Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hello World!

Hey everyone! Man, it's been a long time! A lot has happened since my last post: I've moved across the pacific and now once again reside in Hawaii; I've made lots of new friends and visited some neat spots. This is really a magical place. Now that I am settled(ish) and have some time freeing up I hope get back to blogging!

Despite my absence here: I haven't been completely absent from the blog-scene. I have been working as the lead developer on a new project that is now in the final stages of development. Aside from some tweaks to the system we're practically done. In fact, we're so close to finished that we're taking registrations.

Introducing: BlogGo-Round

BlogGo-Round is a project designed to help bloggers get noticed in the blogosphere. By registering (and being approved) you are listing your blog in a system that will occasionally list content from your blog that will link back to your blog if the user attempts to comment, read more, or clicks an image that you post. The whole system is designed to get blogs "out there," and driving relevant traffic to them. I've registered this blog, however it's been decided that to avoid redundancy and guarantee variety that content will not begin showing until there are at least 30 registered members. So, check it out if you're so inclined. =]

Anyway, I look forward to getting back to reading everyone's blog and writing some more!


Monday, October 25, 2010

The Magic of Emotion

I've talked about the physical aspects of emotion in my previous article: The Nature of Emotion. In this short article I'd like to talk about the “magical” aspect of emotion. While I believe emotion to be a reactive part of the brain activated primarily the physical environment, I also believe that simply feeling an emotion is activating a “vibration” or “silent sound” and that it has an effect in the world around us. I can not explain what this force is, I can only talk about my experience with it.

The reality we live in molds itself so that our experience while we are here reflects the feelings we hold true. When we allow ourselves to feel an emotion we are playing a metaphorical key on an instrument; the reality we live in is listening to the song our heart is playing and responding to us with things that match our song. This means that if you are playing a sad song the universe is going to give you sad things so that your song will improve. Sure you will get more sad but your song will become more defined. It's our responsibility is to pay attention to our song and be sure to play a beautiful one. I believe that the more people living from their heart and playing a beautiful song the better our collective world will become. Once we are playing a beautiful song ourselves others around us will start picking up the beat and the song will spread. When you watch the news is your heart playing a happy song? When you fight with a spouse over a trivial misunderstanding how does your song sound? What about when you're on a beach with friends? Our one and only responsibility in this life is to find a beautiful song and play that and only that. The attractive properties of our emotions will draw to us the experiences that match our song and our lives will improve – as long as we are playing a happy song. By getting to know ourselves and consciously choosing our feelings we are performing a magical song which draws to us the experiences we desire. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

I still exist

I haven't updated in quite some time and I felt an explanation of sorts was in order. Life has dealt me a strange hand these past few weeks and has thrown me for a loop. It seems that a stream of thoughts and feelings I have been having over these past few years is all coming to a head at once. It has come to a point where action must be taken. Said action is dramatic and quite possibly life-changing. I am being vague because, while the action is dramatic, I do not yet know when or what precisely it is. I have many possibilities in front of me and life demands that I pick one. If I were to publicly state what my intention is via this medium I feel I would have to follow though with my word and I choose not to limit my options at this time. I will say that circumstance is causing me to have to choose because continuing the way things are is not possible. It's funny that when we dwell on thoughts and feelings enough sometimes life presents the perfect way to achieve the goal. The circumstances that force the change oftentimes seem planned and I am but an actor acting out my role of choosing one thing or another. I am an attractor of experience and a chooser, life - the cosmos - does the rest. I am okay with this. I will continue this blog and update as frequently as the circumstances at hand allow. I plan to publish an actual article soon.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Trick of Dualism

Most of us have been taught to think of the physical and the spiritual as two distinctly different things or places. There's the prevalent idea that we're here in the physical and are stuck here until death, at which point we're transported to the spiritual. Some people choose not to believe in the spiritual, but few, if any, have disbelief in the physical. This idea of what spirit is disconnects us from thinking we have access to it; for, it is there and we are here and there is no way to get from here to there. Religion claims to be the path to the invisible spiritual. However, a definite problem arises when we realize most religions claim to be the only correct path to the spiritual. How confusing! To top it off the more religions one looks at subjectively the more it can be realized they all lead absolutely nowhere. This has caused science to argue against the existence of the spiritual and that in turn has caused the religious to fear science.

The argument is invalid.

I propose a holistic view: Instead of assuming that the physical is one thing and the spiritual is another we look at them as different sides of the same coin. When thought about this way we can realize there is only one coin, and there is nowhere to go. This also opens the door to the view that the spiritual is not invisible at all, and is instead the force that animates. The beating of your heart, the wind chimes swaying to and fro, the sound traveling through the air, the plants following the sun, swaying trees, the clouds rolling through the blue backdrop of the sky, the tides, the rotation of our planet, the travel of our sun and solar-system though space, the expansion of space, to the infinite. You may be thinking “oh come on, all of those things can be reduced to physical processes,” and that is exactly the type of thinking I am trying to dismantle. Nothing can be in physical space and not be animate, vibrating, at it's core. The more we try to pick apart matter by smashing atoms together the more smaller and faster particles we find until eventually everything disappears into a sea of movement and flux. Everything we see and experience emerges from this ever-changing sea of movement. We are all eternally bound to that sea, both mind and body. What we call the “physical” is nothing more than the result of a process that takes this sea of movement and filters it into experience. This sea is spirit, possibilities, physical, the creator and the creation all rolled into one. In this view, if there is an afterlife it too emerges from this same sea.

The key is perception.

Our perception of the world around comes primarily from our upbringing and surroundings. We are taught how to view the world around us. Ultimately though, we are responsible for the perceptions we hold. We can change them any time we want with a simple choice. One person may see a dog in a park tied to a bench and think “poor thing,” while someone else may think “that dog looks well groomed and cared for.” In the same way someone may hear an ambulance in the distance and think “oh no, someone is hurt,” while another may think “thank goodness someone is getting help.” Both points of view are equally legitimate and correct but one makes you feel happy and the other sad. We make decisions everyday about how to feel, even if we don't realize that we're making them.

How does the world look to a dog? Obviously, we have no idea how a dog perceives it's environment and can only offer speculations. When I was a teenager we had two dogs and since I was the only one home during the day they liked to hang out with me in my room. Both of them would sometimes appear to be looking at something in the hallway and turn their heads simultaneously as if watching something move past. This would happen somewhat often and in different places throughout the house. I would try to see what it was that they could possibly be looking at and I could never see anything. Were both of my dogs just pranksters screwing with me? Possibly, but it's somewhat doubtful. I eventually just accepted that they must see something that I simply did not - that they were on a slightly different wavelength than I. The dogs and I both shared most of our experiences of the world around us - but not all of them. Is it possible that I could see things that they could not (color)?

The Band of Possibilities

Think of a radio, there are several stations that the radio could be playing, but you have to pick just one. Our perception is is like that radio in that there are tons of possibilities but we have to choose which to tune-in. Those who choose to view spirit and physical as separate are limiting themselves to that “station” and are limited to the possibilities within that station. Those who hold strong disbelief in “paranormal phenomenon” are limiting themselves to that band of possibilities and will never experience the paranormal. Just as you can reach out and turn the nob of a radio to change its station so can you also reach within and change what station you're tuned to.  

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Nature of Emotion

1. A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling
2. A state of mental agitation or disturbance
3. The part of the consciousness that involves feeling; sensibility

    The brain is a complex piece of muscle tissue that is composed of tiny brain cells called neurons. These neurons have tiny branches that reach out and connect to other neurons to form a neuronet. When we're born our brains are pretty much a blank slate. Based on the input we are given from our parents, peers, and environment our brain creates its neuronet. That neuronet defines the way we act, the emotions we feel and when. Rarely do we consciously decide what to feel. So, based on this knowledge, we can assume emotions are a completely reactive part of the human brain. Our emotions are simply neurons firing within our brain. Knowing this we should be able to stop our old behavior and change for the better, right? Yes, but here are the problems.

1. Addiction. When we feel an emotion our brain begins by rapidly producing various amino acids, called peptides. These peptides are released into the blood-stream and attach themselves to receptor sites that are designed for them throughout your body. These peptides are, in essence, drugs. And without them we really can experience withdrawals. These withdrawals usually come in the form of emotional outburst. These emotional withdrawals are really the throws of a dying nuronet trying to convince us that the old behavior we are trying to change or control is really the correct way to behave, and a lot of the time people relapse into old habits.

2. Repetition. Simply by feeling an emotion we are strengthening the neuronet that causes it and releasing the addictive peptides. The brain is a muscle, the more we use certain parts of it the better it gets at doing that function.

    Let's just say that my problem emotion I'm currently working on is anger. Here I am hypothetically driving my hypothetical car down the road and some 70 year-old person is going 30 mp/h in a 60 mp/h zone. With no way to pass and a schedule to meet: I feel the anger, I get that body rush/high that the peptides create and may start yelling at the car in front of me. "Get off the road you old fart!" Time passes and that old fart finally turns right and is no longer on my mind. I've seemingly gotten over the whole situation. But then about 20 minutes later some super-sized women cuts me off because she was too focused on eating her bigmac and not driving. I get even more angry this time than I did with the old person and the peptides are released in an even larger dose. "Oh my god! Pay attention to the road you (explicit deleted)!" Now I may not realize it, but even if I feel bad later on, somewhere deep in my brain it's thinking "man that felt good." Thus, unfortunately, I'm more likely to repeat the behavior in the future.

    Some external stimuli occurs and depending on how the brain has been wired we feel a given emotion. This is always the case be it a positive or negative emotion. Emotions are nothing but a reaction to our environment. Luckily, we do have the ability to change ourselves. All that is required is time, and to know yourself. The more you catch yourself feeling an undesired emotion and consciously make the decision to calm yourself down, the weaker the neuronet becomes. With constant practice the neuronet breaks apart and that emotion or behavior is no longer a part of your being. Many mystics and spiritual gurus of the past, Jesus, Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, amongst others have said "Know thyself." This requires that everyday we ask ourselves why we do the things we do, and upon figuring out our motives exercise our power to choose to decide whether it's something we want to continue to do or not.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Attraction: It's the Law

Physical law is immutable. We drop a cup full of liquid, and a mess is created. Even in the realm of quantum particles things still seem to conform to a set of laws or patterns that, while confounding, are persistent. You shoot electrons through a double slit and as long as you don't measure the results the electrons behave like waves. If you do measure the results the electrons behave like particles. This phenomenon is confusing and perplexing, yet constant and as such has allowed physicist to theorize around it. The why of this phenomenon has, in a way, been swept under the rug because it is simply irrelevant to predicting the way the physical system will behave. Physicist don't need to know why this happens, just that it happens and when it happens; science can only deal with the measurable. Even though, if thought about, the why of this phenomenon could have huge implications on our understanding of the physical. The inescapable answer is that somehow our measurement or observation of the experiment has some sort of effect on its outcome. Yet, the why of this phenomenon is not measurable in a laboratory under rigorous controls and thus is outside the realm of Institutionalized Academia. So, that being the case, we the individual, are left to run our own experiments. I'm going to share with you my personal conclusions and the ramifications of my results.

If our observation of the physical system we exist within changes the behavior of that system then we can only come to the conclusion that we are some how "linked-in" to the reality we observe. When I first had these thoughts they seemed so vague and intangible that I just sort of put the thought process on the "back burner" and let it simmer for a while. Slowly I began to notice a correlation with my mood and the circumstance I was experiencing. That is to say, a negative mood to start off with would only bring me more strife throughout the day in various ways be it getting stuck in traffic, having unruly customers at work, or stubbing my toe, these seemingly random events seemed to only occur if there existed a mood within me that was conductive to sparking them. Likewise if I started off the day the happy and thankful way the gladness in my day just seemed to gain momentum and the world around me felt like a beautiful dance. I felt like the cosmos was either conspiring for or against me and the outcome was based on my mood.

Ask and you shall receive.

With this new unfurling information I began to wonder what the scope of this phenomenon was. Did it only respond to mood and only with seemingly random positive or negative events? Or perhaps, could one learn to submit more specific request?

One of the experiments we conducted was to take a board and affix to it tickets from a concert we had recently attended. We, my partner and I, both set the intention to draw to ourselves the experience of more concerts. Then we went on with our lives with the board being nothing more than a decoration in the corner of the room. About a week later my partner won tickets to a concert from a radio station. After we went we added the ticket stubs to the board and continued the intention to attract more of this experience. An influx of concert attending thus began. We did not seek out concerts to attend, rather they seemed to seek us out.

My partner took this experiment and built upon it. One day she was running late for work and instead of looking at the clock constantly and concerning herself with what the time currently was she decided to focus on what time she wanted it to be when she got there. She turned off the radio so as to not hear the time. When she arrived at work she was right on time. I have repeated this same experiment with success. These sorts of experiments seem to rely heavily on the mood of the one conducting them. Whether you execute the experiment with the expectation (feeling) of failure (negativity), or success (positivity) the results will match your expectation.

The conclusion I've managed to come up with is that we attract to us the experiences of our lives. Our thoughts, patterns (habits), and feelings all flow out of us, hit some sort of metaphorical mirror, and bounce back in the form of physical experience. Reality and the physical laws as described by science can be bent or molded by some force that comes from within us.

I can only begin to ponder how things got this way. My observations of patterns within nature suggest an elegance and intelligence behind them. I'm not suggesting that an all knowing all powerful man in the sky created everything; I'm only suggesting that perhaps everything that is - is intelligent. Maybe we are intelligent beings walking about in an intelligent world. If the world is intelligent it only stands to reason there is communication between its various parts - as in our own bodies. Maybe everything that is, is just one big conversation of which we get to play an active role.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Legalize Cannabis - Yes on 19

Proposition 19 once again puts Californians in the position to make history with a decision that would change the way Cannabis is viewed in the state and ultimately the country. In 1996 California voters were asked if they thought Cannabis should be legal for medicinal use and able to be prescribed by doctors. When the results were tallied 55.6% of the voters had voted in favor of Proposition 215 making California the first state to legalize medical Marijuana. Since that historic event 14 states and Washington DC have followed suit. 

Now, fourteen years later Californians are again being asked about Cannabis. This time the question is "Should it be Legalized and regulated in the same manor as alcohol?" To answer this question lets look at why it was made illegal to begin with. 

William Randolph Hearst owned a newspaper publishing house, hundreds of acres of timber forests, and many paper mills designed to manufacture paper from wood pulp. Paper made from the fiber of the hemp plant was superior to paper made from wood pulp as hemp could produce four times more paper per acre than timber. Normally this would be viewed as a good thing but to Mr. Hearst it presented a threat to his paper empire's profits, for he already owned the trees, the means to manufacture paper from said trees, and the newspaper publishing house to print on said paper. A rather racist and alarmist smear campaign was ran in the newspaper against the new "Drug Menace Marijuana,"  and out of this the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was born - effectively outlawing the entire Cannabis plant.

Jumping forward to present day we have another group with a vested interest in keeping Cannabis illegal: Alcohol distributors. The California Beer & Beverage Distributors disclosed it has donated $10,000 to defeat Prop 19. They know that if Cannabis were legal there is a good chance that many people will turn to it for recreation instead of alcohol as it has been proven to be safer in every regard. This move by the alcohol distributors makes sense from the standpoint of protecting their own economic self interest, however it only serves to hold back technology. We can create medicines, fabrics, paper, building materials, and fuel from this single plant. We can fashion bricks from the fiber and build a house with those bricks and the house will be fireproof and termite-proof. An entire car could be made from hemp and fueled with hemp. Using hemp could stop the deforestation of Earth!

Proposition 19 Would:
♥ Control cannabis like alcohol.
♥ Put our police priorities where they belong.
♥ Generate billions of dollars in revenue for the state.

This is a definite step in the right direction. Since I do not reside in California, I am not afforded the opportunity to vote on this historic proposition. However If you find yourself with a voice in this debate I strongly encourage you to raise it to loudly and proudly vote yes on Proposition 19. Good Luck California!