Maybe the ‘best of all possible worlds’ is like the best of all possible screenplays

I have felt privileged to be alive in this pivotal time for humanity. Now Martin Bishop tells me why…

What if, for example, God the creator is more like a film producer that a Sunday School teacher?

Let’s say God takes a lunch meeting with us and lets us pitch a film idea to him. We go in, sit down, order lunch and I start the pitch saying, “This will be the greatest film ever made. There will be a cast of thousands. Everyone is happy, healthy, shows love and kindness to one another, lives in balance with nature and loves what they do.”

God swallows a bite of turkey club sandwich, takes a sip of His martini and asks, “Okay. Then what happens? An attack? A flood? An earthquake?”

You pipe in, “No, no, nothing like that. There’s no war or terrorism or crime and everyone lives in areas that are safe from natural disasters—they are THAT in balance with nature!”

continue reading…

Que sera, sera

I am among those who think humanity is at a turning point, and we will either enter a totalitarian nightmare and watch ecosystems collapse or move in the direction of local autonomy and harmony with nature.

I’m gratified to find that Stephen A Schwartz, the man who studies the future using remote viewing, leans toward the latter option.

(Remote viewing seems preposterous, but there is lots of evidence that it works, and that a few people are really good at it. The US and USSR were spying on each other during the Cold War using a highly-developed team of remote viewers. Read about it.)

Schwartz has been asking hundreds of talented psychics to remote view the future for 40 years, long enough that many of their stranger predictions have come true. When he asks people to see 2060, they say that the US will be a loose confederation of local communities, that people will be more locally dependent and locally governed, and that our relationship to the world will be more spiritual, less material.

Also, Los Angeles will be under water.

Imitating Kafka

Why do we relate to Franz Kafka? Is it because we are fascinated with the way in which he was deranged?

I don’t think so. I think Kafka stretched to stay sane in a culture that is not conducive to human sanity. We, too, sense that we are immersed in a culture that is not right for us, so we can laugh with Kafka.

Gary Barwin and friends wrote a book of Kafka wannabe aphorisms and parables.

Franzlations

The poets maintain that a single poem could destroy war. There is no doubt of that, but it proves nothing against war; for warfare simply means that poetry is impossible.

Franz Kafka is 139 years old today. That seems hardly old at all.

Which freezes faster, hot water or cold water?

Physicists are apt to tell us that they have all the basics well-explained, and if you want to learn anthing truly new, we need $30 billion for a new supercollider or a new space telescope. I appreciate learning about mundane phenomena that challenge physical theory. Many of them involve water.

Here’s an experiment that you can try in your kitchen with just a few minutes’ effort that can help settle a 50-year-old controversy in physics. Put a bowl of boiling water and an identical bowl of room-temperature water into your freezer, and check back an hour later to see which one freezes first.

Then you can read about the Mpemba effect.

Recounting the Hereafter

At a seance we meet those who have gone round the first bend of this road, but they are able to come back and speak to us for a limited time.

There is no such thing as empty space. This substance, which in certain states of motion appears to us as physical matter, in other states appears to those in Etheria just as physical matter appears to us. They have their tangible world on which things live and progress, just as we have ours. We are only just discerning the real Universe and its make-up, and the King of this unlimited region, namely Mind, is only just becoming dimlyappreciated.

Physical and etheric substance, governed by mind, thus comprise the Universe, and so far as is known there is nothing beyond or above. Wherever mind is, there will be found physical or etheric substance, and so it becomes impossible to imagine a limited Universe because it must be as unlimited as is mind. Mind cannot operate on nothing. Mind and substance must go together, because, if there is no mind there is no substance, and if no substance no mind.

[Spinoza said that Nature is God’s body, as God is Nature’s mind.]

In Etheria Mind has the power of moulding etheric substance in a more direct fashion, and, by thought, surrounding etheric substance can be changed into the forms which the mind images. Earth, then, is the training ground for mind which has become individualised. Here it is trained in image-making through contact with earth’s grosser surroundings, and, as it develops, it takes more and more control over its surroundings. When it ceases to function through physical matter it takes ever greater control of its surroundings in Etheria, until ultimately we, as represented by our minds and our surroundings, become just as we think.

[“As a man thinketh in his heart, so shall he be.” — James Allen]

The mind evidently never dies, but continues developing, and, with its increasing command over its surroundings, both space and time become of less and less account. My mind is “me” and your mind is “you”. We have been in existence for all eternity, though not so individualised as now.

The destiny of every individualised mind, is to become just as it thinks… This, I am told by learned Etherians who have spoken to me, is our destiny,

[The above is excerpted from the introduction to Where Two Worlds Meet, by Arthur Findlay (1952)]

Love in the Endtimes

From our perch here on the edge of armageddon
we are safe to gush out our love over everything,
because we’ve got nothing left to save it for/

I place slippery wet YES kisses on the black crows in your stomach
and on the glowing red cardinal birds who fill the night sky.
I hold your precious heart in my hands and my eyeballs grow vines into it
and I weep round sloppy joy while telling you that you are perfect.

There is great beauty to be found in the oceans choked with garbage,
in the coughing poverty streets filled with schizophrenic prophets and opioid eyes,
in the Sauron eye of Google,
and in the pounding of the war drums as the ICBMs are readied.
It is not hard to see.
It is not even hidden.
We hold hands on the precipice and pour YES into the madness,
the majestic, orgasmic, omnicide angel madness.

Caitlin Johnstone

Open Letter to Inst of Noetic Science

To Helané Wahbeh, Director of Research

Dear Helané –

   I just listened to your address to Breakthrough 22, in which you challenge us to visualize a flourishing future for parapsychology in its funding and application to everyday life. I agree that the potential of parapsychological science is open-ended. I want to encourage you to think even more broadly about the difference that it can make (that WE can make).

   All of our present culture, social organization, and technology is rooted in a mechanical view of the world that has dominated Western culture for 200 years. Call it “scientism”. It has led to extraordinary “progress”, in the sense of motion in a particular direction. But scientism is not just an incomplete view of the world; it is fundamentally wrong. It is the reason we work at Bullshit Jobs; it is the rootlessness that permits Duchamp to feature a urinal in a museum; it is the emptiness in our core that is the source of churning dissatisfaction; and it is the deep anxiety that leads to addiction, suicide, and war.

   We have laid aside the insight of William James at our peril

Science, so far as science denies [the reality of psychic phenomena], lies prostrate in the dust for me; and the most urgent intellectual need which I feel at present is that science be built up again in a form in which such things may have a positive place.

(from What Psychical Research Has Accomplished, 1895) 

James was telling us that our attitude toward the world was (already 127 years ago) overdue for change, including the way that we think, how we do science, and how we define “truth”. He was speaking before the quantum revolution, but his words prefigured what the most fundamental science would be telling us a generation later: that there is no separating subject from object and thus no experiment for which the human environment does not affect the result.

As we flounder, seeking to expand our vision sufficiently to catch a glimpse of where we are headed, here are some of the things we may have to leave behind

  • As scientists, we assume that the world obeys fixed laws, without exception, the same in all times and places. There are no miracles. We are called to let this go. (My essay on this subject is called The Zeroth Law of Science.)
  • As scientists, we hang our hats on reproducibility. A fact is not established until several different labs repeat the same experiment and confirm the same finding. We are called to let this go. Science is about noticing patterns in nature without preconceptions about what form such patterns may take. 
  • The most reliable and respected science is based on mathematical analysis and quantitative prediction. We are called to let this go. There are real and important phenomena that defy quantification.
  • We have regarded Nature as a hostile and unpredictable realm that must be tamed and controlled to maximize our safety. We have learned efficient ways to kill. We are growing into a more mature relationship, trusting nature as we trust ourselves and creating our unique human niche in a thriving, diverse global ecosystem.
  • Human “progress” began with agriculture=monoculture, which is ultimately unsustainable. We will leave behind the war against weeds and insects and rabbits that claim a share of our lettuce. We will study the tribal wisdom that allowed some Native American peoples to culture entire ecosystems, diverse and bounteous ecosystems enriched in the species that the native peoples relied on for food and clothing.  
  • As we come to trust the finding that death is not a final ending of our individual experience and ambitions, we will value safety less, and find ourselves more inclined to take greater risks on behalf of whatever it is that we most deeply value.

If science aspires to be a universal framework of understanding, then science must expand beyond its mechanistic paradigm and embrace the realities she has refused to acknowledge.

We will redefine what science is. We will redefine our relationship to one another, to nature, to our bodies, to our intuitions and our logic.  Following Lao Tzu, we may learn to do by not doing; stop calculating our next move and allow action to flow from a part of ourselves that is harmony with the Dao. The alternative is a losing battle against reality and a spiral to extinction.

— JJM