Category: Philosophy


Resultado de imagem para Intelligent assumptions? At the Oxford Union, 1950.

Intelligent assumptions? At the Oxford Union, 1950. From the Picture Post feature, Eternal Oxford. Photo by John Chillingworth/Getty

Intelligence has always been used as fig-leaf to justify domination and destruction. No wonder we fear super-smart robots

Stephen Cave is executive director and senior research fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. A philosopher by training, he has also served as a British diplomat, and written widely on philosophical and scientific subjects, including for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Guardian and others.

As I was growing up in England in the latter half of the 20th century, the concept of intelligence loomed large. It was aspired to, debated and – most important of all – measured. At the age of 11, tens of thousands of us all around the country were ushered into desk-lined halls to take an IQ test known as the 11-Plus. The results of those few short hours would determine who would go to grammar school, to be prepared for university and the professions; who was destined for technical school and thence skilled work; and who would head to secondary modern school, to be drilled in the basics then sent out to a life of low-status manual labour.

The idea that intelligence could be quantified, like blood pressure or shoe size, was barely a century old when I took the test that would decide my place in the world. But the notion that intelligence could determine one’s station in life was already much older. It runs like a red thread through Western thought, from the philosophy of Plato to the policies of UK prime minister Theresa May. To say that someone is or is not intelligent has never been merely a comment on their mental faculties. It is always also a judgment on what they are permitted to do. Intelligence, in other words, is political.

Sometimes, this sort of ranking is sensible: we want doctors, engineers and rulers who are not stupid. But it has a dark side. As well as determining what a person can do, their intelligence – or putative lack of it – has been used to decide what others can do to them. Throughout Western history, those deemed less intelligent have, as a consequence of that judgment, been colonised, enslaved, sterilised and murdered (and indeed eaten, if we include non-human animals in our reckoning).

It’s an old, indeed an ancient, story. But the problem has taken an interesting 21st-century twist with the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In recent years, the progress being made in AI research has picked up significantly, and many experts believe that these breakthroughs will soon lead to more. Pundits are by turn terrified and excited, sprinkling their Twitter feeds with Terminator references. To understand why we care and what we fear, we must understand intelligence as a political concept – and, in particular, its long history as a rationale for domination.

The term ‘intelligence’ itself has never been popular with English-language philosophers. Nor does it have a direct translation into German or ancient Greek, two of the other great languages in the Western philosophical tradition. But that doesn’t mean philosophers weren’t interested in it. Indeed, they were obsessed with it, or more precisely a part of it: reason or rationality. The term ‘intelligence’ managed to eclipse its more old-fashioned relative in popular and political discourse only with the rise of the relatively new-fangled discipline of psychology, which claimed intelligence for itself. Although today many scholars advocate a much broader understanding of intelligence, reason remains a core part of it. So when I talk about the role that intelligence has played historically, I mean to include this forebear.

The story of intelligence begins with Plato. In all his writings, he ascribes a very high value to thinking, declaring (through the mouth of Socrates) that the unexamined life is not worth living. Plato emerged from a world steeped in myth and mysticism to claim something new: that the truth about reality could be established through reason, or what we might consider today to be the application of intelligence. This led him to conclude, in The Republic, that the ideal ruler is ‘the philosopher king’, as only a philosopher can work out the proper order of things. And so he launched the idea that the cleverest should rule over the rest – an intellectual meritocracy.

This idea was revolutionary at the time. Athens had already experimented with democracy, the rule of the people – but to count as one of those ‘people’ you just had to be a male citizen, not necessarily intelligent. Elsewhere, the governing classes were made up of inherited elites (aristocracy), or by those who believed they had received divine instruction (theocracy), or simply by the strongest (tyranny)…

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https://aeon.co/essays/on-the-dark-history-of-intelligence-as-domination

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Illustration by Maurice Sendak from Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss

“People who for some reason find it impossible to think about themselves, and so really be themselves, try to make up for not thinking with doing.”

In 1926, having just divorced her first husband at the age of twenty-five, the American poet, critic, essayist, and short story writer Laura Riding (January 16, 1901–September 2, 1991) moved to England and founded, together with her friend the poet Robert Graves, a small independent press. Like Anaïs Nin’s publishing venture, all of their early publications — which included work by Gertrude Stein — were typeset and printed by hand.

In 1930, Riding and Graves moved their offices to Majorca. That year, 29-year-old Riding wrote a series of letters to 8-year-old Catherine — the daughter of Graves and the artist Nancy Nicholson. Originally published by a Parisian press in a limited edition of 200 copies each signed by the author, Four Unposted Letters to Catherine(public library) endures as a small, miraculous book, reminiscent in spirit of Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and in style and substance of the Zen teachings of Seung Sahn or Thich Hhat Hanh. With great simplicity and unpretentious sincerity, both comprehensible and enchanting as much to this particular little girl as to any child or even any wakeful grownup at all, Riding addresses some of the most elemental questions of existence — how to live a life of creativity and integrity, why praise and prestige are corrosive objects of success, and above all what it means to be oneself.

Riding eventually returned to America in 1939, remarried and became Laura (Riding) Jackson, continued to write, and lived to be ninety — a long life animated by the conviction that language is “the essential moral meeting-ground.” When she reflected on these letters three decades after writing them, she remarked wistfully that she might no longer be inclined to write “such easy-speaking letters, treating with so much diffident good-humor the stupendous, incessantly-urgent matter of Virtue and the lack of it,” by which she meant “the eternal virtue of good Being, not the mortal virtue of good Custom.” And yet, mercifully, she did once write them, and they did survive, and today they continue to nourish souls of all ages with their unadorned wisdom and transcendent truthfulness.

In the first of the four letters, a meandering meditation on young Catherine’s remark that grownups sometimes seem to “know everything about everything,” Riding explores the nature of knowledge and its essential seedbed of self-knowledge. She writes:

A child should be allowed to take as long as she needs for knowing everything about herself, which is the same as learning to be herself. Even twenty-five years if necessary, or even forever. And it wouldn’t matter if doing things got delayed, because nothing is really important but being oneself.

Nearly a century after Kierkegaard extolled the virtues of idleness and two decades before the German philosopher Joseph Pieper argued that not-doing is the basis of culture, Riding urges young Catherine not to worry about being accused of laziness and considers the basic goodness of simply being oneself:

You seem to spend a lot of time dreaming about nothing at all. And yet you are, as the few people who really know you recognise, a perfect child… This is because when you seem to be dreaming about nothing at all you are not being lazy but thinking about yourself. One doesn’t say you are lazy or selfish. If a person is herself she can’t be a bad person in any way; she is always a good person in her own way. For instance, you are very affectionate, but that’s because you are a good person. You are not a good person just because you are affectionate. It wouldn’t matter if you weren’t affectionate, because you are a good person. You are yourself, and whatever you do is sure to be good.

In a passage that radiates a prescient admonition against the perils of our modern Parenting Industrial Complex, Riding adds:

It is very sad then that so many children are hurried along and not given time to think about themselves. People say to them when they think that they have been playing long enough: “You are no longer a child. You must begin to do something.” But although playing is doing nothing, you are really doing something when you play; you are thinking about yourself. Many children play in the wrong way. They make work out of play. They not only seem to be doing something, they really are doing something. They are imitating the grown-ups around them who are always doing as much instead of as little as possible. And they are often encouraged to play in this way by the grown-ups. And they are not learning to be themselves.

In an essential caveat that teases out the nuance of her point, Riding notes that rather than selfishness or narcissism, such thinking about oneself is the only way to conceive of one’s place within a larger world and therefore to think of the world itself. In a sentiment that calls to mind Diane Ackerman’s wonderful notion of “the plain everythingness of everything, in cahoots with the everythingness of everything else,”Riding offers an almost Buddhist perspective:…

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https://www.brainpickings.org/

 

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by Jeff Street, Contributor, Waking Times

Understanding the origin, purpose, and true nature of the earthly reality that you are experiencing can be instrumental to transcending your current level of consciousness and moving up to the next level of the game. For some, especially the unawakened, this information might be a bit overwhelming or hard to believe but it could prove to be very important to the future course of your life both, during this one and the next.

Within the Construct

As with all realities created within the One great cosmic mind, and there are multitudes, our earthly reality is simply a mental construct. There are many individual parts/aspects of the One who have chosen to put their focal point of awareness within this construct — to dive into, and play the Earth game. And they all chose to do this for the same fundamental reason — because it provides extremely interesting and formative experiences that drive the evolution of consciousness. And this is the point of all realities because the foundational stuff of existence IS CONSCIOUSNESS.

YOU are one of these aspects of the One that is playing the Earth game right NOW. Whether you know it or not, your true essence IS, and ALWAYS has been, a thread of the universal consciousness. And you, and the higher levels of you, on behalf of the One, have been exploring the nature of yourself and existence by creating a multitude of realities and playing a multitude of roles (lives) within those realities.

The Separation Game

In most of the multitude of realities that we created and played within we knew, to varying degrees, what we were — creator beings that are integral parts of the One creator being — Source consciousness, prime creator, God, or whatever else you like to call it.

But within this great diversity of realities, there were none in which we completely forgot what we were — and this possibility intrigued us immensely. What would that be like? And what could it teach us? It certainly seemed like it might be very interesting, to say the least.

So in our eternal quest to know ourselves “we” (e.g., higher levels of ourselves) set out to create this new type of reality — one where we would completely lose our connection to our divine source, forget that we are creators of our reality, and forget that we are all one. A reality where we would think we were separate from the creator and each other — a reality that could aptly be called “The Separation Game.”

Our entire Universe is a manifestation of the separation game. It’s like a huge multi-stage set where the separation game is playing out on many worlds and at many levels. It’s an immensely fascinating multi-level game that I will be exploring further in future articles, follow the blog to stay tuned. One of the worlds where the separation game is in full swing is our very own planet Earth.

Even though the separation game isn’t limited to Earth, I’m focusing on its manifestation on Earth for two reasons; (1) For the obvious reason that everyone reading this article is currently immersed in this game right here on Earth — I doubt many ET’s are following my blog, and (2) The state of the game on Earth is fast approaching a great transition point which should be of great interest to all the participants — it certainly is to a wide array of non-physical beings as well as ET’s that are observing and even assisting.

Players Within the Game

Some of you may object to my characterization of our earthly reality and lives as “a game.” And that’s because you have forgotten the real you, and become deeply immersed in the illusory drama.

The term “game” is actually quite appropriate — just as both kids and adults choose to play games for fun, entertainment, and to learn so do our souls choose to play within the earthly reality construct.

In fact, our experience of the earthly reality works in a way very similar to how our computer games work. In a computer game, you are the player and your consciousness controls an avatar within the game world. You perceive, experience, act and react within the game world as your avatar — the character you are playing. But because you can’t completely forget that the “real you” is outside the game, you never get completely lost in the game and think that it is “real” — you know that it’s an illusion.

In a very similar way, your soul is the consciousness that is directing your avatar (your body) within the earth game world. The big difference is the earth game was designed is such a way that we would forget that we are souls playing within an illusory world. And so we get deeply lost within it and begin to believe that it is “real” and that there is nothing else. And our souls willingly CHOOSE to play the earth game just as people willingly choose to play computer games.

Designing and Creating the Separation Game

It was not at all obvious how to create a reality where we would feel completely separate from our source and each other and forget we are creators. We experimented with many designs before hitting on something that worked. The key elements that allowed the objective to be achieved were the “veil of forgetting”, the role of “the adversary”, our limited physical senses that perceived the world as discreet and separate objects, the substantial delay between our thoughts and their manifestation into reality, and the very strong contrast between the polarities present…

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About the Author

Jeff Street awakened about a year and a half ago, after having been an atheist/agnostic scientist type with absolutely no spiritual beliefs for most of his life. After many ‘magical’ new experiences, he is now passionate about learning and sharing his insights about spirituality and metaphysics on his blog www.divine-cosmos.net. You can also follow Jeff on Facebook via

This article (The Origin, Purpose, and Destiny of the Earth Game) was originally at Divine Cosmos and is posted here with permission.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/19/origin-purpose-destiny-earth-game/

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Resultado de imagem para Aerial view of Masada showing the Roman ramp.

image edited by Web Investigator – Aerial view of Masada showing the Roman ramp.

Have archaeologists proven the ancient tale of mass suicide in the Judaean desert or twisted science for political end?

by Eric H Cline is professor of classics and anthropology and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University. He has more than 30 seasons of excavation experience. His forthcoming book is called Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology (2017). 

In 73 or 74 CE, 960 Jewish zealots – men, women and children – committed suicide on top of the mountain of Masada by the Dead Sea in Israel rather than be captured by the Romans. The story, told by the Roman historian Josephus, is one of the most famous from antiquity. But did it actually happen? Yigael Yadin, the late Israeli archaeologist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who excavated the site in the mid-1960s, said that it did. Moreover, he also said that the objects found during his dig proved it. His subsequently published book, Masada: Herod’s Fortress and the Zealots’ Last Stand (1966), was a bestseller.

It was no secret that Yadin’s excavations at sites in Israel, such as at Hazor in the 1950s and at Masada in the 1960s, were in part under­taken in the hope of reinforcing Jewish claims to the land by linking them to biblical stories and other famous events. Some have long charged Yadin with a political agenda detached from the truth – and cast a shadow over his interpretations of the finds at Masada and elsewhere in the Levant. In 1995 and 2002, Nachman Ben-Yehuda, a sociologist also at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, published his own interpretation of the finds from Masada in two separate books – The Masada Myth and Sacrificing Truth. He con­cluded that Yadin had been incorrect in many of his interpretations, perhaps deliberately so, in the interest of creating a nationalist narrative to help the young state of Israel forge an identity for itself.

Subsequently, Amnon Ben-Tor, who is now the Yigael Yadin Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and who had excavated with Yadin at Masada, published a spirited defence of Yadin and his findings, titled Back to Masada (2009). In this book, Ben-Tor went through the archaeology again, dismissing each of Ben-Yehuda’s points and basically confirming Yadin’s point of view.

Yet the dispute goes on. The story of Masada is more than just a story of the archae­ological excavations. It is an example of how archaeologists use histori­cal information to supplement what they find during their excavations and to flesh out the bare details provided by the archaeological discov­eries. Yadin made particular use of the writings of Flavius Josephus – the Jewish general turned Roman historian who wrote two books about the Jews in the first century CE and who is the primary source for what might have taken place on top of Masada nearly 2,000 years ago. And Masada shows how the relationship between archaeology and the historical record cuts both ways; since we cannot be certain that Josephus’s discussions are 100 per cent accurate, we can use archaeology to corroborate – or to challenge – the ancient text.

Masada also serves as a cautionary tale about using (or misusing) archaeological evi­dence to support a nationalistic agenda, as some scholars have suggested Yadin did. The debate over Masada involves the trustworthiness of Josephus’s account; the credibility of Yadin, perhaps the most famous of all Israeli archaeolo­gists; and the influence of nationalism on the interpretation of archaeo­logical discoveries. Whom do we believe? How should we view this seemingly tragic, heart-wrenching ancient site and event? And can we ever tap evidence from thousands of years in the past to establish the origins, legal claims and birthright of peoples today?

Masada is a tall mountain with a flat plateau on top, longer than it is wide, rising high above the surrounding dry and arid desert. It has been a tourist attraction ever since Yadin’s excavations in the mid-1960s. Hun­dreds of tourists per day now roam around the ruins on top of the mountain – half a million visit every year. It is the second most popular tourist site in Israel, after Jerusalem, and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.

It lies at the southern end of the Dead Sea, far to the south of Qum­ran and most of the caves in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The top is accessible on foot only via a narrow winding track known as the Snake Path, which leads 400 metres (1,300 feet) up the front face of the massif and the Roman siege ramp still in place on the western side. It gets so hot here that rules have been put in place instructing tourists that they may begin the climb only if it is before 9:30 in the morning. After that, there’s too much chance of getting dehy­drated during the ascent. Those who begin climbing before dawn are rewarded by one of the most spectacular sunrises they will ever see, but most tourists opt to ride up in the cable cars that have been installed, gliding above the Snake Path and waving to those below…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/decoding-the-ancient-tale-of-mass-suicide-in-the-judaean-desert

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Art by Alice and Martin Provensen from a vintage pop-up children’s book about Leonardo da Vinci

“In all of nature there is nothing so threatening to humanity as humanity itself.”

Perhaps the greatest hubris of historical hindsight is knowing that everything we call progress has been made by systematic trial and error, yet tending to dismiss — even scoff at — the errors as embarrassments to the process of progress rather than essential parts of it. Take, for instance, Joseph Weber, whose spectacle of failed experiments made him the most derided scientist of his time yet paved the way for the detection of gravitational waves — one of the most monumental discoveries in the whole of modern science, as full of potential for revolutionary knowledge as the invention of the telescope. We rarely know which missteps will become stepping stones in the advancement of knowledge, for the pursuit of truth requires a certain discipline of deferring judgment for periods longer than our appetite for instant answers allows.

That’s what the great physician, etymologist, poet, and essayist Lewis Thomas (November 25, 1913–December 3, 1993) explores throughout his timelessly rewarding 1983 essay collection Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony(public library).

Although Lewis was educated at Harvard and Princeton, served on the President’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and presided over the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, he wrote humbly and poetically from the self-described position of “a citizen and a sometime scientist.” In one of the essays, titled “Alchemy,” he starts someplace unlikely and leads us someplace monumental:

Alchemy began long ago as an expression of the deepest and oldest of human wishes: to discover that the world makes sense. The working assumption — the everything on earth must be made up from a single, primal sort of matter — led to centuries of hard work aimed at isolating the original stuff and rearranging it to the alchemists’ liking. If it could be found, nothing would lie beyond human grasp. The transmutation of base metals to gold was only a modest part of the prospect. If you knew about the fundamental substance, you could do much more than make simple money: you could boil up a cure-all for every disease affecting humankind, you could rid the world of evil, and, while doing this, you could make a universal solvent capable of dissolving anything you might want to dissolve.

With an eye to our haughty hunger for deriding yesteryear’s errors, Lewis reminds us that every error inches us closer to the truth, but not all errors are created equal — those undergirded by a great deal of scholarship and earnest scientific effort are more likely to yield byproducts that can eventually be transmuted into some proto-truth. Noting that the alchemists were serious professionals in their time, who honed their skills through “long periods of apprenticeship and a great deal of late-night study,” he writes:

We tend to look back at them from today’s pinnacle of science as figures of fun, eccentric solitary men wearing comical conical hats, engaged in meaningless explorations down one blind alley after another. It was not necessarily so: the work they were doing was hard and frustrating, but it was the start-up of experimental chemistry and physics… They never succeeded in making gold from base metals, nor did they find a universal elixir in their plant extracts; they certainly didn’t rid the world of evil. What they did accomplish, however, was no small thing: they got the work going… As time went on and the work progressed, error after error, new and accurate things began to turn up. Hard facts were learned about the behavior of metals and their alloys, the mathematics of thermodynamics were worked out, and, with just a few jumps through the centuries, the helical molecule of DNA was revealed in all its mystery.

[…]

[Now] alchemy exists only as a museum piece, an intellectual fossil, so antique that we no longer need be embarrassed by the memory, but the memory is there. Science began by fumbling. It works because the people involved in it work, and work together. They become excited and exasperated, they exchange their bits of information at a full shout, and, the most wonderful thing of all, they keep at one another…

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https://www.brainpickings.org/

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Fitzgerald_art-BR

ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID PLUNKERT

Big data meets history to forecast the rise and fall of religion.

In the United States, the nones have it. The nones being people with no organized religion and increasingly no belief in God or a universal spiritual power. They have the momentum, attention, and an expectation that in the future they will become a majority of the population, just as they currently are in western Europe, Japan, and China.

Or so says the Pew Research Religious Landscape Study, which in 2015 found that almost a quarter of Americans profess no religious affiliation. Within that group, a third do not believe in God or a higher power of any sort (“nothing in particular,” as the study termed it). Both numbers are up from a similar study in 2007, when 16 percent of the country professed no religious affiliation, and 22 percent of these did not believe in God. Driving the growth are Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000. As they come of age, 70 percent of them say they do not believe in a higher power.

Pew expects the percent of religious Americans will continue to fall. It suggests older generations will die off and take their belief with them. Outside the U.S., a WIN/Gallup International poll found that more than half of Vietnamese, Koreans, and French people say they are atheists or not affiliated with a religion. For the Japanese and Germans, it’s more than 60 percent, and for the Dutch and British, two-thirds. Certainly, belief in nothing has market momentum.

The rise of the nones presents a compelling backdrop to the Modeling Religion Project, led by Boston University philosopher and theologian Wesley Wildman, and his counterpart at Norway’s University of Agder, LeRon Shults. The project, begun in 2015, is unique in the breadth of its effort to simulate religious trends. It’s based on computer models that incorporate anthropological, archeological, psychological, and modern demographic data related to religion. Its goal is to draw conclusions about how and why religions have formed through history, what impact they have on individual and group behavior, and how they might develop in the future. Given the ascent of non-believers in the recent past, what might the Modern Religion Project say about the future of atheism? Will we one day live in a world of nones?

The Modeling Religion Project got its start when Wildman started asking whether he could replicate proto-civilizations to see for himself why religion seems to emerge. Theories have abounded for ages. Plato’s philosopher-kings saw religion as a political tool, as did the proletarian Karl Marx. Max Weber thought Protestantism was better for economic growth than Catholicism. Sociologist Rodney Stark has theorized Christian practices such as a willingness to care for the sick are what caused Christianity to outstrip the Roman pantheon. Evolutionary biologists debate whether religion is adaptive, a useful evolutionary tool, or a byproduct of our over-large brains. Stephen Jay Gould dubbed byproducts that become useful “spandrels,” after the curved spaces on arch supports that don’t have a structural purpose but are often given beautiful decorations. Religion was a spandrel of consciousness, he argued—consciousness being essential for survival, but also leading to an awareness of mortality, then succor through religion, not essential to survival.

Certainly, belief in nothing has market momentum.

In 2012, Wildman and Shults were at a conference of the Çatalhöyük Research Project in Çatalhöyük, Turkey, the biggest Neolithic archaeological site yet found, and a source of intense interest for what it tells us about early human culture, including religion. They sat around their hotel for a week arguing about what things they’d need to include for a model that could test the role religion played in Çatalhöyük’s development. They debated whether models could test various theories about religion. Shults says the two wanted to see what it would take for a group of humans in early hunter-gatherer groups to become townspeople. Research in cognitive psychology over the last decade had marked different aspects of human interaction on moral, social, and ritual biases. They thought there was now the chance to model a system and see how social cohesion emerged.

Wildman knew he could develop crude models, but he wanted to get access to better computers than exist in the Boston University School of Theology (where all the good PCs have gone to heaven). He and Shults connected with the Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center, or VMASC, at Old Dominion University. It typically works on models for use in maritime research and alternative energy, fields with complex interactions…

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http://nautil.us/issue/45/power/atheism-the-computer-model

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by Makia Freeman, Contributor Waking Times

Reincarnation is frequently rejected as impossible by those who worship at the altar of rational materialism and mainstream science. Yet, for those with an open mind who realize that logic and reason cannot possibly grasp and account for all the phenomena existing in the Universe, it is amusing to see how perplexed those with “scientific minds” are when presented with information which is beyond rational explanation. Beliefs in reincarnation have been around a long time; reincarnation is still widely regarded as real in Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism, and even the Catholic Church held reincarnation as true before the 4th century AD (when its doctrines become standardized at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD).

Evidence of Reincarnation

Reincarnation researchers such as Dr. Ian Stevenson (3000 cases) and Carol Bowman (1000 cases) have collected impressive (at the very least) evidence of reincarnation, if not outright proof of reincarnation by compiling thousands of cases of children who have demonstrated accurate past life recall. The accounts are truly incredible. Many of them have similar themes, such as children being able to fluently speak other languages (which they never learnt in this life) and describing how they died in graphic detail (e.g. being injured or shot in a certain part of the body, and then synchronistically having an ailment in that exact part of their body in this life). In some cases their stories can be proven in black-and-white: some children even remember the military colleagues they served with, whose names match those on veterans’ lists.

Below is a selection of 3 cases of modern-day reincarnation, out of literally thousands that have been recorded, documented and compiled.

Reincarnation Case #1: Cameron Macauley

Cameron Macauley: the boy who apparently found a portal and got born again through the womb of another mother

The weird thing was that Norma had never been to Barra. Cameron’s desire to visit Barra and to see his former mother grew more and more persistent. One day he even told Norma that he wanted his “Barra mum (mother)”, and not her, to pick him up from kindergarten or school. Eventually the family went to Barra and found the white house just as Cameron had described.Cameron Macauley’s case is quite startling. Cameron was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to his mother Norma. Ever since he was 2 years old and first started talking, Cameron told his parents, relatives, friends and neighbors – anyone who would listen – the story of his other life in Barra (a tiny island in the northwest of Scotland). At first his mother just thought he was making it all up, but as Cameron got older, the story didn’t change – and he was able to fill it in with more detail. He talked about living in a white house with 3 toilets, seeing airplanes fly out his window and having a mother with long brown hair. Cameron even described the way his father died while crossing the road: “He didn’t look both ways”.

Cameron’s case is impressive evidence for reincarnation and past-life recall. What makes the whole thing especially fascinating is that he actually described the way in which he left his old family and was born into his new one. It appears as if he found some kind of magic portal that transported him through space and time, out of one body and into the body of a fetus in his new mother’s womb:

“Norma: ‘How did you get here to me?’

Cameron: ‘I fell through, and went into your tummy’.”

Reincarnation Case #2: James Leininger

Reincarnation? James Leininger recalls the exact details of being James Huston (WW2 veteran) Credit: http://www.brianstalin.com.

Although just a toddler, James drew numerous pictures of planes being gunned down in flames, signing his name as “James 3.” When his parents asked why he was putting a “3” after his name, James replied that he was the “third James”.The story of James Leininger is no less amazing. At the age of 2, James started telling his parents stories of not being able to escape from something. He was having nightmares about it. His parents Andrea and Bruce Leininger tell the story in his book Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot. What made James’ parents take him more seriously was when James produced 3 pieces of information which could be verified – the name of the boat he flew his final mission from (Natoma), the name of another pilot he flew with (Jack Larson) and the name of the place where he died (Iwo Jima).

Bruce called a veterans’ organization to check James’ information and it checked out. They were able to verify everything he said. James went on to divulge various names of WWII fighter pilots and more. Eventually after years of research, Bruce and Andrea tracked down the family of James Huston, who was indeed killed in a plane crash while on a mission near Japan.

The question is: did the spirit of James Huston somehow jump into the body of newly born James Leininger, carrying with it all the memories and trauma it had just experienced?

Reincarnation Case #3: Shanti Devi

Shanti Devi as an adult.

This case happened in the 1930s. Shanti Devi was born in India in 1926, and like many of these cases, started speaking about a previous life in great and vivid detail at the age of 4. She kept going on about her previous husband (a man named Kedarnath), son (named Navneet) and house which she said was located in another state in a village called Mathura. CarolBowman.com explains:…

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About the Author
Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance
**Sources embedded throughout article.
This article (Definite Evidence, and Maybe even Proof, of Reincarnation) was originally created and published by The Freedom Articles and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/14/definite-evidence-maybe-even-proof-reincarnation/

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Resultado de imagem para Penelope Unraveling Her Work at Night (1886),

Penelope Unraveling Her Work at Night (1886), Dora Wheeler, on silk. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sylvia and Leonard Marx Gift 2002

Why would Odysseus dump a hot nymph? Or toyboys lust after his wife Penelope? Unveiling the erotic mysteries of the Odyssey

C D C Reeve is distinguished professor of philosophy at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has written and translated many book and edited many volumes, his latest being a translation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics (2016). He lives in Chapel Hill. 

The Trojan Wars ended in Troy’s defeat at the hands of the Greeks, many of whom returned to their homes. But the great Odysseus was not among them. He became marooned on the faraway island of Ogygia, enjoying – or tiring of – the favours of the beautiful nymph Calypso. Homer’s Odyssey, as we all know, is the story of Odysseus’ long journey away from Calypso and home to Ithaca, where his wife Penelope waits, courted in his absence by 117 princes young enough to be her sons.

There are two erotic mysteries at the heart of the Odyssey: the mystery of why Odysseus leaves Calypso, and the mystery of why the suitors are so hot for Penelope. These mysteries shall be deepened in a moment, but first I want to add two others that are equally perplexing, though not, perhaps, equally erotic. The first concerns the savage punishment – death – imposed on the suitors. What have they done to deserve it? In the poem, their behaviour is often likened to that of Aegisthus, who took Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra as his lover, and then murdered Agamemnon on his return from Troy. Yet, on the face of it, the suitors have done nothing nearly so bad. Then there is the mystery presented by the form of the Odyssey itself, with its odd mixture of realism (the suitors and Penelope) and magic (the unreality of the realms that Odysseus visits between the fall of Troy and his return home). The fantastic nature of these realms seems completely mismatched to the reality of what is taking place in Ithaca. In the end, these four diverse mysteries have the same solution.

Why, then, does Odysseus leave Calypso? Or, putting it the other way around, why doesn’t he stay? Maybe you think you know. But I believe the poem intends you to be puzzled. First off, Calypso is a nymph – she will always be a babe. Her breasts will never sag. Her bottom will always be firm. Her hair will be forever luxuriant and silky. She’ll always be fun in bed, and always, it seems, willing to go there. Moreover, she can make you immortal and give you eternal youth. No need for Rogaine, no need for Viagra, you’ll be young and vibrant and virile and hairy forever. Now why would you leave all that for a middle-aged woman and your own incipient old-age and death?

The question is a sharp one, surely, but it is sharpened further in the poem. For Menelaus, the leader of the Spartans, tells us – and it is supposed to be good news, at least for him – that, at the end of his life, he won’t have to go to be a shade in Hades. Instead, as a relative of Zeus, he will go off to the Elysian Fields. Sounds hunky-dory. The trouble is that the Elysian Fields are made to sound just like Calypso’s isle – indeed, they are also made to sound like the obviously threatening lands of the Lotus-eaters:

But about your destiny, Menelaus, dear to Zeus,
it’s not for you to die
and meet your fate in the stallion-land of Argos,
no, the deathless ones will sweep you off to the world’s end,
the Elysian Fields, where the gold-haired Rhadamanthys waits,
where life glides on in immortal ease for mortal man;
no snow, no winter onslaught, never a downpour there,
but night and day the Ocean River sends up breezes,
singing winds of the West refreshing all mankind.
All this because you are Helen’s husband now
the gods count you the son-in-law of Zeus.

If the Elysian Fields are so great, Odysseus should be ecstatic at having got there so soon. Instead, he spends all day weeping – though at night, to be sure, in the way that is normal for mortal men, he takes comfort in bed with Calypso. Sorrow and depression do not dampen the libido, evidently.

So that’s the first mystery. Odysseus is in Homeric paradise. Why, then, is he so miserable?

That mystery is a confounding one, but it is nothing compared with the second. Penelope is a middle-aged woman of around 40 – not old, certainly not in our terms, but not nubile either. Past childbearing, or soon to be past it, she is not a babe. Yet more than 100 princes (117 by my count), young enough to be her sons, have been paying court to her for three years, camped out in her palace, eating and drinking, while she and they grow older. Think about that, you 18- to 24-year-old men. Think about the mother of one of your friends. Imagine that, of all the women in the world, she’s the one you want for a wife – not just for an educational Mrs Robinson-style roll in the hay, but for a wife. Now think about that in a world in which children – especially, sons – are even more important than they are in our own culture.

When Achilles among the dead hears that his son, Neoptolemus, has become a great warrior, he is temporarily reconciled even to the death he finds worse than being a slave – his steps are light as he leaves Odysseus who has brought him the news:

off he went, the ghost of the great runner, Aeacus’ grandson
loping with long strides across the fields of asphodel,
triumphant in all I had told him of his son,
his gallant glorious son.

In marrying Penelope, then, you are almost certainly depriving yourself of children, of gallant glorious sons. What could possibly compensate for that? Furthermore, why do no suitors at all show up for 17 years, and why, when they do, are they all so young? Why doesn’t anyone of Penelope’s own generation find her attractive?…

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https://aeon.co/essays/unveiling-the-erotic-mysteries-at-the-heart-of-homers-odyssey

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https://www.theatlantic.com/video/iframe/515661/?auto=1&player=default

Video by The Atlantic

While many dream of an afterlife, people with apeirophobia are terrified of eternal existence. Where does this fear come from? “I suspect that, in apeirophobia, one comes to the realization that after death you will live forever—if you believe in the afterlife—and in simulating that experience in your mind, one realizes that there is no way to project ahead to forever,” says Martin Wiener, a neuroscience professor at George Mason University. “That experience is, inherently, anxiety-provoking.” In this animation that explores apeirophobia, people who struggle to grasp infinity confess their uncertainty about what happens after death.

Authors: Caitlin Cadieux, Daniel Lombroso

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/515661/apeirophobia-fear-of-everlasting-life/

 

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Friendvy

Brett Ryder/Heart Agency

Coming to terms with how we really feel about our friends’ good fortune

By Joan Duncan Oliver
 
At the gym, I idly thumb through a back issue of the Harvard Business Review. A headline, “Envy at Work,” catches my eye. I glance at paragraph one:

As you enter your recently promoted colleague’s office, you notice a photograph of his beautiful family in their new vacation home. He casually adjusts his custom suit and mentions his upcoming board meeting and speech in Davos. On one hand, you want to feel genuinely happy for him and celebrate his successes. On the other, you hope he falls into a crevasse in the Alps. Hello. You’re playing my song. Alas, I’ve been there more than once, my good Buddhist training battling—unsuccessfully—my envious heart.

Hello. You’re playing my song. Alas, I’ve been there more than once, my good Buddhist training battling—unsuccessfully—my envious heart.

And I’m not alone, right? Envy is “universal,” assert the authors of the HBR article, psychologist Tanya Menon and Leigh Thompson, a management professor. And psychologists, anthropologists, and philosophers for the most part agree: envy is a standard-issue human emotion, albeit the one we are least likely to admit to, even to ourselves.

With that in mind, I ask two young colleagues, “What do you think about envy?” Vigorous shaking of heads. “Nope, never feel it,” one declares. Nodding in agreement, the other says, “My mother always told us not to envy anyone. You don’t know their story—what the rest of their life is like, or what they’re feeling inside.”

She’s right, of course. Envy rests on comparing ourselves to others—and coming up short. Comparing per se isn’t the problem. It can be beneficial if it motivates us to take action on our own behalf—to start exercising or meditating, say, or to apply for a more challenging job. But invidious comparisons are deleterious all around.

In Buddhist teachings, envy isn’t clearly distinguished from jealousy. So I try another tack with my colleagues. “What about jealousy? Ever feel that?” I ask. “Of course!” one shoots back, laughing. “All the time!” And off we go on the fickleness of boyfriends.

Jealousy—fear of losing someone we value—is at least marginally justifiable and therefore socially acceptable. Envy—discontent or anger that someone else has something we want but don’t possess, be it beauty, talent, a coveted job, or just dumb luck—is neither justifiable nor condoned. La Rochefoucauld, that astute observer of human nature, defined the difference: “Jealousy is in some measure just and reasonable since it tends only to retain a good which belongs to us, whereas envy is a fury that cannot endure the good of others.”

However couched it might be, envy by its very nature is hostile. The word comes from the Latin invidere, to regard maliciously, to grudge. Unlike its cousin greed, envy doesn’t just crave the object of its desire, it taints the whole project, begrudging others what they have and, when all else fails, devaluing or destroying the desired object.

Psychologists, unlike Buddhists, distinguish between envy and jealousy. Jealousy is a triangulation among equals: I’m jealous of the glamorous new neighbor my boyfriend has been chatting up, afraid that she’s going to drive a wedge between us. Envy is an unequal misalliance of two, with the envied person one up, the envier one down. I envy the new hire for being younger, smarter, and more tech savvy than I. And if I’m convinced my job is in jeopardy as a result, then consciously or unconsciously, I might try to sabotage the upstart.

Nothing good attaches to envy, a sin in every major religion. Two German social psychologists who study envy say that “among the seven deadlies, it occupies a unique position: it’s the only sin that is never fun.” Even schadenfreude—wicked pleasure in someone else’s misfortune—is usually short-lived: soon enough, the bitter taste of hatred rises in your throat, and shame and guilt flood your system…

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https://tricycle.org/magazine/friendvy/

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