoping it will magically vanish". And so I, similarly, ignore their posture and attitude, by pretending that their bodies have followed the example of their heads and magically vanished... It does feel a bit defeatist, but how can we help those who will not help themselves?
it's not me that you see, you're looking at yourself;
you're not praying to me, you're praying to yourself;
and you're not worshipping me, you're worshipping yourself;
and you will kill in my name and heaven knows what else,
when you can't prove I exist, so get over yourself;
just get over yourself...
extracted from the lyrics of "God Said" by Todd Rundgren