Sunday, November 30, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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.
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!
See here a discussion of the Three Dams controversy in China by SBS Australia.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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.Source: Wikipedia "Materialism- defining matter"
— Max Planck, Das Wesen der Materie, 1944
Monday, November 24, 2014
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!
Sunday, November 23, 2014
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.
Friday, November 21, 2014
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.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
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?
Monday, November 17, 2014
I find it odd that many of those who dislike religion the most still seem to think it has the last word about God, the afterlife and such matters. Religion has attempted to "own" spiritual views but there are many alternate perspectives, many of which are based on the eyewitness accounts of NDErs, OOBErs, mediums, mystics, psychedelic drug users, etc., which are far more convincing that those put forward by any religion! However, atheists who are supposedly damning of religion still do most of their arguing against the limited and partisan view of religion as if those views meant something!
God cannot be owned by any religion and the belief in a supreme spirit is certainly not limited to Christianity, Islam or Judaism. The idea that the Christian concept of the afterlife, which is very vague, must be taken as the last word on what happens when we die is absurd. There is a great body of information that deals with the afterlife from the viewpoint of experiencers (see above), rather than the partisan view of priests who wish to control people's actions on earth by the use of fear, and yet it it the priestly view that "atheists" spend all their time talking about. Talk about a "straw man"! We all know religious views are contrived to suit the institutions themselves, so why not look where the truth can always be found- in people's experiences!
"The Good"- photo by Sharka Todd
To call something "the work of Satan" will have many people thinking you are a loon and yet others will know exactly what you mean. Such is the diversity in language used and understanding held by the human race!
When I invoke Satan I don't mean an actual entity but rather a mind-set or even a type of being who is basically malevolent or uncaring towards others and an enemy of the Good. And by "the Good" I mean everything that is good within man and nature. For I see both man and the natural world as good at its core and it is this goodness we need to acknowledge and foster!
Someone who destroys the Good by carelessness may be called a tool of Satan but only those who destroy the Good by an act of will are actually Satanic. For example, logging contractors who destroy a beautiful forest under the orders of a government or private agency are not Satanic but are doing the work of Satan by destroying the Good (nature). However, anyone that destroys natural areas because of a hatred of Good/God is Satanic.
As a society we need to encourage an approach to life that honors and protects the Good both within people and the natural world. To this end, activities that harm natural systems and human well-being need to be highlighted, discontinued and gone beyond as we become ever greater stewards of God's magnificent creation!
Dirt bikes are a wonderful recreation but noise concerns remain a problem...
I appreciate the pleasure people get from riding their motorbikes in natural areas and if the bikes could be created to run reasonably quietly then they would be a welcome addition to many natural areas designed for general human recreation. But as the bikes are at the moment- with their extreme noise levels- they don't belong in quiet natural areas but instead in the noisy cities or on a race track.
When ridden without due care, dirt bikes violently upset the peace and tranquility of natural areas and are offensive to other park users and the creatures that live there. However, by riding considerably, by limiting revs and not spending too long in the one area (i.e. by passing through areas rather than doing laps), for example, then some kind of accommodation can be reached!
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Photo by Sharka Todd
Birds must be very good communicators because they don’t fight much and they do cooperate a lot! They certainly are very vocal much of the time!
Birds minds certainly work much faster than human minds and by observing their actions we see that their experience of time is different to ours as they operate much faster than we do, so clearly they experience time is a “slower” fashion that we do. That is, a second of clock time represents a much longer psychological time for birds than for humans!
Animals have long been regarded as “lower than” rather than “different than” human beings. This is an oversight that the human race needs to overcome if we are to more forward as enlightened beings!
The belief that other life forms are "less than" has contributed to us giving other species and their well-being little consideration when we make resource use decisions. This has resulted in the widespread destruction of natural areas that non-human life expressions rely on to survive and thrive. This is a tragic oversight that has greatly impoverished the world we live in and the lives we are capable of living within it!
Animals are also used, largely unnecessarily, by humans to support the fulfillment of their own selfish desires with little regard for the well-being of the animals involved. This further degrades our relationship with the non-human beings of the world and injures our own moral integrity.
As the human race gradually advances in consciousness I expect that our relationship with the natural world and the beings within it to undergo a radical change where each decision we make will take into account the well-being of non-human species as well as our own. In this way, I believe, we will gradually create a world worthy of being called "divine" thanks to the expansion of our compassionate nature!
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Photo by Sharka Todd
Before felling any tree in a forest we need to sit and commune with the forest for hours or days and then ask what levels of logging the forest allows. Our subtle feelings will give the answer. Nature understands the needs of man and is willing to accommodate them but it will never support the greed of man. It is often OK to remove a certain amount of a forest that will not greatly affect the overall harmony and vitality of the forest, but to destroy trees and other vegetation en masse is truly a violation of a great order.
For humans to begin to work with nature we need to start listening to it and working within its guidelines. Currently in our arrogance and ignorance (they go hand in hand) we are happy to march into an area we are unfamiliar with and have no love for and start destroying what is there on a grand scale using our monstrous machines. This is a brutal approach that shows a complete disrespect for the natural elements and life forms of the area who have more right to a peaceful life in the area that an outsider coming in to destroy it.
I’m of the opinion that the spirit (consciousness) creates the senses and then uses them rather than sensory input creating “consciousness”, as some believe.
So in my view the invisible creates the visible and it's entry point into the "physical" is through the egg or the seed which contains the germ of life.
If we act without heart then we are the lowest of the beasts and the most destructive.
Clear felling forest is morally wrong and shocks the landscape and all that live within it. It is a violation of the forest and a form of rape of the land.
If we spend time in the forest and commune with it and thereby get to understand and respect its ways then we may find that a certain (small) amount of logging may be acceptable. However, to destroy everything in sight over a large area through clear cut logging never is. It's a gross violation of the plant kingdom who do so much to help support life on this planet.
Clear cutting can only be performed by those who have closed their hearts to the forest and are thereby willing to act brutally. It is a sign of a degenerate race of beings. Those who give the orders in office blocks in large cities often have never even visited the forest in question and yet they are sending out orders that will result in death and destruction over a wide range like dropping a huge bomb on the area.
For the human race to mature spiritually we must develop an appreciation for trees beyond their economic or financial worth. We must see them for what they are- beautiful beings who improve life on this planet and provide homes for countless other beings.
Forests, particularly those close to their natural state, are such a blessing to the world and to our weary and lost souls that we must do all we can to protect those that remain and also endeavor to plant more for future generations.