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Monday, August 31, 2009

Earth's Mysterious Hum Comes from Pacific Coast

Satellite view of North America's Pacific Coast.

Earth is constantly humming, some parts louder than others. The mysterious low-frequency buzz was discovered in 1998, and scientists eventually determined it was caused not by earthquakes or atmospheric turbulence, but by ocean waves colliding with the seafloor.

Now, researchers have pinpointed the source of Earth’s “background noise,” and it looks like it’s coming primarily from the Pacific coast of North America. According to Wired magazine:
When two waves of opposite direction but similar frequency collide, they create a special kind of pressure wave that carries energy to the ocean bottom. As these waves pound against the sea floor, they generate a constant vibration with a frequency of about 10 millihertz, much too low for humans to hear but easily detectable with seismometers. By comparing the intensity of the hum with the height of waves around the world, scientists can track where the buzz is coming from.

Previous studies suggested that waves from both shallow continental shelves and the deep ocean contribute to the Earth’s hum, but new data indicates otherwise. Based on measurements from a seismic observatory called the USArray EarthScope, most of the hum appears to originate from the Pacific coast of North America, with a smaller contribution from the west coast of Europe.
Waves from the deep ocean don’t seem to make much hum at all, the researchers said.

Click here for the complete Wired article.

Science Fiction Approaching Scientific Fact

Michio Kaku agrees with Einstein that time is a river.

Breakthrough physicist Michio Kaku ~ a developer of string field theory, often called the “theory of everything” ~ believes some phenomena previously found only in science fiction is nearing science fact.

In his new book Physics of the Impossible, Dr. Kaku explores time travel, invisibility cloaks and teleportation, among other familiar tools of science fiction. His conclusion: "A lot of the predictions made by science fiction writers have been replaced by the march of science."

"Time travel is definitely on the table, and in principle it may be possible to build a time machine," Dr Kaku tells BBC World Service."So, if one day somebody knocks on your door and claims to be your great-great-great-grand-daughter, don't slam the door." According to the BBC article:
There is a logical problem though with time travel, one that offers rich pickings for films and books. It is known as the "grandfather paradox" and asks what would happen if a time traveller were to kill their grandfather and therefore prevent themselves from being born.

If the time traveller was not born, how would they travel back in time?

Dr Kaku has a solution.

While he agrees with Einstein that time is a river, he says we now realise that the river of time can have whirlpools and fork into two rivers. In one of these forks, in another parallel universe, a different history can exist, but the past can never be altered.

"You cannot alter your own past. You cannot go back in time and kill your own parents before you were born. Your timeline is intact."
According to Dr Kaku, most of what we see on the silver screen is possible - it is just a question of time.

Click here for the complete BBC article.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Living the Tao



While this video is a promotional piece for one of Wayne Dyer's recent books, it provides some good commentary on the purpose and nature of the classic Tao Te Ching, a small book of profound wisdom that has survived for 2,500 years. In less than six minutes, Dr. Dyer will likely whet your appetite for more of the Tao's teachings.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

[Usually I pick these hexagrams at random, but I found a specific reference to this one yesterday in The Diviner's Handbook by Tom Graves, a world-class dowser who said he goes back to this hexagram when difficulties arise in his dowsing.]

Number 4 ~ YOUTHFUL FOLLY

Youthful Folly has success.
It is not I who seek the young fool;
The young fool seeks me.
At the first oracle I inform him.
If he asks two or three times, it is importunity.
If he importunes, I give him no information.
Perseverance furthers.

In the time of youth, folly is not an evil. One may succeed in spite of it, provided one finds an experienced teacher and has the right attitude toward him. This means, first of all, that the youth himself must be conscious of his lack of experience and must seek out the teacher. Without this modesty and this interest, there is no guarantee that he has the necessary receptivity, which should express itself in respectful acceptance of the teacher. This is the reason why the teacher must must wait to be sought out instead of offering himself. Only thus can the instruction take place at the right time and in the right way.


Religious ‘Right’ Is Wrong for Many

Religious protest outside this year's Academy Awards ceremony.

Updated studies on Americans’ affiliation with organized religion continue to show a dramatic departure from churches ~ much of it provoked by increased right-wing political stances from pulpit and pews alike~ though the traditional western concept of God remains high.

Based on data compiled by sociologists Michael Hout and Claude Fischer of the University of California, ScienceDaily reports:
According to the new data, 93 percent of Americans believe in God; a figure unchanged since 1988. The group that increased was the group Hout and Fischer call "unchurched believers," those people who believe in God but report no religion. "If you think of organized religion as having two parts—the organized part and the religious part—the church-leavers' quarrel is with the organized part," said Hout, lead author of the study.

As originally reported in 2002, Hout and Fischer assert that politics continue to play a role in the increase in those reporting no religion preference. The sociologists note a parallel between the rising rates of non-religious Americans and the number of mentions of the "religious right" in press coverage in the past nearly four decades.
Political liberals and moderates are much less likely to report a religion now than in 1988; almost all political conservatives identify with a church now as they did twenty years ago.

"Invoking religion to promote a conservative social agenda may energize conservative members, but it alienates political moderates and liberals," Hout said. "The result has been a significant decrease in the fraction of American adults identifying with an organized religion."
Americans expressed stronger anti-religious feelings in 2008 than in 1998, according to the new data. Two-thirds of adults believed "religion brings more conflict than peace" in 2008 compared with just one-third in 1998.

Click here for the complete ScienceDaily article.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fixed Future or Free Will?

The Crystal Ball by John Williams Waterhouse, 1902.

My wife Christine and I were driving along I-205 near Portland yesterday afternoon and I was muttering about psychics’s visions of the future, saying it seems most want it both ways ~ they say they see the future and in the next breath say we can change it.

So which is it, I wondered, a fixed future or a changeable one? If it is subject to change, then how can it be perceived with any certainty?

Then, last night, my email inbox contained Dr. Joseph Mercola’s daily newsletter, with an interview he recently conducted with Dr. Larry Dossey about his latest book, The Power of Premonition: How Knowing the Future Can Shape Our Lives.

Larry Dossey is a former chief of staff at Medical City Dallas Hospital and has lectured in medical schools and hospitals throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is author of the best-selling Healing Words, and The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine.

Lo and behold, one of the questions Dr. Mercola asked Dr. Dossey was:

If I can see the future, doesn’t that mean it is already in place and is fixed? Don’t premonitions do away with free will and freedom of choice?

And here is Larry Dossey’s answer:
No. Just because you glimpse how the future is likely to unfold does not mean you can’t act to change it. When Amanda (from an earlier question) dreamed that the chandelier fell and crushed her sleeping infant, she removed the baby from the crib. The chandelier did fall, but the baby’s life was saved. She exercised her freedom of choice, and it made a life-and-death difference. There are thousands of similar examples.

Philosophers often argue against premonitions because they say premonitions destroy freedom of choice. But people who have premonitions usually don’t see it that way. Like Amanda, their personal experiences with premonitions say they do have a choice.

They can act, and they do, to change the future they’ve glimpsed.

I agree with the idea that the future is probable, not fixed. According to this view, the future is fluid and subject to change. So a premonition is not inevitable.

Probability varies, of course. This means that some futures may be easier to change than others. It was easier for Amanda to act on her premonition and remove her baby from danger than for an individual to prevent an earthquake she dreamed about. Some futures may be so probable they will happen; others, perhaps most, are malleable.
This line of reasoning is what many people believe has averted prophesied earth changes and similar apocalyptic visions of some soothsayers. The visions are experienced, then publicized, causing many people to pray they won't occur, and so they are averted.

If that's the case, it's good enough for me.

Click here for the complete interview.
Click here for The Power of Premonition on Amazon.com.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What Was Said to the Rose


The 13th century Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi believed the spirit devolves from the Divine then experiences an evolutionary process that brings it back, ever nearer and nearer to the same Divine. He believed all matter obeys this law ~ this urge to reunite with the Divine ~ which Rumi calls Love.

Rumi (1207-1273) was an Islamic jurist, theologian and mystic. He remains widely read throughout the Middle East, and for several years now his translated works have gained huge popularity around the world.

Here is another Rumi poem ~ “What Was Said to the Rose” ~ read by one of Rumi’s leading western translators and interpreters, Coleman Barks. The poem reads in part:

. . . whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush
like a human face,
that is being said to me now. I blush.
Whatever put eloquence in language,
That’s happening here.

Click here for the text of the poem. You might also enjoy a reading of Rumi's "Love Dogs" ~ one of my favorites ~ by clicking here.


Number 13 ~ FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN

Fellowship with men in the open.
Success.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
The perseverance of the superior man furthers.

True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal. It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. That is why it is said that fellowship with men in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails, even difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water, can be accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of fellowship, a persevering and enlightened leader is needed ~ a man with clear, convincing, and inspiring aims, and the strength to carry them out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

UN to Probe Sardinia as Site of Atlantis

Scholarly debate continues to heat up over the possibility that Sardinia could be the lost isle of Atlantis. Generally believed to have been located ~ if Atlantis really existed at all ~ somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, recent research by Italian journalist Sergio Frau has named Sardinia as the locale of the mythic realm.

Though Frau’s book ~ entitled The Pillars of Hercules ~ has sold well over 30,000 copies to date, a group of 250 Italian academics have drawn up a position paper dismissing Frau’s theory and claiming it damages Sardinian history by sensationalizing it.

Now, however, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is saying Frau’s idea bears further investigation. It has pulled together archeologists, academics, geologists and historians to determine the direction of future studies regarding Atlantis. According to the Malta Independent:
Traditional theories have placed Atlantis somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean because Plato said it was beyond the Pillars of Hercules which, according to another ancient writer, Erathosthenes, were at the Straits of Gibraltar. But Frau believes Erathosthenes, a librarian and geographer who lived in Alexandria in the third and second centuries BC, got it wrong and that the Pillars of Hercules were actually on Sicily. . . If the Pillars of Hercules really were in Sicily, Sardinia would be the obvious location for Atlantis.
A catastrophic event is thought to have struck Sardinia during the Bronze Age, around 1178-1175 BC . Although Plato dated Atlantis to 9,000 years before his time, many historians think he meant 900 years.

Click here for the complete Malta Independent article.

Confucian Revival Expands China's Influence

Ancient portrait of Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

For a decade, the ancient philosophy of Confucianism has been experiencing a revival in China. And as China continues to gain economic and political prominence in the world, the revival could greatly influence the world as a whole.

According to Wikipedia, Confucianism “focuses on human morality and wrong action. It is a complex system of moral, social, political, philosophical, and quasi-religious thought that has had tremendous influence on the culture and history of East Asia.” In doing so, it puts great emphasis on relationships, not only between individuals but between people and the prevailing social order.

A recent article in Britain’s Guardian discusses how Chinese academics are active in the revival, determining how Confucianism can be most influential in the modern world. An example is:
Philosophers and historians could help to refine the questions posed in political attitude surveys. For example, the "Confucian" attitude measured by political scientists that children should blindly obey their parents should be made more conditional if the aim is to measure attachment to Confucian values rooted in classic texts. Philosophers might also suggest questions for research inspired by less well-known Confucian values, such as the idea that listening to different types of music or believing in different views of human nature have different moral consequences during the course of one's life.
It seems such academic efforts could in fact open doors previously closed to China’s scholars and, in so doing, could raise China’s profile in the world’s intellectual circles.
What is clear, however, is that academics need the freedom to discuss and publish their ideas and adequate funding to carry out research in order to pursue these questions in fruitful ways. Under the right conditions, China could well develop into a leading centre of global learning, with academics researching questions and values hitherto neglected in the west.
Click here for the complete Guardian article.


Russian Navy Reveals UFO Ocean Activity

The Russian Navy’s recent declassification of records related to UFOs has revealed a number of incidents involving the sea, with the mysterious craft exhibiting incredible underwater technology, according to a recent article in the Svobodnaya Pressa.
“Fifty percent of UFO encounters are connected with oceans,” according to Vladimir Azhazha, a former Russian naval officer and renowned UFO researcher. “Fifteen (percent) more with lakes. So UFOs tend to stick to the water."
Many mysterious events occurred in the Bermuda Triangle, recalled retired submarine commander Rear Admiral Yury Beketov. He said ships' instruments malfunctioned for no apparent reason and often were subject to strong interference, possibly a form of deliberate disruption perpetrated by UFOs.
“On several occasions the instruments gave reading of material objects moving at incredible speed. Calculations showed speeds of about 230 knots, of 400 kph. Speeding so fast is a challenge even on the surface, Beketov said. "But water resistance is much higher. It was like the objects defied the laws of physics. There’s only one explanation: the creatures who built them far surpass us in development.”
The Russian documents noted that UFOs are especially drawn to sites where NATO fleets are active, including the Bahamas, Bermuda and Puerto Rico. UFOs also are frequently detected in the deepest portions of the Atlantic Ocean as well as of the Caribbean Sea, the reports stated.

Click here for the complete Russia Today article.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Widening Our Circle of Compassion


During his years at Princeton, Albert Einstein received letters from people everywhere, asking him philosophical questions and for solutions to their personal problems. They may not have understood his physics, but they knew he had revolutionized scientific thinking and they commonly regarded him as “the smartest man in the world.”

Here’s a response he wrote to a rabbi who had asked him how he could explain to his nineteen-year-old daughter the reason for the death of her sister, whom the rabbi described as “a sinless, beautiful, sixteen-year-old child.” Einstein wrote:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest ~ a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.
Einstein reminds us that our preoccupation with our own lives will ultimately deprive us of the interconnectedness we share with the rest of existence, if we let it. A wise man, indeed.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Musical Interlude ~ The "J'attendrai Swing"



Take four minutes to simply relax and journey to a different time, different place ~ Paris, 1939 ~ to hear a couple of Europe’s most renowned jazz musicians play "J’attendrai Swing."

Though I’ve been fond of Django Reinhardt’s music for years, this rare video is the first time I've seen him play guitar with his distinctive two-finger style. Born a gypsy in 1910, he was badly burned at 18 when flames ravaged a caravan he shared with his young bride, Bella. Already an accomplished guitarist, he was forced to re-learn the instrument and develop new fingering patterns to compensate for a partially paralyzed hand. He went on to become one of the world's best-loved guitarists.

This video also features St├ęphane Grappelli, the famous French violinist who ~ with Django ~ in 1934 formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France, the first and most famous all-string jazz band ever.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Taxi Ride with Peter Russell



As frequent Quantum Spirit visitors know, I have great respect for visionary physicist Peter Russell, author of several spiritually and scientifically perceptive books. Here's a 2-minute nugget of wisdom from Peter that says volumes about the state of our minds in today's society.

Click here for more of Peter's videos and to visit his fascinating website.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Positive Emotions Expand Our Awareness

New research shows that when we experience positive emotions ~ love, joy, serenity, amusement, pride, as examples ~ our awareness expands.

“We literally see more, our peripheral vision is expanded,” says Barbara Frederickson, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina and author of the book Positivity, which is based on her research.

Negative emotions, conversely, can actually shrink our mental capacity and perceptions. According to U.S. News & World Report:
She also finds that people who increase their "daily diet" of positive emotions develop closer connections with others, their resilience and optimism strengthens, and they become less depressed and more satisfied with life, compared with people who do nothing to experience them more frequently.

On average, "we all need at least three positive emotions to lift us up for every negative emotion that drags us down," she says, a "positivity ratio" that arose from work she and a colleague published in 2005. People truly in the "flourishing zone" surpass that mark, although most of us clock in at 2 to 1 or even lower, she says.
"There are multiple ways to raise your ratio," she says, by increasing positive emotions, reducing negative emotions, or both.

There earning to meditate can boost positive emotions, as do a run in the woods, dancing, or reading a new cookbook, as examples.
Evidence suggests that there's a correlation between experiencing positive emotions in life and living longer, says Fredrickson, who encourages people to visit her free website and track their positivity ratio nightly for two weeks to see what their average is. Doing so might help you learn the sources of your positive emotions and the triggers for your negative ones.
"The truth emerging from the science is that feeling good is a wise investment in our future," she says.

Click here for the U.S. News & World Report article.
Click here to test your positivity/negativity ratio on Frederickson's website.


Scales Tipping Against Biblical "Great Flood"

'The Celebration' by Tom duBois.

Scientists continue to haggle over whether the Biblical account of the “Great Flood” is historical fact or simply myth. So far, evidence points to some sort of climactic catastrophe occurring several millennia ago, but its scope and magnitude are up for debate.

The Epoch Times yesterday ran a summary of the research's current status. Here are some of the main points:
Contemporary hypotheses suggesting that the rapid growth of the Black Sea was a consequence of an incredible rainfall of planetary proportions has never received great sale. Based on a large framework of scientific laws, predominantly geological, which have been established on the basis of empirical observation over the years, makes this a rather improbable scenario.

In the first place, skeptical geologists propose that for such a flood to have occurred, we would find a similar stratum throughout the world covered with pebbles, sludge, boulders, and other elements. It is curious that this layer cannot be found, even more so when the flood narrated by the Bible had taken place in a time as recent as 3000 B.C. 


Neither can be found the strata of fossils, with different animal and vegetable species occupying specific soil layers. According to flood logic, the animal remains of all species before the big flood (including the extinct dinosaurs) should be found today in only one stratum, without any distinction. But paleontology completely contradicts these suppositions.

Then there’s the fact that, as with the account of Jesus Christ, the nearly identitical story has been told in other cultures, in earlier times.
With respect to non-Biblical myths about a purifying flood, these can be found in the Hindu, Sumerian, Greek, Acadia, Chinese, Mapuche, Mayan, Aztec, and Pascuanese (Easter Island) cultures, among others. Several of these stories appear to possess surprisingly similar common factors.

Among the most repeated themes are those of celestial announcements ignored by the people, the great flood itself, the construction of an arc to preserve life from the flood, and the later restoration of life on the planet. 


Click here for the complete Epoch Times article.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

[Several times on this blog I’ve quoted financial astrologer Ray Merriman, whose readings are familiar to a number of financial institutions and analysts, and who has an uncanny ability to evaluation and predict economic trends. That’s why I was pleased earlier this week to see the financial website Bankrate.com feature Ray (photo below) in an article by reporter Jay MacDonald. Here are some excerpts.]

Wouldn't you have liked a little advance warning about the great market meltdown of 2008?

Ray began writing about it in 1991.

In astro-lingo, it's called a Cardinal Climax. And it's a nasty bugger.

"A Cardinal Climax occurs when three of the four outermost planets (Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and/or Pluto) enter different 'cardinal signs' and thus form what are known as T-squares to one another," Ray says.

"Cardinal signs are the signs that begin each season -- Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Since these far-out planets move so slowly in their orbits around the sun, such a pattern is quite rare. It occurs every 80 to 90 years."

You've probably guessed by now that the last Cardinal Climax occurred in the 1929-to-1934 time frame. Hmmm, Grandpa did mention something about breadlines back then.

But before that, it occurred in 1841 to 1852 and 1759 to 1778.

"Each of these coincide with severe economic downturns and heightened social, even revolutionary, tendencies," Ray says.

If you're keeping an astro-scorecard, Pluto entered Capricorn in January 2008, Saturn will enter Libra in late October 2009 and Uranus will enter Aries in late May 2010. They will be making "hard aspects" to one another through 2015.

"I've been forecasting this period 2008 to 2015 as a daunting challenge for the economy since then, and of course, we now see that this astrological cycle and its correspondence with the same historical themes is once again occurring, right on time," says Ray.

Click here for the complete Bankrate.com article.
Click here for Ray Merriman’s website.

Human Body Light Linked to Metabolic Cycles

Light emitted by the human body is strongest around the head and face, as has been portrayed for millennia as a human halo.

Science may have taken another step toward validating human auras ~ something well known to psychics and seers the world over for millennia ~ due to recent research on faint light emitted by the body.

Earlier research has shown that the body emits visible light ~ 1,000 times less intense than levels to which our eyes are sensitive ~ but scientists in Japan recently employed extraordinarily sensitive cameras to learn more. They placed male volunteers in their 20s in front of the cameras in complete darkness for 20 minutes every three hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for three days.

They were able to determine that the body emits a visible light at levels that rise and fall with the day, with its lowest point at 10 a.m. and its peak at 4 p.m., dropping gradually after that. This suggests that light emission is linked to metabolic rhythms that fluctuate over the course of the day.

Researchers said the light emissions were strongest from the subjects’ heads, especially from their faces.

Since this faint light is linked with the body's metabolism, it suggests super-sensitive cameras might be capable of identifying medical conditions. "If you can see the glimmer from the body's surface, you could see the whole body condition," said researcher Masaki Kobayashi, a biomedical photonics specialist at the Tohoku Institute of Technology.

Click here for the LiveScience.com article.