Thursday, December 5, 2013

Always Leave an Opening

Some time ago I read an interview of Richard Bartlett  (founder of Matrix Energetics) and his partner Melissa Joy in the June 2012 issue of Vision Magazine.  I like Bartlett because he speaks his mind in a forthright manner with a minimum of obvious calculation.  Also, I tend to agree with him a lot.

Here’s the relevant part of the interview:

Vision Magazine:  Where do you think we are at in terms of our culture shifting?

Richard Bartlett:  I think the culture is getting stupider, for sure...  I’m not sure America has talent.  They certainly don’t have brains.

Melissa Joy:  I think there is an overall cultural waking-up that is taking place that is very, very exciting. 

Richard Bartlett:  I think that’s 1 percent of 1 percent of 1 percent of the population.  However, that 1 percent of 1 percent of 1 percent could be enough to change everything.

Bartlett’s analysis is deadly accurate, but you can’t do much with it.  Then, in the very last sentence, he turns it around 180 degrees by saying, “However, that 1 percent of 1 percent of 1 percent could be enough to change everything.”  By saying this (and everything we say, like it or not, is an affirmation), he created an opening for the Universe to move in and do its magic.  The Creative Flow is no longer being blocked by our limited thinking when we add that all-important “however, something different could be.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Science of Synchronicity

Science is simply a technique of making accurate observations and drawing logical conclusions from those observations.  The field of investigation need not be the physical universe, even though most professional scientists specialize in some aspect of 3-D reality.  Even phenomena that are non-repeatable, such as synchronicities, lend themselves to scientific investigation.

We often think of scientists as working in laboratories, performing experiments.  If a scientist working in one laboratory gets the same results as a scientist working in another laboratory, this is a good indication that the results are accurate.  But what happens if no laboratory is available?

Astronomy is a good example of what scientists can do without a laboratory.  Confronted with a bewildering array of stars and galaxies, astronomers have managed to make a remarkable amount of sense out of it all.  By observing the spectra of millions of stars, astronomers have learned to sort the stars into categories, and have figured out how stars evolve.  They have done the same thing with galaxies, as well.  There is still a lot to learn, but astronomers have made amazing progress in the past 200 years figuring out the physical universe and our place in it.

Consider, now, synchronicities.  The term "synchronicity" was coined by Carl Gustav Jung, one of Sigmund Freud's disciples.  It means "meaningful coincidence."  We get to decide what's meaningful to us, and in so doing we have already left the world of materialistic science, which assumes that there's a universe "out there" which exists independently of the observer.  To materialists, whatever "meaning" we attach to the phenomenon is irrelevant. 

With synchronicity, on the other hand, we are talking about a realm of reality, which, even though it seems to exist "out there," is not separate from the observer.  There's a deeper layer of reality involved, if you will, and we can use the scientific method of "making accurate observations and drawing the logical conclusion from these observations" to achieve an understanding of this reality.  What at first might seem incomprehensible becomes, upon investigation, a realm that follows its own logic and its own laws.

Let's consider a couple of real-life examples of synchronicities:

Laura and I had a sweet synchronicity on Tuesday, Nov. 26.  On Monday a friend of ours, Lisa, called and said she needed two quarts of raw mesquite honey, she needed them soon, and she couldn't make it to Farmers Market.  Hmmm, I pondered, we no longer do home deliveries.  The best we could do would be to leave her honey at the Co-op information desk for her to pick up.  Lisa also wanted the honey at the Farmers Market price ($14.00) rather than the Co-op price ($18.99).  I don't like to cut the Co-op out of the equation like that, since it's their markup which allows the Co-op to exist in the first place.  Nevertheless, as a favor to Lisa, I agreed to deliver her honey to the Co-op at some unspecified time later in the week.

I was thinking about having Laura deliver the honey on Wednesday.  But on Tuesday afternoon, after we had worked out at the gym and finished our shopping, I decided we had time to take Lisa's honey to the Co-op before we went to meditation group.  So that's what we did.  It was a spur of the moment decision.  We drove across town, parked the car, carried the honey across the parking lot, and when my hand was literally on the door of the Co-op, I looked over to the left, and there, 10 feet away and walking towards us, was Lisa!  This is what I would call a classic synchronicity.

Even if we had set a time for her to pick up her honey, it would have been virtually impossible for us to achieve perfect timing like that.

Laura and Lisa were both blown away, not only by the coincidence itself,  but by the impeccably dramatic timing of it.  I made a crack about "cutting out the middle man" and went inside.  Frankly, I wasn't at all surprised -- my life has been trending that way lately.  Divine choreography has once again become obvious in my life.  Back in the 70s I figured out that the frequency of synchronicities indicated if I was in the divine flow or not.

Now for the next example:

Laura had a synchronicity happen this past Saturday at Farmers Market.  The Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, directly across from our honey stand, has a set of double glass doors in front.  As Laura was exiting the museum through one door after a bathroom break, she "saw a fat old scruffy green-jacketed man going in -- our hands on the opposite doors at exactly the same moment."  An hour or so later, Laura took another break.  She continues, "The next time I came out of the museum I saw exactly the same man at exactly the same spot."

The materialistic worldview, which holds that existence is happening strictly by chance, would say that this was a "mere coincidence" -- there are x number of people entering and leaving the museum on a Saturday morning, so there is a certain statistical probability that the same two people will encounter each other more than once on the same morning.

The synchronistic point of view holds that there is nothing "mere" about "coincidence."  "Coincidence" simply means "occurring together";  in other words, "co-incidence."  Was there any particular meaning to the co-incidence at the museum?  Probably.  The Universe was telling Laura, in effect:  "So you're tracking synchronicities now, are you?  All right, what do you make of this one?"

I have noticed over the years that the Universe occasionally send me a "tweak"  -- as in, "Are you paying attention?"  Not only does the Universe have a sense of humor, it has every possible human characteristic -- and infinitely more, besides.

Despite what the meaning of co-incidences may or may not seem to be, at least the synchronistic point of view can admit the possibility that at least some co-incidences are caused by, for example,  overlapping morphic fields rather than mere probability.

These two examples of synchronicity are very different, and indicate that a wide range of phenomena can fall under the same basic definition.  Like astronomers studying stars, synchronicity scientists need a massive amount of data before they can draw any meaningful conclusions.

Soon I will be reviewing Jan Cederquist's Meaningful Coincidence -- Remarkable true stories of synchronicity and the search for answers.  This will quickly take our discussion to the next level.

I always welcome feedback.  My email address is soarbird (at) wildblue (dot) net.       

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Tip of the Iceberg

Until fairly recently, science has always had a materialistic orientation.  Materialism considers the observable, 3-dimensional, space-time universe to be all there is to reality, and it's all happening by chance.  However, quantum physics indicates that the materialistic paradigm is not all-encompassing.  The universe as observed by our senses and our instruments is evidently the tip of the iceberg.  But despite the downright weirdness of quantum physics (and life in general), many scientists remain materialists at heart. 

For example, the December 2013 issue of Scientific American has a full-page ad from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which lists a number of famous scientists (Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan, etc.) who have "rejected the supernatural."  This is easy to do if you're blind to the rest of the iceberg.

I have always been intrigued by the "DNA question."  DNA is a remarkable molecule -- if uncoiled, it would be 3 feet long -- but despite its apparent complexity, the individual components are very simple -- 4 amino acids arranged in different combinations of base pairs (the human genome contains 3 billion base pairs). 

Consider a DNA molecule on one hand and a living organism on the other.  I have always doubted that a DNA molecule could possibly carry enough information to code for a living organism.  The organism is simply too complex.

Also, what mechanism is there to get from a bunch of amino acid base pairs to a living organism?  I have always had my doubts that a strictly physical mechanism could lead to the amazing complexity of a living organism -- not only the physical body, but the behavior which is inherent to each species.

The biologist Rupert Sheldrake has coined the term morphogenetic field to propose a non-physical component to biological activity.  Needless to say, he is considered fringe by materialistic biologists.

Observing synchronistic phenomena is a good way to infer the existence of a deeper layer of reality.  Roy Eugene Davis, a spiritual teacher whose straightforward writing style I have always appreciated, lists seven "sequential processes of cosmic manifestation,"  starting with "transcendent, absolute reality," and ending with the physical universe.  To me this seems much more accurate than assuming that the 3-d universe is all there is.

Next post:  The Science of Synchronicity.     


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Time is Now

Saint Teresa of Avila once said (and I'm paraphrasing), that her ecstasies, wonderful as they were, moved her not one inch forward on the spiritual path.  It was from her dark nights of the soul that she learned and grew. 

I had my share of dark nights when I was much younger; I would call them "bleak depressions."  More recently, my spiritual growth has been speeded along by unintentionally self-induced, traumatic experiences played out in the 3-D world that leave me utterly demoralized.  Fortunately,  anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger, as they say.

That's why I haven't posted anything for over two years.  In March 2011, I had my heart ripped open by a bulldozer.  It was the most intense emotional trauma I have ever experienced.    The blog became irrelevant to me.

After a year or so I tried posting on the blog, but the posts always left me unsatisfied, so I deleted them.  The time wasn't ripe.  Evidently I had to live through 2013 first, which started for me on Dec. 29, 2012, when the Universe blindsided me with an utterly unprecedented situation which I managed to shortcircuit almost immediately.  This set the tone for the next  nine months.

Barbara Mary Muhl, Laura's spiritual teacher, used to speak about "God's flashlight."  Any bit of spiritual awakening is followed by God shining his flashlight into all the hidden nooks and crannies of one's psyche, and more often than not what is revealed can be very disconcerting.

For me, God's flashlight has mercilessly revealed all kinds of inner failings:  negativity, willfulness, destructive habits, the list is long.  But all this stuff has to be expunged before one is purified enough to actually surrender to Spirit and live a consecrated life.  (As opposed to merely thinking about surrendering to Spirit and living a consecrated life.)

I don't know if meditation is the one and only way out of the human dilemma, but at this stage of my life it sure seems like it. 

Meditation is sometimes called a spiritual practice, but it is actually a psychological practice.  It's a deliberate act of being aware, of watching one's breathing (or watching nothing at all), and letting the thoughts and emotions pass on through without holding on to them or allowing them to take you over.  It's a deliberate calming of the mind so that the deeper layers (which are always there), are no longer overwhelmed by the surface thoughts and emotions.  I like the analogy of the bird (the spirit) singing in a tree next to a freeway full of trucks roaring past (the world).  What do you hear?  The trucks, of course.  In order to hear the bird, you need to find a quieter place. 

What do these deeper layers of the psyche consist of?  Nothing, really.  It's simply the Void from which all things become manifest.  Some people call it God, or Spirit, or simply, Presence.  I like Presence because it is definitely a tangible presence to me.  I have found, to my delight, that whenever I experience the Presence, it no longer matters if I am thinking or not.  (I used to think that meditation was about stopping my thinking.)  The thinking circuits in my brain can still be firing away, nattering along, and it doesn't  matter.  In fact, the quality of my thinking vastly improves whenever the Presence is there.  Sometimes, valuable insights will emerge.  Usually, my thinking (and this is true for most people, I'm sure) is mostly a waste of time -- worry, speculation, fantasizing, thinking about the past or future, on and on.  I find meditation to be an excellent way to cut the crap and get down to Reality.

Of course, the best meditations are when the thinking and emotionalizing subside entirely.  I love the elegance of this:  there's nothing to do, nothing to understand, no doctrine to follow.  Just dwell in the silence whenever possible, and one will be changed radically for the better.  The more I marinate myself in Spirit, the better my life becomes.

My Inner Scientist still tries to figure all this out.  It seems to be a harmless hobby, and keeps my mind exercised.  It's amazing to me that I've been living on a monastery for the past 40 years.  (In the 70s, Judy was the Abbot and I was the Costello.)  I have definitely showed a remarkable talent for worldliness and distraction, that's for sure. 

It's easy to play the mental game of "what if" and "if only," but looking back at the reality of my life, it's obvious that I could not have performed a single action one second earlier than I actually did.  Things were as they were.  But this is not to say that things can't be different in the future; in fact, they already are different.  My life is gradually shifting onto a new and higher trajectory, and the monastery is poised to do... something.

In a future post I want to talk about morphic fields, intentional manifestation, synchronicities, and other phenomena.  Life gets more fascinating the older I get.


I always welcome your feedback.  Please feel free to email me at soarbird (at) wildblue (dot) net.


I just posted "In Search of the Extra Buzz" on the overflow blog.  Even though I wrote it several years ago, I never got around to posting it until now.  It's the next step beyond the "My Spin on Spirituality" post located in the New Earth Times archives.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sharing Chocolate

Here’s a fun technique that offers the advantages of both kissing and chocolate. All you need are two people and a candy bar.

Merely break the candy bar into a convenient length, insert one end into each partner's mouth, and start sucking and tonguing the candy bar and each other. Before long you will create a delightful melange of tongues, lips, chocolate, and spit. It’s a very intimate experience that’s also wonderfully ridiculous. (It’s good to laugh while loving each other.)

And, it tastes great!

Any position works well – standing up, sitting in a car, or lying in bed. We find it convenient to lie in bed with a small waterproof pad under our heads to catch any dribbles.

Sharing chocolate provides opportunities for developing relationship skills.  What if one partner prefers dark chocolate while the other prefers milk chocolate?  Compromise is the very essence of a successful relationship.

A Hershey bar is perfect for chocolate sharing, since it dissolves completely. Other candy bars contain nougat, caramel, or nuts. With a Snickers bar, for example, all the ingredients ultimately dissolve except for the nuts. The nuts can be gently chewed (watching out for your partner’s tongue!) and passed back and forth until they are finally swallowed, along with a healthy dollop of your partner’s spit.

After experimenting with a number of different types of candy bars, we have concluded that Hershey bars work best. Candy bars with multiple ingredients are designed to be chewed and swallowed the regular way, not dissolved one layer at a time. It’s a matter of esthetics, actually. If you enjoy ending up with a mouthful of peanuts, then have at it!

We hurled ourselves into our candy bar regimen with great enthusiasm at first, but soon decided it was more sugar than we preferred to eat. So now we are limiting our chocolate sharing to maybe a couple of times a week. Since we both enjoy kissing and chocolate, we find sharing chocolate to be an excellent way to satisfy our oral needs.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Love Affair

I must confess to being totally sidetracked lately.  This is why I haven't posted anything for the past month.  Why be satisfied with mere words when so much magic awaits?  As my 1989 song said, "Just open up to who I am/And love is always close at hand."  This is a noble sentiment worth devoting one's life to. 

Since I'm a writer, it seems logical that I'll start writing again eventually.  Maybe tomorrow, for all I know.  Or maybe next year.  In the meantime, may your lives be a continual blessing, dear readers.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This Joke Says It All

A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across, takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea Partier, and says, "Look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thought for Today

"That's the great thing about science:  it's true whether you believe it or not."
-- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thought for Today

"It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."
                                                                 -- Arthur C. Clarke

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Photo Blog

I wanted to draw attention to the new photo blog.  The link is on the right side of the page.  Posting photos has always been one of my favorite parts of blogging, and I plan to post pictures more frequently now that they have their own blog.

Also, after a gap of more than two months, I've made a new post on the Dry Country News blog.  I'll take some pictures of my new projects and post them there before long.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tucson Memorial

Laura and I were in the University of Arizona area on Tuesday, Jan. 11, so we decided to check out the memorial at the University Medical Center, about half a mile from the main campus.

There was a continuous stream of people to the area.

Three days after the shooting, the memorial was already quite sizable.  People brought the usual icons to place on the ground:  candles, flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, cards, pictures, posters.  Notice the satellite truck in the background.  The massacre created a full-fledged media frenzy, and there must have been a couple dozen satellite trucks parked in front of the hospital.

Close-up of the memorial.  Being there was a surprisingly emotional experience for me.  Was it just me?  Perhaps.  Was it the vibe caused by the focused energy of thousands of people?  Quite possibly.  In either case, there was no way for me to tell.  I think our human boundaries are more arbitrary, and more permeable, than we commonly suppose.

Another view.  After three days, there were already upwards of 1000 candles there.  According to the Tucson newspaper, the shrine has grown "exponentially" since I was there.  There is also a memorial in front of Congresswoman Giffords' office, and one at the scene of the shooting.

Stop it!  A message for the powers-that-be.

The memorial from the other side.  The crowd had grown a bit from the time we first arrived.  I would assume that this memorial, and the one in front of Giffords' office, will eventually be dismantled, but the one at the shopping center will be there indefinitely, because that's where the killings took place.

There were posters for all of the victims.  The media went to great lengths to acknowledge the low-profile victims.

Good Bless Tucson.  A worthy sentiment for any town.

There were several media encampments, with all their equipment and sun diffusers.  Notice the newsman wearing a suit coat and jeans, because the camera would only be aimed at the top of him.

It was hard photographing the satellite trucks, because they were so spread out.  Here are a few of them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tucson Massacre Gawking

Laura and I took a little midwinter getaway to our closest subtropical metropolis, Tucson.  We arrived on Sunday, the day after the shooting.  By some coincidence, our motel was located on the same road as the massacre, and it turned out that we would be driving right past the scene of the crime on our way to Biosphere 2 on Monday.  So, being tourists, we decided to stop at the shopping center and gawk.

TV news in Tucson gave frequent updates from the shopping center.  Here, a newsman awaits his cue.  Notice the bright TV lighting on his face.  The infamous Safeway is in the background.

A team of FBI and other law enforcement perform an evidence sweep.  Nearly 48 hours after the shooting, I'm not sure what they expected to find.  Probably these late sweeps were a combination of covering their ass, and giving the law enforcement personnel something to do.  Surely the obvious evidence (shell casings) was collected immediately after the shooting.

I was expecting to find an impromptu shrine to the victims, but the shrine turned out to be located at the University Medical Center, located several miles away.  More details on this in my next post. 

UPDATE:  After we got home, we discovered that the night before the shootings, Loughner had rented a room in the same motel we stayed at.  This helps explain the weird behavior of the motel clerk when she checked us in.