Back in 1902, the Theosophist Leadbeater wrote Man Visible and Invisible which covers the bases. Here's a link to the text on-line which includes lots of colour plates but also I've copied in his interpretations of the colours below. There are lots of groups offering courses in astral projection and/or lucid dreaming in the UK. Do a Google. http://www.anandgholap.net/Man_Visible_And_Invisible-CWL.htm http://www.anandgholap.net/Man_Visible_And_Invisible-CWL.htm 134.Anger, for example, is represented by scarlet, and love by crimson and rose; but both anger and love are often deeply tinged with selfishness, and just so far as that is the case will the purity of their respective colors be dimmed by the hard brown-grey which is so characteristic of this vice. Or again, either of them may be mingled with pride, and that would instantly show itself by a tinge of deep orange. Many examples of such commingling, and of the resultant shades of color, will be seen as we continue our investigation; but our first endeavor must be to learn to read the meaning of the simpler hues. We will give here a list of some of these which are most common. 135.Black. - Thick black clouds in the astral body mark the presence of hatred and malice. When a person unhappily gives way to a fit of passionate anger, the terrible thought-forms of hate may generally be seen floating in his aura like coils of heavy, poisonous smoke. 136.Red. - Deep-red flashes, usually on a black ground, show anger; and this will be more or less tinged with brown as there is more or less of direct selfishness in the type of anger. What is sometimes called “noble indignation” on behalf of someone oppressed or injured may express itself in flashes of brilliant scarlet on the ordinary background of the aura. 137.Lurid, sanguinary red - a color which is quite unmistakable, though not easy to describe - indicates sensuality. 138.Brown. - Dull brown-red, almost rust-color, means avarice; and it usually arranges itself in parallel bars across the astral body, giving a very curious appearance. 139.Dull, hard brown-grey signifies selfishness, and is unfortunately one of the very commonest colors in the astral body. 140.Greenish-brown, lit up by deep red or scarlet flashes, denotes jealousy, and in the case of the ordinary man there is nearly always a good deal of this color present when he is what is called “in love”. 141.Grey. - Heavy leaden grey expresses deep depression, and where this is habitual its appearance is sometimes indescribably gloomy and saddening. This color also has the curious characteristic of arranging itself in parallel lines, as has that of avarice, and both give the impression that their unfortunate victim is imprisoned within a kind of astral cage. 142.Livid grey, a most hideous and frightful hue, betokens fear. 143.Crimson. - This color is the manifestation of love, and is often the most beautiful feature in the vehicles of the average man. Naturally it varies very greatly with the nature of the love. It may be dull, heavy, and deeply tinged with the brown of selfishness, if the so-called love occupies itself chiefly with the consideration of how much affection is received from somebody else, how much return it is getting for its investment. But if the love be of that kind that thinks never of itself at all, nor of what it receives, but only of how much it can give, and how entirely it can pour itself forth as a willing sacrifice for the sake of the loved one, then it will express itself in the most lovely rose-color; and when this rose-color is exceptionally brilliant and tinged with lilac, it proclaims the more spiritual love for humanity. The intermediate possibilities are countless; and the affection may of course be tinged in various other ways, as by pride or jealousy. 144.Orange. - This color is always significant of pride or ambition, and has almost as many variations as the last-mentioned, according to the nature of the pride or the ambition. It is not infrequently found in union with irritability. 145.Yellow. - This is a very good color, implying always the possession of intellectuality. Its shades vary, and it may be complicated by the admixture of various other hues. Generally speaking, it has a deeper and duller tint if the intellect is directed chiefly into lower channels, most especially if the objects are selfish; but it becomes brilliantly golden, and rises gradually to a beautiful clear and luminous lemon or primrose yellow, as it is addressed to higher and more unselfish objects. 146.Green. - No color has more varied signification than this, and it requires some study to interpret it correctly. Most of its manifestations indicate a kind of adaptability, at first evil and deceitful, but eventually good and sympathetic. 147.Grey-green, a
Re I'd be interested to know what they [Tennyson's quotes] mean to people who have never had any sort of transcendent experience. Is there any sense of recognition or just interest?: An early biographer mentions these quotes but clearly had no idea what Tennyson was on about. He took the statements as being *arguments* for philosophical idealism - he was unable to escape his rationalist mindset and see that the poet was talking about lived experience, as obvious as that is to you and I. Perhaps Tennyson was fated to be an army officer fighting for the Empire but the mantra Alfie he repeated from his youth was found pleasing to Saraswati and she turned his finer consciousness towards poetry . . . I don't take this last statement literally but I wouldn't rule out the idea that his regular meditation sessions did awaken a latent ability in him. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, no_re...@yahoogroups.com wrote : Very nice. I've come across a few obvious references to spontaneous spiritual breakthroughs myself. I like finding them because the writer is obviously moved by the experience and feels the need to include them in a book so their characters can get the benefit of a deeper look at life or sense of the wonder beyond what we think is normality. I shall look them out and post them as they are always good descriptions from poetic types that have the ability to encapsulate the moment. I'd be interested to know what they mean to people who have never had any sort of transcendent experience. Is there any sense of recognition or just interest? I can't remember ever noticing them before I got into meditating. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, s3raphita@... wrote : Victorian poet Tennyson seems to have stumbled upon TM before MMY took out the copyright on the name. Take this quote of his: A kind of walking trance I have frequently had, quite up from boyhood, when I have been all alone. This has often come upon me through repeating my own name to myself silently till, all at once, as it were, out of the intensity of the consciousness of individuality, the individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being; and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, the weirdest of the weirdest, utterly beyond words, where death was an almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming no extinction, but the only true life. I love that line: where death was an almost laughable impossibility. Here's a (clearly autobiographical) passage from Ancient Sage . . . And more, my son! for more than once when I Sat all alone, revolving in myself The word that is the symbol of myself, The mortal limit of the Self was loosed, And past into the Nameless, as a cloud Melts into heaven. I touch'd my limbs, the limbs Were strange, not mine--and yet no shade of doubt, But utter clearness, and thro' loss of Self The gain of such large life as match'd with ours Were Sun to spark--unshadowable in words, Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world. And here's another quote to show how vitally important the experience was to him: Yes, it is true there are moments when the flesh is nothing to me, when I feel and know the flesh to be the vision, God and the spiritual—the only real and true. Depend upon it, the spiritual is the real; it belongs to one more than the hand and the foot. You may tell me that my hand and my foot are only imaginary symbols of my existence. I could believe you, but you never, never can convince me that the I is not an eternal reality, and that the spiritual is not the true and real part of me. I wonder what his mantra was: The word that is the symbol of myself and Repeating my own name to myself silently. Did he repeat Alf or Alfie or what? AaalPh sounds like it would make an acceptable mantra! We need some clever chap to create a universal mantra program on the Web. You type in the syllables and the program lets you know what effect the vibrations would have on your nervous system.
Re Dentistry is definitely a big for profit enterprise even if they say they're not.: Dentists have the highest rates for suicide of any profession. If I had to spend my life examining decaying teeth and breathing in halitosis I'd have checked out long ago.
Victorian poet Tennyson seems to have stumbled upon TM before MMY took out the copyright on the name. Take this quote of his: A kind of walking trance I have frequently had, quite up from boyhood, when I have been all alone. This has often come upon me through repeating my own name to myself silently till, all at once, as it were, out of the intensity of the consciousness of individuality, the individuality itself seemed to dissolve and fade away into boundless being; and this not a confused state, but the clearest of the clearest, the surest of the surest, the weirdest of the weirdest, utterly beyond words, where death was an almost laughable impossibility, the loss of personality (if so it were) seeming no extinction, but the only true life. I love that line: where death was an almost laughable impossibility. Here's a (clearly autobiographical) passage from Ancient Sage . . . And more, my son! for more than once when I Sat all alone, revolving in myself The word that is the symbol of myself, The mortal limit of the Self was loosed, And past into the Nameless, as a cloud Melts into heaven. I touch'd my limbs, the limbs Were strange, not mine--and yet no shade of doubt, But utter clearness, and thro' loss of Self The gain of such large life as match'd with ours Were Sun to spark--unshadowable in words, Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world. And here's another quote to show how vitally important the experience was to him: Yes, it is true there are moments when the flesh is nothing to me, when I feel and know the flesh to be the vision, God and the spiritual—the only real and true. Depend upon it, the spiritual is the real; it belongs to one more than the hand and the foot. You may tell me that my hand and my foot are only imaginary symbols of my existence. I could believe you, but you never, never can convince me that the I is not an eternal reality, and that the spiritual is not the true and real part of me. I wonder what his mantra was: The word that is the symbol of myself and Repeating my own name to myself silently. Did he repeat Alf or Alfie or what? AaalPh sounds like it would make an acceptable mantra! We need some clever chap to create a universal mantra program on the Web. You type in the syllables and the program lets you know what effect the vibrations would have on your nervous system.
Joanne Milne, 40, from Gateshead, was born deaf, and during her 20s also began to lose her vision due to the rare medical condition Usher Syndrome. But last month she was fitted with cochlear implants and after 40 years of silence the life-changing procedure has meant she is now able to hear. The incredible moment when she hears a nurse going through the days of the week was filmed by her mother and shows her bursting into tears in shock. This is an emotional (tears will flow) moment: there is a some good news in a world full of cynical and alarming events. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyECCMdlVFo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyECCMdlVFo
When we used to listen to pop songs on crappy transistor radios it was easy to mishear the lyrics. The best-known example has to be Purple Haze by Hendrix who (apparently) sang: Scuse me, while I kiss this guy. When we saw him perform on TV we looked at each other with raised eyebrows to say - did he just sing what I thought he sang? Of course, the correct lyric was Scuse me, while I kiss the sky but it seems Hendrix latched on to the joke and in his live concerts would actually sing the guy version as an in-joke. My own favourite misunderstanding was the McCoys Hang On Sloopy track. I really thought it was about Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy. I liked the bubblegum sound but it did seem an odd subject for a pop song, a cartoon character - but what the hell, that was Americans for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlTKhPkZSJo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlTKhPkZSJo
My confusion about the topic of Sloopy is made more understandable when you recall that the next year Snoopy vs. the Red Baron hit the charts which really *was* about that damned cartoon dog . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxzg_iM-T4E https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxzg_iM-T4E
I shall have Birds Eye fish fingers for supper tonight as my way of saying thank you. William Seabrook demonstrates the proper tom-tom rhythm for a legitimate hex, while Florence Birdseye -- of the Birdseye frozen-food family -- keeps the beat on the right.
From the link: However there is the possibility, given the timeline, that there was an overheat on one of the front landing gear tires, it blew on take-off and started slowly burning. Yes, this happens with underinflated tires! Remember: Heavy plane, hot night, sea level, long-run takeoff.: If this is true then it suggests we need to revise standard operational procedures. If a hot night can initiate a fire in a tire then we need to restrict take-offs during heat waves! Taking the overall scenario described in the article, the cause of the fire - and the incapacitating fumes - is surely more likely to be an illegal and dangerous substance packed in a crate in the cargo storage area. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, turquoiseb@... wrote : WTF is *wrong* with commentators and conspiracy nuts that they forget about fuckin' Occam's Razor and common sense? http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/ http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/ http://www.wired.com/autopia/2014/03/mh370-electrical-fire/
Re It seems to me that the pseudo gravity is caused by the relationship of the edge of the space station to the centre.: And what is that relationship? Is a rotating space station in motion or not? You are at liberty to regard it as stationary (as there is no Absolute Space as a reference field) so how can the station know it's rotating and so should provide that pseudo-gravity effect? If it works why isn't everyone working towards constructing one today? ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, no_re...@yahoogroups.com wrote : It's six O'clock in the morning and I'm all bleary eyed but it seems to me that the pseudo gravity is caused by the relationship of the edge of the space station to the centre. As long as the edge stays in a fixed position to the middle you will be pushed away regardless of your position or speed relative to anything else, distant or not. Due to the inverse square law effect we aren't pulled off the earth towards the sun even though it's gravity is stronger as it's much further away. So the centrifugal effect of our space station won't be overridden by anything unless it's massive and close. The only way you would become weightless is if you were the axis point connected to the centre that is now your edge. Philosophically you could say that anything is the centre of the universe but you can't change the fact that small things are attracted towards (or falling towards) bigger things so you'd have to stop the space station and somehow swing it around yourself to create the effect you are looking for. Newtonian physics still works for things like us at slow speeds. Or maybe that's all too obvious, I need a coffee. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, s3raphita@... wrote : Talking about 2001: a Space Odyssey reminds me of a puzzle I've ruminated over for decades. This query is for physicists on FFL. If you're not a physicist stop reading now - unless maybe you live in Fairfield and are a friend of John Hagelin. In which case can you tap him on the shoulder, ask him for his thoughts on my conundrum and let me know what he says. At the start of the film we are approaching a doughnut-shaped space station. The station is rotating. Why? Well, think of a schoolboy with a conker on a string. He twirls his conker and the centrifugal force keeps the string taut. The concept is that a circular space station is set in circular motion. The centrifugal effect means that those inhabitants living on the edge of the circle would find themselves in a pseudo-gravitational force so could walk around as if they were on the surface of the Earth. Neat, yes? But here's the thing: how does the space station know it is rotating? Why shouldn't we regard it as stationary and the planets around it are the one's in motion? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3oHmVhviO8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3oHmVhviO8 Isaac Newton came up with a thought experiment: suppose a bucket containing water being spun on the end of a rope. The centrifugal force would make the water creep up the sides of the bucket. That's basic and acceptable. But suppose the bucket on the end of the string was suspended in outer space? Why would the water creep up the side of the bucket? Newton's answer was that there is a background of Absolute Space - ie, a really existing environment of three-dimensional space in which we live. The rotating bucket/conker/space station rotates in reference to Absolute Space so that ensures the effects we expect. That's nice. But what makes us twitchy is this thought: if a god was to decide to move the Universe exactly 30 metres in some direction what difference would we notice? And we see immediately we would notice no difference whatsoever. So it's a difference that doesn't make a difference! But doesn't that suggest Absolute Space is a redundant concept? Then along came Einstein. He rejected Newton's concept and replaced it with relativity and space time. The position of an object only makes sense with respect to another object to which it has a relative position. That's the new orthodoxy. But then the obvious question is: in Einstein's universe would Newton's spinning bucket see the water rising when the bucket was spun? In other words, would a rotating space station give its inhabitants the sense of gravity? Austrian physicist Ernst Mach thought the answer was Yes. He believed that just as a spun conker was spinning in relation to the gravitational pull of the Earth, a rotating bucket in space was spinning in relation to the surrounding galaxies. The problem with his answer is that 1) the gravitational effects of distant galaxies is minute; and 2) if Einstein had thrown out Absolute Space as a theoretical theory then, for all practical purposes, Mach was re-introducing Absolute Space a de facto reality. So would Kubrick's rotating space station actually work as a viable environment? I'm not aware of any plans to build
Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501 - a DC-4 - vanished over Lake Michigan in 1950. The plane has never been found even though there is an annual search for the wreckage using sonar. The Malaysian plane has a flight data recorder but that only transmits a beep for 30 days. If it's in the Indian Ocean we may never know what happened.
The pilot's own YouTube pages has links to his favourites. He's a big fan of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion and subscribed to Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason. And he approves of Atheist Michael Newdow Intellectually Demolishes Arrogant Moron on Fox News. He was tickled by a vicious rant about Pope Benedict XVI and took an interest in a video on atheism and gay rights. So he's definitely *not* a fundamentalist loony. He also liked a political piece attacking corruption. More ominously he likes the video: 5 Crazy Pranks To Play On Your Friends And Family! and vids showing how to make animals out of balloons - yikes! There are a fair few tutorials on jailbreaking iPods and other devices (lost on me). And he likes this track . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3ZcG3mHc3M https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3ZcG3mHc3M The complete list is here: https://www.youtube.com/user/catalinapby1 https://www.youtube.com/user/catalinapby1
Re this ability to access others' YouTube pages - history/favourites/likes/etc. - is it possible to put a block on one's own YouTube page? It's creepy thinking that anyone anywhere can follow your deviant desires, crackpot theories, political affiliations and vulgar tastes. I'm not asking for protection from the NSA or GCHQ - just from my work colleagues and next-door neighbours.
A few days ago, a caller to a radio talk show mentioned that he was a frequent flyer. And he has two artificial hips. Every airport he'd flown from his hips have set off the alarm on the screening devices - that is every airport he's flown from *except* Kuala Lumpur - which he'd used twice. If security is that lax we can assume terrorists are aware of that fact. PS: re my YouTube query above, I've now re-set my privacy parameters but my Favourites are still available for the world to see. (Only a problem if you've set up your YouTube using your given name.) I wonder how many others are unaware that their history is public. Could lead to some embarrassing revelations.
Future biotechnology could be used to trick a prisoner's mind into thinking they have served a 1,000-year sentence, a group of scientists have claimed. Philosopher Rebecca Roache is in charge of a team of scholars focused upon the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment. Dr Roache claims the prison sentence of serious criminals could be made worse by extending their lives. She said drugs could be developed to distort prisoners' minds into thinking time was passing more slowly: There are a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people’s sense of time, so you could imagine developing a pill or a liquid that made someone feel like they were serving a 1,000-year sentence. http://aeon.co/magazine/living-together/should-biotech-make-life-hellish-for-criminals/ http://aeon.co/magazine/living-together/should-biotech-make-life-hellish-for-criminals/ [She's basically researching new torture techniques but thinks she's doing humanitarian work.]
Talking about 2001: a Space Odyssey reminds me of a puzzle I've ruminated over for decades. This query is for physicists on FFL. If you're not a physicist stop reading now - unless maybe you live in Fairfield and are a friend of John Hagelin. In which case can you tap him on the shoulder, ask him for his thoughts on my conundrum and let me know what he says. At the start of the film we are approaching a doughnut-shaped space station. The station is rotating. Why? Well, think of a schoolboy with a conker on a string. He twirls his conker and the centrifugal force keeps the string taut. The concept is that a circular space station is set in circular motion. The centrifugal effect means that those inhabitants living on the edge of the circle would find themselves in a pseudo-gravitational force so could walk around as if they were on the surface of the Earth. Neat, yes? But here's the thing: how does the space station know it is rotating? Why shouldn't we regard it as stationary and the planets around it are the one's in motion? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3oHmVhviO8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3oHmVhviO8 Isaac Newton came up with a thought experiment: suppose a bucket containing water being spun on the end of a rope. The centrifugal force would make the water creep up the sides of the bucket. That's basic and acceptable. But suppose the bucket on the end of the string was suspended in outer space? Why would the water creep up the side of the bucket? Newton's answer was that there is a background of Absolute Space - ie, a really existing environment of three-dimensional space in which we live. The rotating bucket/conker/space station rotates in reference to Absolute Space so that ensures the effects we expect. That's nice. But what makes us twitchy is this thought: if a god was to decide to move the Universe exactly 30 metres in some direction what difference would we notice? And we see immediately we would notice no difference whatsoever. So it's a difference that doesn't make a difference! But doesn't that suggest Absolute Space is a redundant concept? Then along came Einstein. He rejected Newton's concept and replaced it with relativity and space time. The position of an object only makes sense with respect to another object to which it has a relative position. That's the new orthodoxy. But then the obvious question is: in Einstein's universe would Newton's spinning bucket see the water rising when the bucket was spun? In other words, would a rotating space station give its inhabitants the sense of gravity? Austrian physicist Ernst Mach thought the answer was Yes. He believed that just as a spun conker was spinning in relation to the gravitational pull of the Earth, a rotating bucket in space was spinning in relation to the surrounding galaxies. The problem with his answer is that 1) the gravitational effects of distant galaxies is minute; and 2) if Einstein had thrown out Absolute Space as a theoretical theory then, for all practical purposes, Mach was re-introducing Absolute Space a de facto reality. So would Kubrick's rotating space station actually work as a viable environment? I'm not aware of any plans to build rotating space stations. That suggests confidence is low. Given the number of space launches has anyone ever carried out experiments by either spinning buckets of water or (more likely) carried out some simpler, equivalent experiment to see if the idea is right or wrong? Not as far as I'm aware. If you know the answer to my puzzle can you send the solution to : Space Habitats NASA Headquarters Washington DC 20546-0001 I'm sure they'd be grateful to know what to concentrate on for space stations of the future . . .
Re A wise man views women as corpses, bags of urine and faeces.: These remarks have a long history. See Marcus Aurelius's cynical advice: Sexual intercourse is the rubbing together of abdomens, accompanied by the spasmodic ejaculation of a sticky liquid. These maxims which try to reduce sexual love to something unworthy of a noble man miss the mark. An adolescent infatuated with an ordinary girl is far closer to the real. As Oscar Wilde said: It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. They say Love is blind - but I say that anyone who sees his beloved as someone miraculous has realised that life, our very existence, our realisation that even being born is something incredibly unlikely and a unique opportunity must experience a sense of astonishment and wonder. Falling in love is probably the closest most people get to approaching that sense; a few philosophers don't need sexual love but that is not because they are above the common herd (with a sneer on their faces) but rather because they walk around in a daze in which even the vision of a garden of flowers can astonish and elevate their consciousness.
If the Boeing 777 simulator the pilot played with at home has a history record I'd want to check if he'd been sampling the Kamikaze Death Dive program in recent weeks. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, steve.sundur@... wrote : My wife is on record saying that the plane landed in Pakistan or North Korea. It was commandeered by terrorists, the passengers gassed, and this is the new terrorism threat. I am leaning towards pilot suicide, and that a break will come from examining phone records of passengers, where they will discover attempted calls (or e-mails) around the same time from some of those on the plane. When people suspect trouble, they do reactivate their electronic devices. ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, s3raphita@... wrote : I notice that the pilot Shah was described as an aviation geek. Shah had a Boeing 77 simulator at his home(!) in Kuala Lumpur. “We used to tease him. We would ask him, why are you bringing your work home,” said a friend. Shah also collected remote-controlled, miniature aircraft! That suggests to me the guy is a total loon. He lived for his passion - flying. Maybe he wanted to die engaged in his passion also?
Psychic spoon-bender Uri Geller today revealed he has been asked to help find the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft. http://tinyurl.com/o3tfd62 http://tinyurl.com/o3tfd62
I notice that the pilot Shah was described as an aviation geek. Shah had a Boeing 77 simulator at his home(!) in Kuala Lumpur. “We used to tease him. We would ask him, why are you bringing your work home,” said a friend. Shah also collected remote-controlled, miniature aircraft! That suggests to me the guy is a total loon. He lived for his passion - flying. Maybe he wanted to die engaged in his passion also?
You really enjoy living in your head, huh? : Yes, and I keep it well fed with juicy morsels. Pure entertainment is all sci-fi is, except for the small minded, or desperate: Jesus! What do have against fiction? “It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language” ― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey Also, instead of gaining your deepest insights from the silver screen: Cinema has been the dominant art form for a hundred years. Check out The Pervert's Guide to Cinema by Slavoj Zizek for a fun ride . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvuSpwIBUAI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvuSpwIBUAI
My bet is that the plane experienced a sudden decompression, the pilot tried to turn around to get back to Kuala Lumpur, but the pilots both blacked out because they failed to put on face masks in time. The debris is far out in the South China Sea somewhere. That's my bet also. Except the pilots were turning the plane back after the decompression event (they should have donned the oxygen mask as first priority) so the plane could be in the Indian Ocean.
Yes, that last scene was chilling. Kubrick mentioned in an interview that in that final scene the character played by Keir Dullea is supposed to be in a zoo. The soundtrack was intended to suggest alien lifeforms shuffling by and watching their rare specimen in the same idle way we humans behave at one of our zoos. That passed me (and everyone else) by at the time. But I understand the aliens finally transformed our man into a higher life form and sent him back to Earth to be re-born as the Star Child to lead us on to our next stage of evolution. It was the same aliens who gave our apeman ancestors the nudge, of course. Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End has a similar theme - an alien race appearing over Earth to engineer humanity's future evolution - old-school humans don't recognize the new breed as being human anymore. That's how I like my aliens - totally other. Either very, very scary - Alien/Pitch Black - or completely beyond our ability to communicate with - 2001/Solaris. Barry wants humour in sci-fi. John Carpenter's Dark Star had black humour in spades.
Forgot to mention in my reply (above) to your query about Dave seeing himself age and die: this was presumably an effective Kubrick touch to suggest to we viewers that our astronaut is learning to die to his old self - he won't need that where he's going. Kubrick himself never liked having to explain any of the plot as a film stands or falls on its own merits.
Yes, this could be the endgame. In situations like this I'm not beyond wondering why those who believe in spiritualism (not me) couldn't arrange a séance and ask the medium to try and contact a lost loved one. If the medium makes contact that shows your loved one is dead, no? If she can't get in touch with a disembodied spirit there is still hope. A plane crash gives you a generous supply of possible messengers so could provide a nice test case for advocates or skeptics of such things.
Perspective? Sure, people across the globe are dropping like flies from heart attacks, road accidents, old age . . . but an aircraft vanishing without trace is a MYSTERY and mysteries are fun to solve! Think Amelia Earhart - we're still trying to work out what happened to her and she vanished in 1937.
And we know that dying in a plane crash comes pretty close to the top of people's nightmare scenarios. Add in the possibility of terrorist involvement or, even scarier(?), a suicidal pilot and thinking about it could keep you awake nights.
Theology is the science of God. It's an obsolete set of theories about an obsolescent belief system (Christianity) that has no relevance to moderns. I have no objection to that approach but can't help feeling it misses out on the important point. Which is? That theology was the way that pre-moderns learnt how to regard - that is, how to orient themselves towards - ultimate issues. For example: perhaps the key doctrine of Christianity is Original Sin (the only rival is the doctrine of the Incarnation). What does Original Sin amount to if we disregard the theology? Doesn't it come down to this: if you live your life as if what comes naturally is good and right then you've made a catastrophic error. Human nature is essentially perverse and you have to fight against that perversity if you're not to face disaster. Based on your *own* experience of life; based on your *own* observations of others does that sound plausible or does it sound insane? So how do we moderns learn how to adjust to ultimate issues? Philosophy? hardly! Religion? Forget it! I claim that sci-fi is the genre that has helped us best to make that adjustment. I recall seeing Kubrick's 2001 when it first appeared. When it started with Strauss's tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra over Kubrick's sunrise scene I was laughing almost hysterically in the cinema. So was it funny? No - the laughter was my reaction to the emotional kick of the moment as I realised immediately that here was a director who was prepared to tackle *essential* issues and I was in for a rare treat. I had a similar experience recently when I saw the film Gravity. I'd avoiding watching the movie as I'd expected it to be a special-effects bonanza but emotionally vacuous. Wow! What a surprise. (Spoiler alert!) When at the end Sandra Bullock emerges from the waves it's a true mythological moment. Mankind (woman in this case) emerging from the amniotic fluid; Man emerging from the primordial ocean as he takes the first steps from water to land (symbolized by the frog!). I have to admit that in this case I wasn't laughing - I was literally in tears. Powerful stuff. Whereas Kubrick's film has a gnostic tinge - a human being is reborn as the Starchild far beyond mundane man - Gravity is almost the opposite: this is woman being returned (with a desperate gratitude - who to?) from a total technological environment back to elemental, mother earth. I have similar responses to other sci-fi books and films - Solaris, for example. How curious that a genre - so despised, so niche, so juvenile - can have such an important role to play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-QFj59PON4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-QFj59PON4
Thanks for the reply. I followed your link and enjoyed the poems. Turquoise Bee was clearly someone who enjoyed the more earthy pleasures. And he didn't try to hide his preferences so can't be accused of being a hypocrite. Nothing wrong with that - but did he display any spiritual accomplishments? I'm sure that an austere, disciplined Theravada Buddhist would dismiss Turquoise Bee as a man who had no sympathy or understanding of what the Buddha was trying to say. Tibetan Buddhists have always struck me as being enriched (contaminated?) by other traditions (such as Bon) so I can never decide whether they are esoteric masters or lost souls. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was a more recent superstar. He openly slept with his female disciples. I recall someone claiming in mitigation that his compulsive promiscuity was not what it seemed: he actually preferred cuddling up to his women for emotional comfort rather than engaging in a hedonistic sex session. But that only makes it seem worse! Does practising being a Buddhist leave you emotionally needy and insecure? If so what's the point?
Israel Regardie's quoting Ramakrishna (taste the sugar) was because Regardie (surely correctly?) regarded Aleister Crowley as someone who also didn't make that final renunciation but explicitly advocated a path in which spiritual experiences where added to the smorgasboard of sexual and other delights. For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all. (The Book of the Law) But more importantly: what is this new handle: TurquoiseBee? Is it someone making fun of TurquoiseB or has Barry grown wings?
The Ramakrishna reference I was trying to recall above came from The Eye in the Triangle: An Interpretation of Aleister Crowley by Israel Regardie (by the way: the best short account of Crowley's life). Sri Ramakrishna said I want to taste sugar, not become sugar. So what you have here is a final refusal to lose one's individuality. I appreciate Doc's comments above but I can't help feeling that a true seer (Ramana Maharshi?) would have abandoned that final grasping at a gratifying experience.
Lord David Paul Nicholas Dundas wrote a song for a UK TV advert for Brutus Jeans. The song was so successful it was released as a single Jeans On and reached No 3 in the UK in 1977. It had the feel of bubblegum pop with that instantly catchy hook. DO NOT CLICK on the link below unless you want to find the song running through your head for the next 24 hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwGlhKcEBjYamp;list=FLJad8vN225Nr5hDIzlEOYMAamp;index=4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwGlhKcEBjYamp;list=FLJad8vN225Nr5hDIzlEOYMAamp;index=4
Yes, we know all about Elvis and Bill Haley (yawn) but let's face it your mum and dad liked them too - and those ghastly Elvis movies where so tame. I suspect that for me rock started with the Beatles but here are two tracks which pre-date John and Paul and which I instantly recognized as *my* music... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQgftmOeK_camp;list=FLJad8vN225Nr5hDIzlEOYMA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQgftmOeK_camp;list=FLJad8vN225Nr5hDIzlEOYMA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jygzpYfBW7Ulist=FLJad8vN225Nr5hDIzlEOYMAindex=2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jygzpYfBW7Ulist=FLJad8vN225Nr5hDIzlEOYMAindex=2
Re transcending is a non-event and definitely not interesting.: Not interesting? Freud, Jung, Sartre and assorted behaviourists claimed that an experience of pure consciousness (awareness without an object) was impossible. So if pure awareness *is* a possible experience it blows such theories out of the water and is very suggestive indeed. It implies that we have a Transcendental Ego before - and after - we learn our role-play games. I was amused back in the day when a friend of mine, a young woman, in my early days in the movement said to me one time that asking someone if they had ever had a clear experience of transcending was rather like asking someone if they had lost their virginity! There's definitely a hierarchy in place here: an I'm more spiritual than you one-upmanship role play going on!
Re Recommended: the autobiographical statements of Ramakrishna's experiences: I've not read about Ramakrishna in depth but will definitely make up for that lapse soon as he is one of the most fascinating characters in Indian spirituality. Someone (I forget who) claimed that Ramakrishna never made that final surrender of his self-hood to enter the state of Unity because he enjoyed his frequent experiences of samadhi too much! And to enjoy such blissful states implies a subject separate from the ecstasy. It intrigues me because I'm pretty sure I'd feel the same! Kali as a source of intense pleasure versus the final dropping of all desires to enter moksha - is that the ultimate temptation we all have to face?
Yes it was Ramana Maharshi (not MMY) who advocated catching yourself at the moment of waking There are too many great seers in Inda. I suspect Judy is right when she she suggests Ramana is taking an effect for a cause but maybe his technique has worked for some people. Ann's inability to grasp how you can be aware you've transcended without a helpful thought coming along to point it out is one shared by most everyone who comments on the issue. You can clearly only be self-aware that you *have* transcended in a past moment.
One comment I appreciate is this one from Denis Postle: I've been doing TM off and on for decades. A key thing to appreciate about it is that it is a reliable way of taking us to the hypnogogic and hypnopompic junctions between sleep and awake and keeping us hovering there. With very tangible results . . . David Lynch says something similar in his book Catching the Big Fish. To those who wonder what transcending is like, Lynch says that everyone has already experienced it. When you're lying in bed at night waiting for sleep to come you occasionally have a sudden sinking feeling as your awareness dips towards unconsciousness. It feels rather disconcerting and actually jolts you awake. Lynch claims that TM is essentially training you to bounce around at that level as a regular routine. Ramana Maharshi recommended his followers to try a similar practice: when waking up in the morning keep your consciousness at the point where you've just emerged from sleep into conscious awareness but *before* any thinking kicks in. Maharshi claimed that learning to balance yourself at this razor's edge would enable you to see the true nature of the Self. Anyone want to claim Denis, Lynch and Maharshi are talking nonsense?
Re Ann's The transition between waking and sleeping is not transcendence in my book. It is full of thoughts and awareness that do not feel transcendental at all.: So you are *not* doing what Maharshi says. You have to hold your awareness at the point you wake up *before* thoughts arise. Presumably it worked for Ramana because he was in a state of Unity already; his suggestion is that it could work for others also. I mention him as his ideas rather nicely dovetail with Lynch's description of transcending during meditation. And I mention Lynch and the commentator on the article as their take on TM as an intermediate state between sleep and waking is more helpful than the Official TM approach using bubble diagrams. Re Richard's Meditation means to think things over. So, TM meditation is based on thinking. Anyone who can think is probably already practising a basic meditation.: If meditation means thinking then Transcendental Meditation suggests going beyond thinking. But meditation only means thinking in western contexts. Easterners use whatever word they use in their language for meditation in a sense closer to western ideas of contemplation.
My preference is Miserere Mei Deus. Transcendental! http://tinyurl.com/orc2ana http://tinyurl.com/orc2ana
It's strange that the TMO hasn't released DVDs of MMY talks for the general public - readily available in media stores (contrast that with the large range of Osho and Krishnamurti videos). There are DVDs available (at extortionate rates) from TM centres but a selection of highlights could help spread the word. His earlier recordings when he was still the giggling guru might strike a chord with the curious.
“The Hindus: An Alternative History,” by Wendy Doniger, a professor of religion at the University of Chicago, was pulled by Penguin Books India after a four-year legal battle that began when the Hindu nationalist group Shiksha Bachao Andolan filed a suit against the publisher in 2011, claiming the book disparaged Hinduism and comprised “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings.” Penguin will withdraw the book from Indian shelves within six months, and destroy any unsold or recalled copies of the book at its own expense. This is the latest in a worrying development that has seen religious groups successfully ban titles - including an exposé of Ghandi. India is in theory a secular society. Let's hope the secularists are able to fight back and win. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_in_India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_in_India
“The Hindus: An Alternative History,” by Wendy Doniger, a professor of religion at the University of Chicago, was pulled by Penguin Books India after a four-year legal battle that began when the Hindu nationalist group Shiksha Bachao Andolan filed a suit against the publisher in 2011, claiming the book disparaged Hinduism and comprised “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings.” Penguin will withdraw the book from Indian shelves within six months, and destroy any unsold or recalled copies of the book at its own expense. This is the latest in a worrying development that has seen religious groups successfully ban titles - including an exposé of Gandhi. India is in theory a secular society. Let's hope the secularists are able to fight back and win. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_in_India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_in_India
Yes, MMY was no friend of democracy and liked strong leaders. But praising Hitler - although revealing a shocking lack of understanding of the Führer's narcissism, blood lust and cold-blooded callousness - never featured in any video talks I saw. There's lots of engaging footage to digitally enhance. The TMO has released some material on YouTube but DVDs would be better for group meetings.
Re rape in the Bible: Yes, we all know about it! It's worth pointing out though that some of the quotes you supply that we moderns naturally read as being anti-female, could also be read as an attempt by the authors to give the women of that dark age some rights! For example, take another look at this one: When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.
Re Anyone considering these passages, who either sees or believes in supra-material intelligences will conclude that YHVH was not a deity (theos/theon) but rather an evil demon (kakodaimōn). : The second-century theologian Marcion declared that Christianity was opposed to Judaism and loathed the Old Testament. Marcion did not claim the Jewish Scriptures were false but au contraire should be read as literally true, showing that YHWH was not the God spoken of by Jesus. In a similar vein, French philosopher Simone Weil (who was an anti-Jewish Jew) was incensed that the New Testament was packaged up with the Old Testament in The Bible. The two books she always carried with her were the New Testament and The Gita.
Re an idea that is dying out, with the older, ignorant generations.: I think this old saw The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken still has a way to run. Most people today have completely bought in to the whole consumerist ethic and think that material goods will bring them fulfilment. What will happen when the retail therapy stops working and they realise they've been well and truly bamboozled? ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, no_re...@yahoogroups.com wrote: Agreed, Ann - this tired old saw about not being able to change, once we know something, is outmoded and an idea that is dying out, with the older, ignorant generations.
Re Simone Weil was a Platonist. TRUE Re She was not particularly enamored with the Roman Catholic Church: She came close to being baptised into the RC but the sufferings of her fellow Jews during WWII led her to stop as she always identified most with those who suffered most. Re bastard shotgun wedding of Christianity and Platonism.: It's been more profitable than the bastard shotgun wedding of Christianity and Aristotle! Re Weil [had] typical French political affections.: She started as a Communist but her religious sensibilities meant she lost interest in historical materialism and she hated power politics. Pity she didn't survive the War as her reflections on the Holocaust would have been profound.
Re You should have taken advantage of the confusion and lifted yourself a new TV.: Well, maybe I would have! - but I don't need to as I can afford to buy myself a new TV any time I want one. So could most of the smirkers I witnessed. That's what they don't register: it's easy to feel self-satisfied when you've got a loaded wallet. It's those who suffer from grinding poverty yet who would never consider turning to crime that have earned the right to be considered virtuous.
Re But the necessary existence is another therefore... that doesn't follow from the previous statement.: The ontological argument re-phrased. Definition: God = that than which nothing greater can be conceived. Claim: a Being that *cannot* be conceived not to exist is greater than a Being that *can* be conceived not to exist. Muse over that definition and claim and they both sound appropriate to our idea of God, no? An atheist or agnostic is therefore saying: Well, yes, IF God exists He would be a Being that cannot be conceived not to exist, but as we don't know whether or not He exists we're not getting anywhere. Let's unpack this sentence by our atheist: it comes down to this: God is a Being that *cannot* be conceived not to exist, but I *can* conceive of Him not existing. That is a flat contradiction. The issue boils down to what Judy calls a category error. To imagine that God's existence could be doubted is to put God's existence in the same category as the existence of salted popcorn, unicorns or quarks. It's to imagine that if God does exist He just *happens* to exist (like you) and so might *happen* not to exist, but God's existence is super-essential.
Today I was walking past a department store when a sudden commotion caught my attention. A young man was being frogmarched to a waiting police car by two constables - obviously he was a shoplifter who hadn't been as careful as he should have been. But what appalled me was that everyone around me - fellow pedestrians, people in coffee shops, those waiting at the bus stop - were almost universally smiling and exchanging knowing glances. I've noticed that reaction countless times in similar situations. But me: I just felt depressed. Here was a youth, perhaps on his way to prison. His mum and dad and sisters, his other relatives and his friends would be shocked and saddened by the news of his arrest. What is there to smile about for God's sake? It's a reaction I've noticed about other misfortunes. People see drug addicts in the final stages of degradation and judge these unfortunates as being losers. I see the same people and wonder what sexual or physical abuse they suffered as children - or maybe as adults they encountered some other misfortune, perhaps having to see a loved one die slowly and painfully of cancer - and think to myself how lucky I am that I have never had to cope with such trauma. So is Seraphita a saint? Not bloody likely. I am as selfish, as self-centred, as narrowly concerned with my own well-being as anyone. The difference seems to be an ability to enter imaginatively into the suffering of others and appreciate what a raw deal they had. Of course, some shop-lifters and drug addicts are complete saddos and probably need a kick up the arse and told to get a grip. But many will have just been unlucky - and luck plays a dominant role in all our lives. Imagination is often dismissed as idle fancy but really it is a faculty in which we grasp real aspects of the world - just like perception and reason. But perhaps another cause for people to enjoy the misfortunes of others - complete strangers at that - is that they are unhappy (The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. - Thoreau) and seeing someone worse off than themselves gives them a boost. They suddenly see that their own lives could be even more miserable so for a brief moment they can feel complacently self-satisfied. Alas - according to Nietzsche - pity is just cruelty disguised. There's a lot to be said for that view - just observe carefully how your friends and colleagues savour reports of disasters on the latest news bulletins while convincing themselves how compassionate they are. So what can we conclude? That Seraphita is a hypocrite! Heads you win; tails I lose.
Re So the argument must be falling down somewhere, probably because I can conceive of Him not existing.: So the Him you can conceive as not existing is clearly NOT the Him whose non-existence is inconceivable! The God you conceive might not exist is an image that you've constructed in your imagination based on your Sunday School lessons, so is essentially an *idol* - a false god. It is good news that you see that idols can't exist. The more idols you dismiss the closer you come to the real God that lies beyond your or anyone else's conceptions. The 14th-century theologian Meister Eckhart made the same point: The more they curse God the more they praise Him! Re Seems reasonable to me that God would have a strong moral sense, stronger than mine even, and that he wouldn't like to see people suffer.: The Godhead doesn't have a strong moral sense. It is the crassest anthropomorphism to imagine otherwise. (It's another category error!) But we humans have a moral sense (The soul is naturally Christian - Tertullian, third century) so we should encourage that moral sense to flourish in the same way that a gardener encourages a flower to bloom and emit its fragrance.
Logician Kurt Gödel's ontological proof for the existence of God. (This should keep salyavin808 busy for a while.) Definition 1: x is God-like if and only if x has as essential properties those and only those properties which are positive Definition 2: A is an essence of x if and only if for every property B, x has B necessarily if and only if A entails http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_consequence B Definition 3: x necessarily exists if and only if every essence of x is necessarily exemplified Axiom 1: Any property entailed by—i.e., strictly implied by—a positive property is positive Axiom 2: If a property is positive, then its negation is not positive Axiom 3: The property of being God-like is positive Axiom 4: If a property is positive, then it is necessarily positive Axiom 5: Necessary existence is a positive property From these axioms and definitions and a few other axioms from modal logic, the following theorems can be proved: Theorem 1: If a property is positive, then it is consistent, i.e., possibly exemplified. Corollary 1: The property of being God-like is consistent. Theorem 2: If something is God-like, then the property of being God-like is an essence of that thing. Theorem 3: Necessarily, the property of being God-like is exemplified. Symbolically:
Re I don't get the final therefore... I can conceive of fabulous things but nature is under no obligation to create them.: Because only that than which no greater can be conceived has *necessary* existence. Everything else has accidental existence (you, for example). The necessary existence is God's unique selling point. An atheist is claiming that it's possible that God doesn't exist. Therefore, said atheist is claiming God doesn't necessarily exist. Therefore, said atheist is claiming God doesn't exist necessarily. But necessary existence is part of our definition of God so said atheist is caught in a logical contradiction. Ouch!
Re ;It is no good replying that lots of ordinary religious people conceive of God in all sorts of crude ways at odds with the sophisticated philosophical theology developed by classical theists . . . : Precisely. Also your post makes it clear that the ideas we're talking about go back to Neoplatonic thinkers like Plotinus who was very hostile to Christianity. But Plotinus's One is completely transcendent - and so beyond thought - as is Brahman, the Tao; or Eckhart's Godhead. Dawkins and co are arguing with the ordinary religious people and not the pioneering thinkers. (Also Dawkins' science is essentially 19th-century science - he's scared of quantum physics as it takes him outside his comfort zone and he's aware of how weird it is.)
Judy is correct. What Stephen Roberts (who he?) doesn't get is that God is not a proper name. The trouble with these new atheist types is that they have no sympathy for theology so completely misunderstand the language that theologians use.
Re He really blasts them for their willful, arrogant ignorance, but they deserve it.: Precisely. These new atheists are so smug. The problem, of course, is that their opponents in debate are usually those lowbrow, fundamentalist types that are just as tiresome and even more misguided!
LOVED those Valentine cards! Let's quietly abandon our hopes and dreams together kinda makes me think of Prince Charles and Camilla. The supermarket chain Tesco used to do a Value range of dirt cheap but essential groceries in stripped-down red, white and blue packaging. One year, as a jest, they did a Value Valentine card that had me smiling every time I glimpsed one. Never had the nerve to buy one though - you'd have to be 100 per cent sure the recipient had a robust sense of humour.
The Can I have a go on your tits? Valentine card reminded me of this amusing pop hit . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM7H0ooV_o8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lM7H0ooV_o8
Silk Road 2 says it has been hacked resulting in the loss of ALL its customers' bitcoins. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26187725 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26187725
Remarkably prescient review for a band that had only just started to make waves. Makes a salutary contrast to my many dismissals of new bands over the years that later became huge! But even I had my moments. I loved this track from Hotlegs the pre-10cc name chosen by Godley and Creme. I saw these guys showed promise though everyone else said the song was crap . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN5m2nppq8Qamp;list=FLJad8vN225Nr5hDIzlEOYMA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN5m2nppq8Qamp;list=FLJad8vN225Nr5hDIzlEOYMA
I watched the whole of Top Of The Lake. It's unpleasant and violent with no redeeming or attractive characters. I only watched because of the UG guru role to see where that would lead. Nowhere is the answer. There's no real relationship between the spiritual group and the disorder and crime surrounding it so the commune just adds a slightly exotic ambience to the drama. You wanted Holly Hunter's character to provide an alternative interpretation of the events but there is no resolution - just a confirmation of Campion's pessimism.
Re Judy's :But you know, of course, that he completely repudiated what he'd written, right?: No - that was before my time. But people who write sycophantic crap about tyrants are the sort of useful idiots who insisted Stalin was a good egg. At a later date to repudiate what you said comes a bit late in the day for those who suffered at the hands of the bearded one. Why are you so defensive of Robin's reputation? Do you feel sorry for him? Carlsen's comments about Lady Gaga also reveal someone who is easily taken in by an act. I've nothing against the woman but let's face it she just produces pop pap. Camille Paglia takes on the myth here: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/magazine/article389697.ece http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/magazine/article389697.ece
If you haven't already done so you might want to read Carlsen's take on Ayatollah Khomeini. To me he was clearly a cruel, narrow-minded fanatic with an instinctive hatred of western ideas of freedom. But where I see black Carlsen sees white. Follow the link for his portrait of the mad imam; but here's a typical quote: He did not smile once; his face was implacably set in the resolution of his will; God demanded everything from him; he had given his life to serving God. There was nothing to laugh at, to be amused at, to wonder about; his course had been set and he was in the determined consequences of that course: to bring Islam into the prominence which its divine genesis had portended. He lived for Islam; he had become the instrument of Islam; he had no purpose but the enactment of Islam. His individuality seemed merged with the universality of his higher purpose. http://tinyurl.com/nbmpvj9 http://tinyurl.com/nbmpvj9
Re I'm pretty right wing when it comes to this stuff, I admit it.: It's funny how people feel the need to apologise for being right wing. I regard both wings as equally deluded. (My heroes are maverick outsiders - but paradoxically a society of radical individualists would be a healthier community.) And the idea that drug taking is an individual's private choice fits the libertarian approach which people usually regard as right wing. Back in the sixties the same attitude would have been regarded as dangerously left wing.
When mankind first left the African birthplace of our race millennia ago where did they head to first? Fair England has that honour. This green and pleasant land was an irresistible draw to our common ancestors. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26025763 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26025763
Re I would hate for anyone to call me right wing: A European right-wing conservative would have views far closer to a typical American Democrat than to a Republican. Eg, the right for a woman to be able to opt for an abortion is almost universally accepted over here. But I would never label myself either right or left. Maybe I'd opt for something paradoxical like a right-wing anarchist or a left-wing libertarian but these right/left distinctions seem ever more pointless. We need a radically new politics as no one now trusts mainstream politicians. This disengagement from the established parties is usually presented as a crisis by the MSM but I regard it as a healthy sign that people are no longer willing to be taken for granted . And to be fair to the Natural Law Party at least they were thinking outside the box.
By the way Ann, re your recent photo upload: that's a splendid hound you have. I'm jealous. I am more of a cat lover myself but all domestic animals are endlessly fascinating. Much more enjoyable and rewarding than a colour TV! Those who do TM are supposed to keep pets out of the room when they are meditating as the creatures bleed away your psychic energy - if MMY is to be believed.
The brain produces endorphins - endogenous morphine - naturally. I've wondered if some peoples' brains produce less of the goodies than others' which would make those deficient in endorphins more likely to succumb to opiate addiction. Never seen any discussion on the topic. But, that said, I don't think I'm buying the author's thesis: This means that alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, suicide attempts, phobias, adhd, anxiety and depression, et al are all disorders of the brain and as such need the treatment of a medical doctor first. There's been a huge rise in rates of all these addictions and disorders over the past decades so I think the primary cause is the sense of alienation of modern humans. We're estranged from nature, the clan and the community; until we realign our relationships with each other no other treatment is going to be more than a temporary fix.
Re I have read something related to this.: Yes, that sounds like the same territory I was suggesting. The problem with heroin addicts is that it's too late to investigate their natural production of endorphins when they're already hooked as their chemical self-regulation has already been shot. My main point was that as rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, suicide attempts, phobias, ADHD, anxiety and depression, sex addiction, computer addiction, porn addiction, self-harming fads, and gambling are all rising it's unlikely to come down to brain chemistry simply requiring a Prozac boost. It suggests it's today's society that is engineering isolated individuals (consumers) who are trying to escape from their sense of emptiness and estrangement via compulsive, immediate-reward behaviour. It's the young who are at the sharp end of recent changes and I don't envy them their future. On an side note: if you knew who supplied PSH with his heroin would you tell the police? If I knew someone was selling *contaminated* drugs causing deaths in the community then I would certainly let the authorities know. But otherwise, I'd regard a mutually agreed transaction between PSH and his dealer as a private affair conducted between consenting adults. I suspect that's a minority opinion! ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, awoelflebater@... wrote: ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, s3raphita@... wrote: The brain produces endorphins - endogenous morphine - naturally. I've wondered if some peoples' brains produce less of the goodies than others' which would make those deficient in endorphins more likely to succumb to opiate addiction. Never seen any discussion on the topic. I have read something related to this. It involves overeaters or those who require more of something to get the same kind of satisfaction as someone who only imbibes smaller amounts of the same thing (food, alcohol, etc). Scientists have determined that the over-imbibers/eaters are those with a lack of chemical in the brain responsible for registering pleasure and so one piece of chocolate cake might fulfill one person (with the proper amount of this chemical), it would take half a cake for the one lacking this sensory feedback mechanism to register the same reward/benefit of the former. Not having looked further into this at this point, I can not tell you which chemical or chemicals were responsible for this but I am sure endorphins are part of the equation. But, that said, I don't think I'm buying the author's thesis: This means that alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, suicide attempts, phobias, adhd, anxiety and depression, et al are all disorders of the brain and as such need the treatment of a medical doctor first. There's been a huge rise in rates of all these addictions and disorders over the past decades so I think the primary cause is the sense of alienation of modern humans. We're estranged from nature, the clan and the community; until we realign our relationships with each other no other treatment is going to be more than a temporary fix.
Re I have read something related to this.: Yes, that sounds like the same territory I was suggesting. The problem with heroin addicts is that it's too late to investigate their natural production of endorphins when they're already hooked as their chemical self-regulation has already been shot. My main point was that as rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, suicide attempts, phobias, ADHD, anxiety and depression, sex addiction, computer addiction, porn addiction, self-harming fads, and gambling are all rising it's unlikely to come down to brain chemistry simply requiring a Prozac boost. It suggests it's today's society that is engineering isolated individuals (consumers) who are trying to escape from their sense of emptiness and estrangement via compulsive, immediate-reward behaviour. It's the young who are at the sharp end of recent changes and I don't envy them their future. On a side note: if you knew who supplied PSH with his heroin would you tell the police? If I knew someone was selling *contaminated* drugs causing deaths in the community then I would certainly let the authorities know. But otherwise, I'd regard a mutually agreed transaction between PSH and his dealer as a private affair conducted between consenting adults. I suspect that's a minority opinion!
Well, of course, the religious wacko is correct: it was 50 years ago that Sgt. Pepper taught the world to twerk. The Beatles are to blame for (or at least they were a prominent factor in) the sixties' cultural earthquake. I recall my music (classical) teacher saying to me that he thought rock music was a dangerous, irrational irruption into modern life. Popular music before the pop revolution was acceptable - Sinatra, jazz, etc. - he maintained, but beware this new wave. Now, I was as keen on the Beatles as anyone so didn't follow his advice but I did see immediately where he was coming from. There is something of the insistent tom tom beat about rock that by-passes the conscious mind in a way one's sense of self control was not bypassed by listening to Dean Martin singing Volare. Another big change was the revival of ecstatic dancing at festivals or the local disco which *really is* a pagan revival. The whole let-yourself-go vibe was facilitated by rock music, dancing (and drugs). And the sexual changes went in step with the musical changes. Witness Larkin: Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me) - Between the end of the Chatterley ban And the Beatles' first LP. (Annus Mirabilis) The wacko is basically saying things that many in the opposing camp would agree with him about - it's just that where he sees black they see white.
ReI think the idea was that addicts were selfish, we already know dealers don't give a crap about their customers.: Yes - it was drug users I referred to. The point was that people who are prepared to put themselves out for others (eg, mothers raising children) don't tend to use drugs; people whose approach to life is essentially self-centred are more likely to gravitate towards drug use. So there's a correlation between selfishness and drug abuse. As that's a judgemental statement people don't like to say it but I suspect it's true (if you throw in a lot of caveats and exceptions to the rule). But it's possible that Ann's right and we're putting the cart before the horse: becoming drug-dependent makes you self-absorbed as a necessary by-product.
Re Most people spend a life they don't know what to do with, wishing they had another one that lasted forever.: That's actually quite profound! I thought it might be a quote but couldn't trace it via Google. Well done you.
Re increase in deaths due to heroin laced with fentanyl : That's a possible explanation. Another is that the heroin he injected is was purer - stronger - than the usual stuff doing the rounds and he should have used a smaller dose. But stronger/purer heroin is more desirable than heroin cut with filler - as long as you're aware of what you're injecting. I knew a Scottish smack addict who confided to me one time that whenever he heard of a junkie dying of an overdose his first thought was never sympathy but was always: I wonder who the dead addict bought that batch from? and Can I get my hands on some for myself .
Re increase in deaths due to heroin laced with fentanyl : That's a possible explanation. Another is that the heroin he injected was purer - stronger - than the usual stuff doing the rounds and he should have used a smaller dose. But stronger/purer heroin is more desirable than heroin cut with filler - as long as you're aware of what you're injecting. I knew a Scottish smack addict who confided to me one time that whenever he heard of a junkie dying of an overdose his first thought was never sympathy but was always: I wonder who the dead addict bought that batch from? and Can I get my hands on some for myself .
Re There was a mad rush to find the dealers who sold him the drug.: My thoughts exactly. If the pusher is caught he's going to have the book thrown at him. Prepare yourself for some cringe-making playing to the gallery in the court as the dealer is cast as the scum of the earth. Hoffman was a fully-paid-up adult and has to take responsibility for his own actions. What led him to addiction can only be known by his close family and friends and I'm not in the business of judging his choices (though his now not being there for his children is the real tragedy). One psychologist who specialised in drug users came to the conclusion that those who allow drugs to dominate their lives are essentially *selfish*. Although that sounds simplistic and judgemental it has the ring of truth to it as far as I'm concerned. I first seriously noticed Hoffman in The Talented Mr. Ripley which remains one of my very favourite modern films. Playing an obnoxious Yank abroad he dominated every scene he appeared in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq462kfFKI8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq462kfFKI8
Re Ocean of Bliss: The Recent Sayings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Thanks for the recommendation..
Re I don't even know if they are allowed to teach it in Skem anymore as its funded by the government now and ought to be teaching the national curriculum which is unlikely to include astrology.: Is it a free school (a charter school in the US)? If so, it doesn't have to follow the national curriculum. However the Department of Education states that: We do not expect creationism, intelligent design and similar ideas to be taught as valid scientific theories in any state-funded school which suggests they might also come down hard on astrology. However, religious faith and worship is expected so how one draws the line between religious beliefs on the one hand and astrology on the other could be debated.
Re how would they even approach Tony Nader's weird discoveries about the veda and human physiology?: Has anyone actually read that book? He was paid for his researches with his weight in gold - I bet he stuffed himself with burgers and pizzas in the weeks before the weighing test.
Re Don't act like it doesn't happen and that long term TM practice and esp. long term TMSP practice is not a factor.: Totally agree with you. Of course, the problem with issues like this is that if anyone claims TM has such-and-such benefits, or alternatively that TM causes this-and-that problems, the only way to empirically resolve the issue is to have a large sample of people who learn TM and another sample who don't. Make sure the two groups are more-or-less matched for other features - age, status, mental health, money issues, etc. Then follow the two groups over the years and see what benefits or disasters occur that are statistically significant. Anything else is just anecdotal. You also have to rule out the horse-before-the-cart fallacies: do people who learn TM show a greater tendency to stop using drugs thanks to regularly experiencing pure consciousness? Or is it the case that those who display the discipline necessary to stop using drugs and take up a regular practice of meditation are statistically more likely to continue abstaining? I'm pretty sure that for some sensitive individuals, taking up TM could have undesirable psychological consequences.
The fact that Knox was originally questioned without her lawyer being present will surely guarantee that no US authority would consent to her being sent back to Italy. I was wondering what would happen if her lover Raffaele Sollecito was able to sneak into the USA and claim asylum. He's an Italian citizen but could the US send him back while at the same time denying the Italians' request for Knox? Gotta feel sorry for the guy if he serves decades in prison while Foxy leads a normal life.
Barry, apologies for lowering the tone of the conversation, but you did make the acquaintance of Crumb and I was pruriently curious if his wife was also one of those dominatrix types with huge thighs and ass like his trademark fantasy artwork women. Had he found his ideal partner? And what was she like as a person?
Re Human consciousness is above the dimensions of space and time. As such, nature follows the desire of the knower.: But note that desire is itself within the dimensions of space and time. I desire to own a Land Rover. That can only be fulfilled at some *time* in the future and at a certain, specific *location*. If Jyotish rings (or similar magical techniques) do work it is because the desire element is transcended. Magical rituals conclude with a banishing - in vulgar understanding the banishing sends a servitor spirit back to its home; in reality the banishing works by making the magician himself forget about his original desire and so - as you point out - any result is the effect of his subconscious (perhaps a better term is his *higher self*).
Re So we should KNOW to give importance to nothingness. And then we have in our grip the totality.: Thanks for sharing that. The whole MMY quote you post had me purring contentedly. What we really need is for someone of intelligence and discrimination to produce a book - The Essential Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - which could include all his choice prose.
Re Cognitive inhibition is believed to strongly influence, helping to control both sexual and aggressive urges within human society.: On a side note: TM, of course, relies not on inhibition but on the natural tendency of the mind to settle in deeper, calmer depths. Re Most scientists, being sceptics, test the reliability of certain kinds of claims by subjecting them to a systematic investigation using some form of the scientific method.: I'm (more-or-less) happy with the scientific *method*; it's *scientists* I'm more sceptical about. They have ambitions, lusts, egos, insecurities, . . . and understand what their paymasters expect. An investigation into the effects of passive smoking produces different results if the tests are funded by tobacco companies or health authorities. We all know why. (You use sceptic rather than skeptic - you British?)
Re That's one reason people gain weight when they stop smoking.: So smoking is an excellent slimming aid. Benson Hedges used to make the best ads back when they were legal . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxb-y6u28bY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxb-y6u28bY ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, sharelong60@... wrote: Seraph, tobacco is also a stimulant. It raises the metabolic rate. That's one reason people gain weight when they stop smoking. On Wednesday, January 29, 2014 4:31 PM, s3raphita@... s3raphita@... wrote: Re It suggests, especially to young girls, that if they smoke, they will be slim.: That isn't a myth though! Smoking tobacco really does suppress appetite. In fact, I wonder how many models *don't* smoke. The increase in obesity levels can at least in part be blamed on the success of anti-smoking campaigns.
Silk Cut brand had ads in preparation for a ban on named tobacco advertising. The advertisements showed scissors cutting through purple silk with the Silk Cut logo on it. When the ban came into effect Silk Cut removed the logo from the advertisements and only left the purple silk. A study showed that even without the Silk Cut logo, 98% of consumers associated the advertisements with Silk Cut. The final poster in the series was in 2002 when all tobacco advertising in the UK was finally banned and showed an opera singer, wearing a purple silk dress which had split at the seams - a reference to the saying 'It's not over until the fat lady sings'. Here's a cinema/TV ad with no reference to the product at all - just scissors cutting through a roll of silk. Brilliance in the service of vice! (Apologies for low quality.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZEOA4Zci3w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZEOA4Zci3w
I always found Crumb's comix disturbing, violent and misogynistic. I particularly hated the Fritz the Cat animated film. A vision of life so cynical has to be a complete dead end.
Re When I got through with those hucksters they would be squalling for their sycophants to carry them back to their ashrams!: There are stories of sexually dubious behaviour re both MMY and Muktananda so you'd have a field day dishing the dirt on them and watching them hurriedly making their escapes. No way would they ever have allowed anyone to seriously debate with them or question them in an open forum. But Anandamayi Ma didn't attract any scandal as far as I'm aware. And she looked appropriately spiritual.
Re Well I thought everybody knew he was killed by the long-time effects of the injection the FBI/CIA gave him when he was 24 hrs in prison before he left the USA. That's what Osho himself claimed.: Osho thought he was a victim of thallium poisoning by the FBI. As thallium causes hair loss and Osho had a full head of hair when he died that was obviously not the case. His symptoms match those caused by N2O abuse. And the authorities didn't need to kill him - they got much more mileage by having him slowly transported across country in handcuffs being filmed by the TV networks. Osho's bedroom was also bugged (without his knowledge) by his own deputy Sheela - the police confiscated those recordings (do they still have them?) so could have released juicy audio clips any time they wanted to embarrass him further.
On the subject of rating spiritual masters, are FFLifers familiar with Sarlo's Guru Rating Service? Sarlo himself was a disciple of Osho so gives him top rating but apart from that self-indulgence I find his subjective judgements on various teachers, gurus and rishis to be reliable. The site is in an irritating pink and blue colour scheme, and takes a while to learn how to navigate but now rates 1,750 people. Links are provided pro and anti the teachers and there's a feedback option. Take a peek and see how your favourites score . . . http://www3.telus.net/public/sarlo/Ratings.htm http://www3.telus.net/public/sarlo/Ratings.htm
Re It suggests, especially to young girls, that if they smoke, they will be slim.: That isn't a myth though! Smoking tobacco really does suppress appetite. In fact, I wonder how many models *don't* smoke. The increase in obesity levels can at least in part be blamed on the success of anti-smoking campaigns.
Re This influence acts to cull out any deep-seated hypocritical behaviour. : Sounds like Kali has her work cut out. The modern world is built on a foundation of lies.
Jesus! That creep Berg. I came across The Children of God in the early seventies here in London. I recall the young woman in charge, who I suspect might have been one of his daughters, was typical cult-leader material. Complete self-confidence and not looking for anyone to contradict her. The disciples she'd collected around her were all lost souls. Interesting that the full-blown narcissist in the video regrets not having feelings. You'd have thought you had to feel unhappy or remorseful to regret not having feelings. Contradictory?
Re Egomaniac Godmen who had experienced selflessness: I've seen a lot of DVDs of Osho's talks and although I would never have dreamt of becoming a disciple I did find I agreed with most of what he said and he was clearly talking from personal experience (and not just book-learning - though he was famously well-read). He clearly had a genuine enlightenment experience. I suspect that whereas my own dips into egolessness were always of short duration, in Osho's case it was a permanent shift which left him in a state of superconsciousness. My suggestion is that he (perhaps naturally) took that radical shift as evidence he was now fully awakened. He would have benefited from having a Zen roshi or Christian abbot to congratulate him on his accomplishment but then add that now the serious work was about to begin. Because Osho was a lone wolf he became complacent and then once he became a rock star amongst spiritual masters he found himself imprisoned in a glittering jail of his own devising. The fact that his original spiritual emergence was genuine and permanent makes what he had to say well worth listening to. The fatuous, preening aspect of his cult only really affected his close disciples. We can simply ignore that side. Incidentally, Osho (like Rama) was also heavily addicted to Valium. Like Rama it was also initially prescribed for pain relief. Osho then became a daily user of laughing gas in his later years (to be fair, partly for pain relief) and that is almost certainly what killed him. He had classic symptoms of nitrous oxide poisoning at the end. All he had to do was take vitamin B12 supplements and he would have been fine.
I'll check it out but I bet it's not a patch on Darren Aronofsky's first full-length feature Pi with a mathematician trying to unlock the universal patterns found in nature. Gilliam always leans too hard on his art directors and set designers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo18VIoR2xU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo18VIoR2xU
Re My tantra guru knew Osho and thought he was nuts.: Don't all gurus bad-mouth the opposition? At Oregon, Osho had withdrawn from public appearances (apart from drive pasts in his Rollers), he was already heavily into Valium - up to 300mgs a day - way above a regular prescription dose, and he was dictating books while under the influence of laughing gas. He did make a partial recovery after he was expelled from the States - his humiliation there seems to have stripped him of some of his illusions and concentrated his mind. His last talks (back in Puna) are quite affecting as he obviously knew he was making his final bow. Re said he was going to give the people what they wanted: sex: It's still selling like hot cakes. The sex aspect is worth a brief look. Osho thought that people's experience of orgasm was the closest most would come to having a transcendental experience. (Colin Wilson had similar ideas!) He also had no time for the puritanical Indian mindset and wanted to import western liberal attitudes. Is an orgasm a pointer to an experience of expansion of spirit? I think the answer to that must vary considerably from one individual to another but the importance of fantasy in so much sexual activity suggests that for many a sexual climax intensifies their sense of self rather than releasing it. Tricky subject to discuss though! Especially on a public forum. Although I think that for a few people sex could initiate an awakening it is clearly open to abuse and there is no shortage of low-lifes happy to simply exploit the freedom on offer. I doubt if in Osho's wildest dreams he anticipated the sexual license that was a feature of his (first) Puna ashram as he attracted a lot of ex-hippie types. (There was a lot of drug use then.) Being a man - and the dominant male - he took full advantage in that rather sad and sordid way that failed gurus take their pick of the nubile females. At Oregon people were too tired and over-worked for too much hanky-panky and drugs were banned - and then AIDS reared its ugly head. And the Puna site today sells typical, bland new-age nostrums and sounds boringly respectable. At the end Osho came to believe that sex was a dead end as a route to enlightenment and only meditation was of any use.
“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” ― H.L. Mencken
Re Question of the day: how do you know you exist?: This is elementary. I know I exist. That is only thing of which I am *absolutely* certain. What I can't be certain of is that *you* exist. In an act of condescension on my part I am prepared to accept that you *probably* do exist - at least as phenomena appearing within my consciousness. I am presently witnessing messages appearing on my laptop that purport to come from an entity called Bhairitu. But all I can know of Bhairitu is a sequence of typed sentences on my screen. There is no awareness in Bhairitu I can access. All the awareness I am ever conscious of is my very own - Seraphita's - awareness. And that awareness - that consciousness - is the only sentience I will *ever* have direct cognizance of in the universe I inhabit - the universe that is centred on me. I can embrace a lover and exchange the most tender, the most intimate sentiments, but the bald fact remains that my consciousness is the only consciousness I will ever know. To allocate awareness to Bhairitu or to a lover is always an act of projection of my own consciousness. I am trapped in my own universe with me as the centre. But is this a solipsistic nightmare? No, because Bhairitu's awareness is not a something *behind* his appearance - his face - (as everyone assumes) it exists in *front* of his appearance and is identical with my own awareness of him - or my lover or anyone else. Because our awareness is the One Self being aware of itself behind a multitude of apparent separate identities. This is Advaita-Vedanta 101.
Coming back to Barry's post: 'I've seen a number of people have strong experiences of being enlightenment, and then afterwards back off and run away from any sadhana (spiritual practice, such as meditation) that would make being enlightenment come back. : Doesn't that apply to your Rama? I'd never hear of Rama till I encountered FFL but the fact that he was heavily into tranquillisers suggests he was suffering from acute anxiety. Why so? Because he was unable to integrate his own spiritual experiences. (I also see that Rama told his female followers that having sex with him would elevate them to a higher plane of consciousness. Are there really women that fall for that lame chat-up line?) This broadens out into a wider debate on Egomaniac Godmen who had experienced selflessness. Why were so many of them such irritating self-centred arseholes? I don't doubt that some of them - Muktanada and Osho, for example - had genuine experiences of loss of ego identity. But I've had such experiences (only short-lived) and although I had no way of piecing together my lost identity my character habits (my karma?) were still functioning. It did strike me then that genuine spiritual transformation would have to uproot those character habits - perhaps by spending two years cleaning the latrines in a leper colony. I suspect that people like Osho, Chögyam Trungpa, Muktanada and Rama had that ego-loss thing and falsely assumed it was the full enlightenment blow-out and so never realised what self-centred sods they remained. I mean, take Osho's collection of Rolls-Royces: he wanted to have the largest collection in the world. How childish is that? Imagine that an authentic first-century manuscript was uncovered in the Vatican archives that proved Jesus of Nazareth had ten gold-plated chariots and was hoping to add to that collection to out-number the total of the Roman Emperor? Christianity would be finished as a world religion the very next day. Osho's acolytyes came up with some baloney about his mania being a subversive attack on materialism - does anyone still believe that self-serving crap? There's something horribly self-centred about the whole new-age trip that gives it that superficial, delusional character. The trouble is Christianity's emphasis on obedience and humility seems to go too far in the opposite direction so we're still looking for a genuine route out of the dominant materialist paradigm.