Saturday, February 28, 2015

A machine universe needs a God, but what about a truly creative one?


Science tends to view the universe as a giant machine, but machines need someone to design them, build them and then a energy source to power their operation.  If the universe is seen in these terms- as consisting of inanimate matter that somehow arranges itself due to fixed laws- then clearly the need for a designer, builder and power source exists.

There is, of course, another way of conceiving of the universe that does away with the need for a separate creator God and that is the idea that the universe is a living, conscious, self-regulating entity, that is self-creating and functions from its own self-generated power source.

This "creative universe" view would imply that the universe itself is intelligent and aware of its various functioning parts and able to create laws or patterns of behavior to support it's continued existence and unfolding. 

This view is in opposition to the mechanical universe idea made popular in recent centuries as man became enamoured with his ability to create machines.  However, this view has lost favor since the advent of quantum physics, which suggests a wholly more creative and unpredictable process going on, at least at the subatomic level.

 Sharka Todd

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A comment about forest reserves

 Stoodley Forest- photo by Sharka Todd

Originally posted as a comment on an article about planned logging of the Lapoinya forest in Tasmania.

There needs to a balance between "working forests" and forest reserves preserved near communities for recreation.

Mick, in the comments above, correctly points out the amazing ability of nature to heal itself and regenerate.  But as a person who has spent a great deal of time in state and private forests throughout Australia I would have to say it amazes me that almost every square inch of the land has been rolled over and remade by heavy machinery- compacting the soil and generally degrading waterways and land.  Only remote and rocky terrain has avoided this treatment.

It's not a question of not longing logging forests but of achieving a healthy balance between areas preserved for recreation and areas open for logging.

And I wish to stress that recreational areas need to be preserved near communities so that the population can enjoy them freely and easily.  It's not enough to have reserves 50 or 100km away from population centers.  They need to be within easy driving distance (10-20km) and they should be of sufficient size so that you can get lost there and find some solitude.

Sharka Todd

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The difference between Buddhism and Hinduism, in a nutshell!

Buddhism teaches that the person or mind consists of ever changing content (thoughts, feelings, sensations) and that no permanent, unchanging self exists.  In contrast, Hinduism says that in addition to the ever changing content of consciousness there exists an observer viewing this content and remaining unchanged by it.  This observer is sometimes called Brahman, the "I" or the unchanging and immortal Self.  This Self is discovered by deep meditation with a focus on that part of ourselves viewing experience (called "silent awareness" by Gangaji, below) rather than the content of  experience, itself.  My own insight is that the self is awareness with a positive intent towards activity.

Sharka Todd

You may believe in Obama...

 but do you believe in yourself?

Sharka Todd

We are able to create ourselves-

and no-one else!

Sharka Todd

Woman kept under control

Sometimes people just get out of hand!

I never said Deida was wrong-

I’m just not familiar with his work!

Sharka Todd

Obama and Putin are my 2 best friends…

I keep them in my pocket!

Sharka Todd

To go where no man has gone before- while having fun…

that is the purpose!

Sharka Todd

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Message on the pending executions of Andrew Chan and Muyran Sukumaran

To destroy a life that is seeking redemption is, indeed, a significant moral crime.

Therefore, may we pray for the souls of those engaged in this process that they may see the light and embrace a more loving and forgiving outlook as expressed by the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Sharka Todd

Areas of debate in Spiritualism

1.    Does the spirit, after release from the physical body, reincarnate into another physical body at some future date?  (There is a difference of opinion on this matter, with some saying such an occurrence is impossible, with others saying it is a necessary aspect of the evolution of the soul.)
2.    Do spirits ever encounter a second and final death due to them falling so far into darkness as to make their rescue impossible?

Sharka Todd

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The horror of scientific fundamentalism

The most common type of fundamentalist I encounter in this world is the scientific fundamentalist.  They are distinguished by their belief that science is the only tool that can be trusted to discover truths about ourselves and the world we live in.  Every other type of evidence is seen as not only subject to error, but completely unreliable, and irrelevant in one's quest for truth.

It must be said that I have little in common with these people and I find it difficult to have an educated conversation with them.  I believe, in fact, that they are best avoided at all costs, as one would avoid the company of religious fundamentalists and fundamentalist Marxists, for example.  For they are incapable of thinking outside their preconceived notions of reality, which is generally  a kind of outdated 19th century materialistic view of the universe, commonly held among scientists before quantum theory destroyed it in the early 20th century!  They are incapable of thinking outside the materialist thought bubble and so cannot be engaged about many topics of interest that lie outside this domain.
Sharka Todd

Did God, alone, create everything?

Photo by Sharka Todd

Many esoteric schools teach that God, or the original cause, created an innumerable number of independent free will beings, out of "His" own being or consciousness, in order to carry out the work of creating worlds, rather than doing it all "himself".  Therefore, to blame or thank God for everything that exists on any given world may be inaccurate.  Instead, our thanks or blame may be to these "lesser" gods who are involved in the various creative processes on that world.

On earth, the human race exercises a great deal of control over current conditions, both physical and psychological, and for these conditions the human race is collectively responsible.  Over other things, such as natural processes, we appear to not be responsible and the creation or maintenance of those things may be in the hands of other creative beings we are unaware of.

The idea that the one God is in command of all things is clearly in error if "lesser" gods were created to carry out creative work in the cosmos.  If any of these beings begins to create in a way that doesn’t promote all life, but is in opposition to some of it, then we will have unfavorable conditions under which some beings will live.  Some would say then if this is the case the God of All should intervene and fix these things but it may not be in the power of such a being to do so or His respect of the free will of His agents may be absolute.

An example of this kind of God is described in The Return of Light, a book available here.  I do not vouch for the accuracy of the book, as it speaks of matters outside my experience, but it may help those who struggle to understand how there could simultaneously exist a loving creator and yet worlds of darkness.

Sharka Todd

Patti Boyd swimming

Still from a home movie by George Harrison.

Source: Living in a Material World (film)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

After death message of Frances Banks

Source: Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves.

Does belief in a God imply anything about our values?

(Originally posted as a comment on Richard Dawkin's website, here)

I think it's important to realize that believing in a creator God or Gods doesn't necessarily imply any particular creed or set of beliefs outside of that.  Many societies have believed in a "great spirit", or creator God of some sort, but have not necessarily postulated a set of moral codes like that given in the Sermon on the Mount, for example. 

Whether we believe in a God (or Gods) or not, we are still free to form our own ideas of what is important in life, and even those who claim to belong to the same religious denomination will be found to have significantly different values from each other, if we scratch beneath the surface.

The fact that various religions attempt to "own" God by telling us what God is and what God (supposedly) wants, I find distasteful.  I think we need to figure that out for ourselves, if we choose to believe in a transcendent reality.  And even if we don't, it's still up to us to determine what values we will uphold.  And in that space, we are all empty-handed and free- to create as we wish!  That is the meaning and reality of free will and if a creator God did create us with free will that is presumably what they would wish, also!

Sharka Todd

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Running dog photo

Photo by Sharka Todd

Matthew Ward on the danger of vaccines (2006)

SUZY: I don’t mean to belabor bird flu, but one writer is concerned that the outbreak of mumps in the US is manmade so bird flu virus can be put in the vaccines to inoculate against mumps. Another asked if there will be a mandatory requirement for meningitis vaccinations, and a father of a newborn wants to know if religious beliefs will be sufficient reason to keep his baby from having to get the usual vaccinations.

MATTHEW: Well, the lack of trust in the motives of ones in authority is well deserved, but I’ll repeat what I have said in previous messages: There will be NO bird flu epidemic, let alone pandemic.  But until all inoculations are halted, which will happen when there is sufficient public knowledge about the harmful ingredients in all vaccines, for the sake of your health, refuse them.  Information is coming to light that some vaccines cause a condition that is similar to, and is being diagnosed as autism, and this is fueling the demands to stop mandatory inoculations.  Take heart in knowing that this is another area where your space family has been at work to reduce the harmful effects to the extent possible.

All diseases that ever have befallen residents of Earth were created by the darkness, which feeds on fear and creates situations that generate fear, and assuredly the portent of illness and death of epidemic or pandemic proportion does that.  Later, greed also entered the picture with required vaccinations and prescription drugs establishing an inexhaustible market for the pharmaceutical companies.

To the father who wrote—to all parents!—I would say, do not permit vaccinations to be given to your children.  Some medical personnel are agreeing that any potential good is outweighed by the potential adverse effects, and others still turn a deaf ear, so question your medical practitioner in this regard. If you must give a reason for your choice to forego vaccinations when they are recommended or required, I advise bolstering religious beliefs with clinical reports available on the Internet that address the dangers of vaccines and also the explosion of autism diagnoses.

Source: Message from Matthew, April 28, 2006.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Comment on the current drug policy

Drug policy is currently being run by fear-based, social controlling, do-gooders, whose main concern seems to be protecting the interests of pharmaceutical, tobacco and alcohol companies at the expense of  individual freedom and wellbeing!

There are so many wonderful substances denied us which could help expand our consciousness whilst we are allowed only the highly toxic, consciousness-lowering drug alcohol. Nowhere is this worse than here in Australia where even plants allowed our friends in North America are denied us!  This is supposedly to to "protect" us from our own foolishness, as if such a thing is possible!  In time, may enlightenment reign and our God-given freedom to explore the wonders of this world be restored! Amen!

Sharka Todd