Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Betlane - Celebration of Fertility

Celebrating Beltane
Celebrate Beltane with this simple meditation:
Beltane is the start of summer in my half of the planet, and may it be a full, rich, fecund summer. May babies be strong and crops be abundant and happy couplings begin and ripen. May maypoles be wrapped with joyous wishes and may the dancers find what they desire. May what needs to begin, begin and grow stronger. May what needs to end, slip away with dignity. May the bonfires be bright, and life go on with all its vigor.” - from Beltane Meditation by Phaedra Bonewits
Image source here

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Is Reality All In the Mind?

By Peter Russell

All our experiences - all our perceptions, sensations, dreams, thoughts and feelings - are forms appearing in consciousness. It doesn't always seem that way. When I see a tree it seems as if I am seeing the tree directly. But science tells us something completely different is happening. Light entering the eye triggers chemical reactions in the retina, these produce electro-chemical impulses which travel along nerve fibers to the brain. The brain analyzes the data it receives, and then creates its own picture of what is out there. I then have the experience of seeing a tree. But what I am actually experiencing is not the tree itself, only the image that appears in the mind. This is true of everything I experience. Everything we know, perceive, and imagine, every color, sound, sensation, every thought and every feeling, is a form appearing in the mind. It is all an in-forming of consciousness.

It is sometimes said that our image of reality is an illusion, but that is misleading. It may all be an appearance in the mind, but it is nonetheless real - the only reality we ever know. The illusion comes when we confuse the reality we experience with the physical reality, the thing-in-itself. The Vedantic philosophers of ancient India spoke of this confusion as maya. Often translated as "illusion" (a false perception of the world), maya is better interpreted as "delusion" (a false belief about the world). We suffer a delusion when we believe the images in our minds are the external world. We deceive ourselves when we think that the tree we see is the tree itself.

 No Matter?

Although we may not know the external world directly, we can draw conclusions from our experience as to what it might be like. This, in essence, has been the focus of our scientific endeavors. But to our surprise, the world "out there" has turned out to be quite unlike our experience of it. 

Consider our experience of the color green. In the physical world there is light of a certain frequency, but the light itself is not green. Nor are the electrical impulses that are transmitted from the eye to the brain. No color exists there. The green we see is a quality appearing in the mind in response to this frequency of light. It exists only as a subjective experience in the mind.

The same is true of sound. I hear the music of a violin, but the sound I hear is a quality appearing in the mind. There is no sound as such in the external world, just vibrating air molecules. The smell of a rose does not exist without an experiencing mind, just molecules of a certain shape.

The same is also true of the solidness we experience in matter. Our experience of the world is certainly one of solidness, so we assume that the "thing in itself" must be equally solid. For two thousand years it was believed that atoms were tiny solid balls - a model clearly drawn from everyday experience. Then, as physicists discovered that atoms were composed of more elementary, subatomic particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, and suchlike) the model shifted to one of a central nucleus surrounded by orbiting electrons - again, a model based on experience.

An atom may be small, a mere billionth of an inch across, but subatomic particles are a hundred thousand times smaller still. Imagine the nucleus of an atom magnified to the size of a golf ball. The whole atom would then be the size of a football stadium, and the electrons would be like peas flying round the stands. As the early twentieth-century British physicist Sir Arthur Eddington put it, "Matter is mostly ghostly empty space." To be more precise, it is 99.9999999% empty space.

With the development of quantum theory, physicists have found that even subatomic particles are far from solid. In fact, they are nothing like matter as we know it. They cannot be pinned down and measured precisely. Much of the time they seem more like waves than particles. They are like fuzzy clouds of potential existence, with no definite location. Whatever matter is, it has little, if any, substance.

Our notion of matter as a solid substance is, like the color green, a quality appearing in consciousness. It is a model of what is "out there", but as with almost every other model, quite unlike what is actually out there.

Article source here 
Image source unknown but greatly appreciated


Monday, April 22, 2013

Celebration of Nature - Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy - Happy Earth Day!
Andy Goldsworthy - Happy Earth Day!

My art is an attempt to reach beyond the surface appearance. I want to see growth in wood, time in stone, nature in a city, and I do not mean its parks but a deeper understanding that a city is nature too-the ground upon which it is built, the stone with which it is made. - Andy Goldsworthy

Stick path by Andy Goldsworthy
Stick path by Andy Goldsworthy

"Andy Goldsworthy is known for his outdoor sculptural interventions and indoor installations that transform nature's most familiar elements into graceful designs. Using color and geometric form to order found materials - such as stone, trees, mud, grass, snow, ice, and leaves - he creates art in which the changing nature of the materials is as much a part of the work as the design itself. His creations impart a sense of wonder, drawing attention to the inherent power, beauty, and mystery of nature." 

What is a better way to celebrate the Earth Day if not to talk about a remarkable artists whose work lives in a symbiotic embrace of human creativity, aesthetics and nature.

To visit the artist's website, please click here


Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Magic of Manhattan

The wanderer in Manhattan must go forth with a certain innocence, because New York is best seen with innocent eyes. It doesn't matter if you are younger or old. Reading our rich history makes the experience more layered, but it is not a substitute for walking the streets themselves. For old-timer or newcomer, it is essential to absorb the city as it is now in order to shape your own nostalgias.

That's why I always urge the newcomer to surrender to the city's magic. Forget the irritations and the occasional rudeness; they bother New Yorkers too. Instead, go down to the North River and the benches that run along the west side of Battery Park City. Watch the tides or the blocks of ice in winter; they have existed since the time when the island was empty of man. Gaze at the boats. Look across the water at the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island, the place to which so many of the New York tribe came in order to truly live. Learn the tale of our tribe, because it's your tribe too, no matter where you were born. Listen to its music and its legends. Gaze at its ruins and monuments. Walk its sidewalks and run fingers upon the stone and bricks and steel of our right-angled streets. Breathe the air of the river breeze.

By Pete Hamill

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Healing Properties of Rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite from the Margarita Mine, Peru

Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral. Pure rhodochrosite is rather rare. In its pure form, it is typically pale pink or rose-red, but the color of more prevalent impure specimens can vary from shades of pink, deep red, orange to pale brown. 

Rhodochrosite crystallizes in form of masses, grains, columns, botroyidal structures and  rhombohedral crystals.  It is often confused with the manganese silicate mineral rhodonite, but is distinctly softer than the other one.

Rhodochrosite was first described in 1813 in reference to a sample found in Cavnic, Maramure┼č Valey, in the northern part of Romania. Its name is derived from the Greek word rhodochros meaning rose-colored. It occurs together with other manganese minerals in low temperature ore deposits in silver mines of Romania and Argentina. It is also mined in the USA, South Africa, Russia, Peru  and Uruguay. 


In 2002 the State of Colorado officially named rhodochrosite as its state mineral since quite impressive specimens have been found in the Sweet Home Mine near Alma, Colorado. While rodochrosite is found all over the world, large red crystals are found only in a few places. 

Rhodochrosite is considered to be a stone of love, balance and creativity. The crystal is believed to open the heart center, alleviate depression and encourage positive and cheerful outlook. It helps integrate physical and spiritual energies, stimulate love and passion, and energize the soul. People with low self esteem profit from it as the crystal is believed to improve one's self-worth and develop unconditional self-love and self-acceptance. 

Rhodochrosite alleviates physical and emotional stress, encourages positive attitude, creativity and innovation, and enhances dream states thus allowing a deeper insight into the subconscious mind. The stone can help us accept negative and painful emotions as part of our emotional make-up. It helps us understand that pain and suffering are step stones to personal growth. Negative experiences and challenges are lessons that help us grow. 

Rhodochrosite can help heal emotional patterns that prevent us from realizing our full emotional potential. It is a perfect stone for balancing, cleansing and energizing the root and solar plexus chakras. It helps us face irrational fear and deal with anxiety. It is believed that rhodochrosite allows us to express emotions, especially those long denied that are buried deep within our souls. People who wear it develop tendency to be cheerful and optimistic.

On the physical plane rhodochrosite is believed to regulate heart beat, stabilize blood circulation, and balance the blood pressure. The stone is also believed to have a positive influence on kidneys, intestines, thyroid gland, skin, and the reproductive organs. It can  help improve eye sight and alleviate mild migraine. 

Best results are achieved when it is worn as a bracelet or placed over the heart and solar plexus. A gem elixir made of rhodochrosite helps heal and prevent infections, improve the skin, calm inflammation, and regulate thyroid gland.

The beauty of rhodochrosite makes it a desired collectors' object that will not only bring joy to the beholder, but also enhance energy flow in any room of the house.

By Dominique Allmon


Creative Commons License
Healing Properties of Rhodochrosite by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease. 

Image source here

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Resource-Based Economy

The term and meaning of a Resource-Based Economy was originated by Jacque Fresco. It is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival. 

Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society.

A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment, industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all. 

Consider the following examples: At the beginning of World War II the US had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.

In a resource-based economy all of the world's resources are held as the common heritage of all of Earth's people, thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative.

We must emphasize that this approach to global governance has nothing whatever in common with the present aims of an elite to form a world government with themselves and large corporations at the helm, and the vast majority of the world's population subservient to them. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.

Our proposals would not only add to the well being of people, but they would also provide the necessary information that would enable them to participate in any area of their competence. The measure of success would be based on the fulfillment of one's individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power.

At present, we have enough material resources to provide a very high standard of living for all of Earth's inhabitants. Only when population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land do many problems such as greed, crime and violence emerge. By overcoming scarcity, most of the crimes and even the prisons of today's society would no longer be necessary.

A resource-based economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems, providing universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern.

Many people believe that there is too much technology in the world today, and that technology is the major cause of our environmental pollution. This is not the case. It is the abuse and misuse of technology that should be our major concern. In a more humane civilization, instead of machines displacing people they would shorten the workday, increase the availability of goods and services, and lengthen vacation time. If we utilize new technology to raise the standard of living for all people, then the infusion of machine technology would no longer be a threat.

A resource-based world economy would also involve all-out efforts to develop new, clean, and renewable sources of energy: geothermal; controlled fusion; solar; photovoltaic; wind, wave, and tidal power; and even fuel from the oceans. We would eventually be able to have energy in unlimited quantity that could propel civilization for thousands of years. A resource-based economy must also be committed to the redesign of our cities, transportation systems, and industrial plants, allowing them to be energy efficient, clean, and conveniently serve the needs of all people.

What else would a resource-based economy mean? Technology intelligently and efficiently applied, conserves energy, reduces waste, and provides more leisure time. With automated inventory on a global scale, we can maintain a balance between production and distribution. Only nutritious and healthy food would be available and planned obsolescence would be unnecessary and non-existent in a resource-based economy.

As we outgrow the need for professions based on the monetary system, for instance lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, marketing and advertising personnel, salespersons, and stockbrokers, a considerable amount of waste will be eliminated. Considerable amounts of energy would also be saved by eliminating the duplication of competitive products such as tools, eating utensils, pots, pans and vacuum cleaners. Choice is good. But instead of hundreds of different manufacturing plants and all the paperwork and personnel required to turn out similar products, only a few of the highest quality would be needed to serve the entire population. Our only shortage is the lack of creative thought and intelligence in ourselves and our elected leaders to solve these problems. The most valuable, untapped resource today is human ingenuity.

With the elimination of debt, the fear of losing one's job will no longer be a threat This assurance, combined with education on how to relate to one another in a much more meaningful way, could considerably reduce both mental and physical stress and leave us free to explore and develop our abilities.

If the thought of eliminating money still troubles you, consider this: If a group of people with gold, diamonds and money were stranded on an island that had no resources such as food, clean air and water, their wealth would be irrelevant to their survival. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe or water abundantly flowing down from a mountain stream. Although air and water are valuable, in abundance they cannot be sold.

Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.

Article source here
Image source here 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Quote of the Day

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth. -  Henry Beston

Monday, April 1, 2013

April, April

The first of April 
is the day 
we remember 
what we are 
the other 364 days 
of the year. 

 Mark Twain