Sunday, December 31, 2006

Carl Sagan - The Existence of God

A person asked Carl Sagan: Is it Likely that science will one day come upon a demonstration of the existence of God?"

Carl Sagan: The answer depends very much on what we mean by God. The word "god" is used to cover a vast multitude of mutually exclusive ideas. And the distinctions are, I believe in some cases, intentionally fuzzed so that no one will be offended that people are not talking about their god.

But let me give a sense of two poles of the definition of God. One is the view of, say, Spinoza or Einstein, which is more or less God as the sum total of the laws of physics. Now, it would be foolish to deny that there are laws of physics. If that's what we mean by God, then surely God exists. All we have to do is watch the apple drop.

Newtonian gravitation works throughout the entire universe. We could have imagined a universe in which the laws of nature were restricted to only a small portion of space or time. That does not seem to be the case. And Newtonian Gravitation is one example, but quantum mechanics is another. We can look at the spectra of distant galaxies and see that the same laws of quantum mechanics apply there as here. So that is itself a deep and extraordinary fact: that the laws of nature exist and that they are the same everywhere. So, if that is what you mean by God, then I would say that we already have excellent evidence that God exists.

But now take the opposite pole: the concept of God as an outsize male with a long white beard, sitting in a throne in the sky and tallying the fall of every sparrow. Now, for that kind of god I maintain there is no evidence. And while I'm open to suggestions of evidence for that kind of god, I personally am dubious that there will be powerful evidence for such a god not only in the near future but even in the distant future. And the two examples I've given you are hardly the full range of ideas that people mean when they use the word "god".

---The Varieties of Scientific Experience

  • What is your take of the idea of "god" ?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Critical Thinking Faculty

I followed the same routine as yesterday. After I went back to sleep at 6:15 am. I had several stand along images or episodes that were clearly meant to challenge my ability to recognize the dream signs that were so obvious if I stayed awake and aware!

  • A little baby that I was taking care of. I was not sure who he was. I thought my child has grown up. It was not possible that I had to take care of such a small baby. But the more urgent matter was that the baby had bloated stomach so large that it looked scary. I thought, well whoever he is, he need to be taken to hospital right away!
  • I heard so loudly the distinct Chinese New Year celebration marching band ringing in my ear, it was exactly what I heard from my childhood memory. I tried to turn to find out where was the source of the band, but I found my self having sleep paralysis, I couldn't move....
  • An image of a person wearing full armored navy uniform, he looked quite handsome, except there were two ugly, grayish torn boots stacked on the top of his otherwise impeccably snow-white navy cap...
In the dream, I had certain suspicion of the first episode, but my doubt was interrupted by the appearance of the sick baby. Even with the last episode, the boots were obviously out of place, I failed to realize that I was in a dream. Apparently, I got a lot more work to do!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Travel to Ancient Stone Houses - A Dream

I somehow negotiated a better house for myself. We (our family) went out inspecting the house. It was a two-story house, with spacious room, and it looked really nice. But the whole house had carpeted floor, and I remembered my house was pergo floor and I like pergo floor better. Then, I noticed that there was this huge eight-foot wide square hole in the middle of the second floor, I thought it was quite bizarre while looking at it, but then I somehow just shrugged it off and said that it should be fine with me. With this affordable price it was just a little compromise and some minor inconvenience!

Then the scene changed, I clearly remembered that I fell asleep in that house. Then suddenly I noticed there was a shadow or some entity lurking and it was trying to drag me out of my bed. I was fearful and momentarily I floated out of my bed and swirling back and forth in the room. After several seconds, I somehow commanded myself to float out of the window, immediately I was outside and saw huge maple trees bursting with beautiful yellow and red leaves around. Then I proceeded to float onto the top of the office building.

The next excursion, I was floating on top of ancient stone houses, the road was not built with concrete, but with round shaped stones. I saw ordinary people wearing black, gray or off white clothes and individual village shops dotted below. The unusual scene was that it was all black and white, no color. It was as if I was stepping into black and white moving photos. All the time that I was floating, I heard a deep monotonous chant accompanying my float. It reminded me of a choir from monks in the monastery. With that, I thought to myself, " It is time to see god".

I urged myself to float again. With my intention to see god, I floated upward this time, and I was in the middle of open space, suddenly my alarm clock was blaring off. I was quite annoyed and thought I would drop out of the sky. But instinctively I reached out of my hand to turn off the alarm and I was awaken to my normal senses. I was disappointed that I did not complete my mission.
Ever since I have selected my thesis of "Unconscious World of Dream - A Jungian Perspective", I have been trying to induce more dreams for my study. But, either my motivation was not strong enough, or I have trouble remembering my dreams. For the past two months, there were many futile attempts. Since I set my date of completion unrealistically at mid February, I have to at least get started if only just mentally preparing it.

For this morning's dream-converted-astral travel experience to happen, I had exerted tremendous amount of effort. I purposely went to bed 11:00 pm and set alarm to go off on 4:30 am, that got me plenty of sleep, and then half an hour's focus 10 exercise followed by 40 minutes meditation. So, the last time I went back to sleep was 5:45. My alarm was set to go off by 6:30 am. I know that 45 minutes might not be enough time for lucid dreaming induction, but I was willing to give it a try. After all, I need time to prepare for work.

Here are my dream analysis:

---There were several scenarios that could have prompted my awareness of incongruous nature of the dream scenery but I vaguely sensed their oddity, but did not question its validity. One of them is my remembering of my pergo floor at home, and the other is the strange big hole in the middle of the second floor. The dream signs were waving and flashing but I clearly ignored and rationalized them away. That goes to say that I need to train myself to recognize the illogical occurrences.

---I was not surprised with the shadow figure. When I first had my astral travel experiences beginning at 2003, I often sensed a force or an entity squeezing the top of my head so hard that I thought I will be crushed to death. But when that happened, I floated out of it and in a sense my consciousness needed a kick out of my body. As time went by, the floating got a lot easier. Sometimes, it was just a breeze flow around my forehead and out I went in seconds! Having no OB experience in two months, I guess a little dragging out was needed.

---For most of OB experience, I let it happen to me. I did not direct where I wanted to go. Even though I was not successful this time, at least I commanded my float and set an intention for what I wanted to do, in this case, the association of monk's chant with wanting to see god.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Tidal Force

The year 2006 is rapidly coming to a close. A year of one major change in my personal life but a year of quite stationary condition in my inner world. Basically I am trying to lift up myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually in the midst of those unforgiving tidal force of event. I admit these family feud did get into my skin from time to time but I absolutely certain that nothing that happens is truly random. There is a reason and lesson for whatever happens and I am not apologetic about it.

Retrospectively a year ago to be exact, I have in my blog page describing life as a theater that we, as actor/actress playing many roles in the saga of life. As long as the curtain is unfolded, we have an obligation to play our part well, that also include our scripted role as a villain that is most unpopular to be certain but may be necessary of our consciousness evolution.

In my inner world, I have not engaged in too much external gadgets like I did before. I come to my senses that I will continue cultivating the discipline for meditation and working on my metaphysical study. There is indeed no vacuum in my self development, I have a great sense of joy in my reading and my contemplating. I am steadily climbing the rungs of ladder, at time may be faltering and out of balance, but in a rare moment, luck may strike I will gain wonderful realization and catch a glimpse of our eternal nature. Yes, life is truly a great school beyond theatrical proportion.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Season of Giving

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace." -- Agnes M. Pharo

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Carbon Copy

The other night when I was meditating about twenty minutes into the session, I had a vision or rather a reflection of my long lost memory of more than ten years....
I was shopping in a local supermarket, I had finished shopping and waited on the check out line. There was a long waiting line on the check out counter. I saw, to my amazement, me walking into the store. It was unmistakably me, a carbon copy of me walking into the store. I said to myself, "my God, that is me" How could it be possible? I felt like to approach that person, but unfortunately, I was in the middle of the check out line and there was no way to pull things out and run after that person since I have waited for so long. However, I made a mental note to look out for that person next time around.
Many weeks after that, every time I shop in that supermarket, I will carefully look around and see if I can find that person again, but to no avail, I had never seen her since then. It was rather disappointing! So, I completely forgot about that instant for many years until a few days ago when I was meditating!

Meditation sometimes will flash some long lost memories in the profound stilled state. It may not mean anything in and of itself. In my case of remembering the past event, I don't think there is any significance other than that this surface of forgotten memory is a normal course of meditative practice.

If we want to use meditation as a mental clearing process, the flash back could sometimes stir up unsettling mental attitudes and disturbing images. This gives a meditator an opportunity to acknowledge the somewhat unpleasant memories and release them if one so inclines to break the bondage of the hidden past.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Persevere, Brother, Persevere!

I seem to have gone through a period of spiritual void. For more than a month now, my meditative session was short and uneventful. I often stopped my meditation after half an hour's practice feeling inadequate and just plain frustrated and ended giving up all together. Deep inside I felt I did not have a good and solid connection with my inner self, and it was just such a waste of time.

However, I am longing for mind travel experiences and I could not stop thinking and hoping almost every night. There are many spiritual experiences seem to happen when we are least expected. Every time I have a special vivid dream or mind travel experience, I will be beaming with happiness several days or weeks afterwards. Most of the mundane daily grind seems to be much more tolerable. It is as if I was temporarily transported to a different realm and witnessed the magical power of the mind. At time, I will be nostalgia of what have transpired in that eternal moment.

I have just gained a better control of my meditation several days ago after a month's fruitless struggle. Spiritual progress is like a zig zag winding road, there are times that we feel that the road that we traverse is about to reach a dead end but as we come closer, a tiny turn is just around the corner. May be that tiny turn could turn into six-lane speedway for all we know. So, my advice to myself, persevere!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Water - Our Source of Life Force Energy

Several years ago, I read a book "The Hidden Messages in Water" from Masuro Emoto. This is an "eye opener". Water, the very essence of our being, is the essential ingredient of life. In fact, without water, there will be no life, let alone human. But most of us take it for granted without any appreciation or acknowledgement of its importance.

However, Mr. Emoto has done research of how our simple thought can actually influence the structure of water molecule. Using high-speed photography, he has captured many photos that demonstrated that water can reflect the consciousness level individually or collectively as a species.

When water was in the presence of good thought, positive energy, classical music, or a simple appreciation, and love, the water showed beautiful, symmetrical crystalline patterns that was breathtakingly wonderful.

But when water was exposed to hateful thought, negative energy, heavy metal music, or unpleasant cursed words, the structure became asymmetrical, incoherent, deformed and just plain ugly.

Why is it important to keep positive thought at all time? A good 75 % of our human body contains water, if we constantly think negative thought, we are actually instilling an incoherent and destructive force to the water molecule inside of us. If nutrients carrying blood cells are immersed in that merky, deformed water, then we eventually will have a diseased body to deal with.

Another interesting discovery from Masuro Emoto was that when water was blessed by a Buddhist monk, the water molecule showed a perfect structure of pattern so it resonanted at a higher level of frequency. Come to think of it, the Christian ritual of saying a prayer of blessing before the meal makes a lot of sense, it shows our appreciation for the bountiful food God provides us. Whether you are Christian or not, I think we all can use this approach to energize our food. We can bless the water we drink, the food we eat, so that it brings in higher frequency of vibration to increase health and elevate our consciousness.