A blog by Mel Riser about LifeBoat Permaculture and Solar Villages

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christ Mind and the WAYof ascension

Humanity: Up From The Ashes

Both the Benu bird of Egypt (The Phoenix) and The quetzel bird of the Mayans are celestial birds sitting in the sacred World Tree, upon the mountain of creation, or temple. The Benu was born of the fire that burned in the temple of Ra. The bird made a cry, which created the sun. We might remember that in the most ancient times in Egypt the ceremony before the rising sun had the sound of Hu or Hhhhhuuu being chanted by the people as the sound of the breath of God, creating the sun.
The Benu lived seven thousand years. The evolutionary spiral is 7,500 years for the third density experience.
The Benu and later the Phoenix had their counterparts in South America.

Quetzacoatl, was called Lord of the face of the sun, and associated with the Sunbird. Just like the Benu bird, which walks near the shore in water, Quetzacoatl, the feathered serpent, is said to walk on water. His symbol, is the Fire Bird, who wields fiery torches, and sits on the cross (tree) of the four winds.

The mythology crossed continents intact, as it ends up in both Americas. The rise of the Phoenix and the emergence of the winged spirit of the bird from the serpent, in the persona of Quetzacoatl and Kukulcan are the same symbol. This image of the snake slithering down the temple of the Inca, contrasted with the chirping sound of the sacred bird, the quetzal, showed both aspects, one within the other, and one emerging from the other.

“A handclap at the base of Kukulcan´s staircase generates a "chirped echo"—a "chir-roop" sound that first ascends and then falls, like the cry of the native quetzal.
The dimensions of Kukulcan´s steps suggest that the builders intended just such an acoustical mimicry. The lower steps have a short tread length and high riser—tough to climb but perfect for producing a high-pitched "chir" sound. The steps higher up make a lower-pitched "roop."
"If you have a structure with these dimensions, it will chirp, and the same effect at the Pyramid of the Magician in the Classic Mayan city of Uxmal, near Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula.

The elusive quetzal, also known as the kuk, deserved homage. The bird inhabits the cloud forests of Central America, and its feathers, along with jade, were among the most precious commodities in Mesoamerica. To the Maya and Aztecs, the quetzal´s emerald green iridescent tail feathers were more valuable than gold.
At Kukulcan, there were recordings made of the echo and compared them with recordings of the quetzal from Cornell University´s ornithology lab, in Ithaca, N.Y.
They matched perfectly."The Temple of Kukulcan chirps like a kuk."


The pyramid would then answer, in the voice of the quetzal, a messenger of the gods. Quetzal means divine in Nahuatl language. So the divine bird emerged transformed out of the serpent. The lower, becoming the higher in symbolic form.

The Benu bird of Egypt literally means ascended one, as the sun ascends in the sky and is the symbol of Ra.
According the RA material, the sun is the manifestation of the Logos or son of God.
The Benu bird is also the symbol of Osiris, who died and was resurrection as was the Phoenix, and all of them are symbolic of different aspects of human ascension.

The RA, mind complex said during a channeling in 1981, that they gave the Law of One to Egypt, as well as their advanced knowledge of the stars and cycles of the universe. They also said that they have visited South American cultures both 11,000 years ago and 75,000 years ago. This would explain the Mayans having the same concept of Precession of the Equinoxes and astrological and astronomical knowledge, as did the Egyptians and encoding it in their religious legends.

Zacharia Sitchen has a theory that the link to South America was Hermes (Thoth) and that he brought a group of Nubian disciples with him to South America and this was the beginning of the Olmecs, who had distinct African features. The Olmecs, in their sacred calendar, saw the universe as two gears enmeshed and turning in a circle which completes every 52 years, and since 52 was the secret number of Thoth, Sitchen believes the Olmecs arrived with Thoth from Egypt. Perhaps Sitchen is correct, but he is only dealing with 3,000 years at best, and RA claims to have visited much earlier.

Another link Sitchen has not mentioned is that the description of Quetzacoatl is that he has a very long pointy snout, which seems to be a mask. This is reminiscent of the Ibis headed Thoth, which has a very long tampering beak. So we have a hint that Quetzacoatl may be only a mask, perhaps one of many, as he also wears the mask of Kukulcan.

Whether Thoth brought the symbolism to South America cannot be proven, because this legend is rooted in antiquity, and deeply entrenched in the entire region. The Mayan, who followed after the Olmecs, called this god Kukulcan, but it was one of many names.

Could the knowledge and the archetypes displayed in Egypt have been imparted to cultures even older than the Olmecs? The Inca empire, for example, is one which is far older, than any discussed so far.
At a height of 13,000 feet in the Bolivian Andes we find the city of the Inca, Tiahuanaco, close to 15 to 17,000 years old.

Evidence is found of a 10 ton Sun Gate which forms a frame for the sun. The sun created the world, according to the Inca, just as the most ancient Egyptians also believed. The Inca said all was destroyed in a flood. They called their god, Viracocha, who roamed the earth dressed as a beggar and taught the rudiments of civilization as well as working miracles. He walked on water and had companions called Bearded Ones, and symbols of Viracocha are shown with 12 bearded ones. This symbol is far older than the time of the Logos incarnation as Jesus the Christ.
At the temple to the sun in Tiahuanaco, {Where men ascended, and became gods} when the sun creates a shadow on the temple steps it appears that a snake is slithering down the steps, a very advanced knowledge of the astronomical observance is displayed.

It has been determined that a great wave of water covered Tiahuanaco, so high it was buried under six feet of mud. This wave could have been the result of the sinking of Atlantis, and been the generation of the flood legends. If Tiahuanaco was built before the Pleistocene Extinction, which occurred at the end of the last ice age around 12,000 years ago, then the astronomical alignments built into the Kalasasaya harmonize with the apparent age of the city. Tiahuanaco was likely built close to 15,000 B.C.

Quetzacoatl images display a collar symbol of the sun. In the Mayan cosmology he has two natures. He was called Lord of Hope and Lord of the Morning Star, a reference to Venus, which appears to lead the sun upon rising and disappears, during the day, only to seem to rise at the night. Besides Quetzacoatl the other half is Tloloc. Together they are Tloloc-Quetzacoatl, because one is the Morning Star and the other is the evening star. Together they are unity.

Quetzalcoatl is not himself the feathered serpent.
Quetzalcoatl is the version that rises from the serpent, as Venus becomes the Morning Star.
This emergence could have its likeness in the worm that emerges from the dead Phoenix bird after it is consumed by the flames of the sun.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead says,
“I go in like a hawk and come forth like the Benu (the morning star, the planet Venus) of Ra. I am the Benu which is in Heliopolis.”
The Benu was considered a manifestation of the resurrected Osiris.

Sitting there atop the nest of aromatic spices, the Phoenix sang for the first time ever; the sweetest song the world had ever heard. The whole world stilled to listen, and the gods smiled. Just as the last notes of the song faded away, the rays of the sun ignited the oils of the spices, and the Phoenix was engulfed in flames, reduced to ashes.
Then, something like a miracle happened. Out of the ashes crawled a tiny worm. Over time the worm grew and matured into a Phoenix in the same way a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Once again, the Phoenix stretched its beautiful and magnificent wings to rise from the earth in flight. Swooping close to the land, the Phoenix gathered up the remaining ashes and carried them to the city of the sun and buried them in the temple.

With regard to the astronomical technicalities, the Mayan mythology matched the movements of the stars. Specifically with Quetzacoatl and Venus there is a strong association towards the powerful and the cosmological. Venus, in particular, a heliacal rising and a western elongation which no doubt figured prominently in their beliefs. Venus at its heliacal rising, is the brightest that it will be in the sky but when it gets close to earth it is outshined, by the Sun and Moon in this stage. At the greatest elongation it is the sky for the longest period of time before being lost in the sun’s glare.

At one point Venus masquerades as the Evening Star. During an eight day disappearance it was referred to as the death of Quetzacoatl. He would first lie in the underworld for four days, then he becomes dry bones for four days, then he reappears as the Morning Star on the heliacal rising. At this time Quetzacoatl ascended to the throne of god (note: the dry bones vision of Ezekiel)

Jesus and the Morning Star

Venus is the Morning and the Evening Star, because it is most often seen in the morning and in the evening, but in the Bible Jesus refers to himself as the Morning Star.

"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." (Rev. 22:16).

The Canaanites identified Astarte (Evening Star) and Asheroth (Morning Star) with the planet Venus In the British Museum there are a series of 70 Babylonian tablets of which number 63 is devoted exclusively to the planet Venus.
The Sumerian text of Inanna’s Descent to the Nether World says, "The sick ´women´ was turned into a corpse, The corpse was hung from a stake. After three days and three nights"
In Isaiah 14 Lucifer (Daystar), son of the morning, seems to be this same story of Venus’ rise and fall in the heavens. Lucifer tries to reach to the highest heaven, but can not, and falls down into the underworld.

Jesus is called "the bright and morning star" for just as Venus is three days and three nights below the horizon in the underworld then arises up, so too does Jesus.

sunrise as shown above on August 24, 2 B.C.[2] Venus, called a wandering star by the ancients (Jude 1:13), fulfilled prophecies given by Jacob c. 1800 B.C and by Balaam c. 1400 B.C. The Magi explained why they came, “we observed his star at its rising” (Matt 2:2 all RSVCE unless noted). The image shows Venus rose just before sunrise to mark a line of planets formed by Mercury, Mars and Jupiter.
Why identify Venus as the Star of Bethlehem? Jesus called himself “the bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16). Venus is ‘the bright morning star’. How can the ‘bright morning star’ be identified as Venus? First, Venus at its brightest is the brightest natural object in the sky after the sun and moon. It is the brightest object that can be called a star. Second, the ancients referred to exactly two planets as ‘morning stars’, they were called morning stars because they were only visible for a few hours before dawn. Since Jesus calls himself the bright morning star or Venus and the Magi saw His star as it rose, it is likely Venus was the star the Magi saw and we call the Star of Bethlehem. Venus rises as both the morning and the evening star. Since Jesus is ‘the bright morning star,’ it had to be Venus rising in the morning not in the evening. Venus spends about half of its cycle as a morning star. Once every 1.6 years (584 days), Venus rises for the first time with the sun in the morning.

A passage in the Anales de Quauhitlan tells us that ´at the time when the planet was visible in the sky (as evening star) Quetzalcoatl died. And when Quetzalcoatl was dead he was not seen for 4 days; they say that then he dwelt in the underworld, and for 4 more days he was bone (that is, he was emaciated, he was weak); not until 8 days had passed did the great star appear; that is, as the morning star. They said that then Quetzalcoatl ascended the throne as god´
"For the Maya the importance of Venus, above all planets, cannot be overstated. It was called noh ek (great star), chac ek (red star), sastal ek (bright star), and xux ek (wasp star). We recall some of the statements the early chroniclers made about the Indians´ propensity for watching it.”

In the story of the Phoenix, the bird is ignited by the rays of the sun and burned. In the story of Quetzacoatl, he throws himself into the fire, Quetzacoatl then becomes the planet Venus and the Phoenix becomes a reborn Phoenix up from the ashes, but both are transformed, into a reborn version. Quetzacoatl promises to return someday.

On June 8, the planet Venus began its transit across the face of the sun. When this happens, the earth, Venus and the sun are in a straight line. These transits come in pairs. The second phase will be in 2012 when, according to the Mayans, time will end and a new age will begin.

Those of us today who have the benefit of having the symbols before us to examine thanks to the internet, can see, all the pieces spread out before us, whereas previous cultures only had one version of an event, or one symbol.

Quetzacoatl was described as a white man with a beard, who wore long robes and gave messages of love, forbidding human sacrifice and teaching of the One Supreme God. He left because of persecution by religious leaders and promised to return from the east someday. He is considered the most remarkable figure in ancient American history. He established not only religion, but taught the people all manner of arts, sciences and useful customs.
Before humanity, was in human form, the Bible in Isaiah says, that, the morning stars all cried out together. Humanity were those stars, burning lights of spirit, in the presence of the One good Mind.

When God called the king of Babylon, Lucifer, son of the morning, God is referring to those who were is a higher position, and fell to a lower level of awareness, leading to both arrogance and ignorance.

Venus is the symbol for the human soul, in both its aspects, and the “Fallen One” and as “The Risen One”.
Lucifer in Latin means Venus. This fall in consciousness caused our divine mind to be lost, and we fell in awareness and vibration of thought. We became self willed and moved away from light. This is our lower nature, our beast mind, which some seek to allow to control them. The king of Babylon came to symbolize all those who out of arrogance did not appreciate the free will they were given, and sought to exploit instead of employ.

Logos means, The Word. The Word, created human souls, born from It’s own consciousness and fashioned after the stars, which guide and determine human traits. Everything is astronomically aligned as an ascension clock to allow us to know when the time would arrive for the alignment to occur. This alignment has been coming on for thousands of years and the Mayans encoded this information into their calendar. This is the Harvest in the Bible when humans are separated according to the fullness of wisdom, not unlike fruit when it become ready for picking, while other fruits must wait on the trees until ripe.

The return of Christ, and that of Quetzacoatl, who established an enlightened kingdom among the Indians, as well as the rising of the Phoenix, refers to the same event, as does the Hopi prophecy about the return of Panana. The Hopi made a statement, which has puzzled some and enlightened others when they announced:
“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

What the Hopi mean by this, is stop waiting for a god, or miracle outside you, to save you, when you were shown by the Logos how to save yourself. You save yourself by becoming the Christ Mind. This Christ Mind is what saves a human from continuing on this same level of existence, living lives of short duration and continuing every eighty years or so from going into death and being reborn, to keep learning. It means one has learned what they came here to learn and are now moving to more advanced learning. But, without developing the Christ Mind we are not ready. But since the Logos provided an enormous amount of instructions through the symbols, all cultures and religions have a chance to gain this alignment. Those who do not align with universal love, will not be able to match the new vibrations of balance which is dawning like a new sun. In 2012, the movement into the higher energies will fully manifest.

This is a kind of natural selection which occurs as the vibration of a planetary system rises. The heart either floats like a feather or sinks into the underworld to repeat the cycle. Much like repeating a grade in school.

The Logos came to show us our spiritual image.

Osiris died, in the Osiris myth, and was reborn in the person of Horus, who was the heir, just as each one of humanity has their inheritance waiting in trust for the time they can appreciate it.

The entire path of the Tarot is the search for this reconnection and the last card, the magician, is the finding and reconnection or rising from a former lost state to a new mind, a birth of a kingdom, and the death of the human ego. The magician is the one with his right hand points to the sky, and with his left, points to the earth. He is the one who had gone from the foolish to wise. This condition of mind, is the marriage of above with below, when the individual truly becomes hu man, or fully in control of their beast side. This is the marriage of the lamb in Revelation. This is our real angelic image, not the one we think we have seen. Now, like Quetzacoatl, we get to see behind the masks.

The Wisdom of the Hopi

Another group keeping similar symbols, have been the Hopi in Arizona. They trace back to the time after the flood and were told of a time when again the balance would be returned. The Hopi are given teachings by the Great Spirit who tells them “I am the first and the Last.”

An Elder Brother, of the shining light goes away told by the Great Spirit that as soon as he arrives at this destination to return again and look for his younger brother the Hopi, who has settled in North America. The Elder Brother comes back tranformed. The time for the Elder Brother to return is that both brothers see a great white star.
There was a star seen that night which led the astrologers because it moved and stayed over the place where the human child with the mind of the Logos was born. There is no other information on this star, except that it would be seen by both the younger and Elder Brother, and that it would be the sign of the return was in progress. The star then traveled from the east headed for the time of unmasking.

While he was waiting for the return, the Hopi kept moving and marking each place with a hieroglyph. It is now been discovered that if a line is drawn from one hieroglyph to another, the outline forms a gigantic outline of the constellation on the ground, in connect the dots fashion. Orion, who was first called The Soul of Osiris, and portrays the human soul.
Finally they settled in The Four Corners area where four states come together. Hopi have lived as a dedicated people, sending balancing love to the earth by their ceremonies.

According to Hopi legend the Elder Brother plants seeds of hope. The same symbol is much in use in the Bible. God is the planter and the sons of the kingdom are the seeds.

The Logos planted seeds and watched them grow and learn and mature, by the process of reincarnation. While the Hopi continued their earthy migrations, so human souls were learning by many soul experiences what is really important. This helped them see that this flesh could not possibly be all there is, because they have learned to become aware of their own spiritual nature, by walking in many shoes, through many struggles during many lives.

Since the four races were established, there has been much mixing and re-mixing of human genes. The Hopi was not to look for the color of the skin. Hopi identify each other by the hair, which is cut as a window with straight bangs and is black, but the outside does not make a Hopi. It is the heart.

There are many hints in the rest of the symbols of the Hopi regarding this Elder Brother. Also, in the identity of the two helpers he brings with him. The Hopi word for helper denotes a group or population.
Out of the mouth of the serpent Quetzacoatl, emerges a bright Morning Star.
Out of the worm, the sun creates the new Phoenix rising from the worm or snake.
The serpent mind, the whispering voice, everyone knows it, everyone hears it, until they see it is false. It lies when it says we are only dust. We can rise above it again, as Morning Stars. The mind of Christ is the mark on the forehead. This is what identifies the ones who have welcomed the return within their hearts.

The symbols for the Hopi in association with the Elder Brother, is the quincrux and the sign of the sun, also sometimes called the celtic cross, formed over a red sphere of the sun. This may be a reference to the alignment, which will be the final transformation of the world when the ecliptic of the earth’s sun forms a cross formation in the sky, as it crosses the ecliptic of the plane of the Milky Way. This is the birth mythology of the Mayans, as the sun conjuncts the Milky Way, forming The World Tree. This forms the sign of the cross in the sky.

Most of the important symbols of every culture from Egypt on, have been symbols of ascension. The Christ Mind of the Logos, has been here many times in the flesh and He is the one who designed the archetypes of the human mind, and so He knows how we think. These symbols are universal and cut across all cultures. The message of the Oneness of all creation was soon lost, and separation and bigotry caused the Logos to come to earth, in many forms to many groups and spread the mythologies and stories, in different versions and replicas, all of which follow the archetypes of the human mind.
The pattern is: a fall from a high station, a journey of learning, and the climb from fool to wisdom and eventually overcoming obstacles and the rise to regain what was lost. This is the pattern of our minds and why all our stories follow this theme.

In the book of Thomas, it says that when one can put in place of an eye another eye, and in place of a foot another foot, and in place of a hand a hand, then they will enter the kingdom. By this substitution, and application, the symbols unlock themselves. By seeing the symbols are all the same, this leads to a unified way of thinking. This is the unification of thought, or seeing the connection between all things.

Everyone will not see this time the same way, but like human fiction, as well as life, the prize goes to those who seek it and have confidence they will gain it. Those who cannot trust their own feelings will choose not to ascend but remain on their migrations until they find the key is hanging right over their heart.

So if you made it this far, get some Christ Mind by reading the Urantia Book.

here is a link to read. http://www.urantia.org

or download it at my website http://www.webcrayon.com/urantia/urantiabook.zip

and last but not least.




Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gun Control A to Z

Subject: Gun Control


A to Z

a.. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
b.. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
c.. Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface.
d.. Gun control is not about guns; it´s about control.
e.. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
f.. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
g.. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
h.. If you don´t know your rights you don´t have any.
i.. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
j.. The United States Constitution © 1791. All Rights Reserved.
k.. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?
l.. The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.
m.. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
n.. Guns only have two enemies: Rust and Politicians.
o.. Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.
p.. You don´t shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
q.. 911 - government sponsored Dial a Prayer.
r.. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
s.. Criminals love gun control - it makes their jobs safer.
t.. If Guns cause Crime, then Matches cause Arson.
u.. Only a government that is afraid of it´s citizens tries to control them.
v.. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.
w.. Enforce the "gun control laws" in place, don´t make more.
x.. When you remove the people´s right to bear arms, you create slaves.
y.. The American Revolution would never have happened with Gun Control.
z. "...a government by the people, for the people..."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Heavy thinkin'


Hi, everybody. My name is Mel R., and I´m a heavy thinker. It started out innocently enough, I suppose. I began to think socially at parties now and then, just to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone - "to relax," I told myself - but I knew it wasn´t true. Thinking became more and more important to me. After a while, I couldn´t control myself and I began thinking all the time. I even began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and work don´t mix, but I couldn´t stop myself.

Some of my co-workers began to notice the look of deep concentration on my face, and how they´d always see me with my nose buried in a philosophy book.

I´d disappear during lunch and head down to the public park, where I´d read a few chapters of Aristotle, or sometimes I´d just sit there and stare off into the distance, lost inside my thinking. It was soon pretty clear to everyone around me that my thinking had gotten out of control. Now I was thinking most of the day, every day.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What exactly are we doing here?"

Things weren´t going so great at home either. One evening, after thinking nearly all day at work, I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She left and spent that night at her mother´s.

Before long, I had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day, after I knew I couldn´t hide it any longer, the boss called me into his office.

He said, "Mel R., I like you , and it hurts me to say this. But your thinking has become a real problem. If you don´t stop thinking on the job, we´ll have to let you go. We just can´t run a business here if our employees are thinking. And sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt. Get some professional help."

This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early that day after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I´ve been thinking..."

"I know you´ve been thinking." she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, it´s not that serious."

"It IS serious," she said, with her lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as some of those college professors, and college professors don´t make any money! If you don´t stop thinking, we won´t be able to make ends meet!"

"That´s faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and then she began to cry. She´d had enough, and so had I.

"I´m going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, listening to a National Public Radio station on the way. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors ... but they didn´t open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that God was looking out for me that night.

As I sank to the ground clawing at those glass doors, whimpering for some Plato or Socrates, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker´s Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering heavy thinker.

I never miss a T-A meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky´s Revenge." Then we share experiences about how we´ve avoided thinking since last meeting.

I got my old job back, and things are a lot better at home. My wife and I don´t ever talk about those horrible days when I was thinking all the time. Life just seems ... easier, somehow, now that I´ve stopped thinking...

anyone else having this issue?

advice would be helpfull


Monday, November 14, 2005

Of COURSE I'm ALWAYS right... and so is MY GOD.. who can beat up YOUR GOD

David Brooks, in his August 11, 2005 New York Times op-ed piece, wrote "while global economies are converging, cultures are diverging, and widening cultural differences are leading us into [an unprecedented] period of conflict, inequality and segmentation". In my writing, I have called this deteriorating situation an "increasing fragmentation of species consciousness", where self-segregating cultures become even more isolated and use modern media technologies to further circumscribe their own members' minds.

Obvious examples are the virulent religious antagonisms fueling 21st century terrorism and the equally powerful, although presently less violent, divergences in America and other societies. Wealthy elites and sectarian cults have gone beyond traditional class barriers to separate themselves from the "unwashed" and "unsaved". They build fortress neighborhoods and use divisive social policies to insure they aren't "contaminated" by those who are different. In an ironic twist of the democratic principles of free enterprise and private property, the founder of Domino's Pizza is constructing an entire city in Florida where the university, businesses, and homes are reserved only for conservative Catholics.

Psychologists should be on the forefront of research into the existential basis of this phenomenon. Something more than superficial lifestyle choices are at work here. The human species appears to be engaged in a profound "re-tribalization" process, at a time when the weapons for defending one's culture and territory far exceed the destructive power of rocks and clubs. The inability of such a fragmented species to reach consensus may threaten its very survival.

At a recent meeting of psychologists in California, several presenters gave talks that either explicitly or implicitly dealt with the role of worldviews with regard to individual development or societal trends. While no one attempted to give a "one-serves-all" definition of worldview, a number of participants talked about the need for a better understanding of the role of personal worldviews in shaping human emotional and behavioral responses to issues or events.

The notion of something that might be studied and/or used in education, therapy, and even broader social interventions under the rubric worldview is sort of like the U.S. Supreme Court's definition of pornography: "You know it when you see it". A still nebulous definition notwithstanding, attempting to look at worldviews may be a step toward dealing with the profound breakdown of comity now threatening modern society. In their most fundamental form, different worldviews explain why we must answer "No" to the second question below:

Aren't you curious why we don't agree on certain issues? If two people have the same facts about an issue, then - if they both are logical - would they not draw the same conclusions?

These questions were raised by a doctrinaire writer with whom I had an e-mail exchange on the causes and possible remedies for terrorism. Despite an external reality that a Martian observer might see, when two humans discuss an issue, they likely to do so through two different - even mutually exclusive - a priori sets of assumptions or beliefs about the nature of reality and the human place in it. For all perceptual, emotional, and behavioral purposes, they live in two different realities. With such species dissociation, different groups are psychologically unable to draw compatible conclusions from the same fact.

Worldviews are an element of consciousness and impose a personal order on the data coming through our physical and subtle senses. Such a mechanism is essential to human functioning. Without this core set of assumptions, the psyche would break up from the centrifugal force of internally inconsistent beliefs.

Worldviews deal with the most basic questions in life. What is the design and purpose of nature? Why do things work as they do? One's worldview serves as his or her “lens” for interpreting self, others, and external events. It asserts answers like the following to the most fundamental of questions:

Yahweh created me. Mind rules. God/Allah decides all. Nature is neutral. Allah/God is just. The universe is an accident.

Because worldview assumptions derive from history and cultural practices, they are mutable through experience or new learning. We can change these worldviews through a rational transformation of specific beliefs. Sometimes such transformations are stimulated by a powerful subjective experience. In either case the person considers and tests alternatives (based on new inner or external evidence) to his or her ingrained worldview. However, such change is not easy and requires several steps of conscious reevaluation and change (see other Perspective articles).

The first step is the most simple, yet the most difficult: Recognition that my perception of reality is based on assumptions that may be true or may not be true. If this first step does not stir up strong emotional reactions in the individual, it is likely that one is not yet dealing with worldviews as defined in this article. An intellectual discussion of worldviews that does not touch on the deeper and most strongly held beliefs remains a superficial exercise.

When I cannot find evidence that one who does not share my worldview will agree that it tends to support my assumption, I must conclude that I am taking it on faith. It is this “taking on faith of one’s own or one’s group’s assumptions” as the absolute truth that leads to fragmentation of societal consciousness.

In the context of religious and spiritual worldviews, the United States of America is in effect a "polytheistic" society. Let me explain. An individual is not usually polytheistic, i.e., "worships more than one god". Any social unit can call itself polytheistic and provide for the worship of different gods. However, the American society does not do that. Most people assume everyone worships the same god, just under different guises. However, a comprehensive analysis of worldviews would, I believe, reveal that this nation is actually "polytheistic". All people do not believe in or worship the same ineffable origins of our universe. They worship their own worldview's assumptions about it.

Thus, where the definitions of their god are mutually incompatible, groups actually believe and behave in a "polytheistic" way. Although they may use the same word - God, their definitions are so widely different that they, for all practical purposes, live under and worship different gods. To the extent groups believe their concept of “god,” by whatever name, and their “god’s word" (as interpreted by them) is The Truth, they set themselves apart from all others with no less certainty than Babylonians who worshipped Ba'al and Hebrews who worshipped Yahweh 3,000 years ago. No wonder the Quran, from the newest of the large supernatural religions, describes polytheism as a path to Hell.

Because each group's assumptions are taken on faith, based on a priest/rabbi/imam’s inspirations (likely to be infinite in number), over time the diverging worldviews result in deeper fragmentation of human consciousness. Resulting divergent religions (caused by worldviews that shape the way people actually experience life) always increase the potential for political and physical conflicts.

However, to understand the depth and complexity, and the threat to human survival, of the current maelstrom of worldviews that socially and politically rend today's world, we must look deeper than the traditional labels (the names groups use for their alleged divine beings and give to their unique religions). Such an analysis is necessary to understand how to cope with members of any group that would impose their theocratic views on the policies of governments.

Given their deist perspective (belief in an unnamed creator or supreme power, but not in the anthropomorphic god of 18th-century religions) and actions, it appears that America's Founders Fathers had an intuitive understanding of the competition for power that could arise among competing religious worldviews. They recognized that some groups in a "polytheistic society" (my term) with fundamentally different concepts of reality would attempt to impose their assumptions on others through the political process. They foresaw a struggle to impose laws that would regulate what should be private matters in each religion. Thus, they established secular U. S. institutions with constitutional barriers to prevent one religion imposing its worldview on the rest of society.

This problem is not limited to religious worldviews. Scientific theories and philosophical schools are also based on assumptions and beliefs founded on partial evidence, always subject to revision based on experience. When groups holding them also consider their worldviews as The Truth, and dismiss other ways of knowing, they are in effect worshipping their own divergent “realities.”

Until we find a way to transcend the hardened worldviews that now divide the species, we will not be able to "put Humpty Dumpty (the fragmentation of human consciousness) back together again". To help pierce the defensive shields of superficial labels and symbols described here, we must look honestly at the non-self-evident assumptions that underly conflicting worldviews. The first and essential step requires each of us to admit the part of our own worldview assumptions that are taken on faith, a faith that we cannot expect some one else to accept just because we believe it. The second step requires a recognition that when it comes to blind faith, anyone's sight is as good as another's.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

From a friend working in India

This is a letter from a friend working in New Delhi, India for the next few months.


This city is really 4 cities across a border of 2 'states' (sort of like Kansas city) - New Delhi, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, which together compromise something called NRC - for National Region of something or other - with 25 - 30 million people in the entire 'city' - it is truly an ocean of flesh, cement, various vehicles mixed with cows and camels, and much squalor, that goes on and on and on - about 200 kilometers wide. More than 40% are considered 'poor' - this means no house , no water, no food, no job, no nothing. The contrast of the poverty sitting at the steps of a relatively high tech industrial machine, with its exotic skyscrapers, etc - is extreme and chilling.
This is not a touristed city and so foreigners are quite rare - in fact I have seen about 2 Caucasians besides ourselves (4 of us) since we got here. So as can be imaged - even though they have western TV and movies - to see 'us' white folks in the actual flesh is unusual - we are stared at heavily and are of 'jaw dropping' material...even at this day in India's capital. Fortunately - I am a giant here - of the millions I have already passed, I have yet to see anyone taller than I....I feel safe - the people are very nice - I believe this is because Hindu's (80% of the population) are just plain mellow people - it's seems part of their religion...also - even though there seems to be a huge lack of authority - no police to speak of or military that one can see - strong family values keep people 'in line' via their morals and conscience.
With a population so large in a city with zero zoning laws - or respect for any laws or rules in general - one can only imagine what traffic is like. To truly experience it is pretty unfathomable from a US perspective - since I spend 3to 4 hours per day in it (traffic) I will start with describing this aspect of Delhi life.

We daily drive the 'inner loop' - this is a 4 lane road with a heavy median of stone and rubble down the center so that the 2 lanes of opposing traffic rarely can collide. These 2 'lanes' per side are treated as 5 - 7 lanes of actual traffic as the there is absolutely no respect for any lane division lines, nor for any traffic signals or lights. There exists no real 'police' that I have seen. It is the most insane traffic I have witnessed anywhere on the earth and I thought Bangkok was crazy. The aggressiveness of the drivers is unimaginable until you see it - only surpassed by their mellowness with collisions and lack of reaction to what would seem to us to be the most extreme driving rudeness - fortunately - with so many people - speeds never get much above 30 MPH - the fastest we have yet to go is 80 KPH (48 MPH) - and that is exceedingly dangerous as one cannot predict what will jump out in front at those speeds....there is just so much flesh everywhere. We have already been in 2 significant 'hits' - no one stop for wrecks - you simply drive on faster and do not look back. Wrecks that incapacitate vehicles do not generate too much of a jam as there is no rubbernecking - rather it just another opportunity to take advantage of an opening once past the wreck. The space allowed between vehicles - of which there is every type and variety - is literally inside of an inch constantly - it has to seen to be believed. The skill required to drive on the main drags is considerable to handle these close proximity high precision driving stunts - intersections are no different than the 'crazy 8' races - with cars shooting the gaps at 90 degrees to each other - often accerlating into the intersection rather than slowing - I suppose to reduce your time in the intersection that may be exposed to oncoming traffic. A horn is one of the most important pieces of standard equipment - taking the place of turn signals, brake lights, and more - in fact it is a courtesy to blow your horn when passing - not rudeness - hence everyone is blowing their horns all the time - pure cacophony on the roads.

There are many scammers, and pickpockets, etc...I was 'victimized' by a scam I had to see as I was 'scammed' by a shoe repair man (I think) as my shoes where cut with scalpel precision on the street - both of them cut a few inches across completely through the leather - although my foot was never touched or cut - I did not feel it - but as I passed the shoe repairman on the street he said 'Oh sir, look at your shoes' - and to my amazement my perfectly good shoes were now trash with my socks showing out the side of each - and I had only brought one pair with me - so I had no choice but to get the repair being offered and with little bargaining power - in the end it was only 4 bucks and included new shoelaces and a cleaning - and the sewing job was amazing to watch as he resewed my cut up shoes by hand - very quickly - with great skill. Never-the-less - the bast&rd shouldn't have cut my shoes - probably a small kid did it - one in cahoots with the repairman.

That said - there is also much good - the hotel is one of the most plush I have ever stayed in. The service is incredible everywhere. The food is great - the worst food I've had here -is better than best Indian food I have had in the States - I will be gaining not losing pounds (as expected) before my return for our own fattening holidays. The women are exotic and beautiful - at least to me from the 'other side of the fence'.

A visit to the Taj Mahal on Sunday convinced me that it does deserve to be called a "wonder of the world" - that is a letter in it's own.

Time is short - so I will wend this so that it doesn't sit as a draft for another 2-3 days

Take Care
Still Alive

Monday, November 07, 2005

Rescue Rangers Headquarters

We went and surveyed the new RR HQ in Spring Branch. As well, we had a training event at Flat Creek Crossing, to prepare for Flipside next year.
About 100 people showed up and the campground is HUGE and nice, a well as a little dangerous. there are some cliffs, steep trails, and mountin biking out the wazoo.

The Ranger HQ 1335 Covered Wagon is in Rebecca Creek and we will have to do some Juniper clearing in the center of the lot, and maybe bring in some dirt for gardens and driveway. Across the street is an empty lot, with septic and water. That would be a good on to pick up for a trailer, and keep the HQ site for vehicles. On the way in to the subdivision, there is an empty metal building, that would be perfect for a shop and storehouse.

I 'll have to get the name on the sign the next time I am there, and see what it runs.

The drive is about even from Austin to San Antonio, so we should get some participation at the campouts.

The idea is to schedule a Ranger work weekend in December.