Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The only place in the universe- ANDREW COHEN

by Andrew Cohen

I had my first spiritual experience when I was 16 years old. I was sitting up late one night having a conversation with my mother about something I can't remember, when for no apparent reason, the doors of perception opened wide. In no time I was swept up in an ocean of ecstasy that seemed infinite. I also experienced many insights that unfolded one after the other.

One of them was very interesting. It became apparent to me that all points in space are exactly the same place. In other words, from the temporarily enlightened perspective I was experiencing that evening, it became obvious that no matter where I went on earth or in the universe, at the deepest level I would always be in exactly the same place.

Article continues here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cobain, the silver cat (PIC)

Photo by Sharka Todd

Are things "the will of God"?

Although I believe creation is good in the broadest sense I don't accept that what happens on Earth is necessarily the will of a God. If God exists I believe "he" leaves things up to us to decide and sadly, many choices we make are destructive rather than creative.  Hence, conditions on Earth are far from ideal!

If God has a specific desire for our lives, beyond allowing us to freely experience, then clearly there is no compunction to follow it.  Therefore the sum of actions on Earth by people will not equate to "the will of God".  "The will of God" could only manifest if every person carried out "the will of God" in their own lives and clearly this is not the case as such a thing would mean we had no free will and were just automatons, like many materialists believe.

Even if there is a God or Great Spirit separate from the individual this doesn't mean that "he" has any desire to influence our lives in any way.

The idea that there is a God who has plans for our life is one promoted by certain religions but it necessarily doesn't flow from a belief in the existence of a creator.  There are also many who believe in a creator, but one who has endowed us with free will, not to test us with either obeying or disobeying "his" will, but rather one who has the grace to allow us to live our lives as we see fit and to learn our lessons in our own time.

Sharka Todd

Saturday, December 13, 2014

People who distrust their own minds (pt3)

Everything we experience comes through our own mind* whether it is communicated by another or directly experienced.  If we cannot trust our own mind then we cannot trust our ability to input information correctly whether sourced by others or by ourselves.

Consciousness is pure, clean and holy (given good health) - it is only our interpretation of events that may be clouded.  And these interpretations depend upon our beliefs and intentions which is what we must look at if we are not happy with the results we are achieving in our own lives!

*mind here taken to mean consciousness

Sharka Todd

People who distrust their own minds (Pt.2)

People who don’t meditate or study spiritual teachings rarely know much about their own minds.  This may contribute to the lack of trust some people place in it.  I don’t think it’s the primary input into our consciousness (through the senses) that causes the problems but rather our interpretation of it.  Having had no experience of hallucinations or mental illness myself I cannot speak for those that have.  But in my own case, I have found no reason to distrust the data that enters my consciousness through the senses nor have I found any reason to doubt the ability of my mind to interpret this data accurately according to my beliefs and intentions.

If one's intentions are not good or one's beliefs are limited or destructive then the way one interprets their experiences will be negatively affected by this.  But this is a matter on one's intentions and beliefs being out of kilter not of anything being fundamentally wrong with one's senses or mental functioning.  The senses and mental apparatus are pure and fully functional when the body and spirit are in good shape but when they are out of alignment then problems can arise.  This may result in poorly interpreted sensory input which may result in a person being unable to function in a healthy and productive way.

Sharka Todd

Comment to a person distrustful of his own mind (pt.1)

Anyone who can't trust their own mind and senses truly is lost, for that is the only means we can know this world, even if we do gain information from sources outside ourselves. For even this information will still be discovered and filtered through our own minds.

I understand some people suffer from mental illness and it is perhaps these people that become overly dependent on outer sources of "authority" for their world view.  As someone whose senses and mind have never let them down I can't say I comprehend their view but for those who are weak of mind and lacking in self-belief science and religion may provide a useful crutch.

(Original comment made on a YouTube video here.)

Sharka Todd

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Science, myth, reality and knowledge

Science is a way of describing the world, a “myth” if you like, and just one among many.  Those that say it is the “truth” don’t understand the nature of language or human knowledge.  Every type of human knowledge is just a lens we place upon reality in an attempt to understand or limit it, but is not reality itself.  A description of something is not the thing itself, and never could be!  Reality is much larger than that!  In the same way, the description of an experience is not the experience itself but just an attempt to communicate some shareable attributes of it to others.

Reality is unknowable in its fullness, however by applying all our senses and feeling nature to our current situation we can experience it as fully as is possible by us.  That is the most we can do!  Having purely an intellectual understanding of something is a poor thing indeed compared to an open-hearted- and minded- experience of something!  And such an open-hearted experience is not something that can be accurately translated into words which our shared knowledge depends upon!  And, for those who don’t grok the word open-hearted, it means having no resistance in our body/mind that would shut us off from experiencing the moment and the world around us.  Basically, it means to not see ourselves as separate from the moment or the thing we are focused upon.  That is the nature of being open-hearted: a soft stance towards life where we don't seek to separate ourselves from it!

(For a more detailed analysis see the work of Mary Midgley and Thomas Kuhn's landmark work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.)

Sharka Todd

The density of matter blinds people- KIM MICHAELS

Source: Master Keys to Spiritual Freedom, by Lord Maitreya through Kim Michaels.

Rationales used by “machine men” to justify destructive action

If I didn’t do it, someone else would.
It has to be done to keep the economy strong.
It will grow back/repair itself/recover in time.
I need to do it to feed my family.
It’s always been done this way.
This is the economically/scientifically efficient approach.
It doesn’t matter- trees/birds/wildlife etc. don’t really count.
It's just the way of the world!

Sharka Todd

Machine man v feeling man

There are “machine men” - those who ignore or shut down their feeling nature and “feeling men”- those who feel and act on their feelings, when appropriate.

Almost all the terrible things that happen in the world- to people, animals and mother earth- happen because of machine men.

The intellect, acting alone, is a dangerous thing.  Only when coupled with the feeling nature, which opens us up to the experience of others and to our own empathy and compassion, are we likely to act in ways that are harmless, both for ourselves and others.

Some people shut down their feelings in some domains of their life while allowing themselves to feel in other areas.  This allows them to be destructive in one domain while constructive in another.  This leads to a divided man and is not to be recommended.

I believe we were born with a feeling nature for a reason and that is to encourage us to act in ways that are beneficial to creation as a whole rather than just suiting our own limited mental concepts.

When we ignore our feeling nature destruction is the result. This can be seen in all the violent acts that occur on the earth against other people, animals and the planet itself.

Many of these actions are viewed as "necessary" but this is only because those that carry them out or condone them are deluded by distorted thinking and have shut down their feeling nature which would tell them these things are wrong.

This denial of feeling makes these people a danger to all life.  We must regain our connection to our feeling nature and act according to its dictates (in conjunction with our rational nature) if we are to become noble co-creators on this wonderful planet.

Sharka Todd

See also: Rationales used by “machine men” to justify destructive action
, We can't know something by thinking about it and The head and heart must be in balance.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The cult of Seth

Images by Sharka Todd

EF Shumacher's book remains important!

Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered is a collection of essays by British economist E. F. Schumacher. The phrase "Small Is Beautiful" came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr.  It is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as "bigger is better".

First published in 1973, Small Is Beautiful brought Schumacher's critiques of Western economics to a wider audience during the 1973 energy crisis and emergence of globalization. The Times Literary Supplement ranked Small Is Beautiful among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.  A further edition with commentaries was published in 1999.

Trees- more than meets the eye!

Text by Matthew Ward, photo and graphics by Sharka Todd.

The exclusive focus on "climate change" is dangerous!

The single-minded focus on climate change to the exclusion of other environmentally pertinent topics I find dangerous.  It means, for example, that China can build a monstrous dam, displace thousands of people, destroy a vast natural area and be seen as a good guy because they are enhancing "renewable energy" in the country.  We need to have a broader approach than that!

Sharka Todd

See here a discussion of the Three Dams controversy in China by SBS Australia.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Are we willing to share the planet-

or do we want it all for ourselves?

Sharka Todd

There is no matter, only mind- Max Planck

As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.
— Max Planck, Das Wesen der Materie, 1944
Source: Wikipedia "Materialism- defining matter"

Skepticz- materialism & spiritualism

An “environmental” analysis of a natural area is not enough-

Photo by Sharka Todd

we need a spiritual analysis too!

Sharka Todd

Monday, November 24, 2014

The name of the company is-

"Fiscal Polish"!

Sharka Todd

Even robots fall in love!

Skepticz magazine- objectivity edition

Image edit by Sharka Todd

A common greeting among droids (PIC)

and the appropriate answer is: "I function well, and you?"

Sharka Todd

Bush dance- matrix style! (VIDEO)

The scientific v mystical view

Image by Sharka Todd

What percent of nature should be left untouched?

An aerial view of English countryside.

Mammon, ruler of the world? (PIC)

Image edit by Sharka Todd

What is God's punishment?

Punishment by the Lord is true vision.  That is, seeing what we have done through clear eyes!

When we act in harmful ways we do so with only partial vision.  To see these actions and their consequences with wide and true vision is the punishment we receive for acting blindly!

If we learn the lessons to be gained from our blind actions and resolve to do better then no further karma is created.  But without seeing clearly what we have done we cannot learn the lessons it holds.

When we have seen clearly and learnt our lesson then we can move on and we are effectively forgiven for our sins!

Sharka Todd

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Subjective experiences and science

How much can we trust our own unique, subjective experiencing?

Science deals with things that can be both shared and measured- tables, for example.  Other things exist which can be shared but not easily measured- feelings such as happiness and fear, for example.  Most people have experienced these things and accept that they exist but the actual subjective experience itself cannot be measured (although chemical states in the body associated with them can be).

There exists a third category: experiences that are not readily shared with others because they are unusual, such as experiences had whilst in an altered or unusual state of consciousness. The “reality” of these things is up to the individual to decide.  The potential for self-deception must be considered.  The question is: how much do we trust our own mind and our own interpretation of events?  The answer to this will depend on how we currently view past experiences we have had when we have had unusual experiences or insights.  If we find that later on (when we are in a more conventional state of mind) our previous insights still hold water then this will enhance our trust in our own experiencing.  However, when we are dealing with the subjective realm it is difficult to be certain of the validity of our experiences or the conclusions we draw from them due to the private nature of the experience and an inability to compare our experience to others.  However, this doesn’t mean we should ignore them.

Ultimately all knowledge must come subjectively as this is truly the realm in which we* exist although we may seem to occupy an objective body in an objective universe!  "Objective" objects (physical forms) only make up a small proportion of "objects in consciousness" and should not be given any greater importance than those things which remain private to ourselves- our thoughts and feelings- which are as real as anything that can be physically demonstrated!

*By "we" I mean consciousness, or awareness, which I have equated with the self.

Sharka Todd

Friday, November 21, 2014

Once the machine was invented-

the genie was out of the bottle!

Sharka Todd

I see people running around-

but they’re only insects to me!

Sharka Todd

The Roman Empire is currently being run-

 out of Washington!

Sharka Todd

Brief guide for logging forests responsibly

Photo by Sharka Todd

1.    Stay away from gullies and water courses
2.    Stay away from the sides of steep hills
3.    Don’t log on top of hills
4.    Only log a small proportion of any given forest (preferably less than 5%), particularly when the forest is natural or semi-natural (as opposed to timber plantations)
5.   Attempt to maintain the balance of species in the forest.
6.   Careful not to log any area with unique qualities, such as possessing rare plants or animals or possessing unique recreational values.

These guidelines help to maintain the natural integrity of the land and the forest in question.

Sharka Todd

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Intelligent designs?

Considering that intelligence exists and must have always done so, in one form or another (complete absence of intelligence could never give birth to intelligence), it would seem reasonable to suggest that intelligence would be involved in the design of physical processes through which consciousness expresses itself.

It would seem odd that blind forces would be entrusted to create the incredibly complex forms which life requires to function in this reality. And if intelligence exists, why wouldn't it be used? Surely this would confer a competitive advantage to the species that used it?

Sharka Todd