Meditation and Social Movements.

Yesterday I responded to a post on FB that warned of right wing influences that are occurring in what appear to be left wing and New Age groups. Today, I would like to follow up with another warning and that is groups who actively engage in meditation. Meditation is like a kind of therapy. In fact when meditation is directed towards an object, figurehead or any form of visualization that requires a script it can seem exactly like speaking to a therapist. Meditation can create a sense of calm and well being and it opens up the mind to ideas. Psychotherapy and mediation can help a person direct their life more effectively, but there are profound differences between them. In psychotherapy, the answers to questions come from without. In meditation the answers come from within. If the person is healthy in meditation any answers will reflect the individual’s values and aspirations much more accurately than if they are aided by a therapist whose ideas and values might be quite different. Meditation might also encourage a person to learn more from without by offering what is a safe place to retreat to when necessary. However, safety is not a simple issue, a lot depends on a person’s well being. Psychotherapy deals with the mundane, while meditation goes deeper and connects the mind to another dimension, sometimes called spirituality. Importantly, this shift to another dimension is also a shift in consciousness and an opening up of the unconscious, which leaves the meditating individual in a very vulnerable and gullible position. Such a person can be receptive to ideas which might not necessarily be in his or her best interest. Just as advertisers use subliminal messages to capture our custom, so too can meditation be used to indoctrinate the minds of innocent people. Clearly, this is not the purpose of genuine mediation, but in my lengthy experience of social movements, I have seen meditation used numerous times to enforce beliefs. Indoctrination is so much easier in a feel good environment and when the individual is led to believe they are in control of what is happening. Meditation induces the condition of self that appears holistic and in stasis. Psychotherapy is a way of working out problems along general lines of thinking. Meditation is a way of experiencing another dimension in life. Psychotherapy is life. The two should not be confused. There are many ways in which mediation can seem like therapy and it has all the same dangers therein. In therapy a person sets out to uncover deep and unresolved problems. In therapy the role of the therapist is to guide the person through these difficult situations in a way that the patient comes to his or her own safe and self determinations. In meditation when problems arrive there is no guide and the problems can seem insurmountable and in some cases they can invoke a breakdown and/or leave the mind open to alternative influences. The trends towards meditation in New Age groups is common and many are using meditation as a form of therapy and/or to change peoples’ thinking towards that of the group. Sigmund Freud noted this danger in the 1930s when he described how the ego of the individual is introjected into the leader of the group. We see this happen in cults quite clearly, but it is not so obvious in the movements that appear more democratic and progressive. We live in a world of discursive politics that find their way into various movements and practices and we need to be vigilant of the pitfalls and clearly invoke the appropriate checks and balances.
To be clear, I am not against meditation, indeed it can be a very powerful tool for healing and for bringing peace to mind, but like everything, motivation should always be open to question. The way to stay safe is to ask questions and to be completely satisfied with the answers. To conclude that meditation is useful because it is spiritual is not a satisfactory answer.

Right Wing Activists in Left Wing Movements.

QAnon supporters wait for a military flyover during Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, D.C. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/The Washington Post via Getty Images. To read the original article go to

https://gen.medium.com/amp/p/d1a6ddcd7be4?fbclid=IwAR19qmtojn7z2Ezz5u_KyYnO2ziqzvkvnkSrbfGcm9XjW7iBJTxzfpBg2xM

My Response.

For a long time now, I have been suggesting that people look closely at the some of the alternative movements for their extreme and archaic idealism, which has its roots in the German Volk of the 1930s, having drawn its inspiration from the bio-organic commune of the 1800s, which in turn, was deeply involved in the advance of racial purity. In my 2013 book The Deep Green Delusion: Vitalism and Commmunal Autarky, I described how the organics movement is much broader than we imagine and as an exclusive food source it resonates with the ideas of Jorian Jenks who was a founding member of the UK Soil Association and also a member of the British Union of Fascists. The connection between Blood and Soil has a long history. My book, which is now out of print, described how mainstream social protest movements were usurped by a New Age theological cult, which made the environment movement a tool for the ruling elite. These groups separate from middle class radicalism and are deeply nationalist, isolationist and steeped in quasi-religious rhetoric that win hearts and minds through the use of positive psychology. While these groups were able to draw on the need for everyone to significantly change their consumer lifestyle, they also reiterate the ecology of scholars such as the German Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). In 1971 Daniel Gasman published a detailed account of Haeckel’s work titled Scientific Origins of National Socialism; and Social Darwinism and the German Monist League. Haeckel’s ecology played a key role in the genesis of the Volk and continues to feature is certain green movements today. Haeckel’s ideas led to the notion of closing borders and seizing land for the protection of the bloodlines, this was later embodied into the so-called protection of the environment. By 1968 the mantra was on population control, which was spirited on by Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb. The work has since been viewed as distinctly racist as Ehrilich floated the idea of temporary sterilants for easing the number of births in the developing world. Without wishing to name groups, movements or institutions, these disturbing Volkish sentiments still remain, but they are better known now for their connection to a cultural spirituality and mysticism, one that does not make the distinction between what is a genuine concern for the planet and its inhabitants and philosophies that have their roots in historical and racial self-interest. Before embarking on any alternative movement I would urge the reading of Madam Blavatsky’s the Secret Doctrine of the Atlantis, with its six root races, the master race being the Aryans, and make sure this philosophy is not being discursively promulgated by what appear to be well meaning social movements.

 

 

Hand painted drums.

 10 inch Tambourine drum.
Ten inch Tambourine drum.
16 inch Shamanic hand drum. 
 14 inch Shamanic hand drum.
 21 inch Iranian Daf hand drum.
10 inch Tambourine drum.

Where do we really come from?

                                                          Google images.
I have been thinking about writing another book comparing the birth of the universe with the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and the works of some of the earliest mystical scholars.
One of the writers I like in particular is Isaac Luria  Ashkenazi 1534– 1572. He is known as the Lion of the Kabbalah.  He actually wrote very little, but he had a large following who documented his works.
Luria was renowned as a mystic and poet, but he was really an early scientist with strong empirical methods of question and exploration.   Luria was born in Jerusalem and is buried at Safed in Israel.  I was hoping to visit his grave this year on my visit to Israel, but the journey has been put aside due to the global pandemic.
 Safed is an interesting place, known for its history rooted in the Kabbalah. There are many Kabbalah artists and scholars living there today.
Luria teaches that, at the beginning of everything, the whole of existence was a simple kind of light, which he called the light of Ein-Sof, the word means infinite.  Luria believed there was no way of understanding this light, it was not meant to be comprehended.
Light, as we know is usually construed to mean optical electromagnetic radiation, a force made up of protons with wavelengths that make some of them visible to the human eye.
We know that physical particles can be classified according to their nature to segregate (the fermions) or to aggregate (the bosons). They can also be classified according to their function as being either of material substances or the carriers of forces. There are other ways of grouping particles as well, but I will leave that for another time.
What we can see in terms of electromagnetism is very little, most of it is hidden.   Nonetheless, the ancient writers and mystics saw something intrinsically relevant about the source of light.
The Hebrew word for light is ohr, each of these letters has a numeric value and a specific mystical meaning. When we add-up all of these elements, what is  formed is a story. Indeed, it is the story of Creation, but it is not a straight- forward account.
 The story has been widely spread and revealed to an elite number of mystics and hidden from the general population for centuries.  Also, while the story is about something simple, light; it is not a simple story. It is a Divine story. It has religious and ritualistic connotations.
We can only speculate on the first source of light, but some theories have been profound and convincing. I believe we are sitting upon the precipice of a major discovery in relation to who we are and where we originate from.
There has never been a more desperate time for a sense of belonging and I feel we have misunderstood the core meaning of what it is to belong.
There is a huge puzzle of fragments to be put together and already a thousand years of literature written by people who have tried to find a deeper meaning to the concept of Divine light.
The term for the creative Divine light is Sefirot, which derives from the Hebrew word enumeration or declare. Together with the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the ten Sefirot, thirty-two paths were created, by which the world was said to be made. (Thirty-two has always been a special number for me and I have never really known why).
  The interesting question is this,  can it be said that this number is evocative of roughly twenty-nine elementary particles? Keeping in mind, we don’t know all there is to know about particles.
In The Bahir, the sefirot are explicitly referred to as forces. It asks, what is the hidden force? According to the Sefer Yetzirah the sefirot are also the origin of the substance of the cosmos. The sefirot permeate the universe and sustain it.  By comparing texts we start to get into the universal symmetry and how it relates to us as humans.
I think there is much to be learned from the symmetry.
Symmetry determines how some particles exhibit their properties of charge and mass. It applies not just to particles, but to forces as well. Symmetry governs the universe and it governs our lives as individuals. We see symmetry at work in our societies as well as in nature. We see symmetry in the workings of our brains and other bodily organs.
Much has been written on this topic, but little has been compared to how we function as a society, or where we might locate consciousness.  Jung came close to advocating for a universal consciousness, but he took the mystical path rather than an empirical one. We now have more knowledge to examine and evaluate.
I believe we have reached a point in our societies, and in science, where we need  to think about these questions and issues differently. In the sciences (and elsewhere) we have always taken the anthropocentric view.  Perhaps we need to reverse our starting point, with God and/or the universe as the initial point of reference.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  It makes sense to me.

Israel’s Plans to Annex parts of the West Bank.

                                                      Map of West Bank Settlements.

Why does it feel as though powerful governments of the world are pushing historical enemies into direct  confrontation with one another?   Why?   Why now?  There are several flash points around the world, a major one being Israel.

The Six-Day War that took place between June 5th and June 10th, 1967  was viewed by the  Israelis as a preventative measure to counter what the Israelis saw as an impending attack by Arab nations that surrounded Israel. The war took place against Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Israel won and gained additional territory, the West Bank of the River Jordan, which is bounded by Israel to the north, west and south. To its east lies Jordan.

Following the war, Israel and Palestine have been in a conflict that could impact the entire world if it escalates.

Since the Six Day War  Israel’s occupation of the West Bank has been a partial cause  of ongoing battles across borders  between the Palestinian Arabs  and the Jews, with much of the western world siding with the Palestinians.

There was a time when Israel drew some sympathy from the west when Israel was under constant attack; but the sympathy has waned.   Today, Israel is demonized. This is largely due to the contempt Israel has demonstrated for its lack of administering basic Human Rights to Palestinians, which are afforded under International Law.  The Israeli government has become a law unto itself.   Not wishing to concede Palestine’s demands is one thing, but practicing unnecessary brutality against Palestinian citizens has brought Israel into disrepute.

Israel has a dire need to protect its people, but the Israeli government has without a doubt set neighbour against neighbour.   Israel has the military advantage so Israel will always carry the blame for being unfair,  while both sides are to blame for the ongoing hostilities.  The conflict is bitter and neither side will concede. As time moves on the problems appear intractable, but now Israel wants to exacerbate the situation?

Israel wants to annex parts of the West Bank, which would give Israel sovereignty over the territory.   Under International Law such a move is illegal. The last place to be annexed was Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014.

Israel is surrounded by enemies and the West Bank would certainly give Israel a strategic military advantage.  The Palestinians have said many times publically, that they want to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.

Israel’s nuclear capability  is said to act as a deterrent, but such whims have always ended badly.

Israel won the West Bank during the Six Day War and they have taken possession with gusto.  The government has subsequently built settlements on the land.  Israel naturally wants to protect its citizens, especially those on the borders where people are particularly vulnerable to ongoing attacks, but it also makes historical claims to the land, which call into question, how far a nation can stretch its religious and ancestral prowess and at what cost. The Jewish people have survived by keeping faith with their ancestry and religious practices.   There are many fears associated with letting go and moving forward into a more homogeneous society.   The birth rate among the Palestinians is much higher than that of the Israeli’s, this poses a serious threat to Jewish survival.

While much of the world opposes the annexation, including the United Nations, the US President Donald Trump is giving his support to it.

 

After Donald Trump’s election to office, he decided to get up close to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and show himself to be a President who is a friend of Israel, but what sort of friend rides roughshod over neighbouring states to the extent that it would destabilize the whole region? I believe there is more to Donald Trumps’ offer of friendship than meets the eye. Trump deals in finances, not care for peoples’ lives.

Donald Trump took it upon himself to draft a peace plan, since many had failed before.   There was nothing remarkably new about Trump’s plan, which included the annexation.  (The plan was rejected by the Palestinians). Without doubt, Trump’s plan has pushed the annexation forward.

Between 2.1 million and 3 million (sources vary) Palestinian Arabs live in the West Bank under both limited self-rule and Israeli military rule.

The West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) is also home to some 430,000 Israeli Jews who live in 132 settlements (and 124 smaller outposts) built during Israel’s occupation.

The vast majority of the western world consider the settlements to be illegal under International Law, but Israel and the Trump administration have their own interpretation of the Law.

The parts of the West Bank which contain Jewish settlements are planned for annexation as well as most of the land along the West Bank’s boundary with Jordan, known as the Jordan Valley. The move is highly provocative and could end in disaster for Jews and Palestinians alike.

Israel will undoubtedly be looking to build more settlements and the annexation will make the process easier, since Israel will have sole control of the area, but where will it leave the people who have to live there?  Already, Jews are under constant fire from the other side of the borders. Annexation is bound to make it worse. Added to this, it will undermine any future peace talks or hope of a more stabilized and cooperative future, for Palestinians and Jews in the region.

If this annexation takes place it will concretize and legitimize the rule of despotic leaders, east and west.  These are never one-off situations, they shed their bravado far and wide.

Space and Consciousness.

                                          World from space. NASA

 

I thought I would write about my theory of space and consciousness.
First, it has been well established that the ancient Biblical writings are allegory.  They were the work of a number of scribes, each with their own interpretations of life and the universe.  We see this style of communication clearly in  the Talmud, where each contributor is generally named and a discussion between contributors takes place as part of the original text. In fact, the Talmud is designed much like the universe (or as it was perceived in ancient days). At the centre of a Talmud’s page there is the topic for discussion and the commentary appears in all four of the margins, as if the words were free floating planets around a central Sun.  The design is said to be copied from the first scriptures of Babylon that were on stone tablets where the text was placed on all sides of the stone.
To the task at hand.
  All space is occupied space. In other words, all space is defined by what occupies it.  This is tricky because we do not always know what occupies space.
   Space alludes us, it is difficult to grasp exactly what space is because it appears as an abstract concept. The spaces between letters for example give us a clear sentence in language, but this does not tell us much about the nature of space, it only leads us to believe that space separates things.  This is partially true, but it is not the whole story.  Space also brings things together.  In addition, space  expands and allows for creation and replication, not just of space itself, but also of matter, and indeed, language.
   My idea is that we should perceive consciousness as a form of space. Consciousness is not a tactile entity, we cannot experience it in the same way as we experience objects, but without consciousness we would not be able to experience things at all, or so it is believed.    Let us imagine consciousness as a form of space like that in the universe; constantly expanding, while at the same time being intangible.
     To understand the nature of universal space we need to examine the origins of the universe and how matter and energy relate to space in their most primal forms.
     There is an important rule to keep in mind. Space is analysed by the Theory of Relativity, which tells us that nothing travels beyond the speed of light.
     However, space does travel beyond the speed of light, because space is not actually travelling, it is expanding… like a balloon.  When you blow up a balloon it gets bigger, but it does not go anywhere unless you let go of it. Also, when you blow up a balloon you cannot get inside the balloon, you can only examine it from the outside. Our universe is much the same, it appears to sit on the surface of a balloon (space) and is held by gravitational forces.
  Neither the universe or its space are flat, they are curved by gravity, like a balloon. As the universe expands the balloon gets bigger. As the universe expands the Earth is becoming further away from the planets that are familiar to us.   Distance also determines speed, so the outer universe may not be governed by the same Earthly equations such as the speed of light. (Consider this in terms of the speed at which the human brain operates and by what we have created to increase the speed of life on Earth. i e the Internet.) Humans are also governed by speed. You might have a long life or a short one, what contributes to this are particles mapped out in our DNA. Particles in the universe are also relative to speed.
The most common theory of Creation is the Inflationary Universe.  This is a core belief now manifested in quantum mechanics, also present in the Kabbalah and other ancient texts. It is also believed to be the starting point for the Big-bang Theory.
The Inflationary Theory holds that the universe began as a minuscule dot.
Edwin Hubble’s discovery of the expansion of the universe led scientists to extrapolate this information by going back in time to a universe that was a microscopic dot.  The dot was believed to be smaller than the size of the nucleus of an atom. It was also immensely hot and dense.   Heat causes matter to expand. It has been estimated that the particles that carried the forces and the particles upon which those forces act, were blended (the story of Adam and Eve).  It was also initially thought that the universe appears the same in all directions (isotropy). This is because it has evolved from a single entity, but this is impossible because any kind of shared experience between parts entails communication between those parts.  To put it differently, there is always already shared information carried through light (energy) that differentiates particles.
As the universe expanded it had to communicate with other realms so the light expanded.
Here we can start to see definite parallels between the ancient texts and cosmology as well as a likeness between the developmental properties of human consciousness.
It was once conceived that various areas of the brain controlled corresponding actions in the body, we now have a more holistic approach, we know that the brain has plasticity, it expands to make up any deficits, but not necessarily in uniformity.
We know through experiments  that if a person loses a leg, there will be intense pain as if the leg was still there because the brain remembers the leg. We know also that if a mirror is placed next to the existing leg, the brain will read this as two legs and eliminate the pain. We can trick the brain, but only because the brain has all the necessary components to allow it to be tricked.  In the universe the mirror has another name, it is called dark matter and it is the primary influence in all the activities of the universe.  I believe the unconscious elements of the human brain can be viewed as the dark matter of consciousness.
As matter expands the gravitational forces act to slow down the outward expansion from the Big Bang. Theoretically, this should cause the universe to stop or contract. However, gravity prevents this. Further, the greater contribution of gravity comes from non-nuclear dark matter, which causes the movement of galaxies.  We know that no thoughts take place in full consciousness and that our actions are not always conscious.  Rather, everything stems from the unconscious, we might call this dark energy. In the universe, dark matter has dark energy.
A above so below.
We know very little about dark matter, but Einstein suggested that there might be a repulsive force creating a constant.  In the realms of human consciousness might we call this repulsion a conscience? There are forces at work that stop us from doing things, compassion, empathy, care, love.  We readily say God loves us, might the universe be our genuine lover?
At this point we can only conjecture similarities between the workings of the universe and those of the human brain.  Dark energy in the universe gets its name from the cosmological constant that arises from gravity.  There is very little discussion on the way gravity impacts on humans, it is taken as a given.
Dark energy is the greatest influence in the universe. It may also be thought to be the greatest influence on the human psyche.  Might there be a connection between dark matter and the human unconscious?
What is it that draws us to particular phenomena when our conscious minds are now considered by science to be no more than an emissary of something greater?