Thursday, April 4, 2013

The TED Controversy

     I'm a little late in discussing this issue, but I was so moved and inspired by a post by Craig Weiler on his blog, The Weiler Psi, that I wanted to share it here.

     In a nutshell, TED, the organization whose slogan is "Ideas Worth Spreading," censored presentations given by Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake and made accusations against them that were as untrue as they were dismissive and demeaning. When asked by Hancock and Sheldrake to support their accusations with evidence, TED essentially responded like a seventh grade bully.

     The whole story can be found here,

and here,
     What's so inspiring about this whole thing is the public outcry not only against the censoring of good ideas, but against the patronizing attitude that intelligent people need to be protected against theories that run counter to the currently accepted dogmas of science.

    Weiler's last paragraph sums up what's happening beautifully,

     "The wall that the skeptics have put up is like a shaky dam with a rapidly growing river behind it.  They     will hold sway for awhile, and it will look as though they are succeeding because so little gets past them, but it is an illusion.  The broad network of people supporting an alternative view of the universe, backed by solid evidence, is still growing and getting increasingly aware of its power.  Everything will be fine in Camp Skeptic until it isn’t.  Once institutions realize that taking sides in the debate is harming them more than helping, then, change will come swiftly and the sciences will be fundamentally altered forever."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Only Now and Again

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me; and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing
and it seemed to me that it was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the
depth of my own heart.

Gitanjali, translated from orginal Bengali by Tagore

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nothing Hidden

     The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers in which each number in the series is a sum of the two preceding numbers. For example: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233 and so on. This sequence appears with astounding frequency in nature, and is the underlying pattern for everything from pinecones and ferns to the branching of tree limbs and the cresting of waves. It's hard to dispute the precision of numbers. To me, it seems impossible that such beautiful accuracy could have sprung at random from chaos. It's so much like synchronicity, pointing towards that commonality and connection between all things, all part of the hidden mechanics of a mysterious universe.  Here's a wonderful video illustrating these principles. Enjoy!


Friday, May 27, 2011

"Came In Close, I Heard a Voice"

A couple of years ago, when my son was about three, I had a kid seat attached to the back of my bike so we could go  on rides together in the evenings. We live in an area where owls can often be heard calling in the night, and despite their obvious proximity, I'd never actually seen one.  After hearing one nearby for several evenings in a row, my son began to ask when we might spot one.  I explained to him how owls hunt at night and are difficult to see; and how rare it is to get to see one.  One warm evening just before dusk I was strapping him into the bike seat. He was particularly insistent that he'd get to see an owl and I just told him to keep his eyes open for one. Not five minutes into our ride a huge owl swooped down right in front of us; so close that if I'd known he was coming I could have reached out and touched his wing as he flew past. I would have been amazed enough to have seen one from a distance that night, given how my son was so adamant that we'd see one. But to have it dart within inches of us just blew me away. My son got to see his owl and I pedaled the rest of the way home lost in complete wonder.

     Owls are regarded as highly symolic in many cultures and featured heavily in mythology around the world. Interestingly, they also seem relatively prominent in sync experiences and dreams.  More amazing owl syncs and dreams can be found at Mike Clelland's blog, Hidden Experience:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Breeze at Dawn

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you
Don't go back sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
Where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

                                -Rumi, 13th century poet and Sufi mystic

Photo by Michal Ostrowski

Monday, May 23, 2011

On Consciousness

     William James, psychologist and philosopher, sums up the mystical nature of consciousness with this quote:
"... our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.. We may go through life without suspecting their existence; but apply the requisite stimulus, and at a touch they are there in all their completeness, definite types of mentality which probably somewhere have their field of application and adaptation. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded. How to regard them is the question,-for they are so discontinuous with ordinary consciousness. Yet they may determine attitudes though they cannot furnish formulas, and open a region though they fail to give a map. At any rate, they forbid a premature closing of our accounts with reality. Looking back on my own experiences, they all converge toward a kind of insight to which I cannot help ascribing some metaphysical significance."
                                                                               from The Varieties of Religious Experience

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"The platform of surrender"

     Synchronicity is an intensely personal experience. By linking the outer, material world with the inner workings of the mind, each occurrance has purpose and meaning that's seemingly customized for each individual. This is what grabs the attention, knowing beyond all doubt that something has just occurred that's well beyond the constraints of what we accept as possible. There's a lot of speculation out there as to whether or not the intent of the force behind these events is entirely benevolent. I can only speak from the perspective of my own experiences, but I believe that the purpose of these events has it's basis in goodness. The small, synchronistic incidents I began to notice several years ago left me perplexed and full of wonder. Gradually, these gave way to larger occurrances that have given me glimpses into something that I feel to my core is sacred in nature.

     One such instance happened a few years ago. I'd gotten into the habit of trying to project feelings of appreciation and gratitude, silently thanking whoever would listen for what I was experiencing in any given moment. Usually it was for some simple joy, like being with my family or laughing with my son. I always try to make a special effort to recognize and appreciate beautiful, fleeting moments as they happen, so I'd often think to myself, "Thank you for the gift of time with each other."

     Fast forward several months. My husband, T, has a former employer, an exeptionally nice man, M, who he sees very infrequently.  T came home one afternoon after seeing M. and handed me a small box, saying, "This is from M." I was surprised and asked what was the occasion. T shrugged and said, "He just said he and his wife were out and when they saw it they thought of you." I have to add here that I really don't know them well at all, having seen them both only a couple of times over many years; and really, there's nothing they could have seen that would bring me to mind. I even commented, "What could possibly have made them think of me?" Intrigued, I opened the box. Inside was a silver picture frame in the shape of an angel with an inscription around the border that stunned me as I read it. It says, "The best thing to hold onto in life is each other." For a moment, I didn't even know what to think. Here I was holding tangible evidence that I had obviously been heard. My silent prayer of gratitude, that I had never once spoken aloud, had literally been answered. 

Even after all this time I can't think about it without feeling an enormous sense of reverence and awe. That picture frame, bought on an inexplicable whim by people I hardly know, is one of my most treasured possessions. To me it represents a bridge between the material and the ethereal, a connection between the mind and the extraordinary.

"There is no such thing as chance; and what seems to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny."  Friedrich Schiller