Category Archives: Health and Happiness

Conspiracy theories

A Public Service Post

Conspiracy theorists among our co-workers or family members can be challenging to deal with.

We gain nothing by direct attacks on their beliefs.

On the contrary, in defense of their beliefs they become ever more deeply entrenched  therein.

What good does that do?

Click on the link below for access to a thorough discussion of polite ways and means of dealing with conspiracy theories and theorists:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/nov/29/how-to-deal-with-a-conspiracy-theorist-5g-covid-plandemic-qanon

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa

‘Tis the season to be jolly, so the carol says.

Truth to tell, ’tis the season of a tense consumerist frenzy—and, according to the massed clergy of the land, ’tis the season of more counseling than at any other time of the year.

According to clergy, there’s something about this season that brings a host of issues crawling out of the woodwork.

So, “jolly?”

Permit me to be skeptical.

I’m not saying there’s nothing positive to be found at holiday time—no, not at all.

But our manner of celebration could certainly stand examination with a view to lowering the stress level, if only to reduce the number of times we’ve heard or said something like, “Thank God that’s over for another year!”

Reality Check (7th)

We are always self-imprisoned or self-freed.

—Neville Goddard

Paradigm-shattering experiments published in peer-reviewed journals reveal that we’re bathed in a field of intelligent energy that fills what used to be thought of as empty space.

Additional discoveries show beyond any reasonable doubt that this field responds to us—it rearranges itself—in the presence of our heart-based feelings and beliefs.  And this is the revolution that changes everything.

—Greg Braden, author of The Spontaneous Healing Of Belief


Symptoms and Causes”

“If you have made many efforts,as you probably have, to set things right, but without any real success, the reason is to be found just here:  You have been tampering with symptoms and leaving your mind, the real cause of the trouble, untouched.”

“You have been wrestling with circumstances, with people, and things, and leaving your mind unchanged; and it is just this mind of yours that is causing all the trouble all the time, and will continue to do so as long as it remains in its present state.”

“You have been struggling to transform yourself by renewing your conditions, whereas the Law is that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

“If you want perfect health; if you want abundant prosperity; happiness, a good home, congenial friends, beauty, joy, and thrilling interest in life, you can have them, if you really want them;  but you must want them enough to take trouble enough to find the only way to get them.”

“You must want them enough to take trouble enough to learn how to think, because thought is the only cause!

—Emmet Fox

Reality Check (6th)

Thought Is The Only Cause

Paradigm-shattering experiments published in peer-reviewed journals reveal that we’re bathed in a field of intelligent energy that fills what used to be thought of as empty space.

Additional discoveries show beyond any reasonable doubt that this field responds to us—it rearranges itself—in the presence of our heart-based feelings and beliefs.  And this is the revolution that changes everything.

            —Greg Braden, author of The Spontaneous Healing Of Belief

Note that we needn’t do anything to “get a reaction” from The Field.

We don’t have to be initiated into any particular religious tradition.

We need no incense, virgins, pigs, sheep, cash, or other offerings.

The reaction to our feelings, beliefs and actions is perpetual, automatic, unconditional.

At this point let me say that, (however much it may seem to be the case), debunking religion(s) is not my purpose.

Let’s reconsider the following quotation, mentioned in Reality Check (4th):

“Moment by moment The Almighty, (The Field?), is taking shape in your life according to the exact pattern of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.”

            —Various Sources

It would seem that sincere belief in, say, African shamanism, or Tibetan Buddhism, or Evangelical Christianity, or Wicca, or literally in anything whatsoever, elicits the same unconditional response from The Field, as described above.

The Field doesn’t judge our beliefs.  It makes them manifest in our lives.

Unconditionally.

“Prayer” might be defined as holding in mind the thought one wants to see manifested in one’s life. ¹

“Unconditionally” implies any thought—any thought at all.

So for good or ill. . .

Be Careful What You ‘Pray’ For – You Just Might Get It. ²

More on  this later.

Personal comments follow.


¹ Once while reading a treatise on so-called “white” magick I came upon this quote:  “The most powerful part of any magickal system is the trained mind of the operator.

It seems there is no “white” or “black” magick—just persons with trained, persisting minds, selecting desired outcomes for good or ill, and using psycho-dramas, aka “spells” to tell The Field what they want.

Magick, per se, is then rather like a hammer. One can use a hammer to make toys or to commit murder.  The hammer remains neutral.  It’s not “white” or “black”.  But the motive of the one who uses it might be so described.

So too the human mind.  Its seemingly unbreakable link to The Field renders it omnipotent for good or ill.  But what of consequences?

Ancient wisdom warns that one cannot serve anyone anything without serving one’s self the exact same thing.  Every major religion says this in some way.  All our greatest saints and sages subscribe to this idea.  A student once asked Confucius for a one-word definition of all morality.  He replied with a question:  “A one-word definition of all morality…would it not be “reciprocity?”  Reciprocity = put out what you want to take back.  Possession of a human mind is a great privilege.

Equally true it’s a great responsibility.  

² Title of a book by Larry Dossey, M.D.  ISBN 0 – 06 – 251434 – 2

News

Are We Better Off Without It?

Keeping informed is widely regarded as beneficial.

Consuming news is widely regarded as a good way to do this.

Is there a downside to viewing / reading news?

According to Rolf Dobelli there is, and it’s no light matter.

Click on the link below to view a summary of his article.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli

Reality Check (5th)

Our Minds—Crazy Monkeys On Speed

Paradigm-shattering experiments published in peer-reviewed journals reveal that we’re bathed in a field of intelligent energy that fills what used to be thought of as empty space.

Additional discoveries show beyond any reasonable doubt that this field responds to us—it rearranges itself—in the presence of our heart-based feelings and beliefs.  And this is the revolution that changes everything.

            —Greg Braden, author of The Spontaneous Healing Of Belief

If our thoughts impact the field, does that explain why what’s called “prayer” works/doesn’t work?

If the field reacts to our thoughts, judgements, and beliefs, it would seem obvious that an undisciplined mind, roaming at random here, there, anywhere, is producing a hodge podge of brief reactions that are repeatedly changing because our minds are always changing.

We hold no thought in mind long enough to see it manifest in our lives.

A one-time prayer followed by literally thousands of contrary thoughts produces. . . ?

A person decides to hold in mind only thoughts of good health, but then through the day obsesses fearfully about covid19.

Another one sets mental sights firmly on financial security, but through the day worries about overdue bills.

“The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress.”

            —Ramana Maharshi

“. . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, and if anything  (is) worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”

—New Testament; Philippians 4:8

More on this later.

 

Our National Heroes

History – A Fable Agreed Upon By The Winners

On Columbus Day we celebrate a sort of Star Trek “boldly going where no one has gone before.”

Columbus discovered America!  He was a hero! 

Well, maybe not.

To begin, he wasn’t the first European to reach America.  Vikings beat him by a few centuries. 

And when he arrived he didn’t play nicely with the locals, the Arawak Indians, a tribe inhabiting the Bahama Islands.

The following quotations provide a grim summary of Columbus’ shortcomings in the hero department:

“The cruel policy initiated by Columbus and pursued by his successors resulted in complete genocide.” ¹

“Endless testimonies. . .prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives. . . . But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then. . . . The admiral, (Columbus), it is true was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians. . . . ” ²

“What Columbus did to the Arawaks of the Bahamas, Cortés did to the Aztecs of Mexico, Pizarro to the Incas of Peru, and the English settlers of Virginia and Massachusetts to the Powhatans and the Pequots.” ³

Unlike some critics of prominent historical figures, I don’t advocate condemning them because, judged by our present day standards, they fall far short.

To judge past conduct exclusively by present standards is laughably irrational.

Historical figures should be judged first according to the standards of their time, and only afterwards by the standards of ours.

Columbus was no hero, but neither was he a total failure as a human being.

To sail westward into the vast Atlantic ocean with no reliable charts, in three little ships, (the largest barely one hundred feet long), with only the vaguest idea of where he would end up required superb seamanship and immense courage.

Re-evaluating our national story / heroes more realistically can’t hurt us.

Accurate knowledge of our past is part of a good foundation of national mental health.


¹ Christopher Columbus, Mariner, 1954,  by Samuel Eliot Morrison

² History of the Indies, by Bartolomé de las Casas, (a contemporaneous record)

³ A People’s History of the United States, 2003, by Howard Zinn

 

Reality Check (4th)

Quantum Physics – What’s In It For Us?

Paradigm-shattering experiments published in peer-reviewed journals reveal that we’re bathed in a field of intelligent energy that fills what used to be thought of as empty space.

Additional discoveries show beyond any reasonable doubt that this field responds to us—it rearranges itself—in the presence of our heart-based feelings and beliefs.  And this is the revolution that changes everything.

            —Greg Braden, author of The Spontaneous Healing Of Belief

This “new discovery” seems to be ancient intuitive wisdom empirically reconfirmed.

Consider the following citations from modern metaphysics and ancient intuitive wisdom.

“The All (God? The Field?) is Mind; The Universe is Mental.”

            —The Kybalion

“As you think in your heart (deepest mind), so you become.”

            —Hinduism

“As you think in your heart, (deepest mind), so are you.”

            —Christianity

“With God, (The Field?), all things are possible”

            —Christianity

“Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.”

            —Unity Institute

“Attention is fertilizer.  What you give your attention to, grows.”

            —Various Sources

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”

            —Peace Pilgrim

“Set a guard on your mind.  Discipline your imagination.”

            —Hinduism

“The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress.”

            —Ramana Maharshi

“Moment by moment The Almighty, (The Field?), is taking shape in your life according to the exact pattern of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.”

            —Various Sources

So it would seem that what’s in it for us may be expressed thus: thought control is life control.

More on this later.

 

Reality Check (3rd)

“The Field Is The Only Reality.”

            —Albert Einstein

Field?  What field?

Paradigm-shattering experiments published in peer-reviewed journals reveal that we’re bathed in a field of intelligent energy that fills what used to be thought of as empty space.

Additional discoveries show beyond any reasonable doubt that this field responds to us—it rearranges itself—in the presence of our heart-based feelings and beliefs.  And this is the revolution that changes everything.

            —Greg Braden, author of The Spontaneous Healing Of Belief

Per quantum physics, what do we know about this field?

          ♦ There is an invisible energy force or field of infinite possibilities.

          ♦  (We) impact the field and draw from it according to (our) beliefs and expectations.

          ♦  (Our) connection to the field provides accurate and unlimited guidance.

          ♦  The universe is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating. ¹

“…we now know that the universe is made of nothing but waves and particles of energy that conform to our expectations, judgements and beliefs.”¹


¹  E² — Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality by Pam Grout.

“All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.”

            —Ralph Waldo Emerson

More on this later.

 

Reality Check (2nd)

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

                   —Mark Twain, American author

Sanity, defined as perception of things as they really are, is the theme of this series titled Reality Check. 

It seems that we humans are in the midst of a paradigm shift.

A paradigm is the totality of how a person, a group, or an entire culture views reality.

A paradigm shift occurs when previously unnoticed truth is recognized.  This truth isn’t new.  It always existed but was unrecognized because purpose and attention were focused elsewhere.

I nominate Newtonian philosophy as our “about-to-be-replaced” paradigm, and quantum physics as the “previously unnoticed truth”, the discoveries of which are working their way into the mass consciousness at an ever-accelerating rate.

“Anyone who is not shocked by (quantum) physics has not understood it.”

                   —Niels Bohr, Danish Physicist

“The Western scientific community, and actually all of us are in a difficult spot, because in order to maintain our current mode of being, we must ignore a tremendous amount of information.”

                   —Cleve Backster, plant researcher and former CIA agent

“To be a true explorer in science—to follow the unprejudiced lead of pure scientific inquiry—is to be unafraid to propose the unthinkable, and to prove friends, colleagues, and scientific paradigms wrong.”

                   —Lynne McTaggart, author of The Field

“Everything you know about the universe and its laws is more than likely to be 99.99 percent wrong.”

                   —Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D., American quantum physicist

Paradigm-shattering experiments published in peer-reviewed journals reveal that we’re bathed in a field of intelligent energy that fills what used to be thought of as empty space.

Additional discoveries show beyond any reasonable doubt that this field responds to us—it rearranges itself—in the presence of our heart-based feelings and beliefs.  And this is the revolution that changes everything.

                   —Greg Braden, author of The Spontaneous Healing Of Belief

More on this later.

 

Ref: Covid19, Flu, And Similar Annoyances

Concerning The Effectiveness Of Masks

This sign, displayed in a local food store, seems worthy of consideration:

” A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analysis of the flu indicates

that if 50% of the population uses a mask, virus transmission would be cut in half.

If 80% of the population uses a mask, the virus would essentially be eliminated. ¹

¹ (Yang, Jin, et al. Modeling the Effectiveness of Respiratory Protective Devices in Reducing Influenza Outbreak.

Wiley Online Library, Risk Analysis, 19 September, 2018, onlinelibrary wiley.com/do/full/10 1111/nsa13181.)

For a  thorough discussion of masks, with no hype, see the following:

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/2020/08/16/face-masks-what-makes-some-better-than-others-against-covid-19/5535737002/

Reality Check (1st)

So Who’s Crazy?

We have minds full of beliefs our greatest saints and sages rejected on their march to perfection.

We see the world as separate from us, functioning outside us, and capable of working us great help or harm, and that unpredictably.

We see ourselves as pathetically vulnerable, and obliged to compete for scarce means to live.

Pressured by our need to survive, we pass our lives in “quiet desperation,” believing that “life’s a bitch and then you die.”

To us, this is a sane view.

To our greatest saints and sages, we are having a horrendous nightmare from which we can eventually awaken.

Their advice seems patently impractical, even ludicrous, but we human beings are far too opportunistic a species to throw out something useful.

And it’s the fact that we have carefully preserved the advice of our greatest saints and sages that should lead us to be suspicious of that mindset that we label “common sense”, or “sanity.”

More on this later.

America

Land Of The Free—Home of the Brainwashed?

While researching a post I chanced upon comment posted by a reader responding to an editorial published in a British newspaper.

Despite its sarcastic conclusion, this comment is, in my view, worthy of sober consideration:

The average American is subject to endless brainwashing from many self-serving and contradictory sources, through their local newspapers, local TV and radio.

Their use of social media simply confirms their beliefs and prejudices.

They hear endless extreme religious propaganda from profit driven “churches”, advertising from companies desperate to make them addicted to fast food and the latest pointless products, political propaganda that’s way more extreme then anything experienced in the UK. This unregulated onslaught leaves them divorced from reality.

If  the “American way of life” were a coin, this comment might well describe the tail.

Wall Street = Main Street ?

“The Economy”  =  “We, The People ?”

Before the Covid-19 pandemic,  Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said the economy was doing very well.

At that same time, the following was true of the people:

  • yearly, almost half a million were going bankrupt, caused, in part, by medical bills
  • 20% of grade school students were living below the poverty line
  • 2.9 million grade school students were living in households where they are unsure when they might get their next meal
  • 25% of workers got no paid sick leave
  • almost 60% of Americans had total savings of $1000 or less
  • 48% of Americans had nothing saved for retirement in a 401(k) or similar instrument
  • no more than 35% of student loan debt holders were making regular repayment, and 25% had defaulted
  •  I could continue…

No doubt the economy, (aka profitability of corporations), was doing very well.

But what did that have to do with the people?

Were they being ignored?

If so, was it regrettable oversight or deliberate policy?

To be clear, I do not advocate doing away with “free-market” capitalism.

I do advocate carefully considered changes to eliminate its more glaring flaws.

“The benefits of economic freedom are secured only within the context of a framework of rules designed to link the pursuit of private profit to the *public interest.”

*public interest = stabilizing or improving the quality of life for all citizens”—From writings of Niskanen Center (a center-right think tank)

 

Skillful Living

What’s That?

At a minimum it means staying out of prison and the morgue.

But what else is involved?  Becoming rich?  Perhaps.  A British prime minister once said that while there was no shame in poverty it certainly was “damned inconvenient.”  Most of us would agree.  But some of us human beings deliberately embrace narrow economic circumstances.  These people aren’t stupid or insane.  They give practical reasons for choosing a simple or even spartan style of life.

Frequently, contentment is mentioned as a primary result of this choice.

Contentment is as good a goal as any.

If you are genuinely content, what else do you need?

Pushing The River

How Not to Live Life With Skill

Native Americans understand that attempts to force a situation to move at one’s preferred pace, or to coerce a desired result regardless of who might suffer, are naive, frequently dangerous.  They gently mock the absurdity of such behavior, calling it “pushing the river.”

Nowadays many seem to revel in deliberate disregard of this old wisdom.

W. C. Fields, a famous and frequently drunk actor, is reported to have lurched unsteadily past his rose bushes one morning, snarling at them as he passed, “GROW! DAMN YOU!”

So many of us are addicted to being in control.

We regard life as a competition for scarce material blessings, with definite winners and losers.

“The one who dies with the most toys wins!”

We fight hard to be “winners”.  “Nice guys finish last!”  OMG, we just can’t be last!

It’s not merely, “What will people think?”  The underlying terror is, “What will people, (who think like us), DO to us?”  We go so far as to think, speak and act as if the “losers” in this competition are arrogant to expect compassionate treatment.

I’m (very) loosely describing characteristics of Social Darwinism, which, carried to its logical extreme position, requires the losers to die of whatever combination of social, psychological, political, and economic abuse, plus malnutrition and disease, afflicts them, and to do so very quietly, mind you, so as not to disturb the good time the “winners” are self-righteously enjoying, (and that the winner-wannabees are striving so hard to begin enjoying).

Social Darwinism is popular with some of the fat-wallet set, who find in it a justification for their accumulation of wealth and simultaneously, for their condescending or even sneering attitude toward the “losers”.  And this despite the fact that capitalism inevitably produces a certain number of such “losers”.

Layoffs, plant closings, downsizing, hostile takeovers, out-sourcing, mismanagement resulting in bankruptcy, etc., all produce some number of “losers”, who are frequently characterized as inferior, parasitic, or morally torpid because they can’t deal effectively with such events, and need a social safety net to stave off disaster.

Little is said about the glacially selfish, and/or stupid, and/or feloniously illegal conduct of  some owners, managers, brokers, bankers or speculators who created crises for these so-called “losers” in the first place.  These people believe they have gotten away with something.

Here’s the catch:  Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, we all have functioning consciences, preprogramed to accept cooperative, compassionate conduct and to reject exploitative conduct.

The latter produces fear, guilt, and shame, which contribute to poor health, additional psychological problems, and self-destructive behavior aimed at silencing guilty consciences.

Attempts to silence guilty consciences don’t work.  Period.  End of story.

People with clear(er) consciences are free(er) of fear, guilt, and shame.  Thus they generally live longer, have better health, and are happier more often than their fear-, guilt- and shame-laden counterparts.

Which is worth more: being at peace with what we see in our mirrors, or attempting to silence rowdy consciences by, (among other practices), claiming that the “losers” are at fault, never the “river-pushers” who created the problems in the first place?

Care to share your thoughts?