Sunday, August 31, 2008


Obstruction. The southwest furthers.
The northeast does not further.
It furthers one to see the great man.
Perseverance brings good fortune.

The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat. However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions. One must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one will succeed in removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end.

A Week's Glimpse at Global Warming

Global warming is dramatically affecting archaeology, as we could easily see in two postings this past week on my Ancient Tides blog.

On the positive side, retreating glaciers in the Alps are revealing a number of artifacts previously encased in ice, indicating that Neolithic humans inhabited the high altitudes over 5,000 years ago in greater numbers than previously believed. The ensuing colder era drove them to the valleys, where archaeological evidence of their existence has been more accessible.

The flip side of the climate coin was obvious with investigations into ancient Scythian culture, where melting ice in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia is destroying tombs just below ground level and prompting at least one scientist to call out for “rescue archaeology.” Some of archaeology’s most significant recent finds have centered on Scythian mummies and artifacts preserved by permafrost for more than 4,000 years in the Siberian steppes.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Spiritual Intelligence

On rare occasions I run across a blog that is truly wise. I found one recently I want to pass on to you. It's called zenbaptist and is by a fellow named George Breed in Flagstaff, Arizona. His blog doesn't say a lot about him. He's written a couple of  spiritual books, he's got a doctorate in psychology and he does Isshinryu Karate. He has white hair but the mind and physical flexibility (as I can tell from a short video he's posted) normally associated with someone much younger.

That's where the wisdom comes in. I get the feeling George has "been around" and has contemplated quite a bit. His post today is on the commonly accepted forms of intelligence, to which he adds one of his own, his take on "spiritual intelligence."  It's worth sharing:

"To be spiritually intelligent is to deliberately open to, co-create, and embody a state of consciousness and way of living each moment that resonates with the lifeforce that breathes us (the Source, the Origin).

Core components of spiritual intelligence are, in my view,
  • The ability to recognize self as a planetary and universal citizen (as well as a member of a nation, tribe, or community),
  • The ability to feel and be at home in the universe,
  • The ability to sense the sacred in the common and the common in the sacred,
  • The ability to recognize the difference between separative (I-it) and unitive (I-Thou) consciousness,
  • The ability to practice living in unitive consciousness while attending to the affairs of the day,
  • The ability to open to unitive consciousness for solving problems in living,
  • The ability to engage in right relationship (facing and dealing with all that arises while embodying forgiveness, appreciation, and compassion with relentless intent and calm).
"We need all our intelligence in play these days," George says. "My take on it is that we especially need to open to and make active use of out interpersonal, intrapersonal, and spiritual intelligence."

Well put, George!

Click here to visit zenbaptist.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Was McCain's VP Pick in the Stars?

As you can see from some previous postings, I’m watching several astrology blogs to see what they foretell about the upcoming presidential election. 

One reason is because this election is so fascinating, complex and unpredictable. The second is because of Richard Tarnas’s book Cosmos and Psyche, a thick and well-researched volume from a respected academian that blew me away with its uncanny correlations between world events throughout history and their astrological alignments.

Quick on the draw today was the respected astrologer Pat Paquette of Vashon Island, Washington, who authors the “Pisces Chronicles” blog. She admits being startled by McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

“When I saw it in the headlines this morning, I blurted out loud, ‘Oh my god, McCain is going to win!’” she writes.

Instead of using birth charts for this prediction, she looks at the chart for Inauguration Day, a method she says enabled her to predict Bush’s 2004 victory long before the election. (Far less of a challenge, I'd say, than this election.)

She says election day 2008 displays a Venus-Uranus conjunction opposite Saturn – in other words, women, youth and rebellion. “I initially thought it might mean Hillary would be the first woman president of the United States,” Paquette writes. “When that didn’t happen, I thought it perhaps represented Obama’s youth, but I kept waiting for new of a woman.”

Nearly every astrologer I follow has, up to now, been seeing an Obama victory in November. So now I want to see if the Palin pick prompts them to rethink their readings of the charts.

Click here for The Pisces Chronicles.

An Astrological Profile of Sarah Palin

Here are some of Palin's personality traits as compiled by astrologer Lynn Hayes of North Carolina on her Astrological Musings blog. The boldfacing is mine.

"For the McCain ticket, Palin brings credentials where McCain, with his pro-choice history, is lacking. She enhances his "maverick" status, which has waned in recent months as he waters down his personality for the presidential campaign. Unlike McCain, Palin is an active churchgoer (Pentecostal) and wants creationism to be taught in schools alongside evolution, bridging the mistrust the Religious Right holds against McCain.

"Astrologically, she has at least four planets in Aquarius (Mercury, Sun, Mars and Saturn) and possibly the Moon as well, if she was born after noon. Aquarius is the sign of the activist, the renegade - the individualist who isn't afraid to buck the system. With no planets in water signs other than Chiron, Palin is not a very emotional person and this is heightened by the strong Aquarian influence which is more interested in rational thinking and ideas than emotional viewpoints.

"That Aquarian individuality is tempered with a triple conjunction of Saturn and Mars to the Sun. Saturn is the ancient ruler of Aquarius, and lends its focus on solitude and a tendency towards rigidity which in the case of Palin may exacerbate the fixed nature of the Aquarian personality. Palin is conservative under the Saturn/Mars/Sun conjunction, but the Aquarian influence makes her quirkily so.

"Neptune squares her Sun - the very same aspect in Obama's chart that has suspicious astrologers claiming Obama is deceptive. (See my earlier article.) Neptune/Sun aspects tend to show that the individual has experienced difficulty expressing herself as an individual, and that there is a tendency for others to be unable to see her clearly because she becomes a hook for their projections.

"Palin's birthchart also shows that she has an exact opposition from Chiron to Pluto, and by association to Uranus as well. I would be surprised if she has not had painful experiences in her life - that Chiron/Pluto opposition indicates an indivdiual who must continually face her inner demons so that they can be vanquished.

"This is an interesting time for Palin," Hayes continues, "transiting Saturn has been aspecting this opposition, coinciding with the birth of her son with Down Syndrome. Transiting Neptune is affecting her as well - passing over first her Sun, then Mars, then Saturn over the next several years. This Neptunian time shows that she is prone to overidealizing the realities in her life, and there is a danger of not seeing things as they really are."

Click here for Astrological Musings.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Crows Know Who You Are

Crows can recognize your face, and if you treat them badly, they’ll remember you for it.

That’s the astounding finding of a study at the University of Washington, conducted by wildlife biologist John Marzluff . He’d wondered for years why crows – a species of bird long known for its intelligence – reacted differently to different people.

In a simple but effective experiment, the biologists donned rubber masks. One was a caveman mask and the other a mask of Dick Cheney. Researchers wearing the caveman mask proceeded to trap and band – a process the birds distinctly dislike – seven crows on the university’s campus. Then they released the banded crows.

In the months that followed, anyone donning the caveman mask and strolling through the campus would be subjected to the crows’ loud scolding, some even threatening to attack the person wearing the mask. What’s more, it was far more than seven angry crows, indicating they communicated their ire to their fellow birds.

Marzluff’s findings confirm the theories of several other bird scientists. An ornithologist at Cornell said he’d been amazed for years how crows to whom he had fed peanuts would follow along behind him months later, while the birds he had previously trapped continued to screech and scold him.

The ability to recognize faces – as well as to know other crows from whom they’d been separated for months – gives crows (including ravens and magpies) an evolutionary edge.

“If you can learn who to avoid and who to seek out, that’s a lot easier than continually getting hurt,” Marzluff said. “I think it allows these animals to survive with us – and to take advantage of us – in a much safe, more effective way.”

Click here for the complete New York Times article. Be sure to watch the little video and see first-hand how crows react to Marzluff’s experiment.
Lower photos shows Dr. Marzluff with his mask and a tormenter.

Monday, August 25, 2008

And The Academy Award Goes To . . .

It's no news that advances in digital animation will change the face of cinema in astounding ways.

As in eliminating the need for real actors.

Take a look at this under-2-minute video of Electronic Emily, a digital re-creation of actress Emily O'Brien (The Young & The Restless), using Image Metrics computer-generated imagery. All of her facial movements and expressions were digitally developed from a short clip of real Emily, and then re-rendered pixel by pixel to achieve incredible lifelike realism.

Keep in mind, this is not the real Emily. It's animation.

Click here for the complete Mail Online article.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Work on what has been spoiled
Has supreme success.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Before the starting point, three days.
After the starting point, three days.

What has been spoiled through man’s fault can be made good again through man’s work. It is not immutable fate, as in the time of Standstill, that has caused the state of corruption, but rather the abuse of human freedom. Work toward improving conditions promises well because it accords with the possibilities of the time. We must not recoil from work and danger – symbolized by crossing of the great water – but must take hold energetically. Success depends, however, on proper deliberation.

Shroud's Age to be Re-Tested

Scientists at Oxford University have agreed – at the urging of an American physicist – to do new radiocarbon tests to determine the age of the mysterious Shroud of Turin.

The 14-by-4-foot linen cloth is stained with the image of an injured man and through the centuries has been purported by some to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. That idea was dashed in 1988 when extensive radiocarbon tests concluded the cloth dated only as far back as the Middle Ages. Oxford University participated in the radiocarbon testing of the shroud at that time.

The physicist, John Jackson of the University of Colorado, has doubted the radiocarbon findings since they were done. He believes the readings were skewed by elevated levels of carbon monoxide and that the findings could be as much as 1,300 years off.

“It’s the radiocarbon date that, to our minds, is like a square peg in a round hole,” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s not fitting properly, and the question is why?”

He has convinced the Oxford scientists that he may be right. Christopher Ramsey, head of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, said: “There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow, and so further research is certainly needed.”

Click here for complete Los Angeles Times article.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Is Earth's Pole Shift Happening?

A few years ago, as the new millennium approached, there was trepidation when some prominent psychics predicated a so-called Pole Shift that would alter Earth’s magnetic field and result in tremendous cataclysms.

Scientists report they are now witnessing a weakening of the magnetic field – at least 10 percent in the past 150 years – an early indicator of a potential pole shift. The last major change in the magnetic field was 780,000 years ago during a magnetic pole reversal.

Scientists at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences are analyzing nine years of satellite data to determine how sudden fluid motions in the earth’s core may be altering the magnetic field, which extends some 36,000 miles into space.

Earth’s magnetic field protects the planet from electromagnetic radiation from space. Many animals, including some birds, rely on magnetic forces to navigate. Although the reversal back in the Pleistocene era does not appear to have caused mass extinctions, the effects of a future reversal are unknown.

A Pole Shift Interview with Gregg Braden

Members of the metaphysical community have been warning of a pole shift since the mid 1990s and even earlier. A prominent writer on the subject is Gregg Braden (pictured below), who began studying the evidence in the 1970s while working for Phillips Petroleum and wrote the 1996 book Awakening to Zero Point to explain his findings.

“We know that the poles are actually moving,” Braden said in a recent interview. “We don't know exactly what that means, because even though it's happened 14 times in the last four and a half million years, it's never happened with six billion people on the earth.

“Scientists have no idea what the impact is going to be to electronic and electromagnetic power grids. But even more, they don't know what it means to human immune systems. Alternative healing modalities have shown a connection between magnetics and the immune system, which also would imply that our immune systems could very well be keyed into the magnetic fields of the earth.

“We know that birds and animals migrate along the lines of these magnetic fields. So there is speculation that the changes taking place in the magnetic field are responsible for the changing migratory patterns in birds that have been recorded in Asia and North America.

“The change in the fields also may explain why whales are beaching themselves. The lines of navigation that the whales have always followed have shifted and now lead them onto a beach. When we take them back out into the water and set them free, they continue to align themselves with the same magnetic lines, and in following them, they end up on the beach again.

“So, yes, it's common knowledge now. The most respected scientific journals say that we're in this shift. And even though we don't know precisely what that means, it's significant that it is being acknowledged in peer-review kinds of literature, and not just in speculative or pseudo-scientific magazines.”

Click here for the MSNBC article.
Click here for a Live Science article.
Click here for the Gregg Braden interview.

Did Cooking Food Make Man Smarter?

A big jump in human intelligence about 150,000 years ago likely was due to man learning to cook. Food prepared over a fire is easier to digest, which frees up more energy for the brain and may have resulted in cognitive advances capable of creating civilizations.

The new research is the work of scientists at the Partner Institute for Computational Biology in Shanghai, who published their findings in this month’s edition of the journal Genome Biology.

According to Philip Khaitovich of the institute, the human brain grew substantially in size about 2 million years ago when man’s diet expanded to include meat, as an example. But further development of the human brain stalled from then until about 150,000 years ago.

That’s when man first developed the cooking hearth, resulting eventually in a major cognitive difference between humans and apes. Cooking breaks down fibers in foods and makes nutrients more readily available while lessening the needs of the digestive system. When they began eating cooked food, humans acquired the ability to develop new tools, such as needles for beadwork and many others. Humans also began to think more abstractly, leading to development of art and religion.

Some scientists are also wondering if this evolutionary cognitive spurt may have happened too quickly. A number of man’s most common mental health problems, ranging from depression and bipolar disorder to autism and schizophrenia, may be by-products of the metabolic changes that happened in an evolutionary blink of an eye, Khaitovich told Live Science online magazine.

Click here for the Live Science article.
Image above from 1981 movie Quest for Fire.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now You See It, Now You Don't

The Conjurer by medieval artist Hieronymus Bosch.

Brain scientists have turned to a group of magicians to learn more about how the brain constructs our everyday reality. In doing so, they’ve learned how magicians for centuries have exploited the brain’s tendency to create reality moment to moment. 

In the current issue of Nature Reviews: Neuroscience, they explained that our brains construct our individual reality from sensory data, compiling it and then sorting it based on our experience and the context in which the data is received. Magic tricks successfully exploit this process by using maneuvers that are outside the context of what our senses perceive at any given moment. In other words, by operating in the area outside of where our attention is focused, and therefore outside of our reality for the moment.

For example, the sudden disappearance of an object creates an “after-discharge,” an image that lingers in the brain momentarily even though the object is no longer in view. In an illusion created by The Great Tomsoni, his assistant comes on stage in a white dress. He tells the audience he’ll magically change her dress from white to red. He then shines a red light on her, cracks some jokes, and then the house lights suddenly come on and the assistant is seen to be wearing a red dress.

The real trick is that when he turns off the red light that had been shining on her white dress, the image of the red light lingers in the audience’s brain for 100 milliseconds, during which the assistant’s white dress is quickly stripped away to reveal a red dress beneath it. The audience fails to register the stripping away of the outer, white dress. In their minds, the assistant’s dress has turned from white to red as if by magic.

This fun 3-minute video cited in the article clearly shows how our brains can fail to register events while they’re focused on a particular event.

The scientists and magicians explained how the brain focuses on one thing at a time, at the expense of other activities. Plus, they said the brain suppresses activity in surrounding visual areas while it's concentrating on one thing. Skilled magicians have long known how to deflect a viewer’s attention through sleights of hands, direct eye contact, joking and other distractions.

Click here for the full Nature Reviews article.
Click here for a New York Times article on the findings.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wisdom from Louise Hay

In five minutes, Louise Hay can teach you some incredibly valuable lessons on how to live your life. She's come through several tragedies, as a young woman cured herself of cancer once she learned the power of her thoughts, and in 1976 wrote the phenomenal book Heal Your Body. She has gone on to become one of the world's most successful authors and publishers, and at age 81 has plenty of proven wisdom to share.

Please take five minutes to watch this video. You won't regret it.

If you want to learn more about Louise Hay, click here for the full feature article printed in May in the New York Times Magazine.

Number 32 ~ DURATION

Duration. Success. No blame.
Perseverence furthers.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression. Duration is rather the self-contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organized, firmly integrated whole, taking place in accordance with immutable laws and beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward movement, by inhalation, systole, contraction, and this movement turns into a new beginning, in which the movement is directed outward, in exhalation, diastole, expansion.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Spotless Sun Leading to Global Cooling?

This photo from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory shows what the sun looks like without sunspots.

As I write this, the outside temperature here in Portland, Oregon, is 98 degrees, as it’s been nearly every day this week. Yep, this is Global Warming for sure. And then I see an article – complete with a linked press release from NASA – about the potential for serious Global Cooling.

It seems we’re now well beyond Day 400 of no sunspot activity.

You may ask: “So what?”

It so happens that a lack of solar activity prompts a serious drop in Earth’s temperature and leads to severe cooling – known in the extreme as an Ice Age.

You may say: “But I thought we were experiencing Global Warming.”

Yes, well, that’s part of the confusion. This past winter saw record snowfalls in the Northeast, Britain had its coldest spring in decades, and China experienced its coldest winter in 100 years. Just yesterday the Chicago Tribune reported that there have been only 162 days of 90-degree-plus days since the year 2000, the fewest hot days in the city since 1930.

To quell growing concern in both the scientific and lay communities, NASA has released a press release. In it, NASA solar physicist David Hathaway says: “The sun is now near the low point of its 11-year activity cycle. We call this ‘Solar Minimum.’ It is the period of quiet that separates one Solar Max from another.” The press release states:

During Solar Max, huge sunspots and intense solar flares are a daily occurrence. Auroras appear in Florida. Radiation storms knock out satellites. Radio blackouts frustrate hams. The last such episode took place in the years around 2000-2001.

During Solar Minimum, the opposite occurs. Solar flares are almost nonexistent while whole weeks go by without a single, tiny sunspot to break the monotony of the blank sun. This is what we are experiencing now.

“It does seem like it's taking a long time,” Hathaway went on. “But I think we're just forgetting how long a solar minimum can last.”

The longest minimum on record is the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715. During the 70-year period – called the Little Ice Age – a series of extraordinarily bitter winters hit Earth's northern hemisphere. Many researchers are convinced that low solar activity, acting in concert with increased volcanism and possible changes in ocean current patterns, provoked that 17th century cooling. During that cold spell, only about 50 sunspots appeared as opposed to the typical 40,000–50,000 spots.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Now the Military Wants to Read Your Thoughts

A few minutes ago the Associated Press released a news story about the US military paying scientists to study ways to read people’s thoughts.

Of course I thought the article was simply the AP’s take on the matters discussed on my earlier post today on Pentagon shenanigans involving pharmaceuticals and mind control.

Then, to my amazement, I discovered this is something entirely different.

It seems the Pentagon is paying $4 million to researchers at the University of California, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Maryland to learn how to decipher what a person is thinking and how to direct the message.

"To have a person think in a free manner and then figure out what that is, we're years away from that," lead researcher Michael D'Zmura, who heads UC Irvine's cognitive sciences department, told the AP. "This will never be used in a way without somebody's real, active cooperation.”

Yeah, right.

Click here for the AP article.

Pentagon Explores New Mind-Altering Drugs

In a report released yesterday with the ponderous title Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies, a special National Research Council committee evaluates potential US military programs to:
  • Develop pharmaceuticals that will make soldiers want to fight, and other drugs to disrupt an enemy’s motivation to fight and to make enemies obey US commands.
  • Develop new lie-detection techniques using neurological imaging to scan the thoughts of suspected terrorists, immigrants crossing US borders and others.
  • Improve brain-to-machine interfaces so that robots, for example, can accept human thoughts as commands.
Of course it doesn't take a leap of the imagination to foresee potential civilian applications for drugs and techniques that could enslave the brain, as described in the report.

The Department of Defense convened the committee to examine the military potential related to these emerging areas of neurological and behavioral science. According to one committee member, the military is intrigued with new developments in mind control and brain-altering drugs.

“It’s important for us to get ahead of the curve,” said Jonathan Moreno of the Center for American Progress. “Soldiers are always on the cutting edge of new technologies.”

Another viewpoint comes from a critic of such research.

"I think most reasonable people, if they imagine a world in which all sides have figured out how to control brains, they'd rather not go there," Hugh Gusterson, a George Mason University critic of military social-science research, told Wired magazine. "Most rational human beings would believe that if we could have a world where nobody does military neuroscience, we'll all be better off. But for some people in the Pentagon, it's too delicious to ignore."

Click here for the article in Wired magazine.
Click here for the article on

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What If It Turned Out to be True?

Sorry to sound like the National Inquirer, but . . . 

Two Georgia men say they have a body of a Bigfoot creature, photos of the body and some DNA evidence – all of which they plan to reveal at a press conference today in Palo Alto, California.

Everybody concerned is being understandably skeptical. Similar press conferences have been announced previously and none actually has produced an actual body. The two men have stated through a spokesman that a molecular biologist, anthropologist, paleontologist and other scientists will be performing tests of the Bigfoot body in the coming weeks. Bigfoot researcher Loren Coleman said of this current instance, “I feel, in all honesty, this indeed may be the real deal, and I say this carefully after reviewing information that has been shared privately with me.”

We’ll see if anything comes of this by the end of the day.

Click here to read article in Live Science.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Roswell's Strange Rock

Two mysteries on the fringe of scientific respectability – the Roswell UFO incident and the ongoing appearance of crop circles – are being possibly linked in relation to an unusual rock found near the New Mexico crash site of the alleged alien spacecraft.

The reddish rock is less than two inches across and weighs less than two ounces. It has unusual magnetic properties and a strange design on one side that’s been likened to the phases of the moon, a depiction of a supernova, and now to the design of a 1996 crop circle. According the Roswell Daily Herald, the rock “has startled researchers, scientists and all who have observed it.”

Roswell businessman Robert Ridge, 50, found the rock in 2004 while deer hunting about 17 miles from the purported 1947 UFO crash site. After showing it to friends and relatives, he stashed it in a safety deposit box for three years. Last year he turned it over to two UFO investigators who have been taking it to scientists, who they said remain baffled by how the image on the rock was produced, as well as its peculiar magnetic qualities. One of the investigators, Chuck Zukowski, said archaeologists have requested that the rock be submitted for further laboratory tests, which the investigators intend to do.

“What’s interesting about this artifact is the magnetic polarity,” Zukowski said. “The top side with the design will spin a compass needle, but it does not do that on the underneath side. The compass needle just moves back and forth and will not spin. So the design itself is creating a magnetic polarity.”

As images of the strange rock appeared in the media, one of England’s most prominent crop-circle researchers offered his observation. “I can confirm that the design on the stone allegedly discovered near Roswell is precisely the same as a design discovered in cereal crops I investigated during 1996 in southern England,” said researcher Colin Andrews. “The crop circle design was discovered on the morning of August 2, 1996, below an ancient site called Liddington Castle in the county of Wilshire, England.”

Click here for articles in the Roswell Daily Record.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Consciousness and the Divine

I'll be away for a few days and want to leave you with a thought-provoking video clip from Peter Russell. In this 2-minute piece he briefly discusses our innermost being and how it relates to what we call The Divine. He's a brilliant physicist and author and someone I admire. Several of you seemed to find the the Peter Russell clip I posted a few days ago to be of interest, so enjoy!

The Silence After the Roar

When you study the nature of intuition, there’s a lot of talk about living in the moment, dropping our preconceptions and ceasing our internal chatter. I read something on the subject I’d like to pass on, paraphrasing the late Indian teacher Osho from his book Intuition: Knowing Beyond Logic.

The revered Zen master Rinzai was on his deathbed and someone asked, “Master, after you’re gone, people will want to know your most essential teaching. Can you condense it to a single sentence so we can treasure it and pass it on?”

Rinzai slowly opened his eyes and suddenly gave a single shout, as loud as a lion’s roar.

Everyone was stunned. They couldn’t believe this withered dying man had so much energy. With everyone staring at their dying master in shock, their minds went blank and silence settled over the room.

Rinzai then said: “This is it.” And he closed his eyes and died.

Osho commented, “This moment, this silent moment, this moment uncorrupted by thought, this silence that was surrounding this surprise, this last lion’s roar over death – this is it. Yes, direction comes out of living this moment. It happens, it is subtle and you will never be certain about it. You can only feel it. That’s why I say it is more like poetry, not like prose; more like love, not like logic; more like art than like science. And that’s its beauty – hesitant as a dewdrop on a grass leaf, slipping, not knowing where, not knowing why.”

Ancient Zen drawing is of Rinzai teaching some pupils.

Friday, August 1, 2008

From the Tao Te Ching

The Tao can't be perceived.
Smaller than an electron,
it contains uncountable galaxies.

If powerful men and women
could remain centered in the Tao,
all things would be in harmony.
The world would become a paradise.
All people would be at peace,
and the law would be written in their hearts.

When you have names and forms,
know they are provisional.
When you have institutions,
know where their functions should end.
Knowing when to stop,
you can avoid any danger.

All things end in the Tao
as rivers flow into the sea.

Bats Dying of Strange New Disease

First it was honeybees and now it’s bats – both dying off in record numbers due to mysterious diseases. The bee population has been decimated for several years by a condition called colony collapse disorder. Now bats are falling victim to something scientists call white-nose syndrome, or WNS, because of the whitish fungus found on dead and dying bats.

“This is the worst crisis I’ve ever seen,” Merlin Tuttle of Bat Conservation International told “Any time you have animals as ecologically essential and as distantly related as bees and bats dying en masse, it should send a canary-in-the-coal-mine signal.”

Bats are ecologically critical because they feast on flies, moths and beetles, all three of which are potential disease carriers and agricultural menaces.

Searching for the Cause

“Bats are very good at living in high-stress environments, but they’ve reached some kind of threshold where they can’t adapt anymore,” says Elizabeth Buckles, wildlife pathologist at Cornell University. Scientists are looking at everything from pesticides to climate change as bringing about the disease, which tends to cause hibernating bats to waste away and drop dead.

Large-scale decimation of the bat population was first noticed two winters ago in New York State and since has since spread across New England and into Pennsylvania.

Click here for the article on

Mysterious Ancient Computer Deciphered

Using today’s sophisticated technology, archaeologists have determined some purposes of the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient analog computer built around 140 B.C. Since its discovery by sponge divers in 1901, scientists have puzzled over the mechanism. Despite its astounding sophistication, no similar device has ever been found, and the timekeeping technology it contains was not “re-discovered” until at least the 15th century.

Check out my post on the Antikythera Mechanism on my Ancient Tides blog. Plus, has just posted a fascinating online video detailing the most recent research and its findings. If you're interested in ancient history or technology, the video is worth viewing. It runs about 10 minutes or so.