Archive for September, 2010

Spirits in the mind or for real?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Do you believe in spirits of the non-corporeal kind? By spirits we mean inexplicable phenomena or mental, maybe emotional happenings or powers materializing. It is often associated with the soul, consciousness or things your senses register.

Spirits may be thought of as supernatural ghosts or the souls of dead people, it may have to do with energy, your mind or with the gods. We say it is all in your mind, but sometimes physical phenomena are seen. In many cultures shamans or special people are said to have powers to heal, to repair, to work wonders.

So is there substance in the spirits some people see or hear? Are they real phenomena or are they just occurring in people’s minds?

Natural phenomena may explain many effects – lightning, storms, frost, heat, growth, water flow – resulting in phenomena that to an  untrained mind are seen as beyond normality or even caused by supernatural powers.

The powers of the mind and consciousness – mind to mind contact, psychic powers, extrasensory powers, telepathy – are other happenings that has had the attention of the public. Most have been characterized as self-delusions or tricks. Parapsychology and similar research is often called fringe science – maybe there is something in it – but is largely refuted.

Prophets have been part of culture of man claiming to know what will happen, authors have been using spiritual themes to make a good story, magicians show intricate tricks involving mental powers and through mythology, life and death experiences, reincarnation there has been untold episodes unfolding, psychics causing sensation by what they do.

People with extraordinary contact with nature, more knowledge than others of natural systems often claim psychic powers and abilities and psychologists have sometimes claimed supernatural knowledge.

For the time being we must say that we don’t know what there is. Can there be effects out there that we don’t understand or don’t know? Our knowledge of the human mind including consciousness is not impressive so we must keep searching till we know. Natural phenomena are not fully understood or mapped.

The fact that this is a constantly appearing theme among humans shows that there is activity we need to know more about. Lack of knowledge or understanding must not stop us from trying to find out – it might even be helpful to know, improve our lives, show us connections to other areas. So let us have an open mind and not be too harsh with the people trying to find out. Let us not judge – but try to see and understand.

New knowledge has been found always and will continue to be found.

Buying weapons – preparing for war – killing – is that all there is for mankind?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Iraq is going out, Afghanistan must end. But the United States are selling weapons like never before.  Now the focus is on Iran – what shall we do with ever unruly Iran – and the Arabic countries are buying and stacking up weapons, Israel likewise but their weapons being even more sophisticated – sophisticated weapons are coming into everybody’s hands. And where does Turkey stand? And Nato? And who is supplying Iran?

So what is the purpose of it all? What is it that we do to ourselves and others?

The powers of destruction are greater than ever before, and summing up the killings in conflicts of the world is sad reading and getting sadder all the time – about 9 million killed in WWI, 60 million killed in WWII, then lots of killing in preemptive  and local wars, genocides numbering more than 60 in the decenniums after WWII and with with more than 15 conflicts killing over a million.

Weapons are getting more deadly efficient, sophisticated and super-expensive all the time, a big plane or a missile system costing billions of dollars. The economies of many countries need these conflicts to keep up their BNP.

Balanced security policy is said to be necessary, and leads to this kind of arms race. There will be a release of all this weaponry by putting it into action one day – what else shall it be used for – we can only see the contours now, but the pieces are coming into place. Will it be a number of small conflicts killing off about 1-5 million people each time or will it be bigger this time?

So why must we follow this path into death – and what good does this do? What are the problems we solve by acting like this? Why is thinking about peace considered naive? Applying logical thinking we easily find that the warmongering is surely creating trolls in our heads and we are behaving like zombies. The resources spent are truly wasted, the lives lost likewise. Or is this all really about the state of the superpower the US: power,  economy, influence?

So play must be changed – soon – before we find ourselves engaged in a WWIII. The new players like China, India, Brazil etc. must be called upon to balance the game. Civilization show yourself.

Know yourself (IV)

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Humans have two main responses: intellectual and instinctive.

Your intellectual side is always sorting things in groups of good and bad. The reason for this is survival, your mind must find all bad things that can threaten your survival. It creates habits to protect you, makes you slow to search out the new ideas and happenings around you. Your mind wants you to relax, be lazy and dream and make you survive. Most new thoughts will generate fear in your mind to keep you from destroying yourself. It is assisted by further forces inside your mind – your mental center or blind spot – in the form of programmed or default reactions like comfort, anger, depression, drugs, flight… to make you a creature of habits of survival.

Instinctive response is fast, often angry or scared, and controlled by your habits and is often a default response – in the form of a habit.

You have to work hard to become aware of this. Through self-observation you can see what is happening, but do not let your body become tense by judging what your mind is doing to you. Just observe unecessary thinking and build strength and understanding.

Humans learn through observation, repetition, trial and error, play and all are aimed at survival. So the challenge is to respond logically and not by showing up some habit or default response. Emotion is energy and it can be channelled towards love or anger. When you observe yourself in a relaxed way you may be able to wait and see, understand, choose an action according to the aims you have set for yourself.

Self observation is the key, and you must start there.

The observer – you – makes his world

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

It is becoming apparent that we have no grand design for the universe – at least not yet. The old models are failing us and new ones are needed. New theories are being put forward in the name of biocentrism. Biocentrism is a combination of observance, physics and biology helping to explain the world. We wonder at the fine balances of the universe, the mammal software we are all carrying that helps create what we see, the role of the observer, time and space, life and death. Life is possibly the creator of the universe.

The big science has been physics, and our models for understanding the world has been built around modern physics: energy, light, matter, quantum mechanics, time and space. But life’s origin and consciousness can not be explained by physics. The fundamentals are not in place. Understanding does not come from cells and their processes or the genome either. The ways we understand this have all been created by us, but perhaps there is nothing without the observer.

We need to unite physics and living and introduce biology and make our perception – seeing, thinking, hearing – part of it. Reality is thus – probably – what we perceive, and it involves our consciousness too. Where there is no observer – no one to perceive – there is nothing, just a probability of reality. Life and observation thus creates the universe. Space and time is the method we use to perceive changes in the universe. So if we take consciousness away there is nothing. Life requires emotional energy to create consciousness and perception. So where does the energy of life come from and where does it go when we age and die? Energy does not disappear, it only changes form.

These new ideas have been proposed, research is in the works, new knowledge must be found. These thoughts are fresh and immature, but has been growing for some time. Discarding some of the old thinking is never easy, but humans will keep doing it.

See Lanza/Berman: Biocentrism

Africa rising (II)

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The African continent has about 30% of the the world’s resources and is of great interest to the big multinationals and most states.

There is a heavy military presence in and around Africa, mainly from the US and France, but military advisers from China are seen. China is also building a blue military force – meaning ships. And Russia?

This is an economic battle: who will get hold of the resources? Will the Africans themselves – the people – be satisfied with the returns? The rewards should be ample: oil, mines, forests, crops.

So will we see preemptive wars US-style, and will the contestants be using stabilizing tools in the name of security policy?

African agriculture is also in demand, the big players are coming, renting land, growing their own food in Africa, Monsanto coming in. Food will be increasingly important.

Economic domination may be followed by cultural domination – e.g. films.

There is still a lot of poverty and people are leaving for Europe. But there are promising signs of progress as internal forces are building up. Urban living is increasing, peace initiatives are seen, regional cooperation is developing, continental power groups are being formed to work on African unity, peace and security.

So let us hope we can see an indigenous African culture – let there be no economic and cultural invasion from the so-called West.

The limits of our knowledge

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The most basic questions of all can not yet be answered.

  • What is life?
  • How does life start and does it end?
  • Why are we here?
  • Why is there “something” and not “nothing”?
  • Why do we exist?
  • What is consciousness?
  • What are the rules or laws that governs the “system” we are part of?
  • What are the components or building blocks of what we observe?
  • What is the role of observation?
  • How do the branches of science interconnect?
  • Is there a “grand solution” or “grand answer”

Our knowledge is progressing all the time, but historically – at any time – what has been the current knowledge has always been superseded by new knowledge. Letting the new knowledge into our lives is a slow process, there follows heated debate, and logic is not always the master. The sciences we have today are fairly new, and new sciences will be seen, maybe in combination with newly found knowledge. Life sciences and systems sciences are now growing in importance.

So we keep pushing for understanding: to develop our inner being, to understand how we function, to control the forces in our lives, to achieve consciousness. Understanding the physics or biology of it all are details – focus must be shifted to a wider understanding.

Large areas of knowledge are still obviously kept from us. Accepting and making this understanding important will make it easier to make progress. There is no reason to get angry or find enemies over new ideas – there is always reason to speculate and maybe we should do more of it – in the name of progress?

Know yourself (III)

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

A large number of people in many western countries lose control of their lives by becoming depressed – often as many as 1 in 6. The result is a mind full of dark negative thoughts and lives that are put on hold or worse.

The treatments offered as coping tools are diverse and individual – talks, activity, mentors, group therapy, medication. We use enormous resources to turn people away from depression. Many people never recover and enter a state of permanent depression, unable to do much, being miserable.

In GB the value of lost labour has been estimated at pounds 100 billion per year.

So why is this happening? Why are our minds filling up with troublesome thinking?

The pressures, the omnipresent threats presented by the media, the resulting anxiety, the information chaos, the difficulties, the unfinished business, the loosening of social norms, the constant changes in personal relationships and in jobs – the sum of it all often becomes too great. If you fall slightly behind or feel you are falling slightly behind the negative feelings start and your mind may wander off in the wrong direction. Depression may be seen as a survival method – a cry for help.

So each individual’s work on mind control must be upgraded – we must focus on what we do, what we think, what happens to us and protect ourselves. You must make a personal choice of seeking to know yourself and act accordingly, and not let the emotions wander off with your mind. You must become aware and see absolutely what happens. You must see yourself in real life in action and the consequences it has. The tool is self-observation.

So therefore observe yourself all the time – see what happens, see what state you are in. If it seems too heavy for you – stop it – protect yourself – withdraw from it all and take your loved ones with you. It requires effort, but you may be well rewarded.

You want to be in control of yourself and to contribute, develop and create. Your emotions are the root cause of it all – observe what they do to you – find out and you may have a solution.

The force is with you

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Some small animals like lizards can climb walls or hang in the roof. This is due to a vacuum effect called the Casimir effect after the Dutch physicist H.B.G. Casimir (1948). Research into this effect has been stepped up lately.

The Casimir effect is about forces between objects, and it make things stick to each other when distances are very small or objects are extremely close. There is an invisible and unmeasurable force present here.

Nanotech people are interested because this disturbs their products, making nano-particles stick together when they are not supposed to. They are trying to change the forces of attraction into forces of repulsion.

This is said to be a quantum force. The lizard uses it because it can come extremely close to the surfaces it walks on. Their feet are not sticky, they leave no mark, they use a vacuum effect. If you could make your hands have a molecular surface you could perhaps climb on the walls to? What about Casimir gloves?

Now: Since nobody understands this fully, or can measure it well, we must conclude that physics theories are incomplete. Or maybe we should look to biology to understand this effect? Understanding is apparently not there. But it will emerge – we are moving on.

Deep geothermal energy into practice

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The Earth is full of molten rock at temperatures over 1000 degree Celsius. There is obviously a lot of heat down there if we can find how to harness it. The practical problems are there, although many countries already have accessed the upper regions of the Earth and are producing geothermal energy: US, Italy, Iceland, Canada, New Zealand. Even the Romans used hot water springs to bathe.

Now we seem to enter a new phase of development where drilling much deeper is the intention. Oil companies are drilling down to about 5000 meters to find oil, and depths of 10.000 – 15.000 meters are envisaged. The technology for drilling is there, the costs and practicalities have to be found out.

The energy will be safe and clean, and there is enough of it. Pilot projects are under way, e.g. one in Oslo where the depth will be about 5500 meters and temperature is just under 100 degrees Centigrade.

A well will cool down after a while, say 20-40 years, but then it will build itself up again.

Researchers are now looking at the possibilities of drilling more than 10.000 meters down, temperatures near 400 degrees Centigrade, and high pressure of several hundred bar, supercritical water. Drilling technology is there but needs further development. The type of rock present matters. Size and economics also matters.

Geothermal energi is possible everywhere. Local power, no transport, no transmission lines. Maybe a geothermal powerplant in the basement or in the garden?

The heat of the Earth is coming to the rescue of the Earth?

Urban greenery

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The world is increasingly being urbanised. We all realize that this is how we are going to live so it better be a good place – and ecological too.

One factor contributing to urban wellbeing – and in many ways – is green city surfaces. They are the home of plants and if properly made they absorb excess water, delay the flow of water and relieve drainage systems.

Green roofs are increasingly seen as a resource in this respect. Urban planners design the roofs so they can absorb massive amounts of water, have plants and be used as paths and for various activities. Heavy roofs may have load capacity of 900 kg/m2, and sizes are in the tens of thousands of square meters, the biggest in Northern Europe being 28000 m2. Watering and fertilizing is normally sparse.

Green roofs regulate temperature, making it lower in summer and higher in winter. A study in Chicago has shown enormous cost savings related to cooling costs in summer. There are also health effects as greenery absorbs gases, influence particle flow, cleans the air, takes away CO2, NOx.

Many countries now have incentives and requirements related to green roofs: Canada, US, many European countries, some are aiming at quite high percentages of green roofs in cities. The EU has subsidies in place to encourage green building.

Rain gardens are also being built, and their main job is to delay water flow.

So watch out: green urban environments are spreading – maybe they are coming to a place near you? What about growing crops on these roofs in the cities?