Saturday, November 18, 2017

Quasars and Black Holes

An interesting article on Quasars and Black Holes. These are not something we can fully comprehend but it is good to have a general idea of what these are, and how they come about. It is also good to know what’s out there - not in the streets, not in another country, not on the other side of the Earth - but out there in the Milky Way. It also gives us a perspective of how small we are - and of the mysteries, the unknown out there.

Quasars 

They are the oldest objects we know of in all the universe. So far out on the edge of creation that their light has taken ten billion years – twice the age of Earth – to reach us, they are one of the great mysteries of modern astronomy. Each of them outshines a hundred galaxies, ten thousand billion stars, and yet may be little larger than our solar system. What makes them shine so brightly? How were they formed? What, in fact, are they? We do not know. 

We call them “quasars,” an abbreviation of “quasi-stellar radio sources.” In other words, they look like stars and they give off radio waves. These stars, in fact, were seen and photographed by astronomers for decades and they seemed to be merely distant members of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. In the early 1960s, however, radio astronomers detected powerful sources of microwaves in the sky. When optical telescopes were turned toward these radio sources, nothing unusual was found – just these seemingly ordinary stars. 

But, with further observations, the seemingly ordinary stars turned out to be quite un-ordinary – not even stars at all … 

Astronomers analyze the light of a star by breaking it up into a “spectrum,” a rainbow, accomplishing with lenses and prisms what nature does with water molecules suspended in the air. By examining this spectrum, scientists can tell how hot a star is, what it is made of, how fast it is rotating on its axis, and so on. However, when astronomers tried to examine the spectra of quasars, they found something surprising. Quasars were unlike any other object observed in the sky; their spectra were completely strange. 

How could this be? Astronomers grasped for explanations, and eventually they found one – but the explanation proved almost as mystifying as the observations. 

When a locomotive is approaching you, and it blows its whistle, the sound of that whistle is higher in pitch than it would be were the locomotive standing still. Conversely, as the locomotive moves on down the tracks away from you, its whistle is lower in pitch. This is the Doppler effect, and it applies to light waves just as it applies to sound waves. By analyzing a star’s spectrum, and noting which way the light waves are shifted, we can determine if that star is approaching us or receding from us. If the “pitch” is raised – if the light waves are shifted toward the blue end of the spectrum – then the object is approaching; if the waves are pitched lower, and shifted toward the red end of the spectrum, the object is receding. An object heading toward us thus shows a blue shift; an object moving away, a red shift. 

Now, as scientists analyzed the light of quasars, they found it had been re-shifted – and re-shifted to an enormous degree. 

Expanding Universe 

Earlier, scientists had found that the entire universe seems to be expanding outward, and they found that almost all the galaxies outside our own display red shifts, and thus are receding. Every other galaxy is not, of course, fleeing from our own; instead, the whole universe is expanding, and every galaxy is moving farther away from every other galaxy. It is as if we are seeing the aftermath of a great explosion – and, indeed, we are. According to some scientists a “Big Bang” took place 15 billion years ago; at that time all the matter in the universe, collected in one “cosmic egg,” exploded outward, and Creation began. 

The greater the red shift a galaxy displays, the farther away it is from us, and the faster it is moving away. The quasars displayed enormous red shifts, and thus they had to be very far away, and receding very quickly.

In fact, the farthest quasars we have yet observed are over twelve billion light-years away, and are receding at over ninety percent of the speed of light. (A light-year is about six trillion miles. If you cannot imagine twelve billion light-years – or even just one – you are not alone. No one can.) This means that the quasars were formed soon after the birth of our universe. In effect, we are looking into the past as we look outward into the cosmos. And, as we see the quasars twelve billion light-years away, we are viewing the universe as it must have been when it was young. 

But what are quasars?  

They look like stars, but to be seen at such a great distance they must be far brighter than any star. In fact, the average quasar is a hundred times as bright as our galaxy – as bright as ten thousand billion stars put together. But a quasar is not a hundred times as large as our galaxy – far from it. Indeed, most quasars seem to be only a few light-years in diameter. 

Astronomers were perplexed. How can such small objects be so bright? What makes quasars shine? 

We live in a violent universe, a universe of powerful and uncontrollable energies. The quasars, so small and yet so bright, must be powered by these violent energies – and evidence of that violence is visible even at our distant vantage point. Some of the quasars have huge jets of gas spewing out of their cores – evidence of vast energies at play. What, then, is the source of these energies? 

Modern physics have shown that “antimatter” exists – matter that is reversed in electrical charge. When antimatter meets the ordinary matter of our universe, the opposite charges cancel out, both matter and antimatter are destroyed, and pure energy is created. 

Perhaps the quasars are where antimatter and matter meet, in mutual destruction, that would account for the huge amounts of energy created. But there are other theories as well, some even stranger …. 

Black Holes 

A “black hole” is created when a star collapses under the pull of its own gravity. If the gravity is intense enough – thousands of times as strong as the earth’s gravitational field – then the matter of the star will be literally crushed out of existence. Eventually an object will be formed that is so dense with such powerful gravity that not even light can escape from it. This is a black hole. 

Matter can fall into a black hole, but it can never get out; black holes act as cosmic vacuum cleaners, feeding on the dust and gas between the stars. As the dust or gas is pulled into the black hole, it is accelerated to incredible velocities, and as it’s pulled in radiation is emitted – x-rays. Thus a black hole is illuminated by the material it devours. 

Now, the larger a black hole becomes, the stronger its gravitational field grows and eventually it is swallowing not only dust and gas, but entire stars and planets. As the ever-increasing torrent of matter is sucked in, more and more radiation is given off. There is no limit to the size of a black hole; a black hole as massive as a billion suns might occupy the center of galaxy, pulling in more stars all the time. Such a black hole would be little larger than our solar system and yet it would produce more energy than all the rest of its galaxy. 

Such a black hole sounds very much like our description of a quasar – comparatively small, but producing incredible amounts of energy. Could it be then that the quasars are giant black holes greedily devouring their parent galaxies? 

Maybe. It is a bizarre and frightening image. But there is yet another explanation. 

Some astronomers speculate that there are short-cuts through space, “wormholes” in the fabric of the universe. Two points might be separated by billions of light years in space, but they might be connected by a wormhole, a sort of space warp, only a few million miles long … or less. 

Earlier I noted that holes are always drawing matter in, and never letting any of it back out again. That may not be quite true. Some scientists have speculated that a black hole is one end of a wormhole – departure stations for a sort of universal subway system, if you like. Matter would fall into a black hole, travel through a wormhole in space, and emerge – somewhere else. 

Could that “somewhere else” be the quasars?  This is only speculation; there is no proof. Indeed, there may never be. It is hard to see how we could prove such a theory. 

But it is an awe-inspiring image. Imagine matter being sucked into a black hole here, in this part of the universe, then being carried, somehow, across a short-cut in space, to a point billions of light-years distant where it re-enters our universe in a torrent of light and energy. 

That emergence point, that other end of the worm hole, could be a quasar. If so, we have at least a partial answer to the question of quasars. And yet, as happens so often in astronomy, our answer only poses still more questions, and, in the end, reveals our universe to be a place of strangeness, complexity, and infinite wonder. 

By Dave Stover 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Man’s Greatest Power

Another rather long, but very interesting article about the mind.

Dynamic mind 

There is one power or energy possessed by man that is greater than any of the physical ones that the strongest in brute strength has ever exerted or that the natural forces of the universe have ever made manifest. That supreme of all forces is the creative power of man’s mind. 

If we will think but a moment, we will be impressed with the fact that the creative power of man’s mind is the only power in the universe within the control of man that is wholly and completely unlimited. It is not bound in its physical applications by time or space, by fortitude or resistance. It is not bound in its directional application by any of the physical limitations of matter or by any of the dimensional qualities of matter. It is not bound by the traditions of the past, the possibilities of the present, or the feasibilities of the future. It is unlimited in its scope, increasingly dynamic through its use, and inexhaustible in its supply. It is more tangible to those who use it than any of the other forces of the universe. On the other hand, it is invisible and intangible in its process. 

The creative power of man’s mind needs no mechanical channels through which to disperse itself and no artificially created accumulators to hold it. It is available night and day in all places and for all purposes. 

While the physical eyes of man, and the greatest of his creations, can see but darkly and dimly through the material things of life, the creative power of his mind can enable him to see through the thickest walls, through the most opaque objects, through the densest of matter, through that which even the rays of the sun and the rays of electricity cannot penetrate. Although man must be physically present in any place to exert the physical energy of his body, he can be distantly absent from an object which he wishes to affect by the power of his mind. 

Whereas man can physically deal only with those things which he has created or is now creating, or with those things which already exist, the power of his mind can deal with uncreated things in the physical world. It can constantly create them in mental form and work with them, even though invisible and unseen to the physical eye. Although man’s physical creations must ever take into consideration the physical laws, such as that of weight, the push and pull of gravitation, the three dimensions of matter, and the chemical nature of things, man’s creative power is unaffected by these laws and principles. 

Man’s creative mind can do the impossible things as viewed by the physical senses. This marvellous mental power can build a castle of stone and steel and suspend it in mid-air with stability and dependability. 

The creative power of man’s mind can span the oceans in the twinkling of an eye; it can annihilate space and neutralize time. It can project itself through the most defiant and resistant creations of the physical world. It can foresee and pre-create the things of tomorrow and the things of a century hence. It can wipe away instantly and without a moment’s hesitation the false creations of the past and the things which man laboured for years to construct. It can view a material thing and deny its existence and have it disappeared from its inner sight. It can create beauty where beauty does not exist. It can paint with colours where no colours are seen. 

Man’s mind can transmute metals and change one form into another. It can take the wealth of the world and bring it to the feet of the needy. It can cure disease. It can mend broken bones. It can restore lost limbs and raised the dead. It can solve every earthly problem, dissolve mountains into valleys, and raise mountains into high plateaus. It can neutralize trails and tribulations into joy and into happy song. It can turn hate into love and enmity into friendship, jealousy into adoration, and evil into good. 

Why, then, has man failed to become the conqueror of the world and the Divine Master of the whole of his life? If man possesses this sublime and supreme of all powers, why is he then found in grief and sorrow, want and need? The reason is not that with some the power of the mind is wanting, nor that with the altitude it is not ever available: it is that man fails to give recognition to this power and to its application. 

Even here man himself can use the very power to overcome that which has kept him from its use. If it is but knowledge of the power the way to apply it that is wanting in the life of man, then the power itself can be used to overcome these obstacles and to break away these barriers and to destroy these limitations. In whatever position man may be in life, the creative power of his mind is available to him if he but calls upon it to help him remove the barriers that stand between him and its useful application. 

Today’s need 

Therefore, lift yourself up to the mastership that can be yours through the use of this magnificent power. Let the greatest of all forces in the universe serve you and do your bidding. As you think and create in your mind, so shall you build and accomplish and bring into realization. If to you there comes the belief that your mental creations cannot be transferred into actual realities, you can still use the creative power of mind to overcome this false belief, and to prove to yourself that what you will to be will become manifested. 

What the world needs today in this new cycle of advancing civilization is a new race and a new age of peoples who will create with the greatest of all creative powers the things that are supreme and are the most essential in the life of man. What man needs today more than anything else, is self-mastership so that he may no longer be a dependent slave suffering under the limitations of his possessions and wanting the things that seem to be impossible of possession. Let the new urge in your lives be an urge of dominant control through unlimited creation and by the application of this unlimited power. 

Of all the creatures living and having their existence in the life of God, man alone possesses this greatest of creative powers. It cannot be that God has given to man this ability to mentally create, to mentally foresee and fore-build the things of tomorrow, without having intended that these things be realized in their fullest degree. If man in the past has pinned his faith to the material world and has believed that only those things which are created of matter and through the forces or energies of nature are real and actual, it is no credit to him that he has thus limited his world of existence to mere physical form. 

It is time now that he should lift himself beyond the physical world and find that in the spiritual, mental world, in the etheric existence around him, he can build and create, have and enjoy, the things that are beyond the physical – the things that are more essential, more real and dependable, than any that the atoms of nature or the electrons of spirit can create. It is time that man frees himself from the wholly fictitious, the truly unreasonable, the cosmically unsound, and the inadequate creations of the physical world. 

The most pleasant, the most satisfying, the most enjoyable, and the most needful things of our physical existence are merely pleasures of the flesh. They are all sycophantic in their appeal to the sensuous part of our natures. Man has ignored the fact that the only laughter that has ever given him real joy, the only happiness that has made him feel the sunshine of life, the only food that has ever satisfied a real hunger, the only wealth that has ever given him any degree of relief from want, has been that which appealed to the spirit and mind within him rather than to the flesh of his body. 

Why not, then, lift yourself above and beyond the continued satisfaction of physical wants, while you are suffering the limitations of physical things, and use the great power within the purpose of creating in reality and turning into actuality the things that will bring real life, real happiness, and real mastership. Let your life henceforth be one of living realism through the creative power within you that knows no limitations. 

Dr. H. Spencer Lewis 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Spiritual - quotes

As long as anyone believes that his ideal and purpose is outside him, that it is above the clouds, in the past or in the future, he will go outside himself and seek fulfillment where it cannot be found. He will look for solutions and answers at every point except where they can be found – in himself. - Erich Fromm

Even though flowers fall, don't regret it. Even though weeds grow, don't hate them. Don't arouse the passions of attraction and repulsion, hating and loving. If only we don't arouse the passions, the falling of flowers and the growing of weeds as they are, manifest absolute reality. - Hakuun Yasutani

When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great a secret here for anyone who can grasp it. - Rumi

Existence consist in the interplay of a plurality of elements whose true nature is indescribable and whose source is unknown. Combinations of these elements instantaneously flash into existence and instantaneously disappear, to be succeeded by new combinations of elements appearing in a strict causality. - Earle Ernst

You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you. - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Religion

The problem is that – religion – because it has been sheltered from criticism as it has been – allows people – perfectly sane, perfectly intelligent people – to believe en masse, what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation. - Sam Harris

Religion. It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion. - Unknown

If a religion wants you to give up your freedom, just give up that religion! Nothing is holier than your freedom! - Mehmet Murat ildan

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Teachers

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. When the student is truly ready, the teacher disappears.- Lao Tzu

Monday, November 13, 2017

Tao (道) - The Way of Nature

Tao or Dao: 道 is a Chinese word meaning 'way', 'path', 'route'... In Japanese pronounced "Do" - the symbol associated with traditional arts like judo, kendo, kyudo, chado (the way of tea)...  "Tao signifies the primordial essence or fundamental true nature of the Universe (and ourselves). Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order... It is thus "eternally nameless” and to be distinguished from the countless 'named' things (visible forms and structures) which are considered to be its manifestations."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Teachings of the Buddha

There is no fire like greed, no crime like hatred, no sorrow like separation, no sickness like hunger of the heart, and no joy like the joy of freedom. Health, contentment and trust are your greatest possessions, and freedom your greatest joy. Look within, be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of living in the way. - The Buddha

The teachings on love given by the Buddha are clear, scientific, and applicable… Love, compassion, joy, and equanimity are the very nature of an enlightened person. They are the four aspects of true love within ourselves and within everyone and everything. - Thich Nhat Hanh

When we see that everyone and everything belongs to the same stream of life, our suffering will vanish. Nonself is not a doctrine or a philosophy. It is an insight that can help us live life more deeply, suffer less, and enjoy life much more. We need to live the insight of nonself. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Some realize the Self within them through the practice of meditation, some by the path of wisdom, and others by selfless service. Others may not know these paths; but hearing and following the instructions of an illumined teacher, they too go beyond death. - Bhagavad-Gita

Equanimity is the best antidote for both pessimism and optimism. Equanimity is even-ness of mind and not sullen indifference. It is the result of a calm, concentrated mind. It is hard, indeed, to be undisturbed when touched by the vicissitudes of life, but the man who cultivates equanimity is not upset. - K. Sri Dhammananda

Friday, November 10, 2017

Karma

Karma is a word used to encompass everything that anyone has ever done or will do. Your own karma is your unfinished business with others as well as with yourself. It is the natural law that brings you into physical life and takes you out of it; life itself is actually a factory manufacturing karma.

Karma basically is a result of our actions in this and previous existences. Karma is then the key to reincarnation since it holds that our future lives are determined by our deeds and actions in any one incarnation.

Each and every act receives its retribution in this sense, no matter how many lifetimes it may take; for karma is also concerned with the search for perfection. Each lifetime produces a credit of good deeds offset by other that are no necessarily evil although, in some lives, evil seem to dominate.

This concept defeats the notion of sceptics that if we accept reincarnation, we simple sit around waiting for another life, hoping that everything will come up roses. On the contrary, the learning process involved in karma implies personal responsibility for each and every act. If we do not care properly about the quality of our lives, then karma reiterates its lesson until we begin to understand the need to change our way of life and conscientiously strives to do so.

Source Unknown 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

What Good Can We Do

Life is a complex experience of triumph and trials bringing opportunities for the growth of our personality. Life, which can be difficult and hard to bear, also provides moments of great joy and happiness, and at times we experience a peace of mind that makes our search for the greater light even more valued each day.

Let our problems become stepping stones to progress, and our difficulties will become the next step on the upward path to the attainment of greater peace and harmony. Each day should provide those experiences which, upon reflection, cause the inner self to become a little wiser and better able to adjust to life’s problems.

Our problems, difficulties, and burdens in life are more easily borne when we realize and accept that we are living souls having personalities which need to grow in light and understanding through the trials and experiences of daily life. We then see our burdens as opportunities for advancement, but we need not face these problems alone. The ever-present and vital divine consciousness is always urging us to adjust to the present times and circumstances, and it is when we resist these normal and natural changes taking place within that frustration and difficulties occur. When we seek within, allowing the inner self to guide us through the promptings of the still small voice within, we can see and accept things from a wiser point of view.

No matter how hard the task, or difficult the trial, know within yourself that there is an ever-present spiritual force leading you through and upwards to success and achievement.

One important cosmic law is “As you give, so shall you receive.” It is important that we learn to give of ourselves and we must follow the urging and prompting of the inner self in order to fulfil this law.

We so often forget to give to others that which needs to be given and which is due to them. This may be a word of thanks, of praise and appreciation, or telling someone close that you love them. Do not deny what is rightly due to others; give freely of yourself, but let the giving come sincerely from within. Do not withhold your words of praise or your words of rebuke, for these may be precisely what others need to help them on their way through life.

Let your motives be pure when giving of yourself, since this is how we are judged on the inner side of life. This law says it is AS we give that is of prime importance, for we will receive in accordance with the way we give, as much as with what we give.

However, giving is only a part of this law. We should also give much thought to the principle of receiving. Esoterically, it is important that we learn how to receive what is rightfully due to ourselves. We can so often retard our own happiness and progress because we have not learned how to receive graciously. We cannot always be giving unless we are also prepared to receive. The love, the praise, and the happiness others want to share with us is necessary to our growth.

There are many things both of a material nature and a spiritual nature that we have earned and deserve, but we must allow ourselves to become receptive to accepting them in our lives. Therefore, this law of giving and receiving requires much thought and meditation in order that we may give wisely and fully of our real selves and gracefully receive what is rightfully ours, thus bringing a greater abundance of success and prosperity to us as well as much love and happiness. We learn many important lessons from life once we have come to truly realize that “As we give, so shall we receive.”

By Robert E Daniels, F.R.C.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Peace

If there is peace in your mind you will find peace with everybody. If your mind is agitated you will find agitation everywhere. So first find peace within and you will see this inner peace reflected everywhere else. You are this peace. You are happiness, find out. Where else will you find peace if not within you? - Papaji

If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. - Thich Nhat Hanh

If you don't have peace, it isn't because someone took it from you; you gave it away. You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you. - John C. Maxwell

Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. - Thich Nhat Hanh

The soul, at peace, reflects the peace without, forgetting grief as sunset skies forget the morning's transient shower. - Emma Lazarus

Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible. We all wish for world peace, but world peace will never be achieved unless we first establish peace within our own minds. - Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Monday, November 6, 2017

Is Suffering Necessary?

Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you as a human being – no humility, no compassion. Suffering cracks open the shell of ego, and then comes a point when it has served its purpose. Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary. - Eckhart Tolle

A man went to a Zen master and asked him how he can be free of suffering. The Zen master answered: Accept pleasure and accept pain. To be free of pain the pain has to be accepted; and it is inevitable and natural, pain is pain, a simple painful fact.
          Suffering however, is and always is the refusal of accepting pain, the claim that life should not be painful, it is the rejection of a fact, denial of life and the nature of things. - Source Unknown

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Teachings of the Buddha

Develop the mind of equilibrium. You will always be getting praise and blame, but do not let either affect the poise of the mind: Follow the calmness, the absence of pride. - The Buddha

Thoughts are unsteady, they wander at their own will. The task is to quiet them, and by calming them to find happiness. An untroubled mind, a mind beyond judgments, watches and understands. Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded. But once mastered, no one can help you as much, not even your father or your mother. - The Buddha

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. - The Buddha

He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye. - The Buddha

Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. - The Buddha

No one saves us but ourselves. Now one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. - The Buddha

Those . . . who find delight in freedom from attachment in the renunciation of clinging, free from the inflow of thoughts, they are like shining lights, having reached final liberation in the world. - The Buddha

Thus, shall ye think of all this fleeting world: a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream; a flash of lightening in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream. - The Buddha

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Letting Go

Allegories, when well chosen, are like so many tracks of light in a discourse, that make everything about them clear and beautiful. - Joseph Addison

            A master took his two students into a forest. There he took a hollow coconut with a small hole and inserted sweet rice. Then he tied it to a tree and waited with his students nearby. Soon, a monkey came along, sniffed the rice, inserted his paw, and screeched in frustration when he was unable to withdraw his paw (now a fist clenching the rice) through the narrow opening.
            “Let go of the rice, silly! Run!” shouted the students, amazed by its obvious stupidity, but to no avail.
            “What was the trap that caught the monkey?” asked the master.
            “Rice,” said one student.
            “The coconut,” said another.
            “No,” replied the wise master, “The trap was greed. He only had to let go of his attachment to be free. Likewise, we are the ones who trap ourselves. We are always responsible. The real trap is always within, not out there. The causes of suffering are in us. External situations are only conditions.”
            With that, he hacked the coconut open, and the unrepentant monkey ran away with a fistful of rice.

              Don’t be like the monkey. What is in your monkey fist that you still hold on to?

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Friday, November 3, 2017

The Mind – a Human Radio

A long article, but I find it intriguing.

To thoroughly understand the power of thought without resorting exclusively to psychological principles, we should turn first to physiology and understand that all nerve energy is electrical. 

Mesmer’s Experiments 

It was Mesmer who discovered a method of proving the ancient mystical principle that all nerve energy is electrical. 

In Mesmer’s time, the science of electricity was not greatly advanced except in the laboratories of the mystic, the alchemist, and the free-lance investigator who was not bound by traditions or principle of science; therefore, many thing now common knowledge in electricity were not known. 

Mesmer believed that if the nerve impulse in the human body was electrical in nature, then more than just physiological manifestation would result from such an impulse, and there would be put into operation some secondary impulse or radiation of the original impulse which would move outside of the human body. In other words, he came to the conclusion that if the nerve energy in the human body was directed and concentrated to points in the fingers, then in addition to merely producing a physiological effect within the finger, a secondary effect in the nature of radiations of that energy would result, and this secondary effect would tend to radiate or move outward from the point or place of the original impulse. This led him to believe that there would be radiations from the ends of the fingers in the form of very subtle waves of power or energy which could be detected by sensitive persons or perhaps sensitive instruments. 

It was unfortunate, indeed, that Mesmer’s early experiments took on the form of such test of these radiations as were soothing and quieting to the nervous systems of other persons, and caused them to go to sleep or to go into a quiet, peaceful, relaxed condition. 

Healing Power 

We know today that such conditions as this not only quiet the nerves and cause sleepiness, but tend to cure nervous troubles and establish a condition of harmonium in the body where disease and pain are lessened. That is the reason why so-called magnetic healers have been able to produce such wonderful effects by the use of their hands, and this explains why many of the great Masters in the past, and especially the Essenes, were able to do such wonderful healing by the laying on of hands. 

However, the ignorant populace became fearful of this sleeping condition, and compared it to some strange coma or trance condition that might come to the patient. They wrongfully believed that if the “magnetic fluid” which emanated from the end of the fingers of Mesmer or other persons could produce a light sleep or a peaceful condition, that a little more of such fluid or a continuation of such treatments might cause them to go into a very deep or endless sleep. Such a conclusion was absolutely false and groundless, as we know today, but in Mesmer’s day fear and superstitious beliefs, based on ignorance of facts, were always easily developed in the minds of persons and adopted as truths without investigation. 

Therefore, Mesmer was accused of having devised a method of inducing trance or deep sleep. This condition was called Mesmerism, and later was likened unto hypnotism, whereas in fact there was no relationship to hypnotic sleep in anything that Mesmer really did. Because his experiments were dubbed and considered wrongly in this manner, the scientific and medical worlds ridiculed him, and his work had to end with disgrace to himself and to the ideas he tried to establish. 

The Body’s Electrical Energy 

Now the whole truth of the matter is that not only is the nerve energy in the human body electrical, but it is like unto electrical energy of the kind we know in connection with all other electrical manifestations, in other words, it is composed of a negative and positive polarity and is a result of the relationship of a negative and positive stress attempting to coordinate themselves in a proper flow through a given channel. Therefore, the manifestation of this nerve energy is an alternating manifestation, consisting of phases of rest and action, or inactivity and activity, causing an undulation impulse of such rapid beat or at such a rapid rate as to seem to be a continuous and uninterrupted flow. 

I have said that science acknowledges this electrical nature of the nerve energy, and yet I must say that such acknowledgement is of only recent date, and was thoroughly presented only a few years ago in some very complete text books on physiology, written by such eminent authorities as to remove all question of the correctness of the statements. Until this fact of electrical nature of nerve energy was established, no one knew scientifically what it was; and scientists and physicians especially did not know and did not seem to care, since they were concerned mostly with the flow of the nerve energy and its manifestations. 

The relationship of this nerve energy to thinking is interesting. We know that the brain is the control board of the human nervous system, and it is, therefore, the control board of the electrical system of the human body. All impulses that move along the nerves of the human body do so electrically, as though moving along electric wires. When we put our fingers upon some things, the contact with a different substance causes them to receive an electrical or reflex contact with matter having a different polarity or potentiality than that of the human nervous system. The result is that that contact or impulse is transmitted electrically along the nervous system to the human brain, and there it is transmuted or translated into an impression, and we have a consciousness of what we have touched. 

A certain number of vibrations traveling along the nervous system to the brain and registering themselves there create impressions or thought forms which are realized by the consciousness. 

Vibrations and Thought Forms 

Now we see by this that thoughts are thought forms, and thought forms are electrical impulses. A note on a violin string is composed of a certain number of vibrations and the difference between one note and another is a difference in vibrations. The difference between one colour and another is a difference in the rate of vibrations. And the difference between the sensation of a substance that is hard and a substance that is soft is a difference in the rate of vibrations started at our fingertips and transmuted to our brain control board. Therefore, at the human brain centres the nerves of our body are constantly impressing and registering impulses of various rates of vibrations, which in turn produce thought forms. 

As I dictate this article, my eyes wander about my room, and I am receiving numerous impressions by sight, all of them being transmitted by vibrations to the brain centres, where they are translated into thought forms of pictures. I hear my own voice speaking, and my stenographer hears my words. The words which I speak are transmitted, by vibrations of an electrical nature, through space to the nerves attached to the drums of her ears, and there through the impulses received on the eardrum send forth vibrations again along the nervous system to the centres of the brain, where such vibrations register themselves and create thought forms which become sounds. 

The same is true of tasting and smelling. During our waking consciousness as we move about, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling, we are probably having thousands of impressions transmitted to our brain every second, and these are rapidly translated into thought forms and realized as such by the translating process of our consciousness. 

I am passing over the other phenomena of the nervous system that deal with the transmission of impulses from the brain centres to various parts of the body, as for instance, when one is writing, the brain sends out vibrations along the nerves to the hand and the fingers, which cause pulsations of muscle energy, causing the muscles to retract and expand and thereby move the hand and fingers in the process of writing. The same is true in the process of walking, breathing, eating, and doing any of the other hundreds of things which result from the operation of nerve energy upon the muscles of the human body. 

Going back again, however, to the thought forms produced in the human mind by the radiations of the electrical impulses there, we should understand one additional manifestation of these thought forms or impulses which general science does not take into consideration, because it is outside of its fields of experimentation and research. The mystic contends and demonstrates, through various applications of natural law, that every time an electrical or vibratory impulse at the brain centres causes a thought form to be created, the impact upon the consciousness of that thought form and the directing to it of the higher vibrations of consciousness cause that thought form to radiate vibrations of itself outwardly into space. 

Thought Forms through Space 

These vibrations radiate like the vibrations from the antenna of a transmitting broadcasting station. They will go into space and impinge themselves upon the receptive nerve centers of other human beings who may or may not be conscious of the reception. But just as a receiving station or a receiving set must attune itself by proper balance and by the proper harmony of its capacity and induction, so that the slightest change of polarity coming upon it will be quite manifest, so must the human consciousness and nerve system become attuned to the incoming vibrations of thoughts. 

This brings me to the concluding and important point regarding thought form. During the process of translating the low vibrations of the nerve energy of the nervous system in the human body to thought forms which will be recognized by the human consciousness, the vibrations of these nerve impulses must be increases or stepped up to the higher rates so that they will be within the scale of vibrations of human consciousness. The human consciousness is a part of the soul energy, and the vibratory rate of this energy is so much higher than the vibrations of the nerve energy that the two sets of vibrations are in entirely different periods of the space of vibrations. The soul consciousness vibrates in the highest octaves of the scale, while the electrical nerve impulses of the nerve system are in one of the lower octaves of the scale. 

The human nervous system is designed to recognize and sense all the impulses of the lower octaves, but it is the nerves of the sympathetic nervous system that are sensitive to the vibrations of the higher octaves. That is why thought waves make very little impression upon our nervous system, if at all. But it is also the reason why we must develop the sympathetic or psychic nervous system to a keen perception of the vibrations which it has not learned to notice, or which it misunderstands if it receives them at all. 

Therefore, psychic development in one sense means the development of the sympathetic nervous system to such high attunement that it becomes more and more sensitive to all higher rates of vibrations from within and from without the human body. As soon as this development is underway, we become more and more sensitive to external impressions of all kinds and we become like a very fine radio receiving set that is susceptible to close and sharp tuning, covering a wide scale of frequency. If we stop to realize that the human mind is always, even from childhood, a potential radiating station of thoughts and thought form, we will be more careful of what we think and what forms of thought we allow to develop in our consciousness so that we may always, transmit, as we will always want to receive, only the best, the kindest, and most loving thoughts. 

- Dr. H. Spencer Lewis 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Spiritual

Our usual understanding of life is dualistic: you and I, this and that, good and bad. But actually, these discriminations are themselves the awareness of the Universal existence. "You" means to be aware of the Universe in the form of you, and "I" means to be aware of it in the form of I. You and I are just swinging doors... - Shunryu Suzuki

The beauty of today is in all the things: feeling the gentle breeze on your skin, the sunlight filtering through the clouds, the sound of the birds, the silence of no wind. You notice the in-and-out flow of your breath, the feeling of aliveness inside your body. And then there is the beautiful stillness behind it all, which is deep within you. It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up. - Eckhart Tolle

Around us, life bursts forth with miracles – a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colours, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Teachers

Don't just go and believe in the teacher because he says a fruit is sweet and delicious. Taste it for yourself and then all the doubting will be over. br>

The teacher, however great, can never give his knowledge to the pupils …although …he can kindle the light if the oil is in the lamp.” - Hazrat Inayat Khan br>

Everything that happens to you is your teacher. The secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it. - Polly B. Berends br>

A sagacious student does not depend on his teacher’s words, but uses his own experience to find the truth. - Bodhidharma

Monday, October 30, 2017

Taoism

          At the Great Beginning there was “Non-Being.” This Non-Being was described as “emptiness.” And that “the Tao abides in ‘emptiness.’” By analogy, “to a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” An amplification was given in the following passage: “Maintain the unity of your will. Do not listen with the mind but with the spirit (Ch’i). The function of the ear ends with hearing; that of the mind with symbols of ideas. But the spirit is an emptiness ready to receive all things.”
       A Ch’an (Zen) term, descriptive of movement and space, expresses this state of receptivity as K’ai wu (open awareness), to apprehend in the deepest and widest sense. By “stilling the heart” or shedding the thoughts and emotions of personal life and become a tranquil sphere, an individual could reflect in his hear-mind or as a pool or a mirror, as the Taoist describe it, the power (ch’i) of the Tao, the harmony of Heaven and Earth. Hence the phrase “mirror-like wisdom.”
       The stillness and tranquillity associated with emptiness of space and the Tao is also silent, adding to the mystery of the Tao and stressing the reserve and meditative habits necessary for one to be receptive and able to express the Tao. Silence and emptiness of space possess vast powers of suggestion, stimulating the imagination and sharpening the perception. Only through exercise of these highest faculties can the Tao be apprehended and expressed.
        In stilling the heart an individual can become one with the elements of nature, the creative force of the Tao. This becoming ‘One’ is the true meaning of wholeness.

         - George R. Parulski