Retreat

There is a time for action, but not now;
Preserve your latent energies; just watch.
The case is critical, and if you botch
This exercise, it might derange the Dao–
No! Dao eternal, solid as the sea,
Cannot be modified by you or me
You might, then, ask, “in what way are we free,
If ultimately Dao is destiny?”

Like gravity, the Dao is weak, but firm.
We’re bound for paradise at end of day,
But we may choose our path along The Way—
We walk or crawl or dance or march or squirm.
The Dao conveys a message, deep and true
Without prescribing what we are to do.

— JJM (#33 in the I Ching Sonnet Project)

From InText

 

Newtonian Theology

New Atheists like to celebrate an anti-Christmas on Newton’s birthday (according to the Julian calendar, 1642) There are two ironies associated with Newton Day. The first is that Newton was a prolific and original Christian theologian, arguably a larger part of his life than science. Second, the Newtonian world-view that explained all and had no room for God was supplanted in the 20th Century by Quantum Mechanics, which is far more ambiguous in its spiritual implications.

The Newtonian world-view came into ascendancy only in a century after Newton’s death, and it is fair to say that he would have regarded it as alien and demonstrably wrong.

Applied Parapsychology

In 2013, a University of Colorado professor of quantum engineering organized a project with his class, based on precognition. “I’m going to show you a picture this time tomorrow, and I want you to describe what you will see at that time.”

The picture was chosen by chance from two possible pictures, and, as frequently happens with such experiments, the students’ descriptions fit better with the picture that they were actually to be shown than the one they would never be shown (even though at the time they were describing the picture, they had not yet seen it).

Prof. Moddel added a variation:  He decided in advance that if the stock market goes up tomorrow, he will show the student Picture A, and if the stock market goes down, Picture B.

Result: The students correctly predicted the picture 7 out of 7 times, and Prof Moddel’s investment in DJIA futures made $4,000.

write-up in the Journal of Scientific Exploration

Comment: I believe such things happen far more often than chance would predict (in this case, 1 time in 128). But I also think they are less consistent than the “7 for 7” would indicate, otherwise the research field of parapsychology would not remain underfunded, as it chronically is ☺.

As the article describes the investment, they would have made $28,000 instead of $4000 if they had invested just as they had planned to do, but they mistimed their 7th and last trade, and suffered a large loss.

If you believe it possible that people can sense in advance what picture they will see tomorrow, you probably also think it possible that human events are arranged so as to warn people away from life paths that are venal and unrewarding.

Even if precognition lacks sufficient consistency to support a hedge fund, the phenomenon is consistent enough to justify a rethinking of the foundation of Western science.    — JJM

 

Reach out and touch somebody

Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the ‘normal people’ as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like ‘Have a nice day’ and ‘Weather’s awful today, eh?’, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like ‘Tell me something that makes you cry’ or ‘What do you think deja vu is for?’. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.
— Timothy Leary