Conscience Matters

How many times a day do we get a twinge of conscience? How many times do we notice that we have put our own desires ahead of our normal good sense, and now someone – or some animal – is dealing with a hardship that our action created? If it was just ourselves, we’d put it down to “cosmic payback” for our little weakness, but when it’s another sentient being, it hurts. At least, until we calm ourselves by asserting that there’s a lot of minor hardship in the world, and that we’ve had our share of other people’s mindless actions. Or by telling ourselves that we’re just the vehicle for that person’s cosmic payback. It’s a lie, of course.

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Reciprocal Maintenance

One of the key tenets of the cosmology expounded by G.I. Gurdjieff is that all things exist in a dynamic state of “reciprocal maintenance”. In simple terms, as one thing “feeds” on something else, it also contributes to its maintenance. We see that most obviously in farming, where the many of the animal and plant species on which we feed would not even exist without our dependence upon them. But one can “feed” in many different ways, and the principle of “reciprocal maintenance” can produce some surprising results.

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End The Madness

So Russia, now confident that the West will not respond with military aggression, sends its troops into Ukraine to “restore” the country to its proper, historical position as a satellite of Moscow. But then, is this any different from the American invasions of Iraq, or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait that triggered it? Is there not some truth in the assertion that Western “powers” have been wooing former states of the USSR, to weaken Russian influence? Perhaps the West does not always deploy weapons first, but it shares the same goals as Russia. As does China. What we are seeing, across the world, is a battle of cultural idioms masking a struggle for economic power. Weapons of war merely fuel that struggle; they do not create it.

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Telepathy

At the outset, I’ll admit that this is another purely speculative piece. I enjoy “testing” the boundaries of both accepted science and mystical tradition, in the hope that each might see there’s something of interest in a fusion of the two. Let’s examine telepathy, for example: the ability (?) to send and receive thoughts or feelings, from mind to mind. And if you think that telepathy isn’t real, then I urge you to spend some time really exploring the work of “psychic mediums”. Of course there are charlatans in that field. Of course there are experts at “cold reading”, some of whom might not even know that’s what they’re doing. But to dismiss it all as fraud and charlatanism is to miss the fragments that depict something else at work.

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Purity Is Power

If we look across the world, right now, a lot of the conflict that we see has its origin – arguably – in some concept of “purity”. It could be racial purity, religious purity, cultural purity: even gender purity. Ok, not all of the conflict, by any means. A lot of it is also about economics, or access to (control over) scarce resources. But even there, once someone says – naively – “Well, why don’t we just share?” the dialogue inevitably moves to questions around who has the most right. The polarisation that follows then calls upon any form of “difference”, and devolves into a defence of “purity” – even if it’s just “left” versus “right”. The pattern, though, is pretty simple: purity is power. Or rather, it’s a hogwash rationalisation to justify the exercise of power.

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Helping Hand

For this post, I will return – after my foray into the topic of alien visitors – to my more usual territory of psychology. Although, the two areas are related. The subject here is the different ways in which we approach “helping” another being. Helping starts from a perception of a need, for which we have something to offer. And whilst that statement seems obvious, it’s worth exploring.

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New World Order?

One of the more persistent conspiracy theories is the one that asserts that a number of powerful governments – or perhaps powers behind them – have either made deals with alien races or are using alien technology to promote a “new world order”. You can look these theories up on the internet – or maybe you already have – but if so, I advise you also to watch the film “Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind”. The reason for this recommendation is because I advise having something to “balance” the NWO ideas, for reasons that I’ll explain below. Maybe you don’t believe in “aliens” but, as Carl Sagan said, “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”

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Rice Pudding and Income Tax

One of my favourite authors, Douglas Adams, once described a race of beings who created an enormously powerful computer, called Deep Thought. Its purpose was to provide them with an answer to “Life, the universe and everything.” Within seconds of being switched on, it had reasoned the existence of rice pudding and income tax, from first principles. However, when challenged with their very taxing problem, it admitted (after seven and a half million years of processing) that although the answer was clearly “42”, it hadn’t been able to determine what the question had meant. It then proposed designing an even more powerful computer (which turned out to be the Earth) to determine what question “42” really answered.

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Seeing Is Believing

The phrase “seeing is believing” normally means, “I’ll only believe something when I see it for myself.” But there’s a catch in that assertion: the way our perception works, we’re far more likely to see what we already expect to see (even if unaware of the expectation) than to see what’s actually in front of us. Stage magicians make extensive use of that fact, to present us with illusions that seem impossible. And it’s a real drag for police forces, as it makes bystander witness statements very unreliable. I can only imagine, too, how much discord it causes as partners unconsciously judge each other and then really believe they’ve seen or heard something that confirms their fears.

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