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Random Mutations?

An example of simulated data modelled for the ...

CMS particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Two protons collide, producing two jets of hadrons and two electrons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ernie Fitzpatrick

I subscribe to the theory that one can now where they are going if they don’t know from whence they have come. I do not accept the theory that the earth was created in seven literal days one October day in 4011 BCE. Not do I embrace the theory that we are the result of some random mutation and therefore going nowhere or having no control over where we might be headed.

As the sage had warned us, “If if don’t stop going where we are headed we will wind up at that place”.

Newtonian and or conventional science tells us that how we got here was from some mysterious BIG BANG that happened 14 billion years ago. The Large Hadron Collider will supply us with the more detailed answers if we can ever keep that project on line and not blow up CERN and the rest of the world before then. But until then, the best that the scientific community can tell us is that through billions of years of gradual evolution driven by random mutations and genetic accidents, we have thus arrived at where we are today.

And people believe this Darwinian dribble?

If evolution of you and I is driven by random events what hope do we have about the future? Can anyone predict the future? But, if Consciousness is more of the answer to life than matter, we have a totally different ball game to be played here on earth and within the universe. We are consciousness and as we become aware and awakened to what that means we increase our ability to change the direction that we are going. We can be far more than we are because in reality we ARE more than we ARE!.

I am not an accident!

We are not here by accident and if there is a message in the Mayan calendar, the Mayans, and other indigenous cultures, it is that they KNEW, that they were CONSCIOUS, and they were privy to more of who they WERE than we today comprehend. It’s not just about technology and intelligence but about the “opening of the head” to the reality of our being. And as more and more come to that awakening, the future now becomes what it is that WE SAY.

The question is will be AWAKEN before we kill ourselves?

About the Author:

As a spiritual-futurist, I have a BA degree majoring in history. One cannot know the future without knowing the past which holds clues to what is on the horizon. The world is in such a rapid expansion of knowledge that we are close to entering a tipping point that will forever change earth as we know it.

Article Source: Random Mutations?

 

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The Greenman, The Empress, Little John and Indy Jones: Untying a Celtic Knotwork

Originally posted on Shamagaia:

celtic-animal-ornament

illum_recently I experienced some very vivid psychic impressions during a lucid dreaming experience. One in particular had me receiving images of the Celtic symbolSerpiente_alquimica of the Greenman, and leading a Druidic prayer ritual in a stunning forest grove. I suspect that it might have been a peek through the eyes of ancestral memory, or perhaps a hint of things to come. Cyclically speaking, it might even be one and the same event: a past and future imposed upon one another, linked acausally by reoccurring astrological conditions of the sort expressed Alchemically by the Ouroboros snake eating it’s own tail. One things for sure, I will be doing a lot more research into Celtic lore!
The timing of this experience was telling. It was the night before my dear, departed Grandad’s RWS_Tarot_03_Empressbirthday and the week previously, I had recieved a very clear psychic image of a Tarot card with a…

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Mysticism and Sainthood – Part 2 – Mysticism, Science and Politics

Luke Gattuso – Rosicrucians – The Science of Mysticism via Flickr

By Michael Clark

To continue from Part 1,  it’s simplistic to say that all forms of mysticism are identical.

They may seem the same to some. But, by way of analogy, people with a tin ear can’t tell the difference between the Beatles and the Bee Gees. In practically every field of human activity we find experts and novices. Experts usually discern differences, great and small, in their subject matter while novices tend to miss them. Why would mysticism be any different?

Rev. Sidney Spencer says,

Before we can fruitfully generalize, we must know something of the different forms which mysticism has assumed through the ages.¹

Having said this, the following is not a comparative study. Readers looking for a good comparative analysis should take a look at Spencer’s book, Mysticism in World Religion (1963).

One could spend a lifetime researching and writing about comparative religion, something I don’t feel called to do. So this post will be limited to a select few Catholic saints and laypersons deemed to have lead holy lives.

Science and Mysticism

Contemporary researchers and skeptics often try to scientifically test the claims of mystics. But choosing a scientific methodology appropriate to mysticism isn’t easy. Science, itself, takes several forms and is variously defined.

Many theologians, for instance, believe that theology is the Queen of all Sciences – a “master science” – because its truth claims originate from God.

Clinical psychologists, on the other hand, tend to emphasize controlled experimental models that involve hypothesized cause and effect, correlation and statistically based predictions.

And, as noted, some philosophers and postmoderns spend untold hours questioning just what science is. Some, like Michel Foucault, tend to see science as nothing more than a modern myth, a discourse created and perpetuated by power.

From this, it seems the best approach for putting interior perception to the test would to combine several models—psychological, medical, sociological, philosophical and theological. Some attempts have been made to move things in this direction, most notably the work of C. G. Jung. But nothing has really become mainstream. Not yet, anyhow.²

"It is love alone that gives worth to all...

“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.” – St. Teresa of Avila (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Saints Speak

My article Krishna, Buddha and Christ: The Same or Different? touches on the idea of universal salvation. Universal salvation suggests that hell isn’t eternal or, in some instances, that hell doesn’t exist.

Believers in universal salvation generally say that even cruel, perverse tyrants immediately (or eventually) enter into heaven along with those decent folk who’ve lead good lives.

This can be an intellectually attractive idea. After all, who really likes to think of souls suffering an eternal hellfire?

But after reading the diaries of Catholic saints and holy persons like St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Teresa of Avila, Sister Josefa Menéndez and the Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, among others, one might become skeptical of universal salvation.

These mystics relate their interior visions, which apparently reveal the state of souls on Earth and of souls in the afterlife. Some souls on Earth are inwardly seen as holy and deserving of heaven. But others are trapped within the snares of the devil and doomed to hell unless they repent and change for the better. These mystics also speak of souls residing somewhere between these two extremes. So-called “lukewarm” souls commit various venial sins, such as gossiping or indulging in dishonorable desires. And after death they will undergo purgatorial purification, which itself is no party but, at least, temporary.

These saintly, mystical perceptions are not always oriented towards others. St. Teresa of Avila, for instance, had a vision of a nasty spot in hell where she, herself, would apparently end up in if she didn’t change her ways. Teresa was very frank about her personal battle with evil. In her autobiography she recounts an incident where “my good angel prevailed over my evil one.”3

Josepha Menéndez had regular visions of the horrors of hell, visions which could only be described as disturbing.4

Anne Catherine Emmerich had interior perceptions of ordinary people who were saints, strategically placed by God near centers of great sin and corruption. According to Emmerich these unrecognized saints suffered dearly for others around them, calling to mind the two related ideas of intercession and the taking of sin.

Modern Catholics have picked up on this with the notion of “victim souls.” However, it seems that some fanatics use this as a crutch to make themselves look better than they really are, or as a kind of denial of their own shortcomings. It’s far more attractive for some to blame personal suffering on other people’s sins than to ask themselves what they are doing wrong.

English: Saint Faustina Polski: Św. Faustyna K...

Saint Faustina Polski: Św. Faustyna Kowalska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Polish Saint Faustina Kowalska, currently favored in Catholic circles, claimed to inwardly perceive and intercede for others in spiritual distress. She often suffered and prayed for, she writes, for other people located at a significant physical distance.

Critics of mystical diaries like Kowalska’s contend that Catholic copyists or editors probably added and deleted passages to conform to their Church’s teachings about the eternity of hell. The grand ideological scheme of the Church, critics say, would encourage clerics to meddle with autobiographical texts. In their minds this would be a justified means to an end—a “necessary sin.”

This, of course, is possible but seems doubtful, especially with the more recent saints like St. Kowalska.

The original handwritten pages of St. Kowalska’s diary are available for public scrutiny and not all that she writes about clerics and her religious sisters in the typed and published Divine Mercy Diary is complimentary by any stretch of the imagination. Faustina tells how her religious superiors regularly checked her bedsheets to make sure, so she implies, she wasn’t masturbating or having wet dreams. And she does this humorously, making her sisters conform to the old stereotype of the repressed and suspicious nun. She also tells of impure priests who aren’t worthy to hear a full, uncensored confession.

If covert editing was condoned to put a nice gloss on the Church and its often challenged teachings, why wouldn’t the alleged backroom editors have removed this unflattering material from St. Kowalska’s Diary?

Other critics rightly note that the religious diaries of saints would have been read by a Superior and ultimately by the Catholic hierarchy. The saints, so their argument goes, had to appease the known and imagined biases of their religious superiors, so wrote accordingly.

A good example of this might be found in the medieval saints’ intense disdain for women:

If God loves men and women equally, the critics contend, why would a leading mystic like St. Teresa of Avila – who apparently saw through the veil separating heaven from mere worldly appearances and social conventions – write about her female inferiority?

It is enough that I am a woman to make my sails droop: how much more, then, when I am a woman, and a wicked one?5

Did Teresa really believe in gender inequality or was she just conforming to the prevailing chauvinism of her times?

The idea that saints tailor their writings to please Catholic authorities could also apply to those passages describing the nature of heaven and hell.

Proponents of this view maintain that the medieval saints knew full well they would be risking a fiery death at the stake if they contradicted the Church’s teachings, enforced by the Holy Inquisition.

In a nutshell, some believe that saintly discourse was not just spiritually but also politically motivated. And who knows. In some instances they may be right.

¹ Sidney Spencer, Mysticism in World Religion (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963: Preface)

² In Intuition and Insight: Toward a Practical Theory of Knowledge I made a rough attempt to develop a working method to assess truth claims derived from interior perception, and to understand some of the factors that could contribute to error. This was an ambitious and daunting task, and the piece is currently in revision.

3 Follow this link » The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus and search for the relevant quotation.

4 http://goo.gl/oi5VBa

5 Follow this link » The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus and search for the relevant quotation.

Part 1 – One or Many? | Part 3 – coming soon…


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Make It A Masterpiece

Poi spinning. Poi artist: Nick Woolsey

Poi spinning. Poi artist: Nick Woolsey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

Developing an authentic lifestyle–one that truly reflects what is important to you in all areas of life–is a work of art. It is your personal statement to the world. Are you creating your masterpiece with both the intention and attention a great artist gives her creation?

Reflecting on the ideas and manipulating the materials over time, the artist begins to clarify the vision and, as the piece emerges, watches, refining her ideas, adding this, discarding that, reworking, until the materials begin to match the vision. Once the realization of the dream is glimpsed, work accelerates, and joy and passion carry the piece to completion. Isn’t that much like our lives?

Few artists receive their inspiration from attempting to fulfill someone else’s idea of what the clay, paint, rock, notes, words, fabric or wood might become. Imitation in art is only the tool of the student as the techniques are learned. The truly authentic work of art must come from within the artist, through the techniques and media, into reality.

Similarly, you cannot live the dreams of your parents, the desires of your friends or the visions of another with passion and integrity.

Great artists understand that their art is their personal expression, and is, therefore, unique. The artist values the medium for its potential to express the idea. The artist works diligently with it– keeping the vision in view, making small adjustments, learning new techniques, experimenting–until the vision emerges in concrete form and becomes an extension of the artist. It is visible then to al

l who care to look. The piece bears the artist’s name and influences all who view it.

Sometimes, pieces do not please the artist and they are reworked, painted over, melted down, unraveled. These pieces have great inherent value. The artist’s vision is clarified, the materials better understood. This contributes much to the next project, the next work of art.

Sometimes, pieces become a legacy and influence many by their existence. These are the authentic works, the true expressions of the artist. These are the quality pieces, as Willa A. Foster, says, “Quality is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”

You want your life to be of quality, filled with wise choices. Therefore, approach it with high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.

When creating a work of art, you must be present with it, fully engaged each moment, totally absorbed by the possibility you are actualizing and the potential you are exploring. This intense focus is required if you are not to be distracted by the myriad of seductive, and easy to justify diversions. It is a powerful process uplifting, inspiring, sometimes frustrating, satisfying, and, most of all, creative. When you are making a success of something, it s not work. It‘s a way of life.

Now, if by chance, you are thinking that viewing your life as a work of art, or a lofty contribution to the world, is impractical compared to a factual time-management, goal-oriented, bottom-line approach, please consider this. Every successful business, organization and corporation has two types of leaders, visionaries and administrators. Both are required. You need to be both visionary and administrator in your own life, to live a life of integrity, of wholeness.

After all, would you prefer your life to be a fleeting statistic, or a memorable piece of performance art?

By Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
SpiritualLivingNetwork.com

Source: http://www.articlecircle.com/Free Articles Directory

About the Author

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, has helped thousands to see life differently. Dr. Shaler connects people with their authentic selves, their purpose and values, and provides insights and inspiration to overcome the challenges of personal, family and business life. To learn more, visit: Rhoberta.com. and join SpiritualLivingNetwork.com. It’s free.


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Paranormal Phenomena – Telepathy

English: Example of a subject in a Ganzfeld ex...

A subject in a Ganzfeld experiment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The holiday season is in full swing, and I’ve been busier than usual. So I thought I’d post a link to a recent volunteer Q&A I did at Allexperts.com.

The questioner is asking about telepathy. I thought he or she was quite insightful by trying to probe some possible underlying dynamics.

I can’t reproduce the full Q&A here for copyright reasons. But I am able to link to the page.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Paranormal-Phenomena-3278/2014/12/telepathy-1.htm

—MC


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Mysticism and Sainthood – Part 1 – One or Many?

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By Michael Clark

The word “mysticism” speaks to a variety of phenomena reported within most world religions.

In his 1963 classic, Mysticism in World Religion, Rev. Sidney Spencer looks at the idea of “interior perception” as one aspect of mysticism. Spencer says that virtually all mystics claim to be in contact with a transcendent realm “which typically assumes the form of knowledge, often described in terms of vision, and of union.”¹

Spencer also believes that mysticism is essential to not only religion but to humanity’s future. But Spencer warns against generalizing the claims of mystics without sufficient facts. To do so, he says, could be misleading.

The religion scholar Ninian Smart talks about religious experience within a global-historical context and, in a similar vein as Spencer, highlights their differences through the analogy of sports: To say that all sports are essentially the same is ridiculous. And Smart believes it is equally wrong to say that all religions are essentially the same religion or, for that matter, that all different types of mysticism can be reduced to a single mysticism.

It is, I think, useful to distinguish between religion and religions, or to put it another way between religion and a religion. This is similar to the distinction between sport and sports. A religion is a given tradition of a religious kind, and so religious experience is often picked out by considering crucial experiences in the lives of those who belong to such traditions.²

Critics of Smart say his analogy is unjustified because mysticism deals with God, and there is only one God. And some New Age and politically correct thinkers denounce anyone trying to analytically assess and soberly compare different religious truth claims, insinuating that to do so is religious fascism, bigotry or hate.

It’s almost as if it has become a great sin to simply think about religious differences instead of mindlessly accepting the idea that all religious experiences are exactly the same.

Contrary to this prevalent bias, Geoffrey Parrinder argues

The important distinctions in mysticism are not so much between the layman and the expert as between the assumptions and the objects of the mystical quest. It is popularly said that all religions are the same though their differences should be evident to unprejudiced eyes and part of their fascination is their diversity.³

Parrinder highlights Martin Buber’s distinction between mystics who say they

  • are God (I-It)
  • relate to God (I-Thou).

To say there is no difference, Parrinder says, “is like telling a lover that his experience of embracing his beloved is the same as embracing the hedge at the bottom of the garden.”4

Indeed, it is entirely reasonable to question whether one person’s experience (and interpretation of) their alleged encounter with God differs from another person’s. And to say otherwise is just silly.

To draw another analogy, imagine an ancient or medieval astronomer who sees the Andromeda galaxy as we see it today. He or she doesn’t see Andromeda as a magical being or as mysterious cloud. Instead, he or she views Andromeda as a distant group of stars. If this challenges the local dignitaries’ beliefs, the astronomer might be punished, perhaps even killed.

A similar situation arose with Galileo, whose heliocentric theory hit a brick wall with Catholic power brokers who insisted on a Biblical geocentric model of the solar system. These apparently loving and religiously inspired clergy put Galileo under house arrest for the rest of his days, a scene which wasn’t easy for Galileo to deal with.

But I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that authoritarian stupidity is alive and well today. Like many short-sighted folk of former times, some people today see themselves as open minded but instantly shut down or react if their pet paradigm is challenged.

Perhaps these narrow-minded individuals find it too scary to envision a broader canvas. Well that’s fine. But problems arise when they hold positions of social power and use their power to trivialize, exploit or oppress those who simply wish to rationally investigate the intriguing idea of mysticism and its sometime companion, sainthood.


1 Sidney Spencer, Mysticism in World Religion (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963: 9). A footnote to my article Krishna, Buddha and Christ mentions the idea of interior perception as described by Catholic saints.

2 Ninian Smart, “Understanding Religious Experience” in Steven Katz, ed., Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978: 11). On the same page Smart adds that many religious experiences happen “out of the blue” to people of no particular tradition. He also says that conversion experiences often occur “at the frontier between non-belonging and belonging to a given tradition.” Thus “we should start with traditions in pinning down religious experience [but] we should not confine religious experience to this area.” Interestingly, the Catholic understanding of conversion is that a Christian exists in “seed form” before becoming fully aware of this ontological fact.

³ Geoffrey Parrinder, Mysticism in the World’s Religions (Oxford: One World, 1995: 192). Parrinder also critiques R. C. Zaehner’s sometimes unreasonable statements about mysticism as found in Mysticism: Sacred and Profane (Oxford, 1957).

4 Ibid.

Part 2 – Mysticism, Science and Politics

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Perfectionism and Spiritual Addiction

Originally posted on Shamagaia:

file000868040064Image source: morgueFile.com


There are any number of well-worn epithets to comfort us when we blow-off that fad diet, when we screw up at work, or hurt our loved ones; yet for some reason, many of us often get right back on that treadmill and keep on keeping on, with the illusion that if we can just achieve that perfect state of something or other, then all will be milk and honey.

Striving for perfection in life, whilst admirable from a certain perspective, can be deeply problematic. It’s often accompanied by a persistent sense that you are never good enough, or that you are only as successful as your last fleeting triumph. Having to constantly defend a sense of perfected completeness is an exercise in ego-manipulation which demands that your successful achievements, whether they be physical, intellectual, creative or spiritual, be considered inviolable.

The problem with such an idea is…

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