Experiencing Spiritual Flatlining?


Author: Soren Dreier

I have been approached by many who write about the same issue.

They feel like they are spiritually stuck and are making no spiritual progress. I addressed this issue in the post: Change, due to the shift of frequencies that occurred during the solstice. We know that 2017 is, and will continue to be, a year of great change. We can read it in the collective by the election of Trump, and we can read it in the political landscape of Europa. Nothing – Nothing will be the same as now, come Solstice 2017.

I also previously wrote about ambition – spiritual ambition.
Nothing wrong with ambition, the problem is being overambitious, especially in the context of spirituality. It is very understandable that we want to get to where we have a vision about being, but that final touchdown will never manifest. There will be and there are a multitude of mundane or spiritual touchdowns, and we might rest there a bit on our voyage and harvest the fruits of our journey, but one thing we know is that: This Universe is ever creative, in movement, never in the Status Quo, it does not have a start and an ending. It’s a never-ending creative manifestation and we are part of that.

We never run out of spiritual fuel, let me explain.

We miss a great point, we leave a lot out, if we think that spiritual progress or growth only takes place in the spiritual. As a matter of fact, it does: It only takes place in the spiritual, so what are we missing when we talk about our spiritual life?

We are clearly missing out on the fact of being incarnate. We are clearly suffering from belief that the Matrix of Spiritual is all a matter of spiritual practices like meditation, ESP, Yoga and what have we. Worst of all, we are suffering from the illusion of Earthly life, practical life, Karma Yoga, learning by doing and the list is long. If we think that spirituality doesn’t tie in with the practical life each of us is living, we will get stranded and miserable and feel there is no progress.

That is a crucial turning point.

Also, the reason why the historical Jesus only took ‘40 days in the desert’. He needed to detach, meditate, push the envelope before once again returning to his Dharma. His life calling. His mundane and celestial destiny. Ever think of the deeper meaning of being born into this world with this task as a Carpenter? A very practical skill. Hint, hint.

Jesus mentioned here, since the practice of working spiritually with oneself and then returning to the mundane life: in order to embed the insights into that life in the Mundane, to heighten its frequencies and to improve whatever we need to improve is of utmost importance.

It is very similar to this tale from the Tao:

In the tiny village, there lived a Sage, a Mystic, a Seer.
The villagers were very curious to know how it was to be so enlightened. So, they asked the Sage: What is it like to be that spiritual, that knowing, that enlightened. The Sage answered: Before I got enlightened, as you call it, I chopped wood and carried water. After I got enlightened, as you call it (an enlightened being would never refer to himself as enlightened or even awake), I carry water and chop wood, but now I know why I´m doing it.

The key to this answer lies in the understanding of, allow me to call it: Heaven and Earth.

If we are into spiritual self-empowerment, we prefer the Heavens. And that is alright since the picture of the 40 days in the desert applies to that. It all goes on in the spiritual realm in us; some would say the higher chakras. Hopefully we take those insights into our Earthly life and manifest them into that. It is often called: Manifesting Heaven on Earth.

So far so good.

But it is a contradiction in terms to even divide it into: Heaven and Earth. It’s dualism and what we want is Unity within ourselves. A strong coherence between the highest (heaven) and lowest (earth), until we can dissolve that division and see it as: One.

One and the same thing…





The Internet and Your Brain are More Alike Than You Think

Salk scientist finds similar rule governing traffic flow in engineered and biological systems. (Credit: Salk Institute)

by Salk Institute

Although we spend a lot of our time online nowadays–streaming music and video, checking email and social media, or obsessively reading the news–few of us know about the mathematical algorithms that manage how our content is delivered. But deciding how to route information fairly and efficiently through a distributed system with no central authority was a priority for the Internet’s founders. Now, a Salk Institute discovery shows that an algorithm used for the Internet is also at work in the human brain, an insight that improves our understanding of engineered and neural networks and potentially even learning disabilities.

“The founders of the Internet spent a lot of time considering how to make information flow efficiently,” says Salk Assistant Professor Saket Navlakha, coauthor of the new study that appears online in Neural Computation on February 9, 2017. “Finding that an engineered system and an evolved biological one arise at a similar solution to a problem is really interesting.”

In the engineered system, the solution involves controlling information flow such that routes are neither clogged nor underutilized by checking how congested the Internet is. To accomplish this, the Internet employs an algorithm called “additive increase, multiplicative decrease” (AIMD) in which your computer sends a packet of data and then listens for an acknowledgement from the receiver: If the packet is promptly acknowledged, the network is not overloaded and your data can be transmitted through the network at a higher rate. With each successive successful packet, your computer knows it’s safe to increase its speed by one unit, which is the additive increase part. But if an acknowledgement is delayed or lost your computer knows that there is congestion and slows down by a large amount, such as by half, which is the multiplicative decrease part. In this way, users gradually find their “sweet spot,” and congestion is avoided because users take their foot off the gas, so to speak, as soon as they notice a slowdown. As computers throughout the network utilize this strategy, the whole system can continuously adjust to changing conditions, maximizing overall efficiency.

Navlakha, who develops algorithms to understand complex biological networks, wondered if the brain, with its billions of distributed neurons, was managing information similarly. So, he and coauthor Jonathan Suen, a postdoctoral scholar at Duke University, set out to mathematically model neural activity.

Because AIMD is one of a number of flow-control algorithms, the duo decided to model six others as well. In addition, they analyzed which model best matched physiological data on neural activity from 20 experimental studies. In their models, AIMD turned out to be the most efficient at keeping the flow of information moving smoothly, adjusting traffic rates whenever paths got too congested. More interestingly, AIMD also turned out to best explain what was happening to neurons experimentally.

It turns out the neuronal equivalent of additive increase is called long-term potentiation. It occurs when one neuron fires closely after another, which strengthens their synaptic connection and makes it slightly more likely the first will trigger the second in the future. The neuronal equivalent of multiplicative decrease occurs when the firing of two neurons is reversed (second before first), which weakens their connection, making the first much less likely to trigger the second in the future. This is called long-term depression. As synapses throughout the network weaken or strengthen according to this rule, the whole system adapts and learns.

“While the brain and the Internet clearly operate using very different mechanisms, both use simple local rules that give rise to global stability,” says Suen. “I was initially surprised that biological neural networks utilized the same algorithms as their engineered counterparts, but, as we learned, the requirements for efficiency, robustness, and simplicity are common to both living organisms and the networks we have built.”

Understanding how the system works under normal conditions could help neuroscientists better understand what happens when these results are disrupted, for example, in learning disabilities. “Variations of the AIMD algorithm are used in basically every large-scale distributed communication network,” says Navlakha. “Discovering that the brain uses a similar algorithm may not be just a coincidence.”





WATCH: Even Crash Test Dummies Are Now Obese

By NY Post

Since they were invented, crash test dummies have only represented one body type. Recently, however, new models have been introduced that represent body types with higher percentages of body fat to get more accurate test results for a heavier population.

This video originally appeared in the New York Post. 




The Inanimate Objects That Have Broken Our Hearts

From a pair of boobs to a magazine, not all heartbreakers are humans

John McDermott: I will never love any home (not even my childhood home) as fondly as the first apartment I ever rented. Ever watch a TV show or movie about a gaggle of 20-somethings, and remark on how ridiculously extravagant their apartments are considering they’re all making $35,000 a year? This was the real-world equivalent. The place was enormous — a 1,600-square foot, three-bedroom duplex in Chicago’s tony Lincoln Park neighborhood, renting for a criminally low $2,400 per month. (That was for all three of us, not per person.) The pieces of hand-me-down furniture we cobbled together somehow matched and fit the apartment perfectly, to the point that a female guest once accused us of using an interior decorator. It had exposed brick, high ceilings and two skylights, one of which was in the main bathroom, which made for the most delightful showering experience I’ve ever had. (I almost fell through it one night trying to impress a girl on the roof.) We bought a handmade bar off a guy whose wife made him sell it (classic) and outfitted it with a kegerator so we always had beer on tap. We put a dart board against the exposed brick wall, and had floor-standing speakers so powerful they could be heard around the block (literally) when we cranked them to 11 (which was often). Naturally, we threw parties all the time, much to our neighbors’ chagrin.

I didn’t even get to enjoy that party palace for a full year, as I abruptly moved to New York before my lease was up. I remember thinking when I moved out, I’m never going to live in a place this nice again. The apartment was objectively great, but much of my love for it was not the place itself but how unencumbered I was when I lived there. My second thought before leaving: my life is never going to be this carefree again. Both have proven true.

Josh Schollmeyer: Recently, my wife caught me staring at myself in the mirror. She thought it was out of vanity. In her defense, I have been known to flash my own personal Blue Steel in most everything that provides my reflection — windows, screens, and of course, mirrors. But in this case, she was wrong. It was actually the exact opposite. Two thin strands of blond hair hung from the stubble on my chin, and I was attempting to remove them before anyone else saw them — me most of all.

They were from my head, a fact that has ruined the last several years of my life. Or at least, the last two, which is when I could first admit to myself that my gorgeous blond locks were indeed falling from my scalp and onto my chin, computer, towels and pretty much everywhere else I went (a trail of tears with them). There were probably another good two years of denial: My stylist cut my hair too short on top. My nephew was a misguided toddler when he said that my scalp felt like Grandpa’s. (My dad is bald.) The glare of the sun too powerful in photos and therefore capable of cutting through even the thickest mane, which no doubt whatsoever, mine was. THE SUN WAS JUST TOO GODDAMN STRONG.

Acceptance might be healthier, but it’s still a daily hellscape. I could give a fuck about getting older; my hair, however, was my thing. It was the physical attribute I loved most about myself, and the differentiator in what was otherwise a sea of regularness. Case in point: The woman who cut my hair for the better part of a decade would tell me every time I sat before her, without fail or prompting, that people paid her good money to reasonably approximate my hair color for them. Now, it’s gone. But in the most painful way possible — at the back of my head, meaning I only notice it in pictures (which, if I can, I never allow from certain angles) and when those stray strands dangle from my clothes or face. And that’s just fucking cruel — often out of sight, but never out of mind…