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TIME IS A MYSTERY

26 Jul
  • Time is a mystery. Some thoughts by thinkers. ——————————————————————-  

The illusion of the passage of time arises from the confusing of the given with the real. Passage of time arises because we think of occupying different realities. In fact, we occupy only different givens. There is only one reality.” Kurt Gödel

“Gödel concluded that time travel is indeed theoretically possible, rendering time, as we know it, meaningless. Time, that mysterious and seemingly self-contradictory being, as Gödel put it, which, on the other hand, seems to form the basis of the world and our own existence, turned out in the end to be the world’s greatest illusion. For Gödel, time was the philosophical question” Palle Yourgrau, ‘A world without time’

“Ultimately all moments are really one. Therefore, now is eternity.” David Bohm
“…for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.” Albert Einstein

“I am therefore inclined to think that “the Real”- alais human independent reality- is not embedded in space-time. And indeed, I go as far as speculating that, quite the contrary, the nature of space-time is… not ‘noumenal’ but ‘phenomenal’, that space-time is a ‘reality-for-us.’” Bernard d’Espagnat  

” …As a result, all change must be gauged by correlations. Ultimately, everything must be correlated with the size of the Universe. Any vestige of a moving present has faded completely…Remember that Einstein spoke of an illusion…Might it be that our strong sense of the flow of time is an illusion akin to giddiness, perhaps connected with the way our memories operate?” Paul Davies   

“The world just does not happen, it simply is…” Hermann Weyl 

“All these Nows,  just exist.  They do not appear and then vanish; they just are.   From a global perspective, there is no answer to the question, “What time is it?”  There are just different experiences at different Nows. From any given vantage point, you look back, and remember other times – so that the question, “Why is it this time right now, rather than some other time?” seems to make sense.  But there is no answer. When I came to this understanding, I forgot the meaning that Time had once held for me. Time has dissolved for me, has been reduced to something simpler that is not itself timeful. I can no longer conceive that there might really be a universal time, which is somehow “moving” from the past to the future.  This now seems like nonsense.” Eliezer Yudkowsky 

“One cannot though conclude how the variations are taking place, over what timescales they are taking place or even how old the universe is. The universe could be 10×10 years old or 5 x 10-44 sec (the Planck time)old, or any time in between. Time is strictly a parameter that can be introduced in the scale-invariant relationships. It has no meaning by itself. The universe appears to be evolving as the number of particles and ratios are varying.” Menas Kafatos, Sisir Roy and Richard Amoroso   

“…the present moments of reality are now replacing one another, where if one had direct awareness of reality one would know reality as transcendental efficient moments” Fyodor Ippolitovich Stcherbatsky

“From non-nirvanic awareness, one experiences imaginary causal connections between moments and thus fabricates the illusion of persistence and duration of objects. But when one experiences reality, one only experiences the efficient moments, rapidly replacing one another, like the flames of a fire. Buddha: the whole world is burning. The non-nirvanic observer, unaware of the fiery, boiling nature of reality, is unaware that they will not exist beyond this present instant, and that any volition or hope is unneeded and illusory, and is based on the misery of unreality.” J. Grupp  

The Buddha said, “Even so was my past existence at that time real, but unreal the future and present existence; and my future existence will be at one time real but unreal the past and present existence; and my present existence is now real, but unreal the past and future existence. All these are merely popular designations and expressions, mere conventional term of speaking, mere popular notions” (Digha-nikaya). Hence the Buddha has only one time, that is “Eternal Present”.” Chen Hsiongcai

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” Alan Watts

“Time, as self-determination of the eternal “Now”, is essentially contained in this Now. There where time is, contained and extinquished, personality appears, as content of eternity.” Nishida

“The Universe is a dynamic system in a permanent dynamic equilibrium, there is no beginning and no end of the universe.” A.S.Sorli

“So in summary, the universe we see is just a fragment nested in a timeless (everything) whole, rather than a single material world magically arisen above some primordial nothing. All universes exist without beginning or end in the ultimate arena of time, and each moment we experience exists forever.” Gevin Giorbran  

“This means that because, in reality, there is no coming or going in time, when we cross the river or climb the mountain we exist in the eternal present of time; this time includes all past and present time.” Dogen  

“Dogen writes, ‘Entire being, the entire world, exists in the time of each and every now.’ Thus the mind, body, being, world, and time form a unity. Not only are entities time, and not only is time in me, but activities are time. ‘As the time now is all there is, each being-time is without exception entire time.’ Dogen emphasizes the now moment because there is never a time that has not been or a time that is coming. ‘…all is the immediate presencing here and now of being-time.’ Thus time is a continuous occurrence of ‘nows’. The Buddha-nature is a present actuality.” Carl Olson

“Dogen frees himself from the representational mode of thinking without subverting time and remaining convinced that each moment is complete in itself and cannot be undermined.” Carl Olson    

“The universe would be completely self contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE.”  Stephen Hawking

“Whether or not reality has one universe or many, it had no beginning and was not created. It neither was nor will be. It just is.” Victor J. Stenger

“What suggests itself is that psychologically – and perhaps eventually for the deepest level physically – we can’t use time as the essence. Rather, the moment NOW is the essence, because all the past and the future that we ever will know are in this moment. The past and the future are now – namely, in so far as it has left any impression, whatever has happened is now. And our experiences are now. Thus we could say that now may be the starting point. One picture you could make of an electron would be that it sort of flashes into and out of existence so fast that when picked up in the usual equipment it looks continuously existent. It might have a certain regularity, so that it appears to obey an order of necessity. But it might be that it is basically creative; the creative act may create this order of necessity.” David Bohm

“We are always moving (inflationary cosmology)(arrow of time) but also always remain in the now. The ‘phenomenal’ now is relative, experienced as eternal but intuitively we grasp and psychologically represent a moving existence by remembering a past and projecting into a future.” Rodger Ricketts

“Time is like a ‘field’ – there is no fixed, locatable present. It always vanishes upon close examination. The moment you try to pinpoint it, it has already passed and a future moment is now present.” Trinh Thuan

In 1949 the great logician Kurt Gödel constructed the first mathematical models of the universe in which travel into the past is, in theory at least, possible. Within the framework of Einstein’s general theory of relativity Gödel produced cosmological solutions to Einstein’s field equations which contain closed time-like curves, that is, curves in spacetime which, despite being closed, still represent possible paths of bodies. An object moving along such a path would travel back into its own past, to the very moment at which it ‘began’ the journey. More generally, Gödel showed that, in his ‘universe’, for any two points P and Q on a body’s track through spacetime (its world line), such that P temporally precedes Q, there is a time-like curve linking P and Q on which Q temporally precedes P. This means that, in principle at least, one could board a ‘time machine’ and travel to any point of the past. Gödel inferred, in consonance (as he observes) with the views of Parmenides, Kant and the modern idealists, that under these circumstances there could be no such thing as an objective lapse of time, that time or, more generally, change, is an illusion arising from our special mode of perception.” John L. Bell

 

Healthy Organs For a Healthy Life

22 Jul

Two events promoted me to write this bog. First, in my last blog on Traditional Chinese Medicine, I was interested in how TCM places great importance to the health of the organs of the body through both diet and exercise. I noticed how this approach was quite different from the typical, popular health exercise and diet discussion in the USA and other western countries which almost never discusses the health of the body’s organs. However, I believe that the TCM perspective is valuable and so I decided to further explore what exactly Western health experts say about organ wellness.

Secondly, the other day I was talking to a friend about healthy living and I commented on how I noticed that many Western health exercise programs emphasize only muscle/skeletal and in general cardio vascular exercise for fitness. I said we also need to be aware of the health of the body’s organs because actually most of serious health problems are located in the organs not in our muscle-skeletal system. My friend laughed and said “The organs, what can you do for the organs?” so, for the above two reasons, this blog explores what some American experts say about it.

Notice: This blog is only an interested person’s view and should not be taken as medical advice or recommendations. I write this blog purely from my interest in health promotion and to stimulate thought and discussion on organ and the body’s health. Since health research is always updating itself, some of this information may now be out of date- please update from current professional sources. May everyone be well and happy as much as possible through our own self care.

Since this is a long blog, I split it into five parts.

Ways to Take Care of Your Liver

Health Lifestyle: Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly help the liver to work well. Eating an unhealthy diet can lead to liver disease. For example, a person who eats a lot of fatty foods is at higher risk of being overweight and having non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  Eat foods from all the food groups: grains, protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables.

Eat foods that have a lot of fiber such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals

Limit the Amount of Alcohol You Drink: Alcohol can damage or destroy liver cells. Liver damage can lead to the buildup of fat in your liver (fatty liver), inflammation or swelling of your liver (alcoholic hepatitis), and/or scarring of your liver (cirrhosis). For people with liver disease, even a small amount of alcohol can make the disease worse. Talk to your doctor about what amount of alcohol is right for you.

Manage Your Medications: When medicines are taken incorrectly – by taking too much or the wrong type or by mixing – the liver can be harmed.

  • Learn about medicines and how they can affect the liver
  • Follow dosing instructions

Talk to a doctor or pharmacist often about the medicines you are taking

Avoid Breathing in or Touching Toxins: Toxins can injure liver cells.

  • Limit direct contact with toxins from cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals, and additives in cigarettes

Do not smoke

  • Take care with aerosol sprays. When you use an aerosol cleaner, make sure the room is ventilated, or wear a mask. Take similar protective measures when spraying insecticides, fungicides, paint and other toxic chemicals. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Watch what gets on your skin. When using insecticides and other toxic chemicals, cover your skin with gloves, long sleeves, a hat and a mask. Wash off any chemicals you get on your skin with soap and water as soon as possible.
  • Eating healthy foods for the liver can improve and support liver function on a daily basis. Having a healthy liver results in greater energy and general well-being.
  • A poorly functioning liver can result in tiredness, headaches, bad breath, allergies and intolerances, problem skin and weight gain.

Foods that are healthy for the liver fall into two main categories.

  • First are those that promote the detoxification process of the liver. And second, are those that are high in antioxidants and therefore protect the liver while it’s carrying out its detoxification processes. Below is a list of the top eight foods that are considered to be good for your liver.
  • GARLIC and ONIONS.
  • Garlic contains allicin which is a sulphur-based compound needed by the liver for effective detoxification. Garlic helps the liver rid the body of mercury, certain food additives and the hormone oestrogen.
  • CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage).
  • These vegetables are very powerful detoxifiers of the liver. They contain chemicals that neutralize certain toxins such as nitrosamines found in cigarette smoke and aflotoxin found in peanuts. They also contain glucosinolates that help the liver to produce enzymes it needs for its detoxification processes.
  • FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON IN HOT WATER.
  • Drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice in a cup of boiled water first thing in the morning helps to cleanse the liver and promote detoxification. It also stimulates bile production, cleanses the stomach and bowel and stimulates a bowel motion.
  • BEETROOT (BEETS). It’s a blood-purifying tonic that is also capable of absorbing heavy metals.
  • HIGH-ANTIOXIDENT FRUITS.
  • In a study done by the US Department of Agriculture at Tuffs University, it was found that the following list of fruits had the highest levels of antioxidants (in descending order): Prunes, raisons, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, pink grapefruit, cantaloupe, apples and pears. Antioxidants help to protect the liver from the high levels of free radicals that are naturally produced during the process of detoxification.
  • APPLES.
  • Apples contain pectin that bind to heavy metals in the body (in particular in the colon) and help their excretion. This reduces the load on the liver and its detoxification capacities.
  • ARTICOKE.
  • Increases bile production. One of the jobs of bile is to remove toxins through the bowel, as well as ‘unfriendly’ micro-organisms. It has been suggested that 30 minutes after eating globe artichoke, bile flow is increased by over 100%. Artichoke contains both liver-protective/restorative powers. It acts as a blood purifier and has been proven in clinical studies to lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels and other metabolic waste products
  • BITTER LEAFY SALAD GREENS (dandelion, chicory, endive, rocket).
  • The bitterness of these foods helps to stimulate bile flow within the liver.

Top 10 tips for a Healthy Liver and Lymph

Your liver has many functions; stores certain vitamins, minerals and sugars for use as fuel, cleanses/filters the toxins out of your blood and controls the production/excretion of cholesterol. Your overall health and vitality, to a great extent, depends upon the health of your liver. The thousands of enzyme systems that control virtually everybody activity are created there. If your liver fails to create even one of these enzymes, overall body function is impaired, creating greater metabolic stress on your body.

THE LYMPH composed of Lymph fluid consists of; the ’tissue fluid’ in which all of our cells are bathed, and the fluid within the ‘lymph vessels’. These are ‘blood vessel’ like tubes, which connect the lymph glands of the body. The Lymphatic System is also called the Immune System.

Modern lifestyles can overstress your liver. Alcohol, tobacco, environmental pollutants, food additives, agricultural pesticides, popular cosmetic ingredients, common household products, stress, pharmaceutical and OTC (over-the-counter) drugs (including oral contraceptives and caffeine), gallstones, home repair materials, artist materials, garden chemicals and building materials can all kill liver cells.

Symptoms of liver imbalance include headaches, bruising easily, anxiety, depression, confusion, fatigue, jaundice, impaired libido (sex drive) and mental function, food allergies, multiple chemical sensitivities and PMS, as well as conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. When your liver is damaged it cannot remove toxins, which then build up in your blood and eventually, your brain.

Try the following tips for a healthy liver and lymph:

Avoid any foods of which you suspect you may be intolerant: They will produce toxins in the gut that can cause stress to the detoxification mechanisms. Bacteria, viruses, too much alcohol, coffee and other caffeine-containing drinks, smoking and the medicines that have powerful effects on the liver, stomach and other parts of the body can prove toxic Chew your food well to help release the enzymes that aid digestion. Consume plenty of foods containing: Consume plenty of foods containing foliate, flavonoids,magnesium, iron, sulphate and selenium and B-vitamins, 2,3,6 and 12, since toxicity in the body can be caused by deficiency of the nutrients that the liver needs for detoxification as much as by exposure to toxins. Think along the lines of salads, beans, fresh juices, stir-fries cooked in a little good-quality olive oil, nuts, seeds, yoghurt (full-fat is fine). Steaming is a quick and healthy way of cooking vegetables, and the only vegetables to avoid are potatoes. Aim for a diet build on complex carbohydrates  (brown rice), lean protein(beans, lentils, eggs, chicken, fish and a little lean red meat) and organic fruits & vegetables. Cut down on stimulants: such as tea and coffee, and depressants such as smoking & alcohol. Aim at drinking at least 2.5 liters of water a day.

Eat foods rich in antioxidants: which aid the natural detox mechanisms like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts and Soybean products. Nutrients that enhance our immune system areVitamin C, Vitamin E, the B-Vitamins, Zinc and Magnesium. These nutrients are either potent anti-oxidants capable of stopping the free-radical cascade of tissue damage or are involved in the enzymes that help detoxify damaging chemicals. Rest and feel good! :

One more really good way to boost your immune system and it’s free.

Laugh, Rest and feel good!  A depressed mind can cause a depressed body.

Laughter actually increases production of an antibody that is responsible for our first line of defense against bacterial infections. Laughter, lovemaking and exercise are great medicines. Over time, the health of the liver and lymph may be restored. Taking beneficial herbs regularly and following a detoxification process can help to provide protection to either the sick or healthy liver during the course of daily life. This stabilizes cell membranes and encourages the regeneration of liver cells destroyed during their normal functions. Overview Poor nutrition is rarely a cause of liver disease, but good nutrition in the form of a balanced diet, may help liver cells damaged by hepatitis viruses to regenerate, forming new liver cells. Nutrition can be an essential part of treatment. Many chronic liver diseases are associated with malnutrition. Watch the Protein To quickly determine your daily protein in grams, divide your weight in pounds by 2. Too much daily protein may cause hepatic encephalopathy (mental confusion). This occurs when the amount of dietary protein is greater than the liver’s ability to use the protein. This causes a buildup of toxins that can interfere with brain function. Protein is restricted in patients with clinical evidence of encephalopathy. However, controversy exists regarding the type of protein a diet should contain. Vegetable and dairy protein may be tolerated better than meat protein. Medications, such as lactulose and neomycin, may be used to help control hepatitis-related encephalopathy. Due to the body’s need for proteins, protein restriction should only be undertaken with a doctor’s advice. Watch the Calories. Excess calories in the form of carbohydrates can add to liver dysfunction and can cause fat deposits in the liver. No more than 30% of a person’s total calories should come from fat because of the danger to the cardiovascular system. To figure out your daily calorie needs, you’ll need a minimum of 15 calories a day for each pound you weight. Watch the Salt Good nutrition also helps to maintain the normal fluid and electrolyte balances in the body. Patients with fluid retention and swelling of the abdomen (ascites), or the legs (peripheral edema), may need diets low in salt to avoid sodium retention that contributes to fluid retention. Avoiding foods such as canned soups and vegetables, cold cuts, dairy products, and condiments such as mayonnaise and ketchup can reduce sodium intake. Read food labels carefully as many prepared foods contain large amounts of salt. The best-tasting salt substitute is lemon juice.

Watch Vitamins A and D Excessive amounts of some vitamins may be an additional source of stress to the liver that must act as a filter for the body. Mega-vitamin supplements, particularly if they contain vitamins A and D, may be harmful. Excess vitamin A is very toxic to the liver. Beware of Alcohol You’ll need to stop drinking completely to give your liver a break – a chance to heal, a chance to rebuild, a chance for new liver cells to grow. This means avoiding beer, wine, cocktails, champagne, and liquor in any other form. If you continue to drink, your liver will pay the price, and if your doctor is checking your liver function tests, it may be hard to determine if a change in a test means there has been damage to your liver due to the disease itself or because of the alcohol. Beware of Alcohol and Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an ingredient in some over-the-counter pain relievers, and is contained in many over-the-counter drugs used for colds or coughs. Taken with alcohol, these products can cause a condition called sudden and severe hepatitis which could cause fatal liver failure. Clearly, you should never combine these two substances. If you have any doubt about what medicines to take simultaneously, ask your doctor. Beware of “Nutritional Therapies” Herbal treatments and alternative liver medicines need to undergo rigorous scientific study before they can be recommended. “Natural” or diet treatments and herbal remedies can be quite dangerous. Plants of the Senecio, Crotalaria and Heliotopium families, plus chaparral, germander, comfrey, mistletoe, skullcap, margosa oil, mate tea, Gordolobo yerba tea, pennyroyal, and Jin Blu Huan are all toxic to the liver.

Be Well and Happy!

 

Quotes, Thoughts, Reflections on Non-dualism, evolution, God, ecology, War and more…

20 Jul

It is the process through which today’s culture is rooted in cultures of the past, the process whereby our thoughts generate actions, which touch others, which touch still others, and thus a vast web of conscious minds together weave the fabric of their reality, forever creating new ways of seeing and being. L.Gabora

None of us is as smart as all of us. Japanese proverb

One comes to the startling conclusion that the coherent organism is a macroscopic quantum object, it has a macroscopic wave-function that is always evolving, always changing as it entangles its environment. This wave-function is the unique, significant form of the organism. In the quantum coherent state the organism is maximally sensitive and can best respond to opportunities and cope with all contingencies. It is source of the organism’s remarkable flexibility, resilience and creativity. …Mae-Wan Ho

And so you opted for the substantialist’s art of self making, Cutting off all umbilical cords to the Mother of Field-Being. You first dignify yourself in the kingly robes of an independent entity, enthroning yourself in the lonely kingdom of ego-substance. Then with the projective magic of your subjective substantiality, you objectify everything on your way to Godlike rigidity. And with the pointing of the substantializing wand, a bond was broken; a shade of mutuality has withered and waned. Now everything becomes merely external and separate from everything else. External is your objective world, your objectified God, and your objectified self. Anything you cannot safely possess and control you relegate to the dark side. And so you opted for the substantialist’s art of self making, Cutting off all umbilical cords to the Mother of Field-Being. You first dignify yourself in the kingly robes of an independent entity, enthroning yourself in the lonely kingdom of ego-substance. Then with the projective magic of your subjective substantiality, you objectify everything on your way to Godlike rigidity. And with the pointing of the substantializing wand, a bond was broken; a shade of mutuality has withered and waned. Now everything becomes merely external and separate from everything else. External is your objective world, your objectified God, and your objectified self. Anything you cannot safely possess and control you relegate to the dark side of the Other, the Hell, the objective pole, And condemned it as illusion, unreal, ugly, or evil. Oh, in carrying your Godlike rigidity to all eternity (as if you were in fact rigidly eternal), you, a virtuoso in dualization, have created the most unhappy situation. Professor l. k. Tong

Chicken- egg: dualism-egoism and grasping. Rodger R

When the animals evolved the talent to produce a virtual presence, they acquired a soul.

Then there was a God to be adored.

And an Adam was created.

As production of virtual presences increases, mans tie to the Real decreases.

Soon, he praises innovation and inhuman courage. He invents thrills and excitements. He relies on myths and mysteries. He downgrades Nature with a reckless chisel.

Life becomes the Grand Illusion.

With facility in the manipulation of the virtual presences, the primal Superman was born.

With perfection in the art, a second Lucifer took charge.

It was then that man came to defy the Lord.

The interminable conflict thrusting the virtual presences against the real intensifies. R. G. H. Siu

Accustomed, as it is, to think of man as a dualism of mind and body, and to regard the former as “sensible” and the latter as a “dumb” animal, our culture is an affront to the wisdom of nature and a ruinous exploitation of the human organism as a whole. We are perpetually frustrated because the verbal and abstract thinking of the brain gives the false impression of being able to cut loose from all finite limitations. It forgets that an infinity of anything is not a reality but an abstract concept, and persuades us that we desire this fantasy as a real goal of living. Alan Watts

Living organisms are much more sensitive and complex, in all respects, than we usually imagine. Rodger R
The history of phototropism is long and rich. Our current understanding of the response has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy and stems from the early physiological studies of the enlightenment. Recent research with Arabidopsis has tremendously expanded our mechanistic understanding of phototropism. We can no longer view the response as a simple or linear physiological response. Instead, phototropism must be viewed as a complex biological response involving interactions of multiple photoreceptors, multiple hormones, and multiple signaling pathways that together orchestrate the establishment of coordinated differential growth gradients. Given its complexity, much phototropism research remains to be done before we can understand all of the underlying mechanisms and know the full account of its biological significance. Craig W. Whippo
Science becomes the story that our civilization tells itself. It is a story about the universe, but told in such a way that it supports and gives credence to all that our society holds of value- analysis, prediction, technology, the accumulation of wealth and knowledge, the desire for control, progress, the need for closure and wrapping things up. Science adds credibility to our cultural dream by supporting it a seemingly objective way. We must also remember that other cultures tell different stories. It is a new form of cultural imperialism to claim that the stories of other cultures are no more than myths that must be corrected, exposed for their naiveté, or ‘make more scientific.’ Rather they should be respected, for they represent different possible glances at the universe and different ways of structuring knowledge. The danger arises when a culture takes its own story as the absolute truth and seeks to impose this truth on others as the yardstick for all knowledge and belief. F. David Peat

“The people of your culture cling with fanatical tenacity to the specialness of man. They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and the rest of creation. This mythology of human specialness justifies their doing whatever they please with the world, just the way Hitler’s mythology of Aryan superiority justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe. But in the end this mythology is not deeply satisfying. The Takers are a profoundly lonely people. The world for them is enemy territory, and they live in it like an army of occupation, alienated and isolated by their extraordinary specialness.” Ishmael

People in West Sussex think they are normal. … Some avidly enjoy foxhunting. … terrorising foxes! Just imagine what your heart would do if you had a pack of sixty dogs chasing after you and people on horseback telling them to get you. It’s ugly when you really reflect on this. Yet this considered normal, or even a desirable thing to do in this part of England. Because people do not take time to reflect, we can be victims of habit, caught in desires and habits. …When you start reflecting on the way things are and remember when your life has really been in danger, you will know how horrible it is. It is an absolutely terrfifying experience. If you don’t reflect, you think foxes don’t matter. Now this ability to reflect and observe is what the Buddha was pointing to in his teachings, as the liberation from blind following of habit and convention….We begin to be much more careful about how we do live. Once you see what it is all about, you really want to be very, very careful about what you do and say. One does not feel that one’s own life is so much more important than anyone else’s. One begins to feel the freedom and lightness in that harmony with nature rather than the heaviness of exploitation of nature for personal gain. …We don’t see ourselves as some isolated, alienated entity lost in a mysterious and frightening universe. We don’t feel overwhelmed by it, trying to find a little piece of it that we can grasp and feel safe with, because we feel at peace with it. Then we have merged with the truth. Ajahn Sumedho

The term Ecology, as used locally, does not have the connotation of the “environment” as used in America, There is no separation of man and his environment; rather there is a fusion of man and his environment. Ecology represents the study of the ecological entity as a whole. When a given ecological complex appears unfavorable from the standpoint of man, for example, he does not have a prior claim to adjustment on the part of the other elemen (ts of the complex. The others have just as much “right” to demand modification of his behavior as he has on theirs. All are one in Nature. The appreciation of this Oneness and the delicate interrelationships of its diffusions represents the prime academic purpose of the Ecology Series. (The Land of Keikitran and Eleevan) R.G.H. Siu

We are mounds of quarks in trios, we are proton-and-electron families. …There is but a single family on this planet, just one life-form stretching out its tendrils, testing possibilities as dust and stars did once upon a time. Face it, we are all in this together, microbes, seaweed, starfish, salamanders, humans, every strange extrusion of nucleic acid chains. We are the kin of yeast, the brothers of cockroaches, the sisters of sugar beets, and the cousins of maize. We share a common birthright born of ancient gene-and-membrane teams. All of us are children in the clan of DNA. Howard Bloom

All is One, One is All. Rodger R

“God” can never be alone – a solitary figure. Rodger R

The best form of knowledge, according to the Buddha, turns out to be knowledge of things “as they have become”, not knowledge of things “as they really are.”… For the Buddha, human life is not made for morals; morals are made for human life. D.J. Kalupahana

You can please some people all the time, all people some of the time but not all the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

When written in Chinese, the word crisis is compounded of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity. J.F. Kennedy

Environmental regularities are the result of a conjoint history, a congruence that unfolds from a long history of codetermination. Organisms and environments are mutually unfolded and enfolded structures. E.Thompson,F.J.Varela

The organism is both the subject and object of evolution. Lewontin

What is required for evolutionary change is not genetically encoded as opposed to acquired traits, but functioning developmental systems: ecologically embedded genomes. Oyama

Whenever the army has passed, briars and thorns spring up. Years of hunger follow in the wake of a great war. Lao Tzu

Conquering the people’s hearts is more effective than occupying their cities. Sun Tzu

There is many a boy today who looks on war as glory, but boys, it is all hell! William Tecumseh Sherman

I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry for blood, vengeance, for desolation. War is hell! Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

The more I understand, the less I know- Tao Le Ching

The wisest mind has something yet to learn- George Santayana

Life is a dance in which we both lead and are led.-Rodger R

The future is always pregnant with possibility. Thereby, making the future indeterminate and creativity possible. Rodger R

We all enter the future with a degree of naiveté. Rodger R

What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens. Benjamin Disraeli

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. Benjamin Disraeli

Afternoon Delight

Eager eyes

Hands touch

Lips embrace

Rodger

It is a commonly accepted rule of artistic training that the student must first learn technique in order to transcend technique. To learn technique is to be conditioned by the cumulative experience to perform certain acts in a certain way, the holding of a brush, the fingering of a bamboo flute, the cutting of flowers. But to be conditioned by these rules only opens up the possibility of response. One must overcome the danger of being determined by these rules, of becoming too attached to these conditions acquired in the past that the present is no longer creative. To transcend technique is to respond to the presence of the moment now before us. The determinateness of past conditions must vibrate in unison with the openness of the present. Thomas P. Kasulis

The relation between artistic creation and the Tanden, the seat of the primordial, is immediate and essential. Neither the hand nor the head should paint the picture. It is a necessary condition for the expression of the essential in all art that the artist should empty and free his head, and then concentrate his whole energy in the Tanden. His brush will then move of itself in accord with the rhythm of the Primordial Force. If, on the contrary, in drawing the lines he uses strength of this hand, or if he works under personal tension, what he wants to express will be cut off from the source of inner synthesis, and will look hard and fixed. The synthesis as oneness of subject and object does not have to be ‘produced’, it is there underlying the reality. And only through this complete knowledge can it be brought to light. This must be a whole, all-human knowledge which has its place neither in the head nor in the heart but in the centre of the whole person. Kaneko Shoseki

Life is a continuous and pervasive entanglement always affecting us on all levels. Rodger R

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.William Henry Channing

‘Psychologist’s Fallacy’ The great snare of the psychologist is the confusion of his own standpoint with that of the mental fact about which he is making his report. I shall hereafter call this the “psychologist’s fallacy” par excellence. For some of the mischief, are too, language is to blame. The psychologist. .. stands outside of his mental state he speaks of. Both itself and its object are objects for him. Now when it is a cognitive state (percept, thought, concept, etc.), he ordinarily has no other way of naming it than as the thought, percept, etc., of that object. He himself, meanwhile, knowing the self-same object in his way, gets easily led to suppose that the thought, which is of it, knows it in the same way in which he knows it, although it is far from being the case. The most fictitious puzzles have been introduced into our science by this means. The so-called question of presentative or representative perception, of whether an object present to the thought that thinks it by a counterfeit image of itself, or directly without any intervening image at all; the question of nominalism and conceptualism, of the shape in which things are present when only a general notion of them is before the mind; are comparatively easy questions when once the psychologist’s fallacy is eliminated from their treatment…’ William James

Steven Hawkings and Alien Life

9 Jul

Steve Hawking and Alien Life

Recently the world renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking created a stir by saying, “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.” Hawking said this in a forthcoming documentary made for the Discovery Channel. He argues that, instead of trying to find and communicate with life in the cosmos, humans would be better off doing everything they can to avoid contact.

Hawking believes that, based on the sheer number of planets that scientists know must exist, we are not the only life-form in the universe. There are, after all, billions and billions of stars in our galaxy alone, with, it is reasonable to expect, an even greater number of planets orbiting them. And it is not unreasonable to expect some of that alien life to be intelligent, and capable of interstellar communication.

However, Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI (standing for Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute in California, the world’s leading organization searching for telltale alien signals, is not so sure. “This is an unwarranted fear,” Shostak says. “If their interest in our planet is for something valuable that our planet has to offer, there’s no particular reason to worry about them now. If they’re interested in resources, they have ways of finding rocky planets that don’t depend on whether we broadcast or not. They could have found us a billion years ago.”

Paul Davies, an astrophysicist at Arizona State University and chair of SETI’s post-detection taskforce, argues that alien brains, with their different architecture, would interpret information very differently from ours. What we think of as beautiful or friendly might come across as violent to them, or vice versa. “Lots of people think that because they would be so wise and knowledgeable, they would be peaceful,” adds Stewart. “I don’t think you can assume that. I don’t think you can put human views on to them; that’s a dangerous way of thinking. Aliens are alien. If they exist at all, we cannot assume they’re like us.”

Several more arguments by Paul Davies are proposed as to why the scenario of hostile aliens visiting earth is inaccurate and they include the following:

Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and there were stars and planets around long before the solar system even existed. Assuming intelligent life is likely, as Hawking suggests, then some alien communities would have emerged a very long time in the past. If resources are the motivating factor, then at least one group of aliens would surely have spotted Earth as a desirable destination millions of years ago, and come here when they could have had the planet for the asking, without pesky humans to complicate the takeover.

Another problem with Hawking’s picture is the sheer distances involved. The galaxy is huge by human standards. The nearest star is over four light years away -– about 25 trillion miles. Within the scientific community, even the optimists believe the nearest civilization could well be hundreds of light years away. Because nothing can travel faster than light, the Hollywood image of aliens plying the vast interstellar voids in star fleets is absurd. It’s far more likely that alien civilizations would limit contact to radio communication rather than engage in the sort of close encounters favored by movie makers.

Suppose by some fluke aliens did come to visit Earth in the near future, then comparisons with Columbus are in any case wide of the mark, and reflect the rampant anthropocentrism that pervades much speculation about alien life. Just because we go around wiping out our competitors doesn’t mean aliens would do the same. A civilization that has endured for millions of years would have overcome any aggressive tendencies, and may well have genetically engineered its species for harmonious living. Any truly bellicose alien species would either have wiped itself out long ago, or already taken over the galaxy.

Other responses were mixed in their agreement or not of Hawking’s warning.

The Journal of Cosmology compiled responses from a dozen scientists and has published them online. Some criticized Hawking’s use of human behavior to predict what aliens would do, but others said that human behavior was a reasonable yardstick. Few, however, questioned the premise of Hawking’s statements — which alien life forms probably exist and we are likely someday to encounter them.

Blair Csuti, a biologist at Oregon State University, defended Hawking’s trepidation, arguing that the principles of evolution would have shaped those beings just as they did life on Earth, selecting for self-preserving behavior. “Aliens visiting newly discovered planets, like Earth, would place their own interests above those of unsophisticated indigenous residents.”

Robert Ehrlich, a physicist at George Mason University agreed, further imagining that the aliens would be “adaptable robots whose mental processes reflect those of their senders.”

Others, like Chandra Wickramasinghe of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom and B.G. Sidharth at the B.M. Birla Science Centre in India, took a more low-tech view of alien invasions. They argued that the threat would come not from green people with fancy stun guns, but from pathogenic microbes that could infect life on Earth.  “When Columbus was followed by the Spanish conquistadors, it was not advanced weaponry which destroyed the native civilizations, but disease,” Sidharth wrote.

Randy D. Allen, a biologist at Oklahoma State University, argued that a smart-enough species could develop a quantum computer and eventually transfer their consciousnesses into it. “Perhaps … they can “see” or “feel” the entire universe. Maybe they’ve gained the ability to manipulate elementary particles and can control its evolution and its fate. They would have become, by any human definition, gods.”

GianCarlo Ghirardi, a physicist at Italy’s University of Trieste, asked why intelligent aliens should have negative intentions toward earthlings. “If Hawking’s aliens are anything like humans, then I am optimistic … that their scientific development should be accompanied also by an ethical development, and (they) might value life,” he wrote.

Another physicist wrote several years before Hawking’s warning, a different but I think much more sophisticated and reasonable hypothesis about us humans communicating with extra-terrestrials. This scientist is Wolfram Schommers. In his book ‘The Visible and the Invisible’, Schommers uses an example of a turkey as a non-human life form in a discussion on perception and world views. If we think extra-terrestrial instead of his turkey, the results are the same discussion. He writes the following: ‘Objective’ does not mean that a certain fact actually exists in (basic) reality in the form experienced by an observer (whether the observer is a turkey or a man). In what form a certain entity (e.g. a chick) exists in objective reality is something that we can principally know nothing about and make no pronouncement upon…Since however a turkey’s (alien) experiences in everyday life are fundamentally different from those of the human observer, the particular questions which a highly developed turkey (alien) brain would raise, can be expected to be fundamentally different from those of the human observer. We should not forget that experiences at the level of everyday experience are the basis of any science. …The turkey (or organism which evolved from it) will possibly know very little about ‘our’ cosmos or ‘our’ elementary particles. Accordingly it could also hardly recognize the sense of a radio telescope (SETI uses radio waves to try to communicate with extra-terrestrials) or a particle accelerator. Instead of these devices the turkey (alien) would possibly construct and manufacture devices whose deeper sense remained hidden to human observers. …We can never recognize fundamental reality, but only versions dependent on the particular biological species and system.

So what I take from this particular argument (and this is only one aspect of a much deeper analysis of matter and mind in physics) by Schommers is that an extra-terrestrial, having evolved in a very different manner than humans will have a very different brain structure, perception system, etc. and understanding of objective reality. They probably won’t have developed the same constructs or technological instruments to correspond with human ones.

Therefore, the previous anthropomorphic descriptions of possible alien motivations, world views and technologies by Hawking et al. – except Paul Davies- are in the end naïve and unsuccessful. While most astrophysicists and astronomers agree that alien life forms are likely in the vast universe, I suggest they become more sophisticated in their understanding of evolutionary biology and its effect on systems of perceiving, worldview construction and, therefore, comprehension of this mysterious cosmos of which we are a part.