coax the real

Can the real be coaxed into showing itself?

Can a person dream the human dream and still coax the real into showing itself? Is it that the real is not hiding in the way a flower is not hiding from our sight. Can a flower sense the real? Probably yes because the flower does not think.

Does our constant use of language keep us from sensing reality at full strength?

notice and relax

Is persistence the best resource? Even better than talent?
How would one live if approval is no longer needed?
How does one fix things so hurrying or rushing is not a problem?
By not putting things off?
Is life like sports in that “Every play makes someone happy.”
Why use positive language?
How do I set a stress alarm so I’ll notice and relax?
Does doing something constructive help dissolve worry and guilt
and give meaning in return?
Why blame or complain? Does it give an excuse for whatever?
How does giving an excuse make one appear?

do battle

When the obstacles to adventure are removed or dealt with, do I still have to face and do battle with myself: the me, the one riding inside the animal?

I’m probably a network of connections in the brain which is in charge of keeping language flowing, perhaps in the form of a sophisticated dream in charge of dealing with society.

A history: an identity an animal created naturally became a chooser and has come to suspect there’s probably more to life it cannot perceive and perhaps it’s the one blocking the view.

To travel on to self discovery, do I have to find a way to overcome my personal preference which is my understandable desire to remain the captain of my ship and to understand what it would be like to relax every day and judge my thinking and learn from choices?

Is the hinge being able to think about one’s thinking?

When it boils down to my adventuring, outside opposition can be dealt with, but the real barrier is inside my body. The sages tell us over and over down through the ages that

we are in a dream state of constant occupation and our addiction to language allows it happen.

Do I not know how to deal with myself, the chooser? Do I finally have to voluntarily give up language to feel my oneness with the universe? Must I first give up the fear of loosing my captainship? Can such a useful thing be laid down and be picked up again?

And the battle goes on.

religion and science

Magical thinking is a term best used to describe people who try and sometimes succeed in passing laws which make all non-magical thinkers live according the rules of their magical beliefs or become lawbreakers.

Laws were made in the past when the magical thinkers had the power to do so and would put a person in the stocks (“an historical instrument of punishment consisting of an adjustable wooden structure with holes for securing a person’s feet and hands, in which criminals were locked and exposed to public ridicule or assault”) for cussing or for working on a Sunday, etc. These laws have disappeared over time or are not being enforced.

But this failure in the past doesn’t deter them from trying to pass laws today based on magical thinking. A big attempt was working for years in an attempt to legally force teachers to teach “evolution is not a fact”. The attempt did not succeed because evolution was and is the only factual and rational explanation for the development of life on our earth.

Magical thinking is a sharp-but-fair term to use when it comes to describing the religion of those who threaten others with eternal punishment in hell (a magical place) which is a much sharper claim than the term magical thinking suggests. 

Agnostics and atheists generally prefer to leave others alone about their religious leanings or doctrines. This is why these thoughts are expressed in a blog and are not sent out as an email.

When a person’s ideas about religion and science are considered as art, it turns out one is composed of thousands of forms frozen in place and cannot be changed in any way. The other has one form and is constantly changing and the form includes everything, and it’s interesting because its history and future are full of actual discoveries.

The religious forms are single pictures; science is a movie.

keepin’ it REAL

This is a summary of an article in Scientific American magazine
written by Amy Nordrum, dated Sep. 10, 2014.

Over the past few years scientists have helped replace the old curriculum of the D.A.R.E. anti-drug-abuse program with a course based on a few concepts which should make the training more effective for today’s students.

The course is called keepin’ it REAL and differs dramatically from the D.A.R.E. program—replacing boring facts and lectures with interactive lessons which present stories meant to help kids make better decisions.

“It’s not an anti-drug program,” says Michelle Miller-Day, co-developer of the new curriculum and a communications researcher at Chapman University.

keepin’ it REAL is about honesty and safety and responsibility. The program has reduced substance abuse and maintained anti-drug attitudes over time among students in early trials—something which largely eluded the former program.

Summary 2: Using innovative educational techniques to educate a student’s judgment works.

is death the thing

Is death the thing? Has no one ever reported back from death: real death, utter death, complete death? Are the stories we hear of an actual afterlife from folks who haven’t died throughly?

They came back from a near death experience perhaps remembering a dream while on an operating table or the visions of a drowning victim who is later revived, etc. and not from a complete-death. There are scientific explanations of how and why these visions and dreams could occur during a near-death experience.

In a complete-death occurrence, the identity is no longer supported by the animal, the human body. So the identity disappears or evaporates because the neurotransmitters and electronic signals of the brain are no longer working. Language has gone kaput. Would there be no visions after one dies completely? 

Does nothing exist or happen which is not in the theater of the natural…even though sometimes a thing may appear to be a miracle, it is natural and has a rational explanation which may be evident or hidden and not come to light until much later.

Here are two examples: dinosaur bones seemed to be miracles in the nineteenth century, until we found out the earth was over a billion years old, and today we know it’s over four billion; and we thought the sea shells near the mountain tops proved Noah’s flood really happened, until we found out the mountains were pushed up from the sea and are huge chunks of the earth’s crust, and so forth and so on.

If there is such a thing as real magic, it may reside in the quantum part of our universe which is everywhere, but the magic there may be unknowable yet still be natural.

Our human body is the only thing standing between us and complete death. Physically and rationally, would the identity’s evaporation or its winking out of existence be the natural result of a complete death, regardless of our dreams and desires to live forever?

Unless real magic comes to the rescue and the faithful rewarded.

Great story…but what are the odds?

Dreams of an afterlife and our desire for an eternal existence require faith because they are dependent on actual magic which has almost no possibility of existing. But the dreams give hope to the gullible (us humans) and we all suffer and gain to some extent from this human foible. Would the world be a better and a totally different place had the idea of an afterlife never occurred? It’s hard to imagine the idea not happening because we humans are such wishful folks.

Did our desire to live on after death create religious organizations? Who wouldn’t go after this grand opportunity for control and money: You can have guaranteed joy forever for a bit of your faithfulness and money, on the other hand after you die, you’ll receive eternal punishment for not going along with us.

Are “eternal souls” creations of the human brain like the all-knowing and all-powerful gods are?

self help

I recently read an article in Scientific American magazine by Cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems and the following is a summary of the article.

They (the scientists) show participants several instances of judgmental thinking and then they tell them Try to notice similar thoughts when they occur. Then they tell them If you can notice when you have negative or positive thoughts about your own thoughts, it will aid you in recovering from whatever is causing you to be depressed, guilty, etc.

To help ourselves we need to create the habit or skill that prompts us to notice our thoughts (rather than be continuously enveloped in them) and then to analyze or judge them as positive or negative.

Since we don’t have the scientists to guide us, how do we get this technique working for us? I can suggest relaxing the mind and body and while relaxed make a formal request to our brain to do us a big favor. Ask, Once or twice a day please assist me to notice my thinking so I can make a judgment about it. Keep on asking daily until the brain begins to help us to notice the contents of our thinking.

Once we begin to find out about our thinking, these scientists assure us that we will be helped by the use of this new skill. What is this new skill? The ability to become aware of how we are coming across to ourselves.

The 3rd summary: We can assist ourselves by being able to pass judgment on our own judgmental thinking.