About QuantumMediocrity

“The place where knowledge occurs is the present. That which recognizes the present is mind.” ― Fred Alan Wolf, Parallel Universes

Relatioship Revenge

Regardless what we have endured in the past, in order to be a part of a healthy relationship, we must forgive and move forward with the knowledge and experience, which we have gained so far.
We must try to never waste our energy on blame, anger or hatred. It is our choice how we respond to the wrongs done to us. Once we begin to plot revenge and follow through with it, we could eventually find ourselves at an impass (e.g. a point, when we can no longer return to our former identity). However, if the perfect relationship has already turned sour, then we perhaps couldn’t care less about what will happen to us…Therefore, it is necessary to carefully reflect on our relationship history, before we act in ways, we could potentially regret at a later date.

How Appearances Deceive Us…

“Charm is deceptive &Beauty is fleeting.”

– Proverb 31:30

When kindness is mistaken for romantic interest, what has our society come to?

We approach a situation with a smile

In the eye of the beholder

Being always transcends appearance—that which only seems to be. Once you begin to know the being behind the very pretty or very ugly face, as determined by your bias, the surface appearances fade away until they simply no longer matter.

Feminity Vs Masculinity

What is gender?

With the recent hype that encouraged a sudden increase in transgenderism, the scientific community has twisted a philosophical concept into something political to be enforced against all common sense…

Before we get started, I’d like to state that I have nothing whatsoever against homosexuality or sex changes. In many cases, our

the free expression of ourselves through as well as transgender friends

Prefer feminine



When we have the option

images of and what of has changed the eay we interact with each other. This would happen in any civilisation, however, it always has a wider-reaching social impact.

probably monitored a great deal of highly useful information.

So, when

Taking pictures too frequently indicates either narcissistic tendencies or very low self-confidence.

Detachment Toward Our Attachments & Aversions

“How things can seep into you
without your knowing it…
Is that, then, what death is?
Is what we call personality just an impress of somebodys thought? Whose thought? Gods?”

– The Hollow, Agatha Christie

The term “desire” stems from the old French word “désir”. Around the mid 14th century, it referred to something that is longed for. In the west, its definition developed only in description from that point onward…We now define desire as an emotion directed toward the attainment or possession of an object. This applies to a person, goal as well as inanimate object. Remember, thoughts are things too.

What we want often reveals more about us than we realise. The reason behind why we are drawn to a specific thing runs deep into the recesses of our unconscious mind. Although many prominent psychologists have established a link to personality development during childhood, this can be rather misleading in a transpersonal context.

Our attachments and aversions speak chapters that most preferred would remain closed. Despite their attempts to keep them from the world, however, there is a force eager to push for a confrontation through the means of expression…to make suppressed content known and encourage us to deal with it…most importantly, to expand the minds by doing so.

Where does it start? Survival

In this life, sensation seeking begins long before birth. Pregnant women develop cravings, they previously never experienced before. Not merely for food, but music, art, literature and so much more. We enter this incarnation as a symbiotic organism, capable of influencing how mothers perceive through the six senses.

An important puzzle in the study of self-development is why we want what we do and how to obtain it. There are millions of individuals, who have made a comfortable living out of books, videos and so on by preying on one particular human weakness: our innate desire for security, power and sex.

The statement that ‘the average person’ will long for normal things…normal being determined by societal standards…is a myth. From birth, what we need is decided by our biological imperatives [i.e. food, water, air, clothing and shelter]. Without these things, we are sure to fall ill or die. When we have an excess of the basics or hoard them. This is indicative of the inability to cope with uncertainty and aim to control the outcome due to psychological conditioning. Often, such conditioning is a result of past trauma, when we could not meet our most basic needs.

Where does it lead to? Society

We can , our society attempts to persuade us, these things are the only to is only partially true.

An important puzzle in the study of political violence is why individuals risk theireir life fighting for a public good, when they can free-ride and enjoy the same benefitsif others take the risk
The Role of Sensation Seeking in Violent Armed Group Participation
Enzo Nussio, Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich
. This logic is particularly important to rationalist theories,which view risk as an inherent cost to violent armed group participation whichhas to be offset by selective incentives, peer pressure or coercion. This perspectivehas widely contributed to the understanding of violent conflict, but ignores keyinsights from psychology. What if risk is not a cost and instead attractive? In thisarticle, I argue that people with a
sensation seeking personality
interested in noveland intense experience and willing to accept risk for the sake of it are more likelyto join armed groups. Preliminary survey evidence comparing voluntarily andforcibly recruited members of Colombian armed groups supports my argument. There-interpretation of a series of existing studies on Colombian guerrilla andparamilitary fighters illustrates the pervasiveness and varying manifestations ofsensation seeking. Personality traits are an under-recognized ingredient in theprocess of joining armed groups and complement our current understanding, whichis mainly determined by contextual conditions and situational motivations.
“If I had been received by a Rocker gang from Jamaica or the Hells Angels in the US, Iwould have gone with them. I stumbled and was caught by the wrong hands

13 Laws of Manipulation & Their Political Context

Manipulators come in all shapes and sizes. As different as they may be, there are certain common denominators that they have in common with each other.

Manipulation is a form of mind control
that is difficult for people to avoid in life. Unlike brainwashing or hypnosis, we are constantly manipulating each other in our daily lives without realising the extent. In some instances, it can occur without the subject having much knowledge or control over it.

When done deliberately,

is going to work discretely
in order to reach their final goal
without getting the subject suspicious
and derail the process. The manipulator
will not worry about who they are
hurting or how others might feel and

“A person truly dedicated to the craft will resort to using any tactic, if it means they get what they want at the end of the day. They care little about your feelings or anyone else’s for that matter, even the people they claim to care about.”

The only thing that matters is attaining a very specific goal, followed by the next one and the next. Like any average person, they are always pursuing the next best thing.

In essence, they a finite number of tactic to get what they want, frequently at someone else’s expense. While the tactics may vary from one person to the next, there are 13 laws of manipulation outlined by Daniel Spade, which will used at one time or another:

Law #1Hide Your Intentions

Lying is perhaps the oldest and most effective form of manipulation. Politicians often resort to this tactic when they try to avoid responsibility or twist to the truth for their benefit. Some even resort of lying when there is no real reason to do so, simply thriving on the pleasure of creating chaos or the knowledge that they’re playing with someone else’s perception and invoke certain emotiond.

The art of working this angle so subtly that they don’t even realize the lie until it’s too late has pretty much perished. There could be several reasons why a manipulator resorts to lying. It could be to take
advantage of another. To conceal their true intentions so you don’t know what they’re up to. Or perhaps even to level the playing field, so they can remain one step ahead of you. An employee who was concerned about their job might approach the boss and ask about the possibility of being laid off or fired. The boss, in an attempt to conceal what’s really going on, might tell the employee there’s nothing to be worried about when in fact, plans were
already being made to replace him once he has completed work on the project he was assigned to. A colleague who has been eyeing that same promotion you are might withhold
potential information so that they could put themselves ahead of you.

Law #2 – Attention Seeking. A little bit of drama in life keeps things interesting, but for a
manipulator, drama happens all too frequently. Why? Because they created it on purpose.
Manipulators like being the center of attention to validate themselves and give their egos the
confidence boost they believe they need. A colleague at work might resort to creating
conflict between colleague A and B by telling tales to each of them about the other. This
thereby ensures that while colleague A and B are at odds with each other, they then turn to
the manipulator for “comfort”, which then makes the manipulator feel important. In a
relationship, one partner could constantly pick a fight to ensure that the other’s attention is
continually focused on them and trying to resolve a problem which may not exist.
Law #3 – Behaving Emotionally. Manipulators could be highly emotional individuals,
prone to dramatic or even hysterical outbursts when they want things done their way.
Melodramatic, loud, obnoxious, over-the-top, even at the slightest provocation a manipulator
will resort of emotional behavior, which is most of the time inappropriate in a social setting

A couple loudly arguing in the restaurant because one partner is behaving unreasonably when
things are not done their way resorts to this behavior, hoping their partner might be
embarrassed enough to give in to their demands makes this an extremely effective
manipulation technique when used correctly.
Law #4 – Playing Victim. Everyone always feels sorry for them. They seem to have the
worst luck in the world. No matter what problem you may be having, they find a way to make
you feel guilty for even talking about it by pointing out how their problem is “10 times
worse” than yours. We all suffer from a stroke of bad luck every now and then, but the
manipulator has managed to skillfully use that unlucky streak to elevate their own “victim”
status and put themselves above everyone else. A friend who constantly plays up all the
negative aspects of their life while dismissing your problems is resorting to this
manipulative tactic to get the attention they want. Tell them you had a bad day because you
had a flat tire on your way to work this morning and they’ll tell you how you could be lucky
you even have a car to complain about while they have to endure the hardships of public
transportation. Manipulators resort to this emotionally draining tactic to gain sympathy from
others, which is another way of seeking attention and making sure that everyone is focused
on them.
Law #5 – Taking Credit Where It’s Not Due. Manipulators have no qualms about getting
you to do most of the legwork, and then swooping in at the last minute to take credit like they
have done the lion’s share of the job. A common tactic which is often used in a professional
setting, especially in group projects or teamwork. These crafty manipulators flit around
delegating jobs, seemingly appearing “busy” when in fact they’re not really doing anything at
all, but when it comes time to take credit they have no problems about pushing you aside and
taking credit for the ideas and the work that you’ve put in.
Law #6 – Depend on Me. Manipulators want you to feel like you “need” them in your life.
That you simply cannot live without them. In a social setting, they’re the “popular” ones
whom everyone else seems to flock to, making you desperate to want to be a part of that
group. In a relationship, they could be the partner that constantly reminds you “what would
you do without me”, or “how would you survive without me”. They do you favors and help
you out at a time when you need it most, making you feel indebted to them so they can come
and cash in on these favors at a later date (with a manipulator, no favor ever comes for free).
Manipulators create this false belief that you need them in your life, because the more you
depend on them, the more control they have over you, which is exactly what they want. They
prey on the vulnerable and make themselves the “indispensable friend” in your life, basking
in this special status they have created. The more you lean on them for support, the more
opportunities they have to prey on your emotions and exploit you for their own advantage.

Law #7 – Selective Honesty. Have you ever felt so disarmed by how a generous person you
know could suddenly turn around and stab you in the back? Or felt so wrong-footed when
you realized you only knew half of what was going on? That’s because the person who was
feeding you with information was a manipulator, and the reason you feel stabbed in the back
or wrong-footed is that they only fed you information that they wanted you to know while
purposely withholding the rest. Selective honesty, a powerful manipulative tactic that can be
used to disarm an unsuspecting “victim”. A tactic which is today very prominent within
professional settings especially. Manipulators at work use it all the time to get ahead. If there
are five people up for the same promotion at work, the manipulator will try to give
themselves the upper hand by withholding important information that they know while
simultaneously assuring everyone else that “this is exactly what’s going on”. They lead you
to believe that they are being generous by clueing you in on what’s taking place but in reality,
they’re making sure you’re at least two steps behind them every step of the way.
Law #8 – Pretending to Be A “Friend”. Don’t be fooled by the overly friendly person you
just met on your first day at the office. They could be pretending to be your friend while
gathering information about you which they could later use to their advantage. While some
people may genuinely be friendly, start to raise the red flag if this person is being a little too
friendly by asking very personal or probing questions, especially if you’ve only just met
them. This tactic is prominent within a professional setting, and if your gut is telling you
something is off, it probably is. The manipulator could even exist within your own circle of
friends. They pretend to be your “friend” by subtly being the one who is in control of the
conversation. The conversation will always be what they dictate it should be, and it will
only happen when they determine it should happen. This “friend” might also pressure you
into making decisions by giving you very little time to think about it. Phrases like “if I’m
really your friend, you’ll do this for me” roll off the tongue of the manipulator too easily
and always for their benefit.
Law #9 – Non-Committal. Do you know anyone in your life who has a hard time committing
to anything? Even after you’ve told them how important it is and that you could use their
support right now? The non-committal individual is no friend of yours, they’re a manipulator.
They take pleasure in withholding their approval or support if it means there’s an opportunity
for them to give themselves the upper hand to control the situation for their benefit. They’re
only looking out for themselves, and they will especially refrain from committing to anything
if it means having to assume responsibility. Being non-committal is a manipulation tactic
often used in romantic relationships. When a romantic partner is being non-committal, it
keeps the other on their toes and keeps them coming back for more, thereby giving the
manipulator the upper hand. The longer they withhold their commitment, the more bending
over backward you’ll be willing to do just to get their approval.
Law #10 – Playing Dumb. Is that colleague you know genuinely unaware of what’s going

on? Or are they feigning innocence to avoid taking on extra responsibility? Playing dumb is a
manipulative tactic that often goes overlooked, but if you pay close attention, you’ll find it
apparent within a lot of professional settings. If you a leader of the group project at work,
would you assign extra responsibility to that one team member who “wasn’t as sure of
something”? Or assign that extra responsibility to another? The employee who was then
“playing dumb” gets away with doing far less, but getting the same amount of recognition as
everyone else in the group. When there’s a conflict between a group of friends, could that
one friend who “doesn’t know what’s going on” be telling the truth? Or could they be
feigning innocence, knowing full well they were responsible for instigating the conflict in the
first place? In a romantic relationship, could your partner who “doesn’t know what you’re
talking about” be telling the truth when you confront them about an issue? Or could they be
“playing dumb” to avoid being caught in a lie? Sometimes, the “innocent party” may not be
so innocent after all.
Law #11 – Pointing the Finger at Others. A manipulator will always try to keep their
hands clean by first, never assuming responsibility, and secondly by always trying to point
the finger at someone else so they get off scot-free whenever there’s a problem. Especially
when that problem could potentially jeopardize their reputation and expose them for who
they are. If you know anyone in your family, friends or even among your colleagues who
always blames the problem on anything and anyone but themselves, you could be dealing
with a manipulator. Keep a lookout for anyone who’s the pattern of behavior involves
always making someone else the scapegoat.
Law #12 – Telling You What You Want to Hear. It’s hard not to feel good when you’re
being flattered, and you’re more inclined to like the person’s who’s doing all the flattering
more than others. If there’s one person in your life who’s always telling you all the things you
want to hear, wouldn’t you be more inclined to want to follow them or spend more time with
them? It’s hard not to feel good around people like these, but telling you all the things you
want to hear is not necessarily the sign of a good friend. They could be buttering you up so
they can cash in on a big favor at a later date which you’ll be “guilted” into helping them
with “because they’ve been so nice to you”.
Law #13 – Controlling Your Decisions. A classic setting when manipulation in the form of
controlling another’s decision is present is within a romantic relationship. While it is
perfectly normal for you to base or change your decisions because of your partner, is it
because there exists within you a genuine desire to make them happy? Or are you doing it
because you don’t want to risk making them angry? There’s a very fine line between what
constitutes manipulation in a relationship. If you find yourself canceling plans far too often
with friends because your partner expresses their displeasure or makes you feel bad, that’s
manipulation in play. If you refrain from wearing clothes that your partner dislikes (even
though you love it), or stop yourself from getting a haircut because your partner said “they

don’t like short hair”, that’s a subtle form of manipulation. They’re controlling your
decisions without making it seem obvious that they are. It could start off innocently enough
with a remark or two, with something so minimal like expressing how the clothes you are
wearing does not look good on you or the kind of dress you are wearing should be something
else and suddenly you find that your life has turned into nothing but decisions that don’t make
you happy because they’re being dictated by someone who supposedly loves you.

Collective Traumatisation

Change is the only constant, but change can be painful. As a consequence of change, we all experience trauma. For your information, the term dates back to ancient Greece, where it was used to denote a psychic wound that causes abnormal levels of stress.
As a rule, the quality of life determines the quantity and extent of trauma inflicted in any society. Our global community is no exception. The basic principles of behaviour are not subject to change, as they are a byproduct of universal laws. Some may be based on physiological factors, such the species-biology, planet class, atmospheric composition… [how’d we end up in this science fiction conspiracy thriller known as reality?!]

However, what are the most common trigger points of change in modern society? Perhaps you may think it is the devaluation of currency or economic enslavement of countries under a fascistic regime…and you’d be right. Maybe you ponder whether it is the suppression of truth and thereby the restriction of our freedom on an international scale…and again you’d be right.

Those are the trigger points of the most gravitas, which change society for good. Yet, these large scale events cannot occur, unless smaller changes precede them.

For example, when racial segregation was first implemented, it did not begin overnight. The tension festered.

For example, the law(s)[1] of entropy, triggering the process of ageing.
in turn disorder leads to death.

How Do You Unleash Your Inner Beast?

When the night blankets roughtly half of the world and everything goes quiet, who are you? In a world, in which most excell at the art of social disguise, could we trust the answer? Perhaps not even if we hadn’t become accustomed to playing a communal game of “Hide And Seek The Real You“. More often than not, in the complete absence of anyone we know, anonymity bestows us with the capactiy to act immorally, even against our best interest, without conscience…meanwhile we are letting the opportunity to cultivate meaning slip through our fingers. So, when the sky blackens and only faint glimmers of distant light remain, what do you become? How do you unleash your inner beast? [Roll Credits]

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The Grin Without The Cat

For instance, Quantum theory predicts that a particle (such as a photon or neutron) can be physically separated from one of its properties, like its polarisation or its magnetic moment (i.e. the strength of its coupling to an external magnetic field). During this experiment, a neutron beam was passed through a silicon crystal, sending it down two different paths. By applying filters and a technique known as “post-selection”, it detected the physical separation of the neutrons from their magnetic moment, measured by the direction of their spin. In addition, to prove that the Cheshire Cat is not just a cute theory, the researchers involved used an experimental set-up known as an interferometer at the Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France.

Loving A Fatherless Girl

It will not seem different at first. You will do the things all new couples do: joke and share silly stories. Laugh louder than you ever anticipated. Laugh harder. You get drunk off fingertips and innocent touches, like when she lingers on your shoulder for just a beat longer. She kisses you like you are the first person she has ever kissed, and it will keep you up at night, in the best way possible. Everything is fun and exciting. She will do whatever she can to make sure it is fun. She needs it to be fun. Exciting. Light. She knows darkness already too well.
She will be careful in her words. You notice she never says “parents” and looks away when someone mentions their father. You are consumed with a strange, irrational guilt when you answer a phone call from your dad. It feels dirty, like a secret that will unravel this ethereal happiness you’ve built together.

She does not flinch when someone asks about her family. She has memorized this back and forth. You wonder how many times she has regurgitated the same script. Her voice never breaks. There is not even the smallest crack. You picture her standing in front of her bathroom mirror, practicing what she will say when someone asks about her dad. You will wonder, was there a time when she couldn’t even spit out the words? Did she choke on her own grief? Are you capable of being with someone so guarded?

She will share small moments with you that do not seem like much of anything. She tells you about that one Halloween when her dog ate almost all of her candy and was still miraculously completely fine. “Dad was so scared. He slept near her all night in case we had to rush her to the vet.” You will kiss her forehead, and she will direct your hands to hold her. She has never asked to be held. Do not underestimate how monumental this is. This is her slowly lowering the shield she has spent years crafting. This is her trusting you.
She will shy away from discussing problems. She tiptoes when you wish she would just walk. You don’t understand how someone so feisty, so full of opinions and fire, can go mute when confrontation approaches. She is flight when you would have been sure she’d fight. You get too close, things get too real, and she runs. She has tennis shoes on stand by.

A girl without a father does not want to create waves because she has been underwater longer than she cares to explain. She is not a pushover, though you may push and ask why she is so scared of doing something, anything, that will upset someone. You ask how she can be so brave on paper, but so scared of talking to someone face-to-face. She will deflect and bite back with sarcasm. She self-deprecates, calls herself messed up like it’s as casual as her first name. You will think maybe this is it. Maybe she will never be honest with you.

Here is the truth: it should not be surprising that conflict makes her skin crawl. It should not be absurd that she will passively sit by, figure out the best way to avoid saying anything that will put a riff between her and someone she loves, because people can fucking leave. And that is the most terrifying thing she has ever learned. If the only man she ever truly needed left when she was not done needing him, it is fair game for anyone else to decide it’s not worth it.

For anyone else to decide she’s not worth it.

But none of that will spill out very easily. She doesn’t want these labels: The one with abandonment issues. The one who keeps you at a distance. The one looking to fill a void. The fatherless girl. She does not want your pity.
When you date a girl without a father, you need to understand you will not always understand. And if she is worth it, love her anyway. And love her all the way.

Excerpt from: ThoughtCatalog

15 Random quotes from Monkey Island

James' Dojo 3.0

I know that the name of this category is 5 random quotes but Monkey island had three great games so I am putting three times the usualamount of qoutes

1. Guybrush: “At least I’ve learnt something from all of this.”
Elaine: “What’s that?”
Guybrush: “Never pay more than 20 bucks for a game.”

2. Barkeep: “Guybrush? Is that a french name?”
Guybrush: “No, actually it’s a fictional name.”

3. Guybrush: “Then, if you kill me everyone will forget you.”
LeChuck: “Forget me? I’m the dead zombie pirate LeChuck! None will forget me!”
Guybrush: “Do you remember Bobbin Threadbare?”
LeChuck: “Er… no.”
Guybrush: “Exactly.”

4. “I am Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate”

5. “Look behind you, a Three-Headed Monkey!”

6. “I’m selling these fine leather jackets.”

7. “That’s the second biggest monkey head I’ve ever seen!”

8. “So you want to be a pirate, eh? You look more like a flooring inspector.”…

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Seite an Seite

Wir sind zum Mond geflogen,
Haben Pyramiden gebaut,
Haben nie die Neugier verlor’n
Und sind durch Meere getaucht…
Wir haben Tränen vergossen.
Wir haben gelacht und geweint.
Wir haben Frieden geschlossen
Und uns wieder vereint.

Doch all diese Dinge sind so klein,
Denn das Größte was wir können ist Mensch zu sein…

Und wir gehen den Weg, von hier
Seite an Seite ein Leben lang,
Für immer…
Denn wir gehen den Weg, von hier
Weiter und weiter ein Leben lang,
Für immer…

Wir haben Welten entdeckt,
Die wir vorher nicht kannten.
Wir haben sprechen gelernt
Und uns Liebe gestanden…
Wir haben Lieder geschrieben.
Wir haben getanzt und gesungen.
Wir haben Geister gerufen,
Und Dämonen bezwungen.

Es ist nicht immer einfach zu verzeihen,
Doch das Größte was wir können ist Mensch zu sein

Und wir gehen den Weg, von hier

Seite an Seite ein Leben lang,
Für immer…
Denn wir gehen den Weg, von hier
Weiter und weiter ein Leben lang,
Für immer…

Wir sind sicher nicht perfekt
Doch wer will das schon sein
Wir haben alle kleine Fehler
Und sind damit nicht allein,
Ncht allein, nicht allein.

Und wir gehen den Weg, von hier
Seite an Seite ein Leben lang,
Für immer…

Und wir gehen den Weg, von hier

Seite an Seite ein Leben lang,
Für immer…
Denn wir gehen den Weg, von hier
Weiter und weiter ein Leben lang,
Für immer…
Und wir gehen den Weg, von hier
Seite an Seite ein Leben lang,
Für immer…
Denn wir gehen den Weg, von hier
Weiter und weiter ein Leben lang,
Für immer…
Und wir gehen den Weg, von hier
Seite an Seite ein Leben lang,
Für immer…

Simply Be

I am…
Without regret, apology or hesitation.

I’m not perfect,
Nor do I claim to be.

I dont know everything,
But I never cease to learn.

I am neither here nor there
Or anywhere inbetween.

And even when there’s no more to give,
I’ll stand with you until the end.

Peace Before Dawn


Have you ever fallen asleep in front of the TV in the early evening and woken up in the middle of the night? Did you feel a wave of quiet wash over the world in those few precious seconds, before you allow yourself to be pulled back into the world as you know it?

If so, take a moment…Enjoy the hours, in which the night is darkest and let go of everything holding you back from who you are truly meant to be.

Corona Virus Update Switzerland 03.03.20

Anyone who is put in quarantine may no longer go shopping. City and rural communities prepare for it differently.

More than 100 people in Switzerland are quarantined because of the corona virus: they must not leave the house and must be in closed rooms. But what if the supplies in the house are not enough? “Certainly no one has to starve, the municipality is responsible for taking care of those affected by shortages,” said Gundekar Giebel, media spokesman for the Bern Health Directorate, at a press conference recently.

In Biel, 54 people had to be quarantined. According to Julien Steiner, Vice City Secretary of Biel, the order of the quarantine was a measure taken by the canton: “That is why the canton is also in contact with the people themselves and those responsible for their care.” The city of Biel is currently working on measures if the virus should spread: “If necessary, we can rely on the help of management bodies such as civil defense,” says Steiner.

Tracing The Corona Virus Through Switzerland

Original published by SRF News

The corona virus continues to spread in Switzerland. There are currently over 30 confirmed cases. The authorities still know exactly how and who infected the sick people…but that could change soon, says Patrick Mathys from the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG).

Is the transmission chain in Switzerland still understandable (i.e. within containable levels)?

Patrick Mathys: “So far we still know the ways through which the affected people have been infected. However, I assume that with the increasing number of cases that can be expected in Switzerland, the capacities for tracing contacts in the cantons are reaching their limits. And it is likely that sooner or later there will also be cases in which it is no longer possible to pinpoint where and how the patients were infected.”

What happens if you don’t anymore know who got infected where?

It is then likely that the population will spread. If we can no longer interrupt the transmission chain, we will certainly take further measures so that especially those who have a particular risk are properly protected. At the moment, these are older people and people with existing underlying illnesses.

Is it recommended that everyone be tested when displaying symptoms?

Not while we still know the transmission chain. If we can no longer trace them back, we will have to change the strategy in this regard. Then it will certainly no longer be the case that only abroad is considered a possible contact to confirmed cases, but also Switzerland. Immediately after an infection, it is impossible to prove it by a test.

There is no many more cases that simply haven’t been tested?

It can be assumed that there are other, as yet undiscovered cases in Switzerland. What we’re seeing right now are broadcasts that took place a few days ago. After the infection, it also takes a certain amount of time before symptoms appear on the one hand, but also until positive results can be demonstrated on the other. Immediately after an infection, it is impossible to prove it by a test.

One measure that can delay the spread of the disease is quarantine. How far must or can such a quarantine go?
It is a question of feasibility, how many people can be quarantined – and whether that makes sense. In the cantons, you will surely soon reach your limits, so that it will no longer be possible to monitor and look after every single person who is in quarantine.

Venus and the Moon ‘Kiss’ in Rare Celestial Display Tonight

If you’ve got a clear sky on Thursday, February 27, take a look to the southwest in the hours after sunset…you’ll see a celestial sight you won’t soon forget.

A delicately curved crescent moon will be visible almost alongside a very bright planet Venus, together the two brightest objects in the night sky. So, as soon as it gets dark on Thursday, look to the southwest. In the gathering twilight, you’ll watch the bright planet Venus become visible with a crescent moon barely six degrees below and to the left, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere.
Now, why is Venus (named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty) currently shining at such a high magnitude? Why does the moon keep appearing so close to it? And how come you didn’t you notice it before?

Why is Venus so Bright?

It’s easy to see why Venus is called the “Evening Star ” when it’s this bright. If it reminds you of something, you may have seen a similar sight just last month. We’re currently in the middle of a brilliant “apparition” of Venus (a period of a few months called greatest elongation when it’s furthest from the sun) so it will be shining brightly throughout June 2020 as well.

Why a Crescent Moon?

The moon takes 29.5 days to orbit Earth, and it follows the same (if slightly wobbly) orbital path every month. Moonlight is merely the lunar surface reflecting sunlight. On Sunday, February 23, the moon is “new.” That means it’s roughly between the Earth and the sun, so we can’t see it all. As the moon moves away from that “new” position, we start to see the side of the moon illuminated by the sun: a “waxing” crescent moon. It’s visible in the western sky for a few days after the new moon phase, just after sunset as the moon gets further from the sun as it travels from west to east around Earth.

Why is the Crescent Moon so close to Venus?

Both the moon and the planets appear to orbit on the same path through our sky, the ecliptic. The ecliptic is essentially the plane of the solar system. All the planets orbit the sun on roughly the same plane. The moon also orbits close to the ecliptic, so it makes sense that occasionally the moon and planets appear to pass closely in the night sky. In reality, the moon is 249,892 miles from Earth on Thursday, February 27, while Venus is 84 million miles away.

In a month’s time on 28th March 2020, the crescent moon will again creep up close to Venus for a very similar show. The planet is climbing ever higher in the night sky at the moment, and on 9th March 2020, it will be close to the distant planet Uranus (though powerful binoculars or a telescope will be necessary to see the seventh planet from the sun).

Venus is currently in a brilliantly bright apparition as seen from Earth, regularly putting on a show with the crescent moon. The planet will reach its brightest and best of 2020 in early May before disappearing into the pre-dawn sky in June to become a brilliant “Morning Star” in the latter half of 2020.
The moon, meanwhile, is creeping slowly towards us, which will culminate in a close “Super Worm Moon” (the last full moon of winter) on Monday, March 9, 2020.


Back, when the world was big

Composed in 2006
In loving memory of Walter G. Sulser

Back, when the world was big,
He lifted me up high, so I could see the hills.
Back, when he sat at the edge of my bed,
…When I had dreamt badly.
Yes, back then the world was big.
Back, when he talked me out, what she forbade me.

Back, when the night became day,
We believed, that it would never end.
Early in the morning they were just gone,
My sweaty clothes I stripped off.
It was still dark, when I got on the bus.

I was breathing hardly… Still.
After this, the world wasn’t the same,
Everything changed, though I stayed the same.
Every night I waited for the garage-door to creak,
I waited for him to sit on my bed and say goodnight one last night.

Back, when the world was big,
Every country seemed exciting.
Back then, somebody hid behind every door,
…Someone who knew the way to go.

Every time, when I think of it…
Of how much I miss him…
Another hour begins.
But she doesn’t understand it…
And never will…

When the world was little,
I lost the man,
Who lifted me up high,
When it was big.

Introspection without Introspeculations

Scientific research composed and compiled by Shaun Gallagher and Morten Overgaard

We have little to say about pain itself. It is clear that although pain is distinguishable from other experiential states, Price and Aydede do not isolate it from those other experiential dimensions (especially the affective). Thus they write: “First, pain, unlike most conscious experiential states such as visual, auditory, tactile experiences, have an immediate affective and emotional aspect to it, which underlies its intimate personal as well as clinical urgency”. Our ordinary experience of pain, then, is not of some pure painfulness and we should even say that pain infects our visual, auditory, tactile experiences. When I am in pain, my experience of the world via these various modalities is affected and indeed, these perceptual experiences do have affective and emotional aspects to them that may be the result of the pain itself. So we agree that pain does not function as an object of our perceptual experience, but infiltrates that experience itself. “Notice that pain here is not the object of our perceptual experience, but rather, it is the experience itself”. But this also motivates the following question: to what extent does the pain that one tries to introspect actually affect the introspection? This is just the opposite of what might be the more expected methodological question: to what extent does introspection affect (change) the experience of pain (or any experience)?

The authors argue that introspection is indispensable and that it is already a part of third-person studies. But what is the nature of the introspection that is already practiced in science? There does seem to be a very basic agreement among scientists interested in introspection that it involves a direct attending to the subject’s own consciousness, no matter how one would go about defining introspection from there.
To quote just a few of the “first-generation introspectionists,” Knight Dunlap writes “Introspection’ is usually defined in terms which are equivalent to the expression consciousness scrutinizing itself.” (1912). Angell writes: “It [introspection] consists simply in the direct examination of one’s own mental processes” (1908). Stratton considers it to be the “direct acquaintance with the state of our minds which all of us to some extent possess” (1914). Finally, William James characterizes it as “the looking into our own minds” (James 1890). Price and Aydede, however, suggest that it is beyond the scope of their paper to examine the nature of introspection, and they are satisfied with some combination of HOP and HOT models. They suggest that nothing crucial about their analysis depends on this issue. We disagree, especially in regard to the first part of their paper. For purposes of discussion we will stay with the model they propose, but we note that there is certainly much more to say about whether HOP or HOT models genuinely capture the concept of introspection. What’s important here is that whether one appeals to HOP, HOT, or some alternative phenomenological model of introspection, introspection is understood as a reflective second-order cognitive act that thematizes first-order phenomenal experience, and makes that experience the object of reflection. Price and Aydede claim that, concerning this kind of introspection, “there isbabsolutely no reason to think that the use of such a first-person approach is scientifically and methodologically suspect.” Especially with respect to what they characterize as the introspection already practiced in experimental settings, however, there may be some justified suspicion. Indeed, and on a more basic level, before we get to the issue of scientific reliability, we think that Price and Aydede’s analysis may reflect a not uncommon confusion about the very nature of introspection and how it is practiced. Indeed, in controlled scientific experiments that require verbal reports, it is not clear at all that introspection is used in any strict methodological fashion. There are really two points here. First, whether the practices that Price and Aydede call introspective are really introspective; second, whether those practices are above suspicion.

According to Price and Aydede, introspection is already practiced in experimental science because “the subjects’ verbal reports [or nonverbal behaviors like button pushes] about their own cognitive states have routinely been taken as evidence for the cognitive models postulated”. First, one might argue that all reports given by subjects are, at least indirectly, about their own cognitive (mental, emotional, experiential) states. If one instructs a subject to push a button, or say “now” when she sees the light come on, then the subject is reporting about the light, but also about her visual experience. Even if one instructs the subject in a way that carefully avoids mention of an experiential state: “Push the button when the light comes on,” the only access that the subject has to the fact of the light coming on is by way of her experience of the light coming on. In this sense the first-person perspective is inherent in all experiments that depend on subjects’ reports. One might follow this to its logical conclusion, that even scientific observations made by the experimenter, usually considered as third-person data, presuppose and are tied to first-person reports of the scientist. The scientist might say “The subject’s premotor cortex was activated 300msecs before the subject raised her arm.” But that could easily be a report on the scientist’s experienced perception of the instrument that measured the timing of the activation. It would be odd, however, to say that this third-person fact was based on introspection, although it is a first-person report of the scientist. More generally, however, and less extremely, it is odd to say that the first-person reports of a subject are necessarily introspective, although this is precisely what Price and Aydede claim. For example, I may ask the subject to say “now” when she sees the light come on.
How precisely does the subject know when she sees the light come on? Does she reflectively introspect her experience looking for the particular visual state of seeing the light come on? Or does she simply see the light come on and report that? One might ask, “How could she possibly report that she sees the light come on if she doesn’t introspectively see that she sees the light come on? Is it possible that we can report on what we experience without employing introspection?” There is a long tradition in philosophical phenomenology (specifically the tradition that follows Husserl) that answers in the affirmative. We can report on what we experience without using introspection because we have an implicit, nonintrospective, prereflective self-awareness of our own experience. At the same time that I see the light, I know that I see the light. This knowledge of seeing the light is not based on reflectively or introspectively turning our attention to our own experience. It is rather built into our experience as an essential part of it, and it is precisely that which defines our experience as conscious experience. On this view, I consciously experience the light coming on just as I see the light coming on. I don’t have to verify through introspection that I have just seen the light come on, since my first-order phenomenal experience
First-person reports of this kind, then, are not introspective reports. They are prereflective experiential reports. So it is not correct to say that from a first-person perspective “conscious experiences seem accessible only through introspection” or “introspection seems to be the only available method of access to qualia” This applies to pain as well. It is not the case that our access to pain phenomena is “only through the special epistemic faculty of introspection”. Indeed, introspection on pain is usually motivated only because we already know that we are in pain—and we have that knowledge prereflectively, and can report it on that basis, without introspecting it. A stimulus is applied. The experimenter asks, “Is that painful?” I do not have to introspect to say “yes.” I do not have to “observe/believe that such and such sensations” are happening to me (ibid., p. 252).
I can report directly and immediately on my experience of pain because my access is directly and immediately in the pain experience.
In addition, not all reports are about consciously experienced states. In philosophy and especially in cognitive science, there seems to be agreement, at least to a large extent, that not all mental states are conscious (Marcel 1983). Examples such as blind-sight and subliminal perception serve to illustrate that subjects may perform a number of tasks that we normally do not hesitate to call “mental” even though subjects report no conscious awareness of them. Therefore, it seems logical to conclude that not all reports about mental states are introspective, that is, not all of them are about consciousness.
The second point concerns how reliable or how methodological such experiential reports are. In general and for many cases, these kinds of reports do seem very reliable. If an experimenter applies a stimulus that causes a relatively high degree of pain, or a sensory stimulus that is well above threshold, the subjects’ reports that they experience the stimulus as painful or as clearly present seem above suspicion. Reliability may decrease, however, when the stimulus is closer to threshold, and may depend on the mode of report, or other subjective factors that qualify the report. Marcel (1993), for example, has shown that requests for quick reports of close-to-threshold stimuli using different modes of report (verbal, eye blink, button push) elicit contradictory responses. At the appearance of a just noticeable light stimulus, subjects will report with a button push that they did see the light and then contradict that with a verbal report. This kind of data, and more generally, uneven or inconsistent data can motivate two different strategies. Most often, following established scientific procedure,vdata are averaged out across trials or subjects, and the inconsistencies are washed out. Less often, scientists are motivated to take this first-person data seriously and to employ introspective methods to investigate it. The second part of Price and Aydede’s paper turns to what is genuinely the use of introspection in such contexts.

Methodologies of Introspection

So far we have argued that not all verbal reports on experience are introspective reports, and introspection is not the only access we have to experience. Thus we take issue with Price and Aydede’s claim that “Introspection is a way—apparently the only way—of coming to know about our experiences and their qualities directly”. Even if, however, many first-person reports found in scientific experiments are first-person, nonintrospective experiential reports, we do not mean to rule out the usefulness of introspection. The use of introspective reports, that is, self-reports that thematize experience, can certainly provide more information about the subject’s experience. In regard to pain, for instance, introspective reports can specify the qualities and subjective measurements of pain. In addition, if done in a methodically controlled way, introspection can address issues pertaining to the reliability of some
nonintrospective experiential reports.
It will be fruitful to compare and contrast three different models of how to employ a methodical introspection in experimental situations: (1) Price and Aydede’s experiential model; (2) what has been called a “new introspectionism,” developed by Overgaard, his colleagues, and a number of other researchers (e.g., Marcel 1983, 2003; Jack and Roepstorff 2002; see comments by Frith 2002; Gallagher 2002); and (3) the method of neurophenomenology developed by Varela (1996), Lutz, and their colleagues (Lutz et al. 2002). All three share the same ambition to improve techniques for subjective reporting in order to gain more insights into the “subjective pole” inb comparison between objective neural states and subjective conscious states.

The Experiential Model

Price and Aydede suggest an approach consisting of two stages. First, one is to use a “horizontal approach” in which an investigator or subject introspectively examines what some or other subjective state feels like. Price and Aydede advise us to avoid speculations about why something was experienced and to focus specifically on how it feels instead, thus avoiding interpreting or judging one’s own experiences. To do this, they argue that one should notice experiences passively without controlling attention so that one observes ongoing thoughts, emotions, or perceptions as if they were “seen in the periphery of one’s visual field.” Price and Aydede suggest not only “simple” kinds of experiential states as objects for the introspective examination, but, apart from their main example of pain, they suggest performance anxiety as a kind of mental state that can be studied with their approach.
The introspective examination consists not only of “inner observation” but also of a description or verbalization of the observations. Of course, aside from the possibilities presented by those who are poetically blessed, one cannot describe, say, the sensation of coldness with many words. Our ordinary, prosaic linguistic practices have not sufficiently evolved to describe a subjective state in such a way that someone who never experienced coldness himself would get an idea of what that sensation is like simply through the description. To address this scarcity of words, Price and Aydede want their subjects to describe associations and thoughts that may arise in connection with the relevant experience: “Intense burning and throbbing in my hand. Feel bothered by this and slightly annoyed. Is it going to get stronger? Feeling of concern. Hope my hand isn’t going to be scalded.”
Price and Aydede suggest that scientists should use themselves as subjects. The example of a description of associations that arise when lowering one’s hand into cold water was in fact given by one of the authors of the paper. The argument for using oneself, as investigator, as a subject, seems to be that the reports of the investigators are as “subjective” as are the reports of naive subjects, and, in this sense, just as valid as experimental data. However, one should not forget that investigators must be assumed to always have certain hypotheses and results they hope to find, and thus they are likely more biased as subjects. Using the same argument as Price and Aydede, one could say that given that investigators and naive subjects have the same status in terms of validity, one could reduce the possibility of the confounding effects of interpretations and judgments by using naive (though probably trained) subjects only.
Price and Aydede believe that their approach is compatible with experimental methods found in psychophysics. To integrate their rather open method of describing experiences, however, they find it necessary to ask subjects to scale the presence of, say, “a throbbing sensation of pain,” “fear of bodily harm,” or some other state described by the subjects themselves during the “open description.” This would in essence make possible a quantification of the descriptions, and, as such, it would make the reports commensurable with cognitive neuroscience. This is the second, “vertical,” aspect of their approach. In classical cognitive neuroscience, one uses stimulus input as an experimental variable. Subjects would be presented with two or more different kinds of stimuli and in order to find the neural activations for perceiving one kind of stimulus, the neural activations caused by the other kinds of stimuli would be subtracted from the first. Thus, the reasoning goes, one will find the essential features involved with perceiving the first kind of stimulus. When using neuroscientific techniques there seems no way around using such a subtractive method even though it has been severely criticized (Friston et al. 1996; Overgaard 2004). However, one does not need to define one’s variables based upon different stimuli. One could keep stimulus features constant and only vary the instructions as now seen in an increasing number of studies, or one could define the experimental conditions based on the subjective reports themselves. This latter strategy is suggested by Price and Aydede, and it points to a way of integrating the open, subjective reporting strategy with the methodology of cognitive neuroscience. Price and Aydede do not stand alone defending this kind of view on subjective reports and their integration with neuroscience. On several occasions, the authors appeal to introspectionism and phenomenology as research directions with similar goals. Within both traditions, in the last decade, new developments have occurred that deserve a comparison with the suggestions of Price and Aydede.

New Introspectionism

A “new” introspectionist approach to subjective reporting has been put forward in Marcel 1983, 2003; Jack and Roepstorff 2002; Overgaard 2003a; Overgaard, Nielsen, and Fuglsang-Frederiksen 2004; and is further developed in Overgaard and Sørensen 2004; and Ramsøy and Overgaard 2004.
In Overgaard 2003, an outline for introspective reporting is described. It is suggested that one should perform consciousness studies on a metaphysically neutral ground, and that an important reason for the shortcomings of classical introspectionism was the commitment to certain metaphysical claims, for example, the belief in “elementarism.” It is suggested that one should use introspective reporting in experiments on consciousness, given that nonintrospective reporting may reflect non-conscious processing. Furthermore, it is suggested that one should reconsider the use of stimulus conditions as the only variable in experiments in cognitive neuroscience, and instead use differences in instructions or in the subjects’ own reporting as the categories of analysis. This line of thinking corresponds very well with Price and Aydede’s reflections on the use of subjective reporting in experiments as well as in analysis of data. Ramsøy and Overgaard (2004) presented subjects with a visual identification task using varied durations, and asked subjects (1) to guess what was shown on the computer screen, and (2) to scale how clearly they experienced the image. The steps of the scale, including their definitions, were made by the subjects themselves with the instruction that there should be a 1:1 correspondence between experienced differences and reported differences. After a pilot experiment, in which the subjects developed the scale and became accustomed to using it, the actual experiment was run. The subjects ended up using more or less the same scale (named the Phenomenal Awareness Scale or PAS), and for reasons of analysis, the investigators decided to merge the scales to include only the points of the scale that were shared by the subjects. This strategy corresponds almost completely to the proposals of Price and Aydede in the “horizontal stage” of analysis, and in the transformation from the horizontal to the vertical strategy.
In Overgaard, Nielsen, and Fuglsang-Frederiksen 2004, PAS was used with different subjects when using a similar visual display, and coupled with transcranial magnetic stimulation and EEG. This study aimed to identify the involvement of the ventral projection streams from primary visual cortex in visual consciousness.
In effect, the approach of “new introspectionism” (described in more detail in Overgaard 2003b) shares all important features with the approach of Price and Aydede. The subjects started out using their own terminology, which then was used for the purpose of scaling the subjective reports, and finally, it was integrated with neuroscience to search for neural correlates of consciousness.
There are some minor differences between the two approaches as well. Price and Aydede seem more optimistic about which mental phenomena one can study with their suggested approach. Yet, during the horizontal stage, a phenomenon like performance anxiety would give rise to many different associations and thoughts, with the result that it would be almost impossible to tell whether the very different subjective reports basically reflect identical conscious states. Even in the example of the experience of coldness, as mentioned above, the “spontaneous utterings” of the subjects are so relatively different that the investigators must perform some amount of interpretation of the reports in order to create categories suitable for quantitative analysis. Such a post hoc analysis, of course, shares all the problems of the creation of reporting categories in advance of an experiment.

A further line of research using introspective reports aims to identify differences between reports that are specifically about “how” something is experienced and reports about “what” is experienced. In Overgaard and Sørensen 2004, subjects were presented with a simple design for visual stimuli. On one of three possible locations, a simple figure followed by a mask would appear. The figure was either a triangle, a square, or a circle, or some variation of one these figures (e.g., a half-circle, an upside-down triangle, or a combination of two figures). The colour was either blue, green, or red, although the hue varied. The subjects were to identify the displayed figure by pointing at the corresponding figure drawn on three scales: one for stimulus shape, one for color, and one for the location. The scale of shapes consisted of a display of thirty-four different figures, some of which were included in the data material. The scale of colors consisted of eight different levels of hue for the colors. As with the shapes, only some of the colors were actually included as stimuli. The scale of positions displayed the fixation cross in the middle and the three different locations where the stimulus could occur. The responses of the subjects were treated as being either “correct,” “incorrect,” or “near correct.” “Near correct” responses partially matched stimulus in a manner that was only partially correct (e.g., when they pointed at the same color as the one presented, but in a brighter or darker tone). The results of the data analysis showed that subjects in the nonintrospective condition had significantly more correct and incorrect responses, whereas the introspective subjects most often were “near correct.” In addition, subjects in the introspective condition tended to be more liberal about their reports of, say, color, while the subjects in the nonintrospective condition tended to show a more conservative style conforming to specific color categories.
These results open up questions such as to what degree and how precisely introspection might change (visual) experiences. It seems necessary to address the issue if or how this knowledge should change our way of using introspective reports.


A third approach, neurophenomenology, as espoused by Francisco Varela (1996), follows the phenomenological tradition initiated by Husserl. This view involves training both the scientists and the experimental subjects in phenomenological method, including use of the phenomenological reduction, that is, the setting aside or “bracketing” of opinions or theories that a subject may have about his experience. This method involves shifting our attention from what we experience to how we experience. This correlates well with Price and Aydede’s advice to avoid speculations about why something was experienced and to focus specifically on how it feels. Lutz et al. (2002) employ the neurophenomenological method to study the highly variable successive brain responses to repeated and identical stimulations in many empirical testing situations that target specified cognitive tasks. Their hypothesis is that this variability is generated in mental fluctuations due to the subject’s attentive state, spontaneous thought processes, strategy decisions for carrying out the task, and so on. These subjective parameters include distractions, cognitive interference, and so on. To control for such subjective processes is difficult and they are usually averaged out across a series of trials and across subjects. Lutz and his colleagues decided to take these subjective parameters more seriously. They combined a process of trained phenomenological reflection with the dynamical analysis of neural processes measured by EEG in a paradigm involving a 3-D perceptual illusion. Importantly, Lutz and his colleagues used the introspective first-person data not simply as more data for analysis, but as contributing to their analytic framework.
Phenomenological training in this experiment consisted in training subjects to deliver consistent and clear reports of their experience through a reflective introspection. The goal of phenomenological reflection is to gain intuitions of the structural invariants of an experience, not to average them out. Phenomenological reflection can be either self-induced by subjects familiar with it (not unlike Price and Aydede’s proposal that the scientist use herself as the subject), or guided by the experimenter through open questions…questions directed not at opinions or theories, but at experience. Again, this resembles the “open description” discussed by Price and Aydede.
Rather than employing predefined categories, and asking “Do you think this experience is like X or Y or Z?” the open question asks simply “How would you describe your experience?” Open questions posed immediately after the task help the subject to redirect his or her attention toward the implicit strategy or degree of attention he or she implemented during the task. Subjects can be reexposed to the stimuli until they find “their own stable experiential invariants” to describe the specific elements of their experiences.
In a series of preliminary or practice trials, the subjects developed descriptions (refined verbal reports) of the subjective parameters while engaged in a depth perception task. Subjects thus became knowledgeable about their own experience and developed descriptions of experiential invariants on the basis of open questions, reporting on the presence or absence or degree of distractions, inattentive moments, cognitive strategies, and so on. On the basis of these first-person introspective descriptions, descriptive categories were formulated a posteriori to create phenomenologically based clusters that are then used as analytic tools in the main trials. For example, with regard to the subject’s experienced readiness for the stimulus, the results specified three readiness states: steady readiness (SR), in which subjects reported that they were alert and well prepared as the task began; fragmented readiness (FR) in which subjects reported that they were prepared less “sharply” (due to a momentary tiredness) or less “focally” (due to small distractions, etc.); and unreadiness (SU) in which subjects reported that they were unprepared as the task began. Subjects then used these categories to report their readiness state during the main trials as the experimenters recorded the electrical brain activity. The first-person reports were correlated with both behavioral measures (reaction times) and dynamic descriptions of the transient patterns of local and long-distance synchrony occurring between oscillating neural populations. Using these correlations, Lutz et al. were able to show that distinct subjective parameters correlate to specific dynamic brain patterns just prior to presentation of the stimulus. The results were significantly different relative to results based on averaging across trials.
The experimental protocol used in Lutz et al. 2002 thus employs a practical phenomenological method. The subjects are asked to provide a description of their own experience using an open-question format, and thus without the imposition of predetermined theoretical categories. They are trained to gain introspective intimacy with their own experience. Their first-person introspective reports are then intersubjectively and scientifically validated both in setting up the phenomenological clusters and in using those clusters to interpret results that correlated with objective measurements of behavior and brain activity.


These three approaches share a number of common features.
1. Use of preliminary trials or pilot experiments to train subjects and to develop introspective or phenomenological descriptions of experience or subject-developed scales
(Lutz; Overgaard).
2. A pushing aside of theories or speculations in favor of attending to how experience is happening (Price and Aydede’s avoidance of speculation; Varela’s phenomenological reduction).
3. The use of open questions to develop a description of the experience (Price and Aydede’s “open description”; Lutz’s open questions).
4. The formulation of common categories that transform first-person introspective descriptions into intersubjectively verified and commonly understood reports (Lutz’s phenomenological clusters; Overgaard)
5. The use of these phenomenologically generated categories not just as data, but also as part of the analytical instrument (Price and Aydede; Overgaard; Lutz).
6. The integration of first-person data with third-person behavioral, psychophysical, and neurological measurement (EEG, TMS, PET, fMRI) in search of correlations among experiences, brain activity, and behavioral responses (Price and Aydede; Overgaard; Lutz). Putting all of these elements together may provide a fuller and more detailed conception of how a methodical introspection could work than found in any one of the models. Perhaps a more integrated model that recognizes the precise difference between introspection and first-person, prereflexive, experiential reports is now called for.

Who Can We Truly Depend On?

What’s happens when you trust someone completely…when we begin to believe that one person wouldn’t let us down as long as it was within their power to prevent it…Yet, we can never truly know anyone in this life, even ourselves, so how can we trust?

In simple terms, we cannot without the kind of nasty surprises, which topple our whole world. Although they aren’t always unfortunate reminders we should never trust a living soul, they are quite often… Hence, when we find ourselves in a position of great risk, we must decide wisely. What we know of whomever, we are willing to risk a lot for, is a fragment of who they truly are inside. They are just letting us see what they want us to. So, when the mask slips, then we are privy to a mere glimpse of what they have to hide…In truth, most of us would run for the hills, if we ever saw anyone for who they are. We are no longer conditioned to strive for meaningful connections…

These days, things capable withstanding the test of time have become all too rare. We can now only find true loyalty in the darkest of places. Even then it is few and far between. It has become easier to engage with others under the guide of actual trust than to rob them in the broad daylight (of straightforward honesty), so to speak.
Nowadays, what used to strengthen our relationships is the very thing that tears them apart. We have become so accustomed to ‘being’ the way other people expect, to ‘saying’ what they want to hear and ‘thinking’ how we should in their eyes… Few say what they think. Fewer do the right thing, when everybody claims it is wrong…In the process, we have lost who we are deep inside for the pretence of being a part of something that doesn’t exist as we imagine it.
Times have changed. On a global scale, our ability to forge committed relationship depends on our capacity to listen, empathise and respond appropriately with genuine involvement in other person’s life. We must be committed to the fulfillment of their highest potential with similar or greater intensity….But let’s be honest, this is hard work that requires us to act as selflessly as possible at every opportunity.

While we still build different types of relationships for the wrong reasons, their foundations are no longer as solid as they are supposed to be. We cannot depend on others as we used to, but then we cannot leave our doors unlocked anymore either. What once was a communal setting, designed to foster qualities to aid our lifelong development, is treated as an hostile environment now…and occasionally for sane reasons. For example, London residents in many low income areas, rife with gang activity and religious extremism, risk becoming a victim of violence, each time they leave their flats. Who should they depend on? Their mayor, who believes it is all part and parcel of living in the city. They are more likely to be saved by the benevolence of a passing stranger than by an overworked, underpaid police force…or those in their charge of their budgeting… Perhaps Bruce Lee can depend on his skills to get out of a life-threatening situation with multiple attackers, but the average person can’t…So, our dependence on one another in such situations seems perfectly logical, even when help often can’t arrive in time.

However, life & death situations are the most notable example of how nobody can survive alone. Sooner or later, we must depend on somebody or something…but those are extreme circumstances that only compare to how much we depend on others to a limited extent. For instance, the people we can rely on during difficult times will most likely also be a pillar of support for us after a traumatic event. Extremes merely bring out dependency issues that already influence our daily living. They amplify needs, which are already present, in a way they might represent a burden to others over time. Although the average recovery period after a traumatic event can be from 3-6 months to 1-3 years, the majority of modern society has little tolerance for this… For instance, if someone already has an overbearing personality, any event making them more dependent is likely to drive people away…and if we can’t depend on anyone, we have a low chance of survival when things get tough. All too often I’ve encountered the kindest individuals, whose only ambition was to be liked at any cost. Some were devoted to altering their behaviour to please those around them, it hurt to watch every attempt thwarted. Others began to relish the dislike for whatever qualities they displayed, as a defence mechanism, so they increased the frequency of said behaviour.

What Matters Above All Else

How do we inspire the kind of loyalty seen only on rare occasions? How we persevere, when we cannot even elicit a hint of tolerance? Perhaps, it is not destination that matters but the journey. It takes a great deal of experience to be as genuine as we were as children. When we reach adulthood, we often lose that innate compassion. It is far easier to offer sympathy than actual help…especially when we are in a superior position of any kind and don’t wish to end up the same way. As though, bad luck is contagious, people tend to avoid those who suffer from it, if they are not actively invested in them.

In general, it is healthy for an independent adult to share whatever they wish with another…Socially, even if we come to depend on it over time, however, only when we are able cope with its sudden loss without emotional upheaval. (Perhaps, we should eventually ask ourselves, when did society become so cold.) Still, before we attempt to rack our brains around that chestnust, we must examine our own biases. No matter how much we believe, we can never truly be independent…We shall always need others for caring support to master our lives…So how can we deny this to others when they truly need it?

Appointment with Death – What If We Can’t?

What is life and who has the right to judge what should or shouldn’t be? Who has control over what can and can’t be? We may think the miracle of life as something sacred that must only be prevented in the case of physical harm to the mother or forced conception. We might occasionally imagine how precious moments of togetherness could foster a lasting bond...But there is a clear line when fantasy meets reality, which is birth

We can ponder what could be until the rest of eternity, however, we cannot escape the consequences of our actions once we reach a certain point. The further along we are, the more our options are limited until only two remain. Up to the 8th week, chemical abortion through a small pill is offered at free clinics. Although there is mild discomfort and some bleeding, the procedure is considered to be physically harmless. Up to the 10th week, surgical removal of the foetus is permitted by scooping it out. Outside of Europe, there are often alternatives further along in the pregnancy. Personally, I would be uncomfortable exploring any option above the pill, unless I truly wanted to get “that thing” out of me. However, dependent on the circumstances, pregnancy can alter our perception not merely through sentimentality or hormones…Every woman must make her own decision. One that is right for her and her alone. Nobody else. Whether others approve of her decision should be irrelevant, as it is her body. If her personal philosophy cannot reconcile with the idea and move forward, then what is she to do? This is a decision many women face, who still believe in the importance of upholding their values…due to what most call a lapse of judgement… As a teenager, in my opinion, to make the choice is less complicated. With so much life unlived, we ought to not burden ourselves before collecting experiences. Yet, once we are close to thirty, we begin to wonder…when could we be in a bearable position financially? How old do we want to be when our kids leave home? Our answers are nothing compared to the real thing. When opportunity knocks, everything changes. If we are barely getting by, but can’t take the leap, then would choose would destroy herself…by the going against every inch of her faith or by the burden of becoming a single mother…either choice would destroy something within…by going against every inch of ourselves or by the burden of becoming a single mother… When we struggle for whatever reason before the pregnancy, our hardship won’t lessen. People around us will not ease off on their stressful interactions with us at appropriate as well as inappropriate times. In fact, they will persist further. When the odds are morally debatable, then others may act in ways toward the pregnant woman that are unethical, abusive or even life-threatening. She must accept the responsibility to protect her offspring, if she wishes to keep it. Sadly, nothing is guaranteed. We cannot shield ourselves or others, just from the consequences of our own choices after we have decided. Once we make either choice, we must commit completely and never waiver. After all, we are playing with death in the attempt to control life…for comfort ot even for all the right reasons, but always at a steep cost.

We must never give up believing in the potential for nurture to bring out the best in someone brought up in the most unfavourable circumstances. It can be the cliché of the only good thing to come out of a situation, but we must bear it mind, it might not be… It could be the catalyst for something else entirely…

Ultimately, our choice is all about what we can live with. What we desired before we conceived may not be what we want now. What we clung to in order to keep us going might no longer get us through this. Both decisions can be a sign of strength, when we are in full pursuit of our heart. When we “deal with” an unwanted or wanted pregnancy and move forward without psychological fallout, then we have coped in a way that was right for us. Conversely, when we choose to carry to term, because we simply cannot terminate for whatever reason, we are equally doing right by us. In truth, there is no right or wrong, when it comes to abortion. As long as we make a decision, we can commit to in the long run, we have chosen correctly. The worst thing we can do is allow ourselves to be pressured into something that we aren’t ready for. Under no circumstances, should we tolerate threats for how we deal with the situation or our final choice. These are merely means to coerce us into solving a perceived problem, which impacts you more than them, in a certain way that suits them…However, due to their egotistical nature, they could fail to acknowledge how the decision-making process weighs on you or how the added stress can prevent you from forming a conclusion with a clear head.

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Is Social Media an Orwellian Experiment In Permanent Monitering & Censorship?

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

– George Orwell

Seventy years ago, Eric Blair, writing under a pseudonym George Orwell, published “1984,” now generally considered a classic dystopian fiction. The novel tells the story of Winston Smith, a hapless middle-aged bureaucrat who lives in Oceania, where he is governed by constant surveillance. Even though there are no laws, there is a police force, the “Thought Police,” and the constant reminders, on posters, that “Big Brother Is Watching You.”
Smith works at the Ministry of Truth, and his job is to rewrite the reports in newspapers of the past to conform with the present reality. Smith lives in a constant state of uncertainty; he is not sure the year is in fact 1984. Although the official account is that Oceania has always been at war with Eunrasia, Smith is quite sure he remembers that just a few years ago they had been at war with Eastasia, who has now been proclaimed their constant and loyal ally. The society portrayed in “1984” is one in which social control is exercised through disinformation and surveillance.

The techniques and technologies described in this novel or other classic dystopian fiction are very much present in the world today. A key feature of surveillance in the book is a telescreen, not unlike our modern television. The difference is ours has more than one channel. Without total control, one channel that cannot be turned off would lead to mayhem following a massive revolt. Once viewers become accustomed to a large number of channels, the only way to reduce them to one is by decreasing the number over generation…Failing that, a mass extinction event could also facilitate a reduction in non-essential media channels.
Now, what the novel plays on with the telescreen is the constant monitoring of every person in their own homes. As the screen watches its viewers permanently and cannot be turned off, there is no escape. However, there are suspicions on how much the cameras in our phones, laptops, tablets or television truly surveil…

The apps we download demand access to all sorts of information from our location, photos, contacts, microphone and camera. Countless app providers, like Uber have been under fire for faulty data protection…which led to private addresses of customers being at risk and probably the target of seemingly unrelated criminal offences.

Facebook: Social Influence

On Facebook, any page you click on and like are tracked, so predictive algorithms can ensure its continued financial success with modern innovation.
Many people also claim when you’re scrolling, the microphone is on and eavesdrops on conversations, which may explain why we notice advertisements for things we’ve just been talking about. Facebook obviously denied the accusation. From a legal standpoint, as long as they have permission to access the microphone, they aren’t doing anything they could be prosecuted for. If we don’t feel comfortable with this, we can opt out of it in the app permissions section.
Furthermore, since facebook uses facial recognition technology for its auto-tagging software, the only way to avoid tags is to not be recognisable in any pictures uploaded to Facebook.

It’s not just Facebook collecting user data in myriad of ways. Google, Apple, Amazon and Yahoo, along with others, track cookies, devices and profile data to deliver targeted advertising and personalized content. In each case, digital services offered by these tech firms have privacy policies in place. However, with a little observation, it becomes clear very fast that the vast majority of social media users do not have a solid understanding of how their data can be used for better or for worse.

Twitter: Linguistic Influence

There is one reason why close control of our language is so easily accepted. Digital language in some of its forms, and especially on Twitter, becomes a permanent possession or manifestation of the individual member of Twitter.

Everything that we say on Twitter remains on our account (and even in the Library of Congress it is marked for us), and the stream of content that we follow via Twitter is accessible to us in our own privately curated repository.

Twitter and many other new forms of writing or reading at least appear to be in our service, rather than in the control of a Big Brother from 1984. The extent to which our use of language will always be attached to our historical and database-archived records is a disconcerting prospect. Will all our speech and all our digital writing be accumulated like Google mail in a personal account to which we alone, and Google, have full access? It is all too easily conceivable that in a few decades we may be able to go back over dinner conversations or classroom discussions that had taken place weeks or months or years earlier, lodged and accessed via some personal recording device.

Twitter does not demand our full attention, quite the opposite…although it may elicit surprising experiences possible only through its text restrictions.
“Why would individuals choose to commit to a new form of writing and messaging, especially since we have so many other choices, and Twitter comes with some obvious limitations?” This is merely conjecture, but as countless linguists have arrived at the same question, the answer may yield new insights into how social media affects our psycho-social development on an international scale.
In comparison to Facebook, Twitter does not have any very obvious economic value to most of its members, and it may have got off the ground because we like to experiment with new ways of socializing online. Twitter’s granular structure certainly provides many opportunities for subjective choice. Twitter and other digital institutions provide us with a challenge. These tools offer us new ways of expressing our thoughts and our interests, but in so doing the tools we are using cannot be separated from the form in which the thinking is carried out.

As any social medium, we can join and leave at any moment. In the next chapter I shall consider the ways in which our use of SFDs to build these new digital institutions may rely on the same skill sets and predispositions that have guided the evolution of language and culture in all its shapes in the last million years.
Twitter and other digital institutions provide us with a challenge. These tools offer us new ways of expressing our thoughts and our interests, but in so doing the tools we are using cannot be separated from the form in which the thinking is carried out.

What is a Kilonova?

Experienced stargazers are usually familiar with terms like nova and supernova. You know, these are short-term bright to super bright stars. Some have also heard of a hypernova. A new type of nova, the Kilonova, has recently appeared in astronomy. What is a Kilonova and who or what produces it?

First, a brief explanation of the classic nova concept is given.
For centuries, the last act in star life was the view that the view of the star tent was eternal and unchangeable, because the pattern of the constellations apparently always remained the same. Only the planets as well as the sun and moon make their way through the images of the zodiac. In contrast to the ephemeral things in earthly existence, the sky tent together with the sparkling splendor of the stars seemed made for eternity. Today it is known that stars do not exist indefinitely. They arise, shine for a while and then perish. Of course, the life phase of a star has many millions, usually even billions, of years.
Our distant ancestors were therefore very surprised when a new star appeared in the sky. Far Eastern sources report a new star that surprisingly appeared in the constellation Taurus on 4th of Juli 1054. After a few weeks he was gone again. The famous astronomer Tycho Brahe observed a bright star in the constellation Cassiopeia in 1572 that he had never seen before. The same thing happened to his colleague and successor as imperial astronomer in Prague, Johannes Kepler, who discovered a previously unknown bright star in the image of the serpent-bearer (Ophiuchus) in 1604.
Kepler wrote a report with the Latin title De Stella Nova (“About the New Star”). He and his contemporaries believed that they were actually observing a new star that had never existed before. For suddenly seemingly new stars, the term “Nova” was used. But in the course of time it was doubted whether a nova appearance really indicates the birth of a new stem, especially since the “new” stars could not be observed for a long time, but disappeared again after a few weeks. With the invention of the telescope, it was recognized that Novae (plural of Nova) did not completely disappear, but after its heyday could still be observed as faint asterisks. Today they are called “postnovae”. It was soon assumed that there was already a star, albeit a faint one, in the place of a flashing nova, the Praenova. With the publication of ever better star maps, in which faint stars are also recorded, it was possible to prove such prenovae in several cases. This made it clear: a nova is not a completely new star, but the flare-up of an existing star.
The outbreak of light from a Nova is so enormous that the star suddenly shines a hundred thousand times brighter than before within a few hours. This makes stars visible that before their enormous increase in brightness could only be seen in bright telescopes and were completely unknown before the telescope was opened. Novae is now one of the variable stars in the Eruptive Variable class.

Sometimes stars show bursts of brightness that make them many million, even billion times more luminous than their original brightness. For days or a few weeks, they shine as brightly as a complete galaxy with a hundred billion suns. Such a phenomenon is called a supernova.
Are supernovae observable even in distant milky way systems as conspicuous objects? Supernovae usually outperform nova phenomena by a million times the brightness. From an astrophysical point of view, a supernova must be a different process than a nova.
A nova outbreak is a comparatively harmless event for a star: some stars experience multiple nova outbreaks (so-called recurrent novae). In a nova, a thermomiclear explosion occurs on the surface of a star when fresh hydrogen gas falls from a companion star onto the surface and heats up to several million degrees. ” Because the enormous kinetic energies of the masses falling onto the star graze Impact converted into thermal energy, (i.e. heat). Nuclear fusion is used in the hydrogen gas, which is heated to millions of degrees, a process that normally only takes place in the center of a star. The nuclear fusion running on the surface causes the star to flare up and a nova appears.

A Blazing Finale

A supernova, on the other hand, means “out” for a star. The affected sun ends its existence in a huge explosion that completely tears the star apart and becomes visible as a spectacular light effect in space.
There are two fundamentally different types of supernova events. Type Ia supernovae are caused by the collapse of a white dwarf star, which has exceeded _a Chandrasekhar mass limit due to mass accretion (accumulation). Collapse leads to an explosive nuclear fusion of carbon. Carbon atom nuclei fuse to form nuclei of the elements nickel, cobalt and iron as end products. The white dwarf star does not survive its collapse. It is completely torn apart. A compact remnant such as a neutron star is not left. A type Ia supernova emits as much energy in a few days as our sun does in around a hundred million years.
When a massive star of more than eight solar masses has burned out at the end of its life. When the thermonuclear processes in its center have come to a standstill and an iron core has formed, the central area of the stem collapses. A huge explosion is the result.

For a long time it was believed that a supernova is the most powerful detonation of a single object in the universe. But then bursts of radiation were observed in all frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum, which exceeded the brightest supernovae by a hundred times. Such a super supernova is now called a hypernova. The discovery of hypernovae can be traced back to the gamma-ray flashes that have been puzzling for many years. Such gamma ray bursts (GRBs) as the. Technical term means were discovered by chance in the 1960s. The Vela satellites in orbit were originally intended to monitor earthly nuclear explosions. But they registered short-term bursts of gamma rays that contain the most energetic photons in the electromagnetic spectrum that came from outer space. Fortunately, gamma rays do not penetrate the earth’s atmosphere.

In the meantime, several satellites are circling the earth with special detectors for researching the cosmic gamma rays. Today you have a fairly accurate idea of how a hypemova is created. When a massive star that causes a supernova collapses, the magnetic field lines are compressed. The accretion disk, which rotates rapidly around the collapsed star, also generates an extremely strong, bipolar magnetic field. The strong magnetic field ensures that the electrically charged particles of the plasma in the accretion disk are accelerated enormously and shoot out along the magnetic field lines at almost the speed of light in two jets. The released energy is bundled. The interaction of atomic nuclei and electrons with photons (inverse Compton eifect) causes intense gamma radiation. If one of the two lets (beam of rays) is directed towards the earth, the gamma-ray bursts mentioned are observed. But the underlying star flashes not only in the gamma range. Electromagnetic rays are also emitted in other wavelengths. Thus, a bright glow can be seen in visible light, just a Hypemova. The enormous energy that one registers on earth with a hypernova cannot be attributed to a spherical (spherical) radiation.

The New Kind of Nova
A new type of nova Recently, nova phenomena have been observed that are around a thousand times more luminous than an ordinary nova, but far from being as bright as a supernova or even a hypernova. Such an eruption is called “Kilonova”.

The Kilonovae, also known as Makronovae, reach a total luminosity of 1031 to 1032 kilowatts, which corresponds to a hundred million to one billion solar luminosities. A kilo or makronova is caused by the fusion of two massive stars, primarily two neutron stars or a neutron star with a black hole. In visible light, a Kilonova glows for a few hours to around ten days, changing color from bluish white to yellow, red and deep red. It can then be observed in the infrared spectral range.

On August 17, 2017, two merging neutron stars became the source of gravitation. A new type of nova Recently, nova phenomena have been observed that are around a thousand times more luminous than an ordinary nova, but far from being as bright as a supernova or even a hypernova. Such an eruption is called “Kilonova”.
The Kilonovae, also known as Makronovae, reach a total luminosity of 1031 to 1032 kilowatts, which corresponds to a hundred million to one billion solar luminosities. One kilo or makronova is caused by the fusion of two.

Turn Into Earth

How your restless, hungry eyes
Search for meaning in a world
That never sleeps…
Speak of cloudy winter skies…

The morning dew, turns into rain
Dying leaves of seasons brown
Losing life as they drift down
Toos soon in life, return to earth
Only they can know their worth

Distant dreams of things to be,
Wandering thoughts that can’t be free
I feel my mind turning away
To the darkness of the day..

AstroForecast of Fixed Stars: February 2020

Compared to the previous month, the view of the evening star tent has not changed significantly. Because the vault of the sky has only turned 30° when you look at the starry sky at the same time as in the previous month. Since a star day is 23h56m long, all stars culminate four minutes earlier each day than the day before. After a month (i.e. after 30 days) all stars pass the meridian two hours earlier.
Orion has already crossed the celestial meridian at 22h CET. Its reddish shoulder star Betelgeuse and its bluish foot star Rigel can be recognized well even in the brightened city sky, just as the three stand in a line rotated by 30° if you look at the starry sky at the same time as in the previous month. Since a star day is 23h56m long, all stars culminate four minutes earlier each day than the day before. After a month (i.e. after 30 days) all stars pass the meridian two hours earlier.
Orion has already crossed the celestial meridian at 22h CET. Its reddish shoulder star Betelgeuse and its bluish star star Rigel can be recognized even in the brightened city sky, as well as the three belt stars standing in a line. However, the Great Orion Nebula (M 42) just south of the three belt stars can only be seen with good eyesight under good visibility conditions. This star formation nest is an attractive object for binocular observers. The sky hunter Orion is followed by the Great Dog, whose intense bluish radiant star Sirius has just passed the meridian. The coming spring is heralding the eastern sky: the lion takes its place here, it is the guiding constellation of the spring sky. Its main star Regulus immediately stands out as the only star of the first size in this area. The twins are high above our heads. Cancer is found between the lions and the twins. The name. almost everyone knows him because he belongs to the zodiac, whose pictures are regularly mentioned in horoscopes. But to spot the crab in the starry sky is not easy, since it is composed only of faint stars.
The naked star cluster Praesepe (lat., cradle) can already be seen in cancer with the naked eye, but only as a weak spot of light under good visibility conditions. In star charts the Praesepe is often entered with the catalog designation M44. A swarm of individual stars appears in the telescope.
The winter hexagon with Kapella in the cart, Aldebaran in the bull, Rigel in the Orion, Sirius in the big dog, Procyon in the little dog and Pollux in the twins have shifted significantly to the west. Of the autumn pictures, only Andromeda and Perseus are worth mentioning.
In the northeast, the Big Dipper slowly pushes higher, while the Cassiopeia, descends to the horizon but does not reach it as a circumpolar image. The seven car stars are not an independent constellation, but belong to the Great Bear (lat. Ursa Maior).
The water snake (Latin: Hydra) meanders along the southeastern horizon. Your head is just south of the constellation Cancer. It is made up of faint stars and is therefore not easy to spot. The water snake is female. There is a second constellation, the water snake, the hydrus or the male water snake. However, the hydrus is so far south that it always remains below the horizon in Central Europe and therefore unobservable.

Objects For Binoculars & Telescopes

To the traditional celestial objects that create a grandiose impression in binoculars and also in visitors to an observatory always bg. spiritually, the two open stem heaps belong to Hyades and Pleiades in Taurus. The Pleiades (M45) appear more crowded. With around 400 light years, they are also three times further away than the Hyads with a distance of 140 light years. In the middle of the hyads is the orange Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri). However, it does not belong to this star cluster, but is one of the most prominent with 66 light years. Binoculars already separate the 91.2 Tauri binary in the Hyades. In the telescope, the central part of the pleiades is broken down into four separate light points.

M44, the crib in the constellation Cancer, is also one of the jewels in the winter sky. With bare eyes as a matt, “but clearly visible light spot, M44 turns out in binoculars as a magnificent open star cluster. The field of vision is teeming with stars. The Americans call this star cluster Beehive, the beehive, because they have the impression that they see stars like buzzing bees. The Latin name for crib is Praesepe. The approximately 300 stars of the cluster are 580 light years away from us. In binoculars you can only see the 50 brightest suns from M 44. The brightest single star in the cluster is Cancri with 6m3, a white star (spectral type A2).

M44, the crib in the constellation Cancer, is also one of the jewels in the winter sky. With bare eyes as a matt, “but clearly visible light spot, M44 turns out in the binoculars as a splendid open star cluster. The field of vision is teeming with stars. The Americans call this star cluster Beehive, the beehive, because they have the impression that they see stars like buzzing bees. The Latin name for crib is Praesepe. The approximately 300 stars of the cluster are 580 light years away from us. In binoculars you can only see the 50 brightest suns from M 44. The brightest single star in the cluster is Cancri with 6m3, a white star (spectral type A2).

In addition to the cradle in Cancer, the M67 star cluster in Cancer is an impressive object. M 67 lies almost 2° west of Acubens (Alpha Cancri). In a telescope with an opening of 20 cm or more, you can see more than 200 individual stars that are relatively close together. In binoculars you therefore have the impression of a little mist of about 20 ’. This bunch can be easily resolved in a telescope. Its distance was determined from the color-brightness diagram (FHD) to be around 2500 light years. New distance measurements tend to make a distance of almost 3000 light years seem more appropriate. With an age of around four billion years, M67 is one of the oldest open star clusters.

Another open star cluster is recommended: M35 in the constellation Gemini. It lies about 2 °5 northwest of Propus (Geminorum) and is already visible through binoculars. However, through a telescope, you can discern roughly 300 member-stars. The distance of this star community from us is approx. 2800 light years.

An interesting triplet in cancer is Tegmeni, 84 light years away. The main component is a 5m0 bright, yellow star (GO) with a companion of 6m0, which also shines yellowish. The separation of both stars is 6″, which separates each three-inch model. The main component itself is a narrow double star of 1m1 distance with 5% and 6m0 brightness of the individual components.

For double star hunters, Kastor in the twins is also called (a Geminorum). Two white suns (A2) with 1m9 and 2m9 brightness are currently 5m3 separated. They circle each other in 470 years. Kastor is 52 light years away and, strictly speaking, a sixfold star.

M51 is a galaxy, a prime example of a spiral nebula that you can see almost vertically. M51 is in the hunting dogs and is considered one of the most beautiful spiral nebulae that are often shown on guided tours. Lord Rosse was the first to recognize the spiral shape of M 51. Because of its appearance, this galaxy is also called “whirlpool galaxy” (Eng. Whirl; pool Galaxy). In order to clearly recognize the spiral shape, one should use a telescope with at least 25cm free opening (10-inch). At the end of a spiral arm there is a brightening that comes from the companion galaxy NGC5195. The more than 300 billion stars of M51 are 27 million light years away from us. Experienced observers may want to look for the NGC 2357 galaxy in the twins. They can be found a little north-northwest of Delta Geminorum. You can see them from the edge as a needle or spindle-shaped structure with 2′ length and a brightness of 13%. To recognize NGC 2357, you should use a telescope with at least 25 cm aperture and a magnification of 200 to 300 times.
Coordinates: a = 07h17m41S / 5 == + 23 ° 21’24 “(12000.0)
In 2010, a supernova outbreak with 15″3 took place in NGC 2357. Another was observed in this galaxy in 2015 (maximum brightness: 14%)

Dear People of the World

Written in 2006

I am, who I am…
And nothing can change that
I am, who I am
And I will be forevermore.

What a beautiful place
Would this world be
If everything mattered,
And everybody was respected.

What a beautiful place
Would this world be
If there was no war,
And we could cultivate peace .

I am, who I am…
And it should matter.
I am, who I am,
And everybody shall see….

How happy would we all be,
If nobody died…
If the world was a better place
With more people who cared…

How happy would we all be,
If we could stand up for each other…
If we were able to give,
With the tolerance to take.

I am who I am…
And I should be proud,
I am who I am…
And I stand for it.

No despair would remain for long,
If we dries each others tears…
If nobody was left outside alone
And we simply accepted one another…

No despair would remain for long,
No sorrow could last
If we could listen to our hearts,
And be who we are supposed to be…

What would happen,
If we stopped fearing loss,
Just letting go of all control
And let the dice fall where they may…

What would happen,
If relationships lasted forever
And the love would remain…
After it’s been unsteady for so long.

I know, who I am…
And I know what I want.
I know, who I am
And I know I can do better.

What if mother nature wouldn’t
Hate us so much
After we ravished her beauty
And destroyed her for so long.

What if people could breathe again,
And there was enough for everyone…
What if we could just be happy
With who they truly are inside..

AstroForecast: February 2020

  • Mercury appears in the evening sky from 06:00-12:00.
  • Venus continues to play its role as evening star
  • Mars can be observed in the morning sky Jupiter rules the morning sky with its shine
  • In the last third of Februaryn Saturn appears in the morning sky.

Solar System

Mercury offers respectable evening visibility from the 6th to the 12th. The closest planet to the sun reaches its greatest eastern elongation from the sun on 18°12′. The angular distance is relatively small at this maximum elongation, since Mercury runs through its perihelion (closest point to the sun) on the 12th, whereby 46 million kilometers (= 0.307 AU) separate it from the sun. Despite this comparatively small elongation angle, the nimble planet can be seen in the evening sky at dusk, because it travels eight degrees north of the zodiac than the sun. Under good visibility conditions, Mercury can be seen just above the south-west horizon at the beginning of the month. The sinking of the -1m0 bright Mercury takes place on the 1st at 18h31m. Shortly after half past five in the evening it is already so dark to look for Mercury with the prospect of success. A quarter of an hour before the sinking, it is swallowed up by the thick layers of haze on the horizon. By the 10th the Mercury sunset is late at 19h11m, the Mercury brightness drops to -0m6. Experienced planet hunters may still be able to track down Mercury until the 15th in excellent visibility. On the 15th the only 0m4 bright Mercury goes down at 19h13m. For telescope observers, it should be noted that Mercury reached its dichotomy (half phase) on the 11th. The 7m2 Mercury disc appears half-illuminated through the telescope.

Mercury becomes stationary on the 16th and then quickly rushes back towards the sun, which is coming towards him in the zodiac. On the 26th he meets the sun in the constellation Aquarius, the constellation lower conjunction occurs. Mercury does not step in front of the sun, but walks past it about 4 ° north. In the lower conjunction, Mercury is 95 million kilometers (= 0.635 AU) from Earth. Because of its strongly elliptical orbit, Mercury only reached its smallest distance from us three days later with 94 million kilometers (= 0.628 AU). Mercury pulls its conjunction loop in the area of the constellations Capricorn and Aquarius.

Venus is expanding its position in the evening sky. It leaves the constellation Aquarius and changes to the constellation Pisces on the 2nd. In doing so, it always takes north positions. On the 7th it passes half a degree south of the spring point in the constellation Pisces. Their height above the southern horizon increases one hour after sunset. Venus shifts her downfalls from 20h56m at the beginning of the month to 22h12m at the end of the month. Their apparent brightness increases by 0m2 to -4m3. On the 27th, Venus receives another visit from the waxing moon. His sickle and the shining evening star shine clearly in the evening western sky.

Mars can be seen in the morning sky. The red planet wanders right through the zodiac. On the 11th he leaves the serpent carrier and enters the Sagittarius constellation. On the 16th he passes the winter point just 0m32 south. The rise of Mars takes place at the beginning of the month at 4h48m and on the 29th at 4h25m. The Marshelligkeit increases significantly, namely around 0m3 and reaches 1m1 at the end of the month. This makes Mars a competitor to the 1st magnitude stars. On the first day at 19h, Mars passes the descending node of its orbit around the sun, which is slightly inclined by 1 ° 8 to the ecliptic.
Jupiter, moving rightward in Sagittarius, is expanding its morning visibility. The Jupiter rise takes place on the 1st at 6h31m and on the 15th at 9h47m. On the 29th the now -2m0 bright giant planet rises 5m01 above the southeastern horizon line. The planet disc shows itself oval in the telescope. The apparent equatorial diameter is 34 “, the pole diameter 32”. On February 26, Jupiter passed the descending node of its orbital plane inclined slightly at 1 ° 18 ‘to the ecliptic plane.
Saturn was in conjunction with the sun in the middle of the previous month. ”It wanders leisurely through the eastern part of the Sagittarius and approaches the border with the ibex (see Fig. 7.10 on page 158). In the last third of the month, the ring planet appears in the morning sky in the southeast.
On the 20th the 0m7 bright Saturn rises at 6h02m. By the end of the month, it has risen to 5h29m. On the 13th the ring planet passes the descending node of its orbit inclined at 2 ° 29 ‘to the ecliptic.

Uranus, again right in the zodiac, changes from the constellation Pisces to Aries on the 6th. The planet far from the sun can still be found in the evening sky. However, his visibility time is shortened drastically, he postpones his downfall well before midnight. If the 5m8 faint planet goes down on the 1st at 0h45m and on the 15th at 23h46m, the uranium sunset will take place on the 29th at 22h54m. One hour before sunset, it will be hopeless to look for the faint Uranus. The apparent diameter of Uranus is only 3m5. You can see a small, greenish disc in the telescope, on which no details can be seen, not even in large telescopes at high magnification.

Neptune wanders through the constellation Aquarius. The sun is on his heels. By the end of February, its eastern angular distance from the sun has decreased to a good seven degrees. Its conjunction with the sun is imminent. The most distant planet, faintly faint with 8%, can no longer be found in the evening sky.
Asteroids & Dwarf Planets
Juno (planetoid No. 3) becomes stationary in the constellation of Virgo on the 13th at 8:00 am and begins her opposition period. On the 13th the small planet, only 10m2 bright, rises at 10:30 p.m. The culmination of Juno takes place at 4h16m and its downfall at 9h58m.
Vesta (4) significantly speeds up her right-wing hike through the constellation Aries. On the 28th she changes to the constellation Taurus. It is aiming for more and more northern positions. Their brightness drops further to 8m2. This makes it more difficult to identify them in the starry sky. Vesta relocates her culinary delights from 18h33m at the beginning of the month to 17h11m at the end of the month. On the 1st it goes down at 11h38m and on the 15th at 1h03m. At the end of February the Vesta sinking takes place at 01h32m.
Periodic Falling Star Currents

February shows the lowest falling star activity of all months. This also has the advantage of being able to track down new, as yet unknown meteor streams.
Antihelion-Radian: The Antihelion-Radiant moves along the ecliptic from the constellation Leo (Leo) and reaches the constellation Jungfrau (Virgo) at the end of the month and thus lower heights above the horizon. If there are few fertile sources, the chance of discovering weak meteor currents is favorable. However, all systematic evaluations have so far revealed no new flows in February.
Alpha Aurigids: The alpha aurigids were observed between February 6th and 9th until the late 1980s. Their maximum was not very pronounced. The point of broadcast was near Kapella. Obviously, this stream has dried up in recent years. Nevertheless, it is worth looking out for the Aurigids. Maybe they’ll be active again.
Delta Leonids: The Delta Leonids reach their maximum around February 25th. They are a weak stream that is noticeable between February 15th and March 10th, which are slow objects (around 23 kilometers per second). Even if periodic streams of falling stars are largely absent in February, surprises are still to be expected. Bright cars or fireballs have been registered more often in February. Consider the case in Chelyabinsk, Russia, on February 15, 2013, in which there were injuries and property damage.

AstroPrognose: Februar 2020 – Teil 1

  • Merkur zeigt sich vom 6. bis 12. am Abendhimmel
  • Venus spielt weiter ihre Rolle als Abendstern
  • Mars kann am Morgenhimmel beobachtet werden
  • Jupiter beherrscht mit seinem Glanz den Morgenhimmel
  • Im letzten Februardrittel taucht Saturn am Morgenhimmel auf.


Merkur bietet vom 6. bis 12. eine respektable Abendsichtbarkeit. Der sonnennächste Planet erreicht am 10. mit 18°12′ seine größte Östliche Elongation von der Sonne. Der Winkelabstand fällt bei dieser maximalen Elongation relativ klein aus, da Merkur am 12. durch sein Perihel (sonnennächster Bahnpunkt) läuft, wobei ihn 46 Millionen Kilometer (= 0,307 AE) von der Sonne trennen. Trotz dieses vergleichsweise kleinen Elongationswinkels lässt sich der flinke Planet am Abendhimmel in der Dämmerung sehen, denn er wandert acht Grad nördlicher als die Sonne durch den Tierkreis. Unter guten Sichtbedingungen kann man Merkur schon zu Monatsbeginn knapp über dem Südwesthorizont aus machen.
Der Untergang des -1m0 hellen Merkur erfolgt am 1. um 18h31m‚ Kurz nach halb sechs Uhr abends ist es bereits so dunkel, um mit Aussicht auf Erfolg nach Merkur Ausschau zu halten. Eine Viertelstunde vor Untergang Wird er von den dichten Dunstschichten am Horizont verschluckt. Bis zum 10. verspäten sich die Merkuruntergänge auf 19h11m, die Merkurhelligkeit geht auf -0m6 zurück. Erfahrene Planetenjäger mögen bei ausgezeichneten Sichtbedingungen Merkur noch bis 15. aufspüren. Am 15. geht der nur noch 0m4 helle Merkur um 19h13m unter (siehe auch Abb. 2.2 und 2.3 auf Seite 56).
Für Fernrohrbeobachter sei angemerkt, dass Merkur am 11. seine Dichotomie (Halbphase) erreicht. Im Teleskop erscheint das 7m2 große Merkurscheibchen halb beleuchtet,
Am 16. wird Merkur stationär und eilt anschließend rasch rückläuüg auf die Sonne zu, die ihm im Tierkreis entgegenkommt. Am 26. trifft er mit der Sonne im Sternbild Wassermann zusammen die Konstellation untere Konjunktion tritt ein. Merkur tritt dabei nicht vor die Sonne, sondern wandert etwa 4° nördlicher an ihr vorbei. In unterer Konjunktion ist Merkur 95 Millionen Kilometer (= 0,635 AE) von der Erde entfernt. Seine geringste Entfernung von uns erreicht Merkur wegen seiner stark elliptischen Bahn erst drei Tage später mit 94 Millionen Kilometer (= 0,628 AE). Seine Konjunktionsschleife zieht Merkur im Gebiet der Sternbilder Steinbock und Wassermann.

Venus baut ihre Stellung am Abendhimmel aus. Sie verlässt das Sternbild Wassermann und wechselt am 2. in das Sternbild Fische. Dabei nimmt sie immer nördlicher Positionenlein. Am 7. passiert sie ein halbes Grad südlich den Frühlingspunkt im Sternbild Fische. Ihre Höhe über dem Südhorizont jeweils eine Stunde nach Sonnenuntergang nimmt zu.
Ihre Untergänge verschiebt Venus von 20h56m zu Monatsbeginn auf 22h12m zu Monatsende. Ihre scheinbare Helligkeit nimmt um 0m2 auf -4m3 zu. Am 27. erhält Venus wieder Besuch vom zunehmenden Mond. Seine Sichel und der strahlende Abendstern leuchten unübersehbar am abendlichen Westhimmel.

Mars kann am Morgenhimmel gesehen werden. Der rote Planet wandert rechtläufig durch den Tierkreis. Am 11. verlässt er den Schlangenträger uhd tritt in das Sternbild Schütze. Am 16. zieht er nur 0m32 südlich am Winterpunkt vorbei. Der Marsaufgang erfolgt am Monatsanfang um 4h48m und am 29. schon um 4h25m. Die Marshelligkeit nimmt deutlich zu, nämlich um 0m3 und erreicht am Monatsende 1m1. Damit wird Mars zum Konkurrenten der Sterne 1. Größenklasse. Am 1. passiert Mars um 19h den absteigenden Knoten seiner um 1°8 zur Ekliptik leicht geneigten Bahn um die Sonne.

Jupiter, rechtläufig im Schützen, baut seine Morgensichtbar‚keit aus. Der Jupiteraufgang erfolgt am 1. um 6h31m und am 15. um 9h47m. Am 29. steigt der inzwischen -2m0 helle Riesenplanet bereits um 5m01 über die südöstliche Horizontlinie. Im Teleskop zeigt sich das Planetenscheibchen oval. Der scheinbare Äquatordurchmesser beträgt 34″, der Poldurchmesser 32″. Den absteigenden Knoten seiner um 1°18′ leicht zur Ekliptikebene geneigten Bahnebene passiert Jupiter am 26. Februar.

Saturn stand Mitte des Vormonats in Konjunktion mit der Sonne.“ Er wandert gemächlich rechtläuflg durch den Ostteil des Schützen und nähert sich der Grenze zum Steinbock (siehe Abb. 7.10 auf Seite 158). Im letzten Monatsdrittel taucht der Ringplanet am Morgenhimmel im Südosten auf.
Am 20. geht der 0m7 helle Saturn um 6h02m auf. Bis Monatsende verfrühen sich seine Au fgänge auf 5h29m. Am 13. passiert der Ringplanet den absteigenden Knoten seiner um 2°29′ zur Ekliptik geneigten Bahn.

Uranus, wieder rechtläuflg im Tierkreis, wechselt am 6. aus dem Sternbild Fische in den Widder. Der sonnenferne Planet kann noch am Abendhimmel aufgefunden werden. Seine Sichtbarkeitszeit verkürzt sich allerdings drastisch, er verlegt seine Untergänge in die Zeit weit vor Mitternacht. Geht der 5m8 lichtschwache Planet am 1. um 0h45m unter und am 15. um 23h46m‚ so erfolgt der Uranusuntergang am 29. schon um 22h54m. Jeweils eine Stunde vor Untergang wird es aussichtslos, nach dem lichtschwachen Uranus Ausschau zu halten. Der scheinbare Durchmesser des Uranus misst lediglich 3m5. Man sieht im Teleskop ein kleines, grünliches Scheibchen, auf dem keinerlei Details zu erkennen sind auch nicht in großen Teleskopen bei hoher Vergrößerung.

Neptun wandert rechtläufig durch das Sternbild Wassermann. Die Sonne ist ihm auf den Fersen. Bis Ende Februar nimmt sein östlicher Winkelabstand von der Sonne auf gut sieben Grad ab. Seine Konjunktion mit der Sonne steht unmittelbar bevor. Der sonnenfernste und mit 8% recht lichtschwache Planet kann nicht mehr am Abendhimmel aufgefunden werden.

Planetoiden & Zwergplaneten

Juno (Planetoid Nr. 3) wird am 13. um 8h im Sternbild Jungfrau stationär und beginnt ihre oppositionsperiode. Am 13. geht der nur 10m2 helle Kleinplanet um 22h30’“ auf. Um 4h16m erfolgt die Kulmination von Juno und um 9h58m ihr Untergang.

Vesta (4) beschleunigt deutlich ihre rechtläuüge Wanderung durch das Sternbild Widder. Am 28. wechselt sie in das Sternbild Stier. Sie strebt immer nördlichere Positionen an. Ihre Helligkeit sinkt weiter auf 8m2 ab. Damit wird es schon schwieriger, sie im Sternengewimmel zu identizieren. Ihre Kulminationen Verlegt Vesta von 18h33m zu Monatsbeginn auf 17h11m zum Monatsende. Am 1. geht sie um 11h38m unter und am 15. um 1h03m. Ende Februar erfolgt der Vesta-Untergang schon um 01h32m.

Periodische Sternschnuppenströme

Der Februar zeigt die geringste Sternschnuppenaktivität aller Monate. Dies hat mitunter auch den Vorteil, eventuell neue, noch unbekannte Meteorströme aufspüren zu können.

Antihelion-Radian: Der Antihelion-Radiant verlagert sich entlang der Ekliptik vom Sternbild Löwe (Leo) und erreicht zum Monatsende das Sternbild Jungfrau (Virgo) und damit geringere Höhen über dem Horizont. Wenn nur wenig ergiebige Quellen vorhanden sind, ist die Chance für die Entdeckung schwacher Meteorströme günstig. Iedoch haben alle systematischen Auswertungen bisher keine neuen Ströme im Februar erkennen lassen.

Alpha-Aurigiden: Die Alpha-Aurigiden wurden bis Ende der 1980er Iahre zwischen dem 6. und 9. Februar beobachtet. Ihr Maximum war nicht sehr ausgeprägt. Der Ausstrahlungspunkt lag in der Nähe von Kapella. Offensichtlich ist dieser Strom in den letzten Jahren versiegt. Dennoch lohnt es sich, nach den Aurigiden Ausschau zuhalten. Vielleicht werden sie wieder aktiv.

Delta-Leoniden: Die Delta-Leoniden erreichen ihr Maximum um den 25. Februar. Sie sind ein schwacher Strom, der sich zwischen dem 15. Februar und dem ‘ 10. März bemerkbar macht, wobei es sich um langsame Objekte handelt (um 23 Kilometer pro Sekunde). Auch wenn periodische Sternschnuppenströme im Februar weitgehend ausblciben, so ist dennoch mit Überraschungen zu rechnen. Helle Boliden oder Feuerkugeln wurden schon öfter im Februar registriert. Man denke an den Fall im russischen Tscheljabinsk vom 15. Februar 2013, bei dem es Verletzte und Sachschäden gab.


Written in 2007

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome
Related to events and circumstances…
Hope implies we believe enough
To expect we may get our way.

The definition of dreams
Is to hope and imagine something
That might not come true
Maybe never, but we still visualize it.

The word home means so much more,
Than just a roof over our heads,
It’s a safe place, we can return to,
No matter what…

A wor…
A feeling…
A promise?

How do we define ourselves?
Our dreams or actions?
Through our home, our world?
Through all that we love…

The definition of time is fluid,
As everything changes,
Even if we stand still…
It ticks so fast and then so slow…

Rationality describes the explainable
But only superficially…
It demands all should make sense,
Even when mostly nothing does.

The term truth outlasts our opinions,
Transcending the relative…
From probability to formless potential, It proves everything and nothing.

Someday truth might bring us together,
Perhaps when the time is right,
Dreams may become reality

January 2020 – Astronomical Overview

  • The Earth comes on the 5th with 147 million kilometers near the sun.
  • On the 10th, a penumbra eclipse of the moon takes place.
  • Venus is a radiant evening star.
  • Mars shows up in the morning sky.
  • Jupiter appears in the morning sky in late January.
  • Saturn is unobservable in the daytime sky.


  • 01/20/15: Sun enters the Capricorn constellation
  • 01/20/16: Sun enters the zodiac sign Aquarius

Heliocentric view of the planetary system in the first quarter of 2020. The positions of the inner planets for 1rst January (1), 1rst February (2) and 1rst March (3) and 1rst April (4) are illustrated below:

This part shows the outer planetary system including some planetoids at the beginning and end of the first quarter. The arrows indicate the directions to the more distant planets and to the spring point.
Mercury: is right behind the sun far south through the constellations Sagittarius and Capricorn. Already on the 10th he overtakes the daily star. On this day it reaches its upper conjunction with the sun. On the day of the upper conjunction, Mercury is 214 million kilometers (= 1.43 AU) away from Earth. Mercury is in the daytime sky and remains unobservable below the horizon at night. In the course of the January, Mercury gradually grows ever larger Eastern Angular Distance from the Sun, which grows to 14°4 by the end of the month. Under extremely favorable visibility conditions, you can see the nimble planet at dusk deep in the southwest at the end of the month. On the 28th, the bright Mercury sets at 18h07. Around 17h40m you can see him in the increasing darkness. At around 6pm, it is swallowed up in the thick, horizontal layers of haze. By the end of the month, the Mercury sunset at 18h25m was late, the Mercury brightness remained the same.

The encounter with Jupiter on the 2nd, at which Mercury passes 1°30′ south of the giant planet, remains just as unobservable as the conjunction with Saturn on the 12th, which takes place only one degree east of the sun.

Venus appears at the beginning of the year as a brightly shining evening star in the western sky. Our neighboring planet is the first to light up at dawn, long before the other stars are visible. After the sun and moon, Venus is the brightest star in the earthly firmament. The sickle of the waxing moon joins her on the 28th.
In the course of the January, their downfalls are delayed. At the beginning of the year the -4m0 bright Venus sets at 19h23m. On the 31st, on the other hand, it doesn’t set until 20h53m. The venus brightness increases slightly to -4m1.
On the 27th, Venus passes the distant and faint Neptune just five minutes south of the arc. To see Neptune, binoculars or a telescope are required (see Fig. 1.6 on page 39).
Venus still appears relatively small and rounded in the telescope. On the 27th, 75% of the only 15″ large planet disc is illuminated, ten percent less than at the beginning of the year. In the coming months, the apparent Venus diameter will increase and the degree of illumination will decrease. In May, Venus will then appear as a large, narrow sickle, similar to that Earth moon a few days after new moon.

Mars is a planet in the morning sky. On the 7th he leaves the constellation Libra and enters the scorpion, which he leaves on the 15th to switch to the serpent carrier. The red planet moves on the 17th right 5° north past Antares (Alpha Scorpii). Antares means “Mars-like star” because of its reddish color and its proximity to the ecliptic (apparent solar path). Ares is the Greek name for the Roman god of war Mars. Now you can compare the two well. Antares is 1m0 bright, while Mars is 1m4 at the beginning of the month and 1m4 at the end of January.
Mars rises at 5h00m on the 1st, just eleven minutes earlier at the end of January. The apparent Mars diameter on the 31st is a modest 4m8, which is why hardly any details can be seen on Mars in amateur telescopes.

Jupiter has just completed its conjunction with the sun. On December 27th of the previous year, the sun caught up with him in the zodiac. Since the giant planet runs very slowly through the zodiac, its western angular distance from the sun increases rapidly. And since Jupiter is a fairly bright planet at -1m9, it already appears in the morning sky at the end of the month. For the first time you can see the giant planet with its free eyes on the 25th.
It wanders right through the shooter (see Fig. 7.12 on page 159). On the 25th, Jupiter rises at 6h53m. About a quarter of an hour later you can see it as a bright, yellowish point of light just above the southeastern horizon. On the last day of the month, the giant planet rises at 6h34m. The encounter with Mercury on the 2nd remains unobservable.

Saturn rises in the daytime sky with the sun and cannot be seen. On the 13th, it is overtaken by the sun in the Sagittarius constellation and is in conjunction with it. It disappears behind the sun or Saturn is covered by the sun.
On the day of the conjunction, Saturn is 1,648 million kilometers. (=11.02 AU) from Earth. It is separated from the sun by 1501 million kilometers (=10.03 AU).
The encounter with Mercury on the 12th remains unobservable.
On the 10th, Saturn is in a heliocentric conjunction with Pluto. Four days later, on the 14th, the ring planet 0m7 passes the dwarf planet Pluto north.

Uranus becomes stationary on the 11th in the constellation Pisces on the border with Aries. This is hardly noticeable because the greenish planet almost does not move these weeks. By the end of the month it has gone almost unnoticed. Uranus postponed its downfall soon after midnight. On the 1st it goes down by 2h44m, on the 5th by 1h49m and on the 31st by 0h7m.
The best time to look for Uranus is the hour around its culmination. It takes place on the 1st at 19h39m and at the end of January on the 31st at 17h42m. In the first half of the month, moonlight interferes with the observation. Its brightness decreases slightly from 5m7 to 5m8.

Neptune right-driven movement in Aquarius, is chased by the sun and approaches its conjunctive position with it. By the end of January, its eastern angular distance from it has shrunk to just under 36°. This means that the most distant planet has to be removed from the watchlist. It withdraws from the evening sky and becomes unobservable. Its conjunction with the sun is expected in the first third of March. Experienced observers will be able to track down Neptune with suitable optics in the first half of January.
On the 27th there is a very close encounter with Venus. This passes just 0°05′ south of Neptune. At 19h the distance is still eight arc minutes.
On the 1st, Neptune culminates at 16h48m and sets at 22h20m. Its meridian passage takes place on the 15th at 15h54m. The only 7m9 bright Neptune goes down on this day by 2127m. At the latest one and a half hours before sunset, Neptune becomes invisible near the horizon. By the end of the month, the Neptune sunsets are getting to 20h27m.

Planetoids & Dwarf Planets

Pluto, the most famous dwarf planet (planetoid no. 134 340), will also be in the Sagittarius constellation in 2020. On July 15, he comes in opposition to the sun. With 14m3 of opposition brightness, it is only accessible to larger instruments. It is listed in the months of April, July and October under the heading “Planetary Run”.
On the 13th Pluto is in conjunction with the sun at 14h. That day, 5227 million kilometers (=34.94 AU) separate it from Earth. Its solar distance is 5080 million kilometers (=33.96 AU)

Ceres (Planetoid No. 1) comes into conjunction with the Sun on the 13th in the Sagittarius constellation. They separate 584 million kilometers (=3.90 AU) from Earth on this day, while their sun distance is 437 million kilometers (=2.92 AU). This dwarf planet reaches its opposition to the sun on August 28.

Vesta (Planetoid No. 4) stood in opposition to the sun on November 12, 2019. On the 1st it becomes stationary in the constellation of Walßsch and then walks quite right through the zodiac. This ends her opposition period, which is also evident from the decrease in brightness from 7m4 to 7m9. Planetoid No. 4 can be found relatively easily in binoculars.
On the 1st Vesta passes the meridian at 20h23m and sets at 3h14m. By the end of January, her culmination will be premature at 18h37m and her sinking at 1h41m.

Truth In The Bottle

Written in 2016

I am who I am
And that will never change
I am who I am…
More than strange for too many…

It’s either the blade of knife
Or one last drink…just one
It’s been like this all along,
But with one drink it’s only begun

Have you ever tried living without pain,
Because once its there…
It will remain
And its more than anyone could bear

Nothing right, nothing wrong,
Nothing good, nothing bad,
No beginning, no end,
No way to balance it all…

Maybe they don’t realise,
The last piece of hope doesn’t linger.
Someday it simple dies
And that’s when everyone perishes inside.

She’s lying there motionless,
Unable to cry, not anymore…
The blanket is wrapped around her
But she’s still shivering.

A pen remains in her hand,
She write on an empty sheet of paper…
Because in the end,
Our future is pages unwritten.

Sometimes, maybe just to feel alive,
We dream without boundaries…
Often, perhaps to punish ourselves,
We believe it shall never be reality.

The Bitter Truth of Leadership

We admire strength, boldness and power, so we seek those who possess it. We lavish wisdom, forethought and emotional freedom, so we strive to be near those who impart those qualities. However, to w…

Source: The Bitter Truth of Leadership

Sweet Cancer

He lets out a cloud of smoke,
Before sighting in thought,
They’re starring at him,

Thinking of it as a dirty,
…filthy, health deteriorating habit,
Which leads to a
Slow and painful death.

They all curse it,
While adherence to cheat death,
With the likes of living painfully health conscious,
With the gifts modern science has given us.

He lights another cigarette,
While his central line on his neck
Becomes visible…
Ironical, isn’t it?

Those who poison mother nature the most,
Blame those who poison themselves,
And those around them,
Of course not like them.

Low-self worth,
Reckless masochism,
The reasons condemning him to death.

He won’t come of old age,
Not anymore…
His time,
Is running up.

Cigarettes have embarked
On their warpath…
Of a slow,
And excruciating death.

He chose his fate,
At least,
That’s what they say.

So what’s the point?
He doesn’t fear pain
Or death…
Nor does he think he should have to.

Shamanic Physics: Ancient Wisdom in New Discoveries

Written in 2013

Shamanism & The Observer Effect

According to the first hypotheses of the relationship between modern physics and shamanic practices, Fred Alan Wolf concluded that all shamans perceive the universe as being made from vibrations. Within physics, vibrations are repetitive patterns that can be observed in the simplest physical systems. That being said, from the movement of sound through the air to the invisible vibrations of light waves speeding through the universe are all evidence of vibrational motion. Consequently, Wolf discovered that there were even more subtle vibrations, which were contained in the probability waves of subatomic and atomic matter. These waves possess a vibrational pattern, yet they also play a key role in determining how probable physical events are to take place. Whenever in time or wherever in space an event manifests are governed by the strength and amplitude of these waves. Quantum waves are invisible. They are constructs of human thought necessary for the modern world to enable an understanding of atomic and subatomic matter. For any event to manifest, these waves coming from the future and the present or from the past and the present must interfere with each other in the present. The Anglo-Saxon Shamans themselves viewed the universe as a web consisting of vibrating strings. However, when contemplating the observer effect, which in essence describes that the act of observation alters the phenomena of being observed, one should be aware that the quantum system itself would not be able to operate in the same manner, if it was to be observed as a whole. It is known that quantum waves exist through space and even beyond time. In addition, they are possess the capacity affect matter. Yet, most individuals neglect that there would have to be an intelligence behind the observed for it to alter its behaviour. In the Bohr interpretation of quantum physics, these waves would vanish the instant any observation of matter occurred. In fact, the observation was imagined as the sudden collapse of the wave producing a particle of matter. According to Paulis exclusion principle, electrons have the ability to exclude each other from entering each others territory. Atomic energy structures are possible only due to electric exclusion. According to Pauli, photons, particles of light, possess the ability to include each other. They are able to enter each others territory and in fact have a strong tendency to do so, thus the phenomena is termed photon inclusion, which resulted in the development of laser technology that would not be able to operate outside of this fact. Henceforth, during an altered state of consciousness, the observer of a quantum system disturbs the system by the mere act of observing it.

Difference Between Resonance & Vibration

According to the teachings of the Quabala, the universe was constructed from vibrational sound patterns of three Hebrew letters, which are “aleph”, “mem” and “sheen” in an interplay of spirit, matter and consciousness. That which is known as consciousness is consistent of waves of information that move from spirit into matter and then back into spirit. This flow of waves took place outside of time. In the sense that the whole action of that movement was instantaneous. According to quantum physics, any conscious experience also results from a double movement of a wave action. This wave action also occurs beyond space and time. It is a wave of possibilities, that is known as quantum wave function. It moves from the present to the relevant time and then returns to the present moment. As shamans chant sacred songs and chants in order to invoke spirits of all kinds, the connection between sacred chants and the language used by, for instance, Qabalists. Often, a resonant transfer of vibrational energy from one individual to another is symbolized during rituals and practices. In countless traditions, healing is also viewed as a transfer of vibrational energy within the body. When the body falls ill, parts of it are out of harmony with the rest of it. All organs and cells vibrate. Hence, the practice of radionics has become more widespread within Western Medicine. It is often believed that when an organ is no longer receiving vibrational energy from the rest of the body, it is vibrating at another or the wrong frequency, thus it is out of harmony with that which nurtures it. Therefore, healing could simply consist of reinvoking those sacred sounds within the body, which is very similar to the practice of Atharveda within Hinduism. For instance, in the shamanic tradition, the chanting of the world “wolf” would invoke the presence of the wolf itself. Thus if one sang the name of a wolf in a sacred manner, a wolf would appear. Shamans do not simply view things interacting with things producing a cause and effect relationship, yet they view it as a web of interconnectedness, which is very close to the kind of interconnectedness that can be observed in old fashioned and present day quantum models. In physics, this is referred to as non-locality, which describes actions taking place in one location can instantly affect actions in an entirely different location. The process of energy resonating within the hunter that may attract animals of prey, such as a wolf, deer or even edible type of bear. In conclusion, resonance vibrations would differ from individual to individual. One may even hypothesize that it could be unique to the individual. However, vibrational modes of the body can be altered by stress and illness. Thus, when the resonance of the body is adjusted to attain a homeostatic state, the body would attune to the sound and harmonize.

Leylines, Shamanism & the Significance of Geography

Geomancy is a traditional way of divination based on intuitive contact with the subtle energies of the Earth. It belongs to a large family of divinatory methods founded on that which modern mathematicians refer to as binary or base 2 numbers. The most well known of this family is most likely the I Ching, also referred to as the book of changes. The principle underlying these methods are universal, as certain random or quasi random events can be made to produce one of two definite results. To the geomancer, the entire world was a pattern of meanings that could be caught by the perceptive eye and interpreted by the attentive mind. Certain locations upon planet earth have been even assigned essences and personalities. Along my travels, however, I have encountered one which is still significantly potent. Due to the recent electromagnetic changes of the earth, perhaps even more so. It is the Isle of Thanet. Otherwise known as the isle of death, the hiding place of the white witches and the dumping ground of great Britain for centuries. Yet, it’s essence is clearly felt. Winston Churchill remarked upon the eerie nature of the former island. It should be noted that these places of power have different types of energy associated with ancient sites. These are not only ley lines, there is also another form of spiritual geography. It is possible to measure additional geophysical properties in these other sites. For instance, prehistoric stone structures in Cornwall showed radiation anomalies, which could be reminiscent of an ancient nuclear war that has been evidenced around other prehistoric structures on the globe.

There are two forces acting within us. The quantum force of the electron exclusion tends to keep things separated. The quantum force of photon inclusion tends to bring things together. Between these two forces of exclusion, which enables atoms to form all of the molecular to communicate with each other and vibrate synthetically, human life exists. It could therefore be argued that as all is composed of energy, it is probable that locations, certain time frames and even individuals possess unique energies, which in turn define, yet also reveal, the nature of the before mentioned object or subject in question. Conclusively, shamanic physics is the entire nature of geomancy. Humankind has been sensitive to the subtle energies of locations for centuries, it is only in the last hundred years that mankind has slowly faded out that very ability through the lack of utilizing it. In modern times, steel frame buildings uilt on an economic bias have come to replace the ancient geomantic bias. Perhaps this loss of ability has occurred due to the desire to coomunicate with one another over vast distances and hold energy as well as power at ones fingertips. The electromagnetic spectrum has extended into mankinds sensorium, as it may. It provides information, heat, and illuminates dark spaces. The lack of usage of geomancy has caused the ability to utilize it to degenerate, as the imaginal realm vanishes into fantasy.

Five Senses of Imagination

The first five senses of humanity are normal ones. Then one has to consider the imaginal senses. The sense of self-healing, the sense of self-destruction, the sense of penetration, to be able to penetrate other levels, other worlds and other dimensions, the sense of perception, to be able to see and comprehend that which one perceives in those other worlds. And the sense of revelation, to be able to use that which one has perceived as it has been revealed. These are the ten senses that the Chumash work by. There appears to be principles of life based on the mind that have been lost throughout history. These are principles of healing that appear to be universal in essence. It should be noted that mechanical action occurs when life becomes unconscious. As if it becomes dead in its thinking by becoming mechanical in operation. Yet, the mind creates mechanical action by creating least action paths, as Wolf describes it. These paths became the unconscious mind. The body-mind which attends the survival of the individual. The consciousness, the spirit itself, is a very significant part of healing, which in modern medicine is often neglected. Within Buddhism, similarly to shamanism, all illness arises from three root poisons. Attachment, Aversion and Ignorance. The metaphorical gesture of removing the illness, by sucking on the head for instance and then spitting it out, for instance, utilize visualization and healing that has travelled to the corners of Western civilisations by mere efficiency without being directly or indirectly related to shamanism. The imaginal realm has a rather important, yet more often than not overlooked, role within modern society. Out of these five imaginal senses, certain ones are generally trained better. For instance, black shamans are often advised to take caution, when it comes down to cursing individuals, as their ability to heal diminishes and eventually vanishes. The sense of self-destruction, which is often known as self-sabotaging, can be overcome through the sense of self-healing and a sense of revelation. This is rather reminiscent of Jungs and Freuds wish for death and wish for life, which could easily be interpreted as that imaginal sense as well as desire for healing as well as destruction. Perhaps the desire for death represents the yearning to return to a state of complete or true enlightenment. The desire to return to a non-physical state of being. For instance, through the sense of self-healing, the shaman can also attain the knowledge of how to heal and help others, the shaman could for instance produce a healing vibration in the patients body. When the patient tunes into the vibration, they are healed. Wolf suggested that this act of tuning would most likely be related to the vibrational frequency of a quantum wave of probability. The frequencies of these waves are related to the energies of the particles, which tend to manifest where the wave interference patterns are thickest. The lowest frequency waves would therefore have very long wave-lengths.

Time & Dimensional Travel

Shamanic practitioners have been able to reach a state of consciousness, which is reminiscent to sleep. Scientists have identified the brain wave pattern to be theta. Through this trance state, they remain awake. They have shifted their perception, whilst recognizing that their consciousness is not confined to their bodies. They see consciousness in everything. By choosing to observe themselves as spirits traveling over telephone wires or floating in thunderclouds, they are tuning to the consciousness in these objects. This is more or less an extended self-observation and that is precisely that which one must practice in order to regain ones lost senses and travel more effectively. Everything in nature undergoes self-observation. It is a process wherein each observer defines that which is outside of his or her self. The key here is learning to extend that which one calls the self beyond the normal boundaries. Self-observation occurs even in atoms. The atom exists in stable energy patterns known as states. In order to maintain a state of energy, the atom must recognize itself, observe itself to be in a state. If one considers that an observation is an interaction involving a transition between two states, the observer state and the observed state. When an object is being observed in the outside world, according to quantum physics, the state of the object suddenly takes on a discrete value. It appears in the world. And simultaneously, one becomes aware of it. If one considers that objects are not truly solid, the atoms of the object would more than likely alter their behaviour. One may consider the analogy of Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Nevertheless, the atom continually checks its energy state by constantly involving itself in its environment, even if the environment is simply empty space. Actually the electrons in the atom and constantly dancing, as it may, with the photons of light that they emit. Therefore, they are continually emitting and absorbing, or even observing themselves.“Consciousness requires minimum stimulation time of 0.5 seconds {neuronal adequacy}, no matter what the intensity.” [Eccles, 1965]

Additionally, it is also known that mankind functions largely on an unconscious basis, one may not be entirely aware of the interactions and travels that occur. According to variant aspects of shamanism all agree upon one single reality. Within this one single reality without past, future or the passage of time, it is likely that only the present moment would exist. Time, therefore, is not merely illusory, it is also simultaneous. Yet, the words of Fred Alan Wolf seem more fitting in this context “The ability to transcend the death of the body-mind by the intent of the shaman alone to convince the underpart to form an ally, to become an accomplice, in it’s own death.” The ego technically becomes an accomplice in its own removal during the process of self-actualization or enlightenment.
“Consciousness requires minimum stimulation time of 0.5 seconds {neuronal adequacy}, no matter what the intensity.” [Eccles, 1965]

Additionally, it is also known that mankind functions largely on an unconscious basis, one may not be entirely aware of the interactions and travels that occur. According to variant aspects of shamanism all agree upon one single reality. Within this one single reality without past, future or the passage of time, it is likely that only the present moment would exist. Time, therefore, is not merely illusory, it is also simultaneous. Yet, the words of Fred Alan Wolf seem more fitting in this context “The ability to transcend the death of the body-mind by the intent of the shaman alone to convince the underpart to form an ally, to become an accomplice, in it’s own death.” The ego technically becomes an accomplice in its own removal during the process of self-actualization or enlightenment.

Hypothesis: Increased energy signatures due to a form of energy transfer around certain periods of chronological time, as civilisations were more prone to observing the past and the future, which would technically linger within the neural cell memory or even genetic sub-code, as a kind of latent psychic ability, as it may.

Shamanic & Quantum Physics Perspective of Death

There is more suffering the farther you go. The deeper you seek, the more you suffer, yet the greater is your gain, your insight and your vision.” Death, in essence, is a doorway. It represents a transition of consciousness within the quantum system. When the body is convinced that it is dying, the mode of reality perception shifts. It must, for the usual mode of perception, the one that have all acquired in life, is no longer carrying out its prime function, keeping the body alive. In Wolfs model of reality, the sensory apparatus perceives more than one is actually aware of. That which is perceived as being non-threatening is simply ignored. It is there, however. Within society. There are countless true dangers. Humanity lives in a highly artificial situation. We have dangerous means of moving ourselves at high speeds from one location to another. In an airplane, even though we may manage to fall asleep, we are constantly aware of the probability of danger. The same is true for a car, which is moving at high speed along the highway, or even in a house with electrical appliances surrounding the individual on a daily basis. The danger, however, is mollified rather severely. Each moment that passes without a negative event occurring soothes the individual into a false sense of security, although the danger is rather apparent. Once the individual has separated oneself from their natural environment, it takes approximately a week until the consciousness has adjusted to the situation and develops senses to aid the survival of the new circumstance. Nevertheless, within the Tibetan Book of the Dead, there are instructions on how to provide for the spirit after it has departed the body and is in a disorientated state. When an individual dies, they have to be incredibly evolved and powerfully oriented in order to move outside the body and overcome the sudden state of disorientation. The practice in shamanism is rather similar, as it utilizes a rubber hammer and tap the deceased on the head three times, then they begin to talk to him.

If one considers the holographic universe paradigm, one will notice that a hologram contains multiple images. By changing the light source that illuminates the hologram, different images will appear. The hologram has encoded in it a series of possible images. That which is seen is dependent upon how it is seen. However, similar to a hologram, one must know that to look for when experiencing a spirit. Senses that have been developed beyond the physical. In Einsteinian relativity the observers in relative motion would measure time and space intervals differently. If one were to consider whether the observer was moving superluminally, which is faster than the speed of light. According to relativity, the observer could not have a mass. In other terms, he could not be made of matter, as modern science could understand it. If the imaginal time passed perpendicular to time, therefore the individual could technically be reborn at the time of death.

Group Consciousness of Humanity & Ganzfeld Effect


p align=”JUSTIFY”>A wise man once stated “We judge as we possess ego. Without ego, you cannot judge.” The absence of judgement itself is perceived as being a state of love. As discussed in the book, truth and love are synonymous, in essence. Conclusively, a reality, which is based upon the principle of interconnectedness would be similarly based upon the conception of unconsciously linking the psyche of a species. In contrast to a hive mind, the connection would be unconscious and would surface in circumstances of survival, extreme emotion or superior revelation. In consequence, I recently stumbled upon an article, which illustrated a neurocognitive epistemological perspective of shamanism and its effects upon the human mind. The biological foundation for a shamanic epistemology is indicated by the cross-cultural distribution of a shamanic cosmology derived from knowledge obtained during altered consciousness. These special forms of consciousness involve integrative brain conditions that access ancient ways of knowing, expressive systems which have evolutionary roots in the communicative and social processes involved in animal displays or rituals. These were augmented over the course of hominid evolution into expressive and mimetic activities that provided a basis for significant epistemological expansions of consciousness exemplified in shamanic out-of-body (OBE) experiences. These manifestations of consciousness involved new modes of self and processes of knowing, reflecting selection for expanded symbolic brain processes that enhanced psychological, cognitive integration and extra-personal cognition. Shamanic alterations of consciousness also contributed to experiences of personal spirit essences and encounters with extrapersonal spirit presences that reflected activation of innate brain operators involving self-structures and psyche. The evolution of the hominid capacity for knowing involved new understandings of nature (animism), mind (spirits), self (power animals) and others (gods) that were elicited by shamanic practices and expressed though a shamanistic ideology. These phenomena reflect activation of innate aspects of consciousness, illustrating features of shamanism as a neuroepistemology. Shamanism has conceptualized special forms of knowing embodied within the shamanic consciousness. The article related this phenomena to collective dimensions of consciousness that serve as a conscience of the universal mind. Winkelmann stated in another one of his academic papers on shamanism that “The ancient biological bases of shamanic rituals and their adaptive functions are illustrated by understandings of the nature of animal ritual, as provided in such works as The Spectrum of Ritual (d’Aquili et al., 1979) and Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Theory of Religion (Winkelman and Baker, 2008). An evolutionary biological approach to ritual illustrates that shamanic rituals have ancient roots and were built out of prior adaptations revealed in the homologous behaviors humans share with other species. As shamanism is in favour of the existence of consciousness within all.

The Six Senses

Seeing you,
Is recognizing the truth
In a world,
Covered by illusions.

Hearing you,
Is like an angels-chorus…
In ears,
Which stopped listening long ago.

Feeling you,
Is like the gentle wind…
Caressing skin,
Covered in scars.

Kissing you,
Is tasting pure gold…
On lips,
As we become one.

Being with you,
Is more than I could’ve imagined…
Without you, I cannot exist,
Nor do I want to.

Astronomical Overview Of The Year 2020

In time you may discover everything that can be discovered, and still your progress will only be progress away from humanity. The distance between you and them can one day become so great that your joyous cry over some new gain could be answered by an universal shriek of horror.

– Galileo Galilei

Did you know Galileo documented his discovery of the Venus phases in an encrypted manner?Our neighboring planet Venus imitates the light figures of Cynthia (goddess of hunting), a poetic name used for the moon. In spring 2020, there is a good opportunity to observe the Venus phases for yourself. Venus appears as an evening star until mid-May and from the end of the year until the end of the year. It plays its role as a morning star. In January, it appears small and rounded in the telescope. It is exciting to see how Venus apparently grows in size over the course of the spring, gradually declining until it presents itself as a large, slim crescent in early May.The race of the two giant planets Jupiter and Saturn can be observed with the naked eye until they can be seen close to each other at dusk deep in the south-west sky towards the end of the year. In March, both gas planets appear in the morning sky. In July, they represent a firmament in the sky all night long. On December 21, 2020, Jupiter finally overtakes the much slower Saturn.

The two are getting closer together than since their last encounter in February 1961.

A calendar overview is posted here on the first day of every month.The year 2020 is a leap year with 366 days according to the Gregorian calendar. Beginning of the seasons:
Spring (Equinox): March 20, 4h50m
Summer (Solstice): June 20, 22h44m
Autumn (Equinox): September 22, 14h31m
Winter (Solstice): December 21, 11h02m

Summertime: Central European Summer Time (CEST) is one hour ahead of Central European Time (CET). It is to apply from March 29 to October 25, 2020. Short-term changes are possible.

Planets 2020

Mercury: appears in the evening sky in early February to mid-February and in late May. In late July and mid to late November, the planet close to the sun offers morning visibility.

Venus: comes in largest eastern elongation (46°) from the sun on March 24th. From January to the end of May it is represented in the evening sky. On the 3rd] uni it reaches its lower conjunction with the sun. From late June to January 2021 she will play her R039 lisa Morgenstern.

Mars: On the 14th of October, the red planet is in the constellation Pisces in opposition to the sun. Mars is visible in the evening sky from October to the end of the year.

Jupiter: comes in opposition to the sun in the Sagittarius constellation on July 14th. The giant planet can be seen in the evening sky until the end of December. vertvfeten. On January 24, 2021 it will be overtaken by the sun and in conjunction with it.

Uranus: comes in opposition to the sun on October 31 in the constellation Aries. In conjunction with the sun, Uranus is on April 26th.

Neptune: reached its opposition on September 11 in the constellation Aquarius. Neptune is in conjunction with the sun on March 8th.

Pluto: the most prominent dwarf planet of our solar system, is in opposition to the sun in the Sagittarius constellation on July 15th. Pluto moves into conjunction with the sun from the 13th onward.

Eclipses of the Moon & Sun

Sadly, all other eclipses this year remain invisible from Central Europe, such as the one on the 5th of June.

10th of January:

In 2020, a ring-shaped solar eclipse will take place on June 21st and a full solar eclipse will occur on December 14th. In sum, a total of four penumbra eclipses of the moon are happening this year. From Central Europe, as already stated, the only penumbra eclipse that can be observed under good conditions is on the evening of Friday, January 10th. The moon submerges 92.1% of its apparent diameter in the penumbra of the earth. At the height of the darkness, the southern cap shows a light gray veil…though penumbra eclipses of the moon are consideted largely unremarkable nowadays and are barely noticed.
The eclipse is trackable from Europe. Africa and Asia. However, neither the entry nor the exit of the moon from the penumbra can be observed.
The penumbra eclipse takes the following course:

  • Entry of the Moon: MET
  • In the Penumbra: 18h06m
  • Middle of the Darkness: 20h10m
  • Exit of the Moon from the Penumbra: 22h14m

In the middle of the eclipse, the apparent diameter of the moon is 92.1% that of the earth. This lunar eclipse is the 16th in the Saros cycle No. 144, which comprises a total of 71 lunar eclipses. The first of this cycle took place on the 29th of July 1749, whereas the last will occur on the 4th of September 3011. The Saros cycle No. 144 stretches over a third-period of 126213 years. The first total lunar eclipse of this cycle is on the 16th of July 2326.

5th of June

This eclipse occurs in the evening hours on Friday, June 5th, 2020. The moon is 59.3 percent of its apparent diameter immersed in the penumbra of the Earth. The slight shading of the southern calotte is quite inconspicuous. This eclipse can be observed in Asia without the northeastern areas and without Japan, eastern and southern Africa, Australia and the Indian Ocean.
The moon rises for 10° east longitude and 50° north latitude on June 5 at 20h12m CET (=> 21h12m CET). By the time the moon has risen above the thickest layers of haze on the horizon, the darkness has progressed so far that it is hardly noticed.

The eclipse proceeds as follows:

  • Entry of the moon into the penumbra:
    CET: 18h43m
    CEST: 19h43m
  • Middle of the Eclipse: 20h25m / 21h25m
  • Exit of the Moon from Penumbra:22h07m / 23h07m

In the middle of the eclipse, 59.3% of the apparent diameter of the moon is in the penumbra of the earth. This is the 67th eclipse of Saros Cycle No. 111, to the total of 71 eclipses. The first eclipse of the Saros Cyle was the penumbral eclipse on the 10th of June 830.

21th of June
Ring-Shaped Solar Eclipse
This eclipse will take place on Sunday, 21th June 2020. In Central Europe, it will remain unobservable even in its partial phases. It is visible in Southeast Europe, in Africa with the exception of the western and southernmost areas, in vast parts of Asia including Japans, in Oceania and in the northern Indian Ocean.

The zone of the annular phase begins in Central Africa at 17°48 ‘east longitude and 1°16′ north latitude by 5h48m CET and ends in the Pacific Ocean at 147°35′ east longitude and 11°28’ north latitude by 9h32m CET. The peak of the darkness is reached at 7h40m CET in the north of the Indian subcontinent at 80°07 ‘east longitude and 30°35’ north latitude, the zone of the annular phase being a good 21km wide. The duration of the ring-shaped darkening is estimated roughly at 0m38 ‘. At maximum, the sun is 83 ° above the south horizon. The apparent diameter of the dark new moon scheme corresponds to 99.4% of the diameter of the suns disc.
The darkness begins on the 21th of June around 4h46m CET (1st contact) at location 34°25′ east longitude and 1°02′ south latitude and ends at 10h 34m CET (4th contact) at location 130°58′ east longitude and 9°11’ north latitude. This solar glow is the 36th in the Saros cycle 137, which comprises a total of 70 eclipses, including 36 ring-shaped ones.

5th of July

Penumbra Eclipse of the Moon
It occurs in the morning hours on Sunday, 5th of Jult 2020. The moon only immerses itself in the penumbra of Earth at 38,000 of its apparent diameter. So this darkness is hardly going to be registered.

Theoretically, this eclipse can be observed in North America without the northeastern areas, in Central and South America, in Antarctica and the adjacent oceans Atlantic and Pacific. It takes the following course:

  • Entry of the Moon: 4h04m/5h04m
  • Middle of the Eclipse 5h30m/6h30m
  • Exit of the Moon from Penumbra 6h56m/7h56m

At the center of the eclipse, 38.0° of the apparent diameter of the moon in the penumbra of the Earth. This is the 3rd eclipse of Saros Cycle No.149, which includes a total of 71 lunar eclipses. The last darkness of the Saros cycle 149 will be the penumbra of 20th if July 3246.

30th of November

Penumbral EclipseThis eclipse ends in the morning hours on Monday, 30th of November. It is visible in North America, the Pacific Ocean and in the fat northeastern regions of Asia, as well as in the north of Japan. It remains invisible from Europe.
The penumbral eclipse takes the following course:
Entry of the Moon into Penumbra: CET 8h30m
Middle of the Eclipse: 10h43m
Exit of the Moon: 12h56m
At the centre of the eclipse, 85.5% of the moons diameter is in the penumbra of the Earth. During this partial shadow eclipse, the northern parts of the moon around the Mare Frigoris are covered with a gray veil. This darkness is the 58th in the Saros cycle 116, which includes a total of 73 lunar eclipses

14th of December

Total Solar EclipseIt will take place on Monday, December 14, 2020. The eclipse remains unobservable from all over Europe, even in its partial phases. It is visible in southern areas of South America, Southwest Africa, Antarctica, the Pacific and the South Atlantic.The total zone stretches from the Pacific Ocean across southern South America to the South Atlantic, where it ends just off the South African coast at 11°03′ east longitude and 23°37′ south latitude. The climax of the eclipse will be at 17h13m CET in southern South America (Patagonia) at 67°54′ west longitude and 40°21′ south latitude, the width of the totality zone being 90 kilometers. The maximum duration of total darkening reaches 2m1s. The maximum of the sun is 73° north. The darkness begins at 14h34m CET (1st contact) at 115°39′ west longitude and 2°06′ south latitude and ends at 19h53 Location 6°30 ‘west longitude and 18°01’ south latitude (4th contact). The darkness is the 23rd in Saros Cycle No. 142, which consists of 72 solar eclipses.

The Opposer

Written 2007

No matter how loud.
No matter how many.
People remain people.
Thoughts remain thoughts.

A heavy breath.
A sick feeling in the stomach.
Tiredness in the mind,
While bit by bit, we burn out.

Trying is never good enough.
Living is never comfortable.
The truth is never less painful,
Nor is love ever truly returned .

Close to a breakdown,
But never quitting to function…
Not being able to,
Or life crumbles under its own weight.

Nobody to speak to,
No instant to be ourselves,
Never a place to rest,
When we solely pretend to belong.

There’s too much noise
In a world unwilling to listen…
There’s too many lonely
In a world with so many strangers…

No matter how loud…
No matter how many…
Cries remain unheard.
Tears remain unseen.

Why Are We Easily Persuaded?

It is not the quality of the desired object that gives us pleasure, but rather the energy of our appetites.

– Charles Baudelaire

What is the key to persuasion? The primary objective is not to get someone to do something for us…but to make them want to do it. If we are determined enough, we can motivate others to do almost anything. However, there are ethical considerations, which must be considered. As a species, our desires are often fleeting. Unless we consistently reinforce said want, it will fade eventually. It should be considered here that even if we believe we are acting in someone elses best interest, we do not have the authority to decide what they want for them.
Desire is generally preceded by feelings of emptiness, of something missing inside, which needs to be fulfilled. When others deliberately instill such feelings, they make us aware of the adventure and romance lacking in our lives. Instead of seeing a need and filling it, they can create it by stirring anxiety or sowing discontent. However, those eager to persuade others will often seek an easy target that already has a visible hole in their lives.
The desire for whatever is then stoked by subtly planting ideas in their minds, hints of events still to come…await them. Conversely, deeper beliefs that take longer to change require them to mirror the values of others, indulging them in their wants as well as moods. Without realizing how it has happened, more and more of their thoughts begin to revolve around the previously stoked desire…and then they lure them in with something stronger to test their resolve by exposing them to a very specific temptation.

Life is short, and is rarely wasted by politicians pursuing and persuading the wrong people. Therefore, the choice of target group is critical. It sets up of the whole process and it will determine everything else that follows. The perfect target group can share the same values or similar goals in life. That is how a banal politicians choose his or her targets. The perfect target are the people who stir them in a way, which cannot be explained in words, whose effect on them has nothing to do with superficialities. Moreover, they often have a quality that they themselves lack, or may even secretly envy.
Ironically, the target group may
fear them a little, even slightly dislike them…Such tension can drive their public exposure and make their image much livelier. The more creative in choosing their targets, the more they’re often rewarded with more pupublicity. Of course, it means nothing if the potential targets are not open to their influence. First, they establish test groups of potential target types. When they sense vulnerability then the hunt can begin.

Keys to Persuasion:
How, When & Why

Throughout life we find ourselves having to persuade people for various reasons. Some will be relatively open to our influence, if only in subtle ways, while others seem impervious to our charm. We unconsciously drift toward people, who portray some vulnerability to us and avoid the ones who cannot be moved by us. This is a throwback to aiding our physical survival. By leaving those alone, who share little affinity with us, we are more likely to form stronger alliances.
However, should we desperately need something from someone for whatever reason, we no longer have the luxury to pick and choose. For example, when we are angling for a promotion with a boss, who never truly took to us…or solely wish to keep our jobs just another month…Then, we find ourselves in a situation, in which persuasion can be used to convince others of our worth as a productive member of society. But, how?

  • It is not so much the means that make an attempt to influence others successfully, but the timing. What might otherwise work can be easily disrupted by choosing the wrong moment, in which they are less receptive than they normally are.

Ultimately, the how determines the ‘karmic comeback‘, we shall receive at a later point. Therefore, we must be extremely careful when deciding that the means justify the end. The when and how are of greater significance in the performance of any action than our justification for it. The reason behind our actions may provide additional energy to fuel our endeavours…It can determine, if quitting is ever an option. Overall, the why is far more important than than the how and when, but it can only direct us toward the tools that help us manipulate others…the why is primarily designed for others to persuade us and for us to overcome our darker impulses to get our own way.

We may assess the influence, we have, by the way people respond to us. Equally, we may estimate how others influence us by how we respond to them. Nevertheless, we should not pay so much attention to conscious responses. On a conscious level, those who aim to please or charm, are obviously trying to play on certain weaknesses (for example, vanity) and wants something from us. Instead, pay greater attention to those responses outside of our conscious control. An involuntary mirroring of some gesture, a blushing of the cheeks or unusual shyness. It should be noted, even negative emotions are a testament to the effect, we have on others. For instance, through a flash of anger or resentment, we are signalling how open we are to anothers powers of persuasion…or how easily we can be brought out of balance by them.

When Are We Most Vulnerable?

It is a stroke of good fortune to find one who is worth seducing. Most people rush ahead, become engaged or do other stupid things, and in a turn of the hand everything is over, and they know neither what they have won nor what they have lost.

— Soren Kierkegaar

Our powers of persuasion begin with a simple suggestion. In fact, all forms of influencing are the mere acceptance of a suggestion put before us either directly or indirectly. Dependent on our personality, mood, affinity (to the person and subject), we become more or less suggestible. Typically, the greater our emotional or mental instability in the moment, the greater the opening. Still, there are many ways suggestions can be slipped passed us. Reverse psychology is perhaps the best known as well as the most obvious method.
When we are likely to agree, if we allow ourselves to be open and receptive toward what others are saying or doing.
In order for someone to be more open-minded toward us, we need them to lower their defences. Mimicking is one of the most physical, easily detectable ways of achieving this. When mirroring a gesture in a very subtle manner, we essentially copy body language at roughly the same time. This is very easily spotted and only provides the illusion of rapport.

Definition: In 1660s, “reference, relation, relationship,” from French rapport “bearing, yield, produce => harmony, agreement, intercourse,” back-formation from rapporter “bring back, refer to,” from re- “again” (see re-) + apporter “to bring,” from Latin “apportare” which means “to bring,”

To build the kind of real connection, seen far too rarely in modern society, we must oppose our egoistic nature. We must shed our ego along with its destructive tendencies. Although we may perceive the ego as a source of individuality, and therefore personal power, this idea continues to mislead us… The ego cannot be a well of invulnerability at all times. It requires immense energy, awareness and non-externalised control in order to shield a conditional identity inside a transient shell…more than even an exceptional person might possess. As a consequence, it is also the ego that exposes our weaknesses. The more superficially we think, we more our thoughts crafts our internal reality through our perception of the external (when they exist as one). So, the more we talk, the more we reveal… Particularly when the other person says less than necessary.

In the end, there are no lasting relationships where the concept of “I” and “me” tilts the balance of giving or taking. For example, when an important fraction of our needs remain unfulfilled for prolonged periods. The “I”, our limited interpretation of an all-pervasive self transcending all domains of space-time, serves to aid our physical survival in a hostile environment on a temporary basis. What was once a means of coping in the short term has become a first resort as well as long term solution. We unknowingly make ourselves more vulnerable by choosing options, which should only be considered in dire emergencies. After all, it is a life lesson for every growing adult to explore the easy path…just to realise there are no shortcuts in life. The only power others exter over us is the power, we allow them to have. We persuade ourselves just as we are influenced by others.

In essence, our ego consists of


There are many hidden doors inside of her. Some she remembers closing herself, others she barely recalls creating. A few or them she tried open, but she couldn’t continue for the damage it’d wreak. She made certain to bolt those shut for good, even if that meant never experiencing things other people considered normal. She’ll never feel safe, not completely, not in the long run…She’s accepted that too long ago to worry over the fact. Hell, that was the first lesson, she learnt. There is no escape, not in the remotest of places. Not even with the kindest of people. Since then, she has become accustomed to living in a way that nothing touches her, until it did…

If she let’s go, she’s the only one to be held responsible. If she loses control, she alone reaps the consequences. When she lets her true thoughts slip, she must make amends no matter how genuine the hurt or justified the cause. Like any man, her freedom of thought, speech and belief is ridiculed, but how dare she when she says anything out of place.
The manner, in which she conducts herself mentally and physically is all that’s come to matter. Appearances above all, ain’t that right? So, the fake smile that comes so naturally to her since childhood never ceased to have its uses…Not because she doesn’t genuinely care, but it is second nature to pretend for the sake of social survival. At times, she wonders, what she is surviving for? If it is not to live, what then? Though probably she wouldn’t know how to live, if she had the choice.

When they speak, it is expression inside a safe space, free from judgement. When she speaks, it is the guilt-riddling, overly emotional ravings of just another bitch who cannot take it silently. So, she falls apart deep within for just a moment, before she comes back together. Perhaps she can never be good enough, but she doesn’t care. She will keep trying, even if those she cares for will never care the same way for her. Regardless how many simply think about nothing more than what she can do for them. They’ll always be there for the good times and gone for the bad…That’s how they remind her of what she truly is…She needs those doors bolted for that reason. If they’re not, there’s no telling what she’d do…but no deadbolt can withstand the test of time. Eventually, any lock comes undone, unleashing hell in its wake.

After all, keeping dark fragments of herself divided in cages doesn’t serve to protect her, but them. She learnt early, there are lines never to be crossed. Even when others cross them frequently, just to fulfill their own needs…and she would let them time after time at great cost to her peace of mind…until the end came to justify the means in protection of something greater than she could have been. In one half, it tore her open and left her more broken. In the other, she’s never quite broken enough…never suffered sufficiently enough to cease her pain.
…If she cared to, she could rip those doors off their hinges with a single thought…releasing what may seem like a controlled burst of energy, but is, in truth, an uncontrollable force surging through her that wouldn’t stop. It would never cease…It couldn’t. It’d dig itself deep into the most undepleteable energy sources and unleash hell on all things in her path without compassion, mercy or conscience. The abused would become the abuser in every sense of the term, as they so often do. That would be her, another statistic in a world lacking the capacity to turn the numbers around on a scale, which truly matters.

Searing pain reverberates up through every layer of her being …physical, mental, emotional…is there even a difference? Ultimately, the only way to never lose anything is to have nothing…to be nothing. Perhaps, all locks were made to be broken. Maybe, it was always meant to be like this. In the end, she was destined to come undone. Real love happens but once in life and she has already had her chance. She already experienced the heights of the unconditional beyond consciousness. It is what unmasked her her true reality by undoing everything she once was.
She slowly shuts her eyes, awaiting the inevitable. Silence fills the pathways of her mind. Barely perceptible vibrations bounce off the walls, echoing further than the eye can see. As door after door unlocks, she feels a release of pressure. For a moment, she is almost in a state of acceptance with herself…as always, before her darker impulses take over. The more doors, she opens, the darker the desire. Yet, she has never dared to open them all until tonight. Until now, she still had something to lose…
She no longer plays her most painful memories on repeat inside her head, just to remind her of what should never be forgotten. After the thousandth time, she hardly displays emotion upon recollection, but more importantly, upon confrontation. Behind every door lingers such a memory. Some are shut but unlocked, whereas others are secured with the greatest care.
Still, she wonders, what if she could face worse “doors-open” just to see how far she can bend…out of curiosity for what’s left when everything breaks…and she is unbridled by the illusion of dreams long passed.
The night forever dawns in her heart, and she prays for it to never end…for her to rest in darkness without hope of oblivion…just anticipation of unexpected transformation.

Psychology of the Cheshire Cat

“…and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.”

At this point Alice remarks “she has often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat.

The cat sometimes raises philosophical points that annoy or baffle Alice.
One of the things I love most about Alice in Wonderland is the kaleidoscopic nature of the setting. Characters simply appear, interact with Alice and subsequently disappear. However, in the case of the Cheshire Cat, the disappearance is literal. He is very much a guide, pointing the way to the next step of the adventure. I could go deeper and claim the Cheshire Cat is the Jungian archetype of the mysterious trickster, but that analysis is only partially true. He’s clever, but not as deceptive as your average trickster.
In my humble opinion, the Cheshires honesty and straight-forwardness make him the sanest character in the stories.

“In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw round, “lives a Hatter…and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like. They’re both mad.”

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Moreover, the Cheshire yields a powerfully enlightening influence over Alice. Though he is the only one to listen, take her seriously and offer sound advice, he never sticks around for long…but he is always there when he is needed most. As a plot device, he serves a singular purpose: to drive the storyline.

Conversely, who has not met someone, who comes and goes at will? Each time they involve themselves in other peoples lives, they only stay for as long as their presence is physically necessary. Regardless of the situation, once it has passed, they vanish into thin air until the next time. To connect with these kinds of people in real life is almost impossible. They are aloof and detached to the point of madness. However, in the case of the Cheshire Cat, we are introduced to a version of such a personality is more balanced than most.

How so? To rest in the knowledge that we are all insane in our own way restores a level of psychological health, at which we question what functional behaviour truly is. In Wonderland, we are immersed in a place, where nothing is as it appears…like in any world, appearances are deceptive and therefore cannot be trusted, so look within for real answers. From an educational perspective, it introduces children to very valuable lessons, they’ve yet to come into contact with through life experiences.

As we grow older, we are conditioned to internalise such life lessons through failed relationships, social faux pas etc. For what it’s worth, to internalise said lessons is supposed to pave the way to adulthood…but it merely complicates the process of discarding outdated coping mechanisms, learning new things or seeing the world through different eyes.

This notwithstanding, there is one disturbing aspect of the books, we often overlook as we believe our children are not mature enough to grasp the concept…Wonderland’s madness is greater than the sum of its parts. When surrounded by chaos, no single situation or person has an especially strong influence, but the cumulative effect on one is more than the circumstances, people or else combined...and so fiction bridges into reality…

In actuality, what we consider to be “normal” behavior is “mad” in the Wonderland context, but it can be just as mad in a real world context.
The order of events creates the context, we use to navigate through life. However, every person interprets reality differently. The order of events that created our world as we know it forms the context, in which we perceive our identity. In the case of Alice, for instance, her curiosity to understand the world around her defines her character. In a positive light, she questions what is happening around her. In a negative frame of reference, she leaps before looking. She ventures down the rabbit hole “never once considering how in the world she was to get out again“. For what it is worth, she doesn’t have any particular reason for the things she does, except that she wants to find out more about the world around her. She also doesn’t have any plan for dealing with the consequences of leaping without a seconds thought.

The conversations between Alice and the Cheshire Cat are filled with relevant details on how the world works down in Wonderland. Though their interactions are fleeting, their relationship reforces specific realisations that are yet to dawn on her. When she throws all caution to the wind, she’s reminded of them, but no solemn reminder can rein in her natural inclination to experiment. After all, in an insane place, to be mad is a testament to our sanity…and to know everyone is mad must mean we may only be more aware of our insanity than most.

Prior to & After Alice’s Adventure
While most often celebrated in an Alice-related context, the Cheshire Cat predates the 1865 novel. “To grin like a Cheshire Cat” is in fact an expression, which dates back to Victorian times, as described in the Oxford Dictionary of Idioms.

After the publication, the character of the Cheshire Cat transcended fictional literature and became enmeshed in far more than just popular culture, appearing in various forms of media, from political cartoons to television. It also appears in many cross-disciplinary studies, from business to science.

Bonus Fact

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What You Don’t Know

What you don’t know is
That I lie awake,
Wishing you were here tonight…
To wrap myself around you
As you grip me tight.

You don’t realise,
You can try hide the scars left on you,
But you know you never will.
In the end, your imperfections are
What makes me whole…

You can’t begin to imagine how
I grasp for words just out of reach
Because I can barely think,
Whenever you’re so close…
All thought simply falls away.

How would you know
That you are poetry,
Words cannot capture…
Shining a light
On the shadows of my heart.

Whatever was yesterday or
What may happen tomorrow,
I’ll take you for who you truly are..
And with each day,
I’ll do it all over again.

What you may not feel is
Your embrace pulls me from the edge…
When there is nothing left,
You give all that you are
No holds barred.

What you don’t know is
When the moon and the sun collide
And the night dawns…
I won’t be afraid to show
How brightly you set me aglow.

The Perfect Couple: Shattering the Illusions of Momentary Bliss

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of its troubles, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility, for it thinks all things are lawful for itself and all things are possible…

– Thomas Kempis

The perfect couple. We’ve all met them, haven’t we…or at least, we think we have. We think of them as those two people so clearly made for each other.
We feel certain they’re on the highway to happiness but that road is riddled with many distractions and accidental detours. However, even seemingly perfect couples can find themselves…at a dead end…without the tiniest glimmer of hope.
It is not that these couples have no future with each other, but that our mainstream definition of perfection is heavily tainted by unrealistic expectations. While we know, ‘perfect’ cannot exist in physical space-time, we do not cease to aim for excellence. We do so, as we wish to fulfill our highest possible potential. However, to attain such heights…to become whole…to be in complete harmony with all-that-is means we (mathematically) cease to exist. In practice, there are theories, legends and stories of those, who’ve achieved such a state. One more mystical than the following, yet they share common denominators. For example, the courage to look within oneself, the ability to show compassion instead of judgement, the wisdom to know nothing is beyond reason or so forth. Still, few tales of enlightenment are love stories. Personally, I only know of a handful. Some are intensely sexual, focusing on the tantric aspects of cosmic unity, like the story of Nalakubara. Then, there are others of dutiful, solemn devotion, such as the epic of Shiva and Kali.

When we examine the greatest love stories of human history, we find they are wrought with misery, separation and insatiable longing. For instance, in the case of Napoleons desire for Josephine. Although he wished to despise her for the way she treated him, he could not. Her repeated absences to their rendezvous only made him want to claim her as his even more. She rarely replied to his poetic love letters in a fashion that’d be deserving of such selfless affection. It took years before she warmed up to him and even then, his affection was largely unreciprocated.
To elaborate, what we often imagine to be this grand, flawless love so many speak of doesn’t truly exist. It is in those little moments of weakness, in which we expose ourselves completely when mutually deep connections are forged. Naturally, it isn’t always simple to distinguish the good guys or gals from the bad. When we leave ourselves vulnerable, we are taking the risk to be injured for how we think, feel or are. Sometimes, it will hurt beyond the imagination…but sinners can surprise us, the same goes for saints. We are so eager to define others as purely good or evil, we overlook our reluctance to accept the truth…that compassion and cruelty can live side by side in one heart…that through choice, anyone is capable of anything.

Helpful Hints

Compromise Creatively: We all want different things compared to our partner sometimes, therefore it is essential to work together in order to find an acceptable solution for both partners. More importantly, do not merely agree to a bad deal, because it is easier. It cannot be stressed enough, a compromise has to be mutual. Both men and women can cave, as they believe they will be rewarded in some way later on…But, there are no guarantees.
In my personal opinion, I get where men are coming from when they attend the opera once a year (though most despise every minute) in order to get lucky. More often than not, if they come clean about how they feel, they are chastised for it. However, I equally understand how difficult it is for women, when the compromise isn’t honoured or postponed indefinitely. Yet, I feel most for those people, for whom compromising isn’t an option.

Forgive: Everyone makes mistakes on occasion. Some we may easily let slide as poor judgement, whereas others represent a breach of trust that may end the relationship. If it is not worth breaking up for, maybe brood a while and be the bigger person by making the first step to reconciliate. Furthermore, it is vital to communicate extensively about what exactly happened, why it occurred, how it can be avoided in the future and then damage repaired.

Be Involved & Committed: Love may begin with mental, emotional as well as physical attraction but it ends in commitment. Commitment is inherent in any genuinely loving relationship. Anyone who is truly concerned for the spiritual growth of another knows, consciously or instinctively, that he or she can significantly foster that growth only through a relationship of constancy (eg. by being involved consistently). This does not mean crossing boundaries before their time. Occasionally, we all need time to ourselves or are not yet ready to share certain aspects of our lives with others. If our partner feels that way, we must respect it. If we struggle with this, a rather uncomfortable trick is to mirror the commitment and involvement of the person, we are with, until they are prepared to move the relationship to the next level.

Everyone must choose the path they are going to take in life. And for a special few, their road will lead them to loved ones who accompany them along the way. Though not each one will be by our side at the end of the journey, we must remember the good times fondly without wishing for what could have been. When we do, we cannot fully appreciate or be thankful for all we have in the here and now.

Regardless what we have endured in the past, in order to be a part of a healthy relationship, we must move forward with the knowledge and experience, which we have gained so far. Sooner or later, we learn there is no such thing as the perfect couple. What may be perfect for us, might just be torment for someone else. Perfect is different from everyone. For most, the ultimate relationship experience must be tailored to what we identify with as a person. For a small percentage, however, it has to meet higher needs of their consciousness development at the time in rare and powerful ways.

Maslow’s Pyramid Transformed

Maslows pyramid of basic as well as advanced requirements represent a universal hierarchy of needs present in all forms of life. It permeates every aspect of our existences, since our wants and desires are interlinked from the lowest to the highest. The implications of his work on relationships are too deep-reaching (yes, the word actually exists according to the internet) to explain as a side-note. If you wish to read more on the subject, please click here.

For now, we must only understand the impact our requirements have on functioning in complete harmony as a couple. It is lovely to believe ‘all you need is love’, when there is food on our table, money for rent, bills and luxuries…However, no relationship is likely to be trouble-free indefinitely.
When how we meet our needs is affected outside of our control, it has a definite impact. Therefore, how both partners respond to adversity decides on whether the relationship stands a chance. For instance, he may balance her, while she is breaking down due to the situation or she might console him when things aren’t working out as planned. Some examples of how relationships can be influenced when we fail to meet our needs as follows:

  • Survival: Sudden Life-Threatening Events, Acute or Chronic Illness
    (Support, Companionship, Trauma Bonding, )
  • Security: Homelessness, Unemployment, Financial Instability
    (Trauma Bonding, Shared Loss, True Acceptance)
  • Sexuality: Infertility, PCOS, Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation
    (Increased Emotional Intimacy, Shared Problem-Solving)
  • Belonging: Societal Exclusion, Social Rejection, Isolation, Absence of Support Network, Unable to Feel Completely Accepted, Poor Work Performance, Lack of Social Skills, Overwhelming Responsibilities
    (Confidence, Personal Power, Contentment, Trust, Growing Intimacy, Strong Affinity, Self-Improvement)
  • Love: Bereavement, Trauma, Conflict, Pain
    (Communication, Compassion, Empathy, Solace, Healing)
  • Cognitive: Lack of Self-Awareness, Depression, Anxiety, Mood Swings, Misconception, Pessimistic Attitude or Outlook
    (Experiential Knowledge, Intuition, Mental/Psychic Connection)
  • Meaning: Blind Faith, Unanswered Questions, Lack of Experiences to Draw Conclusion, Inner Restlessness
    (Truth, Self-Realisation, Unity)

As a relationship progresses, it deepens. We begin to learn more about each others behaviour on a day to day basis. Ideally, we adapt to each others habits. For the first three to six months, couples are often more eager to please according to personal preferences. After the honeymoon phase ends, this changes for some, whereas for others, it becomes more involved a part of a new, shared routine that continues to evolve over decades.
Needless to say, relationships consist of give and take. However, no daliance can survive giving with the expectation to receive in the long run. When we give out of live, we do so not because we are obligated or anticipate something in exchange…We do so, because it is in giving that we receive. In modern relationships, we often expect others to live according to a certain standard (eg. car, job, apartment, washing machine…) In theory, there is nothing wrong with societal standards, divided into classes. Yet, it is not put into practice correctly by truly providing everyone with equal opportunities in life. For instance, there are usually physical, mental or emotional factors to be considered, when people date or marry outside their social class…since how we think, dress and act is conditioned by those whose influence over us is greatest growing up.

On a related note, women are more likely to abandon previously healthy marriages to escape poverty, particularly when there are children involved.

Nobody is perfect. Only by working on ourselves may we genuinely improve the quality of a long-term, monogamous relationship. Of course, there are partner with whom we are more of less compatible…with whom our probability of lasting success is higher compared to others. Nevertheless, there’ll always be those behavioural quirks or attitudes, which annoy or irritate. Simply put, we cannot force others to change.
In the ideal relationship, we are free from judgement for who we appear to be. Quirks, habits, random thoughts and all….can there be anything closer to perfection than complete acceptance on every level of our being?

So, have you met the perfect couple? The two spirits whose love endures life after life and never dies? The two lovers whose relationship can overcome any threat…whose loyalty is never tried? The husband and wife who trust each other completely against the odds?
If you haven’t, let me introduce you… They stand atop a layer of butterscotch frosting, reminding us the only real union we may achieve in love is becoming one with the cosmos through the eyes of another.


Ego: The Probability Urge

What compels you to get up in the morning? What allows you to get through another day? What makes you smile when nothing else can?

As much as we need those little things to keep from putting a bullet in our brain with a 6-shot, they are not exactly the same as we perceive them. Sadly, nothing is… When we drown in despair, temporary happiness can serve as a means to attain a longer lasting kind, but that is all. Although deep down, we know this to be true, we often choose to deceive ourselves. We need the temporary, for the sake of short-term release from whatever binds us in order to function and cope. However, to be absolutely free means to sacrifice our attachment to, well, everything, we hold dear. As it is painful to free ourselves from shackles, we have imposed upon ourselves. So, few dedicate their lives to this path, however necessary for them to… On average, it takes a point of no return for us to consider it as an option. After all, we have lives, right? Until we dont.

The nocebo effect prevails far too often when we live in a world, in which hope is an unfulfilled promise given to the masses.

In fact, what we do to ourselves to cling onto such transient bliss, we can all imagine.

The Dead Truth

Written in 2008

She is resting on the bed,
I am sitting next to it, on the floor…
Carefully trying to pick words,
Which wont do any harm.
I’d bandaged her wrists,
So tight it must’ve hurt.
The cuts were so deep,
Blood poured all over the sheets.
And it was still there…
Smeared and slowly drying,
While she moves her fingers over it,
Trying not to show the pain.
There’s more tears left for her to shed,
I can see them building
Behind her eyes,
Trying to figure out what to do next.
All they do is deny it
How many times she tried to quit…
But fate won’t allow her to.
How much they’ve taken from us,
A reason for living?
Unconditional love?
Protection at no cost?
Does this mean anything to her?
Not anymore.
None of it can save her,
So it became meaningless…
I watch her looking at herself,
It’s more than just her health,
Which declines with every thought.
Her will to live is more than lacking.
Her smile faded long ago,
Blowing all her chances…
I see her breaking every day,
And there’s nothing I can say.
It’s more than control, she’s lost…
The look in her face
Doesn’t change anymore…
To her,
The truth is dead,
Dead like her soul…
Dead like the world,
Executing her, with every day.


Last Leaves In The Wind

Written in 2007

The warm beams of the sun shine
Down on the ground
Melting the snow,
Warming the air.

A solid trunk stands alone
At the centre of an empty field,
Waiting for passers by
To rest in its shadow…

She leans against its skin,
Watching the leaves flutter
In the gentle north wind…
Until day would turn into night.

Feeling its roots reaching far down,
Anchored deep in the Earth…
She takes a deep breath
And just absorbs into raw power.

Birds would build nests on its branches,
Resting in the shelter of its leaves,
Until they change colour,
With that gentle caress of autumn…

Yet, a cold night dawned for mankind
That would last for decades
In which we would no longer care
For the kindness of nature…

Since then,
They would tear open the ground,
Rip out its roots violently
And the branches would rattle.

The trunk would fall on the grass,
Be chopped up in small pieces…
Loaded up on a trailer,
To be carried away, to sell and burn.

…Until there would be no more
Shadows on a summer day.
…Until there would be no more
Leaves blowing in the wind.

The Selfie: What Does It Mean & Where Does It Lead?

Cameras are simple tools designed to capture images. Images that tell us more about ourselves than we realise. They remind us of the arduous journey we’ve taken. They serve as keepsakes of the loved ones who travelled alongside us, but are no longer with us. At times, they even catch moments of those waiting for us on the road ahead…
Indeed, the camera function in our phone is such a straightforward tool tools designed to capture images, but in truth it captures so much more. Images can uncover hidden longings. They can reveal extraordinary secrets. Most amazing of all, they can quietly and clearly reveal to us our dreams. Dreams we didnt even know we had or we had buried long ago.

In the age of the selfie, we are constantly bombarded with visual information about each other, yet we lack the most basic understanding of Self. In fact, the global digitalisation of our culture worsens this issue by shortening our attention-span. Few choose to concentrate on a subject or object for prolonged periods, just out of personal interest. Do you think Galileo was paid for his observations? No, he was ridiculed and ultimately died as a result of expressing his thoughts.
In terms of power, everything is information: auditory, olfactory, visual, tactile or extrasensory. To us, what we see or what we show others of ourselves seems insignificant on a small scale…However, on a global scale, such as WhatsApp or Facebook, we are entering a trial run for something far larger. We can be confident in moral education of our species, but let’s face it…that ship has rather sailed for the rich and powerful with little grip on hard living.
In a world filled with such darkness, we all need some kind of light. Therefore, we aim to secure long-term ways of channelling our insecurities in a healthy, productive manner.
In the modern age, plenty take to social media outlets, like Facebook, to voice their frustration and seek like-minded people with similar opinions. There is nothing wrong with free expression, as long as we can handle the fallout.
As we can agree, most information vital for our survival is visual, tactile and auditory, as is the information, we depend on for our sense of social belonging.

Where Has The Selfie Led Us?

Honestly, to who we truly are, if we don’t have to weirdly struggle in order to take a picture…while too many hilarious moments to count… They may take us back to a time, when selfies were just starting out:

…but also shows the full extent of the transition period between generations, as older generations struggle to adapt to the incessant need of millenials for photographing oneself everywhere…

…Let us not fdo the added bonus of now being able to a picture yourself, when you’re on live television doing something utterly insane…

.but we decrease the quality of the experience, when it is performed the wrong way.

As the old saying goes, a picture says more than a thousand words. In this context, what are we screaming from the top of our lungs with every selfie? Those above tell very individual stories. Not all selfies are useless. There is a time and a place for everything. However, every society deems certain behaviours inappropriate. For instance, leaving work abruptly to catch a Pokemon, if we get fired for it.

To elaborate, when making a judgement call on what we can get away with, we use different types of intelligence. Pokemon Go is an example of the rationale, we are expected to possess. Don’t go into dark alleys at night and ask some stranger, if he wants to fight. Look where you are going and not just into your phone…You know, the essentials of pedestrian safety with a sprinkle of common sense. As a social experiment, it demonstrated a lack of skills in the millennial and younger generations that older generations still possess. In this particular case, I’m referring to applying logic to our current situation we decide to act.

The etiquette when taking a selfie is slightly different from when we walk the streets. Personally, I rarely feel the need to yank out my phone in a public place to capture the moment, but whatever floats your boat as long as you’re not taking unnecessary risks. Nonetheless, it cannot be stressed often enough, don’t take pictures of yourself, when you are expected to pay attention! Of course, it may be less fun, but then life is rather like that…

Just to describe a few minor cases, in which selfies have altered our behaviour in self-destructive ways (behind the wheel, the bathroom, while committing a criminal/civil offence). In many ways, this is normal. With every invention, integrated into our regular lives, we change how we act. Up to the mobile phone, how we took images was constantly evolving. With the exception of photographers, fewer people own a camera these days as their phone accomplishes the desired task. Even fewer keep physical photoalbums instead of a digital equivalent due to the cost.
In the beginning, a photograph was a novelty reserved for the wealthy. Over time, they became affordable for the public. An average of a handful of black and white pictures could be found in the average working class household. Still, they were saved for weddings, family portraits and special life events.
From a sociological standpoint of history, the more frequently, we were able to record an event, the more, we started to do so…until there was a record of everything kept somewhere…

What Will The Selfie Become?

What started as a passing fad has become a more integrated element in modern culture to the point, where it seems to shut down higher brain function in a highly suggestible and/or highly narcissistic percentage of the population.

PsychologyToday suggests there are six primary motivations for taking selfies:

  1. Self-Confidence (e.g. taking selfies to feel more positive about oneself)
  2. Environmental Enhancement (e.g. taking selfies in specific locations to feel good and show off to others)
  3. Social Competition (e.g. taking selfies to get more ‘likes’ on social media)
  4. Attention-Seeking (e.g. taking selfies to gain attention from others)
  5. Mood Modification (e.g. taking selfies to feel better)
  6. Subjective Conformity (e.g. taking selfies to fit in with one’s social group and peers)

Studies show the reason behind our selfies can severely impact our personality development during childhood as well as adolescence. If we disregard the effect of EMF-radation exposure to the growing brain, then we are simply left with how it alters our behaviour. To clearly understand how the constant selfies uploaded onto social media is changing the way we think, we must look at the common denominator of those six motivations: Extrospection.

We have reinforced the meaning of being through photographs since their conception. Our ancestors carried images of their loved ones in a time, when they couldn’t spend the night due to the risks of bearing a child out of wedlock or live together as an unmarried couple. Our soldiers have carried pictures of their families for as long as they have been able to…Before then, all we had was the memories engrained within our minds, when we needed them most.

Once we were able to capture a moment free, we did so frequently.

By using selfies as a form of extrospection, we are reinforcing the perceived meaning of our being through images of ourselves. A thousand pictures may tell a story but the meaning behind the person in the picture cannot be found in a myriad of visual representations of them. It would be ever-present throughout the series of photographs that depicts their life. Moreover, in the view of cause & effect, it would predate their birth, as will be elaborated in the post Extrospection and the Meaning of Portraits.
As a trend, the selfie uncovered many uses for long-distance communication, such as health diagnoses or the optimisation of facial recognition in daily life. In addition, how companies can profit from selfies was in a current study about the usage of smartphones by Sony Mobile and other providers. Researchers in various fields are commissioned to investigate more potential uses to further integrate smartphones into our lives. What began as the evolution of handheld technology mobile phone has become an integral part of our regular routine. However, such research isn’t merely dedicated to exploring other uses, but make it’s current uses more prevalent. For instance, selfies are sometimes used as a form of social currency to obtain freebies from companies seeking cost-effective advertisement. In the end, it is not difficult to imagine that the digitalisation of our modern society will lead to replacing professions with automated system, such as self-boarding at airports. As much as we value cost-effective, time-saving moderations to our lives, everything has its consequences. When we forgo human contact for the sake of productivity, we increase the quantity of what we can do…but we decrease the quality of the experience, when it is performed the wrong way.
In the example of replacing a friendly face with hardware, we are not merely saving time. We are saving a valued member of our community from mind-numbing shifts at low pay that never ends, unless they can afford higher education or qualify for massive student loans. Conversely, when we replace in-depth verbal or text communication with imagery and videos, we are engaging different regions of the brain more regularly than others. In simple terms, we are developing these neural pathways differently in conjunction with exposure to increased EMF-Radiation.
Disregarding the impact on mental development, shortening attention span and other cognitive deficits, our technological evolution is moving in a very clear direction.

One of three things may happen:

  1. The beginning of an virtual holomatrix in a digitalised society (Imagine Wall-E meets Gamer)
  2. A world in which an image serves as a receptacle within a “psychic” universe.
  3. Both co-exist as paths to the transcendence of consciousness in absolute awareness prior to relative existence or, put plainly, Samadhi.

This will include:

  • Medical: Over a quarter would prefer to consult their general practitioner via a video call or be diagnosed with a selfie
  • Banking: half of 25-34 year olds would feel more secure if accessing their bank through a ‘selfie password’ (eg. via facial recognition)
  • Leisure: Half of thrill-seekers would like to try something called a ‘selfiecoaster’. A rollercoaster which puts you in control of capturing your experience on the ride.
  • Fitness: real time feeds that work with artificial intelligence for body monitoring (e.g. testing heart rates, even suggesting how to improve on technique and accurate movement)
  • Made to Measure: to take a 3D body image for made-to-measure clothes and other products
  • Retail: using your smartphone camera to try on different outfits suited to your body shape at the touch of a button
  • Social Currency: paying for entry to the cinema and tourist attractions through a selfie or receiving free products by selfie marketing
  • Robots: Using the smartphone to control drones to take selfies from other or extreme locations or other robotic applications
  • Security: Using selfies to secure and access our home, work and car

“Through this report, it has been fascinating to chart the evolution of selfies and smartphone photography with the team at Sony Mobile. But even more encouraging has been the response from consumers, who have shown they are open to the range of future uses for selfies and video calls. The results clearly show that selfies are well on their way to transitioning from frivolous fad to technological phenomenon, and provide food for thought to a number of industries. The potential is huge, and it will be exciting to watch this unfold over the coming years.” (Ian Pearson)


Dust & Smoke

Written in 2009

Sitting on the cold asphalt
With her back against the wall…
And there’s no way out,
But through.

When there’s only dust and ashes
From a life long dead.
She doesn’t know where to go…
All she knows, she can’t go home.

Would she go back,
Before it starts raining?
Before she fades away in the dark?
Before picturing going to him?

Buried in the ruins of memories…
The cold air fills her lungs,
And for just a moment
She can breathe…

The night falls upon her,
Holding her in its icy grip,
Suddenly, there’s no dust…no smoke…
As far as the eye can see.

How We Indoctrinate Ourselves In The Battle For Our Mind

Just as we cannot stop time from flowing, we can’t halt the illusory cycle of the creation and destruction of matter.

What does it mean to be capable…to have our lives under control? When our lives are so disordered that seemingly unpredictable chaos engulfs our every waking moment, what shall we do? When our whole life falls apart while we are able to do nothing but watch, how can we persevere?
In those tiny moments of utter decimation, our identity crumbles and all conditional factors must give way for a new identity to form from the ashes of our former self. In many ways, thi)s is an inevitable part of the process of self-realisation as a cosmic whole. It cannot be halted under any circumstances. Ultimately, there’s nothing we can do to stop that which we can’t change. We may postpone it at great cost for a little while, but it’ll catch up with us sooner or later.

Working a soul-deadening 9/5 job to pay for a penny-pinching life is a waste of our potential as a human beings. When our parents worked menial jobs to provide us with a better future, they did not anticipate how many of us would be forced to do the same for our children…even though they received more extensive education than them… Most are caught in a repetitive cycle of living hand to mouth without an annual vacation abroad due to our global environment. However, we remain stuck as a byproduct of our own tendencies to wish for change, but never exert the will to strive for it.

In truth, we are capable of just about anything, but we choose to believe differently. A part of us may even relish feeling powerless, instead of bearing the responsibility of constant vigilance. To be a perfect example of an enlightened being is hard fucking work. At times, it is be compassionate. On occasion, it requires us to be assertive in our demeanour when we convey experiential knowledge. Yet, more often than not, it means to protect others as well as ourselves from the thrall of the ego…

When there is so much corruption, poverty and death in the world, it becomes second nature to solely think of oneself. As a form of defence mechanism, it is easier to do less than we should, even if we care deeply. The less we invest in others, the less we feel we have to lose… We are at war with ourselves, each other and the world. However, the stale heat of a drawn out battle clouds the judgement of any seasoned warrior, so our alliances are often temporary and our enemies ever-changing…There can be no end to such a fight. The longer any war continues, the more permanently we leave our former self behind the lines.

What is Indoctrination?

The term indoctrination is formed as though it stems from Latin, however, the word “endoctrinare” or similar does not exist in the language. Originally, indoct meant ‘to instruct’ and ‘to imbue with an idea or opinion’. In fact, 99% of teachings condition the mind to operate in a very particular manner. Conversely, the remaining 1% aim to expand the mind to the point, where it can no longer be conditioned.
If we assume that indoctrination implies a person is implanting certain types of beliefs by non-rational or illegitimate methods, we are probably correct…though we prematurely assume a sinisister purpose due to our own suspicious personality. Moreover, in making such an assumption, we intend to criticise the practice through the word ‘illegitimate’, as though we demonized all indoctrination in our lives.

Not all indoctrination is society frowned upon. For example, suppose that it is sometimes right to make children believe in certain myths in order to give them more security and to fulfil the ultimate objective of bringing them up to be free and independent adults. If this were the case, we might persuade a child to believe that ‘Daddy will protect you’, ‘Mummy will always be there’ or ‘Jesus will stop anything nasty from happening’… Suppose even that if we do not give the child any real evidence for these beliefs, just encourage their wishful thinking, it would make them feel temporarily safer…but at what cost? Sooner or later, the blinders will fall from their eyes unprepared for the pain, they’re about to experience.
As adults, we frequently make ourselves believe what we know in our hearts to be wrong. We live in state of voluntary cognitive dissonance, maintaining conflicting beliefs on different levels of consciousness. For some, it is as obvious as drinking, smoking or cursing too much. For others, it’s perceptible only as an inner restlessness that is barely recognisable from the surface. As hard as it may be to believe, we wage a constant war with ourselves, each other and the world in order to attain a state of peace…Nonetheless, the battle never ends. For every thought, which proves outdated, a new one arises. With each belief that perishes, another one takes it place. More importantly, for every problem we solve, more emerge.

Now, suppose we believe something for very misleading reasons. For instance, we ought to commit targeted violence to prompt the specific change for the greater good.

Every society is built on it’s own kind of indoctrination, so we instinctively know from childhood onwards, what views are tolerated inside our community. As a rule, there will always be a percentage that opposes the opinions of the mainstream. Often, instead of embracing a different perspective to build a higher communal unity, we inspire guilt, remorse or worse by judging them.
In the case of serious mistakes, this serves a vital purpose of provoking solemn introspection in the offender, even if our methods aren’t ideally rational. After all, is it indoctrination to aim someone in the direction of rationality in their actions? Child or adult alike?

The important point here, in my personal opinion, is not so much whether we call something ‘indoctrination’ or not, but whether a particular process increases or diminishes our capacity to reason. We believe the indoctrinated to stand on street corners speaking about the gods in rainbows while requesting us to join them with our credit card information. Life is rarely as blatant. There are too many good phenomenological accounts of indoctrination, involving rational or sane thinking in general as opposed to rationalized or compulsive thinking.
One reason why the line between indoctrination and other kinds of compulsive thinking is so hard to demarcate is that there are all sorts of ways in which we can compulsively direct our or another person’s thinking. Still, the inculcation of feeling and of beliefs is conditioning.

What are we to say, for instance, of the sets of verbal descriptions which we use and the built-in implications of value that parts of our language inevitably contain? Imagine how we as a society describe certain behaviour as ‘inappropriate’, ‘uncivilized’, or ‘inhumane’. We discourage sets of behaviour in order to prompt us to act in a socially correct fashion. In the end, it is we, or our environment, who teaches us to see things in a certain way via the descriptions and language we are offered. Is this indoctrination or not? Whatever the linguistic issue of indoctrination, it should be noted that the substantive question has partly to be settled, in any particular case, by empirical psychology, if there could be such a thing. For anything to be objectively observed, it must exist separate from the mind…yet as nothing is devoid of consciousness, the act of observation alters the outcome of anything we attempt to observe empirically. In the words of John Wilson, author of the Introduction to Moral Education, the question is “Does this way of seeing things, this sort of language, increase or diminish our rationality, in the sense of our appreciation of reality?”

Is All Indoctrination Wrong?

From a scientific stance, we have no clear concept of indoctrination as a part of our moral education. We may have enough common sense to rely on our conscience, but we lack a scientific framework that exceeds conservative, privately funded think tanks.

As Zuckerberg said to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, lying is bad…and to police lying is an enormous undertaking of Orwellian proportions. More importantly, we cannot force the unadulterated truth on people, who have no desire for it. Although even white lies are a mere waste of breath, when a little compassion will do. Still, to live in such a world, we must open our minds to the one we currently inhabit as well as our fellow people.

The word ‘indoctrination’ is thrown around a lot these days. Less than the word Nazi but still…It carries with it pejorative implications, since we shall probably think that diminishing our rationale is for the most part to be deplored.
Furthermore, if we force or condition anyone child, by giving them feelings of guilt, for example, at least we have not tampered with their intelligence. They is still able to say ‘Well, I’ve got to perform Acion X’ and add ‘but I think it’s silly, and when I can, I shan’t do it anymore’. But if we deliberately indoctrinate somebody, knowing what we are doing, we are pretending that certain reasons, which are in fact bad reasons, are good ones which another ought to accept. Even if we indoctrinate without meaning to by following our own conditioning, (which happens on a daily basis), we remain morally responsible for how we influence as a consequence.
We do not merely influence others by our views, but also ourselves. Opinions cannot exist independently from us. We give them the power, they hold over our emotions as well as state of mind. Such as when we are unable to confront dark truths, when we know we are being lied to by those we love. So, we perpetuate the lie in a brilliant display of self-deception, while full well sensing the complete extent underneath.

Winter Wonderland

There’s snow glistening
From the branches of the trees.
She wades through fields,
Covered in dusty white…

Snowflakes tumble from the skies,
As she gazes down on the riverbanks,
Its water is covered in ice,
Reflecting the shine of the moon…

She treads between the dark forest
And the frozen river,
Encapsulated by its beauty…
Dazzled by its wonder.

This is her Winterwonderland,
The land of dreams
With footprints of angels
In the snow.

It’s like it will never end,
Like it will always be winter,
And never summer,
Like all the green never existed.

She runs her hand over the leaves hand
Along the way,
Merely to feel the sting of the cold
Deep in her her skin…

This is her Winterwonderland,
A kingdom of innocence,
With the fountains
Of eternal youth and beauty.

Cold, warm…it does not matter…
Time never felt so slow,
Space never seemed so vast,
Lying in the snow…


Words of Love

Written in 2005

I never imagined it to be you,
All of it…hit me just out of the blue….
Now you’re by my side,
Something like this can’t be denied.

You dried the tears I shed
With everything you said…
You warmed a heart of stone
Doomed to spend eternity alone.

In my heart,
We are never apart.
There’s something written about our love,
In the sun, the moon and the stars above.

Destined to be, that’s what we are…
Distance can never be too far,
Hearts together, bound as one.
Souls united, a lifetime begun.

My heart, my mind, my body, my soul…
My hopes, my dreams, you have control…
My love for you will always stay,
Always, forever, plus a day.

Unanswered, But Never Spoken: How We Hide In Plain Sight

Some things are not supposed to be shared. Sometimes, the content of our minds is better left unsaid, regardless of the aftermath. Eventually after not saying what we think for long enough, it becomes éphémère. A shadow of it’s own self, alive for only a split second in time, until it faces the inevitable…

When we harbour questions to which we do not have answers, what are we to do? We can ask, but it doubtful, we will be told the truth. We can investigate, however, it’d be unforgivable to be discovered, digging through someone elses life. So, we must carefully weigh our options. That’s life for us as a society now. We can never truly be ourselves with anyone. We can never speak about what we actually think in fear that others may be hurt or disapprove of our daring to ask.
There’s corpses in our closet and they’ll invariable come tumbling out. Why should it be any different for anyone else? We all have secrets. We all hide things from others in fear of rejection.

At times, I think we are conditioned to never question for a reason, but once we start we can’t turn it off. We lose the ability to trust or believe in the good-hearted qualities of people. Once you’re alone long enough…Once you’ve been hurt deeply enough…that part of you just plays dead. Although it feels like a form of physical death with all the pain and writhing, it simply lays dormant afterwards. In a way, it waits to be reawakened, to be reborn in another form of itself. Perhaps in this life, perhaps in the next…But the flame that is reignited is just a means to an end: the realisation of cosmic unity.

When we toss and turn, attempting not to ask those pesky questions, which won’t let go…If we cannot trust enough to ask, what will become of us? How can we live our lives, not looking for worthwhile answers to the questions that plague us? How can we be at peace with that? After all, what we have to lose is something fleeting, should we have the courage to dare question anything…After everything, it is in destroying our hopes, dreams and illusions that we grow into responsible adults, or so it seems…

Who we are goes so much deeper than the eye can see, but we are distracted by instant gratification to even notice the more long-term consequences of our actions. We are who we choose to be right now, despite our darker mistakes in the past. If anyone can find redemption, why not us? We simply need to act accordingly. We need to be deserving of truth in order to attain it, which means to assess how much we wish to sacrifice to obtain it. For what its worth, I’ve broken more times than I can count, but it has never been without purpose. Truth hurts. This is no excuse to detach ourselves from the simple pleasure of human connection. To shut ourselves away from the world in more ways than necessary. We must try, even if we know we might fail. We must persevere in the face of adversity, because we define who we are.

We are who we choose to be in the here and now in those small, defining moments, which shape everything about out personality.

It is up to us as a whole to make our miracle happen.

It is through the small things that other perceive us. More importantly, when we seek redemption, to perceive us differently. However, if we don’t mean it, we won’t be able to maintain a caring or even loving attitude. In fact, suppressing emotion generally causes us to spiral, so when we cannot get the answers we want, we channel our energies differently. Though we know, we can’t find closure this way. We procrastinate, subconsciously waiting for the opportunity…for absolute truth to surface in a relative universe.

10 Ways To Find Joy

“This earth is the effect of all beings, and all beings are the effect of this earth.”

Brihadaranyaka Upanishads

Every day, I kneel down in prayer to the Great Spirit and I ask for the strength, the wisdom and the understanding to lead others away from suffering…to breaking their alliance with karma and thereby take their rightful place in themselves. Our world is but a fleeting thought in the cosmos that echoes in the far distance. We are eternal, prior to which we are infinite. Immortality is a word with too many limitations to describe the true nature of our consciousness. We are prior to the concept…

Our Spirit does not harbour vengeful or unethical thoughts. It does not kill and it is not killed. It is bliss that forges the peace, which permeates all. It is the knowledge upon all has been founded. It is Existence. It is everything that existed prior to the multiverse and everything that shall remain after the dissolution of the cosmos

At heart, the Spirit of Christmas is just as innocent, pure and imperishable. It is the same joyful spirit that pervades all. It is a happiness that is selfless as much as it is desireless. A happiness, which can only come from within. All the presents in all the worlds cannot bring joy or peace, unless the gift is the keys to irreversible, inner happiness.

1. Don’t Be Right, Be Kind, But Honest

“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” (Wayne Dyer)

Kindness is underrated in a society, where it is often interpreted as romantic interest or used for selfish ends. Our opinion is our opinion, regardless of whether we insist on being right. That cannot change, unless we are ready for it to. My thoughts may not be the same as your thoughts, but the truth shall always be the truth, even if we only acknowledge it to agree to disagree. The truth is the ultimate victor in the end, even when history is re-written to the exact opposite of what actually happened.

That which remains unsaid in Buddhist philosophy and psychology is that withholding factual information has a consequence, just as sharing information we know to be false. What we believe to be true may not be kind, but when it reflects the views we hold in modern society, then the fate that one suffers by withholding vital information can be worse than the fleeting moments of pain, in which we are forced to confront reality. If it is not necessary to share a painful truth that will only perpetuate suffering, then it is best to remain silent. If we attempt to open the minds of others and only meet resistance, then it is also best to remain silent. However, if there is only a fraction of a chance that our words or deeds can bring joy, peace or healing, then it is our responsibility to take the risk. We must give other the opportunity to decide for themselves, regardless of how hopeless the situation may seem. It is only temporary. One day, they may surprise us, as the seeds that we have been planting are finally taking root in their unconscious.

When it is unkind to speak the truth, ask yourself whether the consequences of your non-interference are worse than the consequences of saying nothing. Ask yourself whether you would wish to have your illusions shattered, if you were in their position…Only then can you know what it may take to warn others from a fate much worse than the truth.

Kindness hurts, when it is genuine. We often believe that when we are kind, we avoid spreading hatred or hurt others, which is partially accurate, but enlightenment can only come from truth…and truth hurts. So, to be kind, one has to be genuine. That does not mean forcing ones opinions on another at every turn about every subject under the sun, but speaking up when it is necessary…When it is kinder to inflict temporary psychological pain, (allowing the false layers of their self to fall off as they may), instead of patiently lying in wait until the time comes when they have no other choice than to accept a brutal truth, you know, they would have denied outright.

Moreover, never say “I told you so.” Apart from creating hostility and tension, that phrase fuels a sense of false superiority. You are not superior by knowing better, while others are suffering unnecessarily through your inaction or non-interference. You are a part of the cause, unless you act in the interest of their self-realisation… Pain is inevitable, whereas suffering is optional. Therefore, by witnessing the suffering of your fellow-man, you are duty-obliged to help cease their suffering

In conclusion, we can never truly know for certain what is right or wrong, but we can discern whether a specific viewpoint leads to or away from suffering. The Absolute Truth may create pain, but that pain cannot endure…It is but a temporary blip on the map of your life. For example, when I turned 15 after my fathers death, I attended a psychotherapy session, in which my counsellor advised me to accept that my mother will never love me in the way that I may want her to. After over four years of struggling to come to terms with this, I would still occasionally shed tears at what could be, but inevitably the pain stopped. My suffering would not cease for years to come, yet my journey would lead me to the true meaning of inner peace and happiness…to our natural state of being. So, my advice to you is this…Never be afraid to tell the truth, however inconvenient or torturous, it may lead those close to you to becoming who they were meant to be.

2. Let Go

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

Attain a state of desirelessness and you shall find Heaven, Nirvana or even Christ… Get to know the joy of your soul that burns brightly forevermore. When you feel overly confident, reflect. When you become too passionate or too attached, take a step back. Distance won’t stop the mind from desiring a particular object and/or subject, but it can assist you in putting things into perspective. It gives you time to contemplate how your desires drive you and thereby affect your behaviour.

As long as you are subject to desire, you are subject to the endless cycle of death and rebirth. Desire creates impressions and shapes the predispositions of the mind in every life. What gives us pleasure is not actually a mental or physical object, it is the aspect of the Universal Spirit that is present in all things. We rejoice at the sight of a Christmas tree, for example, because it brings back childhood memories of a time, when we couldn’t contain our excitement. A season of joy, togetherness and, of course, gifts. It is the Spirit that attracts us, not the form that is presented to us in.

Only in the absence of desire and attachment, there is freedom. Only when we truly let go, is there peace. Joy is our natural state of being, once we remove the conditions we require to experience it. As a child, these conditions are less stringent, yet as we grow into adulthood, more conditions accumulate. Our mind becomes less flexible, as it is preoccupied with the past with its eyes on the future. In such a state, the mind cannot appreciate the present moment. It becomes more and more difficult to feel joyful in the here and now.

When we detach, we begin to realise that things are never as they seem. What seemed extraordinarily important to us, may not be as important after we have had time to digress. Even after we have been the subject of wrongdoing or a loved one has made a grave error that has affected us negatively, we must ask ourselves, why this has happened and what we can do to forgive. We should not accept responsibility for their mistake, unless we are partly to responsible. We need not worry or entertain feeling of guilt. Whatever has occurred, it has happened for a reason. May it be the state of society, may it be poor self-control, or may it be that we were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time…There are causes that led to the effect that we are experiencing. Therefore, we must let go of what, we think, we know and strive to obtain more knowledge, regarding the situation. We must choose compassion, understanding and forgiveness over pain, anger and hatred.

3. Don’t Blame or Judge

How can know anyone in this life? How can we be a hundred percent certain that they are exactly who we think they are? Or that they are responsible for exactly what we think they are? We many hand out blame for events that they had no control over, or they may deliberate blame others for their shortcomings…

Allow everything and everyone to be just as it is. Allow people to be who they are. Whatever they think, say or do will have its consequences without your involvement. Do not waste your energies on blame, invest them in finding the truth beyond our physical senses or mental inclinations. Unless your assigned duty is discern whether they should be held responsible, blame will stagnate the process of letting go. Blaming them will create pain from reliving the experience repeatedly. Needless to mention, an experience from which you most likely can never find peace, unless you learn to move forward.

Only when we are in a position to rightfully shift blame and we desire not to, can we begin to understand the higher echelons of compassion. Once there is an admission of guilt and we voluntarily choose to help them understand as well as independently resolve the problems that led to the current situation, only then will they learn not to make the same mistake. “We must be capable of taking advantage of all the lower facilities of life, and yet renounce them voluntarily.” (Swami Ramakrishnananda) If anything we want, we must get, then we inevitably open ourselves to desire things that are inherently self-destructive, such as the nagging want/need to declare that we feel something or someone is responsible, even ourselves.

If you don’t blame others, why not extend the same curtesy to yourself? A declaration that you feel responsible does not resolve anything. Either we made a mistake, which can serve as a valuable lesson, for which we should be grateful, or karma has come back to haunt us.

We cannot wholly blame others for the sufferings of mankind or for the pains that we are undergoing in life. Every action has an equal and opposite reason. Every cause has its effect…and whatever we are inclined to shift blame on has its roots in a chain reaction that we are an intrinsic part of.

Understanding is the goal of our existence, since understanding gradually develops into self-realisation. Without any adversity, we can never hope to comprehend that which eludes us. Without any moral struggle, we cannot realise the nature of the minds around us. Without the cultivation of empathy or compassion, we may fail to learn that are mind are in a conditioned state, in which we are predisposed to certain behaviour.

4. Give Up Self-Defeat & Discard Limiting Beliefs

“You not only belong to your own self, but you belong to a large area of human society. It is not possible for any individual to totally dissociate oneself from social associations or social conditions. You know very well how much dependent anyone is on the structure of human society. No individual is complete by one’s own self. There are things which you can give to others, which others lack and do not have, but there are things which you would like to take from others, which you lack but others have.” (Swami Ramakrishnananda)

There will always be thoughts, opinions and beliefs that we carry with us through life. Everything and everyone in this world is deserving of our respect, especially ourselves. “We lose nothing by being humble. We lose everything by being proud and self-assertive, and wrongly imagining that we have all the power, while we have no power of any kind.” (Upanishads) Alone, we are nothing really, our power is limited, but in spirit, we are one and suddenly there are no more limitations. The only limitations that exist are the ones we place upon ourselves.

What you long for is not victory in the way that you imagine it. Victory is truth, peace and happiness in a war, in which you are your worst enemy. How can you aspire to greatness, if you do not believe that you deserve it or if you do not perceive it as an option? In other words, how can you attain a higher state of consciousness, if you do not allow yourself to? Faith without a reason behind it is blind, but when there is a reason (which is your very existence), lack of faith has disastrous consequences. You exist, so discard everything inside of you that makes you feel unworthy and start with self-respect. Become worthy of your own respect in the present moment by simply being as you are right now…by simply existing as the wondrous, brilliant being that you are.

Nobody knows how much time we are destined to spend on this Earth, so make the most of the time that is given to you. View it as an opportunity for growth. Use it as a chance to go where no man has gone before. Contemplate all that we cannot yet explain and find your true purpose.

If we are not in a position to do anything worthwhile for our own selves, what is the use of asking whether we can do some worthwhile thing for other people? People talk of service, social welfare, running about here and there on behalf of others, but does it do us or them any good in view of world affairs? What is worthwhile is often not what we do day-to-day, it is what we have stopped ourselves from doing… More often than not, it is what society deems to be disenfranchised to concentrate power and stagnate global development. So, choose your course of action wisely. Actions that may seem completely sane and reasonable can masquerade themselves as the least favour option. When uncertain, choose the path less travelled.

5. Don’t Complain

A complaint comes in many shapes. It can take the form of an explanation. It can be voiced calmly or even provide us with comfort. Although we should be distressed, when an individual that we are close to suffers the same as we do, it also bonds us. Shared pain makes us feel as if we are not alone, when in truth, beyond that pain is only oneness.

Beyond our suffering lies knowledge. The very knowledge that we require to understand our woes and complaints. The Gods have very little to do with it, as we have created the circumstances that led to our dissatisfaction or annoyance. However, its root goes far deeper than we imagine. We believe that money makes the world go round, when it is desire that turns our universe. The multiverse rests upon desire, it is that which brought it into existence, and its cessation marks the point of its dissolution.

We see but we don’t observe. We hear but we don’t listen. We touch but we don’t feel… The flames of our desires burn brighter, each time that we selfishly value ourselves above the world and everything in it. When we complain, we don’t seek to empathise or understand the views of others… Most of us simply wish ‘the problem’ went away, but it is never that simple. Unless we understand the root of that which we complain about, then the chance that matters will be resolved is slim.

A few winters ago, my body-temperature dropped below the average reading for hypothermia, but I did not care. My landlord did not care that his tenants spent one of the worst winters in the history of the United Kingdom without heating. My family would not even offer me a corner on the floor of their homes, as appearances are everything. They’d rather people didn’t know my situation, nor that they had refused to help… I understood. They didn’t need my forgiveness, since they already had it the moment I anticipated their response. I told them that I loved them and did what any good daughter would do…I kept silent. After a few years, the winters had carved out a new version of myself. One that was as cold as ice. One that would focus all the energy inward…All the hurt, the feelings of abandonment and fear of excruciating bone pain. Even when I lost sensation in my leg, I kept a brave face, when underneath everything was crumbling. I understood that it was my responsibility, my fate…and in the end, my burden to bear. Death appeared as a gift that would be welcomed each time the temperatures dropped dangerously and as they rose again, I would be reborn. Some say that I lost self-respect, others say that it would be a more merciful end than spreading my legs for warmth. They did not know that I was too sick to walk, to ill to move without pain, but in reality, it would have only made them feel guilty enough to blank out the conversation.

Now, another winter dawns and the temperatures are already close to zero…but there is no air left in me. No need to complain or feel emotionally wronged. Acceptance had finally taken ahold of me, and tears of joy were flowing down my cheeks as I began to feel truly indifferent. There are moments, in which I still voice some disdain but I can feel that the time is coming, when there will be no disagreement on any level of my being. I’m at peace with whatever may come.

So you see, the journey to a life without complaining comes in many forms…it is a day-to-day task, in which we have to restrain all of our natural impulses to understand that which would otherwise escape our understanding. When we experience the heights of physical, mental or emotional pain and we still maintain a non-judgemental attitude, then we probably won’t utter a single complaint ever again. In time, nothing will compare to those past experiences. Nothing will affect us as they did. Whereas others will complain about the simple things in life, none of that truly matters any longer. Their woes will seem so small that a single suggestion could remedy them, but many won’t feel joyful, when their reasons for complaining have vanished into thin air.

6. Don’t Criticise

Whatever reason others may have to act the way that they do, don’t judge them. If you were in their position, you may do the same. You cannot know for certain. It is easier to criticise than to imagine yourself in their shoes… Advise them constructively, if necessary, but do not criticise them and leave them to their own devices. All that creates is tension and hostility. You won’t relieve them of their problems, worries or inaccurate views, but add to them. They’ll feel worse, which makes them more likely to dwindle down the spiral of their already self-destructive behaviour.

Replace criticism with loving-kindness. Compassion serves as the key to gain common ground. In the absence of judgement, you can attain the wisdom to discover their reasoning… Judging them may make you feel better temporarily, but that bliss is a short-lived illusion manufactured by the ego. It stems from ignorance: the delusion that we exist as independent beings, separate from one another.

When we criticise another, we reveal much more about ourselves. Whatever we wish to judge them for has already spoken volumes about them, we needn’t add to that. Our criticism, unless it is compassionate and constructive, says more about us than if we were to be silent. It uncovers flaws in our perception that concern the current situation. More often than not, what we ask of them, we lack ourselves. For example, if we ask them to pay more attention or be more attentive, then we are often missing these qualities in ourselves.

Criticism mirrors our own unwholesome qualities that we still have to work through. Unless we are acutely aware how the present circumstances came to be with one or more solutions that may prevent their reoccurrence, then we should think carefully before voicing our disapproval.

Conversely, if we live in fear of blame or conflict, we are often easily persuaded into taking on the viewpoint of someone that we may not agree with. There is a thin line between non-judgement and self-assurance. As long as we don’t have confidence in ourselves, our lack of judgement means nothing. It simply reveals that we don’t have the confidence to speak our minds yet. Only when we can freely say what is on our minds, but choose a more compassionate route, then we can recognise the destructive nature of thoughtless, or even punitive, criticism. It fuels our own feelings of (false) superiority, as it perpetuates how strongly our egos influence us, which will make it more difficult to overcome the urge to criticise later on in life.

7. Stop Trying To Impress

There are many things that we do simply to fit it. Yet, as we bow to peer pressure to find social acceptance, we often fail to acknowledge that whoever we are attempting to impress would not accept us otherwise. People hide themselves for countless reasons…but it all goes back to the instinct for self-preservation that has allowed our ancestors to continue their line up to present day. To avoid pain, we do as is expected of us…Not because it is right or serves a higher purpose, but because it leads to some form of positive experience. It creates the short-lived pleasures that come with popularity. However, we should ask ourselves, whether it is worthwhile.

What good are friends, when they do not care for your problems or help you resolve them? What good is popularity, if you have to resort to extreme measure to achieve it? In truth, it is less painful to simply be yourself. If they do not accept you, then that is their loss. If they demean you, then eventually they’ll wreak the consequences of their actions. That should not concern you, nor should you go out of your way to be accepted by those that’ll drop you when the going get tough. It is better to face a thousand problems by yourself than to stand inside a crowd of people, who’d pretend to help but can’t be asked when the time comes.

Accept yourself by seeing how wonderful you are without the need to impress anyone, even yourself. Don’t lower your ethical standards, but don’t expect others to meet them, even if you raise the bar too high. Not everyone is a saint. Not everyone is a sinner. Sometimes people feel more comfortable floating in-between the two without conforming to either. Moreover, when we are trying to impress, two things generally happen: Firstly, we are pretending to be more than we perceive ourselves to be without becoming it. Secondly, we often become preoccupied with the opinions and quick judgement calls of others. In essence, we begin to value how we appear to others over who we actually are. With all that pressure, things are bound to escalate beyond our control eventually. Also, the higher we elevate ourselves (above our current state of development) the lower we shall fall… Pretence is never a suitable beginning for any relationship. As things progress, we will ultimately gather the courage to be ourselves in that relationship and that is often when the other person feels that they have been mislead. Worse comes to worst, they will feel as if they have been deceived and it will take some time to trust in that relationship again.

Nobody is perfect. However, who you are now will be enough to naturally impress the people that you are meant to surround yourself with. There is more to you than the eye can see. Although you may not notice, others do. What you consider as typically unimpressive can easily blow minds, if you allow yourself just to be you…without the social need to fit in or be accepted. In addition, you are generally more than you think you are. You are everything. If that is not ‘good enough’, then others have to re-examine their expectations. If their view of relationships or their expectation of you is unrealistic, moving entire mountains ranges does not change their perception of reality…Often only life-altering experiences can, but they may lose their mind a little beforehand, while they struggle to process the experience.

Conclusively, leaving a decent impression happens within seconds. We do not need to speak or even make eye-contact. It is all up to our preconceptions. It depends on how we perceive the world, which is rarely the way that it actually is. Don’t fall into that trap. Open your mind to the possibility that your senses can deceive you, as they probably have before. What you value in others may not lead to a positive end. If others wish to impress you by having a top-of-the-line car, apartment or high-paid job, then what does that say about them? What does it say about you, if you are that easily manipulated by appearances? Let yourself see another person for who they are deep inside, not what they say or what they own. It should be noted that what may impress some, generally achieves exactly the opposite with others. Whereas it is almost standard to have a basic set of things, such as work, shelter, TV and so on, countless members of society have been bereft of such opportunities. For example, the large number of veterans that live on the streets with severe forms of untreated PTSD. We often judge the homeless as drug-users, mentally ill or simply waste, although we know nothing about their history. We do not even take the time to investigate why so many men, woman and children live on the streets without any support to escape their situation, as the number continues to rise. What impresses them is a simple smile from a stranger or a kind word, when generally all they get from passers-by is evils shot in their direction. In other words, those that have nothing are more easily impressed by the simplest of things, which most take for granted. So, it is not important to portray a specific image as to leave a good impression, it is important to develop the courage to just be yourself. In our society, that is enough to shock, turn heads and blow minds.

8. Embrace Change

(Resistance Is Futile)

Nothing in this world is permanent. We may believe that our life shall remain the same forever, but that is a fallacy. Change happens every minute of every day, if we realise it or not. As soon as we understand that our way of adapting to change is more important than the change itself, we may come to see that beyond all this superficial change…Nothing ever changes. Leaders are still puppets led from behind the shadows. The currency exchange still short-changes us and has since Babylonian times. Enemies may change, but the hidden purpose behind warfare does not. Our history has not only been re-written to suit the victor, much of it has been deleted. Change is inevitable, but beneath the surface, little changes. When we realise this, we can embrace change as a challenge, however bad our situation may get. We may die tomorrow, but in truth not even death changes us. It may leave an impression on our consciousness. It may change our form in the next life, but who we were hasn’t changed. Our predispositions and predilections remain. We can only change by realising the changeless, timeless nature of all that is. Beyond what we carry with us this life or the following, we are infinite potential in a determined state of probability. What that means is, underneath all that which seems to be set in stone, nothing has been determined. Without consciousness, matter dwells in an undetermined state of probability…it becomes everything and nothing. The dice are rolling, but they will never fall. Our nature cannot change, because the nature of the multi-verse and that which it originates from cannot change. It exists prior to change.

In Sanskrit, the word for time is ‘kala’, which stands for both, time and change. In Indian psychology, the passage of time represents physical, psychological and emotional change. Without space-time, change is impossible. Where or when should it occur? Change is a phenomenon that is inherently connected to the concept of time as well as space. Without them, existence takes an entirely different shape. For example, each universe is dependent upon the one that came before it. Although some support life whereas other do not, one cannot manifest without the other. In a dualistic reality, everything manifests in opposites. On a larger scale, this is often depicted as many interconnected worlds. However, prior to this chain effect of worlds that we have coined the multi-verse, there is the source from which they all originate. So far, the only possible source of all these worlds is light. So far, it is the only theory that is mathematically plausible. However, what does that say about our ever-changing reality? It implies that everything we see is an illusion…A trick of light that fools our senses into perceiving the unreal as real.

When we attempt to question or define the nature of time and/or change, we rarely take into account that resistance is futile. We can scream, cry or aim to bend reality according to our will, but inevitably we have to reach a point of acceptance. Only by accepting that which we cannot change or have no control over may we find peace with how things appear to us right now. After that, we may eventually understand nothing is beyond our control, but only if we realise that there is nothing to control to begin with but ourselves. As difficult as it may be to reconcile these opposing viewpoints, we can only do so by getting to acquainted with our true self. The formless Self that existed prior to time.

So, back to the question, what is change? And how can we adapt to it more easily? Truth be told, by detaching from how its temporary nature affects our presence of mind. As long as our inner peace is dependent upon external factors, it is non-existent… Worse, it changes with the wind. Today, we may feel as if we are the king of the world. Tomorrow, we may become the beggar that has no choice, control or power about anything. Like the waves in the ocean, our life goes up and down. Therefore, resilience to change is not only beneficial to overcome how change can negatively influences us, it is essential. Furthermore, the moment, we accept, the impermanence of everything around us, we can free ourselves from all these time constraints. There is no time-limit to our existence. There is only the illusion of it that binds us.

When I first began to understand the true nature of Karma, I also learnt that time occurs simultaneously. Bear in mind that karma is cause and effect. It is not restricted to punishing you in this life for the actions committed in the last life. That is not how karma works. You are only reaping what you sowed in the last life, because it ended. Theoretically, if you lived for hundreds of years or had an infinite lifespan, you’d still suffer the effects of your actions. Simply with conscious knowledge of them. However, there is a catch. If time is simultaneous, as is karma. This means that without time, cause and effect equally exist as one. The cause becomes the effect and vice verse. Without meditation on the subject or some extraordinary experience, it can be difficult to understand, but it is worth exploring, if you have difficulty adapting to change.

By understanding the nature of cause and effect, it is slowly fathomed what space-time actually is. Although we perceive time as a physical measurement, it is a characteristic that can only take form in physical existence. Not existence in itself, which is inherently non-physical, but an existence that sprung forth from the source of all existences. I know what you must be thinking, she’s off her rocker. In any case, contemplate the reality behind what you have just read, even if you have to go back and re-read it multiple times. (I’ve been there with much weirder concepts lol) Reality is multi-faceted, as is truth, when everything is relative. However, as soon as we pass from the relative to the absolute, that is no longer the applicable. (Metaphysics, eh…) Prior to duality, there is non-duality. A state, in which change, space and/or time is non-existent. The properties of our consciousness are non-dual in essence, but that can be difficult to realise when we are drawn from one extreme to other. All aversions and attachments that seemingly shape our individual consciousness are mere impressions. They are footprints on the beach that will be swept away by the waves of time. The more we adapt to change, the less we are affected by things that would otherwise leave an impression. Our changeless nature prior to the multi-verse is acutely aware of all properties in all the worlds that is has created and/or destroyed. There is nothing that it is unfamiliar with or does not understand… Nothing is new to it and nothing can be hidden from it. Change is simply a point of realisation that we have yet to pass through, until we reach a level of being, where we can adapt to anything at a moments notice without hesitation.

9. Lose The Labels

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

We cannot violate the laws of nature. Even if we woke up tomorrow with the one thing that we perceive as the most unnatural quality in the whole of the universe… It is inaccurate understanding of nature that encourages us to label specific aspects of the world. Good and evil, right or wrong, for example. Evil is a point of perception. For a Muslim, slaughtering animals for food is his divine right in accordance with divine law. For a Hindu or Buddhist, the slaughtering of an animal for a single meal has karmic repercussions, unless it fulfills a physical need that if unmet harms the body. (Hence, Buddhist hold a ceremony at the end of adolescence that marks the point, where the body does not require meat any longer to develop its faculties. However, they are very careful to compensate for the lack of maintenance through physical sustenance through detailed methods.) What we perceive as evil depends on our state and level of consciousness. Our world does not collectively function on a level of higher consciousness, as is ensured by a small elite. However, that does not mean attaining a state of higher consciousness is impossible. It is simply more difficult with greater consequences and/or benefits.

Labelling things may seem to make things easier, but it cannot lead to higher consciousness or true happiness. We cannot use language to describe that which exists prior to the mind. Language or thought cannot fathom the source of all existence. Obedience to social principles may lure us into a false sense of happiness, if we are the ones enforcing them, but as long as they are successfully enforced upon us, they inhibit our growth. As long as we use labels, we cannot see reality for what it is. Everything, if we focus on it long enough, leads to the that which exists beyond to reality. The reality that existed prior to all reality.

Labels are an expression of inequality. From a non-dual point of view, good and evil, for instance, are one. From a causal viewpoint, evil exists because good men fail to act. Be that as it may, opposites can only exist in a relativistic existence. Outside of that existence, they merge. When we label something, it once again reveals more about ourselves than it does about the object/subject in question. We don’t see things as they are. Understanding them is often too much time as well as effort. So, we use a few words at most to label it and file it away in our minds. This limits us more than it helps us, unless labels become a means to further explore the matter. The only use labels have is to train the mind into thinking ahead by discerning our perception toward the nature of a thing and where that will lead us.

Some people in this world don’t realise that we create our own suffering. As long as we view our reality in terms of labels…(or in terms of ownership for that matter) that will not change. When we begin to see things as either conducive or restrictive for your growth, we begin to see that labels are more restricting to our development than we previously thought.

Labels uncover our preferences. Our preferences, in turn, reveal our attachments, aversions and ignorance, which is often rooted in desire. What we views as good depends on our likes and dislikes, but only as long as our perception is clouded. When we see things clearly, we are beyond like and dislike for no reason other than like or dislike. We begin to use our minds to reason why we like or dislike something or someone. In doing so, we transform preference into self-knowledge, which is the only means overcome unhealthy habits that’ll cause more suffering than they are worth.

10. Give Up Fears, Insecurities & Anger

“There are fears of various types which keep us secretly unhappy, and many of the activities of life in the conscious level are attempts to brush aside these fears; and then we imagine that they do not exist at all. We occupy ourselves so busily with works of various types as a kind of outlet or counteracting power against these fears, usually known in the language of psychology as defence mechanisms. We protect ourselves by certain psychic mechanisms which we have formed within ourselves as a kind of self-deception, we may say, finally. This is the attitude of the ostrich which is said to bury its head in the sand when it is threatened with any kind of fear outside. It hides its head in the sand so that it cannot see things outside, and when nothing is seen outside, it thinks that nothing exists outside. This is not merely the ostrich’s way but, perhaps, the attitude of every human being when he is faced with insoluble difficulties. The problems are mostly in the unconscious level; they are not always on the conscious surface. It may not appear to us that they exist at all. We are comfortably placed in a sensory world wherein the senses are fed to surfeit, and they keep us completely ignorant of the dangerous abyss through which we may have to pass in the future stages of our life. We are brainwashed by the impetuous activities of the senses to such an extent that we cannot be aware of what is ahead of us, what may happen tomorrow, because if we can be awakened to the fact of all things that are to be faced in the future, we may perish just now with a fear of it, and Nature does not want anybody to die like that, as it would defeat its purpose. Nature keeps everything as a secret and lets the cat out of the bag only when necessary.”

Keep the desire, power and emotion at arms length… As long as we are too caught up in the ups and downs of life, we are not embracing the process of life. Everything has its reason, as do negative emotions. We cannot confront our fears, if we don’t know where to start. We cannot truly be secure in ourselves, if we do not believe in ourselves. Last but not least, we cannot calm our temper, if we don’t know what exactly it is that pushes our buttons. That notwithstanding, there are a few important things to note first. All emotions are temporary, when they are based in things that cannot last by their nature. True happiness is all-pervading and ever-present. It is the height of bliss and the foundation of peace. It is the source of all joy, even corrupted versions of itself. Moreover, the joy that we feel has its roots in spirit. Our fears, anger and insecurities do not. In spirit, we are calm, fearless and secure.

Our fears are revealing, when it comes to our aversions. For example, fears of water is often related to a fear of drowning, which inadvertently comes from a fear of pain and death. Most fears exist as a result of a negative experience that has left a deep impression. (In children, fears without apparent cause can be related to past life experiences) To lessen these impression, we must confront them. Let fear be your teacher. If we fear spiders or rats, then simply being with one on the other end of the room is a good place to start. Eventually, we may realise that our fear is unfounded or we may understand where that fear comes from. Beyond discomfort, our desire to avoid something often speaks to its negative potential. Certain spiders and snakes carry poisonous venom that kills, but the majority have become extinct as a result of our modern lifestyle. Unless you are reading this from some remote jungle, lugging around your own wifi emitter that connects straight to a satellite, (or live near one), then it is doubtful that you will be exposed to such a danger anytime soon. Fear clouds our judgement, and often makes exposure more likely. As long as we remain calm, we are in total control of our faculties, which makes us more adept at dealing with the situation at hand. In life, there is nothing to fear, as long as you know deep within yourself that you will survive whatever comes, even death. Our spirit existed prior to eternity… In other words, the eternal duration of all of time and space. Nothing can harm it. All fear does is inhibit peace, love and understanding, when the bliss that comes from general ignorance wears off.

We only feel truly secure in ourselves, when we free ourselves from fear, self-doubt and anger. The world could crumble around us, but that feeling of inner safety remains. We feel safe in spirit. More accurately, we feel safe when we are in contact with our own spirit, as it is the same spirit that pervades all things. It is the purest and holiest… Yet, it never takes form. We cannot touch it, we can only be absorbed by it. (But those are just words that can never compare to a fragment of an experience involving the Universal Spirit)

Anger, in the simplest of terms, is a buildup of energy. It accumulates and blows. The more it blows, the more it accumulates. Anger is a tool that serves a purpose, but not a wholesome one. It’s physiological effects are distructive and its poisonous effects on the mind are well documented. Without control, anger leads to verbal and physical violence that wreaks damage, which cannot be undone. The reason behind our anger is often cold and methodical. In the unconscious, our reasoning can be so simple and straightforward that we so easily overlook it. However, anger can just as easily be used as a means to distract from an issue. In any case, detaching is a necessary means to understanding its root. If our anger is rooted in a fear of confronting something or someone, then we must do so. If our anger is over wasted opportunities, then we must create new ones. As soon as we realise that we can deal with anger more creatively, our mind quickly gets the hang of it. It begins to adapt to situations without extreme emotion, but calm determination.

Too Early For A Scary Christmas Tale?

Last Christmas, over 3,6M children were living in poverty…

Last Christmas, a child went missing every 3 minutes…

Last Christmas, a child was married every 7 seconds…

This Christmas, things need to change, but for that to happen we need to be honest with each other about the problems in our multi-cultural society. Only by confronting these problems can we stand together for a common cause, but also against religious extremism.

Our traditions add value to our lives, as much as they teach us important life-lessons. Patience, kindness or generosity, for example. The winter season is a time, when we can pass these lessons onto our children in the form of stories, gift-giving but most importantly through leading by example.

We must never be afraid to admit that we are reluctant to relinquish our traditional values in a world that is ever-changing.

These values offer the means to meaning, when they are wholesome qualities that add to our being. They support our growth and development in a global community, controlled by a small minority. In other words, they can make us feel sane, when everything else fails to…but what happens when these very values are used to self-destruct? How would we even know?

By respecting the traditions of other cultures, we must not be dissuaded from demanding an equal level of respect in return. Without respect and understanding for Britain’s cultural traditions, our values will vanish in the blink of an eye… We must protect and preserve our right to our way of life. Allowing an individual to practice their religion freely without fear of persecution also means that we should be extended the same curtesy. We, as a people, should be free to believe whatever we wish and celebrate the winter solstice however we wish (within the law of the land).

The reality is that the entirety of Europe, as well the United Kingdom, have taken a step back to comfort the male economic migrants from war-torn areas that we almost decimated for fossil fuels. We are dissuaded from attending mass or display religious symbols openly in public. We are harassed by law enforcement, when we express our concerns, perhaps more aggressively than we ought to…and just when we think enough is enough, we are coerced into sacrificing the most precious time of year. That is not multiculturalism, where cultures come together…it is monoculturalism, in which a set of cultural traditions is replaced with another.

Christmas is…

Christmas is not just once a year. Every minute of every hour is Christmas. The Spirit of Christmas dwells within us all year round…Christ or Saint Nicolaus are merely a symbol for something much greater and much more significant. Christmas is a time of giving and receiving. A time, where we remember what is important, but when that happens only once a year, we are depriving ourselves of something very valuable…The Root of True Happiness.
Goal of Life
The ultimate achievement in life is perfect equality. A world, in which every man, woman and child is well cared for, content and eager to contribute with limitless opportunities. A world, in which the physical, mental and emotional needs of the people are provided for…at least once a year.

Historically, when a state demonstrates that it cares for its people and not merely desires them to become a functional member in society for another taxpayers payday, its citizens far are more educated, content and selfless. When the government engages in random acts of kindness that affect every single person, the collective displays a greater levels of commitment toward its leaders. Their desire to revolt and inclinations toward violence are diminished significantly, as their awareness of how the seeds of corruption grow from within reaches its peak… The psychological trauma inflicted upon powerful leaders reverberates back onto society. Although they may proclaim the most honourable of intentions, they still feel as if they have every reason to rebel against the majority for the actions of a small minority… Men, such as Scrooge, are not forged in a day. Children rarely exhibit sadistic, narcissistic or malignant tendencies without a trigger event. It is an act of providence that leaders rise to the top from nothing, but it is a miracle if they do so without any form of hostility toward the past.

From a historical standpoint, communities would gather during winter for additional food, drink and heat. Before it was a time for worship, it was a time for togetherness. The Spirit of Christmas is one of healing and self-realisation, associated predominantly with temperatures that psychological put us on edge. In the back of the mind, our survival instincts to seek warmth, shelter and company to combine resources has lingered all this time. Although we perceive these tendencies to be dormant relics of an ancient past, they influence us unconsciously. As the heat of the summer dissipates and the leaves begin to fall, we feel the change of the seasons…We are reminded of the passage of time. At times, it even forces us to confront our own physical mortality. However, without physical security, which includes financial prosperity at the coldest time of the year, Christmas is a time for new beginnings that take root in unspeakable hardship. Not all fairy tales end in a happy-ever-after in this world… Perhaps, the hereafter, dependent upon what you choose to believe.

More importantly, our physical needs are mere manifestation of our psychological longing. Sustenance, security, togetherness, intellectual growth and the search for meaning are all rooted in a kind of unity, which marks the cessation of desire and suffering. What we seek is not survival, love, immortality or peace, but the true Spirit of Christmas: Self-Realisation.

The Shamanic Origin of Christmastime

The tradition of Christmas dates back further than the birth of Christ. Before the pagan rituals that celebrated the winter solstice, the ancient shamans, dressed in a red gown, rejoiced as the entire community came together at the coldest time of the year…

The shamanic origins of Christmas begin with the indigenous people of Siberia that herded Reindeers. Their ancestors still continue this tradition, although the Sixth Mass Extinction threatens their natural habitat. Although some shamanic cultures ultimately became Pagan, other cultures were more geographically isolated, which inadvertently shielded them numerous socio-political changes that remodelled the ancient belief structures of specific nations.

Meaning of the Term

The phrase “at Christmas-Time” is more frequently used to hint toward the 24-25th of December, yet there is a deeper meaning… The term “Christmas” developed over time. In Old English, “Christmas” was spelt and written in two seperate words: “Christ-Mæsse”, meaning “Mass of Christ”. It referred to the Roman-Catholic Church service that we nowadays just call ‘mass’. However, in those times, mass was interpreted differently… During the coldest time of the year, many losses were felt in the community as a result of the increased exposure to the elements. At any time throughout history, church service was commonly associated with birth and death. A time, when we experience a loss of control, which leads us to search for meaning, and perhaps a deeper purpose.

Historically, Roman-Catholic mass honours the death of its saviour, Jesus Christ, which wiped the slate for humanity. All sins were forgiven. Mankind was saved from natural destruction. Yet, by continuously focusing on the crucifixion of Christ, the tradition of Christian mass has become a sacrificial death-ritual, in which the subject of worship dies over again over again…

That which we fail to realise about these doctrines is, both, birth and death occur simultaneously at every minute of every hour. With every second, we die and with every second, we are reborn.

“In a relativistic existence, birth and death are not merely a matter of cause and effect, they are manifestations of that which existed prior to relativity. For the point that we’re trying to make, even duality. The human mind perceives the passage of time as a sequence of moments, but only because our consciousness interprets it in this manner. For instance, without space-time, the practitioner, the subject and the act of worship would become one. There would be no boundaries between them. The past, present and future of them would become more than simultaneous. One couldn’t discern where one ends and the other begins, nor would one desire to.”

As you know, Christmas in itself has many different names as well as long-forgotten origins that are all derived from ancient religious and/or spiritual customs…of which countless made their way into theoretical/applied science. However, In their bare essence, they all share aspects of prayer, celebration, liturgy and veneration.

Christmas Several Times Per Day

If you are Pagan,
Every moment of every day is yuletide.

If you are Christian,
Every second is Christmas

If you are Jewish,
Every moment is Chanukah.

If you are Hindu,
Every breath is Dwali.

If you are an Atheist,
Every passing minute is an opportunity to celebrate the present.

There was an age, when Christmastime was several times each day. Every time, the Roman Catholic Church held a service. Every time, a disciple of the faith knelt in solemn prayer…it was Christmastime. Yet, this interpretation has faded into the background, as it is not commercially-viable to sell Christmas all year round under the guise of a spiritual theme, which inadvertently implies corporations would be required to share their profits with organised religious institutions.

It’s a celebration in itself, when we seize the opportunity to express our gratitude for life, the universe and everything, when we take the chance to perform a selfless act of kindness without expecting anything in return or when we dedicate ourselves to something greater than ourselves. We don’t need Churches, Temples or Mosques to practice such a faith, as we carry it with us everywhere we go… However, when we practice religion in this fashion, our beliefs become us. If God is Love or Peace, then so are we. If God is Wrath, then so are we. We become one with our interpretation of what which we worship by concentrating our energies through our perception…but in so doing, we often forget that the Spirit of an object or subject is intangible and unknowable by default. We attempt to understand that which cannot be understood, for it is understanding.

With every breath, the spirit of the seasons comes and goes, in the form of the all-pervading Multiversal Spirit. That is the essence of Christmas. It is a Oneness that permeates all, which cannot be described in words, it can only be felt with the heart…and not only once a year, but all year round…

Tactical Emapthy: How Much Of An Asshole Am I?

We humans are preeminently social animal. Over thousands of years ago, our ancestors developed complex systems of grouping together as a community to improve their quality of life. During this process, their neurological make-up adapted. They evolved “mirror neurons“, which were more refined and sensitive than those of other primates. On a less refined level, these neurons assist us in mimicking behaviour (excl. genetic implications). However, the art of imitation is more than mere mimicry. “Monkey see, monkey dowill only get us so far in life. Anything further requires understanding of the mind as well as anticipation of its content in order to cultivate a seeminly genuine imitation.
In other words, what began as preverbal communication grew into something more sophisticated to allow for advanced degrees of cooperation. To hone our skills, we needed to refine our ability to detect what people are thinking and feeling. Before our reasoning powers fully unfold this way, even the most sentient beings can’t take their ability to empathise to the next level. In essence, they struggle to see patterns in peoples behavior as well as deduce peoples inner motivations, which will invariably make them appear to be socially insensitive or even callous.

Why We Possess Empathy

Compared to other animals, we remain relatively helpless for many years before we can truly operate on our own. This extended period of immaturity, lasting approx. 12-18 years, serves a valuable function. It encourages us to focus on developing by far the most important weapon in the human arsenal: our brain.
Yet, this prolonged period of dependency can build on negative but also positive tendencies. When our survival depends on the adaptability and reliability of our caregivers, we either learn to behave in ways to meet our needs or we will lack them. Although it would fill most children with unbearable anxiety to think of their parents as fallible, some don’t have a choice. They must grow up fast, so their world-understanding and sense of empathy grow accordingly.
While our capacity to understand others is still developing, we initially perceive our parents as stronger, wiser and more altruistic than they are in reality. This is due to the fact that we view their actions through the lens of our needs, and so they become an extension of ourselves. We project what we want and need to see onto those in charge of our care. Our perception of people becomes saturated with various emotions, such as love, need, sorrow or anger. Then inevitably, in
adolescence, we get a closer glimpse at the dark side of the human condition.

Empathy is the process of focusing our attention outward instead of inward, honing the observational and empathic skills that we naturally possess. It means moving past our tendency to idealise or judge…to simply see them for who they are and accept them. It is a school of thought, which must be cultivated as early as possible.
For example, in the case of Benjamin Franklin, known for his social intelligence. As the second youngest of a large extended family, he learned to get his way through charm. As he got older he came to believe, as many young people do, that getting along with others is a function of behaving charmingly and winning them over with a friendly manner. Yet, the more he interacted with the real world, the more began to see his charm as the actual source of his problem. Being charming was a strategy he had developed out of need. It was a reflection of his narcissism, of the love he had of his own words and wit. It had no relation to other people and their needs. It did not prevent them from exploiting or attacking him. To be truly charming and socially effective you have to understand people, and to understand them you have to get outside yourself and immerse your mind in their world. Only when he realized how deeply naive he had been could he take the necessary steps to move past this naiveté.

When we use empathy as a form of tactical maneuver to sway opinions, we aren’t displaying genuine care or interest in another person…

We have all reached the point of nearly tearing our hair out, when we were talking to someone who was just not listening. Even if we try to convey important information in a manner, which the person is supposed to relate to…but they just don’t give a fuck. This is not what I’m talking about. Each one of us has days, when we can’t be bothered to listen either because we are preoccupied, distracted, drained or for other reasons. There are degrees of listening. Nobody can listen 100% all the time. There is something far worse than a bad day…making a life of empathising as a means to an end. In truth, most of us have done that, when we can’t muster the genuine emotions required to get what we need to get through the day. For example, if we wanna see an action film instead of a chick flick, but he doesn’t want to.

It depends on how often we do this that makes us who we are. If we care too much, we give away so much energy to the problems of other people that we may burn out in the process. On the other hand, when we give too little, we drain energy reserves, which aren’t ours to deplete. Everything in moderation. These are the concerns of the average person, but when relating becomes tactical, empathy becomes exploitation. We witness this on a daily basis through the social imbalance of power, we come into contact with… However, we don’t expect to accept it from our friends or loved ones, even though it is commonplace. Some pass off the small white lies as a kindness, others mascarade an emptiness devoid of conscience to variant degrees. There’s a difference between a having conscience and acting on it. We can either act in accordance with our own ethical code or we can have the capacity to feel remorse. The latter usually negates the need for the former.

Where Does Real Empathy Get Us?

We all know the type of person, who spends day after day working an angle. They may use a pretty smile or kind word to their advantage, but it is a strategic attempt to achieve a very specific goal. They may care or may not care about the people, they are essentially faking almost every interaction with…but does it matter? During the act, they definitely care, just to varying degrees. However, the closer we get to reaching our goal, the less we tend to care. It is no secret that we aren’t saints, but we are often less considerate than we could be. We are prone to caring less than we pretend to. Also we are less likely to accept rejection gracefully, when we need the answer to be “yes”.
This is not the same as the desire for those interactions to be real. When we do the right thing, hoping the feeling behind them will surface eventually, we are in fact fighting our selfish impulses (sometimes genetically active traits). It is another level entirely to commit the most intimate betrayals, only to know what we are supposed to feel but don’t…If we know the damage we are leaving in our wake and simply just carry on to satisfy our own needs, then we ultimately face a worse fate.

In the end, we are all assholes on occasion, no matter how hard we try to be kind at all times…to never say no. Nobody can devote their complete attention to a person at all times, even stalkers eventually snap in the attempt. However, to truly love another as a colleague, friend or relative, we must be consistently committed and involved in fulfilling their highest potential. At times, this means just being physically present without showing any kind of judgement while they pour their heart out. Other times, it may imply tough love. To say, “No” when we are being taken advantage of by someone whose growth we care about. In truth, we always know so little or feel so much about each other as people that we fail to seize the opportunity.

Radiant Silence Within


The noise is drowned by silence,
In turn, silence succumbs to noise.
Imagine the insecurity of it all,
The uncertainty of life,
And then wash it away.

There is nothing smaller,
But equally there is nothing greater
Than the moments everything makes way
For our presence of mind in the here and now,
So be the light you always knew you are…

As the darkest night ends,
It seems as though dawn’s never been as bright,
And when we take it all in,
Perhaps we can discover
A radiance more revealing than anything we’ve ever known.

Hidden Desire: Why We Crave To Be Dominant Or Submissive

The desire of the man is for the woman.

The desire of the woman is for the desire of the man.”

– Madame de Staël

There are hidden longings we do not talk about. Perhaps, we are reluctant to confirm the common stigma of the rape fantasy. Perhaps, we simply have not found a trustworthy person to explore the depth of our desire yet. Whether we have the intention to fulfil them or not…They linger in the corner of our minds, just waiting for the opportunity to become reality.

We cannot control what makes us tingly all over without serious repercussions. No matter how hard we try, we are hardwired that way. We can attempt to redirect our energy in a more socially acceptable direction, but eventually we might see the appeal in leading a secret life…where we enjoy the acceptance we crave in order to find release…However, we must be warned, giving into our hidden desires can be dangerous. The balance of power can tilt in an instant…and fantasy can turn into a nightmare. This is why communication is almost as essential as self-control. If we get carried away at the expense of our partner, but they do not speak up for whichever reason, then it can cause psychological turmoil. Speaking up when things go too far should be an automatic response. Nonetheless, it isn’t for many women as they grow self-destructively submissive in a way, which isn’t pleasurable for them to satisfy their partner. No lasting relationship can withstand that kind of perpetual sacrifice. As a rule, the more extreme sex becomes, the greater are the risks in case it goes wrong. Beyond gender stereotypes, men sacrifice as much as women. In fact, more men wish to take on a submissive role compared to us. Simply because it is a cliché doesn’t invalidate the statistics. In fact, there’s no combination of freaky that doesn’t exist…even if it seems like our deepest wants lack original thought.

It is far too easy to fall into the trap of vanilla sex. After we get older, we no longer experiment. We are stuck in a rut, unable to get our freak on. If we have a stable partner, we often struggle with the same old differences on how we prefer to get fucked. For example, he wants doggy, she’ll only do missionary. Instead of finding a steamy compromise, both end up unsatisfied. To reach the heights of ecstasy, we must switch off the intellectual part of our brains. We must be fully immersed in the moment. When we ask, debate and discuss acts, which require no preparation, we get less than if we carefully seized the opportunity. The most breathtaking experiences are spontaneous. A girl doesn’t wanna be asked, she wants to feel an empathetic passion that can’t be contained to just take her as she is.

To achieve this, we have to leave the safe zone of conventional intimacy for something far more primordial. The act itself must ceases to matter less than the spirit behind it.

Life is based on the exchange of control. During any sexual encounter, we relinquish power to receive pleasure. There can’t be two people on the wheel. Both cannot dominate each other simultaneously. Still, some prefer to be more submissive than others.

Are You Fucking Sure You Want This?

We can romanticize an idea without enjoying it turn into reality. The more extreme an idea, the more preparation is required. For instance, we can indulge in rape fantasies, but be far from exhilarated when we attempt to act them out. As with everything, there are degrees of intensity. There’s a delicate “Gleichgewicht” [balance in german; an equal- or counter-pushing of force, as it may] People who tire of regularly having to be in control, often like to practice a new form of control by fantasizing about the pleasures of totally relinquishing control. More importantly, we cannot let go entirely without our survival instincts kicking in. To let go completely means to be willing give over our very life without fear or hesitation…To allow him to take you to the brink, knowing with everything you are, he won’t push you off. Such trust is rare and it isn’t gained lightly.

“It’s safe to say that most women have a very complex relationship with their desire to be dominant or submissive, one that is much more problematic than that experienced by men.” [Ogas and Gaddam] What’s perhaps most revealing is the psychological relief that many in socially dominant, high stress positions experience in identifying with the submissive role. Fantasizing themselves as liberated from all the responsibilities that go with functioning in dominant roles offers them a much needed respite. The release experienced is not just to get their rocks off. Nobody can stay alert and in control or feel entirely powerless 24/7, so something’s gotta give. A coping mechanism used for entrancement becomes a short-term coping mechanism for social survival, which if mentally as well as physically addictive enough can become long-term. For example, in the case of breath play.
Furthermore, when we surrender control, we are at our most vulnerable, therefore it is in our best interest to seek the company of those we can trust unconditionally. Even rarer. As a consequence, we frequently settle for something less intense than it’s designed to be. With total domination, sex is the complete renunciation of all power. An epitome of what love is supposed to be. When we give someone the opportunity to seriously injury us or take our lives, we give them a different kind of power than is conventionally shared. When we give ourselves over to another person to that point, we form a different type of connection. Whether it is professional or personal is of little relevance, as it is what we truly crave. A kind of temporary unity. A state, in which we feel control is equally distributed, even if we almost submit completely, because we are giving and receiving what is desired.

For what it’s worth, I usually get overwhelmed by boredom rather quickly in relationships. Attraction begins in the mind, so the physical barely figures into this with me. Usually, if they weren’t deep or intense enough to keep my interest, I would move on. Most encounters were not in the least positive, yet the most lasting shared a forbidden, fringe element. Even if we cease to act on our desires, the fantasies often persists…as their root cause is deeply embedded. There’s a saying in the psych business, you can take on fetishes with ease, but you can’t get rid of them as easily. Once something raises the bar of exhilaration, it is insanity for most go back, unless it’s illegal. That’s also where the danger lies. When we begin experimenting with someone, we know, and it happens to end badly….and we then resort to seeking the same thrill with strangers, the risk rises exponentially. When we submit to anyone, we must learn to intuitively feel by their touch that their intentions aren’t insatiably carnal…that even if they are consumed by want, they won’t push too far…

How Addicts Can Learn To Find Peace – Part 3

Click Here to Go Back To Part 2

What do you live for? What is the one thing that’ll keep you going, when there is no fucking point in continuing? Whatever the answer, we build our lives around it. In a way, our will to live is anchored in that. However, if we live only in the single-minded dedication to our deepest urge, we can break. We can lose ourselves while still in pursuit. Living, even for the thing we need most, can become a struggle for survival. Before we realise, we have traded our former self for obsession…to be haunted by a singular idea that engulfs everything, simply so we can function. Eventually, something’s gotta give, so I used booze to take the edge off, because if I lost my devotion to the truth, life would have no meaning…until the moment, when the sobering realisation hit me that I need to start building an actual life, which will allow me to overcome the insurmountable instead of perish as a consequence [of having seen, heard, experienced and felt too much of the relative truth and too little of the absolute due to my own ignorance].

What I do here [on this blog] is regurgitation. I work, drink, eat and sleep. My research into consciousness has been my life, since my journey to discover the absolute truth began…but to me, it has only as much value as it benefits others, screw myself. I do not require validation, just results. This is also the reason I stopped taking clients as a psychologist with a handful of special exceptions. I couldn’t handle the lack of want for progress. I’m not here to be liked or stroke anyones ego, I’m here to open minds…to give and receive homework for healing…to fucking get shit done and not just talk about it. Still, the hardest fact, we have to accept as professionals is that we could reach so few and change so little, even if we master our craft completely.

There is meaning in purposelessness

We perceive the universe from a linear standpoint [though it’s far from], which means we see reality as a sequence of cause & effect [due to our state of consciousness]. So, if we perform a certain action, then a finite number of outcomes occur. In doing so, our behaviour is designed to fulfill a very specific purpose. For example, we work to earn money as we need it to support the continuation of our physical existence.
In terms of physics, we exert energy in order to receive it within a universe, whose total sum of available energy never varies. In so being, we are presented with a finite number of options, unless we are able to harness the ability to create your own. The nature of the job may shorten or severely damage our life expectancy, but it is a daily task to fulfill the most basic of needs…and therein lies the problem. The mentality to watch out for reminders of the past and anticipate future events prevents us from fully experiencing the here and now. “If” we do this, “then” these events could happen is what we think keeps us alive…our ability to anticipate and react. If it were only so, then life would be far more straightforward. Truth be told, if time is simultaneous, then everything is happening right now. Who we were, who we are and the myriad of possible versions of ourselves, we could be are ever-present.

This three part series started with a biblical quote from Matthew: “Do not presume I’ve come to the Earth to bring peace. I’ve come but to bring a sword.” Though we crave peace, we shall not receive it until we learn to resolve each non-externalised conflict and proceed without surrender. That is what peace in the material world necessitates. A sword is merely one tool to fight one form of battle. There are as many others as there are possibilities in the multiverse. But, metaphorically, to find peace, we must bring a sword. We must be vigilant and prepared for anything. In essence, peace is spontaneous. [In the etymological interpretation of the term ‘spontaneity’, to be spontaneous is to be unaffected by external or internal events.] We may only be at peace, when what occurs within and without no longer has an impact on us…when we have outgrown the world, our conditional identity and attain a state of oneness with the cosmos. So if we can abstain from our deadliest vices and trust in a higher power, [we can work to directly experience,] perhaps then we can take control of our own causality. Until that point, however, we remain bound by shackles of our own making. How free we feel comes at the cost of something that can be taken or given at will, as does our sense of peace. Neither applies. Neither can be seized, because the sole power others have over us is the power, we allow them to exert. Neither can be recieved, just realised and cultivated, as they are preconceptual, prefated ideas prior to thought, word or language.

How Addicts Can Learn To Find Peace – Part 2

Click Here To Go Back To Part 1

What happens when our body and mind no longer act as one with our spirit? When the essence of our being begs us to stop, but everything screams for release? We are presented with a choice. We have the power to choose bearing the consequences of our actions…or we can give in to the worst of ourselves. That part, which enslaves itself willingly to escape the burden of freedom.

Nobody can be free in every aspect of their lives. We can’t exist in an absolute state as we are. However, if we can bide our time, we gradually free ourselves from the self-imposed constructs that cause us suffering. One by one. It would take lifetimes, but we could do it. Still, the more issues, we deal with, the more keep cropping up. We think we are solving the problem but we are merely managing the symptoms of the root cause. Addiction is just another symptom of a larger issue. We are all dependent on something. Whether we need nicotine pumping through our veins or can’t function without coffee in the morning doesn’t matter. It’s all the same and here’s why:

We live in an interdependent universe. That implies we can never be entirely self-sufficient and thus can never truly be free from each other, the world or ourselves. So how do we cope? Denial? Brandy? Any form of distraction after the other will do…Yet, what we need is total anarchy. A state, in which we seize the right to govern ourselves. Until then, we are predestined to fight the urge until we no longer can and go down swinging…Either way, we won’t come out of this fight the same as we entered.

When we use, even if we have taken too much, we dont stop, because it has not hit us deep enough instantly. We cannot feel it. We lack the patience to wait…or perhaps we prefer oblivion. Although we need to be kind to ourselves to be free from whatever shit that plagues us, it doesn’t help. The lines of kindness becomes blurred when we provide help for others. We mistake temporary relief for permanent salvation. Our inner sweetheart doesn’t fix the mess, we have made, but the agressive assertiveness of a newborn bitch might… Nonetheless, there’s a darkness in giving into our impulses that provides the illusion of freedom…of the transient peace that we are so often denied. Sometimes, I wondered how I ever had the strength to resist…and then I think of the one thing that changed my life for the better and I find the courage to continue abstaining. Then, there’s that point in recovery, where we have to face the relative truth of our lives, even if it kills us…where I’m reminded of what I am…what I’ll always be…and that’s when I fail. I’m not ashamed to admit to it. It’s a learning curb, I havent been able to grasp just yet. After some inner disagreements, I always give in to it. All that seems to matter is he feeling of when it hits you and quiets everything inside, you are so desperate keep down, because you can’t change or accept it. Unconsciously, I would pay good money to bet, we are aiming for utter self-destruction. BUT, this is no permanent solution. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. Nothing truly dies…So, we are trapped forevermore, until we free ourselves.

When we work the kinda job or live the kind of life, which doesn’t allow for a normal lifestyle, what do functioning addicts do? If all we manage as a meal is a bite or two before we rush off to rectify the next emergency, it can bring us a level of peace. The peace that comes from letting go temporarily. No matter how much we love what we do. When our work is our life, if nothing can give us the same types of satisfaction, there are more restorative kinds… We cannot expect find absolute peace through relative means. What we can anticipate, however, is the resurgence of buried needs until they’re fulfilled, unless we deal with them or overcome them. The only mechanism to bypass this involves unconventional options.

It should be noted, women experience the process differently compared to men. The primary purose of more masculine qualities is short-term defence for long-term protection, whereas a womans is short- and long-term preservation. The methods used are applied very differently and in dissimilar circumstances [i.e. there are set biological genders but any person can channel more or less masculine/feminine energy and thus fall into either category due to to epigenetic predispositions].

In truth, we are far more than our preconceptions, but they make who we think we are. When at the core, all it takes is the real us. Even if we think our own efforts aren’t enough. Sometimes ‘enough’ is what we can bring ourselves to do. After the life I have led, I didn’t believe there was anything more significant to me than shielding myself the world, the system, an inner darkness…in the pursuit of something greater…Perhaps, there isn’t anything but the depraved purity of experience. Perhaps, there is. Only time will tell, but for now, is definitely nothing more important than the fight for stability through clarity.

Click Here For Part 3

How Can Addicts Learn To Find Peace – Part 1

What is peace? We often mistake the feeling of contentment with peace, but few of us will truly know what peace is until they are swept off their feet by it.

That which brings us momentary peace in our daily lives is a misleading form of sense gratification. It is designed to give the illusion of lasting happiness, based on being satisfied with the situation is right now. However, we are not really, we are? After that tiny instant has passed, we strap ourselves back into an emotional rollercoaster of our own making. Truth be told, we choose to suffer through the choices, we have made and continue to make. To detach from this is easier said than done. We cannot simply switch our emotions off. The way we think persists, even if we attempt to force ourselves not to. In fact, the more pressure, we apply on ourselves, the less likely we are to change. We can’t force anyone to do anything that they do not want or are not ready for yet…Including ourselves…We can, however, encourage growing out of behaviour that no longer supports our continued development.

What I’ve learnt is that people prefer my fictional works over the factual content. A few days ago, I sold my first poem before hitting rock-bottom after a very painful relapse. With the amount of alcohol, I consumed, any amateur would have given themselves a hospital level case of alcohol poisoning.
Once again, the same life lesson emerged from the experience:

“Control your mind,
or others will do it for you.”

What triggered the urge to drink initially was something extremely positive, then I was offered to write some poetry, so I set off on my merry way to do just that in a clean and sober state…But things rarely turn out how we expect. Sometimes, we look back and end up asking ourselves, did that just fucking happen? The more relevant question is, why did it happen? Why did we begin to indulge in excess in the first place? If we’ve stopped before, what helped us do so? And lastly, what keeps setting off our need for that substance?
In general, the answers to these questions are designed to form a bigger picture of our triggers. After such deep soul-searching, the process of healing can begin, during which we are encouraged to avoid exposing ourselves to the risks of relapse. This is the reason why rehabilitation treatment comes in three forms:

  1. Open: For medium risk recovery. The person is allowed free time, to roam the premises without supervision after the initial withdrawal symptoms pose no further medical risks. [After the DT stage, for example]
  2. Closed: For high risk recovery. Typically locked facilities that allow for very little privacy. People are usually referred to such places due to mental health problems, criminal conduct or a paid for intervention. The goal is to reach the stage of recovery, in which an open unit can assist them in long term recovery.
  3. Outpatient: My personal favourite for the value that is has when we consider the breakdown of family, community and even society. The person faces their problems from comfort of their own home with the help of family, friends and medical professionals.

Have you seen many serious addicts without a support system stay clean for long without a realistic mission to dedicate their lives to? I haven’t.
Goals are no longer enough at a certain depth of desperation. We drink…We swallow pills…We shoot up…Because otherwise we’d do something, we may regret. When I used to need days to pass quickly in anticipation for something, I would complete all necessary tasks…and just get pissed so hard I wouldn’t remember, I wouldn’t feel the weight of time passing. In fact, I used to bottle things up so deep that they would come out in the most vile manner, even if more pressing matters were at hand. I learnt that the hard way, when I first began blacking out. Luckily, I have never managed to harm myself in the process, others are not so lucky. We can harbour feelings of hurt, buried in layers, which over time grow so intense, we need to black out. We cant consciously express them, so fragments of space-time go missing, in which our inner hellcat takes the wheel…Most of my type of user cant allow themselves to lose control, so we maintain our emotional presence through other means in the absence of another outlet. Hell, we can’t even try to off ourselves sober, because we are too attached to everything around us, but we often don’t feel connected in the slightest. Some of us have numbed themselves to the point of blocking the biochemical processes responsible until the very worst stages of recovery. Others, like me, who lack certain psycho-emotional building blocks, coped without until an event or seveal so big that we can’t cope any longer. When we reached out, and received no help, regret still surfaces for asking after every relapse. In truth, the more we reach out for human connection and are frequently/infrequently rejected, the more we lose faith in a permanent state of recovery….in life as a functioning member of whatever system, we use make sense of communal life in the universe. Mind you, we lose “faith”, not belief. We lose the ability to trust in ourselves, as a result of what we perceive as consistent failure. It’s a tragic tale that applies to countless just like me. We are campaigned for en masse, but when we are encountered on the street, we inspire pity at best and disgust at worst. We are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters…but we often have no one to turn to. Oh sure, there is rehab, but I’d rather face a hard time with familiar people whose care can sustain a lasting recovery than with a kind stranger, who’ll probably burn out sooner or later just like I did. The sytem can’t work, if the values that created it are fucking disappearing by the day!
For what it’s worth, what we suffer from is innately idiopathic. It’s nameless, faceless and without empirically-verifiable origin. It is a byproduct of the human condition, as so many others.

The problem becomes when we are the primary trigger for our excessive use. The root cause tends to lead back to deeply held beliefs, embedded to support our physical, psychological as well as emotional survival. We cannot persevere, if we can’t function, so we find ways to cope. As a temporary measure, this is socially acceptable. For instance, after a rough break-up. Yet, as a long-term option, it is rather frowned upon. So, where is the cut off point between short and long term usage? Right where the spur of the moment used to cope becomes habit…But just before it is a lifestyle choice.

It should be noted, the way our cortices maintain themselves is by forming new connections all the time. For example, when we continue indulge, and then persevere through recovery alone, we form different neuronal connections by cultivating different skills from those with support. For serious addicts with trust issues, their suspicious nature spells trouble. God, we try to trust, but the high cuts the risk. When we do without, its serious shit…

Please continue to Part 2

Then is Now

The corridor appears endless.
The light shines so bright,
It burns her eyes.
The clock is ticking on the wall,
But she can’t hear anything
Just her heart beating in her ears.
How could she end up here again?
What was going through her mind
That she would call on those
Who used to make her life hell?
How could she relinquish control
To such an extent?
She doesn’t care for her excuses.
…Not any longer…No more…
All she remembers is the rage,
Disguising fear deep inside,
Enough to lash out in a daze…

Two bottles in,
And it wasn’t even sundown yet,
But it was just enough to compel her.
Her brain cant process the fragments,
But she can feel them,
Lingering just below the surface.
A whole load of words
In the worst place
At just the wrong moment.
She doesn’t remember a cut to black,
But she doesn’t recall being conscious.
Just a sharp pain and nothing.
When did she become so weak?
She doesn’t care for their company.
None of them did.
…Man nor woman…
It’s a room of shared desperation,
Soaked in liquor and a fog of smoke,
Bound to result in violence.
The smiles are deceiving,
But they hide a dark need underneath.
Her kinds, theirs…
Sometimes, she wonders,
How either can ever find their way…
How things can permanently change?

The good old days were just the same.
Staring into the mirror,
Seeing only the ugliness of her pain.
It doesn’t look any different.
They always used to say,
She bruises easily,
Guess they were right,
Suppose she still does…
Tired of hiding,
Exhausted from fighting,
When will she feel like herself again,
Like she never thought she would?
Why can’t she keep her mouth shut?
As she looks back,
The bad days may have been easier,
When all she cared for had perished
…Several times over…
And there was no more to lose.
Nothing can cover the damage now,
Not even silence.

Darker Than Black

The room is shrowded in a cloud of smoke. She sits and wonders. Another drag, another sip, another fucking day in a world shot to hell. There’s no escape, not really. There are no safe spaces to lay our heads at night, not without the risk of worse fates than death. Bury your head in the sand to pretend, but she can’t. There is no freedom than does not come at the cost of eternal vigilance..there is just ‘that’ in endless succession.

We fall to rise, we rise to fall. Time after time…without the slightest bit of consistency or balance. Though, not for lack of unfulfilled promises made to those who dare to dream…not without the invocation of hope so cruel, she wouldn’t wish it on her worst enemies. In the end, there is nothing left for her but this. Deep down, she’d known, it would always come to this. A part of her wonders how it could have taken so long for the moment to arrive…

She feels the transitive power of every passing second, as the walls begin to close in, but she doesn’t feel confined by them. They may spin ever so fast, her mind is dazzled. They may collapse right on top of her. As if, she cared about anything other than the end-result, even if costs her every inch that’s left of her being…As though, she couldn’t be more trapped in its anticipation than she already does.

The cold glass of the bottle meets her skin but briefly. She can barely feel it amongst the pain. Her thoughts could race, if she could see anything other than the inevitable conclusion of her actions. She knows the more she allows it to consume her, the more she loses…the more potential she wastes…the more of herself she squanders. Yet, for her, the question is only, why not? If this is all she can ever be, why pretend? If this is all she’ll ever have, why bother? If it is truly unavoidable, why the fuck not simply give in?

Tired of dealing with the problems of others, she failed to prevent for herself, as she simply wasn’t fast enough. Disheartened by initiating the positive change, she’s never granted no matter how hard she tries… She does not need this life, nor does she deserve its rewards. Failing always, it is lesson after lesson just to see how far she can break. She used to scramble for the pieces of herself, she lost along the way…Now she leaves them behind as a reminder of how she will never be whole, unless she would fucking care enough to redeem herself.

Another life, another try? Two fingers of whiskey linger on the side. Without a craving, she watches the ice melt….turning up the music so loud, she cannot hear her own thoughts nor would she wish to. Everything she feels drifts away, until not even the capacity to feel remains. Biding her time, until there is no choice anymore…until they come to take all that is left of her. If they had the mental ability to lay a hold on what defines her, she’d give herself over willingly, but they are too weak of heart, mind and spirit.

Half the time, she’s about to crack further, but doesn’t mind. She secretly likes seeing all the hidden pieces of herself sprawled out over the place. The other half, they bring her back to life, merely by feeding her misconceptions and watch her stumble for the truth…Yet, when they approach her, no matter how many times, she offers the kind smile, helpful word or a chance, she never got. Each time, she advises them not to shut doors, they may not be able to open again. Each time, she pleads with them that things will invariably get better…and every damn time, she dies a little inside. For them, it probably might be true, just not for her…Perhaps, she wouldn’t want it any other way.
Knowing deep down what we are, just drives our collective urge for extinction…for utter self-destruction. It cant be stopped or postponed, and neither can she.

As though, the last of anything could satiate our desire for more. After death, we long for the same all the more. Knowing her, she gave up leaping in expectation long ago. Even now, she’ll never stop trying to fly instead of fall… To never give in, when there is still something worth fighting for.

How Positive Change Can Trigger Relapse

What makes your knees weak? What causes your stomach to tighten? What touches you deep within? What makes you feel so safe that you crawl inside yourself in fear of the feeling?

It is rational to think that painful or even traumatic events can lead us to resort to destructive coping strategies. However, the opposite also applies to recovering addicts, who are doing exceptionally well. When our life as a sober person improves consistently, we can humbly appreciate our accomplishment, but never truly rest…Until that one event takes place, which tilts the balance of ultimate contentment. We let someone or something in so deep at that point of healing, we feel whole again. Relapse at this stage is a lose-lose situation. If they back off, then the addict is most likely suffer worse or even give up on recovery. If they come clean, then the wrong person is being punished for doing the right thing. They do not deserve that, if the addict can get clean immediately after the slip-up. However, in deal circumstances, communication and understanding are vital. If the slip-up turns into a secret binge, it must end there…before DT [delerium tremens] or other withdrawal symptoms become an issue again.

At one month clean, I had the best fucking weekend of my life…I was touched so intensely by another person that the thought of drowning the feeling was “safer” compared to the alternative of allowing myself to truly let someone in. In other words, positive change triggers relapse, because we crawl inside ourselves to avoid the pain, we are anticipating. Pain, which might or might not happen.

In a dualistic universe, pleasure always proceeds pain. The up and downs of living become normal, so we cope with them instead of aiming to overcome their cyclical influence. Put differently, we become used to the extreme ends of feeling. This is dangerous for any regular person, but with an addict, it can be deadly. The effect a particular substance can have on the brain differ from drug to drug. However, they typically all interfere with the normal functioning of the hypothalamic pituitary axis [HPA]. That means the recovery process will invoke emotions designed to be powerfully cathartic. Ideally, meant to resolve the underlying issue that led to the self-destructive behaviour. If it’s the surfacing pain of a traumatic event or several, we need to process it. Whatever the issue, we must heal, overcome and adapt. Nothing else will permanently make our way of coping go away.

For what it is worth, I do not believe I physiological addiction as such. All forms of addictive behaviour originate in the mind. In my and other cases, they are a result of lacking the necessary self-discipline to maintain a normal lifestyle. Like many functioning users, we give in to cope but destroy ourselves by doing so. I’ve never been to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, not for lack of trying. I’ve never had help getting clean, not for lack of asking. Few know, while even fewer pretend to care, but none would go very far to clean me up themselves. Emptying a bucket into the toilet, when I could barely stand was about the maximum effort. These would be the moments, when my body was rejecting that which it’d become so accustomed to. At any other point, I would self-medicate at infrequent intervals in order to avoid ‘bothering’ anyone with what should be a priority for the commonly decent. In fact, I would regularly support the habits of others, just for a place to DT privately…in proximity of sober-enough people to call an ambulance, if an actual emergency arose… It became normal to care as little about myself as others did, but this wasn’t a sudden occurrence. It was a fucking gradual process that took place over decades. With every setback, it became more important to function effectively. With every soul-deadening compromise, there was never any time to pause afterward. Then, trapped in an environment, I couldn’t escape, I was offered temporary salvation. After working with two fucked discs for a couple of years in constant agony, I had begged my family to help, but they refused to take me in…I had nobody to turn to and nowhere to go, but from that first real stupor, I no longer cared. As though, the worsening state of affairs could not affect me anymore. When the situation eventually changed, my new identity had invaded every aspect of my being. By the time, I was able to seek medical treatment and get clean, I had become someone, I didn’t wish to recognise. No guilt. No shame. No self-loathing. Just nothing at all. I was free from everything but enslaved.

If I have learnt anything,

It is that everything comes at a price.

Before a relapse, we must always ask ourselves is it worth the risk? In truth, perhaps, it can be. Raised in a society, in which we calculate the value of a person by their latest achievement, what do we expect? We begin to treat our lives as disposable instead of a never-ending wonder to be cherished. Sure, we function, but at the cost of drowning our potential. What we are attempting to get away from is just as present, when we are using, as when we are not. The only difference is our level of awareness. If we are willing to care for ourselves to the extent that we do for what functioning brings us…then, we must learn to say “No”, when doing something that will trigger a relapse, but never use it as an excuse not to step up to the task at hand. We must never let our addictive tendencies become a means to close ourselves off from people or experiences, which may transform the way, we perceive the world.

Can We Know The Absolute Truth?

Was there a time in your life, in which you questioned your loyalty to those around you or even to yourself? Although it is bound to occur sooner or later, it happens far too early and far too frequently for some. The reason for this is not the devolution of society, community or the family unit, but rather the concept of “knowing” itself.
In order to know anything, we must adhere to the same principles as the observer effect, which it turn means that knowing shares some of the same implications.

In the realm of physics, everything has a cause and yields an effect. Ergo, everything happens for a reason, even if the reason does not seem all that apparent. In probablistic algorithms, this includes the act of learning that ultimately leads to the attainment of further knowledge in the future. Consider this process in slow motion:

  1. Introduction – the place and time we encounter the subject or object in question, incl. surrounding events leading up to that very moment.|
  2. Development of Interest – the instant our curiosity is peaked.
  3. Assimilation of Information – the more interested we are, the more we begin to learn about the subject or object.
  4. Interpretation Through Perception – After much information gathering, we draw a conclusion based on what we know.
  5. Repeat Process

When perceive knowing from this standpoint, how we trust becomes a consequence of a long-winded thought process, starting at the beginning of our individual consciousness.

Without the fundamental knowledge about an object or subject, we are only able to draw a finite number of conclusions. So, at times, we are lulled into complacency and trust on faith….However, instead of an assent of the mind to the truth, our blind reliance on others can carry a steep price, if we are not careful.

In any case, the tendency to trust too easily as well as the inability to trust are a symptom of a larger problem. These opposite ends of the “trust spectrum” also happen to address a rather relevant philosophical conundrum that may bridge the gap between the two extremes: the absolute aspects of “knowingness” in relative space-time.

On this note, we arrive at the question what is knowing? The term dates back to the 14th century, when the adjective was defined as “with knowledge of truth”, which leads us to ask, what is truth? Now, truth exists in two forms in a dualistic universe or universe with a circular spectrum: (1) relative and (2) absolute. In both forms, truth is often equivalated with proper awareness. Conversely, what we define as proper is determined by social standards. Our oldest understanding of proper means to be adapted to some purpose. In ideal world, the purpose would be honourable, filled with noble intentions to shape a world free from suffering. Yet, in any society, the purpose is swayed by mainstream information. Ultimately, this purpose can eiher bring us toward or further away from expanding our consciousness. Even when we are in a state of apparent stagnation, there is still movement in the form of tempero-spatial progression. In simple terms, our consciousness still perceives what is happening as sequence of events within the space time continuum from our individual perspective. This often comes with an involuntary confirmation bias, in which we interpret reality in a way that confirms our personal as well as collective preconceptions. Hence, we draw conclusions in the absence of experiential evidence prior to the self. Far too often, we do not even attempt to verify what we think to be true.


In addition, at higher levels of consciousness, all-time occurs simultaneously while all-space converges. All that was, is or could ever be happens all at once as a seemingly singular, interconnected movement known as our universe. In essence, our universe is the result of a chain-reaction, from which gazillions of possibilities unfold, but onle one can manifest.
When we stand further back to perceive our universe as just one possible form of existence, we are simply one string interweaved in a myriad of others. We could argue, all of which are circular and explore the implications. We could envision a cascade of never-ending existences, trying to imagine what they would be like. However, we can only know by being…through that long-winded battle of striving to attain a state of infinite existence and succeeding…

To clarify, our universe is merely a tiny ripple in a vast cosmic sea of possible realities, just as we are a tiny ripple in the bottomless ocean of society. So, all we know seems circumstantially relative, but becomes much more definitive when we translate knowledge into action. For example, we can think the Earth is flat but when we hop into a spaceship to check, it’ll be an oblate spheroid. Push come to shove, what we know is only as true as our ability to prove the fact. Put in context with our societal hierarchy, this implies that our knowlege is only as good as how we present our case. Whether we are speaking the truth sadly doesn’t matter as much as it should. Though we can change that through nurture, we can’t change nature. For instance, we can create an environment, in which we foster open-mindedness and curiosity, but we can’t force everyone to be tolerant to each other around the clock every day. When ideas collide in the search for the absolute truth, there is going to be fallout and the ego will be the first casualty. So, the most important rule in our search is to leave our ego behind. In doing so, we don’t argue as much as we try to understand where the other person is coming from.

Who The Fuck is Right?

Your truth, my truth, who the fuck is actually right at the end? Honestly, both but no one. We may understand the manner, in which a person perceives anything, yet we can never be certain that they aren’t lying to themselves. We might believe we know another inside out, just to realise eventually that we never truly knew them at all. Everything is relative, capable of being interpreted in the exact opposite way. It is a simple matter of subjective experience, giving rise to relative truths.
For example, in the case of eyewitness statements, this becomes deadly apparent. Although everyone involved witnessed the same incident, the descriptions wildly differ. While our recollections are only as reliable as our memory, how and what we remember depends greatly on our thought processes. In fact, our thoughts shape our memory not only through neuronal connections, but through the reason why we interpret things the way we do.

To be who we are means constant effort for our body and mind. From birth onward, we develop and maintain an identity, dependent on conditional factors. People, events and the world helps mould what we have already become. So, without the occurrence of certain defining moments, we cease to be the current version of ourselves.
Our mind is endlessly processing what has, is and may happen. Content continuously rises to the surface and falls underneath the line of conscious or voluntary recollection. We never stop forgetting and remembering, unless we still the mind completely. Moreover, it takes persistent practice to be present in the now. We must be consistent in our effort to care more for the truth than our personal interpretation.
For what it’s worth, we rarely notice how our own personal perception of reality creates bias in our judgement of what we believe to be the truth. We forget to consider sides to a subject, for instance, because we associate negatively with them. We overestimate the importance of specific factors due to positive experiences in the past. From a primal standpoint, our physical, emotional and social survival relies on remembering some things but forgetting others. Through the evolution of our consciousness, however, we can choose to do neither. We can position ourselves on the fine line in between. We can be vigilant without judging ourselves or those around us. We can just be in the moment, observing…contemplating the absolute truth from within the confines of relative existence…But it wouldn’t be enough.

To discern something as complex as the absolute truth from a version of the relative is not a simple task. To know the absolute truth about ourselves, we need to remove the influence of all relative aspects that make up our personality. This is also a rather painful key to lasting happiness in yogic non-attachment practices. To discover the absolute truth about the many worlds, we must delve into the origin, nature and purpose of existence prior to the relative. If all is mind, then truth is a multi-faceted, collective construct. It contains ego-destroying layers of personal perspectives from every possible angle inside a vast consciousness, whose probability of ending is zero…So, are you ready?

What is Love?

The concept of love predates mankind as a species. Some claim, it is even older than time itself. Whereas our ancestors knew mutual respect, comradeship and shared understanding is essential to the continued survival of their tribe, we believe we perceive love in a more sophisticated light…but do we, really?

“One result of the mysterious nature of love is that no one has ever,
to my knowledge, arrived at a truly satisfactory definition of love.”

However, nothing can restrain the curiosity of spirit. Over the epochs, we have attempted to fit love into various categories, such as eros, philia, agape; perfect love and imperfect love and so on…In a very real sense trying to understand love is attempting to examine the unexaminable and to know the unknowable. It is different every time and with every person in very apparent but also quite subtle ways. Overall, love is too large, too deep ever to be truly understood or measured or limited within the framework of words. Its versitable, adaptible nature makes it beyond the explainable.

Scott Peck defines love as the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of ones own and anothers spiritual growth. I, however, disagree slightly…It is the compulsion to do so…
By use of the word “will”, he tried to transcend the distinction between desire and action. Desire is not necessarily translated into action. Will is desire of sufficient intensity that it is translated into action. The difference between the two is equal to the difference between saying “I would like to…” and “I will….” Thefore, the want to love is not love itself. After all, love is as love does. We cannot choose who we converse well with on a platonic level, nor can we choose whom we fall in love with. By defining love as an of will, he inferred that it is an act of intention as well as action. He argues, he we dont have to love, as it is a choice. In my professional opinion, this is only partially true. What when we like someone very much, each day we see them but never pursue them because we have decided not to? We would continue to feel a great deal of affection toward them, there would simply be no desire translated into action, which is rather essential for the bonding process to begin.

Yet, before we continue as to the reason why, it must be noted that in many cases, we may be motivated by something other than love without conscious knowledge, and that what seems to be love is often not love at all. One of the major distinguishing features between what we perceive to be love and that which is real love is the conscious or unconscious purpose in the mind of the person. Furthermore, love is a strangely circular process, which we expand our consciousness in an evolutionary sense.
In other words, when we love, we extend our limits, give our all, or even learn to love parts of ourselves that we don’t.

The act of “loving” is an act of self-evolution even when the purpose of the act is someone else’s growth. It implies effort. We can only extend limits by exceeding them, but exceeding limits requires work. However, when we love someone, this exertion appears to make the connection demonstrably real. It can make any sacrifice worthwhile. Moreover, as a form of energy, love can power the extra step, we take for others, if we let it. Just beware, love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful.

Falling in Love

“Of all the misconceptions about love the most powerful and pervasive is the belief that “falling in love” is love or at least one of the manifestations of love.”

It is a potent misconception, because falling in love is subjectively experienced in a very powerful fashion as an experience of love. While we are still wearing rose-coloured glasses, we perceive a romanticized image of the person rather than the person itself. When we fall in love what we certainly feels is “I love him” or “I love her.” More importantly, two complications become immediately apparent:

  1. The experience of falling in love is an intimate experience directly related to our sexual desires. We do not fall in love with just anyone. Even though we may love our family and friends very deeply, we do not fall in love with them on a whim. Often the attraction predates the decision to simply be friends. We typically fall in love only when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated.
  2. The experience of falling in love is temporary. No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later, we fall out of love should the relationship continue long enough. This is not to say that we ultimately cease loving the person, but the honeymoon phase ends and the rose-coloured glasses must be discarded.

To understand the nature of the phenomenon, it is necessary to examine the nature of our ego boundaries. As infants, we do not distinguish between ourselves and the rest of the universe. The animate and the inanimate are the same. There is no distinction yet between I and thou. We and the world are one. There are no boundaries, no separations. There is no identity, just personality traits in the early stages of development.
With experience, a sense of the “me” begins to develop. This interaction between the infant and the parents is believed to be the ground out of which the child’s sense of identity begins to grow. It has been observed that when the interaction between the infant and its parents is disturbed. For example, due to the breakdown of the family unit [i.e. when there is no parent, no satisfactory substitute or when because of their own mental illness, they are uncaring or uninterested, then the infant grows into a child or adult whose sense of identity is lacking in the most basic ways.]

The development of such boundaries is a process that continues through childhood into adolescence and even into adulthood. Generally, the boundaries established later in life are more mental than physical. For instance, at every stage of life, we typically come to terms with the limits of our power on various levels. For instance, it is namely known as the “terrible twos” because of this learning curb. It is the hope and feeling of immediate gratification that can make any twoyear-old usually attempts to act like a tyrant and autocrat, trying to give orders and respond with regal fury when they won’t be dictated to. By the age of three the child usually accepts the reality of its own relative powerlessness.

“Still, the possibility of omnipotence is such a sweet, sweet dream that it cannot be completely given up even after several years of very painful confrontation with one’s own impotence.”

Although we come to accept the reality of our boundaries, we will continue to escape occasionally for some years into late adulthood.

Falling in love is the world of Batman and Captain America. By the time of mid-adolescence, we have already been conditioned that we are individuals, c