Human Universe: Apeman – Spaceman

I am a fan of Professor Brian Cox. I think his layman’s approach to science mixed with an obvious passion for what he believes in, and speaks of, has made physics, chemistry and biology much more accessible to the common man. On that basis, I have been looking forward for some time to his new series on the BBC entitled Human Universe (I didn’t cancel my TV licence in the end – due to this up-and-coming series and my son’s participation in a well-known Channel Four melodrama over the coming months), and last night saw the first episode “Apeman – Spaceman” (oddly there was no reference to Albert or Albert II – the first rhesus monkeys in space – probably due to their sad demise on those maiden voyages).

Although I had not seen any trailers for it, I got the general feeling that this was going to be an updated Ascent of Man, which was a remarkable insight into our own physical (but not spiritual) evolution from Dr Jacob Bronowski via a series of essays-cum-broadcasts. Brian has already explained (via the “Wonders of the Universe/Solar System” series) in quite majestic parlance, his “beliefs” on how and when the Universe was created, delving into easy-to-understand chemistry and physics, giving anyone who wishes to gain knowledge of the machinations of matter a solid foundation, before entering the often mind-boggling realm of quantum physics should they decide to make that quantum leap.

One of the key things for me for this series was to determine whether Cox was a materialist reductionist, and whether this series would address the who and the why. From what I understand of the man, he is a “confirmed” Athiest, but I’m yet to find out whether or not that is on the same scale as Richard Dawkins, I sincerely hope not. For me, this is an opportunity for Brian to reach out to the consciousness question neither asked nor answered during his previous broadcasts, and to hopefully bring out new theories like Everett’s Many World Interpretation, M-Theory and the likes. It is also an opportunity to see exactly where he as a man stands on what consciousness is.

And so to last night’s episode, in short for me, abit of a damp squib. The opening scenes were very familiar; with Brian setting foot (and forth) on the Rift Valley, Ethiopia where it all allegedly began. I know that dumbing down science to make it more marketable to the masses is the general approach, but last night’s episode went a little too far for me.

Following on from the plains of Ethiopia where he attempted to replicate the first spear heads and signs of a marked change in intelligence, the most interesting part of the show for me was his reference to the increase in brain size which seemed to coincide with the Earth’s most elliptical orbit around the sun two-hundred thousand years ago, which in turn brought about the most extreme changes in Earth’s climate.

According to Cox, the development of human intelligence was a response to rapid climate change, and it was the precise geography of the Rift Valley East Africa mixed with the precise precision of Earth’s orbit in the solar system, Earth’s spin axis, and the influences of the climate at that time which made our ancient ancestors physiology respond in such a way, increasing our brain size, increasing our intelligence. I think this was his attempt at describing “the missing link” although the exact phrase was “missing” itself.

That in itself seems just as likely as believing in God, given the fact that it seems an absolutely incredible coincidence at ridiculously long odds that everything that could forge that birth of consciousness just happened to fall into place rather nicely on Wednesday afternoon in Africa. I guess that is the main reason (at this point) why I am a nailed on Agnostic (with spiritual tendancies) in terms of whether God does or does not exist.

Brian then travelled north to Jordan and with-it came a high-level explanation on how the first civilisations were born, through agricultural revolution and trade routes, again something much better described by Dr Bronowski many decades earlier.

In concluding, his parting shot for Episode One was thus:

“After almost fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution, and some four billion years of life on Earth, the Universe became conscious, and in just two-hundred thousand years, we humans have transformed ourselves beyond all recognition”.

So from his point of view (citing my own interpretation), this was the birth of consciousness, implying that consciousness is in fact an epiphenomenon* of an evolving brain, something which I have just asked him about on Twitter (still awaiting a response for).

The graphics and scenes from the show are superb as usual, a stunning high definition vista of Earth and beyond, and like I said to a friend, the show is still ‘light years’ ahead of watching such drivel as X-Factor and The Jeremy Kyle Show.

I will stick with the series to see if anything else develops, I sure hope it does…

* Epiphenomenalism: A mind–body philosophy marked by the belief that basic physical events (sense organs, neural impulses, and muscle contractions) are causal with respect to mental events (thought, consciousness, and cognition). Mental events are viewed as completely dependent on physical functions and, as such, have no independent existence or causal efficacy; it is a mere appearance.

Fear seems to make the heart beat faster; though, according to epiphenomenalism, the state of the nervous system causes the heart to beat faster. Because mental events are a kind of overflow that cannot cause anything physical, yet have non-physical properties, epiphenomenalism is viewed as a form of property dualism.

Internal Landscapes

And I felt myself going. I was in a great deal of pain…
It was a very frightening experience, but I began to slip…
I just sort of, felt myself going, and I remember trying to hold on…
I’ll be ok, I’ll be ok…

And it got to the point where I just couldn’t…

And everything began to just become very quiet…

And I can remember with every ounce of strength I had…
I wanted to say goodbye to my wife, it was important to me…
And I did, I remember just turning my head, looking at her and saying…
I’m gonna die, goodbye Joan, and I did…

It was then that I experienced, what we call a Near Death Experience…
For me there was nothing near about it, it was there…
It was a total immersion in light, brightness, warmth, peace, security…

I did not have an Out-of-Body Experience…
I did not see my body or anyone about me…
I just immediately went into this beautiful bright light…
It’s difficult to describe, matter of fact it’s impossible to describe…
Verbally it cannot be expressed…
It’s something which becomes you and you become it…

I could say that I was peace…
I was love…
I was the brightness…
It was part of me…

As I was putting together various purchases from IKEA on Saturday, I had a moment of recall, a moment of warmth, a moment of connection with something, not sure of what that something was. I was alone in the hallway happily busying myself with Allen Keys and screwdrivers, when Anathema’s Internal Landscapes song from the Weather Systems album came on. I must have heard it a thousand times already, but Saturday was different.

I have had moments of peace and wonder listening to the spoken word of Joe Geraci before, recalling his own Near Death Experience many decades ago, but Saturday’s experience was much more profound. As I listened, I found myself drifting off listening to each word very carefully, recalling my vision under Lucia No 3 a few weeks ago, the Lucid / Hypnogogic Light Device of my last blog.

In particular, I picked up on the following lines:

It was a total immersion in light, brightness, warmth, peace, security…
I did not have an out-of-body experience…
I did not see my body or anyone about me…
I just immediately went into this beautiful bright light…
It’s difficult to describe, matter of fact it’s impossible to describe…
Verbally it cannot be expressed…
It’s something which becomes you and you become it…

In short I felt that. That, exactly, was what I felt. I cannot describe it in a better way than Joe did all of those years ago, but to me, it felt the same. I felt that I had become part of something non-corporeal, sentient, albeit briefly, too briefly. It was beautiful. It was like there was something else. It was my own Internal Landscape:

“I remember being surrounded by a warm glow, with a central ellipse of orange light (an eye if you will, or tunnel even), a place of peace”…

When I came around, there I was still sat in the middle of my hallway, surrounded by nuts, bolts and nails, and then the analogy hit me. Life is like a box of IKEA flat-packed furniture. Everything comes at you in pieces once you open the box. There are instruction manuals for those who need to be led and for others, there is chaos, a collection of bits and pieces, but when considered carefully, logically and put in the correct place, everything eventually makes sense and becomes one, a replica of the source (in my case a shoe rack)…

And it’s just so beautiful…
It was eternity…
It’s like I was always there, and I will always be there…
That my existence on earth was just a very brief instant…

I could say that I was peace…
I was love…
I was the brightness…
It was part of me…

A whiter shade of pale

We tripped the light fantastic,
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the doors (of perception),
I was feeling kind of far out,
And the mind called out for more…

My spiritual journey has been on the road now for exactly two years this week. I look in the mirror from time to time, the face is still the same (albeit with a few more lines and the levels of monochrome in the facial fur department have increased), but looking beyond the physical manifestation lies an inner self which is, to me at least, almost unrecognisable.

I reviewed my commitment today to both myself and others, a commitment which was a sincere pledge undertaken during those dark times and I’m happy to say that I’m on track. My personal outlook is and will continue to be my priority list. I’m a firm believer that it is our priorities that define who we are and how we are perceived by others, and when these priorities change, the universal order of things becomes chaotic, fragile. Often when one changes priority, it’s most often as a result of the ego kicking in, want and desire taking president over need and reason. My priority list is quite simple really:

  1. The Wife and Children.
  2. My health, well-being and search for enlightenment.
  3. My friends.
  4. Everything else.
  5. Work.

Work really is a distraction to what is important to me, but a necessary evil nonetheless. So when I do have to work away from my number one priority, I try to keep myself distracted, to fend off the pull and energy drain of “The Corporation”. This week saw me climbing over the roof of Millennium Dome on Tuesday with my brother-in-law, and Tuesday marked another milestone in my search for “the source”.

Following on from reshuffling of the priority list deck two years ago (whether that took place on a prioritisation table I’m not certain), I took up yoga, meditation and reiki which really help ground me, the glue to who I am now. At that time, I also saw an opportunity to open my still sceptical mind to alternative ways of thinking, alternative ways of operating, which inevitably led me to the door of my good friend in Eastham.

The catalyst to this change in consciousness was a gig in Chester. We went to see Nick Harper (a personal favourite of ours) but instead of taking up our usual front row seats, decided to stop at the bar and talk. And talk. And talk. Nick played majestically on his “Last Guitar”, as our conversation delved deeper and deeper, from quantum physics to Everetts Many World Interpretation, as Anthony Peake stroked Schrödinger’s Cat in a parallel universe somewhere.

Fascinated by all of this, I drove us both home (stopping to relieve myself on the way due to all the soft drinks) and bid my Peroni pal a fond farewell, with a mission to find out more about this Anthony Peake character. The next day I found that he had quite a few books out and more immediately available was a plethora of podcasts, vodcasts and articles on the web. I duly ordered ITLAD and downloaded most of his audio files. It was quite a departure from the former me, no woo-woo name calling was to come from my lips.

There was one particular podcast which drew my attention, it was his theories relating to the pineal gland. The pineal gland makes/secretes melatonin, the chemical which puts us to sleep each night. Peake posits that there is more to this pine-cone-shaped walnut than meets the (third) eye, in that it has the ability under certain conditions to
self-produce “metatonin”, a DMT-based neurochemical which can put the “secrete-ee” into altered states of consciousness.

One such “under certain conditions” is Lucia No 3, a Lucid Light Machine. This device is comprised of several halogen bulbs placed within what resembles a shower-head; it combines a stroboscope with a constant white light which induces a transcendental experience for the viewer.

So a few weeks back, I sent out a list of potential things to do with my chums in work whilst I was in London this week, including running events, the cinema and a “trip” to Light Eye Mind studio in Finsbury Park. I wasn’t hopeful that anyone would go with me to see Lucia, but was happy when “M” decided she would go with me, the lads stating that they would meet us up after for a spot of tiffin.

Eager to read as much of the remainder of ITLAD that I could before our visit, I managed to cram in a hundred pages on the redeye down to London, both eager and a bit apprehensive about what was to come.

Our journey to Finsbury Park took a while, but we arrived a little early and had to wait a wee while (apt as we were desperate for the toilet) for our hosts for the evening. Talking outside the store, “M” and I swapped our own stories about our own experiences, of spirituality, of alternative therapies and holistics.

We were met by “A”, “N” and “D” from Light Eye Mind, and within minutes it was clear that there were no egos involved here which was great. There was no big sell, all very humble and approachable folks. “A” resembling a young Russell Brand (hope that is taken as a compliment should he ever read this :D) introduced us to both the studio (which was displaying some cool artwork by Danny Wilder) and Lucia No 3. His suggestion of an initial three minute tester was well met by both of us, a sample of a longer session to follow if we felt ok with the machine.

Waiver forms dutifully signed (that we didn’t have epilepsy or deep rooted psychological problems), I stepped up as guinea pig and took to my seat. I decided to bring my own music, my approach was one of deep meditation (if that was possible) so on went my Kundalini Yoga playlist from Spotify, as did Lucia. In bright light with the eyelids closed, I guess we would all see a peachy glow, and before the strobe kicked in, that’s exactly what I saw, but once the strobe kicked in, everything changed. Everything changed. I saw art. My art. My eyelid was the easel, my mind the painter. Even though the tester session was brief, I managed to see / create fractal vistas of magnificent colours, a gallimaufry of spirals and shapes, more colours, more shapes, downwards spirals.

When the light dimmed, I took a deep breath and passed the cans over to “M” who selected some of “A’s” own tunes by a band called Carbon Based Life Forms and assumed the position. The three minutes went fast and she was done. She opened her eyes with the same “wow-look” I’d had and immediately wanted more, to get back to that place she had just been, and so she remained in-seat and took a further fifteen to twenty minute session.

I talked outside to “A” and shared my journey over the last two years with him, and he listened, really listened. It’s so refreshing to talk to folks like him, folks in-tune and attuned to one’s own frequency, not ridiculed or pilloried for looking at things in a different way. I told him I’d been reading a lot of Anthony Peake and studies into consciousness (Piero Scariffi), watched a great many videos regarding DMT and ayahuasca (Rick Strassman) and experienced first-hand universal energy flow via yoga, meditation, reiki (advising that I was now Reiki Level 2), and having listened to podcasts pointing the way to Lucia No 3, I’d decided give it a try and here I was.

When “M’s” session came to an end, “A” went to her to gently wake her as she  remained static. She opened her eyes, there and not there, seemingly having a full on hypnogogic experience, managing to finally reconnect her out of body consciousness with her physical form. We made sure she had settled before I took to the chair, the details of her trip to be shared after my own journey.

As the session was a lot longer, I decided to settle into a seated yoga position, and with mudra fully deployed I relaxed into it. Once again I began to create my own William Neal / Roger Dean prog-rock-album-cover type vistas. Isometric shapes began to form, mandalas created by thin illuminous “Tron-esqe” lines appeared, followed by what can only described as wormholes, deep blues and greens spiralling inwards and outwards. Then I saw a swastika, not the revolting symbol of the Nazism, but the softer ancient Hindu symbol, growing in size from central core before disappearing.

The most profound part was yet to come. I felt myself departing into a middle state, not conscious nor subconscious nor unconscious but somewhere in the middle. I remember being surrounded by a warm glow, with a central elipse of orange light (an eye if you will, or tunnel even), a place of peace, and for the first time I saw (or created) white light, three forms or shapes of white light presented themselves. Initially the three small star-like shapes (reminiscent of looking at a far off light source from underwater) moved and twisted, and then grew to be larger amorphous forms, the one on the left staying significantly smaller than the two on the right. It was then that the full on kundalini experience kicked in. I felt a surge of energy in my spine, emanating out from the base and traversing upwards through each chakra, through each of the seven tattoos on my back and out to the meridians.

Whether I was conscious, hypnogogic, unconscious or in another place altogether, I couldn’t say. Gradually the white forms faded and the whole scene turned a blood red orange and then upon reaching the darkness I came out of my altered state and opened my eyes. The energy did not stop however, it continued whilst I gave “A” and “M” commentary of my experience, as it did all of the way back to Finsbury Park train station.

I asked “M” about her experience on the way back and she said she too had seen swastikas, but associated these to the Second World War, and saw ghostly images (like those on film negatives) of soldiers passing her line of vision one by one.

We both felt quite tired and drained, but nonetheless we made it to the Brazilian restaurant where our work chums waited patiently (albeit with beers in hand), for the inevitable closed-mind ribbing and they did not disappoint. We were both fully prepared for the abuse, and took it all, good natured as it was.

One thing “A” told us was to watch out for our dreams that night, as a lot of people have very strange and vivid visions post-Lucia sessions. When I got in to work the next day, I asked “M” how she felt and did she have any interesting dreams, but sadly her dreams were even crapper than mine. She dreamt that she was in work testing a new IT product, mine was running a 10km race which involved climbing up a hill covered in snow, all rather boring…

ADDENDUM: Always a Cynic     

I got in late last night to a message from a friend of mine who’s into his metal in a big way. A favourite band of his is called Cynic (oh the irony) and he sent me a link to their latest video, them having taken a fork in the road to a more progressive rock style. The video itself was surreal, fractal art central, mandalas everywhere. Coincidence or just another universal synchronicity presenting itself?

Along came a spider

Of late, I have been reading “Is there Life After Death: The Extraordinary Science Of What Happens When We Die” by Anthony Peake (also known as ITLAD). The book is a fascinating read, so very interesting and covers a great many topics (some of which my limited brain can only take in on the first reading).

The section I have just finished (Echoes of the Future) relates to an attempt to describe / prove (both scientifically and experientially), precognition. In short (and my interpretation which is very basic in stark contrast to the book), it is the concept that we have a lower self (our physical form experiencing the external (objective) world subjectively) and a higher self (perhaps best described as the subconscious or the “non-local us” – the premise that our consciousness exists not inside us but “out there”). Furthermore, it is suggested that from a precognitive perspective, certain folks have the ability to tune in to future echoes, via dreams (day or night) or via visions / messages (via mediums). Anthony posits that our higher selves may in fact have lived a life already, our life the we are currently living, and that the likes of precognition or déjà vu is our higher selves way at saying that we know what’s coming next and here is a message, a breadcrumb if you will. The book cites several cases, most notably a precognitive dream a little Welsh girl had the day before the Aberfan mining disaster, sadly her request to stay away from the school that day being denied, and not averting the course of her future and immediate demise.

So it came as no coincidence that I could well have had my own precognition today, my very own Minority Report. As Morrissey once said “Last night I dreamt”, sadly not about someone who loved me, but spiders. At the age of forty two, I have pretty much overcome all of the fears of early life (including some rather irrational ones), namely tall buildings, dentists, sprouts on ironing boards and dying. There really is only one left, spiders (again quite irrational for someone who lives in the UK).

In my dream, I was back living in the Far East and recall that I was on a trip to Thailand, somewhere in the jungle outside Chang Mai. All of a sudden there was a huge down pour and I looked for cover and found a wooden terrace which was only about two foot high. I wriggled snake-like half way down the terrace, when from above spiders (black and yellow) started to descend on fine wires landing on my naked torso, giving me the fear. I woke up in a sweat, itching all over and it took me a while to get back to sleep (after checking under the covers just in case any of the little bleeders where in there).

Maybe it was the fear / negativity within dream or perhaps lack of sleep which put me in the worse mood I’ve been in for quite a while. Maybe it was that work is a real drag at the moment which doesn’t help, stuck in endless days of mind-numbingly-boring contract documentation. Some days (thankfully very rarely) I wake up and without reason and without justification, stay subsumed within a dark cloud, stuck within its black sticky “mono-filament-esque” web, unable to cut myself free. This in itself is ok as long as others are not affected by it. Sadly in a busy house that can be a real challenge.

So before I logged in, I decided to have a quick round up of the news via The Guardian and the BBC website (my last visit to Auntie honest) to see what was going on in the Scottish elections. On the BBC homepage was a picture of a spider. Knock me over with a “magic feather”, what a coincidence. The story behind it read that the UK is set for an invasion of giant spiders by all accounts. Excellent news….

By lunch time, I decided to take my mood into my own hands and sat out in the garden and decided to meditate during lunch. The weather was fine, so on went the Kundalini Yoga playlist, down went the eyelids, up went the mudra and I was taking back the natural order of things, control. It was serene, it was calming. In my hypnogogic state I drifted in and out of consciousness for about an hour, not dreaming, but feeling (not seeing) kaleidoscopic colours and soothing warmth of the sun. Towards the end of my chill out time, I felt something on my left arm, a tickling sensation. Upon looking down I found that there was a “money” spider weaving in and out of the hairs, laying behind it coils of silk. I picked it up with the end of my finger and drew it close to my face, and there it sat not moving for what seemed like hours, just staring directly at me (not that I could see its eyes, it may well have been its arse – I was still feeling quite sleepy and my glasses were still in the office). I gently placed it on a nearby rose bush and trundled back to work feeling much better.

With the wife at college on Thursday nights, I made sure all the kids were settled before I took the dog for a long walk. Still feeling a little dazed from the dark morning cloud, I decided to lighten the mood further by listening to Bill Hicks, a natural pick-me-up of mine whenever I’m feeling blue. Towards the end of our walk, we have to pass an embankment and the right hand side of the road, a high sandstone wall with only earth behind it which acts as foundations for the houses above. There is a rather curious feature on the wall, one which always catches my eye each time I pass it. Half way along the wall there is a door. A door which leads to nowhere. I glanced up at it to see that right in the middle was a huge spider web, with a disproportionate common garden spider sat still in the middle, just as Mr Hicks informed me once again that life was just a ride.

After the wife got back in from college, I went for a late night run with my eldest down on the promenade and told him of the events of the day. He is very logical and put it all down to pure coincidence, and the former me would have done exactly the same. I said that it would be a shame if everything was reduced to materialism, and to me what matters most just now is not matter at all. I concurred that the logical part of my conscious state agrees somewhat to his argument that if I hadn’t have had the dream in the first place, those things may well have been there today anyway, it’s just that my sense have been alerted to their presence (all very mature for a 17 year old boy). The romantic in me would like to think beyond the logic though.

One thing is for sure, I love my new-found thirst for the exploration of the Universe (both outer and inner). There are so many interesting and diverse interpretations “out there” that my reading list grows day-by-day (especially the writings of Mr Peake). I love the fact that for the first time in my life, I can’t get enough of reading and writing about reading. Long may it continue…

ADDENDUM 1: As I type this up, my spidy-senses are once again tingling, allowing myself one final arachnid-based chortle. On getting out of the car (after dropping the wife off at work), I glanced at the wing mirror to make sure there were no cards coming before I opened the door, only to find a further two micros-spiders fighting it out over a well trapped breakfast.

ADDENDUM 2: I just met my wife for a coffee in Starbucks and without knowing that I’d uploaded a blog or even be aware of the whole spider thing as I’ve not spoken to her much since yesterday morning, she said that after she had finished her massage session at the salon, she had heard an almighty scream coming from outside. She quickly went to see what the commotion was about, when she was confronted by a stylist in floods of tears. She asked her what the matter was, and she said that earlier, she thought she had flicked a huge spider from a cardigan she wearing, but was unaware that it hadn’t dropped on the floor, but it had moved to the back of her arm, and eventually crawled itself up her back and then up her neck to the underneath her hair, snuggling in nicely under her right ear lobe to keep warm.

Enough already…

The Arrow of Time and Reality…

A good friend of mine posted an interesting thread on Facebook last week. The central tenet regarded his interpretation of interpretations, namely of MWI (Many World Interpretation) and CI (Copenhagen Interpretation). The night before we discussed the concept of “Quantum Suicide and Quantum Immortality”, a thought experiment developed (further) by Max Tegmark, and all of which now flooded into his noggin at 6am as he watched CBeebies with his sleepless daughter of one year.

To understand this, he first needed to describe in detail the definitions of MWI and CI to his little girl, whose attention was currently being taken by Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La-La and Po.

MWI (Many-Worlds Interpretation):
The Many-Worlds Interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts the objective reality of the universal wave function and denies the actuality of wave function collapse. Many-Worlds Interpretation implies that all possible alternative histories and futures are real, each representing an actual “world” (or “universe”). In lay terms, the hypothesis states there is a very large (perhaps infinite) number of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but did not, has occurred in the past of some other Universe or Universes.

Copenhagen Interpretation:
The Copenhagen Interpretation holds that quantum mechanics does not yield a description of an objective reality, but deals only with probabilities of observing, or measuring, various aspects of energy quanta, entities that fit neither the classical idea of particles nor the classical idea of waves. The act of measurement causes the set of probabilities to immediately and randomly assume only one of the possible values, in essence once something is observed, it turns from a wave into a particle, definitive duality, is or is not.

And if that wasn’t clear enough for her, he went on to give her some examples relating to CI and Quantum Suicide / Quantum Immortality:

Schrödinger’s Cat:
A cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.

The Deer Hunter:
A US Soldier and a 2-barrelled gun with a single bullet loaded into one of the chambers are placed in a sealed Vietnamese gambling den. Christopher Walken spins the barrel every minute and pulls the trigger. The gun either deploys the bullet killing him, or it makes an audible “click” and the erstwhile Mr Walken lives on to take part in a Fat Boy Slim video (ironically titled “Weapon of Choice”).

Quantum Suicide and Quantum Immortality are distinctive from the point of view of the partaker only, the deer (hunter); their predictions are otherwise identical. Quantum Suicide attempts to distinguish between the MWI and the CI by means of a variation of the Schrödinger’s Cat experiment, Quantum Suicide is taken from the deer (hunter) point of view and not the external observer. Quantum Immortality refers to the subjective experience of surviving Quantum Suicide regardless of the odds, in our example 100 trigger pulls to the head of Mr Walken.

The probability of surviving the first iteration of the experiment is 50%, under both interpretations, as given by the squared norm of the wave function. At the start of the second iteration, if the CI is true, the wave function has already collapsed, so if the cat or the deer (hunter) is already dead, and there’s a 0% chance of survival. However, if the MWI is true, a superposition of the cat/deer (hunter) necessarily exists, regardless of how many iterations or how improbable the outcome. Barring life after death, it is not possible for the cat/deer (hunter) to experience having been killed, thus the only possible experience is one of having survived every iteration.

Max Tegmark on Quantum Suicide:
Tegmark acknowledged the argument that “everyone will be immortal” should follow if a survivor outcome is possible for all life-threatening events. The flaw in that argument, he suggests, is that dying is rarely a binary event; it is a progressive process. The Quantum Suicide thought experiment attempts to isolate all possible outcomes for the duration of the thought experiment. That isolation delays de-coherence in such a way that the subjective experience of the superposition is illustrated. It is only within the confines of such an abstract quantum scenario that an observer finds they defy all odds. Another possibility is that although an observer does not die, they nevertheless continue to suffer the effects of aging.

Hugh Everett on Many-World Interpretation:
Everett firmly believed that MWI guaranteed him immortality: His consciousness, he argued, is bound at each branching to follow whatever path does not lead to death. Not unlike the general plot of Source Code with Jake Gyllenhall, Captain Stevens repeatedly experiences “death” as he investigates the bombing of a train. Ultimately, he survives in the universe where the train was not bombed and no one died. Lucky sod…

So it was at this point that I chipped in. My interpretation of interpretations was much easier for me to understand. I told my friend that I had a notion for a simple brain, in that I believed there is only one arrow of time, ergo one reality. As one approached a point in space-time where a decision and consequence (causality) needed to be taken, many waves (options) presented themselves for us to choose from. Once we had chosen wisely (or otherwise), all other ‘opportunity waves’ collapsed and became thus, became particles, became history, became reality, became of the arrow of time.

In my opinion, I didn’t think that there were infinitesimal invisible universes out there each with their own arrows of time based on the different waves or paths we could have chosen. It’s easier for me to follow my arrow of time, and let the rest of the other me’s worry about quantum mechanics…

ALS(o) have this on my M(i)ND…

And so it came to be that I was eventually nominated to do the ALS / MND Ice Bucket Challenge by a good friend of mine. Without a doubt the cause is just, those folks out there that suffer from this affliction must go through a living hell. Just knowing that once diagnosed, one is subjected not only to a reduced lifespan the average life expectancy following positive diagnosis of a mere 36 months until death, but a daily degradation of physical service whilst the brain and consciousness remains untouched. A prison without walls.

Stephen Hawking is living proof of what MND does to the body and not the brain. He has defied the odds in terms of MND life expectancy and lived to a ripe old age thus far all things considered, and the scientific world is surely glad for that.

Facebook is often pilloried, but I think in this case it has been used globally as a positive tool to raise both awareness and funds for ALS and MND. Every second news feed at the moment is a video of someone taking part in their own “challenge”. It is a bit of fun for those that wish to participate, and also a vehicle for those who do not wish to participate in person, but either chose to donate to ALS / MND or to donate to other charities (for example a friend of mine’s view point was that all the wasted water concerned him, so instead he chose to donate some funds towards Water Aid), which is great too.

Personally, I chose to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, albeit with my own slant on it, and I had fun doing it and followed it through with a donation to MND:

http://youtu.be/kU8MIrAg8WI

However (there always seems to be an however with me), there is a part of me which remains sceptical about donations towards research, not just for ALS / MND, but for any body looking at providing cures for world ills. That part of me is concerned that the funds raised are either misappropriated or not channelled into the right places.

Taking ALS / MND as an example, £50m has been raised in one month, fantastic, but where is it going and what is it going to be used for? Will it be handed to Big – Pharma for them to use it as a way to produce a new synthetic chemical to treat the symptoms and not challenge the root cause and make a tidy profit from it all? Will it look deep into the genetics of the disease and look to eradicate it from happening in the future via a post-modern eugenics movement of sorts? Will it look into complementary therapies like yoga, meditation and reiki to see if these alternative self-healing techniques can aid or assist recovery or combat it’s onset?

All of these questions remain unanswered to me at present, but it’s something I’ll look into, but I do hope that the funds do end up in the right place and used in the right way.

This whole issue really got me thinking, and I think that it is no coincidence (I don’t see coincidences anymore – just breadcrumbs) that I started to watch the Channel 4 series Utopia (available in the UK and on Netflix) at exactly the same time as the Ice Bucket Challenge kick off.

In short, the story follows a small group of people who find themselves in possession of the manuscript sequel of a cult graphic novel called “The Utopia Experiments” which is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century. This leads them to be targeted by an organisation known as “The Network”, which they must avoid to survive. Using the manuscript, they must uncover the meaning hidden in its pages before the disasters depicted become reality.

Without spoiling it too much for anyone that hasn’t seen it, the fundamental theme relates to the ever increasing world population, how the future demand for planetary resources will exponentially increase and whether via a ‘humane eugenics movement” is something that we could or should put in place to control the population explosion as a way to extend our existience on our little blue dot.

So this is where I get controversial and perhaps hypocritical to my original gambit about ALS and MND. As a human race, we need death. We need death by any means. Should we just treat the symptoms and keep these things around, but make sure that those who have them do not suffer? No matter how you slice it, global population growth at the rate we have seen it over the last 200 years is completely and utterly unsustainable when mapped against projected resource decline. I was frankly amazed by the following statistics relating to world population studies:

  • 35k BC = 3 million
  • 10k BC = 15 million
  • 1400 = 375 million
  • 1804 = 1 billion
  • 1927 = 2 billion  
  • 1959 = 3 billion  
  • 1974 = 4 billion  
  • 1987 = 5 billion  
  • 1999 = 6 billion  
  • 2012 = 7 billion  
  • 2026 = 8 billion  
  • 2042 = 9 billion
  • 2060 = 10 billion

A little over two hundred years ago, there were only one billion homo sapiens on Planet Earth. We have added six billion people to that amount over the last two centuries.

By the year 2060, there will be an estimated ten billion of us on a planet that is very quickly running out of natural resources. So what are we doing about it?. Rather than looking into the mid-term future and concentrating our research efforts into safe, renewable and sustainable energy sources, instead we invent new ways of raping the geological stratas underneath the Earth’s surface as a way to satisfy our immediate need for energy, much to the detriment of the climate and our precious water table.

All this is to satisfy future demand they say as renewable energies cannot satisfy the supply versus demand curve. Those who will be able to afford energy in the future will be able to pay for it, but with advances in automation and an ever increasing demand for energy (from the needs of a ballooning population), those that cannot will be pushed even further away from the “haves” causing an inevitable future class war of epidemic proportions. It seems that our train is heading towards George Orwell’s vision as laid out in 1984, or Kurt Wimmer’s dystopian world as seen in the film Equilibrium, and the brake cables have been severed.

Of my home town during the Toxteth Riots of 1980, Margaret Thatcher (the then Prime Minister in the UK) said that Liverpool as a city was expendable, and that it should be placed under managed decline until (I guess) it either ceased to exist or it became manageable (a truly awful statement said about one of the most historic cities the world has ever known (not always for the right reasons)).

So for me, the Utopia series really does address and ask us a key question of the future, albeit through shocking graphics and a very disturbing storyline. Should we be managing our own decline globally? Should we put in place a humane eugenics movement for the greater good of our offspring to try and kerb global population booms in an effort to avoid wars and the continuing fight for natural resources (in the likes of Iraq) and inevitable plunge into dystopia?

Would it be our place to put in place such a drastic action (taking over the role of the Creator if such a thing exists), and has evolution turned such amazing potential into nothing more than a collective marauding beast which will stop at nothing including it’s own inevitable destruction?

Or do we say fuck it, let’s live the dream whilst we can, because tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999?

My belief is that the inevitable catastrophic decline will happen (via a global war), and that at some point, mankind (if indeed it still exists post-apocalypse, albeit in significantly smaller numbers) will rightfully have no alternative but to turn our future way of life into resource based economies as detailed by The Venus Project, as the value of currency will quite literally not be worth the paper it is printed on.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could change the paradigm into The Venus Project today. I’d move there tomorrow (I mean today)…

Sometimes letting go is the only way…

I came across this image the other day on Facebook. The circles that I mix in, I see a lot of these, but it was this one that really struck a chord.

photo

Letting go of friends and acquaintances, sad that it is, is a relatively quick process in terms of delivery and recovery. The harder path is family. There is an expectation on all of us that we must continue even the most toxic of relationships as we are duty bound, bonded by blood to our family tree both up, down and sideways.

But like a diseased tree, the rot spreads out and starts to infect other parts, leaving the branches, trunk and lifeless eventually. Our priority is to protect our part of the tree, our stems, our offshoots. If it means that we have to order a tree doctor to chainsaw off the parts which are infecting others, then although sad, the healthy part of the tree continues to live on and regenerate, leaving only minor, indifferent scars of the past, in time.

The doctor has been, the duty done, and my offshoots are starting to bloom once again…

Reiki Diary: Marked for Life…

“Life is not the opposite of death. Death is the opposite of birth. Life is eternal”…

I’ve always thought long and hard about the tattoos I’ve had, and with the exception of perhapsone, each one has a very personal meaning to me.

It is almost two years now since that dark day of staring into the void, not knowing what lied on the other side should I be forced into it. Part of my renaissance has definitely been my sojourn into yoga, meditation and reiki, so for me it was clear that should I decide to take on extra ink, then it would be referenced to the refreshed and universally centric me and the centre of my design decision.

And so it came to me and so it came to be. The chapter I have written for my meditation technique includes one on chakras (as you would expect) and along with the text, I searched long and hard for the right images for my guide. I have seen many different formations, shapes and colours most of them quite detailed involving the lotus, but I eventually landed on beauty in simplicity, the chakra symbol itself embedded in plain circle.

As with the guide and my special connection as it seems with the number seven, I decided to have all seven chakras tattooed down my spine, and as instructed in my ‘Meds Manual’, each time I cycle (circle) through each chakra during mediation, I will feel the energy inscribed in me from the tattoo artist re-emerge, acting as it where like a catalyst to my very own and unique way of blending yoga, meditation and reiki.

Looking at the finished article, I was very happy with the end result (including the hiding of some pock marks from those acne-filled teenage years), but alerting me at the same time that I didn’t have the most perfectly in-line spine and I could do with losing a few pounds…

My soul mate also had a tattoo done on her back, our Om symbols lining up in the same place.

We truly are marked for life now, or indeed infinity, eternally linked in mind, body, soul and now ink…

“Life is not the opposite of death. Death is the opposite of birth. Life is eternal”…

Reiki Diary Level 2 Cleansing: FINAL

Awake. More than the opposite of not asleep. Much more. Awake as in awakened. Awakened to the fact I’m now of the opinion that life is more than just existence, more than materialism and physicalism. My journey over the last twenty-one days has given me an all-new direction, one which was there all along, just that I was looking in the wrong place. I had tried the Buddhist Meditation Centre, I had tried yoga through the Samsung suite of applications on my SMART TV, I had tried looking into radical and far out new age theories, longing for a return to the inner peace I had last summer. None of those things did it for me. Granted they were very interesting and are all part of the new me, but reiki really was there all along, waiting for me to remember.

Eventually I did remember and booked myself in for a standard session with “L”. It was only after talking with her for many hours that I decided to go to the next level. She is totally convinced that I am very spiritual, that I have the ability to feel, hone in on and harness the universes’ invisible energy current for my own personal use, and eventually for use on others (when I felt the time was right).

Everything that happened during the day went past in a blur, no real focus or mental notes on what was happening and nothing that was happening had any significance, instead my focus was on the weather report and on the clock. I didn’t really need to consult the Met Office often too often though, as all I needed to do was look out of the window, not a cloud to spoil the aqua marine blueness of the earth’s lid.

I was getting rather excited by late afternoon and it was then that I started to gather up the things on my checklist for the beach. Picnic mat, blanket, hand-warmers, herbal tea, lighter, joysticks, yoga chairs,x-mini speakers, portable Buddha figurine and of course Chupa Chup lollipops. I got a message from “L” around that time saying that she had a surprise in store, and also was it ok for her boyfriend to come down and take some photos of her first beach attunement.

Just as I was closing the lid on my laptop, I noticed something that had been staring me in the face for literally two weeks. I had changed my laptop wallpaper after I had started meditating each morning to that of a solitary meditating figure, silhouetted from a light source in front of him. The realisation was that it was me. It was I that sat on the floor in the half-lotus position (the yellowy hue representing the beach). It was the setting sun behind wispy clouds which would be in the same position, behind the same wispy clouds as predicted by the Met office. It was the dark line at the edge of the horizon that represented the Irish Sea at its lowest ebb.

And so 5:15pm came, time to go. Firing up the Jeep I headed down the bright sun-lit streets and made my way to the lane which leads to the particular stretch of beach scheduled for the session. I got there a little early but I did so on purpose, sitting in the car, looking out to sea, my favourite track on the car CD player, pre-meditated and pre-meditation. It wasn’t too long before “L” and “P” joined me in their respective automobiles, “L” sharing the news that someone had just crashed into her car, leaving only a minor dent in the VW, no injuries acquired.

After gathering all of the things from the boot of the car, we made our way over the beach to a spot I had selected earlier and set up camp for the next two hours. Once everything was set up, she revealed the first surprise of the evening, which was that she was going to start my Reiki Level Three by inscribing on me the reiki master symbol (Dai Ku Myo) and that journey (although longer) would start today, and by doing so, I would attune “P”. When she sent me the text earlier, I had a strange feeling that she was going to say that. Once thing she did say was that of the students that she had brought through the ranks in the past year(s|), the energies she felt in me were really strong, and that my intentions for inner and outer healing (of others) were virtuous and just to do this tonight.

With that, I drew the reiki symbols on the sand so I could show her that I had learned them, which she was happy with. Sat comfortably on the yoga bean-bag chair, I then closed my eyes, “zenned” out, getting lost in the rhythm of the music as she made her way around my various chakras. I was facing the sun, universal energy from the source, and as I did so, I felt the energy coursing, my eyes, nose and lips trembling with kinetics as swirls of ghostly-white mist filled my view. It felt incredible. It felt real. It did not feel like it was the result of some psychosomatic delusion or projected hallucination, it felt like a connection, with another person, with another force.

After the attunement was complete, I sat a while in position still, raising my awareness to where we where and not that other place briefly, and then it was my turn to attune “P”, which I did. The energy was not so intense this time, perhaps because it was the first time that I had done it, but it was a good one nonetheless. When I asked him to bring his awareness back to the here and now, he did so, but almost not as he said he was drifting off to sleep (I do have that effect on people, women mostly)…

We talked a while about the experience and it was at that point that I had a revelation. I had been looking for reiki shares and meditation circles for some time over the last 6 months, all to no avail. And in that brief moment of clarity, sat there on the beach, watching the sun starting to set behind the wave-breaker rocks, and it dawned on me that I should set up my own beach meditation circle/school. If there is nothing out there, the do. Create. Ok I was still a veritable novice when it comes to reiki, yoga and meditation, but by god was I willing to learn and learn fast if it meant setting this thing up. “L” was excited to say the least. So then we set about setting it up:

  • Who would be involved (organisers).
  • What our Facebook page logo look like (and who would create it).
  • How much it wouldn’t cost (nothing – it would be a free to join activity).
  • When would we do it (starting off in May/June when the weather turned).
  • Where would we do it (right here where we currently sat on the beach).
  • Why would we be doing it (because there isn’t such a thing, and the beach is a place of wonder where a group of like-minded individuals can meet up, chill out, learns new techniques and talk about the universe and the ever-after).

So with that all agreed, “L” and “P” started to think about moving to the local Harvester restaurant for a coffee, some food and further food for thought on the beach meds school. I was not done though. I had something left to do. I took my Harry Potter-style wand and before me in the sand, I drew two power symbols either side of the distance symbol. I selected the Anoushka Shankar track on the playlist and assumed the position. I asked “L” to come behind me with one hand in front and one behind my heart chakra, I asked her to support and guide my energy back 22 years to the day my life changed forever, sending the tinnitus frequencies on a journey through time and space to the loser that lay smashed out of his brains, with no purpose in his life.

Instead of intensity, they was an inner peace, a steady flow of energy rather than a bolt of lightning. Serenity over the supersonic. I felt warm. I felt calm. I came out of the trance and brought my attention back to the beach, and opened my eyes. “L” was not there, she was stood way back. I didn’t feel her back away at any point, I felt as if she was still there. Walking over to her I asked her what she had experienced during that, and what she revealed too me back a little. She said that after a while a presence presented itself to my left hand side, and she saw an energy field of a figure standing next to me. Her exact words were “It was a man. The man was stood up very straight and with strength, almost to attention. I got the impression that it was your grandfather from your dads side. It was him that was guiding you in the end, not me”. I did not see anything with my own eyes (neither opened or closed) but I did feel that there was someone close to me, presuming wrongly it was still “L”.

The outline description of a man I had never met was ever so accurate. My grandfather was a Sergeant Major in the British Army who served as a Chindit in Burma during World War II, who died of gangrene years after his return to the UK. For some reason (and I guess that this is reflected in my “primary problem”) my father never ever spoke of him, no matter how many times I asked him, asking me instead to go speak to my uncle who knew a lot more about his war days. And for some reason even though we had never met, I have always felt that I have had some sort of connection to him, as I too am quite strong willed and driven, just like my aunt who passed away two years ago. I only ever recall seeing one photo of him, and as I wrote this (the last Level Two entry), I quickly googled the word Chindit in Wiki and found that there was a picture of the men of the 13th Battalion King’s Liverpool Regiment, which he may well have served in (being from Liverpool), and even sadder is that he may even be in the picture below without me knowing if he is or not.

Smiling, I gathered both my thoughts and my beach-wares and made it back over to the car, a distinct chill in the now air. Thankfully the restaurant was not too far away, and as we entered the beautiful red sun high the water setting it on fire from afar. We all took a hot drink and ate heartily and we swapped notes on all things “new age”, excited that our next journey back to the beach could be with several other friends, chilling out at group meditation sessions on Mother Earth’s golden sands of time.

I am now a fully fledged membe rof the Reiki Two Battalion…

ADDENDUM:

So last night I put a status update on Facebook, asking any friends if they would be keep to join in on a beach meditation circle this summer, and the response I had was very positive and quite voluminous.

I have always been a big fan of Lego, and as such I took the liberty of creating a “Lego Yoga Me” (ok me when I had really long hair) and this morning as I took the pooch for a walk, I lay him down on the beach, sat on his yoga mat and took some snaps. I may take this little figurine with me on my travels and take cool snaps of “Lego Yoga Me” from various locations, could be a bit of fun.

In closing, my Reiki Level Two has been an enlightening experience, and given me a sense of inner peace, direction in life, and some new techniques which will allow further improvements to mind, body and soul. Who knows, one day I may be able to turn around to “L” and legitimately say “When I met you I was the learner, now I am the (reiki) master”…

 

T.H.O.E: Prelude

Prelude (/ˈprɛljuːd/) (noun): An action or event serving as an introduction to something more important…

By the time I finish “The History of Everything” blog, I will be a different person. Older, for sure. Wiser, time will tell. I am not claiming that this blog will influence anyone or have any effects (profound or otherwise) on anybody other than its creator. Nor am I claiming that what I will find out over the course of the next few months will influence my current priorities in life, they will not change. The fact that next to nobody will probably read this is likely testament to that. In fact, if no one other than me actually observes this blog does it even exist? I guess from a Copenhagen interpretation, it exists and it does not exist until I get a “Like”…

The goal of this blog is to fill many gaps. In my case, there are many gaps in what I currently believe in terms of existence and the way we as humans and reality operates. I will be drawing upon many references from various sources and media, from philosophy to physics, from the biblical to the biological, from theories of relativity to theories of relative insanity (and there is plenty of that in my family).

I will attempt to give a linear view of things (but will also loop-in the loop theory), from before the beginning of measureable time, on through the last 13.7 billion years of development projects to infinity and beyond (whatever that may be). I will not attempt to pillory theorists and intellectuals (perhaps with the exception of Richard Dawkins who is neither), nor will I praise them, I will simply present to myself (and anyone else who cares to read this) the thoughts and ideas that have developed over time from a great many people (not many great people) so that the reader can draw their own conclusions to my conclusions.

I am a very simple person who has to have things dumbed-down a lot of the time so my pea-sized brain can take things in, so this blog should not be in any way inaccessible to others (but perhaps paradoxically it will be to me).

If there are things which are factually incorrect within these insane scribblings, they are simply errors of ignorance and I am more than happy to be corrected by the more learned folks of Planet Earth (and in turn will update this blog accordingly).

I have thought long and hard about the key questions I hope to answer during this blogathon. At the time of writing this prelude, I would like to formulate my own logical and most probable answers to the following. If These really are questions without answers, but one can form a diagnosis based on the facts presented, and then weight that with a probability factor :

1. Does God exist and is there such thing as a Grand Design (not including Kevin McCloud)?
2. What was there before the Big Bang?
3. What started the Big Bang?
4. Is there really a missing link?
5. What is reality?
6. What is consciousness?
7. Why are we here?
8. What happens when we die?
9. How will it all end?
10. Is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything really 42?

We live in an age where science is trying to prove everything beyond reasonable doubt, which is not probable because mankind will find it rather difficult to prove the existence or non-existence of God, consciousness and reality. We live in an age where religion and economics is so fractured and fragmented, that we will kill each other over our beliefs or for things we do not possess but want to possess. We live in an age where politics, rules and regulations are adhered to by the docile masses, with those that declare democracy doing so in such a way to make people believe they are free, but they do their upmost to covertly remove true liberty.

All of that said, I believe that there is a shift in human consciousness. There are a growing number of people out there who are looking for unfathomable questions to be answered, how are starting to ask the why are we here type questions. The advent of quantum mechanics (and my little knowledge of it) has proven to me at least as I sit here, that as So-Crates Johnson once said in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure “All that we know, is that we know nothing”. Science may be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt how the universe that we know started, how we as homo sapiens physically evolved over time, but at this point it cannot determine what consciousness and conscious thought is. I don’t think a mathematical formula will ever be able to prove why we are here…

I am at this point reminded that I will not be berating science, nature or religion throughout this piece, mere drawing all of the facts I have in my possession and coming to the most logical conclusion.

To that end I will attempt for each theory/concept I come across to bear the following in mind. I call it the ZSSP (Zipbung’s Sliding Scale of Probability) and each theory/concept will be rated 1 – 7. It goes something like this (adapted from Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion):

1. Fact: 100 per cent probability the theory/concept is true. “I know that it is true.”

2. Strong Belief: Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. “I don’t know for certain, but I strongly believe the theory/concept and assume it to be true.”

3. Leaning Belief: Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. “I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe the theory/concept and assume it to be true.”

4. Impartiality: Exactly 50 per cent. “The theory/concept is exactly equiprobable.”

5. Leaning Doubt: Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. “I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to disbelieve the theory/concept and assume it to be false.”

6. Strong Doubt: Very low probability, but short of zero. “I don’t know for certain, but I strongly disbelieve the theory/concept and assume it to be false.”

7. Fiction: 100 per cent probability the theory/concept is false. “I know that it is not true.”

My journey should be an interesting one that’s for sure. As a parting shot to this the prelude, precursor and preface, I leave you with a Bill Hicks quote to ponder now and as a reference point throughout my journey through The History of Everything:

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly coloured, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defences each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace”…