Category: Reflections


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Sir Reginald the Magnificent, dressed in a forest green cloak with a great starched ruffled collar, stood at the top of the red-carpeted stairs; he was pear-shaped with more or less no hair on his head. Trumpets blared, and he began in a high-pitched voice,

 

“Dearly Beloved Inferior Beings of the Galaxy. Here is our long-awaited proclamation to you.  We know how much you have looked forward to our arrival and how anxious you all are to share in the advanced blessings of our superior and exceptional civilization.  Let me assure you that we love you, and we will do everything in our power to share all our blessings with you.  There are just a few things we must sort out first in order to facilitate the glorious transformation that is about to take place. I know you will all welcome these changes with boundless enthusiasm.

 

“First, starting immediately, the year 2013 will become the Year One, and will mark the beginning of your supreme civilization, brought, with our help, to earth.  All records of anything that may have happened previously will be effaced. There is no need at all for you to remember any primitive, backward culture that you may have had before our arrival. We know this will not be hard for you, since you have forgotten so many previous civilizations – it should pose no problem.

 

“Secondly, let me assure you that you will be amazed at the rapid rate of progress and evolution that you will now be part of – like a great escalator rolling upwards towards the heavens, all will be progress, progress, and more progress. There will be no looking backwards to the dark, dreary days of the past.

 

“Thirdly, we have a new mode of thought for you to master. It is called Advanced Rational Galactic Thought.  It will replace your former primitive ways of thinking. It goes like this: All that is new, modern, scientific, and approved by the Great Council of Truth is right, correct, and true. All else is subversive and may be subject to punishment.

 

“All clear? That’s lovely. I knew you would understand. Those rumbling noises that you may be hearing in the distance are just the movements of tanks – I mean Crowd Protection Elements – they are surrounding the stadium where we are standing for your protection. They are there to assure that you are all entirely safe, secure, and comfortable. They can also modify the weather – insuring endlessly sunny days, or even a little rain if you wish.

 

“Now to continue. We feel a deep pain in our hearts when we see any of you suffer, and we know that sometimes you can have a cold or a sniffle or feel unwell.  We are pleased to announce that we have a highly evolved new system of medicine. You can now get rid of all those old bungling medicines and treatments of the past. They can go the way of herbs, healing dances, and witch doctors – which you dispensed with hundreds or thousands of years ago. Our Galactic Transformational Medical System is based entirely on vaccinations. We have a vaccine for everything.  And of course all citizens will be required to take the course of vaccines starting at birth, for your protection. With our vaccines, you will never, ever, suffer again.  All diseases will be obliterated.

 

“And by the way, these vaccines have been tested with great scientific precision. I should probably mention, and you might even have noticed,” he said, glancing down at his rather round form, “our species – you might mistakenly call us aliens, but really of course we are the one true advanced species – is descended biologically from a sort of animal that is quite like your mice.  We are not really mice, of course, we are greatly evolved from that stage of life – but our very distant ancestors were indeed mice.  And certainly we do recognize that the order of mice is the most superior, the most intelligent, and the most advanced of all the animal species, on this, or any other world.  Mice are naturally wise – we call them “mighty micy sapiens,” meaning “great wise mice.” Naturally, the mice order is superior and will in due time replace homo sapiens, who are inferior.

 

“When we test our new vaccines, we will do all testing on homo sapiens, since it would be wrong to use such advanced creatures as mice for testing either drugs or products. I know that you will agree. In any case there is nothing to fear.  All testing is painless, and we have never received a single complaint suggesting that anyone has ever suffered any pain from the testing. The testing is for our mutual benefit.  The test subjects after the completion of the testing will all be put gently to rest and a proper place in Heaven will await them.

 

“To continue with the Changes — democracy is the only valid form of government. We all agree on this. To ensure that democratic standards will be met, we will be eliminating all candidates who do not meet the proper democratic standards. This decision will be carried out by the Great Galactic Council of Kindness to ensure complete impartiality and fairness. The eliminated candidates will undergo a process of re-education and will be given vaccines specially designed to cure any false political leanings or tendencies. When they are cured they will be allowed to run for office again.

 

“You will be glad to hear that we have an update for religion too. This won’t be a surprise to any of you, since you yourselves have done away with innumerable religions in the past – think back to the dark days of paganism, witchcraft, totem poles, tribal dancing, chanting, and magic. Remember the glorious book burnings that you yourselves inflicted on heretical, superstitious belief systems. There will be no more chanting and no more music, since it is unscientific. The false religion that proclaims the divinity of that fellow hung up on the cross will have to go – it is known to be frightening to children. Instead we will all worship the Ascended Scientific Mouse. He has a mythology too, and we will be sending it to you to memorize.

 

“Since we are all in agreement that the marvelous civilization of the Great Galactic Coalition is, in all ways, infinitely superior, we will be referring all problems, challenges, projects, and plans to the Great Galactic Council of Kindness for their approval. In fact, there won’t really be any need for locally-conceived plans and projects, so you can just forget about them.  We will send you your instructions for any programs you need to implement. This will save you a lot of time and headaches and will simplify your lives, so you will be grateful.

 

“Starting tomorrow, all your children will be shipped off to the Great Galactic Center where they will be indoctrinated, I mean taught, all the enlightened and superior values of the Great Galactic Civilization. What I mean is that in between carrying out their chores and duties, if they have any free time that is, then civilized values will be imparted to them.

 

“I would especially like to congratulate all of you on the excellent progress you have made in ridding the earth of all that horrid plant and animal life that was cluttering up everything and replacing it with clean and beautiful plastic and concrete constructions. You have done an excellent job, and with the assistance of all our new technologies, we’ll have all those old, ugly species swept away in no time – especially the trees. Down with trees! No more trees! They are a disgusting life form.  From this time forward we will have only artificial, clean, and disinfected life forms – nothing dreadful and natural!

 

“You are all showing great progress, we love you very much, and we’ll soon have you in tip-top shape as appropriate Inferior Citizens of the Galaxy!

 

“I know change can be a little unnerving sometimes, but believe me there is nothing to fear. If anyone ever does feel just a teeny-weeny touch of anxiety, please do let us know immediately – we have just the right vaccine for you. It will cure any tiny bout of anxiety immediately! And let us all remember, there is no need to worry. We are here to help you, and we are assuming complete control.

 

“Now may the peace of immortal Scientific Progress be with you always.  May you live ever in the Divine Bubble of Progress in Ignorance.  May you smile happily always and forever, blessed by the abiding grace of Sublime Unreality.

 

“Goodby, my friends. May we meet again soon.”  He turned and was beamed up into the waiting airship, as the evening sun began to set.

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2013

Image: © Igor Zakowski | Dreamstime.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Cosmic Tomato Dimension

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Let’s assume that I am a little bug – maybe quite a nice bug, I may be green with black dots and six legs.  I live on a tomato.  My teeth are very tiny, so I can’t chew through the skin of the tomato.

 

I like to take short walks. When I walk from Point A to Point B, I always go in a straight line because that is the shortest distance.  I have short legs so I get tired easily, and I want to take the shortest path.  Actually, it’s not really a straight line at all since it is going around the outside of the tomato; instead it is an arc, but I don’t know that, and I am convinced that it is a straight line.

 

One day, to my amazement, I see a very strange creature standing in front of me.  He is tall and thin and wears a pointed hat.  I say to him,  “Who are you? How did you get here?”

 

He replies, “I’m  Jo Jo, and I live in the Magic Castle at the center of the tomato.”

 

“Oh no, you don’t,” I say, “I’ve walked all over this tomato. I’ve never seen you before. There is no center of the tomato, and there is no Magic Castle.”

 

Just then, my best friend, Bobsie, comes along. Bobsie can have some odd ideas sometimes, but she’s pleasant enough, and she’s my friend. But she’s not very practical like me.

 

Bobsie says, “Oh, he’s right you know. There really is a Magic Castle, and Jo Jo lives there.

 

“How do you know?” I ask her.

 

“Oh, I saw the castle in a dream.  It’s beautiful, on the top of a hill.  Also I remember it.  I know I was there once.  I know what it looks like and what it feels like.  When it rains, the water falls in silver streams. There are ducks that swim in a pond, and I have many friends there. I remember them.”

 

Jo Jo says nothing. I can feel myself getting annoyed.  What is wrong with Bobsie?  Is she lying or is she delusional?  Why would she lie to me, who am her friend?

 

Of course, she cannot remember the Magic Castle, or the ducks, or Jo Jo, or anything else, it is all silly and imaginary. It doesn’t exist.

 

If the Magic Castle did exist at the center of the tomato, that might explain how it is that there might be wormholes which could enable extra-terrestrial visitors to travel faster than the speed of light from distant galaxies.  It might explain how one can see into the future, or teleport from place to place.  Or how one can appear and disappear, or how an electron can be in two places at once.  Or how one can fly on a magic carpet from one world to another.  Or how there can be many parallel universes – or gods and angels, or how one can have the sense that one has existed many times in the past, or even remember friends who are otherworldly beings. It might be that one is linked always to the Magic Castle, and one can travel along beams of light and then go home again.

 

And if there were a Magic Castle at the center of the tomato on a different dimension that we cannot see, why there might be another dimension beyond that one – in the center of the center of the tomato – and maybe one beyond that too – in the center of the center of the center of the tomato, where there is a Castle even more Magical than all the rest.

 

Bobsie says to Jo Jo, “ I do remember you very well.  I wish you a happy trip back to your Magic Castle, and I hope I can come for a visit again soon.”

 

“Yes, please do;  I’d love to see you there; next time I’ll give you a tour of the Castle,” said Jo Jo, and then he is gone in the wink of an eye.

 

“That’s nonsense!” I say to Bobsie, and I continue walking, with my six legs, on along my straight line from Point A to Point B and then back again.

 

Photo: © Iaroslav Horbunov | Dreamstime.com 

A Reflection…

 

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These are a few thoughts about Easter and other spiritual traditions.  If they make no sense to you, not to worry, they are only thoughts.

 

A few weeks ago we celebrated Easter.  Interestingly, many of the world’s traditional calendars celebrate the New Year during the month of April – in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, other Southeast Asian countries, and in Israel (where it is the first of four New Years.)  April is a time of renewal and regeneration.

 

At this time, Jesus Christ transcended death and rose to heaven.  For two thousand years people have questioned whether or not this was meant to be a literal event.  This may not be the correct question.  From the vantage point of heaven, or a mystical reality, the physical world does not have an independent reality.  One might say that after Christ rose from the dead, the physical world ended, or it never was.

 

To the Gnostics, a sect thought to be heretical, existing around the time of Christ and continuing to exist, despite intense persecution, in various forms throughout the centuries, Christ always existed only on a spiritual plane, never on a physical plane, and therefore could not have been crucified. From this point of view, the crucifixion was an illusion.

 

In the Hindu Vedanta tradition, the Sanskrit word “Maya” means illusion.  It doesn’t necessarily mean non-existence.  Applied to the world, it means delusion, or incorrect perception.  An example often used is that if you see a snake on the ground and you are afraid, then at dawn, you realize that it was only a rope and not a snake at all, you simply misunderstood what you saw.  That is the power of Maya, illusion.  We take the physical world to be real, but higher levels of reality are more truly real in an ultimate sense.  Indeed, some people take the physical, material universe to be the only reality, discounting any spiritual levels at all.  Naturally, if one is one of those people, one dismisses an analogy like the one about the snake as meaningless.

 

To reach a mystical level of being, as was done by seers, saints, and rishis, in times of extreme antiquity and more recent times too, one must transcend the bipolar world of joy and pain.  Both joy and suffering are felt as equal; one rises above the duality of seeking one and resisting the other.

 

Rising above the experience of joy isn’t really much of a challenge since joy is not unpleasant, so it isn’t a problem.  That leaves the challenge of rising above pain. One finds the mystical world only by having flown on the wings of pain.  There is no other way to rise beyond the world.  This is the esoteric message of the death and resurrection of Christ, and the esoteric truth of many other religions.

 

The world of hell, which is the physical world, is the stepping stone to the journey of rising beyond it – into the pure reality of the mystical world.  For animals, their suffering is profound and intense.  They are angels and are innocent.  For humans, suffering is complicated, beset with mental tortures which only humans can inflict on themselves and each other.  Seeking suffering is a mistake, but it is an aspect of the world we live in which finds us.

 

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Dakshinamurthy or Jnana Dakshinamurti is a form of Shiva who is the guru, the teacher.  His wisdom is ultimate truth and awareness, beyond the world; flashing like lightning through the clouds, this wisdom comes from beyond. It is irrefutable, mystical insight.  In Hindu temples, Dakshinamurti faces south, because south is the direction of death, of change, of transcendence.  He sits under a banyan tree, with his right foot on a demon, who is ignorance. Students surround him, and sometimes also wild animals, all listening attentively.

 

Shiva destroys ignorance and the entire world of ignorance; transcending the world of duality and illusion in this way, he unveils the mystical light of heaven, the true world beyond the clouds.

 

 

Top photo: Painting by Fra Angelico 1395-1455 / Wikimedia Commons / “The work of art depicted in this image and the reproduction thereof are in the public domain worldwide.The reproduction is part of a collection of reproductions compiled by The Yorck Project. The compilation copyright is held by Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.”

 

Second photo: Sharon St Joan / Chennai Museum / Shiva

 

 

Gobekli Tepe

Gobekli Tepe

 

 

Just a few years ago, an amazing complex of structures was discovered in eastern Turkey.  Known as Gobekli Tepe, these are about twenty stone circles – not formed of rough-hewn stone, like Stonehenge, but formed of straight, precisely cut and polished stone columns, with lintels across the top, decorated with animal sculptures.  These have been dated to around 12,000 years ago – thousands of years earlier than any previously known complex of carved structures.

 

They were apparently covered up by earth a couple of thousand years after they were created.  One can only suppose they were sacred sites and when the people were compelled to leave them, for whatever reason, they covered them up in order to preserve them to avoid having them deteriorate and fall apart over time.

 

The time that they were created, around 10,000 BC, coincides with the ending of the last Ice Age.

 

Gobekli Tepe is written about extensively in the book, Forgotten Civilization, by Robert Schoch, a geologist who gained international renown (and some measure of ridicule) for his work with John Anthony West, related to the Sphinx in Egypt, and the hypothesis that the Sphinx is much, much older, by thousands of years, than previously thought.

 

Dwarkadheesh Temple

Dwarkadheesh Temple

 

Graham Hancock, another well-known exponent of the concept that there was a high civilization, unknown to us, in the extremely remote past, examines this in his book Underworld, which looks at a number of sites, now underwater, which are evidence of very ancient, unknown civilizations.  His theory is that, because it is an accepted scientific fact that sea levels rose dramatically when the ice melted at the end of the last Ice Age, that the remains of ancient civilizations, which would have been located on what was then the coast, would now be entirely under the sea, often many meters below the surface.  Many of these sites have been found and Graham Hancock has dived some of them – at the island of Malta, Yonaguni which is off the southern coasts of Japan, Dwarka and other sunken cities off the coasts of India. At these and other underwater sites, there are very extensive remains of ancient megalithic structures.

 

There is growing interest in this concept of lost civilizations – really of a lost history of the world – and an increasing number of writers who investigate this topic.  It is also covered in the TV series, Ancient Aliens. Ancient Aliens leaves itself open to a certain level of ridicule by proposing that really just about everything in the distant past must have been built by ancient aliens who sailed to the planet earth in UFO’s.  This can strain the credibility even of those who have no problem at all believing in either UFO’s or very ancient civilizations.

 

However, the series does an excellent job of covering a great many really fascinating archeological sites of extreme antiquity, and is very much worth watching solely for the footage of these sites – if one isn’t too much put off be the assumption that ET himself must have built every single pyramid and every ancient ruin.

 

 

The throne room of Knossus

The throne room of Knossus

 

 

A new series on the H2 Channel is America Unearthed, in which the forensic geologist, Scott Wolter, travels across the U.S. looking into ancient sites on the American continent which indicate that America was discovered, not just by Columbus, and not just by the Vikings around 1,000 AD, as nearly everyone now accepts, but by many peoples from all corners of the world over many thousands of years.  For example, on Great Isle, on Lake Superior, there have been dug around 5,000 pits, used for extracting copper – one of these was dated to 3,700 BC.  The dating was done of cut and shaped timbers that were in place in one of the pits, supporting a large piece of copper.  A stone containing carved letters was found, and these turned out to be the letters of the Minoan script – the Minoans lived on the island of Crete, where, around 3,000 BC and earlier, they had a great need to mine copper to provide metal for the Bronze Age.  Perhaps they sailed all the way to the Great Lakes, and mined the copper that they found there to fuel the Bronze Age.

 

It seems increasingly clear that history, as we have been taught it, is simply not true.  It is woefully incomplete, and there are vast chapters of the ancient past that are only just beginning to come to light.  Great civilizations, unknown to us, may have extended for millennia back into the mists of time, perhaps other great worldwide civilizations from tens of thousands of years ago – or hundreds of thousands – or who knows?  Perhaps galactic civilizations lasting over billions of years?  If that’s too far-fetched, don’t worry – it was just a fleeting thought.  Even the sites now found from only a few thousand years farther back into the past will be sufficient to radically alter our view of history.

 

The well-settled world which we thought we knew fifty or sixty years ago – with its carefully defined boundaries and its nicely stable limitations – is not true.  The walls are falling down – all the preconceived notions – of history, of assumptions about the nature of the physical universe, about “reality” – all these are being upended.

 

This, if you like, is “the end of the world.”  It is the end of our tidy, finite, limited conceptualization of the world.  Concerning physics, it is the end of the Newtonian world.  Concerning history and archaeology, it is the end of history as we have known it.  It is, simply, the end of our human-imposed boundaries.

 

With string theories and multiple universes, ancient unsuspected high civilizations, with aliens of all sorts, ancient and modern – with everything that we could not previously have imagined, the world we had grown accustomed to has come to a close, the walls have come tumbling down, and a vast multi-verse of unfathomable, mystic realms — of myth and magic — awaits us.

 

Top photo: Author: Teomancimit / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / One of the carved columns at Gobekli Tepe.

 

Second photo: Author: Scalebelow / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / The Dwarakadheesh temple (Dwarakadhish temple/Dwarkadhish temple) at Dwarka, Gujarat, India.  The temple is thought to have been constructed on top of Lord Krishna’s original residential palace, by his grandson, Vajranabha.

 

Third photo: Author: Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons /”This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / The throne room at the Minoan palace of Knossus on Crete.

 

To watch a video showing the ruins of Dwarka, off the west coast of India, click here.  (This is from the H2 program Ancient Aliens, but don’t let the ancient aliens distract you one way or the other; the relevant point here is to show you the ancient ruins.)

  

 

To watch the full episode of America Unearthed, “Great Lakes Copper Heist”, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

The world that isn’t

 

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Quantum entanglement, as explained on one of the programs of the Universe series, on the H2 Channel, is not a theory, but a fact, demonstrated by scientific experiments.

 

Briefly, the experiment, which has been repeated a number of times, goes as follows:  A subatomic particle, such as an electron, is paired with another electron.  The first of the two is set spinning in a clockwise direction.  At the same moment, the second “paired” one begins spinning in the opposite direction, that is, counter-clockwise.  Then Electron Number Two is taken several miles away from the original site.

 

The spin of Electron Number One is then reversed and now goes in a counter-clockwise direction.  At the same instant in time, the spin of Electron Number Two also reverses, and now goes in a clockwise direction.  This happens, by itself, even though there is absolutely no physical connection between the two electrons.  They are miles apart.

 

How does Electron Number Two “know” that Electron Number One has had the direction of its spin change, and that this must result in changing the direction of its own spin?

 

How the direction of the spin is changed, how it is observed, and how the second electron is moved several miles away is not described on the program “The Universe.”  But we assume all this has taken place as reported—and we are told that the experiment has been repeated several times with the same results.

 

Why does it matter whether or not the electrons spin this way or that, and do we really care?

 

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The reason we may care is that this is profoundly counter-intuitive, and it makes a mish-mash of all our natural, “self-evident” concepts of the laws of the universe.

 

It’s as if we have a pair of human twins. They are children and they enjoy spinning round and round in circles, each one spinning in the opposite direction of the other.

 

One afternoon, as they are spinning, one goes over to the neighbor’s yard, on the far side of the house, out of sight of Twin Number One, and continues spinning.  Soon, Twin Number One gets bored with spinning clockwise and begins to spin counter-clockwise.

 

The children’s father, who is observing both children from a second floor window, where he has a good view of both, notices that, at the same instant as Twin Number One reverses his direction of spin, Twin Number Two also reverses his direction of spin.  But how does Twin Number Two know that Twin Number One has changed directions?  Telepathy springs to mind as a possible explanation.  Well, okay, maybe in the case of the human twins it is telepathy—maybe even unconscious telepathy.

 

But that really doesn’t help us much with the electrons. Unless they too are conscious beings.  Well, maybe they are, who knows?

 

Because of this strange scientific experiment, we are left with a puzzle.  We are left with a universe in which – either all things and beings are conscious.  Or information can travel instantaneously, faster than the speed of light.  Or maybe on some other level the two electrons are not really separated by distance at all.  Or maybe there is simply no such thing as the existence of time and space?  One way or another, something is not as it seems.

 

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The electrons are linked, “entangled”, caught together in a web, a charm that transcends space and time.  No matter how great the distance between them, they behave as if they are together, side by side, in contact with each other.  They instantaneously respond to each other.

 

It is well known that flocks of birds can turn, with every bird turning at the same moment.  This is not like the v-shaped flight of flocks of geese, where there is one leader at a time, and all the others are following.  I remember a few years ago, when the lighting conditions were just right, watching a flock of perhaps 70 pinon jays, flying over a canyon.  When they turned one way, because the sunlight struck their wings at a particular angle, their wings all looked white.  When they changed directions, their wings were in the shadow, and all looked black. As I watched for several minutes, they all turned at precisely the same moment in time.  First the wings were white, then all the wings were black, then white again.  This happened many times. No bird was even a nano-second ahead or behind the flock. No one was following anyone; they all turned instantaneously. Again, perhaps this was telepathy between the birds of the flock.  Perhaps there was an angel of pinon jays guiding them? Whatever it was, it was remarkable.

 

There are connections which transcend distance, which transcend space and time, and most of us have noticed these one way or another in our lives – a strange premonition, a funny feeling later borne out by the facts, a healing miracle, an awareness of something we simply could not know by physical means and which does not fit into our normal expectations of the nature of space and time – or a mystical perception of angels, beings, presences, archetypes, God or Gods — of those others who we do not see with our eyes, but nonetheless, we have a profound certainty that they are there.

 

Thousands of years ago, the great sages of India wrote about the concept of Maya, or “illusion.”  They called the ultimate reality Brahman, the underlying absolute reality that cannot be described in words.  Maya is created reality, reality as we perceive it, within time and space, where there are events, people with whom we interact, the world of nature, the man-made world of cities, the situations and circumstances of our lives – the past, history and prehistory, the present – the world as we perceive it, our common world belonging to all creatures on the earth or our own individual world – the world that relates to our identity as humans, as beings of a particular nationality, age, or political view — whatever reality relates to our own experience.

 

All these things belong to Maya – they are real, sort of, but they are not absolute.  From the perspective of ultimate reality, they are illusion.

 

There is more to the Cosmos than what we see – there are other dimensions, other levels, other worlds.  There is more, much more, than the physical universe – much more than we could ever imagine.

 

In the words of Shakespeare, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

 

Photos:

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1994/02/image/

 

Top photo: Spiral Galaxy: News Release Number STScl-1994-02

 

Second photo: Part of the Small Magellanic Cloud, 210,000 light years away. News Release Number STScl-2005-35

 

Third photo: A smaller galaxy hits NGC 922 some 330 million years ago. News Release Number STScl-2012-45  

 

 

 

 

 

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Agni

 

 

“Vedic Mythology” was written by A.A. Macdonell and first published in German, in Strassburg in 1897. In 2000,  it was republished by Low Price Books in Delhi.

 

 

It is an in-depth study of the Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world, and of many other ancient Sanskrit works – a compilation of all that is recorded in early vedic descriptions of all the major gods; celestial gods, terrestrial gods, atmospheric gods, even abstract gods.

 

 

All is carefully catalogued, with footnotes giving all the sources, and exact accounts of how many times each deity is referred to with which attributes. It is a remarkable book.

 

 

Since the Rig Veda is amazingly poetic, the section of Vedic Mythology, for example, that describes Dawn, whose name is Ushas,  describes her as “the most graceful creation of vedic poetry.”  Ushas is young, though ancient, since she is born anew every day; clothed in light, she shines now and will always shine; she is immortal. Awakening the four-legged animals and causing the birds to fly up into the sky, she removes “the black robe of night” and sends away the darkness. As a resplendent being, her beams of light are like herds of cattle, and she comes to be known as the “mother of cattle.”

 

 

Many of the other gods are also living elements, like Agni, the God of fire. He faces in all directions and is said to have a burning head. Possessed of wings, he flies, and is portrayed as a bull, a horse, a divine bird, or the swan Hamsa, and once, as a raging serpent.  Shining like the sun, he destroys darkness and can see through the gloom of the night.  Driving away darkness, he is called the “goblin-slayer.”  There is much, much more about Agni, who is worshipped as one of the most sacred beings and who is invoked in at least 200 hymns of the Rig Veda.

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Surya

 

Surya is the sun, represented sometimes as a great eagle or a brilliant horse. He is the eye of the sky and is said to be the Lord of Eyes, the one eye that can see beyond the sky, the waters, and the earth. As an all-seeing being, he casts away illnesses and evil dreams.

 

 

Hundreds or Gods are portrayed in the Rig Veda, in some of the world’s most beautiful and inspirational poetry.

 

 

The world of the Rig Veda is a living world — the Gods, the elements, the forces of nature are alive, awakened, conscious beings who interact with each other.  It is a cosmos filled with beauty.

 

 

One might contrast this with the universe as we are given to see it today, with our modern, “scientific” worldview — where there is a presumption, unfortunately, that nothing that is not organic is alive.  All the stars, the galaxies, the supernovae, the quasars, comets, Oort clouds, dark matter — all that we see out there with our giant telescopes is somehow missing something.  It is gigantic, immeasurable, vast beyond any imagining, and yet there is something not quite all there. We are told that none of these great beings are conscious — nothing is really alive in quite the same way we humans are. Some will concede that animals may have some sort of “lower” consciousness, but the prevailing view is that really it’s pretty much us as humans, who seem to be at the pinnacle of creation, as far as consciousness goes.

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Map of Vedic India

 

There seems to be something radically amiss though with this view of the universe.  It could almost remind one of the pre-Copernican days when Europeans believed that earth was the center of the universe, with the sun and all the other heavenly bodies revolving around it.  Well, here we are again, with humans placed at the center of the universe — not this time at the physical center, but, at a central place in terms of consciousness.  Only we it seems, can look out, over the millions of galaxies and consciously contemplate the universe.  No one else, we are led to believe, can be as aware as we are.

 

 

This, however, is a remarkably unsatisfying view of the universe. Except for sizzling hot suns and unexpected super explosions that come about now and then, the universe as we currently view it, is cold, dark, immense and unfathomable — in short, not very friendly.  This seems to bother even scientists, and one wonders if a certain cosmic sense of loneliness is not at the root of the perpetual search for life on Mars — the billions of dollars spent and the amazing engineering feats of sending all the rovers to look for life or water or something that could be evidence of life.  Then there is the search for habitable planets among nearby stars.  Around 600 planets have so far been found, that could, it seems, harbor life, and the majority of scientists now believe that there is little doubt that there is life on other worlds — whether these are ‘higher” life forms is not so certain.

 

 

Simply put, we as humans do not wish to be alone.  An unfathomably vast “dead” universe strikes us as somehow not quite right.

 

 

In his introduction to “Vedic Mythology,”  A.A. Macdonell writes, “The basis of these myths is the primitive attitude of mind which regards all nature as an aggregate of animated entities.”  A.A. Macdonell, who was born in India of European parents, was an extraordinary scholar who wrote a brilliant and amazing book about the Vedas. Nonetheless, if we step back a moment, we can see the picture of a European gentleman who, while studying a civilization that has existed for at least 5,000 years, and possibly for many, many thousands of years before that, made the observation that the current age (including 1897 as part of “current” time) in which we live is “superior,” while the brilliant, poetic, and immensely wise civilization on the ancient Indian subcontinent was somehow “lower” or “primitive.”

 

 

How exactly it was “lower” is quite hard to see.

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Indra

 

Perhaps there is something to be said for the concept that the universe is truly an alive, dynamic, amazing place, filled with Gods and great beings, that the stars are divine, that the forces of nature have their own form of consciousness, not in any way “lower” than ours.  Perhaps we have all this while been mistaken about the nature of what we call “progress.”  Perhaps we are not the pinnacle of creation after all.  Perhaps the cyclic view of the ages, believed by virtually every culture other than our own — that first there is a golden age, and that each succeeding age represents a step down on the scale, until we came to the final age, which comes to a close, and then we return to an age of brilliance, kindness, compassion, greatness, and heroism – perhaps this cyclic view is the true view — the Gods are real, the forces of nature are alive and aware, the animals are innocent, magical beings, and the universe is far more wondrous than we have been led to believe. Perhaps that is the real reality.

 

 

Top photo:  Wikimedia Commons / Source: http://www.atributetohinduism.com/Hindu_Scriptures.htm / This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less. / Agni, god of fire, shown riding a goat, in a miniature painting from an 18th century watercolor

 

 

Second photo: {{PD-US}} / Source:http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/bce_500back/vedas/surya/surya.html / “This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.” / Wikimedia Commons / Surya receives worship from the multitudes; Tanjore School miniature painting, 1800’s “A Painting of Surya. India, Tanjore School, 19th Century. The nimbated Sun God depicted upon his chariot surrounded by attendants with smaller figures at left in obeisance.”

 

 

Third photo: Wikimedia Commons / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.           

Attribution: Dbachmann / Map of northern India in the late Vedic period.

 

 

Fourth photo: Source: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectid=3080760&partid=1&searchText=indra&fromADBC=ad&toADBC=ad&numpages=10&images=on&orig=%2fresearch%2fsearch_the_collection_database.aspx&currentPage=1 / {{PD-Art}}  {{PD-US}} / circa 1820 / Wikimedia Commons / “Painting of Indra on his elephant mount, Airavata. Painted in South India (probably Thanjavur or perhaps Tiruchchirapalli)…”

 

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By Niamh Fodla

 

In the 1960s, a woman named Jane Roberts said that she had come in contact with a spirit or a “personality” who had begun speaking through her.  The words the entity said played a huge role in launching the entire New Age movement.  Not everyone believed.  Some people thought she was pretending. Others were concerned that she may have been contacted by something dark instead of something good.  But whatever the case, the impact was incredible.  Notions like “you create your own reality” were introduced to millions who had never heard them before.  The idea being that on a mystical level, you’re actually subconsciously creating the atmosphere and events around you by making imprints with your thoughts and feelings.  This notion in turn gave birth to loads of New Age religions, each with a different twist on that basic tenant.  That your world isn’t operating independently from you, but that you’re working together with a certain flow of energy to draw and repel people and circumstances.  No matter what you think of that idea, Jane Roberts and “Seth”, the entity, certainly deserve a place in history for inspiring so many religious thinkers.  Here they are, in a very shaky old tape: Click here.


 

Here’s Louise Hay, a famous contemporary thinker who offers a version of some of these same tenants: Click here.

 

 

Whatever you think of these ideas, I do have one suggestion if you decide to relate to them. I’ve noticed it can be hard when you consider the notion that your thoughts are causing things to happen, to resist the next time something bad happens to obsess about how you’ve caused this. But if you worry about that, it’ll actually lead you into a downward spiral that’s the opposite of what this line of thinking advises.  The idea is to send out positive vibrations – not to fret over the possibility that you could be giving out negative vibrations.  So I’d be careful of that!  Only think about how your positive thoughts may be bringing positive things.  Don’t worry about the opposite or you’ll drive yourself crazy.  Just a suggestion!

 

 

You might also find yourself playing the “Don’t think of an elephant” game, where you try so hard not to think about something horrific that you don’t want to have happen that all you do is think about it.  The best way to handle that one, I think, is to say, “I’ve decided that only my good thoughts are gonna manifest – not my bad ones. So it doesn’t matter if I have morbid thoughts. Go ahead.”  And then you stop having them as much – now that they don’t matter.  Again, just a suggestion!

 

Along those lines, here’s a nice piece of music that seems like it would help draw positive things into your life:   Click here.

 

 

Photo: Photographer: Shi Yu / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain / The Moon Goddess of Chang’e

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Niamh Fodla writes, Fra. Giovanni Giocondo was a monk in the 1400s and early 1500s, who wrote this letter to a lady friend who was having a hard time — it was dated Christmas Eve, 1513.
 

 

Letter from Fra Giovanni
 

I am your friend
and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you
which you have not got,
but there is much, very much
that while I cannot give it,
you can take.
 

No heaven can come to us
unless our hearts find rest in today.
Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future
which is not hidden
in this present little instant.
Take peace!
 

The gloom of the world
is but a shadow.
Behind it,
yet within our reach
is joy.
There is radiance and glory
in the darkness
could we but see –
and to see we have only to look.
I beseech you to look!
 

Life is so generous a giver,
but we, judging its gifts
by the covering,
cast them away as ugly,
or heavy or hard.
Remove the covering
and you will find beneath it
a living splendor,
woven of love,
by wisdom, with power.
 

Welcome it, grasp it,
touch the angel’s hand
that brings it to you.
Everything we call a trial,
a sorrow, or a duty, believe me,
that angel’s hand
is there,
the gift is there, and the wonder
of an overshadowing presence.
Our joys, too, be not
content with them as joys.
They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
 

Life is so full
of meaning and purpose,
so full of beauty
– beneath its covering –
that you will find earth
but cloaks your heaven.
 

Courage, then, to claim it,
that is all.
But courage you have,
and the knowledge that
we are all pilgrims together,
wending through
unknown country, home.
 

And so, at this time,
I greet you.
Not quite as the world
sends greetings,
but with profound esteem
and with the prayer
that for you
now and forever,
the day breaks,
and the shadows flee away.

Louis_Armstrong_restored

By Niamh Fodla

 

Some people don’t relate to spirituality. In fact, some of my favorite people do not believe that there’s a spirit world.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  When I sit quietly and “feel”, I experience something that they don’t experience when they do the same thing.  If I didn’t experience it, then I wouldn’t believe either. It’s as simple as that.  And for that reason, I want to put an entry out there for all of the wonderful, compassionate, exciting people in the world who are interested in ideas on healing that don’t require a belief in a spirit world.

 

Here’s a discussion on what positive psychology can do to heal your life that is extremely entertaining. You’re gonna enjoy this!  Its theories are strictly psychological – and this is an exciting new branch of western psychology that focuses on the good in your life instead of the bad.  The lecture ends with practical exercises you can try that may change your life in as quickly as 21 days.  It’s worth a try!  And as I said, I think you’ll have fun watching this:

 

(And of course, if you are a spiritually-oriented person, I think you’ll like it too.  We’ve all met people with strong spirits but crazy or negative minds. And they’re usually kind of a wreck.  It’s good to tend your mind as well as your spirit, I think!)

 

So this may seem a little corny, but let’s pair that great lecture with everyone’s favorite Louis Armstrong song. He’s someone who had a lot of reason to be unhappy if he’d wanted to be. (He grew up poor-beyond-poor without either a father or a mother in the picture – as they had each abandoned the kids in turn. Born in 1901, it was a hard time to grow up African American, too.) But he thrived and was a successful musician, and stepped forward for other people. He wore a Star of David all his adult life in honor of a Jewish family who had always been kind to him. Here he is, practicing ‘positive psychology’, whether he knew it or not!   Click here.

 

Photo: Author: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. / Wikimedia Commons / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Louis_Armstrong_restored.jpg / Louis Armstrong

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As December 21, 2012 approaches, there are a few who await the end of the world, and many more who dismiss such thoughts as being silly, and others who just hope that nothing unexpected or out of the ordinary happens.

 

Is the end of the world such a bad thing?  And what would it mean?  Certainly, massive cataclysms and terrible destruction would cause immense suffering to people, to animals, and to the earth.  Suffering on any scale is a bad thing, and whether or not any good comes out of it, we all seek to avoid it.

 

There have been cataclysms both recently and in the past, and one can only suppose that there may be more to come – with or without an end to the world.  Perhaps there will be an intensity of disasters, we have no way to know.

 

But what if the end of the world also has another meaning?  As we all realize, we live in a world that, at the very least, has many flaws, and at the worst, is a realm of extreme suffering for many beings.

 

What if the world and all of history, as far as we know it, is like a vast carpet being unrolled and stretched out?  Now we have come to the end of the unrolling, and it is time for it to be rolled back up again – to go back to the beginning?

 

All the myths of the world tell of ages in the far, remote recesses of time, that were not mundane and prosaic, but that instead were magical, that sparkled with life and positivity.  Of course, being “rational, modern people,” we dismiss these myths as being pre-scientific, irrational, and based on superstition.

 

The truth is though, only some of us dismiss these myths as mythical. There are those among us who, though we may not always say so publicly, hold a radically different view.  Some of us, though we may not openly acknowledge it, do believe in magic, in miracles, in the mystical, in the visions and dreams of ages long past when the world was not boring, not prosaic, not humdrum, not filled with conflict and degradation – not, in fact, increasingly cruel and distasteful.

 

What if this great carpet, when it has rolled out to its end, simply begins to roll back up again?

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For example, what if, instead of disappearing from the face of the earth, all the great forests begin to grow back?  I understand that the damage has already been done and that it is very severe and irreparable, in any normal, sensible way of seeing things.  We are so used to a world in which human beings are winning the war against nature, where the trees and the plants have no defences at all against the inexorable march of “progress,” though how it can be called “progress” is a great mystery.  How can a world of steel and concrete be “better” in some way than a world of forests?  But what if, by some magic stroke of a great wand, humans were simply no longer able to wreak destruction on the natural world – no longer able to cut down trees or to replace magnificent, ancient forests with shopping malls, parking lots, and garbage dumps?

 

What if the Amazon filled up again with trees?  And all the forests of North America came back? And all the forests of Europe and Asia too?

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Or what if humans no longer had the capacity to pollute the oceans and destroy the lives of the fish, the whales, and the sea creatures?  It would take a while of course for all the pollution that’s already happened to deteriorate and stop causing death and destruction in the oceans, but perhaps some kinds of bacteria and enzymes would evolve to eat up all the plastic junk and horrible toxic substances.  Then the sea creatures could live in peace and freedom again and swim in clear waters among the graceful plants of the seas.

 

What if all the farm animals; the cows, the chickens, the geese and ducks, the turkeys, the pigs, and the lambs were never killed for dinner?  What if instead they roamed the hills, among the great trees, or swam in blue lakes?  There are a few logistical problems, unfortunately, because modern farm animals are no longer adapted, as their ancestors once were, to living in the wild. So there is not a simple, easily seen solution as to how and where they could live.  But the point is not that we have all the answers, which certainly we don’t.  The point is simply that the way farm animals live currently, mostly on factory farms, is profoundly cruel and that the world should not subject all these billions of innocent animals to such an unkind fate.

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A different world is needed – not one that is just a tiny bit better – but a different one altogether – a different situation – one in which the human-ruled world as we have known it, has come to its end, and there is a new world filled with magical animals that fly on the wind and graze on green hillsides – perhaps with dragons too, breathing fire.

 

An end of persecution is required – an ending of the persecution of all of nature, all animals, and the earth – and along with that end — assuming there are still some people living on the earth — the ending also of the persecution of tribal peoples, of the extinction of their languages and their culture, and ending of the persecution of all those who suffer at the hands of those who seek to subjugate the earth – the ending of wars, of economic injustice, of the persecution of women, of the young, of the old, and the disabled.

 

An entirely different world is needed, not an improvement of this world, not a updated model of the same thing, but instead a world where the sacred and the spiritual are alive, well, and recognized – a world that is in touch once again with the cosmos – with God and the Gods, with magic, with life and inspiration, with innocence, a world which has broken free of the bonds of slavery and the constraints of the gray misery that this current time has descended into.

 

Perhaps this may be what is meant by the ending of this cycle and the birth of another – the great rolling back up of the cosmic carpet, back to the beginning.

 

Despite all apparent evidence to the contrary, we do sometimes have a sense that the rule of tyranny and hatred, which seems so well established, will not endure forever – that, instead, the destruction of all that is innocent and sacred, will be brought to an end, perhaps sooner than we could imagine – and that there are transformative powers, immense currents, and great winds afoot in the cosmos that we cannot see or know, but that are there, all the same, and very real.

 

Top photo: Author: Wolfgang Sauber / Wikimedia Commons /http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maya-Maske.jpg / National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Maya mask. Stucco frieze from Placeres, Campeche.

 

Second photo: Author: Snezana Trifunovic  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Tsnena  /  Wikimedia Commons    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Biogradska_suma.jpg / old growth forest in Montenegro

 

Third photo: Author: Jon Sullivan / Wikimedia Commons / “This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Jon Sullivan. This applies worldwide.” / Waves on the ocean coast

 

Author: Lea Maimone http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:LeaMaimone/  Wikimedia Commons / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brahman_Baby.jpg / Brahman calf