Archive for February, 2011

Do you (have a) study?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

A study is a room where you can read, write, draw calligraphy, paint or meet people to discuss important matters. Some use it as an inner sanctum where you can think, meditate, find peace and stillness – to be yourself, lay the foundations for personal development, prepare decisions. Some even play music in their study.

The Asian tradition – especially the Chinese tradition – is such that the study was used for archives of classical works, displaying art, meeting friends. You could create your own world of freedom and creativity. The study was well equipped with fine furniture, but the most important were the writing implements: the brush, ink, paper and inkstone – these were called the 4 treasures. They were valued as articles of art in their own right, being well made through painting, calligraphy, carving and ornamentation.

This is a room that now mostly was – most people don’t have studies anymore. The activities of the study have changed too – we are more modern now – we don’t need implements.

But think for a minute: we need tools, they may preferably have artistic value, we may enjoy the feel and sight of them – may be these values should be re-introduced to the work we do?

We sit in front of our machines: do we really think there? Do we reality-check our life decisions? Technology has taken over – we think we are extremely efficient – but deep thinking takes time – we don’t need machines for that – creativity does not happen every day – we may as well take some time over what we do – our life decisions are important and should be taken consciously – not as something that just happens to us.

See – a study would be a fine thing for most people. If you can’t have one – keep studying all the same. It is a fine thing to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the world to find stillness, think, reflect, get into contact with yourself – and maybe find the connection to the cosmos we are all part of?

The unfolding of the Chinese

Monday, February 28th, 2011

The Chinese are an active lot. They are pushing people to move all over the place – is there a plan – and there are about 8000 Chinese in Romania, another 8000 in Norway, big Chinese groups in many countries and so on.

The big powers have all been in China: Russia, Japan, Europeans. The Chinese let them stay, were accommodating and practical and let them trade. We had the Boxer rebellion, Chinese attitudes towards foreigners have hardened. Things may change further: Tibet is being Chinified, and so are The Uighur areas,  the South China Sea is pulled into big projects (just research of course), roads towards Tadjikistan and others being built, relations are being created, investments made. Businesses are bought, resources made available, technology included. There must be a plan.

The US is obviously in a process of slimming down. The latest budget is a heavy load. They have about 1000 military bases around the world, with a military presence in about 130 countries. This is coupled with the US soft power through global trade, businesses, cultural exchange. The US will change, but into what is difficult to say. The wars, the aid, the role of reserve currency issuer – it may all change. This will make it easier for other nations to move – this way or that.

Big nations like India and Brazil are also entering the international arena fully.

A new Silk Road  may also be opening as the emerging relationship between the Arab world and China grows, with both moving away from a weakening US and into a symbiosis that will be the basis for new structures in the world. So Arab oil will go to China instead of the US?

The Chinese have never been outgoing in their earlier history – trade via the Silk Road, various trade posts excepted – so we may be witnessing the start of a big change. China will change, but into what is difficult to say. Is there an imperial ambition brewing, need for resources so as to become the new powerhouse of the world economy? So stay on the line.

Understanding yourself and what you experience

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Our world is built up from bits of untested, unexamined, received truths. Example: Our body and our soul are different things – we say. The Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo suggests they are the same thing, but in different states – like ice and water. Do we know? What is the state of our knowledge? How do we go about finding out?

Another philosopher Paul Brunton has said – modified by me:

Philosophy must concern itself with basic facts: relativity of time and space, illusions, feelings – the big question is what experience really is. We only know what our senses tell us – we are surface seers. All experience is made to fit into the pattern of our existing ideas. To know the world as it really is, we would have to expand our field of awareness to a higher dimension and find relations, both to other things and to oneself. Knowledge can exist only by being based on relations, and it is always relative.

The philosopher must split knowledge into two forms:

  • the state of things as they are presented to our five senses
  • the state of things as they really are in their essential nature

To understand reality we must first understand the unreal.

Scientifically viewed things in their ultimate character are indeed fields of electronic and protonic energies moving at speeds – a state of absolute rest does not exist – that is an illusion. The universe is not so much a structure as a flow, it is the microcosmic world of atoms: electrons are constantly rotating, protons are ceaselessly vibrating.

Thoughts are constantly flowing – mentalism demonstrates that our experience of the whole world is nothing but our thoughts of it. The ultimate stuff of the universe is light, restlessness being the ultimate state of the universe, and where reality is.

Modern science began by studying and describing the properties of things, and it can end only by discovering their ultimate substance, and this will land it in metaphysics. Atoms are not the last word nor matter the last substance. Atoms have been divided and found to be waves. The worlds is not a stable one but a process of happenings and the universe is in a state of permanent change.

Thing’s actuality reveals itself as mentally made – ideas and emotions, there is nothing else. Mind and the world are inextricably intertwined, mind is the only reality – mentalism is the doctrine that concludes that there is nothing but mind, we cannot step outside our mind. Ideas can not exist separately without a thinking being to hold or generate them. A full suspension of the mind’s activity results in sleep or coma, full resumption of it in wakefulness.

There is also another factor present underneath the individual experience of the world, a creative and contributive factor which is beyond his control and his consciousness. The individual and the unknown super-individual gives an explanation of the existence and structure of the experienced world. Thus although we started with sense-impressions as our first view of what is real in the experienced world, we are compelled to conclude that a super-individual is present as a mental factor.

Our sense-impressions arise from a creative power of our own minds which functions independently of our intentions and above our conscious self. There must be an unknown cause for the constant succession of thought forms – a super-individual mind must be present.

Existence cannot be limited merely to what is given in human sensations, there must be a universally diffused mind – a primal, permanent and self-subsistent one, a boundless mind which is a supreme mind. We are not merely the self-absorbed witnesses of our own impressions but also the co-sharers of a common experience, a constantly perceiving permanent super-mind.

The very act of thinking is a creative one as it manufactures its own time and space. The cosmos in its entirety is but a thought form of a cosmic thinker, working subconsciously behind the individual mind, and which will fill the gap we have in our understanding. We must recognize the working of another mind upon our own. This then is a third thing which must be a higher form of consciousness.

The presence of an omnipresent mind must recognize a relation not only between the world and the individual but also between the world and a universal mind.

The mental operations of all men are in the end related to each other and this is why they all see the same world in the same space-time order. Their own multiple existence in a single larger mind can be described as thousands of cells existing in a single larger body. This determines one man’s world experience from within himself and also determines another man’s. There is a hidden unity enclosing all human minds – the universal mind – the supreme mind – the World-Mind – is the soul of nature.

Remove thought and you remove things; annihilate mind and you annihilate matter. Man has difficulty with this partly because its paradoxical unfamiliarity and partly because of his own deep-rooted prejudice in favour of materialism.

Mentalism defines the universe in this way, and science has taken the first step towards the discovery of this truth. Whatever science has been in the past – the world is just one’s thought! Will science lead us to mentalism?

Who can tell – but when we do not know the important thing is to keep on speculating, making guesses and hypotheses. One day we will surely know.

(Note: A proton is the mobile part of the water molecule and is the carrier of energy/signals in biological systems. Protonic conduction takes place in the aqueous system present in all living matter – bioproticity.)

Nordic Food – high quality and local

Friday, February 11th, 2011

The recent Bocuse d’Or chef ’s competition was won by the Dane Rasmus Kofoed from restaurant Geranium. He is a worker in the new Nordic kitchen movement initiated by Claus Meyer.

The intention behind it all is set down in a manifesto.

Manifesto for the New Nordic Kitchen: As Nordic chefs we find that the time has now come for us to create a New Nordic Kitchen, which in virtue of its good taste and special character compares favourable with the standard of the greatest kitchens of the world.

The aims of New Nordic Cuisine are:
1. To express the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate with our region.
2. To reflect the changing of the seasons in the meals we make.
3. To base our cooking on ingredients and produce whose characteristics are particularly excellent in our climates, landscapes and waters.
4. To combine the demand for good taste with modern knowledge of health and well-being.
5. To promote Nordic products and the variety of Nordic producers – and to spread the word about their underlying cultures.
6. To promote animal welfare and a sound production process in our seas, on our farmland and in the wild.
7. To develop potentially new applications of traditional Nordic food products.
8. To combine the best in Nordic cookery and culinary traditions with impulses from abroad.
9. To combine local self-sufficiency with regional sharing of high-quality products.
10. To join forces with consumer representatives, other cooking craftsmen, agriculture, the fishing, food , retail and wholesale industries, researchers, teachers, politicians and authorities on this project for the benefit and advantage of everyone in the Nordic countries.”

Surely this is great! Local, sustainable, innovative, food made as nature wants it to be, transport distances reduced or taken away, local forage of food in the wild, a lift for local specialist smallscale farmers both for meats and vegetables, fruits, spices, foods we have never eaten before. Diversity introduced and developed, your  food tells you where you are.

New ingredients – risky business that – new and strange combinations, new tastes, new look, building economic strength in small communities. It is supported by a Nordic Food Lab where sharing and transparency are the lead words.

These ideas are the future of food: all regions, communities should do this for the nourishment and excitement of us all. Now this is done in the grand style with Michelin stars, but these ideas could surely be used for other ordinary – even cheap – good food as well.

Nice work – bodes well for the future.

The jobs of the future – your future

Friday, February 11th, 2011

You have had it all your life, you grew up with it as a natural component of what you were doing, it has alway been there, you can not do without it.

Communication with others is almost instant, you are connected all the time, when you need information you find it right away, you share, you inform others, you find others fast, you chat  - there is a constant flow of information. You use Facebook, Twitter, Digg…, all the new gadgets.

You have your own equipment, you personalize it, you become extremely efficient. New tools are added when you need them, they are good and often cheap.

And entertainment – on tap of course – you stream it or download it 24/7 – cheap too.

You are place independent – it does not matter where in the world you are – you are connected, soon even on trains and planes. Data of all kinds are available from public and some times private sources.

You are very efficient – you can do many things and participate in a broad expanse of activities.

Security is often lousy – you can be tracked and found out quite easily.

You make your own day – working, playing, sleeping, holidaying, visiting etc. – as you please. You are your own master and want to stay that way.

You are a modern worker – you use all the available tools and technology to the fullest – in the net world.

So you need more money and must find work – in the office of a company. The HR department tells you what is needed: Proprietary systems, security, access controll, systems and applications undergoing development, many technical snags, problems , restrictions without end, careful is the meme. They give you an office where you have to stay when you work – it is not so easy to have people floating around, we must know what you are doing.

You decide to try – it can’t be that bad – after all they are making money. So you try.

And after a while it has become a modern dilemma, it is growing upon you, you are stifled, choked, you are going to do die, you can not take any more, you can not work like this. And it ruins your private life as well.

Not every workplace is like this – but watch it – don’t let let them take away your freedom and creativity.

Doing your own bit – yes have a go at that – it is not easy – don’t give up – it can take many years to realize your goals – never stop following your dreams – there are huge rewards to be had.

The worst thing that can happen to you is getting a job? Think it through logically – who do you want to be – somebody’s servant or your own master?

The hollow Earth

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

There are many people thinking in ways that are not mainstream and they do not accept the official view. There are a number of subjects where this takes place: sprititualism, government conspiracies, alternative medicine, aliens, economic rip-offs, theory of evolution, hidden agendas of many kinds – there are a lot of ideas in the world.

There are also a lot of things we just plain do not understand fully: climate models, the working of the brain, the enigma of what life is, the financial system, why there must be wars, what causes illnesses like cancer, rheumatism, life in the deep oceans.

Some have to do with our state of knowledge and one day we will understand, others are fixed ideas that never seem to die. And new ones of both kinds keep coming up.

This has to do with the working of the human mind: We are not logical beings, we do not think straight or cleverly enough, we accept some authorities, others not, we are full of emotions, there are special interests, we remember and we forget and there are economic interests as well.

Some of these ideas or controversies are very old and do not seem to let go. We deride most, but they stay in there. The world’s people seem to want to have it this way – it is entertaining. Now and then we must accept that ideas are accepted and new truth is found. In the confusion where we do not know the truth fully authors make good money from their books and films.

The case of the hollow Earth is an outstanding example. We really have no solid proof that the Earth is a compact whole and that the inside is hot and molten. The deepest hole we have drilled is about 12 km and this is much less than 1% of the way to the center.

Once the Earth was flat, but now we know more. Through the ages speculation has led us into concepts like the underworld, subterranean kingdoms, hell and even inhabited worlds. Several shell theories have been put forward and even now some people will not let it be – they claim the world is hollow. Concave hollow Earths have also been proposed.

Scientists – our masters who have shown consistent lack of knowledge of most things in the process of human learning – maintain that gravity and modern understanding of planet formation make it certain that the Earth is hollow with a molten core. A hollow Earth would have much lower gravity. There surely is heat in there, but we do not know for sure how deep it goes – we have never been there, it has not been measured.

Experiments with deep drilling have been proposed, but never realized.

So what is there to say: Speculation will continue – remember also that we have never been there so basically we do not know. One day we surely will know.

In the meantime – surely we should speculate – form hypotheses – test them – so we can say that they are no longer hypotheses. It is also about having a free mind: Do you dare that?

The wise people of the world (II)

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

If we wanted to have wise men/women in the world: What shall be the basis of knowledge for wise people – what is their knowledge and what do they teach? How will they be trained? Can we find common ground?

Many old cultures have their own ways, their own aims and intentions. The new wise men should provide a neutral way forward, help people find their own I or personality. This can obviously be many things – it is for the person herself to decide.

There may be a need to institutionalize this – connect it to an organisation or movement.

People are initially connected to a local community, with local values, local customs, a sense of belonging. This does not mean you can not move to wherever you want, but you must have a basis that is safe, well known, and shared. Developments may take you many places, and hopefully the knowledge you base your existence on is adaptable and broad enough to accommodate you wherever you are.

The knowledge might be structured something like this:

  • Deep ecology of the Earth
  • Understanding and knowing yourself, life choices, life possibilities, learning to stretch the mind, find out about the forces of the mind,  consciousness, life itself
  • Relating to others
  • World history
  • Human societies, ways to live
  • The wisdom of change, the inevitability of change
  • World tour to develop thinking, observe, participate, learn
  • Initiation rite, ceremony

Individuals must have the will to take part in such schemes. There is also the question of do we need this? The simple intention is to establish working on your own inner world, and hopefully that many would like to participate. Harmonious people – harmonious world – a world of consideration, helpfulness, thoughtfulness.

There is room for everybody here if we make it so.

There clearly are a lot of things we do not understand, and we should not call them mysteries, spiritism and “outlaw” them, but try to find out more so we can have a better civilization.

The wise people of the world (I)

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

There are hardly any wise people in the world anymore. The few there are have to be quiet about it. The spiritual leadership of making people understand themselves, repair themselves are gone – there are no wise men/women here. Spiritual practice and practices of the mind are not accepted, we must use the people with scientific learning – the medical doctors and the psychologists and maybe priests – if we need care.

The Greeks for some time had priests with a double role of medic and spiritual healers helping people find reality, many religions have priests claiming to help people through adversity, indigenous people had and have shamans with healing powers, problem solving and fortunetelling abilities. The Chinese had sages helping people, teaching good values, about change and life challenges, the Tibetan buddhists have powerful mental rites, muslims had sufis, psychoanalytics are helping sick people in the West. American Indians were in close contact with nature and the powers of the mind. Meditation, yoga are carefully practiced – just don’t be too loud about it.

So we see a method that once was used and now has largely disappeared – we have scared people away from inner work and spirituality because it is not scientific. We have split work on man into specific areas, treating one at a time – a man is not whole anymore. The old techniques  has been taken away and has been replaced by nothing – there is a void.

This is not good for us.

There are many reasons the world is like this, but it is about time we change it, reinstating work with our mind and feelings into the wholeness where it belongs. The old techniques should be reinstated and developed further with the knowledge we have today. The question of religion is not part of it – it is about finding out how man can integrate body, mind and emotion and understand himself , become harmonious and find a way to move that he is satisfied with.

There are many techniques: self-observation, meditation, tai chi, yoga, contemplation, relaxation, mindfullness, massage, physical exercise, conscious thinking about your life, methods of change, I Ching, soulcraft, the work of Gurdjieff, deep ecology thinking …..

The wise men and women of the world should know many of these techniques, and integrate and develop them so that they can assist in inner self-willed development – help find a way to exist with deep satisfaction.

This approach is rather broad and aims to be neutral, having to do with individuals only. It is not easy to start a movement in this direction – to help people become whole and harmonious in a wide sense.

The first part of it is that many people realize that inner work is needed. It is really first of all about what you – each one of us – have the will to do.

Reviving the Silk Road

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The Silk Road was the transport system going from the East – Mongolia, China, other old states that once were – to the West – Middle East, Persia, India, even Europe. It appears the Greeks had exchanges of ideas with eastern emissaries.

The Silk Road seems to have originated in Xian in China, ending in the Middle East and going into the Roman sphere.

There are many parallel roads and side roads in the Silk Road system, and silk from China was once an important part of the trade. The trade went on for thousands of years, rudiments are still there.

The Silk Road is now a mythical concept that once was, it was about trade and culture, Marco Polo made it known, meeting Mongol and Chinese rulers, traders of many kinds have used it for centuries as a transport system for goods and ideas, exchanging these between East and West.

We knew little then, it was hard to travel, but many important technical products were exchanged and ideas flowed both ways.  Trade, pilgrims, soldiers, nomads, emissaries went from East to West and back – cultures were exchanged, giving impulses for development in both places.

So trade of goods and ideas on the Silk Road was significant in the development of our civilization, it contributed to the development of the modern world.

We should consider reopening the Silk Road in order to facilitate the exchange of culture, build understanding of roles in the new world that is emerging. The emerging power of the East – India, China, the rest of Asia – makes it important that we know each other’s thinking, develop personal relationships so that focus can be on peaceful activity to benefit all. The main focus should be on the human and spiritual side of being – to find a new area of focus outside the business/military complex.

China and India have made agreements to start a process developing links between the two countries, and we should all join in. This time the Silk Road should also include the US and all of western Europe, even the South Americas and Africa.

Maybe a naive idea, but the world needs a new focus to avoid building new blocks and power groups and help giving us a more balanced world.

Let the flow of ideas be the most important for the new Silk Road, the old regime of Western/US domination based on business/militarism alone needs replacement with a better system – to make a better world. The cultural side should be strong, so we can expand the human side of being.

India and China have started the work – other should join. It is not too late.

Forget the world government

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

A world government is a topic of discussion coming up now and then. Some say the UN should be strengthened and given more force, many international organizations should be more powerful – so that we can get things done. Many powerful people and nations and businesses often claim that the world would be more efficient in this way – with concentrations of power. The US wants to be the world police based on US ideas.

We should be wary of this. It is not  a good idea to have somebody outside your own community, area or country decide for you what is to be done. You may find that there are undue processes taking place, you do not agree, that you do not want to take part, there is no traceability of decisions, that there are external forces being put upon you. Also when you see how decisions are being made – by politicking, lobbying, corruption, business interests, faulty information and else – there is no need to rush into this. You can easily feel that “world” or “global” decisions are being forced upon you.

There is also the question of who should decide what themes to introduce for world decisions: climate change, business practices, health questions, ethics …. Why is it so important for some to instruct others about what to do?

The world is very complex: who we are, where we live, what we do, what we think are all hugely different and should continue to be so. Diversity is great.

The improvements we need should be undertaken by everybody themselves – initiated by locals themselves, developed by the locals, run by the locals. What constitutes progress should also be left to the locals to decide – nobody needs external ideas that will change indigenous life.

There is now a strong world force being built and it is not pretty: economic/money concentrations are being built, wars are needed it seems and are continually going on, the financial system keeps crashing for reasons nobody understands, big business is expanding, governments are centralizing and becoming big businesses too, power bases are being built.

It is clearly not the time to talk about centralizing the power of the world. It will hurt us all. It will dehumanize us.

The only way forward is to try to strengthen the individual, enable her to build her own community – area – region by educating her, see to a fair distribution of resources, giving locals a chance in the market, making local production and consumption the basis of everything, reduce the enormous power of external influences. This should not stop us from seeing others, travelling, exchanging ideas – that is beneficial.

Local education is the basis of everything. The only thing we should do is to help that happen.

Having written this and seeing what has to be done one can see that a lot has to be changed – but we are moving in the wrong direction – global forces must be played down – or things will get out of hand.

So where do we start? The world organizations should start by self-analysis: get to know the real state of the world, be humble, show the locals respect, build an understanding that people really matter.

Nobody shall rule the world, we must remove power structures, educate all and let people take care of themselves, creating a diversity of decent, joyful, healthy societies.