Monday, 12 August 2019

Time To Change Our Thinking

Dear Reader,

A new series of 'Dragon's Den' started on the Beeb last night. Now I happen to always watch this and have done so since soon after it first started around 16 or 17 years ago. And some 15 years ago I happened to be working for Theo Paphitis, one of the Den's early members, and had substantial contact with him.

Having earlier had my own small business and had many of the experiences that one encounters in trying to grow the business, I am interested in the people that come forward to obtain investment in 'the Den', and the dialogue that takes place.

But I now have to voice disappointment. And that disappointment is to to do with the fact that in this age of supposed 'Environment' awareness, there are so few product ideas coming forward on 'the Den' that are geared to improving the way in which we interact with Planet Earth, with Gaia. In fact, last night there were no products at all that were put forward to improving the Environment. Indeed, the products were more to do with consuming more, not less, luxury items.

The idea seems to be that anything will do in order to make money. In short, we commonly seem to be still stuck in the old mechanistic way of thinking rather than applying systems theory.

Of course, the mentality being applied is most likely that if you want to make money then take the shortest, less difficult way, to getting it - but is that how we should think? Will that thinking gain us anything in the longer term, especially when those that know are crying out that we have to change our ways now, not wait.

I find that to discover how the world really is via TV, it's more productive to watch RT and Al Jazerah, with portions of Channels 4 and 5 thrown in. The rest is mainly garbage, and even the serious programmes are often geared to misleading the viewer. Perhaps taking time to select and view programmes on YouTube is potentially the most productive if you really want to know what's going on in the world, though that is a minefield.

The best way, of course (if you are young and healthy enough), is to go out there and live life in its most constructive fullness. There's no better alternative to find out, first-hand, both how the world works and to find self-knowledge.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

The Jewel In The Crown

Dear Reader,

When you think of India, is your first thought about the poverty that is often found there? That the literacy level is low in many places there?

Is it your impression that India was (and recently was) a backward country and has only recently started to emerge as a world power?

Is your impression that it is a country of a caste system and 100s of gods?

In which case, you may be in for a few surprises, especially when it is taken into account that the Harappan civilisation of several thousands of years BC reveals signs of advanced water supply and effluent management systems.

On literacy, American historian William Durant (1885-1981) declared that:
When the British came, there was, throughout India, a system of communal schools managed by village communities. The agents of the East India Company destroyed these village communities. Instead of encouraging education, the Government encouraged drink.
This observation has been ratified by many: literacy amongst the ordinary people of India was very high if not 100%. The interest of Britain was to make India (and other colonial countries) subservient to Britain's interests and thus Britain progressively instituted an educational system that made Indian civil servants into virtual clones of their colonial masters. The legacy of the British in this regard has only recently started to abate, while ordinary people received little or no education during this period of rule - as, indeed was the case for ordinary people in Britain also at that time. Britain's class system was at its peak during this time.

It has been said that the village schools system had great room for improvement, but that they were very effective and were one of the institutions of local power. When they were superseded by new schools, run by the British bureaucracy using an alien language whose benefit ordinary people could not see, children of the poorer classes simply pulled out. This led to the deliteralisation of the great masses of the Indian population.

Now, onto the economy of India.

The Mughal period (preceding Britain's involvement in India) had some share in the demise of India's culture and economy. But it was since Britain's increasing involvement in the country from 1700 that India's share of the world economy collapsed from 24.4% to 4.2% shortly after the year of Independence (1947). according to British economist Angus Maddison, It has also been said that under British rule, India suffered more famines in mere decades than during the preceding 1,000 years.

Britain imposed central control, which proved to be disastrous for agriculture. In most of the country lay a system of tanks that had existed for millennia and were repaired by village councils. The English disbanded the local councils and instituted a system of canal irrigation even for places where it was unsuitable. Soon, the tanks fell into disuse leading to a fall of the water table. This had disastrous effects on agriculture.

The total matter of misgovernment was so apparent fairly early on that the issue was raised by British politician Edmund Burke who (in 1778) began a seven-year impeachment trial against Warren Hastings and the East India Company on charges including mismanagement of the Indian economy.

This brings us on to the culture of India, and the over-hackneyed view that it is a country of 100s of gods.

The afore-mentioned Edmund Burke observed:
[Indians were] a people for ages civilised and cultivated; cultivated by all the arts of polished life, whilst we were yet in the woods. There is to be found an ancient and venerable priesthood, the depository of their laws, learning, and history, the guides of the people whilst living, and their consolation in death; a nobility of great antiquity and renown; a multitude of cities; millions of ingenious manufacturers and mechanics; millions of the most diligent, and not the least intelligent, tillers of the earth. Here are to be found almost all the religions professed by men, the [Hindu], the [Muslim], the Eastern and the Western Christians.
British Orientalist Sir William Jones, who translated many important and ancient Sanskrit books, said: "The Sanskrit language [is of] wonderful structure, more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more exquisitely refined than either."

The spirituality of India has been praised by many western men of letters, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreaux and Mark Twain, to name but a few.

On the matter of India's caste system, what has been observed in recent centuries is something that has become a misused method of ordering people and is not what was originally implemented. There was no idea in the original system of people taking on one caste or another by heredity, which is what it became. It was originally a simple view of four important strata of society in which each individual took his place according to ability and circumstances. We do that in our own societies.

It is true that many gods in India can be found, but Indian philosophy is extremely deep, with the essential principle being that as God the Creator resides in everything, one may adopt worship of virtually anything as an expression of the one divine creator: their spiritual faith is towards the unity of the Godhead, not otherwise.

This Indian philosophy - of the singularity of the Godhead - was a great influence on the thinking of the world in ancient times, and in India's ancient scriptures is to be found much else beside spiritual injunctions and guidance. They even contain mathematical and scientific formula from which great names such as Pythagoras formed his theorems. In the Indian scriptures, we find the first idea of the number 0. The science of ancient India included medicine that even recently would have been regarded as advanced in the West, with surgery being carried out using the most wonderful devices.

What is more, traces of Indian civilisation and its symbols are slowly being found in many parts of the world, including Russia and the Americas. India's spiritual philosophy has provided the basis for all true faith in the world, with a morality that is second to none.

This is the country that Britain tried to submit to its will, but it was Britain's Empire that went, not the ancient home of philosophy and moral endeavour. And now India is coming back to the forefront.

Significantly, British Historian Arnold Toynbee (1888-1975) stated:
It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way.
Thank you for reading this.

Monday, 29 July 2019

The Choice is ... Choice. But of Trump's Version?

Dear Reader,

Strange isn't it? Here we are being told on one hand that we must focus on Brexit and get that out of the way by forcing a no-deal form of the exit, while (probably) a majority don't want a 'no deal' and are unlikely to be given a choice about it. In fact there's a strong argument that the 2016 referendum also assumed that 'exit' meant with a deal, and not no-deal, in which case a no-deal exit would be quite contrary to democracy and the concept of choice (which is what people thought they were being given).

On top of that I would think that very few of the 'no-deal exit' voting fraternity have thought properly of the quite real ramifications - e.g. that a US trade agreement would give us less trade than we currently have with the EU, added to the likely situation that the UK would then be importing food products that do not pass our current stringent quality tests. Trump doesn't have to be clever to realise that Boris is just the PM he wants to enrich the US trade position with us ... a position that is likely to be detrimental to the UK but lovely for the US, and Trump.

And there's another aspect of a no-deal Brexit. The fact that we would return to a form of trading that depends on supplies from around the world via ship and plane at more cost to the eco-system. And back the other way.

This topic brings us back to the matter of Climate Change. 

Though the UK has just noticed a few changes in the weather ... some much hotter days and some wetter days ... the rest of the world, very much including Continental Europe, has noticed a great deal more in the form of weather system changes. This summer, most of Europe has been 'basking' in very high (dangerous even) temperature levels for long periods, whilst other parts of the world have received massive flooding and others, like Guatemala, prolonged droughts. etc. etc.

So the lack of major Climate Change around the UK (in comparison with elsewhere) to-date tends to put us into little change in our thinking. Except that we get upset that Tesco has moved up quite a few shelf prices, partly because of the Climate Change in the rest of the world and their ability to produce quality foodstuffs.

While the Brexit fiasco is taking place, our eye is off the ball of Climate Change and we continue to be bombarded with advertising for holidays abroad and toilet products that do not do anything to help the eco-system. And the great boom in the computer gaming industry and the triumphant UK 15-year-old who wins one million dollars in a gaming competition and says "Look, Mum, I didn't waste my time at school!" 

And the football world, in particular, continues to behave as though that's the only economic model that matters. Yes, I have an affection for football, but as it was 50+ years ago - not as it has been these last 20 years.

All the above-stated issues are numbingly mindless. Money, money, money. We must all be asleep. But it's not money itself that's the problem but we humans and how we use it together with a lack of appreciation of ecology and Systems Thinking.

To certain people, my previous essay about our move towards Systems Thinking must seem like a foreign language. 

No, I don't believe the World is about to end. But I do believe we are fast reaching the end of life as we have known it for the last few decades. That end is closer than we could possibly imagine.

Ignore the TV ads and what Boris and Trump say. Insist - please - on a Brexit with a deal and an immediate higher focus on climate change and its imminent effect, which is already being felt in most of this planet. Not to do so will probably mean much clenching of teeth in 2020 onwards, and even much greater suffering than we would care for if we were to listen to our real selves - our common sense - and the teachings of the great spiritual masters.

It is believed that Chief Seattle  said:
Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. One thing we know: our god is also your god. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.
Thank you for reading this.

Monday, 22 July 2019

The Outcome Of Thinking

Dear Reader,

Having recently endured a further learning experience - in this case an encounter with a near life-exit on the operating table while conscious - I have now got back to focus on what matters, being made (I hope!) yet a little more wise by the experience.

This very recent reflection brought me to think again (in my 76th year) about the state of thinking - particularly in the Western World - and after listening to talks by Martin Sandbrook at the Schumacher Institute on the topic of Systems Thinking, I have produced a map of the general evolution of Western thought. I have projected it a little into the future:

The first area I wish to touch on is the kind of thinking that we still seem to be transfixed by - the Mechanistic approach to things, a paradigm that is on the way out but has become so embedded in our consciousness that for most of us aged over 50 it is probably very difficult to escape it completely. Indeed there are aspects of this kind of thinking that are still relevant. This is the kind of thinking that drew on selected aspects of the philosophy of Bacon and Newton and created the Industrial Revolution. It has perpetuated our main thinking ever since, until the 21st century (now), when all manner of disturbances - including Climate Change and sheer survival - have forced us to recognise that a different approach is necessary.

We have begun in the last few decades to talk of the ecology of the planet, and the realisation that the imposition of Mechanistic Western thinking onto other societies may well be a wrong approach. We have begun to accept that the on-going usage of fossil fuels and material growth are not sustainable, so to impose that thinking onto other societies would only be exacerbating the issue. An academic named E. West Churchman is now regarded as the 'father' of Systems Thinking and said that his idea can only take shape "when we see the world through the eyes of another". To think that his concepts came about around 50 years ago (as did publications such as "Limits to Growth"), yet it has taken all this time to see how it makes more sense than the old paradigm.

It is only through Systems Thinking that we can begin to properly grasp how everything around us - both man-made and natural - is inter-connected, and thus encourage us to develop empathy towards the issues that we now more clearly see, and thus employing new ways on how to arrive at solutions.

So that is where we are - moving into a Systems Thinking paradigm, largely as a result of being forced into this mode by the circumstances we created for ourselves using the old, Mechanistic, paradigm. Politically, the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, in its wish to transform the EU along Systems Thinking processes, is an example of the attempt to implement the new paradigm in a way that is positively meaningful to everyone, and not just politicians and bankers.

However, if we were to stand back a little and be more detached, in Systems Thinking we can possibly begin to understand more of what the great masters the Buddha and Jesus were saying. In alluding, for example, to loving our neighbour, what would we be doing but (as Churchman said) to  "... see the world through the eyes of another"? Only by trying to do this can we remove our selfishness and ego.

With the state of the world as it is, and in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the landing on the Moon, I only see Systems Thinking as just another small step by man in getting closer towards the teachings of the great spiritual masters, whose effect will be felt sooner than we might think. And a future that we currently cannot even begin to contemplate. We are meant to spiritually evolve, not stagnate. We are here as stewards, not owners, of this planet, in order to reach our spiritual destiny.

A sustainable and equitable future demands that our thinking is directed along the lines of Love.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

432Hz Sounds Good To Me!

Dear Reader,

Last week I talked awhile on the topic of the magic of water, and this week it is the turn of sound.

This article about music caught my attention some time ago. It was then of some interest to me, but other topics took over my daily activity. And at that time the notion that the topic might be related to spiritual matters did not fully occur to me. But when I lately saw an article on the 'Hindu'/Buddhist AUM mantra, I woke up. 

It would appear that when the AUM mantra is properly chanted, the frequency of the vibrations is measured at 432Hz, the level referred to as being harmonious in the stated article (above), and which is also said to be the harmonic vibrational frequency of everything in the universe. 

A second scientific foundation for the mantra's benefits concerns brain research conducted by various scientists, the findings of which were very interesting. It would seem that in response to time-frequency analysis, irregular waveforms were identified which indicated unsteadiness in the mind of the subjects. The subjects were then requested to chant the mantra frequently for a few days and the experiment was repeated. The time-frequency analysis then produced some surprising insights. The waveforms were improved with regular spacing and had almost perfect symmetry and harmony. Not only had these participants witnessed dramatic improvements in focus, concentration and steadiness, but found themselves to be in peace, witnessing a reduction in mental stress and remaining calm all the time.

It is said that chanting the AUM mantra is able to create an event inside the nervous system which can then become an object of concentration and meditation, and also a focal point for expanding physical and emotional awareness. There are many testimonies to that effect.

Importantly, therefore, we could say that psychiatry (a more modern development and not as respected as it once was) is redundant; that depression has a known cure. We need not be anything but positive if we would choose to be so.

Likely to create more heated debate, perhaps, is the notion that the Jewish/Christian word used at the end of prayer - Amen - and the Muslim equivalent - Ameen - stem from the AUM mantra. I think it is worthwhile viewing this link to read and listen to more on this topic.

In fact, this Rosicrucian article confirms the preceding link.

Why is it worthwhile? Well, I have found sufficient evidence to show that all spiritual paths are closely related, and it would appear to me that it is perfectly logical that we will find similarities in practice. The problem is to get across to fundamentalists (in all religions) that the application of dogma will not create peace in this world, while compassion, tolerance and understanding stand every chance of success. In other words, the application of love instead of belief.

Of course, it would not serve governments for us to talk as one people. The so-called 'permanent government' would be far from happy.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Going In For A Dip

Dear Reader,

Hello again.

I think that, over many posts, I have tried to re-vivify the notion of the need for love in this world, as love is the natural expression of the Divine. But there are some that would say, "Where is this Divine Love? So much suffering goes on, children are slaughtered, maimed, abused and made hungry, and yet you call on us to believe in the unseeable who does not seem to care about what's going on!"

This was the kind of argument returned by those who had witnessed the bloody futility of the Western Front in World War One, and it is not easy to answer - though there is a direct answer.

But rather than trying to answer head-on, as it were, perhaps it is wise to open our eyes and look for evidence around us of Divine Love.

This past week I was inspired - for some reason - to look more into the nature of water. I was not looking into this subject with any result in mind, but I felt that it is a topic worth knowing more about. Particularly as we depend upon it for life itself. After all, adults are each composed of seven-tenths water as, indeed, is the whole of the planet.

So I found a book that perhaps has been read by many, but has got lost in the mayhem that the world has experienced this last 20 years. It's a book that was first published in 2001, called "The Hidden Messages In Water" by Dr. Masaru Emoto. In it there are some fascinating accounts of water crystal formations that were formed depending on what words were shown to water - the more kindly the message the more beautiful the formations.

And here is the most intriguing part: that Dr. Emoto came to the conclusion that the most successful attitude to life would include 2 parts gratefulness (for life) and 1 part love, equating to the formula H2O!

The point I am making here, of course, is that in water can be found the very expression of the Divine. And in illustrating this matter further, Dr. Emoto demonstrated that when water is 'spoken to' - through words written on paper and shown to the water - and when frozen, the water crystallises and forms shapes revealing the feelings that the words transmitted!

These pictures show the different crystals that became visible when the words 'thank you' were shown to water as expressed in English, German, French and Italian:

See how the national personality of each country is revealed in the shape and colour of each crystal! I suppose people will simply say there is a 'scientific' explanation for this, but why should science separate itself (as it usually does) from divine concepts?

But evidence of the divine is not just to be seen in water. Sacred geometry has revealed that there are natural shapes to be found that have properties that are equally Divine.  For example:

Here we have a picture of a Nautilus shell, and the numerical Fibonacci series that can be deduced from it. Not only in this form of creation but others too.

But the real proof of Divinity, in my view, is to be found in the lives of those who truly lived according to Divine teachings through their experience, such as Jesus and the Buddha. They set the example of how life can be, and gave substantial clues as to 'the Way'.

If we want real solutions to the world's severe problems, then surely we should look very closely at those teachings and apply them where we can, and adding them to our lives when it is possible to do so.

I recently wrote something about this to a friend about the lack of respect that is today found in our society.
It seems to me that true 'respect' can only come from devotion. That to me is the underlying aspect that's missing. And it's the devotion that Jesus spoke of when he summarised the commandments as Love of God and one's neighbour ... "with all thy heart and all thy mind".

It sounds as though I'm preaching, but Jesus was touching on a truth that a lot of people haven't thought on. That is that the inherent nature of us all is the same! In India they call it the Atma - the indwelling soul - that links us all one to another, so that if we slander or hurt we should realise that we only slander or hurt ourselves, and that the law of Karma will bring about just rewards one way or another - "what goes around comes around".

So we are not really separate. Outwardly we seem different, but inwardly all are the same.

I believe that until we come to properly realise that (and Christianity never has taught it properly except by individuals whose lives have been a demonstration of that truth) then true 'respect' will not materialise. 'Respect' is not something that can be forced or enforced. It must come from free will - from love. And a demonstration of that (by example) is the biggest possible challenge for politicians and employers!
Thank you for reading this!

Friday, 24 May 2019

Saying One Thing And Doing Another: Where Is Integrity?

Dear Reader,

In my previous post I alluded - yet again - for the need for love in this world. A world that is being defoliated and its occupants (both humans and creatures of all kinds) being mercilessly harassed and pursued into horrors that are being suppressed from front-page news in order that the world's rich may carry on their games of taking out what they want and giving back very little.

Amongst those horrors is the news that Botswana has lifted an embargo against wild animal hunting, which means that rapidly decreasing species like elephants and lions are to be relentlessly chased for sport. The question must be "why has Botswana done this?", and the only answer must be because the country has been promised investment if they were to do that.

In May, the BBC indicated that sea level rise could be greater than expected, while in March, it was revealed that BP had Trump's ear and had successfully lobbied the Trump administration to roll back key climate regulations that underpinned the US contribution to the Paris climate agreement. This, despite claiming to support the deal. They say one thing and do another.

Decades ago, while I had already taken to following a belief in green issues, I was still dubious about organisations like Greenpeace, but I now see that unless they had not acted the world would be in a far worse slumber over evil goings-on than it is. Other organisations (like 38 Degrees) now try to reach out to us on similar themes.

But it would seem that we (and all creatures) will have to suffer because we choose to lend a deaf ear to the warnings and continue to play in a world of make-believe that involves mobile phones, playstations and other forms of mind-deadening activity. Also swanning off to remote locations for holidays that are not necessary, burning up huge amounts of aircraft fuel and creating harmful gases. It can be just as beneficial to rest in your own back garden, rain or no rain.

Sorry, but long-distance travel is only desirable if there is something useful to be achieved.

Isn't our attitude because we have been educated away from believing in a Creator of the Universe that created us in order to act as His stewards of this potentially wonderful Earth? I certainly believe that is so.

But the Creator constantly makes efforts to restore human values when they diminish in the world through various ways. One can understand this with an example. In the event of a small residential theft, you report the matter to the police station in your jurisdiction. You do not have to approach the commissioner of police for this small incident. Only if the matter is not resolved you may escalate to the next higher level. So too, God initially sends forth saints and great souls like Jesus Christ to deal with unrighteousness in the world. What did Jesus say? He initially said, ‘I am the messenger of God’ and then as ‘Son of God’ and finally said ‘My father and I are One’. These are the three stages of the great spiritual journey for the individual as proclaimed in the Perennial Philosophy of India, but all religions emphasise or focus on certain principles and therefore it is not only the Way of India that is to be upheld. All religions need to be respected. Including Humanism.

But by no means can we aspire to friendship with God if we allow condemnation of other faiths and this rape of the world to continue. To simply pursue worship while condoning evil is not exactly consistent - is it? We all need to be an example.

Enough is enough. For those that are able, it is time to wake up and seek change - to seek a world of love. I partly woke up over 40 years ago and walked out on a big industrial employer because I knew there was more to life. In doing so I lost the chance to acquire more trappings of a comfortable life. But I do not regret that; I have at least learnt a lot more about matters that are more real.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

The Big Question

Dear Reader,

It is very apparent that the world is divided into so many compartments of thought, so the idea of attaining solutions that can gain common consensus seems to be a distant ideal. All we have to do is to look at what has happened in the British Parliament over Brexit to be able to accept that perspective!

But we do know that the attempted "common solution" of capitalism and material progress has been found very wanting. In fact, by itself, it has failed.

But maybe if we can imbue such a creed with acceptable human values then perhaps we can make progress? The Guardian newspaper wrote, in 2010:
Many thinkers have identified common strands in systems of thought and religions through the ages. In 1945 Aldous Huxley wrote of a perennial philosophy "that recognises a divine reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine reality; the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent ground of all being". He said that it could be found in both "traditional lore" and the "higher religions", in every era.
The Guardian went on: 
 Was Huxley right? Is there an eternal truth, that we keep on discovering – whether it's a "divine reality" or something better formulated in another way? And if so, what is its nature – is it outside us? Is it simply an aspect of the way our brains are wired?
I contend that whatever we may think about the notion of a Perennial Philosophy, the lines of concern that Huxley wrote on do ring true to my way of thinking. I have come to reject the notion that there is any "right religion" (that one is 'better' than another) but have developed the view that the basis of all religious/spiritual paths is the same, as they depend on the common theme of Love to gain success.  Indeed, how otherwise was the Universe created and through what means is the Universe maintained?

So perhaps rather than talk of grand titles like 'Perennial Philosophy', we should simply talk about 'Love', and what Love would do in attempting to solve the problems that exist, and which will persist if they are not addressed. And I would suggest that we need to address these issues before matters become worse, as surely they are.

Surely we can reconcile to the notion of 'Love' being a commonly understood phenomenon? If not, why not? Or is Love a threat to us, that it implies selflessness? The answer lies with you ... and you ... and you ... and me. But it is a question we need to address.

Thank you for reading this

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Are You In The CIA?

Dear Reader,

So, the UK has officially declared that Climate Change is an emergency. Trump must be choking on his coaldust!

Of course, declaring it to be such is one thing; actually tackling the issue with fervent commitment, and getting other countries to also comply, is quite another matter. The world needs to recognise where we are at because the problem is a world problem. As a country, we cannot tackle it just by ourselves and hope to achieve worthwhile results, but not to make greater efforts would simply be a huge folly.

As Albert Einstein once said: "...with every problem there's a solution [; it's] just a matter of taking action".

Einstein is entirely right. And what is so very important is that science is gradually coming to realise - at an increasing pace - that humans have an inner capacity to tackle so many issues that we did not know of. We are not meant to be here to idle away our time but to put ourselves about and, as Jesus is quoted as saying, "Seek and ye shalt find." That is, we can find within ourselves the link to the ultimate power that can cause us to open our eyes and find the skills and strength to do what needs to be done. Hence, Jesus also said, "The body is a temple".

A significant humanist named Gregg Braden, in his book "Resilience from the Heart", goes into great detail to explain how man can tap in to inner resources. In particular, he refers to the so-important heart-brain connection and actually states a simple "Quick Coherence Technique" identified by an organisation called the Heart Math Institute (click here)  to begin the process of activating effective heart-brain clarity. This approach can lead to greater resilience to extreme world changes (that have already started to be unleashed) as a result.

Braden also refers to other significant findings achieved by the Heart Math Institute in this direction. Braden also points out that it is only since the time of Leonardo da Vinci that man has put so much emphasis into mental activity, whereas formerly the great thinkers were those who saw the heart and the brain as working in close harmony. It makes me wonder just how many people have succumbed in modern times to psychiatry and other therapies in an attempt to get back to thinking in balance. I have known quite a few who have suffered as a result of their education and thinking being directed only through mental processes.

Now, I don't altogether prescribe to Braden's line of thinking as it seems to me that, though modern science has made a step forward, it still formally refuses to acknowledge a higher wisdom and ancient teachings that have already identified the issues that science is now uncovering. That and also how ancient wisdom is being interpreted is somewhat piecemeal rather than holistic. But I do believe that humans possess far more in their equipment than what is on the surface or in the cranium, and that the spiritual masters gave a formula as to how we can grow accordingly. The heart-brain connection is important for us to perform properly as human beings. Prayer is included in that, but there is much more to the notion of prayer than perhaps we realise.

Science also now knows that what we perceive as "space" in the universe is no such thing. That so-called "space" actually consists of energy, proving that everything in the universe is inter-linked. The ancients always knew this. Therefore, particularly when we undertake actions with pure motives and prayer, those actions are energised through unseen forces. To best achieve that we should enlist in CIA: in Constant Integrated Awareness!

Coming back to the matter of Climate Change, how we tackle this matter is going to be best achieved by utilising the latent human facilities known of by the ancients. And how we educate our children is a key factor in all that. Education should not be treated as a process to act as a fodder of beings to commerce, science and industry, but primarily as a process in values development. In fact, if the resolution to treat Climate Change as an urgent issue is a sincere one, we should firstly admit to ourselves that it is we who are primarily the cause of this situation and thus need to change ourselves before attempting anything else. Changing ourselves means to re-educate ourselves; to become members of CIA!

Only by putting the ego in its place and through working in harmony with the Creator will we achieve true success and overcome all potential disasters.

May Peace be with you! May Love rule!

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Great, Greta! Here's Solarpower To Your Elbow!

Dear Reader,

Thirty years ago and more, shop assistants looked very strangely at me when I used to refuse a free carrier bag of any description. Now, many stores go overboard to stop giving you a carrier bag! 45 years ago I was putting leaflets into houses warning of changing conditions and the need to change our ways in respect of usage of resources, and the need to try being more self-sufficient. The trouble was I was overly conscious that the leaflets I was distributing were themselves made of valuable natural material, and that was very much in the days before re-cycling got underway.

But there were some people around in Birmingham who were sympathetic to my cause, and one had already gone so far as to switch his vehicle over to hydrogen power. And not just to save money. There were a fair number of people around then (in the 1970s) that were aware of the problem of waste and a potential future of lack of resources. Indeed, an organisation called The Club Of Rome published powerful arguments (bringing attention to the limitations to the availability of fossil fuels) for those who would take notice. Fossil fuels are becoming harder to obtain now, and mining is becoming dangerously invasive, adding to the issue of gases poisoning our eco-system.

I was an early follower of the Ecology Party, now the Green Party. (Not long ago I told Caroline Lucas she would be an excellent leader of the Labour Party!)

I purchased a bike in 1976 and took it with me when I went to London, where I lived for the next 32 years. It was an expensive bike, too, and a good one, sold to me by the locally well-known 1948 Olympic cyclist Tommy Godwin (he died only just after the 2012 Olympics, in his 90s). Within weeks of my arrival in London, it was stolen. But at least London had, and has, something resembling a well-integrated public transport system.

But the powers-that-be pushed the ecological issues aside in favour of economic growth and created doubt about the arguments or inferred that solutions would be found. (Eh?) The voters didn't think the matter was important enough. And they wanted to pay their bills: they felt that the future would look after itself.

Now that we've been seriously experiencing some of the consequences of our mis-spent form of living, it has taken a 15-year-old Swedish girl named Greta Thunberg to be the main focus for action and come forward and force us to take notice. She recently spoke to the United Nations and made her case for immediate action.

Go to listen to Greta's 11 minute talk by clicking here.

The issue of Climate Change, is, indeed, a hugely important one. David Attenborough says so, and it is.

But it is no less important an issue than the wars that have been perpetrated and which have proceeded to ravage the world in increasing ferocity for the last sixty years, with huge numbers of civilians being killed, maimed and forced into a life of fear. How many people have tried to escape their country of origin in the Middle East and Africa? And so many other places, too, have their own share of deep troubles, as always, man-made.

And it is no less important an issue than the maltreatment of wildlife throughout the World, such as the Orangutans in Indonesia, but also the marine life that is poisoned by toxicity and plastics.

These THREE major issues reveal what mankind has become as it has burgeoned in less than 200 years into a mammoth population of 7 billion people fed by a media stream of theatrical and musical nonsense. Yes, non-sense! There is not much of the world left to ravage for resources and food, much of which we seek is of a luxurious nature for our consumption. And the development of beef farming that has not only taken over swathes of former forest land but also pumps tons and tons of methane gas into the atmosphere.

Because we tend to think of these issues as being prevalent a long way away, we also tend to think (just like the climate change issue) that they are not really connected to us. We might send token gestures of charity to patch up the wounds, but do we stop to think about what is really going on and challenge our leaders about them? No, we have always said "they" will sort it out. Well, "they" say they do what the voters tell them to! What a merry-go-round!

No, there is NO scientific answer for all this. The ONLY answer lies within ourselves! We, the creators of this combined situation need to reverse it by looking into our hearts to find our real selves, and then to live and act according to the peaceful nature that in fact is our real selves. 

We need a religion of love to abide by; one that stems from the core of our hearts and not from the pulpit, whether Christian or Muslim or any other formal religion.

WE ARE ALL ONE. We need to live as though we are that.

Let us demand less, consume less, love more!

And (if we are able) to realise that there is one creator
and that we all owe our lives to that One.
Have we thought that perhaps we have been entrusted to act as good stewards
of all that has been created by the One?
Let us do something by utilising the Rights that we have fought for in a responsible way.

How do we generate a sense of urgency? 
By putting these issues on the table as a matter of priority.
Just as Kennedy did in 1960 to have man put on the Moon by the end of that decade. It was achieved because it was made a priority, despite the huge technical difficulties imposed by the challenge.

Thank you for reading this!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

The Real Message of Easter

Dear Reader,

As you may well know, I am not a conventional Christian, but over the years I have come to realise that all spiritual ways lead to the same end. That all routes lead to God, by whatever name you call the creator/maintainer of the Universe - and, indeed, the Omniverse.

But Christianity possesses perhaps the greatest symbol to illustrate the intended purpose of life, and that is through the teachings and physical sacrifice of the Master Jesus. I will not repeat the whole story here, but you must all know it. It is about selflessness and sacrifice.

It is the realisation that life is not what it seems. It is to realise that what is intended is the crucifixion of one's worldly self to resurrect as the true self. Jesus reveals that teaching, fully sacrificing his own life as an ultimate example.

To clarify, the following is an extract from an article about Easter and the Message of Jesus, as written by a Catholic priest a few years ago:
Immediately the husk of the mind is removed, the body has no power of rebirth. When this happens the Atma [the essence of who we are] resurrects in its true formless state.

This is the spiritual equation: Man minus Mind equals God: God plus Mind equals Man. The ability to “diemind” that is, this dissolution of the ego - which is the root of all mental activities - is the alchemy that transmutes man to his Divine state. This is the meaning of the resurrection. It is also the meaning of the Cross: the cutting of the “I” right across. Without the Cross, the death of the ego-consciousness, there is no resurrection. Herein lies the very essence of Christianity and indeed of all religions.
This message is nothing more or less than the mystic's cry to "Die before you die!", or, conversely, the real meaning of "to be born again", as used in the Christian church.

The sun is shining as I sit here writing this on this year's Easter Sunday. I pray that the Sun - the symbol of intelligence - radiates on all who read this and understand it. May this light shine and cause us to seek what is real.

As it states in other scriptures:
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp,
The lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star,
Lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree,
Neither of the east nor of the west,
Whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire.
Light upon light.
Allah guides to His light whom He wills.
And Allah presents examples for the people,
and Allah is Knowing of all things.
The light that shines above the heavens and above this world, the light that shines in the highest world, beyond which there are no others–that is the light that shines in the hearts of men.
Chandogya Upanishad
Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Becoming The Highest Expression Of Yourself

Dear Reader,

To ponder on:

People will become fed up with worldliness. They will have had enough of it and will realise that there is no point in being the way they are, because it brings them no real joy.

The world is becoming weary, and there is no real joy unless we have turned around to seek reality. Strains and stresses are everywhere. If it's not Brexit that is causing chaos, then it's something else, and the "something else" includes topics that I would say are of greater magnitude in importance (such as climate change), yet they have been pushed onto the back burner.

If you were to ask me, I'd say that Brexit (though an issue that has to be dealt with at some point) has been nothing but a huge distraction from more real issues. And if the main and underlying issues had been addressed, the topic of values with emphasis on love, the Brexit matter may have simply died a death as people would have come to see more about reality and not be hijacked onto a wave of thinking that has damagingly divided rather than unified, both within the UK and in Europe. I'll leave the USA out of this discussion though I feel that the issue in this post relates as much to that country as anywhere.

It's clear we cannot rely on our parliamentary representatives to steer a reasonable course, as they now claim that they are answerable only to the voters and what they say. Any notion of leadership by worthy example is tossed aside in favour of so-called 'democracy'. Here, 'democracy' has been taken to mean submission to the winning vote, regardless of whether or not the proper steps have been taken to advise the voters what the topic is really all about.

In my view the local and international issues that are now in front of us demand that we, each and collectively, look to re-assessing our situation in the world. If we do not do this - now - then how is the next generation, and the one after that, going to survive the outcome that we are in the act of creating through our own thoughtlessness and irresponsibility?

We have forgotten who and what we are. We have generally cast aside religion, but in the process have mostly forgotten to keep the worthwhile essence that religion promulgates. And that essence is related to the soul and what we are advised to do by great teachers in order to 'walk the walk' in life, in love. 

But the teachings of those "great teachers" are not something of the past up to 2,000 years ago. They relate just as much to today's world (if not more), and were teachings about how to spiritually evolve, partly in order to be able to deal with today's situations and provide a true basis for life on planet Earth; not just for mankind but for the whole of creation. Science by itself will not provide solutions. It's we, by our own self-development under God's auspices, that will provide us with the wisdom to seek true solutions, perhaps using science amongst an array of possibilities that should manifest themselves. And all it needs to push us into action is a genuine (not token) desire to find peace, not merely by hoping that someone else can 'do it'.

The following list of 16 traits that are said to be attained at the highest level of being may arouse your interest. Point 10, however, may take some while to get your head around it. The explanation for that and for all the points listed are to be found in a book that is given below these '16 points'. (Please click on the list of 16 points to see the list more clearly).

I think we should find that these 16 traits would be found as ideals in any of today's great religions.

The book I referred to that contains the "16 traits that are said to be attained at the highest level of being" is CWG book 4, sub-titled "Awaken The Species":

Following on from this, and to end this post, I very recently received this message from a senior person in 'Humanity's Team', an organisation that the writer of the above book (Neale Donald Walsch) founded quite a few years ago now.

I think the message is very pertinent to my post. It reads:
I think part of the reason trust seems to be harder to come by these days than ever before has to do with the fast-paced nature of our modern world, and the fact that for many of us, we rarely if ever spend a moment where something isn’t “coming at us,” so to speak.
Whether it’s someone talking to us or texting us, or our overflowing email inboxes, or news flashes, or advertisements for things that we’re told we have to have in order to live a healthy and fulfilling life, we hardly get a moment to ourselves to really tune in to who we are and what we really want and need.
In my email inbox alone each day, I receive upwards of 50 different emails begging me for donations, or trying to sell me various products and services, or trying to scare me with selective takes on the news, or trying to scam me into giving up my personal information.
Some of these emails are focused on causes I support, and others are from organizations I believe are genuinely trying to help people and do good in the world…
But many of them are obviously not coming from a place of compassion, caring and connection, and are sourced from places of scarcity, greed, hatred or fear—the darker side of human experience and behavior.
The worst outcome of this level of “information overwhelm” is that many people I’ve talked to have told me they often feel like they can’t even trust their own ability to tell the difference between the panaceas and the poisons anymore…
And while I’m not surprised, I believe there’s a way each of us can get to a place of clarity for ourselves that will help us navigate this fast-moving, confusing and overwhelming world.
It has to do with taking time each day to nurture our intuition, get in touch with our “gut,” and then share our clarity with others without hesitancy, apology or shame.
I think the best way of getting to that place of greater clarity is through our inner connection to the Oneness of all things, to God, or the Universe or whatever way of thinking about that foundational Source most resonates for you.
I encourage you to take time every chance you get (and hopefully for at least 15 minutes a day) to just be alone and centered and inside that Oneness, and to get in touch with how you honestly feel about others, and about the world around you, and about yourself and what you truly want and need.
Regularly spending a little time alone like this can go a long way toward allowing you to better know when you are hearing or reading something that is coming from the heart and that is being sourced from a place of compassion and caring.
It can also help you to quickly know whether the information being shared is of value to you or in alignment with what feels right and true for your worldview.
In your daily life, I also encourage you to be as honest as you can with others, and to not hold back or camouflage what you think or how you feel but to respond as directly and honestly as possible, even if what you are saying makes people a little uncomfortable or points out their own dishonesty or lack of clarity or their ignorance or their fear.
With the urgent issues facing our species at this point in history, there’s nothing to be gained from walking on eggshells all the time and being afraid to make waves.
If you see something that doesn’t feel right or okay to you, I encourage you to stand up and say so, even if it ruffles a few feathers.
While we live in a challenging world that seems to get more challenging every day, it doesn’t mean we have to acquiesce to it or be oppressed by it.

We can push back by being role models, by being honest and compassionate, and by caring as best we can for others, and for ourselves, and by standing up for what we believe is right. ... the only way we can “win” is if we all win, hand in hand, and in service to our Oneness.
The task of building for a new future is not an easy one. Sacrifice is demanded of us. But do we wish to stay where we are, getting further and further into a bog of our own creation, instead of finding the means to resurrect ourselves to be who we really are?

Thank you for reading this.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

What Is It We Should Value?

Dear Reader,

Journalist Ian Birrell, in his lead article in the i newspaper yesterday about the plight of the Yazidis, begins his final paragraph with:
As we stand on the cusp of Brexit, we need to ask ourselves profound questions about national values. We have sent a message to the world that we are tearing down bridges and building walls. We have corroded our reputation as a sensible international player, diminished our global standing and demeaned the mother of parliaments with this humiliating debacle.
The key words (for the purpose of my article) are: "we need to ask ourselves profound questions about national values."

Of course, Ian Birrell is talking essentially of the subject of his topic (the Yezidis), but his final words broaden the conversation to include the role that the West has been playing around the world, and although we like to think that Britain's role is essentially humanitarian, it is we in the West (Britain included) that has largely created the mess. So if we subsequently go around with swathes of sticking plaster (i.e. aid, after the destruction) does it really make us so morally correct? Which is better - prevention or treatment? Was it necessary to go to war with Sadam Hussein way back in 2003 with no strategy on how to deal with its outcomes. And not only that but fight the war with such ferocity that it is thought that 400,000 civilians died. In fact the matter officially started not in 2003 but way back in 1917 as far as Britain is concerned, with the matter of the Balfour Plan.

All that kind of work does is to create hatred which subsequently finds its evil apotheosis in the shape of ISIS, which, in turn, generates more destruction and massacres, including the Yazidis.

So, "we need to ask ourselves profound questions about national values."

But this matter of values extends way beyond international issues such as the Middle East. It comes way back to our own backyard, where the disabled and the genuinely poor are now being hunted down to get into work as the government doesn't want to pay the welfare bills. You doubt this is happening? There are countless cases of this taking place and now to the extent that the government has been trying to stop doctors issuing sick notes. And please don't try applying for PIP as you face assessors with no heart.

Phil Hammond and Theresa May talk of the end of austerity but all that is happening is that they are colluding to create an even wider gap between rich and poor as the NHS appointments schedule whirls into decline.

Brexit is another matter that has created as many opinions, it sometimes seems, as the number of voters. We can't find a common attitude as we seem to have lost a sense of genuine values.

Meanwhile, one of the most urgent issues of all - climate change - is almost pushed to the background and our wild species are being decimated whilst sea creatures are being drowned by plastic.

Yet no-one wants to address the important matter of "values". What do we believe in these days? Do you know? Doesn't it concern you? How can we elect any government without really knowing what values we are basing our choice on, and not just what is best for our pockets? I'm afraid worrying about paying the bills is now a matter of lesser importance, because if we don't start addressing real issues there won't be anything to pay for. It's a harsh reality.

Love of the whole world needs to be thought of and not just towards our families.

Let's address real issues and the way they should be addressed. Now; based on unity and love.

Thank you for reading this.