Honor and Magic

Zhenyuanlong suni: biggest ever winged dinosaur is found in China

Beautifully preserved skeleton fossil discovered of raptor two metres long with impressive plumage that lived 125m years ago in northeastern China

Beautifully preserved skeleton fossil discovered of raptor two metres long with impressive plumage that lived 125m years ago in northeastern China

An ancient feathered creature dug up in northeastern China is the largest winged dinosaur ever found, researchers say.

The fossil of the prehistoric raptor is so well preserved that scientists have been able to reconstruct its impressive plumage, from the tiny feathers on its head and neck, to the larger quill pen-like feathers that sprout from its tail and substantial wings.

A cousin of the velociraptor made famous by the Jurassic Park movies, the carnivore two metres in length lived 125m years ago in the region where dense forests became home to some of the first flowering plants.

Named Zhenyuanlong suni, the new species shared the land with a huge variety of other creatures. Dinosaurs were abundant, among them Yutyrannus huali, the “feathered tyrant”. On the ground beneath their feet lived salamanders, amphibians and plenty of mammals, including the badger-sized beast, repenomamus, which dined on dead dinosaurs.

For the full article, click here.

Zoroaster’s Telescope

SOURCE: Ouroboros Press
Introduction by John Leary

Zoroaster’s  Telescope is a wonderfully strange book of oracle magic. Written in 1796 by André-Robert Andrea de Nerciat, a French author of Libertine genre, the text later appeared in a collection of German folk literature compiled by Johann Scheible from which this English translation was made. The 18th century was an active time for occultism; magicians and fortune tellers of note were spread throughout Europe, often playing significant roles in historical or political events. This was the era of the Count of St. Germain, Cagliostro, Antoine Court de Gebelin, Etteilla, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, Emanuel Swedenborg and Adam Weishaupt whom were known for their visionary and magical prowess or accuracy at divining the future. It is a curious fact that the two genres of eroticism and the occult often overlap as is the case of the author of the present text, but this did not prevent him from giving advice on bodily desires of food and love as well as moralizing on the disadvantages of non-restraint.

While  ancient divination systems such as geomancy and hepatoscopy have been around for centuries the 18th century was giving way to new forms of occult sciences such as the Odic Light and Magnetism of Baron Carl von Reichenbach and Franz Mesmer. Tarocco the Tarot game from Italy was also just coming into its own as a system of fortune telling with the publication of Le Monde Primitif Analyse et Compare avec le Monde Moderne by Antoine Court de Gebelin in 1781, and the publication of Maniere de se recreer avec le jeu de cartes nomees Tarots by Jean Francois Alliette in 1783.  Etteilla produced his own Tarot cards not long after after this publication. Even though the present author André-Robert Andrea de Nerciat seemed to hold a rather dim view of activities such as Tarot and Palmistry as revealed twice in his text, he appears to have high regard for his particular amalgamation of divinatory of kabbala and spiritual astrology. Some of his statements appear as though they might be in direct contrast to actual Jewish thought such as the day starting with the first ray of light, making one ponder what the sources for some of his ideas might be.

For the full article, click here.

Longfellow: The Light of Stars

The Light of Stars
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The night is come, but not too soon;
And sinking silently,
All silently, the little moon
Drops down behind the sky.

There is no light in earth or heaven
But the cold light of stars;
And the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars.

Is it the tender star of love?
The star of love and dreams?
O no! from that blue tent above,
A hero's armor gleams.

And earnest thoughts within me rise,
When I behold afar,
Suspended in the evening skies,
The shield of that red star.

O star of strength! I see thee stand
And smile upon my pain;
Thou beckonest with thy mailed hand,
And I am strong again.

Within my breast there is no light
But the cold light of stars;
I give the first watch of the night
To the red planet Mars.

The star of the unconquered will,
He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,
And calm, and self-possessed.

And thou, too, whosoe'er thou art,
That readest this brief psalm,
As one by one thy hopes depart,
Be resolute and calm.

O fear not in a world like this,
And thou shalt know erelong,
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong.

Je Suis Charlie! May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh Takes Flight for France

dated: May 20, 1927
SOURCE: The Nation

The happiest feature of the country’s acclaim of Captain Lindbergh is that for once, everybody, of every shade of opinion, can agree. There is no room for dissent. A marvelous achievement was accomplished in a faultless manner by a young American who embodies within himself the finest American characteristics.....

Equally gratifying has been the bearing of the hero. A skilled diplomat could not have done better. His turning over to the orphans and widows of French aviators the 150,000 francs given for a gold cup...reveal an old head upon young shoulders over a warm and sympathetic heart. Moreover, his refusal to consider the offers made to him for public appearances, which would have made him a millionaire overnight, is in the best tradition. When he declared that he had never thought of money in his exploit, he taught the youth of his country a finer lesson than he did by the courage and fortitude of his flight toward the sun. In an hour when public emphasis is so largely upon things purely material, it is glorious to find a youth who can remain a modest gentleman seeking no undue reward and can keep his head in the face of the greatest applause and fame ever given to a single individual...

American can best show her pride and gratitude by refusing to spoil one who, we sincerely hope, will always remain one of her finest assets.

Hancock: A Comet Wiped Out A 'Highly Advanced' Civilisation 13,000 Years Ago

by Andrew A. Anissi

In 1995, journalist Graham Hancock, formerly of The Economist, authored a book entitled "Fingerprints of the Gods", in which he documented evidence from around the world of a highly advanced lost ancient civilization, and in which he postulated the destruction of such civilizations by a comet roughly 13,000 years ago. Hancock's book sold more than three million copies and achieved worldwide acclaim, despite also earning the ire of detractors from among conservative academics.

Now, more than 20 years after publication of "Fingerprints of the Gods", new evidence confirms Hancock's claim.

“In 1995, I wrote a book about all the clues – the fingerprints – that pointed to the existence of this lost civilisation,” Hancock told The Sunday Times. “But what I lacked was a smoking gun. Now we have it." [emphasis added.]

According to a series of geological and geophysical papers, the result of extensive empirical research, the evidence proves that the Earth was indeed hit by a comet striking the North American ice cap about 12,800 years ago. "Further fragments of the comet went on to hit the northern European ice cap and there was fall-out as far away as the Middle East."

Hancock explains, "Everything we have been taught about the origins of civilization up to now begins AFTER 11,600 years ago. Prior to that date our ancestors are supposed to have been simple hunter gatherers and nothing more. I demonstrate in Magicians that what we have been taught about the origins of civilization is badly wrong and that there has been a major forgotten episode in human history and that this episode was brought to an end, turning us into a species with amnesia, by the comet impacts, and the resulting global cataclysm, 12,800 years ago. There were survivors of the lost civilization -- the "Magicians of the Gods" after whom the book is titled -- and it is they who planted the seeds that eventually grew to fruition in the historical civilizations that we have all been taught about in school."

Hancock's new book, "Magicians of the Gods" chronicling the new evidence, will be published in September of this year.

The Unreality of Time

SOURCE: Physics Central

Philosophy and physics may seem like polar opposites, but they regularly address quite similar questions. Recently, physicists have revisited a topic with modern philosophical origins dating over a century ago: the unreality of time. What if the passage of time were merely an illusion? Can a world without time make sense?

While a world without the familiar passage of time may seem far-fetched, big names in physics, such as string theory pioneer Ed Witten and theorist Brian Greene, have recently embraced such an idea. A timeless reality may help reconcile differences between quantum mechanics and relativity, but how can we make sense of such a world? If physics does indeed suggest that the flow of time is illusory, then philosophy may be able to shed light on such a strange notion.

British philosopher J.M.E McTaggart advanced this idea in 1908 in his paper titled, “The Unreality of Time.” Philosophers widely consider his paper to be one of the most influential, early examinations of this possibility. Looking through McTaggart’s philosophical lens, a reality without time becomes a little more intuitive and, in principle, possible.

A Tale of Two Times

McTaggart’s argument against the reality of time has a number of interpretations, but his argument starts with a distinction about ordering events in time. The “A” series and “B” series of time form an integral part of McTaggart’s argument, and I’ll unravel this distinction with an example historical event.

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 became the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon. For argument’s sake, consider this event to represent an event during the present. Several days in the past (July 16), then, Apollo 11 lifted off the ground. Additionally, several days in the future all of the mission astronauts will land back on earth, safe and sound. Classifying an event as “several days past,” or “several days future,” falls under the “A” series. For the moon landing, some events (e.g. Lincoln’s assassination) are in the distant past; some events are in the distant future (e.g. the inauguration of President Obama); and other events fall somewhere in between.

Under the “A” series, events flow from one classification (i.e. past, present and future) to another. On July 16th, the moon landing would have the property of being in the future. The instant the Apollo 11 landed on the moon, that event would be present. After this moment, its classification changes to the past.

The “B” series, however, doesn’t classify events on this scale ranging from the distant past to the distant future. Instead, the “B” series orders events based on their relationship to other events. Under this ordering, Lincoln’s assassination occurs before the moon landing, and Obama’s inauguration occurs after the moon landing. This relational ordering seems to capture a different way of looking at time.

For the full article, click here.

Ed. - More on this subject:

The Transmission of Electrical Energy Without Wires

by Nikola Tesla
Published: Electrical World and Engineer, March 5, 1904

It is impossible to resist your courteous request extended on an occasion of such moment in the life of your journal.  Your letter has vivified the memory of our beginning friendship, of the first imperfect attempts and undeserved successes, of kindnesses and misunderstandings.  It has brought painfully to my mind the greatness of early expectations, the quick flight of time, and alas! the smallness of realizations.  The following lines which, but for your initiative, might not have been given to the world for a long time yet, are an offering in the friendly spirit of old, and my best wishes for your future success accompany them.

Towards the close of 1898 a systematic research, carried on for a number of years with the object of perfecting a method of transmission of electrical energy through the natural medium, led me to recognize three important necessities: First, to develop a transmitter of great power; second, to perfect means for individualizing and isolating the energy transmitted; and, third, to ascertain the laws of propagation of currents through the earth and the atmosphere.  Various reasons, not the least of which was the help proffered by my friend Leonard E. Curtis and the Colorado Springs Electric Company, determined me to select for my experimental investigations the large plateau, two thousand meters above sea-level, in the vicinity of that delightful resort, which I reached late in May, 1899.  I had not been there but a few days when I congratulated myself on the happy choice and I began the task, for which I had long trained myself, with a grateful sense and full of inspiring hope.  The perfect purity of the air, the unequaled beauty of the sky, the imposing sight of a high mountain range, the quiet and restfulness of the place—all around contributed to make the conditions for scientific observations ideal.  To this was added the exhilarating influence of a glorious climate and a singular sharpening of the senses. In those regions the organs undergo perceptible physical changes.  The eyes assume an extraordinary limpidity, improving vision; the ears dry out and become more susceptible to sound.  Objects can be clearly distinguished there at distances such that I prefer to have them told by someone else, and I have heard—this I can venture to vouch for—the claps of thunder seven and eight hundred kilometers away.  I might have done better still, had it not been tedious to wait for the sounds to arrive, in definite intervals, as heralded precisely by an electrical indicating apparatus—nearly an hour before.

In the middle of June, while preparations for other work were going on, I arranged one of my receiving transformers with the view of determining in a novel manner, experimentally, the electric potential of the globe and studying its periodic and casual fluctuations.  This formed part of a plan carefully mapped out in advance.  A highly sensitive, self-restorative device, controlling a recording instrument, was included in the secondary circuit, while the primary was connected to the ground and an elevated terminal of adjustable capacity.  The variations of potential gave rise to electric surgings in the primary; these generated secondary currents, which in turn affected the sensitive device and recorder in proportion to their intensity.  The earth was found to be, literally, alive with electrical vibrations, and soon I was deeply absorbed in the interesting investigation.  No better opportunities for such observations as I intended to make could be found anywhere.  Colorado is a country famous for the natural displays of electric force.  In that dry and rarefied atmosphere the sun's rays beat the objects with fierce intensity.  I raised steam, to a dangerous pressure, in barrels filled with concentrated salt solution, and the tin-foil coatings of some of my elevated terminals shriveled up in the fiery blaze.  An experimental high-tension transformer, carelessly exposed to the rays of the setting sun, had most of its insulating compound melted out and was rendered useless.  Aided by the dryness and rarefaction of the air, the water evaporates as in a boiler, and static electricity is developed in abundance.  Lightning discharges are, accordingly, very frequent and sometimes of inconceivable violence.  On one occasion approximately twelve thousand discharges occurred in two hours, and all in a radius of certainly less than fifty kilometers from the laboratory.  Many of them resembled gigantic trees of fire with the trunks up or down.  I never saw fire balls, but as compensation for my disappointment I succeeded later in determining the mode of their formation and producing them artificially.

In the latter part of the same month I noticed several times that my instruments were affected stronger by discharges taking place at great distances than by those near by.  This puzzled me very much.  What was the cause? A number of observations proved that it could not be due to the differences in the intensity of the individual discharges, and I readily ascertained that the phenomenon was not the result of a varying relation between the periods of my receiving circuits and those of the terrestrial disturbances.  One night, as I was walking home with an assistant, meditating over these experiences, I was suddenly staggered by a thought.  Years ago, when I wrote a chapter of my lecture before the Franklin Institute and the National Electric Light Association, it had presented itself to me, but I dismissed it as absurd and impossible.  I banished it again.  Nevertheless, my instinct was aroused and somehow I felt that I was nearing a great revelation.

It was on the third of July—the date I shall never forget—when I obtained the first decisive experimental evidence of a truth of overwhelming importance for the advancement of humanity.  A dense mass of strongly charged clouds gathered in the west and towards the evening a violent storm broke loose which, after spending much of its fury in the mountains, was driven away with great velocity over the plains.  Heavy and long persisting arcs formed almost in regular time intervals.  My observations were now greatly facilitated and rendered more accurate by the experiences already gained.  I was able to handle my instruments quickly and I was prepared.  The recording apparatus being properly adjusted, its indications became fainter and fainter with the increasing distance of the storm, until they ceased altogether.  I was watching in eager expectation.  Surely enough, in a little while the indications again began, grew stronger and stronger and, after passing through a maximum, gradually decreased and ceased once more.  Many times, in regularly recurring intervals, the same actions were repeated until the storm which, as evident from simple computations, was moving with nearly constant speed, had retreated to a distance of about three hundred kilometers.  Nor did these strange actions stop then, but continued to manifest themselves with undiminished force.  Subsequently, similar observations were also made by my assistant, Mr. Fritz Lowenstein, and shortly afterward several admirable opportunities presented themselves which brought out, still more forcibly, and unmistakably, the true nature of the wonderful phenomenon.  No doubt, whatever remained: I was observing stationary waves.

As the source of disturbances moved away the receiving circuit came successively upon their nodes and loops.  Impossible as it seemed, this planet, despite its vast extent, behaved like a conductor of limited dimensions.  The tremendous significance of this fact in the transmission of energy by my system had already become quite clear to me.  Not only was it practicable to send telegraphic messages to any distance without wires, as I recognized long ago, but also to impress upon the entire globe the faint modulations of the human voice, far more still, to transmit power, in unlimited amounts, to any terrestrial distance and almost without loss.

With these stupendous possibilities in sight, and the experimental evidence before me that their realization was henceforth merely a question of expert knowledge, patience and skill, I attacked vigorously the development of my magnifying transmitter, now, however, not so much with the original intention of producing one of great power, as with the object of learning how to construct the best one.  This is, essentially, a circuit of very high self-induction and small resistance which in its arrangement, mode of excitation and action, may be said to be the diametrical opposite of a transmitting circuit typical of telegraphy by Hertzian or electromagnetic radiations.  It is difficult to form an adequate idea of the marvelous power of this unique appliance, by the aid of which the globe will be transformed.  The electromagnetic radiations being reduced to an insignificant quantity, and proper conditions of resonance maintained, the circuit acts like an immense pendulum, storing indefinitely the energy of the primary exciting impulses and impressions upon the earth of the primary exciting impulses and impressions upon the earth and its conducting atmosphere uniform harmonic oscillations of intensities which, as actual tests have shown, may be pushed so far as to surpass those attained in the natural displays of static electricity.

Simultaneously with these endeavors, the means of individualization and isolation were gradually improved.  Great importance was attached to this, for it was found that simple tuning was not sufficient to meet the vigorous practical requirements.  The fundamental idea of employing a number of distinctive elements, co-operatively associated, for the purpose of isolating energy transmitted, I trace directly to my perusal of Spencer's clear and suggestive exposition of the human nerve mechanism.  The influence of this principle on the transmission of intelligence, and electrical energy in general, cannot as yet be estimated, for the art is still in the embryonic stage; but many thousands of simultaneous telegraphic and telephonic messages, through one single conducting channel, natural or artificial, and without serious mutual interference, are certainly practicable, while millions are possible.  On the other hand, any desired degree of individualization may be secured by the use of a great number of co-operative elements and arbitrary variation of their distinctive features and order of succession.  For obvious reasons, the principle will also be valuable in the extension of the distance of transmission.

Progress though of necessity slow was steady and sure, for the objects aimed at were in a direction of my constant study and exercise. It is, therefore, not astonishing that before the end of 1899 I completed the task undertaken and reached the results which I have announced in my article in the Century Magazine of June, 1900, every word of which was carefully weighed.

Much has already been done towards making my system commercially available, in the transmission of energy in small amounts for specific purposes, as well as on an industrial scale.  The results attained by me have made my scheme of intelligence transmission, for which the name of "World Telegraphy" has been suggested, easily realizable.  It constitutes, I believe, in its principle of operation, means employed and capacities of application, a radical and fruitful departure from what has been done heretofore.  I have no doubt that it will prove very efficient in enlightening the masses, particularly in still uncivilized countries and less accessible regions, and that it will add materially to general safety, comfort and convenience, and maintenance of peaceful relations.  It involves the employment of a number of plants, all of which are capable of transmitting individualized signals to the uttermost confines of the earth.  Each of them will be preferably located near some important center of civilization and the news it receives through any channel will be flashed to all points of the globe.  A cheap and simple device, which might be carried in one's pocket, may then be set up somewhere on sea or land, and it will record the world's news or such special messages as may be intended for it.  Thus the entire earth will be converted into a huge brain, as it were, capable of response in every one of its parts.  Since a single plant of but one hundred horse-power can operate hundreds of millions of instruments, the system will have a virtually infinite working capacity, and it must needs immensely facilitate and cheapen the transmission of intelligence.

The first of these central plants would have been already completed had it not been for unforeseen delays which, fortunately, have nothing to do with its purely technical features.  But this loss of time, while vexatious, may, after all, prove to be a blessing in disguise.  The best design of which I know has been adopted, and the transmitter will emit a wave complex of total maximum activity of ten million horse-power, one per cent. of which is amply sufficient to "girdle the globe." This enormous rate of energy delivery, approximately twice that of the combined falls of Niagara, is obtainable only by the use of certain artifices, which I shall make known in due course.

For a large part of the work which I have done so far I am indebted to the noble generosity of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, which was all the more welcome and stimulating, as it was extended at a time when those, who have since promised most, were the greatest of doubters.  I have also to thank my friend, Stanford White, for much unselfish and valuable assistance.  This work is now far advanced, and though the results may be tardy, they are sure to come.

Meanwhile, the transmission of energy on an industrial scale is not being neglected.  The Canadian Niagara Power Company have offered me a splendid inducement, and next to achieving success for the sake of the art, it will give me the greatest satisfaction to make their concession financially profitable to them.  In this first power plant, which I have been designing for a long time, I propose to distribute ten thousand horse-power under a tension of one hundred million volts, which I am now able to produce and handle with safety.

This energy will be collected all over the globe preferably in small amounts, ranging from a fraction of one to a few horse-power.  One its chief uses will be the illumination of isolated homes.  I takes very little power to light a dwelling with vacuum tubes operated by high-frequency currents and in each instance a terminal a little above the roof will be sufficient.  Another valuable application will be the driving of clocks and other such apparatus.  These clocks will be exceedingly simple, will require absolutely no attention and will indicate rigorously correct time.  The idea of impressing upon the earth American time is fascinating and very likely to become popular.  There are innumerable devices of all kinds which are either now employed or can be supplied, and by operating them in this manner I may be able to offer a great convenience to whole world with a plant of no more than ten thousand horse-power.  The introduction of this system will give opportunities for invention and manufacture such as have never presented themselves before.

Knowing the far-reaching importance of this first attempt and its effect upon future development, I shall proceed slowly and carefully. Experience has taught me not to assign a term to enterprises the consummation of which is not wholly dependent on my own abilities and exertions.  But I am hopeful that these great realizations are not far off, and I know that when this first work is completed they will follow with mathematical certitude.

When the great truth accidentally revealed and experimentally confirmed is fully recognized, that this planet, with all its appalling immensity, is to electric currents virtually no more than a small metal ball and that by this fact many possibilities, each baffling imagination and of incalculable consequence, are rendered absolutely sure of accomplishment; when the first plant is inaugurated and it is shown that a telegraphic message, almost as secret and non-interferable as a thought, can be transmitted to any terrestrial distance, the sound of the human voice, with all its intonations and inflections, faithfully and instantly reproduced at any other point of the globe, the energy of a waterfall made available for supplying light, heat or motive power, anywhere-on sea, or land, or high in the air-humanity will be like an ant heap stirred up with a stick: See the excitement coming!

How the Creative Response of Artists and Activists Can Transform the World

dated: 1/9/13
SOURCE: The Nation

In an exchange of essays on American democracy published in the January 11, 1941, issue of The Nation, a few leading intellectuals of the time explored the question “Who owns the future?” The context: an escalating world war and the rise of fascism and despotism, which had engulfed the world in an ideology that would cost millions of lives. The tension in the debate is one that has existed throughout history: Can we remake the world in a way that generates a future full of opportunities and possibilities for the majority? In one piece, Professor Frederick Schuman, predicting the demise of democracy, posited that Americans were too weak in spirit and shallow in thinking—too “decadent”—to stop the march of what he called “Caesarism.” He argued that “this is not a defect of our collective power. It is a defect of our collective wisdom and our collective will.” Schuman passed off his cynical worldview as high-minded intellectualism, but The Nation’s editors—along with Max Lerner, in a spirited rebuttal—saw his argument for what it was: the bitter resignation of an “intellectual defeatist.” Schuman, like many others in those very dark days, had lost faith in the power and promise of citizenship in a participatory democracy.

Gobeklitepe: The World's First Temple, 10,000 BC

“Everyone and everything has a story to tell”… That’s how the film begins, and appropriately so. What we have here is a magnificent story that takes history of humanity back to 12,000 years. What we are looking at is a temple complex so impeccably preserved, and with evidence so clear, that it might as well have been carved yesterday. Göbeklitepe, Şanlıurfa-Turkey. The world’s first temple, dating 12,000 years back.

The film concentrates on scientific data, and throws in expert opinion on matters such as archeology, astronomy, mysticism, religion, and history. This process is covered by interviews with experts close to the project, as well as those who can look at it from a wider angle, as to the whys and hows. Klaus Schmidt (archeologist and head of the Göbelitepe excavation) Metin Bobaroğlu (philosoper and mystic), B.G. Sidharth (astronomer and physicist) are some of them.

Study: Reminders of Buddhism reduce prejudice

Researchers from Belgium and Taiwan have found that being exposed to Buddhist concepts can lead to increased prosocial behavioral intentions and undermine prejudice towards others.

Buddhism contains a variety of teachings and practices – such as meditation – intended to help individuals develop a more open-minded and compassionate personality. Unlike the three dominant monotheistic religions, it does not draw a sharp line between believers and unbelievers.

In three separate experiments of 355 individuals, the researchers found that being exposed to words related to Buddhism could “automatically activate prosociality and tolerance, in particular among people with socio-cognitive open-mindedness.”

The study adds to a growing body of research about priming, a phenomenon in which merely being exposed to certain words or concepts changes the way people think or behave. It was published in the April issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

When Westerners familiar with Buddhism read religious words like “Dharma” and “Nirvana” – which they were exposed to under the guise of completing a word puzzle – they reported lower negative attitudes toward outgroups compared to participants exposed to positive non-religious words like “freedom.”

Westerners with a Christian background also became more tolerant after being exposed to Buddhist concepts, though only among those with a predisposition for valuing the welfare of all people and an aversion towards authoritarianism. Implicit association tests showed that these participants were less prejudiced against African people and Muslims than participants exposed to Christian concepts or neutral concepts.

Westerners with a Christian background also scored higher on measures of prosociality after being exposed to Buddhist concepts. Surprisingly, participants did not score higher on measures of prosociality after being exposed to Christian concepts.

The effect of being exposed to Buddhist concepts was not restricted to cultures in which the religion was seen as particularly exotic, the researchers said. Being exposed to Buddhist concepts also fostered increased tolerance and prosociality, compared with neutral and Christian concepts, among participants living in Taiwan.

Music: White Lies - Death

Artist: White Lies
Track: Death

I love the feeling when we lift up
watching the world so small below
i love the dreaming when i think of
the safety in the clouds out my window
i wonder what keeps us so high up
could there be a love beneath these wings
if we suddenly fall should i scream out
or keep very quiet and cling to my mouth as im crying
so frightened of dying
relax yes im trying
but fears got a hold on me

yes, this fears got a hold on me

i love the quiet of the night time
when the sun is drown in a deathly sea
i can feel my heart beating as i speed from
the sense of time catching up with me
the sky set out like a pathway
but who decides which road we take
as people drift into a dream world
i close my eyes as my hands shake and when i see a new day
whos driving this anyway
i picture my own grave
cause fears got a hold on me

yes this fears got a hold on me

Floating neither up or down i wonder when i hit the ground
will the earth beneath my body shake
and cast your sleeping hearts awake
could it tremble stars from moonlit skies
could it drag a tear from your cold eyes
i live on the right side i sleep on the left
thats why everythin is got to be love or death

yes this fears got a hold on me

Film: Lessons Learned

Title: Lessons Learned
Writer/Director/Prod. Design: Toby Froud
Executive Producer: Heather Henson
Producer: Sherri Morgan
Funding: Kickstarter (already funded)

From Toby Froud (the baby in Labyrinth) and Heather Henson (Jim Henson's daughter).

Lessons Learned is a live action puppet short film. In the story, the boy is surprised by special treatment on this year's annual birthday visit with his grandfather. Instead of the regular tea and cake fare, grandfather presents an intriguing gift to the lad. When curiosity gets the best of him, the boy falls into an adventure of other-worldly experiences not intended for him. Where will this journey lead? What lessons will he learn?

Books: The Divine Spark, edited by Graham Hancock

'I suspect the real breakthroughs in our understanding of consciousness are going to come from an entirely different direction. That direction, controversially, has to do with psychedelics - which, as many of the contributors to The Divine Spark argue, offer spectacular potential for the investigation of the "hard problem" of consciousness.' - Graham Hancock, from the Introduction.

In The Divine Spark, bestselling author Graham Hancock brings us a groundbreaking collection of the latest thinking on consciousness and psychedelics. Graham has been writing and speaking about this to audiences worldwide, including a controversial TedX talk on ayahuasca and DMT, which received over 130,000 views on YouTube.

Combining the wisdom of leading minds, The Divine Spark illuminates the topic like never before, with a particular focus on the use of psychedelics to open up the realm of the supernatural. The book unveils fresh theories on the relation of psychedelics to domains such as creativity, the survival of life on planet earth, interspecies communication, medicine and drug research, and many more.

Contributors include: Mike Alvernia, Russell Brand, David Jay Brown, Paul Devereux, Rick Doblin, Amanda Fielding, Alex Grey, Nassim Haramein, Martina Hoffman, Don Lattin, Eduardo Luna, Dennis McKenna, Thad McKraken, Rak Razam, Gabriel Roberts, Thomas B. Roberts, Robert Schoch, Mark Seelig, Rick Strassman and Robert Tindall.

For the full article, click here.

200 Year Old Meditating Mongolian Monk Mummy Still Alive in Meditative State

Ganhugiyn Purevbata, who is the founder and professor of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulaanbaatar Buddhist University, said: 'Lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolizes of the preaching Sutra. 'This is a sign that the Lama is not dead, but is in a very deep meditation according to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas'.

Ganhugiyn Purevbata, who is the founder and professor of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulaanbaatar Buddhist University, said: 'Lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolizes of the preaching Sutra. 'This is a sign that the Lama is not dead, but is in a very deep meditation according to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas'.

As police say lama found in lotus positon was destined for sale on black market, there are claims it was one step away from becoming a Buddha.

A mummified monk found in the lotus position in Mongolia is 'not dead' and is instead one stage away from becoming a real-life Buddha, it has been claimed.

Forensic examinations are under way on the amazing remains, which are believed to be around 200 years old, having been preserved in animal skin. But one expert has insisted the human relic is actually in 'very deep meditation' and in a rare and very special spiritual state known as 'tukdam'.

Over the last 50 years there are said to have been 40 such cases in India involving meditating Tibetan monks.

Dr Barry Kerzin, a famous Buddhist monk and a physician to the Dalai Lama, said: 'I had the privilege to take care of some meditators who were in a tukdam state.

'If the person is able to remain in this state for more than three weeks - which rarely happens - his body gradually shrinks, and in the end all that remains from the person is his hair, nails, and clothes. Usually in this case, people who live next to the monk see a rainbow that glows in the sky for several days. This means that he has found a 'rainbow body'. This is the highest state close to the state of Buddha'.

He added: 'If the meditator can continue to stay in this meditative state, he can become a Buddha. Reaching such a high spiritual level the meditator will also help others, and all the people around will feel a deep sense of joy'.

Initial speculation is that the mummy could be a teacher of Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov.

Born in 1852, Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov was a Buryat Buddhist Lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, best known for the lifelike state of his body.

Ganhugiyn Purevbata, who is the founder and professor of the Mongolian Institute of Buddhist Art at Ulaanbaatar Buddhist University, said: 'Lama is sitting in the lotus position vajra, the left hand is opened, and the right hand symbolizes of the preaching Sutra. 'This is a sign that the Lama is not dead, but is in a very deep meditation according to the ancient tradition of Buddhist lamas'.

The mummified remains, which were covered in cattle skin, were found on January 27 in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia.

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Incredible Archery Techniques Re-Discovered

Quiver:
An archers with a quiver on his back is a movie icon which is widespread throughout the world.
But putting arrows in a quiver on your back is not a good solution.
It is bad in motion and the archer cannot see his own arrows, as he has an enemy in front of him. He must focus on his quiver, which makes him vulnerable.
Past archers often had different types of arrows simultaneously in his quiver but since the quiver is on his back, he cannot see which arrow he takes.
Placing the quiver in the belt solved most problems, and if the archer is horseback, the quiver could be placed on the horse in front of the rider. These methods were the most common ways to use a quiver.

The round divided target:
The two dimensional target is not known from the past. Historical targets were not flat, but three dimensional.

Quiver, arrows in the bow hand, arrows in the draw hand:
I think there has always been an evolution in archery. Archers from even the earliest times have gone from using quivers, to arrows in the bow hand, and ultimately, to hold arrows in the draw hand.
Going from the quiver to holding the arrows in the bow hand is not difficult, it can be learnt. You get the arrow in front of you, so you do not have to focus away from an enemy
It is far better in motion, so there are many advantages over a quiver. There are today archers which are really good with this method.
Keeping the arrow in the draw hand provides a wide range of benefits, but it assumes that one can draw and shoot in a single movement automatically.
If you must use multiple movements or have to use your fingers on the bow hand to get the arrow in place, then it is far better to go back and keep the arrow in the bow hand.

Double draw
I have for many years experimented with drawing with both hands simultaneously so while your hand with the arrow pulling the string behind, while bow hand is pushed forward, this providing more power on the arrow.
when I 2 years ago made the video "Reinventing the fastest forgotten archery" I had seen many historic pictures of a low half drag, and then I thought it would be interpreted as past archers only drew the bow short, but today I think it is more likely that the images show a double draw,

Quiver, arrows in the bow hand, arrows in the draw hand:
I think there has always been an evolution in archery. Archers from even the earliest times have gone from using quivers, to arrows in the bow hand, and ultimately, to hold arrows in the draw hand.
Going from the quiver to holding the arrows in the bow hand is not difficult, it can be learnt. You get the arrow in front of you, so you do not have to focus away from an enemy
It is far better in motion, so there are many advantages over a quiver. There are today archers which are really good with this method.
Keeping the arrow in the draw hand provides a wide range of benefits, but it assumes that one can draw and shoot in a single movement automatically.
If you must use multiple movements or have to use your fingers on the bow hand to get the arrow in place, then it is far better to go back and keep the arrow in the bow hand.

Double draw
I have for many years experimented with drawing with both hands simultaneously so while your hand with the arrow pulling the string behind, while bow hand is pushed forward, this providing more power on the arrow.
when I 2 years ago made the video "Reinventing the fastest forgotten archery" I had seen many historic pictures of a low half drag, and then I thought it would be interpreted as past archers only drew the bow short, but today I think it is more likely that the images show a double draw.

To hit an arrow in the air::
I have currently tried 14 times (everything is filmed)
For me this is the ultimate archery, which I until recently had thought was impossible.
it can be done, but requires the handling of the bow and arrow to become completely bodily.
you may not have time to aim or think, and you must first be completely convinced you hit, you see, "feel" the incoming arrow and shoot in an instant.
do not attempt this
I / we have been in doubt about wether this should be shown,
because we were afraid that someone gets hurt if they try to emulate it,

I trained for many years and spent a really long time before I tried it the first time.
For several years, I along with my friends Peter and Ask also trained with harmless buffer arrows where I often have shot their arrows down and before we switched to proper arrows I had very safely hit 5 harmless arrows in a row.
It will not be shot with a very strong bow (but it's still dangerous)
The arrow that fired at me is a light bamboo arrow with metal tip, I'll shoot back with a heavy aluminum arrow so I'm sure that the incoming arrow flexes when they hit together.
The archer shoots at me normally sits behind one large safety sheet, but in the video is filmed with the sheets pulled away, so you can see what is going on.

I hope to try again during the summer outside, with an HD camera in slow motion.

Do I hit everything?
I use a lot of time practicing, and it can take a very long time before I learn a new skill. For instance, when I got the idea of jumping to grab and enemy’s arrow before I land, it took me months to learn, where for a long time, the arrows would fly everywhere, until I learned to handle it.

Thanks for reading and watching my videos
-Lars Andersen

  

The Psychedelic Interstellar Future

by Jason Louv
SOURCE: Boing Boing

In my second year of college, I bought a copy of Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger at a New Age bookstore in downtown Santa Cruz.

It had a naked space goddess on the cover, and threatened to reveal the “Final Secret of the Illuminati.” I read it in one sitting, and when I closed the book, I’d not only learned said group’s final secret, I felt like I was one of the inner circle.

I immediately loaned it out, and watched it circulate among about a dozen people before vanishing into the Santa Cruz synchronicity vortex. Everyone I talked to had about the same experience.

Cosmic Trigger—a record of one man’s journey into inner space—has been doing that, consistently, since its first publication in 1977. It’s the Little Red Book for futurist mutants.

Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson

Here’s how it started: In 1962, 30-year-old Robert Anton Wilson was working as an assistant sales manager in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with a wife and four young children, when he decided to eat some peyote. As a hard-headed rationalist, Wilson was in for a rough ride: The cactus shredded his narrowband understanding of existence and his place in the universe.

Wilson walked straight through the now-opened doors of perception and into a decade and a half of exhaustive experimentation with willed brain change—encapsulating research into LSD, Aleister Crowley’s Magick, Count Alfred Korzybski’s General Semantics, Dr. John Lilly’s sensory deprivation tank, conspiracy theories, Sufism, Buckminster Fuller, UFOs, Gurdjieff, Zen Buddhism and a lot more.

Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary

A collaborative partnership with Timothy Leary and a five-year stint as an associate editor at Playboy provided more fuel for Wilson’s voyage, which culminated in the publication of Cosmic Trigger. The book is his first-person record of fucking with the settings of his own mind—all while maintaining a healthy degree of skepticism and empiricist rigor, as an antidote to the muddled thinking that blights the territory he was scouting.

Wilson’s experiments convinced him that humanity’s limitations are largely self-imposed, that “reality is always plural and mutable,” and that if we were to just take off our conditioned blinkers of superstition and ideology, we could unlock our dormant Promethean intelligence, overcome our tribal conflicts and get our species off the planet. Cosmic Trigger ends far from Wilson’s early rural peyote trips, with a vision of mankind colonizing the stars.

A recent flu afforded me the chance to re-read Cosmic Trigger, thirteen years after I first found it as a student. Those thirteen years had been occupied with my own stress-test of reality, including many of the avenues Wilson had explored, much of which I recorded in the books I published in my 20s. It was also a time in which I’d watched the utopian future promised by Wilson, Leary, Douglas Rushkoff, Ken Wilber and others utterly crash and burn. 9/11 seemed to kill the Star Trek-style future all the smart nerds had been working on, instead spawning a new dark age of religious fundamentalism and illiterate barbarism typified by Bush Jr. and the newly reactionary, compassionless, cocaine-fuelled hipster “counterculture” that sprouted up under his rule—followed by the Great Sleep of the socially progressive but rights-and-privacy-decimating, Facebook-hypnotized Obama years.

It was with the lingering weight of this decade-plus of disappointment that I expected to return to Cosmic Trigger and find that it had all been bongthink—but what I discovered instead was that most of Wilson and Leary’s utopian predictions actually seem well on their way to coming true, if a bit later than the two men expected.

RAW was right.

For the full article, click here.

The Lost, Technologically Advanced Celtic Empire

by Tim Martin
SOURCE: The Telegraph

'Important if true” was the phrase that the 19th-century writer and historian Alexander Kinglake wanted to see engraved above church doors. It rings loud in the ears as one reads the latest book by Graham Robb, a biographer and historian of distinction whose new work, if everything in it proves to be correct, will blow apart two millennia of thinking about Iron Age Britain and Europe and put several scientific discoveries back by centuries.

Rigorously field-tested by its sceptical author, who observes drily that “anyone who writes about Druids and mysteriously coordinated landscapes, or who claims to have located the intersections of the solar paths of Middle Earth in a particular field, street, railway station or cement quarry, must expect to be treated with superstition”, it presents extraordinary conclusions in a deeply persuasive and uncompromising manner. What surfaces from these elegant pages – if true – is nothing less than a wonder of the ancient world: the first solid evidence of Druidic science and its accomplishments and the earliest accurate map of a continent.

Robb begins his journey from a cottage in Oxfordshire, following up a handful of mysteries that had teasingly accrued as he assembled his Ondaatje Prize-winning travelogue The Discovery of France.

They had to do with the Heraklean Way, an ancient route that runs 1,000 miles in a straight line from the tip of the Iberian Peninsula to the Alps, and with several Celtic settlements called Mediolanum arranged at intervals along the route.

After examining satellite imaging (difficult for the private scholar even a decade ago) and making several more research trips, Robb bumped up against two extraordinary discoveries. First, the entire Via Heraklea runs as straight as an arrow along the angle of the rising and setting sun at the solstices. Second, plotting lines through the Celtic Mediolanum settlements results in lines that map on to sections of Roman road, which themselves point not to Roman towns but at Celtic oppida farther along.

For the full article, click here.