23 July 2009

Religious, Spiritual, Mystical II

More people today are described as "spiritual" but not "religious." What does this mean? What implications does this have for the world? I'll tell you: tasteless food because fake trans fats have to be removed, everyone's on diets, concerned about what problem the TV tells them they have, taking pills, having their kids forced to learn Spanish to cater to illegals, neohippies, and much worse!

21 July 2009

We Choose to Go to the Moon

20 July 1969, 4:18pm EDT: the moon landing. President Kennedy's vision of the future came true on that day. The world watched as Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Today, the 40th anniversary, was a wonderful day to reflect on this achievement. Human beings walked on the moon; there's nothing more to say.

15 July 2009

Many Lives, Unconvincing Masters

I just finished reading Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss, and I must say it was a lot like Random Harvest: the exciting final chapter didn't make up for the several boring ones that preceded it. The Masters part of the title is a reference to spiritual "masters" whom the author speaks to throughout the past life regressions of his patient. I am disappointed for a number of reasons, mostly relating to the lack of science (Weiss admits this was not a scientific study, unfortunately he does so half way through the book so any potential readers wouldn't know this until after having bought it). There is one test subject (a neurotic hospital employee with supermodel good looks), and none of the information from the rather vague past life regressions was ever checked for accuracy! Yes, when certain lifetimes were recalled months apart the details were the same, but that doesn't make up for any of the previously mentioned lacks.

I am struck by just how many times Weiss must mention his patient's physical attractiveness. Isn't there an ethics issue involved here, and isn't he married with children? Does a book about reincarnation need passages like "I knew she was smoking hot before, but now that she's cured..." (not actually in the book).

The revelations from the "masters" seem like fancy new age-isms that never once struck me as profound (definitely not as profound as the author claims them to be) and many contradict the findings of the past 150 years of mediumship research, NDEs, and what genuine spiritual masters have told us over the centuries. For example, one of the "masters" says that we are not all created equal, to which Dr. Weiss casually muses, what would the founding fathers have thought about this? Well, if you're talking spiritually all souls come from God and to God they must return. All souls possess the same potential for enlightenment. If you're talking physically we all start at ground zero as infants, completely helpless, unable to do anything. Certainly we all possess different talents which set us apart from one another (Mozart was a musical genius and Hank Aaron could hit home runs better than anyone until steroids came along), but if, as the book mentions several times, the point of life is to grow more godly over several lifetimes then shouldn't we look past these transient talents at the soul within?

In fact the good doctor seems to contradict himself on this point at the very end. In what was my favourite part of the book, he recounts a dream he had months after the regressions:

On another night, in a different dream I was asking a question. "How is it that you say all are equal, yet the obvious contradictions smack us in the face: inequalities in virtues, temperances, finances, rights, abilities and talents, intelligence, mathematical aptitude, ad infinitum?"

The answer was a metaphor. "It is as if a large diamond were to be found inside each person. Picture a diamond a foot long. The diamond has a thousand facets, but the facets are covered with dirt and tar. It is the job of the soul to clean each facet until the surface is brilliant and can reflect a rainbow of colors.

"Now, some have cleaned many facets and gleam brightly. Others have only managed to clean a few; they do not sparkle so. Yet, underneath the dirt, each person possesses within his or her breast a brilliant diamond with a thousand gleaming facets. The diamond is perfect, not one flaw. The only differences among people are the number of facets cleaned. But each diamond is the same, and each is perfect.

"When all the facets are cleaned and shining forth in a spectrum of lights, the diamond returns to the pure energy that it was originally. The lights remain. It is as if the process that goes into making the diamond is reversed, all that pressure released. The pure energy exists in the rainbow of lights, and the lights possess consciousness and knowledge.

"And all of the diamonds are perfect."

The book is slow, repetitive, and unconvincing. I would recommend giving this one a pass.


14 July 2009

Religious, Spiritual, Mystical

I wrote this on Saturday while taking my daily walk. I should have a video done to this theme (mostly a direct reading) by week's end.

Religious, Spiritual, Mystical

I remember when I was a kid. Things were a lot better. For starters the quality of television and food was better. People weren't always on diets, trying to get everyone else to diet and taking the taste out of my food. There were no trans fats back then. Actually, there are no trans fats now. Trans fats are a fiction invented to ruin food. Television was entertaining and taught by example using well planned, intelligent exposition. They didn't try to teach kids with psychology, meaning assuming everyone is retarded and doesn't realize there is only one item presented before them to choose from and so is given several minutes to think over the nonproblem while condescending adults on screen pretend the problem is harder than it actually is while providing phony reassurance. No cartoon characters tried to throw alternative lifestyles down our throats, or PC values, or teach us how to speak Spanish because English was intolerant and we had to cater to illegals.

And there were values, and discipline, and love. Since then the world has really gone to hell. People can no longer spend five minutes in silence. Instead they must play with their music boxes and ever more annoying phones. They must call up the people whom they will speak with in person in only five minutes so as to announce their arrival and prepare an itinerary of useless things to do.

And when we are not being dumbed down, told to abandon our cultural heritage in favour of a usurper's, presented with impossible standards of beauty in the name of the Almighty Dollar (stretch marks are ugly, dark circles around the eyes are ugly, hair here, there, everywhere is ugly! Why can't I decide for myself what I think is attractive and what is not?), we are told our God must go too. We are presented with a science that is the business arm of hard core materialists. We are presented with zealous atheists trying to convert us (or deconvert us, I'm not sure) or told we believe in a "mythic sky god," whatever that is, Mathfails never responded to my question.

And then we are told that more people are spiritual but not religious. What are they doing? They are chasing cars with no idea of what to do should they actually catch one. They are spiritual epicureans, tasting bits and pieces of whatever and turning it into fluff. They are drinking soy pudding and vodka and wheat grass juice (which is as disgusting as it sounds). They are forming drum circles and prancing around in their neohippie tunics, chanting about peace and love and not practicing either. They are trying to take materialist science, like string theory and many worlds, theories openly antagonistic to spirit, and wedding them to talk of goddess or the divine feminine, trying hard as hell to stay away from Christianity or masculinity. Their practices are spiritually vacuous, or worse, involve wisdom without compassion. Sure, they can sit under a tree for days but they're still heartless jerks, communist sympathizers, "spiritual atheists" (whatever the hell that means), or smug elitists.

More important than a Bill Gates. More important than a thousand workers in their prime is that little old lady, blind and crippled who is the storehouse of wisdom and virtue. She who has given of herself selflessly all her life and now, in one last act of compassion, has granted us the opportunity to give of ourselves to serve her for our own benefit, is who is truly important.

More important than all the material knowledge in the universe, than any potential technological progress is the potential we must grant ourselves and others to grow spiritually. The sun will fade, the Earth will be no more, but spirit is forever.

Ours is a society whose economy is bankrupt because we are morally bankrupt. A few who are corrupt, who have fallen to avarice, can destroy the lives of millions who are too comfortable with their cel phones and their reality television to stand up and take notice; to stand up and do something to fix the state of the world.

Being spiritual and not religious is like having a car and no map or a finely choreographed fight scene with no explanation of how the characters got into that mess and why it is significant. To be spiritual and not religious is to have content with no context for which to frame it. Not only is the content, the practice, important, but the context is important or you won't understand anything, and important too is the teacher. You literally need someone who is well qualified and has crossed the gulf before to drag you kicking and screaming into authentic mystical realization. No fancy words, no ego stroking, or getting in touch with your inner brat of a child. Sit down, shut up, get over yourself. As a great Scotsman once said, if you want to touch the sky you better first learn how to kneel.


11 July 2009

The Greatest Genius

Today (10 July 2009, though where I'm at it's technically the 11th), would have been Nikola Tesla's 153rd birthday if he were still alive. He invented alternating current (without which I would be typing this on a type writer and posting it to a nearby tree), wireless power (which the government didn't like and took away from him), the first major hydro-electric power plant on Earth at Niagra Falls (which powered all of New York state, except Pearl Street, Manhattan, which Edison's DC power monster plant lit up), everything George Westinghouse supposedly invented but really stole from him when he worked as an intern (sure, Westinghouse got lucky a few times on his own), the radio (which Marconi stole credit for), and some kind of doomsday device that may or may not have involved charging the atmosphere to direct lightning strikes (according to papers a source gave me).

Tesla was probably the greatest genius of the 19th and 20th centuries. He also wanted to give everyone in the world free electricity, but, as mentioned earlier, the government took it away from him. Happy Birthday, Mr. Tesla.

WILD Update Another conscious sleep experiment has turned up no results.


02 July 2009

Where the WILD Things Are (Not)

Only once before have I fallen asleep consciously, proceeding through lucid dreaming to lucid sleeping (conscious awareness in dreamless sleep). It is said that only the most advanced spiritual practitioners are able to do this at will. Last week (20-27 June) I tried to repeat the experience: watching the basic images and sounds arise, seeing those forms crystalize out into a full landscape leading directly into the dream state, and going on to meditative practices while dreaming to become consciously aware of deep sleep. After trying for the whole week i did not succeed (though on the final day I did have a "normal" lucid dream). The days since have been spent without any attempt to fall asleep consciously. I think I might try again tonight.