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EP Today – Bad science, bad reporting or both?

Today’s Top Tweet points to a story that either represents bad science, bad reporting or, as often happens, an unfortunate mix of the two. Here’s a quote that stood out for me:

The man then removed the wires from his head before taking off and marching around the hospital trying to recruit followers, saying ‘God has sent me to you’, convinced his creator had singled him out to bring redemption to fellow patients and medical staff.¹

Image – Twitter

So one man who believes he’s on a “mission” represents all the spiritual people who have ever lived? Cummon. Give me a break. This is so idiotic and overly-generalized that I can’t believe it would make any kind of news story.

For centuries sincere seekers and spiritual directors have been making distinctions between insanity, spiritual deception and bona fide sainthood. It’s a fine line for sure. And sometimes potential saints may go through an initial, confused period where they appear borderline, insane or neurologically impaired. But to lump all forms of spiritual phenomena into one category – or even to suggest that they are all the same – is ludicrous.

¹ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4301306/Epilepsy-cause-religious-experiences.html#ixzz4bCyZK8up

 Trump’s Unhinged Tweetstorm (crooksandliars.com)

 Slowing down and intentionally pursue God (fromguestwriters.wordpress.com)

 There’s a gold statue of Kanye West as Jesus in Los Angeles now, and that seems right (mashable.com)

 True Glory (saintjameslutheran.com)


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Hindus dismayed over Bank of England’s blatant refusal to withdraw beef-laced banknotes

five-pound-note-1775774_640Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus worldwide are upset over Bank of England’s blunt refusal to withdraw £5 polymer banknotes which reportedly contained traces of tallow, despite the serious concerns raised by the Hindu community.

Bank of England (BOE) detailed statement, issued on February 15, said: Bank has concluded that it will not withdraw the current £5 polymer banknotes from circulation and will proceed with plans to withdraw legal tender status of the £5 paper banknotes on 5 May 2017; continue with the proposed launch of the new £10 polymer banknotes in September 2017, using the existing polymer substrate.

It also stated: …it would be appropriate to keep the £5 polymer note in circulation and to issue the £10 polymer note as planned, in September.

Rajan Zed said that it was shocking for the Hindus world over that BOE refused to respect the hurt feelings of the Hindu community and decided to continue with objectionable polymer banknotes.

Most of the large companies world over did extensive consumer research before launching a new product. BOE should have been wise and literate enough to look into the religious sensitivities of its consumers before investing so much money and effort into the production of polymer banknotes, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

Image - Max Pixel

Image – Max Pixel

It appeared that Hindus did not matter to BOE in its public sector equality duty, otherwise how it could justify the negative impact the Hindu community faced with this decision of BOE. Moreover, what happened to BOE claim—“Equality, diversity and inclusion are important to the Bank, and essential to the delivery of the Bank’s business strategy,” Rajan Zed asked.

BOE was the one who made this unwise decision of launching polymer banknotes without researching their impact on the society and now BOE was trying to justify their misadventure by saying that it would impose significant financial costs on the Bank to take these out of circulation, Zed indicated.

Rajan Zed urged BOE Court of Directors Chair Anthony Habgood and Governor Mark Carney to reconsider the BOE decision and stop the circulation of £5 polymer note and halt the production of £10 and £20 polymer notes.

Zed also urged United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Theresa May and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to intervene.

The £5 polymer banknote, featuring Sir Winston Churchill, was launched on 13 September 2016. The Bank has also announced that the £10 polymer banknote, featuring Jane Austen, is due to be launched in September 2017 and that the £20 polymer banknote, featuring JMW Turner, is due to be launched by 2020.

Products from tallow (rendered form of beef or mutton fat) were reportedly used in the manufacture of the polymer substrate for the £5 and £10 polymer banknotes.

Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs and it is certainly banned from entering Hindu religious centers. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism.

London headquartered BOE, founded in 1694, is the UK’s central bank, whose mission is “to deliver monetary and financial stability for the British people.”


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Today’s Top Tweet – Q: Ah… breaker breaker what’s your 20? A: Astral realm K17… what’s yours?

A little bit of humor tonight for today’s top tweet. Back in the day my pals I used CB radios. “What’s your 20?” means what’s your 10-20, the CB code for “what’s your location?”

So from TTT I guess paranormal spirits can bridge the gap between the spirit world and the electromagnetic world?

But seriously. IMO the two worlds are not the same at all. One is in the matter/energy realm, and the other in something entirely different, even if it does permeate the matter/energy of our bodies.

I suppose one could say that if a spirit can animate a brain/body to speak, it could animate a radio to make sounds. But I think that a radio is too clunky and materialistic. A brain is a living, biological organ. Much more sensitive than a radio.

Photo - Wikipedia

Photo – Wikipedia

But I could be wrong.

Several years ago I was emailing with someone about whether or not a microwave oven messes up food and drink, making them dangerous to ingest.

I argued with a conventional, high school physics view that all microwave radiation does is speed up molecular vibration, which is harmless if not too intense (too hot).

My correspondent politely replied that she wasn’t convinced a microwave doesn’t make other changes on the atomic level.

Now, with all sorts of strange, new things being discovered in the subatomic realm, I see the wisdom of her skepticism. And I also see, looking back, how I thought I was being smart when really, I was just being unreflective and narrow-minded, parroting what I was taught in high school.

I dislike it when people parrot science “facts” without really thinking about it.

So with regard to spirits and AM radios, again, I could be wrong. But I still think the best way to “get in touch” would simply be to purify oneself enough to be open to the spiritual world. Then we wouldn’t need any radio gear to be in tune!


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Today’s Top Tweet x3 – Plastic bags, pollution and creepy peeps

garbage-bag-1256041_640There are a lot of problems out there. So I like to rotate among them. Focusing too much on just one issue gets boring after awhile. And creepy or just facile people tend to peg you as a particular kind of sh** disturber, flake or loony if you harp on one topic too much—even if you are right.

I shouldn’t really care about people like that. But part of running a successful blog is reading public perception. So I rotate. And I actually like doing that. It keeps things fresh.

Today’s pressing problem is about plastic bags and pollution. Plastic bags can be used for many good and not so good purposes. In Toronto we recycle some of them so I don’t really understand why other places don’t follow suit… if they haven’t, that is. We also have a special garbage pickup for toxic waste. It’s a bit of a hassle having four different types of garbage pickup (garbage, green, recycle and toxic). But globally, it makes sense.

When I was a kid garbage was just garbage. One thing to put out. But times have changed. And so should we.


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Today’s Top Tweet – Navigating states of consciousness (without pandering to the lowest common denominator)

Ralph Metzner has been around a long time. Seeing his name this morning brought back memories of psych 101 classes, and paying big bucks for those ‘captive audience’ university textbooks!

But seriously. Metzner was one of those names that kept cropping up over the years. So you can expect a certain level of quality in his writing… both style and content.

Today’s tweeted article is written by Metzner. It gives a nice short history of some of the important events in the scientific study of consciousness. Probably not too many of us remember when REM or biofeedback first hit the scene. More recently, we have brain imaging. But still, that data is all correlation… not causality. So when people say they feel a certain way, some researchers project their preexisting biases onto the observed data.

Image via Wikipedia

Mozart via Wikipedia

For example, if subjects say they feel a sense of “oneness” that correlates with an empirical observation, some researchers go on to say that “all religions are the same.” What these lab coats overlook is the possibility that the same external observation could correlate with different internal experiences.

Skrillex via Wikipedia

Skrillex via Wikipedia

By way of analogy, a mp3 player runs on 1.5 volts. Regardless of the tune we listen to, a technician will always be able to measure the same 1.5 volts. So Mozart is the same as Skrillex?

The Metzner piece has other limitations and unexplored ideas that I hesitate to write about. I already tried at the doctoral level, a place where you’d think advanced theory would be welcome. But after getting through the admissions door, I soon realized that one has to pander to the lowest common denominator—otherwise you fail.

I was admitted to the doctoral program hoping to make a contribution to interactions of consciousness not explored by most depth psychologists.¹ This would involve ideas like “karma transfer,” “intercession,” “the taking of another’s sin” and, even more esoteric, “subtle body sex” (something like tantra at a distance).

Again, these ideas apparently went way over the heads of most at the U. Any who had an inkling of what I was talking about were either closeted mystics or just plain secretive (possibly because they used their abilities to aid and abet questionable activities).

So I shelved the idea of writing about interactions of consciousness and settled on synchronicity. Even that was cutting edge for a PhD back in 1992-97.

But today I feel it’s time to pick up the torch. In my opinion, our world is not as simple as many psychologists and psychiatrists tend to see it. And this lack of insight among some “professionals” could do real harm to budding mystics mishandled by, for lack of a better term, bungling idiots.

¹ Here’s the Projected Thesis Outline I sent to the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa in the early 1990s. Soon after admission, the topic was narrowed down to something more “manageable.”

https://mclark.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/phd_jung_stamp.pdf (scroll to second last paragraph: “Moreover, to redefine and broaden our understanding…”).


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Sh**! I think it’s time for the Guru

Please listen to this. I discovered it in the mid-90s. Guru is in the other world now but his song lives on. More relevant today than ever.


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Today’s Top Tweet – Another juicy one from the parapsychology corner

Today’s top tweet happens to be my only tweet today. Truth be told, I’m deeply engrossed in trying to figure out xubuntu, which is a Linux operating system. I have installed it parallel to Windows XP on an old laptop (which I’m using now). So right now my mind is on tech stuff, not the news.

Having said that, I will always be interested in the possibility of hostile spies and parapsychology.

See ya’ll in a day or so once I get xubuntu working with my wifi. If that is… 🙂